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Historical Discussions: SpaceX successfully launches two humans into orbit (May 30, 2020: 2497 points)

(2797) SpaceX successfully launches two humans into orbit

2797 points 2 days ago by tosh in 6th position

www.nasa.gov | Estimated reading time – 12 minutes | comments | anchor

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Demo-2 mission is the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. The test flight serves as an end-to-end demonstration of SpaceX's crew transportation system. Behnken and Hurley launched at 3:22 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to low-Earth orbit for the first time since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

For the first time in history, NASA astronauts have launched from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley lifted off at 3:22 p.m. EDT Saturday on the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

"Today a new era in human spaceflight begins as we once again launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil on their way to the International Space Station, our national lab orbiting Earth," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "I thank and congratulate Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, and the SpaceX and NASA teams for this significant achievement for the United States. The launch of this commercial space system designed for humans is a phenomenal demonstration of American excellence and is an important step on our path to expand human exploration to the Moon and Mars."

Known as NASA's SpaceX Demo-2, the mission is an end-to-end test flight to validate the SpaceX crew transportation system, including launch, in-orbit, docking and landing operations. This is SpaceX's second spaceflight test of its Crew Dragon and its first test with astronauts aboard, which will pave the way for its certification for regular crew flights to the station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

'This is a dream come true for me and everyone at SpaceX," said Elon Musk, chief engineer at SpaceX. "It is the culmination of an incredible amount of work by the SpaceX team, by NASA and by a number of other partners in the process of making this happen. You can look at this as the results of a hundred thousand people roughly when you add up all the suppliers and everyone working incredibly hard to make this day happen."

The program demonstrates NASA's commitment to investing in commercial companies through public-private partnerships and builds on the success of American companies, including SpaceX, already delivering cargo to the space station.

President Donald Trump, right, Vice President Mike Pence, and Second Lady Karen Pence watch the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, from the balcony of Operations Support Building II at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission is the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. The test flight serves as an end-to-end demonstration of SpaceX's crew transportation system. Behnken and Hurley launched at 3:22 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to low-Earth orbit for the first time since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

"It's difficult to put into words how proud I am of the people who got us here today," said Kathy Lueders, NASA's Commercial Crew Program manager. "When I think about all of the challenges overcome – from design and testing, to paper reviews, to working from home during a pandemic and balancing family demands with this critical mission – I am simply amazed at what the NASA and SpaceX teams have accomplished together. This is just the beginning; I will be watching with great anticipation as Bob and Doug get ready to dock to the space station tomorrow, and through every phase of this historic mission."

SpaceX controlled the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy's Launch Control Center Firing Room 4, the former space shuttle control room, which SpaceX has leased as its primary launch control center. As Crew Dragon ascended into space, SpaceX commanded the spacecraft from its mission control center in Hawthorne, California. NASA teams are monitoring space station operations throughout the flight from Mission Control Center at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to dock to the space station at 10:29 a.m. Sunday, May 31. NASA Television and the agency's website are providing ongoing live coverage of the Crew Dragon's trip to the orbiting laboratory. Behnken and Hurley will work with SpaceX mission control to verify the spacecraft is performing as intended by testing the environmental control system, the displays and control system, and by maneuvering the thrusters, among other things. The first docking maneuver began Saturday, May 30, at 4:09 p.m., and the spacecraft will begin its close approach to the station at about 8:27 a.m. Sunday, May 31. Crew Dragon is designed to dock autonomously, but the crews onboard the spacecraft and the space station will diligently monitor the performance of the spacecraft as it approaches and docks to the forward port of the station's Harmony module.

After successfully docking, the crew will be welcomed aboard the International Space Station, where they will become members of the Expedition 63 crew, which currently includes NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy. NASA will continue live coverage through hatch opening and the crew welcoming ceremony. The crew will perform tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew.

Three astronauts aboard the International Space Station will participate in a live NASA Television crew news conference from orbit on Monday, June 1, beginning at 11:15 a.m. on NASA TV and the agency's website.

Demo-2 Astronauts

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, foreground, and Douglas Hurley, wearing SpaceX spacesuits, are seen as they depart the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building for Launch Complex 39A to board the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Demo-2 mission launch, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission is the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. The test flight serves as an end-to-end demonstration of SpaceX's crew ransportation system. Behnken and Hurley are scheduled to launch at 3:22 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to low-Earth orbit for the first time since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Behnken is the joint operations commander for the mission, responsible for activities such as rendezvous, docking and undocking, as well as Demo-2 activities while the spacecraft is docked to the space station. He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2000 and has completed two space shuttle flights. Behnken flew STS-123 in March 2008 and STS-130 in February 2010, performing three spacewalks during each mission. Born in St. Anne, Missouri, he has bachelor's degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and earned a master's and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Before joining NASA, he was a flight test engineer with the U.S. Air Force.

NASA astronaut Douglas Hurley waves as he and fellow crew member Robert Behnken depart the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building for Launch Complex 39A to board the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Demo-2 mission launch, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission is the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. The test flight serves as an end-to-end demonstration of SpaceX's crew transportation system. Behnken and Hurley are scheduled to launch at 3:22 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 30, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to low-Earth orbit for the first time since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Hurley is the spacecraft commander for Demo-2, responsible for activities such as launch, landing and recovery. He was selected as an astronaut in 2000 and has completed two spaceflights. Hurley served as pilot and lead robotics operator for both STS‐127 in July 2009 and STS‐135, the final space shuttle mission, in July 2011. The New York native was born in Endicott but considers Apalachin his hometown. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland. Before joining NASA, he was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Mission Objectives

The Demo-2 mission is the final major test before NASA's Commercial Crew Program certifies Crew Dragon for operational, long-duration missions to the space station. As SpaceX's final flight test, it will validate all aspects of its crew transportation system, including the Crew Dragon spacecraft, spacesuits, Falcon 9 launch vehicle, launch pad 39A and operations capabilities.

While en route to the station, Behnken and Hurley will take control of Crew Dragon for two manual flight tests, demonstrating their ability to control the spacecraft should an issue with the spacecraft's automated flight arise. On Saturday, May 30, while the spacecraft is coasting, the crew will test its roll, pitch and yaw. When Crew Dragon is about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) below the station and moving around to the docking axis, the crew will conduct manual in-orbit demonstrations of the control system in the event it were needed. After pausing, rendezvous will resume and mission managers will make a final decision about whether to proceed to docking as Crew Dragon approaches 20 meters (66 feet).

For operational missions, Crew Dragon will be able to launch as many as four crew members at a time and carry more than 220 pounds of cargo, allowing for an increased number crew members aboard the space station and increasing the time dedicated to research in the unique microgravity environment, as well as returning more science back to Earth.

The Crew Dragon being used for this flight test can stay in orbit about 110 days, and the specific mission duration will be determined once on station based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch. The operational Crew Dragon spacecraft will be capable of staying in orbit for at least 210 days as a NASA requirement.

At the conclusion of the mission, Behnken and Hurley will board Crew Dragon, which will then autonomously undock, depart the space station, and re-enter Earth's atmosphere. Upon splashdown off Florida's Atlantic coast, the crew will be picked up by the SpaceX recovery ship and returned to the dock at Cape Canaveral.

NASA's Commercial Crew Program is working with SpaceX and Boeing to design, build, test and operate safe, reliable and cost-effective human transportation systems to low-Earth orbit. Both companies are focused on test missions, including abort system demonstrations and crew flight tests, ahead of regularly flying crew missions to the space station. Both companies' crewed flights will be the first times in history NASA has sent astronauts to space on systems owned, built, tested and operated by private companies.

Learn more about NASA's Commercial Crew program at:



Last Updated: May 31, 2020

Editor: Sean Potter

All Comments: [-] | anchor

tnli(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Not very Kerbal, good job and goodspeed!

dnautics(4398) 2 days ago [-]

I secretly wanted an inset of the two astronauts faces in the lower right corner.

joering2(1048) 2 days ago [-]

Any idea why both Nasa and SpaceX feed both run on 720p max?

spike021(4403) 2 days ago [-]

Wondering the same here. That plus Youtube compression artifacts made this a teeny bit less enjoyable to watch.

Darmody(4329) 2 days ago [-]

I'm so excited about this.

I used to watch old space mission videos and I think how could it would've been to watch them live back in the day.

Now SpaceX has brought this excitement back.

csmiller(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I watch this video all the time


I wish I could have been there at the time, and today was the next best thing. Truly amazing.

runawaybottle(4392) 2 days ago [-]

I definitely feel like a kid watching this.

aeturnum(10000) 2 days ago [-]

How wonderful!

Congratulations to the entire Space X team, this is a real accomplishment and I'm sure not one that came easily. It's exciting to see relatively small companies fulfilling roles that people thought might require massive military contractors.

Elon is an interesting figure. He is, I think, a paradigmatic example of the imperfect creator. His undeniable success in difficult endeavors can create an aura of authority for acting within domains where signals about the appropriateness of his judgement are less clear. We've had technical experts lead us down paths that were not, in hindsight, in our best interests (I think of Teller and Von Neumann's advocacy for aggressive action against the USSR). I hope we can move away from the 'elon sucks' v.s. 'elon is a genius' dichotomy and into a culture of acknowledging accomplishment while insisting claims in other areas be fully justified.

lazyjones(4347) 2 days ago [-]

> I hope we can move away from the 'elon sucks' v.s. 'elon is a genius' dichotomy and into a culture of acknowledging accomplishment while insisting claims in other areas be fully justified.

Until then, I'll happily consider Elon's or even John Carmack's opinion over those of Elon's numerous, noisy but otherwise uninteresting critics on the Internet and elsewhere.

fasteddie31003(4288) 1 day ago [-]

I think it's hilarious how HN dislikes Elon. Elon is edgy, non-pc, and speaks his mind. All traits I see looked down upon in Silicon Valley.

nickik(3096) 2 days ago [-]

You can hate Elon if you want or think whatever, but anybody that can't admit that on purely intelligence level he is genius is pretty much in denial.

nirav72(10000) 1 day ago [-]

probably because one company's revenue depends on government contracts and the other depends on consumers.

sunstone(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Perhaps a more interesting comparison is between Elon the CEO of Tesla and Elon the CEO of SpaceX. You may notice that these are two very different personalities that serve two different corporate requirements.

The Elon of SpaceX introduces himself as 'I'm proud to be here representing the SpaceX team.' The Elon of Tesla is smoking up on camera, throwing humongous ball bearings at the Cybertruck windows, sleeping in his sleeping bag while trying to bring Model 3 production through the Shadow of the Valley of Death.

You almost never hear about any of Elon's direct contributions to SpaceX whereas he's mister Tesla front and center at Tesla pulling stunt after tweet. SpaceX servers a very conservative industrial market and Tesla makes consumer products. These companies require to very different types of leadership. Who is the real Elon behind this public Jekyll and Hyde dynamic? Most likely it's the driven 'man of first principles' just doing what needs to be done.

wmeredith(2915) 1 day ago [-]

AM I the only one that feels like the Elon sucks/is a genius thing are just two sides of the same coin? Geniuses are rarely well adjusted.

jessedotexe(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

It was really cool to see the launch. Your last sentence is something I hope every can strive for.

philwelch(4049) 2 days ago [-]

For me the better precedent for Elon's eccentricities might be someone like Henry Ford. Ford was an undeniable genius and innovator in a way that inspired broad admiration, but he was also troublingly paternalistic with his workers--providing above-market pay and benefits but expecting them to live up to his moral standards in their personal lives. He was also a massive sponsor of anti-Semitic publications and, prior to Pearl Harbor, a Nazi sympathizer.

arnaudsm(4236) 2 days ago [-]

Elon's speech pertinence was exceptional in the 2010s, but his last 12 months were really chaotic (pedo-sub, tesla-tweets-420 and 'it's just a flu' scandals). I guess that working 100h weeks takes a toll on your brain. Fortunately his companies can live without him now.

octygen(10000) 2 days ago [-]

We simply need capable egomaniacs to move society forward via exploration. The type of people that shrug at loss of life and say 'That's the cost of exploration. Next?' and then somehow motivate a whole slew of people to dedicate their lives to trying again. Not sure he'd do this if life was lost but he does ask for the type of efforts/sacrifices few are willing to give that most view as unspeakable. I say this knowing people at both SpaceX and Tesla.

tectonic(1040) 2 days ago [-]

This is a huge success for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Both the total development costs ($1.7B and $2.8B for Crew Dragon and Starliner, respectively) and the per-seat costs ($60-67M and $91-99M) have outperformed all other NASA crewed programs since the early days of the agency. For comparison, development costs for the Space Shuttle were $27.4B, while Orion is estimated at $23.7B.

(From https://orbitalindex.com)

jorblumesea(10000) 2 days ago [-]

But how much of that cost was initial R&D vs what SpaceX was doing?

It's hard to compare costs given that it feels like much of NASA space development was science research into how to actually do it, paving the way for future projects.

There are many examples of successful commercial programs that could only exist because of huge ('unprofitable') government R&D behind it. Google maps, the entire internet, commercial space flight, commercial aviation...

I'm not arguing against their success, it's remarkable. I just wonder if this is more nuanced.

mam2(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Yeah well even a mac pro nowadays is cheaper than a zx80 in the 90's

modeless(1230) 2 days ago [-]

Perhaps of interest to HN, the cockpit displays seen in the videos are HTML pages rendered in Chromium. https://twitter.com/alteredq/status/1266853705632145409?s=19

SpaceX recently released a browser game where you use the real flight UI to dock with the ISS: https://iss-sim.spacex.com/

fogetti(4153) 2 days ago [-]

Awesome. Thanks for sharing

JshWright(3760) 2 days ago [-]

So you're saying even in space we can't escape Electron?

yreg(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Aren't physical buttons that you can feel with your touch safer than touch screens?

stevens32(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

We're flying to space on JavaScript? This truly is the strangest timeline

ycombonator(928) 2 days ago [-]

How did SpaceX accelerate their development so fast ? What took NASA decades to achieve in terms of high tech rocketry SpaceX achieved in less than half the time. What are the factors ? The people Elon hired were ex NASA ? Where did the working knowledge come from ?I don't think I found the answer anywhere on the internet.

aquajet(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Read the Elon Musk biography by Ashlee Vance. It describes the early days of spaceX. The short answer is incredibly hard effort.

thoraway1010(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Quick note:

Boeing got the big bucks at $5B or so for their crewed services because they have the 'better' more reliable design.

SpaceX only got $3B or so.

Boeing running roughly 60%+ more per seat as well.

So a real accomplishment so far for SpaceX to pull this off.

natch(4265) 2 days ago [-]

> they have the 'better' more reliable design.

It's easy to claim that vapor is better. Making it into non-vapor, not so easy.

I do see that you at least put "better" in quotes... good call.

Rebelgecko(4385) 2 days ago [-]

SpaceX had a pretty different record wrt reliability back in 2014. And to be fair I think it's more likely that Boeing was competing against Sierra Nevada, not SpaceX

thePunisher(10000) 2 days ago [-]

But Boeing is forever crooning: 'Yeah, but we put a man on the Moon.' So NASA will lick their boots anytime and pay them whatever they want.

Off course, if Boeing messes up again, the carpet will be pulled from under their feet.

fhdhfhfh(10000) 2 days ago [-]


lmilcin(4415) 2 days ago [-]

If I heard correctly, SpaceX got less because they were already running regular resupply missions to ISS and not because they had 'worse, less reliable design'.

nickik(3096) 1 day ago [-]

This is very wrong.

The Commercial Crew contract started with NASA providing guidelines of what they wanted.

Multible companies could give a suggestion of their design and how much it would cost.

The two best of those were suggested. The amount of money was not assigned based on their evaluation what was better, that is absolutely not the case.

Rather they selected 2 proposals that had the best combination based of factors, including cost, design, program reliability and so on.

So Boeing was luck that their (at that point) high status got them selected over the cheaper bid of Sierra Nevada (who tried to fight the choice).

So its not like they first selected the two companies and then assigned them money based on how good their designs were.

avmich(10000) 2 days ago [-]

The big and annoying issue with the Crew Dragon design seems to be the chosen RCS fuel (AFAIK, monomethylhydrazine and N2O4), which makes both fueling and clearing after landing a delicate process.

Hopefully Crew Dragon proves itself as a capable platform for Earth-orbit transportation, but this fuel issue is a hard one to counter.

elliekelly(2590) 2 days ago [-]

Earlier this week when they were de-fueling they mentioned that the 'escape system' was still active during that process. Is that because the fuel is potentially dangerous? Tangentially related, can the 'escape system' be activated even when the rocket itself hasn't left the ground? I watched the escape system test but IIRC it involved launching and then aborting so the pod that carries the crew was already high off the ground before the escape system was triggered. It surprised me that it could triggered from a standstill.

rrmm(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Do you think NASA considers it an issue? They seem pretty ok with it and have plenty of experience with it.

The robustness of the system is hard to give up. And fueling and recovery has always been a large production requiring attention to detail.

Has NASA or DARPA put out any requests for a next-gen RCS fuel replacement?

Robotbeat(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Hypergolic fuels have TONS of advantages, including extremely reliable ignition. Basically all crewed orbital spacecraft have used hypergols in some ways. SpaceX's Starship will not use hypergols, although it probably won't be available for years.

sephamorr(10000) 2 days ago [-]

RCS engines are practically always hypergolic since you need to be able to pulse on and off very easily/quickly, and propellents need to be storable (non-cryo). If you look at the choices remaining, they're all various levels of extremely toxic.

_Microft(511) 2 days ago [-]

One might say that Crew Dragon's days are counted already.

Even SpaceX' Gwynne Shotwell (she is SpaceX' long-time COO, in case you do not know her yet) is hoping that SpaceX will fly people on Starship in maybe 3-4 years and she is way more grounded than Mr. Musk. They plan to achieve this unreasonable sounding feat by producing large numbers of Starships and launching them very often to accumulate massive experience with the craft in very short time in parallel basically.

thePunisher(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Congrats SpaceX! A job well done.

I assumed this launch would be uneventful since SpaceX has been flying numerous missions to the ISS, and this one merely has people on it but is basically business-as-usual for them.

cryptoz(272) 2 days ago [-]

I think they've been flying the cargo dragon missions with a full-atmosphere pressure inside the capsule, just to prove that even if a person had been in there for a cargo launch they very well may have survived (at least, if they had a chair I guess)

sakopov(3228) 2 days ago [-]

It's absolutely incredible to see this. So much work to get us here. So much work just to organize this launch event. Seeing astronauts getting dropped off in one of the most technologically advanced automobiles on Earth and walk into the capsule sitting on top of a rocket which is the Pinnacle of humanity's biggest advancements in technology and space is astounding and goosebumps-enducing. What a time to be alive!

rcurry(3868) 2 days ago [-]

And the best part is that this is only the beginning! God I hope I live long enough to see human beings set foot on Mars.

shoulderfake(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I dont get it, wasnt this already accomplished? Whats the big deal ? The space station already exists, astronauts have gone there before.

zoomablemind(4369) 2 days ago [-]

Noticed those big kneeboards atop astronauts suited knee, with some kind of pen tethered to it, like good-old sign-in clipboards. The surface is white, but does not seem to glow.

Is it real paper and pencil? Or some sort of e-ink tablet. iPad? Kinda bukly, though...

Who needs a space-pen? Got a space-watch? :)

AlphaWeaver(3654) 2 days ago [-]

That's paper, sitting on top of a traditional tablet with a glass screen (maybe an iPad, maybe an Android tablet.) There's a pen or pencil kept in a slot in the pack strapped to his leg underneath the tablet.

That's as much as I was able to gather from today and Wednesday's livestream.

Zenst(3680) 2 days ago [-]

Best video found so far of it that covers launch and landing of falcon 9. Alas loss of signal during the moment, though I'm sure another camera angle/footage will come about.


oneplane(10000) 2 days ago [-]

They probably record locally as well so if the live connection gets disrupted for some reason you can download the complete recording (perhaps even with better bitrate) after the fact.

Andrew_nenakhov(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I've already seen conspiracy theorists online who claimed that loss of signal during every first stage landing is a proof that it's all a hoax.

Like, they switch footage to another droneship with a rocket that was always there.

I wonder if these people believe in flat Earth, too?

Yetanfou(10000) 1 day ago [-]

    ERROR: -JPLgs3ktyo: YouTube said: This video contains content from National Geographic, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.
    Sorry about that.
varjag(3159) 2 days ago [-]

Why the MRAP though?

burfog(10000) 2 days ago [-]

It replaces NASA's M113 armored personnel carrier, a tracked vehicle which dates back to the Vietnam War. The fire crew sits in there for protection from an exploding rocket. The vehicle is great for evacuating astronauts.


If you want the closest view of a launch without being in the rocket, get some firefighting experience (preferably on an aircraft carrier or something of similar hazard) and then ask your senator to recommend you as a qualified guest firefighter.

elsonrodriguez(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Think the bombing scene in Contact. Very unlikely, but what's the harm in protecting a high profile target like this?

manaskarekar(3224) 2 days ago [-]

Good luck to everyone! What an exciting time.

Curious about the spacesuits and performance of the "minimal" touchscreen interfaces compared to the older stuff.

devindotcom(4139) 2 days ago [-]

The suits are just pressure suits, more for basic protection and temporary loss of pressure, not extended EVAs or anything. They do look pretty comfortable, though, and I think the audio and signal are better.

The touchscreen interface is 'different' - the astronauts talked a bit about helping SpaceX design it and the pros and cons of it in a recent interview. I wrote it up here but you can also check the original long NASA TV thing.


thepete2(3927) 2 days ago [-]

I watched the 'Everyday Astronaut' Youtube stream where he said that those are IVA suits (as opposed to EVA) and can only hold pressure for a couple of minutes, enough time for the capsule to return safely to earth in case of an emergency.

coldfinger(10000) 2 days ago [-]

2nd attempt. Let's see how it goes.

vulcan01(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I'm young enough for this to be my first time watching a crewed launch from America... Hopefully this goes well.

haunter(2305) 2 days ago [-]

I'm actually surprised they use a touchscreen interface, and they will use that for the manual docking too! https://i.imgur.com/YKiqIqO.jpg

sneak(2509) 2 days ago [-]

I understand it runs Chromium code and that the UI is written in Javascript.


tmabraham(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Yes, overall Crew Dragon seems to have a very clean design in general.

rkagerer(4112) 2 days ago [-]

You can try out the docking maneuvers in this official minigame: https://iss-sim.spacex.com/

Personally I found the lack of analog input control harrying toward the end. A toggle between 'large' and 'normal' thrust mode is all you get. Normal felt like it wasn't fine-grained enough.

TrainedMonkey(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Display can be used for manual docking, however there is no plan to ever do that outside of an emergency.

bryanlarsen(3853) 2 days ago [-]

There are two rows of physical buttons below the touch screens along with a large manual abort lever. The physical buttons are used for manual docking.

Jormundir(4273) 2 days ago [-]

It's raining on the launch pad right now. We'll be lucky if the launch happens, but likely postponed to tomorrow's launch window.

agildehaus(10000) 2 days ago [-]

According to the webcast, weather is expected to clear, so sounds promising so far.

bambataa(4304) 2 days ago [-]

So whatever happened to Virgin Galactic? I know they were planning a reusable spaceship that would focus on tourism first. Was the plan just too complex in comparison to the simpler capsule-on-a-rocket approach? Or do the economics not stack up?

nabla9(481) 2 days ago [-]

Virgin Galactic is not going to orbit. They do suborbital spaceflights.

The difference in effort and energy required is roughly 1:10. They basically just throw people high up so that they can say they have been space.

1915cb1f(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Anyone else feel that some parts were kind of tacky? I tuned in a few hours before the launch, and I happened to watch the astronauts get loaded into a branded Tesla car, and the announcers were gushing about how cool the side doors were. I couldn't shake the feeling that half the stream was just marketing for marketing for Elon's companies.

db48x(4344) 1 day ago [-]

Broadcasters will say anything to avoid dead air. Just mute the stream until about a minute before the launch; you'll be a lot happier.

rossdavidh(4326) 1 day ago [-]

Does anyone have a link to a video of the booster landing? I could only find a still shot.

rst(3743) 1 day ago [-]

Video from the barges regularly drops out when the booster actually lands, most likely because vibration from the impact of the rocket exhaust messes with the antennas. (The video is still stored on the barge, and sometimes shows up in mission-review videos later; this one probably doesn't look all that different from the past fifty or so.)

dmix(1487) 2 days ago [-]

Does anyone know if there's an interactive map where we can track where Dragon is in context of the earth?

neic(3835) 2 days ago [-]

Choose S2 under the graph icon on https://flightclub.io/live

tomfanning(10000) 2 days ago [-]

'Crew Dragon' has been added to the Star Walk 2 app on iOS. Just had a pass over the UK (not visible). This gives an AR view of the sky. It's on the same trajectory as ISS, some number of minutes behind it.

NiceWayToDoIT(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Who else has prepared snacks and beer? I can feel blood in my ears how excited I am. Good luck SpaceX & NASA!

0x8BADF00D(10000) 2 days ago [-]

It is quite an achievement. This paves the way forward for eventual space colonization.

NiceWayToDoIT(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I am soooooo happy I am going to cry!!!

tiborsaas(4083) 2 days ago [-]

I popped a Gulden Draak 9000 for this to be stylish :)

Darmody(4329) 2 days ago [-]

Some chips and a wheat beer. I haven't drank one in a year. No better time that this to drink one again.

pknerd(2686) 2 days ago [-]

I am not American but as a human I feel so good about this mission. We all have a habit of looking up to sky with an awe and appreciate the beauty. My 10 years old son was so excited. Who knows he might get into this field. I wanted to study astrophysics while I was a teen. He was also watching live stream with me.

Congrats and lots of love from Pakistan. Desperately waiting for Docking moments.

CodeGlitch(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Same here- my 5yo daughter stayed up late to watch the launch. She was asking questions throughtout, which made me a proud dad.

mLuby(4219) 1 day ago [-]

That's so wonderful. I liked how Astronaut Garrett Reisman put it today: https://youtu.be/GuXBdTF2jUY?t=4460

> 'I hope for ten minutes just now you looked up and saw something exciting, something to give you hope of a future full of wonder. That's the magic of human spaceflight.'

We cannot voyage far into space without our best human qualities: cooperation, reason, and hope. Each small step for all humankind.

PaulVYoung(10000) 2 days ago [-]

For me, the best thing about today (among so many wonderful things) is the pure and utter inspirational value of every moment.

I remember being glued to my tv when I watched the first shuttle launch in 81. For me, that inspired a lifelong passion for astronomy, which led to a PhD, and eventually a successful tech career.

Today, I sat with my daughters and watched the launch live and then went outside an hour or so later to watch the dragon (just visible) chase the ISS along the horizon in the twilight. (Needed starwalk and some binoculars to find it).

My 11 year old, was literally jumping up and down with excitement and was still telling me about her plans for Mars when I kissed her goodnight. My 13 year old straight out said, "I want to go to university in the states so I stand a chance of getting a job in that control room."

This is exactly the sort of think I want my children to witness - what humanity can accomplish when we work together.

mncharity(4416) 1 day ago [-]

I thought this[1] was nicely done, and potentially inspiring for students.

[1] Planet Hunter https://vimeo.com/419873718

rkagerer(4112) 2 days ago [-]

Every time they say 'Bob and Doug' I keep thinking Bob and Jeb

keiferski(962) 2 days ago [-]

After a recent Twin Peaks rewatch, I keep thinking B.O.B. and Dougie.

fartcannon(10000) 2 days ago [-]

What about Bob and Doug.. MacKenzie?

nerdbaggy(4414) 2 days ago [-]

And right as the booster was landing on the ship the satellite feed cut out.

vlasev(10000) 2 days ago [-]

That's quite normal. It happens on pretty much every launch to some extent. Something to do with vibrations causes by the landing burn and directional dishes

tmabraham(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Lol it just magically appeared on the drone ship.

jerome-jh(10000) 1 day ago [-]

The first man in space was launched by the russians almost _60_ years ago. That was history.

Then the americans sent men to the moon, that was history too, and _50_ years ago.

We realized sending human into space was not really useful, so that more or less stopped. The ISS was an international endeavor with questionable scientific goals, but still it was fun and an unprecedented global collaboration. The Mars rovers and some other space probes (Viking, Venera) were true scientific achievements too.

What we see here is a private company re-learning how to send men in space and calling this 'history'. No doubt it will be used to send highest paying customers in space. It will also be used to send a large, low orbit satellite constellation without the slightest amount of collaboration or concerting with other space users. Other companies will compete to send their own constellations, some of them will certainly fail in a few years and leave their junk in space for tens of years. It has even been used to send a car into space, although many scientists would have loved to send a useful payload even in a test flight.

All this is financed by investors lured by the 'dream' of sending men die on Mars, and by a government that has lost the sense of reality. How great.

logarhythmic(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Thanks, I was looking for the most cynical possible position that I could adopt on this news

dmlittle(4426) 2 days ago [-]

Does anyone know what happens to the 2nd stage engine? Does it stay in orbit or does it eventually fall back to earth/go into space?

nyhc99(10000) 2 days ago [-]

SpaceX was talking about trying to recover the 2nd stage back in 2018, Elon suggested they would use a giant 'party balloon' and land it on a 'giant bounce house.' I haven't heard any talk of progress made since then.


trp1(10000) 2 days ago [-]

It'll do a couple orbits then fall back down to Earth.

noir_lord(4337) 2 days ago [-]

burns up.

Gwypaas(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Depends on the mission, for something like this it deorbits fairly quickly due to the drag of the low orbit. To geostationary transfer orbit it takes longer but the periapsis (lowest point) is low enough to slowly deorbit it.

Then we have launches straight to geostationary orbits and similar, for those the second-stages will essentially never come down and they end up positioned in a graveyard orbit.

thepete2(3927) 2 days ago [-]

Even the ISS needs burns now and then to stay up, so yes at that altitude it will fall down eventually.

drmpeg(10000) 2 days ago [-]

It's does a deorbit burn to actively fall back to Earth.

johncalvinyoung(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Saw a diagram showing that the 2nd stage should deorbit and splashdown somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Not sure when, precisely, though.

PopeDotNinja(4278) 2 days ago [-]

I think it's ridiculous that a rocket can fly up to 90km and return to Earth in a controlled landing in under 10 minutes. So cool.

ehsankia(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Especially once you get an idea of the scale of the rocket. It's taller than the statue of liberty. Imagine a 24 stories tall building flying into space and landing back upright.

_Microft(511) 2 days ago [-]

The distance between Launch Complex 39-A (LC-39A) to Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) is 17-18km by road. During the Orbcomm-2 mission, the first successful landing of a SpaceX booster took place there approximately 10 minutes after launch, so one would have needed to go 100km/h in average by car to make it from launch pad to the landing zone in time.


mindfulplay(10000) 2 days ago [-]

That sort of puts things in perspective. I didn't realize all of that amazing stuff happened in the course of a few minutes...

Incredible. For all the silly things Elon Musk does on Twitter, he rightfully takes the credit for building these important machines and building the right team with Gwynne Shotwell.

BeetleB(4249) 2 days ago [-]

Well, the escape velocity for Earth is 11.2 km/s...

fcsp(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> 'our national lab orbiting Earth," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Is it though?

JshWright(3760) 2 days ago [-]


It's a lab, used by our nation, orbiting the Earth.

Rebelgecko(4385) 2 days ago [-]

Yes. Because the Earth is so much more massive than the ISS, the Earth-ISS barycenter is probably a nanometer at the most away from the Earth's own center of mass. So even though technically it isn't true that the ISS is orbiting the center of the Earth, it's close enough for government work (and the barycenter is certainly inside the Earth)

dang(192) 2 days ago [-]

Other things people have posted, whose threads we've merged hither:




If there's a particularly good article, we can swap out the URL above. Edit: beefman suggested the nasa.gov page (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23364975), so we'll put that up pending any better suggestion. The submitted URL was the livestream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIZsnKGV8TE, which was fine while it lasted, but is now of the second freshness. Submitted title was 'SpaceX and NASA: Crew Demo-2'.

protomolecule(10000) about 8 hours ago [-]

'Second freshness - that's what is nonsense! There is only one freshness - the first - and it is also the last. And if sturgeon is of the second freshness, that means it is simply rotten.'

jakswa(4413) 1 day ago [-]

livestream still relevant? Docking with ISS tomorrow morning? All the tests they are doing?

squarefoot(4211) 2 days ago [-]

Before aiming to Mars, I would consider crowfunding two free tickets for a trip on the Falcon to a couple high profile flat earthers.

BuyMyBitcoins(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I'd pretend to be a sincere flat earther if there was a chance for a free flight to space

ChuckMcM(565) 2 days ago [-]

It is hard to convey how 'sustainable' this feels to me. For the first time, humans have gone into orbit in a spacecraft that was designed from the ground up to be a commercial venture.

All of the NASA missions prior to this have an ambience of 'uneconomical but useful'. Even the shuttle, which was supposed to be this cost effective space truck, turned out to be not even close.

And the last thing I'm feeling is the amazement at how much technology has evolved to get us to this point. I imagined as a child that the Apollo program would lead to a factory of rockets that launched people to orbit, to the Moon, and even to Mars on demand. And seeing what SpaceX has done to get to this point, it is clear to me that was never even close to possible. The Russian program is great in that way. It shows what that path might have looked like. And yes we could have refined the making of F1 engines, the construction of boosters, and just pushed that, but that leads to a steady state that is below what you need to run a program like this with a net positive economic outcome.

So very impressed guys, congratulations!

gdubs(1547) 1 day ago [-]

Totally. Seeing the rocket successfully land is still stirring. I remember the first time I saw SpaceX land those two rockets together, I felt like I was living through history. With all the insanity plaguing the world right now, it's amazing to have a parallel track of optimistic discovery and exploration.

It gives me hope.

sandworm101(4329) 2 days ago [-]

>> into orbit in a spacecraft that was designed from the ground up to be a commercial venture.

If we are talking pure commercial travel, it is a vehicle without a destination. The ISS is definitely not a commercial project. There are lots of reasons for the ISS to exist, and they have changed over time, but it has never been a money-making venture. While the dragons certainly do come in under budget, they are a more efficient path to orbit, the purpose of the mission is not commercial. Crew Dragon's existence is funded by the need to move people to and from the ISS. Without the ISS, Crew Dragon would exist. I hold off on the 'commercial' designation until the customer funding the mission actually intends profit.

What we need is a commercial, money-making, reason to launch people into orbit. Astronauts fly for science. They fly for national pride. They fly to demonstrate engineering excellence. They don't fly to make money. I'm a big spacelaunch fan but I just don't see any commercial reason to launch people into space. (Space hotels for billionaires might be a niche but that doesn't seem sustainable imho.)

rrmm(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Yay! Finally, a good thing happened!

Animats(2219) 2 days ago [-]

factory of rockets

Rocket factories existed over 50 years ago. But they were making ICBMs.[1]

The big change is that it's now possible to make money launching.

[1] https://youtu.be/Pqw9YOOOuKk

Reedx(204) 2 days ago [-]

A new normal has just been defined. Amazing to see.

'Thank you for flying with Falcon 9 today', as though it's an airplane.

jl6(4411) 2 days ago [-]

Not to detract one iota from this amazing achievement, but what definition of sustainable are you thinking of? This was still paid for by the government.

qubex(4207) 2 days ago [-]

> It is hard to convey how "sustainable" this feels to me. For the first time, humans have gone into orbit in a spacecraft that was designed from the ground up to be a commercial venture.

I understand your sentiment, but I'm also profoundly unsettled by the idea that commerce and capitalism are reaching beyond the clutches of our planet. Today is definitely a threshold, but what that threshold means, in a broader sense, is not clear to me.

As liberals we celebrate the entrepreneurial slam-dunk and as technologists we admire the elegant engineering.

But maybe I'm jaded, but I fear the profit motive is going too far. We live in a truly extraordinary moment socioeconomically. Never before in the history of mankind had so much activity been predicated upon commercial viability — and never before had so much gone undone simply because it is unprofitable.

Spacefaring nations' governments have not abdicated spaceflight, and indeed they're likely to militarise their approach ever more. But now we have private enterprise ferrying people up there too.

"Sustainable"... what a funny word. When have commercial ventures ever been "sustainable"? A sustainable commercial venture tends to be one that externalises most of its costs (look at the sustainability of bulwarks of 20th century commercial ventures, such as the automotive industry and its bedfellow oil & gas).

I will say I'm glad that manned spaceflight is no longer the prerogative of a couple of extraordinarily well-heeled superpowers. But...

linkmotif(4015) 1 day ago [-]

I don't understand how SpaceX is 'commercial.' As I understand it, they exist because the US Government wants to have a space program. Yes, they can launch satellites, but how many for-profit non-state entities can use these things? It seems like SpaceX is possible because there are governments out there with money to burn.

jvanderbot(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This is what it should have been a decade or two ago. The infusion of expertise from gov-sponsored / R&D to commercial should have been accelerated long ago. Happy to see Lars and others matching up with entrepreneurs and a new generation to get things done.

dianastamm(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I cringed when I saw the Tesla car though. Kinda cheapened the whole thing for me

globular-toast(10000) 1 day ago [-]

You seem to equate being commercially viable with being sustainable but I think you are forgetting that the vast majority of the current economy is unsustainable. The only difference is the government was honest about it.

emit_time(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I'm surprised how I almost ended up tearing up and was close to crying while watching this.

Saying this as someone who is not a huge NASA or space enthusiast.

I did study physics, and I'm more into science than the average person though.

justatestttt(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I pulled over on the side of the street to watch this with my kiddo on my phone. It was a historic moment that I didn't want to miss.

I really wish that we didn't have to make EVERY experience ultra casual these days though...it was disorienting to keep hearing the astronauts referred to as 'Bob and Doug'. These are veteran Air Force and Marine pilots. They deserve their honorifics being honored if anyone does.

jdm2212(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I was in a cab and made my wife watch the livestream on my phone. I'm not even into spaceflight; I just can't help but watch and marvel at the fact that we can put a person into space on a rocket... and then land the rocket. It's insane. And if they didn't do it over and over again with eyewitnesses I would refuse to believe it.

davrosthedalek(4420) 2 days ago [-]

Me too, and I'm not even an American (but live in the US)! Would have wished they would make it a little bit less 'good for the US' and a little bit more 'good for the free world'.

war1025(4422) 2 days ago [-]

I made my wife and kids sit and watch it with me.

Oddly enough, I think the first time they landed the rocket booster felt more significant to me.

SpaceX launches have made space flight ordinary in a way that is pretty remarkable.

runawaybottle(4392) 2 days ago [-]

Anyone know how long it will actually take to get to the ISS?

ilaksh(3430) 2 days ago [-]

I think I heard they were going slow and it was actually like 19 hours.

tosh(6) 2 days ago [-]


> Lifting off from Launch Pad 39A atop a specially instrumented Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon will accelerate its two passengers to approximately 17,000 mph and put it on an intercept course with the International Space Station. Once in orbit, the crew and SpaceX mission control will verify the spacecraft is performing as intended by testing the environmental control system, the displays and control system and the maneuvering thrusters, among other things. In about 24 hours, Crew Dragon will be in position to rendezvous and dock with the space station.

101404(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Loved the SpaceX guy on handover to NASA: '... and thank you for flying on Falcon today!'

Private space flight started with this flight.

avmich(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> Private space flight started with this flight.

I hear Dennis Tito and Mike Melvill sighed.

dingaling(4292) 1 day ago [-]

> Private space flight started with this flight.

21 June 2004

_Microft(511) 2 days ago [-]

I think Hurley and Behnken wanted to announce a name for their Crew Dragon spacecraft on launch day. Has anyone heard about this?

_Microft(511) 2 days ago [-]

In the media event from the capsule just moments ago, they named it Endeavour.

PopeDotNinja(4278) 2 days ago [-]

Can a SpaceX Crew Dragon launch from a non-SpaceX rocket? If NASA decides to diversify, can they buy a Crew Dragon and stick it on an Atlas V or Delta IV? It seems not.

The Wikipedia page for Crew Dragon says 'The spacecraft launches atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket and returns to Earth via an ocean splashdown.' [1]

The Wikipedia page for Boeing Starliner says 'It is designed to be compatible with four launch vehicles: Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9, and Vulcan.' [2]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_2#Design

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CST-100_Starliner

yreg(10000) 2 days ago [-]

They might need a dongle.

kharak(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I'm glad that the space age has been rekindled. I wish Europe would do something similar.

voqv(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Thinking of Europe, I have a feeling that it's just surreal that this launch is happening in America at the same time with the events in Minneapolis

ReticentVole(4084) 1 day ago [-]

Tech in Europe is far behind, because huge sums of money are spent on pensions and welfare, supported by huge taxes on income and consumption.

Plus, the continent speaks 20+ different languages.

There is no room or encouragement for individual entrepreneurs like Elon Musk. They are regulated and taxed to death.

Europe faces labor shortages in farms and factories, and their solution has been to import labour, illegally, from the 3rd world - to the detriment of their local population and societies. They are anti-tech, at a fundamental level.

Barrin92(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Being European also, I honestly am not in favour of it. The amount of public money that flows into these ventures without well defined purpose in a time where we're hitting 20% unemployment due to a pandemic seems grotesque to me. There's a lot more things to fix on this planet.

reddog(10000) 2 days ago [-]

My unsolicited advice to the folks on this thread that were moved by todays launch: make time to travel to Florida and see one of these launches in person. If you have kids take them with you.

Years ago I took some time out of a very busy schedule to see STS-130, the last shuttle night launch. I've always been a space nerd but I wasn't prepared for how seeing, hearing and feeling a launch in person was so different than watching it on a rectangle. And I wasn't prepared by how profound the experience would be. It was one of the best on-the-whim-of-the-moment decisions I've made in my life. Do it. I guarantee a lump in your throat.

sq_(4413) 1 day ago [-]

Absolutely agree. It's truly amazing. I've had the chance to go to Vandenberg AFB in CA for two SpaceX launches, and while I've never actually gotten to see the rocket itself because of low-level fog, the feeling of being there is absolutely insane.

You hear the countdown over the radio, and a few seconds later you feel the rumble hit you, and you can feel it in your chest as it goes up and away. It's an unmatched experience.

schoolornot(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Kennedy Space Center is a full-day event and one of my favorites. Oh, what an awesome site they put together for all ages. And you very well might get to meet an astronaut.

I wasn't able to see a launch when I was last there but I did get to see a Falcon rocket in one of the hangars.

nojvek(4113) 1 day ago [-]

It blows my mind how SpaceX stared a decade ago and is making history, pushing the edge and making science fiction come true.

And here I am fighting webpack to not take minutes to compile a bunch of js files.

Everytime I watch SpaceX rockets fly, I ask myself "Am I wasting my life? Is what I am doing even worth it?"

I hope we start a huge manufacture economy here that rivals the software economy. We've gotta move from being mass consumers to sustainable and ultra-efficient consumers.

lutorm(4392) 1 day ago [-]

Actually, SpaceX was founded in 2002, so closer to two decades than one.

unnouinceput(10000) 1 day ago [-]

mass consumers is not opposite to ultra-efficient consumers. I would even argue they complement each other in a good civilization

Historical Discussions: The Day AppGet Died (May 27, 2020: 1913 points)
The day app get died (May 27, 2020: 7 points)
The Day AppGet Died (May 26, 2020: 3 points)

(1923) The Day AppGet Died

1923 points 5 days ago by lostmsu in 4018th position

keivan.io | Estimated reading time – 9 minutes | comments | anchor

Microsoft released WinGet (Not to be mistaken with AppGet) earlier this week as part of their Build 2020 announcements. For the past few days, I've been collecting my thoughts figuring out what actually happened in the past 12 months.

TLDR; I'm no longer going to be developing AppGet. The client and backend services will go into maintenance mode immediately until August 1st, 2020, at which point they'll be shut down permanently.

If you are still interested, here is how AppGet died.

A year ago (July 3rd, 2019) I got this email from Andrew, a high-level manager at Microsoft,


I run the Windows App Model engineering team and in particular the app deployment team. Just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for building appget — it's a great addition to the Windows ecosystem and makes Windows developers life so much easier. We will likely be up in Vancouver in the coming weeks for meetings with other companies but if you had time we'd love to meet up with you and your team to get feedback on how we can make your life easier building appget.

Naturally, I was excited; my hobby project being noticed by Microsoft was a big deal. I replied, and two months and a few emails later, we finally had a meeting planned on August 20th at Microsoft Vancouver. The meeting was between me, Andrew and another engineering manager in the same product group. I had a great time; we talked about the ideas behind AppGet, what I thought was broken about the current package manager systems in Windows and what I had planned for AppGet's future. We went out for lunch and talked a bit more about AppGet, Windows Phone, and a few other things, but the outcome of the meeting as far as I understood it was, what can Microsoft do to help? I mentioned some Azure credit would be nice, getting some doc on how the new MSIX packages work and if they could fix a few issues I had with some of their download links.

Fast forward to next week (August 28th), and I got this email from Andrew,


it was a pleasure to meet you and to find out more about appget. I'm following up on the azure startup pricing for you. As you know we are big fans of package managers on Windows and we are looking to do more in that space. My team is growing and part of that is to build a team who is responsible for ensuring package managers and software distribution on Windows makes a big step forward. We are looking to make some significant changes to the way that we enable software distribution on Windows and there's a great opportunity (well I would say that wouldn't I?) to help define the future of Windows and app distribution throughout Azure/Microsoft 365.

With that in mind have you considered spending more time dedicated to appget and potentially at Microsoft?

Initially, I was a bit hesitant; I didn't want to go to Microsoft to work on Windows Store, MSI engine or some other app deployment-related stuff. Shortly after, I was assured that I would spend all my time on AppGet. After about a month of prolonged email back and forth, we came to the conclusion that the arrangement will be very similar to an acqui-hire; Microsoft would hire me, AppGet would come with me, and they would decide if they wanted to rename it something else, or it would become Microsoft AppGet.

Throughout the whole process, I was very unclear on what my role would be at Microsoft. What would my responsibilities be? Who would I report to? Who/anyone would report to me? I tried clearing some of these answers throughout those slow conversations but never got a clear answer.

After another few months of again very slow email conversations, I was told that the acqui-hire process through BizDev would take a very long time. An alternative to speed up the process would be just to hire me with a "bonus" and then work on migrating the code ownership after the fact. I didn't have any objections, so we scheduled some meetings/interviews in Redmond.

I flew to Seattle on December 5th to have a full day of interviews/meetings at Microsoft HQ. I met with four different people; three of the meetings were more like your typical interviews; the meeting with Andrew was more about what we should do once this is all over and how we would migrate AppGet's process and infrastructure to be able to handle Microsoft's scale. We talked about some of our options, but in general, I thought everything went well.

My last meeting ended at around 6 pm. I took an Uber to the airport and was back in Vancouver.

And then, I didn't hear anything back from anyone at Microsoft for six months.

Until earlier this week when I was given heads up about WinGet's launch the next day,

Hi Keivan, I hope you and your family are doing well — BC seems to have a good handle on covid compared to the us.

I'm sorry that the pm position didn't work out. I wanted to take the time to tell you how much we appreciated your input and insights. We have been building the windows package manager and the first preview will go live tomorrow at build. We give appget a call out in our blog post too since we believe there will be space for different package managers on windows. You will see our package manager is based on GitHub too but obviously with our own implementation etc. our package manager will be open source too so obviously we would welcome any contribution from you.

I look forward to talking to you about our package manager once we go live tomorrow. Obviously this is confidential until tomorrow morning so please keep this to yourself. You and chocolatey are the only folks we have told about this in advance.

Regards Andrew

I wasn't too surprised; I had figured out months ago that the "Microsoft thing" isn't happening.

I waited until the next day to see what this new package manager was going to be like. When I finally saw the announcement and the GitHub repositories, I was shocked? Upset? I wasn't even sure what I was looking at.

When I showed it to my wife, the first thing she said was, "They Called it WinGet? are you serious!?" I didn't even have to explain to her how the core mechanics, terminology, the manifest format and structure, even the package repository's folder structure, are very inspired by AppGet.

Am I upset they didn't hire me? Not really, after visiting the campus, I wasn't too sure I wanted to work for such a big company, also moving from Canada to the U.S. wasn't something I was too excited about. Also, throughout the process, at no time I assumed this was done deal.

Am I upset that Microsoft, a 1.4 trillion-dollar company, finally got their act together and released a decent package manager for their flagship product? No, they should've done it years ago. They shouldn't have screwed Windows Store as badly as they did.

Realistically, no matter how hard I tried to promote AppGet, it would never grow at the rate a Microsoft solution would. I didn't create AppGet to get rich or to become famous or get hired by Microsoft. I created AppGet because I thought us Windows users deserved a decent app management experience too.

What bothers me is how the whole thing was handled. The slow and dreadful communication speed. The total radio silence at the end. But the part that hurts the most was the announcement. AppGet, which is objectively where most ideas for WinGet came from, was only mentioned as another package manager that just happened to exist; While other package managers that WinGet shares very little with were mentioned and explained much more deliberately.

There is a silver lining. WinGet will be built on a solid foundation and has the potential to succeed. And we neglected Windows users might finally have a decent package manager. —

Live and learn.

Edit to clarify some issues,

May 27th, 2020 19:04 PST

But AppGet is Open Source

Code being copied isn't an issue. I knew full well what it meant to release something opensource and I don't regret it one bit. What was copied with no credit is the foundation of the project. How it actually works. If I were the patenting type, this would be the thing you would patent. ps. I don't regret not patenting anything.

And I don't mean the general concept of package/app managers, they have been done a hundred times. If you look at similar projects across OSes, Homebrew, Chocolaty, Scoop, ninite etc; you'll see they all do it in their own way. However, WinGet works pretty much identical to the way AppGet works.

Do you want to know how Microsoft WinGet works? go read the article I wrote 2 years ago about how AppGet works.

I'm not even upset they copied me. To me, that's a validation of how sound my idea was. What upsets me is how no credit was given.

You should've followed up.

I did, There was an issue with my travel reimbursement, So I contacted the HR contact and at the same time asked about the Interviews, She told me someone will get back to me about that and they never did. This was on Feb 14th, 2020.

All Comments: [-] | anchor

GordonS(476) 4 days ago [-]

I know this might be unpopular with OSS idealists, but I wonder if it might be time for a new license, or indeed if there are already (small 'o') open source licenses that would help with this sort of things.

What I'm thinking of is a license almost identical to the MIT and/or Apache 2.0 license, but with a clause that prohibits mega-corps from wholesale rebranding and using your code.

I have a few OSS projects myself, and help maintain a larger one, and I love the spirit of OSS, so I'm a little split on this one. But I don't really think Microsoft's actions here are truely in the spirit of OSS. Yes, the license allows it, but is it aligned with the OSS ethos? Is it 'right'?

Dayshine(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> with a clause that prohibits mega-corps from wholesale rebranding and using your code

That didn't happen in this case. They took the ideas, and took his knowledge by leading him on and interviewing him for an acqui-hire.

They didn't take his code (in C#) and rewrite it in to C++.

andrew_(4180) 4 days ago [-]

Exactly why I started relicensing all of my projects under MPL-2.0. The decision followed an attempt by a webpack team member to wholesale copy a project of mine into the project without attribution or licensing (which is a separate issue). Decided then and there that I needed something more restrictive that still allowed for collaboration.

nojs(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Wouldn't that be GPL?

ReverseCold(4392) 5 days ago [-]

Reminds me of this scene from Silicon Valley (HBO): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlwwVuSUUfc

epinephrinios(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Came here to say this.

henry_bone(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Definitely a classic brainrape.

apetresc(2059) 5 days ago [-]

I have a sneaking suspicion that part of the reason for the sudden radio-silence after his on-campus interview is that someone up the chain realized he is also the creator of Sonarr and just nobody wanted to take ownership of that potential liability.

whoisjuan(3516) 5 days ago [-]

In the post, he says the deal was going to be getting hired and getting a bonus as compensation in exchange for him bringing AppGet's code into Microsoft and leading the project. That's a very simple deal in which no ownership of other projects is being transferred.

I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure that hiring someone doesn't mean that you grandfather their liabilities. If that were the case the world would be chaos.

If Sonarr was the reason to reject him then it was done out of complete pettiness.

sillysaurusx(3832) 4 days ago [-]

Why? From the way you were talking about Sonarr, I expected it to be something more than... a bittorrent organizer. It has nearly 6k stars on github and seems wildly popular. Why would that be taken as anything but a strong 'hire this person' signal?

I mean, I believe that it's possible you're correct. But this is just such a foreign 'does not compute' situation to me. Is the thought process something like 'Sonarr is often used to download things against copyright law -> that's a no-no -> we don't do no-no's here'? I'm trying to phrase this as positively as I can, so I apologize if it sounds like I'm belittling the mindset or something. It's not like that.

(It's mildly unfair to Microsoft to imply that this could be the reason, since as a company policy Microsoft can't show up and say 'Well actually, the reason we didn't hire was because X' – and this seems like it would be an outstandingly bad decision. Old Microsoft may have made decisions like this, but in recent years they've made some pretty impressive reforms.)

nkozyra(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What's the liability, really?

Let's be honest, if it's a concern they speak up and say shelving this is a condition of employment.

person_of_color(4411) 5 days ago [-]


Choose your side projects wisely.

bibinou(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Sonarr automates your TV downloads from public and private trackers (newsgroup and bittorrent)

michaelmrose(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is no liability of a pre existing side project that they had no part in.

tannerbrockwell(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Microsoft pretends to want to acquire a product or software and then release their own implementation.

The developer was obviously brain-picked for any implementation ideas, as stated at scale. They should have been paying a retainer, or had an offer inside of two weeks.

Let this be a warning for other developers.

908B64B197(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The code basically takes a .yaml manifest, reads where to find the package and get the installation instructions from an enum. I don't think there was much brain-picking here.

specialist(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'd require earnest money at the outset.

After Microsoft flirted with acquiring Intuit, then shortly thereafter released Money to compete directly with Quicken, I assume all due diligence is just a way to hoover up intel.

To inform a buy vs build decision. To better validate market assumptions. To identify key contributors and poach them.


No earnest money? Fine. They clearly were going to drain my blood and powder my bones. Their prerogative. But they can proceed to kill me and my product without my help.

SolarNet(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yea, requiring consulting fees from big companies is definitely the way to go.

Some open source guy wants to pick your brain: Sure lets get lunch and split it.

Some small single digit founder start-up wants to talk abut your work: Ok sure, pay for my lunch lets talk about how I can help you change the world.

Freaking Microsoft wants to talk: That'll be 1k an hour plus expenses (also get a limo and a nice dinner).

The humility of engineering should stop at the boundary between people who want to change the world and those who just want to profit off of you.

an_opabinia(10000) 5 days ago [-]

AppGet is an open source program.

Besides, if Microsoft was interested in stealing it, he'd be interviewed at Microsoft Shanghai.

joe_fishfish(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If the developer had asked for a retainer straight off the bat I feel like MS would have just ignored him and started building WinGet earlier. All the AppGet source was right there for them to look at. They wouldn't have had the benefit of Andrew picking his brains one to one, but that probably wasn't 100% necessary anyway.

benatkin(2562) 5 days ago [-]

I don't want to support this company. What are good alternatives to GitHub, TypeScript, npm, and Visual Studio Code (besides Atom)?

donmcronald(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The smaller you are, the greater the risk of adopting SaaS like GitHub IMO, so I've used a lot of the alternatives. I try to run everything I can behind the firewall:

- Gitea for a light weight Git GUI. I don't want pure GitHub SaaS and with GitLab you need to drink the Kool-Aid and marry your workflow to it. GitLab is also really stubborn about their business model and the pricing sucks once you get off the free version. Use the Enterprise Edition in unlicensed mode if you decide to try it.

- Drone for CI. CI is my biggest concern in terms of vendor lock in and Drone has an extremely generous (free), no BS license for small developers. It can be self hosted and the plugin system looks pretty decent. IE: I don't have to rely on them to add functionality I desperately want / need. I don't trust GitHub to never screw us with Actions and I don't think it's possible to self host the server components of actions (for free). I don't trust GitLab to never screw us with feature tiers where new development goes into higher tiers only.

- Nexus for repositories and packages. This is harder than firing up some SaaS service, but it's got pretty much anything you could ever want from a package store / repository / cache. It's also been around for 10+ years and Sonatype has never tried to play any pricing games or engaged in underhanded attempts to leverage it in an effort to shift everyone to SaaS. Warranted or not, I trust them more than Microsoft and GitLab.

- Traefik as a sidecar proxy doing SSL termination for the above services. Once it's set up it just runs without any hassle.

I've fallen off my fair share of bandwagons (hello Adobe Flex) and now whenever I choose technology to use, I always do a mental exercise where I consider the impact of having the vendor abandon me tomorrow. Don't trust anyone when it comes to promised features or promises of fair dealing, reasonable prices, etc.. Disconnect the internet and whatever you're left with are they only things you can truly rely on.

You could keep using the current version of TypeScript even if Microsoft jumps the shark with it, so you might as well take advantage of it IMO. GitHub, Codespaces (VS Code), Actions, etc. are all going to work towards putting your development process onto Azure. Mark my words. It'll happen and everyone will be paying per CPU cycle for things we used to insist on having control of.

JetBrains makes good editors. They give you a perpetual license for old, outdated, versions of the apps if you drop your subscription which is BS. It should be the current version. Besides that though, they're pretty decent. They have a nice, consistent release cadence and the personal license prices are really reasonable compared to the cost of SaaS. For example, I pay $150 USD / year for everything they make compared to Codespaces (VSCode Online) having an estimated monthly price of $23.30 per month for 100 hours / month of use (lol - maybe x2 that). Think about how it's going to work out if you're married to an online only workspace where your only options are to pay up or to lose the ability to work.

Keep in mind though, the risk of being unproductive usually outweighs the risk of being price gouged and mistreated by SaaS vendors. If you're creating $2k+ / week of value, it makes a lot of sense to pay for everything. If you don't, the person down the street will and they'll probably out-compete you if they're writing code while you're being a sysadmin.

BetaDeltaAlpha(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Gitlab is a contender for sure. I use it at my dayjob. I don't know if any of the other big editors have caught up to VSCode in terms of ecosystem though.

Conan_Kudo(4222) 5 days ago [-]

> GitHub

Pagure[1] is a good option here.

> TypeScript

You could just use JavaScript?

> npm

There aren't any at this time, as far as I know.

> Visual Studio Code (besides Atom)

Sublime Text[2] is a favorite of many, though I use Emacs[3].

[1]: https://pagure.io/pagure

[2]: https://www.sublimetext.com/

[3]: https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/

endgame(4009) 5 days ago [-]

GitHub -> Sourcehut

VSCode -> GNU Emacs

FridgeSeal(10000) 5 days ago [-]


Github I guess?

> TypeScript, npm,

I don't know if you'll be able to avoid NPM, but _maybe_ you could try ReasonML if you're doing frontend stuff with TS? Don't really know tbh

> Visual Studio Code (besides Atom)?

Sublime Text 3 with plugins for general stuff, one of the JetBrains IDE's for more language specific work if so desired.

benatkin(2562) 5 days ago [-]

Thanks for the responses. I was half kidding. I depend heavily on all of these and need to double down on them! Some of the alternatives are at Facebook, which I also don't trust, for different reasons. It's hard to boycott FAAMG completely. I avoid getting hired by one of them or being locked into their proprietary technologies though. For instance I use GitHub heavily (just like I'd use YouTube if I made video content) but am not buying into all their extra features like GitHub Actions and GitHub Discussions.

thayne(4427) 5 days ago [-]

> github

Gitlab, many other lesser known alternatives (such as the aforementioned sourcehut, although that has a different paradigm than github)

> Typescript

Facebook's flow is probably the closest. There's also dart, and many, many other languages that can compile to JavaScript.

> npm

Yarn is the obvious one (although it still uses the npm repo). Or you could leave node altogether and use deno. There are probably other alternatives.

> Visual Studio Code

(Neo)vim and emacs are both good options, although they have a steep learning curve. There's sublime text if you don't mind something proprietary. Probably others I'm less familiar with.

ak39(3589) 5 days ago [-]

Man, this hurt to read. Keivan's response is the right one. But I wonder if the arrangements and outcome would have been different had AppGet been closed source.

This is just not cricket from team Microsoft.

pdonis(4184) 5 days ago [-]

> I wonder if the arrangements and outcome would have been different had AppGet been closed source.

All of the Windows apps that MS did this to back in the 1990s were closed source. Didn't help. MS has more than enough horsepower to just reverse engineer whatever they can't get the source code for if they care enough about the features.

intern4tional(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This isn't secret news, but when you interview at MS there is always a secret / hidden interviewer. This is publicly known information from Cracking the Coding interview. This person is called the as appropriate and you only meet them if you pass all the prior interviews.

Per his writeup, he did not meet that person, which means that he most likely did not pass the interview.

He also for some reason didn't follow up on the results of the interview for 6 months, which is unique as most candidates will reach out. Assuming he actually filled out a job requisition, which he probably did to interview, he also should have gotten status from that requisition, so things are a little fishy.

I do not know anything about his case directly, but I would bet that he did not pass the interview and a decision was made to not bring him on as a result.

If Microsoft was trolling him to just pick his brain, they would have done more than two small events, and wouldn't have bothered to reach out to tell him they were releasing a product.

This response also burns any bridges that he had built with the team. He could have still potentially made something of his product if he had kept that relationship open and used his leverage as an existing package manager owner to influence WinGet.

If I was him, I would have at a minimum asked for feedback far earlier than wait for 6 months.

shp0ngle(4081) 5 days ago [-]

In comparison, Apple hosted MacPorts, an early OS X package manager, and started to be involved in it directly.

(nowadays MacPorts is not really necessary with Homebrew around, but that's another thing)

grzm(468) 5 days ago [-]

Homebrew is recapitulating all of the work that previous package managers have done, while making choices like analytics and stomping on /usr/local by default that others wouldn't consider. I think there's still a place for MacPorts.

draw_down(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Microsoft is really good at copying. I mean this in as value-neutral a way as possible.

ASalazarMX(10000) 5 days ago [-]

We can find comfort in the thought that they're not a Chinese company, whose copying kills kittens and freedom.

mrtweetyhack(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There's a reason they bought Github, to get at all the free code

solarkraft(3992) 5 days ago [-]

Are they also good at deciding when to copy? They could just have taken and possibly improved AppGet's code.

alpb(814) 5 days ago [-]

There are parts of Microsoft that understand open source. Most parts of the Windows team ain't that (exceptions apply). Reading this saddens me a lot as he clearly got screwed. But this is why any project with momentum should consider growing its community and maybe forming a foundation.

For example, Homebrew and its community/infrastructure is better than and bigger than anything Apple could ever do (and we know how they run Mac App Store to begin with).

When the author said "Microsoft would hire me, AppGet would come with me, and they would decide if they wanted to rename it something else" , I can immediately tell that's not how you do OSS. That would be betraying to your users and maintainers.

Did Microsoft ask Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza to bring Mono with them to kill/rename it? No, that's not what happened. And thats how significant open source projects/communities should work; not controlled by a single person.

dustinmoris(710) 4 days ago [-]

Nobody at Microsoft understands open source. The people who pretend to understand are just glorified sales people pretending to be developers promoting every new Microsoft product regardless how shit it is or how much better other competing products are (you know who these sales people are).

Microsoft loves OSS as much as they are able to control it. They are like an abusive partner who 'love you' for as long as they control every step of your life but as soon as you step aside they'll grab a hammer and smash you in the face.

jonhohle(4411) 5 days ago [-]

MacPorts (né DarwinPorts) was created by Apple engineers long before the App Store existed. IMHO it's superior to Homebrew in just about every way, existed long before Homebrew and targets the same audience (unlike the App Store which is targeting a very different population).

If you haven't looked at MP lately, it's worth reviewing.

comex(1516) 5 days ago [-]

> Did Microsoft ask Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza to bring Mono with them to kill/rename it? No, that's not what happened.

Visual Studio for Mac is sort of a renamed version of MonoDevelop...

toohotatopic(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>There are parts of Microsoft that understand open source. Most parts of the Windows team ain't that

The story goes that the new Microsoft understands open source at the top. A windows package manager is such an essential component of the operating system that it is visible at the top. Even more, Github, npm - package managers are at the core of their strategy.

How big is the risk that the new Microsoft is just lip service and they won't respect the GitHub and npm community either?

kayone(4414) 5 days ago [-]

Just to be clear, I was very clear with them during our conversation that it would only happen if they committed to keeping the spirit of AppGet (which they did)

I might be wrong, but I don't think to have MS behind a project like that causing it exponentially grow was a betrail of users.

a-nikolaev(4421) 5 days ago [-]

Not everyone is able or willing to develop large-scale open-source community/project.. Also, mono is a much large and more significant project that runs on Linux, not a Windows app.

helsinkiandrew(4367) 4 days ago [-]

If Microsoft is serious about supporting open source then this is the kind of story that it needs to stop happening.

It may be perfectly legal to come out with their own version of AppGet, to base it on AppGet, and give it a name that is very close to AppGet, and if the developer wasn't a fit for Microsoft then they don't have to hire him.

But behaving in this way is like biting the hand that feeds you in terms of open source they come out sounding like a*oles.

When it was clear they didn't want to do an acqui-hire one solution would be to indicate that it was possibly they were going to create their own version of the product and perhaps 'purchase' the AppGet design/concept, or pay a consultancy fee for the time the developer was being interviewed - even for a token sum.

doublerabbit(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> If Microsoft is serious about supporting open source

Microsoft isn't serious about supporting open source at all. It's just a gimmicky ploy to get users back from Linux to Windows.

lukeschlather(4387) 5 days ago [-]

The really sad thing is that I still don't think Microsoft has actually solved the package manager problem in any meaningful way. WinGet feels like just yet another subtly incompatible package standard.

I would say Microsoft should buy Chocolatey but they would probably just ruin it. (Not to say this is a uniquely Microsoft problem; it's reminiscent of the Pipenv/Poetry/virtualenv... mess in the Python community.)

ryan29(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm convinced the sole purpose of some open source projects are to be good enough to prevent other open source projects from filling the void, but bad enough to keep from competing with vested commercial interests.

This might just be one of those cases. Why would Microsoft want to invest in another distribution platform when they already have the Microsoft Store where they can do whatever they want?

Sure, WinGet has an MIT license, but that doesn't mean anything. The only important thing is who gets to commit to the manifest(s) on the master branch. That's Microsoft. They own it. They control it. They curate it. They decide who gets to distribute via it.

I'd bet money they'll tie it in to Azure somehow at some point.

WesolyKubeczek(10000) 5 days ago [-]

1. Release some code under a permissive license

2. Start complaining when companies exercise precisely the rights you have given them

Phylter(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The only complaint I see is the lack of attribution, which is something that is pretty mandatory for open source projects. He's very clear about the situation and that he didn't expect more than he got except for attribution. Did you even read the article?

1f60c(10000) 5 days ago [-]

You're putting words in the author's mouth, because that doesn't seem like the problem.

The problem was "the slow and dreadful communication speed" and "the total radio silence at the end", and:

> [T]he [...] announcement. AppGet, which is objectively where most ideas for WinGet came from, was only mentioned as another package manager that just happened to exist; While other package managers that WinGet shares very little with were mentioned and explained much more deliberately.

draw_down(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Come on

marcinzm(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The fact that you're allowed to do something doesn't mean you're not a dick for doing so. Nor does it mean you can't be called out for being a dick.

kristofarkas(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It's understandable that everybody is blaming Microsoft for the way this was handled. But let's remember that we are only seeing one side of this story, we don't know what really went on from Microsoft and the team's side there.

kkapelon(3886) 4 days ago [-]

It doesn't really matter. What ever happened on the Microsoft side should be communicated to him. The fact that they ghosted him after flying him on site and milking him for information looks bad anyway.

What scenario do you have in mind that would make Microsoft look in a positive way in this incident?

pavlov(2355) 5 days ago [-]

The story reminds me of Andy Hertzfeld's Switcher:


The difference is that, in 1984, Bill Gates immediately offered $40k and Steve Jobs offered $100k for plugging a hole in their operating system.

In 2020, Microsoft just strings you along on vague promises while they simultaneously rip you off.

endgame(4009) 5 days ago [-]

Reminds me of Stacker and Doublespace, back in the MS-DOS 6.0 days.

yjftsjthsd-h(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I love how those stories of the early years are so different from what I think of looking at companies today -

> Jeff picked me up at the airport, and we drove to Microsoft's main building where we were joined by Neil Konzen, a talented 23 year old who was Microsoft's main systems programmer on the Macintosh. I knew Neil from his days as an early Apple II hobbyist, when we collaborated on adding features to an assembly language development system when he was only 16.

Just... 'Microsoft's main systems programmer on the Macintosh' is such a weird sentence to read today. On the other hand, Microsoft also shipped Xenix, a full-on licensed UnixTM OS before they shipped DOS.

jdonaldson(3749) 4 days ago [-]

I was curious about hearing Microsoft's side of the story. There's an existing issue filed against the winget repo for this, if you're interested, subscribe to the issue: https://github.com/microsoft/winget-cli/issues/353

TeeWEE(4206) 4 days ago [-]

I had the same idea! I'm supporting this issue.

Lets use github & opensource itself to ensure the Appget developers gets his fair share!

jasonhansel(3449) 5 days ago [-]

This is why it's important to license FOSS projects under the (A)GPL, rather than the MIT license. It makes it far less profitable for companies to steal your ideas/code, and ensures that anything based on your work will put users first.

shp0ngle(4081) 5 days ago [-]

They didn't copy the code, just the APIs and ideas.

In another words, if ideas were copyrighted, GNU/Linux wouldn't exist.

bad_user(3379) 5 days ago [-]

(A)GPL doesn't protect ideas. Patents do that.

harry8(4409) 5 days ago [-]

Re-licensee all your appget code as GPL v3. Everything about it. It might put the wind up them a little. They hate GPL.

Good example of the strength of the GPL for projects you want to be open and don't want mega-corp to embrace and close.

BSD, MIT etc if you're fine with that being done for the project.

There are other dimensions for licensing, this is just one consideration of many in your decision.

chii(3871) 5 days ago [-]

You cannot retroactively relicense code - only new code. Microsoft can just take the last version that's not GPL.

This is why if i were making an open source project, it will start off with GPLv3, with a commercial paid license if anyone wants to avoid the terms of the GPL. That gives the best of both worlds - open access to anyone, and if they want to modify, they must also be willing to contribute in some way.

throw_m239339(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yep, this is why GPL exist. 'But corporations hate GPL' as I can hear there often, well tough luck... GPL is about the rights of the users, not corporations. Another exemple of why open source projects should adopt GPL or AGPL, nothing less.

allenu(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This was definitely not a great experience, but my hunch is what happened is some higher ups decided no, they don't need to hire you, the original team tells recruiting to notify you, recruiting drops the ball somehow, team goes on with their lives believing that you were told they were no longer interested, and everyone (except you, since you never got notified) believed the whole thing was resolved.

The original people (not recruiters) who reached out to you should've connected after the decision was made. They probably figured the recruiters would do their dirty work, so no need to engage.

Full disclosure: I worked at Microsoft for over a decade, so I know how slow and lumbering it can be. I bet some emails were missed and people didn't follow up because 'they had a lot of other things they were tracking'.

scotty79(3437) 5 days ago [-]

> some higher ups decided no, they don't need to hire you

Total misjudgment on their part. Thanks to this one HN post they already lost in terms of developer good will way more than his potential salary would be.

Every time anyone who uses WinGet, who read this, will think 'oh, yeah, that's the tool that Microsoft build their version of behind original author's back, while stringing him and ghosting for few months'.

underwater(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's a bit lame to say recruiting must have dropped the ball. If you've engaged with someone, you're inspired by their technology, etc., etc. then handing them over to recruiting for a rejection is pretty weak.

perfectstorm(4416) 4 days ago [-]

This is probably what happened. As a hiring manager i want to tell the candidates whenever we reject them but sometimes recruiting drops the ball and never reaches out with rejection email or call (our team usually calls them).

This happened to one of my referrals so i know this firsthand.

zmmmmm(10000) 4 days ago [-]

No experience at Microsoft but plenty with lawyers in large corps and I would rate another possibility highly, which is that the team wanted to contact him but lawyers recommended 'no further contact' as the safest legal IP path. Essentially, they were trying to close the barn door on clean-rooming the software and any further conversation could leak non-open-source ip that would then bring about a liability later on.

ChrisMarshallNY(4314) 4 days ago [-]

I remember the 'good old days' of the Microsoft Borg.

They were infamous for getting small companies in under NDA, then grabbing their tech, and dumping the small companies (often putting them out of business). They are not alone in this (Apple has done the same thing. I think they even have a term for it -'to Watson' * ). It's just that MS was the most egregious.

It makes me sad to see they are still doing it. I've been fairly impressed by what Nadella has done.

* EDIT: As adamdavidson pointed out, the term that everyone uses is 'Sherlocked.'

ChrisMarshallNY(4314) 4 days ago [-]

Here's something that I think was written in the early 1990s. Shows that the leopard hasn't changed its spots much: http://www.davar.net/HUMOR/STORIES/MS-CUISN.HTM

amdavidson(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I believe the more common version of that term is 'Sherlocked'

smcl(4130) 4 days ago [-]

Every time I see the "Microsoft <3 open source" stuff I get really suspicious, and this kinda confirms that I'm right to be. I'm grateful of their more open culture these days (dotnet alone is a big achievement) ... but I feel like there's been a number of incidents like these which snap me back to reality and remind me they're really just paying lip service to the idea and don't truly buy into open source.

throw_m239339(10000) 4 days ago [-]

So much for the 'I love the new Microsoft' people here... same as the whole Microsoft, doesn't even have the decency to credit people where credit is due... Of course, nothing illegal here, but this is borderline plagiarism... at least pay the guy, or donate to his foundation or something...

Seems like Microsoft owning GitHub thinks all the code on GitHub belongs to Microsoft...

globular-toast(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Microsoft is a public traded company. You can safely assume that anything they do is really about generating value for shareholders. Of course they don't 'love open source'. But they probably love what it does for them (e.g. enable them to run Azure).

ijidak(4420) 5 days ago [-]

Keivan obviously got screwed.

Having worked at Microsoft, and seeing the nature of the bureaucracy, the only advice I would give for next time is...

Just realize you can't set terms with a large company like MSFT unless you get lawyers involved early.

Stealing from you outright is simply too tempting, given their resources.

I noticed there were some conditions Keivan tried to set regarding the future evolution of the technology before joining MSFT.

In a large company like MSFT, there were bound to be large internal email threads relaying a play-by-play of negotiations with Keivan to: inside legal counsel, developers who already gave t-shirt sizes for building the tech in-house, product managers, and dozens of others.

No matter what they tell you, they're internally weighing

- Should we just rip him off? - Should we hire him? Would that be better or worse for liability? - How IP protected is this? How much can we 'borrow'? - Is it worth the hassle of dealing with an aqui-hire we can't control? Would that expose us to even more IP risk, or less?

Once companies reach this size, they simply can't be trusted to handle a negotiation transparently and in good faith, unless you have well paid lawyers fighting for you, or well established IP protection.

I guess what I'm saying is...

When dealing with any large tech company with near infinite resources -- like MSFT, GOOG, etc --, find a legally defensible upper hand, and assume they are weighing the cost-benefit of screwing you.

(Sadly, this is exactly why lawyers make so much money.)

akdor1154(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I am interested (and kind of depressed) to think - is there actually a legally defensible upper hand that exists here?

ximeng(2511) 4 days ago [-]

Hopefully they also weigh in the fact that screwing developers over is terrible publicity. Assume 100k developers see this and are slightly less inclined to trust MS in future, this bad publicity could easily cost them 1mn USD plus. A good will gesture of 100k USD at the start for consulting could have saved everyone a lot of trouble.

See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23332123 elsewhere in this thread for an example of the consequences.

The cost of GitHub to MS was around 250 usd per user. If 4000 users leave that's already a million USD.

tener(4424) 4 days ago [-]

This is interesting perspective. Do you think this have the potential to negatively affect responsible parties on MSFT side given the negative PR generated?

pfortuny(3956) 4 days ago [-]

After reading the second e-mail it is clear that they are trying to do something 'official' and that their interest in the specific person is low (to say it mildly). Full of 'going-forward' and similar corporate-speak. DANGER DANGER DANGER: when someone loses natural language, he is no longer speaking for himself.

What a pitiful world we live in.

sergeykish(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> As you know we are big fans of package managers on Windows and we are looking to do more in that space.

that part looked wrong

dandare(4007) 4 days ago [-]

I wish someone would write a serious corporate-speak dictionary, list the most used phrases and what they usually mean, explain different levels of formality etc.

WrtCdEvrydy(4184) 5 days ago [-]

I wonder if one day we'll know of all the stories of people who got wined-dined-fucked by the large corporations who then release their own version of an existing product.

banana_giraffe(4351) 5 days ago [-]

I doubt it. I've hinted at in comments here in the past, but I have one such story. It's a footnote, at best, in MS's history, and a thing for a now-dead product, but they turned what I thought was a cool product into their own thing then disappeared it through internal MS politics.

I don't tell the story in any details since I don't want those details getting back to the real me and having a negative impact on my career for whatever reason.

dmix(1487) 5 days ago [-]

VCs and even incubators do this all the time. It's one of their primary jobs to fish for information under the guise of helping you.

pixelmonkey(2925) 4 days ago [-]

I've been learning a little bit about 'the new Microsoft' and its new relationship with open source, and I think I get it now.

MSFT is treating open source communities and free F/OSS code contributions the way they might have treated blogging and IT forums in a prior era.

It's 'developer community' and 'power user' engagement. It's a hybrid product management and marketing function.

In this particular scenario, the winget product manager views the appget author as a 'Windows enthusiast' of sorts, not a competitor, a peer, or a colleague. Just a 'power user persona' of the Microsoft userbase.

So, when you understand this, reading the PM's email to him ahead of winget's launch makes more sense.

> We give appget a call out in our blog post too since we believe there will be space for different package managers on windows. You will see our package manager is based on GitHub too but obviously with our own implementation etc. our package manager will be open source too so obviously we would welcome any contribution from you.

Specifically: it's like getting called out explicitly by a forum mod, or being a frequent blog commenter who is mentioned by name in a blogger's main post.

It's 'an honor' to have appget explicitly mentioned in an 'official' Microsoft announcement. And to have your community work 'inspire' so much of winget's design! So when the PM wrote the email, he probably wasn't even thinking it would feel like trolling. He was probably thinking, 'isn't it cool we are doing this 'F/OSS collaboration thing' together? How 'New Microsoft' of us!'

And I can't say I blame him. Microsoft is just less smooth about their appropriation of F/OSS for marketing purposes. Other companies manage to do it without the developers noticing.

logicalmind(4423) 4 days ago [-]

If you want to see what Microsoft thinks of open source and contributors, then all you have to do is read the license they want you to agree to before doing so:


lame88(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Fuck anyone callous enough to take something as far as an onsite trip with the pretense of a job and then just ghost them. I can't think of a much clearer way to show that much disrespect of someone and their time. And that's just the tip of the iceberg in this case. Remember things like this whenever you see the 'microsoft <3 linux' slogan and the rest of the PR facade people are all too willing to swallow.

foobarbazetc(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This exact thing happens all the time. And not just Microsoft.

Usually you sign something that prohibits you from talking about the meetings, though.

fraggle222(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Not sure how MSFT usually handles it, but when I was acqui-hired (by a different large tech company, not quite on MSFT scale, but no trifle) I dealt almost exclusively with a person from Business Development. Maybe it is a bad sign that they had you discussing with people in their engineering group directly. Sounds like they were gathering data from you with no real plan to acquire. Then again every company may do it differently.

For me, there were some questions about my technology, but not a lot. Mostly we agreed on terms, and then they came up with a 40 page contract :) (the bus-dev guy said they don't really treat a small acquisition like mine that much differently than a larger acquisition in terms of contract verbiage). I had my lawyers (no I did not have any before this offer), review it.

But overall I felt that someone, who later I'm pretty sure turned out to be the CEO, had told their Business Development guy, just acquire this thing (and bring him along if you can), so they just went about doing that and it came out ok.

jansan(4336) 4 days ago [-]

That's what I was thinking. How would a company approach you if they were genuinely considering purchasing your product? And how if they want to brain rape you?

Maybe being contacted by a product manager or engineer should make you cautious.

lostmsu(4018) 5 days ago [-]

Out of curiosity, how long the process took until the deal was signed?

lostmsu(4018) 5 days ago [-]

That is exactly why I am not open sourcing my .NET bindings for TensorFlow.

solarkraft(3992) 5 days ago [-]

How much will that really change the likelihood of MS reimplementing it?

They didn't take any of the AppGet code, just the ideas.

Wowfunhappy(3934) 5 days ago [-]

I don't know the details of your project, but what if you open sourced under the GPL?

I feels as though the world has soured on the GPL in recent years, but whenever I see this type of sentiment—that open sourcing work is just a gift from small developers to big tech companies, or something thereabouts—I think, wouldn't the GPL solve that problem?

Sure, big companies can still use GPL'd code, but they're forced to give back as much as they take, which is exactly the outcome you want.

(This doesn't necessarily apply to the situation with AppGet, however.)

kayone(4414) 5 days ago [-]

Author here, Because it's sure to come up here is a comment I wrote on Reddit that clarifies somethings, I haven't updated the original article since I'm not sure what the etiquette for updating a highly shared article is.


Code being copied isn't an issue. I knew full well what it meant to release something opensource and I don't regret it one bit. What was copied with no credit is the foundation of the project. How it actually works. If I were the patenting type, this would be the thing you would patent. ps. I don't regret not patenting anything. And I don't mean the general concept of package/app managers, they have been done a hundred times. If you look at similar projects across OSes, Homebrew, Chocolaty, Scoop, ninite etc; you'll see they all do it in their own way. However, WinGet works pretty much identical to the way AppGet works. Do you want to know how Microsoft WinGet works? go read the article (https://keivan.io/appget-what-chocolatey-wasnt/) I wrote 2 years ago about how AppGet works.

I'm not even upset they copied me. To me, that's a validation of how sound my idea was. What upsets me is how no credit was given.

dmix(1487) 4 days ago [-]

Calling it 'WinGet' was the real punch in the gut.

Does Microsoft select for assholes or something? There's a thousand other package manager names [1] in the wild and they chose that one.

So much for 'developers, developers, developers'...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_software_package_manag...

joseluisq(3831) 4 days ago [-]

Very sad history. But not something new.

MS and many others don't love OSS or contribute them back. Few really do it. But instead, they are leveraging software because OSS licenses allow it. One example, see GPL, they didn't ever accept it. But they embrace any other software without restrictions on top of 'OSS', if not so, they just create its own 'permissive' licenses (MSPL).

Many of us are creating software even without expecting to get money back from users of any kind. Money back in many situations can be just a gentle retribution from community (E.g voluntary donations).

So, No MS, you don't really 'love' OSS.

bitlevel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It would appear that you have been 'Sherlocked' (https://www.howtogeek.com/297651/what-does-it-mean-when-a-co...) but by Microsoft.

Looks like all the bigger companies are doing this now.

13of40(4226) 5 days ago [-]

Can you go into more detail about which features you believe were copied?

fsloth(4413) 5 days ago [-]

Sorry for your shitty experience. Really reminds me of Robert Kearns who's windshield patent was stolen by big auto companies [0].

Robert patented it but still megacorps tried to screw him over because they thought they could. He did win but only after an exhausting trial that took years.

Really sucks when credit is not given where due.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kearns

alpb(814) 5 days ago [-]

If you patented your idea, I think you would antagonize and scare away a lot of people from participating in the open source project.

justanotheratom(4218) 4 days ago [-]

What is the guy's name?

karmakaze(3540) 4 days ago [-]

As bad as this is it would be worse to intentionally use an known inferior method for the sake of being different. This can still be corrected by giving props to AppGet. Or you can't blame companies for being companies? Hate the game.

wpietri(3478) 4 days ago [-]

Ah yes. The new Microsoft, same as the old Microsoft.

I am really sorry this happened to you. On the scale of Microsoft, or even on the scale of what they're putting into this effort, it would have cost approximately nothing to give you an 'acquisition' you would have been happy with. If the job didn't work out, they could have given you a fat consulting contract for a year or two. Or they just could have written you a check.

And it would have cost them actual nothing to just treat you with respect. Say how much they loved your work. Credit you publicly as a leader and an inspiration. Arrange a smooth transition for your users.

For what it's worth, I'm glad for you that the job didn't happen. Much better to be far away from people like this.

alien_(4256) 4 days ago [-]

As author of an open source tool that was already steatlh-forked twice without any contact whatsoever by VC-backed startups - including clearly copying text from my website/FAQ - without giving any sort of credit on the idea/implementation they used for 80% of their product but on the contrary claiming how revolutionary their products are and best idea since sliced bread, and even not satisfying the basic MIT license terms, I can completely understand your frustration.

At least they were nice enough to pay you a trip to Seattle and (briefly) mentioned your project in the release announcement, I didn't even get a 'thank you'.

As a result of this I re-licensed my code from MIT to OSL-3 and reduced my involvement in this project a lot so I focus on the things that actually matter in life: my wellbeing and spending the time with my family.

thePunisher(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Exactly that: you open-sourced it so it's your donation to the world. Don't be sour if someone copies your idea or makes a ton of money from it.

And what would be the benefit if Microsoft gave you credit for it? Most likely their lawyers would reject it since you may then be able to sue them for...I don't know what, but money in any case.

It's a very Microsoft-thing to do to copy someone else's idea and improve on it (C#, RDP, Excel). If you release something as open-source you have to ask yourself if your doing it out of altruism or for money? In case of the latter you have to plan accordingly, by patenting or with restrictive licensing.

GoblinSlayer(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>What upsets me is how no credit was given

Apache license requires to preserve copyright notices, did you have any?

lliamander(4424) 4 days ago [-]

What license did you release AppGet under? Almost every open source license at a very minimum requires that credit be given to the original authors. Arguably they are in a situation of legal liability (IANAL).

You don't strike me as the kind of person that would litigate such things, but I would like to think that if the right people at Microsoft became aware of such a liability, they might choose to give you credit (to be on the safe side).

billme(4352) 4 days ago [-]

>> "I haven't updated the original article since I'm not sure what the etiquette for updating a highly shared article is."

Adding "UPDATE:(date)text" either in the footer - with a brief dip in the header saying there's an updated in the footer is an easy way to accomplish this.

iovrthoughtthis(4112) 4 days ago [-]

I'm sorry. This does feel like a pretty shitty situation. I hope all of this attention helps connect you with some people you go on to do great things with!

KayL(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is a common design. Only MS can tell you the truth. Is there anything you're talked offline made you feel they copied your idea?

I think I will not credit everyone on my comparison tables. I only credit who inspired me hugely. MS hasn't implemented everything AppGet had. I bet MS is waiting for public feedback for the next point. Acutally MS has its Roadmap: https://github.com/microsoft/winget-cli/blob/master/doc/wind...

For the spec, only two common options: YAML & JSON. And every YAML spec looks this way.

MS has other experiences like TypeScript Definition also. https://github.com/DefinitelyTyped/DefinitelyTyped/tree/mast...

wanderer2323(4412) 4 days ago [-]

Did you link the wrong article? The one you linked basically says that (1) you are using yaml files to describe the package instead of scripts and (2) you have the ability to specify multiple installers per package to support multiple architectures.

If that's all the innovation that MSFT has supposedly 'copied'...

giancarlostoro(3086) 5 days ago [-]

Sounded like they wanted to hire you for their package manager and you chose not to pursue. You have every right to be mad I suppose but as you say in the article, and in that comment, you're definitely aware of what happens to open source projects. On the other hand I'm mainly glad their adaptation was open source. I think they have to maintain their own version in order to ensure that they don't wind up with some rogue applications on their package manager.

I try to assume no bad intentions these days.

ErikAugust(4271) 5 days ago [-]

At this point, why not keep it going? Your story is good enough reason to keep working and build a community and/or foundation around AppGet.

imprettycool(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Plus you get free PR

sergeykish(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It is a sad day. But let my congratulate you.

You and countless other made impossible. Created community Microsoft could not ignore. It had to adopt, it had to change. Scary beast really. It does not know how to work with, it knows how to ride.

It took path you've paved. I see it - there is no dependency resolution, no make dependencies - as simple as possible so people can participate. More like Flatpack than apt.

Microsoft does not like fragmentation. There would be a big pull of users. It's interesting how they are going to fight mallware, spyware, ransomware. Issues like chrome Stylish and npm leftpad. With all respect it is not clear you could manage it, there is quite a list in the queue [0].

Please don't despair, you've made gift to community not Microsoft.

[0] https://github.com/appget/appget.packages/pulls

Dolores12(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Did you get azure credits after all? Looks like they 'forgot' about this as well.

sillysaurusx(3832) 4 days ago [-]

I flew to Seattle on December 5th to have a full day of interviews/meetings at Microsoft HQ. I met with four different people; three of the meetings were more like your typical interviews; the meeting with Andrew was more about what we should do once this is all over and how we would migrate AppGet's process and infrastructure to be able to handle Microsoft's scale. We talked about some of our options, but in general, I thought everything went well.

My last meeting ended at around 6 pm. I took an Uber to the airport and was back in Vancouver.

And then, I didn't hear anything back from anyone at Microsoft for six months.

For what it's worth – and I'm not really sure whether it's helpful to say this, or whether it's even true – this situation often means 'you didn't pass the interview.'

The reason I mention it, is that it took an embarrassingly long time for me to understand this. Maybe it's common knowledge. But an identical situation happened to me at Magic Leap. I hesitate to mention their name, lest it sound like I'm calling them out or something, but I'm not. And in general I no longer feel negatively towards companies that end up doing that, so I don't think any particular stigma should be attached to Magic Leap for doing that.

I'm trying (and possibly failing) to share a personal experience of 'I used to feel awful in situations like this; now I realize it's just business, and the decision of pass/fail has extraordinarily little to do with the skill of the programmer being interviewed, so don't take it as a sign of anything.'

None of this is to undermine your overall point that it's generally not cool to ghost a candidate (to put it mildly), and that it's a doubly not-cool move to then clone the product of the candidate in question. But, it happens, and I just wanted to reassure you that yes, it does happen. It would've helped me to hear that at one point, so here it is, just in case.

hmottestad(4273) 5 days ago [-]

I can say I'm a bit upset on your behalf. Actually acquiring the code would have cost Microsoft very little money, would have ended up with a better product and also would have brought along the current user space in a very graceful manner.

cwojno(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Not only should they say you're the inventor, but they should have paid you for it. They snowballed you. Microsoft doesn't deserve you

908B64B197(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Several things don't add up here.

> Code being copied isn't an issue.

I looked at both repos and they share no code at all.

In his article, the author claims that ' If I were the patenting type, this would be the thing you would patent. ps. I don't regret not patenting anything.'

That's really not how patents work, and looking at the repo, a second year CS student could do the same really. I don't see anything that could remotely be patented. It reads where to find the installer from a config file and determine what to do based on an enum.

Throughout the article the author uses the term acqui-hire but it seems Microsoft was simply considering him for a PM position (and he failed the interview). There's nothing to acquire since there's no patent, no IP and no brand. Only a registered domain and what seems like an anemic userbase, if any.

Being featured in The Verge[0] and on HN's front page will probably bring a lot more eyeballs to the startups he's trying to promote. So congratulation for the free advertising!

[0] https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/28/21272964/microsoft-winget...

x32n23nr(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Is there an open-source license that prohibits the use of software if your company's yearly revenue is higher than < X > ?

rectang(3241) 4 days ago [-]

There is not, because that would not be compatible with one of the non-discrimination clauses of the Open Source Definition.


> 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

MikusR(264) 5 days ago [-]

The title of this should really be changed to the more descriptive subtitle: 'The story of how Microsoft embraced and then killed AppGet.'

boromi(3947) 5 days ago [-]

Not really. Afterall his AppGet package was open source....

sneak(2509) 5 days ago [-]

When you release free (as in freedom) software, you are not entitled to revenue sharing when people use or modify that software, or if people use the ideas in that software to make new, from-scratch software.

I think Microsoft is a terrible organization and will rejoice the day they finally cease to exist as a concern, but they didn't do anything wrong here.

PHP didn't "rip off" Perl, nor did CoffeeScript "rip off" ruby. All the other PoW or PoS blockchains didn't "rip off" Satoshi.

He needs to stop seeing ideas and concepts as "his" that are property that can be stolen.

Why should they acquihire when they can just reimplement?

Ideas aren't property, and if you have a good idea, and someone else takes it and runs with it and makes software used by millions that works better than if you hadn't had that idea, that is the system working as intended, and, ultimately, his ideas, now published and infecting the world, being writ large and used by humans.

I'm not some corporate apologist, but he should be proud. (He also probably should have, back when, started a company designed to be digestible that they could have acquired, if he wanted to participate financially, like MySQL or RedHat did.)

RandallBrown(3955) 5 days ago [-]

Taking someone all the way through the interview process, then ghosting them, is doing something wrong.

Add in the fact that they had planned on buying his app outright told him they would hire him instead to speed up the process, and it's an especially crummy thing to do.

ponker(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Then why in fucks sake do this acquihire interview charade? Just fork the codebase and be done with it!

leethomas(10000) 5 days ago [-]

While I haven't read the announcement from Microsoft, it seems to me that the core issues he had were in the downplaying of AppGet and overall lack of attribution, compared to other package managers with less influence:

> But the part that hurts the most was the announcement. AppGet, which is objectively where most ideas for WinGet came from, was only mentioned as another package manager that just happened to exist; While other package managers that WinGet shares very little with were mentioned and explained much more deliberately.

He also mentions that he would've appreciated better communication. It doesn't seem to have been about being "entitled to revenue sharing". He divorced himself from that completely:

> Am I upset they didn't hire me? Not really, after visiting the campus, I wasn't too sure I wanted to work for such a big company, also moving from Canada to the U.S. wasn't something I was too excited about.


> I didn't create AppGet to get rich or to become famous or get hired by Microsoft.

pvg(4425) 5 days ago [-]

He needs to stop seeing ideas and concepts as "his" that are property that can be stolen.

Where do you see that in the post? His pretty reasonable expectations are a bit of common decency from the other side - following up on emails and a smidgen of credit. There's no entitlement to ideas or claims anything was stolen.

Historical Discussions: AWS services explained in one line each (May 26, 2020: 1662 points)

(1663) AWS services explained in one line each

1663 points 6 days ago by jaytaph in 10000th position

adayinthelifeof.nl | Estimated reading time – 17 minutes | comments | anchor

Amazon Web Services

Posted on 20 May 2020 Tagged with: [ aws ] [ amazon ]

More often than not, I'm using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as my "cloud". Not only for my own projects, but almost all customers I'm working for use Amazon for hosting their applications. So over time you build up a lot of experience on AWS service: you know how to (correctly) setup VPC's, know when to you ECS, EC2 or lambda to host code and even services like S3, SNS and SQS pose no challenges anymore.

But there are a lot of AWS services available. And I do mean: a LOT. Currently, there are 163 (!) different services that are available from the Amazon Dashboard, each with their own way of working, difficulties, catches and best practises.

Discovering AWS

You might realise that it's probably near impossible to dive into each service and completely understand how they work and most likely, you don't really need to know the exact ins and outs. But, having a basic understanding on each service can be a major benefit as a developer, architect or administrator. It makes it easier to see if there is an already existing solution for your problem at hand.

So, I dove into each and every service to figure out what it exactly was for and how it works in the basics. I tried to experiment with as many components as possible (time and money permitting, I didn't want to spend 15.000$ on AWS Data Exchange). I tried to capture what the service does in a single one-liner to give you a global overview.

I think most of them are correct enough but if you have any suggestions or corrections, please tell me!

EC2 Virtual Private Servers
Lightsail Amazon's hosting provider (vps, dns, storage)
Lambda Functions you can run, written in Python, NodeJS, Go etc. Can run many in parallel.
Batch Run software jobs in Docker containers on EC2 machines
Elastic Beanstalk Run software on managed virtual machines
Serverless Application Repository Repository of serverless applications that you can deploy (on lambda)
AWS Outposts Run Amazon services in your own data center
EC2 Image Builder Create EC2 (ami?) images automatically
S3 File storage. Not directly used for mounting, but you can directly download files from HTTP.
EFS NFS. Mount network disks to your machines.
FSx Windows / Lustre filesystems you can connect to your ec2 machines
S3 Glacier Low cost storage system for backups and archives and such
Storage Gateway iSCSI so you can connect s3 to your own (remote) machine.
AWS Backup Automatically create backups of different AWS service (ec2, rds etc)
RDS Managed mysql, postgres databases etc.
DynamoDB Large & scalable non-relational database
ElastiCache Managed memcache and redis machines
Neptune Graph database
Amazon Redshift Warehousing. Store lots of data that can be processed through streams.
Amazon QLDB Database for immutable and cryptographically verifiable data (money transactions etc)
Amazon DocumentDB MongoDB clone (but not really compatible anymore)
Amazon Keyspaces Managed Apache Cassandra clone
Migration & Transfer
AS Migration Hub Migrate things from your DC to AWS
Application Discovery Service Discover services in your datacenter
Database Migration Service Migrate databases to RDS while staying online (can convert structures as well)
Server Migration Service Migrate virtual machines to amazon.
AWS Transfer Family (s)FTP service with S3 backend. Upload to FTP, directly store on S3 bucket.
Snowball Get a machine from AWS, plug in your DC, transfer data fast to AWS, return machine
DataSync Sync data between your datacenter and AWS
Networking & Content Delivery
VPC Create your own virtual private network within AWS.
CloudFront Content Delivery Network.
Route 53 Manage domain names and records.
API Gateway Create HTTP APIs and let them connect to different backends.
Direct Connect Create a (physical) connection between you (or DC) to AWS.
AWS App Mesh Automatically run Envoy as a sidecar for your containers (ECS or EKS).
AWS Cloud Map Service discovery for your containers.
Global Accelerator Run your app on edge locations so they are closer to your customers (CDN for apps).
Developer Tools
CodeStar Quickly develop applications by using template code and codecommit, codebuild etc
CodeCommit Amazon source repositories (git repo's etc)
CodeBuild CI service
CodeDeploy Deployment service
CodePipeline Code delivery with workflows
Cloud9 Online IDE
X-Ray Allows tracing in your applications, supports Python, NodeJs, Go etc.
AWS RoboMaker Cloud solution for robotic developers to simulate, test and securely deploy robotic applications
Customer Enablement
AWS IQ Job board: Hire AWS experts for whatever you need.
Support AWS support center
Managed Services Let AWS handle your AWS services for you.
Amazon Managed Blockchain Block chains
Ground Station Timeshare radios and large antennas pointed at space
Quantum Technologies
Amazon Braket Some quantum thing. It's in preview so I have no idea what it is.
Management & Governance
AWS Organizations Configure (sub)organisations and accounts
CloudWatch Logging from various AWS components
AWS Auto Scaling Scale resources based on your custom inputs and rules
CloudFormation Templates to create and configure AWS components (think terraform/sls)
CloudTrail Figure out who did what in your AWS services
Config Audit the configurations of your AWS resources
OpsWorks Use Ansible to automate stuff
Service Catalog Manage list of items/codes etc you have in the cloud
Systems Manager View data from your resources grouped in ways you like (like application specific etc)
AWS AppConfig Store and publish application configuration data
Trusted Advisor Checks your account for issues (costs, performance, security etc)
Control Tower Manage multi-accounts
AWS License Manager Manage licenses
AWS Well-Architected Tool Generate questionnaires about your architecture to see if you follow best practices
Personal Health Dashboard StatusPage for AWS
AWS Chatbot Connect AWS to slack
Launch Wizard Deploy MSSQL or SAP
AWS Compute Optimizer Finds your resources and advices on how to save costs
Media Services
Elastic Transcoder Encode files from S3 into different other formats and store back at S3
Kinesis Video Streams Capture media streams
MediaConnect ?
MediaConvert Convert media into different formats
MediaLive Share live video with many others
MediaPackage ?
MediaStore ?
MediaTailor Insert advertisements into your broadcasts
Elemental Appliances & Software create videos on-premise. Basically a mix of all of the above services. Seems expensive. Probably is.
Machine Learning
Amazon SageMaker Machine learning tools
Amazon CodeGuru Profile java code with machine learning
Amazon Comprehend Understand and classify data like emails, tweets etc
Amazon Forecast Create forecasts from data
Amazon Fraud Detector in preview so no idea.
Amazon Kendra Search service where you can ask questions
Amazon Lex Create voice and chatbots
Amazon Machine Learning Deprecated. Use SageMaker instead.
Amazon Personalize Create personalized recommendations based on data (mahout??)
Amazon Polly Convert text to speech in different languages
Amazon Rekognition Recognize objects and people in images
Amazon Textract Convert text found in images to text (OCR)
Amazon Transcribe Convert audio to text
Amazon Translate Translates text from one language to another
AWS DeepLens A video camera that does machine learning
AWS DeepRacer Some kind of game where you program a racecar to race against others.
Amazon Augmented AI Let humans in the loop to make AI learn things better
AWS DeepComposer Computer generated music. It's as horrible as it sounds.
Athena Query data stored in s3 buckets.
EMR Elastic Map/Reduce
CloudSearch AWS version of managed document search system (like elasticsearch)
Elasticsearch Service Elasticsearch as a service
Kinesis Collect massive amount of data so you can do analytics (like ELK?)
QuickSight Business Intelligence service
Data Pipeline Move and transform data to dynamodb, rds, s3 etc.
AWS Data Exchange Find APIs which data you can consume, which can be very expensive
AWS Glue ETL service. Enrich, validate data.
AWS Lake Formation Create data lakes
MSK Kafka as a service
Security, Identity, & Compliance
IAM AWS's permission system that can control users and AWS services.
Resource Access Manager Share certain AWS resources like Route53, licenses, ec2 with other accounts.
Cognito User and password management system. Useful for managing users for your applications.
Secrets Manager Secrets key/value store. Can automatically rotate secrets.
GuardDuty Automatically scan your cloudtrail/vpc logs for threats.
Inspector Automatically find (security) issues in your network and machines.
Amazon Macie Analyzes data in your S3 buckets and check for PII data.
AWS Single Sign-On Allow single-sign on to your applications.
Certificate Manager Manage and even create (free) SSL certificates.
Key Management Service Manage secret keys
CloudHSM Hardware security modules. Allows you to generate and operate on cryptographic keys.
Directory Service Active directory as a service
WAF & Shield Web Application Firewall (for loadbalancers, cloudfront, api gateway). Can setup your own rules or use predefined ones
AWS Firewall Manager Firewall manager for different accounts in your organisation
Artifact Documents for cloud compliance (things like 27001 certification etc)
Security Hub Overall security checker that uses guardduty, inspector, macie etc
Detective Log security issues found (from security hub etc)
AWS Amplify Let AWS automatically generate frontend & backend apps and deploy them automatically.
Mobile Hub Part of AWS Amplify now.
AWS AppSync Create API backends that you can connect to. Can be created through AWS Amplify as well.
Device Farm AWS BrowserStack. Automatically test apps on many different mobile devices and browsers.
Amazon Sumerian No idea. The dashboard crashes in my browsers
Application Integration
Step Functions State machines written in amazon's own language
Amazon AppFlow Automatically connects apps together (zapier?). For instance: slack to s3 buckets.
Amazon EventBridge Some kind of eventbus system
Amazon MQ ActiveMQ
Simple Notification Service Notification system that can notify through email, api endpoints, sms etc.
Simple Queue Service Message queue system
SWF Create workflows.
AWS Cost Management
AWS Cost Explorer Gives an overview and projection of your budgets
AWS Budgets Create budgets for your AWS components
AWS Marketplace Subscriptions Find (and buy) AMI's with software installed
Customer Engagement
Amazon Connect AWS call center platform
Pinpoint Create transactional emails, SMS or voice calls based on templates.
Simple Email Service Send out emails. Email provider.
Business Applications
Alexa for Business Connect Alexa to your business needs.
Amazon Chime AWS version of Zoom.
WorkMail AWS version of Gmail / Calendar.
End User Computing
WorkSpaces Virtual desktops from Windows or Linux.
AppStream 2.0 Stream applications running native onto your browser
WorkDocs Store your documents and manage them online.
WorkLink Connect mobile users to your intranet.
Internet Of Things
IoT Core Manage fleets of IOT devices through MQTT broker
FreeRTOS RTOS operating system for microcontrollers to automatically connect to IOT-Core or greengrass.
IoT 1-Click Manage 1-click buttons that can be connected to other systems like Lambda
IoT Analytics Clean up and save messages from topics into a data-store for analytics
IoT Device Defender Detect unwanted issues on your devices and take actions
IoT Device Management Organize IoT devices into groups, schedule jobs on the devices and configure remote access
IoT Events Monitor telemetry from devices and then trigger other AWS services or jobs on the devices themselves
IoT Greengrass A message broker can buffer messages for groups of up to 200 devices which can communicate and process data locally if connectivity to IoT Core is intermittent.
IoT SiteWise Collect, organize, analyze and visualize data from industrial equipment at scale
IoT Things Graph Cloudformation-like designer for graphing how devices should communicate with other AWS services
Game Development
Amazon GameLift Deploy game servers with low latency on AWS
Elastic Container Registry Store docker images like on DockerHub
Elastic Container Service Run containers, either on your own EC2 machines, or on managed machines called Fargate.
Elastic Kubernetes Service Kubernetes as a service

Thanks to Brian Thomas Smith for filling in the blanks on IoT. Thanks to all the others from #HN who suggested changes and updates on the different services.


With over 150 services running on Amazon AWS, it's near impossible to be an expert on all of them. And that's ok: when you deal with large EKS or ECS clusters, changes are you never will touch the IOT services for instances. I found that most services are pretty well explained and easy to start with.

One of the biggest issues are the IOT services: since I have no experience with smart devices, MQTT or IOT in general, i finally managed to get a simple GO application to connect to IOT-core, and connect different rules, pipelines, analytics etc to it. But even still it's very unclear what the different services actually do. Hopefully there will be AWS IOT experts out there that can enlighten me.

All Comments: [-] | anchor

foobarbecue(4357) 6 days ago [-]

Where's EBS?

jaytaph(10000) 6 days ago [-]

EBS is actually part of the EC2 service. It's not listed explicitly in the console service menu. So I did not add it. (same goes with loadbalancing, security groups etc)

mcv(4421) 6 days ago [-]

That's kinda useful I guess? But I still don't know whether I need EC2 or Elastic Beanstalk. And do I need still need Batch if I have one of the other two? Still, it's much clearer than Amazon's own pages about this.

afterwalk(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Agreed, a concise description of 'why' and 'when' would be more useful.

elchief(3493) 6 days ago [-]

I made this list for my buddy a while back. It's meant to be more humorous than exactly correct

Route 53 - Holy shit! It's NSD

WAF - Holy shit! It's modsecurity

SES - Holy shit! It's Postfix

Inspector - Holy shit! It's OSSEC

GuardDuty - Holy shit! It's Snort

Data Pipeline - Holy shit! It's Cron and Bash

Athena - Holy shit! It's Prestodb

Glue - Holy shit! It's Hive Metastore and Spark

OpsWorks - Holy shit! It's Chef

VPC - Holy shit! It's a VLAN

Snowball - Holy shit! It's a truck full of hard drives

CloudWatch - Holy shit! It's syslogd

Neptune - Holy shit! It's Neo4j

ElastiCache - Holy shit! It's Redis

DynamoDB - Holy shit! It's MongoDB

S3 Glacier - Holy shit! It's DVD backup

EFS - Holy shit! It's NFS

Elastic Block Store - Holy shit! It's a SAN

Elastic Beanstalk - Holy shit! It's Apache Tomcat

EMR - Holy shit! It's Apache Hadoop

Elastic Cloud Compute - Holy shit! It's a virtual machine

Kinesis - Holy shit! It's Apache Kafka

QuickSight - Holy shit! It's Tableau

minitoar(4424) 6 days ago [-]

This is what I thought the article was going to be until I clicked through.

boublepop(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Thank you! This is absolute gold.

rlt(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm not sure if the sarcastic tone is meant to imply AWS is just a rehash of existing tools, but that's obviously not the case.

A list of actual competing software/products/services would be pretty useful.

mikorym(4348) 4 days ago [-]

> DynamoDB - Holy shit! It's MongoDB

DynamoDB - Holy shit! It's broken MongoDB

alexchamberlain(3115) 6 days ago [-]

> Neptune - Holy shit! It's Neo4j

Neptune - Holy shit! It's Blazegraph


ddiiwoong(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Where is EKS?

kkotak(4353) 6 days ago [-]

This guy does a great job of explaining it architecturally -


kookoopuffs(10000) 4 days ago [-]

so this is why they make the wording on the proejcts so difficult or non-existent. they don't even know wtf they are doing themselves

abc_lisper(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I am going to screenshot this for future reference

viraptor(1984) 5 days ago [-]

> CloudWatch - Holy shit! It's syslogd

I'd go with grafana/prom/loki. It's both for logs and for metrics.

lode(4415) 6 days ago [-]

Some corrections: AWS Outposts: Run Amazon services in your own datacenter (not on your own hardware)

Storage Gateway: Virtual appliance to couple on-premises applications to storage in the cloud.

(So it's no iSCSI (block) to S3 (object) but Block(iSCSI to EBS), File (SMB/NFS/S3 to S3), or Tape (iSCSI VTL))


VMware Cloud on AWS: Bare-metal, automatically deployed VMware clusters on AWS hardware.

jaytaph(10000) 6 days ago [-]

thanks. Fixed the first one. About storage gateway: as far as I could see (haven't tested it) you get a iscsi path which you can connect to from your own device. It uses S3 as the backend store for files from and to this device. Will try and take some more time to look into it (never used this myself)

k__(3456) 6 days ago [-]

'Large & scalable non-relational database (but not really a NoSQL system)'


zambal(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Ha, that caught my eye too. I'd say DynamoDb is kind of the poster child of the whole NoSQL thing.

davedx(1852) 6 days ago [-]

Consider that your typical enterprise software project will use quite a lot of these, and that you pay for them all separately, and sometimes pay twice for them (e.g. S3 you pay for storage and for outbound bandwidth).

It's quite a tour de force how Amazon have taken 'separation of concerns', applied it to web services and used it to create complex and difficult to understand or predict pricing to print money. Bravo.

gonzo41(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You're totally right.

I look at the whole stack and aside from IAM and EC2, and ECS I think you could get by without a lot of those products.

smitty1e(4262) 6 days ago [-]

For those not in 'the biz', the idea of a WordPress site isn't too far-fetched.

One can mention that there is a LAMP stack behind WordPress without knocking too many unconscious.

Amazon's genius has been to sell the various permutations of the acronym 'LAMP' as services.

Cthulhu_(4062) 6 days ago [-]

Yup; if you go with AWS, expect to build a pretty complicated setup distributed over many services. Even the basic LAMP / Wordpress stack mentioned in a sibling comment and often used in tutorials starts at $50 / month once you add everything up, and that's without any traffic.

Although I guess Lightsail would be a lot more affordable.

exhaze(4421) 6 days ago [-]

Have you ever used AWS? There's a whole suite of tools they provide around pricing and budgeting.

> It's quite a tour de force how Amazon have taken 'separation of concerns', applied it to web services and used it to create complex and difficult to understand or predict pricing to print money.

Is applying separation of concerns to web services really that bad? Look, if you're a small company with a simple product, you can just put your stuff on a few EC2 boxes and pay the monthly bill for that. At that size, your infra costs are going to be dwarfed by your other costs of doing business anyway. If you're a big business, you can literally pay people to keep track of this stuff. You've got the extra money, because now you don't employ data center architects, server engineers, etc. AWS is able to 'print money' because it brings a lot of value to many businesses.

notyourwork(10000) 6 days ago [-]

When every company workload and footprint is entirely different what alternative do you propose? Different companies have different needs and different cloud services suffice those needs in really different ways. You can run your database on relational, non-relational or flat text file backends. They all have different performances characteristics and different costs associated with running them.

wilburlikesmith(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Brilliantly well put. May I screenshot this to 9gag?

StreamBright(2839) 6 days ago [-]

I am not sure what you are talking about. We have many millions of yearly AWS cost and it is both predictable and understandable down to the last cent. One additional thing, I am not sure it occurred to you but some infrastructures operate on AWS are not sending any significant traffic outwards. S3 is used as a cheap and reliable data warehouse storage layer for exabytes of data just fine.

kavehkhorram(4414) 6 days ago [-]

Hey guys,

I faced a similar issue at the company I work for (where a PM had activated an instance for months and racked up a $9k bill). I've been spending my coronavirus time hacking together a service that hopefully makes billing on AWS more clear. It does cost optimization and anomaly detection right now, and I plan on adding more features as I start to see more use cases.

Check it out if you'd like, and let me know what you think!


ashtonkem(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm always amazed at the complexity of AWS billing. 'Why does this cost so much' turns out to be an incredibly hard problem to answer the moment you don't have 100% perfect discipline when it comes to resource tagging.

The fact that there are consultants who specialize in figuring out AWS billing was, in retrospect, a warning sign.

erwincaco(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Amazon Connect AWS version of ZenDesk

Wrong. That should be 'Amazon's Cloud-based Contact Center'

> Pinpoint Create transactional emails based on templates.

Pinpoint can do SMS and voice too.

jaytaph(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Isn't that what ZenDesk is too?

Yes, pinpoint can do more.. Will update

vladoh(4318) 6 days ago [-]

You are missing one of the really amazing services: Snowmobile (https://aws.amazon.com/snowmobile/). It is a real truck, that connects to your data center, copies up to 100 PB of data and drives back to one of the AWS data centers and dumps the data there...

kyawzazaw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

And the companion Snowball (https://aws.amazon.com/snowball/)

capableweb(1564) 6 days ago [-]

'Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck full of hard-drives driving down the highway' or however the saying goes. Latency is extremely long, but the bandwidth is crazy once it's arrive!

Edit: Original quote (seems I accidentally modernized it a bit):

> Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway – Andrew Tanenbaum, 1981

calmchaos(4336) 6 days ago [-]

AWS sounds like a good idea until you start calculating the cost of the setup with any kind of clustering and moderate data traffic.

pg-gadfly(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The compute is really a negligible part and one that you can severely effect.

Outbound bandwidth is the real killer, going at ~$90/TB

drcongo(3637) 6 days ago [-]

It's sad that this is so necessary, but I'm still confused by the very first two lines of this list.

> EC2 Virtual Private Servers > Lightsail Amazon's hosting provider (vps, dns, storage)

Both of these are VPS? EC2 has no storage?

Absolutely not a criticism of your list, more a comment on how baffling AWS is these days. I stopped using AWS once they hit the point where I couldn't reasonably be expected to remember what all the three letter acronyms were. I still occasionally have to use it for S3, Route53 and IAM - but every time I log into the console I find that they've removed them from my 'pinned' services in the menu bar and I have to pin them again. Even this tiny detail is enough to make me not want to have to deal with that * 1000 by taking up more of the services.

choward(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> I couldn't reasonably be expected to remember what all the three letter acronyms were.

Just remember if you see an 'S' it means simple. That means if you can't understand it you must be an idiot. S3 is one of the least simple things I've ever used.

callamdelaney(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think pinned items are on a browser basis - because I logged into another account on the same browser and it had the same pins as my other account, without me setting them.

scarface74(4007) 6 days ago [-]

Think of LightSail as being more akin to Linode or Digital Ocean a simple straight forward VPS without having to setup a VPC and being bombarded with trying to navigate 150 services. It's also straight forward pricing.

jitix(4332) 6 days ago [-]

EC2 requires you to specify the attached storage to it, giving you more options; lightsail doesnt. Lightsail is more like the ye'old VPS services.

OJFord(2587) 6 days ago [-]

Well, to EC2 you attach storage from another AWS service. I've not used Lightsail, but from the description I imagine it's a more 'single package, quickstart' service mirroring the experience you might get from a PaaS like DigitalOcean/Scaleway/Vultr/etc. vs. the IaaS style provisioning of compute & storage independently.

s_dev(2811) 6 days ago [-]

Similar to https://expeditedsecurity.com/aws-in-plain-english/

Why does AWS use such convoluted language? Is it because they're dominant and it adds friction to moving to another provider?

unethical_ban(4393) 6 days ago [-]

I think 'codenames' are easier to reference and discuss once you get immersed in the ecosystem. 'lambda' vs. 'serverless compute' - which one do you want to say 30 times a day?

victords(10000) 6 days ago [-]

My personal theory is that they made such a bad naming decision on their first service that they just committed to it and doubled down from there on.

hinkley(4327) 6 days ago [-]

Probably because parallelization is not the end-all-be-all of management strategies.

Consumers expect most companies to act like a coherent unit, (purportedly due to Dunbar's Number), and when you don't have enough oversight or leadership everything begins to look schizophrenic.

'Self-organizing' is organized chaos. If nobody picks winners at the end it never stops being organized chaos.

adwww(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This is one of the things I love about GCP.

Kubernetes Engine, Compute, Storage, Memory Store, Cloud SQL, PubSub.... almost all of the main services do what they say on the tin.

The only downside is - ironically - it sometimes makes googling for help a bit tricker. Eg. Are you search for generic cloud storage or the Google product with the same name?

scarface74(4007) 6 days ago [-]

I know the ins and outs of AWS pretty well, but when I see discussions about Azure or GCP, I'm completely lost. It's not like I'm a stranger to the development side of the Microsoft ecosystem. I've been developing in C# for over decade and have used Visual Studio since 1997.

castlecrasher2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

>Why does AWS use such convoluted language? Is it because they're dominant and it adds friction to moving to another provider?

Having gone from AWS in my last role to GCP in my current, I can tell you with 100% certainty that for me, AWS' mnemonic device naming convention is far, FAR more effective in helping me remember which service does what.

S3? Storage. EC2? VM/compute. GCP's equivalent? GCS/GCE. I don't do a whole lot with VMs in my role but it takes me a few good seconds to remember 'GCE' whereas EC2 is instantly memorable. Don't get me started on Google's many 'Data X' services (Datastore, Dataproc, Data Transfer, Data Catalog, Data Fusion, Dataprep, Data Labeling).

tl,dr; the lizard part of my brain very much prefers AWS' naming style, and I have a hard time remembering GCP's services despite the descriptive naming.

wyck(4208) 6 days ago [-]

> Why does AWS use such convoluted language?

Because it's run by engineers (not a bad thing).

chapium(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Why is lemon sugar flavored carbonated beverage called Mountain Dew? Shouldn't the soda companies use less convoluted language? Why is Confluent not just called Kafka+? Why isn't Kafka called LinkedIn distributed subscriber service?

zxienin(4340) 6 days ago [-]

Because your enlightened state is in conflict with their commercial interest.

Providing complex answers to simple questions, almost always is due to a need to hide sth.

stevievee(10000) 6 days ago [-]

To add: It might actually help with commercial sales - the obfuscation makes it seem like there is more to each product than it being a cloud-managed version of what is done locally.

nerdkid93(3577) 6 days ago [-]

> CodeCommit should have been called Amazon GitHub

because Amazon can ignore trademarks? That would have been an entertaining lawsuit between Amazon and Microsoft though.

zamalek(4380) 6 days ago [-]

> Why does AWS use such convoluted language?

This is the exact reason I prefer Azure. I can use the search textbox to find something and the name is usually pretty explanatory (but they do have some daft stuff, like 3 different queue offerings with pretty vague documentation on the differences).

ben509(4428) 6 days ago [-]

I think it's because naming things is hard, that link proves it by coming up with worse names for almost everything they tried to rename, and often far, far worse.

Imagine the confusion if S3 were called 'Amazon Unlimited FTP Server.' That gets every word wrong, except that 'Amazon' is merely redundant. It's not unlimited (having to pay for a thing is a limit), it's not using FTP, and it's a service, not a server.

Or if VPC was 'Amazon Virtual Colocated Rack'. A 'colocated rack' means your computer in their datacenter. They actually have this service, it's called Direct Connect, because you can actually

Lambda does require you've got some vague notion of what lambda notation is. But 'AWS App Scripts' suggests it's for mobile 'apps', but it is not specific to those. And it suggests it's only for scripts, but you can run an entire application on Lambda just fine.

Or even DynamoDB. They recommend 'Amazon NoSQL.' They're not offering many NoSQL databases, just their proprietary one: DynamoDB. They have a service that offers many relational databases and that is called Relational Database Service.

cm2187(3572) 6 days ago [-]

Same with Azure. Even when I understand what it does, I am baffled of how they came up with the name.

nojito(10000) 6 days ago [-]

How to waste money in just one line each...

Simplifying AWS like this only serves to normalize wasteful spending on the 'cloud'.

This works when the economy is great....not so much when businesses are looking to trim costs.

scarface74(4007) 6 days ago [-]

Yes I'm sure you know every single vertical and business model well enough to know whether it's a "waste of money".

jchw(4417) 6 days ago [-]

Useful and interesting but some of them are either blank or, well:

> After reading it over and over again, i still have no idea what it does.

> Some quantum thing. It's in preview so I have no idea what it is.

> in preview so no idea.

jaytaph(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yes.. some of them I have absolutely no clue on what it does. They might serve some edgecase specific for that domain. There are a few services in preview which I cannot see for myself what it does.

I will try to update and correct services as soon as I have more info (or somebody can provide it to me)

superasn(1655) 6 days ago [-]

This can be a good cheat-sheet and no wonder there have been so many attempts at this(1).

Maybe we're better off making this as github page where users can send pull requests and add/rewrite to these.

(1) https://netrixllc.com/blog/aws-services-in-simple-terms/ (2) https://expeditedsecurity.com/aws-in-plain-english/

wegs(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'd prefer to see this integrated into the AWS UX.

For an external crowd-sourced version, I'd like to see something like this with a column for maturity, and whether it actually works.

The classic AWS services are rock-solid, and perfectly sufficient to build a business on. Many of the newer ones are.... much less so. A green checkmark, yellow question mark, and red land mine icon would go a long way towards letting me know what I should and shouldn't use.

panpanna(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Well this was really useful.

I didn't knew cloudfront was an Amazon product. I wonder what cloudflare people think of that.

detaro(2125) 6 days ago [-]

> I wonder what cloudflare people think of that.

Because of the name? Cloudfront is older then Cloudflare afaik.

MaxBarraclough(10000) 6 days ago [-]

CacheFly is another CDN with a somewhat similar name ('CF'). I think they're all different enough that things are clear, though.

joshfraser(588) 6 days ago [-]

Sometimes it pays to be boring. One of the hardest parts of using AWS is learning all their silly names for everything. I know it's tempting to be cute when naming things, but everyone else wishes you would just be clear and descriptive. I've seen this play out at startups that love to name servers after galaxies or cartoon characters. It's all fine until your new employee onboarding guide comes with a massive memorization test before you can be productive. Yes, db-master and db-slave are way more boring names than Saturn and Uranus, but do everyone a favor and express your creativity somewhere else.

latencyloser(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I worked at a company that had names for all the conference and meeting rooms based on various science fiction names and other 'nerdy' stuff instead of some sort of building-floor-room_number scheme. It was neat at first, but quickly became agonizing trying to remember what _building_ a conference room was in much less where in that building. It added an extra few minutes to every meeting for me where I had to either look it up on the internal wiki or go ask someone at the front desk where I was supposed to go or make sure at least one person nearby attending the meeting already knew where we were going. It took months to get the hang of for even the more routine rooms.

ggregoire(2348) 6 days ago [-]

Star Wars still seem to be the greatest source of inspiration for backend engineers when comes the time to find a name for a new microservice.

sokoloff(4145) 6 days ago [-]

I think they went through a middle phase of cutesy naming, but this seems to have subsided some (to the good).

Simple Queuing Service, Simple Storage Service, Elastic Compute Cloud, SimpleDB are names that very much make sense. Greengrass, Lightsail, not so much. EKS, Outpost, Ground Station, and Lake Formation are more toward the usefully descriptive side again, I think.

tilolebo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Very nice!

I was surprised by 2 descriptions:

Opsworks: I thought it was using Chef under the hood. Is it really Ansible?

CloudWatch: it's actually so much more than logging, as it also provides timeseries, alerting and even scheduling. Not sure how to summarize this, though.

wraithm112(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Everything I've seen about OpsWorks is chef/puppet based. Ansible is not mentioned in the opsworks documentation at all. I think that's just wrong.

RedShift1(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This is a 100 x better than their website. I've actively walked away from Amazon products because I could barely make out what it really was and if I could use it for the application at hand. Many thanks!

sixo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

'Redshift: Warehousing. Store lots of data that can be processed through streams.'

Not sure what that second sentence means...

rantwasp(10000) 6 days ago [-]

nowhere close to 100x. actually it's worse than the aws names across the board.

the names have a logic to them but I agree it's intimidating to learn hundreds of things at the same time - so you don't. you learn the bits and pieces you need.

for example:

EC2 actually comes from Elastic Cloud Compute. You have Compute in the Cloud which also happens to be elastic.

S3 is Simple Storage Service. It's a Service for Storing things. It's simple because it's just a key-blob storage.

Route53 is obvious if you know what runs on port 53.

unixhero(3985) 6 days ago [-]

Useful, but it contains factual errors: >S3 File storage. Not directly used for mounting, but you can directly download files from HTTP.

You most certainly can mount S3 buckets, and its done frequently in data pipelines throughout the industry[0].

>S3 Glacier Low cost storage system for backups and archives and such

Sure but it would be good to include why there is a tradeoff in price, why is it low cost? For Glacier its intention is to provide storage, but rarely fetch data, as it is very slow.

[0] https://github.com/s3fs-fuse/s3fs-fuse

matharmin(4424) 6 days ago [-]

It's a one-line summary, not an in-depth explanation or comparison. 'Not directly used for mounting' is a good summary of the intended use.

dirktheman(3834) 6 days ago [-]

Yes, you can use a S3 bucket and Route53 to host a high availability, static website for mere pennies.

eterps(3566) 6 days ago [-]

How is that a factual error? It didn't say that mounting was impossible, just that it isn't directly used for mounting. How did you conclude that it's done frequently throughout the industry? What percentage of S3 customers do you think does this? If I would have to guess I'd say less than 1%. But I am happy to learn I am wrong.

traeregan(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Here's the Google Cloud equivalent: https://github.com/gregsramblings/google-cloud-4-words

itsmeamario(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I came here with the hopes of finding something similar to GCP. Thank you!

topkeks(10000) 6 days ago [-]

That is an excellent list. There's also a guide that compares Google Cloud with AWS and highlights the similarities and differences between the two. https://cloud.google.com/docs/compare/aws

StevePerkins(4134) 6 days ago [-]

> Lightsail - Amazon's hosting provider (vps, dns, storage)

> Kinesis - Collect massive amount of data so you can do analytics (like ELK?)

Based on some of these that I'm already familiar with, I don't think I would rely on these descriptions for the ones I'm not already familiar with.

archielc(4085) 2 days ago [-]

Couldn't agree more.

speedgoose(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I see that AWS IoT Greengrass is missing. https://aws.amazon.com/greengrass/

I may be wrong but from what I understood, it's more or less a way to manage AWS Lambda functions (cgi-bin scripts), Docker, and a MQTT client connected to AWS on your GNU/Linux devices (raspbian on a raspberry pi for example, or a x86 pc).

However you still need Ansible or similar to manage the device so the actual value is kinda low because if you have a setup to manage the device, it's not much more work to manage docker and a mqtt client yourself. About running AWS Lambda functions on a the device, I think it makes sense for AWS to check the box 'IoT edge computing with AWS Lambda' but unless you have a huge codebase in AWS lambda, it seems to be a bad idea.

In one sentence : 'vendor locked half baked IoT platform'.

imglorp(4054) 6 days ago [-]

Close, greengrass is about pushing real aws lambas down to intermediate site gateways (with certs and crypto and management), and then you can have very lightweight clients with almost no brain talk to that thing. My blurb would read, 'vendor locked lambdas at the edge to proxy IoT widgets'.

MaxBarraclough(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Aurora doesn't get a mention either. It's covered under RDS, but still, it seems worth an entry as a service they offer.

jaytaph(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The whole lot of IOT services are pretty confusing. Mostly because I have no experience with IOT/MQTT in general and it took a few days to actually figure out how to create and connect things (emulated). I actually bought some IOT devices (lamps, sensors) to try it out, but this turned out to be vendor-locked without any possibilities for MQTT. I reckon somebody with more experience in the IOT field could provide more insight in these things.

ct520(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Love it! Does anyone know if something similar for competitors? More specifically azure?

hundchenkatze(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I had this one bookmarked, I think it's originally from 2017.


tr33house(4366) 6 days ago [-]

a bit tangential: I think a lot of AWS customers would actually benefit by hosting on their own machines in a data-center. The tools (and hardware) out there have become so good that there's minimal benefit to hosting on AWS for more than 4x the price. A lot of DCs also accept shipments so that even makes things easier. The trouble is that we've been conditioned, as an industry, not to think for ourselves or dare question certain accepted norms/practices. AWS/Azure/GCloud is great for some but I suspect it's for a much smaller subset that we want to accept.

unethical_ban(4393) 6 days ago [-]

I used to feel like 'the cloud is just someone else's computer' but I have changed a bit.

If you do cloud native, there can definitely be pricing and peace of mind benefits. The idea that you can deploy a globally redundant database with automatic backups, with zero installation or server/software maintenance, is pretty amazing. Lambda is awesome and powerful, AWS IAM security model is revolutionary vs. so many different network/LDAP security policies.

koheripbal(10000) 6 days ago [-]

That's what we (mid/small-sized company) with couple dozen machines. It is probably 10% the cost of AWS - but you do need to have at least one person that can handle the servers when/if there are issues.

That one person only needs to devote maybe 2-5% of their time to it (once the systems are setup), so it's still a net gain.

syats(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Is there something similar for Apache projects?

adwww(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Ha good luck explaining in one sentance the difference between Flume, Spark, Storm, NiFi, Camel, Apex, Flink, Beam.....

gunnarmorling(4414) 6 days ago [-]

My awesome open-source data engineering list [1] covers a few Apach projects. Contributions welcome!

[1] https://github.com/gunnarmorling/awesome-opensource-data-eng...

richrichardsson(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> VPC Create your own VPCs within AWS

Not particularly helpful if you have no idea what a VPC is! Of course it takes 2 seconds to search this for yourself, but still.

wartijn_(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Isn't VPC a wel known term? I guess the author just included that definition to make the list complete.

013a(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Lightsail: Amazon's hosting provider (vps, dns, storage)

Doesn't feel like accurate description for Lightsail, nor a useful one. Maybe something like 'simplified deployment and billing for some AWS resources, including VPS, databases, DNS, and load balancers'

(listing 'storage' as something Lightsail does is kind of weird; of course, it does instance-attached block storage, you couldn't have a VPS without that. critically, it has no S3-like blob storage product, and I think that's what most people would associate the general word 'storage' with, but maybe I'm wrong about that).

flurdy(4299) 6 days ago [-]

Sometimes I feel it is easier described by saying what its main competitor is.

Lightsail is basically AWS' version of Heroku and App Engine.

(i.e. a PAAS)

I wish Google would also do this. Many times on GCP's website or at Google Next you try to decipher what the product is that they are talking about, then you realise 'ah, it is their version of S3, CloudFormation etc'. If they just had said that at the start...

Of course, no company will do this, unfortunately.

v8engine(10000) 6 days ago [-]
jaytaph(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I figured somebody has done this before. I purposely did not look for it to keep my findings unbiased. It was fun clicking on random services and tweak with it until figuring out what it was for and how to use it (and actually see some results)

philipodonnell(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Any update to the Azure list anyone has seen? 2017 is a long time ago.

dynamite-ready(4229) 6 days ago [-]

Would love to see an update to the Azure list.

Historical Discussions: Zero-day in Sign in with Apple (May 30, 2020: 1019 points)

(1057) Zero-day in Sign in with Apple

1057 points 2 days ago by masnick in 2464th position

bhavukjain.com | Estimated reading time – 4 minutes | comments | anchor

What if I say, your Email ID is all I need to takeover your account on your favorite website or an app. Sounds scary, right? This is what a bug in Sign in with Apple allowed me to do.

In the month of April, I found a zero-day in Sign in with Apple that affected third-party applications which were using it and didn't implement their own additional security measures. This bug could have resulted in a full account takeover of user accounts on that third party application irrespective of a victim having a valid Apple ID or not.

For this vulnerability, I was paid $100,000 by Apple under their Apple Security Bounty program.

Technical Details

The Sign in with Apple works similarly to OAuth 2.0. There are two possible ways to authenticate a user by either using a JWT (JSON Web Token) or a code generated by the Apple server. The code is then used to generate a JWT. The below diagram represents how the JWT creation and validation works.

In the 2nd step, while authorizing, Apple gives an option to a user to either share the Apple Email ID with the 3rd party app or not. If the user decides to hide the Email ID, Apple generates its own user-specific Apple relay Email ID. Depending upon the user selection, after successful authorization, Apple creates a JWT which contains this Email ID which is then used by the 3rd party app to login a user.

A decoded JWT's payload looks like this:

  'iss': 'https://appleid.apple.com',
  'aud': 'com.XXXX.weblogin',
  'exp': 158XXXXXXX,
  'iat': 158XXXXXXX,
  'sub': 'XXXX.XXXXX.XXXX',
  'c_hash': 'FJXwx9EHQqXXXXXXXX',
  'email': '[email protected]', // or '[email protected]'
  'email_verified': 'true',
  'auth_time': 158XXXXXXX,
  'nonce_supported': true


I found I could request JWTs for any Email ID from Apple and when the signature of these tokens was verified using Apple's public key, they showed as valid. This means an attacker could forge a JWT by linking any Email ID to it and gaining access to the victim's account.

Sample Request (2nd step)

Host: appleid.apple.com
{'email':'[email protected]'}

Here on passing any email, Apple generated a valid JWT (id_token) for that particular Email ID.

Sample Response

  'authorization' : {
    'id_token' : 'eyJraWQiOiJlWGF1bm1MIiwiYWxnIjoiUlMyNTYifQ.XXXXX.XXXXX',
    'grant_code' : 'XXX.0.nzr.XXXX',
    'scope' : [ 'name', 'email' ]
  'authorizedData' : {
    'userId' : 'XXX.XXXXX.XXXX'
  'consentRequired' : false

The impact of this vulnerability was quite critical as it could have allowed full account takeover. A lot of developers have integrated Sign in with Apple since it is mandatory for applications that support other social logins. To name a few that use Sign in with Apple - Dropbox, Spotify, Airbnb, Giphy (Now acquired by Facebook). These applications were not tested but could have been vulnerable to a full account takeover if there weren't any other security measures in place while verifying a user.

Apple also did an investigation of their logs and determined there was no misuse or account compromise due to this vulnerability.

A huge thanks to the Apple Security Team.

Thanks for the read, see you in next article :)

All Comments: [-] | anchor

sparker72678(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Any word on what the fix was?

neop1x(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

Assigning generated emails to the creator accounts and not allowing their re-use? What else, really...

danans(3486) 2 days ago [-]

This is why it's good to run fuzzers against any public API (especially an auth API), to verify its behavior on novel inputs.


capableweb(1564) 2 days ago [-]

In general I agree with you that it's good to run fuzzers against any endpoints, public or internal (as you never know if someone can wrangle data to go from public -> internal somehow), but in this particular case, you'd only find a issue if the fuzzer somehow randomly used the ID of another user that was already created, and verified that it couldn't access it.

In that case, you'd catch it way before even implementing the fuzzer.

So in this case, I don't think a fuzzer would have helped. Some E2E tests written by humans should have caught this though.

tly_alex(10000) 2 days ago [-]

The write-up is not very clear in my opinion. The graph seems to show that there're 3 API calls (maybe there're more API calls in reality?).

And if I understand this correctly, the issue is in the first API call, where the server does not validate whether the requester owns the Email address in the request.

What confuses me are where're the 'decoded JWT's payload' comes from. Is it coming from a different API call or it's somewhere in the response?

tly_alex(10000) 2 days ago [-]

And the choice of black arrow on top of an almost black background... I am not a designer but that's just killing my eyes here.

awinter-py(1204) 2 days ago [-]

my brain mis-parsed as:

(sign in) with (apple zero day)

which is kind of appealing

xkcd-sucks(3503) 2 days ago [-]

If Apple launched a product called Apple Zero Day - like haveibeenpwned maybe - Then the top search results for apple exploits would be an advertisement :)

xwes(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I'm not sure that's a mis-parse. Anyone could sign in with the Apple zero day.

Retr0spectrum(4095) 2 days ago [-]

For anyone else wondering, the correct parse seems to be (Sign in with Apple) (Zero Day)

supernova87a(4428) 2 days ago [-]

I think they were missing a colon, like one of those old-time jokes:

Sign in with Apple: zero day flaw

saagarjha(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I did that too and wondered if they were finally offering a real bug bounty platform...

1f60c(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Me too! For me it was because I've usually seen 'zero day' written as '0day'.

ljm(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> For this vulnerability, I was paid $100,000 by Apple under their Apple Security Bounty program.

Fucking hell. Even after tax, that's a substantial pay-out.

totalZero(4394) 1 day ago [-]

That was my first thought too. No wonder he's a full-time bug bounty hunter.

tusharsoni(4174) 2 days ago [-]

Excellent writeup! About 4 months ago, I wrote a comment[0] on HN telling folks how Apple simply omitted the server-side validations from their WWDC videos. And given the lack of good documentation at the time, WWDC videos were what most developers were following.

Even then, the only 'security' that developers had was that the attacker wouldn't know the victim's Apple userId easily. With this zero-day attack, it would have been trivial for many apps to get taken over.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22172952

zemnmez(4186) 2 days ago [-]

your original post has several replies explaining why this is not a security issue. the token you ultimately get is a signed concatenation of 3 base64 encoded fields, and unless you decided to manually separate and decode these without verification (instead of doing the easy thing, just using a standard OIDC library) you would not have any user data that could ultimately result in a security issue

oauea(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Wow, I'm so glad that apple forced me to implement this broken garbage into my apps!

For those not aware, some time ago apple decided it would be a good idea to develop their own sing in system, and then force all apps on their store (that already support e.g. Google Account login) to implement it.

So they brought a huge amount of additional complexity in a large amount of apps, and then they fucked up security. Thank you apple!

WhyNotHugo(3984) 2 days ago [-]

Actually, developers are only forced to implement it _if_ they support logging in with other social auths.

A big problem of many apps is that they only had a 'log in with google'/'log in with facebook' button, which is very problematic for people who have neither.

On Android this is more acceptable since you need a Google account for the OS itself anyway.

toomuchtodo(1220) 2 days ago [-]

I still trust Apple over a rando site or SaaS app. No system is flawless.

gruez(3932) 2 days ago [-]

Is it me or is this writeup low on details? There are a couple of commenters saying that this is a great writeup, but all it amounts to is:

1. what sign in with apple is

2. sign in with apple is like oauth2

3. there's some bug (not explained) that allows JWTs to be generated for arbitrary emails

4. this bug is bad because you can impersonate anyone with it

5. I got paid $100k for it

cheez(10000) 2 days ago [-]

it's literally that simple.

ahupp(4027) 2 days ago [-]

It seems low on details because the exploit was incredibly simple. AFAICT you didn't have to do anything special to get the signed token, they just gave it out.

> Here on passing any email, Apple generated a valid JWT (id_token) for that particular Email ID.

dwaite(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Based on the information given, I don't know if you can really impersonate people. Rather, you can give an arbitrary email address and have it represented as valid, _against your account_.

You need an additional bug on the relying party for this to allow someone to gain access - that they associate the apple account based on the unstable email address claim rather than the stable 'sub' claim.

antoncohen(3012) 2 days ago [-]

I think the write up is so short because the bug is so simple. Send a POST to appleid.apple.com with an email address of your choice, and get back an auth token for that user. Use the auth token to log-in as that user. It's that simple.

mormegil(4244) 2 days ago [-]

With all those high-profile third parties using Apple ID, what would happen if somebody stole/deleted/damaged my data/assets on Dropbox/Spotify/Airbnb/...? Would I sue the provider who would sue Apple? But does Apple provide any guarantees to the relying parties? And if not and the only way is to depend on the reputation when choosing the ID providers you want to support, how would anyone want to support Apple ID after this? And could they not use it if Apple forces them to...?

foobarbazetc(10000) 2 days ago [-]

The ToS of every service has a liability waiver.

phamilton(4070) 2 days ago [-]

> The Sign in with Apple works similarly to OAuth 2.0.

> similarly

I understand why they wanted to modify OAuth 2.0, but departing from a spec is a very risky move.

> $100,000

That was a good bounty. Appropriate given scope and impact. But it would have been a lot cheaper to offer a pre-release bounty program. We (Remind) occasionally add unreleased features to our bounty program with some extra incentive to explore (e.g. 'Any submissions related to new feature X will automatically be considered High severity for the next two weeks'). Getting some eyeballs on it while we're wrapping up QA means we're better prepared for public launch.

This particular bug is fairly run-of-the-mill for an experienced researcher to find. The vast majority of bug bounty submissions I see are simple 'replay requests but change IDs/emails/etc'. This absolutely would have been caught in a pre-release bounty program.

zemnmez(4186) 2 days ago [-]

> I understand why they wanted to modify OAuth 2.0, but departing from a spec is a very risky move.

The token described in this disclosure is an OpenID Connect 1.0 Token. OIDC is a state of the art AuthN protocol that supersets OAuth with additional security controls. It's used by Google, Facebook and Twitch amongst others.

I'd do more analysis, but the author leaves off the most important part here (not sure why)


saagarjha(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Apple supposedly marks certain beta builds with a bounty multiplier. I say supposedly because like their 'research iPhones' they mentioned it in a presentation once and I never heard about it again.

ani-ani(4303) 2 days ago [-]

'Apple also did an investigation of their logs and determined there was no misuse or account compromise due to this vulnerability.'

Given the simplicity of the exploit, I really doubt that claim. Seems more likely they just don't have a way of detecting whether it happened.

deathgrips(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Yeah, doesn't this just mean they didn't detect misuse?

drivebycomment(10000) 2 days ago [-]

The one case (and about the only case) I can think of where they can claim above is:

If they have a log of all JWTs issued that records which user requested and which email in JWT, then they can retroactively check if they issued any (user, email) pair that they shouldn't have. Then they can assert that there was no misuse, if they only found this researcher's attempt.

thephyber(10000) 2 days ago [-]

It depends what the fix was. If the fix was just to add a validation check to the POST endpoint to validate that the logged in user session matched the payload (and session data was comprehensively logged/stored), this may be verifiable.

There are obviously lots hypotheticals for which this might not be verifiable.

soonoutoftime(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Seems the only way to trust the companies in such situations is to exploit the vulnerabilities from multiple, unconnectable devices and locations, over as long a period as possible. If the company cannot list all of the attacks, you know they're bullshitting.

justapassenger(10000) 1 day ago [-]

It's no secret that Apple isn't great at webservices and they have strong initiative not to keep user data. I could imagine a world where they just didn't have enough logs to properly investigate and validate it.

phamilton(4070) 2 days ago [-]

I'd also like the exact wording of their claim. 'There is no evidence of misuse or account compromise' is what I would expect them to say, as 'There was no misuse or account compromise' likely opens them up to legal repercussions if that isn't 100% accurate.

joering2(1048) 2 days ago [-]

I stand corrected and removing my message now since my scenario wasn't related to this zeroday bug.

Thank you to everyone who educated me.

rantwasp(10000) 2 days ago [-]

they used this tool grep. look it up. /s

lordofmoria(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I agree, especially given how many developer "eyes" were on this from having to integrate the log in with Apple flow into their apps.

Just as a first-hand anecdote to back this up, a dev at my former company which did a mix of software dev and security consulting found a much more complex security issue with Apple Pay within the first hour of starting to implement the feature for a client and engaging with the relevant docs.

How did no one else notice this? The only thing I can think of is the "hidden in plain sight" thing? Or maybe the redacted URL endpoint here was not obvious?

planetjones(3636) 2 days ago [-]

Absolutely astonishing. The internal controls at Apple seem to be borderline non existent.

tpmx(4387) 2 days ago [-]

The average IQ and experience of their software developers has dropped remarkably over the past decade, as they have expanded.

I've had multiple occasions of 'Seriously, Apple hired person X? lol' over the past five years or so.

moralestapia(10000) 2 days ago [-]

$100,000 (!)

Props to Apple for raising the bar on bounties!

gwintrob(609) 2 days ago [-]

Feels low given the impact?

saagarjha(10000) 2 days ago [-]

They've seemingly been fairly responsive for web-based issues.

fortran77(393) 2 days ago [-]

What's amazing is that Apple gets away with claiming their computers are 'secure by design.' https://www.apple.com/business/docs/site/AAW_Platform_Securi...

There's nothing inherent in their design that guarantees security.

lotsofpulp(10000) 2 days ago [-]

But for some reason I have never had to remove malware from my parents' iOS or macOS devices.

duskwuff(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This software security issue in Sign In With Apple was unrelated to the security of Apple's hardware platform.

fermienrico(4055) 2 days ago [-]

Literally every system in the world has flaws, no matter how secure. We just don't know about these bugs yet.

kag0(10000) 1 day ago [-]

To me this seems like a poor protocol design that created an opportunity for an implementation error, and that opportunity was seized.

In the initial authorization request rather than passing a string with an email address, the caller could pass a boolean `usePrivateRelay`. If true generate a custom address for the third party, if false use the email address on file.

With that one change the implementer no longer has the opportunity to forget to validate the provided email address, and the vuln is impossible.

m_herrlich(10000) 1 day ago [-]

You misunderstand the bug, the exploit allows an attacker to generate an apple-signed JWT with an email address of the attacker's choice.

yalogin(4087) 2 days ago [-]

Wow that's a really simple bug. Kudos to the OP to even try that. Most people would just look elsewhere thinking Apple of all companies would get such a basic thing right.

Yajirobe(10000) 2 days ago [-]

What do you mean simple? The result/exploit is simple, but what is the reason the bug is there? Surely the Apple code base is not that simple.

summerlight(10000) 1 day ago [-]

After observing its endless flow of security and reliability bugs, I begin to think that the recent decline of Apple's overall software quality over the several years is probably a more of systematic problem.


Looks like Federighi agrees with this diagnosis and tries to improve the overall development process but not sure if it can be really improved without changing the famous secretive corporate culture. At the level of Apple's software complexity, you cannot really design and write a quality software without involving many experts' eyes. And I have been complained by my friends at Apple about how hard to get high level contexts of their works and do a cross-team collaboration.

And IMO, this systematic degradation of the software quality coincides with Bertrand's leaving, who had allowed relatively open culture at least within Apple's software division. I'm not an insider, so this is just a pure guess though.

NightlyDev(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

'At the level of Apple's software complexity'

This defenitly wasn't complex in any shape or form. This was very basic.

cmauniada(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Easiest $100k ever made?

YetAnotherNick(10000) 2 days ago [-]

And the 'Won $100000 from apple's bug bounty program' in CV is enough to raise the salary by $100000

jagged-chisel(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> This bug could have resulted in a full account takeover of user accounts on that third party application irrespective of a victim having a valid Apple ID or not.

The headline makes me think the entire problem lies with Apple, when that's not the case.

saagarjha(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This seems very much like Apple's bug, to the extent that they paid out a $100k bug bounty?

lostmyoldone(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This one rests squarely on Apple, as it was their auth service that contained the bug.

While an application could potentially (not that I know exactly how in this case) further verify the received token, that verification is exactly what an authentication service is supposed to provide, hence the responsibility absolutely rests on Apple who provides the service.

mazeltovvv(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This is an amazing bug, I am indeed surprised this happened in such a critical protocol. My guess is that nobody must have clearly specified the protocol, and anyone would have been able to catch that in an abstracted english spec.

If this is not the issue, then the implementation might be too complex for people to compare it with the spec (gap between the theory and the practice). I would be extremely interested in a post mortem from Apple.

I have a few follow up questions.

1. seeing how simple the first JWT request is, how can Apple actually authenticate the user at this point?

2. If Apple does not authenticate the user for the first request, how can they check that this bug wasn't exploited?

3. Anybody can explain what this payload is?

{ 'iss': 'https://appleid.apple.com', 'aud': 'com.XXXX.weblogin', 'exp': 158XXXXXXX, 'iat': 158XXXXXXX, 'sub': 'XXXX.XXXXX.XXXX', 'c_hash': 'FJXwx9EHQqXXXXXXXX', 'email': '[email protected]', // or '[email protected]' 'email_verified': 'true', 'auth_time': 158XXXXXXX, 'nonce_supported': true }

My guess is that c_hash is the hash of the whole payload and it is kept server side.

PunksATawnyFill(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Let's start with the fact that Apple is forcing people to use an E-mail address as a user ID. That's just straight-up stupid.

How many members of the public think that they have to use their E-mail account password as their password for Apple ID and every other amateur-hour site that enforces this dumb rule?

MILLIONS. I would bet a decent amount of money on it. So if any one of these sites is hacked and the user database is compromised, all of the user's Web log-ins that have this policy are wide open.

Then there's the simple fact that everyone's E-mail address is on thousands of spammers' lists. A simple brute-force attack using the top 100 passwords is also going to yield quite a trove, I'd imagine.

Apple IDs didn't originally have to be E-mail addresses. They're going backward.

sdhankar(10000) 2 days ago [-]

The bug is not in the protocol. The bug is about the extra value addition that apple was doing by letting the user choose any other email address. 1. The account take over happens on the third party sites that use the apple login. 2. This seems like a product request to add value to user by providing a relay email address of a user's choice. From the report- `I found I could request JWTs for any Email ID from Apple and when the signature of these tokens was verified using Apple's public key, they showed as valid.`

It's not a bug with protocol or security algorithm. A lock by itself does not provides any security if its not put in the right place.

m_herrlich(10000) 1 day ago [-]

It's exploitable through apple's web-based login flow used by web sites and Android devices. There are multiple round trips between the user and apple, and state is passed over the wire. The state could be modified at a certain point in the flow to cause the final result (the JWT) to be compromised. The flow is still the same, they seem to have fixed it entirely by adding checks server-side.

arcdigital(10000) 2 days ago [-]

For #3 it's part of the JWT ID Token. Take a look at https://openid.net/specs/openid-connect-core-1_0.html#Hybrid...

guessmyname(759) 2 days ago [-]

All your questions can be answered by reading "Sign in with Apple REST API" [1][2]:

1. User clicks or touches the "Sign in with Apple" button

2. App or website redirects the user to Apple's authentication service with some information in the URL including the application ID (aka. OAuth Client ID), Redirect URL, scopes (aka. permissions) and an optional state parameter

3. User types their username and password and if correct Apple redirects them back to the "Redirect URL" with an identity token, authorization code, and user identifier to your app

4. The identity token is a JSON Web Token (JWT) and contains the following claims:

• iss: The issuer-registered claim key, which has the value https://appleid.apple.com.

• sub: The unique identifier for the user.

• aud: Your client_id in your Apple Developer account.

• exp: The expiry time for the token. This value is typically set to five minutes.

• iat: The time the token was issued.

• nonce: A String value used to associate a client session and an ID token. This value is used to mitigate replay attacks and is present only if passed during the authorization request.

• nonce_supported: A Boolean value that indicates whether the transaction is on a nonce-supported platform. If you sent a nonce in the authorization request but do not see the nonce claim in the ID token, check this claim to determine how to proceed. If this claim returns true you should treat nonce as mandatory and fail the transaction; otherwise, you can proceed treating the nonce as optional.

• email: The user's email address.

• email_verified: A Boolean value that indicates whether the service has verified the email. The value of this claim is always true because the servers only return verified email addresses.

• c_hash: Required when using the Hybrid Flow. Code hash value is the base64url encoding of the left-most half of the hash of the octets of the ASCII representation of the code value, where the hash algorithm used is the hash algorithm used in the alg Header Parameter of the ID Token's JOSE Header. For instance, if the alg is HS512, hash the code value with SHA-512, then take the left-most 256 bits and base64url encode them. The c_hash value is a case sensitive string

[1] https://developer.apple.com/documentation/sign_in_with_apple...

[2] https://developer.apple.com/documentation/sign_in_with_apple...

playpause(3740) 2 days ago [-]

If the bug is as simple as everyone is saying, why hasn't it been discovered until now?

playpause(3740) 1 day ago [-]

To the downvoters, this was an honest question from someone who wants to understand the situation better.

hank_z(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Wow, this bug is incredibly simple but severe. I'm wondering how did Bhavuk Jain find it

alfalfasprout(10000) 2 days ago [-]

honestly I'm not surprised people didn't run into it during testing... you make a test email account and get a signin token for it. And then realize wait... how does apple know I own that email??

cfors(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Wow. That's almost inexcusable, especially due to the requirement of forcing iOS apps to implement this. If they didn't extend the window (from originally April 2020 -> July 2020) so many more apps would have been totally exploitable from this.

After this, they should remove the requirement of Apple Sign in. How do you require an app to implement this with such a ridiculous zero day?

driverdan(1617) 2 days ago [-]

> That's almost inexcusable

No, it's completely inexcusable. There should never be such a simple, major security vulnerability like this. Overlooking something this basic is incompetence.

yreg(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I believe the deadline is June 30. [0]

[0] - https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=03262020b

thephyber(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I'm of the mind that just about any security bug is "excusable" if it passed a good faith effort by a qualified security audit team and the development process is in place to minimize such incidents.

The problem I have is that I can't tell what their processes are beyond the generic wording on this page[1]

[1] support.apple.com/guide/security/introduction-seccd5016d31/web

afrcnc(3786) 2 days ago [-]

Replace 'zero-day' with 'privately reported security bug for which I got $100k'

That's not how zero-day works

saagarjha(10000) 2 days ago [-]

It was a zero day up until the first report was made.

earth2mars(4419) 2 days ago [-]

'A lot of developers have integrated Sign in with Apple since it is mandatory for applications that support other social logins' -- How pathetic Apple is to force their own service on developers!!

wmichelin(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Why are you surprised? They force you to use the App Store. They force you to process payments through their systems. They force you to comply with many things. How is this any different?

NicoJuicy(386) 2 days ago [-]

Perhaps slightly related that finding Apple zero days was less bounty award than finding Android zero days.

I think we can wrap up the security and anonymous part that Apple has been claiming for their overpriced devices.

matchbok(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Overpriced? The average android phones cost the same as iPhone. That argument is tried and not relevant anymore.

Plus, iPhones actually work longer than a year.

saagarjha(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Wrong exploit target.

tyrion(4159) 2 days ago [-]

How is this something that can happen? I mean, the only responsibility of an 'authentication' endpoint is to release a JWT authenticating the current user.

At least from the writeup, the bug seems so simple that it is unbelievable that it could have passes a code review and testing.

I suspect things were maybe not as simple as explained here, otherwise this is at the same incompetence level as storing passwords in plaintext :O.

enitihas(3615) 2 days ago [-]

Apple has had more simple 'unbelievable' bugs, e.g

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15800676 (Anyone can login as root without any technical effort required)

And to top it off (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15828767)

Apple keeps having all sorts of very simple 'unbelievable' bugs.

randomfool(4122) 2 days ago [-]

The only thing I can think of is some 'test mode' override which inadvertently got enabled in production.

1. Don't add these.

2. If you must add something, structure it so it can only exist in test-only binaries.

3. If you really really need to add a 'must not enable in prod' flag then you must also continuously monitor prod to ensure that it is not enabled.

Really hoping they follow up with a root-cause explanation.

Jaxkr(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Apple has really lost their touch, software quality has declined dramatically

DethNinja(10000) 1 day ago [-]

This is basically bad coding, I never used OAuth system but you are supposed to just validate token, not any additional incoming data as number one rule of distributed systems is "never trust the client".

They basically made a huge fundamental design mistake.

mkagenius(2108) 1 day ago [-]

> code review and testing.

Sometime code review is just 'Please change the name of this function' and testing is just testing the positive cases not the negative ones. Yes, even in companies like apple and google.

fulldecent2(4389) 1 day ago [-]

I found a customer data leak on their homepage.

Took about two years to fix. Gave me credit. No money.

I'm not surprised here.

donmcronald(10000) 2 days ago [-]

My guess is that it has to do with that private relay because OAuth isn't too complex by itself. During the OAuth flow they probably collect the user preference, (if needed) go out to the relay service and get a generated email, and POST back to their own service with the preferred email to use in the token.

If that's it, it's about as bad as doing password authentication in JavaScript and passing authenticated=true as a request parameter.

Edit: Looking at the OAuth picture in the article, my guess would be like adding a step in between 1 and 2 where the server says 'what email address do you want here' and the (client on the) user side is responsible for interacting with the email relay service and posting back with a preferred email address. Or the server does it but POSTS back to the same endpoint which means the user could just include whatever they want right from the start.

The only thing that makes me think I might not be right is that doing it like that is just way too dumb.

AND I'm guessing a bunch of Apple services probably use OAuth amongst themselves, so this might be the worst authentication bug of the decade. The $100k is a nice payday for the researcher, but I bet the scope of the damage that could have been done was MASSIVE.

Edit 2: I still don't understand why the token wouldn't mainly be linked to a subject that's a user id. Isn't 'sub' the main identifier in a JWT? Maybe it's just been too long and I don't remember right.

Ronnie76er(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Just want to mention something about the id_token provided. I'm on my phone, so I don't have apples implementation handy, but in OIDC, the relying party (Spotify for example) is supposed to use the id_token to verify the user that is authenticated, specifically the sub claim in the jwt id_token.


It's likely (although like others have noted, this is scant on details), that this value was correct and represented the authenticated user.

A relying party should not use the email value to authenticate the user.

Not contesting that this is a bug that should be fixed and a potential security issue, but perhaps not as bad.

Anyone else? Am I reading this right?

m_herrlich(10000) 1 day ago [-]

The apple endpoint returned an apple-signed jwt with an email of the attacker's choice in the sub field. It didn't even have to be an email associated with an apple id. Relying parties verify the id_token against Apple's cert and that is Apple's guarantee that the email is correct.

cfors(10000) 2 days ago [-]

So the way I believe that it works is that the vulnerability was that a valid email is used to generate an Apple signed JWT. The server side validation would be unable to tell that the token wasn't issued in behalf of the user since Apple actually signed it.

catlifeonmars(10000) 1 day ago [-]

It's unclear to me exactly where the vulnerability is given the authors description in "technical details". Does this occur in the implicit flow as well as the code flow? Is the token request unauthenticated? This seems highly unlikely. Or does Sign In With Apple deviate from the Open ID specification in a way that I'm unfamiliar with?

gouggoug(2581) 1 day ago [-]

The author found out that the HTTP endpoint used to generate a JWT token would accept any email and respond with a valid JWT token for that email address.

He could literally send a POST request to that endpoint with arbitrary email addresses and get a valid JWT.

This is clearly explained under the 'BUG' section.

rvz(3458) 2 days ago [-]

> I found I could request JWTs for any Email ID from Apple and when the signature of these tokens was verified using Apple's public key, they showed as valid. This means an attacker could forge a JWT by linking any Email ID to it and gaining access to the victim's account.

Great writeup there. Looks like a Apple JWT bug and the verification went through despite it being 'signed' and 'tamperproof'. Clearly its footguns allowed this to happen, thus JWTs is the gift that keeps on giving to researchers.

What did I just outline days before? [0]. Just don't use JWTs, there are already secure alternatives available.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23315026

arkadiyt(2071) 2 days ago [-]

No one should be using JWT but it's unfair to blame JWT here. Apple wasn't verifying the supplied email address belonged to the signed in user - that's completely outside of the token format they chose.

blntechie(4339) 2 days ago [-]

In the apps I write for my org integrating with the org SSO provider, I treat the JWT tokens mostly like a non-JWT token. Verify the token with the IDP, map the token to a specific user and never relying on the JWT payload user info for the resource auth. It takes additional 0.25s during the login process but has never let me down. As the SSO provider was issuing non-JWT tokens few years back, this was the way we went about making sure the user is who they are saying they are and just stuck with the same approach when they moved to JWT tokens.

quesera(4427) 2 days ago [-]

Your earlier comment, and your comment today, are both baseless.

They demonstrate no issues with JWTs. There are issues with JWTs, but you have not hit on any of them.

outime(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Wow, I'm in shock. How could Apple let this one slip in? When I was a junior fullstack I had to design a very similar system and this was one of the very basic checks that I had in mind back then. I don't know how could anyone excuse this very basic bug in such critical service.

enitihas(3615) 2 days ago [-]

Apple has let all sorts of things slip in which seem unbelievable.

e.g https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15800676 and


So I don't get shocked anymore seeing Apple security issues.

Historical Discussions: I wrote Task Manager and I just remembered something (May 25, 2020: 826 points)

(826) I wrote Task Manager and I just remembered something

826 points 7 days ago by notRobot in 960th position

old.reddit.com | Estimated reading time – 6 minutes | comments | anchor

Figured I should write this stuff down before I forget it all, and where better for TaskManager than r/techsupport! If there's any appetite for this, I'll expand on it! I don't blog, so here goes...

Some Task Manager lore: I'm the Microsoft (Redmond, '93) developer that wrote TaskMgr at home in my den in about 1994 and then the NT silverback devs let me check it into the main tree even though I was a greenhorn at the time. So that meant I got to bring it into work and polish it up and make it an official part of Windows, where it remains to this day. So I got to define my own day job, actually, which was nice! I don't know if it's still like that, but great culture and people.

This is all based on XP, as I left long ago, but it's still the same core app underneath. In no particular order:

- If Task Manager ever hangs or crashes, start another by pressing ctrl-shift-esc. Winlogon will look for an existing instance and try to revive it for up to 10 seconds. If the old Taskmgr doesn't start making sense by responding with a secret code within that time, another one will be launched. That way, you're never without a Taskmgr as long as there are some resources available.

- Task Manager will load in reduced mode if resources are short, like only loading the Processes page if that's what's needed to get going. It's one of the very few apps that won't just 'fail and bail' when things go wrong.

- If Task Manager ever becomes internally corrupted, kill/close it. Restart it while holding down CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT, and Task Manager will reset ALL internal settings to factory fresh if it sees that key combo at startup. Same works for every app I've written, btw, I think!

- If all your titlebars disappear and you just have a graph, double-click dead client space to switch back to normal mode. This no-titlebar mode is a mode I added to follow the NT clock, where you could remove borders as well, but it confused more people than it ever helped I'm sure!

- I initially drew the meters as 7-segment LEDs but that wasn't localizable to all cultures (How do you do a right-to-left reading 7-segment LED for Saudi Arabia?) so they only lasted for one version or so.

- CTRL-SHIFT-ESC will launch Taskmgr without any help from the Shell, so if the Shell/Explorer is dead use this key combo to bring up TM and then reset/restart the shell. Even if your tray is missing and gone, this combo should start it.

- If the shell can't start something or is hung, try Task Manager. It has a mode where it will load without ANY references to the shell32.dll and allow you to start programs like CMD.EXE without the start menu.

- You can find the binary for any executing process in the process table by right clicking and pick 'Show File Location'. You can also search it online, but I don't know if they have useful info for much.

- There should be nothing that TaskMgr can't kill - it will even escalate privilege and (if you have it) enable debug privilege to attach to and kill apps that way if needed. If TM can't kill it, you've got a kernel problem.

- A lot of people don't seem to know you can add many additional columns, remove others, drag them around to reorder, etc.

- The reason there's a Window class called 'DavesFrameWndProc' is because to get flicker-free resizing I needed group boxes to not try to paint on one another, so subclass them, give them their own wndproc, and enabling WS_CLIPSIBLINGS during WM_CREATE. At least I think so!

- TM is one of the apps I'm most proud of because it is probably the first or at least most visually complicated app to ever be fully resizable in all dimensions without any flicker up till then. I was hardcore about memory and flicker in my day, so it was under 100K for the exe and never flashed or crashed, that was my thing! Having the GDI32 and User32 guys down the hall sure helped.

I also wrote/ported Space Cadet pinball, zip folders, worked on start menu, shell, calc, ole32, product activation, and some other stuff. I was in MS-DOS before that but I doubt anyone is still supporting MS-DOS!

Edit: Looks like comments have been locked, so I'll update this one time with some answers to the most interesting/common questions below!

- On the command line, I'm stumped, as I don't remember command line args to it at all!

- On Space Cadet, yes, you can run it on Windows 10, but I doubt it's official or legal, so will point you at your favorite search engine for that one, but it's easy. And on Space Cadet, reminder that Maxis did the very original (M. Ridgeway) and mine was just a rewrite in 32-bit portable C using their art. That way it ran on the PowerPC, Alpha, and MIPS as well. And yes, in the original there is a 'God Mode' where you can drag the ball around, click on targets, etc. Search is your friend there as well.

- On what I'm doing these days, I volunteer to teach kids to program at school, or used to until recently, so now I'm mostly coding and working on my coding channel, which you can follow here: https://bit.ly/36wDLJK and I also restore old musclecars, pickups, etc. So yes, I still code every day!

- On the notion that there are some things that Taskmgr can't kill, there were post-XP for sure but they were intentional limits. I remember something about journalists making news by using TM to kill the root winlogon session, for example, which would bugcheck the machine intentionally. But the fact you could bluescreen NT didn't look good, I suspect, so they likely started to protect people from themselves by disallowing killing win32k.sys and other essential components.

- Thanks to the mods for being flexible on this one!

All Comments: [-] | anchor

screenbeard(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This makes me wonder if there's anything that can be made to behave this way on Linux? I had an issue with Gnome freezing on me 100% last night with seemingly no recourse than a hard reboot over and over until a full rebuild. Something deeply embedded like Task Manager would have been great to try and resolve the issue. Switching virtual consoles was broken too and as far as I know there's no way to cut through a problem like this.

dcminter(2152) 6 days ago [-]

Not really similar, but in some circumstances the Sys Rq commands may help:


bobbydreamer(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Nice. I open task manager everyday. I wish this dude has written VSCode

vezycash(235) 7 days ago [-]

I wish he'd been in charge of Metro, UWP, Univeral apps and all of its reincarnations. They'd have been fast, lean, worked better with keyboard (even keyboard only). And wouldn't have so much whitespace.

Wonder if he'd have made Explorer better.

AareyBaba(4036) 7 days ago [-]

I curse the MS developer/s who wrote the peep show listboxes: those non-resizable scrolling list boxes that display long lists in a peep hole that is just a few items long so you have to scroll endlessly to find what you need. This UI element has remained in the OS since I had hair on my head.

pavlov(2355) 7 days ago [-]

The OP indirectly explains why those listboxes were non-resizable:

"TM is one of the apps I'm most proud of because it is probably the first app to ever be fully resizable in all dimensions without any flicker."

Win32 didn't have an automatic layout engine. Resizing meant drawing your content while new mouse events were firing rapidly. It was hard enough to do flicker-free that Microsoft preferred fixed dialogs where possible.

(To be fair, it's not like resizing is a solved problem even in 2020. For example on macOS, brand new apps ported from iOS using the Catalyst runtime seem to have absolutely terrible resize performance.)

pgrote(1647) 7 days ago [-]

The author asks for an upvote for more inside trivia. Excellent first hand source.

Mod responds, 'Though this could be construed as a PSA, and thus in violation of Rule 8, it's got a lot of valuable info that even I have never seen before. Therefore, I'm going to leave it. /u/daveplreddit , please message the mod team or myself before making any more such posts, and we can discuss how to best move forward.'

Solid moderation to offer a way to keep contributing. Kudos.

mellosouls(4247) 7 days ago [-]

btw just noticed '...that even I have never seen before..'.

The implication of his incredible knowledge makes his allowing the post by the author of Task Manager even more gracious! What a guy!

mellosouls(4247) 7 days ago [-]

My thoughts as well. Awesome gate-keeping effort, give that mod a badge.

EvanAnderson(4112) 7 days ago [-]

More stuff like this needs to be recorded. It saddens me to think how much of this kind of stuff is already lost from earlier times in computing. A lot of interesting stuff like this is captured from the history of the Mac[1] and from Atari[2], but the 'folklore' from so many other companies and products is being lost.

Who are others who are doing this kind of work?

[1] https://www.folklore.org/ [2] https://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/

MacroChip(10000) 6 days ago [-]

A story about WordPerfect from an insider executive https://www.wordplace.com/ap/

arexxbifs(3444) 7 days ago [-]

There's a lot of stuff available but the problem is knowing what to look for.

For example, the book 'Commodore: A Company on the Edge' chronicles quite a bit of Commodore lore, and there are numerous resources for both Amiga and C64 online. Too many to mention, really, and lots of them are heavily specialized. CSDb[0] for the C64 demo and cracking scene, for example.

I also recommend The Early History of Smalltalk[1] by Alan Kay himself and Mark Ferrari's talk[2] on creating pixel art for LucasArts games.

[0] https://csdb.dk/

[1] http://worrydream.com/EarlyHistoryOfSmalltalk/

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcJ1Jvtef0

sergeyfilippov(10000) 7 days ago [-]

The Dream Machine by Mitchell Waldrop [1] is an exceptional book documenting the early times in computing. Being a scientific journalist (Science and Nature magazines), he provides an unbiased account—which is not an easy job, to distill from first-person recollections—from Alan Turing up to the Mac.

And you will read it like you don't know how it's gonna end. Because that's how things happened.

(Really appreciate Patrick Collison and Stripe Press for re-publishing it)

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Machine-M-Mitchell-Waldrop/dp/1...

brundolf(878) 7 days ago [-]

This is a great one: https://www.filfre.net

He did an incredibly thorough nine-part series on the history of Windows from DOS through 3.1 and the antitrust cases. It was fascinating. There's tons of other stuff here too.

mwcampbell(2239) 7 days ago [-]

The Old New Thing blog [1] has a fair amount of Microsoft folklore.

[1]: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/

ritchiea(3354) 7 days ago [-]

There is a bit of 'folklore' here but most of this post is program functionality that should be documented. Really only the details about the window class name and being fully resizeable without flicker are 'folkore' details that go beyond the scope of good documentation.

casselc(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The On the Metal[1] podcast had some absolutely magical interviews for this sort of thing in their first season. I honestly loved them all and there are great stories in each of them, but purely for the folklore aspects I'd highlight the Jeff Rothschild and Tom Lyon episodes.

[1] https://oxide.computer/podcast/

ww520(3453) 7 days ago [-]

That's one scenario where Task Manager can't kill a process. When a full screen game hangs, the graphic mode stuck as well. No amount of Ctr-Shift-Esc or Ctr-Alt-Del will bring Task Manager on to kill the process.

randkyp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Switching to another virtual desktop (Win+Tab) can help if the graphics driver is still working normally. If the driver crashed, you have to wait for TDR to kick in and restart the driver (usually ~5s). That is, if it's able to recover.

nichch(10000) 7 days ago [-]

When Task Manager is the active window you can control it with the arrow keys and view it with alt+tab. Typically the game has "Not Responding" next to it so it's easy to select and kill using the delete key.

rustybolt(10000) 6 days ago [-]

He seems to put in a lot of effort in that little program! Well done.

> There should be nothing that TaskMgr can't kill - it will even escalate privilege and (if you have it) enable debug privilege to attach to and kill apps that way if needed. If TM can't kill it, you've got a kernel problem.

I've run into so many programs I couldn't kill with the task manager that I doubt if this is still true. Just today my laptop was idle and overheating because two different antivirus programs and cortana were each hogging 33% of my CPU... I couldn't kill any of those processes.

prerok(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think it's still not advisable to run two antivirus programs. They will keep competing for the same resources at the same time. I would suggest using just the 'better' one.

Also, a lot of what AV software does goes through kernel. That's the only way to ensure that its work is not preempted and that it can maintain security of the system.

qubex(4207) 6 days ago [-]

Interesting factoid: David Bradley implemented the CTRL-ALT-DEL "three-finger salute" to aid in debugging the original IBM PC way back in 1980 so that he and the development team could soft-reset the machine without needing to endure the slow POST procedure every time.

Apparenly he first considered CTRL-ALT-ESC but rejected the idea because it would be too easy to accidentally press all three of those keys if somebody/something mashed the left-hand side of the keyboard, so he replaced ESC with somethin on the far right (DEL). His criteria were keys that that wouldn't cause a character to print on the screen.

Seems like the implementer of Task Manager picked up wjere he left off and chose CTRL-ALT-ESC anyway. Whether it's some kind of homage, a coincidence, similar thinking constrained by the three finger salute having already been taken, or something else, is anybody's guess. I'd really like to know how he came up with that key combination (and whether he considered that it could be accidentally triggered more easily than CTRL-ALT-DEL though by this time BIOS calls could be intercepted thanks to 386 Enhanced Mode and therefore you wouldn't simply instantly reboot your machine).

feikname(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Task Manager uses CTRL-SHIFT-ESC to open, not CTRL-ALT-ESC.

You can also reset it to defaults by pressing CTRL-ALT-SHIFT beforing clicking on its taskbar icon.

layer8(10000) 6 days ago [-]

As the sibling notes, it is Ctrl+Shift+Esc, which was probably chosen as a variant of the Ctrl+Esc that opens the Start menu.

sebazzz(2738) 6 days ago [-]

> I also wrote Space Cadet pinball, zip folders, product activation, and some other stuff. I was in MS-DOS before that but I doubt anyone is still supporting MS-DOS!

Space Cadet pinball was not written by Microsoft, according to Raymond Chen. [0]

[0]: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20181221-00/?p=10...

pubutil(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think someone in the comments of that thread said Maxis was the original publisher, and looking it up I do see Cinematronics listed as developers.

However, the taskman OP didn't necessarily say that he wrote Space Cadet pinball, he said he "wrote/ported Space Cadet pinball, zip folders, . . ." My money is on him porting SC pinball, not writing it

bmn__(4425) 6 days ago [-]

Article was last changed 16 hours ago. For me, it reads 'I also wrote/ported Space Cadet pinball [...]'.

I am replying 14 minutes after you. Please explain.

matheusmoreira(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Task Manager will load in reduced mode if resources are short, like only loading the Processes page if that's what's needed to get going. It's one of the very few apps that won't just 'fail and bail' when things go wrong.

Nice example of how to degrade gracefully instead of simply crashing the process. These days most programs seem to assume memory allocation never fails. Some GNU libraries kill the process in those cases!

throwaway894345(4427) 6 days ago [-]

In most cases it doesn't make economic sense to implement graceful failure. OOMs are rare (unless you are a Java programmer).

twic(3590) 7 days ago [-]

> I also wrote Space Cadet pinball

Talk about burying the lede!

xigency(4022) 7 days ago [-]

I think it would be better described as a port.

voltagex_(1652) 7 days ago [-]

'- There should be nothing that TaskMgr can't kill - it will even escalate privilege and (if you have it) enable debug privilege to attach to and kill apps that way if needed. If TM can't kill it, you've got a kernel problem.'

I've seen stuff that taskmgr can't kill - I haven't ever seen it use any debugging privileges that I know of.

CawCawCaw(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I would guess that protected processes with at least Tcb level (which denies PROCESS_TERMINATE) can't be killed in this way.

randkyp(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I've had better luck killing such 'unkillable' processes with taskkill.exe /f /im program.exe instead.

brynjolf(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Suspended apps don't show up and have to be killed through wmic sometimes

toyg(3713) 6 days ago [-]

I suspect the author had moved on from MS by the time XPSP2 dramatically restricted security privileges in Windows.

muststopmyths(10000) 7 days ago [-]

like he said, kernel problem. Most likely a driver holding on to a handle opened by a process by not cancelling I/O properly. to my recollection the most common case, but could be similar other reasons.

aeyes(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Is it good or bad that I remember most of these features from my days on Windows 95? We have come a long way, I hardly ever have to open Task Manager nowadays.

thrower123(3199) 7 days ago [-]

I've got it open 24/7. There's enough misbehaving stuff that I have to use day-to-day that spikes off the CPU or runaway leaking memory on a regular basis...

I miss the Vista/7 desktop widgets that you used to be able to use to keep an eye on this stuff without having TaskManager open.

traskjd(4044) 6 days ago [-]

I thought the same but recently used Windows 95 and task manager was just a list of running apps you could switch to.

Resource meter was to track resource usage.

Suspect we suffer the same brain fade and the task manager we remember was either windows 98 or XP type timeframes.

cheschire(10000) 7 days ago [-]

You must not have to put up with corporate cyber security professionals using tanium and HIPS to hump your hard drive for hours like a monkey on a football.

I use TM multiple times a day.

mwcampbell(2239) 7 days ago [-]

Now I'd like to know why Task Manager got rewritten in Windows 8. I liked the old one better; it was lighter and faster than the current one.

Disclosure: I work at Microsoft, on the Windows accessibility team. But I didn't join until a couple years after Windows 10's initial release.

gruez(3932) 7 days ago [-]

>Now I'd like to know why Task Manager got rewritten in Windows 8

* displays multiple cpus better

* graphs autoscale, so the network utilization graph isn't stuck at showing everything in 1gbit scale

* multi process programs (eg. chrome) are grouped together, so it's easy to tell how much resources it's actuality using

bigbizisverywyz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Somehow I had the impression that Task Manager was rewritten when the guys from Sysinternals joined MS (who had the excellent Process Explorer app).

And with that in mind, I actually think the new one is better.

deadso(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Why do you think it got rewritten? Obviously the UI has changed, but the reddit post indicating that it can run without shell32.dll makes me think it was rewritten with a nicely decoupled UI and that is what got updated in later iterations.

If you work at MS, it would be cool to find the last person to push a change to that code base and ask them. Or maybe we can reply to the reddit post.

asveikau(10000) 7 days ago [-]

Fits in with the rest of windows 8, and later 10. Lots of rewrites and new UIs, many of the replacements are not up to par with the original.

throwaway_pdp09(10000) 7 days ago [-]

I'm tempted to reply it's because MS are spiteful tossers but actually (despite that being true) there's a bigger problem. MS used to be pretty good at interfaces - true, they really did - but on & after win8 they just forgot that UIs are not there to look 'cool' and 'awesome' but to simply to help users get shit done.

jedieaston(4051) 7 days ago [-]

I like new taskmgr more, it actually kills applications without having to go into detailed view and remember what the exe is called. Old taskmgr would bring up the "Application is not responding, what do you want to do about it?" screen, which is useless by time you bring up taskmgr and the app is hanging.

Historical Discussions: Why is Kubernetes getting so popular? (May 29, 2020: 740 points)

(745) Why is Kubernetes getting so popular?

745 points 3 days ago by a7b3fa in 3187th position

stackoverflow.blog | Estimated reading time – 16 minutes | comments | anchor

At the time of this article, Kubernetes is about six years old, and over the last two years, it has risen in popularity to consistently be one of the most loved platforms. This year, it comes in as the number three most loved platform. If you haven't heard about Kubernetes yet, it's a platform that allows you to run and orchestrate container workloads.

Containers began as a Linux kernel process isolation construct that encompasses cgroups from 2007 and namespaces from 2002. Containers became more of a thing when LXC became available in 2008, and Google developed its own internal 'run everything in containers mechanism' called Borg. Fast forward to 2013, and Docker was released and completely popularized containers for the masses. At the time, Mesos was the primary tool for orchestrating containers, however, it wasn't as widely adopted. Kubernetes was released in 2015 and quickly became the de facto container orchestration standard.

To try to understand the popularity of Kubernetes, let's consider some questions. When was the last time developers could agree on the way to deploy production applications? How many developers do you know who run tools as is out of the box? How many cloud operations engineers today don't understand how applications work? We'll explore the answers in this article.

Infrastructure as YAML

Coming from the world of Puppet and Chef, one of the big shifts with Kubernetes has been the move from infrastructure as code towards infrastructure as data—specifically, as YAML. All the resources in Kubernetes that include Pods, Configurations, Deployments, Volumes, etc., can simply be expressed in a YAML file. For example:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: site
    app: web
    - name: front-end
      image: nginx
        - containerPort: 80

This representation makes it easier for DevOps or site reliability engineers to fully express their workloads without the need to write code in a programming language like Python, Ruby, or Javascript.

Other benefits from having your infrastructure as data include:

  • GitOps or Git Operations Version Control. With this approach, you can keep all your Kubernetes YAML files under git repositories, which allows you to know precisely when a change was made, who made the change, and what exactly changed. This leads to more transparency across the organization and improves efficiency by avoiding ambiguity as to where members need to go to find what they need. At the same time, it can make it easier to automatically make changes to Kubernetes resources by just merging a pull request.
  • Scalability. Having resources defined as YAML makes it super easy for cluster operators to change one or two numbers in a Kubernetes resource to change the scaling behavior. Kubernetes has Horizontal Pod Autoscalers to help you identify a minimum and a maximum number of pods a specific deployment would need to have to be able to handle low and high traffic times. For example, if you are running a deployment that may need more capacity because traffic suddenly increases, you could change maxReplicas from 10 to 20:
apiVersion: autoscaling/v2beta2
kind: HorizontalPodAutoscaler
  name: myapp
  namespace: default
    apiVersion: apps/v1
    kind: Deployment
    name: myapp-deployment
  minReplicas: 1
  maxReplicas: 20
  - type: Resource
      name: cpu
        type: Utilization
        averageUtilization: 50
  • Security and Controls. YAML is a great way to validate what and how things get deployed in Kubernetes. For example, one of the significant concerns when it comes to security is whether your workloads are running as a non-root user. We can make use of tools like conftest, a YAML/JSON validator, together with the Open Policy Agent, a policy validator to check that the SecurityContext of your workloads doesn't allow a container to run as a root. For that, users can use a simple Open Policy Agent rego policy like this:
package main
deny[msg] {
  input.kind = 'Deployment'
  not input.spec.template.spec.securityContext.runAsNonRoot = true
  msg = 'Containers must not run as root'
  • Cloud Provider Integrations. One of the major trends in the tech industry is to run workloads in the public cloud providers. With the help of the cloud-provider component, Kubernetes allows every cluster to integrate with the cloud provider it's running on. For example, if a user is running an application in Kubernetes in AWS and wants that application to be accessible through a service, the cloud provider helps automatically create a LoadBalancer service that will automatically provision an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer to forward the traffic to the application pods.


Kubernetes is very extensible, and developers love that. There are a set of existing resources like Pods, Deployments, StatefulSets, Secrets, ConfigMaps, etc. However, users and developers can add more resources in the form of Custom Resource Definitions. For example, if we'd like to define a CronTab resource, we could do it with something like this:

apiVersion: apiextensions.k8s.io/v1
kind: CustomResourceDefinition
  name: crontabs.my.org
  group: my.org
    - name: v1
      served: true
      storage: true
          type: object
              type: object
                  type: string
                  pattern: '^(\d+|\*)(/\d+)?(\s+(\d+|\*)(/\d+)?){4}$'
                  type: integer
                  minimum: 1
                  maximum: 10
  scope: Namespaced
    plural: crontabs
    singular: crontab
    kind: CronTab
    - ct

We can create a CronTab resource later with something like this:

apiVersion: 'my.org/v1'
kind: CronTab
  name: my-cron-object
  cronSpec: '* * * * */5'
  image: my-cron-image
  replicas: 5

Another form of Kubernetes extensibility is its ability for developers to write their own Operators, a specific process running in a Kubernetes cluster that follows the control loop pattern. An Operator allows users to automate the management of CRDs (custom resource definitions) by talking to the Kubernetes API.

The community has several tools that allow developers to create their own Operators. One of those tools is the Operator Framework and its Operator SDK. The SDK provides a skeleton for developers to get started creating an operator very quickly. For example, you can get started on its command line with something like this:

$ operator-sdk new my-operator --repo github.com/myuser/my-operator

Which creates the whole boilerplate for your operator including YAML files and Golang code:

| |____manager
| | |____main.go
| |____role.yaml
| |____role_binding.yaml
| |____service_account.yaml
| |____operator.yaml
| |____version.go
| |____bin
| | |____user_setup
| | |____entrypoint
| |____Dockerfile
| |____apis
| | |____apis.go
| |____controller
| | |____controller.go

Then you can add APIs and a controller like this:

$ operator-sdk add api --api-version=myapp.com/v1alpha1 --kind=MyAppService
$ operator-sdk add controller --api-version=myapp.com/v1alpha1 --kind=MyAppService

And finally build and push the operator to your container registry:

$ operator-sdk build your.container.registry/youruser/myapp-operator

If developers need to have even more control, they can modify the boilerplate code in the Golang files. For example, to modify the specifics of the controller, they can make changes to the controller.go file.

Another project, KUDO, allows you to create operators by just using declarative YAML files . For example, an operator for Apache Kafka would be defined with something like this, and it allows users to install a Kafka cluster on top of Kubernetes with a couple of commands:

$ kubectl kudo install zookeeper
$ kubectl kudo install kafka

Then tune it also with another command:

$ kubectl kudo install kafka --instance=my-kafka-name \
            -p ZOOKEEPER_URI=zk-zookeeper-0.zk-hs:2181 \
            -p ZOOKEEPER_PATH=/my-path -p BROKER_CPUS=3000m \
            -p BROKER_COUNT=5 -p BROKER_MEM=4096m \
            -p DISK_SIZE=40Gi -p MIN_INSYNC_REPLICAS=3 \
            -p NUM_NETWORK_THREADS=10 -p NUM_IO_THREADS=20


Over the last few years, Kubernetes has had major releases every three or four months, which means that every year there are three or four major releases. The number of new features being introduced hasn't slowed, evidenced by over 30 different additions and changes in its last release. Furthermore, the contributions don't show signs of slowing down even during these difficult times as indicated by the Kubernetes project Github activity.

The new features allow cluster operators more flexibility when running a variety of different workloads. Software engineers also love to have more controls to deploy their applications directly to production environments.


Another big aspect of Kubernetes popularity is its strong community. For starters, Kubernetes was donated to a vendor-neutral home in 2015 as it hit version 1.0: the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

There is also a wide range of community SIGs (special interest groups) that target different areas in Kubernetes as the project moves forwards. They continuously add new features and make it even more user friendly.

The Cloud Native Foundation also organizes CloudNativeCon/KubeCon, which as of this writing, is the largest ever open-source event in the world. The event, which is normally held up to three times a year, gathers thousands of technologists and professionals who want to improve Kubernetes and its ecosystem as well as make use of some of the new features released every three months.

Furthermore, the Cloud Native Foundation has a Technical Oversight Committee that, together with its SIGs, look at the foundations' new and existing projects in the cloud-native ecosystem. Most of the projects help enhance the value proposition of Kubernetes.

Finally, I believe that Kubernetes would not have the success that it does without the conscious effort by the community to be inclusive to each other and to be welcoming to any newcomers.


One of the main challenges developers face in the future is how to focus more on the details of the code rather than the infrastructure where that code runs on. For that, serverless is emerging as one of the leading architectural paradigms to address that challenge. There are already very advanced frameworks such as Knative and OpenFaas that use Kubernetes to abstract the infrastructure from the developer.

We've shown a brief peek at Kubernetes in this article, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more resources, features, and configurations users can leverage. We will continue to see new open-source projects and technologies that enhance or evolve Kubernetes, and as we mentioned, the contributions and the community aren't going anywhere.

Tags: bulletin, containers, kubernetes, serverless, stackoverflow

All Comments: [-] | anchor

clutchdude(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's not because of the networking stack.

I've yet to meet anyone who can easily explain how the CNI, services, ingresses and pod network spaces all work together.

Everything is so interlinked and complicated that you need to understand vast swathes of kubernetes before you can attach any sort of complexity to the networking side.

I contrast that to it's scheduling and resourcing components which are relatively easy to explain and obvious.

Even storage is starting to move to overcomplication with CSI.

I half jokingly think K8s adoption is driven by consultants and cloud providers hoping to ensure a lock-in with the mechanics of actually deploying workloads on K8s.

mrweasel(4316) 3 days ago [-]

Assuming that like us, you spend the last 10 - 12 years deploying IPv6 and currently running servers on IPv6 only networks, the Kubernetes/Docker network stack is just plain broken. It can be done, but you need to start thinking about stuff like BGP.

Kubernetes should have been IPv6 only, with optional IPv4 ingress controllers.

lallysingh(4296) 3 days ago [-]

'I've yet to meet anyone who can easily explain how the CNI, services, ingresses and pod network spaces all work together.'

Badly! That'll be $500, thanks for your business.

On a serious note, the whole stack is keeping ok-ish coherence considering the number of very different parties putting a ton of work into it.

In a few years' time it'll be the source of many war stories nobody cares about.

p_l(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It helps going from the bottom up, IMO. It's a multi-agent blackboard system with elements of control theory, which is a mouthful, but it essentially builds from smaller blocks up.

Also, after OpenStack, the bar for 'consulting-driven software' is far from reached :)

pojzon(10000) 2 days ago [-]

When you are coming from old sysadmin world and you mastered unix systems architecture and software - what k8s does is very straightforward because its the same you already know.

K8S is extremely complicated for huge swarm of webdevs and java developers that really reqlly dont understand how the stuff they use/code really works.

K8S was supposed to decrease the need for real sysadmins but in my view it actually increased the demand because of all the obscure issues one can face in production if they dont really understand what they are doing with K8S and how it works under the hoods.

Which I find hilarious.

base698(4306) 3 days ago [-]

For the nginx ingress case:

An ingress object creates an nginx/nginx.conf. That nginx server has an IP address which has a round robin IPVS rule. When it gets the request it proxy's to a service ip which then round robins to the container IP.

Ingress -> service -> pod

It is all very confusing but once you look behind the curtain it's straight forward if you know Linux networking and web servers. The cloud providers remove the requirement of needing Linux knowledge.

jonahbenton(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Answer has to include implementation details. No credit if your answer does not reference iptables.

AgentME(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Services create a private internal DNS name that points to one or more pods (which are generally managed by a Deployment unless you're doing something advanced) and may be accessed from within your cluster. Services with Type=NodePort do the same and also allocate one or more ports on each of the hosts which proxies connections to the service inside the cluster. Services with Type=LoadBalancer do the same as Type=NodePort services and also configure a cloud load balancer with a fixed IP address to point to the exposed ports on the hosts.

A single Service with Type=LoadBalancer and one Deployment may be all you need on Kubernetes if you just want all connections from the load balancer immediately forwarded directly to the service.

But if you have multiple different services/deployments that you want as accessible under different URLs on a single IP/domain, then you'll want to use Ingresses. Ingresses let you do things like map specific URL paths to different services. Then you have an IngressController which runs a webserver in your cluster and it automatically uses your Ingresses to figure out where connections for different paths should be forwarded to. An IngressController also lets you configure the webserver to do certain pre-processing on incoming connections, like applying HTTPS, before proxying to your service. (The IngressController itself will usually use a Type=LoadBalancer service so that a load balancer connects to it, and then all of the Ingresses will point to regular Services.)

holidayacct(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Because Google is an advertising company, their search engine controls what people believe in and they also have some good engineers but they are probably not well known. There is very little they couldn't advertise into popularity. Whenever you see overcomplicated software or infrastructure its always a way to waste executive function, create frustration and create unnecessary mental overhead. If the technology you're using isn't making it easier for you to run your infrastructure from memory, reduce the use of executive function and decrease frustration then you should ignore it. Don't fall for the fashion trends.

verdverm(4151) 3 days ago [-]

Please don't criticize, condemn, or complain if you don't have anything constructive to add.

clvx(10000) 3 days ago [-]

In a side note if you were to invest your time in writing operators, would you use kubebuilder or operator-sdk?

vkat(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Both use controller-runtime underneath so there is not much difference between the two. I personally have used both and prefer kubebuilder

harpratap(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Kubebuilder. Operator-sdk is migrating to kubebuilder anyway - https://github.com/kubernetes-sigs/kubebuilder/projects/7

shakil(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Call me biased [1] but K8s will take over the world! Yes you get containers and micro-services and all that good stuff, but now with Anthos [2] its also the best way to achieve multi-cloud and hybrid architectures. What's not to like!

1. I work for GCP 2. https://cloud.google.com/anthos/gke

spyspy(4093) 3 days ago [-]

Is there any benefit of Anthos over deploying straight to GKE if you're already bought into GCP? We've had this debate several times recently and can't come up with a good answer.

zelphirkalt(10000) 3 days ago [-]

In this post it might only be an example, but I don't see anything, that necessitates the use of YAML. All of that could be put in a JSON file, which is far less complex.

YAML should not even be needed for Kubernetes. Configuration should be representable in a purely declarative way, instead of making the YAML mess, with all kinds of references and stuff. Perhaps the configuration specification needs to be re-worked. Many projects using YAML feel to me like a configuration trash can, where you just add more and more stuff, which you haven't thought about.

I once tried moving an already containerized system to Kubernetes for testing, how that would work. It was a nightmare. It was a few years ago, maybe 3 years ago. Documentation was plenty but really sucked. I could not find _any_ documentation of what can be put into that YAML configuration file, what the structure really is. I read tens of pages of documentation, none of it helped me to find, what I needed. Then even to set everything up, to get the Kubernetes running at all also took way too much time and 3 people to figure out and was badly documented. It took multiple hours on at least 2 days. Necessary steps, I still remember, not being listed on one single page in any kind of overview, but somewhere a required step was hidden on another documentation page, that was not even mentioned in the list of steps to take.

Finally having set things up, I had a web interface in front of me, where I was supposed to be able to configure pods or something. Only, that I could not configure everything I had in my already containerized system, via that web interface. It seems that this web interface was only meant for the most basic use cases, where one does not need to provide containers with much configuration. My only remaining option was to upload a YAML file, which was undocumented, as far as I could see back then. That's were I stopped. A horrible experience and I wish not to have it again.

There were also naming issues. There was something called 'Helm'. To me that sounds like an Emacs package. But OK I guess we have these naming issues everywhere in software development. Still bugs me though, as it feels like Google pushes down its naming of things into many people's minds and sooner or later, most people will associate Google things with names, which have previously meant different things.

There were 1 or 2 layers of abstraction in Kubernetes, which I found completely useless for my use-case and wished they were not there, but of course I had to deal with them, as the system is not flexible to allow me to only have layers I need. I just wanted to run my containers on multiple machines, balancing the load and automatically restarting on crashes, you know, all the nice things Erlang offers already for ages.

I feel like Kubernetes is the Erlang ecosystem for the poor or uneducated, who've never heard of other ways, with features poorly copied.

If I really needed to bring a system to multiple servers and scale and load balance, I'd rather look into something like Nomad. Seems much simpler and also offers load balancing over multiple machines and can run docker containers and normal applications as well, plus I was able to set it up in less than an hour or so, having to servers in the system.

kinghajj(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You absolutely can use just JSON with Kubernetes and not YAML. The K8s backend services store configuration in JSON and the API protocols use JSON. There's even a K8s configuration management tool called Ksonnet that uses an extended, JSON-like language with full program-ability, instead of the template mess of Helm charts.

ridruejo(1898) 3 days ago [-]

It makes a bit more sense if you see Kubernetes as the new Linux: a common foundation that the industry agrees on, and that you can build other abstractions on top of. In particular Kubernetes is the Linux Kernel, while we are in the early days of discovering what the 'Linux distro' equivalent is, which will make it much more friendly / usable to a wider audience

verdverm(4151) 3 days ago [-]

Second this!

moduspwnens14(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is exactly how we see it at my company.

Likewise, Linux is also a confusing mess of different parts and nonsensical abstractions when you first approach it. It does take some time to understand how to use it, and in particular how to do effective troubleshooting when things aren't working the way you expect.

But I 100% agree--I think it's the new Linux. In 5-10 years, it'll be the 'go to', if not sooner.

aprdm(4183) 3 days ago [-]

In my humble opinion because there is so much money and marketing behind it. If you go attend the OSS summit all the cloud players are sending evangelizers and having the whole conference to be about Kbuernetes.

Then a lot of people drink the koolaid and apply it everywhere / feel they're behind if they aren't in Kubernetes.

We are not in Kubernetes and have multiple datacenters with thousands of VMs/containers. We are doing just fine with the boring consul/systemd/ansible set up we have. We also have somethings running in Containers but not much.

Funnily enough at the OSS summit I had a couple of chats with people in the big companies (AWS, Netflix, etc.) and they themselves have the majority of their workflows in boring VMs. Just like us.

takeda(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There is quite a bit of latency added whenever you use a containers.

IMO containers are greatest for stateless apps that don't require much resources, but having a dedicated machine for them is a waste.

maxdo(10000) 3 days ago [-]

if you're on microservices, it's no brainer. You'll need an army of DevOps with semi-custom scripts to maintain the same. It's really automating a lot of stuff. Helm + Kubernetes let our company's ability to launch microservices with no DevOps involved. You just provide the name of the project, push to git and GitLab CI will pick it up and do the stuff by the template. Even junior developers in our team are doing that from day one. Isn't that a future we dream about? If you have too much load it will autoscale pod, if node is overloaded it will autoscale node pool, if you have a memory leak it will restart the app so you can sleep at night. I can provide a million examples that make our 100+ microservices management so much simpler. No Linux kungfu, 0 bash scrips, no SSH, and interaction with OS, not a single devops role for 15+ developers team.

Our management of cluster is just a simple 'add more CPU or memory to this nodepool', sometimes change a nodepool name for deployment for certain service. All done simple cloud management UI. For those who call microservices fancy stuff. No, we are a startup with fast delivery, deploy cycle. We have tons of subproject , integrations, and our main languages are nodejs, golang and python. Some of these are not good at multi-thread so no way to run it as a monolith. The other one is used only when it's needed for high performance. So All together Microservices + Kubernetes + Helm + good CI + proper pubsub gives our backend extremely simple fast cycle of development, delivery, and what's important flexibility in terms of language/framework/version.

What is also good is the installation of services. With helm I can install high availability redis setup for free in 5 minutes. The same level of setup will cost you several thousand dollars for devops work and further maintenance and update. With k8s it's simple helm install stable/redis-ha

So yeah, I can totally understand some simple projects don't need k8s. I can understand you can build something is Scala and Java slowly but with high quality as a monolith. You don't need k8s for 3 services. I can understand some old DevOps don't want to learn new things and they complain about a tool that reduces the need of these guys. Otherwise, you really need k8s.

p_l(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I will happily use k8s for that big monolith.

Because soon from one program on a dev server, there is a need to run databases, log gathering, multiply the previous to do parallel testing in clean environment, etc. etc.

Just running supporting tools for a small project where there was insistence on self-hosting open source tools instead of throwing money at slack and the like? K3s would have saved me weeks of work :|

kgraves(3250) 3 days ago [-]

As a manager i've heard in all my meetings about 'kubernetes', had a look at it and have always been questioning the cost to manage this.

What is the cheapest way to setup a production kubernetes on a cloud provider?

csunbird(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Digital ocean has a managed kubernetes service that does not cost anything except the resources you use. The master node and management is free, you only pay the node pools and stuff like block storages (their version of EBS) or load balancers.

Turbots(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Google kubernetes engine offers small, fully managed clusters for like 200-300 bucks a month

gobins(10000) 3 days ago [-]

At this point, most big cloud providers cost almost the same but in terms of maturity, google's offering is still ahead. I have not tried out digital ocean's hosted solution, but the might be the cheapest.

yalogin(4087) 3 days ago [-]

Google created it but did they get any benefit from it? Did it help in getting any business for GCP?

jonahbenton(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Two different questions.

To the first- yes, enormously so. If you know your history, it is the Linux to the Microsoft that is AWS- except backed by a business. (Google is maybe RedHat in that story, but the analogy is more inaccurate than accurate).

To the second, not really. GCP is mostly turning into an ML play.

gatvol(10000) 3 days ago [-]

K8s is great - if you are solving infrastructure at a certain scale. That scale being a Bank, Insurance Company or mature digital company. If you're not in that class then it's largely overkill/overcomplex IMO when you can simply use Terraform plus managed Docker host like ECS and attach cloud-native managed services.

Again the cross cloud portability is a non starter, unless you're really at scale.

verdverm(4151) 3 days ago [-]

k8s as a bunch of other benefits beside just scaling and you can run a single node cluster with the same uptime characteristics as your proposed setup and get all these benefits.

And, we only have to learn one complex system and avoid learning each cloud, one of which decided product names which have little relation to what they do was a good idear

twblalock(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> you can simply use Terraform plus managed Docker host like ECS and attach cloud-native managed services

That's not actually simple at all, and you would need to build a lot of the other stuff that Kubernetes gives you for free.

Kubernetes gives you an industry standard platform with first-class cloud vendor support. If you roll your own solution with ECS, what you are really doing is making a crappy in-house Kubernetes.

p_l(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Hard disagree.

What k8s really scales is the developer/operator power. Yes, it is complex, but pretty much all of it is necessary complexity. At small enough scale with enough time, you can dig a hole with your fingers - but a proper tool will do wonders to how much digging you can do. And a lot of that complexity is present even when you do everything the 'old' way, it's just invisible toil.

And a lot of the calculus changes when 'managed services' stop being cost effective or aren't an option at all, or you just want to be able to migrate elsewhere (that can be at low scale too, because of being price conscious).

pea(4224) 3 days ago [-]

Do you guys think k8s is doing a job which previously the jvm did in enterprise? i.e. if everything is on the jvm, building distributed systems doesn't require a network of containers.

Can k8s success be explained partly due to the need for a more polyglot stack?

zmmmmm(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I think the JVM is more akin to Docker in that regard. K8s sits above that.

verdverm(4151) 3 days ago [-]

How do you roll over a fleet of JVM applications with zero downtime and maintain rollback revision history?

Is it as easy as two simple commands?

LoSboccacc(4409) 2 days ago [-]

the main thing I like about them: configuration. it's trivial to split integration configuration from applicative configuration from deployment configuration, it's trivial to version configurations,

it's not unique in what it does, but even with puppet and the likes you always had this or that exception because networking, provider images varying selinux defaults etc.

kuberent on it's own already covered most ground, but configmap and endpoints really tie it together in a super convenient package

it's not without pitfalls, like ms aks steal 2gb from each node so you have to be aware of that and plan accordingly, but still.

cinquemb(1304) 2 days ago [-]

> it's not without pitfalls, like ms aks steal 2gb from each node so you have to be aware of that and plan accordingly, but still.

This is what I hate alot about things like k8, docker, etc is the memory profile... pretty much makes it a non starter if you want to run it on anything low cost.

claytongulick(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I completely understand the use case for Kubernetes when you're dealing with languages that require a lot of environment config, like Python.

I've never really thought it was that useful for (for example) nodejs, where you can just npm install your whole environment and deps, and off you go.

frompdx(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I have mostly used Kubernetes for Node.js apps and find it very useful for the following reasons:

- Automatic scaling of pods and cluster VMs to meet demand.

- Flexible automated process monitoring via liveness/readiness probes.

- Simple log streaming across horizontally scaled pods running the same app/serving the same function using stern.

- Easy and low cost metrics aggregation with Prometheus and Grafana.

- Injecting secrets into services.

I'd imagine there are other things can offer the same, but I find it convenient to have them all in the same place.

dustym(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I like to say (lovingly) that Kubernetes takes complex things and simplifies them in complex ways.

more_corn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Kubernetes makes impossible things merely hard, but at the expense of also making normal and easy things hard.

The system becomes so complex that most people screw up simple things like redundancy, perimeter security and zero downtime updates.

I've seen all of the above from very bright and capable people.

battery_cowboy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It just hides the complexity in some yml files instead of in a deploy script or a sysadmin's head.

eyberg(3852) 3 days ago [-]

There's a silent majority of people that don't use k8s (or containers) - hell there is a significant portion of servers that don't even use linux. I find the majority of engineers my age (mid 30s) think it is nothing more than straight marketing - between said marketing fueled vc dollars and 'every company is a software company' there's a very good reason why k8s has taken off but I'd ask the following:

Why should it have?

Many people I talk with will complain about security, performance and complexity of k8s (and containers in general). Non-practicing engineers (read: directors/vps-eng) will complain about the associated cost with administering their k8s clusters both in terms of cloud cost and devops personnel cost.

Someone earlier mentioned it was the new wordpress - I don't think that's an unfair comparison, although I would challenge the complexity/cost of it.

harpratap(10000) 2 days ago [-]

You don't necessarily HAVE to use K8s to get advantage of it. Use something like Knative and you're good to go. Google has Cloud run and Azure would soon come up with some similar abstraction on top of kubernetes.

hyperbovine(4177) 3 days ago [-]

Because Google made it. Same thing with Tensorflow. And, fun fact, both are massively overhyped and a real PITA to learn and use. But Google uses it, so hey.

t_sawyer(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This just isn't true. I've never used Tensorflow but Kubernetes is great.

We moved to it from docker swarm because docker swarm still has a lot of glitches with its overlay network. Rolling upgrades would leave stale network entries and its impossible to reproduce. Sometimes it happens sometimes it doesn't.

With a managed solution, Kubeadm, or RKE it's not hard to deploy anymore. All our infrastructure is in code, is immutable, and if you're careful can be deployed into any kubernetes cluster.

Just like Docker has been great for easily deploying open source products, kubernetes is great for doing the same thing when you need to deploy horizontally. It's easy for OSS to provide a docker image, a docker compose file for single node deploy, and Kubernetes yaml for a horizontal deploy.

bvandewalle(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm using Kubernetes extensively in my day to day work and once you get it up and running and learn the different abstraction, it becomes a single API to manage your containers, storage and network ingress needs. Making it easy to take a container and getting it up and running in the cloud with an IP address and a DNS configured in a couple API calls (or defined as YAMLs).

That being said, I will also be the first one to recognize that PLENTY of workloads are not made to run on Kubernetes. Sometimes it is way more efficient to spawn an EC2/GCE instance and run a single docker container on it. It really depends on your use-case.

If I had to run a relatively simple app in prod I would never use Kubernetes to start with. Kubernetes starts to pay itself off once you have a critical mass of services on it.

harpratap(10000) 2 days ago [-]

One could argue if you have a tiny set of services you are better off using a managed offering like AWS Lambda or Cloud Run

bradgessler(2049) 3 days ago [-]

I'll take a shot.

k8s is popular because Docker solved a real problem and Compose didn't move fast enough to solve orchestration problem. It's a second order effect; the important thing is Docker's popularity.

Before Docker there were a lot of different solutions for software developers to package up their web applications to run on a server. Docker kind of solved that problem: ops teams could theoretically take anything and run it on a sever if it was packaged up inside of a Docker image.

When you give a mouse a cookie, it asks for a glass of milk.

Fast forward a bit and the people using Docker wanted a way to orchestrate several containers across a bunch of different machines. The big appeal of Docker is that everything could be described in a simple text file. k8s tried to continue that trend with a yml file, but it turns out managing dependencies, software defined networking, and how a cluster should behave at various states isn't true greatest fit for that format.

Fast forward even more into a world where everybody thinks they need k8s and simply cargo cult it for a simple Wordpress blog and you've got the perfect storm for resenting the complexity of k8s.

I do miss the days of 'cap deploy' for Rails apps.

max_effort(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> k8s is popular because Docker solved a real problem and Compose didn't move fast enough to solve orchestration problem. It's a second order effect; the important thing is Docker's popularity.

I introduced K8s to our company back in 2016 for this exact reason. All I cared about was managing the applications in our data engineering servers, and Docker solved a real pain point. I chose K8s after looking at Docker Compose and Mesos because it was the best option at the time for what we needed.

K8s has grown more complex since then, and unfortunately, the overhead in managing it has gone up.

K8s can still be used in a limited way to provide simple container hosting, but it's easy to get lost and shoot yourself in the foot.

kiddico(10000) 3 days ago [-]

What happens if you give the mouse a hammer?

nautilus12(4386) 3 days ago [-]

Hit the nail on the head. How else could you at the push of a button not just get a running application but an entire coordinated system of services like you get with helm. And deploying a kubernetes cluster with kops is easy. I don't know why people hate on k8s so much. For the space I work in it's a godsend

nahname(3976) 2 days ago [-]

>I do miss the days of 'cap deploy' for Rails apps.

Add operators, complicated deployment orchestration and more sophisticated infrastructure... It is hard to know if things are failing from a change I made or just because there are so many things changing all the time.

foxhill(4309) 2 days ago [-]

> Docker solved a real problem

> everybody thinks they need k8s and simply cargo cult it for a simple Wordpress blog

docker _also_ has this problem though. there are probably 6 people in the world that need to run one program built with gcc 4.7.1 linked against libc 2.18 and another built with clang 7 and libstdc++ at the same time on the same machine.

and yes, docker 'provides benefits' other than package/binary/library isolation, but it's _really_ not doing anything other than wrapping cgroups and namespacing from the kernel - something for which you don't need docker to do (see https://github.com/p8952/bocker).

docker solved the wrong problem, and poorly, imo: the packaging of dependencies required to run an app.

and now we live in a world where there are a trillion instances of musl libc (of varying versions) deployed :)

sorry, this doesn't have much to do with k8s, i just really dislike docker, it seems.

BaronSamedi(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Good points but I think it would be accurate to say that Docker solved a developer problem. But developers are only part of the story. Does Kubernetes solve the business' problem? The user's problem? The problems of sys admins, testers, and security people? In my experience it doesn't (though I wouldn't count my experience as definitive).

At my company we have had better success with micro-services on AWS Lambda. It has vastly less overhead than Kubernetes and it has made the tasks of the developers and non-developers easier. 'Lock-in' is unavoidable in software. In our risk calculation, being locked into AWS is preferable than being locked into Kubernetes. YMMV.

closeparen(4320) 3 days ago [-]

>Before Docker there were a lot of different solutions for software developers to package up their web applications to run on a server.

There are basically two relevant package managers. And say what you will about systemd, service units are easy to write.

It's weird to me that the tooling for building .deb packages and hosting them in a private Apt repository is so crusty and esoteric. Structurally these things 'should' be trivial compared to docker registries, k8s, etc. but they aren't.

darkwater(4334) 2 days ago [-]

> I do miss the days of 'cap deploy' for Rails apps.

Oh boy I do not miss them. Actually I'm still living them and I hope we can finally migrate away from Capistrano ASAP. Dynamic provisioning with autoscaling is a royal PITA with cap as it was never meant to be used on moving targets like dynamic instances.

kureikain(3841) 3 days ago [-]

Before K8S, to run a service you need:

- Setup VM: and their dependencies, tool chain. If you use thing like package that has native component such as image processing you event need to setup some compiler on the VM - Deployment process - Load balancer - Systemd unit to auto restart it. Set memory limit etc.

All of that is done in K8S. As long as you ship a Dockerfile, you're done.

takeda(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I feel like you're simplifying things unnecessarily, all of the things you mentioned you still configure, except the configuration is now in YAML.

0x006A(4020) 3 days ago [-]

but how do you setup k8s?

mancini0(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Lets use Bazel, and Bazel's rules_k8s to build\containerize\test\deploy only the microservices of my monorepo that changed.

Lets use Istio's 'istioctl manifest apply' to deploy a service mesh to my cluster that allows me to pull auth logic / service discovery / load balancing / tracing out of my code and let Istio handle this.

Lets configure my app's infrastructure (Kafka (Strimzi), Yugabyte/Cockroach, etc) as yaml files. Being able to describe my kafka config (foo topic has 3 partitions, etc) in yaml is priceless.

Lets move my entire application and its infrastructure to another cloud provider by running a single bazel command.

k8s is the common denominator that makes all this possible.

MuffinFlavored(4419) 3 days ago [-]

> k8s is the common denominator that makes all this possible.

can't... terraform make all of that possible?

sp332(339) 3 days ago [-]

I'd say it's down to two things. First is the sheer amount of work they're putting into standardization. They just ripped out some pretty deep internal dependencies to create a new storage interface. They have an actual standards body overseen by the Linux Foundation. So I agree with the blog post there.

The second reason is also about standards, but using them more assertively. Docker had way more attention and activity until 2016 when Kubernetes published the Container Runtime Interface. By limiting the Docker features they would use, they leveled the playing field between Docker and other runtimes, making Docker much less exciting. Now, new isolation features are implemented down at the runc level and new management features tend to target Kubernetes because it works just as well with any CRI-compliant runtime. Developing for Docker feels like being locked in.

MuffinFlavored(4419) 3 days ago [-]

> By limiting the Docker features they would use, they leveled the playing field between Docker and other runtimes, making Docker much less exciting.

Isn't the most popular k8s case to deploy Docker images still though?

silviogutierrez(10000) 3 days ago [-]

For me, and many others: infrastructure as code.

Kubernetes is very complex and took a long time to learn properly. And there have been fires among the way. I plan to write extensively on my blog about it.

But at the end of the day: having my entire application stack as YAML files, fully reproducible [1] is invaluable. Even cron jobs.

Note: I don't use micro services, service meshes, or any fancy stuff. Just a plain ol' Django monolith.

Maybe there's room for a simpler IAC solution out there. Swarm looked promising then fizzled. But right now the leader is k8s[2] and for that alone it's worth it.

[1] Combined with Terraform

[2] There are other proprietary solutions. But k8s is vendor agnostic. I can and have repointed my entire infrastructure with minimal fuss.

jcastro(1783) 3 days ago [-]

> I can and have repointed my entire infrastructure with minimal fuss.

When you get to that blog post please consider going in depth on this. Would love to see actual battletested information vs. the usual handwavy 'it works everywhere'.

tyingq(4370) 3 days ago [-]

There's an offshoot of this that I see from developers, especially at old, stodgy companies.

Once everything is 'infrastructure as code', the app team becomes less dependent on other teams in the org.

People like to own their own destiny. Of course, that also removes a lot of potential scapegoats, so you now mostly own all outages, tech debt, etc.

UweSchmidt(4342) 3 days ago [-]

With 'Swarm', do you mean Docker Swarm? Why has it 'fizzled'?

The way I learned it in Bret Fisher's Udemy course, Swarm is very much relevant, and will be supported indefinitely. It seems to be a much simpler version of Kubernetes. It has both composition in YAML files (i.e. all your containers together) and the distribution over nodes. What else do you need before you hit corporation-scale requirements?

gigatexal(4263) 3 days ago [-]

imo, all swarm needed was a decent way to handle secrets and it would have been the k8s of its day

bdcravens(1012) 3 days ago [-]

Of course it doesn't have the advantage of #2, but I've found ECS to be far easier to grok and implement.

McAtNite(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Out of curiosity why do you feel swarm fizzled out?

I've deployed swarm in a home lab and found it really simple to work with, and enjoyable to use. I haven't tried k8, but I often see view points like yours stating that k8 is vastly superior.

archsurface(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm not sure 'a plain ol' Django monolith' with none of the 'fancy stuff' is either what people are referring to when they say 'kubernetes', or a great choice for that. I could run hello world on a Cray but that doesn't mean I can say I do supercomputing. Our team does use it for all the fancy stuff, and spends all day everyday for years now yamling, terraforming, salting, etc so theoretically our setup is 'entire application stack as YAML files, fully reproducible', but if it fell apart tomorrow, I'd run for the hills. Basically, I think you're selling it from a position which doesn't use it to any degree which gives sufficient experience required to give in-depth assessment of it. You're selling me a Cray based on your helloworld.

bulldoa(4407) 3 days ago [-]

Do you have a recommended tutorial for engineer with backend background to setup a simple k8 infra in ec2?

kasey_junk(4271) 3 days ago [-]

Conversely I think the trend of writing infrastructure as yaml may be the worst part of modern ops. It's really hard to think of a worse language for this.

tombert(4344) 3 days ago [-]

Swarm is still supported and works. I have it running on my home server and love it.

Kubernetes is fine, but setting it up kind of feels like I'm trying to earn a PhD thesis. Swarm is dog-simple to get working and I've really had no issues in the three years that I've been running it.

The configs aren't as elaborate or as modular as Kubernetes, and that's a blessing as well as a curse; it's easy to set up and administer, but you have less control. Still, for small-to-mid-sized systems, I would still recommend Swarm.

dustym(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yup, even monoliths can benefit from certain k8s tooling (HPAs, batch jobs, etc).

collyw(4407) 2 days ago [-]

Do you have a good tutorial for doing Django or a standard 3 tier web app on Kubernetes? We are using kubernetes at my workspace, but it seems way too complicated to consider for something like that. Maybe if I can bridge the gap between architectures it will help.

sp332(339) 3 days ago [-]

I've just started to look into it, but it seems like the project has been focusing on improving the onboarding experience since it has a reputation for being a huge pain to set up. Do you think it has gotten easier lately?

mfer(4179) 3 days ago [-]

Out of curiosity, are you using terraform to deploy k8s, your app stack on k8s, or both?

herval(4132) 3 days ago [-]

Have you tried or considered Nomad (from the makers of Terraform)?

lifeisstillgood(1605) 3 days ago [-]

So are you saying that, no matter what, if you want to reply your whole infrastructure as code (networks, dmz, hosts, services, apps, backups etc ) that you are going to have to reproduce that somehow (whatever the combo of AWS services are, OR just learn K8S

Effectively, 'every infrastructure as code project will reimplement Kubernetes in Bash'

bosswipe(10000) 3 days ago [-]

According to the article you are wrong about 'infrastructure as code'. Kubernetes is infrastructure as data, specifically YAML files. Puppet and Chef are infrastructure as code.

Edit: not sure why the down votes, I was just trying to point out what seems like a big distinction that the article is trying to make.

nelsonenzo(10000) 3 days ago [-]

as a sys-admin, I like k8s because it solves sys-admin problems in a standardized way. Things like, safe rolling deploys, consolidated logging, liveness and readiness probes, etc. And yes, also because it's repeatable. It takes all the boring tasks of my job and let's me focus on more meaningful work, like dashboards and monitoring.

honkycat(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yep, same here. Once you learn it, it is a standardized consistent API and becomes a huge force multiplier

heipei(4427) 3 days ago [-]

My question is: Why is only k8s so popular when there are better alternatives for a large swath of users? I believe the answer is 'Manufactured Hype'. k8s is from a purely architectural standpoint the way to go, even for smaller setups, but the concrete project is still complex enough that it requires dozens of different setup tools and will keep hordes of consultants as well as many hosted solutions from Google/AWS/etc in business for some time to come, so there's a vested interest in continuing to push it. Everyone wins, users get a solid tool (even if it's not the best for the job) and cloud providers retain their unique selling point over people setting up their own servers.

I still believe 90% of users would be better served by Nomad. And if someone says 'developers want to use the most widely used tech', then I'm here to call bullshit, because the concepts between workload schedulers and orchestrators like k8s and nomad are easy enough to carry over from one side to the other. Learning either even if you end up using the other one is not a waste of time. Heck, I started out using CoreOS with fleetctl and even that taught me many valuable lessons.

torvald(2997) 3 days ago [-]

I second this.

peterwwillis(2766) 3 days ago [-]

Nomad isn't really feature mature or user friendly enough, you still eventually need 100 bolt-ons.

I think a Distributed OS is the only sane solution. Build the features we need into the kernel and stop futzing around with 15 abstractions to just run an isolated process on multiple hosts.

dnautics(4398) 3 days ago [-]

I'm resisting kubernetes and might go with nomad (currently I'm 'just using systemd' and I get HA from the BEAM VM)... But I do also get the argument that the difference between kubernetes and nomad is that increasingly kubernetes is supported by the cloud vendors, and nomad supports the cloud vendors.

verdverm(4151) 3 days ago [-]

What are these alternatives with more users?

Where is the momentum?

Hosted GKE costs the same per month as an hour of DevOps time, what's wrong with paid management for k8s?

jsmith12673(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I got a bit disillusioned with k8s and looked at Nomad as an alternative.

As a relatively noob sysadmin, I liked it a lot. Easy to deploy and easy to maintain. We've got a lot of mixed rented hardware + cloud VPS, and having one layer to unify them all seemed great.

Unfortunately I had a hard convincing the org to give it a serious shot. At the crux of it, it wasn't clear what 'production ready' Nomad should look like. It seemed like Nomad is useless without Consul, and you really should use Vault to do the PKI for all of it.

It's a bit frustrating how so many of the HashiCorp products are 'in for penny, in for a pound' type deals. I know there's _technically_ ways for you use Nomad without Consul, but it didn't seem like the happy path, and the community support was non-existent.

Please tell me why I'm wrong lol, I really wanted to love Nomad. We are running a mix of everything and its a nightmare

ravenstine(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I still believe 90% of users would be better served by Nomad.

Well sure, but if the story just ended with 'everyone use the least exciting tool', then there'd be few articles for tech journals to write.

But Kubernetes promises so much, and deep down everyone subtly thinks 'what if I have to scale my project?' Why settle for good enough when you could settle for 'awesome'? It's just human nature to choose the most exciting thing. And given that I do agree that there's some manufactured hype around Kubernetes, it isn't surprising to me why few are talking about Nomad.

nasmorn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I host about a dozen rails apps of different vintage and started switching from Dokku to Digital Ocean Kubernetes. I had a basic app deployed with load balancer and hosted DB in about 6 hours. Services like the nginx ingress are very powerful and it all feels really solid. I never understood Dokku internals either so them being vastly simpler is no help for me. I figured for better or worse kubernetes is here to stay and on DO it is easier than doing anything on AWS really. I have used AWS for about 5 years and have inherited things like terraformed ECS clusters and Beanstalk apps. I know way more about AWS but I feel you need to know so much that unless you only do ops you cannot really keep up.

koeng(4410) 3 days ago [-]

I found deploying databases with Dokku to be really intuitive. CockroachDB is great, but still a lot more steps than dokku postgres:create <db>. The whole certificates thing is quite confusing. Otherwise, k3s on-prem is great

closeparen(4320) 3 days ago [-]

What does the Kubernetes configuration format offer over configuration management systems like Ansible, Salt, Puppet, Chef, etc?

bosswipe(10000) 3 days ago [-]

According to the article the advantage of Kubernetes is that you're not writing code like you are with Puppet and Chef. You're writing YAML files.

p_l(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Having extensively used Chef and K8s, the difference is that they try to deal with chaos in unmanaged way (Puppet is the closest to 'managed'), but when dealing with wild chaos you lack many ways of enforcing the order. Plus they don't really do multi-server computation of resources.

What k8s brings to the table is a level of standardization. It's the difference between bringing some level of robotics to manual loading and unloading of classic cargo ships, vs. the fully automated containerized ports.

With k8s, you get structure where you can wrap individual program's idiosyncracies into a container that exposes standard interface. This standard interface allows you to then easily drop it into server, with various topologies, resources, networking etc. handled through common interfaces.

I said that for a long time before, but recently I got to understand just how much work k8s can 'take away' when I foolishly said 'eh, it's only one server, I will run this the classic way. Then I spent 5 days on something that could be handled within an hour on k8s, because k8s virtualized away HTTP reverse proxies, persistent storage, and load balancing in general.

Now I'm thinking of deploying k8s at home, not to learn, but because I know it's easier for me to deploy nextcloud, or an ebook catalog, or whatever, using k8s than by setting up more classical configuration management system and deal with inevitable drift over time.

dustym(10000) 3 days ago [-]

For certain things like layer 4 and layer 7 routing or firewall policies, health checking and failover, network-attached volumes, etc you have to choose software and configure it on top of getting that configuration in that tooling. So you are doing kernel or iptables or nginx or monit/supervisord configurations and so on.

But basic versions of these things are provided by Kubernetes natively and can be declared in a way that is divorced from configuring the underlying software. So you just learn how to configure these broader concepts as services or ingresses or network policies, etc, and don't worry about the underlying implementations. It's pretty nice actually.

birdyrooster(10000) 3 days ago [-]

They are not comparable. You might use ansible, salt, puppet or chef to deploy kubelet, apiserver, etc. You could, barring those with self-love, even deploy Ansible tower on Kubernetes to manage your kubernetes infrastructure.

silviogutierrez(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm not intimately familiar with those, but I did a lot of similar things with scripts.

As far as I can tell: those are imperative. At least in some areas.

Kubernetes is declarative. You mention the end state and it just 'figures it out'. Mind you, with issues sometimes.

All abstractions leak. Note that k8s's adamance about declarative configuration can make you bend over backwards. Example: running a migration script post deploys. Or waiting for other services to start before starting your own. Etc.

I think in many ways, those compete with Terraform which is 'declarative'-ish. There's very much a state file.

MuffinFlavored(4419) 3 days ago [-]

What about Terraform?

tapoxi(4143) 3 days ago [-]

I've been using Kubernetes exclusively for the past two years after coming from a fairly large Saltstack shop. I think traditional configuration management is flawed. Configuration drift _will_ happen because something, somewhere, will do something you or the formula/module/playbook didn't account for. A Dockerfile builds the world from (almost) scratch and forces the runtime environment to be stateless. A CM tool constantly tries to shape the world to its image.

Kubernetes isn't a silver bullet of course, there will be applications where running it in containers adds unnecessary complexity, and those are best run in a VM managed by a CM tool. I'd argue using k8s is safe default for deploying new applications going forward.

chrissoundz(10000) 2 days ago [-]

It's not just the configuration format. There is a whole 'Kubernetes runtime' (what they call the 'control loops' aka 'controllers') that runs 24/7 watching the configuration live and making appropriate changes.

Unlike Ansible (and I suspect the others) where it's really only more of a 'run once' type of thing... And sometimes if you try running it a second time it won't even succeed.

kissgyorgy(1697) 3 days ago [-]

Ansible configuration is imperative (you need to run notebooks in order) but Kubernetes YAML is declarative. That alone is a huge difference!

2kewl4skewl(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Containers are the big difference.

Kubernetes is one way to deploy containers. Configuration systems like Ansible/Salt/Puppet/Chef/etc are another way to deploy containers.

Kubernetes also makes it possible to dynamically scale your workload. But so does Auto Scaling Groups (AWS terminology) and GCP/Azure equivalents.

The reality is that 99% of users don't actually need Kubernetes. It introduces a huge amount of complexity, overhead, and instability for no benefit in most cases. The tech industry is highly trend driven. There is a lot of cargo culting. People want to build their resumes. They like novelty. Many people incorrectly believe that Kubernetes is the way to deploy containers.

And they (and their employers) suffer for it. Most users would be far better off using boring statically deployed containers from a configuration management system. Auto-scaled when required. This can also be entirely infrastructure-as-code compliant.

Containers are the real magic. But somehow people confused Kubernetes as a replacement for Docker containers, when it was actually a replacement for Docker's orchestration framework: Docker Swarm.

In fact, Kubernetes is a very dangerous chainsaw that most people are using to whittle in their laps.

JackRabbitSlim(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I get the feeling K8 is the modern PHP. Software that's easy to pick up and use without complete understanding and get something usable. Even if its not efficient and results in lots of technical debt.

And like PHP, it will be criticised with the power of hind sight but will continue to be used and power vast swaths of the internet.

pyrophane(3304) 3 days ago [-]

I don't think this is right. The reason I say that is because for the most part, teams new to k8s aren't building and managing their own clusters, they are using a managed solution. In that case, an application deployment only need be a few dozen lines of yaml. Most teams aren't really going to be building deep into k8s, and it shouldn't be hard to deploy your containers to some other managed solution.

iso-8859-1(3226) 3 days ago [-]

But languages are easy, there is the whole field of PL theory to draw from. If you're randomly throwing things together like Lerdorf was, there's a missed opportunity.

But what is the universally regarded theory that k8s contradicts? I don't think there is one.

zelly(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Main benefits of Kubernetes:

• Lets companies brag about having # many production services at any given time

• Company saves money by not having to hire Linux sysadmins

• Company saves money by not having to pay for managed cloud products if they don't want to

• Declarative, version controlled, git-blameable deployments

• Treating cloud providers like cattle not pets

It's going to eat the world (already has?).

I was skeptical about Kubernetes but I now understand why it's popular. The alternatives are all based on kludgy shell/Python scripts or proprietary cloud products.

It's easy to get frustrated with it because it's ridiculously complex and introduces a whole glossary of jargon and a whole new mental model. This isn't Linux anymore. This is, for all intents and purposes, a new operating system. But the interface to this OS is a bunch of <strike>punchcards</strike> YAML files that you send off to a black box and hope it works.

You're using a text editor but it's not programming. It's only YAML because it's not cool to use GUIs for system administration anymore (e.g. Windows Server, cPanel). It feels like configuring a build system or filling out taxes--absolute drudgery that hopefully gets automated one day.

The alternative to K8s isn't your personal collection of fragile shell scripts. The real alternative is not doing the whole microservices thing and just deploying a single statically linked, optimized C++ server that can serve 10k requests per second from a toaster--but we're not ready to have that discussion.

eyberg(3852) 2 days ago [-]

> Company saves money by not having to hire Linux sysadmins

Citation? In my experience companies hire more sysadmins when adopting k8s. It's trivial to point at the job reqs for it.

> Company saves money by not having to pay for managed cloud products if they don't want to

Save money?! Again citation. What are you replacing in the cloud with k8s? In my experience most companies using k8s (as you already admitted) don't have a ton of ops experience and thus use more cloud resources.

> Treating cloud providers like cattle not pets

Again. Citation? Companies go multi-cloud not because they want to but because they have different teams (sometimes from acquisition) that have pre-existing products that are hard to move. No one is using k8s to get multi-cloud as a strategy.

> It's going to eat the world (already has?).

Not it won't. It's actually on the downtrend now. Do you work for the CNCF? Can you put in a disclaimer if so?

> just deploying a single statically linked, optimized C++ server that can serve 10k requests per second from a toaster

completely un-necessary; most of the HN audience is not creating a c++ webserver from scratch; most of the HN audience can trivially serve way more than 10k reqs/sec from a single vm (node, rust, go, etc. are all easily capable of doing this from 1 vcpu)

saalaa(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This, and more but it's all in the same vein.

I was pretty skeptical too but then handed over a project which was a pretty typical mixed bag: Ansible, Terraform, Docker, Python and shell scripts, etc... Then I realized relying on Kubernetes for most projects has the huge benefit of bringing homogeneity to the provisioning/orchestration which improves things a lot both for me and the customer or company I work for.

Let's be honest here, in many cases it does not make a difference whether Kubernetes is huge, inefficient, complicated, bloated, etc... or not. It certainly is. But just the added benefit of pointing at a folder and stating : 'this is how it is configured and how it runs' is huge.

I was also pretty skeptical of Kustomize but it turned out to be just enough.

So, like many here. I kind of hate it but it serves me well.

101404(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I like that alternative. Especially now that we have Rust and Actix Web.

nonines(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Can't agree more. To this add the moving-sand landscape of an ecosystem there.

But then again it's actually the first public/popular attempt on a cloud OS. There might be a next one with better ergonomics than yamls.

burntoutfire(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> The real alternative is not doing the whole microservices thing and just deploying a single statically linked, optimized C++ server that can serve 10k requests per second from a toaster--but we're not ready to have that discussion.

The alternative is to have a old and boring cluster of X identical java nodes which host the entire backend in a single process... The deployment is done by a pedestrian bash script from a Jenkins. It used to work fine for too long I guess and folks couldn't resist 'inventing' microservices to 'disrupt' it.

dorian-graph(4420) 2 days ago [-]

> • Company saves money by not having to hire Linux sysadmins

.. but hire others to manage k8s? Or existing software engineers have to spend time doing so?

Many of the other points don't seem unique to k8s either.

I do like the alternative you've suggested though.

edwinyzh(4420) 2 days ago [-]

or a Free Pascal server (powered by mORMot (https://github.com/synopse/mORMot))? Natively compiled, high performance, and supports almost all OS's and CPU's

danielovichdk(4191) 2 days ago [-]

Absolutely agree.

A lot of people is just really interested in having something complex instead of understanding their actual needs.

atopuzov(10000) 2 days ago [-]

So now it's kubernetes + kludgy shell/Python scripts.

pwdisswordfish2(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I am ready! NetBSD is running on the toaster. I think haproxy can do 10K req/s. tcpserver on the backends. I only write robust shell scripts, short and portable.

As a spectator, not a tech worker who uses these popular solutions, I would say there seems to be a great affinity amongst in the tech industry for anything that is (relatively) complex. Either that, or the only solutions people today can come up with are complex ones. The more features and complexity, the more something is constantly changing, the more a new solution gains 'traction'. If anyone reading has examples that counter this idea, please feel free to share them.

I think if a hobbyist were to '[deploy] a single statically linked, optimized [C++] server that can serve 10k requests per second from a toaster' it would be like a tree falling in the forest. For one because it is too simple, it lacks the complexity that attracts the tech worker crowd, and second, because it is not being used by well-known tech company and not being worked on by large numbers of people, it would not be newsworthy.

tsss(10000) 2 days ago [-]

If you really think that deploying a single binary is an alternative to microservices then you don't understand microservices.

paloaltokid(4391) 2 days ago [-]

I've never coded in C++, so I'm curious - what is the feedback loop like? My understanding is that since C++ is a compiled language, you can't 'hit refresh' the same way you can in JavaScript/Ruby/etc.

Is that an incorrect understanding? I know C++ is supposed to be great for performance, but in truth I've never needed anything to be that fast. And if I can get the job done just as well with something I already know, I won't bother learning something like C++ which has a reputation for not being approachable.

But maybe I don't have full context?

baybal2(1768) 2 days ago [-]

I don't think that kubernetes is getting popular at all.

banifo(10000) 2 days ago [-]

'The alternative to K8s isn't your personal collection of fragile shell scripts. The real alternative is not doing the whole microservices thing and just deploying a single statically linked, optimized C++ server that can serve 10k requests per second from a toaster--but we're not ready to have that discussion.'

You are writing this and i thought yesterday how to extend my current home k8s setup even further.

I would even manage that little c++ tool through k8s.

K8s brings plenty of other things out of the box: - Rolling update - HA - Storage provisioning (which makes backup simpler) - Infrastructure as code (whatever your shellscript is doing)

I think that the overhead k8s requires right now, will become smaller over the years, it will be simpmler to use it, it will become more and more stable.

It is already a really simple and nice control plane.

I like to use a few docker containers with compose. But if i already use docker compose for 2 projects, why not just using k8s instead?

p_l(10000) 2 days ago [-]

You still need quite a lot of stuff for that one, statically linked, heavily optimized C++ server. In a way, that's actually what k8s comes from ...

How do you manage deployments for that C++ monolith? How is the logging? Logrotate, log gathering and analysis? Metrics, their analysis and and display? What happens when you have software developed by others that you might also to want to deploy? (If you can run a company with only one program ever deployed, I envy you).

All of that is simplified by kubernetes by simply making all stuff follow single way - 'classical' approaches tend to make Perl blush with the amount of 'There is more than one way to do it' that goes on.

SomeoneFromCA(10000) 2 days ago [-]

AFAIK, Yandex Taxi uses 'single statically linked, optimized C++ server that can serve'.

wastedhours(4428) 2 days ago [-]

Are there any decent GUI services for creating the YAML files?

Most of it can be managed by text boxes on the front-end with selections and then it can just generate or edit the required files at the end of a wizard?

rocho(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I don't agree with the last paragraph.

Your C++ example is orthogonal to the deployment aspect because it discusses the application. Kubernetes and the fragile shell scripts are about the deployment of said application.

How are you going to deploy your C++ application? Both options are available, and I would wager that in most cases, Kubernetes makes more sense, unless you have strict requirements.

robert_g(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I would speculate that for companies these two statements will be exclusive:

• Company saves money by not having to hire Linux sysadmins

• Company saves money by not having to pay for managed cloud products if they don't want to

As a developer I want to right code, not manage a Kubernetes installation. If my employer wants the most value from my expertice they will either pay for a hosted environment to minimize my time managing it or hire dedicated staff to maintain an environment.

neop1x(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Your static app won't scale. Once your kernel is saturated with connections, once your buffers are full, you will get packets dropped. Your app may crash unexpectedly so you need to run it in an infinite loop. And of course your static example is a simple echo app or hello world. That works fine from a toaster. In the real world we use databases where every store takes a significant time to process and persist. You quickly overgrow a single server. Then you need distributed systems and a way to do versioning so you use containers and then you need an orchestrator so you pick K8S because it's most mature and there are many resources around. And then you can even do rolling updates and rollbacks. Finally you use Helm, Terraform and Terragrunt and never look back. It works surprisingly good. I lost several years by learning all this stuff, it was difficult but it was worth it. I have more visibility into everything now thanks to metrics-server, Prometheus Operator, Grafana, Loki and I have two environments so I can update deployments in one environment and test, once tested ok, I can apply to live. No surprises. No need to run 5 year old versions of software and fear updating it...

max_effort(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> • Company saves money by not having to pay for managed cloud products if they don't want to

In some cases, the cost of a managed cloud product may be cheaper than the cost of training your engineers to work with K8s. It just depends on what your needs are, and the level of organizational commitment you have to making K8s part of your stack. Engineers like to mess around with new tech (I'm certainly guilty of this), but their time investment is often a hidden cost.

> The alternatives are all based on kludgy shell/Python scripts or proprietary cloud products.

The fact that PaaS products are proprietary is often listed as a detriment. But, how detrimental is it really? There are plenty of companies whose PaaS costs are insignificant compared to their ARR, and they can run the business for years without ever thinking about migrating to a new provider.

The managed approach offered by PaaS can be a sensible alternative to K8s, again it just depends on what your organizational needs are.

bmikaili(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Disagree with the GUI part. Text based configuration is stable, version-controllable, and intuitive to use. Look at Xcode for a nightmare of GUI configuration.

pjmlp(165) 2 days ago [-]

And this is why I only give Linux like one decade more to still be relevant on the server.

With hypervisors and managed environments taking over distributed computing, if there is a kernel derived from Linux or something completely different, it is a detailed that only the cloud provider cares about.

buboard(3155) 2 days ago [-]

What is your estimate about when we ll be ready to have that discussion?

tristor(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The simple answer is that Kubernetes isn't really any of the things it's been described as. What it /is/, though, is an operating system for the Cloud. It's a set of universal abstraction layers that can sit on top of and work with any IaaS provider and allows you to build and deploy applications using infrastructure-as-code concepts through a standardized and approachable API.

Most companies who were late on the Cloud hype cycle (which is quite a lot of F100s) got to see second-hand how using all the nice SaaS/PaaS offerings from major cloud providers puts you over a barrel and don't have any interest in being the next victim, and it's coming at the same time that these very same companies are looking to eliminate expensive commercially licensed proprietary software and revamp their ancient monolithic applications into modern microservices. The culimination of these factors is a major facet of the growth of Kubernetes in the Enterprise.

It's not just hype, it has a very specific purpose which it serves in these organizations with easily demonstrated ROI, and it works. There /are/ a lot of organizations jumping on the bandwagon and cargo-culting because they don't know any better, but there are definitely use cases where Kubernetes shines.

sev(3697) 3 days ago [-]

I think this is a good answer. I'll add that as soon as you need to do something slightly more complex, without something like k8s you aren't going to be happy with your life. With k8s, it's almost a 1 liner. For example, adding a load balancer or a network volume or nginx or an SSL cert or auto scaling or...or...or...

nihil75(4393) 3 days ago [-]

IaaS is not 'the cloud'. it was in 2008 when all we had was EC2 and RDS.

Today Kubernetes is the antithesis of the cloud - Instead of consuming resources on demand you're launching VMs that need to run 24/7 and have specific roles and names like 'master-1'. Might as well rent bare-metal servers. It will cost you less.

valuearb(4272) 3 days ago [-]

I read the entire article and couldn't figure out what Kubernetes is. Your description helped a little.

Oh darn, I still don't understand. Maybe I should learn what Docker is first?

dancemethis(10000) 3 days ago [-]


The buzzword mumbo-jumbo on the first paragraph alone (which isn't really even your fault or anything, just the bogus pomp inherent to k8s as a whole) is already a scarecrow to anyone that 'wasn't born with the knowledge', really.

It is pretty hard to get used to it. Brushing it away won't make it approachable.

pnako(10000) 3 days ago [-]

What if instead they revamped their ancient microservices into modern monolithic applications?

I'm sorry, but I can't stand this kind of bullshit. You cannot possibly take two random things, put 'modern' in front of one word and 'ancient' in front of another, to justify changing things.

The problem of Kubernetes is probably that people started drinking the microservices koolaid and now need complex solution to deploy their software that became more complex when they adopted a microservices architecture.

ransom1538(4295) 3 days ago [-]

Just running docker-compose on load balanced machines is pretty close to having all k8s features (that would give you an endpoint, scaling, running pods[containers],heartbeats and nodes[vms]). If you run Kubernetes on GCP you will see it's just a wrapper of GCP vms, load balancers, instance groups and disks. EG: GCP k8's autoscaling for the nodes isn't any better than just simple GCP load balancers and instance groups (it literally is the same thing). k8's best feature (only?): specify yaml files to declare the setup. That is great! But, you make edits to this 4 times a year - that is a ton of complexity for those 4 git commits.

verdverm(4151) 3 days ago [-]

Yes, people ought to do a side by side comparison of a new user learning to K8S v AWS v GCP before claiming Kubernetes adds more complexity than it returns in benefits.

Remember the first time you saw the AWS console? And the last time?

enos_feedler(4092) 3 days ago [-]

OS for the cloud is exactly what it is. I see AWS, Azure and GCP as OEMs for cloud, just like Samsung, Oppo, Motorla, etc are OEMs for smartphones. Android was the open source abstraction across these devices. K8s is the open source abstraction across clouds.

The meaning of 'app' on top of these two operating system abstractions is entirely different and the comparison probably doesn't extend beyond this. From a computing stack standpoint though, it makes sense.

iudqnolq(3326) 3 days ago [-]

I've been completely perplexed by how I might repeatably and reliably setup a single DigitalOcean (or similar) server.

I can't just blow away the instance, make a new one with their API, and run a bash script to set it up because I need to persist some sqlite databases between deploys.

Nix looks promising, but also seems to be a lot to learn. I think I'd rather focus on my app than learn a whole new language and ecosystem and way of thinking about dependencies.

I don't think my needs are insane here, I'm surprised there seems to be no infrastructure as code project for tiny infrastructures.

t_sawyer(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I'm a huge K8s advocate but if all you're looking for his a repeatable way to spin up DO droplets then use a user-data script.

User data is a bash script that can be automatically run when the machine first spins up.

You could pass that script via digital oceans cli or even a tool like terraform.

courtf(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I honestly couldn't tell you.

What I can tell you, is that the unbelievable bloat in the complexity of our systems is going to bite us in the ass. I'll never forget when I joined a hip fintech company, and the director of eng told us in orientation that we should think of their cloud of services as a thousand points of light, out in space. I knew my days were numbered at exactly that moment. This company had 200k unique users, and they were spending a million dollars a month on CRUD. Granted, banking is its own beast, but I had just come from a company of 10 people serving 3 million daily users 10k requests a second for images drawn on the fly by GPUs. Our hosting costs never exceeded 20k per month, and the vast majority of that was cloudflare.

Deploying meant compiling a static binary and copying it to the 4-6 hardware servers we ran in a couple racks, one rack on each side of the continent. We were drunk by 11am most of the time.

Today, it's apparently much more impressive if you need to have a team of earnest, bright-eyed Stanford grads constantly tweaking and fiddling with 100 knobs in order to keep systems running. Enter kubernetes.

melq(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm curious how long ago you were at that company serving 3m customers a day. I have not been in the industry very long, so I don't really know what things were like >5 years ago, and don't want to sound as if I'm pretending to be an expert.

That said, a couple thoughts that came to mind:

1. having only 4 servers in 2 locations serving 3m customers a day seems crazy to me, atleast in the context of current practices regarding highly available systems.

2. not sure your cost comparisons are fair, in the first case you're talking about cloud costs (so including hardware, 3rd party services/api fees, etc), but in the second you're just talking hosting fees.

If your first company had a relatively static, hardware-heavy (gpus doing most of the work) workload, easily handled by a few servers -- then it would be crazy to pay for a cloud provider. And it wouldn't make much sense to bother with k8s or containers either (imo).

On the other hand, if the more recent company has a dynamic/spikey, software-heavy workload, with a ton of different services, orders of magnitude more infrastructure, and (being fintech) much more demanding SLAs... then it might make a lot of sense to use a cloud provider and take advantage of k8s. Especially if you're a start up that doesn't have the time/expertise to deal with datacenter design.

I agree that there's a lot of unnecessary fixation on the latest and greatest these days, but there are definitely situations where kubernetes can be very valuable.

falcolas(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> is that the unbelievable bloat in the complexity of our systems is going to bite us in the ass.

My favorite example of this right now is Vitess. Sure, it's a beautiful piece of technology. But, for a usecase my company is looking at, we'll be replacing one (exceptionally large) DB with in excess of 80 mysql pods, managed by another opaque-through-complexity system running on the top of kubernetes (which already bites us regularly even though it's 'managed').

The complexity and failure scenarios makes my head ache, even though I should never have to interact with it myself.

Oh, and my current favorite PITA - having to change the API version of deployment objects from 'v1beta1' to 'v1' in over 160 microservice charts as part of a kubernetes version upgrade. Helm 2 doesn't recognize the deployments as being identical, so we're also have to do a helm3 upgrade as well, just to avoid taking down our entire ecosystem to do the API version upgrade. Wheeee!

crimsonalucard1(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Does there exist a solution that does what kubernetes does but without the complexity?

If such a tool does not exist do any of you feel that the creation of such a tool is within the realm of possibility?

I would imagine all these knobs could have default configurations that 99% of all users would be okay with and that the knob should only be exposed in a small amount of cases.

jmspring(4019) 3 days ago [-]

Wouldn't be prudent...

xenospn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I remember back in the day we were deploying a production video streaming server at a customer site, and a team from IBM deployed their analytics suite alongside us. We had over 8Gbps coming out of a single 1U server. The IBM installed a separate server for every Java process that their application needed, which was something like 8. It was ridiculous.

ninkendo(3658) 3 days ago [-]

Your argument is about complexity but it doesn't really speak to kubernetes itself. You can have some dead simple architecture on top of k8s. Hosting your own k8s though, that's pretty complex, but get that working (or have your cloud provider just host a cluster for you) and things can be pretty darned simple.

hyperbovine(4177) 3 days ago [-]

> I'll never forget when I joined a hip fintech company, and the director of eng told us in orientation that we should think of their cloud of services as a thousand points of light

Let's be real, if you are old enough to get that reference without Googling, you probably would not have lasted that long at a hip fintech company anyways :-P

look_lookatme(4199) 3 days ago [-]

I work at a fintech that runs a rails monolith on k8s and you would probably puke at how cheap our hosting cost is given our AUM. Engineering is a funny thing.

dilap(3494) 3 days ago [-]

dang, why'd you leave the old company? ;-)

winrid(4265) 3 days ago [-]

It sounds like your first company did one thing well, and the second one was trying to do a lot of different things. So while volume was lower, complexity was higher.

Don't get me wrong. I'd still probably build that as a monolith in Java instead of a thousand NodeJS services, but I can see how you end up with Kubernetes.

quickthrower2(1333) 3 days ago [-]

Network effects. Kubernetes is getting into the 'no one fired for choosing' category. Whatever it's flaws you can be sure it'll be a round in 10 years (or more sure than other tech). With cloud providers creating flux in their offerings, who knows if the locked-in simpler alternative will be desisted in 10 years, but at least with k8s you can move if they stop supporting it.

Aeolun(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Kubernetes makes it easier to run your application if it's already way too complex for it's own good.

yllus(4376) 3 days ago [-]

To draw anecdotally from my own experiences, its for two reasons:

1. It's simple to get started with, but complex enough to tweak to your needs in respect to simplicity of deployment, scaling and resource definition.

2. It's appealingly cloud-agnostic just at the time where multiple cloud providers are all becoming viable and competitive.

I think it's more #2 and #1; as always, timing is everything.

zmmmmm(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yeah, I think people are overthinking it. The real reason is that if you do a superficial investigation you will quickly come back with the impression that k8s is near universally supported across cloud vendors and gives an appearance of providing a portable solution where otherwise the only alternative would be vendor lock-in. It makes it a no-brainer for anybody starting out with a new cloud deployment.

battery_cowboy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Because everyone chases the newest, shiniest thing in tech, and it's not cool nor fun to make boring old stuff in C then copy one binary and maybe a config to the server.

mwcampbell(2239) 3 days ago [-]

Even if one does have a single binary and config file that one can just copy to a server and run, there's more to non-trivial deployments than that. For example, how do you do a zero-downtime deployment where you copy over a new binary, start it up, switch new requests over to the new version, but let the old one keep running until either it finishes handling all requests that it already received or a timeout is reached? One reason why Kubernetes is popular is that it provides a standard, cross-vendor solution to this and other problems.

p_l(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Then you need to add management of storage for it, management of logs, integration of monitoring, healthchecks, maybe some multiple environment case because UAT is good thing to have, etc. etc.

alexbanks(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I thought it was pretty insane yesterday when I read a YC-backed recruiting company was using Kubernetes. Absolutely insane. It's become the new, hottest, techiest thing that every company has to have even when they don't need it.

frompdx(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Why is it insane? Was there something about this company's stack that could have avoided Kubernetes in favor of something else?

Bob_LaBLahh(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's perfectly sane if their team already knows how to use K8s, especially if they use a hosted solution like GKE or Digitalocean K8s. (I'll admit that I'd never want to manage my own k8s cluster.)

Once you know K8s, it's not very difficult to use. Plus, it provides solutions to a lot of different infrastructure-level problems.

wadkar(4416) 2 days ago [-]

I think kubernetes is to Infra what RoR was to Web. Not necessarily in terms of architectural style of MVC, but more towards standardization of similar enough problems that can be put into a mutually agreed convention.

acd(4340) 3 days ago [-]

Devops/arch here, I think Kubernetes solves deployment in a standardized way and we get fresh clean state with every app deploy. Plus it restarts applications/pods that crashes.

That said I think Kubernetes may be at its Productivity journey on the tech Hype cycle. Networking in Kubernetes is complicated. This complication and abstraction has a point if you are a company at Google scale. Most shops are not Google scale and do not need that level of scalability. The network abstraction has its price in complexity when doing diagnostics.

You could solve networking differently than in Kubernetes with IPv6. There is not a need for complicated IPv4 nat schemes. You could use native ipv6 addresses that are reachable directly from the internet. Since you have so many ipv6 addresses you do not need Routers/Nats.

Anyhow in a few years time some might be using something simpler like an open source like Heroku. If you could bin pack the services / intercommunication on the same nodes there would be speed gains from not having todo network hops going straight to local memory. Or something like a standardized server less open source function runner.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle

takeda(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is a good point, I was wondering why IPv6 is being avoided so hard.

There are many arguments that IPv6 didn't solve too many IPv4 pain points, but if it solved something is definitively this.

nonines(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Good point on the app restart. I think K8S is in some ways the equivalent of Erlang BEAM for the masses for the cloud.

Fiahil(4318) 3 days ago [-]

TIL about kudo, The Kubernetes Universal Declarative Operator. We've been doing the exact same things in a custom go CLI for 2 years.

The kubernetes ecosystem is really amazing and full of invaluable resources. It's vast, complex, but well-thought. Getting to know all ins and outs of the project is time consuming. So much things to learn and so little time to practice...

darkteflon(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Ars longa, vita brevis ...

hartem_(4348) 3 days ago [-]

I work on KUDO team. Would love to hear what you think about it. All devs hang out in #kudo channel on Kubernetes community slack, please don't hesitate to join and say hi.

Historical Discussions: Htmx – high power tools for HTML (May 27, 2020: 718 points)
Show HN: htmx 0.0.4 – declarative web socket support (May 26, 2020: 2 points)

(722) Htmx – high power tools for HTML

722 points 5 days ago by oftenwrong in 297th position

htmx.org | Estimated reading time – 2 minutes | comments | anchor

</> htmx high power tools for HTML


htmx allows you to access AJAX, WebSockets and Server Sent Events directly in HTML, using attributes, so you can build modern user interfaces with the simplicity and power of hypertext

htmx is small (~7k min.gz'd), dependency-free, extendable & IE11 compatible

quick start

  <script src='https://unpkg.com/[email protected]'></script>
  <button hx-post='/clicked' hx-swap='outerHTML'>
    Click Me

The hx-post and hx-swap attributes tell htmx:

'When a user clicks on this button, issue an AJAX request to /clicked, and replace the entire button with the response'

htmx is the successor to intercooler.js


javascript fatigue: longing for a hypertext already in hand

All Comments: [-] | anchor

apolymath(4321) 4 days ago [-]

I'm a proponent of the natural web, where the focus of web development lies with W3C compliant HTML & CSS sprinkled with very small amounts of JavaScript (if necessary). Any JS frameworks that requires the user to modify their HTML to include non-W3C complient HTML attributes is a very poor architectural decision and should be avoided. Such frameworks include Angular. Unfortunately, your framework also falls into this category.

recursivedoubts(4325) 4 days ago [-]

you can use data- prefixes if you like

ksec(1242) 4 days ago [-]

I wish some of this ( or All of it ) are implemented inside browser and no longer need any Javascript to function.

Web App still has its place. But 90% of the web are Web Pages or Interactive Web Page, not Apps. While Every time I point this out there will be someone stating Gmail as an example of Web Apps, but we will soon have Hey.com to prove it doesn't need to be that way.

However browser vendors and standards body ( Which really is just browser vendors ) has far too much interest in making the Web or Web Browser as another OS / Platform. Rather than optimising for the 90% of our current use case.

the_other(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Apart from Apple who stand to gain the most from killing off web apps. And Google who are busy trying to make the web redundant (with AMP and much of their other stack).

It's actually web app developers doing the most to push the web in the direction of web apps.

eitland(1764) 4 days ago [-]

I've been mentioning this together with a very slimmed down html5 for a while now:

- make something close to an html5 equivalent to asm.js: remove all ambiguous variants, everything we know is slow.

- 'ban' all Javascript except some small pre-defined libraries like this.

- make a catchy name (html-core? web-core?) and a validator for it. Call it a standard.

It will be fast in all browsers, maybe really fast in browsers that care to optimize for it.

If it becomes a thing we can create new simpler pure web browsers (as opposed to todays application platforms that we will then start calling old or legacy html :-)

JadeNB(4425) 5 days ago [-]

On the chance that the authors are here: on https://htmx.org/docs , there is a link 'original web programming model' where the target is (for some reason) surrounded by parentheses, so that it points to the wrong location.

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

fixed, thanks

wenc(4399) 5 days ago [-]

This looks amazing -- seems like you can accomplish a significant amount of what constitutes front-end work these days with htmx. The examples are compelling:


There is a slight deal-breaker for me. Much of the functionality revolves around hx-swap'ing i.e. writing the contents of a response as HTML into/around tags. This requires the server-side to return HTML instead of JSON. From the docs:

'Note that when you are using htmx, on the server side you respond with HTML, not JSON. This keeps you firmly within the original web programming model, using Hypertext As The Engine Of Application State without even needing to really understand that concept.'

I would love to use this with existing REST backends, but most are only able to return JSON. How does one use this for AJAX without rewriting existing backends?

nogabebop23(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Sending back HTML is kind of the point though. The idea is lots of sites built on frameworks (Rails, .NET, Java) already do HTML rendering server-side, so now you can get SPA-like UI without backend changes. If you've got a REST backend (which the former generally don't) I would use one of the many popular client side frameworks. Using HTMX or intercooler or unpoly, doesn't make a lot of sense in this scenario.

hliyan(1621) 5 days ago [-]

On a related note, I recently discovered that when you use semantically styled HTML, the difference between a JSON payload and an HTML payload is almost negligible (basically, the close tags). Why not transmit in a format that the browser already understands natively?

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

You could check out the client side templates extension:


SrslyJosh(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> How does one use this for AJAX without rewriting existing backends?

I've never actually used a backend that couldn't return arbitrary content types. Those exist?

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

hello, I'm the creator of htmx (and originally intercooler)

I just released 0.0.4, so htmx is still very young, but it's got a decent test suite: https://htmx.org/test/0.0.4/test/

there is a nice extension mechanism:


and some very rough docs on how to pull off pure HTML animations:


happy to answer questions

SrslyJosh(10000) 4 days ago [-]

What about accessibility? It'd be great to see the docs and examples put more focus on accessibility, both for non-JS clients and for clients that may be better served by not replacing elements, like screen readers.

And, based on some of the comments here, it seems like some people may have forgotten how to do anything that doesn't depend on AJAX. ;-)

politelemon(4062) 4 days ago [-]

On the click-to-load example


I see no network traffic when I click the 'load more agents' button. Am I missing something, where are the requests going?

gavinray(4417) 5 days ago [-]

I've heard of Intercooler before and saw htmx on Github trending a few weeks ago.

A question about this example: https://htmx.org/examples/inline-validation/

This paradigm revolves around sending validation requests to server-side endpoints, is there any reason to put that load on the server rather than validate it on the page prior to submit with JS? Or scalability issues?

Not being antagonistic, genuinely curious because I've not seen inline validation done this way.

dzonga(4191) 5 days ago [-]

intercooler looked cool. never got to try it due to jquery dependency. but will definitely give htmx a try. my current project will either be htmx or alpine.js. Thank you for your work, in preventing SPA bloat ie providing an alternative

digitaltrees(4319) 5 days ago [-]

I like the name htmx better than kutty. Easier to remember and feels more official.

yepthatsreality(3887) 5 days ago [-]

What development challenges do you see ahead on the road to v1.0?

digitaltrees(4319) 5 days ago [-]

Amazing work. Thanks for pushing it forward. The name is great too.

mishu2(4407) 5 days ago [-]

Thank you for your work, I've been a happy intercooler user for a while now. It's great to see the jquery dependency going away.

arkis22(10000) 5 days ago [-]

thank you

antman(925) 5 days ago [-]

Does it have the same features with intercooler or are there any features of intercooler that will not be on the scope of this project?

Edit: Main concern is whether to start a new project now with intercooler or htmx

BiteCode_dev(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is super cool, and you probably have a business model here: create a proxy, allow people to pay you for it, and use it transparently with htmx.

This way they can create entire products with zero backend code by simply calling 3rd party API.

This is probably also some very nice static blog engine concept to imagine around this.

And some mix with VueJS as well.

combatentropy(4404) 5 days ago [-]

I have a lot of respect for intercooler and wish something like it had become the go-to, with more complicated things like React reserved for apps that really need it.

I'm curious why you are starting over. What is different from intercooler besides no need for jQuery? Why HTMX instead of Intercooler 2.0?

winrid(4265) 5 days ago [-]

Reminds me of AngularJS... :) Much simpler overall though. I like it.

bufferoverflow(3815) 4 days ago [-]

It reminds me more of jQuery. And while I see how it's great for quick prototyping, it's going to be a nightmare in a large project. I really like React, where data and HTML are clearly separate. I don't want to send raw HTML back and forth, I want to send only data.

sam_goody(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The js via html tags is something I see also in Alpine.js, which has gotten a lot of press lately.

Is this an alternative, or is each really its own niche (and you might use both)? Is there a comparison?

Edit: It seems that htmx is almost entirely around AJAX, and Alpine around a) binding element data to objects and b) css & animations (such as hiding a popup). It would make a lot of sense to use them together (and the hx- even complements the x-). Is that correct?

wysewun(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yeah some kind of bridge between the two would be great. They both seem to have different areas of specialization

XCSme(4338) 5 days ago [-]

This is pretty cool.

Does it only send data? If yes, I don't really see a clear use-case for it, as you normally either want zero JS and just use plain HTML forms posting or you have a dynamic interface and you use a lot of JS to update data on the page.

apineda(4352) 5 days ago [-]

What else would you send?

k__(3456) 5 days ago [-]

How does it compare to intercooler?

What's the Accessibility story?

madeofpalk(4082) 5 days ago [-]

What are your Accessibility concerns with this?

stephenr(4233) 4 days ago [-]

I like the theory of this (that is: using XHR to update parts of a page with the result of requests)

I'm immediately turned off by the demo though, because it's relying on a 'fake http server' in the client side JS.

If your toy examples can't be run against a real server, I have zero expectation of it working well for non-trivial examples.

matsemann(4426) 4 days ago [-]

'Can't be run against a real server' sounds like a straw man you just made up? I'm astonished about how much you believe you can ascertain based on this... It's a demo, mocking a server is completely fine and also allow them to show it working without relying on other things.

I mean, this is actually even better. You can expand the mock-server down below and see what's happening.

woah(3958) 5 days ago [-]

The example on the front page already hints at the type of bad programming this may encourage. When clicked, the button sends a POST (this seems ok), and then the backend sends new html for the button. The idea of having random snippets of your frontend markup being returned from api servers seems questionable.

onion2k(2174) 4 days ago [-]

I don't think the idea of sending 'random' snippets of HTML to a browser and injecting them in to the DOM is inherently bad, and loads of frameworks have done exactly that in the past, but I would say that it does mean you have to be extremely good at managing your CSS. If something can be dropped in to the DOM anywhere where there's an hx attribute that could make managing the cascade specificity pretty tricky.

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

Yeah, this is something you are going to have to wrap your head around and chew on for a bit. htmx is an extension of HTML (a generalization of it) rather than something you need to shoehorn into a JSON API-oriented world view.

It's just a different way of building web applications, much closer to the original web model. You can do a lot with it, with a lot less complexity in many cases.

I wrote some blog posts about this stuff for intercooler back in the day:



tannhaeuser(1179) 4 days ago [-]

Woah I think this is misinformed on a very fundamental level, and I really would like to clarify where this idea is coming from (is it from a 'modern' React or other JS-first bootcamp line of thought by chance? Not trolling, but genuinely interested). The entire point of the original web is that you send HTML to a browser rather than JS snippets or JSON payloads, and that you compose your documents from HTML fragments. 'API servers' and RPC were concepts from before HTML, and the web as an app platform was welcomed for leaving granular request/response roundtrips behind and compose accessible and searchable HTML pages with really simple means (like shell scripts) on the server in the first place!

latch(1064) 5 days ago [-]

I'm not sure I get what you're saying?

I think you're saying that having html returned from the backend 'seems questionable' and is a 'type of bad programming'.

But that can't be right because that's mostly how the web works? Make a request to a server, server returns html.

Is your issue that it's partial 'random' content? How does that make it worse? It's a tried and true solution. The hamburger menu in amazon.com does just that.

Thorentis(4416) 5 days ago [-]

There is an extension (which is part of the main repo) that supports using front-end templates to consume JSON from a back-end. Looks just as simple as the replace feature. See: https://htmx.org/extensions/client-side-templates/

midrus(10000) 4 days ago [-]

One of the problems I see is that now anyone that was using intercooler is using an outdated and quite likely to become unmaintained library and be forced to migrate/rewrite things.

BareNakedCoder(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Would have had the same problem if the rewrite was called 2.0 instead of htmx. Hmmm, reminds me of the Angular 1 vs 2+ conumdrum (for which many said renaming would've been better).

andybak(2162) 4 days ago [-]

See above. Intercooler will continue to be maintained.

edwinyzh(4420) 4 days ago [-]

Yes, I wish the author will offer a smooth upgrade path for the existing intercooler.js users, because my heard wants such a thing to be adopted by people. I like the concept very much!

uallo(4395) 4 days ago [-]
sica07(4426) 4 days ago [-]

You are comparing apple to oranges :) alpine and stimulus are frameworks (doing all sorts of stuff: css animation, data <-> objects, etc) while htmx is a library focusing solely on ajax. From your list, the only similar project to htmx is intercooler-js, but... htmx is actually the new version of intercooler-js (both projects by the same author).

xrd(2735) 5 days ago [-]

How do you test applications written with Htmx? Does it all need to be ui test harness (running in a browser), or can you unit test components somehow?

I'm happy you noted the test coverage for the library itself is reaching your standards. That's a great sign.

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

You can use the same technique I use in my tests: sinon.js has FakeServer that mocks AJAX calls.

I think I'd look into a headless chrome setup against my real server if I was doing a large app.

vz8(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Can you use hx-swap-oob to update multiple elements with a single call?

The haiku is a nice touch!

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

yes, you can send down a bunch of content targeting different elements by id on the page

maddyboo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Very cool. This seems very useful for lightweight UIs that need a small amount of interactivity, but not enough that a more heavyweight framework like React would make sense. Am I on the right track?

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

you can build a pretty serious app with it

the progress bar demo shows how you can implement a UI that would typically be done w/ javascript using pure HTML responses:


fastball(4281) 5 days ago [-]

For similar-goal prior-art, see Unpoly[1].

Also the IETF asks[2] that you please stop using 'X-' to prepend your custom HTTP headers[3]

[1] https://unpoly.com/tutorial [2] https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6648 [3] https://htmx.org/reference/#headers

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

I like unpoly a lot, Henning is a perfect gentleman, but the first check in on intercooler.js was before the first check in on unpoly:



I'm happy to change the headers htmx is young enough to get away with it. Would you like to issue a pull request?

midrus(10000) 4 days ago [-]

My upvote for Unpoly. Used it in severa projects and it's awesome. Only drawback I've found so far is that the source is CoffeScript, so it might be a bit harder to read the internals when necessary.

But In my opinion it gets a lot of things right, specially around form submissions, validation, error handling, modals, history, navigation, passive updates, etc. It is like Turbolinks++.

akersten(4200) 5 days ago [-]

Off topic, but that's a shame about them recommending not to prefix X- for custom headers.

Their entire reason (Appendix B) is that 'well, if the header eventually becomes a standard header, then there will be old apps that will only work with X-, and we'll have to keep the X- version around forever!' That seems like a very weak reason to me. Most custom headers are not going to become standard headers, and those that do, well, apps can update nowadays and we deprecate old web features all the time.

I see a lot of value in distinguishing non-standard headers as a matter of principle. Also, there's a little bit of classic charm to X-, it's almost a shibboleth of HTTP. Removing it feels as wrong to me as removing the :// from the URI protocol and saying 'we really just need :/'

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

fastball has submitted and I have accepted a fix for the headers issue

thank you!

ordinaryradical(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Unpoly examples wrecked my back button. Had to click back like 15 times to get back to HN... Is this a permanent issue because of the way it's implemented?

coderintherye(4271) 5 days ago [-]

How much work / code is required in order to make this IE compatible? I ask, since the project is young, it would seem like a good time to make the hard choice to not support IE.

recursivedoubts(4325) 5 days ago [-]

there are a few areas where I need to check for nulls and i can't use some of the es6 niceties, but it's not too bad

the 'revealed' event logic doesn't use an intersection observer because of IE, that's probably the most annoying thing I can think of

Historical Discussions: Trump threatens to 'close' down social media platforms (May 27, 2020: 706 points)
After Twitter fact-check, Trump threatens to regulate or close down social media (May 27, 2020: 394 points)

(706) Trump threatens to 'close' down social media platforms

706 points 5 days ago by patd in 4350th position

techcrunch.com | Estimated reading time – 2 minutes | comments | anchor

Once again, Donald Trump has doubled down. Following the addition of a fact-checking warning label added to his tweet about mail-in ballots, Trump took to the platform yet again to denounce it. In what may be his strongest words to date against a service that has largely given him free rein to this point, the president suggested that social media services would have to be regulated or shut down. Republicans have long held that social media sites harbor an anti-conservative bias.

"Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices," he tweeted. "We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016."

That last bit appears to be a reference to the role platforms like Twitter and Facebook played in the 2016 election. Trump then went on to reassert earlier claims about mail-in ballots, accusing a push for easy access to voting amid a pandemic of being a "free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft."

It was precisely those claims that earned him a Twitter fact-checking label in the first place. As of this writing, however, no such label has been added to the new tweet sent a little after 7AM ET this morning. It's been a busy couple of days for Trump on his favored social media platform, following the long holiday weekend. Last night he accused the service of "stifling free speech," in spite of Twitter's long-standing reluctance to either delete tweets or ban Trump over perceived TOS violations.

This morning the president took to Twitter to once again tie a cable news morning host to an old conspiracy theory about his late-wife host and declare "Obamagate" worse than Watergate.

All Comments: [-] | anchor

pseingatl(4423) 5 days ago [-]

Don't forget that the largest shareholders of Twitter, after its own founders are the government of Saudi Arabia acting though Walid bin Talal. Censorship is not unknown in Saudi Arabia.

pwdisswordfish2(10000) 5 days ago [-]

One alternative is to ban politicians from using these private websites as 'official pulpits'. As private websites they are under no legal obligation to allow anyone to use them. If politicians want to communicate with constituents, then let them do so through government websites. Why does the US government not create its own 'Twitter' service? Government websites are subject to laws and regulations that private websites are not. Unlike private websites they would be required to honour free speech protections under existing US law.

As we know, the private websites have incentives to allow politicians to use them as pulpits because it drives 'engagement' and, in some cases, because they want to sell political ads or ad services.

pwdisswordfish2(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The term 'private websites' might be ambiguous. What I mean is 'privately-owned websites'.

haunter(2305) 5 days ago [-]

>Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices

Not wrong tho especially if you just look at the mainstream media

ianleeclark(4418) 5 days ago [-]

Last I checked, Fox news had higher ratings than the other mainstream channels.

throwaway_pdp09(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Kind of baffling to read this. Do you actually believe that because you want to feel hard done by, or do you have any facts?

Also do you feel it is wrong for media to report that something is incorrect if it verifiably is?

sp332(339) 5 days ago [-]

Andrew Bosworth, a top corporate executive considered a confidant of Zuckerberg, said in a post in December that Facebook was "responsible for Donald Trump getting elected" in 2016 through his effective advertising campaign


ceilingcorner(10000) 5 days ago [-]

1. Is Twitter going to fact-check every political figure? Every public figure with more than a million followers?

2. Who decides what is a viable source? As a part of their 'fact check', Twitter linked to CNN, which is almost as bad as Fox News these days. This really isn't helping their case for supposed neutrality.

3. I don't like Trump, didn't vote for him, and find his tweets embarrassing. But I don't need Twitter to tell me what to think.

remarkEon(3865) 5 days ago [-]

>But I don't need Twitter to tell me what to think.

I think what this discussion is revealing is that a lot of people, and a lot of people that work it tech it seems, actually do want someone to tell them what to think. Which may be part of the baseline or mean human condition. Thinking and deciding for yourself is hard, and when other people think and decide for themselves in a different way than you it seems to generate an immune response and a reaction that calls for intervention from above.

lordvon(4387) 5 days ago [-]

It seems like most people here believe there is no evidence of mail-in voter fraud (for some reason...). Here's a huge list of convictions for 'fraudulent use of absentee ballots': https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/docs/p...

Edit: some might think this list is comprehensive, but the first page says it is a 'sampling', a 400-page sampling.

ForrestN(4294) 5 days ago [-]

This list proves the total irrelevance of voter fraud. Going back 30 years there are only 1000 such cases in a country of 300M+!

To justify severely hampering the public's right to vote you would need to demonstrate a pattern of recent fraud efforts that swung elections to the side committing the fraud. as far as I know there are exactly zero of those at the federal level, and probably near zero at any level of government.

There is no legitimate independent body studying this who believes voter fraud in the United States justifies the widespread disenfranchisement strategy the GOP is applying in so many elections across the country. Full stop.

ALittleLight(4408) 5 days ago [-]

I think a better solution for Trump, since he obviously doesn't have the power to 'close' social media, would be to create a competitor. There should be a public social media company, tied to real identity, that would support something like Twitter. You could post your thoughts or essays there, follow people, comment, etc. Put out a request for design proposals, the emphasis should be on sharing thoughts attributed to your real identity, keeping your account safe, recovering passwords, and things like that.

Having a national social media would have the side benefit of allowing a better identity system than social security numbers which are a travesty. I have to share my social security number with many people, but also somehow keep it safe? Instead, I should have a public and private key pair, and this could be associated with my National Social Media account for a single identity, and sign messages with my private key if I need to apply for a loan, or a lease, or whatever.

The National Social Media account could enshrine the same protections afforded by the US constitution - free speech, you cannot be censored top down, only by people blocking you. The government cannot spy on your usage patterns or edit your messages, and so on.

If Trump were to get such a thing created, and it worked reasonably well, and he started using it exclusively instead of Twitter, I think it would gain a lot of traction. I know I would try it out.

jedieaston(4051) 5 days ago [-]

It seems like this could be achieved with login.gov, if anyone wanted. It requires MFA (password + U2F/TOTP) which should be sufficient to prove who you are and that you are signing something. There's integration docs for government services.

RandomTisk(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm not opposed to it, but I imagine you would have a lot of people very hesitant to put their opinions on record with a system that is controlled by the government. The big benefit with Twitter is it's co-mingled with citizen and government employees alike and I'm not sure how you'd promote a government run system. Governments needs a subpoena to access records from a private company (theoretically) but if that layer of protection isn't there because the system is owned by a government, then I doubt anyone would want to use it for more than press releases, wedding announcements, births, obituaries and things like that.

akhilcacharya(4397) 5 days ago [-]

I'm old enough to remember when conservatives accused the left of being against 'free speech'.

anewdirection(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It switches sides every 15-25 years, as youd notice, surely.

Parties have little in common with what they were even 20 years ago.

busymom0(4114) 5 days ago [-]

It seems like any remotely political post on HN gets flooded and upvoted with provable incorrect comments. Twitter team which is doing 'fact checks' is severely biased and factually wrong.

Twitter's 'Head of Site Integrity' Yoel Roth boasts on his LinkedIn that he is in charge of 'developing and enforcing Twitter's rules'.

> "He leads the teams responsible for developing and enforcing Twitter's rules"

Here's a few of his tweets:

> Massive anti-Trump protest headed up Valencia St. San Francisco.

> I'm just saying, we fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason.

> The "you are not the right kind of feminist" backlash to yesterday's marches has begun. Did we learn nothing from this election?

> Yes, that person in the pink hat is clearly a bigger threat to your brand of feminism than ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE

> How does a personality-free bag of farts like Mitch McConnell actually win elections?

> "Today on Meet The Press, we're speaking with Joseph Goebbels about the first 100 days..." —What I hear whenever Kellyanne is on a news show

This same person doesn't stand up to his own purity tests:

> It wouldn't be a trip to New York without at least one big scary tranny.

> 'Trans is a category worth being linguistically destabilized in the same way we did gay with 'fag,'' he wrote. 'Sorry, but I don't subscribe to PC passing the buck. Identity politics is for everyone.'

Twitter's 'fact check' is literally wrong. Until few years ago, every one agreed that mail-in ballot has massive fraud:

> "votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised & more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show."


Just 1 week ago: Close Results In Paterson Vote Plagued By Fraud Claims; Over 3K Ballots Seemingly Set Aside - A county spokesman said 16,747 vote-by-mail ballots were received, but the county's official results page shows 13,557 votes were counted — with uncounted ballots representing 19%


> California Secretary of State confirmed double-voting in one case and suspected double-voting by a number of other registered voters on Super Tuesday:


Yesterday, WEST VIRGINIA – Thomas Cooper, a USPS mail carrier in Pendleton County, was charged today in a criminal complaint with attempted election fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.


In 2004, Jerry Nadler (Democrat) asserts that paper ballots, particularly in the absence of machines, are extremely susceptible to fraud:


Future head of the Democrat Party Debbie Wasserman Schultz opposing mail-in ballots due to the risk of election fraud in 2008:


West Virginia Mail Carrier Charged With Altering Absentee Ballot Requests:


Also Twitter's Trump 'Fact Check' Does Not Disclose Company Partnered with Groups Pushing Mail-In Ballots.







colejohnson66(4196) 5 days ago [-]

So he's biased. Does that mean him fact checking is wrong? Sure, we should demand accountability on both sides, but it's hard to be completely neutral.

tehwebguy(3737) 5 days ago [-]

Sorry, do these data points prove that votes cast by mail are not 'less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised & more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth'?

shadowgovt(4419) 5 days ago [-]

This is great signal. It's a shame instead of saying any of this, the President makes wild accusations without any citations.

krn(1786) 5 days ago [-]

I wonder, at point is Twitter supposed to block the user for constant spread of disinformation on its platform? Or would that violate the user's right to 'free speech'? Could the user protect himself by claiming, that he is simply expressing 'his own opinion'?

WhyNotHugo(3984) 5 days ago [-]

Public figures have it harder when it comes to using the 'it's just my opinion' argument.

YOU can claim vaccines are a fake, and that's bad, but won't have harder consequences on you.

A medical doctor can't claim the same thing without losing their position as a medical doctor; they kinda lose a bit of that 'it's just my opinion' card as part of the responsibilities they have with society.

chadlavi(4419) 5 days ago [-]

Free speech means the government can't come after you for statements. Anyone claiming a company is infringing on their free speech is at best ignorant of, and at worst purposefully misconstruing, the bill of rights. You have no right to post whatever you want on a private company's platform, they can ban you whenever and for whatever reason they want.

VBprogrammer(3497) 5 days ago [-]

Can this even be considered a free speech issue? They aren't deleting his tweet, only displaying it alongside a fact check. Of course you can try to call into question the impartiality of the fact check but that is a long way from not deciding not to show the content.

m-p-3(10000) 5 days ago [-]

And if he decided to 'close' Twitter, it would actually be a clear case of censorship from the government and a violation of free speech.

Twitter is merely labelling a tweet as being factually incorrect, it's not hiding the content.

danShumway(4144) 5 days ago [-]

Not only does it not seem to be a free speech issue to me, from my point of view this is basically the best-case scenario for avoiding censorship of contentious issues on dominant platforms like Facebook/Twitter. It's the obvious conclusion to arguments like, 'the way to deal with bad speech is with more good speech.'

Twitter saw speech they disagreed with, and they fixed it with more speech. They haven't censored any of Trump's arguments, they didn't delete his tweets. They just added their own commentary on top of them. That's what Republicans have always claimed they wanted. Argue that people are wrong, don't censor them. Don't throw people off the platform, add a fact-check.

I grew up listening to Republicans rail against the Fairness Doctrine, and I basically agreed with them on that point. Forcing private broadcasters to act like they were neutral on every issue was problematic. But now apparently that's flipped and free speech means forcing a private company not to take sides on any issue, even when taking a side doesn't require censoring or restricting anyone else's speech.

Any Republican that was genuinely anti-censorship would be cheering Twitter's move, even if they disagreed with the content of this particular fact-check.

mathdev(4406) 5 days ago [-]

A fact check would be fine if it led to objective analyses of some sort, or even Wikipedia. But when I clicked it, it displayed some highly partisan sources, including a CNN article with its usual 'Trump bad' vitriol. Maybe it was an algorithm's fault, but it didn't work at all.

dang(192) 5 days ago [-]

(We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23322571)

paultopia(4405) 5 days ago [-]

constitutional law professor with a phd in political theory slowly raises hand

No, it cannot even be considered a free speech issue (except insofar as Trump proposes to censor Twitter). Those of us in the con law/democratic theory community, and everyone else in the universe who is even semi-rational, use them term 'counterspeech' to describe what Twitter did.

Traditionally, counterspeech is seen as the virtuous alternative to censorship---as the thing that us snotty free speech people tell those who call for their opponents to be censored to do instead. John Stuart Mill would jump up and down and pop champagne in celebration of what Twitter did.

__s(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If Trump can levy something vs Twitter then soon enough he'll be using the same mechanism to say fake news is censoring him when they report on what he's saying

exabrial(4193) 5 days ago [-]

I once got a strike on social media for posting an article about a German doctor that recommended whiskey to cure covid19. It was a joke, and any reasonable adult would know this is false.

It's hard for me to feel sorry for companies that go down the fact checking route with algorithms; It always ends up causing more damage than value.

12 years ago we didn't have this problem, and I think that's mostly related to the fact there was some UX resistance to hitting the 'reahare' button.

gouggoug(2581) 5 days ago [-]

I guess the issue is 'getting a strike'. Sure, if your posts are misinformation, why not add a label that says so.

But giving a strike? That's going too far and your case highlights why: you can't make a joke anymore.

A strike is stifling free speech whereas a label is just informative. It might be biased, it might not be, but it doesn't prevent you from expressing yourself, be it by making a joke or spreading accurate information or spreading ridiculous conspiracy theories.

SuperFerret(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm sure Trump was just joking!

nkkollaw(2891) 5 days ago [-]

Well, I don't think it can be see as a positive even if human beings are the ones to fact-check.

Who is someone working for Facebook or anyone else to flag my messages because they think they're not factual?

This is crazy.

donw(3543) 5 days ago [-]

> I once got a strike on social media for posting an article about a German doctor that recommended whiskey to cure covid19.

You mean I've been taking all this medication for nothing?

IanCal(4400) 5 days ago [-]

Unfortunately the idea that alcohol can kill the virus (if you drink it) is taken seriously by some, and has resulted in more than 700 deaths in Iran https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/iran-700-dead-drinkin...

jmull(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Not sure algorithms are the problem in this case. I haven't seen your post of course, but as you describe it I'd have flagged it as covid19 misinformation.

I'd probably understand that you posted it as a joke, but I'd also know that regardless of your intentions, many people would not understand the joke.

I think you probably earned your strike.

ojnabieoot(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Literally hundreds of people, including children, have died drinking bootleg alcohol being hawked as a COVID-19 cure. It is simply not the case that "any reasonable adult" knows your joke is a joke - that may be the case in developed countries where people have reliable access to actual doctors. But in developing countries this has been a serious problem.

Misinformation kills innocent people. A harsh no-tolerance policy is acceptable given this is the worst global health crisis in 100 years.

tzs(3482) 5 days ago [-]

> I once got a strike on social media for posting an article about a German doctor that recommended whiskey to cure covid19. It was a joke, and any reasonable adult would know this is false.

There are a heck of a lot of non-reasonable adults on social media.

Unless something is very explicitly and prominently labeled as a joke or satire, in a way that won't get separated from it when it is re-shared by your downstream viewers, there's a good chance quite a few people will not catch on that it is not intended to be true.

Social media can be particularly bad in this regard because it often encourages only spending a short time reading each individual post. It pushes breadth over depth.

> 12 years ago we didn't have this problem, and I think that's mostly related to the fact there was some UX resistance to hitting the 'reahare' button.

I'm not sure that is most of it, but it contributes to increasing volume in people's feeds, pushing the breadth vs. depth balance toward breadth so makes things worse.

OliverJones(3956) 5 days ago [-]

A 'conservative' government threatens to shut down private businesses. Wait, what?

Maybe the billionaire hotel magnate from New York should arrange a leveraged buyout of the business he doesn't like, and shut it down when he owns it.

shmageggy(3188) 5 days ago [-]

Seems nonsensical like most of what Trump does, until you accept that he operates on the third axis of the political compass: how flattering or critical something is to Trump.

C1sc0cat(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Its not real 'conservative' views that get censored is it its entryist far right views.

Its like in the UK when Corbyn's crank supporters claim ultra far left positions are main steam labour views when they are not.

bilbo0s(4415) 5 days ago [-]

Just to distance myself from the current 'conservative' establishment, I would argue that their views are not conservative so much as they are a relatively newer form of fascism. Typically with fascism there is nationalism that prioritizes the citizens of the nation above all else, but with this new 'conservatism' in the US, the nationalism is a bit more race-based. But other than that it's much more close to fascism than what we in the US typically considered 'conservatism'.

Maybe we need a new word for it altogether?

shadowgovt(4419) 5 days ago [-]

I notice this post is flagged.

HN will do what it do, but I can't escape the feeling that in an era where a President uses Twitter, HN will become less relevant as a technological discourse destination if it lacks the will to touch the ramifications of technology and politics combined.

majewsky(4194) 5 days ago [-]

We have enough forums that allow or encourage political discussions and then inevitably devolve into hyper-partisan shitshows (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc.). It's nice to have a refuge that's mostly free from this dynamic.

Arubis(3924) 5 days ago [-]

For those missing the context, Twitter didn't actually remove or censor anything; they added a small call-out next to a politically motivated tweet.

Trump responded in an aggressive manner that can be perceived as threatening. That's one discussion, and one I'm not currently capable of engaging in rationally.

The other discussion is whether Twitter did right in this case. Rather than tell Twitter they're out of place, I actually think they did the right thing, provided they're willing to do it _more_, to shift towards having this performed by a group with some transparency around it, and to reference sources when they do so.

Seeing politicians I can't stand called out in public for lying is deeply satisfying, but won't change my mind about anything. I'd be interested in seeing what happens when fact checks on all politicians are considered expected & there's a purported neutral party doing so. Can that be done without the process itself being eaten alive by political agendas? Would I personally be open to fact checks on politicians that I myself favor, and would it change my perspective on them? It feels worth trying to find out.

Ultimately, even if we end up deciding that an approach is unworkable, I applaud anyone willing to at least try to clean up our discourse right now. It's ugly enough to have created a divide that will eventually threaten violence at scale if not addressed.

Edit: curious why the downvotes; this was deliberately civil.

whatshisface(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I feel like if Twitter fact-checked one tweet from a high-profile Democrat for every one they did of a high-profile Republican, there would be a lot less outcry over the situation. I know the president happens to be a high-profile Republican, and as a result he's a more salient target for fact-checking, but lying and being wrong are both bipartisan strategies. The accusation is that Twitter is almost completely staffed by Dem voters and that they're biased as a result. Everyone knows the premise of that accusation is true, so a little formal knod to dispel the conclusion would be welcome.

JMTQp8lwXL(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It is deeply satisfying to watch politicians get fact checked, especially when this reaffirms our world view. It's simply another tool in the toolkit for social media platforms to get us involved. To wield this more effectively to maximize engagement --which is an unsurprising move for social media companies, given their profit incentive to maximize ads-- the companies could choose to show individual fact-checks from a user's opposing political party only. I agree that fact checks don't change people's opinions, because people do not care if their world view is based in lies or reality, all that's important to the average social media consumer is the affirmation.

AzzieElbab(4414) 5 days ago [-]

It really isn't about fact checking. No social media company is in position to do so, especially when dealing with unknown. It is about blocking the message, which IMHO is the same thing as tired old deplatforming. I am not taking sides here, but would it not be fair to have every journalist and politician who keeps tweeting about the Russian collision marked for fact checking or banned now that 'official' sources disagree?

thepangolino(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That would be hilarious to watch. Unfortunately we all know that's not happening.

hadtodoit(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If companies want to allow user generated content they should be liable for moderating it. The legal protections that these companies have thrived on should be repealed. They don't seem to have trouble removing content they disagree with so illegal content shouldn't be any more difficult.

baq(3598) 5 days ago [-]

nobody is in a position to declare any fact truth. it's impossible almost by definition.

that doesn't mean that it isn't possible for some facts. in fact, i believe social media are among the best positioned to do so for surprisingly many facts.

jwalgenbach(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What a maroon.

qubex(4207) 5 days ago [-]


Finnucane(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's pretty obvious that DT is not going to shut down the very platforms he relies on for his political survival. Even he's not that stupid. Nor does he have any real regulatory authority that could be employed that wouldn't also bite him back. So this is just him trying to bully the platforms into letting him say whatever without being exposed to any criticism or being called out for bullshit.

dathinab(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Sure, but such bullying is rather dangerous.

Normally such threads come from people which are somewhat in the process or trying to de-mantel a democracy. So a US president saying something like that is quite worrying even if his intentions are not to undermine the US democracy.

root_axis(10000) 5 days ago [-]

DT doesn't 'rely on twitter for his political survival', any platform he goes to all his supporters would happily follow while gleefully trashing twitter on their way out the door.

> Nor does he have any real regulatory authority that could be employed that wouldn't also bite him back

I'm not convinced of that. Trump has repeatedly shown he is willing to exercise executive authority to the fullest extent possible and the courts have repeatedly affirmed his ability to do so. I'm not sure what kind of 'bite back' you expect, but that kind of thing has never been an obstacle for Trump. At the end of the day I think you're right that he's bullying them, but I think it's wrong to believe that he won't actually go after them if they do not comply with his demands or at the very least retract the fact-check and praise him

ojnabieoot(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The salient comparison is Bezos and WaPo. Even if Trump can't attack a newspaper directly, he can (and has) attacked other business ventures to try to force censorship - hit AWS hard enough that Bezos interfere with his newspaper to get Trump off his back. Given yesterday's WSJ story about Facebook, it seems to be working.

One tactic I think is likely to come from Barr and the DOJ is a corrupt selective enforcement of anti-trust laws - decide Twitter and AWS are monopolies but Facebook and Microsoft are not.

ProAm(914) 5 days ago [-]

Twitter will kowtow to the President here. He is the reason alone Twitter survived the last 6 years and they have shown publicly that politicians and celebrities play by different rules on their platform.

bearjaws(10000) 5 days ago [-]

In the last 15+ years we have heard this same story, 'X platform wouldn't exist without Y user'. This has never turned out to be true for any large scale social media platform. For the platforms that have failed, it was always a better platform that took their place, not one single user causing a mass migration.

Look at the_donald, which had a mass migration off of Reddit, and everyone said Reddit was going to shutdown without their ad revenue. Still waiting...

TechBro8615(4349) 5 days ago [-]

Forget about the free speech albatross. To me, what Twitter is doing looks like a clear case of election interference. They are basically giving free ads to the opposition of Trump. He tweets something, they annotate it with a link to media sources that are heavily biased toward the democrats.

Will they be giving the same treatment to @joebiden? He has been known to lie and plagiarize throughout his political career.

Who qualifies as a reliable source for fact checking? I see links to sources like CBS and CNN, neither of which are known as bastions of truth, and both of which have failed many fact checks themselves, in recent memory.

myvoiceismypass(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If Biden lies in a tweet, they should flag it!

I suspect, however, that he does not have the time to sit tweeting trash all day long while "leading" this country.

iso1631(4428) 5 days ago [-]

They give free ads to Trump by providing him a platform in the first place! He doesn't have to use that platform.

FireBeyond(2726) 5 days ago [-]

> To me, what Twitter is doing looks like a clear case of election interference.

I'll be sure to look for the DNC ads on Fox, if they're not told they're unwelcome.

Or pro-choice messaged ads in conservative religious publications.

Hey, Fox could even agree to run Trump ads for free.

None of those things are election interference.

myspy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Well, Facebook and Twitter are currently used in cyberwarfare to destabilise western democracies and the result is pretty impressive, because it works.

Give people their Facebook but remove the algorithms from the timeline and close all groups to make it harder for people to spread misinformation and group together to celebrate it. Or close it all together, social media doesn't have that many upsides. My observation from more than ten years with those tools.

No idea where the problem lies in Twitter but marking tweets with lies and conspiracy stuff is a step in a good direction.

cryptonector(4402) 5 days ago [-]

Social media can't not have algorithms for limiting what you get to see, otherwise you'd be swamped with items on your timeline and you'd stop using them. Oh, I see what you're doing. Yes, they should get rid of the algorithms!

qubex(4207) 5 days ago [-]

Wasn't it Voltaire who said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Nonetheless, this is pretty much par for the course for what the world has come to expect.

Edit: It turns out that though phrase is often attributed to Voltaire, it was actually Evelyn Beatrice Hall, as noted by the poster below, to whom I am grateful for the correction.

krapp(4393) 5 days ago [-]

Actually, no, turns out it was Evelyn Beatrice Hall[0].


tootie(10000) 5 days ago [-]

When Voltaire was alive the French government was a monarchy that employed official censors that had the authority to prevent criticism of the church or state from being published by anyone. That kind of censorship is explicitly illegal under the first amendment. There is really no precedent for the mass publication of free-flowing content from anyone in the world prior the 1980s that would be relevant.

ceejayoz(1566) 5 days ago [-]

Would he defend your right to say it in his living room, though?

(Let's also not lose sight of the fact that Trump hasn't even had his tweets deleted or censored in any fashion. Just a note added underneath.)

doublesCs(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Cue republicans outraged at the president's attack on the first amendment.


Lol joking, they love it.

sixstringtheory(4261) 5 days ago [-]

Not like there's any real impact here. Now if Twitter were in the cake business, it'd be a national security imperative to defend their rights as a private entity.

falcolas(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Free speech is not just an American constitutional right; many countries throughout the world consider free speech to be a human right.

So, yeah, many of us get a bit worked up when people are kicked off platforms, because they are being silenced, sometimes to the point of being shut out of the modern internet entirely (when their rights to a DNS address are comprehensively removed).

Hate speech and lies are terrible, but they're not the only thing being silenced.

Traster(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Okay, so I think there's some nuance there, I think there's a pragmatic line to draw - I don't think someone has a right to say anything on twitter, I just don't think that's twitters role is to be neutral. But I think there's a line where we go from a product that's curated and moderated - something like twitter, to something that is truly infrastructure. The DNS example is great, I don't think a DNS company should be able to refuse to service based on the content that's being served because the role of the DNS is simply to resolve a name to an address. What's served on that address is immaterial. I think we draw a bright line between those two types of things, although I'm sure it's more difficult than that when we're trying to design a law.

dang(192) 5 days ago [-]

(We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23322571)

ianleeclark(4418) 5 days ago [-]

> So, yeah, many of us get a bit worked up when people are kicked off platforms, because they are being silenced, sometimes to the point of being shut out of the modern internet entirely (when their rights to a DNS address are comprehensively removed).

Why is it bad that were refusing to let something like stormfront operate in polite society? Your free speech absolutism is dangerous.

You can't debate an inherently bad-faith interlocutor, so dealing with Nazis points 'out in the open,' 'in the marketplace of ideas,' will not work. It will only legitimize their viewpoint as one worthy of consideration, thus debate. It's cool and good what happened to them.

Barrin92(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>Free speech is not just an American constitutional right; many countries throughout the world consider free speech to be a human right.

Although virtually none do so in unrestricted fashion. Hate speech, racism, genocide denial and so on aren't protected by free-speech in the overwhelming amount of legislations even in countries with a liberal tradition, and just like any other right free speech is subject to limitations.

VeninVidiaVicii(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Correct. Twitter may be silenced altogether for exercising journalistic integrity.

shiado(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How can the 'private platform so they can do whatever they want' crowd reconcile their views on election interference using social media in 2016 with this latest move by Twitter? If they can do what they want with their platform why did it matter in 2016 and why does it not matter now?

bad_bats(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That's a false equivalence.

Arguing that a platform shouldn't have to host arbitrary content isn't the same as saying that a platform should get to host arbitrary content. If you run a website I'd argue that you shouldn't have to post other peoples' content on it - that doesn't mean I think you should get a free pass to post any illegal content you like - which was the issue with election interference.

beart(4426) 5 days ago [-]

I can't directly answer the question. However, I think what complicates this issue is the political actors involved. Twitter may be a private platform, but when the President posts a Tweet, that is very much a public, political, government message.

For example, a federal judge barred Trump from blocking followers, despite Twitter being a private platform.


all-fakes(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What views are you insinuating that I have on 'election interference using social media in 2016'?

brodouevencode(4407) 5 days ago [-]

Readers beware: it's basically useless to argue either side of this position because the level of nuance, complexity, and convolution involved in such a discussion is beyond the limits of what a threaded comment board can accomplish.

cryptonector(4402) 5 days ago [-]

And yet the argument must be had.

jdhn(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Putting aside concerns about overreach government powers, would ending social media as we know it really be a bad thing?

rcurry(3868) 5 days ago [-]

But you can - just don't use it.

neuland(4184) 5 days ago [-]

Although it's impossible to put the genie back in the bottle, social media has had a net negative effect on a LOT of people. There's people that have had a big positive effect to. So, it's not obvious where it ends up on net if that even matters.

But, yeah. There's a lot of people that would be better off not on social media. But it's so addictive that they can't help themselves.

I, for one, have stopped using social media (unless you consider HN social). And I've had a lot less friends because of it. But it's been a huge improvement in my mood and outlook on life.

Wowfunhappy(3934) 5 days ago [-]

I could do without Facebook and Twitter, but what counts as social media? Does Stack Exchange count? Hacker News? Email?

raziel2p(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How? Forbid all of it? Forbid what, exactly - any app that allows communication between more than 1 person?

Even if Twitter were to go bankrupt tomorrow, something else would come to replace it.

Someone1234(4421) 5 days ago [-]

Just so we're clear: Hacker News is social media.

teknopaul(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That would be a USA Great Firewall. It would require some re-branding to get the US population to accept it

Mindwipe(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Trump would have no intention of ending social media. He just wants to end social media that doesn't do what he wants.

And yes, that would be an overwhelmingly bad thing.

ecmascript(3597) 5 days ago [-]

I think it would be great and I pretty much long for it. It's so obvious that even if it may be an overreach, there is such malpractice going on from all major social media players.

Youtube: Censors youtubers, documented in so many cases. It also gives 'authoritarian news' a heavier weight in the algorithm. Removes comments with 'communist bandits' in Chinese.

Twitter: Seriously bans people if they say the wrong pronoun

Reddit: A few people controls the majority of big subreddits, bans people with conservative views outright. Bans people that upvote stuff that they don't like. The have removed, banned hundreds of subreddits and users in the last few months. While they have chinese owners.

Facebook: Surprisingly the best of the bunch when it comes to serving every viewpoint imo. But they have had huge privacy implications just so many times.

But even so, I am very torn on the subject. The best thing would probably to force these companies not to censor/ban/remove people based on opinions. But the best thing for the world would most likely for these social media sites to not exist in the first place.

Personally I think social media sucks but I think most people are not ready to live without it either.

boomboomsubban(10000) 5 days ago [-]

From a free speech/free press standpoint, private company Twitter absolutely has the right to editorialize Trump's tweets, while Trump trying to silence Twitter would be the government infringing on the right to free speech/press.

nautilus12(4386) 5 days ago [-]

But if that were true then they would be personally liable in a court of law for tweets that break the law. Seems like they want to be treated as both an 'editor' with the right to change user content and 'just a distribution platform'. They can't have it both ways.

TechBro8615(4349) 5 days ago [-]

What about from an FEC regulations standpoint? Does Twitter have the right to insert DNC messaging into Trump tweets without the DNC disclosing the donation?

sabertoothed(4423) 5 days ago [-]

Exactly. It is just another lie that Twitter would be 'stifling free speech'. Free speech was not stifled: Trump could even say what he wanted even though it is a private platform.

Ididntdothis(4380) 5 days ago [-]

I feel like we are slowly reaching the state the movie "Idiocracy" describes. I feel very torn about this. On the one hand I don't think we should leave it up to companies like Twitter to censor things. On the other hand I find it hard to believe that the president is constantly claiming things without any evidence backing up. It started with the claims of millions of illegal voters in 2016 and the commission they started disbanding quietly after finding nothing. And now publicly spreading rumors about killing somebody.

It's insane how little respect the US has for the integrity of its political system. As long as it may hurt the "other" side everything is ok without regard to the damage they are constantly doing the health of the system.

dathinab(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> On the one hand I don't think we should leave it up to companies like Twitter to censor things.

True, but the think is Twitter did not censor his post. They added a 'fact-check' hint that just pointed out that he was speaking made up thinks containing a link to an informative article.

This is very different to censorship. People can still freely decided to believe him, or read the facts and don't or read the facts and still believe him.

It's comparable with threaten to shutdown or control printed press when a specific new letter complained that what he says is complete makeup and wrong.

101404(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think that's just symptoms of the real problem: the extremely profit oriented media industry.

Senselessly creating and reporting on 'conflicts' and 'scandals' makes them the most money. Trump is just playing their game.

smt88(4418) 5 days ago [-]

> It started with the claims of millions of illegal voters in 2016

No, it started long before that. Trump's political profile came about from being the most famous advocate of Birtherism[1] -- promoting the idea that Barack Obama is not American and demanding his birth certificate.

He later reached a plurality of Republican primary polls by saying that undocumented Mexican immigrants are rapists and murderers[2].

Trump has been a conspiracy theorist for years now.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_citizenship_consp...

2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/...

pipingdog(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Except that President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho had the capacity to realize there was someone smarter than he was and appointed him to solve the problem at hand.

nojito(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>On the one hand I don't think we should leave it up to companies like Twitter to censor things.

Education != censorship. The tweets were never deleted.

This is exactly what we need today when everyone blindly trusts what they read online because they like the person who says it and tell their audience that anyone saying differently is lying

zentiggr(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I find it incredibly easy to believe that the president is constantly claiming things without any evidence backing him up.

It started decades before the 2016 illegal voter claims, and has been a flagrant, constant, malignant part of his personality since childhood.

Research the constant streams of lawsuits and other allegations against him, his companies, and many of his closer associates.

And then wonder how someone can screw up so badly that they run a casino into bankruptcy. A money printing factory, and it was so badly managed that it folded.

And this is who the 'disaffected' voted in.

I only hope that this little episode is the shock to the system that wakes up enough people. But there's too many Trumpers for me to think that's happened.

nkingsy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I've been watching Mrs. America, and it does a great job of showing an earlier, developing version of wedge politics leading up to the Reagan revolution. Where we are now feels like the inevitable conclusion to the process of eschewing norms for political gain.

zozbot234(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I couldn't disagree more-- with the 'slowly' part, that is. As some people might say, 'there are no brakes on the Trump train'. Enjoy the show!

dec0dedab0de(4381) 5 days ago [-]

I mostly agree, and I for one would welcome the rock as president, so maybe I'm part of the problem. However, any time I catch myself thinking that the idiots have taken over[1] I am reminded of this XKCD[2] from over 10 years ago, and I try to knock myself down a peg

[1] NOFX reference, I normally wouldnt refer to anyone as an idiot, especially on HN which is where I come to feel dumb by comparison.

[2] https://xkcd.com/603/

asabjorn(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> the president is constantly claiming things without any evidence backing up

[to those voting down: these are convicted cases of voter fraud. If you are in favor of fact-checking these cases demonstrate the core question: who deserve this power?]

Let's fact check these fact checkers.

Here are some cases convicted in court of election fraud, a lot of them involve fraudulent use of absentee ballots https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/docs/p...

And there is also a problem with the chain of trust, since 28 million mail-in ballots went missing in the last four elections: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/04/24/28_mil...

Or what about the mail carrier recently charged with meddling with the ballot requests in his chain of trust? https://www.whsv.com/content/news/Pendleton-County-mail-carr...

And if you think politicians would never cheat, a Pennsylvania election official just plead guilty to stuffing the ballot box. He was paid by candidates that I believe won: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/21/doj-democrats-...

thatwasunusual(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> On the one hand I don't think we should leave it up to companies like Twitter to censor things.

Is it really _censorship_ to fact check tweets? I mean, Twitter hasn't _removed_ (i.e. censored) any tweets from Trump, just added an annotation.

JMTQp8lwXL(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The most actionable decision one can make is to vote for candidates who don't make us test these questions. Academically, it's somewhat intriguing, but in terms of actual leadership, there are more pressing issues. (Unless your wedge issue is testing political free speech by government officials on private platforms. Then, by all means, have at it).

NicoJuicy(386) 5 days ago [-]

Reaching Idiocracy is a pretty big understatement.

To be honest, it feels that the president should have a babysitter, if you look at his constant tweet tirades.

caseysoftware(2702) 5 days ago [-]

Idiocracy is premised on the idea that dumb people have more kids than smart people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP2tUW0HDHA

Based on the positive reaction to the 'birthrates are at all time low!' article last week, it looks like most of the HN crowd is happy about it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23246734

pinopinopino(10000) 5 days ago [-]


Or how they call it on the right side: Clown World. Guess nobody is happy with the current affairs.

simias(4365) 5 days ago [-]

I understand what you mean but I'm always frustrated when I see Idiocracy brought up in these discussions. Idiocracy is fine if you view it as a light satirical comedy but if you take it seriously to talk about politics it has very sinister undertones.

For one thing it's extremely classist, throughout the movie popular culture is seen as fodder for dumb people while high culture if for clever people. Beyond that it also says that, effectively, dumb people and poor people are the same thing (as exemplified by the 'white trash' segment at the start of the movie) and that dumb, poor people are bound to breed dump, poor people (and apparently they do that a lot) while clever people would breed other clever people (but they don't do it because... reasons). So social determinism taken to the limit.

I mean just look at this intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwZ0ZUy7P3E

What are examples of clever people? Darwin, Beethoven and Da Vince.

Examples of 'degeneracy'? A girl in skimpy clothes, wrestling and a... woman with boxing gloves? Because clearly 'panem et circenses' is a novel concept.

Then we go to say 'with no natural predators to thin the herd, we began to simply began to reward those who reproduced the most and left the intelligent to become an endangered species'. So we're now talking full-on eugenics. Also Beethoven was well known for fending packs of wolves in his youth, proving his evolutionary superiority.

And I'm this point I'm literally one minute into the movie and I could go on and on and on. At best it's elitist, at worst it's much darker than that.

If you like the movie as a funny comedy then be my guest, but please stop bringing it up in political discussions. If anything it's a symptom of the very thing you're decrying: a dumbed down, unnuanced caricature of political discourse.

bilbo0s(4415) 5 days ago [-]

What's sad is that the movie was meant as a joke. (I think?)

And here we are? How did this happen?

Communitivity(4421) 5 days ago [-]

Trivia bit: The writer behind Idiocracy feels the same way, saying he never expected it to become a documentary.

Details in https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/270642-idi...

user982(1356) 5 days ago [-]

Compared to our present reality Idiocracy was actually utopic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmZOZjHjT5E

mindslight(10000) 5 days ago [-]

President Camacho delegated to experts, led people to keep them cohesive, and actually solved a problem. No, this demented clown is something else - a manifestation of hyperpolarizing social media driven by longstanding authoritarianism. It seems that absolutely nothing matters as long as the 'other side' is upset, even while it hurts everyone. Responding to a public health emergency shouldn't even be a political issue, but it's been dragged into this post-truth realm where everything is up for debate. And so the Party continues to line up behind a 'leader' that led us straight to catastrophe. Meanwhile 100,000 Americans have died in the real world, with the economy in shambles for the next year as we're stuck distancing.

jamisteven(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Headline is a bit taking things out of context. He is basically saying they can either allow all free speech or cease to exist, I would tend to agree.

sixstringtheory(4261) 4 days ago [-]

It's literally using a word he used, hence the quotes.

No speech was disallowed, so this would be much ado about nothing.

tuna-piano(4069) 5 days ago [-]

There's an unsolved conundrum I haven't heard mentioned yet.

After the 2016 election, there was a thought that too much false information is spreading on social media. This happens in every country and across every form of communication - but social media platforms seem particularly worrysome (and is particularly bad with Whatsapp forwards in some Asian countries).

So what should the social media companies do? Censor people? Disallow certain messages (like they do with terrorism related posts)?

They settled on just putting in fact check links with certain posts. Trust in the fact deciding institution will of course be difficult to settle. No one wants a ministry of truth (or the private alternative).

So the question remains - do you, or how do you lessen the spread of misinformation?

cwhiz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>So the question remains - do you, or how do you lessen the spread of misinformation?

The easiest is to get rid of bots and control who can tweet. Anyone can create an account but to tweet you need to prove your identity. Bots are the real issue. Trump lying on social media is a problem but it's not fundamentally dissimilar to him lying on TV or at a campaign rally. He is a liar and whatever platform he is on he will use it to lie. The problem is all the bots masquerading as humans making people think and believe that the lies are mainstream facts.

three_seagrass(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The NYT is doing a special podcast on this topic right now.

In one of their episodes, they interview the CEO of YouTube about what they're doing to stop the spread of misinformation on web content platforms like their own.

Her response is that they're no longer tailoring their recommendation models or carousels based purely on engagement alone, but also based on potential harm or impact, because the common misinformation preys on being highly engaging. The biggest example of this is how YouTube is dealing with Covid-19 misinformation, that the 'COVID-19 news' carousel on the home page doesn't get much engagement but is important for people to stay informed.

It's a good listen if you have the time: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/podcasts/rabbit-hole-yout...

asdkhadsj(4382) 5 days ago [-]

As a straw man for discussion; I'm not too familiar with what Twitter is doing, but in an ideal world I think the solution would look something like what Twitter sounds like. Notably, posts containing objectively false information would be flagged, but not necessarily censored.

With that straw man though, it's fairly easy to poke holes. How do we ever even implement that? Even if we ignore the sheer volume of posts, a single post is often difficult to fact check. The lie can be subtle, but even worse is the human language and how much room there can be for misdirection, dishonesty, etc.

In my spare time I work on a project (not even close to release lol) with the goal of easing information sharing, retention, etc - as I figure part of the problem to the current age is a lack of information. Wikipedia is great, but it's quite large form discussion and I think we need better tools to help us document our own conclusions. BUT, even in all the effort I've put towards this tool I haven't dreamed of quantifying the truthiness.

I just don't see how we're going to cope with these sort of truth problems. It concerns me. It feels like information is a tool of war these days, and I am concerned we're losing.

zarkov99(4368) 5 days ago [-]

Its a big problem. On the one hand social media companies are utterly unsuitable for the role of arbitrers of truth. All they do is enforce the fashionable, safe truths, which might end up not being safe or true. On the other hand there is definitely disinformation out there, carefully crafted to achieve specific goals. We need a sort of peer review for social media, some sort of trust network that you can use to assess the reliability of information. The fact check is one such mechanism, though who checks the checkers is still a issue..

snarf21(10000) 5 days ago [-]

To be fair, this isn't a new problem. Historically, newspapers had a similar control. It is interesting because most people want to be in an echo chamber. We as humans long to belong. We don't want to be completely wrong. Newspapers mitigated this by having multiple layers of editorial control and attempting to only put people in control who value truth, although that isn't absolute. The difference with Twitter is that anyone can spew anything and to large audiences and the network effect is huge. Back in the day, a newspaper printing garbage in Tulsa probably had no influence in Seattle. That is no longer the case.

The interesting thing that I think Jack Dorsey should respond directly to Trump's tweet about regulation is 'I'm sorry you no longer find Twitter useful. Feel free to use a competitor's product.' The main reason that the social networks haven't clamped down is that they need the eyeballs and controversial figures generate a lot on both sides (hate/love).

Buttons840(4353) 5 days ago [-]

> how do you lessen the spread of misinformation?

It's a problem that we cannot actually engage in any debate or correction. President Trump is a perfect example of this, he drops his Tweet and then, poof, he's gone. He will not respond to difficult question about freedom of speech, etc.

Trump drops his talking point and runs away, then Twitter drops their 'fact check' and runs away. I don't think anyone is the better for it. Nobody's minds have been changed. Nobody has been educated or given serious thought to difficult issues. Nobody has had empathy for others. Having the 'fact check' is better than not, but not much, and 'fact checks' are not always correct.

If we could somehow social engineer our way to meaningful debates on these difficult topics, we would be much better off. I know the President can't respond to millions of people, but if we could, somehow, systematically choose just a few of the best counterpoints and force some dialogue, then a lot of the 'bullshit' would immediately evaporate.

mightybyte(2489) 5 days ago [-]

I imagine I'll get downvoted for this, but I think it needs to be said. Perhaps one way to lessen the spread of misinformation is to not operate services that limit messages to 280 characters. The world is not black and white. Meaningful topics are almost always nuanced and do not lend themselves to pithy sound bites. Let me demonstrate my point in a provocative way:

===== The world would be a better place if Twitter did not exist. =====

Note the lack of caveat, nuance, or elaboration here. It's not conducive to making the argument in a compelling and convincing way, especially not in the ways espoused by Hacker News. People who agree with that statement are going to agree. People who don't are going to be outraged.

If you do agree with the above the real question is what to do about it. Does the problem lie with the people at Twitter? With capitalism? With democracy? With the particular implementation that is the United States? Is this just something inherent to human nature? Or is the internet to blame? There are no simple answers to these questions. But perhaps the mediums that we use to have the discussions have a substantial impact on the conversation.

asdff(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's as simple as toning down the virulance and addiction potential that has been baked into social media over the years. Revert to chronological feeds based on timestamp alone, and not sorting based on how many inflammatory comments and shares they have. Ban more pages that produce and share these misinformed posts. These are problems that these engagement algorithms themselves created, and social media companies are too timid to actually solve for fear of affecting stock price.

dvtrn(4423) 5 days ago [-]

Media literacy and criticism classes in middle school?

yesplorer(3422) 5 days ago [-]

Whatsapp forwards is largely a solved problem. Now you can't forward whatsapp messages to more than 5 people at a go. And if you try doing 5 people at a time consecutively, your account is automatically deleted even before you reach 30 total forwards.

Some people adopted a strategy of adding users to a group and dropping whatever message they have but that too is solved by allowing only known contacts to add you to groups.

ken(3955) 5 days ago [-]

Twitter created a special rule [1] for public officials who violate their Terms of Service. They feel there's a genuine 'public interest' in being able to see (and respond to) these communications, even though they would not normally be allowed on the platform.

Are people aware that there are two classes of users on Twitter, subject to different sets of rules? Twitter hides this fact, for some reason, but it's something that ought to be glaringly obvious to anyone viewing any of a user's tweets.

[1]: https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2019/publicint...

legolas2412(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I would be fine with a public ministry of truth. Atleast we will have the free speech rights.

Wo have given too much power to these private companies.

giarc(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Social media companies don't necessarily need to take a stand. Label any tweet with the word 'vaccine/vaccination' with a link to the WHO (or insert users country health ministry) info on vaccines. There is obiviously a lot of topics to cover (voting rights, flat earth, conspiracy theories etc) but isn't the thing tech companies can do well is things at scale?

hammock(2843) 5 days ago [-]

Is this comment a joke? Are you a bot? You haven't heard these issues mentioned before? The proposed conundrum is a major fixture of the mainstream discourse.

brighton36(4405) 5 days ago [-]

There's nothing we can do. We should stop pretending otherwise.

This it it. We did it. There is nothing for us to do, but celebrate.

pfraze(2742) 5 days ago [-]

I think we're trapped in a structural innovation problem. Social media, no matter how it started, is now the pipeline for information. The internet is displacing old media forms but stalling out on that development.

The system is stuck in two local maximums: news publishers which use their own web properties as some kind of newspaper/television hybrid, and social media platforms which conceive of media as only posts, votes, & comments. They're both 'monolithic architectures' (so to speak) which lack the kind of modularity or extensibility that would enable innovation.

On the Internet, we should be looking at information within the context of general computation. There are data sources (reporters, individuals, orgs) which get mixed with signals (votes, fact-checks, annotations) and then ranked, filtered, and rendered. An open market would maximize the modularity and extensibility of each of these components so that better media products can be created.

The social platforms are in a difficult position because they have total control over what's carried on their platforms, and so they want to assert a position of neutrality -- which is why they're adamant they're not media companies. But if they're controlling any part of the pipeline other than compute and hosting, they're not a neutral platform. They're a part of the media.

The way we've historically walked the tight-rope of misinformation vs censorship is to create an open market for journalism so that there's accountability through the system. I don't think we'll have an open market until we componentize social media and stop seeing journalism and the design of social media as two distinct things.

cwperkins(4366) 5 days ago [-]

Its evident to me that our strategy to combat misinformation is not going great at the moment. I've been on Reddit for over 13 years and the site has gone through many changes.

What if we changed our thinking from removing/flagging bad content to fostering rich discourse?

I'll use r/politics for example, I currently do not think there is productive or rich discourse being had there. If you have had a different experience please let me know.

I think for the political arena it would do us good to try to emulate the US House of Representatives where representatives are given equal time to address the floor. In this way you will be exposed to other perspectives. The ways we can achieve this are similar to the approach NYT has taken to comments. You can still sort comments by most recommended, but there are also 'Featured Comments'. Featured Comments are chosen by a team at NYT, presumably from ideologically diverse perspectives, and they choose comments that are insightful and rich in information without toxicity. Does anyone else think that would be a good idea?

I think its important because I truly believe Americans are far more alike then different and just about everyone feels like they are under attack or have been violated. Its time to heal and listen and understand that we are in it together and the people that we really should be castigating are the people filled with prejudice to the point where they have shut themselves off from hearing other perspectives. I believe there is a vast middle in the USA, but its currently getting drowned out and it should have a louder voice.

fzeroracer(4301) 5 days ago [-]

> What if we changed our thinking from removing/flagging bad content to fostering rich discourse?

You can't foster rich discourse without removing/flagging bad content. That's like trying to clean a litterbox by adding more litter rather than removing the shit. Eventually the whole thing is just going to stink.

adjkant(4407) 5 days ago [-]

> What if we changed our thinking from removing/flagging bad content to fostering rich discourse?

So swapping a hard problem for an even harder one?

Do4oolu5(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Is it really a technical problem, though?

If the majority of people _want_ to fight and is more willing to act in bad faith to hurt the opponent / win the argument rather than willing to correct their opinion by discovering facts, I don't think any technical solution could, nor should, try to correct that ('nor should', because it could quickly turn into some sort of oppression).

That being said, I commend you for looking for such solution, if only because masses' mood swings faster than technical solutions are implemented, and your features will be there when people are fed up with constant conflicts.

cryptonector(4402) 5 days ago [-]

> What if we changed our thinking from removing/flagging bad content to fostering rich discourse?

'The answer to bad speech is more speech.'

Brilliant people who have said this or some trivial variation thereof:

  - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis:
  - U.S. President Barack Obama
  - Penn Jillette
  - Google CEO (then) Eric Schmidt
Lots of people who want to suppress speech they don't like then respond that this is not enough. E.g., https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/9sel59/cmv_th...
jbeam(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>I'll use r/politics for example, I currently do not think there is productive or rich discourse being had there. If you have had a different experience please let me know.

The top post on r/politics on Super Tuesday was about Sanders winning Vermont. There was no discussion to be had about Biden absolutely cleaning up.

_never_k(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>I think for the political arena it would do us good to try to emulate the US House of Representatives where representatives are given equal time to address the floor.

This is a weird example. Representatives don't listen to each other. The speeches are for their constituents.

>Featured Comments are chosen by a team at NYT, presumably from ideologically diverse perspectives, and they choose comments that are insightful and rich in information without toxicity.

Agreed, the solution to the problems caused by getting rid of gatekeepers is to bring back gatekeepers. How do you do it with something like twitter though, where there were no gatekeepers to begin with?

mabbo(4233) 5 days ago [-]

> Public Service Announcement: The Right to Free Speech means the government can't arrest you for what you say. It doesn't mean that anyone else has to listen to your bullshit or host you while you share it.

> The 1st Amendment doesn't shield you from criticism or consequences.

> If you're yelled at, boycotted, have your show cancelled, or get banned from an internet community, your free speech rights aren't being violated. It's just that the people listening to you think you're an asshole, and they're showing you the door.


dx87(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That's such a stupid comic. The 1st Amendment doesn't give you a right to free speech, it says they won't take away your right.

qubex(4207) 5 days ago [-]

I'm an outsider (not American, don't live in America) so I'm almost not entitled to have an opinion on the matter, but it always strikes me as fairly odd when people of one persuasion or another rail against the 'bias' that they perceive against them in one circumstance or another (including media coverage).

Of course people see bias against them. It's classical confirmation bias: every time something goes their way, it's unremarkable, but as soon as something doesn't, it's noticeable.

Isn't it equally possible —nay, probable even, especially in this case— that the perceived bias is only the prevailing opinion of the majority against whom one is in a minority?

happytoexplain(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is basically true. Liberal or conservative, everybody I talk to who can communicate ideas without injecting vitriol into every word agrees that 90% of 'censorship' of conservatives is just censorship of standard low-value hateful garbage, and that genre of speech, while committed on all sides, is highly overrepresented by conservatives, which makes life hard for the majority of conservatives who are rational.

brodouevencode(4407) 5 days ago [-]

This is a great perspective.

Americans get too bogged down in the muck to look up to realize what's actually going on around them or be aware of just how hypocritical they are.

2019-nCoV(4424) 5 days ago [-]

He's the only one being fact checked. And they chose CNN (most antithetical news source) to 'debunk' his claims.


TrackerFF(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> so I'm almost not entitled to have an opinion on the matter

I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with you here. The US is such a prominent nation, that can make or break the economies other countries, depending on their political actions.

I've seen a lot of this 'It's US politics, so none of your business' writing when criticizing Trump - but fact is that most countries are not perfectly de-coupled from each others. The US relies on some countries, while other countries relies on the US.

Sure, you do not have any right to vote for him, but you sure as hell are entitled to voice your opinion on him.

collegecamp293(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Twitter has opened a whole can of worms. There are several official state agencies with their propaganda PR arms on Twitter. Will they fact check them too and risk being banned in those countries?

Cthulhu_(4062) 5 days ago [-]

It's a moral question that Twitter has to answer for themselves; are they willing to risk getting banned in those countries? Are they willing to risk having the government of the country they operate from shut them down?

I mean I want to say they should let that happen, but the US is toothless in that the population wouldn't revolt if it happened. Twitter would end but nothing would change.

But it's not going to go there, Twitter will sit with the government, they'll make a deal, some palms will be greased and they will bow to their government overlords.

Companies are fucky like that; on the one hand they influence public discourse and voting behaviour, on the other they're morally flexible and will grovel for their government masters if they get to earn money there (see also Google and China, Hollywood films and China, etc).

shadowgovt(4419) 5 days ago [-]

The easiest way for them to answer it is not to answer it.

They're an American company and can choose to justify fact-checking only the US President if they want. It's not like hypocrisy has bothered them in the past; it clearly didn't bother them when the US elected a troll and they fixed the glitch of their own TOS suggesting he be banned from their service by modifying the TOS to have a carve-out for 'newsworthiness.'

cryptonector(4402) 5 days ago [-]

Spoiler alert: no.

qubex(4207) 5 days ago [-]

That's probably why they've delayed taking this stance for so long. They have, after all, typically refrained from "fact-checking" leaders or politicians in other countries too. I assume it's just got to a point where they're no longer to (in their good conscience) offset readership/users with the promulgation of highly questionable statements.

And to be perfectly honest, I'm all for it, especially if they've done this (and will do this more broadly, as you suggest) despite expecting to take a substantial 'hit' to their bottom line.

ThinkBeat(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I hope he does.

These gigantic centralized silo monopolies that recreate the experience of AOL online.

They have way more power than any American (or any other country) company should have in the world. Their reach is global, what they do, impacts millions of people who have no say whatsoever.

I long for a much more distributed system. (Doesn't have to be some fancy federated system.

I would be happy with real competition by a few hundred companies distributed around the world.

Closing down, or neutering the behemoths would be the most useful thing Trump will ever do.

He will soon realize that he cannot, or maybe he just forgets about it, or maybe he tries and the supreme court strikes it down. I cannot imagine how much money is flowing from the silos to lobbyists in Washington right now.

shadowgovt(4419) 5 days ago [-]

He's extremely unlikely to take real action because Twitter is his primary channel for reaching his political base. It's not guaranteed they'd migrate to where else he may choose to go (ever helped a relative figure out how to install a Zoom-alike videoconferencing app on their phone? Like that, but multiplied by millions of people. The science of engagement and stickiness tells us about half wouldn't bother to follow if they had to install one more app to hear the President's words).

avsteele(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The problem Twitter is going to face has nothing to do with Trump.

By doing 'fact checking' like this they they open themselves up to the charge that anything that doesn't have the little (!) meets some standard. Expect 10x more people @jack, @twittersupport etc... every time they see something they find misleading.

This is a bad move.

SV_BubbleTime(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Written above "utterly unsustainable". I can see no long term win here, esp when the arbiter they chose clearly has his own issues.

A-Train(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Believe it or not but Sasha Baron Cohen made a great argument to everyone who thinks that Twitter should not interfere with freedom of speech.

Basically quoting Sasha's argument 'freedom of speech is not the freedom of reach'. Spreading lies, hate and false information is everyone's right if they do it in their home alone but they shouldn't be allowed to reach bigger audiences.

Video here: https://youtu.be/PVWt0qUc0CE

legolas2412(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Very much disagree. If I cut your reach to 0, I denied you the freedom of speech. If cut your reach in half, I still affected your freedom of speech.

The question is whether fb/Twitter should be subjected to freedom of speech restrictions or not

thebouv(4397) 5 days ago [-]

So he just admitted that fact checking is suppressing conservative voices?

That's awesome.

AlgorithmicTime(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'Fact' Checking.

frockington1(4403) 5 days ago [-]

Biased fact checking would be and would be par for the course for many 'news' organizations on both sides

krapp(4393) 5 days ago [-]

He's also admitted that voter suppression is the main reason Republicans even get elected[0].

God help us if we ever get a competent authoritarian into office who's cunning enough not to say the corrupt part out loud.


standardUser(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There seem to be some upside down priorities here. Many folks seem to be arguing that its an unacceptable form of censorship for a private platform to annotate content it allows others to post. Meanwhile, I'm seeing barely a mention of the fact that the President of the United States has threatened to use government power to shut down an entire sector of the economy devoted to communication. The latter is almost certainly a violation of the Constitution. The former, almost certainly not.

meragrin_(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Perhaps they see it as targeting a political figure because of political differences rather than trying to prevent the spread of misinformation. I'm not seeing any annotations on a number prominent members of Congress spreading misinformation.

Where in the US Constitution does it say presidents cannot threaten companies? Obama had his share of threats. I'm sure they could find a suitable legal issue with Twitter targeting Trump while ignoring members of Congress.

Thorentis(4416) 5 days ago [-]

> its an unacceptable form of censorship for a private platform to annotate content it allows others to post

It is an unacceptable form of censorship to hand over our modern day equivalent of the public square to private companies, and then allow them to police what people say in it.

Freedom of speech was always intended to be protected in public. The Internet is now our equivalent of the public space. It is time this problem is solved once and for all, and the Internet is now reclassified as both a public utility and a public space.

Yes, those of us with technical know-how can argue that personal websites are that equivalent. But this is depriving those that see Twitter, Facebook, et. al. as a public platform, of the right to have their voice heard. A tweet is now the equivalent of a placard on the street. Do we really want to censor that because we messed up in how we allowed the Internet to be run?

tossAfterUsing(4410) 5 days ago [-]


Also missing from the parts of the discussion i've yet read, is the question of what sort of software we're using.

At the risk of using a buzzword, decentralized comms could reduce the risks of constitutional shutdown. And maybe even be better.

fzeroracer(4301) 5 days ago [-]

Because that's how far we've gone from reality. The word censorship has lost almost all meaning in online arguments when people are trying to argue that what Twitter did constitutes censorship while Trump publicly threatening them with shutdown somehow does not.

It's become increasingly obvious that the argument around censorship has never been actually about censorship but rather as another political bludgeon you can use to beat your opponent over the head with by scoring some easy points since censorship = bad. They ignore the power dynamics at play which is what makes censorship possible.

BurningFrog(4315) 5 days ago [-]

One factor is that Trump says a lot of dumb things, and almost none of them are true.

Instead he seems to say whatever outrageous thing that can get attention so he's the center of the news cycle. Once again, it worked.

When he actually does something to silence twitter, I'll be upset too. But I'm not falling for the 'big crazy talk ploy' again.

itchyjunk(4305) 5 days ago [-]

Hm, is fact checking solved problem? I remember someone here had their game flagged just because it referenced SARS-CoV-2. I hear almost daily horror stories of youtube algo's screwing up content creator. As a human, I still struggle a lot to read a paper and figure out what I just read. On top of that, things like the GPT2 from OpenAI might generate very human like comment.

Is there no way to consider social media as unreliable overall and not bother fact checking anything there? All this tech is relatively new but maybe we should think in longer time scale. Wikipedia is still not used as a source in school work because that's the direction educational institution moved. If we could give a status that nothing on social media is too be taken seriously, maybe it's a better approach.

Let me end this on a muddier concept. I thought masks was a good idea from the get go but there was an opposing view that existed at some point about this even from 'authoritative' sources. In that case, do we just appeal to authority? Ask some oracle what 'fact' is and shun every other point of view?

tmaly(3324) 5 days ago [-]

On masks as a good idea, I am still a little concerned with touch transmission. I see people without gloves touching their mask. This is totally contaminating the mask.

I would really like a settled question on whether mail and groceries are safe to touch. There was a study that came out saying the virus could exist on different surfaces for different periods of time. News reported last week that CDC update the website that indicated that the study was flawed. Soon after the CDC added clarification which still leaves the conclusion open. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0522-cdc-updates-co...

KineticLensman(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Ask some oracle what 'fact' is and shun every other point of view

Because the 'correct answer' to many questions is 'it depends...'. You enumerate the advantages and disadvantages of various options and pick an option that satisfies some sort of evaluation function (which may depend on your point of view). Some of the advantages and disadvantages are facts while others are probabilities.

This of course doesn't work well in short form media or for people who like things simple.

chlodwig(4046) 5 days ago [-]

It is not at all a solved problem. Fact-checking has the ancient 'who watches the watchers' problem. Who facts checks the fact-checkers? And more broadly, censoring harassing tweets has the problem that a lot of activism looks a lot like harassment, and censoring 'conspiracy theories' looks a lot like powerful people censoring those speaking truth to power.

For anyone who believes that Twitter should be in the business of fact-checking, or censoring harassing or disinformation, tell me which of these should be fact-checked or censored:

1. 'Don't wear masks. They don't work and take away masks from healthcare workers.'

2. 'The government is lying about whether masks work or not because we don't have enough masks for everyone.'

3. 'Masks help. Everyone should be wearing masks, wear a home-made mask if we don't have enough store bought ones.'

4. 'Fact: coronavirus is not airborne'

5. 'Coronavirus is airborne.'

6. 'Scientists think Hydroxychloroquine might be effective in treating coronavirus, link here: '

7. 'Scientists think treating men with estrogen might be effective in treating coronavirus, link here: '

8. 'Look at this video of this Karen calling the police and lying because a black man who just told her to leash his dog. Do better white women.'

9. 'Look at this article about this Shylock who scammed thousands of seniors out of their retirement money. Do better Jews.

10. 'Look at this Laquisha and her five kids taking over the bus and screaming and disturbing all the other riders. Do better black women.'

11. Look, another tech-bro mansplaining and whitesplaining why racism isn't really a thing. I can only stomach so much of this ignorance.

12. 'Under the Trump administration, there are actual Nazi's in the White House.'

13. 'Trump is a traitor against his country, he criminally colluded with Russia to rig the election.'

14. 'Representative Scarborough killed his intern.'

15. 'There is a paedophilia blackmail network that is pulling the strings behind the Democratic party.'

16. 'There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free'

17. 'The United States is the highest taxed nation in the world -- that will change.'

18. 'Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.'

19. 'If Democrats were truly serious about eradicating voter fraud, they would severely restrict absentee voting, permitting it only when voters have a good excuse, like illness.'

20. 'Absentee voting is to voting in person as as a take-home exam is to a proctored one. And just as teachers have reported a massive cheating as a result of moving to take-home tests during coronavirus, we can expect massive fraud as we move to mail-in ballots.'

Here are my answers if I was running Twitter: I would not fact-check any of these statements. I would censor the one's using derogatory racial language that is 8, 9, 10, and 11. Also 8, 9 and 11 should be banned for harassing a private citizen. For the potentially defamatory statements -- 12, 13, 14 and 15 -- if made by a real-name account they should be let stand and the offended person or organization can sue in court for defamation if they think it is false. If made by an anon account, the statement should be removed if reported.

gadders(796) 5 days ago [-]

It's certainly not a solved problem when the 'Head of Site Integrity' has a history of anti-Trump tweets and called the President a Nazi.

And that's just the head of the team. You can see the hard-left and pro-Antifa affiliations of the team outlined here: https://nickmonroe.blog/2019/11/28/dear-jack-twitter-is-poli...

bananabreakfast(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes, fact checking a single vocal and influential individual on everything they say is indeed a solved problem!

We've been doing it for years, on every president and congressman in America.

There are such things as indisputable falsehoods. And when important people relay them as the truth there are dozens of fact checking organizations that exist only to call these individuals out and hold them accountable to their word.

The fact that Twitter has started doing this with one specific individual is neither new nor innovative.

null0pointer(10000) 5 days ago [-]

One nuance about facts is that they change over time as we learn more about whatever the fact is about. Take SARS-CoV-2 for example, our best scientific knowledge about it has changed significantly since the start of the year. Some _facts_ from January would be considered _misinformation_ now. You might say that the actual facts are the underlying truth, but even that doesn't help. Our current view on the underlying truth are what is widely considered to be factual. The underlying truth can also change, for instance as the virus evolves and takes on different characteristics. Fact checking is most definitely not solved and I would posit that it's fundamentally intractable.

peterkos(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> youtube algo's screwing up content creator

A slightly different problem, but Tom Scott did an excellent video on the automation of the copyright system on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jwo5qc78QU

In summary, auto copyright checking solves Most copyright issues, to a degree that no other solution can really provide. And while there are a small (yet very unfair) number of false positives, the benefit that the system as a whole allows far outpaces that downtrend: for YouTube to exist!

With regards to fact checking, I'd be more interested to hear how many people who read those kind of 'fact flags' actually change their opinion in an easy case (flat earth, climate change, etc.). Honestly, the problem of 'true truth' might never be solved, but so will the cause of incompetence never disappear.

ChrisLomont(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>Hm, is fact checking solved problem?

It doesn't need to be a solved problem to provide value by flagging highly questionable content. And many statements are known to be false or misleading, and providing info to people who don't know better is a step in a positive direction.

throawy1234(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I was in the social media support for one of the candidates during the Democratic primaries. Because of that we had direct access to twitter and the DNC social medial group.

We noticed David Rothkop who had a decent size following and contributed to MSNBC and the DailyBeast was a registered foreign agent of the United Arab Emirates [1]

David Rothkopf had made some wild accusations against two presidential candidates who were most critical of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

We asked Twitter multiple times that if anyone is a registered foreign agent and is constantly commenting on the US primaries and elections, that twitter should flag that account with some indicator or icon.

All Twitter's government public relation person did was to give us some lip service and didn't do anything about it.

[1] https://efile.fara.gov/docs/6596-Exhibit-AB-20180927-1.pdf

freen(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What is truth anyway?

You say you are a person, I say you are a banana. Who are you to dispute my facts?

So strange that the right has decided to cargo-cult the worst bits of post-modernism.

staycoolboy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> As a human, I still struggle a lot to read a paper and figure out what I just read

Has this always been the case for you? or just in the past few years?

I didn't care about news until the first gulf war. Then something flipped a switch in my brain and I could not get enough news. When news broadcasters started adopting websites in the 90's, I was like a junkie.

I don't recall significant partisan division over Gulf War I, but I do recall a hard left/right split with the house takeover by Gingrich in 1994, and then the Clinton impeachment. Late 1990's is where things started to become bifurcated (remember, I wasn't paying attention in the 70's and 80's so it could have been as bad).

Fast forward to mid 2010's and suddenly there are too many websites with 'news' combined with SEO and recommendation algorithms spouting demonstrable nonsense that I can't help but hear Steve Bannon's 'Flood the zone with shit' argument.

Because it is working on me. I am over-educated (an engineering patent attorney for a top silicon company), I get paid to be a critical thinker. Facts and news just are clearly under assault from the zone-flooding angle to the point where being critical wears me to the bone.

Was this intentional, or is this a consequence?

Has the zone been successfully flooded as Bannon commanded?

llcoolv(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I thought masks was a good idea from the get go but there was an opposing view that existed at some point about this even from 'authoritative' sources.

This is a very valid comment, especially when the chief source on truth in this case - WHO - changed their stance on this several times. Not to mention that their director general is a 'former' high-ranking communist terrorist - something that doesn't make his organization appear too credible and something I am not really OK with.

Loughla(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Ask some oracle what 'fact' is and shun every other point of view?

This statement concerns me, greatly. Its implication is that facts are merely point of view statements. That is just, well, it's just wrong.

Facts are facts. The truth is the truth. They don't care what your beliefs are. If it is empirically true, then it is true.

Why and when did it become okay to hand-wave and dismiss anything you didn't believe in, personally, just because you don't believe in it? What is this world?

anewguy9000(10000) 5 days ago [-]

there is no such thing as truth as such; instead there are only theories and their predictive power (you could be in the matrix). so the best thing we have is the scientific method -- as individuals, we can all apply scientific thinking.

Beltiras(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There's a big murky middle where you can't really tell but in the case of what Trump is complaining about an informed observer would come to a conclusion really quickly.

gjulianm(4407) 5 days ago [-]

> Is there no way to consider social media as unreliable overall and not bother fact checking anything there?

The issue is that this is not just a random social media post, it's coming from the President of the US, and most people expect that someone in that position will not post clearly false messages, specially when those messages affect something as fundamental as the election process.

palsir(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Fact checking is far from a solved problem. The can of worms that Trump opened when he started the 'fake news' conversation is still very much open.

dathinab(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is a huge difference between a algorithm which detect potential fake news and adds a banner like 'find information about <topik> here', 'this is likely faktual wrong', etc. And a algorithm which removes the content outright.

With other words:

- fact check => removal == bad especially if automatised, basically censorship

- fact check => warning + link to some source + maybe slightly less visibility in search (but still visible and potentially still even first result) == ok, people still can make their own opinion there is basically no censorship.

(Side note, yes I'm aware that even 'non' censoring methods can have a minimal censoring effect due to peoples laziness, but it's quite limited and IMHO acceptable especially if linked sources are objective.)

newacct583(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> If we could give a status that nothing on social media is too be taken seriously

The subject at hand are public statements from the president of the United States. How exactly does one not 'take that seriously'? Given the gravity of the situation: if it's wrong, and you know it's wrong, surely you have a responsibility to tell people it's wrong. Right?

> Ask some oracle what 'fact' is and shun every other point of view?

How is Trump being 'shunned' here? Twitter put a correction link at the bottom of his tweet.

jameskilton(4128) 5 days ago [-]

Is no-one going to talk about how this is explicitly what 'freedom of speech' means? That Trump is one of the few people that 'freedom of speech' doesn't apply, because it's protection FROM HIM doing exactly this kind of thing.

Twitter has every protected right to criticize the president (which they should have been doing a whole lot more of but that's a different discussion). That's the whole point of 'freedom of speech' in our Bill of Rights. Our government literally cannot do what Trump wants to do, and to try to say that he can is to explicitly say that the Constitution is meaningless and void.

commandlinefan(4409) 5 days ago [-]

> Trump is one of the few people that 'freedom of speech' doesn't apply

No, Trump is one of the few people that the first amendment of the constitution of the United States doesn't apply. Free speech is broader than any specific law, whether you think people deserve it or not.

happytoexplain(10000) 5 days ago [-]

(I've moved my comment to the intended parent comment): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23322672

unexaminedlife(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Somehow technology needs to help bridge the divide here. Literally the ONLY argument that needs to be had is 'what are facts and logic'. Unfortunately not enough people know what these are, which is severely hampering our country's ability to function as a democracy.

cryptonector(4402) 5 days ago [-]

Complete objectivity is impossible. This is why Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy was so broken. It's not just that humans can't be completely objective -- any AI can't be either, and you can't write have a human write an algorithm that yields 100% objectivity. It can't be done. There is no short-cut. The arguments have to be had. Consensus/democracy/institutions is all we've got, and we have to and will make that work.

jjuel(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It is crazy to see how well he knows his base and how to get them to rally close to an election. Making them think everything is a liberal bias against them, and if they don't vote for his big government agenda they will receive a big government agenda. This is just one more way for him to get his base to believe everything he says versus people who actually prove what he says is a lie. He wants state run media and social media just like China. As much as he talks about hating China he would love to be China.

hn_check(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'It is crazy to see how well he knows his base'

There's a very loud contingent of his base right here on HN.

Weren't all of the nuts supposed to have migrated to Gab or whatever? They stay on Twitter because they seek legitimacy, and know that if they're all together the critical mass of idiocy would be overwhelmed and they would be seen for what they are. Instead you have the fake PhD lady, guy who pisses in his own mouth, and the liar-in-chief all debasing Twitter in an unending torrent.

The internet is decentralized. These people can go elsewhere.

brodouevencode(4407) 5 days ago [-]

Welcome to politics, where the rhetoric is made up and truth doesn't matter.

gameswithgo(4311) 5 days ago [-]

It isn't that he has a special insight into his base, he is just willing to abandon any sense of truth or decency to flame it. That is what is remarkable about him.

sp332(339) 5 days ago [-]

And this is specifically on a tweet calling the validity of the election into question. It's blatantly wrong, but he needs his base to believe him when he says the election is rigged.

rchaud(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The powers that be in Beijing and China must be pinching themselves; none of their predecessors had gotten this fortunate, for this long. Every day the US leadership appears committed to demolishing its outward image of a prosperous and stable democratic order. Meanwhile, they can continue running roughshod over political opposition and bullying their neighbours, totally unopposed.

Russia has used the past 15 years to take South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea and cement Putin's now-lifetime grip on domestic institutions.

China, free of US pressure has refined its global logistics and supply chains, increased its military buildup and has becomes the world's go to vendor for 5G solutions. While also keeping Taiwan, HK, Xinjiang and South China Sea firmly under its thumb.

Meanwhile, the US stumbles from crisis to crisis, with a good chunk of its 99% literate population now thinking that mail-in ballots, a cornerstone of its voting system are rife with fraud, and that wearing masks is a political stance.

Oh, and Hacker News, in response to the country's chief executive's blustering about closing down social media, ponders if fact-checking is a 'solved problem'.

heurist(4415) 5 days ago [-]

American dominance was pure luck after escaping from WWII unscathed and in a relatively strong financial position. The major economically prodictive technologies we rely on today came of age in the first half of last century and we used them to build an inefficient glass castle without considering the deleterious effects of rapid population growth or hyperconnectedness of human minds.

The political order the US created under those circumstances is unraveling. Americans across the US should be focused on making the communities they live in food-secure and energy-independent. It's time to plan for environmental and economic resilience. The next century will be rocky and the US is unprepared. The US will not be the largest producer in the world, but if we can revitalize local production then we can at least be the hardest to kill. The revolution we need it localism.

jliptzin(4228) 5 days ago [-]

If he doesn't like it, he could easily have one of his supplicants build a twitter clone for his rage tweeting. There is nothing hard about building a twitter clone, the only hard part is getting the users in the door, but that'd be easy for him with 40% of the country treating him like he's a god.

saym(4226) 5 days ago [-]

I was surprised to see Gab as a top reply to one of his tweets. Gab has a verified Twitter account, and it was offering itself as an alternative to the 'censorship'.

I don't find it surprising, but do find it sad. Few people understand how the internet works, and that there's probably an alternative to every platform, utility, or library out there.

Cthulhu_(4062) 5 days ago [-]

I hope he goes through with it, then gets dragged for abuse of power. But that's not likely to happen; the president has too much power, and there are no checks and balances in place. He is only still in power because his party voted to keep him in a sham 'trial', and they only voted in favor because else their party would look divided.

akhilcacharya(4397) 5 days ago [-]

It's remarkable that Trump has consistently been against free-speech but still has the support of a non-trivial number of self-described 'libertarians' like Thiel. This is in the 1st amendment sense as saying he wants to open up libel laws in 2016 [0] to his comments on video games [1] and flag burning [2] to in the broader sense in his anger at the kneeling protesters [3].

[0] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/26/do...

[1] https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/fact-check-tru...

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/06/15/no-braine...

[3] https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-says-nfl...

holtalanm(10000) 5 days ago [-]

our two party system is a national disgrace.

wsatb(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The comments here are surprising, to say the least. I just ask that some of you actually take a step back and realize what you're defending here.

thebouv(4397) 5 days ago [-]

The comments defending the fact checking?

Or the comments defending it is okay for big government to step in and threaten to close a private company over fact checking?

hn_check(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Are they surprising?

HN is an absolute cesspool of alt-right 'Conservatives' [1]. If you want AGW denial, unfettered capitalism, and as of late COVID denial, this is your place. These people have fully committed to the cult of Trump. dang is wonderfully enabling by never censuring their speech, but immediately banning/hiding/shadowbanning anyone who counters them.

1 - There is nothing conservative about Trump, beyond that he occasionally throws a bone to his enablers in the Senate and congress, and some hilariously transparent appeals to his evangelical base. I am historically a conservative, but Trumpism, and his brainless followers, has completely destroyed the title and it's something that now we have to hold almost in shame, just as Trump's cult calls the foundation of the Republican party -- the people who made it -- 'RINOs'. Trump appeals to contrarian bottom-feeders who think they're owning the libs or some other nonsense.

shadowgovt(4419) 5 days ago [-]

Not every day a sitting President threatens a media outlet for exercising their freedom of the press, but it's not the first time it's happened.

Of course, most Presidents have been constrained by some modicum of understanding that their oath to uphold the Constitution applies to the whole thing.

frockington1(4403) 5 days ago [-]

Is Twitter a media outlet? If they want to be classified as such it might make them susceptible to slander lawsuits

askl56(4382) 5 days ago [-]

The problem inevitably has flared up: Twitter's head of integrity leading this push has previously tweeted that Trump is a Nazi and accused the flyover states of being racist.


This isn't going to end well, and unless Twitter is going to exercise this impartially (which is impossible given a human is involved), they are going to lose their platform status, and justifiably so.

Stubb(4338) 5 days ago [-]

Archive link in case Twatter tries to edit history:


javagram(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> This isn't going to end well, and unless Twitter is going to exercise this impartially (which is impossible given a human is involved), they are going to lose their platform status, and justifiably so.

This isn't how the law works, and Trump's enemies, the Democrats, control the House of Representatives.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects the ability of online services to moderate content, this has been repeatedly upheld by the courts. The only way it could change is if the Senate, House, and President agree on a new law and pass it.

If you want to learn more, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_230_of_the_Communicati...

josefresco(4177) 5 days ago [-]

To clarify, he didn't call Trump a Nazi. He said there are 'actual Nazis in the White House' which could be a reference to staff or appointees.

ChrisLTD(4007) 5 days ago [-]

What's "platform status"?

whatever1(4426) 5 days ago [-]

What is the justification?

laumars(3526) 5 days ago [-]

Direct link to Tweet (TC doesn't really add any detail and people have moaned about their cookie-consent dark patterns before):


0-_-0(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Nitter link (for anyone who doesn't like opening Twitter links): https://nitter.net/realDonaldTrump/status/126560161131073945...

onion2k(2174) 5 days ago [-]

He won't though, obviously.

sp332(339) 5 days ago [-]

Complaining loudly that social media platforms are 'biased' is a way to get special treatment without any official enforcement action.

Communitivity(4421) 5 days ago [-]

Good luck with that (not). Today we have decentralized social networks specifically designed to combat that kind of censorship, and other problems with centralized control.

For videos, see https://joinpeertube.org or https://libry.tv

For micro-blogging, see https://joinmastodon.org

For photos, see https://pixelfed.org

For others, see https://fediverse.party/

jmull(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Adding a link to a factual counter-argument is not censorship. Even adding a link to a non-factual, non-sensical rant is not censorship.

You're actually suggesting that posting dissenting information is censorship?!?

Black is white! Good is bad!

modwest(4425) 5 days ago [-]

it's not censorship. not even close. good grief.

c0wardthr0waway(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices'

Reddit is the best example of that. I don't want to defend him but look at every single news and politics related sub from /r/news, /r/worldnews, /r/politics etc.

But that happens here too. Honestly I blame the upvote downvote system more. Reddit and HN are both really wrong with it

wincy(4389) 5 days ago [-]

I posted a few random comments to the_donald right after the election and it took years before I didn't have a good chance of getting a really nasty message about how I was a Nazi when leaving comments anywhere else.

jaybeeayyy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How is reddit silencing conservative voices? Downvotes don't count. There's plenty of conservative and right leaning subreddits with a lot of activity.

Just because there's not as much traction or acceptance among the users of reddit for conservative or right-wing ideas, comments etc. doesn't mean Reddit itself is actively silencing voices. You can't force people to not downvote things they don't like or agree with.

raziel2p(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The very same Reddit where criticism frequently gets you banned or censored in subreddits like /r/conservative ?

Just because the majority in a particular community disagrees with you doesn't make you censored or silenced.

standardUser(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is trend in American conservatism to take increasingly hostile and indefensible positions, and that trend has been met with counter trend that increasingly marginalizes those voices. Arguing for limited government is not likely to get a huge reaction from any given public platform. But arguing in favor of debunked conspiracy theories that make false allegations or defending the president's frequent personal attacks on individuals can and probably should be met with downvotes. Just like any personal attack should be.

frockington1(4403) 5 days ago [-]

Case and point being the valid point you raised being down voted into the gray. Upvote/Downvote systems just encourage the side with the most free time to be the only opinion seen. I think this may be part of the reason so many people on Reddit and Hacker News are routinely surprised by election results. Echo chambers do not represent the real world

zozbot234(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Reddit literally censors the actual Donald Trump campaign subreddit: it's hidden behind a scary warning screen and demonetized https://old.reddit.com/r/The_Donald . Hilarious. They don't even pretend to be unbiased or to care about their userbase that's equally on both sides of the political spectrum.

rlyshw(4373) 5 days ago [-]

Honestly just more proof that we need decentralization of the Internet. Handing over control of our digital platforms and identities to 3rd party for-profit companies is not the way the internet should work.

bt1a(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Aye but with no one in charge, how can the masses protect themselves against ever-increasing disinformation campaigns?

javagram(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Trump could start his own Mastodon or Gab server for his legions to follow him on. His campaign certainly has the resources.

jkingsbery(4392) 5 days ago [-]

As a Republican and as an American, it pains me to have that man as the standard barer. Even when he makes a point that I think main-stream circa 2006-2014 Republicans would have agreed with, he does it in such a bad, ham fisted, way that nothing changes. Even though Trump spent almost his entire adult life as not conservative, he's now what people associate with the term. But he's not 'conservative' in any sense of the word: he's not conservative in temperament, he's not conservative in his use (or threat to use) of government power, he's not seeking to conserve any precedents. It makes it impossible to make any sort of debate on the actual point, because everything becomes about him.

czzr(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Will you still vote Republican? Just curious, please ignore this question if you think it too personal or impertinent.

mrlonglong(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm getting extremely tired of his Twitter tantrums. I suspect many feels the same way. I shan't shed not one tear if he get voted out in the November elections.

GordonS(476) 5 days ago [-]

I'd be fed up if he wasn't the president of the USA. The fact that he is, and constantly spouts stuff like this, and gets away with it, is... terrifying.

orwin(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm really not outraged by that fact that twitter burst the Donald Trump info bubble, but the fact that they don't do the same thing when a member of an opposite party is also partial with the truth is a bad sign. Tbh they should have started with a controversial anti-trump statement before enforcing this in trump.

Also they should not have called that 'fact checking' or 'debunking'.

hobs(3646) 5 days ago [-]

Why? Trump's absolutely the reason for the need here - politicians have always lied, but it would probably be more useful if twitter or anyone marked when he was telling the truth; you'd have a much smaller dataset to manage.

sp332(339) 5 days ago [-]

What's a better word?

nxpnsv(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Why not just kick him off for tos violation and be done with it. That would be an article worth reading...

yedpodtrzitko(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I can imagine a lot of people would start boycotting Twitter after that. Fewer users and their activity means fewer ads displays means fewer $$$ for Twitter.

node-bayarea(2738) 5 days ago [-]

He is the President of the United States! And 50% of the people like his policies (if not his personal behavior)

dragonwriter(4426) 5 days ago [-]

Because Twitter changed its TOS specifically to legitimize Trump's violations of the earlier version.

Trump is working the refs even though they are already very much in his favor.

kauffj(4181) 5 days ago [-]

However you feel about this, Twitter did it in pretty much the worst way possible.

1. They had someone with a clear history of strong anti-Trump and anti-Republican sentiment take the action (https://twitter.com/LevineJonathan/status/126545757821512499...)

2. Twitter chose a prediction rather than a factual statement to fact check ('Mail-In Ballots will be...'). Why not start with a truly factually wrong statement about the past?

3. They picked something that is actually debatable! A bipartisan committee concluded it carried some risks in 2005: https://www.wsj.com/articles/heed-jimmy-carter-on-the-danger...

The notion that a company can ever be trusted to 'fact check' (aka determine objective truth) is just completely laughable. The closest we can come is labeling agent beliefs about truth ('X says Y is false').

Doing nothing would be better than doing this. Even better would be building solutions that allow community-based (and ideally personalized) derivations of consensus (this is what we're doing at LBRY).

fantastisch(4363) 5 days ago [-]

Agreed. Pretty much asking for an intervention. Practically begging for a crackdown. Larger plan?

nautilus12(4386) 5 days ago [-]

Wow a comment that isn't just calling trump a racist and is calmly laying out the facts....

SV_BubbleTime(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I don't understand why this is downvoted. You laid out good reasons to explain twitter did this in the worst possible way.

Do people here just not want to see it regardless of its factual nature? That seems like the eventual issue with "fact checking" social media posts.

tinco(4305) 5 days ago [-]

Of all the things Trump has said, why add a fact check on this point that includes all kinds of vagueness?

How is it a fact that mail-in ballots will not lead to rigged elections? Just that there's no evidence to support it doesn't mean it can't be true (however unlikely). If we're really to police politicians, surely it should be only on absolutely logically false points?

The point about that only registered votes will receive ballots and not just anyone might be a real correction, but it sort of depends on who can be a registered voter, I don't know the details of that. It also seems like a relatively minor point.

And the third correction is just horrendous. Trump targeted California, and they add a 'get the facts' that other states also exist. How is that categorically relevant? Obviously Trump is concerned with leftwing influence, so he's singling California out, it's most certainly valid.

So Twitter releases what's possibly the most culturally significant feature they've released in 10 years, and they fuck up 2 out of 3, and the only one they might have gotten right has not enough information and seems to be minor?

To me it seems there's only 2 rational explanations: whoever made the check the facts did so without oversight or involvement of a committee, and will be fired, or Twitter simply does not want to actually do this, and tries to get out of the public pressure to do so by making a weak attempt and then giving up. I hate to be cynical, but the first one option just doesn't seem very likely given the gravity of the situation.

edit: if I was the CEO of Twitter and I would have given the final 'go' on the 'what you need to know' it would have looked like this:

- In the state of California only registered voters receive ballots.

So: no hear-say about evidence that is missing, no accusing a politician of lies and definitely not naming that politician in every line. Just the facts, and let the reader figure out how that reflects on the tweet the politician made.

FireBeyond(2726) 5 days ago [-]

> Just that there's no evidence to support it doesn't mean it can't be true (however unlikely).

That's the thing. If there is no evidence to support it, it cannot be asserted as an unequivocally true statement. Trump doesn't claim that it 'might' be true, or he 'believes' it to be true, he says, effectively, 'this is the unarguable truth'. And Twitter says 'not so fast'.

nocitrek(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If you cannot see major bias of media and tech giants towards liberal agenda, you have missed what ~ 60M americans noticed before casting their vote for Trump. It is an effort to influnce US elections (which failed in 2016). I see nothing wrong with Trumps post.

swebs(4131) 5 days ago [-]

Also, put giant quotes around 'liberal'. These people are anti-gun and anti-free speech.

Traster(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think this is going to be a discussion thread that is almost inevitably going to be a shitshow, but anyway:

There are people who advocate the idea that private companies should be compelled to distribute hate speech, dangerously factually incorrect information and harassment under the concept that free speech is should be applied universally rather than just to government. I don't agree, I think it's a vast over-reach and almost unachievable to have both perfect free speech on these platforms and actually run them as a viable business.

But let's lay that aside, those people who make the argument claim to be adhering to an even stronger dedication to free speech. Surely, it's clear here that having the actual head of the US government threatening to shut down private companies for how they choose to manage their platforms is a far more disturbing and direct threat against free speech even in the narrowest sense.

0x5002(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I have struggled with both points of the argument for a while now. In general, I'm inclined to agree with your assessment that this would be a glaring overreach on the side of the feds. It's also apparent that social networks have a tendency to cater massively to one side of the increasingly divided political spectrum, as proven with experiments like Gab. I've always liked the idea of having a Twitter clone that bases their philosophy on the 1st amendment, but in reality, all it did was to attract the polar opposite of the /r/politics subreddit (to put it lightly), rather than to facilitate free and open discourse.

On the other hand, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube et al are undoubtedly massively influential on the public opinion and their corporate position on political topics - Yoel Roth's recent tweets serve as a decent example, showing clearly that this person cannot be an objective 'fact checker' - essentially create a public forum where I am not able to exercise my first amendment rights (and, legally speaking, rightfully so). I cannot help but to find this very concerning.

YouTube (despite numerous issues with their interpretation of free speech), for instance, starting linking Wiki articles under videos that cover certain topics or are uploaded by certain channels. Videos by the BBC show a notice that the BBC is a British public broadcast service, simply informing the viewer about the fact that any bias they might encounter can be easily identified (feel free to switch 'BBC' with 'RT'). I've found that to be a decent middle ground between outright suppressing views by a corporation pretending to be the authority on certain topics and broadcasting everything without any context.

throwanem(3579) 5 days ago [-]

Why should that be clear? Judging them by their actions rather than their words, it's quite plain that 'free speech extremists' are no such thing, except inasmuch as it applies to them. They demand to be free to say whatever they like, and they demand everyone else be required to listen while they do it.

Thorentis(4416) 5 days ago [-]

Entirely, 100% disagree. The Internet is now our primary form of communication. It is the information highway. Sticking to the whole 'free speech only applies to the government' is adhering to the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. Posting on Twitter is now the equivalent of standing in a public square and yelling your protest. Allowing private companies to shut this down because we made the terrible mistake of handing over our primary means of communication to private companies, doesn't mean it has to always be that way.

EDIT: Imagine if we allowed phone companies to listen to all calls and then censor the ones they didn't like. People would be outraged. This is what is happening on the Internet.

rhizome(4393) 5 days ago [-]

Why do the opinions of hypothetical groups of people carry any weight? Make your arguments in concrete terms, like: Trump is full of shit whether people agree with him or not, and if Trump does try anything it is going to have so much splash damage against other websites that he would run the risk of being sent with a SpaceX capsule into the sun...by everybody.

no-s(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is about Twitter trying to pick winners and losers in the marketplace of attention. I don't think the Feds will have to dig very deep to find a cause for action. Twitter has conceivably already crossed the line to become a publisher. If they collude with other publishers they're running into the territory of anti-competitive agreements. Anti-trust action may be viable. Picking winners and losers and colluding with competitors is in the scope of illegal business. Double down with lobbying violations if the 'fact-checkers' are unregistered foreign agents.

missosoup(4296) 5 days ago [-]

> distribute hate speech, dangerously factually incorrect information and harassment

Until everyone can agree on a universal arbiter for what those things mean in a concrete way, there will always be demographics who strongly disagree.

The reason free speech exists as a concept is because of a historic understanding that there fundamentally cannot be an unbiased arbiter for 'good' or 'bad' speech.

On the other side of this, the internet is increasingly controlled by a particular demographic with a particular definition of what things like 'hate speech' mean. Which suppresses and censors a wide range of topics that the other demographics do want to discuss. When the entire internet makes it impossible to express certain views, we can't claim to have free speech anymore. It's not good enough to say 'well if you don't like it then you can go and shout your views out on the street instead'.

The weapon against 'incorrect information' is education, not censorship. Censorship has never worked to actually quash 'wrongthink', it only marginalises and energises demographics who are censored, and drives them to eventually revolt. See: trump winning presidency.

hadtodoit(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If companies are going to self-moderate their platforms then they should not receive any kind of legal protection from user-generated content. I wholly believe companies have every right to dictate what is on their platform but they cannot have it both ways. If you can afford to moderate content you disagree with, you can do so for illegal content as well.

If I own a store and someone injures themselves on the premises I am held liable for that. I did not force that person to enter the store but the benefits of having a store outweighed the risks. Why should internet companies receive special treatment? They should be 100% liable for what happens on their 'premises' if they are going to take the risk of allowing user-generated content.

ibejoeb(3321) 5 days ago [-]

This is clearly incredibly complicated and hinges on all kinds of nuanced definitions that are not yet universally accepted, such as 'what is twitter?' As a thought experiment, though, if Twitter is not a publisher, then I think it would be acceptable for the government to sanction it for failing to provide 'equal time.' That is not the same as the government sanctioning it for airing or failing to air the type of content that the government wants. The latter is clearly an overstep, but the former is currently accepted doctrine.

Consultant32452(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Of all the crazy shit Presidents say on the path to literally murdering hundreds of thousands of people in other countries, it amazes me that the thing that upsets people is Trump bloviating about doing something to a big evil capitalist mega-corp which he is clearly not going to do.

ck2(319) 5 days ago [-]

wait, how does this work, someone in power does something tyrannical and authoritarian and so we just step back and argue the finer points of why it may be okay to have certain regulations or not, thereby ignoring the whole point it's their tyranny dodging democracy?

to be fair this has been going on for three years now, something insane is done, instead of focusing on the insanity, people pivot to the policy

this is not how democracy works

sparkie(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> dangerously factually incorrect information

Here's the problem. Who is doing the fact checking? Who fact checks the fact checkers?

The world isn't black and white. State press releases are not facts. There is no authority that is the arbitrator of truth.

sizzle(751) 5 days ago [-]

Open source a transparent, government sponsored free-speech communication platform that clones Facebook functionality for organizing information in an intuitive way for the most tech unsaavy person.

Outright ban all user tracking and profiling transparently with annual code audits and watchdog groups that can punish those in charge for not adhering to this, no advertisements, no selling data, and put 18f on the job of designing/developing it based off sound human principles, no army of behavioral researchers and Psychologists A/B testing bait-and-click engagement dark pattern metrics that penetrate deeply into the reward system of our neuroplastic brains and yanks on that lever of addiction formation with ease. Cut the bullshit and I'm on board. I'll even work for free on this if you promise to make it a reality, hell consider it a public utility if you have to so it stays funded and maintained.

The Advertising industry needs to be lobotomized and severely scaled back to more traditional forms of reaching people where they are, not vacuuming up every ounce of data their movement, click, search, and vitals generate unbeknownst to them. Good riddance.

randyrand(4407) 5 days ago [-]

The fundamental question is, do people have a right to free speech on the web?

The web is nearly entirely privately owned, which makes answering this question difficult.

On one hand, the web is where we do 90% of our communication these days and losing that right seems like losing most of the first amendment.

I'm convinceable either way. Did telephone companies have a right to censor land line speech? Should they? Should ISPs be able to censor? Should cloudflair? AWS? It seems like industries like ISPs should be regulated to be "dumb pipes". But where social networks fall is less clear.

Andrew_Quentin(3819) 5 days ago [-]

Twitter is not a private company, it's a publicly tradable company that can technically even fully be owned by the Chinese government itself through perfectly legally buying their shares on the open market.

You don't see a problem here?

SkyBelow(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>There are people who advocate the idea...

One thing that I hope people remain aware of is that there are a number of different arguments in play and while sometimes they have similar outcomes in specific situations, they often wildly differ.

For example, there is the argument that Twitter is not to be considered just a private company, as decided by a court when Trump was not allowed to block other accounts. The argument would be that twitter blocking a user entirely would be restricting their right to interact with their government officials through an official channel. Now, if Twitter blocked such a user from interacting with everyone except government officials, then that would be acceptable because the person is still allowed to interact with government officials through official channels. Also Twitter would be able to stop acting as an official government channel by ending any accounts that count as such and free to fully block a user thereafter.

This is not the same argument that you are talking about, but I do commonly see people treating it as the same.

darepublic(4376) 5 days ago [-]

Yeah I hate social media platforms but Trump shutting them down would be crossing the Rubicon

centimeter(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think the actual conservative pain point is that they (correctly) observe that freedom of association (i.e. businesses get to choose their customers) only seems to apply when it benefits progressives - contrast Google evicting milquetoast conservatives from Youtube with no legal repercussions versus that baker in Colorado getting sued a bunch of times for not wanting to bake gay, satanist, etc. themed cakes. There are plenty of examples along these lines.

In general, the last 50-60 years have seen private individuals and businesses stripped of their rights to turn away customers, in the US mostly under the guise of the CRA, FHA, etc. YouTube finds itself remarkably (and unsurprisingly) unrestrained by these kind of (progressive) laws.

m0zg(4413) 5 days ago [-]

This right here gentleman is in charge of what Twitter deems 'factually correct' and 'safe' for you: https://twitter.com/yoyoel/status/796186371408789505

Just wonderful, absolutely unbiased human being, 100% 'site integrity' guaranteed: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8361349/Head-Twitte...

So no, let's not 'lay that aside'.

throwaway4715(10000) 5 days ago [-]

All these people who bought iphones for the curated app store talking about how Twitter shouldn't be allowed to curate their product. Perhaps Twitter is big _because_ it curates its product. That's what people want.

The threat to force private entities to toe the line is the only speech issue here. If you think people want unedited speech then I believe Gab could use some of your money.

api(1154) 5 days ago [-]

One thing that gets me about the people who use 'free speech' in this way is the sense of entitlement.

20-30 years ago mass media was only accessible to people with large amounts of money to purchase advertising or run their own media platform such as a TV or radio station or a newspaper. It was closed to everyone else unless you could pull off some stunt to get five minutes of fame and somehow leverage that to deliver a message.

Now you have these vast platforms enabling anyone with a few bucks and cheap computer to potential address millions upon millions of people in near real time. It's completely unprecedented. In many cases these platforms are free as long as you comply with some minimal platform rules and regulations around what you can and cannot say. For most platforms the rules really are pretty minimal. Twitter is one of the least restrictive. You have to be a real obnoxious ass to get kicked off Twitter.

Somehow people have become so accustomed to this free and ubiquitous open access mass media that what was just a few decades ago impossible is now seen as an entitlement. Refuse to let your platform be used to deliver my message? You're censoring me!

Censorship refers to the use of force to prevent someone from speaking. The government has a legal monopoly on force, so generally this requires a law to be passed or perhaps an abuse of the civil court system to leverage the government to shut down someone's speech.

I can't speak for every country but in the USA that is extremely rare. We take the first amendment very seriously around here. You've got to go pretty far to get actually censored. You can buy books on how to make illegal drugs for example, or slander public figures on social media with baseless accusations, or publish software designed to directly facilitate illegal activity, and rarely will anything happen to you.

Being denied access to speak via someone else's privately owned and operated platform is not censorship. Nobody is preventing you from speaking. They're just refusing to assist you in delivering that speech.

Imagine someone walking into a newspaper office 40 years ago and demanding to have their op-ed printed (for free!) and then shouting 'censorship!' when the newspaper refused? It's ridiculous.

I thought conservatives were skeptical of entitlements, especially when they involve other peoples' property.

yibg(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Also, in this case no one is being censored. It's not like the president isn't allowed to post and is having his 'freedom of speech' taken away. This is more like his speech is being responded to, and he doesn't like that others can challenge what he's saying. The very antithesis of free speech.

threatofrain(3511) 5 days ago [-]

I feel that because web tech advanced more quickly than much of society, a vacuum of power developed and Google was forced to step in. If Google had its way, it wouldn't police any content and it would illegally host HBO shows like Game of Thrones -- when you try to hold them responsible, Google would pass off all burden to the offending individual. That's how YouTube used to run.

Other industries have things like the FCC or the FDA where companies can say, 'Look, we did our due diligence, the FDA approved our drug.'

dqpb(4256) 5 days ago [-]

Where does speech about religion fall? There are people on all sides who would consider the others to be spreading 'dangerously factually incorrect information'.

rmtech(10000) 5 days ago [-]

A private company that has a monopoly on speech is no longer a private company, it's essentially an unelected and unaccountable part of the permanent government.

You need to think about entities based on their properties, not the labels that are attached to them. That ought to be obvious to people who program for a living; think of a private company with a speech monopoly as the good old .txt.exe scam.

You're attaching the label 'not government' to Google, but in terms of properties it is like the government. YouTube has openly admitted to manipulating video results despite it costing them money to do so. Their monopoly position is so strong that the YouTube leadership rules us like a dictatorship.

I would prefer it if these tech monopolies were simply broken up. But failing that, they need to obey the first amendment or be shut down in the US.

Europe is a different beast, but I think the UK at least should adopt the US first amendment.

dntbnmpls(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> There are people who advocate the idea that private companies should be compelled to distribute hate speech, dangerously factually incorrect information and harassment under the concept that free speech is should be applied universally rather than just to government.

Firstly, stop qualifying it with 'hate', 'factually incorrect', etc. It's a cheap tactic by authoritarian types to justify censorship. The religious zealots, authoritarian governments, etc all use the same argument you do to censor. Free speech is free speech whether you like it or disagree with it or whether it is factually incorrect.

Secondly, the question is whether a private company has a monopoly position. For example, we wouldn't allow power, water, telephone, etc companies from denying service based on what these companies feel are hateful or not. A christian ceo of these companies can't deny service to lgbt homes/companies/etc just because he doesn't like them or their speech. You get the idea?

Thirdly, if a social media platform is a vehicle for communication by elected officials, should that platform be allowed to limit citizen's access to said politician. I believe the courts already ruled twitter cannot deny people access to trump's twitter. But I'm not sure.

> Surely, it's clear here that having the actual head of the US government threatening to shut down private companies for how they choose to manage their platforms is a far more disturbing and direct threat against free speech even in the narrowest sense.

Yes. It is a concern worthy of discussion. But so are the other aspects of this issue which you naively dismiss as 'hate'/etc.

craftinator(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I really appreciate your approach to this argument. You really cut through any strawman fallacies by pointing out that there's a debate along a spectrum about what protecting free speech entails, but that the President needs to have limitations in his power over private companies. I think this final point is not debatable in a legal context; he does not legally have that power.

lliamander(4424) 3 days ago [-]

Social media companies are of course not obligated to distribute any content in particular, and in fact they are obligated to remove content which is illegal.

They are however only protected from civil liability for good faith restriction of otherwise legal content on their platform. To the extent to which that moderation is done on content that is compliant with the TOS, or without prior notice and indication of what terms were violated, or only selectively with an agenda to influence the broader social discourse, they may not necessarily benefit from an assumption of good faith, and therefore may be subject to civil liability.

And honestly, who wouldn't want social media companies to have a more fair and transparent TOS and moderation policy?

scythe(4383) 5 days ago [-]

>private companies [...] free speech

One thing that seems relevant in the discussion about speech restrictions on social media is the fact that most if not all of the major websites are deliberately set up to maximize user engagement. The site is designed, measured and iterated on in order to induce users to comment as much as possible.

That practice seems to be incompatible with unrestricted speech. Eventually people run out of nice things to say. Facebook's policy is very obviously 'if you don't have anything nice to say, say something anyway, we want money'. Free speech has been sustainable historically because it's natural for people to think before they say something controversial, but now we have websites that actively undermine that built-in filter.

bilekas(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is not to point fingers and be an ass but people in the US need to realize the difference between a right and a privilege when it comes to free speech.

You have the right to free speech. That's not disputed. You are entitled to it. However you don't have the right to distribute that free speech on a private companies platform, that's a privilege offered by the owners not a entitlement.

It's very simple. Like it or not, that's your constitution.

Lets just play this out.. The president of the US (a supposed conservative) closes down one of the largest private companies in the US.. Not for doing something illegal as with `SilkRoad` for example.. But for practicing their own business policies.

Does that sound right to anyone ?

cma(3670) 5 days ago [-]

> There are people who advocate the idea that private companies should be compelled to distribute hate speech, dangerously factually incorrect information and harassment under the concept that free speech is should be applied universally rather than just to government.

The companies would also presumably have to allow commercial spam.

Mikeb85(10000) 5 days ago [-]

And on the flipside, these companies have grown to the point they could be considered a public utility or even monopoly. There certainly is precedent for governments compelling utility providers to not restrict their services arbitrarily.

kgin(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think it's even more concerning than that.

Threatening to shut down private companies -- not for limiting speech, not for refusing to distribute speech -- but for exercising their own right to free speech alongside the free speech of others (in this case the president).

There is no right to unchallenged or un-responded-to speech, regardless of how you interpret the right to free speech.

seerbetter(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There's tons of fraud and bad acts in mail in voting but I 100% support allowing it and fixing the systems.

clairity(2274) 5 days ago [-]

it's clearly impossible for trump to shut down twitter. he doesn't know how his own government works and doesn't care to know, because his goal is entirely self-promotion and personal profit. he's not a hard person to figure out.

it's more concerning that people are taking it seriously enough to create so much chatter. it's not even a free speech issue, insofar as twitter is not a government entity. there's literally no 'there' there.

giancarlostoro(3086) 5 days ago [-]

I wasn't going to post anything because of the direction HN seems to lean and because they get enraged about these sort of discussions. Hear me out and feel free to respond instead of shunning me out.

The bigger issue is these platforms only get those free speech protections because they're platforms. The moment they start editing content like this, they become editors to a publishing platform, and they should be held liable for all that they've published. You can't just have your cake and eat it too, today they make you happy to censor the evil orange man, tomorrow they may censor those you support.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

We're seeing with YouTube that they're deleting posts against Communist China:




Worse what happens when you cross Facebook imposing Chinese censorship on the whole world?



What happens when Google is used to push liberal bias?

Vimeo deletes videos claiming such bias from Google despite clear evidence in video:


'If we break things up, we can't stop Trump' replace Trump with any political candidate you've ever supported by the way to understand why this sort of thing is dangerous:



I am sure I will get into fire for this comment, considering my citations were flagged to death because people don't agree with others. But mark my words, if the tables were flipped and they were censoring all your favorite candidates, you'd be outraged and against anything that would hinder free speech.

If you take away anything from this post be sure to be this:

Twitter, Google, Facebook etc are considered 'platforms' the moment they editorialize content, they become publishers. Platforms are protected for obvious reasons, they cannot reliably contain every single thing a user posts, but a publisher dictates what is published, and is definitely liable for what they publish. These platforms want to be hybrids, but that gives them dangerous power to push agendas as they claim they are trying to stop.

thebouv(4397) 5 days ago [-]

They will never understand your point.

fortran77(393) 5 days ago [-]

Twitter distributes a lot of dangerous information unchecked. For example, today, thousands of people were tweeting fake or improperly captioned photos related to the horrible events in Minnesota this week.

Just two examples: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/make-whites-great-again-ha...

and https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/police-minnesota-trump-ral...

There were others; blaming people and nations that had nothing to do with this brutal horrible act for aiding and abetting.

Twitter will do nothing about this very harmful behavior. I reported some of the most egregious fake information being tweeted or retweeted and nothing happens.

chlodwig(4046) 5 days ago [-]

Free speech for all political factions on major public forums is the cooperate-cooperate quadrant of the prisoner's dilemma. If forums controlled by the blue faction defect and start censoring the red faction, the red faction needs to threaten to retaliate in order to scare the blue faction into cooperating again. It's simple tit-for-tat. This is game theory 101.

Surely, it's clear here that having the actual head of the US government threatening to shut down private companies

The United States President has neither the authority nor power to start censoring Twitter on his own. Right now, Jack Dorsey has far more power over allowed public speech in America than Donald Trump.

2019-nCoV(4424) 5 days ago [-]

Who fact checks the fact checkers?

metrokoi(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Almost no one is ever happy with fact-checking, it often just leads to more disputes about whether or not the fact-checking is correct or warranted. To me it seems much more efficient to simply teach people not to take anything posted on social media seriously and to better think for themselves. One may say that the president should be an exception because of the number of people he reaches, but what about a famous actor with millions of followers? Or Elon Musk? What would the line of acceptable influence be in order to make someone fact-checkable? The set of fact-checkable people could be very large, and the manpower required to fact check all of them formidable.

One may also argue that the president harms our country's image but again, senators and congressmen represent us as well and can also influence large amounts of people.

That does not mean he must go uncontested; people can still dispute everything he says by responding (the original form of fact-checking). The discussion should instead be about whether or not political figures should be able to block people. I remember that was an issue a while ago, and I'm not sure where it is now.

ngngngng(4025) 5 days ago [-]

It took all of 5 minutes for fact checking to become just as broken as the fake news it was trying to correct. Trump will clearly say something, and then I'll see people share directly conflicting fact checkers, one that says he said it, and one that says the words never left his mouth.

And just like before the fact checkers, people believe what they want to believe, nothing more, nothing less.

jdashg(10000) 5 days ago [-]

We have tried teaching people not to believe everything they read on the internet already. We need solutions that actually work.

It's wishful thinking at best to believe that Twitter replies can effectively refute arguments. They don't establish public dialog unless the OP retweets the responses. You can't call it a dialogue if, effectively, there's only one person talking. Even simple refutations fail on Twitter.

'We can't fact check one person because it'd be hard to do the same for a large number of people' is classic perfect-as-enemy-of-good. We get huge bang-for-buck by handling some obvious outliers and known bad actors, and that's worth doing.

sixstringtheory(4261) 5 days ago [-]

> simply teach people not to take anything posted on social media seriously and to better think for themselves

clearly there is nothing simple about this

holler(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> teach people not to take anything posted on social media seriously and to better think for themselves.

Most underrated comment in this thread...

awakeasleep(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's really hard for people to put aside their personal political views and look at things from a legal point of view.

The issue here is whether these private companies are actually making rules within their own private domain, or if they control a public space.

If you feel like you intuitively know the answer to that question, take that as an indication that you haven't loaded enough of the prerequisites in your mind to actually understand what is at stake.

There are simple arguments for both sides of the equation, but the details become maddening before you even get to the complications of how it's all subservient to advertising, personal data tracking, and in a realm that is testing our current definition of monopoly.

ghostpepper(4423) 5 days ago [-]

If you have any resources you can point me toward, I would love to read the best arguments for each side.

The best I've found so far is a supreme court case called Marsh v Alabama which has nothing to do with the internet but does touch on the application of the first amendment to a private physical space.

phkahler(4285) 5 days ago [-]

If Twitter wants to fact check, fine. But posting links to pieces by anti-Trump news outlets is not fact checking.

whateveracct(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Calling normal news outlets 'anti-Trump' is just falling for his crybully antics.

djohnston(4311) 5 days ago [-]

The head of integrity has unabashedly showcased his strong political bias on Twitter, and I suspect things will begin going poorly for either him or Twitter shortly.

adwww(10000) 5 days ago [-]

lol what, he is biased for pointing out misinformation from a prominent public figure, after years of Twitter being criticised for allowing false information to proliferate?

nojito(10000) 5 days ago [-]

twitter is a private organization. Regulating the speech of private organizations is a dangerous slope to be on.

epistasis(3606) 5 days ago [-]

Sorry, what 'bias' is that?

josefresco(4177) 5 days ago [-]

Turns out, people with important jobs that require impartiality (like judges) have real, personal, opinions and feelings.

shadowgovt(4419) 5 days ago [-]

If fact-checking the President when he says untrue things is 'strong political bias,' there are larger problems than the fate of one employee at Twitter.

jmull(10000) 5 days ago [-]

the real shame is that integrity is a politically biased position now.

nraynaud(4404) 5 days ago [-]

In a lot of European countries nazi speech is forbidden, and I would posit that it works: the police murders less minorities, the difference in earnings and life expectancy are narrower, and generally violent deaths are lower.

Maybe it's time for the US to become a member of the international community, by adopting common codes.

anewdirection(10000) 5 days ago [-]

So censoring hitler online means less police violence?

Please do show me the data.

Baseless nationalism is just as unwelcome from any country as it is fron the USA. Stop it.

cryptonector(4402) 5 days ago [-]

Police shootings in the U.S. do not happen because Nazis get to speak in the U.S.

matwood(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The oddest part of of this whole thing is that Trump supporters are typically the personal freedoms above all else crowd. Yet Trump openly talks about having/wanting authoritative, dictator level power.

FireBeyond(2726) 5 days ago [-]

Because what they don't say (at least always; some will) - 'they are for personal freedoms _they_ believe in, not necessarily _all_ or _yours_'.

luckydata(4404) 5 days ago [-]

A very long winded way to write "racists"

IgorPartola(1571) 5 days ago [-]

They really aren't for personal freedom. That group is basically hoping he stays on as a dictator because they believe he is the only one who can save the nation. I wish I was kidding.

bardonadam(4373) 5 days ago [-]

He tweeted his threat to shutdown Twitter, gotta love this.

sp332(339) 5 days ago [-]

Twitter has refused to enforce their terms of service on accounts from various heads of state. They pretty much earned this. ('I didn't think leopards would eat my face,' sobbed the woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party.)

shadowgovt(4419) 5 days ago [-]

He has to. He doesn't have another media outlet where he's as directly visible to his primary constituency as he is on Twitter.

swebs(4131) 5 days ago [-]

Good, I hope this forces them to decide whether to be neutral platforms or publishers. They've been having their cake and eating it too for far too long.

shadowgovt(4419) 5 days ago [-]

I hope they take Trump head-on, and declare an affirmative right to freedom of the press that does not violate safe-harbor policy.

tzs(3482) 5 days ago [-]

If that's a reference to the protections under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, it doesn't work that way. The whole point of section 230 was to say that being non-neutral does not subject a platform to liability for content supplied to that platform by users.

I'm not sure why, but a lot of people seem to think it is the opposite: you have to be neutral to be protected. There was a court case that ruled that way before section 230. Congress wrote 230 specifically to reverse that.

wegs(10000) 5 days ago [-]

For the most part, I support platform neutrality. I don't agree with all the Google censorship of misinformation and 'misinformation' on their platforms. I think Facebook should have less evil algorithms (it seems designed to encourage polarization), but I wouldn't want censorship or commentary their either.

This case is an exception. Twitter drew a line in the sand. It is in exactly the right place.

The PoTUS is threatening to shut down elections in November: he seems to be doing everything in his power to have a national emergency then when people can't vote, to shut down post offices, and to ban voting by mail. Any other problems with the PoTUS, we should address in the ballot box and through citizen activism (not through corporate activism). But when the PoTUS tries to shut down the ballot box or shut down citizen activism, that's different.

I don't think he's likely to be successful, but I didn't think coronavirus would hit us this hard either. In January, it was a manageable billion-dollar problem. We did nothing. Now, it's a multi-trillion dollar problem. Right now, Trump trying to cancel the election is a manageable problem too; by his personality, if he doesn't get traction, we're done. He'll move on. But if he does get traction, we'll have a completely different scale of problem on our hands.

commandlinefan(4409) 5 days ago [-]

> It is in exactly the right place

If they start fact-checking everybody, it is. Otherwise, they're just campaigning for the other side.

loceng(4340) 5 days ago [-]

The internet itself needs to be the platform that is neutral, and then allowing the freedom of people to have private corporations - 'digital land' they own - and can therefore moderate how they choose to govern, thereby giving individuals the freedom to decide who they use, give their attention to, and support financially.

There are separate issues like economies of scale that don't allow a completely level playing field - however a monthly UBI where part of it is required to be allocated to be used for digital services (e.g. pay for Facebook vs. being bombarded by manipulative ads) would allow everyone to afford costs of bandwidth-CPU usage etc to take that burden off of private companies and would level the playing field.

Similarly these massive platforms like Facebook wouldn't have grown to their scale if people's data and networks were completely mobile with no friction, therefore it would be a competitive battle based on governance and not merely difficulty, laziness, leading to strong defensible network effects.

50ckpuppet(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'The PoTUS is threatening to shut down elections in November:'

linkage ??

Historical Discussions: Show HN: RoughNotation – create and animate hand-drawn annotations on a web page (May 28, 2020: 690 points)

(694) Show HN: RoughNotation – create and animate hand-drawn annotations on a web page

694 points 4 days ago by shihn in 2021st position

roughnotation.com | | comments | anchor

Rough Notation

A small JavaScript library to create and animate annotations on a web page

Rough Notation uses RoughJS to create a hand-drawn look and feel. Elements can be annotated in a number of different styles. Animation duration and delay can be configured, or just turned off.

Rough Notation is about 3.2kb in size when gzipped, and the code is available on GitHub.

View on Github + Docs

Following are the different styles of annotations. Hit the annotate button in each section to see the animated annotation

All Comments: [-] | anchor

GordonS(476) 4 days ago [-]

Not sure what I'd use this for, but I love the look of it so much I feel like I need to find an excuse!

Can I ask what use case you had in mind when creating this?

sixQuarks(3998) 4 days ago [-]

would be awesome as part of a scroll story

shihn(2021) 4 days ago [-]

Thanks. Online tutorials, presentations, editing, Direct attention of the reader to something specific.

I was thinking anything that you'd do such annotations on physical paper.

jwilber(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Love this (and all of Preet's work).

Made a statistics visual awhile back using roughjs[0], seems like the perfect setting with which to add roughnotation :)

[0] https://www.jwilber.me/permutationtest/

mattbk1(10000) 4 days ago [-]

That's beautiful.

kyawzazaw(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I like your work too!

throwaway77384(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You know, it's funny that presumably this explanation of the permutation test is intended for people with very little / no knowledge of statistics.

And yet, I still don't get it. Like, at all. I feel like I'd make a very bad data scientist ;)

onurcel(4061) 4 days ago [-]


29athrowaway(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This could be the blink + marquee of this generation.

benatkin(2562) 4 days ago [-]

People certainly want to add extra oomph to posts. I could picture it being used either instead of or in addition to some of the emoji in a typical emoji-heavy pieces of content like this: https://twitter.com/MetroUK/status/1266078167590219776 (Not on twitter unless twitter implements this, but on the web)

dpeck(1131) 4 days ago [-]

That is beautiful and very well done. I might drop this onto my personal homepage today for a nice emphasis underline in the header.


shihn(2021) 4 days ago [-]


chadlavi(4419) 4 days ago [-]

This is neat but I totally thought it was going to let me doodle on the page myself

shihn(2021) 4 days ago [-]

Ah sorry, should have titled the post better. :/

grizzles(4314) 4 days ago [-]

This is cool. Slightly OT but I saw the word animate and I got excited because I'm in the market for some easy to use animation software. Krita & Synfig just aren't doing it for me.

The best one I ever used was a web app built a decade ago by an iirc ~12 year Korean American kid. It seems to have disappeared off the web but it was just amazing for usability. Anyone remember it / the name of it?

antimatter15(1421) 3 days ago [-]

Was it any of these? http://antimatter15.com/ajaxanimator/wave/ or https://antimatter15.com/ajaxanimator/stick2/stick2.html

I made it about 10 years ago when I was 12. If it was me, I'm actually Chinese-American. If not, I'd love to meet whoever the /other/ 12 year old writing animation software was.

anthonybennis(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I was in same boat. Looking for easy vector animation tool without subscription. https://www.svgator.com/ was closest I found in terms of ease of use but is subscription based. Open Toons supports what I need but is too complex. Ended up using Google Web Designer and recording HTML playback to video. Still not what I wanted but best I could come up with. Blender is probably the best option now I reckon.

egfx(4216) 4 days ago [-]

Hi there. Please check out https://gif.com.ai

You probably haven't heard of it because it's a bit under the radar and not really being promoted to the outside yet.

chrismorgan(3473) 4 days ago [-]

After surveying the available options (including both free programs and non-subscription paid ones like Cartoon Animator 4), I've just been getting started with OpenToonz. It seems very good so far. It's by no means simple software—it's capable of a lot and has the UI complexity to match, so it takes some time investment to learn what it's capable of; but for my own purposes at least I reckon that investment (which has been maybe ten hours) is worthwhile.

talkinghead(4409) 4 days ago [-]

a text popover feature would be super useful!

shihn(2021) 4 days ago [-]

Definitely. Please add an issue with what you'd like to see. Thanks.

julianeon(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'd love to use this, but I don't see an easy way how to using the frameworks I know, React (well) and Svelte (a bit).

yurry(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I advise you to learn Javascript/DOM before learning high level 'magic' frameworks. You clearly are missing the fundamentals.

49531(4212) 4 days ago [-]

You can use querySelectors in React, it's just normal JavaScript. You can also use refs if you don't want to use querySelector.

onemoresoop(2468) 4 days ago [-]

This is really cool. I like that it brings a bit of human touch to webpages. How does it work?

netvarun(2200) 4 days ago [-]

A technical post on that by the author: https://shihn.ca/posts/2020/roughjs-algorithms/

baddox(4374) 4 days ago [-]


Starting at 7:01 in this video, Christopher discusses how some of the hand-drawn effects work in Rough.js (and Excalidraw, which uses Rough.js).

alixanderwang(4239) 4 days ago [-]

Being able to add small text between margins would enable the ability for an app/extension to let person A markup an article with their thoughts and emphasis, and share it with person B. That's something I'd personally use.

shihn(2021) 4 days ago [-]

Good idea. I had thought of adding text to annotations but didn't want to complicate the first draft of this.

howmayiannoyyou(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Should be a Chrome Extension. Would absolutely kill as one.

mohap2(10000) 4 days ago [-]


webel0(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Check out hypothesis [0]. No fun styling but the same functionality.

[0] https://github.com/hypothesis

XCSme(4338) 4 days ago [-]

This is cool. I wonder if this could just be a CSS library instead, where you just add the class 'annotate-circle' to an element and it will use pseudo-elements (:before, :after) to draw the lines.

tiborsaas(4083) 4 days ago [-]

With CSS Houdini it's possible.

To draw these irregular lines / shapes with normal CSS it's really hard, maybe if you inline some SVG.

Ptrulli(4403) 4 days ago [-]

Great job on this! What made you think of this product and how long did it take you to make?

shihn(2021) 4 days ago [-]

I wrote roughjs a couple of years ago and had always thought it would be nice to use it in all the ways people draw hand-drawn shapes. Annotation is one of them. I never got around to implementing it. Since roughjs does most of the heavy lifting, implementing this was not a lot of time. I did it in a day (~4-6 hours). Actually it took longer to make the website for the project and writing the readme :/

wes-k(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Looks wonderful! Anyway to get it to only draw the annotation once? Looks like everything gets two passes which adds to the roughness but also adds a bit of noise and delay to the animation.

cosmotic(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I agree, the double pass is pretty distracting and frustrating with the delay

shihn(2021) 4 days ago [-]

Yes definitely possible. It just looks more sketchy with two passes. And it should be easy to configure. Perhaps add to the issues with any thoughts? Thanks https://github.com/pshihn/rough-notation/issues

benatkin(2562) 4 days ago [-]

This is really cool, but after looking at your twitter account and ROUGH.JS, so far I've been most impressed by this [0], which only had one retweet since I got to it. I'm a sucker for interesting maps.

0: https://twitter.com/preetster/status/1250862620103438336

shihn(2021) 4 days ago [-]

Thanks. the idea behind rough was to provide primitives to draw anything. maps and dataviz are definitely one of the main use cases.

Historical Discussions: Show HN: Bear – Minimal blogging platform (May 26, 2020: 682 points)
The Fake 10x Dev (May 27, 2020: 6 points)
The Hacker News Hug (May 29, 2020: 3 points)

(683) Show HN: Bear – Minimal blogging platform

683 points 6 days ago by HermanMartinus in 4384th position

bearblog.dev | | comments | anchor

Free, no-nonsense, super-fast blogging

No javascript, no stylesheets, no trackers. Just your words.

Sign up

There is a website obesity crisis. Bloated websites full of scripts, ads, and trackers slowing your readers down every time they try to read your well crafted content.

Bear is all you need to build a fantastic and optimized site or blog. It works perfectly on any viewing device. All you need to focus on is writing good content.

View example blog

Bear makes it simple to publish content online, grow an audience, all while keeping pages tiny, fast, and optimized for search engines.

Each page is ~5kb and you can add a custom domain for free.

Start blogging now

All Comments: [-] | anchor

awake(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I don't understand the desire to have no stylesheets. The default styling on the web is not a great example of design or usability.

Narishma(3976) 5 days ago [-]

But it has one...

jedberg(1951) 6 days ago [-]

Things I would like in a blogging platform:

* Generate lightweight static website

* Good clean default CSS so I don't have to mess with it

* Automatically upload website to CDN and trigger expirations as necessary.

* Self-hosted

* Runs on AWS Lambda or any other Function as a Service equivilient

* Has a super lightweight CMS that I can easily use on both desktop and mobile, so if I have ideas I can start writing anywhere, and can also make minor corrections to existing posts while on the go.

* The CMS can be a frontend to git, but git is hard to use on mobile, so I don't want the CMS to just be git.

If anyone knows of something that meets these requirements I'd be super grateful!

anderspitman(1126) 6 days ago [-]

Sounds like you just need a way to modify a remote filesystem, then trigger a build step when you're done with the modifications.

Assuming it was wrapped up in a nice UI, would that be missing any features you need?

EDIT: Put more concretely, if you had a site hosted on S3, all you need is a way to modify the source files of that site, either directly or by modifying files in another directory and running a transform step to produce the final result?

manigandham(634) 6 days ago [-]

I'd advise just running Wordpress or Ghost. Even a small VPS is more than enough scale and you get a working blog out of the box with easy extensibility for the future. And you can still use a CDN in front.

People think a static site is enough without realizing SEO, RSS feeds, comments, etc, are all things you might need and would have to rebuild yourself.

pier25(2753) 6 days ago [-]

Except for being 'self hosted' and the 'front end to git' we're building that as a commercial service.


Not much to show yet but you can follow us on Twitter for updates in a couple of months: https://twitter.com/plumacloud

We're also considering providing our CMS as headless via an API so that you can connect it to your SSG and make your own template, host it wherever you want, etc, but we haven't decided yet on the pricing for that but it would be much cheaper than our main product.

gwbas1c(3956) 6 days ago [-]

Search around a bit, there's a static website generator that runs on git and is hosted by CDNs.

I can't remember the name, but it's commercial and targets major companies for making their landing pages.

nxtrafalgar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

There's no simple commercial solution that does exactly this that I know of, but you can get very close with Google Cloud Functions, a GitHub Pages site, and a Google Sheets spreadsheet as a datastore. Not static, but it is fast, and you get a 'CMS' for free (the spreadsheet). Plus all of these services can be used completely for free.

harikb(3793) 6 days ago [-]

If you have static generated website and a CDN, why do you need Lambda/Function? Or do you mean these as a set to pick and chose from?

embit(4380) 6 days ago [-]

You have many requirements to blog. Blogging is substance over style. Not much required.

sequoia(3729) 6 days ago [-]

I'm struggling to understand what you mean by self-hosted. What does AWS Lambda do in this scenario? Surely not host the blog, so it must be the 'cms'? At that point I'm not clear why you'd rule out netlify, as it's no longer 'self-hosted.' Please clarify! :)

j1elo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Maybe a static blog (e.g. Hugo), hosted on Netlify and making use of their netlify-cms package?

regynald(10000) 6 days ago [-]

https://blot.im/ might be close to what you want. I think it's run on ec2 instances though.

Fiveplus(4402) 6 days ago [-]

Quick Question: Why is self-hosted a thing that's highly desirable on HN?

busymom0(4114) 6 days ago [-]

Be careful, you might be running into trademark violations with the popular note-taking app Bear. Seems like both fall in similar genres.

djsumdog(658) 6 days ago [-]

I don't think you can trademark a generic work like 'Bear' .. so long as the author isn't using the logos from that app or conflating its brand, it should be fine (IANAL)

azhenley(332) 6 days ago [-]

Landing page is straight to the point, describes what is different about Bear, and links to an example blog. Great!

The only question I still have is what is the editor like?

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

I've added it to my notes, thanks. Maybe a full demo interface would be a good idea

torgoguys(4424) 6 days ago [-]

This is cool!

As mentioned in other replies--some small styling tweaks for readability would be useful and would literally only cost bytes (on the order of the x-clacks-overhead on the page...)

If you're focusing on an extremely small page size, I'd prefer an external static, cached stylesheet than inlining all styling on every page load. That and a less complicated email obfuscator. :-)

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

Thanks for the awesome feedback. Yeah, I've come to realise that I'm the only person partial to Garamond ;)

I've turned off the email obfuscator (courtesy of cloudflare), and will be doing a bunch of styling improvements over the next week.

keb_(10000) 6 days ago [-]
ivoecpereira(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Add the awesome https://telescope.ac to that list.

marban(1174) 6 days ago [-]

https://flipso.com (+ Posterous Features)

lazyjones(4347) 6 days ago [-]

I'm surprised nobody has attempted to put the content in the URL yet (to display on a static page with styling using JS [needs a tag filter...] to insert an URL parameter into some node). It would accommodate at least 2KB of text, local caching and fast hosting all in one.

dylz(4254) 6 days ago [-]

I'm slightly amused by the domain hacks, but also concerned about a few of the ccTLDs, especially when it comes to user generated content and blogging/opinions. For example, the leader of .ph routinely calls opponents gay, is not known for human rights or free speech, and I am curious how this might reflect on it.

I have the same concerns with user generated content in/on .de and their Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz law, the mandatory Posting an Impressum on your sites, etc.

I have seen bitly suspended before by Libya for merely providing redirects to content they don't like.

FailMore(3203) 6 days ago [-]
jonas21(1637) 6 days ago [-]

For other bear-themed writing tools:

* https://bear.app/

rakoo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Of those it seems only telegra.ph has a good UI allowing easy link/photos embedding, and the result is really pleasing. All the others need to rely on a third party. Is it open-source ?

olaven(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If I may, I would like to add my own Markblog to the list :-) It is basically a static site generator based on markdown files. (https://github.com/olaven/markblog)

grwthckrmstr(4427) 6 days ago [-]

This looks exactly like what I've been searching for all this while. Do you plan to release a self hosted/open source version of this? The one thing that makes me uncomfortable about a blogging service - what happens if they shut down?

sirodoht(4285) 1 day ago [-]

After being inspired by Bear Blog I build something similar with this exact concern in mind. Mataroa.blog [1] is a minimal blogging platform with export (to static site generators) as a first class citizen.

[1] https://mataroa.blog/

nnsne0509(10000) 6 days ago [-]

너무 힘이들것 같아요

munificent(1960) 6 days ago [-]

What are the economics of this?

Presumably you are paying web hosting fees out of pocket. If this is successful, what's the plan for when you no longer want to be that charitable?

saagarjha(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I wonder if the hosting fees might be negligible...

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

Hosting fees are pretty negligible. If it becomes a burden, then I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Thing is, if enough people are using this to make me have to upgrade my hosting, that's a great problem to have.

eterm(4410) 6 days ago [-]

I've not worked out when firefox reader view is visible and when it isn't, but for this blog it isn't, which is a shame because I find the chosen font unreadable.

sunnylemon(4227) 6 days ago [-]

I actually just wrote a blog post about this topic: https://videoinu.com/blog/firefox-reader-view-heuristics

In a nutshell, the paragraphs (<p> tags) do not contain enough text to contribute to the readability score. Reader view heuristics rewards paragraphs of at least 140 characters.

jiveturkey(4335) 6 days ago [-]

yup, this is not a well done blogging platform.

simple != simplistic. 'most minimal' != 'minimum'.

the 'just read' chrome/edge extension does work, and vastly improves readability of the produced html.

jitl(3941) 6 days ago [-]

"Bear" is a well-known note-taking and writing app https://bear.app/

shrutipathak(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Ditto. I thought this is a new product by bear. Got me excited for a bit.

I wonder if trademark would kick in later for this.

karlding(4217) 6 days ago [-]

It's also a tool that helps generate a JSON compilation database [0] for Clang Tooling.

[0] https://github.com/rizsotto/Bear

criddell(4366) 6 days ago [-]

That's what I thought this was - a bit of automation to publish right from the Bear app.

binaryorganic(4341) 6 days ago [-]

This is a great, great app. I use it and love it.

st1ck(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Is it known among non mac/ios users? I've never heard of it before. Not to mention that by using such a generic name you're just begging for collisions.

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

I was trying to play on the word 'bare'. Yeah, I realised this a bit too late

manigandham(634) 6 days ago [-]

There's about a million different note-taking apps now (and they're about 95% the same).

6510(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I sign up but no email was send.

The css should either leave the default colors alone or set both the background and font color.

The source of this page contains much more cruft in meta tags and <!-- Microdata --> than actual content. https://herman.bearblog.dev/markdown-test/

snazz(3495) 6 days ago [-]

The only problem I have with that page is that the meta description contains too much content. Otherwise, the source is very clear.

StavrosK(506) 6 days ago [-]

I love that this exists, I wish I'd thought of it first, and I like you for making it.

I think you should improve the default stylesheet a bit, I like http://matejlatin.github.io/Gutenberg/.

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

Ooh, this looks neat

fevangelou(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Unless network speeds are reversing to the modem age, browsers switching to Trident/Gecko and PCs to single core CPUs exclusively, this is 100% hipsterism.

As if using scripts or CSS is solely a choice of the CMS...

Get real.

qwerty456127(4183) 6 days ago [-]

You probably don't know how many people still use slow, expensive and limited (often every part extreme) connections and old CPUs. And even on a Core i7 with a 100 Mbit/s channel many websites still feel slow.

SquareWheel(4290) 6 days ago [-]

The comparisons are all to large content management systems. However this seems like a better fit for static site generators. Would it be better to compare to Jekyll, Hugo, etc?

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

Sure, serving static files will always be the fastest, but this is for people looking for a service like Medium, or Blogger, where there's no need to handle anything locally.

ordinaryradical(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Since HN seems to be on a blog-kick lately, I'll repost the idea that I'm still waiting for someone to build:

A blogverse of some kind that allows for algorithmic discoverability & aggregation (ala Medium) without the bullshit/terrible UX.

The real value proposition of Medium is that a well-made aggregator benefits readers and writers alike. Readers find more authors they like, writers find more audience. There are also network effects with shared comment logins, inter-blog citations, etc.

I really think a blogging renaissance is waiting to happen. These ingredients plus a business model not reliant on ads, massive js overhead, and other nonsense could jumpstart it.

bachmeier(3956) 6 days ago [-]

What I want is a Yahoo-style directory for blogs. Blog owners can put their blog in exactly one category. Users can star the blogs they like, similar to GitHub, and identify the low quality click generators/marketing blogs.

I personally find Medium to be a horrible way to find content. Maybe it works for new content, if that's what you're after.

MattGaiser(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> plus a business model not reliant on ads

Is anyone anywhere close to this?

notJim(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I tend to be skeptical that '$x but better' is a viable business in the VC era or maybe on the internet at all. On the internet, where publishing is easy, but distribution is hard, it seems like there's already a natural tendency toward winner-takes-all. Execution matters somewhat, but at some point, I think it comes down to who can throw more capital at the problem.

I'm interested in this problem space, because current social media tools leave me somewhat dissatisfied. But I'm also skeptical about how you'd build it successfully.

bpodgursky(3912) 6 days ago [-]

Personally, many of my good reading suggestions come from a trusted network. I trust a few people to only recommend content of a type that is high-quality and interesting to me.

I do think it's important to have an element of discoverability for new content (otherwise there's no real way for a writer to bootstrap into visibility), but I think an important element is being able to follow and trust content aggregators. Maybe algorithmic curation will be trustable in a decade, but right now it feels too gameable, and too easy to degenerate into thinkbait.

fermienrico(4055) 6 days ago [-]

I am gonna work on this evening. Thanks.

ubac(3392) 6 days ago [-]

A question for you (and everyone): how important do you think it is that the algorithmic discoverability be married to a single platform/aggregator? What if you just had better algorithmic discoverability across all writing on the internet, regardless of where it's hosted?

I get that that would miss some of the benefits you mention (shared comment logins for example) but I'm wondering if people think it would capture 80% of the same benefits or, like, <50%. And I don't think for the discoverability to work there's any innate reason it has to be restricted to a single blogging platform.

new_here(3732) 5 days ago [-]

You may be interested in https://able.bio

Myself and a partner are building this, here are a few points:

- It's a community to read and write about building things with technology

- Clean, fast and light UX + Markdown editor (https://able.bio/new)

- Bootstrapped with low overheads. No outside investment removes pressure to grow at all costs and the lapse on integrity that we see more of each day.

- No data lock-in. Export your posts in a single JSON file (containing Markdown + HTML versions) accompanied by all images.

- We're finishing up a big set of data portability / data respect features, which we plan to announce soon.

The aim is to build a community of capable people with a genuine interest in technology and attach a job board to the site. Companies can then pay to display their vacancies on the job board and users can take a look whenever they like. No popups, banners or any of that dodgy/spammy crap getting in between users and the reading/writing. In this age we see integrity towards our users as a differentiator.

Building it is fairly straightforward and fun. Some learnings we've gained in terms of 'jumpstarting' it:

- a lot of people are vehemently sceptical after the Medium debacle.

- creating a feed that prioritises good content without 'censoring' dev spam or trivial posts is tricky when coming off a smaller user base. For example, upvotes can have outsized effects.

- getting regular volume of good content so that people use Able as source of news/inspiration/learning.

We've had some great posts from people but we need just that little bit more to get the flywheel going. As soon as someone posts something, activity on the site goes up but then dies down again. It's the classic building vs. promoting trade-off. However, we've chosen to get data portability and respect right first as we believe this is fundamental. We're wrapping that up now and then have loads of learnings and ideas we want write about.

We feel that same potential 'renaissance' you're talking about and this is how we want to try and activate it. If you feel inclined, have a look and let us know what you think.

Ayesh(4053) 6 days ago [-]

I don't even want to have a medium.com account for their crappy UI and hostile paywalls, but I doubt those who use medium regularly actually discover new blogs. HN is one of my primary sources to read new things, and I'm already blind to medium's footer read-more links.

lazyload(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I appreciate the no-bs lightweight website sentiment as much as anyone, but I think there's also something to be said about drastically improving readability with some line-height and font styling.

Reedx(204) 6 days ago [-]

Coming soon, the http://bettermotherfuckingwebsite.com/ equivalent.

abnry(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yes, styling is a must for me. If I ever were to blog, I'd also require images and latex rendering. But that's about it.

MattGaiser(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Just change the font to something other than Garamond like Verdana. It is a nice font for paper, but not on websites.

ubac(3392) 6 days ago [-]

I really recommend https://write.as/ for those looking for minimalism with a bit more styling

franciscop(2026) 6 days ago [-]

There is style, it's just so small that it's embedded in the <style> tags instead of an external asset.

jamil7(4332) 6 days ago [-]

I think I'd second this, adding some basic improvements to the typesetting would help a lot and wouldn't cost anything WRT performance.

rammy1234(3711) 6 days ago [-]

Is this different from the note taking app 'Bear'

notadog(4313) 6 days ago [-]

Yes. The only similarity is their names.

aloisdg(4129) 6 days ago [-]

Is it open source? Could I self hosted it?

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

You can't self host it, otherwise you'd be better off writing your own basic HTML pages or using a static site generator. You can check out the source code on github though https://github.com/HermanMartinus/bearblog

pidg(4402) 6 days ago [-]

If you want something similar that you can self-host, try Yellow by Datenstrom: https://datenstrom.se/yellow/

katktv(10000) 6 days ago [-]

So can I self-host this? The comparisons make no sense if I can't self-host the thing.

notadog(4313) 6 days ago [-]

From the creator elsewhere in the comments:

> You can't self host it, otherwise you'd be better off writing your own basic HTML pages or using a static site generator. You can check out the source code on github though https://github.com/HermanMartinus/bearblog

rhezab(4416) 6 days ago [-]

I wish there was something like this for math blogs. I've tried Jekyll with MathJax but it looks kind of ugly. Any suggestions anyone?

sivakon(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You can visit https://upmath.me/ and on the preview side, choose `md`. You can get latex equation as SVG URL hosted on s2cms.ru CDN. It's pretty fast and supports any website that supports markdown+images without the need for MathJax or Katex. Example post here https://katr.bearblog.dev/latex/

xiaodai(3904) 6 days ago [-]

codementor.io and coding.blog

jamil7(4332) 6 days ago [-]

Cool project! I think you'd do well to expand the example blog with more entries and content.

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

Thanks. Will do

robjan(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Good idea but not sure if I would call it a blog hosting platform. My understanding is that it hosts a single parsed markdown file on a subdomain of my choosing.

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

You can write as many posts as you want in markdown, check out the example blog herman.bearblog.dev to see what I mean

Antecedent(4394) 6 days ago [-]

Change the font from Garamond and that will eliminate 50% of the style complaints.

I've always found Garamond text online hard on my eyes.

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

Noted :)

varlogix(4423) 6 days ago [-]

Love the 'early internet' feel of it, and of course the speed.

The domain name could be improved, considering that it will be part of every hosted blog. Something more concise, or rolls off the tongue easier.

HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

I tried to get a better domain. I tried so hard. tiny.blog, bare.blog, bear.blog, petite.blog, smol.site, etc, etc.... Small domains are competitive if you're on a shoestring budget :P

baruchel(4275) 6 days ago [-]

Wouldn't twtxt be a better candidate as the most minimal blogging platform?


HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

This is pretty rad

chrismorgan(3473) 6 days ago [-]

Heads up: it doesn't have no JavaScript at present, because Cloudflare's email protection system is in place. (I hate that thing. It mangles non-email addresses all the time if they look even vaguely like an email address, e.g. a package with version number "[email protected]". Penalising users that disable JavaScript.)

https://herman.bearblog.dev/ contains a "Get in touch" mailto: link that gets ruined, and the following script is added:

  <script data-cfasync='false' src='/cdn-cgi/scripts/5c5dd728/cloudflare-static/email-decode.min.js'></script>
HermanMartinus(4384) 6 days ago [-]

Ah shit. Turning it off. Thanks for the heads up

snazz(3495) 6 days ago [-]

As a site owner, forcing non-JS users to click through a CAPTCHA is worth it since I get zero spam as a result. It might not be appropriate here, but it's appropriate for most personal websites.

pvsukale3(977) 6 days ago [-]

Does anyone know a blogging platform that allows you to export your content as a standalone static site and or markdown/csv?

detaro(2125) 6 days ago [-]


myfonj(4427) 5 days ago [-]

I think that product template could use either `aria-hidden='true'` or `aria-label='bear'` HTML attributes for screen readers sake (and reconsider title and OG properties); not an expert in this area nor having SR at hand, but I guess that

would sound like 'pharyngeal voiced fricative - bullet - letter ain - bullet - glottal stop', what is hardly beneficial for screen reader users. Cool Unicode 'picture' though, it's a pity such doodles hurts accessibility (sad smiley).
st1ck(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Given that we can't expect everyone to use aria attributes, shouldn't screen readers just have a list of all widely used smileys with descriptive names (if they don't have it already)?

CydeWeys(4262) 6 days ago [-]

Small suggestion -- it seems like you're using the wrong units (or maybe abbreviations) for your displayed average page sizes. You're using lower-case b to indicate bits, but I suspect you mean upper-case B to indicate bytes? Also, the lower-case k is the correct prefix for 1,000, but lower case m is milli, or 1/000. You want M for mega, which is 1,000,000.

Also if you really want to be precise you should consider whether you're using binary prefixes vs SI prefixes, e.g. kB (10^3 bytes) vs kiB (2^10 bytes). That doesn't matter as much because the error is small for these lower values, but the casing errors definitely do matter. 'mb' means millibars to me, not Megabytes!

okasaki(3607) 5 days ago [-]

You should learn to understand MB/mb/Mb/mB for megabyte and mbit for megabit. Anything else is inviting error and sorrow, because many people use it that way.

mbrameld(10000) 6 days ago [-]

mb means millibars to you in the context of file size? How does that make any sense?

diarrhea(10000) 6 days ago [-]

'mb' is not millibar; 'mbar' is.

gitgud(2893) 6 days ago [-]

This is a hilarious nit-pick. In the context of an internet blog describing average page-size, it's completely obvious that mb == MB ... not millibars...

There's an insane amount of abbreviations and acronyms that have multiple meanings in different contexts. How many Wikipedia pages have [disambiguation] here?...

CivBase(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Huh... I've always described 2^10 bytes as a 'kilobyte' (kB) but I've always hated the ambiguity, even if the difference between 2^10 and 10^3 is usually not important. Thanks to this comment, I learned there is an formal set of units which are distinct from their SI counterparts[0].

  1000^1 kB, 1024^1 kibibyte (kiB)
  1000^2 MB, 1024^2 mebibyte (MiB)
  1000^3 GB, 1024^3 gibibyte (GiB)
  1000^4 TB, 1024^4 tebibyte (TiB)
  1000^5 PB, 1024^5 pebibyte (PiB)
  1000^6 EB, 1024^6 exbibyte (EiB)
  1000^7 ZB, 1024^7 zebibyte (ZiB)
  1000^8 YB, 1024^8 yobibyte (YiB)
It looks like those units have been around since 1995, but they haven't seen much mainstream adoption. Too bad.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibibyte

alphachloride(10000) 5 days ago [-]


Historical Discussions: I was blackmailed – any YouTuber could be next (May 26, 2020: 655 points)

(655) I was blackmailed – any YouTuber could be next

655 points 6 days ago by AlexeyBrin in 415th position

www.gamefromscratch.com | Estimated reading time – 3 minutes | comments | anchor

If you follow Gamefromscratch on Twitter, you may have already seen this tweet I put out last night about a blackmail demand that was made against our YouTube channel:

First off, I really want to give a gigantic shout out to all of the people that helped get the message out, the tweets, retweets and even Reddit post. You are an amazing community and hopefully if we yell loud enough, YouTube will here and fix this!

Basically it started with a message in the GFS Discord server claiming to have taken down my Animate CC video. This video unfortunately has been taken down and reinstated 4 times in the last two months, this happened after YouTube turned up the bots responsibility due to Covid-19, so I had written it off as bots malfunctioning. Each time it was taken down, I appealed and it would be restored. After I didn't pay the $50 in bitcoin, I started getting Circumvention of Technology notices for 3 of my videos. That ultimately resulted in a community strike and loss of access to my channel for a week (or until appealed). Thankfully those three takedowns were reversed in about 2 hours and channel privileges were restored.

Today I was just waiting for YouTube to restore my 2 year old Animate CC video... then to my shock, it was reviewed and found to be in violation! Even after multiple previous reviews, as you can see from these email snippets!

So that is where things stand now. My channel is back, 3 out of 4 of my videos are returned. Thing is, anyone that wants can do this exact same attack whenever they want. It was reported to YouTube and frankly they did nothing. Any YouTube creator you love can have their channel taken down by spamming Circumvention of Technology claims, and there really isn't anything you can do about it. YouTube assumes your guilt and until the review clears you name, your video is down. As you can see from the above emails, your video doesn't always come back.

The single biggest piece of advice I can give to any YouTube creator, make sure your content is mirrored on another network! After my Animate CC video was taken down the second time, I started mirroring to Lbry.tv and I recommend you do to! Thanks to mirroring to Lbry, my Animate CC video lives on! So if you want to try to spot the copyright circumvention YouTube reviewers "found", you can!

Hopefully if we yell loud enough, YouTube will hear and creators will be protected from insanity like this in the future! You can learn much more in the video below. Once again, thank you to everyone that helped amplify my voice, it was and is much appreciated!

Totally Off Topic Rant

All Comments: [-] | anchor

scottlawson(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think this is called extortion, not blackmail.

jaywalk(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You are correct. Blackmail would involve threatening to expose some sort of negative info about the YouTuber.

dificilis(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The official Hacker News headline-fixing person needs to fix this right now.

Freeboots(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Right?! This annoyed the hell out of me when i saw the vid on youtube. It sucks his videos are getting taken down, but to my mind he loses intergity by playing it up as blackmail. Extortion is bad enough, why not call it like it is?

whotheffknows(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Hi so this is illegal. Call the FBI. Extortion and coercion are felonies in all 50 states.

WantonQuantum(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Can the FBI do anything if the culprit is not in the US?

philpem(4354) 6 days ago [-]

'Hello, FBI? This random guy on the Internet is extorting me.'

FBI: 'Go away and come back when you have a name and address, and can prove the guy is under our jurisdiction.'

causality0(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Google has an absolute fetish for making the ratio of profit to employees as large as possible. They will do it at any cost. There is no Google service without horrific customer support. Youtube, Google Fiber, Google Fi, doesn't matter. They refuse to accept that having 2x as many customers requires 2x as many support personnel.

wayoutthere(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm a big fan of looking at annual reports to understand a company.

Google is not subtle about where its priorities lie. There is a section in their 10-K titled "How we make money" and the two sub-bullets are "Performance advertising" and "Brand advertising". The rest is a footnote.

Their revenue breakdown tells a similar story. Google as a whole had revenues of $161B in 2019, and $134B of that was direct revenue from from ad sales. "Other bets" (inclusive of consumer product things like Fiber, Fi, etc) is less than $1B — a rounding error in the scope of their overall business.

I know it's flippant to say "you're not the customer, you're the product" but it's particularly true in the case of Google. They are a B2B advertising company, not a B2C products company. It's just not part of their business model to provide support to anyone who isn't an ad buyer. It honestly ends up thwarting their ambitions in the product space because the kind of customer support required to succeed just isn't in their DNA.

antpls(3937) 5 days ago [-]

Aren't YouTube's customers the advertisers paying to have their ads displayed? YouTubers are not customers. At best, I believe they are 'partners' (like with Twitch)

gowthamgts12(4427) 5 days ago [-]

also applies to android developers as well. they have been struggling for a very long time due to app takedowns without human intervention.

op00to(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Support scales linearly only if you don't do anything to work smarter. Maybe your product sucks so much that every customer needs to interact with support to get things to work. Maybe you don't have the right resources for customers to self solve. Hiring your way out of a support problem rarely ends well.

downerending(4405) 6 days ago [-]

Hard to convince a company to provide good service when they can make more money by not doing so.

tiborsaas(4083) 5 days ago [-]

As an exercise, please do a back of an envelope calculation and estimate costs and features of a good (feel free to use your own definition) customer service for a mainstream video streaming platform with users ranging from 3 to 99.

You have:

- 2 billion monthly active users

- 73% of US adults

- The most-downloaded iOS app in 2018

- As of December 2018, installed on 5 billion Android devices

- One billion hours of content viewed per day

- 500 hours of content uploaded every minute


gkoberger(810) 6 days ago [-]

This might not be a popular opinion, but I feel like YouTube is doing their best with a really hard problem.

I see a lot of people complaining about things like this, but I also see a lot of people complaining that YouTube/Twitter/etc aren't doing enough to take down false/immoral/illegal content quick enough. [1]

It really sucks when a legitimate video is taken down by mistake. But it also really sucks when revenge porn is left up. YouTube is doing it's best to blend automation (fast but inaccurate) with human curation (more thoughtful but slower), and sometimes it gets it wrong.

I feel like most of the time I see posts like this, the situation is resolved favorably and relatively quickly. YouTube is dealing with two opposing issues, and is constantly doing its best to find a fair middle ground.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23316660

lazyjones(4347) 6 days ago [-]

> I see a lot of people complaining about things like this, but I also see a lot of people complaining that YouTube/Twitter/etc aren't doing enough to take down false/immoral/illegal content quick enough. [1]

It looks more like YT is busy censoring content for political/ideological reasons and doesn't care too much about porn, complaints about censorship and attacks such as reported by the OP.

If some fanatics still don't get their way of censoring content they don't like quickly enough, that's not really an excuse for YT's bad service.

dntbnmpls(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> YouTube/Twitter/etc aren't doing enough to take down false/immoral/illegal content

This is so sneaky. Why link 'false' and 'immoral' and 'illegal' together? I can agree that social media should take down illegal content, but 'false' and 'immoral' content should be left up. People who whine about 'false' content really mean facts and truths they disagree with. As for immoral, do we really want to play this game? Immoral from which perspective?

> I feel like most of the time I see posts like this, the situation is resolved favorably and relatively quickly.

Only if you are a big youtuber.

denkmoon(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This is a money problem. Google don't want to spend money on human curation. The cost of that is that legitimate channels lose income.

I feel bad for authors that use the platform because they must to reach a sizeable audience, yet the platform does not care about them because they are not Vevo.

AlexandrB(4156) 6 days ago [-]

> I feel like most of the time I see posts like this, the situation is resolved favorably and relatively quickly.

This is because the only time a post like this rises to the top on HN is because it's affecting someone notable in the tech/startup circle or someone with a lot of tech followers. If you don't have this kind of leverage to get Google's attention you're usually SOL. An example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrMvyVEQO6M

Edit: follow up to the above video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIK0yafnbGM

From the transcript:

> long story short it only went back up I got a message this morning from someone who is a fan of mine who is a Google employee who kind of reached out internally about it after finding out what happened and that basically immediately solved it after three months of me trying everything that I you know basically everything that I knew to try

So yeah. Unless you have a fan at Google, you can go pound sand if you run into a problem.

redml(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The problem is they aren't giving benefit of the doubt in channels that are in good standing for a long time with high subscriber/viewership/video counts. The guy has 100k subscribers and fairly active videos that don't get reported, you'd think that would count for something. Someone doesn't go from uploading regular content to 'revenge porn' overnight.

If it doesnt work on large channels then there's no blackmailing possible. If it works on smaller channels then you can't be a 'bad actor' as easily.

donw(3543) 6 days ago [-]

It seems that part of the solution here is to require meatspace authentication.

Here's a thought experiment:

Imagine you are a global platform which needs to deal with inappropriate behavior (posting of copyrighted materials, etc.)

Flagging content requires a verified account, where you must authenticate your meatspace identity: a small monthly payment via a traceable payment mechanism; a text to your phone number; a postal address verified by sending you a postcard; a photo of your government-issued ID; and webcam photo of yourself.

None of this information is for public exposure! It merely ties your account to you, as a person, as tightly as possible. Nor is it required to use the service -- only to engage with the moderation system.

All of these can be automated from the side of the service provider.

For companies:

If you are working on behalf of a company, your company membership requires similar verification. You are also limited to flagging only IP-related issues raised by your organization (copyright infringement, etc.)

For individuals:

You must be endorsed by three other verified users.

False flags beyond a certain threshold will erode the weight of your flags, up to the point where your the moderation system will outright ignore you, with a periodic (automated) review to see whether or not your flagging behavior has improved.

Endorsing a certain number of false-flaggers will also cause your account to silently lose the ability to flag.

This mimics real-world behavioral modification for groups of people.

Thoughts? Where does this go wrong?

autokad(4425) 6 days ago [-]

I dont feel sorry for them at all.

> 'I also see a lot of people complaining that YouTube/Twitter/etc aren't doing enough to take down false/immoral/illegal content quick enough'

I dont want these companies touching false/immoral take downs. who are they to decide? sorry, I dont want these people in charge of the moral police. illegal stuff, like revenge porn makes sense.

> 'YouTube is doing it's best to blend automation (fast but inaccurate) with human curation (more thoughtful but slower), and sometimes it gets it wrong'

I feel like they usually get it wrong, they are closer to being a blind man swinging a chain saw than a surgeon with a knife. HIRE SOME PEOPLE. they have huge margins, it would take very little for these companies to hire some people to review content.

> ' feel like most of the time I see posts like this, the situation is resolved favorably and relatively quickly.'

Tell that to people who have been shadow banned or demonized. most of the time, there never is resolution, their channel and all the hard work they have put together is ruined forever.

spicyramen(10000) 5 days ago [-]

They are not doing their best. Google is well known for not hiring support people. They automate things, they use ML and also some people in India...but not enough

SergeAx(4229) 6 days ago [-]

Sanity check in my head telling me that once content is reinstated by human operator - it shouldn't be taken down by algorithm, but flagged for secondary human examination instead.

gerland(4415) 5 days ago [-]

They try their best to keep their business as profitable as possible. This often means they just don't want to analyse content in a sufficient way, although it should be possible to do it in an automated way. It's better to take down 10 videos with the word pedophilia, even if 9 of them talk about how to make your kid safe, than to spend computing power on a more detailed analysis. Why bother, those videos won't sell ads anyway. It's one of the reason that the whole 'I'm a private company na na na na na na ha ha ha ha ha ha, you can't regulate me!' argument is so weak.

Not every problem can be solved with automation, because content adapts. If there will be people involved, there will be biases and scandals. Not that I trust people designing algorithms to be some kind of saints.

We know now that people are more likely to discriminate basing on political orientation than race. Basically all the people that would be racists 100 years ago now took a different angle to be able to behave in the same manner. I do not trust moderators and overlords, because they seem to be all from one political orientation. Being a black person 100 years ago, would you trust an all-white private company to handle all your information in an equal way, even knowing that some of the data exposes illegal practices of the said company? It's absurd to think that anyone under those circumstances would be 100% clean and it's just plain insane to thinnk we can hold hundrets of thousands of people at the same time to thius standard.

whiddershins(2772) 5 days ago [-]

Is it very hard to have a policy that once a video has been taken down, and then successfully appealed, that it becomes harder to take down?

fogetti(4153) 6 days ago [-]

Another unpopular opinion:

And that's the exact reason why Youtube should be considered a platform, that Youtube is so viciously fighting now and all the Youtube believers are blindly accepting.

Not that I believe PragerU's videos are factful or informative, but I think the argument by the court that Youtube is not a state actor is completely missing the point, and it only shows how outdated the legal system is in the US, but it doesn't actually reflect on the actual situation, i.e. how much power Youtube is wielding, and how it is censoring and actively blocking free speech.

These kind of decisions shouldn't be granted to any private firms with such user and content size without public, democratic and transparent influence on the decision making.

BTW, all your arguments seems anecdotal to me. Sentences like 'I see', 'I feel', etc. don't really convince me and should not anyone else either.

soraminazuki(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Censorship is not a solution to your problems. It's never going to scale due to the sheer volume of the contents. In addition to being ineffective, it would also cause active harm because there never will be sufficient checks and balances in place.

That being said, there arguably are some contents that should be taken down. But content takedowns should always be done with care, and be used as a last resort. It certainly should not be taking down harmless gaming videos.

It's also disingenuous to bring up revenge porn to strike down criticism. No one could possibly mistake the video in question for revenge porn. Even their automated system didn't. It has nothing to do with this issue at all.

monadic2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> I see a lot of people complaining about things like this, but I also see a lot of people complaining that YouTube/Twitter/etc aren't doing enough to take down false/immoral/illegal content quick enough.

Do you have an example?

These seem like inherently contradictory values. You can either make a safe platform or one that treats its tenants well. Like many of its products, google has not made it clear which set of customers they're trying to please, pissing off both parties.

electro_blah(10000) 6 days ago [-]

LOL maybe they should actually look into it before replying with their canned response.

mmcru(10000) 6 days ago [-]

In my view, if platforms like YouTube/Twitter/Facebook are going to exercise editorial control over the content they host, they should be held fully responsible for all of the content that isn't taken down.

If these organizations don't want to be responsible for the content on their platforms, then they shouldn't censor content unless ordered to by a judge.

They want it both ways - full editorial control, but no responsibility.

macspoofing(10000) 6 days ago [-]

>This might not be a popular opinion, but I feel like YouTube is doing their best with a really hard problem.

100% agree. Also true of Paypal, another common 'whipping boy' because enforcing various regulations around moving money while still providing good customer service is HARD.

loup-vaillant(3157) 5 days ago [-]

> I feel like YouTube is doing their best with a really hard problem

Two aspects of the problems are very easy: first, the automated parts of the review system can be marked as such. Automated emails can trivially be signed 'You Tube Bot' or something (such signalling should perhaps be mandated by law). Second, when a video has been reviewed and found 'not guilty' once, it can be marked as such, and past reviews recorded. Preventing automated takedowns for the same reason, or requiring stronger reviews, is trivial (though more costly for the videos that do end up being re-reviewed).

They may have other reasons not to pluck those two low hanging fruits, but difficulty is probably not one of them.

tripzilch(4303) 4 days ago [-]

But it's YouTube controlling and profiting off the platform that they created and continue to actively put out there.

If it turns out to be 'a really hard problem' to control, that they just can't quite manage, then it's not okay to say 'well at least you tried your best' (but you still get to profit off it).

What if we had our current state of self-driving cars on the road already, with all the problems that would entail, and people would say 'well, to be fair, it is a really hard problem'.

The point is, we don't care whether it's 'their best' or if they're even barely trying, what matters is that it's good enough.

elicash(4397) 6 days ago [-]

I agree with this, except that the reason they receive so much criticism is because of their monopoly status.

If you're trying to make money from digital video, getting banned or even demonetized from YouTube is a death sentence on your vlogger career.

So sure, I don't blame YouTube. They're likely good folks doing their best to solve hard problems. At the same time, that this is such an impossible problem to deal with is probably a good reason to make sure Google doesn't have too much monopoly power over advertising (in this case video ads).

In short, the stakes are too high! They'd be lessened with more alternatives.

panpanna(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I feel like YouTube is doing their best with a really hard problem.

No, they are not! They are treating this as another big data problem, ignoring the harm it causes.

What they SHOULD do is to held the accuser responsible. To make complaints you should have a verified account and if you make wrongful claims you should foot the bill.

Not rocket science really.

ajhurliman(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The videos were flagged and reviewed as acceptable several times, then subsequently flagged and reviewed as unacceptable. The inability to prevent scripted attacks like this where an attacker brute forces takedown requests doesn't strike me as 'doing their best'.

They can defend against DDoS attacks, why can't they do better against fraudulent takedown requests? I think the answer lies in their monopoly status and the fact that creators don't have many other options for getting real traffic outside of YouTube.

anakaine(10000) 6 days ago [-]

In this case the author shares your view. That is until the point where the third review found their video in violation. One might argue there is a corrupted element in the youtube moderation team that is either lazy, or on the take. I'd wager both.

I think the best solution would be a wide, distributed network of automated takedowns targeting every nth video, but avoiding the high profile accounts. Ramp this up to a large enough issue and they will be forced to respond with a better process, otherwise their content network dies by their own process.

I'm not actually advocating that the above should happen, just suggesting it would turn the tables. Fight bots with bots.

kemonocode(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's only ever resolved favorably if you have enough clout.

I understand there simply not being enough manpower on Earth to manually review so many cases, but the balance seems to be so heavily skewed towards automation (which still does a very piss poor job at it) that just feels like there's no human element vetting the final decision at all, and that's the approach which so many people have gripes about, rightfully so until Google strikes that balance.

101404(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's pretty disturbing how you put 'immoral' in between 'false' and 'illegal', as if it was just as bad.

imron(4415) 6 days ago [-]

> I see a lot of people complaining about things like this, but I also see a lot of people complaining that YouTube/Twitter/etc aren't doing enough to take down false/immoral/illegal content quick enough.

At large enough scale (e.g. Youtube scale) there will always be people complaining about almost everything.

You can't please everybody, but it's in Youtube's long-term self interest to please the people that produce the content that keeps people coming back to Youtube, otherwise the creators will look towards other platforms (and we're already starting to see this).

> It really sucks when a legitimate video is taken down by mistake. But it also really sucks when revenge porn is left up....YouTube is dealing with two opposing issues

Except here, a third factor is in play - the extortion which caused a legitimate video to be taken down. Youtube's going to need to fix that problem fast.

drukenemo(4209) 5 days ago [-]

The question for me is, why censor/remove false information? Who is the judge? And even if something is blatantly false, we cannot allow it to be manifested?

sneak(2509) 6 days ago [-]

There is no reason for them to be censoring how-to videos, even if those how-to videos are for illegal things.

This isn't "cut them some slack" xor "revenge porn".

This is the automated (mis)application of a rule against educational videos, a rule that should not exist in the first place.

Censorship platforms are inherently dangerous.

CamperBob2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I feel like YouTube is doing their best with a really hard problem.

(Shrug) They have an almost-infinite amount of money and resources to tackle those problems. It's not unreasonable to expect better results.

cyborgx7(4207) 5 days ago [-]

They are doing their best under a particular, self-imposed, restriction. To use as little human work as possible to solve the problem. What we are learning is that you need people in the process that can look at the situation and make decisions.

cbanek(4388) 6 days ago [-]

> YouTube is dealing with two opposing issues, and is constantly doing its best to find a middle ground.

I agree with you that it's a really hard problem, but I don't see this as finding a middle ground. In reality, there are problems on both sides (people posting bad content, and bad actors taking on good content). What I expect from Google is a constantly improving process on making sure bad content is removed, and good content is not. It doesn't seem like Google's process is getting better - if anything it's just swinging back toward blocking content faster. I feel like there have been a few swings, such as back in 2011 when any background music or movie clip might mute or block your video, even when it's fair use, to a more open model a few years later, and now we're swinging back. What I would hope is that they improve over time. And yes, many times I think that involves actual people looking at things, which is expensive in terms of people as well as having to deal with tough content (mental health of those moderators being really tricky, just look at FB). But the amount of arbitrary and poorly worded emails about how you violated the TOS but won't say how. It's obvious that working with people is more expensive than not, and that seems to be what they are doing.

It's always a cat and mouse game, I guess. And Google has fought this type of thing before with trying to fight people gaming search ranking.

Now people arguing over what content should be allowed is obviously a more tricky, moral, problem. But between illegal content and people doing illegal acts like blackmail to valid creators seems pretty similar.

JSavageOne(10000) 6 days ago [-]

There are relatively way more people complaining about their videos being erroneously taken down then people complaining about 'immoral' content. In fact, I've never seen anyone claim that 'immoral' content should be taken down, most people tend to favor freedom of speech outside of obviously the obviously wrong (eg. torture, doxxing).

I've never seen a revenge porn video on Youtube, where are you coming up with this?

Just look at the robotic tone of their emails, they don't care. I've had a channel taken down and all my old videos deleted due to some nonsense. There is no appeals process.

mcv(4421) 5 days ago [-]

Part of the problem is also internet anonymity. I know there are cases where this anonymity is important, but there are also clearly cases where it hurts, and this is one.

Addressing this problem would be a lot easier if Youtube could identify the people who make these false claims and upload the illegal content. But because they can always create a new account, they stay anonymous.

Maybe an alternative would be to take long-existing, well-established accounts more seriously. That way troll accounts have a harder time taking advantage of legitimate users. It would still suck if you're a new user who gets faced with this kind of abuse, though.

everfree(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The solution is really very easy, add more human moderators like other companies do. But that would cut into their profit, so they don't.

tekkk(4064) 6 days ago [-]

I don't think they are really doing their best. If other Google's support forums are any indicator of their effort, they are mostly trying to automate the whole process as much as possible which then causes errors like this. Which makes sense from the SV software engineer perspective, but really is unfathomable to the normal user who then has to live in fear if some malicious teenager decides to ruin their channel.

Instead of actually trying to create the best customer service, to me it feels that they treat it like a fun ML problem that they want to solve with magical algorithmic pixie dust.

Yeah I know it's terribly expensive to keep a horde of content reviewers, but then it would be nice for Youtube to be upfront about it that there is maybe a human in the process, but most likely not. I guess honesty is not anymore a valuable commodity in this world, yet it would feel nice sometimes to hear the truth, not some lawyer jargon to avoid all responsibility.

tripletao(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> I feel like most of the time I see posts like this, the situation is resolved favorably and relatively quickly.

Isn't that exactly the complaint? There's no sane human review until an issue gets embarrassingly publicized--so if the victim can generate that publicity then the system 'works', and if they can't then you never see the post.

bsder(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> This might not be a popular opinion, but I feel like YouTube is doing their best with a really hard problem.

Of their own making. It's solvable. You throw humans at it.

If Google can't deal with this then they shouldn't be allowed to collect money by running ads. Problem solved.

And other sites will spring up that might actually be willing to deal with the problem correctly because now YouTube isn't a monopoly anymore.

Google (and others) are going to continue to be shit until we hit them with anti-trust actions and big fines. Until then, this is all just a cost of doing business and they will laugh all the way to the bank.

fenwick67(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I feel like most of the time I see posts like this, the situation is resolved favorably and relatively quickly.

Sadly the situation is only resolved because the person gets traction on Twitter etc. You shouldn't have to kick and scream and demand action on Twitter to get baseline levels of support from a human.

beshrkayali(1947) 5 days ago [-]

Google support in general (and YouTube specifically) is one of the most incompetent, entitled, and utterly useless systems that exist. Your feeling of YT doing their best doesn't match the reality of how incapable, slow and unhelpful they are. There are many stories of YouTube channels being taken down, receiving strikes for false copyright claims, or just demonetized based on the whims of some virtue signaling employee.

Automating thins is fine, and even getting things wrong is okay. YouTube is nothing without the content that's on it, so it goes without saying that any money-making channel deserves expedited support, especially in cases like this one.

bryanrasmussen(219) 6 days ago [-]

>I feel like most of the time I see posts like this, the situation is resolved favorably

a cynic might assume that is because you (and thus lots of other people) are seeing the post.

jimbob45(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yeah, our copyright laws are absurd but how do you change them when we spent the tariff wars forcing other countries to adopt US copyright laws? How could we go back now?

newacct583(10000) 6 days ago [-]

There's no copyright claim involved here. The complaint process being abused was an anticircumvention thing.

Now, you can argue that those anticircumvention laws exist in service to the existing copyright regime, sure. But those aren't the laws we forced other countries to adopt.

wmf(2221) 6 days ago [-]

Many of YouTube's policies aren't required by law.

jandrese(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It seems like the extortionists can keep sending claims until they stumble across a YouTube moderator who guesses wrong and clicks the 'this claim was legit' button. Even if 90% of the moderators would get it right eventually your video is going to be down for good. Even humans make mistakes sometimes, so human-in-the-loop isn't a perfect solution.

The thing that really doesn't make sense to me is that when a moderator marks a claim as invalid it doesn't switch the automod system to requiring the moderator to review the claim before taking the video down. Ideally you'd like that to be the case for all videos, but presumably that would anger the media cartels that dictated the requirements for the system and just want a way to do mass takedowns that doesn't cost them lawyer hours or have the potential of consequences for them.

pxtail(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Would be pretty interesting if some moderators (who are probably residents of low wage countries) not just simply 'guess wrong' but are part of the scheme and mark some videos on purpose.

bcoates(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If Google created systems to defend against a single actor spamming their reporting system, it would be an admission that they're aware that they aren't capable of identifying and filtering that out automatically.

'We don't pay for fraud traffic, we don't bill our advertisers for fraud traffic, and youtube analytics represent real users not bots' is pretty much Google's whole business model.

They can survive being caught being mistaken, but it's much worse for them to be caught lying.

So they have to pretend to believe that reporting spam represents large numbers of real humans filing mistaken or dishonest reports that they have to manually review.

This doesn't have anything to do with the media cartels though -- they have access to ContentID and can take down YT videos without filing reports or involving Google employees at all. Media companies wouldn't care if YT removed the report feature entirely.

If you're looking for a corporation to blame for this it's the advertisers, they don't want to see their ads next to brand-unsafe videos. YT has outsourced the hard work of actually watching and classifying videos for appropriateness to the report system. They assume that once they take down anything that catches a lot of reports, whatever is left will be anodyne enough to be brand-safe.

the_af(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> It seems like the extortionists can keep sending claims until they stumble across a YouTube moderator who guesses wrong and clicks the 'this claim was legit' button.

This is exactly what happens. At least, with Facebook. It's not that pranksters or trolls can flag your post/account/page and have it automatically blocked or banned; it's that eventually one of the human reviewers will make a mistake. I've seen it happen more than once and the only way to appeal was through back channels (i.e. via a friend working for Facebook).

dhimes(2924) 5 days ago [-]

Agree. This will have to be fixed at the legislative level.

panzagl(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Is there a legitimate, distinct, unique use case for cryptocurrency to weigh against it's use as an enabler for extortion??

shiohime(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's very useful for international money exchange. Really wished I knew about the technology when I was living overseas and needed to send money to my family. Took more than a week IIRC plus having to have 2 to 3 different banks take their cut for a simple wire transfer overseas via Western Union. Sent via blockchain they could have had it within a few minutes with a negligible fee.

There's a bunch of valid use cases for easily being able to send and receive money rather than relying on banks for everything when there are viable alternatives.

127(10000) 6 days ago [-]

A bulwark against fiat debasement and the government basically draining the people dry of any wealth.

identity0(10000) 6 days ago [-]

>Is there a legitimate, distinct, unique use case for physical cash to weight against its use as an enabler for virtually all crimes?

Just because something enables crimes doesn't mean it needs to be stopped. Even though many don't use bitcoin, the ideas that bitcoin (and physical cash) represent outweigh their capabilities for committing crimes.

ericflo(1174) 6 days ago [-]

It's in the post - the author was able to put the taken-down video back up on lbry.tv, which is a cryptocurrency-based decentralized media platform.

vageli(4423) 6 days ago [-]

The ability to transact anonymously online shouldn't be understated.

unexaminedlife(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It seems an obvious solution would be to incorporate historical data into future decisions on whether to take down immediately vs take down after manual verification.

If someone has been hit with these takedown requests over and over where the resolution was always to put it back up, what likelihood is there that future resolutions will be different? By standing by your content creators with a history of improper takedown requests you'll build brand loyalty. By making it just as difficult on content creators the 100th time as the first time makes me think YouTube isn't going to be the 'platform of the future' for content creators.

Andrex(3460) 6 days ago [-]

This is how I naively assumed it worked back in the day and was constantly perplexed by how much trouble TeamFourStar would get into with seemingly every new upload.

jschuur(3987) 5 days ago [-]

I'm not discounting that this was an annoying ordeal for this channel to go through, but if this is so easy, why don't professional criminals go after huge channels and take them down as easily?

There might be some subscriber count threshold or partner status that, once crossed, flags extra steps that mean a new violation is escalated for a closer look first?

slightwinder(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How do you know they are not doing that already?

Animats(2219) 6 days ago [-]

This is extortion. Did Google disclose to you the identity of the party who sent the takedown notice. If not, a lawyer might be able to help here. You have a good case against the other party for extortion, and a weak case against Google for assisting them. There's a strong legal incentive here for Google to disclose the name of the other party, if they are being difficult about doing so. DMCA notices can't be anonymous.

FDSGSG(4375) 5 days ago [-]

>You have a good case against the other party for extortion

Doesn't really help when the other party is clearly a child with no money.

bencollier49(2730) 5 days ago [-]

Is a circumvention of technology claim part of the DMCA?

Findeton(4360) 6 days ago [-]

I keep reading these horror stories about YouTube. It must really suck, as there are alternatives, but they just don't have the audience YouTube has. I guess there just isn't much we can do about this apart from hosting elsewhere when necessary?

abledon(4066) 6 days ago [-]

well, it seemed like it was due to abuse w/ a botnet making a bunch of community guideline claims. I'm sure youtube will patch their codebase better.

int_19h(10000) 6 days ago [-]

We could give teeth back to our anti-trust enforcement, for starters. That would ensure that there's more viable alternatives.

Notice that I'm saying 'give back'. That's because it was deliberately gutted: https://promarket.org/2019/09/05/how-robert-bork-fathered-th...

Imagine, instead, if we applied the same norms to establish 'market dominance' as the court did in this case from 1961: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/370/294/#tab-opi...

probably_wrong(3833) 6 days ago [-]

My personal, non-Toutuber theory is that people should use YouTube as a promotion channel, but have your main presence elsewhere: make your own website your hub, use Patreon as your main income, and post copies to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Twitch, pretty much wherever you can.

That way, if you lose one channel you don't lose your followers, and you can take your time to deal with getting your channel back. And you still get the benefits of YouTube's reach.

sergiotapia(815) 6 days ago [-]

https://lbry.tv/ - they also recently launched paid videos, so you can get paid if you make premium content.

StreamBright(2839) 6 days ago [-]

I guess it is changing after Joe Rogan is moving to Spotify. He has a point.

Tepix(4143) 5 days ago [-]

Perhaps takedown requests should be accompanied by a fee: If the request is successfully appealed, the fee is kept. If not, it is returned.

unnouinceput(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Same problem only this time you'll leverage rich vs. poor while Internet is suppose to be the great equalizer.

Communitivity(4421) 5 days ago [-]

You can also mirror on PeerTube, https://joinpeertube.org/.

PeerTube is a more distributed clone of YouTube, and this site explains what it is well: https://framablog.org/2019/11/12/peertube-has-worked-twice-a....

Technology used includes a HLS video player, and WebTorrent. Like Mastodon it also uses the ActivityPub protocol.

XCSme(4338) 5 days ago [-]

PeerTube sounds interesting, but going to their website I am lost. Why all those promotional videos and descriptions and confusing links? I expected to just see the videos in their directory and be able to search for videos, something like the YouTube interface. And I'm a technical user, I imagine the average user would close the page instantly.

Historical Discussions: Boeing cutting more than 12,000 U.S. jobs with thousands more planned (May 27, 2020: 587 points)

(588) Boeing cutting more than 12,000 U.S. jobs with thousands more planned

588 points 5 days ago by hhs in 65th position

www.reuters.com | Estimated reading time – 3 minutes | comments | anchor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Wednesday it was eliminating more than 12,000 U.S. jobs, including 6,770 involuntary layoffs, as the largest American planemaker restructures in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing also disclosed it plans "several thousand remaining layoffs" in coming months but did not say where those would take place.

Boeing is slashing costs as a sharp drop in airplane demand during the pandemic worsened a crisis for the company whose 737 MAX jet was grounded last year after a second fatal crash.

Boeing said it restarted 737 MAX production at a "low rate" at its Renton, Washington factory. Reuters reported in April that regulatory approval for the MAX was not expected until at least August.

Boeing shares closed up 3.3% at $149.52, then rose another 4.6% to $155.84 after hours on news of the MAX production restart.

The company announced in April it would cut 10% of its worldwide workforce of 160,000 by the end of 2020. Boeing said Wednesday 5,520 U.S. employees will take voluntary layoffs, and also disclosed it was notifying 6,770 workers of involuntary layoffs.

Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told employees in an email the "pandemic's devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices. ... I wish there were some other way."

CFRA analyst Colin Scarola upgraded Boeing to buy and raised his price target to $174 from $112 saying Boeing "can weather its current crises and grow over the long term."

In April, Boeing recorded zero orders for the second time this year and customers canceled another 108 orders for the 737 MAX, compounding its worst start to a year since 1962.

Last month, Boeing raised $25 billion in a bond offering that allowed it to avoid taking government aid.

The job cuts include more than 9,800 employees in Washington State. Boeing said the "several thousand remaining layoffs will come in additional tranches over the next few months."

Boeing said it expects to resume 737 MAX deliveries in the third quarter following regulatory approvals before gradually increasing to 31 per month during 2021.

The aerospace sector has been hard hit including many Boeing suppliers.

General Electric Co (GE.N) said this month it planned to cut its aviation unit's global workforce this year by as much as 25%, or up to 13,000 jobs. SpiritAero Systems Holdings (SPR.N) announced it is cutting another 1,450 jobs in Kansas.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Will Dunham and David Gregorio

All Comments: [-] | anchor

aluminussoma(4288) 5 days ago [-]

A lot of Boeing's current dilemma is the failure of executive management. A commonly written story is that the competent executives at Boeing, who were focused on solid engineering, were pushed aside by the political McDonnell Douglas executives.

McDonnell Douglas was purchased almost 25 years ago, so perhaps it may be a little unfair to ascribe all of Boeing's current problems to that one event. Still, as an engineer, I can't help but notice executive management operate in similar politically-bent ways at some tech companies I've worked at.

subzidion(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'McDonnell Douglas bought Boeing with Boeing's money' as the saying goes...

Analemma_(3001) 5 days ago [-]

> McDonnell Douglas was purchased almost 25 years ago, so perhaps it may be a little unfair to ascribe all of Boeing's current problems to that one event.

Planes have a very long development cycle. If the foundations at Boeing started rotting on the day of the McDonnell-Douglas acquisition, it makes sense that we'd only start seeing it fall apart now.

tjohns(4232) 5 days ago [-]

I'm curious if this impacted the Foreflight development team, since they were recently acquired by Boeing.

I'm really hoping not, since Foreflight is my favorite app for aviation and up until now has been doing a great job of adding new functionality.

ccostes(4424) 5 days ago [-]

Totally forgot that Boeing owned them. They have been on fire lately with all the new features and I hope this doesn't impact them.

MattGaiser(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Aviation is going to be the last thing to recover so this is unsurprising. I could easily see it being years before new aircraft are ordered as there are just so many parked right now.

misiti3780(895) 5 days ago [-]

hopefully flights will be cheaper too, but i doubt that will happen.

rrmm(10000) 5 days ago [-]

And Boeing wasn't really on a winning streak going into all this.

wongarsu(10000) 5 days ago [-]

An Aircraft's lifetime is mostly determined by how often it starts, because of the stress of going to low-pressure high-altitude and back. All these aircraft not flying will seriously cut the rate of new orders even in the months after airlines recovered.

markrages(10000) 5 days ago [-]

From article:

> The company announced in April it would cut 10% of its worldwide workforce of 160,000 by the end of 2020.

From boeing.com:

> The company employs approximately 145,000 employees across the United States and in more than 65 countries.

90% of 160 is 144. The math checks out.

hhs(65) 5 days ago [-]

That Boeing website you note may be referencing old data. Based on their 2019 annual report, on page 18 under item 6, Boeing cites that they had a year-end workforce of 161,100 employees. The annual report is available here: https://investors.boeing.com/investors/financial-reports/def...

So, the article is roughly correct.

marcus_holmes(4272) 5 days ago [-]

This is what happens when you let the accountants run the business.

First the research goes. Then the product engineering drops. Then there's mass layoffs. Then the whole thing falls apart.

To an accountant, a drop in costs is as valuable to the business as a rise in revenue. To everyone else, this is obviously not true. Risking future profits to cut current costs is a great move according to an accountant. For everyone else, it's corporate suicide.

Edit: I realise COVID. But that's the excuse, not the reason.

TimSchumann(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As someone who lives in Seattle, and has several friends working for Boeing (I think still?), this comment hits the nail on the head.

asperous(4422) 5 days ago [-]

Based on the article it sounds like a lot of these are line staff and support staff which is a direct result of a decline in the number of orders. Unfortunately I think there's not much they can realistically do about that.

The sudden shift in staffing comes from the sudden shift in demand.

Avicebron(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I find it amazing how much good companies will sacrifice for a good quarter or so of 'growth'. Great R&D can be unprofitable for a long time until it's suddenly Bell Labs. That doesn't happen without some infrastructure, but an accountant rocks up and suddenly the company is a husk, time and time again.

taway902101(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Here is the software engineering equivalent:

- golf buddy convinces CEO of well-run software shop: your company is way too inefficient 'your per-employee ratios are off the charts low!'

- golf buddy gets hired as Chief Strategy Officer, hires a bunch of high paid underlings

- they decide the freeze wages, reduces bonuses, reduces benefits for software engineers. Lots of savings to show! (unless you also count inflated salaries of new management)

- Software engineers demoralized, best ones move on to better jobs, adverse selection, more demoralization

- Golf buddy hires more project managers -- because obviously the answer to underpaid SWEs is to hire more managers. Beatings will continue until morale improves.

- Now the company really does have bad metrics. Decisions are made to offshore half the staff -- save 30%, but increase work for onshore staff. Offshore staff is great, but at a disadvantage due to distance and not having context/proximity to business.

- Golf buddy hires product managers to better define specs, more project managers to produce more reports.

- Gold buddy, his friends, ride off with their big paychecks to spoil the next company

type-2(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How many accountants are making these executive decisions?

thrower123(3199) 5 days ago [-]

What do you do when two of your biggest products flop as badly as the 737-MAX and the 787 have?

ksj2114(3171) 5 days ago [-]

I've worked on many cost cutting projects in the past, in consulting and private equity where cost-cutting was the norm. These statements very easy to say in retrospect.

Many studies show that private equity owned companies, which typically run businesses the leanest, actually perform better.

pascalxus(4297) 5 days ago [-]

i think the boeing executives are better equiped to measure future demand. i'm sure they wouldn't be cutting costs unless they knew there would be future decline in demand.

sushshshsh(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Tell that to Amazon? Frugality is one of the top principles of the company.

Do more with less, learn how to solve hard problems so you don't have to pay other people who maybe won't actually fix those problems.

gamblor956(4110) 5 days ago [-]

This is what happens when you let the accountants run the business.

This is so completely not true. Worked with the Finance Dept heavily at my last job. The accountants keep track of the expenses, and make sure everyone is sticking to the budgets...but the accountants don't make the budgets. Management does. The accountants are the ones making sure that the company can actually pay for everything.

To an accountant, a drop in costs is as valuable to the business as a rise in revenue.

This is also false. To an accountant, a drop in costs is literally the exact opposite of a rise in revenue. (For comparison, it would be like saying that to a software developer having a more powerful computer is the same as writing your software to be more efficient.) A drop in costs is only valuable to the accounting team if there's not enough money to pay for everything, because then the drop in costs makes it possible to pay for more of the bills that the rest of the company incurs. The Finance Dept would absolutely prefer to see more revenue over a drop in costs, because revenue is repeatable and sustainable, while reducing costs is not.

Management are the folks that only cares about the bottom line regardless of how it's reached.

Blame management.

brundolf(878) 5 days ago [-]

I think it would be more accurate to say this is what happens when you let the shareholders who are too far removed from the business itself run the business. Those are the people who'd like a company to be a simple growing-asset in their portfolio, who specifically don't want to be bothered with its nuances or long-term health, and who have the leverage to impose their ill-informed will on everyone else.

I have a pet theory that a large portion of the decay in our society can be traced back to the layers of abstraction between stakeholders and the things (and people) they have power over. Usually this kind of thing doesn't happen before a company has gone public.

paulcole(4400) 5 days ago [-]

Serious question: Has a company run by engineers ever failed?

darksaints(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That's not how any accountant I know behaves. That's prime MBA territory right there.

dustingetz(2735) 5 days ago [-]

It's not the accountants' fault. The only force binding together the thousands of people that make up a corporation is the accounting (accountability). Before the advent of accounting, there were not corporations, as any concentration of capital would be immediately diffused through fraud. It would be great if society could figure out how to be accountable to metrics other than profit and revenue, but so far we haven't figured out how to measure anything else, so we can't optimize for it.

ken(3955) 5 days ago [-]

No, this is how Boeing has always operated. It's a cyclic industry. Google 'boeing employment by year'. The charts are practically a sine wave. 'Hire 10,000 when demand is high, lay off 10,000 when demand is low' has been how they've operating since WWII.

There are many issues with Boeing management today (I used to work there so I love flaming them as much as anyone), but it's hard for me to imagine how any aircraft company could avoid this. All aerospace employers are laying off (or furloughing) workers by the thousands:

Airbus: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-airbus...

Bombardier: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/bombardier-layoffs-quebe...

Gulfstream: https://www.wtoc.com/2020/05/04/gulfstream-lays-off-employee...

No word from Embraer yet, but since their deal with Boeing fell through, I imagine it's only a matter of time.

toomuchtodo(1220) 5 days ago [-]

I cannot agree more, and yet it's hard to keep these people out of going concerns.

specialist(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The financiers, not the accountants. To wit, Boeing was doing stock buybacks while also 'cutting costs' and shaking govts down for more cheddar.

It's received wisdom that MD did a reverse takeover of Boeing, that Condit got snookered by Stonecipher.

Have many friends, family, neighbors who've worked at Boeing, from 1960s thru this year. This version of the post mortem is a good starting point.


Hutzpah is begging the court's leniency, claiming to be an orphan, after murdering one's parents. Or eating the seed corn and then being surprised by the famine.

You get the idea.

I have zero sympathy for the wrecking crew who destroyed an American icon and rage on behalf of all the workers, families, and taxpayers who paid the price.

missedthecue(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Boeing has been run by engineers for decades. I'm tired of us accountants getting the blame for every downturn.

esoterica(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I realise COVID. But that's the excuse, not the reason.

Demand for planes has cratered due to COVID. That's a 100% valid reason to cut jobs, not an 'excuse'.

ryanwaggoner(943) 5 days ago [-]

It is bizarre and disappointing to see this as the highest-ranked comment.

Do you have any evidence that "accountants" made this decision? Or that COVID is merely an excuse?

It is blindingly obvious that Boeing has been quite adversely affected by this pandemic and that global travel is unlikely to return to normal levels for at least 2-3 years. No amount of extra spending on R&D or product engineering is going to save your airplane company when people don't want to get on the plane.

rchaud(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> This is what happens when you let the accountants run the business.

You're shooting the messenger when the core issue is that Boeing, like all publicly traded companies do not have medium to long-term views for their business. It is always quarter-to-quarter. That is what management is judged on, because their job and their compensation is tied to maximize shareholder returns.

fred_is_fred(4356) 5 days ago [-]

Slight correction: 'To an accountant, a drop in costs is MORE valuable to the business as a rise in revenue.' This is because an increase in revenue of 1M does not increase profits by 1M, but a cost cut of 1M can.

Vysero(10000) 5 days ago [-]

'I realise COVID. But that's the excuse, not the reason.' I would tend to agree. From what I understand Boeing has spent some 70%+ of their free cash flow on buybacks for the past 10 years; some 40+ billion dollars worth. They spent so much money trying to boost their own share prices (legal market manipulation?) it's no wonder they have no money.

thehappypm(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Accountants? Really? Accountants just provide the reports and do the diligence. Executives are the ones making these calls.

autokad(4425) 5 days ago [-]

boeing is having really hard times. Even if it were not for a pandemic that directly effects them, the max issues were going to hurt. I dont know if they had to lay off those workers, but I am not surprised at all.

megablast(3974) 5 days ago [-]

Ok. So they don't have the orders. What should they do, keep paying those people for nothing?

Avicebron(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Now maybe we can acknowledge the US shouldn't have axed development of a robust high speed train system.

jrockway(3641) 5 days ago [-]

I think the fears that are keeping people off airplanes are also going to keep them off high speed trains.

I am dreading New York City reopening because everyone is just going to drive to the city instead of taking public transportation. And it was already overrun with cars.

rayiner(3095) 5 days ago [-]

Why is that? Bailing out Boeing every now and then is almost certainly cheaper than bailing out a rail operator to the tune of tens of billions of dollars every year, and still having them teeter on the verge of insolvency: https://skift.com/2018/03/05/frances-rail-system-is-falling-...

> Underused stations on expensive tracks are one of the many reasons France's vaunted rail system is insolvent, subsisting on life support from the state. Rail operator SNCF runs an annual deficit of 3 billion euros despite receiving 14 billion euros of public subsidies annually—just under half the defense budget. Its debt, at 45 billion euros, equals the national debt of New Zealand.

dangus(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I want high speed trains as much as the next person, but they don't work for the United States in the same way that flying does.

High speed rail would work on the coasts and in specific intercity regions. There most definitely should be high speed rail between nearby large cities - Texas, the Midwest, and California could really use high speed rail systems.

But the lack of these routes aren't necessarily a disaster at present, especially when Americans generally need a car at their destination anyway (thanks to irreversible city planning from the past).

What high speed rail can never compete with are flights across the huge country.

The world's largest high speed rail network in China doesn't have to deal with United States sized distances. All Chinese cities are relatively close to the eastern coast.

And all Chinese cities are easy to traverse and live in without owning a car. The whole concept of the automobile-based single family home detached suburb doesn't exist there.

Even with these advantages, a high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai (about 5 hours) barely competes with a flight on a low cost airline. It's slower and not even very much cheaper.

Beijing to Shanghai is about 640 miles by plane. That distance wouldn't even get you from New York to Chicago. Now imagine trying to get from New York to Orlando (940 miles) or Denver (1600 miles).

A high speed train simply can't go fast enough to compete on price nor time (remember: more time in transit means more salaries paid to crew).

zitterbewegung(380) 5 days ago [-]

Which would be unusable due to the same conditions?

hanniabu(4009) 5 days ago [-]

It's probably for the best. Would have costed 10x as much as trains in other countries at 1/4-1/3 the speed. You're paying for a lamborghini and getting a honda civic, and you won't get it for a decade.

redisman(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Well we got some ideas for further stimulus for this and next year

Someone1234(4421) 5 days ago [-]

I find it all frustrating as heck.

The hardest part about building a railway is the land-rights. You need a straight path from A->B, wide enough for at least two lines and fence. But once you have that then re-using that corridor as railway technology improves is very cheap proportionately (e.g. train densities, train speeds, etc).

The problem is that no generation wants to take on the initial 'buy in,' even if it gets more and more expensive as time goes on (since there's more property/interested parties along the route).

adrianmonk(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Maybe so, maybe not, but what's the relevance? We're discussing something generally transportation-related, so let's discuss trains vs. planes too now?

It seems like you're trying to make a connection here, but it's not clear what it would be.

wongarsu(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> The company announced in April it would cut 10% of its worldwide workforce of 160,000 by the end of 2020

With production halted for indefinite time for the 737 MAX, and no new orders for other planes due to covid that seems reasonable.

Still, even if planes don't do well right now and they had a few setbacks in their space business (Starliner delayed, and Boeing's moon lander proposal losing to competitors), they are still one of the largest defense contractors. They will be just fine.

pyromine(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's not so much with regards to whether boeing will be fine, it's more about how the general state of the economy as a whole.

rhizome(4393) 5 days ago [-]

Wars are a cost center. The US is eventually going to have to start redirecting tax revenue back to taxpayers, away from the military.

munificent(1960) 5 days ago [-]

> They will be just fine.

Except for the thousands of people that are now unemployed.

sixstringtheory(4261) 5 days ago [-]

> With production halted for indefinite time for the 737 MAX

I just saw this: 'Boeing resumes production of its troubled 737 Max airplane ' https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/27/21272478/boeing-737-max-r...

hellogoodbye(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Meanwhile SpaceX is launching a manned flight today

rubicon33(4234) 5 days ago [-]

Reminder for those with Oculus Rift / Oculus Quest:

You can view the event in VR using Bigscreen! Today at 1:30 PST

Pop on your Quest, search for 'Bigscreen' (it's called Bigscreen (Beta)) ... Then show up at 1:30!

danans(3486) 5 days ago [-]

How is this relevant at all? Boeing's cuts are being caused by a collapse of its commercial airplane business brought on by the pandemic. SpaceX doesn't compete in commercial aviation at all.

If you're referring to SpaceX winning the launch contract over Boeing, that happened a while ago, and has no connection to the pandemic or this layoff.

Congratulations to SpaceX for their accomplishment today, but it's neither here nor there for the topic of this article.

wongarsu(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Which is relevant insofar as Boeing's Starliner was on track to be the first American vehicle to deliver astronauts to the ISS in nearly a decade, but after their pretty bad test flight SpaceX overtook them and are now getting that sweet PR instead.

imglorp(4054) 5 days ago [-]

Especially sour because ULA/Boeing is not expected to try again until October (unmanned) for their commercial crew ISS mission, first manned in 2021.

hn_throwaway_99(4309) 5 days ago [-]

Really feel for those employees in a time like this. I mean, if you're a web software engineer and you get laid of, there are literally many thousands of companies who would have a need for your skills. If you're an aerospace engineer, how many options are there really besides Boeing and a couple of other big guys?

Curious what folks in the aerospace community think.

momokoko(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Software engineering has almost zero transferable skills and as developers in high wage countries are about to find out, very easy to move to cheaper markets.

I wouldn't be worried if I was in Poland as a web software engineer. I would be very worried if I was doing that in the United States right now.

We've seen many times already how fast software jobs dry up in high wage countries when the economy changes.

aerospace_guy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Fortunately, there are a lot of aerospace companies still hiring. Look at the aerospace hubs (Seattle, Houston, Huntsville, etc.), the defense and space side is still booming.

downerending(4405) 5 days ago [-]

I knew an engine mechanic at TWA when it folded up. He switched to auto transmissions and heavy drinking. :-(

jw887c(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Ex-aerospace engineer here, now software developer. This is one major reason why a lot of younger folks at Boeing leave (at least the ones with a more broader view of their industry).

A lot of 'engineers' at Boeing are actually project / program / product managers and can pivot to similar roles at tech firms. The stress engineers have it a lot tougher.

seanmcdirmid(2396) 5 days ago [-]

Boeing busts aren't a new thing in the Seattle area. My dad was involved in one in 1969 or so...that bust is where 'will the last person leaving Seattle please turn out the lights' came from.

balls187(4301) 5 days ago [-]

Exactly. I've been in the PNW since the mid-80's and Boeing issues are not unusual.

They are one of the largest military contractors (who supplies the country that spends the most on military), and it the only National aircraft manufacturer.

I feel for the people affected by this, but I don't doubt that Boeing will turn things around.


mcv(4421) 5 days ago [-]

I feel sorry for the people who lose their jobs because of this, but I think less air travel would in many ways be a good thing for the world.

kyuudou(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Less military activity, air and otherwise, would be exponentially more effective. No one wants to kill their golden goose, though.

fermienrico(4055) 5 days ago [-]

Agreed. Furthermore, traveling is overrated - yes I said that. Traveling to other places IMP is not as fun as going to national parks and exploring nature right here at home. Just my personal take on it - I've travelled extensively and I don't enjoy it anymore.

ch4s3(4152) 5 days ago [-]

> but I think less air travel would in many ways be a good thing for the world.

This seems overly myopic to me. Aviation accounts for at most 2% of global juman CO2 emissions during normal years. I think you could come up with dozens of arguments for why it's a net good. For example, tourism has income allows small island nations to better financially prepare for rising sea levels far in excess of aviations contribution to sea level rise. Not only that, but travel exposes citizens of wealthy nations to the real living conditions of people in developing nations, which can have a number of positive political effects.

sodafountan(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yeah that's not how it works, people losing their jobs and others being unable/unwilling to experience the world and travel is a very bad thing for the world.

bastardoperator(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Seeing Boeing engineering practices first hand gave me anxiety and concern for the safety of air travel and US defense. Boeing is basically 100's of siloed companies living under a broken umbrella. Everyone is reinventing the wheel. Sharing code is not possible. No inner sourcing. Tons of duplication everywhere. It's crazy the amount of waste. I watched nothing happen for 3 years other than catastrophic failure and honestly I'm glad to be gone and not working with them.

Military projects have it the worst. Depending on the program and funding, they either have access to modern tooling or such little funding that it prevents them from using something made in the last century. This company probably has one of the most impressive development tool catalogs a company can have, but most developers can't even take advantage of it. They have everything and a lot of the teams I worked with just couldn't use the stuff so the licenses sit on shelves burning cash. They renewed software we migrated away from, just in case... for auditing purposes. WTF?

They always had a crazy security protocol for why they cant do something too. I get it, defense is important. They tell me they want an air gapped system for X, cool here is the link to software X and MD5 from our authorized site/customer area. They're not allowed to download it, I still get it. Looks like I'm traveling to Colorado to hand over a USB stick. Without a second thought, I watched the SRE plug it right into his machine. Dude no. WTF? This would have been safer to download. Countless screen shares with people exposing private keys and passwords. The list just goes on and on and on. It's security theatre.

This company is also in love with the H1-B program. I don't mind H1-B at all, but when companies exploit humans from other countries so they don't have to pay American wages, that's where I draw the line, it's bad for everyone except Boeing. They are specifically gouging people from India. Couple this with their time tracking policies which I wont cover, their business practices are fairly absurd and rather disgusting.

Purchasing, holy balls. Every team purchases software differently. There is no consolidation or money saving practices. This has to do with funding, but someone could do this more intelligently. I tried having the conversation with them. Boeing, we want to give you back 250K in savings a year by not having 45 pieces of paper, it's a burden for us too. They don't care. Nothing matters over there. You follow the policy or look for a new job/vendor. It made me really sad having to work with them. I was so excited too, and it quickly faded with all the stupid stuff they've imposed on themselves which has led to lives being lost and costing people jobs.

kyuudou(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I don't mind H1-B at all, but when companies exploit humans from other countries so they don't have to pay American wages, that's where I draw the line, it's bad for everyone except Boeing. They are specifically gouging people from India. Couple this with their time tracking policies which I wont cover, their business practices are fairly absurd and rather disgusting.

Lot more to it than that, I'd say.


oarla(10000) 4 days ago [-]


94 LCAs for H1B from 2015-2017 22 LCAs in 2018 25 LCAs in 2019

Doesn't look like too much love for H1Bs at The Boeing Company

screye(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> This company is also in love with the H1-B program.

What ? That rings completely counter to everything I know about the aerospace field.

I spent my whole undergrad (Indian citizen) building planes and the big reason I left it was that no one in the airplane industry would hire engineers without security clearance. H1B engineers were legally impossible.

One of my aunts (US citizen) was a top level exec in GE Aviation, and she straight laughed in my face at the possibility of non-permanent residents / citizens getting jobs at any company deeply involved in defense. I have interviewed (2019) with Pratt and Whitney, and they too made it clear they won't apply for H1bs but they would apply for EB1 Green Cards...until which point (first 2-3 years) I would have to work on the small subset of non-defense projects. My friends who went to US top 10 universities for their masters in Aerospace literally returned to India because no one would hire them and another of my friend who was a scientist at ISRO (and more prestigious Indian defense programs he can't even state on his resume) hasn't gotten any call backs for job applications at Aerospace companies in the US because of being Indian. He has now pivoted to Applied Math as his graduate education.

As an Indian, I literally do not know a single person in the US with a job in the aeronautics industry. (Bar one that works at NASA-JPL in robotics and got his PR on hire, but he is literally one of the smartest and hardest working guy I know)

Now I understand that you aren't lying. But I would actually love to know more about the type of roles these H1Bs fulfill and how they get past these very real security issues.

eternauta3k(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> This company is also in love with the H1-B program. I don't mind H1-B at all, but when companies exploit humans from other countries so they don't have to pay American wages, that's where I draw the line, it's bad for everyone

My perspective as a non-American: I'd gladly work for less than 'American wages' (which is still more than I earn in my country) in exchange for a shot at a green card.

__abc(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm too lazy to look this up, and probably a bit too cynical, but how much stimulus money did they receive?

DC-3(4213) 5 days ago [-]

This is just the start of the trouble for Boeing. They are technologically quite substantially in arrears to Airbus, and with none of their products able to pull in particularly hefty profits anymore they don't have the funds to make the necessary investment in R&D to close the gap. The double-punch combo of the 737 MAX scandal and the pandemic will have left them in serious strife.

101404(10000) 5 days ago [-]

And they were not considered by NASA for the moon lander project.

And they lost the race against SpaceX for crew transport to the ISS (with no ETA for certification for their crew transporter).

hajola(4375) 5 days ago [-]

> They are technologically quite substantially in arrears to Airbus

Could you expand on that?

Aloha(2585) 5 days ago [-]

I dont really agree with your assertion that Boeing is unable to fund future development - they have a big bucket of cash, they appear to have no trouble borrowing, and they have profitable military programs. They should be able to fund a new narrow body jet with ease. Heck, a modernized 757 would be fairly cheap to design/build and its effectively still a pretty modern airframe too.

foolfoolz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

this is not true about boeing being behind airbus. boeing saw the point to point rise and decrease of hub and spoke years earlier and invested in the 787. while airbus has poured billions into the a380, now slated for permanent production shutdown, which may have never been profitable for the company

AnthonyMouse(4319) 5 days ago [-]

> The double-punch combo of the 737 MAX scandal and the pandemic will have left them in serious strife.

They're probably just redundant. The 737 MAX debacle meant they weren't going to sell those planes this year, but the coronavirus meant they weren't going to sell those planes this year. Same result from one as both.

redisman(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Won't Airbus be hit very hard by covid for the next 5 years too? Airlines are probably not too eager to order new planes for a long time

coliveira(3375) 5 days ago [-]

Boeing will not go out of business because the government will not let it happen. All the aerospace industry starting from Boeing and ending with SpaceX is built on the pockets of tax payers. But, of course, the profits are private.

JumpCrisscross(33) 5 days ago [-]

> They are technologically quite substantially in arrears to Airbus

I thought Boeing's composites tech is way ahead of Airbus's.

noir_lord(4337) 5 days ago [-]

US Gov will bail them out (even if optically it doesn't look like a bail-out), boeing is a huge defence contractor.

yread(260) 5 days ago [-]

What? In the widebody market they are soundly winning. Airbus only has a warmed over a330neo to compete with 787

riffraff(1008) 5 days ago [-]

Wasn't the dreamliner a great success compared to Airbus's bet on the A380? (I.e. longer point-to-point routes won over giant planes with stops).

Boeing messed up the 737-MAX but I don't remember Airbus as a huge source of innovation recently.

But I'm no aviation buff, I'd be happy to learn more.

SilasX(4287) 5 days ago [-]

Off topic, but: I had never heard that usage of 'in arrears', and it sounded off because it doesn't even work metaphorically with the usage I do know, so I looked it up and ... 'It's a secondary definition, sir, but it checks out.'

2. (of a competitor in a sports race or match) having a lower score or weaker performance than other competitors.

'she finished ten meters in arrears'


option(4219) 5 days ago [-]

this is a good time for Boeing to invest into R&D so that when aviation does recover (a while from now) Boeing would be ready with a novel high quality offering.

Antecedent(4394) 5 days ago [-]

Happy I studied engineering in university at times like this.

lfrmgnd(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If markets continue to behave as they have, this job cut is a signal that BA is going to soar in the next few days.

Frost1x(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I suspect you're, unfortunately, going to be correct.


It's interesting how the common narrative uses metrics like low unemployment rates during certain touted 'economic highs' and claim correlates, yet the popular narrative casts aside the correlation during times like this and jump into ambiguities and positive outlook for justification during certain 'economic downturns.'

It really, IMHO, helps illustrate just how disconnected many of these metrics are from economic prosperity for the vast majority of Americans.

hinkley(4327) 5 days ago [-]

Boeing kinda does this though. The fact that Boeing benefits accumulate based on time employed and not duration of employment is a nod to this.

They have a reputation for building a 'company within the company' for new plane models, which basically means there's a lot of vertical integration that goes on, and you will know a great deal about one airplane but maybe not much about any of the others. At the height of each cycle they have far more people than they can sustain. They seem like a huge company but they're market cap isn't that high. Yes, they have a bigger market cap than Detroit, but it's also been over 10 years since Apple had enough money its war chest to buy Boeing for cash.

So when a plane hits pre-production they start to get an itchy trigger finger. They get rid of the idiots and the non-essential people, and the non-essential people can hop onto the next thing in a couple of years.

There's a graph in this article that illustrates:


They hired like mad for the 787, then did a round of R & D layoffs a while after the first flight. If I'm not mistaken the rampup of staff after that was to build all of the -8 planes which were basically redesigning their other planes with 787 tech.

So it seems the new triple-7 flew in January, so yep, time to trim again. Meanwhile all of those people on the 737-Max are probably furloughed, or retraining on another assembly line, and there would not be an infinite supply of those even without Covid.

It might be more noteworthy to look at how many people haven't been laid off in a lockdown situation. A long time ago, the powers that be in Washington state looked at traffic patterns around Puget Sound and realized that Boeing commuters were a large percentage of this traffic. Boeing has offices all over King County, but the project you work on might be at an office across town, and you might pass several offices on your way to work.

So they made a tax deal with Boeing to divert traffic rather than building more roads. My understanding is that as part of that Boeing allowed people to work from other branch offices, and while working from home wasn't encouraged, some bosses would let you get away with 1 day a week telecommuting. And I'm not sure when 4x10 and 9x9 schedules (four day workweek, 10 hours a day, or 9 day fortnight, 9 hours a day) came in, but those helped too.

Conference call software de rigeur, and whole disk encryption since before it was cool. There are a lot of quite old building blocks in place for at least some departments to keep working without being in the same room.

KptMarchewa(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>Boeing benefits accumulate based on time employed and not duration of employment

What does that mean? What's the difference between 'time employed' and 'duration of employment'?

cs702(991) 5 days ago [-]

No matter how you look at it, Boeing's business appears to be in terrible shape. The Atlantic has a decent article on how the company lost its way: 'a company once driven by engineers became driven by finance.'[a]

However, from 'the stock market's perspective,' everything at Boeing is honky dory -- the stock is up +2% today.


[a] https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/how-boeing...

gamblor956(4110) 5 days ago [-]

Note that this article squarely lays the blame on finance executives...that were once engineers...

skny(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Stock being up 2% today is myopic and meaningless. Look at the performance over the last year. FWIW, Wall St isn't a bunch of morons trying to financially engineer an airplane to take off.


eric_khun(3847) 5 days ago [-]

Bad news for the economy. Market is going to new highs today

Iwan-Zotow(10000) 5 days ago [-]

great news for people flying around

sharkweek(806) 5 days ago [-]

pRiCed iN.

I joke, but also, I throw my hands into the air and say, 'damn, I honestly have no idea how this all works, best just stick to target date mutual funds.'

rrmm(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I will continue to refrain from looking at anything the Fed might be doing. I already have enough on my plate to worry about.

baq(3598) 5 days ago [-]

less jobs == less cost

MattGaiser(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Boeing is in the worst-performing segment of the economy for the foreseeable future.

munificent(1960) 5 days ago [-]

> Market is going to new highs today

The top 1% in American own more than 50% of the securities. Using the stock market as any sort of proxy for aggregate quality of life for all Americans is like saying 'Everyone must be doing great, caviar sales are through the roof!'

Historical Discussions: Google gave our business listing to a competitor (May 31, 2020: 557 points)

(573) Google gave our business listing to a competitor

573 points 1 day ago by benryon in 406th position

www.parkcityluxuryrealestate.com | Estimated reading time – 5 minutes | comments | anchor

Just over a year ago we woke up to another business day here in Park City, Utah, and like most days that starts with us going over our Google Analytics. Most days are almost identical in our numbers, so when we saw a pretty significant dip our hearts dropped a bit. Like anyone tuned into the SEO world, we quickly rushed to check the search engine forecast tools like MozCast and Algoroo to see what was going on.

We've been in this business a long time to know that your Google traffic can be impacted at any time, but for the most part we have been consistently growing quarter after quarter. Not seeing any major updates in the news, nor any penalties or odd patterns in Google Search Console so it took us a bit to figure out what was going on. Next on the list was to do a Google search for our own website name and while we came up organically, we noticed something odd with our 'business listing' on the righthand side.

For starters, our listing wasn't there at all even though when we were logged into our Google Business account I was being shown my listing was now unverified and was marked as a 'Duplicate'. With not penalties being alerted in our accounts, we were truly stumped for over a week as to what happened. We immediately got on the phone with Ryan Clark over at Luxury Branded who helps with our SEO and PR from time to time to see what he thought.

Since he had in previous years left us a review for doing business for nearly a decade, he logged into his account and went off to find his review for us under someone else's Google Business listing. Then we took a look and low and behold, other listings mentioning me (Ben) were under the profile of another agent within Summit Sotheby's here in Utah.

This was rather unfortunate for us as we've worked for so long getting honest reviews and climbing to the top here in Park City. We have to make it 100% clear that the other agent had no part in what happened and seemed to somehow get our accounts merged with hers when she signed up. She is also an agent with Summit Sotheby's and after some time scratching our heads, we figured it was because we're all in the same office location.

This is not an unusual thing, and Google even has guidelines on how to manage profiles who share the same office. There are plenty of other brokers using this place and up until this point no one has had an issue like this. Since Google offers no official support, we have to rely on their webmaster support forum which is comprised entirely of volunteers and not actual Google employees.

Google Offers No Help

We made our first Webmaster Help Central post here in hopes someone could help is with a pretty serious issue, but sadly nobody who actual knows anything offered a response of value. Responses did not lead us anywhere after waiting a couple weeks, so being Google Adwords users we called a Google Rep there in hopes they could push the issue to someone who actually worked in the company.

This is where our journey over over a year now has taken us a down a path of little hope, no real responses and many more failed attempts to get help through their webmaster forum, phone calls to support, etc.

We've had seven phone inquiries which end up being routed to an external support company. Every conversation went the same way with the tech support not understanding the actual issue of the merged accounts. The only solution they wanted to pursue was for me to verify my new business that was created and not give mine back, and that is not acceptable for us as we had years of reviews and always ranked very high in the Map Pack.

If you've worked to get reviews the right way before you know what a struggle that is and we cannot ask old clients to do a new one. It's hard enough to get a minute in with a UHNW client, so this just added to the flurry of frustration we felt.

Going Public In Hopes Of Getting Help

So at this point we've decided to write about it more publicly in hopes of getting the attention of someone at Google who can help us out with this unique and annoying situation. We'll be also seeing what the SEO community thinks and if they've had this experience before, we certainly couldn't find anyone else with this issue searching around on Reddit, Facebook groups and other SEO forums.

While we're sad we're losing out on some business, we would like to see that this doesn't happen to anyone else in the future because we know how precious those reviews can be to businesses of all sizes. We would love to hear from other business owners and the SEO community at large so please drop a comment below, send us a DM on Instagram or connect with me on LinkedIn to give us your thoughts.

Even better if someone at Google might see this in passing if we make enough noise.

All Comments: [-] | anchor

EGreg(1682) 1 day ago [-]

I am one of those commenters that sees everyone describing the same problem in different ways, for decades, and nothing getting done.

The problem is centralization.

The solution is open source alternatives.

The issue is far beyond Google, or Facebook. It has to do with us being used to renting software from server farms far away. To tying infrastructure to control over data. To having large corporations that own the infrastructure be in the middle of all our searches, transactions, data hosting, relationships, conversations etc.

If we don'tdo anything with open source, we will keep pearl clutching in 5, 10 years.

When it came to voice