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      A little more convincing: if you correlate with just “fifa”, the peaks do align. (And there are “fifa” spikes in the last week of June that are 10x bigger, and don’t align with “web” anything). Good reminder as to what’s really popular outside our expanding tech bubble.

      1. 4

        Wow, it’s the kind of thing that puts our little web development bubble into perspective. Just searches for a single web app are enough to swamp the numbers for “web app” in general :|

        1. 3

          Why does FIFA popularity increase every September?

          1. 8

            Like most sports franchise games, a new iteration is released annually, and in FIFA’s case it is released around September: typically $59.99 gets you minor gameplay and graphics updates, maybe a new gameplay mode nobody really cares about, and (most importantly) you get new player and team adjustments.

            Why is it released in September? Players are free to move from club to club during transfer windows which are only open twice per season — and the leagues most people play and follow (England, Spain, most European leagues) close mid to late August. So this gives the developer time to handle any late transfers and set the rosters before release time.

            Whether or not this is why “web app” spikes I’m not sure. But that’s why FIFA spikes in September.

            1. 2

              Ah, thanks for explaining! I didn’t know that.

          2. 1

            Wow, I think that’s it!

          1. 3

            Trying to publish a helm chart for Magda this week made me really wish that there was something like NPM for Helm where I could just write publish, so I’ve decided to make one.

            Shouldn’t be that hard, just a wrapper around Chart Museum, although so far I haven’t even managed to get Minikube to run on my home linux box :(.

            1. 5
              • The learning curve is steep. Most tutorials do a great job of explaining it with super basic examples (e.g. if my function is sum(x, y) I should be able to swap the order of x and y with no change), but there’s a big jump from that to testing actual business logic with actual input
              • I’ve used both ScalaCheck and JsVerify - in both I seem to spend a lot of time writing boilerplate for generators… e.g. there’ll be a generator for taking a subset of a list, but not an in-order sublist, or it can generate a random object but not one that conforms to a type definition. There’s gotta be room for a more user-friendly way of generating input.
              • Shrinking is always a massive source of surprises - often you’ll hit a failing case, have the input shrunk to something that doesn’t satisfy the original parameters you set, then puzzle as to how it managed to generate a value that you specifically told it not to generate. This is especially bad in ScalaCheck because by default it shrinks lists of tuples down in a way that swaps the values inside the tuple.
              1. 6

                For work, the automatic tools used by our pentester has uncovered that one of our services makes some seriously inefficient use of the database, enough so that a few queries per second can put it at 100% usage… so I’m trying to optimise them. There’s something oddly fun about using the postgres query analyzer, it’s a bit like a Zachlike game.

                For side project I’ve just finished doing a bunch of front-end work to try to make it more fun - inserting screens that show the user their progress along the way. Next technical step is probably making it so that you don’t have to log in right away, but the correct startup move is probably to close the text editor and do marketing for a while :(.

                1. 3

                  Kamal: With Kubernetes you can set up a new service with a single command Julia: I don’t understand how that’s possible. Kamal: Like, you just write 1 configuration file, apply it, and then you have a HTTP service running in production

                  The best thing is that’s just the tip of the iceberg - you can describe entire n-tier systems like this, and with helm you can turn that configuration file into a template then publish it for everyone else to use and override where necessary. So say you have a setup with nginx in front of an app server talking to postgres and indexed by elasticsearch, you can write it all down as text, have the user override some key variables (maybe they need to use GCS instead of AWS) then have them install the whole thing with one command. If they need to run it locally, have them pass in a different set of variables and it’s the same command.

                  When you’ve got it all set up right, making a massive cluster of containers effortlessly spring into life and start talking to each other is just beautiful. Spending hours or days installing and setting up a multi-tier application is going to disappear as kubernetes catches on.

                  1. 2

                    Spending hours or days installing and setting up a multi-tier application is going to disappear as kubernetes catches on.

                    Maybe. The article even admits how much hand-waving the author is doing and links to “kubernetes the hard way”. Instead you’ll choose between spending hours then days spinning up and configuring kubernetes (make sure you really understand how it works including overlay networks, ingress/egress, security and secrets, etc.) or going with a k8s provider who has people who do that.

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                    Are there any decent alternatives?

                    1. 3

                      I just use Google (which has full integration with these sites), hotel tonight, or the hotel’s website/phone line (they’ll usually price match).

                      1. 1

                        These days going directly to the hotel’s site is usually the same price or cheaper, especially if you’re booking way in advance. I’ve just been through a big booking spree for my trip through South America and I was amazed - even non-chain boutique hotels are sometimes 30% under the price of the aggregators.

                        My usual process now is momondo -> google the hotel’s site.

                        1. 1

                          If you’re traveling to/within Asia, Agoda is the best option.

                          1. 1

                            hotels.com maybe, but I think they use similar techniques.

                            1. 1

                              trivago seems ok?

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                                They are the same company, just different domains: http://www.expediainc.com/expedia-brands/

                                1. 2

                                  Never knew that, very interesting.

                          1. 3

                            I’ll let someone with more expertise in microservice architecture discuss the pros/cons. I didn’t find much here to convince me as to what is being missed.

                            That’s probably because this is more a article about the Magda project (a data portal thing in JS), not what the title says.

                            1. 2

                              Yeah fair enough - I was trying to go for “and we’re already doing this so we know it’s practical” rather than something completely hypothetical. Didn’t actually realise until now that half the article’s specific to our project :|.

                            1. 4

                              I mostly agree, with the exception of calling into customer service (which the article specifically mentions) - for all intents and purposes that’s an open interface and if it turns out you can get valuable information out of it then there is remediation work to be done - either training the CSRs better or limiting what they have access to.

                              1. 5

                                I agree that there’s value in auditing ‘are CSRs following our security rules’ (outside of a pen-test).

                                If you want to know whether the rules themselves are sufficient, you can give the pen-testers a copy to analyze and skip the part where they treat your staff like shit to see who cracks.

                                1. 3

                                  With respect to CSRs, probably the most attention should be paid to their management and incentives. If they get rewarded for keeping whoever is on the phone happy, no matter what, and punished for refusing people, even if they’re asking to break the rules, then all demands to follow the rules no matter what aren’t going to have much effect.

                                1. 3

                                  For my job I’m rushing to get a bunch of stuff into MAGDA for the end of June - primarily and authentication and discussion mechanism for datasets.

                                  Also been making a surprisingly large amount of progress towards the first MVP of my side project NicheTester - an injured wrist keeping me out of Judo has lead to a bunch more free side project time :).

                                  1. 2

                                    Your project looks great.

                                    1. 1

                                      Thanks :D

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                                        I can see a paid path for the future to export the fake site to a real one using something like shopify. I’ll be curious to see if any companies people validate on your platform take off.

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                                    The result is a list of companies that do take-home tests… not much of an improvement to be honest, a lot of the time I’d rather spend 15 minutes on a whiteboard than the entire weekend trying to polish up whatever question they thought would only take 2 hours.

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                                      Now you can undermine unionized workers with free software, how cool is that? /s

                                      1. 5

                                        Could actual taxis use this kind of software?

                                        1. 7

                                          Here in Berlin the Taxis have this kind of software. In SF you have flywheel, which works like it. So yes, they of course can.

                                        2. 4

                                          It’s not like the taxi companies treat them well or anything.

                                          1. 4

                                            To be fair, I get the idea that this is more for remote places and the developing world where there’s no unionised taxi industry or even taxis - it’s more to give uber-like functionality to auto-rickshaws and taxi scooters.

                                            EDIT: His blog on the app - the use case he had in mind was his village in siberia: https://medium.com/@romanpushkin/how-i-made-uber-like-app-in-no-time-with-javascript-and-secret-sauce-94ef9120c7f6#.lez7k44zy

                                            1. 1

                                              How cool is it that the unions can get higher wages by keeping people out of the profession?

                                              1. 0

                                                Good point.

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                                                While I agree with the title, the actual text of this article is pretty much “good coders aren’t like <things that don’t describe me>, they’re like <things that do describe me>”.

                                                Grouping two 30-year-old female characters in with the Carver from Silicon Valley tops off what is pretty much an exercise in gatekeeping. I know plenty of good coders who don’t start being productive until after 9pm, who are brilliant but absent-minded enough to leave backups near speakers, who blast music, who wear confrontational t-shirts etc.

                                                1. 7

                                                  I’ll be more interested to read their post after they’ve been on bare metal for a while. Going on-prem is one of those things that as a nerd I’d love to believe is better, but I haven’t heard a lot of great success stories.

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                                                    It turns out running a data center is a very difficult thing to do if you’re trying to optimize for cost, redundant utilities, manageability, and green-ness (high power efficiency per space).

                                                    1. 4

                                                      Is renting space in a DC the same as running one? I was always under the impression one rented out some space and got some power outlets and network connections and everything else was managed by the DC owners.

                                                      1. 4

                                                        No, it’s not the same. It’s a compromise between the two extremes.

                                                        You get to skip the headaches of having to manage redundant power, fibre connectivity, most of the green-ness concerns, though you still need to do due diligence to assure yourself that the people running the DC are doing all those things to a standard which is acceptable for your use case.

                                                        You get to keep the cost savings from buying machines up front (and amortising the capex) instead of renting them — this is AFAIK where most of the opex savings come from going when switching from AWS to anything else. (Do price this up against reserved cloud VMs rather than against on-demand cloud VMs though, because you’re committing quite hard when you buy servers up front.

                                                        You will pay more for electricity, space, physical management and connectivity than the raw price of running a DC, because of course the company running the DC wants to make a profit. Note that a big DC selling colocation to a whole bunch of customers is going to be able to get way better economies of scale on some things that are really expensive, (such as the person-time required to keep multiple actually-redundant internet connections in the face of telcos merging lines without telling you,) which might offset the cost of their profit margin until your need for machines gets gargantuan.

                                                        You will have to manage physical machines yourself, including managing the risk that an actual physical machine has an actual physical fault and dies. This can be “fun”; there are good and bad ways to find out what the lead time is for Dell/HP/etc to assemble and ship a new box to a colo (IME, most of a month), try to do it one of the good ways. ?

                                                        I was always under the impression one rented out some space and got some power outlets and network connections and everything else was managed by the DC owners.

                                                        Yes, that’s what colocation facilities offer. You’ll have to manage what the machines actually do by yourself. Usually a KVM-over-IP switch too for maintenance tasks. The colo will also provide basic services like “stick a Ubuntu 16.04 DVD in the drive and push the ‘on’ button for you so you can run the installer for that via the KVM”.

                                                        1. 4

                                                          Oh and one more thing: you can satisfy “this shared hypervisor isn’t providing enough storage IO, we need bare metal” without actually having to do all the above capex/opex tradeoff, manage and purchase physical machines yourself, etc. Some companies will quite happily rent you bare metal machines by the hour on roughly the same basis as they’d rent out VMs to you. (e.g. RackSpace sell this as “OnMetal”)

                                                          Edit: Amazon AWS sell something similar as “dedicated hosts”, where you still get a VM rather than bare metal but it’s guaranteed to be the only VM running on that physical server, so you aren’t subject to noisy-neighbour problems.

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                                                    but as others have pointed out, it was used to disagree with someone’s opinions rather than further discussion

                                                    The only one I see agreeing with the claim that it happens is the guy who is sad he was “jumped by a group of feminazis”.

                                                    I missed that downvote thread, but I think downvotes should be returned and “disagree” should be added to the dropdown without any of the clever proposed “no don’t do that” popup instructions. Some comments are wrong, not worth replying to, and bad to engage with.

                                                    I think downvotes are also valuable for penalizing off-the-cuff popular responses like humor, snarkiness, and “but what about” hot takes that land early in discussions. They give light readers that two-second “hey, hah, yeah, that’s right, you tell ‘em” feeling and get upvotes (a positive feedback cycle, given the ranking) when just a few more seconds of thought shows they’re stupid, repetitive, cruel, irrelevant, equivocating, or off-topic. Posting more comments in reply to those is almost always counter-productive, you can’t argue with a joke.

                                                    1. 23

                                                      Oh man, bringing back downvotes and adding a category for hot takes sounds really nice to me. I started using this site because it was a place for thoughtful, high quality, and usually longer-form discussions. I like that people take some time to post here, and that the discussions tend away from brevity.

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                                                        Oh hell, I’ve been downvoted “troll” more than a few times when I wasn’t trolling (and to be fair, a couple of times when I was!)–it certainly happens. That said, it doesn’t happen often.

                                                        I very much agree about upvotes encouraging off-the-cuff responses; light readers are too easy to game for anybody with even the tiniest bit of talent.

                                                        Compare the large critique I wrote about a Graham essay getting 62 karma, and the throwaway snark that got 20. That second comment has a massive effort/reward ratio compared with the first comment.

                                                        Now which of the two do we want to proliferate here? Which does the upvote-only system reward?

                                                        1. 8

                                                          I think snarky comments are going to proliferate with or without downvotes. A humorous 1-line reply hardly deserves a downvote.. maybe we should stop upvoting them instead. I can recall several times where a humorous joke from tedu (and the spiraling thread it generates) would cover insightful comments.

                                                          1. 10

                                                            Downvotes are meant to help correct for the fact that some people will upvote fluff. Telling people to just not upvote fluff does not work in larger communities, as it only takes a relatively small number of people doing it to drown out signal hugely. So if you remove downvotes (as has been done), we will need some other mechanism to get rid of fluff comments, like reporting or agressive mods or bans for fluff comments.

                                                            Also, while humerous fluff comments might not deserve to get massively downvoted, they don’t deserve to get upvoted either - so being able to downvote them down to zero still seems good to me.

                                                            1. 9

                                                              A humorous 1-line reply hardly deserves a downvote

                                                              No, it deserves many downvotes. Humorous 1-line replies kill good discussions.

                                                              1. 6

                                                                I seriously disagree. If there is good discussion to be had, it will happen regardless. Comment space is not finite, we have multiple comment threads for a reason - multiple trains of thought.

                                                                I never felt like there was an issue with the comment quality here. Quite the opposite, I really enjoy this place because of how it is and because it isn’t sterile.

                                                                I feel like some small group here is grumbling and shaking their fists in pursuit of an utterly mailing list style discussion on every post. That’s not what I want. We’re already worlds better than Reddit and HN.

                                                                Simply put, I don’t see a problem.

                                                                The few instances of spiralling troll threads can be taken care of by a mod.

                                                                1. 5

                                                                  In my experience, humorous 1-line replies have created more discussions than killed. When I said “and the spiraling thread it generates” referring to tedu’s jokes, it wasn’t of other 1-line replies. Rather, people expanded on the joke and discussed on it (ie. Why is it funny? What issue does it make fun of? How could it be solved?).

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    I’d downvote this

                                                                  2. 7

                                                                    I agree with this approach to lightweight jokes - just don’t upvote them to begin with.

                                                                    They’re funny, but they’re noise, not signal, and I really don’t ever want to get to a Reddit-like situation where users who have something important to say make sure to lead with a one-liner so it will actually be upvoted.

                                                                    1. 6

                                                                      Ok, no more funnies.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        tedu pls

                                                                    2. 3

                                                                      Vote counts can’t really be compared across different discussions. Your critique was on a submission that got 12 votes, and the snark was on a submission that got 78 votes. How much higher/longer was each submission on the front page (granted there’s a penalty given to meta submissions); did more users see it and vote on it? Does more votes on the submission mean more people read the comments and voted? Do people tend to vote more freely on meta discussions than technical ones? Etc. There’s too many different factors involved.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Your critique was on a submission that got 12 votes

                                                                        That isn’t a good metric for thread popularity in this case. That got 12 upvotes because most people who read the article disagreed with it or thought it was off-topic, not because nobody was reading the discussion. It was on the upper half of the front page for at least 12 hours.

                                                                      2. 2

                                                                        “Now which of the two do we want to proliferate here? Which does the upvote-only system reward?”

                                                                        I thought that was a success story given what an indepth comment did vs the other one. You appealed on other one to the popular vote, intentionally or otherwise. Human nature dictated it would get upvotes. The other you earned with some combo of reason and intuition by the readers. Our discipline should just be to overlook that popular stuff will get upvotes by simply acknowledging it will happen and moving on. I mean, aren’t you assessing bias like that anyway to get more honest assessments of Internet comments?

                                                                        This kind of reminds me of the Crash article about trusting automated systems too much. Some want a system that maximizes everything they like and some that minimizes everything they hate. Quite foolish in light of Internet experiences in general plus article’s point that automated systems miss corner cases. They’re incredibly important in our field or areas of discussion. Things that aren’t are the well-trodden or even boring stuff basically. So, we will have to rely on our own judgment to assess what we see regardless of the method. So, I had to decide what direction to shift things if we’re augmenting rather than replacing human review on a forum like this. I chose anti-censorship as primary goal given we’re good at filtering out crap and machines don’t spot golden connections as well as we do. We should do the part we’re good with machine assistance rather than thinking this site’s algorithms can protect us from “bad” things without hurting us by denying us good things.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          The thing that appealed to me about lobste.rs in the first place was that there were both. Neither would be as good alone.

                                                                        2. 14

                                                                          “Downvote for hot take/low effort/etc” is something that feels necessary sometimes.

                                                                          One example of this recently that might serve as a good example: there was an article about how Facebook’s ad-targeting-by-race was illegal in certain cases (housing, jobs) that had federal regulations prohibiting this.

                                                                          … but most of the comments seemed like they hadn’t even read the article. Discussion quickly drifted away from the actual topic (“digital ad targeting and its interaction with fair housing/labor laws”) to nebulous debates of the morality of racial targeting [in the general case, not in the specific case]. It was fairly clear none of the threads were going anywhere interesting at this point.

                                                                          It feels like a common problem where initial hot takes on a topic drag people into tangential debates at the expense of interesting discussion. Though I’m not sure if there’s really any technical solution to this.

                                                                          1. 7

                                                                            I disagree. The tangents had useful information. Showed numerous biases worth keeping in mind. Productive tangents are a sign of a good forum. Many of my greatest lessons, learned or taught, started that way.

                                                                            1. 5

                                                                              My comment in that thread was one of those heavily downvoted. It was expressing disagreement with the assertion by another poster that racially-targeted advertising for housing is fine–a position contrary to the law in every developed country. Was it “low-effort?” Sure, because I was responding to an equally low-effort, and grossly offensive, comment, which did not deserve a more substantive response. That comment got 15 upvotes, I got numerous “incorrect” downvotes and several “trolling” downvotes (I wasn’t trolling. I posted because I think it is dangerous to allow racist comments to stand unchallenged, which the parent comment was at the time I posted.) The level of downvoting I received is really demoralizing. A community which rallies around open defenses of racial discrimination is not one to which I want to belong.

                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                Your comment was literally 2 words. “It’s not.”

                                                                                It should have been down voted simply for being low effort. if you want to discuss something, put some thought into what you write so other people have a chance to consider a view different than their own.

                                                                                I think the point of having a defined scope for mods is to help with issues like what you describe though. If you have some ideas for what tools could be added to the site to assistance with that, it would be great to discuss those.

                                                                              2. 4

                                                                                It was fairly clear none of the threads were going anywhere interesting at this point.

                                                                                Clearly the people participating in the discussion disagreed. Did you just assume your opinion regarding a thread’s interest to you is somehow universal to everybody?

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  The specifics in that thread were boring.

                                                                                2. 8

                                                                                  How about adding “disagree” and “low effort” as reasons to downvote a comment?

                                                                                  1. 7

                                                                                    People should never downvote because they disagree–that public decision on HN by Graham basically destroyed the value of discussion there.

                                                                                    If downvotes don’t signal disagreement, then a low-rated comment is probably malicious or poor quality. If downvotes signal disagreement, then a low-rated comment could be malicious, poor quality, worded in a way that annoys some people, or just plain out of step with the hivemind. We cannot allow that dilution of signal.

                                                                                    An option for “low-effort', though, seems perfectly reasonble–it’s usually pretty easy to point out when a comment was just off-the-cuff.

                                                                                    1. 11

                                                                                      People should

                                                                                      But people will. On every single site that uses vote buttons, they do. That’s what the design of the system encourages. It’s easy to click the button, there are lots of opportunities to do so, it’s easiest to click when you’re reading a comment in a conversation you’re engrossed in, and it’s hard to step back and think objectively. So people are gonna click the button that matches the way they feel at that moment. It’s not an issue of rules, it’s just an issue of humans being humans.

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        That’s what I liked about Schneier’s blog all these years. We didn’t have votes. We had people’s opinions and ability to report to the moderator. Brought in lots of interesting comments with occasional periods of stuff that makes one roll their eyes. Put buttons on there & suddenly people are just pressing instead of writing much of the time. If button wasn’t there, those who were writing would still be there. Worst case, I’d like a personal button for hiding stuff I didn’t care for.

                                                                                      2. 6

                                                                                        For me the loss of downvotes has destroyed the value of discussion here. I have stopped reading comment threads, and will probably stop coming here at all unless I hear they’ve been restored.

                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                          I rarely see high quality comments on HN downvoted, so I disagree that HN downvoting has destroyed the value of discussion there.

                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                            I agree - is it feasible to have “disagree” as a completely different field so that you can upvote or downvote based on quality and have another “disagreement” count below it. It seems that every site with upvotes and downvotes conflates quality and agreement and they suffer for it.

                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                          Happened to me once or twice. It was dark and I didn’t see who did it though. Notably I then got upvoted a lot. A moderator told me that there were a lot of up and down votes for that particular post. And that post was a general observation on the absurdity of life, fairly apolitical.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            “it was used to disagree with someone’s opinions rather than further discussion”

                                                                                            I got that plenty on Hacker News from the beginning. I noticed anything disagreeing with a popular person, tech, etc immediately got hit with enough downvotes to grey out my comment. As I did on Schneier’s blog, which doesn’t have voting, I included references for about any claim I made. I watched votes go up, down, me and my opponent greying or whatever. Point being quite a few threads that were subject of significant disagreement by writers and readers nearly disappeared due to popular downvote with my evidence-based approach likely being only reason they kept surviving the process. I get it way, way less on Lobste.rs but it seems to happen occasionally for similar reasons.

                                                                                            The real question to me, if we’re talking up and down votes, comes to which of two tradeoffs we want: (a) increased amount of crap near top due to unnecessary upvotes; (b) total censorship of ideas due to too many downvotes. I imagine a community like this are experts at mentally filtering out crap that might float to the top. I know for a fact they aren’t as good at finding rare nuggets of wisdom that get drowned out by the crowds. That’s simply a lot of work. And luck. So, I prefer whatever system is adopted chooses tradeoff of protecting dissent even if some unworthy posts benefit from that.

                                                                                            Note: A similar concept underlies the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Not that I’d push it on any international audience that rejects concept of no censorship unless provably harmful. Just saying there’s similar considerations between why U.S. went with that model and the “Vote Against Others' Freedom of Speech” debate here.