1. 2

    If you’re looking for a libre self-hostable ‘Read it Later’ app, check out Wallabag: [website] [github]

    1. 4

      The mention of (now deprecated) btrfs had me scroll up to check the date: 2015. Time flies!

      1. 5

        (now deprecated) btrfs

        Link to deprecation notice? I was under the impression that it was still under active development.

        1. 10

          I assume @varjag is referring to this redhat doc, stating that:

          Btrfs has been deprecated. The Btrfs file system has been in Technology Preview state since the initial release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat will not be moving Btrfs to a fully supported feature and it will be removed in a future major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The Btrfs file system did receive numerous updates from the upstream in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 and will remain available in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 series. However, this is the last planned update to this feature.

          1. 3

            Some people are still developing it, but Red Hat is no longer interested.

          2. 4

            SuSE still uses btrfs by default, AFAIR, so it’s not deprecated as such, but it also doesn’t have a lot to recommend it……

            There is bcachefs, still in development; but even if it is successful, I would assume it would be at least a decade before it would be a real competitor for even present-day ZFS (which presumably would not stand still).

          1. 3

            Windows 3.0? I don’t see anything related in the page.

            1. 2

              Gah, it ate my link. Not sure how to edit the URL. I can change everything else.

              1. 2

                A mod might be able to help!

            1. 12

              This is a fun read but it’s basically a pitch for the company Yegge is joining. Not saying it’s wrong, or it’s not entertaining, but I feel it’s off-topic for this site.

              1. 4

                Agreed, the part about Google’s culture is interesting, but I dropped off as he started to rave about Grab and how transformative it is for SSA. I like reading about where know tech people are at though.

                1. 5

                  He wrote a bit more about Google today in a followup post.

              1. 2

                I got a 1080 ti for list shortly after launch. At the time I was kind of ambivalent because I didn’t have a pressing need to upgrade. Can always do it later, right? Probably the only time I can recall where it was better to buy new hardware sooner rather than waiting.

                1. 1

                  You should mine with that when you’re not using the computer. 1080ti earns about $5/day or more.

                1. 2

                  I cracked the first password with “AATFDAFD”. The second disk had password “HGFIHD” and the third had “AAJMAKAY”. Apparently random strings were popular passwords back then.

                  I suspect these are acronyms or something similar rather than random strings. The last one, for example: it ends in AKAY… as in A. Kay, as in Alan Kay? It’s hard to tell what the first part of the password was since the first two characters were lost.

                  1. 3

                    Author response:

                    I should mention that I didn’t want to leak someone’s actual password (even if it’s 40 years old), so I perturbed the passwords slightly. The real password doesn’t exactly end in AKAY, so it’s not Alan Kay. (Apologies for throwing cold water on your clever idea.)

                    1. 1

                      When I first read it (before realizing the author slightly messed them up) I figured AATFDAFD was just easy to type with your left hand on a QWERTY keyboard - a mechanical rather than logical password. Try it!

                      But now I see from Doug Wyatt’s comment that it is an inside joke.

                    1. 1

                      Pay people to store things.

                      A crypto currency which mines not blockchain but content would encourage people to donate their disks to the rare- hoovering up all the worlds data, since anyone who wants it would have to pay a premium inverse to availability. Think of it as a tax-on-demand library of Congress.

                      1. 3

                        This wouldn’t work by itself. Soon, most disks would be occupied by useless junk and someone will need to decide what to ditch and what to keep. Which is the other function of the Library of Congress.

                        Some library evaluation methods include the checklists method, circulation and interlibrary loan statistics, citation analysis, network usage analysis, vendor-supplied statistics and faculty opinion.

                        – Wikipedia on Collection development

                        1. 1

                          Soon, most disks would be occupied by useless junk and someone will need to decide what to ditch and what to keep.

                          I’m envisioning a recurring storage fee that would eventually run out unless topped-up. Somewhat like Ethereum distributed apps that stop running when they run out of ‘gas’.

                        2. 2

                          FileCoin aims to be that. Its initial token sale raised over $200M, showing that a lot of big players want in on that market opportunity. Right now it seems they are massively expanding their team, and it’s not clear yet when it will be available to the general public.

                          Considering P2P rewards, private torrent trackers have been doing this for a really long time, converting seed time into virtual community credits or something similar, enabling recognition and opportunities to contributing members. But like in other parts of the online world, spending time, money, and equipment for a cause rather than a product becomes less and less convenient for the average user. Many people lamented the downfall of what.cd, but it illustrates the two sides of the P2P coin pretty well: it can have huge potential if many people are willing to invest their resources, but it is still very much illegal for much of the shared content, and there is a powerful force behind the corporations and authorities to stop these things (namely, huge piles of money).

                          1. 1

                            A reward system like you describe appeals to me. A market can be an efficient way to allocate a finite supply of resources. This would also enable things like bounties for data that exists out of band. I wonder if valuing the data inversely proportional to its availability would eventually bring about an equilibrium where most things were within the same range of availability. I also agree with the sibling that storage space is a complicating factor. In theory, the value of the data would rise and attract more hosts until the supply met the demand. So the effect would be a general pay-wall.

                          1. 1

                            Personally I’m looking at Android and it sounds like Electrum is the ticket right now, that’s the old and tried wallet that has added this feature.

                            Samourai is in early release, and GreenBits is some multisig client server hybrid thingie that I would need to learn more about.

                            1. 2

                              Electrum is the furthest ahead right now. Its Segwit addresses use the new bech32 format which I don’t think many (any?) other wallets know about yet.

                              1. 1

                                Oh goodie, somebody who seems to know something.

                                Bech32 is something I first heard of when reading this reddit post. Am I understanding correctly that it is something that can be used on the blockchain itself, so it saves bytes in the transaction? What are the security implications?

                                It seems that if you use them, you would need explicit support in the sender, so I hope the Electrum client offers both a bc* and a 3* address to send to?

                                1. 2

                                  There’s good info here.

                                  There are three types of wallet addresses:

                                  • Legacy P2PKH which begin with the number 1
                                    • “Pay to public key hash”
                                    • Supported everywhere.
                                    • Doesn’t allow larger blocks via segwit.
                                  • Older Segwit P2SH type starting with the number 3
                                    • “Pay to script hash”, sort of a hack which proxies through a script.
                                    • Supported everywhere, but it’s only cheaper if making segwit-to-segwit transactions.
                                    • Allows larger blocks but isn’t the most space-efficient.
                                  • Newer Segwit Bech32 type starting with the string bc1
                                    • Can only receive payments from wallets that support Bech32.
                                    • Smallest transaction sizes (and therefore the cheapest fees).
                                  1. 1

                                    I installed Electrum and initialized a SegWit wallet. It only uses bc* addresses. The sounds pretty limited – I’m expecting most places not to understand those. :-(

                            1. 4

                              Why would you even run Libreboot? That’s a serious question. I’m for hardware freedom (I run coreboot on all my boards and I’m buying Talos II). I just don’t get why one would want to run a derivative of coreboot that brings nothing to the table, when you can just use upstream. Oh, and you can actually run ucode updates with coreboot (you run ucode anyway, so there’s no harm in updating it).

                              Another advantage is that you can easily use SeaBIOS with coreboot, making *BSD systems actually usable with it.

                              1. 3

                                Libreboot is much easier to flash, and its documentation is friendlier to non-tech savy folk.

                                1. 2

                                  Yeah, and I guess it would be the only advantage over coreboot. Libreboot was my 1st step to starting playing with coreboot, so I guess I’m kind of grateful to Libreboot devs for making the entry easier for people.

                                  Still, once you get the hang of it, it’s better to just switch to coreboot.

                                2. 4

                                  Coreboot is where most of the development happens, it’s true. But Coreboot uses a rolling release model and has a lot more knobs to adjust. I’m not really a BIOS hacker; I just want to run free firmware.

                                  Libreboot periodically takes snapshots of the Coreboot tree and stabilizes around it. Their changes mostly involve streamlining the build process and ensuring there are no binary blobs. Personally I found Libreboot much easier to configure and compile on my machine. The ideological guarantee is a nice bonus.

                                  1. 2
                                    1. coreboot also has releases, so it’s not rolling release (but it was).
                                    2. You don’t need to be a BIOS hacker (I’m not). You usually need to adjust only two knobs (vendor and model of your board).
                                  2. 2

                                    Same reason people run Trisquel GNU/linux-libre, no blobs.

                                    Why do people use SeaBIOS for *BSD? I guess the TianoCore payload isn’t ready, but you can use the GRUB2 payload?

                                    1. 1

                                      Same as guys before, coreboot can also have no blobs.

                                      You can use GRUB2, but you can’t use full disk encryption with it on *BSD systems with GRUB2.

                                    2. 1

                                      I don’t use either system, but my understanding is that Libreboot removes the binary blob components that are included with Libreboot, and that’s important to some people.

                                      1. 1

                                        Libreboot doesn’t remove anything, because coreboot doesn’t load unconditionally those blobs. You can not to run any. That way I can run blobless coreboot on my X200 or KGPE-D16 (also supported by Libreboot).

                                        1. 1

                                          coreboot doesn’t load unconditionally those blobs.

                                          so it does load them conditionally? it sounds like maybe coreboot is not deblobbed by default, while libreboot does not require any configuration to have it be deblobbed.

                                          1. 1

                                            It loads blobs when you enable them in your config, if there are any to enable.

                                    1. 26

                                      Another item onto the list of stupid, self-sabotaging ideas from Mozilla.

                                      • Pocket
                                      • Cliqz
                                      • Looking Glass
                                      • (Anything else I missed?)

                                      That said, I’m still a Firefox user, because after all, I still trust the Mozilla Foundation and Community more than the makers of the other browser vendors.

                                      1. 10

                                        Mozilla has it’s missteps, on the other hand, they are still better than the other Browser Vendors out there and I haven’t seen a viable Firefox Fork out there that works for me. Plus it seems the Looking Glass addon was inert unless specifically enabled by the user, so I don’t see the harm tbh.

                                        “Atleast [they are] the prettiest pile of shit.” ~ Some quote I heard somewhere

                                        1. 3

                                          I would add Mozilla Persona to this list, which was a great idea, but was mismanaged and shut down by Mozilla before it could do anything good.

                                          I pretty much lost my faith in Mozilla having any idea what it is doing at that point.

                                          1. 5

                                            Original Pocket introduction was mishandled, but since Mozilla owns and operates it now, integration with Firefox makes sense.

                                            1. 7

                                              is it open source now?

                                              1. 6

                                                My understanding is, it’s not yet. It’s being worked on. I have no idea what kind of work it takes, but the intention is that it will be fully open sourced.

                                            2. 4

                                              You missed ‘Quantum.’ (The one where they broke their extension API for the sake of alleged performance).

                                              1. 45

                                                That one I actually like; the performance is much better, and the memory leaks much fewer. Pre-quantum I was on the verge of switching to Chrome because of the performance gap and leaks.

                                                1. 11

                                                  I agree. The browser engine is noticeably better - if only the software around it were also on the same level. Some lightweight browser like surf or midori should adopt it, instead of WebKit.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    WebKit is easy to adopt because WebKitGTK and QtWebKit (or whatever it’s called) are well supported and easy to use. And Chromium has CEF. (IIRC Servo is also implementing CEF.)

                                                    I don’t think current Gecko is easily embeddable into whatever.

                                                    Back in the day Camino on Mac OS was a Gecko browser with a custom Cocoa UI, but doing that today would be way too hard.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      I should clarify, I was talking about Servo. I don’t really thing there would be a point in using Gecko, since it will probably turn into a legacy project.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        It seems the other way to me? What they’re doing instead is slowly retrofitting pieces of Servo into Gecko piecemeal. (or at least, some kind of Rust equivalent to the C/C++/JS code being replaced) Servo would then be dead or explicitly turned into some staging ground for Gecko.

                                                2. 20

                                                  I will go beyond alleging a performance improvement, I will attest to it. Surprisingly enough, the improvement includes Google properties such as Gmail and YouTube. They are both more responsive in Firefox now than Chromium or Chrome.
                                                  On the extension side, I do not use a large number. Those which I do, however, still function.

                                                  I freely admit that the plural of anecdote is not “data”, but I would feel remiss not to share how impressed I am with Quantum. Pocket has always annoyed me, so I certainly do not see Mozilla’s actions as unimpeachable and am only giving them credit for Quantum because I feel they deserve it.

                                                  1. 8

                                                    Based on this, Quantum was a balanced update where the team had do sacrifice the old extension API. Also, it’s not that they’ve removed extensions completely. (And no, I’m not talking about you Looking Glass)

                                                  2. 8

                                                    Quantum is great. uBlock Origin and uMatrix now work on Firefox for Android just as well as on desktop.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      ublock origin worked on firefox android before firefox quantum no ?

                                                      1. 1

                                                        IIRC it worked but the UI was somewhat different. Now uMatrix is also available, and both extensions have UI that looks practically identical to the desktop versions.

                                                1. 13

                                                  Finally! This article is about desktop, but OpenSSH is coming to all of Windows, including IoT Core where I work. I’ve been championing the upgrade for years now. Compared to our old SSH implementation, OpenSSH is more stable, supports newer encryption standards, and can send files over sftp.

                                                  Very excited to see this land. Kudos to the Powershell team for putting in most of the porting work, and of course to OpenBSD for developing OpenSSH in the first place.

                                                  1. 5

                                                    Last time I tried anything microsofty in that sort of realm I started throwing things at the screen. (Can’t remember what it was telnet maybe? Their built in “term” thing?)

                                                    It obstinately refused to resize, and got the wrapping horribly wrong and clearly had been written by somebody who had an ideological hatred of the command line.

                                                    Downloaded putty and…. Oh My! It all just worked and worked correctly!

                                                    So merely having a ssh client will not cause me to shift from putty, having a ssh client that works properly and slickly might convince me.

                                                    1. 7

                                                      Well, for IoT Core I’m more excited about the OpenSSH server than the client. I’ve been connecting to it with PuTTY.

                                                      That said, the Windows command-line has vastly improved from 8.1 to 10. The biggest improvement is that text reflows as you resize the window. Copy/paste was also improved.

                                                      Telnet and SSH are just transports. I bet your frustration was due to the old Windows conhost.exe being a terrible terminal.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        When you connect to IoT Core via SSH what shell are you dropped in to?

                                                        1. 1

                                                          Just plain old CMD. Usually Powershell is present too, but OEMs can choose to build an image without Powershell.

                                                          If you want to connect directly to a Powershell session, it has its own remote shell feature, enter-pssession.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            There’s a more detailed answer by Joey Aiello in the HN thread.

                                                        2. 3

                                                          Their built in “term” thing?

                                                          AFAIK some projects such as the Git command line utilities for Windows have for years now shipped with a TTY which is based on PuTTY’s TTY (just not using any of the SSH code or anything) and it’s much nicer.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            ConEmu is another tool that will improve your commandline life on Windows. As for Microsoft products, there are many people who swear by Powershell!

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Powershell is a nice shell, but it lives inside the same terminal (conhost.exe) that CMD does.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Cmder is a great shell built on top of ConEmu that even has support for the quake-style appear/disappear animation.

                                                            2. 2

                                                              Try cmder for a decent terminal. The git version comes with a bunch of tools (including ssh, ls, etc) and provides a terminal experience on Windows that won’t make you throw things at the screen (hopefully!).

                                                            3. 1

                                                              That’s pretty impressive. OpenSSH makes a lot of POSIX assumptions about things like PTYs and fork.

                                                            1. 12

                                                              I spent too much time configuring my PuTTY color scheme to give up now!

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Keep it! Conhost.exe theming is still terrible.

                                                              1. 10

                                                                Honestly, I can’t help but to feel very bearish on ETH. I really like the idea, but I think the implementation is poor, and the community is poorly aligned in values to making it a success.

                                                                The most important construct in ETH that sets it apart from other currencies is the Smart Contract. I don’t believe though that these are either smart, nor contracts. Whether or not you agree with the resolution of the DAO hack or not, the fact that we consider it a hack to be in some way resolved indicates we do see smart contracts as programs that can and should be changeable to better meet the intent.

                                                                Based on the DAO and a number of other issues with smart contracts, I don’t think they are smart based on the design of the language being so poorly adapted for the kind of verification needed to make robust contracts. It isn’t smart.

                                                                Based on the communities willingness to fork over contract actions they don’t agree with means they aren’t contracts. In real life, if you’re duped by a creative but legal (as judged by the legal process, or in this case the execution on the blockchain) interpretation, you need to suck it up and move on. In Ethereum, you can fork, and in practice the group that lead to the fork of ETH were a minority. Smart contracts aren’t contracts because by the decision of a few they can be rewritten without the agreement of all involved parties.

                                                                Ultimately, if I were looking to do non-hobbyist business, either as the business or a customer, for these reasons I wouldn’t feel comfortable using Ethereum.

                                                                1. 19

                                                                  I am not a lawyer, but I did grow up with one, and I’m pretty sure a legal but clever and tricky contract has legal grounds to be thrown out in court.

                                                                  As a kid I was curious if the “tiny fine print that you couldn’t read” could really be used to trick someone. It can’t. The legal system is very aware of the distinction, it’s called acting in good faith.

                                                                  Again, not a lawyer, not legal advice, don’t make choices based on what I’ve said, but it’s not as cut and dry as you claim it is.

                                                                  1. 15

                                                                    And contracts with “bugs” in them (i.e., that don’t accurately represent the intent of the parties) aren’t taken literally either. There are rules/principles about how to interpret them that are much more nuanced than that. Only a programmer who doesn’t get out much would think that a better approach is to eliminate the potential for ambiguity and then always interpret contracts literally.

                                                                    1. 7

                                                                      I generally understand your point and agree with it, but what I’m suggesting is that the execution of a smart contract is the legal process in this context.

                                                                      It’s not that it’s right or wrong that the contract was interpreted/executed in a given way, it’s that after the field has been set and the dice cast, then going back in time and writing out the execution because some definition of majority (usually a minority in practice) didn’t win is the issue.

                                                                      Changing how the outcome played out after the fact that it was interpreted and executed feels (in the context of a smart contract being interpreted by the legal process of the block chain) like an extrajudicial action by people who lost out.

                                                                      1. 5

                                                                        The legal system has been dealing with smartasses since before your ancestors were deloused.

                                                                        Think of it like the efficient market hypothesis: People have been banging on legal systems for so long that you can reasonably assume that all of the interesting stuff has been found, and is either a known technique or is already illegal. There might be exceptions to this, but the fact the system is administered by humans who exercise human judgement closes a lot of novel loopholes, as well.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          I’d go one step further and assert that, in legal systems that have been functioning for centuries and are thoroughly debugged, some obvious glaring flaws will continue to exist, but they are those that are actively maintained by some group which has an extraordinary amount of power and stands to gain an extraordinary amount of wealth from them.

                                                                      2. 4

                                                                        I used to think this way, until I realized that all these high-profile bugs in applications on Ethereum have very little to do with the code in Ethereum.

                                                                        The DAO is a good example. It was not written by the core Ethereum project. It was a distributed application written by unrelated developers, and crowdfunded by a token sale. Blaming the Ethereum project for DAO’s code quality is like blaming the Unix developers for a segfault in some third-party app.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          You don’t have to blame the core developers for the DAO contract code’s bugs to blame them for forking the block chain to “fix” the bugs for THE DAO developers.

                                                                          Those are two separate acts from two separate groups of people.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            On the other hand, one of the Ethereum founders was responsible for the Parity bug.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              I agree with you but think the conclusion you draw is incorrect. While Solidity itself is not a bug, the language itself is part of the design of Ethereum, and by using a language (Solidity) that is so poorly adapted to verification, it’s made it easier for users to write buggy contracts.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                C is buggy, but that didn’t kill Unix.

                                                                                Unless a credible competitor appears, I think Ethereum will continue to dominate the smart contracts space.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  C isn’t buggy. Solidity isn’t buggy. Their use in the systems mentioned have lead to more bugs, and an environment more user- and developer-hostile than had they instead been replaced with other languages.

                                                                                  I agree that Solidity won’t kill Ethereum, but a credible competitor will. I think it is almost a certainty that the biggest shining star of a more mature smart contract blockchain system will be better verifiability in the language. It might not be the immediate killer of Ethereum, it might not even be the technology that kills the Ethereum killer, but I really do think that a verifiable in practice language will be a requisite feature for a smart contract technology that isn’t as known for being a massive footgun as Ethereum is.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    Wait, since when is C buggy?

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      I should have been more precise.

                                                                                      While C itself is not a bug, the language itself is part of the design of Unix, and by using a language (C) that is so poorly adapted to verification, it’s made it easier for users to write buggy programs.

                                                                                      Buggy programs didn’t kill Unix, so I doubt Ethereum is in danger.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                I immediately went to the PICO-8 system when I saw this. PICO-8 has been around for a hot minute, now.

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                Ugh… terrible arguments.

                                                                                For those of us in the US (I’m going to ignore everyone else because I’m unfamiliar with the state of things in other countries) our First Amendment rights protect us from the government making any laws abridging freedom of speech. It’s a restraint on government, not on individuals or corporations. Individuals are free to discriminate based on speech.

                                                                                Suppose you write a book, in the book your have some things that I find offensive. I’m free to not read your book or write bad reviews about your book because of my dislike for it. Anything less would be an infringement on my First Amendment rights. Now suppose I’m also a bookseller. My store is small but I sell many books. It’s my shop and I decide what to sell. Since I do not like your book I do not carry it. You may be upset with my decision to not carry your book as it will cause you to sell fewer copies. But it’s my store and I may do as I please. You may think my customers would object to me not carry your book, but most do not as they prefer my store because of the selection of books they I know I carry. It’s part of my competitive advantage against larger book stores. I’m still an individual, and choosing what I sell in my store is my First Amendment right, even though it affects my customers.

                                                                                Net Neutrality is an important issue we need to talk about it. But Net Neutrality is not a free speech issue. It’s not. Period.

                                                                                Facebook, Google, and Twitter have done far more to manipulate information and censor views they disagree with. Facebook is constantly manipulating our news feeds so we only see a select portion of the posts our friends make. Every month we learn of someone who was banned from Twitter because @Jack and friends decided the users tweets were offensive or hateful. What have ISPs done? Inject a few ads into web pages? Throttle some Netflix? That’s nothing.

                                                                                1. 12

                                                                                  What have ISPs done?

                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    First Amendment rights protect us from the government making any laws abridging freedom of speech. It’s a restraint on government, not on individuals or corporations. Individuals are free to discriminate based on speech.

                                                                                    The First Amendment is a restraint on government AND any individual or business acting on behalf of the government.

                                                                                    A private business that has a mutually beneficial commercial arrangement with the government is acting on behalf of the government.

                                                                                    The federal government aims to provide all universal access to telecommunications and internet services. To this end, the Federal Government created the Universal Service Fund in 1996 to provide telecommunications and internet to all consumers (including schools, libraries, and individuals in rural, low-income, and high-cost regions) at reasonable non-discriminatory prices. This fund is paid for by individual consumers via the “Universal Service Fund” fee/tax on their monthly internet/phone bills. This fee/tax is then distributed from the Federal Government back to the ISPs through Lifeline and other programs.

                                                                                    In other words, ISPs are collecting a tax on behalf of the government, and then using the funds from that tax to, on behalf of the government, provide a service. One can clearly argue this pulls ISPs under the authority of the First Amendment.

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      Ill add to your excellent list my experience when Comcast et al were talking capped plans versus unlimited. The cap was originally way too small. The bigger problem was the system that counted usage was counting mine when nothing was connected. They were either glitching or forging usage data to attempt to force me into buying unlimited plan.

                                                                                      That went into the FCC complaint.

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        Comcast says their trackers were accurate…. but many others had similar complaints about wildly inaccurate readings (e.g. 300GB/day), and being offered the unlimited plan in lieu of an outrageous (inaccurate) bill.

                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                        All of that predates the FCC’s net neutrality regulations of 2015, so presumably all of that would still be resolved as it was prior to 2015.

                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                          In the 90s and early 00s, internet went over the phone lines which were considered Title II common carriers. Nascent broadband was considered an “information service” with more lax rules.

                                                                                          In 2005, ISPs argued that DSL should be considered an “information service” like broadband, instead of “common carrier” like phone lines. The FCC reclassified DSL and simultaneously laid out four voluntary principles of net neutrality.

                                                                                          That gets us to the hypothetical you’re talking about:

                                                                                          presumably all of that would still be resolved as it was prior to 2015

                                                                                          From 2005-2010, the FCC attempted to enforce net neutrality on the ISPs, which were classified as “information services”.

                                                                                          Comcast had a drawn-out legal battle over suppressing the Bittorrent protocol, and in 2008 the FCC ruled that Comcast had illegally inhibited Bittorrent activity. Comcast appealed the decision, and the court of appeals struck down the FCC’s ruling, arguing that the rules of net neutrality were not formal enough.

                                                                                          In 2010, the FCC formalized net neutrality by creating the Open Internet Order of 2010. This was immediately challenged by the ISPs, and Verizon filed suit in 2011. In 2014, the courts ruled in favor of Verizon, stating that the OIO rules could only be applied to Title II common carriers. So the FCC did the next logical step and reclassified broadband ISPs as Title II common carriers in 2015.

                                                                                          Now Ajit Pai is rolling that back, reclassifying broadband as an information service and completely nullifying any guarantees of net neutrality.

                                                                                          We can’t just go back to the way things were in 2005, because of the legal precedents which have occurred since then. Since 2014, the FCC cannot enforce net neutrality unless ISPs are considered common carriers.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Yes exactly. This all happened before FCC’s “Title II” vote in 2015, making it an example of what ISPs do without net neutrality.

                                                                                            (Perhaps I misunderstand your comment?)

                                                                                        2. 6

                                                                                          What have ISPs done? Inject a few ads into web pages? Throttle some Netflix? That’s nothing.

                                                                                          Only because they haven’t been able to get away with much until now.

                                                                                          The thing is, I don’t want ISPs to be like a bookstore, with editorial discretion over what they allow you to connect to. ISPs ought to be dumb pipes. Especially with so little competition in a given region.

                                                                                          I do agree that mega-websites have more power than ISPs, and I’m all ears if you have suggestions on how to address that. But it doesn’t mean we should relent on net neutrality.

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                                                                                            I don’t think anybody is disagreeing that net neutrality is incredibly important. But it’s not a First Amendment issue. First Amendment-wise, ISPs are completely free to provide access to any selection of content they want.

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                                                                                            The book store is a good place to start thinking about this issue, as you’re absolutely right when talking about a small shop like that (because there are many other small shops), but that’s not what these ISPs are. These ISPs are giant mega-corporations whose customers number not in the hundreds but in the millions, whose customers often only have one ISP to choose from, and whose actions affect billions. The larger their influence, the greater the damage from them censoring speech, and the more government-like they become.

                                                                                            If you think killing free speech online is going to help your Facebook, Google and Twitter problems (and not make them 10 times worse), well, you are welcome to kill it and see what happens.

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                                                                                              You don’t foster competition with mega corporations by making the market harder to compete in. You foster competition by lowering the barrier to entry in the market. Primarily by reducing regulations since the overhead of complying with regulation disproportionately effects smaller businesses. With reduced regulations startups can easily differentiate themselves from the big players by offering novel services the big players don’t. Think about how cell phone plans have improved over the years. Data is cheaper than ever, even though it’s much more difficult to deliver data to mobile devices than homes. Carriers are free to differentiate their offerings by pitching things such as free data for music streaming from online services. It’s a net plus for the consumer.

                                                                                              I don’t like mega-corporations anymore than anyone else, but don’t forget Facebook, Google, and Twitter support Net Neutraility, and they control more of what we see online than any ISPs:

                                                                                              Largest ISPs by number of customers:

                                                                                              • Comcast: 25 million
                                                                                              • Charter: 23 million
                                                                                              • AT&T: 15 million

                                                                                              Web services by monthly US users:

                                                                                              • Facebook: 214 million
                                                                                              • Google: Wasn’t able to find stats online, Most likely higher than FB
                                                                                              • Twitter: 69 million

                                                                                              Now of course each ISP customer represents probably 3-4 users. Even with that factored in FB, Google, and Twitter still have more influence than the top three ISPs. And that’s excluding others like YouTube and Yahoo.

                                                                                              If you think killing free speech online is going to help your Facebook, Google and Twitter problems (and not make them 10 times worse), well, you are welcome to kill it and see what happens.

                                                                                              It doesn’t sound like you want to have an honest discussion about this important issue. I’m not going to be responding to any more comments on this thread. Good day.

                                                                                              sources:

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                                                                                                Data is cheaper than ever, even though it’s much more difficult to delivery data to mobile devices than homes.

                                                                                                Is it, though? Last-mile wire installation is notoriously problematic. In contrast a wireless tower can cover a large area.

                                                                                                I’m very excited for satellite internet. Should only be a few more years until it’s widely available…

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                                                                                                  Satellite internet access has been sporadically available for decades. It’s super expensive to deploy or repair (hah!) the equipment. Lots of money burned up so far. The latency is awful, and there’s not much to do about it unless you can change the speed of light. Only makes sense in remote areas with low population density. Even there, you’re better off with point-to-point long-distance wifi.

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                                                                                                    Yeah the latency with geosynchronous satellites is pretty awful. What I’m looking forward to is low-earth-orbit satellite internet by OneWeb and SpaceX. “OneWeb’s 50Mbps Internet with 30ms latency could hit remotest areas by 2019.”

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                                                                                            I’m not an algorithms guy, nor do I claim to be. This paper(? or whatever you want to call it) makes some interesting claims

                                                                                            • Sorting in O(n) time sequentially, O(log(n)) in parallel. That’s fast!
                                                                                            • “O(m) space where m is the size of: { min, min + 1, min + 2, … , max - 1, max }”
                                                                                              • Directly quoted from the article - I’m not entirely sure what it means for the size to be a set of numbers
                                                                                            • “…both the parallel and sequential versions sort the array A with a collision probability of 0.00001%.”
                                                                                              • This may seem small, but it’s 1/100000. That’s pretty significant if you’re sorting, say, a million items. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that means there’s actually a 10 to 1 chance that there isn’t a collision with a million item sort.

                                                                                            Also, doing a ctrl-F for “stable” does result in anything - so there’s no indication if it’s stable or not. I’d lean on the assumption that it’s unstable, because it’s being done in parallel? But again, I’m not an algorithms guy.

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                                                                                              Well… it depends on what you mean by stable. All the numbers in the result will be, by definition, in order… but you may get new numbers that weren’t in the original array. The rate of those new numbers is 1/100000.

                                                                                              From what I can tell, this is kinda how the algorithm works:

                                                                                                  lookup = bloomfilter(numbers)
                                                                                                  for i in range(min(numbers), max(numbers)):
                                                                                                      if i in lookup:
                                                                                                          yield i
                                                                                              

                                                                                              It’s important to note that because we’re using bloom filters, this scheme does not handle arrays with duplicate entries. That’s why they mention “unique elements” in the first statement.

                                                                                              It’s the i in lookup that has the 0.00001% error rate. The O(m) comes from the fact that we do range(min(numbers), max(numbers))…. the author has a really strange way of stating that with that set notation.

                                                                                              One last thing to note is that the rate of O(log(n)) is theoretical assuming an infinite number of available cores.

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                                                                                                From what I can tell, this is kinda how the algorithm works:

                                                                                                Thanks for this. I skimmed through the whole thing several times without figuring out what the actual algorithm was.

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                                                                                                As this is a probabilistic sorting algorithm, you will have a small chance that the given array is not sorted after executing the algorithm. Therefore this algorithm shouldn’t be used critical operations.

                                                                                                I’m going to guess it isn’t stable :P

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                                                                                                  Hah, I definitely missed that. Out of curiosity, do you (or anyone else) know some possible applications of a “mostly sorting” algorithm?

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                                                                                                    In data science for instance, you rarely need any operation to be perfect, since everything you calculate is statistical anyway.

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                                                                                                      This is particularly useful for approximate percentiles. If I have a dataset with 239487283572934 numbers, it’d be hard to store in memory and constantly keep updated and sorted. With this algorithm, all you need to do is maintain: the bloom filter (which is small), the min/max numbers and the total number of records that have been added. This scheme would have O(1) insertion and O(M) query where M is the size of the interval the data is on (ie: how spread apart the min and max are).

                                                                                                      The thing that makes this kinda useless though is that it only supports sorting unique items.

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                                                                                                        Perhaps as a first pass, ahead of a proper sorting algorithm?

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                                                                                                    I’m reading Oathbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, it’s not networking, it’s not sci-fi, but it certainly is good!

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                                                                                                      For more fantasy, I’m reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. It’s ten books and I’m currently about to finish the sixth. Definitely a great read for anyone who loves good worldbuilding or fantasy characterization.

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                                                                                                        This series is the only fantasy blockbuster series I’ve finished. Good quality right up until maybe the end. I especially like the shift to an entirely different continent and system of magic around book 5.

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                                                                                                          I got to 6 or 7 in the series and started to lose track of what was going on. I absolutely love the world though, and definitely intend to pick them back up in the future.

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                                                                                                          How are the other books in the series ?

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                                                                                                            I really enjoyed them. I’m a big fan of Sanderson’s work generally, and this series seems to be one of his best so far.

                                                                                                            However if you’re considering starting the series, you should know that it’s only 3/5 complete, so you’ll have a long wait to finish it!

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                                                                                                              I waited for “The Wheel of Time”. I just hope it is fun to read!

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                                                                                                                I’ve not read it, I’ll stick it on my list :)

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                                                                                                            it’s not networking, it’s not sci-fi,

                                                                                                            Honestly, I’m really eager for that kind of discussion around here. I get tired of everyone recommending the same circle of tech books or science fiction.

                                                                                                            Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll take a look!

                                                                                                            Edit: Oh… it’s fantasy. Erm, I suppose the tribe doesn’t wander far from the community-approved genres.

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                                                                                                              If you like history, I’m still chewing on Empire of the Steppes. The book is always described as “majestic” and “sweeping”. I’ve never read another history book that provides such an encompassing view. Its scope extends from mainland China, to the silk road oasis kingdoms, to Persia, to Kiev, to Attila’s march on Rome. It’s fascinating how a military campaign in China can set off a chain reaction like billiard balls and cause an invasion in Europe.

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                                                                                                                Another amazing history is Jonathan Spence’s God’s Chinese Son, but really, you cannot go wrong with Spence. He is a magician.

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                                                                                                                  Oooh, that does sound great! Thanks, I’ll definitely look for that one!

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                                                                                                              MicroG has done so much to help with the plague that is the proprietary GOOG API set, but we really need twice as many things on FDroid. Better yet, we need an FDroid bounty program. I maintain one app on there, and deployment really is zero work after the initial setup.

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                                                                                                                I’m very impressed with how much F-Droid has improved lately. The new skin looks amazing. It’s easy to search, or browse by category. And it can finally update all my apps in one go, without having to select one after another.

                                                                                                                What I prize most of all is how relaxing it is to get apps from F-Droid. Most apps there seem to have been created to scratch an itch of the author’s. They have a purpose, and they usually fulfill it. There’s no tacked-on ad framework or annoying push notifications.

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                                                                                                                I’m not sure why fewer than 200 people said they use Haskell at work in the previous question but more than 600 said they use Haskell at work at least some of the time in this question.

                                                                                                                Was the question “Where do you use Haskell?” multiple choice, or was the survey using radio buttons? Could be the source of the discrepancy.

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                                                                                                                  The “where do you use Haskell” question was multiple choice (check boxes). The “do you use Haskell at work” question was single choice (radio buttons).

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                                                                                                                    I had this same problem with State of Elm. The first go ‘round people told me that the binary yes-or-no was unclear because they felt they had to be using it in production. But that wasn’t my intent, so this year I tried to fix it by making the “where are you using Elm” question have the following choices:

                                                                                                                    • I’m just tinkering
                                                                                                                    • Don’t feel ready for production
                                                                                                                    • No code in staging or production but feel capable
                                                                                                                    • In development towards production
                                                                                                                    • In production on a side project
                                                                                                                    • In production at work (internal)
                                                                                                                    • In production at work (user-facing)

                                                                                                                    Next year I’m going to break it down even more. It turns out that a lot of things I thought were yes/no initially are actually sliding scales. (Except for “can I have your email” or really really specific and leading questions.)

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                                                                                                                      That is actually quite interesting, I’ve been tinkering with both Haskell and Elm at work but haven’t used them on any project meant for production.

                                                                                                                      I usually experiment with a lot of languages for smaller side projects and when architecting a new product and evaluating tech choices, many of these are never put into production usage while some do.

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                                                                                                                  It’s so strange because in this case you’re essentially paying some additional amount x on your electricity bill (non-itemized), and some tiny fraction of that, qx, to the website. So really you’re paying the utility the bigger chunk (1-q)x. So the electricity use is really only an intermediary that helps us avoid the psychological burden of payment! Even worse, in the process we are probably hurting the environment for no reason.

                                                                                                                  All in all, we could actually pay the website more, and not hurt the environment, and pay less ourselves if we just went with some sort of micropayment scheme. Funny how important the perception of it ends up being :)

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                                                                                                                    Basic Attention Token is one interesting idea in this space.