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The Tyranny of the Marginal User

  • The article criticizes the decline in consumer software, exemplified by dating apps like OKCupid, due to a shift in focus towards attracting new users at the cost of improving the experience for existing ones.
  • The concept of the "marginal user," a user with a short attention span who prefers simple content, is introduced. The prioritization of this user type is seen as contributing to a decrease in software quality and user agency.
  • The author notes that tools augmenting user agency are usually developed by hobbyists and often get acquired and discontinued by bigger corporations.


  • The article discusses OkCupid's shift towards a mobile-user-centric approach, which has reportedly resulted in declining conversation quality and the rise of more surface-level dating apps.
  • It also highlights the negative impact of growth models in software development, criticizing their focus on economic success over user experience, and noting how catering to immediate gratification might lead to a product’s downfall.
  • The article brings attention to the challenges in designing an optimal moral system, focusing on matters like impact of user interface design on content transmission, challenges of utilitarianism, and the increasing concern about resource consumption and inequality.

Unity has seemingly silently removed its GitHub repo that tracks ToS changes

  • Unity, a game development platform, quietly removed a GitHub repository that kept track of changes to its terms of service (ToS) and a clause allowing developers to utilize older versions of the game engine.
  • The repository's deletion makes the webpage no longer accessible, with the last availability being July 16, 2022.
  • Key changes in Unity's ToS have included the removal of a clause (in April 2023) permitting developers to use software versions of the current year as per the terms at the time of the update; this compels users to comply with all Unity's service changes, such as the recent pricing plan update charging developers for each game installation.


  • Unity has erased its GitHub repository that tracked amendments to its terms of service (ToS), stirring worries about transparency and trust.
  • These retroactive changes to the ToS have upset game developers basing their work on the previous cost structure.
  • Unity's actions have drawn questions regarding their legality and ethics, and unfavourable comparisons have been drawn to Unreal Engine that doesn't impose a similar per-install fee.

Chromebooks will get 10 years of automatic updates

  • Google plans to automatically update all Chromebooks for a decade, making it the only OS to commit to such long-term updates, which will improve the security, stability, and device longevity.
  • The tech giant is collaborating with its partners to construct Chromebooks using more recycled materials and is introducing power-efficient features and expedited repair methods.
  • Google's strategy emphasizes the full lifecycle of a Chromebook, from its production to recycling, showcasing a commitment to sustainability and user convenience.


  • Google has decided that Chromebooks will automatically update for up to 10 years in a bid to minimize electronic waste.
  • There has been debate on the online forum about the security of fingerprint authentication, the durability of Chromebooks in educational settings, and potential challenges Google might encounter with hardware suppliers.
  • Despite appreciating the extended support for Chromebooks, users have expressed worries about hardware limitations and inadvertent Operating System (OS) Verification re-enablement.

PostgreSQL 16

  • The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announced the release of PostgreSQL 16 on September 14, 2023, the latest update of the open-source database.
  • Enhancements include performance improvements in query parallelism, bulk data loading, and logical replication; extended SQL/JSON syntax; new monitoring stats; and improved access control for policy management.
  • Noteworthy additions are support for client load balancing, CPU acceleration via SIMD, and bidirectional logical replication, beneficial for developers and organizations due to strengthened monitoring, access control, and security features.


  • PostgreSQL 16, an open-source software project, has been released with enhanced features and better version management.
  • This project, renowned for its influential role in software infrastructure, is backed by a diverse group of contributors.
  • Current discussions focus on areas such as performance optimization, index bloat, replication, and deployment options concerning PostgreSQL.

Instead of collaborating or supporting me, Google stole my idea

  • The individual, ozramos, alleges that their project, Handsfree.js, was plagiarised by Google for their Project Gameface, resulting in frustration and disappointment due to lack of support and recognition.
  • A professor from Carnegie Mellon University vouched for the validity of ozramos's claims, expressing their own disappointment in Google's actions.
  • The general response in the user comments was supportive towards ozramos, with calls for Google to respond and acknowledge ozramos's contributions.


  • A veteran suffering from PTSD and homelessness developed a helpful technology, which he accuses Google of plagiarizing due to lack of support from the company for his project.
  • The situation sparked debates about corporate ethics, accountability, and the treatment of innovators, with legal actions and public shaming viewed as potential solutions.
  • The incident underscores the complexities of corporate actions and discusses the necessity of addressing such conflicts for societal improvement.

How to build a IP geolocation database from scratch?

  • IP geolocation's application in targeted advertising, fraud detection, content localization, network security, and analytics is discussed, along with the challenges of geolocating IP addresses.
  • The article lays out how to build a geolocation database using WHOIS records and open-source projects, and addresses the limited coverage of geolocation attributes in the RIPE NCC database.
  • The limitations and alternatives of using geolocation data from IP addresses are explored, such as other geolocation projects and third-party sources for data enrichment, concluding with a mention of


  • The text focuses on establishing an accurate IP geolocation database from scratch, emphasizing the significance of IP location accuracy, and discussing various methodologies like using MMDB format for CSV files.
  • Attention is given to the detection of VPNs and proxies, the use of IPinfo's API for fraud detection, difficulties of detecting anycasted addresses, and privacy implications surrounding geolocation data.
  • The reliability of geolocation services such as MaxMind and Cloudflare is questioned, with alternative methods like traceroute analysis and BGP advertisements proposed as replacements. The importance of these databases for companies like Google is also stressed.

Calif. passes strongest right-to-repair bill yet, requiring 7 years of parts

  • California has passed an extensive right-to-repair bill, obliging vendors to supply parts, tools, repair guides, and essential software for consumer electronics and appliances.
  • The bill surpasses other state laws, demanding vendors offer such items for products sold from July 1, 2021, for a duration determined by the product's cost. The legislation includes enforcement provisions and mandates repair vendors to disclose the usage of "non-authorized" parts.
  • Apple supported this bill, underlining its products’ increased repairability and durability. This legislation, along with similar laws in other states and Europe, may motivate manufacturers to provide globally repairable and sustainable products.


  • California has passed a right-to-repair bill obligating manufacturers to supply parts for their products for a minimum of seven years.
  • This bill has sparked debate pertaining to issues such as the quality of third-party replacement parts, strain on small businesses, the disclosure of schematics with potential impact on competition and intellectual property rights.
  • Discussions delve deeper into the capacity of repairing electronic devices, availability of individual parts, durability and duration of tech goods, with notable discourse on planned obsolescence and its influence on consumer rights, cost considerations, and overall impact on businesses and industries.

Tails is a portable OS that protects against surveillance and censorship

  • Tails is a portable operating system designed to safeguard against surveillance and censorship, utilizing the Tor network for online privacy and resistance to censorship.
  • Designed to be installed on a USB stick, Tails provides a secure computing environment on any machine, equipped with applications for handling sensitive documents and secure communication.
  • Tails, endorsed by Edward Snowden and funded by internet freedom organizations, is based on Debian GNU/Linux. It's freely available and often leveraged by journalists, activists, domestic violence survivors, and others requiring additional privacy.


  • The discussion focuses on Tails, a privacy-focused Operating System (OS) developed to guard against surveillance and censorship, with features like blocking traces of prior sessions and defending against malware.
  • The conversation also points out certain limitations of the Tails OS, including the risk of IP address leakage, with alternatives like Whonix, Heads, and TENS being mentioned as secure browsing options.
  • Other topics within the dialogue include the history and growth of the internet, the reliability of open-source software, and the financing of open-source initiatives.

iNaturalist strikes out on its own

  • iNaturalist, a social network for logging biodiversity, has become an independent nonprofit entity, aided by a $10 million grant.
  • The grant aims to support iNaturalist in continuing its mission of connecting people with nature and generating ecological data. The platform also hopes to increase its presence in areas with high biodiversity and limited access to their service.
  • iNaturalist also plans to incorporate artificial intelligence to forecast species distributions and seeks to collaborate with its previous partner organizations.


  • iNaturalist app, employing a TensorFlow Lite model, has surmounted 50 million observations, aiding nature aficionados in identifying plants and animals.
  • Despite shortcomings such as class imbalance and object confusion in photos, the app boosts its precision via user verification and inclusion of geographic priors.
  • Future enhancements indicate the potential employment of improved camera technologies and app availability across various platforms.

In a Git repository, where do your files live?

  • Git stores files as distinct objects in the .git/objects directory inside a repository, employing content-addressed storage, where filenames are the hash of the file's content.
  • Git does not store diffs for individual versions; each version is saved as a complete file. To locate older versions, one can use 'git log' to find commit IDs associated with file changes.
  • Git compresses objects using the zlib format. The author provides a practical example of retrieving an older version of a blog post using Git, accompanied by code snippets.


  • The article provides a comprehensive overview of Git, covering its unique functionality, troubleshooting methods, internal workings, and utilization of a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) for tracking changes.
  • Criticisms of Git's user interface are explored alongside potential improvements, despite arguments supporting its flexibility and consistency in the realm of version control systems.
  • The piece also discusses the complexity and usability of Git, compares its popularity against other options, and outlines potential for future innovation and scale-up.

Godot Development Fund

  • The Godot Development Fund is a program enabling individuals and businesses to financially assist in developing the Godot game engine by contributing varying amounts per their chosen membership levels.
  • The funds are managed by the Godot Foundation and used for purposes such as hiring developers, creating artwork, acquiring hardware, and covering other project-related costs.
  • Godot is a part of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and its website is hosted by, adding a layer of legitimacy to this open-source project.


  • The Godot Development Fund is the subject of discussion in a Hacker News post, but related comments have been relocated to another site.
  • Applications have been announced open for Y Combinator (YC) Winter 2024 batch.
  • The post provides links to several resources like application guidelines, FAQs, APIs, security, legal information, and details on how to apply and reach out to YC.

Googlers told to avoid words like ‘share’ and ‘bundle,’ US says

  • Google employees, or "Googlers," have been instructed to refrain from using particular words and phrases potentially implying anti-competitive behavior, as per documents presented in an ongoing trial.
  • These instructions are part of a larger case where Google is being accused of maintaining a monopoly in the online search market. Google, however, denies these allegations.
  • The documents also reveal that employees are encouraged to have sensitive chats with their history turned off and to avoid phrases like "cutting off their air supply" and "market share."


  • The discussion focuses on Google and its antitrust issues, emphasizing the importance of language in legal matters and the potential abuse of monopoly power.
  • Topics include Google's instruction to its employees to bypass certain words and a conversation surrounding attorney-client privilege, demonstrating the complexity of legal aspects in the tech industry.
  • Another theme covered is Google's dominant role in the software industry, discussing factors such as the quality and pricing of its products and their impact on competition.

So You've Decided to Move from Unity to Unreal Engine

  • This summary offers guidance and resources to help transition from Unity to Unreal Engine, emphasising the importance of understanding documentation, joining relevant communities, and using educational resources like the Epic Online Learning Library.
  • It addresses concerns about payment structures, platform support and emphasizes Unreal's benefits like versatility, extensive marketplace, efficient input systems, and compatibility with both 2D and 3D game development.
  • The article mentions the use of Unreal Engine in popular games, enhancements of level design tools, and notes the feasibility of developing games on Linux and Mac platforms.


  • The discussions primarily focus on topics related to game engines, notably the transition from Unity to Unreal Engine and the application of 'Blueprints' within Unreal.
  • Other points of interest include concerns about version control and merging changes when utilising Blueprints, its performance and constraints compared to C++, and comparisons with other game engines like Godot.
  • Further topics discussed comprise the revenue generation by game engine companies, policy and pricing shifts by Unity, threats directed at directors, and the reduction in Twitter utilization.

Linear code is more readable

  • The author is advocating against abstracting code for the sake of readability, contending that linear code is intrinsically more understandable.
  • The writer substantiates their stance by offering an example of a function that criticizes the use of abstraction in the code.
  • They address a possible code issue involving an appliance, recommending that the code should treat the oven as a parameter, reinforcing the idea that small functions should not be extracted from linear code.


  • The central theme of the discussion is the readability and maintainability of code with divergent opinions promoting larger linear functions and smaller modular functions.
  • The discourse underlines the significance of writing code with other developers' readability in mind and striking a balance through careful use of abstraction.
  • It emphasizes the importance of taking into consideration the specific requirements of the codebase while prioritizing between readability and efficiency. Various viewpoints on code structure, testing, and scalability are also examined.

Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer? (2003)

  • The text indicates the concept of a game where the challenge is to distinguish between a programming language inventor and a serial killer.
  • This game might involve examining the individuals' interests, which could potentially involve topics such as hacking and murder.
  • The post is unique in its suggestion of combining technology and true crime into an interactive format.


  • The article covers a game that involves guessing whether a person in a picture is a serial killer or a developer of programming languages.
  • There's a debate within the discussion thread around the validity of linking facial features to someone's nature, along with the stereotypes connected to programmers and serial killers.
  • The game has garnered mixed responses, with some participants enjoying it while others express concerns about potential discrimination and are surprised at certain exclusions.

Intermediate sci knowledge associated with overconfidence and negative attitudes

  • The study discovers a link between scientific knowledge, self-assurance, and attitudes towards science, specifically noting an overconfidence and negative bias in individuals with mid-level scientific knowledge.
  • The findings question existing models and highlight the necessity to address this overconfidence and encourage a more in-depth understanding of science.
  • The article also offers details about the academic publication and its publisher.


  • The discussion focuses on understanding the limitations of science, the challenges in defining it, and the dangers of putting too much faith in scientific claims.
  • It sheds light on how overconfidence impacts various fields and how media and politics shape the public's perception of science.
  • Emphasis is placed on the necessity for humility, critical thinking, and acknowledgment of the uncertainties in scientific understanding to counter overconfidence and science denialism.

Arm IPO to kick off today

  • Arm, a British chip designer, is initiating its IPO with a stock price of $51 each, setting the company valuation at $54.5 billion.
  • The IPO is set to generate about $4.9 billion for Softbank, Arm's parent company, and post-IPO, Arm will continue as a Softbank subsidiary.
  • The IPO received widespread approval, attracting investments from tech heavyweights such as Apple, Samsung, and Intel, but will only be listed in the US, following dashed hopes for a dual-listing in London earlier this year.


  • ARM's Initial Public Offering (IPO) has started, with speculation suggesting that a potential increase in prices might push customers towards the open-source RISC-V architecture.
  • Discussions are ongoing concerning a possible transition from ARM to RISC-V, with key considerations being software compatibility and hardware interoperability.
  • The IPO is strategically positioned to maintain ARM's success, with SoftBank selling a 21% stake. Tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Nvidia potentially back the IPO to prevent a hostile takeover.

Stolen van Gogh painting returned in an IKEA bag

  • An early work of Vincent van Gogh, The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring, has been retrieved three and a half years post-theft from a Dutch museum.
  • The painting, valued between $3.2 and $6.4 million, was returned anonymously in an Ikea bag to art detective Arthur Brand with no implication of the returner in the theft.
  • The original thief was arrested in 2021 and sentenced to eight years in prison. The restored artwork will be displayed again after necessary examination and restoration.


  • The stolen van Gogh painting was recovered and returned in an IKEA bag, facilitated through an underground network run by art detective Arthur Brand.
  • This painting, stolen in 2002, had been circulating in the criminal underworld and its return illustrates the legal issues related to possession of stolen artwork.
  • Also discussed in the post are themes about the conservation of paintings, art restoration, and recommendations for books and series concerning art theft narratives.

Nue – A React/Vue/Vite/Astro Alternative

  • The author has developed Nue JS, a JavaScript library for building user interfaces, influenced by Vue 2.0 and Riot.js.
  • An ecosystem is in the works to complement Nue JS, designed to be an alternative to tools like Vite, Next.js, and Astro. The aim is to emphasize progressive enhancement, separation of concerns, and semantic web design.
  • All products under the Nue brand will be released under the MIT license, which confirms the author's commitment to open-source tooling.


  • The article announces the launch of Nue JS, a lightweight alternative to renowned front-end frameworks, and discusses potential expansions to related projects.
  • It showcases debate around front-end development encapsulation issues and provides user feedback while drawing comparisons with other similar frameworks.
  • The post also explores varying audience sentiment towards Nue JS and brings into conversation the potential influence of artificial intelligence on coding norms.

A clever “perpetual motion” device [video]

  • The video involves the presentation of a 'perpetual motion' device that essentially operates as a perpetual motion simulator, using electromagnets and an inductive proximity sensor to keep a ball in a constant motion.
  • The creator gives a comprehensive demonstration of the device's functionality and walks through its various components, such as capacitors and adjustable parameters.
  • The concept of perpetual motion is discussed during the video, intertwined with aspects of the device's operation. A sponsor, Incogni, is mentioned as a service that aids in protection of personal data and prevention of unwanted phone calls.


  • The featured video shows a "perpetual motion" device, sparking discussions on potential improvements, such as plastic rails, microcontrollers, motorized wheels, and new power sources.
  • The conversations also cover philosophical and scientific topics, like the nature of reality, the role of science, energy conservation, and defining energy within a curved space-time context.
  • Skepticism around dark matter and energy theories and the credibility of certain arguments is also prevalent among the discussions. The article ends by mentioning applications for YC Winter 2024.