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Businesses

AngelList Acquires Product Hunt (fortune.com) 25

Product Hunt, an online community of tech product enthusiasts, is no longer going at it alone. The three-year-old San Francisco startup said Thursday it is being acquired by AngelList, a popular crowdfunding platform for startups and angel investors. From a report on Fortune: Though Product Hunt is still a very young startup, it's not hard to see why it made the move to sell to AngelList. Product Hunt debuted three years ago, almost to the day-- founder Ryan Hoover and a friend, Nathan Bashaw, put together the original version of the website during the Thanksgiving weekend. Hoover had initially experimented with sharing apps and other tech products with a small group of friends via email newsletters. The site quickly grew in reputation among Silicon Valley insiders and tech enthusiasts everywhere as a place to share and find new or interesting apps, gadgets, and tech tools. It even had a small job board, which was Product Hunt's first source of revenue. Product Hunt also said it will continue to operate independently.

Comment Re:Bad guys (Score 1) 44

Yes we acquired SourceForge just this year, and yes what you say about reputations is true. SourceForge's improvements this year weren't covered nearly as much as their previous missteps, but we'll continue to improve it regardless for the 1 million+ users we see per day. Ars Technica did a good write up though.

Comment Re:Does this account for dark energy? (Score 1) 244

However if you spread a finite amount of energy / matter over an infinite distance, the density would approach zero, thus we would not even perceive that it exists.

This assumes an even distribution of mass / matter / energy. If the distribution weren't even (because another unstable force, like gravity, caused it to collect together) you would see vast swaths of "empty" space and clumps of matter / energy as it collected together.

Also consider that "speed" is a function of distance over time and "time" is actually space/time and altered by gravity. It could very well be that the qualities of time did not exist as it does today, making the speed of light infinite.

Businesses

Amazon Makes Good On Its Promise To Delete 'Incentivized' Reviews (techcrunch.com) 106

Amazon is making good on its promise to ban "incentivized" reviews from its website, according to a new analysis of over 32,000 products and around 65 million reviews. From a TechCrunch article: The ban was meant to address the growing problem of less trustworthy reviews that had been plaguing the retailer's site, leading to products with higher ratings than they would otherwise deserve. Incentivized reviews are those where the vendor offers free or discounted products to reviewers, in exchange for recipients writing their "honest opinion" of the item in an Amazon review. However, data has shown that these reviewers tend to write more positive reviews overall, with products earning an average of 4.74 stars out of five, compared with an average rating of 4.36 for non-incentivized reviews. Over time, these reviews proliferated on Amazon, and damaged consumers' trust in the review system as a whole. And that can impact consumers' purchase decisions.

Comment Education and Critical Thinking (Score 1, Insightful) 143

Or, we could educate people on how to determine what a credible source is and teach people critical thinking skills.

Most of the "fake news" articles were blog posts, reddit threads, and sites that popped up to pander to fears for advertising dollars. Stuff that was easy to spot as being fake.

Yeah, sometimes I would see the "fake" sites come up with a real story a couple days before everyone else did, but generally the real sites were better researched and less blatantly biased than the "fake" article.

Comment Re:Here's a thought (Score 1) 161

The problem with integrating it into cars is that it isn't efficient enough. If you consider that most solar panel installations require that they be placed at the best angle to the sun and that cars are not going to be at the correct angle, likely to be under shade/snow/garage, and the surface area of the car is low compared to typical roof installations, the maximum power from integrated solar cells is extremely low.

Even if you used solar paint and solar windows for maximum surface area, you won't be able to power a car completely off of the energy hitting the car. That said, you could probably trickle-charge to increase the car's range between full charges, which would be of great benefit to the car's current mediocre range.

Government

FCC Abides By GOP Request To Stop What It's Doing, Deletes Everything From Meeting Agenda (arstechnica.com) 119

One day after republicans from the house and senate sent letters to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, urging him to avoid passing regulations before Donald Trump's inauguration as president, Wheeler appears to have complied with the request. The FCC today "announced the deletion of all items that were originally scheduled to be presented and voted on at tomorrow's meeting." Ars Technica reports: Before the change, the agenda included votes on price caps for "special access" business data services; Universal Service funding to expand mobile broadband networks; wireless roaming obligations; and requirements for audio description of TV programming for blind and visually impaired people. The only item not deleted from tomorrow's meeting is part of the "consent agenda," which means it is routine and wasn't going to be presented individually. Of the major items, the business data services proposal had received the most attention. These are dedicated wireline circuits provided by traditional phone companies like AT&T and Verizon; the services supply bandwidth for cellular data networks, indirectly affecting the price consumers pay for wireless service. The business data services are also used by banks and retailers to connect ATM machines and credit card readers, by government and corporate users to connect branch offices and data centers, and to support public safety operations and health care facilities. The now-deleted agenda item would have phased in price cap decreases of 11 percent over three years to account for "over a decade of efficiency gains" since the last price cap adjustment.

Comment Re:Do older programmers even need help? (Score 1) 435

HR is brain-dead when it comes to understanding technical qualifications and abilities. And they don't care.

While true, it isn't for the reason you think it is. HR, especially for non-tech companies, has no clue what all of these programming terms or software things mean. You're lucky if you get an HR person that understands anything more than Microsoft Office. They depend upon the managers, who write up the job listing, to tell them what they need.

HR makes the assumption that if you put in a specific version of the software, you really do need an expert on that version of the software. Even if you and I know that it hasn't changed much in the past six versions, HR sees it as something completely different because they don't know better. Even recruiters for technical contracting companies sometimes aren't much better.

HR expects you, the prospective employee, to understand what those terms mean and for you to tailor your resume to what the specific job requirements are. That can mean letting them know that the products are similar or that the newer version is the same as the older version. You can put it in the cover letter.

If HR is posting nonsensical job listings, you can blame the hiring manager for giving them poor requirements. Take that as an opportunity to judge the company communication and/or who you might be working for in the future.

Transportation

Crushable Runway Technology Saved Mike Pence's Plane (cnn.com) 106

Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate said Friday he is "fine" following his plane skidding off the runway at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday night, adding there were about 10 seconds of "uncertainty." The Indiana governor said, "It was about 10 seconds of uncertainty last night, but we're just so grateful to the pilots and to the first responders on the scene and (that) everybody came off the plane safely." From a CNN report: The press pool in the back of the aircraft, a Boeing 737-700 chartered from Eastern Airlines that was painted with the campaign's logo, could also feel the plane fishtailing as it touched down and slid off the runway before coming to a very sharp halt in the grass off the side of the runway. Once the plane came to a full stop, the Indiana governor walked to the back of the plane to check on the press. As everyone on board deplaned, Pence could be seen speaking with emergency responders. Donald Trump said, I just spoke to our future vice president, and he's OK. Do you know he was in a big accident with the plane?" A report on Business Insider explains how "crushable runway technology" saved Pence's plane: The positive resolution to a potentially disastrous event can be attributed to the Engineered Material Arresting System located at the end of the runway. The system is designed to prevent a runaway airplane from careening into the roads, buildings, and bodies of water commonly found near many airports. EMAS is made up of massive blocks of material designed to collapse as the wheels of an airplane roll over it, sinking the plane into the runway and bringing it to a safe and gradual stop. The system is designed to be able to stop aircraft traveling at speeds up to 80 mph. The Federal Aviation Administration began studying the technology in the early 1990s in conjunction with the University of Dayton, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the company Zodiac Arresting Systems in New Jersey. According to the FAA, more than 60 US airports -- including JFK and LaGuardia in New York and O'Hare in Chicago -- have installed the technology.
Businesses

Governor Cuomo Bans Airbnb From Listing Short-Term Rentals In New York (nypost.com) 160

An anonymous reader quotes a report from New York Post: Gov. Cuomo on Friday bowed to pressure from the hotel industry and signed into law one of the nation's toughest restrictions on Airbnb -- including hefty fines of up to $7,500 for people who rent out space in their apartments. Backers of the punitive measure -- which applies to rentals of less than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not present -- say many property owners use Airbnb and similar sites to offer residential apartments as short-term rentals to visitors, hurting the hotel business while taking residential units off the Big Apple's high-priced housing market. Enforcement, however, will be a huge challenge, as thousands of short-term apartment rentals are listed in the city despite a 2010 law that prohibits rentals of less than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not present. Violators could be turned in by neighbors or landlords opposed to the practice, or the state could monitor the site to look for potential violations. But beyond that how the law would be enforced was not immediately clear. The new law won't apply to rentals in single-family homes, row houses or apartment spare rooms if the resident is present. But will apply to co-ops and condos. Airbnb mounted a last-ditch effort to kill the measure, proposing alternative regulations that the company argued would address concerns about short-term rentals without big fines. Tenants who violate current state law and list their apartments for rentals of less than 30 days would face fines of $1,000 for the first offense, $5,000 for the second and $7,500 for a third. An investigation of Airbnb rentals from 2010 to 2014 by the state attorney general's office found that 72 percent of the units in New York City were illegal, with commercial operators constituting 6 percent of the hosts and supplying 36 percent of the rentals. As of August, Airbnb had 45,000 city listings and another 13,000 across the state.

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