1. Text editing on mobile: the invisible problem (jenson.org | Archive)
691 points by kaftan-permans | 2023-09-24 07:03:51 | analysis | technology | 406 comments

Dehyped title: The Invisible Problem: Why Text Editing on Mobile Devices is Much Worse Than You Think

Summary: Text editing on mobile devices is a significant and overlooked problem, resulting in user frustrations and workarounds. The lack of a menu bar or mouse in mobile text editing has led to overloaded tap gestures and a complicated mess of actions. Users experience targeting issues, difficulty using the clipboard, and a high rate of errors. To address this problem, a prototype called Eloquent has been developed and presented at UIST 2021, offering a simpler solution to text editing on mobile.

Comments: This article discusses the challenges of text editing on mobile devices and proposes solutions. The author argues that performing tasks on mobile devices is more difficult than on PCs, and questions the need for apps when most are just slightly better web pages. The article also highlights the frustrations of typing in passwords on a mobile device and the lack of precision in placing the text cursor. Some users suggest workarounds, such as holding down the space bar to move the cursor or using alternative keyboards and SSHing into a desktop for a better editing experience.

2. One robber baron’s gamble on railroads (www.smithsonianmag.com | Archive)
22 points by samclemens | 2023-09-24 02:24:03 | news | history | 10 comments

Dehyped title: How One Robber Baron’s Gamble on Railroads Brought Down His Bank and Plunged the U.S. Into the First Great Depression

Summary: In 1873, the bankruptcy of Jay Cooke's investment bank triggered a financial crisis that lasted over five years, known as the first Great Depression. Cooke, a legendary financier, had played a significant role in financing the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway. The rise of the railroad industry in the United States brought about billion-dollar businesses and transformed the economy. However, overinvestment and speculative practices led to a crash that affected numerous railroads and businesses, causing widespread financial devastation. The Panic of 1873 highlighted the risks of railroad investments and exposed the fraudulent practices within the industry.

Comments: The rise of railroads in the 19th century led to new forms of corporate securities and governance but also rampant fraud and chicanery.

3. PiWrite – Kindle Paperwhite to Write (github.com | Archive)
92 points by kristianpaul | 2023-09-24 14:17:48 | 24 comments

Summary: No summary available

Comments: The discussion on Hacker News revolves around using a Kindle Paperwhite as a writing device. Some users mentioned using alternative devices like the Lenovo ThinkSmart View or Raspberry Pi to achieve similar functionality. The Kindle Paperwhite does not have native app support, but it can be jailbroken to install custom apps. Users highlighted the limitations of the Kindle as a writing appliance and mentioned other devices with better options. Overall, the conversation explores the possibilities and challenges of using the Kindle Paperwhite for writing.

4. A man who figured out how to turn Americans’ private information into a business (www.nytimes.com | Archive)
152 points by giuliomagnifico | 2023-09-22 14:46:34 | feature | technology | 51 comments

Dehyped title: The Man Who Trapped Us in Databases

Summary: Hank Asher, the multimillionaire king of data brokers, is remembered as a charismatic and volatile figure who turned Americans' private information into a lucrative business. This article delves into Asher's life and career, highlighting his charm, daring, and ability to discern patterns. However, it also mentions his turbulent and sometimes violent nature, making him unpredictable. Asher's story exemplifies the power and potential dangers of data collection and the privacy implications it raises.

Comments: The article discusses a man who turned Americans' private information into a business, highlighting the issue of data privacy. The solution proposed is to require companies to provide receipts of where they obtained users' data and to make personal data property. The conversation in the comments covers topics such as consent for data storage, the difference between data processors and controllers, the value of individual pieces of data, and the use of personal information by companies like The New York Times. The discussion also touches on the escape of public data into the wild and the difficulty of accessing public records.

5. Reverse-engineering the classic MK4116 16-kilobit DRAM chip (www.righto.com | Archive)
64 points by nickt | 2023-09-24 14:04:13 | analysis | computer-science | 11 comments

Dehyped title: Reverse-Engineering the Mostek MK4116 16-Kilobit DRAM Chip

Summary: The Mostek MK4116 16-kilobit DRAM chip, popular in the late 1970s, is reverse-engineered to reveal its complex design and advanced manufacturing processes. The chip used low-power dynamic logic and multiplexed address pins to save costs and fit into smaller packages. It stored data in compact capacitor-based memory cells and required constant refreshing to avoid data loss. The die photo shows the arrangement of memory cells and functional blocks, while the storage cell structure and cross-section diagram provide insights into the chip's construction. The MK4116 used dynamic logic gates and featured a row-select circuitry and sense amplifiers to decode addresses and amplify capacitor voltages, respectively.

Comments: This article discusses the reverse-engineering of the MK4116 16-kilobit DRAM chip, exploring its engineering complexity and historical significance. The chip, though considered simple by modern standards, played a crucial role in early computing and was widely used due to its cost-effectiveness and compatibility. The author highlights some of the challenges and drawbacks of the chip, such as its multi-supply voltages and potential issues. They also mention how the size and capacity of memory chips have exponentially increased over the years, showcasing the remarkable progress in the field of semiconductor technology.

6. CoRF: Colorizing Radiance Fields Using Knowledge Distillation (arxiv.org | Archive)
18 points by PaulHoule | 2023-09-24 15:32:45 | analysis | computer-science |

Dehyped title: New Method Uses Knowledge Distillation to Colorize Grey-Scale Multi-View Images

Summary: This paper introduces a method for synthesizing colorized novel views from grey-scale multi-view images in the field of computer vision and pattern recognition. The proposed method uses knowledge distillation to transfer color knowledge from existing 2D colorization methods to a 3D radiance field network. The experimental results show that the method produces superior colorized novel views with cross-view consistency compared to baselines. The method is also effective for colorization of radiance field network trained from infra-red multi-view images and old grey-scale multi-view image sequences.

7. Two photographers captured the same millisecond in time (2018) (www.dpreview.com | Archive)
40 points by ghastmaster | 2023-09-24 19:01:10 | news | photography | 6 comments

Dehyped title: Two photographers accidentally capture the exact same millisecond of water motion

Summary: Two photographers randomly captured the exact same image of water motion at the exact millisecond in time, despite standing 28 meters apart with different cameras and lenses. The photos were virtually identical, with only minor differences in the foreground water and white caps on the horizon. The photographers used burst mode and had similar settings, exposures, and depths-of-field. This rare occurrence showcases the increasing speed of cameras and the importance of post-processing in making images unique.

Comments: Two photographers captured the same millisecond in time, sparking a discussion on how often such coincidences occur. The scenario in question is not a popular location like Disney World, making it even more intriguing. The article also mentions an incident where a couple was captured in the same photo years before they met. The topic expands to how often people accidentally end up in each other's photos and whether there should be an option to share these anonymously. The concept of time in distributed systems is briefly touched upon. Lastly, the article explores the idea that humans have a shared metric for identifying beauty in photographs.

8. Gene-Engineered Mouth Bacteria (www.lanternbioworks.com | Archive)
327 points by apsec112 | 2023-09-24 16:44:56 | news | medicine | 220 comments

Dehyped title: Genetically Engineered Mouth Bacteria Could Eliminate Dental Cavities

Summary: Scientists have genetically engineered mouth bacteria to produce ethanol instead of lactic acid, potentially eliminating dental caries. The modified strain was created in 1985 and has shown no ill effects. The bacteria has faced legal and regulatory challenges, but efforts are being made to bring it to the market. Contributions from various individuals and organizations are welcome to support the mission of a cavity-free world.

Comments: The Hacker News thread discusses a post about gene-engineered mouth bacteria, questioning its legitimacy and asking for evidence. Some users express skepticism due to the lack of scientific papers or credible sources provided. However, one user shares links to relevant studies and a patent held by Oragenics. A startup called Lantern Bioworks is mentioned, which has a California Non-Profit Corporation status. Concerns about the potential negative effects and lack of long-term research on altering the oral microbiome are also raised.

9. Hidden ocean the source of carbon dioxide on Jupiter moon (phys.org | Archive)
10 points by Brajeshwar | 2023-09-22 14:56:50 | news | science | 1 comments

Dehyped title: Hidden ocean the source of carbon dioxide on Jupiter moon

Summary: Research using data from the James Webb Space Telescope indicates that carbon dioxide detected on Jupiter's moon Europa comes from the ocean beneath its icy shell, increasing the potential for extraterrestrial life.

Comments: A recent discovery suggests that the hidden ocean under the surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa, is the source of carbon dioxide emissions. The cracks on Europa's surface have long hinted at the presence of volcanism, and this new finding provides further evidence for it. The detection of carbon dioxide on Europa adds to our understanding of the moon's geology and its potential for supporting life. This discovery was made by scientists studying data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Understanding the composition and dynamics of Europa's ocean is crucial for future missions to explore this intriguing moon.

10. How Australians made the early internet their own (theconversation.com | Archive)
61 points by throwaway167 | 2023-09-22 16:04:48 | analysis | science + tech | 30 comments

Dehyped title: 30 years of the web down under: how Australians made the early internet their own

Summary: This article explores the early days of the internet in Australia, highlighting the milestones and growth of the web in the country. It discusses the first Australian web server and the expansion of the public internet in the mid-1990s. The article also examines how everyday Australians embraced the internet and created diverse websites that reflected their interests and culture. It concludes by emphasizing the importance of understanding the history of the internet to shape its future.

Comments: This article explores how Australians embraced the early internet and its impact on their lives. It recounts personal stories of individuals who witnessed the establishment of the first internet connection in Australia and how it sparked their interest in technology. The author reflects on their own experiences of the early internet, including building websites and the excitement of discovering new online content. The article also discusses the role of companies like OzEmail and Labtam in the development of the internet in Australia. It concludes by expressing a desire to document this era of innovation and commerce for posterity.