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Hacker News: Ask HN

Hacker News RSS


Ask HN: Stop Repeated App Opening

Permalink - Posted on 2020-10-01 05:29

Double-clicking Chrome opens a new Windows process. The homestay family kids I live with won't wait for Chrome to open after one double-click, but keep on clicking until it comes up. There's 15 processes in the taskbar now, all saying "New Tab" except the frontmost. These background processes waste RAM and clutter the taskbar. Other apps (e.g. Worms Armageddon) show a loading screen, so this isn't a problem.

Is there a tool for Windows (7 and/or XP) to stop repeated app opening? Could this be implemented as a browser extension, or should it be a background process monitor?

If it doesn't already exist, I could build it, but I'd like to know if other people have this problem, and how best to tell people about a solution.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24647662

Points: 1

# Comments: 3

Ask HN: Is there any hardware that allows to look at screen in bright sunlight?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-10-01 03:24

(e.g. screen film + glasses) In case of Macbook Pro, the two problems are glare and brightness.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24646999

Points: 3

# Comments: 3

Ask HN: Is this normal bad or extra bad code?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-10-01 03:23

My boss has been the primary and almost sole developer of a large portion of it for over 10 years, maybe 20 years in total. I am now starting to get into development of the side of the product only he's been working on, and I'm finding a lot of uglies.

I started making UML diagrams, beginning with the public API side and working my way in. When I got to one of the main interface classes, I realized a UML diagram would be pointless for most of the code. After stripping white space and comments the header, just the class declaration was 1300 lines. 1300 lines of just variables + functions. I've started organizing it.

Other code stenches this code base has: - Functions are regularly thousands of lines in length. There's a 5k line loop. - Most functions don't even a have Doxygen brief on what they do. Comments are rare. - All vectors types, which are very common, are all either raw C style arrays or double X,Y,Z. - Descriptive variable names are rare. - Coding style is inconsistent. kandr, snake_case and camelCase are all used.

Are these type of things common in commercial code? Or is this more of an outlier? I know open source strives for beauty.

I'm talked to my boss about how bad the code is. His response is "Well we're not paid to develop software, we're paid for the analysis." I've told him in response that Google is an ad selling company

My boss is still writing 1k+ line functions. Due to pressure, he's starting to put some more comments in using slightly more descriptive file names. On the whole however, I don't think he's happy doing it.

This is driving me up a wall. I'm scheming a lateral move to get a different supervisor, while still working on the same projects and code base. That way I can be more forceful in keeping a readable code base.

I'm considering a job move. What kind of jobs are a good fit for a mechanical engineer with this skill set?

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24646994

Points: 3

# Comments: 1

Ask HN: Import Common Lisp Code into Parenscript

Permalink - Posted on 2020-10-01 02:28

I have trouble understanding what parenscript does and not does.

Am I "out on Mars" in the Lisp world with parenscript or can I also make use of other Common Lisp Code easily like trivia etc? What are people actually doing with parenscript, develop everything themselves from "the ground up"?


Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24646641

Points: 2

# Comments: 1

Ask HN: If a pistol made before 1898 isn't legally a “firearm”

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 23:38



Doesn't this mean antique pistols and other such non-"firearm" firearms are exempted in a number of statutory-defined situations based on the word "firearm?" Airports? Bars? Airport bars? Banks?

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24645423

Points: 1

# Comments: 2

Ask HN: Keep November politics off of HN

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 23:12

Looks like the threads have started rolling in.

Dang can we keep US-centric politics off of HN for the next 2 months?

November of 2016 on HN was shitflinging without any benefit to anyone. Empty, useless outrage. News outlets have already started to champion whichever candidate they are aligned with for this November. If anyone needs their political news/drama fix, there is no shortage of it elsewhere.

Thank you ahead of time.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24645191

Points: 9

# Comments: 5

Ask HN: What do you do when your Microsoft account is compromised?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 22:26

SIM swap tragedies and related mobile authentication security issues are on the rise. I've seen horror stories here such as this one, where Google failed to help someone reclaim their account: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20203482

It is beyond me why companies have come to rely on phone numbers for authentication, a system that was never designed for this purpose.

Today, someone got access to an old phone number that was deactivated when I moved to another country. They used it to breach my Microsoft account because, apparently, all you need to log into someone's Microsoft account is access to their phone number. There is absolutely no way to contact Microsoft about this directly, and filing a report just resulted in the answer:

"Unfortunately, we were unable to verify your ownership of this account using the information you provided."

And that seems to be the end of the story, as far as Microsoft is concerned!

Has any of you been in this situation and managed to reclaim your accounts?

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24644754

Points: 2

# Comments: 0

Ask HN: What are your favorite weeklong courses not related to work?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 21:51

My example is a scuba diving. The open water courses took about 5 days (2 in pool, 3 at sea) and was a great experience. I can now confidently go diving anywhere and explore areas I never thought possible.

Does have other similar style of courses they'd like to share?

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24644420

Points: 10

# Comments: 4

Ask HN: What Is HN but for Novellists?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 20:29

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24643436

Points: 2

# Comments: 0

Ask HN: Does school district matter for intellectual/academic ability

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 18:54

I did my primary education in India and now experiencing US schooling through my kid. After having watched documentary "Waiting for Superman", I have to say I am worried.

Right now I am in an average school district and wanting to move to a good, by buying a million dollar house. Before I pull the plug want to know if there are any resources on how the kids succeed.

Most people say schools don't play role its only parents. But I amn't convinced.

Wondering if someone can shed some light

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24642291

Points: 1

# Comments: 6

Ask HN: Why don't operating systems test RAM for corruptions?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 18:37

See recent comments on ECC RAM like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24589597

I recently had a RAM problem that took me a while to correctly diagnose from lack of compatible tooling on UEFI (memtest86 on Ubuntu doesn't work with this setup out of the box).

I was wondering, why are none of the popular operating systems making cheap "RAM sanity checks" every so often, to find out failing RAM before losing ridiculous amounts of time to random crashes and corruptions.

This could be similar to how ZFS does disk scrubbing, i.e. the OS could opportunistically or systematically mark certain RAM pages as unavailable while RAM testing is ongoing and every week/month do an hour or so of comprehensive testing with something low-level like memtest86 (e.g. during update windows or other downtime on desktop machines).

If I had my way, all machines would have ECC RAM but with the status quo there seems to be so much low-hanging fruit still. I don't understand why we always have to find out the RAM has gone bad post mortem after an unknown amount of mayhem.

Could these ideas be implemented on Linux, or is there some reason why this sort of approach is unfeasible?

Similar question applies to pre-emptively diagnosing other possible hardware problems. I don't really see that happening anywhere, though I recall reading that Solaris was aiming to do something like that and automatically recovering from various problems.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24642062

Points: 6

# Comments: 2

Ask HN: Are there job boards for junior engineers on student visas?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 18:35

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24642040

Points: 1

# Comments: 0

Ask HN: Are database stored procedures overkill?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 17:50

My manager is telling me to use stored procedures (in context of SQLServer) for the reasons of security (using active directory security groups), faster performance, and easier maintenance. His experience from what I understand is working in a windows dev shop from a while ago.

Arguing against his points, I see it as 1) You can control access to pages or functionality application side 2) Increased performance gains is negligible for our apps as we don't have much traffic. 3) Maintenance may be debatable. Have to now source control database code.

Typically, I have a wrapper around an odbc library that connects to our database instance. I define my SQL queries in the codebase and use prepared statements.

I frankly was a little mad when he questioned my lack of stored procedure usage, but not my call if he wants me to do it this way.

Anyways, I'm looking to start a discussion on this as I like insight from fellow developers on how they've used stored procedures in their career.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24641462

Points: 3

# Comments: 1

Ask HN: Interested in opening a startup office in Canada?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 17:07

I'm testing an idea - would anyone with a US based startup be interested in establishing product and engineering operations in Canada - and needs help getting it up, managing and executing on the plan? Would this be interesting to you (why or why not?). I know some companies are promoting this, but I'm just 1 startup-experienced product/eng team leader who would like to pitch this to a great startup i'd want to contribute to.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24640998

Points: 5

# Comments: 5

Ask HN: How are you combining programming with other disciplines?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 16:41

There are lots of fascinating problems at the intersection of software and other topics/concepts/etc. What problems are you working on at those intersections?

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24640671

Points: 1

# Comments: 1

Ask HN: What is HN for finance or crypto?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 15:58

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24640129

Points: 10

# Comments: 3

Ask HN: Which RSS feed reader do you use and why?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 15:36

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24639858

Points: 3

# Comments: 0

Ask HN: Is there such a thing as an embeddable integration engine?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 15:17

Our business, like many others, is in an industry where our customers need us to integrate with other platforms that are very industry-specific.

The workflow is fairly standard. Based on an event occurring in our platform we need to make a call to an external API. Credentials are specific to the customer. And many times we need to pull data from the external API and provide a way to make custom mappings between our attributes and the customer's attributes in the external system.

There's lots of platforms that sort of do this (Zapier), but what I want is a platform or engine I can embed in ours that handles the generic idea of sourcing events from our system, making custom mappings/transforms, and connecting them to whatever integrations we build. It would need to be a very easy to use drag-and-drop UI for non-technical users. Essentially I want something like idea of a Zapier as a framework that handles the orchestration in a generic way and allows us to build whatever integrations we need.

I know there's BPMN systems and workflow systems, but they all seem to be tailored towards a specific business rather than a platform where multiple businesses would be operating with their own particular integrations and use cases.

I know this is a common, recurring problem in pretty much every industry, so the question is: does this exist? I'd really rather not build something if it's already available.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24639603

Points: 1

# Comments: 0

Ask HN: How does AWS handle dynamic payment plans

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 14:37

How do companies like aws handle dynamic monthly subscriptions for their user credit cards.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24639137

Points: 2

# Comments: 1

Ask HN: Teaching kids how to think?

Permalink - Posted on 2020-09-30 13:59

There is a lot of material out there for teens and older kids.

I am curious what material or activities you use for kids ages 6-8 for helping them to learn to think on their own.

Comments URL: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24638756

Points: 231

# Comments: 121