ND 21.11.2022: Software firm Kite closes down, other stories from Hacker News

Good morning. It is the start of another week, and we are bringing you news from Hacker News by Y Combinator.

From 2014 to 2021, Kite was a startup using AI to help developers write code. We have stopped working on Kite, and are no longer supporting the Kite software. In committing their capital, investors made it possible for us to attempt to build Kite. We wanted to contribute to the world in a special way, and did so at Kite through our herculean efforts and by taking the risk that our project might not work out. Developers are so authentically passionate about their craft and anything that can advance it – this passion is one of the things we’ve missed the most in our work since moving on from Kite and developer tools – Kite is saying farewell (Kite)

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Which, oddly, has me thinking of 2016, when AWS decided not to make a strategic investment in blockchain, with my input a contributing factor. Actual working business applications of blockchain were really, really hard to find. AWS was already making a lot of money off blockchain. Subsequently another group decided that if people were spending their VC money building crypto infrastructure on AWS, we should help them do that more efficiently, and thus was born Amazon Managed Blockchain, offering Hyperledger and Ethereum platforms as a managed service, in the typical AWS style. Later in the ensuing discussion I cautiously offered something like the following, locking eyes on the CIO: “There are many among Amazon’s senior engineers who think blockchain is a solution looking for a problem.” He went entirely expressionless and the discussion moved on – AWS and Blockchain (Ongoing by Tim Bray)

Rather than relying solely on “fiat” methods like government licenses, auditors and examining the corporate governance and the backgrounds of the individuals running the exchange, exchanges could create cryptographic proofs that show that the funds they hold on-chain are enough to cover their liabilities to their users. The exchange would send each user a Merkle sum proof of their balance. If the exchange can identify 500 ETH worth of users that they are confident will either not bother to check the proof, or will not be believed when they complain that they never received a proof, they could get away with the theft. Exchanges can solve this problem: first e-mail recovery, and if even that fails, more complicated forms of recovery through KYC. But to be able to solve such problems, the exchange needs to actually have control over the coins. In the short term, there are two clear “classes” of exchanges: custodial exchanges and non-custodial exchanges – Having a safe CEX: proof of solvency and beyond (vitalik.ca)

The sound is called brown noise and has become popular among people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as a tool to help them focus or relax. Over the past decade, he has done 15 preliminary studies on the effects of white noise on people with and without ADHD. He hasn’t studied brown noise but believes it would have similar effects. The studies were small, but he believes white and brown noise hold promise as tools to help people with ADHD. The reason may be related to the persistent, overall level of a brain chemical called dopamine. Higher levels of dopamine may help regulate focus, but persistent dopamine release appears to be lower in people with ADHD. Söderlund theorizes that in people with ADHD, listening to broadband noise somehow causes the brain to mimic the effects of dopamine. It’s unclear whether these types of sounds could also benefit people who don’t have ADHD. In a small study, Söderlund found that people who don’t have ADHD may still benefit from quieter levels of white noise – For some with ADHD, the low rumble of brown noise quiets the brain (The Washington Post ~ Well+Being)

It has the standard digital watch features, but this watch is really intended for hikers – it has an altimeter, barometer, thermometer and digital compass built in. Maybe you’re thinking “Hah, unless the battery needs to be replaced” – wrong! The watch face is literally a solar panel, it sips so little power that a few cumulative minutes exposure to daylight is enough to keep the watch running for months. Wena is not a smartwatch, it’s a “smartband” that replaces the band on your existing watch. It’s a programmable digital watch based on the 8-bit SEIKO 88349 CPU, and 2kb of RAM. Here is the developer manual, and here is the CPU manual. Well, I’ve ordered a Wena Pro, a Sensor Watch and a Timex M851. I’ll try to get all three working and post a part two with my developer review! – Quest for my perfect watch. (lock.cmpxchg8b.com)

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