Summaries of Top Stories from HackerNews. Updated daily.

March 23, 2023: HackRecap is no longer summarizing new stories. It's been a great learning experience, but it was getting unreasonably expensive to keep going!


More Americans say they can't pay their bills. Here are the states where worst | Discuss on HN

Almost 60% of Americans are struggling to pay their bills, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse survey. This is due to rising inflation, the loss of federal pandemic aid, and stagnant wages. Low-income Americans are facing the greatest difficulties, with 64% saying they recently experienced difficulty in paying their bills. Even some higher-income Americans are running into problems, with almost 1 in 10 people who earn over $200,000 a year saying they experienced some or a lot of difficulty in paying the bills.


Everything ChatGPT – under the hood of the ChatGPT web app | Discuss on HN

ChatGPT is a NextJS application that provides an access token for authentication and uses a model to remember context for up to 16388 characters or 3072.75 words. It supports Markdown for formatting, which can be used to render images from Unsplash. Plus subscriptions provide users with a personalised login link when ChatGPT is down. Requests are made to various paths, such as /conversations and /messages, with different request bodies depending on the action taken.


Europe's right-to-repair law asks hardware makers for fixes for up to 10 years | Discuss on HN

The European Commission has adopted a new set of right to repair rules to make it easier for consumers to repair their electronic goods. These rules require companies selling consumer goods in the EU to offer repairs free of charge within a legal guarantee period, and to repair items for five to 10 years after purchase if a customer demands it. Additionally, the EC proposed laws to prevent greenwashing, where companies make false green claims without evidence. The Right to Repair coalition welcomed the move, but argued that the rules don't go far enough. They called for a truly universal right to repair, including assurances that independent providers are available to conduct repairs, and that components, manuals and diagnostic tools are affordably priced.


Bank of England says it warned US regulators over SVB risks before its collapse | Discuss on HN

At the end of your trial, you will be auto-enrolled in the Premium Digital monthly subscription plan and retain complete access for S$95 per month. To save money, you can change your plan or downgrade to Standard Digital at any time in the “Settings & Account” section. Any changes made will become effective at the end of the trial period, allowing you to retain full access for 4 weeks even if you downgrade or cancel.


When did New York start building slowly? | Discuss on HN

In New York City, the time it takes to build a skyscraper has decreased since the 1930s, with an average 40-70% decrease in construction speed compared to Chicago. The number of stories and floor area per year tend to decrease as the number of stories increases, with the exception of 1940 when a single building was built. The correlation between construction speed and number of stories is relatively weak, with an R-squared of 0.15. Building quickly is essential for success and avoiding costly delays, and New York City used to build skyscrapers much faster than it does today.


Helix: A Sleek Open-Source Portfolio Website | Discuss on HN

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Little Snitch Mini | Discuss on HN

Apps today send data to servers around the globe in order to provide personalized content and to better understand their customers. By connecting to these servers, apps can deliver real-time data from all over the world directly to users. This means that your apps may have seen more of the world than you have! These apps can help keep you connected and informed no matter where you are, allowing you to stay up-to-date on global trends.


Coinbase issued Wells notice by SEC | Discuss on HN

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued Coinbase Global Inc (COIN.O) a Wells notice, signaling the regulator's intent to recommend an enforcement action against the crypto exchange for its spot market, Earn, Prime and Wallet products not being registered. The news caused Coinbase shares to drop 13%. Kraken recently settled SEC charges related to its staking program with a $30 million penalty, though a Wells notice does not always result in charges.


My Objections to “We’re All Gonna Die with Eliezer Yudkowsky” | Discuss on HN

In reinforcement learning, an agent's goal is to find an optimal policy that maximizes its reward. However, it can get stuck in local optima without further exploration. Intrinsic motivation is a technique to encourage the agent to explore more widely. This can be done by rewarding the agent for visiting novel states or taking actions that lead to greater uncertainty in the environment. By using intrinsic motivation, agents can find better policies and escape local optima.


It Wasn’t Just Credit Suisse. Switzerland Itself Needed Rescuing | Discuss on HN

Last week, Switzerland's largest bank, UBS Group AG, received an urgent call from three top Swiss officials proposing a rescue plan for UBS's failing rival, Credit Suisse Group AG. The stakes were high as the country's economic model and national identity are built on safeguarding the world's wealth. UBS accepted the proposal, and the two banks are now working together to ensure the country's financial security.


Washington is shunning remote work, and we’re all losing | Discuss on HN

The recent layoffs at major tech companies present an opportunity for the federal government to recruit highly skilled workers. However, the Biden administration makes it difficult to receive permission to work remotely, limiting the candidate pool for these positions. Allowing federal employees to work remotely will open up opportunities to a broader range of applicants and create a more diverse government workforce. Making it easier for people from all walks of life to serve in government will ensure that the government works for all people and should be embraced by the federal government.


Bitcoin ATMs drained after hackers exploit zero-day bug | Discuss on HN

Hackers have stolen 56 Bitcoin, worth approximately $1.5 million, from specialized ATMs designed to distribute cryptocurrency. General Bytes, the company behind the ATMs, addressed the issue 15 hours after being alerted to the flaw, but the only way to get the funds back is to have the police find and arrest the perpetrators. Going forward, General Bytes will no longer manage CASes for its customers, as they must now do so themselves.


Gitlab 15.10 Released | Discuss on HN

This month's MVP is Mohamed Mohamedin Mohamed for his contribution of creating and editing diagrams in Wikis using the diagrams.net editor. This feature had been requested by 305 users and had been open for over 5 years. GitLab appreciates Mohamed's hard work and dedication to providing the best possible experience for our users. In 15.10, we improved performance and usability with various bug fixes and enhancements.


AI platform allegedly bans journalist over fake Trump arrest images | Discuss on HN

Yesterday, 50 AI-generated images of Donald Trump's arrest spread across Twitter, caused confusion and were created by Midjourney user Eliot Higgins. Today, Higgins was allegedly banned from the platform over the images, and Midjourney has not yet confirmed the ban. Trump has reportedly indicated that he expects his indictment to happen soon and wants it to be a “spectacle” with a “perp walk” in handcuffs. The images have been flagged as fake, but have been viewed millions of times.


Show HN: Dungeon Map Doodler Beta - Free online map drawing tool | Discuss on HN

The foreground outline size can be adjusted by moving the slider to the right or the left. This allows for customizing the outline thickness in all directions or just the top left direction. Moving the slider to the right increases the overall thickness, while moving it to the left only affects the upper left corner.


Blend2D – Fast 2D vector graphics library | Discuss on HN

Blend2D is a C++ library that provides a C and C++ API to access its features. It uses smart objects to handle initialization and finalization, making it easy to use in C++ projects. Both APIs are provided with examples, giving developers access to the library's features.


Tron Founder Justin Sun Sued by SEC on Securities, Market Manipulation Charges | Discuss on HN

The SEC has filed a lawsuit against Justin Sun and his companies, Tron Foundation, BitTorrent Foundation, and Rainberry, as well as various celebrities, over the sale of unregistered TRX and BTT tokens. The regulator alleged that Sun and his companies manipulated the secondary market through wash trading schemes and hid the fact that the celebrities were paid for their promotional tweets. Investors should be aware of the potential risks of dealing with unregistered securities.


Ubisoft's new Ghostwriter AI tool can automatically generate video game dialogue | Discuss on HN

Ubisoft has released a new AI tool, Ghostwriter, to help game writers create more detailed and immersive gaming worlds. The tool uses machine learning to generate first drafts of dialog, known as "barks," tailored to the character and type of interaction. This could help writers save time by automating a repetitive task, freeing them up to focus on narrative, characters, and cutscenes. A back-end tool, Ernestine, is being used to facilitate integration into production.


SEC charges crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun and his companies for fraud | Discuss on HN

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Justin Sun and his companies with illegally offering and selling unregistered securities to U.S. investors as well as manipulating the market for those securities and paying celebrities to promote the offerings without disclosing their compensation. The SEC also charged eight celebrities for illegally touting TRX and/or BTT without disclosing they were compensated and they have agreed to pay a total of more than $400,000 in disgorgement, interest, and penalties to settle the charges, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings.


SEC charges TRON founder Justin Sun, celebrities | Discuss on HN

The SEC has charged Justin Sun, the founder of Tronix and BitTorrent crypto assets, with fraud and unregistered securities charges. Sun allegedly manipulated the trading activity of the two tokens and paid celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, Ne-Yo, and Akon to promote the tokens on social media without disclosing their compensation. The celebrities have agreed to pay a collective $400,000 in disgorgement, interest, and penalties to settle the charges. The SEC’s enforcement chief stated that Sun and his backers’ alleged behavior was part of an “age-old playbook to mislead and harm investors.” Sun could face significant fines and other sanctions for the alleged violations.