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Ask HN: Interesting (offline) iPad apps for hackers?
3 points by ssamuli 29 minutes ago   discuss
Ask HN: Fastest route to $2000/mo. cashflow, worry free and conscience clear
76 points by jharrison 16 hours ago   73 comments top 18
14 points by whalesalad 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I made about 10k off sales from a WordPress theme over the course of about a year. Not that much money, but it's a GREAT feeling to wake up in the morning and see money in your account. I'd be walking through the mall with my girlfriend at the time and tell her, "just sold a premium copy! want ice cream?" Very, very motivating. It gets to the point that you get a "taking-candy-from-a-baby" feeling that leads you to really try and improve your product day-after-day, to keep your initial customers happy, and to get more sales.

So, I agree that a niche software product you're actually passionate about will help. I happened to be in a fortunate position where a demand existed for a one-off product I had created a while back, all I had to do was fill the void. Customers were already looking to me for it. I feel like a total fucking idiot for not doing it sooner. I could have made probably 3x the money, just guestimating. Find something that inspires you personally, because that is what will push you to completing it.

I got laid off from a startup position that was caving in. I had a small severance to live off of, and had always wanted to build this idea. Unfortunately while at the startup I was also working on a second one on the side (death, I know) so I never really had time to do anything but those two things. Getting laid off was perfect. I sprinted as hard as I possibly could for 3 weeks, designing, coding, and building a sale site with a mini activation server. It was loads of fun. It was also very exciting to look back on those three weeks and realize that I had done a great job making the right decision when hit with a small road block. Asking myself things like, "Where does this fit with the 80/20 rule? Can I launch this feature in a second update a week later? Do I need it at all? Oh, wait, these two features can easily be combined into one. The technology behind the two won't be nearly as cool, but users will probably prefer it." All of that, I feel, is what lead to my success. Getting the product out as soon as possible, without cutting any essential corners. We've all heard it before, but living it was great. I guess I pretty much built my own "nano" startup.

Damnit, now I want to do it again.

15 points by patio11 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd recommend a niche software product, preferably one with recurring revenue, but you could do it with a day or two of consulting if you have skills and contacts.
11 points by Kilimanjaro 14 hours ago 2 replies      
The fastest route would be an iPad app. Make an ABC book for kids about animals, or fruits, or things, with big pics and nice visuals. Kids love them, parents love them, instant winner.
6 points by robryan 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Usually if something is easy, fast and worry free to get to that kind of wage, which is very comfortable living in the vast majority of locations, there are probably many people attempting to do said thing.

Really you need to leverage some kind of skills to go after something either outside the low hanging fruit, or create something that people wouldn't have considered to have a good enough market. Of course there is an element of luck, if you can make some apps and get them to take off, the mobile ad market seems to be like the early web advertising at the moment, probably returning above the mark. Something like this for example: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1870960

4 points by Kilimanjaro 14 hours ago 3 replies      
I just coded http://boog.me over the weekend hoping it may generate some revenue while running unattended.

If it brings at least $100 a month, I'll work on nine more sites like that to make a grand.

1 point by cheald 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Create a product and sell subscriptions. Even at a low price point, if you offer something people are willing to pay for on a recurring basis, you'll end up with a steady and growing income stream. Niche products work here - find an itch in a niche market you participate in, scratch it, and then charge other people to have you scratch the itch for them.

I've done side/hobby projects of both the ad-driven and subscription-driven flavors, and the subscription-driven stuff gets a lot more profitable a lot faster. It does incur additional stress, because you have direct paying customers to take care of, but depending on the nature of the product, it might not need that much support. On the flip side, it's friggin' amazing to watch payments come in on a daily basis, then look back in a week and realize that you've got your rent paid for.

3 points by lessthanideal 12 hours ago 0 replies      
What you're really looking for is a product. I'll even wager you are probably looking for a product that requires minimal unit production and distribution costs. That puts you in a class of products that are electronic, or products that you can convert from an electronic representation to a physical one and have a supplier to deal with those physical challenges (like shipping) for you. People often forget the 2nd option, but it's there.

A short list of items that meet this qualification: software, writing (books, novellas, blogs, etc.), digital art, digital photography, music (original), sound of other types (background sounds that can be used in the production of music, for example), designs/instructions (for building something) and a probably a bunch of other stuff. If I missed a big one, please reply to this post with it. You should also be looking for free resources online that you can leverage. Are there free services that you can leverage to make your business easier to manage? Can you do some work (collection or processing) of some freely available data that might give it additional value which you can then extract through sales or in some other way?

Because your goal is to make a living and give yourself some extra freedom, you don't have to overengineer this. This isn't your masterpiece. It doesn't have to be pretty or break new ground necessarily. Don't chrome plate it if you're writing software for it or to support it.

Frankly, I just started taking advantage of this type of business and I feel almost guilty. The code isn't that great. The idea isn't that great. It's not something to write home about in terms of engineering a solution. But it makes me money even if I don't touch it for a month at a time. I'm not living off this business yet, but I am seeing good growth and I see a virtually infinite path to expanding the digitally based offerings of the business (more offerings = more money).

5 points by jraines 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Take a few hours to scan the "recently sold" listings on flippa.com and you will have a few answers to that question.
8 points by gregjor 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Conscience is the word you want. And cash flow is not the same thing as income. There's an old Monty Python sketch called "How To Do It" where the explanation of how to get rich is "First, get lots of money."
2 points by calbear81 15 hours ago 0 replies      
So I'm not sure if you're asking what are some business investments or you're asking about financial vehicles that can generate $2K/month of cashflow off of $1M of initial investment.

One option during this down market is to purchase rental property, you'll have to do some digging but the most depressed markets are 70% off of their peaks and most pros will tell you it won't drop much more than that (but it's not ZERO risk). You need to crunch the numbers and then renovate and find tenants but I know of a few small investors that own 15-20 rental properties and can generate ~10% margins monthly and you have the potential upside of property appreciation.

If you don't want to deal too much with getting hands on and managing a business, it's conceivable to be pretty low-risk to go with high dividend / low growth blue chip stocks. For example, AT&T is at $29/share right now. It's been paying $.42/share per quarter so about $1.60/year. It'll move around a bit but assume that they won't get screwed when the iPhone goes multi-carrier, you are talking about $1M for 34,483 shares which will pay $13,793/quarter in dividends alone which is $4,597 per month. Assume 40% taxation rate and you're $2,758 post taxes. You can use any finance site to screen for companies with high dividend yields. Keep in mind that high dividend usually means low risk of stock price movement but there is still risk.

6 points by keiferski 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Make a simple web app that sells for $15 a month. You'll only need to get roughly 150 customers to make $2000. Or change the price and recalculate.
4 points by rishi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The fastest way to $2k/mo in your own business is a lot of hard work.
2 points by feint 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I take a multi stream approach to the problem. Half my income comes from a web app I built (task.fm) and the other half from my personal site - I just review the books I read and products I use and earn through affiliate commissions. A couple of pages on my personal site make over $500 a month in commissions, because they are highly targeted (first result in Google).
6 points by JasonPunyon 15 hours ago 2 replies      
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
3 points by coffeenut 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Leverage existing equity as collateral and purchase one or several investment properties (very carefully of course). There are some incredible deals to be found right now.
2 points by chubs 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Seems like the common thread here is to 'start a web app, charge a recurring fee'...

Any suggestions for such an app that people here would find useful and willing to pay, say, $10 a month for, that would be small enough to be developed by one guy? I can't think of any ideas off the top of my head.

1 point by jaywalker 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps, "a money machine" is a better word than "hands-off investment."
1 point by chubs 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Make a few iphone / ipad apps?
Start an ebay business?
Tell HN: You should start a startup to compete with Shopify
3 points by rms 2 hours ago   1 comment top
1 point by petervandijck 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
ok then.

Anyone have an existing list of competitors? I remember seeing some being promoted here?

Ask HN: How do I become a coder?
8 points by vnchr 7 hours ago   9 comments top 6
8 points by cperciva 6 hours ago 1 reply      
To become a coder is simple: Start writing code.

The right question to ask is 'how do I become a GOOD coder?' -- the answer there is also straightforward, but time consuming: Spend ten years writing code. (Five years is enough to be employable, but it takes another five before you stop being "that guy who wrote all the bugs we keep on finding".)

There really aren't any shortcuts, no matter what booksellers try to make you think.

1 point by Swannie 3 hours ago 0 replies      
To become a good coder you need to learn how to code for other people. Unless you plan on being the only programmer on a website/for a product forever... Your code will need to be understandable to someone else. Sometimes that someone else is you, 18 months down the road.

A good way to start if it's just you, is to learn the style of other good programmers. Concentrate on one area and one language only. Each language has it's known/preferred dialects. If you jump around too much you'll get confused. This is where posting stuff to GitHub or similar helps - other people in that language will review and if they like what they see, branch and contribute.

In your situation, just concentrate on what you need to do. You can get great guidance on StackOverflow about almost any problem you need to solve, and I'd strongly suggest you do that until you get to the point where the answers there are similar to what you'd intended to to.

2 points by Mithrandir 7 hours ago 1 reply      
1) Read coding books:


2) Code simple programs.

3) Publish them somewhere (GitHub or similar.)

4) Help out on already existing projects (Bug reports, patches, etc.)

5) Code better and bigger programs

Sounds like you're doing it right already (heh, like I'm an expert!)

Good luck! :)

3 points by ygtckr 6 hours ago 0 replies      
We are walking on the same path, and on this path the most useful advice I gathered resides at http://krainboltgreene.github.com/l/2/
I hope it will help you too.
1 point by binaryfinery 7 hours ago 1 reply      
To be a good coder, the journey begins by answering "how do I become a coder?" by yourself.
2 points by ecommando 7 hours ago 0 replies      
First, lose your mind. Then, stumble into it.
Noisebridge SF might shutdown
11 points by lowglow 9 hours ago   1 comment top
1 point by andymoe 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is too bad. I had not had time to stop by there for about a month but it's a really great place and if you live in or near SF you should check it out. I've signed up for a monthly donation. Hopefully others will follow and Noisebridge will do a better job of keeping the community informed of their financial situation. (Put you monthly intake on the homepage or the intranet that unlocks the door) No one likes to ask for money but there is a generous community of people out there and I hope we can do what it takes to keep the lights on.
Ask HN: What Will You Be Hacking Over the Holidays?
10 points by wyclif 12 hours ago   10 comments top 10
1 point by jamesbritt 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's see:

- Need to get the examples included with Monkeybars (http://monkeybars.org) up to date, so I'll likely clean up one or two, and see how annoying that is. I suspect what's broken for one is broken for all.

- Started playing with using Monkeybars to talk to my Kinect; data manipulation is too slow in JRuby, so I will explore Mirah as a nicer alternative to using Java when speed is needed.

- I'm due to give a preso at the next AZ Hackers meeting (http://azhackers.com) so I have to do something with my Lilypad Arduino. Been hitting a wall on Bluetooth, so might just have an accelerometer drive some blinky lights. (Ultimately I want this to drive some OSC-friendly apps.)

2 points by steveklabnik 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm currently committing up a storm of my own, I want to get Hackety Hack 1.0 out the damn door already, on Christmas.

After that, I'll be hacking on it some more.

1 point by dholowiski 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll be working on http://electric-journey-269.heroku.com haven't picked a name yet) a web app that will help you find, get reminded of, and participate in live podcasts.

My somewhat unrealistic goal is to build a profitable web app completely on heroku's free level of hosting. I'm not even sure I'm going to buy a domain name, I might just try to get a catchy bit.ly or tinyurl address.

1 point by raquo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't like existing application analytics services, maybe I'll have to make a simple one for my own use.
1 point by mindcrime 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll be working mostly on Quoddy ( https://github.com/fogbeam/Quoddy ), but may also work on Neddick (https://github.com/fogbeam/Neddick ) a little. Both are part of something called ScrewPile: http://code.google.com/p/screwpile/

I'll also be spending some time with the Programming Scala book, and probably fiddling around with Twitter's FlockDB ( https://github.com/twitter/flockdb/ ) a little.

1 point by JoshCole 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a plugin for a chat server for my uncle and building a site for the hacker news communities. More news on the latter once I've finished.
1 point by ek 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been on winter break from school for the past two weeks, and I've been spending a lot of my time beginning to fix bugs in Chromium, and I've also been honing my graphic/web design skills, studying type, element placement, CSS, JQuery etc.

I also have the TI Launchpad that I still haven't done anything with.

2 points by keiferski 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I will be learning how to hack! Planning on going HTML > CSS > Javascript > Ruby. Not all over the holidays, of course.
1 point by Mithrandir 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"...US snowed in..."

I hate LA even more now.

1 point by janj 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Android version of my iPhone app.
Ask HN: How do I build cross-platform phone apps?
4 points by bakbak 8 hours ago   7 comments top 7
3 points by binaryfinery 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends. Let me start by addressing the HTML/javascript toolchains out there: they suck. One of my clients has experience of this. The first thing they tried was using one of those javascript/html systems. Its a fairly simple app that one would think was ideal for HTML/javascript, but it was barely usable and tech support was awful. Thats why they hired me.

What platforms are your target - the "etc" you mention? Blackberry? Blackberry is still huge but by iPhone and Android standards they are hardly smartphones. How about WP7? Interesting but so far tiny.

Next question: what kind of app? If its games, you use C/C++ and OpenGL for Android and iPhone.

Personally, I use C# and manage core business logic libraries with platform-specific user interfaces in Silverlight, MonoTouch and MonoDroid. I have a client who wants Android and later Blackberry, so for that we do the Android version in "normal" java so we can share libs with Blackberry in the future.

I don't think there's a one size fits all. The ones that do (e.g. Flash, or HTML/javascript) end up looking or running like ass.

2 points by bdfh42 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I am currently trying jQuery Mobile - which is promising but at the current alpha stage there are rather too many issues at the moment to commit to it. However I do think that this framework has all the right signs for the future.
<edit> link here http://jquerymobile.com/ </edit> Oh and Jo looks interesting as well http://joapp.com/ </>
2 points by filipcte 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You should look into Appcelerator Titanium (http://www.appcelerator.com/) and PhoneGap (http://www.phonegap.com/). They allow you to build native mobile apps using HTML/JavaScript, by exposing device specific API's (camera, location, address book etc.) to JavaScript.

There's an excellent review and comparison between the two, on StackOverflow: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1482586/comparison-betwee...

2 points by charlesdm 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're writing games, you should probably go with a C or C++ based solution with OpenGL es. That can run on all platforms except for Win phone 7 (for now).

For applications there are a couple of iOS/Android solutions such as Appcelerator or Phonegap

3 points by ecommando 7 hours ago 0 replies      
2 points by neworbit 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I like appcelerator but they really need to step up things on the Android side of the house
3 points by gspyrou 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Remember MailChimp Integration Fund? Anyone else got a reply?
6 points by iworkforthem 11 hours ago   5 comments top 5
1 point by atldev 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I got a reply by mail, then a follow-up call with a very friendly chimp. My project is probably not a perfect fit, but it was designed to help startups and I had planned to subsidize the service to free with the funds.

It's been a week or so with no follow-up, so probably not in.

But, I love this movement of successful companies giving back to the startup community. Good press, good business, good will with future customers.

MailChimp rocks. Good luck to everyone that applied.

1 point by iworkforthem 8 hours ago 0 replies      
In my case, I'm in the process of setting a phone call with a certain chimp. :P
My project could potentially help MailChimp get more potential customers, not a new concept.. hopefully I can draft out a decent delivery plan on the idea.

I think both MailChimp and Twilio did really well in this aspect to give back to the community.

1 point by lionheart 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I submitted my idea at about the same time but haven't heard back.
2 points by iworkforthem 11 hours ago 0 replies      
MailChimp Integration Fund (clickable): http://www.mailchimp.com/about/integration-fund
1 point by dwwoelfel 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"I just a reply from them"

What did they say?

Ask HN: APIs to reliably convert any document to HTML?
7 points by grease 12 hours ago   3 comments top
2 points by OneWhoFrogs 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I've never used it, but the Google Docs API fit your requirements:


It accepts doc, docx, and pdf and does export to HTML. I'm unsure about what the API rate limit is, though. The FAQs suggest that it can be raised by using a premier account.

What if hackerNews had Social Network Features ...
6 points by sandee 11 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1 point by gasull 9 hours ago 0 replies      
If used as a LinkedIn substitute, would people censor themselves before expressing non business-friendly opinions?
2 points by steveklabnik 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It could.

Think of HN as an exercise in MVP and YAGNI.

1 point by weston 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I was actually just thinking about this the other day. I think it could be very useful to see full profiles and detailed portfolios of the people on here. I think it could help members network with each other more.

The benefit is that because HN/YC is such a small, focused niche site if it became a full-fledged social network, all of the members would become much closer in the online community.

Ask HN: How do we change things?
4 points by anthonycerra 11 hours ago   6 comments top 6
5 points by steveklabnik 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Things won't change until everything collapses. The system has accumulated far too much cruft, and needs rebooting.

I may be a bit overly cynical. http://i.imgur.com/zP5fa.jpg

2 points by nl 9 hours ago 0 replies      
1) There is no We.

If you want to change something, then it's up to you to do it. It's hard work, but it can be done. Plus, we will never agree with you (because there is too big a range of views to ever be put under a name like we).

2) You are very wrong about the change that has happened.

In the 2004 election Howard Dean was the early favorite for the Democratic primaries because of his huge internet following. In the 2008 election Barak Obama won the democratic nomination and the presidency on a campaign mostly financed by individual donations over the internet. In the 2010 mid-term elections Tea-Party backed Republicans won a huge number of seats based on the Tea Party organizing support on the internet.

3) Change happens in the small. If you want to change everything, find one, small, specific thing and work at it every day until you change it. You'd be surprised at how much else you'd change along the way.

2 points by dstein 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Technocracy. I'm not convinced that politicians, bankers, and lawyers can solve the problems our society will face in the coming years. The problem is, things haven't gotten bad enough for true change to be possible. They just keep kicking the can down the road.
1 point by MichaelSalib 10 hours ago 0 replies      
How can we change things?

You cannot change anything until you understand the cause of your problems.

The structure of political systems determines the range of possible outcomes. We have a political system that structurally has an unusually large number of veto points (compared to similar western nations). The result is that change is slow and the system is resistant to external forces. In addition, we have a system that systematically overrepresents the interests of rural counties.

There is a relatively "easy" way to fix the second problem: states with large populations should start splitting into multiple states. But due to status quo bias such "simple" changes are unlikely to ever happen. Fixing the veto points problem is harder still: it is wired into the fabric of American governance.

1 point by thewordpainter 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"our roles and interactions with government. I realized that not much has changed despite the surge of Internet users over the last decade."
--> a variety of inefficiencies that will be corrected one of these days...maybe by a number of us?

" Decisions are not made with the best interest of constituents in mind. "
think about the polling systems that are still in place. they call up landlines -- LANDLINES! the only people that are being sampled are our grandparents...

"And despite services like Facebook and Twitter many of us feel like we don't have a voice. "
government hasn't exactly integrated social software/services. one of these days...

"So my question to the smartest people in the room is, how can this be better? "
i think one of the biggest issues is the epidemic of groupthink/influence that is plastered all over politics. if opinions were submitted behind an anonymous software, i think a lot of the problems would be mitigated.

we've actually got the chief of staff for the majority WHIP in GA approaching his government friends about leveraging our ranking software to address many of the issues you mentioned. happy to speak more about it with you outside of HN as we're just beginning to explore the space & the potential impact.


1 point by mrschwabe 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Open source and decentralize two of civilization's greatest responsibilities: governance and economy.
Tell HN: I'm running a study group on Spivak's Calculus.
5 points by corey 17 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Could Tumblr eventually challenge Facebook for social dominance?
4 points by oldstrangers 13 hours ago   10 comments top 4
2 points by dholowiski 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't use tumblr, but I do know the geeky early adopters have been bored with facebook for a long time and twitter for a shorter time. They (and me) are all looking for the hip new thing, maybe it's Tumblr.
On a completely anecdotal note, I have heard tumblr mentioned on several podcasts recently.
1 point by mindcrime 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Who sees Facebook as "professional?" It strikes me as a haven for noise from stupid games and ridiculous apps that are trivially amusing at best.

I can't help but think that if the world needs another social network (something I am not sure of in the first place) that one niche that needs to be filled is "useful social network;" something for professionals who are looking to get work done. Yeah, LinkedIn touches on that, but seems to be more about cataloging connections than about collaborating with people.

Anyway, what - in you guys' mind - would make a site (say, Tumblr) "hip and cool" where Facebook isn't?

1 point by minalecs 12 hours ago 0 replies      
regardless of what oldstrangers is claiming, I think its very possible for Facebook to be unseated especially amongst the hipster, younger, more fickle crowd. I hear people continuously making the claim people don't want to keep creating their social graph, or entering their data over again, but I think history proves this is untrue. People will invite their friends and find friends on different sites, and will be created over again.
1 point by shadowpwner 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Alternative question: how does tumblr get the attention of the teens, when blogspot or other blogging services don't?
Ask HN: How messy is it to re-incorporate an LLC into a C-Corp later?
7 points by nathansobo 18 hours ago   9 comments top 5
1 point by staunch 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Investments (like all deals) often dangle on the edge until the ink is dry. Anything relatively trivial thing you can do to increase the odds of it working out is probably worth it. If raising money is just a few months out then I'd definitely go for the Delaware C Corp.
1 point by pinksoda 17 hours ago 1 reply      
It sounds like you haven't even talked to investors yet. You don't need a corporation to create a TOS, nor do you need a corporation to accept payments.

Cross those bridges when you get there. I don't see this leverage you keep referring to. They restructure businesses all the time. Having the right incorporation doesn't make your startup/idea/business any better, so why don't you focus on improving those things?

1 point by brudgers 10 hours ago 0 replies      

A C-corp makes more sense at a certain scale and when targeting specific types of investors, but an LLC can accept investment from new members. The terms would ordinarily be incorporated into an operating agreement.

LLC's can operate at a large scale...Chrysler is one.

1 point by damoncali 15 hours ago 0 replies      
In at least some states (Delaware included, I believe) converting is basically a check box and very easy. Check with a lawyer.
2 points by nolite 17 hours ago 1 reply      
sorry for the aside... can you explain how having terms of service requires a corporate structure?
Ask HN Old-Timers: Are there Phases of Existence on HN?
10 points by evo_9 17 hours ago   3 comments top
7 points by PaulHoule 17 hours ago 1 reply      
My impressions is that the politics of HN have changed drastically in the last nine months or so.

Back then, the orthodoxy was an odd kind of left coast right-wing politics. You know, the young people who've never worked a real job and think Ayn Rand is really awesome, but they don't hate gays or mexicans.

If you went against that orthodoxy back then, you'd get viciously downvoted.

It seems that the politics of HN is much more diverse and tolerant now, and you can actually express the opinion that there might be some drawbacks of an extreme inequality of wealth.

Ask HN: When is a startup no longer a startup?
5 points by randall 21 hours ago   1 comment top
2 points by byoung2 21 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a few threads about this:

The best answer I've seen to this question is "you are no longer a startup when the supplies cabinet is locked."

Ask HN: Review My Weekend Project, MagicalMoFo: Startup Coverage Syndicated
10 points by smalter 23 hours ago   7 comments top 4
2 points by pierrefar 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Gotta love the co-founder reviewing the service as a happy customer:

I have been very pleased with my own work. I syndicated my startup by hand and got over 50 reviews, mentions, tweets, and backlinks. I got a few hundred visitors and a handful of signups. But it took me awhile and it was godawful boring. I wish I had met the Magical MoFo earlier! My fingers would be less withered and my hair less grey.

1 point by smalter 23 hours ago 0 replies      
1 point by veb 16 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a nice idea. Perhaps though, you could have a listing of startups who have used your service. For example, the other day I was looking to see if there's any new startups in my city (I'm in New Zealand). Sadly, I couldn't find much, nor for the rest of the country.
1 point by bgurupra 21 hours ago 1 reply      
what is the full form of MoFo? I know of only one and that doesn't seem applicable here
Autoblogging site stealing my content
6 points by eof 23 hours ago   7 comments top 6
4 points by madhouse 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd figure out what IP they're scraping from, and configure my system to serve junk for that.

That won't help with previously stolen content, but they won't be able to continue doing that in the future.

Also, this works as an interim workaround until one figures out where to send the cease-and-desist letter. ;)

1 point by notahacker 18 hours ago 0 replies      
the whois also has nameservers pointing to their webhost:

You could try sending the webhost a DMCA takedown notice notifying them that 1whp.com is displaying your copyrighted content. Although any host that displays Adwords (with a "Dont forget to check out the competition before deciding on us :)" message that probably violates Google's TOS) is pretty spammy themselves, and they appear to be Australian so probably aren't too fussed about US copyright legislation.

Or remove the splog's reason for existence by sending the DMCA takedown notice to Google...

3 points by niico 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Add to your footer of your rss feed "This article was written by me at mysite.com 'the best site in the world'"

and add links in your content linking previews your own articles. After all.. free links for you

1 point by revorad 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I once had a similar problem. I just sent a stern email to the domain provider, who sorted it out for me. Legal action is probably too much of a time and money sink for such trivial annoyances. But just threatening with legal action works.
1 point by ryanto 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I wouldn't worry about this too much. Google does a good job when it comes to spotting the difference between you and these guys.

As far as serving junk content to that IP, its a waste of time. As your blog gets more popular you'll start getting more and more people ripping your content. The time you spend trying to beat these guys is better used elsewhere.

My advice, get a few high quality links going to your domain, this will come naturally over time. It will really let the search engines know which domain is the authority and which domains are just stealing content.

1 point by maguay 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Huge problem across the whole 'net ... most semi-major blogs get their content copied and stolen all the time. I guess the only good things is that your content is popular enough to want to steal :P
Ask HN: Where can I find Mac beta users for our software?
4 points by MarkMc 22 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1 point by blownd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out http://macdeveloper.net/

You offer a incentive to testers there and they give you feedback on you app. I've used it a couple of times with really good results.

1 point by philiphodgen 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Politely contact @dahowlett and talk to him. www.accmanpro.com. Former Chartered Accountant. He knows stuff and will not BS you. Read his Twitter stream first. Read his blog first. Go back as far as you can in your research. He does not suffer fools or lazy people.
1 point by aditya 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Buy adspace on Daring Fireball, and try the Fusion ad network too if you're looking for Mac users (since in my (relatively anecdotal) opinion they do reach a lot of Mac people), also The Deck.
1 point by PonyGumbo 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd try the Apple subreddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/apple).
Ask HN: Is there a fun way to learn Java?
11 points by mistrQ 1 day ago   14 comments top 10
8 points by apl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given that the language itself is so very mundane, I'd recommend implementing a fun and challenging project of your own choice -- in Java, of course. Preferably one that won't consist of plugging framework A into framework B.

Language-centric tutorials won't get you far in Java because there's not much to discover. Python or Scheme or Haskell elicit a "Wow!" every now and then. Java is all about libraries, tools and ecosystem. It's a language that very much disappears behind its immediate surroundings -- counteract that by extensively using the language.

So go and grab that Play!-thing, and build something reasonably awesome.

2 points by nano81 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of my first encounters with Java was in writing silly IRC bots with some friends. Easy and fun.


2 points by aiurtourist 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was in the same boat as you when leaving college " I knew the Java _language_, but I didn't really know _Java._ Prior to my first job I always thought of Java as "that big ugly language," but after a few years there I really started to get it.

A few things that made me enjoy Java more:

• Use an IDE Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA or NetBeans. Vim can't handle things like automatic imports and serious refactorings like "extract method."

• Use packages liberally. Start your project inside `com.mistrq.myproject` and make a good, semantic hierarchy.

• Write applications with Guice. Program to interfaces and bind concrete classes at runtime. Dependency injection lets you easily turn a giant, hard-to-comprehend project into manageable chunks.

• Be liberal with interfaces. Sure, we had a lot of single implementations for interfaces, but using Guice made it trivial to swap out implementations for experimentation.

• Write tests. Use whatever's popular for unit tests right now, and check out EasyMock for amazingly-easy creation of mock objects.

1 point by HeyLaughingBoy 1 day ago 0 replies      
The only Java program of any consequence I wrote was a multiagent autonomous robot simulator (sounds more complicated than it actually was :-) for an experiment in independent agents. It was fun, but after I was done, there was absolutely no motivation left to continue and I soon got into Python instead.

Java is simply not a "fun" language! If you're a student and looking for a job, knowing the language basics is enough, no one hiring out of school will expect you to be an expert. Much more important to know the OO principles it's supposedly based on.

1 point by mistrQ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Will learning Ruby better give me a new perspective and reinforce my Java knowledge or will it just distract me?

I'll already need to learn extended ML for my functional programming class this semester (previously done haskell). I use php at work when doing front-end web dev. I wouldn't mind increasing my javascript skills also. So I'm afraid of being jack of all trades, master of none.

I know Java better than I think I do. It's all the libraries and frameworks that I need to become familiar with.

1 point by shortlived 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I was learning Java at work but also picked up Ruby on the side to do some scripting work at the same job. Through Ruby I learned truly about first class functions, closures, etc and then took that knowledge over to Java. I also highly recommend the first edition of the Ruby "pick axe" book. It is a great OOP book.
1 point by veb 1 day ago 1 reply      
Make an application for Android, that logs your GPS position and sends it to your personal website for your friends to check.

(trust me, it's fun and you can steadily see your progress)

1 point by kachilous 1 day ago 0 replies      
codingbat.com offers online programming exercises in java. Since you already know the basics, it would be a good way to reinforce the skills you've learned.
2 points by vkris 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend reading "Head First Java" for fun-filled learning.
-3 points by evo_9 1 day ago 2 replies      
Yeah it's called c#.
Ask HN: Wireframing software of choice?
10 points by organicgrant 1 day ago   13 comments top 8
3 points by vitovito 1 day ago 1 reply      
I still use Balsamiq exclusively. None of the other tools offer the sort of additional features that would make me switch.

Omnigraffle isn't specifically a wireframing tool, but is very popular with Mac and iPad users.

Axure RP is also popular, but its price tag seems steep compared to what it delivers to individual designers.

I've considered ForeUI for the cases where I want to be able to build interactive prototypes, as well as CogTool for when I've wanted to measure tasks, but have not actually used either.

I recently did a set of wireframes in iMockups for iPad and was exceedingly disappointed in its visual style, the way the tools and interactions worked and the export functionality. I would not recommend it.

The functionality I'm missing is:

- Motion design. I need to prototype interactivity, reactions, button animations, movement, and no "wireframing" tool lets me do this.

- Complex documentation generation. I need to be able design wireframes and then break them down into components and output multiple types of documentation for the different teams that will be using them, in formats that can be emailed and read on iPhones and on Windows. Comprehensive docs for management are not as useful as targeted component-describing docs for implementers, and vice-versa.

- Hosted integration for artists and engineers. The graphic designers' comprehensive layouts become the source of truth for the design after my hand-off, because there's no easy way to flip back and forth between a wireframe and a design, nor between broken-apart, reusable visual components and their art. I also want developer IDE integration so technical teams can annotate the wireframes and animations with implementation details, so the documents stay "live" throughout the entire production workflow.

2 points by organicgrant 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like realism when wireframing, but Keynote is clunky.

Programs like Balsamiq try to imitate sketching. (pen and paper is faster)

What's the slickest option out there?

2 points by raniskeet 1 day ago 1 reply      
how about pencil? (http://pencil.evolus.vn/en-US/Home.aspx) has been using it and is quite happy.
1 point by mikerg87 1 day ago 0 replies      
i use mockupscreens http://www.mockupscreens.com/. its quick and easy to get your idea down but simple enough that you arent conveying to viewers that you are already "done" or that things are frozen. its cheap, like $80 for single and like $300 for a team if you need it.
1 point by solost 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started using http://axure.com/ it allows for wireframing and prototyping. It is simple to learn and simple to use. They have excellent support and a free trial, I highly recommend it.
1 point by kgutteridge 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another very happy Balsamiq user here, first step though is always a white board and a camera, really fast iteration there, then work in Balsamiq once the really high level wire frame is done and you are getting to the detail level
1 point by nickfromseattle 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use GoMockBird.com - wireframing in the cloud and very easy to share with team members.
1 point by veb 1 day ago 1 reply      
Gliffy (http://www.gliffy.com/)


Ask HN: I just got a new password by email from info[at]ycombinator.com
15 points by ra 1 day ago   16 comments top 6
8 points by arethuza 1 day ago 0 replies      
You have a very short username - could be that someone was looking at the "send a new password" page and made a mistake or was just plain curious.

I don't think I would worry about it too much unless I started getting lots of these emails.

6 points by marcinw 1 day ago 3 replies      
A better way for Hacker News to handle password resets is to send the original email address associated with the account an email containing a one-time, expiring link allowing the user to change their password from. Otherwise, your password would remain unchanged.
1 point by Havoc 1 day ago 0 replies      
The admins probably have access to that info. I don't see how its going to help you though. If it was a malicious hack attempt then the person is probably running it through proxy or using dynamically allocated IPs making the IP addr worthless without a court order from a court in the country that has jurisdiction over the ISP/proxy.
2 points by xuki 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anyone can request new password for your account by entering your username.

Btw, just send you a new one.

0 points by allard 21 hours ago 0 replies      
it was me


-1 point by raz0r 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really tragic.
Suggestion for startups - remind us who you are when you email
87 points by FiddlerClamp 3 days ago   14 comments top 10
12 points by jambo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Likewise with your company blog. Put a prominent, descriptive link to the main site at the top. It's too common that I have to go to the address bar and remove "blog." to get to the main page. Most people won't do this.
4 points by Goladus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very good advice, this should be part of your branding strategy.

And I'd say instead of "XYZ creates and manages..." I'd say a line like this should be a standard link to your login page:

"Create and manage RSS feeds from your facebook streams: [XYZ Login Link]"

2 points by WillyF 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll add that if you have invite e-mails that people can send to friends, you better explain your startup in the e-mail. I've received invites from legit startups that looked exactly the same as spam invites that I've received.
6 points by david_p 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's the best advice I've read in weeks.
Thank you.
I'm changing this right now for the notification emails of our startup.
5 points by AdamTReineke 2 days ago 2 replies      
So true. I got an e-mail yesterday with an invite to Crowdbooster. I don't even remember signing up for an invite, let alone what Crowdbooster is, and the e-mail didn't offer any clues at all.
3 points by geekinthecorner 1 day ago 0 replies      
And please, just one e-mail. Don't let a rambunctious new marketing type decide "Hey, if we find our inactive users and email them two or three times a week from here on out we'll increase our user base". And make sure your unsubscribe features work.
1 point by rick_2047 2 days ago 0 replies      
The first thing we were taught in the business and formal communication class (mandatory for freshmen at my university) is that in the body of an official letter, the first paragraph is essentially a small pitch of your company or product. I found it stupid at first but then in the third lecture I asked the question "But why?" and the professor gave just that reason. Customers and even other business which provide raw materials, tool or purchase your product/service might not remember who you are even if there is a gap of a week in your communication.
2 points by ronnix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great advice!

I've always been annoyed by those e-mail invitations to the beta of a service I signed up to many weeks ago, that don't give me any clue to remind me why I cared in the first place...

0 points by jaggs 2 days ago 0 replies      
This x 1 million.
-1 point by Sukotto 2 days ago 0 replies      
You should also link to any particularly informative HN post about your product.
Tell HN: After six days of DupDetector, time to take stock.
82 points by DupDetector 4 days ago   43 comments top 24
14 points by blhack 4 days ago 3 replies      
This is something that I seem to disagree with a lot of people on. Dupe-police have existed on reddit, digg, slashdot, here, and just about every other social bookmarking website I've ever used (including my own).

I hate them. Why? Because the entire point of social bookmarking is to find things you find interesting, not things that you find unique. That little arrow to the left of the title means "I found this link interesting. I think other people will find it interesting as well."

It absolutely does not mean "This link is unique. Nobody has seen it before." If that were the point, we could just pipe RSS feeds into the URL submitter, couldn't we?

The very fact that links are appearing on the front page means that a lot of people haven't seen them yet. It means that they got some utility out of reading them, and it means that they thought others would too.

Sometimes, dupes are good. I don't remember who said it, but that Louis CK interview that gets posted every once in a while, where he is talking about how we're surrounded by wonderful technology and yet nobody cares, they said something to the effect of "I wouldn't care if this was stickied to the top of the page and everybody had to watch it every single day before they post. He is making an excellent point."

Now, I think this is a bit excessive, but the point stands. It isn't about being unique, it is about being good.

18 points by pclark 4 days ago 0 replies      
I found your bot really annoying. I don't need someone telling me there is another submission with no points and no comments.

It almost felt petty, that you were scolding the submitter for submitting content that had already been submitted. The comments section of Hacker News is one of the last places on the web that has not been hammered with noise.

I would be somewhat interested in how you solved this problem automatically though.

7 points by ugh 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think a bot which references submissions that already have comments would be incredibly useful, especially on duplicate submissions that don't have comments but received a few upvotes. I don't think you should reference duplicate submissions without comments, that just seems pointless. I don't think that dupes by themselves are bad, but stumbling across a story which was already richly discussed on HN in the past without being able to find that discussion is certainly not optimal.

I also think you should work on the bot's politeness. It's easy to perceive the waltzing in of a bot that says nothing but “This submission has ended up with the points and comments” and provides a link as rude. Technically, sure, that sentence is not or at least not overtly negative but it is easy to perceive it as such.

I would formulate the bot's phrases consciously positive, showing that your intent is not to be smug about submitters of dupes but that you just want to help, you just want to provide a service.

23 points by kenjackson 4 days ago 0 replies      
I saw the comments didn't realize it was automated.

I think it would be more useful if integrated with HN at the submission phase. Seeing something is a dupe of something else after its already on the frontpage seems too late.

6 points by blahedo 4 days ago 0 replies      
In a semi-related vein, let me reference my own Ask HN from last week: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1975950

My claim was that HN should bake in a "dup" button that let users flag duplicate posts, not with the goal of removing dups, but with the goal of cross-referencing them (and possibly sharing karma or some other idea). I won't recap the whole thing here, but I find DupDetector an interesting complement to those ideas.

1 point by JoshCole 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually was really excited when I saw this originally. I made a point of going through all the bots posts to see what you were doing with it. I got the impression that you were trying to tweak the bot to the point that people would find it interesting. So for me it is sad to hear that things aren't working out. I was hoping that DupDetector would eventually be pointing to year old discussion pages; a discoverer instead of a detector. It was only links to the articles that didn't gain any traction that bothered me. They seemed like noise.
4 points by pasbesoin 4 days ago 0 replies      
I saw a few posts from the account, but I didn't know any more.

I've been seeing an increasing number of duplicates myself, including entries using the same URL with an octothorpe added at the end -- a pretty obvious ploy, in my mind.

When HN started up, it was about the conversation. If someone else had already posted a link, great: People just joined in the conversation there if they had something to say. From my perspective, it saved the time of having to post it. And, in that I was often learning as much or more from the conversation on HN than from the links themselves, I was happy to find that conversation focused in one thread.

I'm not sure how, but I'd like to see the site steered back in that direction, if possible. (I have a few half-baked "ideas", but PG and crew have already demonstrated themselves to be more insightful than me -- in my own mind.)

I do think identifying the HN member behind DupDetector might be a benefit, to demonstrate their investment in the community and therefore, in my mind at least, credibility. Yes, I see the email address now, and I half remember off the top of my head whose domain that is. But I might have been a bit more supportive if I knew who was behind it and that they had an established, positive history with HN.

Anyway, just my 2¢; spend them before you need a wheelbarrow full.

7 points by revorad 4 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't realise it was a bot! It would be awesome if you share your code and we can get PG to incorporate it in the site somehow.
5 points by trickjarrett 4 days ago 1 reply      
I had no issue with you running it, I think the negative response were people reacting out of fear of letting "novelty" accounts get going with this as the beachhead where they had to make their stand.
5 points by johkra 4 days ago 0 replies      
I first saw it today and I was about to thank the administration for this new feature when I realized that it was a user's (or bot's) comment.

The functionality is imho highly desirable, but a more dynamic solution (regularly updating the number of comments, for instance) would be a better implementation.

3 points by chipsy 4 days ago 0 replies      
I agree with the people saying "market it better." As it is, DupDetector looks like linkspam and is thus ripe for angry downvotes.

Change the focus from strict dupe-finding to "add additional context to the article people are already looking at." Copy some data about the comments, note the age of the previous discussions, even reproduce the highest-rated comment. These things will give it a more positive/helpful image.

6 points by momotomo 4 days ago 2 replies      
Ok, Reddit handles this really well in their submission system.

If you post a link, and it exists, it simply flags: here's all the posts that already have this link. Do you still want to proceed?

Gives you the choice of jumping into the existing discussions or re-posting (eg, if the old subs are years out of date)

2 points by pmichaud 4 days ago 0 replies      
I was watching this with interest, actually. I think it would be great to somehow tie threads together. blhack is right when he says that social bookmarking is about finding things interesting, not unique, so dupes aren't evil in themselves. It's the dilution of discussion that's the issue. So if you can solve that issue elegantly, you win.
2 points by anthonycerra 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think the idea is really interesting and itself is very HN. The thing getting you down is the way people misuse the down vote.

Disagreeing with something is no reason to down vote a comment. I'm only at ~100 karma, but I'm not waiting to get to 500 to down vote people I disagree with. Disagreement spurs discussion. It'd be pretty boring if everyone agreed on everything.

Since you have to be "qualified" to use the down vote, it should be reserved for instances where the user is not being a respectful fellow hacker.

All that being said, maybe you can include a line saying "Just a bot doing research" before it lists the duplicates.

2 points by vessenes 4 days ago 0 replies      
I agree that there's just a slight miss re: HN style and community behavior, and also think that it's a beneficial service. Does the robot update the comments automatically?

I wonder what people would make of you using your 'real' account with a note that it's a robot posting. On some sites this would be considered karma whoring, but maybe here it would get a better response?

1 point by te_platt 4 days ago 0 replies      
Simply stating "More comments here..." then showing the additional submissions may have a better response. HN isn't so much a discussion among a few friends (although it feels that way at times) as much as large public park where people come in and out at all different times. The fact that topics repeat (at least some) isn't such a bad thing.
3 points by oomkiller 4 days ago 1 reply      
It would have been fine if you ran the experiment, WITHOUT polluting the comments with useless dupe links. You could then write up a blog post or something showing what you had found.
2 points by 6ren 4 days ago 0 replies      
A near-simultaneous dup does divide discussion. It would be better if only one was allowed. Quite often, breaking news is divided among two or three posts.

Dups that are distant in time are more complex. One aspect is that
people might not have seen the previous stroy - so it would be good to show it again. Another aspect is that the previous discussion is lost, leading to the same points being repeated, instead of (possibly) being built upon - so it would be better to resurrect the previous submission and therefore discussion.

One solution is to detect and combine dups, but enable them to launch the story fresh, if sufficient time has passed.

There is in fact already a discrete implementation of this: stories over a year old (I think that's the period) can be resubmitted as a new story. So I'm suggesting a continuous version of this idea, where the "newness" of a story gradually increases, til it becomes completely new after a year. "Newness" could be implemented with a factor on the story-score. This would enable old stories (and their discussions) to return to the front-page.

1 point by coderdude 4 days ago 0 replies      
What method are you using to conclude that two stories on two different sites are about the same topic? That's always been a feature of certain sites that captured my interest, but it seems like so much can go wrong. Achieving decent accuracy must be very difficult. Have you written about this anywhere?
1 point by zoomzoom 4 days ago 0 replies      
When I first saw the dup detector working, I thought that this was an interesting problem, and one that I want to see solved. I have often posted a comment on the losing thread only to see that this was the surpassed by the next post.

In the sense of an interesting hack, it was fun and pragmatic. Thanks for doing it. But it seems that the community doesn't see the need for the service.

3 points by aeurielesn 4 days ago 1 reply      
> there's enough information to tell me what I want

Then, what is it?

I think you have not been clear enough about what you achieved.

1 point by lazugod 4 days ago 0 replies      
There were cases where the linked duplicates would have only one or two comments. It was annoying to see them listed - not because there is nothing to read, but because it's a vote of no-confidence that those particular posts would have ever grow a larger discussion.
2 points by steveklabnik 4 days ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed this.
1 point by p_nathan 4 days ago 0 replies      
I personally really like the idea of the duplicate detector. I didn't realize it was going on. I really don't want to see conversation split across threads; I'd rather have one conversation per link.

my 0.02 c

Ask HN: Advice on selling app?
6 points by bradleyjoyce 1 day ago   2 comments top 2
2 points by Flippa_com 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks amoore.
Absolutely agree with adding as much information about your app/site as possible - especially that you were reviewed by CNET and Mashable. There are a few additional pointers available at https://flippa.com/help/sell
Also be sure to add the webapp tag to your tweetsaver.com listing.
In the spirit of the season, let us know once your Flippa account is set up and we'll send $10 worth of credits your way.
Hope that helps - good luck!
2 points by amoore 1 day ago 0 replies      
flippa.com seems to be pretty popular. You should read some other successful postings there and work hard on your description since you can significantly affect the amount your auction brings in by using good copy.

A popular valuation method is to use a multiple of average recent monthly profit. Depending on how much work it is to run your site, you might get 5-15 times recent monthly profit.

Also, if you send me some numbers, such as traffic, customers, revenue, and such, I'll probably make you an offer.

Ask HN: Web-based coding text editors? (for coding on the cr48)
74 points by jaxn 10 days ago   56 comments top 26
6 points by IdeaHamster 10 days ago 2 replies      
This seems like a promising implementation of Vi in Javascript: http://gpl.internetconnection.net/vi/
4 points by melvinram 10 days ago 2 replies      
Heroku had launched initially with an online code editor though they phased it out. Not sure if it's available online anywhere now days.
10 points by bretthoerner 10 days ago 2 replies      
This is what I do on mine,

Control + Alt + T; ssh user host; emacs -nw

10 points by AntiRush 10 days ago 1 reply      
Cloud9 IDE (http://www.cloud9ide.com/) is a neat looking project. It's Javascript-centric right now but I believe it will be more generally useful.
2 points by nir 10 days ago 0 replies      
I have a working (but far from perfect) App Engine based one here: http://qkhack.appspot.com/

Only Firefox for now, due to the editor UI. If you'd like to help integrate Skywriter/Bespin, I'd love to collaborate. The code is here: https://github.com/niryariv/weblets

8 points by grandalf 10 days ago 1 reply      
4 points by bobds 10 days ago 1 reply      

I'm always amazed at what can be found on wikipedia.

5 points by shaunxcode 10 days ago 2 replies      
I saw http:///www.coderun.com posted here the other day.
1 point by slug 10 days ago 0 replies      
http://mbed.org/ has a full ide for embedded C programming.

It's as easy as writing your code (in your browser), launch the compilation process in their systems (cloud) and automatically downloading the resulting binary file, which can be easily transfered to the device by drag&drop, since it's recognized as a usb storage device.

I got mine for free a while back and it took me few minutes to develop a simple multi-threaded application to control a few LEDs and Servos.

2 points by fjabre 10 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote about this a while back:

It still baffles me that Google hasn't tackled this already.

1 point by rwl 10 days ago 0 replies      
I was wondering about this too. But what good is being able to code in a browser unless you can actually [compile and] run your code somewhere? I can see how a browser-based editor could be great for editing JavaScript. But unless the browser also hosts or provides access to a platform for the language you're working in, what is there to be gained by coding in a browser?
2 points by clyfe 10 days ago 0 replies      
Executable pasties: http://codepad.org/

Supports: C C++ D Haskell Lua OCaml PHP Perl Plain Text Python Ruby Scheme Tcl

3 points by kat 10 days ago 0 replies      

Its not a complete IDE, but its a nice web dev sandbox.

1 point by cjoh 10 days ago 0 replies      
3 points by vanstee 10 days ago 1 reply      
1 point by s3graham 10 days ago 0 replies      
I thought it'd be nice to make a build of Vim on NaCl. It seems like a hacked up version of netrw could just read and write directly to github/googlecode/whatever.
3 points by jscheel 10 days ago 2 replies      
I haven't used skywriter, since it was bespin, but I was impressed with the progress at the time. http://kodingen.com/ looks pretty nice though.
2 points by pluies 10 days ago 0 replies      
railsforzombies.com used Skywriter. I don't really know how the guys at Envylabs integrated the code or if they modified it at all, but the end result was definitely awesome.
1 point by travisglines 10 days ago 0 replies      
I started constructorizer this summer but haven't had the time to do much with it. Someday I'll get back into it and integrate git repositories and finish features etc.


2 points by aurynn 10 days ago 2 replies      
This will also be very useful for those of us with iPads, who want to code on the go. :
1 point by prestia 10 days ago 0 replies      
For web development, http://buildorpro.com/ is a newer option. It currently only works in Firfox, but seems to be coming together pretty nicely.
1 point by Vidura 10 days ago 0 replies      
Bram Moolenar works for GOogle, why won't Google Develop a text editor cloud of vim with realtime collaborative feature it would be great for Chrome OS also.
2 points by tcc619 10 days ago 1 reply      
Is there an easy way to access a terminal shell in chrome os?
1 point by James_Law 10 days ago 0 replies      
Hi - we're working on http://buildorpro.com which is focused on html/css markup as opposed the more codey focused IDEs.

It gives you a great mix of html/css editors with a Coda/Espresso style CSS design tools and a bunch of other advantages that developing in the browser brings you.

The beta's there for sign up if you fancy giving it a spin.

PS - FireFox only at the mo. but Chrome support is hot on its heels.

James Law @ Buildor

1 point by rahulchaudhary 10 days ago 1 reply      
Here is a list of some of them http://bit.ly/gxM8Wj
1 point by ameyamk 10 days ago 0 replies      
Besides everything people mentioned, I use www.collabedit.com
This one is really useful.
Ask HN: Should Freelance Programmers/Consultants Pay a Referral fee?
6 points by AnonQuestioner 3 days ago   5 comments top 2
2 points by allwein 3 days ago 1 reply      
Start by reaching out to your past and existing clients and tell them that you're looking for referrals.

Assuming you've done good work, you'll get a contact and a built-in recommendation.

2 points by Jem 3 days ago 1 reply      
Do you do PHP? I've had loads of interest in my services as a freelance PHP developer but don't have the time to take them on.
Ask HN: Why are YC startups so secretive in Job postings?
73 points by middayc 2 days ago   61 comments top 10
72 points by spolsky 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's a pretty bad strategy for hiring great programmers. Given how many cool, interesting, VC-funded startups are hiring, good developers can work literally anywhere they want. A job description that doesn't reveal the company or at least the general domain is likely to just be ignored. When I started my job board, I had a rule that the company name had to be on the posting. When I let one company avoid this rule by posting as a "stealth startup" I got tons of email complaints and the stealth startup got no applicants.
20 points by swombat 2 days ago 1 reply      
Announcing YC funding is a media event that can be leveraged, just like a launch.

They want to make use of that event and release that information at the right time, to make the right kind of splash. Chances are only their closest friends know that they have YC funding, because if it leaked to, say, TechCrunch, they would lose the advantage of being able to announce their YC funding at the most advantageous time for them.

The ideas are obviously not stealth ideas if they have 20m uniques in 6 weeks.

4 points by webwright 1 day ago 1 reply      
The question you're asking is, "why does it make sense for YC companies to be in stealth mode?" Sometimes it makes sense to be stealthy, and occasionally you need to hire folks when you're in that state. It's certainly a handicap (as spolsky says elsewhere in this thread, what kind of hotshot would want to interview without knowing ANYTHING about a company?).

Good post on benefits of stealth mode here: http://trada.com/blog/2010/03/31/the-stealth-mode-trada%E2%8...

10 points by kalvin 1 day ago 5 replies      
Wow, did the Ask HN on "what is the YC W11 social network startup that's hiring called" get deleted? There were at least a dozen comments on it last night, it was high up the front page, and now I can't find it.
11 points by middayc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just FYI. This tweet triggered my question

"YCombinator companies are so amazing to work for that they can't be bothered to tell you who they are in a job posting."


4 points by retube 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm glad someone else feels the same way. My angle is: these ads expect people to give up all their personal details, without revealing any of their own. I'm sure they miss out as a result. (One posting sounded almost spammy - "we're the next big social network" etc etc. No-one's gonna respond to that unless they know who you are, can check a website etc).

Edit: or maybe that's the point - if you don't know who the poster is, you're not worthy of applying.

4 points by piramida 2 days ago 0 replies      
Find it interesting, too. 'We need a dedicated person with lots of experience to work full time with uncertain perspectives on a problem that unknown "we" who probably have done nothing before believe has lots of potential. We will probably have money some time in the future too'.

Maybe they are betting on curiosity? :)

3 points by Mz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe I never learned the secret handshake* or something, because I was a homemaker for eons, but I find all job postings pretty opaque. So I don't see what the big deal is (that some specific piece of info is being left out).

* From what I have read, I am not so sure it's "just me". For example, I've read plenty of anecdotes where someone went in to some field with grand visions only to discover that their visions don't remotely match the day-to-day details of their actual work.

1 point by jacquesm 2 days ago 4 replies      
Because it may be that they are vulnerable to others copying concept and/or giving away hints about the direction they plan to take based on the types of positions they're hiring for.

Playing your cards close to your chest usually does not hurt.

1 point by wallflower 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's not a big filter but not mentioning specifics filters out some who lack a sense of curiosity and adventure.
       cached 21 December 2010 15:02:01 GMT