hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    26 Nov 2012 Ask
home   ask   best   7 years ago   
HELP: CSS hacker looking for a job
2 points by html5web  2 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Why does AirBnb need 800+ employees?
6 points by iwaffles  8 hours ago   3 comments top 3
moocow01 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I hear these types of questions about many web companies from time to time in that the assumptions is you just need a small bundle of folks to run the website but in reality when a business gains traction the website is just the tip of the iceberg in many cases. The number of employees needed can snowball as the business starts to take off... legal teams, finance, accounting, QA, HR, BAs, management, ops, etc - it all adds up to usually more than one would assume. Additionally the customer facing product can be a very small part of the overall tech solution in that developing needed internal tools and systems can require large numbers of employees.

Typically your biggest numbers are going to come from sales folks / account managers in that, as an example, if the business model allows for a sales rep to sustainably bring in 200k on an 100k salary you most likely are going to hire as many as you can get. Groupon is a good example of this in action although it obviously has not been as successful as they would like.

andrewhillman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
they dont really need 800 employees. they just dont know which of the 80% of employees are the productive ones. They could cut 20% with ease but it's really hard to determine who isn't needed. As business scales it gets really tough to figure out who is needed and isn't. All growing companies face this. Companies should focus on being leaner.
damian2000 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Worldwide representatives/salespersons in each country where they have a presence?
E.g. http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/11/airbnb-officially-lands-in...
Ask HN: Know of a hacker in Cambridge or Boston who wants a bookstore?
102 points by mankins  1 day ago   86 comments top 43
eob 1 day ago 4 replies      
Trying to think creatively here...

Could you try to capitalize on the fact that you're right in between two enormous populations of PhD students and professors who are eager to both give talks and learn more?

Maybe you could support micro-publishing of books, or collections of interesting papers, for local distribution around Kendall/Harvard. Kind of like academic blogging but on paper.

Or you could host themed nights where a few academics give talks about why Subject X is interesting, and then you tell the audience they can buy/order books on Subject X from you at the end (and please do, it's how you pay for the free talk).

Also, I live right near Inman. You guys have the "Refrigerator Repairs" sign (or something like it) above your store, right? Hard honesty, from someone whose walked by many times and never gone in: the Refrigerator sign made me think you were a) too lazy to put up a sign for your store, or b) trying to be ironically lazy, which I think isn't a positive vibe to send to society. Either way, I transferred these impressions onto my expectations about the product waiting inside for me, and passed by every time. Perhaps that is a silly reason not to enter a book store, but at least it is a data point for you to consider.


Another idea: what if you provided a nice binding service for graduating PhD students. Package up all your papers and thesis together into a nice volume to show the kids one day. I know you can do this online, but you would provide nice Harvard and MIT themed leather book jackets with some stock material about the school or department history, along with a thicker page for the student to put some photos in from that time period. I would pay $100 for this. Maybe $200 if it was really nice. There's no class ring for PhD students, but this would make a similarly nostalgic memento.

wheaties 1 day ago 2 replies      
Someone else IS innovating. They're printing out of print books for a tidy fee. What's remarkable is that so many books are unavailable once they've run. That is publishers are incentived to destroy rather than keep books which don't immediately sell due to tax laws.

Research that and look around at other book stores. You'll find the one doing it.


swalsh 1 day ago 3 replies      
If I want to buy a book, i'll go to Amazon and buy it. With kindle, i'll have it in 10 seconds. If its not available on Kindle with Prime i'll have it next day. You can't compete with Amazon. So its not worth trying.

If you want to run a remarkable book store today, don't sell books. That's a loosing battle. This is where i'd start if I was trying to think of ways to innovate in this space. I'm sure you're familiar with Porter square books. They for instance have built a pretty remarkable community around the store with book clubs etc.

Other then that, i'd like to say good luck! I live in Boston, so i'll try to visit the next time i'm in the neighborhood.

yamanory 19 hours ago 0 replies      
My parents have run a bookstore for 30 years, and I spent most of my late elementary school years and all of high school running it after school and on the weekends. It was and still is a very large (100,000 books) bookstore and now also a full restaurant (restaurant downstairs, bookstore upstairs -- in a 6,000 square foot space). Now, I work in tech.

Like your store, they also sell on Amazon, ABE Books, Alibris, etc. however, the majority of their revenue comes from people browsing in-store.

I'm not from Boston and haven't been to Lorem Ipsum but I have read that it's a great store based on reviews online.

But before thinking about fresh ideas, I'm curious to know where the problem stems from: are you not able to get enough people through your doors? are they browsing but not buying? what type of profit margin do you have on books generally (obviously this will differ depending on the type of book, etc)? Also, what is the demographic like where your store is located -- are there readers who will come in and buy a stack of books?

I truly believe there will continue to be a market for physical books, especially used, out-of-print, rare and aesthetically beautiful books that you crave to touch (ie. photography, cooking, art, etc.).

Despite working in tech, being 26, and having 3 iPads in my possession, I will continue to buy tangible books for that immersive, tangible experience.

What is dying, in my opinion, is this concept of going to a bookstore to find a particular item. The future of bookstores lies in the serendipitous discovery, particularly of books that offer some sort of aesthetic value, out-of-print, rare, etc. rather than rushing out to a local bookstore to buy the latest Stephen King, which will be consumed over a weekend.

Anyway, my point is that while yes, fresh ideas can tweak the ability to drive traffic, I think it's worth investigating those fundamental questions and whether you're well located to attract those with the disposable income who can spend $100 impulsively, that you're maximizing your profit margin, and whether you have the right stock that will covert browsers into buyers and attract people to come back.

Also think about opening up a coffee shop or something else that people will come to regularly to serve as a sort of lead generator to get people in the door. It could also be a book club, event, musician, etc. It doesn't need to generate much profit -- it needs to get people in the door who will then browse and buy books which, if planned properly, should have a VERY high profit margin (even while offering what look like bargain prices to customers).

Good luck and please hang in there! I hope next time I'm in Boston to be able to come and visit.

anateus 1 day ago 2 replies      
When it comes to physical stores, the general rule is "location location location", and just based on having lived near Cambridge for a decade and spent most of my time there Inman Sq just feels like a suboptimal location for a bookstore.

This is assuming of course that a problem is getting more traffic. I don't know if that's an issue, or if the problem is the "conversion rate". It would be interesting to find out what's working and what isn't, but don't know if you're inclined to share further. Myself I'm not in a position to take over, but I sure can provide free advice :>

I've always dreamed of hybrid book store/coffee shops. Perhaps ones that sell subscription access, becoming for-pay lending libraries with a book inventory that adjusts to patron demands. That way you have recurring revenue off each customer, and you can hope people sign up for it like they do for gym memberships and then don't show :)

makmanalp 1 day ago 0 replies      
My god ... I love Lorem Ipsum. Every damn time I get into inman, I pay a visit there. Thank you for introducing me into zines and having an awesome CS/Math/Sci section. All your books are so damn well curated.

I wish could help more directly, but I'm steadily approaching broke and determined to be working full-time on my own project till my money runs out.

In any case, I'd love to buy you a coffee / tea / beer / whatever and just chat with you for an hour, your pick of time and place. Best case, you could refine some of my crazy ideas. Worst case, you'll have had an hour break. What's there to lose? E-mail is in my profile! :)

keithwinstein 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love Lorem Ipsum and remember when you guys moved a few years ago. (I used to live literally across the street.) I enjoyed buying used books at your store and that you would sometimes haggle over the price. But I doubt I have spent more than $80 there.

I don't know anything about the bookstore business except that it is tough. I was sad when Quantum Books closed, and their books were a lot more expensive than yours, and they were right next to MIT and sold a lot of textbooks to students.

Do you know the proprietors of Brookline Booksmith or Harvard Bookstore? I assume they are still making it, and maybe there are some ideas or principles here that would help that you guys could learn. They have a lot of readings and signings and events that I imagine help get people in the stores.

(I do sort-of-know Ken and Frenchie, the proprietors of the "banned in Boston" outdoor free book table that sometimes sets up in Harvard Square, but I'm guessing that introduction would not help you...)

wcarss 1 day ago 0 replies      
My idea is to run "sponsored book clubs".

You sell a popular or interesting book at a slight discount for the duration of the book club run. (Maybe a discount just for members who paid an up-front fee?) You do a weekly discussion group, one per chapter of the book. Run multiple books per week, catering to different crowds (e.g. ultra technical vs old sci-fi). Set up some reasonable video and audio equipment, experiment with the format, and try to capture the "sitting around with a group of smart people" feel.

While the club is running, make those videos available online with a discussion forum (also experiment here -- with one topic per chapter, or posts grouped by smart tags or something). After the club has run, you sell a "book club" package for every book you've done this for. Sell it at a reasonably higher price with a DVD of the discussion sessions and an archive of the forum session. In a year, you'll end up with a hopefully rabid community and a reputation, as well as a growing catalogue of copyrighted material which makes your products unique and justifies a higher price.

The core idea here has come up repeatedly: membership in a community is important. Having a place to go feel like a hacker or just a smart person and meet other smart people is wonderful. You should sell that; the books are just an excuse. Heck, you could even just try running a paid-membership library.

edit: reading back over my message, some different themes also stuck out: minimum products, iterating, and pivoting. The ideas I proposed are really a loose collection of possibly money-generating schemes built around community and creating value. You can quickly start doing any (or all) of these, then iterating and pivoting as necessary. This is the common small business pattern: start a few small projects, see what's drawing people and money, then regularly optimize according to your senses of what you need most at the moment.

jacksonh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Have you thought about adding coworking space? I would kill for a bookstore environment with coffee and decent chairs. As it is, I do most of my work in a Barnes and Noble, and my back hates me for it.
fratis 1 day ago 2 replies      
Any chance you'd consider making book sales a smaller part of what your store does in favor of other sources of revenue? One of the few things brick-and-mortar shops can do that Amazon still can't is bring people together, to Be A Place. You can.

A few ideas to consider along those lines, either individually or as smaller pieces of a larger concept:

- Become a hacker/student-centric coffee shop that enables freelancers, et al, to work in a less frenetic environment than Starbucks

- (Not sure how big your space is, but) Build a small stage (or not) and host local singers and poets as well as professor and/or student talks

- Become a resource for finding hard-to-get books and charge a premium for it

- Host book sales, etc., for the local universities where students can buy/sell from each other, then give a small discount on books students are searching for but can't find at the sale

Not sure how intent you are on maintaining the store's identity as a Place That Sells Books, but you have a lot of options, I think, if you want to go in another direction altogether " or even partly.

drags 1 day ago 1 reply      
This doesn't help pay the bills, but I lived right down the street from you a couple years back and loved your bookstore.

Have you looked into textbooks? There's a lot of money in the textbook market right now (for a variety of reasons). Won't help your storefront business, but could help on the internet side. I work in the industry; feel free to email if you want to chat more about the textbook side of the industry :)

caixa 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm the founder of Litographs.com and I live around the block from Lorem Ipsum. Have you thought about selling literary t-shirts, posters, etc.?


benjaminlotan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi. i am interested in speaking with you. My company has been looking for interesting projects in the physical space to take on... and we are currently amassing books for a library... Can you give me your email address or email me at Ben @ socialprintstudio.com
Looking forward to speaking!


anonymousDan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was in a really cool bookstore in Broadstairs in England recently that doubles as a pub. The building was originally a church (hence its name - The Chapel: http://www.pubsandbeer.co.uk/index.php?ID=P&pub=3021 ), then a bookstore, and now a hybrid bookstore/cafe/pub. During the day it felt like a cafe/wine bar, with people sitting around having coffee or wine & cheese while reading books/newspapers. At night it felt more like a pub (albeit a fairly chilled out one). They had loads of local beers - they even had live music. Could you go for something similar?
wyclif 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you sent an email to Philip Greenspun? He definitely has the connections in Cambridge to people who may be interested in this or could help. He's probably bought books from Lorem Ipsum in the past: http://philip.greenspun.com/
nicholassmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was chatting with my Dad about how hard it is for indie retailers to compete with the Internet, but its doable. You're not selling a product anymore, you're selling an experience. The product is cheaper elsewhere so focus on giving the customer a reason to come in, book clubs, readings, comfy chairs, group spaces and so on. Books are an important part of our culture but going against Amazon now is nigh on impossible for, but Amazon sucks for discovery and recommendations so there's still scope.
xefer 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Porter Square Books has a good model. The owner sublets a part of the store to a coffee shop business, so they have guaranteed income and a steady supply of casual browsers.

Harvard Square Books can't be making money with rhat custom printer. I've never seen that thing in operation. It must be the delivery model he has in place that you might want to consider.

timofei7 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I too was originally confused by the "Refrigerator Repairs" sign! :-)

I've been working on a model for a bookstore for a couple of years. The key is attracting people to the space. Repeatedly. And once you have them there offer rewards for reading and buying books. If I'm in your bookstore drinking a delicious coffee and munching on a stuffed croissant and you offer a discount on the very book I've been meaning to read for a while, I'll buy it.

The space is filled with books, smells amazing (that sacred dusty book smell mixed with bakery and coffee smells), has comfy seating, games to play, plenty of plugs (charge for electricity rather than wifi), free fresh baked cookies(on the spot wafflecookies) with any purchase of a book (cannot be purchased separately!). There are various intellectual events, reading marathons, contests, and talks that attract interesting people. It's a space you want to be in, to bring your friends to, and you keep spending money there.

It's more than just a bookstore or a cafe or a co-working space though. It's a place that promotes books and reading, connecting people intellectually. A "membership" offers various rewards but also frictionlessly offers reading suggestions and also communal reading/commenting. Not necessarily a reading club... If you are proud of the books you've read and/or have an interesting opinion/interpretation or have questions, a common discussion space/online/app interaction space helps make this easy and comfortable for any level of socializing.

I and two of my close friends (we're all CS people) have been looking for opportunities to try our ideas out, and to learn about others' experiences. Looks like you've had a great response here but if you're still looking for ideas / a group of people with a lot of energy and ideas, let me know, I'm always in the area at some cafe or another! :-)

cafard 22 hours ago 0 replies      
In Washington, DC, the independent stores that hang on have a defined community. Kramerbooks at Dupont Circle has the young urban types mostly (I'm probably twice the age of at least a third of people I see in it). Politics and Prose has the settled folk of Chevy Chase and Forest Hills, with their children. Bridge Street Books on the edge of Georgetown--I don't get there often enough to judge, but would guess it to be nearer the Kramerbooks demographic, though the stock makes me wonder. (There are also used bookstores that seem to stay in business.)

So who is your audience? Have you the room to provide a place where people can gather to sip a coffee and use your WiFi, buy their NY Times from you, do the occasional impulse buy? I would emphasize this last. Of the last ten books I've bought, the majority have been unplanned purchases, something on a shelf (Kramerbooks, Second Story) or a table (a local church bazaar) that I didn't know I wanted till I saw it.

rdrey 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I tend to walk into (South African) bookstores to buy Wired's UK edition and browse books for a while until I know what else I'd like to read.

At that point I write down the book's title and later download it for my Kindle. I've often thought that bookstores should have QR-codes with amazon referral links that make my purchases easier.

Sure, a referral isn't as much income as a physical book sale, but I really can't amass any more "real" books, since I want to stay mobile. I'm sure I'm not the only one using bookstores just for their coffee shop and easier browsing.

piratebroadcast 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I am a huge fan of your store. My suggestions:
1-Sell shirts and other physical things
2- My favotire thing about your store is that the cool stuff is easy to see.. Its curated. Well done.
3-Interact more with local entrepreneurs, and people like the Artisans Asylum. Maybe teach classes there.
4-Writing workshops?
5-Buy a MakerBot 3D printer and charge the public to use it?
6- That Egg machine is amazing. Someone should make a documentary about that.
7- Model after the Trident in Boston... Sell coffee, set up some wifi, and turn the store into a place where smart people want to hang out.
sag47 1 day ago 3 replies      
Have you perhaps considered a book scanner? You can then sell books and for an additional fee turn the book into a DRM free PDF the user can read electronically. You don't sell digital copies online just give the reader the book they bought in store. This way the reader can read the book physically or by a tablet.
Andrea2s1 1 day ago 2 replies      
Have you considered branching out into related areas, like games? I'm talking European-style and other board games and similar... things where physical location still matters.
cllns 1 day ago 1 reply      
Have you considered running it as a co-op? I think odds are low one person (or entity) would want to buy it outright, but you might be able to get 100 people to buy a stake of it. Just a thought!

Similarly, maybe it could have a future as a not-for-profit entity?

EthanHeilman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Lorem Ipsum is fantastic, it would be so sad to lose you.

* Anything I can do to help the store? Other than buy things, which I've bought quite a bit form lorem Ipsum.

shanbady 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I am interested. I live within walking distance of the store and am an avid tech extraordinaire/hacker who would hate to see it go down. Why not open it up for hackathons and tech meetups in the area? I know there are plenty of tech groups that are constantly looking for space to host their meetups and hackathons.
hyuuu 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have been wondering about this. Online stores such as Amazon are killing the bookstores all over the world, obviously bookstores cant compete in price, however, one thing that I think will make bookstores stay, that is, if they stop selling books. Obviously, they cant compete in price, however, what if they start selling atmospheres?

Imagine having a membership to a place filled with books, and you can read all you want. Go inside the place, sit down, enjoy a cup of coffee, pick any book you like. You can even bring your laptop and work, it's like having a gym membership, but for your brain.

What do you guys think?

weisser 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many used books are not all that appealing on Amazon since they do not include free shipping. If you can get close to those prices but people only have to drop by the store rather than pay for inefficient shipping (it's usually not two day like most are used to with Prime) it could be compelling. The hardest thing of course is building awareness of your offering. I've never been to your store but have heard great things. Why have I never been? Well I live in Boston and I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought a book in a bookstore. I suppose I'm not your target customer and I think the challenge will be indetifying precisely who that is and considering if they are enough to run a sustainable business.

I think labors of love can be foolish but at the same time I have the utmost respect for them. Best of luck. I will be stopping in sometime soon.

helen842000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Surely there are lots of ways your book store could continue to innovate. You may need to move beyond being just a book store to something more social & digital but maybe that's what it will take. People are using book shops in a different kind of way now. It used to be that the local book store was quicker, while with online sales you had to wait a few days but it was cheaper. Now you can have any book in front of you, including a free sample chapter 24/7.

I still love to support my local independent book shop but I'm reading more than ever now but the last 5 books I read weren't even in printed format. It's time to compete in a different way.

kevinr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmm. Just thinking out loud here.

What seems to be working for Pandemonium, just down the street, is event and community space -- for them it's board and collectible card games. For Porter Square Books, it's some combination of having a coffee shop and events (readings etc).

Providing shared experiences in the physical world is something Amazon can't (yet) do.

(Adding a coffee shop might be enough -- based on the number popping up and thriving in Boston recently it seems that we have a nigh-infinite demand for them. 1369 could use some competition, right?)

msabalau 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hmmm, I don't have any immediate ideas, but will spread the word to others in the community who may be interested.
kimura 1 day ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend turning it into a co-work space. I'd be interested in working out of that space if you do. Look at 1369 cafe a few doors down you'd notice that people just don't go there just for coffee. People are always on their laptop trying to get some work done. I'd be willing to partner with you if you want to go that direction. Drop me a line.
evoxed 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm in NYC now too, but I'd like to email you when I get home. Can I find your address somewhere?
bluekite2000 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I suggest you donate all the books and start another business. Keeping a brick and mortar bookstore is an uphill battle and it is better to cut the loss sooner rather than later.
hansc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I guess a good idea might be to ask at a local succsefull bookstore (NYC in your case): Just walk in and tell you have a bookstore in Boston and ask how it's gooing and what worked best for them?

Other idea is to ask at a book(store) forum.

Good luck!

jermaink 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think that Trident Booksellers gives a very good idea how you can run and think a bookstore above a bookstore. Try that in a different way - some ideas here are a good start.
anjchang 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely optimizing the book enjoyment experience is promising (having cafes, book signings, etc). I think one part of quality book discovery is curating really hard to find, but awesome books. How many people would pilgrimage to a store to hear Noam Chomsky speak on language, or a Kennedy talk about politics, or one of Dr. King's descendents speak on racial relations and buy books? There are a lot of really great books that could be augmented by having more conversation around them. People would definitely pay high prices for books that are rare and insightful and the stories around those books.
prism 18 hours ago 0 replies      
As several people have mentioned, I feel like the major win of using a local bookstore as opposed to Amazon is the social space it provides. I remember reading somewhere that in NYC bookstores were becoming places were smart single people could meet other smart single people.

Perhaps you could view books as a reason to be there, but not what you sell. A relaxed, wifi-heavy, comfy chair social space where you make your margins off selling coffee and sandwiches. Maybe even let people read the books without buying them. Keep a conversation going. Have visiting authors come and hang out. Like a cross between a library and a Starbucks.

freshsisyphus 18 hours ago 0 replies      
You could get an hp5500 (maybe there are other ones out there, this was the best a couple years back), and provide color service with simple binding options. With some clever color management, a photobook that I pressed on this got several best photo book of the year awards at photo-eye. The downshot is that there are too many online services that do this sort of stuff these days so you would have to become a creative hub / print shop for people to congregate.
samuraiforhire 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to help with this project and need, and I have experience as a former bookstore owner and small business consultant. Please contact me at samuraiforhire@gmail.com.

Tim Huggins

creativeone 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you tried to advertise your inventory on Google AdWords?
cwallardo1 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi. I'm interested in meeting you and would like to help you assess the viability of these ideas to create a plan moving forward. I'm a serial entrepreneur/artist/community organizer and I would like to help you transition lorem ipsum. I may be able to take it over, depending on what we learn together. My email is cwallardo at g mail dotcom.
girl2k 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd consider becoming a publisher, branding the store as an intellectual space of a particular sort (you decide). Have events, become a hub. Publishing is wide open, jump in.
Ask HN: What is your OSX virus defense strategy?
7 points by dhackner  11 hours ago   3 comments top 3
snowwrestler 7 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Run the latest version of the OS and browsers, and check for updates often.

2) Run as a "normal" user account--not an admin.

3) Disable all auto-opening of so-called "safe" files.

4) Disable Java browser plugin entirely.

5) Configure browser to not load Flash or other plugin content unless I click to authorize it. Might require an extension like ClickToFlash in some browsers.

6) Be cautious. Stay away from sketchy sites and don't open emails and/or attachments that seem random, unexpected, or suspicious.

austinhyde 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, my number one defense has always been (regardless of operating system) to (a) not visit shady websites, (b) adblock, and (c) don't open email attachments from untrusted senders.

I've been using the free version of Sophos (http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-antiv...) on my MacBook for a year or two now, and haven't seen any problems yet. I'm not sure if that means it works, or if I just haven't caught anything yet.

cstrat 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Dont really have one!
Ask HN: Favorite algorithms book
4 points by jmount  13 hours ago   4 comments top 4
sold 13 hours ago 0 replies      
In my opinion CLRS is too verbose and formal, unless you are a complete beginner. I don't know Sedgewick's book. I can recommend Kleinberg/Tardos, Dasgupta/Papadimitriou/Vazirani and Manber's "Introduction to algorithms: a creative approach".
abhijat 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been reading Adam Drozdek's book : Data Structures and Algorithms in C++ and I like it, though I have had to read up on C++ which I do not know that well (the algorithms in the book are implemented in C++).
smalley 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I would recommend "The Algorithm Design Manual" by Skiena.

What I believe this book provides that CLRS does not is a series of succinct descriptions of common algorithms AND brief explanations of where you would most likely find those algorithms to be near optimal solutions.

Skiena's book does not provide a detailed theoretical analysis of each algorithm like CLRS does, nor does it include particularly exotic data structures and algorithms you'd find in journal papers. What Skiena does provide along with each algorithm is a series of references which do provide a lot of this additional background information that you could independently find if you need a more detailed look at a topic.

As a bonus the book also includes a series of "War Stories" describing how some of the algorithms solved specific real world problems. They're an amusing break from the rest of the book if you're trying to read it cover to cover rather than just as a reference.

Thank You HN: From 30 people whose lives you saved
363 points by chaseadam17  4 days ago   54 comments top 33
dos1 4 days ago 1 reply      
Holy shit. I can't remember a time when a website had an immediate impact on me like this. I mean, literally 5 seconds after landing on the site I got what they were trying to do and couldn't click the fund button fast enough. Such a simple idea but maybe that's what makes it so damn brilliant. So cool.

Edit: When I first went to the site 15 minutes ago there were two profiles of people in need of medical care. The total outstanding balance for both treatments was around $650 USD. In just 15 short minutes both treatments have been fully funded according to my inbox. That's just phenomenal, and I bet this story on HN has a lot to do with that!

justjimmy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Your open Google doc is what persuaded me. I've always felt uncomfortable donating to charities - knowing well that my money may never go towards the cause they're touting, but on TV ads, expense accounts, PR Campaigns etc. While some argue it's operation costs but it's just not transparent enough.

Your easy to access and understand table really lifts the veil, as well as your clear separation of Donations going to the patients vs. Donations to the operating costs. I think people are definitely more willing to open their wallets knowing that 100% of the money go towards directly helping the patient.

Definitely suggest setting up a recurring payment option - while some people would love to help out continuously, they may not have the time to read each case (and then having to decide who to help) and come back once in a while(paradox of choice) - just take $100 bucks each month out of my account and let me know how that $100 was spent. Also give the option of deciding a % of the donation go towards operation and a % go towards the patient (like a slider style) so people don't have to feel compelled and work to donate in 2 flows.

And knowing that you guys may have a challenge of getting operation donations, offset it by giving us easy to add social widgets or just a simple graphic to add to our blogs and sites. I have no problem showing it next to my Dribbble and LinkedIn icons knowing that you guys have a really tight budget and may not have PR money. (I think free social advertising works better than those in your face PETA campaigns anyway. Makes us feel like we're directly helping out by displaying it on our sites :D)

ashray 4 days ago 0 replies      
Oh my god! I missed this for a while but .. wait a minute. You're saying that I can find $580 and help save this kid Cesar ?!

Or Alan even ?!

This is absolutely FANTASTIC!! I'm really curious as to how you carry out on the ground execution (getting the money to the family, carrying out the needed medical procedures, etc.) and stuff but I absolutely love the idea. Amazing work guys!

EDIT: Just donated $25 :) Oh yeah, just noticed this. If I click on "Tweet" on the site, the pre-filled tweet says "via @sharethis". You might want to change that to say "via @watsi_org" so that you know when someone shares your stuff =)

EDIT2: Just voted for you at the huffington post thing. Looks like it's close! 51-48 so far :O

EDIT3: GOOD GOING HACKERNEWS :D I just checked the site and:

There are 0 people on Watsi that need your help!

AWESOME!!! (http://watsi.org/fund-treatments)

streeter 4 days ago 1 reply      
I've been following Watsi for a while, and it's great to the continued success. They're currently tied for first in a HuffPo competition to win $10k which would help them reach even more people in need of medical aid. If you want to help them out, you can vote in 10 seconds for them here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/millennial-impact-c...
forgingahead 4 days ago 0 replies      
Clickable to Watsi: http://watsi.org/

Clickable to original thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4424081

sherjilozair 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great work Adam, and the Watsi team!

However, its the time to scale up higher. I came to the website and saw that there were no patients to help. Surely this means that the scouting team should be enlarged. Tie-ups with other NGOs would help, who can provide you details about patients who need help.

Here in India, there is a very reputed hospital called AIIMS, who have subsidized treatment, but still ask for some nominal payment. Also, patients have to buy medicines on their own. Watsi could be a great help to these patients, since the amount of money they require is only nominal, and many times, these patients can't even afford that. Some of these medications would cost as little as $20/month. Partnering up with such institutions would get you a credible list of people needing help, and this list is perfectly aligned to the 'low-cost, high-impact' patients you aim at.

I'm willing to help you with operations in India, if you are willing to expand.

Keep up the great work!

mtrimpe 4 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the great work! Just a quick question; have you considered making a WordPress plugin to display today's top causes?

I worked on a project similar to that for Oxfam Novib (Blogsfam) which didn't make it due to organizational friction but won several awards nonetheless.

It might be an interesting addition to your platform...

noonespecial 4 days ago 1 reply      
I can't help feeling that there's some of the ingredients needed to create an entirely new form of health insurance in here.

I'm ridiculously glad its working as well as it is. Its like watching the start of an avalanche. You don't really know what exactly is going to happen, but the ground is rumbling and you're sure its going to be huge and exciting.

clicks 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is so, so awesome. You made the right choice to quit your job for this. :)

I am really really looking forward to see this become big. Kudos to you for building this thing. I should also note that you've made a beautiful site as well, I can't find any faults in it by any aspect. I wish you much success.

ars 4 days ago 3 replies      
Since everything is fully funded you should give people the option of funding in advance.

Be open about it of course, and send them an email as soon as you know who the money is going to.

Also give people the option of getting an email when there is someone in need. (To avoid annoying people perhaps limit the email to the next 3 people, then stop sending them for a user specified time.)

jacquesm 4 days ago 0 replies      
Every now and the something comes along that is a real game changer. The internet was such a thing and it in turn engendered with web, which gave us WikiPedia, the Khan Academy and now this. What a super concept!

I hope you guys will be able to avoid the various pitfalls and traps that other charities seem to fall in to (where it becomes more about them than about those they help), by the looks of it you will be in excellent shape in that department.

Edit: you've covered this in the faq, but you may want to make it more plain, your donations are tax deductible, you might want to emphasize that. Especially for corporations that's a big thing, and it could get you corporate sponsors willing to name you. I know you're peer-to-peer but don't underestimate corporate dollars and riding their PR machine for free.

nodata 4 days ago 1 reply      
Your website is excellent, I've helped five people so far.

Just two suggestions:

1. Please give me a way to view who I have helped. A followup story would be great too.

2. Please give me a way to find out about new people

toomuchtodo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Do you have a way yet to charge on a recurring basis? #shutUpTakeMyCreditCardAndChargeItMonthly
kainteriors 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is a wonderful idea being executed completely by volunteers. It can be a game changer for those in impoverished countries. You can help out even more by voting in the Huffington Post IgniteGood contest. Watsi has a 50% chance of winning $10,000.00. Please vote for them so they can continue doing this amazing work. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/millennial-impact-c...
rdl 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, that's a pretty great site.

You should make it easier for people to give bigger gifts -- to do so people need your tax ID and address info, so they can set you as beneficiary for 401ks (if you die before collecting), etc. And most people don't know anything about this, so maybe a 1-pg on "how to save 10 lives for free*" or something.

Also, a lot of people donate specifically before the end of the (tax) year, so a focused campaign in December would make a lot of sense.

If you possibly can, get reviewed by Givewell.

yesimahuman 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great work guys. I agree with the other comments, I just felt something powerful as soon as I hit the landing page, and just had to donate (and I don't do that much).

It's amazing that just 10 minutes ago Cesar needed $500 and now he's fully funded. Keep up the awesome work!

ryanteo 1 day ago 0 replies      
If there are any plans to expand to Asia, I would be happy to bounce ideas. I think this is a fantastic idea. I have been involved in healthcare startups (co-founded one) for the last 2 years in Singapore, so this is extremely interesting to me.
thomasilk 4 days ago 0 replies      
It literally takes half a second to get what the site does and how to help. Brilliant.

I'd put the mailing list or something similar more prominently above the fold, because more people would regularly return if they'd get a weekly or monthly email with success stories and new profiles/stories that still need funding.

F.e. currently every project is fully funded and I almost fear forgetting about the site.

Anyway great project if you need someone to help with some marketing ideas or anything else from time to time (of course for free), send me a mail (me[at]ilkthomas[dot]com). I'd love to help.

HyprMusic 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is such a brilliant idea, and looking at the site now everyone is fully funded. And major kudos for taking the risk of quitting your day job to head such a great non-profit. If you ever need any extra dev hands, I'll happily help any way I can.
farmdawgnation 4 days ago 1 reply      
I just tried to access the site and got a Heroku error page. Looks like you guys are under some significant load? This is an excellent idea.

I'm left to wonder how well this idea would transplant to a country like the United States. Everyone has varying degrees on Obama's healthcare act depending on where you fall on the political spectrum - but wouldn't it make the entire conversation moot if the private sector were able to fund stuff like this?

What about directly funding and putting a face to the efforts of someone who is homeless finding a job? Plenty of people give to organizations like Goodwill and United Way, but you very rarely get to have a picture put with where your dollars are going. There would be a lot of details to work out, and the idea is certainly ambitious - but if Watsi is able to succeed this much then hey, someone should give it a shot.

So much good is happening here. You guys are brilliant, and I'm thankful for people like you. Cheers.

andreyf 4 days ago 0 replies      
Well done! Support for Google Checkout and Amazon Payments will help a lot, I think.
keeptrying 4 days ago 0 replies      
You guys rock man!

I would love to meet you guys if you are in SF. This is the kind of deep impact stuff that I want to be doing or at least sponsoring.

brackin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats, this is really awesome. We're building a crowd-funding site in the charity space. Where one can fund a project directly and relieve updates on project progress. So that your money is going directly to help.
vimarshk 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am a student at USC. I could not do much on the financial side of it but I sure did spread the word on Twitter and other channels. I e-mailed them about the awesome work they were doing and told them that I would help them from the technology side if they required me. Then I got a reply back from Chase (co-founder) himself. In life very seldom you get a chance to do something meaningful, they are doing it! Hats off. Go Watsi!!
baggers 4 days ago 0 replies      
@chaseadam It would be quite nice to have an option to use this in a gittip sort of way.
Also how do you go about finding people to donate to? I have contacts with a Ugandan Hospital and I'm sure others here have have worked on the ground with folks that would love to link up with you guys.
Thanks for your awesome work and good luck
woodsier 4 days ago 0 replies      
You guys are absolute heroes. The concept behind this site is amazing. Well done.
hosh 4 days ago 0 replies      
Gratitude is never too corny for Thanksgiving. And thanks for putting the platform together :-)
nickbarone 4 days ago 0 replies      
Woah @ prefunding-treatement. Brilliant! I hope it scales - It can, I think, if you keep momentum.
aioprisan 4 days ago 0 replies      
you should build widgets so that others can embed the top stories from your site and get distributed exposure, I'm sure it would provide sustained exposure.
gauchosteph 4 days ago 0 replies      
Here's to another 30 more!
fblp 4 days ago 0 replies      
795 donations so far totalling $28,515
killingmichael 4 days ago 0 replies      
chase - this is great :) if you're up for it, we would be happy to donate some iOS time to the mobile app.
rxooo 4 days ago 0 replies      
We did it Reddit!
Ask HN: How do you manage server side credentials?
8 points by reinhardt  14 hours ago   3 comments top 2
donavanm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Assuming its just data at rest? Use gpg. Encrypt your plaintext with all of the authorized users public keys. When someone joins few crypt with the new persons key. When they leave rotate creds and rencrypt minus their key. Keep the cipher text in VCS so you have change history and a light audit trail.

This method is very maintainable for a dozen or two users. I've never looked, but there's probably a management application built around this work flow as well.

mathrawka 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Storing in environment variables is a good practice.

Take a look at this: http://www.12factor.net/config

Ask HN: What Are Some Good GitHub "Contributing" Examples?
18 points by pessimism  22 hours ago   10 comments top 7
notmyname 21 hours ago 1 reply      
We just added a CONTRIBUTING file to OpenStack Swift (and I believe the other OpenStack projects are getting one soon): https://github.com/openstack/swift/commit/fdf55c2817c9a457de....

The odd thing about OpenStack (from a GitHub perspective) is that the OpenStack development process doesn't use GitHub's issues or pull requests. This has been documented on the OpenStack wiki, but that info is now also in our CONTRIBUTING file. Our file is an example of something to share with potential contributors to point them in the right direction.

vitovito 20 hours ago 0 replies      
"Contributing" is a project by bradfitz specifically to explain how to contribute to projects, and to collect those explanations.


On Github at: https://github.com/bradfitz/contributing

dunstenloopy 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It took me ages that you mean a file called CONTRIBUTING at the root of your project repository. It just looked like you were shouting.
robinho364 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I support that "Perhaps we could look into creating a CONTRIBUTING Bootstrap as a default template for writing your GitHub contribution guidelines".
I am a new developer who have been using github for only a few month. At the beginning, I even don't know how to use the "git" to manage my repository. It really takes me some days to learn it.
Ask PG: Has the algorithm been modified?
23 points by lucb1e  23 hours ago   11 comments top 6
kami8845 22 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to confirm/disprove your hypothesis you can use a tool I built for just this usecase:


It also has an API if you want to play with the raw data yourself.

irahul 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Previous discussions:



The simplified algorithm is

Score = (P-1) / (T+2)^G

P = points of an item (and -1 is to negate submitters vote)
T = time since submission (in hours)
G = Gravity, defaults to 1.8 in news.arc

The updated algorithm posted by pg has other factors, but those are related to quality control. If the same algorithm is still deployed, stories decline with time. So, during quiet periods, the new stories with far lesser number of votes rank higher than old stories with high number of votes.

jacques_chester 22 hours ago 0 replies      
During quiet periods it's easier to hit the front page. A lot of stories get on the front page during the European daytime and get a second round of voting when the US east coast gets to work.
sambeau 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I suspect that what you are witnessing is nothing more than the Thanksgiving holiday effect.
jacquesm 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Right now from what I can see it takes 3 votes to get to the homepage (I checked using the Swequity link, it was at 2 and not on the homepage, after one more upvote it was), but those 3 upvotes have to be in a fairly limited timeframe to be effective. 3 points in 5 hours doesn't cut it, but 3 votes in a half hour or so is enough.

How long it will stay there depends on how many votes and flags it gets after that.

A flag counts as multiple downvotes.

iProject 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Can't speak from inside knowledge, but it has been observed when this was asked in past that during slow period (middle of night, U.S. time; Sunday mornings) it takes surprisingly little activity to rise quickly to top (if only briefly).
Ask HN: How to learn to touch type efficiently?
3 points by zensavona  11 hours ago   8 comments top 3
DanBC 11 hours ago 1 reply      
1: Slow and accurate is better. Build up speed.

2: Do not look at the keys. Learn the finger positions. Try covering your hands with a tea towel. (Or buy a keyboard with no markings. (Which has the added advantage of switching to other layouts easy.))

3: Practice little but often. Do short stints every day rather than long stints all day. (This is training drills, you should be trying to touch type all the time.)

4: IMPORTANT: PAY ATTENTION TO ACHES AND PAINS IN YOUR HANDS AND WRISTS. Some people find that touch typing, especially the positions recommended for the hands, causes discomfort. Sometimes that discomfort can be a severely debilitating RSI.
The software I liked was "Typing Master" (http://www.typingmaster.com/) but it looks really dated now. Maybe there are much better softwares around.

squidsoup 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know how efficient it is, but learning to type with Typing of the Dead is certainly the most fun.


TimSchumann 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you can afford it, throw down the scratch for a decent keyboard.

Something with Mechanical Switches.

Ask HN: Is it possible to send an SMS through a third party?
2 points by andhess  10 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Is there a Github clone that I can run on my own server?
6 points by ForFreedom  16 hours ago   9 comments top 5
csaba 16 hours ago 1 reply      
msmakhlouf 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest http://phabricator.org in a way it has most of the features that might satisfy your needs.
thifm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Github Enterprise.
josscrowcroft 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: So, what is your problem?
29 points by leftnode  11 hours ago   63 comments top 14
michaelochurch 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This isn't my problem, but some of my friends were talking about it: something like Kickstarter, but for consultants. The genius of Kickstarter is the "transactional" (in the database sense of the word, wherein a set of operations is packaged so that either all happen or none do) nature of the thing: either the money is raised, or not; and if not, it's all returned to pledgers. If the consultant gets enough pledges/work to cover the next N months (N = 8 to 12) then they get the money and can start out as consultants. If they don't, the money goes back and they continue with their day jobs.

One of the problems with consulting is that it's really hard for most people, while employed, to line up enough work that they can become consultants in the first place. Most people will never get the chance, even if they have the talent, because they can't front the initial financial cost. This keeps a lot of people out of self-employment who would otherwise be a better fit for it.

The Kickstarter-esque idea seems strong, but the biggest problem with this idea is that people who have serious ($150+ per hour) work to offer generally don't solicit on the Internet if they can help it. They prefer to source through word-of-mouth, which is pre-technological and broken and leads to that imbecilic situation where you have to be in to get in... but I don't make the rules.

That's why I haven't pursued it. It's one of those startups that requires fixing people, and any startup that goes long on human nature is facing extremely bad odds.

peteforde 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I have a major frustration with payment providers " even contemporary players like Stripe " that can't offer a 3rd party payments system. That is, anything resembling a "marketplace" where you sell things on behalf of someone else, take a cut and pass on the rest to the content creator requires the integrator to come up with a half-assed payout pipeline. This often results in sending cheques and/or making PayPal payments.

My dream would be a product offering that offered pass-through payment processing, so my vendors have an account and give my store a key. Payments go directly to the vendor, and a pre-negotiated amount or percentage is automatically collected and sent to me. Both me and the vendor pay the same processing rate.

I have several concepts I'd love to build and launch, but all of them fall down because I can't easily justify a 2x2.9% transaction fee.

yummyfajitas 10 hours ago 8 replies      
I pay $X for clothing (I haven't calculated it, but assume it's relatively average for a man who doesn't wear suites). I'll pay $2X if you can make me well dressed.

Key point: I need to trust that your decisions are correct. What I want to pay for is not thinking about this and knowing that it's handled.

zainny 10 hours ago 4 replies      
I'd love to have an easier way to get involved in some open source project for improving my skills, enhancing my CV, etc.

My main challenge is being overwhelmed with information and I can't seem to find a good place to get started on any project.

cperciva 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I get lots of email from cron jobs. I probably spend 5-10 minutes every day clicking through them and making sure that there's nothing "odd" in them which needs my attention.

I would love to have some software which reads my cronmail, figures out what's "normal", and warns me when something isn't normal.

OafTobark 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Probably not worth solving, certainly not something I would solve myself but...

I'm up late all the time working. True nightowl you could say. The earliest I'd go to bed is 6am. I sleep during the day and wake up around noon at the latest. I don't lack sleep, this schedule works for me. Point is, I'm up late and I'm sure there are others like me.

I get hungry often. I don't cook. Few places if any are open. Those that do are unknown (what little and inccurately Yelp tries to cover with hours filtering) and certainly don't deliver.

Broken solution, I'd like a list of all places open late, what they serve, and a way to get it delivered. I'd pay premium for it. I would task rabbit it or something but I don't know many rabbits working that late and certainly not a good enough resource to figure out what places are open. Not changing my sleep schedule either, f that.

orangethirty 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The focus on finding problems to fix is a bit shortsighted. Focus on building what is missing. Somehow, hackers seem to forget this important detail. A problem that is fixed is no longer a problem. But building something that was missing is now a tool used my many.

Facebook does not fix a problem. It built something that was missing (a good social network). Google did not fix the search problem. Is built something that was missing (a better way to search back then). AirBnB does not fix a problem. It built something that was missing (a platform for temporary private housing rentals). Twitter did not fix the blogging problem. It built something that was missing (a way for people to communicate quickly without much friction).

Look around. What is missing? Go build it.

callmeed 6 hours ago 0 replies      
1. I want to finish my CS bachelors degree online from somewhere reputable

2. I want an "Uber for babysitters" (yes I know of sitter city and the like, not impressed) ... we are very last-minute and spontaneous so our regular sitters aren't always available.

3. I often want to try making new/different cocktails but I never have all the ingredients ... ("birchbox for cocktails"?)

4. I have a close female family member that is overweight/obese and on a trajectory to get worse. No one else in the family knows how to help or even approach the subject.

milesokeefe 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a hard time getting myself to do things and stick to them.

I want to bet against myself; to put down money that I will complete a task, so that the only way to get my money back is to finish what I start.

For example, I want to teach myself machine learning but find it hard to concentrate and stick through an online program.
I would go to this site, put down "$80" as a bet, "a certificate of completion email for "Machine Learning 101" from stanford.edu" as proof, and "December 30" as a deadline.

The website then bills my credit card for $80, and only refunds that amount back if a moderator receives the certificate of completion email from stanford.edu, verifying that I did complete the task. If the website moderator doesn't get the proof by the deadline, I don't get my money back.

The task could be anything, but the proof would have to be very difficult to fake, and would require some effort on the part of the website moderator to enforce.

I would love to make this service/website myself, as it would help people and be profitable, the only issue is that /I/ want to use the service as well, and by its very nature someone else would have to run it for it to work for me.

ganz 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a poor sense of how I spend all my time, and that leads to sub-optimal decision making. I've been building a web app to easily track my time usage and display it as a historical calendar, and adding features to get the most insight out of reflecting on it (running stats, notes, etc.) The most recent handy feature was an xmpp chat bot interface for lowering the friction on adding data.

The inspiration was the quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", which jives with the observation that how one spent their time last month is a better predictor of their future than how they wish they would spend this month. People have a lot of inertia, but tend not to notice.

I'd be especially interested in any tips about research on past-time perception.

jrkelly 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Ever since google killed sharing within google reader itself (they meshed it into Google+) there is no way for 1st tier content junkies (i.e. people who have a ton of RSS feeds) to share good reads with each other. Twitter has horrible S/N, no one is on Google+ and if they were it would have same problem as twitter. Sharing within Google Reader was perfect b/c the majority of people who used Reader were other content junkies. HN does this but only for 50 stories a day and isn't curated from content junkies with my shared interests.
bobrenjc93 10 hours ago 7 replies      
I would like more users to register my side project (http://getmousetrack.com), but I can't seem to convert anyone who visits the project site. At this point, I think I would pay for some service that gives me honest feedback on my landing page and maybe suggest ways to improve conversion rates.
swalsh 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have an infiniti with a backup cam. When it rains, the thing is sometimes useless. I'd like a windshield wiper thing or equivalent solution for that camera.
amplitwist 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I work on numerical simulations, where I deal with colossal arrays of floating point numbers on hundreds or thousands of nodes. I want tools that can help with the following:

1. Visualizing code. Rendering C++ and/or Fortran as LaTeX would be very helpful for lines of code like this, where I've spent too much time tracking down misplaced parens:


2. A better way to debug and test mathematical programs. Debugging is extremely hard when you have thousands of processes doing calculations that aren't reproducible by hand, so it's very difficult or impossible to create test cases for subunits of the program. The only tests are Fermi calculations and comparison of the whole program's output with an analytical solution, which is often not possible, and is not useful for debugging.

3. A language with the following characteristics:
- Within 10% of Intel/PGI Fortran on tight numerical loops
- Array and distributed/concurrent syntax with lightweight threads and syntactical support for GASnet/MPI.
- Parallel load balancing, preferably across nodes. A few of the algorithms I use are adaptive or have parts of the solution domain that require much more work than other parts, leading to situations where naive/maintainable MPI code leaves most processors idle.
- Hindley-Milner type inference, typeclasses/typeclass-like features, operator overloading/syntax extension, and effortless interoperation with C/Fortran. An IDE with syntax rendering like Maple or Mathematica's would be a HUGE plus. I don't know why this doesn't exist for usably fast languages.
- Supports an interactive mode with easy visualization

The closest language I've seen is Cray's Chapel, but there are several things I don't like about it. Its imperative/oo design and lack of first class functions/tco are unacceptable, since the algorithms I use need to use the integer side of the machine as well as the floating point ones. Right now I use either Charm++ (http://charm.cs.uiuc.edu/) with Intel's array syntax, or Fortran 2008 for some inherited code. C++ has non-ideal semantics for numerical code, and doing non-trivial algorithms in Fortran is still a nightmare, especially when using MPI, as communication code quickly becomes the main part of the program. Something like Sisal (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sisal/), if it was modernized and extended to distributed architectures, would be amazing. It used to beat typical Fortran by 20%.

4. I absolutely need to account for cache behavior, otherwise my simulations will take months to run instead of weeks. I would love anyone who wrote a practical tool that automatically tiled loops, since doing this manually turns code into an unmaintainable rat's nest very quickly, or wrote a library of skeletons for tiled loops and cache oblivious algorithms.

Ask HN: What are some good examples of landing pages for a book launch?
3 points by ajjuliani  14 hours ago   2 comments top 2
jkaykin 14 hours ago 0 replies      
timmahoney 9 hours ago 0 replies      
At what income number does S-Corp save you money over a Sole Proprietorship
10 points by drc  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
rprasad 1 day ago 1 reply      
The IRS does not treat a sole proprietorship as a "single-member". It ignores the existence of the sole proprietorship for tax purposes, as do the states (generally). In other words, you and the business are the same in the eyes of the tax codes. An S-Corp which has a single member is also treated as a disregarded entity by the IRS. However, states differ on their treatment of S-Corps. Most states follow the IRS in disregarding the S-Corp entity, but a few do not.

Fee-wise, the differences are immediate. You must pay fees to the state and federal government related to your corporate entity. The total amount depends on your state.

Tax-wise, the difference is minimal, but the S-Corp form does make it easier to take and support deductions because you will probably maintain separate records for your business. Sole proprietors are audited more frequently by the IRS because they generally do not keep proper or sufficient records delineating the business spending. States differ on the taxes they impose on business entities.

Liability-wise, the difference is immediate and substantial. S-Corps offer limited liability, meaning that generally the S-Corp's liabilities are not yours. In practice, banks won't make loans to S-Corps unless its owners agree to waive limited liability, and if the S-Corp is not properly capitalized (i.e., does not maintain proper insurance or reserves to cover liabilities) then courts will ignore the limited liability shield. However, sole proprietorships offer no liability protections--your liabilities and the business liabilities are one and the same: i.e., if your business goes under, creditors can go after your house.

Self-employment taxes: A sole proprietor owes self-employment taxes. These taxes include your social security contribution. You would not necessarily pay self-employment taxes if you use the S-Corp form, if for example, you pay yourself a salary up to the respected salary limit and properly treat the remainder of distributions as potentially self-employment income.

You really need to talk to an accountant and/or lawyer about this.

eaurouge 1 day ago 1 reply      
As an LLC, you may elect to file (with the IRS) as an S-corp within the first 75 days of your calendar year. You can't just yo-yo back and forth from one filing classification to another so you should take some time considering the consequences. See http://answers.onstartups.com/ for answers on this topic.

Some LLCs make this election so they can take a distribution at the end of the year at a lower tax rate. The IRS monitors this, and expects you take a "reasonable salary" as income. I recently made the election for similar reasons, but also to allow me to run my company more like a startup, and less like a consulting service.

There's enough information out there to make a decision, I think, but if you're still in doubt get an accountant.

codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I run an S-corp (one man) and wish there was a simple answer to this. There are way too many factors to consider before getting to any conclusion. The biggest advantage of an S-corp is the ability to save on the payroll taxes that the employer has to pay. But that really depends on how much you make, how much you take in salary/W-2 etc. But again, there are other costs of running an S-corp that add up really fast. For example, the accounting and taxes are much more complicated for S-corps and you certainly need a good CPA for it.

I suggest you talk to at least 2-3 CPAs and get an idea. Even the CPAs differ in their understanding and preferences. My CPA insists that S-corp is good for me while another one I spoke to kept telling me to switch to LLC.

In general, you need to consider the following factors:

1. Social security tax portion of employer. This has a cap at about 110K i think in 2012. So any income over that, does not matter anyway. FOr 2012, the rate was 6.2%. lets say you earned 100K but only paid yourself 75K with S-corp. At a high level, you will save almost 2K in ss taxes portion of the employer.

2. Medicare tax portion of the employer. This one is huge since there is no cap. So the less you pay in salary, more you save in tax.

lifeguard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask an accountant
Ask HN: How have you made "quick" money before?
116 points by throwaway_broke  5 days ago   100 comments top 49
patio11 5 days ago 1 reply      
"Work a day. Bill a day." will accomplish the goal with very little execution risk (pair it with "Borrow money from a bank." if you want a bit of an insurance policy). Better yet, work multiple days, then put away some of the income in an emergency fund, because usual hiccups do indeed happen when providing for a family.

There are more complicated answers, but they strike me as a perverse sort of poverty tourism. You have such astoundingly better options than poor people. Use them.

nostrademons 5 days ago 5 replies      
If it's really a short-term, temporary shortage (i.e. cash flow crunch), have you considered loans? This is sorta what credit cards, payday loans, and HELOCs are for. I'm guessing that HN is very opposed to debt of any sort, but the interest on even a payday loan is likely to be less than the depreciation hit you take from selling anything you'll need to replace later.

You could be in for major problems if it becomes a habit, though. Take on debt only if it is a one-time, nonrecurring expense that you can pay back in a short time, not if it's a problem of income not meeting expenditures. And work on building up an emergency fund so you can be your own banker next time.

(FWIW: I served as "banker" when my sister moved out and got her own place, because she'd never worked before and didn't have money for 1st months rent + security deposit. She paid me back with interest 3 months later, although the "interest" was only that she paid for my half of our dad's father's day gift and bought me some sheet music.)

buro9 5 days ago 1 reply      
I made a fanzine (Xerox copy produced magazine) covering bands that were due to play in my town.

I'd print the whole thing except for the cover, and I'd then print the cover on the day of a gig with the headline band on the front.

I could produce these fanzines at 30p, and sell them for up to £2 (exact price depends on the people in the queue I was selling to). I could also sell over a hundred at each gig. Which means £170 profit per night.

Gigs only happened 3 or 4 days a week, so I could only bag around £600 per week from this.

That said, it was quick and non-traditional. Requiring only A4 paper, a pen, and snippets from other music magazines (photos).

I did this when I was homeless and had no skills.

Now you have skills in web and mobile development, skills worth way more to people than me selling fanzines at a gig.

If you want to make some money, get the yellow pages and pick up the phone. Go find a local business park and knock on some doors. Walk in and tell them what you can do, what you offer, and explain your situation. Offer to fix their networking, their printer, their website, to add a feature.


They pay over the odds and always have nagging little problems that they will pay to fix.

More, once you've done your role as an odd-job techie, you'll be on their books as someone who can fix something. Allowing you to tap into a little future stream of money too.

But ultimately, how badly do you want the money? Because this money is there, if you want it bad enough. But it does take some leg work to find those small companies who don't know how to find you (this is why they pay a premium).

jaggederest 5 days ago 1 reply      
Sell your shit, or pawn it.

Good things to sell are things that hold value - bikes, rolexes, tools, things like that. Imagine you were burgling your own apartment/house, take the things they would take and sell them.

It's entirely possible to purchase a used mercedes, take decent care of it for 2-3 years, and turn around and resell it for virtually the same price. Ditto many luxury goods - a used rolex can sometimes be turned around for a profit.

jacquesm 5 days ago 1 reply      
By finding someone with a problem and solving it for them on the spot.

Quickest 1,000 euros (2500 guilders at the time) I ever made was in a place where they ran a distributed message passing system that had broken down on a busy Monday morning grinding to a halt the shipping brokerages in 50 countries or so.

From walking in to getting the job to walking out again with a for me at the time large sum of money was about 15 minutes. Outsider perspective is worth a lot in times of crisis and if you can spot what the problem is faster than the team that built the thing it certainly won't hurt your reputation.

Of course you could argue that I charged them too little and that I should have made them bleed but I don't like ripping people off. And they did turn into a long term customer after that.

ChuckMcM 5 days ago 0 replies      
Clearly the easiest thing (as many have mentioned) has been "sell your stuff." One of the folks I know who got into trouble post 2009 was selling "PC tuneups and consulting" for $50 initially, and $75 later, he would spend an hour with someone and help 'tune up' their PC (get rid of old software, update to a current AV, etc) and if they were interested he would consult with the client on what they needed/wanted in a PC and would give them some places where they could acquire it. After a couple of weeks, and even after raising his price by 50% he had more business than he could handle. I believe he also got an affiliated marketing deal with one of the AV companies and they would spiff him something like $10 if the customer bought their AV product.

Basically technology is really confusing to a lot of people, many of whom will gladly pay for someone to explain to them in small words what they need to do.

lifeformed 5 days ago 0 replies      
Pick out the parts, build, and setup a powerful gaming desktop, and sell it at double price. Ideally, you already have a buyer in mind, and you talk to him beforehand so you can meet his needs specifically.

People who don't know much about computers, but want (and can afford) the very best, would probably be happy to drop $2-3k on a custom-built computer that you can put together for $1k off of Newegg and a couple of hours of work. Set up Windows, drivers, and all of their Steam games, so they can just pick it up and play. Plus, you get to play with new gadgets, if that's your thing.

geoffschmidt 5 days ago 2 replies      
One option is for-pay medical studies, especially if you live near the right kind of clinic or university. Googling "medical research for pay" might give you some starting points. I have never done it myself but it is a real thing.
(EDIT: http://brokelyn.com/human-guinea-pig/)

In particular sleep studies can pay thousands of dollars (in exchange for living in a lab for a week or two) but the lead time might be too long for you, eg

Also, you might try being a provider on services like Exec, Lyft, or Taskrabbit.

dave_sullivan 5 days ago 0 replies      
That's a tough one.

If there was a way to make quick money that worked, lots of people would be doing it. With enough people doing it, some people get very good at it and are able to consolidate and raise barriers to entry. So now that previously very attractive thing is slightly less attractive because there's more ramp up required.

Fortunately, you do have valuable skills. Unfortunately, as you point out, even putting those to optimal use requires significant ramp up--you've got to build a name for yourself or you've got to start some kind of consulting company and build a client list. Then suddenly you're in the consulting business. If you just jump into it and take whatever you can get, you'll make significantly less.

It's not even a matter of doing something you'd rather not do--there are tons of people out there that will do things most people don't want to do for very little money--and they do it for a living.

So of those, you could try hitting odesk or elance or any number of freelancing websites to pick up a quick gig--but even that requires a sales pipeline that takes some time to get going. Personally, I'd put it on a credit card if I were in a similar situation, and lacking that, would probably start selling stuff.

petercooper 5 days ago 1 reply      
Ran a course. Sold a screencast. (Over $10k within 2 months for both.) A little busy to go into details right now but there have been lots of posts with similar case studies on HN - one of the better ones was http://sachagreif.com/lessons-learned-from-an-ebook-launch/
dangrossman 5 days ago 3 replies      
Build plugins or themes for WordPress. There are 58 million active WP sites now. There are mature markets for listing and promoting what you create. Bonus money if you can tie what you build into generating revenue for customers -- affiliate marketing tools/integrations, plugins or themes that play with existing e-commerce plugins or themes people use, marketing tools, etc. If you can do that, you can justify a $50-100 price tag, and just one sale a day will create the revenue you need.

8 years ago or so, I ran a little ecommerce site with a wholesale/drop-ship product provided by another company. When I needed extra spending money (being a full-time college student at a private university and no savings), I'd clone my own site. I'd design a new theme for the shopping cart software and sell the same product. I'd advertise it on Google AdWords for a few days to get some orders. Then I'd package that all up and list it on eBay -- a fully functional site with existing customers, a supplier, a known conversion rate, and pre-written ad copy and keyword list for the buyer. These days people use Flippa instead of eBay to sell websites, but it's something you could try as a web dev.

artursapek 5 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know if you do mobile design or just development, but the payouts on 99Designs can be pretty good and the contests (from my experience three years ago) go pretty quick.

If you're capable of cloning the style that their clients seem to choose most of the time your success rate can be rather high, but it can also be very frustrating to do a lot of work and by chance not win any contests.

It's pretty shallow work artistically, and can be a gamble. But you could probably rack up $2000 in a month if you really committed.


lambtron 5 days ago 0 replies      
One time, me and my friend came across a book that was only sold through a small publisher in Omaha. The book sold for ~$20 and, since we couldn't find it on Amazon, we resold it for $300 a pop.

Every time we received an order on Amazon, we would just take that buyer's information and buy it on the small publisher's website"we essentially took on zero risk and worked a few minutes every time we got an order.

It was a great example of arbitrage. And just like arbitrage, competitors also saw this exploit and the market inefficiency disappeared. Margins were competed away.

Even though it was a temporary window of opportunity, we found an article saying that some people do this kind of work full time (finding obscure books and reselling at a huge markup)!

xoail 5 days ago 1 reply      
When in college I wrote solution manuals of my text books (as part of assignments) and sold it on eBay. I made over 2k a month for few months. I am not sure if you can apply this but something to think out of the box. You may be already doing something, and someone may be willing to pay for it online. Also, please include your email in the profile. If you are in NYC, I may be able to hire you and pay you some advance payment for web dev services.
bdcravens 5 days ago 0 replies      
Having been in that situation from time to time, I've sold stuff. Most of it fairly current technology: SSD drives, iPads, etc.

I also pickup quick projects: $500-$2000 projects that can be completed on the side in under a week.

Hit up Craigslist. (assuming you're in an area where this is relevant) Not always the highest quality work, but you'll find a lot of quick $$ things there.

Rinum 5 days ago 1 reply      
Black Friday is coming up. Be the first in line at a popular shop and sell your spot.
itsprofitbaron 4 days ago 0 replies      
You have two main assets in your hands to generate $2000+ quickly " web & mobile development.

Seriously, I started making money online at 14 with $0 and I remember thinking then if I could make $100 online that would be amazing " I made it within 3 days of my decision to start making money online through forum boosting (there's a load of forum posts where you can see me winning “forum boosting contracts” etc).

Since you need $2000 now there are loads of options available to you to do it, taking advantage of your Web & Mobile development skills and I'll suggest a couple of the methods I have used over the years to make money online in a short period of time.

- Create FREE Wordpress Themes & sell the “sponsored” links in the footer = $75 " 150/theme.

Sell 3 slots on each design for: $20-25/each

Sell the “designer” slot by for: $30-50/each

Offer the whole theme for: $100-150

Then submit the theme to 100-150 free theme places (you could even pay someone on fiverr to do it)

- Sell Wordpress Themes on ThemesForest

$30 " 50/each

- Sell Wordpress Plugins

- Code PSD/HTML etc

Offer your services for $30-100/page & charge $50-100 extra to code to Wordpress etc.

- Write an eBook report

Write a report on some aspect to making money online etc & sell it for $7-10 on Webmaster Forums.

- Write a Larger eBook. Sell it on Warrior Forum.

Write a 10-20 page eBook then sell it on Warrior Forum as a WSO.

- Write Articles

500/word articles at $6-8/each.

- Bid for Web Development/Mobile Development on Freelance Sites

Take small tasks which are easy to do & take a short period of time - $100-200 projects.

- Create Mobile Sites

Charge $100-500 for making existing website owners a simple mobile version of their site.


There are a load more methods which I have done and what you can do too but, there are some methods you implement to make money online quickly with no capital outlay. I know because these are some of the methods I have used over the years to make money online.

mbesto 5 days ago 0 replies      
I'm looking for a part-time web developer for a budget of around $1k/month actually. Check my profile out for my contact details.
notdrunkatall 5 days ago 0 replies      
Two weeks ago, I wandered into an Office Depot that was having a moving sale, and just about everything in the store was 50% off. The computers and most of the electronics were only 10-20% off, with one major exception: graphing calculators. They had about 30 Texas Instruments graphing calculators of all kinds from 40-50% off.

I bought them all, 30 in total, and started selling them on Amazon and Ebay, undercutting everyone by a few dollars.

I just shipped the last two off yesterday, and after shipping costs and selling fees, I made just over $1,000.

It's not something that you can do any time, but going-out-of-business sales aren't that uncommon, and suffice to say that I will be on the look out for them from now on.

technotony 5 days ago 1 reply      
Put up a profile on Elance or ODesk, explain your situation clearly that you are willing to work for lower rates than your normal market rates for a short period and ask for people to help you.
mistercow 5 days ago 1 reply      
Depends on the definition of "quick" but sites like vWorker aren't bad if you're willing to work for less (assuming you haven't already built up a reputation) initially. On the one hand, it can sting to work for much less than your normal rate. If you're looking to pay the rent this way, you're going to need to take on a lot of small projects, and it's going to be a lot of work.

But on the other hand, it has some advantages, like potentially growing your client base and building a reputation so you can make more on those sites when you need to in the future. And sometimes time is all you have.

And it can make more economic sense than selling hardware, even if the hardware seems nonessential. Selling an oldish iPad now and buying a new one in six months is much more expensive than holding onto the old one for another year and a half. Hardware depreciates rapidly, so in theory, you could do well by selling an old iPad and then buying the same model used, later on if you need it. In practice, people usually don't do that.

redguava 5 days ago 0 replies      
Find small businesses in your local area that don't have websites and offer to build them one for $500 (or whatever number you think). You just need a few to make your money and it shouldn't take you long to build a simple site. Use wordpress and themes to make it really fast.

Restaurants are particularly good candidates.

lousy_sysadmin 5 days ago 0 replies      
Been there...

1) Sell your stuff

2) Odd job. I always do this, from replacement delivery guy to wedding planner assistant. Ask your network for a short gig and most of the time they have something for you

3) Borrow some money (family/friend)

4) Loan (CC/bank)

Done that

beatpanda 5 days ago 0 replies      
Do small-scale client work and ask for half up front. I've done this plenty of times succesfully.

I also paid my rent for several months while unemployed by offering to do work on my landlord's other properties. In fact, me and one of my other housemates were "employed" this way until we found more lucrative work.

Tutoring other people in web development has also paid my bills at times.

zoltar92 3 days ago 0 replies      
Your on hacker news. You need to break conventional thinking and "hack" the world to make money. Billing others to program is a dead end. Think of creative way to generate income!
swastik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would create a (maybe more than one, if I have that kind of time) wordpress plugin/theme (or any other app that has some value) if I have those skills and sell the entire plugin on a site like, say, Flippa. It would be easier and quicker than selling the plugin itself, and you will get the extra $1000-2000 within that time.

That's the simplest way to go about. You can create anything that has a high perceived value"web apps, iOS apps, etc. all count"and sell it. The key is the high perceived value.

nabraham 5 days ago 1 reply      
i) Write a scraper that compares electronic prices on Craigslist with what the fair value is on ebay/priceonomics. Auto send emails to craigslist sellers who are selling below market value, purchase, and then sell on ebay/craigslist. You can do similar live negotiations at moving sales.

ii) Airbnb your home, especially if you live in or near a big city. Or rent a home to Airbnb.

benzor 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just because everyone's already mentioned the easy (and probably best) answer of just selling stuff you don't need, let me add something a little different:

Enter programming competitions, app hackathons, that sort of thing. The kind that are typically one whole 24h day, or perhaps an entire weekend, and offer decent prizes to the top few teams.

Now, I'll grant you that this might not be suitable for a number of reasons. The main one being that you sound like you need this money ASAP and perhaps there simply aren't any good contests this weekend. However, they certainly meet your criteria for being earned "in a relatively short time frame" since you're not working more than a few days and potentially collecting a 4+ figure check. You also (obviously) need some solid chops, but you mentioned that you're "very competent" at web and mobile development, and those are the hottest areas so that's a good start.

Some random examples of contests and competitions that I've been involved with recently include Mozilla Ignite [1], The Great Canadian Appathon [2], and a bunch of other low-key contests with smaller payoffs, often aimed at students. I'm linking to the prize pages just to show you that it can be very lucrative :).

So get out there and give it a shot. At worst you make no money but meet a bunch of awesome people, and they usually present opportunities of their own.

[1] https://blog.mozillaignite.org/2012/09/ideation-winners/

[2] http://greatcanadianappathon.com/prizes.php

derdesign 5 days ago 2 replies      
You could try selling web related stuff, specially Wordpress & Magento themes. I have made a living on Themeforest (http://themeforest.net) selling WP themes since 2009 up until a few months back.

Serious money can be made there. Sales reached the $16K mark in my last month. I had to retire to dedicate full time to other things.

They pay monthly, on the 15th. Check it out, maybe this isn't exactly what you're asking for, but I think it's worth a look...

riams 5 days ago 0 replies      
Arbitrage on virtual goods from different countries/regions. Got lucky and got 15k in a week.
iuguy 5 days ago 0 replies      
If you need to make $1-$2k in a short period the best way to do this is to sell your things. You should have enough things to make that in enough time and you can always buy replacement things when you have the money later.

Once you've sold enough stuff, work out how much you need that's left. Can you get that doing a couple of evenings or weekends of part time work?

simonebrunozzi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Since you need money quickly, this is what I suggest:
1) Sell your stuff on Ebay or Craigslist or similar.
2) Find temporary work for a company that pays decent money (Lyft, Uber, TaskRabbit, Mechanical Turk, etc).
3) My favorite: call a good friend, tell them that you need 2k within a few weeks, and offer a written payback promise. This way your friend will not feel in a too awkward situation, and you'll be able to give him his money back. Ask for a 4-month deadline payment, and offer interest (let's say 60 dollars?). If he's a friend, he'll help.
If your friend is able/willing to give you only 1k, accept it. And find another friend who will lend the other 1k. It's doable, and there's nothing to be ashamed of.
Then find some meaningful ways to repay that debt.

Good luck. Hope it goes well.

frozenport 5 days ago 1 reply      
1K is credit card money. Get one.
dripton 4 days ago 0 replies      
This time of year, the package delivery companies are hiring lots of temporary help. There was a sticker looking for temporary delivery guys covering up the local paper's lead story last week.
jvrossb 5 days ago 1 reply      
Set up a profile on Elance.com and bid on some dev projects. It's not a particularly non-traditional mean but I mention it because you say you're competent in web and mobile development.
ra 5 days ago 0 replies      
Do you write iphone apps? If so ping me, I may have a gig.
bsims 5 days ago 0 replies      
marshray 5 days ago 0 replies      
You could attempt to find a vulnerability in a major system for a vendor that pays bug bounties.
egmalek 5 days ago 0 replies      
Code repurposing

You've probably worked on some interesting projects that are similar to some of the call-for-bids on oDesk or Elance.

Just look for the intersection between what code you already have and ongoing call-for-bids.

While bidding, send a screenshot and say that you already got the solution working.

Clients love avoiding the risk of paying someone to try and reinvent the wheel.

joelmbell 5 days ago 0 replies      
This is probably not the answer that your looking for but honestly if you absolutely need 1-2k over the next month find some stuff to sell.

You might have to get a little bit more crazy with it than you want to, but I think most people would be suprised how much stuff they don't actually "need".

centdev 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've been down that road a number of times. And I've been lucky to find myself in situations that allowed me to pull through with out selling my stuff. If you're good at iOS and Android development, I may have some short terms (few days) projects.
FiloSottile 4 days ago 0 replies      
There's a good market ($50+) in console modding and (i)gadget fixing.

You only need forums, tutorials, some screwdrivers and iFixit. Personally, I also find it really fun.

zbruhnke 5 days ago 0 replies      
Ping me I may be able to help
eddie_the_head 5 days ago 0 replies      
Side trades at the family food cart I ran during summers, like selling drugs.
monochromatic 5 days ago 1 reply      
Gamble. Just don't lose.
sharemywin 4 days ago 0 replies      
helloamar 5 days ago 1 reply      
i sold a .com domain at a high price
dbyrd 5 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Freelance Developer - Who retains ownership of code?
5 points by BklynJay  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
vitovito 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your master services agreement with your clients should define this in your intellectual property assignment and/or licensing clauses. To not have this defined is risky business practice.

I currently do user experience consulting, and my current MSA (the standard AIGA MSA) has a full assignment clause, which reads, in part:

Upon completion of the Services, and expressly subject to full payment of all fees, costs and expenses due, Designer hereby assigns to Client all right, title and interest, including without limitation copyright and other intellectual property rights, in and to the Final Art.

There are other possible choices depending on the project, including limited-use licensing clauses:

The rights granted to Client are for the usage of the Final Art in its original form only. Client may not crop, distort, manipulate, reconfigure, mimic, animate, create derivative works or extract portions or in any other manner, alter the Final Art.

In both cases, any original inventions (e.g. a new design pattern) are only licensed; they are not assigned.

When I did development consulting (many years ago), our rates changed depending on whether or not we could reuse what we created. It was all in the contracts.

One thing to remember is that full assignment of all code literally means you need to wipe it from your systems, and do full knowledge transfer including how to build it, how to upload it to the App Store, etc. If they don't have a development team, that's probably pretty risky for them.

brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      

In the U.S. Copyright typically remains with the author unless, the author is an employee or explicitly assigns their rights to another party.

I recommend consulting an attorney familiar with these matters.

flexxaeon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Client owns the project and codebase, particularly if they paid for it. Developer does not have the right to take that code and resell/re-use, but it would be really difficult for client to enforce or restrict a freelacer from using "snippets".
Ask HN: Interesting video learning resources
2 points by johnsto19  20 hours ago   1 comment top
jkaykin 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Ted talks are great: http://ted.com
Ask HN: Anyone need (free) mobile UX design?
9 points by Essis  2 days ago   5 comments top 4
ashraful 1 day ago 0 replies      
Welcome to Hacker News (I see you just joined). I don't need a free design but I was curious about your own app. Can you share details on what you're working on?
daveambrose 2 days ago 1 reply      
Upvoted and good luck. I'm sure you'll find someone looking for help. :)
adammiller4444 15 hours ago 0 replies      

Thanks for the offer....

Could you please email at millstarz@hotmail.com

Thank you

jamesjguthrie 1 day ago 0 replies      
E-mail sent!
Ask HN: Open Source, the future or not?
5 points by kelleolsen  1 day ago   6 comments top 5
CUViper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Of course they need income to keep running; the question is what they'll monetize besides the software itself. It could be an open base platform with closed premium bits, or fully open with contracts for support, for just two examples.
earroway 1 day ago 1 reply      
Open Source monetization options
1. Support (Red Hat)
2. Customization/ professional services
3. Documentation (JBoss in the olden days and most recently with jBPM)
4. Optimization tools

FOSS also helps in sourcing an international labor pool to lower product development costs.

For consumers, mature FOSS provides alternatives to the traditional per CPU cost model. As product spaces and FOSS alternatives mature, the cost models of proprietary software makes little sense.

itswitch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had an argument with someone about this, and we ended up agreeing that not everything can be open sourced (figuratively speaking).

Although the complete outcome was more of a stalemate, the above was implied from our discussions.

cjth 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe theres a big future for open source companies if they do it right !
davidbograd 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is so cool!
Ask HN: I see a popular website not hashing passwords
14 points by 42_huh  3 days ago   17 comments top 7
irahul 3 days ago 1 reply      
> I see a popular website not hashing passwords.

Some sites do it deliberately. If your customer base is mainly non-technical, directly emailing them the password increases the chance they will log in back than sending them a password reset link. I think I read it in context of PlentyOfFish.

> Isn't it compulsory to hash user passwords, as otherwise it would be a severe user data compromise?

If an employee or a cracker has access to the user database, doesn't he already have the user data? The main reason passwords should be hashed is if a rogue employee or a cracker has access to user data(what user data you have is already compromised here), he might be able to gain access to the user's mail, bank or other accounts as most people tend to reuse password.

UnoriginalGuy 3 days ago 1 reply      
> Isn't it compulsory to hash user passwords, as otherwise it would be a severe user data compromise? What should be done in this case?

No. It is not. There is no legal compulsion to hash passwords. I believe Visa and Mastercard do require their vendors to do so however or risk losing their ability to process credit card payments. I also think that there is some US healthcare law that somewhat requires it.

But in general there is no legal requirement to hash passwords. The lack of hashed passwords doesn't mean that there is a "user data compromise" within its own right.

The reason companies hash passwords is so that if they ever get broken into that it means the bad guy has to spend several days or weeks breaking the password database which gives the company time to notify the users and the users time to change their passwords.

Note: A lot of compromises go unnoticed and in those situations hashing offers little additional security (since the bad guy has infinity to crack the passwords).

Note #2: Hashing also makes implementation easier since the length of passwords becomes uniform and you essentially eliminate things like SQL injection (since the raw password is never stored in the database).

Udo 3 days ago 1 reply      
A more interesting question in this case: how did you find out? Are they leaking the un-hashed password somewhere or did you break in?
epaga 3 days ago 1 reply      
It can get way worse than that: at a big chess site I used to play at, a password reset email gives you a url of the form ".../passwordreset.php?user=yourname&password=yourfreakingpasswordincleartext" I let them know about it years ago. Nothing changed.
dherken 3 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe add this popular website here? http://plaintextoffenders.com/
paulbjensen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do they provide any other forms of contact? If not, see if you can find people who work there on the internet, and message them.

You're absolutely right, it's a major security risk, and anyone else who discovers it may not be so discreet, and make the company a major target for anyone interested interested in stealing databases with unencrypted databases.

We had the same thing happen 2 weeks ago, worse thing is that the company in our case does things with money. Yep.

sangupta 3 days ago 1 reply      
Contact the site and give them a time-frame by when they should comply. Politely ask them to comply telling them otherwise you would disclose the site's identity. Also, try and contact security research organizations to notify them of the vulnerability. This would add a little extra pressure on the site's owner to fix the security hole.

My 2 cents.

Ask HN: An Ad Industry Primer?
5 points by iwritecode  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
rm999 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was at the same point about a year ago. I never really found a single primer, and I looked. What I realized is the industry is complex because it is fragmented by tons of companies doing their own thing, not because of any real inherent complexity.

I started following adexchanger.com pretty closely and I read through their archives, which helped a lot. Adexchanger is good because it gives you a chance to see what companies are doing, and how they sell themselves.

killermonkeys 1 day ago 1 reply      
You're asking for a business primer, but you're referring (basically) technologies. The ads business is not driven by technology (maybe that is your realization?).

It sounds like you've heard of most of the acronyms, so what is it you think you're missing. ~90% of ad buys are auctioned CPC or reservation CPM. Direct and exchanges "big deals" but most ad startups attempt to optimize a component (in Google this kind of image: http://www.cogmap.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/LUMA-D... was a classic "explanation" of the ads ecosystem). As you can see, serving is a small part, and the majority of that ecosystem works on reservation CPM or bid CPM.

My question to you is, if you know these tehnologies, what is your actual question (other than coming to grips with the complexity).

w_t_payne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, since most folk are pretty much inventing it as they go along, I guess all you can do is start here: http://www.lumapartners.com/lumascapes/display-ad-tech-lumas... and work through what each company offers, then try to find a niche for yourself in the ecosystem.
vchoi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ad Ops Insider helps you fill out some gaps after you finish looking at Kawaja's chart: http://www.adopsinsider.com/
Let's not make another cult out of failure
2 points by austingunter  1 day ago   discuss
A product idea
4 points by slash-dot  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
zalew 1 day ago 0 replies      
> How could this be solved?

It can be solved by firing incompetent developers. And promoting this video http://www.organizedwonder.com/videos/1400

On a software level, you can switch the browser's user agent to desktop, at least on Android. Doesn't solve the root problem, but you can use it as a workaround when you're in need.

prezjordan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like a problem to be solved by a URL shortener. `t.co` is only nearly every tweet, and they could implement this to check the browser on the `GET` request, and modify the expanded URL on the fly.
Apple3_14 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fortunately due to advances in mobile technology this could be a thing of the past in the near future, back before 3G there was a real need for low-bandwidth sites and hence mobile specific versions of the site.
Now we have devices with larger screens, faster processors (which often now include GPUs almost as standard) and proper browsers that support much of what their desktop equivalents do.
Give it a few years and hopefully more web developers will see the importance of flexible design for their webpages, that is if the App craze doesn't kill this off.
       cached 26 November 2012 13:05:01 GMT