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Ask HN - How successful are YC companies hiring via HN posting
8 points by c0mpute  3 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: A patent troll is targeting my transit app
202 points by barumrho  1 day ago   58 comments top 20
mhp 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Since you are asking on HN, I'm assuming you are not looking for legal advice, just other's opinions. Obviously, you should talk to a lawyer, but here's my free internet advice (I'm not a lawyer). My advice also makes assumptions that Canadian law is very similar to US law, which may not be true.

You have three options: do nothing, settle, fight.

It sounds like you only got an infringement letter. These are normally sent out in bulk by patent trolls to any and all people they think they can extort money from. There is no legal burden to this letter. You don't have to talk to them (and you shouldn't). Don't respond to the letter. Don't take their phone calls. Refuse to talk to them. Regardless of whether you hire a lawyer or not, at this point, there is nothing to be gained by approaching them.

Eventually, they will call you. They have armies of hourly workers who go through the database of people they sent out the letters to and try to get an easy settlement from you. Don't sweat these calls. They'll ratchet up the threats via voicemail (since you are not talking to them). And eventually they'll have to make a decision. Patent trolls are in the business of making money. Lawsuits are expensive. If the cost of a lawsuit is greater than the amount of money they think they can get out of you, they won't sue you. It would be bad business. From your description, I'm guessing it would be a bad idea for them to sue you because you don't really have a lot to offer them. Even if your app makes a couple hundred thousand dollars, they won't bring a suit against you. It's a waste of their time. (They'd happily take a settlement check from you though).

If you thought there was a good chance they were going to sue you (which I don't), and you were located in the US (which you are not), and it looked like they were going to bring suit in that horrible district in Eastern Texas, you could decide to file suit against them first in another venue to avoid having your suit take place there. It doesn't look like Canada has this same issue (patent troll friendly district where most cases go for the patent trolls).

In essence, at this point, if you go to a lawyer and have them draw up a defense that says your tech doesn't infringe, you'll end up spending between $5,000 and $10,000. I don't think it's really worth it right now. My advice would be to wait until you get some sort of actual legal notification of a suit. Before that point, it's all just posturing and bluffing. Plus, you can still settle at that point (you might have to pay a bit more though to cover the added costs they've spent).

joshuaheard 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a lawyer and normally my advice would be to consult a lawyer. And, if you can find a lawyer to do an initial consultation for free, I'd do that.

However, in the case where you think the other party is bluffing, I would not hire a lawyer right away. The other party's only enforcement option is suing you. If they sue you, then hire a lawyer.

The big issue is whether to respond. If you don't respond, they will stop contacting you after a certain number of attempts. If you do respond, you will get their attention. That can be good if you think you have a strong defense like mistaken identity or something. If I were you, I would ignore them and see if they sue.

Edit: I looked up Lemer & Company and they are personal injury lawyers, not patent attorneys. They were probably hired only to write scary letters, which is more reason to ignore them until if or when they refer the case to patent counsel for litigation.

monochromatic 1 day ago 6 replies      
You need to call an attorney. Any other advice you get here is bad advice.
bbunix 23 hours ago 2 replies      
tl;dr - Being sued for using a publicly available API is a reach. If there's an issue, it's Nextbus that has a problem as well as everyone, and anything that touches their API.

If it was me, I'd reply with a certified letter explaining your situation as a developer, how much revenue the app has made to date in downloads and ads. Then nicely explain that you would never knowling violate anyone IP rights, and having reviewed their patent do not believe you are practicing any of the steps laid out in their patents. You are, simply using information published via publicly available Nextbus API.

Then wait.

Lawsuits cost money - no contingency in Canada, so by demonstrating poverty, it's really not worth suing you... period. If they come back with a real legal filing, you can always just shut down the app, or find a lawyer to help you fight.

However, I'm not a lawyer, just saying what I'd do... you situation may be different - and getting a lawyer never hurts (except the pocketbook).


My situation; inventor, lived in Canada for years... now in the US. Your app doesn't appear to be infringing (it's not doing all the stuff laid out in the claims, but the API provider most likely would be, which is why they settled)... however...

1. Canada doesn't do contingency for legal stuff, you will need to find a lawyer and need to pay up front. Get a lawyer (if you want a suggestion ping me at sean@maclawran.ca)

2. I'd talk to NextBus about their API and license. I'd also look carefully at whatever agreement you have with NextBus about the use of their API (free/paid). If anything, Nextbus may be infringing on their license by publishing the data. Alternatively, there may be language in the contract indemnifying you. Look at all the contracts, period.

3. Look carefully at the document you were sent. It will have valuable clues; have they actually filed anything, etc.

If you're using their public XML feed/API, here's the agreement: http://www.nextbus.com/xmlFeedDocs/NextBusXMLFeed.pdf.

Good luck.

thinkcomp 22 hours ago 0 replies      
ArrivalStar has a profile on PlainSite that might be helpful:


AccordionGuy 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You might want to talk to my friend, Rob Hyndman, whose law firm, Hyndman Law, specializes in legal work for tech businesses and startups, and he's based in the west end of Toronto.


Tell him Joey deVilla sent you.

st3fan 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Important note: the City of Toronto is listing the TTC data (via NextBus) as one of their Open Data initiatives.


Call the city, talk to a city lawyer, find out what is going on here.

padseeker 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought there was no software patents in Canada? Or is this not a software patent issue?
Theory5 1 day ago 1 reply      
A quick glance at the patents informs me that patent #1 (CA 2283239) does not have anything to do with your app. Patent #2 (CA 2363556) MAY be applicable to your app, but its doubtful. As I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV), You will want to contact a legal representative. But it appears to me that you are dealing with a patent troll. Good Luck!
jdelgado 1 day ago 1 reply      
Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer.

Firstly, don't let them strong arm you - most patent trolls blast complaints like this to many parties at once and hope a percent of them cave without the need for court.

If this did go to court, I strongly doubt you would be found guilty of infringing on these patents. Based on your statement, it sounds like you simply made an app that converts third party API data to a UI, which wouldn't come close to either patents as they are related to the actual process of tracking vehicles, which the API provider partakes in, not you.

I would simply contact them and let them know that you don't track them yourself, you use another company. Most lawyers don't understand software, so they might be assuming you are tracking vehicles on your own. If they continue to press you past that, you might be forced to take it to court.

Best of luck and please keep us informed.

niggler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you contacted "Arctic Surf Designs", the people behind TTCfetch? I don't know their situation, but at the pricepoint I imagine they are using an API as well. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ttcfetch/id444836893?mt=8

I'd venture to guess that they also received a notice ...

adambenayoun 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Propose to settle with them for like 1% of your app's profit (profit not revenue), then send them a check for 10 cents.

Seriously though - you should consult with a lawyer but ultimately the decision will be yours.

manarth 18 hours ago 0 replies      
IANAL but…to all the people saying "Ignore the letter, don't respond until they issue a suit" - the patent holder has notified you that they believe you're infringing. If you ignore them, your actions might then be seen to be "willful infringement" of the patent, and a court can increase damages based on that.

Personally, I'd probably ignore them too - but I'd double-check with a lawyer first!

jimzvz 20 hours ago 0 replies      
>My apps use the API provided by NextBus who apparently licensed these patents.

Since you are using their api, surely your app is covered by NextBus' licenses? I would get legal opinion on this though because even though this would be logical and expected, the fact that such trivial forms of telemetry can be patented shows that the system is certainly not logical or expected.

This type of thing is seriously depressing. Good luck.

speg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks like they tried something against the GTTA and the case was dismissed: http://www.ippractice.ca/file-browser/?fileno=T-108-10

... but IANAL so I'm not even sure if I'm reading that right.

moeadham 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Did you upload the app in your own name? Are they suing you directly? It might be prudent to upload apps under a corporation to limit your liability. If you uploaded under a corporation, you could consider ignoring it. It would too much work for them to go after the 0 assets your corporation actually owns..

Real lawyers feel free to tell me I am giving horrible advice.

tomasien 1 day ago 1 reply      
Email me: tommy@shockoe.com
Doing something now that could easily be hurt by this. God patent trolls suck, they're making me really nervous.
nickheer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am not a lawyer (contact one!), but your choices will be to either settle ($$$) or fight it ($$$$). A quick Google search tells me that these guys have sued quite a few people over this, and you might be able to put together some sort of class-action suit with the other licensees.

Contact a lawyer.

Ask HN: What Social Hacks have you done in your life?
4 points by 31reasons  2 hours ago   6 comments top 2
Mz 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
I am on an Android and cannot copy and paste the link, so I haven't read it. FYI: I once used the term "social engineering" on hn to mean effectively arranging things socially. Uh, it bombed. I don't think the world is going to redefine it any time soon. It basically means "con artistry" at the moment, which is not what I do.

I had an amicable divorce, without lawyers. Not paying lawyers meant there was more pie to go around and helped both parties behave generously. I also have a compromised immune system. Staying healthy and off medication has a strong component of managing social stuff. For example, I generally do not shake hands. So finding ways to get people to accept my choices is a big part of staying well.

rattray 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I have to say, I don't love that level of dishonesty. Last time I couldn't afford a conference I wanted to attend, I emailed the organizers and asked if they needed any volunteers. I got all the benefits Jerry did, from business connections to the VIP-only after party. Of course, it probably helps that I'm still a college student.
Upgrading Adobe Flash Player installed Google Toolbar without asking
8 points by samwyse  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
lbcadden3 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems like Adobe has a random problem that started in August where the page you show in your image had no check box to uncheck if you did not want Chrome installed, may be part of the same issue.

It would install Chrome and/or Chrome Bar depending on what user already had.


I use Chrome on Ubuntu so do not use Adobe Flash. I have had no issues with my wifes Windows system, which only has IE and does have Adobe Flash installed.

mschuster91 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like Adobe is running out of money...
Ask HN: Australia's fibre to the home broadband to be cancelled, what to do?
2 points by hoodoof  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
rex_gsd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Move to Kansas :( (Queenslander)
ekimk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Vote labor.
Offer HN: I will work for free in SF this coming week
15 points by styrmis  10 hours ago   4 comments top 3
tectonic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nice meeting you today! Looking forward to introducing you to Mavenlink this week.
styrmis 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is about to disappear off page 2 of the new submissions... one person did get in touch and put me on to Launch Festival which I hope to attend before I leave.

Otherwise, I'm wondering if a Sunday morning wasn't a great time to post this. If anyone has any feedback on how I could have done this better I'd really appreciate itâ€"I naively thought that an offer of free no-strings work would be quite popular in SF but it looks like I'll need another approach. Ideas very welcome!

Jmetz1 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Stymis. We are in LA and could use ur help. reach out info[@]washioapp.com
How to fix low self esteem?
4 points by toutouastro  6 hours ago   6 comments top 5
Mz 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Low self esteem is often rooted in a disconnect between perceived ability and actual ability. Seeking some kind of objective measure which gives a clearer idea of where you really stand can be very helpful for some people.
josephpmay 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
This TED talk may be useful. (piggybacking on lifeguard's ideas):
lifeguard 6 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Pretend / fake it
Say things to yourself like "I am nature's greatest miracle!". This is from a Simpsons episode but I find it makes me feel good to say it. Wear nice freshly cleaned clothes when you are in social situations. Spend a lot of money to get a decent hair cut and maintain it by going every month. This will make you look more confident and people will respond to you like you have a dominant personality (an alpha). You are not, but they will treat you like one.

2. BE confident. Clearly and politely state what you want. Be prepared for rejection -- in fact seek rejection out to condition you to not care. Learn to call people by their name. It is music to their ears and they will enjoy your company more.

3. Do something that you feel is risky (but safe), like sky diving or entering a boxing tournament. Hopefully you will survive and you can draw strength in the future from this experience.

One of the "secrets" of life is we can pretend to be anything, and the longer we pretend, the more we actually change. Society will reflect back to you what you put out. Look at people and smile, they will start saying "hi" in return.

impendia 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Work out. Sign up for classes in kickboxing, Bikram yoga, anything that will kick your ass.

On top of what the other commenters said!

uladzislau 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Try Rejection Therapy

I find it the most difficult but at the same time the most efficient solution for low esteem issue.

How do you handle your electronic inventory?
2 points by cuil  5 hours ago   1 comment top
mschuster91 4 hours ago 0 replies      
At a city government in Germany where I worked, everything that was worth real money (printers, PCs, notebooks, docking stations, screens) had ID stickers with barcodes on them, stuff that was considered "valueless" (mice, keyboards, cabling) not.

These stickers also doubled for tracking electrical safety checkings (mandatory 1year-period for food-stuff, 2-year for ITC stuff).

Ask HN: How to prepare for an interview at a startup
4 points by mmackh  10 hours ago   2 comments top 2
relaunched 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll let you in on a dirty little secret. While you find amazing brains at startups, most of those guys spend 80%+ of their time writing non-sexy code. As such, most startups are looking for people that can crank out well organized, simple code, with outstanding test coverage and thorough documentation.

The number of man-hours that are dedicated to the fancy stuff you read about on HN is a very small percentage of the work that's being done. And, unless you are brought in for your very specific expertise (which doesn't sound like it's the case), you won't be getting to do the fancy stuff anyway; though, you'll probably get an opportunity to learn from those who are.

Get a lot of sleep, make sure you keep in mind that they are looking for someone who can work within a distributed code base and practice explaining your thinking related to why you decided to do one thing over another. If you do that, you'll be fine.

shail 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you already have something to offer to them. That's why they contacted you, so my suggestion would be to focus on what you have achieved until now (open source projects). What you did, Why you did, what mistakes you made, what you learned from them etc.
Why HN was down
1021 points by pg  6 days ago   287 comments top 84
DanielBMarkham 6 days ago 9 replies      
Amazing that such a large percentage of debugging involves determining exactly what you are debugging. The definition of the problem, many times, is the solution.

Might be a good time to mention Rubber Duck Debuggging. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging

lifeisstillgood 6 days ago 4 replies      
There are a number of comments that add up to "what steps will you take to ensure this does not happen again" - akin to a incident review. As speculation that's fine, as advice, I don't think it should be listened to.

I am reminded of an long-in-the-tooth sysadmin of my acquaintance who logged in everywhere as root. His theory - "they are my boxes. I screw it up, I fix it."
I eventually realised that typing sudo every time he touched a box was no defence against doing the wrong thing.

An awful lot of sites at 1.2m views would have outsourced the running and development of the whole thing - there are entreprenuers who say its not even worth our time to code up the MVP. I find this approach sensible from a business point of view, but still it does not sit right with me.

I am supposed to have a nice website with lots of good content to attract inbound marketing - so I tried getting someone on textbroker to write an article for me. It read like a High School essay - no life, no anime. And so I will probably write my own CMS and my own content.

And pg sits there and writes his site in his own language, with his own moderation tools. Apart from the hilarious idea he could find a ten person ruby shop to outsource to, its nice to see someone taking the time to play again. Its why I like to see jgc on here too.

I am not entirely sure those thoughts are joined up (I am procrasting like crazy) but if they come to mean anything its we are playing in pg's sandbox. If the sand leaks it's his sand, and the only company this is mission critical to is YC.

sehugg 6 days ago 3 replies      
Great postmortem and good lessons to learn here:

* Don't manually modify database without a well-tested procedure and another pair of eyes

* Don't leave persistent problems (e.g. memory problems) uninvestigated so that you miss new problems with similar symptoms

* Don't push new code to production while operational problem is ongoing (unless it addresses the operational problem)

I'm pretty sure I've repeated this exact same sequence before with similar results...

dasil003 6 days ago 4 replies      
I'm not sure whether it's terrifying or relieving to realize that if all I dream of comes to pass and I achieve something akin to the legendary status of pg in the hacker community that I will still be susceptible to the inevitable facepalm moments that come with direct database access.

In any case I am thankful for the detailed explanation.

neurotech1 6 days ago 2 replies      
This should serve as a example template for how to accurately and transparently explain to users what went wrong. No deflecting blame, no useless platitudes.

Credit to PG, RTM and the rest of the team for keeping the sites uptime as high at it is.

tolmasky 6 days ago 4 replies      
Why do "self posts" like this show up in the same light gray as posts with negative vote counts? My eyes aren't great and I find it hard to read
larrys 6 days ago 3 replies      
"But then I decided to just fix it for him by doing some surgery in the repl."

I've always found it's a good idea to not deviate. Whether it be running, parking or anything else once you deviate from some regular behavior you run into potential problems that you hadn't anticipated.

"For some reason I didn't check the comments after the surgery to see if they were in the right place. "

More or less my point. If this wasn't a deviation from normal behavior you would have "checked the comments after the surgery" because it would have either become habit or the shear number of times you tried a fix resulting in an error would have made that more likely to occur.

Legion 6 days ago 2 replies      
"We'll do it live!"
youngerdryas 6 days ago 0 replies      
>On a comment thread, a new user had posted some replies as siblings instead of children. I posted a comment explaining how HN worked. But then I decided to just fix it for him by doing some surgery in the repl.

No good deed goes unpunished!

People sometimes reply as sibling because they too impatient wait for the built-in delay on child comments.

Thanks for keeping the experiment going.

birken 6 days ago 1 reply      
Do you have munin monitoring on the production HN server?

That would really make situations like this easier to debug. First, it can pinpoint exactly when something started happening, which in this situation might have helped you realize the problem was caused by your change. Secondly, in this specific situation it probably would have been easier to differentiate a situation where you are running low on memory vs this completely different situation.

As somebody who spent a lot of time professionally debugging large software systems when they were misbehaving (as a Google SRE), I can tell you that looking at graphs of many key metrics (disk IO, CPU, memory, then application specific things) was always the place to start when debugging a situation, because you can learn so many things right away. When did it start? Was it a slow buildup or an immediate thing? What is the general problem (Memory?, Disk IO?, CPU?, none of the above?)? Has a similar pattern happened in the past?

Then you can start to get fancy and plot things like "messages/minute" or something and then it becomes easy to see when issues are affecting the site performance and when they aren't.

irahul 6 days ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: Hindsight is 20/20, and stuff.

If reverting code didn't fix it, reverting server didn't fix it, incorrect data is the most likely culprit(I am not claiming this should have outright occurred to you; just thinking out loud). I take it you introduced non terminating recursion by making a thread its own parent, and you made the change on disk.

But this analysis is the last thing that comes to mind when you already have introduced 2 new variables the same day - new code, new server. And an old, recurring variable(GCing too much) is in play as well.

benatkin 6 days ago 2 replies      
So what do you do to avoid this in the future? Do you stop doing surgery in the repl, or do you do the surgery with functions that check for cycles from now on?
dap 6 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the detailed explanation.

It sounds like everything was done to fix the problem except try to figure out what the problem actually was. Why not use tools to see what the program is doing, form a hypothesis, gather data to confirm or reject the hypothesis, repeat until cause found, and then take corrective action that by this point you have high confidence will work?

I realize HN is more of a side project than a production service, but the goal is the same in both cases: to restore service quickly so you can move on to other things. It feels like a more rigorous approach would allow restoring service much faster than randomly guessing about what could be wrong and applying (costly) corrective action to see if it helps.

Besides that, in many cases (including this one), you cannot randomly guess the appropriate corrective action without finding the root cause.

znowi 6 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder what exactly did distract you :) When I do surgery on a production server, I triple-check making sure everything works properly.

I have two assumptions: 1. HN has a low priority in the overall scheme of things, 2. Self-confidence overflow :)

gruseom 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is a particularly endearing piece of "hacker news". It's so easy to relate to.
nowarninglabel 6 days ago 0 replies      
Happens to a lot of us. Great reason to always write tested cleanup scripts for this stuff instead of editing directly on the server. The only time I brought down my product last year was from a similar screwup, I was removing users by hand and somehow managed to end up with a 0 in my list of user ids, thus deleting the anonymous user, and causing havoc to my server, which took a long time to track down.
robomartin 5 days ago 0 replies      
Great story! Yup, this kind of thing happens. For some reason it reminded me of something that happened to me as a newbie engineer. It was really funny a week later.

I was troubleshooting an intermittent problem in a piece of equipment. It had several boards full of mostly LS TTL logic chips (yes, them chips). It was the kind of problem that only happened once every other day or two. Nobody knew. So, I had all kinds of instruments attached to this thing and was watching it like a hawk waiting for a failure. It had probes attached to every point in the circuit where I suspected I could see something and learn about the source of the problem. I also tested for thermal issues with heat guns and freeze sprays, familiar troubleshooting techniques to anyone who's done this kind of thing.

Anyhow, every so often the thing would go nuts. The three scopes I had connected to it showed things I simply didn't understand. I'd analyze but couldn't make any sense out of it. Still, again, every so many days it would happen again. Changed power supplies and the usual suspects. No difference.

Well, finally, two weeks later, the other engineers in the office took pity on me and told me what was going on: They had connected a VARIAC to the power strip I was using to power the UUT (unit under test). The scopes and other test instruments remained on clean power. Every so often they'd reach into this drawer where the VARIAC was hidden and lower my power strip's voltage just enough for the power supplies to fall out of regulation and everything start beeping and sputtering. Those friggin SOB's. They had me going for days! I was pissed beyond recognition. Of course, after a while I was laughing my ass off alongside them. Good joke. Cruel, but good.

My revenge: A CO2 fire extinguisher rigged to go off into his crotch when my buddy sat down to work.

Fun place to work. We did this kind of stuff all the time. Today I'd be afraid of getting sued. People have really thin skins these days.

luser001 6 days ago 2 replies      
I use assertions to protect against things like this.

I liberally sprinkle my code with assertions (CS theory calls them pre-conditions and post-conditions, iirc) to crash early if the system is an invalid state.

One my pet peeves is that few programmers seem to love assertions like I do. Would love to see to comments on this.

lucb1e 6 days ago 4 replies      
Are you saying you manually modify the database? Like, shifting around things by id instead of just making admin buttons next to posts?
DanI-S 6 days ago 2 replies      
n.b. that this is why time travel is a terrible idea.
d0m 6 days ago 0 replies      
Hacking code in the repl without testing the new behavior. We all did that. Don't lie. Once I wanted to quick fix a "gmail.ca" to "gmail.com", which I did.. but to all the users instead of just the one mistaken. Fortunately I realized by mistake really fast ;-)
IgorPartola 6 days ago 0 replies      
The pink sombrero could have saved HN: http://www.bnj.com/cowboy-coding-pink-sombrero/
mikedmiked 6 days ago 0 replies      
> created a loop in the comment tree; I caused an item to be its own grandchild.

Ah, the online forum equivalent of going back in time to kill your grandfather.

brokenparser 6 days ago 0 replies      
Forgot your medicine, today?
Uchikoma 6 days ago 1 reply      
Appreciating the details.

"Hacker News was down all last night."

With the internet there is no "last night" ;-) Europe - and more so Asia I assume - had to live for many working hours without HN.

fnordfnordfnord 6 days ago 0 replies      
>>I caused an item to be its own grandchild.

Please forgive me. I know you folks tend to hate jokes on here. Don't waste your time if you're immune to corny humor. "I'm My Own Grandpa- Ray Stevens" ( with family tree diagram) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYlJH81dSiw

raheemm 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'm curious how was RTM able to notice that the problem seemed related to a specific item id? It would be great if he might write a short blurb similar to yours. Which also makes me wonder, why does RTM not write much?
louischatriot 6 days ago 0 replies      
Funny to see that this happens to everyone. A week ago, while testing some stuff to locate a low-importance bug, I erased the whole user database. Fortunately we have a good restore so the problem was solved in a few minutes, but still, cold sweat here ...
xentronium 6 days ago 1 reply      
Whoa, what an unfortunate coincidence. This whole bug would be so much easier to find, if it weren't for the new server.
Posibyte 6 days ago 0 replies      
I absolutely love post-mortems like this. It clearly identified that there was a problem, what the author tried to do to fix it, and if it was successful. Even if it ends with the author not knowing too much about the solution that was used, it's still so interesting to see the workflows and be able to derive something from it.

It's also why I like to read pg's articles so much. They're so in-depth and detailed and it doesn't feel you left thinking something was left out for the sake of being hidden.

corwinstephen 6 days ago 0 replies      
It's never what you think it is. One time, I had a memory leak in a Rails app that took me TWO WEEKS to find. In the end, it came down to me putting a line of config code in the wrong section of the config file, which for some reason created a recursive loop and caused my servers to crash about once every 30 minutes. #weak
cool-RR 6 days ago 0 replies      
Great debugging story!

I guess the lesson is to have code that alerts you about comment loops without going into an infinite loop.

Also another lesson would be to figure out a way to have better clarity into which requests are causing a timeout on the server.

bramcohen 6 days ago 0 replies      
You should probably make your code robust to this sort of data corruption in the future.
richforrester 6 days ago 0 replies      
Cheers for that pg - now I have to explain to my boss why I was actually productive yesterday.
btilly 6 days ago 0 replies      
That explains something weird I saw.

If I went to Google's cached copy, I could see threads, and then click on them. But the front page was down. But I could see individual threads.

Very confusing.

scotthtaylor 6 days ago 1 reply      
PG, quick question: Did this impact the server hosting the YC Summer 2013 applications?

When I tried to edit mine, it simply said "Thanks, scotthtaylor"

rnadna 6 days ago 0 replies      
I fall into a similar misdirected-focus trap, but mine is simpler: I waste an embarrassing amount of time in editing the wrong damned file. After a sequence of small tweaks that yield no change in the results, I make a huge change and see nothing, and then realize that I've done it yet again. I need to write a vim macro that blanks the screen every few minutes, displaying the message "are you SURE this is the right file?"
blantonl 6 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry about that.

No worries.

So, are we back on the new server? Or was this too much for one transition :)

T-zex 6 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you for the honest explanation. This is not so easy especially for a famous person.
ricardobeat 6 days ago 2 replies      
Related question: what is the timing for the 'Reply' link to show up? I might be fantasizing but sometimes it takes 5, sometimes 10 minutes to appear, leading people to reply as a sibling instead.
naturalethic 6 days ago 0 replies      
If the problem existed before the code update, why would you assume it was the code update that caused the problem?
neilxdsouza 6 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't it curious that the comet incident over Russia happened so close to the pass of DA 14. In the intro to the book:


is the note about surgical instruments left inside. It seems just like a coincidence that this happened so close to the switch to the new server, but I wonder if it's something deeper in the subconscious mind; the change to the new server is quite a big change (I know I feel that way when I have purchased a new computer (it feels different - even if it's running the same linux as before)) and could have upset the normal checks one has in place when tweaking things.

calinet6 6 days ago 0 replies      
Ok, I'll just say it: that's just plain dumb. It's a rare case, but a simple condition would have checked and prevented this. :)
campnic 6 days ago 0 replies      
The nice thing about surgery with a computer program on a server is that death is not permanent.
andreasklinger 6 days ago 0 replies      
I appreciate (if not love) the fact that you bugfix and server-change yourself.

True hacker spirit.

thedaveoflife 5 days ago 0 replies      
I think this demonstrates how many people browse the /threads?id=pg page (myself included)
sgt 6 days ago 0 replies      
Much appreciated, pg. I knew that the "10 minutes of downtime" would not occur (fair enough, this was not related to the server upgrade).
johnobrien1010 6 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for fixing it.

Have you considered avoiding dipping into the repl to do these kind of fixes? You don't owe any of us any sort of uptime guarantee, and you're a much better programmer than I, but it strikes me as odd that you would hack against the live server instead of create some tool that would make it so you couldn't take down the whole site when making this kind of fix...

RKoutnik 6 days ago 0 replies      
It's nice to know that even the mightiest of us can still make mistakes. Thanks for being willing to admit mistakes so the rest of us can learn.
dylangs1030 6 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the explanation pg. As you said in the original thread, "you know how these things go..."
GnarfGnarf 5 days ago 0 replies      
That's funny -- I work in genealogy software, and loops ("being your own grandpa") happen all the time, due to data entry errors. To avoid infinite recursion, we always keep track of what records we've processed already, check whether "I've been there before", and bail out if the answer is affirmative.
sideproject 6 days ago 0 replies      
Thank goodness it's back. I lost the my meaning of existence for the entire day. I don't know where my yesterday went. I'm ok now. :)
cranklin 5 days ago 0 replies      
You are honest and I respect that. I'm sure many companies try to play off their downtime as something far more sophisticated when in fact, it was something too embarrassing to admit. I've certainly had my fair share of embarrassingly stupid mistakes that resulted in downtime.
DrJosiah 6 days ago 0 replies      
Everyone fat-fingers a database at some point... Then you build interfaces so that you can't make the same mistake.
bobsoap 6 days ago 0 replies      
After breaking many things myself due to similar, seemingly miniscule edits, I have implemented an ABC routine: Always Be Checking. Even if it was "just" something like moving a piece of code or something equally tiny, I always check after the fix.

So far, it has been working great.

dennisgorelik 6 days ago 0 replies      
Did you add code that detects very deep nesting levels (e.g. depth more than 100) and throws meaningful exception to help developers to diagnose the problem?
aaronh 6 days ago 0 replies      
My pet peeve: You made an arbitrary change while debugging a problem. NOW YOU HAVE N^2 PROBLEMS!
rjempson 6 days ago 0 replies      
That is why some organizations don't allow adhoc data fixes to be run in production. Best practice is to backup the database, run the fix against the backup, test the fix against the backup, and all being well run the fix against production.
hnriot 6 days ago 3 replies      
it's a good job it's your site, this type of thing is often what gets someone fired in a company. Modifying (meddling!) the production system directly.
Nux 6 days ago 0 replies      
I was almost sure it was Anonymous! ... Are you in Anonymous, pg? :D
infoseckid 6 days ago 0 replies      
"I don't know if Nick succeeded, because in the middle of this I gave up and went to bed." - Not a good example to your holding companies :) What would happend if they all went to bed when something goes wrong :) Just kidding.
orangethirty 6 days ago 0 replies      
It makes me feel good knowing better programmers than me go through the same issues I face. :)
ibudiallo 6 days ago 0 replies      
When hacker news is down, I finally lifted my head and realized that there is life beyond the screen on my phone.

Now that it's back. I realized that it's finally time to create an account :)

nournia 5 days ago 0 replies      
It seems that in your new server and also latest pushed code, I can't do `like` anything. Honestly it's not a new bug and I got used to that, don't think about that.
harrisreynolds 6 days ago 0 replies      
Just about anyone that has programmed for any length of time has done something like this. It is one of those "fixes" that after it's actually fixed you try to never think of it again. Good to know PG is mortal. :-)
patrickwiseman 6 days ago 0 replies      
Don't worry I just figured out the totally bone-headed programming mistake I made at noon today. Time is a good mediator between skill and stress.
wpeterson 6 days ago 0 replies      
I guess it's time for NewRelic to add an Arc agent.
Jplenbrook 5 days ago 0 replies      
Why does PG maintain the website himself? I would think he would have many better things to do with his time.
mempko 6 days ago 0 replies      
Did you hear about the tortious and the hare?
cincinnatus 5 days ago 0 replies      
The cobbler's children have no shoes :-)
meshko 6 days ago 0 replies      
TIL there are still large web sites out there that do not have staging environment.
afshinmeh 5 days ago 0 replies      
Same problem in Iran, I couldn't access to HN all last day.
arundelo 6 days ago 0 replies      
Even Homer nods!
scotthtaylor 6 days ago 0 replies      
Normality has returned :-)
w_t_payne 6 days ago 0 replies      
That sort of thing is fine for a startup in it's first year or two of life, but HN has been around for a while now ... surely you must have some sort of process by now?
bestest 5 days ago 0 replies      
So, uh, still fixing stuff in production?
DocG 6 days ago 0 replies      
I think we have a new king!

Awesome explanation.

dahumpty 6 days ago 1 reply      

Just wondering as to why HN isn't hosted in the cloud? (e.g. on AWS, Rackspace etc.). How do you backup all the data?

nigo 6 days ago 0 replies      
I appreciate pg's frankness here.
pilas2000 5 days ago 0 replies      
That's funny because one of the top posts in progit yesterday was about the Hare and Tortoise algorithm
keikun17 6 days ago 0 replies      
i hope that user wasn't me. i was editing a typo in comment right when it happened
eluos 6 days ago 0 replies      
"I am my own grandpa"
jack57 6 days ago 1 reply      
Are you sure that comment's name wasn't Phillip J Fry?
Offer HN: Build your prototype
3 points by shawndrost  9 hours ago   1 comment top
Ask HN:How do you manage to go through loads of infos to build a product?
5 points by hemtros  14 hours ago   6 comments top 5
richsin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Try reading or listening to "The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right". I believe Jack Dorsey gives it to each of his employees. As you learn independently you will find long term success in mastering your own process.

I agree with the other comments regarding breaking projects into small chunks. I have found success just finding the most recommended resources and then organizing it in order of beginner to advanced. Build your own curriculum with all of the resources you have gathered.

Structure is important even if it needs to be self imposed.

Don't be too concerned with being super efficient in what you learn because resources will overlap in content, some more than others. The overlapped content is usually fundamental and never a bad thing to go over more than once with a different perspective.

You seem to be very driven and kudos for attacking your personal development full steam.

icoder 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Focus, patience and meta learning.

Focus: don't try and learn about every topic

Patience: it seems you simply do not stick to one subject long enough to build some product you are proud of. Remember that learning takes time and practice.

Meta-learning: get an idea of how you learn the easiest. As you said there is tons of information. You'll have to figure out what helps you most: Real life courses? Practice? Video courses? Short tutorials? Books? Peer programming?

So, once you have your focus, decided to be patient and know how you learn the easiest, go and find out what is available on your topic of interest.

This depends per topic (for iOS, for example, there are loads of pretty useful videos available for registered developers). Often you can find nice lists of 'where to start', for instance on StackOverflow.

bradmilne 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Go through less information. A far, far superior developer to me once said 'An efficient way to find the answer your looking for is the most valuable thing a developer can have.'

1. Decide on what to build
2. Break the project down into small chunks (i.e. add dropdown)
3. When you get stuck, stop reading as soon as you find an answer that works and get back to developing

You can always go back and make it better later. Just make sure you're moving forward with your projects.

jnazario 13 hours ago 0 replies      
i was going to say "learn how to learn", but that sounds rather trite. instead, learn what to learn and from where to learn.

if you're "lost within tons of information about it", it sounds like you are trying to gather everything you can. learn how to evaluate sources and pick a small handful to focus on, learn how to figure out what minimal info you need to to learn, and go from there. focus on the minimum viable info needed to accomplish your task, and go from there. minimize your inputs to what you need to have something to show.

mcartyem 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Start working on a project, and when you have a problem, only then go look for a solution.
Ask HN: Which revenue route should I go down?
3 points by ceeK  10 hours ago   3 comments top 2
shail 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest flat fee from the estate agents and obviously encourage apartment complex guys to post directly (you can offer discount to them) so that you can remove middle men as much as possible.
msrpotus 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd recommend charging real estate agents (either per lead or listing). They have the money and are used to spending it.
Ask HN: Where do you recycle electronics?
3 points by dasickis  10 hours ago   2 comments top 2
relaunched 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Depending on where you are located, Best Buy has a recycling program http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global-Promotions/Recycling-Elec... You can bring your stuff into any store and recycle it for free, which I find a lot more convenient than my city / municipality (which has fees and / or only accepts certain items on certain days of the week or a few times per month for free).

I've used it and recommend it to my parents and friends. Also, I'm an employee...so forgive the shameless plug.

lumberjack 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Your local municipality will probably provide some sort of service, as do some manufacturers or you could just put it on ebay/craigslist if it's still functional.
Monthly subscriptions services, I have a question for you developers.
5 points by stefpretty  15 hours ago   20 comments top 7
justhw 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you can work your way around WordPress and know how to integrate it with your project, I highly recommend the PaidMembershipsPro[1] plugin. It takes care of all the issues you've mentioned and it's free (if you don't want support) and dead simple. The only downside is you gotta know advanced WordPress.


dangrossman 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The MVP version would be to use PayPal subscriptions, not any of their APIs. To create a subscription, you just give someone a link, and their account will push money to yours every month. If they want to upgrade or downgrade, either of you can cancel the existing subscription from your PayPal accounts, and your site gives them another link for a new subscription at the new rate. You can integrate PayPal IPN to record the payments in your database to have a billing history. All of this involves nothing more than copying some links and wiring up an IPN script someone else has already written for you -- under an hour.
itsprofitbaron 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Personally, I'd use PayPal. However, if you're going to create a SaaS and are using PayPal, I highly recommend that you create a new account for the business (You are allowed 1 Personal and 1 Business account separately with PayPal[1]). The reason I say this is because, if you ever decide to sell your SaaS you cannot transfer the user subscriptions with the email to the buyer as, they are linked to the PayPal account - so you either have to give them the PayPal account or they're going to lose a lot of existing buyers (People sign up for these types of service and forget they're paying).

[1] https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/marketingweb?cmd=_render-c....

SiliconAlley 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I would (and have, in the recent past) opt for Stripe subscription billing: https://stripe.com/docs/subscriptions. Upgrading/downgrading plans for users is baked in (and you can even choose to prorate or not), plus, of course, it's an integrated service rather than something that sits atop another gateway and adds additional fees
mchannon 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I was never able to find any service that made for recurring billing but for variable amounts each month.

Ended up writing my own system- securely store the cc info yourself, get subscribers' consent, resubmit on a monthly cronjob.

It does require more maintenance (keeping a fixed monthly fee is very straightforward and well-supported by a number of providers) but it does work all right.

bgdam 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Check out Fastspring. They have a monthly fee though. However, since they are technically a reseller and not a pament provider you dont need merchant accounts, gateways and the like. Also integration is a snap.
devonbarrett 12 hours ago 1 reply      
chargify.com is the best I have used for something like this, and it didn't take too long to integrate. However, in the long run I would probably opt to manage it all myself for the flexibility.
Ask HN: What quote inspired you the most?
4 points by ConceitedCode  13 hours ago   6 comments top 5
csixty4 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The "Be the Change..." quote is a big one for me. But the biggest one is probably on the shirt I'm wearing today. "Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work." - Chuck Close
cafard 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Only the wasteful virtues earn the sun.

W.B. Yeats, "Pardon, old fathers", the prefatory poem to the book Responsibilities. (I think.)

mitmads 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Not a quote, but i go back to 'If' by Rudyard Kipling often and enjoy them in snippets. Here is one i always like:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

devonbarrett 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know."
ConceitedCode 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi
Ask HN: Are there books on HTML5/CSS3 for people new to HTML/CSS in general?
5 points by anujkk  22 hours ago   2 comments top 2
bsmith 22 hours ago 0 replies      
vxNsr 22 hours ago 0 replies      
You can also check out: http://diveintohtml5.info/

The original author took a break from the web but it's now being maintained by a couple a loyal fans

Ask HN: is there a place for single-person bootstrapped software businesses?
4 points by dottedmag  20 hours ago   5 comments top 4
brudgers 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The HN bubble often leads people to believe that VC investment is a mark of success. But there is no reason to sell part of your business and swing for the fences other than your own desire to do so.

In the circumstances you describe, the odds of your business throwing off fuck you money are about the same as if you were in Silicon Valley - almost zero. Yes, being in the valley improves your odds some, but the vast majority of startups still go bust.

The only way to lower your odds is to do nothing. Then you will never have the experience gained from having failed on your first, second and third forays into entrepreneurship. Standing still, it is impossible to change direction.

Make something and see what happens because what happens might be good fortune.

icoder 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Assuming you can code, you have internet access and you'll have some spare time. Especially in software, those three could make up for the lack of money!

VC backing is nice but not a bliss on all sides. In your situation, without VC funding, you'd keep your freedom, you'd not be distracted by money, you can't run out of money and your strongest asset can't go anywhere, cause that is yourself.

With respect to the latter, this means that it is wise to foster this one asset: improve your tech skills, market knowledge, business skills and your network (and networking skills). If you're someone dreaming of your company you'll find this fun to work on.

Having a fulltime job that helps you improve relevant skills is a plus, as is a job / boss where you could reduce working hours (and salary of course) in small steps.

There's a few ways to go from here. You could work per hour. The cool part is that this would enable you to free yourself from your daytime job bit by bit. The downside is that it requires work. As you describe it, this is limited in your area, but perhaps you should do a more in depth market analysis to be sure? Also, you could work for people remotely via the internet, there are many websites that bring work and workers together. Whether this can help you will depend a bit on what country you live in, and how your monthly wage is compared to that in other countries.

The other option is to bootstrap your own product. Read Tim Ferris' 4 hour workweek for inspiration. This depends on a good idea, a bit of luck, how you execute it and your patience. You can balance your webdesign skills a bit by using tools like 'Bootstrap'. Don't worry too much about this part if you are building your own product, look at Reddit, Amazon, Hackers News: the relation between use and looks is pretty noisy!

It is not impossible and bootstrapping has been preferred by many over VC money. Given your personal situation, you do need a lot of patience and put in a lot of time and effort. But as long as you learn from it, and enjoy it, it is all worth it.

Good luck!

bayesianhorse 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Sounds like you are out of luck, mostly.

If you don't have time, skills, freedom or money for a startup, can't make someone else to do the hard work for you otherwise, then you can't really start up a programming something business.

Solutions would be to decrease your liabilities, for example get rid of the mortgaged house and/or get a less time consuming job. Your family might have something against that, though...

Other than that, start a business around a website. Maybe something around bitcoins. Maybe a game. In this type of thing time to completion doesn't matter, user support or sales almost doesn't matter... Of course, lack of skills does matter a lot there...

jamiemchale 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"Is there still a place for single-person bootstrapped company which cannot afford to spend money or time on anything, but the product itself?"

If you have time to spend on the product then you also have time to spend on the research, the marketing, the promotion, and the interaction with your customers.

A business isn't purely about the product - there is so much more you have to do to make it successful.

Ask HN: Mom Sent a TON of personal info to WRONG gmail account. Any options?
12 points by jasminesky  1 day ago   27 comments top 11
jcr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Actually contacting someone at Google is notoriously difficult, and
unfortunately, it's intentionally difficult. At their scale, there's no
way Google could provide support for all the countless billions of
people using their services.

In some ways, Google is fairly bad about following standards. On normal
mail servers, if you send to a non-existent address, the server will
reply to let you know about your mistake. Google doesn't do this. The
reason they don't has something to do with their spam handling, and the
costs of spam handling, but it's still against the conventions of email
to not let people know that the address they used doesn't exist.

If you are really lucky, the wrong address your Mom used does not
exist, and the message she sent was never saved or seen.

The only way you could test if the account exists is to try registering
the mistaken address.

Well, I've possibly lied a little bit; Google supposedly saves
everything, including spam, so even if the email could not be delivered
since the address doesn't exist, google may still have a copy of the
message sitting somewhere.

If the mistaken address is actually real, then attempting to track down
and contact its owner might be helpful. The odds of success are bad, but
it can sometimes work. Call me overly optimistic, but I like to believe
most people are good and would help you out.

Good Luck!

benologist 1 day ago 0 replies      
My recommendation is to relax and think about how incredibly unlikely it is that that information went to the tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny subset of humanity that can and might use it against you.

If you are really concerned you should research the recovery process for affected customers when companies are hacked and lose massive and broad sets of customer information.

You should not bombard them with scams and spam to get your mom's old email blacklisted, that is an overreaction and most likely you will just cause the other person inconvenience.

logn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take the email address and search on Facebook, LinkedIn, various blogs, etc. At the least you could be re-assured if the person looks like an upstanding citizen. And if you reach out on a trusted social network, the person might actually respond. It might also send a "I know who you are" type of message. But don't be too persistent, you're probably just freaking the person out. And if you upset this person, well they have your info.

Also, go ahead and get set up with an identity theft monitoring service. You'll know the instant a new credit line or address change is made.

Like others have said, the vast majority of people have no interest in identity theft. You realize that as a manager I have access to hundreds of applicant's passports, driver's licenses, etc.? You know how many people see your social when you apply for a mortgage? Ever considered how many average restaurant servers could steal your credit card number?

Anecdotally, I sold my car to a dealership which years later I realized had my social security card and birth certificate in an obscure compartment in the car. Probably the worst documents to lose. Nothing came of it.

sebkomianos 1 day ago 1 reply      
I upvoted and tweeted about this just so we raise the possibility that you get a good solution to your problem.

Even if you manage to reach Google and they somehow delete that one email from that guy's inbox, how can you know that he hasn't already saved the information? So, instead of trying to solve this from the gmail side, why don't you look at the other one? Contact your bank, let them know and have your card numbers and passwords changed, start the process of getting a new passport maybe and in general "protect" yourself by making the information that guy has useless.

But I agree on the "relax" part too, I mean, how many of us would take such an email seriously? Chances are he/she thinks "Oh, those Nigerian Princes are advancing their techniques..", laughs at it and marks it as spam.

If it reaches someone, that is - and it's quite possible it doesn't.

But, yeah, my advice would be to let everyone know and eventually make all that information useless.

Good luck and let us know if something happens! :)

Donito 1 day ago 1 reply      
Did you try creating a new gmail account with that email? If you succeed, it means no one ever received those documents :)
JoachimSchipper 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is less dangerous than your mom losing a folder with all of that stuff in the train. Which would be worrying, but not "in a panic" worrying. As others have said, relax.

(In case this is the question you were asking: there's no reliable way to hack into any of the major e-mail providers that I know of. Getting access to another's account is highly unethical, not to mention illegal; it's unlikely to reduce the number of problems you have, especially if the risk is less "caught for being a foreign spy" and more "identity theft".)

batman1231049 1 day ago 3 replies      
Send a few more emails from the same account with obvious scam-attempt material.

E.g. You've been selected as our daily winner. You will be rewarded a brand new Apple Phone 5!! Visit here to claim: <insert fishy URL>

Maybe they'll notice all the others from the same account and mass delete them all without opening the rest.

bosky101 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd also suggest searching her sent mail to see if any previous mails have been sent to the said id.

but i agree with other comments here, and wouldnt worry 'too' much.

maybe you can send a kind mail informing of what happened, and request to delete the same.


japhyr 1 day ago 1 reply      
If I received this email, I would probably delete it immediately. I probably wouldn't reply to any follow up messages either, I'd just delete those as well.

No advice here, just letting you know what I would have done if I were the recipient.

borplk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just relax. The chances of some random email address's owner being an identity thief is incredibly small. Not everyone is capable of abusing those documents.
Jemm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Send an email to the erroneous email address you sent to originally. Say that you are recalling the previous email, that the email was sent in error and ask the recipient to keep the contents confidential, delete the email and any copies of the information contained in the email.

Word it nicely but firmly.

I am NOT a lawyer, ...

Show HN: Make the Harlem Shake
5 points by Felidar  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
timmm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually don't like things like this, but I just used it for fun and was actually pretty cool and funny.
why-el 1 day ago 0 replies      
Related: A couple of days ago someone made this: http://hsmaker.com/
Ask HN: How to stay informed about new software trends without scanning news?
2 points by johnWi  20 hours ago   2 comments top 2
Buzaga 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like this could spawn a successful website, if well done
unimpressive 19 hours ago 0 replies      
No way I know of. My proposed solution would be to have a newsreader that watches for you.
Ask HN: Serving Vector Images Via Web API?
2 points by bsmith  22 hours ago   3 comments top 2
nwh 20 hours ago 0 replies      
There's Photoshop scripts that will export a single image in a bunch of sizes. That would probably work in the interim.
itswitch 21 hours ago 1 reply      
You can embed SVG into HTML if you wish.

Basically, browsers support SVG.

Ask HN: My co-founder's lost passion for the company, what do I do?
10 points by vitaminsgalore  2 days ago   10 comments top 4
michaelpinto 2 days ago 1 reply      
A. You need to talk openly and honestly to the co-founder.

And frankly if you are in a disagreement you need to have constructive suggestions rather than abstract disagreements like "you don't have the passion". And yes a statement like "This could be a million dollar company" is wonderful, but it doesn't mean much if you run out of runway. If you're running out of runway is there any revenue coming in? Are there areas you can cut back on? Are there better ways of investing the resources you have left? Maybe the CEO shouldn't be doing the pitching at this point â€" maybe that's gig goes to another person?

dkersten 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry, I don't know the answers to your questions.

he thinks the best path is an acquisition so that he can take the team and start a new company

Most acquisitions are for the team, so if the company gets acquired, its unlikely that he can take the team to start a new company.

_kulte 2 days ago 2 replies      
You're growing like crazy, you could be a billion dollar company, you have fierce traction... IMHO you're either misjudging the situation or your co-founder is crazy.

Also, if you really are growing like crazy, why are you having trouble raising money?

ssylee 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are you on the same page when it comes to finding ways to bring in revenue?
Ask HN: How do you find out about startup parties/events?
8 points by matthodan  2 days ago   4 comments top 2
nreece 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are a couple of sites you can lookup or subscribe for alerts:





gamechangr 2 days ago 1 reply      
They are everywhere. Go to a place where people are working on interesting things and there will be plenty of invites. I would never go to FB group, meetups could work depending on the city.
       cached 25 February 2013 05:05:01 GMT