hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    17 May 2013 Ask
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1
Ask HN: Can anyone help me here?
10 points by fadelakin  1 hour ago   2 comments top
1
Mz 1 hour ago 1 reply      
You might get more hits if you update the title to indicate room needed in SF. "Help me" is extremely generic.
2
Ask HN: Can reading SICP and doing its exercises get you hired?
6 points by milesstevenson  6 hours ago   6 comments top 6
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polymatter 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, it depends on what sort of job you're going for, and I would be surprised if there wasn't regional differences too. Plus some people have negative preconceptions about the sort of person that would go through SICP (happily, they are exactly the sorts of people you don't want to work for). If you're looking to join a larger company or looking to enter the job market in the next 12 months or so, then probably experimenting with more frameworks and getting some code up would be better bang for your time. Even better if you have contributed to existing OSS projects.

But for your own general longer term career development, SICP is a very good bet. But SICP wasn't really designed for home study so it will be hard going. Personally, I would be very impressed if an interviewee made it halfway through SICP by themselves. I have tried multiple times and never got very far before .. er ... reprioritising.

If you want to learn more functional programming, I highly recommend learning Haskell with Learn you a Haskell (http://learnyouahaskell.com/). This is a much easier start to functional programming and get you productive quickly. Haskell will force you to really learn functional programming as there isn't an easy imperative backdoor (not to say you can't write imperative code in Haskell - see (http://www.haskellforall.com/2013/05/program-imperatively-us...) for example, just its not particular easy how to get there). My current project is writing a web app in Haskell and its a very interesting experience.

If you want to learn functional programming, but still be attractive for jobs, then I would recommend learning Scala ideally with the 'Functional Programming in Scala' coursera course and then working through Odersky's "Programming in Scala" book. Scala is a JVM language so it can interoperate easily with Java code, and I've seen companies in London using knowledge of Scala as a signal of a good quality Java developer. It is also (successfully in my view) a multi-paradigm language which can be used both as a functional language, and as an imperative one without feeling too much like a compromise on either side. Though in my view, its harder to learn functional programming properly when you have an "easy out" back into the imperative world.

Also, check out communities you can join such as (http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/) or Haskell Cafe or local Meetups with others interested in functional programming.

Good luck.

2
santu11 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"I worry that it could be a waste of time"

It's education. If you want to stay 20 years in this industry, you have to invest in your education. Don't worry, just do it. Solving the problems would make you a better problem solver.

"I feel that most prospective employers don't really care about that, though."

That's right. Most prospective employers don't care. Don't work for them. If you have to, read my last answer.

"In otherwords, is SICP worthy of a CV bullet point."

Yes, really good developers would appreciate the effort. Employers won't care but the senior developer taking your technical interview may appreciate it.

"I should be focusing on more practical projects before looking for a first job."Yes, you must do that. Nothing beats showing a perfectly operational website. And depending on the profile you are targeting it can be a Android game or Web game or scraper or anything. Don't worry your github profile yet. Once you start building stuff it will come alive.

You can also check out https://www.udacity.com/ for some practical courses. They are taught by awesome people and are free. All these courses focus on a project to teach you basics of computer science. And you get real world skills.

1. Building a Search Engine - Introduction to Computer Science - https://www.udacity.com/course/cs101

2. Building a HTML5 game - HTML5 Game Development - https://www.udacity.com/course/cs255

3. Building a Blog - Web Development - https://www.udacity.com/course/cs253

4. Building a Browser - Programming Languages - https://www.udacity.com/course/cs262

5. Building blocks of any non - trivial software project - Design of Computer Programs - https://www.udacity.com/course/cs212 .

All the best learning CS, building things and contributing to the world.

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laaph 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I work in embedded software, but I've always been a bit weak on the hardware side of things (I know quite a bit about hardware, but I always had to drag out an electrical engineer for problems they deemed trivial). I took the MITx Electronics and Circuits class, and so far it seems that I haven't found an employer who cares one bit. I hadn't put it on the resume/CV, but I have mentioned it in cover letters and such for employers that it seemed relevant.

I wouldn't let this point of pessimism stop you (it's not stopping me, I'm taking Machine Learning now). As others have indicated, this will probably let you pass job interviews others can't. But in my experience with regard to the job application process, it will likely be something they ignore, and I would try to get them to talk to you about it in another fashion (bring it up in the interview, cover letters, etc).

Note that this is from an US perspective, I know the ideals behind a CV and a resume are quite different so you may want local advice. However, if I were making a CV for an academic position in the US, I'd probably still leave it off.

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brudgers 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This morning I listened to the latter part of Lecture 2B:

  (define (cons x y)     (lambda (m)        (cond           ((= m 0) x)           ((= m 1) y))))  (define (car z) (z 0))  (define (cdr z) (z 1))
As Ableson says, it's made of air.

SICP is not a functional programming course - changing values and creating state comes in Chapter 3 [2nd Edition]. It is a course in the creative use of wishful thinking.

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zenbowman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to conduct interviews at my previous company. We asked a programming question that nobody was able to fully answer in the first go, so seeing how far a candidate got and how well they explained their thought process was a gauge of their ability. My suspicion is that someone well versed in SICP's exercises would do very well on that exercise, as it involved parsing text into an appropriate data structure and subsequently performing operations on that data structure.

SICP will serve you well in interviewing, and don't worry so much about OSS projects, most people aren't involved with OS S when they are just out of school (I think older programmers make the best OSS contributors, but that is a personal opinion).

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chrisa 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be more interested to read what you had to say about the exercises in your blog. If your posts were thoughtful and relevant to the job opening, that would have more weight than just a bullet point saying you had finished the book.
3
What's a good way to find talented people to hire?
8 points by Spielo  6 hours ago   10 comments top 7
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cliftonmckinney 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Most companies seriously underestimate the level of exposure they have. We usually recommend applying inbound marketing techniques to your recruiting process to improve your exposure. A few tips:

1) Open source one or more useful projects. Smart people will use them, fork them, etc.2) Have a referral program, and make sure it's easy to use. A lot of companies have a program that gives employees $1,000 or more if they refer a candidate, but not a lot of companies make the referral process an easy one. Build a landing page for each position. Include a little information about the company and the job. That way, employees have something to share on their social networks and via email.3. If you're looking for awesome and nothing else will do, consider allowing remote work.4. Set up a company page at Work for Pie (shameless plug) or Coderwall or similar. It'll help developers get to know your team and culture much better than a simple job description.

Good luck!

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epoxyhockey 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Also, this may be a good time to evaluate your standards and expectations to make sure that they are realistic.

Are you listing for a Jr. position, but expecting Sr. level talent? Is your compensation package in line with the caliber of candidates you are seeking? Are you rejecting applicants because they don't match your skill requirements exactly? Smart people can learn new things pretty quickly.

If you have a budget, then the answer to your question is to advertise everywhere!

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hcho 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe stating the obvious, but did you try attending related meetups? node.js, angular, backbone, etc...You can at least get to know people who work with those. You might convince them to join, or they might know someone looking for a job.
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ArekDymalski 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If your company is large I assume you have some budget. You could consider creating a fun and challenging recruitment campaign which will go viral. Something like WibiData did http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/01/this-startups-new-hire-appl... Ideally it should contain puzzles which will accurately and reliably help to assess the required competences but that's quite hard to do and seems to be unnecessary if your main problem is sourcing.
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spicavigo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Right heree onH of course. There is a monthly Who's Hiring post. Try posting there next month.
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samfisher83 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not give someone an opportunity? It looks like you are getting people, but you don't think they are any good.
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chudi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have a local university try advertising there, be honest and clear about what are you doing to do, etc

good luck!

4
Ask HN: What are good sources for handling app backends, APIs, etc?
2 points by ghettoeinstein  3 hours ago   1 comment top
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aespinoza 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We, at iKnode (http://iknode.com), provide a very powerful Backend Platform.

We focus on behavior more than data. So you can implement your logic in your browser. This doesn't mean we don't support data storage, we do, but our platform focuses more on what you can do with the data, more than just exposing the data through an API.

Additionally, we provide a Scheduling mechanism, which allows you to run applications at specified intervals using cron-like syntax.

Let me know if you need more information, or email me at aespinoza@iknode.com

5
Ask HN: How do you have time for dates and gym when working for a startup?
68 points by gummify  1 day ago   50 comments top 28
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jasonkester 1 day ago 4 replies      
Try to keep in mind that you're probably a lot more valuable to your employer than they are to you. If you want to work 40 hour weeks, it's as simple as ramping back down to your old 9-6, 5-day schedule.

It's entirely possible that somebody will call you into an office and tell you that you're not a team player. It's possible that they'll explain how it's crunch time and everybody's pulling together and it's unfair to the other people on the team if you don't pull too and how you're letting everybody down.

That's fine.

It's also possible that after telling you these things enough times and writing them down, they'll fire you.

That's fine too.

There are worse things in this world than being a talented developer on the job market in the Bay Area. If your company is silly enough to fire you for working the hours you agreed to work when they hired you, that's a shame. But you'll probably find yourself with a better job a week later.

More likely, though, you'll find that they deal with it. Better still, you might be able to convince a few of your co-workers to also make life a priority. Who knows, six months from now you might have an entire office full of people working sane hours. It's definitely worth a shot.

2
timr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Life is too short to skimp on health and relationships; these things make you happier than money. So set up personal boundaries, and be willing to walk away if they're violated.

Some will tell you otherwise, but my feeling is that 12-hour days can't (and shouldn't) be maintained for more than short bursts. If you're doing 60+ hour weeks every week, you're going to be less efficient...or you're going to burn out. If someone is pushing you to work that much, then you really have to question why you're there. If you're the one doing the pushing, well...stop. Change your priorities. Work will always be there tomorrow, and you can be successful on a normal schedule.

(that said, long hours are somewhat normal at the start of a new job when everyone is bright-eyed and trying to prove themselves. everything in moderation, including moderation.)

(also, yeah, a lot of people here do online dating.)

3
ardit33 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you have to work those hours then you are being "used". Unless you have major equity (5%+) Your are just being a tool for the founders to get rich. That's it. Your equity is not worth it, plus you will never get those months/years back.

Find another job, where you can have normal hours, and can have time for friends, fun, and hobbies, and creating an app, or open source project/whatever rocks your boat.

Life is too short to spend every minute of it making somebody else rich.

4
skore 1 day ago 0 replies      
You never really "have" time, you only ever "make" time.

Make dating and gym time something that you actually care deeply about (instead of - "hmm, I guess those are things I should probably do") and watch your schedule restructure itself.

I know this sounds simplistic, but it really is that simple.

You're 20 (something), you will learn and grow, you will need less time to bring 12 hours of your current work value to your startup. Just make sure to start at filling the time before you get there, otherwise you will feel lost once you do (and thus fill your time with even more work, leading to burnout). Add some pressure by taking breaks - try to work less, deliberately, while keeping up the amount of work you turn out. You will end up more satisfied with your work.

Eventually you will find that only the stuff you do outside your work - getting outside and being with people - make you really productive.

(And yes, as others have said, 12 hours sounds like you're already being burned out. Not really a healthy start in any shape or form.)

5
ahoyhere 1 day ago 1 reply      
Run for your life. Seriously. You only get one. Every hour is an investment in your future if it doesn't pay dividends, it is lost, you might as well burn it playing video games or lying in the park (which is probably more fun). Note that the least interesting dividends are money; the best are love, friendship, helping others, novel experiences, travel, fun, relaxation, learning.

Glory isn't real. The harshest lesson of success is that the "feeling" of success is extremely brief -- hours, days -- if you ever feel it at all. (Most don't. So they keep trying to hit higher and higher peaks in order to feel something, but the feeling comes from inside, not from outside, so no achievement will cause it to arise.)

If you are 20-something and you want a partner, or a family, you better work on that now. If you want to live life on your own terms, you better start on that now. If you want to live a healthy life you can't waste time.

So many "young people" I know think that they have time. They're waiting for real life to happen. Well, you don't have time and real life is now. What's 20-something? Then 30s. Then 40s. Then what? When's the good stuff going to happen? Never, if you wait for it.

6
GuiA 1 day ago 0 replies      
Same as what other commenters said. Working 9-9 is unhealthy.

Maybe try doing 9-9 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, if you can keep up with that rhythm, and then do 9-6 on Mon-Wed-Fri. That'll leave you plenty of time for social life and working out.

And then, you have the weekends too.

As far as dating: meetup.com can be good for finding like minded individuals, otherwise stuff like Nightlife at Academy of Sciences, gallery openings, etc. are great for meeting random new people from a different world (as a person in tech, I could never date someone from tech). OKCupid always works as a last resort.

7
salahxanadu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Life-work balance. You'll burn yourself out doing 12 hour days. It takes quite a while to recoup once you get to the point where you're staring past people. Perhaps you need a better balance. Set boundaries. You may actually get more done during the workday because you're giving your mind time to think when doing other very beneficial things.
8
clark-kent 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not healthy to work 9-9. I find that working long hours doesn't make me accomplish more. There are times to work long hours when you are close to completing a project but it's not sustainable as a lifestyle. You can start by working less on the days you need to go to the gym like 3 days a week. And then explore dating on the weekends.
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clearly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't speak for SF since I'm in London, but at the beginning of this year I decided to kick the habit of staying late and got back into regular muay thai training. I have a class 4 times a week at 7pm, so I have to leave the office at about 6 to make it.

At first I felt like I was letting the team down or whatever, because I was used to a) spending a lot more time physically in the office and b) judging other people by how early they left. However, I'm in a much better place now- I realised your brain doesn't just stop when you leave the office anyway, so you are still "working" on things really when you are not there, and you will feel better when you are there. 8-10 hours (I do 8-6) is still plenty of time to get a lot of work done! Personally I also felt a lot better letting my team lead know that I have a class every day at 7pm, and that I feel it has a reasonable priority in my life. Though sometimes things like production issues or late calls do come up, this made it easier for me to be out the door when I need to be.

10
angersock 1 day ago 1 reply      
To quote Scotty from Star Trek Generations, "Well like you always say, if something's important, you'll make the time."
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lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 1 reply      
I suggest you look at both your career and your dating as very similar things. You (a 20-something female in techie-SF), are in high demand in both areas.

Just do not fall for the myth that the right guy(#) or the right job will just come along. You have to go and find it. The clever part is maximising the surface area you have "out there" whilst keeping a quality reputation.

I suggest the following:

1. Decide roughly your ideal company / man (see (#) below)

If you cannot write a paragraph about the ideal that really knocks your socks off, then you do not know what you want.This is then the time to sample many different types and determine which suits you best.

2. Be aware of the local landscape - Angellist is good here as is OKCupid. However nothing beats meeting people face to face. Go to networking events. (Both kinds)

Whilst this may seem a little light hearted please remember this one important truth:

The best dates / jobs will come from mutual acquaitances able to connect you both. So this means expanding the people whom you know - spending all your time in one office with one set of people will limit the fish you can catch. So attend networking events, of both kinds, and remember its a sellers market.

Its your twenties. Have fun.

(#) broad assumption that you are hetro, but if not its still a sellers market it seems.

12
oskarth 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pitch it to your boss as things which will increase your performance, which is what they are ultimately worried about.

If get a two hour lunch break where I get to go to the gym, my afternoon will be more productive and more than make up for the lost hour.

13
PeterisP 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can't "find time for X while working for a startup", that simply does no happen. If X is important for you, then you'll have to make time for X.

Stand up from your desk and go to a party/pub to meet people.

Schedule your gym times; and if you have no time to go to gym that evening - then go anyway. You'll be better off that way.

14
gdonelli 1 day ago 0 replies      
Assuming you find a boyfriend, will you have time for him?

If you say, I will make time.. then it is even more important to make time for yourself first (In my opinion)

Online dating is very popular in SF, however it is not the only way to find a partner. I never felt comfortable with it, and it took me time but eventually found a person I like.

Finding a good partner is a hard, especially when you are in school anymore. It will take time.

15
sardonicbryan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I probably work comparable hours at a startup, and still find time to work out and socialize. You can get a great workout in under an hour if you don't live or work too far from your gym, and a couple workouts a week can go a long way. There have been tons of threads here on strength training and crossfit with tips on how to maximize your time.

Even if you work 9-9 three or four weekdays a week, that still leaves at least one weeknight for meeting up with someone for drinks/dinner/social activity, plus weekends. I find that's more than enough time -- I generally have drinks with my coworkers Friday after work, have a social activity with friends on Saturday, and brunch or something on Sunday, and leave Sunday evening for chores.

I feel like I have a pretty full and balanced life, but of course ymmv.

16
mathattack 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are talented, you just need to keep asking, "What's the worst thing that could happen?"

Find a gym near the office, and get into a routine where you can go, workout, shower, and be back at the office in 70 minutes. Do it 3 times a week. What's the worst thing that could happen? If they dislike what you're doing, you'll hear about it before they fire you. Then you start looking.

Same thing with dating. Leave work at 7 for the date. What's the worst thing that will happen?

That said, you have to be good. People won't rock the boat with talented employees. If you're not good, it's tougher. And yes, people use online dating too.

17
useflyer 1 day ago 1 reply      
As somebody who balances startup life and dating in San Francisco, I'm surprised by the comments on this thread so far.

Like most things at a startup, there are cycles. Sometimes work is 9-6, sometimes its 9-9. Consistency is uncommon, especially at the earlier stages. While you might not have time to date at the moment, you probably will later.

A few points:1. 9pm is the perfect time to grab a quick bite with friends and head out. There are a ton of great bars / spots which offer a casual environment to be with female / startup / life friends, eat drink and meet guys if you so choose. Ping me for recommendations.2. The internet (and especially OK Cupid) are great for arranging lots of dates with little effort. 9/10 of the people you meet will be boring or not click, but 1/10 will surprise you. Everyone uses it now, especially as a filler for in between relationships.3. SF has a great friends-of-friends atmosphere. Go to parties.4. Learn to love a busy schedule. You can easily cram more into life by going out after work, still getting a good nights sleep, and going back to work the next day. If you're only working M-F, it'll be the most active time of your life.

18
jinfiesto 1 day ago 0 replies      
If they don't have any prejudice towards telecommuting, even if you live close by, it tends to streamline your life. If you're telecommuting, working twelve hours a day isn't that difficult, provided you don't get distracted. Just commit to spending a certain amount of time per day, in a block, and then disperse the rest of your hours throughout the day as your schedule allows. See if you can work from home and come into the office a couple times a week.
19
lefinita 1 day ago 0 replies      
If this startup is your passion, sometime it's alright to sacrifice something for greater benefit, but if you just work at there as an ordinary employee, better find other place.

To answer your real question, I suggest friday to sunday as "not working day" don't think anything about job even deadline is short, just hangout and do what you like.

For dating people, is good to have partner that understand fully your workload, because understanding is important key to successful relationship.

Don't go to gym just for work out, running 15-30 minutes a day it's the best to keep your health, you can run with your partner or friends.

20
ajc405 1 day ago 0 replies      
People clearly didn't understand the question and are having a visceral reaction to the fact that this woman said 'startup' which ironic given that this is hackernews. Even people who work at Google Facebook etc all work 9-9. I don't know a single person that doesn't work more than 8 hours a day including fashion, media, event planning, medicine, banking, consulting, etc etc.
21
rahilsondhi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had and still have a girlfriend when I entered the startup scene. I pick work, her, and sleep. I skip the exercise and I feel fine. Not sustainable forever though, but it'll do for now.
22
jasiek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Time is your most precious asset, you can't make more of it.
23
naithemilkman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hah. I basically don't which is something I'm trying to change too.
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lvturner 1 day ago 0 replies      
I make time, for a while I found the only time I had was an hour in the morning - so I did my gym workout then, and then went to work. Things have settled down a bit since then.

I've been with my girlfriend since before my career so I can't comment on dating so much, but we do find that we have to set a day aside every now and again where it's just us and no other distractions.

25
wellboy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask your employer if you can take out 4h/week during the day to visit the gym. Quite unlikely that your employer will say no and then you can go to the gym 2 times a week.

Done. :)

As for dating, I'd squeeze that in by leaving at 8pm instead of 9pm and on the weekends.

26
mikhailfranco 1 day ago 1 reply      
Buy a bike, bike commute to work, date the guy at the bike shop (he will be fit and can fix your bike).
27
Fuxy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Welcome to the eternal dilemma of geeks everywhere. When there's so much to do how do we find time to do anything else.The answer probably is we don't.You're just going to have to find your priority and stick with it whatever it is.
28
jolenzy 1 day ago 0 replies      
You need a guy, then you'll find time :) Seriously. You should go to parties, do crazy things, and get drunk sometimes with best friends. If you don't study, go to college. It will be the best part of your life.

Work will not run away anywhere. It will wait for you. So use your time wisely, you have only one life.

Most of the people work, so they can earn, so they can live good enough. I think that you, like many others, went off a little from that track.

Best wishes.

6
Poll : Did your Startup experience ruined your love life?
3 points by maximem  6 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
limedaring 1 hour ago 0 replies      
No my boyfriend of 4 years is also an entrepreneur and we both understand the demands of the business. My startup is stronger due to his support and help as well!
2
mansigandhi 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
No, my boyfriend (now husband) has been my co-founder for 3 years now.
3
ToniVlaic 3 hours ago 0 replies      
No ;-)You need to balance it as good as possible, love life, family, health....
4
brentlarue 5 hours ago 0 replies      
my startup is the love of my life :)
7
What according to you is the biggest problem with MOOCs?
10 points by manishreddyt  15 hours ago   12 comments top 9
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ekpyrotic 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Self-directed learners study subjects that complement their current interests and obsessions. Presently I am interested in the European sovereign-debt crisis, so it is natural to go ahead and study the history of the Eurozone.

Now, taken over time, these topics will form a natural chain, networking with my present interests and previous topics of study. I might move from studying 'neoliberalism' to 'Margaret Thatcher' to 'Ronald Reagan', and onwards.

As this example suggests, autodidacts will quite naturally get stuck in topic chains, studying subjects that share a particular outlook, an outlook they take an interest in (be that outlook political, economic, or otherwise).

As such, autodidacts will inevitably study a syllabus that reflects, supports, and reinforces their current inclinations. Or, put more pointedly, there is no obvious mechanism by which self-learners will come to grapple with divergent viewpoints or challenging disciplines.

There is cause for confusion here. I am not claiming that self-directed learners will consciously choose to ignore alternative perspectives, only that this pattern naturally results from the way an autodidact studies. If I start reading the work of some libertarian political thinker, the thinker's intellectual predecessors or successors is the next obvious topic of study. The starting point lays a train-track into similar material.

(Similar anxieties have been articulated by Eli Pariser about the social Web. Pariser argues that Google's powerful filtering algorithminformed by previous searchesskims off content that challenges a searcher's current outlook in order to return better search results, meaning that users browse the Web within an intellectual bubble.)

Additionally, I do not argue that well-organised and broad-minded autodidacts cannot escape this trap. Only that it is difficult to do so. Firstly, this pattern usually takes place without the learner's awareness, meaning they cannot take remedial steps. And, secondly, it is easy to imagine a learner ceaselessly kicking divergent perspectives into the long grass; "I'll read one more liberal thinker before I crack open Hayek".

But, importantly, universities disrupt this pattern.

Unlike critics seem to believe, universities comprise more than a succession of uniform courses on bland topics. Instead, they are the pooling point for a generation of young people from disparate backgrounds with divergent politico-cultural perspectives.

This vibrant academic social fabric provides the natural environment for informed, critical dialogue and the exchange of ideas and opinions. And, it is through such exchanges that our ideas are challenged, deconstructed, and rebuilt.

Of course, I am liable to an accusation of idealism. Firstly, for believing that university is any more than a stopgap between high school and work for young people to drink, party, and have sex. Or, for believing truly socially mixed universities exist. I do not deny that second-rate party schools exist, nor that the West is diseased with economic inequality. But, these are not essential to the university system. And, I am optimistic that our governments are taking proactive steps to rectify both problems.

Taken together, I worry that self-directed learning lends itself to an arrogant self-belief in one's opinions and a lack of regard for the complexity and nuances of politico-cultural debates, and that the platform universities provide for open interaction between peoples of different socio-economic background has been largely ignored.

(Note: from an article I wrote way back when)

2
brudgers 4 hours ago 0 replies      
They are modeled after bricks and mortar institutions.

My wife taught online for UoP. They used NNTP and a book. No video. No interactive games. It worked because it recognized that the sizzle was the degree. It worked because they weren't trying to sell it to established institutional interests - e.g. department heads and professors and administrators who want to make sure that streaming video can go on their CV.

3
jnord 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Having done three courses with both Coursera and Udacity, I can honestly say that my biggest gripe with MOOCs is their emphasis on transmitting information sequentially, that is, via video lectures.

Seriously, what is wrong with putting up some nice readable-at-own-pace lecture material that is hyperlinked and indexed correctly so that I don't have to rewind videos if I missed something?

4
ht_th 12 hours ago 0 replies      
They're solving an educational problem -- that is, how to deliver instruction to a large audience --, but not an learning problem. Does it support / improve deep learning? How are social-cultural factors of learning taken care of? What exactly is assessed? How is students' (and teachers') reflection on their own learning process supported (if at all)

I think most of these problems can be overcome, although probably not by translating traditional instruction and educational ideas more or less directly to MOOCs, but by exploring new ways of instruction, teaching, studying, and learning. I fear, however, that this will not happen (soon, or at a large scale), and MOOCs will become the poor mans' only educational opportunity, creating an educational/learning divide between those who will have access to small-scale quality instruction and those that have only access to MOOCs.

For governments and schools MOOCs make it easy to implement 'education for all' while cutting costs. For example, I could imagine high schools to stop offering advanced placement classes or some subjects locally, but instead offering access to MOOCs on those topics with some local supervision by people not schooled (and payed) as teachers. Similarly, I could imagine the government giving free access to MOOCs to all, while, at the same time, cutting on general scholarships.

5
anywherenotes 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Peer grading.For classes that can be tested for correctness automatically I don't see any issues. But when your class is on writing, and you get peer reviewed and graded ... you risk getting random grades+feedback.
6
bakli 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't believe I have the self discipline to complete these online courses. I start with great enthusiasm and after one or two weeks, everything's gone. The reason why this happened in coursera was because I had two weeks free time and the course was of 6 weeks. After initial two weeks, I got a little busy and neglected everything from course eventually giving up on the idea of being able to complete it.
7
tinyProton 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Deadlines. I want to be able to take courses and complete them whenever I have time.

Almost all Coursera's coursers have weekly deadlines. If you got busy for a couple of weeks during the course time you will fall behind. And the chances that you would get busy are quite high given that some of the courses last for more than three months.

8
queensnake 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Lack of academic credit. Often being /half/ of a class.
9
aaron695 14 hours ago 0 replies      
They cost nothing so are considered by participants internally to have no value and hence are treated as such.
8
Ask HN: would you pay for an email service?
13 points by numbers  21 hours ago   17 comments top 11
1
dangrossman 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes. 2 million users already pay Rackspace Mail (formerly MailTrust) for that. I pay $10/mo for ten 25GB mailboxes there with a 100% uptime SLA, 24/7/365 phone/email/chat support and configurable backups.

http://www.rackspace.com/email-hosting/

2
nickfromseattle 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes I would pay for email, but I think its a very hard industry for startups. The industry is consolidating around certain players and their economies of scale make it extremely difficult to compete. Owning and maintaining infrastructure and email systems is high consequence, technically difficult and expensive. Even well known email providers that you've heard of actually white label bigger, more sophisticated providers infrastructure/mail system.

However, that shouldn't stop you from trying. Its really easy and cheap to validate your idea. Sign up as a reseller at Rackspace, Intermedia, Apptix, etc. Now go get customers- direct customers are good, but channel is king in email hosting space. You want to build a partner channel of IT consultants that go into small businesses and do managed services. Theyre already providing IT, selling your email is an easy upsell and extra revenue for them.

If you can get a ton of resellers/consultants, spending money on your own infrastructure becomes slightly less risky.

3
EvanAnderson 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. I already pay for such a service from POBox.com (and have since 2002), as an example of just such a service provider. (I host my own email, too, but I like having this address as a more formal personal email address that isn't connected to any of my personal domain names, blog, etc.)
4
waxjar 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If it did the same as GMail does and GMail didn't exist, I would. It's just so convenient.
5
manicbovine 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't like the idea of monolithic email products. I wish I had the option to purchase the following items a la carte:

* A polished email client with consistently designed mobile, desktop, console, and web apps.

* Spam filtering and email classification [1]

* Sending/receiving

* Archive/backup

[1] Especially this.

6
mattl 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I pay for mail service at The WELL, an account with Pobox (I back up my Gmail there) and for SaneBox to try to keep the Gmail Inbox smart. I'd like to move the power away from Gmail (actually Google Apps) and to something I can control.
7
arrowgunz 21 hours ago 0 replies      
If the email service has anti-spam filters as powerful as Gmail and the UI/UX is as clean as Outlook, then yes.
8
gesman 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Email service - internet's oldest profession.
9
t0 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm happy with Gmail. I don't think you could ever convince me to switch.
10
a3n 21 hours ago 0 replies      
fastmail.fm

there are many others

11
zombio 15 hours ago 0 replies      
No, I think it would be pretty hard to convince me to pay for a service when Gmail is already so easy to use.
9
Ask HN: I have a good idea and a POC... Now what?
5 points by earlz  13 hours ago   6 comments top 6
1
sharemywin 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Here's 2 websites that might be helpful for what your looking for.

http://karmurl.com/ - trade feedbackhttp://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-11-25-n66.html -- buy feedback for $7

2
dvt 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You could always post it on HN :)

I'm a bit older-ish (27) and from my experience, trying to keep your ideas to yourself is not really productive. Ideas are dime a dozen and the best way to get feedback is to hand it out to people (even unfinished hacky proofs of concept will do).

You could always go to family and friends, but there are two problems with this approach:

1. They may not be tech-inclined in which case they won't really "get" it.

2. They are your friends and family. They will, 90% of the time, give you positive reinforcement. Trust me. Nobody loves you as much as your mom does ;)

Finally, I just want to say that random "idea advice" is generally pretty worthless anyway (even from random people on the internet). You won't see any genuine feedback until you have customers, not just some guy flipping through a couple of your pages going "I think the sign-in button should be bluer" or something to that effect. I would urge you to finish an alpha version and test it on a couple of potential/real customers. That's the absolute only way you'll get any poignant advice.

I just want to add that a co-founder should bring something very real to the deal, not just a critical eye (you know what they say about opinions).

3
chipsy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll start with a general disclaimer for what you're looking for in feedback. When you get a "crickets" or a polite "looks promising" response, it indicates you are currently missing the mark, either in the concept or the marketing(and the two are very, very intermingled). There's a dramatic, intangible, "know it when you see it" difference when something gets the response you need to achieve some real growth. And you do need the broad audience to be sure, because in private, a small group of people can convince themselves to believe anything, no matter how "outsider" they might be to begin with.

Why not, instead of finishing the code, make a video, or at least a nice landing page demonstrating what you intend to build?

4
xauronx 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Post it to HN, explain you're looking for feedback. Don't be afraid of being told it's shit. For every person who's looking to increase their self esteem by putting you down, there will be one honestly trying to help.

Next... and this is what I've struggled with. I've created a ton of "proof of concepts", that is, things that pretty much work and prove that you CAN do it. Well, the problem is that you feel so awesome and smart from creating those things but that ISN'T the hard part. Actually creating a stable solid product is the hard part, what makes you a good developer. Unfortunately, it's also just a lot less fun.

5
seanccox 12 hours ago 0 replies      
In 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' there is a section that discusses using a shim, made from a beer can, to fix loose handlebars on a motorcycle. The bike's owner walks away, preferring loose handlebars to a cheap solution. You need to find the people who want the problem solved so badly that they'll use a beer can, or your ugly/incomplete code, to solve their problem.

To do that, start with a customer profile. Answer the following questions:What is the problem? How is it solved? What is needed to implement the solution? Who can implement it (are there any barriers like equipment, technical expertise)? How do you reach them?

Once you know who to contact, it is a great deal easier to find them. Contact those people. Listen to what they say about the problem. Ask yourself does my code address this problem? If not, fix the code, or call a different potential customer (actually, do both).

Document what people say. You'll learn what the real pain point is, you'll learn how other people have dealt with it, and you'll learn whether you are contacting the right potential customers.

If your product does address the problem, ask the person to buy your solution. You can offer a discount rate for being a trial customer. Get their feedback. If you can sell it, as is, to 1% of the people you contact, then you have a business (which is a whole new set of problems). If not, restart at an earlier stage. Maybe the code doesn't solve the right problem, or maybe you pitched the wrong customers?

It should be a creative learning process, and you seem to enjoy that already. If you want to bounce around more ideas, feel free to get in touch.

6
mooze 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Friends are great for high-fives, but useless when it comes to constructive feedback. Your best bet is to attend maker/hacker/startup events and tell people about your project. If they seem interested, go into detail about your plan: why you started it, what problem you're trying to solve, and how you're going to solve it. Be open to new ideas. (Sometimes you discover that your 'goal' isn't really your goal, but a shadow of your 'true' goal.) Adjust your plan accordingly.

I'm only a few years older than you and on a similar path, so you can start with me if you like. (Also: put your contact details in your HN profile so people can reach you!)

10
Ask HN: What happened to the The Matasano Crypto Challenges?
6 points by xcubic  17 hours ago   8 comments top 4
1
tptacek 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey there. My contact information is in my profile, and you can feel free to send me mail about the challenges or just to say "hi".

Two things to know:

(1) We've got ~4800 people involved in these now and we're doing it largely "by hand", so we can't promise not to occasionally screw up.

(2) A small subset of people seem to have email addresses that both our own mail server and our mail client insist are spam sources, and we never see their mails.

If you're having a hard time getting a response from the "official" address, just mail me.

2
rbijou 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Pinging tptacek on this-- he should be able to help you out.
3
slyv 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I've received replies within a day or two from them. Depending if you sent yours during one of the bursts from an HN thread it might of got lost. Try sending them an email now?
4
thirteenfingers 17 hours ago 1 reply      
How long ago did you sign up? It took them two or three days to send me the first set.
11
Ask HN: Any early stage startup looking for CTO/Chief Architect
3 points by anonjobseeker  21 hours ago   4 comments top
1
briholt 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd be curious if you get any replies, could you please reply in a bit with a little info about the quantity and quality of emails you get.
12
Tell HN: I did it (thank you)
26 points by Jem  3 days ago   10 comments top 6
1
tptacek 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations!
2
willchilcutt 3 days ago 2 replies      
I've been a work from home dad for the past 10 months taking care of my 11 month old. The older she gets the less she naps, and unfortunately I really only get to work when she is asleep. I'm worried within the next year I am going to have to stay up all night just to keep my 30 hr/week schedule up.

I actually did this backwards from the OP where I was doing freelance work but now I have a salaried job. My wife also has a full time job.

I just had to get that out there as lots of the time I feel very alone and think no one else is in my situation.

Thanks for sharing your story. I will check out your website later when my daughter is napping :)

3
palidanx 3 days ago 1 reply      
Do you have a link to your site?
4
kriven 3 days ago 1 reply      
That is great, Jem. My husband and I are considering starting a family soon. I have been debating between just taking a break from work or self employment. It is good to hear that you have been successful in working from home with your kids.
5
kohanz 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you for sharing your story. As someone who will start a family in the next year or so, reading that somebody has accomplished something that I aspire to (more independence and family time) is very inspiring.
6
groundCode 2 days ago 0 replies      
well done!
13
What is the modern backup solution for cloud service data (db+files)?
4 points by bhouston  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
staunch 15 hours ago 0 replies      
A cheap solution is to have a server sitting at your office/home that runs a nightly cronjob to rsync backups off your EC2 machine to local disk. Copy that data to external drives and keep a copy at home. Store another encrypted copy on S3. Or use Tarsnap to handle the security for you.

Every few months back it all up to some external drives and store it in a safe deposit box, or use a service like Iron Mountain.

2
shail 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are on Linode kind of hosting then I guess they do provide some backup options. I am not sure whether it's paid and do they do full server backup or specific data backup. You will have to find out. Pls do post here when you do so. I will also be needing this soon. Anyone else with any experience on this front?
14
Ask HN: What do you think of the new Google+ design?
5 points by jdp23  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
1
clarkm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I refreshed the page, loaded the new design, and felt like the information density instantly dropped in half. I'm not sure if they think I'm going blind or forgetting how to read.

Text went away. Pictures and icons appeared.

The thumbnail pictures of the people in my chat list got bigger, their names stayed the same size, and all indication of their online/offline/idle status completely vanished. And half the people I talk to regularly disappeared from the chat list. A lot of my friends were perma-invisible, and not it won't let me see them. Great.

I feel like they want me to scroll through the news feed like I'm reading a glossy magazine full of pictures, but I don't want that -- I want text.

I had hoped that changing to the one-column layout would make things better, but all the posts feel like they have a width of less than 80 characters.

2
laxk 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm going to delete my facebook account after this g+ update.
3
meerita 1 day ago 0 replies      
Clean. I like it. I don't like animation effects for everything, it reminds me the first days on OS X. And regarding quiting Facebook: I did it but I quickly came back again since I have like 30 services associated just with FB account and they don't provide Google+
4
dezinelife 1 day ago 0 replies      
well, actually the design is more clean, crisp and fluid. The burst of information in social media has let the sites to concentrate their design on news feed and presenting information in the most suitable way. the trend of minimalism is a very good approach of Google and I think that soon all social media sites use minimalism as their theme during layout design, the concept"less is more" has worked for many sites with huge information, text or picture such as Behance or Google and certainly will work for more.
15
Did google fail to QA?
4 points by kkotak  1 day ago   discuss
16
Ask HN: What are some good programming blogs?
11 points by FramesPerSushi  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
1
hendzen 2 days ago 0 replies      
2
3
QuantumGuy 2 days ago 0 replies      
xkcd.com
17
Ask HN: How do you secure your rails server?
5 points by jkaykin  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
1
brandoncordell 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Which rails stack are you running?

Apache/Passenger? Unicorn?

2
mbaukes 1 day ago 1 reply      
what part of the server?

app stack, os, config, or code?

18
Ask HN: Does versioning an encrypted file in a git repo make it less secure?
26 points by isaacsu  4 days ago   11 comments top 6
1
Jabbles 4 days ago 1 reply      
I do not think HN is the best place to ask this.

Try http://security.stackexchange.com/

Submit the answer back for HN to discuss if you want.

2
tptacek 4 days ago 1 reply      
I haven't reviewed KeePassX but they've published a bit about their encryption. They say they're using AES-CBC with random IVs, generated each time the database is updated. You should be fine keeping it versioned.

Three scenarios in which it would be potentially unsafe to keep a versioned password database, from worst to least-worst:

* Had they used AES-CTR with a fixed key and nonce --- a surprisingly common design, unfortunately --- then every save they did would create a chunk of ciphertext encrypted under the same keystream as some previously versioned chunk. This is fatal to the security of AES-CTR; it is a failure mode that keeps me from recommending AES-CTR. (Similar problems exist for the other stream modes).

* Had they used AES-ECB --- ie, the default mode of most AES libraries --- every repeated chunk of 16 bytes would be evident in the ciphertext of the database, and, worse, the versioned copies would likely create variants of that data at different offsets. Combined with known plaintext (maybe there's some in the KeePassX headers?), this could set up an attack, albeit a very elaborate one that would require lots of changes to the database.

* Had they used AES-CBC with a fixed IV, instead of generating it randomly every time the database was updated, they'd have the ECB problem on first blocks of each message. Messing up the CBC IV is a very big problem in online systems where attackers can take many thousands of bites at the apple and adapt their inputs in response to what the target does, but it's less of a problem in offline systems like KeePassX and would have been a mostly theoretical problem.

The bigger problem with KeePass is that it doesn't see to do a good job of deriving keys from passphrases (as documented, it uses salted SHA-256). Maybe that's changed since their security page was authored, but that problem would keep me from putting a KeePass database on any machine I didn't control.

3
pfg 4 days ago 0 replies      
I found the following info on the KeePass homepage[0]:

>For both algorithms [AES/Twofish], a 128-bit initialization vector (IV) is generated randomly each time you save the database.

>This allows multiple databases to be encrypted using the same key without observable patterns being revealed.

I'm no crypto expert, but I think this also covers multiple versions of your kdb file.

[0]: http://keepass.info/help/base/security.html#secencrypt

4
akx 4 days ago 1 reply      
I am not a cryptographer, but looking at a KDB file in git (with xxd in-between), it would _seem_ you're safe (esp. considering pfg's sibling comment). This pattern of differences repeats for all of the 4 commits I tried: http://i.imgur.com/rxesWJl.png -- so basically there's only two constant 16-byte sequences, there rest of the file being entirely unique.
5
richo 4 days ago 0 replies      
It depends what encryption algorithm you used. In short- Maybe.
6
mifchip 4 days ago 1 reply      
Depends on algorithm. Do not store binary data in GIT, make separate archive with binary files if you need them.
19
Would you vote for a rational Artificially Intelligent president?
7 points by coxaqui  2 days ago   16 comments top 14
1
Millennium 2 days ago 0 replies      
No, because I would not accept it as sufficiently Artificially Intelligent until it had proven itself capable of irrationality.
2
pbhjpbhj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting idea, there must be some SciFi works on this subject.

Would the ePresident be fixed for their term of office (no upgrades whilst in post)? Could you ask it questions as a citizen before voting to know how it would respond for any given parameter set? Would it be programmed according to the Three Laws?

Perhaps all parties could submit an ePresident candidate and each could get a vote on all actions based on the proportion of the population who voted for it.

3
pfortuny 2 days ago 0 replies      
iPresident or gPresident? Or maybe President Blue or BBpres?

No: it would be government by engineering which is wrong. States are not machines.

4
brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
No. Only an imaginary one.
5
gadders 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would you not just end up with utilitarianism?
6
reiz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hello No. But it is a very interesting idea.
7
kbelbina 2 days ago 1 reply      
Only if it was open source, I'd be worried about people tampering with it to give it biases for special interests etc.
8
velodrome 2 days ago 0 replies      
Depends who programmed it.
9
mvaliente2001 2 days ago 0 replies      
The problem is not rationality, but the goals that rational being has to fulfill.
10
toonster 2 days ago 1 reply      
only if i knew the rule set that it was programmed with. and methods to handle exceptions.
11
informatimago 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes. Anybody or anything but the current crops of politicians.
12
Stranger2013 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, coxaqui. Especially if the alternative is you destroying us.
13
andridk 2 days ago 0 replies      
As long as it follows the three laws of robotics, yes.
14
toutouastro 2 days ago 0 replies      
does "he" break the rules when they need to be borken ?does "he" have feelings ?
20
13 year old Firefox bug
10 points by shaundr  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
1
mpyne 2 days ago 0 replies      
> How is it that some bugs go neglected for this long?

I think it's because no one fixed it yet.

2
sabbatic13 2 days ago 0 replies      
The last time I checked (ca. early 2012), there were tens of thousands of untriaged bugs in the Moz Bugzilla instance. Add to that unresolved bugs in the 3M+ lines code base and multiple platforms supported, and the job is obviously huge. There simply aren't enough people working on such things to keep up.

It is an open source project, so there is something that one can do about such things beyond complaining.

3
artificialidiot 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Wow you people are a mess. This bug has been around for 12 years!! are you kidding? It works in IE!!

Way to get volunteers to fix it.

21
Ask HN: What is then different between Android Studio and IntelliJ IDEA?
3 points by fakeer  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
tagabek 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Google's official backing?
2
claudiug 1 day ago 0 replies      
none. Even so, Idea just write an post, telling the world about the new version. Witch of course, has all the glamorous stuff that Android Studio has. As you see, Android Studio is at 0.1 version, intellij 13 EAP is the same. Idea has the due date for late December for official release
3
tonteldoos 1 day ago 0 replies      
AS includes additional plugin(s)?
22
Anyone else run into this AirBnB problem?
6 points by jspiral  2 days ago   13 comments top 7
1
brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
We had one of these in our neighborhood. It was a pain in the ass to get rid of, but we did. People paying several hundred dollars a night felt entitled to act as if they were staying in a hotel. They behaved as if we were staff and our streets a motel parking lot.

There are two sides to these transactions. The vast majority are violations of local laws and everyone knows it. The AirBnB model allows one jackass to force jackasses and worse upon those living nearby.

I have no sympathy for anyone who struggles using their service. Stay in a hotel. They are designed for that. My neighborhood isn't a place for you to throw your party or sit on the hood of your car drinking at midnight or send your brats outside to play throw rocks at cars so you can get some Sunday morning booty on the sly.

2
stephenr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I tried to use airbnb twice to book whole houses (ie no one else there) in March/April during a 4 week trip back to Australia.

First place, the host accepted (so we were billed) but 20 minutes later she sent a message to say she had to cancel because someone her husband knew died. She never cancelled the booking, it took several days of me complaining to airbnb before they agreed to cancel it themselves, so we could get a refund.

Stupidly I didn't learn my lesson and tried to book another place through airbnb later in our trip. It was only after they had authorised my card for $1100 for the stay that I got a message to say "you need to provide more information" - I don't have a LinkedIn or Facebook account, so my only options left were to upload a photo of my drivers licence add then they wanted to verify me by my card, so they charged < $1 and said I needed to tell them how much they charged (from my transaction history). They gave me 11 hours to do this - my banks visa transactions are about 2-3 days delayed.

When I emailed them about this, they suggested I create a video.

I never did stay at any of their places. One of their phone support staff tried to tell my refund was taking so long because "Austrlaian banks can't believe we want to give your money back".

I will never (attempt to) use airbnb again. The fucking around is simply not worth it.

Both times when airbnb let us down, we stayed in a short term rental, organised directly with the owner over the phone, both times at late notice because of airbnb.

The second time we stayed, he left a bottle of wine for us. It's not a huge thing, and neither of us are big wine drinkers but it was enough to cement that place as somewhere we will go back to whenever we are in Melbourne.

3
latchkey 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recently tried to book a place for my upcoming trip to Manhattan in June using AirBnB. I've connected my FB account, had friends give me referrals, have money in my bank account, etc. After a ton of research into places to stay (mind you, in the $200-$350/night range!), I contacted about 10-12 places. I got zero response. As far as I'm concerned, AirBnB is an utter failure. I'd rather pay more for a hotel where I can rest assured that I've got a place than risk my vacation on some third party that is flakey.
4
ianpurton 2 days ago 0 replies      
I found AirBNB to be a pain in the arse. I was trying to book places in London. Most of the time the places were unavailable but the host hadn't updated the site. This meant I had to then contact another host and wait.

Turns out hotels were cheaper and less hassle.

5
artas_bartas 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been using AirBnB very actively during the last couple of years, mostly in the Northern Europe and South East Asia, and my experience was nothing but wonderful.

However, as some people in this thread have already pointed out, you need to stick to certain rules of a thumb:a) always check response rate and average response time to weed out any sloppy profiles;b) BEFORE you place a reservation, write a host introducing yourself and telling a bit about the purpose of your visit;c) after the host OKs you (or makes a special offer through the system), go ahead an make the booking.

Of course, the optimal time to book is 1-2 weeks before you arrive, do it earlier and hosts' plans might change, do it later and they might simply miss your message.

6
jf22 1 day ago 1 reply      
This whole post seems pithy and extremely subjective by a cranky and unhappy person. Whats with the dancing monkey comment? It really took you an hour to take a single picture of your drivers license?

The person who's home you are staying in wants to know it safe to have you there. Big deal?

7
10dpd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Please try and think of this from the perspective of someone who is letting you into their home.

Obviously the issues with Facebook/LinkedIn should be resolved, but if these were down it is absolutely 100% responsible of AirBnB to expect people to verify their identity through whatever means necessary. If you are not happy with that, use a hotel.

23
Ask HN: What do you do when someone gets to market before you?
4 points by rozap  2 days ago   7 comments top 4
1
rubinelli 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is great; you have just received validation that there is a market out there for your app. How big is this competitor and how far are you from launching?

(If you are talking about a Google I/O launch, well... don't give up yet. You never know when a project will join the Nexus Q and Google Reader.)

2
ig1 2 days ago 0 replies      
What's the size of the market ? - assuming it's substantial I wouldn't overly worry about it. But it's important to think about your longer term competitive advantages and how you'll defend them.

Your product will naturally evolve as a result of interactions with your customers, so to some extent your products will diverge naturally anyway.

3
needleme 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd say to study them and use their "weak point" to make your app better! This might slow down your work but it might worth the time.
4
magic_man 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is your app? Facebook started after myspace and friendster and we know how that turned out.
24
Ask HN: Have you done a programming boot camp? How'd it turn out?
6 points by pbj  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
1
orangethirty 2 days ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: I'm the founder of Protocademy (http://protocademy.com).

I researched this for a long time (more than a year). What I gathered from it was that a lot of the programs out there are focused on teaching people how to code. They have students go through exercises in a sort of robotic manner, and don't take into account that different people learn differently. From interviewing past students, the general feeling about all of the programs is that they simply don't teach much about how real world programming really is. Few teach source control, none taught best practices (and how to avoid getting fired for a git mistake). They also didn't cover design much. People are simply being taught a lot of Rails magic. But worse is that people were not being taught how to break problems into steps. Which is the basic skill you need to program.Very few people managed to get jobs as programmers, because they would struggle with the most basic tasks.

With that in mind I created Protocademy. It is a program focused on building things, and leaning how and why things are built. Its designed to take a beginner to a point where they can tackle building an API or a CMS (which are the most common jobs these days). The program does not focus on one language or one framework. It uses various. But most importantly, it teaches how real programming is done. The challenges we face every day, and how we overcome them. It is a program that runs for 6 months. Yes, twice as most other programs. Due to how much learning there is. You really do need 6 months to teach someone how to do these things. It costs $99 a month, but its going to increase soon due to some improvements being made (like students getting their own VPS to hack with).

I apologize for writing all of this, because it may seem like I'm trying to pitch you the program. No. I simply mentioned it to share my findings, and what I'm doing to fix them. If you have any questions, my email is in my profile. Good luck.

2
OafTobark 2 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't but I know of someone who went through one of those programs and did land a job (but its because its structured that way i.e. to help these new devs find entry level work). The pay obviously reflected entry level and in the specific case of the dev I know, he still struggles a lot on the job but they hired him fully understanding that he needs guidance and thus proceeds accordingly. He gets stuck a lot at work and obviously isn't a self proficient programmer at this point but can ultimately understand and get stuff done (with help).

Every program will be different but I suspect a lot of the results will be the same given how fast the time frame is for them to go from non-programmer to programmer.

3
argonaut 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know that App Academy won't charge you if you aren't able to get a developer job (it may have changed, though, so you'll need to ask them yourself).

It also depends a lot on your prior experience. Have a solid math background? Then you'll probably have a slight edge overall.

There are a lot of programs out there in all parts of the country; investigate your options.

4
piratebroadcast 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm in one right now- www.LaunchAcademy.com in Boston. It is a lot of hard work but totally worth it so far. I cannot believe how much I have learned in a few short weeks. I'm exhausted and going to bed but maybe I can answer some questions in the morning.
25
Homeland Security attempting to seize Mt. Gox's accounts?
7 points by malgorithms  3 days ago   2 comments top 2
1
gesman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apparently MtGox/Japan does not know about it:https://mtgox.com/press_release_20130515.html
2
izx 3 days ago 0 replies      
26
Ask HN: Dev bootcamps for experienced but mediocre developers
14 points by crudmonkey  4 days ago   5 comments top 5
1
argonaut 4 days ago 0 replies      
Consider a master's program in CS. Many programs are fine with work experience, and relatively little-to-no research experience.
2
hbien 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but there's Hacker School: https://www.hackerschool.com/
3
choxi 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think I can help you out, it's a secret project of mine but I'd be happy to discuss it 1:1 -- roshan at bloc.io if you're interested
4
_smaugh 4 days ago 0 replies      
a few options,

http://www.appacademy.io/

http://devbootcamp.com/

https://www.bloc.io/

however, if we want to become outstanding developers, the only option is to work harder, smarter, and enjoy the process

5
andrewb 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm subscribed to Pluralsight training. Maybe only a few courses might be relevant but it's a relatively cheap entry cost for the possible ROI.
27
Ask HN: Review My Startup: Datativity
3 points by Datativity  2 days ago   discuss
28
Ask HN: What's the best company to buy SSL certificates from?
22 points by llambda  5 days ago   35 comments top 15
1
artas_bartas 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
http://swisssign.com/en might not be the cheapest option, but definitely has some extra cachet. They are really conservative and most of the approval process is manual, but support staff is friendly.
2
nlh 5 days ago 3 replies      
I can't say whether they're the "best" or not, but I've used NameCheap for everything and have been extremely happy with them. Plenty of options, very good cost.

The only time I didn't use them was a weird edge case recently where I needed a multi-domain certificate, and NameCheap did not support those, so I purchased direct from GeoTrust.

3
jstanley 5 days ago 1 reply      
Honest Achmed's Used Cars and Certificates: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=647959
4
danbee 5 days ago 1 reply      
StartSSL (https://www.startssl.com) are very good in my experience. Class 1 certificates are free.
5
petercooper 5 days ago 1 reply      
As others, I can't say they're the "best" but when I did a straw poll on Twitter a few years ago, I was recommended RapidSSL. I've used them on my own sites and for clients since then without any fuss (5 minutes and one automated call). They seem to be very one size fits all though, quick and easy, but nothing fancy like EV. (If anyone can help there actually, any recs for good but non-expensive EV providers?)
6
sdfjkl 5 days ago 0 replies      
I get mine from Gandi.net, along with the domain. If you just need a single CN, it's free for the first year. Verification is automated and usually done within the hour.
7
espeed 5 days ago 1 reply      
Click on the green lock symbol in Chrome to see what certificates each site uses.

Google issues its own, GitHub uses DigiCert(http://www.digicert.com), Hacker News uses Entrust (http://www.entrust.net).

In general, Verisign (http://www.verisign.com/) will be the most expensive and presumably the most widely supported, but there's no need to pay up for it when DigiCert will work just as well.

8
pearkes 5 days ago 1 reply      
You can buy a RapidSSL standard cert through DNSimple[1] for $20. Easier to set-up then doing it yourself too.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/x7q6tme55gerkql/2013-05-...

[1] https://dnsimple.com

9
somesay 4 days ago 0 replies      
There is no real bad or insecure option. Just make sure the CA is supported by all the platforms / browser you need and that the price is fair. Additionally you may check that their revocation servers have a good internet connection since browsers check these.

It is even totally unimportant if your provider is "insecure". If any of the commonly trusted CAs is hacked it affects the security of your service as well as if it's the CA you use.

Therefore I would go with StartSSL (https://www.startssl.com/). They are trusted on all important plattforms, are free for one subdomain per domain and very cheap otherwise. You only pay the verification of your identity, unlimited domains, wildcard etc. then. I haven't seen any cheaper one. You might get some competitive prices if you combine the use of single subdomain ones through SNI, but I wouldn't prefer that over a inexpensive wildcard one.

What is the worst that can happen? If the revocation servers go down, the browser just shows a small warning symbol, but everything still works. If your CA gets hacked and untrusted in common browser, you have to buy a cert somewhere else ... this is the risk of every CA and a new cert is just minutes away ...

There is no way to determine who is more secure against hacks etc. If they are trusted where you need them, they are all equal.

10
ConceitedCode 5 days ago 1 reply      
What's a company that you wouldn't ever buy an SSL certificate from again? They all seems about the same to me and I don't think I have ever heard of a bad one.
11
flavmartins 5 days ago 2 replies      
DigiCert.com is the CA that will give you the trust and assurance with the high verification standards that you would get with the Verisigns (Symantec) of the world but with the start-up like cool customer service and affordable price that customers today deserve.

The cheapest SSL options there ($20 and under) offer NO verification of the applicant of the certificate. Thus, you could be a scammer for all they care, as long as you control your site (even a phishing site) they've give you the "domain validated" certificate.

Stick with either EV (green bar, extra assurance) or a high-assurance only shop like DigiCert, Symantec, Entrust, or GlobalSign. It'll also show your users you care about trust and identity assurance online.

12
mooism2 5 days ago 1 reply      
I expect it will depend on:

a. whether you want a certificate for a single hostname, several hostnames, or a wildcard;

b. whether you want extended validation or not; and possibly

c. what country you're based in.

Perhaps other factors as well.

13
gmays 5 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know if there's a best, but I use DigiCert.com. They're the perfect combination of easy, quick and affordable. Plus, the support is great.
14
simonswords82 5 days ago 0 replies      
I use rapidssl.com - no complaints with their service.
15
dynabros 5 days ago 4 replies      
Is the extra EV (extended validation) add on worth anything?
29
Ask HN: I'm a C# MVC guy. What web technologies should I learn for freelancing?
2 points by deevus  1 day ago   8 comments top 4
1
HarshaThota 1 day ago 1 reply      
What's wrong with C#? It seems like you like the language and are only concerned about the software costs, so Mono would be an obvious option to look into. And the compatibility has improved quite a bit, to the point that there are quite a few projects that support multiple platforms:

http://www.servicestack.net/

http://nancyfx.org/

http://monogame.codeplex.com/

http://monocross.net/

https://github.com/markrendle/Simple.Web

2
lukeck 1 day ago 1 reply      
Specifically where were you getting stuck with Ruby/Rails?My background is C#/ASP.NET MVC too. The structure of a rails app is not all that different to that of an ASP.NET MVC app. The biggest challenge for me was adjusting to all the extra syntactic sugar in Ruby compared to C#.

Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial was what I used when picking up Rails. http://ruby.railstutorial.org/

railsguides.com has some pretty great videos on using different rails libraries.

If you're really not a fan of the Ruby syntax, maybe something like Python with Django would suit you better.

If it's missing the Visual Studio IDE that's giving you trouble you might want to check out the RubyMine IDE (made by the same devs as the Resharper VS add-on).

3
yen223 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am a C# guy who recently picked up Python, and haven't looked back :). Nice thing about Python is that it plays well with Windows.
4
elclanrs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Have you considered PHP? That would be the cheapest alternative, and there are more MVC frameworks for PHP than there are for all other platforms (probably combined). There are many templating solutions as well, but PHP is already a templating language anyway.
30
points by    ago   discuss
1
pg 14 days ago 2 replies      
We've had a bunch of reports of problems logging in. We're investigating.
2
jgrahamc 14 days ago 2 replies      
I can't speak officially for anyone at YC, but I happen to know that they have been experimenting with nginx 1.4 with SPDY support and there was an incompatibility with the Arc web server and specifically with cookie handling.

An intelligent guess says this has something to do with what you are seeing.

       cached 17 May 2013 20:05:01 GMT