In any environment where mass surveillance is technically possible and hidden from effective and comprehensive public oversight, abuse becomes permitted and hidden.
So standing up for privacy is not just a matter of protecting your own identity (although that is frankly reason enough). It is about protecting the conditions under which a free press and democratic society can survive, and in which individuals can act according to their moral conscience even when such conscience leads them to oppose entrenched power structures. And you should care about what happens in the United States not only because God knows how its security apparatus will use this data against your own country and elected leaders, but because American discourse influences global perceptions of what is seen as an acceptable level of state surveillance in other countries.
Other than that, the risks are the same as before. You have to trust that some unknown entity (in this case, the US government) will not misuse your private data.
Being outside the US is both an advantage and disadvantage with regard to these programs. The advantage is that you are in a bigger pool that is likely less interconnected with those who have access to this data, and so are less likely to be targeted by abuse of the information that has been gathered around you. The disadvantage is that it appears that if you did end up being targeted, it seems less likely that such targeting would rouse suspicion since the privacy rights of non-US citizens do not seem to be getting any consideration from US officials at all.
The difficulty with these questions is that people try to think of scenarios by which information can be used against them. This isn't really a productive exercise since failure to come up with a reasonable scenario in no way proves that one doesn't exist.
Perhaps a better question is "Could anyone with access to this data ever want to hurt me, my relations or our respective reputations?". Implicit in the question is the assumption that anyone with said access is capable of hurting you or your reputation by releasing it strategically. Some may argue with this assumption, but I would challenge that few, if any of us really have a handle on just how much data we leave laying around on web servers outside of our control, and so are ill equipped to make judgements about how it might or might not be used against us. This question too is very difficult to answer with a reasonable level of certainty, but it at least leads us to some more productive questions that get at the breadth of the problem:
"Do I, or any of my relations ever openly or privately (in channels controlled by US intelligence programs) make strong political statements?"
"Do I, or any of my relations play a visible role in any company or organization that someone with access to this data might find morally or politically disagreeable or inconvenient?"
"Have I, or any of my relations injured, spurned, rejected, humiliated, or otherwise hurt, physically or emotionally, anyone with access to this data?"
"Will there ever be a scenario where I, or any of my relations are put into direct or indirect competition with anyone with access to this data?"
"Could someone with access to this data ever want to randomly target me or my relations for kicks?"
"Could a malicious 3rd party ever gain broad access to this data and use it in a way that hurts me or my relations?"
These questions get at just how broadly the effects of abuses of this data could reach. Will you be targeted for abuse? It's extremely unlikely, there are 6 Billion people in the world, and there are certainly bounds on the amount of harassment that can be done secretly. But nobody is really immune from being effected by abuses of this kind of data. There are innumerable strong personal incentives for abusing data such as this, and the more of it that's out there, and the more connected, organized and searchable it is, the more likely it is that abuses will happen.
[edited to improve formatting]
Do you use Facebook?Do you use Apple products?Have you used Skype?
The rest of the mailing lists/IRC channels I read are all related to specific software projects, though.
I feel like I should add something here about how spending a lot of time on IRC can be inversely correlated with being someone who's doing a lot of work, in some cases. The veterans you're seeing might be people who now spend more time talking about technology than creating it, unless they're using IRC to coordinate their contributions to a project with its other members.
(Disclaimer: I'm a regular of the channel myself. I also run the official Python channels on Freenode.)
...and a shameless plug for my Django bi-weekly
Django Round-up: http://eepurl.com/yZh21 Archive: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/home/?u=24fce4628ba1d5814de...)
Its interesting to observe the growth of the channels during bitcoin's hype cycles.
Full Disclosure, https://lists.grok.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/full-disclosure
DNS Operations, https://lists.dns-oarc.net/mailman/listinfo/dns-operations
We digged into it when it came up before, but I'll have another look and try to get in touch with the Typekit folks.
I think Yahoo!'s an easy target because 1) they have a lot of email users and 2) a lot of those users are older and/or more likely to be phished.
It was a nightmare to fix the compromised account and took a team about 3 months to complete.
It's frustrating to have my attempt to cite sources trigger the anti-spam function.
So I've learnt a fair bit of JS and now I just can't be bothered to write in CS, JS is really not that bad if you understand that JS is NOT class-oriented and CS ends up only obscuring reality, not altering it. Which brings me back to why I had to learn JS in the first place.
There's a great free e-Book hosted on GitHub that is written by Alex MacCaw. I recommend checking it out. Here's the link: http://arcturo.github.io/library/coffeescript/
Learn JS and learn to write good JS! I personally hate CS because I some people take that route to avoid writing clean JS, just because CS looks nicer. Once you truly learn how js works, migrating to CS will be very simple.
1. Way to many user defined operators. Haskell lets you define almost anything as an infix operator which library authors love to (ab)use. So you get operators like ".&&&." (without the quotes) because they are functions reminiscent of the boolean and operation.
2. But weirdly enough, many operators aren't generic. String concatenation is performed with "++" but addition with "+".
3. Incomplete and inconsistent prelude. It has unwords and words for splitting and joining a string on whitespace. But you dont get to specify what string to use as the delimiter like the join and split functions in other languages lets you do.
4. So instead you have X number of implementations of splitStringWith on Hackage, some of which are unmaintained, deprecated or just not working, meaning that just answering the question "how should I split a string?" becomes a big endeavour (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4978578/how-to-split-a-st...).
5. There are four different "stringish" types in Haskell: List, LazyList, ByteString, LazyByteString. A function like splitStringWith works on one of the types, but not the three others for which you need other functions. Some libraries expect Lists, other ByteStrings or LazyByteStrings so you have to keep converting your string to the different types.
6. Most Haskellers seem to content with just having type declarations as the api documentation. That's not a fault of Haskell per se, but imho a weakness in the Haskell community. For example, here is the documentation for the Data.Foldable module: http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/archive/base/latest/doc/html/Data-Foldable.html
7. This is very subjective and anecdotal but I've found the Haskell people to be less helpful to newbies than other programming groups.
1. Modifying a record value (that is, making a copy of a record value but with different values in one or two of its fields) is unnecessarily complicated and uncomposable. This makes modifying a subfield painful.
2. Field names are in the global namespace. Thus you cannot have e.g. a field named `map` (conflicts with the standard `map` function); nor a local variable named `owner` in the same scope that you use a field named `owner`; nor may two different record types both have a `name` field. C had this problem in the 70s (which is why e.g. struct tm has tm_sec and tm_min fields instead of sec and min fields), but they solved it a long time ago.
The solution to deficiency 1 is to use lenses. Use the lens package from Hackage, but don't read its documentation at first: it generalises the problem exceedingly well, but this makes it harder to understand at first glance. Instead seek out a basic tutorial. At the cost of a short line of boilerplate for each record type, this works well.
There is no satisfactory solution to deficiency 2. Some people define each record type in its own module, and import each module qualified. I don't think this scales well. I prefer to put a record-type prefix on each of my field names (i.e. the same thing C programmers were forced to do in the 70s).
Achieving performance is harder than in c or c++.
The ecosystem is strong on some counts and weak in others.
There's lots of API duplication (lazy/strict byte strings, map, set, seq, etc).
Good performance may depend on brittle ghc optimizations that might break in very difficult to comprehend ways if ghc is upgraded.
Instances can't be explicitly imported either.
Another thing I don't like is if you have two different functions with the same signature but different implementations meant to give swappable functionality, there's no way of specifying that explicitly. As a user of a library, you just have to realize the functions can be swapped out with modules. For example:
It's really not that bad but I do like how other languages allow the programmer to make this explicit.
Working with DBs is easy, especially if you use HaskellDB. There are bindings for non-relational DBs, as well as a DB written in Haskell (acid-state).
As for the language itself, you might find it tricky to develop computation intensive applications with large run-time data-sets due to garbage collection (but that is true for any garbage collected language). Other than that, it's one of the best performing languages in the Debian PL shootout. And the fact that concurrency is (comparatively) easy means you can make use of those extra cores.
Monad transformers and monads are fine, you just need to learn how to use them.
To sum up: it depends on what you do and what you consider a "real world application". Might be a good idea to elaborate. For example, are compilers, games, web apps, automated trading systems, android apps considered "real world"? Because any of these has been done in Haskell.
1. If deadbeats have the money and won't pay, the only thing that will move them forward is a lawsuit. Yelling "Scary Monsters!" will not budge a normal business executive. They are acting in bad faith. A letter won't change that. You can't bullshit a bullshitter, etc.
2. If they don't have the money, they are either good people or they are bad people.
(a) If they are good people they would have said "We don't have the money and here's a payment plan." You personally should make the payment demand and see if they offer monthly payments to pay you off. A lawyer's snarling letter is going to hamper this effort, not help.
(b) If they are bad people, the only thing that is going to do you any good is a lawsuit.
Your action plan is simple. You either decide to make one last collection effort or you don't. I recommend that you do so. I recommend that you do so on paper. Send a letter with the unpaid invoice. You want this proof so you look good in the litigation, not because they are suddenly going to wake up and pay you.
Then you sue. I don't know what the NYC rules are for small claims court, but that's where you go. You don't need a lawyer there.
For instance, if they owe you $10,000 but the maximum you can sue for in small claims court is $7,500, sue for $7,500 and take the haircut. You don't have to be afraid of the process. It's simple. "Hey Judge, here's my contract where they promised to pay me. Here's the work I did. Here's where they said they were happy with the work I did. Here are the things I tried to do so they would pay me. I ain't got nuttin' yet. Your Honor, I rest my case." Then the Judge will look at them with a Judge Judy-style look and say, in legalese, "WTF?" And they'll have a chance to explain themselves.
No decent lawyer will take on a tiny case like this. No decent lawyer will take on a tiny case like this for the promise of future payment. You're on your own.
Here's the blunt truth. Invoices like yours are worth the face value multiplied by the probability of payment. At the moment your probability approaches zero. You don't have something worth $10,000 to you. You, in fact, have a claim for money that is probably worth zero or close to it, by the time you put all of the time and effort into collection.
Mentally kiss this money goodbye. Put the minimum amount of effort into collection that you can -- use the model I have described above. Put your effort into doing things better next time.
Never put yourself in this position again. There have been endless threads on HN about this. Look for comments by tptacek and patio11, among others.
My personal feeling is that as soon as someone owes you about $1,500 or so (or pick your number), the balance of power shifts from the service provider to the customer. Pick a number where you can look at the customer, swear with all the potty-mouth words you know, and walk away. Then never let your accounts receivable get above that number. It's better to not work and not get paid than it is to work and not get paid.
For your benefit:
a) Asking for partial payment sends a bunch of signals regarding your level of professionalism and need to see this check. Those signals are not helpful in getting you paid in a timely fashion.
b) Two weeks late is practically on time for a lot of clients. Many are just structurally incapable of getting checks cut that fast. Yes, insane, but also true.
c) I'm uncertain of the status of the project and your ongoing relationship with the client. Please note that escalating to lawyers is not in general something which improves client relations, if you wish to get more work from them in the future or if you have an ongoing work relationship for e.g. future milestones.
d) Prior to escalating to a lawyer, write them a short letter yourself and FedEx or courier it to their office. Pay the extra for signature confirmation of receipt. Contents could be similar to:
I invoiced you ($IDENTIFYING_INFORMATION) for $AMOUNT on $PROJECT on $DATE, but to date have not been paid. Last week I spoke to $NAME and $NAME, who promised to handle this issue, but it remains unresolved.
The invoice is due immediately. I would prefer that we resolve this amicably without having to bring lawyers into it. If you have any questions, please call me at $CONTACT_INFO.
Two weeks is not a long time to wait for a receivable. I'm sorry to tell you this, and I may get downvoted for pointing it out because HN doesn't like to hear it, but companies can be slow to pay invoices.
We've waited months before!
You should be aware that if you escalate your demands, it might take longer to get paid. It's possible that you are at this moment stuck in some kind of payables limbo, especially if you're dealing with a sizable agency. The accounts payable people at the agency can get you out of that limbo. But if you sue, resolution of your dispute will involve legal, and legal is slower than accounting.
Can you tell us more about the situation you're in? Not why you need the money, but what kind of firm is it that owes you the money? If it's a reasonably big company, the odds of them actually intending to screw you are low; the risk/reward just isn't there. But maybe they're a smaller firm than you made it sound to me.
http://vimeo.com/22053820 - Mike Monteiro - F*ck You, Pay Me
It's truly worth the listen. But, since there is already spilt milk, I'd advise your letter to include notification of the date by which you will be reporting them to Compunet, dunn and bradstreet, the BBB and whatever trade organizations that they belong to, including their bonding agency (which they might have).
That's of course prevention measure. If you already gave up whole piece of work for them to ran away with - then you're in chasing mode.
Forgetful clients next time will get preferential treatment - 100% advance payment requirement.
After you have a little portfolio of work you then create a nice small resume where you are honest but show your ambition. Put your projects on there. Put the articles you write on there. Craft it well.
Next step is to target companies looking for juniors. Search every job hunting website you can find. Establish relationships with good recruiters. Explain what you want to do and have them help you find a good spot to start. You'd be surprised how important this is. Recruiters, love them or hate them, are the lifeblood to new ventures. Find good ones and stick with them.
When you arrive at the interview be ready to show you are looking to learn. When hiring junior developers I look for that trait first and go from there. Show them you know how to build software by demonstration of your projects. Show them you can work with tools.
Once you do all this you are in there. It's just more and more of the same throughout your career. I know because I broke in myself with no college degree and no experience.
As soon as you feel you have a couple really good examples send off your resume and your ready to go :)
Some really good things to know/have for getting a job in the industry:
1. Version Control (i.e. Git) - if you are really familiar with github and git merging, rebasing, commiting and working with other developers this is a huge plus. The great part is that its really easy to get involved on github and there are tons of resources for learning git.
2. Having good examples of your source code to show (again github)
3. Having completed projects / websites to show
wish you best of luck!
Obviously, there's a big difference between a static site and web app, and full time employers will know that. However, people hiring freelancers won't, so you'll get asked to build dynamic stuff that's relatively simple like an appointment manager and be able to add depth to your portfolio.
My email is in my profile - I'm a self taught programmer who now works full time in the field (though I admittedly had some advantages you don't), feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions. (Obviously goes for others as well)
Another thing, and this is big... where do you live? The programming side of the IT industry is strongly concentrated in certain urban areas. If you don't live in a major city with a real software industry, you may need to move for opportunities. This doesn't mean you have to live in Silicon Valley, but you have to live somewhere that the jobs are - cities like Minneapolis, Denver, and St Louis all have substantial software industries.
This is called the never ending or perpetual side project. It represents your capability at any given time if you keep it current. Add new technologies to it. Make new versions of it all of the time. I have personally had interviews succeed on the strength of this project alone, based on my ability to talk about its structure.
Build any project for anyone who will let you(any brochure website is great), using the skillset you wish to develop. If all else fails, build some apps for android or ios. All the challenges of real programming(because it is) with the potential for some actual side money(just a bonus, not the reason to do it).
Finally, it takes time and perseverance. Persevere in the path towards gaining and being able to demonstrate practical and conceptual knowledge. Giving up is the quickest route to failure.
Once you think you are good enough, help out at an open source project. Or start your own little project. One step in front of the other.
Then show case. Create a Show HN thread of what you built.
Build your online presence: Help out others on StackOverflow. Use twitter to tweet what you've learnt. Create a personal website with the projects you've worked on. It becomes your resume.
Remember that NSA monitoring is controversial because it skirts laws (and related public expectations) which restrict NSA's monitoring of domestic communication, whereas the whole purpose of the NSA is to monitor foreign communication traffic in support of US national security interests.
So, its somewhat naive to think that non-U.S. based services are particularly safe.
First of all, jurisdiction is a legal term, and the NSA apparently doesn't really care about what exactly is legal or not.
Second of all, the tentacles of the NSA reach far beyond the US alone due to all kinds of political alliances. You can set up a server here in The Netherlands, but I can pretty much guarantee that your data won't be safe here, too.
The biggest problem with this however are the end users. You can set up your server in North Korea for all I care, but as long as the end user is in the US, they can be snooped upon.
A 'guaranteed NOT in the US'-seal will only instigate a false sense of security.
Server not in the USA
No US Employees
Traffic does not transit through the USA
Not incorporated in the USA
Not using closed source software built in the USA
Also, which countries would you see as 'better'? Is built and hosted in China a better option?
(as a Canadian, these questions genuinely interest me)
It would not suprise me if the PRISM system had something to do with the Megaupload takedown.
The other component here is the idea of a public good. A public good is something the private sector doesn't have an incentive to do on their own (b/c they can't make money off of it), but it is something that society would benefit from. The role of government is generally to provide these public goods, such as national defense and parks.
So, the world will never have completely free markets. Besides providing national defense, the government also provides services designed specifically to protect consumers from unfair business practices, like collusion, price fixing and other monopolistic behavior (although, I just want to point out that is NOT illegal to have a monopoly in the US -- it is however illegal to monopolize -- big difference).
* An absolutely unregulated market?
* No International standards guaranteed or enforced? Then screws bought in one country wont keep panels in another held together.
* As in kidnap, murder and extortion not enforced? This is my pet reply for "too much red tape". everything is a trade related regulation.
* As in no tariffs between countries. That's not a bad idea, but a flat tariff to ensure fair salaries of border staff would help.
* As in suddenly those countries that are not democracies also fix all the internal problems that are not technical tariffs but act like them Well, let me rephrase that "What if every country became democracy tomorrow?"
* As in you can work in any country you like? 70% of all western jobs are office based, and so 70% of all jobs are probably doable from any point on the globe with a IP connection. And that needs no regulatory changesexcept in countries where democracy does not apply.
Since the first round of WTO agreements in '48/49 World trade levels have leapt through the roof. Lets just keep going on the WTO rounds as they are.
Ignoring the people movement, income inequality would skyrocket, and boom-bust cycles in finance, agriculture and manufacturing would become faster and more severe.
I'm going to treat this as some kind of fun thought experiment and ignore a lot of the details. I've always thought some form an ultra free market oriented society could work. But...
1: The first problems I wonder about is that the system is relying on individuals to be making actively intelligent decisions. How convinced are you of intelligence of the medium person? For power not to concentrate into too few hands, a large percentage of the population has to actively react to shifts in wealth, morality and power. I'm hesitate to declare this would work.
2: Can a free market naturally produce a safety net? Maybe. It is likely in order for society to function in a healthy manner one would need something to help the down and out. Shit happens, life isn't fair, bad decisions need help being corrected. I think it is more likely a government would have to provide some of this net. I've always thought creating a 'human right' to a basic income (say you get $5000 a year no matter what) paired with an ultra free market society would be interesting. Would it be the best? Idk. But it would certainly be interesting to try. (I think Hayek said something vaguely similar)
3: Tragedy of the commons. We aren't trapped as a species to forever repeat destroying the commons. But it sure as hell happens a lot. Pollution much like crime needs a government force to reign it in. There is no market solution to it. Something like a park system is likely similar.
But overall, as a planetary body of people, I think we're due to trying something new soon. We've spent the last 100 years or so converting most places to mixed-economy democracy. We should probably start to try other interesting systems. Kind of like what Denmark is doing. They are going in the other direction completely, but it is interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Denmark
Now I realize thanks to the Google/Facebook big data era. Server storage/processing/bandwidth ability has increased exponentially from that time and everything has gotten cheaper. So this our reality now. It really feels like the start of some William Gibson novel come to life.
This is not a valid argument. See http://www.thoughtcrime.org/blog/we-should-all-have-somethin... and http://kottke.org/13/06/you-commit-three-felonies-a-day
The SHA-1 hash in your average SSL cert might be more expensive to attack than MD5, but that doesn't make me feel much better.
The mitigating factor here is that it seems like this could only be used on a case by case basis against a small number of people, since it would be found out if widely deployed.
Also, we only have evidence of traffic interception and not tampering. Actually writing to the stream, i.e. performing a MitM on an SSL connection, is probably a lot harder than just copying all traffic.
Regards MiTM attacks, yes they could but then again they always could. It wouldn't be 100% undetectable though since they would have to change the key/cert for sites they wanted to MiTM. Certificate pinning may address this issue in future.
I wouldn't have. Were you unaware of this (from 2006)? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A
Those at the top of this informational food chain who are able to abuse it are most likely to abuse it in a way that benefits them most directly by blackmailing and otherwise undermining the influence of their competitors. In this manner it makes the consolidation and perpetuation of political power more efficient by orders of magnitude compared to those who have no access or very limited access to these surveillance programs.
This is dangerously destabilizing to a democratic society. If we have no real competition for authority, there are no real checks on that authority. The US is grooming an autarch.
1. as was pointed out on an HN top story a week ago, if the surveillance is accepted by the public, then the public will accept regulations prohibiting use of software to avoid surveillance (i.e., most tools useful to software developers). I'm not really looking forward to the day when downloading crypto software requires me to pay certification fees and have an ID verifying that I'm a licensed software engineer.
2. I can't wait for the day when we can type with our brains (and no hands). Maybe we do that with pupil tracking software or facial cues... or maybe via direct brainwave input. Some products like this already exist, but they're in their infancy. One day though, when we all have bluetooth head masks and carpal tunnel is a thing of the past, I don't want every thought I have tracked by guys at an NSA lab... and I doubt the government wants that either, but it's going to be hard to not have them get that data.
... and I guess the third problem is just basically the death of liberty. But that's a harder issues to argue about, amazingly, when people are worried about terrorism.
> what if they were to perform covert MiTM attacks?
Then you would be pwned.
However, active MitM attacks are generally targeted. They can only get away with so many for so long before they are detected. Their scope can be quite large however. The entire country of Iran was MitM'd for some weeks before a single Chrome user reported seeing a cert error in Gmail. The Flamer malware MitM'd unattended systems apparently for years.
So if I were the target of the NSA, I'd expect them to get me with drive-by malware. A bit of malware is much easier to replace than backbone fiber access if the capability is 'burned'.
However, there are an unlimited number of other attackers out there in the world, most with 'catch as catch can' capabilities. That public Wifi or hotel internet could easily be hostile and the attacker may not have much to lose.
Your utorrent encryption is merely useful to thwart some forms of bandwidth throttling, it is not hiding you or your sharing/downloading.
NSA could do such MiTM attacks, it's been a known possibility for years. but why would they rely on this kind of attacks as they probably have a copy of the private key of the party your communicating with (or something along these lines as was shown with lotus notes).
Also they already have other ways to seize and freeze assets, so you shouldn't have to worry about this specific abuse. There's more than enough to worry about the rest.
on android, apps can see the number. There have been various apps that offer a lookup service and spam filter, most notably Mr. Number, which recently discontinued the service amid some controversy and also was acquired. you could also check out Whoscall, which claims to do something similar but has a weak implementation on iOS.
Or you could of course use Burner....
Edit: that should have said 8m high
There are multiple control and networking systems connected together with a CAN bus (for controller area network, used in cars). It sounds like 4-5 ARM cores total: two Linux systems ("unfortunately" two) and one realtime controller in the main payload, and a failsafe controller up on top of the balloon (which controls helium release and parachute deployment). The controllers are designed to recover from being reset very quickly, since resetting is used as a kind of universal problem solver (sensor issues, cosmic rays flipping bits, etc.).
The stratospheric daily temperature swing (30C down to -80C) causes difficulties, so the electronics are in styrofoam boxes about 3cm thick, and a heating system keeps the electronics warm and the batteries warmer. The rough altitude is 20km, but it sounds like they cover about a 5km height range, I think connected to the daily cycle somehow too.
The solar panel provides 100W in full sunlight. It is mounted directly under the transparent balloon (which reduces the amount of energy by 20-25%). The batteries hold about "ten laptop" batteries' worth.
There are three vertically mounted omnidirectional antennas for balloon-to-balloon communication, and one downward facing antenna. The downward one has a 90 cone angle, and is designed so that the signal strength is even across the 40km diameter ground area. 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, one for balloon-to-balloon and one for ground (I think 2.4GHz is ground).
The communication protocol is custom, to account for the large distances and to coordinate the ground systems so they don't transmit at the same time (since they can't see each other). The system basically acts as a VPN between end users and the ground station (upstream ISP), and traffic inside the VPN is encrypted separately as well. Currently upload and download speeds are symmetric (they don't really know what the speed will end up being, but roughly the same as 3G).
The eventual goal is commercial internet access to parts of the world that can't get it other ways, but there are no concrete plans for how that will work yet, since they expect to go through many more iterations of prototypes first. Commercial use will necessarily involve large fleets of balloons to provide continuous coverage (even if they end up covering more are each), since they move quite a lot. The balloons measure atmospheric conditions themselves and are coordinated from the ground.
Edit: I forgot to mention that there is a standard aircraft transponder (yellow and black cables in first picture), and the corners of the ~1.7m square solar panel have strobe lights to meet air codes.
They said the balloons are expected to take two weeks to circle the globe. Given that they said they'll eventually stay afloat for 100 days, that gives them plenty of opportunities to bring the balloons down in a specific location in order to make reuse easy.
Multiple balloons in the air form a mesh network, allowing you to put your uplink only where it's convenient for you - which i guess is the key to making this a viable solution somewhere inbetween 3G towers and satellite internet.
It was a fun event, i hadn't been to the airforce museum before - lots of kids with helium balloons, poster giveaways and folded balloon animals. Someone was wearing the first Google Glass i've seen and lending it to people to try (that must get old pretty quickly).
Google is saying that they'll be barely visible to the naked eye, but just after sunset/before sunrise, they will be illuminated by the sun when the rest of the earth is still dark, which should make them more visible than they would be during daylight hours. In my mind, I'm imaging a dark sky that's full of little orange dots. I have no idea whether or not it would happen like this though.
It would be interesting if they were to merge these two projects.
How much an hour/how many hours a week would you need to pull even with your current pay and benefits package? Do you need that much or would your own hours from home with your family mean you'd trade money for time to an extent?
Could you land a client or group of clients to get there?
If not, it is free to put out feelers. Here are places to get started:
While looking over your options, consider mine:
SEEKING FREELANCER - Remote
Long term contract work. $29/hr. 90 hour 2 week cap. Paypal/Wire.
Support a family of CPAP websites including CPAP.com, CPAPtalk.com and CPAPDropShip.com.
PHP/MySQL/jQuery/RabbitMQ/Asterisk. GM is a coder and manages the team.
Several HNers already remote with us. I'm happy to put you in touch with them to get a feel for our company and the work ahead of starting.
Contact to schedule fizzbuzz: email@example.com
There's a lot to be said for stability and security, but there's also a lot to be said for keeping yourself excited to be alive, with your family. My parents worked hard to give my brother and I a good home and a good upbringing. But sadly, one of the clearest things I remember about them now is how much they stopped living when my brother and I graduated from high school. They stopped climbing mountains, they stopped taking canoe trips, they stopped being open to the outside world.
So, I am careful not to let myself "stop living" like this, and I'd be wary of letting yourself do that as well. What country are you in? How easily could you find another company that would value your skills? Even finding a different company, working on similar problems might be more stimulating. Finding a small company where ideas are not so entrenched would be even better? If there really are no opportunities in your country, are there any remote projects you could become involved in, that might lead to full-time remote work? Can you set a timeframe for how long you need to be in this country, so you don't feel like your situation is endless?
I've watched many people burn out in a variety of careers, and it can be a really sad and ugly thing. It's not something to take lightly and just accept, although I understand it doesn't work to suddenly just walk away from a job that pays your mortgage.
This is what I did:
Find 2-3 people like you in the company. Make sure they are all respected people within their teams.Implement a prototype.Select the most ambitious manager you can find and show him the prototype.
This is not about technology: This is about power. Explain him that he can save tons of money, that he can reduce the number of outsourced people, reduce the operational costs, stop some providers (i.e. big database vendor) from ripping money off from the company and that you think that he isthe only one with the guts to stop all this mess.
I was in this same situation 9 years ago. I made my guerrila war. Lost it. Quit the job.
I did not have the guts either, but this whole process (9 months) made me a better person. Lots of stress and lots of work. Quitting the job was easy as pie.
Now I have my own IT company. This is no paradise, but I will not work again in a big multinational company.
In my opinion, the first thing you should do is eliminate this feeling you have of being "trapped". Why? Because it clouds your thinking and judgement. You may feel trapped, but that is not completely true. What's great about software development is that you only need a computer and an internet connection and you have many, many options. But, are you prepared for any option when it arrives?
The right thing to do now is continue working this job to support your family while you explore and learn about other options. That may take months. For example, have you built up a body of work on GitHub? Have you contributed to any open-source projects? Have you created an iPhone or Android app? Do you need to brush up on data structures and algorithms? What about learning a new language?
Once you are fully prepared, you will see any potential options unfold naturally instead of through a feeling of desperation.
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.
`Cheshire Puss,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
What are your goals? If you break your goals down, you generally end up with more tasks than you can possibly action, which is where time management and methodologies like lean come in.
Those methodologies generally break down to one question "what is the best thing you can do now to advance you towards your goals?", where best is tricky to measure but includes reducing uncertainty, maximising reward, minimising investment, and so on.
What is the best thing you can do now to advance you towards your goals? Once you know that, why would you want to work on anything else?
Remember not to fall into analysis paralysis: meta-tasks like working out your goals or which task is best are tasks too, so evaluate them against your goals too. Don't be afraid to go with your gut and re-evaluate afterwards.
I evaluated several a while back, but found them all to be lacking, especially with respect to accurate cashflow and budgeting. I also wasn't very keen for a company to have access to my financial data. I now have a homemade app that uses the XML file to get the info I want out of the transactions and display it how I want.
 Cashflow was generally not fine-grained enough for me, my account would show as being fine over the month but there would in reality be days where it would be overdrawn.
 Budgeting was very naive. Budget 200 for groceries, it would budget you 200/days_in_month every day. Not very useful if you do a weekly shop.
Raise your credit score most effectively by buying something like a car or home and paying it off RELIGOUSLY. Try VERY hard to not be late. Set up direct payments thru your bank, etc.
Get One credit card (not just a debit card for your checking act.) and NEVER be late with that either. By one thing a month to keep it active and pay it off right away.
Shop around for stuff you want. Look all around compare and don't make those impulse buys.
As much as I hate the credit spiral we all are in, you have to game it to your advantage.
Everybody has the same common goal of making more money. The only way to do this is to earn more and/or spend less.
No amount of time spent budgeting, forecasting or plotting graphs helped me earn more money. Maybe it would help you keep an eye on your spending. If you are good at that, then there is no need. Spend your time setting up a startup instead.
Keeping an eye on your budget and watching the graphs is indispensable in terms of helping you manage your money. After all, you can't make tweaks if you don't know what's going on. Obviously you want to live below your means if you want to be successful, and you want to trim categories that seem to be out of control ... but this can only happen if you are proactively aware of where your money is going.
I've heard it explained this way: "managed money goes farther". If you make a budget (a plan, really) for your money, you're telling it where to go. If not, it'll easily disappear through behaviors you're not aware of.
Many people have said that when they finally started budgeting and making a plan for their money, it felt as though they got a raise. Of course, no new money came in because of the budgeting, but the act of making and following a written plan led to far less waste, achieving the same effect.
That being said neither of my friends knew SAS when they where hired and I doubt there are many places that hire people because they know SAS. They hire people because they know statistics and risk analysis and then send them on a 4 day SAS course if necessary.
SAS is extremely common in pharma companies. Basically, any company that has anything to do with a clinical drug trial will be using SAS.
In the basic research / tool development parts of the biotech industry, R is common as well. Today, basically every biotech company has some kind of "data science" component (though they won't necessarily have adopted that buzzword).
Either way, in my view this is a far more specific and valuable skill than "HTML programmer".
Outside of that they're of less use.
But employable? Definitely.
Public interest in the subject has led to more coverage and more investigative journalists digging up additional details. Public outrage has led to the government acknowledging portions of it publicly and providing even more details in secret to Congress, some of which has already leaked.
Because of the events of the past week and a half, the government is already being more (but far from fully) transparent on the subject than ever before.
Now, I'm not saying this is specifically because we're talking about it on HN, but without public interest it would fade away and return to business as usual. It is of special interest to the technology community, so it makes sense that this would be a primary point to discuss it as it continues to develop.
Finally, it's clear that many people do want to talk about it, because they upvote those stories to the top and comment on them extensively. If you don't want to discuss them, don't upvote them and submit things that interest you instead. Other stories are still making it to the front page as well.
The best way of moving on is enabling creativity.
Hyderabad's beem provides upto 25 Mbps of speed. ( http://www.beamtele.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=ar... )
Airtel, Reliance and ACT all have approx 1Mbit/s upstream for their most expensive plans.
The last office I worked in skipped a layer & had an MPLS connection to the US premises.
Also, I would be curious to hear from PG (or others) what went into the decision making process to make this site (or others) not accessible from Tor.
The rest are not my customers and worrying about them is a distraction.
It obfuscates your code well.
But really it depends on who you are selling to and what you are selling, some companies just have the customer pay for a server and then the company ships it out with a guy to install it (better for small businesses that don't have dedicated sysadmins).
External funding for startups has a place, but we'd all be better off if it wasn't glamorized to the extent that it is. The more money you raise, the worse problems (a) and (b) tend to be, with the possible exception of extreme cases where revenue growth and customer adoption are so clear that the glamor of having raised is less than that of having started such an amazing business to begin with. Most companies that raise good-sized A rounds aren't like that, though.
It doesn't have to be that way, and if you're wondering how anyone would go about getting a company funded, it shouldn't be that way for you either. Start your company in your spare time. Scale down the ambitions of your product so that you can accomplish it with the resources you have now. Prove your idea on a very small scale, and, as you gain small amounts of traction, gradually expand your ambitions, which will now often track your returns on running the small business. At some point, you'll be making enough money and have enough apparent upside that it'll make sense to quit your day job.
One reason is the team behind the app has already proven its worth. So while the angel or VC probably won't be crazy about the idea, he/she will count on the fact that the team will either get acquihired by another, bigger fish, or will pivot into something with better chances of success.
The other power is that for every smiling kitten-app you see on TC, there are hundreds that won't make it. You just don't read about them, so you're biased. It's comparable to aspiring actors moving to LA, where they end up serving meals.
The truth is getting funded is hard, even harder if you're new to the game, and damn near impossible if you're new and haven't got traction (read: users) yet. I suffer from the same idea-overload as you. But I force myself to write the ideas down, and keep working on something until I finish it.
So my advice would be to pick an idea you're passionate about, keep working on it relentlessly, and cut down on reading tech news.
I think the only way to know the answer is to ask people. I've made the mistake of spending time building a product that I and my co-founders really liked, but we never actually asked (in one way or another) if anyone else would pay for it, or even use it. We assumed that because we wanted it that others who were (we thought) like us would want it too.
I have some other ideas for products but before I put too much effort into them I want to go talk to potential customers and see what they think.
I dread this because I'm not naturally gregarious, but I cannot count on my gut feelings about what people will pay money for.
I'd assume that a lot of these do it in a different order: they work on their stuff (a prototype) first, then get funding when they have something to show off.
(that's how it worked for me anyway)