hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    18 Jun 2013 Ask
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Ask HN: What's next?
3 points by beshrkayali  1 hour ago   2 comments top
Sealy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks like an interesting concept. What are your project's goals? Are you hoping to make money out of it because I can't think of many ways you could monetize something like this.
Ask HN: Non-US citizen. Why should I care about NSA/PRISM?
16 points by mattquiros  9 hours ago   11 comments top 5
trevelyan 7 hours ago 1 reply      
In most cases no-one will want to blackmail you. But people do blackmail journalists, judges and/or political figures with power. There is a track record of this sort of thing having been done even in countries like Canada (where the wife of a former PM was illegally monitored to try and get dirt on the guy). Or look at Nixon and Hoover.

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.

yen223 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As a non-US citizen, the whole PRISM scandal is actually more relevant to us than to Americans, since Obama (and disappointingly, a lot of commentators here) basically decided that its perfectly fine for the NSA to spy on foreigners. The scandal blew up only because the NSA decided to spy on Americans.

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.

jdietrich 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Espionage is a global business. Your government probably has a reciprocal intelligence agreement with the US. There's a good chance that your version of the NSA has access to PRISM data and the NSA has access to data gathered by your government's intelligence agency.
shawn-furyan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In many ways, this is an inherently unanswerable question, and it's just about as unanswerable for US citizens as well. At it's root, the problem is that you've left information scattered around the internet, much of this information is possibly stored indefinitely in various US intelligence agency databases and that this information can be used to make inferences (correct or not) and judgments (fair or not) about you and your actions. It is also possible that information may be framed in a manner so as to give a misleading impression of you and your actions.

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]

Sealy 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is it relevant to you? Here's a handful you should consider:

Do you use Facebook?Do you use Apple products?Have you used Skype?

Ask HN: Where would you immigrate/move today?
2 points by quietthrow  1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
heldrida 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Heard about Startup chile ?"Start-Up Chile is a program of the Chilean Government to attract world-class early stage entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Chile."
Sealy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I only need 1. San Fran. (no, I'm not from there)
Ask HN: Favorite mailing lists, IRC channels
71 points by MichaelAza  23 hours ago   40 comments top 22
cjbprime 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The liberation-tech list is interesting sometimes: https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech

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.

lvh 20 hours ago 1 reply      
#python on Freenode. If you can live with being asked questions when you're asking something funny long enough to convince regulars you usually know what you're doing, it's an excellent congregation of some hella smart people.

(Disclaimer: I'm a regular of the channel myself. I also run the official Python channels on Freenode.)

ipmb 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Pycoder's Weekly: http://pycoders.com/Python Weekly: http://www.pythonweekly.com/

...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...)

suhair 21 hours ago 1 reply      
davidw 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of us are on #startups on Freenode.
LukeHoersten 22 hours ago 1 reply      
#haskell on Freenode. Great group of smart hand helpful people.
justinlilly 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Shameless plug, I've written a small piece of software which will send you daily aggregates of github activity via email. There are also weekly / monthly options as well.


lowglow 21 hours ago 0 replies      
#Techendo (http://techendo.co) on freenode -- a lot of good people there from the SF tech scene, but I'm biased because I started the channel.
TamDenholm 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I run a small IRC channel for webby types, mainly UK based and theres not many of us but anyone's welcome. irc.chatwebdev.com #chatwebdev
soapdog 21 hours ago 0 replies      
irc.mozilla.org and then #webdev #webapi #b2g #developer and others. Keeping the web free and open to all ;-
Sealy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a fan of digital currencies so I frequently visit Freenode channels:#bitcoin#litecoin#bitcoin-dev#mtgox

Its interesting to observe the growth of the channels during bitcoin's hype cycles.

octo_t 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a fan of scala-lang/scala-internals both of which are very interesting.
Sephr 20 hours ago 0 replies      
#oftn on freenode is a great open source programming channel.
joren 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like the Ruby Rogues Parley http://rubyrogues.com/parley/ and ruby weekly http://rubyweekly.comOne is great just to get up to date and the other has really great discussions with all kind of people involved with Ruby in one or the other way.
joshbaptiste 21 hours ago 0 replies      
#python #bash #awk #go-nuts on Freenode...
the_cat_kittles 18 hours ago 0 replies      
aside from all the obvious #<language>, #scikit-learn is really good for general ML and obviously good for more specific questions about scikits.learn machine learning libs
usaopp 19 hours ago 0 replies      
IRC: Freenode: #security, ##freebsd, ##hardware, #debian - all goodRizon: #baotAs for mailing lists, Full Disclosure for sure, Bugtraq, all the big name security ones have really interesting posts.
davidbrent 21 hours ago 0 replies      
#slicehost on freenode. I know the company doesn't exist anymore, but I learned so much about setting up my first debain box from these guys/gals. It is still going strong 6 years later.
uzqlbrm 21 hours ago 1 reply      
##c on Freenode. If there's one channel to visit, it's that one.
GeneRoddenberry 20 hours ago 0 replies      
#ebooks on irchighway.net
beat 21 hours ago 3 replies      
My favorite mailing list is closed and private (no, I'm not inviting you), and has been running since the 1990s.
12 great Wired interviews
2 points by sweetix  2 hours ago   1 comment top
Tell HN: The CSS that Makes Medium.com Load Really Slowly
8 points by logn  7 hours ago   8 comments top 3
dpup 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is related to Typekit font loading, as outlined here:


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.

rpicard 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I've never noticed a problem. I have the same set-up aside from running OS X 10.8.3.
ashokvarma2 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a tool that I can use to determine such bottlenecks on my website?
Massive number of Yahoo email accounts compromised
11 points by tod222  10 hours ago   6 comments top 6
NZ_Matt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
New Zealands largest ISP uses Yahoo as their email provider and there were reports of this happening as early as February. They've been down playing it but I'm pretty sure that it much more wide spread than they're willing to let on.



taylodl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
So is it the accounts being compromised or has Yahoo! itself been compromised? Last week I received mail delivery failure notices for an email apparently sent to my entire address book. If it hadn't been for a couple of old addresses in my book I wouldn't have even known it'd happened.
jmathai 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked at Yahoo! during a fairly large compromise. There were about 2.1M accounts which were phished.

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.

RoyceFullerton 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I've gotten three of these in the last two days from three family members on different sides of the family who all use Yahoo. I thought the first two were just idiots, but after the third I started to wonder how widespread this was.
tod222 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I edited the item to add articles indicating that Yahoo! has had a history of problems with email compromises and now none of the links are clickable.

It's frustrating to have my attempt to cite sources trigger the anti-spam function.

404error 10 hours ago 0 replies      
My brother who has a yahoo email account suffered from this. He sent out a weird URL to his whole address book earlier today.
Ask HN: Javascript or CoffeeScript for a newbie?
5 points by leoalves  9 hours ago   5 comments top 5
CyberFonic 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I tried to use CS first and found that I needed to really understand JS in order to debug stuff that didn't work, and you get a lot of that with DOM.

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.

rahilsondhi 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Absolutely javascript. You'll be making a mistake by using CoffeeScript first. It's very important to understand the underlying language before using a meta language like CoffeeScript.
rubiquity 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I had the bare fundamentals of JavaScript down (constructors, the prototype object, anonymous functions/callbacks) and I did quite well once switching to CoffeeScript. I really recommend using the coffeescript.org "Try CoffeeScript" feature so you can see what your CoffeeScript gets compiled into. One thing I wish I understood better going into it was function scope or scope in general, I remember getting caught up on this quite a bit. I definitely have an easier time turning my thought into code using CoffeeScript, YMMV.

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/

tantalor 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends on your goals. If you just want to get stuff done, CS will make that easier. If you want to publish code or learn web programming, go with JavaScript.
clockwork_189 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I would recommend javascript. Coffeescript is just a "prettier" syntax for javascript but in the end it just compiles down to js.

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.

Ask HN: Any downsides of programming in Haskell?
17 points by raphinou  21 hours ago   19 comments top 8
bjourne 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let's begin by stating that Haskell is great, but there are a lot of stuff I don't like about it:

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.

mooism2 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Haskell's record system (analogue of C's structs) has two major deficiencies.

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).

Peaker 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Runtime debugging in Haskell is more rare, but when you need it, it's more of a headache.

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.

LukeHoersten 20 hours ago 2 replies      
In my opinion the module system (http://www.haskell.org/onlinereport/modules.html) is a bit weak. For example: "It is not possible, however, to hide instance declarations in the Prelude. For example, one cannot define a new instance for Show Char."

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.

ac 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Depends on what you are doing. The library eco-system used to be a weak link in Haskell, but I see it improving. To clarify, there were (and still are) a lot of broken and/or poorly documented and/or unmaintained libraries on Hackage. Or several libraries for doing the same thing where there is no indication of which library is the best choice. I suspect that is, to some degree, the case in any open-source eco-system, thought. Recently, though, thanks to the effort of the giants like Edward Kmett there have been an influx of great well-documented libraries on Hackage. And of course, you are welcome to contribute new packages/improvements to existing packages.

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.

ciderpunx 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I found it a lot slower than more imperitive style languages. I've been writing in c-like languages for something like 30 years, so I suppose that's not unexpected. I found that the type system sometimes got in my way. And combining monads (even with monad transformers) was also a faff. In the end I suppose it depends what you're trying to make. I think Haskell is great for DSL applications and less so for things like web dev. Though that being said Yesod is a pretty nice framework.
mynameisme 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Cabal and friends are awful compared to Bundler/Maven/etc.,even with the various wrappers available. Also, the tooling isn't that great compared to Scala or F#.
ppereira 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Monad transformer hell.
Ask HN: Who want's the boycott app if I die?
2 points by nanch  5 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: lawyer needed for unpaid invoice (NYC)
11 points by hedonist  19 hours ago   16 comments top 6
philiphodgen 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a lawyer. I've written those letters. They're useless. Don't waste your time.

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.

patio11 18 hours ago 2 replies      
So, for the benefit of everyone reading this: Not urgently needing the money, and not communicating that one urgently needs the money, is one way to avoid having this happen to you.

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.



tptacek 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait. Hold up a second. Read 'philiphodgen and 'patio11's comments, but then wait a second.

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.

relaunched 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I seem to be posting this link about once a month on HN, but here goes.

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).

gesman 17 hours ago 0 replies      
In my industry I would deliver stuff, holding last bit in evaluation mode or in watermark mode due upon full payment.

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.

mknappen 18 hours ago 1 reply      
You may want to send another invoice, followed by a "demand for payment" letter a couple of weeks later, prior to hiring a lawyer, especially since they aren't yet 30 days out.
Ask HN: How do I get into programming?
9 points by Noel_V  17 hours ago   12 comments top 11
throwaway420 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't have a formal CS education or working experience, you can still get a job by demonstrating competency with personal projects or open source contributions. Create some kind of website or tool or project that people can see use and get a feel for your abilities. Fix some bugs in open source projects and let people check out your Github profile.
ianstallings 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Easy actually. You continue doing what you're doing and showing the world you can program by writing open source projects of value, having a github profile with examples, writing articles that help others, chiming in on places like stackoverflow, keeping up by reading places like HN, and generally just constantly keeping active by doing things you love. Understand the process of building software inside and out. Not just software, but the process. What tools, what steps.

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.

jfaucett 15 hours ago 1 reply      
What I love most about this industry is that its still open and accessible for anyone. In my experience (unless you go for an interview at google, or ibm or any big coorp) all you need is to have a great portfolio and just show what you've done. How do you get industry experience and "break in"? Well, just hop on github start contributing to projects that interest you, build one of your own project ideas, I'm sure you know people that would like to have a website, you can offer to build one really cheaply or even for free, just to get the experience. Once its online, you have another little spot for your portfolio.

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!

nsp 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If you know html css and a little bit of php, build websites for small businesses. Get decent at wordpress(basically how to install and edit themes) and knock on doors of restaurants/hair salons/retail stores that have shitty/no websites and offer your services. Do the first couple for free and boom you have a portfolio.

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)

beat 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What sort of working conditions are you looking for? Do you want a steady, corporate job, or is it working on programming that matters most? It might be possible for you to latch onto a startup. Look for cofounder dating meetups in your area. Lots of business people who don't know programming at all have ideas that need to be turned into software.

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.

adamtaa 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This quote right here, "Create some kind of website or tool or project that people can see, use, and get a feel for your abilities" - throwaway420, will serve you well.

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.

cryptoz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Find simple problems that you or your friends have, solve them with code, open source your code, blog about it -> Job.
kennethkl 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep doing what you are doing; stay passionately curious.

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.

jamesjguthrie 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Build something. Build something else. And something else. Upload said things. Find people who build these types of things. Ask them if they need any help, even temporarily.

Job done.

ulisesrmzroche 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Hussle beats talent. All companies have too many projects in the pipeline and not enough people who can deliver. Remember that people pay for improving revenue or decreasing costs and just follow the money.
faq 10 hours ago 0 replies      
One simple way to break in to the industry is do QA. QA is typically sorely needed and teams don't spend enough time on it. Just show that you are detailed oriented, can find bugs and document how to reproduce them. I just hired a QA intern who, similar to you, is outside the industry and trying to break in. He has been a tremendous help to the team simply doing QA three times a week.
Can we please have "certified/guaranteed not in U.S. jurisdiction"?
9 points by hoodoof  21 hours ago   6 comments top 6
tptacek 19 hours ago 0 replies      
What you're saying is, you'd like to host your servers in a venue where NSA doesn't even need to ask permission to access them.
dragonwriter 21 hours ago 0 replies      
> We need a way to clearly identify non-U.S. based services so we can buy safely.

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.

dirktheman 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Good idea, but fairly useless, I think.

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.

dholowiski 17 hours ago 0 replies      
What would be the requirements?

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)

thesmileyone 21 hours ago 0 replies      
If you live in the US then it won't matter. The whole point is they copy all data that passes from the US to any other continent.

It would not suprise me if the PRISM system had something to do with the Megaupload takedown.

gesman 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah. Get one "Made in China".
Ask HN: How would the world be 20 years from now with absolute free market?
8 points by joaquinzrr  21 hours ago   7 comments top 5
zissou 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't get me wrong, as a general statement I support free markets. However, Keynes' thesis (which is misinterpreted 96% of the time I hear someone talking about it) was simply that sometimes there is an economic argument for government regulation. Keynes' simply pointed out that sometimes it takes a while for some markets to readjust back to equilibrium (i.e. the invisible hand is slow) -- sometimes the market price is sticky. In these cases, the government can implement policies that incentivize the actors to do more of something (by issuing a subsidy) or do less of something (issuing a tax) in order to push the market back to equilibrium. That's the economic argument of Keynes.

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).

bigmickey 3 hours ago 0 replies      
* cost of goods and services drop significantly (trade 'agreements' only serve to make things more expensive for the end consumer to benefit a small number of producers)* cost of transport of goods and people drop significantly (think self-driving vehicles)* fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, JPY etc etc) disappear to be replaced by market-chosen alternatives (gold, silver, bitcoin??)* average standard of living across the planet increases - this is a corollary of the previous three points.
lifeisstillgood 20 hours ago 1 reply      
What on earth does that mean?

* 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.

mynewwork 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Phased in or decreed universally tomorrow? Free movement of people implemented immediately would mean chaos as millions of people from developing countries rush to developed nations, overwhelming infrastructure and collapsing the unskilled labor market and overburdening social welfare/entitlement programs.

Ignoring the people movement, income inequality would skyrocket, and boom-bust cycles in finance, agriculture and manufacturing would become faster and more severe.

boot 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Since no country has tried it, no one knows, but I'm sure that won't stop a bunch of sarcastic replies.

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

Edward Tufte essays and book available electronically (PDFs for $2)
7 points by niels_olson  20 hours ago   1 comment top
Kim Dotcom's Napkin Calculations on Cost of Surveillance Data Storage
14 points by pjbrow  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
alex_doom 1 day ago 0 replies      
5-6 years ago I used to tell conspiracy theory dudes that even if the feds wanted to slurp down all the data they wanted it would cost them too much for it to be effective and processing power would never be able to churn through it fast enough.

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.

e3pi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tangentially related, certainly to Ike's warning, I've read total cost now of entire F-35 program is something like 1.3 trillion dollars.
Help me collect the best A/B testing tools
6 points by FloorD  23 hours ago   5 comments top 5
1337biz 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I personally like http://www.phpscenario.org/ It is super simple to set up, runs on my server and is independent of any ad/no-script/whatever blocks.
wikwocket 21 hours ago 0 replies      
HN would be remiss without a mention of A/Bingo, a Ruby on Rails A/B testing framework plugin.
ashokvarma2 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Visual Website Optimizer
darkxanthos 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Monetate is another
VorticonCmdr 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Analytics Experiments
What worries me most about the NSA fibre issue...
37 points by thesmileyone  21 hours ago   24 comments top 12
tlrobinson 19 hours ago 2 replies      
"Is not that they are monitoring me. I have nothing to hide."

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

trunnell 20 hours ago 1 reply      
It's possible that a MitM like this is feasible. Recall that the author of the Flame malware that targeted Iranian computers used a hash collision attack on the MD5 hash for a trusted certificate, which essentially allowed them to create their own certificate that hashed to the same value as the real certificate. [1]

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.

[1] http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/06/flame-crypto-breakth...

jiggy2011 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Just an FYI, encrypting your uTorrent downloads won't stop you getting busted if you are down/uploading copyrighted material.

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.

fnordfnordfnord 20 hours ago 0 replies      
>but if I had suggested I thought the NSA was mirroring fibre a year ago you would think the same.

I wouldn't have. Were you unaware of this (from 2006)? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

obelos 19 hours ago 0 replies      
While we should of course be concerned about the privacy implications these programs hold for ordinary American citizens, it's also important to think about the implications these resources have on the class of people who are most likely to be targeted: the immediate competitors and enemies of those who have access to them. While everyone's privacy is threatened by these surveillance tools, there are 300,000,000 everyones. Only a tiny subset of that pool has direct, palpable influence into the political power elite. They are the ones most likely to have this infiltration of their lives used against them.

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.

logn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
What worries me most are two things:

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.

gcb0 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This is silly. a corrupt gov does not need rubegoldberg machines. They have much more efficient ways of jailing you.
marshray 19 hours ago 0 replies      
You are right to worry.

> 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.

eminon 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The "nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide" argument has been debunked countless times and made the front page of HN in the last week at least twice. Privacy is a building block foundation for freedom. You can't have freedom without privacy.

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.

rarrrrrr 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Chrome include certificate pinning first described here, which offers some protection for MITM: http://www.imperialviolet.org/2011/05/04/pinning.html
RKearney 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I was under the impression that they used beam splitters to get a copy of the data going over the fiber. It is my understanding that they can only receive data this way, not send it.
ethanazir 18 hours ago 1 reply      
If I was an NSA analyst who could spy on who ever I wanted, I would not be keen to throw people in jail, but seducing women would be fun; I think there is even a movie about it.
Ask HN: Real time phone number look-up on mobile phones
3 points by palidanx  14 hours ago   5 comments top 3
gregcohn 14 hours ago 1 reply      
iOS doesn't give developers access to the callerID of incoming calls. you'd need to do a cut/paste (at best) and probably have to type in the number by hand. it would be made more complex by the fact that at least some carriers like Verizon don't give you web and phone access over the network at the same time.

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....

rullgrus 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use http://www.truecaller.com. Works well on Android. I especially like the block feature.
m_stoelzle 13 hours ago 0 replies      
http://800notes.com/and http://whocallsme.com/someone should build an app :D
Project Loon details from the Christchurch event today
73 points by mkl  2 days ago   11 comments top 7
mkl 2 days ago 2 replies      
Clickable: http://imgur.com/a/IrZFq

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.

chad_oliver 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was chatting with some of the Google people at the event, and they said that the balloons have been responsible for a few UFO sightings. In fact, when one of the balloons' transponders failed in flight, they were able to track the balloon by the UFO reports online! This happened while they were testing the balloons in California's Central Valley.

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.

mappu 2 days ago 1 reply      
I went as well - i don't have much to add and my questions were certainly not as insightful as yours - but i will add that i was told that six balloons had launched, and the real balloons are larger than the demonstration as it's pushed down to fit into the demonstration hall. They didn't have a demonstration of the building antennas.

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).

davidjohnstone 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apart from the commercial model that these will use (what they'll cost to make use of, etc.), the thing I'm wondering about is how visible they'll be at sunrise/sunset.

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.

TezzellEnt 2 days ago 1 reply      
Do you think that project loon has anything to do with the recently acquired Makani Power? http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/24/google-buys-makani-wind-....

It would be interesting if they were to merge these two projects.

Luyt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think certain countries will suspect that these balloons are used as spying devices, and probably shoot them when they enter their airspace.
carrot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you for sharing! This technology is definitely interesting. I will be following news about it closely and would appreciate it if you could post more updates in the future.
Ask HN: What am I going to do with my job?
16 points by desperateone  1 day ago   14 comments top 9
johnnyg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do the contracting math.

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:


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: johnny.goodman@cpap.com

japhyr 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm a fairly new father (two-year-old son), and I have explored switching careers recently. I am a high school teacher, and I have considered switching to programming. Switching jobs and switching careers is a lot different as a parent than as a single person.

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.

fasteo 1 day ago 1 reply      
As it seems that you do not have the guts to leave the company you will need to try to change it from the inside.

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.

Good luck.

smharris65 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had many years of experience in large enterprise projects like the one you are describing. I know exactly the frustrations you are experiencing. But don't ever forget that you are doing a noble thing by staying in this job to support your family. That is a great sacrifice you should take pride in. It shows your dedication to your family. That is an important success you have already accomplished. And don't forget Einstein made a lot of important discoveries while working as a Swiss patent clerk!

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.

danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sounds like a tough situation but you have my admiration for being a middle-aged father in a foreign country with a stable job, yet still caring heavily about being a good engineer and craftsman.
_progger_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Most people are years and years behind the world." You read too many good blogs, crappy enterprise software actually is "world".
sjg007 1 day ago 0 replies      
You have two choices. Work at it, get to be an architect, be the guy that people defer to for decisions, be in charge, and decide your future. Or leave and do a startup, especially your own startup.
mtct 1 day ago 0 replies      
Start an OSS project, on something you like, in your free time
rizz0 1 day ago 1 reply      
Where do you live?
Ask HN: How do you come up with ideas when your to-do list is empty?
4 points by m4xt3r  20 hours ago   3 comments top 3
Robin_Message 20 hours ago 0 replies      
To quote Alice in Wonderland

`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.

staunch 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Watch a user use your widget. If that doesn't generate ideas of things to improve you're just not paying close enough attention.
LarryMade2 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out the competition.
Ask HN: How do you manage your finances?
3 points by cantlin  19 hours ago   8 comments top 7
hugovie 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
How about Money Lover App (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bookmark.m...)? I have used it for a long time. It was good, but keeping spending info was actually a challenge.
mmcnickle 19 hours ago 0 replies      
RBS in the UK provide an industry-standard XML dump for each of your accounts. There are several online service that will take that file and categorise your transactions and forecast your cashflow for you. https://www.mint.com is one such example.

I evaluated several a while back, but found them all to be lacking, especially with respect to accurate cashflow[1] and budgeting[2]. 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.

[1] 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.

[2] 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.

joshstrange 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Mint is awesome and I really like my bank Simple (https://Simple.com). It makes it easy to set goals and monitor your money. If anyone wants an invite you can email me I have 9 at the time of writing this.
oaxacamatt 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep a budget. For 2 or 3 months be fanatical about writing down everything you buy and then analyze it. Ask yourself, 'what could I have saved on?' for example, made lunch more often, buy 1-2 cd not 10, etc. etc. Then set a budget from what you learned and monitor that.

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.

Sealy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to use a lot of budgeting tools like Microsoft Money. At the end of the day I realized that they were all a waste of time. No amount of new bank accounts helps you make more money.

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.

Trogdor0617 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Gnucash is a delightful piece of software, comparable to Intuit's Quicken ... but, naturally, Gnucash is free.

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.

Jeremy1026 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Service to fill the gap in online banking - Mint.com
Ask HN: Market for SAS/R developers?
5 points by canadiancreed  1 day ago   8 comments top 7
dagw 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Knowing SAS/R in isolation is worth very little. Knowing statistics and data analysis is worth a lot and SAS/R are pretty good tools for doing statistics and data analysis. Unless you're also willing to learn the underlying statistics and data analysis there isn't much demand for SAS or R programmers. However there is massive demand for competent data analysts capable using SAS or R.
dagw 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a couple of friends who do portfolio and risk management at two different pension funds, and both of those places use a lot of SAS.

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.

jdale27 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not sure what domain you're in, but here's the view from mine...

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".

ig1 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to go into more statistical type of roles in the future (data science, analytical marketing, etc.) than they're very useful.

Outside of that they're of less use.

laughfactory 1 day ago 0 replies      
SAS and R are heavily used for data and statistical analysis. As such, they're very employable "languages." SAS especially can pull down big bucks, but R is the better language/platform. I worked with SAS extensively (and learned R in college) and really disliked SAS. It is widely used but felt very archaic and poorly thought-out. The interface is ugly as sin and the SAS language is a mess. After using it for a year it blows my mind that companies pay so much to use it.

But employable? Definitely.

rankam 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many companies that employ Data Scientists in NYC use R for their stats and ML work. While I personally prefer Python over R for ML related tasks, R does seem to be gaining traction in the private sector. I recommend ML for Hackers if you're interested in learning more about R - the author is very knowledgable and works as a Data Scientist for Facebook.


SkipP 1 day ago 0 replies      
SAS is huge in financial services. I have come across it quite a bit. I have statistics knowledge, but not programming skills really. I know of many jobs requiring SAS. I have never seen a HTML programming job listing. R is mostly used in academia. I do not know of anyone in the private sector using it.
Moving On...
13 points by shortstuffsushi  2 days ago   7 comments top 6
LoganCale 2 days ago 1 reply      
We actually are getting somewhere by complaining. By everyone (everywhere, not just here) talking about it it's built a momentum of public awareness about such programs in the U.S. that has never existed before despite other past revelations about domestic surveillance.

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.

tptacek 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're not "that guy". The onslaught of political stories about NSA surveillance is so severe that the people who'd normally be piping up alongside you have given up.
staunch 1 day ago 0 replies      
HN is to the point where it pretty much needs subreddits (or a basic version of them, like the "Ask" section) to continue to not suck.
Sealy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thats true, NSA related stories have been flooding the front pages of hacker news for the last two weeks. I don't mind a couple of posts but when every other story is related to the news, it gets dry fast.
simgidacav 1 day ago 0 replies      
A point for you sir: complaining is not the way of solving a problem. Still the complaining is symptomatic of discomfort in the community for this facts; and discomfort, my good friend, is rich soil for solutions.

The best way of moving on is enabling creativity.

andymoe 2 days ago 0 replies      
We are, apparently, about this right now.
Ask HN: Where are RapGenius and other startups in the PRISM debate?
6 points by rayk  1 day ago   1 comment top
Ask HN: Where is the fastest Internet connection in India?
3 points by discordance  1 day ago   8 comments top 4
psibi 1 day ago 2 replies      
Depends primarily upon the region you live. Even though, I live in Chennai, I cannot even get a broadband connection on the area where I reside.

Hyderabad's beem provides upto 25 Mbps of speed. ( http://www.beamtele.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=ar... )

gopalv 1 day ago 0 replies      
The trouble is that all of the bandwidth available on ads is downstream bandwidth. And what you care about seems to be upstream bandwidth.

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.

sylruesoe 7 hours ago 0 replies      
IIT Kanpur has great speeds. You can go upto 100 Mbps at times
sn0v 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've witnessed speeds up to 6 MBps down (i.e. 48 Mbps) at IIT Madras on a wired connection.
Ask PG: Accessing HN via Tor
37 points by jnhnum1  3 days ago   10 comments top 4
coreyja 3 days ago 1 reply      
I just tried this myself to verify that I couldn't reach it through Tor and I couldn't either. I agree that there should be at least read access for people browsing with Tor.

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.

jongraehl 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd hesitate to use any of your existing regular-internet accounts over Tor. Start with a fresh browser.
RachelF 3 days ago 0 replies      
Part of HN's deal with the NSA ;-)
Ask HN: Best way(s) to distribute a self-hosted, non-compiled product
2 points by jnankin  20 hours ago   5 comments top 4
firstprimate 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I am going with the last option. Rely on bundled licenses. Seeing as I also provide a fully managed service, I include all software updates etc. for those who pay the annual license.

The rest are not my customers and worrying about them is a distraction.

gesman 17 hours ago 0 replies      
http://zencrypt.com for PHP obfuscation.It's not NSA-grade encryption - but it works for 99.9% hosting accounts without need for specialized libraries.

It obfuscates your code well.

rotnewson 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The github way is pretty good because most businesses use some sort of virtualization (usually vmware) once they become a certain size.

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).

wmf 19 hours ago 1 reply      
People don't buy software any more anyway; they only buy cloud services.
Ask HN: Is it really this easy?
48 points by rfnslyr  4 days ago   discuss
tptacek 4 days ago 4 replies      
Working to obtain external financing for a startup is a miserable experience, even for people who are good at it, and for most of the kinds of ideas software people have for companies, usually results in a situation where (a) you have worked your ass off and beaten extraordinary odds simply to land yourself in a situation where you are working a job for a boss and (b) assuming all the risks and liabilities of working at your own company but with incentives that are now tailored for financiers.

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.

patio11 4 days ago 1 reply      
In general, talking to customers, shipping software, and selling things to people for money strictly dominate either thinking beautiful ideas or wondering what alchemy would hypothetically make your startup fundable. If you're really, really interested in that question, I can explain it in detail, but I would bet against you liking the answer, so I'd suggest talking/shipping/selling rather than spending more time thinking about what other people are doing.
dirktheman 4 days ago 3 replies      
I believe there are two powers for seeing the umpteenth smiling kitten-apps getting funded.

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.

wensing 4 days ago 3 replies      
This reminds me that I'm due for the next post in my 'starting Stormpulse' blog series, wherein I cover how and why we raised significant money 6 years after we started.
jamesbritt 4 days ago 1 reply      
I have hundreds of ideas written down, and I am so quick to discard each and every one of them as silly because who the fuck would use any of these apps I came up with.

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.

lazyjones 4 days ago 0 replies      
> Do a lot of these just get initial funding, get an office, work on their stuff, and if it doesn't succeed, it just shuts down?

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)

sharemywin 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've read unless you'vew already had a successful exit it hard to get funidng without traction. This artical talks about how much traction you might need. Also, assume your target market needs to be at least $100 million.


makerops 4 days ago 1 reply      
First question I think you should ask yourself: do you really even want to pursue funding?
mapster 4 days ago 0 replies      
If you have connections, use them. That's some money. Plus your own and from your family/friends. Office, employee #1-3. Start shipping. You have the appearance of a startup. Now getting a return on the money and time/work is another thing. Good luck!
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