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1
Ask HN: How do you apply for a tech job?
7 points by quietthrow  43 minutes ago   1 comment top
1
esusatyo 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
- Be honest about your experience, and tell them what you are really comfortable with. If you got 3 months experience in Objective-C, don't say 1 year, and tell them what parts/concepts of Objective-C you have used. Don't get too hung up if your skills aren't what they're looking for. Good employers know that someone with a strong technical background can learn anything given enough time.

- If they are giving you a puzzle, try your best to solve it. Do not be too worried if you can't solve it. Most of them will give you hints. I have been offered jobs when I couldn't solve their puzzles.

- If they're asking about opinionated questions (OSX/Linux/Windows, Git/Hg, Java/C, iOS/Android, etc), they are probably just testing your reasoning. It doesn't matter what you answer as long as you have your reasoning. Telling them you use Hg because your boss told you so is not good. It's always good to have a good lookout on new technologies.

- Go to meetups and talk to people. You will probably find a lot of jobs there. Be open, tell them you are looking for a job.

- Wear a t shirt and jeans. Drink lots of water and maybe a cup of coffee.

2
Ask HN: Recommendations for mobile analytics product at scale?
21 points by appdeveloper  8 hours ago   16 comments top 10
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smilliken 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A few thousand dollars a month is a modest budget if you want to outsource this. Try negotiating price if there's a vendor that does everything you need.

If you only need to analyze <1B events at a time, then an old-fashioned relational database is fine. Beyond that, CitusDB, Redshift, and Vertica are analytics databases that might be in your price range.

Bigger mobile publishers will usually consider analytics a core competency and handle it in-house; if you continue to grow you'll quickly reach a point where it's no longer possible to outsource this.

2
liamgooding 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey,

at http://Trak.io we can definitely handle that data volume, all data analysis is done retroactively and in realtime.

Note: However we don't automatically track any events, as we found most people were collecting a ton of garbage event data that they would never use. So you'll need to setup the events to be tracked at the beginning of the integration.

We don't have iOS or Android SDK's, but a raw REST http API (and JS) but we'd be open to discussing what we could sort out to win your business ;)

A/B tests: date vs. date cohort segmentation, event vs. event cohort segmentation, property vs. property segmentation. And groupby (breakdown by) view.

Trends

Linear funnels are in progress, but again for an app this size let's talk about what we could do.

The main way we differentiate ourselves from Mixpanel (and similar) is that we're trying to go for as simple interface as possible. Essentially, if analytics tools or reports are complicated, they just wont get used. So we're sticking to a very design-led product which may or may not suit you, depending on what exactly you're looking for.

Email me on liam@trak.io if you want to chat further :)

3
kposehn 7 hours ago 1 reply      
We have a platform that is similar to what you need, but geared to the web. The advantage is adapting to your use case would not be a huge issue and I've been intending to go that direction anyway.

Hit me up if you would like, my email is in my profile.

4
raviparikh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
We (Heap) recently launched our iOS library. In addition to retroactive funnels and arbitrary key/value pairs, we let you retroactively define events without having to ship new code to the app store.

For instance, you can define an event as a "Touch on a UIButtonView". Then, we dig into your users' entire past activity to let you instantly segment on that event or include it in funnels. No new code is required.

We haven't publicly launched our Android integration yet, but we should be able to figure something out - ping us at team@heapanalytics.com. We're flexible on pricing and would love to help.

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zmitri 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Would using Google Analytics work? I know it's not as easy as Mixpanel but they have a lot of tools. They also have an Objective C SDK.

There's a YC company called Heap Analytics that offers pricing based on monthly unique users. I've never used it but it's the only other thing I can think of.

6
sdossick 5 hours ago 0 replies      
My company ( PushSpring ) has a product that lets you track arbitrary data and events about your mobile app users and then segment them. We also offer the ability to send targeted messages to segments you define via Push Notifications, as a way of keeping them engaged (or re-engaging groups who've left). We're working with some of the largest publishers in the app store.

Love to chat about your requirements -- hello@pushspring.com if you'd like to discuss.

7
gorkemcetin 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Countly is an open source, realtime mobile analytics solution with an enterprise plan. Funnels and segmentation are currently being developed and planned to get ready for mainstream due 1-2 months (advanced segmentations being quite earlier). Check http://count.ly for a list of features and benefits.
8
endlessvoid94 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You get what you pay for.
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LedZeppelin 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What information are you looking for?

Geographic location, age, gender, education?

10
marcooda 6 hours ago 1 reply      
appfireworks.com is launching soon - apply for beta.
3
Ask HN: I'm quadriplegic can you help me with my security?
468 points by escapologybb  1 day ago   162 comments top 56
1
giberson 1 day ago 3 replies      
Forgive the off the cuff suggestion here, it's the quickest and simplest thing I can think of though not an optimum way to use your laptop and you're probably hoping for a more elegant solution.

What if you install virtual box w/ some free OS (like ubuntu). Store all your personal information within the virtual machine which is configured with a secure login. Then you can leave the laptop unsecured so you can use your other apps to dictate the password to the ubuntu OS for login.

2
mikeash 1 day ago 1 reply      
How about bluetooth-based locking and unlocking, using an app like this?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bluetooth-unlock/id576603568...

It looks like it may work with any BT device, so even if you don't have a BT-enabled phone, you could get a cheap BT headset or something, and keep it on you.

I'd also like to say that it's great to see you doing so well with technology. I had a quadriplegic friend when I was little (he was an adult) who had a nice setup for the time, but his independence was limited to a few things like Clappers for lights, TV remotes, and such. I sometimes wonder just what crazy things he'd be getting up to if he was still around today with a setup like yours.

3
samwillis 1 day ago 4 replies      
Hi! I'm on the train with bad internet right now and so can't go looking but have you considered face recognition software using the laptops camera? There must be an app that takes a look at the webcam when a password challenge is presented.

Anyone know of anything?

Edit:

Found one! https://www.keylemon.com/download-other-versions/

4
willvarfar 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I messed with army radios - these being the made-by-the-lowest-bidder-and-not-secret analogue variety - they were throat-operated. You spoke silently, and the microphone - pressed to your throat - sent speech over the radio.

It took practice to talk perfectly clearly, but it could be mastered.

Google "throat microphone".

5
bcoates 1 day ago 0 replies      
It should be possible to make an OSX app that disables the hardware keyboard and touchpad, that can be toggled by voice password.

The laptop only being accessible via voice recognition and one button should be enough to render the entire system unusable to casual snoops.

edit: Looks like you can disable/reenable the builtin keyboad/touchpad with terminal commands, so it'd just be a matter of scripting them to voice shortcuts: http://superuser.com/questions/214221/how-can-i-lock-the-mou...

ps: be sure to have a plan B to reboot your laptop while experimenting with this in case it locks out your controls somehow.

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ealexhudson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe use your current system with a rolling password, so that the previous password no longer works?

Obviously that would take a little feat of memory, or at least some kind of prompt, but you could memorize a poem or something and use that - it would prevent replay attacks.

Or, use an algorithmic password, perhaps one where you do a sum based on the time of day.

All these solutions require some level of coding sadly, but I would have thought it would be something a freelancer could knock up relatively cheaply.

7
cpleppert 1 day ago 0 replies      
>>But I can't password lock my whole laptop because OS X requires that password before it will load up any applications, and I can't put a password in without my apps.

Why not just have the mac autologin and then immediately go into screensaver mode?

At the very least set /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Versions/A/Resources/ScreenSaverEngine.app to open on start

Thinking about solving this programmatically, it wouldn't be too hard to set up a secure locking replacement for a screensaver that would offer a challenge response system to unlock the system without using a password anyone who hears could repeat.

8
wissler 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here's a simple idea (lacking in specific implementation details, sorry):

- Figure out how to add a text filter between DragonDictate and your system.

- Program the filter to look for a special sequence, e.g. "cipher_mode"

- When in cipher mode, feed characters through a simple cipher. E.g. A -> C, B -> D, etc. No passerby is going to be able to figure out what you're doing.

- When the filter sees "cipher_mode" again then it stops filtering.

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ig1 1 day ago 5 replies      
Maybe some kind of NFC device that you could wear so that the computer would lock/unlock when you were near it ?
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luke_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your adversary is extremely simple. You haven't mentioned in your post if you are open to or able to do any custom coding.

I would suggest writing/getting an app written that runs in fullscreen and looks exactly like an OSX login screen. Bonus points if it can disable multi-tasking shortcuts such as the 3 finger swipe up. The app can be hardcoded to only accept one password - yours. Since the app is running with OSX logged on you can use your usual tools to enter the password.

It goes without saying that this won't fool anyone determined - you can just reboot the laptop to make the app go away. However it should be enough to stop casual passers-by.

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camus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Since you are here , a few questions (not related to the current subject):you might be surfing on the web , given your condition , what are the annoying stuff you encounter that makes your surfing harder and that could be ,easily fixed if web developpers actually cared about accessibilty.

Do you have exemples of websites that use technology to facilitate surfing for disabled people , that could be shown as an exemple of good accessibility practice ?

thanks and take care.

12
DanBC 1 day ago 2 replies      
Yubikey would work if you could mount it so that you can touch the touch-pad with your nose. I don't know if that's acceptable to you?
13
3amOpsGuy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would something like Keycard[1] work for locking the screen when you're not nearby?

I wonder if it could be set to lock at boot unless your phone (or BT headphones or whatever) is nearby.

I doubt this can be all that secure since it can be downloaded from the App Store, I'm pretty sure that means it can be force quit (it could not prevent this key combo since its restricted in the sandbox). It may be just enough.

[1] http://www.appuous.com/products/mac/keycard.html

14
Helgosam 1 day ago 1 reply      
As Tyler E suggested:

"Wonder if he could somehow get his one-button clicker to translate morse code into ascii."

Use the Arduino Leonardo to send native keyboard key strokes into the USB port of the Mac - it's robust and works every time - plug and play (once it's been programmed).

The Leonardo could be programmed to listen out for a specific pattern of switching and then send the entire password down the USB cable, or alternatively it could have some simple or complex feedback (lights / tones / onscreen keyboard display on a second mini screen) to allow individual characters/keystrokes to be sent down the USB cable from the Arduino.

I've been making stuff like this in the UK for the charity Scope, and their users - often people who have cerebral palsy. I could potentially make you something and post it over - if you are interested drop me a line.

15
s_q_b 1 day ago 0 replies      
Okay, sounds like an interesting challenge. Let's describe the problem and examine possible solutions.

Goals:1. Securely login to websites.2. Securely unlock a Macbook Pro.

Solutions to (1):A. (1) Can be solved with a password memorization app, once we solve (2).

So let's examine 2.

Solutions to (2):

Seems like there are two parts to this problem: authentication and OS X integration.

OS X has a login API that can be used to build extensions, or since the adversary is unsophisticated we could use an input blocking regular application.

Okay, so the integration piece is possible, and we can flesh that out later. So let's look at authentication.

A. Use Physical Authentication: Bluetooth, RFID, and Wifi devices come to mind. All of these require purchasing additional hardware. Buying new hardware seems inelegant though, so let's table this option for now.

B. Biometrics: Voice print ID or facial recognition. More promising, but false negative rate is too high, especially for accessibility purposes. Really don't like the idea of a temperamental biometrics program keeping you out of your computer.

C. Speech Recognition: Get voice recognition working on the log in screen. Apple has APIs for dictation and log in. This one seems promising. But then you might need a rotating set of passwords or an algorithmic password,, as others suggested, to keep passers-by from overhearing your password.

One more thought. Is there a way to set up Dragon Dictate as a native input device? If so, Mac lets you access the input device switcher from the log in menu.

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fnordfnordfnord 1 day ago 2 replies      
Hi, do you have any movement or dexterity in your fingers at all? If so, please offer details of this or any other control you have that might be exploited. I have a colleague who once-upon-a-time built a system of low-force buttons and other goodies that enabled a quadriplegic person to work a telephone very effectively, as in they were subsequently employed to do some kind of work over the telephone. Would something like that be of use?

I think you might also be able to make use of a kinect or Andriod/iPhone and some eye-tracking.

Also, do you know of these guys? It's where my colleague worked about twenty years ago. http://www.tirrfoundation.org/

17
ricardobeat 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you are using AbleNet's "Hitch" switch interface, by their description it should be able to emulate keyboard input without the SwitchXS software being loaded, but a manual doesn't seem to be publicly available.

This product called "Swifty" (http://www.orin.com/access/swifty/) also takes a switch as input, and can emulate a standard usb keyboard. With VoiceOver enabled in the login screen (Settings->Users->Login Options) this should allow one to login without using the keyboard.

Hope this helps.

18
nathan_f77 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would love to help build something if you can't find a solution. Maybe you could lock or unlock your laptop via facial recognition [1], or you could add an accelerometer that automatically locks the laptop if someone picks it up. Or just physically lock the laptop to your chair.

Or you could plug an Arduino into the USB port and use it as a keyboard device to send a stream of keypresses when you touch a button (just like a yubikey, except you could put the button anywhere.) The first button press could type in a password to unlock the computer, and the second button press could press a keyboard shortcut to lock it again. Or you could program it to recognize a simple morse code sequence. Let me know if you're interested in that idea, and I would be happy to program one and mail it to you.

[1]: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/36762/keylemon

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lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just a thought but would a inverse keylogger work?

I would guess something like this- an arduino hooked up to something you can operate (BigBuddy?). This could then ask you for your PIN code (2 taps, 3 taps, 2 taps)

Once arduino is happy it will quirt a pre-stored key sequence into the USB port, acting as a keyboard, and unlock what you need.

I have no idea if it is really viable but its the best I have.

20
anonymous 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used to work with quads.I would use Sikuli.org (python script) automate most things.

Read this post about new treatments in China.Spinal Cord injury therapies and medical situation in ChinaMajor spinal surgeries in China. Advances in repair of cord.http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/07/spinal-cord-injury-therapie...

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X4 20 hours ago 0 replies      
@OP

a) How about buying an external Fingerprint reader that's close to your thumb or wearable?There are tools that automatically find windows with input fields.

b) OR, instead of dictating a password, you could hire someone to write software that extracts a fingerprint from your VOICE's characteristics. You would have to train it to diferent types of voices you have (morning voice/tired voice/hoarse voice etc.)

Every person's voice has characteristics that make it unique and cannot be reproduced by another human. Only a computer could do that and that would require a lot of effort to break the unknown algorithm used in your computer first

c) use existing software like this: http://demo.authentify.com/biometric/ or similar. I just googled for voice authentication/fingerprint.

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quadstick 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://quadstick.com is developing a mouth operated programmable joystick/mouse/keyboard. A sequential combination of up to eight input signals (specific joystick movements and/or a sequence of hard or soft sip & puffs on four different tubes) can trigger the sending of up to six preprogrammed keyboard keys, or it can just recognize characters traced out on the joystick and send them one at a time.
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laumars 1 day ago 0 replies      
A simple solution might be to "double lock" your system. In addition to your password manager, use face recognition (via the laptop webcam). I know such a system can be easily spoofed, but it will stop the casual opportunists you described in your brief, and without requiring too much effort on your part to unlock (and I can only imagine how long-winded many of the otherwise simple tasks might be given your unfortunate position).
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peacetara 21 hours ago 0 replies      
You have a button you can push (#3 in your list above). So this means you are well on your way. You would need to create(or have created for you) a password app, that would open on startup, and prompt you for your password. Of course entering a password using a keyboard isn't so great, but since you have a button, you can ask for a certain set of button pushes, in a certain order. (Whatever works well for you).

i.e. you spell 'cat' in morse code with your one button. Or whatever. The important thing is that it's something YOU can do, and is likely not anymore easily guessed/caught than someone shoulder surfing someone typing the password on the keyboard.

That said.. I want to point out, you mention this is because you are worried about your PA's that are helping you with things maybe taking liberties you don't want them to. If you don't trust your PA's I think you should work on getting their trust (and vice versa), or look into replacing them with people you trust. If you need help with advocacy around this, reach out to your local Independent Living Center.

Good Luck!

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yk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps voice identification could help. There seem to be quite a few solutions [1]. Unfortunately I do not have any intuition how good they are, but probably they can be broken with a simple recording of your voice ( or a recording of a passphrase). So before you trust these, you should probably play a bit with an mp3 player.

[1]https://duckduckgo.com/?q=voice+biometric+login

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snom380 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does DragonDictate still work if you switch users? If so, you could encrypt your home directory, add a second user, and set OSX to auto-login to that user (and auto-launch DragonDictate).

If not, I think your best bet is a Bluetooth solution or some hardware token. For instance, an Arduino or Teensy ($20) programmed with your login/master password, and with a small microphone connected would be able to respond to certain voice commands and act as a regular USB keyboard, typing in your pass phrase.

You could also have some software on the Mac to automatically lock the screen or shutdown the computer if the Arduino is removed.

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dobbsbob 1 day ago 0 replies      
Was this posted by Hal Finney? He's unfortunately a quadriplegic now but still programs.
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escapologybb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, I went to bed not expecting much of a response but you guys have come up with some excellent solutions, I'm getting round to specific answers as quickly as I can!

I'm clearly missing something obvious, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to edit and update my original question; can someone put me out of my misery? :-)

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asselinpaul 1 day ago 1 reply      
When you talked about the yubikey, it's actually not too hard to built a two factor token yourself. Using an arduino, you could wire it in a way that would be convenient for you to operate.

http://lab.infoserver.com.br/wiki/index.php/Projects:arduino...

https://github.com/damico/ARDUINO-OATH-TOKEN

30
im3w1l 1 day ago 2 replies      
Questions on the threat model:

-Is the computer turned off or on?

-Do you want toa) protect your computer from being stolen?b) protect your weird fetish from being discovered?c) protect your online banking credentials?

31
noivad 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are bluetooth screen lock utilities that allow one to auto-lock and unlock the machine based on the signal strength of whatever Bluetooth device you pair it with. I would look into the hands-free Bluetooth speakers (meant for auto use) with a Wheelchair power to USB convertor (most likely the easiest would be via an auto 12V DC adapter). That way you can have a mic/speaker mounted on the wheel chair to control the machine as well (if you dont have a wireless mic already). Any Bluetooth device capable of being paired will work though. This will prevent someone going through your laptop while you are away. I actually have one I use on occasion at coffee shops called Bluetooth Screen Lock available on the App Store, but there are other free and low cost apps that do the same thing available. The on I use allows me to set the sensitivity so that it will lock after being about 6 feet or more away, and unlock when I am within that distance. I can also set it to lock at the maximum BT signal range as well.
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mkhalil 1 day ago 0 replies      
Face recognition is the best answer I can come up with to unlock the computer. Setup a usb-wrist band that when you computer gets pulled away from will auto lock.
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gabriel34 1 day ago 0 replies      
Unlocking a computer programatically is hard and should be so. Locking on the other hand isn't. Perhaps you could lock upon fail to NFC authenticate every x seconds.That only answers part of the question, since the attacker would still have x seconds to snoop around every time he logged in, but would be such a nuisance that he probably would give up.
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pbrumm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe you could use a usb device that is physically attached to the chair, then a thin usb ribbon cable that plugs into the computer, but pulls out quickly. that way if the computer is taken it would auto lock the machine when the ribbon is removed.

It would take work to get setup again, which may make the NFC setups better.

you should also follow the leap motion device. https://www.leapmotion.com it could enable some facial recognition apps, or new approaches for data entry that are not just voice control.

Also, something like this may make it less desirable to steal, and be another way to mount it to your chair.https://www.stoptheft.com/products/stoplock

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nicwise 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm out of my depth in more than one way here.

How about rigging a bite switch to the ubikey (either directly or via something like a raspberry pi / beagle bone). That's assuming that the only issue with the ubikey is you pressing the button.

Maybe (if it has an rpi) it needs a sequence. Bite. Pause. Bite bite. Pause. Bite. Etc.

I suspect you'd need someone to build it for you but I doubt there is a shortage of capable or willing people here. Sadly, my electronics skills are not up to it :(

I'm always impressed by people with accessibility issues using technology (or whatever is the correct term - sorry if that's at all offensive :( ). I've managed to make one of my apps a lot more useful to blind/partial sighted people after talking to a guy who can't see. It took me about 30 mins, and made the world of difference to him.

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fsck0ff 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well I guess you could use something like that:http://notimpossiblelabs.com/eyewriterwith some software modification (pure speculation as I haven't even checked the code) you could use eye movement and blinking to simulate mouse input and with on screen keyboard you should be able to write your password somewhat securelyhttp://www.ted.com/talks/mick_ebeling_the_invention_that_unl...

also shouldn't be expensive to build...[edit] link to the github repothe software can be found here https://github.com/eyewriter/

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gaetan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I dont know much about Apple computers but on a Windows PC I wouldnt use startup password to avoid friction when starting the PC.For login in a website, I would use an application like Keepass. For my private data, I would create a virtual encrypted disk with Truecrypt.If you leave your PC alone or take a nap, just close Keepass and Truecrypt and your data are secured. And to enter the password when you start Keepass and Truecrypt, I would create a few pages text file on my desktop and just copy/paste a combination of 2 or 3 words so I wouldnt need to speak my password loud.
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gcr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would some sort of active face verification be close to what you're looking for? Your webcam would always run, then when it sees you, it unlocks; when it no longer sees you, it would lock.
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johlindenbaum 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's an application that lets you lock individual applications, but which should allow you to unlock it with dictation, as the rest of the OS is still working. Mac App Blocker (http://knewsense.com/macappblocker/)

There's also QuickLock which was/is a workaround to lock OS X quickly without using the screen saver + immediate password requirement. http://www.quicklockapp.com/

Note: I haven't used either, I'm just googling and looking at videos.

40
wehadfun 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Could you re-route the keys to random unicode values so that if someone types 'a' they get '%' instead. That way if someone took a few pecks they would hopefully get frustrated
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gmrple 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in a custom hardware solution, the folks at hackaday.com may be helpful.
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photorized 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't know if this has been discussed already - have you considered a proximity-based sensor, where your device is locked when it's away from you?
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voltagex_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
It may be possible to enter Morse code using the single button switch. I knew someone who used one of these for a while, but not for password entry.
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gillis 1 day ago 0 replies      
How about some way of voice recognition? Maybe through a raspberry pi with a mic connected to it. There are surely some pre-made algorithms / scripts for this sort of thing. So once the voice recognition is passed and validated the password would be entered via the raspberry pi.

Just my two cents!

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bauer 1 day ago 0 replies      
The next Kinect is supposed to be able to detect eye movement. I don't think it would be too hard to implement something that would prompt for a sequence of eye movements after pressing the single button switched described by OP. I don't know if this would take care of both use cases, but I think it would take care of the first.
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trekky1700 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a program out there that can use a webcam to detect where you're looking on a screen. It performs a "click" if you hover over a button for a few seconds. Mix that with an on screen keyboard and that might work. I don't know if those options work with OSX though.
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maerF0x0 1 day ago 0 replies      
someone could build a login sequence that uses yes/no questions that only you know the answer to. Then it would just be a matter of how many bits of protection you want. eg: 32 questions would be something like 32 bits of entropy. Kind of laborious but also fairly secure because the order and selection of questions could be randomized, so someone would have to shoulder surf many questions in order to break in.

eg: Is this your mom? (with a picture). Is this your favorite color (a color showing). Is this your phone number? Is this your house? Do you like cheese? Do you like candy crush (ok, no entropy there, the answer is always "yes") .

now, does someone want to make this product?

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itswitch 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you could have a seperate, physical voice to text converter, it would act as a physical keyboard and type in your password, etc.
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quasistoic 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I understand correctly, you use neither the traditional keyboard nor the trackpad. Can you disable both, or at least configure them to be very difficult for the casual passerby to use? As an example, any non-traditional keyboard layout that doesn't match the labels on the keys is likely to confuse and annoy the average user to thr point that they give up very quickly.
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deodar 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can set LastPass to prompt for the password every time you need to login to a password[1]. This presumably disables password caching in the plugin. Would that solve the your first problem?

[1] https://helpdesk.lastpass.com/account-settings/security/

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obk1352 1 day ago 0 replies      
have you thought about using your single switch with an onscreen keyboard? I am not sure if OSX will let you automatically show an onscreen keyboard for the login screen (not sure why they wouldn't), but this would be as secure as you typing in the password via a real keyboard, and you wouldn't have to deal with all the other things that can go wrong.Also, have you tried to use a Quadjoy mouse http://www.quadjoy.com/ this gives you full mouse use, and gets you out of jams when Dragon decides to stop working and your PCA isn't immediately available.
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boojumz 1 day ago 1 reply      
couldn't you just completely disable the keyboard?
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tater 1 day ago 0 replies      
Using multiple keychains would also help.
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UnclePeepingSam 1 day ago 1 reply      
In your case, would you like to wear a brainwave sensor, so to manipulate your laptop directly ?
55
ngoertz 1 day ago 2 replies      
We have patented something called PassRules which does not disclose your secret during normal use. It's the perfect solution for you but unfortunately we don't have a version for Mac -- only Windows. But if there's sufficient interest we might just develop one. Check us out at www.itsmesecurity.com
56
nawitus 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you're not using whole disk encryption (or even partial encryption), then it doesn't really matter if you use a login password or not. The attacker can just clone the hard drive to gain access to your files.
4
Offer HN : MVP for 200$
2 points by toutouastro  1 hour ago   1 comment top
1
gpsarakis 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
It would help I you added a link with some previous work (portfolio) from you, projects that you participated or an open source project of some kind that you contributed or started perhaps (if any).
5
Ask pg: why have hellbans become so widespread on HN?
113 points by anigbrowl  11 hours ago   110 comments top 24
1
pg 8 hours ago 1 reply      
As I said 4 weeks ago, the reason you see good comments from banned accounts is that people who behave abusively don't do it 100% of the time:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5926081

If my proposed plan for a new "pending" state for comments

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6009523

works out, we'll just unban most of the accounts that were banned for being garden variety idiots or assholes, and their good comments can be promoted individually by other users.

Incidentally, when a comment is dead, it's not always because the user is banned. E.g. the comment that seems to have set off anigbrowl

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6060403

was not killed because the user is banned, but because it was a dupe.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6058500

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6058489

When you see stories that are killed rather than comments, it's usually because they've been submitted by sockpuppet rings. There are quite a lot of those accounts on HN now, and many of them are smart enough to mix a variety of other sites in with the sites they're promoting. Benologist, who helped us catch some of them, has more details here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6061108

2
benologist 10 hours ago 1 reply      
There are a lot of spammers either automatically submitting links or manually continuing to do so long after being identified and they're not always obvious. The other week I found a network of ~20 accounts that had each been submitting one generic tech link a day for up to 1.5 years, if you browse when that network does their daily submissions you'll see almost a full page of dead links that look legitimate.

The ability to upvote dead comments out of oblivion would be useful for commenters.

Edit: as luck would have it that group is submitting a batch right now - http://i.imgur.com/MVvfoaC.png - all those dead accounts (+ aynlaplant, flag to help kill it) are spam though they don't look like it at first glance.

3
GuiA 11 hours ago 5 replies      
The goal of HN is post quality.

One potential explanation is that false positives (banning a good user) don't bring down overall post quality, false negatives (not banning a bad user) do.

4
RKoutnik 10 hours ago 6 replies      
He may have tightened up the restrictions on voting rings. I know one YC user who was banned, and the only issue was that he'd send out links to a couple of friends asking for upvotes.

I feel that there's Catch-22 here - so few people browse/upvote in `/new` that one's practically forced to get friends to upvote, but then runs the risk of automated banhammer. More transparency would be great. It's ironic that pg calls for openness in government but governs HN behind closed doors.

5
rickdale 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I used to have a different HN account. At some point I realized that I stopped receiving points. I looked at my comments and someone had commented on my last comment, "Is this spam?" and then like 4 other people concurred my comment was spam. But it wasn't spam. I got bullied out of my HN account. 120 karma points down the drain.
6
DanBC 10 hours ago 0 replies      
i) sometimes the domains, and not the users, are what is banned.

ii) Some hellbanned users know they are hellbanned but continue to post anyway

iii) The recent uptick may be connected to the flood of piss-poor threads about politics. I'm not sure. I'd like to see some kind of numbers to confirm that there are more hell-banned users.

There are several things you can do with hellbanned posts. You could check the user's post history and try to work out what got them banned, and then send them an email to let them know they're banned. That's one reason why it's important for people to have an email in their "about me" section of their profile.

It might be worth-while investigating a tweak, because it seems HN is reluctant to flag and downvote poor content, and that might be because HN users are reluctant to cause a hellban.

7
consz 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree, I spent over a year posting regularly (1-2 times a week) on an account that was hellbanned before I finally found out nobody could see my posts.

It also bothers me that downvoted posts have lighter/more transparent text. It makes it really hard to read, and most downvoted posts are interesting to read, so it's damaging to my eyes to have to read those posts with some weird text editing on it.

8
vyrotek 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Speaking hell banned users. Here's a comment from one of them right here! Sometimes they scare me a little. This is an example of it doing its job. Sadly we do have false-positives sometimes too.

---

TempleOS 27 minutes ago

God is perfectly just. Niggers deserve hell. Hell is the absence of God.God says... by_the_way no_more_tears middle_class thats_just_wrong little_buddy test_pilot not_in_my_wildest_dreams this_might_end_badly catastrophe husband good talk_to_my_lawyer ohh_thank_you thats_right au_revoir so_let_it_be_done off_the_record like_like experts ridiculous

9
pygy_ 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Case in point: https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=loginalready

I reported it to info@yc, two days ago, but I didn't get any answer.

10
millerm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Happened to me. I was a member for a long time. On a single occasion I believe I accidentally responded to the wrong comment and I got banned. I was posting for a long time before an admin informed me I was banned. I had no idea why until I looked back at my responses and I noticed one out of context.

I had always been a fan of this site and try to join in a discussion once in a while to be part of a community. It really ruined my day when I found out I had been banned. I felt betrayed and lost my 100+ karma.

11
stfu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there actually any discussion among those who are hellbanned? Otherwise it could be argued that if somebody keeps posting without noting the lack of interaction they probably aren't that much socially aware in the first place.
12
stock_toaster 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I also have showdead on, and sometimes I consider turning it off, as some people really do warrant it. It is indeed sad to see some other people railing against the wind though.
13
jacques_chester 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There are more users.
14
superflit 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Do not talk against the lefties or any vocal group you will be ok.

Because there is no 'disagree' people down vote.

15
dfc 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"I know that on a site called 'Hacker News' informing users that their username or their IP has been banned or restricted is asking for trouble,"

Does PG have a policy against this? I seen people point out that so-and-so was hellbanned before and never noticed any repurcussions and I have also seen people repost useful comments from users who were hell banned.

Or do you think "the trouble" stems from the word hacker in the site name?

16
mschuster91 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Interestingly, this post had 8 upvotes, now it's only 6 - I thought posts could not be downvoted?
17
arikrak 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Instead of hellbanning, couldn't the site just rely on more extensive algorithmic ranking of comments and submissions? That way comments that are probably low-quality will only appear to a small number of users.
18
DiabloD3 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So what stops everyone from protesting and using showdead? Doesn't that basically depower mods?
19
mynameishere 9 hours ago 0 replies      
And why haven't I been hellbanned yet? Look at my comment history! Look at it!!! Did I get grandfathered in or something?
20
ancarda 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I find it interesting hell banned users are still posting. For instance, i'm sure TempleOS is aware he's banned.
21
shravan 10 hours ago 3 replies      
How are you able to tell whether you've been hellbanned or not? Have I, for instance?
22
paulftw 10 hours ago 4 replies      
omg. you can be banned but still allowed to post?!

how do I check whether my account is banned?

23
TerraHertz 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Well that's interesting. I didn't even know there was such a thing on this site.

All net forums have owners, and almost all have defacto restricted topics - things the owners simply won't allow.In many cases, one of the restricted topics is what well known 'cultural entity' the owners are members of.

What does differ is the degree of sneakiness in what's forbidden, and the methods used to enforce the restrictions.

In a few cases it's forthright - there's a FAQ listing forbidden topics; you say what you're not supposed to, and you're banned. But that's rare. It's more often the case that forbidden topics are so forbidden that they aren't even mentioned in the rules as forbidden. And the site's operation is structured to provide means of quietly removing offending comments from public view.

It's all about controlling the perception of common public opinion, while avoiding being seen to do so. There are many tricks used.

In almost all sites, there are cliques of semi-official mods, with the power to remove/alter what's visible. The Wikipedia global warmist clique being a prime example. Even when the clique isn't officially part of the site's control system, Megaphone-like back-channel organization makes very powerful manipulation via mass down-voting and pile-on criticism possible.Then there's the HB Gary-esque 'multiple personas' methods, by which groups of paid shills can exert far more web influence than they should be able to.

But what's really disturbing, is when forums that pretend to be open and politically unbiased, are structured to provide hidden methods of control - and they are clearly using them.

For instance, on reddit the '500 visible post limit' provides a way of vanishing politically unwelcome posts. On 4chan, the ephemeral nature of everything makes it easy to vanish posts faster than they otherwise would.

With ycombinator I thought the control method was pretty obvious, and I'd experienced it myself. Make any mention of anything related to 'topic-Y', and get instantly downvoted into the negatives. OK, I could live with that. It's a pity, but then hardly anything unique in this sadly upside-down, tiny-dot ruled world.

Now it turns out... that ycombinator is also applying 'holo-net' techniques?Am I understanding this right? A hellbanned person sees their own posts appearing normally, but they are hidden to everyone else (unless they turn on 'showdead' - and now I have to go find out how to do that.)

You know, that's a _very_ immoral and deceptive facility to implement in a forum.It almost reminds me of... stereotypical behavioral characteristics of... something I can't mention here, for fear of being hellbanned.

My gradually recovered vote count is now 54. I expect it to now suddenly go negative. Again.

I hope you guys realize that free, open and unrestricted public debate is crucial to the maintenance of civilization? And that deploying means of distorting and controlling debate will achieve only one thing in the end - the collapse of civilization into a hell of violence and insanity. It takes time, but it's inevitable. Special interest groups, whether ideological or ethnic, are never capable of acting rationally in the interests of the greater good. They always behave like drowning persons - strangling those who are keeping things afloat.

Of course, whether certain special interest groups actually want to bring down civilization - that's a fair question.

24
untilHellbanned 10 hours ago 1 reply      
i'm waiting to see how long it takes for my username to get me hellbanned
6
Ask HN: Finding open source collaborators (is the open source too fragmented)?
3 points by gpsarakis  6 hours ago   discuss
7
Ask HN: Is it OK for me to not want to conquer the world?
9 points by deadslow  12 hours ago   7 comments top 5
1
willholloway 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Of course it's OK. Check out some existentialist philosophy. Life is absurd and meaningless, and the only meaning it has is the meaning you give it.

Telecommuting doesn't have to be the easy way out. Remember that really important projects like the Linux kernel are developed by remote developers collaborating.

Also, theres no great rush to change the world. The world is changing faster than ever due to a renaissance created by the internet and other technologies.

The only rush is if you want to grab riches from the process, but it will happen whether or not you participate. If you don't want riches, the rational strategy is not to adopt a work lifestyle that will stress your body and take years off your life.

Also remember that you are a developer and that you can work more efficiently than almost any other type of worker by leveraging technology and automation.

Remember that you can create something far more valuable by yourself in one day in 2013 than a team of developers could in a month in the 90's by capitalizing on the vast treasure of open source software available to you today for free.

2
angersock 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Life is more than a race to see how high you can get into the upper-middle class.

That said, some of the most amazing things and friendships arise from adversity, and don't be surprised if you never have the same experiences as people who went out on the sharp end and did the hard, rushed thing.

Ultimately, do what you think you'll enjoy most--and don't regret it, whatever that turns out to be.

EDIT: Minor quibble with one thing you said--No one wants to take time to analyze a problem before pouncing on it."

Usually a thorough analysis is not worth it, especially if the assumptions and models backing the problem are based in business; these can change, and then you are left with no code and a fascinating insight into a present which no longer exists.

If you're doing a problem set or working through SICP, sure, but at the end of the day, real artists ship.

3
meerita 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Many great inventions who changed the world took more than 20 years of development and research. I don't think the web has the same effect as some of these world changers. Most of them are just services, and those evolve so fast that thinking they're changing the world is wrong point of view. See Twitter, before them it were many other messaging options, but now they're the cream of that, next in line it will be maybe others, and so on. So, right now you can change the world for just a few years :), that's because everyone rushes.
4
pizza 6 hours ago 0 replies      
For a lot of us on hacker news, we're very fortunate, and can lead very comfortable lives doing non-stressful, mentally rewarding work. You've found something you want; go for it.
5
davidxc 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I strongly believe that you should do whatever makes you happy. I think people tend to underestimate the practical value of being happy. I tend to be much more creative and energetic when I'm happy. I also feel that being happy makes me a better influence on the people around me.

I'm also going to point you to http://www.paulgraham.com/todo.html. I think that essay is very applicable to living life well.

8
Ask HN: Has anyone here self-published a book? Any advice?
117 points by desouzt  1 day ago   80 comments top 42
1
ilamont 1 day ago 2 replies      
I started self-publishing how-to guides last year and created a company around it. I started with a single title (Dropbox In 30 Minutes) that I wrote in about 10 days and released through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing program and as a PDF. It was a low-cost, lean, DIY approach. I had friends proofread it and created a simple product website using a modified Blogger template. I even did the cover myself. I just wanted to see if the topic and the concept resonated with readers. It did, so I began to optimize -- I hired a professional graphic artist to redo the cover (1), distributed the ebook to other platforms (iBookstore, Kobo, and the precursor to Nook Press), built out a better website on WordPress, and even created a paperback version through the CreateSpace print-on-demand service. I also started writing new titles, and eventually, contracted with other writers. There are now eight "In 30 Minutes" guides, and I am expanding into areas outside of software. You can see the current catalog here (2).

My advice to anyone else considering self-publishing:

* Start with Amazon KDP and CreateSpace. Both services are easy and fast. It's the quickest way to test an idea.

* Be prepared to iterate quickly based on reader feedback.

* Consider paying $100 or $200 for a decent cover. You can find designers lurking around the online writing communities (such as kboards.com for fiction) or hire someone on oDesk. Make sure they have experience designing book covers, which will save time and frustration.

* Have someone proof your manuscript. I see lots of writers who skip this step, and suffer in the ratings and reviews as a result.

* Have a cover blurb and Amazon description that grabs people. Also, make sure that readers can easily find out about you, either through the product listing page (which Amazon grabs from Amazon Author Central) or your own product website.

* If you want to use other platforms, Apple's iBookstore seems most promising. It's hard to set up, though. "iTunes Producer" is a very rough piece of software. However, if you've worked on iOS apps in the past at least you will be familiar with iTunes Connect, which is used to set pricing and monitor sales.

* I have sold many PDFs, but I am not sure how that would work for fiction. I started with e-junkie but switched to Gumroad (3) which has a much better interface.

Marketing is tough. One thing you can do once you have a print version through CreateSpace or another service, join Goodreads (a social network for people who love to read) and set up a Goodreads Giveaway (4) (a contest for your book that Goodreads runs -- usually a few hundred people sign up, and you have to send out 10 or 20 copies to winners that GR selects). It's free to set up, but you'll have to purchase and send out copies of the book to the winners of the giveaway. The advantages of this: Readers often write reviews, which are seen by other GR members. Many other people will put the book on their "to-read" list, and some will go out and buy the book right away because they don't want to wait to see if they won a copy.

Good luck!

1. http://www.digitalmediamachine.com/2012/09/do-people-judge-e...

2. http://in30minutes.com/

3. https://gumroad.com/

4. http://goodreads.com/giveaway

2
bdunn 1 day ago 6 replies      
I've self published two books now ("Double Your Freelancing Rate" and "Sell Yourself Online: The Blueprint") Together they've netted me a little over $100k in revenue.

1) Don't write in a vacuum. Build an audience of people who want to buy (double points if you presell to them), and deliver value to them once a week in the form of takeaways from chapters you've just written, thoughts you have on the subject, etc.

2) "It's a comedy book" means you're likely selling to consumers, and it's pretty hard to explain the value (e.g. why someone should pay you for your book) when you're selling to a consumer.

3) Don't promote the book, promote blog posts that reinforce what you're writing that end with a call-to-action to join a mailing list.

4) I'd usually say setup multiple packages, but again, I'm not sure if that'd work for a consumer product.

3
michael_nielsen 1 day ago 4 replies      
A subquestion, if I may: Anyone know a good way of finding designers for the cover? Preferably designers who've done some work in publishing before, since what makes a good book / ebook cover is not the same as what makes a good website design.
4
SuperChihuahua 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm also about to publish my first book (about a guy called Elon Musk). Here are some links I've saved that were interesting to read:

Selling my e-book on Amazon (http://snook.ca/archives/writing/selling-ebook-on-amazon)

How you can make a million writing your own e-book (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2040044/Kind...)

How to Write and Promote New York Times Bestsellers: Tim Ferriss and Jack Canfield (http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/09/01/how-to-write...)

How to (Really) Make $1,000,000 Selling E-Books Real-World Case Studies (http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2013/04/04/how-to-make-...)

How I Used Hacker News to Sell My eBook (http://rubysnippets.com/2013/04/26/how-i-used-hacker-news-to...)

An eBook pricing model that resulted in $100,000 in sales (http://blog.asmartbear.com/selling-ebook.html)

5 rules to sell thousands of copies of your ebook (http://mir.aculo.us/2012/10/20/5-rules-to-sell-thousands-of-...)

5
colinismyname 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've published 11 books, and that's actually how I make my living these days. My older books are on entrepreneurship and related topics, while my later work is narrative nonfiction (travel-based tales from my lifestyle on the road) and, more recently, speculative science fiction.

I've played in the completely self-controlled arena and more mainstream platforms (Amazon, Kobo, etc), and am happy to answer any questions you might have :)

Broad advice: Think very carefully about what you hope to achieve with your book. If you want to build a brand/platform/business/audience long-term, put out some free work to start, and show people what you're capable of. If you're looking to make a living from this book, publish some smaller works (blogs or short ebooks) first, to give people that sample, and build up a small list.

Treat your readers with respect, but don't take all advice given (filter!). Don't over-advertise. Do your best to incentivize sharing of your message and work without straying into over-marketing territory.

Recognize that you'll make a lot more money publishing yourself (through something like Gumroad or e-junkie), but you can get more organic traffic through a platform like Amazon (and there are MANY pros and cons to both paths). Also recognize that you can play in both arenas: use Amazon to gain new readers, and have other work available outside their ecosystem.

Remember, too, that there are still things that Big Six publishers (and their smaller, traditional publishing counterparts) do really well, and ideally indie authors don't see the publishing world as 'us' and 'them' just two sides of the same coin. You can build up a library of work that you indie publish, and then seek a traditional contract and have more control over the process (having an existing audience to leverage), and the negotiations (they provide prestige that can get you in places that are otherwise difficult to get your book, like airport bookstores, and PR materials that can help you get on talk shows and such some people still won't consider you a pro author until you've got a Penguin or HarperCollins logo on the spine of something you've written).

(Also: Consider the phrase 'indie published' over 'self published,' as the latter tends to imply the equivalent of a garage band, while the former implies something more akin to indie films or indie music personal preference, but something to note when you're telling people how your book is published).

Again, happy to expand on any of this if you want to reply here, or shoot me an email colin at exilelifestyle dot com

Best of luck whichever path you end up taking!

6
jfolkins 1 day ago 0 replies      
My friend Duncan McGeary is writing again.

His timeline is.

- Hermit, single guy, writes and gets three books published in the 80s

- He Marries

- Purchases a pop culture / comic book / store of awesomeness

- Can't keep writing and keep up his business and his family, so he quits writing

- The business expands (Sports Card Bubble, Pog Bubble, some other bubbles) opening 3 other locations

- The business contracts (bubbles pop)

- Focues on making one location super solid

- Gets his business dialed in

- Finally pays off all his debt, store is doing really well

- Works two days a week at the store, hires solid employees

- Devotes other remaing days to writing books

- Has been publishing ebooks

- Has tried to go the traditional publishing route

Take aways

- The dude has been around the block

- He writes at least one blog post a day (he has been doing this for 5+ years)

- He shares A LOT about what he is doing (store front business, book writing strategy, business strategy)

- He has hired artists

- He has hired an editor

The one warning I'll give, is a lot of the time his blog is him processing. You really are reading the guy's journal. So it may feel he repeats himself. I personally enjoy existing in the guy's head. It is a different type of blog. One where you eventually see him work stuff out and you almost get that "AHAH!" moment with him.

I really respect Duncan. I'd tell anyone interested in either business or writing to follow the guy.

http://pegasus-dunc.blogspot.com/https://twitter.com/PegasusBookshttp://amzn.to/149vsQG

7
danso 1 day ago 1 reply      
I self-published a book on Regular Expressions...it's free, but people have donated a few hundred dollars to me:

https://leanpub.com/bastards-regexes

I used the Leanpub platform, which is more targeted toward technical writers, though it provides a great number of conveniences if you're writing something that is published in piecemeal.

I think the general advice is...get known. If you are self publishing, then you are on your own in terms of promotion. Put together a list of bloggers/sites who might be interested in reviewing your work and send it out. Create your own micro-site devoted to the book and publish excerpts that you think might stand on their own and generate interest.

Self-publishing is only easier in the sense that it is easy to put something out there. It doesn't make it any easier to get discovered or be successful

8
espeed 1 day ago 1 reply      
Guy Kawasaki just published a book on self publishing called APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur): How to Publish a Book (http://apethebook.com/).
9
zrail 1 day ago 1 reply      
<shameless plug>I actually just announced the launch date for my self-published ebook this morning: http://www.petekeen.net/announcing-mastering-modern-payments...</plug>

I've been working on it for a few months after reading Nathan Barry's excellent book Authority. Based on that I started a mailing list right away and have collected a few hundred email addresses that I can market to.

I can't say I have any concrete advice (bdunn's advice sounds great, though). Best of luck to you!

10
michael_nielsen 1 day ago 2 replies      
A related question about making books freely available:

I'm currently writing a book about neural networks and deep learning. Ideally I'd like to make the book freely available online, with paid ebook and hard copy versions. But I'm uncertain about the impact a free online version will have on sales revenue. Anyone with much hard evidence? Or suggestions for how to make a reasonable amount of money, while keeping the book freely available?

11
cpymchn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmm. There is self-publishing and then there is not publishing with a legacy publisher.I recommend the later -- every writer needs a little help.

So technical stuff out of the way:* don't use MSWord (probably obvious), but it is way easier if you write in UTF8 with basic mark-up for italics. Markdown is great.* create an epub and then think about Kindle. You want to be everywhere. You need both formats so (Amazon is your primary target market) but it's easier on everybody if Kindle formatting comes second.* eReader specs are all over the map -- it's like a throw back to the browser incompatibilities from 10 years ago -- so clean mark-up is vital. If you want your book to look good on as many devices as possible, don't use a conversion meatgrinder (like calibre) to create files. Do look carefully at lean pub.com or pressbooks.com, especially if you don't need your hand held in this area.* you will need to buy an ISBN, either directly or through a third party

Editing* you need an editor -- your wife, your neighbour, a freelancer -- somebody needs to edit your work. Don't be fooled otherwise, even if you write a blogpost a day and have for the last two years. Good editors will catch problems with tone, spot areas that are confusing, and generally shape the work. This is especially important because writing down complex thoughts is hard. A lot of people think they have a book in them, when really they just a magazine-length article or a blog post or an idea for a tumblr. A good editor will call BS on your ambitions.* proofreading is not editing. Have someone that isn't you or your editor look over your work before you publish

Selling and Marketing* If you are going to spend any money what so ever on your project, spend it on the cover. Self-publishing is plagued by terrible covers and even pro designers trip up when they try to approach ebook images. Do yourself a favour and hire a real book designer. If you can't afford it upfront, publish first and then redesign the cover later.* You want to be on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iTunes, and (maybe) Google Play. You can take this upon yourself or get help from a service like SmashWords or Bookbaby.com* And of course sell on your own site and through your own newsletters using shopify or the like.* Again, it should be obvious your book is not going to sell itself.

All that said, the hardest thing is the writing so get to it.

12
codegeek 1 day ago 1 reply      
have you looked at http://leanpub.com ? It is a great platform to self publish.
13
cjg 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a trade off. Publishers can give you marketing, proof-reading, cover design, book layout, etc. But you get paid much more per book if you self-publish and you have more control over the final product, price, marketing strategy, etc.

It's relatively straightforward to get freelance proof-reading and cover design. You could use something like LaTeX to layout the book and if the market you are targeting is relatively niche then you can market it at least as effectively as a publisher, by using a blog / website.

How much hassle do you want? How much money do you want? Is there a publisher who wants to publish your book? Do you have a ready made market?

I've self-published a book on a niche topic. I used Lightning Source, a print on demand company. They expect you to give them everything print-ready. Some print on demand companies like CreateSpace will hold your hand a bit more.

Personally, I enjoyed learning all the things that were needed to get my book into print. It's also nice to make much more per book (~70% or the cover price rather than ~10%).

14
jamesbritt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've self-published a book about Open Sound Control: http://osc.justthebestparts.com/

It's meant to be something of an adjunct to some other in-the-works books. These other books (one about hacking the XBox Kinect, the other about the Leap Motion) make use of OSC, and I didn't want them to become bloated or sidelined by an explanation of OSC, especially for people who may not need it.

One of my goals is to keep the books short, on-topic, and to the point (hence "just the best parts").

Some advice: Know the limitations of your publishing formats. I started out writing the book on the Web, only to learn that HTML that works nicely in a full-size browser can end up as crap when rendered for epub.

Yesterday I did a giveaway of my book because it was my birthday. I think that did more to get attention for the book than anything else. (I'm leaving the free download in place for a few hours more if folks here want to grab it.)

People often say you need to promote the book with blog posts and stuff. I agree, but what it means is you are, in a way, now writing two books (or something). There's not just the work to create the book, there's the work to create the material to promote the book.

I've made the book available online as well, but even then it's hard to get attention. I've started doing some screencasts of some of my OSC software.

Bottom line is I tend to write because I enjoy it and I want to make certain information available to people. I want to see more artists get comfortable with technology. Ideally, though, I can manage some decent return on my time so I can continue doing it.

15
raminassemi 1 day ago 1 reply      
We haven't done it yet but are in the midst of the process. We talked with Kevin Gao who sold more than $100,000 of his ebook in a single year and is now running HyperInk (a publishing company you might want to look at). We shared what we learned from Kevin here -> http://www.kickpreneur.com/what-kevin-gao-taught-us-about-pu...

Hope you find something helpful there.

16
spatten 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey, co-founder of Leanpub here. There is lots of great advice in this thread, and the comments about Leanpub have made my day. I just wanted to say that you should feel free to shoot us an email at hello@leanpub.com if you have any questions.

Good luck, whichever route you choose.

17
cpncrunch 1 day ago 2 replies      
I used iuniverse. Their service is pretty good, although their support can be sucky and they tend to spam you a lot with newsletters (it's almost impossible to get off their mailing list unless you yell at them a few times). I think I'd still use them again.

Some advice:

- Spend a lot of effort on designing the cover, as you can't easily change it afterwards and it makes a big difference to whether or not people will buy your book.

- Proof read it thoroughly multiple times (and get someone else to proof read it as well if you're not 100% confident in your own spelling/grammar).

- Don't expect to sell many copies unless you do a bunch of marketing yourself.

18
guynamedloren 1 day ago 0 replies      
While we're on the subject, what are some good tools for receiving feedback, editing, and incorporating that feedback?

Draft (http://draftin.com) is pretty good for this, but not designed for larger scale projects like ebooks.

Leanpub is awesome for distributing early / unfinished copies and opening the doors for feedback, but as far as I know, does not have any built in tools for collecting and integrating feedback or edits (gramatical, writing structure, etc).

Any ideas?

19
joshuacc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm self-publishing two in-progress JavaScript books with Leanpub, and have had a fantastic experience so far.

They basically share a Dropbox folder with you and let you edit your book in Markdown. For me this means that I'm easily able to work with my normal text editing tools rather than learning something completely new. When I want to publish/preview a new version, I just log into their site and hit the appropriate button, which will autogenerate the PDF, epub and mobi files, putting them in the shared Dropbox folder.

The other nice thing about them is that they will let you start selling your book while it is still in progress, so you can get feedback from real customers about what they would like to see in the book.

A Drip of JavaScript: https://leanpub.com/a-drip-of-javascript-book

Jasmine Testing: A Cloak & Dagger Guide: https://leanpub.com/jasmine-testing

20
msg 1 day ago 0 replies      
The only place a writer signs a check is on the back...

Use this to avoid scams:

http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-bewar...

Best of luck!

21
maxprogram 1 day ago 0 replies      
Self-published a book in April, which is now selling in Paperback and Kindle versions (http://www.amazon.com/Berkshire-Hathaway-Letters-Shareholder...). It's been doing pretty well although there was a built-in audience and it's not too difficult to market a book when the author is Warren Buffett.

I did a printing of the book and am selling the physical version on Amazon Advantage. Advantage takes a 55% cut of the List Price, and handles all shipping, ordering, etc. I just have to send them inventory when needed.

The program works, but so far in my experience it's a huge pain in the ass. They send out Purchase Orders when they need more inventory and it's pretty unpredictable (an order could be 4 copies or 900, which means shipping really changes my COGS). They also "lost" a shipment of 800 books that took them a month to find. So I wouldn't recommend Amazon Advantage unless there isn't another option.

22
mark_l_watson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have used publishers like Springer-Verlag, McGraw-Hill, J. Wiley, etc. in the past - a nice experience. I am now using leanpub.com and I am very happy with them. They take all the hassle out of writing.

I recently released the 4th edition of my Java AI book on leanpub.com https://leanpub.com/javaai and in a few weeks the 3rd edition of my "Loving Common Lisp. The Saavy Programmer's Secret Weapon" will be released.

Leanpub.com pays 90% royalties, minus a $0.50 handling charge so you might be pleasantly surprised how much money you can earn.

23
SupremumLimit 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've self-published 2 editions of C++11 Rocks (for Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012): http://cpprocks.com

I wrote a post about some of the things I learned from it: http://korban.net/2013/04/10000-in-sales-of-my-c-book-easier...

Two things I can say (also discussed in the post above): I wouldn't go with a traditional publisher now (with the exception of Pragmatic Programmers), and marketing isn't as hard as I thought, but it's definitely a long term effort.

24
aaronjg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Gayle Laakman has a good post about self-publishing, and a lot of the hidden downsides, and why going the traditional route is often better (and more profitable).

http://www.technologywoman.com/2012/07/09/the-dirty-truth-ab...

25
mkramlich 1 day ago 1 reply      
I published my first book a month ago. Fiction. E-book. So not unlike a vanity press of old. My book is a comedy as well. Well, sci-fi comedy adventure with some romantic elements. The Dread Space Pirate Richard. With most of the majors including http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DIAYCLW/

I'm so new to it don't feel I can give any authoritative advice. I have sold copies. I have not hit the lottery. But it's a great feeling of accomplishment. Feel free to ping me via the email addr in my HN profile.

My next book will be technical, on Software Performance and Scalability. Then switch back to a sequel to DSPR.

26
podperson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I published a book on Cheetah 3D (a nice 3d program for Mac OS X that conspicuously needs a manual). You can find out about it here http://loewald.com/c3dbook/

The main thing I learned is that if you need to sell your book for more than $10 (if it's aimed at a vertical market) split it into multiple $10 books or you'll be screwed by Amazon (which gives lower royalties for books between $10 and $20 than for $10 books). I ended up only selling my book through Apple and Lulu (and BN but that's useless).

Another problem is I've found most of the epub tools I've used to be fairly awful. Were I doing it over again I'd probably write the whole book in markdown and convert it to epub using scripts.

27
trvd1707 1 day ago 2 replies      
I published 4 books. First I used chapbooks.com, which no longer exists. After that I tried lulu.com and the problem was the distribution. They don't have a good deal to distribution worldwide and part of my audience was in other countries other than US. I then switched to using createspace from Amazon. The process was a lot easier and smoother with Amazon and the distribution is better there too. I started with the print on demand version and it was very easy to make the ebook version. The books are available on Amazon site and can be sold worldwide.
28
andrewhyde 1 day ago 1 reply      
I self published a book over a year ago. Happy to share all my sales data and let you know how I formatted it.
29
Macsenour 1 day ago 0 replies      
If someone hasn't mentioned it yet: http://www.smashwords.com/about/how_to_publish_on_smashwords

I found it to be a great resource for finding information as well as people to do the cover and/or formatting of the eBook.

Yes I have one out... :)

30
rmundo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Glenn Fleishman's latest The New Disruptors podcast episode interviews a guy who did just that. Should be very relevant to what you are looking for. http://www.muleradio.net/newdisruptors/31/
31
redtexture 1 day ago 0 replies      
Publicity and visibility will be your biggest challenge. There's a reason Charles Dickens was on an American reading tour in 1867-1868: visibility and publicity.

Here's an example of a graphic novel self published, initial print run crowd funded. A Possibly useful example.

Jason Brubaker developed a following for years by blog, showing the actual pages and process for creating his intended book. Then he took his community to kickstarter to fund the initial print run, and initial orders too, and initial publicity beyond his blog (aside from guest posts at other comic author blogs). He's done a second one book the same way, too.

The book: reMind

His fundraising story:"Grassroots Funding with Kickstarter.com"http://www.remindblog.com/2010/10/14/grassroots-funding-with...

32
maris 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm founder of Sellfy and we have many ebook publishers on our platform - we see what works and what doesn't so I'm happy to share few tips if you are interested.

Here are few quick tips:

1) Build your audience beforehand (email, social) as it will power your sales once you launch your book.

2) Try to do guest blogs and get reviews from other bloggers on your book. Send them free copies etc.

3) Launching is easy but holding the revenue steady requires a lot of work so plan to spend some time post-launch to promote your book.

*) To optimize revenue think about several pricing options.

Feel free to contact me maris[at]sellfy for more info!

33
ewest 1 day ago 0 replies      
* Get a copy editor

A copy editor will challenge your sentence structures, paragraphs, overall flow, and much more.

Compare what you wrote before the copy editor did their work, versus after - you'll see a big difference.

Note that copy editing is often an iterative process - so you'll work with the editor as you complete your revisions.

Yet in the end it is your book, so you don't have to follow the copy editor's suggestions if you think you're right/know your topic more than he or she does/etc.

34
disputin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not personally, but heard this a few days ago:http://www.blubrry.com/theeconomist/1795098/kal-kal-kallaugh...
35
pknerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since this forum is about hackers and developers, do developers buy ebooks related to programming or other technologies? Any tips or stats available?
36
gt5050 1 day ago 0 replies      
You could try using PapyrusEditor (http://papyruseditor.com )

PS: I created this tool, let me know if you need any help.

37
bitlather1 18 hours ago 0 replies      
You can get some feedback on authonomy as well. It's free.
38
joedevon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try out netminds:http://netminds.com/
39
thinkcomp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I self-published a book and built a platform around the sourcing for it.

http://www.aarongreenspan.com/authoritas.html

I answered a question on Quora about this general topic a while back.

http://www.quora.com/Self-Publishing/Are-there-any-self-publ...

40
joshlegs 1 day ago 0 replies      
41
Link- 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah, go up to Link #4 on the front page.
42
pallandt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats and good luck with sales!
9
Ask HN: OSX Screen Capture Software
4 points by awebound  7 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
sodiumphosphate 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
I recommend Screenflick if you need more options than Quicktime provides, along with Soundflower for capturing device audio output.

http://www.araelium.com/screenflick/

http://cycling74.com/products/soundflower/

2
tater 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Grab (cmd+shift+4) for capturing images.QuickTime for video.

No 3rd party app needed.

3
msie 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Huh? OSX comes with a screen capture app - Grab.
4
jasonrojas 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Better than the screen capture app, QuickTime is able to start a screen recording session.
10
Target="_blank"
4 points by leovander  9 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
unfletch 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't speak for HN's motivations, but my view as a web developer has always been that, in general, target="_blank" is bad. My reasoning is twofold: 1) It's unnecessary. Opening a link in a new tab is easy for the user to do with a keyboard modifier, if that's what they want. 2) Worse, when you use target="_blank" you force that behavior on every user. There's no keyboard modifier to negate that behavior and keep the link in the same window.
2
Sealy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Middle clicking on a link brings it up in a separate tab.

If your mouse does not have a middle click button, buy one. It is a godsend.

If not, re-map one of your mouse buttons to be a Button-3. I often remap the forward button to Button 3. How often would you want to go forward to a page after you've gone back?

3
rpicard 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually made a Firefox add-on because I wanted to do that. It also does a few other things, but that was the main thing that I wanted.

http://robert.io/alter-hn/

4
brudgers 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Why did the chicken navigate away from the news page?

To get to the comments.

11
Ask HN: How does your business manage passwords?
3 points by owenwil  9 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
Sealy 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately, most 'enterprise' grade software out there is horribly designed, has a terrible UI and is very hard to use

I believe you have just identified a product niche. Quick hackers, lets get on it!

2
xgibbousx 8 hours ago 1 reply      
As a single founder startup, I store all my passwords in text files buried in my My Documents folder. No one besides myself uses my computer so I haven't had any issues thus far. Not the safest route but then again it's just me.

I don't have any product recommendations but I do have a question: What exact features are you looking for in a team password management product?

12
Ask HN: List of government vendors in the construction industry?
4 points by kvnn  14 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
brudgers 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Federal Construction contracts are let in many forms ranging from traditional design-bid-build to construction management with fee to construction manager at risk to design-build.

Keep in mind that construction licensing laws are local and state laws and thus Federal construction projects are exempt, so scanning through license records will not provide a complete list.

As a practical matter, many Federal projects are specialized, and the contractors who perform the work don't take on other types of projects, so the companies are not well known.

Top it all off with some projects being handled without bid, or added as change orders to existing projects or simply classified and never even published.

My recommendation would be to find a domain expert, I only know what I know because I've been with firms that don't pursue that sort of work architecturally based on the reasons I mentioned. Though I did once interview with URS Griner for a position that was focused on DoD work. We were not a good fit.

Anyway, good luck.

2
monkeyspaw 13 hours ago 1 reply      
My company runs a large dataset that includes construction companies and government contractors. Contact me via my profile email if you're interested in talking more about this.
13
How often do you talk to your close friends?
15 points by pixelart  1 day ago   12 comments top 3
1
jkaykin 1 day ago 2 replies      
I struggled with this early on. When I was in high school, I went to a college program and realized all my friends sucked, I wanted to have friends who would actually talk about important things not alcohol or parties, so I left them and started looking for better friends.

As I got older, I looked for and found great friends outside of school, friends I made through tech meetups and my job (friends of friends as well). I now have about 10 close friends who I try to talk to at least once a week and schedule some sort of way to get together. I have a few friends with whom I go out to eat with at least once a month and others who I try to go to meet ups/events with.

If you are looking for friends in your area, I would suggest using http://atthepool.com and http://highlig.ht. You can meet some cool people that way.

Once you find a couple awesome friends, schedule dinner or lunch with them on the first/last day of every month, that way you have something to look forward to and you know for sure that you will see your friends at least once a month.

Hope this helps!

2
jister 1 day ago 1 reply      
A very good friend of mine is into glass business, the other has a motorcycle business, one is a housewife, another worked as, well i am not sure what she does since she left the country, but I know she is into climbing and diving. I have other good friends doing something different from me and I have technical friends too. We all don't have much in common but WE ARE VERY GOOD FRIENDS!

Friendship is not based on having something in common or having meaningful conversation. It's much deeper than that. When my friends and I get together, we don't talked about our achievements or failures. We just talked about whatever there is to talked about. Most of it is nothing interesting. We just enjoy the company of each other with a couple of beers and pizza.

As we grow older out commitments change. We get married, start a business and so on. We have responsibilities. We don't get to hang out often but our friendship remains.

3
xtrycatchx 1 day ago 0 replies      
i have spent less time talking to my close friends. However, there this one friend who i talk most of the time when I'm at home - my wife ;)
14
I bootstrapped a $10 million company and need serious help
177 points by benjaminlotan  4 days ago   84 comments top 34
1
paulsutter 4 days ago 8 replies      
Be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. You're probably doing a better job than you realize.

Try working with an executive coach - I work with Bryan Franklin. It's easier for you to develop leadership and management skills than it is for an outsider to really grok your business and share your vision.

Regarding the marketing role, be sure to get the right kind of marketer: https://medium.com/on-startups/1308a8f17137

Most of all: go slow on executive hires. There are a lot of "good talkers" out there. An empty seat is better than the wrong person.

2
beachstartup 4 days ago 2 replies      
i'm running a $2 million and growing company, and i can say that if you're doing $10 million dollars in 2 years (TWO YEARS) and think you have a "lack of technical and managerial skills" you are being intellectually dishonest with yourself, and possibly being disingenuous to your audience here.

from what we've seen and what we've heard, basically starting at $1 million/year in revenues, you will hit a serious new set of problems (some call these inflection points) at every doubling thereafter (i.e., 2M, 4M, 8M, 16M)

obviously there are exceptions (some businesses are simply born to be able to handle massive amounts of revenue in a flat manner) but basically, every time a business doubles, the problems change. this doesn't mean you're incompetent, or that you lack skills.

3
rdouble 4 days ago 0 replies      
Each of the three startups I worked for as one of the first 10 employees were ruined when the 'seasoned pros' were brought in. Don't hire any C level or VP people. There is a class of losers in the Bay Area who bounce around between VP of Engineering/Ops/Product jobs at post-funded startups and sink the ship while using their inflated salaries to redo their deck in Los Gatos. Hire additional engineers / marketers / finance / designers as needed and promote from within (as needed).
4
jacquesm 4 days ago 2 replies      
Beware of the sharks, a call out like this will bring them on like blood in the water. Best of luck, the golden rule for me has always been that anybody that approaches you is not to be trusted by default.
5
joshpadnick 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hi Ben,

First, I can completely appreciate your mentality. When the software company I founded was at about $650,000 in annual revenue, I was convinced that it was time to bring in a seasoned leader who knew how to take the business to the next level because I, as a first-time entrepreneur, had certainly not done it before.

In retrospect, that mentality was a mistake. The truth is that you understand the business better than anyone else and there is no magical skill or talent that someone else can bring to the table that will so fundamentally improve things.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that if you transfer responsibility to "better" executive that they can do a better job. That person will bring their own strengths/weaknesses to the table. They will need to rely on a team to make up for their handicaps just as you are looking to do.

In this situation, I recommend the following:

- First, clearly identify exactly what issues are vexing you. If it seems like "everything" or "things are just overwhelming" then make a list of just the most important issues.

- Then pick 1 or 2 or 3 that you can actually focus on solving. You can't do more than that at once, but imagine how much impact fixing your top 3 issues will make on the business! In fact, you should try to quantify how much money you are losing or missing out on by not resolving these issues to give yourself a sense of what you should budget to solve them

- Then block out or delegate everything else, and focus 100% of your creative energies on how you can resolve these issues. Use any and all resources available to you, including friends, consultants, or even Hacker News ;-) If you don't even know where to begin on an issue, then find an expert for THAT ISSUE (which is different than finding a new CEO).

- Then keep at it, keep refining your ideas, listen to your intuition, and push through until you make progress.

I made the mistake of thinking other businesspeople were "better" than me or more talented than I am. The truth is you just need to know what your strengths/weaknesses are. Then lean on the team around you or new people to help you fill in the weaknesses.

Hope this helps,

Josh

6
callmeed 4 days ago 1 reply      
Hey Ben,

I'm going to write you a longer email tonight. My wife and I run Cheergram (http://cheergram.com) and we've always admired what you've done at SPS. We had pretty good success with Instagram cards last holiday season and now we're looking into other kinds of cards, invitations, artwork and prints. We're also doing some wedding-focused stuff (think hashtag + prints/books).

Maybe there's a way we can share ideas, work together, or even join forces. I do all our development and it sounds like we have a similar tech stack. I also have some connections in the print industry.

No matter what, keep it up and I agree with most of the commenters here.

7
whiddershins 4 days ago 2 replies      
If you are doing 6 figure monthly revenues, one thing worth considering might be to read some mr money mustache and really contemplate what you want for your life ... You aren't required to grow 10 or 100x ... You also have the option of pocketing profits, living frugally, and retiring young. That's one of the big advantages of bootstrapping.
8
redsymbol 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ben, just want to say - congratulations! This is a FANTASTIC problem to have :-) Great job to you and your team getting this far... I think you realize how special and rare it is. Great job!
9
yumraj 4 days ago 0 replies      
Agree with everything that is being said here regarding the executive seats, don't give those out and keep control.

In addition to some executive coaches, who will help you grow personally, it seems you need some good advisors who can help you with the problems that you're facing. Some of these could have experience with technical issues you're facing, while others could have managerial and supply chain experience.It wasn't clear from your website if you have any advisory board or not.

NOTE: there is a very big difference between board of directors and advisory board, what you need at the moment is advisory board, don't give out board of director seats unnecessarily unless you raise a VC round of funding or go IPO :).

By getting a good set of advisors you will be able to fill the immediate gap in your skills/experience that you're facing and may even decide if any of those (or their referrals) need to be hired, if at all, for executive positions.

Now how you find advisors is non-trivial so I will advise you to look for people with experience in your industry and domain, and contact them. Even if their companies seem to be mildly competing at times, you'll be surprised how many people will meet with you over coffee and might have recommendations. If you decide to have a person come on as an advisor, don't give them any compensation till they start providing value. If someone comes on very strongly and will only help if compensated, then perhaps that is not the right person.

Good Luck!!!

10
bradfordarner 4 days ago 2 replies      
Wow! The quantity of bad advice in these comments is shocking, if not down right disturbing.

If Intel, GE, or Mircosoft hired a consultant to advise them on the right move, the vast majority of people on HN would scream bloody-murder and speak about it as a perfect example of big-business and its stupidity. What hypocrisy!

Ben, the reality is that you clearly have moved past Steve Blank's description of a start-up; you have found a working business model. Now, the challenge is to find out if that business model is something that can last for 5 years or 50. No one on this board has run a successful company for 50 years. Thus, everyone, definitely including myself, is well out of their league.

However, since entering the old school world of finance, I have realized that there are many men and women who are twice our age who would be able to give you great advice. You need adult supervision and that is OK. You don't know how to hire an executive (i.e. adult supervision). Thus, you should first find someone who can help you find adult supervision. A great place to start is in the 'boring' industries: finance and manufacturing. Find a wise advisor who can help you find an executive to lead.

You are no longer a start-up. Running a post-start-up company like a start-up will kill it as quickly as running a start-up like a Fortune 500.

11
blantonl 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ben, first, you are NOT in over your head, you are simply questioning whether or not to grow your company to some preceived "next level" by looking for funding to take on major players in your field.

Why not continue to innovate your successful bootstrapped business?

The most important thing for you to consider is whether or not you actually want to compete with the major players in the field. It sounds like you are doing well managing your boutique operation, and frankly, based on what you've provided it sounds like you are killing it. Boutique operations often destroy their larger competitors, and are far more nimble to have the next best thing that becomes popular and doesn't require "funding" to generate revenue.

Yes, you could hire a new CEO to help track down funding and manage all the acquisition inquiries that you've received. But, if you have a successful bootstrapped business that is generating profits, why would you want to deviate from your current course?

12
chiph 4 days ago 0 replies      
Book suggestion: "Four Steps to the Epiphany"

Basic takeaway is not to add structure until it's painfully obvious that you need it. If you hire a VP or CxO from a large firm, he's going to staff you up like a large firm, and you can't afford that yet.

13
joshu 4 days ago 0 replies      
You know more about your business than anyone else. Nobody is in a good position to do things better than you, given the things you have learned. Otherwise, you wouldn't have gotten as far as you have.

Perhaps you need some mentors, or just folks you are comfortable talking to -- perhaps other founders?

As an angel investor I have found that the one of the things I am called on the most to do is just let people talk stuff out. I don't feel like it is very useful but people really like it.

14
wilfra 4 days ago 1 reply      
If I were in your position, I would apply to YC.
15
zavulon 3 days ago 0 replies      
I recommend looking into joining Entrepreneur's Organization. It's an organization of business owners who own businesses with revenue > $1 mil/year (there's also an "accelerator" with owners whose revenue is > $250K/year). They will provide invaluable coaching, insight and network that will help you take your company to next level.

There's a chapter in SF: http://eoaccess.eonetwork.org/SanFrancisco/Pages/default.asp...

16
faramarz 4 days ago 0 replies      
Are you saying you guys are making $10m a year printing Instagram pictures? That is incredible. This company must not have existed a few years ago..

pat yourself on the back and get yourself some local angels on board. they get to wet their beacon and you reap the rewards of a business coach.

17
microcolonel 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm having a hard time understanding what exactly it is that you do, from your confusing web site introduction.

Concerning your scaling pains, lots of people probably already do some form of what you're trying to do; you may do better to assimilate/enfranchise them rather than competing.

18
trevelyan 4 days ago 0 replies      
Can't help you guys out, but congratulations!
19
jennyjenjen 4 days ago 0 replies      
I just wanted to say that I remember seeing you at probably more than one event. I think you guys are doing a fantastic job and I think your cry for help is necessary - but only because you know what you need and you're likely not doing as badly as you might think.

I know you guys can do it. I've seen what you do and I'm impressed. Keep truckin'!

20
superamit 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a brave post, Ben!

Gotta agree with most of the comments here -- I think it's incredibly hard to find someone who's "been there before" who can walk in and actually do it for you in a CEO role. I've spent some time looking + asking others in similar situations.

That said, and though I strongly prefer moving people up from the inside, I think there IS opportunity for finding people who can bring specific areas of expertise, like fundraising+connections, building a sales team, leading a tech team.

And I think there's a lot to be gained in finding a strong mentor or group of entrepreneurs in similar situations to act as a sounding board. I can't help with the former, but perhaps the latter. Let's hang again, soon.

21
stevewillows 4 days ago 0 replies      
It almost sounds like you're looking for a parental figure more than anything. If you're at the stage you're at, I would suggest building up existing talent and establishing authority and a process for that authority. Better to do that now while things are young before you hire in some flashy top talent guy with perfect teeth.
22
johnny22 4 days ago 1 reply      
you should mention your current technology stack for the web dev.
23
chadkruse 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great advice in this thread. If I can leave anything, it's to be very careful not to fall into the I-need-a-COO hole. If you start thinking you need a COO (I really f'n hate that title btw), take Brad Feld's advice and make sure you can define the role as Head of _______. If you can't define that something, you definitely just need a CEO coach and a few smart soundboards to hang around with.

Good luck!

PS - The sharks will all want to be CEO and talk about comp before they've tried out your service...they're easy to flush out.

24
aioprisan 4 days ago 0 replies      
are you guys open to remote work?
25
richardjordan 4 days ago 0 replies      
The community here is overly negative on VCs (often with some justification) but this is exactly the kind of reason they exist - fast growth, real revenues, money can help get you to the next step.
26
FajitaNachos 3 days ago 0 replies      
Your hiring page is awesome.

I can't comment on how you should proceed going forward, but to echo the other comments, you've obviously been doing something right. Hopefully this post will put you in touch with the right people.

27
jedharris 4 days ago 0 replies      
Surprised some commenters have trouble figuring out what you do... You folks have fun doing it! But hiring will always be hard because finding people who fit and who also sustain your high level is hard...

No useful advice... except, stay extremely clear on who you are, don't compromise even a little on that. "An empty seat is better" is a corollary.

28
aa0 4 days ago 0 replies      
Are you guys open to remote work?
29
livestyle 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if this will help or not but I would head over to http://clarity.fm and find someone to chat with.

Your bound to get some great advice and gain some valuable insight.

30
clientbiller 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've built two printing companies (sold the first one). Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on scale or anything else. cm@printsmart.co
31
sbuccini 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was thinking about you guys just the other day as I walked past your old place on Atherton. Been meaning to catch up; you want to grab lunch sometime soon?
32
dossy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wish you guys were in New Jersey ... ;)
33
dano414 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have no idea what you do by looking at your website onan ipad.
34
colinm 4 days ago 0 replies      
Not every company is a billion dollar company. Is yours?
15
Ask HN: What do you look for in a VPN service?
3 points by chatmasta  17 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
schrodingersCat 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, I would like it to work without 3rd party software. I want assurances in privacy and anonymity. If this service is based in the US, this mean NOT keeping much in the way of logs or records. I want assurances from a crypto expert that your service is secure. It also NEEDS to have perfect forward secrecy enabled from the start to "prevent intercept and decrypt later" attacks. Bandwidth caps are annoying but probably necessary - mine currently is ~$20 / month and 50gb cap. Accepting btc is a plus.
2
cjfarivar 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Strong privacy policy?
16
Ask HN: Have you replaced your phone with an iPod Touch?
3 points by keiferski  18 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
geophile 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm on tmobile (android phone). The wifi calling feature doesn't work very well. You have to have a really strong signal, and even then the connection can be flaky. And for some reason, the feature doesn't work at all with some wifi hotspots.

So while it's a nice idea, in practice it doesn't work very well for voice. Texting seems to be OK.

2
guynamedloren 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you heard of http://republicwireless.com/? Might accomplish what you're looking for.
3
msh 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not use the iphone with a pay as you go sim (or as a ipod without a sim)?

I have been using my iphone with skype as the phone and just a data sim, it works okay but IP telephony is not as reliable as normal cellular telephony but I can live with it.

In my country (denmark) there are no real options for SMS texting without a normal SIM card (no ip based receiving of sms messages) so unfortunately that made the thing a no go for me.

17
Ask HN: Review my startup, libramatic.com
3 points by ShaneCurran  20 hours ago   5 comments top 5
1
LarryMade2 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've written library programs previously for work... Though this is more a personal library system which does not meed as much detail... but here are some suggestions.

Web access is good (I don't have an iPhone... most of my friends have androids if they have a smartphone. :)

Make the checkout ID the barcode or a barcode... So you can scan the book, this could be different than the ISBN. Also a tool to create self-generated barcode labels for items that don't have any barcodes (I preferred 1.75 x .5" labels... I used TCPDF to make em, told folks to print the label sheets with "scaling off", no printer/label alignment woes then.) With barcodes you can enter the patron first, then rapid scan each item to check out, or when checking in just scan in the items.

You use patron number to checkout should have a facility to search by name... as mentioned get the checkout person's credentials once and then check out the items till done.

Book info is sparse, if you have over 30 books you want to have some search properties and categorization. Maybe tags so you can do searches to locate your vampire western novels... :-) Also if you ware having friends access your library is there some public facing url they can use to browse the owner's library on-line?

Item location, when you get into the several hundred you should have a field for filing location - Dewey decimal is one (though I don't like it myself) give am a 10 or 12 character field and some ideas on how to categorize thier library (i.e. never describe a specific location 3rd shelf, instead, say cookbooks...)...

I would put button on checkout to temporarily adjust loan duration, most friends might get the normal 14 days, other might need more (or less)

Checkout record/reciept, so people have a copy of what they borrowed... or so patrons can sign that they borrowed stuff and lender could take em to small claims if they don't return (some private collections are pretty costly).. if you get into value, purchase/replacement cost.

A general limitless notes field for both for patrons and items would always be welcome... (this would be only viewable by the owner, not in the public search thing I was mentioning previously)

Patron contact info - so you can shoot of an email or call them. If email maybe add a facility to auto-generate a past due notice.

That's it off the top of my head. Nice start.

2
wikwocket 16 hours ago 0 replies      
First, don't trust us, we are hackers. It looks like you're selling to librarians, so go ask some of them. They are generally very nice and super awesome.

Second, consider adding a 1-line elevator pitch under your tagline. "Online Library Management System" is a good start but it is a bit vague - library of what? Managing how? Try to write a 1-sentence phrase, packed with specific language, directly addressing the pain point(s) and how you are solving them. Something like some of the text in your About/FAQ sections.

Third, the cover-swish feature is neat, but the "COVERSWISH" title is hard to grok on first glance. Consider a plain easy-to-parse title.

Fourth, your "Detailed Book Information" section does not show very detailed information.

Overall pretty slick, but again I am not a librarian and their worldview is different enough from ours that I recommend you spend lots of time with them. :)

3
josephwegner 19 hours ago 0 replies      
My first thoughts:

- It looks _really_ great. I'm not super familiar with the interfaces that librarians have to use, but I can't imagine it looks or feels as nice as this. When the kinks are worked out, I can definitely see this being great.

- Upon first login, I'm REALLY confused. This first dashboard is way overwhelming. Perhaps a tutorial on first run, or don't show the widgets unless there's some data.

- There should definitely be a way to import books. There may be a standard library format, if not use CSV. Almost all libraries will already have a system that does this. The only way you will convince them to change is if the migration process is easy.

- The rows in the catalog view widget seem to get big enough to fill the widget. When you don't have many books, it looks weird. Probably better to set these as a fixed height.

- Make the entire row for a book clickable. The whole row gets a cursor icon, but only clicking the text takes me to the next page.

- Deep linking doesn't work

- When I add a book manually, the ID doesn't seem to stick. I entered "22222", and now I can't find that anywhere.

- CoverSwish is really cheesy. Technology for the sake of technology.

- There seems to be an image field on books, but I can't find where to upload an image

- The whole app is _really_ slow. Currently I'm hung and can't get back in. I guess I'll end my review here.

4
angeliquew 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a bit slow to load but the use of colour is good and layout is clean.
5
jdssdd 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks good. Website is a bit slow though
18
Ask HN: Best programming analogies?
5 points by kisamoto  1 day ago   discuss
19
Show HN: HTML5 Bitcoin Poker website
8 points by volitek  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
1
Proleps 1 day ago 0 replies      
Untraceable money and gambling, you're going to be rich!
2
nooron 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hey! I talked to someone at the Bitcoin Conference about something similar, I think at the Hackathon. Was that you?

Props on all your work. Since you've asked, I would say you should wait on using real bitcoins.

3
asselinpaul 23 hours ago 1 reply      
link for BitBargain is broken
4
dholowiski 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is that legal?
20
So does Google Glass have a back door?
4 points by ForFreedom  1 day ago   1 comment top
1
mikemoka 1 day ago 0 replies      
In theory everything goes through the big G servers and might even be activated remotely as far as we know at the moment, anybody in the developer program cares to weigh in?
21
Online CS PhD program
2 points by vittore  17 hours ago   discuss
22
Do sites like mashable, techcrunch promote paid posts?
2 points by shasa  17 hours ago   discuss
23
Ask HN: Why are IT salaries so much lower in Europe than in the US?
13 points by moezhart  1 day ago   18 comments top 8
1
w_t_payne 1 day ago 2 replies      
Yup. Moving from the US back to the UK, my salary took a hit from $110k down to $70k.

My guess (and this is no more than a guess) is that the difference is primarily cultural.

There is an acceptance in the US that technical skills are a core part of value creation, and as a result developers tend to be more tightly integrated into the "business". In a mild feedback loop, this in turn causes US developer culture to orient more towards the business, to the extent that developer and management roles and responsibilities start to overlap. (I am, of course, generalising. My experience is with the NYC startup scene, and so is not likely to be generally applicable).

By contrast, the boundary between the front and back ends of the business is more distinct in the UK. In part, this is due to the slightly more introverted/passive/geeky technical culture in the UK, which tends to reduce the involvement of technical staff in the management process. In part, it is also due to the attitude of the "business" - which tends to value the sales process as the key part of value creation - with technical staff tending to be seen more as an overhead than as the engine of the business. In extreme cases, this can manifest itself as an extremely derogatory attitude towards developers. "Glorified typists" was a phrase that I came across once - although fortunately this is a rare extreme.

So, my guess is that IT salaries are lower in Europe than in the US because developers in Europe have less autonomy and are less integrated into business decision making, partly as a result of an introverted and passive developer culture, whereas in the US, greater interaction between developers and management drives an increased perception of the value of technical skills, and a greater role in business decision making.

2
mynewwork 1 day ago 0 replies      
You say "IT" but then programmer, which is typically a job in R&D, not IT.

Are your data sets comparing apples to oranges? If you're looking at IT salaries in one place (network admins, db admins, help desk) and R&D salaries in another (software engineers, QA, product managers) you could easily get different results.

I'm aware that the UK tends to use "IT" for all things computer related, so it seems very easy to get mixed data when crossing the atlantic.

(Most likely the differences are due to the many differences in taxes, holiday/vacation, ability to hire & fire, etc between countries).

3
kohanz 1 day ago 1 reply      
The average paid time off in Germany is about 30 days, whereas it is about 12 days in the US. That's something to factor in as a difference. I would happily take the extra time off over the $.
4
Irishsteve 1 day ago 0 replies      
I checked this out for the same type of role in Bay Area and London.

There was no difference when you take tax,rent and holidays into consideration (10 - 15 days vs 25 - 28)

This didn't include any bonus / equity / perks

5
ig1 1 day ago 0 replies      
The difference between the two salaries is less than the currency variance between EUR and USD in the last 18 months.
6
zmic2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Socialist systems keep wages average. Extreme case is Belgium. I'm a proficient software developer with a college degree. I make about 500 euro/month more than a cleaning lady.
7
johnward 1 day ago 1 reply      
As an IBM Managing Consultant I would say don't trust those numbers.
8
axeny 1 day ago 1 reply      
Supply & Demand
24
Show HN: My 1st mobile app- A parasitic,anonymous,remixable img app for android
27 points by daveganly  2 days ago   16 comments top 8
1
hollyclarke 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the comments and upvotes. We have just had a review on TechCrunch which, we think, is very flattering http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/18/yarrly/
2
dannyr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice work!

Do you generate the images in the app and upload it to your servers or on your server & download the image to the app?

3
aaronsnoswell 2 days ago 2 replies      
Android more difficult than iOS - really? Having learned Android first, I am currently struggling to pick up Objective C. Any suggestions?
4
weavie 2 days ago 1 reply      
Really nice looking UI. I'll have a play with it in a bit. Good work!
5
jln 2 days ago 1 reply      
Really nice execution.

Are you able to give a bit more detail on your backend stack and the reasons for your choice or technologies?

Will this stay Android only or are you planning on porting it?

6
bbayer 2 days ago 1 reply      
brilliant idea and perfect execution. Consider putting "Made by Yarrly" text under Yars( I would like to call pictures as Yars) and there could be a paid option to remove it.
7
orangeball 21 hours ago 1 reply      
The UI looks fantastic. Did you do all the design(i.e images/logos and etc) yourself?
8
tlongren 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks neat. Kinda reminds me of Rando.
25
Ask HN: What do you use for Geocoding?
3 points by ColinWright  1 day ago   17 comments top 4
1
cinquemb 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I have done something similar with with a python script that basically:

- parsed locations from an html file and stored them in a list

- parsed them into this url: 'https://maps.google.com/maps?q=%s' % (location)

-parsed the html for an address

-parsed the address into this url: 'https://maps.google.com/maps/api/geocode/json?address=%s&sen... % (address)

-parse the coordinates

I used it to get oil refineries in the united states and it worked pretty well i can put it on github if you would like.

It probably can also be done between the front-end and back-end with a little bit of trickery (the calls to google on the front-end, POST'ed html processing on the back from the front-end), so that users ip is using the service and not the servers.

2
samlevy 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've been looking at the CloudMade Geocoding API for a side project and they return good results in the UK. The POI search might also be helpful but I haven't tried it yet.

You get 100k free requests per month and then it's $15 per 100k.

Their APIs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

http://cloudmade.com/products/geocoding

http://developers.cloudmade.com/projects/show/geocoding-http...

http://cloudmade.com/api-terms-of-service

3
ig1 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Two other options are the OpenStreetMap Geocoder (it's called Nominatim) and the FourSquare API.
4
wikwocket 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Nokia HERE map/geocoding UI. Lots of features, good developer documentation.
26
Sell HN: Do you have a side project you want to sell? (#2, July Edition)
18 points by dennybritz  2 days ago   11 comments top 6
1
inovica 2 days ago 1 reply      
We built http://www.ukscrap.com which was geared towards people sending leads for these cars automatically to agents around the country who would contact the seller. We were doing around $2-$3,000 a month a couple of years ago but have focused on other things and have let this go. It would be ideal for someone who has the time to run something like this as it will take time and human interaction with the agents
2
makerops 2 days ago 0 replies      
I own http://ltdex.com and would like to sell it, you would get the IP to the designs (plus about 10 others, that are not listed on the website, due to being sold out), the domain, the wordpress ecomm site, 50 printed shirts, and another 100 blank shirts (all american apparel). This would be perfect for someone looking to hone social media/PR skills, as you'd be able to do some decent analytics. The site generates 1-300$/mo in revenue, and I could provide contacts at fab.com (we had a sale last summer on fab). just email me anthony@makerops.com, Im looking for something in the 4 figures. I am launching makerops and have a 9-5, so I don't have time to put into it.
3
m1ndeater 2 days ago 1 reply      
I built http://bidwars.net (try http://pittmaplemiss.bidwars.net/ for an active group). It's currently for sale on Flippa and the auction has more details: https://flippa.com/2944217-craigslist-competitor-with-14-700...

Summary:It's the love child of eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook.7,200 users since January 2013. Currently making around $550/m in AdSense revenue. Growth has stabilized. Roughly 20,000 pageviews a day from 3k visitors.

Stack: LAMP + CodeIgniter, Saas, Coffeescript and jQuery.

skype: gr33nw00d, email: dr.greenwood@gmail.com

4
titomc 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have http://www.autotweeter.in to sell , its a shareware autotweeting desktop application which tweets from a preset excel sheet.Have made sales over two years.Its paying my rent & other monthly expenses.approx sales of 300$/month.Also ranks in first page of google for autotweeter related keywords.Can sell more if you advertise the product and make video demos.I can give you paypal reports if you contact me at sales@autotweeter.in
5
rabidonrails 2 days ago 0 replies      
We built https://kishkee.com a while ago. We never did any advertising for it but it still has bunch of paying, very active users but we really don't have the time to work on it. Would love for it to go to a good home.
6
throwaway718 2 days ago 0 replies      
My other account seems to be blocked, so using this throwaway account.

I'm selling http://diglig.com. Diglig is a context aware task management application which consolidates all of users events from calendars, emails and social networks at one centralized location and then it makes smart recommendations on how to complete their tasks.

Our efforts were recognized by one of the YCombinators competitor and we were offered $40k of seed money. However, due to circumstances at that time we were unable to take the offer. Since then my partner moved out of state due to job change and I had a kid, so no more time to work on it.

27
A new kind of inheritance in programming languages?
9 points by nreyntje  2 days ago   4 comments top 3
1
onaclov2000 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've actually had similar thoughts about this, basically an objects becomes another object based on context, in your case you're "adding" elements to the object, however I had been thinking that just simply creating a bunch of objects with different properties, and whenever it is in a state that it can become that object (due to an action on it), it automatically is typecast to that type of object and referred to as that from there forward, I've never tried it, but it was just a thought. Interesting read.
2
benji-york 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is called Acquisition. See http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AcquisitionInheritance
3
SparK-Cruz 1 day ago 0 replies      
You are not inheriting behaviour, you are inheriting values of a list.You could simply instanciate a new object of the child type, access the parent type attributes and set it to the child.This could also work with a constructor or a valueOf method.

If you are looking for dynamic languages, see JavaScript and Ruby.

28
Ask PG: Will you post an update to "Startup Ideas We'd Like to Fund"?
223 points by awwstn  8 days ago   72 comments top 14
1
pg 8 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, I should do that.
2
dvt 8 days ago 1 reply      
I think some people tend to take pg's startup ideas too seriously. I mean, I've heard talks by him in which he explicitly says not to take these too seriously. They are examples and only examples. So right now, for example, it's pretty obvious security is a big thing. It doesn't (shouldn't?) take pg to tell you that. All you have to do is read the news.

Find a big problem (it just happens that dating is one) and fix it. Don't plan on getting in YC (or any other incubator) or being successful simply because you picked something off one of pg's lists. I'd say the most important qualities of an entrepreneur is to be in tune with these problems without getting any sort of external guidance. It's not a good thing when someone comes on HN and posts a post-mortem about their YC experience beginning by citing an RFS or one of pg's "idea" essays. Personally, I think that some RFSs from 2009 (http://ycombinator.com/rfs.html) are downright silly -- 5 and 3 in particular. Moral of the story: find something you're passionate about -- a problem, a niche, etc. -- and build something to fix it. If it happens to fit into one of the RFSs or pg's ideas, oh well, good for you I guess.

3
mindcrime 8 days ago 1 reply      
In light of a couple of recent stories on HN, including the one on the passing of Doug Engelbart, I'll offer this up as a source of ideas for startups:

Everthing old is new again... and some ideas that seem old haven't actually been completed yet. Other ideas seem to fail, but only because they are "before their time".

With that in mind, I'd suggest going back and reading the writings of people like Doug Enbelbart, Ted Nelson and other computing pioneers (and not just computing pioneers, really, but any great thinkers. How about Nicola Tesla, for example?) and look for places where they proposed amazing things years or decades ago, that still don't exist, or don't exist as fully as they could. On that same basic note, go back in time and re-read some old issues of Infoworld, Computer World, Information Week, Business 2.0, Red Herring, Fast Company or Wired from the late 90's or early 2000's and mine for "before their time" ideas that might be ripe for a second shot.

Hanging around hackerspaces is also a great way to gain exposure to a constant stream of interesting ideas and approaches.

4
codegeek 8 days ago 0 replies      
Did you see this one from 2012 ?

http://www.paulgraham.com/ambitious.html

5
TaylorAlexander 8 days ago 2 replies      
I thought I had read in one of those that PG really wants to replace banks and credit cards. Or maybe it was someone else. Either way, that's one of the things I'd love to get into as far as "big picture" stuff (along with a cloud-based "space station" on venus, but the bank thing might be slightly less difficult). I'd completely revamp the entire purchase process, as much as legally possible (and realistically doing that would also require lobbying to change any outdated laws we can that aren't being protected by the other banks. You'd have to go after all the peripheral laws first I feel like, or else the banks would crush you with their influence). The entire transfer of funds and the documentation of the purchase would be re-done based on what we can actually do with this kind of data. It's insane that my bank only tells me things like "AMAZON MKTPLACE PMTS AMZN.COM/BILL WA 06/26" for an amazon purchase. Mint tries to parse that and just has no idea how to classify it. The truth is, the bank should only get sufficient information for facilitating the transfer, and there needs to be a simple system of reporting detailed purchase info directly from the store to the user. Getting this to work with many vendors would be a pain, but it doesn't help that currently I don't know anything about those systems. I have some ideas on how to kind of abstract that out...
6
TheMakeA 8 days ago 2 replies      
From personal experience, it seems like YC may no longer have an interest in funding RFS #5. Our entire interview was spent trying to explain why someone would possibly want to code on a handheld.

Full disclosure: Our demo and Altair BASIC was a way to develop native iPhone apps in the cloud, from a tablet or other device. We wanted to expand to Android apps, and eventually be a general cloud compile/debug/run service.

7
larrys 8 days ago 6 replies      
I haven't read the 2008 list but just went there based on some of the comments here. This #29 stood out:

"What's the best way to make a web site if you're a real estate agent, or a restaurant, or a lawyer? There still don't seem to be canonical answers. "

There is a huge opportunity here not for a site builder so much as a way for those types of businesses (and other businesses) to keep their site current and fresh once it is built. None of the existing options work that well with this demographic. Either to juvenile or to many features and options and a learning curve. Fix that and the world will beat a path to your door.

Start small with this. Solve the issue of how I know what the specials are from the local sushi takeout restaurant that I visit a several times per month. Then move to other restaurants. Make it dead simple for the busy owner to get me that info. Even if it means simply shooting a picture of the special board and getting it to a single page site that you host in the cloud.

8
taylorbuley 8 days ago 4 replies      
News will morph significantly in the more competitive environment of the web. So called "blogs" (because the old media call everything published online a "blog") like PerezHilton and TechCrunch are one sign of the future. News sites like Reddit and Digg are another. But these are just the beginning.

I'll make the bold claim that we haven't yet seen this "morph" in media. The blog concept is now staid yet Buzzfeed is the most innovative publisher we have. And they are just re-branding the advertorial as "native advertising."

The only changes I've seen lately are larger and more diverse media to accompany text. Not a substantially new product as far as I can tell.

9
stephengillie 8 days ago 1 reply      
I'm guessing that online dating will still be on the list.
10
dylandrop 8 days ago 0 replies      
Perhaps some hardware ideas will be on there. It seems like all those savvy Kickstarter trinkets are the next big thing (Lockitron comes to mind).
11
t0 8 days ago 0 replies      
Have any of these even been solved yet?
12
philfreo 8 days ago 1 reply      
A little more recent:

http://ycombinator.com/rfs.html

13
h4pless 8 days ago 1 reply      
Not to be snarky or anything but in short: we're currently working on the new ideas. Please give us a little bit of time before you ask Mr. Graham to give us a synopsis of the most logical projects to address. Trust me, whatever he wants done: there are people working on it. "What do you want to contribute?" is the more relevant question. What are your ideas for "Startup Ideas We'd Like to Fund"? and start working on those.
14
carlosn 8 days ago 0 replies      

  Does the email replacement sound like a support ticket system to anyone else?

29
Ask HN: What do you do for SEO?
25 points by harryzhang  3 days ago   8 comments top 3
1
hcarvalhoalves 3 days ago 2 replies      
The only "SEO strategy" that works is being relevant so the relevant people link to you and having a technically correct site (parseable HTML, appropriate status codes).

Not even keywords on domains or URLs matter as much anymore after Google's Panda. Agencies are snake oil vendors and a great way to waste time and money.

2
sixQuarks 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've attracted over 50 million unique visitors to my sites using organic SEO over the past 10 years. I've always focused on the content and never tried to game the system. I never tried to do link building, etc.

I started out reading highrankings.com - they are a whitehat seo proponent. Just been following white hat all along and Google has rewarded me throughout.

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livestyle 3 days ago 0 replies      
I actually wrote about this very subject a couple of months ago regarding a craigslist web app I help create.

http://blendah.com/post/37787050142/how-to-get-a-top-google-...

Hope this helps.

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Ask HN: Ideal skillset for Data Analytics?
2 points by pravinkenator  20 hours ago   1 comment top
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joshuaellinger 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I know it is out of vogue but make sure you know SQL or you will forever be asking your IT guys to pull data for you.
       cached 18 July 2013 12:05:01 GMT