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Ask HN: What would you do?
6 points by brokemediocre  3 hours ago   5 comments top 4
onion2k 2 hours ago 1 reply      
If it was me, I think I'd work very hard to fix the "no friends" bit before even considering the future financial independence bit. Your mental wellbeing is far more important than being wealthy.
Casseres 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
First, like the others mentioned, I would work on getting friends. If you want an idea on where to start with that (assuming you don't want to be friends with anyone from work): From what I understand, Meetup.com is a great way to do this. Develop a hobby that has minimal costs, and then find a group that meets for the purpose of that hobby.


To answer your question: Considering you want to achieve financial independence quickly, it's good that you don't own much stuff, otherwise your stuff would own you.

I recently discovered the blog Early Retirement Extreme. There is a post [0] which gives the simple equation which must be true if you want to become financially independent: "your annual expenses < 3% of your invested savings"

Assuming you keep the same living costs before and after becoming financially independent, you will need to solve this equation:

living costs = SWR * ( income - living costs ) * ( ( (1 + ROR) ^ number of working years ) - 1 ) / ROR

where SWR = Safe Withdraw Rate and ROR = Rate Of Return. SWR of 3% is taken from [0].

Assuming you can get 10% on your investments and can live on 25k a year, let's enter some numbers and solve for working years:

25k = 0.03 * (56k - 25k) * ( ( (1 + 0.10) ^ X ) - 1 ) / 0.10

X = 13.7 years

Assuming 10% again, and working for 15 years, let's see how much you could have to live on:

X = 0.03 * (56k - 25k) * ( ( (1 + 0.10) ^ 15 ) - 1 ) / 0.10

X = 29.5k

So if you worked for an extra 1.3 years, you could bump up your living expenses from 25k to 29.5k, a jump of $4500 a year.

EDIT: I forgot to include the 10k you have already saved up. I would probably leave that out of the investments and keep in an emergency fund (keep it in your savings, and future savings would go straight to your investment account).


[0] http://earlyretirementextreme.com/can-i-retire-young.html

vincie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a bit like you (but older - 44 yrs, divorced). I am trying to "build something". I use the spare time I have to practise and practise and practise. And then practise some more.

Edit: After reading a few comments from people feeling sorry for you, I'm afraid I might have missed your call for personal emotional support. Sorry about that. But if you were not after sympathy, then my original post stands. Practise to improve your skills (doesn't have to be programming). Do lots of practise while you have so much free time. When family and friends (and pets) come around, you will wish you were family-less, friendless and pet-less. And don't feel sorry for yourself.

ScottWhigham 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I can't tell if this is an "exercise" we, the community, are playing at, or whether this is your real life and you are actually trying to get ideas. I don't really have the time to participate in the exercise but, in the event that this is really your life, here's my response:

That sounds miserable - I agree w/ @onion2k about fixing your situation before you work on other things. Life is not short, it's quite long and you have a lot of years left. "No family, pets or friends" for the next 50+ years sounds like you would be getting the least out of life itself. Read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and work from there towards a few more ideas about how you can improve your life and health.

Ask HN: Any one else think it's a strange time to be a computer scientist?
9 points by cconroy  8 hours ago   7 comments top 7
apw 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You might want to read about fully homomorphic encryption, the PCP theorem and many other mind-blowing results to have come out of computational complexity theory community in the past 15 years. These results use powerful mathematical tools like Fourier analysis on the boolean cube. Here are a few links to get you started:




scaramanga 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
- information theoretic optimal succinct/compact/implicit data structures- cache oblivious algorithms, especially CO-B-Trees- linear work suffix array construction- new lower bounds on external store and search- sure there must be plenty of results on distributed systems techniques too

Plenty of amazing results in the last few years.

vukmir 6 hours ago 0 replies      
DISCLAIMER: I'm not a computer scientist

I'm a self-taught programmer which means that I don't feel qualified to answer the cs questions, nevertheless, I think I can answer your question.

First, thinking that "the new stuff" is the same as the exciting stuff is wrong. The exciting stuff is the stuff that excites you and not necessarily the new stuff. For example, the principles behind the modern web apps aren't exactly new (client/server, CRUD), and yet, you had a love affair with rails :)

Second, there are two kinds of "the new stuff". The first kind is the stuff that's a new development in cs, the second kind is the stuff that's new to you. If you focus on the second kind you'll see that there's a whole new world out there waiting to be explored and conquered. Scratch that, there are worlds upon worlds of potentially exciting stuff waiting for your attention.

My advice is to keep looking.

Patrick_Devine 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I definitely felt a lot ennui about the state of things when I was about 4-5 years out of college (although to be fair I jumped out to join the dotcom boom).

I'm actually pretty stoked about the state of things right now though. Ubiquitous compute power through virtualization, big data (map reduce!), open cv, machine learning, SAT solvers, you name it. Now that we have cheap, plentiful and fast computational power all that stuff they dreamed about back in the 60s and 70s is now a reality.

CS as a discipline is nowhere near tapped out. Sure, we're probably not going to find too many more core algorithms in many of the various disciplines, but come on.. we don't even have true general purpose AI at this point!

pacala 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Rails is Cobol. There is a lot of excitement in, for instance, AI, geoscale graphics or biocomputation.
unimpressive 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If you look at what we could have got versus what we actually got, two things will happen:

1. You'll drive yourself mad.

2. You'll start to appreciate the Right Thing.

amorphous 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you had graduated in the 60s or 70s (or even 80s) chances are that you wouldn't have worked in Computer Science at all. Today you can choose from a vast field of possibilities. Keep looking and go to the edge of one area
Ask HN: Statistics on startups that lose a co-founder early?
3 points by SkyMarshal  4 hours ago   1 comment top
jacquesm 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Shake-out is pretty common. The start-ups that I'm aware of at least 1/10th or so have lost a co-founder early on. The majority of those survive, a few die because of it.

I could probably compile more detailed stats but it would be much more interesting to do this on a larger and better documented body such as all the YC start-ups.

Ask HN: What do you while the automated tests are running?
7 points by jsnk  13 hours ago   13 comments top 12
grandalf 12 hours ago 0 replies      
My guess is that you're testing AR associations all over the place and that the business logic in your models is tightly coupled to AR associations. This has the effect of slowing down testing tremendously.

I try to write code so that stuff that needs to be tested is not tied to AR. Why should your logic need to wait for AR to fetch records and fire a callback when the part that is likely to break (that isn't covered by AR's test suite) is your logic, not the data fetching or callback infrastructure.

stevoo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We dont run the entire test suit.Our last night test suit took 159 minutes to finish.

We automated that in order to run every night.We need a 100% pass rate before we push to production.

If you just do something you run those specific tests. If something else breaks due to that, it will be caught ( hopefully ) by the nightly tests.

Imagine having to run the test suite 2 - 3 times a day.Your day would be wasted !

chewxy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually relevant xkcd: http://xkcd.com/303/
candeira 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I use my Ansible runs (which are much shorter, but still take a huge chunk of the day in agregate) to update my todos and timesheets, doodle ideas... and also to check email and HN. So it goes.

Of course, my Ansible runs are shorter because I try not to do the full run every time.

lifeisstillgood 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Shorten the tests is one thing. A lot of database setups and tear downs? Try encapsulating each test in a transaction to keep it in memory.

Another thing is reading the docs of the libraries you use - reading around a subject is an under used and highly valuable activity.

barefoot 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Do BDD tests typically take that long to run?

My unit tests take 1-50ms to run (the majority of them closer to 1ms) and I can run a decent suite of them in a few seconds.

georgebashi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You should set up something like Jenkins (or use a hosted solution like Travis), and keep working. No need to wait around for test results...
tjr 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Try to schedule your tests to run over lunch, or during meetings, or kick them off at the end of a work day.
PhearTheCeal 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I run the tests in a VM so that I can keep working on them while the tests are running.
adamconroy 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I start planning my work for the next few hours, scratching down notes / sketching out an algorithm / design a screen / update my todo list . Although I have never had to wait more than 5 minutes for tests to run.
taproot 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Office jousting.

Edit damn! Someone already posted the xkcd.

pherz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I work. Don't let tests dictate your workflow, start them and move onto something else. The results will wait until you have time to focus on them again.
Ask HN: Any good resources/books on Marketing for first time entreprenuers?
3 points by vbv  8 hours ago   2 comments top
pushkargaikwad 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you talking about online marketing or more traditional offline marketing ? People often talks about "Crossing the Chasm" and "The Long Tail", here are few more such books http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/top-10-marketing-books-of-... though these are not your Marketing 101 books.

IMO this list looks to have good How to marketing type of books http://www.amazon.com/Top-Marketing-Books-All-Time/lm/3JOLQU...

Ask HN: Who's doing cutting-edge front-end development these days?
8 points by erichocean  15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
jasonkester 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
A bit of quick advice: Put some project links in your profile so that people here can see what you've been up to and what you're capable of. If you're good at what you do, people here might just approach you and ask you to come work for them on some of this cutting edge front end stuff.
cjbprime 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Depending on how meta you want to get, you could consider going to work for http://www.meteor.com/.
Ask HN: I want to take a no-tech retreat for 6 months straight. Where?
8 points by rfnslyr  18 hours ago   21 comments top 14
jasonkester 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I really liked Siberia.

I did a homestay in a little village on Lake Baikal (maybe half an hour from Irkutsk, but I can't remember which one) and it was quite pleasant. It'd meet a lot of your needs, with no internet access, plenty of cold, and tons of outdoor stuff to do (and wolves, which might be considered a downside).

It was easy enough to arrange the homestay. I booked it in Beijing as part of a trans-siberian trip, from one of the local outfits who arrange such things for English speakers. I expect that if you did the same, you could probably arrange to be left in Irkutsk for a year and negotiate a long-term stay from there.

While we're in the area, Mongolia is also really cool and would remove power and cell coverage from your list of unpleasant western things. You could probably just outright buy a ger in Kharkhorin, and a horse to go with it, for a few thousand bucks. Drop it in any convenient patch of grass and set up shop for the duration.

Good luck!

PeterWhittaker 17 hours ago 1 reply      
OK, I hear you, I do. You say you want to cut off.

At least, that's what you think you want. Is it possible this is an over-reaction?

You say you want out of the concrete jungle. That seems more plausible.

You're in Canada, so I'm guessing GTA or Vancouver?

Before heading "up north" (if you haven't been, you have no idea, sorry - don't mean to patronize, but you don't - one doesn't just "go up north" without having visited with competent guides), why not head out of town for a bit? If you are GTA, why not Perth or Smith's Falls or Arnprior? (Yeah, these are more my neck of the woods, but you need to get far from your neck to get to the woods, know what I mean?)

Consider a change of pace, before considering a harsh and radical cut off. Maybe some place that still has running water and electricity and where the amenities of civilization are only 1-3 hours away by car.

Rent a farm north of Bancroft, near Algonquin. Someplace rural but with folks not so far away. Close enough but not too far, you know?

You want even more remote, but still sort of civilized? How about Fermont, QC? (Last spot before Labrador, road pretty much ends there.)

If you're not GTA, folks from your neck of the woods can suggest places comparable to the above....

(I moved to T.O. after university - small place out east - and I hated the jungle, it went on forever. Moved to Ottawa after a couple of years. Been here over 23. It's grown, but it's way less jungle than the GTA. I'm in the burbs, I can be on a farm in 5 minutes and not see anyone for miles....)

Heck, why not just go canoeing in Algonquin for a week? A buddy of mine unplugs that way for a week every year - keeps him sane, and it's a less radical prescription.

japhyr 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Your vision sounds great; I just caution you on the execution. Getting far away from your current situation is important in everyone's life journey. Doing this right will make you stronger for the rest of your life; doing it wrong will make for an ugly or even fatal experience.

Wherever you go, I encourage you to travel by land. People who get dropped off in the middle of nowhere can get in trouble fast. If you travel by land, you will see the transition from the concrete jungle to the far north unfold in front of your eyes. You can then decide how far you want/need to go, and how quickly. You could walk, hitchhike, bicycle, drive, take a bus, whatever.

I grew up in New Hampshire, but I find references to the Yukon in my early elementary school writing. The far north is just in some people's blood. I spent 18 months living on a bicycle in my twenties, and I wouldn't trade that time for anything. I live in Alaska now, and loved the journey here.

Good luck!

jamesjguthrie 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd get away in my car if I could afford the petrol for that length of time. Travel across Northern Europe to get to the cold countries. Would be epic actually, might do that when I'm older.
Sealy 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow thats very exciting. I'd reccomend going somewhere in the winter months. Its difficult these days to get that full disconnect but you have a few options.

How about Japan? In the winter it will be beautiful. Some might be scared of this but having to learn a new language puts you to some degree into social isolation until you start to learn how to interact with the local people (hey you asked for it!)

Other then that, India? Might be too hot for you but it is an amazing and underrated country.

And then there's places like Nepal (known for Everest basecamp), a place where you will be guaranteed an amazing experience.

North China....

The baltic states in europe, add norway, sweeden, iceland to the list if you want it cold? The list could be endless. I'd love to be in your situation :)

... and yes I've done a lot of backpacking in my time for 6 months each shot. I stayed semi-connected though where i could.

alid 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Left-of-field, but Tasmania (the island at the bottom of Australia) is stunning and you will not regret it. It's very much a cold climate, and home to pristine air and wilderness like you can't imagine. Hobart is a perfect base, a place of history, makers and artisan food and brew producers, and you can hike Cradle Mountain, walk the Bay of Fires, relax at Wineglass Bay, whale watch at Freycinet and visit singal-malt whisky distilleries in the highlands. Then to up the ante, hop on the Orion from Hobart and explore Antarctica. Whatever you choose, enjoy! :)
j2h6mW 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Since you're OK with manual labor on remote ships, you might try manual labor on remote farms? WWOOF: http://wwoof.net/I hear the youths in college are pretty into this, they use it for low-budget gap years & language study. Have never done it myself
njharman 18 hours ago 2 replies      
If you really want to be alone and isolated, Alaska http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke

A far better choice would be to bike around Europe, goto Africa, drive the USA, something. See the world, experience life, live slow. Don't just go hide, that's easy and lame.

1123581321 16 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a great deal of empty farmland in Ontario and New Brunswick. Many bachelors live a quiet life there. I am sure you could arrange to rent from someone and be nearly completely isolated.
olegious 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Based on your previous submission history, I'd say get a handle on your issues before going off somewhere isolated for so long.
Mankhool 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Got to Tofino. Stay on Cox Bay. http://www.pacificsands.com/ I live in Vancouver and when I need to leave the concrete beast this is my favourite place.
erkose 18 hours ago 0 replies      
BTW Kindle is technology. You'll have to leave that behind.
erkose 18 hours ago 0 replies      
bifrost 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd recommend spending a few weeks in lapland, I suspect you'll rapidly want to come back to civilization :)
Ask HN: How do you 'Music' (discovery, acquisition, consumption, ...)?
10 points by simba-hiiipower  23 hours ago   10 comments top 6
johneth 3 hours ago 0 replies      

* various BBC Radio stations (specficially, their specialist shows)

* Last.fm

* iTunes Genius Recommendations


* iTunes

* Amazon

* Physical CDs


* iTunes (purely because it keeps my files organised, and it's a better interface than Spotify / others in my opinion)

simba-hiiipower 22 hours ago 2 replies      
i'd say i'm a fairly high-volume consumer and tend to spend a lot of time searching for, acquiring, managing, and enjoying my music.

i'm fairly old-school in that i like to download everything and have built and maintain a large collection of digital files. i view it very-much-so as one would a record collection and spend a lot of time ensuring quality (audio fidelity, proper tagging, rich cover art, ...).

discovery: genre-specific blogs (mainly for hip-hop), soundcloud, digitally imported, 8tracks, live shows/concerts, word of mouth

acquisition: direct downloads (you'd be surprised by how much great free, legal, content is put-out on a daily basis, especially in the hip-hop world), beatport, bandcamp, xbox music, amazon mp3, torrents

management: pretty much focused around proper tagging and maintaining a consistent file structure. mp3tag [1] is great little windows utility for batch tagging

consumption: mobile phone via bluetooth audio (in-car, headphones, portable speakers), laptop connected to sound system, xbox connected to home theater system

i've toyed around with various streaming services and never been satisfied with the selection or the overall experience. i've also tried using a number of cloud music solutions but have yet to find anything that can effectively manage my library in an efficient and convenient manner. would love to hear any others' thoughts on these.

[1] http://www.mp3tag.de/en/

dannytatom 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I use SoundCloud & Spotify to listen to music, and usually discover through last.fm, hypem (searching for stuff I like), or subreddits (most music subreddits have relevant subreddits in the sidebar, e.g. http://www.reddit.com/r/crustpunk).

Depending on the grene, finding blogs through hypem is probably the best way I've found for discovering new stuff.

lcasela 21 hours ago 0 replies      
adrianwaj 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Soundcloud.. in fact YT should learn from its stream interface for its subscriptions.. cease downloading vid when users presses pause. Maybe could be done with mashup.
muxxa 20 hours ago 0 replies      
discovery: pitchfork.com and recursively following artists on soundcloud
AWS Elastic Block Store issues in one AZ in us-east-1
48 points by cperciva  1 day ago   28 comments top 5
alrs 1 day ago 1 reply      
It used to be when EBS wiped out it didn't respect the boundary between availability zones. Every AZ in a region would be lost in tandem.

If they have managed to keep this incident confined to one AZ without trashing the whole region they have made significant progress.

jaytaylor 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is the kind of thing you're susceptible to when you use AWS products that start with E: EBS, ELB, etc..
helper 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you care about uptime you should really get off EBS (and services that depend on it like ELB and RDS). Having a network between your disks and your CPU make outages like this one inevitable.
aren55555 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is currently causing Heroku to have issues too.https://status.heroku.com/incidents/548
josephpmay 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is Instagram still on Amazon servers?
Reuters swaps story about NSA hacking the UN for NSA fluff piece.
80 points by tomelders  22 hours ago   12 comments top 5
eli 21 hours ago 1 reply      
The story isn't gone off the US site, it's here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/25/us-usa-security-ns...

The Reuters website is terrible. Half the time the article content doesn't load and I just get sidebars. (They make money selling their feed to news outlets, not by attracting visitors to reuters.com.) Occam's Razor suggests someone fat-fingered an update, not a conspiracy.

tomelders 20 hours ago 0 replies      
irrespective of wether or not this was accidental or on purpose, I do find the content of the "edges into the light" article quite offensive.

The official stance appears to be "It's OK for us to break the law as long as we do it by accident", which is not just an incredibly weak argument, it's a dangerous precedent. Who defines 'accidental'? It seems to me that if used exactly as intended, PRISM breaks the law.

We now have the whole LOVEINT angle, where the incursions were absolutely not accidental, but we're somehow meant to be ok with it because the very fact the the NSA knew about it happening somehow proves that they're on the case. They also feel it is something that the US public does not need to know about.

My brain hurts trying do the mental gymnastics required in order to see this whole debacle from the intelligence communities point of view. No matter how I look at it, they're bad people doing bad things and telling us to like it without offering a shred of evidence to justify their actions.

Terretta 21 hours ago 1 reply      
NSA named their tumblr "I con the record"? What the hell.
jacquesm 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Malice, incompetence etc.
mcmarshall 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is true. I have the original text saved in Readability. When I clink on the link to the actual article, it brings me to a totally different one.
Ask HN: Why aren't there HTTP style standards for invoicing things?
46 points by johnnyg  1 day ago   29 comments top 20
jaegerpicker 1 day ago 1 reply      
EDI, it's old and crusty and expensive and annoying because all of the current software out there is crap but it solves this for companies as big as WalMart down to your local Mom and Pop corner store. I have a pretty good idea how to fix this but have other commitments at the moment. Too many ideas not enough time. A PO is the 850 document standard in EDI and the invoice is the 810 in EDI.
walshemj 1 day ago 2 replies      
Short answer there are, look up EDI Electronic data interchange which has been going longer than some HN commentators have been alive


EDI was live back in the early 80's in the UK

johnorourke 1 day ago 0 replies      

cXML http://cxml.org/ , OCI and EDI (mentioned above) are alive and well and commonly used for large corporates to deal with their suppliers without paper.

cXML (or even OCI) for the purchase order stage and EDI for the invoice stage is a typical setup.


The reason this doesn't and will never exist is that every business is different - you're essentially dealing with people like Joe Bloggs not standardised processes like HTTP. However, help is at hand:

https://www.receipt-bank.com/ - they take your email and paper invoices in any format, scan them, key in the data and inject it straight into your accounts system (or at least let you grab a spreadsheet).

kephra 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are to many conflicting standards for this. Most of them are calling themself some 'EDI', even those that are not based on X12. X12 itself is not human readable, and EDI based on X12 (Tradacom, US EDI, UN/EDIFACT) are complex beasts. To complex for average coders. So those coders invent new standards e.g. for SAP, or OASIS.

imho, the solution would be UN/EDIFACT. The United Nations version is flexible enough to cover 99% of the real life cases, and improves twice a year, to cover the remaining percent.

Take a look at my XML::Edifact CPAN Perl modules, if you want to start with free software EDI.

Now EDI is only half of the bill. EDI would be the HTML part of the Web of business documents. But you also need a transport part, and the EDI networks are not connected, as they speak different languages. And you need some open servers and browsers for your EDI.

jacques_chester 1 day ago 0 replies      
Part of the problem is that problem domain for small businesses doesn't look the domain for large businesses.

For one thing, large businesses often have to deal with multiple country rules.

All my invoices are issued to Australians, at the moment (though I'm open to invoicing others, hint hint). So it's fairly straightforward; my invoice template includes the legal requirements of an ABN, business number, the words "Tax Invoice", an identifying number and prices with and without tax.

If I bill in other countries, I might need another template.

If I bill in a pile of other countries, then any universal system has to account for per-country variations in an abstract, generalisable way.

But abstract, generalised ways of doing things obscure the concrete case. Instead of thinking in local terms, I have to learn the generic term and then understand how it will map to my particular problem.

rektide 1 day ago 0 replies      
payswarm is building monetary & transactional schemas/data-models. they have json-ld underneath, and jsonld has some interop with RDFa if you want the other declarative content format (html). https://payswarm.com/specs/ http://digitalbazaar.com/payswarm/

i'm less familiar with the other ideas floating in the Web Payments working group, whose charter is to chart the standards serving what you describe.http://www.w3.org/community/webpayments/

larrys 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Adoption seems like the answer to my question."

Established legacy process that is working. Also as noted people spend money and give effort to make money I don't think this is a big enough pain point in terms of saving money.

In order to make this happen you would have to start by convincing (say) Walmart that it was good for them. Then they would force it down the throats of their vendors. Believe that happened with bar codes. I remember doing a job for a small business that was a Walmart vendor and needed bar codes (this was a long time ago the early 90's) in order to ship an order.

That said your writeup isn't that clear in stating the problem. I had to read it twice to understand what you were asking.

lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is something that has ramifications everywhere. For example it drives me nuts that I get handed pieces of paper with every purchase but stuffed if a supermarket till will mail me a reciept. Want to drive adoption of reward cards(+) at your supermarket? Allow every holder to get downloads of their spends. Now hook that in for all your partner orgs. We will happily throw away out privacy for that !

(+) and for the love of Zeus, stop calling it a loyalty card. I am loyal to family, friends and the Queen. Your coffee shop does not even rank.

jta 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well there is a bunch of standards aimed at this, already mentioned are EDI and cXML. But another very ambitious is Oasis' UBL. In Denmark and a few other european countries you basically have to support invoicing in UBL (Or more specifically the danish subset OIOUBL or scandinavian subset NESUBL) if you want to do business with government as it is a requirement.[1] In a transition-phase (which i don't know if still is ongoing) suppliers could send invoices to a "scanning agency" that would attempt to convert the invoice to OIOUBL and send on to the government institution.

This has pushed adoption of these things in Denmark quite a bit and we see a lot of big corporations demanding of their suppliers that they support these formats.

Edit:[1] Previous to OIOUBL danish government had its own format called OIOXML: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OIOXML

nthj 1 day ago 0 replies      
What if you use MailGun or Sendgrid to receive forwarded email, then use your scripts to parse the invoices customers forward you, and offer the data back in various formats like Excel, Quickbooks, and JSON?

I would pay $30/month for that. Even better if you wrote a Context.io filter to automatically start forwarding invoice-looking things to your system.

cdcarter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Even if you support consuming UBL or an other HTTP like format or anything really, tracking expenses will continue to be a Hard Problem (tm).

I ran expenses for a fairly large producing organization this summer. I got large stacks of unorganized and under-descriptive receipts every day. Including receipts from flea markets, amish bakeries, and more. Not to mention PO purchases, check requests, petty cash withdrawals, partial returns, returns to cash, and more.

No matter what, more than an automaton, you need someone who understands the business process. You need someone who can look at a receipt and not only know how much was spent and on what SKU, but what that actually item is for, and if it's a valid expense.

7952 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is important to have a contact who will make sure that invoices are approved and get paid in a reasonable time. If not they have a tendency to go missing. The important thing is tracking what has been authorized for payment. Without solving that a protocol would risk being just another black hole where unpaid invoices languish.

Instead build something that tracks approved invoices. When an invoice is approved the vendor gets an email asking them to fill in a form, entering all the data from the invoice. Include a big "pay me" button at the bottom. Don't make the payment until the data is provided.

jerguismi 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is going to be invoicing protocol in the next Bitcoin version. Let's see what kind that will be.

Other than that, money before Bitcoin has never been a communication protocol, but a centralized database where the database keepers benefit from network effects & locking in the customer to that specific database. So it is pretty obvious IMHO that no good protocols have been developed around it.

xhedley 1 day ago 1 reply      
The people who built the Danish e-invoicing solution are called Tradeshift and have a solution which follows open standards.They've also recently added cloud scanning. If you're a corporate you can buy access for your suppliers to email pdfs to Tradeshift - and the magic is the supplier gets an email back asking them to validate the data. And emails telling them how much easier it would be to submit electronically in the first place.Much more elegant than the payment networks which charge the supplier a flat fee to submit an invoice.
koudi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are you sure there are no such standards? I mean - in Czech Republic we have de facto standard called ISDOC XML(which should be based on other international standard UBL (universal bussines language, or smtg. like that)). All major accounting/finance software support it and yet, nobody uses it (at least those I have to deal with). I couldn't even convince my ISP to send me these files. Maybe you should check current options and then require them from your vendors.
martyn80 1 day ago 0 replies      
No HTTP style standard, but a XML standard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Business_Language
phpnode 1 day ago 0 replies      
a lot of different standards cover it, this is the one the UK's HMRC require submissions in - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBRL
tonyedgecombe 1 day ago 0 replies      
A standard for embedding the document data inside a PDF would be useful. Make it machine and human readable.
quantumpotato_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sounds interesting for Open Transactions or Ripple.
thinkcomp 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've worked on this problem for the past ten years. The solution would be to build line item data into the payment networks according to one standard or another. Unfortunately, the established payments companies have prevented startups (such as mine) from doing so because it's not worth it to them. They make a fortune from their existing, aging infrastructure. So we're stuck with the old networks until the courts fix the mess of unconstitutional laws they've set up to guard their profits.
Ask HN: Is anyone missing Google Reader
8 points by donbox  1 day ago   19 comments top 16
pauljonas 18 hours ago 1 reply      

Been using Feedly (though tried a number of like products, but none were able to accommodate my large list of subscriptions or they were plagued with bugs, glitches and responsiveness issues). Even just plunked down $45 for a year "subscription" solely for Search but thus far, their implementation of "Search" leaves much to be desired -- it's not responsive ("incremental" searches can take 10 seconds or more, sometimes timing out) and search results don't go back any further than ~30 days.

mhd 1 day ago 1 reply      
After trying quite a few of the alternatives, I realized how much I've become used to the reader UI, especially all the keyboard shortcuts. Yes, a lot of that is copied, but that just makes it worse when you're missing out on a few.

Then there's the update rate and the UI speed (e.g. feedly manages to freeze my whole browser). Also, while the interface missed out on a few of the Google improvements, at least it was possibly to turn off most administrative debris.

I might really have to pick up a self-hosted one and maybe make a few changes of my own, as RSS is a pretty big part of my daily 'net consumption (Never understood how people could cope with twitter for that. Feels like drowning in an echo chamber.)

hellweaver666 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have only been reading my RSS via Reeder.app on iOS for the last couple of years. I've switched to Feedbin (I barely feel the $2 a month) and all works fine. Except for the fact that Reeder for iPad doesn't support Feedbin so I can only read on my iPhone and we're still waiting for the iPad version to be updated.
acolomba 1 day ago 0 replies      
After trying to adapt to Feedly, I finally managed to find goread.io (http://goread.io). It's very close to the original, minus some shortcuts I had gotten used to.

It's also open source on github(https://github.com/mjibson/goread).

MaysonL 23 hours ago 0 replies      
After paying for Feed Wrangler and Feedbin, I find myself using SilverReader. The only Google Reader feature I miss is the onscreen menu to link to other Google services such as Translate and Finance.
muratmutlu 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Digg reader is the perfect replacement, plus the top stories from Digg integrated into it are perfect for finding new things
soemarko 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Stopped using reader since Flipboard. But after the death of Reader, I find myself using Digg reader instead of Flipboard. I love that popularity dots.

So I guess I'm glad Google off'ed Reader, at least for me.

adrianwaj 18 hours ago 0 replies      
No. Back to where I was before Reader.. Netvibes.. and in a way it's better too (it now has a reader view.) Don't know why there isn't more people namedropping it.
jmulder 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been using Feedly with Reeder for iPhone. In terms of design I think Feedly is one of the better options, but they should really spend more time on making their UI a whole lot more responsive. I've always felt one of Google Reader's great tricks was its asynchronous UI which really gave it that speedy feeling.
ragatskynet 1 day ago 0 replies      
I switched to Feedly and I like it so... not really.
meerita 1 day ago 0 replies      
I stopped using Google Reader when Flipboard came out and Twitter become stronger news filter.
lcasela 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using www.goread.io

It's not perfect, but it's certainly better than Feedly.

petervandijck 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using Digg and pretty happy with it.
GeorgeOrr 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've actually been a little grateful to them for closing down. When they did, I went all over trying out the alternatives. If they hadn't shut down I never would have noticed that there were better choices out there.

Now I'm on Newsblur (a lot of good things to say about other alternatives, but this is the one I settled on). With Google out of the way, there is now a chance for small success like them (and Feedly and Old Reader, etc) to get some market share and pull in some revenue.

It has not only turned out to be painless but beneficial. And it's given me a healthier outlook on relying on Google. That is, I don't.

claytonaalves 1 day ago 0 replies      
Every single day of my life.
Baliw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Of course...
Ask HN: What copyright should I assume for HN comments?
5 points by sveme  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
patio11 1 day ago 0 replies      
All things written which include non-trivial expressive content are copyright of their original writers, absent some other factors not present here. You have a legal right to quote judiciously for the purpose of commentary. Many individuals on the Internet consider it good netiquette to provide a link to the source of quotes, both for attribution and to allow your readers to examine the quote in context.

The general practice of news media outlets when citing HN threads (this happens!) is "A user named $USERNAME commented on [Hacker News|an Internet forum|an Internet forum for hackers] that ..." I have yet to see one provide a link.

mechanical_fish 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It is the case that every comment is copyrighted by its original author. This is actually a big deal, because it is not entirely clear that (for example) someone is allowed to republish a comment thread in an altered form (like a book or magazine) without individually clearing the copyright to every comment.

You can do so if it is "fair use", for purposes such as criticism or education, but some reproductions are not "fair", and yet would still be quite useful.

Getting permission to reproduce a comment is often not that difficult they have little commercial value once they've been posted online for free by their author, and they were presumably intended to be promulgated to a worldwide audience provided the commenter is alive, has a contact address posted, and responds to that contact address. Unfortunately, none of these things are true in the long run, and the bitrot sets in surprisingly quickly.

(It would be fun, for values of "fun" used by actuaries, to figure out how many comments a thread needs to have and how old it needs to be in order to have a greater than 50% chance of one of the commenters being deceased. If only I didn't have to get back to work.)

If an author dies the right to manage her copyrights passes to her heirs. If you are incredibly lucky the author took the trouble to explicitly name a "literary executor" in a will, and that executor will be a single person who has been informed of the author's wishes and is happy to play ball. Most of the time we are not so lucky. The copyrights of many famous authors are firmly in the hands of their worst enemies. The rights to other works are distributed among a score of descendants and will probably never be sorted out.

This is why copyrights need to expire in a reasonable time. Unfortunately, they no longer do.

lutusp 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Should I ask for permission?

That depends. If you use the entire comment or a substantial percentage of it, and if the use isn't accompanied by your own comments as part of an analysis or critical essay, then yes -- because that's not "fair use".


> Is there a general copyright (CC or something like that) guideline for HN comments?

The general copyright rules apply, nothing special for HN.

sveme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for your answers.

I guess I'll proceed like this from now on:

(1) if I use only a small snippet of a comment, I'll reference both the comment and the author

(2) if I use (nearly) the entire comment, I'll try to contact the author and present him the text and how its comment is used. The only issue in this case is that critical commentary might not be accepted.

One additional argument for contacting/informing the original author is that it is simply nice and encouraging to see one's contributions making waves, something that will be much harder to hear about if the comment is only linked to.

Ask HN: What are your favourite free web fonts?
4 points by ekpyrotic  1 day ago   10 comments top 9
swanson 19 hours ago 0 replies      
tagabek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Slightly off topic

Helvetica Neue Light - iOS Development

mattwritescode 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Times new roman
ljtobey 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Just starting using Montserrat, which is a free font that google supports. It's very similar to proxima-nova, which costs money and is used in a number of up and coming sites.
meerita 1 day ago 0 replies      
In no particular order:

- Roboto- Roboto Condensed- Source Sans Pro- League Gothic

voidiac 1 day ago 0 replies      
Source Sans Pro
sideproject 10 hours ago 1 reply      
itaCas 21 hours ago 0 replies      
jimmahoney 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Looking for Brooklyn-based programmers to volunteer in low income schools
11 points by ScriptEd  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: Where to find customer service folks?
4 points by ScottWhigham  16 hours ago   5 comments top 4
nsp 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Where in Texas are you? If you're in Houston or Austin and don't need super deep technical skills, hit me up, I might be able to connect you with some people (email in profile)
throwaway420 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't have a specific recommendation outside of checking out usual places like Craigslist and asking your friends/family if they know anybody who is looking for work. However, you will be able to increase your potential options if you weren't limiting yourself to people who can work in your office every day. There's advantages and disadvantages to that of course.
helen842000 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're out in your town & find someone working a customer service job & they impress you, why not invite them to interview. That says more than any resume would.

Perhaps contact a short term agency in your area and give a few candidates a test run.

If there are any technical or industry skills that would be useful alongside the role, advertise on those specific boards too.

If you ever would consider making it a remote role, I'd certainly be interested.

sharemywin 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Indeed.com was kind of neat because you can check resumes before you pay. $1 per contact.
Ask HN: Are there any positive effects to be expected from the NSA leaks?
2 points by bjansn  16 hours ago   2 comments top 2
mcintyre1994 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Taking a very selfish approach, it could be argued as positive that websites/services that sell themselves as secure but have been shown to be fundamentally flawed in that security are shut down. Losing a false sense of security isn't necessarily a bad thing. Also the fact this debate is even happening is a positive thing, the government wouldn't have been in a rush to let us know without a leak.

That said, I highly doubt anything will emerge to really combat this - cryptography is illegal in the US if you don't provide the keys when requested I believe?

If you're sending in plain text, or if Eve has the keys, and Eve can intercept the message, you can't keep it secret.

infocollector 9 hours ago 0 replies      
To answer your questions: "What important initiatives and projects have emerged so far? Are you working on a project that returns privacy to the people? Tell HN about it."

We started working on a project a couple of years ago that would allow users to run their own private servers that will talk to their trusted friends and family and allow search and share without leaking data. Its not impossible to spy on, but the hope is that it will not allow mass surveillance. Currently it allows PDF ebooks and photo albums, + an interface to the file system that users can use to store any files, and access it from anywhere. The connection from the browser to their own servers is encrypted end to end.

Project Homepage Link: https://register.blib.us

Wrapbootstrap holds my money and does not respond
12 points by railscom  2 days ago   2 comments top
railscom 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Today was my second call attempt and I have left you a message, here is my phone number +216 24 309 128.
Ask PG: what happened with SkySheet?
3 points by nonchalance  18 hours ago   3 comments top
ig1 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Given the founders now work at different companies I'd assume it's dead.
Bank of America adds someone to my account
9 points by petegrif  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
ig1 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you called their fraud line ?
Questioneer 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would report this to any other financial services you may use, including your employer. While it could be a simple hack and drain, there could be more going on.
Ask HN: What to code for learning?
3 points by iduuck  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
txutxu 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Option A) You can port any thing you have written previously in other languages. Take something from ~/src/ that way you know how it works and you will focus in learn the language.

Option B) You can think about something you're passionate in real life. Code something about it. Does not need to "solve a problem", maybe simply try to improve something that already exist and you love. That way, maybe your state will be positive and the learn experience, better.

Option C) Try to automate and improve your workflow in the new language.

If in any case you need an idea... "a blog engine".

Update: added option "C" and an idea as requested.

chewxy 1 day ago 1 reply      
What do you need/want now? If you don't have anything you need/want, I think that is a bigger problem than learning a new language.

otherwise: code what you want now.

zachlatta 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whenever I'm learning a new language, I do Project Euler problems in it. Currently working through the first 20 or so with Go. I highly recommend it to anyone who's looking to learn a language.


Ask HN: Why tech portals are writing about attack on UN convoy in Syria?
2 points by f055  23 hours ago   1 comment top
skidoo 23 hours ago 0 replies      
They're just doing what they're told. Of course it's no coincidence. I would think persons who frequent tech news are the more paranoid at the moment, so that demographic will need the extra prompting to go along with another war effort.
Show HN: Don't get slashdotted when your link hits the HN front page
8 points by geerlingguy  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
frankacter 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'd add on to this to consider using CloudFlare and setting up page rules to cache static HTML so the majority of your anonymous reader traffic is served from their servers and not yours.
chidevguy 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Great suggestions! I'd also add Octopress (http://octopress.org/), which is built on Jekyll and works well with Amazon CloudFront (haven't tried CloudFlare, but I'd imagine that works just as well).
Quality programming gigs for awesome coders
3 points by tdoron  1 day ago   1 comment top
adultSwim 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not a coder; i'm an engineer.
Ask HN: If I ran a one day "CI / DevOps with Python and Salt" would you attend?
5 points by lifeisstillgood  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
groundCode 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be interested
samstave 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes, where would this be? Central what?
Ask HN: What will entertain us in 20 years?
39 points by Apane  1 day ago   60 comments top 37
samtp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Prisoner death matches. And you become a prisoner from future thought crimes. And you fight to the death vs jungle animals in Antarctica. Streamed by Google (gl)Ass - the rectal implant that turns you into a networked device.
jboynyc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not even sure what entertains "us" today. Leisure-time activities vary by class, race, occupation, age and many other (ever increasingly specific) social categories. Some of us are "laptop loners" [1] while others enjoy mass sporting events; some provide endless free labor to Facebook in their "leisure time" while others use that time to engage in protest.

George Packer noted that most new "apps" are geared towards what rich 20-somethings want and need. Whatever future forms of entertainment Y-Combinator grantees develop, they will almost certainly be designed to be pleasurable -- and profitable -- for them.

1: http://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/louis-c-k-and-the-rise-of-t...

2: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/27/130527fa_fact_...

chasing 1 day ago 1 reply      
We will be entertained by the same sorts of media that entertain us today. The economics will be a bit more worked out and the players a bit more entrenched. And we'll probably simply have more options as the tools of production fall into more hands. This'll mean a lot more crap is produced, but we'll also have more weird out-of-left-field sorts of media hits.

Television isn't being cannibalized by the internet. The "traditional" means of distributing it are (cable, broadcast TV, etc). It's more like the internet is being cannibalized by television programming as more people use services like Netflix and Hulu -- and as more people pirate TV shows. More people use the internet to watch television than ever before.

jcfrei 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure I understand exactly what you are asking for in your question. Entertainment content has remained largely unchanged in the past 2000 years, and still consists mostly of dramas and comedies - whether it's a performance in a theater or the latest episode of HIMYM on netflix. If you are asking about the medium through which we will consume it the question becomes much harder to answer. Probably still some device with a screen, but it might be attachable to our wrist or foldable, or integrated in our glasses... who knows.
zalzane 1 day ago 0 replies      
One particular thing I've noticed while playing video games is that it's very easy to lose track of where you "are" in the scene. Despite a relatively simple building layout, I notice that my mind doesn't "map" out the scene like it would if I was actually walking through the building.

This causes a huge break in immersion, where I've been walking around a town/building in a game for 30 minutes and have no idea where I am or how I really got there.

I think that VR is going to be the nail in the coffin for this problem. Awhile ago I tried a VR demo on one of those omni-directional platforms where you literally walk in the direction you want to go, and I noticed that my mind was internally mapping out the scene. As a result, the simulation was -much- more immersive, and I was quite content with just walking around the game world that was set up.

If this tech becomes widespread, I can see it opening up video game niches that have previously been untouched. Simulators for stuff ranging from exploring complex ruins to talking a walk in a forest, to showing home buyers what houses are like without having to drive out to them.

mtkd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Next generation may just decide they don't want to be tracked, segmented, attributed, targeted. They may just turn off.

Entertainment may be gardening, stockmanship, fishing, painting ...

Everything that's cool to us right now is going be 's--t my dad uses' soon.

chunkyslink 1 day ago 4 replies      
Robots that are attractive to the opposite sex (humans) and will perform life like sex acts to order.

But perhaps this is much further in the future.

jamroom 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Internet is integral to tablets and mobiles, so not sure how it is being cannibalized. I see "computing" moving into areas such as packaging - i.e. walk down the cereal isle in your store and boxes call out to you as you walk by advertising their contents. Cheap, flexible screens with integrated CPU/GPU/flash will be pennies in 20 years.

Edit to add an "entertainment" part: we'll have new grammy/emmy/oscar categories for "Most Creative Use of Integrated Packaging" and "viral" packaging will be all the rage.

DrJokepu 1 day ago 1 reply      
Netflix originals (programs produced or at least financed by Netflix) such as House of Cards and the new season of Arrested Development are a very likely a peek into the future.

Edit: Also the recent success of HBO and AMC in producing high quality big budget shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad or Game Of Thrones.

bennyg 1 day ago 0 replies      
LED or similar Shirts/Clothing.

Imagine having to buy one shirt that doesn't get dirty (ie similar to never-wet, it just will repel everything). And then you can buy packs of designs for $5, or make and sell your own. It will totally change the fashion industry. You can have a wardrobe of one shirt, one pair of shorts, a pair of pants, a v-neck for when you're feeling different, etc.

The whole clothing item would be a screen basically, instead of only a small area. That way you could literally design every small facet.

fudged71 1 day ago 0 replies      
In 20 years I expect immersive virtual reality to actually be viable and widespread. Digital experiences will be experienced in the 3D world, mostly through interactive multiplayer games with friends. Gesture control will make these experiences intuitive.

Wearable technologies will bring these virtual experiences into our real world. Constantly keeping the real world updated with your virtual experiences, and vice versa. The separation of real and virtual worlds will break down.

We've already seen this with social networking; you are interrupted in the physical world by experiences in the digital world. This trend will continue as people decide to share more media, richer experiences, and immersive 3D interaction.

The Oculus will have higher resolution and become the new norm for many digital mediums. Thalmic Myo, Fitbit, etc are all going to improve to track us and bring the physical into the digital world.

The digital landscape will diversify into richer experiences, more connectivity, and more physical tracking.

Furthermore, desktop 3D scanners will have a big impact on 3D printing in the short term, but the value in 20 years will be personalizing your digital world with the physical souvenirs and trinkets that you already own. People will soon have the ability to duplicate their physical surroundings into the digital world to show off their favorite products and memories.

Camera technologies are also improving greatly. Soon we may all have phones with 3D scanners embedded in them for augmenting photographs, better object recognition for comparison shopping, and other cool computational photography techniques. We tend to put as many technologies into our phones as we can, so the trend of 3D scanning might be more viable in 20 years.

Tloewald 1 day ago 1 reply      
The same stuff that entertains us today and entertained us 20 years ago. It seems clear that "lean forward" electronic entertainment ("video games") will reach a larger proportion of society as game developers figure out how to simulate a broader range of activities (let's take the obvious example: sex), while "lean backward" entertainment will still have its place.

I've been predicting the near future death of broadcast TV for fifteen years. I still think it's close, but the content producers need to wean themselves from the broadcast networks, while remain the main mechanism for funding long-form content. The movie industry is already pretty much dead, reduced to producing amusement park rides (nothing wrong with that, but storytelling has been ceded to indies and TV).

So, in a nutshell:

* Radio stays as it is

* Broadcast (I mean this in the "central model with a schedule sense, not the over-the-air sense") TV becomes like radio (throw-away content with commercials; possibly some subscriber funded content such as PBS/NPR or even HBO may survive)

* Movies become more-and-more like amusement park rides

* TV entertainment becomes on-demand and probably keeps getting better and better and more and more ubiquitous

* Interactive gaming gains reach as it finds more niches

Nothing revolutionary.

VLM 1 day ago 1 reply      
OK here's a startup idea (probably patented by a billion other corps already)

So you add a GPS to a phone and you get real world geographic games (stand here and click to "win").

My guess is the next big treadmill/grind game will involve geographic and photos and social networks. "Your mission today for 200 possible points is to get a pix of a dog within 100 feet of this coordinate, lose one point per foot from that coordinate and the other 100 points come from social evaluation/rating of the pic"

It seems inevitable, you add a gps to a phone, you get gps games. You have a camera now... you're going to "have to" use it in gaming.

Now in 20 years kids will make fun of old people who played that "cellphone camera game" that was at its peak 15 years ago.

Here's another free startup idea. You've got accelerometers and they're cheap so wrap them all over your body (to get positioning info). You've got poor people on the other side of the planet to take the liability. So... i-yoga e-yoga whatever across the internet with some "genuine" (yeah right) dude in India evaluating your pose and cheering you on. Sell some yoga pants (and top) with a bunch of accelerometers as position sensors.. or some kind of Kinect type thing. One way or another... And I suspect this kind of sorta-social networking might apply to other things. You now have a hired personal trainer on the other side of the planet devoted to nothing other than training you personally all day (well, supposedly).

neilk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think more people will be entertaining themselves by making things. We may see recreational product-making in the same way that today we have recreational programming.

It's already happening among people who have sufficient resources and empowerment. It may never go totally mainstream - I think the creative mindset will always be a bit rare. But consider how almost anyone can write and publish a book today, compared to what was required just a few years ago, let alone a few hundred years ago.

I wonder what the animated gif of real-world products will be? By that I mean something which has a template of sorts, but which requires a small amount of creativity, which can then be shared far and wide.

Killah911 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe venues for entertainment will change. HN may go thru a few redesigns by then. Places life Fark & CNN (yes, to me they're about the same) are already providing plenty of entertainment. I wouldn't be surprised to see more niche centered entertainment spheres. What today is independent will become tomorrows corporate machine delivering entertainment for the masses.

I just hope the stupid 80's style hairdo's people are sporting are out by then.

Of course this is the cheery optimistic view. In reality we have no idea what it will be like. To think things will progress in a linear fashion and society will keep progressing in a similar manner is a bold assumption to say the least.

I do expect Bollywood to possibly surpass Hollywood as India's economy grows stronger and power starts to shift more to the east.

dictum 1 day ago 2 replies      
The desperate cries of our enemies.

In all seriousness, I think video games will be even bigger than they are today. Instead of fixed characters, they will have people you knowfriends, relatives, people you dislike, etcgenerated through analysis of pictures and video of them.

This will lead to something of a moral panic when people grasp that they can't keep someone from having them as a characters in a game.

A similar thing will happen to porn, feeding into the moral panic.

RyanZAG 1 day ago 0 replies      
Almost definitely some form of VR: we are reaching the point (both hardware and software) where we can have compact, cheap eye mounted imagery.
uptown 1 day ago 0 replies      
Traditional content will still look a lot like what we consume today, but there will be alternatives that are far more immersive, and completely personalized. Oh, and movie theaters will all be gone.
Dogamondo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Porn will still be here. Even more interactive and personalized. The rift in relationships will be of the Oculus kind. :)
mattvot 1 day ago 0 replies      
I suspect contact lenses screens will become the "next big thing" as it's technology is further developed. Imagine it's computing capability came from your smart phone.


Stretching a bit too far; but if you could get earphone implants, then you have a entertainment system wherever you are.

lucaspiller 1 day ago 0 replies      
Based upon the comments from "Lonliness Is Deadly" (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6268080), I would like to see something that tackles that. I think in the last 20 years we have become a lot less social (why entertain ourselves talking to people, when we can watch any number of TV shows at anytime online?), however I still feel that people have a need for social interaction. I would like to see something that tackles in a better way.
AlwaysBCoding 1 day ago 0 replies      
One thing that I already see happening is that there's less friction to be able to capture sports videos.

For example, five years ago, if you wanted to make a Redskins highlight video, you would have to record every Redskins game - which required a TiVo and some sort of video capture card hooked up to your TV set - transfer them to your computer, then parse out all the big plays and put them into a highlight video. It was a very high-friction time consuming process.

Now you can subscribe to NFL.com and get videos of every NFL game and the coaches film, and the radio calls, immediately after they air with big play markers already tagged. So if I wanted to make a highlight video or a database of every big play from the season, it's a pretty painless process.

Because it's getting easier for motivated fans to produce content such as highlight videos, or analysis on sports, I think we're really going to see an erosion of sports reporting on networks like ESPN, as slowly their only purpose becomes live broadcasts. We're going to start sourcing our sports content from podcasts that we like, or a youtube channel that produces good content as opposed to "whatever garbage espn has on at the current time". So anyway there's opportunity for third party sports content.

meerita 1 day ago 0 replies      
With all the control springing in USA and EU, I don't know how we will be entertained. When the lobbies are stronger than ever cutting all the possibilities to consume culture without paying a tax for it, I see the future black instead of whiter. 15 years ago, even with Internet, we have the same consuming habits, imho, we listen music, we play video games, we download movies, etc.
itengelhardt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am willing to bet my money on porn - but I could be wrong there
rokhayakebe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Controlled sleep + selected dreams that will last as long as you want (a la Inception). I also second Zalzane on "immersive experiences."
darxius 1 day ago 0 replies      
Movie premiers streamed through the internet and delivered in home. Movie theaters would be second class citizens with people getting larger and more powerful entertainment systems in their houses.
Tycho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Blog posts from 2013
telephonetemp 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's really hard to tell. Extrapolating from current trends, AR (probably goggleless) and touchscreens with tactile feedback seem plausible as major new near future gaming technologies. Also, instant audiobooks of anything through quality voice synthesis (we are almost there already). More virtual pet/friend/girlfriend/boyfriend "games" with NLP and sensor-based input. UAV games (with AR elements?).

Let's hope we play the energy game right and have a global war over the natural resources or else we might be too busy (or dead) to look for entertainment.

brey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Posts from 2013 postulating what will be funny in 20 years.
ghx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Drugs. Either the pharmaceutical variety, or some sort of mechanical equivalent. Who needs entertainment when you can simulate it for cheap?
coryl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Highly technical simulations (may or may not look like games). ie. much more detailed versions of farmville, kerbal space program, etc.
shire 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think "space" will definitely be an option for the future. We will get closer and closer to finding out more about our universe and other life forms. Maybe the idea of traveling to other planets and creating life on other planets.
photorized 1 day ago 0 replies      


Thought sharing.

kushti 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems we will be NSA slaves
DanInTokyo 22 hours ago 0 replies      
"Ow My Balls"
unz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Virtual Reality, no doubt about it. Having tried the Oculus dev kit, VR will blow everything else away. The limitations currently, screen resolution and sensors, will be chipped away because they align nicely with the troubles smartphone makers have (smartphone makers want people to keep buying newer models, but there wasn't a good reason to until now - higher screen resolutions that are needed for VR - retina is no-where near retina in VR).

People will spend most of their day in VR - work, entertainment, socializing - and new forms of entertainment will arise that are hybrid between movies and games.

Huge fortunes are about to be made

- how much are eyeballs worth in VR as opposed to tiny screens ? (a lot)

- how much is it worth to replace most physical products, including real estate? (software eating the world in turbo-drive)

Ask HN: Selling your contract work
6 points by ndcrandall  2 days ago   5 comments top 2
murtza 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting idea. It also would be worthwhile to explore the potential of a marketplace where you can buy and sell retainers or monthly maintenance contracts.

For example, let's say you built a website for a client and included a monthly maintenance contract to fix any security issues, yet you do not have the time to service that obligation. Then you could go to such a marketplace, sell that contract, and fulfill your contractual obligations.

redspark 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't know of anything like that, but could definitely see a market for it.

We do some of that in a consultancy masterclass I am part of, but nothing that organized.

If I taught full stack RoR dev in SF for $30/2 hours would you come?
3 points by alexgrande  1 day ago   14 comments top 11
tptacek 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thirty dollars? That's much too low. Rates for training typically build in premiums for the time it takes to build courseware and for the fact that course delivery is very demanding. A $5-10k day (for the trainer) is not at all outside the norm for in-person training. There are plenty of open-enrollment classes that are in the $1-3k/attendee range.

If you're giving the class just to figure out how your courseware works, or to dip your toes in the water --- I do both somewhat regularly (as in, a few times in the last 5 years), just do free. $30 isn't even enough to work well as earnest money.

impendia 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is comparable to the hourly rate for lessons I took for fun or otherwise for personal benefit. Swing dance lessons, improv comedy, etc.

I'm not seeking to learn RoR, but your rate strikes me as extremely reasonable. tptacek suggests that it's too low; I'll just say that if I wanted to invest 2 hours in this, I'd certainly also be willing to invest $30.

schoash 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would even consider flying in from EU.
bartonfink 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't live in SF or need that sort of instruction, but that strikes me as a bargain rate - even for group instruction.
gtani 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's the target audience, are you going to filter by, say, DBAs, QA engineers and those conversant in django/java/PHP who're crossing over vs. people getting started in dev?
jparishy 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is interesting. I like teaching and have thought about doing something similar for iOS development in/around NYC as a means of supplemental income but I haven't quite worked out how to go about it yet.

I'd be really interested in hearing how this goes for you!

james678 1 day ago 0 replies      
$30 sounds like a steal
auctiontheory 1 day ago 0 replies      
slater 1 day ago 0 replies      
bloometal 1 day ago 0 replies      
brent_noorda 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Where to go for max profit? High coder salary, low cost of living
38 points by api  1 day ago   71 comments top 28
jasonkester 1 day ago 1 reply      
For maximum effect, you'll want to telecommute. Work in the Bay Area, live in Malawi. I bet you can find a reliable Internet connection in Nkata Bay and a room for $3/night. Coupled with a middle of the road $100/hr contract rate, you should be able to save a few pennies.

It's the future. There's no reason to live in a city unless you want to. Since your goal is max bang for the buck, the obvious choice is to live in the sticks and work over the Internet. Well chosen. It's nice out here!

xauronx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cleveland isn't terrible. You could buy plenty of houses for $70-$90k which is about the yearly salary for a great developer here. It seems like the tech scene is coming up, but the salaries are lagging. Right out of school it's hard to expect more than $40-$50k. Otherwise, the food scene is great and cost of living is pretty low from my experiences.
bluedevil2k 1 day ago 2 replies      
Austin, TX if you're a Rails programmer. $100-$120k salaries, homes about $100/ sq ft.
jaredsohn 1 day ago 0 replies      
One general thing to keep in mind is that if you have a simple lifestyle it is better to maximize profit in an absolute sense over profit in a percentage sense since after doing so for awhile, you could move to a place with a lower cost of living / salary and your larger accumulated savings will go further.
nilkn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Austin and Houston are considerably more cost-effective places than the Bay Area, though both are becoming more unaffordable quite quickly, especially Austin since it's the hip place to move to. Its current affordability won't last much longer than a decade, possibly shorter.

In general, though, you want to carve out a niche for yourself in a place which is not a hot spot for technology. This makes you much more valuable locally; you don't have much competition because others in your industry don't like your city in general and aren't moving there; and it thereby allows you to attain compensation which is very high relative to the COL.

Another strategy, which I would love to capitalize on myself in the next few years, is to work remotely. Find a nice suburban area to live in which has a lot of amenities without the high home prices. What holds me back is the fear of settling down in such an area, then getting laid off from my remote job 10 years down the line and having to rebuild my whole life to re-enter the game.

ggreer 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's hard to pull off, but the best option would be to work remotely for a bay area company.

Quality of life might be lower though. Unless everybody communicates over IRC, video chat, etc, you'll feel alienated. Even if they use the right tools, you'll miss out on any conversations your coworkers have in-person, such as at lunch.

adkatrit 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had a cheap place in the outer DC area for a while. 750 a month near a military base with >125k salary as a contractor.

I know some people very well off in Denver, CO as well.

Using public data(data.gov, enigma.io) you can find the areas that have the most positive trend in population weighted with average/median income and percent software jobs and/or locations of companies recently funded on crunchbase.

Might be best to start with a data set of cost of living and just apply functions to the ranking of the index depending on what matters more to you.http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/prices/consumer_...

Good Luck!

deardenlaw 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had very good luck living in Central Florida (Orlando) and working for a company based in Silicon Valley (Yahoo). I had a SV salary with Central Florida expenses. A telecommuting opportunity OR a satellite office opportunity gives the greatest ability to arbitrage cost of living vs salary.
walesmd 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've lived and worked in both Augusta, GA and San Antonio, TX since leaving California in 2009. Both cities have huge military and intelligence populations, it shouldn't be hard to find a job if your records is clean.

In GA I was making $78k, about twice the average household income but could have probably landed $95k pretty easily with a smaller company and better negotiation. Mortgage on 1750 sq ft townhouse is running me only $830/mo.

Moved to San Antonio on 2010 when position just landed in my lap (it required this location initially but is now 100% telework). Started at $95k, with annual raised in around $108k now, which I think is around 2.5 times the average household income for this area. Mortgage on a 2700 sq ft suburban home runs about $1300/mo. Girlfriends housekeeping business in which she's the sole employee does well, roughly another $60k/yr.

My advice: stay south of I20, east of Phoenix. Government contractors were easy money but its starting to slim down and I'm not seeing a lot of new hires within the "old guard." Instead, Silicon Valley veterans like Amazon/Google are landing this money and filling positions in mini-hotspots like Austin, Atlanta and Charlotte.

dustingetz 1 day ago 0 replies      
if you are exceptionally talented at something valuable, and have a decent understanding of what a business owner values, i believe you can double the glassdoors average in any city.

A lot of people don't believe in "10x-ers", but perhaps they just haven't met one. I am not one but I know several. They make a lot of money. It's not something that they like to talk about.

tazzy531 1 day ago 0 replies      
How do people here value the opportunity costs of living in a major tech center?

With the lower cost of living of not living in a tech center, you also give up other non-monetary things.

I would think that a lot of innovation comes from being surrounded by like minded people and the access to tech talks and networking events.

jakestl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wolfram Alpha is pretty good for things like this, though the data is a bit stale: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=computer+software+appli...
lnanek2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Go somewhere expensive, live in cheap shared conditions. You'll make far more. I'm always amazed at the prices people pay in the East Bay when you can get very cheap living renting a spare room in a house. Once you have a family and need your own house, then maybe switch.
saryant 1 day ago 1 reply      
I live in San Antonio but work for a company in Boulder. Works pretty well for me.
canadiancreed 1 day ago 1 reply      
I only have experience with Eastern Canada (aka Southern Ontario, Montreal, and the Maritimes), but the only way that I've seen where you'd get a high salary and low cost of living is if you can get Torontoesque salary with a company based in rural areas (which in IT I've found is anything outside of the GTA, K-W, Ottawa, and Montreal...possibly Halifax). They're incredibly rare (I've found two in the 13 years that I've been in the industry), and if the company does go under you're pretty much forced to move to a place where there's high salaries (because there's high competition for talent, natch), and high cost of living (because everyone's moving there...again, obvious I know), as telecommuting opportunities in Canada are practically non-existent. Usually if a place has a low cost of living/low housing costs/etc...., it's because the unemployment rate is ~15% or so, and the IT work is something around 35-40k a year.

tl;dr If you're looking in Canada, you're looking a LONG time.

actionbrandon 1 day ago 1 reply      
coders for trading companies in Chicago are paid extremely well, and Chicago is awesome.
edwingustafson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Consider Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/san-jose-ca/ann-arb...
dandrewsen 1 day ago 2 replies      
Someone should build an app for this problem, if it doesn't already exist.
rayj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seattle. Live out in the suburbs for like $500-600/mo for a room, and take an express bus into town for work for cheap. There is no state income tax/weed is legal(sorta)/gay marriage is legal/most guns are legal.
LordHumungous 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seattle has a great combination of hot job market and affordable housing imo. Don't know if it's the best though.
musgrove 1 day ago 0 replies      
Louisville has a very low cost of living and negligible commutes. Companies around here are always looking for programmers, but I can't quote a salary range, unfortunately. Lots of good companies, including Zappos and Amazon, in the area.
michaelochurch 1 day ago 1 reply      
You shouldn't focus only on "high coder salary" but also on quality of life.

Here are some that come to mind, in no particular order: Austin, Portland, Boulder, Baltimore, Chicago, Durham.

ronreiter 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think algo trading in New York is very profitable.
alexdowad 1 day ago 1 reply      
Find your own (remote) freelance consulting jobs, live wherever you want. In our industry, there's no reason why work and residence need to be coupled together.
earless1 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Atlanta Metro area is a great place to be. cost of living is low and there are many big companies located here.
fastforward85 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nashville and Chattanooga. Jobs range from $50k-$125k and rent is from $700-$1500/mo. Chattanooga is cheaper of the 2, but fewer jobs. Chattanooga also has gigabit internet and is practically in the middle of Nashville and Chattanooga. Great outdoor access for paddling, biking hiking and climbing. Not sure why I haven't moved there yet!
volandovengo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Is there an RFC for weights and measures?
2 points by joshdotsmith  1 day ago   1 comment top
vermasque 1 day ago 0 replies      
According to this, apparently IETF may not care much: http://people.csail.mit.edu/jaffer/MIXF/
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