hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    22 Sep 2013 Ask
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Ask HN: Nepal's ccTLD registrar won't let devs update nameservers. What to do?
47 points by njsubedi  17 hours ago   32 comments top 10
sbashyal 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I am from Nepal (living in the US) so it gives me joy to see this post in HN. I see that you wanted to know if ICANN has basic guidelines that could be enforced in Nepal. I do not know much about that.

But, I suggest that you initiate a local campaign to pressure Mercantile to make the process easier. Here are few ideas to consider -1. Bring this to the attention of Computer Association of Nepal2. Share this tragedy with tech-activists (Gaurab Raj Upadhyaya, Brijen Joshi, Bhupal Sapkota, Ankur Sharma, Akar Anil are few names that come to mind) and get their help raising the concern to the wider community (blogs, meetings etc)3. Meet with Mercantile management to make sure they are aware of the current hoops and communicate how backward the current process is. Also make sure they are not being asked to make it this way from govt. agencies. Offer help if they need it.4. Meet with government representatives and request them to facilitate the needed change.

Email me if you need intros to people I mentioned above or if there is anything else I could do.

spindritf 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think there's anything you can really do but jump through their hoops.

Although, to spare yourself future problems, you could register nepalesefreedns.net and have people point nameservers for their .np domains to nsX.nepalesefreedns.net. Set up XName[1] or a similar panel for it.

That way you will only have to endure the pain once. That is, until the registry breaks something else.

[1] http://source.xname.org/

bortzmeyer 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Since it is a ccTLD, it is a nepalese internal matter and I don't see why ICANN should be involved at all. Ask local authorities, write to the governement, raise the issue in the local Internet community, etc.
hisyam 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Yesterday I bought a .my domain from Exabytes and I found that the nameservers can only be updated through their support staff rather than using their control panel.

Not as bad as your problem but a mild annoyance nonetheless.

mariuolo 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I doubt there's much you can do, except having the contract legally enforced.

Would that be viable?

codesink 15 hours ago 3 replies      
That sucks.

What also sucks is being asked for money to change name servers only:

  .gr: 46.64 (74 USD)  .cz: 14.57  .dk: 24.29  .hu: 17.49  .ro: 17.49

njsubedi 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there any way we can force Mercantile Corp. to let us edit nameservers ourselves? There's no any law regarding domain naes in Nepal, so are there international laws? ICANN Registrars' Policy? Anything that helps?
houzi 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Being a Nepali citizen, you know that the only way to get people in powerful positions to do what they are supposed to do without paying, is to retaliate the blackmail. In this case I hope you can get an International organization to look at this. If not, perhaps you could get this to the attention of some hacktivists.
nootanghimire 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I changed my nameserver from the MOS control panel some time ago. It took about a week, though.
dgilam 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Its Mercantile's negligence!
Ask HN: Freelancers - what do you use to generate quotes and invoices?
3 points by zensavona  2 hours ago   5 comments top 4
stevenbrianhall 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm a huge fan of http://www.freeagent.com/
clockwork_189 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
My personal favorite one used to be: http://invoiceomatic.io/I have however moved on to: http://invoiceable.co/ as it saves a copy of your invoices online.
workhere-io 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For invoices I use http://tradeshift.com, but I'm not sure they handle quotes.
dylanhassinger 2 hours ago 1 reply      


Ask HN: Do you know of any resources for reuniting refugees with their families?
4 points by droopyEyelids  6 hours ago   3 comments top 3
NovemberWest 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
You could google info on historical efforts like The Underground Railroad and see how that operated. I have heard personal anecdotes of sending cash in the mail to help pay fees (bribes essentially) to get the paperwork to get relatives out of East Germany decades ago. Efforts of this sort are often not the kind of thing you strongly advertise.
lifeisstillgood 4 hours ago 0 replies      
cannot find it now but there is a ted talk about I think Italian hackers who setup website to reunite people after earthquake and it is still used by NGOs for similar reunite projects. (this is finding not immigration problems) seems a good place to start
girishso 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out http://rapidftr.com/ runs on Android and is already in use in some countries I believe.
HN: Looking to set up zipcar-like non-profit service for the poor.
5 points by Killah911  7 hours ago   6 comments top 2
notahacker 6 hours ago 1 reply      
One of your biggest issues to iron out is who qualifies for access to the scheme (anyone poor enough to consider renting a donated car for a very low fee? That's probably a lot of people, even in the US). Then you've got to figure out how much you want to spend promoting the scheme to those people - assuming the economics of the scheme are such that marketing doesn't generate a positive ROI.

Another issue might be that the genuine poor who most need cars are those that use them - all day every day - to go to and from their low paid jobs. If you intend the cars to actually be shared you'll have to choose a way of addressing that.

mdaniel 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Or perhaps ZipCar isn't the business to emulate/disrupt but rather Lyft. I could imagine the poor getting a ride to their work much faster than the bus, and if it's faster that means more time with their children, more time for (or even the logistical ability to get) a second job, or hopefully more time to attend school. I could envision both outcomes: a service like Lyft that targets lower wage workers, or maybe even just subsidizing a Lyft membership.

The hazard I envision with ZipCar-lite is not only the monopoly the other commenter raised but also incidental costs (gas, accidents, etc) unless your plan is to subsidize those items, too.

Best wishes for your project, it could be great!

Ask HN: The book you always wanted to read but never had time or motivation for?
4 points by gghh  7 hours ago   9 comments top 7
callmeed 6 hours ago 0 replies      
To look smart (I think): Gdel, Escher, Bach or anything by Ayn Rand
lemma 6 hours ago 0 replies      
to look smart Gravity's Rainbow

ashamed of: the Dark Tower series

tech: no interest in reading one from cover to cover, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise

edit: not sure which way I interpret "ashamed", take it how you will!

contextual 6 hours ago 0 replies      
To look smart: The Tao of Physics

Ashamed of the title: Yoga, Inc

Tech book: CSS and HTML Web Design (because I've been faking it all along)

gghh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
to look smart: The Count of Monte Cristo, A. Dumas

ashamed of: The Neuromancer, W. Gibson

Tech: Lions' Commentary on Unix, J. Lions

w_t_payne 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Err.... all of them?
mindcrime 7 hours ago 2 replies      
one is for the title you are a little ashamed of

FWIW, I'm interpreting this as "ashamed to admit you haven't read this title yet" as opposed to "ashamed to admit you want to read this title".

To Look Smart: Wolfram's A New Kind of Science

Ashamed Of: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP)

Tech: Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming

Re-Ask HN: Any good books/lectures for database systems implementation?
4 points by zerr  8 hours ago   2 comments top 2
tjr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You might look at books by Michael Stonebraker, such as:


To be fair, I've not read these books; I attended a lecture of his at MIT, and he seemed to really know his stuff. If I wanted to study DB implementation, I'd start with his writings.

Ask HN: How do you go about choosing a cool code name for your hack?
4 points by bhoomit  8 hours ago   3 comments top 2
ElongatedTowel 7 hours ago 1 reply      
How do you choose a name for anything anyway? From company names to personal blogs, naming them is a fruitless exercise. In the end you're trying to be clever but instead you end up with something that means wang in vietnamese or is inspired by a straight quote from a line in a book you think fits your character but is really something that speaks to a hundred million people, which is the exact same number of people who read the book in the first place. Then it sounds either obscure or cheesy.
thex86 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Single character or double character names are the trend these days. (Not saying I support that though!)
Britain's GCHQ hacked Belgium's telco Belgacom
91 points by filipmaertens  1 day ago   30 comments top 4
rwmj 1 day ago 2 replies      
Interestingly, this has not been reported in the UK.
filipmaertens 1 day ago 0 replies      
Through excitement this was erroneously posted and contains the same article of Der Spiegel as https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6416660
bsullivan01 1 day ago 3 replies      
Safe to say that they hacked every {country}com they could. That's not personal, just business.
Play with iOS 7 stop watch, and learn how fast is your fingers & phone touch
2 points by rohu1990  7 hours ago   1 comment top
Someone 7 hours ago 0 replies      
1. How do you get 8ms? The stopwatch only shows centiseconds.

2. You probably mean minimum, rather than maximum.

3. I got that down to 0.05 s (50 milliseconds) by using two fingers on an iPad. That took about 30 seconds, and I also got a .06 in that time, so it probably can be improved upon.

Ask HN: Startups: Tell me 3 problems you wish somebody would solve for you
9 points by ceekay  22 hours ago   8 comments top 3
capkutay 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Transportation in the bay area..Perhaps private wifi busses as a paid service where you could crowdsource the destinations/routes?
a3voices 22 hours ago 2 replies      
1) A replacement for http://stickam.com/

2) A really good text to speech app for news so I can listen to it in my car

I can't think of a third right now.

lgieron 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Seamless Scala - Eclipse - Maven integration
Ask HN: Clojure vs Elixir for robotics?
6 points by z3phyr  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: recommend a book that explains how computers work down to the silicon
9 points by null_ptr  1 day ago   8 comments top 6
cju 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Structured Computer Organization by Andrew S. Tanenbaum. I don't know the newer edition but the 3rd edition is the first computer book I have read and its layered approach is great (and I think, was new at that time)
dangrossman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look up the "system architecture" course in the CS department of your favorite university. Download the syllabus, slides, and required reading list.
ra00l 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Charles Petzold's Code: http://www.charlespetzold.com/code/
chamblin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check out Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold for a slightly romantic take, or Malvino's Digital Computer Electronics for an undergraduate view of computer architecture.
camkego 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Who is going to buy RIM?
5 points by doubt_me  1 day ago   5 comments top 4
avenger123 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not Samsung? I would imagine having a portfolio of patents that they can use to keep Apple at bay would be worth 6-7 Billion. Plus, they could use the enterprise advantage that Blackberry has to further dominate their Android position.
benologist 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think Google has any pressing need to buy a 2nd struggling manufacturer.

I would guess Amazon, Facebook, or maybe a big Chinese corporation.

pintglass 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Why buy it? Looks like their customer base is heading for something close to 0 within a few years.
OrwellianChild 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The only remaining viable part of BlackBerry (as RIM is known now) is their BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service, which is like WhatsApp, but came out a decade ago. The user base is still very large (60m worldwide), so the platform could valuable as a standalone offering or as part of another mobile services company.

The patent portfolio will likely go to the highest bidder, independent of any company assets. No one needs their devices or the OS. Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung are all candidates, or it may go to a consortium of some/all, as has happened in the past with the sale of Nortel's portfolio.

Is Bruce Schneier's Blog Down?
9 points by giardini  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
einhverfr 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of what Robert Bowman said about the Strategic Defence Initiative, that the great danger of weapons to take out Soviet early warning satellites would be that the Soviets would not be able to tell the difference between a freak accident and a US pre-emptive attack. The fear then is that the Soviets could jump to the wrong conclusions and launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike because they thought the US was about to do the same.

So Scneier's blog is down and we can't tell if it is a freak outage or if it is an outside party. Scary times.

chopin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Only http://www.schneier.com is down. https://www.schneier.com works for me.

The site above does not check for https URL's.

pfortuny 1 day ago 0 replies      
Down in Northern Spain also @09:00
skidoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is disturbing. Hopefully he's not just calling it a day and moving to the mountains.
cdman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems to work from Romania (although it errored out on the first try, it worked after that).
Ask HN: Help? Despite years of trying, I cannot learn to program.
15 points by austenallred  2 days ago   30 comments top 20
pwg 2 days ago 1 reply      
> So what can I do to make programming interesting enough that I'll want to learn how to do it?

Pick a simple chore you do now manually by hand and try to automate it so that the computer can do it for you.

This way, you may have more motivation, because if you can automate the chore, you won't have to do it manually anymore.

Learning to code from the "how-tos" is hard if you are unmotivated because the examples they ask you to create are not something you'll ever need, or use, again. Therefore you have difficulty staying motivated because it all feels like busy work.

Note, the word "simple" above is critically important. You have to pick something that is within your skill level. So it has to be something "simple".

mdip 2 days ago 0 replies      
My biggest problem is that I find it really, really hard to get interested, and I'm terrible at motivating myself to do something I'm not interested in.

I'll ignore the obvious question of "why are you trying to do something you're not interested in?" because that's not what you're asking. I think most people are terrible at motivating themselves to do something they're not interested in, so the trick is to find a way to hack that.

I've seen so many people decide to learn to "program" because it was part of their Computer Science degree which they chose to pursue because that's where the jobs are. Many of them finished their degrees and ended up in a "software factory" churning out code for as long as they could stand to do it.

I don't see programming as an end unto itself (that "job" is not going to make you enjoy programming; it'll probably make you hate it). It's a skill that allows you to make things. To manufacture interest in programming, program something to enhance something you are interested in. Stick with easy things -- something you could learn to do from an hour long tutorial in your language of choice (and stick with an easy language). Don't stress over building something that is "right" or even attempt to understand best practices at this stage. Doing so will probably result in loss of interest.

Once you've made something that helps something you're interested in, the positive feedback from that experience might challenge you to look at more complicated tasks, further honing your ability. At some point, you'll encounter a problem that will be complicated enough that you'll have to go back and learn how to do things "right", and you'll probably be far enough along in your pursuit that you'll enjoy learning how to do it right.

I've done this myself with a few skills I wanted to pick up. I've always wanted to get into hardware, but could never manufacture the interest. Recently found myself purchasing an Arduino and a bunch of mysterious parts to make a device that will send me and my wife a text when the dryer completes its cycle. My interest in doing this was for task avoidance -- I hate ironing.

dragonwriter 2 days ago 1 reply      
> I have been trying to force myself to learn to program for years [...] My biggest problem is that I find it really, really hard to get interested, and I'm terrible at motivating myself to do something I'm not interested in.

Why are you trying to force yourself to do something you aren't interested in? My first suggestion would be to really understand what you want out of it, and why you are doing this.

My second suggestion, if you decide it is something you really do want to do and you have a good story for yourself as to why you are doing it is to try to do learning with either a co-learner or a mentor who understands your motivation for learning, and to try to work with them to find real projects to apply what you are learning that relate to your motivation.

NovemberWest 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would suggest you get assessed for a learning disability. The pattern you describe is extremely typical for someone who is 2xE -- I.e. both bright and learning disabled. Identifying and addressing a previously undiagnosed disability is typically life changing in the most wonderful way.

For this specific issue, I suggest you go to programmer meet-ups and make friends in person. Find someone you hit off with. Ask them to do a little hand holding and explaining. You might have to try this a few times before you find someone that clicks with you in the right way. Once you get over that initial hump, you will likely be fine.

nicholas73 2 days ago 0 replies      
You need a project that you want to finish at all costs. Programming is a grueling bit by bit learning process. You will Google just as much as you program. Heck, when I first started, I tried to understand a complex Facebook app. I literally Google'd the code line by line.

Check out how my first project looks now: http://sudokuisland.com

There are now several thousand lines of code, both front end and back end. I can build handle all parts of the stack. The learning process took over a year but that was while working full time.

As much as I can't praise Udacity and Codeacademy enough, they aren't enough. Without a project you will forget everything you learned. I know my code inside and out, and can refer to it when I see a similar problem.

whichdan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I started learning to code when I was a kid -- not by reading books or plowing through tutorials, but by making websites. I'd build something simple, and then iterate on it, adding features as I felt like it. After a certain point I got the urge to recode my work, then having a better understanding of how all the pieces fit together. After several apps, I started to gain a more intrinsic sense for how programming "worked."

In short: why not sit down and try to code something simple?

s_baby 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quality and consistency of practice is better than quantity.

A) It's better to give 100% for 30 minutes then 70% for 60 minutes. 30 minutes a day is a small commitment even for those with lack of motivation.

B) Don't judge your practice by how much you've accomplished that day but by how successful you were at "practicing perfectly" for your allotted time.

bdfh42 2 days ago 0 replies      
The key here is that in all probability you need a realistic programming task that will result in a piece of software you want to use.

It is exceedingly difficult to just "learn to program". If you were to go to college then you would be set tasks that you would be motivated to complete (for a qualification of what have you) and you would thus learn enough about programming to complete the task.

Without the motivation for each stage of learning - the task of learning would be pretty dry.

cprncus 1 day ago 0 replies      
In line with several other comments:

1) Programming is not the "the literacy of the 21st century." Come on. It isn't now and it never will be, unless languages evolve to be essentially AIs that you can just request features in English, and even then it won't be, since most people won't bother to make programs. I'll go to the mat on this one. Those who bandy this idea around are misrepresenting reality.

2) Dan Miller, a career guru/author, has a point in one of his books that you should not attempt to strengthen your weaknesses--because then you end up with "strong weaknesses". Instead, strengthen your strengths. If you are good at soft skills, selling, design, idea man stuff, DO THAT, and leave the Model View Controller stuff to those who live and breathe that. You'll (likely) never do it as well as they do, anyway.

3) If you insist on learning to programming despite these two admonitions not to, I agree with many here who wrote: pick a project, and do it. And not some dopey toy project that you don't care about. Something real. I had an idea for an application years ago and have been working on it in my spare time and now feel that I can program, at least to some level. If you are in a company, work with the tech people to contribute to one module or one class or one feature, and start there. Become master of that section, and then move on.

memracom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Python the Hard Way? And you are not already a software developer in some other language? I wonder whether your problem is that you are not beginning at the beginning. Try again by focusing on learning from a book and practicing everything on your own computer. Which book? That is the first thing that you need to focus on, seriously. Spend a week evaluating various beginner books for Javascript and Python, both of which are reasonable languages to start with. Yes, I said a FULL week. You need to identify candidate books, find a copy in a bookstore or a library or through borrowing, and then spend a couple of hours studying the book, i.e. read the complete table of contents. Read the introduction. Look at a chapter near the beginning of the book, one near the middle and one near the end. Think about what you understand and what you do not understand. Your goal is to find an author whose voice is clear for you. Nobody else can do this job for you. You will know it when you see it, because the right book for you will seem clear, understandable, and a joy to read compared to the other ones.

That said, there is something to be said for just diving into the deep end, especially if you have a real world use for some software. Engineers and Scientists tend to learn programming this way. They download EPD Python or iPython, grab some experimental data, and start writing analysis tools to give meaning to their raw data. Is there something in your real life where you could solve a problem with software? If so, then relentlessly working on it a few hours a day will get you to your goal. And remember, real software developers use Google. The blogosphere and sites like StackOverflow are a developer's friend.

junto 2 days ago 0 replies      
One of the reasons I love programming is that it has a tight feedback loop. It gives me small challenges throughout the day which need solving. Each time I solve a problem I feel like I have achieved something and it makes me happy.

You need an actual task to achieve and you need to want to achieve it, otherwise why bother?

mscottmcbee 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a professional programmer, I can't sit down, open a book on a language/platform, and read it and learn it. It doesn't matter how much I want to learn that language/platform. I have to learn by doing.

Forget about learning to program. Figure out what you want to make, and start making it.

I've been working on an Android app recently. This is my third or so attempt at learning the platform. This time, I've actually made good progress, because I have a goal. I started not by saying "Gee, I want to learn this", but by saying "Why does this app not exist? I could make it. I should make it"

Start with a basic "Hello world". After that, instead of going onto the next chapter, think "What's the easiest thing I can do next to advance my goal".

vasilipupkin 2 days ago 0 replies      
You don't need to learn to program unless you have a specific goal in mind. Lack of such goal is probably why you can't bring yourself to do it. It's a myth that everyone needs to know how to program
jpd750 2 days ago 0 replies      
My biggest problem when I first started out was just following tutorials and thinking "hmmm, i really dont get this".

The best way I learned to program is to do it. No,seriously. Pick a project you want to make and make it. If a task like "user registration" is too tough, break it down further into subtasks e.g. create form to register, have form send info to db, etc.

Following tutorials and online sources that have you make useless things like "CREATE A CALCULATOR" I never found useful in trying to learn programming.

danvoell 2 days ago 0 replies      
If programming isn't interesting enough, figure out a problem you really want to solve with programming. Such that every morning you wake up saying its up to me to solve this problem, I'm going to figure out how to get past every wall in my way and I'm going to reach out to people for help, since this problem needs to get solved.
TeeWEE 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dont learn yourself something you're not interested in. Its a lot more difficult this way..
meerita 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here a novel coder. I learn Ruby + Rails later.

After reading 2000 books on the matter, python and all the stuff I learnt only by before having the need to build something.

When I found out I wanted to build something, I started to understand coding. When I found a stopper I went back to the books, Google, and so on. At the end, I built the product I wanted and learnt to code. I think it's the only way to motivate yourself and learn how to code.

ceekay 2 days ago 0 replies      
Step back for a minute: why do you want to learn programming ? To build out an idea you have ? Or to get a job as a professional coder ? If former, you don't really need to learn coding - consider hiring others to do it, look at odesk.com or elance.com or craigslist.com. Product Management is an equally interesting / important skill.

If latter, and if you really want to be coding for the love of it, get real serious and focus. Figure out what area (systems ? web ? mobile ?) and just code. If web consider devbootcamp.com. Otherwise get a book and write code. I'm not a huge fan of online tools. Coding is like driving. The more you do, the better you'll get. No one can teach you.

adultSwim 2 days ago 0 replies      
Find an actual person to teach you. People teach much better than a book can.

I know the feeling with having trouble working through books. Quit trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. Find what works for you (your current approach doesn't!)

Don't learn/read things just because you think they are good for you. Do what you are actually interested in.

known 2 days ago 0 replies      
Try analyzing your bank transactions/statements in an Excel spreadsheet. For e.g change interest rates/fees etc.
Show HN: iOS7 iPad POP3 client splitting commands unnecessarily over packets
6 points by jorangreef  1 day ago   1 comment top
bdcravens 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you had a chance to test gopher support yet?
Ask HN: Best Hackathon Practices?
5 points by curiouscat321  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
thejulielogan 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Meet people. There is a wealth of talented and interesting people at a good hackathon.

If you're joining a team, be very clear about your abilities and limits so they can resource properly.

Find people who need a break and chat to them about what they're working on, what they do normally. Again, meet people.

Talk to the sponsors, even if you don't need help. Those guys/gals are usually rad.

Presentation matters. Practice yours.

zachlatta 1 day ago 0 replies      
Time is your biggest constraint. Work accordingly. Choose a project that you think you'll be able to implement in a quarter of the time allotted. You'll be grateful when you run into snags during development and you'll have some extra time for polish and presentation.
lsiebert 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pick a target that you can make worse/better depending on time constraints.

Focus on what is essential vs. What is nice.

Focus on your strong suits. Have an artist doing visual elements? Build the visual interface first.

kayhi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Slightly off topic, know any details about MHacks only seeing start and end times on their website.
Why aren't HN comments collapsible?
3 points by coryfklein  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
michaelwww 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't understand what your issue is with a browser ext. The one I use just works -- so well that I forget and had to stop and think about your headline that comments aren't collapsible.


coryfklein 1 day ago 0 replies      
Also, I know that there exist browser extensions to allow comment collapsing, but the problem extends beyond a mere functionality problem - since comments can't be collapsed, the actual comment structure changes, and that is something no browser extension can fix.
Ask HN: What email client do you use?
13 points by hiddentao  2 days ago   22 comments top 21
lifeisstillgood 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ooooh this hits a sore point with me this week.

I have used gmail to date simply because I must have a synched service between laptop and mobile. So gmail was just there as a IMAP/SMTP server for the iPhone mail reader

However as pg has pointed out, and the pretty good ActiveInbox implemented (hey ActiveInbox - apply for YC!) a mail inbox is really a task list.

And it must be linked to a contact book. All of which must be integrated at the event level.

So which mail client I use is less of the question than how do I solve

* capturing and synching contact details, contact events, email messages and tags across all these

I have a workable solution in gmail now, but I cannot capture events on my iPhone. Android appraently does so I will switch but its not all tied together neatly.

I have played with mutt and goobook but frankly I can see a good couple of weeks disappearing down this rathole. Yet it should be a solved problem. VCards, iCal, X-Headers, the solution is there. It just seems there is no RFC we can agree on

my rant on this subject: http://blog.mikadosoftware.com/2013/09/17/help-i-cannot-find...

Edit: am I just ill-informed (!) or has there really been no successful standardisation for "managing contact details events and tasks in a mailbox?"

artificialidiot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since apparently everyone uses nothing but gmail, I think I am in minority by using Thunderbird consistently through years.

I use gmail, yahoo mail (through an extension), connect several pop3(I tell it to leave messages onn server), imap servers for work (for which emails are occasionally harvested and sold to spammers somehow..) and my own mail server (Hey, I am a web developer. No excuse to not have a el cheapo vps with webserver and an email servers combo), local maildir and mbox delivery for testing crap I write, several newsgroups and a shitloads of RSS/Atom feeds. It also has some xmpp integration of dubious usability. I also have Lightning extension which is supposed to behave as a calendar but I am a disorganised person and rarely check email by contemporary standard of every five minutes, whole day. Oh, and local spam detection.

Sure I look forward to Mailpile (just checked the marketing blurb) which promises to not show me ads and perform faster than "cloud" while offering all the features that should exist in practice to justify calling itself an email client. Competition is good and thunderbird is going senile by every passing day anyway.

I hope they won't spin off their custom web server as a standalone project too.

OriginalAT 2 days ago 0 replies      
I personally just use Gmail's web interface when on my computer and the Gmail apps when on my phone or tablet. Even when I worked for an enterprise facing company where everyone used Outlook (and had for years) I used the Gmail web interface/apps since the company used Google Apps.

I've just always felt that a desktop client just adds another layer where things can go wrong.

stevekemp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I ssh into a remote VPS, where all my mail is delivered into ~/Maildir.

From there I read it with lumail, if I have problems I revert to mutt.

I've got webmail setup for those times when I'm travelling and cannot use ssh.

wikwocket 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thunderbird, version 3, and you'll get me to upgrade when you pry the mouse out of my cold dead fingers.

Thunderbird was the first client I found that let me manage multiple separate accounts through the same interface, receiving and sending mail from each in a logical way. There's probably other ways to do that now, but I'm terrified of upsetting a system that Just Works.

wazari972 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mainly Gmail web (and android) interfaces, because it's by far the most intuitive and furnished client I've tested. I also use Thunderbird and Horde for a non gmail account, but I'm far from being happy with them. Actually, I feel more like if I'm back at stone age with them ...NB: I'm actively looking for alternatives to gmail
stevenrace 2 days ago 0 replies      
emacs + mu4e [1]

Since it's within Emacs there's great GPG support, familiar keybindings, and less contextual shift than switching to a browser. It's also fully searchable, usable offline, and non-blocking to other emacs operations.

[1] http://www.djcbsoftware.nl/code/mu/mu4e.html

auganov 1 day ago 0 replies      
Outlook.Gave up on gmail after getting more email accounts.Generally speaking Outlook and OneNote are my two favorite Microsoft programs that I have no viable replacement for.
lefnire 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't found anyone else who uses it surprisingly, but Gmail Offline (Chrome App). I use it when online. It has amazing keyboard shortcuts (faster than Gmail proper), and then of course you get the perk that the data is offline once you hit the train. Actually, I think the keyboard shortcuts might be the only reason I use it...
jameswyse 2 days ago 1 reply      
On my mac I eventually replaced Sparrow with Airmail, it's good though can be a little buggy at times.On my iPhone I use Mailbox
bnejad 2 days ago 0 replies      
Outlook at work(no choice), k9 mail on Android, & Thunderbird on personal computers.
apricot13 2 days ago 0 replies      
Gmail for reading / sending email and thunderbird for backups on my mac.
qwerta 2 days ago 0 replies      
Claws-Mail. I found web-based clients slow.
bpierre 2 days ago 0 replies      
Airmail on OSX.
mattbillenstein 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mutt son - Mutt.
aen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sparrow on my Mac and Mail on my iDevices. I like simple and light clients.
webjames 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use gmail (google apps) for now, but am excited by MailPile(.is)
hiddentao 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like a lot of people like the Gmail interface.
dshep 2 days ago 0 replies      
itaCas 2 days ago 0 replies      
2close4comfort 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Looking to chat with small-mid startups that are hiring
4 points by ericmsimons  1 day ago   1 comment top
davismwfl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Eric, what is the problem you feel you have solved?

As a founder there are a few different issues that I see us dealing with. 1) finding people, 2) parsing though the people we find, 3) finding those worth talking to, 4) finding those worth risking an offer to. Which problem are you saying you figure out how to solve, each has its own unique dilemma to solve.

Ask HN: How do you get hired for a senior role without "experience"?
8 points by diminium  2 days ago   12 comments top 6
staunch 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you truly have the knowledge and judgement(!) to justify a senior position, regardless of years of experience, you should have no trouble landing such a position.

There may be some companies with biases that will prevent it, but there are plenty of companies that don't care how old you are, what you look like -- just that you're really good at what you do.

But be aware that many people overestimate their abilities or undervalue the judgement that years of experience bring. There's a lot of value in having been around long enough to see things come and go. To have made lots of mistakes and learned valuable lessons. Some people really are so good that they can skip much of that, but it's very rare. The only safe bet is to assume you're not one of those people.

And I wouldn't get too hung up about titles. If someone wants to call you "Junior Dog Walker" but pays you and treats you like you want to be treated then don't worry about it.

donavanm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Demonstration is the best path forward. Show, dont tell, your abilities. The rest of my comment assumes this is based on a real life issue.

Youre interviewing at the wrong place, with people you shouldnt work with. When leveling a candidate two things matter, technical knowledge & leadership. Ive literally never heard anyone suggest leveling a candidate based on work history. Experience might affect comp, or indicate retention issues, but it _does not_ affect leveling.

To qualify my argument Ive a decade of experience. Ive been in "senior" roles for the last 4. Ive worked in a couple 4 man llcs, and a couple multi billion dollar tech cos. Ive probably done a hundred interviews, and ive coworkers in the hundreds and thousand range.

contitego 1 day ago 0 replies      
"You have no "experience". Whatever history you had of how you gained your knowledge is gone. Your past is unknown to this new group of people and nothing you say about it makes any sense to them.'"

This question makes no sense to me, nor does your history of posting questions on here.

Based on reading your past questions, looks like you were not a good interviewee and/or lacking in real technical skills.

Communication is the biggest key to getting any position. You need to be able to sell yourself and your abilities. Can you explain what the basics of OOP, MVC, SQL, etc? An inability to communicate these terms, invalidates your technical skills. If you can not explain what an does MVC, how can you implement this pattern into a web app?

You could not articulate common terms that were used in programming during your interview process. At other times, you write about how you can barely program anything outside of a simple app/CRUD, then a bit later are bitching about how simple these tasks are.

Focus on learning how to communicate the terms better. Every profession as certain terms and ideas that they use. Nursing has them, engineering has them, and teaching has them. Programming certainly has them. Sit down and learn the terms.

LarryMade2 2 days ago 0 replies      
You would have to be able to demonstrate your experience...

I would think go the showcasing competitive route, hackathons, open source projects, etc. If you can make a spectacular showing there and win the kudos of your peers, that would account for something.

terrykohla 2 days ago 0 replies      
are you now in the witness protection program?
6d0debc071 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, if it's just a book, if no-one's checking on it. (Which seems implied by the book being all the proof of your past life,) Then I'd go to a print shop and make myself a new book....
Ask HN: Is it time for a public GPG audit?
87 points by anotherhue  6 days ago   36 comments top 6
tptacek 6 days ago 4 replies      
That's not really how "audits" work. Coordinated public audits are responsible for a tiny fraction of all vulnerability discoveries. Most discoveries are independent. There would probably be a fairly poor return on investment for funding an official audit.

Bear in mind also that even though you've never heard of an audit of GPG, GPG is actually a pretty high-profile target. Smart people have already looked at that code pretty carefully.

Since GPG is an open source project, a better approach would be to find a way to sponsor a bounty for vulnerabilities in GPG. But here too you'll run into problems:

* It will take fo-re-ver to adjudicate what does and doesn't qualify as a serious finding. Google and Facebook manage this problem by hiring very smart vulnerability researchers and allowing them to come up with criteria pretty much by fiat. Here, you're going to end up in a 2-month-long argument about whether man page bugs are vulnerabilities because of the nature of the project.

* Output of these programs is nonlinear and unpredictable, so it'll be tricky to figure out how much money needs to be set aside to satisfy reward payouts. In the meantime: who holds that money? And where does it go when the bounty outlives its utility?

If you really want to do some good, consider starting a project (which would require no funding) to either:

(a) Build a replacement GPG in a more modern development environment, or

(b) Annotate all of GPG's source code.

runlevel1 6 days ago 2 replies      
Git provides us with a great deal of transparency.

Here's an overview of GnuPG's committers:

  Werner Koch:      2677 commits over a period of 5764 days.  David Shaw:       1197 commits over a period of 3807 days.  Marcus Brinkmann:  202 commits over a period of 3753 days.  NIIBE Yutaka:       53 commits over a period of 641 days.  Moritz Schulte:     39 commits over a period of 1756 days.  Timo Schulz:        29 commits over a period of 896 days.  Stefan Bellon:      21 commits over a period of 765 days.  Repo Admin:          9 commits over a period of 2634 days.  Andrey Jivsov:       8 commits over a period of 37 days.  Ben Kibbey:          6 commits over a period of 20 days.  Neal Walfield:       5 commits over a period of 1 day.
So it looks like the codebase has been touched by remarkably few hands!

This doesn't negate the need for a code review of some sort, but it does suggest that it would be difficult for an outside agent to silently introduce changes in master without the core developers noticing.

EDIT: Formatting.

rsync 6 days ago 1 reply      
It is time for a public OpenSSH audit.

Word on the street is the code is horrific and last I checked was not even checked into git, in any way, yet.

jpalomaki 6 days ago 0 replies      
Would it make sense to somehow record what was audited and by who, in "machine readable format"? Something that would allow others to later check how much the audited parts of code (or code that the audited part is relying) have changed since the audit.

Could be for example just a simple message "Audited, file: aaa/xyz.c, checksum 3ea1b.. revision 1c030.." signed with auditors public key.

neur0mancer 6 days ago 0 replies      
It's always a good time for a revision of privacy/security tools.
Canada 6 days ago 0 replies      
Have a look at the changelog. It's not as if people haven't been looking at it.
Ask HN: Breaking into Scientific Programming?
8 points by sciprog  2 days ago   8 comments top 5
Choronzon 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Start working on independent visualisation projects using d3.js.Data visualisation is not data science but 90% of people cant really tell the difference and if you can build up an impressive visual portfolio you will get the work you want. Whether you can do the work or not is more dependent on how you can get through Q4373j3bs excellent reading list however.

Another thing you can do is attack real world problems,there is a shocking amount of bad data science out there.See:http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/04/16/reinhart_rogo...

ihnorton 1 day ago 0 replies      
As Q4273j3b pointed out, improving quantitative skills is a must. The upcoming Coursera Machine Learning course would probably be a good start (a lot of the necessary math is introduced in the course).

Regarding the degree, credentials are important (and imperative if you want to direct your own research), but one option is to start out by contributing to an open-source project. If you have a specific area of scientific interest, then be strategic and find a project in that area. To take biology as an example, I would look at something like CellProfiler (they are on github!). Also read the papers published by that lab to get a sense for how the software is used. There are many other open-source scientific software projects, and contributions to a project could give you a foot in the door to employment as a developer in the field.

Q4273j3b 2 days ago 1 reply      
Basic prob & stats:

1. _Stats: Data and Models_ by De Veaux, Velleman & Bock

2. _Fifty Challenging Problems in Probability with Solutions_ by Mosteller

3. http://yudkowsky.net/rational/bayes

Basic data analysis:

1. _Python for Data Analysis_ by Wes McKinney

2. http://camdavidsonpilon.github.io/Probabilistic-Programming-...

3. _Exploratory Data Analysis_ by Tukey

4. _The Visual Display of Quantitative Information_ by Tufte


- R & ggplot2 & (Sweave | knitR)

- Python & numpy & pandas

- UNIX tools (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6046682, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6412190)

- basic SQL (https://schemaverse.com/tutorial/tutorial.php)

- data visualization: (R & ggplot2) | (Python & matplotlib) | d3.js

- OPTIONAL: C/C++/Java for hardcore Bayesian stuff, Julia for being cool, Fortran for specific academic domains

On getting people to take you seriously: If you knew the stuff up there, I would take you very seriously, even without the STEM degree. You can pick this stuff up outside the classroom (in fact it might be hard to find uni classes that cover this stuff). So if you did self-study, and blogged about it or something, people would take you seriously (esp. if you got good at something "hot" like d3.js or Bayesian). In fact, given your background in web / software / business, you could be considered even more valuable (by web / software / business people).

What are you interested in specifically? Where do you want to end up?

kghose 2 days ago 1 reply      
You could offer to intern at a data science place and start in their user interface/visualization end. Then as you interact more with the people doing statistical analyses you could figure out if that's something that you would like and get pointers from them what books to read/courses to take.
codeonfire 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you want to do scientific programming or work in scientific programming. To work in scientific programming you should probably find a PhD program. As a grad student in the right program you'll probably spend most of your time doing data science. Once you get the degree you can go back to where you work now except work on slightly different stuff.
Ask: Read a book that changed your life? Title?
7 points by alexpatton  2 days ago   23 comments top 16
hvass 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Black Swan (anything by Taleb really), Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Letters from a Stoic by Seneca, Epictetus' Discourses, Fish that ate the whale by Rich Cohen, Man's Search for Meaning, Titan, Principles by Ray Dalio (not really a book, but really worth reading, plus it's free), 4HW by Tim Ferris, The Strategy Paradox.

Also Teddy Roosevelt's biography has been very influential.

ahsanhilal 2 days ago 0 replies      
On Being Free by Frithjof Bergmann changed my perspective on what work should be for an individual in a society. It's not very analytically heavy and is definitely a great read. I also met him and what he is doing around the world is pretty amazing.

I still remember how he told me in 2005-06 that 3d printing is going to usher in a whole new idea of what work should actually be. I was a engineering student at the time, quite obsessed with the room-sized 3d printer and could not fathom exactly how that would happen. Well I guess it is starting to at least.


brd 2 days ago 1 reply      

The Alchemist

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

How to Win Friends and Influence People

dome82 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A guide to the good life: The ancient art of stoic joy by William B. Irvine
cgore 2 days ago 2 replies      
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. He is some weird combination of crazy person, scummy used-car salesman, and genius. The best idea from the book is his "dreamline" idea, and I have been doing it since around 2009. It really helps you focus your effort, and get rid of tasks that don't accomplish your goals.

[And from your Jahreslisten: the Bible.]

seanccox 1 day ago 1 reply      
White Teeth, Zadie Smith

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, Tom Robbins

Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell

Catch 22, Joseph Heller

Timequake; Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom, TE Lawrence

The Histories, Tacitus

The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger (caveat, it was most effective when I read it at 16)

Redwall, Brian Jaques (got me really excited about reading when I was in the fourth grade)

This list could be much, much longer, but those are the most prominent 'life-changers' that come to mind.

ioddly 1 day ago 1 reply      
How To Win Friends and Influence People really changed how I interact with people, for the better.
dwarman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming" - linked lists, state machines.

Carlos Castenada's Don Juan series (yes, I know it was fiction) - "one has no choice but to believe. What matters is what you believe".

John C. Lilly's "Center of the Cyclone".

These three, all around early-mid 70's, ended up moving me from the UK to Los Angeles. Strangely, each adds a different understanding to the others. Together, I guess it just makes me a bit strange. But it works.

147 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Lean Startup. I just randomly got it and read it. I was going to go into game development then after reading it I totally changed what I was going to do.
avmich 2 days ago 0 replies      
ratsimihah 2 days ago 0 replies      
ActionScript programming (2004?). My first programming book. Why ActionScript? I can't remember. But being introduced to OOP in my early teen years was fuuun.
fananta 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Alchemist was a really interesting read. I would recommend. It allows you to reflect a lot.
jlengrand 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sun Tzu - the art of war

Machiavel - The prince

mattm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Conversations with God
suniltom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Five Dysfunctions of a Team - by Patrick LencioniVery simple, powerful read.
NovemberWest 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quantum Healing
Ask HN: Scrolling vs. paging which do you prefer?
5 points by bowerbird  2 days ago   6 comments top 6
null_ptr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Almost always scrolling, no reason to interrupt my reading unless I, the reader, want to. Paging if your article loads a lot of heavy images or videos that can bring a smartphone to its knees.
bjourne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Paging is an artefact from the time when computers weren't powerful enough to show all content at the same time. For example, loading a html version of the several hundred pages long Emacs manual took an awful long time so it was more efficient to split it up into pages.

Then technology improved and in particular someone invented the SCROLL WHEEL which makes scrolling on the web much more convenient.

ceekay 2 days ago 0 replies      
Look around:Paging: Google Search, YouTube, GMail, Yahoo Search, NetflixScrolling: Yahoo browse, Udemy, Twitter, Google news (no paging)

My preference:When presenting a browse experience where the user does not know what he wants, and is just exploring, use scrolling. Make it easy to "discover more", and make it immersive UX.

When presenting search results, or anything where the "user knows what he wants", use paging. This allows user to scroll back and forth on a page to "find what he wants" and click next to go to next page.

You can mix both to present a better UX. E.g paging for search results on 2/3 and scrolling for "related / similar / you might like" on 1/3 side bar.

Also take a look at TNW.com. After reading one article, it auto scrolls the entire list page which makes it easy to browse the categories + articles which is neat.

And if you're designing for mobile, paging is painful and it almost always has to be scroll - design for the thumb.

bloodyRevolver 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel both patterns are relevant for a particular context.the important variables:A) will the user need to bookmark or revisit some of this data at a later point?B) is there a finite amount of dataC)is the order in which the data displays crucial.D)is the Dataset updated /reorganized/regenerated frequently?

so obviously if the user needs to bookmark or get back to a specific listed data point quickly pagination will be a superior pattern choice. User : "I need <x> and I know it's on page<y>"

If the order of the data is important it can go either way. Both scroll and pagination allow for this. Scrolling is advantageous because it does not limit the viewable data. While pagination allows the user to jump around the set in a predictable manner albeit with more clicks. If there is an indeterminate amount of data I think the point should go to the scroll pattern.

if the dataset is constantly updated or re-organized hands down Scrolling will be a better solution. recalculation of pagination on rapidly changing data sets is a nightmare The user's mental position in a set will be challenged and getting through the set can be complicated and take many clicks.

Scrolling becomes much more useful if there is some form of visual aid with the information being listed. Google image search is a pleasure to scroll because the set that I am scrolling through is changing giving me a natural feel of exploration.

Pagination is much more effective on static, well organized data. A phonebook makes sense to have an index. each page could be a letter allowing the user to quickly jump from section to section based on their needs. A scrolling pattern could take hours to get to the desired data with a huge volume of numbers/name pairs. Without pictures, it also requires the user to read more which could potentially further slow them down.

The patterns are not mutually exclusive. Take for instance the phone book example mentioned above. Add pictures to each user and then have multiple scrolling pages paginated by letter. This would combine the strengths of both patterns minimizing the user's need to explore, but also offering an interesting way to explore a directory.

Scrolling: spirit of exploration. Low level of interaction. Great when the user is only generally aware of what they need. Poor for searching using the UI (great for find on this page)

pagination: ordered targeting searching. Enables quick navigation, eases return trips to info. Poor exploration. disjointed for reading. High level of user interaction.

All said I really enjoy scrolling. I find it relaxing, Seamless when reading articles, and it frankly feels more natural to use. I think there are good ways to use pagination, however I feel that I see it used inappropriately more often than scrolling.

-Tom Marra Javascript Front-end Developer

mikeburrelljr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Scrolling: the way the Internet was meant to be viewed; Optimizes user experience. * I can view the information quickly and easily one page, at a glance * When viewing on a mobile device, I don't have to wait for additional load times for additional pages (less http requests)

(No, I don't want to click through 1,642 pages to view your article or list of top X things!)

bowerbird 2 days ago 0 replies      
thanks for your feedback so far.

how about long-form matter?

e-books in particular...


Using Google to Find the Best StackOverflow Result
3 points by kvanderd  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
InformalRelief 20 hours ago 0 replies      
But tags. If I type in [android] in the stackoverflow search box, it gives me all questions tagged android. This doesn't work if I use google.
thoughtpalette 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always just type stackoverflow.com and hit tab in the chrome address bar.
auslegung 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks! Simple stuff that some of us know, but I'm still not in the habit yet of using it. Great reminder!
What Google's Calico Anti-aging initiative will actually do
3 points by drcode  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
matthudson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mapping, modeling, and indexing a cell's structure is a very different problem than indexing hyperlink structure on the internet.

A wholesale computational model of the cell is an incredibly ambitious task to achieve via a broad, unfocused approach to building a chem-concentration database.

The main issue they would face is in your bullet #1: What is your "Pagerank" for cell structure and chem-concentration analysis, what/who do you put your weight behind?

How do you merge these data sets? This research is distributed in labs all over the planet with different quality standards, research objectives, lab conditions, data hygiene, statistical significance, etc.

What you've written seems like a plausible approach in a pure research setting within a single lab, but if their end goal is a computational model of the cell with commercial side-effects along the way-- the best way to achieve that would be to chip away at it piecemeal. Not through an unfocused merger of cell "big data".

E.g. identify specific protein binding sites and conformations that correlate with a specific type of breast cancer, track their conformations under different conditions--- prove that your data is superior to data yielded by existing models.

Of course, you would also have to monetize somehow.

The specific thing you chose is less important than not attempting to paint the whole model at once.

cprncus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Although something akin to this should occur, I think your post understates the computational enormity of the issue. Many diseases are not caused by single genes or single environmental conditions, but interactions between dozens of genes and the environment, even epigenetic factors. Big Data (huge data) approaches will begin to chip away at the mountain, but even with Google's super powers, it's a ways off.

> (1) would improve therapies across the board for all major diseases at once

How? Unless if by "at once" you mean they would begin the era of using this approach on any disease. But surely each disease will have its own puzzle.

Bruce Schneier has changed his PGP key to 4096 bits
215 points by oktypok  9 days ago   discuss
tptacek 9 days ago 5 replies      

- he really doesn't use his PGP key all that often, had the same one for 16 years on god knows how many computers, and decided that if he's going to generate a new one, he might as well send a message with it.

elliotanderson 9 days ago 1 reply      
Bruce's article on staying secure from the NSA[1] talks about using an air gapped computer to avoid being compromised via the network. If he hadn't been keeping his keys on such a machine previously - recent disclosures may have changed his mind and forced him to regenerate his keys.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-how-to-rema...

IgorPartola 9 days ago 8 replies      
So I have a GPG key. I used it a couple of times. Currently, it's most useful to me to sign my own Debian package repository. However, I can't seem to figure out how to get into the whole Web of Trust thing. Nobody I know has their own GPG/PGP key that they use and have signed by others and tools like BigLumber and other places where I looked for key signing parties have not turned up any results. I not spending all my free time looking for GPG users, but I have spent what I feel is more than a casual amount of time looking for people to exchange key signatures with. What do y'all do for this? Any advice?

Edit: I am located in the North Eastern part of the US.

Edit 2: perhaps we need a geolocation aware social network a la Square but just for notifying you of other nearby PGP users...

hannibal5 9 days ago 1 reply      
There is nothing suspicious with that.

He has worked previously in mostly corporate and private context, so 2048 is just fine. Now he works with people and data NSA wants their hands on and he wants the data to be secure also in the future. It's just reasonable to move to 4096 key sizes.


>Dr Lenstra and Dr Verheul offer their recommendations for keylengths. In their calculation, a 2048 bit key should keep your secrets safe at least until 2020 against very highly funded and knowledgeable adversaries (i.e. you have the NSA working against you). Against lesser adversaries such as mere multinationals your secret should be safe against bruteforce cryptoanalysis much longer, even with 1024 bit keys.

See also: http://www.keylength.com

vabmit 9 days ago 2 replies      
An interesting thing to note about 4096bit RSA openPGP keys, that's what Snowden was using. His PGP Key was a 4096bit RSA signing key with a 4096bit RSA encryption subkey.
farktronix 9 days ago 1 reply      
It's curious that he didn't sign his new key with his old key. Does anyone have a good explanation for why he wouldn't want to do that?
michiel3 9 days ago 2 replies      
In the post he also describes that he now uses a new process which involves a computer that has never been connected to the internet and its sole purpose is encrypting and decrypting files. Why not use it to encrypt and decrypt emails as well? That'd also potentially involve generating a new key pair.

> 3) Assume that while your computer can be compromised, it would take work and risk on the part of the NSA so it probably isn't. If you have something really important, use an air gap. Since I started working with the Snowden documents, I bought a new computer that has never been connected to the internet. If I want to transfer a file, I encrypt the file on the secure computer and walk it over to my internet computer, using a USB stick. To decrypt something, I reverse the process. This might not be bulletproof, but it's pretty good.

autodidakto 9 days ago 2 replies      
Anyone know of a good tutorial for revoking and recreating your key as painlessly as possibly?
rdl 9 days ago  replies      
I wish there were a decent hardware PGP key token available now -- something which could support 4096 RSA and communicated via (ideally) BT but also acceptable USB to a host. The GPF stick is out of stock.
Ask HN: Tips for or mistakes to avoid when posting to Show HN
14 points by ohfunkyeah  3 days ago   12 comments top 7
ggchappell 3 days ago 0 replies      
- Put a clear statement of what this thing is on the main page of the site (which should be the page linked to on HN).

- Don't ask my to sign up or give you personal info without giving me a good reason; let me see a demo or at least something like screenshots/results/examples first. Related: what am I getting out of taking time on your site and/or letting you know about me? Do I trust that you'll deal with my personal info in a respectful manner? (Hint: No, I don't.)

- If you are not a native speaker of English, then run the site by a native speaker before publicizing.

Concerning the first two above: even when you've paid attention to them, you probably haven't done nearly as good a job as you think. I come to your site knowing nothing about you or what you've done; help me understand.

For example, you say, "Unclear message about why I would use said app". Sure, make it clear. But first, pay attention to a more fundamental question: make sure that your site indicates that it is about an app. And be clear what platforms the app is available for. And how to get it. And does it cost something. Etc.

(Idea: Find someone who knows nothing about your project, show them the site, and then ask them what they think it's about. If there is a sign-up, then ask them if they noticed it. Ask them what they think they get out of signing up. Don't give them any hints beyond what they already saw on the site.)

thekingshorses 2 days ago 0 replies      
Instead of posting to show HN first, piggy back on somebody else's post that has similar idea, or topic. Post it as a comment and look at the response, comments, pageviews that you get. Fix/make changes based on the response. And once you think it is MVP, post it as show HN.
fjabre 2 days ago 1 reply      
Actually FUCK Show HN. My advice is to stay away from HN when doing your startup. Don't play to this crowd. It's just a huge echo chamber in here. Find a way to advertise your demo or beta product online - there's 1000s of ways to do this and get it in front of customers. The END.
6thSigma 3 days ago 1 reply      
Don't put too much stock in a Show HN. They are extremely hit or miss depending on the time you submit. You might get thousands of hits, you might get 20.

The only thing you should would worry about is making sure if there is a spike that your site doesn't crash.

The other things you're talking about are not optimizing for a Show HN, they are optimizing for a successful landing page.

bdfh42 3 days ago 0 replies      
Your second and third "sins" are the ones I most frequently observe - they seem to be present in almost all "Show HN" posts - oh and not providing a link to the web site.

A well researched "sins" list in this area might make a great addition to the "Guidelines page" - but there again a poor post is probably an effective indicator for the quality of what is to be found.

stevekemp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sadly it seems that the time of day, and similar things, have more effect on the submission than anythign else.

Even posts that garner many response of "No demo?", "No screenshots?" frequently gain responses than the few things I've posted. (e.g. Console mail client with lua scripting, sysadmin tools, or my updated blog-spam detection service.)

wikwocket 3 days ago 0 replies      
In addition to a Show HN, consider writing a blog post about your app, with a very intriguing and descriptive title, and post that as a normal HN link.
Ask HN: Trying to find Pain Points for business
4 points by johnmurch  2 days ago   9 comments top 4
canterburry 2 days ago 2 replies      
OK, a few observations:

1. Not sure HN is the best place to ask this. Yes, there are plenty of start ups here and entrepreneurs, however, they are all busy just like you finding ideas

2. Go where business owners hang out who don't necessary have the tech skills in house to solve their problems.

3. Start smoking cigars

I pick up a cigar every now and then and head over to any nicer establishment with a good bar, good scotch, atmosphere and where people mingle.

1. The people I meet at cigar places are typically business owners...and not in tech. They own manufacturing businesses, finance, retail and other low tech brick and mortar type businesses who have a need for tech but typically none in house.

2. Cigar smokers love talking to other cigar smokers, even when you are a complete stranger. Also, smoking a cigar takes 1 - 2 hours...so you got them pinned. Start the conversation soft, casual...just like dating. Then start finding out more about them, what they do. Ask some simple questions about their field and let them explain as if they are pure genius. Start talking about their business...and now you start narrowing down on problems, issues.

I do this all the time. It's amazing what you can learn...and they'll love to tell you about it because they are having a good time smoking cigars, sipping scotch and hiding from the wife.

I just recently spoke to a small retail owner who has a chain of consignment stores with a number of POS systems. Buying a POS system isn't a problem, it's doing the financial reporting and consolidating data from multiple locations. He had been looking for quite some time and couldn't find anything good that actually could understand that data came from multiple locations, rather than multiple POSs inside the same store. He also had a huge number of different SKUs since no item coming in is the same as any other in a consignment store. Who knew...I would have thought this was a solved problem. It's a totally un-sexy space but I really think this is where you'll find you best ideas.

wikwocket 1 day ago 0 replies      
You may be interested in the technique Amy Hoy recommends in her 30x500 app development course, called a "sales safari." See her blog (unicornfree.com) for details, but the basic idea is to find out where people in a given niche/business hang out, and then lurk there, documenting what you see. Common watering holes are usually places people complain about things and commiserate, and paint points are likely to come up there.

This works better than asking people what their pain points are. For heaven's sake, if you want to know what someone really thinks, asking them is often the worst approach to take!

doubt_me 2 days ago 1 reply      
I maintain a tiny project that is called the freeware index and Instead of using a website I simply created a subreddit


I started it a few years ago with zero web design knowledge and have learned a bunch.

basically I am a computer tech and it was a pain in the ass to keep up with all the good software that I used so I solved it by building the freeware index.

at this moment there are 2 ways to get the entire index and one of them is via a Google spreadsheet. I recently discovered Google script and wanted to use it to expand the spreadsheet. with Google script I wanted to create a linkable row or sheet instead of the entire spreadsheet. Or somehow separate each sheet into a neat page on the blogger site I put up tariqghrayyib.blogspot.com.

the only reason as to why its so small is because I have restarted the project at least 4 times from scratch and this is the farthest I have gone so far simply because I made the subreddit where I can get more exposure.

if anyone knows Google script and can help that would be beyond awesome

NovemberWest 2 days ago 1 reply      
If they could answer your question, they probably already fixed it. You need to figure out the solution for them. You probably also need to figure out the pain point.
       cached 22 September 2013 04:05:01 GMT