hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    23 Sep 2013 Ask
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1
Sky Drone FPV Pre-Order Page Online
3 points by SkyDrone  1 hour ago   1 comment top
1
Mustafabei 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hey dude why not post the link clickable directly through the feed?

Ps. Cool stuff

2
In what areas are the massive fortunes of the future going to be made?
43 points by Apane  15 hours ago   74 comments top 39
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pg 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Always hard to predict, but one area where I'm sure there's lots of room is starting startups in industries that didn't previously have them. To use one example of many, LendUp.
2
rollo_tommasi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Brain technology. Eventually 'wireheading' is going to stop being science fiction and start being science fact. The people who commercialize that technology first are going to swim in oceans of money.
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DanI-S 12 hours ago 4 replies      
As a co-founder of Tiny Farms[1], we're betting on the growing need for alternative sources of protein. Humanity's current protein supply is inefficient, unsustainable and won't scale to feed the future world.

Our particular domain is edible insects; we wrote this article about why entrepreneurs should get involved:

http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2013/09/10/5-reasons-dr...

[1] http://www.tiny-farms.com

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lutusp 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Let's extrapolate from present trends. More robotics and automation means people will work fewer hours but still have disposable income. Medical advances mean people will live longer, healthier lives.

Conclusion? There's going to be a lot of energetic, healthy people with time on their hands -- even more than at present. So there will be many future opportunities in the areas of entertainment, computer games and travel.

Also, on the medical front, because psychiatry and psychology are in the midst of a historic meltdown, in the future society will increasingly look to neuroscience for guidance about the issues that psychiatrists and psychologists are mishandling right now. My favorite example showing what the possibilities may be, is the story of a severely depressed woman who didn't respond to the available anti-depression drugs and was finally institutionalized, her life essentially over.

But a new procedure has come out of brain research (not mind research) called deep brain stimulation, that shows great promise for addressing depression's cause, rather than its symptoms (the present treatment approach).

In this specific case, after electrodes were put in place, the neurosurgeon threw a switch that began stimulation of a location of present neurological research called "area 25" that seems to play a role in depression. The woman's depression lifted instantly -- instantly -- something that no other treatment had been able to accomplish.

This is still very experimental, and the procedure is still too risky for everyday use, but if it matures and is made safe, it will revolutionize the treatment of depression. It will also accelerate the present trend away from psychiatry and psychology toward neuroscience.

Reference:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/02/magazine/02depression.html...

5
niels_olson 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Read Asimov. It's all there. It comes down to space travel.

Presumably, the ultimate propulsion will be nuclear-boiled water ejected out of a nozzle as steam. I suppose you could do something similar with other low molecular weight (stable bonds), low atomic weight (plentiful in post-stellar debris) fluids, but water's on a sweet spot in terms of caloric density. Hydrocarbons would probably be good, so I suppose you could mine the atmospheres of the gas giants for those. Interstellar travel will involve strapping a reactor to a large iceberg lassoed from the Ort belt and accelerating for one half of the trip, then decelerating for the other half.

Space travel will require space mining (uranium, water, gold, titanium, lithium, etc)

Think of all the things involved: mining equipment, (robots) depots, transport, refueling stations, distribution. SpaceX has already shown vast industries are going to be largely robotic. But people will go to the same places as the mining, because something will always go wrong with something, and those will be the well-developed trade routes.

Those people will have all the same issues they have here. Governance, gambling, hepatitis, surgery. But there will be new issues as well. There will likely be founder effect: segments of humanity will venture off to planets many light years away. It will take decades to get there. How do you maintain the concept of "humanity" if they land on a planet with slightly more gravity, slightly colder, slightly less oxygen, so everyone becomes what we would consider a furry dwarf with an IQ of 170?

Synthetic genomics will be big in all sorts of ways, some related to the founder effects of space travel.

We will not travel faster than the speed of light and hibernation is a fiction. Our bodies just aren't made for that. I think this is a thing people haven't started really planning for very well. Interstellar travel is going to involve very large vessels.

but once we do Mars and the asteroid belt, there's not much left in this system.

6
coldcode 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Most people won't see it when it first appears. Eventually you'll notice it when it's too late.
7
colmvp 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Since developed countries are experiencing population aging, I would guess if someone could help women prolong their window of having healthy births.

I say this because if you look at the last ten years, the rate of births in the age ranges of < 18, 18-35 have been decreasing while the age of women getting pregnant in the 35+ range has been increasing.

The birth rate of the United States is only as high as is now largely because of the immigrant population.

As more women in developed countries choose to have careers and go through higher education, the median age of pregnancies will continue to rise.

8
oracuk 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Agriculture.

An aging industry, small margins for the older economic structure of small/medium holdings, little existing use of new technologies at scale.

As the industry demographic shifts and as 'new' technologies such as drones, robotics, remote sensing, pervasive wireless data, vat-grown meat and mixed land/marine farming are adopted there will be a lot of money to be made feeding the world.

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bcoates 12 hours ago 1 reply      
If the rapid obsolescence cycle of chip fabs end (ie, Moore's law ends and process nodes stop getting smaller so there's no reason to change processes), it will kick off a golden age of ASICs and a Cambrian explosion of chip diversity and software design tool progress.

You can produce fully custom chips now but at any reasonable cost you have to use decade-old gate sizes making it hard to compete with general purpose parts. The lack of a busy market feeds back into itself making every step of the process more tricky and expensive than it needs to be.

Imagine the change from massive recording studio engineering to 'a laptop with pro tools' only in silicon instead of music.

10
meerita 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If I have to choose 4 things came to my mind:

Health, Space, Robotics and Food imho.

Health, to produce better treatments agaisnt sickness, cure for cancer and other applications like regenerative i guess will be the ones who will coin a lot of dollars, specially from labs.

Space and robotics to produce better transportation, manufacturing and other hardware potential advancements.

Food. The food industry will work for sure o new sintetic food, to mass produce as well to produce safe transgenic meat.

11
gavingmiller 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Oil & Gas

I'm with a startup called PetroFeed and we're looking to tap into the huge potential in the industry[1]. Most startups in the O&G industry are concerned with building better drilling technologies, or finding new resource pockets; leaving lots of room for companies like ours. ;)

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_oil_and_gas_com...

12
pjdorrell 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Online educational videos.

99.99% of online educational videos suck. For example, watching the video is so painful that all I can think about is "how do I get out of here?". (Possibly I am spoiled from watching too many popular vlogs on YouTube.)

The other 0.01% of online educational videos that don't suck prove that it is possible to make such videos. The best examples I can find are RailsCasts and "Math Antics" (the first is for grownups, the second is aimed more at children, but I would watch something like Math Antics that had more advanced content).

13
vincie 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Military, mass behavioural control & surveillance technology.
14
dome82 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Healthcare: Cancer treatments and cancer drugs for fixing cancer and improving the patient's life. Sometimes, Chemio can be devastating.

Self-treatments on demand: someday, you wont need to go in a doctor office for diagnoses, medical check-ups and treatments.

15
samelawrence 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Small fortunes:

Marijuana, online privacy, personal defense weapons, batteries, patent law.

Big fortunes:

Ocean mining, fuel and energy, long-distance wireless communications, medicines, education.

16
bfitz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
3D Printing (a nearly infinite number of knock-on effects).Legal drugs (prohibition is once again losing its sway).Care for people who are 80+ years old.Autonomous vehicles.

Space travel - I'd love to predict fortunes in it, but it's still a wildcard and a dream.

17
return0 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Artificial Wombs

Artificial/in vitro food

18
deftnerd 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Package delivery using drones. A DPS (Drone Parcel Service) base truck could roll into a neighborhood and a swarm of drones would fly out with packages under a certain weight and deliver them, while the base truck delivers any packages too heavy. The drones keep informed of where the truck is so they can return (even when the truck is in motion) to recharge until the next neighborhood.

With county budgets being stressed and more areas considering converting paved roads to gravel roads, any kind of delivery system that can avoid roads will be a benefit.

19
josephpmay 14 hours ago 0 replies      
-Food (agriculture, livestock, protein from insects, lab grown meat, etc.)

-Transportation (if you can find a way to decrease fuel costs)

-Disruptive medicine (traditional drug companies will be making less and less money, but companies that develop cheaper cures to common world-wide ailments will be extremely successful)

Basically, things that are necessities for living. Media/entertainment will become an increasingly zero-sum game.

20
stretchwithme 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I think robotics. We'll eventually see robotic transportation, construction, supply chains, agriculture, and cooking.

Much the home will be automated, includes search and storage and cleaning. It will get smaller, lose the need for a garage, and be easier to lease out, reconfigure, move, replicate.

21
aaron695 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything that is currently controlled or regulated by governments will get decentralised to the net by private enterprise.

Education, Medicine, Law, Jobs, Banking, Sins (Most already there), Importation (3d printers).

My guess.

22
mcot2 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Electric vehicles & associated infrastructure. Very high speed transportation air and ground transportation.
23
skadamat 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Space / asteroid mining

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVzR0kzklRE

"Space is where the first trillionaires will be made"

24
t0 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I sometimes look here for ideas: http://www.futuretimeline.net/
25
Kudzu_Bob 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Sexbots.
26
ccbrandenburg 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I would say one of them could be in making the utility (electricity, gas, water) more user friendly. Transparency hardly exists and there are seldom interactions between companies and subscribers. Focusing on user experience in this area could be an opportunity...
27
woofyman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Security fencesArmoured carsAutonomous armed guard killer robots
28
lrichardson 9 hours ago 0 replies      
driverless cars.

I think google is years ahead of everyone else here, and it will be a product that will be high price, high margin. And the market is huge.

I really don't see how google could walk away from that one without gobs of cash in their pockets.

29
gbog 11 hours ago 0 replies      
In China obviously. It is already the case.
30
wildermuthn 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Civilian-use drones and virtual reality culminating in the functional equivalents of androids and holodecks.
31
ArekDymalski 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Predictive analytics that works.
32
InclinedPlane 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Computing and telecom are obvious. By 2050 it's fairly likely that a majority of the entire population of the Earth will own a computer (e.g. smartphone, tablet, or pc/laptop), which is pretty profound if you think about it.

Fulfillment will be a place for fortunes to be made, as it always has been. Amazon has been executing exceedingly well in this area but it's not as though everyone else has been sitting on their ass. Over the next decades the sort of smart, high-tech, low latency fulfillment that we've come to associate with Amazon will be the worldwide standard anywhere and everywhere. Also look for infrastructural improvements along those lines. It used to be that people had visions of pneumatic tubes running everywhere. But consider some variations on that theme, a fully automated delivery system that could route standard sized containers across cities, continents, or maybe even the world. Maybe autonomous vehicles could play into that, but it seems as though building custom infrastructure would also provide a substantial RoI. Imagine how different the world would be if every housing structure had a 1m^3 "mail box" that you could receive packages in or send packages from which would immediately deliver them anywhere in the system 24/7 without human intervention. Economics changes a lot, consumerism changes a lot, industry changes a lot, and so on.

Fully automated manufacturing and configurable manufacturing. These may not replace all manufacturing but they seem likely to me to become a "big deal", and people will make a lot of money off them. Imagine if you could go to a web page upload a bunch of plans (3D models, wiring diagrams, etc.) and place an order for a factory to manufacture something you've designed. This is more than just the home manufacturing (3D printing et al) revolution, it's something on an entirely different scale. Imagine how this sort of thing would affect the cost of production of material goods. Imagine how it would affect the iteration speed as well. And think about how it would affect the mass production society we've grown accustomed to. What happens when a designer can produce a batch of a few hundred or a few thousand custom designed smartphones or what-have-you? Instead of everyone buying from a small pool of mass produced goods does the market change to focus more on boutique versions of such things? Do people start buying things that are more customized in functionality? What happens when you create factories that can effectively replicate themselves?

Education is slated to change dramatically over the next decades. Much of the world today lives in areas where formal education is not the norm. As those areas become developed there are education opportunities other than the traditional ones, especially when you consider the widespread abundance of computing devices in the future (see above). There is a huge market for learning software, on a multi-billion dollar per year scale, but a hell of a lot of work will have to go into creating all of that software to make it effective and practical.

Space will be big business too but that can be a bit hard to predict. Through the 21st century the cost of launching things into space will drop by at least a factor of 10 if not a factor of 100 or more. That will cause an exponential increase in the amount of stuff and people we put in orbit which will create substantial off-Earth economic activity which will gain momentum due to positive feedback effects. By 2100 I'd expect millions of people to be living off-Earth and trillions of dollars in revenue to be involved in off-Earth commerce and industry. This starts to get really interesting when you consider what sort of potential advantages building things in space might have. Obviously it makes it easier to test spacecraft, of course, since you have access to the environment they'll operate in right there. But there are also some other interesting aspects. Vacuum is abundant and easy to get at. As is zero-g or nearly any level of g-forces you desire. A lot of manufacturing processes would be very different if vacuum conditions were cheap and easy to get at.

33
Neslit 10 hours ago 1 reply      
There is an increasing interest in life extension, so I think we'll also see wide demand for an interim solution to the whole death thing. E.g. brain plastination, cryonics, sufficiently detailed brain scans... whoever makes one of these scalable and effective at preserving a person (information-theoretically) will rake in like $O(10^9).
34
nickthemagicman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Medicine
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spre 9 hours ago 0 replies      
nano technology, alternative energy, space travel R&D
36
n00b101 9 hours ago 0 replies      
software
37
jng 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A.I.
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MarkTanamil 13 hours ago 0 replies      
data mining
39
nofortunateson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Broadly speaking, biology.
3
Ask HN: Random Facebook Friend Requests
5 points by codecurve  14 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
adkatrit 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I have received bogus friend requests from bogus fb accounts about 10 times since i've been on facebook. (8 years). Some even go as far as friending people I am friends with and liking things that I'm liking or being from my home town. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a fake account and just a really bizarre person. Usually you can spot a fake from lack of interaction with other people on their timeline. That is not to say that elaborate fakes haven't been creating bogus friend networks. It would be an interesting project to collect the fb_ids from all these potentially bogus accounts, though it would be best to get the info that is surely private, like login times/locations. I'm sure the people in quality assurance at facebook are all over this.
2
meric 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I've started getting a lot, at least once a week from accounts barely a week old.
3
tokenizer 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Nope. But I don't have facebook, so that may be why.
4
skidoo 13 hours ago 0 replies      
What's "facebook"?
4
Ask HN: Nepal's ccTLD registrar won't let devs update nameservers. What to do?
48 points by njsubedi  2 days ago   33 comments top 11
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sbashyal 1 day 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.

2
spindritf 1 day 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/

3
bortzmeyer 2 days 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.
4
hisyam 2 days 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.

5
mariuolo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I doubt there's much you can do, except having the contract legally enforced.

Would that be viable?

6
codesink 1 day 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

7
njsubedi 2 days 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?
8
openthito 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree. Last month 1 successfully revived my domain after requesting more than 4 times via email and phone call over 2 months. This must be checked. If mercantile is unable to handle this there is definitely much better alternatives.
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houzi 1 day 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.
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nootanghimire 1 day ago 0 replies      
I changed my nameserver from the MOS control panel some time ago. It took about a week, though.
11
dgilam 2 days ago 0 replies      
Its Mercantile's negligence!
5
Ask HN: what's it like to develop on Blackberry, vs say Android/iOS?
9 points by zxcvvcxz  12 hours ago   1 comment top
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nirajd 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I would agree that the Blackberry experience for app developers is indeed inferior to that of Android and iOS.

Here are my observations:

The Blackberry Vendor Portal.

1. App submissionAn absolutely dated interface for submitting applications. One thing that really upsets me is that Blackberry did not segregate the interface for pre-BB10 applications and BB10 applications. Throughout the submission process, I was constantly given the option to submit my Cascades/BB10 application as a pre-BB10 bundle. Even after I submitted my application as a BB10 application, I was given reports that someone had downloaded my application on their pre-BB10 device. How could this happen?

2. Viewing reportsAgain, a dated interface for viewing reports. Reports are only produced on-demand either as a ZIP file of CSVs or a static GIF that looks like it was exported with excel. I could imagine those who rely on BB apps as a source of income have written excel applications to process this data into a user-friendly format. Both iOS and Android have reports in beautiful charted format directly in their app portal.

3. Responding to usersI had a review on my applications in which the reviewer was requesting a feature. I did have this feature in my application, but due to a ux flaw, it was not easily recognizable. I would have loved to drop the user a comment notifying them of this feature. Regardless of denying/approving the review, I think this is a fantastic feature in the Android (Google Play) model.

iOS and Android app portals are built for the common developer. As they are built for the common consumer. Blackberry vendor portal is built for the enterprise, very much like their original phones.

4. I would consider myself a "Qt/QML expert", so from a programming standpoint, I find it much easier to convert complex UI designs into working code. This is thanks to the wonderful Cascades framework with QML syntax (originally built by The Astonishing Tribe, acquired by BB a few years ago). I think it's much easier to deploy code with BB compared to iOS/Android. This is of course dependent on the developer.

5. Blackberry, prior to releasing the Z10 in the US, released an "Application Generator". This generator converted RSS feeds into running, "native" applications for BB10. This flooded the BB10 app world with garbage applications. There are still hundreds of applications on the store that are blatant rip-offs of Android applications (search Maps on your Z10 and you will see several GMaps rebundles)

6. App services like advertisements and push notifications are still not up to par as iAd or Admob, and APNS.

6
Ask HN: Website that generates promotional screenshots on Apple Devices
2 points by Sealy  5 hours ago   3 comments top
1
blahbap 5 hours ago 2 replies      
7
Ask HN: How to become smarter?
43 points by shire  16 hours ago   54 comments top 38
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thaumaturgy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Smarter" has many different meanings.

-> It could mean "more working memory", in which case games of various kinds are helpful. Anything that requires maintaining a set of values or decisions in your head for a while: bridge & hearts (count cards) or poker, go (weiqi / baduk).

-> It could mean "more mindful", i.e., being more observant and aware of yourself and your surroundings. A lot of people today claim that meditation is good for this. I find that not owning a smartphone is helpful. Reading a hefty dead-tree book can be a good antidote for "Goldfish Attention Span Syndrome".

-> It could mean "better at reasoning", in which case some courses on philosophy would help (logic, epistemology).

-> It could mean "more domain expertise", in which case you should spend some time taking courses or experimenting in some area of expertise.

-> It could mean "broadening your experiences", in which case you should go out and start something completely new, preferably something which is a little bit intimidating.

-> It could mean "being more healthy", because poor sleep habits, poor nutrition, and poverty all effectively lower IQ and general intelligence. Fix some things in your life, get more exercise, learn to cook / eat better.

edit: get in touch with HN user tokenadult (https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=tokenadult); he studies and works in the field of intelligence and education (and frequently writes very informative posts on the subject); I'm just a dabbler.

2
mcphilip 14 hours ago 1 reply      
One interesting, high quality source I've used for exploring new areas is the Introducing series of graphic novels [1]. The main topics covered are science, philosophy and psychology. I've gone through the majority of the philosophy ones. My favorite is Introducing Nietszche. It gives an overview of his life, major works, and impact. Another good one is Introducing Postmodernism.

In general, these books are quick to read and act as a good launching point for a deep dive into any topics you find interesting.

[1]http://www.introducingbooks.com

3
Felix21 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Its not just about reading, its about thinking on your feet and being able to find solutions to problems.

Spend time around a lot of different people from different fields and always ask questions. They have alot to teach you, but you wont learn anything from them if you dont give them a chance to talk.

You'll be surprised how much stuff "ordinary people" know if you give them a chance to talk.

Do a lot of Math and calculus and try to solve complex coding problems.

Build things, release, get feedback and repeat. The experience will surely increase your intelligence understanding, awareness and your ability to recognise patterns.

Good Luck.

4
clicks 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Read good books -- the classics will do (I'd say this list is pretty good, until the 75 number: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/449.Must_Read_Classics). This is a reasonably good list of nonfiction books: http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/non-fiction. If you have trouble reading through it all try looking into audiobooks (or better yet, listen to the audiobooks while reading it). If you can't afford audiobooks, get them from your local library.

Consume good media -- FoxNews is bad, MSNBC is bad. PBS Newshour is good, BBC is generally pretty good.

Don't spend your time on inconsequential things (this can be difficult to do -- e.g., news media is all about pandering and sensationalizing things, you'll see everyone partake in it and you'll find it difficult to stay out of it). I think a good way to keep yourself from getting sucked into that trap -- of keeping up with latest Miley Cyrus scandal or whatever, is to just stay away from the crowd that spends too much time on it. So no more Reddit frontpage (at least the default one), instead go to nytimes.com (or HN! :-) my favorite commenters are rayiner, tptacek, potatolicious, and some others -- reading their thoughts will probably do you good).

Keep on taking those coursera courses, do projects in areas that interest you. Along the way you'll start picking up more specific interests and feel compelled to explore specific directions. Hopefully then you can even become a community leader in some area... and then you can start showing the light to other guys newcomers in that area.

Have fun while you're doing all of this!

5
namenotrequired 14 hours ago 0 replies      
In my opinion, "being smart" is not exactly the same thing as "having much knowledge". Given a problem to solve, knowledge helps you make an informed decision, while smartness helps you find a hack. Of course, they're not totally unrelated.

I mention this because I believe it'd be helpful for you to consider which of the two you want to improve in more. Knowledge can come from books and courses, like many people are recommending. I wish I knew how to become smart (perhaps if I was smart, I'd find a hack for it...), but I suspect it might help to get into the habit of questioning everything, and practicing lateral thinking. Perhaps it would also help to try and find abstract similarities between situations from very different contexts - often new insights can come from combining knowledge from different fields, and this will probably help you get used to seeing things in different contexts.

Considering the (no doubt intentional) vagueness of the question, I'm guessing you'd be interested in both. I think a good way to improve both at the same time is to often read, and then try and find something to read that says the opposite. That way you get a lot of knowledge, often from various sides, and it invites you to think about it more and question the assumptions.

I hope that helps.

6
philsnow 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Mindfulness meditation (see e.g. http://siyli.org) has improved my ability to focus on problems and increased my self-awareness, making me more effective both in business situations and personal ones.

I don't think it's improved my raw ability to think, but it definitely helps me step outside situations, think about thinking, and do meta-reasoning. Sometimes the best way to get more done is to think of a way to do less work :)

7
graeme 15 hours ago 0 replies      
An unorthodox method: study for the LSAT exam

I'm an LSAT instructor. I'm convinced that for a couple of the sections the only way to become better is to improve how you think. No shortcuts.

Send me an email if you want some guidance on how to use the materials.

8
nostrademons 16 hours ago 1 reply      
That depends on why you want to become smarter. Personal growth & development? Impressing your friends at cocktail parties? Worldly rewards and money? Ability to accomplish an objective in the future?
9
derekp7 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd like to propose a slightly refined version of this question. If you wanted to select the best-of-breed books on a wide range of technical topics, math, physics, practical skills, survival, etc. what would they be? Which ones would be good to go into a time capsule to preserve modern knowledge in an end-of-civilization setting?

The types of books I'm looking for would include the Feynman Lectures, SICP, Art of Computer Programming, etc. What would be a good book series (preferably a classic one that's stood the test of time) on math (Algebra, various Calculus topics, Statistics, etc)? Principia Mathematica should go in here, but it would be nice to have something that includes modern notation. For general on-your-own in a cabin in the woods setting, I've been impressed with the topics covered in the Foxfire books. So what else? I'd like a good world history book, that ties in how everything is related to everything else (i.e, not just cover each civilization in isolation). Also, something covering Western and Eastern philosophy.

10
jamesbritt 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Try to be skeptical without being cynical.

Remember that you are not your ideas or beliefs. At most those things are you at a specific point in time.

Being shown to be wrong about something does not make you a lesser or bad person. Merely wrong, and you can change that.

11
RivieraKid 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that how smart you are is influenced a lot by inner psychological traits, specifically:

1) How rewarding and enjoyful you find learning new things. I don't mean learning pi to one 1000 digits, but higher level concepts like learning macroeconomics.

2) Generally enjoying thinking.

3) Being a perfectionist. For example, when I see some corner case problem in one of my "theories" of something (usually related to computers, economics or philosophy), it really bothers me (i.e. it has nothing to do with being smart, it's personality trait).

So perhaps if you try to nurture these traits, it could make you smarter, but that's just a speculation :)

More practical advice: read quora.com. There is a lot of really high-quality, interesting and thought-provoking content there, written by some incredibly smart people.

12
uladzislau 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Learning new skill will make you smarter. Something completely different from what you usually up to. If you spend most of the time reading books try tennis or dancing lessons. This will give you a new perspective.

Traveling is very useful due to the all the same reasons. You learn a lot of new things and getting a new perspective.

Being physically fit plays a huge role in your mental abilities and it's proven by many researchers.

To sum it up, the more diverse is your experience and the more things you try the better.

13
pan69 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Being smart is very subjective.

I know someone who is very skilled at retaining large amounts of detailed information and he works as a high profile lawyer. However, he wasn't capable of figuring out how to change the battery in his remote control, let alone set up the TV channels on his newly bought TV. He reminds me of a lot of politicians I see on television; perceived as smart but actually quite dumb.

Then I know plenty of people who aren't highly educated at all but they are some of the most creative thinkers I have come across in my life.

I'm sure that reading a lot of books will broaden your horizon and awareness of one's "lack" of knowledge will put you into a good position since you're willing to learn and you're not assuming you know it all. That's good.

14
djokkataja 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I would strongly recommend learning new languages--both human languages and computer languages. The most beneficial ones will be the most different from what you already know, so if you know English and one or two European languages, try learning something like Chinese or Japanese. It's especially helpful if you can immerse yourself in the other language's environment for some period of time so that your brain is forced to start thinking in the other language. Language and culture shape how you think, and there is no substitute for learning a very different language and being immersed in a very different culture if you want to see how your thoughts and the thoughts of others are affected by those things. I think this exercise is one of the few in this thread that will actually challenge your brain sufficiently to make you significantly smarter as opposed to improving your mental toolset for thinking about the world.

I'd also recommend reading up on behavioral economics, marketing, and design. This is more along the "toolset" line, but understanding why people make the decisions they do and how other people try to exploit those decision-making processes helps to understand a significant amount of otherwise relatively impenetrable behavior.

Oh, and read How to Win Friends and Influence People if you haven't already. As someone else suggested, talking to people can yield a great deal of knowledge, but trying to think from the other person's perspective (a major theme in the book) can yield a great deal more understanding of people in general.

15
lifeformed 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Make things. Music, art, stories, games, movies, buildings, robots, etc. Pick something you don't know how to do and figure out how to do it.
16
gelisam 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I came here to recommend http://lesswrong.com/, but then I saw that you want to become more knowledgable, not smarter. In that case, your current strategy sounds right to me!
17
pella 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Fluid or crystallized intelligence ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluid_intelligence

and check : http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/

"A recent study published in PNAS, an important scientific journal, shows that a memory task called dual n-back improves working memory (short term memory) and fluid intelligence. These findings are important because fluid intelligence was previously thought to be unchangeable"

18
s_kilk 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Read more.Pick up a magazine on a topic you know nothing about.Ask people what they do and how they do it.Try your hand at a new craft/art.Learn from all the above.Write more.Go to the library and take out a book from each section.Seek out music you've never heard before.Learn something new every day.Ditch the TV/Netflix.Surround yourself with people substantially smarter than yourself.
19
aegiso 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Dive into Wikipedia. It's probably the broadest, most agenda-free, no-nonsense resource out there.
20
elaineo 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Spend time around the people you want to be.
21
bliti 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not particularly smart. But I am resilient and will keep trying until I figure it out. Books and classes are great, but you can't depend on theory alone. Practice makes perfect. When you do, you understand why things are done a given way.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to stop reading so many programming books. I'd make myself write the code everyday. Rather than read about it. Figure out what it is that you want to learn. Then start practicing and learning the theory.

22
narzac 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Since smartness happens in the brain mostly, specifically neocortex, brain, memory, analitical thinking concepts are good places to start, So that you can understand why most of the advices are good. In order to give you a list.

Social skills:

- Learn to really listen other people.- Learn to ask correct questions- Body language, gestures- Meeting new people from different cultures, especially people don't believe in prophets and hell and heaven stories

Improving brain:

- Playing a musical instrument- Learning another spoken language- No TV, no football, soccer bullshit, not too much porn, talking about girls & boys or cars& houses, celebrity etc.

Gaining Knowledge:- Mathematics, Physics, Programming, Astronomy, Biology, Paleontology, Evolution, any science branch you are interested.

- On the other hand, i personally think, the best way to learn about a different culture is to travel whether it is local or not.

Some good resources:

- Here of course- wikipedia- documentaries- coursera- youtube, if you can avoid stupid girl podcasts, otw you will end up with bad recommendations.- Follow inspiring people on twitter

I will stop know, i also want to learn what other sugesstions are :)

24
kabisote 5 hours ago 0 replies      
How about studying the Bible?

"All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

25
Stronico 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Sleep another couple of hours each night - stop when you get to nine consistent hours of sleep a night. Melatonin can help tremendously. It makes everything and anything else much easier.
26
pushkargaikwad 15 hours ago 1 reply      
@shire - Personal development and every day learning is something which excites me so let me give you an answer from own experience and what I do.

1. Have awareness - smartness is nothing but being aware of yourself, your knowledge and surroundings. Way too many of us are living a routine life and we have trained our minds to keep working at certain optimum level. People who are aware often looks smart and more importantly make smarter decisions.

2. Read and Learn - your smartness and decision making skills is directly proportional on how much you know, people who knows more will always look and make smarter decisions.

Btw, one thing I can assure you, smartness can not be taught through books and classes, be your own teacher, make your own lessons.

27
burgerz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Write a schedule and set tangible goals to keep track of progress and measure it. Read 40 pages today, finish course by end of month, write a program this week etc. It's the same as physical training, just keep going.
28
shire 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks everyone you guys are all very helpful. All the information in this thread should keep me busy for a long time. Exactly what I was looking for!
29
skaevola 15 hours ago 1 reply      
For awareness of politics and current events try reading The Economist on the bus/train or listening to NPR when driving.
30
gmuslera 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Depend how you define being smarter. Being aware of your bias is a possible initial approach. For a list try start reading from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases some of them have nicer explanation in i.e. http://youarenotsosmart.com/
31
joshux 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Dual N-Back: improves your working memory, hence fluid intelligence

here's a great introduction:http://www.gwern.net/DNB%20FAQ

32
joeldidit 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Read more, read more things that make you think and that wow you, learn new skills, expose yourself to new forms of expression, meditate, try nootropics (Cerebrolysin, noopept, pramiracetam, etc), push your boundaries, watch videos on YouTube.
33
erict19 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Incorporate diversity into your learnings. Different courses, different approaches, different viewpoints, different news outlets, different acquaintances, and even different Twitter followers. It will help instill a more well rounded perspective.
34
normloman 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Stop watching tv, reading blogs, or using facebook.
35
darkbot 13 hours ago 0 replies      
What about drugs? Are there any?
36
gryn010 14 hours ago 0 replies      
the first thing that i think you should do is to define clearly what do you mean by smart.
37
hackaflocka 6 hours ago 0 replies      
TED.com
38
hackaflocka 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Meditate.
8
HN Show: ConcussionJS, an experimental, rapid web dev platform
12 points by the_concussed  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
1
the_concussed 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks everyone for checking out the site. Would be great to get your perspectives on any of the following:(i) Do you think I should add a custom ConcussionJS sign up/login, or stick with Google/Facebook authentication?, (ii) what kind of projects would you use something like this for, (iii) what additional features would you like to see?
2
forlorn 1 day ago 0 replies      
3
skram 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks rather nifty!
9
Show HN: ilovethatshirt.com
2 points by davismwfl  10 hours ago   7 comments top 6
1
DigitalSea 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll give you some brutal honesty.

1. The design is boring and tacky. You really need to ditch those flames at the top, flames to me are an immediate warning sign the site you are on is going to suck.

2. The designs lack any kind of design to them. I don't get the content of some of them and I find the shirt that says something along the lines of, "Popped my cherry" somewhat gross.

3. The container around the site is too big and the combination of the white and purple border is a nightmare for my eyes.

4. The site lacks content, consistency and is all over the place. My eyes don't know where to focus...

Hopefully that helps. I'm not trying to be rude, but extremely honest.

2
Andrenid 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally there's just nothing about the website or the shirt designs that makes me want to consider it over any of the other sites that have way more designs, more style options, and are cheaper.

You'll need to either pick a niche, or outdo them in either designs, price, or variety.

3
hardwaresofton 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey what would you say your audience is? If you're not looking to stock shirts to tickle every possible fancy (which sites like donkey tees try and do), then you'll probably need a niche?
4
ibudiallo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
5
bliti 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the actual business model?
6
shellehs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
it just like a blog and, nothing more ...
10
Ask HN: How can I overcome ennui?
2 points by alecbibat  14 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
DonGateley 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a caution; for me that was always the intro to a depressive bout. The interest seemed to drain out of things. Stay aware and if it becomes prolonged or deepens you may be a candidate for anti-depressant therapy.

If this includes a negative re-assessment of what you have accomplished or the importance of it be especially cautious. Retrospective ennui is a red flag.

Here's hoping it's just a minor glitch or short term burnout.

2
cprncus 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not surprising this was posted on a Sunday.
3
moneyrich4 13 hours ago 1 reply      
yup. vacation or a 2 week hiatus is good. go play your favorite video game or sport 1x or 2x a week. workout. stop drinking booze.
11
Ask HN: field in Computer Science least explored?
8 points by wilinglearner  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
ivan_ah 9 hours ago 0 replies      
There are many open problems in Computational Complexity Theory.

https://complexityzoo.uwaterloo.ca/Complexity_Zoo:P

It is a difficult subject matter: instead of proving something about a specific program, you must prove results about all possible programs that achieve a task given some set of constraints.

IMHO, it is amazing that any results (e.g. [1]) are known at all in that field given how little structure they must work with...

Think of this field as the particle physics of CS---not very useful in the real world, but still very cool to learn about.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCP_theorem

2
seiji 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Least known? I think we know the topics even if we aren't good at them.

There are lots of medical problems and brain problems and large scale coordination problems we know about but haven't solved or reduced to solvability yet.

12
Ask HN: How can I help my friend?
2 points by thisisnotclear  15 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
anthony_franco 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I hate to say it, but if he's having trouble finding customers eager to pay for it, he should rethink the project altogether.
2
redtexture 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Documentation.

Working demonstration examples.

Testing for usability and ease of construction of applications and operations.

Built-in security for data storage and security of data transmission.

Ease of data portability, for both adding data and exporting data.

Community-building that leads toward growth and momentum of mutual support and exploration.

All towards figuring out what are the things that enable trying the project out, and reducing the impediments that deter potential users from trying out the project.

13
Ask HN: To BaaS or not to BaaS
4 points by anish_t  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
1
petervandijck 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Yes you should use them if they speed you up.

"High costs at a later stage when users multiply, vendor lock-in" -> it doesn't matter. 95% chance you won't get millions of users, so focus on that first.

2
samsheen 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe that the question you should be asking yourself is this - Can BaaS (or any other service) help me get to the market right now at the lowest cost possible.

For any such commodity as a service, the initial costs to you will be lower than if you had to build the service yourself. However, over time the costs will go up. The benefit to you will always be ease of development and having the time to focus on building the core features that will make your startup feasible. Most startups fail before they reach a point where they need to worry about rising costs and that's a good problem to have. (when you have it you can mostly pay someone to fix them for you)

My recommendations (having never used any of the above mentioned BaaS providers, do take these with a pinch of salt)

1. Look at how easy it is to get your data back if you need to host the services yourself or change providers. Does the provider have any processes for the same? Speak to the sales (and support) people about this before you decide on a provider. Look for the provider that is transparent about this.

2. Don't worry about what the cost will be when you reach a million users. Your time right now is spent wisely validating your idea. Cross that bridge when you come to it.

3. The only "complete no no" scenario I can think of would be if you were hosting sensitive information (credit card etc)

Hope this helps

3
6thSigma 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't even worry about it, to be honest. If you are lucky enough to be in that situation, it would be a very good problem to have.

You would face technical scaling issues no matter what you were using. If the BaaS is your bottleneck you could fix it then.

4
pearjuice 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have read your entire post and still don't know what BaaS stands for. B.. as a service?
14
Ask HN: Freelancers - what do you use to generate quotes and invoices?
4 points by zensavona  1 day ago   8 comments top 7
1
stevenbrianhall 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a huge fan of http://www.freeagent.com/
2
varunkho 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Similar thread (for invoices) I started a while back. Some useful services are mentioned there.https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6353270
3
clockwork_189 1 day 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.
4
workhere-io 1 day ago 0 replies      
For invoices I use http://tradeshift.com, but I'm not sure they handle quotes.
5
6thSigma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Curdbee. I'm using the free tier and have no complaints.
6
dylanhassinger 1 day ago 1 reply      
freshbooks.com

planscope.io

7
thesorrow 1 day ago 0 replies      
orgmode with org-invoice.el
15
HN: Looking to set up zipcar-like non-profit service for the poor.
5 points by Killah911  1 day ago   6 comments top 2
1
notahacker 1 day 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.

2
mdaniel 1 day 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!

16
Ask HN: Startups: Tell me 3 problems you wish somebody would solve for you
9 points by ceekay  2 days ago   17 comments top 5
1
NovemberWest 1 day ago 1 reply      
I need a better Android app for filling out PDF paperwork. Does that count? (Suggestions welcome.)
2
capkutay 2 days ago 1 reply      
Transportation in the bay area..Perhaps private wifi busses as a paid service where you could crowdsource the destinations/routes?
3
jf22 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a bad way to get ideas.
4
a3voices 2 days 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.

5
lgieron 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seamless Scala - Eclipse - Maven integration
17
Ask HN: Do you know of any resources for reuniting refugees with their families?
4 points by droopyEyelids  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
lifeisstillgood 1 day 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
2
girishso 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check out http://rapidftr.com/ runs on Android and is already in use in some countries I believe.
18
Ask HN: recommend a book that explains how computers work down to the silicon
9 points by null_ptr  2 days ago   9 comments top 7
1
wmf 2 days ago 1 reply      
2
cju 1 day 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)
3
dangrossman 2 days 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.
4
chamblin 2 days 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.
5
ra00l 2 days ago 0 replies      
Charles Petzold's Code: http://www.charlespetzold.com/code/
6
arohi 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Elements of Computing system
7
camkego 2 days ago 1 reply      
Silicon?
19
Bruce Schneier has changed his PGP key to 4096 bits
215 points by oktypok  10 days ago   138 comments top 9
1
tptacek 10 days ago 5 replies      
Or:

- 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.

2
elliotanderson 10 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...

3
IgorPartola 10 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...

4
hannibal5 10 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.

http://www.pgp.net/pgpnet/pgp-faq/pgp-faq-keys.html#key-size

>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

5
vabmit 10 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.
6
farktronix 10 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?
7
michiel3 10 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.

8
autodidakto 10 days ago 2 replies      
Anyone know of a good tutorial for revoking and recreating your key as painlessly as possibly?
9
rdl 10 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.
20
Ask HN: How do you go about choosing a cool code name for your hack?
4 points by bhoomit  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
1
ElongatedTowel 1 day 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.
2
thex86 1 day ago 0 replies      
Single character or double character names are the trend these days. (Not saying I support that though!)
3
adrianwaj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Always thought drug names were interesting. Maybe take two words to describe the hack, transform them into their connotative meaning, then twist them. What's the hack?
21
Ask HN: Who is going to buy RIM?
6 points by doubt_me  2 days ago   6 comments top 5
1
pearjuice 16 hours ago 0 replies      
RIM? That doesn't exist anymore. They are called "BlackBerry" these days[0].

[0] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-30/rim-changes-company...

2
avenger123 2 days 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.
3
benologist 2 days 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.

4
OrwellianChild 2 days 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.

5
pintglass 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why buy it? Looks like their customer base is heading for something close to 0 within a few years.
22
Re-Ask HN: Any good books/lectures for database systems implementation?
5 points by zerr  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
tjr 1 day ago 0 replies      
You might look at books by Michael Stonebraker, such as:

www.amazon.com/Readings-Database-Systems-Joseph-Hellerstein/dp/0262693143/www.amazon.com/The-Ingres-Papers-Relational-Addison-Wesley/dp/0201071851/

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.

23
Ask HN: Clojure vs Elixir for robotics?
7 points by z3phyr  2 days ago   discuss
24
Ask HN: Help? Despite years of trying, I cannot learn to program.
17 points by austenallred  3 days ago   30 comments top 20
1
pwg 3 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".

2
mdip 3 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.

3
dragonwriter 3 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.

4
NovemberWest 3 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.

5
nicholas73 3 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.

6
whichdan 3 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?

7
s_baby 3 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.

8
bdfh42 3 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.

9
memracom 3 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.

10
junto 3 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?

11
mscottmcbee 3 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".

12
cprncus 2 days 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.

13
vasilipupkin 3 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
14
jpd750 3 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.

15
danvoell 3 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.
16
meerita 3 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.

17
TeeWEE 3 days ago 0 replies      
Dont learn yourself something you're not interested in. Its a lot more difficult this way..
18
ceekay 3 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.

19
adultSwim 3 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.

20
known 3 days ago 0 replies      
Try analyzing your bank transactions/statements in an Excel spreadsheet. For e.g change interest rates/fees etc.
25
Ask HN: What process should I use to present large amounts of data?
2 points by o_s_m  1 day ago   1 comment top
1
contingencies 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is no generic answer. Who is the intended audience, and what are they hoping to see? Look carefully at the various dimensions of the data. What is the nature of the dimension? What is its scale? What is its variation? How would it best be presented? Could you use colors or shapes or sizes instead of numbers? Will the view be interactive so detail can be brought out where requested? How large is your display area? Model out some types of queries your assumed audience might think about, and use these test cases to validate and refine your approach.
26
Ask HN: Is it time for a public GPG audit?
87 points by anotherhue  7 days ago   discuss
1
tptacek 7 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.

2
runlevel1 7 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.

3
rsync 7 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.

4
jpalomaki 7 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.

5
neur0mancer 7 days ago 0 replies      
It's always a good time for a revision of privacy/security tools.
6
Canada 7 days ago 0 replies      
Have a look at the changelog. It's not as if people haven't been looking at it.
27
Is Bruce Schneier's Blog Down?
9 points by giardini  3 days ago   5 comments top 5
1
einhverfr 3 days 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.

2
chopin 3 days 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.

3
pfortuny 3 days ago 0 replies      
Down in Northern Spain also @09:00
4
skidoo 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is disturbing. Hopefully he's not just calling it a day and moving to the mountains.
5
cdman 3 days ago 0 replies      
Seems to work from Romania (although it errored out on the first try, it worked after that).
28
Show HN: iOS7 iPad POP3 client splitting commands unnecessarily over packets
6 points by jorangreef  2 days ago   1 comment top
1
bdcravens 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you had a chance to test gopher support yet?
29
Ask HN: What email client do you use?
14 points by hiddentao  4 days ago   discuss
1
sdfjkl 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple Mail, because it's nicely integrated, just works and there's a neat GPG plugin. I have no use for webmail interfaces, I'd rather use mutt in a shell than those.

Especially not Gmail, as every time I look at it, some other bullshit feature got added and the UI got more horrible.

2
artificialidiot 3 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.

3
lifeisstillgood 4 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?"

4
OriginalAT 4 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.

5
stevekemp 4 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.

6
stevenrace 3 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

7
marioluigi 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Thunderbird just works. Not looking for an alternative.
8
wikwocket 3 days 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.

9
wazari972 4 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
10
meerita 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Sparrow on my macs, and on my iPhone. Soon, when I will acquire the Nexus 5 I don't know what to use. Any recommendations?
11
auganov 2 days 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.
12
lefnire 3 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...
13
qwerta 3 days ago 0 replies      
Claws-Mail. I found web-based clients slow.
14
mattbillenstein 4 days ago 0 replies      
Mutt son - Mutt.
15
jameswyse 4 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
16
bnejad 3 days ago 0 replies      
Outlook at work(no choice), k9 mail on Android, & Thunderbird on personal computers.
17
apricot13 4 days ago 0 replies      
Gmail for reading / sending email and thunderbird for backups on my mac.
18
bpierre 4 days ago 0 replies      
Airmail on OSX.
19
aen 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sparrow on my Mac and Mail on my iDevices. I like simple and light clients.
20
itaCas 4 days ago 0 replies      
Emacs+Gnus
21
webjames 4 days ago 0 replies      
I use gmail (google apps) for now, but am excited by MailPile(.is)
22
dshep 4 days ago 0 replies      
mutt
23
hiddentao 4 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like a lot of people like the Gmail interface.
24
2close4comfort 3 days ago 0 replies      
Eudora
       cached 23 September 2013 12:05:01 GMT