hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    28 Sep 2013 Ask
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Ask HN: Are there still Lisp and Scheme jobs?
5 points by schemeqst  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
josh_fyi 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Your best bet is Clojure -- usage is growing.
gruseom 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I work in a Lisp that compiles to JavaScript. The project is a web-based spreadsheet. If anyone would like to discuss working together, please email me (address in profile).
Show HN: Shuteye - "As private as possible" video conferencing
2 points by mjstahl  2 hours ago   2 comments top
Nanzikambe 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting concept, seems to me that it falls down when it comes to payment. After all, your user will have to identify themselves at that point - even if it's only to you.

Do you intend to broaden the payment's to include bitcoin or similar?

Ask HN: are there any good reads on how to motivate others?
6 points by nathankot  8 hours ago   7 comments top 6
ch00ey 5 hours ago 0 replies      
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie has been recommended to me several times


Reallynow 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I like two books by Dan and Chip Heath called (1) Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (good summary here : http://www.veganoutreach.org/advocacy/switch .html ) and (2) Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (good summary here: http://www.engineerguy.com/white-papers/made-to-stick.htm ).
caw 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to go more of the Psychology route:

Predictably Irrational (Dan Ariely, he has some TED talks as well)http://www.amazon.com/Predictably-Irrational-Revised-Expande...

Influence, the Science of Persuasion (Robert Cialdini)http://www.amazon.com/Influence-ebook/dp/B002BD2UUC

jfasi 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Google has an interesting way of setting goals for their employees, which is part of group motivation:


dbla 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought this was a great TED talk on the subject. How Great Leaders Insire Action.http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspi...
LoneDev 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck there...
Tell HN: When using Notepad (Windows), press F5 to print current date and time.
5 points by yeleti  12 hours ago   3 comments top 2
MarcScott 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a pain when I teach kids HTML using notepad. I instruct them to ctrl+s to save, alt+tab over to their browser and F5 to refresh.

Inevitable they forget the middle part and we end up with webpages filled with timestamps.

artificialidiot 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If you start the file with ".LOG" it will add date when the file is reopened.

Stupid party trick.

Ask HN Designers: Why the trend of low-contrast site design?
8 points by tomrod  15 hours ago   9 comments top 8
chetanahuja 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Best I can tell, it's a trend because it's a trend. It'll live out it's lifetime exactly like any other fashion or trend cycle. The origins are murky or lost to history.

It'll run it's course for a couple of years and will change to something else. High contrast will suddenly be cool again. The self-aware among the designers and creators will shrug and follow the next trend with a resigned attitude. The less self-aware ones will teach themselves to see the beauty in the new system. There will be long, impassioned blog posts about why low-contrast was wrong - all wrong. It was all done before the person writing the blog post had been out of college so of course s/he was not responsible for any of it... and so goes the circle of life.

throwaway420 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Lack of contrast is a design trend that's been going on for quite a while.

However, I don't think the example you cited is a particularly egregious example of lack of contrast. It's not ideal, but it's much better than the gray on light gray body text I've seen before.

There's actually a formula you can measure this.


The color code of #626566 on a background of #FFF yields a ratio of about 5.9 to 1.

Turing_Machine 15 hours ago 0 replies      
(disclaimer: not a designer)

My theory is that they're all blindly copying Apple. The thing is, Apple does that for occasional highlighting (ad copy, e.g.), not for gigantic blocks of text. Any long-form text on Apple's site is in black (or near-black) text on white (or near-white) background.

I sure wish they'd stop doing this. Do they not actually want people to read their blogs (or whatever)?

toonbit 6 hours ago 0 replies      
UX Designer here. In my first 4 or so years of web designing I found I did this often. Low contrast elements is they easy/lazy way out, you can clearly give things more importance just by giving the element greater contrast, but it's not good design. In my case it was learning this. Learning to feel comfortable with every single element I was putting on the page, learning how to balance correctly contrasted objects, giving elements the right sizing and ultimately having confidence as a designer.
irollboozers 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Related: the web's most viral colors


Actually, I think one trend that we'll see soon is standard color palettes that will serve as signals or templates for user flows.

ulisesrmzroche 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There is no justification for low-contrast text unless you want people not to read what you write. I'll put money that a simple A/B shows that very few people stayed more than 15 seconds on that blog post.
cprncus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the trend is because designers see low contrast as "chic" and readable contrast as garish. But it's a bad decision.

Fight the power: http://contrastrebellion.com/

gcb1 13 hours ago 1 reply      
it is all efficiency vs comfort trade offs.

if your task is important you pay close attention and so rather deep contrast and separation. also the more on the screen the better.

if you are just dicking around you want low contrast and lots and lots of white space.

so, ignore all the trend talk. real reason is that the internet is finally embracing the so talked short attention span and frivolity.

btw, you study all that in the few psychology, marketing and semiotics classes in ... oh, designers classes today have none because they are not the old and outdated industrial design of yesterday. now they have photoshop and flash. and the final thesis can be a website.

Ask HN: As a recruiter, would you prefer traditional resume or social resume?
4 points by ajanelisha  11 hours ago   1 comment top
pmtarantino 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As a worker (not a recruiter), I found the same as you. I used to send CVs (that's what they asked for), and they replied me with more info, because the bullet list wasn't enought.

After that, I don't send CVs anymore. I write a text (like a blog post) about what I know, what I did, how I did, what I enjoy, etc. Like a letter talking about myself. It worked perfectly everytime. I know recruiters may find boring to read a lot of them, but that's what I do now.

How do you fail to make money passively? (Passive Income)
13 points by fogonthedowns  22 hours ago   6 comments top 6
smartician 21 hours ago 0 replies      
To learn Android development, I created a simple vocabulary learning app, a mash-up of iSpeech, Google voice recognition, and even some Instagram thrown in. There was some interest, despite zero marketing (currently > 20k total installs), and I was approaching $200/month in ad income.

Then Google disabled my Adsense account because of "invalid click activity", which also meant my Admob account was gone, since they're now linked. I moved to a combination of other ad networks, but ad revenue was slashed to a quarter of its former glory. Appeals to Google were fruitless, and to this day I have no idea why exactly I was banned.

For my next app, I'll probably avoid the "free with ads" model.

pdenya 22 hours ago 0 replies      
http://inspecthq.com/ - clipboard and camera replacement for construction/inspection companies. Had a large (enterprise level) company interested for almost 2 years before we gave up.
jonaphin 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Instimage.com here.

We haven't "failed" yet. But we're dying slowly. No one cares for Instimage, and there's no money backing it up.

No Investors, no angels, just a bootstrap and no boot.

Reminds me of companies that call themselves "startups" for 10 years...

Shouldn't one start-up then get moving?

AtTheLast 21 hours ago 0 replies      
We built a SAAS product that would allow merchants to build their own coupon landing page or coupon site. It never got any traction. It was a super niche product and none of us wanted to go around selling it. We spent a year building it and simply lost interest in the product as more time elapsed. We should have taken a step back from the project after a few months and realized that it wasn't worth our time to continue working on it.
fogonthedowns 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Let me get the ball rolling. My first app was called Barcoden. It generated barcodes for science labs. The debt crisis and cuts to schools ensued. Total sales: zero dollars.
cprncus 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been working on a desktop application--not yet ready--since the Bush administration.
Ask HN: How to be Profitable in the App Store?
9 points by elijahmurray  20 hours ago   4 comments top 3
kkowalczyk 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Without context to narrow down the answer space, you're asking questions that require book-length answers. Few disparate thoughts:

1. Yes, it is extremely tough to make money selling iOS apps. App Store creates power law dynamics where Top 10 apps make as much money as the rest of the apps combined. If you're in Top 10 then congrats, but most likely you won't be. Median App Store revenue is few hundred dollars per month. iOS programmers are in demand today. It's much easier (and in most cases more profitable) to sell your iOS expertise for $100/hr than make apps yourself.

2. People make money both in games and apps. So can you.

3. There is not such thing as too much marketing. Try every marketing technique that you can think of and can afford.

At the same time, no amount of marketing can rescue a bad app so you need to track conversion rates of your marketing efforts.

4. Free with ads vs. paid depends on your app. If you believe people will pay than go paid. If you don't, then free with ads but you have to be realistic: ad based business requires lots of volume so if your app is not in the "useful for lots of people" category, ads will not make you rich.

idoh 19 hours ago 1 reply      
On the $ side, I've worked on a couple lifestyle apps - there is money there but they have to be really huge (lucky for me they did in fact become huge).

On the marketing side, the key for the stuff I work on is that the app is about 10% of the project, the rest is distribution. So I'd think about apps that can spread via twitter, facebook, email, etc, and then build a simple app around that. Make the app simple, and really focus on the "marketing" side of things. "Marketing" in quotes because it is really still development though.

coryl 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Understand distribution. As you'll probably find out, building a great app doesn't translate into downloads.
Ask HN: Is there a best time of day to post on HN?
10 points by Strategist  1 day ago   10 comments top 8
RKoutnik 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a definitive answer here (hooray, data!): http://nathanael.hevenet.com/the-best-time-to-post-on-hacker...
brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
While there are statistically better and worse times, stories which suck still suck and even the best stories require luck to gain traction.

For me, I make submissions when I find something interesting rather than trending. Whatever moderate traction those stories receive tends to come from submitting at off peak times - weekends and late night US time.

But the first criteria are always the relevance of the article and quality.

leknarf 1 day ago 0 replies      
It obviously depends on site activity and thus varies each day, but usually around 7~8am and 5~6pm eastern times work well. I wrote a little app that tracks this for you: http://hnnotify.leknarf.net/. The graph is slow to load, just wait a little while.

I wrote a more detailed blog post that explains how this works, but the core concept is as follows.

Assuming you want your HN submission to reach the front page, then its important to post at times when scores on the new page are relatively high compared to the front page.

This assumes your goal is to reach the front page. I dont actually know how many people skim over the new links, but its fairly obvious that a far greater number of people only look at the first 30 links on the home page.

For the purposes of discussion, Im going to assume a very simplistic model of the HN front page: new stories with more points will outrank older stories with less points. That is, Im ignoring any effects existing karma has on a users submission and any factors related to when a story gets upvotes. If we assume that a new story needs to get more points than an existing story in order to replace it on the front page, then the following is straightforward: - Its a good time to submit when scores on the front page are low. If the lowest-ranked story has 10 points, it will be much easier to replace than if the lowest-ranked story has 100 points. - Its a good time to post when scores on the new page are high. If the highest-ranked story on the new page only has 2 points, it doesnt seem likely that your submission will fare much better.


dangrossman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please ask Google before asking HN; it's been answered many times. "Ask" should be a way to initiate interesting discussions, not meta-discussion about effectively gaming the site.
Strategist 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm on the east coast here. Most active part of the day for me is around 10am, where most people are awake here, and the west coast is just waking up.

I'm guessing that most people check HN first thing in the morning.

miaowmix 1 day ago 0 replies      
From what I have observed, the best time would be at 11pm EST.
leoplct 1 day ago 0 replies      
9 to 10 AM EST
Ask HN: Where are the SF Bay startup events this weekend?
6 points by wolfparade  20 hours ago   1 comment top
Irene 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Startup Weekend in San Francisco ($75): http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7451197733

If you are interested in health startups, Health 2.0 is in Santa Clara this year, and some events are free:http://www.health2con.com/events/conferences/seventh-annual-...

You've spent months learning Rails, what now?
4 points by Apane  17 hours ago   4 comments top 3
subrat_rout 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you have spent months learning Rails then do you have some projects/webapps to show? I believe initially you should look for small projects. There are few ways1. Register in elance, odesk or guru and look for projects.2. Talk to your friends and people in circle looking to implement their ideas to a minimum viable product.3. Post your new resume along with your github profile on HN.

Getting a full time rails developer will be hard initially if not impossible.

palidanx 17 hours ago 1 reply      
If you put your resume out in the market, recruiters will hunt you like a shark does an injured fish in the water...
caphill 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh I am going to be keeping a watchful eye on this thread.

I have been trying to get a junior position but no luck yet.

Show HN: A Modern HN Client (iOS)
5 points by alariccole  22 hours ago   3 comments top 3
fjarlq 21 hours ago 0 replies      
First reaction: I only see 4 submissions per screenful, on my iPhone 4s. I'd prefer more density.

news:yc shows me 5 submissions per screen, and the description of each submission includes age, number of comments, points, and submitter username. (I could probably do without the points -- the rest I need.)

I don't care for comment threads to be collapsed by default. Especially when I open one comment thread, I have to then keep touching again to see further subcomments -- that doesn't work for me.

Thanks for the free trial. I wouldn't have tried it otherwise.

And thanks for building another HN client. I don't really care much for any of the ones I've tried. What I'd really like is the Alien Blue reddit client for HN.

bgar 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't seem to be able to view the actual submission text for the Ask HNs, just the comments. I like how you don't use readability or any of that, just load the page. And also, is there a way to add Open in Chrome to the share button?
cheeaun 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The link to Support (http://support.imagistapp.com/) seems borked for me
CC companies don't care about, name, address & zip verification?
5 points by quantumpotato_  18 hours ago   4 comments top 3
dangrossman 7 hours ago 0 replies      
All you need to move money from a credit card to your bank account is a card number. You don't have to collect, let alone verify, anything else at all.

If it turns out you don't have permission to do that, because the person presenting that card number is not the owner of the card, you'll lose that money, pay a fee, and your ability to accept other cards will be at risk.

AVS and CVC checks are tools to help you decide what payments you want to accept or reject. They're inputs for your fraud scoring algorithm. With some processors, you also get a discount for making use of them, as the processor and card network would both prefer not to have to drop you for getting too many chargebacks.

drakaal 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The more data you collect the harder it is for someone to claim they didn't authorize the charge. So know you don't need all that data, but if you had a dispute you would wish you had it.

Since your transaction fees are based partially on your dispute rates not collecting this data could move you from 3% to 5 or even 7%.

Imagine giving an extra 2% of your Gross to fees. So people collect more to limit fraud.

zjgreen 17 hours ago 1 reply      
The credit card number itself is optional too.
Ask HN: How much would you pay someone to get you a job?
7 points by ceekay  1 day ago   7 comments top 6
notahacker 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Market rate = Zero. In practice recruitment consultants will be taking 20% or more of first year salary, but that's from the employer and is therefore not net of income tax, and possibly not net of salary brackets, for employers that have them. More importantly the job seekers are able to take the recruiters' advice (for what its worth, which may be nothing) and go and find their own job through their own efforts and not owe anything.

There are companies and individuals that make a living from commissions paid by employees for getting the job, and there are probably individuals that would benefit from getting paid career consultancy, but when the competition is free at the point of sale it's not an easy market to get into.

vladimirralev 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a business where your performance can be measured easily, so just aim for a risk-adjusted commission. If you manage to score me a deal that improves my situation 50%, you can keep half of it. No strings attached. We share the risk of me not liking the job and leaving after a month or so.

In order to be successful you will probably require me not to leave the new job for at least 6-12 months. That can be an expensive term to have because of the risk being stuck in some crappy workplace, the risk of missing better opportunities and some other more subtle limitations that costs me money. That can drive your cut down significantly. On the other hand if you have premium companies like Google, you can claim a bigger cut and it's still a good deal.

mchannon 1 day ago 0 replies      
With a number of companies, this already happens when you go through recruiters. You don't see how much money you're paying, as it's factored in before you see the offer.

If you look at it from the perspective of the employee, it's quite possibly their biggest single expense all year. 20-30% of salary is common. It's easy to see why recruiters are paranoid about getting stiffed by the hiring company.

Unfortunately, it also puts you at a disadvantage when negotiating with the hiring company. The next guy who applied for the same job but didn't have to go through the recruiter would cost the company the same even if they earned 20% larger checks.

Still, as bad as recruiters are, the companies themselves are worse, by and large.

imsofuture 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Zero dollars. Not to be flip, but someone else writing my resume wouldn't get me a job I'd want.
beiburg 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I am very interested in this thing. I am not a US citizen/residence and I would like to get help finding a position in a certain area. I don't mind paying as much as my first 2 salaries or more for some help. How can approach help like this?
Strategist 1 day ago 0 replies      
I actually do something like this already. I don't do the cold calling and stuff like that, but since I work with developers and designers everyday (dealing with startup stuff), I do have many connections.

So I do headhunting for both sides. I get paid a commission from the company for finding them great talent(I use already established connections of mine so I already know if they are a good fit for the job or not), and the person that gets hired pays me a commission for finding them a job.

It's typically 20% of their monthly salary for 6 months from both sides.

Good deal for a person to make some extra cash on the side of whatever they do already, and they have time to do so.

Ask HN: Are there any prominent companies that started at hackathons?
6 points by zekenie  23 hours ago   3 comments top 2
callmeed 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe GroupMe, which was acquired by Skype, was started at a hackathon.
oneiroscopist 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: What are you favorite HN threads of 2013?
4 points by samsheen  21 hours ago   1 comment top
Ask HN: How much recurring income do you generate, and from what?
414 points by marioluigi  5 days ago   423 comments top 6
jdlshore 5 days ago 8 replies      
I gross just under $10K per month from http://www.letscodejavascript.com, a subscription-based JavaScript screencast for professional developers [1]. It's a full-time job: I put out two new episodes every week, plus a "special" every month that takes quite a bit more effort. That leaves me with about half my time for developing the business. I'm bootstrapping this, so it's just me. I don't plan to hire any employees until there's more money coming in. (I also make a few hundred a month from royalties on my book [2], which is truly passive.)

I've talked about Let's Code JavaScript on HN before; check out the previous thread [3] for some details about how I started and market the site.

Since simonswords82 was so generous with details about his business, I'll do the same. About 2% of the visitors to the site sign up for the free trial. That seems poor, although I don't have a lot of insight as to what the number "should" be. I do require a credit card in order to sign up for the trial. The trial automatically converts to a subscription after seven days.

About 70% of trial subscribers convert to a paid subscription. This seems pretty good to me, although I'd of course be happier if it was higher. Once they've subscribed, I lose about 25% of subscribers in the first month, and then the number drops asymptotically down to about 5% (of the initial total) per month. I'm reasonably happy with this as well. It's poor by the standards of a SaaS, where a churn rate of 1-2% is doable, but I think it's pretty good for a content site.

My most recent push was an inbound marketing campaign: I took one of my monthly specials and turned it into a dedicated site on object-oriented JavaScript [4]. That was very successful; it nearly doubled traffic in the first month (from 2,800 uniques in the previous month to 5,400) and looks like it will permanently add about 1,500 uniques per month. Trial rates went down slightly as a result, but overall subscriptions went up.

The biggest challenge for me is having lots of things I'd like to pursue, but not enough time to do them all. The Object Playground inbound marketing campaign was successful, but a lot of work. I recently released another special that might make a good inbound campaign (on large-scale JavaScript fundamentals: modularity and automated cross-browser unit testing), but I'm not sure it's worth the time it would take to create a marketing site for it on the scale of Object Playground.

For now I'm focusing on A/B testing various ideas for improving conversion. It takes less effort and potentially has longer-term impact. So far, I've improved the subscribe page [5] by adding testimonials and a better design. Next, I'll probably provide more opportunities for people to preview the series without signing up, as well as more obvious calls to action on the video pages. I also have some other plans in the works that I can't talk about yet. :-)

[1] My screencast is Let's Code: Test-Driven JavaScript, a series for professional JavaScript developers. It's available at http://www.letscodejavascript.com. I'd love to hear your feedback.

[2] My book is The Art of Agile Development. It's been out for over five years now, so it's nice to still be getting royalties from it.

[3] I talked about my experiences launching and marketing the screencast here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6038226

[4] My recent inbound marketing campaign was Object Playground, a tutorial and visualizer for object-oriented JavaScript: http://www.objectplayground.com.

[5] The Let's Code JavaScript subscribe page is at http://www.letscodejavascript.com/v3/subscribe.

simonswords82 5 days ago 7 replies      
TL;DR: The top of our funnel is fine, and our app is making money, but it's not "easy money" and our trial to paying customer sign up needs some serious attention.

I run a HR app for SMEs called http://www.staffsquared.com. We're making a comfortable 5 figures each month.

We're reinvesting this income back in the product either in the form of new functionality (paying programmers) or advertising (paying Google Adwords). We've increased our Adwords spend, invested in SEO (on page and off page) and a recent redesign saw a decrease in bounce rate and increase in trial sign up rates.

Our site visit to trial sign up rate for the last five months looks like this:

April: 13.02%

May: 12.37%

June: 13.76%

July: 15.61%

August: 16.46%

Our bounce rate for the last five months looks like this:

April: 39.54%

May: 40.06%

June: 37.21%

July: 32.8%

August: 31.17%

So both of those top end of the funnel stats are moving in the right direction.

Our free trial to paying customers is the area we're really focussing on at the moment as it's really not high enough. So we're re-targeting accounts that have expired to find out how we can serve them better and tell them about new features. We're also working hard on our onboarding stuff (the type of stuff you'll read patio11 talking about) including more intelligent automated e-mails based on the status of their account at a point in time.

Happy to answer any questions you good people might have where I can...

drpancake 5 days ago 4 replies      
I'm making roughly $300/month from three iPhone apps. They're all quite simple and I'd estimate that I've put in less than a month's actual work building them; although as a disclaimer, this is my day job so I can put these together relatively quickly.

My fourth app was a larger time investment and gets quite a lot more downloads. It makes no income now, but I'll add In-App Purchases soon.

I'm freelancing for ~45 hours a month to fund this while backpacking all over the world. I should blog about it.


Edit: I put up a LaunchRock page, if you would be interested in a blog about this stuff, leave me your details: http://theoreticalblog.launchrock.com

emhart 5 days ago 3 replies      
I've usually read these threads without thinking about my own situation, but suddenly realized, I'm getting checks every month. It's not much, only $100-$250 per month, based on advertisements on my youtube channel, most coming from a 24 part series I made on locks & lockpicking a few years ago, but it's passive to the point that I literally forget about it.

Unfortunately I'm the sort who is very uncomfortable asking for money, or even advertising on my content (only about 50% of the videos I put out have ads at all, and many of the most popular do not), but at the same time I'd love to have the time & resources to produce more & better content in the future.

Not looking for advice, as my disposition away from revenue is much stronger than my wish to get money, and I've learned that lesson many times, just adding another voice to the thread.

TamDenholm 4 days ago  replies      
Bit late to the boat but:

Around $700/mo from a themeforest account.

And the more interesting story, about 4.5k/mo from a cleaning business that i bought.

I will at some point write the story up, but the TL:DR is:Spotted vastly under valued cleaning business with complete staff.Turnover of previous owner 190k a year.Profit of previous owner 18k. Yup, 18k....Bought it for 13.5k.

Still in the early stages and still changing things but the previous owner was/is in massive debt, little free time to put into the business, did EVERYTHING on paper/fax/phone and had enormous monthly costs.

Theres a much longer story to this but i'll write it up in a few months when its a bit more proven.

Ask HN: Proper Way of Load Testing and Good Tools?
7 points by reader_1000  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
grumps 21 hours ago 0 replies      
FWIW I'm not sure if it's good practice or not. I used locust.io recently. The client allowed me to ramp up request rates until I got HTTP Errors. I measured against their previous analytic sites. Of course this was a guesstimate because GA doesn't let you see the max num of simultaneous users. I found holes in the infrastructure that need to be remedied. The holes were to prevent anything similar to a slashdot effect. I also watched against the servers IO/CPU utlization, and RAM.
whichdan 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can get a lot of mileage out of Apache Bench[1].

[1] http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/programs/ab.html

blubberlubber 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are some very good, very expensive machines for this.

Open-source wise, there's Tsung:http://tsung.erlang-projects.org/

blubberlubber 1 day ago 0 replies      
Also, good for you that you've decided to actually run a scalability test. Most people don't ;-)
Ask HN: Rate my Startup - Office Trail Mix Dispenser?
5 points by mcgeadyd  1 day ago   1 comment top
itsybitsycoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
I looked all over and couldn't find an ingredients list for any of the products. (The "ingredients" page seems to have just an unsorted list of ingredients used in your entire product line.) I also can't find where to buy the refill packs, so I have no idea what varieties are available or what's in them. Based on just the pictures, I probably wouldn't eat any of them since they all have dried fruit, which is very sugary / high-GI. You mention GI in your nutritional FAQ so it seems a bit odd.
Ask HN: Your First Technical (Security consulting) Interview
3 points by chunky1994  21 hours ago   2 comments top 2
jmbmxer 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've worked in Infosec for over 4 years and have been on both sides of the interview process. I have only a few high level pointers.

1. If you are passionate, show it. If you want to work in the security industry you have to really nerd out on this stuff and not treat it like a day job that "pays the bills".

2. Don't BS about technical answers. If you don't know the answer to something, that is OK. A good interviewer would rather you walk them through the steps you would take to find the answer than completely make one up. Big no-no.

3. I don't know what position you are applying for but you should be expected to know some basics about attack vectors, defenses, security strategies, and general computing. Brush up on your scripting skills while you are at it. Python is my language of choice. Bash scripting is also highly desired.

4. Don't regurgitate a list of tools you know. Pick a few that you have used and explain how you used them..anyone can run an Nmap scan but what do the results mean?

5. Be friendly and approachable. This goes with any job interview but just a reminder.

6. Don't stress it too much. It's impossible to anticipate every little detail of every question that will be asked. Be yourself and most of all, be curious.

Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me with specifics and GOOD LUCK! Hope too see ya at the next con.

drakaal 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Practice what they preach.

Don't tell them anything they don't need to know. Don't join their WiFi. Don't share information about the organizations you have worked with in the past.

That's and make sure you are familiar with the concepts of OpSec.

Typically in a 30 minute interview the extent of the technical questions are going to be limited to concepts not practice. I can't imagine a 30 minute interview will require you to setup a firewall, or configure a router.

Silicon Valley smells today
4 points by mman  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
nicholas73 1 day ago 1 reply      
Possibly an aircraft fire drill at Moffett Field. NASA Ames Fire Dept. is using propane for the fire.
sixQuarks 3 hours ago 0 replies      
sorry, I ate beans last night
How much Passive Income do you make?
4 points by fogonthedowns  1 day ago   12 comments top 4
dangrossman 1 day ago 2 replies      
That was asked yesterday, and the day before, and this front-page post is still on the front of the "ask" page:

"How much recurring income do you generate, and from what?"


jonaphin 1 day ago 2 replies      
Instimage.com here.

I make nothing.How I do it? It's fairly complex.

Step 1: Build a kickass website, take 6 months

Step 2: Deal with Paypal

Step 3: Rework

Step 4: Deal with Paypal

Step 5: Launch

Step 6: Recurring Step. Post Blog post, spam your FB friends until you lose them.

Step 7: It's built and they don't come.

Step 8: Move onto next idea? Or repeat Step 6/7 until you're ready to move on...

zachlatta 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a Bitcoin trading bot. I won't go into the details of how it works, but it's capable of making a few hundred per day, depending on how much money it's given to work with.
hardwaresofton 1 day ago 0 replies      
$0.02 (2 cents) so far, adsense
Ask HN: Questions about Wordpress
2 points by ninetax  18 hours ago   8 comments top 3
krapp 17 hours ago 1 reply      
>Can you do enough frontend design to make a Wordpress site not look like a Wordpress site at all?

Yes. One of wordpress' strengths is its theme system. You can find a number of existing themes which are ready to make 'child themes' out of (I suggest looking at Responsive or even 2012.)

Bear in mind there's nothing you can do to keep someone from viewing the source and seeing it's a wordpress site.

>What's the flexibility of adding new features if I the frontend is redesigned?

You have a functions.php to build whatever hooks you need into the API for that particular theme, and plugins are basically global applications which can do anything. The API can be a bit arcane but there's a very good chance whatever problem you have has already been covered in an existing theme or plugin. I would be willing to bet that for what you describe, 100% could be handled with existing plugins, and 90% of the rest by creating a child theme and tweaking. This is honestly what Wordpress was meant for.

>Is it a better idea to hire out and let someone else pick all the plugins and put it together?

I would say it depends on the amount of work you want done, in regards to customization of the theme and custom plugins.

>Can you give me a recommendation on would could build such a thing for me, or would it be cheaper to do myself?

You could do it yourself for free, but looking up documentation and solutions is on you. How comfortable are you with horrible looking mixin PHP? Do yourself a favor though, whatever you do: look up "hardening wordpress", apply what you learn and turn off theme editing through the UI.

drakaal 17 hours ago 1 reply      
You use Wordpress because you like the off the shelf parts.

You can make WordPress look like anything. It is PHP, so if you want you can have a page that is mostly a web App and just use WordPress for the content blocks on the page, but that wouldn't be the most efficient way to do things.

If you have to ask if it would be easier, then it would probably be easier.

Paying for custom design varies wildly. You could spend $50 on a kid in college who may or may not make something awesome. You could spend $50k on a major design studio.

As an SEO I saw both happen.

devonbarrett 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Would a Facebook group not work?
Ask HN: How much savings did you have before quitting your industry job?
62 points by null_ptr  2 days ago   71 comments top 37
patio11 2 days ago 1 reply      
On the order of $4,000, though in my circumstances it was less risky than that number would suggest, since I already had covered-the-day-job cash flow from Bingo Card Creator and strong odds of successfully filling a consulting pipeline by that point. (I'm not counting my retirement account, which was in the low five figures, since I wasn't planning on touching it for any reason short of "I'm dying in the snow.")
dutchbrit 2 days ago 4 replies      
If you plan on quitting your job, don't just follow what people comment here. The actual amount you need should be calculated yourself, based on your plans.

1) How much money do you need to get round per month.

2) Add a chunk ontop of that for unforseen expenses, broken fridge for example...

3) How long do you estimate you'll be working on your project?

4) Add a large percentage to that estimate for unexpected issues

5) Will you need to make investments? Hardware? Designers? Calculate these figures.

6) Add a month (or 2) to the above, if your project fails to start making revenue, you'll need to find yourself a job - well, depending on how easy it is for you to find a good job...

It's an amount you need to calculate. Don't underestimate.

Then you're ready to roll.

PaulHoule 2 days ago 2 replies      
$10k liquid + $15k in withheld taxes the government owes me.

At least 5-8x that in an HSA, 401k, SEP, IRAs, Roth IRAs and tax-advantaged government bonds paying 7.5% that I bought a few months after I cashed out of the Janus fund in Dec 1999. (My broker fired me for that)

I'm going to hold on to those bonds as long as I can, and I'd much rather borrow against the equity of the "home" I own at a lower rate. (I bought the home in cash, so this is my "first" mortgage -- I opened the account when I wanted some capital to take a chance at buying an adjoining property at a tax auction.)

One of the first things I did when I quit was write a check from the heloc to the HSA so I wouldn't have to think about making contributions for it.

It's a little more complex than that because I have two houses on one large lot and my wife's riding academy and the rental income creates a financial situation that's so sweet it's almost a scam. I think last year I got $16k of rent, experienced a positive cashflow of around $14k from it, but the IRS says we made $4.5k of income because of depreciation on our property.

(I have no idea why anybody buys a single family house; as much as muggles make a big deal of the mortgage interest deduction, owning a duplex means you can write off half the principal plus you get a cash flow to help w/ the mortgage and property taxes. Maybe you even get a cool neighbor.)

One key to making this work is that I can get a high deductible health insurance plan through COBRA for $500 a month and that will tide me through until Obamacare comes unless the Republicans defund it. That's important because there really isn't any such thing as individual health insurance in NY. (I'd better write that letter to my Republican congressman before I forget.)

Anyhow, it isn't all roses. I pay $4k a year in taxes for a "persistently dangerous" school that my son goes to where probably 1/2 of the parents w/ college educations don't send their kids to because they homeschool. They haven't had a principal last more than two years so long as I know.

The internet sucks out here too. Github works OK, but it took 30 seconds to create a trouble ticket with the off-brand project management software at my last job, which was one of the reasons I quit. Netflix and Amazon instant video work, but I can't really watch Youtube. I used to use Flickr a lot, but with the latest update it is so slow I can't even use my own photographs when I make a presentation because it takes 1 minute+ to load.

callmeed 2 days ago 0 replies      

I don't know if it matters but this was in 2000 (and not in SV/SF). I was doing IT/help desk for a UPS call center with a few servers and 75 workstations (on a token ring network!).

We had been doing educational software in our spare time. We landed a couple decent contracts and I decided to quit and go for it (I was also a senior at Cal Poly and quit). At the time, my rent was $400/month and I wasn't married. We found an office for $250/month.

Of course 18 months later things got real tight. After the .com crash, a lot of california colleges got their budgets cut. But we survived long enough to sell the company at the same time a new one started and took off.

I'm sure there's lots of sound advice here and my story shouldn't be a model.

I haven't had a real job since and I'm still a senior ;)

onion2k 2 days ago 1 reply      
About $100k. It lasted me 4 years. Frankly, I sort of wish I'd had a lot less. I never felt any sort of urgency like "This must succeed."

No regrets though. The last 4 years have been a lot of fun. :)

qeorge 2 days ago 0 replies      
About $20k, in a mutual fund. Didn't plan to spend it all but I did, quickly. I was working at a grocery store though, so little "risk". :)

As others have said - you need to learn to live cheaply. Savings dwindles amazingly fast when you have no income.

Personally, I dropped my cell phone & cable TV, and got rid of my car. It took about 3 years to get back to "normal" - would never have made it without slashing expenses.

alanbyrne 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had 3 months worth of pay in savings. My plan was to start looking for work if there wasn't enough income to keep me going after month 2.

1 year later and still going strong!

doppenhe 2 days ago 2 replies      
1 year of expenses including rent,healthcare, food ,etc.

When doing financial planning you should always try to save up to 6 months of all expenses. This is hard to achieve but the recommended number even if you are staying at your industry job. You never know what can happen.

grimtrigger 2 days ago 0 replies      
Planning on quitting with 6-9 months of burn (assuming I don't make another dollar). But I'm also planning on putting a startup before freelance/consulting so it might be a while before I start breaking even.
jsonmez 2 days ago 2 replies      
Wrong question.How much passive income from a side business do you need before quitting your industry job?
robertnealan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I only had about $2000 (half a month's paycheck at the time), but the change in work was prompted by a multi-month consulting gig that was paying in the low five figures over the course of a few months.

My advice is to start looking for work before you leave your industry job - think if it as though you're doing lean testing on your product, except your product is yourself. If you can't find clients while at your day job, then iterate on yourself (website, services offered, your client pitch, how you're looking for clients, etc) and try again.

gw 2 days ago 0 replies      
I quit my job two months ago with close to $10k saved up. It's too early to claim success, though. I think location is really relevant. In Pittsburgh, rent is quite cheap, but I'm sure the situation is different elsewhere in the country.
bluedino 2 days ago 1 reply      
Number is pretty irrelevant if you're not relating it to expenses. Living with 4 roommates or something for $200 a month is going to take a lot less cushion than if you have a family of 3 and a mortgage.
benched 2 days ago 0 replies      
$95K. It wasn't enough. My time building my product was cut short by unexpected health problems, which not only accelerated my cash burn, but also made it more difficult than usual to find my next job when I needed it. I landed hard, on my ass, though I eventually got to my feet again.
cprncus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish I knew more about these stories. How OLD were you? That's key to me. It's one thing to quit your job when you are 23; another entirely if you are 51. I'm assuming the average age of the commenters below is 28.

There should be a formula that includes terms for age, likely earning potential on re-entry to job market, savings, debt, assets (like a paid-off house), % completion of the start-up project you're leaving for, monthly influx from startup project when you quit, etc., etc. The formula would pop out a single number, the Gutsy Factor.

eliasdelatorre 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had about $11,000 USD after working for 20 months at IBM, lasted for about year and a half. Best decision ever. =)
6thSigma 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had about my annual salary minus taxes in savings. I also had 2 or 3 contracting gigs lined up.

In addition to all of that, I had zero debt.

lumens 2 days ago 0 replies      
About $26k, though a good chunk of it was commissions that were still incoming (with no guarantee of receipt).

That said, I think there is a similar concept to the Minimum Viable Product that I'll call "Minimum Acceptable Savings". If you're going out on your own, your job is to Figure it Out. You need enough to be able to start figuring it out, but any more than that and you're stalling the move and ultimately falling behind.

Don't be scared to sell your couch, y'know?

danmaz74 2 days ago 0 replies      
I quit my day job this September, with 14,000 ($19,000) in savings. But I already have cybranding.com making some money - and very good reasons to think things will move fast now. Otherwise, having a family to support, I would never have done so before raising some money!
vitd 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had either 3 or 6 months of salary saved up - whatever it is that experts always say. And I'll tell you this, I was super freaked out about money the entire time. I felt like I was just about to go broke almost every step of the way until I landed my first good client. (That took 4-5 months, if I recall correctly.) And I'm a pretty mellow person able to deal with some amount of risk.

If I had to do it again, I'd make sure I had at least one year's salary. Several people have asked, "How is that possible to do?" I wouldn't have been able to do it at the time. Well, all I can say is that it gets much easier as you get older and get better jobs with stock options that are worth something, and if you've been saving for a decade or more. If you're just starting out, it's a lot harder if you aren't incredibly lucky. (Although you also have fewer repercussions if you mess it up.)

watmough 2 days ago 0 replies      
I budgeted about $30k for 3 years off (my wife continued to work), made between $10k and $20k/year from my FemCal app, then went back to work when the $30k ran out.

No regrets.

esw 2 days ago 0 replies      
First time: about two months salary. I'd just been laid off for the second time in two years, and rather than find another job in the same industry, I decided to try doing my own thing for a while. It was a great learning experience and I eventually came out ahead, but I basically lived month to month for several years.

Second time: about a year's salary in savings, and I had enough revenue to live on by the time I quit my day job. I was probably overly cautious, but my wife was pregnant and I didn't want to blow it.

benmorris 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had almost a year worth of normal income stashed away. Plus my wife's income was also coming in. To be honest that was a really conservative move and not really required. I made a pretty comfortable amount plus had some pretty large side web jobs I helped build up my savings. It was a lot of after hours working though.

Pretty ironic to be talking about this today, because this is a year to the day I left my day job. I still can say it was the best thing I ever did.

devin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing. I was forced to figure it out quickly or go back to school.
splendidfailure 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had about $9k and the expectation that I would do some consulting on the side to help out with expenses. I don't think I'd do the same thing again, because consulting ate up a lot of time that I could've been iterating on my project and that became a large source of frustration for me over time.
wyattsthrowaway 2 days ago 0 replies      
$20k in the bank

$500/mo recurring

negotiating a $15k consulting project

several other potential projects in early talks

Remember that runway = cash/burn_rate. Lowering burn rate was a key enabler: I was able to find a rent-free living situation for a few months and that put me over the edge to quit. I also have a nice safety valve in that at the end of the runway, I don't crash and burn, I walk right back into an industry job.

Because my burn rate is much lower than my former 6.5k/mo industry pay rate, I expect this to go much further than the 3 months pay I have in savings. That said, I'm being conservative and would only commit myself to 3mo terms at the longest for office/rent.

I don't claim to know anything about the sufficiency here, it was just my best guess. Comments welcome :-)

* There are no guarantees, but I received 3 offers @80k+ in 1mo of searching, so I like my odds. On a related note, always prefer data like this to a gut feel of your employability.

(throwaway -- don't need prospective clients seeing my financials)

yildirim 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was making around $3000 before leaving my job (it's very good money for Turkey) and I had $3000 when I left my company. It's been almost 3 months now and I have $1000 more. My project is ready to sell. And we will start selling next week. I hope I can survive.
JoeAltmaier 2 days ago 0 replies      
I never had an industry job. Except when my startups got bought. Straight to a startup out of college, never looked back.
br0ke 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's better to count in time rather than dollars... I just quit last week with approx 14mo, but I'm just starting so who knows if it was a good move :)
benhebert 2 days ago 0 replies      
$10,000 savings

I could survive on $2,000 per month.

segmondy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why do you want to quit your industry job?
tr0ss 2 days ago 1 reply      
$15,000 in savings$1,600 a month in costsJust quit my job so don't know exactly how long it will last
anandabits 2 days ago 0 replies      
2-3 years worth of living expenses. Should give me plenty of runway to get my business off the ground...
jheriko 2 days ago 0 replies      

i should make some of those before i quit my industry job... although i was hoping i would get up and running on the side, and not needing any other peoples money...

i might quit after something takes off enough to need full time attention. :)

TaffeyLewis 2 days ago 1 reply      
In my case, I had something like 2,500 saved up before quitting my construction industry related job, moving to Mexico and giving myself 2 months to become a freelance writer. Worked out after all, though it was nerve wracking
notwedtm 2 days ago 0 replies      
$0. I was stupid, but through sheer dumb luck I made it.
moubarak 2 days ago 0 replies      
my balance was negative 2k. i had to pay a monthly payment to cover that loan and i still quit my industry job because i realised that time was money too. the pressure helped me find ways to survive and i did.
Tell HN: Share Your Rejection Therapy Stories with NPR.org
2 points by contextual  20 hours ago   1 comment top
Tell HN: If you're having trouble with Apple Developer things, Call Them
20 points by tomasien  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
jason_slack 1 day ago 0 replies      
For completeness, here is the phone listing for all countries:


hugovie 1 day ago 1 reply      
Freaking useful sharing. It will help me! Thanks a lot!
Ask HN: Anyone in NYC need an intern/temp for about a month?
6 points by BWStearns  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
davismwfl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Send me an email. We are not in NYC, but we have some dev-ops and python type work for a couple of our new products that are candidates to split out.

Full disclosure, we do a lot of software development as a product development firm, and are developing a number of our own products. We fully recognize we suck at some things and excel at many others. My comment history probably demonstrates that. Reach out if you have interest, we evaluate everyone as an individual on their merits not degrees.

o0-0o 1 day ago 1 reply      
I see you're talking to someone, but if you want - give me a buzz at 51.6.876. 8006 - ask to talk to the guy on Wall ST.
Ask HN: Where to bounce off ideas?
2 points by ElongatedTowel  23 hours ago   5 comments top 3
shawnreilly 21 hours ago 0 replies      
My answer is Customer Validation. This is essentially what a Landing Page does, but I prefer a more personal approach. Before I begin building something I personally pitch at least 30 potential customers (excluding my network of friends/peers), and then follow up with a few questions. Consumer facing ideas are usually easier for me to validate than Enterprise or Business facing ideas, simply because it's easier to round up Consumers. What I'm basically doing is getting a feel for how people react to the idea (positive / negative). The follow up questions help me determine if I missed something and/or how valuable the idea might be. A successful validation usually results in positive feedback that I can document. A very successful validation results in actual customers, or people willing to pay for it on the spot (which HAS happened). This is something I continue to do while the Product is being built, and even after the Product is released.
hardwaresofton 23 hours ago 1 reply      
So I think that people often make landing pages for this kind of thing.

Generally, you should be able to trust your decisions, but if you have an idea that you think would be a great service (a good indicator of this is real life need -- if you needed this thing, chances are someone else wants it too), you can make something like a landing page with a short walk through on how it works (or how it WILL work) and throw that out there, post it on the relevant forums and places, and see what comes of it.

OF course, if it's something that YOU personally need, you using it is the best indicator

dossy 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Ideas are worthless. Products are valuable. If you're afraid of being associated with a failed product attempt, then use a pseudonym.

The only way to verify whether an idea is worth pursuing, is to pursue it, and decide if it was worth it or not.

Ask HN: Is there any easy way to browse topic "Show HN" and "Ask HN"?
4 points by shellehs  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
moozeek 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I use http://hn.premii.com/ It's working on mobile and desktop. When you click on the cog in the top left there are "Ask HN" and "Show HN" links.
bigredtech 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Is it worth to develop Android apps for Amazon's Kindle?
2 points by rcorin  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
bdfh42 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Amazon T&Cs might put you off - have a good read before you even think about it.

I suspect (but have zero evidence)that Kindle buyers are not likely to be app purchasers and while Android users generally can use the Amazon store I am not at all sure this is their first choice when looking for an app.

It might be that the latest Kindle models will enter the mainstream as Android tablets - have to see if that happens - the hardware specs are good. [anyone know if they now ship with an up-to-date Android version?]

You would think that the amazon store would be very good at offering apps alongside books if they might have a similar appeal (say a navigation app alongside books on similar subjects) but I have seen little evidence of such cross marketing - if that started to work then it would be a strong indicator that the Amazon app store was capable of making an impact.

wanghq 20 hours ago 0 replies      
You are talking about kindle fire not the e-ink kindle, right? Kindle fire users do buy apps. Some articles you might can take a look:


rcorin 1 day ago 0 replies      
actually, I'd welcome opinions where s/Amazon/XXX for XXX!=Google Play Store :)
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