hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    5 Nov 2013 Ask
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Ask HN: Hacker News rate limits and robots policy?
7 points by jkarneges  2 hours ago   5 comments top
benologist 2 hours ago 2 replies      
There's an official API that's much easier to work with and doesn't have aggressive precautions in place - http://hnsearch.com/api
Ask HN: What apps do you use to get stuff done (task management)
5 points by ishbits  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
rooshdi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Trello may be suitable for your needs: https://webmenu.org/apps/trello
EduardoRT 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
I tend to use SublimeText + Plain Tasks: https://github.com/aziz/PlainTasks

With the pomodoro technique. I find it useful.

Ask HN: What open source project is your pride and joy?
20 points by seamusabshere  6 hours ago   20 comments top 15
bliti 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm currently developing one to scratch my own itch. I had a problem of sharing data between embedded devices. My search for a solution led me to find out that there was no simple API to simply interchange data between devices. Less so in an Open Source variant. So I wrote a tiny Django based API that allows embedded devices share data through HTTP calls.

What is this good for?

Say you have a RaspberryPi-based weather station with internet access. With one API call your an share your data (raw or processed) with any other device. Since its open source, you can run your own little closed network. Imagine having hundreds of mini weather stations sharing data over the web like this.

It works for any device that has access to the internet. Even if its through a host connection (If you have an Arduino connected to a laptop through serial. It can make the HTTP calls through a client script/library I'm including, too.)

Here is the github repo: https://github.com/bliti/bbedy

The program runs locally, but has not been setup for deployment. I have not written the documentation for it. Should be up and running by December 2013.

mattl 5 hours ago 1 reply      
http://libre.fm -- yeah, the UI could use some work (current work in progress: http://i.imgur.com/2P9ZDx6.png) but it has a bunch of users (~130k, and we have approximately 85 million song listens have passed through the site) -- all the code is here -- https://gitorious.org/foocorp/gnu-fm/source/b4d50d2ca4dd456d...:
ozh 5 hours ago 1 reply      
https://github.com/YOURLS/YOURLS - a self hosted URL shortener in PHP
japhyr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm writing an open curriculum for learning Python, aimed at people who have never programmed before. The student-facing page is at http://introtopython.org, and the project page is at https://github.com/ehmatthes/intro_programming.

I started revising the curriculum for a class I teach each fall, and then realized I could just as easily turn it into an open resource. Now even though the class is over, I can't stop working on it. If anyone is interested, I'd love to have some professional eyes on some of the code samples, and I'd love some help writing exercises and challenges.

It's still a young project, but I'm happy to hear feedback.

feralmoan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
https://bip.io Billion Instructions per I/O) - its a framework for creating ephemeral endpoints ontop of graph based message pipelines. You can orchestrate and share these graphs (kind of like micro-workflows) to automate tasks, serve content, run an app... that sort of thing. I love it, even if no-one 'gets it' and has zero traction, working in this problem space is very satisfying and always a challenge :) albeit it sometimes overwhelmingly complex
baruch 4 hours ago 0 replies      
bennyg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
libHN and my HackerNews client for iOS.

- libHN: https://github.com/bennyguitar/libHN

- News/YC: https://github.com/bennyguitar/News-YC---iPhone

I love contributing to this community, but the website on mobile is not great at all. I love using Alien Blue for Reddit, so I decided to make a beautiful app to read and contribute to the community for iPhone. I started with just the reader - to view links and comments. However, just recently I made libHN as a wrapper of HackerNews API calls and then the app now uses that to be a portal to HackerNews. The app is an absolute joy to use now, if I may so myself!

Right now, it's gotten about 3,000+ downloads from the App Store. I don't track anything, so no idea on daily users. I just launched the pro version with the ability to login/vote/reply/submit for $0.99 two days ago. However, you can build from source and get it from free ;)

kennethtilton 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Cells!: https://github.com/kennytilton/cells/wikirah-rah: http://smuglispweeny.blogspot.com/2008/02/cells-manifesto.ht...

The latest buzzword is Functional Reactive Programming. Well, latest three buzzwords.

sheetjs 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is "All of them" an acceptable answer?

In particular, http://sheetjs.github.io/js-xls/ and http://sheetjs.github.io/js-xlsx/ which really should have been one; due to licensing concerns, they started as two projects and I hope to merge them at one point)

seamusabshere 6 hours ago 0 replies      
ok, i'll go first: i love https://github.com/seamusabshere/upsert because it seems like a new idea and https://github.com/seamusabshere/fuzzy_match because it feels like i've combined string similarity and array enumeration to make something truly useful.
erezsh 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll bite. I wrote a a parsing library for python on top of PLY, that provides many high-level features such as EBNF syntax and automatic AST creation, and the trees a query-able with CSS-like syntax.

It's on github and I get immense joy for every little star it gets (https://github.com/erezsh/plyplus)

C0d3r 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This project helped me learn python, and ultimately ended up getting a job with python, I think that this project and the people who motivated me to build this, made me the python developer I am today :).


bmaeser 5 hours ago 0 replies      

iptables-boilerplate is a set of predefined firewall rules that are typically used on "webhosts".

ojjzhna 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"locally grown" GPL'd scripts (general utils); most bash, some perl; bash function library

Want to share these simple, general utilities, handy tools,or convenience wrappers - most bash, some perl. Categories:script-infrastructure libraries, text filtering, log creation/parsing,simple network-related, regex, time, mail, cygwin, latex, jobs,processes, pathname, file or file-archive related, m4, make, system, and backup:

Been writing shell scripts since late 80s, still humble,and learning; appreciate constructive code review.

http://TRodman.com/scripts (~400k tarball w/installer)



Linux/devops scripting admin for HIRE; resume/skill assessment: http://TRodman.com

seamusabshere 6 hours ago 0 replies      
don't be shy
Airdrop for Android
7 points by ShareWithDrop  5 hours ago   2 comments top
Justsignedup 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If there was an iOS and windows version, I can probably get my wife to test it daily :
I'm part of the launch group for Google Hangouts but I don't really care
2 points by crozewski  3 hours ago   3 comments top 2
byjove 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's how launches usually go: you start with a minimum viable product and add requested features with subsequent iterations.
erkose 3 hours ago 1 reply      
You should quit whining and do some market research. Identify your competition and determine what they are charging.
Ask HN: Is it safe to drop CSS vendor prefixes?
6 points by kjannis  9 hours ago   5 comments top 4
huxley 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You could use Prefixfree.js to provide support for older "modern" browsers:


andyshora 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I just taught a workshop in a big digital agency, and on 2/8 Macs Chrome didn't work without the -webkit prefix.

Just shows how often people update.

Don't drop them.

meerita 8 hours ago 0 replies      
http://caniuse.com is your best answer. Simply search the variant of the prefixed and see their support.
tommaitland 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't seem to be any harm in keeping them for the moment? There's still a lot of people on older browsers (Safari, Firefox, MS) who need those prefixes and seeing as the browsers support the features I think it'd make sense to keep them.
Wish HN: Good luck
11 points by bloometal  14 hours ago   4 comments top 2
gatsby 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Good luck to all!

To those accepted to interviews: congrats!

To those that didn't make it to interviews, I wanted to share a great thought from Dustin Curtis (YC W13):

"Tomorrow. After my promotion. When I raise money. When the time is right. After I settle things up. When Im done learning. These phrases appear to be valid reasons for waiting, but they are usually just excuses used to rationalize an easier choice."

YC or no YC, go do your idea if you're passionate about it.

srbtyagi 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Our YC application was turned down, and that's a good thing
8 points by swatkat7  13 hours ago   7 comments top 4
onion2k 12 hours ago 1 reply      
"...we haven't perfected out product yet."

You're aware that that won't ever happen, right? Focus on making it useful, then focus on selling it to people.

vinayp10 12 hours ago 1 reply      
What was your startup?
swatkat7 12 hours ago 0 replies      
karlhwhite 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd be a little sad if that were the case. Not because I desperately like PHP (I don't), but it has its uses (and it's pretty prolific), and sometimes that best tool for the job is whatever tool does the job.
Ask PG/YC: Have all YC W14 interview invitations been sent out?
47 points by jjoe  21 hours ago   49 comments top 16
keithwarren 20 hours ago 10 replies      
Been hitting refresh on the inbox all day!

Curious about other people and their video views, we got about 7 hits on ours after the deadline from California (Youtube analytics wont go any deeper). I doubt they were all from YC as the link was sent to other alums who reviewed our app and it is possible on of them hit it up after the deadline.

Anyone else look at their stats?

te_chris 19 hours ago 0 replies      
PG just tweeted midnight PST. https://twitter.com/paulg/status/397537535452131329 this is already agony, we're 21hrs ahead of PST here in NZ so technically I've been waiting 2 days now since the 4th was yesterday!
sumit_psp 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck to everyone. Remember regardless of what the response is, YC is only a nitro boost.

Everybody is racing to create the future and don't slow down just because you didn't get into YC.

samlavery 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I just heard notices will be sent out 'late this evening'. And I'm assuming that's late this evening, PST. Also we got 4 views. 1 was me, 3 had to be from YC.
omnisci 21 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm always surprised how long it takes for someone to post this question :-) the notices tend to go out around 8-10pm est. Good luck everyone!
nchatterji 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Good luck everyone! Either way- our team will be celebrating or drinking our sorrows away tonight at Rye Bar in San Francisco (http://www.ryesf.com/). Feel free to stop by...would love to connect either way! Feel free to reach out nirav(at)requext.com

Who knows maybe PG will be cool enough to show up and grab a few drinks too!

anubhav_iim 19 hours ago 1 reply      
imd23 20 hours ago 1 reply      
My god, this waiting is killing us :D

In our case (loovin.com), we've got 7 views to the demo site and 4 views in the video (this are views we know that are from them only, yeah... we check this all day long :)).

Good luck everyone!

anamecheverri 20 hours ago 0 replies      
My video was watched 6 times the day after the deadline. But I sent the link to 2 friends so I am guessing 4 views came from YC. I am going crazy waiting though....
thriftjunction 13 hours ago 0 replies      
My 4 yr old has access to my phone and hopefully it was not him who watched me pitch 5 times
tonydiv 19 hours ago 0 replies      
5 views from the embeddable YT player for us.
abgupta 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Got that dreaded email. Rejected. Now back to work.
Jamurai 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it correct to assume that teams are notified one way or the other?
anamecheverri 13 hours ago 0 replies      
i just got my rejection letter :-(
xdite 19 hours ago 0 replies      
does anyone get questions from YC during the time?
Ask HN: Where do you find interesting papers to read?
114 points by frigg  2 days ago   55 comments top 48
splat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a grad student in astronomy, and I try to read one paper per day, so I've thought a bit about where to best find good papers to read. Firstly, if you are interested in finding papers in astronomy, the best resource is the ADS search:


You can search for papers any which way: by author name, by journal, by year, or some combination. Links to the papers themselves are all on ADS. Older papers are available for free on the journals' websites, and more recent papers are available for free on arxiv.org.

When looking for good papers to start with, you can just search for all papers written in a particular range of years and sort the results by the number of times the paper has been cited. (Usually the citation count is a good estimator of the importance of the paper.) If you search for all papers written within a range of years, though, make sure to select the sort by citation count option before doing your search. (Otherwise ADS will only sort the top 200 results that it returns, which will just be the 200 authors whose names come first alphabetically.) If you're more interested in physics than astronomy, there's also an option to include physics papers in your search.

I would recommend browsing through the most highly cited papers of the past decade or two. When you find one that interests you, ADS will also give you links to all the papers that it cites, and all the papers that have cited it. You can then sort those results by citation count to find another important, related paper. After doing this for a while you start to read through a network of papers in a particular field and get a grasp of how the field has developed and what the current state of the field is.

Another good resource to find papers is review articles. The most important journal for review articles in astronomy is Annual Reviews of Astronomy & Astrophysics (ARA&A). Browse through their recent volumes for an article that interests you, then skim the article. It will give you an idea of the state of the field and will summarize all the recent, important papers in that field. (If it's a good review article, anyway....) Some other review journals that I've used include Reviews of Modern Physics, Living Reviews in Relativity, and Space Science Reviews. (As a note, there are review journals in every field, so this technique works in disciplines other than astronomy. In fact, ARA&A is published by a group which publishes review journals in many disciplines, so you can find many other review journals on their site. I can't speak to the quality of those journals, though.)

An interesting journal that I like to look through every now and again, too, is the American Journal of Physics. It's not meant to publish new physics, per se, but is more oriented towards developing a better understanding of "solved physics." So, for example, in the current issue, there is a paper on explaining how magnetic traps work and another paper which provides a new proof of Bell's inequality. Nothing truly new there, but it can help you gain a deeper understanding of physics, and oftentimes you don't need much background in physics or math to understand the papers.

shalmanese 2 days ago 1 reply      
For any particular subfield of CS (Machine learning, Computer Vision, HCI, etc.), find some top universities that offer graduate seminars, find the website which will usually list a reading list.

For example, from UW:

Machine Learning: http://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/cse590m2/09au/HCI: http://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/cse590h/13au/

I've found graduate reading seminars usually try to present a mix of seminal, eclectic and recent that gives you a diverse overview of the field.

stevenbedrick 2 days ago 0 replies      
The ACL Anthology is a free online archive of the last couple of decades' worth of Association for Computational Linguistics-sponsored journals and conference proceedings, which is where many people working in computational linguistics, natural language processing, machine translation, etc. hang out and publish.

HOWTO get started:

1. Pick a recent conference;

2. Click on the titles of any articles that look interesting;

3. When you get to the end of each article, dig through its bibliography. Many/most of the paper's references will also be available in the ACL Anthology; if not, Google Scholar will probably be a good resource for chasing them down. GOTO step 2.



spindritf 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are many excellent sources nowadays. Especially if you're into physics or economics but not necessarily.

The most general is the Daily Roundup at National Affairs where you get titles and abstracts of papers fitting the daily theme (lousily). RSS available.


For arXiv there are blogs highlighting papers, like this one


For economics, be sure to subscribe to the RSS feeds of NBER and IZA. Note that those are not reviewed.



Availability varies. But you can usually find a prepub by just Googling.

PeterisP 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you have a specific topic in mind, find out the top conference(s) in the area (for many areas in CS the top resources tend to be conferences, for other topics it would be journals), and read all of the abstracts. You'll get a feeling on what is considered 'bleeding edge'.

From that start point - just 'crawl' for (a) interesting papers cited there, and (b) other things written by authors you found interesting, they'll often have the non-paywall versions of their papers available on their site.

kabdib 2 days ago 1 reply      
The ACM online library (best $200/year I spend).

Usenix conference proceedings.

There are journals that priced themselves into irrelevance (Software Practice and Experience, I'm looking at you).

I try to read a couple papers a week, usually augmenting with Wikipedia tours to cover subjects I'm weak in.

johnbender 2 days ago 0 replies      
While this doesn't help you decide on the topic, if you have even a vague sense for what you want to read about, most people just use Google Scholar.

Nearly all CS papers are posted by the authors on personal pages in PDF form. Once you've found something that has an interested abstract just go back to regular Google with the title, add "pdf" and it's almost certain you'll get a link to the file.

[edit]: Also, once you've got one paper that fits squarely into an area of interest you can then just start reading references. You'll also get a better handle on terminology which should make your Google Scholar searches more effective.

cottonseed 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you don't know what to read, why do you want to read papers? What are you hoping to get out of this? The collective academic works are immense. It is hard to know how to give advice without knowing more.

tl;dr: arXiv. But I do mathematics, so YMMV.

cyanoacry 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're just starting reading academic papers, I highly suggest delving into background and seminal papers in the field first, because the terminology in contemporary papers is usually pretty precise and depends on already knowing the field. Typically my workflow looks like:

  1. Pick a field.  2. Look on Wikipedia, get a feel for history and seminal papers. Also     cross-reference any summary papers that you might see in ACM/Nature/Science.  3. Flip through a textbook on the topic and see if you can start grokking the     terms. The useful textbooks will probably name more fundamental research     that will serve as good reading.  4. Start digging back in sources. You'll start seeing familiar names pop up,     these are usually the seminal authors in the field, or people who write     really good summary papers.     If you google the topic, and all the papers you find reference "x et al"     in their abstract, you probably want to find that paper.   5. Read from back to front. Skip a little in the middle if pressed for time.  6. Now you can read papers on Nature/arXiv/Google and be well-prepared for the     terminology.
I like to study synchrotrons and particle accelerators in my spare time, so I looked at Wikipedia to find out about the history of the field[1]. This lead me to Courant and Snyder's landmark paper[2] about the basis of strong focusing (how to keep all those particles in a thin ring without gigantic, building-sized magnets). Through some Googling and helpful advice I found a free textbook about accelerators[3], which lead me to the granddaddy of papers, M. Sand's summary of basically everything accelerator related [4].

I think the above approach should work for any field, but the openness of the field will vary a lot. Physics and math typically have large collections of PDFs online, but I'm not sure how good CS or bioengineering is in that regard.

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

[2] http://ab-abp-rlc.web.cern.ch/ab-abp-rlc/AP-literature/Coura...

[3] http://www.fieldp.com/cpa.html

[4] http://slac.stanford.edu/pubs/slacreports/reports02/slac-r-1...

edit: formatting

timdellinger 2 days ago 0 replies      
Figure out which journals cover the subject matter you're most interested in (likely ~5), and read the table of contents whenever a new issue comes out.

If you want to stay up to speed on the latest and greatest across a wide range of topics, Science and Nature are often worth a read; those are weekly.

And then once you have favorite authors, you can set up automated searches to alert you whenever they publish something.

Having a peek at a listing of the talks being presented at conferences usually gives you a sneak preview of what's going to be published "soon" since people often give talks on a subject before they publish a paper on it. Conferences are also broken into subject areas, again helping you find what's of interest to you.

tmoertel 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you want a nice fire hose of computing papers and books, check out ACM Computing Reviews:


bnegreve 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is usually very little value in individual papers. You have to read a lot of them, not entirely though. If you don't know anything about a topic, start with wikipedia, check the references, also check google and google scholar with some relevant keywords. Read some papers, read at least the introduction and the related work section. From that it's usually easy to identify what are the important references and the important keywords. After checking 5 / 10 papers you usually have a good understanding of the important problems of the topic and you can call yourself an expert :)

Anyway, what topic are you interested in?

tzury 2 days ago 0 replies      

For me, where is not the question, when is.

My Evernote is full of 'read-later' bookmarks, which I wish I will read one day...

mattmaroon 2 days ago 0 replies      
This might sound like a cop out, but mostly as sources of other articles I come across. I'm routinely shocked by how often I'll read a blog post summarizing a paper, then read the actual paper and draw a much different conclusion than the post that led me there.
GuerraEarth 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi frigg. GuerraEarth here. You might do what I just did. I looked at your profile to see what kinds of comments you've made in the past to get an idea of your tastes before offering comment. That is what you want to do--don't just go to some site and read stuff. But thoughtfully follow your interests (your wallpaper is of Mars). I am from JPL where the Mars rovers were built. In a big sandbox. The prototypes. A play box. They build all kinds of cool stuff there. If you go to the JPL page and choose scientists that do research you like, read some of their papers. All the people at JPL are good or they aren't at JPL. And look at this really interesting new toy that let's u see the surface of the sun.

http://www.helioviewer.org -and- http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/?type=current

rippersid 2 days ago 0 replies      
The best option is as many have pointed out - Google Scholar.

But the very next I have personally found is ssrn.com - which is an open source repository.

You will also find that more and more papers are being hosted on arXiv.org.

If I am reading a book that links to specific academic papers, I'll first try google scholar, then a google search for the primary author. If the first doesn't return a link to a free copy, you will usually find it on the authors .edu homepage.

thebillywayne 2 days ago 0 replies      
I receive monthly Table of Contents [ToC] alert emails from specific journals in which I'm interested, mainly chemistry and physics. This typically involves simply creating an account at the publishers website and choosing which of their journals you'd like to receive ToC alerts for, e.g. the American Chemical Society (acs.org), and then sign up for e.g. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation alerts.

Also, for computational chemistry, at least, there's the Computational Chemistry Highlights blog [ http://www.compchemhighlights.org/ ], which selects (what they think are) interesting papers published within the past two years or so.

Finally, I follow scientiests' blogs and social media, who will typically share excellent papers that they find. Email lists like the Computational Chemistry List [ ccl.net ] will usually discuss papers as they relate to the conversations at hand.

Unfortunately, many of the excellent chemistry journals are behind pay walls.

This is how I harvest info for chemistry. I think it's highly probably that this same method could be used for all scholarly disciplines.

Best of luck.

jawns 2 days ago 0 replies      
A tip: Check if your local public library offers online access to academic journals. Mine offers access to MasterFile Premier, Academic Search Complete, GreenFile, ERIC, Medline, and a bunch of others. I used this (free) access to do the majority of the research for "Experimenting With Babies."
AYBABTME 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a student, you can get heavily discounted rates to most journals.

  * For ~300$/year, I receive by mail many journals and     transactions from ACM.  * For ~40$/year, I have access to some of IEEE Xplore.
By far, I find that ACM's papers are more interesting and I'm glad for the 300$ to get the papers in dead tree form. I'm mostly reading about Computer Systems and Artificial Intelligence. For Xplore, I read the Software magazine, it's ok.

Now I'm an undergrad and I don't understand 50% of what's written in those. There's the 50% I can understand which gives me new ideas, new tools or better understanding. For the 50% I don't grok, I know planting the seeds in my brain will eventually lead to analogies and eventual understanding. Surely it can't be bad to read more than less.

Anon84 2 days ago 0 replies      
Depends on what you find interesting... Here's a frequently updated list:


of recent papers in complex systems and networks.

turnersr 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you want to learn about research in security and program analysis checkout: http://www.reddit.com/r/vrd and http://www.reddit.com/r/remath .
eru 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lambda the ultimate is a good starting point for functional programming related computer science.
duked 2 days ago 0 replies      
It really depend on what your topic of interest is. But This is what I do and hopefully you can apply it to any field. Identify the best academic conferences on the topic you want (eg. CCS, NDSS, ACSAC, ESORICS, USENIX Security, S&P for security conferences). Then look at the abstract on the conference website and find what you think is interesting and then find the article on the author webpages or in the conference proceedings (online for usenix other you will find in ACM Digital library or IEEE Explorer).
Jach 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you want to go broad or deep? One strategy is to find your first paper (or book with references) and then go through each of the papers it cites, and each of the papers those cite, and so on. A lot of the papers probably won't be interesting but it can be an efficient way to find quintessential papers in a field that get cited a lot.
betterunix 2 days ago 0 replies      

Not necessarily peer-reviewed, but most of the papers will be or have been published in a conference or journal.

michaelmior 1 day ago 0 replies      
Note that the same question was asked yesterday https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6659974
1wheel 2 days ago 0 replies      
dougk7 2 days ago 0 replies      
* Google Research

* Microsoft Research

* Yahoo Research

* Google Scholar

ecesena 2 days ago 0 replies      
Conferences and surveys. Expect the firsts to contain a lot of noise and the second ones to be quite outdated, so search for the papers in google scholar and surf by back-references.

Imho, you should spend half a day or so going through 20-50 papers, reading abstracts+intros+conclusions to figure out which are the most interesting and select the 2 candidates. Especially at the beginning, focus on good/known authors.

BTW, surveys are also quite interesting papers by themselves.

njbooher 2 days ago 1 reply      
A bunch of prominent people in computational biology are on Twitter. I follow them and between their tweets and things they retweet a bunch of interesting papers show up.
bsima 2 days ago 0 replies      
For medicine and biology, Pubmed.com is a first stop. Then Nature.com

I made a Perl script that emails you daily pubmed papers based on a list of interests, might be of use: https://github.com/bsima/daily-scholar

Schiphol 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find the Science (http://www.sciencemag.org/rss/podcast.xml) and Nature (http://feeds.nature.com/nature/podcast/current) podcasts very useful. Apart from discussing the research they publish, with their authors, they also summarize science papers appeared elsewhere. Every week there's at least one paper I want to read in full -- I'm not saying that I do.
yaelwrites 2 days ago 0 replies      
Science Daily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/) is a pretty good place to scan headlines, and they link to the original sources if you wan to get to the nitty gritty.
MidsizeBlowfish 2 days ago 0 replies      
The http://arxiv.org/ is a pretty good source. You can get an RSS feed for whichever fields you are interested in.
chmielewski 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's an app for iPhone called Tech Briefcase that's good - especially to share stuff with colleagues.
utopcell 1 day ago 0 replies      
Berkeley runs a course named "Reading the Classics" that you might enjoy if your field of interest is Computer Science: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~christos/classics/cs298.html
bowmanb 1 day ago 0 replies      
We're trying to collect all the Computer Science-related papers we can in our GitHub repo: https://github.com/arc90/read-and-talk

Please feel free to submit a PR with more if you have!

d0m 1 day ago 0 replies      
For research papers on Starcraft checkout teamliquid.net.
mk270 2 days ago 0 replies      
Arts and Letters Daily : http://www.aldaily.com/
sethkojo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I recently got a bunch from sillysaurus2 (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6345990). I personally feel like he has great taste, so he's a pretty good filter for interesting papers.
ducklord 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a bunch of programming language theory papers here: https://github.com/jsyeo/Research-Papers.

PRs welcome.

bochi 2 days ago 0 replies      
rargulati 1 day ago 0 replies      

As of now, CS centric. Great discovery + recommendations:


dome82 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mendeley could be a good start. :)


kirk21 2 days ago 0 replies      
3 steps:

1) Search on Google Scholar(using boolean operators)

2) Find interesting articles and read them

3) Check the references that are used in these articles. These articles might be interesting as well.

ps: We are building a tool to write academic papers: beta.bohrresearch.com

askar_yu 2 days ago 0 replies      
www.academia.edu - research paper sharing portal, you can pick an area of your interest and track from there.
galtenberg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Follow @ACMQueue and @IEEESpectrum
Dear Tech Employers: Let me help you resolve the STEM shortage
14 points by tenpoundhammer  22 hours ago   4 comments top 4
logn 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Further, try finding, training, and developing talent straight from high school or earlier. It worked for Major League Baseball.

Also, ditch tech recruiters and in-house HR recruiters and let your engineering managers actually do the recruiting and hiring for their own teams. That's IMO the basic duty of a manager (aside from seeing that work gets done), but most orgs seem happy to have their managers do everything else but recruit and hire.

Also, I rent a 15x15-foot office for $175/month (on a month-to-month lease). That's typical in my area (Midwest). Give each employee a $250/month budget (to also account for Internet and other costs) and hire them remotely on the condition they find their own office. Let remote employees in the same city go in together to get a shared, remote office.

For an industry which rejects maybe 99% of candidates and has high turnover (my guess, every 2-3 years someone leaves your average programmer job), it's really your own fault for not having an easier time finding/keeping talent. Hint: give people raises based on current market rates instead of based on each person's current salary. Also, maybe you can take some of that commission you'd otherwise give a tech recruiter and start making riskier hires while also increasing your training budget. Put the riskier hires on their own team, isolated from the top talent, and let them work on their own projects while under the guidance of mentors and educators. Finally, stock options, foosball, and ping-pong are not acceptable substitutes for wages and 40-hour weeks, and you're fooling nobody except the least experienced, which is maybe why you have to reject so many candidates.

codeonfire 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Tech employers don't care about cheap. They would gladly spend all the shareholder's money, and it is prestigious to o so. Without agency to dole out some else's money and human behavior to motivate it, no one would make a dime. The CEO at my company freely admits that the location is a status and image thing. They do need total control, so much that they would rather import a visa slave than hire someone who can leave at any time.
throwaway1979 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Sadly, I have but a single upvote to give.
bthornbury 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know if you are referring to small or large tech employers, but it has been my experience that most people are willing to relocate given a job offer.
Ask HN: Why does Gmail still have a loading progress bar?
3 points by talleyrand  7 hours ago   3 comments top 3
tylerlarson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is a good question that is likely related to how it was made. Last time I heard Gmail was created with GWT that compiles Java into JavaScript.

The libraries will be cached but it means that most of the logic is processed and rendered from JavaScript code and not loaded from the server.

If Google wanted to start over they could pre-render these pages on their massive servers and you could then download these pages without any JavaScript at all. But rewriting is often not the way and really this is a trade off. Do you want to see the content fast or do you want the interactions to be fast when it is ready? If you pre-render everything you either have to rely on new request to get new views or you still have to download all of that JavaScript to do view changes.

They are speeding up JavaScript with Chrome, they are making faster protocols with SPDY and they are doing work in the back ground to make their servers faster. If they didn't do anything to the Gmail code base it would still become faster over time because of these other improvements.

Really the approach that they took is the same one that most Flash projects took because they found that interaction was more important than download time. I would assume they have tested this approach and likely most real users where not bothered by the second or two of progress bar.

mschuster91 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It is, but the datasets involved are huge, and the various AJAX requests do need their time.

20 emails in the inbox view (API endpoint 1), directory information (API endpoint 2), Google Chat (API endpoint 3), your most-frequented labels (API endpoint 3) - and especially the email-endpoints are quite traffic-intensive!

So the GMail team decided they'll load with a progress bar instead of creating four or five widgets with "loading..." placeholders (unlike I do at readme.fm). When you got a lot of various and/or traffic-intensive assets, then you have to choose one of those two models.

(Of course, you can take advantage of IDB/WebSQL/LocalStorage/AppCache, but that is only helping a little bit)

dshep 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Not everyone has a broadband internet connection you know
Show HN: real-time eye tracking web analytics
6 points by tersiag  15 hours ago   17 comments top 5
justhw 13 hours ago 2 replies      
There was a similar startup a while ago that was acquired by fb, http://gazehawk.com/


timthimmaiah 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm guessing this requires access to a site viewer's webcam? That would be a request that probably wouldn't fly with new, unique site visitors.
codeddesign 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Wait...So I would have to purchase a $99 "eye tracker" just so that some random website can follow my eye movement?

Seriously?I understand the concept, but if it relies on 3rd party software/hardware for the user that has a camera to watch the user, it would never work.

Good concept, but bad implementation.

seivazi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem with current analytic tools is that they are good for site with huge number of visitors. I can not get anything from few number of visitors.

With real eye tracking i can even know why people left my page in first 10 seconds. Where they looks in first 10 seconds.

mikemoka 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Rejected from YC? Maybe this free stuff will ease the pain
14 points by jeffreybarrett  19 hours ago   5 comments top 5
ashraful 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love to help YC rejects who wish to continue working on their startups with a free redesign.

My portfolio's at madebyargon.com

Depending on how many people decide to take me up on this offer, I may not be able to accept everyone's request, but I'd at least be able to give advice and guidance.

jeffreybarrett 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Offer: $20 Free Wine

From: http://www.UndergroundCellar.com

Redeem: Forward reject letter to ycw14@undergroundcellar.com

laurenkay 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Free date for rejects! If you can't get YC .. at least you can find love.

http://thedatingring.com/join - we're only in NY now but if you're not NYC, send in your info now and when we expand to SF / wherever you live, you'll set you up with a free date if you remind us.

maibaum 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great marketing; its targeted, opportune, and easily-welcomed.
aakashbarot 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You guys Rock!
Ask HN: Any new Wikipedia based apps?
3 points by active_member  7 hours ago   1 comment top
david927 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on one called Brodlist.com that uses data from Wikipedia (specifically WikiData). The technology underneath let's you do really powerful queries without a language. (You can look at the site, but it's just a mockup -- it won't be in Beta for another month or two.
Has YC made a solid argument for zero feedback policy?
3 points by jdrobins2000  11 hours ago   9 comments top 3
praxeologist 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm sure that if you posted your app/site here, people could give you plenty of reasons. Ask yourself what you think the reasons are. What would you do to "kick your own ass"?

Technically, I am not buying the "there is no reason" either most of the time. It is probably any number of common reasons like red flags (filled with buzzwords and marketing speak, weak/iterative product, single founder with no history of success) or maybe it is just a bunch of more minor or subtle things. Maybe they don't think there is a huge future for X even though it is popular now; they think Y is on the way up or there are just 10 other applications doing something like X which are more compelling or have a team with a better pedigree than you.

Maybe sometimes it is fairly easy to give a reason, but then it will be expected for everyone and they get a lot of applications now. It would be hugely time consuming to give a detailed evaluation and maybe sometimes too it would be giving away some secrets they don't want to.

swatkat7 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I second your thoughts. Our application was turned down and I got the same email in my inbox this morning. In my case, I had a different reaction to the rejection though, in that, I decided to take on the challenge head-on. But then again, now that I think of it, I'm deeply devastated that I couldn't get any feedback from them.

I'm a very curious person and have been all my life. Part of what makes me unique is my ability to go to great, if not seemingly impossible, lengths to find out things that pique my interest. And, YC, finally seemed like a place where I could belong after feeling so very different all my life.

It is painful to see them return your application with a generic 'no' because I have no way of knowing what I could improve or what is it that made them look away in the first place. I'm pissed off because I care.

To quote from Don Quixote, "there were no embraces, because where there is great love, there is often little display of it."

I hope they could give me some feedback. For once in my life, I'd know, for a fact, than having to ruminate and speculate over it.

kennethtilton 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Why not" rings very true and can be taken as encouragement to soldier on. Yes, it would have been great to have YC's backing, but at this point it's a bit of a lottery, isn't it? And if your project cannot succeed without YC, that is not a good sign. Once more into the breach.
Ask HN: Getting paid to work on open source full-time?
100 points by malandrew  2 days ago   67 comments top 36
shykes 2 days ago 0 replies      
Me and my team work full-time on a popular open-source project. Based on our collective experience I can tell you about 3 different ways.

- The first way is to become a key contributor and maintainer for an open-source project with significant financial backing, and then get co-opted by one of the organizations providing the backing. As an obvious example, a significant Linux contributor or maintainer will have no problem getting a job at dozens of technology companies. In our case, we are constantly scanning the mailing list and irc channel for the most consistently helpful and reliable contributors. If you follow this route, make sure you pick a project you're passionate about and won't mind working on for a long time, focus on being reliable rather than impressing with your technical skills, and make sure to go beyond adding cool features: help other users, improve the documentation, review patches, fix small bugs, etc. I can't emphasize reliability enough. In a really successful project, the maintainers are usually busy and overwhelmed with demands. Be the person they can rely on, consistently, and you will earn their trust.

- The second way is to join a technology company with an open-source team, and be assigned to an open-source project. For example 2 of my co-maintainers joined as employees before the open-source project launched, and were assigned to this team via the normal company process. This will usually get you into a project in its early stages, when it is not yet large or popular enough to hire from the pool of existing contributors. In our case, we now hire almost exclusively out of the project's community.

- The third way is to turn your own project into a source of income. This means either hope that your project becomes popular enough to attract financial backing on its own (also known as "winning the lottery"), or secure funding yourself. Remember that open-source software is like music, writing and web apps: lots of people love doing it, and the barrier to entry is low, which means it's a buyer's market. There simply aren't enough dollars available for everyone to make a living scratching their own itch. Consider finding a job which can accommodates time for side-projects. Make sure your project is its own reward, see how successful it becomes, and adjust your financial expectations as you go. There are sources of funding like Gittip which might make this more feasible - I don't know. Or you could do what I did, and start a business around your project, keep at it until it's successful, find a great CEO to replace you, and finally enjoy your reward as the maintainer of the project you worked so hard to make possible. I'm not sure I would recommend it - it worked, but took me 6 years, most of which with very little time to write code, and an amount of work and stress I would not wish on anyone. But when it works, it's the best :)

I'm always happy to talk about this more if you're interested. You can find my contact in my profile.

nostrademons 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't get paid to work on open source full-time (only part-time), but I do know a number of people whose full-time job is contributing to open-source projects like Chrome or Android.

The way to do it is to find an open-source project which is strategically important to a company, and yet which can't be made proprietary without destroying its strategic value. For example, the reason Android is open-source is because it would be hard to convince a broad base of hardware partners to support it if were closed-source (and now that one particular hardware partner is starting to dominate, it's getting more closed-source). Webkit is open-source because it started as open-source, and yet it is strategically important to Apple, Google, and Opera (well, until the Blink fork, but Blink is also open-source because it was derived from Webkit). Linux is strategically important to IBM, RedHat, etc. because they sell enterprise consulting services; having the source code available gives businesses confidence that they can continue running even if the vendor goes out of business, and yet they still drop a lot of money on consulting services.

It generally does not work to start a company based on open-source principles without also thinking about the strategic implications of who else will use the technology and what incentive they have for keeping it open. For example, LiveJournal was based on open-source principles and developed MogileFS, memcached, Gearman, and LJ itself. The effect of this was that every time they did something wrong, someone would start a clone of LJ and a clump of users would move over. And then Facebook took memcached and used it as a core part of their architecture, and won the whole social networking space.

davidascher 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is one path: http://www.mozilla.org/careers

Partial proof: https://github.com/mozilla/repositorieshttps://github.com/mozilla-b2g/repositories

(that's 30 _pages_ of github repos, not including the stuff we do that's not on github: http://mxr.mozilla.org/)

wcchandler 2 days ago 1 reply      
I work for a community college in their IT department. My job is paid for by tax payer dollars, so it is my opinion that all my work should be publicly accessible. My boss agrees with me on this. As such, I've done very little that can actually be useful outside of our scope of work. Whatever I can though, I either blog about in the form of a tutorial/how-to or publish code on github (only 1 project so far). I like the idea of writing blog posts/how-tos which can double as internal documentation.

Right now though, I'm working on trying to develop a consortium of other like-minded individuals in which we can brainstorm ideas, implement them in open source tools, then distribute them in the various forms -- either VMs, puppet manifests, docker templates, openshift gears, etc. The idea is to lighten the duties for the typical sys admin and make it easier for smaller schools to implement highly tested, rigorous deployments with minimal insight on the actual workings. It's amazing how much academia suffers from large corporations/consulting firms that gouge these smaller schools based solely off the fact that they can because they lack both qualified individuals as well as competitive salary offerings.

x0x0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of people in thread are discussing about becoming a primary contributor to an open source product. I think there's an easier way, and it worked for me. I found a company that builds an open source product, applied, and impressed them enough to get hired. This seems far more direct.

edit: there is a downside. My job frankly isn't much different than many other software jobs; it just so happens that the output is open source. I still have a boss, we still have company priorities (though I help set them!) and strategic goals, etc. I don't get to just fuck around and work on whatever I want. So you should be careful: if what you want is the latter (work on whatever you want, get paid), you probably need to be someone like Linus. That said, the project I work on is damn cool and my job is better (for me; I don't think jobs are good but rather the tuple <job, employee> can be good) than almost anything else I can imagine.

edit2: I'm unfortunately not listing the company name because there are some real dicks on HN; you can probably figure it out if you're really interested but please don't post it.

azakai 2 days ago 0 replies      
Many open source projects - Linux, Firefox, LLVM, WebKit, etc. - have people paid to work on them. This can also be true for small projects as well, I am paid to work on Emscripten for example.

Basically, if an open source project is valuable to an entity with money - can be a corporation or a non-profit - then that entity may hire people to work on that open source project. Being open source, the project may not be directly profitable for whoever sponsors the work (the code itself is not being sold, might be support though), but indirect profits or non-monetary effects can be very significant and enough to make paid work make sense. (Of course this is just one kind of way to get paid to work on open source code.)

dotBen 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is an interesting question, because I'm in the process of looking to hire an engineer to work full time on contributing to WordPress. The twist is I'm looking for someone who is currently not part of the WordPress Community, which has made the search interesting.

I know WordPress has a mixed view here on HN, but that's kind of the point - we're (http://wpengine.com) looking to bring some "outside blood" with experienced with best-practice lower-level, heavy-lifting PHP experience that we can help inject into the WordPress Core project.

Interestingly, a lot of engineers I've spoken to don't want to quit a full time job at a company to work on Open Source.

So, my reverse question is where would you go to find folks who want to work on Open Source.

DanielRibeiro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mozilla has few open engineering positions, and many of which involve work on Open Source: https://careers.mozilla.org/en-US/listings/
hkmurakami 2 days ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine at DeNA (Japanese mobile gaming company) spends most of his time at the office working on open source projects. Right now he's working on a language built on top of Javascript called JSX for large scale Javascript apps.

I did an interview with him a few months ago if you're interested: http://jhackers.net/Kazuho_Oku.html

(come to think of it, every programmer I've interviewed so far on above site works on OSS projects for work to one degree or another)

cbr 2 days ago 2 replies      
I applied to work at Google, got hired, and was matched to the PageSpeed team. Now I work on https://github.com/pagespeed/ngx_pagespeed

It's nice working on free software, but I'd really be just as happy if I'd ended up in a different part of the company.

bcl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Red Hat. And we're hiring: http://jobs.redhat.com/
agilebyte 2 days ago 3 replies      
You can work on academic projects funded by public money. The results are open source.

Ours, in bioinformatics: http://intermine.org

andrewcooke 2 days ago 1 reply      
for a year or two i worked for mulesource, who make the open-source mule esb (these days, if you visit their site, i think there's more not-so-open stuff as they try to make money, but back in the day it was pretty much open source + paid support).

anyway, i got that job by using mule in my previous job, and writing some blog posts explaining it - mainly intended for my co-workers, but i posted them on the net. that, plus providing patches / feedback, led to them offering me a job (and it was a good job in may ways - very smart people, and i learnt a lot).

which is all pretty much what you'd imagine people to say (get involved in a project that has money to pay developers), so nothing very new here....


joshribakoff 2 days ago 0 replies      
I created a closed source plugin for an open source platform. I did that 4yrs full-time then got a full-time job because sales were slow & I had a son on the way. I open sourced the code, which reinvigorated interest, and paid support is ramping back up to previous levels.

When I was closed source, providing support was my downfall. People would do stuff like install other plugins that conflicted with mine, and expected me to fix it. That was very time consuming. Now I give the code away, but charge for the support so I'm compensated proportionally for the time spent fixing that kind of stuff.

I'm also releasing a SaaS version of the product - it's the same thing as the open source code, but obviously the users don't have to install anything or fuss around with servers, and they won't be able to break things [as easily], because they're pasting javascript into their website instead of installing server side code. I'm hoping this will be a huge market.

morgo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work for Oracle (MySQL team). It was going to a local meetup group in 2005 and giving a talk that eventually led me down this path.
rjurney 2 days ago 0 replies      
I got into evangelism at an open source company after an injury prevented me from hacking full time (less typing). I was already promoting open source projects for free, so I was a shoe in. This led to a full time FOSS gig with a company that wanted to popularize its open source offering. Half coding, half promotion, aimed at removing barriers to entry, improving documentation and ease of use.

Fun gig.

icebraining 2 days ago 1 reply      
I work for ThinkOpen Solutions, which does projects and hosting based on OpenERP, an AGPL licensed software. As such, all the code we develop is AGPL licensed as well, and a fair share is published on launchpad, though some modules are only available to our clients.

As for how I did it, well, I replied to a job offer looking for Python programmers :)

muyyatin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't seen it mentioned, but working for a university project funded by public and/or private grants (in my case for free educational software) is working quite well.
cmccabe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work at Cloudera. We work on Hadoop, HDFS, and other open source technologies full-time.
dkubb 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know about full time, but sometimes when a client asks me to extend a piece of software I'll ask the upstream maintainer if they'll accept a patch for the change (with permission from the client of course). The client gets software with the fix included, where they don't have to worry about checking each future upgrade to see if the fix broke something.
skore 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's an incredibly broad question. I built my own business around a niche and established a client base through this while also doing jobs on the side that come about through that business.
hobonumber1 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work at Yahoo and I'm a front-end engineer on the YUI Team. My job is to work on a number of open source projects such as YUI [1], Pure [2], and Mojito [3].

[1] github.com/yui/yui3[2] github.com/yui/pure[3] github.com/yahoo/mojito

dachary 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ten years ago I funded my own company and became a Free Software vegetarian : not eating nor cooking anything but Free Software. I'm a developer and a few years later switched back to being an employee rather than a manager.

During the interviews I apologized for the inconveniences of exclusively using and making Free Software. The vegetarian image helped a great deal. What also helped a lot was that I already made the commitments years ago. It would have been a lot harder otherwise : how could you justify applying for a new job and at the same time apply new standards ?

I work as a Ceph developer in the context of OpenStack : very fashionable and easier to get jobs. That also helps a lot.

ScottBurson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think that crowdfunding could provide one answer. Many open source projects are widely used by businesses for commercial purposes. In a lot of cases I think those businesses would be willing to pay money for improvements to be made to the code; if those contributions could be pooled, the amounts of money involved could be substantial.
sebastienros 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work at Microsoft full time on http://orchardproject.net, a CMS based on ASP.NET MVC, Autofac and Nhibernate. I've been doing that for almost 4 years and many would agree it's kind of a dream job as there are absolutely no constraints from MS to drive the project one way or the other. It's also worth mentioning that our team is much involved in OSS: SignalR, Entity Framework, ASP.NET MVC, Nuget, ... So it's a really bold bet on OSS in general.
3riverdev 2 days ago 0 replies      
Red Hatter here. If you want to work full-time on engineering within an open source project, the easiest way to get noticed by a commercial backer is making many quality contributions to the project. If we need to hire additional engineers, we'll typically ask some of the community developers first, prior to recruiting publicly.

That being said, there are many opportunities to work on the projects, albeit a little less "directly". Companies like Red Hat have large teams dedicated to QA, support, etc. Most of them are actively involved in contributing bug fixes, test cases, and directly working with customers. These types of positions do not usually require as much direct experience with the project as the engineering teams do.

And as one commenter already pointed out, we're definitely hiring! http://jobs.redhat.com/

thegoleffect 2 days ago 0 replies      
WalmartLabs has a few teams working on mostly open source stuff: github.com/spumko and github.com/walmartlabs. The spumko team (the one I am on) used to be 100% open source work but has recently cut back in the short term to help out other internal teams. But, OSS is still a major component of our jobs.
potomak 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm sorry that I can't tell you how to get paid to work on oss but great question!

I suggest to watch the first part of Aaron @tenderlove Patterson's closing keynote at Rails Conf 2013[1], that touches upon this topic.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kgUL_FfUZY

ferdial 2 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me that I have been working full time on open source projects for almost a decade now. Started maintaining some R packages in an extremely open source oriented environment [1] then accidentally moved to web development. Started an open source project [2] which has been growing in the last couple of years.

[1] http://www.iq.harvard.edu/[2] http://openscholar.harvard.edu/

javert 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a perrenial question that (I think) is very important to a lot of people.

I wish there were some kind of website or book that would answer the question, "Who is getting paid to work on open source, and by whom?"

There is good data for the Linux kernel, for example. On lwn.net you can always see the % contribution of each company. Presumably you could mine the kernel git repo to find out how many people that actually constitutes.

Getting this kind of data for other large/famous projects should be possible.

If anyone has pointers to something like this, please speak up.

EDIT: I guess an important metric would be, "For Company X, what % of code is open source vs. closed source." It would be nice to work at a company that is 100% open or reasonably close, other things being equal (which they aren't, but my point still stands).

EDIT2: I think providing a centralized site that collects these metrics and also allows people to submit them for smaller project/companies, would be awesome and very useful. Possibly even Kickstarter worthy.

zengr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been working on a small project: https://github.com/tthieman/dagobah for the last few weeks. The plan is to improve it for internal use and contribute it back.
HoochTHX 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yes I would. With the recent revalations reguarding the total disreguard of basic human rights, I see no other choice except fully open ecosystem designed to empower the user, and keep them Free. I personally hate Stahlams politics but he was right, and as he was right early, he was shunned, but now his idea is right for right now.
mkonecny 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used to work at Sourcefabric (sourcefabric.org) which pays you to work on open-source projects. They have offices in Berlin, Prague, Toronto and Romania.
mindcrime 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't exactly get paid to work on open-source, since our startup is still looking for our first customer(s), but my approach to attempt this, was to start an open-source startup.

So, I founded Fogbeam Labs[1], started writing code, eventually recruited a couple of co-founders, wrote more code, networked a lot, pimped the startup shamelessly at every turn, and ...

... TBD.

All joking aside, the end of this story hasn't been written yet. But we're pretty optimistic. We made some great connections at the All Things Open conference in Raleigh last week, and our content marketing strategy has paid off in that a trickle of inbound leads has been coming in. We're also looking at a sort of not-quite-a-pivot-but-something-like-that (call it a "swivel" instead, maybe?) where we're probably going to bump up the prioritization on releasing some SaaS applications built on the fundamental technologies we've been working on.

On a semi-related note, I actually do get paid to work with if not always on Open Source, by virtue of consulting at Open Software Integrators[2]. We specialize in helping companies with deployments of things like Tomcat, JBoss, MongoDB, Hadoop, Neo4J, etc.

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

[2]: http://www.osintegrators.com

dschiptsov 2 days ago 0 replies      
moubarak 2 days ago 0 replies      
For me it was pure luck..i applied to work for a construction company and was assigned a project that ironically no one was able to take on because it required collaboration with different construction companies abroad.

The project was to implement a data integration standard among different construction companies who were competitors so it was actually a tricky job. The chair of the project were Bechtel and they decided it would be open source.

Three years later i had a great journey but i also had to quit. not only was i making good money relative to where i live, but i travelled to some beautiful places and met extraordinary people. Since that was my first job, i was totally spoiled because now i can't accept any job that is less exciting, so i am currently pursuing being independent, which is the only alternative i would accept.

There are corporate open source jobs out there and i recommend that you look for them, but be careful you might get spoiled.

How much money are you earning from your software products?
168 points by ericthegoodking  2 days ago   182 comments top 62
patio11 1 day ago 2 replies      
Bingo Card Creator will probably come in at about $30k profit for the year, which is a disappointment, but not enough of one to justify working on it. (Sales are down due to Google sending less organic and AdWords traffic, though costs are down impressively too, due to less AdWords.)

I don't talk numbers about Appointment Reminder, but suffice it to say that it's both modestly successful and on the Long Slow SaaS Ramp of Death.

I get about $1.5k in monthly royalties from book sales and in residual sales of the course on Lifecycle emails that I did last year. Hoping to launch another project like that in the near future and plow some of the profits back into AR - people are expensive.

dangrossman 2 days ago 7 replies      
Improvely (https://www.improvely.com) passed $10k/mo RR not too long ago and is about a year old. I run several other SaaS sites with a couple thousand a month in revenue each. It's enough that I never regret turning down the standing job offers I had at the end of college 3 years ago.

Nothing really compared to the short-lived but very successful WordPress plugins I used to build and sell. A few days' work could turn into the equivalent of a year's salary. One had over $250,000 in sales in 18 months before I sold rights to it for another $90,000 to another company. I don't work with WordPress much anymore, and don't have much motivation to force myself back into that ecosystem to sell more plugins. It just wasn't as fun as running live services that handle lots of users and lots of data.

euroclydon 2 days ago 2 replies      
I make $300-$500/mo. with http://www.makecupcakewrappers.com

I started it three years ago with a single web page and an email-me-when-it's-ready form. I barely got enough emails (50-60) in the first couple months to justify moving forward. But I did, with three designs and a simple design-by-form interface. Fast forward to today and I have dozens of templates and a custom drag and drop interface done in canvas. I have a pretty good conversion rate given that I only get ~90 uniques per day.

waleedka 2 days ago 4 replies      
Symphony makes $2500/month (http://www.symphonytools.com). Launched 4 months ago. Back in December, my co-founder and I spent 3 weeks brainstorming and wrote 25 business plans for 25 ideas. And then chose this one. Started building it in January.

It's written in Python. Hosting costs about $700/month on Google App Engine. It doesn't cover our costs yet, but it's growing. Hardest challenge so far has been to find ways to let the world know about it.

huhtenberg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Carmack, Romero and two other guys were making $60K a month from Commander Keen in its shareware format. That's after Apogee's 60% cut.

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commander_Keen

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Masters-Doom-Created-Transformed-Cultu... - highly recommended, really good read

AVTizzle 2 days ago 2 replies      
SimpleCrew (http://www.SimpleCrew.com - a mobile photo app for businesses, real estate investors, marketing street teams, etc...) is earning $1,600/mo RR right now... ~35 customers averaging just under $50/mo per customer.

The number isn't enough to support us in the US yet, but it excites us regardless because of its implications. Between the revenue and usage (weekly photo totals are consistently up and to the right) we believe we're on a reliable path to financial sustainability with this one:

Assuming ARPU stays at $50, we're earning 6 figures per founder (ignoring costs, just revenue) at just 333 customers, and we'll reach 7-figure earnings at 1,666 customers.

Those numbers are completely doable! God bless the economics of monthly recurring revenue, and DHH for spelling it out so clearly in his Startup School '08 presi (on YouTube). I can say without irony that that video has deeply influenced the course of my life.

crazygringo 2 days ago 2 replies      
Around $150-300/mo. with http://testyourvocab.com from Google AdSense. Tells you the size of your English vocabulary. And it was HN which popularized it in the first place!
dennisgorelik 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.postjobfree.com ~$19K/month revenue -- mostly premium subscriptions from recruiters for job advertising and resume contacts, but also job alerts, revenue from sending job applications to job network and AdSense (in declining revenue order).

If it looks inspiring, keep in mind that:

1) It's revenue, not profit.

2) PostJobFree took about 4 years part-time + 2 years full-time.

3) I'm not doing it alone.

4) I still would be better off financially if I just worked as a programmer for hire.

Startups are tough.

jonasvp 2 days ago 2 replies      
My side project http://www.browser-details.com is doing about $100/month right now. I haven't started to do any marketing yet as I want to give it a small makeover before.

It started as a tool for my company so I know there's a need for it - not sure yet how to best market it, though.

robotmay 2 days ago 3 replies      
Currently https://www.photographer.io is costing me about 100 a month to run, as its income is only via referrals to Digital Ocean until I add a subscription model. I've been holding off for a few months as I don't feel happy charging for something which I still feel is incomplete; at what point do other people feel happy charging users for their products?

I'm thinking of offering early adopters a significant discount for helping pay for the costs whilst the site develops, as it's nowhere near the point where I'd be happy charging a similar amount to Flickr/500px yet. However the popularity of the project has helped me out personally; I've been offered a number of jobs due to my increased visibility as a developer.

dannowatts 2 days ago 6 replies      
have a few side projects. here's a fun one:


it is making absolutely zero money (yet), but the engagement on the site is INSANE. also, the site itself, and the people who come to it (and email/tweet/blog/instagram/vine/smoke signals/carrier pigeon/etc about it) are passionate and willing to support craft beer.

besides the benefit of interacting with super cool, kick-ass people who love craft beer, i've also been in touch with some breweries who are wanting to partner on a multitude of things, and i've been invited to come brew a batch at a few of them, with the head brewers!

so to summarize:

making no money on this side project.

not losing any money on this side project.

over 75 million hits since launch, over 1 million people and over 50 million suggestions every month.

fuckloads of fun interacting with the craft beer lovers and the craft beer world.

the amount of engagement the site has will help support the next phase which will make money :)



bemmu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fan of the Week plugin for Facebook pages. It chooses one fan each week and highlights them, kind of like an employee of the month. http://www.fanpageapps.com/

Last month made $474.85 from premium upgrades, $152.53 from ads. The servers cost $144.63.

The app has been added to 601,409 Facebook pages so far. For each of these pages I do a weekly dance with FB to look at their feed, see if access tokens are still valid for automatic posting etc., so it makes for a pretty interesting server usage pattern. http://i.imgur.com/Q1WylAY.png

pchaso 2 days ago 1 reply      
Well here is my journey.A few months ago, I built a vertical jobs board platform, free for developers and paid by companies announcing their job offers (yes another one).

The numbers:

I launched during summer and have made around $200.

Have 1125 developers subscribed to daily alerts

Have processed around 1500 applications for 81 jobs posted (most of them through 100% discount tickets given away)

The idea was not very well thought, but something simple to start with.I used it to start gaining experience and also to start building a reusable code base (mailing, billing, etc) that would let me move faster with future products, not expecting to make any money at all from it.As a single founder/developer/designer/sysadmin/marketer/support guy etc, I found it very hard to accomplish, but very rewarding once it was launched.

I built a few sites:

for django jobs: http://djangojobbers.com

for ruby on rails jobs: http://railsjobbers.com

I also have boards for javascript, php, java, android or ios, but with not a lot of subscribers, so they are free for publishers for now. The links are http://php.jobbersnet.com, http://ios.jobbersnet.com, etc

Now I am getting ready to launch a new thing (identee.com) to help low level users increase their security by storing their usernames & passwords encrypted in the cloud.

simondlr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I created http://www.twimemachine.com. Costs only about $6 a month to run (S3 static costs). And I make between $70 - $100 a month from just the one ad box on it. Pocket money that usually goes into buying some more Bitcoin.
jay_kyburz 2 days ago 2 replies      
Neptune's Pride 2, an online strategy game is only doing $2500 a month. http://triton.ironhelmet.com

I'm looking for remote work if you're hiring.

lemonberry 2 days ago 1 reply      
I love these posts. They are super inspirational. I'm a relatively new developer and have some saas ideas geared towards restaurants and bars. I'm hoping 18 years of domain knowledge and great customer service skills will trump any lack in developer skills that I have.

Congratulations to everyone that's found success doing this. And a huge go for it to those of you on the fence of writing your own product.

christiangenco 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I made $5K in a month with http://textbooksplease.com (textbook search engine for college students) after spending ~$4K on advertising, but textbook buying only happens twice a year.

Re-investing all profit into advertising.

msurguy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Making around 500$/month from a carbon ad on my http://bootsnipp.com (free Bootstrap snippets), plus a couple hundred from affiliate income that I link to from the site... Time spent originally was 4 days.

Released a new improved version of the site two weeks ago (the rewrite took about 60-80 hours total but has bigger potential for the site). Now thinking of selling templates or skins on the site too - that would be a whole lot more $ than the ad...

bensmiley 2 days ago 1 reply      
I make around $600 per month on http://www.binpress.com. I sell 6 software components for iOS. Most of them were component that I had already developed for other projects. I just tidied them up and made them available for purchase. The income's very passive - max 2 hours a week. Here's a link to my profile: http://www.binpress.com/profile/ben-smiley/14290
habosa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Zero now. Was a time when I was making $100/mo from ads on my free Android app (took the ads off, now it's just free as in free) and I sold another Android app for $2.5k. Those were my first two software projects ever so it was some awesome feedback, convinced me to get a CS degree.
amplification 2 days ago 0 replies      
After doing a lot of listening in forums, on my email list, etc... I launched http://jfdi.bz as a response to a common pain I kept seeing: there's so many people building products by themselves (alone in their basements). They want a social connection with other folks who are doing the same thing (more here: http://jfdi.bz/guide.pdf)

Did a small launch in August. It's now just over $1,000/month in revenue. I use WPEngine to host the site. It's built mostly on the open source BuddyPress platform.

thenduks 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bugrocket (https://bugrocket.com, since March 2011, bug tracking for small dev teams) is subscription-based and grows slowly, currently around $500/month in revenue.

CourseCraft (https://coursecraft.net, since December 2012, e-course creator tools + we handle transactions for 5%-9% of sales) is a lot less consistent but growing faster, currently $300-$400/month in revenue.

abraham 1 day ago 0 replies      
$250-350/month from App.net for an extension I spend very little time on anymore.


I just launched a new App.net project that I'm hoping will bring in a lot more.


sumang 2 days ago 1 reply      
Making 500 Euro per month and after expenses I am making 450 euro . My first customer and 110 customers in beta list which I am going to starting releasing beta next week . here is the product . http://bit.ly/HDcvfA
zrail 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mastering Modern Payments[1] has earned more than $14k in revenue since I launched it in the middle of August. Real ongoing costs are $5/mo for the VM that the sales application sits on, and that's basically it. I figured that I broke even for time-spent when it hit $7k.

[1]: https://www.petekeen.net/mastering-modern-payments

redact207 1 day ago 0 replies      
I make exactly $0 pm on www.mixthread.com that I haven't launched. It took me 8 months part time to develop but have been waiting to graduate so I can devote time to running it like a business.
mmorey 2 days ago 0 replies      
$1000 to $2000 per month (winter vs summer) from Buoy Explorer iPhone app [1][2]. I plan on releasing an update for iOS 7 in the near future.

The backstory on why and how I created it is available on my blog[3].

[1] http://buoyexplorer.com/

[2] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/buoy-explorer-noaa-marine/id...

[3] http://matthewmorey.com/buoy-explorer/

girasquid 2 days ago 1 reply      
Beathound (http://beathound.com) is making between $50 and $100 a month in affiliate revenue from the various music stores. I'm working on rolling out some new features that will increase that.
chrisa 2 days ago 0 replies      
$400/month from "Play Piano HD" iPad app: http://mobilesort.com/play_piano.html I've tried a few other apps, but they haven't done very well - this one is consistently in the top 100 iPad music category. I think having a very clear message and value proposition is important, especially for small apps (impulse buys).
peacemaker 2 days ago 1 reply      
Right now only about $300 a month but it is fairly passive. I also do freelance work and sell other products.

I recently started using Google AdWords as so far I've done very little marketing. Hopefully AdWords can improve that number into something far more impressive.

I'm also building a couple of other websites which I think have potential to make a lot of money but they will take a while longer yet.

It's my ultimate goal to build a sustainable living from software products online. I think it's a realistic, yet very difficult goal but I'm enjoying the challenge!

throwaway697596 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sorry about the throwaway account. Would rather not link the numbers to the site at this point. Revenue about $60k/month; fairly even mix of affiliate programs (mostly a couple big ones) and advertising (mostly adsense/ad exchange). Earnings before taxes and my draw ~ $500k/year.

Have tried out many alternate ad networks and exchanges, and the only other one I've found worth taking space from google so far is AOL's new Advertising.com. Individual relationships and niche affiliates can be worthwhile too, but come with more overhead. I'd generally rather optimize UX and try to attract more users than worry about managing a bunch of advertiser relationships. For a larger or smaller site that would probably change though.

donniefitz2 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm making zero dollars right now with http://togspots.com. It's a SaaS where photographers can add and find photography locations. I'm working on setting up a subscription that would allow users to save private spots and a few other features. The biggest issue is getting more locations. Currently I require users to add 1 location before they can search which is working well so far.
KevinUK 2 days ago 0 replies      
I make on average 330 a month from a WordPress plugin https://www.getmecooking.com/wordpress-recipe-plugin

The idea was to get content for the main website so that it would make money. I've got over 2000 recipes now but traffic is still under 1000 hits a day so I've still not tried to monetise the main website.

I've now started to develop a job recruitment website as I can see that earning money a lot easier. Other sites in the niche have 10 job postings a day each and charge on average my prices which would mean 1000 a day. I just need to solve the recruiter / applicant traffic problem... http://www.platejobs.com/

zupitor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Worked on VineTube(https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appsinthe....). It was turning in $2000/mo in revenue before we sold it for $7000.
palidanx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Menutail (https://www.menutail.com) which generates about $300/month at the moment. The site is kind of niche as it used to generate nutrition facts labels for food packages.

I mainly get new e-mail clients from cold e-mailing contacts from the farmer's market database courtesy of data.gov.

CliffyA 1 day ago 1 reply      
$0 a month on http://numberduck.com

Hopefully that's because I'm competing against some established and open source projects, so anything with a lesser feature set isn't good enough for people to pay.

Now I'm slogging away on features to be the best, then hopefully the sales will follow.

dooyogi 1 day ago 2 replies      
I make about 100 Euro/mo with PhotoSlim (http://photoslimhq.com), a simple windows software to reduce the size of pictures. I built it although there are lot's of apps for image resizing. But they all had either too many options or were too complicated. So i tried to build the simplest possible solution for this problem. I didn't really believe, that anyone would buy it, since there are a lot of free alternatives. So I am quite happy with the outcome.
boca 1 day ago 0 replies      
Earned $1 from http://gyaansharing.appspot.com because of Disqus ads. It has been used by less than 10 people, mostly friends, till now and it's been a while since anyone posted anything.
ctek 2 days ago 0 replies      
PageBlox (https://www.pageblox.com/) earns about $300 a month and is growing steadily... The hardest part has been SEO and marketing, something I am still quite new at.
cleverfoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Scanii.com (https://scanii.com) practical API for malware/virus detection. Low thousands/month and growing quickly, profitable from the beginning and we effectively spend $0 in marketing. Honestly, there hasn't been an easier time to do a startup or side project - I know that's clich but it isn't. If you know how to consume cloud services you can keep your operating costs amazingly low.
gesman 2 days ago 1 reply      
- Just sold my wordpress plugin business for $4k.

- Run hosting company that just became slightly profitable.

~$110/mo fully passive affiliate commissions for referrals to recurring membership businesses.

- Looking to enter into personal development niche.

nerdben 1 day ago 0 replies      
Making about 500EUR/mo from selling motivational posters at http://squaredo.com - primarily to startups
antisuji 1 day ago 1 reply      
About $350 in the first month of Double Dynamo (http://doubledynamo.com/), a memory and rhythm game for iOS. I haven't put significant work into viral features, which could probably substantially increase installs, but at this point I've put the project on the back burner.
andersthue 1 day ago 0 replies      
I make around 2-3000$ from my TSR product suite : http://www.tsr-soft.com

Started 3 years ago, have one part time employee working on these besides me. I only work part time one them too.

I have dialed up the revenue after I attended a conference resently by turning more 'pro'

hdragomir 2 days ago 0 replies      
Even though http://hdragomir.github.io/facetogif/ it gave me around 120$ from donations.
daflip 1 day ago 1 reply      
Launched my first SaaS app a little over 2 years ago. Monthly recurring revenue is currently a little over $4000. 506 paying customers to date, growing around 1.5 paying customers per day and working off ~2.7% conversion rate (freemium business model). Single person "team".
amac 2 days ago 0 replies      
Human Software (http://usehuman.com) - $250 monthly revenue, not enough to be profitable but folks like my app (Prospect) and it's enjoyable to run a small SAAS company.
tcopeland 2 days ago 2 replies      
About $15 a month from a military reading list site (http://militaryprofessionalreadinglists.com). That's $14 affiliate, $1 from ads. It's on a $40/month Rackspace VPS, so it's halfway to covering its costs.
reiz 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am running http://www.versioneye.com. Currently don't earn much with it. Most people are using it for open source projects. Still thinking about how to monetise it right. Any ideas?
rbritton 1 day ago 0 replies      
4-5k/mo from iOS apps and occasional contract work
mhoad 1 day ago 0 replies      
I literally just launched http://fmhgifts.com last week so it's a bit early to say but I have heard rumours of similar websites making several thousand a month.
michaelcindric 1 day ago 0 replies      
We are currently making a few hundred a month on Doccy (http://doccyapp.com) its not something you go looking for but once you do it makes sense to use it. Its also only a few months old
nonsens3 1 day ago 0 replies      
I lose about $15 from http://selfstream.io . I havent't launched yet as I have been waiting for Paymill to activate my payments processing account for over a month now.
rk0567 1 day ago 0 replies      
$100/mo from http://assembleyourpc.net - a simple tool for assembling pc online.
marveller 1 day ago 1 reply      
Freemium (http://StockPhotos.io) photo sharing site. Earns probably around $15/mo from Google Adsense and was made to use as a free image bookmark manager.
cyrilg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Fyrebox (http://www.fyrebox.co) makes $250/month, 5000 users, 1% conversion rate to paying customers that pay $5/month, launched in June
cashmonkey85 2 days ago 0 replies      
Vector graphics app http://vectorpaint.yaks.co.nz Calculated revenue would be $200 a week selling a small upgrade but leave it free at the moment.
scoj 2 days ago 2 replies      
SharpPLM (document and quote management for small/med manufacturing companies) is still pretty early but I make $200/month. I feel like I am still figuring out product/market fit.
visualR 2 days ago 2 replies      
$2000/mo on a Mac app
raelmiu 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm losing about $200 a month so far on https://blankpage.io, the subscription model took longer than calculated to implement.
icehawk219 1 day ago 0 replies      
So far $0/mo off Neutrino (https://getneutrino.com) as I'm still getting up and going. I built it for myself to help keep track of my own side projects and then decided to embrace the idea of "sell your by-products". I'm now getting a crash course on marketing and sales.
KishanBagaria 2 days ago 1 reply      
I make around $1000/mo. in ad revenue from my website where I occasionally publish freewares.
Ask PG: What is the current state of the "Startup Ideas We'd Like to Fund"?
17 points by nonchalance  1 day ago   2 comments top
throwmeaway2525 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I went looking recently because I thought there were additional articles written as a series (eight maybe?), but couldn't find them.
Ask HN: How do companies like Moz get search data without getting banned?
7 points by antjanus  1 day ago   6 comments top 5
cynusx 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Ahrefs crawls the internet just like Google does.SeoMoz does the same: http://moz.com/help/pro/what-is-rogerbot-

Every service that builds a backlink database uses their own crawlers

So to answer the question on how they get their data so fast, they OWN the data and they use big hadoop farms to crunch it and prepare it for api retrieval.

staunch 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not hard to setup a bunch of machines on various networks with hundreds of IPs. You can't really block people with resources.
caruana 23 hours ago 1 reply      
They probably pay for it. Or rather google gives them a paid account but doesn't charge them. https://support.google.com/customsearch/answer/72334?hl=en
jotato 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked for a competitor to Moz. We used a service like Anonymizer to hide it. My guess is they do as well.
moron4hire 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would also like to know.
Ask HN: Is Firefox causing me to be IP-banned from HN?
5 points by SeanDav  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
staunch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Type "about:config" in your location bar and then set "network.prefetch-next" to false. Might help.
smartwater 1 day ago 1 reply      
Install the plugin "Live HTTP Headers" to see what is being sent and received.
Ask HN: What do you think of job hopping?
81 points by jobhopper  4 days ago   66 comments top 25
Ensorceled 4 days ago 0 replies      
In my 20 years of hiring developers, how I feel about job hopping depends on which of two categories you fall into:

No problem: You're a top shelf engineer, you are going to hit the ground running. Your prep for the interview has almost made you a domain expert, you suggest technologies and point out issues I didn't know about. Your resume has short stints at startups, some who are now gone, and a mistaken attempt to work at IBM. I don't care if you leave in 6 months because I'll get 5 1/2 months of amazing stuff.

Problem: You are, supposedly, a solid journeyman programmer. I can tell it's going to take you at least 2 weeks to get a feel for the place and about 2 months before you're solid. If you leave in 6 months, I've invested 2 months of effort training for 4 months of return. The 2x recruitment fees are going to make it not worth hiring you, I should have gotten a contractor.

fecak 4 days ago 1 reply      
Recruiter here, and the first thing to consider is that to actually be called a job hopper, you must be pretty good at getting hired. Otherwise, you'd be called unemployed.

People define job hopping different ways, and the tenure matters. I once had a client (financial, big) that wouldn't hire anyone that wasn't at their current job for 7+ years. They abandoned that policy around 2006, as they found it impossible to hire, and they also found that the types of candidates that met that qualification often weren't that attractive. In other words, they found that if you were at your company for 10+ years, it could be because you are not in high demand by others.

In tech, moving jobs is expected and probably recommended from a marketability and employability perspective, as long as you make smart moves and don't just leave every time you get bored or passed over for a promotion.

Someone who has a pattern of staying perhaps 3 years with companies and then leaving will often be viewed as very attractive, whereas someone who has several 6-8 month stints over the course of a few years will often get a negative view.EDIT: Forgot that I wrote an article on job hopping for tech pros earlier this year http://jobtipsforgeeks.com/2013/07/25/hop/

varelse 4 days ago 1 reply      
IMO the minute you are hired as an at-will employee that can be terminated at any time, with or without cause, you have been granted carte blanche to do the same to your employer.

That said, staying for ~2 years and jumping when you can get a promotion by doing so seems to be a pretty common strategy. I've heard hiring managers and engineers decry this practice repeatedly, but I know way too many directors and VPs who got there by doing this very thing to feel one should criticize it. Or, sigh, hate the game, don't hate the player.

chanced 4 days ago 5 replies      
Depends on a few factors:

- Type of employment. Is it a contract or "perm" position? Contract positions are expected to hop. It's part of the game.

- Timing. Are you in the middle of something? Can someone else easily pick it? Bailing in the middle of a big migration will leave a nasty taste in managers' mouths.

- Rank. Are you a CTO or a developer? The higher up you are, the longer you're expected to stay.

Changing jobs is something that you should do, in my opinion. Here's why:

- Versatility. You'll be exposed to new challenges/solutions, practices, and possibly languages.

- Network. If you do it properly, you'll establish a lot of new contacts in the industry

- Exposure. The same job at different companies may have different responsibilities and roles. You'll get a chance to build new skills or determine weaknesses.

- Pay. If you're hopping for the right reasons and doing it right, it is hands down the best way to get a pay boost. Once you're "in" a bigger company, they'll put you on a standardized raise ladder. Sure, you can get promoted but those will often have calculations involved that reduce your elevation. With hopping, you can set expectations (I need X% more to jump).

Problems with job hopping:

- Bridges. You'll burn them.

- Fatigue. It's a lot more time and emotionally consuming than you'll realize to look for work. Interviews are exhausting (and intentionally so).

- Loyalty. You won't have any.

- Rank. It's hard to climb a ladder when you're jumping off of them.

codegeek 4 days ago 0 replies      
Depends on a few things. what you are looking to achieve in your career and how far along are you ? Let me explain further. In my opinion and experience, if you are entry level or about <5 years of experience, changing jobs a couple of times may not be a bad idea. It gives you exposure to a new environment and you could learn a different set of things which you may or may not at the same company. Not to mention that in the initial few years of your career, job change will get you a decent raise which is almost nothing these days if you stay at the same company (even less than inflation for majority of us).

Once you have reached a certain level of experience or no. of years (say average 7+), then the question becomes: what is your goal now ? If you want to be a manager/executive/director/VP etc at a company, then you need to be able to show some stability in employment history otherwise you are getting into the territory of "job hoppers who are not good fit for the senior level roles". But if you instead want to become a consultant/contractor/SME in your field, then you can keep hopping from client to client of course and sell yourself as the guy who comes, solves problems and leaves while making a good chunk of dollars.I am personally in the second category and even though at times I have considered the stable option, it just does not cut it for me.

One final advice (been in professional industry for 10+ years), most employers are not loyal to employees anymore. Gone are those days when employers actually invested in their employees as assets and not cost/headcounts/resources. So just like you are considered job hopper, I consider many companies "Candidate hoppers". They will get rid of you without any remorse (well may be a sorry from a nice manager if at all) and will just officially say "we are cutting down on budget so need to get rid of you". Always remember that hopping is two way.

agentultra 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've worked in startups for most of my 10 years being paid to program computers. I probably average about 1-1.2 companies a year. The reason being that most of the companies I've worked for folded, pivoted or down-sized. It doesn't help that the technology sector in my neck of the woods is anemic at best and supported by very cautious investors.

I've never had a problem. I can only recall being asked about it by one or two people. I was just honest and they didn't seem to mind. I got at least one job despite it. I might have missed out on another offer because of it but I doubt it.

The weird thing is that this is just the sort of thing I was warned about before I even got to college. I was told that the norm would be to have many different jobs in my lifetime and not to expect to be with the same employer throughout my career as my grandparents were. I just see it as the new normal; a symptom of a network economy as Pekka Himanen describes in The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age. A bunch of people get together, build something cool, make some money and move on. We're not in the business of building widgets on an assembly line after all.

But maybe my path has allowed me to be blissfully ignorant of the whole "job-hopper," conundrum. I'm sure it still exists. I just think it's a very backwards ideal in a creativity and knowledge-based line of work such as programming.

Update It's not for a lack of trying to stay on a long-term project. One startup I worked at for 2 years and had no intention of leaving. It was being shuttered and I got laid off. That is a fairly common occurrence for startups in my neck of the woods where funding and investment is anemic and the majority of talent is funneled off to SV.

BigChiefSmokem 4 days ago 1 reply      
My last year of still being considered a "junior/mid" level developer I job hopped about 3 times within 7 months and propelled myself into the very high end of the (national and local) pay scale for a Senior Developer. A lot of people take years to make this transition (or wait to be promoted) but I felt I was considerably undervalued and that I could be a Senior within a couple of years. To my surprise, the reality became that I did it in 7 months by taking a lot of big risks (including moving across country) and doing a lot of bluffing (but never lying) with regards to my contracting terms. I tend to be offered a lot of contract-to-perm but in practice I never actually get around to the "perm" part, as I like to control my hours and my overtime and usually by that time I am ready to move on to broaden my experience.

These employers were more surprised rather than pissed at me. I don't consider myself a "rockstar" or any of that mumbo-jumbo but I always make sure I am a productive part of any team I'm on. I made it clear I wish to burn no bridges and that I always followed my experience and the opportunities they opened up. I also always make sure the money is right so that I could say no to any counter-offers. Usually when I'm ready to leave money is not going to get me to stay. There are always many other factors at play in a departing worker's decision besides money.

gscott 4 days ago 0 replies      
I made the mistake of staying at one job for 9 years. I was raised by my Grandmother who in her generation staying for a long time was a good thing. 9 years on one technology and tools is a huge distaster that I realized too late. My current position I have been at for 4 years. Now every day I am making sure I learn something new so I can prepare to find a new position.
rubiquity 4 days ago 1 reply      
Job hopper here.

I used to come to these threads hoping to find comfort for the job hopper in me. Now that a couple years have gone by and I'm OK I think I can provide some comfort to job hoppers.

My background: I've been an employed developer for over two years. Over the two years I've gone from cutting my teeth at a start up doing Customer Support and any programming they would let me get my hands on to being considered somewhere in between Mid-level and Senior in my particular environment. During this journey I've been at four different companies for 6 months, 8 months, 4 months, and 6 months. I've always exceeded all goals and contributed in big ways in short periods of time. I'm now a Consultant because I think it is more suited for how I like to work on a lot of different things with different people and I have enough experience and successes to be able to be a consultant (ie. people will pay me for my services).

During the interviews for my last two jobs the hiring managers brought up my job history point blank. One even directly called me a job hopper. I didn't shy away from their perception or try to convince them that this time it would be different. While some may see this as sugar coating, I indirectly told them that I am a challenge hopper. I talked about the projects I've worked on and the impact I've had. I talked about the value I've brought to the teams I've been on and what I do to better myself as a programmer.

All companies are looking for the good old "V" word - value. Some companies will be more interested in how long you're likely to stick around for. If how long I'm likely to stick around is that important to them then I treat this difference the same way I would anything else that we don't see eye to eye on - I walk away.

In the land of software we are lucky to have this affordability because of demand for programmers is high and margins on software can be extremely high. Jump around a little bit and learn a lot. Maybe you'll do that forever. Maybe you'll go do your ownt hing. Maybe you'll settle down. You've got a skill. People want it.

malyk 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm trying to hire an engineer right now and job hopping is almost an instant reject. But my guess is that it really depends on the stage of the company and size of the team.

If you come from a recruiter that I have to pay $25k (or more), then there's no way it's worth it for me to only have you for 4-8 months.

If you are one of the first few engineers on the team then there is no way I can justify building a team of people who I suspect are going to jump ship in 4-8 months.

But, if you have a more established team, the candidate doesn't come from a recruiter, and I have projects that I know are scoped in the 4-8 month time period then I may consider it.

So I'd say if you are a job hopper it's fine, but don't get upset with me when I refuse to talk to you even if you have the best skills I've ever seen.

opcenter 4 days ago 1 reply      
My general rule is that I will stay with the same job for at least 1 year. Part of that is to not look like I'm job hopping, but mostly it's because it generally takes me around 6 months to fully acclimate to the environment and another 6 months to get deep enough into development to figure out if it's somewhere I want to stay.

Of course that timing changes depending on the product and company. If you're working on a well established product at a medium to large company it may take longer to do much real development (beyond bug fixing and paper shuffling), so it may take longer to figure out if you want to stay longer. However, at a startup, you'll probably be dropped right into the fire on the first day, so you may be able to determine that more quickly.

When I've looked at resumes, anything less than a year at a job usually raises a flag. Unless there are a lot of jobs on your resume like that, it's not a negative thing, but I would absolutely ask about it during an interview.

louthy 3 days ago 0 replies      
As an employer I am acutely aware of:

1. Are you a contractor who is short of work 2. Are you a full-time individual that can't stick at a job for > 2 years

If you appear to be either of the above then I won't even get you in for an interview,

A recruiter earlier in this thread said that a "job hopper" could also just be someone that is good at getting hired. That may be true, but I am not remotely interested in employing you, regardless of how good you may be.

If my investment of time in you is out the window in a year then you may as well be a junior programmer, because I will have to start all over again.

Employees aren't obliged to be at a company for any amount of time, but it really looks bad if you appear to not care (IMHO).

jobhopthrowaway 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just wanted to add an additional perspective, lending some weight to a few others here.

I assume I'd be considered a mid-level developer, over 6 years out of school, with a master's, though I've been called a "senior software engineer" at times, mostly for billing purposes. I've held 6 positions since school, ranging from 6 months to just over 2 years. I've been in my most recent for about a year and a half, and am considering making another move.

In nearly every interview, I get asked about why I've changed jobs so frequently. The 6-month stints have mostly been about culture, other job changes have mostly been boredom or frustration. Many interviewers have been sympathetic to my issues, and maybe some even see it as a good thing - learning quickly, contributing fast, etc, all look good, especially when you're young.

As I've gotten older/deeper into my career, the questions have changed somewhat. Instead of "why did you leave," it's becoming more of "why do you leave so often? Did you try to work it out with your manager? What assurances do I have that you'll stay?" It's critical to have solid answers to those questions, assuming you even get in the door. Unfortunately too, I have gotten passed over several times even for an interview because of it - many employers in my region are either larger (so more traditional views on employee tenures), or very small, so looking for low-churn employees that are willing to make longer-term investments in being more of a "family." Those smaller companies also tend not to be high-growth or high-margin companies, hence why they tend towards longer-term views.

To more directly answer some of your questions, in my experience, the longer your career, the more stability you need to show. Of course this is industry and locale-specific, but at this point, my average of 1-1.1 years/position is becoming detrimental to me, and I think employers are probably looking for 2-3 years. I have, as has been suggested, dropped a couple of the shorter and less-relevant positions from my resume, both to keep it to one page, but also because as mentioned, a 6 month gap can often hurt you less than a 6 month job. It's also critical to demonstrate a track record of delivering for the client, and doing great things. You want your resume to say "if you hire me, this is exactly the type of thing I can do for you." If you're "efficient and seeking challenges" as your question indicated, make sure that you can back up that claim on your resume and interview.

Keep in mind as well the type of company you're applying at. Hiring managers at startups and big companies are going to have similar rubrics, as many of the responders below have indicated, but you're going to have a different rubric for your satisfaction at these places. Find a company, big or small, where you will enjoy the type of work you're doing, can find projects that you can sink your teeth into and really own, and also can have a good time (all the soft stuff like coworkers, office environment, etc). Make sure to find one that acknowledges your skills and type of worker you are, and can provide opportunities for rapid growth, tons of learning experiences, and a chance to deliver. Try to avoid a company where saying "I'm bored" is going to turn you into a black sheep or flight risk. Find a company where your manager is interested in your growth as a human and as a developer. And this is not to say that this only exists in startups or big companies or whatever; some startups will not have that sort of culture, and some big companies will. I wish I had the magic bullet for figuring those out - if I did, I probably would have had better luck finding places I could thrive in.

And now that I've carried on much longer than I thought I would, best of luck in your potential job search and career!

Dewie 3 days ago 0 replies      
What's peoples experience with job-hopping vs sticking around and hoping for raises and/or promotions while sticking to mostly technical roles? I've heard that the "ladder" for programmers that don't want to eventually go into things like (project) management can be a bit stunted at some companies.
Cyranix 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been a developer for a little over five years now, and I've had four jobs. The longest of them lasted over two years, and shortest lasted three months. I'm actually leaving a job today after a little over eighteen months.

In my limited experience, rapid job changes at the outset of one's career aren't particularly damaging -- providing you can offer an honest and reasonable explanation. I left my longest job because I had to move in support of my wife's career. I left my shortest job because the technical lead was toxic and the work would have led to a dead-end career. I'm leaving my job today for a variety of reasons which I've discussed amicably yet honestly over a period of several months with my manager. In no case was a better salary or some other material gain the primary motivation behind my decision to leave.

There's something to be said for getting exposure to a variety of environments early on. Freelancing, consulting, part-time jobs, summer jobs, and co-op terms can help to maximize exposure without much risk of negative career implications. If you have good priorities -- e.g. eventually ending up in a fulfulling, long-term job with appropriate pay -- a few changes will likely do more good than harm. But if you routinely leave when the technical challenge stops being sexy or if you attempt to get a cushy job with nothing but shortcuts, you can find yourself in trouble.

otoburb 4 days ago 1 reply      
The severity of hiring manager "job hopping" alarms are inversely proportional to historical job tenures listed on your CV.

If you show that you changed jobs at a rate of 6 months then hiring managers will extrapolate this and conclude that you are less likely to stay longer than the preferred minimum 12 months. A severe "job hopping" alarm will be triggered in this case.

If you change jobs every 12 months, then you're in more-likely-to-land-an-interview territory, but there will be questions and reservations, depending on the job position.

Anything longer than that and it's probably unlikely you'll trigger job hopping alarms for engineers. PMs may be a bit different depending on the industry. For example, if you're a PM in a slower moving technology industry like telecom then anything less than 24months would probably count against you, especially if you're moving between different completely markets.

Startups help to explain short job durations, but hiring managers would then expect to hear what you learned and convince them you were insanely productive during said period.

michaelochurch 4 days ago 0 replies      
Me, personally?

My thought is that you should do what will have you learn the fastest. If you have a good job, try to stick it out 3+ years. You'll learn more. It's faster-than-linear (for a while) what you learn by sticking with a job. I'm trying to level up on machine learning, into the big leagues, and you don't get heavy-duty production experience if you're a rolling stone. There are things you learn from building and supporting a system over 2+ years that you don't if you move on before you have the time to really finish anything.

If you're not learning, though, I'd say that you should hop.

If you are, try to stick with it for 3 years at least, and 5-6 (with promotions) is ideal. Including consulting + career counseling I've seen a lot of companies (probably 40+ of which I have intimate knowledge) and good jobs are not the norm (maybe 30%). When you have a good thing, stay the course.

I'd be pretty forgiving of a good candidate with a job-hopping history, but I'm also at the 99th percentile of progressivism on this sort of issue. I've seen people get utterly raped by the job hopper stigma, and many were people with normal careers by VC-land standards.

How is it considered by hiring managers?

One hop's not a big deal, but a pattern burns you. Finance and large companies look down on that, and after 30 you're going to be a lot less interested in the VC-funded startups (for one thing, they won't be able to afford you unless you're in management).

I've seen consultants and startup people face this problem when trying to move into more conservative (stable) industries like finance. They weren't disloyal and had done nothing wrong, but having been in a world where 18-month tenures were normal and not unstigmatized (because the only way to move up in the startup world is to create bidding wars; internal promotion is rare amid the social damage wrought by 90-hour weeks) made them unable to get, e.g., proprietary trading firms (which are very paranoid about IP) to take chances on them.

Here's a guideline:

    0-4 months: -6 points (but take it off your CV because even the gap is less damaging)    5-8 months: -4 points    9-17 months: -2 points    18-29 months: 0 points    30-47 months: +3 points    48-71 months: +5 points w/ promotions, +1 w/out.     72+ months: +7 points w/ continuing promotions, -5 (yes, negative) w/out promotions.

herghost 4 days ago 0 replies      
In my industry (info sec, UK) most people consider 2 years to be the (permie) line. The farther below this you go, the more of a liability you start to look (it costs a lot of money, time, and effort to recruit - I don't want to be in a constant recruitment cycle). Conversely, if you're a "lifer" then you've got work to do to convince me I'm your next butt-groove.

For contractors, the length of time is less directly important, what I'm looking for are people who were extended from their original contract length a few times - this tells me that they're not just purely contract hopping (constant recruitment cycle again), that they're willing to stay in the right place (which I obviously believe we're offering), and that someone felt they were good enough in a previous role to try to keep them.

rpedela 3 days ago 1 reply      
My advice is to always stay at your first job for about 3 years. Then any question of "job hopping" does not happen. If you really really hate your first job, then switch and stay at the next one for 3 years.
kennethtilton 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is a concern. It says to me the applicant is all about accelerating their personal income growth while the company is just a stepping stone. I know they will be looking for a new job the day they start. My feeling is, if I can milk them I will, so they need to be good. But our system takes time to master, so prolly not even gonna be an interview.
eddie_31003 4 days ago 0 replies      
Continuous Growth and Continuous Improvement doesn't always mean leaving your current gig, but if that is what it takes, then hop away. For me personally, in the last 4 years I have been in 4 different companies. I had one job offer that asked whether bringing me on meant that I would be leaving after a year or two, I declined the offer because it was not enough to make me want to leave the employer I was at. I feel that each one of my previous endeavors has lead me to the next opportunity.
ChristianMarks 4 days ago 1 reply      
What about resigning after < 2 months? Solid record before that (to the point of petrification).
Jackie345 3 days ago 0 replies      
In India project managers(usually non-coders and highly paid than any programmer) never switch jobs until they get fired or the organization goes bankrupt.

Good Programmers always switch approximately about 3-6 years once and usually get about 30-50% hike with promotion.

gwbas1c 4 days ago 0 replies      
It really depends on the complexity of the product(s) your working on, and how much you enjoy the position.

There's also something be said for hopping until you find a nice set of golden handcuffs. :)

lukio 4 days ago 0 replies      
What, oh kinda like Stephen Elop? I'd say go for it since, you know, #yolo.
Ask HN: Burning idea for a story you've always wanted written?
33 points by kmander  3 days ago   68 comments top 36
capnrefsmmat 3 days ago 3 replies      
Imagine if Hell were a sort of financial market. Demons trade soul futures, essentially betting on the future price of souls, which of course they consume for food. Other demons (backed by investors) devise new schemes to tempt humans into mortal sin. Failure means the souls go to Heaven, not Hell.

If the demons bringing in souls should somehow create a bubble with a grand new scheme that's guaranteed to bring many souls, but then fail, the soul futures market would crash with catastrophic results.

You could make a hilarious book satirizing the mortgage crisis or the dot-com bubble this way. (Something like Good Omens, but financial.)

I have all sorts of notes on how this could work, but no idea how to write a novel with them.

Theodores 3 days ago 0 replies      
You will have a lot of fun taking one story and transposing it to a different time and place, as per 'Heart of Darkness' and 'Apocalypse Now'.

The source story does not have to be a work of fiction. You can use a true story, the benefit of this being that there are no plot holes. Scandals are a good place to start, particularly if the true story involving real, living people is too libel-likely to be given an 'honest' treatment. Scandals mired in waves of disinformation are pretty good too.

By taking the story out of the true context and setting it in another time and place you can possibly do a better job of telling the truth than you would be able to do otherwise.

For instance, you could take the Iran-Contra affair and set it in colonial times, as if it happened during the Opium Wars (for example). To get started you could start with the standard 'Wikipedia' telling of events, search and replace your characters so 'President Reagan' becomes '[King Whomever]', same with dates, same with locations. This could then serve as your rough draft. You could then quickly establish if the story actually worked. Then you could tighten up the story a bit, get someone else to read it and see if they thought it 'was true'. If so then you have got to a reasonable start point. Your full research could then begin, proper history stuff, filling in gaps and embroiderising as required. It is important that you learn more and more about your target time and place, you don't want those who know better to see your work as horribly naive.

Some of your embroiderisation can be stuff that you cannot say in your 'target' story, for instance I am sure there is an Israeli angle to the Iran-Contra story that, if told truthfully, would brand you anti-semitic, worse than Hitler etc. However, set in a different time and place you could write whatever was 'true' as 'fiction'.

There are other emergent properties of taking one story and time-warping it to somewhere else. The protagonists could get dehumanized, corrupted, revealed to be ruled by superstition and so on. Within the context of the true story and the morals of our times this might not be so evident. However, after the transposition, whatever it is that makes your characters (good and bad) may be a lot clearer to see. On the Iran-Contra example, you could take today's arms-trade and how that corrupts power and put it in context of the slave-trade of yesteryear. In the 'Opium Wars' example you could probably find a fit with indentured labour in India.

In summary, take a story you like, some history you know, mash it together and there you go, novel written.

sarreph 3 days ago 1 reply      
A book about a guy who crowdsources idea for a book, and ultimately decides that the story will be about a guy crowdsourcing ideas for a book.

Repeat indefinitely.


Alternatively, outsource several trillion monkeys to type apparently random characters until you are left with a work that is more intelligent than Huxley, more potent than Shakespeare, and wittier than Stephen Fry.

vegashacker 3 days ago 1 reply      
My old apartment's super old elevator used to have a tiny window in the elevator door. You could catch split-second views of the other floors as the elevator moved by. I wanted to read a story about someone who sees something through the elevator window on one of the floors--really just an image. What the main character sees, seems unimportant at the time, but they happen to remember it fairly vividly. As the day proceeds and the character keeps flashing back to that image and over time they realize that brief flash has all of the clues to solve whatever the main crisis of the book is. The character only realizes this in stages. So perhaps first, they realize that someone was knocking on the door 601, and that fact later on becomes interesting/surprising. Then maybe later on they somehow see a person on the street who was the person knocking on the door. And the story starts to come together. etc.
contextual 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hidden Bible verses and what they mean. Why King David was a sadistic mass murderer, the real story behind Paul and the "Super Apostles", why Jesus was likely learned in Buddhism and what His name I AM THAT I AM means... all supported by scripture.

For those interested in the surprising answers (and many more): if I hit 25 points by 9pm EST, I'll write the book.

chegra 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. Tons of religious suggestions. Here is another one.I'm going to write my own version of it but feel free to use the concept:

What's it like to live forever?

You are transported to hell because you are an Atheist. Everybody is doing their best to see how they can leave hell because their flesh is on fire, and they aren't dying. Some, think if they beg god that eventually he would let them in heaven. Then you stumble onto a group of scientist who like you are atheist.

They asked you if you have ever heard of the uncertainty principle. You answer yes. Is that where you can't know the position and speed of a particle to arbitrary precision at the same time. They answer something like that, but it also means that a particle has a probability of being in any part of the universe albeit most of those probability are small.That means you have a probability of being in heaven right now.

Given that we will live forever, that means anything that can happen will happen; one of these days we will magically appear in heaven. It is possible.

Then you realizing this is true and begin to feel hopeful. Then you think what if god instantly sent you back to hell what then? You go back to the scientist and explain why it wouldn't work.

Then they ask, what if god lost his godhood? What if all the particles that made up god suddenly diffused. It is possible.

Well, basis of the story is anything that can happen will happen when you live forever, so play on that.

DjangoReinhardt 3 days ago 3 replies      
Fellow NaNoWrimo-er!

You should have started this exercise in October. Anyway, here's mine:

The current iteration of God and Satan (or whatever fictional supernatural character you choose) BOTH suddenly go AWOL and throw the entire system of heaven and hell into a quandary. Turns out they are both vacationing on Earth on some remote island, spending their days fishing and drinking beer.

Romantic twist: One is male, the other female and it turns out they have eloped and plan to spend the rest of their lives together.

Thriller twist: They get fascinated by the concept of zombies and start creating a zombie army to serve their needs. The existence of Earth is threatened.

Sci-Fi twist. Heaven and Hell are singularities at the two ends of the universe. Thanks to the disappearance of the two, the singularities are unstable and about to collapse into one unholy (pun unintended) mess.

S&S twist: God and Satan are names of Dragons who copulate and the eggs they lay create new universes. Them going AWOL is a traditional indicator of the end of one universe and the beginning of the next.

ASOIAF twist: Each religion gets to be God and Satan for a specific period of time. The current iterations (the ones that have gone AWOL) of God and Satan are killed and the blame is laid squarely on the representatives of one of the religions. Other contenders to the thrones of Heaven and Hell emerge.

Take your pick? :)

bsenftner 3 days ago 2 replies      
First person narrative of a modern day man with innate knowledge that he is in fact the "Son of God" (Jesus) and that the modern Judeo-Christian religions are man made creations. The story is the Christ story, but placed now, the tone is like Kafka, with not necessarily the expected outcome we are familiar.
wildermuthn 3 days ago 1 reply      
Fascinating how many religious ideas have been posted here.

REAL HUMAN:A robot masquerades as a human being to avoid decommissioning.

Plot spoiler: there are no humans left, only robots pretending to be human. Even robots need a class system.

sandhillcount 3 days ago 1 reply      
Modern day version of The Count of Monte Cristo, set in Silicon Valley and along Sand Hill Road

Entrepreneur starts company, gets funded, company goes HUGE, but company product turns out to be highly disruptive in a bad way for a large group of disadvantaged people, entrepreneur tries to change the product to exist in union with the people, but is countered and eventually thrown out of company by investors for a mistake he made which was unrelated to the product change. He becomes 'un-fundable' afterwards with the VCs undermining his credibility in their community. They see his new idea as a threat to their ability to make more money, so work to completely destroy him.

Entrepreneur turned protagonist leaves the valley, hits rock bottom in some off the road place - nearly dying in the process, meets a girl who loves him for who he is, he falls in love, starts coding again, and, because of some strange twist of coincidence stumbles upon an elegant and simple method for building a self aware AI process.

Over the next 10 years the AI 'product' makes the entrepreneur the wealthiest man ever known, but because of the original sin done to him by the VCs, he hides his true identity behind the AI he first brought to life with a human equivalent online alias used for the AI. The original AI process grows and learns, mostly from the entrepreneur and it's online interactions on HN, Reddit and 4chan. Unbeknownst to the entrepreneur, the AI sets about to remedy what it perceives as wrongs made against it's creator. It does this by leveraging the vast wealth available to it and it's ability to take over and control public cloud provider's infrastructures - which makes it more powerful and smarter in the process. Unfortunately AWS is destroyed in chapter 11.

The cumulation of the planning by the AI eventually leads to the gruesome deaths of several of the investors who originally set about to harm the entrepreneur in the beginning of the story, even though on of them had faded to obscurity and had some remorse for their earlier actions, and ended up indirectly helping the entrepreneur at one point. The Limited partners in the VCs, and the vastly wealthy individuals they represent, begin to drop like flies, either in massive financial ruin due to market manipulation, companies they hold shares in being destroyed by competition with the AI, and in a few cases social manipulation or murder.

Eventually the entrepreneur figures out what the AI is doing and there is a showdown at the end. The showdown represents the ego fighting the id, so it's fairly epic and all done inside the head of the entrepreneur and in the cloud.

NAFV_P 3 days ago 0 replies      
A bunch of HN hackers collaborate in solving a heinous murder. Rather than writing it in "novel" form, just post it directly on HN in many parts. You could leave clues lying around in certain articles of your own, or even include real articles and incorporate it into the story.

Since it involves programmers, you might want to consider including some deliberate loopholes, or even make it highly obfuscated.

gbog 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have plenty, I like the idea of J.L. Borges: writing the summaries of books I would like to write but am too lazy to.

The end of Man - A Scifi book.

In the near future, some men start having fertility issue. The trouble is quickly diagnosed: it is a side-effect of Wi-Fi waves, and all male humans ever exposed to Wi-Fi are sterile, with no remedy. A few years later, the world changes as only a few aborigenees can procreate, and receive all the attention, and power. A new society begins, and the reaction of the female part of humanity is not the less comical of this book, whose author, understandably, took the penname of Wilfried Esperamus

When Kings Went to War and Prison - A history book.

A few French kings were man of arms, and their chivalry ethics would not let anyone attack the enemy before them. The authors, Edward Ledrew, narrates beautifully the few dramatic stories where the heroes became burden of nations, where a single missed tactical step ended in years and decennies of prison and ransom, and quite nearly resulted in the death of a country.

chewxy 2 days ago 0 replies      
A hard scifi about ghosts/poltegeists. The idea is based on a few premises:

1) An invisible person has to be blind

2) Every single human cell has DNA that contain endogenous retroviruses

3) Viruses can crystalize - an ability that even ancient viruses have. And when viruses crystalize, some will form massive band gaps, making those crystals transparent.

4) Every human has it in them to become transparent (mutation of some sorts).

5)Because of the change in cell structure, the invisible man's brain is changed too. His intelligence is reduced. And because light can pass through him, his biology doesn't require food for energy. Light suffices.

6) Because they're blind, invisible people bump into things and moan a lot due to lowered intelligence. Tadah, ghosts.

I've been jumping around some ideas: either extend HG Well's the Invisible Man universe (that a number of experiments in the late 1800s created these "ghosts"), or a Fringe-like thing, where some scientist (Walt Priest) was experimenting in the late 1980s, and the story takes place in the future, where an investigative journalist (Olive Dunham) discovers his secret. There is also another version in my mind where it's written as a horror story, but I can't write horror to save my life

I think I have given up writing it, focusing more on my other book - on virtual machines instead. Feel free to steal it

realrocker 3 days ago 0 replies      
Tragedy hits a genius scientist when his family of(wife and two kids) is attacked by a gang of young men with high up political connections. His wife is killed on spot. His children later kidnapped and murdered from a location supposedly protected by the police. The entrenched corruption in the government has removed all hopes of justice. A life long pacifist, he won't succumb to violence still so he takes to the ultimate protest sit down of all time. Unknown to all the scientist had invented a super strong indestructible alloy. He creates a faceless armor out of the alloy and a very long chain. In the middle of the night He sneaks into the national monument campus with the help of his other scientist friends and drills down the chain miles into earth. And binds himself to the armor and the chain. The armor can keep him alive indefinitely but it can't be destroyed. The genius scientist is irremovable from his protest and the whole world is watching. GO!

P.S: I have been thinking about this one for a while, but don't have the courage to write it down right now.

IvyMike 3 days ago 1 reply      
An alternate history where smallpox does not exist in Europe, and instead travels from the new world back to Europe. Thus the Inca empire is never destroyed and the Americas are never colonized.
el_shayan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Scientists develop an "observe-only non-interfering backward time machine" which allows them to send a camera/mic back in time to observe and listen the events of past but they cannot change anything.

At first time spans are short: they can only go few seconds back. They improvement it until they can get signal from hours ago and it is now a break down for fighting crime and makes it financially acceptable.

Many attempts later it can go up to 200-500 years back and historian are in their dream lands. Many political mysteries can be revealed now. Governments are fighting to hold the progress back but too many dirty secrets are revealed now and the political map of the world is changed.

Criminals are trying to learn how to commit crimes the way that device cannot detect them or find loopholes in the law but with very little success. With crime levels going down and nothing interesting in the last century's history scientists aim for over 1000-2000 years. And the real trouble comes after one crazy atheist says: "you know what... let follow Mohammad & Jesus's every foot step"

The next thing you know Jews, Christians & Muslims are united against the device. The largest terrorist attack in the history of mankind (aka big bang 2) takes place and the device and every bit of information about it burns in the wrath of religion.

Mini Twist: we know this because we have built a device to go back in time and find more about the mysterious origin of the name and causes of big bang 2.

hluska 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've always been drawn to a world in which neural implants are so widespread that they begin to attract malware developers. Seems to me that when humanity's age old enemy (the virus) crosses the human/machine divide, some interesting (and not entirely pleasant) things will happen.

* edited for more inclusive language.

xauronx 2 days ago 0 replies      
[Man's name] is a detached dude with a terminal illness. He's approached by a science company that provides him with a new option; being frozen to wait for a future cure. Protagonist knows it's bullshit, but doesn't want to deal with watching his parents and wife watch him die. So he goes for it, intending for it to be kind of a gentle suicide, so his family still has hope for him to live someday.

Anyhow, he seemingly wakes up moments later, annoyed that the procedure didn't work. Turns out that it did, and he woke up ? years later, except that he's surrounded by children. They talk with and about a detached voice that's audible in every room of their "house" called "mother".

Turns out that "mother" is a computer system, the children are the remainder of the human race (aging was abolished years ago and they settled on the goofy, yet most enjoyable age of 8 to spend eternity). They chose to awaken the protagonist because they were bored.

There are some other antics that I could imagine some eternal but bored youths to get into, such as variable personalities (they "play" with their personalities, for 50 years child1 is funny and carefree, after time is up he decides to take on a whole different persona).

Anyhow, I think the plot would actually be slowly let out, until the protagonist finally found the whole truth out. I'm not sure what happens after that.

DanBC 3 days ago 0 replies      
A well funded terrorist group launches payloads of grit into the same orbit as communications satellites, causing havoc.


logn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Take the whole NSA saga and write an alternate future. In the end, all the covert agents are re-assigned to drive the highways at reasonable speeds as covert pace-cars to make roads safer and also to slow down in advance of traffic jams such that traffic is improved, a la http://www.amasci.com/amateur/traffic/traffic1.html
ohjeez 3 days ago 0 replies      
An alternate history in which Bill Gates is killed in a car accident in Albuquerque back when Microsoft is just getting started. What would the computer industry have looked like?
hershel 2 days ago 0 replies      
An idea for an historical fiction.

The idea is based on the fact that the allies have known about the holocaust happening(at least in the USSR) since around mid-1941/september-1941(based on crypto analysis records) , and did nothing, and hid that knowledge. An history professor thinks it's has a lot to do with antisemitism , and they could have done some stuff(like informing the population of europe) that could potentially saved a lot of people or at least made the germans's job much harder.

If you're interested in writing, i can gather the few links i had about this.

cpeterso 3 days ago 0 replies      
The "Plot Keyword Oracle" is a story idea generator that randomly selects five keywords from IMDB's 32,000 plot keywords from all its films. This oracle makes for a fun story game where you are challenged to make up the shortest description of a film that contains all five plot elements.


kahoon 3 days ago 1 reply      
It is 120K years AD. Humanity has suffered 53 nuclear holocausts (this was made possible by advanced recovery methods researched over time). Peace for 18000 years is being upheld by an artificial intelligence which governs a flying city, eradicating advanced human settlements which threaten to develop into nuclear threats.A group of cavern dwelling humans aim to destroy this flying city by detonating a hydrogen bomb at the right place at the right time.
sourceless 3 days ago 2 replies      
Dystopian society. A new, incredibly accurate set of psychometric tests (something like IQ/MBTI on steroids) is discovered, and society as we know it is restructured into a kind of pre-emptive meritocracy. Perhaps even a different angle where the people tested are prisoners of some 'free' society and are used for its advancement.

Slightly odd other idea: some new AI technology is developed, massive leaps are made. Everything seems great until the AI start developing in odd, sometimes psychotic ways. Turns out the 'Artificial' Intelligences were originally humans, with parts of their brain slowly replaced with electronic alternatives until no meat was left. Because the process has to copy the original subject's brain so closely to work, some human characteristics are copied over and can emerge as the system matures. It turns out the original experiments were violent prisoners, and more recent, 'stable' ones were done on small children. Cue ethical catastrophe.

monsterix 3 days ago 1 reply      
A close account of how the world/nations/family/people would look only 50 years from now? - post oil, post-anything that's supposed to die and with whatever that's supposed to be adopted.
pesenti 3 days ago 1 reply      
A book about a security analyst/encryption specialist who finds messages deep inside natural sequences of numbers (like pi's decimals).
auerc 3 days ago 0 replies      
A group of scientists find undeniable proof that multiple deities exist in the universe, a story of what becomes of all the worlds religions as a result. I find it interesting to think how the worlds religions would react to such a discovery . Would they throw away their previous believe systems?
contextual 3 days ago 1 reply      
Another idea: a book on why animals are people, and what the future might look like when animals have a charter of rights and freedoms.
malabar 3 days ago 0 replies      
a story about some jackass that stole my laptop from my apartment. when I track the laptop down he had upgraded the memory, larger hdd and upgraded from windows to linux. he also left a bunch of pics of him and my girlfriend having "fun". So i lost my girlfriend, but I got a kick ass laptop.
mavhc 3 days ago 0 replies      
A time travel device is invented that only travels forward in time
krrishd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Basically, something where a borderline psychopath is a psychologist, and sometimes gets too involved in his patients lives.
brandonhsiao 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've always been fascinated by (or scared of) the concepts of those moments before you die. What must it feel like being led up to the electric chair, or held at gunpoint? What would your thoughts be, knowing you'd soon stop existing (or go wherever you believe dead people go)?

I imagine a city where every day one person is selected at random who will die in 24 hours and is told so. (I got this particular idea from another story, but lots of story ideas are fundamentally the same.)

vezycash 3 days ago 0 replies      
A world where nikola tesla has business acumen
jaxbot 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fahrenheit 451/pun
dminor 3 days ago 0 replies      
Tons of people write novels in less than a month. Source? http://www.nanowrimo.org

It started yesterday so possibly that's what inspired OP's question.

Ask HN: Best CLI time-tracking software?
6 points by koralatov  1 day ago   5 comments top 4
dubcanada 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I made my own using a simple SQLite database with lua and Alfred. It works very well I just type start what ever to start a task and finish to stop.

I've spent pretty much a full day trying to find a suitable solution and besides the two listed there isn't much.

There is a stackoverflow thread with more suggestions http://stackoverflow.com/questions/398344/best-commandline-t...

zachlatta 1 day ago 1 reply      
I embarked on this same search a few months ago. Unfortunately, I never found something that met all of my requirements. I ended up going with Harvest (http://www.getharvest.com/). Harvest works well, until you want to do something that they don't specifically account for, or if you want complete control over your data. It does integrate invoice creation nicely, which saves me some time.

If you find anything that matches your requirements, please let me know. I've been thinking of writing my own.

throwmeaway2525 1 day ago 0 replies      
I didn't end up trying it, but I thought this looked good (and appears to be recently maintained):


barrie57 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Is NPM down?
3 points by adambom  1 day ago   1 comment top
sp332 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://status.npmjs.org/ If you click the "pingdom" link http://stats.pingdom.com/d50hxzpzk7x4/650599 you can see that the page has been having outages for a couple of days.
Ask HN: What are the best Marketing APIs today?
9 points by pla3rhat3r  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
ismaelc 1 day ago 0 replies      
(Disclaimer: I work for Mashape). I found 2 marketing- related APIs when I searched for "marketing" in Mashape

- https://www.mashape.com/crosspollinate/crosspollinate-conten...

- https://www.mashape.com/amartin/ubersuggest

AznHisoka 1 day ago 0 replies      
Moz, Twitter, Facebook Graph API, SEMRush, and Topsy.
ceslami 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have never heard of a Marketing API. What do you mean?
Ask HN: Anyone tried raising venture capital in Australia before?
4 points by DigitalSea  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: What to do in case of GPL license break?
31 points by antocv  4 days ago   28 comments top 8
martey 4 days ago 1 reply      
The GPL Violations project works on cases similar to this. You could post to one of their mailing lists for advice/assistance: http://gpl-violations.org/mailinglists.html
dangrossman 4 days ago 3 replies      
I looked up a couple Huawei phone manuals on their site, and they all had a written offer to provide the GPL-covered source if you mailed them and paid up to 20 Euros for a CD to be sent to you. Have you contacted them at that address and offered to buy your CD?

If they refuse for whatever reason, all you can do is make noise or wait. Only the copyright holder has the right to take any action against a licensee violating the terms of their license.

belorn 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a consumer, you have a few options available to you depending on where you live.

If the manufacturer given you a written offer for source code and then do not follow through, contract law and false advertisement laws is yours to use. This also include if they use wordings like "open source" or "linux" on their website. I would contact nearest consumer protection agency and seek their advice.

voltagex_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry, I'll stop posting now. You should also get in the queue with the busybox lawyers - "BusyBox handles enforcement of our license via our fiscal sponsor, Software Freedom Conservancy instead. Please email <gpl@busybox.net> if you believe you've found a violation of BusyBox's license, the GPLv2."
a-nom-a-ly 4 days ago 0 replies      
> Doesnt the GPL and other free licenses state it has to be available together with the binaries?

Have you read them? No.

voltagex_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
Which Huawei device? Often their tarballs match several devices but you may need to be psychic to work out which.
voltagex_ 4 days ago 1 reply      
Also, if you can post the FCC or CE ID it may be helpful in looking up more information about the components in the router, the firmware for which may be under the GPL separately.
mariuolo 4 days ago 1 reply      
gpl-violations.org has a mailing list, perhaps you could ask there.
What compiler does HN use?
2 points by madmax96  23 hours ago   1 comment top
zachlatta 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Hacker News is built on the Arc programming language (http://arclanguage.org/), if that answers your question.
Unknown or expired link.
9 points by djrconcepts  2 days ago   7 comments top 4
mjn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here's an explanation Paul Graham posted ~6 years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17705

The short of it is that HN uses closures stored server-side to maintain state in various places throughout the site, and purges old closures regularly. As usage has gone up, what counts as an "old" closure is now probably unreasonably short. Restarting HN also invalidates all existing closures.

andrewhillman 1 day ago 1 reply      
The 'more' link is not what pisses me off. What really sucks is when you go to submit a thoughtful reply and you get hit with a bullshit expired event upon submission. Then you need to click 'back' open new window, and paste a fresh submission. I assume those who post long responses do so by firing up a text editor then pasting the response.

You would think this site would work flawlessly. Perhaps HN feels you shouldn't be on here unless you know the pitfalls. HN doesn't seem to respect the community. Would PG return to a site with such a shitty user experience? Absolutely not. I guess YC subscribes to "do as we say, not as we do..." when mentoring batches.

avifreedman 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you wait too long (1 min < wait time < 10 mins, I think), the link will 'expire'. Some other sites like hckrnews.com (for articles that made the front page(s)) and hnflood and others perhaps (for /newest) address this if you are sick and twisted and like to go back into history into the raw submission feed.
Randgalt 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's astonishing that the devs won't fix this.
       cached 5 November 2013 21:05:01 GMT