hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    14 Nov 2013 Ask
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Ask HN: How do you manage passwords? Esp. for a company?
11 points by Jacqued  3 hours ago   7 comments top 6
caw 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
We have a custom password database application. You request the to view a particular password or set of passwords, and then it goes through an approval chain to grant you access. Afterwards, you can see the password. Depending on the security requirements, these passwords are changing every 90-180 days so when you really need the password it's probably not the one you used last time.
zaroth 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The notebook will not be your point of entry.

You can say that to yourself at night before you go to sleep, if it helps. But, really, the notebook is not the problem.

My advice is to keep your eye on the ball, and do the big things that move the needle. Security is about layers, and there are a lot of layers that are bleeding right now, all over the industry.

There are also a lot of really good suggestions here for password management, if that's what you want to focus on.

dirktheman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We use keepass, our .kdb is stored in a shared dropbox folder. I know this is not 100% safe, but it's infinitely more secure than the way we handled things before. Keepass is open source, free, and with KeepassX and MiniKeePass you can use it on Mac, IOS and Android, too.
KiwiCoder 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There's really just one answer to this - Lastpass with two-factor auth. Enterprise features described here: https://lastpass.com/enterprise/enterprise-features/

Replace Lastpass with any other secure password manager, and use any 2F auth you prefer, but that's the bog standard way to secure your passwords.

ksatirli 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I managed all my passwords with 1Password (with a recipe that is between 20 and 24 alphanumeric characters).

Since 1Password 4 it is possible to have multiple vaults - one of which I share with my colleagues via Dropbox. That way, everyone has access to the passwords if they know the master password for the vault AND have access to the shared Dropbox.

nodata 2 hours ago 0 replies      
ssh keys with a way to revoke them.

pwgen 20, stored with the security manager.

Ask HN: Thoughts on a service I'm working on?
5 points by meowface  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
martey 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Upon reading this post, I immediately thought that your service was similar to Sift Science, so I am glad that you mentioned it in your TextUploader link.

My second thought was about privacy and that the fact that you might be selling aggregate information about visitors of your clients' sites. I am glad that you addressed that as well.

I am concerned about your attempts to distinguish yourself, especially by your suggestion that it will be "more hands-on, less machine-driven". Since I would want to stop fraudulent/malicious behavior while/before it happens, and since I can review user actions after the fact by myself, I am not sure whether your service would be the best fit for someone who might pay Sift or a similar company.

davidsmith8900 3 hours ago 1 reply      
- It reminds me of pastebin.com. I see people using it, just how they use pastebin. For everyone, the link to the project is ~> http://textuploader.com/
Ask HN: Is Bitcoin in a bubble?
5 points by Jackmc1047  5 hours ago   4 comments top 3
yen223 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Exponential curves are to be expected for any value whose growth rate is positively correlated with its value - essentially, when you have positive feedback loops where the more you have of x, the faster x grows, which causes you to have more of x, and so on.

In this case, Bitcoin price growth made it more popular, which caused more people to start investing in Bitcoin, which further increased its price. The exponential shape of Bitcoin's price curve is entirely normal.

The real question is, does Bitcoin's current price match its "true" value? I personally believe the answer is "no", but that's like, my opinion, man.

creativeone 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes and maybe. Yes, just like there was a bubble when it broke $200 in April 2013 and it came back down. Maybe, just like there was a bubble when it broke $200 in April 2013, came back down and continued rising beyond the $200 point.
rrich 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It certainly appears so. If you take into account how governments may react to its use in the long run, it would seem rather risky at these lofty levels. But then again that may be the real value, and thus what really supports the price level, its inability to be controlled.
Ask HN: Would you start a startup if the upside was limited?
8 points by adamzerner  7 hours ago   13 comments top 8
gexla 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Start-up founders don't get rich from salary, they get rich from owning the company (shares.)

Here is a list of people who have employed themselves for one dollar.


I'm guessing that people like Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg spend surprisingly little money for their day to day living expenses. You don't see these guys driving around super cars, sporting a lot of bling, rolling with an entourage and building the largest mansions they can afford.

PeterisP 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Switzerland isn't planning to limit 'upside' in any way, as simply owning [part of] a rapidly growing company is something completely different from compensation like getting stock options that you didn't have before.

The 'cap', in essence, would refer only to hired managers.

cprncus 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, if I have to, OK. [pouts while a billion people hope for clean water tomorrow]
lacker 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems like once you have a lot of money locked up in equity you'll be able to evade this salary limit by recategorizing your income as investment earnings or some such. So, in practice I doubt this law will be effective.
accomplice 4 hours ago 0 replies      

If it means helping to define and grow the culture I can do my best work in. To work with people I admire and trust(and may even be around for the next thing).. that's better than most jobs anywhere and incentive enough to be honest. It just so happens I also love designing great products, but designing great places to work can be just as fulfilling.

moox 6 hours ago 0 replies      
To me a startup isn't about the money, but introducing my idea to the world. The idea of satisfying a need is enough.

That being said, the money is still a great incentive since you're taking a huge financial and personal risk, but you can still live pretty damn well with $500k/year.

jackgolding 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Just run a couple of them, its not hard right?
davidsmith8900 7 hours ago 0 replies      
- Yes. I'll do it for the thrill.
Ask HN: Review my startup, thestudybox.com
6 points by udswagz  6 hours ago   6 comments top 4
akhaumeallen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow it cool. Where is your startup located in Nigeria?and far have you extend your market in there?
akhaumeallen 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow it cool. Where is your startup located in Nigeria?and far have you extend your plan?
davidsmith8900 6 hours ago 1 reply      
- I like it. Seems like you have alot of Nigerian traffic to the website. What are you plans for it?
akhaumeallen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
contact me: 08160181838. Let talk
Ask HN: What is the right amount of equity to give?
4 points by _RPM  5 hours ago   8 comments top 3
onion2k 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Equity is essentially taking a risk on deferred earnings - you're betting that the company will be a success (otherwise equity is worthless), and that the equity will be worth more than you could earn taking a paid gig instead.

For example;

Let's say you take the job and get 10%, and your average salary over the next 5 years is $30,000. You get $150,000 + 10% if the company survives. REMEMBER: Most startups fail.

Or If you're a capable developer you could be earning $150,000/year in a soulless job working for a boring financial institution. Over 5 years that's $600,000 in cold hard cash guaranteed.

Consequently, for that 10% to be financially worthwhile the company would need to exit and give you the $450,000 you've given up + a bit more - so a $4.5m deal. How likely is that?

That's a hellishly over simplified example. All sorts of things make it more complicated. In reality your stake is very likely to be diluted over subsequent rounds. Every round roughly halves what you own. So after a couple of rounds you're down to 2.5% (the good news is that each round should raise enough to stick another 0 on the end of the valuation of course). You might be able to buy in at some point in a future round too. And so on.

And, of course, this ignores the fact that startup life is fun and interesting, which makes up for a lot more money than you might imagine.

Ultimately, what you really ought to do is disregard the equity and take the job if it sounds like something you want to do all day, like something that will get you out of bed in the morning, and you can afford to live without an income for a while. Even if it all fails you'll have had fun.

mattwritescode 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Dont forget dilution! That 10% could and be less 10% if more funding is found.
sylvainkalache 5 hours ago 1 reply      
What do you mean by "new"? Do they have a MVP? Or just the idea and you need to code everything?
Ask HN: What would kill Bitcoin?
12 points by et  12 hours ago   14 comments top 9
yen223 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Bitcoin's value comes entirely from its utility as a currency, but its deflationary nature would mean people won't be willing to use Bitcoin to buy actual stuff. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

I suspect Bitcoin will occupy the same space that gold does now, as just another place to store your money during economic downtimes.

PeterisP 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure on how mining economics will work out after the bitcoin limit is hit and miners will no longer get new bitcoins - has someone worked out the math on how much transaction fees will increase to cover mining expenses after that?

The implication is that bitcoin won't function without (lots of) miners, and if miners would be getting more money in an alternative currency where they can use their hardware, they'd leave bitcoin.

notdrunkatall 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The government. It's obvious that people want to use it. Its popularity will only increase from here. The government is the biggest threat to bitcoin by far.
mattm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The big one is obviously a critical flaw being found which makes it possible to counterfeit bitcoins or steal at will from (genuinely) protected wallets.
fit2rule 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Being able to email money to people. Somehow.
bobfirestone 11 hours ago 1 reply      
People loosing confidence in it. With no one & nothing backing it there is nothing to prevent the value from going to 0. The only thing keeping the value of bitcoin from being 0 is the willingness of people to trade them for other things of value.
jack-r-abbit 11 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems that Bitcoins keep getting stolen from the bitcoin "banks." I've not followed closely in those cases but I imagine that people don't get those bitcoins back like at a real bank with real money. I suspect THAT will kill bitcoin.
littlecritter 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I was at an event with Peter Thiel this weekend, and he seems to think that the government will eventually do them in, if anything
datz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Bitcoin will become a sentimental Gold while a more robust, efficient protocol such as Ripple will become cash
Ask HN: How does code get translated to voltage inside a CPU transistor?
9 points by hackaflocka  11 hours ago   10 comments top 6
matttheatheist 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm happy to say that I'm uniquely qualified to help you.

I have a BS in Computer Engineering and a MS in Electrical Engineering, with a specialty in VLSI and microelectronics.

While in school, I had to design a microprocessor, one transistor at a time. Great experience, by the way.

I will summarize this process from a Top-Down approach, in case you're a CS major. (Note that engineering is Bottom-Up!)

- C/C++ gets converted into Assembly Language.

- Assembly Language gets converted into bytes.(One or more bytes encode each machine instruction and data)

- Each machine instruction takes multiple clock cycles to execute.

- On each clock cycle, a "microcode" (a.k.a. Register Transfer Language) moves data around.(The order in which data are moved from one register to another is controlled by a Finite State Machine.)

- Each finite state machine is composed of sequential circuits and combinational circuits: multiplexers, decoders, etc.

- Each sequential circuit is composed of some type of memory element : flip-flops, latches, etc.(Sequential circuits can be static, quasi-static, or dynamic. In all cases, they are composed of combinational logic with feed-back.)

- Combinational logic is composed of CMOS (MOSFET) transistors. In the past, we used BJTs... and they're actually making a comeback.

- Transistors are arranged in such a way as to perform logic equations: Inverter, NAND, NOR, etc.(Look up a CMOS Inverter to know what I'm talking about.)

Pretty easy, right!?!

I want to encourage you to look at the following references, in order.

(1) CMOS Digital Integrated Circuits by Kang and Leblebici --the best digital VLSI book ever(2) Digital Logic Circuit Analysis & Design by Nelson et al. --tough book on digital logic, but pretty good(3) Computer System Architecture by Morris Mano --works its way up from logic design (K-maps, etc.) to state machines to assembly language

And now, I'm going to through a curve ball at you: Any algorithm you can implement in software, you can also implement in hardware.

How is this possible? Hint: Think of Finite State Machines.And then look into ASIC and FPGA design of digital filters and digital control systems.

frozenport 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Any boundary noted is is artificial and people doing software must know about the hardware - especially in the 1950s. Every subject in the book is written by somebody who has no clue what he is talking about directed at other people who are equally clueless and perhaps gullible. Most readers grab onto the vague feeling of understanding and ride it like a bearded man on a narwhal. This was the era when hipsters were coined.
stevenameyer 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hardware has functionality in and of itself, for example a flop-flop is a circuit that can store a voltage (ie. a one for an arbitrary voltage or a zero for a different arbitrary voltage), an adder is a circuit which adds to sets of values etc.

In a computer there are a bunch of these different low level circuitry components which when combined in different ways can be used to produce any functionality. There is a certain amount of the circuitry which is unusable by the programmer which is reserved to know where all of these components are and how to connect one component to another. You can think of this as a program that is built into the hardware which knows how to install and run other programs.

Basically when you write code, there is a program or multiple programs which transforms the words you write into a string of binary numbers which tells the control circuitry how to arrange the free components to get the desired behavior.

daven14 11 hours ago 1 reply      
That's a very unusual way to phrase the question, there are many steps between code and voltage in a CPU.

In brief, Code is stored in memory as a series of 1's and 0's.

Now the memory is stored as different voltage levels in transistors - 5 volts for a 1 and 0 Volts for a 0 for argument sake (but the voltage to logic value is arbitary).

Now the CPU executes the code by walking along different pieces of memory and executing different instructions depending on the value of those pieces of memory.

There's a lot more. For a start Google 'Introductory Digital Electronics' or 'Introductory Computer Architecture' and this might get you started.

unlikelymordant 7 hours ago 0 replies      
perhaps try this book, i think it will answer some of your questions:


Ask HN: Where can I find a software job that helps society?
89 points by scottalpert  1 day ago   96 comments top 56
MBlume 1 day ago 3 replies      
Consider just getting the highest-paying job you can and then giving as much as you can afford to the most effective charities you can find.


gmisra 1 day ago 3 replies      
Pretty sure each answer reveals a bit about each of our value functions (and what we read on-line). Here goes:

ProPublica http://www.propublica.org/about/jobs

Maplight http://maplight.org/content/jobs-at-maplight

Sunlight Foundation http://sunlightfoundation.com/jobs/

Rootstrikers http://www.rootstrikers.org/

resource.org https://public.resource.org/

Code for America http://codeforamerica.org/

Engineers Without Borders http://www.ewb-usa.org/

EFF https://www.eff.org/about/opportunities/jobs

Nexleaf Analytics http://nexleaf.org/contact-us

jhspaybar 1 day ago 1 reply      

Now, before you down vote me consider they have been instrumental in making knowledge accessible that generally just couldn't be found. They're likely to be on the leading of eliminating most traffic deaths with their self driving cars, and they're providing free Internet to the world with Loon.

Big and successful companies across the industry are doing great things and having amazing social impacts.

spartango 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you are interested in getting your hands dirty around the world, you might checkout Engineers without Borders[1] or the Peace Corps[2], or one of many similar non-profit organizations that employ skilled people to help others around the world. You might even volunteer with the Red Cross to help victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.

On the less philanthropic end of things, there are a host of organizations solving problems in the biomedical world. From hospitals to biotech companies, there are many possibilities. I've found working in this space incredibly fulfilling, especially given that I've had a chance to see patient cases where we can make a difference.

[1] http://www.ewb-usa.org[2] http://www.peacecorps.gov

joelgrus 1 day ago 2 replies      
My life would be better if someone built some kind of revenue-per-advertisement optimization system.

I'm just saying.

wittyphrasehere 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know where specifically to look but these organizations are doing cool (and positive) things with tech:

Raising political awareness and transparency- http://sunlightfoundation.com/- https://www.govtrack.us/- https://www.popvox.com/

Defending rights in the information age- http://www.fightforthefuture.org/- https://www.eff.org/

Alternative fundraising: helping the little guy raise money- http://www.indiegogo.com/- https://www.wepay.com/

Facilitating online activism campaigns- https://www.change.org/- http://front.moveon.org/- https://secure.avaaz.org/en/

robbiemitchell 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take a look at VC portfolios and look through industries that might appeal to you -- education, health, poverty, law, transportation, etc. You'll find companies attacking the norm openly from the outside, growing quietly through the industry core, or creating entirely new areas to explore.

I work at Knewton (not as a software engineer, though we have many of those) because it seems so obvious once I thought about the state of formal education on this planet and how far we can take it.

Knewton is an education technology company quietly laying the groundwork for a future full of digital educational materials (lessons, quizzes, MOOCs, mobile apps, etc.) that offer differentiated learning experiences driven by deep personalization. We've built an adaptive learning infrastructure that will power any learning environment.

The core teams are mixtures of software engineers, data scientists, and teaching experts developing the world's leading models of how students learn and how to help them.

We can predict a student's quiz score before they take it. We can predict whether someone is on target to finish in four months based on all content, possible paths, and a history of student data to compare against. We can recommend the next 5-minute activity that most efficiently moves a student toward a learning objective set by a teacher in a third-party learning product. We can sift through wrong answers to determine whether a student lacks proficiency, disengaged, forgot, or simply encountered a poorly formed question. And we're just getting started.

Education -- K12, higher ed, language teaching, vocational training, professional certification, adult learning -- is one of the biggest industries in the world. We are already partnered with some of the world's biggest names, including Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan, Cambridge University Press, and more.

josh_fyi 1 day ago 3 replies      
There's my http://meaningful-jobs.fiveyearitch.com so long as you are in the US).

We've got jobs in medical research, green energy, and others.

jchung 1 day ago 0 replies      
I imagine that when you're considering a career move, it can be helpful to hear the perspective of the people looking to hire you, so I'll venture an answering as the Executive Director of a nonprofit. We use Tech as tool #1 to serve our mission and are always looking for devs, ux designers, etc. There's no natural place I would "obviously" go to find devs who are interested in social causes. The talent market lives mostly in word of mouth, although we do post periodically in craigslist or on the job sites like linkedin and monster. In general, we do go to hackathons, socially-oriented accelerators and incubators (such as CivicX, code for america, or even the hub), and we post job listings at the universities. It's not a very robust set of cause-specific work. At the same time, we're in a race for talent just like everyone else, so when we're looking for people who can truly accelerate our impact, we try to poach talent. The pitch goes something like this: "You're obviously doing awesome stuff at company X. Why don't you put your considerable talent to better use and help us change the world for real?"

If I can make a suggestion, if you can get a sense for what cause(s) you care about most (education? health delivery? poverty alleviation? something else?) and start to explore the organizations serving those causes, you'll certainly find your way to a job posting here or there for an organization that truly excites you. And excitement is what makes a good match when you're doing work that makes the world a better place. Good luck.

(edited for grammar)

duncan_bayne 1 day ago 1 reply      
Find a nice high-paying job and as quickly as possible ensure that you:

- have as much private insurance as you need

- are debt-free

- can provide for yourself & your family upon retirement

Being financially independent is the greatest gift you can give to those who depend upon you, & to the rest of the society in which you live.

lazyjones 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many projects that aren't NGO-driven or obviously built around the general idea of helping society could fit this role.

For example, we run a CSE (comparison shopping engine) that, while it is a successful commercial project, we like to also see as helping society by saving people time and money (or, if you're into class warfare, distributing wealth from merchants to customers) and also giving smaller merchants a fair chance to compete against huge advertising budgets.

In the same way, some other projects help society by breaking existing cartels (e.g. taxi apps in cities like Vienna where taxi dispatch fares are extremely expensive and basically negotiated between a few large providers).

On the other hand, there may be projects that pretend to help society by educating about various issues, but in fact are pure marketing web sites with the aim to promote particular vendors.

So if you cannot find anything NGO-related (with acceptable pay!), look for commercial projects that help society in a broader sense.

vijucat 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Why should one help society? Is this your thought or is this a thought that arose out of what other people taught you over the years? For example, you may think that you want to be "good". If so, you should first start by defining "What does it mean to be 'good'?".

The danger of skipping this process of thinking for yourself is that you may spend many years in a direction that you may ultimately feel dissatisfied with. That's how conditioning works : parents, teachers, and society teach you what is "good" and "bad" and you basically choose the red pill or blue pill without realizing that there could be pills of many other colours (or that you could swallow BOTH the red and blue pills and go, "Hmm..that's interesting...", as one cartoon based on "The Matrix" shows! :-) )

There are several alternative directions that your thoughts could flow in once you start this introspection. Just as an example : by society, you probably mean, "the society of humans". Why are humans the only society to be helped? Isn't all evidence pointing to the fact that we are killing off the planet, including several species A DAY? Maybe the rest of Earth needs your positive energies more?

wikwocket 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The natural food and natural products industries are on fire right now. Double-digit yearly growth. A lot of companies that serve this space are growing fast, and a lot of new companies are popping up to meet needs, and even a lot of conventionally-focused companies are turning in that direction.

By "natural" products I mean organic food, fair-trade products, allergen-free products, green products, and so on. There is a lot of money being made in these markets right now, but it's undeniable that many of these products help some people lead better lives (even if it's just the ability to eat a wider range of foods without worrying about e.g. gluten contamination).

SpikeGronim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Etsy.com! We're hiring, and we're turning a great many creative people into small business owners.https://www.etsy.com/careers
SingingBurrito 1 day ago 1 reply      
I work for a public safety agency in Southern California and we have a medium size IT organization within it we have a small developer core that help design and build applications. These applications are used daily to save people's lives. It does not pay much but at the end of the day you go home knowing that the work you did helped saved someone's life.Not sure where you live but if you are interested, I can point you in the direction of the listings.
KiwiCoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you need to focus your job-hunting efforts on charitable organisations. Phone those orgs and ask to speak with the people in charge of software development.

In the meantime you could volunteer as a programmer - it's a niche that is growing rapidly.

http://socialcoder.org UK based but international)

Disclosure: I run it

Yoric 1 day ago 2 replies      
Hey, Mozilla! We're fighting the good fight!http://careers.mozilla.com

Edit: Fixed the link

kevinskii 1 day ago 3 replies      
If you are creating products that people are willing to pay money for, then most likely you are being a huge help to society.
spicyj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't have any advice about how to find such jobs in general, but at Khan Academy we're changing education for the better. We need designers, devs, community managers, anybody who lives to create a great product. Full-time and interns hired year-round.

http://www.khanacademy.org/careers or email me at alpert+HN@khanacademy.org if you have any questions.

a3n 1 day ago 1 reply      
Work for a medical device manufacturer, or something similar in health care.

I have a BSCS and I work in SWQA for a medical device manufacturer. Most of us carry around patient testimonials in our badge pouches that were given to us when we hired in. The testimonials can be overwhelming when you really think about them.

If you were going to code here, you'd want to be good at C++ on embedded systems. There are probably other technologies at other places.

Peoples' lives are often literally saved by what I work on, and at least vastly improved. It feels pretty good, and helps keep my head straight when I have the inevitable encounter with BigCo administrative nonsense that goes with the territory.

systemizer 1 day ago 1 reply      
This isn't a job, but if you follow #hack4good on twitter or geeklist's hack4good feed (https://geekli.st/#hack4good ), there are some cool projects going on around social good. Most recently there was a hackathon around the typhoon that hit the Philippines.
Fishkins 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just found my job[0] through stackoverflow, but I second the recommendations of idealist.org. If you're in the NYC area, you might also want to check out developersforgood.org.

[0] - http://www.donorschoose.org/jobs

nicolethenerd 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://www.amplify.com/careers (disclaimer: I work here) - we make educational apps for kids
volandovengo 1 day ago 1 reply      
A few companies with a social impact who I know who are looking for talented devs. Please ping me (naysawn at artsumo . com) if you'd like to be put in touch.

Actively Learn (activelylearn.com)Moving Worlds (movingworlds.org)Vittana (vittana.org)

sieva 1 day ago 0 replies      
How about bringing teachers better tools for their classroom? I'm working on this project because I feel like education is the solution to most things in the world. Over 1.2M student dropout of high school yearly in the US alone...we're working on taking the load of teachers, so they can focus more on the art of teaching and engaging their students. http://studysoup.com/careers
stevejalim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Considered working for http://www.mysociety.org/ ? (They're hiring http://www.mysociety.org/jobs/
rmchugh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think open source can be an important tool for socially beneficial projects. Since open source tools are free, they can be accessed by anyone. Since they are open, they can be modified easily to suit local needs. By removing the cost of intellectual property, products leveraging open source software can be cheaper and thus more accessible. In the long term, open source makes it more difficult for companies to develop monopoly positions due to their control over this software and thus helps to prevent the problems that follow.

I think working on open source software within a suitable good cause niche would be a good fit. I can't really think of any examples where you could easily find a paying role, but I'm personally inspired by projects like Open Source Ecology, Open Street Map and Wikipedia. I work in the library world, where I try to use and contribute to open source software whenever possible. It's not revolutionary, but it's okay.

steveinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://www.idealist.org/ is the classic outlet for nonprofity jobs. I've found all nonprofit tech jobs to be incredibly unchallenging though, so if you are motivated by hard problems and engineering challenges then you've got some serious job hunting ahead of you.
mwhite 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work at http://dimagi.com and I'd say we help society a lot.
dleve123 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am leading the technical team at Healthify. We are a seed stage HIT startup based out of NYC tackling the social needs (e.g. food access, domestic violence, living situation) of patients (mostly Medicaid). We have a strong business model and are ready to grow our team. If you want to code for the greater good (RoR stack), visit healthify.us and send Dan an email with your resume, Github profile, and cover letter!
dev_jim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get a job in trading and you can change the world.
kiyanforoughi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Watsi www.watsi.orgYC-backed, crowdfunding healthcare treatments for high-impact, low-cost treatments in developing countriesI'm an advisor there and came put you in touch if you'd like
j45 1 day ago 0 replies      
One place is you can likely find software focussed on helping non-profits be more effective.
gaplus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lawrence Berkeley national laboratory is always hiring hackers: http://cjo.lbl.gov/ . I currently work there building software that helps scientists discover new lithium batteries.
ChrisNorstrom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wanna join me? I want to remove as many cars off the road as possible. I hate traffic and I hate public transit. I want to crowdsource carpooling.

After wrapping up other projects I want to begin work on "Carpoolians.com". It'll allow anyone to enter their morning & evening commutes to work and the site will match them up with others around them who are along their route and have the same schedule so they can carpool together.

Sounds dangerous? So is cleaning the gutters and walking under coconut trees but people still do it. In fact Carpoolians is loosely based on Washington D.C.'s Slug lines (hitch a ride with strangers so you can both use the HOV lanes and not be late for work). http://www.slug-lines.com/Slugging/About_slugging.asp Hundreds of thousands have hitched rides with strangers with no oversight what-so-ever and there haven't been any muggings or homicides. And this is in Washing D.C. (double the national crime rate).

Users can enter their pick up time, general locations, return time, weather they're looking for a driver or a passenger or either, and which days of the week they need carpool services. The site will match them up from a list of potential drivers or passengers and they can make a decision based on price and their gut feeling. Trips are paid in cash peer to peer. But the site will keep an evidence trail of who's riding with whom. Members can certify themselves so they have a "clean background" aka no criminal history icon next to their picture.

Because it's peer to peer so you don't have to worry about taxi cab regulations like Uber does, but we also don't have revenue other than government and city grants. There's plenty of other startups like ridejoy.com doing transportation but they just do 1 trip. Carpoolians will focus exclusively on commutes (re-occuring trips) which make up the bulk of traffic.

It's not twitter or facebook but you can feel good knowing you can:

- Reduce emissions which lead to asthema and lung desease (people living near highways & busy roads have increased risk of both including death!).

- Reduced traffic accidents and saved lives.

- Improve productivity and save time helping the economy.

- Reduce pedestrian hits and deaths (2007-2012 over 5,700 pedestrians were hit in Orlando Florida alone.)

- Help low income people get to work without having to wait in the rain for buses.

- Helped people save money, wear & tear on their car.

- Help clear more parking spots!

- reduce government waste spent on driving empty buses back and forth (buses get about 6 miles per gallon) My mother works as a bus operator. Believe me, there is a LOT of waste. Public Transit can be an extremely ineffective, expensive, and inefficient method to transport people. Especially outside of dense cities like San Fran, Chicago, and New York.

If 4 people sign up and use Carpoolians that's 2 cars off the road each rush hour. If 150 people sign up and use the service that's about 70 cars off the road during morning and evening rush hour. It adds up very easily. http://www.howwedrive.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/cars-bu... and makes a HUGE difference in communities.

My contact info can be found in my HN profile. As you can tell I've got a few loose ends to tie up with some other projects that I'm finishing up.

hkdobrev 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://www.charitywater.org/about/jobs/ Charity Water is helping people in Asia and Africa to have access to clean water.
etanazir 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you want to improve medical education and work with doctors and contemporary web applications; there is a crack in the door with the USC-SOM as a graphics artists right now.
fiachamp 1 day ago 0 replies      
i would check out www.breakthrough.com , they are creating a platform that could help tens of millions of people deal with the stigma / difficulty of getting treatment for mental health. this is a huuuge social issue, probably 10% of the entire population of the US deals with mental illness and a lot of people are undiagnosed or can't get treatment because it is expensive, embarassing, stigmatized, etc.
lencioni 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work at Causes. It sounds like it might fit your criteria. https://www.causes.com/jobs
amarantha 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take a look at escapethecity.org.

It'd not software-specific, but they've got lot of "escape corporate life" jobs (with a focus on the UK).

sheshbesh 1 day ago 0 replies      
The usual job boards have a lot of good stuff using the right search terms like 'social impact'.
madibell 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't know how to find jobs like this in general, but I'd suggest checking out Nextdoor.com
dc_ploy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Make your life a way to have a social impact and not your "work."
johnamccarthy 1 day ago 1 reply      
We're hiring at Purpose! Open source rails platform: https://careers-purpose.icims.com/jobs/1057/lead-architect%2...
amitklein 1 day ago 0 replies      
check out http://rework.jobs - they are basically a recruiter for folks looking to transition to "meaningful" jobs
glord 1 day ago 0 replies      
Palantir Philanthropy! Check them out
andoncemore 1 day ago 1 reply      
ellemno 1 day ago 0 replies      
Electronic Medical Records!http://careers.epic.com
binceipt 1 day ago 0 replies      
try binceipt.com. It committed to kill receipt book in order to reduce paper usage.
ctempp 1 day ago 0 replies      
check out the teams at TheImpactEngine.com Some awesome companies looking for great talent and trying to change the world.
ericturri 1 day ago 0 replies      
davidhhaddad 1 day ago 0 replies      
ffrryuu 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can't. Go for a more traditional job instead. Eg: finance or law.
Ask HN: Anyone here with a faulty 2011 macbook pro GPU?
3 points by peachepe  6 hours ago   1 comment top
miriadis 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, I have got one of them. Its a good idea to start a thread on HN.
Ask HN: For every article you read, how many do you save for later?
6 points by Jackmc1047  10 hours ago   6 comments top 6
contextual 10 hours ago 0 replies      
For me, there's always a 'toread' backlog. Then when I'm in the mood, I feast.

If the article is really important, I convert it to PDF using PrintFriendly.com and save it to my Basecamp. Otherwise, I save it to Pocket for a snack later.

OafTobark 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I read somewhere by one of the developers behind those read it later apps that its not uncommon for people to have over 10,000 unsaved items never read. I'm fairly certain its pretty common behavior.
danso 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Pinboard has been huge for me...I almost never use the HN saved feature...not because it's bad, but because it's not good at what it does...I upvote a lot of things, sometimes things I don't plan on ever revisiting but that I think are worth praise (Show HN projects)...So it's not the saving, it's the lack of filtering.

Pinboard does some sort of Bayesian analysis to automatically tag things I bookmark, but I still add tags manually. I also take a few seconds to copy and paste the first paragraph of the article. And when I need to look up articles on Ruby, algorithms, databases, etc...I just rely on my Pinboard tags

(My public tags are here...looks like I have 800+, which is not too bad for a few years)

graycat 8 hours ago 0 replies      
For "articles", nearly none;I save a copy of about 80% of articles I actually readand save essentially none forreading later.

Of some high end, long PDF files,say, of books, I glance at gooddescriptions and save a copy ifthe content looks good. For thefamous CLRS, I read through it quickly, saw a lot of poorly donematerial, but did keep a copy.

For such PDF files, my intention isto have them for reference later ifneeded; otherwise rarely do I haveany intention of actually readingthem.

For high quality books I haven't readbut would like to, I have a big butold stack. But mostly those bookswere to help my career, and my careerhas taken another path. For that path,I have essentially nothing collectedbut yet to read.

camiendatz 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Seconded danso on Pinboard. It's simple and fast so I tend to save quite a few everyday from HN and other places.
davidsmith8900 9 hours ago 0 replies      
- 4
Re-engineering headphones
3 points by joeshevland  9 hours ago   5 comments top 4
anigbrowl 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You get what you pay for. Good quality headphones come with strain relief, replaceable cables etc. I don't break headphones at all, but if you're rough on yours then invest in a more robust pair.

Also, why you have the cord running down by your feet where you can kick it? Buy a $5 extension cable at Radioshack and plug your headphones into that, you silly person..

chewxy 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In my case it's the rolling chair which causes the cord to eventually break. Doesn't matter if it's 100 dollar headphones or 12 dollar ones.

What I've since done is use an extension and reroute my audio cables behind my desk and aligned them the the monitor. I then plug my headphones into the extension instead. The cord is messy on the table though

OafTobark 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with Anigbrowl. You get what you pay for. If you buy cheap headsets or use ones that come default with your devices, you should in all seriousness expect a pretty low life span even if it exceeds that expectation.

Pay $100-ish and get a quality pair. I've had the same one for about 5, maybe 6 years, still works flawlessly.

As for your second question, always worth trying Kickstarter if you think its worth competing.

dethstar 8 hours ago 1 reply      
There are headphones out there that sell you the wires, so you replace the wire instead of replacing the whole cans. I have a pair of sony mdr-v6 and have had them for about 2 years, they still work perfectly fine.
Ask HN: mobile development with Phonegap vs. native?
6 points by zxcvvcxz  19 hours ago   9 comments top 7
IanDrake 19 hours ago 0 replies      
>What are your experiences with Phonegap?

I started very early in PhoneGap. Keeping up with the changes as the product has matured has been a pain, but expected. You'll be glad it's pretty mature at this point.

That said, starting with v3.0 the move to NPM has taken development reliability back a few steps in my opinion. I like the new command line interface, I just wish it worked more consistently. I'm sure it will get better.

>Is it generally permissibe for making enterprise mobile applications?

That's what I use it for. It works well for this purpose. I wouldn't use it for B2C apps though, especially for Android because the browser on Android performs poorly, especially for scrolling - very laggy and spastic.

>What features could be missing?

There are a lot of plugins that fill in the gaps. I don't recall not being able to do something a native app could do. I've used, the GPS, photo gallery, camera, enabled "Open In", FileTransfer, media recording, and probably a few other plugins.

>Why doesn't everyone use Phonegap if it can deploy to multiple platforms?

Because there are other platforms that could be used. If C# is your thing, you could check out http://xamarin.com With that you could write apps in a MVVM style and reuse your ViewModels in a PCL that could be reused across Windows Phone, Android, and iOS.

The thing is, mobile apps are now typically an extension of a web app, so if you already have web developers then PhoneGap gets you there faster. The end result will be a good product, but will never be a truly great product.

byoung2 19 hours ago 2 replies      
In my limited experience, PhoneGap is good for getting a quick proof-of-concept up and running on a few platforms or for wrapping basic mobile HTML sites in a native wrapper. Once you start using native functionality (camera, accelerometer, location, etc), you'll find that you have to customize your code for each platform. You will likely hit the biggest wall when you want to do notifications. That's where I gave up on it and went native, so to speak.
snapoutofit 3 hours ago 0 replies      
From what you are describing, phonegap would work really well. Easier to maintain that ways. You would need to get into more specifics to work out what features you may miss, but for a CRUD, it should work out well.
tehwebguy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you seen Steroids.js?


Check out the video on that page, it uses PhoneGap and the results are pretty impressive.

gesman 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I had to revert from Phonegap to Java (native/android) for eCommerce mobile app when I found that I had to write too many "plugins" and tweaks to Phonegap to accomplish what i need.

Phonegap and alike "wrappers" are ok if you have general purpose type of app.

But if you need more optimizations for high performance, or fine grained "under the hood" control - native is the best/only way to go.

Otherwise you're risking to find yourself spending too much time trying to squeeze square peg into round hole.

westernpixel 17 hours ago 0 replies      
We had to make the same choice a couple months ago with my startup. After some feedback from native & phonegap developers and building a quick prototype with Phonegap we went with native.

Basically Phonegap is cool if you want something for both platforms pretty fast and the UI is not too complex (works well for showroom apps for example). However, performance might be an issue (especially since iOS throttles Webkit outsides of safari), and I've heard that you'd more or less need to use pure JS since existing frameworks (e.g. Sencha) would be too slow. Last thing is that you'd generally still need to write 5-15% of native code for your app, depending on its complexity (again, haven't been far enough but got it from devs who use Phonegap for most of their apps).

laveur 19 hours ago 0 replies      
For iOS Users in particular when someone tells us their app is "Native" we expect it to be just that! Not a website wrapped in some native code. Further more wrapping your web app in native code is a good way to get you picked on in reviews. No one likes it. We want it designed for the device we are running on. Not something that was put together for to simply check something off a list.
Ask HN: "Like" buttons for blogs that respect privacy and ownership
5 points by kmfrk  19 hours ago   3 comments top 2
minimaxir 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I've compromised by rolled my own Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn buttons on my own site: http://minimaxir.com

Although there is still data collection when the article is shared, there is no tracking while the user is simply visiting the page, so it's a compromise in user-friendliness and user-privacy.

I use jQuery to retrieve the counts, since those 3 services have unofficial endpoints for retrieving Share count when given a URL. (Google+ does not. No big loss.)

codegeek 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I have seen this on svbtle blogs called "kudos"


Show HN: Shippable - Continuous Integration service using Docker containers
23 points by manishas  17 hours ago   10 comments top 6
cardmagic 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks amazing! Combine this with StackDock and it would be a totally killer combination.

When you look at something like what eBay is doing with Docker (http://www.slideshare.net/dotCloud/docker-open-stack-austin-...) this kind of service makes total sense. Kudos!

baruch 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Things that I need for my C and future GoLang projects:

  * Multi-platform (Linux, BSD, Illumos, Windows, Mac)  * Building C and GoLang :-)

diorray 11 hours ago 0 replies      
baruch 14 hours ago 1 reply      
You send an onboarding email from hello@ and it is not accepting emails from replies.
maslam 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I've used Shippable. Superb team, fantastic service. Highly recommended.
balls187 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Very cool. Any plans for Ubuntu 13 LTS?
Pseudo-elements in Chrome DOM Inspector
2 points by okonomiyaki3000  10 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Looking for a decent pair of wireless headphones
6 points by octo_t  18 hours ago   14 comments top 10
rshlo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
freshhawk 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are looking for some big around the ear headphones with excellent sound quality then I can't help you, I use these very often while commuting or walking around so I've only tried out the in-ear and on-ear headphones that don't support themselves with a band over the top of your head.

I've gone through a bunch of bluetooth headphones and the only ones I would recommend are these weird looking ones from LG (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009A5204K/). They are comfortable, well made, the battery lasts forever and the form factor is really convenient to use, you can wear them forever with no fatigue at all, there is nothing that gets uncomfortable. If they ever stop making them I am going to buy another one, maybe 2, to make sure I have good headphones until someone makes a decent replacement.

I've also tried the plantronics backbeat line (http://www.amazon.com/Plantronics-BackBeat-903-Headset-Frust...) and they are OK, but they broke often and while they were comfortable for bluetooth headphones thats not saying much. The firmware seemed crappy, they were flaky to pair and to use any buttons but the volume ones.

I have a pair of Jaybird Freedom Sprints for running (http://www.amazon.com/Jaybird-Freedom-Sprint-Bluetooth-Headp...) because they are water resistant and I can run in them. There is literally no other good feature. Uncomfortable, batteries can't hold a charge and iffy buttons. I unplug them from the charger when I go for a run and plug them back in when I get back. If I break that habit then they are guaranteed to be dead when I want to use them.

I had a pair of Motorola S305's or one of the same line, can't remember. I returned them because they were too uncomfortable to wear for more than an hour or so. I find all the ones with that form factor with a solid band that loops over your ear and then down and behind your head along your lower neck to be like that.

If you are looking for wireless "cans" then you have a lot of great options from what I understand, but if you are valuing comfort, portability and battery life over sound quality then, seriously, get the LGs.

bmelton 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Relevant to the conversation, but these were very recently released:


I don't generally endorse products that I consider to be overpriced, but 1) I have no experience with them, so I can't say that they are or aren't, and 2) the list of features is quite impressive (12 hours battery, bluetooth, headset controls, and supposedly fantastic quality sound).

727374 18 hours ago 0 replies      

Sound quality is average, but battery life and ease of use is unbelievable. Plus, you can take calls on them. The battery will go for a week or two with heavy use. This is after using them a couple hours a day for the last 2 years. I'm amazed that I don't see more people with these things.

devicenull 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I just bought these not too long ago: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SOU2Y0

I've been happy with them so far. I also like the fact they use standard NiMH AAA batteries, so replacements are cheap and it's easy to keep a spare pair around.

I'm able to wander around my apartment with no signal issues.

hackaflocka 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a fantastic pair of headphones I bought recently off Amazon... they're cheap (20 bucks), bluetooth wireless, very comfortable, snug. They charge via ordinary USB cables, and a single charge lasts about 16 hours. Love 'em and would buy 'em again:http://amzn.to/19m3z4G
whichdan 18 hours ago 1 reply      

I've been using these daily for over three years straight. They're comfortable for 3-5 hours at a time, and they pair effortlessly with most smartphones. I wouldn't really recommend them for 40 hours a week, but if you just need something cheap and versatile, they're great.

softwareman 18 hours ago 0 replies      

Try these out. These are extremely practical Bluetooth headset. Good battery life, 7-10 hours continuos hearing. If battery is a problem, buy two of them, that's what I did.

pezh0re 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't personally use wireless headphones - instead I've opted for a set of cans with about a 6ft cable that give me more range of motion. I would check out the head-fi forums for recommendations (http://www.head-fi.org/) - they have some of the best/in-depth reviews out there.
Ask HN: Browser based IDEs. Do they work?
12 points by circuiter  1 day ago   9 comments top 8
danpalmer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd love to be able to use a browser based IDE for development on a Chromebook or other machines that I haven't fully set up, but I can't see it happening for a while for the following reasons:

- Plugins - a major part of any IDE like Eclipse or Visual Studio, or text editors like Sublime Text - Speed - Single threaded JavaScript isn't going to beat multithreaded Python, Java, C#, etc, and when dealing with large text documents, or trying to apply meaning to code structure intelligently like modern IDEs do, this is going to be even more of an issue. - System Integration - I use keyboard shortcuts for a considerable amount of my work in IDEs, but the ability of a browser to use keyboard shortcuts is severely diminished. Something like Vim's command mode might work, but this is only one style of shortcuts that many people are unfamiliar with or actively dislike. - System Programs - IDEs are supported by a large number of programs behind the scenes, this would mean any IDE would probably need to be backed by a VPS anyway, and then not only are you even more dependent on an active connection, but also you have a large cost overhead just to be able to work from another machine.

alexhawdon 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I used ShiftEdit to develop a Python/Django webapp. I appreciated the cloudiness as I was quite mobile at the time and my laptop wasn't particularly portable. At the time it was the only free offering that didn't require a connection to GitHub, necessitating the code be open-sourced (quality was a bit low/hacky and the world didn't really need to see it!). Overall, I was pretty pleased with the experience.

Now I run Sublime Text on a laptop that goes everywhere with me and deploy using a proper VCS. I would certainly use ShiftEdit again in future if I was stuck without my laptop and needed to make a few quick changes to something, but I wouldn't use it as a replacement for a local editor.

Tarang 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had a terrible experience with them. Some of them try to do code sharing/OT but if I typed too fast they would crash my browser & I lost all my changes. I think my latency played a role but i'm not too sure.

That said I know of people using them with Chromebooks. Its nice because they can code the same file at the same time.

throwaway344 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I use nitrous.io . It's fast, comes with all the python tools I could need, and the support is near instant. I have one free development box, and it syncs from my Chromebook to my desktop . All I could want really is a better editor (Ace please!
disdev 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had pretty good success with Cloud9's IDE.

I like that it's SSH based... I can secure it reasonably well and run any terminal command I need. It has decent code completion (at least for Node), a nice file tree view, can format code with indentations, etc... overall, a pretty nice experience.

The way I have it set up, is I work on a dev VPS (using their SSH). For any deploys, I check in my code, then can terminal into the production machine and git it. So, I can debug through the dev setup, then deploy to production when ready.

dasboth 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you mean something like http://ideone.com/? It's something I found the other day but haven't tried yet. I think it's probably more for testing some code snippet rather than working with a larger application, though. One I do use, however, is Adafruit's WebIDE for developing on the Raspberry Pi. http://learn.adafruit.com/webide/ Perfect solution for coding on the Pi and it's linked to Github/BitBucket.
eonil 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really wanna know how those IDEs offer debugging.
ialexpw 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've just started trying to use https://codio.com/ it's pretty nice, not sure if it can take over desktop-based ones though.
Ask HN: Co-founder/contractor Mobile developer
4 points by mykolahj  16 hours ago   3 comments top 2
akhaumeallen 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Email me: akhaumereallen@gmail.com
davidsmith8900 16 hours ago 1 reply      
- Im interested. What skills are you particular looking for? Also what is your startup about?
Ask HN: To everybody who uses MapReduce: what problems do you solve?
141 points by valevk  3 days ago   119 comments top 37
alecco 3 days ago 4 replies      
A large telco has a 600 node cluster of powerful hardware. They barely use it. Moving Big Data around is hard. Managing is harder.

A lot of people fail to understand the overheads and limitations of this kind of architecture. Or how hard it is to program, especially considering salaries for this skyrocketed. More often than not a couple of large 1TB SSD PCIe and a lot of RAM can handle your "big" data problem.

Before doing any Map/Reduce (or equivalent), please I beg you to check out Introduction to Data Science at Coursera https://www.coursera.org/course/datasci

willvarfar 3 days ago 1 reply      
We had been using hadoop+hive+mr to run targetting expressions over billions of time series events from users.

But we have recently moved a lot back to mysql+tokudb+sql which can compress the data well and keep it to just a few terrabytes.

Seems we weren't big data enough and we were tired of the execution times, although impala and fb's newly released presto might also have fitted.

Add: down voters can explain their problem with this data point?

lclarkmichalek 3 days ago 4 replies      
This system isn't in production just yet, but should be shortly. We're parsing Dota2 replays and generating statistics and visualisation data from them, which can then be used by casters and analysts for tournaments, and players. The replay file format breaks the game down into 1 min chunks, which are the natural thing to iterate over.

Before someone comes along and says "this isn't big data!", I know. It's medium data at best. However, we are bound by CPU in a big way, so between throwing more cores at the problem and rewriting everything we can in C, we think we can reduce processing times to an acceptable point (currently about ~4 mins, hoping to hit <30s).

btown 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a system in early development, but my research group is planning on using MapReduce for each iteration of a MCMC algorithm to infer latent characteristics for 70TB of astronomical images. Far too much to store on one node. Planning on using something like PySpark as the MapReduce framework.
batbomb 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'll tell you where it's not used: High Energy Physics. We use a workflow engine/scheduler to run jobs over a few thousand nodes at several different locations/batch systems in the world.

If processing latencies don't matter much, it's an easier more flexible system to use.

DenisM 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's worth noting that CouchDB is using map-reduce to define materialized views. Whereas normally MR parallelization is used to scale out, in this case it's used instead to allow incremental updates for the materialized views, which is to say incremental updates for arbitrarily defined indexes! By contrast SQL databases allow incremental updates only for indexes whose definition is well understood by the database engine. I found this to be pretty clever.
alexatkeplar 3 days ago 1 reply      
We use Elastic MapReduce at Snowplow to validate and enrich raw user events (collected in S3 from web, Lua, Arduino etc clients) into "full fat" schema'ed Snowplow events containing geo-IP information, referer attribution etc. We then load those events from S3 into Redshift and Postgres.

So we are solving the problem of processing raw user behavioural data at scale using MapReduce.

All of our MapReduce code is written in Scalding, which is a Scala DSL on top of Cascading, which is an ETL/query framework for Hadoop. You can check out our MapReduce code here:


nl 3 days ago 1 reply      
While the push-back against Map/Reduce & "Big Data" in general is totally valid, it's important to put it into context.

In 2007-2010, when Hadoop first started to gain momentum it was very useful because disk sizes were smaller, 64 bit machines weren't ubiquitous and (perhaps most importantly) SSDs were insanely expensive for anything more than tiny amounts of data.

That meant if you had more than a couple of terabytes of data you either invested in a SAN, or you started looking at ways to split your data across multiple machines.

HDFS grew out of those constraints, and once you have data distributed like that, with each machine having a decently powerful CPU as well, Map/Reduce is a sensible way of dealing with it.

jread 3 days ago 0 replies      
Generating web traffic summaries from nginx logs for a CDN with 150 servers, 10-15 billion hits/day. Summaries then stored in MySQL/TokuDB.
sidcool 3 days ago 0 replies      
A host of batch jobs that source data from up to 28 different systems and then apply business rules to extract a substrate of useful data.
Tossrock 3 days ago 0 replies      
We use our own highly customized fork of Hadoop to generate traffic graphs [1] and demographic information for hundreds of thousands of sites from petabytes of data, as well as building predictive models that power targeted display advertising.

[1]: https://www.quantcast.com/tumblr.com

PaulHoule 3 days ago 2 replies      
MapReduce is great for ETL problems where there is a large mass of data and you want to filter and summarize it.
Aqueous 3 days ago 0 replies      
To most people who use MapReduce in a cluster: You probably don't need to use MapReduce. You are either vastly overstating the amount of data you are dealing with and the complexity of what you need to do with that data, or you are vastly understating the amount of computational power a single node actually has. Either way, see how fast you can do it on a single machine before trying to run it on a cluster.
clubhi 3 days ago 0 replies      
"How do I make all my projects take 10x longer"
zengr 3 days ago 2 replies      
We use MR using Pig (data in cassandra/CFS) with a 6 node hadoop cluster to process timeseries data. The events contain user metrics like which view was tapped, user behavior, search result, clicks etc.

We process these events to use it downstream for our search relevancy, internal metrics, see top products.

We did this on mysql for a long time but things went really slow. We could have optimized mysql for performance but cassandra was an easier way to go about it and it works for us for now.

alexrson 3 days ago 2 replies      
How strongly does a RNA binding protein bind to each possible sequence of RNA?
cstigler 3 days ago 1 reply      
MongoDB: where you need Map/Reduce to do any aggregation at all.
bcoughlan 3 days ago 1 reply      
A lot of people in this thread are saying that most data is not big enough for MapReduce. I use Hadoop on a single node for ~20GB of data because it is an excellent utility for sorting and grouping data, not because of its size.

What should I be using instead?

joeblau 3 days ago 1 reply      
I was using it on a D3.JS chart to aggregate data flow though our custom real-time analytic pipeline.
conradev 3 days ago 0 replies      
Airbnb uses distributed computing to analyze the huge amount of data that it generates every day[1]. The results are used for all sorts of things: assessing how Airbnb affects the local economy (for government relations), optimizing user growth, etc.

[1] http://nerds.airbnb.com/distributed-computing-at-airbnb/

redwood 3 days ago 1 reply      
Obviously, in today's theme, Facebook is not using mapreduce effectively to figure out who of our "friends" we actually care about :)
benihana 3 days ago 0 replies      
How can I make myself feel better about what I do by trying to diminish the work other people do using the same technologies?
rubyfan 3 days ago 0 replies      
We are using Map/Reduce to analyze raw XML as well as event activity streams, for example analyzing a collection of events and meta data to understand how discreet events relate to each other as well as patterns leading to certain outcomes. I am primarily using Ruby+Wukong via the Hadoop-Streaming interface as well as Hive to analyze output and for more normalized data problems.

The company is a large Fortune 500 P&C insurer and has a small (30 node) Cloudera 4 based cluster in heavy use by different R&D, analytic and technology groups within the company. Those other groups use a variety of toolsets in the environment, I know of Python, R, Java, Pig, Hive, Ruby in use as well as more traditional tools on the periphery in the BI and R&D spaces such as Microstrategy, Ab Initio, SAS, etc.

bijanv 3 days ago 1 reply      
Taking dumps of analytics logs and pulling out relevant info for our customers on app usage
gregoryw 3 days ago 0 replies      
Validating performance testing simulations. Tie the inputs of the load generators to the outputs from the application server logs and verify the system works as designed at scale.
mfeldman 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Things that could be trivially done in SQL :("We use HIVE over HDFS. Sure the type of things we are doing could have been done in SQL, if we had carefully curated our data set and chosen which parts to keep and which to throw away. Unfortunately, we are greedy in the storage phase. Hive allows us to save much more than we reasonably would need, which actually is great when we need to get it long after the insert was made.
sitkack 3 days ago 0 replies      
Image restoration, OCR, face detection, full text indexing. Mostly just a parallel job scheduler.
pjbrunet 3 days ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if someone collected/counted the actual answers. I read the whole thread and "analyzing server logs" was the only answer. If you don't have funding or have dreams/plans, you're not really _using_ the technology.
hurrycane 3 days ago 0 replies      
Billion of metric values.
kirang1989 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just FYI: Even small problems can be solved using the concept of MapReduce. It is a concept and not an implementation that is tied to BigData and NoSQL. A simple example would be MergeSort. It uses the concept of MR to sort data.
roschdal 3 days ago 0 replies      
"How can I make Google shareholders richer?"
mrgriscom 3 days ago 0 replies      
Things that could be trivially done in SQL :(
clockwork_189 3 days ago 0 replies      
Data aggregation to calculate analytics.
estebanz01 2 days ago 0 replies      
Process a huge amount of spanish text in paper surveys
platz 3 days ago 0 replies      
iurisilvio 3 days ago 0 replies      
How much can I save in my mobile phone and plan?
Ask HN: What's the best way to describe your development skill set on a resume?
2 points by wtpiu  12 hours ago   1 comment top
danso 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm assuming you're talking about a PDF-style resume, right? If you're talking about building a web-based resume, then the list should point to concrete things that you've built, and where possible, links to Github -- even to actual files. I'm not saying this as an expert in recruiting, just saying that show, don't tell applies to resumes as it does to any other form of salesmenship...and web devs have a very special advantage in this area and should exploit it to the full.

But PDF resumes are often necessary for corporate jobs that have a defined process...either a literal one-pager PDF, or something that is basically arranged like one (i.e. you fill out an online form with text fields)...Looking at my Word.doc resume, which I haven't touched in a year...here's what I wrote under the subhead of "Programming"

> Programming: Proficient in Ruby on Rails, PHP, Javascript, ActionScript (Flash), and relational databases (MySQL)

Uh, OK, that's obviously not great, but I was applying for a general-purpose type of job in which the resume-reader was not a tech person.

However, the "show-don't-tell" parts of the resume were written like this...I don't talk about years of experience, or even how much time I spent on a project...I like to focus on what was actually deployed (and what reaction I got, if any)...in the example below, it should be obvious that my back-end work was more involved than the front-end part, because I don't have much to say other than "I used jQuery"...


SOPA Opera (http://projects.propublica.org/sopa): This was a Ruby on Rails 3.x site I built to serve as an clearinghouse of information on the proposed "Stop Online Piracy Act" legislation, with landing pages for every state and every Congressmember.

I wrote Ruby scripts to gather and process legislative data from numerous sources, including Congress.gov, campaign finance data from OpenSecrets, and the New York Times' Congress API and designed the site architecture so that I could singlehandedly administer it using Google Spreadsheets, while using MySQL as the database.

I also did virtually all of the front-end coding and design, including the use of jQuery plugins to allow users to interactively sort and filter the data.

I initially launched the site as a side project, deploying it as a flat-file site on Amazon S3, where through word-of-mouth alone, it received about 150,000 page views (and emails from Congressional staff) in its first week. When we re-launched it from ProPublica, it received as many as a million pageviews in a single day. The Google Spreadsheets-backed CMS allowed me to easily update legislators' positions on SOPA from the hundreds of constituents who emailed and called me.


(This was on the supplementary section of the resume...so for a situation in which you have to compress onto one page, obviously, bullet-point the most important and most concrete sentences)

Hey developers, stop forcing me to login to unsubscribe
425 points by andrewhillman  4 days ago   132 comments top 54
sker 4 days ago 5 replies      
Companies like LinkedIn are training users (at least me) to report as spam instead of unsubscribing because it's an exercise in futility to try to opt-out of their spam.
morganb180 4 days ago 3 replies      
Edit: I missed the transactional part here. Transactional emails are excluded from CAN-SPAM. There's a test to figure out which is which: http://www.the-dma.org/press/PrimaryPurposeFactSheet.pdf

It's shitty UX regardless of whether it's a violation of law, IMO.

Original: It's a violation of CAN-SPAM law to put unsubscribe behind a login process. Asking for a password violates the requirement that no additional PII except for the email be required to process the opt-out.

From the FTC:

Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipients opt-out request within 10 business days. You cant charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request.


tokenizer 4 days ago 0 replies      
As someone that works in email disseminations for large public companies across the globe, it's really bad idea to not have one click unsubscribes, due to the actual weight large email services weighting the act of a user marking an email as spam.

It's a crappy process to deal with, and can affect you for a critical day or two. An example being that one of clients collected email in a greasy was, and increased their email blasts from 25,000 to 75,000.

I'm sure they wanted to reach more people, but yahoo and a few others marked ALL of the messages as spam due to massive increase in volume from this client.

Advice: Do things in a non greasy way, and while you may grow slower because of it, your users, and their email providers, will like you more for it.

overshard 4 days ago 1 reply      
I have given up trying to unsub from many places, sometimes unsubing doesn't do anything, I generally just mark it as spam now days.
camus2 4 days ago 1 reply      
Easy for me , no direct "unsubscribing" => spam box. If you provide a newsletter the last thing you want is to be flagged as spam, so think about it.
ruswick 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is a deal-breaker for me, and I immediately delete my account on any service that attempts this type of bullshit.

If a service makes me log in to unsubscribe from their spam, they can be assured that it will be the last time I ever log into their service.

chilldream 4 days ago 2 replies      

This happens to me about twice a year (not a firstname.lastname, but a commonword.commonword. It's like a stupidity-driven dictionary attack). The worst companies I've had to deal with:

Steam - took me multiple emails over the course of weeks, and they actually made me send them screenshots to prove the account was mine. I only went to this much trouble because I have a legit Steam account. Especially funny since I casually told them that I was a hair trigger away from just resetting the idiot's password and hijacking his account.

AT&T - Flat-out refused to unsub me from someone else's phone bills. After several calls to AT&T I finally gave up and called the customer. An AT&T rep actually had the balls to tell me that making me do this was for the customer's protection.

koudi 4 days ago 4 replies      
This is really annoying. What I find more annoying is response like "We will process your request within 30 business days." (and after that period receive another spam). What could possibly take 30 business days to unsubscribe email? This is evil.

I would also like to see some sort of standard - like email header with link, that would unsubscribe you. Outlook/thunderbird/etc could just show button (probably next to "mark as spam" :)) and you couldjust click and be done. I think google tried something like this, but I've never heard of anyone else.

Cyranix 4 days ago 2 replies      
Hear, hear. If you're worried about legit customers getting unsubscribed against their will (because that is TOTALLY a significant occurrence...), you can have a dual approach. Unsubscribing without authentication sends one final message which has an undo link; unsubscribing while authenticated shows a confirmation on the site instead of the inbox.

I know, the "Here's an email to confirm that you hate our emails" message isn't anyone's favorite... but if it helps companies improve their unsubscription mechanisms, I can let it slide.

bobwatson 4 days ago 0 replies      
I share a name with dozens of people who all seem to have a common issue - they can't spell their own email address, so they use mine.

This means it's impossible for me to unsubscribe from all sorts of things, since 'forgot my password' with a lot of places requires a birthday, access to the phone that's on the account, answers to security questions, etc. etc.

If I click 'unsubscribe' and get asked to log in? I just go back and click 'Report Spam'.

daveid 4 days ago 0 replies      
I disagree, the most annoying thing is when the unsubscribe link leads you to a 404 page (or an "Untrusted SSL certificate" warning).
ryanbrunner 4 days ago 0 replies      
The one thing that you do need to consider with a complete one-click unsubscribe is whether your e-mail could be forwarded - if a user forwards an e-mail, it's possible that whoever recieved the message could unsubscribe on their behalf.

Probably the best thing to do, IMO, is a simple two click unsubscribe - take them to a page with their e-mail address already filled in, and just require them to click "OK" to confirm which address is being unsubscribed.

DHowett 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was recently bitten by the Freelancer/vWorker acquisition in this regard! I became "vw9916640" and hadto my knowledgeno password. This did not stop their unsubscribe form from prompting for the aforementioned unknown/nonexistent password.

I'm still getting e-mails from them to this day.

dreese 4 days ago 1 reply      
Yes. Especially when someone else mistyped their email address, you did not ask for confirmation, and now I get endless emails without the ability to sign out. So I just mark everything as spam, which I know isn't what you were hoping for. :)
Satoshietal 4 days ago 0 replies      
Especially when your email address has been signed up to dozens of mailing lists as some sort of perverted revenge via spam. I can't log in because I didn't create the account. The developer is doubly at fault for allowing an account to be created without confirming the email address.

My revenge is training Gmail that email from such senders is Junk and Spam. Eventually Gmail dumps them automatically, hopefully for everyone.

evadne 4 days ago 2 replies      
Oh, easy, I just mark all emails as spam.
lutusp 4 days ago 0 replies      
> There's nothing more annoying than clicking that 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of your email only to be asked to login first.

But there's a reason, and to understand the reason, you need to understand something about the law.

You want to be taken off the mailing list of a company that technically is spamming you, violating the law. But if the company can get you to sign in first, you technically become a customer, and they can then spam you endlessly and legally.

But -- a company that requires you to sign in, in order to opt out, is breaking the law. The Can-Spam Act requires opt-out to be readily available and simple (see below). On that basis, sites that require signups to opt out are engaged in a criminal conspiracy.

From the law: "You must honor a recipients opt-out request within 10 business days. You cant charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request."

-- http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-com...

They're breaking the law. They are criminals.

dredmorbius 4 days ago 0 replies      
Another side effect of such requirements: it means that even white-hat ops at the service itself cannot address the issue sanely.

At multiple gigs, at multiple sites, a significant amount of bounced mail consists of messages sent to long-term undeliverable addresses (in many cases: to domains which no longer exist, and/or have been tranferred, and/or the owning company has gone out of business: think Enron, AT&T's discontinued ISP network, Lehmann Brothers, etc.).

Even if I'd _wanted_ to create rules or write scripts to automatically process the messages, the login requirements generally meant that wasn't possible. Instead, these comprised both a significant amount of outbound mail queues and nondelivery notifications, potentially masking more serious issues (you've got to come to understand what notifications are effectively part of background noise vs. not).

Oh, and some of those domains still exist in some regards (e.g., there's a skeleton crew at Lehman winding down the firm), so you can't just blindly select entire domains.

File under continuing hassles of a conscientious admin's job.

bryanh 4 days ago 2 replies      
At Zapier, we jumped through a lot of extra hoops to make sure that emails are categorized and you can easily opt-out with a single click (no matter if you are logged in or not). Some emails cannot be opted out of (the only two right now are payment transactions and forgotten/reset password) but everything else can be.

We have a lot of other cool stuff in emails like single click logins, viewing pixels with custom payloads, our open source drip campaign mailer for Django, and much more. If there is any interest, I'd be happy to go into deeper detail.

delroth 4 days ago 1 reply      
If a sender does not let me unsubscribe without logging in, I usually end up (after 3 or 4 times clicking the unsubscribe link, getting frustrated, and deleting the email) adding a filter to automatically mark their emails as spam.
allochthon 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm inclined to think requiring the login is an intentional choice in most cases rather than an oversight; it raises a barrier to unsubscribing, and can even make it impossible, if you never set up an account in the first place. It's sort of like saying you can unsubscribe if you like, without actually providing the option; it offers plausible deniability.

I just click on "Spam" and, if it continues, set up a filter to /dev/null.

apr 4 days ago 0 replies      

I never log in in such circumstances, I just hit the 'spam' button and that's that. I trust the email service to categorize the further emails accordingly and that's what usually happens.

eof 4 days ago 0 replies      
A more aggressive version of this I posted 1019 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2139617
bilalq 4 days ago 2 replies      
On one hand, I do agree that it is very annoying. However, I can kind of understand.

There may be a way around this, but if no session was required, then couldn't someone just make a bunch of GET requests to the unsubscribe url for each user id and unsubscribe the entire user base?

j-s-f 4 days ago 0 replies      
If your unsubscribe isn't one click, or you don't have an unsubscribe, and I don't like your emails, the message gets marked as spam.
jackmaney 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's also a violation of the CAN-SPAM act: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-complia...

If I try to unsubscribe from an email list and am presented with a login prompt, I report the sender as spam without an instant of hesitation or regret.

quellhorst 4 days ago 0 replies      
If I have to login to unsubscribe, I block the sender and report the emails as spam.
jonchui 2 days ago 0 replies      
+100000000 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't think of how many times I've had to do this. I relaly like georgemcbay@'s idea to just mark as spam. Gonna do that from now on

FiloSottile 4 days ago 0 replies      
"If your newsletter doesn't have a single-click unsubscribe link, GMail surely has a single-click spam button"
joeblau 4 days ago 0 replies      
I mark those messages as spam. If enough people do that, Google will permanently allocate them where they belong.
hangonhn 4 days ago 0 replies      
Oh man! If I could vote you up more, I would.

A while back a forum spammer decided to use my Gmail address to spam forum sign-ups. I got Gmail to filter most of them into the trash (the spammer used a variation of my email address I don't use. Gmail allows variations in email addresses). Afterwards I wanted to clean things up and a lot of the senders require that I log in first to unsubscribe. That they would sign me up without verification is bad enough but requiring that I login to unsubscribe made it just too difficult. So now I just filter everything that was sent to that variation of my email and mark them all as spam.

Lose-lose for everyone.

dcoupl 4 days ago 0 replies      
Nitpick, but the person(s) who wrote the code are probably not the one(s) who make these sorts of decisions about how the product or service will handle un/subscription. More likely its the product manager(s) or other business person types.
rhizome 4 days ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn does it, why shouldn't they? LI is a successful, IPO'ed company, surely they wouldn't be doing anything detrimental.
drewhouston2 4 days ago 0 replies      
I always mark mails as spam if it takes more than one click to unsubscribe.
judk 4 days ago 1 reply      
Just press the SPAM button in your mealreader. Problem solved.
andresmh 4 days ago 0 replies      
I kinda gave up, and simply create an email filter that deletes any email from the domain name of the sender.
OnionChamp 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you're using gmail, just use the "filter messages like this" feature to make messages from the given address skip the inbox or be deleted on arrival.

So there's no reason to ever have to deal with the unsubscribe links in emails. It puzzles me that people that people who use gmail still complain about this stuff. Do people not know about this feature?

rothsa 4 days ago 0 replies      
Making it difficult to unsubscribe will also make it difficult for your mail to continue to deliver to inbox. It encourages people to report your mail as spam.
dmak 4 days ago 1 reply      
I usually just resort to the report spam button if I have to login.
xux 4 days ago 1 reply      
Not that I'm supporting login-to-unsubscribe system, but wouldn't requring just an email to unsubscribe allow anyone to unsubscribe you?
scosman 4 days ago 0 replies      
Reminder: some updates are needed regardless of unsubscribe state (such as change of TOS and changes to pricing). These are allowed under CAN-SPAM.

If you are still a user (you unsubscribed but didn't delete your account), expect much less mail, but not quite zero.

phillips1012 4 days ago 0 replies      
I always simply mark it as spam repeatedly until gmail auto-generated a filter to auto-spam it. It is spam and should be treated as such.
Demeno 4 days ago 0 replies      
Someone used my email on several children's games websites, and some of them started sending me emails without verifying, so I couldn't even unsubscribe at all because I wasn't the one that registered to that site... At least emailing their support got me out of that mailing list...
flippyhead 4 days ago 0 replies      
I usually try to hit unsubscribe first. If I'm not immediately unsubscribed, I just mark them as spam and move on.
shahartal 4 days ago 0 replies      
A relevant post:http://shahart.al/2013/07/13/on-the-perils-of-owning-a-vanit...(Also - check out the reddit thread [link in text])
bgaluszka 4 days ago 0 replies      
I wish they not only put one click unsubscribe link but also one click remove account from given service. I've noticed that removing account is is what I need more often than unsubscribe.
tomasien 4 days ago 0 replies      
parham 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is one of the most annoying things I've experienced! You can nuke all these emails if you add the "Unsubscribe" keyword to your filters.
ktran03 4 days ago 1 reply      
Agreed, that's very annoying. I'm still subscribed to a few emails I don't want, only because they make it so difficult to unsubscribe.
gesman 4 days ago 0 replies      
In case of "unsubscribe" - click on "Spam" link.
stefek99 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry, this is a darkpattern* (their deliberate action)

I also mark such email as spam.

vinitool76 4 days ago 0 replies      
Twitter does it the right way! Kudos!
motyar 4 days ago 0 replies      
tyilo 4 days ago 0 replies      
this x 10
Any Tech Sites that don't always talk about Google, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft?
62 points by kwestro  2 days ago   25 comments top 14
t0dd 1 day ago 1 reply      

"Low-tech Magazine refuses to assume that every problem has a high-tech solution. A simple, sensible, but nevertheless controversial message; high-tech has become the idol of our society.

Instead, Low-tech Magazine talks about the potential of past and often forgotten knowledge and technologies when it comes to designing a sustainable society. Sometimes, these low-tech solutions could be copied without any changes. More often, interesting possibilities arise when you combine old technology with new knowledge and new materials, or when you apply old concepts and traditional knowledge to modern technology. We also keep an eye on what is happening in the developing world, where resource constraints often lead to inventive, low-tech solutions."

meleva 1 day ago 1 reply      
A good way to avoid articles on those big companies is to start reading "region specific" startup blogs or "topic specific" startup blogs.Some of the blogs I follow:

by region

Arctic Startups (Scandinavia) http://www.arcticstartup.com/

Rude Baguette (France) http://www.rudebaguette.com/

Silicon Allee (Berlin) http://siliconallee.com/

by topic

Tnooz (Travel)http://www.tnooz.com/

Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/

3D Printing Industry http://3dprintingindustry.com/

ArabGeek 2 days ago 1 reply      
ArabCrunch covers Arab tech startups and tech industry there http://arabcrunch.comalso http://techinasia.com
yen223 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe you can try looking for sites that cover your local region's tech scene, so long as your local region isn't Silicon Valley.
asanwal 2 days ago 0 replies      
If data and trends on emerging industries, companies, investors is of interest, check us out at CB Insights (www.cbinsights.com/blog or twitter.com/cbinsights)

Also check out Quibb, blog of Benedict Evans, Dan Primack's Term Sheet Newsletter

dirkgently 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use a heavily personalized Google News - you can always create a custom section starting with "Technology" (can also specify which region), and then apply filter with "-Google -Apple -XYZ".

That way, you are not limited by just one blog or site, while also keeping it free from the latest trends of reporting only on big companies.

(While I am at that, I also make sure I filter out pretty much all of ZDNet, CNet, InformationWeek and the ilk).

k-mcgrady 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hacker News
abdophoto 1 day ago 0 replies      

There's definitely a good bit of Apple, Google, Microsoft stuff on there, but a lot of the Features come from sources outside of the big blogs. Not all, but quite a few.

hisham_hm 1 day ago 3 replies      
I was going to mention OSNews, but then I realized it's been a while I didn't visit so I went to check it:

And this is the current frontpage: Sony, Samsung, QNX, Valve, Microsoft, Linux, Google, Microsoft, Google, Valve, OpenBSD, Apple, Apple/Microsoft, Apple/Microsoft/Google, Apple, Google, Cisco, Motorola, Nokia, Apple.

My memory was that it was more of a site about alternative OSes and the like...

exo_duz 2 days ago 2 replies      
Could be a good idea and call it NoGASM. :P
jaggs 2 days ago 0 replies      
autodidakto 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wait. You mean "technology" isn't synonymous with "latest consumer gadget"?
hobo_mark 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use newsblur and filter out the names of the companies I do not care about from those feeds, it's still far from ideal but nobody has cracked personalized filtering yet (whoever does will have my money, if I don't end up doing it myself first).
bizbuzz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Trying to buzz one up : http://www.bizappsbuzz.com
Show HN: An Intelligent Planner That Adapts to How You Work
5 points by tolarewaju3  20 hours ago   3 comments top 2
vsergiu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
your idea is great :) i would really want 2 see such an app :) I was thinking of doing something similar some time ago, but did not have the time
zzzzz_ 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Sorry mate, what exactly do you want me to review here for you? A gradient shaded progress bar + registration for your newsletter?
Ask HN: book suggestions in non-tech fields (e.g. psychology, philosophy)
8 points by Timothee  1 day ago   7 comments top 6
vijucat 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Just start reading from "Let us consider another demand : I should always be understanding, sympathetic, and helpful":


Karen Horney, "Neurosis and Human Growth : The Struggle Towards Self-Realization".

If I was asked to recommend a single book to read, I would recommend this. My 2nd would probably be a Jiddu Krishnamurthi book.

gault8121 1 day ago 0 replies      
In regards to psychology, read Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow. Kahneman describes fast thinking as the instantaneous, subconscious judgements we make, while slow thinking is the conscious, articulated thoughts we have. Kahneman shows how there is a huge disconnect between these two systems, and how this influences our behavior.

Another excellent book is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It looks at how people are convinced into doing things (e.g. the effectiveness of various methods of advertising), and how you can guard yourself against these psychological mechanisms. The title sounds cheesy, but it is an excellent book full of concrete, interesting examples.

I'd highly recommend both books. While they may sound sort of salesy, both books deeply examine the process of making a decision.

freshhawk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Daniel Dennetts "Intuition pumps and other tools for thinking". Certainly parts of it won't be timeless as they touch a rapidly changing field but many parts of it likely are.
mstockton 1 day ago 1 reply      
I made a goal to read 100 books this year. I'm through 87 so far. Most of them have been non-fiction. Using this year to learn things outside of technology has been time very well spent for me. Here are some of my top books this year.

- Currency Wars, James Rickards

- The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein

- What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly

- The Art Of Happiness, Dalai Lama

- Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen

- The Four Agreements, Miguel Ruiz

- Man's Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl

- Understanding Power, Noam Chomsky

- The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander

- Good To Great, Jim Collins

- Abundance, Peter Diamandis

- The Mystery Of Capital, Hernando De Soto

- Pathologies Of Power, Paul Farmer

- Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff

- Seeing Like A State, James Scott

- Ishmael, Daniel Quinn

- Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman

- Beyond Fear, Bruce Schneier

- The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan

- The Birth Of Plenty, William Bernstein

cubecul 1 day ago 0 replies      
Classical works could take you for a spin. Plato's The Republic is deceivingly easy to follow, its format hiding a wealth of philosophy and political theory.
[pdf] Does this TLD Registrant Agreement allow the NICTL to hack my site?
3 points by lobati  17 hours ago   3 comments top 2
vectorbunny 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I read the paragraph you highlighted to mean that they (NICTL) are denying any liability for damages to your site and/or data that may occur due to "NICTL and its agents" exercising whatever security procedures they feel necessary.

Someday I would love to see a contract without a bunch of open-ended boilerplate.

ddoolin 17 hours ago 1 reply      
No. It's just you agreeing that the _contact_ information you provide to them in the exchange for buying the TLD is true/correct/current/etc, and that it will stay true/correct/current/etc in the future. It has nothing to do with the content being hosted or anything of that nature. This is just about the domain registrar.
Ask HN: Remote workers, tell us how you got started
74 points by Sukotto  3 days ago   31 comments top 26
rwhitman 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've been a remote freelancer on and off for about 12 years now.

In a lot of cases the clients I've had where I work remotely, were clients that either A) aren't tech businesses and typically don't have developers working on-site anyhow, B) I worked on-site with them for a while, and then either moved or just stopped coming into their office or C) were referred to me from another remote client.

Communication is the biggest part of success or failure when working remotely. Slacking off on communication is a surefire way to bring about misunderstandings and potential conflict. Always clarify everything you discuss, never leave anything up to assumptions or guesswork. Bug the hell out of the other people you're depending on (client, coworkers etc), send them regular update emails even if they didn't ask for it. I've managed a lot of remote workers. If it takes you more than 24hrs to respond to an important email, or you leave me hanging past a milestone with no update, or you miss scheduled conference calls, can't jump on chat in an emergency etc - it doesn't matter how good you are, you'll get fired. If you want to work remote, you need to be proactive about communicating, and very clear every time.

As a remote worker, personally my biggest problems have always been getting a good routine and keeping up productivity. If you're the type of person who is distracted easily (like me), remote work can be challenging from home. I have all kinds of productivity tricks - site blockers, pomodoro timers, certain music, etc. The biggest thing to me is getting out of the house once a day at least, shuffling around my environment I find motivational. I'll go to a coffee shop for a few hours each day and its often the most productive few hours of that day. Getting a shared office / desk space, co-working with friends, working from the road, library etc are also great ways to change things up and put yourself in work-mode.

Hope thats useful advice. Good luck!

itafroma 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been remote-only for 5 years. The company I worked for decided that remote work would be the way of the future and it'd save a ton of costs, so we did a trial where a portion of the workforce would work from home each week until everyone went remote at the end of the year.

I don't really have a favorite story: remote working is not that interesting. It did have a profound affect on my life, though: since I didn't need to work at a specific office, I decided that I wanted to move across the country. Rather than a job opportunity deciding where I lived, I got to spend a few months weighing the pros and cons of various places based on other factors. After 6 months, I moved 3,000 miles away and it was one of the best decisions of my life.

Of course, I probably couldn't have done that if I had any outside, major, long-term commitments (spouse, children, family I had to stay within driving distance of, a house, etc.).

If you're in a similar situation, the first bit of advice I can give is that you're going to find that "nine-to-five" eventually becomes "whenever I feel like working, as long as I get things done and stay in communication with the rest of the team". This means working nights or weekends, but it also means being able to knock off and do something fun in the middle of the day. It's easy to slip into a situation where you're working 9pm-5am or working Thursday-Tuesday one week and then a completely different schedule the next, even if you have a personal schedule (it's easy to ignore it).

If you need a routine to be productive, you need to create one for yourself, and I would suggest doing it immediatelydon't wait until you're all over the place in terms of time. If you already have outside commitments (like making sure kids get to school on time or having to walk a dog) you'll have a leg up, but otherwise I'd suggest joining user groups or community sports or something that has set schedules you have to keep.

The second bit of advice I can give is to use a phone/video chat as much as possible. It's very easy to slip into emailing/texting/IMing/ticketing all the time, but so much is lost in the written word and you can find yourself implying things you didn't mean to imply or inferring the wrong things from people's messages. I've found you can diffuse most sticky situations with a simple call: when in doubt, don't keep emailing, don't stew, call the person. Even a run-of-the-mill problem that might take a half dozen emails back-and-forth can usually be resolved with a simple 5 minute phone call.

goshx 3 days ago 0 replies      
I did this a little over 10 years ago, from Brazil.

* How I got the job

I was working for a normal web shop as a developer, going to the office everyday.This company had an US customer and I was the one who built his entire system. After some misunderstanding between the customer and the company's owner, the customer wanted me to work for him directly from home, and this was discussed with the owner, my boss at the time. My boss agreed and I started working for this customer from home, and continued to work at the web shop for some time until he introduced me to another US company who wanted to hire me for a full time remote position, which I accepted and I still work for this company to this day. A couple years ago I was relocated to live close to the HQ so I could be in the office :)

* What advice I'd give to others

- Discipline/Productivity

You have to be very disciplined in order to be able to work remotely. You need to pay attention to your time and make sure you work the hours you are getting paid.You may work less hours, but in a worst case scenario, you end up working much more than you are supposed to.

- Communication

Your coworkers can't see you. You boss can't see you. Make sure you keep in touch and reply to emails in a timely manner. This is key to show that you are committed to the job.

- Working from home

If you can, avoid working from home or try not to make the same mistakes I did, below. The first two months I was working from home full time were great! Freedom! But then it almost drove me crazy. I had nobody to talk to, I'd barely leave the apartment.It was a small apartment, so I kept my workstation in my bedroom... don't do it. Ever.At some point I caught myself working 12 to 16 hours a day. When that happened I wasn't sure if I was working from home or living at work. (And I wasn't getting paid by the hour).I spoke with my boss about this issue and the company agreed to rent a small place for me to work from, since there was no public space or this concept of shared office that I could use to work from.

* My favorite story

Well, I went from a one guy working alone from home to building a team, becoming a manager, hiring more people, relocating to the US and becoming a CTO. And it all started with that first remote job :)

Sorry about the long post. I hope something here is useful for you.

Good luck!

chrissnell 3 days ago 0 replies      
I met a girl the same week I started at my job in 2007. We were in San Antonio, TX and she was my upstairs neighbor and we started dating a month or two later, then got engaged after about a year and a half. This girl (now my wife) is a Captain in the US Army. When her time at this duty station was up, the Army moved us to Colorado. I told my employer (a big cloud hosting provider based in Texas) that I would be moving but that I wished to keep working remote somehow, if it were possible. As it happened, my team was short-handed and so my boss worked out a way for me to stay on as a contractor. A few months later, the company decided that they wanted to keep me so they converted me back to a full-time employee and I became the first (or maybe the second?) remote employee at my company. I recently left to work remotely for a SFO-based startup but I can tell you that my old employer has hundreds of remote workers now.
MysticFear 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have been working remotely for 6 years now. I started off like you unemployed after a layoff, but during the start of the financial crisis.

I looked at employers around my area, craigslist, job sites, everywhere. Emails/called to see if they needed any extra help. Started with small contracts lasting a few weeks. Eventually building up a client list to have some stable employment.

It wasn't easy, but love it everyday. I always hated the office politics, annoying drawn out meetings, strict timeframes (work at this time, lunch during this time, etc). Just a lot more flexibility in life.

My advice is stay updated with technology and have quick response times to clients.

busterarm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Been a remote worker for the same company in two different positions for the past 5 years.

Not a developer, just IT support here. I had been contract-to-hire working for a hedge fund for most of 2007. I'd been let go (not hired) based on reasons that I feel were more cultural than based on my performance. Had I been a little wiser and realized that I needed to work harder than everyone else (lack of degree) to prove myself I'd still have that job.

Anyway, I was extremely demoralized and spent the better part of 2008 unemployed. I was burnt out from working long weeks with overtime and didn't even bother to look for a job the first four months. All of my time was spent bettering myself (biking, reading) and relaxing -- I had a big pile of money I was sitting on so it was okay.

I finally started to look for a job in the second half of the year, but I'm extremely picky and didn't see any companies that I was interested in working for. I spent some of this time as a bike messenger but hated being treated like shit by everyone -- still, I think this was a necessary motivator to get serious about my job search.

By November I was going broke. I finally found a couple of things worth applying for. I got the interview call for the job I'm in now when I had $9 left to my name and no prospect of further money coming in -- no joke.

It was a bit serendipitous. Like ssafejava said in their comment "it turned out to be incredibly liberating and probably one the best things that's happened to me, professionally." At the hedge fund I had to constantly look busy even if I didn't really have anything to do. Appearances were incredibly important and being young in my career, it was something I bungled badly. I was also extremely bad at keeping my coworkers from dumping their work on me in the office. That's something much harder to do remotely.

Working remotely, all of my work is judged on its own merits. I can manage my time appropriately with minimal interference from others. I've consistently been one of the highest-performing employees here. My company was even contacted by a major newswire to do a story about remote work and they sent someone to my house to interview me. The story never ran though :(. I don't work any overtime ever. Work-life balance is ideal.

It's been a great ride, but I'd like to go back to working in an office now that I'm a bit wiser -- I would like regular interaction with people again; IRC doesn't always cut it. A mix of office/remote would be best for me I think.

There is a downside to remote work though. I know for a fact that a fair number of my bosses/coworkers are doing drugs on the job. I'm not going to make any judgments about marijuana but we do have some meth users. Management doesn't want to know anything about it, but the performance of some of these people is pretty bad. If I worked for a better company this wouldn't be an issue.

monkey26 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I first started at a small web shop that was quite flexible. There were a few of us who more and more starting working at home, but came to the office the same 1 or 2 days each week, to work face to face and go to lunch...

Fast forward a few years, and knowing that I could work effectively as a remote worker.

I co-founded a small company with a guy in a larger city. We ended up setting up an office in that larger city, but I never moved. Travel as needed, but it wasn't that much. Then got acquired. The acquiring company has kept me on contract since then, as a remote worker.

DEinspanjer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Been working from home full time for over six years now.

A couple of warnings:

1. A danger of working from home is that work is always just a few steps away. I've lost many hours of my social and family life because I had a thought running through my brain about a problem I was working on and just sat down for "a minute" to look at it. :)

2. If you work for a US company as an employee, the IRS tax credits for home office expenses are extremely unfavorable. Anything you want to count toward work has to be kept completely separate from home. If you store household junk in your office, an auditor can make the case the office isn't deductible. If you have a business internet connection, but it is also used in the rest of the house, you can't deduct the whole thing, only a fraction. When I tried to deduct the expense of building out my home office, it didn't work out to any sort of noticeable impact on my taxes. :/


* Have a schedule and let people know when you are breaking away from it.

* Ensure friends and family know that when you are "at work", they should treat it just the same as if you were out of the house at an office. Make sure they don't feel it is acceptable to just come into your office and interrupt and that you might not be able to just take off on a whim.

* Have a pull mechanism for notifying co-workers of your schedule. People can get irked about lots of e-mails that you are going out for an extended lunch, etc. So set up a calendar or website where people can visit to see if you are available. Using the "Away/Busy" functionality of your IM client helps too.

* Have a pull mechanism for notifying co-workers of your work progress. Make sure you keep your issue management system up to date with what you are working on and lots of checkpoints along the way. A weekly status page similar to a blog might also help. Basically, provide your co-workers with an easy way to see where you are and what you are working on whenever they might need to without being barraged with e-mails.

michaelalexis 3 days ago 0 replies      
In my early 20s I did a bunch of random freelancing. $2000 for a website, $200 to modify some graphics, $450 for a research project, $250 for sales copy etc.

In 2011 I interviewed Ramit Sethi and wrote a huge article about his system for $1 million+ product launches:


After that, Ramit reached out to me to help w/ his business. I had shown 1: that I do a lot of work to be the best (see the above blog post), 2: we had matching communication styles, 3: he trusted me bc I wasn't some dude that was trying to shake him down for cash, and almost less important, 4: I had the technical skills for what he wanted me to do. Ramit became a 5 figure client.

Since then I've followed the same model. 1: provide a huge amount of value for free, 2: propose recurring work to the client, 3: do a really really good job. My average client provides about $20,000 work per year.

On pricing: for writing work I charge between $50 and $150 per hour, but I prefer to just set a day rate. I became a lawyer a few months ago and I'm leveraging other strategies to bill $550+ per hour. So depending on your skill-set, you can do pretty well.

If anyone wants more info, you are welcome to email me: malexis@gmail.com

ssafejava 3 days ago 0 replies      
I became a remote worker through a mix of bad luck, bad management, and a startup that wasn't going well. Of course at the time, I thought it was terrible; it turned out to be incredibly liberating and probably one the best things that's happened to me, professionally.

I was a software consultant for about a year and it was all networking - after all, that's how business gets done in the real world. I never had a time where I had too little work to do. My 'hack' for the whole thing was working in a coworking space, which is IMO the best ~$300/mo you can ever spend in a city that has one. I was lucky enough to have been working in one for more than a year and half before I started working for contract work, but I think you could easily do it in less time than that. When I started looking for work, everyone knew somebody; I never went outside of my space to find any work. It was incredibly convenient and really just worked out easily.

I always advise coders who are looking for freedom, a work environment change, or are newly unemployed to try a coworking space while they figure things out. You'll make a bunch of friends in a low-stress environment, meet entrepreneurs, and make great connections in the community that will get you work. It has worked well for those I know who have tried it - the secret is finding the right space. A socially-oriented space with as few walls as possible is best. You get used to the noise. Take long coffee breaks, go to lunch with people, go to happy hours and meetups. If you let it be known that you're looking for work and others know your skills, the jobs will come to you.

jtheory 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have been working remotely (as a senior dev, software architect, now a CTO) for more than a decade now.

I worked for a racing-to-IPO software dev company in upstate NY that collapsed in 2002, and the connections from that spun out into subcontracting, initially for various local clients (and thus already mostly remote, sometimes on-site). Then I moved to Michigan, but kept doing the same work. Then I moved the France; ditto (included one trip to launch a project on-site, living in a hotel for 10 days... ugh).

It was tricky, working from so far away (esp. when working with a team of developers who were on-site), so I worked solo for a few years (my wife published a well-reviewed first novel, which helped a lot); we had a kid in 2009. In late 2010 I found a dev job with a Cambridge, UK-based startup, here on HN. Now I'm the CTO. All of the developers here are remote.

My in-laws are in Malaysia, so I'm working (and parenting; we have two daughters now) in Kuala Lumpur all this month.

I like this setup; it's sometimes really hard (mixing in parenting is the hard part, really).

More details/advice available if there are questions, when I have time tonight.

zacinbusiness 3 days ago 0 replies      
I started when I was 18. I had a friend who telecommuted for most of his work, but had to go into the office occasionally and I was interested in a similar set up.

I started on VWorker (Rent-a-coder at the time) and found a cool gig that lasted about a year doing mainly research projects for a web design and marketing company. That job fell through, though, and I was in normal kid-jobs for a while (retail, gas station worker, even a couple of stints doing factory work).

Then, I landed a job building a website remotely for a friend-of-a-friend's business. That worked but it was just a one-off gig, not long-term.

Then I sort of accidentally fell into remote work doing some development on a desktop app, but again it was a short-term gig.

From there it was about 6 years before I found full-time remote work again (I'm 28 now and have been with the same company for about 7 months and it seems to be going strong).

My advice is to never give up, and never give in to the pressure that you will get from family and friends. If you want to live the work-from-wherever lifestyle then you have to commit, and the sad truth is that you will probably have to go hungry sometimes unless you get lucky and land a job on the night shift of a gas station (it's not too bad until a hooker bleeds on you, yeah that happened to me).

Remote working, for me, takes a tremendous amount of discipline and it's really a lot of work. But there are great benefits in that I get more time with my family and to do the things that I like. But it also means that I have to be an excellent communicator and that I sometimes have to work when I normally wouldn't want to (a crisis in Europe doesn't care that it's only 3am in the US).

pbnjay 3 days ago 0 replies      
I started out on the many contract working portals, got a few really crappy jobs to get some ratings in my profile and keep increasing my rate. I kept everything at arms length until I found people I didn't mind working with for longer periods of time, at which point I de-listed from the portals. I continued some of these contract arrangements, and got some great referrals out of them.

I was a little lucky in that one of the initial contracts was for PHP development, but they wanted an iOS dev so badly (and I had proved myself by that point), that they paid for an iPod touch and Apple Developer license in exchange for me working at the same PHP hourly rate. So basically I got paid to learn the new skill while adding a portfolio item.

Don't waste a lot of time on the contract work portals. The pay is horrible, the jobs are crappy, the people are crazy, and it sucks up a lot of time. If you don't have an existing network though, it'll be a way to get started. The people you find here which you can actually stand, you can use to build up your network of referrals. Offer discounts if they give you a chance to get paid to learn a new skill (but obviously be reasonable - don't get in over your head).

Time management and Communication are key for success. Client management, legal terminology, budgeting, etc are also great things to understand.

Good luck!

Valid 3 days ago 0 replies      
I live in a smallish city (pop. 40k) in Southern Oregon where I've been working remotely from for the last ~6 years.

I'm a front-end web developer by trade and a single father with two young kids. My family has lived in this area for a decade and I want my children to be able to grow up around them, so I am not open to relocation. In 2006, I was working for one of the only major employers in the city that could really use an in-house developer, but really didn't enjoy the work or the environment. I wanted to find a new opportunity, but there just weren't many other options, so I ended up working there for two years.In 2008, I found an ad on the San Francisco craigslist job board that sounded perfect for me. Heavy HTML/CSS work, some JavaScript, and a product that interested me much more than my current employer. They didn't mention anything about remote work (it wasn't advertised much then) but I figured it might be worth a shot, and sent them my resume and a cover-letter. Two days later, the manager of the web department called me for an interview, and after about 20 minutes of both general information exchange and specific questions related to the work I would be doing, I was offered the position. Phone interview for ~20 minutes and I had a job.I loved it. I worked for that company for 4 years until, last year, they had to downsize and laid off 90% of the web team, as well as many others. I was incredibly disappointed, but happy to have had such an excellent employer for so long.I found out in my subsequent job search that my previous interview process was a very rare occurrence indeed. It was incredibly difficult to find remote front-end work that didn't entail knowledge of technologies that I was too unfamiliar with to be marketable. I did finally find an another position, this time with a company based in New York. Though it's not really what I had before, I'm happy that I get to code again.

That's my story, the short version anyway.

I will say that remote work really isn't for everyone. You have to be very disciplined and self-regulatory. I personally am content most days with only my own company and my kids when they get out of school. But if you are well-suited to remote working, it can be amazing. I have a very comfortable home office with everything I need to stay creative and focused. When I was working in an office previously, I had a shared desk in a room with no exterior windows. Now I have 3 exterior windows looking out at a beautiful Southern Oregon horizon -- trees, mountains, etc. It makes a world of difference.

If you're considering working remotely, I'd suggest a few things right off the top of my head.

1) Personal upkeep is still important.Working from home means potentially fewer opportunities to get exercise. Make sure you take regular breaks and take short walks throughout the day.Also, make sure you have healthy snacks to tide you over during the day. I find that it's much more tempting to overeat when you work in the same place you store all of your food. I personally enjoy baby carrots and celery sticks.

2) Maintain contact with other humans.Grab a drink with your friends, join a meetup group, or befriend interesting people at coffee shops. It's easy to become out of touch when your only human contact are those living in your house and the occasional text/video chats with your co-workers.

3) Set your hours and keep themFor the most part, my employers have just expected me to deliver my work on time. Even so, I still wake up at 8:00 every morning, make my cup of coffee, then get right to work. I take a short break at 10:00, 12:00 and 2:00. I try to stop working around 6-7:00.

4) Communicate wellThe adage, "Out of sight, out of mind" is very true -- when your employer/client/co-workers don't know what you're doing or when you're doing it, it can reflect poorly on you, even if you're actually working diligently. Ensure everyone is aware what is happening and when, and promptly respond to any emails, even if it's just a confirmation that you got the message.

That's all I've got for now. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!

hkarthik 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been a US-based remote worker for close to 3 years now.

I started doing contracting work in Rails while I worked full time in .NET (while going onsite everyday). I also networked a lot within the local Ruby community. When I was ready to jump to Rails full time, a friend through the community was staffing up an early stage startup with remote devs spread across the city. This was a good way to dip my toes into remote work while still maintaining local connections.

After a year of that, I jumped to a larger company to join their remote team of Rails developers (currently about 10 of us are remote). Now I'm pretty adjusted to the remote lifestyle and it would be very hard to let go of it since the impact to family life is so positive.

My advice would be to do as many others have done and start with remote contracting to see how it works. Then you can either convert to full time or find another full time role later if you need benefits. However, if you can remain as a contractor I would generally advise people to do that if your financial situation allows for it.

hbien 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been doing remote work for a little over a year now. My story goes like this:

1) Saved money and quit job for big vacation -- 2) came home but wasn't ready for job so started contracting onsite -- 3) eventually introduced to a remote/part time contract -- 4) started freelancing half time while working on my own projects half time.

Working remotely is terrific! No commute means an extra 2 hours in my day. I split my locations between home, coffee shops, and client offices (when they have offices) for variety.

For anyone who wants to go this route, I recommend building a solid network. The best contracts I've gotten were through former co-workers and former clients. Another route I've used are recruiters/agencies (for subcontracting work). It pays almost as well and there's less of a hassle with marketing and invoicing. I've also tried using the Hacker News Freelancer threads but the response rate usually knocks down my confidence a lot.

fayyazkl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not exactly full time remote work, but i believe i can get into one if wanted and approach is nevertheless the same.

I sort of got into part time work via odesk, in addition to a full time day job. Initially the motivation was money, but very soon i realized multiple other aspects of it i.e. i used to work for a large MNC back then as a day job with very long dev cycles and organized work schedules. I learned the skill to work under pressure of a day or two or night and quickly deliver things that JUST WORK or being able to learn some thing needed very fast. Also i got a chance to broaden my skill set a lot by working on any project that interested me. So i still continue to do that on and off. This also provided me a chance to work with several open source projects (vlc, dnrd, kannel, netsnmp) and still make money. So i continue to do it still for all of the above reasons.

How i got into it in the first place? Took tests and scored well in areas i claimed skills in, charged a lot less initially, under promised and over deliverd to earn very good feedback, started with small jobs. Once i got a client satisfied with small jobs, they came back with bigger ones latter. Gradually increased rates and maintained an online profile i.e. public domain code written by one's self among other things. During all this, i even had an option to work full time dedicated to some body for a long time with good money. Just couldn't find enough time i.e. didn't feel like leaving existing job and go in.

With remote work, you get to manage your own schedule. But it is harder to be organized and you need more effort to justify time spent achieving a goal vs when sitting in an office.

The challenge in latter parts of life (when you have young kids) is to be able to find enough time to work when you are physically active i.e. sitting late night on a sofa after kids being asleep with laptop doesn't work very well.

Forgot to mention that this whole effort sort of reduced the fear of being jobless since one becomes more confident about your possible prospects of work whether local full time or remote. For this reason every one should work this way at least for some time in life IMHO.

johndavid9991 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm from the Philippines and we are changing the world remotely.

I started as a trainee for Junior Software Engineer level working with a startup in Silicon Valley.

The best thing about it is that in just 3 months, I was able to learn HTML and CSS, Bootstrap, jQuery/JqueryUI, PHP, MySQL, OOP in PHP, MVC using CodeIgniter, Ajax, Ruby on Rails, Setting up Linux Server from Scractch, SVN, Git, Agile Project Management and a lot more. My mentor is really good teacher and at the same time "to struggle is to learn".

After two years, we have 9 more team members, an office. We have built our own LMS to train more people remotely. We have bootcamps running in MV and Seattle. We also have consulting projects. We are working with other entreprenuers and helping them with their startups.

Gmail, ASANA, Skype and screen sharing tools make the world flat for us. Gives us the feeling that we are working in one place.

The best advise that I could give to others will be 3 things:

1. Have focus and Love your work. If you don't love what you are doing remotely, chances are you will not focus. 2. Company is about the people not the revenue. This is very critical in a remote setup, you must value your teammates as if they are your family. 3. "What Gets Measured Gets Managed" - Peter Drucker. We have daily reports, we measure hours spent and assigned story points to each task.

nl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Position: Solution Architect, full time, remote.

Story: Ex-employer wanted me back, but were closing local office. I said ok, but I'm not moving.

Advice: If possible, don't be the only person doing remote work. That doesn't work so well.

kennethtilton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's a tip everyone will understand: email rocks but transmits emotional tone like two cans and a string. As soon as you detect an edge, as painful as it is, take out the phone.
pushkargaikwad 3 days ago 0 replies      
My Story - I was doing freelancing stuff back in college years from my hostel room, got hooked to it and kept on doing without doing/taking any job offer. It is been 8-9 years now and it is been a good ride albeit with many ups and downs. Working from home has its advantages as you have all the freedom of thought but it do some serious damage to your social and communication skills and can make you uni-dimensional.
Nekorosu 3 days ago 0 replies      
I work remotely for one company for a year and a half. I found my current employer in a bar on a tropical island partly by luck, partly by my desire to speak about my work with random people.
scoj 3 days ago 0 replies      
Networking, networking, networking.The secret is to know people. The best jobs aren't found in the normal job boards but from connections.I started programming (self taught) while moonlighting. I eventually asked my network (or people i had met that were already freelancing) to keep me informed if any extra opportunities arose. Eventually something did and i quit my job for a 6 month gig working mostly from home. I eventually found one project after the next until my current work which is more long term stable and also work from home (or anywherw)
davidkrug 3 days ago 0 replies      
About 12 years ago I decided I didn't want to live in the system. I started freelancing. Doing web design work for churches. Slowly I built other websites of my own after my dad encouraged me to. Then this turned into actual 6 figure businesses and I haven't looked back. It hasn't always been easy but by far it's the best thing I ever did with my life.
soboleiv 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ukraine. 5 years, Java. 9 month remote now. Been with a company for a year, fell in love and decided to move to another location:) Offered to switch to remote.

Advice:* Transparency(what you're doing, when it will be ready, when you're online, etc)* Discipline(isolate yourself from interruptions and keep commitments from the above)

contingencies 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've done a few years on, a few years off, and a few years on. I prefer remote by far.

Other than a few odd contracts, my real beginning in remote work was when I worked at one place for a long time, became indispensable, and explained that I had to move away. They had little option but to allow me to work remotely. After that succeeded for many years, I had my experience and things became easier for the next time ... and onward.

I agree with everyone's else's comments here on the challenges and benefits, but would emphasize very clearly that it's not for everyone.

Building a Web App From the Ground Up
5 points by kevinmcf  23 hours ago   5 comments top 5
malandrew 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Javascript. You have to know it for a web app, so start there. Build the front-end in it. Once you get decent at the front end, you'll know a lot more about programming so you then make a much more informed decision regarding a backend language and framework that works for you. Could be ruby, python, php, clojure, scala, etc. or even more javascript. Delay the decision of which back end to learn to the last responsible moment.
kirang1989 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Language - Python

Framework - Flask

Database - MySQL (since I've learnt about it from my university)

Hosting - AWS or Webfaction

No particular choice of infrastructure. Since I'm learning to build a web app from scratch, I'll tend to focus more on getting various pieces together.

rartichoke 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd definitely go with AWS for deployment only because if you never signed up before you get a micro instance for free for a year in most cases.

This gives you an ability to deploy multiple toy projects without having to fork out $5-10/month which isn't a ton but it's still an expense.

akhaumeallen 4 hours ago 0 replies      
java/jsp, JSF framework, Mysql, apache server.
havanna993 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a fan of PHP, it was the first scripting language I've learned and I still feel pretty comfortable using it.

When developing web applications I still stick to a LAMP stack:

Language: PHP on server-side, JS on client-side

Server: Apache

Database: MySQL

Frameworks: Basically any MVC framework

Hosting: Completely up to you

If you want to built a good web application you have to deal with:

Object-orientation, Dependency Injection, MVC, Design patterns, etc.

If you follow the most common coding principles, DRY, Separation of concerns, etc. you'll produce clean, maintainable code.

Ask HN: Most successful startup that applied but never got into YC?
59 points by pshin45  1 day ago   33 comments top 9
aegiso 1 day ago 0 replies      
Recalling PG's previous answers to this question: there are several instances of successes that YC didn't accept, but it's not PG's place to disclose who did and didn't apply.
Sakes 1 day ago 0 replies      
This might need to be an Ask PG. I wonder if there is a startup that he recalls passing on that influenced the way (minorly or majorly) he evaluates startups.
ig1 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's too early to say (remember it typically takes 7-8 years to reach a major exit event). But SendGrid and LightSail Energy are probably the two that have raised the most money and are public about being rejected from YC.
kevando 1 day ago 3 replies      
Ask me in 6 months :)
noodle 1 day ago 1 reply      
sendgrid, iirc
codybrown 1 day ago 0 replies      
TallboyOne 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wasn't it AirBnB?
Baadier_Sydow 1 day ago 0 replies      
I actually this could be quite a fascinating question.
larrys 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is pure HN porn. Entertaining and satisfies curiosity but no significance whatsoever.

Edit: Noting somewhat predictable downvotes so I would ask that someone reply with what the significance of a single data point is other than satisfying curiosity? Note also I didn't say it didn't belong on HN or "hey why is this on the front page" etc.

Ask HN: No experience - how much salary should I ask for?
3 points by elison  16 hours ago   6 comments top 4
LukeWalsh 16 hours ago 1 reply      
First off, open source work "on the side" is direct tech experience. It just so happens that you donated your work rather than being paid for it.

Second you should seriously consider the cost of living, and use something like this http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ as a ballpark.

Third you should be candid with them, and don't offer a salary requirement unless they directly ask. Instead let them make a first offer. Generally if you offer too high they will simply offer what they had planned to see if you take it, and if you offer too low they will accept and save the extra expense of what they were really willing to pay.

Best of luck to you!

anishkothari 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're really unsure about salary, just ask them "What is the salary range budgeted for this position?". This would be one of my questions to ask at the end of an interview. Given that you have serious Python skills, they may give you a more lucrative offer than you'd expect!

Also, if someone really pushes you regarding your salary expectations, just answer "I want to make sure this is the right fit before discussing salary."

Since you're fresh out of school, check out sites like http://www.salary.com and http://www.payscale.com as well as local job boards. Ask your friends/classmates and anyone with a few years of experience about starting salaries.

wikwocket 15 hours ago 0 replies      
First, I'd echo people here that say to be confident. You'll never sell yourself to others if you don't believe you are capable and a good worker.

Second, try not to quote a salary or range (at least at first). Before that, discuss their plans, where they are headed, your abilities, and how you can help further their goals. Here is a great post I recently found helpful, regarding the 'don't say a number first' conventional advice: http://workplace.stackexchange.com/a/6059/2364

Third, as to what to realistically expect, it depends on where you are located, the industry, your experience/age (are you fresh out of school, etc), and more. If they have really posted that they're paying 80-120k that is a great data point and a great advantage for you to know in advance.

davidsmith8900 16 hours ago 1 reply      

I think that you should value yourself and not cut yourself short. (Looking at the worst scenario) It's one thing to have a bad job but then to have a bad job that pays you cheaply, is worse. The best scenario (on the other hand) is having a good job that pays you well. So think of a WIN-WIN situation.

The first thing I will look at it is the cost of living of the place where this job is. If it is in Cali or NY (where the cost of living is high), I wouldn't mind aiming your aim, however if it is the South (RTP, NC) where the cost of living is low, $60K is not bad.

Another thing is, do you by any chance have any degrees? BSc? MSc? Ph.D?

What schools did you come out of? If you look good on paper and you've done open source work, they'll be glad to pay you as much your worth.

What programming languages do you know and how how proficient are you in them?

At the end of the day, give them a good estimate, and if they are not with it, then try working with them. They did invite you for an interview, so Im guessing they really want to work with you.


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