hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    19 Nov 2013 Ask
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Javascript games in 30 lines
12 points by nmbdesign  1 hour ago   2 comments top
Ask HN: Is there a place to buy Bitcoin almost anonymously?
4 points by antocv  1 hour ago   7 comments top 5
mynewwork 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> Isnt bitcoin supposed to be pseudonomous?

Yes, but the rest of the world isn't. Financial companies still must comply with laws (tax evasion, money laundering, etc) regardless if they're going dollars to euros or dollars to bitcoins. Much of the current hype around bitcoins comes specifically from recent comments regarding regulation of bitcoin transactions.

Also, you want to buy because the price recently spiked? That's rarely a good idea (whether in stocks, real estate or bitcoins).

javis 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
It may seem backwards, but the only real way to buy Bitcoins anonymously is to buy them in person using cash.

Check out: http://localbitcoins.com

But you can just buy them through somewhere like Coinbase, then use Bitcoin Fog to make them anonymous.


If you leave them in Bitcoin Fog for a couple of days / weeks, there is very little chance they'll be traced back to you.

MarkPNeyer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
the markets that can take credit card or do bank withdrawal require that id to protect themselves from fraudelent buyers.

if you're going to buy bitcoins anonymously, you'll probably have to do it locally with cash.

27182818284 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I would love to here Coinbase (YCS12) talk about this.

I honestly feel the same way. I want to play around by, say, buying $100 in Litecoin but I find all of the different avenues pretty invasive. The closest I found was buying Litecoin in person, but none of the listed sources were anywhere close to me geographically.

wmf 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You just need to venture further into the dark alleys of the Internet where stuff like MoneyPaks are used.
Ask HN: Will you play video games on a next-gen console?
6 points by fumar  2 hours ago   11 comments top 8
avenger123 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I enjoy watching game trailers.

I own a PS3 and would love to pick up a PS4.

I will not do so.

On the PS3 I used to play Call of Duty and after a few weeks, I looked at the number of hours I had spent on the system. It was in the range of 50-60 hours I believe.

I basically decided that although fun, I wasn't getting anything long term out of playing. So I stopped. I can use that time to learn, read, spend with family and friends.

The bad thing is that these games aren't designed for short term game play. I know myself and getting a PS4 would involve me spending a large amount of time playing. It would be tremendously fun but the time sink would not be worth it.

So, regretfully, I'll stick to playing World of Goo or some other quick play game on my iPhone instead of getting the big guns.

jcromartie 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Before having a child, and while she was at home (and sleeping) most of the time, I enjoyed playing the PS3. I actually bought very few AAA games, and mostly played games that came with my PS+ subscription. I did put untold hours into Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. The last game I bought was GTA IV when it was $20 with all of the extra content. I sold the system when I realized I could only scratch the surface of this massive game that was otherwise enjoyable, and that would be the same story with virtually anything else.

I feel like it's impossible to keep up with big expensive AAA games, because they are simply too big and too awesome. So, I got a 3DS instead, and I can play Animal Crossing with my daughter in the evening, or play strategy games by myself on the train. Even if they are expansive games, they are still portable and don't require big startup time.

I also have a deep desire to build games, along with other things, and I simply can't do that while I am playing these big titles and have a job and a family.

I can see some circumstances in the future where I would feel better about spending lots of time playing immersive games.

kohanz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Unlikely, but not because of a lack of appeal. I'm getting older, having a kid next year, and time for video games has slowly vanished for me.

I sure do miss those teenage years of being able to pour hours a day into an immersive masterpiece like FFVII.

27182818284 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Possibly on the new Steam box. I'm slightly curious about whatever the heck that is, but doubtfully on the others. The last console I actually owned was a Nintendo 64. Then I used only computer games and then I gradually phased most of those ou. I couldn't shake the feeling I was wasting time with them as I got older, so I generally only find myself playing games that are less involved like, say, Android games. (Not to start a flamewar or anything. )
zoowar 2 hours ago 1 reply      
PS3 perspective: I am not aware of any games that take full advantage of the current generation console. I'm currently playing GTA Online. Aside for the poor quality release, the rendered game world is lush and the game experience is fully engaging. What I understand of the PS4 is that the rendered game world will be even more vibrant and the game experience will not change much. I'll stick with the PS3 and the huge catalog of used games for $20. If the PS4 supported PS3 games, I would consider upgrading.
minimaxir 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have the first world problem of having a huge gaming backlog for the PC due to the extra-cheap Humble Bundles, so I'm passing on a console until the consoles become cheaper or offer a bundle.
Navarr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I play my WiiU. I'm going to assume that counts.
ratsimihah 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Waiting for MGS5 and FFXV on the PS4.
Tell HN: My Gmail connection switched from RC4 variant to AES_128_GCM today
5 points by pasbesoin  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
tptacek 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Google continues to set the standard for high-security TLS connections; they are the world's biggest target, and they clearly take that seriously.

RC4 is a terribly broken cipher. It was known to be broken in the late '90s and was included in SSL more as an accident of history than anything else. Unfortunately, SSL was standardized before researchers fully understood the interactions between encryption and message authentication, and SSL botched block encryption (and thus AES). So, for the past ~4-5 years, big companies have been using RC4 as a stopgap for dealing with vulnerabilities stemming from SSL's botched AES construction.

That doesn't work anymore, because the flaws in RC4 are now known to be far more grave than they were previously though.

Add support for AES-GCM, the only rigorously secure ciphersuite available to TLS, to the laundry list of other things Google has done to improve Internet security --- forward secrecy, certificate pinning, detection of forged certificates, patching the Lucky 13 vulnerability.

byjove 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Trying to collect data about the state of staging in web dev
16 points by ubermuda  6 hours ago   13 comments top 7
ollysb 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is one of the areas where heroku does a great job. It's very good at cloning apps, if you're using their addons(memcache, redis, etc.) it'll take care of provisioning new instances automatically. We use amazon rds but that's the only thing we have to setup if we want a new environment. Now that postgres is available on amazon we'll probably switch to that which will mean we can even use a cheapo heroku postgres instance for product demos etc.

With regards to setting up a company to do this, I'm not sure. A staging environment really needs to be as close as possible to production. Perhaps docker will become enough of a standard that it'll be easy to match production apps much easier in different clouds...

ville 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug: If you're interested in data about development processes, please also fill in our IDE and editor survey at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1lgp25sLFCKw5K58mrxb4PmIpZpn... HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6761225). We will publish all the results and the analysis afterwards.
japhyr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
oelmekki 6 hours ago 1 reply      

I'm looking forward to see what you want to do with this, handling staging environment in the age of cloud can be a real pain.

christophe971 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Survey submitted here, although I mostly use a vanilla remote git repo to manage my projects.
preddict 4 hours ago 0 replies      
No subversion in the CVS options? I still think it's a great option for dev teams of 2 or 3 people.
pmzy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I answered too. We use a homemade solution but it's quite a pain to maintain.
Please share your JavaScript webapp.
6 points by udb  5 hours ago   6 comments top 5
streptomycin 2 hours ago 0 replies      

Completely 100% client-side JavaScript. Possibly makes heavier use (abuse?) of IndexedDB than any other website.

badave 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wrote a lot of the code for https://www.airbrite.io/, which we are quietly launching on hackernews today.

The dashboard is all backbone, the backend is all node.js.

We wanted to build something that could become a core toolset for all developers. Hopefully it'll help frontend developers with e-commerce sites, but I'm excited to get to use it myself.

roryhughes 2 hours ago 0 replies      
matthiasak 3 hours ago 1 reply      
My website / blog is a single page app :)


Ask HN: Python or R?
9 points by washedup  7 hours ago   9 comments top 7
aaren 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't use R. I use [pandas] / [statsmodels] in Python. I don't do particularly special stats though.

I read this [blog] earlier and as a result I don't think I'll bother to learn R unless I have to.

[pandas]: http://pandas.pydata.org/

[statsmodels]: http://statsmodels.sourceforge.net/

[blog]: http://www.talyarkoni.org/blog/2013/11/18/the-homogenization...

svjunkie 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the problem you're trying to solve? It's hard for anyone to give useful advice without any more context.

That said, I recommend whichever language is easiest for you. I use R and have not fully learned Python, so I have an obvious bias. If you're performing complicated statistical analysis, I'd recommend R, but for more traditional programming, I get the impression that Python interfaces more efficiently with other languages.

xixi77 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As everyone says, depends on what you are trying to do.

For all interactive/exploratory analysis, for statistical graphics, for more advanced statistics, for most statistics-related research work in general, I would definitely pick R out of these two.

If statistics is only a small part of the application, if you already know exactly what you have to do (i.e. no data exploration), if you have to do a lot of web/text processing -- probably Python.

Also, check which one has more/better packages related to what you are doing.

For some stats projects I would go with something else entirely though.

floppydisk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It really all boils down to what problem you're trying to solve, what kind of analysis you're trying to do, and what the performance requirements are. For basic stats, R and Python will be comparable in terms of library availability and functionality. If you start getting into more specialized and/or esoteric statistics, you will find more R packages (libraries) than you will Python libraries.
stadeschuldt 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I use both. I like R for its charting capability and the sheer amount of packages for different use cases. I use Python to pre-process data and get it into because it is a lot easier than in R. Also Scikit-learn, NumPy and Pandas are really nice.
bjoerns 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I use both for my data analysis (though I'm not doing anything too fancy these days). R is great at statistics (that's what it was designed for) but a bit of a terrible programming language. So I combine the two, do all the IO stuff etc in Python and run the actual statistical analysis in R (RPy is a great Python interface to R).
code_scrapping 7 hours ago 1 reply      
They're not really directly comparable. Python is an general purpose programming language, R is a statistical processing tool.

You could compare R to Matlab, or R to python library with similar scope (numpy or pandas).

Ask HN: Why does being in an accelerator pre-YC lessen your YC chances?
38 points by stringbeans  16 hours ago   19 comments top 5
pg 15 hours ago 5 replies      
We have a much higher threshold for startups that have already been through an "accelerator" program. Mainly because we expect them to have thereby been accelerated; if they're not doing well, we worry they might be unacceleratable. It's also a problem that such startups will be twice as diluted at Demo Day, which decreases their fundraising options.

I can think of two startups we've funded that had been through things calling themselves "accelerators" before YC.

aegiso 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty sure the reason that you didn't get into YC wasn't simply because of some binary metric like your previously going though an accelerator. Give them more credit than that and look deeper, regardless of what the email said.

-A fellow YC reject from a few years back

paulsutter 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Any low-value credentials on an application make a company look bad. Another example: winning a business plan competition. The problem is that you thought mentioning it would improve your chances of getting accepted. If that's the best you've got, you haven't got much.
techtivist 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think one needs to have the right expectations about what they want to achieve from an accelerator. If you are a company with a broad audience like consumer web or consumer mobile, an accelerator will help you build your company fundamentals, guide you through the generic process of starting up and at the end of it all give you audience with the investors; and if you are in a program like YC garner you a little more attention. So I really fail to see how useful it is to go through two different accelerators other than the just the last two reasons.

If I were running an accelerator and you were applying to mine after having gone through another program, I wouldn't just look at if I will gain (financially or otherwise) from you but really question how you will gain from having you in in the accelerator, having already gone through a similar, perhaps even conflicting process.

For a company with a more specialized market like education or health, while the requirements above stay the same, there are important differences. So going through a generalized accelerator to build those fundamentals and then going through an accelerator specific to your industry makes sense because while building strong fundamentals in business may be the smae, scaling up, selling and operating successfully in these industries is rather different and perhaps even more different than the consumer space, like Imagine K12 for education and Rockhealth for health; or even the other way round.

nivertech 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There are some corporate accelerator programs who licensed TechStars model. If they will see startup who went thru accelerator and didn't raised money - they will ask thought questions. The funny thing is, that even being in coworking space and not raising money was also a negative signal.
Ask HN: I'm 15, won a grant to develop a suicide prevention app, what next?
232 points by krrishd  1 day ago   157 comments top 64
tokenadult 1 day ago 3 replies      
You are working on something important, and I was glad to read (and upvote) a lot of the other comments you received, and especially the offers for pro-bono help. One comment below suggested that you read the literature (I presume that means the literature about suicide prevention) and I would second that advice. To expand that advice a bit, I'll note that Martin E. P. Seligman and some other psychologists who have studied depression and suicide think that the "self esteem" movement that took over United States schools after I graduated from high school may have actually INCREASED risk of suicide in the United States--certainly the rates of both attempted and completed suicide, and the rate of diagnosed youth depression, went up over the years when those school programs were put in place. In other words, don't just rely on intuition about what would be helpful, but look into actual research. Seligman's books Learned Optimism[1] and The Optimistic Child[2] are both helpful, although there should be some even newer research out by now. Reading those books may help you deal with the challenges of working on this interesting project while keeping up with your school work. Best wishes.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Learned-Optimism-Change-Your-Mind/dp/1...

[2] http://www.amazon.com/The-Optimistic-Child-Depression-Resili...

liyanchang 1 day ago 3 replies      
I would encourage you to write the entire thing, frontend, backend, content, PR releases, etc.

Two reasons:

1. You're young and still figuring out what you love doing; no better time to experiment and learn. I still have fond memories over the php site I wrote in high school. You could visible tell which functions were written at the beginning of the project versus the end because you'll improve drastically. [1]

2. The project will be more successful with someone who cares for it. Hiring a contractor will make it difficult for you to maintain and improve. Contractors will also expect a specification with penalties if you need to change it. My guess is that you're still experimenting with what can best serve the community so this probably isn't a good fit for contracting as well.

[1] Recommended tech stack (optimizing for documentation and availability of help). Ruby, MongoDB, Heroku (or if ambitious, Linux on Amazon EC2 + nginx). Everything else is pretty similar so once you learn these, the concepts apply reasonably well.

p.s. If money is a concern, you should look into contacting some companies PR/DevRel people and see if they are willing to donate some compute time or services to your cause. (It's probably doing this after launch and getting a better sense of usage and will be easier to convince them that you're legit).

simonw 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a likely to be a very challenging project. A few things to consider:

* Anonymity is vitally important, especially since you are an inexperienced programmer with a high risk of introducing security holes. Don't collect any personal details (including email addresses) that could cause problems for people if they were leaked. Don't implement Facebook or Google signin!

* If there are any social components at all, consider the potential impact of trolls. This project may require 24/7 moderation.

* This is a major emotional commitment. Talking down suicidal strangers is not something to go in to lightly! Make sure you have a professional advisory network in place.

Since lots of people have offered to help, I suggest getting them added to a mailing list ASAP while they are interested.

You could consider building the project in public on GitHub - that would allow technical advisors to review your code for you and use the issue tracker to discuss features.

TelmoMenezes 1 day ago 1 reply      
Congrats man, well done!

This list of cognitive distortions and how to fix them might be relevant:http://www.apsu.edu/sites/apsu.edu/files/counseling/COGNITIV...

This was created by Dr. David Burns and is supported by research in cognitive therapy. The full information is available in his book "Feeling Good". The interactive medium could afford some interesting possibilities.

Another thing that I remember reading is that tracking your happiness level and sharing that information with others seems to improve mood. Somebody was experimenting with this on the web. Seems like a perfect fit for a social app.

I second the opinion that you should make sure that you pay attention to research. Some common sense approaches might be counter-productive. For example, the clich: "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem" can make suicide sound even better to the seriously depressed. Be suspicious of common sense here.

bartonfink 1 day ago 5 replies      
I'm quite interested in suicide prevention, having lost several friends to suicide over the years. I'd do it pro bono. If you're interested, let me know - my e-mail is in my profile.
lifeisstillgood 1 day ago 1 reply      
One other thing, no matter what, this is your project.

All the advice you get here, much of it good, and all the advice you will get throughout the project (especially if you open source it on github which I highly recommend) is for you to assimilate and then build into your opinion.

Listen to experienced dev's telling you why and why not a particular course will work, listen to people here on the research and the unintuitive nature of suicide, but in the end this grant was given because you seemed to have an insight or a gleam in your eye.

Trust that gleam, and tell us lot to go hang, if you think you are being pushed into something that in your informed opinion is not the best for the app.

And remember, Its not the only suicide prevention work out there, so the weight of the world is not on your shoulders - your job is to do a good job and be proud of the work. Let the world decide if thats going to solve its problems or not.

Good luck and all the best

beloch 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Step 1: Get help. Start figuring out what you don't know.

An app like this, especially if it were wildly successful in attracting users, could do a lot of harm if the underlying idea isn't thought out well and based on good ideas. You're 15. You love your idea and the competition judges did too. Great! Are you or them experts on suicide prevention?

Fortunately, your goal isn't to make money or something similarly self-serving. You're trying to save lives. That opens up tremendous resources to you what would be denied to most trying to make their first app. Psychologists, doctors, professors, etc. will all be happy to help you get the idea right, free of charge, because it could save lives.

If you see a psychologist, ask them for their input and ask them for contacts. Go to your local university and knock on doors. Find people who teach or do research in the field and ask for their input. Make some phone-calls. Email professors at other universities.

I know your instinct is to immediately try to advance your idea towards a working app, but a great app based on a faulty idea is usually pretty useless and this one could actually be dangerous. Get help immediately.

gohrt 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a serious project. Please find a licensed psychologist to partner with as you develop and test your app and prepare it for release.
hosh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome! I know other folks here question whether your approach actually prevents suicide. Personally, I respect your gumption and initiative to carry this out.

I hope you get offers to work on the backend with you. If not, here are some ideas:

(1) Find a like-minded person at meetup groups. The Atlanta Ruby User Group, for example, has a contingent actively working on public good kind of apps, things more for non-profit work than for-profit work. While your local technical meetup group is a good place to start, there is nothing stopping you from emailing the ATLRUG mailing list and asking. There are other platform meetups you can try, like ones for Node.js, Erlang/Elixir, various Python groups, etc.

(2) Use the Tim Ferris method of calling up famous people. You never know. Being someone versed in JS, you could try Resig, or Katz, or the AngularJS core folks. You could also try one of the startup CEOs/CTOs you admire. I don't think someone's work should be judged on the novelty of being young, but it happens (people think, could I have pulled it off at your age?) Older folks who have amassed experience and power like teaching and mentoring young people, as it is not as threatening to one's power base as young competition. You might not necessarily get such a person to work directly with you on the code, but you're likely to get access to a network that you normally would not have access to.

(3) Scour the web for other similar competitions and contact the winners. Maybe you can trade.

Good luck!

ancarda 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've lost people to suicide and I've felt suicidal myself so I'm very interested to know what the app does. What will it do to reduce suicides?
tenpoundhammer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Idea( you have ) -> Stakeholders -> Requirements -> Features -> Evaluate -> Repeat

Considering the fact that you already received a grant, I would imagine you have a few details of what you want to build, but you will find the real tangles in the details.

I would greatly advise that you dive deeply into the various requirements and untangle the details and drive clarity throughout the design, before you start writing a lot of code.

Once you feel comfortable that you won't run into any big surprises and you understand your general feature set you should prioritize these features, I like to do the most risky and difficult features first, and then get started. You will of course have a lot of ground work to lay, but that could be counted as a feature.

After you have your first shippable set of code done, should take between 2 weeks and 2 months, shouldn't be perfect. Get it in front of someone that's relevant. As it will be hard to find somebody suicidal that also wants to review an app, probably somebody at a crisis center or a counselor that helps people in this situation.

After a few demos you should find plenty of improvements and features you never thought of, as well as defects. Now it's time to add these into your priorities and start over.

Good Luck, I hope this goes well for you. Let me know if you would like any further advisement, I would be glad to take emails and what not. I have been developing software professionally for the past 3 years.

leoedin 1 day ago 1 reply      
liyanchang's suggestion is bang on. Even if you never touch on it again, if you actually force yourself (by working on an interesting project) to touch on the full stack of an app you will benefit from it for years.

So many of the little hobby projects I've worked on over the years (long since abandoned) have provided a fantastic base for something else. A website I managed when I was a teenager taught me all sorts of server admin skills that still pay off 5 years later. When you're 15 you have absolutely oodles of free time (it might not seem that way now, but it will when you're working full time!). Make use of it!

aestra 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't believe some of the comments here. I admit I haven't read them all yet, but come on...

Background, I've been suicidal many times in my life, having spent >3 weeks in the psychiatric hospital. Been in the mental health system for YEARS. Been around many many many suicidal people in that time.

This seems so naive. You have a lot of legal issues here, and also social and ethical. You want to make sure you are cleared legally, you want to make sure you are not violating HIPPA. You want to make DAMN sure you are doing the right thing, and not encouraging the behavior you are trying to prevent. You are describing this as some kinda "social network" and there are studies that social networks can make you MORE lonely and depressed.



You want the help of a trained psychiatrist for god's sake.

You want to be damn sure you "suicide prevention" app doesn't get overwhelmed by trolls and well meaning people giving bad advice, and if it does, you aren't legally on the hook.

This is just way too big. This isn't some weekend project. This really really is serious business. Don't do it. It's way too risky.

C1D 1 day ago 0 replies      
I too am 15 years old. I'm currently working on a secure chat alternative to things like kik, what's app and skype. I've been coding the backend in node.js and the frontend in jQuery.

I suggest you check out node.JS, it's easy to learn since you have a JS background and it should handle well with what you're doing.

Also if you're intrested, I'm willing to help out for free, you can contact me at: c1d@mypin.im.

vdaniuk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations! This is an absolutely great opportunity for you to learn useful skills, make the world better and significantly improve your resume.

I think you should spend a grant on your education and skills related to the app. This is a sustainable approach given that the grant is not really large and you are in the exploratory phase of your project.

Do everything yourself while consulting with the community non-stop, lots of people will be eager to help you.

Btw, I consult startups on marketing and I think your story is straight techcrunch/mashable/thenextweb material, ready to inspire other young people to learn programming. If you need any help spreading your mission, this app or teen2geek, for the greater good, just drop me an note, I'll be eager to help you pro bono. My e-mail is in the profile.

car 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure what exactly your idea is, but may I suggest you partner with experts in the field?

I'd recommend you ping Prof. Joshi at Stanford, who was involved with a suicide prevention program in Palo Alto. And if only to run your idea by him and solicit some feedback.

This is a video of him talking about suicide risk factors in teens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lIqp6odvp0

Good luck!

rickyc091 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since you seem to have a good grasp of frontend, I would definitely checkout https://parse.com/products/data as a backend solution.
throwsaway 1 day ago 3 replies      
Suicide prevention /app/?You don't stop suicide with an app. You're 15 and you have a grant for a gimmick. I'm 22 and I'm unemployed. I'm already depressed but this makes me angry, too, so I just made an account to let you know that this disgusts me.Empty words. At least your resume looks better with this.
baby 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try to do it yourself. Don't be afraid of "failure" because there is none here, you are not getting paid to realize something, people saw someone ambitious and willing to try so they "gave" you the money.

Now whatever happens next, it will only be valuable. You will only learn things from that point, outsourcing is not an option when you're willing to learn. Because this is an opportunity to learn, it is not an opportunity to succeed.

xenophanes 23 hours ago 0 replies      
What I would recommend next is recognizing that suicide is a complicated and controversial issue, and there are differing attitudes and approaches towards it. Your app, like it or not, will be opinionated. Have informed opinions. For example, read this:


If you disagree, fine, but have an informed opinion.

smoyer 1 day ago 0 replies      
The steps that I'd take in your position:

1) Determine how much back-end I really need (or whether I need one at all). I'm going to assume your grant proposal contains use-cases (or user stories) that describe the interaction with the back-end.

2) Decide what framework(s) your front-end will be using and make a list of the back-ends that you believe would work with the front-end.

3) Define the interface between the front-end and back-end ... an ICD or API document will help you with both sides of the connection.

4) Find a mentor who can get you started with your chosen back-end technology as well as help you out when you get stuck.

I'd use this as a means to learn at least a little about back-end architecture. On the other hand, you could ignore the typical back-end development and go with something you know - e.g. CouchDB uses a RESTful API to store JSON documents, provides facilities for making views, lists (an HTML transformation of a view) and shows (an HTML transformation of a JSON document.

4) Find a mentor who can get you started on the chosen back-end, and help when you get stuck.

harvestmoon 1 day ago 2 replies      
The response to this post surprises me a bit. Suicide prevention is a great idea. But as described, it really isn't explained well enough to capture my imagination.

There's very little description of what it would do beyond that it's an app and it prevents suicide. And that it's a social network. That really isn't enough to describe the idea.

I can see the possibility of a social network site for depressed people.

Dunno. It's a big goal, but very hard, and I think it's extremely important to take into consideration the mentality of someone who is considering suicide.

Good luck.

fleitz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think you should reach out to those who are experts in the field and find out what they think would work, then build something that does that.

As an example my partner volunteers with a suicide prevention hotline that also has a chat client, I'm sure they'd love something mobile that works with their chat system, etc.

ma2rten 1 day ago 1 reply      
You'd have to be more specific about how the app is supposed to work. For instance maybe it can be accomplished with the Facebook javascript api, implementing it on top of Facebook. Maybe not.

Anyway, I wish you good luck.

naunga 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a developer who has struggled with depression, I really dig this.

I've got a lot of years doing backend work, and I'd be more than happy to help pro bono.

I personally would not get too hung up on the stack you use. Find something that will get you up and writing tests and building pages as quickly as possible.

Discussions about various stacks usually have to do with scaling and scaling usually is a problem after the prototype stage (which is the goal I'm guessing).

Up and coding.

I also agree that you should do the bulk of the work yourself. The knowledge you gain will be priceless, and in today's software development world, it is helpful for front-end guys to know what the backend guys do and vice-versa.

Certainly lean on people here for help and advice, but I wouldn't have someone do all the backend work for you.

Good luck to you!

DavidWanjiru 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm probably wrong about this, and I know very little psychology, but I am under the impression that suicidal people don't admit to having a problem. Also, they don't hope to find help, either coz they think or know it's out of reach, or don't know help is available. If this was not so, I would imagine they'd seek this help rather than take their lives, which is a sign of someone giving up hope.Now, installing an app for suicide prevention looks to me like an act by someone who HASN'T given up hope. And if you haven't given up hope, you are already walking away from the brink. And if you're already walking away from the brink, maybe you're not suicidal?My feeling here is that an app for reaching out or talking someone out of taking their life may not be the best approach to reaching such a person to make them pull back. Of course the journey to suicide is long and complex, and there must be many points at which an intervention is useful and where your app will play a part, but I just feel like there might be a disconnect between the people who should use your app and those who would use your app.Be that as it may, like I said, I'm not a psychologist, and most likely my assumptions are wrong. I imagine the literature on suicide being mentioned talks about this in detail and from a professional point of view. All the same, I wish you all the best in your project and hope it succeeds.
mdisraeli 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Another offer of support - drop me a line if you want a hand with not just technical security, but Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) aspects to such a project.

I suspect a project like this has more complex Governance, Risk and Compliance issues than most. Where possible, work with an existing charity working in this area, as they should already have practices in place to manage this.

DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good Luck OP. It's fantastic to see that you're getting many offers of help. I really look forward to seeing what is created.

Some people are suggesting research. I'd be interested in suitable papers and organisations.

One good place is the University of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research:


noveltysystems 1 day ago 1 reply      
How about a native app for iOS & Android with a big red button that, if they click it and confirm, puts the user immediately on the phone with a suicide prevention counselor.
shittyanalogy 1 day ago 0 replies      
My biggest piece of advice: Don't consider the money an investment in you App. Consider it a form of encouragement to keep you thinking and working in general.

Whoever gave you this money isn't expecting you to build a suicide prevention app directly. They are saying that they like your idea, they like you, and they want you to keep at it. It's a grant, not a loan so don't worry about treating it as a loan.

Use it to get some training you might want, use it to set up a business and learn about business, use it to buy a piece of hardware you might otherwise not be able to afford. Use it to further your chances of eventually being able to make a difference, don't put pressure on yourself to make the absolute most of it.

Lastly, put it on your resume.

acoleman616 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is great. First off, congrats.

As others have mentioned, due to the sensitive nature of a project along these lines, I would strongly recommend finding a mentor in the psychology realm. You'll want to make sure that you carefully consider some of the functionality aspects of the app to make sure things won't be unnecessarily/accidentally harmful.

VMG 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do research, read the literature.
muxxa 1 day ago 1 reply      
My favorite anti-suicide advice is 'Never commit suicide when hungover'.It sounds subversive but I think it gets the message across by first not discounting that the other person may have valid and important problems, and then emphasizing that all states of mind are subject to improvement.

You could (carefully) curate a list of this sort of advice from people who have actually felt suicidal at one point or another and pop up a random message on demand in the app. Carefully, as most cheerful advice does not sound so good when you are depressed.

oliv9286 12 hours ago 0 replies      
hi Krish, please let me know if I can contribute in any way! I'm probably not as experienced as most people here in terms of technical skills, but speaking from personal experience, a very good friend of mine nearly took his own life few months back. It was a painful experience, I myself had a few days of major depression during the incident, so I was able to understand how hard it is for people who suffer from long-term depression (and even then I'm sure my struggles weren't nearly as difficult as what my friend was going through at that time). I don't hope to see anyone else losing their own life, or losing the ones they love to depression/suicide again. Imo, suicide is a pretty sensitive topic. Instead of rushing to the technical details and how to build the app, I think it's much more important to carefully study and really understand the people who have had suicide thoughts, what are their struggles, what caused the thought, and how to help them resolve that thought. And it's important to analyze what are the potential issues/risks of the app's design so that it doesn't end up unintentionally bringing more harm than help. And last but not least, I'm more familiar with the back-end, but willing to do (and learn!) more front-end as well. I hope your project can succeed, good luck!
thom 1 day ago 0 replies      
A company local to me worked[1] on a similar idea[2] for Mind, a mental health charity in the UK. Might be some inspiration there. As for the technical side, you'll only learn by doing, and other posters have provided some fine ideas.

[1] http://www.yoomee.com/elefriends

[2] http://elefriends.org.uk/

ojr 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should use http://ionicframework.com when it is ready, for storage use ngStorage https://github.com/gsklee/ngStorage, and a guide for starting with angular and phonegap/cordova is here http://devgirl.org/2013/06/10/quick-start-guide-phonegap-and...
codezero 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get in touch with someone from here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

They do a lot of work in this area and will have the best advice on what things you can do to help.

palidanx 1 day ago 0 replies      
A little tangential, but listening to this might help out with perspective:


And maybe reach out to other suicide prevention non profits?

cliftonk 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should try using a backend-as-a-service if you aren't comfortable with databases/scaling/etc and would like to get the app out. Parse (parse.com) would probably work great for you. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get them to sponsor your application / company (assuming you create a non-profit).

Best of luck.

endophage 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lots of people have given you very specific advice about what frameworks to use, how to approach the problem, etc...

Take it all with a grain of salt. What I'd suggest to get started is create a public github project for it, put together some wireframes and sequence diagrams (publish them in the github project) so that people can see what it's meant to look like and how it's mean to work. Then just start coding.

Post the github project here on HN and ask for contributors. Keep a curated list of features, tasks and bugs in the github project and let people pick them up and help you build it.

Rule #1 though, don't let people get you down. Everyone has an opinion and we software people can be pretty harsh, especially when, frankly, we're just arguing our opinion rather than fact.

Rule #2, done is better than perfect. What's your Minimum Viable Product? Build that, maintain tunnel vision on completing that, then worry about everything else it could do.

diminoten 1 day ago 1 reply      
What is a "front-end developer"?

I can do the literal translation, and I can surmise that it means a person who builds and designs UIs, but I always thought that was a designer, not a developer.

Javascript is the only thing on what you've just listed that's Turing complete, so look into Node.js, in addition to all the other Buzz Words you see in the rest of the comments.

I also think you should come at this with a dark sense of humor. You're not going to save many lives if you don't get attention, and you're not going to get anyone's attention if it's Just Another Web App. Tasteful gallows humor is a good way to grab the audience you're looking for.

genwin 1 day ago 0 replies      
You'll go far, kid! Glad you found someone here who can help you with the back-end.
kneisley 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have to +1 the parse.com suggestion. Their API has an Angular wrapper if you really know it well. Or, if you haven't hit the 'Angular Wall' (meaning you haven't built something of real-world complexity with it), you can use their JS SDK, which is a backbone fork.

I suggest you open source all of it, and keep HN up to date on progress. List out what the product should do, and how you want to design your models. You'll get some solid feedback.

Web iterates fast, so I'd use web rather than jumping right into native. You'll be able to show your code to coders, and show your product to social workers and those who support at-risk people.

matthewcford 1 day ago 0 replies      
Figure out who are the users, research what people are already doing in this space (Samaritans) and test your ideas before building anything with paper prototypes.
gtt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think a more detailed description of things app ought to do would be very helpful.
colig 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a major undertaking. IMO, you will most likely end up reaching the lower-hanging fruit of depression rather than suicide. Good luck.
d_j_s 1 day ago 1 reply      
You may find https://www.firebase.com/ or http://www.meteor.com/ allow you to do it all on the frontend
adamqureshi 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Dude. make a mobile web app. Hook up with a clinical psychologist. Also focus on a target age / market. Get some data going. Hit me up i can see what to do about a clinical psychologist hook up in NYC. There are several scales psychologist use to narrow down a specific condition and you can incorporate those scales into the app via logic tree / branching based on the input a user submits to the Q&A. you can hit me on twitter @adamqureshi
prateekj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would suggest you to learn how to build the entire thing yourself. This is a great opportunity to get your hands dirty and understand the nitty-gritty of web development. Very useful in the long run!

Having said that, I am not sure about the time constraints you are working with. If the timeline is tight and you have never done this before, it's better to outsource it as opposed to building a sub-standard app yourself.

vikp 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. I think the main thing I did when I was 15 was sleep....

I'm actually working on an application (www.happsee.com) for tracking happiness. Somewhat similar, but not exactly. It's already had some huge benefits for me as far as understanding my own emotions.

If you want to chat more about making an app (mine is for android), machine learning (predicting stuff from other stuff), or building a backend, let me know. Email is in my profile.

gprasanth 1 day ago 0 replies      
Build it. There are a lot of tutorials out there to quickly build stuff in any technology you choose. Reaching out through this question - "What do I do?" Is what you should advice suicidal people to do. There is always help if you ask for it.
gremlinsinc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Don't know what your idea is.. but a thought or plugin is what about an anonymous place for people to vent or answer the question.. Why I wish I were dead: I have 6 toes on my left foot. others can respond anonymously..about that... some sort of peer group online/ facilitated instant support group.
Freeboots 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Im not sure if it would be helpful for your exact vision, but there are several open source social network platforms like www.elgg.org which could give you a jumpstart on the backend to get underway.
s_dev 1 day ago 0 replies      
You could use this app for inspiration or research:http://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/item/34863-tech-sta...
jason_slack 1 day ago 0 replies      
Way to go! Can I send you any books via Amazon to help you out?
L3monPi3 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you should learn how to use a version control system in an efficient way, in github you have days with >20 commits of css in a row...
captainbenises 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Ignore the crazy motherfuckers in this thread, jesus. Like I said on reddit, use phonegap, angular and maybe a simple ruby on rails backend if you need something on the server. That'll be the easiest way to build the app, and you'll develop great marketable skills.
martylauders 1 day ago 0 replies      
On the development side: I'd go for firebase, frontender myself and the docs are pretty easy to follow. Since you know angular, you can use angularfire to easily get you started. If you have experience with yeoman you can try out this generator (https://github.com/dsimard/generator-angular-phonegap) which gives you an emulator to phonegap. Didn't try it myself, but seems interesting.

On the projectside: Cool that you would take your time and skills to work on a project like that. I had the sad experience of losing someone close through suicide, so... yeah. Thanks.

f7t7ft7 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not learn Node.js? You learned almost everything else Javascript. There's got to be some decent ORM for it. How much time do you have to do this?
dutchblacksmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hello, I would try to write the entire app myself. You will learn so much from it. That will benifit you forever. If you get stuck, just put another ask at hacker news. If you just help one person who is depressed, its worth ten times the effort.I have been there. Thanks for taking part in the competition and good luck to you.
docforeman 1 day ago 1 reply      
I happen to know the President of the American Association of Suicidology. Email me and I'll put you in touch. I also mod a Twitter chat on Suicide Prevention and Social Media. Would love to support you.
buremba 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're just started, do it yourself.
docforeman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I happen to know the President of the American Association of Suicidology. Email me and I'll put you in touch. Acf@docforeman.com
snoopybbt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Develop a suicide prevention app.
Who's sold their Bitcoin?
12 points by markwakeford  20 hours ago   10 comments top 9
llamataboot 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I sold the rest of mine when we hit $850 for a bit earlier today. Still hurts that I sold the vast majority of my BTC (about 1000BTC or so) at the whopping price of $2, when I had quadrupled my initial investment....

Mostly I try to use them as means of exchange, rather than speculation tool, but it's hard on weeks like this one...

notdrunkatall 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been watching bitcoin since $10 or so, and always thought that I should buy some. At $30, I thought it was too late, but when it went to $250, I resolved to buy more if it crashed. It did, and I bought five at $80, just to get my toes wet. I planned on buying more if it ever dropped that low again, but of course, it never did, or hasn't yet... I just sold one this morning to cover my initial investment. The 4 I have left are all profit, and I'm gonna let them ride.
thrillgore 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I ended up selling the last of mine back when they went up to $80 some year or so ago.


gesman 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone (actually one of the biggest bitcoin mining equipment developer) donated me 10BTC back when they were about $1000 in total.

I tried to sell them but luckily almost got scammed, bank refused transaction and I didn't lose much. So i ended up keeping 8 BTC still :)

guiambros 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Sold at $220, for a 150%+ profit. Felt great, thinking it wouldn't get any higher this year.

Yeah, right.

markwakeford 18 hours ago 0 replies      
2250% Return on investment is rather nice. I wish I had bought more though haha.
2810 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish I could say that I bought 1000 btc few years back and sold it for $900 yesterday.. but no
rafeed 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Holding onto mine until I see a dip; this is shooting straight to the moon right now.
phaed 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I sold my 10 at $309 :(, bought 3 back at $400 the next day.
The most comprehensive guide about Soundcloud ever, is out now.
2 points by budivoogt  7 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: What are some good alternatives to HN?
167 points by fabrizioc1  2 days ago   109 comments top 43
simias 2 days ago 11 replies      
The thing with HN is that there are a lot of interesting threads that get increasingly drowned in "drama" contents: stuff about politics, the NSA, silicon valley drama...

See the G+ outrage lately: there are three articles about that at the top of the frontpage that say exactly the same thing with exactly the same comments. It's reddit/4chan tier "pitchforking".

The problem seems to be that the community is growing quickly and as a consequence the upvoted articles are those who cater to the lowest common denominator and it keeps getting lower. It's a problem all successful communities face.

The usual solution might be to migrate towards a smaller community as you propose, but the problem then is that you have to rebuild everything from scratch over and over again.

IMO a simpler solution would be to make a "meta-HN" which would just add an other layer of moderation on top of the existing HN:

- Remove all "drama/politics" entries

- Merge entries about the same topic under a single item.

Then just link to the usual HN comment threads. I find the quality of comments usually reflects the quality of the article so I think it would work well for me. No need to rebuild everything from scratch and rebuild the community.

The HN you once liked is still there, it's just getting increasingly buried it low-relevance contents.

jrockway 2 days ago 4 replies      
Reddit has gotten better recently, as long as you stay off the popular subreddits. Pick your 10 favorite hobbies or interests, and subscribe to those subreddits. It's got to be specific: not programming, but programming in Java; not electronics, but amateur radio; etc. (I will admit I enjoy r/AskReddit, which is where people write short stories in response to a prompt in the form of a loaded question. Ask Metafilter is much less creative, in comparison.)

A lot of people are recommending r/programming. r/programming is why I quit Reddit a few years ago. It's all "computer-related cult wars" rather than actual discussion about programming. Everyone goes through that stage in their programming career, but it's not interesting to read about, and most people eventually grow out of it. Not r/programming.

jrockway 2 days ago 2 replies      
MetaFilter. You have to pay $5 to post comments, and the comments are formatted in such a way as to discourage trolling, long digressions, and other annoying Internet comment features. The material is usually not amazingly interesting to me, but the community is very pleasant.
angersock 2 days ago 1 reply      
Try going to the "new" section and upvoting content you would like to see. If we all don't do that, of course the site will get overrun with stupid kneejerk posts.
michaelmartin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I quite like Alex McCaw's http://monocle.io/ - It's quite similar in topic to HN, but with less of the news/gossip/drama stories.

It also moves a lot slower, so if you miss a few days, it's fine. Just one page or so of links will show you all the best from those few days.

milliams 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://hckrnews.com/ to avoid the 'never made it to front page' problem.
t0 2 days ago 3 replies      
davidw 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://discuss.bootstrapped.fm has some good discussion related to bootstrapped startups, and seems to have a good community.
eric-hu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've found that meetup.com and a free night a week serve as a great alternative. programming meetups have given me deeper discussions about software engineering or given me a chance to work firsthand with people in languages or frameworks I'm curious about.
adrianhoward 2 days ago 1 reply      
On the startup side I'm often finding more things that are interesting to me on the community side of http://www.usv.com/
SkyMarshal 2 days ago 0 replies      

I figure I only read about 10% of the posts on HN, and focus on the ones about actual technologies I might use or evaluate. And honestly, that 10% is all I have time to read anyway, so it works out just right.

The only better option is to go to reddit and subscribe to all the relevant tech subreddits you're interested in and unsubscribe from everything else. That's more like drinking from the firehose though, requires more mental overhead in filtering only the absolutely most useful and relevant.

Also, http://pineapple.io if you just want cool tech and no discussions.

ivan_ah 2 days ago 0 replies      
I recently signed up for hubski, which is very similar in style to HN, but uses a tagging system so you choose to follow only the topics you are interested in.


So far it has been very good signal to noise...

ElbertF 2 days ago 0 replies      
DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Lately it seems I go to HN look at the front page and decide "I don't want to read any of these". Where do other HN readers go


Tycho 2 days ago 0 replies      
Look at the new page instead of the main page.
tlo 2 days ago 1 reply      
potomak 2 days ago 1 reply      
fcambus 2 days ago 0 replies      
For JavaScript, HTML5, and front-end news, there is Echo JS : http://www.echojs.com
debacle 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been spending more time in the technology dedicated subreddits. While the general content is lesser than HN was ~1 year ago, it's more on topic. I only see 3-4 stories a day on HN worth reading, which honestly is nice because it limits my browsing time.
sauravt 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think the only satisfactory alternative to HN, which could attract hackers and hackers only would be some sort of a termminal application, and you would be able to browse it through terminal only, that way we could get rid off all the classy people and hence the drama/politics posts it will be a hacker's paradise like HN used to be.

The only question is, how do we do it ?

tephra 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/ It is focused on programming languages and PL research
japaget 2 days ago 0 replies      
cubitesystems 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love Hackernews.

Here are my additional addictions (in order of preference):

* http://reddit.com/r/futurology

* http://reddit.com/r/linux

* http://theverge.com

* http://techcrunch.com

dying place (although I still read it): http://slashdot.org

* http://techdirt.com

* http://reddit.com/r/bsd

* http://reddit.com/r/opensource

ecesena 2 days ago 1 reply      
Theneeds [1]?

We built Theneeds with a similar idea in mind, that people should come and just find interesting stuff, personalized according to their interests (we learn from users' activity to get smarter about what the interests really are).

We focus on a broader range of topics than just tech & science, thought there is a good selection about that too.

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

yoodenvranx 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish there would be a simple tag system to classify the posts a bit. For example i am not interested in most startup posts but rather would just see only programming and technology related articles.

How many tags would be sufficient to classify most posts? Startup, marketing, programming, science, politics, ... That's actually a quite hard problem!

lowglow 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to shamelessly plug http://techendo.co/not as an alternative, but as a supplement. :)

We're also on irc: #Techendo on Freenode!

naiyt 2 days ago 1 reply      

Although it's just programming (the rules say that if there's no code in the link, then you shouldn't post it).

Kluny 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quora is quite good.
en4bz 2 days ago 0 replies      
For C++ lovers I find that http://www.reddit.com/r/cpp/ always has pretty good content.
Gaurav322 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reddit is the best alternative of HN and the most favorable thing of this community is that it has sub communities such as Technology, Programming,etc. not like HN.

But, it also has some disadvantage such as spammers first attack, moderators are not so active, sometime you can find unusual stuffs.

TomBeckman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try http://www.dailyrotation.com The top 100 headlines turn up interesting articles for many areas of interest.
dsaber 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://devmaster.net for game development
adamzerner 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a huge demand for quality content.

Why not just hire a bunch of people with taste to choose the content?

SanderMak 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are into JavaScript, http://echojs.com is pretty good.
modi0er 2 days ago 0 replies      
smoyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
We need sub-HNs!
joeyh 2 days ago 0 replies      
mailing lists


Misiek 1 day ago 0 replies      
himal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Almost missed this post becasue this is one of my "I don't want to read any of these" titles.
Datsundere 2 days ago 0 replies      
alg0rith 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: What's the safest/best site to buy a Bitcoin right now?
7 points by bgnm2000  18 hours ago   5 comments top 5
ferdo 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Buy gold at a coin store/jewelry store. Sell gold for btc to:


cstrat 17 hours ago 0 replies      
localbitcoins.com is always pretty good as long as you choose a safe payment method... i.e. not paypal or something easily reversible.
veeti 18 hours ago 0 replies      
tekknolagi 17 hours ago 0 replies      
contingencies 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Give me some JavaScript projects/webapp ideas. You can share your projects too
11 points by udb  1 day ago   13 comments top 8
daliusd 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure what you will do with those ideas but here some:

* Board games: reversi, go, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Men%27s_Morris, there are many checkboard games. You can make AI or allow play two players each against another.

* Simple adventure game. Story is always important. Read some SF book and make game out of it.

* Make page where user can drag-and-drop (or upload) photo and add silly hat(s) to people in that photo.

* Make app to learn English words. e.g. user is shown word in his native language and 4 English options are shown. User must select correct one. Or show English word and 4 pictures and user must select correct one.

* Make math learning game.

* Hangman game

* Make app that takes input from camera and uploads to imgur.com. Make it without your own server! I'm not even sure if that's possible but I believe that's possible.

* Upload whatever you did to Mozilla Marketplace for Firefox OS.

Wanna do something together?

EDIT Here is something I do for fun:


I have more apps like this. It takes 2 hours to write something like this, you learn something, and make something slightly useful actually (in this case I have noticed that Firefox markerplace does not have discount calculator with slider - I don't even have Firefox OS phone:)).

poissonpie 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't go wrong with a little todo list with angular and firebase.

I recently made a silly little Halloween game http://clickortre.at with angularjs.

calbear81 1 day ago 2 replies      
A temporary spreadsheet like notepad.cc does for writing. I'm always opening excel spreadsheets to use for making simple lists or tables and would rather do it in the browser.
DonGateley 1 day ago 0 replies      
If with JavaScript you can apply a user controlled process (DSP) to all audio emanating from the browser then I've got an important project/webapp for someone who knows how.

Gotta wonder, however, why on earth I would share more than that publicly if I wanted to earn anything from it.

krapp 1 day ago 0 replies      
here's a rudimentary threaded forum I hacked together to use with firebase: http://jsfiddle.net/LcXQU/feel free to play around with it.
wanghq 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check a simple single page app I built last week: http://www.tweetsmachine.com

"Track all tweets relating to one event at a time"

solaris__ 1 day ago 0 replies      
An online Javascript beautifier that not only beautifies the code but also replaces short variable names in minimal versions of the files with longer and meaningful names. The new names do not need to be related to the purpose of the code, it is just good the have readable and long variable names.
sharemywin 1 day ago 1 reply      
icon/sprite editor.
Ask HN: Google employees, why is G+ more important than your users?
332 points by dsl  2 days ago   269 comments top 38
jmillikin 2 days ago 21 replies      
Internally, G+ is marketed as a unified login/account system. Management's stated reasoning goes something like:

  * It's silly to force users to have separate accounts for    Google services because most users would prefer to have    Gmail, Docs/Drive, YouTube, Calendar, and so on under the    same account/identity.  * Users who want to have separate public identities will    create pseudonymous "Pages" for each of their identities.    These pages will still be owned by the same account, so    the user only has to log in once.  * Users who are strongly opposed to a unified Google account    are a sufficiently small population that it is acceptable    to inconvenience them if doing so improves the experience    of every other user.
By itself, these arguments are reasonable and could probably have been implemented without too much trouble (though "Pages" continues to be a confusing and unclear term). The problem is that the new account system was introduced at the exact same time as a social network, with the /same name/, and that the social network decided to inject a hard requirement of Facebook-style name validation rules into the new profile system.

Now the term "Google+" has become so strongly connected with the Google+ social network (and its infamous names policy) that any attempt to expand the Google+ account system is met with fear and outrage. I don't think upper management expected this or understands why the community reacted thus, just as they didn't expect or understand why requiring a Firstname Lastname format on the Internet was problematic.

I don't believe Google+ management is malicious, but they do seem woefully unaware of how internet-native communities behave.

jmduke 2 days ago 2 replies      
So I don't work for Google and I've never worked for Google. I do, however, have two things you might want to keep in mind:

1. Google, according to Wikipedia, has 46,000 employees. The number of employees who are in a position to influence policy regarding Google+ adoption over the Google suite of products is likely less than one hundred (or .2%). It is entirely possible -- likely, even! -- that the other 99.8% of those employees do not agree with the Google+ strategy. It is also entirely possible -- likely, even! -- that those employees are encouraged to voice their opinions internally (though voicing those opinions externally doesn't really accomplish anything extra.)

2. You can disagree with Google's tactics, motives, and end-goals, but I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't believe that the average Google employee is very intelligent. It is entirely possible -- likely, even! -- that one of these employees did a cost-benefit analysis somewhere along the line (likely before Google+ was released to the public) and discovered that the cost of pushing an umbrella identity (pissing off users, possibly lowering retention and engagement) is outweighed by the benefits of such a strategy (attracting 'whale' consumers, strengthening advertising profiles for consumers).

mcphilip 2 days ago 5 replies      
Not a google employee, but this disgusting mistreatment of its users may actually be a good thing if it blows up in their faces. My prediction is that the change to automatically showing the users g+ profile pic next to comments will be what gets them in hot water by empowering stalkers and trolls.

Here's a simple example, if you go to the video for Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball, there are the usual back and forth comments arguing her merits. However, you can now easily spot preteen girls if you were looking for that specific demographic, and then subscribe to them for more efficient creeping.

Shame on Google. This behavior is stunningly evil.

jrockway 2 days ago 11 replies      
I have no idea what the official party line is... but doesn't it make at least a little bit of sense to unify two social networks owned by the same company?

One thought about real names: what does your contacts database look like on your phone? While I know a lot of people by their online handles, I also know their real name, and I typically choose to enter that real name into my phone. Maybe this is uncommon, but if not, if you're building a communication platform, it does make some sense for the user-entered data to follow this format. Is there some intrinsic reason that someone be referred to as "Jonathan Rockway" when you send them a message via the SMS protocol, but "jrockway" if you send that same message via Jabber? It then follows to wonder: if you're talking to your friends via YouTube, why would you use yet another nickname?

Maybe what people want is a unique identifier that only they know, and then choose to share a different name with different groups of people?

I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other, but I am interested in what other people have to say.

nostromo 2 days ago 5 replies      
It seems simple, honestly. The likelihood that people will stop using YouTube because of G+ is nil.
joeld42 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not a google employee, but here's my take. It seems like value in web ecosystem is changing from "views" to "verbs" -- like, share, etc.. actions that spread content rather than passively consuming it. Google has based its business on monetizing "views" and its competitors (fb) are building on verbs.

Also, Google has to maintain a forest of separate identities for everyone. (youtube, gmail, g+, etc). It's super annoying just to maintain one login. There's huge business value in consolidating those, even without adding features.

Finally, Youtube comments are a cesspool. Even when they're not racist or threatening, they're immature and, at best "wow that's awesome". They drive viewers away. I bet google wants to try to do-over comments in a way that makes them useful to people, not unsettling.

And I would hesitate to call it a disaster. Sure there's a lot of whining about it now, especially in tech circles, but every big interface change comes with a wave of whiners. We'll see in three or four weeks if anyone is complaining.

They'd certainly have a much tougher time doing this if there were another option for the masses, but for most people YouTube is it. Saying people are going to quit watching or uploading to youtube is silly, they'll go where? Vimeo?

They're going to keep tweaking it, people are going to adapt and learn, videos of cats falling off objects will continue to be uploaded.

ps: "How do they keep morale up"? Free food and big piles of money. How else do you do it?

gkoberger 2 days ago 2 replies      
In addition to what other people have said: Googlers love Google Plus. I haven't met a Googler (and, I know many) that doesn't love it.

After all, for them, it's not a barren wasteland. They have a very active network (coworkers/friends). I don't think this answers your question, however most Googlers like G+.

dspeyer 2 days ago 1 reply      
Former Googler here.

The vast majority of Googlers do not approve of G+ policies. However, Google has never been run democratically and most of the time that's probably a good thing.

Furthermore, the management has been much less forthcoming than usual about the thinking behind these policies. What they have said varies and usually sounds like excuses.

In short, don't expect actual information in this thread.

mohamedmansour 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ever since Google has been integrating all their services to Google+, I have been using Google differently now:

1) Anonymous or no commenting on YouTube2) Using Windows 8.1 Mail app to access Gmail. Because seeing that Google+ notification icon is distracting and annoying me3) Stopped rating apps on Google Play store4) Stopped contributing reviews to Local5) Trying to stop using Google's Web products in favor of apps instead because of that damn Notifications bar.

I understand using a single Google Account for all services, but linking them all to one service where that service acts as a Social Network is not a service I would want to use anymore. They acquired Meeboo bar, and it seems they want every service they own have that bar and I despised that bar. Totally the wrong direction to take.

Treating each service separately would have been better and giving the option to the user to show that bar would have been great.

yuhong 2 days ago 2 replies      
This article that was submitted to HN had a section on Vic Gundotra that should have clues: http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2013/09/20/sex_a...
lazyjones 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm waiting for a Twitter video platform to settle these issues once and for all ... Google really needs more competition where users feel they are forced to do things because they have no choice.
rhizome 2 days ago 0 replies      
These threads are already huge, but I'll take a bite.

I don't think it's G+ being more important than the users, I think it has more to do with YouTube. Currently, G+ is for nerds who care about anonymity and all the other things that Google is being criticized here. That's fine, I'm one of them.

However, YouTube is a shithole and it's likely that YT people don't care as much about what they sign into as long as all their stuff is there. That Google would try to move YT users on to G+ makes sense in a "slum clearance[1]" way.

The Real Name vs. Nicknymity thing is a real problem, and for me I don't think Google is handling right, but I do think they're handling it in a way that is not out of line with the values of a stereotypical corporate bureaucracy.

Google wants to know the real names of everybody on its services, I get that, but users who value theirs and others' internet identity do so regardless of whether it's under a real name or a nickname. That Google has been found to be getting back alley sex from the US Government does not help their case for knowing who you really are.

In my more cynical moments I think comments and such are a ruse to get more PII from their users for law enforcement purposes. But YT is also a shithole, and the ad rates against combined-identity demographics ain't sour neither.

1. http://freakonomics.com/2011/09/30/the-controversial-legacy-...

amasad 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'd be more concerned when they start forcing G+ on open platforms like the Web and Android. Maybe it's already started with Android KitKat shipping with Hangouts as the default messaging app.
eonil 2 days ago 1 reply      
DISCLAIMER: I'm not a Google employee. This is my guess.

Users doesn't make money for Google. Users are valuable only when they're in sellable state. Ad companies don't want to buy fully anonymous, bogus or false profiles. They want real personal information from real human. To increase efficiency of target reaching / marketing cost.

Until now, Google didn't need to worry about quality of their product - I mean their users profiles. Because that was valuable enough. Because nobody else could provided anything better.

But now it's a little bit different. Especially with Facebook. Facebook provides better product - more accurate, proven, related, real personal information. There's mostly no spamming, bogus, false account. They offer interconnected and very clearly tasted profiles. The most fantastic thing is all the informations are input by users themselves. So accuracy of the data is incredible. Google' product - user profile - is mostly tracked by usage history. So inaccurate. People refuse to input something on Google. This degrades quality of their product.

To the marketers, Google product - user profiles - are now inferior. Nobody wants to buy Google product anymore. Not completely useless yet, but it's not competitive product to what Facebook provides. If this situation continues, Google has to bargain a lot, and finally will lose the only their profitable business - ad selling. Ad is not just an empty space on a website. Nowadays, you can't sell ad in high price without targeting information. Google's targeting was best in old days, but now Facebook offers even better which makes Google product crap.

That's why Google is pushing everybody to their copy of Facebook - G+. To survive. By making money. G+ can make money by delivering quality user profiles to marketers. But you, the users, are just nothing if you don't offer that informations. Because without informations, your account is just an useless binary junk which can't make money.

If you still love Google, please, feed them your personal information. That's the only way you can keep them (and their services) to survive. Anyway don't forget that any further marketing junks are also your responsibility. That's what you pay for Google stuff.


If you think something wrong in my posting, please correct me. I also want to know if there's any other reason.

DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reading this thread I see some confusion about what YouTube and Google require with G+ account linking.

HN is full of smart people who work with tech all day every day.

Imagine what it's like for the average person trying to create a YouTube channel but trying to avoid leaking too much information to the creeps.

It's weird to me that Google would make things tricky for content creators on Youtube. These aren't people posting cat videos, these are people who are trying to build a brand and who spend time and money creating original content - some of it is "let's play" style video, or vlogging, but some of it is young people creating music video and sharing it. Pissing off those people leaves YouTube a wasteland of cat videos, adverts off the telly, and chopped up tv programmes posted without permission. Google can make lots of money off that, but it's a shame they don't want the original content.

libovness 2 days ago 2 replies      
Don't forget that one of the tacit reasons for G+'s existence is simply to have a reason to encourage G+ buttons on each page for further tracking of what's happening on the internet. Using a single identity helps to reconcile a unique user that help both the advertiser reach "uniques" and for Google to better understand that user's behavior.

Back to the point: Google's ethos is to track and analyze as much of what's happening on the Internet as possible. If, as an employee, you don't appreciate that this is Google's bread and butter, you simply may not care enough about these things to ever get worked up about G+'s account management.

powera 2 days ago 0 replies      
This question should really be "VicG and Larry: why is G+ more important than your users".
yuhong 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is also a dead comment by Gthrowaway1 in https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6732425
judk 2 days ago 0 replies      
G+ leadership thinks the internet is for brand management for bloggers, photographers, etc. They aren't being sadistic, they are simply generalizing from their own experience ad successful public strivers.

Personal private use is simply irrelevant to them. And you know, maybe it wasted time and the world would be better if people stopped having anonymous debates that don't win over any minds.

Google doesn't run cafes and bars, and they don't run reddit, and they don't want to. They aren't trying to kill Reddit.

HNers write their blog posts and seek discussion here instead of in the blog's comments. Redditors can post YouTube videos and discuss them on /r/videos

adamnemecek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Somehow I don't think that someone who is a cog in the machine has much say in this.
tasoeur 2 days ago 0 replies      
From what I heard from Google employees, G+ has been highly prioritized over many projects (and some others which closed like google lab, reader, etc.).

Facing the social network giant that is Facebook, G+ has to become successful after many past failures, and to do so, they try to force their way through, and make it ubiquitous.

However, this Youtube chapter was probably a step too far, since very intrusive and noticeable.

jarsj 2 days ago 0 replies      
There used to be someone at google who would approve every UX/UI at pixel level. She now works for Yahoo!.
s-topper 2 days ago 0 replies      
YouTube comments were already a cesspool. Now, with added "shared via Google+", it has become unbearable. I added this rule in AdBlockPlus to block YouTube comments:


erikb 2 days ago 0 replies      
(not a G employee as well)

I scrolled through all the comments and at least in the first line I didn't see this yet, so I add it to this thread:Why does <X> piss of it's users? (doesn't need to be the big G)

A) Mostly people are using services that they don't pay for. But the service must be awesome. This kind of user is not so attractive to competitive, profitable companies. They don't add much but they cost much time, trouble, energy, money. If these users go away no company really bothers, even if these are 90% of the users. (keep in mind, I'm one of these troublesome users)

B.) Users that actually pay might not be unhappy with the results. E.g. a company that buys advertisement space from google will not mind if Google processes the user information more efficiently. Also a Google business account owner will not mind that his employees can't watch Youtube videos from his account that would be shameful to show publicly. Therefore I think the bigger part of the interesting cutomers might actually approve of the current changes.

C) Most users have not much power. They can basically choose between service A and service B but often both services exploit their users the same way (see G+ and FB). So even if they are annoyed as hell they might not even go away.

Now I'm really one of the people who is unhappy with Google as it is, but I think there are some very good reasons for them to do it.

dewiz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Something that Google fails to understand, is that the company unifying the authentication experience cannot be the same company unifying the web experience.

I like having one authentication service provider, but I cannot have this provider holding hostage my services, my data, my history etc.

In this sense Microsoft is better, because they focus more on the product and less on the identity (since the business model is around licenses this makes sense). However this could change soon... Bing, Office365 etc.

If Google wants to win this battle they need to allow users to expose themselves with nicknames at least, different names per service even. Internally they will have their unique ID to which they can attach their marketing business model. However, I will still feel something is wrong about one company knowing so much about me.

mcculley 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you reframe this question as "Why are your customers more important than your users?" it has an obvious answer.
shadowmint 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't be silly; that would violate the 'do not discuss this topic' order...
motters 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think Google will do what Google wants to do and that there are other agendas in play.

The reasonable thing would be to give people the option of uniting their different accounts for purposes of convenience, or not as they so choose.

moon_of_moon 2 days ago 1 reply      
So really the only way to identify high quality information is by what some would call "peer reviewed, authenticated content". That means you know something about the person who generated the content and a bunch of people (who you also know something about) review it and vote it up. Thats why a large percentage of high ranked search results come from wikipedia and stack overflow/exchange and quora.

LinkedIn and Facebook are leading the market in the authenticated peer reviewed content business, which is locked in to their platforms, and which search engines cannot index.

Extrapolate ten years down the line, and that means a scenario where existing search engine leadership is severely compromised.

And thats why the push for G+. Its do or die.

tl;dr: the goal is to have search access to authenticated peer reviewed content, and to mitigate the risk of existing market leaders in that space from cannibalizing the search business, and with it the lucrative advertising business.

gobbluth 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not a Google employee, just a satisfied member. As far as I can tell, these are the following flaws with G+:

1) It's idiotic that my URL must be FirstnameLastname1234.

2) GDrive storage (which I use to upload 2000px G+ photos) is unfortunately expensive when compared to Everpix's unlimited storage. Everpix would have been quite profitable at G+'s scale, too. If Google invested this much in photo enhancement services, why not allow us to pay $50/year for unlimited full-size photo storage?

3) Not enough participation by other people, though it's getting there.

4) I'll never review a Google Play app or Youtube video if I'm forced to publish everything with my real name. They should allow pseudonyms.

Seriously, are there other problems? It provides fantastic value for me in the form of auto-awesome photos and the eventual integration of Google Voice. My profile is completely locked down to outsiders and unifies my Google services under a single identity.

I just don't see what the problem is. At worst, it discourages participation on the Play Store and Youtube. In exchange, I get cool photo stuff and a pretty great social network. There are still improvements to be made, but I don't understand HN's antagonism. Quite frankly, G+ is welcome competition to Facebook. G+ has better design than Facebook, respects my privacy vastly more than Facebook, and provides incredibly valuable photo backup and enhancement.

Narkov 2 days ago 1 reply      
Users != customers. Customers > users.
jrs99 2 days ago 0 replies      
g+ needs to succeed. if it don't, then google is done. Search with no ads is something a startup can figure out. video with no ads is something a startup can figure out.
vinitool76 2 days ago 3 replies      
I don't get what all the fuss is all about. Why would you want to hide your identity unless you are writing something crappy or being a troll on Youtube or Play Store. A single sign-on service is a great decision and that't the way things should be when you have multiple services from same company.

You guys don't mind using all services like Spotify, Quora etc that are so closely tied up with Facebook login. But when google tries to integrate it's own services it is so wrong? What are we, Hypocrites?

Coming to Google+, it is a much better designed and well thought off social network. What is the whole issue about?

meerita 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm sure this is not developers fault. I'm sure it's management.
djvu9 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess the real reason could be that they try to sell ads on YouTube to advertisers with a competitive rate (compared to popular episodes) because they now can reach the targeted audience directly. The integration is somehow a "solid" evidence to advertisers.
rcjordan 2 days ago 0 replies      
The current crop of Youtube commentors are the target of this purge, not collateral damage. Big G's high$$ advertisers aren't interested in being associated with free-form comments.
airtonix 2 days ago 0 replies      
How is it a disaster? I keep hearing this from people who like to peddle filth on youtube. People who love Apple, people who have no problems giving up their privacy with Facebook.
googlemployee1 2 days ago 9 replies      
I work pretty high up at Google, and I (obviously) made this account to post in this thread. Google is effectively "dead" in my opinion, and this mirrors (at least in my experience) the feelings of many of our other higher-ups who are concerned with technology rather than the business. Everything has stagnated, it's no longer fun to work here, and it's entirely about making money now. The claims that we don't bend over for government agencies is entirely bullshit. Most of what they wanted was done without question (though I can't say how much of a choice we had). The company will continue, but you'll see us fall out of style, in a similar fashion to what has happened to Microsoft.
Ask HN: What do you wish you knew when you were 25?
8 points by ratsimihah  1 day ago   26 comments top 15
mililani 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Whenever I hear about young people asking for advice, it invariably turns into a conversation about regret, etc... And, in hindsight, yes, I wish there were LOTS of things I knew when I was 25. However, I wouldn't have learned any of those things unless I went through the process. At nearly 40 y.o. and back in school, I shoulda, coulda, woulda many times over. But, I also have, done, and did lots of things that I also regretted or turned out to be disappointments. I followed my childhood dreams, in fact, and that turned out to be a nightmare. I also saw this happen to a few friends who pined to work in the video game industry since their youth only to be so severely burnt out several years later to vow off programming forever.

So, all I can at this point it, you won't know what you want to know until you go through those experiences. And, stop listening to everyone else. We're all different and have different values and beliefs. What works for me probably won't work for you. I can say follow your passion, and that may just completely backfire like it did me. I can say save all of your money and be frugal, look at what's happening to most Americans! But, you could end up with cancer and die in your 30's without having truly lived. I guess what I'm saying is, 15 years from now, when you look back at your life, and you think, "Man, I shoulda, coulda, woulda..." Realize, your decisions are half chanced. Just like everybody else's...

strick 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Save 25 times your annual spending, invest it in index funds, and you are financially independent. Spend the rest of your life working on whatever you think is important.
ctdonath 1 day ago 1 reply      
How to buy stocks. Didn't buy just-issued Microsoft stock because the mysterious "how" was just daunting enough. (You had to actually go to a brick-and-mortar broker office; no such thing as "online trading".
vfulco 23 hours ago 2 replies      
loyalty to a corporation or even an smaller LP doesn't count for anything. always ruthlessly cultivate your career, growth & salary potential. And always be looking for a better environment. The "organization" will take everything from you it can to your personal & health detriment.
wikwocket 14 hours ago 1 reply      
If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Or, alternatively, if something looks too good to be true, one should ask oneself two questions: "What's the worst case scenario if I go for it?" and "What's the worst case scenario if I don't go for it?"

davidsmith8900 22 hours ago 1 reply      
- I wish I knew about https://news.ycombinator.com and startups. Back then I knew you could build your own company but not like this. Most importantly, I wish I knew about how life is made up of your choices and how you can control how your life turns out.
mxxx 20 hours ago 0 replies      
"yes, you should throw a few grand into bitcoin..."
hkarthik 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish I had lived in an urban area like SF, Chicago, or NY at 25 and then settled down in the suburbs a few years later. Instead, I've spent almost my entire career in the burbs or burb-like centers.
jacobquick 23 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not nighttime panic attacks, it's severe sleep apnea. Get to an ENT specialist and save yourself 12 years of hell.
cprncus 17 hours ago 0 replies      
When in doubt, don't park there. (Even for a second)
jamram82 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting read - http://hbs1963.com/
ScottWhigham 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a whole lot, actually. I think by 25 most of the "core" of me was developed. The things after 24/25 came as a result of the experiences I had. That can't be taught. For example, I could tell you 1,000,000 things on how to be a father and you could totally buy into it. None of that is a substitute for learning how to deal with a brooding 8yo prodigy though. It might help, but it isn't a substitute for how that specific kid reacts to anything.
bcheung 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have told myself to stop trying to figure out how other people become successful and trust yourself more. What works for others might not work for me.
heathlilley 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish I knew how much I didn't know. Self-awareness for the win.
NAFV_P 1 day ago 0 replies      
A programming language.
Ask HN: Bitcoin Mining Operations Perpetuating Weaknesses in SHA-256?
2 points by nighthawk  11 hours ago   5 comments top 3
tptacek 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Unlike SHA-1, which has a 2^60 local-collision attack and a 160 bit output (so an 80 bit birthday bound), SHA-2 has no theoretical attacks and a 128 bit security bound.

You can do the math on how much it would cost to find a SHA-2 collision; for instance, you can steal Skein team member Jesse Walker's back of the envelope calculations, assigning 2^61 cycles and 2^8 dollars to a server-year. Now multiply the number of cycles a block of SHA256 takes by 2^128.

I don't think a direct attack on SHA256 is a productive use to put the world's computers.

fleitz 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Rainbow tables are a space time tradeoff for specific known inputs, since the BTC blocks are not generally 'known' nor do some blocks occur more frequently than others rainbow tables are useless. Even when passwords are merely salted rainbow tables are abandoned as not worth the time.

You could pregenerate a 'longer' chain, but the problem is the 'legnth' of the chain is calculated based on difficulty not number of blocks, so you'd need more computer power than all miners combined.

If you want to get cynical about US / Chinese approval for BTC it would probably be willingness to buy enough hardware to precompute a longer chain.

The algos to exploit are the RNGs used in the ECDSA portion of BTC which allow you to derive the private key and directly spend bitcoins, there aren't any currently known weaknesses in relation to SHA256 in BTC. The RNG issue is specific to certain implemenations of BTC and has nothing to do with the protocol itself. (Similar to how an exploit for apache is not a weakness in HTTP)

oleganza 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Miners are computing hashes for a very specific chunk of data. And it's also double SHA256 which is not used in any standard key-derivation function. Specialized mining machines implement a lot of shortcuts to optimise for that exact hashing (in silicon!) and are useless for anything except Bitcoin mining.
As Bitcoin nears $700, Coinbase out of coins to sell
47 points by johnyzee  1 day ago   68 comments top 11
jscheel 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm pretty sure I have a wallet that I dumped a couple of bucks into when bitcoin was first starting out. Problem is, I have no clue where it might be, or even what computer it might be on. Laaaame.
makomk 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not that they've run out of coins to sell, it's that by the time the transaction completes they'll potentially be selling the Bitcoins for far less than they're worth - it's an artifact of Coinbase's business model. (Part of the problem IIRC is that people can back out of transactions after Coinbase have quoted them a price, meaning they can make a profit from a rising market at Coinbase's expense.) Same happened last time a bubble blew up in the Bitcoin price.
DonGateley 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The 30 day delay in effect at the time I bought at $125 to test my first use of the system is the only reason I have three Bitcoin instead of 20. By the time I was approved for quicker purchase the booster rocket had kicked in and I simply couldn't believe the price increase to $200 could last. Ah, well. Story of my life.
gphil 1 day ago 7 replies      
I just sold my pet Bitcoin that I bought for $80 a while back. This is getting crazy, I wonder who the buyers are?
sliverstorm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Where has it been nearing $700? https://btc-e.com/ reports a high of $595
altero 1 day ago 1 reply      
Perhaps it is time to roll out alternative crypto-currency. Bitcoin has way too much attention and speculation.
emrikol 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've splurged on tiny things and donations over the years with my old CPU-mined bitcoins. I'd completely forgotten about my wallet until things started getting crazy at $300 a week or so ago (was it that short?).

I was lucky enough to find 1.02BTC still sitting there, and now I can only hope that I can get Coinbase to verify my bank account before anything pops.

BlackDeath3 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can cancel on Coinbase? Why was I never able to find this option?
andreipop 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is anyone operating a reliable bitcoin options market?
doggy 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Based on the huge discrepancy between the supply of bitcoin (which is algorithmically regulated) and the demand (China, institutional investors, etc), some have predicted that the price of Bitcoin will increase to between $500,000 and $5,000,000 per unit within a three-year time frame. Whether this will happen or not, only time will tell. But what its telling us now is that Bitcoin has already increased 50x over the last 12 month.
lupinglade 1 day ago 7 replies      
Anyone want to sell me 1 BTC over PayPal? Its really hard for us Canadians to purchase bitcoin here :( The hoops are ridiculous.
Ask HN: How do you back up your data?
42 points by wbsun  3 days ago   57 comments top 34
lvillani 3 days ago 3 replies      
I've got a Synology DS213j [1] with two WD Red 2TB [2] drives in RAID-1. All machines in my house run some sort of Linux, thus they are encrypted and backed up daily with Deja-Dup (which is just a front-end to duplicity [3]).

The Synology has netatalk configured out of the box so it can be seen in the network as an AFP share and can be used as a destination for TimeMachine backups (I'm not using it in that way but a couple of friends who use Macs told me it works well).

It also has a package to backup data stored on the Synology to Amazon Glacier, and that is something I'm going to enable soon in order to improve redundancy (and to have an off-site copy of my data).

On top of that some of that stuff is also spread between Dropbox, Drive, Github and thumb drives. I might have like three to five copies of each file at any given time.

- [1]: http://www.synology.com/products/product.php?product_name=DS...

- [2]: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810

- [3]: http://duplicity.nongnu.org/

cromulent 3 days ago 4 replies      
This is not answering the question, but someone please build this for me (and hopefully a million others): Simple live off-site backup for worst-case scenario.

I buy a pair of devices (e.g. Tonidos) with attached commodity HDDs that I split with a friend. He plugs his into his network, I plug mine in.

I dump files to my local device, but they actually get buffered and then stored overnight at his place, and vice-versa. It's a remote backup storage device, not a NAS. Not for fast file serving.

If my house burns down, he hands me the HDDs and I decrypt them with my password.

If his IP changes, his device re-registers with mine somehow. Cleverness needed here, not a $10 month subscription. E.g. his IP is emailed to me, or my device, or something like that. Someone knows how to make two devices find each other over the net, I am sure.

Edit: Of course, it would be nice if it still worked if he was tech-illiterate, e.g. you could give the other one to your elderly parent or neighbor or whatever.

super-serial 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use one weird trick...

I have 2 USB drives. Every month or so I put my code on a USB drive and take it to my mom's house when I do laundry. I leave the latest backup there, and take the other drive home.

Cloud providers hate me.

dewarrn1 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been burned before, so now I use a mix of incremental networked backups and offsite storage. My home server runs ZFS, snapshotting every hour/day/week. Critical files get sent off to TarSnap each night. Friday nights, a script archives important data to a set of tar.gz files that are written out to an external HDD. Saturday mornings, I take the HDD to the bank and swap it with its counterpart in my safe deposit box. It's a bit cumbersome, but it works for me.
alexw1 3 days ago 1 reply      
Since both my wife and I use either Mac or Linux based laptops I have a quick and dirty shell script that gets fired off by hand at the end of the day. The script uses rsync and cpio to copy all files in the laptop's home directory onto a machine running debian packed with 4 1TB drives in a RAID5+1 spare configuration. The script uses hard links to keep daily increments without consuming disk space and goes something like:

  # rotate daily backups  ssh -i $SSHKEY -q $BACKUPHOST rm -rf $BASEDIR/home.3  ssh -i $SSHKEY -q $BACKUPHOST mv $BASEDIR/home.2 $BASEDIR/home.3  ssh -i $SSHKEY -q $BACKUPHOST mv $BASEDIR/home.1 $BASEDIR/home.2  ssh -i $SSHKEY -q $BACKUPHOST \  "(cd $BASEDIR/home.0 && find . -print | cpio -dplm $BASEDIR/home.1)"  # backup  TMPFILE=`mktemp /tmp/excludeXXXXXXXX`  cat << EOF > $TMPFILE  quota.user  .cache  EOF  rsync -Lazv -e "ssh -i $SSHKEY" --update --delete \  --exclude-from=$TMPFILE $HOME $BACKUPHOST:$BASEDIR/home.0  rm $TMPFILE

miahi 3 days ago 1 reply      
every time I have to grab the hard disk to browse my family photos and videos

That is not a backup, that's an external storage. A backup should only be accessed to sync data (preferably with versioning, so the old data is not overwritten) and to recover lost data.

My computers are synchronized with a home server that has mirrored disks, then the home server is backed up to cloud and to my parent's desktop (off-site backup). The backed up data has ~2TB (mainly photos, private git repository, documents).

I use CrashPlan for the cloud and off-site synchronization. With a free account you can backup data to another computer (yours or a friend's). With a paid account you can backup to their cloud storage and you can get more things to tweak. You can provide your own encryption keys, so the data should be safer (as long as you don't loose the private key). The best thing is that it offers file versioning (even with a free account, but you don't get some of the advanced settings for that), so if something really bad happens - like a ransomware virus, that encrypts your files - you can still recover the older version. The only issue is that the application needs Internet access even when using it locally - so if something happens to your account, or you don't have Internet access, you cannot easily[1] access your data.

[1] http://crashplan.probackup.nl/remote-backup/support/q/how-to...

matthewmacleod 3 days ago 1 reply      
1. I keep working data on my laptop, and archived data/media on a desktop machine in my home.

2. Both are backed up to Time Machine to a network drive, and also with Arq to Glacier.

3. I keep important documents in Dropbox.

This gives me "Oh shit, I deleted a file" protection from Time Machine and Dropbox, two local copies of all media and data in case of hardware failure or machine loss, and a last-ditch offsite Glacier backup.

Works well, and Arq isn't that pricey if using only Glacier.

vog 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is how I do that for servers, but I'm experimenting with using the same backup schema for my local machine, too:

On my servers, every virtual machine is on an encrypted block device, so the data is already encrypted when it's written to the disk. Then I use Shasplit [1] and Rsync for efficient incremental backups. Restoration is a simple "cat" invocation (or use Shasplit for that), and I get back a full, running, encrypted VM with everything.

[1] http://vog.github.io/shasplit/

csmuk 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a 500Gb portable hard disk that gets appended to daily and cycled every 2 years. Plus a digitalocean VM which gets rsynced to daily.

Oh and a VS320 DLT which gets done when I can be arsed as that has a two decade shelf life. It and the drive live in a 400kg fire safe.

And I print all my photos on 10x8 paper that are worth keeping.

And I have CDs for music still.

Edit: see a lot of people relying on just cloud services. Don't do that. Shit does go missing and fail. And I bet you don't test your multi-gigabyte cloud drop until you need to restore it which is bad juju.

rythie 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've got my stuff on my macbook air and usb drive. I've got the drive partitioned into two, half for time machine, the other for more photos (that don't fit on the MBA's 256gb SSD). When the MBA gets full, I move old photos to the USB drive.

MBA and the data part of the USB drive backed up with Crashplan ($5/month)

Also have some stuff on Dropbox (free account) also backed up to Crashplan - it's mostly just stuff I need in other places.

All my documents on Google Drive, don't back that up because I don't think you can (the desktop client doesn't give access to actual documents). Additionally most of best pictures are either on Flickr or Facebook.

jamroom 3 days ago 1 reply      
BackBlaze has worked well for me:


easy to restore, and works silently in the background.

yanokwa 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think for most people, CrashPlan to a local and remote drive gives you the most bang for back. Here is what I do...

# Principles

Back up everything. Preferably to the cloud and to a local disk. Automatically.

You should test restores, but you probably wont. Have two independent backup methods for every piece of data.

You should be able to be up and running to last day's backup within an hour or so.

# Personal

CrashPlan: I want to backup every version of every file on my local computer to a local disk and cloud storage.

SuperDuper: I also want to have bootable nightly images of my machine in case I need to restore immediately.

CloudPull: I want to have a local copy of any Google file I have (Docs, Gmail, Calendar)

IFTTT to DropBox: And whenever possible, I want to have a copy of any other cloud-based service (e.g., Instagram)

# Servers

Linode Backup: Turnkey and presumably the Linode folks are smarter than I am.

Duplicity to S3: In case Linode folks aren't that smart, I will have nightly backups of everything.

oxplot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't have offsite backups yet (but read on). Currently, I auto-backup daily at 4am, my entire fedora desktop using rsyncbtrfs https://github.com/oxplot/rsyncbtrfs which does an incremental backup on btrfs using subvolumes. I have everyday backup for last 4 years and I can access any version of any file at any time with no preparation (ie just cd into the appropriate directory for that day).

I have also written https://github.com/oxplot/cloudnbd for offsite backup. It presents any cloud storage (via pluggable backends) as linux block device which you can format to FS of your choosing. You can then mount it, RAID it, etc. and do crazy stuff with it. I don't use it yet because it's not well polished (and I'm lazy) but that's my ultimate weapon. It encrypts everything on the client side too so that should make NSA's job a tad harder.

autotravis 3 days ago 0 replies      
Previous backup method:1. Back up working dir (~1.5 GB) daily with rsync to Raspberry Pi.2. Back up encrypted archives of photos/videos monthly to mega.co.nz and external drive, and back up new photos/videos during month with #1 above.

New back up method:1. Back up everything with Deja Dup to $25/year, 50GB VPS daily - I don't have a lot of data.2. Back up everything with Deja Dup to external drive monthly (maybe going to weekly).

Edit:All photos are resized monthly with a script to create a ~100KB copy that lives on my laptop and phone. I can see all photos I've ever taken on my phone, but still have the full-res copy backed up.

CameronBanga 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've become a big fan of Arq, although your collection may be a bit large. Crash Plan and Backblaze do well too.

If price is an issue, and you don't care about security, I would also consider a private Flickr account for photos and iTunes Match for music, and then use Dropbox/Arq for the documents/other valuables. Photos/music are fairly safe offsite with those, then your docs will be in S3/Glacier with Arq. Not perfect, but an alright solution for cheap.

RexRollman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I switch between Windows and Linux quite a bit but for me it is mainly two tools: Rsync (Linux) and Robocopy (Windows).

I don't store anything online unless it is something mundane, like my dotfiles.

decasteve 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a raspberry pi at home in which I backup to via sshfs (if I am away from home). It is connected to a usb driven external 2TB drive.

I backup this drive and keep a copy at my parent's house in their safe.

colinbartlett 3 days ago 1 reply      
chrisfarms 3 days ago 0 replies      
btsync [1] seems pretty promising so far. I've been syncing a NAS drive at home with my a disk at the office and a small linode instance.

Shame it's not open source as there have been a few things I'd like to tweak (like quieten down the UDP noise a bit), but it's a pretty good backup solution IMO.

[1] http://www.bittorrent.com/sync

ukd1 3 days ago 1 reply      
For my laptop: I use backblaze for everything. I have timemachine setup on a small server (running zfs and snapshotting). I also use arq to backup more important stuff an extra time to S3.

For servers with data, which currently is just postgres - Heroku pg backups. We download, verify and archive them on S3 and to local server.

dbplunkett 3 days ago 0 replies      
I pay ~$4/m for CrashPlan.I keep all my data - all of it - on one desktop PC (including periodic downloads of remote data like emails) and all my other devices (laptops, smart phones) contain only some subset of that data passively synced with the desktop, E.G. using Dropbox.I do incremental backups down to 10 minutes to CrashPlan's cloud and to a local external HDD. I remind myself to replace the HDD every 3 years.

I've got terabytes of data and it works great. The only thing I want is a third, off-site, non-cloud backup. I don't have a solution for that, but having my data in 3 places, one of which is the cloud, is good enough for me for now.

AH4oFVbPT4f8 3 days ago 0 replies      
My method is pretty close to yours:

1. Google Drive (got 2 years of 100GB space with Chromebook), was previously using Dropbox

This provides me a backup locally on the computer and one off site.

2. I have an external hard drive connected to the workstation that runs an update weekly to give me a third copy of all my data. I switch out the drive with a second external drive on a weekly basis.

If my computer dies, I have Google Drive and then the external hard drive x2. If the external hard drive fails then no big deal. If Google drive wipes out everything still no big deal.

I backup around 70GB.

*edit: The OSes I use are Windows 8.1, ChromeOS, and OSX,

systematical 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a 1 TB USB drive and allow Ubuntu's backup software to do weekly backups of my code, docs, etc. It's simple a $100 solution.
eliteraspberrie 3 days ago 0 replies      
I only back up important documents, encrypted on an SD card. I estimate that the chances of fire or theft are not important enough to invest in anything more.
__xtrimsky 3 days ago 0 replies      
Dropbox. (Google Drive is not stable enough, and I have too many things on Google already)

One mistake I made with Dropbox is installing it on one of my linux servers, on my server I moved Dropbox folder, and it made Dropbox believe that I have deleted everything on my server. So it deleted most of my files, and recovering it was a mess. Even talking after talking with Dropbox support, I couldn't recover everything :(.

Looking for a better solution, but I need the cloud as I want to be able to access some of the files from my phone.

rajivmr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here is a blog post/screencast I wrote almost a year ago on how to go about using OS X TimeMachine and SMB (Samba) to do backups.


Never made it on HackerNews, but many people have found it useful.

ioddly 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dropbox for non-media stuff, I back up everything occasionally on a USB hard drive with rsync. I guess it's not a big deal to me because aside from my work which is in dropbox and git, I don't have anything I couldn't replace.
benbristow 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't have anything really on my computer that needs backing up. I use SkyDrive to store documents like Homework etc. but apart from that nothing.

Everything nowadays is easy enough to re-download from the internet at a later date.

mirkob 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use Apple Time Capsule and iDrive for off-site backups (https://www.idrive.com/). Both use encryption to protect my data.
mbesto 3 days ago 0 replies      
Arq -> Amazon Glacier
thereticent 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use Amazon Glacier through FastGlacier. Pennies a month, and I'm reassured.
zengr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Timemachine + dropbox.
keehun 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use CrashPlan
ForFreedom 3 days ago 0 replies      
pay for dropbox.
Ask HN: What are your top tips for leading a software development team?
5 points by smiler  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
shock 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't hire "rockstar" developers. The ones I've worked with ended up being toxic to the team: withholding details from their peers/managers, acting passive/aggressive when asked what they were working on, etc. It's not worth it in the long run, as time progresses the effort need to manage them starts to outweigh the benefits.
blooberr 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the team lead role!

What's your management style like? What do you like and not like about your previous bosses?

Here's a few questions to consider:

How proactive are your reports? You might notice individuals on your team fall into two camps. One group will keep you updated at all times. That's good. The other won't say anything unless asked. They only do what they're told and stay under the radar. You'll have to figure out what works best for you to have an idea what everyone is up to.

How do you listen to them? Not all my teammates speak English as their first language so initially I had a lot of trouble. I learned over time to just shut up and let them work out their thoughts.

How do you grow your team? I encourage them to explore side projects and I ask what they want out of their careers. Not everyone is the same - some want to eventually run their own companies, others want to stay purely technical. Some just want to tag along. Doesn't matter if they're being 100% honest or not. Just go the distance and help them grow, whatever resources they need. I've always been pleasantly surprised when I genuinely invest in someone.

How do you win over your team? I have never, ever been able to successfully drive an agenda long-term by twisting someone's arm. It's far easier for me to take the time and persuade rather than bark orders.

For reading - Effective Executive and How to Win Friends and Influence People are two books that come to mind. One of my management mentors also recommended reading fiction as a way to understand motivations. Here's an article on this: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/04/229190837/want-to...

I've only been managing for a few years. Maybe everything's still rosy. I see management as achieving results, not controlling people. Management is a way to multiply my effectiveness and accomplish more than a group of individuals.

Let me know if you want to discuss anything else.

memracom 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Read the SWEBOK guide https://computer.centraldesktop.com/home/viewfile?guid=49744... and over time, ask the team to focus on one of those areas and decide how to improve their game. In general, get the team to discuss issues and decide on solutions. For instance, Agile. If you read the Agile manifesto, a short text that emphasizes communication, you get a very different picture of how to do Agile than you get from any Agile books or consultants.

Make sure that you have good controls in place, and in software that mainly means code reviews and QA. Usually QA is a specialist role but you may find it better to rotate people through a one or two month stint as QA people. You will likely see more automation of QA if a software developer is doing the job.

wattson12 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://randsinrepose.com, who wrote Managing Humans[http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159059844X?ie=UTF8&tag=beig...] (not updated all that often but good content usually)
Ask HN: I need some help with an investing-based startup
4 points by Legend  1 day ago   7 comments top 3
beat 23 hours ago 0 replies      
As others have pointed out, blogging is absolutely essential to a product like this. Free content for conversion is also really valuable.

Don't be too wedded to your initial revenue model. There are lots of ways you can make money here - subscription, ads, etc. The middle-class investment industry relies heavily on getting a finger on the pulse of the cash flow for ordinary people. If you're deliberately avoiding touching that pulse, and deliberately avoiding remarketing to investment businesses, you may have a hard time getting reasonable return for your work from subscriptions or whatever.

You might want to look into investment clubs and how they work, not as a market but rather as an insight into your customers.

sharemywin 1 day ago 1 reply      
I read an interesting article about Mint.com. I think your product could follow a similar marketing path. It revolved around a blog to establish credibility first.


staunch 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm sure there are many people working on this stuff, but this one I came across recently and it looks good: https://www.wealthfront.com/questions
Ask HN: Thoughts on Meteor.js?
66 points by karlcoelho1  3 days ago   60 comments top 30
napoleond 3 days ago 5 replies      
Meteor is good, but not at everything, so it's very important to understand the trade-offs.


0. Obviously, its major strength is its "real-time"[0] nature: I have built multiple chat systems (and presumably so has anyone else who's used Meteor, because it's an example of something that's fun and easy with Meteor but relatively hard with a traditional stack) as well as a map application that tracked the motion of a company's employees in relation to their destination (as part of a dispatching system).

1. It's also the least complicated way of sharing code between the browser and the server that I've seen to date.


0. It's non-npm package manager feels like NIH to me (although I'm sure the team had valid reasons, I've never looked into it). Apparently it's still possible to require npm modules[1], although I've never tried it.

1. You're more or less stuck with MongoDB for the time being, which I guess a lot of people like but it's not really my thing.

2. There's not really any SEO capability, but that's sort of a given. Just don't use Javascript frameworks for that sort of project (or do, and do all sorts of weird shit to help Google).

3. It's kind of too auto-magic for me sometimes. The documentation is generally very good, but I occasionally run into weird variable scoping issues and the like, without any way of really figuring out what's happening. Of course, the source code is available[2] if I had time to read it. (Well-written, but big, and I find reading Node code to be mentally more taxing because of all the callbacks.)

4. The biggest con, for me, is that Meteor is basically limited to web applications. I really enjoy the typical single-page web app approach of building an API first, which you can access from other apps later (ie. mobile/tablet). I have no idea how I'd do that with Meteor. I'm experimenting with bundling a Meteor project and inserting the client-side code into a Phonegap app, for a mobile chat thing I'm working on, but that's obviously not ideal.

Generally, I love working with Meteor. I know I've written more cons than pros, but the pros I've listed are huge, and they've allowed me to work on cool stuff. You just need to know what you're getting into.


0. The scare quotes are for the people familiar with embedded real-time systems who seem to always find these comments and complain about how that word has an entirely different meaning when it comes to web applications.

1. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10165978/how-do-we-or-can...

2. https://github.com/meteor/meteor

harrylove 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using Meteor in paid gigs for over a year now. I don't regret giving it a try. It was hard to get my mind around for a few weeks. But then it clicked and I saw a lot of possibilities. I've never been happier as a developer. But that's me. It fits me.

I started using Rails in professional work in late 2005. That turned out to be a good decision. There is hype around Meteor in the same way there was hype around Rails in 2004/2005. The praise and objections are similar. Meteor is not Rails, so don't go looking for too many parallels. And the development climate in 2013 is not the same as 2005. You won't be able to predict Meteor's success or failure in five years, so it's not worth speculating.

When Rails came out, I was ready for it, technically speaking. My skills were in the right place and I was ready for a change. Similarly, I felt I was in a good spot to learn Meteor last year.

So the real question is, are you excited, ready, and able to learn it? If so, go for it. The worst that will happen is you will learn a new programming paradigm (perhaps) and it will inform any other development work you do.

jasoncrawford 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote about Meteor here: http://blog.jasoncrawford.org/meteor-demystified

Bottom line: Very interesting platform; nicely done in many ways; some concerns about architectural choices; not quite ready for prime time (production use) but probably will be soon.

hannibalhorn 3 days ago 0 replies      
I looked at it pretty heavily about 6 months ago (version 0.6.3 I think), so things have certainly changed some, but my thoughts were:

- It's nice that it comes with pretty much all the grunt work done, out of the box (asset packaging, live reload, deployment bundles, even the database!)

- It reminds me of early Rails, as it is still in a bit of a "hacky" phase. The level of commenting in the code is very low, there's TODO's everywhere, lots of things are shoved into the global namespace, etc. This is a sharp contrast with Angular or Ember, which have codebases I'd be proud to have my name on.

- The template binding is done in a simple-yet-effective way, which works without being too complicated but if your data isn't just a simple key/value map you'll need to learn a bit about it.

- Perhaps due to the simple binding, it's possible to use legacy code (e.g., jQuery plugins) in a lot of places where it would be tricky with Angular/Ember.

- It's very opinionated and you certainly wouldn't want to stray from the "happy path" of what's included in the stack (e.g., mongodb.) This was pretty much a deal killer for my app, though every case is different.

ezequiel-garzon 3 days ago 0 replies      
... or Derby [1]. I'm curious about things the HN crowd has been building with this kind of stack.

[1] http://derbyjs.com

camus2 3 days ago 1 reply      
> Do you think it's worth learning?

Everything(almost) is worth learning , the question is , is it worth using ? you give 0 clue as to why you'd need that stuff.

gerrys0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Our company has doubled down on Meteor. We start all greenfield apps in meteor now.

The biggest negative is simply the immaturity of the ecosystem. Everyone has different standards. There are no de facto standard packages (yet). Everything is changing rapidly. What worked well last week may not work well this week. The bleeding edge truly bleeds.

From a pure technology perspective, I'm excited about meteor because (to use a clich) it shifts the paradigm. I wouldn't compare it to Rails/Ember/Backbone/etc because meteor is full-stack. There is no client/server. There's no ajax. Everything is one codebase. Even though it's built on top of node, it doesn't even feel like node because of the reasons above, and most of meteor is synchronous.

We wrote a couple blog posts about making the jump to meteor. I think the 1st one directly answers your question. The 2nd caused quite a stir here on HN.



lampe3 3 days ago 1 reply      
I want to clear some things:

0. Meteor is in version so there are things not as good as they could/will be.

1. scaling: meteor is 100% scalable. There are meteor smartcollections which use the MongoDB optlog. Nice read: http://meteorhacks.com/lets-scale-meteor.html .

2. Right now you have to stick to MongoDB this will change in a later version.

3. Meteor will get a new rendering engine which will allow you to put angularjs( god only knows why ) or haml or some other templating thingy in meteor.

4. You can use meteor with phonegap right now.

Will meteor solve all your problems? No!

Will meteor will make you not think? No!

It's a great new piece of technology and you will learn new pattern and things. the livedata package and ddp package are great packages on their own.

Tarang 3 days ago 0 replies      
Its lots of fun learning with it. It tries to remove as much boilerplate as possible.

They have packages to take care of most of the stuff for you such as their accounts-ui package.

One helpful place to learn meteor from beginner to advanced is via the screencasts on.


possibilistic 3 days ago 0 replies      
How well does Meteor scale? Could a multiplayer game written with Meteor handle the HN crowd hitting it? I'm thinking of writing something like this and Meteor would be perfect if it's amenable to authoritatively sharing state between thousands of connections.
tobinharris 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'd recommend writing a few sample apps just to get a peek in to the awesomeness of where web technology could be going. It's hugely different to the Rails, .NET and Node stuff I've worked with to date.

Meteor buzzed me out - the auto-updating views, syncing data across client & server. Your app can achieve amazing real-time capabilities with very little code.

But now I'm a few thousand LOC into an application, admittedly I've pretty much hit the "wall". The magic baffles me. I'm struggling to solve problems in performance, code organisation and security.

I've been disappointed by the progress and the team behind it. All that funding and I can't see it progressing quickly. The docs are quite weak, there's not many example apps, progress seems slow.

So... on one hand it's awesome and well worth learning. But I'm reluctant to back it for the long term, as I don't see the team/framework moving in the right direction.


arunoda 3 days ago 1 reply      
Of Course Yes.Just spend few hours with DiscoverMeteor[0] book. You'll be amazed.

[0] - http://www.discovermeteor.com/

ollymorgs 3 days ago 0 replies      
My biggest issue with all of the frameworks is their lack of maturity. If you're working on a large platform with a team of people, you're going to want database migrations, localisation/i18n, asset management, proper testing framework, continuous integration and general proof of scale.

Meteor.js seems great but is still a bit of a gimmick in my eyes. But If I'm pressed to pick one, I have to say I'm much more interested to see what happens with Go and web frameworks like martini.

christian_fei 3 days ago 1 reply      
Reading 'Discover Meteor' and consulting the docs will give you all you need to create a great realtime application in short time. It's a real pleasure to work with Meteor and the realtime web feels just a few steps away.

I built http://opentalk.me with it

jbuzbee 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've played with meteor a bit and and also hacked on drorm's mysql back-end:


It works for some cases, but it quite limited in the type of database tables it will support. And in the end it's polling mysql for changes to feed to meteor clients.

I also added meteor support to a leaflet-draw package to allow users to share drawing on a map:


Powerful and fun!

wavesounds 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's really great technology and a lot of fun to program in! My only problem with it is its so closely tied to Mongo. There are ways around this already I believe. However official SQL support is coming soon, which I'm very excited about.

If real time collaboration is at the core of your web app, then you'll love Meteor.js.

bhurlow 3 days ago 0 replies      
Meteor is one of the most comprehensive and smooth frameworks for making web applications available today. It solves a ton of problems with a few overarching concepts: http://docs.meteor.com/#sevenprinciples
mmgutz 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a developer I think "Wow, impressive". They have serious creativity and brainpower on that team. But, as a developer I also think how much magic must be going on there. I've always been a lightweight framework kind of guy Sinatra over Rails, Backbone over Angular. I'm not their target.
Sewdn 3 days ago 2 replies      
Yes, it's worth learning.

3 good reasons why:

1. It's ambitious.

Meteor is not yet another nodeJS web-framework or client side JS framework. It also doesn't stop at combining the both (with a beautiful DDP to share data between C/S). Meteor' s architecture will make it possible to use it's components for all sorts of applications (other then the obvious web-apps).

2. It's as easy or as complex as you want it to be.

You can write a meteor app in 4 files or in a complex packaged structure. No need to overcomplexify, if you dont't want to. But you cn write large, complex, stable and maintainable code.

3. It embraces the eco-system.

You can rely on all of the NPM packages out there for your serverside logic and use all of the available frontend UI libraries and scripts. It will also enable writing complete reusable components in 1 package: servers-side logic, data-model, client-side logic, UI, ... all in one.

Biggest upcoming updates:

* Meteor UI.Better approach then any other UI framework out there (including Facebook's react or FTLab's fruitmachine)

* Galaxy.Deploy and scale your app on your own infrastructure or in the cloud by pressing a few buttons.

To counter a few of the cons in this thread:

* It's not reached 1.0 and it is therefor not production ready. I'd suggest writing your new applications in meteor anyway. Meteor matures quicker then any other framework out there. Is is well funded and here to stay.

* It is not scalable. Maybe not easy right now to make it scalable. But it certainly will be soon, when using mongodb oplog and galaxy will make it really easy to scale your service.

I run an agency in Belgium (redandivory.com) and we switched completely to meteor for all of our new projects. I think it's the framework of the near future.

leke 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would like it to be supported on my RaspberryPi, but it isn't (apparently), so I don't use it. There are other nodey frameworks out there that just require node itself, so I'm looking at those for the moment.
jorganisak 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you are familiar with front-end JS frameworks like Backbone/Ember/Angular, then learning Meteor is as simple as a read through the docs and building a sample app.

If not, then learning Meteor would be a great way to become familiar with JS frameworks, and make the move to more complex frameworks (Angular FTW!) in the future.

Either way, awesome tool!

reustle 3 days ago 0 replies      
As other have hinted at, it's definitely worth learning, like most things. Get roughly familiar with it and other projects, that way when it comes time to pick a tool for a project, you'll have a better set of options to pick from.
enay 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use Meteor for a dashboard app and this seems to be the ideal use case for this stack: take JSON documents via third-party APIs, aggregate them (hence MongoDB is fine for the job) and push to clients.

Was it worth learning? I'd say yes, it has a low barrier to entry and is great for practicing front-end development.

seniorsassycat 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have dabbled in it. I found it hard to learn and mysterious, but when things work it is amazing.

Meteor is a combination of handlebars, jquery, mongo, sockets, and a handful of other technologies. It can be hard to debug or develop unless you are familiar with those technologies. I think meteor would benefit from more transparency, make it clear which frameworks provide which features.

You will find more applicable documentation by searching "Handlebars Templates" instead of "Meteor Templates".

filipedeschamps 3 days ago 1 reply      
I feel scared to how incredible this framework is. It's magic that scares me the most.
albiabia 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for an alternative thats much more versatile and less opinionated I would recommend Sails.js http://sailsjs.org/ which is basically Rails for JS based on Express.
laughfactory 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hard as hell to learn, IMHO.
tel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Can anyone compare it to Opa?
igl 3 days ago 1 reply      
after reading some github issues and some source code... There is also sails, and probably tons of other express/socker-io boilerplate frameworks. But meteor has this facebook guy on the homepage. Your boss will love it.
shire 3 days ago 1 reply      
What is the big difference between Meteor and Express?
Ask HN: CS Degree, felony conviction, need not apply?
72 points by csfelon  2 days ago   92 comments top 23
blahedo 2 days ago 4 replies      
It's also worth noting that there is some movement towards preventing businesses from asking about convictions until after a conditional offer has been extended, and then putting some burden on them to demonstrate relevance before they rescind the offer. (So, under that rule, someone whose felony was embezzlement can be rescinded from a bank job, but a pot conviction shouldn't matter for a programming position.)

See http://bantheboxcampaign.org/ and e.g. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/08/ban-the-box-minneso... , among others.

jsmthrowaway 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have direct experience with the companies you have listed, which I don't see elsewhere in this thread; I'll give you a timeline of my career so you can get a feel for what you're up against. In 2007, I was convicted of Interference with or Disruption of an Educational Institution, a class 6 felony in the state of Arizona. Since then I have had a steady career, with its share of bumps, but it is possible.

In 2009, I found work at Linode. The founder of Linode is an understanding guy and I was up front about my situation. It was also more unique because my career up to that point had been broadcast television and radio; when I was convicted, I was an on-air technical director at a Phoenix news/talk station. So I had no demonstrable work experience in computing. I was given a unique interview and passed, so I spent the next two years and change working at Linode. My situation was not a secret to anybody at Linode.

Once I had that experience on my resume, I translated that to Foursquare, where I worked for a year and a half. Again, same story: I was completely up front with everybody I spoke to about the situation, and my immediate manager only wanted to know the details out of curiosity. I do not keep my conviction a secret, even from my colleagues and those around me. It is a part of me and I am no longer embarrassed by it.

After Foursquare is where the tragedy begins, and the salient part of what you're asking about.

Earlier this year, I courted and finally accepted an offer to work at Google. I disclosed the conviction to Google right at the beginning of the process. The recruiter assured me it shouldn't be an issue[1], but they do something sneaky: they offer you employment then perform the background check, and write their offer so that the offer hinges upon the results of the background check. Everybody else I've worked at has had this reversed (including my current employer), so this was a first for me. They let you see the Google offer and get excited, then begin the background check.

The results of the background check arrived very soon. I want to say by the following Monday. I followed up with another e-mail, and Dan said the results go directly to company leadership. I heard nothing for two months, even after I began work. To reiterate that, I worked for two months at Google while Google had the results of the background check in hand. After two months, Google scheduled a meeting half an hour in the future on my calendar and terminated my employment. Ben Treynor and Ben Lutch, two higher-ups in the SRE organization, fired me having never met me. My immediate manager appealed but Ben Lutch refused to reconsider or even speak with me.

Considering I know of some very public felons that work at Google, I can't help but feel shafted, but it taught me a valuable lesson about how to negotiate during the offer process regarding a felony. From Google, I courted three companies:

- Facebook was honest and said with a felony it was unlikely. The recruiter did everything possible to basically talk me out of continuing the process once I disclosed it.

- LinkedIn suddenly filled the position once I disclosed it, even though the position remains open on the Web site and it is a general position.

- Apple resulted in a closed offer. I was up front with Apple as I was Google, and I requested that we put all the horses in order before we move forward. They were understanding of that, given my Google experience, and I am happy to report that I am far better off at Apple than I was Google. I'm not going anywhere; Google is an extraordinarily passive aggressive culture and I could tell I wasn't going to be happy there anyway. Apple also compensates me better than Google did. The side benefit of my long-term goal at Apple is that by the time I'm considering moving elsewhere (if I am at all) the felony will have long passed the seven-year mark. I'll probably have long since set it aside in Arizona (Arizona has no "sealed", just "set aside").

Two other highlights of my career to show you mistreatment of felons by companies:

- Rackspace booked a flight for me to San Francisco when I still worked at Linode, then I took time off from work to fly out and they cancelled the flight the evening before with about 12 hours to go once I disclosed the felony conviction. They pointed to their terms of service with their customers.

- 1010data, a competitor to the Foursquare offer, called me in for a meeting during my offer process. They were vague as to what the meeting was about. When I was brought into the room I discovered most of the board of the company as well as various senior leadership, and I was grilled about my 'prank' felony for better than a half hour by investment banking types in their upper forties and fifties. I wish I would have known that was coming. To their credit, they did the research and still extended an offer, but that meeting left a bad taste in my mouth.

Your best advice, which I received in the thread when I discussed this before[2], is just to be up front and explain it and own your felony. I promise.

[1]: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6121606/assurance.pdf

[2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6245316

rbobby 2 days ago 2 replies      
Tighten your explanation a bit:

I was arrested for selling marijuana to a roommate in the dorms while a freshman at [Name of School] in 200?. This was an especially difficult period for me; my father/mother had committed suicide the year before and I was having a difficult time coping with his/her death and being on my own at college for the first time. This led to me making a very poor choice, one that I regretted then and continue to regret today.

I agreed to plead guilty, and was given N months of probation with no jail time. I successfully completed my probation in 200? without incident.

It was a well deserved wake up call, one that helped to set me back on course. I completed my degree at [Name of School] and have been working in IT ever since.

You don't need to explain that the roommate was working for the police. You don't need to offer information that you were regularly selling. You don't want to call it narcotics. You don't want to mention that you were facing 8 years in prison. You don't want to use the word habit (if you must "to support my use/consumption"). If they ask if you were selling lots, deflect (who knows what "lots" is... you weren't Scarface you were a troubled kid just trying to get by). If you also got community service you should also mention it (N months of probation and N hours of community service). If you did something special for your community service (eg. worked with disadvantaged kids) you could mention that (if you just picked up trash on the highway I wouldn't).

Practice saying the explanation and writing it. You want it to sound natural... especially as it's the truth. It's embarrassing but frankly even for a position requiring trust (eg. handling money) I don't see your conviction as a serious problem. Note that if you still smoke you should consider stopping (or getting a prescription) as some larger companies require drug tests.

meritt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, you can murder someone, rape a child, blow up a building or sell a plant that won't even be illegal in 10-20 years and they are equally horrible on paper.

I'd say you were convicted for selling marijuana and not lead with the term "felony".

b6 2 days ago 0 replies      
I apologize for not directly answering your question--I don't have any knowledge or opinion about what to expect from big companies--but I want to say that I consider it a minor miracle that I didn't serve time for various ultimately harmless but very illegal things I did when I was younger.

It's the same with my best friend. It's the same way with another close friend. We're all programmers, and we all work together at the same startup. We all did crazy things. We could all have criminal records, but don't, just due to chance.

The point is, please be sure you really want to work somewhere where you feel you have to explain yourself more than what you said in the pastebin. That's more than enough.

Amadou 2 days ago 2 replies      
Getting your record sealed won't hurt, but there are plenty of other data sources that will still list the conviction - so anyone who does even a moderate background check will find out.

If I were you, my long term goal would be to get myself set up with my own consulting company. It will help to separate your personal history from your work history. Companies don't have felony convictions.

kfcm 2 days ago 1 reply      
One option is to apply for a pardon to the governor of your state.

If you can show the reasons why you were doing what you were doing (in short, repercussions of a parental suicide), show you did receive a degree, have people who can vouch for you now (including the work you have done and the value you have provided their business), you might have a shot.

In other words, have you become a valued member of society worth erasing a felony conviction for? If it is erased, would your value to society increase or decrease? What has your character been like since? And most importantly, what potential political ramifications exist if your conviction were to be pardoned?

leokun 2 days ago 2 replies      
Some companies cannot hire felons. Companies that require PCI compliance and companies with secured data centers like Rackspace will often not hire felons as a policy. I'd hire you though. I hope someday after we've had enough of ruining people's lives in our never ending drug war we can get a general amnesty for all drug convictions for non-violent offenders.
jlgaddis 2 days ago 3 replies      
Are you in California, by chance? I'm making the assumption that you are ...

You made me curious and while googling I came across some information that seems to indicate that companies in California cannot go back further than seven years on a background check and cannot ask about convictions more than seven years ago.

You mention that it happened when you were a freshman and that you graduated roughly five years ago so I'm guessing you are past the seven year mark or, at the least, very close to it.

If that's the case, it sounds like you might be able to avoid the situation altogether.

natmaster 2 days ago 0 replies      
Drug laws are evil. Any sane person would not care about your felony. However, giant corporations have policies, so I'm not sure what the answer to your question is. I just wrote this for moral support.
mattmaroon 2 days ago 3 replies      
"In the start-up world it's easy to avoid the question because most small start-ups lack the infrastructure to perform regular background checks on perspective employees".

Umm no. You Google "Background check" and pay $30.

michaeldhopkins 2 days ago 1 reply      
That is encouraging. However, you are not entirely free from your past. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UtsSPOdQzw
felon2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty serious conviction here - served six years in prison.

Had significant experience before incarceration, which helped me get a telecommute job within a month of release. Crappy pay (1/2 - 1/3 of industry standard). Kept getting additional gigs, all telecommute. Worked my way up to industry standard in short order. 4 1/2 years later I have all the work I can handle, and am limited by my own desire to work.

A few times background check concerns have popped up. I was 100% up front. I haven't seen it get in the way as a result - and my situation is far more serious than a drug conviction.

However, I have to be smart. I see a lot of juicy gigs that require clearance, or in other ways would be a concern. Just look the other way.

I can understand wanting the "high profile" employers, but I think the lower profile, the better. As has been mentioned, some companies simply cannot hire you. (In the same way that some apartment complexes can't offer leases to felons, as their particular liability insurance dictates)

tl;dr I have a serious felony and prison experience - I've built up a good development career working from home and laying low.

tonywebster 2 days ago 0 replies      
Without getting on a soapbox about how the criminal justice system only guarantees repeat customers...

I'd definitely retain a lawyer to pursue expungement, but I'd ask them about what new records seeking an expungement can create. For example, ten years ago when you were convicted, the records probably weren't as likely to be digitized and searchable. Now, practically every state uses e-filing, has public access tools, and sells filings to third parties who SEO it up, guaranteeing it to be more public than it is now (just like shady mugshot websites).

In reading your other comments, it sounds like you start a conversation with volunteer work, talking about your testimony about it in front of your legislative body... I think that's the right approach. Possibly you could broaden the topic of your legislative involvement to other areas beyond criminal expungement, though.

DenisM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seattle makes it harder for companies not to hire felons[1]. Not just for government job, for any job.


duncan_bayne 1 day ago 1 reply      
Personally speaking, I'd see it as evidence of entrepreneurial spirit and experience ;) I'd also hope that anyone knocking you back on those grounds weren't themselves users, because that would be rank hypocrisy.

However you weren't asking about me :)

Firstly, lawyer up. Get a lawyer who specializes in this sort of thing and ask him or her what to do.

Secondly, try to see this from a risk management perspective, which is most likely how your prospective employers will approach it.

From their perspective, it's probably (but see 'lawyer up' above) immaterial to them on a daily basis if you're no longer dealing, and not going to turn up to work stoned or have a shootout with another dealer in the company carpark. But imagine the fallout if you did. Imagine being the guy or girl who signed off on your hiring.

That's what's going through their heads when considering your application, & that's what you need to mitigate.

fleitz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mitnick and many other hackers have jobs, their crimes are directly related to their job, yours is not related at all to your job. Don't worry at all about it.

That said lighten the charge up a bit if asked say something like, yeah I got caught with a joint in college, don't say I have a felony conviction. Talk to your lawyer and he will probably come up with an even better sounding explanation.

Maybe something like using a friends prescription drugs, etc.

jheriko 2 days ago 0 replies      
as someone with no degree and a criminal record for something similar (probably worse in fact - being found in possession with some 250g (9oz) of cannabis - which here at the time counted as supply due to quantity) i can tell you first hand that it shouldn't be a serious problem for you.

i would add though that in most of the civilised world this is not an issue. the US law regarding drugs is almost universally viewed from the outside as being massively unjust.

(again i find myself saying 'except for the US' when discussing the 'civilised' world - this is tiresome)

the truth is that people are quite aware of right and wrong for the most part - but many areas of the law are not - your employer might make their own decision in this regard, even if they are a big company - unless they can afford to reject the best they need to consider drop outs and criminals. a quick look at the 'elite' of todays tech world shows a bunch of drop outs and criminals...

i know that here in the UK i was open every time i applied for a job about my conviction - even though it is spent it still comes up and becomes known. it never caused me a problem, and its an interesting conversation at worst... this included some pretty large companies, Virgin Media, Codemasters and J Sainsbury to name a few. it wouldn't surprise me if their official policy on such things is to not care - and I can imagine Google, MS, Amazon etc. will have similar properties - the fact that Bill Gates has a record is quite a popular piece of trivia for example, it would be hypocritical for MS to have employment strategy that would rule out hiring the next Gates... surely?

johnymontana 2 days ago 1 reply      
I used to work for a large background investigation company.

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) generally (there are exceptions) limits pre-employment background checks to convictions within the past seven years. Although sentencing can bring this into scope. So for example if you were convicted 10 years ago, but were sentenced to 4 years probation that conviction could still be used against you. State laws can impose further limits on background checks. Depending on how recently this conviction occurred and your state of residence it may not even be an issue.

manulp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some of the companies you named explicitly exclude marijuana related offenses from the thing you have to declare, if they are small and old offenses, basically anything related to personal use more than 2 years ago. This seems to apply to you.

That being said, be honest and ask your recruiter if it's a problem, it's better to be upfront than to get screwed because of a background check.

volume 2 days ago 1 reply      
Since it's on your record (until 7 years?) then you seem to have some options limited. In this case, maybe choose one as a litmus test?

In the end, a big part of the interview is salesmanship and you'll need it for whatever way you tell your story. How about interview with a few other companies that are not on your big list. In fact, find something like an insurance company or a place you know will freak out. Use those experiences for your final test.

maaku 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can you get your record sealed? Then you can at least legally pretend it didn't happen.
joering2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think (my) common sense tells me those large corporation have some many applications that they will turn down anyone for any reason and in your situation they would want to avoid, if ever asked, answering "yes" if someone ask "do you have felons working for you" [1]. I don't work for HR, but I could see the point where decision-making person is turned down by this, as I am sure they cherry-pick to the extreme (they do not hire on "we extremely need" basis, rather "we hire if someone has amazing skills and we can always use them").

If I were you, I wouldn't disclose until asked for, because this does not affect your work output, or your footprint on society. If you were a rapist or psycho then for society sake yes you should say something before you flip over and machine-gun half of Googleplex (but that's not your case). If asked for, I would be honest and straightforward (your pastebin story seems you were young and stupid, something we all go through (some caught and recorded in the system, most not)). Just be honest and explain them your situation and leave rest to them and God (if you believe in one).

[1] I sympathize with your story. The longer I live on US soil (I am sure this is not narrowed down to US), the more I become aware jails and prisons are filled in with innocent people (I'm serious) or otherwise we all should be jailed for this or another reason.

Good luck!

Ask HN: Do you see a bright future for Litecoin?
2 points by cdvonstinkpot  17 hours ago   2 comments top 2
a3voices 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I would stick with Bitcoin. Litecoin is more controlled by pump & dumpers, giving it much less stability. It also has a far smaller community. I predict both will grow, but Litecoin more slowly. Also the person who works on Litecoin doesn't even do it full-time.
dylanhassinger 17 hours ago 0 replies      
sounds like yesterday was a better time to start getting into it
Ask HN: did you ever implement a toy processor?
6 points by amenghra  1 day ago   5 comments top 4
amenghra 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for your response.

Did you like the tools you used to test your vhdl? Did you run the code on a fpga and did you find it easy to do?

Do you wish you could demo your processor to anyone using a javascript simulator?

alok-g 1 day ago 0 replies      
I architected an application-specific custom processor with about 25 instructions and implemented about 20% of it on an FPGA (the rest 80% was implemented by other team members). I also created software tools for this.

While this was not a toy processor per say (it was a part of a bigger project), I consider it toy-like because of the simple instruction set. Writing and debugging was not a major pain point in this case. Generally speaking though, I have been fairly satisfied with logic design tools for ASICs, though not as much for FPGAs.

I later discovered CAD tools built specifically for designing processors. Google ASIP [1] for more if interested.

Regarding this making me a better coder, well no, since I was already a good coder. :-) OK, I learned machine code at the age of 15 years, and so already had good insights into how stuff works inside when I learned C and C++.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application-specific_instructio...

hendzen 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a nice project to implement a pipelined processor in logisim: http://ozark.hendrix.edu/~burch/logisim/
BarkingOven 1 day ago 1 reply      
I made a processor <edit> I emulated it </edit> in c++ in college. Started off with an abstract logic gate that had two inputs and an output, created an event queue to propagate outputs to inputs, created a couple of different buses, tristate and open drain I believe, and then created methods to link inputs and outputs as well some concrete logic gate classes to each other and also to the various bus end points.

The event queue even handled propagation delay.

I made it so that if a tristate bus was held to both high and low at the same time, then an exception would be thrown that told you you "let the blue smoke out" and ended the program.

Binary instructions were read from a static string buffer which were then interpreted by the logic to implement the functions of the cpu and alu.

In the end, I discovered that the cpu logic block that we had been told to emulate was missing a one clock cycle delay buffer and should not have functioned properly if anyone else implemented it accurately.

Wish I still had the code for that, it was super fun to make.

Ask HN: Where can I find a software job that helps society?
93 points by scottalpert  7 days ago   102 comments top 58
MBlume 6 days ago 4 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.


elizabethriley 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
There are several accelerator programs that focus on social impact. (Full disclosure: I work for Impact Engine.) You could check these out. Many of these startups are looking for talent:

Impact Engine - http://theimpactengine.com/Greenstart - http://greenstart.com/Hub Ventures - http://hub-ventures.com/

Hope this helps!

gmisra 6 days 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

spartango 7 days 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

jhspaybar 7 days 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.

wittyphrasehere 7 days 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/

joelgrus 7 days ago 2 replies      
My life would be better if someone built some kind of revenue-per-advertisement optimization system.

I'm just saying.

robbiemitchell 6 days 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.

duncan_bayne 6 days 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.

josh_fyi 7 days 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 6 days 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)

vijucat 6 days 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?

lazyjones 6 days 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.

SpikeGronim 6 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 6 days ago 2 replies      
Hey, Mozilla! We're fighting the good fight!http://careers.mozilla.com

Edit: Fixed the link

kevinskii 7 days 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 6 days 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.

wikwocket 5 days 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).

a3n 6 days 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 7 days 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.
secfirstmd 4 days ago 0 replies      
Well if you can donate your time and want to do something different, meaningful and help build a product from the ground up which will save lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world every day? - come and join us!

An early stage human rights start-up (the founder has just spent five years at another human rights startup which he helped setup and is now a market leader) in East London (still in the fun garage shed stage!), is looking for a mobile app developer or CTO. (Also people with associated skills such as LAMP, UI/UX, HTML5, etc would be great)

The start-up focuses on addressing a significant gap in the security of human rights organisations, journalists and activists - through the use of a web and mobile application. It builds on years of cutting-edge security operations in this field.

With the product features and business plan nearly complete we are looking for the right person to bring us to the next technical stage. Ideally you will be in London but remote working is also a possibility.

Interested? Drop a mail to secfirstmd@gmail.com

nicolethenerd 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://www.amplify.com/careers (disclaimer: I work here) - we make educational apps for kids
Fishkins 6 days 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

volandovengo 7 days 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 6 days 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
rmchugh 6 days 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 6 days 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.
stevejalim 6 days ago 0 replies      
Considered working for http://www.mysociety.org/ ? (They're hiring http://www.mysociety.org/jobs/
mwhite 6 days ago 0 replies      
I work at http://dimagi.com and I'd say we help society a lot.
dleve123 6 days 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 6 days ago 0 replies      
Get a job in trading and you can change the world.
gcapiel 5 days ago 1 reply      
We have a developer position open at http://benetech.org - http://benetech.org/?career_redirect=1
j45 6 days ago 0 replies      
One place is you can likely find software focussed on helping non-profits be more effective.
gaplus 6 days 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.
kiyanforoughi 6 days 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
hkdobrev 6 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.charitywater.org/about/jobs/ Charity Water is helping people in Asia and Africa to have access to clean water.
ChrisNorstrom 6 days 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.

etanazir 6 days 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.
amarantha 7 days 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).

lencioni 6 days ago 0 replies      
I work at Causes. It sounds like it might fit your criteria. https://www.causes.com/jobs
fiachamp 6 days 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.
sheshbesh 7 days ago 0 replies      
The usual job boards have a lot of good stuff using the right search terms like 'social impact'.
madibell 7 days ago 0 replies      
Don't know how to find jobs like this in general, but I'd suggest checking out Nextdoor.com
dc_ploy 6 days ago 0 replies      
Make your life a way to have a social impact and not your "work."
johnamccarthy 6 days ago 1 reply      
We're hiring at Purpose! Open source rails platform: https://careers-purpose.icims.com/jobs/1057/lead-architect%2...
amitklein 6 days ago 0 replies      
check out http://rework.jobs - they are basically a recruiter for folks looking to transition to "meaningful" jobs
glord 6 days ago 0 replies      
Palantir Philanthropy! Check them out
andoncemore 6 days ago 1 reply      
ellemno 6 days ago 0 replies      
Electronic Medical Records!http://careers.epic.com
binceipt 6 days ago 0 replies      
try binceipt.com. It committed to kill receipt book in order to reduce paper usage.
ericturri 6 days ago 0 replies      
ctempp 6 days ago 0 replies      
check out the teams at TheImpactEngine.com Some awesome companies looking for great talent and trying to change the world.
davidhhaddad 6 days ago  replies      
Ask HN: Will Ghost be the next Wordpress?
2 points by filipedeschamps  22 hours ago   4 comments top
ericosperrella 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask Bitcoin Exchanges: Where are the IPs of the buyers/sellers from?
2 points by ryan_j_naughton  1 day ago   1 comment top
stocktradr 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Been a while since I've posted but here is what I know:Gold & Silver. A lot of people who trade commodities are actually moving portions of their investments into Bitcoins. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if there are a lot of Chinese buying Bitcoins but the few people I know around the world are from the commodities market.For IP address or locations? No clue. Wish I could help you there but I'm not sure.

I would say we have a bit of a ways to go before the big boys come into play from the stock market. They're going to be looking for more stability which Bitcoin doesn't offer yet. I think we'll see a progressive transition of portfolio diversification to account for newer currencies. So we might see something like:-10% Cryptocurrency-25% Commodity-10% Bonds-55% Stocks/Money Market^very rough example.

Disclaimer: I'm not in Bitcoins but watch the charts throughout the day. Just my speculation of what is happening based on the grape vine.

Ask HN: To everybody who uses MapReduce: what problems do you solve?
142 points by valevk  9 days ago   discuss
alecco 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 8 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 9 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.
Tossrock 9 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

sidcool 9 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.
PaulHoule 9 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 9 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.
zengr 9 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.

clubhi 9 days ago 0 replies      
"How do I make all my projects take 10x longer"
alexrson 9 days ago 2 replies      
How strongly does a RNA binding protein bind to each possible sequence of RNA?
cstigler 9 days ago 1 reply      
MongoDB: where you need Map/Reduce to do any aggregation at all.
bcoughlan 9 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 9 days ago  replies      
I was using it on a D3.JS chart to aggregate data flow though our custom real-time analytic pipeline.
Any Tech Sites that don't always talk about Google, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft?
64 points by kwestro  7 days ago   26 comments top 14
t0dd 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago 1 reply      
ArabCrunch covers Arab tech startups and tech industry there http://arabcrunch.comalso http://techinasia.com
asanwal 7 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

k-mcgrady 7 days ago 0 replies      
Hacker News
yen223 7 days 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.
dirkgently 7 days 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).

exo_duz 7 days ago 2 replies      
Could be a good idea and call it NoGASM. :P
abdophoto 7 days 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 7 days ago 4 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...

jaggs 7 days ago 0 replies      
autodidakto 7 days ago 0 replies      
Wait. You mean "technology" isn't synonymous with "latest consumer gadget"?
hobo_mark 7 days 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 7 days ago 1 reply      
Trying to buzz one up : http://www.bizappsbuzz.com
       cached 19 November 2013 21:05:01 GMT