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Ask HN: Hacker News Person Of the Year
35 points by baby  1 hour ago   24 comments top 19
Udo 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Elon Musk - SpaceX and Tesla have been on HN pretty consistently this year, and it's an inspiring option, too.

Snowden is not a bad choice, especially since he'll probably be snubbed by the Times in favor of the politically safe Miley Cyrus, but he's not really in tech. Satoshi Nakamoto should have been the HN POY last year (or next year once BTC goes really mainstream).

david927 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Nice idea, but let's clarify, it should be someone in technology, as opposed to politics or entertainment.

I nominate Bret Victor.

onion2k 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Edward Snowden.
davidw 44 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is this a HN person, or any person selected by HN? I think the former would be more interesting.
TeMPOraL 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Edward Snowden / Bret Victor / Elon Musk.
mpclark 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't feel comfortable voting unless you make me log in with Facebook or Twitter...
baby 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'd personally go for Satoshi or/and Edward Snowden.
devonbarrett 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Aaron Swartz
seivan 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
Michael O Church.
samweinberg 51 minutes ago 1 reply      
Satoshi couldn't be person of the year, he hasn't been heard from since '10! /s
rekenerd 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
I nominate Satoshi Nakamoto.
wielebny 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Richard Stallman
miriadis 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Aaron Swartz
extaxa 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
Edward Snowden definitely, not for only personal acts but as an icon. This year has definitely been a year of surveillance scandals and we can all thank this man for taking the brave step and showing light on what governments really do. Small step for a man, giant leap for mankind, no less.
1angryhacker 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Satoshi Nakamoto

let's drive BTC up to $10,000 before the crash!

joeconway 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Bill Gates
wallzz 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
tobltobs 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Edward Snowden
bernatfp 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Startup only has 2800 users after a year, should I do more marketing?
5 points by steveridout  2 hours ago   11 comments top 4
boothead 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
From my handy "Copy writing for Geeks Checklist":

Is your copy about them, not you?

Did you position your product?eg.: Copywriting For Geeks. Sweeps is a mixer, not a soft drink.

Do you focus on the single most powerful desire of your market?

Do you promise one large, unique and competitive benefit?

Do you mention that benefit in your headline?

Do you present the benefits of your product, not its features?

Are you making your product remarkable, ie. worth making aremark about?

Do you prove that other people bought and enjoyed your product?

Do you associate your product with things people like?

Can you limit the availability of your product (time or quantity)?

Do you compare your product with a more expensive solution?

Do you remove all the risks that could prevent your prospects frombuying?

Do you answer the most common objections?

Do you offer a guarantee?

Do you force prospects into action?

Do you have a clear call to action?

Can you introduce urgency, ie. set a deadline?

Did you setup conversion tracking?

I highly recommend the whole package: http://copywritingforgeeks.com/

By the way - on a completely unrelated note: Did you know that we're 2nd cousins :-)

charlieirish 1 hour ago 1 reply      
A commendable result that you have launched and gained some traction not just with users but customers (paying users). Well done. However, if we take in to account the major levers associated with a subscription businesses:

- traffic

- conversion

- price

- churn

- lifetime value

The easiest one for you to change right now is price. This will have a noticeable effect on your revenue and your profit. At the moment, $700/year gross is not enough to retire on (I'm making some broad assumptions about your lifestyle as well as the costs of the business); it's also much less than the opportunity cost of offering your services to employers. I'm not dissuading you from running your own business, far from it. I'm suggesting that you should see greater value in your work - it's likely that others see it as well and would happily pay for it.

A few things to try:

- increase your prices until your gross revenue starts to drop

- a monthly subscription with a discount for paying for a year upfront e.g. 12months for the price of 10.

- price tiers for different 'dimensions' of the product e.g. x articles for $y, 5x articles for $3y, 100x articles for $10y

With regards to marketing, you may find better traction and traffic (which hopefully results in more sales) through education. Perhaps highlight how you and your existing customers can best use the app to actually learn languages i.e. what are the best methods, what techniques work well etc. I'm sure that you've got enough material for a blog post and even for a free mini-course in exchange for an email address.

onion2k 1 hour ago 1 reply      
My instinct is to just make the product awesome and let it market itself.

The "build it, they will come" strategy. It has never worked as a strategy for marketing, ever, in the history of ever. Viral marketing, the "network effect", call it what you like, is only successful if it's backed by a pretty huge advertising budget. Not necessarily traditional advertising, but behind pretty much every successful "viral" campaign that's selling something there's an agency who are pushing the right buttons to get things shared.

If you don't have the budget for that, you have to put in the legwork in traditional marketing and selling. It's a horrible, hateful reality of startup life - the fun coding stuff actually comes a distant second to being a salesperson, especially at the beginning before you can afford to pay someone else to do that stuff.

elenak 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Marketing is essential and the biggest problem with most startups. And I'm a founder in a startup that suffered for a while from lack of new users.

If you have the money, you should try advertising in places you feel that will bring you customers. But you probably knew that and don't have the money ;)

Well, having a partner that has some background on marketing would be good. Also, posting on hackernews and similar sites can give you a small boost shorterm. But you've obviously thought of that :P

How do you setup wifi networking for a multi-floor startup
2 points by sandGorgon  26 minutes ago   discuss
Ask HN: Curiosity advertising
3 points by grownseed  2 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Have you had trouble getting a job after a failed startup?
74 points by throwaway1979  23 hours ago   70 comments top 35
jasonkester 22 hours ago 3 replies      
The short answer is no. Trying and failing at a startup probably won't ruin your chances of ever getting another job.

But here's the thing. Hiring is not an exact science. There are tons of variables in play beyond simple work experience and skill set. There's a whole art to negotiating employment (from the employee side) that most programmer types just don't get at all.

Engineers want everything to be a skills test. But in reality, skills come roughly 18th in a hiring situation, way behind questions like "did this candidate tell me any amusing anecdotes?", "was this candidate tall?", and "did this candidate say anything that inadvertently made me look bad?" Somewhere further down the list you might indeed find "did this candidate try to strike out on his own and fail?", but it'll be lost in the noise.

So if you want to work on something, work on your "being a guy that a CTO would want to have a beer with" skills. That, combined with a bit of networking, will often let you skip the "previous work experience" and "resume" portions of the hiring process entirely.

paulbjensen 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I was let go from a social networking startup because I wasn't implementing features as fast as they wanted. At the time it felt like a death sentence on my career as a programmer.

I spent about a week in the doldrums, but then I felt angry, and decided I wasn't going to let their decision define me. I decided to build an app to show what I could do.

I spent 2 1/2 months building an app called Dashku. It was a realtime dashboard, and when I put it on Hacker News, it went to #1 within 45 minutes, and then the server fucked up because the ulimit config on the app server (which I had set but not persisted between reboots) was 1024, and got the flak I deserved for not making sure that the ulimit config has persisted when I configured the machines.

After doing it, these things happened:

- Bechtel contacted me and asked if they could use it internally. They did.

- I had a meeting with Geckoboard. They asked if I wanted to work for them, and I offered to sell Dashku to them. No bite.

- I interviewed at Forward Labs in London. I had about 4 interviews in the space of 2-3 days, but did not get the job offer. I failed to refactor a fill detection algorithm which was functional and fully tested, but memory inefficient. I had stayed up all night to crack it, slept for 2 hours and had no food when I came in for the interview and was asked to refactor it.

ProTip: Sleep well and eat before you go for an interview, otherwise your brain suffers for it.

Eventually, I got a job in London working for webcasting company, and then open sourced Dashku. Here's what happened next:

- Ninja Blocks gave me a free Ninja Block, and asked me if I would like to work with them.

- An Indian health startup asked to integrate Dashku into their IoT robotics app.

- A BI startup basically took Dashku, slapped a coat of paint on it, and called it their own.

- Another IoT startup asked to use it.

- An energy company told me they were going to drop Geckoboard for my app.

- I discovered a professional social network (called Viadeo) had created a wonderful collection of widgets for it.


- I got an email from someone at Facebook, they said that they were evaluating it for internal use, and asked me if I would like to interview with them in California.

I had to decline as my mother has health problems and I could not move to another country.

All of this, within 14 months of being fired from a startup.

Failure feels like crap, but don't let it define who you are; you have to move on and prove to yourself and to others what you can achieve. I've done that now and found peace with that period in my life.

I should probably thank the guy who fired me.

sfjailbird 22 hours ago 1 reply      
For big corporations, having been an entrepreneur is a negative on your resum. They will assume (probably correctly) that you prefer to work on your own, and that you will be less of a heads-down, "team player" type engineer which is easy to manage/throw around. Like it or not, the IT field is largely made up of this type of position. If you are applying such a place you should remove, spin or tone down your entrepreneurial endeavors.

For nimbler and more clued-in companies it will likely be a positive, since they are usually happy to have someone who doesn't settle for a comfortable desk jockey position at a corporation, and can handle the turmoil of younger companies. Only thing to be aware of is if you are applying for a technical position, they usually want someone who is happy to fill that niche, i.e. not a jack-of-all-trades who can code but also wants to be a salesman and a marketer etc. (Unless you are employee number one or two or somesuch).

These are lessons learned over a decade of being a corporate consultant, a freelancer, a startup employee and a startup founder.

igorgue 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I had someone turn me down for a programming job because they said my GPA was too high

That's called a lie. Similar to the it wasn't a good fit one, most of the time there's another reason, maybe you weren't not that great of a programmer, or they didn't like your editor or tools.

From 10 years of experience working for a lot of companies and starting and failing some companies I can tell you, if they like you, they'll hire you even if you're an ex-convict. At a company I worked at we hired a guy with a recent conviction (battery). Great programmer nonetheless and he said was trying to get his shit together. There was something weird about him, like he smoked crack in the morning... But hey, he wrote good code and was never a problem, in fact he was the first one in the office.

USNetizen 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Employers find any reason possible to turn someone down if they want to. It sounds like in your case it was just an excuse on their part. If you just don't "fit in" with the culture of the organization they will try to find something tangible to deny you to save face (and for possible legal reasons).

IMO regarding the startup thing, it all depends on what/who/where you are interviewing for. I've talked with hiring managers who saw it as a major asset and others who saw it as being akin to an excuse for being unemployed for a couple years. It all revolves around the manager's perception of entrepreneurship. It's not a global perspective but rather much more individual.

tomasien 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Having done a startup has significantly increased my job opportunities, in fact took them from roughly 0 to roughly I could have whatever job I want in my field any time. In the United States, things are incredibly different from Japan, your resume is rapidly becoming what you're done.

If you're worried about failing as a startup, consider that the company failing won't mean that the PRODUCT failed - you may fail with a beautiful product that people love and use that attains reach that many profitable companies can not. The only way I can see failure as a startup to be seen as a negative is if you did something unethical or built absolute crap, or perhaps didn't launch at all.

onion2k 22 hours ago 1 reply      
After Usable failed I applied for several jobs and was turned down by more than one for sounding likely I'd get bored and leave after a few months. It's a fair comment - once you've experienced the freedom of the startup industry going back to a normal job is tough.
gozmike 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Failing is hard. It hurts. You go into a tailspin of destruction.

If you built up skills that are marketable and achieved great things along the way, you'll be pleasantly surprised - I came out worth almost 2x on the market as what I did when I quit. It was incredible.

That said, being an entrepreneur will change you - you will become a maverick, you will lose your fear of authority, you will be a value creator as you're so used to the survival mentality you used to foster in your startup. This alone justifies why any company that cares about innovation would want you leading their team.

fmavituna 20 hours ago 1 reply      
As an employer I'm quite cautious about hiring people who previously ran one or more startups. The chances they've got the "Entrepreneurial Bug".

The obvious advantage is that it's quite likely that they'll be well rounded, knows different stuff and got lots of experience in the world, there are tons of great skills especially found in founders.

At the same time the chances are he/she will be leaving the company after 9 months, because she just discovered "the next best thing" and want to work on that because she saved some money in the last 9 months. I try to talk the person and understand what's the long term plan, whether they are actually committed or just want to take a breath and get financially better in between projects.

VLM 22 hours ago 0 replies      
"I'm not worried about the major markets (Silicon Valley and New York) but about the rest."

I've worked for employers that have gone out of business but not as an entrepreneur. I've never worked more than 300 miles from Chicago. No one cares, no resume stain. You're going to have a lot of trouble collecting more than anecdotes.

Outside major markets, the market is smaller and subjectively better connected and personal relationships are going to be pretty important. People will know you and what you personally did and that narrative is going to be more important than the narrative in company financial papers etc.

iends 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Craft a narrative about your startup experiences that addresses any concerns the hiring company may have.

For example, when the startup I worked for ended abruptly while I was out of the country (and came back without a job), it was easy for me to talk about wanting more stability in jobs I interviewed with.

I also talked about working til 2am regularly, and hoping to scale back those hours to something more reasonable so that I could spend time with my wife.

When I knew the company I was interviewing with had better technical processes, I talked about getting overwhelmed that it was standard practice to push to production at 3am when nobody was using the service and debug things live.

Would I use the same narrative when interviewing with another startup? No. Instead I talk about loving the flexibility to work until 2am, being able to eat lunch with my wife more while working from home, and not having to jump through hoops to deploy code to production.

peterjancelis 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I had no trouble finding a job as a developer after being a business guy turned startup founder.

And to be honest I agree with the bias that ex-founder types may not be the most stable of employees.

mathattack 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be worth noting geography in the answers to these questions. Japan is very different than Silicon Valley in terms of work culture and expectations. Silicon Valley is very different than Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Interesting question, I hope it gets some traction.

jpeg_hero 21 hours ago 0 replies      
In a word: yes.

It ain't all roses. You can find that it f's up your resume.

Example: maybe your startup takes 5-yrs to fail. Maybe for year 3 and the last half of year 5 you just kind of wallowed around the house, and didn't do much.

You will try to start circulating again and trying to get a job because your savings are gone. You'll find things quite different in 2019 ( do the math). There are different people in the hiring positions with different mind sets, looking for different skills.

This is just one example of how things can go bad.

But, for me, it's worth it to take the risk.

troels 22 hours ago 0 replies      
In big corporates, your startup experience might not count for much, but I doubt that many places would consider it a downright negative. For SMB's I would expect it to count as a positive. At least when I have been hiring (in SMB's) I would certainly prefer a developer who had some non-tech perspective over someone who's strictly technically strong. A lot of programming jobs are really something like 20% programming and 80% figuring out what the customer wants.
timharding 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I interviewed someone who had a failed startup. He couldn't tell me what he would do differently if he was to do it all over again. It didn't fill me with confidence that he's learned anything during the experience.

Make sure you can answer that question when you start interviewing.

mkramlich 20 hours ago 0 replies      
My general rule is that if someone wants it to work, it will. if they truly want you, they will. many people, arguably everybody, is interacting more with the mental contstructs in their head than with the physical reality and true nature of the other party. Last person with qualities X burned you? The next person you see with qualities X you'll superimpose upon them that expectation, and treat them accordingly, perhaps causing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Do both parties want to come to some arrangement where they engage in mutual tangible reciprocity? Then they will. But if at least one party does not, it won't happen. The "takes two to tango" phenomenon, or the logical AND operator. But you only have control over yourself, not another party. You can try to communicate better, you can try to reduce your exposure to being falsely bitten/categorized, but you can never eliminate it. Everybody brings their own baggage to a relationship, whether personal, business or employment-wise.
rada 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not worried about the major markets (Silicon Valley and New York) but about the rest.

I am in Minneapolis and my resume has "founder" on it. I've had no problems finding employment. In my current job, it actually helped me get hired: my boss specifically wanted to assemble a team of entrepreneurially minded people. In my previous job, it didn't help but it didn't hurt either. So my personal anecdata says it's not a problem at all.

jmngomes 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd venture in saying that if recruiters have any kind of idea of what it is to build a startup, they'll consider it a major plus. That being said, and considering what you usually see from recruiters, I'd say they'd have to be in a startup to know...

At a startup you're put into a situation where you are under major pressure and you're constantly faced with tough/unsolved problems and or all imaginable difficulties when it comes to sales. This can be an amazing growth experience, depending on how you deal with it. 7 months into my startup, I find that I've grown by leaps and bounds when compared to my former jobs, where I was already quite entrepreneurial.

As to an eventual stigma in the UK, it's only worse in other EU countries; I know it is in mine. Here, people are more valued for obedience rather than for entrepreneurial attitude.

tbrownaw 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything that shows initiative is a large plus (other things we care about are basic techical competence and, and jasonkester said, whether we like talking to you). Working at a startup probably shows some amount of initiative, since said startup wouldn't keep you around otherwise. Showing less initiative (and less apparent willingness to learn) would mean you would need to show greater technical skills.
meira 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm having some bad times seeking for a job after my startup failed. But I can talk only about my experience and the brazillian startup ecossystem.

I worked on Engarte for the last 2 years. In this 2 years, I learned a lot about startup management and growth, but on the other hand, my technical skills stuck in time.

But I don't feel like this is the main reason for the troubles in finding a job. Headhunters seems to get a little scared when they realize that as soon as I can, I'll start another project. And so, they think that I'll not be in the company in the next 1 or 2 years. Perhaps we don't have a lot of successful startups in Brazil, the failure is threatened in a very bad way here, very different from the US and SV concept.

DenisM 19 hours ago 0 replies      
There are amazingly few first-hand accounts in this thread, and far too many "I do/do not think it should, because I imagine blah...".
codingdave 21 hours ago 0 replies      

There are always questions of why the startup failed, what your role was, and what could have made it succeed. Your answers could save you or sink you. But most people have at least some sense of the ups and downs of startups, so it will not automatically remove you from consideration for almost anything.

They will want to see that you have learned something. They also will want to know your personal reaction to the experience, and whether that will make you a more or less stable hire. Maybe your failure made you hungry for another startup, more fired up to succeed. Maybe it burned you out on startups, and you now want a stable corporate gig for a few years. Maybe something in between.

As long as your answers, your personality, and current desires match their needs, you can get a job. Maybe you are not a match for every job out there, but nobody ever is.

jsun 10 hours ago 0 replies      
no, failing at a startup won't prevent you from getting hired however making us feel like you're just going to collect a paycheck while waiting for your next thing to take off probably will.

tread carefully on how much you want to rep your startup experience.

Mankhool 17 hours ago 0 replies      
No, but I had trouble getting a job after working abroad for 10 years. There was huge unspoken resentment from most employers that I had dared to leave Canada to work elsewhere. In her book, "Eight Months on Gaza Street", Hilary Mantel wrote something like, "It's almost as if by going away that you were offering some criticism of their own lives". That's exactly what it felt like.
codex 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately many employers may assume that you're more experienced with failure than success. Failure can be a teacher, but success can as well.
frankdenbow 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been helping folks who are new to the startup world get jobs at startups in nyc. The short answer is no: having failed (especially in the industry you are looking for a job in) can be immensely helpful. Companies I have spoken to like having someone with some skin in the game, and that have learned some lessons that can be carried over to their business.
johngrefe 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've only ever had more job offers, recruiters, even offered a gig at an accelerator as an exec advisor. This was USA focused.

In the UK attitudes are horrible though, there is a stigma where if you fail your first entrepreneurial enterprise, you are somehow blackmarked for life. I think that just because of this there are lots of start ups in the UK, where the founders have not killed them because they are not working. There is a point where you know something is not going to work, and you should kill it, this stigma breeds a lot of waste.

brianbarker 15 hours ago 0 replies      
We interviewed a guy who had a startup and he definitely got rejected for it. I didn't agree at all and thought he'd be good, but other guys thought he "wouldn't be able to take directions since he's not in charge now." Bullshit. Oh well. People are dumb.
f7t7ft7 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been in interview debriefs where people were concerned about a candidate not advancing enough in a previous position, but I can't imagine one failed startup being detrimental, at least where I currently work if you get interviewed by those same exact people. :) The important thing is what you can talk about from the startup.
scrdhrt 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I had a startup fail a couple of years ago, nothing big but enough to be sort of known to the local market place. After failing to raise enough capital to keep it going, I had to pull the plug, and consequently look for a job my self. This is when I realized that employers who care about the wording "failed" emphasize the same in the work place. I struggled to continue on to final interviews in every case where the employer spent more than a couple of minutes discussing WHY my startup failed, instead of discussing what we did successfully. This became super obvious when I met with people who asked what we did successfully, and really didn't care about that it failed. The hard part is to be lucky enough to meet the people that don't care that my startup failed, and who believes what I did is more important.
bsbechtel 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, for certain industries and positions...most especially outside of entrepreneurial hotbeds.
mnw21cam 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Yes, I know it's only a lmgtfy away, but what's GPA? Some American thing?
ChrisNorstrom 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Every time I post my failures on HN I get like 3-5 freelance job offers. Posting my successes doesn't get me anything.

===== Psychological Theory on Why =====

- Employers may feel threatened by you if you are successful.

- Employers may feel that you will leave them.

- Employers want a subordinate they can control.

- Employers want YOU to empower THEIR company, not them empowering you and you leaving with the knowledge and experience they helped give you.

kilocore 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends on geography and industry. e.g. in Europe/UK it would make it hard to get recruiters to take interest; but if you're for example a world class ios/game developer it doesnt really matter.
Ask HN: What habit have you dropped or picked up that improved your life?
56 points by jkchang  1 day ago   114 comments top 49
lessnonymous 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Stopped reading and watching "The News". What a waste of time. If there's something important, someone will tell me about it.
cprncus 18 hours ago 5 replies      
Flossing religiously. I used to be Bleeding Gums Murphy, but no more. A dental hygienist showed me the proper way to floss and now I will get up at 4am if I somehow forgot to floss before bedtime, go into the bathroom, and floss. I've only missed once in 7+ years. Bad gums are associated with heart disease, tooth loss, and other nasty effects. No thanks.

Quitting, after 30+ years, saying, "God bless you" (or really, "Gahblessyou") automatically after someone sneezes. If you stop and think about how dumb this is, it feels really good to break this ridiculous cultural habit. I've been "clean" from this for 2+ years now.

aegiso 1 day ago 5 replies      
10K run every day and 10 hours of sleep.

The productivity gains are in the 2-3x range.

gmays 20 hours ago 0 replies      
- No TV (and no news). Stopped watching years ago, spend more time on productive things.

- No video games. I binge and play again for maybe 1 week a year.

- Spend free time with wife, because that's all she really wants.

- Workout 4-5 days a week. Lift early between 10am and 3pm, whenever I reach a good stopping point. Listen to Mixergy or similar podcast during workout. Do cardio in the evening (between 7pm and 10pm) and sit on the bike for 30 min to 1hr and read.

- Sleep 7-9 hrs/night.

- Never set an alarm.

- No alcohol, tobacco, drugs, coffee, or tea. Ever. Might sound crazy, but it's not hard since I just never started.

- Don't blog or use Twitter.

- Cut hair weekly (short haircut, cut it myself), shave almost daily (whenever I go somewhere). A military habit, but when you look good, you feel good.

- Had a few close calls while deployed (was a Marine for 8 yrs) and learned life is too precious and too short to do anything but my best work and left the Marine Corps as soon as I returned from my last deployment. I started making decisions based on what I'd regret the least, regardless of outcome.

portmanteaufu 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Regular exercise.

I did a CS master's degree at night while working a full time job programming. After sitting 9 hours at work, I'd sit a few hours in class and then sit a few hours doing homework. After three years, I was a wreck. As soon as I graduated, a buddy of mine spurred me to join a gym with him.

Now I do heavy lifting 3 times per week and interval training 2-3 times per week. I'm not the healthiest eater (maybe I'll fix that next), but I feel great. There's something indescribably satisfying about breaking your own records.

It doesn't matter which exercise you pick. The benefit you get from doing something over nothing is enormous. The important thing is that you do something that you like enough to stick with. As a non-competitive athlete, I find that fitness is 80% attendance.

argonaut 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stopped playing video games and stopped regularly watching TV or TV shows (though I still enjoy movies and TV shows, I don't make it part of my schedule). Biggest waste of time during my teenage years.
bjourne 1 day ago 6 replies      
I stopped using shampoo and conditioner. It's the best fashion advice I've ever had and it's funny that it came from a hn article. Better looking hair, better protection against cold, no more dandruff, much smaller dry scalp patches and so on. Thanks HN!
Gigablah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Started eating better. More fresh vegetables and lean meat, less sugar, a lot less carbs. Dropped 28 pounds so far. Huge boost to my self-esteem.
sentinel 1 day ago 2 replies      
Picking up the habit of working regularly on side-projects.

I am lucky enough to have a couple of friends interested in working on the same project as myself. The habit of all of us getting together for a couple of hours during the weekend has tremendously advanced the project.

It helps to work with friends or people in general, because it rarely happens that none of us are in the mood for working. And when we are, we pull the other ones in.

For about a year before starting this, I would only ever so often sit down to advance the project, but after starting this 1-2 times per week get-together with them, the project has improved (complete code refactoring + 2 versions out on the App Store), in about 3 months.

As well, myself, I have improved as a programmer and have gotten a rekindled interest in programming. I think my friends can agree that it has affected them similarly.

shubhamjain 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Despite having a very long wish list of things I long for to do, I am usually in for redditing, reading HN, sitcoms, booze and weed. I hadn't opened Sublime for past two months, neither read anything nor any activity faintly productive.

After reading an amazing article [1], I have beginning to feel an amazing happiness with everything I am doing now and it just so simple. The trick is to ask yourself every time you start doing something: "What I will be doing now, Will it help me in future in anyway?". Of course, you must not drag yourself to despise everything not related to higher gains but realize that life in the future is function of what you do now, and the decisions you make.

[1]: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/10/27/procrastination/

sillysaurus2 1 day ago 3 replies      
Writing like pg.
skwosh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fasting (< 500cal) two or three times a week is rapidly decreasing my volume, and bringing increased mental clarity and alertness. It's a good rhythm to get into, has a pretty dramatic (positive) effect on how I feel, and it's a nice way to atone for yesterday...
sathishmanohar 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Taming my lizard brain.

I was going to through a Seth Godin Book, In which he talk about amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for fight or flight instincts.

After that I started thinking, most of the things I worry about doesn't end up happening. But, I was constantly worrying about it. Sometimes I wont go to business oriented community meet ups, just because my lizard brain throws some 'what if that happens' at me.

Recognizing that part of my thoughts and reacting only to things that really needed my attention helped tremendously in shaping my time, focus and work then on.

bbissoon 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I stopped relying on my cellphone so often. It feels good not to be a slave to every "Ding!" or "Beep!" that I hear.

I also got back in my old SEGA games and cooking food my mom used to make when I was a kid.

I grew up in church but slacked because life got hectic. Now I'm attending when I can, I'll read the Bible in off time and I've made myself more available to help others.

This might sound stupid, but it's something about the times where all I could do is go outside and play football in the park with my friends that I miss. Now with my younger siblings, I see them so attached to technology, it makes me sad that they're so trapped and in tuned with news and post from people they'll probably never meet instead of the people they're in front of every day...

elwell 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Dropped: porn and reddit (though I'm still on HN obviously)
mikeg8 1 day ago 2 replies      
Reading. I never used to open a book for more than 20 minutes but once I started reading books I actually enjoyed (Gladwell, Freakenomics, other books related to business, personal growth, human behavior etc) I realized what an amazing habit it is. You learn a lot, work your brain, give the eyes a break from a screen and you can take a good book/kindle anywhere. No power needed. Start reading books.
davidsmith8900 1 day ago 0 replies      
- I stopped trying to control life. Started focusing on how I can make the best of what Im presented in life.
kiyanforoughi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Switching off the sound my phone makes each time I receive an email, text or messaging notification.

I also stopped checking my email actively in the evening (only once before going to sleep to make sure there are no emergencies) and I try not to touch it more than once on Saturdays.

I have such a clearer mindset now these days.

Try it! You'll see.

contextual 1 day ago 0 replies      
Study the Bible and/or Zen poetry every morning, preferably before reading anything else.
sfrechtling 1 day ago 0 replies      
I now sleep more (> 7 hours a night). Amazing gains in what I notice - and how much easier it is to think. Like running downhill.
kfk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Travelling on a kayak (Passau-Bratislava in 2012 and Krakow-Gdansk in 2013). Both the memories and the planning for the future trips (Iceland 2014!) give me something to hold on to during the dark moments. Previously I used to travel by bike, but I had stopped that for 3 years before picking up kayaking.
pearjuice 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I stopped eating regular meals and live of a cup of black unsugared coffee, a cup of water and a daily switched apple or can of tuna in natural olive oil. I haven't felt healthier in years. Regular meals are not necessary to survive and with this diet you will save a lot of money, feel healthier and become spiritually awakened.
mping 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Started to practice genuine Shaolin QiGong & Shaolin Kung Fu. Got lucky with the master I found. Been practicing for 7 years, wouldn't trade it for a pile of gold. It just enables me to do everything better. I mean everything. Most of the ordinary day-to-day stuff doesn't bother me so much. I don't waste as much time as before doing useless things.

Also reduced the amount of TV/Internet time; started to eat vegetarian practically every day.

<shameless plug> I built this app just for that: https://routinetap.com. I'm working on a pure js version.</shameless>

kszx 1 day ago 2 replies      
(1.) Eat well, drink well, sleep well, work well.

(2.) Quantified self: Targeting productive and unproductive time with RescueTime, and committing to explicit targets with Beeminder.

(3.) Less but better. Less input but better input. Less output but better output. Afford the luxury of being slow and having time for introspection and inspiration.

(4.) When you can't sleep, don't try to.

lexandstuff 1 day ago 0 replies      
Giving up high sugar foods completely (no soft drink, candy, dessert etc). I went from battling colds year round to almost never getting them.
markyc 1 day ago 0 replies      
quit fapping


Nanzikambe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stopped eating fast food and drinking any artificial flavored/sweetened/preserved drinks (exception beer).

Closely linked: learned to cook for myself and making an effort to cook something I've never tried once a week.

waltercfilho 1 day ago 3 replies      
Stopped adding sugar to my hot drinks, completely.
4lun 1 day ago 0 replies      
Disconnected the TV from the aerial. I now watch a fraction of TV that I used to (via streaming or personal library).

I used to waste so much time watching reruns and trash TV just because it was there when I turned the TV on.

talles 1 day ago 1 reply      
1. Going to the gym as the first thing in the morning.

2. Saying "No" more often.

ereckers 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Dropped politics, picked up a good office chair.
meerita 1 day ago 1 reply      
I quit smoke, also, quit eating outside. The improvements were impressive:

1. Better sleep.2. Better weight control.3. Skin stopped being dry.4. Better sex life too.5. Good energy.

I never measure my work productivity.

kapowaz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stopped reading Hacker News.
kopos 1 day ago 2 replies      
I started waking up at 5.30 in the morning. Code for about an hour and then go for an early morning walk with my spouse for another.
uptownJimmy 1 day ago 0 replies      
For me, it was a tidy set of lifestyle choices that I made, all at once:

1. Stopped drinking.2. Started running three miles every morning, crack of dawn.3. Stopped watching TV.4. Cut out almost all junk/fast food.

The change in my productivity and general sense of well-being has been profound.

JoelAnair 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Psychedelic drugs. They help keep priorities in order and aid creativity by forcing you to examine different points of view and approach problems from different angles.
clockwork_189 16 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Pomodoro Technique while working on tasks2) Running "StayFocused" on the background while doing tasks.
zupitor 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Started practicing touch typing a year back. Doubled my typing speed from 30wpm to 60wpm.
tzaman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Starting a Keto diet
ragatskynet 1 day ago 1 reply      
I started running and waking up earlier. They looked so big to begin with but they were very very easy to adopt. Now i am trying to finally quit smoking once and for all.
melancholy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Drinking green tea helped triple my water intake. Sharply cutting carbohydrates from my diet.Lifting weights 3X a week.

I am in better physical and mental shape than ever before.

rjurney 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anapana and Vipassana meditation during insomnia.
rusabd 1 day ago 0 replies      
it seems almost everyone disconnect himself from the economy in some way to improve lifestyle. I myself stopped consuming sugar, started lifting weights, got married, got kids, learned how to make sourdough bread, kefir, how to build bicycle wheel, how to slaughter animal, how to keep bees... Wow it is a lot for the 3 years :)
gembird 1 day ago 0 replies      
less worrying about being next billion dollar app and focusing on critical thinking
alejantrot 1 day ago 1 reply      
Quitting smoking. Best habit I ever had. It improves my life every time I pick it up.
g2guo 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been building micro-habits that make small increments in improving my life. I am currently working on three things: reading, exercising and coding; every day in my personal spare time. I use an iOS app to track progress (Way of Life). The key is to make them easy to accomplish so you do them everyday and it becomes a habit that can grow into something more difficult.
jonwhittlestone 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I haven't yet - but I'm planning to ban the smart phone and tablet computer from the bedroom.
kraorh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Started jogging. Its helping me stay active the whole day and sleep better.
blibble 1 day ago 0 replies      
soft drinks
Ask HN: What kind of side projects are you working on?
42 points by gembird  5 hours ago   74 comments top 53
bpodgursky 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Open-source visualization of our solar neighborhood: http://uncharted.bpodgursky.com/ source https://github.com/bpodgursky/uncharted
iamwil 4 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Cubehero - Hosting 3D printed projects https://cubehero.com

2. Embossanova - Emboss images to surfaces in OpenSCAD https://cubehero.com/physibles/iamwil/embossanova

3. Graftleaf and Graftweave - Graftconcept iPhone module back covers https://cubehero.com/physibles/iamwil/graftleaf https://cubehero.com/physibles/iamwil/graftweave

Sir_Cmpwn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of them.

Open source implementation of Minecraft https://github.com/SirCmpwn/Craft.Net

Reddit API wrapper https://github.com/SirCmpwn/RedditSharp

kernel written in z80 assembly https://github.com/KnightSoft/kernel

TI-8x emulator in javascript https://github.com/SirCmpwn/OpenTI

And lots more https://github.com/SirCmpwn

acesubido 4 hours ago 1 reply      
A simple CSS/JS library recreating the Windows 8 Modal. Still working on tablet/mobile support (which im pretty sure is just a css style cursor: pointer;)


Another side project I'm currently in the process of designing:

Personal Problem: Me and my wife have some folders with so many random files. Too troublesome and time consuming maintaining it to be clean and organized. Pictures should be in a specific folder, installers in another one, etc. an example is the "Downloads Folder"

Solution: A small command-line utility that organizes a folder on where it runs from. This small command-line tool has only one parameter: a JSON file that contains "Rules" on what it will do on specific files. ex: .mp3's should be placed on a folder, .docs on another, etc. And so on and so forth. It could also come as an "installable" service/daemon that watches over folders. Still learning more about Scala, it's used in where I work, may write this command-line tool in that language for educational purposes.

fotcorn 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
Firefox OS port to the HTC One: https://github.com/firefoxos-htc-one

Round-based RPG Game written in Java/libGDX: https://github.com/andef4/adventure-game

Whatsapp for FirefoxOS written in TypeScript: https://github.com/andef4/ch.bfh.bti7054.w2013.p.fxos_whatsa...

All of them are still pre-alpha quality.

baruch 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm interested in finding more about disk failures (HDDs and SSDs), possibly with an eye to create an advance warning system for increased chance of multiple failures in a RAID system or the imminent failure of a single disk.

Blog is at http://blog.disksurvey.org/

Sub-parts on github: http://github.com/baruch/diskscan and http://github.com/baruch/disksurvey

agilebyte 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Visualizing crime of a city I am moving into: https://github.com/radekstepan/deadmonton

GitHub Burndown Chart:https://github.com/radekstepan/github-burndown-chart

kitsune_ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A columnar time series db with an lmdb backend - I have only just started and it us quite a struggle.

A map / tile server written in go. So far MapBox' mbtiles work.

This came from a peculiar interest of mine, whether my city needs yet another underground parking garage. So I started to scrape the public rss feed of the parking system. I have some gigs of data by now and RethinkDB is not as performant as I hoped it would be. There is no real query optimization as of yet.

What I want to visualize is whether you can find a parking spot at a certain point in time and reach a spot, for instance a shop, within a certain threshold by foot. In short, if you want to shop at XXX will you have trouble finding a parking spot?

evincarofautumn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Kitten, a programming language based on zero-cost abstractions (https://github.com/evincarofautumn/kitten). Competing in the same space as C++, Rust, and Nimrod. Statically typed, type-inferred, stack-based, higher-order, GC optional, with an effect system to manage side effects. Very much a work in progress, but you should stow it in your brain as a systems language to try in the future.
cruppstahl 4 hours ago 0 replies      
http://hamsterdb.com - a C++ key/value store. hamsterdb is AFAIK the only key/value store which supports typed keys (i.e. uint32, uint64, blobs). under the hood the btree optimizes the memory layout for this type, just like a column store DBMS does. I'm now moving slowly towards adding analytical functions, but it's still a long way to go.
fbnt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A News reading App based on the most popular news stories being shared in real time on Twitter: http://newspo.st
amarraja 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
A UK based price and product tracking site (http://salr.io)

Almost there, but I've been working on it solo, and development stalled for a bit whilst I struggled with motivational issues and analysis paralysis. Hope to get something MVP-able very soon!

lowglow 5 hours ago 0 replies      
1. A news/blogging platform: http://techendo.co

2. I also organize and run the san francisco hacker news meetup. http://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-Hacker-News-Meetup/

3. Dev school grading site: http://schools.techendo.co

4. Burrito: http://burrito.techendo.co

5. Tribes: http://tribes.techendo.co

6. Next up is an app that helps businesses find their distribution channels -- to be released in a week or two.

7. ..and finally a kickstarter for a hacker tool coming early next year.

Join us on #Techendo on freenode to chat. :)

motiejus 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Docker replacement with emphasis on tool reusability. Docker made incremental builds right, and I love the idea. However, it reimplemented the whole tooling around it instead of using what's in there.

It will support FreeBSD/ZFS/Jails and Linux/LVM|BTRFS|ZFS/LXC on the first release. My goal is to re-use existing tooling as much as possible.

I am writing it in Haskell.

JamieLewis 5 hours ago 1 reply      
An open source stream processing framework (https://ghostream.com) - it isn't really ready for the limelight yet, but you can find the code base on github (https://github.com/ghostream/ghostream) - final steps on the to do list are a few more example projects, a couple more functional operators and to polish up the documentation.

It has hit the 80-20 scenario. The last 20% is taking 80% of the time :)But it has let me quickly prototype a few little ideas (http://jamielewis.me.uk/posts/2013-11-03-Mapping-Earthquakes...)

rythie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Helping people run faster: https://cleverrun.com

2. Stats about where you spend your time: https://clevergeo.com

3. Something with pebble and it's accelerometer, probably related to sports.

eranation 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Scala tutorials (http://scalatutorials.com) - it's a "try scala code in your browser" (powered by scalakata.com) and has a basic tour at the moment, but I'm working on making it more like try ruby / codecademy, much more work than I thought by the way
watermel0n 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am working on Readbox (https://www.readbox.co). It's a news reader founded in collaboration with University of Naples Federico II.
preddict 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A site for people to record their predictions, to say whether they agree or not with other people's predictions and later to see who was right.Let's see who can predict the best what will happen in the world!


captn3m0 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Open source github based jekyll blog editor that runs completely on client side. [1]A CRM system, and a designer collaboration tool.

[1]: https://github.com/captn3m0/potion

david927 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Brodlist: making it possible to query semantic data in a way that's easy and fun.

Kaya: A new paradigm in software construction.

intellectronica 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A youtube-based jukebox server in dart: https://github.com/rounds/jukebox-mode

We use it at the office to queue songs a chatroom and listen together.

amrit_b 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I made embedding transcoded videos as simple as using the <img> tag --> http://transcode.io

Working on the production version atm.

Boldewyn 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Almost all of the little spare time I have goes into http://Codepoints.net, presenting and explaining Unicode codepoints.

Edit: The page is fully open source: https://github.com/Boldewyn/Codepoints.net

glazskunrukitis 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I built a SSL certificate store GetSSL.me[0] and so far it has been really great. Our goal is to make SSL certificates available to everyone.

[0] https://getssl.me/

NicoJuicy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A personal automated email sender, using vars and conditional statements (Eg. Multiple languages are possible, we live in a country where most of them speak: french, dutch, german or english, so that's a big + over here).

Create a poll (or mail) and mail them to clients when you sold for > 1000 should be an option :)

It's actually meant to get feedback (automated) from clients with a more personal touch or to follow up on a sale of 1 month ago (how the car is, ...)

stevekemp 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A system to test blog/forum-comments for spam in real-time: http://blogspam.net/

A list of pubs in Edinburgh: http://edinburgh.io/

A mail client: http://lumail.org/

caulagi 3 hours ago 1 reply      
1. A community driven listing of events around you - http://sntd.pw - https://github.com/caulagi/sntd

2. A website for children to share their toys - http://toystori.com - https://github.com/caulagi/toystori

daliusd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Last weekend I have created http://microbezilla.sandbox.lt/.

Now I'm working on HTML5 turn-based strategy multiplayer game about space pirates.

dazzla 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Deal Drop (and now Tech Drop) - iOS/Android shopping apps http://www.getdealdrop.com Been working on it for a few years. Nice side income but still trying to grow it to be my main income.
abengoam 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I am tired of repeating this again and again, so I am doing some yak shaving and creating a hosted rest service for managing user accounts and authentication. I will use it as basic infrastructure for future projects.
warcode 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Streaming Twitter client in javascript since the last one I used died. Early version at https://deny.io/river/
louyang 4 hours ago 0 replies      
News search engine: http://wintria.comJava applet games (from a while ago): http://codelucas.com/pages/rocketboy.htmlhttp://codelucas.com/pages/island-overlord.html

Trying to learn some js gaming engines though.

qzervaas 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I've just started a site that aggregates open public transit data feeds. It lets you quickly see differences between feed versions, discover new feeds, and I'm working on APIs to easily bring in better real time data into apps


kranner 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Speed-reading iOS app for ePub http://velocireaderapp.com
timmy-turner 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A terminal emulator - https://github.com/hoeck/schirm - using a browser to render the screen, allowing programs to use HTML and Javascript as an alternative output (via a CGI like interface).
davedx 4 hours ago 0 replies      
An invoice management app

A multiplayer RPG in JavaScript

anuaitt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sharing Gmail Tasks gmailsharedtasks.com
shaunrussell 4 hours ago 1 reply      
My current side project is http://upbeatapp.com, working on it with two co-workers, and having some success.

Been having fun with Go-lang koans and Angular.js uiRouter as well.

git-pull 3 hours ago 0 replies      
git/hg/svn repo mass-updater from a YAML / JSON file. http://pullv.readthedocs.org/en/latest/index.html

tmux workspace manager in python. JSON / YAML configs. session workspace freezing.http://tmuxp.readthedocs.org/en/latest/index.html

igvadaimon 4 hours ago 0 replies      
International social network for freedivers - http://theabyss.de/

With buddyfinder, user blogs, as well as list of freediving spots and events.

ds_ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A service that allows single page ajax applications to be indexed with minimal effort http://crawlspa.com
philipb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm making an offsite status page SaaS: https://statusutils.comIts in beta, and I could use some feedback :)
mikeroher 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm making an online store in Rails for a specific target market (have to be vague). I'm building it mostly on my own and I'm looking for a second developer to help me out.
300 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Trying to build soomething which can help to job seekers: http://besthi.re/
Leander_B 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Private tech recruitment community: http://likewise.io
ra00l 3 hours ago 0 replies      
simple image optimization app: http://www.imgoptimize.com
mesrine 4 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Internet-Side for Magic Cards2) little JavaScript-Game
matiasb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Co-browsing solution with go & redis
mm4p 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My pet project is the development of the concept of "mind map for programming" (mm4p). It is a mix between literate programming and visual programming with the capacity to work with text file and any programming language you want.

My feel good project is Sahana Eden.

ibarrajo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm making a social sharing application, dedicated to street food vendors, it's called tacotuyo.. very early in development still (about 20 hrs in) http://tacotuyo-elninja.rhcloud.com
markosaurus 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A console so we can share the API data from our Bitcoin asic miner without allowing access to the console.

Soon to have google charts implemented.

hagope 4 hours ago 1 reply      
a better trash can
Ask HN: starter books for learning about grammars, parsers and compilers?
3 points by michaelsbradley  6 hours ago   discuss
Hacking on Drugs?
10 points by dasmithii  13 hours ago   13 comments top 6
dreammachines 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Regular HN user here; throwaway account.

I'm a regular user of cannabis (I smoke everyday after dinner, around 9pm or so). I frequently watch math/CS lectures, write code, and read technical books when high.

I find that it helps me a lot both with focusing, and with creative thought. Ideas flow more easily, bits of knowledge connect on their own. I've most certainly gotten productive work done while high. Recollection is not too much of an issue, but I recommend heavy use of a notebook to keep track of what you're doing, and so that you can refer to it the next day.

I've never used drugs other than weed/psychedelics, mostly because I find that stuff nasty and stay away from it, so I can't comment on that. It's close to impossible for me to get anything done during a shroom trip- however, when the trip ends, I enter a phase of extreme lucidity and am able to focus in a way that I've never been to sober.

Relevant details: I am a cofounder at a small but growing SF tech startup. I also believe I have Asperger's (I've always been that super weird kid) & ADD (I have a really hard time focusing and sticking to a single task, and the feeling of extreme focus and lucidity I experience at the end of a shroom trip feels to me like it should be the way my brain should always be), and that my brain chemistry behaves in a very atypical way with such substances (my gf has remarked several times that I am way more lucid and coherent than anyone else she knows on drugs) - I am currently in the process of getting those things professionally diagnosed. I've gotten my IQ assessed as a teenager, it was in the ~150 range.

Finally, the bay area is super open to that. I regularly smoke weed and talk CS theory/math with friends who work at large famous tech companies, and a certain subset of employees at a well known large tech company with a knack for design absolutely love the Ploom Pax [0].

[0] http://www.ploom.com/pax

kennethtilton 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A double shot of espresso is great, I have a million ideas all at once and am juiced to do it all. I get absolutely nothing done until it wears off and then I need a nap. hth.
digitalvortex 5 hours ago 1 reply      
These drugs gives your momentarily high with changes in chemical and hormonal level and you feel good, but when this goes on for a long time, you body gets accustomed to that level of chemical increase and you get addicted.

Stay away from drugs and drug users. These things look fabulous in movies but never works in real life.

dylanhassinger 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I find it hard to sit in one place and build mental context without something that takes the edge off/slows down my brain. For me, that's marijuana and sometimes adderall or flexeril. But adderall has nasty side effects, so I'm looking for a natural substitute.

fwiw, I am disagnosed aspergers (mild) and ADHD

nmbdesign 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Nootropics - maybeDrug grugs - no-no.
GuiA 13 hours ago 3 replies      
There is a relevant post by user 'dreammachines', but it is marked as dead.

(side note- I wish HN had a better policy for dead/banned accounts. I often see quality posts that are marked as dead and therefore no one can read/respond to them- don't forget to enable showdead in your account settings for the full HN experience! :P)

Copy paste of said post:


Regular HN user here; throwaway account.

I'm a regular user of cannabis (I smoke everyday after dinner, around 9pm or so). I frequently watch math/CS lectures, write code, and read technical books when high.I find that it helps me a lot both with focusing, and with creative thought. Ideas flow more easily, bits of knowledge connect on their own. I've most certainly gotten productive work done while high. Recollection is not too much of an issue, but I recommend heavy use of a notebook to keep track of what you're doing, and so that you can refer to it the next day.

I've never used drugs other than weed/psychedelics, mostly because I find that stuff nasty and stay away from it, so I can't comment on that. It's close to impossible for me to get anything done during a shroom trip- however, when the trip ends, I enter a phase of extreme lucidity and am able to focus in a way that I've never been to sober.

Relevant details: I am a cofounder at a small but growing SF tech startup. I also believe I have Asperger's (I've always been that super weird kid) & ADD (I have a really hard time focusing and sticking to a single task, and the feeling of extreme focus and lucidity I experience at the end of a shroom trip feels to me like it should be the way my brain should always be), and that my brain chemistry behaves in a very atypical way with such substances (my gf has remarked several times that I am way more lucid and coherent than anyone else she knows on drugs) - I am currently in the process of getting those things professionally diagnosed. I've gotten my IQ assessed as a teenager, it was in the ~150 range.

Finally, the bay area is super open to that. I regularly smoke weed and talk CS theory/math with friends who work at large famous tech companies, and a certain subset of employees at a well known large tech company with a knack for design absolutely love the Ploom Pax [0].[0] http://www.ploom.com/pax

Go, or Ruby or ExpressJS for an API?
10 points by justinzollars  14 hours ago   15 comments top 9
munimkazia 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think the best platform to begin with is the one you are most familiar and comfortable with. Node and Go both have performance benefits over Ruby. If you are a fan of the intricacies of javascript, you can give Node a shot. I don't think Go has much of an ecosystem compared to Node yet.
rubyn00bie 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ruby if you want quick /initial/ development.

Go if you need performance, but slower development time.

ExpressJS/Node for neither. Just kidding, it might be sort of like a combination of the two, moderate development and moderate performance. Though, this sort of makes it's usefulness moot for me, but that's /just/ me. I either the fastest development time, or fastest application. Both usually ends in a clusterf*ck of some kind (IMHO).

Personally, though, I wouldn't use any of the above except Ruby and would use something JVM based. Play! is a mature framework, it's fast, and is easy to use/deploy. It also comes in both Scala and Java varieties.

I've used everything mentioned but Go, and the JVM keeps coming back to haunt me because it's fast as hell and has TONS of libs.

Baliw 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Depends on your needs. If you need to get something up and running quickly, I would recommend you stick with Ruby.

If you can afford some extra time to learn a new framework then both Go or Express/Node.js are great options that would enhance your skill set.

Node.js and Go are both growing quickly in popularity. They're much faster on the execution side than Ruby and provide additional optimization opportunities via the ability to query more than one external resource simultaneously and combine the results into your API's response.

If you do decide to go with Node.js or Go, Node.js is currently the more popular of the two. You're more likely to be able to land a job or freelancing gig with Node.js skills today, whereas you're more able to contribute something meaningful to the Go ecosystem by getting into it now.

Personally I prefer coding in Go, but most of my client's request Node.js.

davismwfl 12 hours ago 0 replies      
We use Node.js with Express and some pretty simple but very effective middleware we wrote to make API development a little more robust, like automatic metrics collection, logging, proper error handling etc. I have 0 Ruby experience so I can't comment as to how it would compare.

I would say neither Go or Node would be a bad choice, each having their tradeoffs. Node honestly is very performant overall given the time in which it takes a developer to code, test and deploy (tradeoffs). Also IMO Node has a little more available in terms of examples and people that have already hit the issues ahead of you. So if time to completion is important, it might be faster for that purpose alone. Then if you find a hot path, work to optimize it etc.

For what it is worth too, I hear people complain about Node occasionally and it is usually when they are trying to do longer running tasks, like huge sorts etc. Node is not a good candidate for work that blocks the event loop for long periods, there are better tools for that as you probably already know. The other complaints I hear/see often are when people choose the wrong 3rd party plugins to base their systems on. npm makes it easy to install almost any module, and sometimes that low barrier makes for easy but less than stellar choices; its like anything research the module first and try real scenarios as a POC before committing.

Also there are other frameworks other than Express for Node, for example you can check out HAPI which some people have switched to for RESTful API work.

marcus_holmes 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I've just finished building an API in Go, and my experience was:

You have to write more actual code than in Rails (or even ASP MVC), so it takes longer to develop, but it's much more satisfying.

I'm not 'web-scale' so the speed differences didn't actually matter that much. I didn't optimise for speed and the benchmarks were still impressively exceeding our requirements.

The standard library is amazing in places, but there are some libraries (gorilla in particular) that are almost obligatory.

If you have to write 2 API's you'll re-use a lot of code... you've effectively rolled your own API framework.

If your editor can handle snippets, make one for "if err != nil{" since that's a good 25% of any go program it seems ;)

Go is deep; the tools are deceptively simple and amazingly powerful. I refactored a lot as I went along and discovered better, more elegant ways to do things I'd brute-forced on the first iteration.

It was fun! Go is a really lovely language to code in.

draaglom 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I've developed/am developing an API in Go.

Go's not quite mature, and it shows at times. For example, if the tcp connection underlying your database connection dies, it won't reconnect automatically.

The standard library is neat; net/http is friendly and easy to use but unless you want to spend half your time munging request.URL.Path with regexes you'll want to use a different mux / router from the standard library - there are many good ones available.

Channels make realtime (ie, websockets) quite simple, and the type system means you can iterate quickly without so much fear of introducing bugs.

I can't speak much for the performance; we haven't tested it under much load yet.

jonaphin 13 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems that Go is fast, so if you expect a very high volume and want to keep the server bill low (I don't know about the developer cost comparison) it might be the way to go.

I've used Sails.js (built on top of Express.js) and can't say it's anywhere near Rails yet.

Also, Node maybe be the "wrong" tool for building APIs. By wrong I mean it's not its particular strength.

mailslot 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I built the Steam integration API for a semi-popular MMO using Go. It's type system, marshaling/serialization and concurrency features made it ideal. The compile & load times are faster than even just loading a Rails app.

As mentioned in another comment, yes, most Go database drivers do not reconnect for you. It's an easy enough pattern to code for yourself. Some PHP & JDBC adapters don't either.

Memory usage was under 10MB and Valve eventually called us asking to throttle our calls, as their servers couldn't keep up and exhibited race conditions. Delays needed to be added to our job queues.

dataminer 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If you go with Ruby, try sinatra-synchrony.
I made a distributed, anonymous network for online discussion
86 points by rolleiflex  2 days ago   44 comments top 15
ohmygodel 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think it's cool that you're making usable security software.

I do worry that "usable" has gotten more thought than "security", and providing a system that doesn't deliver the security it promises could be worse than not having the software at all. It may end up conveniently serving up those at most risk to their adversaries.

As others have noted, anonymity is hard to get right, and the approach here has some serious flaws:

1. It seems that the pseudonymous author of posts can easily be determined by connecting a bunch of Sybils (i.e. multiple clients) to as many other peers as possible and observing who is the first to send new posts by the target pseudonym. And you really can't have a forum without pseudonyms. Users will create them on their own (by including a nickname in their posts) even if you don't build it in.

2. There is an easy so-called "intersection attack" in which the sets of users that are connected at any given time a pseudonymous entity posts are intersected. The actual author will always be present, and the other participants won't be static, and so eventually only the author will remain in the intersection.

3. There is no apparent protocol obfuscation. Despite the use of TLS, the protocol traffic patterns of this new protocol are likely to be highly identifying. They can then be easily confirmed by an active attacker directly connecting to the suspected participant. In addition, it doesn't seem that the list of participants is protected, and so an adversary can just connect to the network to discover who to block or punish. Tor will not solve the problem here if users have to be able to receive incoming connections. And if you're using Tor, then you are relying on an external system that has censorship issues of its own (e.g. access from China is currently extremely limited) and does rely on servers.

4. The bootstrap IPs can obviously be easily blocked.

5. The votes are not anonymous, which is unlikely to be clear to users and which are nearly as sensitive as authorship itself.

6. Denial-of-service here is as simple as flooding the network with "forwarded" posts and votes.

Here are some suggestions for designing a system that is secure and that people can trust as being secure:

1. Write a white paper describing the design! This is not a detailed protocol spec - it's a description of how the protocol works at a higher level along with arguments establishing its security properties. This allows others to understand and critique the design.

2. Check out some of the related system designs [0-6]. They have had to deal with the same issues, and you can learn from them. You can get all these papers and more at <http://freehaven.net/anonbib/>. As you can see at that site, people have been thinking about these issues for a while and have figured out a lot!

3. Submit your white paper to a computer security conference. Even if it doesn't get in, you will get feedback from experts.

As it is currently, I wouldn't trust my communication to this system. You really need a large and diverse user base to provide anonymity, and so you will have to work at convincing people that this is something they can trust. Good luck!

[0] "Membership-concealing overlay networks" by Vasserman et al. CCS09

[1] "Crowds: anonymity for Web transactions" by Reiter and Rubin. TISSEC 1998.

[2] "Freenet: A Distributed Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval System" by Clarke et al. PET 2000.

[3] "Trafc Analysis: Protocols, Attacks, Design Issues and Open Problems" by Jean-Franois Raymond. PET 2000.

[4] "ScrambleSuit: A Polymorphic Network Protocol to Circumvent Censorship" by Winter et al. WPES 2013.

[5] "Drac: An Architecture for Anonymous Low-Volume Communications" by Danezis et al. PETS 2010.

[6] "Tor: The Second-Generation Onion Router" by Dingledine et al. USENIX Security 2004.

bcl 2 days ago 1 reply      
* You need to describe how it actually works. Describe the network protocol well enough that someone can re-implement it in their own favorite language.

* Your license sucks. Restricting modified code from connecting to the network tells me that your network protocol is fragile and exploitable

* How is your system better than Tor and a hidden service?

andrewcooke 2 days ago 1 reply      
how does it know who else to talk to?

it seems that by saying things are anonymous you punt on all questions of identity? so there's no way to know that you are joining the forum you expect?

another way of saying the above - despite the encryption there's no protection against mitm, right?

it uses tls so it's just direct connections? so you're identified by your ip?

you say (iirc) that keys are automatically regenerated and not verified. so it's really anonymous (not pseudonymous). so there's no way to be sure two comments are by the same person? even in the same discussion?

since the encryption is useless (mitm) yet you're not actually anonymous to an attacker (ip) it seems to combine the worst parts of insecure software with the worst parts of forums (no reliable identities).

[edit: sorry, updated the above slightly. ok, so there's some forwarding of messages which makes people more anonymous if an attacker doesn't see all the network. pre-snowden that might have seemed worth something.]

mbubb 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like it - it installed easily enough on Mac. I started browsing around.

I really do not have a quibble with the application itself - nor the intended use. Thank you for it I am enjoying playing around with it and am following the project on github.

Echoing others I would definately fix the license issue - and do that sooner than later.

I have a tangental interest - forgive me if the following is off topic.

The last line from the deck:"It requires zero infrastructure" and similar statements in the website got me thinking along a theme.

I get that this is a distributed application with encrypted transmission - but it does imply an infrastructure. Once you need an IP; you need a network.

I can see lots of applications for this - beyond the reddit/bittorrent model, this would be really useful - aftermath of a hurricane / natural disaster- Occupy wallstreet style demonstrations- Cory Doctorow "Little brother" scenario- etc - any situation where you want ad hoc, encrypted community

the problem with those situations is exactly that there is no infrastructure (or not a trusted infrastructure).

Locally (for me) there are projects like http://www.milemesh.com/ to try and make sure there are networks for emergency situations. But what if you don't wnat to use an official or semi-official network? Are there distibuted, ad hoc network projects that would work well with this?

hershel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Definitely an interesting project.

>> The basic idea is quite simple: if Alice likes a post written by Bob, Alice will upvote it, and thus will start to distribute that post, too, increasing Carols chances of coming across Bobs post.

If i get it correctly , your protocol leaks votes data. Assume i'm an attacker connected to Alice. I now know what she voted for. I gather all her voted posts, and can build pretty decent profile of her and probably uncover some of her messages with some more complexity.

cordite 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish the slides were more descriptive of how it functioned.

Although I use mac, the lack of linux seems to be something that should be worked on.

morgante 2 days ago 2 replies      
Nicely done. Your demo at DemoDays was pretty cool (http://demodays.co/).
RexRollman 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't personally believe that anything is unblockable or untraceable. If data can find its way back to you, then you can be found (although it might be very hard).
darkhorn 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was unable to run the installer because I don't have administrative rights. It would be better without need for administrative rights.
mmagin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is this like Freenet, but less general-purpose?
ksrm 2 days ago 0 replies      
How does this compare to bitmessage?
zacwitte 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can't be opened because it's from an unidentified developer


maaku 2 days ago 1 reply      
Have you seen Retroshare?
ohmygeek 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am no security expert but this sounds interesting. I'd love to know how I can compile it from source (Maybe add it to the github README?)
alixaxel 2 days ago 0 replies      
No Linux version?
Ask HN: How do you become a morning person?
12 points by kzisme  16 hours ago   12 comments top 11
amarraja 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was the same, and I'm not exactly a morning person at the moment, but I am a lot better. The two main things which are mentioned here are exercise and sleep well.

For the first, I went for resistance training as cardio bores me too much. For the sleep, I just started to eat well (more veg, less pizza) and my body seemed to get into a better rhythm. There were possibly more factors involved, but I guess I'll never know.

kitsune_ 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Military routine, no kidding. I am an owl and during my mandatory service I woke up at 6am every morning and was so tired during the day that I usually fell immediately asleep when I entered a troup transport and sat down. Physical exercise and long work days (you are basically on duty from 6am until you go to bed at 11pm) were probably the main reasons for my transformation.

Of course I am writing this at 0.30 am, so it didn't last :)

Skoofoo 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You may be getting too much light at night, which inhibits the amount of melatonin you generate. Try taking melatonin supplements. http://www.gwern.net/Melatonin
pushnell 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I finally managed to do this almost a year ago. Really, this comes down to understanding (and accepting) that your body is built for adaptation. The more steadily you feed it regular inputs, the more it will embrace those inputs and come to expect them.

- Force yourself to wake up at the same time every day -- no sleeping in on weekends.

- You should know roughly how much sleep you need in a night, and arrange your life so that you can get in bed X + 1 hours before the time you want to wake up.

If you can't do these two things at least 90% of your days, you won't succeed. Later (2-3 months later), once you've established your pattern and are well adapted to it, you'll have a bit more flexibility with your schedule and still be able to maintain it.

A few things that helped me accomplish these goals:

- Exercise (cardio) first thing in the morning. You will find yourself getting sleepy much earlier in the day. Don't exercise at night, as the endorphins can take several hours to disperse and will keep you awake until then. After about three weeks of morning cardio, your body will begin to adapt the timing of your energy cycles and you will find yourself springing out of bed ready to run. I have used this to my advantage to replace my "night owl" tendencies with "morning person" tendencies on the days off from the gym. I also find it more productive, as my mind is fully rested.

- Melatonin. Presumably, you're staring at a screen of some sort many hours a day like most people on HN. Blue light inhibits natural melatonin production, so to compensate, take a melatonin supplement 1-2 hours before you intend to actually fall asleep. (You should experiment to find out what the lowest dose is for you which still helps you fall asleep.) Also, turn off as many room lights as you can at that time, and dim any screens you're viewing.

Like I said, it can take a few weeks to initially shift your schedule, and a few months to fully adapt to it, but it can be done if you're dedicated. Best of luck.

Pinatubo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Copious amounts of caffeine. I actually bought a very nice espresso machine with high quality coffee as a motivation to get up early, and it worked.

Also, I've been experimenting with f.lux to shift my screen to be more red than blue after sunset. Supposedly the blue tint on screens reminds the body of sunlight and makes you more awake. I don't know if it works yet, though.

CyberFonic 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use a trick I learnt from a rotating shift worker. He didn't use the word 'hack' but that's what it is.

If you find it hard to fall asleep in order to wake up at the desired time, then just skip a sleep cycle. That is, stay awake until you are no more than 10 to 9 hours from when you have to wake up next. The extra hour or two compensates for the missed sleep. Make sure the bedroom is dark, cool and quiet. I need an alarm to wake me up, when it goes off, get up.

Same trick also works for me when adjusting for jet lag. Trying to sleep when you don't feel like it is hard. Staying awake an extra couple of hours when you getting groggy is a bit easier. But don't drink coffee, etc.

alexkus 15 hours ago 1 reply      
My night owl status was cured by having children. I no longer have a choice about what time I wake up.

Semi-seriously though, there's nothing like having to fit something immovable into your schedule for sorting things like this out.

mrjatx 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Force yourself to do it a few times, and make sure that you wake up and get straight to doing your tasks. 11AM will come by and you'll have completed an obscene amount of things and realize that you're not even ready for lunch yet. That's a great feeling. Sure, it's possible at night, but I think one of the major things is the lack of distractions in the early morning. News is slow, reddit/hn is slow, it's more difficult to distract yourself when nobody else is awake.
dvdand 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are a few things that work for me:

- Exercise in the evening. Helps work off the excess energy. - Eat early and light dinner. - Wind down activities early & unplug after dinner so that your body has a chance to relax. - Set an alarm and don't snooze it. Better yet, restrict the number of snooze (most alarms on smartphones allow you to do that). And set a follow up alarm for your next activity that is soon after the first alarm. This will help with getting a schedule going.

All the best.

timjahn 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Have a kid.
joeldidit 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Take bioforte resveratrol. That's what worked for me. I'd wake up at the time I wanted to wake up and would take it. After a few days I would always wake up at that time. Also, the thing about resveratrol is that it will give you (clean) energy during the day that will be capped off by feeling tired at night when it's time to go to bed. It has a great normalizing/regulatory effect. You can use Melatonin at night in the beginning, but you probably won't need it permanently.

That said, I went right back to being a night owl. There is something about working late at night into the early morning. Something peaceful, something serene, something that causes me to be more productive than ever. Being a morning person didn't even come close.

Suggest HN : A black-list of apps that breach our trust?
2 points by kirubakaran  8 hours ago   3 comments top
ibstudios 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Make a blacklist app!
What happened to Verbly (YC12)?
2 points by iderodonech  11 hours ago   1 comment top
byoung2 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What did they do? Hopefully nothing similar to Verbling (YC S11)!
Ask HN: How do you become a morning person?
7 points by kzisme  1 day ago   18 comments top 15
IanDrake 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've tried to shift my clock too. My biggest problem is that my restful dreaming phase of sleep doesn't seem to offset from the time I go to sleep, but just happens around 5-8AM. That means my alarm goes off while I'm dreaming and all I want to do is go back to sleep.

On a recent trip to Cali (3 hour time shift) I had the best sleep ever and during the time of night that I needed. Perhaps I should just move to the west coast, because nothing else has ever worked so well.

beat 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to shift my habits around myself. Going from the problem/solution perspective, my problem is that I need to work in time for my startup around my dayjob hours. If I wait until evening to work on startup, I'm already tired and it's conflicting with life stuff. So I'm trying to have at least two hours a day before dayjob starts.

The blocker is that I often just drone late at night, surfing/shopping or watching tv. It's not productive time. So I'm kind of forcing myself to go to bed early, 11pm at the latest, and using a silent alarm (Fitbit Force) to get myself up and avoid the snooze button.

The hardest part has been dealing with when life forces me to stay up late anyway, not breaking the habit.

cafard 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Have a child. You are more or less guaranteed a dozen years of early wake-up calls.
japhyr 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Stop using an alarm clock, if you use one. Having an alarm clock lets you think you can keep your body up as long as you want, and then wake up when you want to. Getting rid of the alarm clock also lets you get up out of bed the first time you wake up, rather than drifting back to sleep and waiting for the alarm.

If you ditch the alarm clock, you will pay attention to the quality of your sleep. You might end up going to sleep a little earlier, and waking up earlier.

dllthomas 18 hours ago 0 replies      
There's no perfect solution; people are wired differently. The following may help:

1) Have something to do in the morning, get out of bed and do it.

2) Eat something early on in the day.

3) Reduce caffeine intake generally, and especially after ~noon.

4) Reduce your interaction with screens in the evening4a) Use something like Redshift or Flux, for when that fails

5) Try to stick to a regular schedule. If you're always getting up at the same time, getting up gets easier.

Don't push yourself too hard, though. Some people are just wired such that it's not going to be easy, and fatigue does a lot of harm.

pknight 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I've given myself some rules so I don't go overboard staying up late, like not doing anything work related after 3am or computer games after a certain time. When I don't follow these I generally get up later and later until I'm on a truly unworkable schedule. I find it's pretty easy to go to bed a little later each day, it's much harder to go to bed earlier, at least for me.

The other solution is to plan stuff early in the morning.

dack 22 hours ago 0 replies      
My wife and I have been going to bed a 9 and waking up at 5 for a few weeks now. We do all our "project work" in the morning before our day jobs, and are pretty exhausted by night time. If you shift 1hr a day until you get to this type of rhythm, then eventually it won't really feel any different than your normal schedule.
svennek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was a nightowl before (going to bed after 01 and getting out of bed around 09), but decided to change it.

The basic point is, the body needs enough (consistent) sleep.

I go to bed between 22 and 23 now, and get out of bed before 06 everyday (yes, that includes weekends as my body likes the consistency) with a success rate somewhere in the nineties (percent).

Also exercising helps getting your body more capable (whenever I drop it a few days in a row "to save time" my productivity drops due to being tired)

And a morning light (basically a clock radio connected to a STRONG lightbulb that turns up your light half an hour before you should wake) really works. I regularly wake up when the light turns on (half an hour early) and when I sleep away from home, I have a hard time getting out of bed consistently.

Lastly, make sure you leave the bed as soon as you are awake, "resting" in bed for a few minutes before getting up is a sure-fire way to oversleep (as you fall asleep again)

d64f396930663ee 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Start exercising. I found my quality of sleep increased dramatically once I did this, and even though I was still going to bed at 2 or 3 AM at first, it somehow made shifting to a more reasonable hour much easier once I was actually sleeping eight hours a night.
rachelandrew 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a retrained night owl. I used to work in the theatre which meant I worked funny hours, long shifts (often doing a matinee, an evening show then going to another theatre to do a night changeover, getting to bed at 6am then sleeping all day. When I started working on the web I would work late and generally not have great sleep patterns.

I retrained myself by starting to go to the gym or for a run really early (at about 6am) every morning. I just did that consistently until my body learned to have a pattern and I'm now very much a morning person, I usually get up at about 5am. The trick is to be consistent especially in the 6 months or so it takes to retrain your habits.

ariejan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I was like that myself 6 months ago. I had some cool stuff to work on, and would to it in the evening, getting to bed late, tired the next day.

I changed it by planning small chunks of work for each morning, getting up at 5. Doing a bit of work before the rest of the family wakes up. Than at 22:00 you're feeling tired and you go to bed.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but after a few days you don't want to do it any other way.

Read more about my experience at http://ariejan.net/2013/05/21/early-birds/

Veus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Whats wrong with being a nightowl? If that is your natural rythem then why change?

The only reason I can see for changing is due to lifestyle changes (kids e.t.c).

cupofjoakim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Start working out. You get tired earlier and I find it easier to focus on the tasks I have since I started.
gembird 23 hours ago 0 replies      
next time when you go to bed, just sleep at 22 and wake up at 6, the important thing is try to sleep early and just forget about your god damn projects
jaseemabid 1 day ago 0 replies      
Throw the laptop out of the window.
Ask HN: Reviews app that plugs in like disqus
2 points by xaevir  13 hours ago   2 comments top 2
whichdan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I run a small startup at http://easyendorse.com - it doesn't have star ratings, but may be what you're looking for. My email's in my profile if you'd like to chat.
jlft 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Help me to decide architecture for buidling my startup
5 points by starterkit  22 hours ago   7 comments top 3
acesubido 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Design your stack around where the organization is growing in a business perspective: early stage start-ups are very fast organizations. You have to design your stack in a way, early on, that supports failed assumptions, which means frequently changing requirements at the same leaving enough room to breathe and grow.

Scaling equates to specialization, you specialize in a specific area of your stack because your startup has grown in that direction. In a very early stage, there's not much growth only a period of intense validation, so don't overthink about scale right now.

If you are using PostgreSQL, just stick with it. You can ship things faster and troubleshoot better with stuff you know. In terms of fetching data, you can design it in a way that you actually don't have to do any joins at all. Twitter still uses MySQL up until this very day, they've customized the core engine for their purposes. Point is: don't over-think about storage for now, no one knows right now where your startup will grow into :)

Build and design a pleasurably usable RESTful HTTP API Server with a matching client: in my experience this is very very helpful. At a very early stage, building an API server allows you to pivot relatively quickly. When you have a "proxy" for your database, it's practically developer-UX for fast changing business requirements, and it will avoid "database code hell" ie, random projects doing random things at your database.

Imagine you're building this huge web-app, but the users clearly want and need a mobile equivalent. What if the users want some sort of on-site installation for an enterprise version? Suddenly you're not a B2C startup and you'll be going on B2B.

An API server helps you do tons of things that enables you to ship applications faster and makes your startup very flexible since you can isolate and maintain this very large part of your product.

davismwfl 20 hours ago 1 reply      
TLDR; Couchbase is cool but has some considerations so evaluate, Cassandra is better spoken to by someone with experience there and PostgreSQL is still great if you have a relational dataset -- start with what you know if it works and go from there. ---

There is a huge number of factors that go into it, but I'll give you some opinion. :)

If you know PostgreSQL and how to work with it today (and the others are new to you), stay with it for now until you know it isn't the right tool. Trying to learn a new methodology and tool while also starting a company and trying to gain traction etc isn't always the best way to go. Also, think about when/if you need to hire, how long will it take to find someone with experience in X tool or to train someone on it.

As for Couchbase vs Cassandra vs PostgreSQL. All have their pro's and con's and it will boil down to your use cases, dataset and complete tech stack (i.e. some SDK's are less mature than others)

I have been a huge Couchbase fan and user for a few years now, going back to membase. However, I'll be honest, while our current primary datastore is Couchbase, we are moving away from it because of the amount of time we spend solving issues that just shouldn't be. To get this out of the way, I love CB's scale out ability and performance, it is stupid simple overall and works very well -- Mongo could learn a few things about making the scale out process easier from Couchbase (and I think they are). We also use Couchbase to ElasticSearch, and it works pretty damn well, but again is still maturing. In our recent evaluations we found we can replace ES for 60-70% of why we have to use it simply by moving off Couchbase. That means I can reduce my ES resources, to the 30-40% of use cases where it is needed and save some cash, while still getting the same results and performance.

There are a number of things to consider when using CB as your datastore, and while we are moving away from it, I think it is worth a solid look. However, if you store a lot of documents that are small in size but you want keyed for near instant access, Couchbase can cause you to need far more machine resources than you really should (e.g. it gets expensive fast). This is because every key + meta data (56 bytes for 2.2 I believe) must be stored in your bucket RAM, and once the key+meta-data exceeds 50-60% of the available, your in trouble in a few ways. So if you define the bucket to be 2gb, every key+meta data must fit within roughly 50% of that (1gb). Of course, you can keep scaling up/out to increase that size, but like I said costs start to become a factor here. A fair rebuttal to that is to restructure the data so it is larger values, smaller number of keys. However, now you run into a second issue, while views are awesome we have seen they have quite a way to go to be truly a final solution, and they have diminishing returns if you have too many of them. So then the typical answer is you start merging views and returning larger data sets and doing more and more work on the Couchbase client side (API etc) to filter results. Not saying that is always bad, just something to consider. Couchbase also limits you to no more than 10 buckets per cluster (and in my experience more than 5 and your CPU utilization goes up pretty well, so you need more CPU generally). Which means if you need document segmentation, that is more than just a "type" field on a document, this can quickly become an issue. Lastly, all of our API's are in node.js, and frankly CB's node library has a way to go before it is really ready to work in a high transaction way. We have found that it leaks memory when you have sustained high transaction volumes (this is with node 0.10.22), so we have reverted to writing a lot of larger tasks directly in C to get around it; while I actually enjoy doing that, it is time-consuming and not an efficient use of our bootstrapped resources. I read a lot of what the CB team is doing and I think they are working hard to fix almost every one of my points, so just weigh your entire stack first. And please don't consider this a bash against CB, it is anything but, as I think their technology is pretty damn cool, it just has to fit your use case properly like any technology.

As for Cassandra, I am no where near an expert or even a good novice here, so someone else can give you the good/bad there. I do know from reading that it has grown in favor quite a bit and the redundancy and reliability are quite good. We just evaluated it and felt it would be a good solution, however we had a hard time fitting our use case into it. I fully admit that may be our own limitations more than Cassandra's.

PostgreSQL is great, especially if you have the need for highly relational data. In general, I still would favor an RDBMS if your dataset is highly relational. So this depends more on what your data looks like and how it gets used. Performance is good when designed right, but hard to reach the performance of Couchbase, although everything has a trade off. If I needed the performance in places but my data was highly relational, I might look at using Couchbase in front of the RDBMS as a persistent cache, this makes recovery easier on the DB when there is a fault.

In the end its still all about your use case, dataset, tech stack and what you need it to do.

alainkinwong 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't comment on your storage stuff (we've had to develop our own to fit our specific needs), but elastic search is a good option to start out with for search. You can check out the Elasticsearch case studies here: http://www.elasticsearch.org/case-study/
Ask HN: Give me some list of movies about Entrepreneurship and Technology...
5 points by gembird  1 day ago   10 comments top 9
hansy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out these threads:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=450702, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4060887

Also my personal list of favorites that entrepreneurs should watch (although not necessarily about technology):

Glengarry Glen Ross - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104348/

Moneyball - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1210166/

The Pursuit of Happyness - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454921/

Jerry Maguire - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116695/

Catch Me If You Can - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264464/

randallma 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a movie, but Masters of Doom is a great book about the rise of ID Software (http://www.amazon.com/Masters-Doom-Created-Transformed-Cultu...)
solid8tion 22 hours ago 0 replies      
E-dreams. about kozmo.com: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0262021/
kbelbina 1 day ago 0 replies      
Code Rush. Documentary about Netscape:http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_Rush
feulix 1 day ago 0 replies      
davidsmith8900 1 day ago 0 replies      
- How America Was Built - (Rockefeller & Mellon)
leoplct 1 day ago 1 reply      
- The social network

- The startup kids

- Jobs

z3bra 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Also there is a series called BETA
davidsmith8900 1 day ago 0 replies      
- The CIA Movie With Colin Farrell.
Ask HN: How much do you spend on WordPress plugins?
3 points by gembird  20 hours ago   7 comments top 7
JayNeely 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I do a lot of Wordpress development for clients. I've spent more on themes (between $30 - $80 per theme, usually closer to $40) than I have on plugins, and the themes often include functionality I'm looking for that I might otherwise use free plugins to create in a theme I'd build myself.

So far the main plugin I've spent money on is Advanced Custom Fields, purchasing the repeater field and options page add-ons. Cost around $40 USD I believe. Gives me a license to use those add-ons on as many client sites as I want.

I've also had clients purchase WooCommerce extensions like the PayPal Pro gateway ($79) and Stripe extension ($79).

Also, as I continue to build out http://BostonStartupsGuide.com, I expect I'll purchase SearchWP ($25) and Events Calendar Pro ($65).

1337biz 20 hours ago 0 replies      
So far I haven't seen the need to spend anything on WordPress plugins.
krapp 17 hours ago 0 replies      
None. If I don't find one I like that I can use for free I write my own.




companyhen 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Typically nothing, one client wanted Gravity Forms so I purchased that for his site recently. Maybe a few WooCommerce plugin extensions, but that's about it.
darthdeus 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't spend anything as well.
OafTobark 17 hours ago 0 replies      
$0.00 so far. Haven't found a need to.
joshuaiz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Have a developer's license for Gravity Forms and BackupBuddy and install those on pretty much every site.

If it's some small bit of functionality I will try to write it myself or do some creative copy/pasting. Most plugins are bloated with a lot of extra unnecessary stuff.

Ask HN: What do Microsoft employees think about the new Scroogled campaign?
12 points by riyadparvez  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
CurtHagenlocher 1 day ago 0 replies      
I, for one, generally like to pretend that none of Microsoft's ad campaigns actually exists.

My suspicion is that Microsoft's current spate of negative advertising can be traced directly back to the Mac vs PC ads of a few years ago. These happened to coincide with a remarkable rampup in the popularity of Apple's PCs, and that cannot have gone unnoticed at the C-levels. Whether or not the ads were actually a driving factor in the change is, of course, hard to say -- but they certainly didn't seem to discourage anyone from buying Apple.

What the decision-makers seem to have missed, though, was that 1) the ads themselves were gentle and somewhat charming (or at least John Hodgman helped make them that way) and 2) although these things were largely exaggerated for comic effect, they often targeted real pain points that consumers actually had with Windows.

Of course, in implicitly painting Microsoft as buffoonish and perhaps even incompetent, I think these ads generated more rage in the boardroom than they would have if they'd been merely full-on attack ads in the style of "Scroogled".

jamesjguthrie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like they're spending a lot of money on the campaign. We're getting local radio station adverts here in Glasgow, Scotland. Are they placing them on radio stations everywhere?
These are good female tech role models - apparently
6 points by pbowyer  16 hours ago   1 comment top
eecsninja 10 hours ago 0 replies      
To be fair, I'd expect a lot of coverage in the news for male founders / CEOs -- Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg, Ellison, etc... and less coverage of actual male developers.
Ask HN: Real estate market and selling your house
2 points by dome82  16 hours ago   4 comments top 2
sharemywin 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Not sure in italy but your going to probably pay a buyers agent some %. But, I could see spending some money on an ad directly in google with: {your city} homes for sale, etc. assmuing you have a good way to price your home, you have a good sales contract that protects you, have all the buyer disclosures you need, etc.

Adwords Costs: probably about $80-$120 a lead.

dome82 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Not really sure if I had to put ASK HN or SHOW HN :P
Ask HN: Which are best software development conferences for 2014?
3 points by tomerbd  21 hours ago   5 comments top 3
michaelsbradley 6 hours ago 1 reply      
StrangeLoop, hands down:


The website hasn't been updated for 2014 yet, but should be relatively soon.

mattschmulen 21 hours ago 0 replies      
AWS re:Invent was a really good one. I attended the 2012 and even got to speak, I missed the 2013. 2012 had good content and was well organized. I didn't make 2013 so not sure about this year.
the906 21 hours ago 1 reply      
sxsw? More for pure design but they had some good tech talks last year.
Ask HN: My first attempt at passive income. Where do I take it now?
56 points by RobAley  4 days ago   29 comments top 13
aparadja 3 days ago 1 reply      
Start your own blog or offer to guest post on someone else's blog. Publish single chapters/excerpts from your book as posts, with a note that promotes your book.

I've seen this marketing tactic used quite often, and it has certainly sparked my interest more than once. Here's an example I ran into yesterday: http://alistapart.com/article/why-sass

ivan_ah 3 days ago 1 reply      
Congratulations on your book! I have an idea of how long it takes to push something of this size out, so you must be happy to be finally done with. Though, to be honest, this is only the beginning. For books, marketing is >50% of the work. Below are some pointers/advice.

1/ Do you have a webpage for your book? I think that can make a big difference in the conversation with your potential readers. Here is a sampling of some "book pages" out there:http://nathanbarry.com/webapps/ (Nathan's)https://django.2scoops.org/ (Danny's) http://minireference.com/launch40 (mine)

2/ As aparadja said, a blog will also help people find you. Getting traffic via AdWords is expensive, whereas organic search is free. You can release parts of the book, or even better develop new content --- I'm sure there are some things which you didn't get to. Now's the time ;) The big picture is this: you have a unique expertise and experience using PHP on the server-side so many people will be interested to hear about your experience and your opinions about what is happening in that domain.

3/ Did you get a professional copy-editor to go through the text? I recommend you use the first $1k of profits and hire someone to proofread the book for you. It cannot be a friend, friends will only encourage you and say "great job," but a professional editor will be able to give you critical feedback about which sections need more explanations or rewording. Typos are also a nightmare (both English and code-wise). If a reader sees a typo on every page or two, he/she will quickly lose trust in you, and you don't want that.

4/ You should also consider offering your book in print (through lulu.com for example, or lightning source). Self-published print sales can be very interesting, I know eBooks and iPads are the craze, but #PrintNotDead https://twitter.com/minireference/statuses/40222755949812940...

Good luck, and feel free to get in touch with me if you would like to discuss further.

japhyr 3 days ago 0 replies      
sebkomianos 4 days ago 1 reply      
How are the sales of the book going? Do you have a "name" out there? I mean, have you built an audience that you know will give you sales?

If someone trusts you to consult them I am pretty sure they will adapt to your own schedule and not the other way round.

I have no such experience as I am still trying to make a standard good regular income but Nathan Barry (http://nathanbarry.com/) is a very inspiring example to look at, I think.

patcoll 4 days ago 1 reply      
Promote the hell out of it on Twitter, Reddit, Hacker News (done). Apply to speak at conferences and go speak about it. There are plenty of PHP conferences to choose from. Get your employer to pay for the trips.

Other ideas for passive income:


hendi_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, congratulations to writing such an awesome book! Just bought it now, and from a first glance it looks really thorough.

I've got a German blog dedicated to php on which I've just mentioned your book. Maybe it helps a bit in promoting your book. Best of luck!

drd 3 days ago 0 replies      
Rob, I think your idea (your book) is really innovative. Many people don't realize what they can do with what is available to them. It is a long time I am using PHP for text processing, e.g reverse engineering on embedded systems, impact analysis on requirements, collecting information from web, etc. I have rebuilt the architecture of many legacy systems for refactoring

I believe, given your situation (being a dad), you should continue to introduce innovative applications of available technologies in the form of books, and perhaps video tutorials. Though, this may end up to consulting.

And, don't forget, things don't work in passive mode. You always need to do some light marketing. Even, it you want just to publish blogs. Good luck.

atox 4 days ago 1 reply      
I have no experience with authoring books, but please do a follow up in a few months to let us go how it went.

Good luck!

spada 3 days ago 0 replies      
Buy a $100 adwords coupon (if you don't have an account) on ebay and start advertising this. you'll fail at first but your keyword mix should be such that you can make this profitable. start with small goals like 1 or 2 conversions a day. It's not unreasonable to say that you can have this making $2000 within 3 months.
jenno 3 days ago 1 reply      
Another option is to put it up for sale for the Kindle (kdp.amazon.com) and at B&N as ebooks. At one point I had 5-6 books on kdp and even made over 4 figures one time. I haven't promoted them at all for a good 5-6 months and still make a couple hundred each month. Non-fiction tends to do well; there are many guides out there on how to rank better for your book (use certain keywords and categories etc) so that could be a good avenue for you. One drawback is that it takes 3 months to start receiving your payments.
momchenr 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you have to take it anywhere, it isn't passive.
boredprogrammer 4 days ago 1 reply      
Levarage -> Leverage
mendrion 4 days ago 2 replies      
Talking about consulting. Ever thought about stuff like liveninja.com?
Ask HN: Scanning TV listings to show if there is something good to watch on TV?
3 points by leoplct  1 day ago   8 comments top 3
IanDrake 1 day ago 2 replies      
At a time when TV watching is shifting to on-demand, I don't see a big market now or in the future for this. Writing non-essential software for laggards probably isn't a good business model.

Here's what I'd like, perhaps it exists already... One website to track all the streaming media available to me. I could tell it that I subscribe to Hulu Plus, Netflix, and have Amazon Prime. It would show me a merged list of what all my services offer, and most importantly have a UI that lets me REMOVE stuff I don't want to see and queue stuff I do want to see.

The problem is every time I go to Amazon, I'm offered the same tired movie/show lineup. So, to find something new to watch, I have to find it in lists of all the crap I have no interest in, same with Hulu. An aggregate UI would allow me to keep track of everything in one place.

napster3000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, it could be interesting.
gembird 1 day ago 1 reply      
nope, completely waste of time, instead you should encourage people to watch less TV...
Decentralizing with Mesh Networks
7 points by dasmithii  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
andy_campanella 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out this series of posts as well - they had some interesting experience with municipal WiFi ISPs:http://www.muniwireless.com/2010/04/06/wireless-isp-experien...
jackweirdy 1 day ago 1 reply      
You should check out this Greek island which has implemented one itself: http://www.zdnet.com/greek-island-gets-wireless-mesh-network...
Ask HN: How do I promote my awesome new programming language
4 points by eliah-lakhin  23 hours ago   14 comments top 5
commentzorro 22 hours ago 2 replies      
In my opinion and in this order:

1. Complete your language including typical libraries and have it ready for production use. Not just beta and certainly not an alpha. There are just too many new languages around in this wave for even a beta to take hold.

2. Document your language well. W/O sufficient documentation people will quickly give up.

3. Ready to run/compile downloads for all supported platforms. No required "install this to compile" dependencies for Windows especially.

4. Portable "unpack and go" files for download. NO INSTALLERS. Should work from flash drive.

5. Script to temporarily enable any environment settings.

6. Online IDE or REPL of some sort so people can play with it w/o needing any download.

7. Forum for discussion and Q&A that includes topical RSS feeds. Very important for causal potential users.

8. Link to your language from Reddit, HN, etc. ;)

Still difficult, but this will make it as easy as possible for anyone to try out your language on a whim.

kennethtilton 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You did not include one iota of information about the "awesome new" language, let alone a link to it. If you have that little interest in this alleged language, I do not think the word awesome means what you think it means. But I think it just does not exist.
petervandijck 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Create really good documentation. With lots of examples.
gembird 19 hours ago 1 reply      
you should read some papers and books about network effects, going viral and so on... you know in this world, only the lame stuff goes public and becomes widely popular, because the majority of people in this world are lames...
alexiabkk 22 hours ago 1 reply      
The sad truth is that unless you're language is a big improvement over existing solutions, it won't be adopted. You have to understand that the major benefit for someone beginning a new language is the libraries, and you wom't have any. This is why there are so many languages with so few having been adopted. If you have a real benefit that can ouweigh the _enormous_ disadvantage of using a new language, we'd be happy to hear.
Ask HN: Should a hacker who wants to startup get some business role experience?
5 points by plaban123  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
man_bear_pig 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) It is really hard to be a sole startup founder. I would advise against being a sole founder. 100% of 0 = 0. startups have binary outcomes (most of the times).

2) A product really doesn't mean anything unless it's a 1 in a million amazing. Marketing and growth strategies as xwowsersx pointed out is extremely important (you will not succeed without great strategy) and I would imagine if you are a sole technical guy, you don't have time to think about coming up with marketing strategies because you'll be busy developing.

3) You have to realize people are smart and people have domain expertise in their respective fields. I'm a business guy. I'm pretty sure that I can pretty much take any hacker and come up with case study after case study of various marketing, managing, growth, hedging strategies that's worked/didn't work. That would save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in opportunity cost. But that's my expertise. That's what I'm supposed to be good at. And even though in 12 months, I could probably learn coding, I would be at best middle 50 percentile (probably not even there). So instead of doing that, I would easily give up a huge chunk of equity to bring in someone who is an expert in coding and managing development. That's because all I care about is winning and maximizing my chances to ensure a successful outcome. And along the way, I'd learn various part of tech end and vice versa.

4) Some would argue that business skill is easy to acquire. I would highly doubt that. Unless you are an exceptional outlier, you can't be good at everything and you're brain isn't designed to. A backend specialist who is amazing at UI/UX design who is creative to come up with awesome marketing strategies and knows how to manage a team through the ups and downs? I haven't met anyone in real life yet that can do that. I'm sure some of these tech billionaires are, but that's why they're billionaires.

What kind of business do you want to start? I have some ideas too if you want to trade notes / work on it together. Don't worry about getting business experience before starting. Get a good team. Then you'll learn on the fly. And for some businesses, you may be able to start without a business guy. For most, you'll need one whether to create the deck, go raise funding, sell customers, execute strategy, get PR, schmooze for connections, etc etc. I can help out on the business end. Btw. ideas mean nothing. Execution is everything. And marketing/sales execution is a lot harder than novice entrepreneurs want to admit.

xwowsersx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, as with everything, it really depends. But if you're going to do be launching a business by yourself, then hell yeah some business skills are going to be necessary. It is rarely the case that simply hacking together some web product will turn into a profitable business. In fact, if you take a look at a lot of the successes out there, I bet you'll find that the successful marketing and growth strategies were every bit as important as the actual offering, if not more.
gembird 1 day ago 0 replies      
you should read: Micro ISV From Vision to Reality, Erick Sink on the Business of Software,
Ask HN: What are some good alternatives to HN?
169 points by fabrizioc1  9 days ago   110 comments top 31
simias 9 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 9 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 9 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 8 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 9 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 8 days ago 1 reply      
http://hckrnews.com/ to avoid the 'never made it to front page' problem.
t0 9 days ago 4 replies      
davidw 8 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 9 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 9 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/
ivan_ah 8 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...

SkyMarshal 8 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.

ElbertF 9 days ago 0 replies      
Tycho 8 days ago 0 replies      
Look at the new page instead of the main page.
DanBC 8 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


potomak 9 days ago 1 reply      
tlo 9 days ago 1 reply      
fcambus 9 days ago 0 replies      
For JavaScript, HTML5, and front-end news, there is Echo JS : http://www.echojs.com
debacle 7 days 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 8 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 8 days ago 0 replies      
I like http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/ It is focused on programming languages and PL research
japaget 8 days ago 0 replies      
Kluny 8 days ago 0 replies      
Quora is quite good.
ecesena 8 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 9 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!

cubitesystems 8 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

naiyt 9 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).

lowglow 8 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!

en4bz 8 days ago  replies      
For C++ lovers I find that http://www.reddit.com/r/cpp/ always has pretty good content.
Ask HN: How do you teach/enforce programming best practices?
5 points by unfug  1 day ago   5 comments top 2
brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      
In my first CAD job, the way standard practices were ingrained was by having junior team members, i.e. me, be assigned to check the work of more experienced team members. It got fresh eyes on established habits, it exposed me to more complicated work and hence more complicated issues, and made reviews a two way street - I learned to see things through the eyes of those reviewing my work, and those further up the food chain did not get a free pass to the idea that the-right-way-is-whatever-way-I-do-it.
zachlatta 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've found that detailed code review before code makes it to master helps enforce these principles and sets a precedent for future code. Gerrit is a nice tool for this http://code.google.com/p/gerrit/.
       cached 26 November 2013 13:05:01 GMT