hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    4 Jan 2014 Ask
home   ask   best   5 years ago   
Show HN: A website aiming to fix homelessness in SF
37 points by SeckinJohn  3 hours ago   35 comments top 14
ChuckMcM 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
I recall a time at a community meeting I advocated finding a way of providing a facility that could house and treat the addicted and mentally ill, I was accused of wanting to "sweep the homeless under the rug and forget about them." I knew it was a difficult problem I just didn't realize that the problem wasn't the homeless, the problem has roots in our collective understanding of what is a 'better' versus 'not better' quality of life.

I have always held that it is one of the main purposes of government to maximize the quality of life for the governed. Whether they are rich, poor, sane, or insane. What I always find challenging is when someone chooses to define 'better' in a way that I cannot comprehend.

I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to help here start by looking at what we had, in terms of laws and institutions, which gave the state the ability to hold someone and treat their illness, and restrict their movements, and why those institutions were abolished and laws changed.

As a community we changed our position from it is 'better' to house these people and give them treatment, to it is 'better' that they live without constraints and someone trying to provide help they don't want.

When a person says they would rather sleep on a bench than be given drugs that make them feel "bad" and be forced to live with other people who are similarly afflicted, which is better? Homelessness or being institutionalized? Why?

11001 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
Go out and talk to some social workers, figure out what tech could actually help with. This is just silly.
habosa 12 minutes ago 1 reply      
In many discussions like this I see the argument that some/most/all homeless people are drug addicts or mentally ill or otherwise not deserving of help.

I have always been of the opinion that I don't care why someone is homeless, I would like to help them. There is nobody that deserves to live on the street in a nation with as much wealth as America, even if they've made bad decisions (drugs, alcohol, crime, etc.). I think it's our job as a society to put a roof over everyone's head to the best of our abilities, it's inhuman to pick and dodge among homeless people and go about our lives like it is normal.

If I could solve any problem in my lifetime, it would be homelessness in America. I wish I had any idea where to start. I know it's not as noble of a cause as curing cancer or helping the needy who live in true poverty around the world, but it's something that's in my face every day and I think it's a failure of our modern society.

mrharrison 1 hour ago 4 replies      
The reason there are many homeless in SF, is because there are many shelters in the Tenderloin that provide these things you are talking about. Think you should first ask why are they homeless, not just give them random things. They are homeless either because, they have drug problems, psychological issues, or the least likely -- they have a problem getting employment.
gkoberger 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Very awesome.

One thing I love about Watsi is that I can actually see (and pick) who I'm donating to. There's something cool about being able to read their stories and see their pictures -- it almost makes me feel bad going to the site and not donating.

Good luck!

jpeg_hero 1 hour ago 2 replies      
How does this "fix homelessness in SF?"

Same number of homeless but now they have blankets and books too?

jdkuepper 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
I applaud efforts like these for at least doing something to address the problem, even if it doesn't turn out to be the most effective use of capital in the end as some suggest here.

That said, I think some of the best projects fighting homelessness are supportive housing projects that help people get an apartment and provide additional services for medical/psychiatric treatments, food stamps, etc. [1]

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supportive_housing

nperez 1 hour ago 1 reply      
My only advice is to provide socks too. Socks get gross and/or wet or hard if you can't easily wash them.. and they're not too expensive.
rodrodrod 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
Semi-related: I recently watched this video on $20 homeless backpack care kits (http://youtu.be/Y6fkyf9UGAE), thought it was a neat idea. Figured it might be useful for those looking for simple ways to help out a bit.
pcloadletter 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's a nice gesture, but it won't 'fix' homelessness.There are some homeless who will stay that way; you can see them roaming around in packs.And then there are the mentally ill; they need medications and structure.

There's too much money to be made by the established people, so chances of fixing homelessness are negligible. It's a corrupt system.

joshribakoff 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've seen homeless people abuse entitlements (turn down jobs because they'd loose their handouts, etc.)

On the other hand, some of them would get laughed at in an interview without being "cleaned up" to look presentable, which a hand out could help with.

srameshc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think its a great idea.
nickthemagicman 53 minutes ago 2 replies      
OP after reading all the comments in this thread, I've determined that your idea for mercy and compassion is a flawed concept and is not good capitalism.

What you should do instead is turn your web site into a bumfights startup!!!

Make them fight to the death hunger games style for tons of swag.

The profit potential is huge, the homeless population will be decreased, AND the leftover hobos will have tons of good swag!

robbrown451 35 minutes ago 1 reply      
It seems a bit like trying to fix the pigeon problem in the city by putting out pigeon food.

The harsh reality is that the more accommodating to the homeless the city is, the more homeless there will be.

I think there are solutions, and they can be compassionate, but simply making life easier for the homeless has long term drawbacks that are greater than the short term upsides.

Ask HN: When is it too old to be an intern?
41 points by ramsaysnuuhh  5 hours ago   25 comments top 23
brandall10 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had 3 interns on my team since last summer. One is a bit older than a typical college student, I believe she's a 26 yo bioinformatics major.

I can only speak for myself, but I look for 1) definitely a student, so expectations of going perm don't hit us by surprise, 2) either not too far off from graduation or the ability to work part-time during school 3) interest in the work, has some tie-in w/ the direction they want for their career, and 4) open to the possibility of going full-time upon graduation.

I'd love to have someone making such a transition working w/ us, we actually might have a need coming up shortly. But then again, I'm 37, and we're in SoCal...

One word of caution - make sure the scope of work is locked down. A smaller company might see you as a cheap backup system admin resource since you have background in that (under the guise of "we wear many hats here"), but you really need on the job experience before going full-time in what you want to transition to.

ritchiea 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't think you have anything to worry about. It's common to do internships in grad school & it's common for people to do grad school in their 30s. Also be assured the expectations will be different & you will have a much greater opportunity to do meaningful work than a younger intern. The best thing you can do is not obsess over the title intern & figure out who you can do some interesting work with that will count toward your school requirement.
dotBen 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you give yourself a hard time - part of the reason you're older is because you're doing a post-graduate program and not everyone does that immediately after their under-grad.

So I actually have an open req for such an intern at WP Engine (http://jobvite.com/m?3aIqcgwf) and I think a post-grad intern with your experience would be ideal. So there's no way age would be a factor, (and legally, it can't/shouldn't anyway)

On your side, I agree with other commenters that you want a clear definition of work to ensure you get the experience you actually want. You probably want to lean towards more established startups who can create a program of work that really needs your skills. We're almost 4 years old and I don't think we'd have been placed to capitalize on your skills and in return offer a meaningful experience 12-18 months ago just because the type of work your doing is probably not relevant during the 'scrappy years' of a startup.

Good luck!

steven2012 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Most people will find it a bargain to get a 31 year old intern, with lots of experience. I wouldn't worry about it one second.
darrellsilver 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's much more common than when you were 22. Career changes, diff tracks through school, all sorts of reasons why people want to do internships into late 20s and thirties since the recent recession.

Companies are still desperate for top talent, and for specialized skills at growing firms (tech) that's especially true. We have interns starting with us in the summer at http://www.thinkful.com/ edtech) and two of them are in or finishing masters' in CS from Columbia.

As long as you're not being taken advantage of by a cheap employer I think internships are a great low risk way to try a job and career.

czbond 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You have a powerful background - use it to your advantage. Don't try to compete in web dev startups - go where the work is harder. Leverage your Linux / Bioinformatics background to your high advantage. Look at sensor based IoT companies, or healthcare companies, big data companies specializing in healthcare, Or DevOps.
enko 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I know people your age or older who have successfully transitioned careers to software development, from a standing start. I wouldn't let it put you off at all!
jlees 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't imagine it'll make any difference at the hiring stage (I certainly interviewed my fair share of older interns and often found them to be very strong).

The only way in which I think it will make a difference is if you end up working for a large tech company which has an intern community. It'll be harder to fit in socially, but you won't be the only older intern in general -- some of the PhD interns I worked with were late-twenties, early-thirties -- so you won't be totally alone.

phamilton 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wasn't as old as you, but I did an internship when I was 23. I was married and we were expecting our first child at the end of the summer. From the perspective of work, it was fine. It was however a larger company and there were 20 interns. They all lived in intern housing and hung out together. It wasn't a big deal, but my intern experience was different from theirs.
Casseres 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Chris Gardner was 27 or 28 and homeless when he became a trainee at Dean Witter Reynolds. If the name isn't familiar, a movie was based on him called The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), played by Will Smith.

If you meet the hiring manager's qualifications, you'll probably get a call for an interview. Just be sure to be ready to explain why they should take you.

AH4oFVbPT4f8 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Two things you have to take into consideration. Are you financially able to take on a job with low pay to learn for months to a few years at a time?

The second is that if a company is going to spend resources to teach you what you need to know, are you going to want to stick around for a full-time job and contribute back to the company? I don't see this being an issue at 31 years old. I would hire a 31 year old if they were dependable, eager, and committed to staying for the duration of their internship.

I see way too many people not apply for various positions because "degree required" or "3+ years of product x knowledge". I always tell them to apply and make the company say no, don't just take yourself out of the running.

lettergram 4 hours ago 0 replies      
At 31 you should be alright getting an internship. Obtaining an internship is more about your interest in then field, willingness to go full time after graduation, and your ability to bring something to the table for the time you are there. If all those criteria are met, at 31 you still have another 20-25 years (easy) of possible work in you. Most programmers stick around for only a few years in any one company anyways.
ampersandy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
They'll certainly look; SV-type tech companies are going to screen your application based on technical merit. I'd simply advise not to include your age on your application, because it's irrelevant to how beneficial an internship would be for you and the company. Once you get in for interviews they may be surprised, but any reasonable person would enjoy hearing that you're enthusiastic about improving your skills and doing an internship during the degree.
rasengan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You can never be too old.
Leepic 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As a 33 years old who's planning to return to education as soon as his wallet is comfortable enough to do so, I had similar doubts when I was thinking that I might be 38 or 40 the moment when I'll have to intern.

I guess there's no quantity of answers that you can receive to assure you that you won't meet hiring managers down the line who will be willing to deny your application just because you're old but assholes will always exist. Just do what you can do best and you will score.

janoulle 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You're never too old to be an intern! I was typically the oldest intern at the places I worked at (interned at 27 and 28).
wbsun 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably my understanding of "intern" is limited. But I believe it is okay for anyone who is still in the collage/grad-school/high-school to do an internship, no matter how old she/he is. I know people who started his PhD study at UC Berkeley at his 50s. Nothing can stop him becoming an intern.
mikecane 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Knew a guy in his his forties who wanted to work for an ad agency. Convinced them to use him for free for a while as a test and they wound up hiring him. YMMV.
mrfusion 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As an aside I really think its crazy that its so difficult to change careers midlife. We have a solid 40+ years of working life. That would be plenty of time for two sucessful expert level careers in two completely different areas.
sam_bwut 4 hours ago 0 replies      
We had an intern last summer that used to have his own interns before he moved to software - people will definitely look.
rikacomet 5 hours ago 0 replies      
isn't it a matter of ambition? if you include apprentice in your dictionary, people still do it in mid-50s.

definition: less accountability, steep learning curve, short immediate economic returns.

nickthemagicman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hahaha, very interested in seeing this. I'm same boat.
citizenfish 5 hours ago 0 replies      
i did it at 29 and it worked out well for me. many of the other interns were just out of college, but it didn't seem to matter that i was a bit older. after 3 months i got a full time position and stayed with the company for 4 years.
Ask HN: Have you had any success with African developers?
7 points by yawboakye  1 hour ago   5 comments top 5
3am 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've had colleagues from Nigeria, CER, S.A., and several other countries in Africa.

I don't think you'll find any resistance beyond the intrinsic difficulty of an H1B hire, and that might be complicated by the absence of a bureaucracy in your country that is as mature as some of those in Europe/Asia (Czech Republic, Ukraine, India, China). If you don't have material job experience yet, it's really unlikely that someone will put the expense into that hiring process to bring you on. My (non-expert) advice would be to try to go to school in the US and work under that visa or to build the relevant work experience at home, possibly contract work for US companies. Best of luck.

egor83 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You could start with remote job (Elance/Odesk) - I see African developers there from time to time (Kenya comes to mind at least).

No paperwork needed to get started, you'll get real experience and some good contacts/references in the West if you've done a good job.

davidsmith8900 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
- Yawboakye, check this ~> http://www.newmeaccelerator.com/ It's like YC for people of African descent. Here are some startups where you can get a job at ~> http://www.newmeaccelerator.com/startups/ .
RougeFemme 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've worked with African developers and an currently working with a couple. The ones that I know started out with an agency and then eventually gained green card status and were able to get hired independently of the agency. The potential problem with going the agency route, as I informally understand it, is that no matter how disatisfied you may be become with your agency, you are stuck with them until you are able to apply for a green card - and that could be a pretty long time.
petervandijck 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. Of course.2. No.3. No.

To get experience, you could do freelance work.

Ask HN: How do you drive web traffic to your successful side projects?
135 points by ericthegoodking  1 day ago   90 comments top 37
jawns 1 day ago 0 replies      
I run a site called Correlated (http://www.correlated.org) that landed me a book deal (http://www.amazon.com/Correlated-Surprising-Connections-Seem...).

Although it's not recurring revenue, the income from the book advance is way more than I could have ever hoped to generate by placing ads on the site.

One unorthodox way I've driven traffic to the site is by including it in an iframe at the bottom of a little Excel-to-HTML converter I whipped up a few years ago:


I use a similar technique here:


It's a service that allows you to convert ALL CAPS text to mixed case, and it includes a sidebar that promotes Correlated by pulling in the most recently published statistic.

I guess the general technique could be summed up as: Make something useful (even if it's boring), get traffic, promote something completely useless but fun, and hope that it piques their interest.

davidw 22 hours ago 0 replies      
By the way, if anyone is interested in a nice, but small and very focused (NO POLITICS) forum for those of us working on bootstrapped companies, I've been enjoying this one, so far: http://discuss.bootstrapped.fm/

For LiberWriter, I've found that the right forums can drive a lot of traffic. Any old traffic is useless - I've got the site up on the front page of HN before, with 0 conversions. HN readers are not our target market at all. Forums also put you in contact with people to just chat about what you offer, which might give you some ideas... Don't let naysayers get you down, either. There's bound to be someone who says they would never pay for that, could build it in a weekend, or whatever: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863

jasonkester 22 hours ago 0 replies      
For Twiddla, I make a point of giving free accounts to teachers and students (or basically anybody who bothers to write an email and ask for one).

This leads to tons of word-of-mouth referrals, and I'll sometimes watch as an entire school comes on board, one class at a time, over the course of a few weeks.

People tend to write about this (and they like the product), so it finds its way onto the radar of companies who do Online Tutoring. We have an API they can use to create and embed our whiteboards for use as online classrooms. That's the bit that costs money. It's a tiny fraction of our userbase, but it accounts for nearly all the revenue.

pranaya_co 18 hours ago 0 replies      
For StartUpLift (http://startuplift.com), the best results have been through contacting related sites / bloggers and requesting a writeup. The only way to get this done on a smaller budget is a relentless hustle. You need to request getting featured in as many blogs and sites as possible. Here is a sample list that you can go through:

Hacker News - http://news.ycombinator.com/

StartUpLift - http://startuplift.com/submit-your-startup/

Springwise - http://springwise.com/tipus/

CrunchBase - http://crunchbase.com/

Appvita - http://www.appvita.com/

Techattitude - http://techattitude.com/

Minisprout - http://www.minisprout.com/

Emily Chang - http://emilychang.com/

Rev2 - http://www.rev2.org/

Ziipa - http://www.ziipa.com/

On The App - http://www.ontheapp.com/

Next Web App - http://www.netwebapp.com/

DIY Startup News - http://www.netwebapp.com/

AppUseful - http://appuseful.com/

Startup Booster - http://www.startupbooster.com/

Paggu - http://www.paggu.com/

Robin Speziale - http://robinspeziale.com/

Submit Startup - http://www.submitstartup.com/

TechHotSpot - http://techhotspot.com/

YouNoodle - http://younoodle.com/

Lovely Pages - http://www.lovelypages.net/

Generation-y Startup - http://genystartup.com/

Netted - http://netted.net/

Killer Startups - http://www.killerstartups.com/

GotoWeb2.0 - http://www.go2web20.net/

StartupMeme - http://www.startupmeme.com/

SimpleSpark - http://www.simplespark.com/

VentureBeat Profiles - http://venturebeatprofiles.com/

FeedMyApp - http://www.feedmyapp.com/

BigStartups - http://www.bigstartups.com/

GreatWebApps - http://greatwebapps.com/

Wwwhatsnew - http://wwwhatsnew.com/

Best Websites - http://101bestwebsites.com/

MakeUseOf - http://www.makeuseof.com/

LaunchFeed - http://www.launchfeed.com/

MoMB - http://momb.socio-kybernetics.net/

Demo Girl - http://demogirl.com/

WebDev 2.0 - http://www.webdevtwopointzero.com/

DzineBlog - http://www.webdevtwopointzero.com/

Sociable Blog - http://www.sociableblog.com/

RealGeek 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've had decent traction with http://www.ranksignals.com over the past year with SEO, Content Marketing and Email marketing. My app is a SEO tool to explore backlinks of competitors. There is also a SEO Chrome extension ( https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/quick-seo-pagerank... )which drives returning visitors to the website.
LukeHoersten 23 hours ago 3 replies      
I have a side project http://racemetric.com for simple athletic race registration and credit card processing (just released). It's all written in Haskell and brand new. Any ideas about how to specifically drive traffic would be extremely helpful. The idea is to accept credit card registration payments within minutes instead of having to talk to sales people, get a merchant account, build a custom web page, etc.
dkoston 1 day ago 1 reply      
"traffic" is a really ambiguous word. If I take it at face value, it's really easy to drive traffic to a site: - recruit a bunch of affiliates to post pages with links back to your site (be discriminating on quality and frequency) - use paid ads - connect with a reputable backlink service that doesn't trip Google's radar. - distribute a javascript widget that is hosted on your servers - run a big promo with the promise of free gadets

However, I'm assuming what you really want is users/conversions. In that case, you need to think about your project/site/business as a relationship between 2 parties with the internet simply being a more scalable medium for communication between you.

To get people interested in a product/service, it has to fix a pain point, be really interesting, or you have to be the best. You can "be the best" by showcasing your knowledge of the problem with blog posts, interviews, helping people out on forums, and becoming involved in communities that would be in your target demographic (forums, meet ups, irc groups, etc).

Fixing a pain point or being really interesting is a product /market fit problem so if you've shown your site/product/service to a lot of people and it's not sticking, you need to do in-person interviews to figure out what's not good enough.

In general, if you're trying to build up traffic, that's really building up a community of people (who are the source of good traffic) so you need to approach that in the same way you'd build up a community offline: be interesting, be a good community citizen, and give without asking much in return.

ktaylor 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting thread. I've gleaned a few useful ideas.

http://www.eventwax.com is an online event registration tool that uses several techniques for increasing traffic.

1. We use a freemium model and about 75% of our users use the free service to host their free events. This helps us because of #2 below.

2. Our built in viral mechanism is that when one hosts an event, everyone who signs up for an event sees a "powered by eventwax" logo at the bottom of the registration pages. So, even for free events, we are getting a tiny bit of passive exposure to all event's audiences. That means 10's of thousands of people a month see our logo.

3. We have a semi-active blog that brings in some high quality traffic.

4. We've had success at targeting a few keyword phrases that bring in a bit of traffic but SEO targeting has also been one of our biggest disappointments. Online event registration is a very competitive field and we've "wasted" a lot of time trying to improve our keywords.

5. We do run very limited Google Adwords and Linkedin PPC campaigns but haven't optimized them yet. Our current combined budget is only about $100/month. The next think we need to do is "bucket" our keywords into semantic groups and then create custom landing pages for each group to increase relevancy.

markrickert 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I've built a successful side business (http://www.mohawkapps.com) and was even featured in an e-book: http://www.sideprojectbook.com/ - by creating iPhone apps for niche markets and marketing heavily to them through facebook and in-person tradeshows. I gross about $2k-$4k a month but I haven't quit my day job yet.

Apple does a lot of my marketing for me but I also rely heavily on word of mouth. I make sure to have a screen in all my apps that allow users to tell their friends through texting and email about the app. I'm also an apple affiliate so all the traffic that goes to the app store through my site nets me another 7% of all that user's purchases during the session... it makes up for the gigantic chunk of change that Apple takes from my sales.

Recently, I've started branching out into more generic apps that are useful to a wider market, but my niche apps make way more money than the broad-audience apps.

23andwalnut 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm doing ok with the freemium model. My app is self hosted project mangement (http://duetapp.com) so I created a slimmed down version that I distribute for free - http://getsoloapp.com. The landing page for the free version has links to the paid version and there is a link within the settings panel of the free version. It's working fairly well.

Almost every successful entrepreneur recommends content marketing as an effective means of marketing so I'm planning on blogging much more often this year. Hopefully that will help too...

rsivapr 1 day ago 3 replies      
Going to take this down later this week. My free micro-instance-on-AWS period is over. I get a constant drive of traffic from reddit. Could've thrown in ads, but I really din't want to keep it going. It's kinda stupid, but kinda cool?

Memes As A Servicehttp://maas.rohits.me/

udfalkso 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I get 750k+ visitors per month. Nearly all of it from organic search (aka Google). It took years to build up this traffic organically to User Generated Content.


Great Ask HN. Thanks for posting.

NikaLander 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We have launched Varycode (https://www.varycode.com/) about a year and a half ago. It is online source code convertor between C#, VB, Java, C++, Ruby, Python and Boo. Have not been doing any marketing or PR for quite a long time because were still adding new directions of conversion, fixing bugs and improving design, but were getting new users by spreading word of mouth by customers who liked our service. Right now we are running social Like and Share campaign (unlimited access as a bonus), writing pitches to programing magazines editors and bloggers and planning on providing trendsetters with a free account. Daily users and registrations numbers have doubled.
juanre 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Write about it. Make it so your articles explain useful stuff for people not necessarily interested in your niche: what general learning can you extract from your experience so far? What did you try? What did and didn't work? This will drive high quality content to your article, which will in turn build up links and percolate to your site. This is what's worked for http://greaterskies.com. Nothing else I've tried has had any impact.
coreymaass 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I launched my web app development service Built from Ideas (http://BuiltFromIdeas.com) a couple months ago. I've experimented with Facebook ads, but saw no real result. Then I wrote guest articles for Bootstrappist (http://www.bootstrappist.com) and a couple other small, targeted newsletters and saw immediately results. Inbound marketing for the win!
kruipen 1 day ago 2 replies      
My side project (http://kruipen.com) is a database of audio equipment prices (although it is for fun, not monetization). I would sometimes post relevant links on audio forums' for-sale posts. With mixed success.
davecap1 23 hours ago 2 replies      
One of my side projects (www.twitteraudit.com) happens to get the most traffic of anything I've ever built on my own :) It gets 50k+ uniques per month and all the traffic has grown organically (mostly via tweets and blog posts). It's been up for just over a year, and I've started spending some more time (on the side) monetizing it. If anyone is interested in helping, send me an email!

oops: spoke to soon. It doesnt (yet) have much monthly revenue :(

dreadsword 21 hours ago 0 replies      
EDIT: Just re-read the post, and neither of my side projects is "successful," so ignore this, or by all means, click through...

I have two side projects, and rarely promote them at all - the occasional plug on HN or r/startups where its relevant. The lack of promotion would explain why neither has any traffic! One - nerdy bookmarking at http://linkthing.co and Two - I'm working on a feed reader, you can see its output in action at http://techwatching.com

I've always like the Reddit "SYS" tradition - a monthly thread where anyone can post whatever their doing in blatant self promotion without the usual guilt & karma penalties.

Jack000 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had a digital sign-making business with small income (basically you design a sign on the website and I carve it out of wood with a CNC machine)

the most traffic I got were from giving signs away as prizes on crafting blogs. It seems obvious in hindsight, but you have to be careful when cold emailing with "free" and "prize" in the body, I think more than half of my emails were filtered out as spam.

* I had also tried adwords. It did give me a bunch of clickthroughs, but was not cost effective in the end.

ishener 1 day ago 0 replies      
My product is an embedded chat widget(http://www.hashworld.co/), and for me it's google adwords, because my target audience is very specific.
songzme 1 day ago 1 reply      
I built https://OpenTokRTC.com to make it super easy for people to go and video chat with each other using WebRTC. It gets a steady 2000 visits every week. After I built the site, I set up google search notifications so I get notified whenever new content relevant to my app shows up ( webrtc posts, articles about video chat, etc ). Then I'd visit each site, read it, and leave a comment about my thoughts and plug in OpenTokRTC.
Doches 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I publish a digital-only literary magazine called Far Off Places ( http://faroffplaces.org ) with a team of 4 (myself, two editors, one designer). It has recurring revenue from email and iOS subscriptions that we've ploughed back into the project. Our initial subscription revenue has funded our expansion into related projects (launch an iOS poetry promotion app, record a fortnightly podcast, &c.) all of which we use to drive readers to the magazine. They also make us look pretty awesome on grant applications...

We promote pretty heavily on Facebook (poetry & literary fiction readers are a seriously niche audience), which we use to drive traffic to the (free) side projects. From there it's just straightforward cross-promotion to convert e.g. podcast listeners into magazine subscribers.

emilioolivares 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I run Flipmeme (http://www.flipmeme.com). Just hit 30k uniques this month, mostly from Reddit and people posting our pages to Facebook. My biggest surprise is Google which sends the most traffic organically. Unfortunately, I've learned that web traffic doesn't happen overnight, it's a LONG hustle and requires time and patience.
udkl 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The comments are turning out to be 'bragging' <div>'s rather than insightful suggestions. Rather than the 'how'.
antidaily 20 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.fleapay.com gets most of its traffic from processors we integrate with like Braintree and Auth.net. Most have partner or app pages set up that we are listed on.
eam 1 day ago 0 replies      
We do some guest blogging which drives part of our traffic to http://www.wishbooklet.com, the rest is mostly viral links in social sites.
jizie 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out my site just put it up yesterday. Still working on it. but wanted to come up with idea's to add more users any ideas welcomed. I also created a blog that will show case idea's that will help me grow my site. so any idea's will be posted with my idea's as well thanks jizie.com
pibefision 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I've started this side project (http://CryptoCurrenciesTalk.com) to have conversations on that topic.

Getting traffic by participating only on reddit (subreddits about litecoin and litecoint mining) and just by helping people, I'm getting new members and very interesting organic search results. (+1000 new visits from Google on keywords related to the topics).

y1426i 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I built quotes app to learn opensocial and virality and had it on every social network that supported opensocial then. It was a pain working with those and one fine day I pulled my app out from everyone of those, found a $3/month hosting provider and spent a day putting my app as a website http://quotbook.com/. It found a hit on chrome web app store and have been getting $100+ revenue since over two years now with little to no effort.
adjwilli 22 hours ago 1 reply      
There are lots of "App Stores" now that accept web apps. Google, Firefox and Opera all have them. I think Amazon does too.
miloszf 1 day ago 4 replies      
I have no revenue, but around 12-20k unique visits a month consistently for the past 9 months. The site is http://androidwallpape.rs and main sources of traffic so far have been android blogs and podcasts as well as stumble-upon sites. Initially the link was posted to reddit and it was picked up from there. Of those visits around 40% is new unique visitors, each month.

I would say engaging with communities that might be interested is the most effective way to get good traffic (& feedback) in a lot of sectors.

cheyne 22 hours ago 0 replies      
My side project is gaining users slowly everyday. It's called noteshred and it allows to you send people self shredding, encrypted notes with unique URLs, https://www.noteshred.com. I'm curious to know how you guys transitioned from a free tool to something that generated income. I can't imagine advertisements wouldn't bring in much revenue, so how did you go about introducing a paid model?
startupvitality 1 day ago 1 reply      
We've only soft launched StartupVitality [1] but if you've just launched your side project and are looking to get some early, targeted traffic, it's a problem we know about.

We're going to release a list of our submission sites so that bootstrappers who have more time than money do it for free but those who have some cash or are funded might find our service useful.

[1] https://startupvitality.com/

fourstar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most of my traffic for Hipster or Homeless comes from Facebook likes and a Wikipedia article in another country.
SDMattG 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Good design...it opens up so many doors.

CSS galleries, Dribbble postings, trust, sharing on social media, being followed by designers/developers/marketers, etc.

Great design is truly appreciated and breaks down massive barriers when someone first comes to your sites.

It also happens to be a great traffic generator - so don't neglect it!

I run http://hookfeed.com and http://minimalytics.com. And I'm writing http://howtobuildarocketship.com

fogleman 23 hours ago 1 reply      
By pimping the projects in threads like this one, by the looks of it.
andersschmidth 22 hours ago 0 replies      
For Pitcherific (http://pitcherific.com/) we began asking friends in the Startup Weekend community, some of them organizers of the event, if they would try out the app with their attendees. This lead to us being invited as coaches, doing workshops etc.
Ask HN: How do you split work on web apps?
4 points by Nurdok  8 hours ago   1 comment top
pedalpete 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if this is helpful, but as a full stack-developer, I still work in a similar structure to the way you've described.

Essentially you're talking about two sides of development. Front-end vs. Back-end, and yes, it is very common to split up work like that. I've never heard anybody describe 'modules' as 'models','views','urls', etc. etc. though.

A back-end dev, team, or when doing back-end work, you're focused on the server side architecture and code. That would include your models, views, controllers, routes, database, etc.

A front-end dev can then take these end-points (routes or URLS) and build the templates, and front-end experience (HTML, CSS, Javascript).

I think the problem you may be having is in how you're defining what you're working on. You say specifically 'when we add a new table', but a front-end guy isn't going to know what to do with a 'table'. That is back-end. Both teams should be focusing on the feature or capability you are providing, not the technical structure. So rather than saying to the front-end guy 'we added a table and need a view into that table', you may have more success saying 'we want to show how weather patterns affect our shipping rates' or whatever it is the table does. Then the front-end guy can take your URL and from a user-perspective build a solution which solves the problem.

Another thing to consider is that design and user experience is not part of Front-end development. You may have a front-end dev who is good at UX and design, but if so, you'll be very fortunate. Some Front-end devs can do design, but not all. So you may want to make sure that before the Front-end (or even Back-end) guys get coding, they have the design of what they are building. That may help both sides come to the best solution quickest.

Ask HN: Alternatives to Evernote?
32 points by eswat  6 hours ago   53 comments top 28
paulgb 5 hours ago 2 replies      
It's not close to a full-blown Evernote alternative, but Google keep (http://keep.google.com) is my alternative.
contextual 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Definitely check out Springpad: https://springpad.com/about

For me, I've been using Basecamp for practically everything. It's so useful and reliable, and the mobile site has the best most functional interface I've ever used.

AH4oFVbPT4f8 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a long time Evernote user and honestly, it's great for record keeping but I find it pretty awful for daily use.

A huge improvement could be made by Evernote if they would support markdown within their notes. Currently the editor is very basic and can't handle functions like tables very well (creating them sure, but then adding/removing cells or sizing them is a chore)

OneNote has the best editor but it's also a lot heavier than evernote.

Google Keep can't be an option after what Google does with it's side projects like iGoogle and Reader.

msluyter 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been using nValt with synching via SimpleNote. nValt is pretty nice, actually - the UI is optimized for fast searching or adding notes.
grimlck 5 hours ago 5 replies      
Does anyone know of any note apps which support Linux, iOS, Windows, and OS X. Starts up fast. For example, vi starts up fast. Works offline and online. Always syncs without a manual step.

I don't care about pictures, or audio, or OCR, etc. I just want the basics to work and work perfectly.

oinksoft 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Zim is pretty decent if you like something on the desktop and like wikis. Its strength is in quickly organizing a bunch of related ideas/notes (being a wiki) but it is much faster to use than a browser-based wiki. http://zim-wiki.org/

I tend to just scribble in Vim though, or use paper and pencil.

ncolor 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Mac's TextEdit (a rich text editor) has been what I've ultimately chosen after using Evernote, OneNote, SpringPad, Simplenote, Notational Velocity, and Mac's Notes.app. Let me explain some of its benefits.

- Notes are placed in Finder (the file system). This is the biggest benefit. This means that I can store notes separately in folders, according to their specific purposes. For example, I can categorize my notes by project, AND store files of any type alongside them, since they're just placed in the Finder. I generally don't like using specific notes apps, because what if you want to attach a real file (not a shortcut to a file) which is of a type that's incompatible with the notes app? You can't, because notes apps can only categorize notes. That's very limited. With Finder, everything's categorized according to your own purposes, and any file type can be moved into/out of each purpose. The more I use Finder, the more I love it.

- TextEdit is very simple, but also very powerful if you know how to use it. It generally has all the features of a typical notes app. It has rich text editing, and you can put in pictures as well. When you're searching for a note or its content in Finder, it'll look through all the text within the notes, not just the file names. If you want to quick look notes, just click on a note in column view.

- If you use a certain note more often than others, you can use Alfred (a smart search app) to launch it really quickly just by typing its name, without needing to load an entire notes app filled with notes you don't need, and then find it yourself.

- Unlike Evernote, you can easily password-protect as many notes as you like by storing them in an encrypted DMG, since this feature comes with the Mac.

A downside for some people is that you can't edit your notes on a phone/tablet. For me this hasn't been a problem because I'm ten times more productive on a laptop. I can always view my files with the Dropbox app, and I can always make some quick notes on my mobile device if I ever need to. For most people, your laptop is almost always with you, and it doesn't take long to pop it open.

If you're on Windows, I think WordPad would be the right way to go. Not too sure about Linux though.

In conclusion, the TextEdit/Finder combo is the simplest, fastest, and most functional, notes tool that I've ever used.

acemtp 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I created a project called http://dok.ioThe goal is to easily create and forget (like in gmail) small piece of info (dok). The dynamic search helps to find them if needed later.

Of course it's collaborative (like a wiki) and everyone in the team can add/edit just by typing in the dok (like in asana), no edit button or whatever. Oh and behind, it's HTML5/JS with Meteor.

Feedback will be greatly appreciated.

dsirijus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Fair chance is that plethora of use-cases covered by Evernote are not covered by any other alternative. OCR, Web Clipper (favorite bit of mine), audio notes, location-aware notes, sharing, cross-platform support, awesome note indexing and subsequent search, offline caching, 3rd (as well as 1st) party app ecosystem integrated with their API... You name it. Even their free as well as premium tier give you a lot of bang for buck.

Which is kind of explanation of why they can get away with some issues in their service - they own the space. Period.

kenrick95 5 hours ago 1 reply      
By owning a Surface RT, I've used OneNote for almost a semester now. For me the only minus side of OneNote is that the PDF slides from the lecturers can't be editable inside OneNote. This is because the things that are "printed" inside OneNote are images which makes the OneNote file big. But then, after trying some alternatives, I cannot find any better one. Seems that I will stick to OneNote for now.
gum_ina_package 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How about OneNote? They have a desktop version, tablet version, online versions, and clients for iOS/Android/WP8 as well. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/
urlwolf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Best multiplatform notetaker: wiznote.http://wiz.cn/index.html

Yes, it's a chinese product, so the servers will be in China. Hopefully the NSA has a bit of a harder time, and the local gov. doesn't have that many people reading English notes :)

Features are amazing, but more than anything I like the fact that everything is html, with headings assigned to shortcuts. Proper outlining.

dorfsmay 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Text files on dropbox, using native editors is definitely the most portable solution with no vendor lock in. Dropbox's web site even has an online text editor.
zaqokm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
My 2 cents :) The trouble is that there are little or no real alternatives. There are plenty of hacks like dropbox, simple note, etc but nothing with the complete functionality and cross platform capabilities which Evernote.
YousefED 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I use onenote. Its simplicity and multiplatform support resulted in a lot of "is this really a Microsoft product?" reactions by people I showed it to. Definitely recommend to give it a try
mrteal 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Although I may be an extreme case, I use Dokuwiki for notes/journals/logs. I wanted something that was OSS, as I am somewhat uncomfortable providing brain dumps to a corporate entity in exchange for a license. Wiki markup is great for quick keyboard formatting, and all data is saved in flat files, so a rsync via cron takes care of redundancy/backups. Revision control works, and I can quickly create a new user with limited access if I need to share, or export to PDF.
jkupferman 5 hours ago 1 reply      
After getting frustrated with Evernote being slow and buggy I switched to Simplenote (http://simplenote.com/).

It's simple, fast and seamless. You start typing and it automatically syncs your note for you. It does one thing that does it well. That being said it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Evernote does (audio notes, OCR, etc).

patrickmay 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I use OmniFocus. It is relatively easy to customize it to support GTD, but it is commercial software. I believe the price is around USD 80.
arvidjanson 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Icebergs (https://icebergs.com/) is one of the prettier ones I've seen. Not really an avid user myself, but then again I'm not using Evernote either. Sublime+Dropbox does it for me at the moment, but would love to find a better alternative.
StuieK 6 hours ago 0 replies      
dmn757 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Probably not nearly as feature packed or maintained, but Google Keep (https://drive.google.com/keep/) is an option.
mvkel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I use JustNotes on OS X, which is built on top of Simplenote. It syncs wonderfully and is very, well, Simple. The reason I switched to Evernote: rich text.

Google Keep can't do RTF either :(

xname 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends on what you need.

- Serious note taking for study / research or whatever requires a lot of editing: ms word or alike.

- Quick saving of webpages: readability / instapaper / pocket etc.

- Quick note taking for a few words: google keep

- to do list: to do list apps

I have tried all kinds of things and I found I have to use different apps to achieve different goals.

darcrossito 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you just want to organize ideas or simple notes, https://workflowy.com works well.
biggilo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Bokemarks.com is a good alternative:http://www.bokemarks.com/

Here is an invitation link:http://www.bokemarks.com/#!invited?code=bHjj1KloPRx56W

Styrke 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I use a folder in my Google Drive.
Ask HN: Google Groups Message Exporter?
2 points by jyu  5 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Suggestions for writing a new compiler?
9 points by chm  22 hours ago   7 comments top 5
Turing_Machine 21 hours ago 1 reply      
If you decide to go with something in the Lisp/Scheme spectrum, you might find the book Lisp in Small Pieces to be helpful.

If you decide to go with a non-Lisp language: are you allowed to use tools like bison/yacc and lex/flex (or analogs for non-C languages)? Those can cut down the amount of work by a lot. Making it self-hosting over the course of semester is still going to be challenging, I think, especially if you have no previous background in compilers and/or low-level code (there are a lot of other issues there, such as the need to write or otherwise obtain an I/O library).

If it were me, starting from ground zero, I'd either go with extending an existing compiler or writing something in Scheme.

inetsee 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know whether this would qualify for your class, but the Racket documentation includes an implementation of Algol-60 "http://docs.racket-lang.org/algol60/". You might be able to use this as the starting point of an implementation of another language, maybe a subset of Algol-68, or Simula.

Algol-60 was the first programming I learned, and I've always been fascinated by Algol and the languages derived from it.

AnimalMuppet 21 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems to me that "can compile itself" is going to be extra work. That is: You specify a language. You write a compiler for that language in that language. But you can't compile the compiler, since you don't have the compiler yet. So you have to write the compiler in some other language that already has a compiler.

Note that this does not apply if you are writing something like a C compiler, because there are already C compilers out there.

marktangotango 22 hours ago 1 reply      
That's really interesting, given your Chemistry focus, what has motivated you to undertake this course? The requirement to write it in Scheme seems a bit onerous to someone who's never used Scheme. Given that, it would probably still be easier than extending an existing compler. I think you'd spend A LOT of time learning some ones design and coding practices.

I always point people at this article. It's a nice short synapsis similar to Crenshaws "Let's Build a Compiler" series only much shorter in length. Plus it's Python, so may give you some ideas for Scheme:


Show HN: Our little bootstrapped startup is powering CNN's ticker for NYE
140 points by randall  3 days ago   43 comments top 22
belluchan 3 days ago 1 reply      
How did you get CNN to know you exist much less use you? Did you have to tell them about your technology stack or do any kind of stability testing? Congratulations!
jlees 3 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats Randall! If you can answer, I'd love to hear a bit more about the unknown-guy-vs-major-broadcaster relationship :) Did you have any issues as such a small company dealing with a big giant like CNN?
neebz 3 days ago 0 replies      
You have a team member in Karachi? That made me super happy !

Congratulations !

abstractbill 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice Randall, congrats!
nakodari 3 days ago 1 reply      
As a fellow entrepreneur also running a bootstrapped startup, I have a question regarding the setup of your employees. Do you have offices in NM and Karachi, or do you have employees in these cities who work from home?

What channels and methods did you use to find them?

bobdvb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi Randall,

If you need any help in Europe then please let me know. I've got a great deal of experience in this area.


dtsingletary 3 days ago 1 reply      
What sort of options do you have for curation, filtering? How do you find the wheat from the chafe?
vyrotek 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nice work! Cheers from another Utah startup :
eddieroger 3 days ago 0 replies      
Impressive tech. Congrats on landing CNN, and thanks for the motivation.
jjacobson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hey Randall! I've heard of Vidpresso! Congrats on the hustle. Team Wediges is super excited for you.
graupel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent Randall - congrats!
photorized 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats! How did you get CNN to work with you?
jakecarpenter 3 days ago 1 reply      
Awesome Randall, keep killing it in 2014!
taylorhou 3 days ago 1 reply      
hey Randall! our vision is also to change how video is produced! :p glad to see a fellow mario award winner doing well. we're about to announce a big ass customer as well. let's catch up. we're moving to LA...being in video and all.
astine 3 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome! Great work!
notastartup 2 days ago 0 replies      
how much preceding knowledge did you have of hardware? How did you manage to find a supplier that will make you the hardware that runs your software?
huslage 3 days ago 2 replies      
I had this same idea a few years ago after fighting with vizRT about something or other. Chyron was just as bad. Good job for doing it!
calebhicks 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats Randall. Very cool. Here's to a great 2014.
asselinpaul 3 days ago 0 replies      
rohancs 3 days ago 1 reply      
That's a serious move against someone like Mass Relevance. Super congrats, Randall! Would love to talk sometime :-)
aharris88 3 days ago 0 replies      
That is awesome! Sounds like a great start to 2014!
X4 3 days ago 1 reply      
How long did it take to develop it? And how long did you work on that startup?

Best wishes for the New Year!

Why so much impatience on the STEM communities?
4 points by chomskyfan  21 hours ago   1 comment top
hga 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy is sufficient to explain this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Pournelle#Iron_Law_of_Bu...

Along this line of thinking, your confusion comes from thinking the Powers That Be in those long existing forums actually share the goals the forums ostensibly exist for. Of your cited examples I can only speak about Wikipedia, and I assure you that's not in the least true anymore. For that matter, in response I changed my approach to it, from improving it to simply firmly defending two articles I find of particular importance, and occasionally related ones. Plus general good stuff so I continue to look like I good-willed Wikipedian (which I am, but besides the problems of Wikilawyers and biased areas (wouldn't dream of touching a page on Islam), http://xkcd.com/386/ is always relevant, and with the original goal of Wikipedia stone cold dead...).

Startup/tech meetups in Seattle & Portland?
3 points by tommaxwell  23 hours ago   8 comments top 4
samiur1204 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey there, pre-welcome to Seattle! Seattle has a pretty active startup community, and most of the events are quite well captured on Startup Seattle's calendar: http://startupseattle.com/events/

Otherwise, let me know when you're in town, I'd be glad to show a fellow hacker newser around ;).

venturebros 21 hours ago 1 reply      
There are tons of meetups in Seattle! Check out meetup.com and we also have Beer && Code at Substantial if you are a developer.

FYI: The Seattle Tech meetup isn't really about tech it's a sales pitch type thing. Some people like it I personally would never go back.

codereflection 22 hours ago 1 reply      
As @samiur1204 mentioned, that's a great place to find events. For info on what's happening in Portland, I suggest hitting up @adron on Twitter.
simantel 22 hours ago 1 reply      
For Portland you should check out Calagator: http://calagator.org/
Ask HN: What does my future employer wants?
3 points by Leepic  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
karterk 1 day ago 1 reply      
You will have to prove that you can "ship it". I suggest that you start off by picking a domain that you're interested in and building a body of work that demonstrates your ability. Be sure you pick some thing that's neither too wide nor too narrow. For e.g. picking something as broad as "web development" is too difficult - these days that involves everything from knowing semantic HTML to CSS to JavaScript to CSS to Rails.

Picking a practical "project" will help you stay motivated in learning things and you will also have the benefit of "publishing" it as something you "shipped".

Once you start feeling a little confident about the code you write, start putting your projects up on github. Also, start contributing to other projects in github (e.g. libraries you have used in your own project). There are many projects where you can easily begin by fixing small bugs. Then you can slowly learn the code base enough to contribute features.

ColinWright 1 day ago 0 replies      
Generic reply:

When I'm recruiting I ask two questions of a candidate:

* What value do you add to my company?

* What proof do you have that you add that value?

I want to know that you will be of net benefit. To try to satisfy that you need to know what my company needs. Then you need to claim to be able to fill those needs, and finally, you need to back up those claims with evidence.

So you think you want to work for me? I do soft real-time processing of image data, extracting features, compressing the data, transmitting it, displaying it for action by operators. Show me that you can learn about these things - you won't have the explicit domain knowledge, but I want to know that you can acquire the domain knowledge, and then have the skills to do the necessary processing. Have you already read about, understood, and implemented some algorithms? Have you made small improvements to them? Have you chosen the right language for the job? And so on.

I'm unusual, so you need to remap everything I've said into the industry you're interested in.

LarryMade2 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Your employer wants results and they want skills.

If you can back up your programming with some other sphere of knowledge science, finance, medicine, finer details of some other profession, etc. You have something additional other programmers don't - a sense of the "big picture" of whatever other skill or industry you know.

Show HN: Control your 3D printers via Raspberry Pi from the web
4 points by fudged71  2 days ago   1 comment top
auganov 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ummm so it's going to be self hosted software that you're going to release to the public? How is it Raspberry Pi specific? Will it be paid or free? Opensource?You need to explain stuff on your site and preferably link to something that will at least vaguely introduce people to the concept. If it's there it's hidden somewhere, couldn't figure it out in 5 minutes and I did go to your main site. Confusing.
Should RapGenius be able to "negotiate" with Matt Cutts and Google?
114 points by pccampbell  10 days ago   94 comments top 24
captainmuon 9 days ago 10 replies      
I've said it a couple of times. Google (with others like Facebook, Apple) is so big, its essentially infrastructure, and needs to be regulated.

It's not just that they can penalize other companies, and competitors (wheter they have a "legitimate" reason or not). They can make people's ideas, political positions, etc. essentially disappear.

A stupid example: If they wanted to oppress trade unions, they could penalize every page with information about unions when someone searches for "workers' rights". More likely, they could work with oppressive governments to remove certain unpleasant historical events from people's sight.

I wonder why the European Union doesn't do anything... they used to be very strict about antitrust laws, privacy, etc.. Probably someone has to step up and sue Google for them to get active. I could think of a few things they could do here.

- One is to force Google to make their rankings more transparent.

- Google could have offer a kind of appeals process if a manual penalty is applied.

- The EU could put a special tax on the market leader, which would fund a subsidy for promising competitors. (Google's European office is currently registered in a low tax haven in Ireland.)

None of this is without precedent, but there would have to be the right political intent to get something like this started.

And before someone says Google is not in the EU's jurisdiction: Europe is a huge market. They have already fought antitrust trials with Microsoft, and MS could have said "screw you guys" and stopped doing business here, but instead they paid their penalties, because anything else would have been crazy. And if the EU is not going to do it, there are very self-conscious governments in Brazil, China, and India that might put pressure on Google & co..

(OTOH, we know that Governments like monopolists like Google when they help them censor and surpress information, but that's a different topic.)

austenallred 9 days ago 3 replies      
The difficulty from the standpoint of Google is the absurd scale that they have to deal with. Indeed, a mission of indexing all information and making it immediately available is a daunting one.

I get the sense that HN feels like these penalties are a rare thing; this type of ranking penalty is happening to an absurd amount of websites every day. If you were to rank the number of websites that received a manual penalty from Google on the same day as RapGenius by amount of traffic, my guess would be RapGenius wouldn't be in the top 10. They're not in a position to "negotiate" with Google, and Google doesn't "negotiate." They slap your wrist when they find you doing something dirty, and you try to recover your reputation. The only reason Google would try to work with RapGenius would be because of the PR RapGenius can generate, which appears to be happening, but there's no way they will just remove the penalty. My guess is at best RapGenius will get an expedited path to have the same options as any other site owner.

The only recourse a website owner has when they have received a manual penalty is to disavow bad links, and hope that somehow they've identified all of the bad links in their link disavow. This is a nefarious process for even the best of SEOs, and the process is quite poor; I've even discussed this with Matt Cutts in the past, but it's understandable considering the scale Google has to deal with. You can't exactly have people taking phone calls. And in Google's defense, they only penalize you if you were trying something sketchy anyway, so it's your fault for playing with fire (except in the case of negative SEO, but that's another discussion).

That said, while this ban will hurt RapGenius in the short-term, the penalty likely won't last forever. And considering that it doesn't appear that they're monetizing, it's not like they're losing revenue, just traffic for a short-term. Penalties like this, if properly disavowed, usually last about 30 days.

Interestingly enough, I'm unsure how much the SEO spam would have helped RapGenius in the first place; all of the links would have had the exact same anchor text, which raises some red flags for Rap Genius. I'm not sure of the kind of scale they were trying to hit with the blogs, but it was likely either 1. Not going to move the needle or 2. Become so big it would hurt them. Even disregarding ethics of anti-black-hat SEO, it really was just a poor move on the part of Rap Genius SEO-wise.

"Move fast and break stuff" can come back and bite you sometimes, but I'm confident RapGenius will figure it out in the end.

andrewljohnson 9 days ago 3 replies      
Matt Cutts should also probably recuse himself from this issue. He is an investor in a YC round and multiple YC companies. That's an obvious conflict of interest, whether or not it affects the outcome.


bushido 9 days ago 1 reply      
> do you think RapGenius should have the ability to negotiate with Google


> Do they have enough traffic to justify the conversation

Yes, maybe.

> I'm uncomfortable with what appears to be almost a direct line the RapGenius gents have with the Google team to come to what they've coined as a "resolution" between the two entities.

So am I.

In the past I have seen Google responding and resolving penalization with some sites, where in the problem lay in the internally, with intentional/unintentional shady practices.

I have no problems with this.

But RG took some of their activities to a whole different level, one that I have seen before by blackhat marketers only. Just like I would not expect blackhat marketers to get away with it, I would not like Google or any other search engine to open doors to the possibility of people who got caught to have an easy out.

Maintaining neutrality and upholding previously established best practices would also be fair to any new start-ups that may want to enter the lyrics space.

sergiotapia 9 days ago 1 reply      
I also think it's pretty bad how the RG guys seem to be able to invoke Google at will.Especially considering how they've broken almost the most basic of Ranking Rules and used black hat techniques.

I'd like a direct response from someone in charge from Google. Why, and how, are the RG guys getting 1 on 1 support?

blueyes1977 9 days ago 0 replies      
I found ridiculous so many things here:

1. Their black SEO practice around Justin Bibier as they call themselves RapGenius (LOL)

2. Those are the guys we're talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NAzQPll7Lo (show me love ...yes)

3. They were 100% illegal, beside the big investment they got, they didn't pay copyrighters for using their lyrics. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/11/13/rap_genius_co...

Now that said, why the hell someone like Google has to negotiate with them ?


bobbyi_settv 9 days ago 1 reply      
Is there any evidence that Google is negotiating with them? As far as I've seen, the only reason to think that is happening is that rap genius claimed they are as part of their attempted damage control. Most companies are basically shut down over Christmas and I doubt people at Google have been spending this week negotiating with them. What am I missing that led you to the opposite conclusion?
lazyjones 9 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see why RapGenius should get a better customer service than everybody else from Google (i.e. none at all). Being able to negotiate anything at all would be way better than what paying customers (e.g. AdWords) get these days ...
jhonovich 9 days ago 0 replies      
Google did not say they were 'negotiating' with RapGenius. The claim about 'working with' comes from RapGenius. It could be that RapGenius is mistaken or just thinking optimistically.

Let's see what happens but it seems like a stretch that Google would feel compelled to 'negotiate' with RapGenius.

jbigelow76 9 days ago 1 reply      

    >I'm uncomfortable with what appears to be almost a direct line the RapGenius gents have with the Google team to come to what they've coined as a "resolution" between the two entities.
What do you mean by this, was there another update since the initial penalty was levied? RG still appears to be gone from the serps.

lingben 9 days ago 0 replies      
I'm confused, is there a new development? what do you mean by negotiate? The last thing I read on this was that they were penalized. Are they back in the SERPs?
nknighthb 9 days ago 0 replies      
I'm happy every time it's made clear that search engine results are the product of subjective factors and aren't "fair". It bolsters the argument that their results are expressive and protected as such, shielding them from interference by politicians.
scottmcleod 10 days ago 2 replies      
No - SEO is not a game to play in grey area, its a risk that they took by depending upon SERP for their source of traffic.
paulrademacher 9 days ago 0 replies      
Where do you see this "direct line"? I've seen no sign of that.
redthrowaway 9 days ago 0 replies      
No. RapGenius broke the rules, and the punishment is temporary. Suck it up, take your medicine, and don't do it again.
gesman 7 days ago 0 replies      
The fact that Rapgenius claimed to be in negotiations with Google does not mean that they are in fact having some sort of "migration to white hat strategy" personal meeting with Cutts in the same room.

"Live" person at Google might as well be delivering the old same beaten up "write unique content" and "remove bad links" message to them, albeit in personalized format.

I don't think rapgenius is big enough to buy Google a drink for a free personalized SEO tips.

RBerenguel 9 days ago 0 replies      
They should just receive links to usual webmaster recommendations and Cutts' YouTube. And that should be it.
dasmithii 9 days ago 1 reply      
There's a good chance that they're gaining page hits from this controversy and, knowing the founders of Rap Genius (vaguely), I wouldn't be surprised if they capitalize and conjure as much attention as possible here.

On a slightly different note, it doesn't seem right for Google to intervene with specific companies' page rankings. Although Google isn't breaking laws, the "black box" type of generic algorithm seems more ethical. Rather than favoring individual groups/sites/corporations, I think Google should maintain credibility by encompassing all rules, regulations, and penalties within one algorithm. Search engine results shouldn't be subjective.

zoltar92 8 days ago 1 reply      
This is a slippery slope. You have to keep in mind that >2% (some estimates as high as 7%) of Google Queries are related to lyrics/ RG related content. They also (arguably) have much better, much more relevant content. As such a large amount of google searches would end up with someone wanting a RapGenius page - it's only fair that they would get preferential treatment over a niche startup/site/blog.
pastpartisan 10 days ago 0 replies      
the rankings will be restored. rich, successful ppl always get their way
rickyc091 9 days ago 0 replies      
They shouldn't, but they probably will due to their investor.
newnewnew 9 days ago 0 replies      
Google can do whatever they want. If I was the victim of a public name and shame like this which included a very public Google punishment, I'd think it would be in Google's best interest to make an example of me and to make an example of how to get back in their good graces. Google may have shitty customer service, but they don't want it to appear that way in a high-profile case.
z_ 9 days ago 0 replies      
DanBC 9 days ago 0 replies      
Fuck no.
Happy New Year Hackers
10 points by JT123  3 days ago   4 comments top 4
optymizer 3 days ago 0 replies      
Boston, MA
igorsyl 3 days ago 0 replies      
Shenzhen, China
simlevesque 3 days ago 0 replies      
Montreal, Canada
65a 3 days ago 0 replies      
Mountain View, CA
Ask HN: What did you make this year?
9 points by adambard  4 days ago   19 comments top 16
jere 4 days ago 2 replies      
Awesome. I love the idea of wagr. It's like an informal LongBets. Kudos on learnx also. My list is not so impressive, but here goes:

-I made a wilderness survival game for 7DRL 2013. http://humbit.com/rogue/ It's not for everyone, but it did make a "Best of 2013" list for roguelikes.

-I made my own static site generator in PHP that uses S3/cloudfront. Because why not. The result is a fast blog I think looks great. http://jere.in

-I made Autumn.js, a library for hashing keys to colors. https://github.com/nluqo/autumn

-I just finished up (and am desperately looking for feedback on) http://letspaste.com/ a gaming screenshot site. I think this is a really neat idea, but I'm not sure if anyone gets it yet. It did teach me about a few JS libraries though: packery and hopscotch

My goal for 2014 is to start writing things people actually need/want and to get off of Dreamhost ASAP (yea I know).

japhyr 4 days ago 0 replies      
I started an open resource for people interested in teaching and learning Python: http://introtopython.org

This year I hope to bring the project to a level such that people brand new to programming can go from hello world to completing their first games and simple web apps. I aim to make the project section useful for experienced programmers who want a clear explanation of how to build interesting projects in Python.

It's on github: http://github.com/ehmatthes/intro_programming

wturner 4 days ago 0 replies      
I made a bunch of little inane things as a precursor to a gargantuan project idea I have that will take me years to complete, and after which flops will inevitably incentivize me to jump off a large cliff.



krapp 4 days ago 0 replies      
almost everything I made is here:https://github.com/kennethrapp

and herehttp://profiles.wordpress.org/kennethrapp/

and here is an example of something i've been messing with this all semester:http://precis.gopagoda.com?url=https://news.ycombinator.com/...

None of it is brilliant or groundbreaking and almost none of it has made me a dime.

I also have two semesters of Java and C++ projects which should probably never see the light of day and a forum/HN clone in Laravel which does work but has been put on the back burner for months and months, and my own site which is currently running a half-arsed attempt at a custom PHP framework.

So yeah.

zachlatta 4 days ago 0 replies      
I worked on Football Heroes, our first iOS application. It's an arcade football games for mobile devices. We're really excited by the progress it's made in the store so far. We currently have over 800,000 downloads and have been in the top 5 overall. We're looking forward to seeing where we will take it in the future!


jcchin41 4 days ago 0 replies      
Working on my very first web app! I'm an aerospace engineer looking to get into web development.

-PushPlan, a group decision making app: https://pushplan.meteor.com/huddles/pBpn7KJ7jtAqNbNrJ

(A better way for groups to brainstorm ideas and schedule events.)

rajeevk 4 days ago 0 replies      
I made (ported) Android version of my iOS app Lekh Diagram.


This is (free on Android and paid on iOS) sketch recognition diagramming app.

mcarrano 4 days ago 0 replies      
I did not have the opportunity to work on my own projects much this year.

I am going into 2014 strong as I just released an Android application that I will continue to improve in the coming months...


helen842000 4 days ago 0 replies      
I created CalCal (http://gum.co/IEMpg)It's a dual timeline printable calendar.

It's something I've used myself for a while now and I created it as a digital download to learn more about validating an idea, selling digital products & marketing them.

wsieroci 4 days ago 0 replies      
I made http://metrics11.com It helps you find profitable keywords for your website which you can use to increase search traffic to your website.
mahadazad 4 days ago 0 replies      
I made many full fledged website scripts this year. Which are very unique.


have a look

namecast 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've recommended learnxinyminutes.com to tons of people, I even showed it to my landlord when I was visiting Thailand. Very cool project.

For me: I re-built Namecast (https://www.namecast.net) this year. It allows you to manage your DNS using Git and GitHub.

yiggydyang 4 days ago 0 replies      
I made PocketSuite (http://PocketSuite.io). It is an easy way for busy people to send invoices, accept payments, book appointments, and stay in touch while on the go.
garrettdreyfus 4 days ago 0 replies      
I made a cool python script to tear away the unneeded parts of your CSS libraries. check it out at https://github.com/garrettdreyfus/Libstripper.
sbooks 4 days ago 0 replies      
TrackMyDrive.com, simple mileage tracking done from your smartphone or online. Spent most of 2013 improving the iPhone app.
pjd7 4 days ago 0 replies      
Great how many customers have gotten on AddressBin? I am working on something similar.
Ask HN: How would a new OS be different?
54 points by Jormundir  7 days ago   54 comments top 22
hendzen 7 days ago 2 replies      
I find the L4 Microkernel [0] pretty interesting. The goal of L4 is to make the microkernel architecture performant by making IPC fast. They did this by making the implementations processor dependent; they wrote the IPC code in optimized assembly. A variant [1] of it is actually commonly used in baseband processors. See this paper [2] for a good overview.

[0] - http://os.inf.tu-dresden.de/L4/overview.html

[1] - http://www.ok-labs.com/products/okl4-microvisor

[2] - http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~bershad/590s/papers/towards-...

asperous 7 days ago 1 reply      
Some ideas for inspiration:

--- Low level ---

Highly reliable, flexible, and securehttp://www.minix3.org/

Filesystem that's intuitive, easy to learn, and makes sensehttp://www.gobolinux.org/?page=at_a_glance

Declarative configuration managementhttp://nixos.org/nixos/

Support applications and drivers written for windowshttp://www.reactos.org/

Better Securityhttp://www.openbsd.org/security.html

Update software silently and instantlyhttp://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/the-infinite-versio...

Application Permissionshttp://codezqr.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Android-P...

--- User level ---

Remove X11http://wayland.freedesktop.org/

Application Directorieshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_directory


Amazing basic applicationshttp://www.apple.com/osx/apps/

Unify notificationshttp://growl.info/


chipsy 7 days ago 3 replies      
The biggest legacy of Unix is C.

With Unix, runtime provisions effectively end where C picks up. C is "good enough" to build applications on, and it can be written portably, most of the time. But there is plenty of reason to challenge the idea that we need a baseline of C. There are benefits to having richer data types built in, to having garbage collection, and all of those typical higher-level programming arguments. And if it's done at the OS level, the whole OS may also benefit from that - it opens up more options for organizing data, for configuration interfaces, and for communicating between processes. The system is likely to be more stable and more secure as well.

The downside is also known - losing lower-level control, losing lower-level performance. But each time our hardware situation morphs, there's an incentive to abandon the lower-level stuff to get better portability. So in time, as hardware usage changes(not just in terms of devices and their internal HW management, but also the increasing complexity of our networks) we're likely to incrementally adopt the higher-level paradigms.

adamnemecek 7 days ago 1 reply      
I know that the question was about OS architecture but I really feel like the UX is not as good as it could be. One thing I've been thinking about recently is that it could be interesting if there was some GUI system that would follow the Unix principle of having many small, task specific applications that could be easily composed together. It happens to me a lot that there are 3 applications each of which does something better than the other 2 but in the end of the day none of them is ideal. If I could pick the best of the 3 and put it together myself, that would be great.

Later, I realized that Mac OS' Automator/Applescript might have been an attempt to do something like this but it feels somewhat half-assed. Given something like this is probably impossible to bolt on later so you'd have to design the OS from the beginning to allow for this.

corysama 7 days ago 2 replies      
If I were to create a new OS today, it would basically look like an iPad-ish screen of icons as a front-end to Xen. Each "app" would be a stand-alone virtual machine image custom configured to run a /single/ application each.

I'm speaking out of my rear end, but it seems like that's where we're all headed in order to achieve the security/configurability/reliability/simplicity/etc that we all want. As examples, I point to sandboxed mobile/browser/cloud/game console apps as well as config sandboxing such as VirtualEnv and .Net's dll versioning. Might as well drop the half-measures and go all the way. Skip DLL/API/browser version hell and just ship a complete OS image that has been configured and tested to work reliably for the app.

It's my understanding that the Xbox One has basically implemented this already. Game discs contain an OS image that runs as a guest OS on the Box. In addition to improved security, this should greatly reduce the back-compat test burden as future Xbox OS revisions come out.

rguldener 7 days ago 0 replies      
Yes you certainly can: At my university they are building a new operating system from scratch with multicore/multi CPU systems in mind, their vision is that someday we might have 5-10 specialized "CPU"s in our machines for better parallelization.

Current OS have a hard time dealing with such heterogenous systems so they decided to start from scratch: The entire OS is structured as a distributed system with a dedicated mini-kernel running on each core of the processor and potentially also your network card etc. They even disallow shared memory between the core kernels and solely communicate through a message passing system.

If you are interested in their approach check out the Barrelfish website: http://www.barrelfish.org

And here is a great overview of the architecture: http://www.barrelfish.org/TN-000-Overview.pdf

YZF 7 days ago 1 reply      
Perhaps an OS that is built over distributed components. A process you run, or even a "thread", can execute in an AWS instance. Applications can be shared between multiple devices. Storage can be anywhere. A distributed web service is just an "application" under this OS.
perlgeek 7 days ago 1 reply      
I think there is lots of potential for innovation in the file system area. There could be a content-adressable file system right in the kernel and serve as a base for the operating system. Or some kind of object storage. Or at least with much richer meta data (and Unicode file names!) than current file systems. And maybe with transaction support over multiple files/directories.
olefoo 7 days ago 0 replies      
It would be interesting to see an OS in which audio and video streams were first class objects. Where the primary display was a video stream composited out of main memory from a render tree that was the core data structure and which treated memory as being made of tagged video and audio buffers ( some of which were infinite in length or were memory mapped from disk or network sources ).

BeOS had some of this, but the core ideas have not been explored as fully as they might have been.

dmytrish 7 days ago 0 replies      
I used to give some thought to OS design some time ago (I'm a hobbyist OSdev). I've come to a more conservative point of view: what problem do we try to solve with the new system design? Are our systems large and flabby enough to fall apart from within under their own weight? Are there profound hardware changes that require architectural re-thinking?

An OS kernel by definition is a small layer of hardware resources management/abstraction software. Has hardware changed? Yes and no. The most prominent changes are multi-core CPUs, ubiquitous networking, a lot of peripheral devices, support for OS virtualization, but generally hardware architecture is not that far from 70s when Unix was invented. From the software side: the beauty of programming is in its abstraction power and most of software progress is advancing at levels abstracted far from OS (html5/virtual machines/language environments/etc). So, I don't see a burning need for changing the underlying service layer. Microkernels are nice, language-based systems are nice also, but their time has not come yet, the inertia of existing code base is huge, so the incentive to depart from it must be also huge.

I agree that user-space level organization may be more consistent from modern point of view, but it's not clear where to head. Ideas are welcome, but power of organic evolution also should not to be underrated.

zvrba 7 days ago 0 replies      
Built-in sandboxing with user-defineable data flow policies.
politician 7 days ago 1 reply      
I'd love to see integrated package management and versioning handled by the OS in such a way that each independent language community wouldn't have to reinvent a new distribution channel. Something like Ruby's Bundler or .NET's GAC+Nuget or "App Stores for Libraries" at the OS/vendor level.
graiz 7 days ago 2 replies      
- Built in support for the online services from the ground up. From the filesystem to the drivers the system should be built around the idea that it can be updated easily from the web and kept up to date.- Ideas like DropBox and Backup services aren't a 3rd party feature/add-on they are core to online nature of the OS.- Perhaps a new way to manage files & folders. I can't believe we still use filename.ext. iOS has some interesting things here.
huragok 7 days ago 1 reply      
When I think "Next-Gen OS" I think of boot-to-Erlang with a very high fault tolerance.
girvo 7 days ago 1 reply      
Haiku. Yeah, it's sort of UNIX-like, but it's APIs are phenomenal, and it's focus on performance is slightly different to other OSes
hbar 7 days ago 1 reply      
frik 7 days ago 2 replies      
lowglow 7 days ago 0 replies      
I'm spending this next year to build a new operating system. If you're truly interested in changing the future of computer email me: dan at techendo dot co
collyw 7 days ago 0 replies      
I really liked the sound of WinFS with a filesystem that you could query like a database.
iElectric2 6 days ago 0 replies      
Declarative configuration management http://nixos.org/nixos/


kkedacic 7 days ago 0 replies      
Id like to see OS with exokernel.
wissler 7 days ago 2 replies      
Most innovation is driven by at most a few individuals, but the bar is so high for a viable practical modern operating system that individuals are going to tend to take their innovation elsewhere.

This is not the ideal situation. Ideally, big companies like Microsoft or Apple would enable the right individuals to innovate in this area, unfortunately they are very bad at this. They do not know how to select these individuals, and even more importantly, leaving aside the rare likes of Elon Musk, the notion of radical innovation is rather contradictory to the institution of big business in our era.

Ask HN: How much money is enough?
11 points by anonymousexit  5 days ago   22 comments top 10
mililani 5 days ago 1 reply      
I actually retired at age 40 with less than 700k. My wife and I own a house. We both moved back to Canada, so we don't worry about health care costs. And, we really don't spend money on much. I figured our food/living costs comes out to $1000 a month. We don't have kids or any other big expenses. We're pretty frugal too. Anyways, it all depends. Some will tell you 7 million. That's fucking absurd. If that was true, hardly ANYONE in the US would be able to retire. Others will probably tell you 5 million, which I still find absurd. Anyways, regardless of what people on here will say, you already sound like someone who is indecisive. I've noticed that people who are always searching for their answers from others will never be satisfied by them.
sdesol 5 days ago 3 replies      
Probably 7 million after taxes. The first million will buy you a decent house. The next million will let you buy other materialistic goods and/or give away. The next 5 million can go into a very safe savings account which will net you 6 figures a year in interest.

With 7 million, you should be set for life with a decent lifestyle.

hansy 5 days ago 1 reply      
When related to happiness, some have said (annually) $75,000: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2012/07/27/how-muc...

Others claim $161,0000: http://www.cnbc.com/id/50027184

There was a good study about diminishing marginal utility of wealth I read a while back. I'll see if I can find and post it. Don't quote me on this, but I think $5M was a good number.

mswen 5 days ago 1 reply      
What is the future potential of the business?

Do you personally have what it takes to lead it to that potential?

Are you a starter, who gets bored after the technically hard parts are solved?

Would the proceeds, if invested in a combination of bonds and dividend bearing stocks, provide an annual income that you could live on in a modest manner for the rest of your life? By this I don't mean SF, NY or London but a nice location with a more modest cost of living.

If you are getting bored and the exit would provide you a base salary for the rest of your life so that you could explore other new ventures ... I would take the exit.

In the end no one but you can really decide but these are some of the questions I would ask myself.

joshmlewis 5 days ago 0 replies      
When you first started the company, was your goal to be an exit or to keep running the company? If it was an exit, and this chance will give you enough money to live on a comfortable salary for 10 years, I would take it.
memracom 5 days ago 1 reply      
Don't forget to factor your age into the equation. The more years you have left to invest and/or earn more, the less you really need. And don't forget to think about your skill with money too. The younger you are, the longer time you will have to avoid wasting away your fortune. If you are smart with money then you will need less than someone who is not.
fananta 5 days ago 0 replies      
It's always just one more dollar. I think you have to consider the opportunity costs involved with the exit versus the potential financial upside. The right number is the amount for which you are comfortable to part with your current business.
onedev 5 days ago 1 reply      
Are you in the business of disappearing photos by any chance?
AlleyTrotter 5 days ago 0 replies      
When the only thing the 'company' has to offer you is:

A corner office with two windows

A private toilet/shower

A wet bar

A kitchenette

Because you already have all the money.

arisAlexis 5 days ago 0 replies      
you should think about life extension and plan things not for the common 100 but much longer if you are thinking of not working again.

in a general sense, id like to have as much money as needed to travel every month for two weeks to some nice destination without super luxury

Ask HN: Please explain Pinterest
3 points by lauradhamilton  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
wanda 2 days ago 0 replies      
Infographic [HN search is your friend]


sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
you should start following people that have similar interests(around your company). then repin their stuff if it's interesting.
JackpotDen 2 days ago 0 replies      
4chan for 40+ housewives
Why can't Google understand why I don't want to combine my Gmail and Youtube?
17 points by hackaflocka  8 days ago   7 comments top 5
devonbarrett 8 days ago 1 reply      
Unpopular personal story time.

I have a Google account, and it is perfect. I use the gmail UI to send and receive email from my own domain name, which I use for work and personal email; I then have a gmail address which I use when I am signing up for sites that I expect to receive spam from - I can use both of these simultaneously just selecting which account I want to send from. I have Google+ which I have set up granular permissions, so that certain people can only see certain content. I have a Youtube page, which is connected to my Google account but uses a separate alias completely separate from my real name, which I automatically become when using Youtube. There is no public facing connection between my real name and my YT alias, and I never have to switch accounts or select which one I would like to use.

I might be missing the problem, but to me it seems straight forward and logical.

glimcat 8 days ago 1 reply      
It's not about what you want, it's about what they want.
datphp 7 days ago 0 replies      
I certainly understand your point. As a developer and power-user, keeping independent components well separated is something pretty obvious for both ethical and technical reasons.

What I don't like about this kind of argumentation is that it comes from an idealistic point of view (that I share), which isn't appropriate at all when analyzing a billion dollar company strategy.

Obviously at some point most big corporations are going to do stuff that completely puts off the elite. "Don't be evil" only lasts for so long (while building hype), and quickly "How much will that earn us" is all that's left (monetizing said hype).

I hope you realize that 99% of the profit of Google or Microsoft comes from masses of people who don't really understand anything that's happening, and click "next" and "accept" hoping they won't hit a wall. Did you ever click an Adword banner (except out of curiosity to see what's behind, using a private tab)? Do you purchase stuff only because it's presented to you as the next thing that justifies getting behind on your credit card payment? Neither do I.

Being the 1% is frustrating at times, but that's what we are. The 1%. Sometimes it's worth doing small things to please us, most of the time it's not.

ChrisClark 6 days ago 0 replies      
Why don't you just link your Youtube account with a pseudonym Google+ page? They give that option so that you can remain anonymous.
gesman 7 days ago 0 replies      
Create <N> gmail accounts for <N> YouTube accounts.

Thats it.

Google owns this turf, so just find a way around.

Bitching about it is the way that doesn't work well.

Ask HN: The most important thing you learned in 2013?
3 points by sam1r  3 days ago   7 comments top 6
wturner 3 days ago 0 replies      
When we get older we generally don't get wiser we simply get more habitual and become more of what we already were in the first place. If you have strong intellectual/creative habits early on in life (even if you ask lots of stupid questions and flunk out of school) it can serve as a self regulating mechanism later in life. What I mean by this is if you (for lack of a better way to phrase it) start becoming a fucking zombie with a rote 'job' who plops down in front of the TV box and the like every day after work, eventually you will feel like something is missing from your existence due to your earlier childhood habits of curiosity etc. If those earlier habits were strong enough your won't be able to help yourself in finding a better path as it becomes a compulsion. Unfortunately its been my experience that most people are the inverse of this. Ask a question that requires more than 2 brain cells and they change the topic or miss the point....simply out of bad habits.Our habits have a tenancy to lock us into a path, so have good habits early on and never be afraid to yank yourself out of bad ones even if it hurts and makes you feel awkward.

Of course I already intuitively knew all this as it is just common sense and very remedial but the above was a crystallized theme for moi this year.

usablebytes 3 days ago 1 reply      
1) Right and Wrong are just perspectives

2) True happiness is in doing what you really enjoy and being in control of yourself all the time

3) There are always more unfortunate around you

4) World is full of irrational behavior; but good part is you got choices

5) One-thing-at-a-time is a myth; you can do what you believe you can

6) No matter how bad it looks, convincing most of the people is mere wastage of time; they hear what they want to hear

7) Reading is an unpleasant process for majority and so is easy explanation

8) Working hard is fine only when you're learning

9) Business is all about minimizing the risks - contradictory to the general belief

10) The universe doesn't give a flying fuck about you. So go out there and live the life the way you dream of.

runjake 3 days ago 0 replies      
That my government is doing just about everything a tinfoil crazy could come up with. I live in a true surveillance state.
santhoshthepro 3 days ago 0 replies      
1. With purpose comes passion. With passion comes Enthusiasm. So We need to set a purpose for the whole year. My passion for 2013 was to train atleast 1000 students on technology.

I ended up training 1315 Students and 40 Teachers in Java, Android and other latest technology. My purpose of 2014 is to create lasting impact through my work. (author a book, fitness, Instructor for online course)

Here is my blogpost of my learnings and events in 2013: http://santhoshthepro.in/snapshot-2013-a-year-of-giving

read 3 days ago 0 replies      
Constraint is no less important than freedom.
mindcrime 3 days ago 0 replies      
I learned that events (conferences) are a good place to find leads for the kind of business I'm in.

Also, I discovered "Complexity Economics"[1] this year, and that has changed my world-view in many ways and has given me a lot of ideas and inspiration.

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

Happy New Year from Europe
3 points by dutchbrit  3 days ago   discuss
Ask HN: Why is Target storing PIN numbers?
7 points by whyme  6 days ago   4 comments top 3
ColinWright 6 days ago 0 replies      
Reports are that it was malware on the Point-of-Sale devices:


GnarfGnarf 6 days ago 1 reply      
Target did not store the PINs. Storing PINs is forbidden by the PCI (Payment Card Industry) rules. If a merchant stores PINs or CVCs (Card Verification Code), he will lose access to the credit card system, and can't sell nuthin' no more.

The PINs were skimmed by malware in the POS devices.

Changing your PIN periodically is not a bad idea.

t0 6 days ago 0 replies      
I think it was a man-in-the-middle attack, so everything during the transaction was stolen.
Ask HN: What are your tips for freelancers?
11 points by johnzimmerman  7 days ago   11 comments top 5
tptacek 7 days ago 3 replies      
Charge by day or week, never hourly.

An hour or two of ancillary work? Do it as a favor, not a billable project.

Negotiate scope, not rate. Try to make rate immutable.

You are charging too little.

Your rate is probably not a straightforward function of what your fulltime equivalent makes.

Get an accountant now.

Have a well-defined master contract and a separate statement of work (SOW) for each project.

Get acceptance criteria into the SOW, but don't make it ultra-specific or you'll invite arguments.

Incorporate. It's cheap insurance.

Get a lawyer and have your contracts reviewed.

Expect to work on your customers' paper, not yours. See: get a lawyer.

Reach out periodically to all your not-unsatisfied clients. You'll be surprised how much work this drums up.

Specialize on domain, not on technology stacks.

swalkergibson 7 days ago 1 reply      
Charge by the day or the week, not by the hour. Very explicitly define your scope of work, and beware of scope creep.

When providing estimates, plan for 30-32 hours/week of reasonable full-time effort. If you estimate assuming you will be able to dedicate 40 hours/week to one thing, you may find yourself working a shitload of overtime.

Be firm with the client. If you believe a feature request is out of scope, say something and create a change order.

Finally, knock their socks off and they might have a referral for you!

richsin 7 days ago 0 replies      
Alot of great advice here, but one that I believe is the most important...


When projects go smoothly, you hardly have to refer back to the contract and in many cases it is a formality.

But, When things go wrong such as delays, changes or cancellations to name a few. A bad contract will leave too many scenarios to negotiation and that is where problems come up.


- Good Communication. Not only something that works for you, but for your client.

- Charge a rate that will make you want to finish the project even if it goes over a bit. We sometimes ignore these things as we look at the bigger picture, but you do not wan't to be crossing that line where you feel that you undercharged or over promised, it makes life miserable.

- Hiscox.com for insurance, nice monthly payments that are affordable. Simple enough.

- Take breaks, in advance. Whether it be a trip or a couple days off to yourself. Plan them and do your best to not cancel them. Freelancing has a way of sucking you in to this endless cycle of work. If your not freelancing to 1. Make more money 2. Have more freedom or 3. Build your experience...then I'm sorry to say, it's a bad idea.

Congrats on the project, you must of done well or charged too little, either way, if you start with most of the suggestions on this thread in mind, you will be ahead of the game.

yoloswagins 7 days ago 0 replies      
I would recommend the book, 'Double Your Freelancing Rate'. It provided really great info about why companies hire freelancers, and how that is different than why you think you were hired.
toobulkeh 7 days ago 0 replies      
I've been spending the last 6 months starting a business in this space.

If you enjoy the client and the relationship, hang on to it! They are few and far between more often than not.

A few tools we use are: Xero, Toggl, Asana. Always try to optimize your own workflow, but structure it in such a way that it's not all in your head. Your process and hand off is just as valuable as the product itself.

We've had a lot more success tying hours to features instead of defined project scope. Let it creep and change, just be up front with costs and expectations. Realize that your time and work is not flexible, but the feature list is.

Let the client help define the product scope collaboratively with you. You already landed them, so you just need to focus on keeping them.

Since it's not your full time, set mental boundaries for yourself and try to keep the two jobs separate.

Ask HN: Who can see individual upvote data?
17 points by zaroth  10 days ago   7 comments top 2
zaroth 9 days ago 0 replies      
14 upvotes, 0 comments, and for some reason, totally missing from the 'Ask' page. My strangest 'Ask HN' ever...
seiji 9 days ago 2 replies      
On this site, you can see every story somebody has submitted or upvoted by going to their profile. The comments someone up/downvotes isn't available publicly, but I assume it's kept on the backend.

I think the noise in a simple upvote action is too much for any legal meaning though. You can't tell if somebody upvoted for agreement or humor (poe's law) or upvoted out of friendship (voting rings) with no cares at all.

On Facebook, we know their upvotes ("likes" they say) are used for tracking and manipulating everything you do informing your news, tracking you across the webternet, logging your interests. But, there too, the upvote is ambiguous. If you upvote "X died" does it mean you like that they died or you you're showing compassion?

Now, with Slashdot moderation, user upvote could be more useful assuming the user isn't lying, but nothing supports slashdot-like moderation anywhere else. Ain't nobody got time for quantized sentiment decisions.

Who is selling a SaaS (or other business)
4 points by mrfusion  5 days ago   6 comments top 3
mrfusion 5 days ago 1 reply      
Also, I wonder if it would be worth making this a month thing like the who's hiring post? Any interest in that?
gspyrou 5 days ago 0 replies      
Apptopia https://www.apptopia.com/ is a marketplace for mobile apps.
johnmurch 5 days ago 0 replies      
       cached 4 January 2014 21:05:01 GMT