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1
Ask HN: How to become productive programmer?
4 points by nodivbyzero  2 hours ago   4 comments top 4
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jason_wang 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Check email only twice a day (11am, and 4pm for example). Definitely don't leave your email app/tab open.
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jason_wang 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Don't multitask. Focus on one task at a time.
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matiu 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
My 2c.

Concentrate on one thing and get it done.Break it down into chunks.Write them in a todo.txt.Get one chunk done and finished and committed before moving on to the next one.

For chunk size; I think a chunk is gonna take me 1-5 hours, and it usually ends up taking 0-5 days.

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1mrankhan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am also waiting for a good answer ..
2
Ask PG: How would you fill out a YC application with YC as your idea?
154 points by trysomething  1 day ago   28 comments top 10
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mlchild 22 hours ago 4 replies      
Apologies in advance to Sam AltmanI know writing HN comments is not work. But I had fun answering! Back to the code._____________________________________________________________

Tell us in one or two sentences something about each founder that shows he or she is an "animal," in the sense described in How to Start a Startup.

Paul and Robert built the first SaaS company, Viaweb, which allowed users to build their own stores on the web. It became Yahoo Stores after its acquisition.

Jessica is an excellent writer, marketing whiz and is already working on the idea for our second major producta one-day version of our summer program in which a number of successful founders give talks to prospective hacker-founders. We think this will inspire even more of the kind of companies we like to invest in.

Trevor built a robot that duplicated the Segways functionality in a weekend using off-the-shelf parts.

Tell us in one or two sentences something about each founder that shows a high level of ability.

Trevor is working on the first self-balancing bipedal robot. Its almost ready.

Robert discovered buffer overflow, which helped bring the internet into the mainstream press.

Jessica managed a highly successful rebranding of the investment bank Adams Harkness as VP of marketing.

Paul is the author of On Lisp (1993) and ANSI Common Lisp (1995). (Have you ever tried programming in Lisp?)

For founders who are hackers: what cool things have you built?(Extra points for urls of demos or screenshots.)

Trevorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EunicycleRobert and Paulhttp://ycombinator.com/viaweb/Paulhttp://www.paulgraham.com/arc.html

How long have you known one another and how did you meet?

Several years, mostly at school. [Ed. note: ???]

What is your company going to make?

A summer school for young, inexperienced hackers that are interested in starting a company but lack early-stage funding.

The founders will meet with us once a week for dinner, during which a speaker from the technology industry will answer questions and speak from hard-won experience.

If your project is software, what OS(es) and language(s) will you use, and why?

ARC

If you've already started working on it, how long have you been working and how many lines of code (if applicable) have you written?

A few monthsmost of the work has been planning the program, the code for the site is fairly simple.

If you have an online demo, what's the url? (Big extra points for this.)

http://ycombinator.com/sfp.html

How long will it take before you have a prototype? A beta? A version 1 you can charge for?

Once this application process concludes, the beta should be ready for launch.

How will you partition the work this summer; who will work on what?

All partners will help select companies and advise from past experience. Paul and Robert have more experience with investors and shepherding small companies through the necessary phases towards becoming big ones. Jessica has experience with marketing, branding, and working with large companies. Trevor is a hardware/software savant and is running a growing company of his own.

If you already have a business plan, what's the url? (Don't send us your business plan. Put it on a server and tell us the url. Ascii text preferred. Don't password protect it.)

[redacted]

How will you make money? Who will your customers be, how many are there, and how will they hear about you?

Our basic assumption is that young founders can succeed in building startups with good advising and seed capital. Given our average investment is $18k for 6% of 8 companies, just once company has to be worth $2.4 million for us to break even.

Well advertise in the computer science departments of prominent universities (e.g. Harvard, MIT) to recruit hackers who are looking for an alternative summer job to working at a big company.

Will you do price discrimination?

Well give slightly more money to larger groups, although we suppose thats investment discrimination.

Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?

Obvious investment-side competitors are early-stage VC firms, who have more money and the trappings of success. Were banking on them ignoring our target group of early founders.

The competitors were really afraid of are competitors for these hackers time and attention. Fast-growing tech companies, graduate school, and even cushy jobs at big companies might have more superficial appeal. We need to make sure the most promising companies follow through on their potential.

Who will lose most if you succeed? (This need not be a competitor; TV networks have been hurt by email.)

Likely those very same competitors for our founders attention. Google and graduate CS programs might lose some great hackers, although we think in the long run theyll do better if younger programmers see the potential to start companies. The big losers will be the R&D/quant trading/IT/etc. departments at ossified giant companiestheyll lose the kind of brilliant people they use to bury in back offices.

Which companies, in order, are most likely to buy you?

KPCB/SequoiaGoogleMicrosoft

What do you know about your business that other companies in it just don't get?

Young, inexperienced founders can start massively successful companies. They dont need much money or trainingjust seed capital and a push in the right direction.

What's new about what you're doing?

Our focus on such early-stage companies and our plan to invest and work with these companies in batches are both quite novel. Most funds operate asynchronously and make much larger investments in much later-stage companies.

Why would it be hard for someone else to duplicate?

We have experience in starting companies from the ground up and insight into what matters (people, making something people want, thriftiness) and what doesnt (market size, the initial idea, professionalism, having an office, etc.)

Have you made any discoveries you consider patentable?

We think we move fast enough to not need patents.

What might go wrong? (This is a test of imagination, not confidence.)

Perhaps all of the startups will fail. Perhaps the founders will go back to school and the companies stagnate. Perhaps founders do actually need experience at a real job to succeed in business. Perhaps Bill Gates and Larry and Sergey are true needles in the haystack and we wont be able to find hackers who could be huge successes.

But we dont think so.

If you're already incorporated, when were you? Who are the shareholders and what percent of the company do each own? If youve had funding, how much, at what valuation(s)?

Self-funded.

If you're not incorporated yet, please list the percent of the company you plan to give each founder, and anyone else you plan to give stock to. (This question is more for you than us.)

[Ed. note: ???]

If you'll have expenses beyond the living costs of your founders, Internet access, server rental, etc., what will they be?

Space to hold our dinners, the food, and the investment money, of course.

Describe, in one sentence each, any companies any of you have started before. If they failed, why? (We consider failed companies valuable experience too.)

Paul and Robert founded Artix, which let art galleries go online. This failed (reason below) but became Viaweb, which allowed people to build their own web stores.

Trevor started Anybots, which has developed several wheel-based self-balancing robots and is closing on a bipedal robot.

If you could trade a 100% chance of $1 million for a 10% chance of a larger amount, how large would it have to be? Answer for each founder. (There is no right answer.)

Lets go with the cold mathematical answer and say $10 million.

If your startup seems at the end of the summer to have a good chance of making you rich, which of the founders would be likely to commit to continue working on it full time over the next couple years?

All of us.

Which of the founders would still want to be working for this company in 10 years, if it were successful, and which would rather sell out earlier and do something else? (Again, no right answer.)

All of us [Ed. note: just one year left!].

Are any of the founders covered by noncompetes or intellectual property agreements that overlap with your project? Will any be under consulting contracts this summer?

No.

Was any of your code written by someone who is not one of your founders? If so, how can you safely use it? (Open source is ok of course.)

No.

Will any of the founders have other jobs, responsibilities, or consulting work this summer?

No.

Tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered, and who discovered it. (The answer need not be remotely related to your project.)

Paul and Robert discovered that art galleries didnt want to go online in 1995. This may not seem surprising now, but it was to us then!

What else would you have asked if you were us?

Theres a joke here somewhere.

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Aqueous 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Dear founders of Y Combinator,

We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a spot in this year's Y Combinator class. Do not take it personally. It does not reflect poorly on the quality of your company, "Y Combinator," or its founding idea. We received a huge number of compelling applications this year. Unfortunately, there just weren't enough spots to go around, so we had to make some difficult choices. As a result, we were unable to admit "Y Combinator" to this year's Y Combinator batch. Please do not be discouraged. Many fantastic ideas like 'Y Combinator' were also not admitted. In fact, we strongly encourage 'Y Combinator' to apply again next year!

Sincerely,

Paul Graham

Y Combinator

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philip1209 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the Jeff Bezos philosophy of writing a press release as the project proposal.
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keketiko 1 day ago 2 replies      
How would you fill out a "Ask HN" submission asking HN how pg would fill out a YC application with YC as his idea?
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vbv 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it would be even better if it was for Viaweb.
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javajosh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If pg actually answers this for any other reason than to see me eat my shorts, I'll eat my shorts.
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dutchbrit 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Filling in an application to a VC wanting to be a VC? Doesn't make any sense.
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d0m 1 day ago 1 reply      
He wouldn't tell you. However, he would connect with the right people and sneak his way in.
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nichochar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dan?
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goldenkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is just silly considering that YC grew out of a sustained and developed system, not some silly one-off idea.
3
Ask HN: How do you send money to friends?
5 points by allbombs  4 hours ago   10 comments top 10
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redtexture 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The absolutely best way: have your payees have an account with your bank and have internal-to-your-own-bank transfers. Some USA banks make this very easy.

Second best, bank to bank transfers of money to your trusted payee. International transfers are in a state of flux, and may after 2013 be able to avoid high fees. Not yet though.

Otherwise:

Trusted payee who is sophisticated and smart: Bitcoin.

Trusted USA to USA party: Dwolla. See: http://Dwolla.com Dwolla only for trusted parties or individuals! Dwolla has surprisingly small cost, because they do NOT deal with credit cards. Best for others who have DWOLLA accounts, or USA to USA bank transactions or people willing and able to submit to USA law and bank regime.

The credit card interbank system typically has fees in the vicinity of 2% to 3% of the gross transaction. Avoid.

Avoid PayPal. The PayPal terms of service agreement indicates that whatever PayPal decides in a dispute, PayPal's decision is final without appeal. This in known as a contract of adhesion in the USA, where one party has all of the power. Because of this, do not use PayPal. Look up "contract of adhesion" for details.

Most other online services rely on the credit card interbank system with its high fees of 2% to 3% for transfers. Avoid.

Off Topic:

Non-trusted parties? Don't deal with them without a letter of credit. Look up "letter of credit" for details.

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dangrossman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Cash if we can meet in person (i.e. a collection for a shared gift or fundraiser), PayPal otherwise.
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pairing 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Venmo is getting really popular. I use Venmo on a weekly basis for any shared expenses with friends or co-workers in the Bay Area.

The reason for its quick traction is that if you hook up your checking account you can send money without any fees, and also because they give out referral bonuses for inviting others.

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dolphenstein 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Direct deposit into account when both of us are in Australia. Requires bank account number of recipient. Doesn't incur fees like paypal does.
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centdev 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If they are a friend, I meet up with them in person and give them cash.
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nathancahill 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Paypal, Venmo and Chase QuickPay.
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blibble 3 hours ago 0 replies      
uk: bank transfer, instantaneous and free
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mwmeyer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
paypal until square cash became available a few months ago
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chomsky 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I remit monthly to parents (and in-laws) in Australia and India from the US via Bitcoin.

So far international wire or Western Union fees outweigh net losses due to market volatility. We'll see how that continues...

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tekknolagi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Square Cash
4
Ask HN: How to find part-time developer work?
180 points by wasd  1 day ago   114 comments top 25
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drewcrawford 1 day ago 3 replies      
At present I derive all my income from part-time work and side projects.

The first thing is to figure out what not to do. You can't work in a field where people routinely hire full-time employees with ease. So you can't do Java work part-time, for example. (Well I mean you can, but it's like saying you can be elected to Congress. Let's do something easy.)

So, you have to start in some field where 9-5ers can't be easily found to fill the position. iOS/Android dev are like that. Maybe there are web specialities that are like that. If you have some deep expertise like machine learning or computer vision or graph algorithms, maybe those specialties are like that. But the operative criteria is to find some field that full-time employees are not easily had.

The next step is to filter by projects where time is not the biggest criteria. Because in spite of Fred Brooks and his MMM, ordinary people still believe that if you work more hours the project will get done faster, and will pressure you to become full-time. So you have to find people who are unconcerned about delivery dates, or rather, who have overriding concerns. Quality concerns. Cost concerns. If you find someone who has a fixed budget for his project, for example, if that person can get a better developer at 20 hours/week than he can at 40 hours that starts to look like an attractive value proposition. Because not only does he get a better developer, but with a lower burn rate it's easier for him to get deep visibility into where the money and time is actually going. Those benefits outweigh the benefits of completing the project faster, but only for projects that have these sorts of overriding concerns.

There's more you can do, but those two steps are probably all you need to start consistently landing part-time gigs.

It's worth pointing out as well, there are a variety of near-part-time deal structures you can negotiate (for example rotating 1 week on, 1 week off). These might be worth exploring depending on your specific motivations for seeking part-time work.

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leknarf 1 day ago 5 replies      
First, talk to people looking for developers. That part is fairly easy: just about any networking event in NYC has a dozens of people looking for devs. I don't know where you're located, but the same is probably true for your area.

Once you're talking, convince them that working with you will be easier/quicker/more-effective than working with anyone else. That's the hard part, which definitely requires some practice. Pro-tip: don't try to convince anyone that you'll be the cheapest option, which is almost always a losing game to play.

If you prefer, I'd be happy to do the hard work for you. I run a startup that connects senior freelance developers with high-paying companies: http://getlambda.com.

3
woah 1 day ago 3 replies      
Best way is to get a full time job that you really enjoy. After months of drought, the offers for high-payed consulting work (that you can't take) will suddenly flow in.
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gkoberger 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've found it's almost impossible to find good work using cold calls or responding to ads. Try to find people you know. Getting the first job is the hardest, but if you do a good job -- the referrals will start to roll in.

This has been inadvertent, however I've also gotten a lot of work through various projects[1][2] I've done that have gotten big on HN. Write it off mentally as a marketing expense, and spend a few days making something awesome.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5395463[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6586867

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acheron 1 day ago 1 reply      
Depends what you mean, I guess. I am "normally" employed with one company, not a freelancer, but I work "part-time", i.e. 30 hours/week. Getting that type of gig is likely different from getting the freelance/consultant type work.

(For what it's worth, the way I got mine was that I was hired for full-time/40 hours, did that for about nine months, then went to the manager and said "hey, how about I only work 30 hours?" and he said "ok".)

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gedrap 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am making my living doing part-time coding (still doing my degree) for the last 2 years, was unemployed for only about 3 months. I am doing PHP and AngularJS.

It's really all about the people you know. I got the best gigs just by asking people (normally other developers) I know if they know someone who needs a developer. So, yes, it's all about networking but not the numbers but quality of connection. No one, who talked to you for 10mins, will vouch for you, really.

I've tried elance a bit, and getting the first gig there looks like a game of numbers. If you apply for many jobs, sooner or later you will get one... But checking new postings, writing decent cover letter is time and mental energy consuming. I gave up there. I don't know, maybe it's worth the hassle getting the first one.

If you try to make a living doing part time, the key is 1) high enough pay rate 2) be strict about the payments.

I used to have a rather low rate and was very trusting (e.g. if the payment is late by 3-4 weeks I still trusted because I 'felt' that he is trustworthy). I ended up in the situation when I didn't have what to eat for a few weeks, while I was getting 'I really made the payment' BS, and 0 motivation and energy to do anything. But now I am happy that it happened, I moved on, and got much much better gigs and 1.5-2 times higher pay rate and payments always on time :)

AMA!

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ritchiea 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have had some luck finding part time work over the HN monthly freelance thread and through developer email lists (NYC.rb specifically). In the case of the email list it was as easy as sending an email to the list describing myself and my past experience and saying I was looking for part time work. A handful of people reached out to me.
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perplexes 1 day ago 1 reply      
Part-time is easy to come by when you're doing consulting work, since you can work out the requisite hours with your clients. I did full-time remote consulting for about 5 years, dropped to part-time consulting for a year to concentrate on music.

Finding a client that we could be flexible on hours with was difficult, though. Many clients are tied to the ass-in-chair time cycle. We eventually found a small company that was made of people who were largely remote and worked really flexible hours themselves.

Eventually I found a job in SF that offered full-time and part-time, and you can move between the two. This has been really great since we started a family last August - I took a month off, then came back doing 4-day weeks.

If you're in SF, we're hiring -https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6477194

9
thebouv 1 day ago 0 replies      
I suggest looking for local hackathons or even better, startup weekends near you.

http://startupweekend.org/

Startup Weekend is a great way to meet connections while helping them build a fun project for the weekend. Show them you are a badass talent. You'll get noticed.

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jorgem 1 day ago 0 replies      
December/January are always the toughest month for me. Lots of companies are still working out their annual budget.

I usually just go on vacation.

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Moto7451 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've picked up side gigs from Hackathons. Typically if you win you'll get a few business cards that can turn into leads. Sometimes your teammates hire you for their own projects.
12
johnrob 1 day ago 0 replies      
The first thing to check is whether your former employer has a need for part time. Both parties are validated, and there is little to no ramp up needed.

The next I'd look at is mobile development. Now that there are multiple platforms to support (iOS/Android/WinMo), the demand for part time specialists is huge. There are a lot of companies that support a subset of those platforms but would like to add more (if they only had the expertise).

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espeed 1 day ago 0 replies      
Become active in developer communities, create and contribute to open-source projects on GitHub, and people will contact you.

Companies like Toptal (http://www.toptal.com) mine GitHub and online developer communities looking for talent.

14
breischl 1 day ago 3 replies      
For people who are already doing part-time dev work, do you find that people are curious and/or suspicious about why you're doing it part time? ie, "If you're actually good at this, why aren't you a full time employee or consultant?"
15
USNetizen 1 day ago 2 replies      
You know PHP? I'm hiring part time. Can be 100% remote if in the US. I know other people looking for P/T devs all the time for mostly one-off client projects.
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startupstella 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you have a good online portfolio (a site showing what skills you have, what projects you've done, and your personality) as well as good client facing skills, check out matchist. We built it to help awesome freelance web and mobile devs (in the US only currently) find curated projects.
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fennecfoxen 1 day ago 2 replies      
1. Get full time job at IBM.2. Prove your worth.3. Move to part time.

Honestly, I'm really glad I don't work at IBM. But when I did work there on an internship, I noticed part-time people who seemed relatively respected and secure in their positions. I haven't seen that very much since.

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ianBlumenfeld 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) Start with craigslist. Lots of ads for people/companies looking for contract devs. Be cheap if you're not experienced/awesome yet.2) Do a good job, so your references are good.3) Build your network. Once you have that rolling, you'll never go dry.
19
mmmbeer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I do about 350-500 hours per year of freelance work ($100 per hour usually) in addition to normal full-time job. It is all through people I've worked with in the past who contacted me. If you have previous employers or co-workers, maybe ask if they have any extra work or side projects they need completed.
20
deeteecee 1 day ago 0 replies      
i think it's kind of hard to find specific people targeting part-time developers for a long period of time. they normally want contractors/free-lancers to help out on the project and then they'll cut you out.

I just randomly found one on elance out of nowhere. all i did was post that i did django web-dev for a year and bam, client received. I'm learning a lot though...like... what requirements to set for myself before I agree with the client.

21
notastartup 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) How do you guys find contract work?2) How do you actually write up the contract and have them sign it? Is there an open service which does this?3) How much up front do you charge? 33%? 50%?
22
notastartup 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find it impossible to find freelance work when everyone thinks that it's like building a chair, except the chair sometimes turn into tables and it's still called a chair, and refuse to pay for a table because it's still a chair in their mind.

Few options remain for folks like me except to build our own SaaS products or software and hope it pays rent.

23
gwjp 1 day ago 4 replies      
Can you do C#?
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rileytg 1 day ago 1 reply      
email us at jobs@fcflamingo.com
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stratigos 1 day ago 0 replies      
diddnt know such gigs existed
5
Ask HN: How to successfully grow a startup?
7 points by zevel9119  7 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
xux 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I've a suggestion to FansUnite. Instead of asking people to enter a username and a email, why not just use email as the login name? Much less annoying.

Also, ask for Twitter handle after the user finishes registration. You want your signup to be non-frictious as possible.

2
namenotrequired 7 hours ago 1 reply      
For now you've got a method of getting people there, even though it doesn't scale (I'm guessing you've read PG's advice on this[1]). I'd say that what matters right now is that those you're getting on your site, are returning and active.

Is that 5% growth in signups, or in something else? Are those members who you've successfully brought in returning every day? Do you have any indication of whether your members find value in your platform?

You say you have no delusions about "going viral" - and indeed you won't go viral in the sense that a meme from 9gag goes viral, but communities do often depend on their members to refer others there. For that to happen, your product must provide good value to those members.

Talk to your members, if you aren't already, about how valuable your platform is for them. And while you're talking to them, maybe find out where else they hang out too? You'll probably find new places to recruit members from, and perhaps think of new ways to grow.

Good luck!

[1] http://paulgraham.com/ds.html

3
petervandijck 5 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Instead of signups, you should measure active users (MAU). Or you'll be fooling yourselves.

2. Is there some way for existing active users to bring in more people? Work on that.

6
Ask HN: Which language/web framework to learn for employability?
55 points by watermel0n  11 hours ago   65 comments top 37
1
Jormundir 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to ask myself this question all the time, I still ask it. The best answer I've come up with is: don't choose the language first.

Pick the project to work on first. Once you've done that your field of (practical) languages to use gets narrowed, and it becomes easier to choose the language.

- Want to build a web app? If you're looking to break into the web startup scene, Ruby and the MVC framework Rails seem to be the most popular.

- Want to do robotics / embedded systems? First I'd say buy an arduino kit and have fun with it. This will involve a flavor of C, and C looks like the de facto king of the field.

- Want to do banking? Perhaps try to build a trading bot in Java with Yahoo's free (15 minute delay) stock quotes.

! Find your interest first. If you can't find your interest, find a project that sounds fun (not too big!) and then choose the best language for it. If you find it's fun and interesting, keep going.

With employability, projects reign supreme, programming languages don't. (most of the time, but you don't want to work for the companies that care too much about you knowing their specific language -- hint: the job will get boring quickly).

2
BjoernKW 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Java.

However, think very carefully before embarking on that journey. Having an average proficiency in Java already will almost certainly get you a job in some bank, insurance company or similar enterprise-style companies. At the same time you become an exchangeable code monkey that from thereon will only be hired based on the TLAs listed in his CV.

In other words, your work will become a commodity and you won't be judged by your abilities such as abstract thinking or creative problem solving any more. All that will count will be the frameworks you have experience in at any given time. It doesn't matter that you can learn a new framework within a week. If you don't already have proven experience in framework X when applying for a job it's required for you won't get that job.

To cut a long story short: Screw employability!

3
rlu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It really depends where you want to work. Gonna make some wild guesses here!

1. SV startup: Python, Ruby are best bets. Java will make people squirm. C# will make people tilt their heads. You'll probably get bonus points for Go

2. Google/Microsoft/Amazon: If you know C or C++ you'll be fine.

3. Facebook: They really let you interview in anything but you might as well be awesome in PHP. That said, they definitely use other languages internally.

4. Other: Java. If the company uses C#, they'll still probably be OK with you only knowing Java.

At a certain point, companies shouldn't be hiring for languages you know since a language can be learned relatively easily compared to the Larger Broader Concepts that they should really be trying to probe for. Which is generally true - any company who doesn't give you an offer because you didn't memorize language syntax for whiteboarding is crazy. It's not about that.

What it is about (I think) is trying to figure out who are you?. As an example, if you only know Java many people will think "oh this is your run of the mill CS student who doesn't do side projects" - whether true or not (of course it's possible to do side projects in Java). But it just makes people think you have less initiative than the applicant next to you that knows Java (because he has to) but also knows Python (because he wants to)

4
optymizer1 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Here's an advice: browse for job posts you'd be interested in. Look at required/preferred qualifications. Start learning those. When ready, apply for those kinds of jobs.

Also, find out what other libraries/API they might use. For example, the company could be using some niche software that's nice to know, but it wasn't important enough to list in the job description. The HR people won't care if you say that you know X, but you might impress a fellow developer during the interview, and that's a plus.

5
qntmfred 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I know everybody on HN hates Microsoft and perceive .NET as an enterprise (ie boring and/or subpar) but since I switched from primarily PHP to primarily .NET in 2007, I've worked with a number of great teams with both starups and large companies with strong engineers and on interesting projects. Furthermore, to address the actual question of the thread, the job market for .NET skills is huge. I get emails from recruiters multiple times a day. And if you are a good generalist with .NET skills plus knowledge of other skills like modern web tech or data technologies, even better.
6
ChuckMcM 10 hours ago 1 reply      
All of them. Ok, that isn't a serious answer, but take the time to learn 2 or 3 and you'll start seeing the similarities and underlying structure needed for a web framework and the things the language will do to plug into it. And once you can see those connections, you can learn any language/web framework pretty quickly.
7
ryanSrich 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I currently live in DC and Ruby is really big outside of government work. JavaScript is also really really popular.

PHP is still somewhat useful if not for any other reason than legacy.

If you can get a both Ruby and JavaScript down you'd have no problem finding a job that pays well into six figures.

Some useful frameworks for those languages include:

- Rails

- Sinatra

- Angular

- jQuery

8
frostmatthew 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends on the type of place you want to be most "employable" to:

- startups: Ruby, Python, Objective-C

- large tech: Java, C++, potentially Scala

- large non-tech: Java, C#

But ideally you would want to work at a place that cares less about a list of skills and more about the quality of code you write. Learning a new language (and/or framework) is trivial for a halfway decent programmer.

9
juanre 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't learn for employability. Find something you want to build, teach yourself the best tools for the task ---or the ones you find more exciting--- and build it. The kind of experience and the learning you'll get from actually doing something will be much more important towards being employable than having learnt a particular language or framework. And you'll have something to show to prospective employers.
10
runjake 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm assuming with your inclusion of web framework in your question, you're focusing on web developer employment

- JavaScript (client, Node.js, Framework du jour)

- Java

- C#

- Python

- Ruby

- Any language that runs on top of the JVM.

One of those, probably in that rough order. For enjoyable employability, I'd shuffle that list around considerably.

11
pvdm 10 hours ago 0 replies      
They didn't used to teach scheme because of employability, but for it will make you a better programmer til the end of your days.
12
arikrak 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends where you want to be employed. Java has the most jobs listed online (by a lot), but less jobs in startups. javascript has growing demand and is used all over. Though you'll also want to factor in supply.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Aq0nf5QgzTkvdHh...

13
27182818284 10 hours ago 1 reply      
In terms of straight, steady jobs:Java and .NET, and go to the Midwest. The latter part being a key that is missing from a lot of these HN threads. There are tons of great jobs doing enterprise-like stuff in .NET and Java in the Midwest that you simply don't hear about on Hacker News. They'll pay a full salary with benefits, and you'll be able to afford a house in a couple of years.
14
jackmaney 11 hours ago 1 reply      
You've given us no information about yourself. In what geographic location do you live? Is there a particular place that you'd like to live instead? Are there places in which you'd rather not live?

What do you want to do? You might be leaning towards web development, but that's not clear, since you asked for a "language/web framework". Languages and web frameworks are not the same things. But, let's assume for the moment that you want to go into web dev. Do you want to stick to the front end or back end? Or both? If both, do you like the idea of sticking to one primary language throughout the web stack, or does that not concern you?

And if you don't want to go into web development per se, then what do you want to do? Maintaining legacy applications (not necessarily "cool", but there can be a lot of money in it)? Machine learning? Working on distributed systems? Embedded systems? Game programming? Sysadmin? BOFH?

Try to put yourself in our shoes for a moment, and think about how woefully incomplete your question is.

15
larrykubin 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Honestly, probably Java or C#.
16
sandGorgon 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I would say JavaScript - there is no aspect of web, mobile or desktop (QML) programming that is untouched by JS.

I regret very much that I'm not very good at JS - and I have a hard time working with JS.

Offtopic - really hope @zedshaw writes a learnjsthehardway.

17
rhgraysonii 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Sometimes it really isn't the language/framework you know and really is just being a good fit with the team and being able to hit the ground running, especially in more junior positions. Personally I have my largest skills set in Rails, and when I was job hunting I ended up getting 2 offers because of free books I am working on (on Clojure and Meteor.js). One ran Rails, the other did a little bit of old LAMP stack stuff and a lot of Python and Java. I ended up taking a job working with Rails, but the road was largely paved by accomplishments that lie outside that general ecosystem.

Obviously every situation is unique, and my story may not be that of many others. I've no metrics on it. But in my experience, it largely is enthusiasm and willingness to learn over having a specific ability with someone's specific box of tools. Jormundir gave a lot of great input on what to get into depending on what sector of business you want to break into.

18
brandonhsiao 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly? It doesn't really matter. Just pick one you like. Chances are you'll pick one that will land you some job. I doubt you'll pick Brainfuck. I don't think you'd genuinely like Brainfuck.

Whatever you do end up choosing, good programmers are presently in high demand. So just learn one and get good. Being good matters far more than what specific framework you use. And if you aren't good, no framework will save you in the long run.

By the way, I'm not saying it what language/framework you use doesn't matter. I'm saying it doesn't matter for your employment, so you shouldn't let that decide for you.

19
lampe3 10 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Like always learn One Framework/Language and learn it very well and you will become a Export and probably there will be work for you

2. Even if people right now hate on MongoDB and Nodejs(i dont know why...) i would suggest to learn javascript(not jquery).

3. Which framework? there is no solution to rule them all or look at 1.

20
ninjakeyboard 11 hours ago 0 replies      
For server side work, Java or C# are a fairly safe bet. Generally you would pick one or the other to learn well and focus on for a while. Try to get an entry level cert to show you're proficient and you might be able to get a position as a developer without experience within a company (eg if you work at an agency in Ops, you might be able to convince people to let you move into a dev seat after 6 months).

I think Java is likely the single largest market - .net platform costs quite a lot so it's a bit less appealing to many companies.

If you want to be a front end guy then there is only one choice (exclude transcompilers which you don't have to think about for some time) - html/css/js

21
avighnay 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It would depend on which job market you are trying to target, this is my guess (it also differs based on geography)

Enterprises (mostly in this order)- Java (standard J2ee framework)- Javascript, HTML, CSS- .net (mostly asp.net, many corporate sites are built with this)- specific applications like Oracle, SAP etc.

Startups- Javascript, HTML, CSS (and any popular framework)- beyond this there is no one thing, it is mostly the founders comfort zone

Software Biggies- their software stack- Javascript, HTML, CSS (ans any popular framework)

But given your profile and the nature of posts that you have made, I am curious why you raised this question?

22
mmmbeer 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends on where you want to work... Want to work 60 hours a week in cube farm in banking, where you will be just some guy in the IT department? What to sit in long meetings? What to take 18 months to do a project instead of 3? Then learn Java and stuff with "enterprise" in the title. Otherwise, learn Unix command line basics, then Ruby or Python, Rails or Django, and lots of Javascript and CSS. Then look for more interesting work in startups.
23
afiedler 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I second "Ruby", but I'm deep in the web app development world. Despite the trend towards single page apps, there is still a large market for apps being developed with Ruby-based APIs.

Excellent Javascript skills are in high-demand, especially if you have a good understanding of one or more Javascript front-end frameworks.

24
Ixiaus 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Frameworks are whatever, diversify your base of languages and you'll be prepared to "use the right tool for the job". THAT is employability.
25
pauldix 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Everyone seems to be posting the obvious choices so I'll go with this one. Skate to where the puck is going to be. Learn Go.
26
skram 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Really depends on the sector and focus.

- Ruby

- Python (plus R if you are doing data stuff)

- Javascript

27
kruk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want something you can learn quickly go for Ruby on Rails. It's one of the most popular web frameworks with tons of resources and great community. It abstracts a lot of complexity and enforces some good practices that you'd have to learn the hard way with other frameworks.
28
crabasa 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If I had to learn a stack and my goal was to be employable today and increasingly employable tomorrow, I would learn Angular/Node/CouchDB.
29
daralthus 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"skate where the puck is going to be"
30
tomasien 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends where you live. Where do you live?
31
lowglow 11 hours ago 0 replies      
C/C++, Ruby, Python - you can do anything now
32
robinhoodexe 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Haskell
33
bswuft 10 hours ago 0 replies      
seriously?! Why is no one mentioning PHP? It's easy to learn and there are tons of jobs for PHP developers!
34
jasonlotito 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Given nothing else: learn either Android or iOS Development.
35
jahitr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
JavaScript is a must.
36
MyNameIsMK 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't know HTML5/CSS3, you're screwed!
37
freqn 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe Ruby is the way forward, but I'm biased.
7
Ask HN: How to startup
4 points by electrichead  7 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
jfoster 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I quit my job. I did that because I thought it would be valuable to focus just on the startup rather than have my focus split. It's possible that decision may not have been the best one. I had a job with lots of personal development opportunities and they were willing to let me work part-time on my startup, part-time on that job. In hindsight, that would've been ideal. It might have just been my circumstances, but I think that the two complement each other extremely well. I would have been better at my job as a result of the startup, and vice-versa.

Just do whatever seems to fit your circumstances best. Forget about the startup groupthink on what's better or worse.

2
girasquid 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep your job and start selling the product. Don't take investment capital unless you absolutely have to, and don't quit your job until your profits are high enough that you can do so comfortably. If you do it this way, you'll relieve some financial uncertainty as well as put yourself in a better position to negotiate should you raise money in the future (you end up saying "We have a profitable business" instead of "We have this thing we haven't sold to anyone yet").
3
prostoalex 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Stick to your job. Expect the first idea to fall through, but fourth or fifth one to take off.
8
Tell HN: Server Status
263 points by kogir  2 days ago   118 comments top 26
1
barrkel 2 days ago 2 replies      
By tolerating the loss of two disks, do you mean raidz2 or do you mean 3-way mirror?

Raidz2 is not fast. In fact, it is slow. Also, it is less reliable than a two way mirror in most configurations, because recovering from a disk loss requires reading the entirety of every other disk, whereas recovering from loss in a mirror requires reading the entirety of one disk. The multiplication of the probabilities don't work out particularly well as you scale up in disk count (even taking into account that raidz2 tolerates a disk failure mid-recovery). And mirroring is much faster, since it can distribute seeks across multiple disks, something raidz2 cannot do. Raidz2 essentially synchronizes the spindles on all disks.

Raidz2 is more or less suitable for archival-style storage where you can't afford the space loss from mirroring. For example, I have an 11 disk raidz2 array in my home NAS, spread across two separate PCIe x8 8-port 6Gbps SAS/SATA cards, and don't usually see read or write speeds for files[1] exceeding 200MB/sec. The drives individually are capable of over 100MB/sec - in a non-raidz2 setup, I'd be potentially seeing over 1GB/sec on reads of large contiguous files.

Personally I'm going to move to multiple 4-disk raid10 vdevs. I can afford the space loss, and the performance characteristics are much better.

[1] Scrub speeds are higher, but not really relevant to FS performance.

2
makmanalp 2 days ago 4 replies      
The trend I'm noticing is people mentioning that if only HN was moved to <insert-cloud-provider>, problems would go away.

Instead of doing that, they probably dropped a bit more than a thousand dollars on a box, and are probably saving thousands in costs per year. This is money coming out of someone's pocket.

This site is here, and it's a charity, being provided free of cost, to you. Who cares if HN is down for a few hours? Seriously? Has anyone been hurt because of this, yet?

3
whalesalad 2 days ago 2 replies      
There's a lot of tuning that can be done on a ZFS setup to improve performance. I'm not a pro, so others will have more feedback and knowledge, but some things off the top of my head to get you started:

Add a flash memory based (SSD) ZIL or L2ARC or both to the box. That'll help improve read/write performance. I believe the ZIL (ZFS intent log) is used to cache during writes, and the L2ARC is used during reads.

You might want to look into disabling atime, so that the pool isn't wasting energy keeping access times on files up to date. Not sure if this is relevant with the architecture of HN or not. This can be done with

    zfs set atime=off srv/ycombinator
Finally, ZFS needs a LOT of memory to be a happy camper. Like 3-5GB of RAM per TB of storage.

I actually think you'll probably have a lot of fun with ZFS tuning, if that's the problem with news.yc. FreeBSD's page is pretty detailed: https://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFSTuningGuide

4
cincinnatus 2 days ago 15 replies      
I'm sure it has been asked many times before, but I'd love to hear the latest thinking... Why in 2013 is HN still running on bespoke hardware and software? If a startup came to you with this sort of legacy thinking you'd laugh them out of the room.
5
hartator 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not really related but any update on releasing the HN code again?

[the current release is pretty old: https://github.com/wting/hackernews]

6
JayNeely 2 days ago 0 replies      
Being the sysadmin on a site frequented by sysadmins has to be frustrating at times.

Thanks for all you do!

7
conorh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you thought about perhaps open sourcing the server setup scripts for HN? I'd love (and I'm sure many others here) to help with the configuration. Perhaps a github repo for some chef recipies that people could work on given the current servers?
8
nmc 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for the info!

Out of curiosity, do you have an idea about the source of the corruption problems?

9
lsc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are you bottlenecking on high iowait? or something else?

just one random bit to try... Obviously, I have no insight into your system and I'm not saying I know more than you or anything, but I've been seeing more situations lately where I had massive latency but reasonable throughput and the disks mostly looked okay wrt. smart, and I mostly just wanted to write about it:

[lsc@mcgrigor ~]$ sudo iostat -x /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sddLinux 2.6.18-371.3.1.el5xen (mcgrigor.prgmr.com) 01/16/2014

avg-cpu: %user %nice %system %iowait %steal %idle

           0.00    0.00    0.05    0.02    0.00   99.93
Device: rrqm/s wrqm/s r/s w/s rsec/s wsec/s avgrq-sz avgqu-sz await svctm %util

sda 0.70 75.11 35.66 1.38 4568.62 611.67 139.85 0.36 9.61 0.53 1.95

sdb 0.46 75.10 35.62 1.39 4566.77 611.67 139.89 0.22 5.89 0.45 1.66

sdc 0.80 75.14 35.63 1.35 4569.63 611.63 140.10 0.64 17.18 0.57 2.10

sdd 0.46 75.09 35.62 1.40 4566.60 611.63 139.87 0.13 3.47 0.40 1.49

(this is a new server built out of older disks that appears to have the problem. It's not so bad that I get significant iowait when idle, but if you try to do anything, you are in a world of hurt.)

Check out the await value. re-do the same command with a '1' after /dev/sdd and it will repeat every second. If sdd consistently has a much worse await, it is what is killing your RAID. Drop the drive from the raid. If performance is better, replace the drive. If performance is worse (and with raid z2, it should be worse if you killed the drive) the drive was fine.

(Of course you want to do the usual check with smart and the like before this)

The interesting part of this failure mode that I have seen is that /throughput/ isn't that much worse than healthy. You get reasonable speeds on your dd tests. but latency makes the whole thing unusable.

10
ishener 2 days ago 6 replies      
may i ask where are the machines hosted? is that on AWS? if not, why don't you move to a more reliable hosting, like AWS?
11
Goladus 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been reading this site regularly for almost 7 years. 6-Jan-2014 is the only downtime I remember, and it was really a very minor inconvenience. Sucks about the data loss though, always hard to own that when doing system administration. Thanks for the explanation.
12
erkkie 2 days ago 1 reply      
This reminds me I'm still looking for a (pki?-)encrypted zfs snapshots as a backup service, /wink-wink @anyone

Hoping the box has ECC ram, otherwise zfs, too, can be unreliable (http://research.cs.wisc.edu/adsl/Publications/zfs-corruption...)

13
shawn-butler 2 days ago 0 replies      
Using DTrace to profile zfs:

http://dtrace.org/blogs/brendan/files/2011/02/DTrace_Chapter...

I'm sure other more experienced DTrace users can offer tips but I remember reading this book and learning a lot. And I believe all the referenced scripts were open source and available.

14
richardw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the update. No worries, it's just a news message board and no businesses are hurt when it's down. I quite enjoy seeing how these things are solved and I'm sure all will be forgiven if you post a meaty post-mortem.
15
rrpadhy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am curious to know the server configuration, architecture and the number of hits it is getting.

If someone does offer a new software architecture, and hosting, would people be open to move hackernews there?

16
avifreedman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Assuming the disk footprint is small...

Would recommend a new SSD-based ZFS box (Samsung 840 Pros have been great even for pretty write-intesive load), with raidz3 for protection and zfs send (and/or rsync from hourly/N-minute snapshot for data protection which should eliminate copying FS metadata corruption, as not sure if zfs send will).

Happy to provide and/or host such a box or two if helpful.

17
rdl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I still like hardware RAID because it's conceptually simple and nicely isolated. Sometimes horrible things happen to it, though, too.

I didn't realize HN had enough disk storage needs to need more than one drive. I guess you could have 1+2 redundancy or something.

18
jffry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the writeup.
19
lukasm 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about error page show the last static HN page? Most people just need likns
20
rincebrain 2 days ago 1 reply      
ZFS instead of UFS on what, an Illumos derivative, FBSD, or actual Oracle Solaris?
21
scurvy 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why on earth are you not using SSD's? The HN footprint can't be that large. The extra speed and reliability from a pair of SSD's has to far outweigh the costs.
22
carsonreinke 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe you could provide details on the current configuration and architecture and some suggestions could be made on how to improve. Just a thought.
23
0xdeadbeefbabe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't worry about it. I visited facebook for the first time in years when hn went down. Is hn on linux using zfs or bsd?
24
smalu 2 days ago 2 replies      
The world would be better place if software could exist without hardware.
25
superice 2 days ago 1 reply      
Good you posted this, but it came a little late. After the first series of timeouts you could've posted an update so everybody knew what was going on. But hey, thanks for the update, this clears up a lot.
26
waxzce 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hi, I'm the CEO of http://www.clever-cloud.com/ and I'll be happy to help you on this, ping me on twitter : @waxzce
9
Quick tip for developers who use OS X
1064 points by gargarplex  5 days ago   393 comments top 2
1
juanre 5 days ago 12 replies      
Bash, running in your terminal, understands both the Emacs and the Vi commands. By default is Emacs, so you can C-a (control-a) for beginning of line, C-p to go back in command line history, or C-r to search it.

I prefer the Vi mode, though. Add to your .bashrc

set -o vi

Then you can press escape to go from input mode to normal mode; there k will take you to the previous line in command line history, j to the next line, ^ and $ to the beginning and end of the line, /something will search something back.

Editing is really fast; move by words with w (forward) and b (backward), do cw to replace a word, r to replace a letter, i to go back to input. It will remember the last editing command, just as Vi, and repeat it when you press . in normal mode.

2
guelo 5 days ago  replies      
After making the switch to OS X in the last couple years after living in Linux and Windows before that, I think it's objective to say that keyboard shortcuts in OS X are much worse in both ease of use and consistency across applications.
10
Venture Capital is mostly nonsense.
10 points by JacobH  8 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
argonaut 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"insert company with horrible idea" = "insert company with what I think is a horrible idea"

You are stating and opinion, not a fact of nature. Clearly there is often a gap between opinion and reality.

2
brudgers 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Commentary is more appropriately submitted as a link to a blog page.
3
27182818284 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi JacobH!

I was curious what your startup is? Do you happen to have a link or a landing page?

11
Ask HN: How do you deal with potential acquirers?
92 points by rexreed  2 days ago   22 comments top 11
1
pg 2 days ago 3 replies      
Here is some more general advice: assume acquisitions are not going to happen, and that this whole conversation is probably a waste of time for you. Even if you tell them everything they want to know, they either won't make an offer or will lowball you. And meanwhile it will have been a huge and uniquely damaging distraction.

This model of the world doesn't imply any specific strategy you should follow, but you'll find that adopting it will change the way you think about the situation. You'll stop bending over backwards (why bother, since nothing is going to happen?) which will in turn make them take on the burden of figuring out how to make the deal happen, which they'll do if they're serious.

2
patio11 1 day ago 0 replies      
With regards to companies, I think pg's answer is the correct one.

In real estate, there is an institution called "earnest money." It is structurally similar to your 2nd bullet point -- a deposit against the eventual transaction price which is forfeited if the prospective buyer doesn't close the transaction within a particular window of time. (It gets returned if the seller kills the deal.) Earnest money protects the interests of the potential seller by screening out bozos. It protects the interests of the potential buyer by reassuring the potential seller that there are 120,000 reasons attesting to the buyer being really serious about the $6 million commercial property acquisition being discussed and therefore questions about e.g. engineering, permits, tenants, etc should be responded to as quickly as feasible.

$50,000 is barely about two work-weeks or less at the rates involved of professionals involve in M&A. If you want a quick out from fishing expeditions, tell them that you're willing to entertain offers but that, to avoid wasting the business' legal/accounting/engineering resources, you'll require $50k earnest money prior to dedicating them to exploring the feasibility of a deal.

A related strategy: "I'm not super-interested in doing an investment / acquisition / etc at the moment, but I'm a reasonable businessman and willing to entertain your offer." "We need a $FOO to get the ball rolling." "I have entertained that offer and do not feel it is the best use of our time to proceed on this at this time." "It is absolutely standard to..." "If your firm really wants to do this, I'm sure you'll figure out a way to make it happen. If not, no worries -- we'll both end this chat no worse than where we started it. Best of luck in your endeavors."

3
tptacek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's an answer I wrote to a similar question a couple months back:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6650317

Acquisition negotiations are extremely expensive. Assume they're going to fall through, and that you'll lose a lot in the process.

4
xrd 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would assume that all agreements are something that can and will be broken. The only thing that works is make them put their money where their mouth is. If they are serious about acquiring you, they must be prepared to spend money to do it: lawyer fees, accounting fees, and money paid to you in exchange for your company. So, make sure there is money on the table: a non-refundable termination fee, which could be a percentage of the theoretical purchase price. I went with 5% with the sale of my company.

A good salesman will never put a price out there first, so you will probably need to come up with that valuation: just put it out there high enough so you will be happy were it to go through, and assume this is the beginning of the negotiation. If you and the acquirer cannot get close in that discussion, this is a good gauge of future success in the other more complicated discussions that will come.

As others have said, get a good lawyer. There are lots of places where this can go awry. When I sold my company (~$450k), I did not understand the difference between an asset sale and a stock sale which has vastly different taxation implications. A good accountant is worthwhile here as well for the same reason.

You can tell them you cannot engage in a detailed discussion without the termination fee conversation completed since you will be spending money as well.

5
mikekij 1 day ago 0 replies      
Confidentiality agreement + breakup fee.

Be more worried about wastng your time and diverting attention from running your business than your competitors seeing your books.

Stay focused on your business. Sacca says companies are bought, not sold.

6
bliti 2 days ago 1 reply      
First of all, get a lawyer. I went through the same thing, and talking with lawyers helped me get my head set correctly. There are various firms in SV and TX that focus on this sort of thing. I don't remember their names, but a web search will surely help you find them. Talk to the lawyers, tell them what you want, and what you got. Then have them take care of things. Otherwise, you might end up being liable for stuff you did not know about.

Also, a lot of companies do this to take away your focus. Don't treat the buyout as something real until the money clears. Otherwise, focus on the business.

7
sheetjs 2 days ago 1 reply      
> * Breakup fee that penalizes them for walking away.

This is pretty standard, especially when there are regulatory concerns. AT&T ended up shelling out more than $1B when the T-Mobile deal fell apart.

8
amorphid 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find a founder or board member type person who has been through a couple of these. I sold my company a couple years ago, and it was invaluable to be counseled by proven exit veteran.

Here's some general advice:* Come up with a number that you'd be willing to sell for, mostly to know when a deal is at least good enough* Anyone who is serious about dealing with you will not expect you to work for free, unless you truly have no power, which I suspect is unlikely* Keep growing & running your business until it's not your job anymore* Have fun, and don't make big decisions when tired or grumpy

Good luck my friend :)

9
blazespin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think you have a number of ideas already, anything more specific would probably depend on knowing the unique parameters of your situation. What business do you have that someone wants to acquire?
10
redtexture 1 day ago 0 replies      
Unstated is any indication of your own desire to continue with the business. Why would you entertain the time and effort for a failed conversation? Get this straight first.

Consider the likely possibility that your potential competitor learns of your financial situation, and operations in detail, and walks away, with the intent to modify their own business based on what they learn, thanks to your tutorial.

11
sarojt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would impose a breakup fee to penalize them for walking away.That way you can keep non serious buyers at bay and safeguard your interest.
12
Ask HN: What's holding your project up?
3 points by jjoe  11 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
arthurst 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is what it's like hiring a developer:

Me: "I need an omlette for breakfast tomorrow morning"

Developer: "Tomorrow is too soon. That's not enough time to raise a chicken."

Me: "I don't want you to raise the chicken and make the eggs yourself. Just go to the store and buy eggs."

Developer: "I can't do that. That's not the proper way to get eggs. We have to do it the complicated way, so that I can feel like I'm an elite programmer."

2
japhyr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This weekend: potty-training my kid. :)

Side projects definitely take a back seat when you start being a parent, but my motivation and efficiency when I can make time have grown in proportion. I think I'm going to be unstoppable in my projects as my kid gains independence, and I get some real side-project time back. But no rush, I'm loving every stage of parenting while it lasts!

3
futurist 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I've made three pivots already, and I haven't even launched yet.

Last night after finalizing the logo (paying the graphic designer) and starting on the website design, a better name that would be easier to brand suddenly came to mind. The concept is being overhauled yet again.

13
Ask HN: Everything already exists
2 points by fmax30  11 hours ago   7 comments top 5
1
ChuckMcM 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, if you keep notes, then you can move on from 'getting a brilliant idea' to connecting the dots between ideas that exist and the motivations for creating them.

The goal is to switch from "getting ideas" (which is sort of level 1 entrepreneurism) to "seeing problems" (which is, in my estimation level 2). This is important because 'brilliant idea' but can't answer the question 'what problem does it solve?' is not worth spending a lot of time on, from a money making perspective (can be from a fun perspective but that is another comment).

So hopefully you're keeping a diary/journal/notebook of these "every other day" ideas, and once you've got a couple dozen, maybe a hundred, you can start asking questions based on the ideas you come up with. Things like "What do I spend my time thinking about?", "What problem spaces are my ideas clustered around?", "Given that they have been done by other people, what was it that made them obvious in retropsect?", and my personal favorite, "Where is the hole in these ideas?"

If you have the ability to generate ideas, you can leverage that into the ability to see where changes will be needed or could be presented. Sometimes existing ideas have "baked in" assumptions (like people assuming you'll have a car so you need a gas mileage app) sometimes they are more subtle. If the underlying assumptions have changed (like it costs too much to make gas out of algae because oil is less than $75 a barrel) ideas that used to not make sense might start making sense, and then you look at changes that are going on around you whether it is spending habits, climate change, or population demographics, and try to ask questions about ideas those changes will make useful in the future.

On an unrelated topic, trying to cultivate an appreciation for "learning stuff" will serve you well, as it can be the only reward you get for the time invested. Appreciating the value of knowing, and knowing well the 'new stuff', will help with the motivation. If you think "10 ideas, all worthless because they are already done." that is demotivating, but "10 ideas, learned 10 new things, score!" you'll be much happier with the outcome. And while you may not realize it now, if you actually do learn the stuff that the idea entailed then you will start to recognize in your own thinking ideas that are probably already out there and more rapidly converge on solutions to problems that are unlikely to have been implemented yet.

2
justincormack 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Thats something thats traditionally supposed to happen on the last week f your PhD.

But instead, try to make things you need. If someone else has already made them it saves time, you can use it.

3
jwynia 11 hours ago 1 reply      
"It already exists" at first looks like a reason not to build something. But, is the version that already exists really the same as your implementation would be?

Outside of software, it's obvious that "it already exists" doesn't stop anyone. Does the long list of Italian restaurants, gastropubs or microbreweries stop anyone from starting another one, with their unique twist?

Even in software, did existing social networks stop Facebook from starting another one and taking over the top spot?

Does the existence of "a web application framework" stop anyone from building a better one that matches their opinions/approach?

The only real sin would be to make an exact copy of something that already exists without making your version better in some way. Make it more user-friendly, more powerful, more configurable, cheaper, more business-friendly, etc.

4
benologist 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You should realize that although everything exists, most things can be massively improved.
5
allbombs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
80% copy / 20% innovation
14
Ask HN: I've done absolutely no work since December 15th
24 points by submarine  2 days ago   32 comments top 19
1
rosenjon 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is going to sound a little crazy, but you need to take a break. Give yourself a one week vacation, and go do something fulfilling that doesn't involve working on this app.

What do you like to do? It doesn't have to cost money, per se. Go visit some friends for a week, or go on a hike, or just go do something around town you've been wanting to do but haven't. However, try to have it involve other people, and not just be by yourself.

Right now, you're working" every day, but getting nothing done. There is probably a lot of fear that your app won't work, that no one will use it, that you are wasting your time and will have nothing to show for it at the end. Of course, there is the possibility that I am just projecting on you, as I have had all of these feelings and displayed some of the same behaviors, but I guess that is for you to decide.

The purpose of the break is to get some perspective. Life is not all about this app. Even if it goes down in flames, it's really not a big deal. You're smart and you'll find something else you want to do and do that. The self doubt and fear of failure is what keeps you going to the office every day, but getting nothing done.

By taking a break and clearing your mind, you can reassess where you're at with fresh eyes, tackle the big problems keeping you from moving forward, and create a solid plan of action to move forward.

That's just my two cents, having had similar issues...

2
wturner 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have a pretty sure fire way to solve this problem.

Step 1.Call your local Manpower or Kelly temp work office.

Step 2.Ask to do the most unskilled rote industrial labor intensive job they have.

Step 3.

Do this for a full 40 hour week.

If after the entire ordeal you're not inspired to quit the temp agency and go work on your project you should probably quit both.

Problem solved.

Postscript: All the people telling you to go on "vacation" after you just said you haven't done anything for the last month are in a haze imho.

3
Morphling 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel like I'm in a rut, a bad rut at the moment I had ~2-3 week "Christmas holiday", but I spent most of that time moving my mother to a new house and setting up tech for her and while it was nice change from coding it was maybe even more stressful than the work I do and now deadline is approaching fast and I'm stuck on delivery. I'm not far away from delivering, but I have no idea how to even start to solve my problem.

Basically it's just trial and error at this point, I should just step up and start playing with the code, but it just feels too hard and frustrating at the moment.

I know this is pretty much off-topic, but I just have to 'vent' a little.

4
coralreef 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm an app developer, I've felt the same for the past few months. I noticed a few things directly affect my productivity and interest in my work:

1) Exercise: I need intense, mentally engaging exercise to feel fufilled. I get this through my martial arts training (muay thai / jiu jitsu). I had to take a few months off after moving to the city, and I felt pent up and frustrated without a physical outlet.

2) Music: A short term mood improver is to put on some high energy music, preferably stuff you can dance and move to. Music gets the brain juices flowing.

3) Sunshine/vitamin D: Being a night owl, it goods to resync to a daytime schedule every quarter. Getting to walk in the sun for a few minutes and observe daily bustle is refreshing.

4) Most importantly, working on challenging and interesting projects: My last few apps were largely clones of previous successes. This means I didn't have to think up anything new, or creative. I was unmotivated to work on it because it was mostly "manual labor", with no new programming riddles to solve. So obviously, when it was time to get shit done, I just didn't care, I already knew the answers. I suspect your freelance work is uninteresting to you.

Over the past couple years, I learned that my mood and productivity pretty much looks like a sine wave. High intensity creativity and motivation, followed by weeks of leveling out. Perhaps this is the nature of self employment.

5
dchuk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take a look at your task list and find the smallest possible thing you can do. Something that you can do in under a minute, doesn't matter. Make that first on your list.

Do that thing.

After that on your list, put the next smallest thing.

Do that thing.

Then just snowball from there. It's all about momentum. Showing up is most of the battle.

I get caught in ruts like that all the time. The thing that helps me the most is timeboxing, so mapping out my day in 30 minute chunks. I'm actually designing a web app for exactly that process because I'm not satisfied with existing solutions.

Give it a shot, it might work.

Also, don't be hard on yourself. Take REAL days off, where you don't feel guilty about not working. It helps a ton.

6
roneesh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't feel bad for not coding. The truth is, this industry can make people feel really bad for not coding constantly. The mantras of "Get Sh*t Done", "Great Artists Ship", "Always Be Coding", "Hack your life", "If you're not coding your competition is" and many other lousy, empty and ultimately meaningless statements just serve to make anyone who's not constantly coding feel like something is wrong with them.

Chances are you're like most people and have a wide variety of interests and hobbies, and so trying to keep up the pretense that you just care about your startup or current project can be emotionally exhausting. It's basically lying to yourself.

I don't really have a concrete answer for you in how to break this funk. Funks can happen. The advice all people here have given you is spot on, I will just add that all that advice should be tried and discarded if not useful, it's what worked for them, might not work for you. I personally also suggest include avoiding online content and getting outside. I also suggest you figure out some way to learn to make peace with tedious work, it happens in almost all client work.

Good luck friend!

7
miguelrochefort 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can relate a bit too much.

You probably won't meet anyone more ambitious than me. Yet, I'm paralyzed. I can't do anything. I have the skills, I have the passion, but I just can't do anything. I'm not sure why.

I've been at it for 1.5 year. I overcomed all my excuses (you need a new computer, you need a better chair, you need a better framework, you need a cofounder), and yet, nothing worked out.

I finally decided to get a job, which I hope will help me gain good working habits and hopefully give me back some of the confidence I lost in that 1.5 year of being useless.

I'm not sure how I can help you (maybe we share the same "niche"/interest, I too can't find many people excited by it), but I wish you luck.

8
unstable013 2 days ago 0 replies      
:) I think I understand your position, because I'm living it right now. I've found that at times like this, what helps is:

* Actually take a day off, don't pretend to be productive, actually walk away and don't feel guilty about it. Everyone needs a break.

* Get some perspective. Take two steps back, and remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing. Screw, 'becoming a success,' there's a bigger reason that you're making something. Tumblr has fan mail posted all over their fridge [http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/4f0e2ff7ecad04b0640... ] and, I've printed out and stuck up some positive facebook comments and emails from our users. It's a lot harder to procrastinate when you know that you have an audience.

* Start over something. There's mixed opinions on this, obviously you should try to get it mostly right the first time, and iterate rather than scrapping and restarting at a whim, but sometimes the invitation of a blank canvas can get you over the wall.

* Embrace your ritual. There could be something, some process that you use when you need to get started on something... As counter-productive as it seems, whenever I'm about to start a big project, I sit down for a night and clear my harddrive, and set up a fresh installation of my Linux distro... the act of 'cleaning out my workbench,' frees me up to start working again..

And finally, I'd point you at [ http://hellenroxx.com/fighting-cam-burnout/ ] which I found yesterday... it's slightly NSFW, but surprisingly relevant to our problem.

Good Luck,

Jean-Le

9
canterburry 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know at what point in the lifecycle your app is but I often have these breaks in development when anxiety about what I am building subconsciously creeps in. This often happens over vacation breaks when I've had time to process and suddenly start doubting the idea, the execution, the potential etc. It's as if by not completing it, I won't have to face the failure of it not selling.

As an engineer, I also find myself less interest in a project when its main technical difficulty has been solved. It's as if my brain says: "great, we've built it, it works...was fun...I am bored with it now". Reaping any financial reward from the work doesn't really seem sufficiently motivating to keep my brain interested.

However...both of the above scenarios are often solved by the slightest hint of a challenge. I.e. Could I squeeze 10% more performance out of module X by Y...or...how many signups will I get from a tweet...?

Simply posing myself some challenge to which I truly don't know the outcome often gets me right back in.

10
marcus_holmes 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been in that place. It's really tough, I know your pain.

My tips:

- Don't make it bigger than it is. Your only job is to write the code. Whether it's great or awesome or shit is not your problem, other people will decide that when you ship it (and you can change it later if you agree with them then). For now, you just have to get it done as best you can.

- Your inner critic will be running rampant, telling you that it's never going to be successful, that you're crap at coding, that you should just go and get a job. You can't shut it up, but you don't have to listen to it. It might be right, in that what is says may be true, but it's not helpful right now. Try to disregard anything that isn't helpful, even (especially!) if it's true.

- Creating new things is really tough. Go gentle with yourself. Don't beat yourself up for not getting stuff done, but give yourself some credit for creating something new. Each day you manage to create something is a day well-spent, so try and clap yourself on the back for that instead of beating yourself up about how much more you've got to do.

- As the others have said; give yourself some time off. You know the point each day where you start having to push yourself to keep going. Don't. Stop there, and do something else (I do odd bits of leatherwork, woodwork or bonecarving, or play video games if I don't feel creative). Gradually, I've found that the amount I can do each day is naturally extending without me having to push it.

- Socialise. Friends' encouragement is good motivation :) Be honest about what you're facing and how hard it is (and don't be tempted to bullshit). You'll get a positive response and the support you need.

Good luck, it's a nasty hole to dig yourself out of, but you can do it.

11
hcarvalhoalves 2 days ago 0 replies      
Opposite than other comments, I won't come up with a plan to get things done.

Take a break. Exercise. Are you on the northern hemisphere? Try getting more sun. When we don't have willpower/concentration to work, it's our body saying our battery is depleted.

12
NicoJuicy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Actually, i had this some times. I always got far into creating an application and then i just stopped. It didn't interest me no more.. Nadda..

Now, some guy of a sport club wanted a member application and i created one (it's still in beta though and in dutch (membershipmanagement.azurewebsites.net Demo:12345678). I have never gotten this far in 2 month (added payments, user management, rough frontend and positive feedback (= it's finished for him))...

The advice is simple, take a vacation for 3-4 days. And as suggested in other comments, just do your tasks. It's really that simple. According to what you've said, you're only going to get more in trouble if you put everything on halt.. You could find a fellow dev for some clients if you have a writers block and don't add more tasks at the moment. You're going to get some anxiety for not being able to finish...

PS. I have a full time job, so i'm not rushing stuff.

13
abc_lisper 2 days ago 0 replies      
You are burnt out. A vacation will do wonders. We all have been there, and its hard to believe if this is your first time, but its true.
14
l33tbro 2 days ago 0 replies      
The secret is to stop thinking of what you have to do as being 'hard' or 'stressful' - and just start doing it. It sounds very simple, because it is.
15
gurvinder 2 days ago 1 reply      
Find a co-founder, he will encourage you and also help in "marketing, selling etc " which you think you are not good at.
16
blooberr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you have a close friend you can talk to during the day or maybe just sit next to while you try to work? Does not have to be technical at all. That might help.

Are you in the bay area? Feel free to reach out if you have nobody else to turn to.

17
tdowns 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nothing wrong with you - you're experiencing a form of writer's block.

As a single contributor how is your project managed? Do you have a to-do list?

18
danso 2 days ago 2 replies      
Exercise.

Sorry, that sounds like a simplistic, pat answer...but I know when I've felt either out of it, or even sick, just doing something as simple as a 5-7 minute workout can inexplicably shake me up in a positive way.

Of all the things that are within my power to just do (as opposed to wait for), exercising is the easiest. There are also purported health benefits to it, too.

19
motyar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take it easy.
15
Ask HN: Is there an HN leaderboard for story sources?
10 points by andrewhillman  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
1
devonbarrett 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This would give you the top 30 sources for the past 30 days.

Note the date is hardcoded

http://api.thriftdb.com/api.hnsearch.com/items/_search?q=*&f...),72)))%20desc&pretty_print=true

2
jaredsohn 19 hours ago 0 replies      
An interesting way to implement this would be to just analyze tweets by @newsyc20 and resolve the domains behind the bitly links. The advantage here is that you don't have to scrape the page (or even interact with Hacker News at all) to determine what gets ranked highly; the disadvantage is that it is the top 20 instead of top 30 and it relies on the twitter feed.

Even more interesting would be if there was a twitter statistics site that this could be fed into. (i.e. no code.)

3
mjwhansen 1 day ago 1 reply      
How kind of you to post this right before a long weekend when many people might have time to hack something together ;)
16
Ask HN: How to break this cycle of procrastination?
5 points by notastartup  23 hours ago   8 comments top 7
1
akg_67 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Make yourself feel guilty as much as possible and break your routine by introducing a new non-coding non-computer activity in between your guilty pleasures. Based on my experience with procrastination and trying to break it, how about your modify your procrastination little bit as suggested below.

> "Okay, a new day, let's start. let's check hackernews first. great neat stuff. alright one more article and i'll fire up my ide and terminal." <

Before playing counter strike, Fire up your IDE and Terminal before going to next step. Make sure you maximize your IDE and Terminal to fill all the screen space. Then take a quick little walk in the room/apt/house. Come back to screen and if you want to still play counter strike, minimize your IDE and Terminal (don't close any of programs or switch to a different desktop view). If you still wants to play counter strike, go ahead play.

> "okay i'm tired now, time to play some counter strike. lets play for 30 minutes.

oh I SUCK at this game just like I'm sucking at not procrastinating. this guy is talking trash time to show him who's boss.

crap, it's been an hour. now im hungry. lets eat." <

Before going to eat, Open up your project and source code file that you want to work on. Make sure again the screen is completely filled. Go eat something away from screen. Take a walk around the room/apt/house/neighborhood.

> "alright now im full, i need to relax and check hackernews again." <

Come back to screen and if you want to still check hacker news, Write a few lines of code. And then check hacker news.

Sooner or later, you will start to feel guilty seeing the IDE, Terminal, Project, Source Code file on your screen every time you come back to your computer and start doing more and more coding.

2
mdkess 12 hours ago 0 replies      
For me, anyway, the answer is tracking time.

If I want to do something, say, work on a project, I set a timer for 30 minutes and start working on the project. My rule for myself is that for 30 minutes, I have to work on the project, even if I'm banging my head against the wall and not making any progress. After 30 minutes, I either keep working (if I'm in the zone), or stop, re-evaluate and repeat - but never stop before 30 minutes is up. At first, this was painful, but now it's pretty easy to get into the flow. I do this also with things I really don't enjoy, like dishes and housework.

While I think that the rule itself is arbitrary, I think what it did was help me to build discipline, which was immensely important.

Then, video games and other entertainment go at the end of the day, where I can enjoy it guilt free - and importantly, where it can't overlap with work. One nice thing is that I don't feel guilty having fun anymore. Of course, I'm not so strict, sometimes I wake up on a Sunday morning and play games for three hours, but generally I try to stick to this plan.

As other people have said, you need to separate what you need to do over what you want to do.

Another technique that I use is to separate work space from play space. I'm not going to go and play Starcraft II (my chosen drug) in a Starbucks, so if I'm feeling particularly distracted, I'll go there to do work. I live in NYC so I don't have the luxury of having a spare room to use as an office, but if I did I'd seriously consider setting up an office separate from my main desk (ie. have a video game computer and a serious computer).

Finally, start slow. Lots of people look for big overnight change, don't get it, and revert to old habits. Instead, start slowly. Do one of these 30 minute sprints each week day, and two each weekend day.

3
frou_dh 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Simply go somewhere without an internet connection. It's a lot harder to fuck around on a computer when the pipe of infinite novelty is out of order.
4
vijucat 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Basically, there's a clash between what you feel you SHOULD be doing, and who you WANT to do. Realizing this, ideally, you immediately freeze in your seat and ask yourself, "So what do I want to do really?". The only issue is that when your brain tells you that you really want to play Counterstrike, and you immediately fight it with, "NO! I want to be a great hacker". This is the real problem.

It's very difficult to allow one's real self to express itself, even if you're all alone at home! This is why "It's like I go out of my way to not do the work I'm supposed to do". Why don't you look at it in the face? You just feel you're supposed to code, you don't want to do it. And that's completely OK. It is the cycle of self-punishment and enforced "becoming" : "I am this today, I should be that in one year" which drains a LOT of energy. Realizing this, immediately stop trying to become anyone.

Give yourself a one month break where you promise to actually find out who you really are. A break from what all you're "supposed" to do according to your ambition, parents, The Cool People, etc; Maybe you will actually find something that you are so interested in that coding will come naturally to you while pursuing your interests. Or not. You need not be interested in what others are interested in. Or, just as an example, maybe you decide on coding a Counterstrike mod? That could be fun, too!

5
TheHydroImpulse 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I've definitely been in that situation before. Whenever it is goes like "I'll do Y, then I'll do X, after Y", where X is the more important thing to do, it doesn't happen. That's why whenever I catch myself saying that, I stop, I don't do Y but actually do X.

Instead of saying you'll code after another article, or another game, etc... you should instead code before those things. Just the act of sitting down and doing it is enough satisfaction and makes me motivated even more, conquering procrastination.

Anyways, that worked for me.

6
MatthiasP 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"It's like I go out of my way to not do the work I'm supposed to do."Well, that's exactly what you do and it helps thinking about why you avoid doing some coding. Sometimes this behaviour comes from thinking that you have to be in the right mood to start working, but the truth is, motivation comes while doing stuff, not before you start.

Another reason could be that you are afraid that the task is overwhelming, that you don't understand it, etc.

Try dividing whatever you want to do into tiny steps that don't take more than 15 minutes and tick them off in a list after finishing them.

7
mapster 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not going to happen unless you really want it to.
17
Ask HN: Value of .com vs other TLD's
2 points by joeblau  13 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
dictum 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The additional revenue that comes from a perfect domain is roughly equivalent to the cost of building a bike shed.

Actually, it depends on the audience, as ibstudios pointed out. A "mobile audience" isn't enough information to make a good decision; among potential users of mobile devices are such different groups as children, adults who raise children, adults who don't raise children, old people... These groups can be broken into even smaller demographics.

If you're counting pennies, more alternative TLDs can be more expensive over time (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7069513). If you can find a short but not too cryptic .com, go with it. An .io, for instance, has the advantage of shortness and more available English words.

The domain name should be pretty low on the list of priorities for your app. Focus on design (for the app and for marketing pages), content and marketing copy, good customer service, and performance.

2
27182818284 10 hours ago 0 replies      
From personal experience with a .me product, it is fine. There is like 1% who dont get it, but I also noticed they are the same people who mess up the non-TLD part of the address. (They just don't have great listening / reading skills)
3
ibstudios 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it depends on the audience.
4
smpatt 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends on the purpose of the website.
18
Ask HN: Why credit cards despise sub $1 transactions?
4 points by GigabyteCoin  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
pathy 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe credit card fraudsters often test the cards with small charges in order to determine if the cards actually work before going on a spending spree.

Such small transactions are quite suspicious from the point of view of the credit card company.

2
ricardobeat 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The deactivation is probably due to the recurrence of the <$1 charges, not the value itself. Sub-$1 transactions are very common for verification purposes, IIRC PayPal uses a random amount in cents to verify you.
19
Ask HN: why Google doesn't see HN as a link farm?
6 points by timrivera  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
1
lkrubner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Other comments already pointed out the use of "nofollow". But it is also worth a mention that old, well established sites of high rank link to Hacker News. Most link farms do not have incoming links from highly ranked sites, so the existence of such links is another clue that Google uses to distinguish a discussion forum like Hacker News from a link farm.
2
memracom 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Uhm, Google doesn't do PageRank anymore. Now their algorithms are driven by people's choices. They know which links people click when they do a search, and they also have "focus groups" who provide ratings of how useful sites are. They use that info to derive algorithms, but at the root, there are people constantly providing feedback to Google, and link farms have no way to escape that.

And of course, lots of people provide favourable feedback for HN so it is not treated like a link farm.

3
AznHisoka 5 hours ago 0 replies      
In recent days, Google doesn't even SEE HN. I think it's because HN is blocking Google for being too aggressive in crawling.
4
mooism2 1 day ago 2 replies      
Afaik, HN uses rel=nofollow on all links below a certain score.
20
Ask HN: Give me some Python/JavaScript project or web app ideas
7 points by gembird  1 day ago   8 comments top 6
1
codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Build HN User profile analytics. Basically, a dashboard page that shows users by location, professions etc. Obviously, it depends heavily on what the user has in their profile. For example,the dashboard could show "Well known entrepreneurs" which would display info of lot of founders/co-founders of companies that are on HN. If a user profile does not have any info, then scrape through their comment history and find out keywords like location, profession etc. I see many users commenting like "I am the co-founder of...", "I am a lawyer...", "I am a CPA...", "I live in San Francisco..." etc. This could be great way to find those people.
2
AdmiralAsshat 1 day ago 2 replies      
Python Project and Web App Idea Generator, written in Python. Scrape HN for "Show HN:" submissions and append "written in Python" for project ideas.
3
mjhea0 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see some D3 + Flask action.
4
japhyr 1 day ago 0 replies      
What are some of your interests? What issues would you like to see addressed in the world?
5
goldenkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Code a Python interpreter in JS (without using Emscripten.)
6
dskaplan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Build a business card interpretation service
21
An Open Letter to HN from EFF, Demand Progress, and Cory Doctorow
630 points by davidsegal  8 days ago   100 comments top 27
1
chimeracoder 8 days ago 3 replies      
As someone who has done a fair amount of activism and advocacy work, I'll say this:

Over the last 6 months, I've seen a number of people make comments on relevant HN posts to the effect of "This sucks, but how do we actually change anything" This is what you've been waiting for - here's a chance to actually do something about it.

Don't be discouraged when things seem to be standing still. Because of the way our minds work, single-point events stand out more than continual progress, and we get discouraged when the former seem to have less effect that we'd like.

My work was related to drug policy specifically[0]. During the years that I was actively involved in this, there was very little visible progress on the issues I worked on. We managed to pass a Good Samaritan law[1] in New York state (which I was involved with), but that was the only major success that I can remember, amid a long stream of what seemed to be failures.

On the other hand, when it rains, it pours. We've see a number of major successes very recently on this front (not just with marijuana policy, thought that's what gets the most attention). Looking back, the state of drug policy in 2014 is in many areas much brighter than it was in 2006, even though it certainly didn't seem like we were making any progress at the time.

It's easy to get cynical about large-scale, long-term efforts. As an individual, you're right, it's tough to do much on your own, since no individual has the same stamina as the forces that we're fighting. But showing support for groups that are fighting these longer battles is the best way to see some real action, even if it takes a while to incubate.

[0] On HN, that's oftentimes synonymous with "marijuana policy" - while that was certainly a part of it, my work focused more on the effects of drug laws on students (such as the Higher Education Act) and the socioeconomic impact of an incarceration model.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_samaritan_law

2
sinak 8 days ago 1 reply      
We had to cut down Aaron's quote to hit the HN 2k character limit, but the full quote we originally intended to use was:

"[We defeated SOPA] because everyone made themselves the hero of their own story. Everyone took it as their job to save this crucial freedom. They threw themselves into it. They did whatever they could think of to do."

Very much hoping the community will rally around and join us in this. In particular, startups and larger tech companies (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, etc.) don't get involved with this kind of activism easily. If you care about this issue and work at a tech company, you're the only ones who can exert pressure from within.

3
pvnick 8 days ago 0 replies      
For whatever it's worth, I cast my vote in favor of this. It's been wonderful reading Paul Graham's comments voicing opposition to the illegal surveillance, and I would urge the HN community to adopt this stance as official policy. I believe we're either very close or right on the edge of a tipping point in public opinion, and this kind of concerted action may just push it over the edge.
4
sethbannon 8 days ago 0 replies      
I'm in. It's long past time that we channel our outrage into political action on this issue
5
mildtrepidation 8 days ago 0 replies      
Perhaps I'm missing something, but is there anything actually being planned aside from... a website? It's good that people are trying to do something, but putting up banners on the web and starting yet another website isn't doing something.

Are you going to organize rallies? Provide logistical support for people who want to do so? Even a snail mail campaign would be an improvement over Yet Another Complaint On The Internet.

Don't get me wrong: The cause is great, and drawing attention and support to it is important. But this might as well be a high-profile version of trolling a forum. It's not going to help anything unless you take action that will reach the people in charge and the people who might not currently be aware of what's going on and how important it is.

I don't see this doing much of either.

6
callcongressnow 8 days ago 1 reply      
Ever since the NSA business leaked, I've been thinking about this problem. It took me a few months to wrap my head around all the crazy stuff that's been going on but I've started building some systems that I think might have a chance of helping out.

"Call Congress Now"- using Twilio, you can call Congress folk from your browser (for free). http://www.callcongressnow.org/

Here are some Congress people who are doing some shady stuff: http://www.callcongressnow.org/profile/F000062http://www.callcongressnow.org/profile/L000174

But it's pretty hard to get the word out about websites like that. In a sense, nobody passively cares enough to call Congress. Only when the Congress folks do something that brings about outrage do people care enough to really pick up the phone (or click the twilio button, as it were). So I built the /u/CongressionalHound, a bot on reddit that hunts for mentions of current sitting members of Congress in submitted articles and displays information about them in the comments: http://www.reddit.com/user/CongressionalHound/comments/

If you are a mod on reddit and want me to run the bot on your subreddit, PM the bot and I'll have it saunter on over and get to work. Slowly putting the bot on subreddits that give me permission or invite me to. My hope is that when articles about the NSA, or Obamacare, or the shutdown, or or or any big political issue comes up, that the bot will channel people towards getting in touch with their representatives and senators and effectively voicing their opinions.

Both of these are prototypes and there are major known bugs in both, but I think they can serve as examples of systems that could help citizens better impact their government through the power of the internet.

7
l33tbro 8 days ago 0 replies      
This forum has long been a repository of outrage, confusion, and dissapointment. It is high time that the anger expressed transform into something coherent and mobilized, and action be taken against corporate government who are actively trying to take control of our global mind (the internet) and quantify our private lives for who-knows-what (NSA revelations). Aaron Schwartz remains an avatar for this movement, and taught many of us that as hackers, we have a responsibility to society when freedom of information is tampered with, just as a doctor is responsible at the scene of a motor accident.
8
aragot 8 days ago 6 replies      
As foreigners, should we care?

Next time someone organizes something similar, can they think of a worlwide action? Can they make something which doesn't sound like "Worldwide anti-american day" but rather "Worldwide day of support to the debate that US citizen started"?

US citizens are only 313 millions and the US law protects you against surveillance. We, the rest of the world, are all subject to this surveillance in unlimited way.

9
hnha 8 days ago 5 replies      
With all due respect, using Aaron Schwartz's case about copyright as motivator for the case against surveillance seems weird. Why do you even need some personification?
10
esbranson 8 days ago 0 replies      
I did not know Aaron, but in my mind, I knew Aaron not as an activist, although he was. I knew Aaron as an architect, an engineer, a programmer, a visionary. I'm sure he talked, I'm sure he protested and I'm sure he did many other things, but to me what Aaron did was build the future. He literally built a small part of the future, using computers and algorithms. You can take a thousand activists--tens of thousands--but at the end of the month, if none of them build anything, there will be nothing left after they leave. Not even words.

What would Aaron do? Would Aaron have just passively asked for people to come forward? Would he have asked everyone to post some icon everywhere? Some forgettable meme?

Or would he have created something? Something that maybe wouldn't be obvious to the likes of us, to the likes of the EFF and The New Yorker? Something explosive (figuratively, Ms. Ortiz, figuratively)? Something evolutionary? Would he have banged out some code that would make even die hard Wikipedians feel unwise?

I don't know. I really don't. I don't even know what A/B testing means. But if no one else does, I have a feeling this is going to suck.

Edit: I didn't even know downvoting was possible on HN, but hey, if haters aren't hating then you're doing it wrong

11
znowi 8 days ago 0 replies      
Did this letter get a penalty? With 581 points, it's now off the front page.

EDIT: Interestingly enough, "Female Founders" plea to the public by PG is at 360 points, whooping 402 comments, and the 2nd place. Clearly, "sexism" drama is a lot more popular with the tech crowd :)

12
Futurebot 8 days ago 1 reply      
A general comment on the nature of activism and the political process: one of the goals of activism in the political area is to move both public sentiment (awareness / consciousness raising) and public policy. Now, one of the things to realize here is that this is a never-ending back and forth process, and sometimes the same battles are fought in different forms over time - and this can be incredibly frustrating unless you realize that this is the case. It's easy to believe that it's like fixing a bug; once you've patched policy/changed the mind of society on a topic, that it's fixed forever. Not so. New forms of an idea pick up; your favored policy falls out of favor due to changing events/other beliefs/ideologies/cultures that become popular; a new generation is born that has none of the bad experiences you had, and can have bad policies foisted on them; zombie ideas rise from the grave once more.

This can be disheartening, frustrating, even despondency-inducing. I've been there more than once, and activists across the world have probably been experiencing this since the first protest happened outside the first town hall.

For those stating "it will do nothing" - it can sometimes be hard to see the distant / second-order effects, but they do matter. Registering dissent matters. Now, I would add that there is a threshold beyond which activism loses its potency (for a variety of possible reasons) and you need to go to the next level (everything from non-violent resistance to revolutions.) In this particular case, we're nowhere near that, and by the looks of it, the tide is firmly against the anti-surveillance bloc, so pile on.

Finally, I'd say that the idea that the arc of the universe bends towards justice is wrong; people bend societies towards it.

13
Create 8 days ago 0 replies      
We begin therefore where they are determined not to end, with the question whether any form of democratic self-government, anywhere, is consistent with the kind of massive, pervasive, surveillance into which the Unites States government has led not only us but the world.

This should not actually be a complicated inquiry.

http://snowdenandthefuture.info/events.html

http://benjamin.sonntag.fr/Moglen-at-Re-Publica-Freedom-of-t...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ciscosystemsrouteratcern....

14
Jd 8 days ago 0 replies      
I personally think of this as pg's site and us all as honored guests here. I'm not opposed to the idea of an open letter on principle, but I do have a little bit of an issue with a letter addressed to HN in general.

I also personally take issue with Aaron Swartz as a poster child for SOPA related activism. There are many of us who did what we could to prevent SOPA and who are opposed to illegal aspects of mass surveillance who nonetheless believe in a proper place for intellectual property.

15
dfc 8 days ago 0 replies      
As a long time EFF supporter in spirit and dollars I have to say this is a strange way of coalition building. Since ycombinator previously supported a similar effort it seems like they would be thought of as allies. Whenever I have been involved in a project like this allies and previous supporters were contacted privately. This sort of "open letter" is the kind of thing you do to pressure (read shame) someone into doing something that they have expressed reservations about doing.

I still support the cause but this is not how you treat friends or conduct a political activism campaign.

Addendum:

It is possible that the folks at ycombinator were previously contacted. If that is the case this letter should say so, if only to let current allies know that they do not need to worry about being bullied into continued support.

16
mkempe 8 days ago 0 replies      
No matter how imperfect this initiative is, it is so much better than nothing. I frankly never grok the negativism. (Is it a form of nihilism?) I give to the EFF. I speak up whenever the subject comes up. You can, too, and you should find your personal path to support freedom. Our freedom. "An injury to one is an injury to all." Aaron's persecution and death was an injury to all. The Clipper chip was crushed under Clinton -- many other interferences with our lives can and must be crushed. It's never over, it's always worth fighting.

If you think it's insufficient action, you be our new Sam Adams or Patrick Henry! I'll join, with determination and passion.

17
hugofirth 8 days ago 1 reply      
This might seem like an off the wall idea but as (in my mind ) this issue is part policy and part engineering problem, would co-ordinated themed hackathons focused around the idea of creating disruptive & secure communication techniques and protocols both further this general cause and appeal to the HN crowd at large?
19
zt 8 days ago 1 reply      
I agree with the message and the goal but why is this an open letter rather than just an email to PG? Rather, the subject seems confused. It could be they're trying to reach all the HN users, but when they write "You blacked out your websites, lobbied your employers to do the same, and started creative campaigns to defeat a threat to freedom on the Internet" that seems directed at the people who run HN.
20
undoware 8 days ago 1 reply      
Only if we can call ourselves 'Agents of S.H.E.L.L.'.
21
salient 8 days ago 0 replies      
Relevant news: NSA and GCHQ activities appear illegal, says EU parliamentary inquiry

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/09/nsa-gchq-illega...

22
pearjuice 8 days ago 4 replies      
Call me skeptical, but this is yet another sign of the degeneration of Western civilization and the indoctrination of being apathetic. If you really think slamming a website online and calling people to post memes on Facebook will change anything but some link scoops on CNN, you are delusional. About 5 months ago I posted a related comment (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6147370) and it's as true as any other day.

"B-but this time it will be different! We have logos of relatively big companies on our website!" - hang in tight, brother, because "The Day We Fight Back" isn't anywhere close.

23
adventured 8 days ago 1 reply      
I strongly disagree with the way you're using Aaron Swartz / his memory here.
24
salient 8 days ago 0 replies      
I hope you guys won't stop at pushing just for the USA Freedom Act, which sounds pretty decent, but not like it's going far enough. To me Rush Holt's Surveillance State Repeal Act sounded close to ideal, but he's going to need some co-sponsors for it.

Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Rand Paul's bill also I think sounded better than the USA Freedom Act. I always forget its name because they chose a pretty bad and long one ("intelligence oversight something"). So I hope you keep working on passing those (or others like it), too, and don't stop at the USA Freedom Act (or try getting some amendments to that pushed, too).

25
esbranson 8 days ago 0 replies      
> Will you join us?

"Not wittingly."

26
smoyer 8 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not willing to demand progress, but I DEMAND MY CORY DOCTOROW! RIGHT NOW! PLEASE?
27
roopeshv 8 days ago  replies      
can someone verify user id davidsegal?
22
Ask HN: Current hourly rates for iOS Developers?
8 points by allbombs  2 days ago   3 comments top
1
27182818284 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is the experience in years or just a scale of 1-5?
23
Ask HN: What do you guys think of the Amazon show Betas.
2 points by penguinlinux  22 hours ago   discuss
24
More functional C#
103 points by jasallen  6 days ago   discuss
1
profquail 6 days ago 1 reply      
You can write Java code which works similarly to your C# code by using RxJava: https://github.com/Netflix/RxJava

Or Python, via RxPy: https://github.com/Reactive-Extensions/RxPy

Or JavaScript, via RxJs: https://github.com/Reactive-Extensions/RxJS

Or Ruby, via Rx.rb: https://github.com/Reactive-Extensions/Rx.rb

Or Objective-C, via Rx.ObjC: https://github.com/Reactive-Extensions/Rx.ObjC

Your code is a good demonstration of how Rx works though, and it's nice to know it's becoming more popular.

2
Dewie 6 days ago 8 replies      
I have read a lot of lang. wars and complaints about programming languages... but C# is one of the only languages that I can't remember reading any complaints about. None.

I must conclude, by the usual Stroustrup quote, that no one uses C#. (yes this is tongue in cheek)

3
Touche 6 days ago 7 replies      
But why do things "near functional" when you have F# which is fully functional?
4
_random_ 6 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe it's strange for them to see something that is both functional and highly practical?

PS: once Roslyn get's finally released, Java will never catch up again.

5
Pxtl 6 days ago 0 replies      
Absolutely - C# 3.5 introduced a beautiful suite of FP-ish features that made the language fun to write functional code with, and later versions of C# parallelized and asynced those FP-ish features.
6
kevingadd 6 days ago 2 replies      
I'm guessing Observable, Scan, FirstAsync and Subscribe are all from the Rx reactive/observable framework? I haven't seen them before.
7
Ycros 6 days ago 2 replies      
C#'s functional side is why I actually really enjoy working with it. I get to use a nice blend of OO and functional, where each makes sense. OO more on a macro scale, organising code.
8
platz 6 days ago 1 reply      
While sprinkling a few expressions like this around is nice, it's quite a chore to embrace a true dataflow or similiar functionally typed design through your whole application, because the types in c# are so verbose i.e.

    public Generate(TState initialState, Func<TState, bool> condition, Func<TState, TState> iterate, Func<TState, TResult> resultSelector, IScheduler scheduler)

9
lumpysnake 6 days ago 1 reply      
What's the point of writing code in a functional way to end up with something that is completely unreadable?

I'd rather have code written in simple, well factored functions and classes and easy to reason about, than having to deal with such a mess of functional code.

Don't get me wrong, functional code can be very elegant and clear, but the example provided here is a huge turn off to me.

10
kungfooguru 6 days ago 1 reply      
This is a joke, right?
25
Ask HN: Why does Amazon allow multiple accounts with the same email address?
4 points by dancryer  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
1
dalke 1 day ago 1 reply      
As I recall, this was an early decision by Amazon during the days of dialup accounts and limited email access. Two different people (eg, a couple) might share the same email address but want separate shopping accounts.

[Edit] This was covered in RISKS in 2008. See http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/25.39.html#subj12 .

> Steve Loughran: Regarding the issue about Amazon allowing >1 login per e-mail address, its a historical legacy that they probably hate. Remember back in 1995 when the whole family had one compuserve or AOL e-mail address? That's when Amazon was created, and that is where they came up with the fact that an Amazon user does not have a 1:1 mapping of e-mail->userID. What they do have is a mappingof (e-mail,password)->userID; you can create two accounts with the same e-mail address, but you will get into trouble if you try and give them the same password. I'm not sure what happens, so try it and see.

> The newer Amazon services, such as the Amazon Web Services, have a stricter "one e-mail address" per account rule. Clearly their support organisation has learned the error of the original design decision.

It doesn't seem possible merge multiple accounts. See this Amazon transcript for a recent example: http://www.amazon.com/forum/amazon?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx...

2
ancarda 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is she logging into the same domain? For instance, I have to use "amazon.co.uk" but most of the time, I land on "amazon.com" and wonder why I can't login. Perhaps she has two accounts one on each site? That happened to me before I figured out each domain is totally separated.
3
brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      
To make it easier to make a purchase.

An email address is not an ID.

4
ryutin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have the same problem. I don't understand what purpose that can serve.

Both are amazon.com accounts. One password links to a Prime account; the other, a non-Prime account. It started around 5-6 years ago. I vaguely recall that it must have started with a call to someone to change my password and later I upgraded one of them with Prime.

Maddening until I figured it out. Weird stuff.

26
Ask HN: Which platform do you prefer and why, Ghost or Pelican?
8 points by milkers  2 days ago   6 comments top 4
1
MehdiEG 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hadn't actually heard of Pelican until now but it looks like Ghost and Pelican aren't really comparable - they're two very different approaches to a blogging platform. Pelican looks more comparable to Jekyll.

Personally I've just moved to Ghost and I have to say that I love it. I wrote a longish post [1] on all the blogging platforms I've tried and how Ghost compares. The post also explains why I didn't go with something like Jekyll. Check it out, it might help.

[1] http://mehdi.me/ghost-io-the-first-blogging-platform-that-ma...

2
agentultra 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have blogs using both!

I went with Pelican before ghost came out to get off of Wordpress. I was tired of the constant security updates enough to try and migrate to something else. My first requirement was that it was able to import Wordpress content which Pelican had.

However, Pelican's wordpress importer was "bare-bones" to say the least and still is. I fixed it so that it at least preserves formatting (by translating Wordpress' insane parser thing for its own post format line by line). It won't preserve things like image links and stuff (or at least I didn't get to that part).

I'm still not a huge fan of it one way or the other but it does its job I guess. Development is fast and furious though and I haven't updated in forever. So ymmv there.

As for Ghost... same problems as Wordpress and harder to self-host by orders of magnitude. It has a catchy admin interface. Designers love this platform so finding a good template is pretty easy compared to Pelican (I had to write my own... again not as much fun as it sounds).

The bonus of both platforms is that they both parse markdown for post content so dipping your toes in and trying something else shouldn't be too painful.

3
akg_67 2 days ago 0 replies      
Recently, I started using Ghost as personal note journal on my Mac. I reviewed several non-Wordpress self-hosted platforms and finally decided to test Ghost. Ghost was easy to setup, there are a few free good themes that you can use or create/ customize your own. I really like the markdown editor. It allows you to use markdown as well as HTML. Most of the time I use the editor to write my notes. Sometime I will use Mou to write, export to HTML and paste in the markdown editor. I believe Ghost platform is growing and has momentum so hopefully it will have more features like scheduled posts, tagging, comments etc.

I also run a web service on a LAMP stack. Initially I thought about using Ghost for blogging but due to complexity and lack of information on running Apache with SSL and Nodejs on same server decided to wait.

4
ElongatedTowel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ghost is nice, but it doesn't quite fill the same niche. Its ease of use comes from its dynamic parts like the editor. Certainly can't use those if I only want static output without some steps inbetween and especially not if the server doesn't run any interpreter.
27
Ask HN: Alternatives to DigitalOcean?
20 points by pizza  4 days ago   18 comments top 14
1
Pyramids 1 day ago 0 replies      
DigitalOcean has a solid platform for the price, and we've personally had great experiences with them, with only intermittent downtime when their SFO location first launched.

In terms of the suspension you're referring to, they're an automated detection as far as I'm aware, so it really sounds like there might of been something happening that you were unaware of.

Regarding alternatives in this price point, you aren't going to find many options. If you're willing to step up your budget slightly, CloudVPS[1] and TransIP[2] in the Netherlands have both been great for us, and are still quite affordable considering what they provide.

If you're really stuck within your current budget, you might want to look at EDIS[3], whom we run several Slave DNS/MX servers with. They're about on-par with DigitalOcean pricing and offerings, with a much larger choice of locations, including the US.

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

[2] https://www.transip.eu/

[3] http://www.edis.at/en/home/

2
workhere-io 4 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/servers/

http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/

https://www.linode.com/

http://www.hetzner.de/en/

You mentioned that you wanted something reliable and with SSD for $5. I honestly think DigitalOcean is the only host with a decent reputation in that price range (and yet you frequently hear people complain about them). You might want to consider paying slightly more. $10 to $20 a month should do it.

3
yatsyk 3 days ago 0 replies      
You can check these benchmark results with other options:

https://github.com/mgutz/vpsbench/wiki/VPS-Hosts

4
uladzislau 4 days ago 3 replies      
I was unpleasantly surprised this week by two rather lengthy outages. Now considering Linode as an alternative.

I'm wondering what other DigitalOcean users have to say?

5
l0gicpath 4 days ago 0 replies      
We've been dealing with Linode for well over 3 years now without any issues. Their support is great and their pricing is imho just about right.

We also tried Webbynode in their very early days, I just checked their website now and things seem to have greatly changed for them so that's another option.

I'm not so sure about your pricing requirements though, quite frankly I was a bit surprised when I first checked out DO, having such a low pricing point. So I don't believe you'd find another vps of the same quality with such pricing but you could always check at http://lowendbox.com/

Good luck.

6
tonteldoos 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using DO for about 6 months now, mainly as a OpenVPN server, and the odd bit of work from a tablet via a terminal. Since I usually use a tmux terminal, I can't say that I've seen downtime in that time.

If you're looking for possible alternatives though, these guys were posted here a while ago: http://cloudatcost.com/

I got one of the $35 VPSs (which are still available, it seems), and have done minimal playing with it, but seems to be ok.

7
thenomad 3 days ago 0 replies      
EU-only and a bit more expensive, but I really like Bytemark's BigV: http://www.bigv.io
8
ricardobeat 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm curious, did you request any more information on the detected attack pattern?
9
erikj54 4 days ago 0 replies      
I had the same experience, but their customer experience was pretty great. I have yet to start up the Droplet again, since they threatened to shut down my service.
10
penguinlinux 4 days ago 0 replies      
Go with aws , they have a free tier service. You can easily get a cloud machine there in a mini instance. Plus you get to play with their web console or use their command line and interact with your instance from your linux machine or mac.
11
dsschnau 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I've had good fortune with webfaction (affiliate link)

http://www.webfaction.com?affiliate=danschnau

12
vldx 3 days ago 0 replies      
You can check RamNode.

(they have also permanent -40% promo codes, check google)

13
motyar 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use Dropbox for sync. You can use btsync too.

Digitalocean is working great for me.

14
sdogruyol 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is their way of not taking any responsibility and blaming the customer. This also happened to many others including me. You can check these HN threads.

HN Thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6447152Blog Post: http://serdardogruyol.com/?p=137

28
Show HN: I built a platform for scripting your own Bitcoin trading bot in Python
7 points by drpancake  2 days ago   5 comments top 3
1
andrew_gardener 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm very interested. I've thought of bitcoin bots but haven't had the time really get into it yet.

just a couple of questions:

How long is it between ticks?

How easily will it be to get money in or out of your system?

Is there any long term storage assigned to the bots? (something that will survive a server reset)

Edit: I just realized that the example uses a storage variable. Can you give me details about that (how large, stable, secure, etc it is)?

2
wocp 2 days ago 0 replies      
It looks good, I'll try it, thanks for sharing.
3
pamipami 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice project! Will users be limited to a single exchange?
29
Ask HN: How to pick your daily #1 priority?
2 points by myzerox  18 hours ago   discuss
30
Ask HN: CSS The Right Way?
5 points by stevewilhelm  1 day ago   7 comments top 6
1
27182818284 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd like to know more too. I constantly feel like I am just blundering my way through CSS until it works or I get the CSS framework of the day to work for me. I'm at the level where I use LESS to compile to CSS, and I still feel like I'm just like a day 0 amateur
2
codez 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well seeing as there is those other sites, how about we just make our own??

I can put together a page and we decide which things are important to know in CSS from opinion then when people want to disagree or contribute they can??

For example, important things IMO would be float when getting elements side by side, and how to correctly use position.

But what else?

How to do animations is a good one I think too.

EDIT: So I created a repo for this here https://github.com/jh3y/css-the-right-way

EDIT: Asked for help here.https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7079505

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isleyaardvark 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look up OOCSS and/or SMACSS. Twitter Bootstrap is an example of SMACSS principles at work.
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pablovidal85 1 day ago 0 replies      
The best tip I can give anybody about mastering a language is "read other's code", pick some good project or author in github (use the search engine there) and read every line, try to understand the "character" of the language, how is constructed and organized, instead of the looking too much at the tokens (identifiers, statements, etc).
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franklaemmer 1 day ago 1 reply      
       cached 19 January 2014 05:05:01 GMT