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Ask HN: What is money?
3 points by roymurdock  31 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
tjr 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
I raise chickens. You make websites.

You want ten of my chickens. We agree that, in exchange, you will make me a website for my chicken farm.

Then, you want ten more chickens. But I don't need any more websites. However, you have a friend who knits llama wool scarves, and needs a website. You make your friend a website; your friend gives you five llama wool scarves; you give me the five llama wool scarves and I give you ten more chickens.

When you want yet ten more chickens, you introduce me to your friend who grows corn. I wouldn't mind some corn, but the harvest hasn't come in yet, and I'd need to wait a few months. You want the chickens now. So you build a website for your corn farmer friend, who gives you an "I owe you" certificate for the corn. You give me the certificate, and I give you ten chickens. A few months later, I present the certificate to your corn farmer friend, who gives me the corn.

Eventually this becomes a pain to keep track of, and it becomes increasingly difficult to arrange personal connections with people who need chickens or llama wool sweaters or corn or websites.

Money lets us exchange goods and services in the abstract. I give you ten chickens, and you give me money, which everyone else will also accept in exchange for goods and services. I can go across town and find somebody you don't know at all and buy a camera from them with the money you gave me for the chickens.

a3voices 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Money is a massive scheme to convince young people to do things for old people.
Ask HN: What's the best laptop for developers?
5 points by tejbirwason  1 hour ago   10 comments top 8
duncan_bayne 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Lenovo ThinkPad - one of the full sized models with a good keyboard and matte screen. Max out the RAM, install a large SSD, and replace Windows with Linux (in my case, Linux Mint). I'm currently running an L520 as my personal machine and an L530 at work.

Oh - and buy a cheap netbook for when you're traveling somewhere you might have your main machine lost, stolen, or destroyed.

And encrypt the disk on all your laptops.

runjake 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This question is posted just about weekly. The most recent was 3 days ago at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7415884

Use the search at the bottom of this page ("ask laptop") and read all the previous submissions. You get quicker answers and HN gets fewer duplicate discussions.

drewvolpe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For Linux, the Lenovo X or T series are the way to go. I've had ~5 of them over the last ten years and they're great. They're built like tanks, are very well supported by Linux, and are modular and easy to upgrade.
dlwiest 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
My approach is to buy a Lenovo with a decent processor and screen size and the lowest memory and storage I can find, then upgrade to 16GB and a SSD, since it's much cheaper to upgrade these parts than to buy pre-assembled with the specs you want.
scholia 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Why buy a laptop? A desktop is usually faster and/or cheaper, has a bigger screen, and has much better ergonomics.
dllthomas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've been very happy with my Lemur Ultra from System76, though needs may differ. "Can comfortably use it on public transit through my commute" was the most important consideration for me.
rgandhi 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
lenovo t series, you can use it as a tray.
0x420 1 hour ago 0 replies      
thinkpad t, x or w series; macbook pro
Ask HN: What is the significance of the proposed ICANN transfer?
2 points by jessriedel  48 minutes ago   discuss
Ask HN: What is the state of data mining libraries in Haskell
3 points by robert-zaremba  1 hour ago   discuss
Tell HN: My first hand experience with Healthcare.gov (a.k.a Obamacare)
2 points by codegeek  1 hour ago   1 comment top
czbond 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the writeup. I'm in Texas, and we are not allowed any subsidy no matter the income bracket. My experience was that I received a better priced plan off market from an aggressive insurance planner than on market. Specifically about $80/mo less for slightly higher benefits. Young, single men can get the best rates off market. Older individuals may get a better rate on market.
Ask HN: I am a PHP Newbie, Why do most developers hate it
3 points by frade33  2 hours ago   9 comments top 6
yulaow 1 hour ago 0 replies      
In my opinion php is really bad designed, and if you google just "why php is bad designed" you can find a lot of discussions and blog posts about it, very well documented.

I can also tell you that there are a lot of really good php framework (laravel, yii, symphony, etc) that allow you to develop mvc sites very easily making php again fun and not a pain in the ass.

Personally I would never touch php code that is not in a form of mvc framework (also a personal one).

The advantage of other serverside languages like c#, ruby, python, javascript/node.js is that they are also widely used for other purposes and not only serverside, so when you learn them you also have the chance to explore other solution in more different areas.

Basically any of them is good for what you want to do, just choose one, stick with it for some time and learn it well.

amerkhalid 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
PHP is not perfect but it gets the job done. The biggest problem with PHP is that too many developer write really bad code with it. PHP is just too easy to get into without understanding how to write clean code.

If you follow best practices and use modern frameworks like Laravel, then there should be nothing to complain about PHP.

sixQuarks 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a non-technical founder, so I have to outsource my development. I tried to work with Python and Ruby developers, but never had any luck, they seemed like hacks - and I tried to work with several of them.

PHP developers, in my experience, have their shit together. This is just my OWN personal experience. I would never hire a Python/Ruby guy again, I'm always going for PHP developers now.

devwebee 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with PHP is its design, or lack of it to be precise. It's inconsistent and quite verbose. But it's made for the web, so it's very easy to deploy, and the workflow is straightforward, put file in a folder on a server and refresh the page. If you're new to web development but already have some programming experience, PHP is a good language to learn because it's ubiquitous and very easy to get started. If you're new to programming, I'd suggest you learn Python first; it's a beautifully designed general purpose language, and will guide you through the right path before diving into the PHP jungle.
a3voices 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's because a lot of people are pretentious.
devb0x 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just carry on learning it. Then when you get more experience in other languages you'll understand its short comings. But youll appreciate it for what it is.
Ask HN: What's a good, intermediate-level JS book?
5 points by mkaziz  6 hours ago   3 comments top 3
chewxy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As the author of Underhanded JavaScript, I must definitely recommend Eloquent JavaScript and JavaScript Design Patterns. The latter is quite important because the design patterns that Addy talks about actually does patch up a lot of rough spots of JS.

And of course, JavaScript the Good Parts is a must. Trust me, go back and re-read JS:TGP, see how much you missed. I re-read it from time to time and always find new stuff.

Axel's Speaking JavaScript is pretty good too, and I read his blog, so quality is quite high.

But hey, gotta plug my book, so buy Underhanded JavaScript! Why buy it? Because I list some of the most common pitfalls people fall into when writing JavaScript code, as well as the nastier parts of JavaScript, for when you're in a bad mood and feel like thrashing the production server. I'll even show you how you can enable simple DoS via RegExp.

EDIT: here's the link with HN coupon. Price was randomly generated between $12.25 and $19.77


quarterwave 5 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 for the Eloquent book. Has a very nice section on functional programming. Plus, in my opinion, some of the best typesetting I've seen in a technical book.

I also learnt a good deal from Stoyan Stefanov's book "Objected-Oriented Javascript", for example closures. I don't know why the book had to have that title, maybe to attract Java/C# developers.

Prototypical inheritance is covered in both Eloquent and OOJ.

Here is a nice article on the topic: http://beej.us/blog/data/javascript-prototypes-inheritance/

Read more such articles, easier than starting a book.

atom-morgan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend Eloquent JavaScript. There's also a discussion here on a few books: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7434720
Ask HN: Visiting SF, should I check out Silicon Valley?
6 points by martinwnet  8 hours ago   18 comments top 5
ulfw 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Rent a car (you'll need one) and head down to walk around Stanford's beautiful campus, then have a coffee in Palo Alto before heading over to see Google's campus and shoot some pics. Then off to nearby Cupertino to buy some goodies at the company store in Building One. Not much else to see in the Valley I'm afraid.
sparkman55 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It is possible to take the train down to Palo Alto from SF, rent a bike from the bike share system, take a leisurely ride down Palm Drive and around Stanford campus (2-5 miles along bike paths) and then back to Palo Alto for coffee (or something else tasty). Coupa Cafe is a good place for coffee, as ulfw mentioned.

If you want to tour one of the big companies, find a friend/acquaintance/recruiter, and catch lunch. These companies compete on quality of meals...

Also, if you're going to rent a car, I highly recommend visiting some Redwoods. The best around are in Big Basin about an hour south of SV. There are also some just north of SF in Muir Woods.

eugeneross 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I could only vaguely remember my time in San Francisco due to the fact that I was only three years of age, but that didn't stop my parents from taking me everywhere within the city. Although I may have not recalled any of the visits, after we had moved out of Cali, I always hear how we should've toured Stanford and what a great opportunity we had. Don't miss that opportunity! Schedule a tour of the campus, I'm sure you'll be glad you did.
markhall 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What are the dates of your trip?
lfender6445 7 hours ago 1 reply      
A meetup group might have more value for you - but the googleplex does sound interesting.
Ask HN: C syntax augmentation/extension (possibly a libc replacement) library?
4 points by Lord_DeathMatch  8 hours ago   2 comments top
spu8kexo4xi0syz 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Why do I need server code in 2014?
4 points by arisAlexis  11 hours ago   3 comments top 2
patio11 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Depending on what you're doing, you can perhaps have an authenticated client do things which are not authorized. This can mean that you have to do things server-side to enforce business rules.

Example: I had an inadvertent trust-the-client situation where I let Javascript decide if someone's credit card was going to be charged. I did not anticipate that anyone's computer would ever be hit by a lightning bolt during a transaction, and as a consequence my server got 24 callbacks and dutifully charged the client's card 24 times.

Sometimes authenticated clients can abuse the system intentionally, depending on what you're doing with it.

You will likely discover at some point that your service has to interact with other services, which may or may not be easily doable with a particular client orchestrating all of the work itself.

Depending on your problem domain, you may need to do things on behalf of a client when that client is not connected to the service/the Internet/etc. This counsels having a non-dumb server side piece available.

There exist many other reasons one could name. What are you thinking of doing in your dissertation?

markovbling 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Also interested in answers - posting as a lazy bookmark! :)
Beta Testing as a Service
2 points by oaksagelew  7 hours ago   1 comment top
ilhackernews 7 hours ago 0 replies      
plenty of those, but the biggest and most succsful one I am familiar with is uTest.


Ask HN: Is this a crazy idea?
35 points by megaman22  16 hours ago   45 comments top 33
lubujackson 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Big tip: Ask to start remotely BEFORE you move so you can verify it works out for both you and them (assuming they are agreeable). That way, if it's not going to work out, you can reconsider your options before paying a new rent etc.
positr0n 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I had a similar situation. I told my boss "I'm moving to X in the a few months, do I need to find a new job or can I work remotely?" Luckily I was able to keep my current job even though there isn't a large culture of remote working at my company.

Your odds of success, both in getting your request approved and in succeeding remotely highly depend on if there are other remote workers in your company and on your team. I'm the only one working remotely on my team and sometimes things are unnecessarily painful or inefficient because I'm the "special snowflake" that's not present at the office.

Don't mention the pay cut unless they negotiate that with you. You shouldn't be 25% less efficient working remotely, and you'll save them money by not having to allocate office space, electricity, etc, to you.

tempestn 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Agreed that it's not crazy at all. And I certainly wouldn't propose taking a pay cut. Assuming you can actually stay on task and produce quality work remotely, you will actually cost the company less than if you were in the office. (They don't need to supply you a permanent desk, etc.) What you should prepare to do though, is make it easy for them. Have solutions in mind for all the standard issues. Are you willing to commute in for all meetings? If not (and it would be a waste IMO), set up and demonstrate a working videoconferencing solution before you leave. Perhaps suggest quick daily check-in emails, to keep your team up to speed with what you're doing. Etc. Basically the only challenge isn't to get your employer to accept the idea; you also want them not to regret it afterward.

(Everyone at my (very small) company works remotely. I love it, but it does come with its own unique challenges. As nl mentioned, they are likely magnified if you're the only remote worker.)

keithflower 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing "crazy" about taking control of your life to make it healthier and happier.

I've never regretted taking less money to live in places I love and work on things that interested me.

Good on you.

nl 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Just a warning: if you are the only remote worker it is hard. You miss out on a lot of conversation that you really should know about. Source: me, only remote worker in company.

Also, I doubt the money will be the thing that decides them.

hacknat 16 hours ago 0 replies      
No, it's not crazy at all, but don't sell yourself short, and take your time. Are you in the doldrums right now because of your breakup? If so, it would probably be best to make this decision when your are neither very happy nor very sad. If this process cuts into the next lease, try to find a place that will go month-to-month for you. You really should try to make this decision when you're feeling fine.

If you still want to move back when you're feeling good, you should pitch this to your employer with it being a negotiation in mind. Tell your employer that you've done your best to stick it out in the city, but that you just have too many close friends and family that live far away and you want to be near them. Then tell your employer that you are looking at alternatives to make it work, like doing contract work, but tell them that you would love it if you could work remotely for them.

Make it clear that you've made your decision to move back and that it's happening soon. If your employer senses that this is a gambit to get out of the office they'll probably call your bluff. Good luck!

ryanSrich 16 hours ago 1 reply      
No. That is not crazy. I work for a company that has several (50% or so) remote workers - we are a tech company.

I suggest looking for a new job. Companies that do not already have a remote working policy are not going to be a conducive environment for you to start your remote career at (if you are even able to convince them).

If you're interested in startups I suggest angel.co. For other opportunities you should checkout weworkremotely.com and authenticjobs.com. Other than that a quick google search for "companies that allow remote work" should suffice.

famousactress 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not crazy. Living somewhere you don't love if you don't absolutely have to and commuting if you don't absolutely have to are definitely crazier :)

We're always looking for great fits and have more than one remote team member. If you think we might be a fit for each-other drop me a line. Company and contact info in my profile.

sunir 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm of two minds on this one. On one hand, remote work is perfectly awesome. I do it. I work for a company that does it. It's a great way to run a company, although it is almost impossible if everyone else is at headquarters are you are not.

The risk you are taking is that you may end up working on projects that do not require interaction with many other people, which may not actually exist in enough frequency to keep you on the payroll.

On the other hand, there is a psychological concept of transference. If you're unhappy in one part of your life, you transfer the unhappiness to another part of your life that is going well and then destroy the good part.

It would be much, much better to focus on the part of your life that is wanting and build that up rather than to break down the part of your life that is successful.

mseebach 11 hours ago 0 replies      
No crazy, but I'd add that you should come up with a plausible plan for coming into the office every once in a while - keeping in mind that no plan survives first contact with reality, the details can be adjusted, but it might go down easier with your boss if you're still going to be in the office say three days every month. Maybe there's a recurring team meeting that you could commit to attending?
jack-r-abbit 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Not crazy. Suggest it now before your lease is up so you can do it for a few weeks or so before you would have to move. This way you can kind of have a trial period. This might make your employer more willing to give it a try if they are concerned about how it will work out. If your work doesn't suffer and everyone can deal with you being remote then it shouldn't matter that you are 10 miles away or 200 miles away. This is 2014... remote work should be assumed and being in office should be the exception.
orware 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Your situation sounds almost exactly like mine.

I got lucky when I decided to come back home to Imperial County, a place here in Southern California with over 25% unemployment most of the time. Right after I finished my degree, and about a year after I started my initial job searching, I ended up landing a great position in 2008 as the webmaster for the local community college.

I had been really happy with my job, and then a few buddies of mine in the Joomla community liked me enough to offer me an opportunity at eBay in 2011 which I ended up taking for a short while. It was tough being away from my family/support network though. Work-wise, I didn't have as much responsibility as I already did at the college, but there was definitely the promise that there would be a lot more down the road. However, I got the sense that my buddies were already thinking of moving on to another company, which scared me a bit as I had gotten used to the job security of working for a public institution. In the end, I ended up getting lucky once again with my old position getting upgraded so I had to decide whether to come back or stay at eBay. I ended up coming back home and starting in the new role in early 2012.

Coming back felt right...but now two years into the new position my heart sort of yearns again for something new and to be a part of something bigger so I can learn more and be more.

My current job is still awesome for my area (if I were to lose this particular position, there would be no equivalent locally that I'm aware of), but what annoys me is that I keep track of all of the Who's Hiring? Threads here on HN each month and I feel like the folks in these companies (at least the ones I've been interested enough in contacting) don't appear to value what I've done so far. Maybe I don't use the latest languages (due to our infrastructure, I've kept things mainly to PHP/MySQL and more recently, PowerShell, for server integration work) or have a lot of experience scaling to millions of users, and I don't use every buzzword I know about, but I definitely know I'm capable of contributing a lot to a team and my people skills are probably one of my greatest assets.

Like you, I sometimes wish I could just work remotely...as an example, last week I wasn't feeling well on Tuesday so I took a sick day and napped for part of the morning and then connected remotely to a WebEx training we were having at 11 AM with a new company we're working with and then caught up on the previous day's work in the afternoon, since I had been out on Monday as well, all from the comfort of my pajamas. It was nice and relaxing, so it might be something I could talk about more with my supervisor. The problem is when you're supposed to be managing other people in addition to your own work, having your presence in the office most of the time is more or less expected so that can be a downer in my case, but perhaps you wouldn't have that same issue.

Going back to my comments above though about the Who's Hiring Threads, while I'm not sure what exactly it is that may not make me attractive to the companies, I think one of them could definitely be that I'm not located in their general vicinity.

There's a lot to be said for being in the right place where those opportunities are more readily available. I wish I could just up and move myself, but in order to maintain the same lifestyle I'd have to be making considerably more than I am currently, simply because rent is so expensive in the Bay Area (and I'd need a decent sized place since I'd be living with my wife and little one). And with all of my family down here in Southern California, it would definitely make spending time with the family more difficult (no quick weekend drives to San Diego, or being able to ask a sister or parent to watch over the little one as inexpensive daycare on certain days or evenings).

If I were in your position, I would go ahead and downsize to a smaller/closer apartment, but I think moving back home would probably put you in a risky position because the remote work opportunities can IMO be a bit more precarious, particularly if everyone else is in the office (even if your still doing about the same amount of work, I think there'd just be that perception that less work is being done, which is a bummer).

I would favor staying put even more if back home you had a low probability of getting a local position that pays close to what you're making now.

All I can say is good luck and I hope you make the right decision for yourself (and I wish some more people would see the value of us small city folk :-).

Jugurtha 11 hours ago 0 replies      
25% pay cut indeed is a crazy idea.

There's a chapter in Tim Ferriss' book "The 4 Hour Work Week" about just that (employee wanting to work remotely, how to pitch it, etc).

Good luck and glad you're going where you belong.

tzs 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Did you feel this way when you and the person you broke up with first moved in together? If not, have you considered the possibility that you aren't actually as unhappy with your new city as you think you are, and your current perceptions are being influenced by the breakup?

It's almost always a bad idea to make big plans soon after a breakup, especially when young.

Hawkee 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I found a very employer who was willing to take me on as a remote employee. At first they were apprehensive because they preferred face to face interaction. I started out coming to the office at least once a week then they realized that wasn't necessary. I was getting things done without coming to the office so they let me stay home full time. It really comes down to your work ethic and whether or not you'll remain as productive at home. If they're open ask if you can do a trial run by working at home 3-4 days a week.
pm 16 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a good idea, but don't be willing to take a pay cut.
zacinbusiness 15 hours ago 0 replies      
That's an excellent question and it's one that drives every meeting I have with potential new clients. I work from home 100% of the time because that allows me to take care of my dogs and give them the attention they deserve and need, and because it means that I can help my wife running the house and taking care of stuff. That said, I've turned down clients who thought that my work could only be performed "on sight."

My argument against that is that surgeries can be performed across the internet, so I'm pretty sure a marketing campaign can be designed and deployed remotely or that a business process can be speced and developed remotely. Sometimes a business will be a hard ass and we will part ways, but normally they will (at least hesitantly) agree to my position. The downside of that is that I'm always an independent contractor, and thus I have to handle my own taxes and insurance etc. So there are some drawbacks.

Still, the main thing is to do what makes you happy and to fight so that you can do it in a place that makes you happy also.

scarecrowbob 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends.

I am living in a tiny Texas town, and I do pretty well freelancing PHP stuff. It wasn't super hard, but it took me maybe two years or so before it was really comfortable.

I don't know many employers who would go for remote work after hiring you-- I don't think that you could convince a business that is used to having you as an onsite employee to change that, but it isn't that hard to find other employers if you have skills.

adyus 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd present this to the employer as switching from a full-time employee to an almost-full-time consultant. They give you a project, you get it done, regardless of where and how you do it.

If the employer needs more convincing, propose you start with a test by trying one day per week remote from now.

Agreeing to take a pay cut would be the icing on the cake.

TheBiv 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate asking the question bc that means that you are at least willing to hear answers.

It depends on your employer. Here are two EXTREMELY broad types (so broad that they probably lose applicability to you):

Business employer: Even if you are able to convince your employer that working remotely would be better for your well-being, then once you leave, you will be treated like an outsourced employee. It will gradually grow on you, but you will be bc in their mind you won't have as good of a grasp on the business and you will be expendable.

Person who employ's you and it just happens to involve business: You're good.

27182818284 16 hours ago 0 replies      
No. In my experience, when I've talked to people older than 60 who worked since they were of age to work, almost all of them have recommended something similar. The ratio might be different, some say take a 50% cut, some say 20%, but they are all very much into the idea of taking a pay cut for the overall happiness.
CyberFonic 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Really depends upon your employer, culture and of course your direct report manager. I don't even think that a pay cut should be necessary. You could even go in to work once a month for the monthly all-hands, etc and maybe stay in a motel for a couple of days.

I was in a similar situation many years ago, working for a small firm where I had excellent rapport with the boss. I went from salary to getting paid by the hour as well. I didn't want to work 60+ hours a week. As it happened they got a client close to where I lived and I was able to service them very well, by being a "local". And after a year, I was making 50% more, before expenses, and working less hours and minimal commute time. It was a win-win-win. Happy me, happy client and happy boss.

Every situation is different, but my experience shows that it is possible to re-negotiate stuff as long as you are good at your work and can demonstrate a win-win.

dropit_sphere 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been in a similar situation. You're tackling the right problem: you should take your mental health very, very seriously, especially when you're away from friends aand family as you are.

That said, be careful that you're not burning bridges. If you can stick it out another year, I would advise you to. You have access to:meetups, conferences, people at barbecues---all of these useful for career development.

Best of luck.

meerita 11 hours ago 0 replies      
No need to pay cut. Just tell them you want to test this option and they will see the same results. Remote work isn't a new thing. Lots of companies do it, why they won't do it?

I arranged with an old job to do this: work from home, 1 day per week i go to the office. It worked well till the point i didn't have to go too much to office.

parag_c_mehta 9 hours ago 0 replies      
IMHO, yes you should ask to work remotely and no, you shouldn't take a paycut.

If anything there should be more allowances because you will be saving Employer's expenses that he usually does per employee in a physical office. You will instead be paying for Electricity etc.

mikelbring 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I moved to a bigger area (from small town Nebraska) for a job, after a few years I was working remote and decided to move back. I've been nervous about losing my job and not finding anything but the best thing you can do is build as many online connections as you can so you can always get work.
Rizz 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget that while you're working from home, other people will be at work, so you might not see any other person 8 hours a day. This could be harder than you think.
pmcpinto 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Good luck, I hope that you achieve what you want. Probably you are a talented guy, so you will find a job in a company with a remote work culture quickly, if your current company doesn't want to give you that benefit.
andrewtbham 15 hours ago 2 replies      
buy a double robot to maintain your presence in the office. i am not joking.


jordanbrown 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing crazy about this at all. I work for a company where we only go into the office on mondays. The rest of the time we choose where we work. I would definitely not ask for a pay cut. You shouldn't need to do that. Just drop this book in there lap. https://37signals.com/remote/
bnt 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you considered starting your own company? I see lots of opportunities for someone from a "rural town".
lhgaghl 12 hours ago 1 reply      
%25 pay cut for not showing up to pointless meetings? sheeeeit.
oakaz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You should just move Oakland
Ask HN: Disability insurance for programmers?
6 points by krogsgard  20 hours ago   3 comments top 3
Pyrodogg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I currently have short & long term disability through my employer. I haven't had an occasion to enact either. So far it's just been a nice to have.

If it weren't provided to me I'd probably be asking the same questions you are.

mlwarren 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't have it. I'd strongly consider getting it if it covered burnout.
mattm 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I have it. I pay about $500/year in premiums for it. Mine is professional-based (I forget the exact terminology) but if I were unable to do programming anymore, I could get another job while still keeping the insurance payout.

I got it because I read a financial book that said you have a surprisingly high chance of being disabled for more than 6 months at some point in your life.

Look into it more. RSI is quite common amongst programmers so it's not without its risks.

Ask HN: Hacking in to the ERP market?
6 points by cookerware  21 hours ago   2 comments top 2
kmnc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here is the real secret: Become a domain expert.

You aren't going to disrupt SAP by building a better data organizer/dashboard. But if you truly understand the complexities of the domain processes you can build a product that has real competitive advantages that you can directly tie to actual ROI.

Secret number two: Look at smaller and more international markets.

Maybe you can't disrupt the help desk industry in the US but maybe you could in Brazil or India. The enterprise software market is starting to get more interest but in the next 20 years it will quite literally run the world. The biggest opportunities won't come from disrupting incumbents, instead they will come from empowering smaller markets to compete at a global scale.

Secret three: Become the connector not the producer.

Does Zapier want to be the next big enterprise software player? Probably. Does easypost want to eventually create APIs for every logistics process? They better be. Embrace the APIzation of everything and look for places were all that's needed is some glue and oil instead of trying to rebuild the entire machine.

retroafroman 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I think one of your best options to to target smaller, specific problems, and sell and 'off the shelf' (as much as possible) solution to small businesses that aren't big enough clients for the giant gorillas of the current space.

As for what type of problems, I think you need to subdivide what the large ERP systems do, and make niche products. For example, a company I worked for in college was a small manufacturer and were trying and failing to keep track of raw material inventory via Quickbooks. On one hand, the inventory needs to be quantified in a dollar amount in quickbooks, but more importantly, they need to be able to use real inventory management functions. Ideally, they would (and probably could've) bought some package just for tracking inventory in and out, but also had an ODBC connection for Quickbooks to see how much the current inventory is worth.

Warehouse Management Systems are similar. Lots of providers at varying levels of cost and complexity, but I haven't seen to many that I can jump into an app store and buy. Of course, the real complexity is that every business has wildly different needs, and even two businesses in the same space will manage processes completely differently. Mods and customization tends to be a big deal. Also, consultants are constantly fighting to be the middleman in between the software providers and the end customers.

These are just a couple reasons I think it can be tough to break into the markets that Oracle, SAP, etc are in.

Also, I think there's a good reason that there are tons of tables and menus in enterprise software. There is a ton of structured data there, so it ends up being the easiest way to show it. Simplifying features and interfaces is a tough sell, because as soon as you think you have things down to a minimum set of 'what really needs to be there', your customer will say, "oh, no. We REALLY need to be able to do x,y,z". Okay, so those make the cut, too. Then the next customer says, "We have a lot of exceptions to the standard process," and next thing you know there are a million menus and options.

Looking for a cofounder role? Join me; I've already got the ball rolling
5 points by PartnerUp  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
codegeek 1 day ago 1 reply      
You might want to give us some more details that could be helpful before contacting you

1) Where are you located in North America ?

2) Where is your E-Commerce business run from primarily ? Location ?

3) Can you share the website for the business ? Assuming it is already running.

karthik2883 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi my name is karthik im a programmer i have 4+ years of experience in e commerce sites if you have any requirement let me know karthik.squareline@gmail.com
Are you looking for a talented co-founder? I am too Let's meet.
30 points by somid3  1 day ago   10 comments top 5
akg_67 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Instead of looking online, I will suggest going to meetups and other gathering places relevant to your interest areas and finding someone you click with.

Chemistry is much more important in a founding team and you are not likely to find that out if you meet someone for express purpose of starting a project together.

Finding founders is like "dating" and not like "interview". Don't be afraid to go it alone until you find someone to team up with.

PartnerUp 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those of you in other cities who might be interested:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7430082
markovbling 1 day ago 0 replies      
maybe "solve your own problem" and build a service to match people wanting to do things with other skilled people :)

could set baseline requirements like have to have attended one of x schools and have to enter url to live project etc

all the best finding a co-founder! :)

pabloarellano 1 day ago 0 replies      
Email sent. Looking forward to the conversation! -Pablo
somid3 1 day ago 2 replies      
lots of votes, but no emails yet...
Ask HN: When has X startup in "X is like Y for Z" done better than Y?
4 points by devinmontgomery  19 hours ago   5 comments top 3
freerobby 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter is like AIM away messages for people who aren't AFK.
6thSigma 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Google is like a file organizer for the web.
Arcantium 17 hours ago 0 replies      
2048 is like 1024 for cool people.

Sorry, its not a real start up. But imagine if it had advertisements.

Ask HN: Who is the guy I see every time I click on the Y logo accidentally?
8 points by phreeza  23 hours ago   3 comments top 2
gabriel34 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I was also really curious about that.What about the other people? Can we get some context on the photos (the rest of the slideshow, that is)?
Ask HN: Help me find a front-end dev. role that allows for telecommute/remote
3 points by samk9080  17 hours ago   1 comment top
OWaz 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you tried searching on https://weworkremotely.com/ ?
Did anyone ever figure out what happened to HN's nickb?
11 points by bhouston  1 day ago   2 comments top
tokenadult 1 day ago 1 reply      
I ask because I know him

Do you know him as in you have met him in person, and know the real-world name he has besides his screenname? I hardly know anyone on Hacker News on that basis.

Not fully on this subject, but found in a thread linked from another tread I just looked up about nickb, it's interesting to look at Paul Graham's comments from 2251 days ago[1] about why he didn't want Hacker News to grow too big.

"It's a combination of motives: I want there to be a site that's like Reddit used to be; I want a real application to drive the design of Arc; and it's good advertising for YC.

"All three are best satisfied by a medium-size site with good quality links and comments, so I am definitely not hoping News.YC becomes the next Digg."

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=100182

Ask HN: What's the best technical talk you've heard?
16 points by porker  2 days ago   8 comments top 7
gvickers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Rich Hickey - Simple Made Easyhttp://www.infoq.com/presentations/Simple-Made-Easy

Changed how I think about a lot of stuff, made my design process a lot more rigorous, and my projects more successful.

pbowyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
These talks have changed the way I think in the last year:

"The Shift: UX Designers as Business Consultants" Davide Casali-Interaction14http://vimeo.com/86495316

Fred George - Programmer Anarchyhttp://vimeo.com/43690647

Ian Cooper: TDD, where did it all go wrong. http://vimeo.com/68375232(All my objections to TDD expressed far more fluently than I could).

Not technical related but...The key to becoming a super-profitable creative agencyhttp://vimeo.com/70026678(though still working out how to apply it)

I have a large "To Watch" list kept in open browser tabs - someone must have built an app to better manage them? So I can say "All the videos on http://www.microconf.com/videos-2013.html" and have it add them to my watchlist.

pestaa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bret Victor - The Future of Programming http://vimeo.com/71278954

He actually speaks about a potential alternative present. ;)

Absolutely ruined the box I was thinking in.

mlitchard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Guy Steele Jr.: Growing a Languagehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ahvzDzKdB0
zindlerb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Jonathan Blow (How to Program Independent Games)http://the-witness.net/news/2011/06/how-to-program-independe...Not really about games. More about CS in general

Any talk by Bret Victor.

napsterbr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hard to say if it's the best, but Crockford series on javascript is just awesome. I highly recommend it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxAXlJEmNMg Browse the related videos to see the others)

darksim905 2 days ago 0 replies      
either talks by Joe McCray, or a talk by Adam Moskowitz on how to transition to a Sr. Sysadmin.
Ask HN: ISPs with alternative business models
2 points by nopal  17 hours ago   3 comments top 2
nkw 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I disagree that a traditional ISP would be unable to match the price of Google Fiber in the right circumstances. I've done quite a bit of modeling and research on the issue, and I believe pricing comparable to Google Fiber would be profitable for an ISP, assuming the cost of the build out is known and reasonable. (Note: I assume we are talking about the U.S. here.)

The problem posed to such a venture really is two fold:

(1) There is not a uniform or even well settled authority for ISPs to use public utility right-of-ways. You need to put all your fiber in the easements, conduits, and on the poles owned by telephone companies, cable companies, and electric companies. There are laws which provide for each of these companies to access these resources at (usually) set or ascertainable pricing. There is no such authorities for ISPs. Which means you either have to "sort-of" become a telephone company, or a "cable" company, which exposes you to an entire regulatory regime (including, perhaps required services) that isn't particularly suited for the ISP business. The existing ISP duopoly (cable & dsl) exists because they already have access to the right-of-way by virtue of their original business (telephone and cable tv) and have just "added on" Internet service. How has Google managed to do it then? That is actually interesting. First, as far as the law of at least their primary location (Kansas City, MO & KS) they are in a nebulous legal place where they are an "enhanced video provider", without being a "cable TV operator". This coupled with governments falling all over themselves, and signing agreements they never would for anyone else, at the mention of the word "Google" (and I'm not saying this is a bad thing) has allowed them to accomplish far more from a regulatory standpoint than probably not have been possible for anyone else.

(2) The majority of the capital required for such an endeavor is up front construction costs, which in most places in the United States are either non-ascertainable (due to #1), under the control of your competition (because they control the right-of-way due to #1), or just plain expensive (even without the problems of #1, lots of people digging holes to put fiber in is expensive). The payback period from these upfront construction costs + the regulatory/legal/political uncertainty of #1 makes it a hard sell to whomever provides the capital.

The solution? Enterprising company + visionary city could solve a lot of these problems. The city usually has the authority to grant access to the rights-of-way and might even be able to finance infrastructure projects such as the laying of fiber over the long periods associated with public works projects. However in those instances where those two elements have come together to try to provide this type of arrangement one of two things have happened: (1) gross incompetence by either company or city or political wrangling/red-tape by city send project into death spiral or (2) the incumbent providers have been extraordinarily successful at killing such endeavors at State level. Do not underestimate the State lobbying power of AT&T. It is truly something to behold.

This might not directly answer your question, but the issues with launching a successful residential fiber ISP are much more than just having an alternative business model. You need to have a pretty impressive amount of lobbying prowess, regulatory flexibility, and upfront capital.

6thSigma 16 hours ago 0 replies      
My parent's ISP is relatively cheaper than its competitors but they inject ads in most popular sites.
Which are the CS subjects/papers every good systems programmer should read?
2 points by slynux  18 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: How are you tracking discussions on HN?
7 points by rrtwo  1 day ago   9 comments top 4
usea 1 day ago 0 replies      
I click the "threads" link up top.
ASquare 1 day ago 1 reply      
hurch 1 day ago 0 replies      
copy link and reference it as often as I remember to/stay interested in the topic
Ask HN: Best OSS Projects for Beginning Contributors
48 points by begriffs  4 days ago   34 comments top 19
Oculus 4 days ago 0 replies      
Code Combat (YC W14) is a game that teaches people to program. It's been entirely open sourced and the devs/community make it extremely simple for new comers to contribute. I strongly recommend you check them out!


paulproteus 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hey begriffs!

I'm a volunteer with OpenHatch, which egor83 mentions below -- a non-profit to help people get involved in open source. At our Open Source Comes to Campus events, we aim to find great projects to connect newcomers with. (More info on the event series here -- http://campus.openhatch.org/ )

Your question struck a chord with me, since I think your curriculum and the curriculum we use for our weekend-long events would have some overlap: https://openhatch.org/wiki/Open_Source_Comes_to_Campus/Curri...

But the hard part is helping find great open source projects to contribute to.

To help with that, we wrote a guide for projects: http://opensource-events.com/

and are trying to reach out to project maintainers to help projects become "OpenHatch affiliated"; https://openhatch.org/wiki/OpenHatch_affiliated_projects -- maybe one great next step is to take this list of goals for projects, and work together in reaching out to projects to become OpenHatch Affiliated. Then you can have your students join the collection of people reaching out to those projects.

We find that having a specific person in the project care about the newcomer experience matters more than what we could find algorithmically. We still have the automated tool here: https://openhatch.org/search/ , in case you're interested.

Semi-sorry that this is a long comment, but I wanted to fill you in on a bunch of things, and I'm about to go to bed, so this has a higher chance than usual of being rambly.

OpenHatch-y people who care about outreach like this convene on the "Events" mailing list <http://lists.openhatch.org/mailman/listinfo/events/> and I hope you'll join us there and say hi! And/or reply with your thoughts here.

I'd love to collaborate on this, as it's something that we're always interested in improving for our students, too. I'm based in SF, in case you want to meet up for coffee etc.

P.S. The OpenHatch web app is itself is an open source project, in Django & Javascript, and we are always welcoming contributors. (-: Also, oppia is the project that we're furthest-along with in terms of OpenHatch affiliation.

Xdes 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm terrible at open source because I usually fix things that don't need to be fixed (aka refactor). Then people yell at me to go away.
egor83 4 days ago 0 replies      
OpenHatch tries to solve this problem - help people find a good project, and in general, make it easier for new people to get into OSS.


bitsweet 4 days ago 1 reply      
Helpful (http://helpful.io). Ruby on Rails helpdesk software trying to make things like ZenDesk & Desk.com suck less. Github: https://github.com/asm-helpful/helpful-web. There is always a list of things to do (https://assemblymade.com/helpful/wips) and a community around to help. We also share the ownership (and profit) of the app between the contributors. Anybody is welcome to be "Helpful" and join in building it.

Full disclosure, founder

laurenstill 4 days ago 0 replies      
I would focus on larger, well known established projects covering a variety of interests. For me, personally, I wont get much out of just pushing code or documentation to a project I don't care about. Second to that, is not working with asshole. I'm not sure how I would script that.

OpenMRS was my first true OSS introduction, even though at the time I knew nothing about java. It's in my field of choice, and large enough I got some decent mentorship and appropriate projects. Doesn't hurt that they also regularly participate in GNOME/FOSSOPW, so I knew there would be people interesting and willing to mentor.

fmendez 4 days ago 0 replies      
You might want to take a look at: http://www.codetriage.com/ which is build precisely to help you find out OSS projects to contribute to.
tectonic 1 day ago 0 replies      
We'd love the help on Huginn!


camus2 4 days ago 1 reply      
What about contributing to writing docs instead? yes i'm serious. When it comes to writing documentation for opensource projects, suddenly,there is no developper available. Yet documentation is central to any opensource project.

Maybe I should launch a "Please write help us write docs" plateform.

phantom_oracle 4 days ago 0 replies      
Large amount of stars/following with a handful (or less) of contributors?

Rebuilding dead projects from other languages into modern languages?

I was working on something similar and would like to restart my effort to get folks building up real projects. Perhaps we could work together if interested (unless you're driven by profit, which I am not).

nolanl 4 days ago 0 replies      
PouchDB is a fairly up-and-coming JavaScript library, and the maintainer makes a good effort to mark issues as "goodfirstpatch" or "goodstudentproject": https://github.com/daleharvey/pouchdb/issues?labels=goodfirs... .

I've been on the project for a couple months, and I find folks to be very friendly and quick to respond on Github/IRC/etc. Plus it's part of the bigger Apache CouchDB ecosystem, so it's a good crowd to run with!

dmourati 4 days ago 0 replies      
My approach is to work on bugs I encounter and that I am capable of fixing. So far that has lead to contributes to SimianArmy, Ganglia, Anemometer, and Logstash. Just be a good community member and get in where you fit in.
hardfire 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have found the mozilla community to be very helpful and each project has a very good list of mentored bugs. The community has found http://www.joshmatthews.net/bugsahoy/ to be a very good tool for beginning contributors to get the right first bug and step into the whole community. Best way to get involved remains to ping to #introduction on IRC (irc.mozilla.org)

Regarding discovering them algorithmically tends to be quite an interesting idea actually, should think more on this.

jimaek 4 days ago 0 replies      
A very easy way to contribute is to help keep jsDelivr updated. People can submit new libraries they find and update older ones (at least until auto-update will be ready) https://github.com/jsdelivr/jsdelivr
chris_wot 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's a pity you don't teach C++, the LibreOffice team are amazing!
donniezazen 4 days ago 0 replies      
Any of the KDE Community projects. http://community.kde.org/Getinvolved
hammadfauz 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would like to add a couple of filters to the OP (for personal use): The project is mainly in JavaScript, preferably uses Node.js
aksx 4 days ago 0 replies      
elementary OS, an Ubuntu based GNU/Linux distribution.We use bala for the programming language which is very similar to C# but compiles to C.

Most of the contributers are students including me and we have a very welcoming environment.

Just drop I'm #elementary-Dev introduce yourself and join the effort.

jongleberry 4 days ago 0 replies      
if you're interested in creating small, modular browser modules, feel free to contribute to any repo in https://github.com/component. most work with browserify as well, and bower support is trivial.
Ask HN: Next Gen idea for digital books
5 points by ganessh  23 hours ago   1 comment top
pedalpete 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Sadly, the problem with physical books isn't in the ones that are purchased, but the ones that aren't.

Publishers print massive amounts of books in the hopes that they will sell. The majority of these sit in warehouses and never see daylight, and are then recycled. Some make it out to stores, and then get returned to the publisher, and recycled.

We have a viable alternative to print books, why don't we just find a way to improve those to the point that people don't want the printed material anymore.

I think the opportunity, truly, is in discovery. I still, sadly, go into bookstores to find what I want to buy, and then go buy the digital version. I wish there was something as good as browsing a bookstore, but there isn't. It would be great if I could go to the bookstore, if I download a book from within their location, they get a cut.

Ask HN: Let's list hair on fire problems
8 points by adamzerner  1 day ago   32 comments top 22
NicheDiver 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Digital asset management after death. Something all encompassing that is easy to comprehend by non-technical people. (i.e. The people you leave behind.)

Instead of leaving a list of accounts, user names, passwords and instructions for each, I want to be able to say, "When I die, XYZ co will take care of all of this" and feel confident that it will be as stress free as possible for my family.

adamzerner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Having to go to the doctor for something little, rather than a quicker and cheaper alternative.
bjourne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Create a fully automated and objective system to gauge the ability of developers. Then people and companies wouldn't have to waste time performing interviews.
adamzerner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Having to buy a car when you really just need to get to work and go shopping every once in a while.
adamzerner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not knowing what the culture is really like at the companies your considering working for.
adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lack of stimulating discussion. Most people treat discussions/arguments like wars, and don't know how to apply the principles of reductionism.
petervandijck 8 hours ago 0 replies      
international tax advice. cash flow for young companies. hiring.
markovbling 1 day ago 0 replies      
Grocery store has ALL the ingredients i need except 1 or 2 ESSENTIAL components.

I'm sure everyone's had the experience of filling their shopping trolley up with all the ingredients to make say wraps except the store is sold out of actual wraps. Like you have all the salads and fillings etc but no actual wraps.

Now I have to find another store nearby that has my missing ingredients. DURRRR RAGE!

There's a start up idea in there somewhere.

like what if I could check off my grocery list and any items not checked off, i automatically get a list of the nearest places relative to my current location where i can get that item.


adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cheap and convenient interstate travel. Megabus sucks.
adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not having any useful startup related classes to take in college. (Business classes teach how to run big businesses. CS classes are often many levels of abstraction too low. And there aren't any classes that teach design
adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not knowing what different careers are really like until you try them.
adamzerner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not being able to fall asleep at night.
adamzerner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Trouble meeting cool new people. Most of it just happens by chance encounters.
adamzerner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not being able to easily compare the performance of different mutual funds.
adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not having a quick, cheap and healthy fast food place to go to.
adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having to go grocery shopping when you only need a few things.
angersock 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dicks to chicks ratio at tech conferences is abysmal.
adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Having" to go through K-12.
adamzerner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Remembering all your passwords.
adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finding something good on TV.
adamzerner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having to clean.
adamzerner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Should everyone speak English at a company?
11 points by EC1  2 days ago   23 comments top 10
codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
More than language at times, it is usually cultural differences as well. You gave the example of elevator chit chat. I think it might have more to do with the fact that your Indian/Chinese co-worker might not have a lot of common things to talk about. For example, sports. A typical american likes american football or baseball at least knows enough about it talk to another american. Someone from another country may not relate to this at all unless they are actually following the sports (a lot of them do of course). So sometimes they are not sure what to say and hence go with the usual "weather" or "watched TV" chat.

Having said this, I personally think that it is rude to talk in a language in work settings that someone else does not understand even though you may not be talking to/about them. However, many times, the people doing this do not realize it is rude (again due to cultural differences). They will think "what the heck, I am talking in my mother tongue to someone else, why does he/she care". They do not realize that it might be making the other person uncomfortable.

P.S: I am an Indian who moved to the US many years ago.

dalke 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is the language the actual issue?

That is, how is this different than if one group of people constantly talks about what their fantasy football team is doing, and another constantly talk about celebrity gossip, and you care about neither sports nor celebrities?

The example you gave isn't mutually exclusive - "watched some TV" followed by two hours of discussion might be "watched the Indian equivalent of House of Cards over the weekend and now want to talk about it." You wouldn't have seen it, nor know the relevant political background to make sense of it. Would you spend several hours during work to coach a near stranger on US politics, in order to describe the TV show you just watched?

Speaking of which, how are they able to talk for 2 hours in a small room without distracting anyone else? You're likely exaggerating, but is your frustration that you're feeling lonely/isolated, that the room is too small for the number of people in it, or something else besides just that you don't speak Hindi or Chinese?

Getting HR to force everyone to speak English isn't really going to help anything.

esdailycom 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As an Indian, this is a topic of conversation even inside India. For example, the place I worked for in Bangalore had people who spoke to each other in Hindi, another bunch that spoke Tamil, Telugu, etc. When there was a common need, of course they spoke in English or Hindi (when everyone understands it). But to each other, people speak in their vernacular.

For someone to whom English is a second language, it doesn't come naturally to converse all the time in English - they probably think in their vernacular and translate it into English all the time they talk to you. Asking them to converse among themselves in English just so the lone English could understand their Shah Rukh Khan gossip is unrealistic.

DanBC 2 days ago 1 reply      
No. Asking people to speak English only is racist.

Edit: here are some links from Wales:


yen223 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everyone should speak the same language. That language does not necessarily have to be English.
seanmcdirmid 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised the Indians were speaking Hindi to each other; India is linguistically very diverse and two random Indians running into each other (without knowing where each other is from) would probably speak English, often even within India.

I work in an English-speaking office that is 95% Chinese (and I'm the only non-Chinese on my team), my Chinese is marginal but I make it a point to interject English into conversations even if I have the slightest idea about what is being discussed. But otherwise, I'm used to it.

NonEUCitizen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Use your work situation as an opportunity to learn some Hindi and Mandarin.
meerita 1 day ago 0 replies      

I work for one company and we're a multi-language team. If needed, we all speak in english. No one complained. Actually meetings start depending the main actor, if he/she an english speaker, then we all start to talk in english. Actually we speak in spanish, catalan, english and italian.

cafard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can see that it can be lonely for you. However, I do not see that your coworkers are doing anything wrong.
lightblade 2 days ago 2 replies      
Yes. I definitely think everyone should speak the official language local country while at work. That's English for US and Mandarin Chinese if you're in China.

I think speaking different languages at work can create a us vs them atmosphere that's not good for a healthy work environment.

Ask HN: Does your office have quiet working conditions?
4 points by algo  1 day ago   11 comments top 9
not_paul_graham 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd quit my office if they had music playing from 9-5. There are already way too many distractions. From people walking by to the printers to general office chatter.

A lot of people use headphones in my office, but occasionally someone has the bright idea to turn on their speakers because they misplaced their headphones and well we usually ask them to turn it off.

To answer your question: most noise negatively impacts my work.

dubfan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nope. Between music, noise from the street and the constant overlapping conversations, magnified by the fact that we're probably over the allowed occupancy for our space, I sometimes have a hard time hearing people sitting across from me. In this company's effort to save money, they've ended up hurting productivity.
ctb_mg 1 day ago 0 replies      
You really can't play music in an environment where knowledge workers go about their day! That notion is crazy to me. That's like playing disco during a grandmaster chess tournament.

Personally I could work with or without the music. My office doesn't play music. If they did I would complain -- sometimes you just aren't in the mood for tunes.

That being said I've heard anecdotally that music without lyrics doesn't detriment productivity too much.

natdempk 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow, that's horrible. I would probably get nothing done in that office. Mine is silent apart from occasional talking, but even then for anything extended/scheduled people tend to grab a room so it doesn't disturb others.

I would recommend getting some better headphones/foam earbud tips to block the noise. I have some earbuds with Comply foam tips, which block noise extremely well at safe listening volumes to the point where I can hear my music clearly on the train, so office noise is no issue.

zimpenfish 1 day ago 1 reply      
No music but there's about 100 people on an open plan floor; at least half of which are frequent phone conference / desk meeting participants.
bjoerns 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used to work in a coworking office. They didn't play music but I still found other people having conversations quite distracting. Working from a spare room at home again which is quite quiet. Having said that, it's not today as my little one is poorly and at home and cranky... which has quite a negative impact on my ability to focus.
eswat 1 day ago 0 replies      
We used to play music on Friday afternoons in my old office.

But we realized quickly that this was disruptive to many people. You need to give knowledge workers a clean slate environment so they can change it into one that lets them perform their best, but without affecting others.

Spoom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, unless the CEO is in the office, and then he turns on the radio.
b14d3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not at all. My workplace is in a warehouse that frequently has fork lifts running in and out of it, including some construction and cleaning with noxious chemicals.

I'm a web developer.

Google Abandoning Wildfire
14 points by rschapman  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
smcnally 2 days ago 0 replies      
Who said "not in the business of social?" Google, or someone up your Uni chain of command relaying the message to you?

If the former, that would have G+ and YouTube connotations. I don't think someone at Google said that to you or to anyone.

tectonic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Aw, they gave out the best swag at conferences.
djyaz1200 2 days ago 0 replies      
       cached 20 March 2014 20:05:01 GMT