hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    11 Apr 2014 Ask
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Ask HN: Can we consider the web safe now?
3 points by mikemoka  1 hour ago   1 comment top
yen223 2 minutes ago 0 replies      

It took 2 years for the good guys to locate a bug in a popular open-source program. Who knows how many other bugs are lurking out there, especially in closed-source software - last I checked, IIS still commands a respectable market share.

Ask HN: Founders: Interested in earning extra cash?
8 points by bryanjoseph  5 hours ago   8 comments top 3
chewxy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
You have my attention. Now, what's the pitch?
gregcohn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
FWIW, I know of at least one member of the billion-plus exit club who was a core founder & did sidework during the early days....
mindcrime 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is this of interest?

Oh yeah, definitely.


Want. Now.

Seriously, I could see this being really useful if it works. I'd be very interested in giving it a try.

Ask HN: Is anyone else working on this? Maybe I can help you.
2 points by resdirector  1 hour ago   1 comment top
Ask HN: What are the best resources to learn SEO?
12 points by tomwhita  6 hours ago   7 comments top 5
tlubinski 3 hours ago 0 replies      
+1 for http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo, I also liked https://thecoderfactory.com/posts/200-must-know-facts-on-seo and of course you should know your google tools:Google Webmaster Tools: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

Google Adwords Keyword Planner: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner

hagbardgroup 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This has always been excellent: http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

It even has pictures. After that, I would suggest that you search for specific issues that crop up as you work on projects.

reddit.com/r/bigseo is one of the better free communities that I know of. Most open-entry communities related to SEO become toxic cesspools almost immediately, especially at scale.

subrat_rout 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The beginner's guide to SEO by SEOMoz is also a good one.http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
a3voices 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd look up SEO forums and read recent threads. SEO changes all the time because Google changes their algorithms.
gesman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
thevault.bz :-P
Ask HN: Making the move to consulting; where does someone start?
3 points by Fr0styMatt  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
keithwarren 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am not an Aussie, but I did eat at an Outback Steakhouse last night!


In all seriousness I have been on my own for almost 15 years and I first made the leap by securing a contract from a client of my former employer. My employer was ok with it because they were moving in a different direction so the first step out the door was like having a job but I changed status from employee to contractor. The wonderful thing was the customer got me for cheaper than they were paying my employer and I got a big raise. Definition of a 'win-win'.

For most people you are going to have to get out there and do some sales work but what I suggest to people making this leap is to sell yourself to an agency, not individual customers. There are lots of consulting firms who need people and they are afraid to bring on full time work because their variations in work are often from contract to contract. If they land a gig for 4 people and 6 months of work yet only have 3 people they have to spend the time and money to go out and hire someone - then once the gig is done they have to keep that person busy. If they can find someone who will work on the project as a sub-contractor it is much more valuable to them.

Doing sub-contract work like this is a great way to give you steady income while you network and build a portfolio of direct customers where you can make better margins.

Another thing I would advise, realize that your rate represents a perceived value. If I tell you my rate is $40/hr then you think one thing - if I tell you my rate is $195 per hour you freak out, say that is crazy and then think - this guy must be amazing if people pay him that. It changes the mindset and even if you cannot get them signed at 195, it makes 150 sound like a bargain. The catch - you have to be worth it.

taprun 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm not an Aussie, but I saw two films starring Paul Hogan.

I'm trying to make this transition as well. I think it basically boils down to the following:Ask lots of people what their problems are (lead generation, paperwork and team coordination appear common themes), explain how you can help them out while using non-technical talk and then charge them. I'm hopefully going to start doing that next week.

Ask HN: What are the current debates and unsolved issues in web development?
3 points by lujia  1 hour ago   discuss
3 SSL vulnerability discovered in 3 months, anything wrong?
4 points by 0xo  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
tptacek 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!
glimcat 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Security vulnerabilities are often found in clusters, whether because of heightened attention or simply because coincidence & cognitive bias.
Ask HN: How much money have you lost on side projects/businesses?
20 points by aswin8728  13 hours ago   17 comments top 7
jmathai 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Left my job to do (current) startup. Spent 14 months w/o salary before we got funding. The total sounds like a lot but if I had to do it again I would.

I'm a big proponent of being open about finances and the financial struggle of doing startups - especially when you have kids and one stay at home parent in my case.

  Loss of salary for 1 year, 2 months  Does not include loss of 401k match or ESPP  -$140,000  Successful Kickstarter @ $25k  +$20,000  8 week contracting project @ 20hrs / week  +$16,000  Living expenses for 14 months (savings/stocks)  -$70,000  Post funding difference in salary from market rate  -$50,000 (year 1)  -$40,000 (year 2)
Total -$264,000

My wife randomly reminds me what started off as a 3 month experiment has turned into a 3 year "adventure". She's not adventurous though :).

malux85 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Not me, but a friend of mine works at Google and she has poured some 64,000k into building a live tv streaming service that didn't come to anything. The developer responsible eventually just went off radar and didn't even give SSH keys to the server, or and copies of the source code. I feel really sorry for her, and have been helping in any way I can...

When I heard the 64k figure I nearly had a heart attack! Jiminy Jillikers thats a lot of money.

sharemywin 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I bought a pizza shop. Invested 100k from credit cards in it to prove I was committed. I work full time as a developer so, I needed someone to run it. Got sales to over 40k a month in sales and still couldn't turn any kind of profit. Bought a second shop pretty sure I was robbed blind. Sold both never got paid for either shop. Not sure how to proceed now. Getting garnished so huge chunk of my pay is lost to paying back debt. Learned many valuable lessons. I consider it my ivy league of the real world education. I flipped a house paid 85k with a loan fixed it up sold it for 128k, still broke even took to long to fix up. Bought a rental property tenants destroyed couldn't get it re-rented. Owned a mortgage company market collapsed.
qhoc 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I lost most money on stock trading actually. But it was back 2009-2011. I could have bought a new Lexus paid in cash with it. It has been haunting me for years since.

Then I started a cheap jewelry retail website. I did small and invested only $800 for inventory. The site ran on Magento and cheap PHP hosting like $7/mo. I got literally zero sales after 8 months. I went down San Fran Piers and saw they were selling same thing for cheap. Doh! I gave up the business and put away all inventory, which wasn't much. However, the time spent on taking photos and upload hundreds of $2 products was all wasted. It's plain stupid.

krmmalik 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Not me personally, but I know someone that spent 75k of personal funds on a video training website. didn't get a single sale out of it.
flybrand 12 hours ago 2 replies      
$40k in '09 on a food focused web app - split with my brother. $2k last year on an education web app my wife worked on (that was our share, there were 3 other participants).

The real killer is the time, not the $s out of pocket. My estimated hourly rate varies a lot based on what I'm doing - but it would lead to a significant increase if included.

karishmasibal 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah those are really sad stories.. I hope you all are recovered from it.
Two new upcoming Foundation interviews from Kevin Rose
2 points by datamingle  2 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: What are the current best frameworks for CRUD app auto generation?
6 points by nsxwolf  11 hours ago   4 comments top 3
bjourne 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Django-Admin: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/ref/contrib/admin/

It was a few years since I used it last and there may be something even more amazing out there now. You can easily have a large data registration system up and running in under a day. There are even 3rd party modules that extend django-admin for domain specific tasks.

clyfe 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Just allow the users to crud: https://github.com/sferik/rails_admin

Need more powerful customization? https://github.com/activescaffold/active_scaffold

phantom_oracle 9 hours ago 1 reply      
>for CRUD app auto generation?

According to what I've read about, getting a CRUD app up and running in Rails is as easy as 1 line in the commandline.

Is this what you are referring to?

Ask HN: How to fix procrastination?
2 points by Liongadev  4 hours ago   4 comments top 4
alexmorse 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The best motivator for me is seeing progress. Getting started on something new is the big hurdle.

I have to break projects apart into smaller pieces so I can show myself I'm progressing towards the end goal and not just stuck on a treadmill.

Once started, it's much easier to keep going. This applies to just about everything I can think of. Take the first step, build momentum.

Having goals or soft deadlines helps too. Tell a friend you're going to show them progress by a certain time.

conkrete 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've never seen a one off fix for something as complex as procrastination. Usually the "treatment" is taylored to the individual.

Is it possible this is a physiological health issue (like ADHD)? I don't really condone medicine unless absolutely necessary. Doing exercise right before work can sometimes help relax and keep you focused.

Most studies tend to point to the prefrontal cortex as the culprit for procastincation. It seems the more you stay on task, the easier it is over time. Like exercising a muscle.

But certainly all animals, once fed, become lazy. It's not just humans. All I can say is good luck and don't stop the good fight against scumbag brain.

ekimlol 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think there is a healthy amount of procrastination we need as individuals - it's our brain taking a break. Also there is a lot of stuff happening in our subconscious mind that we aren't aware of, and these "breaks" enable us to solve problems without really knowing it. How often have you had that "I get it now!" moment? Or when something finally clicked without you really having to do much?

There are people out there who don't procrastinate as much as others, but I think you'll find that you procrastinate as much as you need it.

Sure this is one type of procrastination, however there are other types which include not doing things because you're being lazy (this is hard to define if you need a break), or your attention span or concentration levels are just not there.

I used to procrastinate and I still do. If I wanted something so bad, I'd get it however it hasn't affected me to the point where I can't accomplish anything - I am just lazy.

EDIT: Also you have to think about your productivity levels for the hours you worked? Were you extremely productive?Perhaps you hit your limit? I guess overall, the important thing here is that you've recognised something you want to change and perhaps the actions you take will enable you to work more efficiently in the future.

stylesr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You can fix it later...
Ask HN: Accelerator advice
3 points by throwawayn3847  5 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Who's willing to reset user passwords in response to heartbleed?
2 points by jmathai  6 hours ago   3 comments top 2
akg_67 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I decided not to reset password for everyone for my web service.

Instead, I sent out a security alert email to everyone with links to ArsTechnica article http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/04/critical-crypto-bug-... and Heartbleed bug http://heartbleed.com/ for more information and a link to our password reset page.

We also have a security alert on user dashboard that they see after logging into our system.

OafTobark 5 hours ago 1 reply      
A better method might be next time they come onto the site and log in (or if they are already logged in), put up a stop page (similar to a paywall message) warning them in plain English of what happened and strongly recommend a password change. Make it easy for them to skip or X out of the box.

I think forcing users to change passwords or taking a passive email stance when there is a chance most might not read their email are both not ideal solutions

Ask HN: Which is the safest OS?
2 points by xkarga00  8 hours ago   1 comment top
payapp 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I agree, there is no such thing as 'safest OS' however it also depends on who are you trying to save from? Government? forget it. Viruses and malwares (non gov stuff) then MacOS is still better than others. This is a lengthy discussion though.
Ask HN: Is Sublime Text dead?
58 points by hbbio  16 hours ago   85 comments top 21
purephase 16 hours ago 2 replies      
This was posted in the ST forum on Mar. 18, 2014 [1]:

"From the Sublime office: We are not selling to Github, we are not stopping development of Sublime. As noted by another poster, this is effectively a one man band (I'm here to answer sales questions, process your refunds and get the mail so Jon doesn't have to). The past few months of silence on the development front have been a combination of boring back end work (taxes, new payment platform) as well as a break for the man driving this whole operation. No, we don't currently have a loud internet presence, which is can be an understandable cause for concern-something we intend to address once we move into the production version of 3. There is a vision for continued growth and development, there is momentum behind Sublime Text; it is not dead, just slow.

I'm happy to field any specific questions you might have about the Sublime's future: sales@sublimetext.com."

[1] https://www.sublimetext.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15477&...

huskyr 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Weird how a product that's used by thousands of developers all around the world every day is still basically a one-man-show.
colinbartlett 15 hours ago 2 replies      
There were 3 years between vim 7.3 and 7.4 releases, but nobody has ever thought vim was dead.
FooBarWidget 16 hours ago 4 replies      
I hope Sublime Text isn't going the way of Textmate: after making lots of profits during a short period of hype, the product enters a period of complacency.
Narretz 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I cannot say anything about the status, but saying "a proper go to defintion mechanism" is missing, is misleading. First, ST3 has a Go To definition feature, and second ST has always been a Text Editor first, IDE second.I am more frustrated that long standing bugs and inconistencies do not get fixed.
bowlofpetunias 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't understand what people are doing that they need editors to have rapid development cycles.

Hell, the only reason I tend to drop editors (which happens rarely) is exactly because there's so much development that it has become bloated with bells and whistles I don't need.

It's an editor, not a fashion item.

jtokoph 16 hours ago 0 replies      
There seems to be a bit of a discussion on the forum:


forgotAgain 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I hope it's not dead. I just moved a few months ago from Eclipse to Sublime Text for Go and Javascript programming. I'm loving not having a slow IDE to deal with.
kidh0 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I guess that people begin to talk about the dead of sublime text with the launch of github Atom. Since there are basically the same features and with a beautiful interface to manage the extensions, everyone started to look back to ST and ask: "Ok, what's your move now?".

I have almost nothing to complaint about ST, I've been using the version 3 regularly for a few months. Off course, I want new features (and a few bugfixes, damn you single quotes bug), but I'm pretty happy.

KJBweb 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Atom really annoyed me to be honest, I wouldn't have bothered requesting a beta invite if I knew it was Mac only at the moment.

Furthermore, why is Windows and Linux only an afterthought here? That suggests to me that further down the road, new updates and bug fixes will be released for the Mac version, with the Windows and Linux versions left to suffer.

I'll stick with Sublime and VIM for the foreseeable, thanks.

ditoax 16 hours ago 2 replies      
It isn't as pretty as Sublime Text but I am a long time (~15 years I think now) user of UltraEdit. I have never used the Linux or OS X versions just Windows but it is a pretty solid editor with loads of features and very, very fast. Kind of pricy these days though, I bought it a long time ago with a lifetime upgrade license and it has been well worth the money IMHO.
TheRealDunkirk 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Sure, it'd be great if the author open sourced it if he's no longer interested in doing it, but whatever. My license is still valid, and it still does everything I paid for it to do. If someone wants to take up the charge and make a better version, it looks like there's a market for that.
cheshire137 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If it dies, at least there's Atom now. I just bought my Sublime Text 2 license, though, and I'm happy to stay with it because it gives me all I need.
mattwritescode 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Shame its not opensource then people could contribute more than just plugins!
UweSchmidt 15 hours ago 2 replies      
A while ago Sublime Text 2 announced that the current version was now outdated, fair enough. However it didn't let me use the program any more, suggesting I go and update.

Roughing it with Notepad++ now.

tdsamardzhiev 15 hours ago 0 replies      
No, it isn't. Move on.

How do this kind of threads get to 1st page at HN?!

hmans 13 hours ago 0 replies      
He's getting ready for a Sublime Text 4 alpha release. It's supposed to ship any day now.
pantalaimon 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Still works for me
jheriko 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Now I know about it at all... Thanks. :)
rootlocus 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe it's more along the lines of: "SublimeText is dead, long live SublimeText!"
Infinitesimus 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Too soon...
RFC 6520 and the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug share the same author
21 points by JoelJacobson  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
tptacek 1 day ago 0 replies      
The payload in RFC 6520 serves a clear purpose, one discussed in the open on the TLS WG mailing list, which you should probably read before casting stones.

To wit: TLS Heartbeats were originally intended for DTLS (in fact, the first draft was apparently DTLS-specific). Datagram protocols have a problem: if datagrams are too large, the IP protocol will need to fragment them. Fragmentation is calamitous for performance and reliability. So sizing datagrams is tricky. One technique for solving that is "path MTU discovery". The original use case for TLS Heartbeats was, as the RFC spells out clearly, PMTU discovery.

The payload/padding split exists so that one side of the protocol can send large messages, and the counterparty can reply with smaller ones, relying on the fact that the message includes discardable padding.

It's not a good protocol. The functionality is implemented at the wrong layer. And the inclusion of the extension into TCP TLS was a mistake, one (also) discussed on the mailing list. Unfortunately, the way standards work, it's easier to say "yes" to new features than "no", and it was easier to add the extension to both TCP TLS and DTLS than it was to hash out the argument of whether TCP TLS needed the feature.

apawloski 1 day ago 0 replies      
RFC 6520 is the Heartbeat specification, right? Design notwithstanding, is it really an unbelievable scenario that the person who wrote the RFC also implemented it?

The bug was a typical C slip-up. You see it everywhere. It happens. Yes, the stakes are much higher here, but I don't think the fact that Robin also authored RFC 6520 makes it more suspicious.

ProblemFactory 17 hours ago 0 replies      
The Heartbleed bug was a C buffer overflow. Entirely unrelated to the heartbeat feature, its spec, or the functionality of SSL as a whole. It had serious impact because was in a popular network-accessible library - something similar could also happen in the Linux TCP stack, in a popular web or database server, or any other network-accessible C program.

But something that seems just wrong is the expectation that "someone else" (the small all-volunteer OpenSSL team) should have taken more time away from their day jobs and family to: have different people writing specs and implementation, writing more tests, running static analysis tools, have code more reviews, and refactored code to be more readable. But if OpenSSL is so critical to your privacy, security and business, where were your contributions to writing those tests and code reviews?

I don't mean that every developer must contribute code to be allowed to have an opinion - but most of the lamentation at "what the OpenSSL team should have done" never considers who exactly should be spending time or money on this extra effort.

bjourne 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's better to yourself get involved in drafting the rfc:s, if that is your thing, rather than throwing out insane accusations.
danielweber 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should demand your money back.
Graph analytics and Social Network Analysis on massive graphs with Giraph
2 points by claudiomartella  10 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Any hackers over 60? 70?
203 points by GuiA  4 days ago   117 comments top 31
nkoren 4 days ago 1 reply      
My father isn't a HN regular, but he's 70 and is very much a hacker. He founded a software startup (www.imatest.com) when he was 63, and now has a dozen employees and is working harder than ever as its CTO. His passion for hacking hasn't waned in the slightest -- if anything, it's increased by orders of magnitude since he retired from his day job. His hacking aptitude within his own narrow speciality (imaging science) also seems to be undiminished.

I do sometimes notice that the breadth of his hacking aptitude might be less than in a younger person; he doesn't always grok new concepts as quickly when they are outside his immediate area of interest. Eg., it took me a long while to convince him that automated testing was a really important part of modern software development. But I can understand how this would seem quite alien to somebody who first learned to program on punch-cards -- and since he's happy to delegate things beyond his immediate area of focus, it hasn't been a problem.

So, anecdotally: medical issues permitting, there's absolutely no reason you need to scale back on your passion for hacking passion as you age, although the breadth of your hacking might need to narrow somewhat.

copx 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ken Thompson [1] is about as old as modern computing, and can in fact claim to have partially invented it. He is over 70 and last time I checked he was still working for Google. His most recent project well-known to the public is the Go programming language. So it is certainly possible.

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

lutusp 4 days ago 7 replies      
> Ask HN: any hackers over 60? 70?

I'm 68, and I should add that "hacker" meant something different when I first heard it used. :)

> Are you still employed or retired?

I'm retired, but I still program for enjoyment. I have a line of free Android apps published:


> How does one's passion and aptitude for hacking evolve towards this part of one's life?

If anything, programming has become more important to me as I have gotten older, for the same reason that mathematics has greater appeal to a maturing mind -- it represents a rational counterpoint to a world that, over time, seems to make less sense.

Blahah 4 days ago 1 reply      
Peter Murray Rust [0] is in his 70s and still writes code most days [1], and is a hacker in the original sense. He's retired from his professorship but still runs an active research group making awesome software to liberate knowledge from scientific publications, and he runs the Open Knowledge Foundation and various other groups. I'll ask him to respond himself.

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Murray-Rust

[1] https://bitbucket.org/petermr

jxf 4 days ago 0 replies      
He's not 60 yet, but Peter Norvig is 57 and shows no signs of slowing down. If anything he's getting more prolific with age. It seems like every time he gets on a plane he's hacking on something interesting: http://norvig.com/sudoku.html
beggi 4 days ago 4 replies      
While surely there are few hackers older than 60 or 70, the history of the personal computer is still too young for the question to be a meaningful indicator of how long people keep hacking. The Altair came out in 1975 meaning that someone that was 20 at the time and started hacking on it right away is only reaching 60 next year. The first mass-market personal computer (the Macintosh) came out in 1984 and working with computers was still a niche at that time. Those hackers that are over 60 now are either super early adopters or those that started hacking late in life, so in any case a very small group. I'm sure there will be plenty of hackers over 60 in a few decades :) - Also, looking forward to fragging and playing Starcraft in the nursing home! :)
edw519 4 days ago 1 reply      
58, been very active on HN since the beginning, 7 years ago.

My passion and aptitude for hacking are higher than ever!

I struggled all day yesterday, trying to organize parameters to feed an engine to propagate data that would generate code for a new project. Woke up at 4 a.m. with a hypothesis, and built a working prototype before breakfast. What a great day already.

I have written over a million lines of commercial code since 1979, still work serving customers pretty much full time and have enough time left for another 20 to 30 hours per week on personal projects. I have at least one or two more start ups in me, for sure.

If this industry was like it was when I started, before PCs and the internet, and I had to sling COBOL for enterprises, I'd probably be a greeter at Walmart now, planning for social security. But fortunately our world has changed and it's so much more interesting and fun. If I ever do retire, I'll probably still keep building stuff forever.

The 2 best things: software is everywhere and involved in everything now. I can't imagine not finding an interesting application. And perhaps more importantly, things change so fast, there's always something newer and possibly more interesting right around the corner. (I wish I had more time to explore node, go, and some more frameworks, but I'm so busy...)

Between building software, riding my bike, drinking great beer, and getting laid every once in a while, I still feel like 25. I don't want it to ever end.

I think anyone who builds software should feel like I do. I hope most of you do. Prepare for a nice long ride!

kabdib 4 days ago 2 replies      
My father-in-law retired at 75. He was writing firmware for Perkin Elmer chip steppers. I've seen his code, it was pretty nice stuff.

One guy I met was 65 and about to start up another company. He was sharp and definitely knew what he was doing.

The group I was in at Microsoft (Xbox) had David Cutler in it; I think he had just turned 70. I didn't work with him closely, but he was definitely prolific (also more than a bit controversial, politically, at MS, but he had mellowed out quite a bit when I met him).

I'm 53 and have high hopes. :-)

dwarman 4 days ago 0 replies      
I started age 19 in 1967. Maybe even earlier. Dropped untrained into the deep end commissioning 4100 computers at Elliott Bros near London, and turned out I could swim. Passion - always had the feeling of "You actually want to _pay_ me to do this?"

Now I am 66, still fully employed, latest thing you might have heard (of) is the WiiU Audio engine. For unrelated reasons I went through a battery of cognitive function tests a couple of years ago and came out sharper than I was at 19 by at least a full sigma. I have no plans to retire.

I would add Don Knuth to the the honors list. And Minsky. Tony Hoare. Ted Nelson. Alan Kay. The original Homebrew Club members are getting up there. And about 100 others I know but you probably won't recognize. A peer group in which I am merely average.

As to selectivity and numbers. Yes, there have been programmers since WWII. But mot that many. So my age group has far fewer members than the upcoming geriatric programmer generation. But I have noticed one very encouraging feature we share: barring serious health issues (and even in spite of in some cases), a high percentage are still very active and passionate. No comment on causality, could easily be that it takes a active mind of a peculiar bent to get into the field in the first place and these just last, or it could be that the mental excersize it takes to keep relevant keeps the mind young, or both. But I'm pretty sure I won't last long if I have to stop doing it.

arh68 4 days ago 1 reply      
> From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.


rch 4 days ago 0 replies      
My father probably qualifies too. In the early 80's we had a Bell Labs/Western Electric Energy management system with home sensors and links to the electric and gas companies. They used a Z80 microprocessor in a STD bus card rack. And at no point in the last 30+ years has he ever been without projects or machines to work on.

His skillset goes from the EPROM and PLC level, through C/C++, and on to actual 20 ton open die forging. I've seen him take a break from debugging a C++ driver for a hydraulic beam loader to replace live high voltage fuses with a hot stick rather than wait for the power company. It really puts what we refer to as 'full-stack' into perspective.

DonGateley 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'll be 70 in November and am putting the finishing touches on a VST plugin that can make any 'phone (head, ear, canal, etc.) I can measure sound like any other 'phone I can measure with remarkable verisimilitude. The trick was not the DSP (standard stuff, that, and part of what I once got paid to do) but in devising a measurement system that worked across types. That part was empirical and took more years and iterations than I'll admit to but without retirement I wouldn't have had the time for all the experimentation that finally nailed it.

I've got to say that my coding bug rate seems worse and debug time seems substantially longer and more tedious than I remember. My first coding was assembler for an IBM 7094 as a student at the University of Illinois some 50+ years ago. Been doing it ever since.

BTW, I'm looking for someone that can transfer the tech to a paid Android app. Somebody 70ish would be way cool. Kernel level audio skills a must for global filter insertion.

lohankin 4 days ago 2 replies      
57, employed. Latest hack: https://github.com/tatumizer/circuit-dart

Listening to good jazz helps to stay in shape(there's some scientific data that proves music activates something in the brain, not sure what exactly, but it seems to work :-).

As someone noted earlier in this thread, there's nothing new in programming for the last 30-40 years. You just need to learn 100 tricks, you learn them early, and then the age makes no difference. What changes is that you don't think of career any more, and think about money much less, which makes you a very bad candidate for bullshit work. You can imagine the consequences.

brudgers 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ward Cunningham and Charles [Chuck] Moore come immediately to mind as hackers in their 60's and 70's respectively.
geofffox 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am 63. I code sites. I build boxes. I touched my first computer terminal at the NY World's Fair in '64. Fortran on an IBM senior year in high school 67/68. That was my first and last computer class.

I was on the Internet before the WWW.

I am 63, but immature for my age.

davidw 4 days ago 0 replies      
Not mentioned elsewhere: Richard Stallman is 61. I don't know how much actual hacking he does these days vs advocacy, but whether you agree with his politics or not, the dude is definitely a hacker.
robertlf 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm 57 but didn't start programming until I was 27 years old. My first summer quarter at Purdue they still had punch card readers and I remember sitting in the hall in the basement of the Math building waiting to have my deck read and then pick up the green striped output paper in the adjoining room. The following fall we had our first DEC VT 100 terminals.

I guess I would consider myself a hacker of sorts as I now work for myself doing mobile web development with Python, JavaScript, and Django. I have to work for myself because no one will hire someone my age.

rozzie 4 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't spoken with him recently, but I believe that Dave's still the first one in the office every morning, writing stunningly tight code and driving innovation most recently in the Xbone hypervisor. The engineer's engineer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Cutler
danieltillett 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am not yet at this age, but the older I get the more I appreciate hacking. It really keeps me from falling into the 'things were better when I was young' hole that older people are prone to falling into. It is also really fun learning new things all the time.
SchizoDuckie 4 days ago 2 replies      
Great question. I'm in my 30's and I've wondered on more than one occasion what we'll all be programming in 30 years. DNA? Nanobots? What will the web look like? Will we be still hacking away in virtual reality when we're in elderly homes, drifting away with the occulus rift 8.0 lenses in?

If anything, I'm excited at getting older and being able to see where all this rapid evolution is taking us.

@People over 60 here: What is it like learning and keeping up with the flurry of new technologies at your age? Do you find it more difficult to grasp with age or does it get easier?

blazespin 4 days ago 0 replies      
Upvoted this. Here is one of my personal heros: http://techland.time.com/2013/03/04/how-an-83-year-old-inven...
GnarfGnarf 4 days ago 0 replies      
65, last year I learned DirectX and wrote a 3D app in C++.

This year I'm learning Python for fun.

Never gets old :o)

s1gs3gv 4 days ago 0 replies      
I started as a software developer just around the time Intel released the 8080. I was in Bell Labs when Unix Version 7 was introduced. I was at IBM when they released AIX. I now working in scala and clojure and am active in a startup in the financial services and crypto-currency fields.

Do what you love, love what you do, throw in a generous helping of luck and you can have a stimulating, productive and enjoyable professional life well into your 70s if not later.

How does one's passion and aptitude for hacking evolve towards this part of one's life ?

Experience rulez.

einhverfr 4 days ago 0 replies      
I can't speak for myself I believe I have worked with some contributors to LedgerSMB who are retired.

In general, I think one has to be careful about making generalizations here regarding aptitude. LedgerSMB is hard to get into because with ERP/Accounting software the domain knowledge requirements are significantly higher than the fluid intelligence requirements and domain knowledge increases as we get older. In LedgerSMB I have generally found that older programmers contribute better code than younger programmers precisely for this reason. Some of the biggest bugs we have ever had (the ones that caused us to pull 1.2.0 and 1.2.1) were caused by overlooking a critical part of domain knowledge.

So I dont think things get particularly worse. The fields of excellence may change however.

Swannie 4 days ago 0 replies      
John ffitch.

I was lucky enough to be taught by John. He believes he may have been one of the first people to make computer music - spending precious compute cycles at Cambridge with a speaker hooked up instead of an oscilloscope.

He's ~69, and last time we spoke a few years ago, he and some peers were still writing and selling their compiler product (http://www.codemist.co.uk/index.html), John was still active in the Csound community (C dialect for computer music), and dabbling with computer algebra.

Having known John outside of lectures (and meeting him at the age of ~58), I'd say he has a childlike fascination with the world - constant curiosity and a lot of enthusiasm. And also understanding that computer science is cyclical, that rediscovery is part of life, and he could add deep experience each time around.

canatan01 4 days ago 2 replies      
Not me, but I hope to still be hacking away when I am 60 or older. Maybe it is actually good for the brain to keep at it, I don't know.
ludicast 4 days ago 0 replies      
Bob Martin (Uncle Bob) turned 60 a few years ago. He still programs and laments that programmers move into management as they age.
brickcap 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am bookmarking this thread for times when I am down/ worried about my future. So inspiring to hear from people who have been hacking for this long.

I don't think that ed wiessman(edw519) is 60 yet but his advice seems like coming from someone who has been in the business of programming for centuries.

inthefray 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's much better to work with a motivated senior hacker than an entitled brat spewing delusions of their own grandeur.
camus2 4 days ago 1 reply      
I really wish I can still code at 70!
ggreer 4 days ago  replies      
I'm happy for anyone who is productive past normal retirement age, but it's important to be aware of what happens to our minds as we get older. I think the examples in the comments are exceptions that prove the rule. The reason for the dearth of older hackers is the same reason there are few people running marathons at age 60 or 70: As we age, our bodies and minds degrade. Exercise, nutrition, and (probably) drugs can slow the decline, but we don't yet have the technology to turn back the clock.

The most depressing graph I've seen is figure 1[1] in Images of the Cognitive Brain Across Age and Culture[2]. It shows how our cognitive abilities decline soon after we reach maturity. Starting in our 20s, we lose about 6 IQ points per decade; more in our 70s and 80s. That means someone in the top 1% in high school (IQ 135) would be down to average intelligence by the time they were in their 80s.

On the bright side, the decline in raw cognitive horsepower is offset by gains in knowledge. In fact, knowledge more than offsets it in most disciplines. Our peak productivity is usually in our 40's and declines much more slowly than one would expect[3].

Still, if you want to keep building cool stuff when you're older, it's important to prepare now. The best thing you can do is stay healthy and active. To return to the marathon analogy: A 55 year-old might not set a world record, but with the right training, nutrition, and possibly performance-enhancing drugs, they can beat >95% of people half their age.

Finally, to everyone mentioned in this thread: Well done! I hope to follow your example.

1. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_gxYAfFM1cj0/S6hXmZ4qtjI/A...

2. http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/36842.pdf

3. http://resources.emartin.net/blog/docs/AgeAchievement.pdf

Chrome/Firefox aren't checking CA revocation lists
69 points by fastest963  2 days ago   31 comments top 5
agl 2 days ago 7 replies      
In order to attack an HTTPS connection, the attacker has to have MITM position against the victim: the ability to intercept TCP connections.

Such an attacker can obviously also block the CRL/OCSP lookup if one is made. Even with revocation checking enabled, no browser that I know of will fail a TLS handshake if the revocation check is blocked.

(You can configure Firefox to do this. Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Encryption -> Validation, check the box for "When an OCSP server connection fails, treat the certificate as invalid" - so says https://wiki.mozilla.org/CA:OCSP-HardFail)

I claim that soft-fail revocation checking is basically nonsense. That's the point that I'm making in https://www.imperialviolet.org/2012/02/05/crlsets.html.

Making it hard-fail isn't viable: it makes OCSP servers a single point of failure for huge parts of the web. That's why Chrome has a CRLSet system that actually can achieve real goals. The attacker has to persistently MITM the client in order to block the CRLSet update.

The CRLSet is limited in size. I had hoped that CAs would use the reason code mechanism in CRLs to remove the "administrative" revocations that dominate their CRLs. (Those are revocations where there's no suggestion of compromise.) Some do, but most don't.

It's not true that the CRLSet doesn't include any Comodo or Symantec (who now own Verisign's old CA business) CRLs. In fact, Symantec/Verisign CRLs are the biggest contributor to the CRLSet.

But it's true that the CRLSet is limited in size. We focus on CRLs for CA and EV certificates. I don't think the world has a great answer to the revocation problem when certificates are valid longer and longer periods.

mbrubeck 2 days ago 1 reply      
Current versions of Firefox also do not use CRL, if I understand correctly. It seems most modern browsers prefer OCSP instead, with CRL only as a fallback or not at all. You can find some of the rationale at these links:





joeyh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm hoping to see a chrome extension that flags every certificate issued before 2014/04/07 as insecure. In the meantime, I am switching to firefox to use certificate patrol for anything I care about.
nav1 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yes it does. It's just not enabled by default.
Someone needs to create a "Heartbleed Fixed" logo
6 points by dugmartin  23 hours ago   6 comments top 5
dugmartin 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is the existing logo: http://heartbleed.com/heartbleed.png
logn 22 hours ago 0 replies      
HeartPatched? ... http://imgur.com/yRpl7Gm
kingofspain 16 hours ago 0 replies      
mattwritescode 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Someone doesn't need too, you would just like them too. There is a difference.
Ask HN: HN Political Headline Filter?
2 points by catwork  12 hours ago   2 comments top
tokenadult 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of the long-time users here think that it's important to flag submissions that are mostly about politics and that don't encourage the thoughtful discussion of deeply interesting stories that they hope characterizes Hacker News. I have to agree. What's about "politics" mainly and what is about politics just incidentally is a judgment call, but I have been convinced by listening to participants here who have been here longer than the 1970 days that I have been here that it is helpful to the community to flag most new submissions that deal with politics. Those submissions only rarely generate informative, thoughtful discussions.
Ask HN: Idea Sunday
332 points by rokhayakebe  4 days ago   discuss
raldi 4 days ago 15 replies      
A way for employees to push back against their coworkers when they email too much crap to too wide an audience. In other words, I wish my Inbox had a little voting widget next to each message:

    +------------------------------------+    | 4,376 people received this message |    |                                    |    | [Cool, it was ]   [It was a waste] |    | [important and]   [of my time to ] |    | [worthy of our]   [  read this   ] |    | [    time     ]   [   message    ] |    |                                    |    +------------------------------------+
Then, as votes are collected, the sender (and maybe everyone else) gets some kind of feedback on how their message was received. Maybe the report could include a total of how much time was spent reading it: "Your coworkers spent a total of 36.4 hours reading your message. It cost the company $1458 in employee time. Sending it was therefore a moderately bad use of company resources" .. or, if the voting was favorable, "1722 of your coworkers enjoyed reading your message. When you were deciding whether to hit Send or Discard, you made the right choice in clicking Send."

Edit: As I've said in the past when posting ideas on HN, if you think this is worth doing, please run with it! I make no claim on "owning" the idea, and all I ask is that if it makes you a billionaire, you commission of bust of me to install in your parlor. (Bronze or marble only, please.)

hooande 4 days ago 16 replies      
A solution for the "too many tabs open" problem. Need a way to save my history in an organized and interactive manner, with a nice looking UI. Sort of like the old WebMynd (http://webmynd.com). I find that most of my tabs are open as a form of reminder. If I close it, I'll forget it and might as well not have seen it. Same if I hide it away in some kind of bookmarking app. I think it would be best to apply a UI layer over my entire history in a way that makes it easy to search and recall things that I found interesting int he past.

Need to store all data locally for privacy reasons, and have a way to logically group urls by content and bring them back to the front occasionally (maybe with some kind of gamification?) so they don't disappear.

quaunaut 4 days ago  replies      
This is less an idea, more something for someone to think about.

We need to figure out how to defeat the internet echo chamber effect.

Notice how often, when a community gets started between a small group of people(such as early Reddit or HN), it's a place of intelligent, productive discussion, where people measure what they say instead of just spouting extreme rhetoric?

Yet, once these communities grow, you inevitably see the "How bout dem Cowboys" problem, where it seems like the point of discussion is more to get the most approval instead of trying to argue a point, and where anyone with a disagreeing opinion feels unwelcome even if they're willing to put a lot of effort into their response?

I haven't quite figured out how to solve it, but I really want to. I've been a part of several online communities like that now, and it always ends up the same way. Once it gets big enough, finding good conversation gets very rare.

Ask HN: What do you do as IT consultants?
6 points by aswin8728  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
rbijou 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Security consulting. More specifically, I help companies adopt data-driven approaches to collection and analysis + help security companies with their threat intelligence products.
chewxy 1 day ago 0 replies      
statistical consulting. Clients so far have ranged from finance startups to soft drinks companies. Programming is more of a means to an ends than anything.

Finding your niche is easy. Finding clients in your niche is like climbing Mt. Everest

neekb 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you get really good at a specific product, there is usually someone out there that needs some help. For example Checkpoint firewall, or another IT Security product...
justintocci 1 day ago 0 replies      
i'd like to talk about this with someone. Give me a call if you're interested.
Ask HN: As a web developer, should I learn mobile development?
9 points by wz3chen  1 day ago   8 comments top 6
yunyeng 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes I would think you should learn mobile development but you don't have to take off school, If you know the basic programming you should learn iOS or Android in few months after school and weekends. Consider College courses first maybe at Coursera.org they have few Android Courses, I learned Android in a month with also going to school but I knew Java. If you want to learn iOS Development, start with Objective-C I think in Itunes there are Stanford Courses about iOS Development, that should do it. If you want a career in Web / Mobile Development you should learn a lot of platforms, Because it is an incredible fast growing sector, I am sorry but it is I cannot catch it too. Before you jump off to mobile development, my advice learn the mobile website basics HTML5, javascript apps etc. Then the mobile development is another platform and you have to be really ready for it. Last of all, you don't have to break off school at any circumstances at all. Keep it going...
snowwrestler 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Mobile Development" is too vague. Do you mean responsive web design? Touch-optimized HTML5? iOS? Android? Windows Phone? (Ok, probably not Windows Phone.) Or a cross-platform toolset like Titanium or PhoneGap?

As a student, the act of learning on your own is probably worth it regardless of which direction you choose. But if you're thinking career, you should prioritize with a little more specificity.

Edit: wrong word

rbonhardt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you know responsive design?

Also there is a growing trend of people, or should I say major companies, using frameworks that can take html5 and javascript and deploy them as mobile apps such as PhoneGap and Ludei. After all that is the goal of html5.

I think Paper53 was built on one of these platforms.

kingdm 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Do you think it would be worth it?

Yes, it's worth it.

> Or should I not bother and simply specialize in web jobs?

IMHO, if you really do want to specialize in web jobs, then perhaps mobile development is part of it.

karishmasibal 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You should not bother about mobile development if you know logic you can do any coding in any language.
rrrx3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes. No question.
Ask HN: What's your greatest epiphany?
60 points by alleycat  3 days ago   119 comments top 49
makmanalp 3 days ago 4 replies      
I have a few off the top of my head:

- Learned helplessness is one of the biggest enemies to learning, but it's insidious in that sufferers don't recognize it. Often, I'll try to teach someone something, and I'll know for sure that they can and will grasp a concept, but they'll just stop short on their own accord, chalking failure up to their own (imagined) inherent inability rather than a specific situational lack of something. Usually accompanied with a general statement like "I'm just not a technical person" or "I'm not that smart" (sometimes not voiced) or "I don't get math" or "I'm more of a right-brain person". It's interesting that of the tons of much likelier reasons for failure (bad teaching, not enough practice, not having the right foundation), the most commonly chosen is "it's me".

The opposite side to this is to incorporate failure and retrial as part of the learning process, and to realize that the failure is a specific situation and mostly not a general statement of ability.

Anyway, when they're encouraged a bit and they do succeed, their surprise and satisfaction is one of my favourite things in the world.

- Psychology is not bullshit like I used to think before.

- Introspection and self-examination is very important and ignoring your inner world does not make your problems go away. Regularly taking time to consider your thoughts, worries, knee-jerk reactions, big life events, priorities is a great idea, and keeps problems from bottling up. A multitude of lingering things on your mind that don't seem immediate on their own can add up fast. I didn't even know this could happen until it did to me.

As a positive result though, I discovered a whole new meta-level of thought. Observing the process through which thoughts materialize in my mind is enlightening. Watching chains of thought develop step by step uncovers biases and thought-tendencies that are often unconscious but can be damaging.

It also promotes self-honesty, which sometimes saves you a lot of time and money and is often a great antidote to ignorance. There isn't a switch you can flip to be more objective but a decent attempt helps.

- When people say things, don't forget to think about why they're saying them. Often this provides valuable perspective. What's motivating them to say that? Is it conscious? Sometimes a pipe is a pipe, but sometimes it's not. For example, if someone tells you "never trust women", concluding that the person has probably been severely hurt by women before (conclusion from asking why the person said this) is much more valuable than concluding women are evil (the direct conclusion).

buro9 3 days ago 1 reply      
You can't tell anyone anything that they are not ready to hear.

This affects your ability to influence others and be influenced by others.

The takeaway for you receiving wisdom is to be open to things that you are not yet ready to hear, to remember them and keep them in mind as it may apply to you in the future when you are ready.

If you need to share wisdom, empathise with where the receiver is currently and tell them what they're ready to hear based on where they are today (or will shortly be).

jwr 3 days ago 1 reply      
Many things which you consider out of your reach are achievable. And they are not as difficult as they seem. You just have to set goals and start working towards them.
spindritf 3 days ago 2 replies      
How much of human activity is just signalling, posturing, and status jockeying with no purpose I would consider practical. To the point where those behaviours seep into contexts where they're obviously unproductive, like discussions on pseudonymous Internet forums.

Robin Hanson has some extensive descriptions[1] of what I mean, with the crucial insight that "X is not about Y"[2], and that rationalization may be the original, evolutionary purpose of rational thinking rather than its perversion[3]. He even offers remedies[4] if you consider it a problem.

[1] http://www.overcomingbias.com/tag/signaling

[2] http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/09/politics-isnt-a.html

[3] http://www.overcomingbias.com/2014/04/reason-stories-both-tu...

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction_market

arethuza 3 days ago 5 replies      
Two people want to share a cake.

The reasonable person asks for half the cake, the unreasonable person asks for the whole cake.

They compromise and split the difference - the unreasonable person gets three quarters of the cake and the reasonable person gets a quarter.

[I wish I knew the origins of this - I heard it years ago.]

madaxe_again 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sat at the piano, aged about 10, when I realised that my experience is one of billions and no more real than any other, and that everything we see around us is only so because we say it is so, and that power only exists in the minds of those who witness it.
hitchhiker999 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lucid dreaming. Realising spiritual development (not religious obviously) isn't the antithesis of technology. Realising being a dad isn't scary, it's incredible.Realising that to be an awesome coder doesn't require 30 years of experience, it required perspective and the ability to ignore the 'common' wisdom when needed.Living in a world of 'magic' by choice, embracing stuff I don't understand, and being blown away by the tech of nature.
andrey-p 3 days ago 0 replies      
Everybody is a victim of their own narrow viewpoint, even (and sometimes especially) people who claim they're open minded.

The tricky part is, when you're talking to someone, to figure out the boundaries of their viewpoint and take that into account when you communicate.

The trickier part is seeing the boundaries of your own viewpoint and forcing them wider. This is hard as your view of the narrowness of your own viewpoint is limited by the narrowness of your own viewpoint.

dirktheman 3 days ago 0 replies      
My biggest epiphany: money itself doesn't mean anything. A lot of people make it their goal to be rich, but to me, being rich is a meaningless goal. It's about what you can do with money. You really have to dig in your deeper wants for this. You say you want to be rich? What exactly is your definition of being rich? Is it fame? The ability to buy whatever you want?

More often than most people realize, their deep wishes can be accomplished by another way than working your butt off or winning the lottery.

My motivation for being rich (in the monetary sense) would be that I don't have to work anymore. My deeper wish is the absense of authority (a boss) and to be able to spend more time with my children. If you think of it that way, it would be crazy to work more hours, right? I work 4 days a week now, hardly no overtime, and my boss values responsible individuals more than mindless office drones. I have more than enough time to see my children growing up, and even enough time for some challenging side projects and hobbies. Which brings me to another epiphany, I guess: time might be money, but money != time. Time you spend with your kids can never be taken away from you, time you don't spend with your kids can never be brought back. It's gone forever.

I'm the richest man in the world.

edent 3 days ago 1 reply      
Compound interest works. Every penny you save before you're 30 has a dramatically large impact on your quality of life after 60.
shin_lao 3 days ago 0 replies      
I read the Tao Te King by Lao Zi when I was 25 and it was a major epiphany, this passage especially:

Although the saint puts himself last, he finds himself in the lead.

Although he is not self-concerned, he finds himself accomplished.

It is because he is not focused on self-interests and hence can fulfill his true nature.

hackinthebochs 3 days ago 3 replies      
That governments in all forms throughout history have had one purpose only--to keep the population fed. People have an endless capacity to endure abuse from those in power as long as they are kept satiated. The moment the food stops flowing is when revolutions occur, and not a moment before.
pontifier 3 days ago 2 replies      
I was contemplating a problem I was having, and thought of a solution that was so perfect that both the problem and solution completely annihilated each other. All that remained was the memory that I had had a problem, and solved it.

I couldn't even remember what the problem had been because it was totally, and completely, solved.

I started to think about what this might mean for finding answers to questions. Perhaps people who have TRULY solved certain problems aren't the ones talking the most about them.

icu 2 days ago 0 replies      
* On getting rich:

- If you focus on the money you won't get anywhere. You must focus on the creation of value for other people in an area that will allow for exponential customer growth. It's all about serving other people at scale. Getting rich is the side effect of this. The process accelerates if you love what you are doing and are having fun.

* On human relations:

- You are never too talented, too smart or too good looking to burn bridges, think less about others or not make an effort to be liked by all and treat everyone with respect and courtesy. Not doing this will always come back to haunt you.

- No matter how bad things get in your family never betray your family member's trust.

- Be as gracious as you can to those who are disrespectful to you, pivot in your mind and thank them for their encouragement. Use it as fuel.

* On getting stuff done:

- Focus. Multitasking is a myth.

- Forget doing stuff solo, you need a team to do anything really amazing. Each team member needs to know their strengths and weaknesses and your team should be a cohesive and complementary whole where strengths cover weaknesses.

jgrahamc 3 days ago 2 replies      
Exercise feels good.
keyle 3 days ago 2 replies      
That our time is limited and we must choose carefully where to focus our personal efforts.
drawkbox 3 days ago 2 replies      
Technologies advance the fastest in societies that invest heavily in war/defense all throughout history.

Human advancement has come mostly from markets and freed up the thinking man.

People aren't interested in facts or the truth, they want the story.

Human change is extremely slow and only happens in iterations.

Poor people pay interest, rich people collect it.

If you put something out there for sale, people will buy it, somehow.

chrisbennet 3 days ago 2 replies      
I've had a couple of memorable epiphanies. The fact that they are programming related probably says something about me but heck, I can't change that.

Epiphany 1: one day I realized that Bresenham's line algorithm wasn't just a way to draw lines. In reality, it linearly interpolates values over a range. Example: get the gradient/color values along a horizontal line from x0,color0 to x1,color1.

Epiphany 2: The 2nd big "aha" moment was when I worked for a machine tool company and someone explained how our ball screws (a big threaded rod that moves a tool or cross slide when you turn it) was "mapped" so we could tell what the error was at each point and thus correct for that error with a resulting greater accuracy. That concept can be applied to all kinds of problems. For example: Instead of making a "perfect" lens at great expense, you can make a "map" of the lens's imperfections and correct the image in software.

mkal_tsr 3 days ago 1 reply      
Not really an epiphany, but when I started a consistent meditation practice. I've been significantly better about viewing myself objectively without emotions, I'm not as held back by fears or insecurities, and life has become quite a bit more interesting as I've been able to notice the smaller details more.
gahahaha 3 days ago 0 replies      
That Israel has exactly zero interest in peace with the Palestinians. Continued conflict is the perfect excuse for continued oppression and occupation. The insight came as a flash - and now I can't understand why I didn't see it sooner.
sizzle 3 days ago 0 replies      
that a lot of the fears: failure, rejection, risk taking, success etc, are learned and embedded in our subconscious, stemming from life events in childhood. These fears operate in our subconscious and are projected outwardly in everything we do in the day-to-day decisions we make. Being able to recognize/rationalize against these fears is life-changing, at least for myself.

I used to be crippled by some social settings, but identified the root cause of the paralysis from a very specific childhood event, rationalized against it, and was able to overcome it with practice.

Anyone with more knowledge behind the psychology care to elaborate/provide some resources? Thanks

junto 3 days ago 1 reply      
People who believe themselves to be lucky are lucky. The opposite is also true.
panarky 3 days ago 0 replies      
That much of what seems solid and immutable is really a social construction, subject to change, affected by politics, argument and shared experience.

Race, money, even colors like blue and green only exist in a particular social context.

nailer 3 days ago 0 replies      
Rule of 72 (basic personal finance that should be taught in high school).


thom 3 days ago 1 reply      
Nobody's out to get you.
nailer 3 days ago 1 reply      
Life approach:

- Some people look at the world as a series of things that happen to them. They relish the sympathy and attention they get. Do not befriend these people, they will drain you emotionally, and you might be the next person they accuse of doing them wrong.

- Instead, think of the world as a set of resources provided to you for the purposes of achieving your goals.

Tactic 2 days ago 0 replies      
People are just people. Everyone is an amalgamation of insecurities, fears, joys, talents, failures, desires, etc. This has helped me communicate and associate with people at all levels. I dont care if it is the bum down by the river or the CEO of a company with 500+ employees, I get along with them and have learned from them. Because we all have value and are just trying to make it through our brief term here on earth. Or, as Orson Scott Card put it, were muddling through.

But most of all, remembering I am just a person as well. No better or worse than anyone else.

Maybe it sounds obvious, but it truly helped me in life.

davewasthere 3 days ago 0 replies      
That 'now' is all that matters. Don't spend too long in the past, or worrying about the future.

That happiness is just a matter of wanting less as opposed to having more.

And learning about the financial crossover point was another light-bulb moment. When you can save most of what you earn, to get to a point where working isn't necessary, but a pleasure..

thejteam 2 days ago 0 replies      
You don't have to be good, you just have to be better than everybody else.

My way of re-phrasing "90 percent of success is just showing up".

ekianjo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Free Markets are extremely powerful.

Tons of people will buy stuff for reasons you can't even conceive.

The difference between being poor and having a bright future has a lot to do with knowledge and awareness, more than initial means.

There are heaps of differences between people of different cultures, religions, countries, but there are still very strong common elements you can use as a basis to work together.

Building a solid network and community around you is a big driver for luck, probably more than your own skills.

hammadfauz 3 days ago 0 replies      
Customers do not know the price of the thing you're selling.
akg_67 3 days ago 0 replies      
Only person I need to meet expectations of is me and not of anyone else.

Time is more valuable than money and things. It can't be regained.

Value experiences over things. Experiences last a lifetime, things don't.

cmadan 3 days ago 2 replies      
Death is inevitable and life is meaningless.

Most people would be depressed with this epiphany but for me, it was liberating.

aspidistra 3 days ago 1 reply      
Everyone I meet is not better than me.
kirk21 3 days ago 0 replies      
MBTI, I learned a lot about myself since I discovered that I am an INTJ.
squidsoup 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is no end to suffering, only a redefinition of suffering relative to our notion of pleasure.
trendyy 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you ever find yourself the smartest guy in the room, then you're in the wrong room.
yitchelle 3 days ago 0 replies      
All of life's obstacles can be broken down in smaller ones, and as such, all obstacles can be tackled.
yiedyie 3 days ago 1 reply      
Seeing "the light" in a lucid dream.
thecolorblue 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know about greatest, but game theory has set off some pretty good epiphanies. I watched this Yale class on game theory and it really opened my mind:http://oyc.yale.edu/economics/econ-159
owurkan 3 days ago 0 replies      
No matter to which country you go, you will find all kinds of people. Only not in the same proportions.
ssurgeon 3 days ago 0 replies      
That you are riding the same initial wave of energy that was The Big Bang, and that it is responsible for every single decision, impression and feeling that you have in your life. That's the epiphany that I had while listening to Alan Watts.
sunkarapk 3 days ago 0 replies      
God and Luck both doesn't exist.
imwhimsical 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Talk is cheap, show me the code" The true gravity of this quote (by Linus Torvalds) struck me at the crux of my first startup.
motiw 2 days ago 0 replies      
People will always do the right thing after theyve exhausted all the alternatives
ibrad 2 days ago 0 replies      
Treat people the way they want to be treated, not the way you want to be treated.
wellboy 3 days ago 0 replies      
People think to create an AirBnb or Twitter, they have to be really smart. However, you really don't need to be that smart to build a massive company. You need a certain IQ of around 110-120 to understand science or how markets work, but after that it's only a matter of how much you believe in yourself/how bold you allow yourself to be.

Being smarter might actually be harmful as the human brain isn't good at filtering all the impressions that the person feels with a higher IQs. For instance, a high IQ often comes with social anxiety, autism and other mental restrictions that lessen the person's capability.

For IQs above 140, people become more specialized from what I've seen. They might be very useful to solve specific problems such as curing cancer/inventing the theory of relativity, but they have a hard time executing a bigger vision involving hundreds of employees and knowledge across numerous fields as one needs to create a startup.

I believe the sweet spot, where a human being can have the biggest impact on the world is somewhere between 130-140. This is an IQ, where a person can understand pretty much everything, but isn't overwhelmed by all the input it gets.

hypertexthero 3 days ago 1 reply      
The observer is the observed.
kamaal 3 days ago 3 replies      
- Ayn Rand is right.

- If you want something, the responsibility of getting that lies on you and you alone. You are responsible for both success and failure.

- To get what you want, 'You should do what it takes'. Even if that's not within the moral/ethical/acceptable norms of the society. Or unpleasant or unhelpful to people people around you.

- You will either follow this and rise, or will be used(and then thrown) by those who follow this. Where you want to be, you decide.

- When you get successful and rich, what ever you do becomes right. Even if that was actually wrong per everybody else before.

Quick non technical question about Heartbleed Bug
6 points by jsanroman  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
patio11 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, you should not have to pay to get an SSL certificate rekeyed. Some providers may ask for money if you want to revoke the cert, if -- for example -- you believe your private keys may have been compromised and you want people's browsers to go nuts if they see that cert in the future, at (for example) a site attempting to MITM you.
rdl 1 day ago 0 replies      
This depends on which CA you're using. Some do not have a way to reissue/rekey at arbitrary times (StartCom, in particular), and charge for revocation. Most allow free reissue, and often don't charge for revocation and replacement issue.
Any female engineers in San Diego interested in showing my daughter their work?
217 points by niels_olson  8 days ago   discuss
apaprocki 8 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not in SD, but I'd highly recommend seeing if she's interested in FIRST and also definitely get her hooked on Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show: http://sylviashow.com/

She presented at the first RobotsConf and it was really compelling and could inspire other kids to start building things: http://teamtreehouse.com/library/robotsconf-2013/super-aweso...

dang 8 days ago 2 replies      
Hi Niels! If you end up finding something interesting for your daughter, I think HN would love to hear about it. I know I would. Consider this an invitation for her to write something about it and post it here and/or for you to write something about it and post it here.

I have to say I envied you for a moment. My daughter once enjoyed an afternoon with me at the REPL, but then politely made it clear that we wouldn't need to do it again.

chacha102 8 days ago 0 replies      
Hey. I'm in San Diego, Del Mar area. I mentor a FRC FIRST team that is going to be putting on a number of Robotics Camps over the summer. If you interested, send me a message tyler@team3128.org.

Totally get if gymanstics is taking a priority though :). Running and jumping and doing cool tricks is a ton of fun.

avani 8 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a computer science postdoc at the Salk Institute. We're having a big public event next Saturday (Walk for Salk) where we're also doing lab tours. Bring your daughter there and I'll give her an extra tour of the computational areas.

(find me at avani@salk.edu)

wehadfun 8 days ago 1 reply      
Would like an update about this. Wondered how I would handle such a request. 12 year old would not have much inspiration watching me fix bugs and read hacker news
gexla 8 days ago 0 replies      
She wants to be an engineer, let her pick out something to tinker with. Anything really. It doesn't have to be code. Look through maker kits that you can buy online. Or if there is a physical store you can get to, that might be even better.

Personally, I learned how to do web programming because I had something in mind that I wanted to build. I learned while building that thing. If I had to go through a book, course or tutorial first, I would have never been interested. I also wouldn't ever be inspired by going to work with someone unless that person is Elon Musk.

Your daughter might be the same. Let her interest guide her. I remember all the things I said I wanted to be when I was a kid. It was all just kid talk. I don't think I really ever cared to be any of those things.

Or maybe just leave her be. 16 hours of gymnastics plus school is a lot. Maybe she simply doesn't have time for anything else. Don't force it.

KimberlyGrommes 8 days ago 2 replies      
Can you give a little more information about what you're really hoping your daughter will see and get out of the experience? What type of engineer are you looking for? I'm a software engineer in SD with a 12 year old daughter of my own.
mellery451 8 days ago 1 reply      
maybe get in-touch with the SWE chapter at UCSD (http://swe.ucsd.edu/home.html). I'll bet they will have some events or could arrange some informal tours of interesting facilities on campus.
dmpayton 8 days ago 1 reply      
Do you know about PythonSD? I'm sure they could get you in touch with a female engineer.


(I used to work at Cuker, and all the PythonSD guys are pretty great.)

ertemplin 8 days ago 0 replies      
Qualcomm is up in the Mira Mesa area and has a really cool museum of the history of CDMA and cell phones in their headquarters building (Building N). They've got big tubes of chips showing how they have decreased in size over time, a van that they used to demo CDMA to investors 20+ years ago, demo Android devices, a cool Mirasol display, some parts of their truck tracking system, and a bunch of stuff about the history of the company.

You do need to have an employee ID badge to get into the area that the museum is in, but I bet if you called them or know someone who currently works there they could show you around.

Source: I was an intern there last summer. http://www.qualcomm.com/about/buildings/museum

grinich 8 days ago 0 replies      
You should reach out to Otherlab. https://otherlab.com/
applecore 8 days ago 0 replies      
Check out iD Tech Camps. They're all over California, including at UC San Diego.


simpsond 8 days ago 0 replies      
Girl Scouts have various camps focused on STEM. You can search here: http://www.sdgirlscouts.org/camp-descriptions
kimcoop 8 days ago 0 replies      
You may also try showing her some Ted talks - lots of really inspiring things to watch there concerning tech, for sure.

It doesn't seem like there's a Girl Develop It chapter in San Diego yet, but a quick Google search shows a few meetup options nearby:

- http://www.meetup.com/Teach-Yourself-Programming-A-Womens-Co...- http://www.meetup.com/IEEE-Women-in-Tech-Meetup/

I bet you could reach out to the group members/founders and they would be more than happy to speak with you and your daughter about tech things! It's really wonderful you're encouraging her passion too, btw. Good luck!

mintykeen 8 days ago 0 replies      
Good for you for helping her find her calling! Maybe you can meet someone through this! http://www.meetup.com/Geek-Girl-San-Diego/
raven105x 8 days ago 0 replies      
Hey hey, fellow San Diegan here! I've been seeing the comments about FIRST and it seems like you're not interested due to your little one's scheduling - but if that changes, let me know; my friend teaches FIRST (also saw post from Tyler here)

In the meantime, let me know if you want to grab lunch in SD - it's on me. yreztsov@gmail.com

robomartin 8 days ago 2 replies      
Get in touch with your local FIRST robotics team.


I am a mentor for my local team. The program is absolutlely wonderful. It inspires and drives kids at many levels. Mentors run a huge range, from scientists amd engineers to welders, makers and really driven Mom's and Dad's. The common thread, among other things, is to inpire the kids to learn and apply technologyy to solve problems. Highhly recommended.

bluenose69 8 days ago 0 replies      
I'm many timezones out from there and wrong gender etc., but I have some advice that may be of use.

Since (as I understand it) the idea of same-gender is to make the connection more straightforward, I would further suggest that you prefer a graduate student to an actual "worker".

At my university there is a grad-student scholarship that requires fieldwork to be done in a certain place (first nations community). The grad student has to involve a local high-school student in the fieldwork. When I first heard of this I thought it was wonky social engineering, but apparently it's a great success: fun and educational for both.

cloudwizard 8 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe HS First requires a lot of programming, the regular FIRST for 9-14 does not require any programming to advance. It is mainly focussed on presentation skills rather than technical skills.
voicereasonish 8 days ago 4 replies      

  > she's in love with it  > I can't talk her out of it. I've tried.
Why would you try and talk her out of something she's in love with?

If she "knows some python", is she in love with it? Is she actively learning more on the web?

thawkins 5 days ago 0 replies      
Buy her a 3d printer kit, something she will have to assemble herself. Its the bigest, most enjoyable engineering puzzle I have ever had to deal with. A printrbot simple is $299 in kit form. Once she gets it to work she will have a tool that will enable her to build almost anything in plastic. She will learn, engineering, 3d modeling, electronics and operating complex manufacturing processes, materials and thier strength, product design.
unk 8 days ago 0 replies      
Also check out Wintress Technical School in SD.


dnautics 8 days ago 0 replies      
There's a program here called "thought stem" which is aimed at children her age and run by some wonderful friends of mine.
abdophoto 8 days ago 0 replies      
I live in San Diego and reading this brings me joy.
sedds 8 days ago 0 replies      
It's great that you see your daughter's interest in engineering and are encouraging her to pursue this passion.
arnklint 8 days ago 0 replies      
If I had a daughter, I'd focus on supporting _her_ decisions rather than my own interest. But I might be wrong.
MarlonPro 8 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sending this link to Lynn Langit
JohnHaugeland 8 days ago  replies      
Why do you need a woman?

I don't understand why we all talk about the gender problem in engineering, then continue it by isolating female students from male teachers. There is no isolation between male students and female teachers, or same gender students and teachers.

If we want to move towards equality, why carefully structure inequality in?

Ask HN: Was the free 1st episode of Silicon Valley an elaborate Googlebomb?
3 points by BWStearns  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
taternuts 3 hours ago 0 replies      
That's probably just because your keywords aligned with these more popular/recent blog posts. "watch silicon valley" would probably return that kind of thing - "silicon valley torrent" might have returned another set of results.
voltagex_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's not a Googlebomb.
CIARobotFish 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The second episode won't air until April 13th.
Ask HN: Someone is offering to buy my side project
12 points by calvin_c  2 days ago   14 comments top 12
codegeek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Whether you decide to actually sell it or not, I would recommend asking this person what is that "reasonable amount" that they are willing to offer ? They contacted you which means they are more interested in buying it than you are in selling it at the moment. So even before you get to the point of valuing your code, just ask them "what are you willing to pay" ? If they ask you back "what will you sell it for", you tell them "I am not really looking to sell but willing to hear your offer and I might consider it depending on what you offer". Don't give them anything more than that. Remember that "reasonable" is very subjective. When it comes to buying/selling/negotiating, don't work with subjective stuff. Ask for specifics. If they don't want to specify, then they are wasting your time. Put pressure on them to come up with a number first.

Again, they want to buy it rather than you wanting to sell it. Big difference. Make them do the dirty work. Let them talk more. Let them give you a number. Until then, sit back, relax.

If they do come back with a number, then you have a different set of things to think about. For now, let's not worry about that.

ben-gy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hmmm. This sounds a little too good to be true. My gut feel is that they are looking to get a peek at your source code, and they'll want that before they give you any money. Keep in mind what PG says about deals, assume that it's not going to happen and just keep doing what you're doing.

That said, this is a great, low cost way to experiment with this type of interaction. If I were you, I'd set some strict goals as if it's a genuine offer (e.g. minimum sale price, not showing any source code pre-receiving money, etc), and then see how it plays out.

I've been in similar situations to yours before, and It's been really valuable to learn and make mistakes at small scale. As soon as it becomes a pain and your not getting much out of the experience, just finish it up on your own terms. The important part being that you should know what you want if it was real, and what you want out of the experience. Then either way you have nothing to lose.

ozh 2 days ago 0 replies      

    [] I don't need money    [] It's fun to work on this    [] I have and will have time for this
2 checks or more: keep it. 1 check or less: sell it.

fsk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Negotiating tip: Whenever possible, let the other guy name the price first. Let him say a number first. To you, "reasonable" may be $1000, but he might think reasonable is $10k.

You have a strong negotiating position, because no deal is fine with you.

You can use escrow agents and do the deal via a lawyer, if the money is big enough, if you're concerned he'll peek at your source code and then back out of the deal.

AznHisoka 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a feeling reasonable to him means $50 or $100.
petervandijck 1 day ago 0 replies      
If they don't want to make an offer, say you'll consider offers 30K or higher, and mention that with this offer, you've started looking for buyers.

Negotiate down to 10K if needed (but don't say that).

Don't go below 10K (it would cost them that to build it, and they'd have 0 users and 0 incoming links).

gregcohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're passionate about continuing to build out the vision of this project, you're probably not going to agree on a number. If you're happy to take a little cash for it and move on to the next idea, or even if you're not sure about the first point, I would put a reasonable number out there based in some measure on the value of your time in getting it built (ie, the amount of time it would take someone similarly skilled to replicate it), plus some premium.

Entrepreneurs always have lots of ideas, so you need to simply decide if this is in some way your "one great idea", or just an "easy come, easy go" etude.

codydabest 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never sell to your first offer...unless its to google. If 1 person wants it, there's a very good chance 2 people want it. And if 2 people want it, they are willing to bid on it. Wait for at least a second offer. It will give your project time to grow.
amorphid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Come up with a number for which you'd be willing to sell it. Then see what they're offering. Also, look into who wants to buy it. This might be a good person to partner with.
jesusmichael 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow... the lack of business skills is thick in here. Don't ask them to "put a number on it", they can't be both buyer and seller...

What is your time worth? $100 bucks an hour? $200 an hour?

How much would cost you to recreate it? Are they asking you for a non-compete? Do they want exclusive ownership? or just asking for a license and you own the rights?

If this took you 4 weeks @ 30 hours a week and this is your first project... it would probably take someone who knew android 1 week (40 hours) @ $125 per/hr so $5K?

Ask some questions... develop a friendship with your customer... find out what they are doing and what they need it for and how they'll use it... use that to set a price.

This is a stepping stone... be greedy and it will get around... be a chump and that will get around too... If you think its worth $10k ask for it and be flexible when a counter offer comes in... you don't exactly have other offers floating around.

JSeymourATL 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a Kubuki Dance aspect to this dialogue. They want to know if you're interested. You say sure, how interested are you? The path forward, first seek to understand who they are, what there motivations are. If they are serious, engage them in a live conversation, preferably face-to-face. Ultimately, the market value is determined by how much someone is willing to pay.
chrisBob 2 days ago 0 replies      
It depends on your own goals. If you plan to maintain and market it then keep it.

I personally like building things, and starting things, but I am much less interested in marketing and making a business out of it. I would sell out in a minute and move on to the next project. I am not likely to worry about what it could have been later down the road or to get upset if I could have gotten more for it later.

Ask HN: I am a startup employee "getting screwed" by offshore talent
7 points by deanmoriarty  1 day ago   15 comments top 13
jasonkester 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like you learned all your lessons in one go. Well done.

Never take a pay cut in exchange for lottery tickets. Check. Never take a pay cut in exchange for a vague promise of returning to your real rate later. Check. Never let anybody position your market value in the context of what another developer has negotiated for himself. Check.

You got all that out of the way in the first year. Time to move on to that better job that pays you in money. Bet you'll never make any of those mistakes again.

Good luck!

calcsam 1 day ago 2 replies      
1. Note that an effective salary cut of 50% means you can double your salary with a new job.

2. The single most effective way to get a salary raise is to show how much you're worth on the market, ie, get an outside offer. Use this tactic carefully.

3. My unscientific method is to value stock vesting at Series A companies at 40% of face value due to them being high-risk assets.

Worth to VC = 1% / 4 years vesting = 0.25% / year * $12M = $30k / year.

Worth to you, adjustment for being a high-risk asset: ($30k / year) * 40% = $12.5k / year.

That's how much your equity is worth, maybe a bit more since you have additional traction.

samt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Either double down and ask for a shit-ton more equity, or quit and find a better job. Life is too short.
andymoe 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really don't understand the thinking that %1 equity should have anything to do with salary especially after the company raised some money. That %1 is compensation for the risk you took joining a company with a questionable future... pretty much every new business by the way - even one that raised three million bucks. The only way you should ever, ever earn less than market rate is if you are a founder with a founder level stake and control in the company. Call it 10% or more... and even then it's a bad idea not to pay founders after raising capital. People who are worried about their bills are less effective. So yeah, I agree with samt in this thread "Either double down and ask for a shit-ton more equity, or quit and find a better job. Life is too short."

edit: You are not getting screwed by offshore talent you have already been screwed by the founder :)

tzz 1 day ago 0 replies      
You shouldn't have a problem finding a job at this market but before you resign, communicate with the founders. Send them email telling them what your expectation was when you first joined the startup. Since the company is doing well right now, the right thing to do is to raise your salary to the current market. If they deny your request, just move on.
switch007 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you already had a serious discussion about you being unable to stay if you can't get a fair pay rise?

I think your last paragraph says it all. I would find another job. Good luck!

kjs3 1 day ago 0 replies      
> with the "very vague" promise

So it wasn't in writing. Therefore it didn't exist. Writing has a memory that promises do not. Everything jasonkester said.

I would merely add that anyone who makes promises, vague or not, but won't commit them to writing has precisely no intention of keeping them. Full stop. They might decide to keep them at some point, because they're feeling magnanimous or something. At the intersection of "make promise" and "refuse to document", they're telling you "I want the flexibility to not keep my word without consequence and I'm betting you're gullible enough to believe me". And if they say something like "we're doing this on trust and trust is important to our success" or "there's no need to bring a lawyer into this", you are rapidly approaching a 100% guarantee of getting screwed.

stevoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
What i would do ?

I would definitely start looking for a job elsewhere.If he believe that with the talents he has abroad at the 1/3 of your salary he can do what he wants, then you will soon be deemed over-paid.

Getting the raise will be extremely hard, unless you are really core to the company and they will be affected heavily if you leave.

I would start looking for another job that it will make you happy as well.

fsk 1 day ago 0 replies      
First, your math is way off. If the company had a valuation of 12M, 1% equity is $120k. 4 year vesting makes it $30k/year. Also, VCs get preferred shares, making your equity worth even less than $30k/year.

So, you were an idiot to take a pay cut of $30k or more for this job.

At this point, moving on is your best option. When you get a new job offer, don't take a counter-offer, just leave.

Echoing the points the other people made, never take a pay cut on the vague promise they will make it up to you later. That never happens. When you took the foolish pay cut, you established yourself in their minds as an idiot, and they will never properly respect you.

payapp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get an offer letter from another company with fantastic salary, bonus, and stock options - Google is always hiring good solid engineers, and so is Apple and 300 other SV companies.

Once you have good offer letter then go to your CEO for a 'man-to-man' talk.

If he has any ounce of courage then he will match the offer or it will be your last day at work.

Good luck!

petervandijck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just as a datapoint: raising their next round might be easier if they have a CTO in the US. You could be that CTO. But also, look for another job.
argumentum 1 day ago 0 replies      
First, determine what leverage you have.

How essential are you to the startup's success? (how much would it cost to "replace" you). This might be higher than you think .. they may need a couple engineers physically in SV.

What % of your equity is vested? With standard terms, I'm guessing 1/4th (so 0.25%), unless there is a cliff longer than a year (which I've never seen).

How likely is the startup to exit in different scenarios: acquihire, bought for user base, bought for product, or IPO. How likely are each of these scenarios?

Just remember, this is a pure business decision. Don't worry much about "loyalty", "promises", "reputation" etc. If you're seriously good, these things don't matter much. Simply calculate the likelihood and payout for the possible decisions and then pick.

That's how good founders should make decisions and how good employees should make decisions. I wouldn't hire people who didn't think this way, or work for people who didn't.

jesusmichael 1 day ago 0 replies      
       cached 11 April 2014 04:05:01 GMT