hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    22 Aug 2014 Ask
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Ask HN: Any APIs you'd like to see from the New York Public Library?
6 points by phprecovery  2 hours ago   1 comment top
dang 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is great, but had a hard time getting attention because posts without URLs get penalized.

I suggest that you post the API page using the URL you mentioned, then add your question as a first comment in that thread. Good luck!

Ask HN: MTurk is no longer available to non-US companies. How are you coping?
84 points by chrisacky  9 hours ago   49 comments top 16
vitovito 9 hours ago 6 replies      
You only need a social security number if you're doing it as a personal account.

If your startup is doing it, it should be a business payments account, which take an EIN, an employer identification number, which the IRS will issue to a foreign entity: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/obtain-tax-id-number-foreign-...

The other alternative would be to integrate payments into an existing distributed work platform like Bossa or PyBossa, and recruit your own audience of participants through advertising.

lukas 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Chris - I'm the CEO of CrowdFlower. We're focused on large scale data enrichment tasks which sounds a lot like what you're doing. We have no geographic restriction and lots of european customers.

Unlike mTurk we have a platform usage fee to make our business sustainable and to try to break a downward cycle in our marketplace (ie people posting broken or poorly thought out jobs and making contributors frustrated leading to poor quality work). If you are early stage enough (and it sounds like you are) we will waive the fee. Shoot me an email if you're interested and I'll help you get set up.

petercooper 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure they've changed policies on who's allowed in. For years they've required requesters to have a US-based bank account and a US billing address, and if you're a personal user, a US drivers' license number. It seems the real change has been the mandatory move to Amazon Payments which requires either an SSN for a personal account or an EIN for a business.

But.. if you were a business, you must already have the US bank account and address, and getting an EIN is not too hard from overseas (you have to call the IRS, Google for guides on it, I've done it before). If you had a personal account, you should have had to provide a US drivers license and don't they require an SSN?

Perhaps you had an account through a loophole/lack of checking though, but I believe the long term policy has been to keep non-US entities out of the system overall, most likely for tax reasons.

jorgecurio 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Canadian here.

This is a huge pain.

Crowdflower is expensive and lot of workers complain that they complete a whole bunch of work and not get paid, it's been marked by people on reddit.

Amazon HITs are really the only way to go. Unfortunately, its very difficult now to get on Amazon.

deviantbits 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Chris,

I'm David, the CEO of WorkHub. We're a Europe-based cloud working platform offering an alternative to Mechanical Turk. Just sign up at https://www.workhub.com and a project manager will help you get started.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,David

cik 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Sadly, there are no real alternatives to Mturk - at least nothing with near the reach. If you have a friend in the US who might help you, it's by far the easiest way to go. That being the case, here are some alternatives:


labd5507 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I'd get an EIN from the IRS http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employ... For international businesses, it requires a phone call but supposedly it's not terribly difficult. Get a mail forwarding serving so you have a US address for Amazon payments, and from there it's just a matter of sorting out a bank account or US credit card. That might be a bit more difficult, but the easiest thing to do (if a little bit of a grey area) would be to get someone in the States to get a prepaid card like Serve AmEx, Bluebird AmEx, or prepaid Paypal mastercard. All of those cards are prepaid, but they have a routing and account number that could be set up as a bank account on Amazon Payments. The Paypal one would probably be especially handy since it could be funded from a foreign bank account or a PayPal account.
quentinms 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Pybossa (http://pybossa.com/) is a great (IMO) and FOSS alternative. NASA and CERN (amongst others) are using it. See some application examples here: http://crowdcrafting.org/
callmeed 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting. I used Crowdflower just a few months ago with fairly acceptable results. Wasn't aware they raised their prices.

I've been using some local college students now to tag wedding images. Much better results. Id be interested in talking to you more about this if you don't mind. I might be able to fork my tagging system so you could use it.

isaacn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want a simple wrapper around Mechanical Turk without the hefty fees, check out GridForce: http://gridforceapp.com/

It is a Microsoft Excel 2013 Application that allows you to crowdsource your spreadsheet right from Excel.

Disclosure: I built GridForce.

PanMan 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to use Mturk via CrowdFlower, which did (does) some nice filtering on top of the Mturk data. Unfortunately a few months ago they switched from a pay-what-you use model to packages, with the smallest $2500/month. I'm also interested in other interfaces/layers on top of MTurk.
crowdcurious 8 hours ago 1 reply      
For the people using Crowdflower and MTurk, how are people dealing with low-quality work? I've tried using both in the past, but ran into issues with getting good results.
mailarchis 9 hours ago 2 replies      
You should definitely check out crowdflower.com we had been using them for image tagging tasks with great results. Plus they gave advanced features that help with quality control.
kelukelugames 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Did Amazon ever say why they are requiring Amazon Payments accounts?
goodJobWalrus 7 hours ago 0 replies      
but why are they doing this?
trhway 9 hours ago 0 replies      
i guess IRS is afraid that MTurk will be laundering money, each and every $1 bill, manually...
Ask HN: Is my argument for the existence of free will correct?
2 points by amichail  2 hours ago   6 comments top 3
PaulHoule 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I think practically you are a nonintegrable and thus unpredictable process so your actions are not determined by your inputs thus you have free will.
blacksqr 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Please demonstrate the existence of subjective experience.
lutusp 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> The argument is that subjective experience would not have evolved without free will.

That's not an argument, it's an assertion. By its nature, subjective experience can't be used as an argument, because it's not accessible to the other parties to the debate. This is how subjective experience is defined.

> If there's no free will, then an animal with subjective experience would not have an evolutionary benefit over one without it.

This is easily refuted by examples in which computer programs, neither conscious nor possessing free will, without any behavioral latitude whatever, in a rigidly defined computer environment with no random or unpredictable elements at all, evolve according to the usual rules of natural selection. Therefore evolution and the existence of natural selection cannot be used to argue in favor of free will.

> Is my argument for the existence of free will correct?

It's not only not correct, it's not, strictly speaking, an argument. This is not to say there is no such thing as free will. We just don't know.

The evidence for an argument in a debate must be accessible to all participants in the same way. This is not to say they will agree with the premise, but they will all experience the evidence in the same way before drawing their own conclusions.

Ask HN: Best resources for web-scraping? What resources are missing?
15 points by webmaven  10 hours ago   17 comments top 10
dennybritz 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Two great tools for web scraping are https://import.io/ and https://www.kimonolabs.com/. There are also lots of developer tools out there, the most popular is probably http://scrapy.org/.

If you are interested in web crawling, which is often necessary if you want to extract data from very large sites (or many sites), I just wrote up a blog post comparing open source web crawling systems (including scrapy): http://blog.blikk.co/comparison-of-open-source-web-crawlers

theworst 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The crawling aspect always seems overlooked to me. It's really easy to get a single page and pull the required data from it. However, what strategies do you use to crawl? How do you get around IP blocks? Continuous crawling? Etc.

In the end, it's the infrastructure that powers the extraction that requires all my attention. I've got a bunch of techniques I use, but I'd love to compare with how other people do it.

Love that more scraping resources are coming online. I see scraping as the important link between the web as it is now, and the web as it will be in 20 years. (web2 -> web3 for the jargon geeks.) The whole semantic web isn't going to be useful for most non-academics without considerable structuring effort put into existing data.

MalcolmDiggs 6 hours ago 0 replies      
With so many single-page and ajax-powered websites these days, I've pretty much abandoned traditional fetching tools like Curl; in favor of headless browsers like PhantomJS, Selenium, etc. Here's a pretty good list: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/18539491/headless-browser...

Of course this only covers the actual gathering of the content, not storing/indexing in an efficient way.

Jake232 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I wrote this earlier this year, covers quite a few details, it's been featured on HN frontpage a couple of times though so maybe you have already seen it.


bennyp101 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to grab the page with curl, then use xslt on it to grab what I needed. The language is less important IMHO than the need for simplicity

Edit. Thinking about what's available now, maybe something using phantomjs or similar?

cblock811 9 hours ago 1 reply      
If you need an infrastructure to speed up your scraping or want to analyze some pre-crawled copies of the web there is Zillabyte. They have examples on their blog as well, Growth Hackers tweets this one out a lot


There is also Import.io for web extraction. Do you have something you are looking for in particular?

walterbell 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Is anyone using the Common Crawl dataset prior to scraping, or are there certain sites missing from that archive?



nreece 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Webpage to RSS/XML feeds: http://feedity.com
reefoctopus 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It depends on what you want to scrape. What do you hope to accomplish with an answer to this question? Do you intend to study/play around with a bunch of the libraries/tools mentioned? Do you have some sort of project in mind? Are you trying to get us to write a 'top 10 web scraping' blog post for you?
lutusp 10 hours ago 2 replies      
There's no single answer that will stand the test of time, because the structure of Web pages changes over time, to some extent because of scrapers.

This general advice should serve:

1. Get the page content the simplest way possible.

2. Use regular expressions to extract the desired content.

For both the above goals, and because so much revision is needed over time, I recommend Python.

Ask HN: What scenarios is Python 3 a bad idea to use, versus Python 2?
3 points by jamesmishra  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
gamesbrainiac 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a couple of scenarios:

- You want high performance and hence you want to leverage pypy, which has far better support for python 2 than for python 3.

- The libraries that you're using don't have good python 3 support. Flask used to have some problems with 3, but no longer does. Many companies have a lot of code written in Python 2 (dropbox), and hence using python 3 would not be a good idea.

lifeisstillgood 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There is hardly any reason these days to use 2.7 over 3.x for any greenfield project. You would have to be really really sure a non ported package was absolutely vital.

That said there is a considerable number of commercial companies who are on 2.x and staying there for the foreseeable (as in "yes we really should move but ...)

I divide these into three camps

- the distribution has 2.x. Some people are still on Ubuntu 12.04 or 10.04 and not planning a move because there is not enough sysadmin resources.

- 2to3 lite: we could move but we have not bothered yet, but 2to3 will auto correct everything anyway.

- we genuinely have too much built on old libraries and old infrastructure that the move to 3 is actually slightly scary

The first one is lack of technical leadership, the second is similar but actually solvable and the third is rare (but I can name a couple of mega corps with that problem)

My suggestion - start on 3.4, building your project on top of it, focus on good Unicode practises anyway and if you find a library that must must must be used and is 2.x only - set it up as a micro service and use it that way :-)

Ask HN: What places on the Internet do you go to for programming advice/tips?
3 points by asaddhamani  5 hours ago   4 comments top 4
kalagan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I don't know if it counts as "advice/tips" but I follow many blogs and a few periodic lists of news and articles like this one for .NET http://blog.cwa.me.uk/and this one for JavaScript http://javascriptweekly.com/
couchand 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Read everything on Ward's Wiki. http://c2.com/cgi/wiki
MalcolmDiggs 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Stackoverflow mostly. w3schools (yeah I'll admit it!) when I'm stuck on some tricky css or something.
elyrly 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Would this method work to split equity of a startup?
3 points by Envec83  10 hours ago   10 comments top 7
tptacek 9 hours ago 1 reply      
As long as both sides agree that the percentages are OK, you're fine, as long as:

(a) You VEST EVERYTHING (including your own shares)

(b) You know how you'll legally handle control after one of you leaves

(c) You have a serious conversation about responsibilities, one that confronts all the ways you can see things not working out; at this stage in my career if I was doing this I'd turn that conversation into a simple, bulleted MOU

(d) You remain observant about what the equity split is doing to morale. Frankly, sales of a new product is very hard, and it's more likely that vesting and termination are going to be your problems, but if they do really well, you need to remember that, again, sales is hard, and you don't ever want to lose someone who can perform in that role because they think they're getting an unfair deal.

alain94040 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Bad idea. The fact is that he will never work full-time on this startup. Treat it has such. Since he probably doesn't need a salary (he already has a job), just treat him as an advisor (a few percent of stock), and a huge commission for any sales he brings (30% of profit for his leads).

You don't want to have conditional/future equity based on some formula. You'll spend the next year arguing about what the formula should have been, why things that were not planned should be taken into account (or not), etc. Just don't. You can't forecast the future enough to make fair deal.

brudgers 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You have a product idea, the skill to develop it, and a potential first customer. Charge the customer, don't pay him with equity for the privilege of working on his problems.

If you get the problem solved, then think about scaling with a sales person. Keeping in mind that someone who has a full time job and may be seen as a competitor to future sales leads may not be the ideal candidate. Though if the candidate has an extensive track record closing B2B software sales, that is worth considering.

The fact that you don't think a fifty fifty split is fair and that your friend does not want to commit to the success of the venture to the same degree as you indicates there is a misalignment of interests.

sharemywin 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What happens if he sells 4 to your 1 and never does anything else? is that worth 40% to you? You also need to work out some kind of salary arrangement for either of you that goes full time once the sales can support it. Also your not leaving any equity for the first full time sales person you have. Plus your going to need 1-10k to turn it into a busness with lisences etc.
lucio 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Sounds better to decide % upfront. So you both know, who owns what form the start. About sales, just set a commission per sale. Note that he's bringing into the startup the know-how about the problem you're solving. I bet you'll be consulting him as the "expert" in the matter. This is a valuable part of the equation.
sharemywin 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Also you need to validate this with customers that aren't partners.
josephschmoe 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Unless he's giving you money, why would you give him any equity before the sales phase?
API for secure data storage?
2 points by snaveint  6 hours ago   2 comments top 2
tptacek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What you're looking for is called an HSM.
Ask HN: What are some good essays/blogs on VCs?
3 points by nns  12 hours ago   3 comments top 3
mind_heist 12 hours ago 0 replies      
David Lee's talk at this year's start up school NY was great:


kcovia 10 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.avc.com is excellent. It's Fred Wilson's person blog (Union Square Ventures).
tinkerrr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Do you track data about your life? Has it helped or led to insights?
7 points by blinduck  17 hours ago   7 comments top 4
thomasmeagher 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I use an iOS app called, Reporter (http://www.reporter-app.com/). It prompts you with push notifications to answer a set of custom questions throughout the day- Are you looking at a screen? Who are you with? Where are you? How many cups of coffee have you had?

The reports also capture "background" data using the phones sensors: number of steps, temperature, volume, elevation, phone battery, etc.

Its great for lightweight tracking and all the data can be exported in CSV or JSON formats. Reporter can definitely help you track sleep hours, food eaten, and productivity (weight and body fat % can also be captured).

I wrote an article about the 500 reports I've captured over the last 107 days: https://medium.com/p/c4454b9d8456

nreece 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been tracking my time, finances, health etc. for a little while. Wrote a blog post about the benefits of 'personal analytics' earlier this year: http://www.nilkanth.com/2014/04/11/will-you-take-100-now-or-...
tangentcity 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I was recently at a Quantified Self meeting in Amsterdam. I met the most fascinating bunch of people, but the chief insight came from hearing his friends give a tribute to the late Seth Roberts at the end of the seminar. The take-home lesson there is that you don't need to wait for results of complicated and expensive controlled clinical trials, but you can experiment on yourself, observe the results, and adjust accordingly. Myself, I have enjoyed wearing a Nike FuelBand, which did bring home the difference walking around talking to people during a day at the office makes in my general fitness (step count) and well-being (subjective). The Withings WiFi scale has been huge to track the effects of exercise and a Paleo diet. A normal scale would have told me that my weight hasn't changed in the 9 months I've changed those habits. The body impedance read from the Withings scale gives noisy but overall reliable body-fat data, and that shows me I've exchanged 10 lbs of fat for as much muscle. I've also noticed that a few days with less than about 5 hours of sleep will send my body fat creeping back up. Invaluable and extremely reinforcing in a positive way.
crazypyro 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Not sure if you have seen it, but every once in a while people post a link to this guy's blog where he attempts to track a large number of body/life statistics everyday. The name of the site eludes me though. It was really well made and designed. Maybe someone can help me....
Ask HN: Is life/success a game of who can handle burnout the longest/best?
19 points by perpetualBurnt  1 day ago   25 comments top 11
csmdev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, success comes to those who sacrifice themselves the most. And no, not just any sacrifice. You have to work for yourself instead of working for others. And it's usually excruciating.

Establish a huge goal that would satisfy you. Most choose world domination. But it can be a million bucks for now. And start working towards it. Day by day, month by month, year by year. During the day you make money from a job, during evenings and weekends you work towards your goal.

You constantly borrow happiness from the present and pile it up in the future. And burnout is always at the door and you constantly have to fight against it. Exercise, hobbies, outdoor activities etc. They are all weapons for a fight. Not solutions to health problems.

Start working for yourself today. On a startup, freelancing, book, side project or anything of value owned by you. And in a couple of years you will see if it works or not. If it doesn't, rinse and repeat, using the new things you learned. And if you're lucky, after doing this a couple of times you might obtain financial independence. After that it's either exponential growth or you fall back to your current state.

The universe likes balance. So success is always paid with suffering, one way or another. This is why children born into wealth usually end up badly.So if you were born poor like pretty much everyone else, you need to suffer if you want success. It's just how life works.

rthomas6 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am stealing from William B. Irvine's book here... There are 3 categories of things:

1. Those over which we have control.

2. Those over which we have no control.

3. Those over which we have partial but not complete control.

It is foolish and detrimental to spend any effort thinking or worrying about things over which we have no control. These things include:

* The past

* The present

First, learn to accept the past, and internalize that it is fixed and not able to be altered. Therefore it is not worth fretting over. Then embrace the present-- love every moment as it happens to you. You might as well, because once it's here you can't change it. This is my definition of mindfulness. In practice, this will look like you noticing what's around you and feeling grateful for all of it. Your breath, your fingers, the daylight, that you have food to eat... look at this machine that lets you connect to anywhere in the world in an instant! (you get the idea). There are many techniques to aid in this, among which is mindfulness meditation. Another is called "negative visualization", in which you imagine life without something, and ideally accept the hypothetical situation as still liveable, in order to better appreciate whatever amazing luxury you happen to have. A common example is imagining yourself without vision.

The point of all of this is so that you no longer need to commit any of your precious energy just trying to make yourself happy with your life in the present. All of that energy expenditure is a distraction (and our culture is geared top to bottom toward trying to make you spend your time, money, and energy this way!). To be blunt, needing something specific to be content is a personal weakness. Once you really, truly embrace your present circumstances, you can focus all your energy on what you do have control over, which is actually quite a lot.

You have control over:

* Your goals and plans

* Your actions

* Your reactions to circumstances and other people

So what I think you're missing is that people who are successful "suck it up" but they don't push through years of hating life, because they don't hate their life. They love their life, and then proceed to make it even better. To put more a Buddhist spin, there are 2 ways to feel content: One is to satisfy every desire you ever have. This will never happen, because no matter what you get, it will never be enough. The other way is to eliminate the desire itself... and then achieve some of those things anyway, at which point they're pure gravy. You could think of it as a charity in which you're giving to a stranger: your future self.

Tl;dr: Right now you hate life unless you achieve X, Y and Z, at which point you'll feel satisfied (for a while). Instead, teach yourself to feel satisfied right now, and then throw yourself into whatever it is that you feel passionate about, as you are able.

josephschmoe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Get a side-project with someone else who is working on that project full time. This will give you better skills/connections outside of corporate, even if it doesn't pay off immediately.

That's what I'm doing. The first two gave me big fat goose eggs (my first project I was alone at first), but #3 is looking like it could very do well for me and #4 is a guaranteed paycheck that will likely be double my hourly rate.

The problem with this:1. 50-60 hour weeks every week.2. You need to be in a very good position at work. No sudden rush of 60 hour weeks from work.3. You will burn out after three months of this. You can do two of these a year max.

Try to find a side-project related to what you want to do in life. Focusing on what you don't want to do is a sure road to failure - but if you find things you do want to do, you could even use this as a way to transition into those things. Maybe you could work on those things 20 hours a week and spend the rest doing...whatever it is you do want out of life.

Just my 2 cents. Not everyone can handle 60 hour weeks over and over again. It is not a lifestyle I would recommend and I hate that it is a necessity in this world without taking on tremendous risk.

jasonkester 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've always viewed adult life as maximizing the time/money problem. Or rather, solving the problem where it's relatively easy to get either free time or money at any point, but relatively hard to get both at the same time.

As developers, we have the advantage of being able to attack it from the Money side. You can spend your early career ramping up your bill rate so that you don't have to work 52 week years just to pay the bills. And you can also build product stuff that keeps paying dividends long after the heavy work of building it is done.

Combine those two things during the "burnout" phase you mention, and it shouldn't take too long to get out in front of the problem if you work it right.

Took me until about age 30 before I could start taking entire years off, but I bet a kid fresh out of school could do it a lot faster these days. There's really never been a better time to be in Tech.

benblu 1 day ago 1 reply      
"I can't do what I want in life" -- What do you want to do?
orasis 1 day ago 1 reply      
High cortisol levels make you stupid. Its not about who can handle burnout the longest, its about creating a healthy life rhythm that is sustainable and fueled by passion, not obligation.

One of the big things people overlook is getting enough sleep. They think they need to sleep less to get more done, but this only works in the short term. I sleep at least 9 hours a night and I try to turn off the screens at least an hour before I go to sleep. This has made a huge difference in my life.

AnEro 1 day ago 1 reply      
A large amount of it is managing the delay of gratification; I believe that is what you mean here. It is a discussion in psychology, and you can find a bunch of research on it for instance the marshmallow test.

I would challenge you to do some meditation- like just stopping and relaxing and focus on just your breath, once a thought pops into your head just come back to the focus on your breath. Try it for 2 weeks 5-10 minutes a day record your results.

weddpros 1 day ago 1 reply      
Of the many decisions I've made in my life, I don't regret the foolish ones. I only regret the decisions others made for me.
silverlake 1 day ago 0 replies      
IME, successful people are smart enough, take career risks, and are lucky.
Mz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just wonder if the people who are successful got that way because they are really good at sucking it up and pushing through years of hating life

Well, to some extent, the answer will be different for everyone, but I think most successful people are decently good at figuring out how to get some of their own needs met regardless of what life circumstances swirl chaotically around them. Money per se does not take care of anything. (Example: If you have an incurable deadly disease and are ridiculously wealthy, your money can't buy your way out of it because there is no "off the shelf" solution already available for purchase.)

Einstein said that you can't solve a problem from the same mental space that created it (or something along those lines). But, other than suggesting that instead of looking for different answers to the same question, you need to ask different questions entirely, I don't really know how to help you. There isn't enough detail here for me even begin speculating as to why you are stuck and what you might do to get unstuck.

Best of luck.

angersock 1 day ago 1 reply      
What field are you in, and how stuck are you?
Ask HN: Are tablets worth owning?
2 points by eglover  8 hours ago   13 comments top 8
tjr 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I've had an iPad for about three years. It appeared to be the magical way forward for technology. As a musician, I regularly use it to display scores, and really like it for this.

Otherwise, I hardly use it at all. I don't like reading on it. I don't like browsing the web on it. I don't like playing games on it. I don't like typing on it. For almost everything I've tried to do with it, either a regular desktop/laptop computer or a phone seems more pleasant for me.

But I do see plenty of other people using them constantly for things which I do not; your experience may vary.

b0o 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought my Nexus 7 first gen the week it came out and I don't regret it. There are so many apps that smartphones can use but it's just so much better to use on a tablet.

I mainly use it as something that I can just leave it on the car because its cheap, Nexus 7s are less than $200 right now, and it's ultra portable, I just throw it in my backpack and forget about it until I need it, next to my portable battery charger in case I ever do need it.

The two main differences between a smartphone and a tablet are Battery life and screen size. Some of the functions that are both battery intensive and need a bigger screen are using it as a gps, reading, and browsing. When I'm traveling and I constantly need to know where I am and where I need to go. When I'm on a 14 hr flight, I like to read my books or catch up on HN It's also just an ultra portable, longer lasting laptop. And I also play minecraft on it, and they're working on servers that I can connect to when I'm on my tablet or my computer.

As for a virtual whiteboard, I use evernote, as it has that function, but I haven't really found an app that I really like as a whiteboard.

Jipha 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd get a tablet with a pen like the Galaxy Note 8 or 10. It's MUCH easier to write things down, especially with all the math you'll be doing. And it just allows you to be more precise in general (plus you won't be getting the ink all over your hands).

I read ebooks and I can accurately highlight what I want the first time instead of messing up with my finger.

sandrae 8 hours ago 0 replies      
We own two tablets for businesss use - an iPad and a Google Nexus 7.

The iPad 4 is quite heavy, so I mostly use the Nexus 7 for private stuff.

- Quickly checking information on the web if all computers are turned off.- Adding listings to our local Craigslist equivalent. This is so much faster if you don't need to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer and then upload the stuff. - Playing games that are made for tablets.- Reading websites for fun while lying in bed.- Showing pictures and funny videos to friends.

I prefer the tablet over the smartphone for this because of the screen size.

pgrimes 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I love my iPad. I use just for reading kindle iBooks and iTunes U. I actually had to wait until the retina screen.

I had a surface RT and the kindle app on there sucked plus there was no comparable iBooks and iTunes U app so I sold it.

I have never used an android tablet for personal use.

WriteYourRep 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Love my iPad. I use it at home exclusively. But I've found that my tablet is limited to only consumption. I can't stand coding or writing on it and really only use it for internet browsing and book reading.
PaulHoule 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I love tablets.

On the other hand, I hate smartphones. I can afford to buy a tablet and a Playstation Vita, eat out once in a while and even save for retirement because I don't owe a car payment to Verizon.

beamatronic 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Having a tablet was useful in that I learned that what I really needed was a Chromebook
Ask HN: Text-based PPT alternative?
7 points by joeclark77  21 hours ago   11 comments top 7
brudgers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The Slideshow language in the Racket ecosystem: http://docs.racket-lang.org/slideshow/index.html

One of the authors is Matthew Flatt, and he wrote it despite knowing LaTeX well.

webmaven 10 hours ago 0 replies      
vitovito 21 hours ago 1 reply      
http://decksetapp.com/ does this from Markdown.

If you don't need actual PPT/PDF/etc. slide generation, and don't mind writing HTML, S5 was one of the original standards to do this; there are plenty of others, now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web-based_slideshow

itazula 13 hours ago 0 replies      
On a Mac, I like tpp, which can be found at https://github.com/cbbrowne/tpp. I installed it using Homebrew (brew install tpp), which will install the necessary Ruby dependencies. Optionally, for huge letters, you'll need FIGlet (brew install figlet).
anonymouz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually go the LaTeX+Beamer route, since LaTeX is what I work with anyway and I usually need LaTeX's math typesetting. Another option is MagicPoint [1], but I have never personally used it.

[1] http://member.wide.ad.jp/wg/mgp/

dangowango 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Latex is pretty great. Use the Beamer packege. However, its drawback is that all slides look very similar, and it's very time-consuming to experiment with discrete slide layouts.

For most users I'd say this is one of the few scenarios where you really really want a graphical editor.

Ask HN: Your prices are too high
21 points by sschueller  1 day ago   34 comments top 20
tudorghr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Without knowing what industry you operate in - Except if making a commodity product/service and have a cost advantage to competition (i assume you are not) you need to price @ and consequentially sell value not cost.

My experience in selling value: You need to:1) Understand and quantify opportunity cost for client in not working with you (Difference in dollar amount profit for client between working with you and alternative options: 1)working with competitor, 2)using alternate solution for the same problem - status quo solution if your product/service involves an operational change)- the value of your product is that number: If positive be explicit about it.

2) Sell a relationship not a service/product ie: make the person in front of you feel better off in working with you than not through long term benefits. To do this understand their own KPIs other than profit (first point on that) and issues (time spent doing stuff they or their staff hate doing) in doing their job - make them understand that a relationship with you will make their job easier based on how you improve KPIs and/or eliminate issues in the long run.

Other points:- Listen and adapt to every client - none two are the same - first question you should ask yourself: "Who do I have in front of me" - you will have a few dozens types of client behaviors not more - adapt accordingly to address points 1 and 2.

- Don't rush sales - understand the two points above very well and go through them with each of your clients patiently.

- Be in a position to walk away - do not allow one client to represent more that 30% of your business - if that happens seek to diversify client base fast. Very difficult to negotiate pricing with a client when they are aware of the fact that loosing their business will kill your treasury.

- Above all else, be empathic - people do business with people they like. All else being equal, a decider will always choose to buy from guy he feels he can have a beer with after work.

carsongross 1 day ago 1 reply      
SAAS Pricing discussion that isn't around an obscene price point appears to come down to two issues:

- The sense that someone wants a deal

- Perceived fairness of the pricing

If you want to hold firm on your pricing, I'd try to cut a functionality deal (e.g. "we'll allow X more of Y at this cost") to get reciprocity and fulfill the "get a deal" side of things, and then demonstrate the fairness in positive terms (e.g. "We provide 24 hour support and constant monitoring of your swizzle." rather than "This is a niche product, so we have to charge a lot or we'll go out of business.")

Keep the conversations short and to the point ("if you are explaining, you are losing") and don't be afraid to cut bad customers loose. If they haggle around price too much they are not likely to be a good customer and will probably cost a lot in support with a high probability of canceling anyway.

Good luck.

neurotixz 1 day ago 2 replies      
I do not know who your customers are, but for lots of corporations, spending a fortune on hardware (capex) is easier then spending anything on services (opex). It is linked to accounting rules for those 2 different categories of spending (I am not an accountant, I just happen to be dealing with one on a regular basis, as well as with a feew large entreprises).

So for your product to be competitive, it needs to be very compelling to get over that hurdle, and be much superior to anything else. Being in `magic quadrant` in Gartner or other is also useful (yes I know, it does not mean much, but it looks good for management).

One common way of getting over that hurdle is to find a creative way for your service to move to the capex side of things. One example is selling an appliance which does not do much, and relies entirely on your service, sell it for a very high price, bundle a 3 year support contract that covers the cost of your service, and suddenly it's capex :-)

thejteam 1 day ago 0 replies      
Without knowing anything about your product, I'm going to focus on your last line. "Another issue is our product makes things convenient. It saves money which is a hard thing to sell."

I think you and them might be using a different definition of saving money. If your service replaces several others that they are currently paying for then they are saving money. If you are doing something like making things more efficient then perhaps from an accounting standpoint it is "saving money", but if it is just saving a few hours a week then in practice what you are doing is giving their employees a few extra hours to surf the net. You have to quantify real, actual dollar savings or real, actual sales increases.

You also mentioned a competitor. Are the people you pitching to using your competitor? If not, then they probably also think your competitors are too expensive. If you really are better and cheaper then try pitching to people who use your competitor and see what happens.

brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
If your product was free and Selma Hayek came to the customer's office and provided a neck and shoulder massage whenever the customer logged in, some heterosexual man would still complain because he prefers blondes.
zomg 1 day ago 0 replies      
if a prospect is balking at your product due to price, you're not doing a good job at framing the problem, or pain point, your product solves for the customer (whatever that value is, productivity or cash for example).

to specifically answer your question, because no one else seems to have, here's how i respond to the "price" question (without knowing anything about your business/product or what it does):

1. agree with the prospect (yes, agree)

> "mr x, i agree, wicked widgets isn't a cheap solution..."

2. and then ask them how much it costs/how long it takes to (whatever the problem is) now, on a quarterly/annual/whatever basis. if you've done your prospecting right, you'll be on the saving side of things...

> "but may i ask you how much you spend/how long it takes on/to (whatever) today?" (they answer) "and how is that affecting your business today"

3a. (if you DO save them money) - walk them through (BRIEFLY AT A HIGH LEVEL because every customer is different) the cost savings on a monthly/quarterly/yearly basis, if they go with your product. then stick that it their face.

> "mr x, how would saving $blah dollars per quarter improve the cost and productivity of your business? how would that affect your business?"

3b. (if you DONT save them money) - position the product as an investment in productivity (translate that to cost savings) and make the case as to how your solution is better than a more expensive competitor (there are metric shit tons of other ways to travel down this path, i am providing one).

> "wow mr. x, sounds like it does cost you a lot to (whatever). i'd be looking to address (whatever) too. wicked widgets is the only product that does (blah) and can improve your (whatever factor) by (blah) %. in fact, here's a recent whitepaper we published, that compares the cost savings of wicked widget versus other, more expensive competitors in the market. (point out the highlights of the paper versus your competitor, you should have a slide on this as well). mr x, any idea how much (blah) hours of productivity improvement could save your business a quarter? how would that affect your business?"

4. if by this point they still beat you up on price, you may have the wrong customer. but i trust that you should know that you have the RIGHT customer before going into this kind of meeting...

the point is, you need to know what the pain/motivation was for seeking out a solution to (blah). once you know the pain point (it may vary per customer), you can tailor your pitches accordingly.

best of luck,


lmm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Don't talk about your own costs, that's not their problem. If you offer more than your competitor but cost less, that sounds like a good argument. Other than that, point out how much value you can bring to their business, how they're going to save more than they're paying you. Once they realize that, they're not going to care how much money you're making off it, one way or another.
iamwithnail 1 day ago 0 replies      
We have that problem. We just straight out list why we're better for the money, using the table just above the pricing: http://granttree.co.uk/#pricing

There's a differentiation to be made between PRICE and VALUE.

"It saves money which is a hard thing to sell." Really? Being brutal, it might be sales technique. If someone can come to me, show me they understand the business and show me that they can save us money, they're pushing on an open door. We had a local authority tax specialist contact us for that, saying "We'll save you this much every month, or you don't pay." Sold - maybe back it up with a guarantee? If we don't save you money, we'll refund it after 3/6/9 months or whatever.

walterbell 1 day ago 0 replies      
See Splunk (competing with free software) case studies, http://www.splunk.com/view/customer-profiles/SP-CAAABB2
rkangel 1 day ago 0 replies      
> We aren't yet at a point where we can say take it a leave it.This might be part of the problem. If the potential buyer is aware that selling to him is important, then that gives them leverage.

As other people have said, every time they push on cost, you push back on value. People will buy expensive things if it's worth it to them.

tixocloud 1 day ago 0 replies      
It sounds like your potential clients aren't convinced of the value that you deliver or they are trying to get a deal out of you. You may want to proceed with caution for some of these clients. Some clients are always going to look for the lowest price as much as possible - they might not be a good fit for your company. It's hard but sometimes it does come down to take it or leave it. If you're not able to meet the lower price while still covering your costs, it doesn't seem practical, in my opinion.

You'll have to think about all the added value that comes with your company. i.e. documentation, one-to-one support, expertise. Try to find things that you can carve out with minimal added cost but provide a ton of value.

dagw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are your customers large companies? If so you have to try to understand how accounting is done large companies and how to restructure your prices to accommodate your customers without actually lowering your prices.

Back when I was working on similar stuff (expensive niche software) we charged a one off fixed cost for a license plus an annual maintenance fee, which included upgrades and free support (people love free) plus by the hour consulting fees for all configuration and company specific changes.

By splitting the costs up like this it was easier to negotiate price, since we had three moving parts to tweak, plus it was easier for the customers since they could park the different costs on different budgets.

toumhi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Its hard to say without seeing and hearing about your customers. But:

customers just want lower prices so they try to see if youre going to cave in with a little bit of pressure. Dont.

You need to anchor your price to value youre providing. How do your customers think about the value your product provide? What do they compare it to? Maybe they see you as providing less value than your competitor, if they complain much about it? Can you change their points of reference when they compare your product?

Listen to them, but take what your customer tell you with a bit of salt. They are biased to get lower prices.

tudorghr 1 day ago 1 reply      
One other point. Compare your product/service price to daily current expenditure of client " my product will cost less per day than what you spend on Coke (or other)for your team" - puts things into perspective.
Peroni 1 day ago 1 reply      
What you're fundamentally asking is 'why do our potential buyers think our price is too high?" and the most effective way to find out and regain control of the negotiation is to simply ask them.

As them why they think the price is too high. Most likely they are basing their opinion on comparative product value or alternative solutions or they are simply playing hard ball. The only other possibility is that they simply don't place as much value in your product as what you do which means you need to work harder at selling the long term benefits as well as the immediate gains.

garrickvanburen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like you're talking to the wrong prospects.

There are a number of strategies to explore:1) You've already stated you have a very niche product. If that's actually the case you solve a huge problem for a very small market. Own the exclusivity: double your price.

2) Find a way to quantify the method for solving this problem without your product. Somewhere in there is substantial value not represented in your product. Respond to it.

smackfu 1 day ago 0 replies      
To be honest, every buyer should push you on cost, otherwise they aren't doing a good job of representing their company. I push you on cost, you give me a break, my company makes more money. No harm in trying either, since most sellers aren't going to walk away from a deal just because you said it was too expensive.

It doesn't necessarily mean anything about whether your pricing is correct.

Jayd2014 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know how I can save a thread like this without commenting on it?
Dwolb 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Are you delivering value to them? Can the customers see this? If not, take the value off the floor and put it on the table.
pif 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Our competitor is more expensive yet offers a lot less.

Have you tried telling this to your potential customers? How did they react?

Ask HN: What other sites do you read on a frequent basis?
15 points by thinkingkong  2 days ago   16 comments top 12
brudgers 6 hours ago 0 replies      
MalcolmDiggs 2 days ago 1 reply      
TechCrunch, Venturebeat, BBC, AlJazeera...but I also get an embarrassing amount of my information from Twitter [hides in shame].
raelmiu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I read: aaplnow.comdaringfireball.nettheverge.compolygon.com

but mostly I find stuff through twitter.

jordsmi 2 days ago 0 replies      
adityar 1 day ago 0 replies      
BorisMelnik 2 days ago 0 replies      
on a frequent basis, and other than HN:



mromanuk 2 days ago 0 replies      
rythmshifter 2 days ago 0 replies      
slashdot, bruce schneier's blog, null-byte
4away 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ansible Action Plugins Meetup August 27, 2014
25 points by shivanshu  18 hours ago   2 comments top
smithie 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Sounds interesting; is there an active East Bay DevOps group? Seems like there's got to be more of us in Oakland?
Beta users wanted for new social network platform
4 points by a_trestup  1 day ago   8 comments top 5
jnorthrop 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's good to see a social network come out of Canada. Privacy-conscious folks should be comforted that Trestup needs to comply with CASL[1] and PIPEDA[2] which sets a higher bar than US regulations with regards to gaining consent from users for marketing purposes and provides greater control for the user over their own data.

[1] http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/annualstatutes/2010_23/Fu...

[2] http://www.priv.gc.ca/leg_c/leg_c_p_e.asp

vonklaus 1 day ago 1 reply      
You guys don't rank on google. Had to hardcode the link. Your site says very little about what it actually does, connect users with similar interests is the premise of basically every social and dating website on the net. I am on mobile, the confirm email says "this message has no text" on ios. This means google wont download it to the server. Can't confirm, can't use the site. You have to make this easier.
thegrif 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm actually beginning a project to launch a vertical social network. Please kindly include me if your product can be leveraged by private networks. I'm looking at both hosted platforms and managed software.

I am at tom [a] thegrif [dot] net. Also @thegrif. Thanks again! :-)

felixmc 12 hours ago 0 replies      
it could use some UX work (just simple things like where you position fields or how you indicate things are required)

also, when I filled out my profile and submitted, I got JSON representation of my profile back

gesman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can I chat with other users?Can I share the pictures with other users?Can I "friend" other users?

Yay! I'm in!

Ask HN: How to monetize my startup
6 points by zeynalov  1 day ago   9 comments top 4
thegrif 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations for being in such high demand :-)

I don't think you're going to be able to charge an hourly rate if the bulk of your correspondence is via email. It's going to cause more problems then it's worth.

Airpair.com provides 24 hour access to an expert, priced based upon the complexity of the problem (a proxy to how much work is actually required on your part). They also calibrate the expert assignments, making sure the more advanced professionals get the more difficult problems. This could be a possibility for you - unless you want to continue handling all requests yourself.

I wonder if you could use Slack as the primary platform for orchestrating the transaction.

1. User hits your website, becomes convinced, submits the inquiry, and deposits money into his account. Managing a balance adds complexity, but you always have a better chance of getting more money with one transaction versus smaller ones.

2. Upon payment (let's use Stripe, because that integrates with Slack) they are issued an invitation to your Slack instance. A private channel is also created that they will be restricted to. The private channel should correspond to some sort of customer ID - because you will want to use the same channel throughout the lifetime of the customer to maintain continuity,

3. Optionally you may also create a tracking ticket using something that integrates with Slack and Stripe. The ticket contains the stripe transaction information, the original inquiry, key info on the customer, and hopefully links to the customer's past interactions.

4. The advantage of Slack is all of the built in integrations. Most of your back and forth can be via the persistent chat - and you can have a bot reminding the user not to expect instantaneous responses. But if you do need to do screen sharing, video conferencing, etc...there is no leaving the environment - and it all gets tracked.

5. You may be able to fairly track time if Slack can measure your time in the channel and decrement the available funds accordingly. Just make sure you're only in the channel when you're either actively communicating or researching on the user's behalf.

6. Once the user's account hits a predefined threshold, issue a warning and suggest that they replenish their account in order to continue the conversation. Clicking the link or interacting with the bot would replenish the account via a charge out to Stripe. Tracking ticket is updated.

7. When the user shifts topics (after you satisfy one request and he moves onto the next), give a bot a command that updates the ticket by closing the last request and opening a new one. Of course we're getting a bit nuts with this level of tracking - but I think it will be valuable to keep them all separate as I am sure you get a ton of repeat requests. Hopefully you'd be able to trigger an email to the user with a full transcript of the exchange.

8. Eventually the user will be done asking questions and may likely have a balance. Even if the balance is zero, retain the private channel. It serves as a searchable log of the interaction and is a mechanism for the user to come back and reengage with you.

9. You may optionally add some public channels covering the topics you provide advice on. This may be useful to keep your users occupied while you answer questions as your day progresses.


It's important to note that this is only worthwhile if the exchange between you and the customer is more discussion-oriented versus one-off answers to specific questions. Simpler interactions would remove the value Slack adds - and in that case I would fall back to a ticketing system you're comfortable with that has hooks into the payment engine you're using.


walterbell 1 day ago 0 replies      
You used the word "annoying" twice. Pricing can be used to segment markets into annoying and less-annoying, for local definitions of annoying :)

In consulting, the goal is always to customize first-principles creative material for the unique needs of each client. Reusable written content is better than verbal content, unless you can remix audio/video snippets for customers. Over time, a growing library of content is a competitive advantage. A subset can be free = marketing.

Based on customer questions, you could ask them to watch a 1 hour training webinar, hand-curated from your library of N webinars, then send written questions, then escalate to live conference. Each tier is more expensive than the previous one.

vonklaus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think you should build a super simple chat client or use something like whatsapp and integrate it into a browser. That way, a potential client can find you and immediately engage with you about their needs. This is frictionless. Someone can type in real time and then book them. You can use asynchronous tools like email or a video chat like appear.in.

You should prob consult/explain for 5 minutes free and then make your rates known. After 5 minutes have them do a quick stripe payment, and then run a meter. Something like this is quick, frictionless and unsophisticated. You could even put the price on the screen like a taxi meter but this could actually be negative. Transparency works tp a point though.

fouademi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Design predefined packages based on your experience and charge fixed amounts per project, and sell additional hours for a known cost too. However, I've seen some well established consultation companies use freelancers platforms to market their services and get paid, so it might be worth trying.
Ask HN: Where is the safest place to buy/hold/sell Bitcoin?
6 points by hpvic03  2 days ago   2 comments top 2
thegrif 1 day ago 0 replies      
Coinbase is legitimate. The vast majority of the company's Bitcoin stockpile is stored on hardware encrypted offline hard drives.

I think Coinbase could thwart off a targeted attack, with the worst case being an interruption in service due to DDoS. It is far more likely that an individual account is compromised by an attacker who learns the user's password. Coinbase mitigates the impact of this scenario by:

1. Forcing all accounts to use two-factor authentication

2. Providing users with a vault that provides additional security options. It's meant to hold the bulk of a user's BTC, similar to a savings account at a traditional bank. Withdrawals are subject to a 48 hour delay and can be configured to require multiple co-signers.

The time delay accomplishes two things. One, it prevents an attacker from instantly draining a compromised account. Two, it provides Coinbase with ample time to retrieve the BTC from its offline storage (it's a sign that they're telling the truth about their massive offline storage strategy).

More info on vault can be found here:https://coinbase.com/vault

jordsmi 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Buy @ coinbase (if you a US resident)

Hold on your own machines. Don't trust any service to hold your coins for you.

What would you do? Boss thought I copied code from Web
21 points by tryanother  1 day ago   41 comments top 9
orand 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would leave that job as quickly as possible. Life is too short to work for a boss who is crazy.

You have the drive to learn and grow. Go to meetups, user groups, etc. and get to know others who are like-minded. You'll build the connections you need to find a better job, even if you are a junior dev. They'll see your passion and potential and hire you for that.

rajacombinator 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you're not copying from the web (with appropriate attention to licensing) you are seriously doing it wrong. Especially on an internal facing enterprise product. Sounds like your boss is a moron.
elmojenkins 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd update your resume and look around. Things could get better at your current job, however, if you are able to find something new, you should consider it..especially given your current issue.

You are right to feel annoyed by this. I would. I think anyone who put the time & effort into something would too. Hopefully your boss will figure it out one day.

tptacek 1 day ago 1 reply      
That does not sound like a recoverable problem.
pawn 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Show of hands. Who DOESN'T copy snippets of code from the net occasionally? Anybody? Cobol programmer in the back, your hand has been noted, you can put it down now...
notjustanymike 1 day ago 1 reply      
Welp, we're always looking for front-end devs. http://www.tapad.com/about-us/careers/openings/
thejteam 1 day ago 1 reply      
The one time I encountered this was in 9th grade. The health class teacher wasn't used to people writing good essays. I got an A on the first essay of the year, and she wrote on the paper "Good job, if you actually wrote it."

Her and I did not get along very well that year.

crazypyro 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is your boss a dev? Did he think you straight copy/pasted from the internet? Did he even ask about the licensing?

Your boss sounds incompetent, but these answers would probably help us understand.

BorisMelnik 1 day ago 1 reply      
yea man that is no good. most bosses would kill to know that their staff goes home and learns on their own. run, fast, and far.
Ask HN: Books Like Stealing the Network or Jeff Aiken Novels
2 points by omnibrain  17 hours ago   4 comments top 2
makerops 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The stealing the network series is awesome. I just read "The Director" which was decent.

There are a lot of non-fiction books that read the same as a fiction though; Ghost in the Wires, The Art of Intrusion (really fun read), Fatal System Error, and of course if you haven't read Cuckoo's Egg, you should.

Reamde by Neal Stephenson is also good.

walterbell 16 hours ago 1 reply      
How about the Defcon reading list, https://www.defcon.org/html/links/book-list.html?
Ask HN: Tips to become a great programmer
28 points by chimmychonga  2 days ago   39 comments top 24
Jemaclus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have three basic tips:

1) Find problems first, then solve them. It sounds obvious, but so many programmers find solutions and then go look for a problem. That's backwards. Problems, then solutions.

2) Test your solutions as much as you can. Does it actually solve the problem? Is it too slow? Is it confusing or cumbersome? Nine times out of ten, it's better to take an extra hour to test something than to rush it through. There are very, very, very few instances in which you legitimately do not have time to test. For all practical purposes, you ALWAYS have time -- you just aren't making it a priority if you don't test. Make it one. It's far more important to deliver solid code that works than it is to be the first one to submit your code.

3) Don't reinvent the wheel. Stand upon the shoulders of giants. Use what others have done and get ahead. There are two major exceptions to this tip, imo: 1) if you're reinventing it as a learning exercise, or b) you are absolutely, positively, 100% convinced you can bring something new to the table.

Also, just for kicks: tabs, not spaces. runs away

brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook for Software Construction is considered one of the language agnostic classics on computer programming. It focuses on higher level concepts as they relate to the process and sequence of writing code. It covers just enough architecture and design to provide context and allow one to think intelligently about it.

[affiliate link] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0735619670/ref=as_li_tl?ie=...

[non-affiliate link] http://www.amazon.com/Code-Complete-Practical-Handbook-Const...

valarauca1 2 days ago 2 replies      
A few tips every developer should learn.

1) Solve the problem before you write the code.

2) Figure out what data structures to use and the code will follow.

3) Debugging is your fault, you screwed up. The language or the compiler didn't (true 99.999% of the time).

4) The difference between genius and insanity is if the algorithm runs faster.

The biggest general tip is learn data structures. They are the fundamentals, you will always use them, get used to them.

walterbell 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's an 80s book with fantastic interviews of programmers before they became business leaders, check out the reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/Programmers-Work-Interviews-Computer-I... & http://www.amazon.com/Programmers-at-Work-Susan-Lammers/dp/0...

Some (all?) interviews free here: http://programmersatwork.wordpress.com/

glenda 2 days ago 1 reply      
Writing too much code can make you a worse programmer.

The real way to get better is to pick an area of study and research the shit out of it, even non-technical aspects if applicable. Go back as far as you can and read every canonical book you can find on the subject. Even if it's outdated information, it will help you see how we arrived where we are now (as long as it's not a purely technical reference).

Read those things until you feel some things click in your head. Then go back and try to write some code.

This might be difficult to do while in school though. I'm sure you're doing a lot of reading already.

abhinavgujjar 1 day ago 1 reply      
You've taken the most IMPORTANT step already - You care about programming. Keep this up. Join forums, read books on programming, follow programming blogs.

Next, do not fixate on languages and frameworks. Aspire to make this irrelevant to you. Great developers often can work with multiple languages and frameworks.

Be prepared and excited to learn every single day of your life as a programmer. The best programmers I know are always learning. This is an investment you will need to make regardless of work pressures and schedules. I've seen far too many developers have their skills atrophy because they've not invested in improving.

Use the Rubber Duck debugging model - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging.

One simple way to do this is that whenever you get stuck, go to stackoverflow and start explaining the problem.

I have found my solution innumerable number of times by forcing myself to explain it to someone else with no context. It makes you confront your assumptions and understanding.

logn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would recommend writing apps as much as you can from "scratch" (do use standard libraries for your language, but shy away from big libraries or platforms that aren't a core part of the language). I think this helps ensure you're not just wiring things together but are truly creating something out of thin air and thinking algorithmically. That experience will serve you well when one day you're confident in piecing together ready-made libraries, platforms, and your own code to create your projects.
bobfirestone 2 days ago 1 reply      
From my experience there are a few things that I try to keep in mind while working.

1) Keep your code as simple as possible. In the real world if you can call your code complex or clever it is probably bad.

2) When presented with a problem don't immediately reach for the keyboard. Take some time to make sure you understand the actual problem that you are solving.

3) Good enough and working beats perfect and not working. Perfectionists make horrible co-workers and usually end up with horrible code.

julesaus 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a great presentation on the topic by Angelina Fabbro www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0TFmdO4ZP0 with matching slides http://afabbro.github.io/jsconf2013 . The title says javascript, but it's really a platform agnostic guide that sketches out what mastery looks like and lays out actionable steps to get there.

Seriously, listen to the talk and/or check out the slides.

But 90% won't, so here's her actionable steps:

  1. Ask why obsessively  2. Teach and/or speak at an event  3. Work through a suggested curriculum*  4. Experiment recklessly (the code doesn't care)  5. Have opinions  6. Seek mentorship  7. Program a lot  8. Stop fucking programming sometimes.  9. Write Javascript* a lot  10. Write in another language for a while  11. Think like a programmer when afk  12. Know what feedback is good feedback and reject everything else.  13. Break free of imposter syndrome
* These are the two points you'll need to adapt to your choice of language

AnimalMuppet 1 day ago 0 replies      
You need someone more experienced than you who can read your code (and look at your architecture). They will say things you don't want to hear. Listen anyway, and try to pick up where they're coming from.

Programming well requires judgment and taste. It takes years to develop these well (at least, it did for me), but it helps to have people who have more than you explain why they wouldn't have made the same choices you did.

(Note well: Not everyone with more experience than you has better judgment. You need someone with good coding judgment, not just someone older.)

Nowaker 1 day ago 0 replies      
The books that I think are must-read are "The Pragmatic Programmer" and "Apprenticeship Patterns". I learned a lot from them.

I'm aware you expect some quick tips from HN though. Have a look at my old blog posts that summarize these books. While 3 years old and written in Polish, Google translated it very well. Direct links to the translations: https://bit.ly/1oZiidn and https://bit.ly/1w8ELhY.

adultSwim 1 day ago 0 replies      

A lot of being a good programmer doesn't have to do with technical skills.

Take a compilers course. This was required at my school and I figured it would be boring (I mostly likely the theory classes). I was wrong! Writing a compiler really made me understand what they do. I had seen a lot of people who were trying to appease the compiler. Instead, the compiler is now my slave.

teh_klev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't obsess with premature optimisation. Get your code working then start profiling if you think it should run faster/use less memory when under load.
prostoalex 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thankfully, perseverance is a great substitute for talent.

Steve Martin

Spoom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go here: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki and read everything.
ozuvedi 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. It's ok to feel you're a bit more good that other people but never let yourself feel you know better than everyone.2. Respect your teammates and always be open to learn from them3. Programming is not typing or coding. It's about coming up with solutions. So, before you start typing code use your brain.4. Don't run after a hype. Think before you use any tool or technique.5. Enjoy !!
motyar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Think about the problem and solution before you think about code. Don't just start writting code, Write the algos/steps, dataflow.
sgy 1 day ago 0 replies      
- always try to solve nasty problems (e.g. https://www.hackerrank.com/)

- read this: http://www.paulgraham.com/gba.html

AngeloAnolin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would say purposeful learning. That is, exploring avenues of programming where you know your skills would be stretched, become better to the point that you are able to either:

(a) produce and deliver something usable.


(b) make things better

kasey_junk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use source control. Even for 1 person throw away projects.
vishalzone2002 1 day ago 0 replies      
try http://www.cs.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/pearls/ Programming pearls)

Also if you are into Java/C++, Effective Java/C++ are def worth reading.

filmmo 1 day ago 0 replies      
As much as weve emphasized that hours of practice are necessary for success, you need to have balance, meaning a life outside of the game. Many pro players started as teens, but now have grown up and have families of their own. Friendships and family are vastly important for your mental well-being, so dont shut people out in favor of holing yourself up to play at all hours.
orionblastar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't give up learning.

Learn from your mistakes and failures.

Don't be afraid to make a mistake or fail.

Fixing your mistakes and failures is called debugging, learn how to debug.

Communication is 80% of the job, develop your social and people skills to avoid acting like a jerk, treat others with empathy and compassion.

Learn to work with others on a team, don't be a Lone Ranger, sometimes you get stuck and need another pair of eyes to look things over.

Learn how to manage stress better so you can get a good night's sleep. If you cannot get 8 hours of sleep at night, consider seeking help for that. If your stress levels make it so you cannot even get sleep, something is wrong.

Tell HN: The joy of 100 to 1 backup compression: 8.3M to 70K
4 points by andrewstuart  21 hours ago   5 comments top 3
bnejad 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What kind of results do you get for other popular archive formats like rar or tar-bzip2?
lutusp 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This compression ratio only means your data file contains a great deal of redundancy, exploitable consistent patterns that repeat.

You're describing Lrzip as though it's responsible for the compression ratio. I assure you, the result lies with the data, not the compression algorithm or application.

For purposes of a discussion of compression, data can be described in terms of its entropy. If data has high entropy, it will resist compression. With low entropy like your example, a compression algorithm can produce a high ratio, and the resulting file has high entropy, meaning it will resist any further compression.

If you want to produce an impressive result for someone who doesn't understand compression, use a plain-text file for the example, one containing many repeated words and phrases. If you want to make a compression application look bad, try to compress something already compressed, like a JPEG graphic.

Further reading:


codeonfire 19 hours ago 1 reply      
What's your Weissman?
Bounty awarded, payment not received for nearly a year
6 points by Anonymous_me  1 day ago   2 comments top
amarcus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Publicly shame them. That seems to send companies into overdrive to correct errors & issues.
Ask HN: Has anyone found a good co-founder using founder dating techniques?
54 points by dwolfson20  1 day ago   17 comments top 15
quantisan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's my experience.

I was on FounderDating for at least a couple months last year actively looking. (I am speaking from a tech cofounder perspective.) During that time, a few emails were exchanged with a few prospects and a couple Skype chats were made too. But nothing came about from it.

Then instead of waiting any longer I decided to go ahead myself and just keep an eye out as I go. Soon afterward I serendipitously found another startup doing something similar to what I was trying. I contacted them just to exchange ideas. Turns out they were looking for a CTO. So here I am now.

My takeaway is that these are not magic bullets. They are one of many available channels in a co-founder search. The only thing that works is that you need to be "out there" looking. Both on- and offline.

kadabra9 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the problem with these founder dating type sites is that starting a company really isn't like "dating" at all, its more like a marriage. It's tough to just meet someone on a whim and dive into something like starting a company. You wouldn't just walk down the aisle after meeting someone on an online dating site and exchanging a few messages or going on a few dates either (hopefully), and you probably shouldnt launch a company after a few beers with someone you met on a website. These sites can introduce the two of you, but its on you to determine how well you will work as a team.

I'm not really sure how you solve this problem, or if sites like CoFoundersLab can solve the problem. I've met up with a few people from these sites for drinks and coffee to bounce ideas around, but nothing really went further than that. IMO, The best thing to do for those actively looking for a cofounder is to constantly be "out there" as pointed out by quantisan. That means leveraging your network, going to meetups...etc and being active with it.

emcarey 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a great co-founder dating story. My advise is to know exactly what you are looking for and then recruit for that dream candidate. I built out my business, boot strapped my startup for 6 months and had a strong idea of my product vision. As I hadn't been particularly happy with my engineering team prior- i decided to start fresh with the perfect technical cofounder to build our product. I spoke to a lot of people about what they envisioned for the technical cofounder role for my product and then made a 'dream resume' of that candidate along with the personality traits that would be the ying to my yang. Once I had a good idea of what I was looking for- I went through every single software engineer connection on linkedin to see if anyone might be a match. A woman who had moved into my old room when I moved out of my house had the exact background for what I was looking for (product driven creative software engineer). I got her involved in our market research study and then asked her for drinks under the premise that she had the exact resume and personality of what I was looking for in a technical cofounder-so what would I need to do in order to find a woman like her and get her to start this company with me. She really loved my idea and more importantly, saw the opportunity for herself to build a really cool product from scratch. We are both in similar places in our career and she 180% had the drive and intelligence to start a company and build our product and technology. She said during the meeting that she was actually interested and wanted to meet the rest of the team. We spent two months working together, getting to know each other and really thinking through the product. She met with all of my advisors and poured through our research. We had discussions about communications, got into our first tiff and had multiple discussions about timeline and career goals before sealing the deal. We share many passions like art, music and most importantly, helping women with their careers. Now that she is my technical cofounder, so many amazing things have happened. She's very talented and has the type of personality that attracts good tech & design talent. We work well together because we spent time communicating what we would both need to make this work for us. So figure out what you need, design that dream candidate, go find her or him and take the time to 'date' them till you are both comfortable moving forward. My relationship with her is now the most important one in my life right now and our attention to communicating is what has propelled our product development and our team's growth.
bbrunner 1 day ago 0 replies      
You are potentially going to be business-marrying this person for the next decade of your life. Founder Dating can be a good way to find people who are interested in starting a company, so you can be on the same page about that at least. But, like real dating, you probably don't want to just jump in and commit to starting a company with someone just because they are available.

You need a combination of wanting the same thing (to build a successful company) and being able to tolerate each other for the next few years, both through good and bad. Founder Dating is not a bad way to meet people (and, as an aside, I've seen lots of good founding teams meet at hackathons, too). But, really, get to know someone first. Do a side project or two with them. Hell, just try to become good friends.

Make sure that you know you can work with them when things are great and also work with them when you fuck up big time.

alain94040 1 day ago 0 replies      
I organized the silicon valley co-founders meetup for a while. I think it's pretty clear that the goal is to get out there and start pitching your project to people and see who bites. It's not about finding THE co-founder that particular evening.

Network effects (friends of friends) are very powerful. A lot of people who want to find a co-founder need some way to get started. But you should expect that finding your co-founder will take months. You need to keep talking to people and you'll find developers, business partners, mentors, etc. and sometimes a co-founder.

[0] http://www.slideshare.net/alain94040/co-founder-issues

Geekette 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah... I've been on most founder match sites, including 2 of 3 OP mentioned (FounderDating and CoFoundersLab) and found them to be useless. I'm a generalist (business/techy/industrial design). They are inevitably full of people already working on something (thus not available to team up) and some consultants looking for clients. The possibility of encountering the triple coincidence of a free agent with the complementary skills you need, and an interest in your startup's particular space and stage is almost zero.

I'd suggest:

* Attend action focused events like hackathons or startup wknd where you can get at least a little sense of how potential partners work.

* Minimize attendance at tech socials: they're mostly loud, biz-card waving, wastes of time, that get you no closer to getting a partner.

* Buy time at a big coworking space for a few months, where you can have meaningful 1-to-1 interactions with a large cross-section of people over time. A big space will include many people open to teaming up. Some founders I know met this way.

* You can start as a solo founder and if you're active about promotion (eg pitching/demoing at events), then you might stumble into someone who is free and interested in your particular space. When you do, attend a hackathon or work on long project together to test for fit.

* Maintain motivation - hard and the only thing that enables you to keep cycling through the possibilities.

timhargis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been on CoFounders Lab and Founder Dating and there are some quality people on the sites but nothing meaningful ever materialized. Had some Skype chats with a few people but it's always "let's keep our options open and keep in touch," which obviously we all know means nothing will ever come of it. I haven't found alot of people who are serious and committed to building something. It seems like alot of people "exploring" building a startup on the side, or it's something they're considering in the future. I haven't spent much time on Angel List so I'm curious to see how that is.

I'm a Non-Technical co-founder and it's a little annoying when technical founders think and act like people like myself can't bring alot to the table, when we've had previous successful companies before.

guest666 1 day ago 0 replies      
I attended many of these events. IMHO, these events are practically useless like what mighter said.

I am a business founder with slight knowledge about tech. Being a business founder, like mighter said again, it's hard to sell the idea to tech founder unless you prove yourself. Rather than wait for the right person to come, I decided that I bootstrap myself and launched the site.

I am still looking for that one CTO because I want to apply for incubator (ycomb, techstarts, 500 startups), but now having a fully 100% working site and some early traction, I hope I am able to attract a more credible CTO or other type founders.

If anyone here (CTO, CMO, etc) is interested to find out more, please email me at (there are 9 6's in the email)


pshin45 1 day ago 0 replies      
A good read for those interested in this topic i.e. the pros and cons of finding a co-worker through something like "founder dating" VS. with friends/relatives VS. with coworkers is "The Founder's Dilemmas"[1] by Noah Wasserman.

If you'd just like a preview/synopsis of the book, there's a podcast[2] of the author's talk at Stanford, which covers all the broad strokes and key points.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/The-Founders-Dilemmas-Anticipating-Ent...

[2] http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=3024

brothe2000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Its real tough to be a solo founder and you need somebody with different skill sets to augment your own and to keep you on track.

The various founder dating sites and events are a means to an end. A lot of it depends on your pitch and idea but it's good practice and networking never hurts.

I met one of my cofounders on Angellist.com and the other on CoFounderslab.com.

I had a decent wireframe of the site and how the database and interactions would work but the other cofounders helped to elevate the rough idea.

RoomPoll.com would not be possible without my cofounders.

tomjen3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not get to know the person well? Launch a side business in a week and see how you both work together under pressure. Essentially this is going on a few dates before you get married.

As a side bonus (and unlike a date) you will have a longer runway with a small side income.

KaoruAoiShiho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find someone else passionate about your problem. You can't just find someone who has the skill, you need skill + domain. This is hard but not impossible if you look within your community.
mighter 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been there for 6 month now and still no luck. The biggest problem I see is not even specific to this platform. It's just that people who claim to be "business developers" or "marketers" know very little about building a startup. They don't want to validate an idea or conduct customer interviews. No marketing strategy, no nothing. When I ask them to go out of the building and do a proper validation, they just vanish.
hkarthik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I could see these sites working out if you have a decent amount of cofounder material in your local city. In my city there are very few so finding a good cofounder is a much more difficult prospect.

I have heard mixed things about those trying to work with a cofounder remotely. Generally that only works if you have a previous working relationship. Such relationships are hard to establish remotely while also pursuing a new, risky venture.

MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built/launched one of those co-founder networks a few months ago (itchwork.com) and I ended up completely abandoning the project, in favor of Angellist (angel.co). They're killing it in this space, and they are the only platform I've personally had success on.
Ask HN: Current best practice for drag-and-drop?
39 points by couchand  2 days ago   26 comments top 14
callum85 2 days ago 1 reply      
From experience writing an app with loads of complex DnD, I strongly recommend giving up on DnD libraries if you are doing anything beyond some generic sortable list thing. You will never get the library to do what you want it to do, and even if you get close, the performance will be fucking abysmal, for reasons that become obvious when you've programmed your first DnD interaction by hand. It's just not something a library can reasonably handle, because to cover multiple use cases they have to put loads of conditional logic inside a mousemove listener, which kills performance. DnD interactions are very application-specific; to me the term DnD refers to a class of problems and a corresponding skill set, not a feature that you can delegate away. And as you have discovered, the HTML5 DnD API is a pile of shit.

Do not fear making your own drag interactions from raw mouse events. I avoided it for ages, then discovered it is easier than I expected, and satisfying because what you produce is so much better quality. It's just combinations of mousedown, mousemove, mouseenter, mouseleave, and mouseup, and the confidence to attach/detach listeners for those events on the fly during the interaction. Also by thinking about the whole event sequence on a lower level you will often realise a better way to design the UX of the interaction.

aikah 2 days ago 1 reply      
Use a well tested library,even if it means extra load.The reason for this is DnD apis are a nightmare that will work on 90% of the devices and browsers but not on the rest. Trust libraries that are well tested over a wide range of browsers.

> I'm about to add a dependency on jQuery and jQuery UI just to allow the use of their bulletproof Draggable and Droppable elements. Somehow that feels dirty.

What feels even more dirty is a UI that doesnt work properly across browsers.Better have a solid UI rather than thinking using jQuery == DIRTY.

_mayo 2 days ago 1 reply      
The bulletproof way would probably be to use a library to handle drag and drop. If you're not wanting to use jQuery UI just for DnD functionality, there are a couple libraries that do drag and drop exclusively.

1. http://gtramontina.github.io/draggable.js/2. http://kbjr.github.io/DragDrop/index.html

spb 2 days ago 0 replies      
FYI, unlike most new HTML5 standards which were discussed in the WHATWG list and added to the standard based on developers' needs, "HTML5" DnD is a standardization of the bizarre implementation of Drag and Drop used by some web pages after Microsoft introduced as part of Internet Explorer 5 in 1999. Don't expect it to be a sane foundation for what you want to do.
Chris_Newton 2 days ago 0 replies      
I agree with everyone recommending a tried and tested library for this.

Even with jQuery and jQuery UI, I see a few bugs and inconsistencies across browsers from time to time. However, you only have to look at the bug trackers for those projects to see how many more issues they have already resolved in this area.

Im all for keeping things light and avoiding unnecessary dependencies on external libraries, but this is one of those issues where youd be mad to try and get everything working properly yourself. This is one of the nastiest, most edge-case-ridden areas of front-end web development today, and you surely have better things to do with your time than fix every browser oddity one by one.

Piskvorrr 2 days ago 0 replies      
DOM support is broken, especially when you need cross-browser compatibility. Guess what jQuery was built to solve?

In other words, do not worry - it is not dirty, it is exactly the purpose of jQuery.

lightblade 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was working on a blog post on implementing drag and drop using functional reactive programming (FRP) with bacon.js. Your question just pushed me to finish it :)

Here it is.


lbotos 2 days ago 2 replies      
Oh! This might be the best spot to ask. I'm trying to build a web app (ipad kiosk) that has drag and drop and scrolling. The code works perfectly on desktop w/ trackpad because scroll and click are two different actions. Mobile it looks like I have to re-write the scrolling logic because there are only touch events exposed? Is there another way?

I'm currently trying JQUI with touchpunch and have considered hammer.js. Anyone have experience with scrolling and dnd on mobile?

michaelmcmillan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I suggest you check out how Wordpress does this in the menu-settings. They support nested dropping and it's pretty smooth in both Firefox and Chrome.
cjjuice 2 days ago 1 reply      
It is not dirty, jQuery and jQuery UI have been tried and tested. I wouldn't reinvent the wheel here unless you need to.
bpierre 2 days ago 0 replies      
I started a small module to do that without any dependency: https://github.com/bpierre/minidrag#minidrag-
cientifico 2 days ago 1 reply      
Same problem, also working with react. Setting react to work with this libraries result in more effort than writing it manually.
leo_santagada 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are libs on github just about html5 DnD... When I have the time I will test them to remove jquery-ui from my projects.
anvarik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you tried dropzonejs? Works pretty fine, one can even drag & drop folders of folders(chrome only
Ask HN: A flexible python based cms
5 points by sharmi  1 day ago   8 comments top 5
gamesbrainiac 3 hours ago 0 replies      
django-cms is pretty tried and tested.


ianamartin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Kotti[0] and SubstanceD[1] are two pyramid-based CMSs that I've played with some. You could do what you are talking about pretty easily in either one.

[0] http://kotti.pylonsproject.org/[1] http://substanced.net/

stevejalim 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://wagtail.io is definitely worth checking out.
theiowan 1 day ago 2 replies      
Drupal. Google 'headless Drupal' and you'll find some interesting implementations.
Ask HN: Do you have a project logbook?
4 points by nmenglund  2 days ago   7 comments top 7
squiguy7 3 hours ago 0 replies      
At my job we have a JIRA server running. It is a big enterprise piece of software, but you can log stories and tasks pretty well. If it were up to me I would use something else, albeit I am not sure what that is.
woebtz 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Workflowy (https://workflowy.com/) is my goto for keeping lists, planning, and tracking my work/project logs.

For work, I have a section structured as such:Work > {CLIENT} > {YEAR} > {MONTH} > {DAY, HOURS, SUMMARY}

e.g. A day's entry might look like:

8/13/2014, 6.75h, One-liner summary of the big ticket accomplishments today * 11 - 12,30, 1 - 6,15 * [x] #ASAP Task 1 description * [x] Task 2 description * [x] Task 3 description * [x] Meeting with @client @coworker1 * Notes from meeting... * More notes...

I track my hours worked in shorthand and format {DAY, HOURS, SUMMARY} because I dump and parse the data at the end of the month to generate my invoices.

SQL, Markdown, or code snippets is a little trickier, but you can hang multi-line text as a sub-node using SHIFT+ENTER. In general, Workflowy offers a ton of great keyboard shortcuts and pretty decent search capability. Media attachments would need to be as URLs AFAIK.

I've been using it for 2-3 years and if they ever decided to close shop, I would seriously try spinning up a similar service.

dennybritz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a "log file" for each week, broken down by day where I keep track of my TODOs and check them off. I put little notes next to the todos that describe what exactly I did, but not in much detail. But I can easily go back to 12/05/2011 and see exactly what I did that day. I usually plan one week in advance, but I only put task details there once I actually figure them out.

"What did I do last time I worked on that project or for that client?" is more difficult. I'm a fan of using blossom.io + Slack (slack.com) for large projects or startups. Usually there is only one such project I am working on. If you have lots of different project then these tools may cause too much overhead...

proussea 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm using a desktop wiki : http://zim-wiki.org/

I use it in a messy way, but it's what i want : take a note quickly.

I create a page by day with the calendar and there is a full text search tool for when I need to find and old noteI also like the task plugin : you put a todo mark in any page and you have an icon to regroup all the "todos". I put some keywords sometimes, to help to remember later or when i'm using the search tool.

There is a picture plugin, but it's just keeping a link to the real picture, so it's lost when you move it.

I know there is the same kind of tool for vim, but i didn't try it.

MalcolmDiggs 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've just started playing around with Harvest (getharvest.com); it might be worth checking out if you're already using some kind of task-manager (because they integrate with tools like Asana). Makes it easy to see what you did, which projects it was for, and to bill the client accordingly.
darkphoenix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wiki on a USB stick :Dhttps://www.dokuwiki.org/install:dokuwiki_on_a_stick

Get synkron, configure it to mirror your wiki to a harddisk as backup and you're set.

buyfromfarm 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I was on my own, I used Google Doc to keep track of daily logs in a loose way. I am getting a team so I switch to asana. It has been for 3-days I am fine with that.
Ethereum, Maidsafe, Meshnets,??
7 points by davidenglish  5 days ago   discuss
walden42 5 days ago 0 replies      
Maidsafe seems to be the all-in-one that builds a decentralized internet infrastructure. I have high hopes for it.
Ask HN: How do you generate and maintain documentation?
2 points by manojlds  5 days ago   discuss
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