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Ask HN: Hackers who cook
55 points by Cherian  2 hours ago   90 comments top 59
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munificent 2 hours ago 4 replies      
1. I've always like the idea of cooking, but rarely got around to it. Then I had kids. Now that I need to provide a good healthy meal every night and it's harder to eat out, I had enough incentive to get over the hump of novice cook. Once I got a bit more skill, it got easier and a lot more enjoyable.

I find the physical, analog, informal nature of cooking helps balance my otherwise too-logical, too-digital life. I love working on my technique. Chopping vegetables is my Zen activity.

2. My wife and I try to do a weekly meal plan so we can do most of the shopping on the weekend. In practice, we often forget. Fortunately, we live really close to a few grocery stores, so quick frequent trips aren't too bad.

During the week, we tend to do easy stuff (breakfast for dinner, grilled cheese, burgers, burritos, etc.) since time is limited between I getting home from work and the kids going to bed. We do bigger cooking or try new recipes on the weekend and often have friends and family over.

3. This summer I've done a lot of grilling. I'm still learning, so I tend to iterate on a small number of areas instead of trying lots of everything. Grilled whole chicken, breakfast, burgers, salmon, and steak are our go-tos. I make a decent bibimbap but it's a lot of prep work. We aren't very adventurous because we have young kids, but they do enjoy eggs en cocotte and some other random stuff. I make the best croque madame I've ever had.

4. No. My wife and I did a Whole 30 a while back, but usually we just try to eat something from all of the food groups. The Whole 30 was generally awful, but it did get me to realize that carbs have a net negative on my diet, so I try to reduce those now -- less baked goods and desserts mainly.

5. Take notes. I learn a lot every time I try a recipe, but I don't make the same thing ten nights in a row. If I don't write down what I learned, I won't remember when I make it again two months later. So, now, I keep notes for each recipe I do. I have the recipe (with my latest revisions) and then a series of "lab notes" describing what I did each time, how it came out, and what adjustments I should make.

This has been hugely helpful. I have a handful of things now that I feel are "mine" and are much better than the original recipe I found. Seriously, my grilled "thirded" chicken is off the hook.

Some other basic but really good advice:

- Mise en place! Clean and organize before you start putting stuff on the fire!

- Put a wet paper towel under your cutting board.

- Keep your knife sharp and work on your technique.

- There are youtube videos for everything. I can cube an entire watermelon in < 2 minutes now and my diced onions could be used as a measuring tool.

2
palidanx 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. I just like controlling what I eat. So when I cook I tend to be more vegetable heavy which isn't available in restaurants.

2. I tend to look at pictures of what other people are eating on Facebook as inspiration (modernist cooking, serious eats, food lab, etc). I don't plan ahead as I usually cook what is in the farmer's market that week.

3. Pretty much all cuisines. More on the American/Vietnamese side though.

4. The 'just eat food diet'

5. Using a pressure cooker. Having a sharp knife. Watching youtube videos of other recipes.

3
daveloyall 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> 1. Why do you cook? Is it to save cash or is it recreation? Or something else?

Cooking is an old human activity--and I mean OLD! It's easy to forget what you are in this day and age. Tilling, growing, harvesting, cooking, and eating together helps me remember.

> 2. Do you plan ahead? Like a weekly meal plan?

I've tried that. No.

> 3. What kind of things do you cook usually?

Veggies. Sometimes I'd pick a random vegetable that I didn't know the name of, then take it home, figure out what it is called, check the indexes of a couple paper cookbooks, google it, see the types of things people make with it, and then throw out all that research and just try cutting it into cubes and baking it in a shallow pan with other veggies I'm more familiar with. :)

Turnips, parsnips, rutabaga!

Radishes, beets! A dozen types of kale. All the brassicas. Heirloom tomatoes (the flavors vary a great deal).

Most of these things are harder to prepare than the contemporary American Standard veggies: tomatoes (two types), broccoli, lettuce (two types), peppers (three or four colors), cauliflower, carrots, etc. And they all have richer flavors.

Personally I think that mustard greens make a great lettuce replacement for a burger. Just rip the stems out first if you find this too ... chewy.

I also slow cook different hunks of meat with veggies and different curries. I visited an eastern grocery of some kind a while back and took advantage of their promotional pricing on curries. With the types I got, it seems that you're suppose to COOK with the stuff, rather than adorn what you cook. I'll put half a cup of cinnamon-based curry into a slowcooker with a pork roast and some hours later I have heaven in that pot, heaven that falls apart when you put a fork to it.

Oh, bread machines are awesome. I've only made a couple of loafs so far... Super easy.

Speaking of bread, industrial-scale bread is terrible. It turns into dense material in your gut. Get some bread that isn't completely homogenous--if it's too hard for you, try warming it or moistening it. Soak it in butter, or milk, or soup. (Don't those things sound sort of familiar?)

> 4. Do you follow any diet? Atkins, Slow Carb etc.

Wut? I like butter. And bacon. Does that count? Wait, I also like my butter on bread, and bacon in my salads.

> 5. Do you have any life hacks, tips to be more productive as a cook?

Remember: cooking is older than the internet. It's older than your favorite economic system.

The recipes that have survived across time are not just tasty, they are also easy and cheap (but maybe not quick). The food species that have survived across time are themselves tasty, easy, and cheap. For both, you might need some knowledge to utilize them... And you'll certainly screw up a few times. But, you can be sure that people with less resources (perhaps including mental resources) successfully ate these things--keep at it and you'll not just catch up to your predecessors, you'll exceed them.

If you are the sort of person who carefully peels garlic, try this tactic whenever you encounter some hard or annoying work in the kitchen: ask yourself, what would a cave person do? Yeah, the husks just fall off when you smash the garlic. The same is true for a variety of veggies. I also find that for some leafy greens, ripping them produces better results than cutting them.

I've said a lot about OLD things. Before someone associates me with that whole paleo diet thing, let me point out that I'm not following a fad, I'm following my stomach and common sense. I'm also an emacs user. :)

ALWAYS wash your greens as if you'd just submerged them in a muddy rain puddle--get into the nooks and crannies with running water and your fingers. It's not just about the E coli, it's also about the actual mud and grit. Plants come from dirt!

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br0ke 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Fun. The preparation and cooking (and subsequent eating) is a good change of pace and can be zen-like

2. Not really. I plan special dishes once every couple of weeks, but have enough stuff on my 'normal' weekly grocery list that I can do a fair variety

3. Beef stroganoff, lo mein, stromboli, spaghetti, fajitas, tabbouleh, sushi rolls, steak&baked potatoes, etc

4. No, though I've been trying to reduce fat and cholesterol with low/no fat versions or substitutions (greek yogurt instead of sour cream, ground turkey, etc)

5. Mise en place (prepare everything before turning anything on). Experiment; tweak the recipes and try new things. Don't go cheap on essential equipment (knives, pots&pans). Try doing things without countertop appliances (fresh ravioli with a rolling pin and knife, hand kneed breads, mince with a knife instead of using a food processor, etc) to learn what to look for. Have fun cooking so you do it more often and it's a positive thing :)

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pjmorris 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Practicality: cheaper, better control of what the family eats. Hospitality: There's little better for building bonds than sharing a home-cooked meal. Recreation: Fun to try new things, to copy things we like, to do something special for special occasions. Also: Cooking changes how I'm using my hands and brain in a different way than sitting at a keyboard/screen all day.

2. We do a rough sketch of the week on Sunday mornings - we spend half an hour talking over budget, schedule, meals and their intersection.

3. A) What we grew up with. B) What we learned we liked C) Things from cookbooks that look good.

4. At different times we've tried Atkins and South Beach. Mostly, we like Pollan's 'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants'. Although we probably eat too many brats to really qualify.

5. Do you have any life hacks, tips to be more productive as a cook?Planning by the month/week/session ('mise en place') is key. The right gear can be important (knives and pans, yes, but an ounce/gram scale and a thermometer have changed how we cook). Learning is the other key. I've spent too much on cookbooks, but Alton Brown (e.g. 'I'm Just Here for the Food'), Julia Child (esp. 'The Way to Cook'), and Thomas Keller (esp. 'Ad Hoc') all have a lot to teach that applies in day-to-day cooking. I like Thomas Keller's baking trick (from 'Bouchon Bakery'): Use a single measuring bowl with a scale, measure quantities by weight, taring out after each ingredient goes in. Faster, more accurate, fewer things to clean up later.

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haliphax 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Both. It's cheaper, and often better than anything I can find in the small town where I live.

2. We plan MOST of our meals in a week, but leave a night or two open for flexibility and/or a restaurant visit.

3. All kinds of shit! My wife is an avid Pinterest user, and I am a former professional gourmet cook.

4. Nope.

5. LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY USE AND MAINTAIN KNIVES. That is the biggest tip that I can possibly give.

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tommichaelis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. I cook recreationally - I find it's a great way to destress. I find doing something that's a different sort of creative task helps reset and refocus my mind. I actually don't find I save much money in cooking - often I like to cook exciting creative things, using ingredients you wouldn't use every day, and this tends to make cooking cost about the same as going somewhere mediocre for dinner (~15 either way).

2. I find planning more than a day ahead pretty tough - you never know when you'll decide that actually going out for a beer with mates is more important than going home and cooking. The one exception to this is large meals on weekends. I enjoy having a few friends around, opening a few bottles of vino, and cooking something exciting - which obviously takes planning. At the extreme end of this, I do a christmas meal for 20+ friends every year, generally involving turkey, beef, ham, two types of potatoes, sprouts, a bunch of veg, home made sauces, christmas puddings, etc. This is great fun, but I need to start planning in October (note to self - remember to start planning that soon).

3. All sorts - often roasts, normally something with a meat centrepiece although occasionally I like cooking risotto or a fish pie or a stew. Depends on the time of year really. This summer, most of my meals have been some meat on the barbeque (butterflied leg of lamb for instance), and a bunch of mezze style items. I also occasionally bake loaves of bread (maybe once or twice a month). This feels really great - nothing is better for de-stressing than baking a loaf of bread.

4. No.

5. For me, the productivity isn't important - I'd much rather take my time and do things the old fashioned, conventional way.

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rachelandrew 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. I've always cooked. My parents cooked at home and so I just assumed that's what you do.

2. Kind of - we get an organic box with a load of stuff in so I work around that.

3. Lots of Indian food (dal, veg curries, sometimes chicken curry), if I'm in a hurry a bunch of veg thrown into an electric steamer plus some protein (chicken/fish/steak). I make soup a couple of times a week, omelettes are a favourite quick lunch as we work from home, or a bunch of salad stuff.

4. I'm a distance runner so it depends what I'm doing with my training. I'm relatively low carb (no white anything), avoid processed stuff, avoid sugar.

5. Get decent knives and learn how to chop stuff up; an electric steamer, and a couple of decent pans. It takes 30 minutes to throw veg into a steamer and cook up a bit of chicken or fish. You can make soup out of almost anything. In the winter a slow cooker (crockpot) is brilliant. Make a batch of chilli in one then chuck some sweet potato wedges in the oven when you get in. Lovely.

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macNchz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I love to cook, I think because at my core I love to make things and my biggest motivation comes from creating and sharing, which is why I got into programming, and also why I'm drawn to DIY home improvement/car repair/etc. Cooking is an escape from the screen, a great way to get hands on and create something physical, and very rewarding, especially when shared with friends.

Over time I've found myself making more ambitious recipes, and these days I often don't follow recipes at all, I like knowing the ratios of ingredients and flavors and creating tasty things from scratch. I cook for myself most of the time, which makes this approach work...if I mess up on a new improvised recipe, I just have a less-than-perfect dinner. Then, when I'm cooking for friends, I'll whip out a home grown recipe that I've made enough times to trust.

I've found paper cookbooks preferable to apps, because I can spill stuff on them, burn them, use them with wet hands, set stuff down on them, and they don't turn off. I have a couple of cookbooks with simple, staple recipes that I use for reference, but I've also found The Flavor Bible(1) to be incredibly usefulit basically works as a big index of ingredient affinities, so you can look up flavors that go well together for a huge variety of ingredients.

I keep my kitchen stocked with a lot of basics, but I live right near a grocery store, so I'll drop by after work if I need anything special.

[1]http://www.amazon.com/The-Flavor-Bible-Creativity-Imaginativ...

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keerthiko 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. Save cash (not much), healthier, it's a good social activity with housemates. I really miss it since I've turned digital nomad. I pretty much only cook with housemates, or when it's too late to go out.

2. Only barely. Maybe a day in advance tops.

3. I learn recipes from whoever's being sous chef for the night. I have a few of my own. Varies. I try to keep it balanced with some meat, veges and carbs.

4. Nope. None whatsoever. I'll eat almost anything too. My only rule is to never feel uncomfortable after a meal. I try to accommodate the requirements of the other participants in the meal though.

5. Core hack: I always keep the ingredients for my (extremely cheap and convenient yet reasonably healthy and tasty) backup meal in the house -- rice, frozen vegetables, frozen wontons, eggs -- which I can turn into a batch of reliable fried rice in under 10 minutes and while nearly brain-dead. Also nearly everything lasts for weeks in the fridge/storage if I don't need to resort to it.

Also I do all the physical labor under my mom's guidance for as many meals as I can spare the time for whenever I'm home. Hands-on-learning and she appreciates the help. It would be a waste to not learn from her culinary genius to pass on to the next generation. I think this is true re: every mom in the world.

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q845712 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. i view cooking and writing software as a creative act. Making food is a pleasant contrast to making software because the projects are short and the asthetics are straightforward: do i, and whomever else i'm cooking for, think this is delicious. With practice, i can cook a higher grade of food than i can afford to eat out, just like buying nicer alcohols is cheaper at a liquor store than a bar.

i look forward to cooking and find it relaxing, particularly when it's just for my own household - small quantities of food for people whose tastes i know well.

2. i plan a few days ahead and i go shopping every few days. some days i spend the majority of my spare cycles imagining and re-imagining how i'll cook dinner with the ingredients i've got at home.

3+4. i cook mostly vegetarian / pescetarian and try to use whole grains and complex carbohydrates, probably less carbs than e.g. sandwiches or pasta? i often start with a protein source and then try to make it a balanced and tasty meal.

5. plan ahead. treat the whole thing as a meditation: chopping is a deep consideration of the vegetable, cleaning is a meditation on the colors and shapes as they reveal themselves beneath the food-dirt.

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nylonpsycho 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. Recreation, it's fun! Also because it's often a better combination of healthy/tasty/unique than what I could buy pre-made.

2. No, but sometimes I wish I did.

3. There's too much variety here, but maybe I come back to minestrone, tomato/canellini casserole, and pan fried proteins (fish/pork/beef) a lot. I bake a lot of bread.

4. No.

5. Learn to tell whether or not something is cooking the way you want based on the sound it makes as it sizzles in the pan. That simple tip has changed the quality of my cooking forever. Develop recipes around a common set of staples with minor swap outs. Kind of "modular". You get variety without a ton of anxiety. I learned to think this way from Bittman's how to cook everything, though I don't use that book very often anymore, it was a brilliant set of training wheels to break free of recipes.

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peterevans 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cooking is a form of engineering. I like that there's a science behind it, and I like that if you become any good, your standard-of-living (of eating?) will be vastly improved.

Tip #1: get a good knife. If you can, go to a store that'll let you actually hold a knife prior to purchase, to test its heft and balance. Find one that fits you comfortably. (I like Shun knives, but this is a pretty personal topic; don't let that be my personal endorsement so much as my personal choice.) The knife should be sharp, and you should keep it honed with a honing steel. Eventually it may get dull to the point where you might want a whetstone to sharpen it again, but you'd probably need to use your knife a decent amount before it gets to that point.

Tip #2: mis-en-place, which is French for, basically, putting things into place. Your mis is your work station. Clean your counters. Get out your cutting board. Have a bowl for food waste (e.g. the ends you cut off a carrot, the skin off a potato that you peel) and somewhere to put food once you have finished whatever you are doing.

Tip #3: prep work will make your life much, much easier. If the dish calls for diced onions, then you should dice your onions before you turn the heat on the stove. Having all of the vegetables chopped, things marinated, meat salted and spiced, whatever -- ahead of time -- will make the act of cooking about ten times less stressful than otherwise.

Tip #4: taste your food. Needs some salt? Add salt. Maybe some pepper will make it pop. This is a hard thing to quantify; how things taste and what you think you will need is partly your palate, which you can develop beyond what it is now, but some stuff (salt makes things taste better -- to a point, beyond which it just makes things taste like salt) is universal. Just don't be afraid to try some things, in small measures at least, and taste it to see where it's at.

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tptacek 2 hours ago 1 reply      
We cook recreationally and to avoid feeding our family processed food.

We try to keep a 1-week meal plan, but it's very hit or miss. We're happier when we have the meal plan.

We start from a protein and work from there; we hit our butcher once a week and grab a couple whole chickens, some braising pork, and some beef. We have some staple meals built out of those things.

Unless fasting is a diet, nope; we try to cook more green vegetables and less starch, but we're not religious.

My biggest productivity hack is bulk-packaged deli cups.

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shade 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Great thread, lots of good responses. Here are my own answers:

1. Recreation and saving money. I really like good food, but don't always want to pay restaurant prices for it. There's a certain satisfaction in creating something delicious. It's sometimes a struggle between making time to cook at home and wanting to be lazy and just go out, though.

2. Not as much as we should. My wife prefers to plan ahead, but I'm not so good at always sticking to it.

3. We're pretty eclectic in what we cook. I enjoy Asian inspired flavors and have been intending to make more curries.

4. Not really. I have a certain affinity toward paleo, but I don't follow it too consistently. Mostly when I'm cooking I just try to eat "clean" without a lot of processed junk in it. I'd like to start baking my own bread again so I know what goes into it.

5. Several. Learn to use a knife, and keep it sharp. Get the biggest cutting board you can find. Season everything. Taste frequently, when practical (good with soups and sauces, not good with raw chicken ;)). Use a rice cooker, it's set and forget and keeps a burner (and pan) open for other things. If you have stainless steel pans, learn to use them correctly. To make it easier to slice meat thinly, put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes first. Clean as you go. Don't be afraid to fail.

If you need something relatively fast and hands off, oven-roasted veggies and protein (particularly chicken, pork, and fish) work really well, and are much healthier than eating out.

Seriously, I can't overemphasize "keep it sharp" when it comes to knives. It's not just easier, it's also much safer. Dull knives are prone to turning and cutting things you didn't want cut, such as your fingers.

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bcbrown 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I cook for fun, and because homemade food is delicious, and more customized to my tastes. When I've lived in houses with poor kitchens, I didn't cook at all. I don't plan ahead, and decide each day what I'm going to cook that night, or if I'm going to eat out. Right now I'm cooking at home about 3-4 times a week. Right now I'm able to do all my shopping at farmers markets, because I work a few blocks from a year-round market.

I don't follow any diet, but my preferences are meat-heavy, carb-light, with a light-to-moderate amount of vegetables, so vaguely similar to Atkins/Paleo diets.

A couple of my favorite meals: Roast salmon with a raita-like sauce, sometimes with pesto pasta; whole roast chicken with potatoes in the same pan; pork chops with sauteed onions and Golden Delicious apples; steak with mushrooms and onions; risotto.

No real cooking hacks, other than to have good equipment and buy quality ingredients, and paying attention to the little details.

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sauere 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. I like it when i actually know what is in my food. Also, it saves some cash.

2. I don't have a fixed plan. I usually decide on the same day what i am going to eat.

3. Pasta + veggie tomato sauce, Baked veggies, plain Salmon, Chilli Con Carne, Plain Zucchini with salt and pepper. Overall i tend to stick with stuff that doesn't need too many ingredients.

4. No

5. Don't entirely rely on recipes. You will get a feeling on what proportions are right.

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loumf 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I do all of the cooking in my household, which on average is 5 dinners, 2 breakfasts, even most packed lunches -- desserts, pot-luck obligations, etc.

1. Why do you cook? Is it to save cash or is it recreation? Or something else?

I love it. Also, we do have a frugal lifestyle, so I would probably force myself if I didn't. I have been doing this since my wife and I moved in together -- so about 15 years.

2. Do you plan ahead? Like a weekly meal plan?

I used to -- with so much experience, I can wing it. I make sure to have a lot of choices, a stocked pantry, and I just make stuff up usually. If I find a recipe I want to try, I plan better that week. For baking, I have to plan a little more.

3. What kind of things do you cook usually?

Normal stuff -- basically "Healthy American" -- so two vegetable sides and a little meat, light on starches. I have a lot of Latino and Italian dishes in my repertoire (from my Grandmothers). I will try anything though -- cook out of a classic Indian cookbook sometimes. I use "How to Cook Everything" as a mash-up source -- see how something is basically made (ratios, technique) and take it from there.

Breakfasts are diner-fare usually (omelets, eggs any way, fruited pancakes, etc.).

4. Do you follow any diet? Atkins, Slow Carb etc.

I used to follow Paleo and it influenced my style. I do a lot of slow cooking from that time -- also jerky.

5. Do you have any life hacks, tips to be more productive as a cook?

Cook in bulk. Get a slow cooker. Realize that you will get better at it if you do it a lot. Prep weekly lunches all at once (I do it during the time Sunday dinner is cooking). Use good ingredients. Herbs and spices matter, especially just salt and pepper.

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batbomb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
5. Things that have helped me be more interested in cooking and be a good cook:

Buy "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee.

Listen to Cooking Issues podcast by Dave Arnold (check out blog too)

Watch any cooking show with Julia Child and/or Jacques Pepin, get some of his books to learn techniques. Her books are amazing too.

Buy a few standard cookbooks. I love Joy Of Cooking because it's practically a canonical reference to make anything, and there's lots of info on technique. There are a few Culinary school books that are really good too (the ICC book "Fundamental Techniques of Classical Cooking" and the CIA "The Professional Chef" are good).

Practice, Practice, Practice. Make certain dishes because you want to get good at a technique or skill.

On general recipes: Don't make too many dishes because they were on a blog, sound good, or use a trendy ingredient (beer, bourbon, kale, bacon). Often they are overly complicated and they aren't very diverse. Don't underestimate how delicious basic dishes can be. Don't underestimate how many techniques and skills from classical french cuisine apply to cultures everywhere, and importantly, the ingredients are almost always available. Shy away from dishes with hard-to-source (mostly perishable) ingredients (I'm looking at you, Jerusalem/Ottolenghi).

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sangd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. 3 reasons that I cook: healthy ingredients, better taste, time saving.

2. I don't plan ahead. Some may find this as not organized, but I think it's a creative way/art in cooking. My brain even feel satisfied. I often go to the super market once a week with my wife and buy ingredients that we both like.

3. I cook things that fit my available ingredients.

4. I don't believe in strict diets as it's time consuming and expensive most of the time. I try to eat low carb, less sugar, less fat, more vegetable and fruits.

5. My 3 life hacks:

   + Eat when hungry (avoid over-eating to not get more fat)   + Rest/exercise when tired (replenish your energy, get your fat to work, stay energized)   + Work hard+smart

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mncolinlee 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I cook up a storm a few times a week.

1. I cook to enjoy healthy food which has good enough flavor to avoid unhealthy meal choices. I also love spicy curries.

2. I rarely plan out by more than 24 hours.

3. I normally cook Indian and South African curries and soups and salads. Lentils are a favorite diet food.

4. Low calories per day. ~1700. It's much easier to stick to a diet that doesn't explicitly forbid anything. I start the day with a calorie-efficient meal (like oatmeal, grapefruit, and/or greek yoghurt) so I can eat better the rest of the day. Learn to cook vegetables in the way you like to eat them and your health will improve.

5. Cook a large batch of meals which reheat well to last several days. Many curries and chilis actually taste better the second day after they thicken in the fridge.

Use high quality, fresh, in-season ingredients for great results. It's SO worth it!

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Leon 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1) It is fun and feels nice / is appreciated to make food for friends and family.

2) I ballpark what I might want when grocery shopping but generally make serious plans for a meal for several people.

3) Sous vide chicken is currently popular. Grilling and smoking meats is the second most popular food prep I do, with baking or pan-frying fish a third.

4) No but I stay away from red meats, pork, and carbs because I feel better not eating them (so chicken fish and vegetables are most of the menu with some grains).

5) I'll agree with others - cooking is a fun event for friends to participate in.

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nightcracker 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. I don't live in the US (the Netherlands) and cooking is considered the norm here.

2. No, just a couple of days when I do groceries.

3. I don't eat too varied, generally pasta with sauce; rice with chicken, veggies and some sauce; homemade hamburgers or baked potatoes with meat and veggies.

4. No.

5. Rinse your pans and pots quickly after cooking but before eating as it makes dishes much easier and less messy.

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carise 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. I cook for many reasons -- to make balanced meals for my family, to save money, to get my mind completely off the daily grind. Also, eating out a lot throws my digestive system out of whack and I end up feeling unwell for days.

2. I've tried, but I'm terrible at planning. There are also days where I have ingredients for _____ (some dish) but I would rather eat _____ (something else) -- maybe because I went to my parents' or in-laws' for dinner and they served that same dish.

3. It's usually some medley of vegetables and meat. I love different kinds of food and usually cook Chinese, Taiwanese, Filipino, Indian, and Thai (just last night!) food. And occasionally some kind of casserole/pasta, if I haven't eaten too much wheat lately.

4. No particular diet, but I try to avoid flour/wheat and include more veggies (usually Asian).

5. I think everyone said the productivity hacks already, but basically for me -- you don't need the latest gadgets, but if you can afford it, get a high quality cookware that will last you a lifetime, and use fresh, high quality ingredients. And do all the dishes before you start... it makes a world of difference.

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bequanna 2 hours ago 1 reply      
My wife and I cook ~95% of our meals. We eat out maybe once/twice per month.

Neither of us are too picky or on any specific diet, but generally we make meals that are high in protein (meat), some carbs, and a generous amount of vegetables.

Typically, we make rather large amounts so each of us has another meal for lunch the following day.

We try to avoid pre-packaged/prepared foods whenever possible. No pasta bag meals or pre-seasoned chicken, etc. Also, we stay away from anything that contains soybean oil, vegetable oil, or soy products. Organic meat, vegetables, and fruits, if possible.

We still eat some bread/gluten, but our overall carb consumption is down considerably. I experimented with cutting out carbs almost completely and substituting with more fat in my diet, but saw a decline in my energy level.

We drink alcohol ~2x per month, maybe splitting a bottle of wine each time.

We started more seriously focusing on our diet a few years ago and definitely noticed changes in our energy level, body appearance, skin, and overall health.

Don't kid yourself, what you put into your body matters.

26
CognitiveLens 2 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ is a decent, relevant site worth having a look at.

I remember reading http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/129/Chefs-Knives-... a long time ago and I appreciated the analytical approach.

27
wiredfool 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1) If I didn't cook, I'd be cranky and have hungry kids. There aren't many restaurants near home that are decent, and none that are affordable for 5 with any regularity. We also want the kids to know how to fend for themselves if they're left alone in a well stocked kitchen. Also, there's nothing quite like having something new come together.

2) Some planning, lots of ingredients in house so we can usually make something appealing in < 1 hour.

3) Pretty much anything shy of molecular or art food. I'm enjoying slow smoking meats, baking bread, and the odd indian or thai dish. Gathering stuff in the garden is also a good inspiration.

4) Ingredients need to be recognizable as food. With a side of accommodating gluten free, one kid not liking steak or any meat tougher than ground beef or salmon, one kid not liking anything until everyone else is finished, and one kid devouring anything that's green.

5) Move to a place where it's far easier to cook than find a restaurant.

28
Argorak 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Recreational. I enjoy cooking for others more then for myself. I also enjoy that cooking is a task that cannot run over: either the food is done or overcooked. You have to know what you do next.

2. No. Just run past the store on the way home.

3. Flavor of the week. My standard is Quiche Lorraine, but I obviously don't do that all the time.

4. No.

5. Get a cookbook that is very restrained when it comes to ingredients.

29
spindritf 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Mostly it suits my tastes better. Last weekend I finished a winter supply of plum jam. You can't really buy one that isn't half sugar despite plums being pretty sweet on their own.

But yes, it's cheaper, better, and with a podcast on, downright enjoyable.

2. I buy some special ingredients with certain meals in mind but there's base stuff that doesn't spoil easily and I simply keep it around: condiments, eggs, bran, olive oil,

3. Last night I made inferno omelette[1]. Though I cut down on ingredients and used only jalapenos and didn't bother grinding the beef. There's also a great weekend breakfast I stole from Gordon Ramsey[2].

I try to do what's in season so greek salad in the summer, baked apples in the fall and so on.

4. I try to keep the meals low carb but not really when it gets in the way.

5. Put on a podcast when cooking and it's like going to a lecture. But you get to eat afterwards.

[1] http://chefinjeans.com/2012/05/31/cooking-for-single-men-inf...

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUP7U5vTMM0

30
ddw 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. For fun, to save money, to eat fresh meals the way I like them and it's another thing to build2. This is the difficult part that I hate, but I've been using Fitly (fitly.com) for grocery delivery with recipes3. All kinds of stuff4. Vegetarian, sometimes vegan5. To me it's all about knife skills. Get a decent knife set (doesn't have to be the best) and practice your technique and you'll be able to get pretty far.
31
TheCapn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Because I love food and take-out often is not nutritionally complete without paying an obscene amount of money. Money isn't a direct factor for why I cook at home, its a definite bonus of everything since I can get a delicious and balanced meal for <$10 that would be $25+ eating out. Additionally, eating out often gets repetitive, what easy breakfast options are there out there? After you've had your fill of muffins and breakfast sandwiches you don't see many options

2. I plan what types of meals I want to eat the following week while at the grocery store. This week I wanted Pulled Pork, Quiche, and Chili so I worked around that. I'm hankering Butter Chicken and a solid steak so that'll likely happen next week. Side dishes like the vegetables are often just whatever I want and try to keep things original; there's much less planning in this aspect.

3. My diet staples will always be Chicken, Eggs, Greek Yogurt, Stir Fry, and Bananas. The rest sort of comes and goes as I get cravings or need variety.

4. No brand-name diets. I just track calories and adjust for what I'm shooting for at any moment. Currently cutting weight at ~1lb/week (TDEE-500cal)

5. My only time-saver tip is really to have your counters clean before you start and clean as you go so there isn't a giant pile of dishes at the end.

32
Smirnoff 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not a hacker. I'm more a designer and business person but I also started cooking while building our mobile app product.

1. I cook for several reasons: (a) I am sick of eating the same food every day. The smell of noodles (and other fast food) makes me sick; (b) I get to save money if I cook myself; (c) I can experiment and control my inputs

2. Yes, I usually open one of several cooking apps on my iPad and pick several meals that I will cook this week. Then, I make a list of what ingredients I will need and go to the market so buy everything cheaply.

3. I live in Uzbekistan, so I try to cook food that I wouldn't normally find here. This includes seafood, steaks, and soups.

4. I try to eat lean meat-- chicken and fish (plus salads). That lead to a better health and I can see my abs now. Once a week I treat myself with beef steak or Uzbek kabab (BBQ). Needless to say that I don't drink soda and I don't eat ice cream.

5. Just Do It. Get yourself an iPad app. I personally use Photo Recipe and Cookbook.

PS: I tried cooking for 5 days ahead but my food tends to spoil. So now I only cook for 2 or 3 days ahead, depending on ingredients.

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jackson1372 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1. To save money and to eat more healthily. Also, my girlfriend realy appreciates home/cooked meals.

2. We plan out 4 dinners per week. I'm responsible for two of them. I get her two preferences, make a shopping list, and go grocery shopping every Sunday or Monday. We now have a fairly well established list of recipes, and I use Anylist to construct my shopping list easily.

3. I prefer to cook meals where I can easily make big portions for leftovers. My favorites are: pad thai, tempeh + veggie stir fry over rice, black beans + veggies + guac over rice, african vegetable curry.

4. Vegetarian.

5. Buy pre-peeled garliC. You only beed one actually good chef's knife: buy a Dexter. Buy a rice cooker. Wok's are awesome - you can cook more food than in a standard pan, and you can cook it better. An actual cooking tip: when cooking with veggies, sear them to make them crunchy and not soggy. Too often people stir fry them in oil, and they get gross.

34
ChrisPebble 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. I cook primarily for control over a lot of factors (taste/health/cost/ingredients). I find the process enjoyable but it's not my primary motivation.

2. I make rough meal plans for about half the week and then have a large stock of things like broth, rice, beans, pasta, frozen vegtables and fish that don't spoil and are very versatile.

3. With a toddler I like to make dishes I can cut out a portion and then spice up the remainder. Favorites are soups, rice/cous-cous salads, and pasta.

4. No diet.

5. Stock a few items like in bulk and learn to master them (I keep a lot of broth, canned tomatoes, canned beans, pasta, and grains).

35
nicktal 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes! I am a hacker that loves to cook. Here are my answers:1. I do it because I find it to be relaxing and a welcome hands-on activity that is just creative enough to dig into fast after hours of staring at a screen. 2. This past summer I would plan ahead and cook quite a bit on Sundays to get meals together for the week. Eliminates a lot of spend and thinking as well as waiting around during lunch time when you want to just focus. 3. I cook things that scale well for myself and the team as well as have a good balance of protein/veggies. Roasts with roasted veggies. Whole chickens. Lasagna with spinach salad. Stir fry. Curries. Fried rice. Bean salads. 4. Not really. I generally eat not as many carbs, but by no means am I a no-carb or low-carb. I focus on getting veggies in the mix. 5. To be more productive in the kitchen is to have a well-stocked freezer plus fridge and have an organized shopping list every week at a certain time. Also a good amount of spices and high quality canned goods to round-out meals when you are out of something.

Happy cooking!

36
namecast 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Cheaper and way more fun!2) I try to plan weekly. I purchase legumes and rice and non-perishables weekly or even bi-weekly, and proteins (meat, fish, chicken) on a 2-3 day cycle.3) Protein + rice or pasta + veggies. Sometimes adding more protein and veg and cutting out the rice/pasta, depends on the dish.

A deeper dive than that? Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian, Mexican... turns out a lot of cultures like to eat variations of chicken and rice.

4) I'd guess I go for the mediterranean diet? Though all that means is that I use olive oil and eat lots of nuts...

5) Soak your dry beans in the morning. You can store tons more if you buy them dry and soaking them is a lot less hassle if you do it before work - you'll have beans ready for dinner when you get home. (Chili, beans and rice, daal, three bean salad, vegetarian tacos, lentil soup are all suddenly much easier to make....)

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jtfairbank 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I find I'm often too busy to cook and end up eating out instead. However as an early stage founder that's not very sustainable (breaks the bank), so I try to pack a sandwich, have breakfast and morning coffee at home, and do a rotating dinner with friends. The last one is informal, more like "oh we're at your apartment tonight, what's in the fridge we can make?"

Personally, I want to start planning ahead and making large meals on Sundays that I can save. I'd also like to start cooking larger meals and freezing "quick-meals" I can just defrost when I'm in a hurry. I find veggie burritos are cheap, easy quite filling, and almost always produce leftovers. tortilla + rice + beans + sauteed onion and bell pepper + burrito toppings = deliciousness

If you're looking for some delicious recipes to try, my Swedish cousin-in-law is quite into healthy cooking. Should be something for all budgets: http://meandmyfood.blogspot.se/

38
ajmarsh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. I'm a bit of a foodie and eating out all the time was getting tiresome.

2. Yep, and I also cheat a bit, several of my weekday meals are provided by plated.com. I love to cook but don't enjoy the shopping very much.

3. Classic european stuff (think Julia Child) but lately I've been experimenting with more asian stuff, like Korean BBQ.

4. None, of late I've been hitting the gym several times a week to keep the extra pounds at bay.

5. Not really a hack but http://www.americastestkitchen.com is an awesome resource. They do all the experiments I wish I had time for.

39
scrumper 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Equal parts saving money; a desire to have full knowledge of what I am feeding my family; feeling unpleasant after eating takeout/prepared food; relaxation; the intrinsic pleasure in practicing a developing skill.

2. In my head when I'm shopping. This is good because it's easy, but doesn't do much for expanding my repertoire.

3. Generally meals prepared stove-top in one or at most two pans.

4. Nope.

5. If you're making up dishes, less is more. Don't add a huge variety of ingredients just because you have them. Pay more attention to temperature and timing than quantities of ingredients. If you over-salt a sauce, dump in two halves of a raw potato. Don't buy store-ground beef; instead, pick up a london broil cut and grind it at home.

40
mewwts 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1) I cook because it's valuable to me to be able to "provide" my own food, and know what I ingest. Additionally I cook because I believe it's generally more healthy, and with less "short cuts" than take-out or frozen food.

2) I have 5-6 different "recipes" or meals that I know how to cook and usually I cook these one or more times during the week. But generally I decide on my way back from work, with not much planning.

3) I cook lots of curries. Indian curries with tomatoes, chickpeas, onions, coconut milk, rice, garlic, chilis. Thai curries with brocolli, coconut milk, garlic, etc.

4) I am a vegetarian.

5) My absolutely best life hack for cooking, is doing together with someone. Cooking with a friend, or even for a friend, is so much more satisfying and rewarding than doing it alone. If you struggle to cook meals for yourself; team up with a coworker, friend, girlfriend or whatever!

41
robg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. I enjoy the break from screens and by the desire to make loved ones happy and full.

2. I have a good sense at the supermarket of what I have and what I need.

3. Stews and soups, seared meats, pastas, rice and stir frys, and salads and sandwiches, tacos and nachos, occasionally sushi. Oats and eggs for breakfast, fruit and cheese/crackers for snacks.

4. I prefer meats and veggies and fruits.

5. a) The basic mirepoix (celery, carrots, onions) adds a good base to many dishes. Prepping it takes ten minutes. Throw into a pot or pan, saute, and start adding other ingredients. Potatoes and rice and meats and it's an easy stew with water. Adding other veggies and meats without water is an easy stir fry. b) I try to grocery shop only every two weeks. It forces me to finish things in week 2 that need to be finished.

42
howardbeware 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Enjoyment, health, cost, in that order.

2. I don't, but my partner does.

3. Slow-cooked meats, fresh veggies, broths, fermented foods (e.g. yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, buttermilk).

4. We attempt a gluten-free, grain free diet, with no processed foods (especially sugars), full fat oils (e.g. olive, coconut, lard, butter, ghee), no seed oils (e.g. canola, corn, safflower). If we do have grains or legumes, we always soak them in either whey, water, yogurt, or buttermilk.

5. We are members of three different cooperative food organizations: a grocer, a buying club, and a farm. We have a massive chest freezer filled with grass-fed cow parts (steaks, hearts, bones, livers, etc.), a Vitamix blender, a Hamilton Beach slow cooker, two Le Creuset dutch ovens, an Excalibur 9-tray food dehydrator, and three cast-iron skillets.

43
ciroduran 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Equal parts save money / I love eating freshly cooked food (I cook lunch in the morning before going to work)

2. No, just buy enough food for week, and choose as the week progresses.

3. A combination of protein + carbohidrate + vegetables

4. I follow the guidelines of a nutrologist I regularly see. It's a combination of calories cutting and eating a variety of foods. The idea is to lose weight while still eating well.

5. Always clean your kitchen before going to sleep. Leave frozen meat/poultry thawing overnight. If you have a kettle, use it to boil water instead of heating it in your pan.

44
dirkc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. I get grumpy if I don't cook. Guess that makes it relaxation

2. I used to when I had a stable living arrangement. Planning helps a lot with keeping costs down and maintaining a balance.

3. I specialize in mince meat and pasta, I also like making pizza from scratch and stew always goes over well.

4. Yes, a South African diet with lots of meat.

5. Make something many times. I've made pizza a lot and I learn a lot every time by trying out different things. And don't fall for the 'everything needs to take long' mindset chefs have.

45
hluska 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. I love cooking (and always have).

2. Most of the time, I will plan my meals the same day that I cook them. If I'm making something complex, or with ingredients that are more difficult to find, I will plan ahead.

3. Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, and French are my most common major types.

4. I try to be healthy, but find myself slipping back into the 'snack at night on high carb/high fat diet'.

5. Learn how to make your own stocks, memorize some basic flavour combinations that you love (ie - canned tomatoes and stock are a major base), and always follow recipes precisely the first time that you cook them.

46
Everhusk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cooking your own food is healthy, cheap, and you actually know what is going into your food. Few days ago I went to my friends house and we ordered chinese food, got food poisoning and now I'm sick... Doesn't happen often, but you really have no idea what they put in your food when you take out. Same is true with buying processed foods.

The biggest life hack for healthy cooking/eating is something I discovered just a few weeks ago after I bought a $500 top of the line blender (Vitamix). What you can do is fill the blender up with raw vegetables/fruits and it will blend it into a liquid. This might seem obvious, but I really mean RAW fruits (i.e. throw an entire apple, banana, celery sticks, kale, etc. and it will liquify everything including the stems and skins). Every morning I have one of these, some taste horrible, some taste really good, but since it's liquified I can just chug a glass of it and you really start to feel amazing after doing this for even just a few days. To be honest I rarely ate vegetables before, so I don't think I've ever eaten this healthy in my life.

47
ErikRogneby 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. To feed my family the freshest and highest quality food I can, to know where my food comes from, and what goes in to making it.

2. Sometimes, but often it's adhoc based on ingredients on hand.

3. Whatever is fresh and in season.

4. organic and local.

5. Think about the second meal you will get from your ingredients. Leftovers from a roast chicken can go in to chicken enchiladas for example. Some herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary are incredibly easy to grow. (and hard to kill) Fresh herbs make a huge difference in flavor and aroma.

48
adamb0mb1 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Several Reasons. It definitely saves money. But, also it's something our family loves doing together.

2. Every sunday, we choose 4 to 5 recipes to make (and shoot for ingredient overlap) for dinner. Then basically, some staples for breakfast. We use Plan To Eat (www.plantoeat.com) to do all of the planning and shopping list generation

3. Weekend dinners and lunches are usually 1+ hour dishes. Weeknights are usually ~20 - 30 minute dishes.

4. My wife likes to lean Paleo, but for health reasons, I have to eat relatively vegetarian. So, somewhere between those.

5. Plantoeat.com has been really useful for us. (but look forward to whatever you're doing on cucumbertown.com :-))

49
zaphar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. I cook recreationally and to save money both.

2. Not usualy. Most of my cooking is pretty spur of the moment.

3. I like to experiment so it's a wide variety. Italian, Tex/Mex, American comfort food... Whatever.

4. The only diet I follow is Eat when I'm hungry, stop eating when I'm full.

5. Keep a cooking diary. Note what worked/didn't work and what you want to try with a recipe next.

50
atirip 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Im pretty good at it. My friends think im restaurant level. At least i can cook better meal myself than any non gourmet restaurant.2. Nope, i decide on that day. Go shopping right after.3. I can cook whatever my friends like to eat. Usually i prefer stews, pastas, risottos.4. Nope, i can eat anything without gaining weight. Im in my ideal weight right now. 5. I dont think about productivity at all. I just enjoy good food.
51
eddie_31003 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. I cook because it's fun. I try not to do it every day, because then it does feel like work. But I try to cook often enough that I feel like I'm accomplishing something, either saving money, spending time with my family, and better health.

2. I try to make plans, but they rarely work. I need to be more diligent about my planning.

3. It usually involves chicken and vegetables.

4. Not really.

5. For me, it's all about timing.

52
bravura 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Why do you cook?

I like to cook because you always ship.

You can't sit and obsess about it forever. That's liberating. Once you embrace that, it allows you to experiment.

53
lukifer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I cook for health, enjoyment and relaxation. I do strict paleo, which makes things pretty simple: omelette and bacon for breakfast, meat and vegetable for dinner, no lunch, but fruit and nuts as desired. If I'll be short on time to cook, I make a big batch of stew or curry and tupperware it.

Probably the biggest time burn is the "JIT food inventory", leading to a grocery run probably 4+ times per week. I've become too spoiled on fresh meat and fish. :)

54
steakejjs 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1. To save cash and recreationally. I would like to buy a house and cooking cuts my meal costs in half. It is also something I do with my SO

2. No. I live next door to two different upscale grocery stores (talk about luck). I just go nextdoor daily.

3. What kind of things do you cook usually?

4. I eat little junk food. I have a milk allergy. I also eat a lot of meat. This is due to having powerlifting as one of my hobbies.

5. I eat a lot of tacos, steak and rice, chicken. etc. It is easy and fast.

55
davidw 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I discovered low & slow smoking / barbecue a year or so ago (it's not much of a "thing" where I'm from in Oregon), and I'm quite hooked on it. My wife is a bit less enamored of me spending most of the day tending the hacked together 'pit' I made, though.
56
actionscripted 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Recreation. I love chopping, stirring, mixing, tasting. I'm doing keto and it's easier to stay on track cooking at home.

2. No. Usually I start with "what sounds good?"

3. Primarily Mexican and Italian dishes and lots of salads.

4. Keto.

5. Learn to use a knife properly.

57
grimtrigger 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1. I cook most days. I mostly make baked chicken and a vegetable dish. The main reason is because its hard to eat cheap + healthy in my area (NYC).

2. I usually shop for 3 days in advance.

3. Baked chicken, veggies

4. Low carb, high protein

58
coldcode 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Cooking is a stress reliever. I've cooked my whole life. Baking however is like a vi user forced to use emacs :-)
59
CocaKoala 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I liked to cook with my girlfriend as a fun and easy date activity, and we've continued to do it now that we're married. Also, cooking our own food is cheaper than going out every night, and tastes better than getting takeout.

We try to plan meals for the week and then do a big grocery run on the weekend, and I'll stop by the store after work if we run low on something.

We have a few meals that we run through on a rotation; making pulled pork in a slow cooker is pretty easy. There's a mustard marinated chicken dish that we both like. There are a few pasta dishes I can whip up from memory; we also make simple stuff like fried rice on occasion as well.

Neither of us follow a diet; we're still at the stage of our lives where trying to make generally balanced meals (protein, vegetables, fruit) is enough to keep us pretty healthy.

The only real life hack I have is that it's worth the time to memorize a couple recipes that taste good and are easy to make. Don't worry too much about cooking time; one of the pasta dishes I like to make has to simmer for 3 hours or so, but it's really easy to let that sit on the stove and just check on it a couple times an hour to make sure it isn't burning. Cooking isn't an active process where you have to be paying attention to it and devoting cycles to it every second of the process.

2
Ask HN: Coding School Scholarships for African American Women?
3 points by emcarey  41 minutes ago   discuss
3
Ask HN: How do I learn C and C++ when I love high-level languages?
36 points by zuck9  3 hours ago   50 comments top 32
1
tathastu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think to learn C/C++ it's helpful to have a mindset of wanting to understand the machine rather than build code. It's of course great fun to use Python's built in maps etc (and C++ has equivalents) but what you can do in C/C++ that you can't in Python is create the raw data structures down to the exact memory locations where they'll be used. One of the ways to learn C++ is make a relatively complex data structure (red-black tree, or bloom filter) and then throw as much data as you can inside it, see when you cross a threshold of memory usage -- then see if you can improve on that.

Having said that, C++ has come a long way, despite what haters say. I program primarily in C++ and very rarely have to use pointers. C++11/14 has excellent features (lambdas, initialization lists etc) which can make programming almost seem like writing a Python or Ruby script.

You may also have some luck with Bjarne's smallish "Tour of C++" book -- http://www.stroustrup.com/Tour.html

2
dllthomas 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Work your way through "A Book on C"? That's how I did it...

Actually, I think the best approach would be to pick a project for which you can construct a believable (by you) reason why it should be in C. Some possible reasons:

1) You need precise control of hardware

2) You're running in an environment where higher level languages are not available

3) You need precise control of latencies

4) You need the absolute maximum possible performance

There are various projects with these requirements of various difficulties. I would say that it might be hard to simultaneously convince yourself that a project needs the maximum possible performance and also that it is tractable for you as a newbie C developer.

A simple kernel module might not be a bad thing, if you can do your development in a VM to recover from the inevitable crashes. The reason for C will be quite clear, but tooling will suffer.

Targeting microcontrollers will be similarly well motivated at a higher degree of awkwardness.

3
wainstead 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I researched this same question back in 2011. One of the most recommended books is "Memory as a Programming Concept in C and C++":

http://www.amazon.com/Memory-Programming-Concept-Frantisek-F...

A rather expensive book but stellar reviews. I borrowed it from the library. It's very concise too.

For C++ a lot of people still recommend "Accelerated C++":

http://www.amazon.com/Accelerated-C-Practical-Programming-Ex...

because it teaches you "canonical" C++ instead teaching you "C with classes," which seems to be a common complaint among veteran C++ programmers. It's very readable too.

I'm going to pick up "Writing Great Code":

http://www.amazon.com/Write-Great-Code-Understanding-Machine...

because it explains computer architecture. Once you start programming in C/C++ you are much closer to the metal and having an understanding of the architecture will lead to better choices.

4
kristiandupont 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think that C/C++ is different, this is exactly how I learned those as well. Be aware though, that C++ and C are very different languages and you should choose one. If you want to do kernel-level stuff or embedded code, C is probably a better choice than C++, whereas if you want to go into gaming or complex desktop applications (think Photoshop), C++ might be the one to choose.

Pointers may be scary but they are just a concept that you need to grasp, like recursion. You first read about it and kind of get it, then you apply it over and over until suddenly you realize that you have developed a true understanding that allows you to build new abstractions on top.

You will hear people telling you to start with C first because C++ is a superset of C, but I always advice against this. Memory management is "manual" in both, but the idioms you apply are very different between the two. Unless you are looking to truly spend years perfecting both, pick one and go with it.

5
nostrademons 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Take a job where you'll have access to senior C++ programmers who'll mentor you. One good way to do this is to get a frontend/webdev job at a company that also does some hardcore C++ backend development, then once you're in the company, offer to start fixing bugs in the core product as long as you get some mentoring/code reviews for them. Most devs don't turn down an offer to help.

You really want to work with people who have done C++ before, because there are a number of tricks (RAII, ownership conventions, using const references and references to signal ownership conventions, smart pointers, unique_ptr, etc.) that are common industry practice but aren't all that well-documented on the web. C++ differs from Java or Python in that often the hard part isn't figuring out how to do something, but figuring out what not to do.

6
falcolas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Don't be too afraid of pointers - you're already using them if you're using Python when you work with mutable structures.

    >>> a = {'foo': 0}    >>> b = a    >>> b['foo'] = 1    >>> a['foo']    1    >>> id(a)    140428021358832    >>> id(b)    140428021358832
`a` and `b` are just pointers to the underlying structure. The only difference is that Python is taking care of the dereferencing for you, whereas in C you would have to explicitly dereference the pointer.

That's all there is to them. It's a reference to another location in memory, which, when dereferenced, refers to that other location. In pseudocode:

    >>> b = 1    >>> a = &b    >>> b = 2    >>> a*    2    >>> a* = 3    >>> b    3

7
brewt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Good C++ isn't that far from high-level languages. Look at the bullet points here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh279654.aspx

If you primarily use value and reference semantics, RAII, smart pointers, STL containers and algorithms, etc, C++ looks a lot like a really powerful high-level language, because that's what it is. Things only start to get ugly and/or low-level when you are trying to heavily optimize things.

Stroustrop (mentioned in other comments) is a great way to get started, and Effective C++ (http://www.amazon.com/Effective-Specific-Improve-Programs-De...) and its cousins will help you not shoot yourself in the foot.

C is a whole different beast. If you've coded in Java, you have a basic idea of how to do encapsulation in C++. Encapsulation in C is nearly impossible to guarantee. Really, a lot of C programming relies heavily on negotiated conventions and design by contract. Learning the C language is pretty easy (read K&R some weekend), but learning to program well in C is a completely different thing.

8
tdicola 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Some advice I can offer, be very very careful of the quality of resources you use to learn C and C++. In particular look at the year the book/tutorial/etc. was written and try to get stuff that was written or updated recently. Both languages have been around for many years and evolved quite a bit. Advice about how to use C++ in 1990 is vastly different than how to use it in 2014 with modern C++ versions.

Also read some reviews of the book before you spend any time reading it. The mid 90's were a really bad time for C++ in my opinion since it was kind of a new language and being pushed heavily as the default 'learn computer programming' language (which Java later usurped). This means there are tons of very badly written and confusing resources that do more harm trying to teach C++ than actual good. Stuff like Deitel's C++ How To Program, etc.

For C++ in particular I can recommend:

Thinking in C++ (http://mindview.net/Books/TICPP/ThinkingInCPP2e.html)Although it's getting a little old, I think this is a great resource for someone just picking up the language.

A Tour of C++ (http://www.stroustrup.com/Tour.html)Great small intro to modern C++ programming, by the creator of the language.

9
stormbrew 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Stop being scared of pointers, they aren't magic and you've been using them all along. In most high level languages you are using a pointer for any variable that's not a number. Which is why when you assign one variable to another and modify one it modifies it from the perspective of the other. Because they point to the same object.

Fundamentally, though, they're a value just like any other, just a number that's an index into the giant array called memory. The language provides convenient syntactic sugar to 'dereference' them, which just means evaluate the address and index to it.

Basically:

    *blah
is equivalent to:

    all_of_memory[blah]
which, incidentally, is equivalent to:

    0[blah]
and back around again:

    blah[0]

10
alain94040 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I can't think of anything that I will like to make in C/C++

Let me address the motivation issue.

C/C++ strength is speed. Write a simple piece of computation in your favorite language (Ruby for instance). Write the same in C and measure the time it takes.

Once you see how slow Ruby is, you may get excited by C enough to continue exploring it.

11
mden 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Go to a code practice site like hackerrank or oj.leetcode (personal favorite but I suggest using an external compiler for it) and solve problems. Start from the simplest ones and make your way up. Once you solve a problem, go back the following day or week and without using a reference solve it from scratch. After solving a problem look at the solutions provided in the forums. A lot of the time they will be a lot more elegant and contain things you haven't considered or seen before.

This is only half of it. The second half is to choose a mid size project, write yourself something that resembles a spec, and code it up from scratch. It could be some sys util or perhaps a video game (this will require you to learn library linking).

The third half is to read online articles and tutorials while you do the two things above.

The fourth and final half is to get yourself a book once you have a grasp on the language(s) and learn some of their more complicated idioms and pitfalls.

Also as a side note, at this point in time I don't think the "C/C++" conglomerate make much sense any more as modern C++ looks very different from C. Unless you explicitly need C, I would suggest learning C++ first as it's higher level (and also much larger). Though, idk, maybe learning C first is better as it's the foundation for C++... I guess either is fine, just not both simultaneously.

12
hackerboos 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Find a slow part of your Python/Ruby/Lua application that could use some speeding up and then write an extension for it in C.

Some useful reading:

http://www.swig.org/

http://dan.iel.fm/posts/python-c-extensions/

https://blog.jcoglan.com/2012/07/29/your-first-ruby-native-e...

13
candu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Look into more recent language features:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3016107/what-is-tagged-s...

http://www.stroustrup.com/C++11FAQ.html

Also, the Boost library is worth a look. C++ is fairly expressive if you wield it properly, and it offers several ways to minimize the pain of memory management. I would hesitate to call C++ "low-level". (C is another story.)

Other than that - C/C++ are used to solve different problems from Python, Ruby, etc. It is a common problem that people used to a particular toolset have difficulty identifying tasks that are suited to other tools. The suggestions to write C extensions or ports of command line tools are good ones - these will give you a taste for where C/C++ shine on a much more gradual learning curve than trying to write device drivers or kernel extensions.

Another example of practical C++ usage: in the past, I've often prototyped algorithms in Python, then rewritten them in C++ once the major bugs are ironed out. YMMV, but I found this to be faster than writing directly in C++.

14
glenjamin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would usually think of myself as a high-level langauge developer. I've recently been working my way through http://buildyourownlisp.com/ - Which I'm seriously enjoying.

It's doing a great job of teaching me C, while also reminding me how great high level languages actually are!

15
wsc981 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'd say you just get the book "C Programming: A Modern Approach" by K.N. King. At the end of every chapter there are some exercises & challenges.

It's an excellent book (see the ratings on Amazon) and also fun to read through.

C should be much easier to learn than C++. The language is much more basic feature-wise and the standard C library is very small indeed.

[0]: http://www.amazon.com/Programming-Modern-Approach-2nd-Editio...

16
fnordfnordfnord 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Get yourself an Arduino or some other similar cheap hardware dev kit and build some project for fun? It's a start.
17
anon4 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Download a Commodore 64 emulator and learn ROM BASIC. Write a game in it. After that, try learning C again. You'll be infinitely thankful for such high-level constructs as functions and structs. And you'll understand what they do a bit better, probably.

Edit: I'm sorry if this sounds condescending, but I really mean it. Basic is about one step above assembler - you get variables and nice access to some basic IO, but it's much closer to the metal than C. It really doesn't even have functions, you have to do GOSUB/RET yourself. It's also an extremely simple language. But it will give you an idea on how computers work at a basic level. After that you should have a much easier time grokking C.

18
AnthonBerg 2 hours ago 2 replies      
C/C++ didn't truly click for me until I had learned assembler. (Helped my understanding of every other language too.)
19
vasquez 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Why do you want to learn C or C++ if you can't think of something you'd like to use them for? I've written a fair bit of assembler and occasionally still do tiny projects in C or C++, but my language of choice (by far) is the highest level general purpose one I've come across.

IMO you don't need to know either C or asm to be a great programmer. Read a book on operating systems instead and you'll know all you need to about hardware. Add a thorough coverage of algorithms and data structures, and you're in a better position to write effective software than many I've worked with.

20
muchabi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The other answers sound like they're from people who aren't new to the idea of pointers...

Try simple data structures first. Having linked list nodes that actually uses minimal memory (pointer to next node, a data field) is actually pretty exciting. Implement all the operations (get index i, remove index i, etc) because that's where a lot of the insight will come from. Then you can move onto binary search trees and other more complex stuff.

One of the most useful insights I've read was from "Effective C++", which said (paraphrasing) "C++ is a federation / family of languages which work together". Learn the C subset of it first so you're not overwhelmed with available features, and then you can get back to using templates / STL / the other languages later.

21
sauere 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Read the part on pointers in the "The C Programming Language" book. Or go to your favorite coffee shop with a C-buddy, buy him some drinks and let him explain ;)
22
cammsaul 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You could try doing a cross-platform (iOS/Android) game with a C++ framework like Cocos2d-x. I read through Cocos2d-x By Example (http://www.amazon.com/Cocos2d-X-Example-Beginners-Guide-Enge...) last year and it was pretty good. Didn't assume a prior knowledge of C++
23
terminalcommand 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Head First C is an excellent book. It introduces some concepts such as variadic functions and function pointers too early. You might need some supplements on them. I suggest reading through the head first c book and watching youtube videos on topics, you don't quite get at the first time.
24
deet 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Telling us what type of personal projects you liked doing in the past would be very helpful.

Pick something fun to write (to you) that is normally written in a lower level language.

For me C and C++ were fun to learn by writing graphics applications (ray tracers are great for this) and physics simulations (a solar system simulation maybe). Optimizing these to be as fast as possible is a great way to learn about pointers and manual memory management.

25
orr94 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you need an interesting project to motivate you, you could try to build something with Arduino. It requires purchasing some hardware, of course, but it's cheap enough to play around with.
26
niklasber 2 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't necessarily have to do low level stuff with C/C++. Sure you'll still be dealing with pointers etc, but my point is it doesn't have to be very low level just because it's C/C++. Depending on what you want to implement it might be a good idea to use a framework such as Qt. http://qt-project.org/
27
blt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
You need to understand how machines work if you want to be a good C/C++ programmer. I suggest Berkeley's CS 61C video lectures: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL58D76972AD4CB040.
28
andrewflnr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd say just find a good tutorial type book. I got an adequate understanding of pointers from reading C++ for Dummies. Anyway, don't be afraid. Pointers require care to avoid various issues, but they're fundamentally a simple concept. You'll be fine.
29
Vektorweg 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you really need to learn a another language, when you don't like its features? All general-purpose programming languages can solve the same problem.
30
bnejad 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Build some system utilities. If you are on Linux/OSX try to program a subset of the features of one of your favorite command line tools.
31
aosmith 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you tried Go? Might make the transition a little easier. UDP hole punching is always fun with C/C++.
32
limdauto 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you just need an incentive. Try to work on problem where performance really matters such as physics engine or scientific simulator if you are not into OS stuff. You will learn to hate automatic memory management soon enough ;)
4
$1 Early Bird Special Intelishake Bottle, will you back this to reality?
4 points by newtonstein  5 hours ago   8 comments top 3
1
runjake 2 hours ago 1 reply      
What's the real angle here?

It seems like I should be your target demographic (fitness guy/obsessive hydrator/3 vitamix smoothies a day drinker/iPhone user) but I just can't muster any excitement for what I'm seeing.

Help me out here? Why is this better than a pocket and a $4 BPA-free shaker (with stainless steel spring ball and much more capacity) off of Amazon?

2
creativeone 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Hope you sell more than 100!
3
eminkel 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Can I send you $25 now?
5
Xcode 6 ships with a Node.js server executable
5 points by FredericJ  3 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
runjake 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, and? I'm not sure what you're getting at.

That Node might be an official development platform for Apple? No.

Node is used internally by the XCode build services. Look in Server.app on an OS X Server and it has (had) embedded Python, Ruby, and Rails cruft.

2
anonfunction 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Xcode6-Beta6 ships with node v0.10.26
6
Ask HN: I've been rejected for internships. What am I doing wrong?
8 points by indielol  18 hours ago   13 comments top 7
1
jchonphoenix 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Heh, man I wish I could be anonymous and post this... I've gotten offers from most of those companies you've mentioned and worked/interviewed/resume sorted for one of the ones with a higher bar. Here's some tough love, but hopefully it'll be helpful. This is what goes through my mind as a dev helping out the recruiters at one of these places:

1. I've never heard of your University. It's not from the US and isn't Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, MIT or Berkeley, so it isn't an immediate forward to a phone screen. Not an IIT or Waterloo either.

2. The GPA system I don't understand, but doesn't seem particularly high. I'm not a stickler for GPA, but it seems to be close to a 3.0. At that GPA, even if you were from a top CS school, it'd be a tough sell for a phone screen.

3. I don't see a class schedule, have you ever written an operating system from scratch before? Written your own network stack?

4. Have you done something amazing worthy of recognition? Amazing top coder results? IOI Medal? ICPC World Finals? Again not necessary for a phone screen, but given that nothing else is a signal for a phone screen, this would be it.

5. Expected 2016. Ok, at least if we hire him as an intern, there's a good chance he'll come back as a full time. Sophomores are risky since most will intern elsewhere next year and you won't be able to hire them back.

6. No evidence of work (OSS contributions, intelligent blog, etc) to judge you by.

I sometimes go through 3-4 interviews a day, and the fact is, most people with perfect resumes and 4.0's from Stanford fail my interview anyway. Nothing here signals to me that having a dev spend an hour in a phone screen with you isn't a waste of everyone's time. You're going to need some hook to make it to the next step. If there's a referral from someone internal that says to interview this guy, we're giving you the benefit of the doubt. Admittedly, these are snap judgements I'm making and are very likely completely unfair. There aren't enough hours in the day to give everyone applying a shot at a phone screen, so we need to weed out 99% of the resume's immediately--even if that means throwing away a few that would have passed.

2
bluerail 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The things you have listed here all are becoming a standard requirements for a Computer engineering job, but you need something specific to standout.

1. You said you successfully ran a startup, How was the exit? Are you still maintaining it?

2. You consider yourself pretty good at coding.. Good.. But How do I know that? Freelance projects are made with requirements pre-sepecified., Where are your wild ideas in play? Do you have a github / bitbucket repository that I can look out to?

3. You have done many freelancing projects, and why only 3 of them in your resume? Create a portfolio page and list them all.

Increase the OSS contributions as mentioned in previous responses, get in with the community, know people, These things can take you a long way...

3
iamshs 17 hours ago 1 reply      
It is not because of the Visa. Sponsoring a J1/F1 visa is easy for companies/Universities.

Are you in second or third year? Now is not the time for app'ing. October end is when you should typically start. Don't worry about Visa, it is easily arranged and in short time.

Indian students bombard inboxes at intern time, so you have to be daft with everything in your email, subject line, email and a one page resume. Time your app to US mornings so that your email stays at top. Learn to use Google advanced search. Trawl LinkedIn. My knowledge is 6 year old but I did successfully interned at US and Europe, get hold of one of your IIT/NIT friends and ask for some modern fundaes. If you want to contact me, my email is in profile. I am going to sleep, so maybe in email tomorrow I can be more detailed.

4
phaus 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I think its probably a combination of your average GPA from a school nobody's heard about and the fact that you only seem to be applying to companies that have a reputation for extremely high standards.

You seem to be looking at normal companies the exact same way the elite companies are viewing an average student from an average school. Perhaps you should branch out? There are tons of great companies out there with internship programs.

And as others have mentioned, I'd try to sell the entrepreneurship experience and any side-projects you may have completed harder than anything else.

Keep trying. Keep submitting as many applications as you can to different companies right up until the day you accept an internship.

5
indielol 6 hours ago 0 replies      
To anybody who wants to have a look, here's my resume - http://goo.gl/rswmvC
6
bzalasky 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't be discouraged. If you're open to constructive feedback, share some of your side projects with the HN community. I'd also encourage you to explore more opportunities, as Google, Facebook, etc... probably get more applications than they can handle. We have an active internship program at Lookout Mobile Security that provides real, hands-on experience, if you're interested (https://www.lookout.com/about/careers/detail?gh_jid=2141).
7
coralreef 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I know great engineering students from reputable school (University of Waterloo) that got rejected by Facebook and Google for internships. Competition is tough, these guys get to choose from the best of the best, and pay very well even for an internship.
7
Ask HN: How was your experience using parse.com?
57 points by justplay  2 days ago   36 comments top 24
1
fyobidniss 2 days ago 3 replies      
I did mobile contract work for 2 years and built most of my products on Parse.

The free tier goes a long way. In my experience, if you are thoughtful with the quantity of requests you send from the clients, it will take over 1000 users to push you into the paid tier. This really depends on the nature of your application though.

As for development, there are a few nuances that you have to get right to use Parse at full capacity. First, delegate as many operations to CloudCode as you can. I do this for separation of concerns (clients should focus on displaying data, not retrieving and formatting it) and more importantly, to make cross platform applications consistent and easier to write. Also, you can change behavior on the fly instead of creating new builds of your client when you just want to change a small detail, like the number of results to return.When using CloudCode, take advantage of Parss's implementation of JavaScript promises. And avoid mixing promises with the "backbone-like" callbacks. There's a bug I've found when mixing the two that will occasionally cause the operation to finish before executing all the callbacks.

And speaking of bugs- the biggest drawback of Parse is the documentation and support. Some entries in the docs will actually be a one sentence reiteration of the title of a method. It's mind blowing how shitty some parts of the docs are. The support is even worse. Looking through the help archives (they've now given up on internal support and moved their entire support platform to stack overflow) you will frequently find smug answers from the Parse team. It's common to see a Parse support teams response get tens of downvotes. It's bad.I once found a bug in Parse's method to save multiple objects at once (if the first request failed, all subsequent requests would fail too) and getting a fix implemented was a huge pain. I had to go through Facebooks bureaucratic big reporting process only to be told the bug was a 'feature' weeks later. I resubmitted the bug with all kinds of proof and demo projects, and finally after a few months I got the email saying the big was fixed. Huge pain.

Overall, if a prototype backend will suit your needs, I highly recommend Parse. It's certainly not the pie in the sky it could've been, but it gets the job done and lets you quickly get to market.

The free push notifications, data dashboard, and analytics are some nice sugar on top too.

I will probably continue to build my products on Parse, unless I know I will need immediate scale, or a client requests a specific backend configuration.

Been wanting to try Firebase too. It's a Parse like BaaS where everything is done in realtime. Very cool, but still somewhat unproven and new. Has anyone used Firebase?

2
imownbey 2 days ago 2 replies      
The iPhone client was really good and really solid. Unfortunately we had to migrate off of Parse though because of pretty consistent downtime and really slow speeds. It wasn't unlikely for Parse to go down for at least minutes at a time once a day. Migrating off of it is not easy because you have to then replace the really solid client which can take some time to reproduce some of the features you have ended up relying on.

The dashboard also left a lot to be desired. It limits how many tables it shows on the left so you end up having to hack the URL. I believe they finally offered a "fullscreen" mode rather than having a fixed width and height which is nice. Basically we would have to drop down to the Ruby client to audit the data often which isn't the worst.

Parse would also just write random blank rows all the time whenever we did concurrent writes (this is a known bug https://www.parse.com/questions/duplicated-empty-objects-cre...). They have just moved over to the Facebook Developer bug tracking which is pretty awful as well.

Parse was really good to prototype on which was nice, but it is extremely likely if you want to launch anything to the app store and don't want to deal with downtime you have no control over you will need to rewrite it. For this reason I would suggest with just using something home grown.

3
SurfScore 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have had tons of problems with parse. Our app has both the iOS and website backends using it. While it is useful, and a lot of stuff is well done, when you operate at any kind of scale you keep running into all kinds of hidden limitations. We have ~30k+ weekly actives.

For example - Horrible limitations on queries. You can only get 1000 total objects at any time, batch requests are limited to 50 objects, limit of 100 count requests a minute (not sure the exact number but it's really close). Not just for each client, for your ENTIRE APP.

No good backup solution. They say they back up their servers, but backing up your own data is left to you. Which is a pain in the ass because of point one.

Awful support. I get that they have a lot of people and can't support everyone well, but I have always gotten the feeing that Parse just doesn't care that much about users. Maybe they do if you pay them a bunch of money, but until then you're on your own. Half the time my support requests go unanswered, sometimes the rep just stops responding midway through the conversation. Only recently did I ever have a good experience with Parse support (thanks Christine!)

To top it all off, apparently they silently changed the way batch API requests were counted and never told anyone. Instead of a batch request counting as 1 request, apparently it now counts as each individual object inside the request. So batching 10 objects is one http request but 10 Parse API requests. Sketchy. When you reach over 30 requests per second, they just start dropping requests.

4
johnnyfaehell 2 days ago 1 reply      
With a 100 active users at any one time? No it's not expensive since over the course of the month you would have hundreds of thousands of users. If you have 100 active users for your app you most likely could use the free/$100 option as it looks like it scales to requests per second which to be at 800 requests per second you would need a LOT of traffic. Highest I've worked with was 500 requests per second on a site handling 250,000 users a day and they only had that at peak times when they got 50% of their traffic in two hours.

I think you would need to look at your http logs to see how many request per second you're currently getting, I highly suspect it'll be nowhere near what you think it is.

5
sourdesi 2 days ago 0 replies      
From an Android devs perspective, I will say that the Parse Android SDK is really well made. The API allows for idiomatic, fairly concise, and consistently patterned code. It also adheres to a lot of the coding conventions that android devs are used to like callback functions for asynchronous operations. Set up is super easy too. The offline caching feature is really easy and useful.

That being said, if you have the skill set and time as a developer to be able to implement all of those features and a server/db component, I would. It may not be as robust or clean as the Parse API but hey if its your code it shouldn't be terrible to work with. If you do it yourself, then you get the added benefit of just having to pay for hosting of your server and db.

6
wasd 2 days ago 0 replies      
As some people mentioned, you're over estimating the number of requests per second for the number of users you have. I would recommend writing a small application to get a feel how it feels to develop on the platform.

I personally found it to be incredibly valuable to be only writing client side code. It let me focus on my end users experience and iterate mich faster. After writing an application on parse, I found myself missing it on non parse projects. I used the parse js SDK to create a SPA.

I did think the on boarding experience could be a bit better. The docs are good, not great. I haven't had any issues with down time but my app is probably much smaller. I would definitely use it again.

7
MrMike 2 days ago 1 reply      
The downtime is extremely frustrating. They are pretty nonchalant about it as well, which is actually more of a concern than the fact that there was an issue.

Beyond that, there are some good use cases for apps to be built upon Parse and bad ones. It turns out that the thing I'm building is one of those bad use cases.

Parse appears to frown upon background processes. They have very tight restrictions on what can be done in the background and how fast it must be done.

If you have a social-esque app, at any kind of scale, fanning things out becomes a problem.

We're in the middle of packing up our toys and heading over to GAE.

8
Element_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been prototyping an app on parse over the last month, I've been pretty disappointed. Mainly with regards to their database system. As others have pointed out there's insane limits on things like count queries. There is 1000 record limit on queries in general. The performance of cloudcode between the db is awful, you have to batch everything into tiny operations or risk timeouts. Skip has a 10k record limit. Their web based data browser tool seems unfinished, for instance you can't even insert into relational columns and deleting 100 records at a time locks up my browser.

This guy has compiled a good list of limitations: http://profi.co/all-the-limits-of-parse/

It may be okay for very simple applications but for anything non trivial or with a large db I would not recommend it. Any time saved by having a PAAS out of the box is lost trying to work around all the weird data access limitations.

9
mbenjaminsmith 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm wrapping up an iOS project using Parse and wrote a Core Data <-> Parse "offline mode" / sync engine for it. From a development perspective I'd say it's relatively painless.

I did encounter a "bug" wherein certain queries can't be cached effectively which I solved by using vanilla arrays instead of Parse's PFRelation. No downsides to doing it that way (for this project) but it felt awkward. It would be better to have more consistent caching behavior.

I encountered other issues but that one is top of mind at the moment.

I have seen downtime during development. It's usually short-lived but it's there nevertheless.

10
solomone 2 days ago 0 replies      
Parse gets you up and running crazy fast. So it's extremely useful in that way. If you're making a mobile app the speed the SDK gives you in working with a pre-built backend cannot be underestimated.

Recently I started a project with Parse but eventually moved off it ( with some pain ). The pain points for me were random requests timing out or randomly taking 20+ seconds to respond. Also the SDK wasn't as flexible as I needed it to be ( which is typically the case with any ORM ). The forums/support isn't great so if you run into a showstopper, you're pretty much on your own.

11
vesh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been using Parse for a couple of years now. Some of my clients are currently on it and is being used in production. The most compelling part of the offering is a well thought out SDK which helps in time to market by reducing the development time. Parse has a lot of potential but unfortunately they will need improve in some areas pretty soon. The first issue is documentation, it is bad. What makes it worse is not being able to build a large enough developer community around the product. If Parse would only listen to the developers using their platform, take constructive feedback and improve their offering it will go long way. The response from Parse when things are bought to attention is much to be desired. Part of the problem is Parse needs to solve is to partner with companies/developers to help out their customers with the common issues that people face when using their platform and concentrate on the real issues of the platform. This should also help them with their support as well, which is bad even for paying customers. I really think Parse can learn from companies before them like Microsoft, Salesforce, Apple on how to go about building a strong developer community around a platform. I also think Parse can help a wider range of customers, like make a serious play in the enterprise market if these issues are looked into.
12
captn3m0 2 days ago 0 replies      
I tried out their PHP SDK, intentionally willing to try out Parse on the backend side of things. I intended to use it as an ORM layer, abstracting out the data structures. However, my experience was that making multiple queries (even 3-4) would make the app appear slow. This is in no way a fault of Parse, just how it is.

So, I'd recommend using Parse with any of the frontend SDKs (JS/Android/iOS), but would warn you against trying it on the backend side of things (where PHP is the only offering so far).

13
infinite_snoop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Aside from the price there seems to be a few bugs that have been lingering around for a year or longer with no fix in sight.

One that I have encountered is when uploading files, the progress callback jumps from 0% to 100%. https://www.parse.com/questions/parsefile-progresscallback

The annoying thing is the documentation states: "It's easy to get the progress of both uploads and downloads using ParseFile by passing a ProgressCallback to saveInBackground and getDataInBackground." and provides a code snippet that doesn't work and hasn't worked for two years. Please fix the bug or change the documentation!

14
fleeno 1 day ago 0 replies      
The new pricing is very good, and you shouldn't need to pay until you're running a lot of traffic.

I find the iOS SDK to be pretty solid. Push notifications also work really well.

I have also noticed requests fail from time to time, but it hasn't been too much of an issue.

What I don't like is the query system. What would be trivial in SQL is sometimes difficult or impossible.

I also just don't like that cloud code queries are all asynchronous. Promises help, but complex operations end up as a huge nest of promises. I just have no need for server-side code to be asynchronous.

The console has been slightly improved, but the data browser is still a bit painful. They like to break the back button quite a bit too.

I have one large app using Parse as a back-end, but otherwise I just use it for push.

15
kixa 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't comment on anything but the Push notification service, but we've been super impressed; it's so much easier having our backend just call the Parse REST API and have our iOS clients register PFInstallation objects and assign themselves to channels than it was to setup enduring TLS sessions to APNS on App Engine.
16
eastridge 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm in the process of helping a client migrate a large data set (5m users) off parse due to the issues they've had. They had a fairly consistent rate of 1 in 100 requests return a ECONNRESET error in node. After over a year of haggling with the parse support team the errors finally disappeared about a month ago. They needed at least 10 fetches so you can imagine that 1 in 100 not returning doesn't bode well.

I don't have all of the specifics as to how or why the errors went away, but no changes in the client's codebase were made that relate to this.

Summary: seems brittle, tech support was useless, customer wrote huge checks to parse every month and didn't get traction fixing the problem. Even though things have improved we're continuing with the effort to help migrate the client away from parse.

17
mundanevoice 2 days ago 0 replies      
My experience has been quite good with Parse. We have push notifications service for iOS and Android and both of them work as intended. Though, I feel the dashboard could be better.
18
LazerBear 2 days ago 0 replies      
I tested it for a tiny project and was very surprised. It's very easy to use, though I wouldn't use it in production because of the price / lack of customizability.
19
mbtmbt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Same as what everybody else is saying. Solid SDK, but downtime is a major issue. Worse, some partial downtime scenarios or bugs get next to no attention for days. It may not be a "site down" situation, but it may be critical for your app. And yes, documentation is extremely sparse, with few real world examples if any.
20
dcarmo 2 days ago 0 replies      
From what I've read in this thread, Parse isn't that good for production, but there isn't anything better, is that correct? If not, what are good alternatives to it?
21
BadassFractal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great for prototyping, but I wouldn't bet my business on it.
22
kylehotchkiss 2 days ago 0 replies      
Eh. Parse had some downtime over the summer that was pretty bad. I'd recommend going another direction.
23
fooaway 2 days ago 0 replies      
That is expensive.
24
alekh88 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi,If you want to create API, why dont you use onlinewebapi.comIt is still in beta stage but looks promisingDisclaimer: I am founder of this product. Feedback would be valuable. :)
8
Ask HN: How did ISP's with dial-up servers work?
8 points by BorisMelnik  23 hours ago   11 comments top 5
1
iSloth 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I work for an ISP in the UK and we actually still have some of the old dial up internet kit running in our exchange, 99% of customers are now on xDSL based services, however a few are still belligerent and don't want to move into the modern age, the equipment doesn't really cost anything to keep running so it's in effect free money for the business (other than power).

The technical side is basically a few Cisco AS5300 that terminate 2 to 4 E1's from the IMS based ISDN network, your effectively just dialling a number from your modem that is load balanced over these E1's. At the other side of the Cisco is your internet service, fairly simple and works well for what it is.

There can be other things in the mix like AAA (Radius) to authenticate the users, but as your charging for the call within the POTS network that's not always required, assuming that the internet and line provider as the same as in our case.

2
wmf 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Smaller scale ISPs did have shelves of external modems attached to remote access servers [1] which were often FreeBSD boxes. I don't know if they used regular POTS lines or channel banks [2]. Specialized RAS routers with multichannel soft modems [3] (e.g. from Ascend [4]) came out later.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Access_Service[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_bank[3] http://m.eetasia.com/ARTICLES/1999JUN/1999JUN29_BD_NTEK_TAC2...[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascend_Communications

3
icedchai 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Early ISPs (before the mid 90's) had individual modems. I worked at one and we had stacks and stacks of modems - 100's of them - each with their own phone line, power brick, and serial cable.

By the late 90's, we had moved to digital modems using PRI lines. This provided the equivalent of 24 modems over a single T1 line.

4
hydrogen18 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The phone company operates trunking lines, which multiplexes some large number of phone lines over a single physical medium. T1 for example is a common standard to deliver 24 voice lines over a single physical medium. Historically, you'd have equipment at both ends. One at at central office and one near a group of subscribers, like a street full of homes.

Basically the dial up server just had hardware that directly terminated the trunking line into it. The modem part might be done in software, might be done in hardware, or a little bit of both. By doing this it is practical to have a single machine serving 100s or even 1000s of customers.

5
salem 21 hours ago 0 replies      
There were definitely racks of modems at small scale ISPs in the 90's.

Once line speeds hit 56k and required more sophisticated equipment at the exchange/ISP, a lot of small ISPs got squeezed out because of the investment required, and sold their phone number and customer base.

A lot of consolidation started happening at that point, from what I remember.

9
Ask HN: Who's working making the world a better place?
17 points by kingnothing  1 day ago   11 comments top 7
1
DanBC 23 hours ago 0 replies      
No company but I work to improve the quality of mental health services and to reduce stigma against mental ill-health.

Recently I've been trying to get people to pay attention to the appalling lack of in-patient mental health beds for children and young people in England. A young person who needs a bed may have to travel out of county, but also out of country to Scotland. (Health is devolved; Scotland has a different legal system. Someone detained under the Mental Health Act in England would have to be released from that and re-sectioned under Scottish laws. And Scotland is hundreds of miles away from some people's homes). There is some movement here - the relevant government officials are worried about it and are now doing work.

The weirdest part of tackling stigma is not dealing with the general community but is with tackling self-imposed stigma. I've met a few people who have said "I was told years ago that I'll never work again", and those people believe that they are unable to work. Mostly they could do some work, even if it isn't full time paid employment. Modern models are to keep people at work; or get people back to work as soon as possible.

2
mchannon 20 hours ago 0 replies      
CleanWafer.

Making silicon wafers out of industrial waste products, with zero pollutants (every byproduct is sold), far less energy usage, 20% of the cost, and a tiny factory footprint.

The chip powering the browser you're using to read this came from a silicon wafer.

Growing pains: Finding cofounder-level partners to wrangle up funding and partnerships. We're post-$250k seed with blueprints ready to go on our prototype fab.

3
jtfairbank 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not making "the world" a better place, but I will make medical residency scheduling a breeze. And as a non-profit leaving most of the value created on the table, I hope to make medical education in the US less expensive.

Long term goal: bring consumer level web apps to the medical administration (and other public administration) industry, while "investing" the value we create back into the system for everyone's benefit by doing it as a non-profit. Right now it's primarily US focused, however I hope to one day port our technology to other first and second world countries.

I'm super proud of my teammates, who are currently forgoing pay (and even their own living space) to help me make this happen. Check us out: http://resident.cs.illinois.edu

4
syedkarim 23 hours ago 1 reply      
We are building humanity's public library: https://www.Outernet.is

We take content from the web and broadcast those bits over satellite; no subscription required to receive our data broadcasts. We are currently available in North America, Europe, Middle East, and North Africa (two separate satellites). We expect to be globally accessible by the end of the year and will start our mobile service in early 2015.

We are working towards putting a library in every village, home, and pocket.

5
Theranos 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What we are working on here @ Theranos is to redefine healthcare by making actionable health information accessible to people everywhere in the world at the time it matters most, were working to enable early detection and intervention of disease and empower individuals to live the lives they want to live. And we're doing it on single drop of blood.

http://medcitynews.com/2014/09/theranos-ceo-wants-to-make-bl...

6
monkcoder 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Working at NASA here. (Should be self-explanatory?)
7
realpundit 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Making the world a better place often goes unnoticed because there's little to no money involved.

And where there is the most need, there is little media coverage. There's a big wide world outside of the US and Europe.

10
Ask HN: One man bootstrapped SAAS business, do you disclose that to clients?
14 points by codegeek  5 days ago   11 comments top 9
1
patio11 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't throw it in people's faces, but equally don't attempt to hide it. I was very self-conscious about it years ago, but clients have by-and-large responded very positively to it.

My favorite way for massaging the issue is: "Yep, at present I'm the only person working on this full-time. There are plusses and minuses to this. For example, we can't offer round-the-clock phone support standard with our plans. That's a minus. On the plus side, any time you have a problem, it gets dealt with by me, who built the software and has all necessary authority to fix your problem, rather than somebody reading from a script in a call center somewhere. Your call on who you want to rely on when it's something critical to your business." (I stole this line from Jason Cohen and oh boy does it work.)

I would encourage you, if you deal with larger companies, to be able to walk the professionalism walk while you're talking the professionalism talk. When I started by business ~8 years ago I was a kid with a web app. These days, I might think of myself like that, but when I'm talking to the IT department at a hospital words like "designated HIPAA compliance officer" and "errors & omissions insurance policy" and "LLC" come up a lot.

2
dangrossman 4 days ago 0 replies      
If they ask, sure.

With over 100,000 accounts across 3 SaaS businesses, maybe a dozen people have ever asked, or clued themselves in after realizing I personally responded to all their support requests for years. I don't know of any paying customers I've lost over it. If the product works and they get good support, they're happy.

3
drsim 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a one man bootstrapped business (at the moment). Judging by my help@ emails, most customers perceive my company to be a bunch of people. I don't hide it but I don't shout it out either.

My customers tend to be small too, so it has been much more of a positive if they find that I'm similar to them. I can't always respond to email within a day in which case I'm up-front about my limitations.

And who likes the copy/paste responses you get from many SaaS, especially the likes of PayPal/eBay/Amazon/Google et al? You have a massive advantage to build loyalty and relationships by stamping your personality and approachableness on your comms.

That said, maybe if you're shooting for monthly subscriptions from enterprise clients $1k+ it can hobble you. Patrick at Kalzumeus seems to know that area well.

4
rabidonrails 1 day ago 0 replies      
This probably makes a difference based on the level of availability that your clients expect from you and based on how "corporate" they are.

Corporate clients like working with bigger companies. Why? Because the person making the decision doesn't want to have to justify the decision to use a startup. Even thought the payoff might be greater to go with the startup, it's the _easy_ decision to justify by going with a large, established company.

5
Terpaholic 4 days ago 0 replies      
As a one man bootstrapped SAAS business, I generally omit that information unless asked. If the question is asked, I answer truthfully. The hardest part about being a one man startup in my experience actually is getting press coverage. When they ask you about your "Team" and you say it's you and a freelancer, the conversation seems to end pretty quickly.

I'd love to hear others opinions on how to approach the press as a one-man bootstrapped SAAS startup?

6
MattBearman 4 days ago 0 replies      
I bootstrapped and run BugMuncher on my own, and while I don't shout it from the roof tops, I do have a few rules:

- Never use the "royal we"

- Always sign emails personally from me - No making up fake employee names or 'BugMuncher Team' sign offs

- If someone asks then I'll tell them.

So far I've not had any issues because of my one-man-band status.

7
cygnus_x1 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wouldn't go out of my way to disclose unless in someway it's an advantage (it usually isn't).

If you do need to disclose, I found some solid responses to "It's just you?" are at https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/enterpris...

8
scottmcquin 5 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think they should care.

Would you care if the owner of a restaurant showed you to your table, took your order, cooked the meal and then cleaned the table after you left? Probably not.....as long as the quality is high.

9
1123581321 4 days ago 0 replies      
It depends on what the customers think and if what they think is why they subscribed. If they think that the business is larger and more stable, and value that, they won't be happy.

Personally, I prefer to be visible as an opinionated single founder from the start because it attracts customers who want me to 'win' along with them. I like the model of Brennan Dunn's Planscope in this respect.

11
If net neutrality falls, what happens next?
43 points by pastycrinkles  3 days ago   54 comments top 16
1
freakonom 3 days ago 2 replies      
Companies will gradually start selling services piecemeal at what will be promoted as a "discount", where you buy a tiered package of sites. "Obviously, you only need Facebook, Google, and Buzzfeed. Why are you paying for that shitty internet you don't need?"

Public praises the lower bills, talk shows argue incessantly, and nobody grasps either the tech or the economics: the price of the discount is that large tech/infra companies no longer have to worry about competition, and can levy arbitrary entry fees.

Gradually the big companies open up walled app stores that let you run your internet applications within their parameters, rules, and fees. Since this is the only way to reach anyone, smaller upstarts/devlopers grudgingly accept the new way of things, until the whole shenanigan is disrupted by a little guy meeting an unmet, undervalued need out of left field.

And the cycle repeats.

2
justinmk 3 days ago 4 replies      
It would be nice if NN advocates focused on improving competition in the ISP space instead of using this as a reason to give the FCC control over yet another communication medium. Mesh networks and more ISP choice would "enforce" net neutrality via consumer signals instead of the "just make it happen" solution being proposed.
3
msoad 3 days ago 2 replies      
Right now most of non-neutral networks exist specially outside of the US in cellular networks. They allow Spotify or other media streaming services deliver content to the user without charging user's data plan. Most of the companies competing in media streaming space, specially those with paid subscribers are big enough to pay the ISP for the fast lane (Beats, Netflix, Rdio etc). One exception is the fast lane (or maybe VIP lane in this case) for Facebook in developing countries. I've seen Facebook let users with no data plan whatsoever use the service in Trkie. You can see how this makes it hard for other social networks to catch up.

I don't think US cable companies make a tier system for websites. It doesn't make sense. All the non-media traffic isn't much that worth the discrimination. Most of the un-neutrality will be in cellular networks and media delivery.

4
eloisant 3 days ago 1 reply      
We actually have an example of "non neutrality" in France. One of the major ISP (Free) is throttling Youtube because it considers Google should pay them for the traffic to their users.

Consequently, Youtube is pretty slow on this ISP.

5
MyDogHasFleas 2 days ago 2 replies      
Let's parse the premise.

"If net neutrality fails"

-- "net neutrality" -- you probably mean the currently popular version of this, which is "don't let ISPs create fast and slow lanes, and charge for the fast lanes." Or, even less precisely, "Don't let ISPs slow down the Internet."

The problem with this is, the FCC is actually not proposing to let ISPs create "slow lanes". It is proposing to allow ISPs to charge fees for better quality of service, not to degrade the service that's already provided. In fact the proposals quite specifically forbid this.

-- "if ... fails"

The problem with this is, net neutrality is not in effect now. And has not been at all in history, except for a brief period before the courts shot it down (because the FCC was overstepping its authority). And, nothing like the "fast/slow lanes" version of the predicted net-neutrality-copalypse has happened.

So to say "what if net neutrality fails" has it exactly backwards. We already know what the no-net-neutrality world looks like, we are in it now. The real question is, what if it succeeds? What will happen then?

6
vonklaus 2 days ago 1 reply      
America would be seen as less competitive. There would eventually be a brain drain in the mid-term as developers either did not emigrate, or did immigrate out of the country as other markets offer better value. Developers will start creating programs so that all traffic is masked and can not be differentiated, things like usenet will proliferate. Hardware entrepreneurs will created localized meshnets in major cities. Also, people could actually flip out. It is the dumbest thing to do from a political standpoint. Ancient Rome placated the people with panem and circus. Poverty is already pretty widespread so many people live for entertainment. If you knock this out people will wake up a bit when they have to pay a fuckton of money (that they don't have working minimum wage) for netflix.

It will likely lead to a massive decline in American supremecy.

7
chx 2 days ago 0 replies      
You need to realize packet filtering is not without costs. Nor is negotiating with most companies. Finally, you can't get blood out of stone. Altogether meaning -- the ISPs will go after the largest of traffic producers with a threat of pay or be throttled. Some evidence, beyond what Netflix says for eg. https://twitter.com/msonnabaum/status/504073659124703232 suggests something like this is already happening. But I can't see Verizon putting up an online shop saying "Buy X TB of VIP traffic for your domain". In the long run -- perhaps even that will happen. And then? And the you will pay...
8
transfire 2 days ago 0 replies      
At first nothing. Most of the change will be behind the scenes where ISPs will start charging content provides more and more to deliver their content. They'll leave the little guys alone, and on the slow lanes, for now. But if your site gets popular plan to pay the piper! After a while, say 5 to 10 years the ISPs will lick their lips and start offering competing services. They will keep these services at arms length so it doesn't look so much like a competing service, e.g. NBC (which is Comcast). They'll squeeze the various third party players and buy some of them up in the end.

So the future looks a lot like the past: ABC, CBS and NBC with a smattering of a few others, e.g. Google.

9
biren34 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who ran a wireless ISP for 3 years, there is the possibility of new competition. Wired networks are crazy expensive, but we were able to build a profitable infrastructure by renting rooftop space on tall buildings and doing directv style installations. Consumers weren't willing to pay much, so we ended up focusing on business customers. If enough people are willing to pay for neutral pipes, it might reinvigorate competition in the space--at least in dense urban areas. Our big fear at the time was fiber rollouts. Neutral nets would be a competitive advantage against big players we didn't have back then.
10
brandonmenc 3 days ago 2 replies      
Nothing.

Quality of service will remain, at worst, as it currently is, and no one will notice a difference.

Netflix et al. will continue to host cache devices with ISPs, torrents will still work, video chat will still work, and chances are no startup will ever be forced to pay ISPs to deliver their packets.

No one will ever be presented with the option to purchase a "Social Media/Streaming/whatever Internet Package," but maybe they'll be offered the option to upgrade to a more explicit SLA with bandwidth/latency guarantees.

Maybe some kids will DDoS an ISP or two, but the effect will be nil.

That's my prediction.

11
evan_kastl 2 days ago 0 replies      
We create collective ISP's. WISPs are more and more viable and advances in RF technology will make backbone cheaper and more distributed.
12
bowlofpetunias 3 days ago 2 replies      
Americans have swallowed second rate telecommunications services, extortionate prices and lack of competition for ages and will continue to do so, because the alternative is evil socialist government regulation.
13
Qantourisc 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think it will need to get rather bad, before people will act. Before that any tools made would be used.
14
coldcode 3 days ago 0 replies      
You won't ever find out because no information will come to you not intended by someone else.
15
dvanduzer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is this a question about Internet Neutrality or internet neutrality?

e.g. ISPs like CBS or AOL?

16
sspies 3 days ago 0 replies      
Could it be a business case to open up the routing system to users?
13
Ask HN: Where can I get the white lable solution for a web to print website?
2 points by kevivforever  8 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
pjungwir 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I helped out on a nice photobook editor that is here:

http://pook.io/auth/login#designStage=demo

Its particular advantage was that web-to-print was very accurate and reliable, so you could depend on getting a book that looked like what you saw on the screen.

The owner eventually decided not to bring it to market, but he might be interested in hearing from you. You can read more about the project here:

https://github.com/atotic/pb_server

2
thePrimate 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Just some clarifications:

- by "whitelist" you mean "white label", right?- What features are you exactly looking for?

14
Ask HN: What's going on with all the new cookie warnings?
2 points by adzicg  9 hours ago   6 comments top 5
1
antocv 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Its not your web-browser that is asking you for that cookie shit,

its the websites themselves implementing shit with javascript, css and html.

They do this because the EU put out a directive ordering basically every website which operates in the EU to do so. To tell the visitors that in fact they are storing "data" on your gasp computer maybe without your consent.

There is no way around it, as each websites implements it differently you cant just block it, thanks to the fucking EU for ruining parts of the web.

2
why-el 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends where you are, and I am guessing the EU, since I came back from vacation from the US back to Germany and I was treated with lots of warnings, especially from the BBC.
3
pkinsky 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It means: 'we've already added a cookie to your browser, please click 'accept' so we don't get sued'
4
sauere 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's the EU.

After they have regulated the "curvature quality standards for cucumbers" (this isn't a joke, see http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX...) they needed something new to justify their job, so now they are doing all sorts of "we da internet naoo" regulation, including this cookie madness.

5
InclinedPlane 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Legal changes in the EU, which have actually been in place since 2012.
15
Not sure what to do with my startup idea
12 points by coingig  21 hours ago   23 comments top 11
1
byoung2 20 hours ago 1 reply      
hiring a coder is going to be very costly once programming and design are included

You should start learning about coding now, not with the intention of building the app yourself, but with the intention of becoming more knowledgeable about what the developer's job entails. If you find a developer and say "build me an app" you might get estimates like 12 months and $50k. If you know that you just need a news feed, you can say, "can you take this jQuery mobile template and wrap it in Phonegap, and create a simple database to store a data feed from the following sources, you might be able to get it done in a few weeks for $300 [1].

https://medium.com/@morphmail/the-first-300-a-startup-launch...

2
cosmosraker 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Before you put a lot of money into development, don't forget to validate your ideas first. I highly recommend the lean startup methodology.
3
revorad 8 hours ago 1 reply      
See if there's a way for you to implement a simple version of the idea without writing any code, and just using a blog or email newsletter.
4
jyu 16 hours ago 2 replies      
If you've been doing digital marketing for 8 years and are pretty damn good at it, I'm surprised that you're having trouble paying for a coder. Digital marketing is typically closer to sales and revenues. The effect your work has has (and thus your compensation) can be orders of magnitude higher than programmers.
5
issa 21 hours ago 1 reply      
In an ideal world, you could partner with a developer who would built it in exchange for equity. There are ways to make that happen...go to meetups, put an ad on craigslist, etc. Just remember that developers get these sorts of offers ALL THE TIME. Make sure you stand out.

Personally, I'd be wary of spending my own money on paying a contractor to build something. It will be expensive and there is no guarantee of a good outcome.

Good luck!

6
ada1981 16 hours ago 0 replies      
We could use a good digital marketer to help with Codective.com and we could also build your app. Anthony@prmatch.com
7
onechik 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I understand you pretty well because I'm in the same situation now. So what I've done? I've created something like a prototype using Prottapp (design was made by my wife in Adobe Illustrator). Another tool for this is Balsamiq. After this I'm going to create a crowdfunding campaign for further developing as I don't have enough money for it. May be you can try to do the same
8
pulakm 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Sam has a great blog post about this: http://blog.samaltman.com/non-technical-founder-learn-to-hac...

The title says it all - learn to hack.

9
nyddle 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe you can start with a web app that is much cheaper?
10
creativeone 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I would go with Odesk.
11
Deluxo 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Not a startup guru here, just a coder. Please take into consideration that a good programmer wouldn't put best effort for cheap as well. I think you should search for programmers with enthusiasm + skill combo. Good luck!
16
Ask HN: How do I set up a HIPAA-compliant server?
67 points by th3o6a1d  2 days ago   50 comments top 22
1
chasb 2 days ago 7 replies      
(Disclosure: I'm a co-founder of Aptible.)

As noted in other comments, most of HIPAA is not technical. Most of the requirements relate to risk assessment, policies, training, incident response, etc.

With that in mind, I'm going to quickly run down all of the major moving parts and then cover some of the technical considerations for setting up a server.

HIPAA has three main rules you need to comply with:

1. The Privacy Rule - Governs the use and disclosure of PHI (protected health information). Applies to all forms of PHI (verbal, written, electronic, etc.).

2. The Security Rule - Governs safeguards for electronic PHI

3. The Breach Notification Rule - Governs your responsibilities during a security or privacy incident

The Security Rule has a general security standard, some documentation/retention rules, and three sections of safeguards. They are:

1. Administrative Safeguards

2. Physical Safeguards

3. Technical Safeguards

Some of the safeguards are mandatory. Some are "addressable," meaning if you don't implement them you must document why you chose not to and what other safeguards you applied instead.

Most likely, you're going to start with something like the following for your servers:

1. Sign a BAA with any service provider who is going to touch PHI for you.

2. Restrict physical and logical server access to authorized individuals. Document how you restrict access and why the methods chosen are reasonable and appropriate given the risk posture of your organization. (There's a LOT packed into this step.)

3. Log all access and data modification events. If you use a logging service that isn't HIPAA-compliant, make sure you're not including PHI data you send them.

4. Encrypt data at rest and in transit, including inside the network perimeter. Document your network topology and access points.

5. Implement backups according to your organization's HIPAA contingency/disaster recovery plan. Document the backup scheme.

A few caveats:

- I haven't addressed application-level security. The same requirements apply, but the implementation differs.

- Your customers will demand additional safeguards that aren't in HIPAA.

At Aptible, we help with all of this, plus all of the other requirements (risk assessment, policies, training, etc.), so you can get a complete handle on your compliance status.

2
wyc 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are a few options if you want HIPAA compliance. Note that "HIPAA compliance" is somewhat of a loaded term in that there aren't many super-technical benchmarks to meet, but a general "do-good" attitude including (but not limited to) some of the following points:

- Physical server isolation: you cannot have other instances sniffing around in your deallocated garbage memory.

- Encrypted data stores: physical theft of the server should not provide access to your data.

- Server providers who can sign a Business Associate Agreement: many hospitals and firms with medical data require this in their stipulations.

- Audit trails for database modifications, access, etc. Basically, log everything, and this has to be encrypted too if it contains protected health information (PHI).

- All PHI over HTTPS if you have a webapp. NO PHI OVER EMAIL OR HTTP.

- "Soft" guidelines such as password complexity measures, auto session expiration, disallowed multi-sessions.

Again, this is not an exhaustive list. You really need to check with a lawyer who knows this stuff. The fines are enormous (read: business-ending) if you break the rules.

How do you work to implement these? Well, find a host who is willing to sign a BAA. Here are the two major contenders I'm aware of:

- Use Amazon AWS; they're willing to sign a BAA with you and provide you the physical server isolation you need. However, this doesn't come cheap. Expect >$2,000/mo in costs to keep this configuration. Also, you'd better be a network pro or willing to learn how to manage VPCs correctly to provide proper network-level isolation for the databases.

- Use aptible.com (they happen to be a YC company, and I don't know of anyone else doing this). Frank & Chas (the founders) are very responsive and aim to provide a comprehensive package, including backups, audit trails, and even employee training. The Docker-based and heroku-like interface is very appealing:

https://support.aptible.com/hc/en-us/articles/202638630-Depl...

This option is still expensive. They host on AWS as well, so you're paying for the server costs + premium. However, this will still be a lot cheaper than hiring a competent sysadmin to make sure the execution is flawless.

3
USNetizen 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's not just the server - it's the storage, accessibility (compartmentalization), and transmission of sensitive data (PHI and PII) at all levels. There is a lot more to HIPAA/HITECH than just server configuration - there are legal agreements you have to enter into as well (BAA's), insurance requirements, and potentially a lot more.

I'd suggest you work with a company that has a lot of experience in this area before you inadvertently find yourself fined (or sued) into bankruptcy.

4
sebst 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's a big task on its own and it seems a bit in-transparent to me.

However, you may want to have a look at TrueVault[0] which has been featured on HN[1].

[0]: https://www.truevault.com/

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7033188

5
michaelmachine 1 day ago 0 replies      
As some people have mentioned here, there are other issues to think of besides the IT aspect. There is employee training, risk assessment, policy development, and the business account agreements. Accountable is a company that focuses on these type of issues to make them easier by providing things like employee training, ready to use policies and procedures, and business association agreements. I found them while learning about HIPPA compliance, and I have not actually tried the product but it looks like it could be useful for you, so I thought I would mention it here. http://accountablehq.com/index.html
6
th3o6a1d 2 days ago 2 replies      
@USNetizen -- You're right...I should have clarified that I want to know how to get an entire stack up and running, although I don't trust myself to do this unassisted.

I'm just surprised at how few resources there are that explain what it takes, and I hope that someday soon, healthcare startup CTO's will be referred to clearly documented open source solutions that are fairly fool-proof, rather than paid-for services (@sebst). Amazon's compliance page is unfortunately uninformative (@byoung2).

7
voska 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you want a HIPAA-compliant server setup for you: https://www.aptible.com/ S14
8
HIPAATraining 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi,

training-hipaa.net provides Server Disaster Recovery Plan Template which is the part of HIPAA Compliance.

This Server Recovery Plan documents the strategies, personnel, procedures and resources necessary to recover the server following any type of short or long term disruption. You can find more information about this over here http://www.training-hipaa.net/template_suite/Server_recovery...

9
th3o6a1d 1 day ago 0 replies      
Surprised no one has posted this. From the folks at TrueVault. https://github.com/truevault/hipaa-compliance-developers-gui...
10
th3o6a1d 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for all of your comments so far. Synopsis is...it's complicated. There are basically no straightforward guides and no reliable, tried-and-true open source solutions that can be deployed with minimal security expertise, at least with respect to the technical setup.

Options are to go with a service company like Aptible or TrueVault, or fumble through vast amounts of obtuse technical and legal documentation, then hire a security expert to audit your homemade system and hope that everything goes OK. Both options, as they currently exist, require a fair amount of $$$.

11
jeffasinger 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd just have someone else do it for me. There are many "enterprise" level hosting companies that can help you with that.

I believe that rackspace has a pretty program around compliance.

12
ak217 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you are trying to set up a service for processing or storing PHI, you may be interested in DNAnexus (https://dnanexus.com/), which focuses on compliant high throughput data analysis and storage for genome information, but can be used to store other types of PHI data. (Full disclosure, I work at DNAnexus). Email in profile if you want to go into specifics.
14
byoung2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here is some info about doing it on AWS

http://aws.amazon.com/compliance/

15
kevin_morrill 2 days ago 0 replies      
One missing point in this thread: there is no such thing as HIPAA compliant. There is no government organization that will sanction your set up as "compliant". The HIPAA legislation imposes fines if you leak data, but does not prescribe how you prevent that.

That said, the thread does have some great safe guards and industry best practices you should look at.

16
czczcz 2 days ago 0 replies      
We have been very pleased with the True Vault solution and the responsiveness of the team when needed, worth looking into for your needs.
17
Gelob 2 days ago 0 replies      
(Disclosure: I work at FireHost, not in sales!)

We sell cloud but focused on security, compliance, and performance. Check us out.

http://www.firehost.com/secure-cloud/compliant/hipaa

18
mp99e99 2 days ago 2 replies      
We have audited HIPAA compliant hosting, at a reasonable price:

https://www.atlantic.net/hipaa-compliant-hosting/

19
th3o6a1d 2 days ago 0 replies      
@voska "Starting at $3499/month with an annual contract" -- Seems like security experience comes at a price... That said, it's worth taking every precaution to protect patient data.
20
StephenGL 2 days ago 0 replies      
We used to use a hosting company Layered Tech that had a HIPPA compliant offering. If you need HIPPA compoanxe I suggest getting it as a managed service.
21
snorkel 2 days ago 1 reply      
If one big customer is demanding you be HIPAA compliant then they probably want to see a certification, and depending on size of customer they may be willing to provide funding for that certification. It takes months but the certifying service will provide consulting and training. Essentially it all about tight access controls, encrypting data at rest, and documenting everything and everyone who has access to the internals.
22
philip1209 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not an easy process .

Check out TrueVault - HIPAA-compliant data store that is a YC grad.

17
How do you determine where the lines between under and over engineering are?
4 points by jpmcglone  19 hours ago   11 comments top 5
1
AnimalMuppet 2 hours ago 1 reply      
To my mind, over-engineered means "designed to solve problems that it won't actually need to solve". Under-engineered means "not designed to solve problems that it will actually need to solve". So it comes down to an accurate assessment of what problems the system/program will have to solve.

The next question is, "What is your time frame"? (Dwolb already said this.) Is this system going to need to continue to work for a week, or for 30 years? You're not going to be able to predict all the problems you'll face in 30 years, so if that's your time frame, you need to design something that's flexible enough to be (somewhat) easily changed to handle the unexpected.

The next question is, "What are the consequences of failure?" You over-engineer software that flies in the space shuttle, because if the unexpected happens, your software has to continue to work, or people die. At that point, it's not over-engineering - it's necessary and appropriate. But it would be over-engineering to write software to the same standards, when the software is running a web page.

2
Dwolb 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I've never seen this clearly defined. At the root, criteria for engineering come from the intended uses. If the product is meant to last for 5 years and you design the product for 50 years, you've probably over engineered. If the product is meant to last for 5 years and you've designed for 6 years, you MAY have under engineered, given a statistical variance for failures over time (e.g too many failures happen at 4 years instead of 6)

So, an academic answer, it depends :)

3
bjourne 6 hours ago 1 reply      
There is no over and under engineering in software development. Can the software be written in a simpler way? If yes then it is not "right-engineered." If no, then it is. Writing software is more similar to mathematical proofs (ask yourself, how do you know when your proof is done?) than bridge building.
4
loumf 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I judge it by how amenable the code-base is to the kinds of changes I need to make over time. Over and Under resist common changes in different ways.
5
jpmcglone 19 hours ago 0 replies      
For the visual folk

Engineering:

[under(0) -> right(5) -> over(10)]

18
Looking to start a partnership with a programmer
3 points by nmccutcheon  18 hours ago   13 comments top 5
1
ninavizz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Nate: I'm somewhat in the same boat. To get my business moving, I will need a CTO partner to drive the ship forward. Getting a minimum-viable-product built though, is all on me. Which I'd gone-out, assuming I could find friends to help me out with. Nope. No time, summer taveling, and everyone's loaded-up with paying work.

I'm a UX'er by trade, a self-taught mechanic/builder by hobby, and languages are my achilles heel with learning. So, I've taken A LOT of flack for many years, for not learning how to code, beyond my basic understanding of how things all fit together, need to support each other, and being able to edit other peoples HTML/CSS.

As a solo-founder however, it's all on me to deliver. Advisors and investors have (as gently as possible) told me that.

https://generalassemb.ly/ is expensive, but it's done a great job in a classroom setting, teaching app frameworks basics to n00bs. When I have the money and the bandwidth, I'm looking forward to taking it. Then there's also https://www.hackerschool.com/about, which is a paid retreat, so expensive on many levels.

I was really impressed with the codeacademy.com experience, and it filled-in many blanks for me that made me feel competent in CSS and HTML, for the first time ever. Using Javascript with JQuery is going to be a much more daunting challenge, because its entire mental model I still don't grok.

But, I'm trying, anyway. I managed to get one critical JQuery piece to work, and the otherI gave-up on but am coding the page, anyway with a static stand-in. I figure that once I've gotten all of the HTML and CSS and what of the JQuery I could do, done, at that point it will be easier to get friends to help me patch the holes. If not, then I will just pay a freelance Javascript person, to spend a day patching holes (and I honestly don't see what holes there will be, taking a day). Remember: Minimum Viable Product, doesn't' need to be fancy. :)

From, a gal who's gone-in kicking and screaming with every bit of learning code... but will probably be a more well rounded CEO, for it.

2
damian2000 14 hours ago 0 replies      
You should consider that many app developers won't take kindly to suggestions like this - its often seen just as a way to get some work done for free, with no risk on your side. There was a discussion on reddit the other day about exactly this subject ...

http://www.reddit.com/r/androiddev/comments/2h0uy1/whats_a_p...

3
yoloswagins 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Nate, welcome to Hacker News!

Ideas are a lot of fun to think about, but it's work to bring them to fruition.

When it comes to a partnership, people want to know about you, and what you bring to the table.

Add a comment about your personal background, or your idea. Everyone here is working on their own idea, so your idea is safe :)

You'll find that people are more likely to ignore you, than steal your idea.

4
nmccutcheon 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Okay so as recommended. I am 28 years old. I am starting business school next year and really hoping to get a couple more projects under my belt. Recently a team of us developed an algorithm which predicts stock market movement. We are still developing the algorithm and automation behind the scenes but are seeing some very good returns over the last several weeks.

I can always provide more about myself, but my idea is an app that hopes to improve the customer experience, by connecting local business and customers in a way that has not been done.

Hope this help, I think 50/50 can work and I am willing to learn or do what it takes. I have been told I am an extremely resourceful person and not afraid to put myself out there to make a project succeed.

5
styles 18 hours ago 2 replies      
50/50 never works.
19
Ask HN: Where can I find an example of a professional functional specification?
5 points by xoe26  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
GFischer 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm. I've never seen a requirements document for a 6-figure contract.

I have seen some for low 5-figure ones though.

One starting point could be the IEEE standards (IEEE 830 and 1233)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_requirements_specifica...

http://www.math.uaa.alaska.edu/~afkjm/cs401/IEEE830.pdf

although it's old and superseded

http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/159274/what-s...

According to Stack Overflow

"29148:2011 standard seems to replace the IEEE 830:1998."

There are also plenty of books on requirements, like for example:

Mastering the Requirements Process Second Edition by Suzanne Robertson, James Robertson (published by Addison Wesley Professional )

Edit: hopefully there are people here on HN that routinely either write or receive requirements documents of that magnitude and can help you more than I do :)

2
brd 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've handled my fair share of large scale functional specs (not as a freelancer though) and I've gone through the process of drafting a 6 figure SOW before. I don't have any examples to give you but if you'd like some feedback/guidance I can potentially help. Feel free to contact me (email in profile) if you're interesting.
20
Ask HN: Did you have second thoughts about Go from a business perspective?
8 points by rsto  1 day ago   14 comments top 7
1
tptacek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like Golang and have used it on two commercial projects.

I've also gotten to work with tens of companies that use Golang for things internally (we consult for software security).

My advice is: Golang is great, but use it like most established companies do: for smaller and/or specialized backend components.

What I might not recommend is doing a soup-to-nuts SAAS application entirely in Golang. We use Rails as our frontend for Microcorruption.com, and Golang to do the heavy lifting of emulating thousands of microcontrollers.

Sticking with something convention for your front-end solves a couple problems:

* Golang's front-end capabilities aren't as mature as Ruby's and Python's. You can find yourself fighting the libraries a bit. In particular: you'll end up writing a lot of boilerplate database code.

* There is a much broader base of talent for building Rails and Python than there is for Golang. And: most teams have people that specialize on front-end and (a usually smaller) group of people that do the hard-core backend stuff.

* Backend components are usually architecturally hidden, which should give you some peace of mind about ever needing to replace those Golang components --- you might never need to do it if you draw the right boxes and arrows, and if you do, at least you'll be replacing a well-defined component.

2
mechanical_fish 1 day ago 1 reply      
What are you afraid of? Go is compiled. You have the compiler. You have the libraries. You have your code. You have perpetual licenses to run these things, and even to fork them. Construct yourself a solid build chain, the kind that works even when you unplug it from the network. Bundle it inside a virtual machine, and it'll probably still be runnable in two decades.

The dependencies that you need to avoid are runtime dependencies, the kind that can disappear overnight. Does my deployment depend on Rubygems or NPM being up? Did I accidentally build in a hard requirement for Google App Engine? Did I use a licensed piece of software whose license could be withdrawn overnight? Is there only one person who can even read my fancy-pants source code, and might that person suddenly decide to become a guru and retire to a distant mountaintop with no cellular access?

But there's no sense in fretting about what might happen on a five-to-ten-year timeframe. Face it: In ten years, the code you write today will look old. Using Java won't save you. The fact that Android is based on Java doesn't mean that ten-year-old Java apps support Android in any meaningful sense. Ten-year-old Objective C code is stale: It doesn't support iOS, it doesn't use new features of Mac OS. How do you even know which Python will be most popular in production in five years, Python 2 or Python 3?

Your code will evolve over the next N years, and if Go spontaneously implodes -- a very unlikely event at this point -- you'll do what the Docker folks are going to do: Keep using it for months or years while you port it to whatever comes next.

3
robdoherty2 1 day ago 1 reply      
I know of several startups in NYC using Go to great effect; bitly's nsq comes to mind: https://github.com/bitly/nsq

The NY Times open sourced a very cool tool "streamtools" that was built in Go: https://source.opennews.org/en-US/articles/introducing-strea...

Your question also reminds me of an interesting talk I saw at RICON: https://speakerdeck.com/al3x/nobody-ever-got-fired-for-picki...

4
bulte-rs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Started out with a small project; even a rewrite in a different language would not matter that much (a 40 hrs writeoff or something).

As long as it increases developer happiness; I'm game with whatever language. :D

5
codeonfire 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't see how any business except Google could rationalize using it. Maybe if a company hopes to someday be acquired by Google they might use it to impress some Google execs. Even if it could rapidly evolve, which it probably wont being an ivory tower project, Google won't put the same resources behind it that Microsoft did with visual studio, .net, and c#. It will become what Objective c is to developers, an annoying language they occasionally have to deal with.
6
blooberr 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's how I did it and it'll sound like a geico commerical:

I saved about $1000 a month switching from Ruby to Go by refactoring a backend system. I was able to clearly demonstrate the reduction in resources and the switch was seamless.

Hard to argue against that.

7
auganov 1 day ago 1 reply      
What are you gonna use it for?Go seems to have a strong foothold in cloud-related projects (i.e. Docker, Flynn, many parts of CoreOS). So if you're in the same niche it's probably an okay choice even if only for community reasons.But if you're doing something app-level you're probably taking a big risk.
21
I am locked out of my PC because of Windows 8 Login catch-22
58 points by ionwake  1 day ago   43 comments top 20
1
yuhong 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is the trick to boot from another media, rename utilman.exe (in system32) to something else, copy cmd.exe to utilman.exe. Reboot to original installation, then Win-U will open a command prompt. use net user username password /add then net localgroup administrators username /add to create a new local account. Don't forget to rename your backup of utilman.exe back afterwards. You may have to take ownership then change permissions in order to do so.
2
svennek 1 day ago 2 replies      
My advice: Boot a linux live distro (like Knoppix or systemrescue cd), move your data to an external harddrive.

Reinstall OS (factory reset?) and learn :)

3
greyskull 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is it common for people to create accounts without noting the credentials? I'm not saying MS is without fault here, but I would think one would at least note the details long enough to get what one needs.
4
haliphax 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been caught in this catch-22 due to my hotmail account getting hacked a while back, but it's not tied to my Windows login -- just everything else to do with Microsoft. I guess I'll actually have to get it squared away soon, because it's taken down my Twitter account (minus one OAuth-authorized app that I can still use) and will soon take down Dreamspark, as well. :( Terrible system! I only ever used my hotmail account for MSN, so I can't answer any of their e-mail-related questions.
5
pavlov 1 day ago 1 reply      
Since it's a brand new laptop, just reinstall Windows? There's probably a restore partition that you can boot into which will do that.
6
jnevill 1 day ago 1 reply      
Similar issues with xbox. The stupid crap Microsoft makes you jump through to recover an account that is only set up to make on of their pieces of software or hardware work is insane. It took me two days to get access back to my account so I could unlock a game for my 7 year old on his xbox. Microsoft's security requirements are garbage.
7
Someone1234 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had a very similar problem with Skype (also now a Microsoft company).

I had been using this Skype account for years. Suddenly one day out of the blue my account was suspended and I was asked to recover it, no biggy I thought, since I had access to the email account AND didn't set it up with gibberish (i.e. real name, real address, etc).

Here is what Skype asked for (with remarks):

      - Contact email (easy)          - Account Creation year (who knows this?!)          - Country of registration (easy)          - Payment history (huge problem, discussed below)          - Skype 3 contacts (buggy, needs the Skype usernames, not "friendly" names)   
On the face of it this seems "easy." Except it is super buggy/finicky and Skype's support has zero alternatives. In fact they told me to register a new Skype account if I couldn't complete the form(!). They even sent that reply to my registered email address.

The main issue I had with the above form was, Account Creation Year (I didn't know it!), Skype contacts (it needs either Skype name (e.g. BSmith123) or email address, NOT profile names/friendly names e.g. "Bob Smith").

Payment history is just horrifyingly terrible. I tried my current credit card (nope), current debit card (nope), old debit card (nope), and even somehow tracked down my long since cancelled old credit card (nope). I also tried other with a comment (nope).

After being without access to my Skype account for several weeks, I tried setting my Payment History to "Never paid for Skype" even though I actually had (many many times)! Worked. After logging in I had an expired credit card on the account (one of the ones I tried several times).

In order to finally gain access to an account I lost access to for reasons I still don't understand, I had to:

      - Search through several boxes looking for old cards          - Pull down a backup of my Skype profile and extract Skype profile names for my contacts using an SQLite tool           - Search tons of historic emails for my creation date (never did find it)         - Contact support half a dozen times (they were utterly unhelpful).

8
colanderman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Who is your employer, that they would fire you because one of your (apparently) two usable computers is out of commission for a day?

I don't know the specifics of your situation so I could be wrong, but unless your employer has actually said "I will fire you if you ever have computer issues, grr!", your job is probably not in jeopardy. Shit happens, employers understand.

(If in fact your employer is enough of a dick to fire you over this, then, ouch good luck!)

9
Mandatum 23 hours ago 0 replies      
You should try buying from their store in a country with only 1 IP. You're required to have a MS account, but you can't create an account because the IP has "too many" accounts created on it.

I contacted Support who told me to go do it on a public wifi.

What? Firstly, one country, one IP.

Secondly, you want me to submit my credit card details over wifi?

WTF.

10
arenaninja 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was wary of the whole e-mail thing... It does state at some point in tiny letters or some such that it is changing your system credentials to the e-mail/pw combo, so I decided it was best to not set it up (I don't want to type an e-mail, I might not even want credentials).

Unfortunately I have no useful advice for you, I can only say that you have my sympathies

11
ionwake 1 day ago 1 reply      
UPDATE 3 :

I H A V E A C C E S S

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP

JUST A REMINDER - Microsoft if one of my all time favorite companies, and slips like these happen in protocols and large organisations, I hope I was able to highlight the problem and hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Thanks again everyone!!!

12
cozy1955 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am having the same problem! I have been trying for several days to sign in to outlook to retrieve my email w/o success.They keep asking for my code to protect my security which they say they will send me one by phone..I've yet to receive it. After several attempts this a.m. was told too many attempts to obtain code and to try again in a week. What am I doing wrong? Fortunately I can retrieve email and f.b. on my kindle. I am not a computer guru so very frustrated!
13
benologist 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you get past this you can disable using your outlook account in lieu of one actually on your PC. I found the default to be incredibly annoying having to type in the stuff 1password generated.

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/quick-ti...

14
ansible 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, for future reference, it is still possible to create a local-only account with Windows 8. The process is made intentionally obscure and cumbersome. However, I always do this, and don't have my login account tied to Microsoft.
15
chrisBob 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a Microsoft store that you can visit with this laptop? I have heard they provide free tech support even to computers not purchased in store.
17
Bahamut 1 day ago 1 reply      
Call their technical support.
18
Intermernet 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you press escape on the login screen do you still have the option to login with your old account, or has it changed the name and password on your existing profile?
19
calewis 1 day ago 0 replies      
lol
20
VLM 1 day ago 0 replies      
"which my professional life depends on"

windows isn't ready for the enterprise

22
Ask HN: How would I get started with this project?
3 points by marketingadvice  23 hours ago   1 comment top
1
jtfairbank 21 hours ago 0 replies      
You could do a web game using js and html5 canvas, and use some libraries to help make it work on mobile. If you wanted to include your ruby skills, develop a simple API and send requests back to the server (high scores, simple saved games through serializing state, # of games played, etc).

If you need help on the web side of things, I'm happy to offer some pointers and the occasional code review. Email me: jtfairbank+hn /at/ gmail /dot/ com

23
Ask HN: A new way of online buying and selling. Viable?
21 points by sksa  2 days ago   29 comments top 10
1
edent 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've read this through twice, and I'm still confused. Can you explain this idea in a single sentence? Or describe how the customer journey works?

It sort of reads like "A customer comes to my website and asks me what's the best price I can do on a pair of Beats Headphones." Is that right?

Why would a customer enter a bartering phase with you, rather than just seeing that Amazon sells them for x?

2
lis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are you proposing a reverse market, such as Zaarly initially did? If so, Fishbacks quora post about their pivot may explain to you why it's unlikely to work:http://www.quora.com/Why-did-Zaarly-pivot
3
NicoJuicy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think it's a bad idea, if i'm not mistaking... You are going to contact suppliers / authors of Amazon and say: hey, i have a buyer for your book for 9$ instead of the 9,99 on Amazon.

The author will just delete your email, why would he spend one minute on confirming the deal for a lousy 9 dollar, he doesn't care and he already has his lowest price on Amazon. If he agrees with you, then Amazon will also want a lower price (and then it will cost him a lot of money)

4
drivingmenuts 2 days ago 0 replies      
I get the impression that writeup could be condensed down to a single paragraph. I wound up seven or so several introductory paragraphs.

That said, I think the idea of keeping prices personal and private is great for boutique services, but generally sucks otherwise. When searching for products and services, I'm usually looking for price first and reputation, etc. later, since that's nearly impossible to prove in a depersonalized internet service.

In other words, anyone can put up a website proclaiming that they are the most awesome at whatever they do so they can justify a price point, but there's no way to prove it objectively.

So, we're left with cost. The rest is just what you can stomach.

5
pgwhalen 2 days ago 0 replies      
So it's like a dark pool (in the capital markets sense) for retail, in which you try to undercut the market maker's (Amazon) spread by narrowing it yourself and not telling anyone about how narrow it is? It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it would work because (as many commenters here have already said) Amazon's spread is already quite narrow.
6
reelgirl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unless one has an original product or one of a kind product there is no way to charge less than Amazon. Well, there is one way and that is if Amazon runs out of the product you happen to have then you will be allowed to sell yours.

Amazon monitors the trend and has the purchasing power to buy trending items and sell at a low price. Amazon does not allow you to set your prices lower than theirs.

7
nishithrastogi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Jet.com wants to undercut Amazon, by providing dynamic prices. They have raised 80 million prior to launch, and in past have done diapers.com.
8
duckingtest 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have no idea what's special about your idea. All I got was that you want to sell things cheaper than competition?...
9
6d0debc071 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a consumer, how does an absence of price competition lead to lower prices for me?
10
md2be 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is this a joke?
24
Ask HN: Is Startup School worth it?
2 points by karangoeluw  21 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
nicholas73 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's like going to the premier meetup event, but as meetup's go, it's really random and depends on what you have to offer as well. If you are impressive and have traction, you get more ears. That said, you shouldn't go thinking you will find co-founders or investors. There are SWARMS of people and it simply isn't set up for that except for brief breaks to network. In the end, the benefit could be little, so it's really a personal decision. How much is ~300 dollars worth to you? Do you have any other reasons for the trip? It was nice to talk to other potential founders, but personally it didn't jazz me one way or the other. My business was still my business.
2
bluerail 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Being very involved in the Startup scene, What's more rewarding than a place full of like-minded humans..?
25
Tell HN: Save your two-factor authentication backup codes
12 points by hansy  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
oftenwrong 23 hours ago 0 replies      
That's a nightmare if your business is connected with that account. I wish more services employing two-factor authentication had the backup codes feature. My bank, domain registrar, and server host do not have it (but at least have 2FA). For my google apps email, I have them printed out on small cards. One in my wallet, one in my bag, one at home, and one with a trusted third party.
2
smileysteve 1 day ago 0 replies      
A) If you can get a new phone (or you have a backup phone you can activate quickly) you can get a 2 factor from text.

B) You can have multiple devices with the 2 factor app. (i.e. Nexus 7 and phone)

26
Ask HN: What's the best company to buy an SSL certificate from?
93 points by petecooper  3 days ago   83 comments top 28
1
powertower 3 days ago 3 replies      
Th problem with EV (green bar) certs is the Browser usually ends up checking the certificate status via CRL or OCSP (URI is specified in the cert), which can add an additional .5 to 10+ seconds before the page is displayed. More so when the CA servers are down or the connection times out.

So if you do go for an EV cert, go for the one that has the best listed uptime on it's CRL or OCSP servers.

Having said that, I would never spend more than $10 on a cert, and just use the most standard/common "bundled" CA cert. No one will ever know. It will have faster page loads. And those fake stories that EV certs increase conversions are exactly that, fake, and misleading. No one will real world experience has ever claimed to see a positive difference with EV certs.

The only problem with cheaper certs is you have to bundle the intermediary CA certs...

http://www.devside.net/wamp-server/installing-comodo-positiv...

2
kfreds 3 days ago 2 replies      
Pick one that can deliver the full certificate chain without using SHA-1.

The faster the web moves away from SHA-1 the better, and rewarding companies that are already abstaining from SHA-1 contributes to our collective security, in the case of HTTPS.

You should also do it for purely selfish reasons. Chrome is sunsetting SHA-1 for use in certificate signatures, and Chrome will eventually show SHA-1 certificates as insecure. See the link below.

http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.se/2014/09/gradually-su...

3
michaelbuckbee 3 days ago 2 replies      
To the point of EV certs, if you haven't checked in a while the browser vendors have _really_ started to de-emphasize non EV (standard certs).

Here's a visual comparison I put together:

https://www.expeditedssl.com/pages/visual-security-browser-s...

How you feel about this probably centers around whether you view SSL more as a cryptographic means of securing a connection (stopping traffic snooping) or if you view the SSL+Browser iconography as a means of site identification (stopping phishing attacks).

4
iancarroll 3 days ago 5 replies      
My startup is actually centered around this. If anyone wants to purchase a certificate through me, I'll happily give you the lowest rates I can. ($25 EV or $40 wildcard)

Our homepage is https://certly.io, shoot me an email at ian@certly.io

5
AdamGibbins 3 days ago 3 replies      
1. DigiCert. They're not the cheapest, but they really have their stuff together. Their support is awesome (speedy, technically competent, and human). They're also proactive about identifying issues with your certs, they handled the heartbleed incident perfectly - reissued for free with no issues.

2. No

6
madhurjain 3 days ago 3 replies      
https://www.startssl.com

2 Years wildcard for $59.90

7
mrweasel 3 days ago 0 replies      
I honestly don't think it matter much where you buy your certificates. In the end it the same product, plus or minus some service you may of may not care about.

Should your certificate provider do something stupid you can switch to a new provider in 30 minutes, assuming you don't pick EV.

The EV certificates look good, but that's about it. They do come with at least two disadvantages:

1. If your company name is different from the domain name it's going to look weird. We dropped having a EV because we're not interested in having the name of our parent/holding company in the address bar.

2. If you later switch back to a regular SSL certificate is going to look suspicious to your regular customers.

That being said, we use Trustzone (http://www.trustzone.com). They provide GlobalSign SSL certificates at a reasonable price. I like that they email us, or call if we don't react, a few months before our certificates expire. We also have our own account manager who helps with new certificates and renewals. It's extremely nice just be able to call someone.

8
agwa 3 days ago 1 reply      
Check out my startup, SSLMate: https://sslmate.com. What sets SSLMate apart is that we're working on making SSL certificate management extremely easy on Linux servers. You buy certs from the command line in a single step that takes a minute or less and automates important details like bundling the chain certificate. You can set up a cron job for automatic renewals. Even well-run sites have been known to forget or botch cert renewals, and we want to put an end to that by automating everything. Many features are in the pipeline and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Regarding EV certs, they're not worth the extra money and inconvenience. They provide no additional security, and the assurance they provide visitors is highly questionable (e.g. see shiftpgdn's comment about how switching to a non-EV cert resulted in absolutely no change in order metrics: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8344666).

9
ayrx 3 days ago 1 reply      
Just to address point 2. No. Those who say yes probably do not understand what EV certs actually do.

You get the exact same level of security from EV and non-EV certs. The whole "extended validation" criteria is pretty handwavy and varies from CA to CA. Paying more for that warm, fuzzy feeling isn't worth it.

10
hackuser 3 days ago 2 replies      
Don't EV certs create a net increase in security risk (if any web users understood what they were supposed to mean)? I'm not expert in these issues, but I've always doubted their security value:

EV certs are supposed to communicate certainty[1] to typical web users about identity, confidentiality, and integrity. But, if I understand correctly, obtaining EV certs in someone else's name (or something close enough to fool web users) is possible without great cost, and so that message of high security is misleading. If EV certs were believed by end users, wouldn't we merely be creating a social engineering security hole? Competent thieves also would use EV certs and increase trust in their websites too.

Thankfully, I've never met an end user without technical knowledge who understood what an EV cert was. I do know what they are and I don't trust them more than regular certs (which is not much for identity, but I do as protection against low-cost confidentiality and integrity attacks).

[1] Re: "certainty": I know EV certs are supposed to be more secure and not perfectly secure, and that there is no perfect or 'certain' security. However, few end users understand the latter, and of the ones that do few would take the time to learn the degree of increased security EV provides. We shouldn't say, 'trust the green bar' unless we expect people to do it.

11
nnrocks 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recently purchased an ev cert for one the my client in Netherland from https://www.cheapsslshop.com

they are good with price and service, you may give them a try.

12
IgorPartola 3 days ago 0 replies      
startssl.com gives out free certs to individuals. This is great for personal projects, blogs, etc. Otherwise I use Namecheap and their $9 certs. I have not found a great wildcard cert provider yet (why all certs are not wildcard by default is beyond me).
13
cheald 3 days ago 0 replies      
1. I use Namecheap, generally their resold Comodo offerings. No complaints.

2. No. An EV cert is nice little warm fuzzies, but the absence of it doesn't really tell me anything useful that would dissuade me from making a purchase.

14
junto 3 days ago 0 replies      
And cue the SSL resellers and affiliates!

3. 2. 1. Go!

15
petecooper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you, everyone - this thread has been enormously helpful to me. I am grateful for your time, attention and input.
16
corford 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hard to beat http://gogetssl.com price wise. I'd get a Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard so you can use it for the main site and the static sub-domain. That way one cheap cert covers everything and it's SHA-2.
17
thesimon 3 days ago 1 reply      
1. In terms of pricing, https://www.gogetssl.com seems good. I haven't used it personally, but $27.85 for an EV in the first year seems quite nice. Namecheap is good, too, but a bit more expensive.

2. Yes

18
guyinblackshirt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been happy with cheapsslsecurity.com, they are resellers but they offer huge discounts compared to the actual issuers.
19
roustem 3 days ago 1 reply      
I used https://www.ssl2buy.com/ in the past few months and it worked well.
20
jacquesm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Make sure you get an SHA2 certificate as google is deprecating the SHA1 certificates over the next months.
21
avinassh 3 days ago 0 replies      
1. Namecheap according to me.

2. Yes.

22
julie1 3 days ago 0 replies      
SSL certs are an untrusty ransom based on the tyranny of bad UI.

FF, and chrome and IE are totally ok with login/pass passing in clear over http, which is wrong. But when you don't have a certificate signed with by one of the root certificate in your wallet it screams to death. (Which is totally in hierarchy of risk WTF).

Your wallet contains organization that should have been shut down according to the rules of SSL: we normally cannot trust any authority that even once or for good reasons emitted a joker certificate to make a MITM (or helped people doing so).https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2138565

In your web browser default certificates list you find microsoft. in 2007, they put in IE for the Ben Ali gvt a special certificate to be able to do a MITM on the tunisian opponents. (ofc those using ff would see a warning).

MS did not emit the certificate, but for them who can issue SSL certificates that's clear not right to provide a SSL joker root certificate in its web browser used for MITM (without your nice little icon you care about to get red).

MS is still in my list of trustful SSL certificates. How can you trust them. If they could betray once for a few money (tunisia had less money as a state than MS, google, whatever country) they have incentive to redo it again.

Knowing MS has gone through the death penalty, other SSL issuers can now have an incentive to do the same.

SSL central certificate are NOT to be trusted anymore. We have proofed once a company in our "trustfull" wallets betrayed without consequence. So betraying is OK.

My recommandations: - Ever dane (but that is a combinat) or the new technology google is secretly working on (maybe mozilla too),- set a cookie on http landing page ssl_cert_on=bool- if not present redirect to http://www/my_cert- give a link to your self signed certificate on your domain so that your user add it its wallet securely (must be a js or a MIME extension to set so that IE/FF/google open at the "add this certificate to your wallet page"- correct the world and FF/Chrome/IE mess by providing a way for the user to read the mess of the X509 certificate (for which domain this cert is valid, the fingerprint)- correct the world another time by explaining to your customers it is normal they should not trust this special web page or this certificate and give them links for them to check your allegation, (knowledge and tools) - provide another secured way to access your cert fingerprint (DNS SEC TXT record for instance, snail mails, flying carrier, PGP mails...)- and make a rant on how much security UI/UX is so much sucking and poorly thought that it is the major security hole nowadays and how all security guru giving us advice on how to code to "secure" code should be regarded as cons that should be imprisoned.

Then, now that you corrected the whole "what gone wrong with central authoriy"'s mess, you can very easily make your free self signed cert secure certificates and sleep on your 2 ears because your customers are now understanding security the right way.

If you understood nothing of the text above, just buy a normal certificate to whoever you want. You will be "safe" according to the green icon, and this is all that matters in the real world.

23
24
asaddhamani 3 days ago 1 reply      
1. SSLS.com is rather nice.

2. Yes.

25
minhdanh72 3 days ago 0 replies      
1. cheapsslsecurity.com2. Yes
26
logub 3 days ago 0 replies      
Geotrust work better for us.
27
tosh 3 days ago 0 replies      
DigiCert
28
middleclick 3 days ago 1 reply      
No love for Gandi?
27
Chapter Two of Peter Thiel's New Book
220 points by sama  8 days ago   discuss
1
tlb 7 days ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend the whole book.

The biggest danger with this line of thinking is picking a straw man version of what everyone else believes. Or of underestimating the difference between belief and execution.

In this case, few sophisticated investors truly believed that page views were the ultimate metric. But those were one of the few publicly available metrics you could compare between websites. Their problem was in execution (getting better engagement and monetization metrics) rather than mistaken beliefs.

Straw men are common in startup pitches: "Our software will be powerful and easy to use", as if their competitors had a different goal.

So before proceeding on the assumption that everyone else believes something silly, think hard about reasons why it might only appear that way.

2
Anderkent 8 days ago 4 replies      
> Consider an elementary proposition: companies exist to make money, not to lose it.

I'm not sure I agree with that proposition, at least in the general form in which it's stated.

Yes, the objective of any particular company is to make money. But is that why companies exist? We support the concept of a company, build laws and systems that allow one to be created. And clearly the reason we have those laws and system isn't so that the company can make money.

So the instrumental goal of a company is to make money, but the terminal value of companies existing is something different. Perhaps it's that they help us collaborate on issues that outscale any particular mind (though in that we have to be mindful of the Moloch [1] and keep in mind that corporations think in alien ways [2])...

If so, corporations exist to solve human issues primarily; and making money is only a measure of how successful they are at that.

1: http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/30/meditations-on-moloch/

2: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/12/invaders...

3
rcamera 8 days ago 1 reply      
Thank you for talking to Peter and sharing this.

For those interested in more, Blake (the co-author from the book) took Peter Thiel's CS183 class in Stanford, and has class notes freely available on his blog (the notes generated the idea for the book, from my understanding):

http://blakemasters.com/peter-thiels-cs183-startup

I highly recommend the book.

4
staunch 8 days ago 1 reply      
VCs in the dot com bubble were not confused about whether companies should make money or not. VCs knew exactly what they were doing: making money for themselves. They were raking in millions by pumping up companies and dumping them on the public market. A classic ponzi scheme. Eventually the public market realized what was going on and the party stopped.
5
sama 8 days ago 1 reply      
6
minimaxir 8 days ago 0 replies      
Another excerpt was posted on Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/peter-thiel-how-to-create-inn...
7
clairity 8 days ago 1 reply      
the yc app has a form of this as one of it's questions: "what do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don't get?"

one of thiel's general business examples is "capitalism and competition are opposites". although his point is sound (business schools explicitly teach you to look for ways to avoid/eliminate competition), his definition of capitalism is a bit distorted to make this phrase work. capitalism is a decentralized economic system for deploying capital efficiently based on supply and demand, not simply for accumulating/concentrating capital (which is how thiel sees it).

8
samirmenon 7 days ago 1 reply      
"Conventional beliefs only ever come to appear arbitrary and wrong in retrospect; whenever one collapses, we call the old belief a bubble."

I couldn't help but feel that, in 10 years, Silicon Valley's current bubble (which Peter Thiel buys into) will seem this way.

9
iand 7 days ago 1 reply      
I haven't read the book but I'm interested in other people's opinions on how much predictive power is in his ideas. It's clear he, like many other entrepreneur writers, has presented something with good descriptive power. He can describe why something was a good investment or why something else failed, but does he provide any kind of framework for predicting success?
10
olalonde 7 days ago 2 replies      
"Our contrarian questionWhat important truth do very few people agree with you on?is difficult to answer directly."

Didn't this question originate from Peter himself? I recall he claimed so in an interview from Pando but I can't find the link.

11
quartzmo 7 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the excerpt. It's not long, but I enjoyed the writing, it's crisp, fast-paced, and covers a lot of ground. (I imagine Peter's lectures to be similar!)This gave me the confidence to order the book.
12
uladzislau 8 days ago 0 replies      
The course (CS183) which this book is based on was outstanding and the authors claim that they extended and improved on the course. I'm looking forward to the book.
13
graycat 7 days ago 0 replies      
It seems to me that Peter describes a lot of mistakes and then proposes mostly some new ones.

After the initial dust settles, what we wantis a valuable, defensible, first good or a much better,must have and not just nice to havesolution to a problem where such a solution canbe the crucial, nearly sufficient means ofa valuable new company.

Okay, now for the lesson: However we come up withsuch a solution, we have to evaluate it.Well, we can look around just a little andsee that some parts of our society are very good at technical evaluations ofsuch solutions. With everything else beingassumed, a successful technical evaluationis supposed to be able to remove about alldoubt about the business success. E.g., theideal solution would be a one pill, safe, effective,cheap cure for any cancer. Big company? Sure. Done.And we should expect such solutions in other areas.

In particular, we are able to plan, propose, andhave evaluated just on paper solutions formajor problems. Examples: Hoover Dam. The new World Trade Center.The Erie Canal. Powered, controlledflight as the Wright brothers were on theway to Kitty Hawk. The SR-71.GPS. Many more. Evaluated just on paper,and then executed as planned. Sand HillRoad needs to be able to do much the same,and that is much of what Peter is missing.

Instead of such solid history of projectevaluation, Peter goes off on variousemotional reactions to variousirrational flights of triviality in variousheadlines, etc.

Peter, friendly advice: Learn how toevaluate research results and theirapplications to valuable, practical projects.E.g., borrow from evaluations of GPS,the SR-71, Hoover Dam, etc.

14
eXpl0it3r 8 days ago 8 replies      
Can someone explain to the people that don't understand who "Peter Thiel" is and what this new book is about? I hope, I don't offend anyone by not knowing, I usually just use Hacker News to get some News articles and am not too much involved with YC and the whole community behind HN...
15
icpmacdo 8 days ago 7 replies      
Awesome I really want to read this book but it is sadly over 30$ up here in Canada.
28
Thirty-something freelance developer. What next?
16 points by odev  3 days ago   17 comments top 9
1
mnort9 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Would love to create my own software and start selling it, but everything's been done already"

You need to get this idea out of your head. Maybe a lot of "obvious" ideas have been done already, but there is an infinite amount products to be built. Society's needs change very quickly, in turn, products will built to accommodate. Look at ProductHunt, new products everyday.

2
hopeless 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm very similar: same age, skills, background.

Off the top of my head:

1) You've got to stop calling yourself a "freelance developer". Start using "consultant" (and then read lots about what that means and behave accordingly). You are not a hammer.

2) You seem jealous of younger project managers. Are they paid better? Have they more prestige? More control? More influence? What specifically bothers you? And then

3) Stop just coding. It's a great skill to have but you and me can be coded under the table by a 22yo who costs less, drinks more Red Bull, has more energy and fewer commitments/distractions.

4) We can keep learning new technical things but there's far more value in learning how to apply our existing skills to specific domains. Get closer to the "business". Learning more about marketing. Understand sales. Use your coding skills in those areas and you can side-step comparison to younger developers and the typical software project hierarchy.

3
odev 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have to add this:

Probably I'm just an old spoiled fart having an early midlife crisis. I know exactly what I don't want and I know more-or-less what I want:

* I'm used to working remotely from home and flexible hours and that works super for me

* I love responsibility and independence: I don't want to be part of a team where a couple of people do the same thing. I can do the whole solution on my own OR I can be a part of a team with clear responsiblity separation, where for example someone does the backend, I do the frontend etc.

* I could come back to management only when I'd succeed with my own product and had to handle company growth.

* So essentially, in the end I would prefer to end up with my own product, but for the time being, I'm seeking opportunities that allow me to work independently (or semi-), take reponsibility and work from home. Freelancing does that, but as I said: most PMs are in their twenties, and finding well paying client that wants to invest in a quality remote developer is hard.

* Maybe I'm just whining.

4
hank_tepaliu 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am very much in the same position (same age, Europe, nearly two decades experiences in the tech industry, both in management and engineering, turned freelance three years ago).

Here is what I did in the last months: I trimmed down my consulting revenues to 2 workdays a week and am now building a lifestyle software business. After a couple of false starts I picked a product that a.) would bring me immediate benefit once it is built b.) already has competitors out there. That second part is important to me: It minimises my risk picking a product idea without market. If there is enough demand for my variant of this product is a hypothesis to be proven, but I am willing to take that risk.

tldr: I would not look for something that has not been done before. I would take something you use everyday and make it better (for you). It sounds like a platitude but I think there is some truth in it.

good luck

5
s3nnyy 3 days ago 1 reply      
I doubt that "everything's been done already". There are people who would kill to get the skills you (probably) have after 23 years of building things.

Everyone wants to "make something people want" (you can do the "make" part for sure) and "be relentlessly resourceful".

6
percept 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you really want to build your own products, I'd encourage you to continue pursuing your own ideas until you find one that works--there is always room for one more.

Another thought is that if you're comfortable as a manager, and are already freelancing, then perhaps you could explore replicating yourself and building a consulting/services business.

7
czbond 3 days ago 1 reply      
Become a principal or senior software consultant or architect. Many enterprise consulting houses are looking for senior people with a lot of experience. Go the route of software architect - not just coder and you can earn a very nice salary. You can look at large orgs in Europe, eg: Amaazon Web services consulting arm.
8
arisAlexis 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you want to do some % of your time as an experiment, working for a pre-launch very early startup for some future equity with no immediate payment, we are looking for people like you. drop me an email
9
motyar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Start packaging and selling your services and when you get too busy. Automate it with software.

No one want to buy a software, they are looking for solutions. Solutions that saves them time or money or both.

29
Startup School acceptances are out
52 points by phildini  3 days ago   60 comments top 14
1
hkmurakami 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'd love to know which other HN'ers are going to be there, but without each of us spamming up this thread.

Any clever solutions?

2
gokulnaths 3 days ago 4 replies      
I got accepted but I've to travel a long way -- from India, is it worth it? I do have plans to set up a bunch of meetings pre and post event, though. (oh and how difficult is it to get a meeting scheduled with big names? I know it's a naive question but still...)
3
yurylifshits 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hey, let's do a San Francisco meetup this weekend!

How about 4pm, Sunday September 21, Ritual Coffee on Valencia Street?

If interested, ping me at yury@yury.name or http://twitter.com/yurylifshits

4
lele0108 3 days ago 0 replies      
Facebook group for those interested in connecting:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/286093088248929/286099334914...

5
snaheth 3 days ago 3 replies      
I got an acceptance letter and a rejection letter. Someone please let me know which lol.
6
techtivist 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'll be renting a car from SF. For folks wanting to carpool with me, sign up here with "techtivist". Others with a car, feel free to add yourself here as well. http://www.groupcarpool.com/t/97khv4 First come first serve. It should come to around $20 each (including gas and rental) per head, against $80-90 Uber ONE WAY! I'll be leaving from Richmond, but can pick up from anywhere within SF or a short diversion from 101.
7
HorizonXP 3 days ago 1 reply      
Odd. I've been going for multiple years, and I got rejected this time. And just my luck that I already bought my plane ticket and booked an Airbnb.

That sucks.

8
phildini 3 days ago 4 replies      
Last year I hosted a tour of the Eventbrite offices for Startup School folk. Is that something that is of interest to attendees this year?
9
cperciva 3 days ago 3 replies      
Dumb question from an out-of-towner: Does it make sense to stay in a hotel somewhere in the Mountain View / Sunnyvale / Cupertino area and use Uber to get around? I'm not a fan of bay area traffic, so I'd prefer to Caltrain from the airport to a hotel and use Uber after that if it's feasible.
10
keithwarren 3 days ago 3 replies      
Got accepted, not sure whether to be excited or not. Could be one of those things where most everyone who applies gets accepted because most people don't end up coming. (anyone know numbers on that?) Pretty sure I will go...2000 miles isn't really that far...
11
billyboar 3 days ago 1 reply      
How do people from other countries attend the event? Do they send invitations, so I can get visa and be there? I'm crazy enough to travel 6506 miles to feel that experience.
12
kungfoo 3 days ago 1 reply      
Boo. Got rejected. I wonder if I screwed myself by applying twice (once a few weeks ago and once on Sept 11) For some reason the system let me....
13
samiur1204 3 days ago 0 replies      
Strange, I haven't yet gotten an email. Has everyone gotten an email or just people who've gotten in?
14
chug2k 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a potential Show HN project, but I'd love to arrange some carpools from SF...
30
Headphones/earphones for work
10 points by AndriusWSR  2 days ago   14 comments top 12
1
aj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Audio Technica ATH-M50XJust got it recently and they're awesome. They do not have active noise cancellation. Since they are over the ear, they cover the ear and with a good set of ear pads, they block out all office noise (unless you work in manufacturing ;) )

Based on reviews that I've read (not compared personally) they are much better than comparable beats.

These cans are a tad on the expensive side but worth it

3
CAPTyesterday 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just picked up these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005N8W1TM/ref=oh_aui_detai...

Liking them so far. Decent amount of dampening of noise (not actually noise canceling, but closed-ear), super comfortable, good price.

4
japhyr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I bought a pair of Koss PortaPro headphones recently, and I've really enjoyed them so far.

http://www.amazon.com/Koss-PortaPro-Headphones-with-Case/dp/...

5
_RPM 17 hours ago 0 replies      
These are a little more expensive, but I use them.

http://www.boominaudio.com/CXC700

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kogir 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like open-ear headphones like the Sennheiser HD650 because I don't have to take them off to talk to people, and at reasonable volumes they don't leak enough sound to annoy anyone nearby.
7
CWIZO 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know of good headphones with a microphone and that they are over-the-ear type or have noise cancellation?
8
tga 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good resource here if you need some recommendations:

http://thewirecutter.com/leaderboard/headphones/

9
thetest3r 2 days ago 1 reply      
Velodyne vQuiets, which are noise cancelling and on sale for about $69.

http://velodyne.com/vquiet-noise-cancelling-headphones-black...

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hiby007 2 days ago 0 replies      
Audio Technica ATH-M50X, best headphones out there.

Very comfortable, Have neutral frequency curve. And have enough bass, just the right amount of base.

11
petras_12 2 days ago 0 replies      
Beats earphones. Really good, price is $100, though been having issues with my laptop detecting microphone recently
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massappeal 22 hours ago 0 replies      
BeyerDynamic Custom One Pro
       cached 23 September 2014 20:05:01 GMT