hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    12 Dec 2014 Ask
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1
Ask HN: How transparent should your startup be?
15 points by bike_index  3 hours ago   4 comments top 3
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jmathai 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd venture to say it has little to no material impact on how successful your business will be. If you believe in tranparency then you should be transparent.

I wouldn't suggest using transparency as a marketing tool. Most of what I've read seems to have a serious case of survivorship bias (I haven't listened to the Cohen talk).

I'd focus on your business and what's important to you.

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joshcrowder 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting question - I've been thinking along the same lines.

I current share - Wages, Intership programmes, Size (I dont pretend to be larger than we are, we used to but its beneficial not too for us.)

I'm concerned about sharing rev as well, but I have shared it with clients who have asked.... Its odd some clients mainly enterprise will ask whats your yearly rev as if its not a personal question.

I'm leaning towards being more transparent, sharing your burn rate in a particular way is OK. However its about messaging. If you write a blog post advertising the rate and its bad, I'd see that as negative. However if it comes up in conversation (article or RL) then I dont see the issue with sharing.

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bike_index 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks to donw for suggesting the Jason Cohen talk. It's a really good video.
2
Ask HN: Where to start on creating AI for games?
78 points by foxpc  14 hours ago   42 comments top 29
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DaFranker 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Creating "AI/bots" for games comes in three parts/flavors/divisions:

First, and the most critical to most games, is basic behavioral AI. This includes things like pathfinding, locating targets, attacking, and otherwise making an entity in the game interact with the environment in the game.

Second, you've got the more abstract parts, the "high-level decisionmaking". This is the AI's strategies and tactics, such as communicating with other AI, coordinating with squad members to circle an enemy, deciding when to change weapons or throw a grenade or pull back to reload, etc. In most cases, developers put in many crude heuristics here either because they don't have time to think of anything better, or for performance reasons. This will look like "if known nearby enemies > 2 and ammo < 20%, find safe point to fall back, reload". The developer thought up this quick rule of thumb and told the AI to do this, without having to code the AI with the intelligence and information the developer used when making up this rule of thumb.

Third, bot creation (for the usual "hacker" version/meaning of the term, as in e.g. bots used by AFK players to farm) is significantly different than making an "official" AI as a developer or writing a replacement AI using available scripting in some games. For most games, bots will involve various hack techniques for retrieving information about the game world (occasionall literally involving visual pattern recognition, which is a whole other ball of yarn (and separate type of "AI") you don't want to mess with just yet). Bots will also usually involve indirect control of the game character by using some third-party program to "send" keys to the game using OS functionality. This is probably not what you're interested in, and you'd need to learn at least some basics of the first two to be able to achieve anything here.

One thing that was rather popular a while ago is to just dive into a game like Robocode[1] and work up your way until you can code one robot that will on its own beat various competition-grade robots without user input to adjust for the opponent's strategies.

[1]http://robocode.sourceforge.net/

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teamonkey 14 hours ago 2 replies      
1. Grab Unreal Engine[1]. It's $20 per month, but you can cancel after the 1st month if you don't want to receive updates.

2. Download the Unreal Tournament project[2]

3. Examine the bot code and start tweaking

[1] https://www.unrealengine.com/

[2] http://www.unrealtournament.com/

Unreal is an industry-grade game engine that is also quite accessible. AI can be scripted in Blueprint (a visual dataflow scripting language) or C++.

Unreal Tournament 2014 is 100% crowdsourced. If you own the Unreal engine you can download, play it, modify it and - if your modifications are good enough - feed them back in to the game itself. The community is apparently very welcoming.

4
johnymontana 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Learning the A* pathfinding algorithm is a good starting point as this is common in simple tile games. These two links should get you started:

[1]: http://www.raywenderlich.com/4946/introduction-to-a-pathfind...

[2]: http://theory.stanford.edu/~amitp/GameProgramming/

5
growingconcern 11 hours ago 1 reply      
AI programmer here...generally "bots" are just AI that is intended to take the place of a player (typically in a versus setting and not a co-op setting).

If anything bots are tougher to make then "normal" AI since their value is measured by their performance against humans. Also the less you cheat (perfect knowledge of the other players, perfect aim, etc) the better your bot. Having a non-cheating bot beat a human is a major achievement.

The bots for a strategy game like StarCraft is fundamentally different than the bot for an FPS. They use completely different techniques and it's much harder to cheat in strategy game (though ignoring the fog of war is the most egregious). Strategy game AI is more akin to chess AI - lots of search (minimax and stuff). It's a whole field onto itself and you can only learn by studying the AI for that type of particular game.

FPS bots (like counter strike) are much closer to traditional game AI (shooters and such). Books on "Game AI" are a good place to start. Basically the two major problems is where should I go (evaluating cover, analyzing line of sight, estimating where enemies are and trying to pick a good place to stand) and how to I get there (pathfinding and pathfollowing). What you do when you get there is generally pretty straightforward (shooting at the appropriate guy). If you have a cover system you need to be able to tell them how to use cover and this involves a lot of animation (syncing my animations and position up to the cover in the world). But in an FPS this is usually just a question of crouching or not.

The big difference for FPS bots (versus single player enemy AI) is that bots need to choose between conflicting goals (should I go get ammo, should I go get health, should I attack the enemy). If you have a strict hierarchy of behaviours your bots won't be competitive (enter fuzzy logic systems, utility theory and the like - normal behaviour trees won't cut it).

Have fun!

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timme 14 hours ago 0 replies      
To create a good (i.e. actually useful) bot you want to start by spending a lot of time in whatever game you're targeting.

Most bots, or trivial helpers like macros, are written by the players that have spent a lot of time in a game and identified the elements most worthy of automation. The player's lack of in-depth technical knowledge then leads to the mass of crappy bots out there.

If you're coming from the opposite side, i.e. you have technological knowledge but don't know where to start, all you're missing is domain knowledge of an individual game or genre to figure out what you actually want to build.

Edit: it's also worth noting that game AI and bots are pretty different problems.

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duckworthd 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The best start I ever had to Artificial Intelligence was via UC Berkeley's CS188 course[1]. This course takes you through the very foundations of AI, from search to planning to basic probability theory. It's been imitated at universities around the world with its open lectures, slides, homework assignments and project code.

The projects are the very best part of this course. You start with a blank slate PacMan agent trying to pick up dots to something able to track & dodge ghosts without even seeing them (!). It's what inspired me to continue AI research 7 years down the road!

[1]: http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs188/fa11/lectures.html

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Ethan_Mick 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Ants[0] is an AI challenge that is over now, unfortunately, but you can still run through it.

"The AI Challenge is all about creating artificial intelligence, whether you are a beginning programmer or an expert. Using one of the easy-to-use starter kits, you will create a computer program (in any language) that controls a colony of ants which fight against other colonies for domination."

[0] http://ants.aichallenge.org/

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vanmount 14 hours ago 1 reply      
http://codecombat.com/ may be a good starting point for writing simple AI logic.
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dbish 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I used this book for a Game AI class and the examples were easy to consume with a good focus on using the methods in real games: http://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Intelligence-Games-Ian-Mill...

A little pricey, but my favorite intro book for this subject.

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wsloth514 14 hours ago 1 reply      
There are plenty of books online. I would recommend creating your own project and finding something specifically you would want to do with that topic. For a class project my group and I did something simple, like a minesweeper bot. It also included a screen scrapper to scrap from windows and created our own minesweeper game including the AI part. It had about a 30% failure rate because it would get stuck on the 50-50 chances of it picking the wrong square. But that was a lot of fun. We did a bunch of statistics on it also.

This is a very broad topic because it can range from everything from 2D to 3D and different genre games.

I read and enjoyed this one. I would recommend it to start:http://www.amazon.com/Behavioral-Mathematics-Game-AI-Applied...

It covers basics like game theory and goes into some of the mathematics and some code examples.

Here are some good slides from Valve on how they did Left For Deadhttp://www.valvesoftware.com/publications/2009/ai_systems_of...

Good luck, have fun

13
jmnicolas 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Funny (and probably a bit off topic) fact : if today I have a coding job it's because when World of Warcraft was all the rage, after a while I started "botting" then wanting to make my bots better I learned to code and a few months later I was enrolling in an IT school. The rest is history as they say.

If you want to interface with games, I would highly recommend looking at Innerspace (company was named Lavish something). My knowledge is from 10 years ago, it might be discontinued though (I'm not botting anymore).

edit : oh btw if someone at Blizzard read this, I would totally pay for 10 accounts on a botting friendly WOW server. I can always dream ;-)

edit 2 : yup they are still in business : http://www.lavishsoft.com/

14
michaelochurch 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I would say that it's best to start with turn-based games, like Bridge or Chess or (shameless plug) Ambition (and if you take on Ambition, let me know how your AIs do). Some games, like Othello, aren't hard to beat. Or you could do one of the German board games if you want to take on a more heterogeneous environment than in, say, Checkers.

This will get you familiar with game AI as a topic. Then you want to take on RTS and FPS games, which are similar but have deadlines (frame rates) and more complexity in the environment. But it's important to get the basics down before taking on a complicated game.

15
nicolethenerd 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Battlecode (https://www.battlecode.org/) is a programming competition run by MIT every January for programming an AI to compete in a game (the exact nature of the game changes every year. It's vaguely Starcraft-like, except completely played by AIs)

It's open to non-MIT students, as well.

They also offer lectures in January which will be streamed on twich.tv - these may be of some interest to you, even if you decide not to compete.

16
clebio 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Not exactly AI, but the Processing language has a 'flocking' tutorial: https://processing.org/examples/flocking.html. There's also a version in ProcessingJS: http://processingjs.org/learning/topic/flocking/

And, from HN a few days ago, Red Blog games has some awesome, in-depth explanations of game-related programming: http://www.redblobgames.com/pathfinding/tower-defense/

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robmurrer 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe implement Minimax [1] in your favorite language and apply it to a simple game like tic-tac-toe.

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

18
dyeje 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I took a course on AI at University. The course had a lot of projects around video games. I liked the book we used:

http://www.amazon.com/Programming-Example-Wordware-Developer...

Our final project was super cool. We got into groups. Then each group modified the AI of the soccer team in the book. Then we had a tournament to see who's team was the best. Winning the tournament was one of my prouder moments at school.

19
kephra 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Take a look at wildfiregames 0ad, if you like RTS. 0ad is an open source RTS, where its easy to write your own AI in JavaScript.

A much bigger challenge would be an AI that is able to walk an avatar in Secondlife. First perhaps easy walk on the roads in mainland, later walk on arbitrary land, and the real challenge is walk inside buildings. A cat bot that does not fall into the lake, might even be a good seller.

20
pcestrada 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm currently working my way through this book Artificial Intelligence for Games [1] and am finding it very approachable for someone with no background in AI.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Intelligence-Games-Ian-Mill...

21
NicoJuicy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If i'd be on the same quest, i'd first read a lot of articles on gamesutra concerning AI. Here's a quick google search - http://goo.gl/aHZrXj

There are a lot of "handson" examples there from real existing games (with code) and interviews with game developers.

22
ikeellis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What I learned working for Brian Reynolds (Colonization, Civ2, Rise of Natopms. etc...)

Step 1:int result = rand(100);switch (result) {//... do something simple}

Step 2:

Watch the AI until something dumb happens, improve the logic.

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Cthulhu_ 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I've personally did a school project some years ago writing an AI for Transport Tycoon Deluxe, at the time it was a straightforward api; IDK about tthe current status. At the time though, I quite enjoyed it, also because of the subject matter. Linky: https://wiki.openttd.org/AI:Main_Page
24
THansenite 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You should check out CodinGame. I go on there from time to time to mess around with the challenges where you program the AI to do the task presented. Might be a fun way to get in the AI mindset.
25
clebio 14 hours ago 0 replies      
There's also some relevant material in this book, The Nature of Code: http://natureofcode.com/book/chapter-6-autonomous-agents/
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lsjroberts 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I really recommend this article on behaviour trees, it gave me a good intro on how to start with the basic structure of AI - obviam.net/index.php/game-ai-an-introduction-to-behavior-trees/
27
Immortalin 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest learning how to use Sekuli to automate games.
28
logfromblammo 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You could start at the beginning. Some people are still unaware that the four ghosts from Pac-Man each have a different decision-making algorithm. The red ghost always targets the player. The pink ghost targets four spaces away from the player in the direction it faces. The cyan ghost uses a combination of player position, player facing, and the position of the red ghost to determine its target tile. The orange ghost targets the player when far away, and a home corner position when the player is close.

Those four strategies in combination, along with some global behaviors for pathfinding and behavior modes, are often enough to defeat an unaware player. (search: "Pac-Man dossier")

This introduces the concept of strategic archetypes. Human players have them, too. I, for instance, often favor stealthy sniper strategies. The various strategic archetypes often have a complex relationship web from who tends to defeat whom. The player that always tries to do an early rush to overwhelm slower opponents before they can mount a defense may be easily defeated by a trap-and-decoy opponent, whereas that player may lose to a gather-intel-then-send-ninjas player.

To create a competitive AI, first identify how humans play the game, identify the strategic archetypes, then model your bot to pursue archetypal goals. Then, most importantly, determine when to switch archetypes. An early rusher AI has no strategy for midgame or endgame, so perhaps that AI evolves into aggressive expansion, or an ambusher.

But also remember that the point of the game is for the humans to have fun. Avoid cheating, or overusing a game-breaking strategy. Your bot won't care if it loses, but a human may ragequit if he loses to a bot with a perceived unfair advantage.

Of course, there are some games with no human players. There's the "rock paper scissors programming competition" (rpscontest.com), where players submit algorithms, who then fight each other to the death for rank points. It is interesting to see new strategies rise and fall, including those who win by "cheating", such as by manipulating the match-generating program itself, setting the opponent's random seed, examining the opponent's heap or stack, or causing the opponent to be improperly disqualified for cheating.

29
innguest 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Back in the day I really enjoyed Matt Buckland's AI books.
3
Ask HN: What do you think are the most interesting startups in NYC?
6 points by cm2012  4 hours ago   discuss
4
Ask HN: Is it ok to use the same name as an existing service?
5 points by koolba  4 hours ago   7 comments top 3
1
davismwfl 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The bigger question is that even if you get around to launching is it worth having the brand confusion and potential lawsuit.

Without trademarks currently it would be argued that they had the first commercial release and were using the name commercially first. Therefore they may come after you for creating brand confusion if you both start being successful.

It may be a good name but it may not be worth it. You want to be focused on solving problems not dealing with a fight over a name.

Just my 2 cents.

2
gojomo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
IANAL, but:

If they're operating, they have a common-law trademark even if not a formally-registered one. A same-named service of the same general functionality would certainly cause consumer confusion, and possibly damage to their business, putting you at risk of a legitimate lawsuit. Legally and morally, they won the race to that name, so for trade purposes in that field of business, it's theirs.

If you love the idea, there's surely another good name. Perhaps after studying them, and noticing another area of differentiation, that can inspire another name.

You might be able to sell them your holdings, but don't expect much and the offer would have to be delivered very delicately so you don't seem like you're ransoming off properties they already have a strong claim to (and that in their mind, you might have acquired just to shake them down).

3
RubberSoul 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Who owns the trademark?
5
Spanish lobby that made Goggle News to shut down now asks for EU intervention
7 points by jaimebuelta  4 hours ago   discuss
6
Ask HN: How can I get your attention?
7 points by taptak  8 hours ago   7 comments top 3
1
LukeFitzpatrick 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems to me that you want to be involved in startups that have just got traction in the B2C market, AkA created that 'wow' factor that you mentioned.

Your long track record in a fortune 50 company might be the thing that steers you away from getting accepted to such companies. If I was hiring you, the first red flag I'd get is 'this guys experienced' - how much is this going to cost me?

Likely, the jobs at small disruptive companies probably work on recommendations. I see your options like this if you want to make the change:

Option 1: Get a recommendation to a company your interested in and expect a pay cut.

Option 2: Find a startup that you're interested in, offer to help them out, make connections; or, join one.

Option 3: Start your own B2C startup, do it as a side project, build a team and quit your day job when you're ready.

There is nothing worse than doing a job that you're no longer interested in. I know your pain, everybody has been in your shoes at one stage in their life.

This is my email, your welcome to email if you want any advice, lukejamesfitzpatrick@gmail.com

2
mswen 6 hours ago 1 reply      
What do you want to do at the small disruptive B2C software company? Are you wanting a technical development position? Product Management? Operations management? Partnership development?

It occurs to me that being "incredibly well compensated" at your current position could be both at the heart of the problem as well as holding the solution.

Problem: If you are already making 2X or 3X of what the small disruptive company is paying anyone in the company today it is really hard for a founder to figure out where to slot you in, and to believe that you will stick around and stay motivated for 1/3 your current salary.

Solution: If your compensation has been well managed then you should be in a position to invest several hundred thousand dollars. And that, combined with your sales and management experience might be really attractive to a technically sophisticated founder who needs a co-founder with business experience.

3
dshuang 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you tried pitching the b2c companies on angellist with customized proposals for how you can help them sell their product(s)?
7
Ask HN: Why are you stuck in a dead end job?
34 points by astrowilliam  6 hours ago   40 comments top 16
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analog31 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm at the highest level of the technical track within the division of the company that I work for. Moving up probably means moving to a different town or spending a lot of time in China, based on who is getting hired or promoted into those positions.

I don't want to move.

The town that I live in is a nearly ideal place to raise kids. Good public schools, educated and tolerant populace, nearby university, things like high caliber music programs, and stuff is close enough together that they don't have to spend 1/2 of their life in a minivan.

It's a pedestrian- and bike-friendly town. My spouse and I both bike to work. The kids walk, bike, or take public bus to school. I think this is better for their bodies and all of our brains.

2
trwhiteaker 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Stability. Once you start to build a family and lay down roots the harder it gets to be able to move because you have to put family first. What may be 'better' for you might now always be better for the family.
3
saie 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Up until last week I was in this exact same position, Golden handcuffs, enough money to choke a small donkey with as a daily rate but I had lost all job satisfaction. Then they offered me more money, and a 4 year contract. But I bit the bullet and said no! So now I've only just over a month left, with nothing lined up but sometimes you need to just take a leap of calculated faith. I don't know if it is going to work out, but I do know ill be happier on the other end.
4
mercnet 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I work remote and have plenty of time to work on side projects and learn programming. I still get excellent reviews from my peers and manager so the raises and yearly bonus have been decent. I want to make the switch to a developer role but I am insecure about my coding skills. In addition, I love working from home and I would have to replace my aging car with something more reliable if I commuted to a new job.
5
scmoore 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope I'm not stuck, but after a few months not working and an expensive cross-country move, I ended up taking a job working at a university with an old, messy codebase. It's really low-pressure, and if it turns into full-time the benefits would good. It pays just enough, but nothing like people are getting in SV right now. I'd rather do something more cutting-edge and more challenging, and I'd rather be around people who are a little more driven. However I've got the syndrome real good, I feel like "all those people with jobs I want are pro programmers who go write big, beautifully structured, complex software on the weekends for fun; I'm just a guy who knows some scripting stuff that can muddle through some bug fixes."So my plan is... work through some of the interview books, and try to find a personal project that's interesting enough to pursue. I have a hard time motivating to actually write software for myself, rather than for an employer.
6
vonnik 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Until last year, I was living as an expat in a foreign country, whose laws limited my ability to take another job, since employers need to sponsor foreign workers and go through the hassle of paperwork to employ them. I was stuck, then, and now I'm not.

I was also working in a rapidly obsolescing industry, journalism, where demand for reporters and editors is decreasing sharply. People in those positions often feel like they can't make the jump, because they lack the skills to be considered for work in another industry.

While that's not always correct, it is true that early career choices can commit you to economic sectors that end up not doing well. And then you're playing catch up with other candidates who spent their years building more desirable skills.

7
404error 4 hours ago 0 replies      
>I'd like to know why you are stuck

Education is holding me back, I started working at a newspaper when I turned 20 as a Graphic Designer, moved to IT, then to the Web Department. Fast forward 9 years, now my position is mash up of all of these. Everything I have learned has been self taught, I feel like a Jack of all traits master of none. I feel I lack a solid foundation on the fundamentals.

>How do you think you can get out of it.

Honestly I don't know if I can get out of it without putting my life on hold. Which, I can't since I'm pretty much paycheck to paycheck and about to get married. I'm currently trying to teach my self Java to add to my tool chain. (html, css, javascript, php). I'm hoping I can collect enough skills that if I do apply for another job my lack of education will not hurt my chances so much.

>What keeps you there?

The steady income.

>Benefits?

We have them, but definitely not here for them.

>Pay?

Awful, I'm a couple of dollars over an In-N-Out burger flipper.I'm on the Central Coast in California, not many tech jobs around)

>The job is easy?

After 9 years it better be. :-)

8
eccp 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I was on a remote position for several years, maintaining code written by several other developers over the course of 10 years, poorly written and no spec in sight. I sincerely tried to move it forward to current standards, one bit at a time. It improved a bit for a while but from the distance it was a mess and I doubt some of the improvements will ever get deployed.

I went to a lot of stress during that period, but on the other hand it felt comfortable, sharing only a few hours of the day to touchbase gave me freedom to organize the time with the family, there were not many challenges other than managing a big ball of mud, and the hourly rate was much better than my colleagues did working on-site.

On the other hand, there was no prospect of new challenges, or technologies or salary, this was a small business. I did some side projects recently and it gave me confidence to move forward: there were many other companies willing to work remotely with newer technologies and with a better rate.

9
amatxn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have shared custody of my 7 year old daughter in an area (Amarillo, TX) that is geographically distant from metros w/ developer jobs, and Amarillo has little IT presence.

I've reached the pinnacle of technical jobs in my area (lead developer). The job is easy, I do pretty much what I want when I want, work 40 hours or less a week, the commute from home to office is 5 minutes - I can bike it in 10, and eat lunch at home each day. My quality of life is hard to beat. My job also allows me to experiment with many new technologies, so it can be somewhat challenging.

Beyond that, I make a decent salary for the area and combined with my wife's income and low cost of living, we are able to save A LOT.

I'd like to have a remote position, but the above reasons + imposter syndrome keep me from even applying.

10
goodforenergy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone heard of imposter syndrome? It makes it hard to change jobs. Although my managers have only ever had good things to say about my work, and despite being promoted several times, the last time I tried to update my CV to apply for a job I broke down, feeling useless and incapable. I never think my work is good "enough" and often wonder when everyone else will realise I'm actually terrible at my job.

Interviews for someone suffering from imposter syndrome are awful - how are you supposed to come across well if you already feel like you're not good enough for the job?

I stayed at my last company for at least a year more than I wanted to because I didn't think I was good enough to get a job elsewhere. Although I feel like I've recovered somewhat from the worst of my I.S, this question made me realise I haven't just yet - the thought of interviewing elsewhere inspires just as many "Oh but you haven't learned much lately, you've fallen behind the crowd, they won't want you etc.. etc...".

11
quaffapint 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been looking over the past couple years for a different dev job. I'm currently in a giant corporate setting with all the horrible paperwork and useless red tape that goes with it. I get to develop maybe 20% of the time, the rest is trying to figure out how to fill out paperwork about what I'm developing. I really don't like it.

My pay has dropped over the past few years when you factor in health care premiums and cost of living. I'm living paycheck to paycheck, but in my area developer pays are only now just slowly creeping up from 2008 levels. I don't want to move with kids in school.

I really, really keep hoping the pay in the area goes up soon, as I'm disliking my days more and more.

12
lhh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"Dead end" is a bit of a hyperbole, but in two years I certainly don't want to be doing the type of work I'm doing now (finance). What keeps me here is my massive student debt balance and the prospect that this job could pay it off relatively quickly. At which point I intend to start my own thing. Side projects keep me sane in the meantime.
13
weishigoname 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I had ever experienced once, and pay isn't so much, I keep staying there for 3 years, it is because I think I still have much to learn there.
14
LaurensBER 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm learning so incredible much. The job is deadend, the money is not that great but I work on something I really enjoy (programming) with some really smart people in a city which is a rising star in the startup scene.

Sure, I'll jump ship in a few years but until then I'll try to learn as much as possible!

15
bluedino 4 hours ago 0 replies      
No excuses. Just need to boost/sharpen some skills and apply for jobs that aren't in the rust belt. Nothing holding me here and I have the ability to re-locate.
16
curiously 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I've been a software developer for about 5 years. I love working on my own projects but feel really stressed and bored at a coding job.

My escape plan is to move to B2B software sales. I know I might be optimistic but it has all the points that are appealing to me.

- large salary based on performance (good luck working your ass off on that API or optimizing product for a fixed salary)

- no programming (so I have brain cells left to work on my own projects after I come home)

- profit generation culture (when you are a cost overhead like many engineers, you tend to be treated like a machine and measured for efficiency, you tend to compete with other engineers, I'd rather be paid more to win and I love a good race I can run on my own against others, not have senior engineers or managers slow me down.)

- Everyday is a new ball game

8
Ask HN: What are some good, lightweight reads on computing?
5 points by johnmarinelli  11 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
gary__ 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder, the classic book following the development of a new minicomputer in the late 70s.

http://www.amazon.com/Soul-New-Machine-Tracy-Kidder/dp/03164...

Stealing The Network: How to Own the Box. This is a collection of fictional accounts of "hacking" written by hackers. Real world techniques are described though its in lightweight detail, the aim of the book is more to give an insight into how an attacker thinks. It's quite an enjoyable read too.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stealing-Network-How-Own-Cyber-Ficti...

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen. This one's a true story.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kingpin-Hacker-Billion-Dollar-Cyberc...

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software By Charles Petzold. I still have to read this one, but I expect it would fit in with what you're after quite well.

http://www.amazon.com/Code-Language-Computer-Hardware-Softwa...

3
tjr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It's increasingly outdated as an actually useful resource, but The Hacker's Dictionary has long been one of my favorites, and should still be fun and educational from a historical perspective:

http://www.amazon.com/New-Hackers-Dictionary-3rd/dp/02626809...

Available online also as The Jargon File:

http://www.catb.org/jargon/

9
Ask HN: Standard incorporation documents for startups?
6 points by api  12 hours ago   7 comments top 4
1
harshilmathur 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Clerky (https://www.clerky.com/) is a YC backed startup that helps with a lot of this stuff. It provides standard paperwork for things like incorporation in Delaware, equity, stock options, employee documents etc.
2
MichaelCrawford 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Read Nolo Press' "How to Form a California Corporation". For a few extra bucks you get a binder with the standard forms, stock certificates etc.

I expect it would be worthwhile to read even if you don't incorporate in California.

3
AnotherMarc 9 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a lot on Cooley's website -- http://www.cooleygo.com

I have not been through much of it, but the General Counsel of a former employer pointed me there. What I've seen looks good.

To answer another question on this thread, the attorneys I spoke with all recommended incorporating in DE if you're thinking about approaching "professional" angels or VCs.

4
mchannon 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Orrick has a good set at:http://www.orrick.com/Practices/Emerging-Companies/Pages/Sta...

What's great about these (other than they're free) is that they are geared toward serious startups who want to raise capital, award and vest equity, and successfully exit someday.

10
Ask HN: Disqus for scientific and technical discussion
3 points by kevlon  12 hours ago   discuss
11
Ask HN: What book changed your life in 2014?
316 points by petecooper  3 days ago   274 comments top 142
1
Evgeny 3 days ago 4 replies      
For the mind:

http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/01953...

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy - William B. Irvine

Not only a description of the Stoic philosophy, which is, unfortunately, not very well known today, but also a great practical guide to a variety of techniques that can be included into daily activities easily, and will increase happiness.

For the body:

http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Gravity-Systematic-Gymnasti...

Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength - Steven Low

As I'm growing older (turned 40 last year), I'm no longer inclined to exercise with very heavy weights and was looking into replacing most of the barbell/dumbell exercises in my routine with bodyweight exercise. The book is a great encyclopedia of exercise that can be performed without or with minimal equipment. There are progressions, advice on creating routines, on injury prevention and management and a lot more. There is also a subreddit for those who follow the book http://www.reddit.com/r/overcominggravity

2
netcan 3 days ago 3 replies      
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

It's written for writers but is relevant broadly. The message is pretty simple and you don't really need to read the whole book to get it. It's one of those keep-driving-the-message self help-ish books.

Basically the point is to name and shame "resistance," a catch all term for procrastination, fear and everything else that prevents a writer from writing a book. It also applies to starting a startup, a career, a family, an exercise regime Like I said, the point is simple and the information could be conveyed in a short essay.

The reason for the repetition is to actually realize how big a demonic bottleneck this resistance is and that overcoming it will take effort and more importantly, strategy. It's probably going to derail your plans unless you plan for it. Personifying (or demonifying) it is part of the approach.

This is getting further from the book's actual content but the analogy for me is addiction. Say you are an alcoholic. It's not enough to decide to stop drinking, this is a fight. You need to realize that addiction will probably win if you fight stupid. You need a plan to beat addiction. It will fight back. You need to put time and resources into it. Everyone knows this and former alcoholics will start pushing you straight into two things, making sure you realize the scale of the problem and making sure you have a plan. They'll probably recommend AA which gives you a formulaic strategy.

Resistance might not be the bottleneck for everyone, but it is for many. For us, we need to make war on it

3
david927 3 days ago 3 replies      
Capital in the Twenty First Century, Thomas Piketty

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_in_the_Twenty-First_Cen...

I've always been a bit embarrassed for the economics profession; it's always seemed to me that it could be where math meets sociology and psychology, but is instead where politics meets unfounded conjecture.

Piketty changed that for me. He does true science here. I read it because I noticed that it has received every superlative you could confer on such a tome. It deserves them all. If you haven't read it yet, start now.

4
urish 3 days ago 1 reply      
Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber.

I'm cautious to say it changed my life, but it definitely changed my view on many things. I'm more aware of the ubiquity and power of debt, and I can no longer take those for granted.

It's an extremely interesting read and has a broader intellectual appeal, elucidating the roots of money, morality, and the roles of markets, nations, and friends with regard to those.

5
russnewcomer 3 days ago 1 reply      
Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright. A great historical look at Jesus and 1st Century Judaism.

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller. Made me stop and think a lot about how I interact with family and friends that have gone through struggles.

Coders at Work by Peter Seibel. I enjoy learning from the experienced, and Coders At Work is a fantastic walk through the recent history of computing, as told by those who walked through it. I wish there were a true coding focused sequel.

6
karmacondon 3 days ago 1 reply      
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey.

It describes the daily schedule of almost every famous creative person you can think of in a few paragraphs, from Bach to Tesla to Ayn Rand. Peering into the day to day lives of well known people was fascinating, but I was most interested in how efficient they were with their time. Many of the people featured in the book, especially the writers, sat down and worked for only two or three hours a day and often produced only several pages. It really changed my perspective on how creative work gets done. Especially when considering the hn culture of hyperproductivity. it was revealing to see how some of the greatest creative minds of all time respected the limits of their quality mental output.

I've tried to adapt my personal schedule to match some of their habits, and have generally felt better about being able to get a limited amount of creative work done in 24 hours. Come to see a new side of people who's work you know well, stay to get a better understanding of how they created great things.

7
martythemaniak 3 days ago 1 reply      
Introduction to Systems Biology - Design Principles of Biological Circuits, by Uri Alon.

It opened my eyes to a whole new field that will become a massive industry over the coming decades. Much like a Systems course in engineering covers recurring design patterns in physical systems (feedback loops, noise filters, pulse generators, etc), this book uses the same approach for biological systems. It is written from an engineer's perspective using engineering language, which for me makes biology much easier to understand.

8
conradfr 3 days ago 7 replies      
Starting Strength - because this time I actually started lifting instead of just reading it :)

The Pragmatic Programmer - It has been recommended to me by a good developer that is self-taught like me. So far so good. Some things are a bit dated though.

9
rcconf 3 days ago 3 replies      
The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing.

Learning about the financial system really changed my perspective on how to deal with money in the long term. It has had immediate effects on my life.

I learned about taxation in detail, opened an account on a discount brokerage, changed saving patterns, and have made a portfolio for the next 10 years.

I have a spreadsheet of how much I can spend and componentize my bank cards. One is for bills, another for spending, and the rest are investing accounts. When I get a paycheque, I put how much I need for bills directly into the bill account, the allocated amount for investing in investment accounts, and the rest in my spending account. I know exactly how much I can spend at restaurants and I don't need to do any mental math.

I really feel like learning this at age 22 was life changing and I will be thanking my self in the future.

"Invest early and often" - Jack Bogle

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kitbrennan 3 days ago 5 replies      
`Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance`

The book looks at what it means to say something has 'quality'.

It didn't teach me any new philosophical methods or theories, but it did make me look at my own work differently and start asking: how can I make something with the highest quality? What compromises that quality? What is a method that leads to the highest quality?

Translating that to my business life: in the startup scene I've scene a lot of startups treat lean as gospel (myself included at one point), and as a result they compromise on the quality that both themselves and their customers are happy with. So I certainly found it useful to have a book that made me think about this.

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kethinov 3 days ago 2 replies      
Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

The book hit me at a particularly receptive moment. I was on an airplane headed to a meeting that easily could have done remotely just as effectively without the excessive time and money cost. Ironically, I read the entire book on the plane.

The book is great at illustrating what types of meetings need to be in person and what types don't, dispelling common myths along the way with solid research.

They concluded that our current default of a compulsory office presence with only occasional remote work permitted is exactly backwards. It should be the opposite. The types of meetings that require you to be in the same room to be collaborative are the exception, not the rule.

It's a truly great book and I recommend all creative professionals read it.

12
calebm 3 days ago 3 replies      
Ulysses by James Joyce: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_%28novel%29

For most of my life, I focused on the logical, external, left-brain side of life. I saw little value in art (and even spurned it as something pretentious people did to seem more cultured). And so, I defined myself as logical, left-brain, scientist, etc and rejected the tags: right-brain, artist, etc.

Leading up to reading Ulysses, I had been growing in artistic appreciation, but Ulysses really pushed me over the edge. Prior to Ulysses, I felt I could only admire art as an outsider (because again, I was a left-brainer - I felt that I didnt belong). Ulysses helped me change my very self-image. I am not a left-brainer; I am a human, and art is how we can express and share ourselves with each other.

13
jmduke 3 days ago 4 replies      
Looks like it's my turn to provide the cliche hipster answer:

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruku Murakami:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Wind-Up-Bird-Chronicle-Novel/dp/06...

If you're familiar with Murakami, it's par for the course and considered one of his pivotal novels. If you're not: surrealist, dreamlike modern fiction often centering around ideas of masculinity, post-war fallout, and urban ennui. Incredibly strange and beautiful stuff.

I've read more in 2014 than I have in the past five or so years, but Wind Up Bird Chronicle is the one that has stuck with me the most. Even if it didn't exactly change my morning routine or lead me on the path to riches, I wake up most mornings and its taste is still in my mouth.

(A comparison, if you're familiar with it: Earthbound, less in terms of tone and more in terms of setting. Shigesato Itoi, the writer of Earthbound, actually published a bunch of short stories with Murakami and they've been translated into English: http://letsmeetinadream.blogspot.com/)

14
nilkn 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Road to Reality, by Roger Penrose:

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Reality-Complete-Guide-Universe/d...

This has been a really refreshing book for me to read. I studied mathematics in college but haven't really exercised that part of my brain since graduating and working as a programmer. Although this book is probably inaccessible to someone without some formal mathematical training, it's still one-of-a-kind. Nobody else of Penrose's stature has ever attempted to go from zero to string theory in a single volume, with all the physics and mathematics explained and very little left out.

For me, it's really been nice to finally satisfy a lifetime of curiosity that had built up about quantum theory. My fascination with it has never been enough to drive me to be a physicist, but it was enough for me to feel uneasy about not really knowing the underlying mathematics.

15
jeremyis 3 days ago 0 replies      
So Good They Can't Ignore You - Cal Newport

He's a CS prof at Georgetown now and wrote this while finishing up his Phd. Gives great and contrarian advice on career strategy snd path - focus on getting good at something (eg protramming. You'll grow to become passionate about it - most likely the things you're passionate about before your career can't be a career (eg sports, gaming). Also talks about deliberate practice and mission oriented careers.

16
michaelvkpdx 3 days ago 1 reply      
"The Circle", by Dave Eggers. Narrowly edging "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan.

I've been in tech a long time. I came up in the early 90's when the Internet was a tool for collaboration, meeting new people, and taking down the evil bastards.

But since the advent of Facebook, Google, and "pervasive computing", I've been haunted by the sense that what was once good is being perverted in ways that are destroying what makes humanity great. It's always been hard for me to explain that feeling in ways that make sense to those who haven't been part of the wave, whose first computer was an iPhone.

"The Circle" is fabulous because it brings this sensation to life in a way that casual readers can grasp. It's great because it captures what's happening. I only wish it offered a proposed solution that goes beyond living in a bunker.

Honorable mention, for similar reasons, to Mr. Penumbra.

17
johnnyg 3 days ago 2 replies      
Caesar's Commentaries, by Julius Gaius Caesar

Teaches that while technology will change and political systems will be distinct and nuanced, the human animal is just about the same.

When I see something that people did then that they still do today, I find that I can predict what a group of people is likely to do in a given situation in the future.

This both blows my mind as things "click" and makes me sad. In either case, I'm better prepared.

18
fogus 3 days ago 3 replies      
I was a voracious reader of programming books prior to reading Stewart Brand's "How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built." However, it was this book that made me (finally) realize that some of the best programming books are not about programming at all. As a result I've cut back drastically on my "language-specific" programming books[1] and have sought programming-relevant books instead.

[1]: And I've made it a personal goal to limit the "language-specific" books to those written before 1995.

19
vkb 3 days ago 1 reply      
Two:

1)Antifragile by Taleb. It has given me a whole new framework with which to think about the world. He is consistently one of the only "modern thinkers" that I trust, and who delivers no b.s.

2)Confessions of an Economic Hitman by Perkins. Not a new book, and I didn't read it this year, but when I did read it, it made me realize that the world works much differently than I understood it to on the surface, and that you should never trust any business or government at face value.

20
a-saleh 3 days ago 1 reply      
Dungeon World rulebook - http://www.dungeon-world.com/and Vornheim city kit - http://www.lotfp.com/RPG/products/vornheim

Mostly because I always wanted to run a pen&paper rpg, even though I am fairly busy, and this provided a rule-light enough framework to just do that. Especially Vornheim, that shows how to do randomize world building in under a minute :-)

21
pwenzel 3 days ago 1 reply      
"How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" - by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This book has been life-changing with regards to my relationship with my 3-year-old.

It also changed the way I communicate with adults.

http://amzn.com/1451663889

22
arthurjj 3 days ago 1 reply      
Having a 30 minute subway commute I'm looking forward to seeing what suggestions come out of this thread. My two suggestions:

1. Thinking fast and slow - Understanding how we actually think as opposed to how we think we think is a critical skill, especially in a startup. Having a Nobel prize winner explain how the two systems of your brain work together (and can sabotage you) was enlightening and enjoyable. This book helped me understand many aspects of design and sales that had been black boxes for me

http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/...

2. Art and Fear - This is a book nominally about the relationship between artists and how they go about making art but it is useful for anyone creative. It's about how to go about making when you have errands to run, a deadline, or just don't feel like it. As a dev I found it inspiring

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Fear-Observations-Rewards-Artmakin...

23
mihok 3 days ago 0 replies      
Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality - by Edward Frenkelhttp://www.amazon.com/Love-Math-Heart-Hidden-Reality/dp/0465...

Such a great book for people who love math. The end of the book gets a little bit hairy with more complex subjects but it is a great story from Mr Frenkel of going from school to working on the Langlands Project - toted as the rosetta stone for math. Defiantly a must read for anyone who wants to get into mathematics as a career

24
cjjuice 3 days ago 0 replies      
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Enchiridion of Epictetus

Parallel Lives by Plutarch ( Favorites are Cato the Younger and Julius Caesar)

25
Igglyboo 3 days ago 1 reply      
Gdel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Finally got around to reading it and I'm kicking myself for not doing it earlier. I'm honestly considering staying in school and going for a masters or PhD in computer science after reading it(about to graduate and have job in industry lined up).

26
agentultra 3 days ago 0 replies      
Permutation City by Greg Egan takes the cake this year in fiction. Although a very close second would be the Hardcover Penguin Classic's edition of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley mainly for it's deftly abridged version and preface which gave a new dimension to the story for me.

Non-fiction would either be Mortality by the late Christopher Hitchens or "On Numbers and Games" by John H. Conway.

27
spython 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Impro" by Keith Johnstone.It may seem like a book on improvisational theater, but is more a collection of notes on interaction between people. Quite eye-opening and empowering. Would recommend to anyone. http://www.amazon.com/Impro-Improvisation-Theatre-Keith-John...
28
alphaBetaGamma 3 days ago 1 reply      
Stoner, by John Williams

The story of an average, not very successful literary professor, told with great humanity and tenderness. This does not seem much of a story line, yet I believe this book is so good it will still be read in one hundred years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoner_%28novel%29

29
bengali3 3 days ago 1 reply      
As a dev ultimately wanting to do bigger things:

Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling

http://www.amazon.com/Start-Small-Stay-Developers-Launching/...

As a human with a curiosity:

Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, from Our Brains to Black Holes by Charles Seife

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067003441X

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mgmeyers 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disordershttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/130610.The_Divided_Mind?...

This book helped me get rid of the wrist tendinitis I had for four years prior, in four weeks. It also changed the way I view many of the chronic physical ailments many of us face.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourselfhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1963638.The_Untethered_S...

A great book about consciousness and awareness that isn't too "froo froo"-y. It definitely has had a profound impact on my relationship to myself and my surroundings.

To Soften the Blowhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16209280-to-soften-the-b...

It's hard to define the impact this book had on me, but it was also profound. It's an autobiography of Lynnie Vessels who's father shot her mother with a shotgun across their dining room table. As depressing as that sounds, it's actually a very inspiring and strangely uplifting book.

31
egypturnash 3 days ago 0 replies      
Decrypting Rita, the graphic novel I've been working on since April 2011.http://egypt.urnash.com/rita/

I made a major mistake in the prepress process and had to eat it, losing all profits from the Kickstarter from the second volume. It has also gotten kind words from more than one Hugo winner. On a productive month, its Patreon is starting to pay about half of my rent; I feel like the push of publicity for the final volume (somewhere around April 2014 if all goes well) will do some pretty interesting things to my career as a comics creator, with my bills quite possibly being paid entirely by the fraction of my fan base that chooses to support me on Patreon somewhere around next winter. Assuming they don't vanish en masse when I start the next project, which will be very different in tone and subject matter...

I know you were mostly looking for books to read. But none of the fiction or non-fiction I've read this year has really done much of anything to my worldview. I think the last one that did that was probably Robert Anton Wilson's Prometheus Rising, which basically turned me into an occasional magician.

32
harshbhasin 3 days ago 0 replies      
These three works have influenced me. These are writings of very creative people and I read them to understand their creative process.

1. Nikola Tesla's autobiography:

http://www.mystacki.com/#!/binder/35/nikola-tesla%27s-autobi...

2. Swami Vivekananda's complete works: http://www.mystacki.com/#!/binder/45/swami-vivakananda

3. David Bohm on creativity: http://www.amazon.com/Creativity-Routledge-Classics-David-Bo...

I have been reading these three authors for many years, over and over again. In his autobiography, Tesla brings forth many exciting things about his creative process. He could prototype complete machines in his mind before building them. In his mind he could run tests, even see scars and blemishes on his machines. In my coding, I (feebly) try to emulate his method by trying to visualize my coding prototype in my mind. His short autobiography reads like that of a mystic. In there he describes how the idea of AC current came to him, while taking a walk and looking into the Sun. Philosophically, everything in life alternates: the pairs of opposites, ebb and flow-- its seems to be the code of life; and AC current does the same, it alternates. His writings on Electricity are against the established grain: for him electricity (his only love) is the current of life. There cannot be two electricities(positive and negative,) he says, these are only terms for the state of having more or less of the same thing.

David Bohm has important things to say about the creative process. He talks about completeness (wholeness) of thought. He talks about "mental models" that we create to understand reality and how we keep growing out of older models... newtonian physics gives way to relativity etc.

Swami Vivekananda was a contemporary of Tesla and they did actually meet. He was a scholar of the Indian philosophy system called Advaita and Sankhya. As Jung has said about archetypes -- same thoughts occur to people of all ages, the Sankhya philosophy system believed in the equivalence of matter and energy. Vivekananda introduced these ideas to Tesla and expected him to prove them. But the proof came ten years later with Einstein. I have written about this here:http://www.mystacki.com/#!/post/132/vivakanand's-meeting-wit...

33
thirdtruck 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I only just finished Amanda Palmer's "The Art of Asking" (read by the author), but I already find it invaluable.

If you're an aspiring freelancer or working on creative projects of your own, in particular, then her story has a lot for you.

34
ikeboy 3 days ago 3 replies      
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky and the related sequences.
35
MrMattWright 3 days ago 1 reply      
Inspired to do: Connected http://www.amazon.com/Connected-Surprising-Networks-Friends-...

I was utterly amazed by the concept of Social Network Analysis, how emotion travels through a network, how the 6 degrees thing works. Did you know someone you have never met can affect your weight? I was so amazed I started a company building a CRM from the ground up using graph theory. We launch in Q1 2015.

Inspired to be: The seven habits of highly effective people. A great book, which many read and sight. Forcing myself to write about my values and behaviours means you have to live up to them :)I read it once and now I am reading it again with my girlfriend actually doing all the exercises. You can read it in a week but to really take it all in you need to work on it over a lifetime. http://www.wikiwand.com/en/The_Seven_Habits_of_Highly_Effect...

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armed10 3 days ago 1 reply      
For me it's: quiet the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking
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encoderer 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Great Bridge is a phenomenal engineering story (and so much more). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was chilling but I'd read it again. Simply fascinating, written by a western reporter who was actually there.
38
vojant 3 days ago 1 reply      
Antifragile - This book change my ways of thinking about life. Also this year I've read Black Swan, another great book by the same author.
39
marcusgarvey 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Open Focus Brain. http://www.amazon.com/The-Open-Focus-Brain-Harnessing-Attent...

"According to Dr. Les Fehmi, a clinical psychologist and researcher, many of us have become stuck in narrow-focus attention: a tense, constricted, survival mode of attention that holds us in a state of chronic stressand which lies at the root of common ailments including anxiety, depression, ADD, stress-related migraines, and more. To improve these conditions, Dr. Fehmi explains that we must learn to return to a relaxed, diffuse, and creative form of attention, which he calls 'Open Focus.'

This highly readable and empowering book offers straightforward explanations and simple exercises on how to shift into a more calm, open style of attention that reduces stress, improves health, and enhances performance."

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hluska 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have largely been out of fiction the last few years, but in 2014, I made a point of getting back into fiction. Consequently, my 'most important' list of 2014 will be rather heavily weighted towards fiction.

1) Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

Not only the best written account of the action in World War I's trenches but also a wonderful account of race in Canada, this book is absolutely beautiful.

2) The Winds of War/War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

If you want to learn the most minute history of WW2, this series is a great way to boost your knowledge. This not only covers the War, but also gives enough background that the rest of the 20th century's history makes more sense.

3) Deep Currents by Valerie Haig-Brown

I read this book on Vancouver Island just a few km from the Haig-Brown house and it changed my views on conservation, the pacific fisheries, and Campbell River (which is where my Dad spent his teenaged years).

* Edited because of fat fingers.

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unclesaamm 3 days ago 1 reply      
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami

http://www.amazon.com/Colorless-Tsukuru-Tazaki-Years-Pilgrim...

Hard to do it justice, but here is Patti Smith:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/books/review/haruki-muraka...

I changed my attitude toward all of my old friends after reading this book. I started calling them more, and trying to be more in their lives. It's amazing how centering books can be, if they catch you in the right mindset. I'll pass on a warning that this book deals with some heavy, serious depression.

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MichaelGG 3 days ago 0 replies      
Blindsight. (Spoiler alert!) Not because it's a great fiction story (it is), but because it introduced me to the concept of Unconscious Intelligence. We take it for granted that "sleeping on a problem" or "going for a walk" can lead us to great ideas and breakthroughs. That's great, ideas do just pop into the mind. But... what created those ideas?

This might be the key to explaining a lot of things. For instance, I read a terrible book about why RSI isn't real, how it's just in my head, by an author that loved Freud. I put it down in disgust. But somehow, that seed of doubt, that explanation that RSI was an unconscious response to other pain... My RSI went away.

(Apologies if this is well known, but it is a novel enough to this 33 yr old that it sends chills down my spine.)

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hvd 3 days ago 0 replies      
For me it was1.Influence: http://www.amazon.com/Influence-Psychology-Persuasion-Robert...It talks about how the brain has certain preprogrammed sequences for situations.2.Predictably Irrationalhttp://www.amazon.com/Predictably-Irrational-Hidden-Forces-D...Again about the hidden mechanisms with which we make decisions and our reptile brain.
44
rdc12 3 days ago 0 replies      
A progression of books on high altitude climbing. Have read Into thin air, the climb, dark summit in the past month or two, currently reading no way down and have Annapurna: The first conquest of a 8000m peak and The will to climb out from the library.

Reason, finally have the motivation to loose weight and get fit, and am planing to do some climbing locally.

http://www.amazon.com/Into-Thin-Air-Personal-Disaster/dp/038...http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Summit-Everests-Controversial-Sea...http://www.amazon.com/No-Way-Down-Life-Death/dp/0061834793/r...http://www.amazon.com/Annapurna-First-Conquest-000-Meter-Pea...http://www.amazon.com/The-Will-Climb-Commitment-Annapurna/dp...

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kunstmord 3 days ago 0 replies      
Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller. To be honest, I re-read it, but it had a much more significant impact the second time (I originally considered it to be weaker than "Black Spring" and "Tropic of Cancer", but this time round, due to certain personal circumstances, it resonated with me in a very powerful way his ruminations concerning compassion, interacting with other people, the meaning and value of work and creativity). nfortunately, the only new book I read this year was "The Great Mortality", a pretty interesting but a tad too un-academic account of the Black Plague in Europe. Hopefully, I'll have a lot more time to read in 2015.
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yogiHacks 3 days ago 0 replies      
Oh jeez, this'll be tough. I'll start by saying that Tom Robbins "Still Life with Woodpecker" inspired me in the post-undergraduate world greatly.

http://www.amazon.com/Still-Life-Woodpecker-Tom-Robbins/dp/0...

Leaving college with such powerful to convictions of social evolution, scientific pragmatism, and the power of Art as a mental practice left me with some hard facets of reality to contend with. This is the struggle of one of the the main characters, Leigh-Cheri. She is a wide eyed idealist who is thoroughly disenfranchised with the way the systems in the world abuse and exploit people.

She meets a mad-bomber outlaw named Woodpecker, a revolutionary with bordering mythical aspirations. Their affair is a wild journey of growth as characters and citizens, not of a royal bloodline or America, but of Earth and the ideas, and actions, which make this world a vibrantly beautiful place.Most important book of the year for me, with close runners up:

"The Nature of Code" by Daniel Shiffman. Excellent book on simulation of the natural, chaotic world in the Processing programming language.http://natureofcode.com/book/

"Nine Kinds of Naked" by Tony Vigorito, which deals with the primacy of synchronicity and numeric harmony in the lives of twirling, interrelated characters.http://www.amazon.com/Nine-Kinds-Naked-Tony-Vigorito/dp/0156...

Good reads everyone!

47
defen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West - Cormac McCarthy

Not sure I can explain in an HN post...

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frequentflyeru 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend The Happiness Advantage. Really changed my outlook on life for the positive.

Author also did a TED talk on the subject called "The Happy Secret To Better Work".

http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_bet...

http://www.amazon.com/The-Happiness-Advantage-Principles-Per...

49
dylanvalade 3 days ago 0 replies      
Autobiography of Benjamin Franklinhttp://www.gutenberg.org/files/20203/20203-h/20203-h.htm

Franklin was the equivalent of an open source purist. He was determined to uncover truth, better himself, and inform the world.

"I had form'd most of my ingenious acquaintance into a club of mutual improvement, which was called the Junto; every member, in his turn, should produce ... queries on any point of Morals, Politics, or Natural Philosophy, to be discuss'd by the company;

Hacker News might benefit from Junto policy, making members pay money for encouraging and destructive comments that are not in the spirit of inquiry.

"Our debates were ... conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute, or desire of victory; and, to prevent warmth, all expressions of positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction, were after some time made contraband, and prohibited under small pecuniary penalties."

Discussion in his Junto meetings led to volunteer fire departments, Americas first circulating library, and a school that became the Univ. of Pennsylvania. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junto_(club)

50
zo1 3 days ago 0 replies      
A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Conflict_of_Visionshttp://www.amazon.com/Conflict-Visions-Ideological-Political...

Really good read, though a bit longish. But that could be due to the fact that I listened to an audio-book of it.

51
fomoz 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime - MJ DeMarco

http://www.amazon.com/The-Millionaire-Fastlane-Wealth-Lifeti...

The title sounds cheesy, but it's a really good book in reality.

52
lui8906 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just looking through my read category on my kindle and realised I haven't read any life changing books in 2014.

Currently reading Javascript and Jquery by Jon Duckett and find his visual style and clear, concise writing perfectly fits how I learn. Could not recommend it enough to any other programming learners.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi is a very simple, straightforward book on personal finance. He advocates having your money automatically distributed into fixed costs, investments and spending money rather than getting bogged down in budgets.

An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson is the first in a trilogy that chronicles America's entrance into World War II in North Africa, all the way to the downfall of the Third Reich. His style is both minutely researched and totally readable. He nails the violence and horror at the front, as well as the incredible scale and logistics of the whole enterprise. I'm now on the second in the trilogy, The Day of Battle.

Last year Thinking Fast and Slow and Antifragile were my highlights - they compliment each other well and both changed my outlook on how the world is organised and how I perceive it.

Thanks to all the other posters, I've added lots of the suggested books to my kindle.

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dabent 3 days ago 0 replies      
"The Score Takes Care of Itself" by Bill Walsh: http://www.amazon.com/The-Score-Takes-Care-Itself/dp/1591843...

Jack Dorsey recommended this title at Startup School 2013 and I got around to reading it in 2014. It's also one of the readings for YC's "How to Start a Startup" class: http://startupclass.samaltman.com/lists/readings/

I didn't think the leadership notes from a highly successful NFL (American professional football) coach would have much application in the world of technology, but Walsh's insights and discipline can be applied to many different fields. It's changed the way I work as I lead teams and I realize I have a lot more to learn and apply in my day-to-day duties.

"The Score Takes Care of Itself" does get a bit behind-the-scenes in the football world, but if the reader is willing to get past those parts, or better, learn the lessons in some of the stories, there is a lot to be gained.

54
vargalas 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
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dubfan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought, by Jonathan Rauch (http://www.amazon.com/Kindly-Inquisitors-Attacks-Thought-Exp...)

I picked this book up shortly after the Brendan Eich incident earlier this year. This book was written over 20 years ago but it could very well have been written yesterday. It lays out an excellent argument about why all free speech, even hateful speech, much be unrestricted. It's also very good at rebutting what Rauch calls the "humanitarian" attack on free speech, which seems to be the preferred method of attack in the last few years (in Western countries anyway). Perhaps saying that it "changed my life" is an overstatement as I've always held the belief that unrestricted free speech is the ultimate freedom, but it's allowed me to express exactly why I believe that way.

56
shoover 3 days ago 0 replies      
Shop Class As Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford completely changed and focused how I think about work and mental healthy.

The Accidental Creative and Die Empty by Todd Henry provide excellent tools and background for adding practical discipline to creative work and life in general. As of now I can't prioritize one over the other. Either or both are well worth the time invested.

Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton takes a critical look at how charitable giving and service are done by the modern church and provides a better plan distilled from decades of experience helping troubled neighborhoods in Atlanta.

The Permanent Portfolio by Rowland and Lawson preaches Harry Browne's Permanent Portfolio but fills in all the implementation gaps left in Harry's rather thin original.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. This classic on what Christians believe cuts as deep today as it did in Lewis's day.

57
nickdandakis 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Book - Alan Wattshttp://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Taboo-Against-Knowing/dp/0679...

I sometimes get stuck in a loop of existential questions, and even though I still do, that book taught me how to deal with them better.

58
q-base 3 days ago 0 replies      
Antifragile or The Obstacle Is The Way - are probably the most influential
59
Bdiem 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Lord of the Rings" by Tolkien. Tried to read it for years, but always got distracted by other books (e.g. "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes - found in a HN). Lo! This year, after I purchased a e-book version I finally concluded the quest and cast the ... I mean I read it.
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blwsk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. The story gradually unfurls itself from the first few pages and new layers are constantly being added. It was written a few years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki but seems even more relevant today. It's very short and can be read in a single sitting if one is determined.
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andersthue 3 days ago 0 replies      
When my company was faced with a sudden 40% drop in revenue I saw a way to make a turnaround in "from worst to first" by Gordon Bethune, a book about a $400m turnaround done in 12 months : http://www.amazon.com/From-Worst-First-Continentals-Remarkab...

After getting out on top after my turnaround, Simon Sinek's "Start with why" helped me figure out why I am running my business the way I am, and how I can use that to do even better : http://www.amazon.com/Start-Why-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone/dp/...

62
guiambros 3 days ago 0 replies      
Spark, by John J. Ratey, one of the pioneers of studying ADHD and the impact of exercise on the brain.

http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-B...

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krschultz 3 days ago 1 reply      
Work - The Hard Things about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. I'm not a startup founder, but I've been in a couple startups. It's really easy to say what the founders should have done (especially in hindsight). This book helped me understand the burden a bit more.

Not Work - River of Time by Jon Swain. It's about Vietnam & Cambodia, and really reminds me to put things in perspective. Change the location from those countries to Syria & Iraq, that's effectively whats going on today. It boggles my mind to think we're here debating container technology and js frameworks when people are dieing in droves around the world. It's cliche, but if you seriously think about it, it's hard to reconcile.

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mathattack 3 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't have any life changers, but I throughly enjoyed The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Horowitz. I've been turned off by the soft and cuddly management book industry because it only focuses on the bright side. Real work is hard and dirty, and Horowitz captured it.
65
stevenmays 3 days ago 0 replies      
Mastery - Robert Greene

Gives you a guide on how to attain a level of mastery in a domain of knowledge.

66
bsnape 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

http://www.amazon.com/The-Phoenix-Project-Helping-Business-e...

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soundlab 3 days ago 0 replies      
Pulse: Understanding the Vital Signs of Your Business

This is a great book for anyone running a bootstrapped business. It is based on the Corelytics software product, which is a financial analysis tool that syncs with Quickbooks to provide trendline, progress against goals, and other real time financial metrics for startups. This gives you a view of where things are headed rather than a "too late" picture in your financials.

http://www.amazon.com/Pulse-Understanding-Vital-Signs-Busine...

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dbarlett 3 days ago 0 replies      
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande

http://www.amazon.com/Being-Mortal-Medicine-What-Matters/dp/...

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jplahn 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Richard Flanagan

I've been negligent towards fiction lately, but I wanted to change that because it's always been my first love. So to do that, I started reading Flanagan's novel. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's the Man Booker Prize winner for 2014, which is more or less the British equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize.

I never thought I'd have any books that could crack into my top 3 or 5 for a while, but this one has done it.

The basis of the book is Australian POWs working on the Death Railway during WWII. The book isn't exclusively told in this setting, but much of the book stems from it.

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rnavarro1 3 days ago 0 replies      
Functional Programming in Scala: I would say that this changed my professional life.

This book covers lot's of FP concepts in a very simple way, and I bet that anyone that struggles daily with hard-to-maintain OO projects would fall in love with it FP.

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JSeymourATL 3 days ago 0 replies      
An unusually thought-provoking book that's impacted my approach to work & daily habits this year-- The Way of The SEAL, by Mark Divine > http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17465530-the-way-of-seal

If you read nothing else, Chapter 2: Develop Front-Sight Focus. Solid, practical advice on directing the win in your mind. Here's a good interview with the author> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_bDMEUF7F8

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superasn 3 days ago 1 reply      
Programming related: Perl cookbook (helped me to setup my first online business and do what i do today)

Life related: The Power of Habit (didn't skip a single day at gym for 3 months non stop because of what i learned from this book)

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salemh 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You AreAlan Wattshttp://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Taboo-Against-Knowing/dp/0679...

It has been a while since a book from even 10 pages in breaks my model of reality a bit.

Just saying "I have a body" as a separation, instead of "I /am/ body" etc.

Very interesting, fun (witty) succinct.

Its my first Alan Watts book, so that could be part of why it hit me nicely.

75
gregd 3 days ago 3 replies      
Two books that aren't mentioned, surprisingly, are:

The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz

In my humble opinion, these two books alone, have the ability to change one's life.

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rk0567 3 days ago 0 replies      
Mostly related to mind/happiness/consciousness.

+ Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion - Sam Harris

+ Free Will - Sam Harris

+ Mindfulness in Plain English - Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

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bengarvey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thinking Fast and Slow
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lenocinor 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've re-read How To Be A Programmer ( http://samizdat.mines.edu/howto/HowToBeAProgrammer.html ) every year since it came out. It's been over a decade but every year it makes me a better programmer, something I can't say about any other writing on programming. I don't think it's ever been published as a book but its structure and length basically makes it one I feel.
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koolhead17 2 days ago 0 replies      
Choose Yourself by James Altucher:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CO8D3G4

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant:http://www.amazon.com/Love-Yourself-Like-Your-Depends-ebook/...

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franze 3 days ago 1 reply      
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favoriteof 3 days ago 0 replies      
[plug] We made our site http://favoriteof.com - exactly for this! To figure out what to read next based on recommendations by celebrities (Executives, politicians, actors). For example check out recommendations by Richard Branson, Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg here: http://favoriteof.com/entrepreneurs/books/

Looking forward to feedback, and requests!

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proveanegative 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's not a published book but this year I took on Unqualified Reservations seriously and found it a rewarding read. There is a lot to it, some material more morally objectionable than other, but the main effect of reading it for me was something I would not have thought possible. It opened my mind to alternatives to democracy and questions like whether democratic representation is even in the best interest of the governed.
83
timmillwood 3 days ago 1 reply      
Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
84
acjohnson55 3 days ago 0 replies      
Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy by Bill Janeway blew my mind.

It's a tough read, because it assumes a lot of prior knowledge of academic econ and finance. Also, what I would regard as lackluster editing makes comprehension a challenge beyond that. But the content is one of the best descriptions of our economic system, steeped in historical analysis, and finishing with some strong advice on how to address the public vs private enterprise dilemma to address the challenges of tomorrow.

85
sumedh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders. Its basically a collection of Buffett's annual reports from 1970 to 2012.

If you invest money directly in the stock market, you must read it. It will teach you investing, accounting, economics, human behavior in a simple words.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DUM1W3E/ref=kics_dp_shop...

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SixSigma 3 days ago 0 replies      
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humpt 3 days ago 1 reply      
The 4-hour-body changed my life. It changed how I look, how I eat, my health, my self esteem/confidence, my mood. I am a completely different person now.
88
marvin 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Superintelligence" by Nick Bostrom was the most interesting book I read this year. It provides a comprehensive but accessible summary of the research on the ethics and security aspects of prospective general artificial intelligence.

If you have ever enjoyed reading the Lesswrong wiki or any of the readings from MIRI/SIAI, this book provides a really great summary.

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peshkira 3 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.amazon.com/What-Relativity-Intuitive-Introduction...

As a non-physisist I always wanted to understand relativity at least to some basic degree. This book was an eye opener...

90
niels_olson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Greg Caporaso's Introduction to Applied Bioinformatics. Suddenly saw a huge new way to think about code, especially python, and an accessible path to deep, sound thinking about bioinformatics.

http://caporasolab.us/An-Introduction-To-Applied-Bioinformat...

91
ivan_ah 3 days ago 0 replies      
No BS guide to liner algebra --- I'm the author --- in writing about this subject, I had to (re)learn all the details. It is truly a beautiful subject with lots of applications. I recommend anyone interested in math to look into linear algebra as it is the best stepping stone into advanced math.
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epaga 3 days ago 0 replies      
For me it was "What's Best Next" by Matt Perman.

Refreshing take on productivity, very similar to Getting Things Done and co., however this time tackled from a distinctly Christian perspective, so it may not be for everyone.I enjoyed how he laid a foundation of motivation before he gave a bunch of practical thoughts on how to structure tasks, goals, and so on.

93
shiven 3 days ago 0 replies      
Audiobook:Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry, by Albert Bernstein

Book #1 (Recommended by someone here on HN!)The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growthby Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

Book #2Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Hanh

94
ftudor 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Beach - Alex Garland ...I'm 42 now, but read this in my late twenties. If you are 18-32 this book will save your life.
95
tdobson 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's not a new book, but Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh has had a great impact on me.

Fun and easy to read book too. :)

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pcvarmint 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not yet released, but I got to read a preprint of The End of Error: Unum Computing by John L. Gustafson.

There are some slides of his online which introduce the concept of Unums.

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devgutt 3 days ago 0 replies      
For me, the most useful book this year was Mindset by Carol Dweck. Simply amazing and mind-blowing.

http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-The-New-Psychology-Success/dp/...

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jimduk 3 days ago 1 reply      
Life and Fate - Vasily Grossman

Russian epic following multiple characters through WW2.

It shows how serious, good people can have very different and legitimate views on life; It characterises some eternal types of criminal or charlatan. It reminds you about fate and about how lucky we are now.

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bogdansolga 3 days ago 0 replies      
'Outliers' [1], by Malcolm Gladwell, was the last book which changed the way I look on the world around me

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_%28book%29

Highly recommended

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zz1 3 days ago 0 replies      
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reubensutton 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Zero to One" by Peter Thiel
102
arh68 3 days ago 0 replies      
Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmidt
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protomyth 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not in 2014, but I think they are worth reading:

Brad Cox: Superdistribution: Objects as Property on the Electronic Frontier

Brad Cox: Object-Oriented Programming: An Evolutionary Approach

Jason Brennan: Why Not Capitalism?

Leo Brodie: Thinking Forth

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joshux 3 days ago 1 reply      
1. Body by Science - changed my view about exercising. HIIT for 12 minutes a week seems more doable and fun for a busy life. And it actually works.

2. Mini Habits - the only routine building method that worked for me.

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mmozuras 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thinking in Systems - Donella H. Meadows, Diana Wright

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3828902-thinking-in-syst...

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95014_refugee 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Fifth Discipline (Senge)

As a systems architect struggling with Conway's Law, this has helped me understand systems-of-people better and given me some simple ways to think about interactions in a more abstract fashion.

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ausername_ohhai 2 days ago 0 replies      
Waking Up by Sam Harris http://www.samharris.org/waking-up
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jacobroufa 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Time Ships, by Stephen Baxter

The depth of his exploration of the human condition through the continuation of H.G. Wells' classic just floored me. My jaw was dropped practically from page one.

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kirang1989 2 days ago 0 replies      
The short history of nearly everything - Bill Bryson

This book rekindled my interest and love for science.

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technology 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not really a book but the following post was very insightful, I go back to it frequently

https://sivers.org/ml

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smharris65 3 days ago 0 replies      
Run With the Hunted: A Charles Bukowski Reader

http://amzn.com/0060924586

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pbowyer 3 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.amazon.com/Longing-Know-Esther-Lightcap-Meek/dp/1...Longing To Know - Esther Lightcap Meek

For years I've been stuck with questions like "What does it mean to know?", "What is truth?", "How can I hold an opinion?" and "How can I say what I think is as valid as what somebody else thinks?".

This book does a great job of untangling what it means to know, the limitations of knowing, and doesn't duck the difficult questions.

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kendallpark 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Brothers Karamazov
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andrewartajos 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's Steal Like an Artist for me by Austin Kleon. It's such a quick read perfect for my short attention span. It packs so much advice without the fluff.
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andrewartajos 3 days ago 0 replies      
Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon for me. It's a quick read perfect for my short attention span. It packs a lot of practical advice without the fluff.
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Lambdanaut 3 days ago 0 replies      
"What do you say after you say hello?"

Transactional analysis is lifechanging. It's weird to me that this book isn't more popular.

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marmot1101 3 days ago 0 replies      
Work related: Inspired by Mary Cagan, The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

Non-Work related: The Supreme Gift and Warrior of Light by Coelho.

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crm416 3 days ago 0 replies      
Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow.

It should be considered required reading these days--couldn't be more timely.

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nicklovescode 3 days ago 0 replies      
On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins - gave me a framework to think about how the mind navigates and learns about the world.
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vegancap 3 days ago 0 replies      
'For a new Liberty' - Murray Rothbard
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boothead 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Trauma of Everyday Life - Mark Epstein

Mindsight - Dan Siegel

Conflict Communications - Rory Miller

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bowditch 3 days ago 0 replies      
Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull - Inside look of Pixar's history and impressive culture
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dominotw 3 days ago 0 replies      
I discovered Jiddu Kirshnamurthi in 2014.

My thought patterns have been permanently altered.

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spix 3 days ago 0 replies      
Black swan Nicolas Masson taleb
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aidenn0 3 days ago 1 reply      
Am I odd in that I've never read a book that significantly affected my life?
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ElijahLynn 3 days ago 0 replies      
* Eat to Live (nutrition)

* The Promise of Sleep (sleep)

* Spark (brain health)

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tomsun 3 days ago 0 replies      
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Doris Kearns Goodwin.
128
kingmanaz 3 days ago 0 replies      
"The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment" by Jeremiah Burroughs.
129
tezza 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Naked Eye - Charles Saatchi

Outsider - Brian Sewell Autobiography

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mertnesvat 3 days ago 0 replies      
ray kurzweil how to create a mind (it helped me to change my point of view to my behaviors for example I stopped to watch reality show started to take a design session for 1 hour everyday etc)
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jonnynezbo 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Alchemist and 1984
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mikraft 3 days ago 0 replies      
Flinch - Julien Smith

Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

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j-b 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

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

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ashwin67 3 days ago 0 replies      
Born to run-chris mcdougall.The name says it all.
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Dirty-flow 2 days ago 0 replies      
A book cannot change my life :)
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jack_gott 3 days ago 0 replies      
The New Class Conflict, Joel Klotkin
137
madao 3 days ago 0 replies      
Atlas Shrugged - by Ayn Rand
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zedshaw 3 days ago 0 replies      
These actually took me most of 2013 and 2014 to get through:

How To See Color And Paint It - http://www.amazon.com/How-Color-Paint-Arthur-Stern/dp/082302... Taught me how to paint what I see accurately.

Secret Knowledge - http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Knowledge-New-Expanded-Rediscov... Taught me that painters have been using projection for hundreds of years so I'm allowed to use any technology I can get my hands on to make art.

Van Gogh: The Life -- http://www.amazon.com/Van-Gogh-Life-Steven-Naifeh/dp/0375758... Hated this book because the authors (two obnoxious lawyers who happen to be good at research) write about him with zero compassion like he deserved the abuse he received for being different. However, Van Gogh's story is fantastic and inspiring even if it is very tragic.

There's a whole ton of others, but those stand out.

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Bdiem 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Making of the
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mindcrime 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know that any one book exactly changed my life, but a handfull of titles do stand out in my mind.

Zero To One by Peter Thiel

The Art Of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky

The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

141
rokhayakebe 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not 2014, but the Great Books of the Western World.
142
jqm 2 days ago 0 replies      
40 Shades of Grey. I didn't actually read it but my girlfriend did.
12
Ask HN: What do you do when clients want SLAs?
6 points by porker  16 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
davismwfl 14 hours ago 0 replies      
SLA's are never free from anyone, and if an agency is doing it for free without an ongoing contract they are leaving a ton of money on the table. For an enterprise SLA like the one you are discussing, 2hr response, 4 hr fix, that would require a good sized retained services agreement from me and most agencies I know of. And that is how I would do it, make them pay you monthly for the RSA or quarterly etc.

As for how you manage it so you can keep your manhood in tact, which I can totally relate to... Find another freelancer that you can trust, train them on the system as well and use him/her to back you up. Pay them for the time you would be away. E.g. if you are gone for 2 weeks of time, and a monthly fee is $2k then pay them $1k for being on call and ready.

Also for the 4 hr fix, you need to make sure that it is not a guaranteed fix within 4 hrs as not all problems can be addressed in 4 hours. There is standard wording to address this in contracts and make them comfortable. What they are looking for is that for security issues and simple things that are emergent that pop up they get squashed quickly. But unless they are totally unreasonable they will understand that you can't guarantee in software that any issue they bring can be solved in 4 hours.

2
MalcolmDiggs 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I was in the same boat for years, and just avoided offering any kind of hosting or SLA services.

Eventually I just bit the bullet. And yes, it was exactly what you'd expect (waking up at 3am to fix problems, being available 24 hours, etc). That's the bad news. The good news is: These problems only exist for the first client who signs up for the SLA. Once you've got 2,3,4 clients retaining you, you can afford to farm the work out to others.

But also, it just forces you to rethink how the systems are designed. Write more test coverage, build better failover mechanisms etc.

Also, don't go for that "respond in 2 hours, fixed in 4 hours" crap. Most SLAs I've seen just state a guaranteed uptime % (99% or whatever) and you start prorating your retainer fee if the uptime slips below that. That way, if you really dont want to wake up (or if you're really unavailable to fix something) you don't have to, you'll just have to refund some of your retainer at the end of the month.

3
sjs382 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"Obviously the client doesn't want to pay $$$s to retain me/enough to hire a 24/7 support team"

Then they can't afford what they want. It's as simple as that.

Even if they can afford it though, define the terms as strictly as possible, and set a cap on all liability.

4
sarciszewski 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not set up like this?

Critical bugs: (Security, Data Loss) - Fix within 7 days. For free if they take less than 2 hours to fix. A day's wages otherwise.

Major bugs: (Usability, Stability) - Fix within 14 days. Fore free if they take less than 1 hour to fix. A day's wages otherwise.

Minor bugs: (Aesthetic, etc.) - Fix within 30 days. For free if they take less than 30 minutes to fix. A day's wages otherwise.

13
Ask HN: Are companies open to a 4-day work week?
17 points by daenz  1 day ago   16 comments top 11
1
mcv 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Many are, but unfortunately not all.

I've worked 32 hour weeks (with occasional overtime) for most of my working life, I think. I've never had a 5 day work week since 2009, and I don't quite recall my work weeks from my first few jobs (2001 - 2008), but I think those may have been 4 day weeks too. My brother had also always worked 4 day weeks, since the early '90s, I think.

But I have also worked a 5 day week for at least a year, and I've turned down a job at a company that totally understood my desire for a 4 day week, but still only wanted to hire me for 5 days.

All my freelance gigs (since 2012) have also been 4 days or less, though my current client cannot accept less than 32 hours per week for some odd reason.

But this is in Netherland. I'm sure it's different in other countries.

2
jasonkester 1 day ago 0 replies      
In practice, every company is open to a 4-day work week, if you're valuable to them and the alternative is losing you. Some companies are just more likely to extend the same benefit to everybody.

Definitely do it, by the way. I dropped down to 4 x 8h when my second son was born, and simply never switched back. My quality of life is a lot better now, I don't seem to ever get sick anymore, and I get 3-day weekends every single week.

Way better than having an extra few grand on a paycheck.

3
wannano 1 day ago 0 replies      
My former employer offered us 4 x 10h which reduces the commute to work, vehicle wear and tear, mileage and offers 3 day weekends. On the other hand, the 10h days can put a toll on your health when sitting at a desk for that long.

4 x 8h is a good idea as long as you can maintain the level of productivity. Given the competitiveness of the marketplace 4 x 8h might not work unless you have extra employees to fill in the 20% void.

Another factor to consider is your location. If you're getting paid 80% of the full time income and you live in an expensive city, you might find it difficult to adjust your lifestyle. Usually when you're not working (earning), you're spending.

In the end it's all about balance.

4
dagw 1 day ago 2 replies      
Several people at my workplace have gone down to a 90% work week, taking every other Friday off. The 10% pay cut is small enough to not really notice, but the positive effect of the extra day off every other week is huge. Once my current backlog of work has been cleared I'm considering trying it myself.
5
davelnewton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Obviously some are, some aren't.

It depends heavily on how those four days are managed, the nature of what you specifically need to be doing while "on duty", etc.

Reasonable companies will recognize that an efficient 32 hours can be as productive (or more so) than an inefficient 40 hours. The trick is to show that this is the reality of what happens.

If you can generate empirical evidence supporting the same, it should be an easy sell. Good defect and task tracking can help with this.

6
Aeolun 1 day ago 0 replies      
My previous employer was. Getting Wednesday in addition to the weekend off was the best schedule I've had in my life.
7
ernestipark 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ryan Carson blogged about the 4-day work week at Treehouse: http://ryancarson.com/post/21708810513/4-day-week
8
himanshuy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think,it is not possible for the companies in consulting or services business.
9
mrmondo 1 day ago 0 replies      
The standard 5 day week in Australia is 37.5 hours. Our organisation has many people that work only 4 days at 30 hours.
10
wilblack 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you mean a 40 hour 4 day work week or a 32 hour 4 day work week? I'm all for the latter.
11
axilmar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would be in, but not if my paycheck was reduced.
14
Native or Hybrid mobile app?
5 points by rajlalwani  23 hours ago   8 comments top 8
1
oaksagelew 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ionic is OK but has its limitations. Its CSS components are not all that pretty, compared to those from, sat, SemanticUI or other CSS frameworks. And it's not easy at all to integrate other CSS frameworks. Also, current Ionic does not support Angular 1.3, although its next beta release will, but not clear when it'll be released. You lose a lot of functionality by not having Angular 1.3.

I'd seriously look at two relatively new frameworks: AppGyver, which looks fantastic - so much so that I may switch tools/frameworks on a start-up product. Or, Telerik's NativeScript looks really promising, but it won't be ready for production use until 05/15.

Take a hard look at frameworks before committing to one - esp. Ionic. It looked really good, which is why I, as lead dev in a consumer-oriented startup, chose it for our hybrid app. But, after several months of working with it, its warts become evident.

My $0.02.

2
joshcrowder 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've spent the last year managing the build of 5 Hybrid apps predominately for Android. The workflow from a development perspective is great, really you cant ask for more, being able to write html/css/js is a huge win for the team of mainly backend/frontend developers.

Although - I wouldn't recommend it for every app. Our apps are enterprise focused business apps, mainly forms and data. We have built a social - B2C app before but the results were not as good as we'd hoped. It does still feel like a hybrid app opposed to native.

My advice - If its an app focused on data and forms then yes go hybrid, if you want to do something different go native.

3
seyfulislam 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I had to make a decision a few days ago, and I decided to go with Ionic framework. We are in a very early stage of building our very own startup with a team of 3 persons of which I am the sole developer. Because of this, things that effect my decisions may be a bit different than yours.

Questions that you should ask yourself (And my answers in paranthesis)

1. Do I need to develop for Android, iOS and other platforms at the same time or near future? (YES)

2. Do I have expertise on any? (YES for Android, goddamn NO for iOS)

3. Do I have time to gain experience for the domain? (NO, expected to build an MVP for Android and iOS in 1 month, while continuing a full-time job)

4. Am I going to develop a dumb client or some heavy tasks are going to be processed by the app? (A dumb client which will make some API requests)

5. Do I have excellent web development skills? (Yeah)

All questions are important, but the answer of the 4th may push you to go native if you are doing some things that would make use of CPU/Memory as efficient as possible.

Also the Cordova or Ionic or any other similar frameworks are just a painkiller which does not solve a problem but hide the problem, which is lacking native app development skills/time. Except for a few examples, there is no app that is used by millions which are not native.

4
Avalaxy 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd take a look at Xamarin and/or Xamarin Forms. It's really good and allows you to build native apps for iOS, Android an Windows Phone with just 1 codebase. It can save tons of money.

Xamarin Forms is taking it all a bit further than the other Xamarin offers because Forms even allows you to build 1 UI using generic concepts that will be rendered in the style of the platform that's running the code. I have to warn you though: Forms is still pretty new and buggy. The concept is really really good and it does work pretty well, but it's just not mature enough for big applications.

5
NicoJuicy 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you need fast prototyping and your team has experience with webdesign, you should go with something like Cordova / Ionic / ...

If you need a lot of native features, you could create the native app afterwards.

Ask your team what they think, do they have experience with Android / iOS?

6
CmonDev 11 hours ago 0 replies      
You can hire cheaper JavaScript developers, so hybrid could be interesting in that respect.Otherwise just go for quality => native. Also native doesn't mean multiple code-bases, if your team is interested in functional programming you can do Xamarin + F#/C#.
7
rajlalwani 17 hours ago 0 replies      
My team is good with Ruby on Rails and other web tech. They can pick up Android and I will be iOS guy... but, I would rather keep it simple for now. We have developed an app using Ionic but I am not happy with its perf.
8
morenoh149 17 hours ago 0 replies      
vote for Ionic here. There's simply so much value add from being able to apply the knowledge you have in the front-end to a mobile app. Plus the ability to deploy to android and iOS at the same time.
15
Ask HN: Idea management
8 points by vnagpal  1 day ago   9 comments top 6
1
navalsaini 1 day ago 0 replies      
I dont know any you can linkup research with.

If you are looking to explore.

(1) http://www.convflow.com i worked on an earlier version)

I am a big fan of idea management / collaboration softwares too. More information. Some others I recently started using are (1) http://www.thoughtback.com (useful alone)(2) https://app.thoughtplan.com (useful alone)(3) http://www.hipchat.com (prefer simpler design) or http://www.slack.com (prefer awesome design)

2
postatic 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are a few options I suppose.

- Google doc- hacker pad- Evernote

If you would like to consider an alternative, I run a site called Postatic (http://postatic.com).

It's a site that let you create online communities (think of it as 'creating your own hackernews'

But you can also make it 'private' so that only invited and approved people can access the site, which makes it ideal for your situation. It might not be 100% perfect for your purpose but would love to have you check it out if you have some time. Happy to answer any questions!

3
n17r4m 1 day ago 0 replies      
Might be a bit on the heavyweight side, but TikiWiki ( http://tiki.org ) might be a good fit for this.
4
rtcoms 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would suggest - Google Keep. Now Google Keep notes can be share with other people
5
jtfairbank 1 day ago 0 replies      
Trello
6
Immortalin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try Drupal
16
Ask HN: Commision-based % for sales force?
2 points by sogen  10 hours ago   6 comments top 2
1
gotrythis 9 hours ago 1 reply      
All your affiliates care about is that your conversion and commission rates are higher than the competition. All you need to care about is that your lifetime customer value exceeds your costs including commissions.

A great example was a dating site that offered a 200% commission on each sale, because they knew that once people were in their sales funnel, enough would buy buy bigger ticket items to make it profitable. They crushed the competition who was offering 50% commissions on similar products because affiliates chose to get the 200% commissions.

2
ckluis 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Depends. It's all about the nature of the sale, the nature of the customer management, & the types of customers you are dealing with - that will inform your model. I'd be willing to share my experiences offline if you want ckluis [@] gmail.com
17
Can I edit or create threads by using API of Hacker News?
3 points by hasszhao  14 hours ago   1 comment top
1
KhalPanda 13 hours ago 0 replies      
As far as I'm aware.

> Currently, its read only, but we hope to improve it over time and may later enable access to private per-user data using OAuth.

http://blog.ycombinator.com/hacker-news-api

18
Ask HN: Why does this YouTube video title has different style?
4 points by klzns  15 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
klzns 15 hours ago 0 replies      
2
tehwebguy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It must have something to do with a deal that Adult Swim / Cartoon Network's parent company has with YouTube
3
thejew 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's the same style as the title sequence. it's probably a special youtube thing like what they did with Psy's video. I can guarantee that youtube escapes HTML and you can't do that yourself.
19
Ask HN: Backup/Archival options for large collections of Pictures and Video data
3 points by asenna  14 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
SEJeff 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Try backblaze, cheap and has been super reliable for me.
2
jenkstom 13 hours ago 0 replies      
hubiC has a 10TB plan. I believe it is 10EUR per month.
20
Ask HN: For torrent users, what's your setup?
18 points by CoreSet  1 day ago   19 comments top 5
1
natdempk 1 day ago 1 reply      
In my experience, the best thing you can do to keep yourself safe is use private trackers. With these you're extremely unlikely to get a DMCA request/ISP notice. You also get higher quality torrents that are uploaded in a more timely manner and seeded better. One downside is that you have to seed, but I have seeded constantly for years from multiple ISPs and have had no issues ever.

I'm gradually transitioning away from a desktop based setup to a raspi based one. I'm planning on using deluge/transmission, as many others in this thread have mentioned. I'm going to setup a webUI so that adding torrents is stupidly easy. The raspi will also function as a network share, so anyone on my network can stream/drop content. I was also considering writing a command line tool to grab torrents from private trackers and add them to the seedbox, so that I could share my account on those trackers with the people I live with. This is technically against the rules of private trackers, but I don't think there would be any way to tell that I was using this for multiple users.

With this setup, I might end up running all of my traffic through a VPN, as my current ISP shapes torrent traffic, so I could probably get better seeds setting up a VPN on Digital Ocean or some other cloud/VPN provider.

2
allthewhuffie 1 day ago 1 reply      
I rent a dedicated server from Kimsufi. 16 GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage. I think it costs me $25-$30 USD a month.

I threw Ubuntu on it and then setup rtorrent, rutorrent, and Apache HTTP Server.

I only use private trackers like what.cd.

I'm still trying to determine the best way to transfer the data from the server to my media box. At this point I use lftp with sftp which is working out well, but I want to set up an automated system.

3
ruigomes 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm using a Raspberry PI with transmission to handle my torrents.

I can go to the web page and just paste the magnet URL and it just downloads it for me.

I also have flexget running from time to time which checks if there are any new episodes of TV Shows I'm following and automatically downloads that for me and places them in the correct folders after downloading.

I was mostly inspired by this tutorial (http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=47084) but I've made some changes along the way.

I can publish my flexget config if you want to take a look, I believe I had to make some changes in it after an update. I'm also not using the Trakt.tv functionality. I find it easier to just edit the config file than to sign up for a website and create a bunch of lists and whatnot.

4
sarciszewski 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've heard good things about what.cd from people who actually pirate material. (I, myself, only used Torrents when I couldn't get material I purchased legally to play/stream on my Linux laptop.
5
The_Drizzle 1 day ago 3 replies      
I pay $6 a month for a seedbox from seed.st. That way no torrent traffic goes through my pipes. Any files I download can be transferred to my machine from the seedbox using secure ftp.
21
Lessons learned from blowing an interview
9 points by rukittenme  1 day ago   17 comments top 10
1
dreamweapon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anyone else do something similar? How did you recover?

Yup. About a zillion trillion times until I learned how to push my mind through it. It's just another kind of performance, and it requires training and psyching-up for, like any other.

What's crazy is, after the call was over, I went back to work, opened up a text editor, and wrote functioning code in less than 10 minutes. It was 12 lines of code. 12 lines of code cost me a job.

This happens all the time, unfortunately. The people constructing these "tests" simply neglect to consider the level of anxiety many candidates have to deal with (not to mention the distractions that aren't even related to anxiety or insecurity -- like just the discomfort that comes from being watched, and having to explain, in real time, thought processes that you're used to experiencing as completely private -- and on no particular deadline).

It's also not too different from real-life coding. When under pressure (or just needing a break), my first approach to a moderately difficult (or even fairly trivial) coding task might be pure crap. Then, after the coffee break (or just letting the problem gestate without thinking directly about), a much simpler and more intuitive solution emerges -- almost like magic.

Of course, the fun part is we don't get that second "after the coffee break" try in coding interviews. What happens instead is that some guy (who at the end of the day, might be just as well qualified as you are -- but at different things at the moment) thinks you're an idiot for not immediately solving some problem the pulled from some book or website. Then goes and gets himself another $6 latte (while you go back to either unemployment or your dead-end job).

How did you recover?

Experience. Having enough sufficiently cool/rewarding job (and non-job) experiences to get a visceral, internal assurance that other people's assessments of you just don't matter is really the hugest and most fundamental part.

And then after that, just do all the background reading on "interview-ology" (including all the coding challenges, the brain teasers, the inane HR and culture fit questions). Then like the saying goes, "Get up in the morning. Fail. Go home. Do it all over again." Just keep going to as many interviews as you can (without burning any bridges) until you get the hang of it -- which eventually you will.

2
MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 1 reply      
I believe this could just as easily be titled "Why you shouldn't force candidates to code live for you". From my perspective that company is losing out on an experienced dev, who can do the work backwards and forwards. All because they decided to gauge you this particular way. It's a shame for them.

I think you reacted as many of us do... being nervous, hyper self-conscious, second-guessing your instincts, and not getting anywhere near the 'zone' or 'flow' you normally operate in. I think this is normal...and doesn't really reflect one-way or another on your ability to do the day-to-day work in a calm atmosphere.... which is why IMHO the results of your coding session aren't particularly useful in evaluating you as a candidate.

3
JSeymourATL 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> Anyone else do something similar? How did you recover?

Very human situation -- turns out that interviews and auditioning aren't always the ideal environment to evaluate talent. There's still time to salvage the situation.

Send the hiring executive a note today-- be candid "I totally choked, would you be amenable to a do-over? I'd like to show you that I really know my stuff."

Personal disclosure, learning, and good humor are desirable team member qualities. The worst they can do is say no.

4
adrianlmm 1 day ago 1 reply      
In my situation, my task was to create a table in a Oracle database, then create the persistence layer, after that create a WCF service (yeah configuring the application.config from memory) that would expose the data, consume it in an ASP.Net application and validate the input with JavaScript I had to do this in 90 minutes, but they just gave me 60, I left the place worried, cause, obviously I didn't finish, anyways, I managed to create all but the JavaScript validation, btw, all this from memory, I wasn't allowed to search in the internet or use my previous code.

I was so nervous but coding relaxed me, so It when well in the end, I believe I had help from above.

5
fredophile 23 hours ago 0 replies      
We all have times when we're having a bad day and our performance is off. Unfortunately, this happened to you during an interview. I've had the same thing happen to me. Accept that this was just a bad day and not an indication of your skill level.

It's also worth remembering that interviewing well is a skill that most of us don't get a lot of practice at. The stress and unusual circumstances make simple tasks harder than normal. Next time try to find out in advance how the company you're interviewing with conducts their tests and try to simulate it yourself in advance. Do they use a particular screen sharing app? A different IDE? A whiteboard? Being more familiar with the situation can help you focus on the task at hand instead of being distracted by the circumstances.

6
davismwfl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Been there and done it, and failed looking like a complete moron. Like everyone else already said I figured out my personal stupidity and worked through it.

This is also the exact reason why we stopped doing this with people, it just isn't reflective of if they are good or not. Instead we ask you to psuedo code something and just walk us through it as you do it. In fact we prefer to do it as a team, so we suggest something and hopefully you take it from there, or correct us or give us your ideas etc. It also helps us see if you fit in the team too, and honestly it helps people relax.

And hey, I would laughed if I heard a candidate say oh shit. that's good stuff, and shows you are human like the rest of us. Frankly, I wouldn't be worried about blowing that interview, you'll find someplace where you'll fit and do well.

7
hansy 1 day ago 0 replies      
The exact same thing happened to me during a product interview. I bumbled through product design with the PM and could tell things weren't going well based on the questions she was throwing back at me, the awkward silences, and the increasing number of logical traps I found myself in as the interview progressed.

After the interview, I started beating myself up over the dumb things I said. But after a few hours, I opened up Photoshop, mocked up a better solution and sent it over to the recruiter (who I then asked to forward my solution to my interviewer).

I progressed to the next round.

I honestly don't know if my revised solution helped or not, but I'm sure it didn't hurt.

8
japhyr 1 day ago 2 replies      
Do you think you could have called them back 15 minutes later and said, "Hey, sorry, I got nervous during the interview and that's pretty unusual for me. I just want to let you know I did solve the problem in 10 minutes after the interview. I don't expect you to give me a second chance, but if you want to talk about what I came up with I'd be happy to tell you what I started thinking about the problem as soon as we hung up."

They want someone to do well in the interview, so while some interviewers wouldn't talk to you more, I wonder if some might jump right back into the conversation. Any thoughts on how they might have responded to this? Did you consider calling them right back?

9
cnp 1 day ago 0 replies      
It gets better with time. I hit a point where I couldn't stand choking anymore and realized that the interviewer isn't necessarily looking for the correct answer; what they're looking for is your ability to understand and talk through problems. Once this realization was made coding interviews became almost fun rather than apocalyptically terrifying.
10
dreaminvm 1 day ago 0 replies      
A good practice for me is to begin with pseudo-code that outlines the logic of what I want to do. If the pseudo-code makes sense, its usually trivial to implement.
22
Ask HN: I recently dropped out of school. What should I do in the mean time?
4 points by freshcsgrad  1 day ago   11 comments top 6
1
trcollinson 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure where you are from, but I would not trust a job offer that is 6 months out. I don't want to discourage you at all. Just show the reality that job offers aren't worth the paper they are written on, so to speak.

Where are you from? In what area of your education did you have difficulty in school? What would you like to do as an engineer? There are plenty of junior/intern positions where you can go without a CS degree and get some great experience and a solid chunk of pay and even benefits. Although this isn't always easy to implement, you must seek out meaning in your life. Meaning won't seek out you. But, there are a lot of us here to help!

2
Warewolf-ESB 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Open source! Find a project you are like and contribute. Your skills and experience will increase, and it's great for your CV for future work.You might even be able to get some freelancing work out of it via an Elance or similar.Whatever you do, don't sit at home and get into a slump. Good luck
3
_RPM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Learn about a new concept that has always interested you. I just finished finals and am now on winter break. I will be learning about compilers.
4
jessejhernandez 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a pretty interesting project Im working on, if you interest in building a super complex website, shoot me an email at owlvisuals@gmail.com
5
smileysteve 1 day ago 0 replies      
Start Contracting, launch a blog, release an ios app. Build that personal brand.
6
panjaro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Enjoy life !!! You might not get a second chance !!
23
Ask HN: Django, Rails or Node.js for a SaaS web application?
22 points by nullflow  2 days ago   25 comments top 15
1
trcollinson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Full disclosure: I have been around a while and have written in more languages than I care to even share at the moment. Right now my go to is Ruby with Rails. However, since you say you are a junior level engineer with Java experience, why not stick with Java? Recently there was a great article on HN about using Java for Everything and it made some very good and logical arguments for going with Java. [1][2]

We see questions like this on HN quite often. When starting a new project that you would like to support yourself on, you must ask "Would I like to make a successful SaaS product?" or "Would I like to learn a new language/framework/ecosystem?". I am sure some would argue that the language/framework/ecosystem can really make or break a web application. However, there are successful business built on just about all of them:

Stackoverflow - .Net

Facebook - PHP

Amazon - Java

Bloomberg - Ruby (could have said Twitter until recently they are migrating to Java, interesting?)

Reddit - Python

DuckDuckGo - Perl

Orbitz - Lisp

OkCupid - C++

Of course many of these organizations use a number of languages and frameworks. The point is, when they started they used what they knew and went with it. My suggestion, start building! Then someday I can use your super successful application in a list like this!

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8677556[2] http://www.teamten.com/lawrence/writings/java-for-everything...

2
hkarthik 2 days ago 2 replies      
Basecamp and Harvest were both written in Rails. For standing up simple SaaS, Rails is a great choice.

However, for a complex SaaS (any SaaS can get here really), you will need to make some sane choices around modularity and building separate, loosely coupled services before things get out of hand. Node.js (or any of its lightweight frameworks on top) is probably a little stronger than Rails in this regard.

This service-based approach is more difficult with Rails as the community hasn't blessed any consistent conventions around doing it. Any custom convention you create to integrate multiple Rails applications will likely break compatibility with future Rails framework upgrades. There are many companies that are paralyzed and stuck on older versions of Rails because they ran into this problem.

All that being said, Java is still a great choice if you make some modern choices and will help you move forward without being slowed down by learning a new framework. Check out the Modern Java Series here: http://blog.paralleluniverse.co/2014/05/01/modern-java/

3
alasdair_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd suggest mastering Java before moving on to another language. Every language has issue and none of them are 10x better than the others. Mastery will help you more than learning three languages to a novice level.

If you choose to do Java, I am a big fan of Google App Engine because it forces you to write scalable code from the beginning.

4
davelnewton 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ultimately it doesn't matter, but.

"Node" is not a web framework. There are web frameworks for it, with varying degrees of completeness. There are lots of moving parts.

Rails is a (more or less) complete ecosystem. There are lots of moving parts.

Django I don't know enough about to speak in any meaningful way. Python-the-language is fine.

Ruby and Python OO will be more familiar to you than JavaScript's version.

You may want to do a client-based app; this means JavaScript. Go ahead and learn that now--it will serve you well, regardless of what you use on the client side. On the server side you have essentially unlimited choices, including Java. Serving JSON is fairly easy in any language.

There are a bunch of other issues to consider as well, like data storage, deployment, etc.

5
mattwritescode 2 days ago 1 reply      
This question is asked a lot. Basically choose the language first then worry about the framework.

There is no magic bullet so use the programming language which you can code the best, faster, easiest in. Framework is second.

Django, Rails, <insert php framework here> all do the same thing. 90% of the time you are going to be fighting fires, so develop in the language you like.

* You are a java developer why not use a java framework?

6
nmjohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
All three are viable candidates - however because it appears to me like you are trying to learn more about web development, I'm going to suggest node.js, because like it or not, when it comes to the browser, javascript is your only choice for the foreseeable future.

This way you don't have to expend any extra energy on the cognitive overhead of switching between languages when you switch from writing something in the client side app and then something on the server side. To be fair to the other languages, I don't think this is a huge issue in day-to-day development, but from my experience is was an enormous issue when I was trying to learn a new language and I actually had to think about the syntax I was writing.

My biggest suggestion though is not to do it in java and instead expand your horizons - if I plotted my strength of a developer against time on a graph there would be long flat sections interspersed with sharp upward inclines. Those inclines? For the most part, short periods of time when I started working on learning to program in a new language.

7
matt_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was a Senior level Java developer and I would suggest Rails. It has the object oriented-ness you are familiar with from Java and a rich set of libraries (gems) as well as a lot of documentation online (railscasts).

SaaS is essentially a CRUD application serving some specific need - Rails is good about letting you focus on what your are building (e.g. the house) and not spending enormous time on infrastructure (e.g. plumbing, wiring, etc.)

Edit: I agree with mattwritescode: it doesn't much matter which one you choose since they all will work. From my experience with Java though, you could spend a lot of time just getting infrastructure working - framework, JDBC, etc. Rails will have that out of the box (maybe Django too)

8
akrymski 2 days ago 1 reply      
JavaScript is most future-proof. Given that it runs in browsers, servers (Node.js) and mobiles (PhoneGap) I strongly suggest learning the Node ways, as you may find yourself using Backbone/Angular/etc on the client and in-depth knowledge of JS will help. In this day and age you're probably building a single page web app, in which case 99% of your code will run in the browser.
9
hackerboos 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd choose rails and pick up a copy of Ryan Bigg's book - https://leanpub.com/multi-tenancy-rails

Django is also a fine choice but Django lacks learning resources. I mean seriously, why aren't you Django guys writing books and recording screencasts?

10
cjbprime 2 days ago 0 replies      
They're all ideal -- that's why they're all very popular frameworks. Every day a new company picks one of the three, and whether it succeeds is extremely unlikely to have anything to do with that choice. So just pick the one you feel most drawn to, seems to have the best documentation, etc.
11
collyw 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use Django. It's admin application is excellent for getting a basic HTML CRUD app working quickly. There are probably equivalents for other frameworks, but if that's something you might need, its a seriously useful and productive feature.
12
kyllo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well since you mention Basecamp, that is the original Ruby on Rails app. Rails was factored out from the Basecamp codebase for reuse on other projects. So if you want to make an app "like Basecamp" then you probably want to use Rails.
13
joeclark77 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to cast a vote for Flask, another Python-based framework which aims to be more lightweight than Django. I'm sure Django has nice features, but as a newbie to MVC frameworks, I like using a minimalistic tool that lets me learn what's going on.

On the other hand, I recently learned that Perl is making a comeback with a couple of popular web frameworks. I haven't programmed in Perl since the last century, but I remember it being a fun language!

14
vishalzone2002 2 days ago 0 replies      
since you are a java developer. I did suggest play framework. It is very well documented and pretty easy to use.
15
piratebroadcast 2 days ago 1 reply      
Rails.
24
Ask HN: What is the goal of website design?
4 points by JacobEdelman  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
1
MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
It could be beauty, enjoyment, entertainment. But for many of us the only real goal is to convert a user.

On the eCommerce projects I've worked on, a "conversion" was defined as a user simply making a purchase. So the goal of any of our designs was to make that action happen as often as possible (in as high quantities as possible). At the end of the day, it didn't matter if we personally hated a design, or if we thought it was ugly or anything like that. The design that made the most money was the best design.

2
Warewolf-ESB 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Ultimately, it is for conversion of the right person. Conversion may mean anything from giving your existing customer information they need, getting a new customer on board or getting a newsletter sign up.
3
AtTheLast 1 day ago 0 replies      
I website should help someone accomplish a task.

Now that task could be range from buying a faucet to seeing when your favorite band is in town. The easier it is to accomplish the task, the better the website.

4
KhalPanda 1 day ago 1 reply      
Err... to convey the ['content', 'service', 'message', 'tool', 'function'] of a website as effectively as possible?
25
Ask HN: Is there any part-time dev jobs listing?
73 points by ruigomes  1 day ago   17 comments top 13
1
sebringj 1 day ago 0 replies      
The problem with these sites like oDesk is it ends up turning you into a marginalized commodity and its hard to stand out from that view point of the usually numb-nutted clientele that trolls there. You want to get in front of dollars, not squalor, yah heard me (hands up).

What worked for me is instead create an open-source project or even mini-project like some JS plugin, make a LinkedIn account, get your StackOverflow account, make sure each refers to the other, then (drum roll), you'll get offers flying in and you'll have to fend them off or start ignoring them as they will get annoying and that's a better problem to have.

The funny thing is, if you create that site, you'll probably get great offers because of that rather than a listing itself but beware of making another odesk that marginalizes its workers and try to attract big dollar companies to look at that rather than chump-changers.

2
ufmace 1 day ago 1 reply      
Creating a site like that is straightforward enough, and lots of people have done it. The hard problem is the market - how do you filter/rate clients by who can come up with a reasonable, practical project and will pay market rates without being overly difficult about anything? How do you filter developers by who can execute a project in their advertised languages and frameworks, estimate it accurately, and finish it on-time and on-budget to professional quality standards? I wouldn't bother unless you have some practical-sounding idea for how to fix that.
3
Ryel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Creating a social site is not easy.

It's hard to attract jobs without candidates and even harder to attract candidates without having open jobs. Worst of all in your case is that you content(job post) has a short lifespan.

It's possible but don't do it unless you're passionate about it.

Try these for PT work.http://gun.iohttp://codementor.iohttp://meetup.com

Assuming you live in a major city, there are lots of Meetups hosted at co-working offices. These spaces are brilliant for someone like you looking for work because they are flush with bootstrapped companies who only need a little bit of work. They have a little bit of cash, motivated, and potentially right on the verge of launching/reaching scale.

Once you're in the office space, find out how to get invited to whatever messageboard they use for internal communication. You will use it to advertise your services. After you get signed up into their chat system, just walk around the meetup and start introducing yourself.

4
intrasight 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think that it is a great idea. It might be already served by a site like http://www.internships.com/computer-science. I say this because really what you should be doing as a student is doing an internship. If you didn't want to treat it as an internship, and build your own site, you do still need to provide some way for prospective employers to see your school transcript. I think this company provides such a service: http://www.ellucian.com/. Seehttp://www.ellucian.com/News/Ellucian-and-National-Student-C.... I assume that using their API has a fee, so your students are either going to have to pay to enroll in your service, or you are going to have to have the capital to pay for the API calls.
5
mpierce9447 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hey, I work at Hired and we are adding contract and potentially part-time work into the product. I'd love to meet up (if you are in SF) or hop on the phone. Feel free to reach me at matt.pierce@hired.com to get something scheduled.

Cheers,

6
dmichulke 1 day ago 1 reply      
Apply at http://www.toptal.com and please say I referred you!

You'll have some challenges to solve in order to enter but IMO it's worth it

7
larrydag 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://hnhiring.me/. Look at the freelancers wanted/seeking postings.
8
kristiandupont 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would love a site like this! I find consulting through agencies which works but that limits me to what they happen to know about. There are finally some remote-working job sites appearing but they still focus on employment over part time or contracting which is what I prefer.
9
morenoh149 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Try asking around some hackerspace in your city. SF has noisebridge.net and NYC has hackmanhattan.com and meetup.com
10
27182818284 1 day ago 0 replies      
Even if nobody uses it, you're left with a piece for your portfolio / GitHub account. Built it.
11
Axsuul 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi there, can you reach out to me @ james@funnelthecake.com? I may have an opportunity for you.
12
IndianAstronaut 1 day ago 0 replies      
A service like this would be great. I recently had a spike in expenses due to some home repairs and some part time work would have been great to deal with it.
13
AndrewKemendo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like you found a good project to work on.
26
Ask HN: Why do icons from Facebook contain ads?
2 points by curiously  21 hours ago   6 comments top 2
1
joshschreuder 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Given the incognito difference, I'd say an extension injecting content into the page. Extensions don't run in incognito mode by default. Try disabling them all and enabling one by one to determine the culprit.
2
nbevans 21 hours ago 1 reply      
You probably have some malware on your machine that's doing naughty stuff.
27
Ask HN: What are important CLI / bash commands for a full stack dev to know?
8 points by nemild  2 days ago   1 comment top
1
mapimopi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Welp, there was a few programs I've never heard about, but the "Keyboard Shortcuts" section was the most shocking for me. No one ever told me!
28
Suggest HN: Stricter Char Limits on Who's Hiring?
35 points by mattm  10 days ago   discuss
1
dang 10 days ago 4 replies      
That sounds like a good idea. What should the limit be?
2
jerrythompson 10 days ago 0 replies      
I'm guilty of this and have edited down as much as possible with 6 positions that opened up.
29
Dealing with unreasonable refund requests
3 points by esw  1 day ago   15 comments top 8
1
jasonkester 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I run in to this from time to time with S3stat. We have real server expenses processing people's reports, so there is in fact a genuine loss to the business if we refund a customer who "forgot to cancel".

Still, I do it every time. For as far back as they want to go. Even if that's a year. Even if it costs us a hundred bucks worth of AWS expenses.

Why? Because I'm not in the business of taking money from people who don't want to give it to me. Sure, it costs a few hundred dollars every now and then but a few hundred dollars is not a lot of money for a business. The biggest expense in the whole process is my time and attention spent dealing with the situation.

Given that, the quickest and cheapest route out is to open up the Stripe console, click the Refund button a bunch of times, cancel the guy's subscription, then write him a nice email telling him so.

2
CyberFonic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Without more information it is hard to suggest anything.

If your hosting service is like most others out there ($100-$300 p.a) then it might far less aggravation to simply cancel them and refund the year's pre-paid amount than to waste time bickering.

Unreasonable people tend to start out being difficult and then dig in. Have you seen: http://www.boston.com/food-dining/restaurants/2014/12/09/har...

3
davismwfl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are they claiming the service was unavailable, unreliable, poor etc. Or just saying, hey we forgot so we'd like to have our money back?

Did they use the service for 12 months? To me it is two different things if they had the account but hadn't used it, I might be more inclined to say refund 3 months just to keep them reasonably happy and make it easy on myself. If they used the account all the way up to the end, then I would likely not be very accommodating on any refund, unless you messed up somehow which it doesn't sound like.

Overall, they are responsible for canceling timely which is not your problem.

Would you get your money back if you called up the cable company and said, hey sorry I didn't watch TV for the last 12 months, so I'd like my money back please. It is the same thing they are asking you to do.

4
LukeFitzpatrick 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, I'd just refund it like jasonkester said. It's not worth the hassle and besides, that customer is likely to complain about your service if you don't refund it. The chances are, they are probably really strapped for cash and are looking for ways to cut down on expenses suddenly. Or they are just (---: 's
5
saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check what card they were using . . . determine how far back they could request chargebacks and refund to that point or one billing cycle farther back . . . most services will only refund back one billing cycle so I agree this request is extreme . . . Good luck in 2015.
6
jhwhite 1 day ago 1 reply      
Did they pay for a year up front? I feel more information is needed.

Is this a renewal and they pay for a year at a time? If so how long past the renewal are they?

Or has a year gone by and they owe for the past year?

7
rancur 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I would look at how much they actually cost you. Cost you. If they didn't cost much of anything refund them up to the cost to you to do business, including overhead
8
cgtyoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
What are your original TOS for refunds?

Maybe offer them a month's refund to get rid of them. Hard to say when dealing with extreme cases.

30
Things I wish people who write job postings would stop writing
113 points by littlestitious  2 days ago   106 comments top 31
1
cek 2 days ago 5 replies      
Best job description I ever wrote. This was while I was a Microsoft building a new team.

    Are you a lazy program manager who could care less     about PCs, devices, networking, and other technologies     in the home? Have you always dreaded working on a     product that you would LOVE to use? Do you yearn to     work in a huge, lumbering, group working on the same     old stuff forever? If so, have we got a job for you!    We are looking for a newbie program manager to hinder     us in building the next version of Windows Home Server.     Our team is ginormous, moves excruciatingly slowly and     indecisively, and we are thoroughly hating life. And we     need more PMs to suffer along with us! Interested?    You will be a non-player helping to design and build     the 42nd version of a product that has been around     since before you were born. We are still in startup     mode, and as part of a startup, youll have to do one     task repeatedly over and over. You need to be ready and     willing to do whatever I say when I say it even if it     makes no sense whether that means screwing up features,     angering partners, ignoring the community, creating     bugs, and maybe even stealing a little code and hacking     into a bank. We are in need of Program Managers with     weak design skills; goof-offs who can take ownership of     a user scenario area, ignore requirements, design a     useless technology for technologies sake (forgetting     about the user experience), and work with dev, test,     UA, usability, etc to cause them all to quit. And then     do it again.    Candidates should have poor consumer empathy, a deep     dislike of cutting edge technology in the home, and the     ability to cause political issues in small team where     everything is already figured out and theres nothing     really left to do.    Candidates must have less than 4 days experience as a     program manager working on shipping products.     Experience doing customer research and designing     consumer UIs will immediately disqualify you. The less     technical knowledge you have of networking, storage,     and Windows server technologies the better. Candidates     should have a B.A. in Basket Weaving or equivalent and     should have been fired from their previous two jobs.

2
IvyMike 2 days ago 4 replies      
Postings that use phrases like "ninja", "rockstar", "crush code", etc, tell me something very, very important about the company.

Specifically, that I'd probably hate to work there.

3
MichaelCrawford 2 days ago 2 replies      
Among my pet peeves is that when I search for telecommute jobs at Craigslist - which is often the case, as I am a consultant - it gets me posts that say "no telecommuting".

It is quite cruel that the name of the employer is usually not provided: "We are a hot startup in the cloudspace" rather than "Example.com is a hot startup in the cloudspace". This has the result that I apply to a lot more companies than I otherwise would, because there is no way I can learn more about the company _before_ apply.

See if you can find a recording of the original Apple Computer radio ad. It was on their very first developer CD - "You can change the world!"

Well I expect Apple did, but now everyone says they're going to.

I've gotten to the point that when I see an ad seeking a "rockstar coder" I just don't apply.

How about a job posting that's looking for someone with more than ten years experience?

Someone whose products got reviews in the trade press, or sold well?

4
MichaelCrawford 2 days ago 2 replies      
What I'd really like to see, is a recruiter who actually looked at my resume from beginning to end before contacting me.

Finally, just a few minutes ago, I put a vacation response in my gmail account:

   Dear Friend,   Thank you for writing, I'll get back to you soon.   If you are an agency recruiter seeking to place me in a   job or contract position, please be advised that I find   my own work.  Please take me off your mailing list.   Please delete my resume from your records as well.   If you'd like to know why, please read this:      Market Yourself: Tips for High-Tech Consultants      http://www.warplife.com/tips/business/market-yourself.html   Regards,   Michael David Crawford, Consulting Software Engineer   Solving the Software Problem   mdcrawford@gmail.com      Local Jobs, Local Candidates      The Global Computer Employer Index      http://www.warplife.com/jobs/computer/

5
MichaelCrawford 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm looking for the kind of job where I can stare out the window all day long, but then write one single subroutine that just works the very first time, and that not only is compliant to spec, but exceeds expectation.

Rock stars blow their royalties and ticket sales up their noses, sleep with groupies, trash hotel rooms and die young.

6
mountaineer 2 days ago 4 replies      
I've been tracking[1] the use of "passionate" in whoishiring threads, really getting out of control. It's now become one of the 10 most frequent terms used in posts.

[1] http://www.ryan-williams.net/hacker-news-hiring-trends/2014/...

7
mdm_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
>"hmm, maybe I'm not awesome enough for this position" - said nobody ever

I think you're underestimating the number of people who tell themselves things like that.

8
zerotolerance 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about kitchen sink technology lists? These tell me two things about a potential employer. First, their HR department uses keyword matching to filter resumes. Second, the person writing the JD is inexperienced or has an extremely low hiring bar.
9
davesailer 2 days ago 0 replies      
My favorite (from a long time ago now): "Experienced in Lotus 1, 2, and 3."
10
Mimu 1 day ago 0 replies      
In all honestly I don't think this is just jobs ads. Just look at this place (hacker news) for example, everybody is using the term "hacker" to designate anything.

Today putting lettuce and meat together to create a salad is hacking.

I agree that this is ridiculous though, also I currently work in a company that was hiring a "Jedi angularJS developer", I had 2 days experience with the framework when I signed (they knew, long story short they didn't want me, the recruiter pass me a test that was not for me and I did way better than the original guy).

11
coldcode 2 days ago 1 reply      
Unless you written code for a rockstar, you are not a rockstar coder anyway. Why hire a Ninja, you won't see them come in to work or leave anyway.
12
twic 2 days ago 1 reply      
An apparently genuine job ad that came to my attention today (i think it's currently sweeping Twitter), from Sportacam in Finland [1]:

    What we can offer:    - Meeting and partying with international sports superstars    - Drinking beer instead of Jolt-coke    - Making it rain on them hoes    - Salary and/or Equity    Yes, this will all come true if you fit the criteria.    We expect you to:    - be totally gay for code    - know how to build a robust back-end that can handle massive amounts of photos, videos and users    - have at least 7-10 years experience in back-end development    - be able to talk to other people
Well, at least the "be able to talk to other people" is good.

[1] http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5YIQ01r...

13
davidgerard 2 days ago 1 reply      
Joblint is now available as a service!

http://joblint.org/ - Test tech job specs for issues with sexism, culture, expectations, and recruiter fails.

Library source: https://github.com/rowanmanning/joblint

14
loteck 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there enough attention being paid to how the language used in job ads is, in the best case, subliminally advertising a company's culture of ageism?

I can hardly think of a better way to advertise that you only want young people to apply than to advertise for a guru rockstar gamechanging ninja who is awesome and wants a vague job description.

15
benaston 2 days ago 0 replies      
My favorite job advert was one for a large-ish company (200 people) that invited you to criticise their public-facing web application. The implication was that not following the instructions on the advert to a T would result in your application being ignored.

Clearly this was a lose-lose proposition.

Hilariously, I naively took them at their word and described amongst other observations how their application used far too many HTTP requests (i.e. they weren't using concatenation) and that the page size was phenomenally large.

Needless to say I got no response.

Another time an in-house recruiter for a company that creates a light-blue VOIP client that everyone uses, mentioned that there were free soft drinks and that the executive management were really down to earth. At which point I moved the phone away from my mouth, took a breath and regained my composure.

16
fredgrott 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recently by mistake expressed interest in a startup on Angel.co found out later tha its one of these fake social startups building a mobile app on top of facebook and the founder is screaming about passion after 2 years going with no funding showing..yeah right..way to kill any interest whatsoever.
17
matt6545 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would like for them to hire a professional writer. It seems more common to cut and past.
18
dpcan 2 days ago 0 replies      
What I learned earlier this year on HN in another thread is that saying "ninja", etc, paints the picture of the company's culture. Keeping stick-in-the-mud guys like me away :) It just saves everyone some time.
19
diafygi 2 days ago 2 replies      
Can you give an example of a good job posting? I try to make our postings as real as possible[1], and would love feedback.

The level of detail goes both ways, though. The vast majority of people who apply don't even submit a pgp resume, which gives the impression that they didnt read the job description.

[1]: http://www.indeed.com/viewjob?jk=66c8368e9c756e78

20
francesca 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the reason why it sucks is because engineers don't write job specs -- recruiters do. And a lot of recruiters don't take the time to really learn about how and why engineers move from company to company. Often they don't attract the highest quality talent because they attract talent that is "just right" and they don't try harder to make their recruiting better.
21
yuncun 2 days ago 0 replies      
Agreed. On the other hand, my favorite line to read is

- 'Interested? Email me at ted@coolstartup.com, include hackernews in subject line'

22
mszyndel 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually a lot of people _can_ feel like they are not awesome enough.
23
wmkn 2 days ago 0 replies      
You are going to hate everything about this requirement page then: https://www.bunq.com/nl/en/job/

Actually it improved a little bit. Until a few weeks ago you had to sign an NDA to learn what the company actually does.

24
ably 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ads that use language like that often go on to say suspicious things like "build great exposure for your work" and then finally come right out and say "unpaid role".
26
drinchev 2 days ago 0 replies      
I totally agree. Ironically I think current economical situation flips the coin. Companies are fighting for developers rather than employees applying for jobs. In rare cases ( google, facebook, twitter, etc. ) these writing actually doesn't exist.
27
GeoffreyKr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ninja was cool the first time it was used, not it's a stupid word telling : "you won't get paid much but you'll work on a mac book pro"
28
theaccordance 2 days ago 2 replies      
No arguments from me regarding the first set of words, but the second set? Those do hold benefit when used properly to communicate context, especially with differentiating between a presumed core skill requirement and supplemental nice-to-have.
29
duderific 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Gamechanger" is the new "rockstar"
30
JCJoverTCP 2 days ago 1 reply      
"rockstar"
31
jasonnerothin 2 days ago 0 replies      
those are key words for young coders, nothing more
       cached 12 December 2014 05:05:02 GMT