hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    25 Jun 2015 Ask
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Ask HN: Open source OCR library?
6 points by whbv  38 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
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t0 1 minute ago 0 replies      
The accuracy of GOCR is very high and it doesn't require any learning.

http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/dapper/man1/gocr.1.html

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byoung2 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Writing my first Android app should I use Material Design?
3 points by flamtik  1 hour ago   1 comment top
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hgarg 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
Don't worry about MD right now. Get your first version out there, asap first.

MD can be adopted later.

Ask HN: What are some good public places to code?
18 points by smaili  10 hours ago   23 comments top 11
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mead5432 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I tend to be pretty productive in a moderately busy Starbucks or other coffee shop. Something about having a lot of people nearby keeps me focused... probably because I don't really want to be the guy surfing facebook with my computer for hours at the coffee shop. Actually working seems much better.

If you opt for Starbucks, make sure to register a Starbucks card and use their app. Once you reach a certain level, you get free refills on drip coffee and teas.

2
tcpudp 7 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're in SF or NY you should check out the AWS Loft:

http://aws.amazon.com/start-ups/loft/

Lots of people hang out here to code and work on their projects (and it doesn't have to be AWS related either). There's also free food and wifi.

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MalcolmDiggs 9 hours ago 1 reply      
When I'm in the Bay Area I love working at the public libraries. If I remember correctly the San Francisco Public Library's main branch offers a free wifi connection at about 45mbps down and up; and they don't block port 22, so you can ssh all you want. There are also plenty of people working there, and you'll probably notice some other people coding.

The only downside of libraries are the hours (which are often very limited) and the lack of food. Also it's not a great place to take phone calls or work in groups.

4
praneshp 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Starbucks on El Camino real (near the intersection of El Camino and Wolfe) in Sunnyvale. Very fast internet, unlike the one down the road that serves 3 universities.
5
cweagans 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a big fan of Panera in pretty much any city (though I spent a lot of time in the Mountain View location at El Monte and El Camino Real when I lived nearby). They always have decent wifi, available power outlets, and they bring the food to your table so you don't have to leave your computer sitting around.
6
dalacv 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Be sure to check LiquidSpace. You can find some free workspaces and even reserve a spot. For example: https://liquidspace.com/US/TX/The%20Colony/DALTC/workspace-1
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byoung2 10 hours ago 0 replies      
In the Los Angeles area, the food court at the Westfield Topanaga Mall has high counters and tables with outlets at each seat, including USB chargers. It's an upscale food court with real plates and silverware if you get hungry, and there is plenty of people watching. It's also on the second floor, with plenty of natural light.
8
busterarm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A lot of younger creatives seem to like working from the Ace Hotel here in NY.
9
adomanico 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Cafe Trieste is my favourite spot in SF. Really awesome vibe at this place.
10
caseyf7 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If you have a mifi device, a shady table in a park is hard to beat.
11
efferifick 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The library.
Tell HN: Kevin and I are doing HN office hours Friday from 11 am to 1 pm PDT
143 points by sama  1 day ago   43 comments top 9
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vonklaus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having an open dialogue that can be referenced like this will provide an amazing resource. This will help people outside of those companies facing similar or tangential issues. Thanks!
2
minimaxir 1 day ago 2 replies      
> Then we'll let HN vote on the projects

You mean vote on the top-level comment submissions? That's not a good idea because comment ranking is influenced heavily by time of submission (more recent comments appear at top, so it would be smarter for startups to submit later and also it means order will not correspond to upvotes), and, more importantly, comment scores are not visible.

3
RobotCaleb 1 day ago 3 replies      
What is an office hour? I feel like this post wasn't meant for me.
4
jordigg 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm sure we'll see more pitches trying to get attention than real questions to specific problems. Let's try to keep it useful for everyone!It's a great idea and I want to thank you in advance for taking the time to help others even not being part of YC. Another positive point against many other "top" accelerators.
5
workerdee 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this only for technical startups or in industries that you and Kevin specialize in?
6
logicallee 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wowwww... This is an insane level of commitment on a public forum like this. (With its current levels of readership.) I'm impressed.

Especially since many interesting office hour questions and answers are the kinds of things that anyone who isn't currently (or has never) run a startup would kind of react negatively to seeing in public. (There are some prime examples of people who have no experience with, but very strong opinions about, startups.).

People's conceptions about startups are so different from what it's like to actually build one, I almost suggest that other past and present founders answer some of the the questions that get posed (i.e. others also reply to comments) besides letting Kevin and Sam do so - not to dilute the signal, but to increase it. I wonder if this could be made official, with mail to YC companies that they are welcome to chime in!

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csentropy 1 day ago 1 reply      
We(tryfuel.com) are working on quantifying nutrition and personalizing it so people can eat healthy and understand how their bodies respond to diet. We have traction and very sticky product. We are raising our seed round.

The biggest problem we are having is finding angels who will not only lead this round but help in future rounds with introductions to VCs and serve as social proof. Any ideas on how to solve this?

8
jbverschoor 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm working on www.seeflo.comIt still has some glitches but the start of the application is there.My biggest problem right now is finding my audience.
9
shankysingh 1 day ago 2 replies      
We ( www.helpingfaceless.com ) are trying to help vulnerable children using technology and create a viable business model around it.

Short term : Create basic infrastructure for data collection and reporting, manage in cloud, and charge small subscription fee for it.

Long term : Combat child trafficking using face recognition technology and data analytics.

we use B.O.T ( build operate transform ) process to build the infrastructure for organizations and law enforcement agencies .

Biggest problems we are facing : 1. Lack of impact investment2. Long Sales cycle

Ask HN: Who is todays inspirational tech kids, like Bill Gates when he started?
4 points by hoodoof  5 hours ago   3 comments top 2
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krrishd 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a Facebook group full of people like that: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PennAppsHS/

Many members of the group are now founders of venture-funded startups, Thiel Fellows, etc, so odds are that the next big tech personality is very likely to be in the group

2
J_Darnley 3 hours ago 1 reply      
You can't do that these days on modern devices and platforms. You can't run your own software. You can't run unsigned software.
Ask HN: Why do I always see X has shut down, but have never heard of X?
16 points by DiabloD3  17 hours ago   13 comments top 8
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svisser 16 hours ago 0 replies      
They failed to reach you and that's part of the reason why they shut down.
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casion 14 hours ago 0 replies      
For a lot of the companies I see, it's not that they don't advertise enough... It's that they're selling a solution to a problem that nobody is rushing to solve.

Other factors come in of course, such as: bad advertising, bad product, poor social media representation, bad SEO, bad service, bad management, bad whatever.

From my perspective though, I just see lots of companies selling solutions to problems I never thought of looking for a solution to. It takes some really, really good advertising and a good product to overtake that burden.

3
Yenrabbit 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Based on the title I arrived here to explain how the X display server works :P
4
moioci 14 hours ago 0 replies      
For the simple reason that the more successful a company is, the more likely you are to have heard of them. These are the companies that never gained traction.
5
wcchandler 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It'd be nice if there was a "Startup Portfolio" that's linked on HN which is basically a long list of startups that have been endorsed or blessed or backed by HN founders, supporters or alum. Each company could get 1 paragraph to describe their company and their current objectives. Might be interesting to just browse the list on occasion.
6
bbcbasic 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There are also lots of multi million or multi billion dollar successful businesses that you have never heard of.

I think it is more about your bandwidth as a mere mortal. Even with the number of advertising messages laid on us per day, there is no way we can know about every business that may be relevant to us. There is only so many Kb/s that can enter our brains!

7
davelnewton 14 hours ago 1 reply      
What's X? Never heard of it.
8
informatimago 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here. :-)
Ask HN: Someone copied my website exactly
15 points by hbhakhra  20 hours ago   13 comments top 6
1
kaolinite 19 hours ago 1 reply      
You haven't posted the real domain so I can't check but try pinging the clone's domain and make sure it isn't pointing to your server's IP. It may just be a domain that belonged to the previous owner of your server's IP.
2
tacone 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Partially related: I had a personal blog and after 8 years or so, I let the domain expire.

After a month it was not only bought, but replaced with an identical mirror outdated of circa 2 years. Even the infinite scrolling js was working.

They replaced all the adsense with their own ads, and put textlinks inside the posts (usually sex/abuse related keywords).

Not knowing what to do, I just reported it to google (and that led to no appreciable result).

Luckily it went away after a bunch of months (the domain is still there, but the website does not load nor it appears to be indexed in google any more)

Needless to say, being the website domain my real name, I felt pretty embarrassed about it. :)

3
iamjdg 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I just checked both sites, they are both up, the fake codemonkey site and the real kmsurvival.com.

neither show up on the first 3 google pages for "km survival" or "kmsurvival". I have to google kmsurvival.com to get you to come up on the first google page. you have some seo to do. good news is the fake site never came up on any of the searches above.

4
bbthorntz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
One of our client's websites was recently cloned and hosted on the back of a hacked .org TLD. The cloned site immediately trumped our client's website in rankings and severely impacted their SEO (sales dropped drastically). The sneaky part was that the cloned site was only displayed to GoogleBot and normal users were redirected to a website in China selling fakes. Google support were completely unresponsive and didn't understand the problem. In the end we just blocked the scraping website's IP address from accessing our site - unfortunately sales were affected for over a week.
5
hbhakhra 19 hours ago 2 replies      
So now that I know the fake host is just pointing to our IP, what can I do about it (contact registrar etc)?
6
atoz 16 hours ago 0 replies      
do a

dig codemonkeyjava.com or kmsurvival.com

=> both domains point to the same ip.

=> this seems to be a problem of the webservers vhost configuration.

cheersv.

Ask HN: What are your favourite tools to work with?
8 points by dutchbrit  15 hours ago   21 comments top 15
1
rayalez 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Lenovo Thinkpad X1(1st gen) running ubuntu - my god this laptop is gorgeous. Best purchase I've ever made.

Emacs with org-mode for all the writing, notes, organizing information. I absolutely love this editor, makes you 100 times more productive, and also very fun to learn and use.

i3wm - brilliant window manager, after using it for a while it's hard to imagine using anything else.

draw.io - cool tool for drawing diagrams and organizing information. Helps me to think.

pelican - python markdown static website generator. I was looling for a perfect blogging tool for a long time and this is it.

iPad mini with only 4 apps installed:

- Editorial - insanely good text editor. Supports markdown, python scripting with all kinds of extremely convenient automation, looks gorgeous. It blew my mind when I first installed it, after taking most of my notes on android I had no idea a text editor on a tablet can be that freakin good.

- iThought - great mindmapping tool, for thinking and coming up with ideas.

- Track & Share - super convenient habit tracking tool.

- iBooks

Basically I don't use an iPad for anything but writiing, reading and thinking. Don't even use a browser, and it is mostly offline. Perfect distraction-free tool.

Also old second-hand Nexus 7 I bought very cheaply, for watching tv shows, youtube videos, and browsing HN/reddit. It is very helpful to have a device for all the time-wasting activities. Every time I want to do something dumb I use nexus, that way it's not hard to avoid doing pointless things on my Laptop/iPad, which makes them into perfect devices for focus and productivity, and it is always clear whether I'm doing something useful or screwing around.

2
drallison 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I like pencil (or pen) and paper. Self-contained, portable, and broadly applicable to a variety of different problems.
3
knotty66 12 hours ago 0 replies      
i3 Window Manager. I wish Apple would design a WM inspired by i3 but with the amount of polish they usually apply.
4
replete 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Desktop:

-OSX (gestures and spaces work well, with a few niggles like OSX not showing the window when tabbing to a minimised window)

-TotalFinder (OSX finder enhancement, the visor lets you get a finder window with alt+`)

-TotalTerminal (OSX quake-style dropdown console terminal)

-Alfred (OSX fast-spotlight replacement with plugins)

Dev:-Gulp - great for frontend build once you know how everything works

5
DaGardner 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I always prototype stuff on paper with a pen; best way to use your entire desk(top) ;)
6
cweagans 8 hours ago 0 replies      
osx, vim, alfred, git, and vagrant pretty much do it for me. Pretty much all of those things run well on Linux, though, so I'm considering switching.
7
fuddle 9 hours ago 0 replies      
My main toolbox is: Spotify, Intellij, Chrome, notepad and pen.
8
desbo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Mitsubishi Uni-Ball pens
9
AnimalMuppet 12 hours ago 0 replies      
IntelliJ.

The bash shell and the Unix command-line tools.

As others have said, pencil and paper.

10
sebnukem2 9 hours ago 0 replies      
notebook + pen, ssh, bash, Perl, Vim, IntelliJ, Eclipse, Firebug.
11
gnur 13 hours ago 1 reply      
vim
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aprdm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
vim sublime shell git
13
tvvocold 13 hours ago 1 reply      
c9.io

Can not imagine living without Spotify : )

14
mitesh27 13 hours ago 0 replies      
google analytics, alexa
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chad_strategic 11 hours ago 0 replies      
guake
PyCon PL 2015 Call for Proposals is open
4 points by plpug  11 hours ago   discuss
What is your VM workflow?
8 points by jklein11  13 hours ago   5 comments top 4
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stephenr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I assume you're talking about developer environments here.

If you use Vagrant, the actual virtualisation tool used can be up to the individual - i.e. I use Parallels but a lot of people may use VirtualBox because it's free (albeit has worse performance).

The key thing is to use the tools well - have your development environment match staging/prod as closely as possible - distro + version, stack components, etc. If its possible, re-use your setup scripts/config management system across all environments.

2
nitramnitram 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I alone in thinking that emulating a physical machine, installing an operating system on that virtual physical machine and so on and end up with two operating systems running in parallel on the same physical machine which needs to be patched and maintained is not an elegant solution? After a while, every developer might have five machines which he need to keep patched and maintained.

Personally I just have VMware Workstation for this at home and VMWare ESX cluster at work.

3
icpmacdo 12 hours ago 1 reply      
My primary Ubuntu virtual machine with vmware fusion is quite frustrating when tabbing between it and other applications on the native OS. Hitting cmd+tab to go from Ubuntu to chrome opens up a search menu on Ubuntu that requires you to hit esc before getting back to work. Very annoying, anyone also run into this issue?
4
penguinlinux 10 hours ago 0 replies      
we use virtualbox and a bare template Ubuntu image. the workflow is like this.

developer installs virtualbox and downloads the small image to this laptop. Then the developers does a git pull of our Ansible code, the Ansible code contains a subdirectory with shell scripts that can create headless virtualmachines for any of our application stacks. Then he does an ansible run against this new machine and Ansible will provision a full instance running our stack on this new dev environment

Python + MySQL Kafka/ Flume MongodbHadoop

basically the developer can have a full stack running on his machine and it is not slow. Most machines have 16Gigs of memory and lots of cpu power so we haven't had anyone complain that things are slow. Developers can create or destroy environments and they know they can rebuild them locally.

We tried doing this with docker and got it working but it was actually slower in docker and don't get me started using docker on the mac. the devs hated it and love ansible better

JavaScript beats Java at number of stackoverflow questions
6 points by dimboiu  14 hours ago   4 comments top 4
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thorin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As above. Once you are reasonably confident with Java you are less likely to have the kind of questions that SO can answer e.g. ones with a definitive answer not design/pattern related. The API's are often consistent and well documented. A lot of people coming from C++ / C# etc can easily transfer to Java. Also although they are a similar age JavaScript uptake for solving real problems is on the increase.

I'm novice to intermediate with Java and JavaScript and I find far more gotchas with JavaScript as evidenced in blogs, books etc e.g. The Good Parts (cf The Bad Parts...)

2
MalcolmDiggs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Wide adoption + low barrier to entry + non-blocking I/O = lots of questions on SO.
3
hcho 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It is more widely deployed and it throws more curve balls. Why are you surprised?
4
davelnewton 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't surprise me at all.
Ask HN: C/C++ adjusting variables at runtime
4 points by scraft  12 hours ago   5 comments top 5
1
to3m 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote an HTTP server (https://github.com/tom-seddon/yhs) with pretty much exactly this use case in mind. (This influenced the main unusual thing about it: it doesn't use threads, the idea being that when your function is called in response to an HTTP request, you're less likely to have to do anything special before modifying values as requested.)

The code is mostly complete, and should be usable as-is, but I never ended up using it in anger. My quick and dirty stopgap solution at the time was some on-screen (on the iPhone) widgets, and people seemed to prefer that in the end, because it meant they didn't need a computer/second iPhone/etc. So I never rolled out an HTTP-based equivalent.

If I were doing it again, I probably wouldn't bother with a full(ish) HTTP implementation - I'd support only WebSockets. Then write the Javascript client code separately from the game, and store it separately in SVN or whatever. Faster iteration on the client code, and you can update the UI stuff separately from the game.

Though of course, if people preferred on-screen widgets once, they might then still prefer it a second time ;)

(As an example, a project that's on my must-take-a-closer-look list, that I believe but works in the way I suggest: https://github.com/Celtoys/Remotery)

2
iab 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you are looking for something like CVars, or equivalent. The doom source has an implementation, there is also one as part of the library below which I highly recommend.http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~gsibley/GLConsole/index.php?n=Ma...
3
shortoncash 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Kuck and Associates had a performance tuning library with OpenMP support years ago that did this or something similar to this around 17 years ago. They got acquired by Intel. I don't know if Intel's compilers and libraries still have this feature.
4
scraft 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have come across GLConsole http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~gsibley/GLConsole/ and CVars https://github.com/arpg/CVars and http://anttweakbar.sourceforge.net/doc/ which are definitely along the lines of what I was after. I just seem to specifically remember something that displayed the information via a webserver, at the time I remember thinking I'll come back to integrate it at a later date, but now can't find the original source!
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scraft 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The first post on here lists a lot of cool things it would be nice to be able to do... https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/36d190/h2o_is_...
Ask HN: Windows laptops for devs
8 points by andymurd  21 hours ago   17 comments top 12
1
davismwfl 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been a fan of Toshiba and Samsung. Samsung is really underrated IMO. I started using them a few years ago for a client site I worked at when the client wanted to replace a bunch of Dell laptops. In general people don't realize that Samsung is many times a silent vendor behind other laptop brands but they build to spec. They brought out their own laptop line a number of years back and they seem to really be pretty well thought out. And warranty when I had to use it was really painless.

I can't say I have dealt with them in the last 2 years, but I'd definitely look at Samsung and Toshiba. In general I would still follow the same advice and freshen Windows from scratch to remove the crap and make it the way I want it.

My primary laptops right now are a Macbook Pro and a 4 year old I7 Windows Toshiba. I rarely touch the Tosh now adays, but it is there when I need it.

2
TobbenTM 19 hours ago 1 reply      
You'll want to install a clean Windows no matter what laptop you buy.

As for laptops, I prefer Thinkpads, with their excellent build quality, and the availability of factory parts in case something goes wrong. Personally I run a Thinkpad T530 with 1 SSD, 1 HDD in the dvd tray and a nice battery.

3
SamReidHughes 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Lenovo Thinkpads? They weren't hit by Superfish.
4
zerohp 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently ordered two Microsoft Signature Edition laptops from the Microsoft store. Both of them were great out of the box. No crapware at all.
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brudgers 14 hours ago 0 replies      
To me the brand matters less than the target sales channel. A laptop targeted at sales to individuals will optimize around one set of features. A device targeted at 2k units a pop to enterprise will optimize differently. Generally the enterprise class unit will tend to be more robust and have a better support pipeline. Or to put it another way, the SKU with a three year onsite standard warranty is designed around business needs. That class matters more than brand.
6
codepeach 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a couple of laptops with I use heavily for dev work. Dell and Acer, and both have really impressed me.

The dell also has a docking station which connects 2x widescreen monitors on my desk, which i find highly useful as trying to code on 1x small laptop screen can be restrictive at times.

7
i0nutzb 18 hours ago 0 replies      
After long debates and tests I came to the conclusion that the best hardware for Windows is a... mac book pro.

Running Windows on a Mac will reduce the battery daily life (from ~5-6 hours to ~3-4 hours) but even so, is better than most non-apple devices.

The price/performance ratio is about the same on either apple or non-apple laptops, so this is not a blocker.

8
insoluble 14 hours ago 0 replies      
As a simpler alternative to reinstalling Windows, the built-in "Windows Refresh" feature available in newer versions of Windows will basically remove the vendor-added software.
9
pointe 18 hours ago 0 replies      
A clean Windows install is a must, as others mentionted.

As for hardware - there are really two options. Either a ThinkPad (whichever flavour suits you) or a MacBook Pro with Windows (yes, it works better than most). Hint: the MBP will probably be cheaper, based on your configuration.

10
Zekio 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been look around for ages, for a proper laptop, since my current one needs an update, all I've found is that what I want is a gaming laptop like specs without a dedicated graphics card pretty much, which is impossible to find, especially if you try to it in a 17" ultra-book :S
11
kymair 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Reinstalling a clean Windows is totally worth the time. I cannot name one Windows laptop without crapwares.
12
VOYD 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I tend to go with ASUS these days.
Ask HN: How to address horrible practices at new job?
22 points by remyp  1 day ago   20 comments top 14
1
NathanKP 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is a pretty simple order of operation you can target if you want:

1) As you onboard and get your environment setup simultaneously write a Vagrantfile so that you can provision a local dev environment in an automatic fashion.

2) Set up an automatic monitoring solution. This shouldn't take longer than 30 mins but will be all it takes to provide proof that lack of tests and deploys directly from local to prod are endangering the stability. It will also allow you to pinpoint outages coinciding with deploys.

3) Write an extremely basic test script. Even if it is nothing but a bash script that uses curl commands to do auth, the top 5 transactions, and that's it it will still be better than nothing. You don't need 100% coverage for tests to be useful. Most of the time there are a key ten to twenty tests that can cover 80% of the core stuff that you don't want to break.

4) Any time you figure out how an endpoint works, or have to ask one of the other engineers something take 5 minutes to commit this meatspace knowledge you just learned to a bitspace markdown file somewhere in your repo.

The nice thing is that these are all things that take minimal time, but have a huge multiplicative effect on your productivity and that of others. You should be able write better code faster than your coworkers and the results will speak for themselves.

2
davismwfl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Its a small firm and these are not uncommon issues. The size of the firm means that likely the focus of the CEO is to bring in the next client, not worry about whether there is a development server setup properly. A lot of the times, these are the exact reason he has hired someone that knows their job. He isn't going to want to know about all the little details, he just wants everything to work so he can sell. And the feature he has you working on may be critical, as he sees it, to land a client or give existing clients something new.

My 2 cents. Don't judge everything just from 2 weeks. All of your issues are valid, but give yourself a little time to acclimate to the team. Gain their respect, gain the CEO's respect by showing you can do the job and take care of details. Take some of these issues you highlighted and fix them. Add automated testing for your new feature, add documentation for it, setup a quick monitor to alert when the API goes down and learn the development setup so you can fix that process. In fairness most of these issues show a lack of development leadership so be the leader. Don't try to convince the CEO why you need to do these things, just do them and the results will speak for themselves. Do yourself a favor first, get the respect of the team by playing along and getting the feature done and do it with proper process and documentation. That'll go a long way.

In the end, you may hate it and need to leave, but give yourself a chance to see if it is systemic issues, or just a lack of development leadership. I have seen many times when a small business CEO tries to control development because he doesn't have anyone strong to do it. Usually this is because he doesn't trust the results from the team totally because of things like an API going down and it takes a customer call to fix it. Why else would he have hired an "outsider" to run the team? He doesn't know what he doesn't know. Show him through doing and see if it changes, if not, move on.

3
PhilWright 1 day ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you have not been in the position of leading a development team before. As a result you are suffering from the same mistake that I made myself when moving into that situation.

Stop asking your boss for permission to do every technical task. As a developer this was appropriate but when running a team it is not. It sounds like your boss is viewing the development team as he should, it's a sausage factory. He cares about the output but has no real interest of what happens to produce it.

As he will not let you dedicate fixed time now to make changes you need instead to gradually introduce them. Set a goal of getting all the process changes you want made over the space of the next year. For example, add some automatic monitoring. Don't ask for permission, just go ahead and go it because it is a small task. Once it is working well you then get the three other developers to start using it. Once everyone sees the benefit over the next few weeks you can then make another change.

4
Nadya 1 day ago 1 reply      
I assume their code base has been working for 10 years? Not every owner cares about scaling or quality, sometimes speed is their selling factor.

That's why we have McDonalds and 5-star restaurants instead of only 5-star restaurants.

You can try to educate him on why documentation would help speed up development, would make on-boarding new devs easier/faster (increasing product quality/stability and possibly decreasing churn for when your critical API fails on a customer...)

But his business is clearly working for him. So why change things? Why spend a lot of time (and time=money) on fixing problems that haven't ailed his successful business for 10 years?

5
brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Your question imples a large amout of technical effort and presents zero business value creation in return. After two weeks on the job, you're arguing with your customer over their prioritization of the backlog.

My advice: learn why the current methods are working for the current team in their pursuit of creating customer value and why the YAGNI of reality doesn't conform to Uncle Bob's best practices. Note that I am not saying this is your dream job. but it is a chance to gain experience beyond theory and more nuanced judgement such as only experience can provide.

Good luck.

6
gt565k 1 day ago 0 replies      
Run, and run fast.

Since you've only been there for 2 weeks, you've yet to experience the ridiculous amount of production issues that will arise due to the lack of a solid software development process. Wait long enough, and when the only guy that knows the system inside-out leaves, you'll be left with the fire extinguisher trying to put out fires every other day.

Nothing will change. I can tell you from experience. If the place has been running like that for 10 years, there's a reason for it, poor management. I'm sure a lot more people before you have brought this up.

Run, and run fast!

7
hga 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a case of responsibility without authority. You signed on for the job of "running the development team" but they've demonstrated they're not going to give you any authority to actually do that.

And your CEO has no respect for you if he can't find more than 5 minutes (total or at a time) to bring you on board.

I'd leave ASAP, this is going to be nothing but pain, and very high stress; almost certainly not worth the money.

8
JSeymourATL 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> it has been difficult to get the CEO to keep meetings or spend the necessary time (> 5 minutes)...

It turns out a lot Small Company CEOs have limited bandwidth. Learn his communication style and how to manage him. Can he take a 7am call on his commute into the office? Relative to your performance imperatives, help him understand how these things move his agenda forward. Otherwise, his problems aren't going away.

9
segmondy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Demonstrate competency first. Solve the main problem you were brought there for. Solve it right, solve it fast, employ all the ideas you wish to see, documentation, testing, monitoring, dev server, peer reviews. Earn their trust and respect, you are 2 weeks in. Focus on the job at hand, and in 2-3 months, you will know who can be your allies and you can then start figuring out how to get these changes out.
10
gus_massa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Assuming the stress/money ratio is good enough, you can try this "Getting Things Done When You're Only a Grunt" http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000332.html

I think that monitoring is an easy target because it's isolated and it will not "slow down" the rest of the team.

The next step could be automated texting for your new code and later for all new code (and much later, for old code).

(Documenting the development environment is still in my todo list :) )

11
SideburnsOfDoom 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would seriously look at the terms of your employment contract. there is usually a "probation period" of a few months during which time you can be let go at very short notice because it's not working out for whatever reason.

It's not always kept in mind that "it's not working out" cuts both ways. If you aren't happy there (and I really would not be) then it's time to decide - as they say "if you can't change your company, then change your company."

Some of these practices, YMMV. For instance, "Code is committed directly to master, not on branches" gets a big shrug from me. What does it matter so long as only 1 person is working on a repo at a time, or if changes are isolated and merges are frequent?

Others, like no testing, no build automation, no live monitoring, give me the creeps. There is actual harm from them "an api went down and we didn't know" so there is leverage there to pitch you can make for mitigation of recurrences of actual problems and for proven industry practices. But it looks like a lot of uphill struggle.

12
deeteecee 15 hours ago 0 replies      
why do other people say this is "a general problem" in any way? sounds extremely fishy and rare to me.. i guess just do what you're told if that salary is such a big bonus for you but ask him if it's okay to slowly tackle those problems you considered after you get the main task at hand finished.
13
jbdigriz 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is generally a problem in various forms at firms of all sizes, so running away is simply conceding that you lack the desire to develop some of the most important skills required when moving into an elevated lead or management position: the ability to compel people without forcing them and the ability to compromise.

Looking at your list of gripes, some are clearly critical issues (ie. Automated production monitoring and alerting of customer facing system) while some are obviously nitpicking (ie. Comments and documentation? Lol). Drop the "nice to have" stuff and instead pursue the "need to have" items. No CEO worth his salt is going to accept the liability of customer loss or lawsuit simply because no one thought to build some simple monitoring jobs. At the same time, I cringe at the prospect of a developer even mentioning comments or version control minutae to an executive level - definitely NOT a point to be explicitly bright up beyond some quantified metric on a regular report. It's distracting noise for him and definitely your problem to solve. Given that you mentioned being very well compensated, well that's a pretty good hint that the task ahead of you will be challenging and often not in the way you expect, as evidenced by this case.

On that note, be sure all these things are actually important for that specific business. I once worked on an in-house, Windows based C++ trading system with over 600k lines of code and there wasn't a single unit test to speak of. Granted, it was developed following SDLC and included 4 levels of testing (dev integration, ba functional, user demo and qa) but the system was running continuously for almost a decade and reaped profits in the high 9 figures. Some shops produce high quality software with deeply knowledgeable long tenured senior technologists and don't necessarily require such testing frameworks as they perform that task themselves and often far better than some pre-canned block of code ever will. I've also been in shops where testing and coverage minimums were required and tracked precisely in real time, preventing code release if standards were not met. The end result were loads of trivially passing, nonsense tests and a culture where developers often felt compelled to create even those for only the lowest hanging fruit to meet the minimum requirements for a deadline or risk a monetary impact to their bottom line. So don't just rotely follow (let alone impose) paradigms without realizing that quantifying their value is hard in many scenarios, not to mention could be construed as stepping on toes...

As some have mentioned, the best managers are those who are able to gain the trust of their teams and this is something that takes time and strings of successes along the way. At the same time, lead by example and instead of imposing your will, let the results speak for themselves. Add tests in some minor modules and if they fail, use the opportunity to demonstrate how they saved potential headaches or worse. I've found that people invariably flock to those who demonstrate not only ability and intelligence, but also civility and geniality. I can't even begin to explain how small humorous exchanges have vastly strengthened my network. I've had to lead teams of juniors and offshore folks without any official management title and its forced me to adapt and develop various methods of building repoir and ultimately compelling people to get things done, with few sour grapes to speak of and many successes (and comp increases) along the way.

Regardless of all of the above, you're still getting paid, right? By your admission, paid WELL. So why would you leave that because you believe you're not being allowed to do your job (most of which actually requires more work and maintenance)... 2 weeks in?!? Perhaps after 6-12 months, you come to the conclusion that the culture is just not for you. So, leave then - I assure you there will be just as many, if not more opportunities then, except at that point you can be confident you've shed any insecurities and gave it your best shot and have some quirky behavior tolerance to boot. That sort of techno "battle scar" is quite visible as a sort of confidence backed by wisdom and experience and makes prospective employers wet their pants. Or maybe you just kick ass and prove you're worth every penny - smiling all the way to the bank. Either alternative is far more appealing than tucking your tail and running. Food for thought

14
an0nymoose1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is your name Nate?
Ask HN: Scala vs. Java in real world
8 points by pedrorijo91  8 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
kasey_junk 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I have used Scala in extremely performance sensitive environments. There are places where you have to move down the "elegance scale" but you don't have to abandon Scala entirely.

In general, performance is not the reason I would choose Java over Scala.

2
thorin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Maintainability of code and number of available skilled developers would seem like a reason for not choosing Scala. A small team of highly skilled and motivated developers on a new project would seem like a good reason. Note I've done Java dev but only have a bit of Scala knowledge.
Ask HN: Why So Stressed?
18 points by cblock811  1 day ago   9 comments top 6
1
panjaro 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why Stressed?Let me tell you why I'm stressed and since last week thinking of turning of my life.

1. It's not ok to just be a programmer who goes to office, finishes work and comes back home. 2. It's not ok to just know about few things. You need to be full-stack engineer, mediocre developers are bad as the internet says.3. Oh what are you doing at job, real programmers leave their job and pursue your dreams.4. Oh you don't have a dream Very bad. You need one.5. Oh you don't have passion you must have one. Look at all the founders, genius people who have become millionaires.6. Oh you know javascript and jquery. Yes you can learn any new framework but Do you know Angular.js? How about Node.js. 7. Oh you work only with C#. A good prgrammer needs to know python if possible haskell etc etc.8. Oh you have worked for 5 years but do you have a blog? do you have contributions to open source, do you have github account with regular commits? No? You're not good programmer. Sorry no job for you.9. Oh you know a bunch of things but you don't know more than those silicon valley programmers. They are genius. Why aren't you genius?10. Oh you are approaching age 30 but you're not famous. Why aren't you. Some kid made an app, some guy created this great business...why didn't you.11. Add the list goes on.....

I have realized even if you are good at what you do, it's not enough. You have to meet right people at right place in right time who can give publicity and credit to even your small work. That makes you look good. But people who are not at the right place at right time, they think how the hell did that guy do it. How is he now regarded as great. Then the mind goes crazy. People feel down and depressed.

I did the same. I left a perfect job. Why? Well a programmer takes risk, learns new things.After a year? I have no job, no income, I'm unhappy, depressed. Because I was chasing a mirage.

2
MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it's a combination of a few things:

1. It's that post-college freak out that many many young people have ("What am I doing with my life!").

2. Many people who jump into startup life let the demands of the job strip them of their old healthy habits (like eating well, working out, drinking rarely, hanging out with friends) and this compounds their anxiety and depression.

3. It's not particularly socially acceptable to cry for help in person. While we're totally used to seeing it on HN I can't remember the last time I heard of anybody at a startup being candid with their coworkers about their depression. You can often tell it's happening to someone, but nobody talks about it. Which only makes people feel more isolated and depressed.

But all those things have been constants...nothing is new about them. Why are we seeing the posts becoming more frequent now? I think it's just that people are becoming more comfortable with expressing their feelings online. I don't think more people are stressed, just that more people are talking about it...and this is the medium in which it's okay to do that in 2015. Hopefully 2016 will be different, hopefully it will become more and more acceptable to have those conversations in person.

3
ak39 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why? Because a lot of folks have bet more than just the farm. Their life savings, their careers, reputation, personal relationships, their health - everything for their respective ventures. And business, like always, remains brutal.

Not lately, always.

4
DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
Suicide is an extreme form of self harm. It's very common - one of the most common forms of death, and the most common for men under 49.

Then you have a wide variety of depression, anxiety, amd stress. These problems are very common. If you include the milder end it's easily one in four people. (See eg the office for national statistics which also has this figure).

Some of that is situational. Some of that is long term entrenched behaviours and thinking. But it's very common. When you're talking to people who have very stressful work - not startup founders so much (who'll have understandable stresses) but office workers with TPS reports it's not that surprising to see people talking about it.

People aren't taught concepts like "resiliance", or how to talk to each other to spot potential problems before they get too serious, or how to seek help if help is needed.

For example: you'll often see people on HN talking about exercise as a treatment for depression, and they are convinced that it is and that we have loads of evidence for it. Exercise is almost always a good idea, and it may help someone avoid getting depression (although there are plenty of athletes with mental health problems) but the evidence for exercise as a treatment just isn't very good yet. And if it does work it's possibly not endorphins.

There are a couple of campaigns I particularly like.

Time To Change is a UK organisation that tackles mental health stigma. http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/

I particularly like the work they're doing around men. http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/talking-about-mental-health

There's another UK charity that particularly tackles male suicide: the campaign against living miserably. https://www.thecalmzone.net/

And there's an Australian org with a typically robus Australian name (which they don't censor on the website): soften the fck up: http://www.softenthefckup.com.au/

5
delbel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Came here to share a breathing technique I picked up a few weeks ago that helps me deal with stress called the 4-7-8 breathing method. It's promised as a go-to-sleeping technique but that didn't work 100% for me. However, it helps me feel relaxed and centered! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz4G31LGyog
6
throwyawa 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Where I work I feel stress/burned out. A lot of it is the under currents of the culture where I work. There is a lot of passive-aggressive behavior. Some senior devs are outright sarcastic and hard to deal with. I try to avoid or minimize the cross over of my work with those people. Sometimes I engineer solutions or try not to involve certain people so I can get things done quicker, in line with expectations of time taken which is always less than you need to do it properly.

I am expected to get up to speed with things in a nano-second, work on spaghetti code and break down months long projects into sub-day chunks and provide deadlines (with justification based on a plan) within a few hours. Then when inevitably the plan slips there are signals of 'disappointment' and 'how can we improve / move faster' next time.

We have a process management system that is in practice worse than any other Scrum / Waterfall I have worked with. Think getting an algorithm to schedule your work, but your boss has other ideas, but you need to keep the algo AND your boss happy.

[Insert 1000 other rants here]. You can imagine.

Anyway solution is simple. I am looking for a new job.

Tell HN: I wish we use cookies messages could be globally turned off
154 points by hoodoof  1 day ago   131 comments top 32
1
vincentdm 1 day ago 9 replies      
I also used to hate this directive, but when I read the description on the website of the European Commission, it is actually much more nuanced than I thought:

"However, some cookies are exempt from this requirement. Consent is not required if the cookie is: used for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication, and strictly necessary in order for the provider of an information society service explicitly required by the user to provide that service."Source: http://ec.europa.eu/ipg/basics/legal/cookies/index_en.htm#se...

So it turns out the directive isn't as dumb as many believe it to be, but a lot of webmasters wrongly believe that any cookie usage implies having to put up the notice. (Or the nuance was lost on the in-house legal team who briefed the webmaster.)

I run a software-as-a-service company in the EU, but only use cookies for login management. Therefore, I do not need to use the warning. But if I would track my users for advertising etc. I'd have to insert the warning in my web app.

This thoughtless behaviour reminds me of the thousands of websites which include a "(c) YYYY" copyright notice in their footers, despite this being completely irrelevant in modern copyright law.

2
jvdh 1 day ago 5 replies      
The idea behind this proposal was a noble one: companies should ask permission before invading the privacy of consumers.

Unfortunately, companies collectively decided that their businessmodel does not need changing at all, and simply implemented a "cookie wall" for all their consumers. This led to consumers, like you, to quickly get "cookie wall fatigue" and try to click 'OK' as soon as possible, without thinking at all.

And all the while, we complain that privacy on the Internet is going to hell, and there is nothing we can do about it, because consumers don't care enough, or have given up...

3
SmellyGeekBoy 1 day ago 1 reply      
> ...because of some European law I have no interest in.

Nobody in Europe does either. The whole thing is generally considered completely pointless and unenforceable.

4
blfr 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is a list for adblock[1] with our own mike-cardwell contributing but it doesn't have the kind of coverage you're used to from ad lists.

[1] https://github.com/r4vi/block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list

5
theandrewbailey 1 day ago 1 reply      
Using NoScript works wonders. In addition, I rarely see the annoying "Sign up for our newsletter" popups that assault immediately on most sites.
6
pnt12 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another unfortunate aspect of this law is that it is especially annoyng for those who delete cookies after leaving a website or closing the browser. Since the users acceptance of cookies is stored in a cookie, I get that pop-up repeatedly on most sites, instead of once for each.
7
carlesfe 1 day ago 0 replies      
We wish. Us European webmasters REALLY wish.

It is unlikely, however, since it is a EU directive and is now law in most European countries. Here's my take on why it is totally idiotic and ignorant of the underlying problem: http://cfenollosa.com/blog/the-ignorant-eu-cookie-law.html

8
nailer 1 day ago 1 reply      
'I don't care about cookies' for Chrome:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/i-dont-care-about-...

It's $FREE too.

10
userbinator 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really wish the other browsers would have something like this to quickly turn on/off settings for specific sites:

http://i.imgur.com/9qvdOfW.png

(Opera, before it turned into yet-another-webkit-browser - and removed that very useful feature.)

Since I have JS (and cookies) off by default I don't get the cookie messages much if at all, but for sites which need JS or cookies, it's almost trivial to enable them immediately.

11
phkahler 1 day ago 2 replies      
IMHO browsers never should have gotten cookies in the first place, and they certainly shouldn't have ever allowed them to be accessed from different sites. Sure, it's very convenient for a site to recognize you when you return, but there are other way to get much of the way there.

But hey, rather than scaling back HTML 5 includes a client side database! WTF?

12
glimmung 1 day ago 0 replies      
The original requirement was for sites to obtain "prior informed consent", and this is essentially impossible - you cannot educate a user about the implications of cookies in a pop-up.

Further, the ICO here in the UK refused to provide meaningful advice as to what was actually required, so it's far from certain that these pop ups are a legal requirement anyway. We use them if the client wants them, but otherwise we simply make sure there is a "Cookies and Privacy" link in the footer that interested users can follow. I'm sure one day some jobsworth will tell me I need to join in this charade, but until that happens, no pop ups from me...

13
sambe 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm failing to understand the supposed nobility some people are commenting on. 99% of people don't understand or don't care anyway. Annoying and confusing those people is not noble. The people that do care will likely find that turning off cookies break their favourite sites, so the warning is not practically actionable.

Some sites now offer me the choice of cookies, the choice to participate in a quick survey, a choice to use the iOS app, another iOS app choice that is identical to the first, the choice to instantly connect to a live customer service representative and no choice about watching a partner video. Might as well bring back all the animated GIFs and marquee text.

14
ikken 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not only a distraction but outright dangerous. People got used to accept every banner with word "cookie" in it. There were cases in Poland where scammers would add "and I subscribe to X and will pay Y monthly" onto the cookie banners and then send invoices to customers (as long as they could get their address, e.g. when they came via email link).
15
aethertron 1 day ago 0 replies      
These annoying messages are a bad attempt to follow a bad law. But to just block these messages in the browser seems like a bad approach. The point is to get informed consent to write+read cookies from the user. One could argue that the act of installing a plug-in for this purpose = implicitly consenting to accepting any and all cookies, but that seems like a weak inference.

Given the law, it would be better to be able to pre-emptively, explicitly blanket-consent to all cookies, or specific types of cookies (e.g. analytics tracking, or saving user settings) in one's browser (or at first, before it's standardised, with a plugin).

Of course, this solution would require web developers to follow certain standards in implementing their cookie-consent-getting method. (It would have been even worse if they tried to legislate this from the outset.)

16
guigar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I propose a new "standard" role="bullshit" to the W3C. Developers around the world could use it to mark those bullshit fragments of their pages. Users could filter them with a browser plugin "Bullshit Block".
17
Aoyagi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would actually love it. If it worked. As it is, all it says is "by using our site you agree to everything" while you already have a ton of cookies from god knows where implanted into your browser.
18
golemotron 1 day ago 0 replies      
WARNING: This website contains cookies known by the State of California to cause cancer, and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
19
owenwil 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just moved to Europe and this started annoying me to no end. Thankfully, this Chrome extension kills them all https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/i-dont-care-about-...
20
evantahler 1 day ago 2 replies      
so... has anyone made a chrome plugin to just click all the buttons yet?

We can keep a list of [ webistes -> $('#TheCookieDiv').click ] - commands which we keep on github and shake like homebrew does (`cookieThing update` could be run daily)

21
pskocik 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's the point of having a pop-up that tells you "this site uses cookies" when tools can tell you exactly that without the webdeveloper's having to make a single modification to the website?
22
pmontra 1 day ago 0 replies      
As web developer and user of web sites I feel your pain but for the small web sites it's a matter of better being safe than sorry. Some countries have pretty hefty fines against sites that send cookies without notice.
23
ymse 1 day ago 0 replies      
The most annoying part is that blocking first-party cookies (e.g. with Matrix) causes this message to appear every time since you are not sending your "consent" back to the server.
24
jebblue 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish cookies could be made completely illegal worldwide. You want to track me, use your database should I choose to create a business relationship with your site and login.
25
kaugesaar 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's funny how many sites have that "I agree"-option. Because they still put 15 cookies on my computer before I even agree to it.
26
Kiro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't understand why websites have these at all. Have anyone ever been fined or anything for lacking one?
27
fennecfoxen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Javascript alert API? And not just an X-I-consent-to-your-use-of-cookies HTTP header? Please. :b
28
thatgerhard 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is another example of old corportate red tape getting in the way of progress
29
gesman 1 day ago 0 replies      
...or autoaccept TOS that no one reads or cares about.
30
teddyuk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm in the EU so stupid EU laws apply to me and it is irritating, just forget it EU, no one gives a shit about cookies. ( I obviously talk for everyone in the EU)
31
jon-wood 1 day ago 0 replies      
This isn't really about some esoteric desire - I know of literally no one who is interested in being told that a site uses cookies. People who care will have turned them off, and people who don't aren't suddenly going to start caring because a slide down banner has informed them of the fact.

Had the law required clearly stating what tracking was happening, and which third parties data was being shared with, in a way other than a wall of text privacy policy I'd be right behind it. The law as it stands does nothing but annoy people.

32
eueueu 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you are in the UK, please vote to withdraw from the EU. This sort of meddling into every minute detail of our lives is only going to get worse. (See also banning vacuum cleaners and light bulbs). Also checkout cars that aren't powerful enough to go up hills due to trying to meet EU emission laws.
Ask HN: Locked out of Google Aps email with no recourse - advice?
8 points by labaraka  1 day ago   8 comments top 3
1
akg_67 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Email is a critical communication channel. Don't put up with this sort of crap from any company. If you control your domain and have capability to modify records. Buy mail service from another provider and redirect MX record to new service. And if you can estimate approximate value lost due to this action and you are in U.S., send a bill to Google, file a small court claim against Google if unpaid for 30 days.
2
suyash 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Were you on the free or the paid plan? I am guessing if you were on the paid plan, you would have more recourse?
3
sumodirjo 1 day ago 1 reply      
PSA: Lenovo ships machines with parts that can't be freely updated or replaced
9 points by jimktrains2  1 day ago   23 comments top 7
1
brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      
The whitelist exists because Thinkpads have various certifications for companies and organizations that require them...e.g. a military use where the entire system needs to be certified for obvious (in the sense that security may dictate that a machine cannot have arbitrary hardware installed) reasons. It's the tradeoff one makes for a laptop that is of sufficient quality that it can be certified.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinkPad#Use_in_space

Over time, alternative bios's with different whitelists often become available for Thinkpads. Not sure if this will live through UEFI.

Good luck.

2
sp4rki 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well you're in for a world of pain my brother. Here's a list of other brands that do this: HP, Toshiba, Dell, et al. The excuse they give, albeit stupid and useless IMO, is a valid one. This used to be easy to maneuver around by just flashing your BIOS, but with UEFI and encrypted BIOS' this has become an uphill battle.

That being said, Lenovo still makes great machines (their keyboards destroy everything from the Dell XPS to Macbook Pro and everything in between) on which you can service their internals by yourself - just not the WiFi cards which require whitelist authentication.

It's not like you can't change the card though... just google what cards you CAN swap to and buy one on eBay.

3
Vendan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Heh, I had a dell from years ago with the same thing, and I had a CD with the hack on it. Every once in a while, if I let the battery get too dead(Like the os shut itself off then I left it like that for 2 days), I'd have to dig that cd out and "fix" the bios. Really frustrating, but this has been going on since laptops first had those wifi card thingys.
4
joshuapants 1 day ago 0 replies      
> I wish I knew how low the Thinkpad brand has sunk under Lenovo before buying this machine.

The BIOS whitelist goes back at least to the T61, if not further.

5
philipov 1 day ago 0 replies      
Funny that you mention Lenovo, because they also come with built-in adware: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/researcher-discover...
6
NeutronBoy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many manufactures, including Dell, have been doing this for a while.
7
tadfisher 1 day ago 0 replies      
IBM also did this. My X31 can attest to that.
Ask HN: Advice on academic funding
4 points by Timmons  1 day ago   2 comments top
1
CyberFonic 1 day ago 1 reply      
My experience is from Australia. The system is probably different from the UK, but there might also be some similarities.

I did a quick search and found that the UK also has a distributed version of the AU Research Training Scheme. Have you contacted the postgraduate student organisations, talked to your intended supervisor? You might have to defer for a year to save up enough to fund your year of research. BTW, once you get involved in your research work it is extremely hard to hold down a job as well.

Ask HN: Why doesn't HR take a look at your GitHub account?
14 points by spacko  1 day ago   13 comments top 10
1
frostmatthew 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thankfully this isn't the situation everywhere. I've been with VMware for about a year and a few months ago I made a comment/joke to my tech lead how I was extremely surprised (given my fairly nontraditional background) that I even got an interview...he then told me any application that includes a link to a github profile must get passed along (thus engineers on the relevant team are the ones that determine if the applicant should be interviewed or not).

[N.B. I have no clue if this is applicable for all of VMware of just my location]

2
marssaxman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why would HR look at your github account? They are just screening hundreds of resumes to find the ones worth interviewing; they don't have time to dig deep. It's up to the individual interviewers to look further if they feel motivated and have time, which they probably don't.

I think I can recall maybe once having seen someone list a github account on their resume. It definitely hasn't been common in my experience; certainly not enough so that people would be on the lookout for repository links.

3
theaccordance 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your expectations for HR professionals are set too high. Their job generally is more about screening candidates than it is conducting a SSBI for Top Secret security clearance.
4
MalcolmDiggs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
For the same reason that I ask the waiter questions which are clearly spelled out on the menu: I'm a dumbass... most people are. Don't take it personally.
5
lscore720 1 day ago 0 replies      
You have expectations that HR cannot meet, unfortunately. As an outside recruiter, I try to eliminate all layers between the candidate and hiring manager (AKA the individual who will acknowledge and apprectiate your github work!). I'm sorry that's discouraging and frustrating, because it's unfair, but it will require more work on your part.
6
atmosx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reading all these posts, questions and comments related to interviews and interviewers, it looks like there's a lot of space for competent interviewers out there.
7
MichaelCrawford 1 day ago 1 reply      
some recruiter was after me for six months to apply for a symantec c++ security perm job. finally i send him my resume.

im sorry i cant submit you theres no c++ experience here.

actually there is fourteen years. i spell it out quite clearly.

if interviewers would so much as lift a finger to read our resumes all the way through there would be no talent shortage.

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VOYD 1 day ago 1 reply      
why would you think that just because you are active on GitHub, that someone would be bothered to look at links on your CV? 99.9 of the world population aren't software development minded.
9
ocdtrekkie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I imagine in this case, some of the recruiters may only have a cursory understanding of the job requirements. Evaluators may know you need to mention Python, but not what a pull request is, or how to look at what you've contributed on GitHub. They may be asking the question to simply provide whatever answer you give to someone more qualified to evaluate it. (Also, even if they look at your GitHub, they may want to see how you answer in person. I've definitely been asked questions that were answered on my resume, but it's also sometimes a conversation starter to a deeper topic.)
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snowwrestler 1 day ago 0 replies      
I doubt an HR person could evaluate a GitHub account for quality unless they are a developer themselves. In my experience, HR recruiters tend to look for keywords and quantities as part of their filtering process.

Are you asking about HR staff in particular, or do you also include hiring managers (who are presumably subject matter experts themselves)? Because I agree that hiring manager should at least look it over before the interview.

Ask HN: Startup ecosystems: SF vs. Seattle
16 points by cstanley  2 days ago   8 comments top 6
1
DonSheu 5 hours ago 0 replies      
SV's concentration of investors and startups is unparalleled. There's strong evidence to support this beyond qualitative assertions anybody may make.

But I believe that SV/SF is hitting against constraints. Of course history shows us during gold rushes, there's plenty of people willing to suffer poor conditions to pursue the perception of easy riches.

Seattle has a big limitation for startups because of the lack of ready angel investors. Any startup beginning in Seattle and unable to close a notable angel investor have a hard time raising an angel round. Though SV investors and VCs are showing a willingness to support early stage Seattle startups. A16z has made investments in Offerup and Distelli.

There is a lot of high quality engineering talent available in Seattle. Though many tend towards conservative choices for careers. Recruiting engineers into a startup requires some work. Though once a team's built, there's not the same velocity on job turnover that's typical of SF/SV.

Also for recent grads, Seattle offers a great lifestyle that shares a lot of attributes with SF and Portland. Housing is of high quality and available. Thanks to Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold, many rising culinary stars are visiting Seattle in a form of a pilgrimage.

There's a lot of promise in Seattle. Many in the community are dedicated to growing the startup ecosystem. New Tech is a good meetup with great organizers in Red Russak and Brett Greene. I have nurtured my Python user group PuPPy for a year now. We're approaching 1000 members and hold monthly meetings that draw well in excess of 100 attendees at every event.

It's a personal choice. Like choosing a school, I'd recommend a visit. But I'd recommend making several trips over a period of time before making a commitment to either destination.

2
rifung 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've worked in both (Not SF necessarily but San Jose). San Jose definitely has way more start ups to choose from.

I don't really know what you're looking for, but if I found an equally good job in both areas, I would rather stay in Seattle because the rent is much more reasonable and there's no state income tax. Weather in CA can't be beat though, unless you actually like rain or having seasons.

There are significantly more start ups in the Bay Area though. In Seattle, it's very common to meet people who work at Microsoft or Amazon. In San Jose, almost everyone is working at some start up and knows how to program. It's both kind of neat and also a bit annoying. Every start up thinks it's going to be the next big thing. There's way too much kool aid for my tastes, and I found the lack of diversity not to my tastes.

3
akg_67 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are looking for startup ecosystem, there is no city, including Seattle, that come even close to SF Bay Area. Seattle startup ecosystem is very small, lacks diversity in ideas, people, and connections and primarily Amazon and Microsoft network-centric.
4
SeaDude 1 day ago 2 replies      
Do not come to Seattle. There's no room and the tech sucks.

Love,

A local

5
projectramo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Real estate prices: just look at the prices on Zillow or something.To borrow some Jerry Fodor:1. Obtaining Seattle real estate is remotely plausible.2. Remotely plausible is better than not at all.
6
gesman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd take fog rather then rain :)
Ask HN: How did they get my email?
14 points by cx42net  2 days ago   7 comments top
1
dangrossman 2 days ago 3 replies      
Among other things, they're using Criteo Email, which can supposedly identify an e-mail address for up to 30% of a site's unregistered traffic.

http://www.criteo.com/what-we-do/products/

You'll find that, along with a dozen other marketing/tracking related products, by observing all the JavaScript tags the site loads through your browser's network inspector. You won't find some of them in the HTML source because they're using tag managers to inject additional script tags into the page after it's loaded.

Ask HN: How long does it take you to deploy?
8 points by jgautsch  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
MalcolmDiggs 9 hours ago 0 replies      
About 10 minutes.

My flow typically looks like: Github > CodeShip > Live Servers > Update sent back to Github

The vast majority of the time-lag is for the tests to run on CodeShip. Hot deploying the changes (since they're often only small/incremental changes) only takes a few seconds.

And this is usually a MEAN/MEAN-like stack running on CENTOS.

2
Spoom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Multiple times per day via a web interface that runs Chef (atomic) deployment recipes. The deployment itself takes about ten seconds. We're a mostly PHP web development shop.

We also have mobile apps that have a different but still largely automated build process.

Ask HN: What's a bad programmer?
5 points by dothething  1 day ago   9 comments top 7
1
MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have an anecdote that might be useful:

A few years ago I was coding at a small startup. Everybody was pretty solid. Then they brought on a new engineer who was very comfortable with a certain framework...but ONLY that framework. One day, in a product planning meeting, we were discussing a new feature we wanted to build. It fell in the new person's domain, so we asked them to give a rough estimate of how much time it would take. Their response?

"It can't be done in this framework. There's no existing module or extension for that".

We all sat back in silence. Eventually someone said what we were all thinking: "We hired you to write code, not install plugins and extensions. Do you actually know how to write any code?"

The new hire left the company soon after. To me, the glaring problem here wasn't that they had aligned their process with a certain framework... it was that they had then closed their mind to other options. They only thought within the framework, and so had nothing creative to actually contribute to the team.

2
MichaelCrawford 1 day ago 1 reply      
Verde Technologies was an aerial photograph firm that used the Streamed Image Transformation Editor (SITE) to process digital framegrabs on Sun 3/160 workstations. Each cost about $40,000.00.

We required about 90 seconds for each step of our calibration process. There were several steps per image, we shot many images each day and promised our clients 24-hour turnaround.

So Scott Lydiard, the company president spent $5,000.00 on a Floating Point Accellerator card, as Sun promised that it doubled the speed of numeric code. It was a full-size VME bus card with a 68881 in the middle. I'm not real clear why it needed that much circuitry as Macs just had a single socket where you could pop in a 68881, much like the 8087 socket on DOS PCs.

So one night I install our new card. To my dismay the calibration time was reducing only to 85 seconds.

Not wanting to lose my job I discovered just that night what a profiler was. It turned out that SITE used getc() to read each pixel of an image, and putc() to write it. This because the "streamed" part was meant for building UNIX pipelines. You know simple tools that only do one thing.

I patched the code to read all the pixels in one read() system call.

"Hey Mike. Our new FPA is AWESOME! Only five seconds to calibrate an image."

"You made a wise purchase, Scott."

Then a few minutes later...

"Mike, could you explain why calibration now takes ten seconds on the workstation that doesn't have an FPA?"

"That's because it really does double the speed of numerical code."

SITE was written by a computer science graduate student. It is for this and many similar reasons that I don't regard a CS degree as being of much use to computer programmers. Mine is in Physics; among other things, Physicists figure out the way things work.

3
bjourne 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone who writes bad code. I don't like the expression "bad programmer" I prefer to say someone who is programming badly. Because that makes it clear that it is the action that is bad and the badness isn't inherent in the character.

If your next question is "How do you know if someone writes bad code?" then it is fairly simple for an experienced programmer to see if a piece of code is bad, good or somewhere in between.

4
baccheion 1 day ago 1 reply      
- Gets in the way

- Doesn't admit to being wrong

- Full of it

- Blindly follows/enforces patterns, standards, and best practices

- Constantly tries to draw attention to themselves

- Political

- Code is sloppy, poorly thought out, bug-ridden, and often doesn't work

- Obsessed with time, documentation, meetings, best practices, patterns, testing, and everything else that doesn't matter (not with finishing in a timely manner, writing documentation if necessary, etc, but with constantly using these things as an excuse to get in the way, to excuse their sloppy work, and as a means to insult the ability of other developers and to claim themselves to therefore be the ones that know what they are doing).

5
codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Note: I will say everything below with the context that you are talking about programmer working for businesses.

Good and Bad are very relative words. To apply these to a programmer, let us analyze.

I would say start with this question: What is the Goal of a programmer ? Is it to write great code OR is it to help a business succeed by creating things of value OR both OR something else ?

If the goal is to just write great code, then do they need to write great code along with others ? Or are they ok to write great code just by themselves ? If the answer is that they need to be able to write great code with others in collaboration, then you have your first point covered which is "personality" or I would say "Attitude". If you cannot work well with others, you are bad programmer.

Now, if the goal is to create value and help a business succeed, then does it matter if the code you write is technically the greatest ? Perhaps not; other than the fact it personally is very fulfilling. Gotta love that feeling when that thing compiles!! But the real question to ask is: can I get the patch the system quickly if the code fails or the system crashes ? If yes, then you are a good programmer.

If the business team comes to you for advice on doing something technically that could help them increase revenue but may not be the best technical solution at this time, you are a good programmer if you can make that happen. You are a bad programmer if you tell them you don't want to do it.

That takes to the other point about "passion". I would say that Passion may be an overused word but it should be more about "Do I like doing what I do even though I am not crazily obsessed with it" ? If yes, then you are a good programmer. Why ? Because if you enjoy what you do, you will do it better (most likely)

The last point "Tech Debt". It is again relative. Tech debt for what ? If my company is not making any money and I need to put food on the table, does tech debt matter ? Or does it matter that I need to get paying clients first and worry about the tech issues later. That is a good programmer who can manage this tech debt depending on the situation of the company. Oh but they don't have any documentation in the code, I hate it. Ok then fix it keeping the business goals in mind. If you have the time to do it and still create positive outcome for the business, then that is a good programmer.

Everyone else is a bad programmer.

6
greenyoda 1 day ago 0 replies      
For lots of amusing true stories of bad programers and the havoc they cause, see http://thedailywtf.com

"Founded in 2004 by Alex Papadimoulis, The Daily WTF is your how-not-to guide for developing software. We recount tales of disastrous development, from project management gone spectacularly bad to inexplicable coding choices."

7
paulhauggis 1 day ago 0 replies      
We once had a developer that kept clobbering changes of our main git branch. We had meeting after meeting where our manager taught us the correct way to do things, yet it kept happening..for almost 3 months.

I blame management as much as the developer for not getting things figured out asap, but I did get paid for those 3 months for essentially fixing the same bugs over and over.

Ask HN: Is anyone doing a mobile phones server farm in the style of Amazon?
5 points by neilxdsouza  1 day ago   13 comments top 4
1
mryan 1 day ago 2 replies      
> How would these compare to an Amazon micro compute unit

Poorly.

Do you mean a Beowulf cluster of mobile phones? It seems like it would be woefully inefficient to say the least.

- each node in the cluster has an expensive screen attached to it, which would presumably be permanently disabled to reduce cooling/power costs. This is a waste of money. Same goes for bluetooth, accelerometers and anything else that is not directly contributing to the cluster. The cost of the screen etc. could have purchased more processors instead.

- temperature management would be incredibly inefficient. How would you cool a rack of 1000 phones/tablets? Server chassis are designed with this in mind. Phones/tablets are not.

It's an interesting idea to think about, but nobody is going to produce a cluster powered by iPhone 6s which is capable of competing (financially or computationally) with a cluster powered by servers designed for this purpose.

2
fpvracing 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sorry, I don't get it. Why use mobile phones when you can just use servers that don't have redundant features such as screens, cameras and sensors?

Are you suggesting that the economy of scale has reached a point where the smartphone would be more cost-effective even with those features?

3
kopos 1 day ago 2 replies      
On a similar but orthogonal angle...

Can the millions of phones be used to coordinate and build any sort of 'Cloud servers'? When SETI@Home used our desktops' idle screen saver time for its calculations, can these multi-core pocket computers be used for something?

4
zubairq 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a very good idea, I tried it some time ago but was too early. There are people working on this privately. You do mean phones connected in a data center don't you?
Ask HN: I'm in SF for the next 2 days and want to geek out. What should I do?
8 points by improv32  2 days ago   6 comments top 3
1
LarryMade2 2 days ago 1 reply      
If youve never been to one, pick a Fry's Electronics store to visit... in fact check out several, most have themes (some better than others) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fry%27s_Electronics

Electonics Surplus Shops - HSC Electronic Supply, Weird Stuff, (there are others others)

Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda - http://pacificpinball.org/

Musee Mechanique at Pier 45 in San Francisco - http://museemecaniquesf.com/ great collection of old arcade games and nickelodeons

Exploratorium Pier 15 - http://www.exploratorium.edu/

San Francisco Cablecar Museum , free enjoyable and an adventure to find - http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/

Bonus photo-op view - Hyde & Lombard Street - (top of the twisty street) you can catch a snap of a cresting cablecar set against a great view of Alcatraz. If there arent too many gawkers in the way - might want to go to the next street lower on hyde to get the pic.

Cartoon Art Museum - http://cartoonart.org

Some great Japanese (toys, Manga, food, Books, etc.) shops in Japan town in SF (Geary & Filmore)

Collect old magazines? The Magazine in the Ternderloin (kinda seedy but if you are into collecting old mags a place to check)

San Francisco Public Library - besides the massive computer section, a library card will get you access to their e-books when not in SF

Check out SV book stores their computer sections are usually well stocked and up-to-date

Makerspaces (someone post suggestions)

Ripley's Odditorium at fisherman's wharf - kinda pricey but fun if you like weird - dont buy the maze pass, it's a rip-off.

Walk the Golden Gate Bridge - up close and personal with a great engineering marvel for the cost of a city bus to get there.

2
timthorn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Intel Museum, Computer History Museum, Apple store on Infinite Loop, Lick Observatory, and (of course) Fry's.
3
runamok 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe the tech shop in SF too. Go on meetup.com as there are always tons of events/talks on different topics. Search for your preferred language, platform, db, etc. Amazon Aws pop-up loft often has events.
Ask HN: Any bay area deadheads looking for cheap GD tix?
5 points by northband  2 days ago   discuss
Ask HN: What is used for pairing Apple Watch
5 points by dmitryame  2 days ago   7 comments top 3
1
DiabloD3 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am upvoting this because I was unaware Apple Watch used anything but standard Bluetooth pairing techniques. Since I'm not an iPhone user, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGSseon3C9w seems to be a somewhat okay video of the pairing process, and I have to admit, that looks kinda cool, but waaay over-engineered for the process.
2
Arelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's undoubtedly a very custom implementation. And it seems very likely that at least with video, it's vulnerable in the same way that QR codes are to remote pairing. It seems that fundamentally trying to limit pairing to devices that are close using some sort of optical system is prone to exploitation. Is there a reason this is essential? Can you add something else to verify the devices are in proximity? such as Bluetooth?
3
KiDD 1 day ago 0 replies      
BLE
Ask HN: To Bootstrap or Not to Bootstrap?
10 points by tlong  2 days ago   20 comments top 9
1
sjs382 2 days ago 2 replies      
I use bootstrap. On 90% of my projects, you wouldn't be able to tell without looking at the source. So, I'm not sure what bootstrap has to do with design practices. You can implement any design using bootstrap.

As far as being heavy, just go through and throw out the stuff you don't need. It's reasonably modular.

It seems as if the other developer doesn't like how default bootstrap looks (or is bored by the overuse of default bootstrap), and he's justifying his preference.

Otherwise, ask him what "best practices" are missed.

2
rickr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been using bootstrap for a while now too and lately I've been trying out new libraries just to see if anything is better yet. On feel alone I didn't love foundation.

For a project that required pretty heavy customization I ended up using skeleton/react (http://getskeleton.com/) and enjoyed it.

I saw Semantic UI on here the other day and I may end up trying that out on my next project: http://semantic-ui.com

3
tacone 1 day ago 0 replies      
My take:

Bootstrap is made of several components, which make it trivial to recompile it without the not-needed parts. You can even do it online (as well as save/reuse configuration files): http://getbootstrap.com/customize/

The full bootstrap css weights 23.5kb gzipped. If you're not using gzip on your servers then that's the problem you should solve.

What makes bootstrap good is not the features per-se. It's the huge amount of cross-compatibility knowledge in it. There are many cool frameworks around, but it's hard to find something so solid and battle-proven as bootstrap. That's the real point of using bootstrap.

4
panorama 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you're nit-picky about your CSS (as I am) and just want to write it the way you want to write it without a framework making guiding decisions for you, I recommend the lightweight library Bourbon by thoughtbot (and the companion library Neat for a grid framework). www.bourbon.io
5
benologist 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been considering this a lot lately myself, the biggest pro I've come up with is that with the right project a lot of people can easily dive into customizing / theming the work and if you're careful existing themes might be really easy to integrate.

If nobody else is going to be editing the project then it's really just a tradeoff between your own time vs download size, if you can afford to shave a few hundred kilobytes off your first page load that can be a big improvement for many audiences.

I've been favoring Skeleton as a significantly lighter alternative, although it is very small in comparison to bootstrap - http://getskeleton.com.

6
schuettla 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is a good page comparing bootstrap to other alike frameworks: http://responsive.vermilion.com/compare.php.

Personally I would again choose bootstrap, if you have previous good experiences with it.

7
anonyfox 2 days ago 1 reply      
For most usecases, bootstrap is fine. It delays the "designing" part so you can think about your product and actual features directly. And if you are tired of the "standard look and feel", you can buy nice themes later for a few bucks.

Projects that should not use bootstrap are the ones where every milisecond in performance truly matters, or when you have custom design requirements that would need major "overruling" of bootstrap. In this case, I recommend using a very lightweight CSS framework with a responsive grid instead, like http://purecss.io/grids/ .

8
theaccordance 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you use Bootstrap's source files, you'll have granular control over the framework's weight, since you can simply exclude the components not used in the project.
9
paulhauggis 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love bootstrap. I use it for all my projects. I'm not a designer and allows me to have a fully functional site in a short amount of time.
       cached 25 June 2015 04:05:03 GMT