I can't imagine there are two multibillion dollar food recipe delivery subscription companies.
Is this as crazy as I think it is?
Edit: plus Trendy and Theranos and probably a few more from the other categories.
Based on the past 150 years of so of history, ad-supported companies have consistently delivered excellent returns. First the newspaper empires, then TV, then Internet.
It's my personal unicorn!
Do you have a carbon monoxide detector?
Dizziness can be one of the symptoms. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Carbon-monoxide-poisoning/Pages...
I have a close family member, and close friend who both suffer from Schizophrenia. Although I'd hate to make any type of diagnosis over a medium like this, I feel you've been descriptive enough for me to make an educated guess.
Schizophrenia is a fairly complex disorder with varying levels of severity. What you described sounds very close to what a lot of people describe as their first 'episode', which commonly comes between the ages of 18-30. It includes what you've described, a long period of being awake, with intense thoughts, paranoia, and a inescapable need to 'do something' (such as wipe your devices).
One of the greatest challenges of dealing with this is finding treatment fast enough before the disease progresses. Often once it progresses, the person no longer is able to realize something is wrong. As you've described it, you still have that sinking feeling that something isn't right. Often at this stage general practitioners will not understand the disease enough to make a diagnosis, so it's important you see a trained psychiatrist as soon as possible.
For your question about evaluating your condition objectively, this is part of the core treatment of Schizophrenia and it's related disorders, so it would be best a doctor helps you with this. Adderral is a known to aggravate Schizophrenia as it interferes with Dopamine, I'd advise to cut down or stop taking it until you can speak to a doctor. There is also a very small chance you are experiencing a reaction to long term Adderall use it's self, experiencing a Amphetamine psychosis which has very symptoms to Schizophrenia but is temporary. Do not risk it though, for a lot of people if Schizophrenia advances, they are unable, or refuse to seek treatment.
It seems like it could be in parallel to your situation. I highly recommend having someone evaluating your dosage, as well as whether it's an adverse effect of the Adderall itself.
Why are you taking 40mg adderall daily?
You can't. You need a third party (such as a psychologist) to definitively tell you what's what. It's super easy to fool and mislead ones self.
I once thought my girlfriend hacked into my computer and corrupted it somehow; I lost everything. In hindsight, that was a crazy thing to think, but at the time it made sense given who she was and what was technically capable and all that.
What one must do, is separate what is possible (being hacked) from what is likely (computer crash) from what is absurd (girlfriend did it). This is not always easy, and not always straightforward, and not always something you can and should do by yourself.
Also... stress is a biggie. aderall likely won't help things either. People have lapses, behave irrationally or quite insanely as result of temporary outside factors. So, Its not something to worry about in that sense, but its certainly something to identify the cause of and take action against and monitor.
best of luck!
I would consider that unless like Elliot you're trying to reset society's debt to zero it's unlikely you're being targeted. What makes you worth targeting over anyone else?
I think you should speak to a medical professional (get multiple opinions if you don't trust them) and move on from there.
There's a lot we can learn from Mr Robot, for me the biggest lesson is you can't always trust what you see and feel. Find somebody who can help you with that.
For instance, I'm partially convinced this is just someone trolling hacker news whilst bored on a Sunday...
This would involve you writing a list of stuff that you do and don't want to happen if people ever feel the need to provide treatment. It can include signs to look out for - that mean things aren't going well and that people should take action.
I'm not going to do any kind of diagnostic stuff but early intervention is important.
EDIT: obviously, you should see a doctor rather than relying on Internet advice.
EDIT: here's a sample plan
I don't know if this is your case, you should to talk a psychotherapist and/or a psychiatrist, but some of the details of your story (like picking up on details like the pace of talking from a wireless company representative) remind me of my mother. She thought there was a worldwide conspiracy against her, with the CIA involved, and so on. One example: she was active in a Blogger community, and someone connected to her network wrote this mundane blog post about visiting the zoo with his family, written in a witty style and with pictures of animals. My mother thought this was a concealed attack to her well being. ("I am obviously the giraffe in this story", etc). There was no way to make her see how absurd that was, that was her perception of reality, and she wouldn't budge from it.
Unfortunately, even after having seen doctors and having spent time in a mental hospital, she continues to deny that she is unwell. She is too proud and too stubborn to be open to the idea that her perception is mistaken, or that she has an illness, or that she is not at the center of the world. Her illness along with her pride and stubbornness has caused our family a lot of pain. Imagine your mother or your sister or your wife, not just becoming mentally unwell (that is tough but fixable), but denying at all costs that she is unwell, and so letting that illness define her character going forward.
So for me, whether or not you have a health issue, you taking into consideration what your family is worried about, is commendable. Please stay open to what the people who are close to you and who care about you have to say.
I wish you the best of luck friend.
I've deleted the earlier version of this comment (in which I asked you to speculate on a motive for the email) as I think that it is more important to address the things that could cause these thoughts. It would be different if you didn't feel sick or weren't taking a high drug level.
I see a lot of similarities, especially because you mention physical illness (although the OP there didn't mention his headaches until prompted.) Try to solve them, as they're quite serious. Bear in mind that your judgment may be impaired at the moment, and that your family are concerned. Try to solve the external source of the issues if at all possible.
 Here is the thread I mean: https://np.reddit.com/r/legaladvice/comments/34l7vo/ma_posti...
Also 40mg of adderall seems like a lot, if you're on adderall xr.
Story: I knew a lady in her 40s who started experiencing some psychosis. She started thinking that people were spying on her and reporting her activities on radio and TV, that huge gatherings were being held in football stadiums to watch videos of her which had been secretly filmed, that songs on the radio (in languages she didn't know) were talking about her, etc.
She thought that all her friends knew about this but didn't mention anything so as not to alarm her. After a couple months went by, and still none of her friends mentioned anything, she thought it was strange and decided to have herself checked instead.
After taking the recommended medication, within a day or so, the strange music she used to hear in the distance disappeared, all the people on the radio and TV stopped talking about her, etc.
Moral: Don't get stuck on the stigma of the "crazy" label. Just like anyone can get sick physically, people who are otherwise normal can start having mental problems. That doesn't mean you're "crazy". It does mean that you should have yourself checked by someone who is knowledgeable about such ailments.
Never be embarrassed if you think you might be having a temporary psychotic break or experiencing heretofore unknown symptoms of schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder. It will do no good sitting around and wondering.
Getting help is the only thing that will help you regain confidence in yourself. And maybe it's nothing and you were right all along.
It always starts out small like this though, and it's extremely common for a person after their first few episodes to still not believe they have Schizophrenia, so please don't trust yourself.
I should also be clear, we could be talking about Schizoaffective Disorder. Schizophrenia is sort of umbrella term. I find it's often used incorrectly. Lots of people who suffer still have prolonged periods of being completely normal and lucid, some even go into year long remissions. It's a complicated disease, and you've displayed the tell-tale first sign almost to a T.
You're healthy enough to get help, friend, you can't be any crazier than the rest of us.
I am sure I overreacted but they did make me concerned when my machine was running slow. I had upgraded to El Capitan on like the 2nd. SOme behavior preceded that but not having fans run and machine getting hot is fairly normal on mac.
IDK maybe I am just paranoid. Trying to find the TCP DUmps. From before I formatted the system. I am posting them because a few people said that there was no real evidence. I am sure I overreacted and maybe should look into it more, but the emails happened.
There is a certain amount of legitimate paranoia which comes on anyone who is technically competent and starts thinking about security and the systems most people trust without question. This sounds like the place you are now. Once you start thinking about it, it won't go away, and you will learn to manage it.
Don't use the word "they" when you think about who can intercept your calls or hack you. That ways lies unhealthy paranoia, where anyone can start to seem "off" or "acting weird". Even without that bias, bringing up anything that might imply your cell provider not securing their network will confuse a call center employee at best, or put them on "careful what I say" mode because that way lies legal liability for them. Not sure if that's what happened, but it's one explanation.
There definitely exist people and groups in this world that can hack you in a variety of ways: legally (FBI using a warrant), probably legally (NSA without judicial approval), or illegally (criminal hackers). Most likely the first two don't care to attack you, and the latter have no reason to risk performing an attack on you unless you recently made some shady enemies. If you care to do so, you can minimize the number of such groups by using end-to-end encrypted technologies like FaceTime. Google is allegedly working on end-to-end encrypted calls, as well, and has included WebRTC into Chrome. Signal by Open Whisper Systems and Firefox Hello by Mozilla also provide e2e crypto, if you prefer open source things.
Realize that the challenge you're facing is both technical and psychological. Start thinking systematically about security. If you think your phone is hacked, ask "how did it get hacked, and how do I prevent this with my next phone?". Did the OS get rooted, or is it just one of the apps that could be acting weird? Cell phone makers spend a lot of resources securing their manufacturing, hardware, software, and platforms, and it's really expensive and risky to perform an attack on someone who follows best practices.
That said, don't imagine that you can be secure all of your systems against everyone all the time. Angela Merkel can't, and she has way more resources than you do. Security is all about increasing the cost and risk of an attack and decreasing its value, something worth integrating into your lifestyle regardless of whether you're a target now.
Finally, about schizophrenia: there's definitely stigma there. Don't worry about it. Read the DSM  to understand what symptoms drug manufacturers target in their drug trials. The point of the categorization is for medical treatment, not judgement, and it's none of anyone's business except the people who you choose to tell. If your security concerns get so bad that they interfere with your daily life more than you want (i.e. you can't work or have close relationships), get diagnosed and meds to help you get back on track. Based on your writing, it doesn't seem like you're suffering from anything that will require you to be on meds for a long time, even if you choose to use them. A doctor or therapist can be a good advisor in this regard, as can friends or relatives if you can find someone qualified.
Stimulants like Adderall are in some ways the opposite of anti-psychotics, so that definitely won't help you.
I would be definitely very nervous if someone hacked my devices.
2) Taking drugs is a very dubious practice at best. Prescription drugs are drugs. They mess with your normal functioning in ways that sometimes mask certain problems, almost always at the cost of causing worse ones. The list of known side-effects at normal dosages is usually bad enough, and those are just the ones that are known. The people who make them are only motivated to find a product that produces a certain effect. They are not motivated to learn what the drugs actually do. The people who push them do so for reasons that rarely have to do with promoting your real health, mental or otherwise. The people that think they are helping are the worst. For every problem that drugs might help you with (temporarily and at too high a cost), there is almost certainly a better way.
2a) What goes for drugs goes for any person in the mental health field, whether they push drugs or not. It also goes for anyone recommending professional help from someone in the mental health field, especially when they are very nice and emotionally supportive and want to help and are sure they have (or will find) the answer for you. Many people enter the mental health field because they have questions about their own mental health that they want to answer. They do not find answers. They find a system where they can gain status and make a living by making sure that other people do not find answers either. This is a harsh and sweeping statement that cannot be properly justified without going into issues that are beyond the scope of this post, but suffice it to say that the entire mental health field is based on assumptions which are completely wrong and do not allow it to even get a whiff of what the real problems and the real solutions are. If you value your sanity, stay as far away as possible. Take it as one person's opinion if you like, but that's what I have to say about the mental health field.
2b) I have an aunt who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, went on drugs, and has spent most of her life in institutions. She had serious problems (possibly before and certainly after entering care), but I agree with the poster who said that mental health issues are often family politics issues in disguise. I told my parents things that they did not want to hear, and they did not think there was anything wrong with going to a mental health professional and asking if they could do something (read: possibly get me committed) without even trying to talk to me first. These are parents that I thought I had a good relationship with, but I discovered (the hard way) that there were just certain that they do NOT want to hear. Obviously I do not recommend doing or saying anything even remotely threatening to anyone, and particularly not to parents or family members. I do not even recommend saying things that family members do not want to hear (even if they are true), if you can possibly avoid it. I recommend staying as close to your family as you reasonably can. However, you have to realize that they do not necessarily have your best interest in mind when they give you advice, and that your natural inclination (if you are like most people) is going to be to trust them even if you shouldn't. If they attempt to manipulate you or try to get you to think that you are crazy just because you think something unusual is happening, when it is pretty clear that something unusual is indeed happening, then be very careful and do not let them become the ones who determine what is real and what is not real for you, or pressure you into mental health channels, or anything that would commit you to something that is not actually going to help you.
3) The better way (than drugs) might involve investing less of yourself in technology and the internet. That's a decision that you have to make for yourself, but the tech industry, and the internet part of it especially, is already borderline insane. Some of the people who participate in it the most intensively (though probably not the most visibly) are criminally insane. Even "normal" behaviors within internet culture ingrain ADD type thinking and behavior. Rather than take drugs to mask a behavior, ask yourself what is causing it. It is certainly possible to have some involvement with the internet and not suffer any apparent ill effects. I still have some involvement with it. But I used to live on it. That is becoming normal behavior for more and more people, but in fact it is insane-making.
4) Exercising is a waste of time. It might provide an alternative to drugs that is somewhat healthier, and it might help you get off the internet, but it does not address any of the real issues. For many people it is just another obsession. Most people would do much more for their health just by paying more attention (and putting more effort in)to not eating more than they actually need to eat.
5) Having gone though a similar experience to the one that you relate (perhaps a bit more extreme, hece the length of this post), the best step I can recommend, based on my own experience, is to get a job as an employee (preferably low level, preferably with minimal prospects for advancement) at some job that pays the bills, and spend the greater part of your day doing what someone else tells you to do. A job that does not require you to interact with very many other people is fine, and less stressful, but a customer/service job is OK too if you can do it. Some of these kinds of jobs are hectic, but ideally you want the most boring such job that you can get. Don't be a trucker, or another job where you're not dealing with a boss for long periods of time. The idea is that you are doing what your boss tells you to do and/or what the customers are asking you to do as much as possible, that you are not what you want to do, and that you continue doing this as long as possible. It might sound counter-intuitive to tell you to listen to your boss and to random customers and do what they want after I've just finished telling you not to listen to your parents or mental health professionals or do what they want, but the difference is that with a job (especially a boring job) it's just a job. There are no family politics. You are not attempting to create something out of nothing. You are not trying to become rich or famous. You are there because you choose to be there and because there is a job to do. The customer wants a simple thing from you, and your boss wants a simple thing from you, and none of them gain much from trying to mess with your head. It's just a job. You are also not falling into the habit of becoming a leecher in a system that is designed to support a leecher lifestyle, which is what happens to people who fall into institutions hoping that someone else will solve their problems.
Getting a job like that and sticking with it long enough might be too big of a step for many (most?) people, but it's what I did and it has worked very well for me. There are also very good reasons why it can be expected to work in general, but these are beyond the scope of this post. If you do it, and reflect on it, you will start to understand it yourself anyway. And that is the real reason to do it, because the question of what is sane and what is not, what is normal and what is not, is a non-trivial question--very non-trivial. Unfortunately you cannot trust the answers that you get from most people, including the ones who ought to know. But you cannot simply trust yourself and leave it at that either. It is worth spending a great deal of time and effort to get it right.
You can never be entirely objective about your mental condition. But you can try to find objective verification about what was going on, whether that validates or refutes your ideas about the events.
Hemingway thought the government was tapping his phones, etc. Everyone thought he was crazy. It came out after his death that he was right.
Just because it seems improbable to other people does not mean you are imagining it. But, also, the fact that you fell ill means you could have been misinterpreting things due to fever or other temporary mental impairment.
Whether you were coming up with unfounded ideas or were right, the best answer is to seek some kind of objective evidence concerning what actually happened. If you get objective evidence that refutes your interpretation, then you can feel okay about the possibility that it was machinations of a fevered mind. If you get evidence that something wonky was going on, you can deal with it.
Since you were sick, please consider the possibility that it is a little of column A and a little of column B. Perhaps someone did something, but you blew it out of proportion. The truth may lay somewhere between the extremes of "I was 100% right" and "I was 100% crazy and imagining things."
Best of luck.
The stimulation our brains get by beeing in nature is very important for us.
When you are outside and all the little, tiny millions of natural information tidbits that are coming from everywhere, they are important for our mental health in general. Outside, look at the waves, at the leafs of trees in the wind, bugs humming around and everything. Those pattern are important.
In the confines of our cities, which give us solace on other levels, and the simplistic abstractions of our GUIs, which we love, these natural stimulations are lacking.
May I suggest to you to go outside, hiking, kayaking, paragliding, stuff like that, regularly and often?
Take a walk to the nearest park every day, look at the trees for a while.
Do something physical - start a martial arts or so.
On a personal note: I hate it too. Working out is so dump, your brain is empty while doing so and that sucks. I know. I am not a "jock" by any means. I am bored by it, I understand.
But. From my point of view tere is a clear spiral down that beins with not having enough natural stimulation going on. For decades now, I suppose?
I also want to second the other poster: it is good that you reached out.
When I was 20, I abruptly left my parents and moved into an apartment. We were having personal conflicts, and had I stayed, there's a possibility, however remote, that I would have been told by family members to see shrinks and take drugs (they didn't have enough money to have me committed). It was the best decision I made. Within two years I was working in the technology sector and I've never looked back.
Mental illnesses are often just political problems in the family, and if you can break free and gain independence, you can avoid a vicious cycle which leads to family members running to psychiatric drugs to explain away and suppress political issues.
Anxiety, depression and lucid dreams or paranoid thoughts are often the result of being in the wrong environment. I've had symptoms which, if I disclosed them, might be considered paranoid or mentally ill; but when I've changed jobs or moved to better environments, all of the symptoms have disappeared. I believe it's the body's way of telling you something is wrong out there.
Reading books can be a good way to take your mind off of difficult issues.
I would also eliminate caffeine and sugary foods from your diet.
(I'm an HCI PhD student at Stanford.)
Do you want to work on Project Soli at ATAP? Which part, the actual hardware / Radio antenna design? Then a PhD in analog design might be required to be qualified. Do you want to do the signal interpretation / analysis to detect gestures? Maybe a strong background in signals, filtering or even machine learning may be required.
HCI work can involve a lot of specific specialization which often requires these research / industry giants to demand a strong testament of your qualifications. Although not required, a PhD is often an easy way for them to see that.
If it is the more 'high-level' stuff, I'm not sure, as sometime a 'PhD in HCI' itself may be required (although I don't know too much what a 'PhD in HCI' entails)
Source: Experiences with HCI PhD's at UC Berkeley
Although I would love the opportunity to work at Microsoft Research, I accepted the fact that I likely never would.
Lately, I've been considering to join and/or create a distributed research team. The most challenging part has been to find people whose vision align with mine.
Feel free to contact me if that's of interest to you.
I had one class in it. I didn't mind it but I didn't love it either.
The classic textbooks are:
* "Algorithms" by Robert Sedgewick et al. * "Introduction to Algorithms" by Cormen et al.
Algorithm Design [Kleinberg, Tardos] (2005)
It also contains instructive exercises and answers.
"QA Engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a sfdeljknesv."
I have new QA engineers read the first five or six chapters of "Testing Computer Software":
to get a feel for the mindset and methodologies and to help them understand what testing can and can't accomplish.
"Lessons Learned in Software Testing", mentioned by another commenter, is another good resource. Lots of good anecdotes:
Both are a bit dated in some ways ("Testing" has a section on filing paper bug reports), but the lessons and thinking are still highly relevant.
Manual testing is not at all that different from, say, integration testing: you write a specification of a task that needs to be performed, you write down the expected output, and you compare it with the actual output.
What you end up with is a document containing dozens of pages full of small tables with test specifications, somewhat like .
So, to sum it up, it is you who should be doing the hard work of finding out what to test. You make a document full of tests which are as specific as possible, and let your partner walk through it. He doesn't understand what to do? Then you failed at being specific. He cannot find the functionality you ask for? Either a usability issue, or once again, not specific enough.
Hope this helps you somewhat!
"How" you test will be impacted by other things as well. Some environments (companies) have a need to formally record testing. Others use 'non IT people' to run the testing. Some have expert users who know the app inside out as 'testers'. etc etc The need for how much detail is in the test scripts, and in fact if you document manual test scripts will depend on nature of your company.
You will find a couple of schools of thought on "how" to test. ISTQB is formal and has a good bag of technique, the other school of though has some good ideas (like session based testing) but IMHO tends to throw the baby out with the bath water. The ISTQB technique can be applied in an agile environment what you would not use the documents they describe.
What I have personally found is that a good tester picks up ideas, techniques (BVA, EP etc), and applies these where the will return the best value.
I see the arguments in the testing world a bit a kin to dev's fighting over strongly typed vs. loosely typed.
Automation is good BUT if you don't know what you need/want to test then really it is a means to get is a mess really quick.
If doesn't sound like you are providing an API but if you are feel free to mail me directly (email is in my profile) for some resources; my company works in that area of testing.
Basically it was a table with the left hand columns being the instructions to perform, in point form, and the definitions of the expected/correct behavior, and the right hand columns being checkboxes and blank spaces to write in, indicating whether the software performed correctly.
It was super clear and to the point, and it was just a document that could be easily updated (and was, I believe I later made some modifications to the script when new versions of the software came out, but it was so long ago that maybe someone else was the one to do it).
Maybe you could write one of those up and he'd get a better idea for what his job was, and you could run through it with him a few times. After he gets the hang of it, I think it will have some value outside of just testing the code: he may come to understand how changes in one part of the code bring up issues in unexpected places (and get an intuitive grasp for, say, code reuse); he will be a true expert on the product (I've always noticed that QA people are often better versed in software than the assigned Product Manager, come demo time); and perhaps he'll start to grasp at a more physical level what your work actually entails, and it'll help give him context for software development as a process.
"The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures.... Yet the program construct, unlike the poet's words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separate from the construct itself.  The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be." - Fred Brooks
Let him learn some of the magic behind the poetry :) To your whole idea (biz/product guy getting hands dirty with product work), hear hear, bravo, etc.
Testing an Android app? Rotate the phone to change screen orientation, especially when there's a background operation going on - that's a typical spot for bugs, but no amount of general manual testing know-how will tell you that. And so on
And they have really cool resources over here:https://university.utest.com
The goal of testing is to prevent defects from surfacing in production. So track every defect that surfaces in production, so that you can watch that go to zero over time.
Whenever a defect comes up in production, edit the test plan such that you would have caught that defect. Now you won't be bitten by that class of defect in production again.
If you keep updating the test plan in this way you will see a dramatic drop in defects released to production. Once you've done this for a while, you will probably discover that your biggest source of defects released into production have to do with how different your test environment is from your production environment. So you will then start attacking that issue by setting up a proper staging environment, where the staging environment mirrors production as closely as practical.
Then you will start to discover that your biggest source of defects released into production becomes other things, such as little problems with your release methodology, which you can then address.
But the key concept here is: document what your test plan is, and continuously improve it. It's important to note that you must actually follow the documented procedure for this to work. If you write a document so big that you won't actually do it, you're doing it wrong, make a smaller document. If you feel like you only need to do 2 minutes worth of resting, document what you will do during those 2 minutes. You can start with an empty test plan and that will work, as long as you continuously improve your test plan. The same goes for the procedures that you use to deploy. Always follow the same procedure exactly as documented, because you will need to improve that procedure.
I have followed these procedures at a number of companies and in a variety of environments, and seen it turn chaotic messes around many times.
Once you have this process down solid, you can automate some or all of it. But the important thing is the overall set of processes around testing and deploying software, and the process for improving those processes. How much of it is automatic versus manual matters a lot less.
As for resources, I'd recommend books on continuous improvement. Because as you get better at testing, you'll discover that General process improvement is what you really need in order to cover the range of things that cause defects in production.
Also, "manual testing" is a slightly unfortunate monicker for the activity we are discussing. It is bound to generate some degree of incomprehension or even hostility on the part of some people, for no foreseeable benefit. "Testing" will do. It is something you do with your head primarily, your hands being involved to pretty much the same degree that they are in programming (and we don't usually call that "manual programming").
And will Dax play a bigger role in the future, in branding to give more personality? It wasn't easy finding the name of the duck I see daily. (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=name+of+the+duckduckgo+duck)
Congrats for your search engine. I admire the work you did. The only reason I don't use DDG is that I'm Greek and the results for Greek keywords are many orders of magnitude off-mark compared to Google. Why is that? Any hope to improve results in the future?
On a personal note, DDG has been my daily driver for about 2 years now. I love the bang shortcuts (!man and !cpp mostly).
The first few months or so, I ended up following almost every search query with a "!g query", but search results have really, really improved. Now I only have to use Google for local topics and/or very recent events.
I do believe that it is critical that we do have choices. Choices that can free us from a single establishment. So, thank you!
How do you keep the DuckDuckGo afloat ?
In terms of mobile any plans for the future you can reveal? How do you feel about Siri, Google Now and Cortana is it something you think DDG can do or can be used as a backend/source ?
Google got this one wrong (though I suspect that google does it on purpose).
When you were first working on DDG who did you show it to before you "launched" on here? What kind of early feedback did you get?
Just wanted to say thanks for DDG, it's been my default search engine for going on a year now and absolutely love it. I'm also a developer(DDG is also the reason I started to dabble with Perl) from PA (about 10 minutes from DDG) and have to say it's very exciting to see something like DuckDuckGo created in my hometown area. Thanks again for the great work!
How do you evaluate the general search quality?
Do you have any focus on expanding crawling in general? And localized content in particular?
Where did the name for DuckDuckGo come from?
Do you have some plans to open source the search engine of DuckDuckGo one day and let people contribute?
And when the FBI is investigating you, they don't need a smokescreen. I'd take them seriously if I were in your shoes.
2. "Uncorroborated sources" means little. If there was an imminent threat they would tell you.
3. If you were in trouble, you would already be under arrest.
4. This was a preliminary meeting to see if you have any interest in becoming an informant for them. Expect that request to come soon.
5.If you've purchased grow house bulbs in the past six months or dozens of packages of ephedrine, then rest assured that your online postings have nothing to do with their visit.
If you are really concerned, here's a tip: lawyers are plentiful in the United States. You are not eligible for a free lawyer, but call your local federal court and ask for the names of attorneys who handle CJA appointments. Or call the local chapter of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, or contact their Washington office for a referral. Your new lawyer will quickly discover the level of the Bureau's interest.
Also checkout First Lego League.http://www.firstlegoleague.org/
It's a great program. This is my Son's third year and our second year coaching his team.
The season is in full swing right now so you could probably go observe (possibly join) a local team. And find out when their competition is and go watch.
Here's a video of what they could create.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJSeMeAGmXE
The FLL program consists of core values, a project and the robot game. Robot game is the most fun but they have a good time coming up with a project idea and learning about core values (work as a team, do the work, etc).
If you want to start your own team you can get donations/sponsorship from companies to pay for your startup costs. 2 or 3 robot kits, some extra parts, T-shirts, the FLL kit (mat and mission pieces), supplies to build the board, FLL fees, etc.
Sounds like exactly what you're looking for!
If you want to give twit credit, you can go through the link here: https://twit.tv/sponsors
Most kids like minecraft. With ComputerCraft a little bit of coding gives you minecraft superpowers. More coding gives you more powers. It's easy to keep learning more.
Home Depot carries a ton of electronics stuff (complex enough for a 10 year old) in their hardware section. I didn't find out until recently - they sell erector set parts, bulbs, wires, battery chassis, etc.
I would totally attribute it to being just me, but in the last month I've received offers from Amazon, the DoD, Intel, and a few smaller shops in my area.
It's funny too, because I see the same companies continually posting the same ads month after month in the "Who's Hiring" posts, so they must have a fairly strong bias against false positives.
As a marketer this bothers me. While I assume I am completely oversimplifying this statement, an ongoing bug bear of mine is business that treats marketing as an expense. Marketing is an investment. It should be treated and monitored as you would your investments. Adwords ads are not expensive, they have a positive or negative ROI/ROMI. It doesn't matter if a click cost $1 or $1,000, its about the following profit you get back from that click. You need to understand how you track + what your avg revenues and margins are. Adwords (and other channels) should never be expensive, they should be positive or negative returning assets.
> Has anyone done this before?I've on both sides of contracting marketing. It makes sense to pay for specialization if you can earn a reasonable salary elsewhere.
> who do you outsource to?Depends on what you need? Be careful going cheap. There is no industry accreditation and many people jump in selling promises they cant deliver. ALso yyou sound like you need someone that can advise you as much as 'do as I say' type contractor. Look for experience and someone that can show you specifically why they succeeded when they took of other marketing gigs. Don't go for the cheapest or biggest promise as an absolute.
> What does it cost ?Please share.As above, you can do affiliate type deals where you only pay for success. Or you may pay $5 to $500/hr depending on what you look for. Try not to go in too light on spend. If you want to spend $500 on advertising anyone decent will cost more than that alone setting up a solid performing campaign. People often test with small amounts, hire some low cost person and then decide 'marketing doesn't work'. You need to do a shotgun type approach where you blast tests across a bunch of channels/approaches, see where the profit pattern is for you to chase. Also when you budget budget a decent spend in addition to a person. I see businesses hire a marketing person and then allocate not budget. Thats a waste of money unless they are literately after a blogger/web developer in one and that's all you want.
Writing on a blog nobody reads isn't going to do much for you. The way content gets backlinks typically involves the people who write it hustling just as much to get those links: posting them themsleves, talking to influential people who can share them, running contests and giveaways, guest posting for exposure. Content creation is less than half of the work of successfully using content marketing for customer acquisition.
You can't really outsource this stuff at the beginning IMO. Nobody else is going to have the knowledge and the passion to get those early customers for you. You need to be in the loop personally to hear the rejections and see how your product is being used to know how to move it forward and how to market it more effectively.
Living in a part of the US that skews VERY heavily towards one party, I especially vote in primary elections, which are where it's actually determined which congresscritter or senator we'll be sending to Washington or the state capital. And yes, I will absolutely vote my heart rather than strategically in a primary. "Electable" too often isn't.
And I make sure to vote in off-year state and local elections too because those actually have more impact on my daily quality of life in the short-term than national ones do. (Whereas national elections have more impact on the long-term direction of the country, especially when there are Supreme Court vacancies likely).
My state allows a candidate to run for office on multiple parties' slates, and will aggregate those votes for the candidate. I dislike one party much more than the other, but there are third-parties far closer to my actual positions. I'll often vote for a major-party candidate on a third-party slate, which both helps ensure that the third party remains on the ballot for the next election cycle and hopefully helps send a message to the major party in question.
(Edited for typos.)
That said, I am somewhat ambivalent about voting and democracy. I think democracy is basically just a euphemism for "mob rule" and find that whatever systems you put in to try and prevent the "tyranny of the majority" never really work. And if you're on the losing end in a "democratic" system, are you really "represented"? I argue that the answer is "no". I don't hold Richard Burr, David Price, or Thom Tillis as representing me in any way. I certainly didn't vote for any of them, and would't if you paid me to.
Basically I'm a voluntaryist / anarcho-capitalist / market anarchist / whatever-term-you-prefer, who wants to eliminate most of "government" as we know it today. Note that does not mean I'm in favor of chaos or opposed to communal action (this is something critics of libertarian thought often get wrong.. seemingly intentionally at times). I just want voluntary exchange and self-government to be the fundamental basis for society, with use of force/violence reserved for self-defense.
Yes, I might not think I'd make a difference, I don't have anybody to vote for, I don't think parliament members make much of a difference, I'm not crazy about democracy etc etc. But in the end I guess I just don't care.
If there was a special party or person that I'd really believe to be a game changer, I might. If I was American I would perhaps vote next year depending on who gets the Republican nomination.
I also don't think I should have the right to vote, as a pretty young person with minimal skin in the game. The risk is too great that I'd seek just to support the candidate who offers me the policies most beneficial to me, rather than acting as a steward, so it seems like I should be left out.
My non-vote is noticed just as little as my vote for any candidate in a presidential election, so I don't care too much, nor do I feel a need to make a principled stand that will go unnoticed. I'd vote in lesser elections like US Rep, but my congressman is pretty well set for every election. He's been the Rep for my district longer than I've been alive, and I think he mostly does a good job. He's the house sponsor for the bill that required carriers to unlock phones, which I think has been fantastic for me, but in a freedom-increasing, rather than pandering, sort of way.
I used to be an organizer for the Green Party so I am capable of very cynical views of the electoral system but also going door to door to get signatures, running candidates, etc.
In local races, even up to the state legislature level, I often know the people involved personally. I've had friends and acquaintances run for local offices as Greens, Democrats and Republicans. I even meet a congressional candidate from time to time.
For the presidential election next year the immediate thing on my mind is that I don't want to see a Hillary Clinton - Jeb Bush matchup because as much as the "Anderson-Horowitz politics" people on HN would find that easy to swallow, it would set a very bad precedent for our country.
Also, I might be naive enough to think that if I vote despite my cynicism and outspokenness against the shit politicians pull, maybe - just maybe - I might inspire just one other person to vote. And if I manage to do that, maybe they'll inspire someone else and eventually people will start engaging with politics again, instead of just handing the reins over to the people that stand to gain the most from voter disenfranchisement.
I refuse to support a system that legitimates the voice of the majority. There is little to no correlation between what the majority has been led to believe is right, and what is actually right.
That said, I could see myself voting for a party that (intentionally or not) would reveal the ridicule of democracy, a party that undisputedly wouldn't be fit to rule the country.
I have to admit I don't see much point voting on a state, congressional, or federal level when living in areas that are completely skewed in favor of a single political party. Were I able to vote, perhaps I'd vote in the primaries.
It doesn't bother me too much - when I really care about an issue, which isn't that often, I call a politician's office or two and donate something to an appropriate PAC. That's probably more effective than voting directly.
That said, I vote on Hacker News stories. Could HN be an example of a moderated democracy (constitutional monarchy?) working well on a larger scale?
Going to city council meetings, canvassing for candidates, collecting signatures for propositions, etc...those all feel a bit more impactful than voting...but I feel like a hypocrite doing any of those things if I myself don't actually vote...so I vote too.
This was an option that was successfully won for many years over (sometimes concurrently, sometimes not) for the Student Union at my first university, Imperial College London.
I devote about 5 or so percent of my free time to civics. This means learning about my local options, who actually can impact my life in notable and significant ways, as well as just being active. Being active means doing advocacy actions, the occasional trip to the State capitol, phone banking, GOTV efforts of various kinds, etc...
I sure wish I knew how to convince more 20 somethings to vote.
Why: I have a serious medical condition which limits how much I can take on. I spent a lot of years as a military wife and devoted mother, raising two special needs sons. This was just a helluva lot of work, more than most people seem to appreciate. Trying to stay up on The Issues was just not something I could manage. My plate was overly full as is. I saw no reason to vote if my choices were not based on some kind of meaningful information or opinion.
From what I gather, you see higher rates of voting and political activity in older people, precisely because their plate is less full (with launching a career, finding romance, raising kids, etc). It is possible that as I get older and my life works better, I may someday feel able to effectively participate in the process. I haven't made any decisions one way or the other. It wasn't a Stance. It was happenstance.
- uncaught exception should terminate the process... but
- cluster.js allows restating failed processes easily
- and you whole cluster should be restarted if it dies (we use upstart's respawn)
- uncaught exceptions should be real exceptional situations and bugs only, never applicative exceptions (it would be a bug)
- have the cluster master send your team an email as soon as a process dies, to maintain awareness (we use Slack notification + email)
- kill bugs, aim for 0 failures. Invalid parameters should never kill your app. An unreachable DB could, because reconnecting can be difficult, and may not succeed
- when unexpected failure happens (bugs mostly), you know it didn't kill your whole app (a single process dies)
- your cluster could loop trying to restart the app with repeated failures, and it could work and restore your app. If it doesn't, you'll be flooded in emails and you'll be aware of the gravity of the problem. Networking problems are often solved this way in a few seconds
- you will kill bugs, because of the awareness factor of emails
- and you'll have an incentive to keep your app startup time low
That's how we do it.
As an aside, I love HN, it's full of good respectful discussions about topics I care about, but sometimes I feel it needs a tutorial about the actual features of the site. Like with this much karma you can upvote, with this much you can downvote...
Does it tie in with the site's hacker audience? Something like "Smart people will figure it out"? Maybe it's to prevent users from gaming the system by targeting a specific level of rights...
So I guess what I am trying to say is that you should pick a language or technology stack and teach yourself. The resources are everywhere. Start somewhere, impress yourself with how you pick it up and then repeat the cycle by learning the next topic.
Based on above, I think you should delay joining school etc and complete step1 first
Learn about databases, both SQL and NoSQL. Almost every project comes down to having a sound understanding of data concepts.
Work on some Open Source projects that interest you. It will be an opportunity to learn from more experienced developers, produce something of value to our on your resume, introduce you to source control and help you understand how developers communicate around software development.
The most important is not technical. If you can't effectively communicate and prioritize any technical ability loses value rapidly.
Skip the boot camps and keep your ME job while self learning along the following path.
Picking up the skills you need is a long process, I don't think you can pick it up in a camp, plus it would be tough to go through a boot camp and land an entry level job and have all the knowledge you need.
I would recommend learning HTML and CSS first. (Use MAMP or WAMP and sublime text for your workflow)
The Head First Books on HTML/CSS and PHP MySQL are good starting points.
teamtreehouse.com is also a great place for self learning.
Buy some domains and setup a few websites. You can just use hostgator for hosting, learn about name servers, DNS, FTP, etc.
Then learn PHP and MySQL. (Head First book)
Your engineering degree will be valuable, you could also think about taking some CS courses or do some self study to pick up some CS knowledge.
Once you have experience with basic web applications in vanilla PHP and MySQL give Rails or Laravel a try.
It's tough to jump to a framework without learning to do some basic web applications in PHP/MySQL so you have a better idea of some of the magic a framework takes care of for you.
Check out laracasts.com and railscasts.com
Setup a server from scratch on digital ocean, just so you have that experience.
If you use Laravel there is a great deployment tool, Laravel forge, that configures the server and deploys your app for Rails you can use Heroku for easy hosting.
There are Laravel jobs out there, but Rails jobs are more plentiful and probably have a higher salary ceiling. See what you like and what you enjoy using.
Once you are using Laravel or Rails get some experience with React, Vuejs or angular2.
Once you have the basics you could look at a bootcamp that has a high success rate at landing graduates jobs.
As you're learning setup your own websites, then when you get in to PHP MySQL setup some of your own web apps.
You'll learn most when you're trying to do something on your own. Creating an app that tracks something you collect, tracking your budget, a messaging app for you and your friends, or a private facebook for you and your family.
when you're learning look for stackoverflow in your search results if you haven't discovered it already.
Setup a github account, you don't need to use it initially, but you'll want to build your account to include your best work along with a portfolio.
bitbucket is nice for free private repos.
Use http://getbootstrap.com/ for your own projects.
Once you learn the basics you could build websites for local businesses on nights and weekends, and build up clients/more and more complex projects/clients. Avoid the online freelancing sites where you're competing against the lowest price.
You should also check outhttp://startupsfortherestofus.comand see if building your own company would be for you.
Also I wouldn't go to the valley unless you get a job there and they assist you with relocation expenses.
Good luck with your transition, remember it's a process so set goals incrementally and keep at it.
Second, I would suggest maybe not going the code bootcamp route. Sometimes they're really good immersion training in web development, but sometimes they can end up basically as developer puppy mills.
Instead, you may want to consider finding ways to use your mechanical engineering experience to find things code might make better. Cross-disciplinary work like that is really valuable.
2. In regards to YC Research, can you tell us anything more about the (general) topic area(s) you will be interested in? And maybe expand a little bit more on what kind of mechanisms might be put in place to facilitate working with outside researchers (hopefully including independent researchers and / or other startups).
Applying for YC funding doesn't make sense for several reasons:
1. I want to be king, not rich; everything I hear tells me that YC pushes companies to grow fast and increase their valuations, and that's something I fundamentally don't care about. I know that I'm stubborn enough that this would just result in a lot of frustration on both sides.
2. Tarsnap doesn't need the money. It's solidly profitable, and I honestly have no idea what I would do with investment money.
3. I don't want to live in the bay area -- not even for 3 months. Granted, this seems like it may be less of an issue now that it's possible for people with pre-existing conditions to get medical insurance; but the bay area is fundamentally not somewhere I can ever imagine myself wanting to live.
4. Converting Tarsnap into a US corporation would eat a lot of time and money. I completely understand why it's necessary for companies YC is going to invest in; but it's another reason why having YC invest in Tarsnap doesn't make sense.
I think YC and its portfolio companies are doing great and interesting things, and I'd like to be part of the community... but as explained above, taking funding doesn't make sense; when I applied for the YC fellowship (I know it was a stretch) you told me to apply for funding instead; and you haven't asked me to be part of YCR.
Is there some other option here?
I'm a graduating college senior, and I've accepted a job at a very big company in the tech industry. Right now, it makes the most financial sense for me to join a big company and pay off my debt quickly, but at some point in the future I'd love to scratch that entrepreneurial itch and apply to YC.
How do I maximize my time at a big company to gain relevant skills to keep the possibility of a startup open in the future?
1. Will the model be group-based where there's a head PI setting the research agenda for a group and researchers working under the PI? If so, what level of independence do you expect individual researchers within a group to have? I.e. is it more like the academic model with postdocs enjoying a fair degree of independence, or more akin to national labs where the research agenda is reasonably fixed and everyone is expected to contribute to the same research program? Or, are you coming up with an entirely different model?
2. In general how hands-on will YCR be in terms of intra-group management?
3. Do you expect to subscribe to all the major publishing houses so that YCR researchers have access to journals like they would at a top-tier university?
1) What advice would you give to applicants from Brazil and other large countries (India, China, Russia), whose products initially target their local markets?
2) What advice would you give to post-Seed and pre-Series A applicants? When (if at all) would you consider them "too big for YC"?
3) If you select a post Seed startup, would YC invest at their latest valuation, or would it only offer the standard deal, even if it would be a "down round" for current investors?
Heard you are visiting India and know you've been to Mexico not long ago. Ever thought about coming to Brazil? Best regards, Bernardo
Do you or YC have any thoughts on things you could do to help this, if any?
It's really hard for employees 1-N, especially at sub-market salaries, but without 10% equity stakes, to move to SFBA. It pretty much restricts you to people already-here, people who will live college dorm style, or people who are already well off. Too much of the money raised goes out the door in salary (taxed) to pay for housing.
* (I know some people like to call the second category "pure" research, but I think that betrays a bias against working on more practical problems.)
the YC Research announcement got me very excited, particularly as someone who experiences the pain points you described first hand on a daily basis.
First question, would YC Research be limited to the US or would you consider other countries (e.g. Canada in my case)?
Also, would you ever consider partnering with existing Public/Government institutions? There are lots of very good people already working on some really interesting projects (yes, even in the public sector :) ), and I believe they need support and direction (and some actual business sense). So to re-phrase my question, would YC Research ever consider some sort of support/consulting platform for existing (possibly public) organizations?
Thank you very much for taking the time!
Often I see people say what they used to take the data and then the end result of the analysis, but never do I see any details whatsoever about the specific techniques or steps they took to transform the raw data into what ends up being published.
It's a very frustrating thing for me and I don't see a mainstream or more easily accessible way for me to post my raw data + analysis other than making a blog for myself, which I have no easy way of promoting in a paper.
I think it would be great to be the ones that set the tone for transparency and it would be a fantastic way of teaching others how to analyze data, or how to catch errors in someone's analysis.
Right now there's a huge wall of obscurity in that we have to take the author's word for it. I know many things cannot be reproduced in experimental science, but the analysis of the data should be. I can't see a reason why people would not want to share their data in academia since most people are funded by DOE, NSF, NIH and DOD and hence by the taxpayer. I think it would be great for pedagogical purposes, it would encourage best practices and it would help us be honest.
So my question is about YC Research. You said in that earlier thread you will be hand picking the people. How exactly do you intend to do that if you don't me asking? Are you partnering with schools? Are they going to be recommended? Do you already have a database?
My top pick is called "Black Cadillac" it's from a local shop and also reminds me of the modest mouse song of the same name.
In other words, hypothetically, if YC had existed during the 90s, at what stage should Google Guys have applied to YC (Between 1995-1998, A) when the idea struck (mid 1995) B) When it started crawling the web (around 1996), or C) when they bought the domain (1998). Thanks!
For instance, I would love to be in YC- But just like many older (30+) folks, I have a family and simply cannot move to SF. The 'move to SF' restriction is the one thing I hate about YC- Its also why I think some competing incubators are picking up steam, who focus on global teams.
This may be disagreed upon- But I truly feel the 'move to SF' restriction is almost prejudicial against older folks. I get there is immense value in being in the valley (I just moved from SF), but I just dont think thats a reason not to find a way the system couldn't work either remotely or satellite based.
Also, many research projects (like bioinformatics) require enormous amounts of difficult to obtain data (e.g. Hospital records, blood samples, etc...). Do you have a plan to help those kinds of labs build collaborations, or do you expect to bring in researchers who will be able to "figure it out"?
Finally, are you looking specifially for trained PhD researchers, or is this open to anybody?
First of all, thanks for the 10 million dollar donation for YC research. That's an amazing gesture, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the scientific research model get completely disrupted - it's in a terrible state and it needs a big shove.
- Given your donation, what are your thoughts on philanthropy?
- Most of your advice is for founders, however, what should an employee look in an early stage start up when deciding whether to join? Obviously, the decision is much easier if the company has started growing exponentially, but before that?
Our startup is a for-profit company. However, as a part of our strategy we are making a lot of medical data open sourced. Even if we completely fail, we will move the leave an extremely positive footprint on traditional Chinese medicine industry.Q:1. How would you suggest balancing good intensions for the industry with making money?2. Should we reflect this in the application and how?
I am torn about submitting an application. I have a list of 20+ customers waiting for the first beta release and who are actively asking about progress (and willing to post payment!) The idea and particular niche market has been churning in my mind for several years, and over the past 18 months, the vision has materialized into a real product. Market trends are pointing upwards, it is ripe for disruption and could be a winner takes all game.
I am weeks away from private-beta depending on my productivity (this has been a side project). I have a wife, 7 month old daughter, and a cushy full-time salary with little work demands. I have been in two long-term employer relationships (4 and 5 years) and at each made huge impacts on molding the product, despite not being hired for that. But I am bored and want the freedom and flexibility to work on my own ideas. But one thing I have always lacked is a talent network. Is this something being accepted into HN would help with? I honestly get the feeling that most applicants are searching for direction and help with flushing things out, things that I am already confident in. What do you make of a solo guy like me, with a solid product that is almost ready for market? I'm a proud guy, and there is that part of me that wants to just continue being a Lone Wolf.
(i.e. shouldn't early employess, investing their under-market salary/time receive the same conditions/protection of their investments as VCs?)
As a new parent, I'm intrigued by this. What kinds of things did your parents do with/for you to foster this level of independence? What had the biggest effect on you, personally?
Are there any unsolved problems for growing companies you wish someone would apply to solve?
I'm not on the shortlist of anyone for "smartest people in the field", but I have a keen interest & passion for research. I suspect there are many people like me. Do you anticipate that YCR will have a track for people like me to participate, or will it be aiming for the creme de la creme as a rule?
Will YCR researchers' publications be required to be open access?
Should it be possible for the peer-review process to happen in a more open forum than the judgment of a couple of handpicked reviewers? Some fields (such as mathematics) have seen this happen already, but it's not very common in other fields, such as the life sciences.
I know that you've been working on this problem personally and a few high profile companies have publicly announced changes. But what's going on with new small companies? What are the current norms?
I know that YC takes care of a lot of the legal work when setting up new YC companies. What do you currently recommend for employee option grants?
Do you see any useful correlates to this problem? What types of teams tend to have infighting vs. those that don't?
I've been thinking about this for a while:
- small companies rarely fund university research - the grant application process is complex - grad students get paid so little compared to tech workers - hiring a PhD student before they finish means abandoning their research
Funding 120k is good for early startups, but I think YC could have far more reach and impact if it had an option to provide less capital to a greater number of startups. The purpose being to allow founders to support themselves and fully focus on their startup without having to worry about daily jobs.
I see two major benefits: 1) YC would have greater and broader impact since for the same amount of seed would be possible to found 12-15 more companies that are ready to move from the idea to execution stage.
2) (this touches me personally) For non US founders, we have to worry about rent, food etc. I believe that if founders had the oportunity to fully focus on their startups for 3 months without a daily job, it would have tremendous impact for the early startups, and as a nice side effect YC could have another pool of really good candidates/ideas. At the end of the 3 months the founders would have had a chance to demonstrate themselves, their execution level, etc., at a very low cost.
I truly believe the ROI on something like this would be considerable.
I know that capital is not the only (and arguably not even the most important) advantage of been admitted to YC, but personally speaking, if I had this option 3 years ago I'd have pursued it no questions asked. I feel that there might be other founders that would be in the same boat.
Do you have any thoughts on this?Thanks!Carlos.
When will we see the peak of the commercial and medical results of having a sequenced population?
What could prevent us from getting all our genes sequenced? Shouldn't we try to facilitate mass sequencing, for all the medical benefits it could provide? What can YCombinator do to influence corporate and political entities to collaborate and reach a solution to expedite this process?
Example, Indian market/users/plans are considered to be a lot different than other countries.
Is there a checklist, or a blueprint, or a list of topics, or a list of books that you can recommend that will cover the most important/basic/low-level aspects of building a company? What should I be thinking about?
I'm looking for the backbone; I can work on figuring out the proper shape of what I'm building along the way.
We'll launch our first beta version within a month and we are receiving a tremendous amount of interest. However we can't really yet prove a traction. What should we prove (or what should we have done) in order to try to apply again?
It seems that much of what YC funds these days lies in combinations of software with other disciplines such as biology, law, hardware, energy, and so forth. Is there any room for the pure-software/sales startup anymore, or does the future lie in interdisciplinary startups?
I submitted our application, and I wrote YC this letter on Medium (https://medium.com/@laurenholliday_/dear-y-combinator-we-wro...).
What else can one do to stand out? I'm so worried our application will get lost in a pile of all the others.
Also, is it possible that we'll hear from you before the 28th?
I have a number of ideas for companies which I would like to explore, but I am constantly hamstrung by the fact that I don't have the technical skills required. I wouldn't go so far as to say I am non-technical (I'm a bioengineer transitioning into data science) but I certainly am not a developer per say. Do you have any advice on how to find potential technical co-founders?
YC and the Bay area would be an immense deal to us :
=> Regardless of the product I'm building : Are the advantages of moving to SF enough to balance the immediate difficulties of leaving ?
PS: We are building an AI (currently for students) that plugs into messaging apps. 150k messages exchanged already.
What can YC and Silicon Valley as a whole to mitigate the problems this will cause?
Thanks for supporting us all with your time & insights.
Given the rise & success of things like Hack Reactor and Nano Degrees plus the YC RSF for Education.
1) Do you have any specific thoughts on innovations you would like to see in Secondary Education, specifically Jr. High and High School?
2) What about Elementary Education in the US?
What would look like promising, realistic starting points for -- or even attributes of -- such a nascent startup? e.g., chat bots, development platforms, intelligent agents for games?
I have a friend who's a physicist working on graphene and he would really like to apply.
I don't necessarily agree with them. I have been doing this startup for over an year now. It has growth with a strong potential for more.
- Do you feel that Y Combinator's increasing visibility has helped your mission to attract a wide range of applicants beyond established tech industry insiders?
- How do you manage the risk that your corresponding increase in competitiveness could lower the chances of acceptance for less polished but still innovative applications from people with fewer industry connections?
I'm the CEO & Founder of a 4-person SaaS company profitable as most of our employees are outside the US. We're 4 years old, and are now doing ~$30k/mo in revenue. I started the company young and have learned a lot.
I question whether this is just a waste of my time, and whether I should just sell and start something new, but my worry is that by the time the new thing kicks off, THIS company will be making far more.
What are your thoughts on WHEN to sell a startup, and whether to even sell?
I get the feeling our startup can't be that bad not to be a part of YC as we have everything in place but need a great platform & community to showcase what we're building. Hardware is tough and takes more money and we're about to raise a convertible note using YC SAFE docs. Does this make our case weaker to be accepted into YC?
* Would you consider investing in a company that invents a toilet paper holder where the TP can only be inserted in the OVER position? This is a huge problem world-wide that should be solved immediately. The market is huge! B2B, B2C, you name it, there's toilet paper!
* All seriousness aside, do you have any advice for building an app that has no clear money-making potential? I've had this idea brewing for years, but no matter how much I think about, I have no idea how to monetize it.
If you do plan to invest in YC Fellows via an equity deal in the near future, how acceptable would a -very small- investment from FFF for exchange in equity would be before getting the Fellowship?
In your opinion, what is the greatest impediment to getting better software into government. Second, is there a market opportunity in alleviating this/these impediments?
- what is the exact purpose of the company description in the application, is it a mission statement?
- do you have examples of "something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered"
- is it important for the evaluation process if another company has already succeeded in another market but with a similar approach as the one we propose? Should we talk about it in the application?
Thank you for your help
Thank you for spending time on HN on a regular basis! Would love other partners to do the same.
Instead, I am asking YC founders to do quick office hours with us and refer to YC if they liked what they saw. (which I have no control of).
Am I doing the wrong thing and going to get rejected for not polishing the application enough?
We curated all interesting YCombinator Q&As and created a wiki. www.askmeanything.me/brands/ycombinator
Some of these are from HN and some from the 'How to start a startup' course.
1] Help us curate more. Just submit link to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will have it posted with due credits to you and the source.
2] We will soon categorize them as 'application Q&A', 'co-founder Q&A' etc to make it more easy to read.
Def look for feedback.
If possible, how can we make that work?
We've mainly left this problem in the hands of the FDA. Is it time for a deeper quantitative investigation?
Is this an area YCResearxh might look into?
How did YC gain such a huge advantage in doing this over the other incubator/accelerators?
Is there any advice you can give to young founders trying to get into YC or raise a seed round? Its worth noting were students with graduation quickly approaching. I fear my previous applications werent seriously considered since my team and I lack true industry experience, which leaves us seemingly unqualified.
When submitted early, they would notice YC related views to their website and Youtube video. Unfortunately, when submitted close to the deadline, there were no views.
In your position at YC, founders and investors alike trust you with lots of information. You have a unique view of where money is flowing and how equipped companies are to compete with each other. I'm sure you'd have amazing answers for Peter Thiel's "tell me something you believe is true but nobody else agrees with" and you'd probably be right on a lot of the points due to information available uniquely to you.
As YC grows, what actions do you plan on taking to ensure its accountability? In particular, how do you plan to help founders who for whatever reason don't directly participate in YC?
Say you are working on a project that is really similar to another product that has been validated and successful in another part of the world. Would you see it as a good indicator, or does it mean nothing given the culture differences? What would be the best way to take advantage of that intel?
Thanks and have a good day!
I have a question relating to AI and YCR.
I remember your blog about AI mentioning how many of the best private companies are very secretive about their advances and research.
Was YCombinator Research heavily influenced by this secrecy in specifically the AI fields?
Is YCR going to have a focus on AI, at least initially?
Can you give any insight into the fields of research you are focusing on?
How long, or to what sort of benchmarks, do you think a startup engineer should marinate in the startup scene before being taken seriously as a technical founder?
And follow up: Do you give extra consideration to an application for founders that have been employees at another YC company prior?
Any tips on balancing uni, research there (pre-doc) and a startup (co-founder, CTO)?
Do you think it is necessary to give up one for another?
Do you expect a video walkthrough like what Drew Houston from Dropbox did in his 2007 application or do you expect a link to a live demo that you can click through?
For instance, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is basically just looking for opportunities to have the biggest possible impact.
I think a lot of your future goals may line up: clean energy, global healthcare, etc.
Thanks for engaging with the HN crowd :)I have spoken to Jessica (Livingston) about this, but wanted to get your thoughts as well.
My question is simple, yet complex at its nature:
How important is the relationship of the founders?(For simplicity let's assume there are two of them).
What tips do you have for a solo founder to make his application most useful to you?
What information would you like to see to give you some confidence in the solo founder to move past this disadvantage?
we've applied to YC Winter 2016 within the first five days, but thinking about making minor changes to the application. Does "editing" have a negative-effect? Do you read the whole application again or just the edits? Thanks in advance!
We're a startup in a non-technical industry. We are high-growth minded, with a growing platform of users and plans to create connected hardware devices. What metrics would you need to see from a company like ours to make it into YC?
Update: It has been restored as of 9:33am PST. No sure why the downvotes, I found this is be somewhat amazing given whose post this was.
 as of 9:28am PST at least
What could/would be our 10x growth lever in innovation/living quality.
(reason i ask - in the end YC is one of those companies shaping global innovation that could help move towards above)
Web/mobile development is kind of commodity already. One can learn nuclear physics, but it doesn't feel like you can hack on it a lot.
Wanted to ask you what do you think about Chamath comments about the lack of diversity in VC partners affecting the companies they invest? How do you see this affecting YC?
Just wanted to ask:
1) how does being a single founder eventually impact the dynamics of a company?
2) any heuristics for finding the one metric that matters to optimize on?
3) any tips for projects less iterative and more focused on a "complex coordination" modality
- Initial starting size
- How you will be picking researchers
- Any particularly novel initiatives/methodologies that will be encouraged
- How you will measure the group's success
How do you see an application from someone with clear track records in a field, but applying with an idea in a quite different field?
Non-YC question here. I remember years ago at some of apples events loopt was featured on stage by Jobs (I think?) How did you manage to get that kind of promotion?
TELL US MORE ABOUT Y COMB RESEARCH
What area of research will you be conducting?
You guys have been talking about your investments in HW startups.
What are the top 3 things that you look for in a hardware startup application at YC?
Please list your 3 most favorite book for Entrepreneurship, business. I'm an software engineer but have very little entrepreneurship experience.
What are some technologies that excite you?
Do you have any suggestions that would help non-technical startup employees get visa entry to the US?
Which application questions do you think best measure determination and flexibility of founders?
Did you accept it?
Was it successful?
Thanks for doing this.
1. What do you consider your best professional accomplishment?
2. Have you ever visited Israel?
I don't have any particular questions for you. I just want to let you know that I appreciate for the work you put in, both to HN and to Y Combinator.
Perhaps I speak for the whole community on that point. Best of luck.
2) You just gave 10m to fund YC Research. Was that because no other partners wanted to get involved in the project and in order to get their agreement (and show how important you felt it was) you decided to put your own money where your mouth was? It just seemed odd to me that it is a YC project yet you put your personal money in it (is the reason for the question).
I have seen lot of Spaniards applying to YC and they got rejected/ignored with awesome projects.
Do you even read all applications? Posted applications with all urls tracked and we saw 0 clicks... How can you judge our product without testing it? Did you even watched our pitch?
But in the other hand, I saw a lot of stupid companies backed by YC (Uber for X, Airbnb for X, Tinder for X, Y for X startups) I don't mind about it, it's your money, just asking for solid reasons.
This is going to blacklist me for YC but I don't care.
Kind regards, Alex.
Attempting to get your first consulting gig will force you to master whatever you are missing specifically, instead of what you are looking for quasi-randomly.
Since JS is not just limited to the web, there's a bunch of other fields to explore. Not all are for finding new jobs, but knowing them could add sugar to your portfolio.
- Robotics, there's the Tessel.
- If you're into type-hinted JS, then there's TypeScript.
- Embedding JS in a microcontroller, there's MuJS.
- Programming on mobile, there's PhoneGap.
- Taking that further, where JS is your phone's platform, there's FirefoxOS.
- Into game development, there's a lot of game engines for JS.
- Desktop app development, there's NW.js
The sense of your question is very much akin to asking for investment advice. Both have the same problems of being a gamble and being prone to having recipients unwilling to divulge their secrets. If I were to provide one piece of advice on choosing, I would say choose a technology related to a field you would like to learn more about for personal, less technical reasons. That way you enjoy the learning and have a more certain feeling of accomplishment.
But you're buying a niche product aimed at a tiny demographic. The regular XPS 13 is extremely popular and I'm sure they sell in the hundreds of thousand (given how many businesses/governments buy, not to mention private consumer sales). So as a private consumer buyer you're benefiting from the economies of scale when you buy a Win10 XPS 13.
Unfortunately someone has to pay for the Ubuntu install/testing/drivers and Dell ProSupport who has support staff who can help with Ubuntu (unlike regular support who only do Windows).
PS - ProSupport is an enterprise support product. The regular XPS 13 comes with "Premium Support" which is a consumer product, it is essentially normal support but they'll also help you with networking equipment, and popular third party [Windows] software. With Premium Support you have to buy SupportAssist to get any on-site support, ProSupport has it out of the box (as well as next day turnaround on parts).
I looked at them. Not very good value for money. Better to get a macbook or a lenovo/asus and install ubuntu on it.
Coal and wood fired ovens usually have a huge thermal mass so once it's up to temperature with a particular size fire it will stay there.
Edit: the gas oven doesn't predate the thermometer, but traditionally is set by "gas mark" rather than a thermostat. Old recipies would say "gas mark 7" etc.
Personally, when I bake things in modern ovens, I don't use the thermometer either. Sort of, because they still have a thermostat of course. But in general you really don't need a thermometer for baking.
This involves more than just the temperature of the oven. When baking bread you want long gluten chains, so you need the bread. But for most pastries you don't want that so you need to distribute the fat without building up the gluten chains.
> The many different kinds of pastry which are made in Britain today have evolved over the centuries from a crude flour and water dough mixture invented by the Romans. The paste was wrapped around meat and game before roasting and was not intended to be eaten. It served only to retain meat juices and aroma.
Knowledge of cooking was passed down from generation to generation via schools, guilds and families. We stand on the shoulders of giants. Thousands of years of trial and error passed down. People measure by sight, sound, touch and smell. For example, there are multiple ways to guess steak doneness. Simmering is visually different from boiling which is different from a rolling boil. If you're frying something in a pan, you can guess the temperature by sound. If you're making a stew or braise, it's done when the meat breaks apart. Doesn't matter what the cookbook says about exact times because environment and cooking equipment is different for everybody. Water boils before 100 C at high elevation. I moved to an area with high humidity in the summers and all my baking recipes from home failed.
With practice, you also build an intuitive sense of doneness. For example, I've cooked enough "black on the outside, raw on the inside" chicken to know how hot the heat should be and how long it should take--even without a thermometer or a timer. Like others have mentioned, sometimes you just have to cook a proxy item or sacrifice a piece.
One of the big differences between new cooks, and experienced cooks is that people who have cooked for a while are constantly tasting, touching and inspecting their food. New cooks tend to follow recipes word for word and only taste at the end. Then they get surprised when something is under/over cooked and under/over seasoned.
Lastly, I think previous generations had different expectations of consistency and quality. Modern society is hyper-precise. Traditional recipes have a huge margin for error.
I started using a bread thermometer. Experimented with various breads and converged on trying to make a great basic french boule. Doing this at 6000 feet in Colorado in a conventional oven is challenging.
I could write at least 4000 words about bread, so I'll cut to the chase. I eventually got rid of the bread thermometer because I had my recipe down. The trick is measuring quantities (by weight, not volume) and using the same recipe, oven configuration and oven temperature every time. Once you figure out what works, that is. Once you eliminate variables and all you're left with is temperature or 'doneness' it's easy to just use time instead of temperature.
So to answer your question, I think they used to use trial and error, then consistency. Or perhaps a baker who taught the apprentice the exact method, perfected over time.
With a crisp loaf, you can just knock the underside and you'll get a reasonable idea of whether it's done. But a few fails (or not perfect results) will eventually get you to where you need to be.
Just for fun, here's some more detail: If you're interested in bread in your conventional oven, I'd highly recommend the awesome experience of making bread out of just flour, salt, yeast and water - a classic french recipe. And then hand knead it. Don't fall to the temptation of adding an egg yolk, sugar or olive oil just yet. It's like adding cocaine to soda. Of COURSE it will be more popular. But get the basics right first.
A few tips for your conventional oven: Get the thickest pizza stone you can get and a cast iron pan. Put the stone on a middle rack and the cast iron pan on the lower rack.
Use a moister dough (70 to 80% IIRC) and calculate the percentages of water vs flour based on weight. A scale is essential and a huge time saver. Make a nice wet dough and learn how to knead it. This will give you that wonderful crumb with big spaces. Learn about when to knead and when to rest. For better results, make an autolyse where you just lightly knead only the flour and water first and let it rest for 30 minutes before adding the yeast and salt and kneading. Sounds odd, but it gives amazing results. Calvel's technique (Julia Child's guru).
Preheat the hell out of the stone in the oven AND the cast iron pan under it. Boil a kettle full of water. Put thick gloves on for this next part.
When you put the bread into the oven, put the moist dough directly on the hot stone. Then immediately pour just a few ounces of the hot kettle water into the pan under the stone and shut the oven as soon as you can (with a face full of steam). You now probably realize that filling the kettle all the way saved you from having to tip the whole kettle into the oven and getting a nice steam burn. And those gloves were handy weren't they?
What you've just done is simulate a commercial baking oven in your crappy kitchen oven. The bread will rise suddenly and then the crust will start forming after about 7 mins. Let it get nice and crisp. Check it at around 30 to 45 mins depending on your oven temp. Use a bread thermometer. Take it out when it's 195. Flip upside down on a bread rack and let cool. Resist, resist, resist the urge to bust it open because you'll damage the fragile loaf at this point. After about 10 mins you can cut it if you want to serve hot bread.
When I was in my bread phase, my wife and I would eat hot bread fresh out of the oven with mature cheddar that would soften on the hot slices with red wine late at night.
If you are really curios to see it done, I'd suggest visiting a live history museum - the only one I know of is outside of Indianapolis, though. They put the research in to make it historically accurate, including the cooking you see them do, and employees are generally knowledgeable about their roles.
At this point in your career, I would be concerned with two things:
1. Differentiating yourself from other entry-level candidates when you graduate a year from now. The best way to do this is simply to built-out your portfolio. Launch as many real sites and apps as you can...in whatever language/stack makes sense for the app in question.
2. Finding something you really enjoy. If you love building RoR sites, great! But if you think pursuing A.I. and such might make you happier in the long run, then you should pursue that path. At the end of the day, finding a sub-field that really interests you will make your career go a lot smoother.
Time is on your side. You've got plenty of options, and I would recommend you pursue any and all of the ones that you find interesting.
I'd focus on learning data structures, algorithms and different architectures, when to use what and the trade offs. I say this because honestly, a smart person will pickup just about any language you put in front of them, but if they don't understand the choices behind architectures, data structures and algorithms then their value is far less.
Also, while IMO you should do the above I also agree with MalcolmDiggs suggestions too, you should use this time to experiment with different technologies and different parts of the stack to see what interests you. You may find you hate being a front end web guy, or that you love it. I'd pick an open source project and contribute/learn from it or write some self serving applications that do little things you or your friends would like.
I would keep developing your expertise in rails.
Maybe learn some react or angular2 to complement your rails knowledge.
I second M-diggs, build some real world applications that are live online, and fill up your github profile with great work.
Oh and enjoy the rest of university. Those are some of the best times in life, there will be plenty of time for work later.
The column labeled "Stream data rate" is the theoretical top speed of each connection type (in reality you will never achieve these speeds in a standard home installation where you have signal that's passing through and bouncing off things). You'll see that there's some protocols which approach or go over 1000 megabits (1 gigabit) per second, but those protocols are not yet widely supported by available hardware, and may never be.
If you want to truly take advantage of your connection's speed, you'll want to use a wired connection which uses Gigabit Ethernet or 10 Gigabit Ethernet hardware from end to end, as well as Category 6 or Category 7 Ethernet cabling, respectively (though your precise needs may vary depending on the hardware you get - do some research before buying).
If yes, then you have to get a Cat5 cable to your computer or move your computer to the router :D
I love Mailbox on my Android device, but it isn't stable on my mac. Even before El Capitan, with every update there was a bug - Once it was fixed some other bug popped up. Now, I can't even search through the emails.
Other than that, it keeps crashing.
Anyway, how do these companies take big reports? email?
Most recently swiping an email would leaves a 'ghost' unclickable email in the inbox. Did no one test the main focus of the app? Prior to that they pushed out a release that crashed every time I opened it until I figured out how to delete my existing settings database.
Yesterday I tried to open it and it just told me "The app has been disabled" and refused to log me in.
I'm using Mailbox exclusively on iPhone/iPad so your post title got me worried, you could be more precise ;)
Can't wait till they release their mac client.
Trade Quality for "Features"
Focus Gone, Footgun
- Make a list every morning of your priorities - Take a break every 1.5hrs minimum - Exercise at least every second day for 30mins - At the end of the week review where you were unproductive (due to the benefit of hindsight, missed opportunities, focussing on the wrong thing) - Pen and paper can't be beaten for some activities
I also fast one day a week as it sharpens my mind.
Learn to enjoy the silence.
2. Pay no attention to the latest productivity "life hacks" and apps. Use simple, age-tested, least-friction approaches.
3. Exercise very single day. Walk, run, lift, whatever. This is a keystone habit for discipline and productivity and is vital.
4. Get stuff done.
Which is to say, they aren't the first $0 brokerage and they won't be the last $0 brokerage. But I don't expect them to be around long term and I double don't expect them to provide $0 trades long term.
I was excited to try Robinhood until I realized that bad execution on the app side (my side) and on getting order fills (their side) would eat up all if nor more of the benefits. Plus frankly if they were poor at getting you to trade to generate exchange rebates, I have to wonder what else they were doing/planning with your money.
In other words - Robinhood's competitors make you pay a fee for access to better prices. That seems like a reasonable value proposition to me.