hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    11 Nov 2015 Ask
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Ask HN: How could we solve the problem of domain squatters?
14 points by frigg  5 hours ago   15 comments top 7
Adlai 3 hours ago 1 reply      

 People asking questions, lost in confusion Well, I tell them there's no problem, only solutions - John Lennon
The other solutions proposed here work at the wrong level. The approach taken by I2P[1] does away with the concept of globally squattable names[2], leaving public keys as the global identifiers and letting individuals define local nicknames or delegate to trusted lists.

[1] https://geti2p.net/en/docs/naming

[2] Even http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/squarezooko is susceptible to squatting by those who can invest (or rent) computing power.

PS: I had a chance recently to talk with a "DNSquatter": the doorman at a building I frequent. Poor guy bought tens of thousands of domain names, years ago, with money he had available for investment, and asked me for advice on how to cash out his investment. It seems to me that he's the victim of a chumpatron[3], rather than the scammer himself; although his actions do help keep the scam alive. I advised him to consider the money lost.

[3] http://www.loper-os.org/?p=1446

Asbostos 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Maybe it's not a problem. Squatters have to pay ongoing registration fees to maintain their stock so that puts a cap on registering of every possible domain. You could even see them as providing a service by keeping desirable domains available for people who really really want them instead of first-come-first-served which is quite a ridiculous way of allocating resources.
marcfowler 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The first thing I thought of was some rule saying that you have to be 'using' the domain within, say, 2 years or it gets pulled from you.

But then the problem is, do we want someone policing what the definition of 'using' a domain is? Hell no.

I think that unfortunately the way it's going is that you basically use a different TLD, but even now it's beneficial to have the .com if you can (especially among non-developer audiences who aren't used to .ly, .io, etc etc). 'Just go to whatever.io' to your grandma isn't as obvious as 'Just go to whatever.com'.

Rifu 4 hours ago 1 reply      
With the advent of so many new TLDs, I'm of the opinion that this isn't even that big of a problem anymore. Your 1st pick is being squatted? Just pick another TLD.
insoluble 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Two approaches come to mind: (1) Require strict identity for domain registration, and then limit the number per person to something like 3, except where a special permit is held. (2) Make it illegal, where a heavy fine would be imposed for squatting. Naturally there would need to be a grace period post-registration before a domain were considered in squat-mode. Six months could be suitable.

Furthermore, there could be an added regulation that no two domains could serve essentially the same data for more than a certain transition period, such as three months. Not only are such duplicates bad for spiders, but there is no essential reason why they need to exist. With redirects and load balancers, a site could easily be switched over from one domain to another in a relatively short time.

One of the fundamental rules of this world is that if something can be abused, it will be abused. And unlike infractions that are obvious and hurt a person's social reputation, domain registration is so hidden that a person can squat left and right without social repercussions. Hence, the only solution is regulation -- either technical, or legal.

lazyeye 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Domain names can only be rented from the domain authority.They can never be sold, just released back to the authority when finished with.
rabbyte 4 hours ago 1 reply      
perhaps the problem can be avoided with an alternative approach. maybe a decentralized design that determines a name by algorithm rather than decree, walk the users social graph, let people rename the world in a way that is fixed to their perspective regardless of device.
I am (unsuccessfully) trying to fund a year of OSS work where did it go wrong?
24 points by ribasushi  20 hours ago   11 comments top 5
woolfy666 16 hours ago 0 replies      
You could add a line after the "$70/h", explaining that your normal tariff is something like "$120/h" or "$150/h", but that you learned that long-term commitment, i.e. work 1,700 h/year, often means a lower tariff, because of job security.

You think that passing the hat once was bad enough and that a second round will overdo it. If Liz and I would have thought that in 1994, we would not have become the first Dutch company making websites, and not getting many of the biggest Dutch companies and institutions. Of course you will do a second round. They might say no, or ignore you, but they might say yes. Make your explanation clearer. Did you go to the top of the companies that you ask for support?

jrpt 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Companies are more than willing to pay for software, but there's little incentive when they would otherwise get it for free and you're asking for a charity handout. I'm sorry but that's just reality. If I were you, I'd figure out a way to earn money off of your project, perhaps by going open core and making a premium version with business-friendly features.

I found these blog posts valuable:



Relatedly, this is why I intentionally didn't make my newest project open source. The project is DataDuck ETL (http://dataducketl.com/) - if it were open source, companies would have used it for free and I'd be stuck maintaining and supporting them for free. Instead, I've already made five figures off of it, and it has only been out for a few months. I'm calling this "Supported Source" (http://supportedsource.org/) and I encourage anyone to follow this same business model. In short, the code is publicly available online, and I'm open to collaborating or receiving commits, but companies need to buy a license to use it beyond a free trial. This is not open source, I agree, but it's similar to open source in many ways, and ultimately more sustainable than open source for certain types of projects.

It's probably too late for your project but if you want to make money sustainably from it, I think you're going to have to move away from the charity model and more towards selling licenses with an open core or Supported Source business model. Or just regularly ask for donations and lower your expectations until its better aligned with what you're finding you can make.

brudgers 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Be honest. Let others know how much progress has been made and how far it is from the goal.

Consider the alternatives:

 + walk away and let somebody else or nobody else take over. + go to work somewhere where maintaining the project is part of your ordinary duties. + work on it full time even though the funds aren't quite what you would wish.
The last requires separating the reasons for working on the project. Part of it may be for the money. Part of it may be because working on the project is just what you do. $70.00 per hour is just a number, and a discounted one. If working on the project makes you happy, then getting bogged down over a number is a road to unhappiness.

My gut tells me that explaining the number as "$70.00 per hour" gives users an excuse to devalue your work. Even though this it's clear that you're offering the "friends and family" rate, if you were halfway to $170 per hour, you'ld be where you want to be.

Good luck.

Eridrus 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it's unrealistic to expect 2/3 of your corporate users to pitch in $6k to support one of the many OSS projects they use. Not because it's trivial to build or anything, but expecting those kinds of rates is just setting yourself up for failure.

If you really want money from them, figure out what it is they want from your library, maybe they're perfectly happy with how it is, maybe the work you're proposing is completely irrelevant to them.

jononor 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Suprised you got that much from corporates with only a single round. Go again, let them know that the campaign is going pretty well, but that more is needed for you to continue your work (that they rely on).
Ask HN: What project are you most proud of?
22 points by tech_crawl_  1 day ago   19 comments top 11
patio11 1 day ago 1 reply      
Lifetime: Khan Academy ported some code I wrote; it now runs all of their internal user engagement metrics.

Recently: Erin and Thomas are still busy putting the finishing touches on their half of Starfighter, and I'm basically just on client communications duty, so I gave myself a two-day engineering project as time off for good behavior.

Certain events which happen when players play Starfighter games are significant. We want to congratulate players when they happen, ideally in as close to real-time as possible. Also, since "strike when the iron is hot", if that player happens to be a job seeker that would be a really good time to do an introductory phone call if they're willing to do one.

We have heuristics which identify these important events and pipe them into Slack. The plan was originally "If we see one of the notifications, send them a person-to-person email."

But if you're playing Starfighter in your browser, you aren't in your email client, so you might not see the email until e.g. the next day. What we really want is like Facebook messenger, except inside our own application, hooked up to Slack, with the ability to be selective about who it is open to.

Enter Apollo, messenger of the gods:

Front-end: React and SockJSBack-end: SockJS-go, some Go glue code, and NSQBack-end for Slack: three very trivial endpoints in our main Ruby on Rails applicationInterface on Slack: two slash commands and one asynchronous incoming webhook

How it looks in practice:

In-app message window: https://www.evernote.com/l/Aaf2wn2dyxhPDoHAzSYymDcNIasqcmj91...

Slack: https://www.evernote.com/l/Aadc-vDMIpxNc7z6XZ1_xH1jMSNOVJ-58...

Not bad for two days of work. (Starfighter will likely OSS the only hard part of this, which is the NSQ-to-websocket piece.)

NameNickHN 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My own project: http://www.appointmind.com/ Panasonic and Honda among others use it.

For a client I've built and maintain part of the backends of the largest speed camera app and data provider in Europe.

kiraken 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Its really not worth mentioning with all these awesome projects in the comments, but i created a Pure CSS slider, which i think was away for me to show people my level in CSS. Plus it got a lot of stars on github haha. https://github.com/Elitewares/CSS3-Slider
enginnr 18 hours ago 0 replies      
These are my babies currently:



I could keep making these, but it's do or die with side projects. You either commit to them with a full heart, or they begin to bit rot.

Currently I just maintain the projects and promote them the only way I know how (Hackernews and Twitter). There are other outlets for promoting your projects, but they tend to be very niched and specific.

You can see the Twitter accounts here:



jxm262 1 day ago 1 reply      
I know it's small and probably not worth mentioning, but I created a bitcoin exchange's api aggregator (my first Node.js app). Basically it attempts to wrap multiple exchange's api's into 1 common library, so you don't need to constantly look up the docs across different companies.


I built another project to analyze prices across the exchanges using the xchange.js library. Surprisingly both have 13 stars on github :) I'm planning to add _alot_ more functionality over the next month or so to both projects.


graeme 1 day ago 1 reply      
A book series and website where I explain LSAT practice tests. The LSAT is a standardized test used for law school admissions. It's an analytical test with very precise English, and my explanations help people make sense of it.

A significant portion of the material was done in the early years, when I worked like mad. Now I'm running the business at a more comfortable pace, though ramping things up to work on a new product for the site.


collingreen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Once upon a time I made some timelapse software for building videos of hackathons (ludumdare, specifically). It got pretty good traction and the quality/quantity of the timelapses in that community went up, which was really great to see. Now it is fairly obsolete (and so ugly!), but over its lifetime it saw about 50,000 downloads and helped build timelapse videos for everything from game dev hackathons to professional car engine builds to medical research.
tmaly 1 day ago 2 replies      
I only get about an hour a day to work on it during my commute, but I am having fun with my side project bestfoodnearme.com I am hoping to have a new look for it in about a week, more visual, more pictures.
kleer001 1 day ago 1 reply      
My work on Disney's movie "Enchanted". Went to so many damn meetings and hardly got to do what I love, but I learned so much about the process and loads of respect for the leads and higher ups. Also lots of people have seen it, as opposed to the huge pile of schlock I've worked on that nobody has seen.
sideproject 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not for anything else, but I'm proud that I have been able to stick through my current project (http://www.hellobox.co) for more than 2 years. I used to be very distracted with all sorts of ideas and abandoned projects.
japhyr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just finished writing Python Crash Course, which is coming out this month from No Starch Press. I'm looking forward to hearing what people think once it's out.


Ask HN: What Is the Most Current Ruling on Software Patents?
3 points by bsbechtel  19 hours ago   2 comments top
Nomentatus 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Your difficulty comes because it's now a matter of case law. Ongoing and undecided case law. So make sure "case law" is in your search. (Note European law, etc, is VERY different.)

Status one year ago:http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2014/07/14/supreme-courts-latest-p...

An update:"When the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided CLS Bank v. Alice Corporation, all the important questions that we thought might be answered remained completely and totally unanswered. There were only 10 judges who sat on the en banc tribunal and no more than 5 judges signed on to any one opinion."http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2015/01/09/a-software-patent-setba...

A more comprehensive list of cases.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Software_patent_case_...

Wish I had better news for you.

Ask HN: How do you test for analytical skills?
6 points by neilsharma  15 hours ago   4 comments top 4
DrNuke 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
When applying for coding-related positions, you are usually given a language-agnostic online test made of 3-5 tasks to be solved in 60-120 minutes. Not sure it proves anything more than your ability to game the testing system but, hey, that's what analytical skills are in their eminence.
akg_67 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are interested in testing for analytical skills, look into Consulting domain. The Consulting domain is primarily based on analytical abilities in addition to inter-personal skills. The hiring and interview practices of consulting industry, specifically case based interviewing, can offer you good insight.

Identify the analytical skills that are important in a role. Find parallel scenarios where such skills are also needed that a person most likely to encounter either as hobby or in another familiar personal/professional settings. See how the person approaches the scenarios. After reviewing the resume and information available about candidate before interview, you most likely will be able to come up with certain line of questions that may give insights into specific analytical skills required for the role while not being unfamiliar scenarios to the candidate.

For example, once a candidate during interview mentioned setting up his own home network for Internet connection. After discussing more details about his home network, I just asked him about how he will investigate "Page not found" message in a browser on a PC on his network. The responses and ensuing discussion told me a lot about the candidate capabilities in investigating and resolving problems that was the requirement for the role. Another time, a candidate mentioned liking Chess and American Football. After discussing chess and football with him for while, I just asked him to compare and contrast chess and football. The discussion told me a lot about the candidate capability in finding similarities between two seemingly unrelated situations and able to take lessons from one and apply to other.

abakker 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not qualified to say recommend you do this when hiring or being hired, but, I tend to look at someone's hobbies when judging their analytical skills.

People with hobbies that they have invested lots of time in often understand their hobbies' domain space in a very specific way, and can demonstrate their analytical ability when presented with a problem related to their hobby. An example might be to present a photographer with a challenge one how to get a given picture, or a collector with the challenge of spotting a fake, or a rock climber with a particular problem/route.

I don't think this really provides a foolproof methodology, but when people have strong extra-curricular domain knowledge, I find that they are often able to answer higher level questions about those areas. This is a good proxy for general analytical ability, and helps get past the problem of testing them on something they may know nothing about, which doesn't really highlight analytical ability at all.

The downside to this is that you have to know about their hobby to ask a good question, and you have to put in some effort to ask a good one. This is good, since even casual effort on your part can give a boost to the level of your "test".

Source: I am an Analyst, with lots of hobbies. I have found my own hobbies have prepared me very well for being an analyst that deals with multiple subject matters at a time.

Note: I am referring to analytical abilities as reasoning, judgement, intuition, etc. Not to be confused with skills in Analytics which refer to math/statistics/data science.

ChuckMcM 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm curious why you put strong analytical skills in quotes. It reads like you are using a definition outside the standard one (the typical use of scare quotes). But putting that aside for a moment.

Analytical skills are simply the ability to develop new information and insights from a mix of information that is present and identifying and acquiring information that is necessary and not present.

You say "Mary went to the movies, how much did she pay?" Analyst questions is "Is there any thing special about Mary?" Interview question is "What characteristics of Mary do you consider special?"

Now if the interviewee can come back with the typical spread of movie prices (child, adult, student, senior) that is the minimum response. They get more credit if they also include matinee vs prime-time shows, they get still more credit if they test the assumption that Mary was going to a theatre that required payment, and full marks if they want to be sure that Mary does not own, or work at the theatre where the movie is being shown.

Analytical skills are, in my mind, being able to identify all of the variables that might bear on the solution of the problem, ranking them in order of how likely they are to come into play, and constructing alternatives based on the most likely combinations of variables. And doing that quickly and methodically without losing track of the variable expansions in the process.

The reason I prize those skills in an employee is that it gives them the capability to solve poorly specified problem tasks. Flipping my question around, as a manager I would much prefer to tell my employee "Give Mary money for the movie tonight." and be assured that they will expand the variable list, talk to Mary if necessary to fill in missing gaps, and then disburse the funds. But if they either freeze up unable to break down the variables into an action plan, or if they simply provide the "typical" money needed without figuring out if that will be too much or too little, then I know that managing them will take too much of my time. HTH

Ask HN: Hacking or management?
9 points by vcald64  18 hours ago   10 comments top 5
alain94040 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes. Sounds like a great opportunity to learn about how to lead a team. It's harder to get good results from a bad team, obviously, so if you can pull it off, it means you are doing something right.

However, be careful: if you think of your team as mediocre, you are not likely to be a good leader. I'm sure you have heard all the caricatures about bad managers. Don't be one of them. Educate, persuade. Don't dictate. Don't blame. It's a hard job, but possibly a transformational experience for you.

liquidcool 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I wrote a very long, funny post about the frustrations you are facing. It's based around being a lead, but having no authority because you have no influence over salary and hire/fire decisions.

However, I never never published it because I'm afraid people won't read to the end where I realize you need to be able to show how management's problems are their problems, and likewise the solutions. And if you can't articulate in a convincing way why best practices are really best for your team, it may be time to revisit the source material. To be fair, I had to do this myself, but I came out way more confident in my knowledge of what makes a productive team.

squidi 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I have seen the performance of teams turned around by experienced managers. The key seems to be making it clear what you expect and why - checking if they understand what that is - and reinforcing it.

Another route can be just setting a great example and they will be inspired to follow you.

There is probably research out there about turnaround skills for a team.

There's no harm in trying as long as you just don't be a jerk to them. They probably have not been trained or shown what high performance looks like.

Best of luck!

dyeje 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You identified some problems, now start implementing solutions. Turning a bad team into a good one sounds like a great way to improve your leadership.
griffash 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think to answer this question you should look at your experience with the team so far. You can be a leader without being a manager. Pick one of the issues you'd like to fix, like no tests. Can you educate/persuade/mentor your teammates now, as a tech lead, and improve the test coverage? If you can successfully do that as a tech lead, you will probably have success doing it as their manager. And if you can get folks interested in writing tests, they probably will see you as a natural choice for manager.

The other thing to think about is if you want to be a manager day-to-day. Management is a completely different JOB. Remember, you are not rowing the boat, you are the captain of the team calling out the rhythm.

Ask HN: What are you doing to stay motivated at work?
22 points by tech_crawl_  21 hours ago   11 comments top 7
darrelld 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Here is my personal advice:

Get a good solid 8 hours of sleep. Sometimes a lack of motivation is is simply fatigue. It makes my work day drastically different.

Don't try and cheat it either by sleeping less using caffeine to feel awake.

avitzurel 10 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the best comments here by @darrelld.

I actually wrote a post 3 years ago about this, here's the gist of it

1. Get solid sleep time

2. Exercise

3. Stay Hydrated

4. Pomodoro

5. Block all distractions out, I use `get-shit-done`. basically `sudo get-shit-done work` will block all distracting websites.

Most of all though, if you get the chance to pick your own tasks, just move to something that's more interesting to you.

Since I switch a lot between operations (chef etc..), backend and frontend, sometimes just switching to another task helps.

Hope this helps, just my 2 cents

bonniemuffin 20 hours ago 1 reply      
For me, I can usually get myself going by putting on some good music, then making a list of a few things I need to accomplish today, and doing the easiest/fastest one first.
anon8764 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Life is too short.I'd spend a week with full rest, clean food and water, determine your happiness level there, then decide. Sounds like you are trying to mask the core/root of the problem, a bad environment for you.
tmaly 18 hours ago 0 replies      
find some issue that is wasting users time, either internal or external. Fix it as a side project and create some value with this project. Then let people know about it.
icedchai 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Browsing Reddit and HN?
tech_crawl_ 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Ya, not sure if it is the best environment for me...
Ask HN: Any open source filepickers similar to Filepicker.io?
7 points by dutchbrit  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: How do you navigate a new codebase?
10 points by externalpurs  20 hours ago   4 comments top 4
J_Darnley 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I try to find the place I need for the feature I want to add. If I can't find it then I ask. If I don't have a feature I want to add I ask myself why I'm looking at the code.
flippant 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Look at the tests and see what breaks them.
_RPM 10 hours ago 0 replies      
openssl and rails are two completely different set of circumstances. For the former, you should look into unix debugging tools like `gdb`. You can trace the execution of the program line by line
vmarshall23 16 hours ago 0 replies      
printf :-/
Ask HN: What is the best all-around laptop for a platform agnostic?
2 points by adamweld  9 hours ago   4 comments top 4
senjindarashiva 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Id recommend the Dell xps13 developer editions, I've been using the first version for a bit more then a year now, being extremely satisfied. And the only issue I ran into, a broken power supply was replaced within 24 hours due to the pro support included in the price.

It's been working great with both windows and Linux while being both portable and powerful (for a small laptop.

The new version does seem to be better in every way, but you could probably get away just fine with a refurbished "old" one.

LarryMade2 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If Linux is on the list I usually work from the GPU/CPU outward. Less hassle and best graphics performance linux-wise if you get an nVidia powered notebook, then next would be the CPU, beefy enough to do whatever job.

I'd get the best I can on those two specs. You can always throw in more memory/storage later on. Other "can't change things" to consider if using on the go is keyboard, mouse input (trackpad/nub), display size/resolution, and battery.

siquick 7 hours ago 0 replies      
My 2013 MBA is probably the best piece of tech I've ever bought.
askafriend 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A Macbook Pro hands down.
Ask HN: What's a good quality modern non-Apple laptop to buy on a medium budget?
4 points by sdegutis  20 hours ago   16 comments top 8
rnovak 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want something that runs linux well (I currently have Cent OS running on mine, and it comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu), I'd say System 76 is a pretty good choice. Their 15.6" version is pretty beefy ($1400 base), but even their 14" model looks good right now ($800 base). The model I use is a few years old, and is holding up really well. They have native drivers for pretty much everything, even the hardware switches are supported through the BIOS if I remember correctly, so when I loaded up other distros, nothing was a problem.

Windows pretty much runs on everything, but my work computer is a Lenovo/ThinkPad T540P. It's base is $800, but the version I'm running is optioned out to about $1500-1800 I think (Core i7 (4 core), 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD). Great computer, I've had about 14 vm's running in VirtualBox running on it at once before memory started becoming a problem (again, with the optioned out specs). (also, I run Windows 7 Enterprise on this, so may be YMMV with Windows 10).

both of those are superb, though I guess neither really competes build-quality wise with my 15" Macbook Pro Retina. I end up using that for almost anything that I don't need the GNU C/C++ toolchain for, which ends up being most stuff anyway.

saluki 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Web Development . . .

Get a macbook air 13" $950 at best buy right now, it's occasionally down to $850. (Not non-apple of course).

I got a new Dell for a windows specific project that was around $1500 and it's track pad is unusable except for very basic use. I dread using it vs the macbook air.

Also if you venture in to Rails or Laravel doing things with VirtualBox and the terminal just don't work properly on windows. Granted with enough trouble shooting and googling you can get them to work . . . but on a mac they just work . . . saving tons of billable hours per year.

Don't switch . . .

The base model macbook air has more than enough ram/power for web development . . .

Add a 24" monitor (asus $150, blue tooth trackpad, and bluetooth keyboard if you need more screen space, $10 thunderbolt to HDMI, amazon prices).

Good luck in 2016.

mrits 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Most of us are frustrated with the decline in OS X over the last few years. But I will say to you what I say to all my friends and coworkers that make a switch...See you back in a few months!
runjake 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Depending on what "medium" budget actually means, the Used Thinkpad Guide:


squidi 15 hours ago 2 replies      
The Dell XPS 13 is the best-built Windows machine I've seen for a while, even though it is a Dell. Here's a good review: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-XPS-13-9350-InfinityEdge-U...

There is a new model coming out soon, so you might get a discount on old stock.

atmosx 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I do web development on a 2012 macbook air and a 2008 iMac. Both of them run on SSDs and that's all I care about really with just 4GB of ram.

I know people working on a LAMP stack with 16 GB of RAM desktops/laptops. I am not sure what they're up to with all that RAM hanging over their desktop while they run a 300MB RAM worth stack.

Eridrus 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm eyeing a surface book as my next laptop; I particularly like that it has a stylus to draw diagrams with.
neverminder 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I have Chromebook Pixel LS 2015 running Ubuntu, if 13 inch screen is not too small for you - this one is a little power beast with top notch build quality.
Ask HN: How do you browse Twitter?
8 points by ponyous  21 hours ago   9 comments top 8
s9w 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The Twitter site itself can be somewhat non-ideal for heavy use. The big fonts, lots of whitespace and non-chronological ordering make reading everything a chore.

You can use TweetDeck, which uses the Twitter login so you don't need another account. It's slightly better, but I still miss things like filtering.

Ideally I would like to use the API for a self-made solution, but the API troubles of the past make that tricky. You can use RSS feeds though and pipe that in some RSS reader or something else if you like that.

enginnr 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't like lists, then put in the necessary hard work to curate them, and you only need to do this once to enjoy Twitter

There are so many ways to do it, and there is no 'one way' to browse Twitter, apart from deliberately being serendipitous.

Here's some lists I made:





akg_67 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter baffles me too, it primarily appears to me as a marketing channel. I prefer FB (personal) and LNKD (professional) over TWTR and G+.

Majority of tweeters I follow seem to share links only. I figure 140 character limit is not conducive to having meaningful conversations. Twitter app and site is not suitable for reviewing links.

Recently, I discovered shared links in Safari browser that seem to work better in tweet reading as it shows the pages linked in tweets too. I just quickly browse through the tweets in Safari shared links sidebar and read the linked articles that seem interesting.

sjs382 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I follow about 200 people, across a few different interests (mostly real friends, developers, basketball/football/hockey writers and music/tv/culture critics).

A few times per day (using an Android client), I skim through my feed rather quickly, stopping to read a few interesting tweets/conversations. Sometimes I reply to messages directed at me. Sometimes I reply to others. Often, I retweet things I find interesting and/or add a link to Pocket to read later.

DrNuke 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Just follow professional players from your domain and interact with them professionally, retwitting / endorsing their most relevant tweets for your own narrative. Sometimes, tweet something yourself in the same mood. Don't follow more than 50-60 profiles and act only at the busiest time of your network's Twitter day, say 4-5pm. Use it once or twice a day more to scroll the tweets from your network, say late in the morning and before shutting your connection down.
eecks 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't. Twitter is crap
monroepe 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I pretty much follow news sites and comedians. I ignore the news links mostly and laugh at some (but not all) of the comedians' jokes. I am generally on for less than 45 seconds.
tmaly 17 hours ago 0 replies      
my problem is slightly different. I would like to connect with potential users of my food site. I constantly have people following me, but when I try to private message them, they never respond. It makes me think they are bots of some sort.
Ask HN: My project idea is built by someone else what should I do now?
7 points by swcoders  23 hours ago   11 comments top 8
atmosx 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Let me share with you a Joe and Mike tale.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... There was a planet. Among other things, there were two companies selling shoes on that planet. Both of them had a top-notch consultant, Company1 had 'Joe' and Company2 had 'Mike'. Joe and Mike were awesome the best on the market: They could forecast sales like no one else.

So, one day, the companies decided to send the consultants on a new planet to evaluate the shoe market. Joe called back and said: " Kill it, these creatures don't wear shoes. There's nothing to sell. I'm coming back ". Mike arrive two days later, called back and said: " This is awesome! No one here wears shoes, we must build a production unit here and take over the planet! Call the board immediately! ". About 50 years later, Company2 was had 80% of the shoe market on the new planet. Company1 joined 30 years later but never gained a substantial market share on this planet.

About five years after the events discussed above, the companies send the consultants on a very well known planet. The companies had no market share on this planet. Joe was there first and after evaluating the market called back and said: "Hey, there are is huge competition here, but I've found flaws on nearly every major player and the market is HUGE! We can make rounds around these guys!! Call the board ASAP". Mike arrived two days later, after evaluating the market he called and said: "It's a very competitive, advanced market. I don't think there's room for just another shoe-maker here. I'm coming back". About 50 years later, Company1 had conquered 15% the (apparently very large) planet's shoe market, multiplying the company's profits almost 5x times. Company1 never set foot on this planet.

lovelearning 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Ignore that other project, and build what you wanted to. At a high level, your ideas may appear the same. But once you get into the low granularity details, your mind will always start thinking up features and improvements that are completely unique.
lfx 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Now is even better, you can see some mistakes those guys made and avod them.

We have Grunt, Gulp and what not. Nobody seems to care, they just make things better and had fun doing it.

paulmatthijs 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Why don't you join that open source project as a dev? Contributing something meaningful to another one's project might bring you more than going through the hardship of wanting to do a project on your own.
tech_crawl_ 21 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't have to be first to market... You just have to be better!
octatoan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
See if you can bring a new approach to the problem. You could solve it in a completely different way by focusing on some other part of the process.
brudgers 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps you could contribute to the other open source project and make it better while waiting for another idea to spark your passion.

Good luck.

avitzurel 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Remember Hipchat and Campfire? Slack came way after both of these (and many others)
Ask HN: Why can't type theory be applied to personality types?
5 points by waterwater  1 day ago   16 comments top 3
omginternets 1 day ago 1 reply      
Short answer: personality is not strongly typed and interpretations vary wildly depending on which scale you use.

In a sense, this is already being done in fields like "organizational behavior", but the effect size of personality "type interfaces" (as it were) is relatively small, and varies greatly.

Is it possible? Sure. Is it useful? In practice, rarely.

raducu 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm clueless about type theory, and outside school/university I've rearely used math on complicated stuff (mainly geometry in from-scratch GUIs) because creating mathematical models of real-world systems is very hard (in my opinion).

So I would say that modeling human personality would be an incredibly complex/non-liniar sort of thing.

I am quite fond of the MyersBriggs Type Indicator, but I know it's controversial, and it only has 4 variables, I imagine a more comprehensive model would have many more variables.

meric 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have been thinking about this problem for quite a while now. I will in this comment describe the beginnings of a formal system of encoding the equations that underpin one aspect of emotions. It's incorrect, and incomplete, so forgive me.

1. Everyone have a different skill levels for each of unlimited variety of tasks, for example, in cooking, cycling, running, eating quickly, enjoying food, planning vacations, etc. Everyone also have a different perception of their own skill level on each of those tasks. Some people view their own skill level at a particular task as better than it really is, some underestimate themselves and view their own skill level as worse than it really is, and some have a realistic perceptions. The disparity between reality and their self-perception is called ego. For some people, the disparity between perception and reality is so wide, and self-awareness in all aspects of life so low, we either call them narcissists, or co-dependents, depending on which direction the disparity goes. Let's denote a person's ego at a particular skill level as +EGO<cycling>, meaning the person overestimates their cycling ability or -EGO<cooking>, meaning the person underestimates their cooking ability.

2. In a society, people interact with each other socially. Of the wide range of human interactions, two important ones are approval, and disapproval of another person's skill level at a particular task. These two messages, from the sender's point of view, can be deserved (a compliment / a criticism), or undeserved (flattery, insult). Over-simplifying a bit, a deserved compliment simply means the person is sending the compliment views the receiver as competent as a particular task, whereas an undeserved compliment means the person is sending the approval or disapproval, knows it has no bearing on reality, and is only doing the sending to achieve some motive, such as manipulating the social hierarchy, or to balance the disequilibrium that is occurring in their own selves, for example, insecurity. I've described deserved & unreservedness as discrete, though it is continuous. E.g. A person (prison guard in an nazi-like atmosphere?) complimenting Usain Bolt "You're not bad at running, I'll let you run around the camp." intending it as an insult, is a positive appraisal, but is underserved, because to the sender's knowledge, Usain Bolt is better than "not bad". There's also a case, where, for example, Usain Bolt's best friend who is bad at running saying "The store's almost closed, you go buy it. You're the one good at running." as a humorous understatement. I think that should still be classified undeserved compliment. The purpose of understating the compliment would be to maintain one's social standing in Bolt's eyes.

We can denote such a message as ++APPRAISAL<cycling>. The first sign "+" indicates it is a positive appraisal, the second sign "+" indicates in which direction it deviates from reality. If it contains only one sign, "-APPRAISAL<cycling>", then it will mean it is a realistic appraisal, as far as the sender is concerned.

3. People are different. It means they deal with their own and others' emotions differently. People change. Each time they deal with a scenario, they change a little more. Now that we have some notations defined from above, let's describe a scenario, where a narcissistic mother, Earline, gives an negative, undeserved appraisal to her daughter, Maggie, who participates in a boxing competition[1]. The daughter had just bought her mother a house. As a narcissist, the mother is concerned with her image, and she thinks her daughter should also be concerned with the same thing. The mother is criticising her daughter's ability to generate a positive image, i.e., status, in society.

EARLINE: Find a man, Marry him. Live proper. People hear 'bout what you're doing and they laugh. Hurts me to tell you, but they laugh at you.

It's undeserved, because the only people who laugh are Earline's friends. Do Maggie's fans laugh? No. Does her mentor laugh? No. As a codependent who is -EGO<X> where X is not boxing, she takes it to heart, for now. Earline has been raising Maggie this way since forever, it will explain why in the movie the narrator tells the audience Maggie "knows she is trash". This continues until the final moments in the movie, when Maggie figured out her mother wouldn't praise her even when she was nearly the world champion at something.

Sending an appraisal message will alter the person's ego in some way. Sending a false appraisal message will also alter the person's ego in someway, but, like borrowing debt, while depositing cash in assets, creating a corresponding liability at the same time, the false appraisal message, when found out as false, will discredit the sender, diminishing the feelings the receiver have for the sender towards the negative direction.

We'll make an "equation" to describe the effect of an appraisal message to a person's psyche. As people are constantly changing, as they have experiences, we'll use => to separate the left side and the right side.

{0}{1}APPRAISAL<X>(sender, receiver) => {0}EGO<X>(receiver) + {1}RELATIONSHIP(receiver, sender)

{0}, {1}, are either positive or negative signs.

The notation as it is, isn't sufficient to describe the fact the negative effect on the relationship between the receiver and the sender is delayed until receiver realises the appraisal is fake, retroactively. It is important to note, as the receiver realises the appraisal is fake, the receiver's ego heals, so in fact, my equation isn't even correct, because over time, it doesn't balance.

Anyway, it's my first stab at it and I think it needs a lot of improvement. Thanks for writing this Ask HN to give me opportunity to try hashing some things that's been on my mind for a while. I've worked out relationships and the emotions that occur between narcissists and codependents, and the initial courting process between a male and a female, have some structure as to how people fall in love with each other, whether a couple will be stable, looking at the disparity between their attractiveness, and what kind of interactions that might occur if the disparity is too big. I have some idea of what happens when two strangers meet, and how they become friends. I think I know enough to eventually encode all of these, but there are more social interactions than between narcissists and codependents, and between husband's and wive's and their mistresses, and between strangers becoming friends. I thought about implementing a set of notations as programming code eventually, but I can't think of a use for it besides building more realistic diplomacy in strategy games...:) And it's going to be a lot of effort I don't know if I can even make some sort of significant headway.

[1] Scenario taken from "Million dollar baby". See script. http://screenplayexplorer.com/wp-content/scripts/Million-Dol...


Given that type theory is a system for describing mathematics, and given that "Math can be applied everywhere", why is it that type theory can't seem to be applied to personality type theory? I've been thinking about this since about I started studying type theory. I'm thinking that one abstraction will be: a jolly man can act as a catalyst on a social environment and then cause the environment to be jolly as well. But I'm thinking as well about the case when a man "wearing a hat" can act as a catalyst on a social environment and then cause the environment to be "wearing a hat" as well. An environment "wearing a hat" doesn't sound good, does it? Well, my main question has a tendency to be flawed, but I would really like to have sincere answers. It would really help if the answers would focus on type theory.

With the jolly man, through empathy, others feel the same joy, and through peer pressure, some others will feel forced to show joy. On one hand it will temporarily raise the mood of the social environment, on the other, in some individuals the forced joy will even enhance their negative feelings and resentment, causing jealousy. These negative emotions leak out eventually, to return the environment to equilibrium (contentment, like a rock, like a tree, like a baby drinking breast milk, like a sheep chewing on grass, like a man or woman asleep). Of course in cycles, it usually overshoots to the other end of the equilibrium, so you have that bouncing back and forth waves of joy and discontent.

With the "wearing a hat", I grew a beard once, and within months half the people in my company had a beard. So it can be said "the social environment became more amenable to hat wearing", so what you're saying works on some level. Of course eventually more people had a beard than didn't, and people who wanted to show their individuality showed it by cutting their beard off first, and then everyone followed through, and now I'm back to the only one with a beard.


I suspect there's no type system to describe all these is because no one who knows enough about social interactions is interested and has the ability to define it through a type system has started doing this yet. Can you think of a way to denote all these specific aspects of persons and interactions in symbols, and devise a way to show the deltas of these symbols, and describe the changes the reverberate through the environment?

Ask HN: How is your code/build/test/deploy flow organized?
4 points by tuyguntn  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
buildops 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We use IncrediBuild - it speeds up our development and CI. C++ dev on Visual Studio with some teams running C# and CI into Jenkins. The C# team has more automated unit tests with MSTest, which is where they shine
brudgers 22 hours ago 0 replies      
To me, one workflow - either branches or tags - would seem simpler and make describing and tooling the process simpler. Again, to me, since git is primarily about branching, I'd probably go with branching. Then again, branches with little or no reason to exist beyond semantics wouldn't bother me as much as it might bother someone else.

Good luck.

Ask HN: Which do you prefer: org-mode or Taskwarrior?
10 points by ywecur  1 day ago   8 comments top 5
cpro 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I found all of them to be too complex. I built my own editor plugin and command line tool that is super simple. The basic idea is to spend less time organizing tasks and more time completing tasks.


db48x 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use org-mode for keeping track of invoices. I make them each a task, and give the tasks states such as FUTURE/INVOICED/PAID/LATE/RECEIPT; this makes it quite hard to lose anything.

The data for each invoice is kept in an org-mode radio table, and the invoice itself is generated from a org-mode source blocks. I "call" the invoice source block to generate the invoice, which is usually text but is occasionally LaTeX when the client really insists that they need a PDF. This result goes into a collapsible drawer, and I can easily save it out to a separate file. In fact, when the result is LaTeX it's possible for org-mode to process it into a pdf directly, although there are some quirks to be aware of there.

On the other hand, I don't use org-mode for keeping track of normal tasks much.

nas 1 day ago 0 replies      
I currently use Workflowy. It is not FOSS but it is has some nice features. It syncs between devices, has a decent mobile client, works offline, seems to have a good developer, doesn't cost an unreasonable amount, has pretty good multi-user features.
SEJeff 1 day ago 1 reply      
Taskwarrior. Reason: I use vim :)
thecrumb 1 day ago 1 reply      
How is Taskwarrior different than todo.txt
Ask HN: What hours in the day are you most productive?
5 points by tech_crawl_  1 day ago   20 comments top 13
irish_lad 1 hour ago 0 replies      
8 a.m. til 10 a.m. Or to put it another way, until other people come into the office :)

I used to come in late (midday) but commuting changes forced me to become an early riser. Now I honestly couldn't go back.

FiatLuxDave 17 hours ago 0 replies      
10am-1pm, then again from 7pm-10pm

Obviously right now it is neither of those times, since I am oh-so-productively posting to HN. ;)

byoung2 1 day ago 0 replies      
6am-10am...this means that when I work a 9-5 office job, my most productive hours are spent preparing for work and commuting.
zhte415 23 hours ago 0 replies      
11am - 3pm, and a push 3pm - 4pm. Relief at 5pm and a slow cool-down.

A regular hour office job, but largely '50% time' which I'm ridiculously lucky to have, long may it be that way.

Evenings are a time for inspiration, and mornings for licking-off stuff mainly related to admin and documentation.

Time to work with and interact with colleagues is very important. It is a magnifier. What I've learnt the most regarding my own productivity is I do too much, and it is probably easier to have others do it. That's done by sharing and influencing, and helping out when colleagues are in need.

saluki 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm most productive early in the morning. I work remote so sometimes I get started as early as 4 or 5 AM. So I have a full workday in by noon or 1pm. I usually turn in around 10pm most nights.
yec 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm most productive 2:00 am to 5:00 pm after of that hours must sleep 2 hours more 5:00am to 7:00 am and at the 8:00 am I' ready for go to work
usaphp 7 hours ago 0 replies      
1am - 4am
partisan 1 day ago 1 reply      
3 - 8 PM. I tend to stay late at work as a result.
czbond 1 day ago 1 reply      
5am - 3pm. After that - it's a downhill slide.
mozumder 1 day ago 0 replies      
10pm-6am. I am exactly a night person.
pacnw 1 day ago 1 reply      
7-11am and then again 8pm-12am.
Mz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
"After lunch"

This was true when I worked the nightshift and began working at 3pm and ate something around 5pm and was true when I moved to dayshift and started work around 8:30 or 9am and is true now when I typically start working between 9am and 10am. In all three cases, the first two hours of my day are/were spent doing relatively easy things and then more serious work happens/happened after eating lunch.

kevinherron 1 day ago 0 replies      
5am - 9am
Ask HN: How to make yourself more attractive to companies as a developer?
23 points by soldveggie  1 day ago   7 comments top 3
ThrustVectoring 1 day ago 0 replies      
At which stage of the process?

If it's about getting initial interest at all, you want to do things that builds your brand or you can put on your resume. Write a blog, maintain a personal website, do side projects, etc.

If it's about getting past one of the screening stages, you'll want to focus more on soft skills. Voice coaches and voice therapists are a thing, and speaking in a likable way is extraordinarily under-emphasized. Similar things with body posture, confidence, and communication style in on-site interviews.

If you're getting a lot of "we like you, but not sure you're a good enough coder" then it's time to binge-solve problems in "Cracking the Coding Interview". The problems will help some with the last paragraph of issues to some extent as well.

colept 1 day ago 2 replies      
Have a portfolio, post free things on Github, write about what you do as a developer. Sometimes you have to pay your dues and do at-cost or volunteer work.
JSeymourATL 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Be professionally visible, beyond a Linkedin profile.

Regularly attend Meet-ups, Conferences, and Workshops. Build-up a network of friends & industry contacts. Think of them as your personal brain-trust, guys you can tap into for guidance.

Ask HN: Are no negotiation offers hurting candidates?
14 points by seattle_spring  1 day ago   11 comments top 9
faet 13 hours ago 0 replies      
State and Federal government has done "No Negotiation" for a while. Based on your experience (and they usually have hard guidelines) you fit into a specific grade/step. Generally, the only 'negotiation' you can do is to try and sway their guidelines. "I feel that even though I have 2 years of work experience I had extensive internship experience that should move me from a step 3 to a step 5." (But, everyone in a step 5 makes the same) And even then some (my state govt) still limits where they can put you. Eg, programmers make between $X-$Yk. You cannot make more starting than ($Y+$X)/2 even if you invented the tech they're using.

A lot of 'cool jobs' pay shit anyway. I moved from a 'boring job' to a 'cool job' and took a very slight pay cut (although I did negotiate). But, I enjoy the work a lot more. There are tons of people who want to work at startups or places like stripe/reddit and are willing to take 'shitty pay'. Even if they allowed for negotiation the pay would still probably be less than what you get.

crmd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Make a counteroffer and say it's not up for negotiation.
err4nt 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm so glad you asked, I have never really though about it before. I think it all depends on the offer. I can think of a situation where a benevolent employer might offer somebody a price they dont see they are worth and not allow them to negotiate, but I would imagine there are fewer of these benevolent good samaritans as there would be people trying to justify low salaries on things like equality when the distribution of talent may not be equally uniform.

If I was offered a no-negotiation offer that I felt was low, I would ask for what was fair for what I was worth and if that means I'm breaking the rules then we really arent going to get along.

MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think it hurts or helps really.

Simply because salary is only one small part of a constellation of things that are up for negotiation when you're considering an offer.

If a company has a hard line drawn in the sand in regards to salary, you can still negotiate working hours, working from home, job-title/responsibilities, benefit plans, commuting stipends, free lunches, 401k matching, extra paid time off, faster vesting of your options, etc etc.

So even if you end up with a low salary, that doesn't mean that you're under-compensated overall. It might just be that you're over-compensated in other areas.

JSeymourATL 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Are no negotiation offers hurting candidates?

No, strong candidates ALWAYS know their relative worth in the marketplace. They naturally gravitate to the most competitive offers. But some employers still take a backward view of talent as a 'resource', rather than intellectual capital. These guys put-out unsophisticated, low-ball offers to marginal, even desperate job-seekers just fill seats.

Relative to the company's "no negotiation" stance, there are almost always exceptions. On this subject, Stuart Diamond is masterful > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOZo6Lx70ok

brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
A bad no-negotiation offer seems beneficial to candidates since it makes the decision easy and doesn't create the illusion that there's a good deal there to be had. It's hard to see how a good no-negotiation offer is bad for candidates either, since it's easy to decide and doesn't waste their time with something they're not going to get.

Middling no-negotiation offers would make the decision straight forward if not easier or harder...and again, not waste the candidate's time. So at worst it seems to me a wash.

Good luck.

msh 1 day ago 0 replies      
No negotiation offers, a new way of shafting employees disguised as helping marginalized candidates.

Ok, if they also have open payrolls where every employee can see what other employees make there might be something about it but otherwise I think its BS.

chrisbennet 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't answer that question but when I'm faced with a horrible/unfair offer, I take it as a crystal clear signal that they just don't value what I can bring to the table or, to be charitable, the position just can't generate enough value for the company to justify paying market rates.
rajacombinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lol just lol at their supposed reason.
Ask HN: Why isn't all stock trading done by algorithm?
58 points by Peradine  1 day ago   62 comments top 31
greenpizza13 1 day ago 1 reply      
Computers trade most effectively with technical indicators. These are things like price history, volume, etc. These trades are very effective in the short term, where trades can happen in terms of seconds or milliseconds. This is where computers excel and humans fall short. This sort of trading is based mostly on breadth. If you look up the fundamental law of active portfolio management, you'll see that breadth is less effective (exponentially less so) than skill is.

In the case of the long term, however, trading is done with fundamental indicators. These things can be more or less intangible and have to do with market events, people, and other indicators of company value that are hard to translate into math. Using fundamental indicators for portfolio management is what humans are better at, and these pay off in the long term (see Warren Buffet). These trades are done with skill, which, as I stated earlier, is exponentially more effective at creating gains than breadth.

In short, it takes a huge amount of breath to get the gains required by a relatively small amount of skill. Computers are better by far at breadth, while humans are better (for now) at skill. This, I think, is why humans still trade.

spott 1 day ago 1 reply      
Information not in the market.

Stock traders trade on rumor, fact and everything in between. They (can) look at who the company is run by, and how much they trust him, and look at the people in upper management. They can look at and understand news.

Part of the difficulty of the stock market is that it isn't a closed system: people make decisions to sell stocks based on the fact that they are poor this month. Until computers can understand and process all the external data, people will need to be in the trading loop.

The big exception to this is the trading the noise: high frequency traders trade against each other, closing the spread in bid/ask prices. However, they are essentially trading against other computers at that timescale, which makes them pretty amenable to algorithms.

hsk 1 day ago 1 reply      
You're overestimating the effectiveness of computers in taking in data and finding patterns. If you throw data naively at an algorithm, you'll get garbage. It's especially difficult to make sense out of trading data because of the sheer size and percentage of noise.

For any given trading strategy, a ton of thought, testing, and domain knowledge goes into creating the algorithm. It is not a black box that writes itself.

That said, computers are far more effective at certain tasks, especially latency sensitive simple calculations, just as calculators are far better at doing arithmetic.

chollida1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well the truth is that for some firms it is for about 99.9% of all trades.

Renaissance Technologies founder Jim Simmons is famous for saying they didn't override the algorithm.

In practice most HFT firms do a mix of both. The algos will do the vast bulk of the trading but you have human traders monitoring algos to do clean ups for cases where the algo gets "stuck". What defines "stuck" really depends on the sophistication of the algo and the firm itself.

Some algo's, such as internalizers's for crossing bought flow are so simple that there probably doesn't need to be much over site at all.

Market making is very similar, with the exception of a flash crash where they might pull out, market making algos should just run themselves.

SEJeff 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well for starters, someone has to write the algorithms. Not everyone has vast amounts of computing power to find the right inputs for the right algorithms or genius level quants to write the math which coders turn into strategies. There are so many small niches in the market that a human can still make a reasonable living if they find an area not traded by others aka "making a market". Now when it comes to competing with the machines, you pretty much nailed it.

Source: I work in electronic trading and have the past ~7+ years.

mjwhansen 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are a lot of different schools of thought about approaching the stock market. One of them is the "chart" approach, where you (or an algorithm) try to discern the future movements of a company's stock price based on the past performance. Sometimes this works. Mostly, though, it doesn't.

There's also a big difference between "trading" and "investing." Trading is what you've described -- buying shares in the morning and hoping they'll go up in the afternoon so you can sell them later. Investing is buying shares of the company to become a part owner and hold them for years or decades, not days.

If you looked at NFLX's chart in 2012, you could "discern" that the share price would continue to hover around that price, maybe go up a little, maybe go down a little. And you could have bought it in September 2012 for $8 a share and sold for a nice $1 profit in October 2012 for $9 a share (split adjusted). But what the chart wouldn't have told you -- and would never have been able to tell you -- is that it would skyrocket in 2013 and up to its current split-adjusted price of $110 a share. The thing is, the chart never would have told you about this. And even a "pure" numerical analysis like could be done by a computer -- P/E ratios, cash flows, etc -- would not have predicted that growth. You could do DCFs all day every day in 2012 and never predict Netflix's rise. There are a lot of things that go into a company's rise that aren't numerical, like the quality of management, market moat, market growth, etc. And, of course, you had to buy it, and hold it for years, in order to see that return.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I should probably note that I'm a bit biased in this. I work for The Motley Fool, which advocates for long-term buy and hold investing, and produce a podcast for growth investors called Rule Breaker Investing.)

leroy_masochist 1 day ago 4 replies      
Former investment banker here. This is a question I had when I hit the desk, and it's an important question.

The short answer to your question is: because most of the volume traded on exchanges is large blocks of stock being bought and sold by institutional investors, and you need humans to make these deals happen.

Longer explanation as follows:

On the trading floor [0], you have two groups of people: the sales team and the traders.

The sales team gets paid when they make markets, i.e., connect buyers and sellers. Specifically, the financial institution takes a fee that's a very small % of the overall transaction volume, and some of that goes into the sales team's bonus pool. The more stock trades flow through the firm (specifically, their business unit), the more they get paid.

The traders, on the other hand, gets paid to do two things, which are really the same thing: a) not put too much of the firm's capital at risk and b) set the firm up to make money by buying securities low and selling them high. Every trader has a "P&L" (profit & loss) number, which is the total amount of money they've made or lost for the firm since the start of the fiscal year. They get paid a bonus based on this number. They tend to know exactly what their number is at any given time.

So, there is actually a lot of tension on the trading floor between the sales team and the traders, because the sales team wants a lot of volume to go through their business unit, and any given trader wants to maximize her P&L.

Real world example might be: the sales dude gets a call from a hedge fund saying, "we want to sell $100mm of our shares in Alphabet at $720". He then shouts over to the trader (who sits close to him) to tell her about the call and she thinks for a couple seconds [1] and then says, "you need to make a market for 80mm of those shares at that price, I'm only taking 20mm."

In other words, the trader is saying that she'll only tie up $20mm of the firm's capital on this particular trade [2]. The sales person might come back and say, "c'mon, they took that $50mm of Microsoft stock you were trying to get rid of last quarter, we as a firm owe them a favor" to which the trader might respond, "OK, we'll take $30mm tops". So then the sales person will get on the phone and start calling everyone (other mutual / hedge funds, pension funds, etc) who might be interested in buying Alphabet at $720. Maybe the sales person makes it happen; maybe they don't. In any case, they need to figure out whether they can get 70 million dollars worth Alphabet stock pre-sold to other people in the market at $720 before they get back to the hedge fund trying to sell it with a response as to whether they can make the trade.

All of this involves MASSIVE HUMAN FACTORS. I'm sure we will one day be able to train AI to work through various constructs of "we owe them a favor" but right now you still need humans to get big trades like this done. And again, big trades like this constitute the majority of the overall volume in the market. So, that's why trades don't run entirely on algorithms...yet.

[0] I was in banking, not S&T, but have a decent understanding of how this works.

[1] Being able to make decisions of this magnitude in a couple of seconds (and have them be good ones) is one of the two skills you need to have as a trader; the other one is not letting the outcome of the last trade (good or bad) affect your thinking on the next trade.

[2] There is potential for both upside and downside in a decision like this; if the stock appreciates, the firm can profit by selling the stock at a higher price than it paid, but the reverse is also true. This is also an example of why "proprietary trading" is such a blurry line. In order to make markets for big trades, firms usually have to put their own capital at risk, even for a few minutes. At what point are they trading for their own profit vs. temporarily assuming risk in order to broker a deal between two counterparties? Go read Matt Levine's archived columns at Bloomberg if you find stuff like this interesting.

brohee 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because ultimately, stock prices move not based on "the market" but on things happening in the real world?

How does an algorithm interpret e.g. an Apple Keynote? By the time Twitter sentiment analysis (if such thing is really useful) gives results, an human trader already took a position...

Mikeb85 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are limits to algorithms. Stock prices are affected by human behaviour, which can't always be predicted.

Not to mention the various macro variables, like wars, weather, crime, etc... Plus, what time frame should the algorithms trade on? They're very good for predicting the very short term, I haven't seen much evidence that they're good for predicting longer time spans.

While algos eat up arbitrage and electronic brokers replace human ones, humans are still very good at other forms of trading... Not to mention, a large part of market activity isn't even trading - it's long term investing and collecting dividends.

zrail 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why do I need an algorithm to find a good business, buy shares, and sit on them forever?
jackgavigan 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's impossible to create an algorithm that encompasses all the factors that contribute to a company's stock price (or, perhaps more accurately, all the factors that a given investor believes will affect the stock price). There's also an implementation gap between the model a stock analyst can create in Excel and its implementation as an algorithm. The former is within the reach of far more people than the latter.

Finally, don't forget that somebody has to design and write the algorithms.

chad_strategic 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a pretty good question... Not sure if it will be solved here.

I used to be a value investor around 2000-2008. A value investor would be something like Buffet or Peter Lynch. However I did make a lot money in Sept. 08 because I determined the market was over valued.

What I didn't forsee, was how much the dollars the Federal reserve would print and inflate the economy.

Regardless, after that I built my own algorithm, because I no longer believe in the structure of the market. I would rater trust numbers. Meaning there are to many analyst pumping stocks, federal reserve, insider trading, spoofing trades, ETFs, deratives, and financial warfare it's hard to make a true value investment. Yes, I have read the buffet / Grahm books, but those are over ~60 old.

I think it is Virtu (electronic trading / hedge fund) that hasn't had a day where they lost money since early 2009? I know Goldman and JP Morgan 90% of the time trade every day for a profit. So a lot of the market is already trading electronically. I think zerohedge.com has estimated the 70% of the market trades on electronically and that article was few years ago.

It's funny, because I have devised methods using social media / programming to manipulate the price of stocks. If I can think of ways to do that I'm sure sure Wall St. already is doing it.

Anyways here my algorithm it tracks over 500 stocks: http://www.strategic-options.com/trade/

codeonfire 1 day ago 0 replies      
Humans invest, computers trade. Its not about who is better at predicting. Most companies will gain value over time. There's no prediction to it. Algorithms are not predicting either. They are trying to fake out other algorithms and profit off of market inefficiencies. You don't need an algorithm, though, to buy something and then sell it six months later.
simo7 1 day ago 0 replies      
The amount of trading done by machines decreases as your investing timeframe increases.

So at the extreme (high frequency trading), all trading is indeed done by machines.

oaktowner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most stock brokerages spend lots of times gathering data from the companies themselves -- the management group, the customers, industry analysts, etc. They are not making investment (BUY/HOLD/SELL) recommendations based on the past fluctuations of the market, rather on their "expert" appraisal of the company's worth versus its current stock price.
lujim 1 day ago 0 replies      
In addition to an algorithm not having all available information on the market there is also the fact that any niche or inefficiency in the market can be duplicated by others until it is negated.

If you discovered that the market always goes up on Tuesday and drops on Wednesday that only works until everyone else discovers the same thing and starts selling on Tuesday and buying on Wednesday.

blazespin 1 day ago 0 replies      
You mean the computers that can't even understand the sentence "We saw grand canyon flying to chicago."
holri 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recommend to read Warren Buffet or his teacher Benjamin Graham.Buffet uses a computer, but only for Bridge playing.
tmaly 1 day ago 1 reply      
market conditions are always changing as are regulations. In 2008, they implemented an emergency short sale rule that banned short selling for a select set of stocks. An algorithm would not know what that means, humans have to step in to ensure stocks are not shorted during these times.
danmaz74 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fortunately, not all investments are based purely on technical analysis for short run gains.
oscarfr 1 day ago 1 reply      
The simple reason is that people make money by trading stocks. And they make enough to keep doing it instead of doing something else.

It's simple economics. If they wouldn't be able to make money they probably wouldn't trade.

anpk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been trying to find patterns (http://newsp.in). I dont believe its an exact science yet, but its always fun to try.
artmageddon 1 day ago 1 reply      
How would an algorithm react to / speculate on the most recent news of, say, the VW pollution-cheating fiasco? What about embargoes or war breaking out between certain countries?
smrtinsert 1 day ago 0 replies      
They're not. Retail trading is a fools game.
gorbachev 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because algorithms can't wine and dine potential investors to convince them they're the best in the business for picking stocks.
kaa2102 1 day ago 0 replies      
Limited computing power, uncertainty and the false perception of perfect information (or perfect intuition).
slantaclaus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Computers aren't normally so good at predicting the future?
blahblah3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Even if at some point humans no longer had any edge, by pure randomness some of them would still have really good performance. So even in a perfectly efficient market you wouldn't expect humans to be taken over.
lordnacho 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been in the market for over a decade, and here's my take:

- Lack of sophistication. "Classically" trained finance people don't know much about computers. I took a finance class at a top business school, and it's nothing compared to Engineering. A bit of time-value-of-money and maybe some option math, but really it doesn't come close to the sophistication of a CS or Engineering course. I went to a meeting last week with a guy who wanted an automated trading system. He hadn't heard of Python. He didn't have any idea how to execute other than on 3rd party programs (which of course use algos, but he was just providing the decisions).

- Lack of scale. There's a lot of family offices who have a few tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. If they wanted an algo trading guy, they'd have to pay him a lot of money, you'd want more than one, and you'd need infrastructure. Plus there's the risk you get all this, hire the guys, and their results are no better than random. A lot of small fortunes like this tend to spend more time in tech-soft areas, like private equity or private debt. The stock trades are an afterthought that they can't spend much resource on.

- Two kinds of decision making: arbitrage and investment. The put it bluntly, arbitrage is easy to mechanize. If some guy quotes some options at the wrong value, it's obvious you want to trade with him. There's looser arbs (things that sort of always come back to normal), but the principle is the same. In some sense, it's not a financial challenge, it's a technological one. For investment (I think XYZ corp will go up), you need to have a sense of what risk you want to take. Utility functions are not easy to put into code. You can try, but you end up with situations where you decide not to have the algo on. There's also the principal-agent problem; most traders are agents, they need to look good to their boss. They need to be able to explain why they are betting on some company. Often, more effort goes into how to justify your trades than what trades to do.

- Things that can't go into a machine: I worked with a guy who used to go meet the CEOs, look them in the eye, and ask them if they'd make money. Now I'm not saying this approach works, but if this is your investment edge, how are you ever going to put that in a machine?

- Insider information: taking this in the loose sense, not the criminal one. If you're highly dependent on understanding some part of the market better than others, you may be better off talking and networking rather than coding. Goldmans are great at this. Every time you meet them, they offer a bit of info in exchange for yours. It lets them see things like the mortgage bubble before it happens, whereas a model would probably have issues due to the small amount of computerized data.

dragontamer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Skill? I'm putting up trades as an investment. My money can't just sit around in a bank account forever, it needs to be invested to make actual gains.

All the hedge-fund managers that claim to have algorithmic trading have extremely high expense ratios. So its cheaper if I made trades myself.

I mean, its only $7 to execute a trade off of Scottrade or E-Trade. While buying a mutual fund with algorithmic trading will cost you like 50 to 200 basis points per year.

Yeah, its cheaper to trade in the raw or to just buy SPY or Vanguard funds (which are passively invested without algorithms)

Ask HN: Do you stalk Facebook profiles?
3 points by haidrali  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
enginnr 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Similar to: http://bioischanged.com/privacy but for Facebook :)

Slightly tangential, but what's to stop me flipping one bit in a JPEG and uploading it again. JPEGs are renowned for being fault tolerant to even the most aggressive mangling of the file structure, as long as the header is intact it will preserve some integrity

kelvincobanaj 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can favourite your friends on Facebook, and get notifications whenever they post or change their profile picture.
buzzdenver 1 day ago 1 reply      
Isn't that called the Feed in the world of Facebook ?
Ask HN: Is there a masterbation-free site where I can have random conversations?
15 points by notetoself  1 day ago   27 comments top 14
smt88 1 day ago 2 replies      
> I might build it myself

Build it if you think it'd be fun or something worthwhile for your CV. Don't build it because you want it to be a useful, nudity-free chat service. People have tried that (including Chat Roulette itself).

It's hard to get people to use things with their real identities. Unfortunately, anonymity also enables trolling. I think it's impossible to have a random chat site without masturbation. It is, bizarrely, part of human nature to troll.

Honing your social skills can be hard, but you might want to try clubs or meetups in your city. Video chat isn't much like real-life socializing anyway.

xyclos 1 day ago 0 replies      
For years people have been using speaking to themselves in a mirror as a method for improving social skills. The digital version of this is probably streaming. Maybe you could try something like stre.am or periscope for practicing speaking to others and of course you would greatly reduce the number of "jerks" you encounter as long as you're the only one in the conversation streaming video. (disclosure: I work for the company that makes stre.am)
mrits 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe just create a new bracelet that means "open to random conversations" and hang out at coffee shops. Yeah, that seems like the easiest solution.
NumberCruncher 1 day ago 1 reply      
You could try buliding an email list with people interested in this kind of chatting and could use skype or whatever software you prefer.
orbifold 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hm, maybe if you build one yourself, require something like a github account for chatting but don't reveal the identity to the parties. That way you can ban people that get reported for inappropriate behavior and random weirdos are unlikely to have a github account.

Setting something up that uses webrtc is not all that hard... :)

S4M 1 day ago 0 replies      
How about building it, then inviting only people who you trust not to put nudity or bad things in general, and thenm if it takes off, making the website accepting only users who have been invited by current members?
panglott 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like there should be something like this for language exchange. Or tabletop gaming.
relaxman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I tought and searched for this 3 Days ago. Found nothing. I'm interested!
unohoo 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's value in this -- ping me if you want to discuss more.
xena 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why not talk to people on IRC? irc.ponychat.net #geek is my usual haunt.
Mz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Make online friends. See if they will talk with you via an existing service, such as Skype.

I have had lots of online friends over the years and talked by phone, met in person, done video chats and other kinds of chat. "No masturbation" is more about the social connections you make, not the platform you use per se.

smaudet 14 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Build site2) Put up the 'masterbation section'3) Create reputations4) Don't go to the masterbation section5) Talk to reputable people.

I mean, how do you choose who to talk to IRL? I don't make you login to FB in order to chat with me.

SteveWatson 1 day ago 0 replies      
www.dictionary.com for spelling English words
jkrejci 1 day ago 0 replies      
React-native-sqlite-storage supports Promise
2 points by lambaone  2 days ago   discuss
Ask HN: How do I stop comparing myself to others?
106 points by mwhuang2  4 days ago   71 comments top 45
cperciva 4 days ago 8 replies      
The multiplicity of casual friendships online has led to an interesting new phenomenon: Because people preferentially broadcast their successes, we tend to get the feeling that everybody else is more successful than ourselves. I don't think you can avoid comparing yourself to others; what you can do is try to keep in mind that life is a mix of good and bad, and even if all you manage to do is avoid the worst of the bad, you're doing pretty well.

Take me for example. I started university when I was 13, won the Putnam competition when I was 18, went on to a doctorate in computing from Oxford University, and single-handedly bootstrapped a successful startup. I think most people here could tell you that much about me; but I doubt many could tell you that I'm 34, that I'm socially awkward and stutter when I'm nervous, that I'm diabetic and wrestle with this life-threatening condition every day, that I'm 20 lbs overweight and due to my sedentary lifestyle have the cardiopulmonary fitness of a typical 50 year old, or that I've been dumped by every woman I've ever dated.

When you inevitably compare yourself to others, remember that there's probably a lot you're not hearing about them.

gyardley 4 days ago 3 replies      
Well, you should start by stopping reading Hacker News, because it's clearly not good for you in your current mental state. I promise, you won't miss anything important.

Next, take some of your time and go volunteer somewhere - go tutor a child or teach someone to read or feed the homeless or whatever else you like, just go help someone out. You're now accomplishing something way more important than interning with some 'top company' somewhere. Congratulations, your existence is now justified.

Finally, now that you're doing something worthwhile for humanity and you're not tormenting yourself by wallowing in everyone's self-promotional bloviating, you can happily focus on learning new things, gradually improving your own skills, and figuring out how to make a big dent in the universe on your own personal schedule, which is different from everybody else's.

Hey, I spent my entire twenties fucking up left and right - whatever you end up doing, I guarantee you're way ahead of me.

pieterbreed 4 days ago 1 reply      
Welcome to life.

Don't worry though. Everything will be OK.

(The things I'm about to say is/are true for me. So is most of what everyone else here is saying. While it's good that you are asking your peers for help, the answers you will get won't make "sense" until you discover them for yourself. (Like the A-HA moment when you finally grok a mathematics proof or a famous algorithm). This will require effort from you.)

The facts of the matter are simply this:

- Your life is unique the same way that everyone else's is. - Your journey is not the same as anybody else's. - You are a whole person. - You have all the tools you need. - :)

The answers you seek are of a spiritual nature and you need some kind of spiritual process to discover them. I can recommend Buddhism, Toaism or even the Yogic disciplines/technologies. What they all have in common is an insistence that one needs to meditate, daily...

(Meditation, loosely, is learning how to accept and acknowledge thoughts that are uncomfortable.)

Good luck!

gonyea 4 days ago 1 reply      
So, you're basically normal. Comparing yourself is typical, especially in your early 20's.

Impatience is a great quality, you just need to combine it with Not Giving A Fuck. Comparing yourself slows you down if you go beyond "I should know that too!"

Someone else will always be better than you; embrace it. If you're the smartest person in the room, find a new room. You'll learn more there.

(Not that your friends are "better than you." They fall in a different category called "great family support.")

enginnr 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I would liken the whole process of 'success' as nothing more than the acquisition of accolades. If you peek beyond the veil of most institutions (financial or otherwise), there is the fabled trophy you must acquire at the end. This trophy can be anything, and the institutions are always careful to suppose "It's not about the trophy", but secretly it is.

Money is a trophy. Marriage is a trophy. Dissolve the trophy and focus on what you need instead of what you want. Most of what a person needs is fairly rudimentary and easy to attain. Be careful with validation (a basic need) because it's usually sought in the most egregious places

troydavis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Find a goal or even a yardstick that's more meaningful to you than to anyone else. Ideally, also find a path to it that's uniquely appealing to you.

It's way harder to think about what you want than to hop on to society's defaults (schools, work prestige, wealth, looks, ..). http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html touches on this ("if you admire two kinds of work equally, [choose the less prestigious]").

When no one else is trying to accomplish the same thing in the same way, only absolute measurements matter: how close did you get? How much did you enjoy the ride?

lpolovets 4 days ago 1 reply      
There are many good answers in this Quora thread: https://www.quora.com/How-can-you-overcome-your-envy-of-peop...

As many comments on this page suggest, try to stop worrying about what's outside of your control. You can't control if someone else is a better programmer or started coding at a younger age. But you can control what you study, how hard you study, how hard you practice outside of school, etc. If you work hard, 5 years from now there will be a bunch of 27-year-olds that you work with who feel inadequate working next to you.

If something's outside of your control, you _literally_ can't do anything about it. So why make life harder for yourself by worrying? That's like worrying about an asteroid hitting Earth -- you'll upset yourself, but it won't do you any good.

bobbyhooper 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, wow, wow! You hit a gold mine of advice with that question... I agree with all these comments. I hope you can see the trend in most of these comments. It's just too easy to say, "Don't compare yourself to others, it's a waste of time!"- though true... It's easier said than done.I found for me, the moments when I was happiest, balanced & free from all those negative thoughts about myself and where I stood compared to others- is when I focused on me. The best version of yourself has nothing to do with anyone else.I saw a therapist for 2 and a half years. The first year was twice a week. After putting in that much time with figuring out why I felt the way I did about myself, it changed everything. Your emotional intelligence, your soul is not always an easy thing to navigate, but that work is incredibly rewarding. As others have said, you're the only one that can do it. What I'm trying to say most is, begin. May you find a balance in your humanity - be it physical, mentally, & spiritually. And may you find that the compelling question is not how you compare to others or what they may think of you, but rather how you think of yourself. Are you who YOU want to be? If not, begin. You got this ;-)Big things will happen- it's safe to say that they take time.

Oh! and enjoy the ride!! Fuck- Nobody really knows for sure if we get another go at it.

SCAQTony 4 days ago 1 reply      
The race is long and it is only with yourself.

Realistically, what is the percentage of people in the whole world that can do what you can do? Here is the answer: Under 25-million or you can do what you do better than 0.0000000025% of the planet.


I bet that didn't help but look at it this may, you may or may not become a "New York Times, number-one, best selling author" or a "Diva at an Italian opera house" but you can master your craft and use it to better people's lives or even your own life for that matter. Perhaps that should be the goal and revel in those accomplishments?

johw 4 days ago 1 reply      
Comparing to others is not the problem.

Focusing on differences is.

The solution is to focus on similarities instead of differences.

By focusing on differences, you will always find something to let you feel inferior, let you stop tackling new things, maybe even saying things to others you do not really mean because you feel down at that moment. By focusing on similarities, you will boost yourself. You will see that others are not that different from you.

When you changed your regular comparison strategy for some time, you might even notice that focusing on differences, in the context of a retrospective is not that bad. It gives you the chance to grow.

ankurdhama 4 days ago 0 replies      
Here is the simple idea that I always use - "Don't take life too seriously - we are not special". When we start to take our life too seriously we start to think about some sort of objective or some kind of success we want to get to. We start comparing ourselves to others to figure out the so called objective and then we find that we are far behind from everyone else.

Now the way I avoid being too serious about life is by thinking about the Universe and how amazing and large it is. At the scale of the Universe we simply don't matter.

mrpsbrk 3 days ago 0 replies      

I'm serious. In dancing your bodily similarities and dissimilarities to your partner are in your face all the time, the fitting of them is (in a way) all there is to dancing. You both have to be aware of it and not fight it, you have to work with it. You have to learn to let the differences flow (so it is not enough to learn the choreography, you need to be able to enjoy the dance).

Words do not make justice to the experience.


wishiknew 4 days ago 1 reply      
What's that quote again, 'while in his 30s Julius Caesar once cried because he felt he hadn't done a tenth of what Alexander the Great had done at the same age'? Don't worry about people being faster than you. Build simple sites/apps (read Pat Flynn's blog rather than HN), see which one sticks, and improve it over time. Don't hope for a massive success, build something simple but useful to a limited audience. That's what I did when I was 22 and that site is about to turn into a business + the skills I learnt got me a freelancing gig which eventually got me hired. It's not an easy path, but it's meaningful. Easy paths such as marrying your high school sweetheart and getting hired at a top company in your 20s do look great, but they aren't making these people any more acquainted with the lengthy process of building great things.
colorblocks 4 days ago 0 replies      
Comparing yourself to your peers is the key for personal growth. It's often not easy, in particular in days of Facebook and other social networks but here why I think it's crucial for us:

At the end of the day we are imitating our peers--everyday. When we start as babies we imitate our mother, our siblings and everybody we see. Later in school and university we see what friends and other peers do. Sometimes we think good idea I might try it.

And sometimes we are surprised that in our eyes to us inferior peers try and accomplish stuff which is more challenging, advanced and just more exciting than our life. THIS is the key for personal growth: this feeling that somebody who was inferior all the past overtook us, frustrates us and will lead us into bigger journeys. Especially men who tend to be more competitive cannot stand this feeling and gear up.

I started to raise money because of some 10 year younger guys I met who raised 500k seed with ease. And I found those guys are inferior to me, so I was forced to get on par.

But when I was an office drone deep in corporations I imitated my peers there: worked as little as possible but still climbing the career ladder via office politics, complaining all day how bad the company is, worked just for the weekends (full of partying and girls) and the only goal was planning the next vacation. This was a hollow life where I lacked strong peers and I was slowly degenerating like them for years. I lost time.

This is the good thing about Facebook. Because we have 1,000 of FB friends the probability that we see everyday some big achievement of someone is quite high (and so frustrating) and leads to a very restrictive posting behavior on our side because it tells us: only post if you achieved something special and this initially negative energy might be good: it pushes into new and more challenging activities.

I know not everybody will like my answer but again peers who push us out of our comfort zone help our personal development. So we should see it as something positive.

11thEarlOfMar 4 days ago 0 replies      
Realize that what you can achieve in your life depends on the DNA you started with, the life circumstances that got you to where you are today, your world view, perspective and perception, and a healthy dose of luck.

Then realize that there are zero other people in the world who have that same set of attributes. Therefore, no matter who you interact with, see on YouTube, or read about, the difference between the two of you is not going to be explained by something you can control.


Walkman 4 days ago 0 replies      
I started learning programming at 27, I'm 30 now, have a full time job and never been happier, so you are definitely not late.

The turning point for me was when I read this article: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-yo...

It basically says you have to make things and you won't feel yourself worthless.

Start learning and doing hard, that's all!

nyc 4 days ago 0 replies      
A recent article in the Economist explains why comparing to others makes us unhappy. In short, we keep comparing ourselves to people who are better off:http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21677223...

That said, I think there are concrete things you could do to improve your current situation. First, it sounds like you now know what to do. That's excellent! At 22, you are not far behind at all.

Early in grad school, things weren't going well and I felt like I was falling behind my peers. I ended up finding a lot of comfort knowing there was a CS professor in my department who had trained as a doctor but then decided his passion was in CS. He basically had to start over in school. To know that one could get a later start and still achieve success was incredibly reassuring.

That said, I think you might also benefit from having a mentor. I have found it useful to have someone experienced and successful from which to learn and model myself after. They have given me the confidence to go and tackle larger problems and helped me move forward when things are looking pretty bleak.

mverwijs 4 days ago 0 replies      
Yokohiii 4 days ago 0 replies      
HN used to be much more technical and practical. Now you have much more posts about history, biology, astronomy, many thing that are very very far from being (practical) CS. I can only assume that HN readers want to feel even more sophisticated with far fetched intellectual topics. I think HN will make most persons feel miserable just like social networks do, on facebook others have more friends on HN others are smarter than you.

You should stop reading HN. I've been contemplating this for myself for some time. I have to look around more, but so far I see reddits programming subreddit is more condensed and superior if you just want to keep track on programming news.

For your current situation I can tell you that everything is fine. I've got into programming as an autodidact later than you with zero experience and my school career was average at best. Just take your time and go really deep into a single programming language, exercise with meaningless projects, use stack overflow or friendly forums to discuss problems. Just don't compare to others, there are always smarter people than you. But if you train the practical parts really hard it becomes meaningless because the results are the same.

Also if you want to learn something about humbleness, read Herman Hesse's Siddartha, just don't dive into esoterics afterwards.

Good Luck.

[edit] Nice article about depression and social media:http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/04/08/new-stud...

Joeri 4 days ago 0 replies      
1. The people you look up to also look up to someone. There's always someone better, you will never be satisfied if you use other people as a benchmark. Set your own goals, live up to your own standards.

2. What one person can do, another can do too. It might take years of practice or study, but all you need to accomplish things is a little luck and a lot of perseverance. Being really good at something is a lifelong pursuit. Better find something to do where you'll enjoy the journey, because there is no meaningful destination.

3. Action causes reaction. As long as you're doing something to move ahead opportunities will happen, even if you can't yet see how, in turn accelerating you and causing more opportunities. Achievement snowballs. The hardest million is the first.

4. It's easier to adjust your perception of things than the way things really are. If you are not happy, becoming so is less a factor of changing your life than changing your attitude. Meditation helps.

5. It's OK to say none of that is relevant. Everyone has their own path. Mine is not yours. My advice only truly pertains to my own younger self.

halayli 4 days ago 1 reply      
I am not being cynical, but I wouldn't recommend using HN to replace a therapist.
galfarragem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Unhappiness and feeling inadequate is correlated with not doing what your gut tells you to do and living somebody's else life.
epalmer 4 days ago 0 replies      
OP here are some references that may help you. The first is to assess your stengths and find a career that supports your stengths. Then work on making your stengths stonger. Think about a good baseball batter. Improving their batting average 20% makes them a great batter.

I have used SF in my own life,, with the teams I have managed and with some life coaching customers. If you want to know better how to use it send me an email eric [at] ericfplamer [dot] com

These two ted videos are also useful for 1) thinking differntly about happiness and 2) thinking differently about genius.



thingsgoby 4 days ago 1 reply      
I strongly recommend that you read some Epicurus, Epictetus and Seneca ;) Start with Senecas "On the Happy Life"
peterjmag 4 days ago 0 replies      
(For context: I started writing this as a reply to gyardley's comment[1], but I thought it might be more appropriate as a direct response to the OP instead.)

I just wanted to add that you don't necessarily have to make a big dent in the universe to feel fulfilled. I think that making a meaningful positive impact on a small number of people you care about (or even one person) can be just as rewardingif not more sothan making a difference in the lives of thousands. I certainly admire and encourage your ambition to achieve big things, but "smallish dents" are great too.

To address another point, I think it's great that you know what you want to do with your life. I definitely don't believe that 22 is "too late", however. I'm 28, and it feels like I've made that decision dozens of times in the last 15 years or so. Whether you're still in college or decades past it, "what you want to do with your life" is not a static thing that you just discover one day. It's something that you can spend your life constantly rediscovering, and I hope that you do so. Right now, for you it's computer science, but who knows where your passions and proclivities might lead you in a few years. It might be somewhere else in tech, or it might not, and in both cases, that's okay. In fact, it might be somewhere you never imagined yourself going, andat the risk of overusing this wordthat's great too.

Finally, if you do decide to "quit" HN or just take a break from it (both good options), read some of these[2] before you go (especially the ones down below the rather tangential discussion about travel costs).

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10523845

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9393213

chipsy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Life can't be defined by arriving at a place and feeling that you've "made it" or "gotten ahead." If you actually do "make it" by accident, the next thing that happens is that you die - in spirit, if not in body. A lot of people who suddenly get rich or famous meltdown, because they still don't know what to do. And a lot of people who go all-in on their careers burn out. There are opportunities that you can miss and regret, but you aren't an abstract person or a movie action hero - you won't be "on" all the time.

Instead, focus on the everyday cycle. How do you want to construct your life so that you are living well each day, each week? Take whatever things you're already good at - and can do without much effort if you just start, and concentrate - and put more of your chips behind those. It's in the regular practice that you become really "great", and there is no book or curriculum that can tell you how to practice at that level of motivation. It might lead you away from core CS, but that's okay. There are a lot of kinds of gigs out there, and you might overlook a possibility and come back to it later, so you aren't necessarily harming your future at this stage. Stay in good health and keep your stress down and you will get there eventually.

There are all sorts of little things that I'm sure other people figured out long before I did, and then things that I learned that they will never learn in their lives. If you value learning a lot, you end up not valuing wealth and status as much, because it doesn't have much to teach you. And then it doesn't matter that you didn't intern at a top company, because suddenly your friends are all a bunch of weirdos too.

I only recently realized that technical writing was a thing I might want to do, and I'm 30. I also only recently realized how to stop overtraining with weights and make more substantial progress, and this was after some 15 years of off-and-on practice with lifting. (It's simple: two-day split once a week instead of once every 2-4 days.)

bencbernstein 4 days ago 1 reply      
I don't think you can stop comparing yourself to others, and you shouldn't try to. It's a good thing to do.

What you should try to do is realize you are you, and you have the opportunity every second to be creative and additive rather than competitive or detrimental to the world. That is amazingly valuable :)

andersthue 4 days ago 0 replies      
The short answer is to let go.

It can take years of training and searching to let go, the best guide I have found is this book : http://zenhabits.net/lg/

sly_g 4 days ago 0 replies      
Compare yourself with your own self, but several years younger. Have you achieved something notable? Did you just now noticed that you did something wrong before? Then you're all right - you're growing.
studentrob 4 days ago 0 replies      
Find a way to get some confidence. Learn something new. I'm reading / listening to "Quantum memory power" by Dominic O'Brien right now. There are some fun tricks in there that make memorizing things trivial. He points out this builds confidence, though I just think it's fun. After that... Take it day by day, and take it easy on yourself
kclay 3 days ago 0 replies      
Stop minimizing things you have accomplished. You think everyone started off at the top. Look at each project or task you completed as a stepping stone to the next and to become better..

Simply put.. Don't try to copy the Jones's.

lifeformed 4 days ago 0 replies      
> I didn't figure out what I wanted to do with my life until recently

Great, just do whatever that is. You're not behind, 22 is basically 0 years old in your career. Just start doing the thing you want to do until you become really good at it.

Gnarl 3 days ago 0 replies      
No one has it all together. Ever. Full stop. So quit worrying. Do -> measure -> adjust -> repeat. Most people don't peak professionally until they're in their 40's.
sidcool 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am 32 and facing the same issue at work and life in general. Comparing to others comes to me naturally, and it has been a reason of lot of anxiety to me. I am yet to figure out a permanent solution.
peteretep 4 days ago 0 replies      
For most people, the answer is simple: stop being in your 20s.
bartvk 4 days ago 0 replies      
Meditate and tell yourself that you're pretty okay.
CyberFonic 4 days ago 0 replies      
By my estimation about 6,000,000,000 people would be very happy to trade places with you. Compared to them you are doing just fine.
SixSigma 4 days ago 0 replies      
My life began at 40, amusingly.

6 billion people in the world.

fsloth 4 days ago 0 replies      
"I'm really impatient to achieve big things. It's like I need to in order to justify my existence. "

First, you are a human being, whose worth is not tied to how much money you have, how fancy CV you have or how high grades you have. You are valuable and precious just as you are. You might be a bit lost, and that's ok, most of us are at one time or another.

I'm writing this as a person who felt maybe just as bad as you did at your age.

I don't want to hurt your feelings but "Achieving big things" is not a life goal. It's a posthumous statement in an obituary. And a lot of people who are described as achieving big things actually felt they failed miserably.

Take, for instance Ghandi - he had pretty radical goals in terms of India and he felt he failed most of them. His tactic of non-violence and a fantastically successful publicity campaign of personality cult got him in to the history books for good but as for the goals he drove - a perpetually rural, united india - did not really happen (and I think it was a good thing too). And most of the hype around him was due to other people choosing to idolize him - not him, himself, doing a shitload of extravagant extraordinary work.

Your friends, by the way? Their fancy internships? You are just trapped in an association loop when idolizing them. You attach a positive value to the brands of the corporations, and by your friends interning there this association leaks to them. Then you recognize you do not have this direct associative link, and feel bad about it. Although - it's all just happening in your mind. You are jealous of their life story. But please recognize - the giants of world history have had mostly pretty shitty and ordinary lives, and are remembered mostly due to a stroke of luck, or, due to a fact that they tenaciously drove towards their own personal goal that for some historical fluke happened to be in synchronicity with the current world events.

Now, how fantastic are your friends actually? Maybe some of them got better grades - so what.

It does not mean they are better than you. It's just that they score higher on a specific arbitrary metric due to their life circumstances and history at this point in time. Arbitrary - because let's face it, large systems are not fair, nor are they designed to be. The system of education, the system of economy, the system of government - they are all fabrications with emergent properties no one can really control exactly.

We are all corks ebbing in the ocean of life. Sometimes the current takes us forward, sometimes not. The thing is, you cannot choose who you are, but, you can daily choose what you do.

"How do I transition to a healthier state of mind and stop feeling worthless?"

I think you might need therapist or meditation for that.

As a self help book I can heartily recommend "The science of happiness" by Rick Hanson. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVW8VN2?keywords=science...)

Personally, for me, professionally - I needed to find something that I found was intrinsically motivating. Luckily I did, in computational physics and computer graphics and this gave me intrinsic motivation to play around with things and find stuff out. I'm not hugely successful but I have a good career and feed my family. I would not have had half a good career unless I had found something compelling. I do hope you find something that interests you!

The difference with external and internal motivators is that while both compel you to action, fulfilling external motivators usually suck you energy while internal ones give it to you.

I found Richard Feynmans* self autobiographical writings assuring. While they are an attempt at self-aggrandization at painting an image of "the cleverest person in the room" they also discuss deeply personal matters of death, loss, de-motivation and ways to cope with it. When Feynman felt down, he tried to find something he could find interest in playing with - no matter how silly or trivial. I've followed this same protocol throughout my life and found it a good course when things look bleak. Play!

*"What Do You Care What Other People Think?" and "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" by Richard Feynman.

ddingus 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to offer up what might be a bit different advice. Comparing yourself to others isn't necessarily a bad thing. Doing this can tell you who can help you improve, or maybe you identify role models, appreciate a good mentor, etc... Or it can show you who you might be able to help. Sometimes we all need some help.

The real battle is in how you define your sense of worth. Take smarts, for example. In your life, you are going to encounter people smarter than you are, as well as not as smart, or maybe you can't really tell. What does that really mean?

Think about being smart enough. One artifact of that thought could be what you accomplish boils down to how willing you are to do the work to actually accomplish it. Being willing is very high value! Suddenly, how smart you are isn't a defining attribute. Your intent and resolve are.

Another artifact of that might be the realization that smart people "rub off" If you want to improve, being around people better than you is an excellent way to do that, and feeling inadequate gets in the way of all that too. Think back on that intent and resolve and maybe you realize everyone who wants to do stuff with their life has those things and is sharing them with others who appreciate it. Going further, many people respond favorably to someone they see doing the work to get after those big things, whatever they are. And there should be no shame in any of that at all.

Extend that a bit more, and suddenly those comparisons have value! Hard working people rub off. Social people rub off. Etc...

What you need to do is absorb unabashedly. As you encounter others who are compelling in some way, watch and learn! Make a few friends. Those people know it's OK to be who they are, as should you. Those people are doing the work, making the friends, showing good intent. As should you.

Do the work and trust in yourself. Get help when you need it. Give help when others need it. Treat yourself with the same respect you would others you admire or believe you can learn from.

In fact, cultivate a sense of respect. Mutual respect. When you demonstrate this, people most often return it. And if it's your intent to do that, work hard, get something you believe in done, people will most often return that too, and in that process you become one of those people you are comparing yourself to.

Give with honest, good intent, and 'ye shall receive.

You aren't stuck behind anybody. You are where you are, and it's up to you to move forward and do what you want with your life. What you are doing here is looking at younger peers who made different choices and you are wishing you had made those same choices. Or you are buying the bullshit they are selling.

A great many people never, ever really figure out what they want to do with their life. Often, they are too busy living it, having fun, building, doing, playing to think about it. Others are driven, focused, intent.

So you've arrived at some life goal! Good for you. Now quit your regrets and start getting after it, whatever it is. There will always be others who seem better positioned, or whatever. It's not about any of that. There are people who are worse off, or more poorly positioned too.

Do you want to be here? Do you care about other people, the world, and the things you find in it? Great! That's all anyone requires as justification to be here. No joke. Be sure and share that often. People like other people who care. People value others who care too.

Share that thing you want to do with others, and ask them what it is they are wanting to do as well. Maybe you can help, or maybe it's good to just listen and appreciate they are doing something they care about. Maybe you have a common goal.

Maybe you can realize that's all any of us are doing, you included.

Like I said, give and 'ye shall receive.

One great way to feel better about yourself is to help others, and the doing of that does wonders for your own sense of worth. Do it. Clear that mess out of your head and free yourself to get after it, whatever it is. And all those people you helped are very highly likely to appreciate it and return the favor too.

takinola 3 days ago 0 replies      
The real question, I would guess, is where you get your sense of self-worth? It is worthwhile to do a bit of introspection to understand what really matters to you as opposed to what all the people around you tell you should matter to you. A while back, I found that a lot of my motivations to achieve certain things where driven by pride and a need to show off to my peer group and not due to any real intrinsic desire for those things so I started asking myself why I was working so hard for things that I do not really care so much about. The question I kept asking my self was "What is your life worth?" If at any moment I was told my life was going to be over, what are the things I would wish I had accomplished. The list I came up with (and it is a pretty short list) are the things I use to prioritize my actions. I am always checking back to that list to be sure I am actually trying to accomplish those things.

One caveat about setting any goals that involve the approval of or comparison to other people (e.g. I want to be as wealthy/successful/beautiful/smart/talented as person X or I want to be famous and celebrated) is that there is always someone better, more successful, prettier, smarter or whatever-er you desire and so chasing these dreams are a mirage. I remember reading an article in Forbes (or Fortune, I forget which) which described what life is like for various stages of wealth. The descriptions of life for people who are worth seven figures then eight were pretty much what you would think but I will always remember the first words used to describe people who have a net worth in the low hundred millions: "Prepare to have your ego crushed". I remember thinking that's ridiculous, if I ever have a hundred million dollars, there is no way that I would feel insecure about my status and then I realized that I know a lot of fairly wealthy people (in the seven to eight figure range) who are very, very insecure about their wealth and in fact feel like failures simply because they are comparing themselves to others. The only way to win this game is not to play.

Also, do realize that we are all very influenced by peer pressure. Why do you think there are red states and blue states? You think somehow every one in a particular geography just decided to have a certain set of opinions? Nope, my guess is 80% of our opinions are driven by the opinions of the other people around us. So the practical way to make this work for you is to find people who have the values you want and hang out with them. Also, limit your interactions with people who move you in the other direction. If's tough but for a decision as important as this, you should try to actively shape your life rather than have it just happen to you.

Lastly, you should always separate your happiness from your achievement of your goals. You should be happy and fulfilled regardless of the outcome of your strivings. Your goals, however wonderful, are just one aspect of your life and not the whole point.

Mz 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's like I need to in order to justify my existence.

According to the Christian bible, god invented humans because he was lonely. Based on that, I figure I am entertainment for a cosmic intelligence beyond my comprehension. I am probably more entertaining when I am fucking up, so I figure I cannot get this wrong.

You don't need to justify your existence.

Next, I suggest you read some bios of people who had success later in life. Twenty-two is really not that old.

Also, try either unplugging from listening to the bragfests of all your so-called friends or scratch the surface and look deeper. A lot of people who rub their success in the faces of people around them are incredibly unhappy you couldn't pay me enough to trade lives with them (assuming a genie could grant such a wish).

facepalm 4 days ago 0 replies      
Not comparing yourself is one thing, but you should also question your values and goals. If you think interning at top companies is a good thing, you could try to also intern at a top company. Just one example.
steven2012 4 days ago 0 replies      
How can you possibly be impatient to achieve big things when you don't understand what you want to do and what HN posts are about?

You need to understand that you won't achieve big things. You're not Zuckerberg and you're not Steve Jobs. You're not going to be a billionaire, or even a millionaire. It's pretty evident from the things that you wrote above.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, you can accomplish great things once you gained the maturity to realize that you need to work hard and study hard and learn. Figure out what you enjoy, and work hard at it. You might not be the next Steve Jobs (no one is), but you can make a very good living in tech if you work hard and keep learning throughout your career.

crazylila 4 days ago 0 replies      
A study shows people of age 18-25 are the most stressed out, as it a period of "entering adulthood". This is the time you have to make many important decisions in life and it is absolutely normal to get confused and remember you are not alone in facing such a situation . Millions of people of the age 18-25 face the same problem. But what you must do is, sit and think what you really want in life and listen to your inner voice. Always remember no two fingers are the same, so never compare yourself with anybody else. Each one is made for a purpose. Identify yours and work towards it.You may not realize your own strength untill you set a goal and work towards it. So all the best my dear friend. Be cheerful. You are not alone!
Ask HN: What is your favorite startup that you are following right now?
64 points by tech_crawl_  3 days ago   69 comments top 33
izolate 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Half of these aren't even startups. Can you really a call a company a startup after a few years and solid revenue streams?
msutherl 3 days ago 3 replies      
I have a list of favorite startups here: https://www.are.na/morgan-sutherland/good-startups


http://are.na (private and collaborative research platform)

http://un1verse.co (mobile card-based programming)

https://www.notion.so (powerful collaborative documents)

http://mine.nyc (z-axis for content on the web)

http://ascribe.io (registering content ownership in the blockchain)

http://urbit.org (radically simple complete re-write of system and network software/infrastructure)

https://artadvisor.io/ (artworld intelligence)

https://graphcommons.com/ (collaborative graph databases)

mgalka 3 days ago 1 reply      
I only just discovered this one, but it's one of the most interesting startups I've seen in a while.

Premonition - http://premonition.ai/

It helps you choose a lawyer by analyzing legal data - which lawyers usually win before which judges, whether or not they run up the bill, etc.

Seems like there could be some ethical issues, but the value proposition is potentially enormous.

SilasX 3 days ago 2 replies      
I guess this is intended for learning of unknown startups, and it's a huge one, so I don't think this is what you're looking for, but...


I've been querying for HN/reddit submissions a lot. I'm fascinated by all its accomplishments and the issues it raises:

- Viability of work-as-you-want, surge-as-needed supply model

- Creating critical mass for carpooling and rides on demand to work (I don't think anyone believed it was possible to convince upper middle class people to carpool with strangers)

- Being one of the few major instances of coordinating a shift away from tipping

- The spotlight they've shone (yes that shine's past participle) on the taxi industry and the "unseen" improvements we were missing out on

- The issues related to the contractor/employee boundary

- The general logistics of on-demand infrastructure and things it enables at scale

Most of that applies to Lyft too of course, though they're in the news less.

(In case I sound like a propagandist, let me note that yes their ethical lapses do bother me and I know some people who would lose respect for me if I ever worked there, so yeah it's not all wine and roses.)

akg_67 2 days ago 0 replies      
My favorite is Digital Ocean https://www.digitalocean.com. While Google and Microsoft are trying to take AWS head-on, DO is nibbling away on AWS at the edges. AWS has become complex and as long as DO stays on simpler side, they have good chance to build a decent business.
neptunespear 3 days ago 1 reply      
Grouplend: http://grouplend.ca

I like Grouplend for three reasons:

1. It uses cutting edge technology and Big Data.

2. It's bringing B2B lending to Canada; finally, you can get a loan without going through the big banks.

3. Markus Frind invested in the company when he got his $575-million payout after Match.com bought POF.

I just wish they paid more. On angel.co, they're offering $50-75K for junior-intermediate engineers and $65K for intermediate-senior engineers at the low end. I would have liked to see them offer at least $75-80K to new grads, at least the well-prepared ones.

mfkp 3 days ago 1 reply      
https://prestodoctor.com/ - online CA mmj recommendations, clean design and solid customer service
j2bax 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think the OP was looking for people to pump their startup here, but ones that people were following and found very interesting. That said, I'm sure you follow your startup pretty closely and are very interested in it.
janamysc 21 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.goguin.com/en relocation for free

Great for digital nomads and those who move often. These guys had the most awesome idea to match people in different cities who move, so if you are lucky can save tons of money on renting the apartment and buying/selling the stuff. Will definitely use when I decide to relocate next time.

kitwalker12 1 day ago 1 reply      
https://www.tutum.coThe community around it is really helpful and amazing
adamjin 2 days ago 0 replies      

One card to rule them all.

tedmiston 3 days ago 4 replies      
deftnerd 3 days ago 0 replies      
Plex at https://plex.tv is an amazing startup that has created an ecosystem of media players on multiple devices

"Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox (Xbox 360 & Xbox One), Playstation (PS3 & PS4), and other Smart TV platforms (currently Samsung, VIZIO, & Opera TV)" [0]

The clients play media you host yourself on your home computer or server.

They're self-funded and remarkably successful in the cord-cutting community.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plex_(software)

atroyn 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think Zirx - http://zirx.com/ has a lot more to it than meets the eye.

At the moment it seems like it's just another part of the on-demand economy, a kind of reverse-uber for people who own cars in the city.

But if and when self driving cars appear, Zirx are the company that will know how to run the infrastructure and facilities for autonomous vehicles in and around cities, and other forms of transport.

tvvocold 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know my favorite startup , but here are some cool startups you can check:


https://coding.net (It's for Chinese developers but you can try https://ide.coding.net also)


pdq 3 days ago 1 reply      
SoundCloud - http://soundcloud.com

This is the YouTube of music, and has been exploding in popularity.

colloqu 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://www.stomt.com You can give feedback by just finishing a sentence. Like a mix of Twitter and reddit. Looks promising but seems to be still in Beta.
Danilka 3 days ago 2 replies      
https://luciding.com - very simple, but promising technology. The team seems to be smart.
bradavogel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Mixmax is tackling the next generation of email. Many startups claim they're reinventing email, but they're just creating better tools to triage email. Mixmax is actually rethinking the form of email and how communication can be richer with interactive, information dense content.
vonnik 3 days ago 0 replies      
mn3m 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://wake.io/ - Design sharing site, process oriented
nirmal5307 3 days ago 0 replies      
http://mobirise.com/This is a desktop application that helps anyone make a basic web page for you startup. It's Free. Made for Mac and Windows.
binaryjohn 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm absolutely enamored with http://imgur.com

- They continually refine the product

- They are careful of feature creep

- The community they've cultivated seems to feel incredible ownership of the product.

Chos89 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://airtame.com/Really looking forward to this. Time to get rid of the cables
DiabloD3 3 days ago 3 replies      
My favorite: Exelion


We're doing bare metal without the high cost.

Disclaimer: I'm the founder.

Other disclaimer: Did anyone notice I'm in the top 100 for HN points now? \o/

deftnerd 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love what Taiga.io is doing. They're making an Agile/Scrum solution that's a pleasure to work with by focusing on UI first. They're even open-source.
tech_crawl_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
These are all really awesome!
orph 3 days ago 0 replies      
fscherer 3 days ago 0 replies      
Enlitic and magic leap
giis 3 days ago 0 replies      
www.sysdig.org Because its interesting linux tool.
akbar501 3 days ago 0 replies      
danielbnelson 3 days ago 0 replies      
subliminalzen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Emulate Inc, a biotech startup that designed organs-on-chips, a technology that could potentially stop animal testing.[1]

I also follow Beyond Meat. Google's Sergey Brin invested in them.[2] They are working on cruelty-free "cultured meat".



Ask HN: Why HN doesn't allow using Avatars?
3 points by artur_makly  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
rprospero 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find that the lack of avatars improves the conversation, specifically because it slightly increases anonymity. On sites with avatars, I tend to use the avatars to filter out people that I consider idiots. When I read Hacker News, I mostly ignore the user names and just read the posts.

The result has been that I tend to do a better job of judging HN contents by their merit than by their origin. At least twice a year, I'll read a very insightful post, become curious about the author, and discovered that it was someone that I had previously thought was an idiot. I've taken two lessons from this

1) I'm a terrible judge of character.

2) Focusing on content over personality improves the quality of the discussion.

ac2u 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not that I have a survey, but I'd imagine most users would be against on the grounds of it distracting us from substance of someone's points and arguments.

We're all influenced in some degree by visual bias, and not always consciously, whether we like it or not.

J_Darnley 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I use a pseudonym and any avatar that doesn't show me what's the difference?

Not to mention that it would then require this site to store thousands of images, serve thousands of image, check thousands of images for "bad content".

This is starting to smell. Are you being paid when people visit that link? [EDIT] A handy archive for others https://archive.is/DErFm

kleer001 1 day ago 0 replies      
A user name is enough for me to humanize OP and and conversation partners.

Also, to me, avatars would mar the clean look.

I could even do without the beige and orange page colors and that nice capital Y logo image. Totally B&W HN? Sure, no worries.

The fading away of downvoted comments is nice. So, maybe greyscale in the end.

Ask HN: Is 30 too old to be a digital native?
5 points by Flopsy  1 day ago   10 comments top 4
dragonwriter 1 day ago 0 replies      
In its original context, it probably applies to anyone that was in school (possibly including college) at a time such that their learning methods could have been substantially affected by the changes in media in the last decade of the 20th century; since then, its usually (fairly arbitrarily) been used to describe those born of 1980.

Insofar as its a substantive experience description and not just another term for Gen Y/Millenials, I'd say if you engaged in substantial online interaction and that it substantially affected the way you approach information, learning, and social interaction, during -- or, a fortiori, before -- high school, then you count.

enginnr 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Those who ran BBS systems wax nostalgic about being early adopters of new communication methods and systems. It's the same with the digi-native set; waxing nostalgic about Geocities and Angelfire homepages when they could be building something to replace them (Like what the Neocities and Snapchat crowd are doing). It's the wrong question. 'Too' in a question puts the onus to answer with an extreme viewpoint
tmaly 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am 37 and I consider myself a digital native. I did start out on super slow modems, but I have been hacking away at things since I was a young kid.
rcavezza 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I understand correctly, I believe a "digital native" to be the equivalent of a "millennial" or a "gen y" person. If so, no, 30 is not too late to be a "digital native".

This would typically be people born 1983 or after. If you are 30, you are more than likely a "digital native".

Hapii beyond employee satisfaction
2 points by danielovichdk  2 days ago   discuss
Ask HN: What would you tell your 20 something years old self?
23 points by meta_pseudo  1 day ago   46 comments top 22
veidr 1 day ago 0 replies      
First: Learn the essentials of personal finance: savings, taxes, credit.

You already know how to calculate how much your credit-card-augmented lifestyle is costing you, but you don't why? Why on earth are you going to take out a loan on a new car next month when you could just buy a used Audi for cash?

Go smoke a joint, introspect on why you have that flaw in your character, and fix it.

Next: You will eventually decide to have kids. When you do, this life will be over. A new, different life will begin. Aside from whatever satisfaction you do or don't get out of the new aspects, one of the main differences will be the amount of your time and energy you can devote to pursuits like making software, writing novels, building a company, etc will be reduced by about 80%. So this is your window. Don't let your youth go to your head. You are in the first year of only 10 or 15 that you have left where what you do is totally up to you.

Finally: Stop smoking cigarettes immediately, you stupid little fuck.

insoluble 1 day ago 4 replies      
Never assume that those around you, even close friends or family members, care about your best interests or future. Chances are their actions are based on their own best interests, even when it involves you. There is a fair chance they are not even considering your future in any of their actions. This is not to say that you should not care about others, but that for many people, the only one looking out for you is yourself.
mikestew 1 day ago 0 replies      
My 20 year old self? Lessee, doing a little math here...okay, got it: in a few years a software company called Microsoft will IPO. Take every spare dime and buy shares. Continue to do so until about 1999, then sell all of it.

In all seriousness? You're not as clever as you think you are, so try being less of an asshole. Even when you are the smartest person in the room, no one cares, so quit being so insufferable. Spend more time with your musical instrument; you'll never go pro, but it will add enjoyment to your life and sometimes that of others, and when you're older you'll regret having not played more when your were younger.

kleer001 1 day ago 2 replies      
For me personally the key words would be "Ignore women, accrue finances."

As much as culture tells us pair bonding is the end all be all, it's not. Outside of college your chances of finding a compatible mate reduce by 10,000% or more. Instead of actively looking and compromising keep up high standards for yourself and any potential mate. Instead of taking dozens and dozens of dates spend that time socializing and spend that money investing. Spend time to learn what you should be investing and don't trust pundits except as a barometer as to what everyone else is doing.

For OP, if you really like this question it's been asked a lot. Check reddit and youtube.

JSeymourATL 18 hours ago 0 replies      
- One of your parents will die tragically young. You'll be caught unprepared, this will change everything in your world. Maximize the time you have today, work on your relationship with them. It might be helpful to study psychology as a side project.

- You breezed through university relatively unchallenged. Understand now that the only way you'll be able to compete in the market is to out-read, out-study, think more strategically, and work harder than your peers. You'll find this helpful when being tapped as a co-founder. A good place to start, read-up on the wisdom of Peter Drucker> http://academic.udayton.edu/lawrenceulrich/LeaderArticles/Dr...

- Understand that your success goal posts will look entirely different at 30-40-50. Much of the material possessions and career aspirations that seem important now, become junk & meaningless clutter later. Pivoting & reinvention are key to survival. Often you win by surviving.

- That emergency fund saved your neck when the business tanked. Still you wish you had much deeper reserves.

- Stop taking your health for granted. You'll be shocked by pro-athlete peers, whose careers are largely over by their early 30s, their bodies spent. Then one day you too get injured, badly. Start consciously taking care of your body now.

alashley 1 day ago 0 replies      
- Socialize more. - Pick a technology stack and stick with it for an extended period of time.- Ask her out.
TurboHaskal 1 day ago 0 replies      
- Don't take that job in that country, you're young and adventurous, but the salary difference is not worth it

- Be less humble

- Start reading about steroids, the sooner the better

- Stop reading about design patterns when you don't even know what a Makefile is

- Don't drink too much functional programming kool aid

- Pay attention to software licenses

- Spend more time with your grandparents

- You don't matter -- that's good

- Quit distro hopping and try OpenBSD

- Give your wrist some love and stop using the mouse

- Don't buy that motorbike

jvvlimme 1 day ago 0 replies      
- Don't go straight to college, take a year off or you'll bore out and drop out.

- Try not to avoid what you're actually good at, you'll end up in IT anyway.

- Stop wasting money, it'll get you into trouble several times down the road.

- Stop wasting time.

- Work out more, it's easier to lose pounds in your twenties then it is now in your thirties.

You'll do just fine regardless.

EliRivers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Low cost index funds with dividends reinvested. All your pennies.
tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would tell myself about the Gale-Shapley matching algorithm and how it can be used to get the best out of life.

Essentially, just keep trying for #1 biggest goal, if that fails, go for #2 biggest goal and so on. Essentially you always shoot for the stars, and you will maximize what you get out of life.

chrisBob 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Get pregnant now!

If you have a baby now, your parents (or more likely Randy's parents) will help out and then when you are 30 you will have a 10 year old that can actually do something interesting instead of a 1 year old that you just lug around.

But first, and this is important, have Randy get tested for protein-S deficiency immediately.

austinjp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do one thing and do it well. StIck with it. Excel. Get lessons, teach yourself, push yourself. Do it for the love of doing it.

Don't compare yourself to anyone else.

Two marshmallows later rather than one now.

Hang onto those old friends. Even the ones who can be dicks, provided they're not always dicks.

Tell your family you love them because one day it won't be possible.

Learn to love and forgive yourself so you can love and forgive others. Practice loving kindness.

Stop smoking weed.

Introverts lose energy to others and gain energy from isolation, but isolation should be in small doses to avoid de-socialisation.

Get fit, stay fit. Lift weights. Learn martial arts.

Get outdoors. Go up mountains and jump into the ocean.

Ultimately, it's all okay :)

J_Darnley 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not over 30 yet just 28 and I would have told myself to stay in school or just end it. If I could speak to my 18 year old self I would tell him to choose a different subject.
hackuser 1 day ago 0 replies      
One more thing: For your career, look up the concept of "career capital" - that is what you want to focus on developing at the beginning, much more than your income.
loumf 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I was 22, I wrote some advice for me for when I was 40, which I followed (at 43), and it wasn't bad, although he was kind of a jerk about it.
AnimalMuppet 1 day ago 0 replies      
Be more into your kids and less into your own side projects.
smt88 1 day ago 3 replies      
1. None of your decisions are important. I'm not saying that to belittle you. I'm saying it because you can worry yourself sick if you're afraid of doing the wrong thing. Life is a balance between "analysis paralysis" and jumping into things too quickly.

You should lean toward jumping too quickly. Even if you make some small mistakes, be open-minded and willing to learn from them, and you'll be able to recover.

It takes many years of compounding a mistake before you're unable to recover. Career-wise, it probably can't happen until you're 45+ (due to age discrimination).

2. Whenever possible, take your career in a direction that allows you to be paid more for working fewer hours. This will pay off later in life when you have the money to travel or just want to see loved ones.

There are many ways to accomplish this. One of them is to ask for better-sounding titles, even if they don't come with more responsibility or pay. Another is to develop skills that are widely applicable, rather than highly specific. The worst thing you can do is to develop skills that are only applicable to your specific employer.

For example, I have a lawyer friend who worked on a lawsuit related to microprocessors. He did this for five years. When he wanted to move to a different firm, no one wanted to hire him because he only had experience with microprocessor litigation.

If you're starting out as a developer, try to work somewhere that uses modern, popular technology. Both of those are important: modern and popular. For example, a company that exclusively uses Haskell or Scala is probably not a great idea. You'd want to get experience at something like Python, C++, C#, Java, or JavaScript instead. (Note that the culture of companies that use Java extensively are often very poor, so make sure to read Glassdoor reviews or ask HN about the company).

3. Sleep. If you focus on doing one thing at a time, you'll be way more efficient than your peers, and you'll have time to sleep 8+ hours a night. Don't work at a company that expects you to sleep less than 6 hours a night and spend all your time at the office. They're living in the past and don't understand that overall output suffers when people don't get to rest.

4. Build and use your social network. Don't be afraid to ask friends, parents' friends, relatives, and strangers to help you. If you don't have many friends, go out of your way to make more.

My life is exponentially better because of only 2 friendships that I randomly made a few years ago. It's been literally like winning the lottery. But you have to meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends before you find those relationships.

5. Your career isn't and shouldn't be your life. If you can't have an interesting conversation with someone that doesn't mention your job, you're doing something wrong. Have hobbies and other interests.

In that same vein, ask yourself (or old people) what someone might regret toward the end of their lives. Absolutely no one will say "I wish I'd spent more time working". Virtually all of them will say "I wish I'd spent more time with my family/friends/pets/hobbies". If you don't believe me, go out and ask.

6. Leave your comfort zone whenever possible. The more you practice it, the better you'll get at it. Every amazing thing in life requires being vulnerable and leaving your comfort zone.

iphoneseventeen 1 day ago 1 reply      
stop renting and BUY property. Something BELOW your budget.
paraplegic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't panic.
7Figures2Commas 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would tell my 20 year-old self to ignore any advice from my 30+ year-old self.
hackuser 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here's a few ideas, probably many of them wrong for you (see #3). Certainly your mileage will vary:

* Self-knowledge is the most powerful tool there is: What suits you, what doesn't; your strengths and weaknesses; your talents and blindspots; your limits; what you need, can tolerate and can't; what you love and hate; what makes you feel safe and strong and helps you thrive, and what leaves you traumatized. If you think you already know yourself, you almost certainly don't. You never fully know but you want to learn as much as you can (and in the process you'll learn to understand other people). It's the basis of every important decision you must make: Do I choose this career? Do I trust myself to take on the responsibility of this business, with all these people's fortunes and careers depending on me? Can I commit to love and care for this person for life? Is she/he right for me? Am I ready to put an infant human's life and development in my hands (and can I handle the work/life balance and pressure)? Many people make poor decisions about these issues - How can they make good ones if they don't know the key factor, themselves?

* The only way to develop that knowledge is to try and fail, and then to get up and try again (an essential skill in itself). You can't learn these things by just thinking about them; they aren't in a book. And now is your chance. Later when you have a career, a mortgage, business partners, employees and children depending on you, you can't take a big risk to just suit yourself. Also, I'm not just talking your career, but all aspects of your life: Relationships (especially relationships!), where you live, your lifestyle, etc. People playing it safe will question and criticize you (see below), but just smile and know you are moving ahead while in ten years they'll unfortunately realize they have learned little of life and themselves.

* Learn to ignore everyone's advice and criticism and to trust your own instinct and thoughts. Nobody else really understands you or your situation nearly well enough. They might have good ideas to consider, but you know best (which requires that self-knowledge). No matter what you do, people will criticize you. Even Steve Jobs was fired, Bill Gates reviled, and Martin Luther King was hated by many and polls show he was unpopular during the civil rights struggle; you could be President of the United States and people daily will call you an abject failure. And you will fail constantly, sometimes horribly, just like the rest of us, and while you are failing there will be no promise of success. Given that you will face criticism, questions, and failure no matter what, and that there is no promise of a good outcome anyway, at least do what you love and think is best, and enjoy the ride.

* Gather some data: Look at people at the other end of life, or ask them: What turned out to be important? My guess is most will answer, their family and personal relationships. Few people wish they had spent more time at work; many wish they had spent more with family. Finally, a good marriage is perhaps the most valuable thing in life but it takes far more than love and good will; it takes dedication, hard work, skill, and, as much as anything, self-knowledge.

I hope some of that is helpful!

EDIT: A minor edit or two

aliston 1 day ago 1 reply      
I just turned 30 about 6 months ago and spent a lot of time reflecting on the ups and downs of the past 10 years. To directly answer your questions based on my own experiences:

1.) Take the challenging job - YES. Of course, this is somewhat vague advice. If I had it to do over again, I would have taken the job at Google (now Facebook, AirBnb, Uber, Dropbox...) rather than joining the small startup right off the bat. The startup world is full of charlatans, and working at a more established company initially will give you credibility, engineering skills, a network and savings that can help you navigate sharky waters. I would have done the startup 2-3 years later. Instead, I did the opposite, which worked out fine, but meant that I had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way.

2.) Get a higher degree - MAYBE. I got the higher degree (MS) at a top school. But, I already had the undergrad degree which would have gotten me in the door at any of the aforementioned companies. I enjoyed grad school, and it gave me an opportunity to explore lots of fun subjects that I missed in undergrad due to requirements. However, it delayed me from learning hard lessons in the real world that probably would have benefited me more. From a financial standpoint, I don't think an MSCS is worth it, even if its free, because you'll come out ahead with more years of real-world experience and an additional year(s) of salary as a software engineer.

3.) Start something of your own - YES. Do it. But do it when you have a solid group of friends that are willing to take the plunge with you and an idea that you are confident in (have vetted through customer development or some other means). I did it when I was 24 or so, first as a contractor and then launching several products. Working as a contractor allowed me the freedom to travel through South America, which was literally the best experience of my life. My attempts to start a company were not as successful... I got scared by my dwindling bank account, was unsure of whether the idea would work and hastily got a job. BUT, my cofounder stuck with it, found another cofounder and is now running a multi-million dollar company. Thus, my advice to do it, but when you're good and ready, committed, and have friends that are 100% bought in.

As for other advice, I think the biggest thing I learned in my 20's is that sometimes you've gotta stick it out through the tough times. Without going into too much detail, I passed on several opportunities that would have dramatically changed my life, largely because of my own stubbornness, arrogance, and view that I was too good to be stuck doing work that I felt was beneath me. I'd echo the comment about "pick one thing and get really good at it," but I would disagree that you need to "do it for the love of doing it." Sometimes you're not going to love it. My friends/acquaintances that took calculated risks, and kept going where others wouldn't were the ones who ended up on the cover of Forbes (literally).

Ask HN: How do I start an analytics consulting company?
6 points by tixocloud  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
codezero 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is definitely some demand for consulting, but it depends on a lot of factors.

Caveat: I work at an analytics company, and have interacted with lots of consultants and agencies.

Agencies are by far more common than individual freelance consultants.

The freelance consultants I've interacted with are hyper focused on some specific niche like Google Analytics and/or Adwords.

All the niche focused people tend to have niche certifications, like GA or Omniture. These certifications are good if you only want to target specific customers/tools, but worse than that, in my experience people with these certifications refuse to work outside of the box they are trained in.

Freelance people tend to take a different approach of being the jack-of-all-trades who makes all things better. Improve SEO, improve landing page conversion, improve retention etc... using lots of tools and being quantitative.

I do not know how they market themselves to others, but the few I've interacted with have pretty solid blogs and have built a corpus of what appears to be knowledge of the field.

To external people looking to hire a freelancer this probably looks pretty good.

So, depending on which route you want to go, focused on some specific thing (whether it's the tool, or the vertical), or broader "make everything good" approach, you'll want to do different things.

Your best bet is to find a friend/colleague who needs this service, and offer it to them at a very low rate to let you test the waters, and to validate you. Once you have this, you an start building case studies and showcasing how your work has helped others.

rcavezza 1 day ago 0 replies      
Step 1 is to find a client. Talk to the large and small companies you've worked for, and see if there are any large problems that they haven't been able to solve.

You only need 1 client to get started, and you can use them to springboard you to more. The demand doesn't matter if you can't find one client.

Do this first, and then worry about client 2 after you get client 1.

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