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5 points by max0563  3 hours ago   3 comments top 2
FlyingLawnmower 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I can't seem to complete the stripe checkout either. I would love to make use of this service!
tiagobraw 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Tried to use your service but I got a internal server error after checking out with stripe.
Ask HN: Which startups are working on solving the housing crisis/urbanization?
6 points by philippnagel  10 hours ago   4 comments top
brudgers 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Housing and other real-estate development projects require much more money than moves around the startup ecosystem and such projects don't offer the sort of returns that those investors typically seek. Throw a billion dollars at an active urban real-estate market and maybe it moves a little and maybe it provides a low teens internal rate of return. There aren't unicorns in real-estate. It's a place where pension funds and insurance companies park assets for the term of fifteen and thirty year mortgages by backing project types with track records, e.g. Class A office space.

To put it another way, adding a 1000 rental units in a place like San Francisco at an affordable $200,000 each (as if it were possible) requires two hundred million dollars in funding and would take four or five years for acquisition, entitlement, construction and occupancy under the best of circumstances. Rent them out at $3000 per month and the income is $36,000,000 a year. After ten years or so, assuming that the market doesn't go south, there's the potential for a pretty good return...but those just ain't startup numbers and venture capital timelines.

And that's just a few units in one local market. At scale the amount of capital required is vast.

Ask HN: If countries were public companies, in which ones would you invest?
4 points by pedrodelfino  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
gesman 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Buy USA short term (till summer 2016, market poised to up)


2. Buy Gold (long term)


3. Buy Bitcoins (long term)

OR (if force to trade in countries longer term)

4. Buy 2017 LEAP Puts on China and Greece.

kasey_junk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is essentially what forex & treasuries are. That is, this is a very common problem already solved by the markets.
Ask HN: Why does S3 still not support append?
4 points by whatnotests  8 hours ago   5 comments top 3
codeonfire 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think it has a traditional filesystem. It probably just writes all puts sequentially as fast as possible and stores the location and then replicates. The easiest way to append would be to read the object, append, and then write to a new object. If they did that internally there would be no transfer out and no revenue although they could probably charge for the internal expense. Another reason is that people would probably think that appends are no big deal and try to append continuously to multi-gigabyte files. If this is the case then it is best to let the client handle appends where costs are out in the open.
mailslot 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Google Cloud Storage does not support append. Their docs: "... you cannot make incremental changes to objects, such as append operations or truncate operations."
difosfor 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I mostly miss a MoveObject operation to rename files myself, but I guess they are keeping things simple and scalable etc. on their end and requiring us to work around it with the existing lower level operations.
Ask HN: What non-computer activities do you do?
8 points by usefulservices  8 hours ago   24 comments top 18
freshrap6 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Cooking. You can cook for yourself or others. You can make simple or complex things. You can change recipes to fit your liking and get creative and come up with new things. And at the end, you get to eat it.
thenipper 5 hours ago 0 replies      
My friends and I play a lot of boardgames/role playing games. I know it's playing to a stereotype but it's a fun way to get together.

Sometimes I've done homebrewing. It's something that is reasonable affordable to do at home. There is a strong community aspect to it and at the end you get beer! Plus you can fiddle a lot with different variables.

olegious 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Jiu Jitsu (aka Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) is a great physical activity with a very strong community, all the BJJ gyms I've ever trained at had a very supportive structure where the coaches and advanced students really helped out the beginners.
theWold 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Stained Glass Making (if you find a good shop) can be a close knit group of people and help you get good. I found it very easy to pick up it just requires a steady hand, and a good eye to figure out what piece to cut form where in the glass.

Gardening is also something I enjoy. Learning about plants and keeping them healthy year round. It is very satisfying to have a harvest of your own plant (I grow a decent sized Tabasco pepper plant.) Though this turns into a more solo task unless you do it in a community garden or something like that.

cweagans 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What's a non-computer activity? :P

I cook, I exercise, I play video games (PS4. That's not a computer, right? :P )

japhyr 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I live in southeast Alaska, so I run in the woods with bears. I run two or three times a week, and I usually don't see any animals. But once in a while, probably 20 or 30 times in the last ten years, I run into a bear on the trail. The possibility of that kind of encounter makes every run a chance to disconnect from day-to-day concerns in a meaningful way. I also volunteer with a local mountain rescue group, which is interesting and extremely fulfilling.

But most of the time I'm either at work or at home with my family. If you're looking for something to do I'd encourage you to find some kind of exercise that you truly enjoy no matter what other people think, and try to find some volunteer project you can give yourself to on a regular basis.

avitzurel 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I always say I am an aspiring endurance athlete.

I swim-bike-run (not often in the same order except in events).

Strava is the athletes Github :)


patrickfl 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I do a lot of casual hybrid biking (road / light trails) we have a lot of farms around my house so thats a lot of fun.

Also some light woodworking which is always fun. Building a lot of stuff out of re-claimed wood, pallets etc its a lot of fun.

Mostly computers are my job and my hobby. When I'm not working on mar-tech stuff I like to build PCs, electronics, etc. Right now I'm testing all the USB cables in my house to see which ones are crap.

But most of all when I'm not working I like to hang out with my 4 year old son :) I'm teaching him computers, programming, handyman stuff, riding his bike (just took off training wheels).

kat 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Knitting? It can be cheap (as opposed to stained glass which I didn't know was expensive?!) and knitting groups are very friendly, social, helpful, and encouraging. I think you will always find people doing activities better than you, but all the knitters/crocheters I've ever met are willing to stop and explain things to beginners, or at the very least commiserate over mistakes. Despite the old-lady stereotype, all the knitting groups in different cities I've attended have been all ages and all abilities.
andrewstuart 7 hours ago 0 replies      
>>One thing that often turns me off is seeing others which do that activity for quite some time and are already good at it (I'm 35 years old), while I'm just starting and seem incapable in comparison.

Be the best person you can be and try (it's very hard) to stop comparing yourself. How can you be anything more than your best? Do it because its good for you or you enjoy it, not because you are awesome or not awesome at it.

atmosx 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The sports that excite me more than anything else I do are:

- Snowboarding (adrenaline rush)

- Racing[1] (again adrenaline rush)

That said, in order perform in both sports, you have to be fit, which means running/gym on a regular basis.

[1] My car is a Lotus S2, 175 bhp. with various additions (exhaust, quickshift, etc.). I wouldn't change that car for anything.

cdnsteve 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Squash is my new favorite thing. It's a fantastic high energy workout for the mind and body. You can do an hour session and that's all you need. Perfect partner game.

Snowboarding, although I've been doing it for so long I'm bored of it.

Backcountry camping and canoeing is fun, whitewater kayaking and fishing.

madengr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Fencing. Besides the fact that sword fighting is fun, it should help my brain and reflex as I age; 44 now.
tmaly 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I installed hardwood floors at my place. It was easier than I thought.
brudgers 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Parenting and refereeing soccer.
eecks 4 hours ago 0 replies      
innertracks 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Argentine Tango!
crispytx 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What is a way of making residual income with $5K a month?
92 points by hanyoon  19 hours ago   67 comments top 28
buro9 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Go to a local dentist, look at how they do things like X-Rays.

What you will find is that they pay GBP 20k+ for an X-Ray machine that connects via USB Dongle to an old Windows machine... really old.

You'll also find that all of their equipment is old copies of Windows, in dusty long-unsupported equipment.

Sell a service, that virtualises all of this and that you manage. Charge them GBP 250 per month for it, on top of any capital expenditure up to GBP 3k for the host server (probably on-site as a Dentist shouldn't go down when an internet connection goes down).

Now go round the other dentists in the area and repeat until you have 20 dentists on-board.

You now have GBP 5k per month in residual income, for hardware that will take minimal effort to support, and for images of Windows taken from existing machines that are now backed-up.

The lesson here: You're probably looking for some complex and advanced solution that you can automate to great fortune!... but actually there's a lot of money just begging to be given to people who solve the simplest stuff in fields where the computing skill is very very low but the expectations of computing and value from it is very high.

Your profit exists in that space. No-one is doing the simple stuff in those fields.

Other ideas: Beauty/Hair Salon booking systems that work inside the hairdresser and whose web and automated phone system actually works too (Twilio + Google Apps (for Calendar and Google Contacts) + a website will do this with medium effort - it's a small integration project).

The other lesson here: It's not doing stuff that is hard, but selling it.

Guest192038 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not work backwards and start making sales before you have stock, so you know if the business is possible, and if so, what kind of margins you're working with to pay for advertising, inventory, fullfilling orders, packing, shipping, wages, rent, etc?

For example, setup your online store and buy your Facebook ad campaign for teen girls, and try to sell them the Justin Beiber case that you could potentially order from China. When they go through the order process, inform them it's 'out of stock', and flag a potential sale in your database. Now, analyze the numbers, look at how much your ad campaign costed, how many potential sales you generated, how much it would cost to order those actual cases from China, how much it would cost to ship them, etc, and see if the business makes sense. If so, start with a small batch of inventory as you said, you'll get more experience with the entire process, any hidden costs or time involved you overlooked, and go from there.

will_pseudonym 18 hours ago 3 replies      
-please put up an email address in your profile if you want people to contact you. And trust me--if you're starting a business, email just became your new best friend.

-read everything @patio11 has ever written. Use your brain and research ability to understand his wisdom. Ignore this advice at your own peril.

-start high end markets first. Better margins, better customers.

-think about what products suck! Talk to affluent friends, ask them that question. If you don't have affluent friends, go make them. Your life and this endeavor will be amazing if you do. Trust me on this. Just make sure they're good people. If you can't tell the difference, that's your side job. Learn how to tell the difference.

-bite your tongue. I'm serious, literally bite it. Listen to what ppl are telling you--it could be your next product! Biting your tongue is like a phones mute button. You should be using both to become a much better listener. I started an interruption/swearing jar with my fianc to break myself of those habits faster. It's tough but super rewarding.

-learn sales. Frank bettger (how I raised myself from failure to success in selling). Dale Carnegie (how to win friends and influence people).

-improve yourself. Sleep 8-9 hours. If you use an alarm clock you're doing life wrong :D, diet (quality and quantity. Whole > processed * 1000. no sugar.) exercise. Move fast, lift heavy things. Sign up for Charlie Hoehn's anti anxiety course. Assuming you're a guy, check out The Mating Grounds and Helping Joe. They'll help you improve your life immeasurably. Sign up for talk therapy. If strapped for cash, group therapy is very effective and inexpensive.

-pay attention to the world around you. The problems to solve will present themselves.

-Don't force anything. It'll hurt to get the round peg into the square hole, and you might lose a finger in the process. NB: Your finger is your happiness.

-cut out negative people, but don't create a Hooli yes-man echo chamber.

-watch randy Pausch - the last lecture. And Randy Pausch - time management.

-email if you need help! I'm an extremely generous person.

socialist_coder 18 hours ago 2 replies      
The reason you are getting down voted is because of the wording in your title. "Sure-fire" invokes bullshit get rich quick schemes, the opposite of what the "entrepreneurial spirit" is about.

If there was a sure fire way to generate $5k profit monthly, everyone would do it, and then it would not be profitable anymore. That's just basic market equilibrium.

If you really just want some ideas, don't use the "sure-fire" language.

olivierduval 18 hours ago 2 replies      
- "invest $1K in inventory" => no, start with orders THEN buy what's ordered...

- "Justin Beiber case" => warning: you can't use people (or pictures or cartoon or...) images like that... and the rights can be pretty high

- "$1 cases for ~$10" => didn't you forget taxes, delivery, lost,... business is not: sell $10 - buy $1 = profit $9

Well... I think you should take a look at the business side

MarkCole 18 hours ago 0 replies      
If someone had a "sure-fire way" of making an extra $5k a month, I don't think they would be keen to share them.

In my opinion the case market is pretty saturated, and it's a hit or a miss about whether you get anywhere with it, or just lose your money. You say with targeted FB ads you can do it, but you need to get one customer for every $9 you spend, that's not a lot.

If you're looking to start a business, I'd highly suggest building/selling something that you can sell for much higher than $10. More in the region of $100 - $500. The plus side of this if you need to make fewer sales to reach your target.

You have skills that could make you an extra $5k a month and more, that would be much easier than peddling cheap phone cases. Take on additional consulting project for example?

Or optionally, follow the advice of many financial bloggers and simply cut your outgoings to prevent the living paycheck-to-paycheck situation.

diverted247 18 hours ago 2 replies      
At the start of every month, buy $350 of the S&P500. At year 40, you should have over $1M and at year 50 over $2M.


mgirdley 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I see this done all the time:

Build websites for a couple dozen clients. Charge hosting fees and maintenance each month to keep sites live.

Marking up AWS hosting to $50 / mth and charging some hourly here and there at $100 / hr adds up quickly.

onion2k 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't this what the whole entrepreneurial spirit is about?


"Entrepreneurial spirit" is abut identifying a problem that people have and providing a solution it, and then building a sustainable business around that solution. It's not just cobbling together something so you can cash in.

Even though the case market is saturated, with targeted ads I'm thinking it would be possible.

The first thing you should do is research the cost of those adverts. Highly targeted adverts are valuable, and consequently they're expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if an ad targeting young women with an interest in Justin Beiber on Facebook will cost upwards of $2 each time someone clicks, so you'll be needing a to get upwards of a 20% conversion ratio just to cover the $10 you're planning to charge, and that's before any other costs. That's not a sustainable business.

johnorourke 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Business is hard. Anything of value takes effort and time. Read "The Lean Startup" and "The 4 hour work week". And whatever you do, don't build a website - a website is not a business. Start with eBay, then try something like Shopify once things get better, and spend your money testing ideas and assumptions.
Kiro 18 hours ago 1 reply      
What's up with the edit? You can't downvote submissions (afaik?) so what are you referring to?
someone12345125 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"Even though the case market is saturated, with targeted ads I'm thinking it would be possible." I spent a bit of time in this market years ago... YEARS Ago... Don't enter it. Your thoughts that targeted ads will work prove to me that you're not actually that knowledgeable in digital marketing. If you think that you're going to discover some magic formula to sell these cases that all of the cell phone case creators (including the phone manufacturers) in addition to amazon and much more haven't done and with an unbranded no name business and phone - you're fucking wrong.
GFischer 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Based on your skillset, and some suggestions posted here, one possibility to generate recurring revenue would be to leverage your "highly targeted marketing" abilities and offer them to existing merchants, instead of trying to learn to do it yourself.

You could either resell / drop ship, or (better IMO) partner with the merchants, maybe on a commision basis? (no upfront cost for them, recurring revenue for you).

mipapage 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Your idea is somewhat like Hawkers Sunglasses here in Spain. If you can read Spanish, check this out it is packed full of what you are trying to do, except they made way more money: http://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/2015-04-06/hawkers-...
sireat 16 hours ago 0 replies      
You sound naive but hopefully well intentioned.

You need an edge, I do not think your skills in making a modern website are enough of an edge (when eBay and Amazon already make purchasing very easy) when it comes to selling products.

If you do not have an edge you need to find a rising tide (from rising tide lifts all boats). At this stage Justin Bieber or phone cases are not a rising tide.

Let me give you an example of an edge:

In 2000 before the first internet bubble popped my Japanese-American friend made $3k net monthly selling hentai DVD boxes on Yahoo Japan.

How did he do it? I hooked him up with a distributor in Florida who was dumping a large quantity of $49.95 retail price 3DVD hentai boxes for $7-8ea if taken in quantity 100+.

My friend sold them for $90 each on Yahoo Japan and he sold about one a day.

So why did this arbitrage work so well?

Because of 2-punch, my access to the liquidator and my friend's access to Yahoo Japan and realization that $90 for average hentai series without pixelation would be a good deal in Japan (surely breaking a few decency laws in Japan).

It was the realization that the Japanese release of the DVD was censored and the American was not was what gave the extra pricing power.

By comparison my US based anime store sold only a few copies at $20-30 in US because it was a very average series.

So theoretically my Japanese friend could have made money even buying at American retail and selling in Japan albeit the risks would have been greater.

I think Yahoo Japan cracked down on this and also the low price DVDs also dissappeared.

Another story: There was a kid from Australia here on HN a few years ago who made very good money in mid 2005-6 selling imitation iPods (buying wholesale in China) on eBay. He was not misrepresenting them as iPods but people though they were. Eventually Apple enforcement got stronger + Chinese sellers started selling them themselves and the business dried up.

His edge was the rising boat of people still clamoring for iPods pre smart phones + average buyers confusion that iPod was not a generic term.

This is Economics 101 whenever there is a huge value capture, there will be new entrants in the market.

The darker side is tha often the value capture comes from breaking a law somewhere. You need to ask yourself whether you can live with this.

floydax 16 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone that tried a similar idea with imported phone cases I won't recommend this path at all. It can be possible, but there are several challenges with this market. There is too much competition, the amount of stores and private sellers that exist will crush the profit margin and some of these private sellers aren't paying any taxes at all.

Another major challenge is the hundreds of devices and colors that exist and that you will have to stock in order to fullfil the orders on a timely manner.

Finding reliable suppliers is also a challenge, I've had a few experiences with chinese suppliers that I've found on Alibaba and they weren't the best. Inconsistent product quality, incorrect models\amounts shipped, lack of proper invoicing which made me have some issues with customs along with additional fees.

I tried some targeted ads with several groups, but it didn't help.

jackcosgrove 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Buy a couple duplex properties in an inexpensive midwestern or southern state. You'll have to save up some money to do this, and depending on that amount your margins may be nonexistent. Being a landlord is a lot less work than running a business and far less speculative, and the profit margins show it. But you asked about income, not profit.
mod 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that the vast majority of the comments think you want to earn $5k/month, not that you want advice on how to invest $5k/month into your own business.

The wording is unclear--I had to re-read your title to understand that when I entered the thread.

lumberjack 18 hours ago 0 replies      
2M in rentable real estate should do it.
reboog711 14 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want a sure fire way..

Put 3 million in an stock market index fund. In most years you will get at least a 2% increase, which is $60K (or $5K a month).

Getting the initial capital for this is easier said than done.

alinhan 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I have another idea for a product that you could import and sell, instead of phone cases from China.

I don't know how to contact you directly, so maybe you can drop me an email. My email address is: my HN username at yahoo dot com.

PlzSnow 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm a bit horrified at the naivety of this post. I think the best thing you can do is just try it, with the presumption it will fail. Then learn the lessons why it didn't work and try and try again.

At some point you will realise that the notion there's a "sure-fire way to $5K" is completely absurd.

Some random notes on your idea anyway:

- No-one buys from independent websites, only Amazon, eBay, etsy etc

- You will get no traffic to your website

- Phone cases are a commodity, there is no chance you can charge higher than Amazon

- Buying Facebook traffic to sell $10 items doesn't work economically

- Justin Beiber will close down your website with cease and desist

- You will end up with a 1000 cases that you can't even sell for 99c

- The real money is in value-added high-price items, or in selling services

pc86 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> cheap high quality

Pick one.

circlefavshape 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"Don't get whats with all the downvotes"

You are asking a pretty daft question. There is no sure-fire way of making a residual income

gambiting 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Like.....absolutely surefire? I can only think of one - borrow $$$, buy a large warehouse/commercial building in a popular part of town, pay it off within 5-10 years either by renting it out/running a business that at least pays for the loan payments, then once it's paid off just rent it out - if it's large enough you will easily get residual income of $5k/month or more. That's like the only guaranteed way with >90% chance of happening. Anything else is a much larger risk and depends on you knowing how to run a company.
walkbmc 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Kudos i say, Ive always wanted to quit my job and start/build a business!!
chillydawg 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Get a job that pays $5k/mo?
Silhouette 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Generating $5K/month in revenues is a respectable achievement for a new business. It's more traction than many new businesses will ever achieve, and of course most new businesses will fail.

If you're talking about spending $5K/month in costs to run your business, and then presumably on top of that the value of the time that you and your friends are putting in, then you need way more than $5K/month in revenues to make a significant profit.

If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, as others have said, a lot of the assumptions implicit in your post are wildly unrealistic.

Ask HN: Where did you learn about stock market/exchanges?
7 points by zuck9  10 hours ago   4 comments top 4
whatok 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Any startup related equity or options won't really be covered by this but here's a great resource on economics:


The startup stuff has been covered quite extensively here in other threads.

baccredited 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Scott Adams Financial Advicehttps://www.mattcutts.com/blog/scott-adams-financial-advice/

Getting Rich: from Zero to Hero in One Blog Posthttp://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/22/getting-rich-from-...

I recommend not thinking about stock options until you have an offer on the table that includes them.

iends 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A good book on stock markets and exchanges is called "Trading and Exchanges" by Larry Harris. I'm not sure this is exactly what you're looking for though, as it's more how everything works. You might want to pair this book with something on personal finance.
sciencesama 10 hours ago 0 replies      
reddit plz.
Kerf Array language and database in one
2 points by eggy  12 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: What book did you use to teach your children math?
5 points by sanoli  16 hours ago   7 comments top 4
lorenzorhoades 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Khan academy is a great resource for your child to learn math. It was actually started with the realization that kids like to learn at there own pace, not being waited on by a tutor or teacher for them to understand the subject.
tmaly 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I started with this one http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Gentle-Revolution-Series/dp... I liked the dots concept. My daughter is only 2 but she can count to 40 in English and 20 in French. She can do basic addition using the counting method.
heisenstalt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
it doesn't matter. at the basic level, solved domain -- all that matters is that they do problems
thejteam 12 hours ago 1 reply      
We used Singapore Math and really liked it. I think of it as having all the good parts of Common Core (an emphasis on abstract thought) but without all of the crazy parts.
Ask HN: Can I have heterogenous lists in a Lisp while preserving type inference?
20 points by urs2102  1 day ago   30 comments top 9
DonaldFisk 1 day ago 1 reply      
You want a statically typed Lisp dialect?

Why don't you just declare your list, say, x, as having type (List Any) where Any is the most general type? (car x) would then have type Any at compile time (i.e you don't know its type), so you can't take its square root or cons it onto a list of type (List Int), but you could still print it or cons it onto another list of type (List Any).

(List Any) then has to be distinct from (List ?x) where ?x is an undetermined type. If y is of type (List ?x) and your function contains (sqrt (car y)), you can infer that ?x is a numeric type and y is a list containing only that type of elements.

justin_vanw 1 day ago 1 reply      
It depends on the implementation, but even if you have proper type inference, I don't understand how it would help with a heterogenous list, since it's the heterogenous nature that will prevent optimization anyway, even if you knew exactly what the types were.

Most lisps, and certainly common lisp, do not depend on type inference for correct behavior in any way, as they are fundamentally strongly but dynamically typed (like Python). The reason for type inference in Lisps is generally for optimization, where knowing that an array is of type X lets you compile X-specific code for functions that take arrays of type X, and to allow efficient memory layout, where your array is made up of contiguous X objects, rather than storing an array of pointers to X objects, and all the cache missing and so on that this causes (as well as overhead of allocating space for the pointers). Just for completeness, I am saying that in the absence of type information, arrays are always actually arrays of pointers.

So lists are always made up of cons cells which contain pointers, so one optimization is out regardless (it is possible that primative types like int or float would be packed into the cons cell itself, but most implementations would achieve this by some kind of bit tagging rather than type information being 'known'). The other optimization is out because it would likely be equivalent to do dispatch via the usual method for untyped objects rather than trying to do somehow use the type information.

sjayasinghe 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not exactly sure. I think they may be at odds. Scala can handle AnyTypes in lists, but I think you have to decide whether you want compile time type checking or run time dynamic type checking as from my knowledge you can't have heterogenous lists in languages like OCaml (and from the little I know of Haskell, Haskell as well).
brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps it could infer statically typed tuples from heterogeneous types and then apply list semantics to the operations? If the default is immutability, then all lists can be treated that way heterogeneous or not.

SMLNJ and other Hindley-Milner based type inferring languages are good at inferring tuples at compile time so there's probably a little prior art.

gosub 1 day ago 0 replies      
could be something like this (with some sugar)?

 data Cons a b = Nil | ConsCell a b cons = ConsCell car Nil = error car (ConsCell a b) = a cdr Nil = error cdr (ConsCell a b) = b mylist = cons 'a' $ cons True $ cons "hello" Nil mylist :: Cons Char (Cons Bool (Cons [Char] (Cons a b)))

lmm 1 day ago 0 replies      
AIUI you can't have HLists in languages without higher-kinded types, and H-M becomes incomplete in that case.
mveety 1 day ago 0 replies      
The actual elements of the lists are typeless basically. The easiest way to do this is that each car of a cons cell is just a pointer to a value (actually both are).Many lisps use tagged pointers where the tag stores the value or even each variable could be a struct with the type and value.
kazinator 1 day ago 1 reply      
> can't figure out what the type of (car '(x y z))

What? (quote (x y z)) is a constant expression denoting the value (x y z). We know statically that its car is x, of symbol type.

personjerry 1 day ago 2 replies      
Would this perhaps be a better question for StackOverflow?
Ask HN: What do you guys think about Shark Tank (the TV program from abc)?
5 points by pedrodelfino  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
rabidonrails 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are good lessons to be learned from Shark Tank. I highly recommend checking out James Altucher's article about it: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2012/02/ten-lessons-i-learned-f...
eecks 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I like it for its entertainment value
staunch 21 hours ago 1 reply      
It's encouraging people to start their own businesses, which is a great thing. The quality is terrible though, so the lessons people take from it are mostly wrong.
Ask HN: Does this genetic testing (ie, 23andMe) service exist?
5 points by belltyler  1 day ago   7 comments top 7
bordercases 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Not with any reasonable accuracy for most traits - yet. There are both many to one and one to one relationships for genes to phenotype. Add in continuous/fuzzy/probabilistic measures and you get an explosion for the total set (although some subcollection might be tractable with data.)

Observationally some traits are more straightforward. Skin color, IQ and and height give us an unweighted average as the expected value for the offspring, with the height of either parent setting bounds on the variance. But that isn't news if your service can be replaced by SAT scores and simply taking a look in the mirror.

It's a good idea though.

brudgers 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I carry genes for brown eyes and blue eyes. My eyes are brown. A child with a blue eyed partner may have brown or blue eyes depending on which of my genes it gets. Most things are not as simple as eye color but even if they were all binary, the combinatorics are so massive that a composite description of a child based on their parents would be a total fabrication.
jaredsohn 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Some other variations:

* Make your (genetic data) available to algorithms to use as criteria within a dating app for people looking to meet someone that they might want to have children with.

* Similar but use it for helping women find sperm donors (although it wouldn't surprise me if this already exists.)

kleer001 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be curious as to the costs involved in creating a business from scratch that mirrors 23andMe's functionality with regards to design, marketing, legal, and scaled PCR.

I suspect it's a big chuck of change as they got $4 million from Google back in the beginning.

They do have long legal coat tails, so it might be indeed available business real estate for the intrepid.

notahacker 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I find it hard to believe there isn't a huge market for this even if the results are highly questionable...
hanniabu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Quite interesting. I don't believe so, or at least I haven't heard of this.

23andMe can probably easily pivot to this area, but that hasn't stopped competitors in other fields that were dominated at the time. Plus this area is still pretty young and the market still has a lot of room for growth.

samfisher83 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Does some want to create the next Nate Grey ?
Ask HN: What was your best passive income in 2015?
119 points by ca98am79  3 days ago   114 comments top 30
DizzyDoo 3 days ago 3 replies      
I released a small computer puzzle game based on finite state automata called The Cat Machine[0] back in August, which still steadily sells copies, accompanied with bigger spikes when a Steam sale comes around. From what I hear, the 'long tail' after release goes on for some years, which I believe since back in 2009/2010 I wrote a number of Flash games and I still get a monthly Paypal of about $5 from them. Steam is a bit healthier than the Flash marketplace nowadays.

[0] http://store.steampowered.com/app/386900

apdinin 3 days ago 5 replies      
During my day job I run a full-time startup, but, as a weekend hack a couple years ago, I built an automated email sales tool called Autopest (https://autopest.com). I've never done any promotion for it, but it keeps growing on its own organically via word-of-mouth.

About a year and a half ago I mentioned Autopest in an HN thread titled "Ask HN: How to start earning $500/month in passive income in next 12-18 months?" Since then, it keeps getting featured in Reddit and Quora lists for "best growth hacking tools" and "best sales hacks," and I've also seen it popup on sites like Inc.com and LifeHacker.

I guess Autopest isn't technically passive in the sense that every few months I code a new feature or two based on user feedback, but I also go months without touching it, and more people just keep signing up.

P.S. Here's the original HN thread... some good links to other passive income projects as well: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8246255

dangrossman 3 days ago 2 replies      
Improvely (https://www.improvely.com) and W3Counter (https://www.w3counter.com) have grown to $45,000 MRR.

W3Counter is completely passive -- no new code or features in over a year, no customer support load, autoscaling frontend (EC2) and backend (Aurora). Improvely gets feature updates a few times a year and has some light e-mail support load.

I also added a single banner ad to each of my open source projects' documentation sites, and that's added ~$200/month via AdSense. Developers are surprisingly lucrative targets for advertisers I guess.

ddgflorida 1 day ago 1 reply      
ConvertCsv.com (http://convertcsv.com) brings me in $600-$800 a month just on google ads and one recent affiliate link. The site converts delimited data into different formats. Written completely in HTML and JavaScript. It's been out there for several years and has steadily increased in traffic.
robinhoode 3 days ago 6 replies      
Is anyone doing old-fashion landlording these days? I'm trying to break into that space, but I have no idea what I'm doing and could use some advice from someone who's done it before.
ggambetta 3 days ago 4 replies      
My novel -- in English http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QPBYGFI and Spanish http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I1EU1Q0

Sells a couple Kindle copies per week. In terms of actual income, it's negligible. The feedback has been unanimously positive, so my problem is to get it in the hands of as many people as I can. Therefore, if you want the epub/mobi files, just message me (see bio) and I'll be happy to send them :)

pedrokost 3 days ago 1 reply      
A very simple website which does the maths for `today() + N.days` for you.


Total earnings: 7.35EUR in total from Google Ads

turley 3 days ago 1 reply      
https://www.ottopost.com/ - a simple Instagram postcard printing service.

I created it as an alternative to the many printing services that require a dedicated app. OttoPost doesn't require an app since it just searches for your new Instagram photos and prints automatically (that's configurable).

Not exactly world-changing, but definitely something hands-off at this point and better than nothing :)

coupdetaco 3 days ago 4 replies      
Sperm donation, 1k/month and I have to go in twice a week.
panorama 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote a book that helps junior developers (e.g. bootcamp grads) land jobs: https://kokev.in/hired-fast

Decent income in 4 figures, but I didn't do it for the money (it took me hundreds of hours from start to finish). However it's a great feeling when you go out for dinner, check your email, and a new purchase essentially pays for dinner right then and there :P.

someotheridiot 3 days ago 0 replies      
https://rebrickable.com - A LEGO database that shows you which sets you can build from your existing collection, also includes thousands of fan-submitted designs.

Although at the moment it is far from passive (probably spend more time on it than my full time job), but it can be left alone for a little while and still generate income.

twelvenmonkeys 3 days ago 0 replies      
My passive income for 2015 was (http://kihi.io) a VPS / cloud server provider for coreos, atomic, shit like that.

Netted me enough income to pay for the data center hosting and a few starbucks coffees per month for myself.

It's not much, but it essentially gives me a free dev area with a ton of computing power for me to roam free.

andy 3 days ago 1 reply      
-Advertising affiliate offers from Convert2media. ($1496 profit so far this month)

-Adsense/Lifestreetmedia on my Pirates FB app (Adsense: $29 this month. Lifestreetmedia: $47 this month) http://greenrobot.com/pirates

-Mopub, Inmobi and Facebook ads on my iOS and Android apps ($14 from Mopub this month)

mherrmann 3 days ago 1 reply      
I co-founded a company developing QA automation software in 2012. Worked on it full-time until 2014. Had an EU grant covering our costs during that period. In 2015, I invested about 200h into it (mostly answering support emails and dealing with taxes) and made about 20k this year.

I've been working on an Appointment Reminder clone for a year now in my home country Austria. I will about break even in 2015, but will have an MRR of ~1500 in 2016, with low ongoing costs.

So I reckon that in 2016 I can have a pretty passive income (working 5-10hrs/week) of 2000+ per month. Not that I will work that little because I obviously still want to grow my income. And I also need to add that I've been earning considerably less in the past 3.5 years than I would have if I had stayed employed as a software engineer.

Oh, and then there's the Android app that makes about 15 per month ^^

mkaroumi 3 days ago 6 replies      
My watch company.

Started it in September and started selling before the watches were made. They're still in production and will be finished soon.

Wouldn't maybe call it "passive income", but the sales keep coming through WOM. (http://gardannewatches.com)

taprun 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote a book on pricing software [1] that sells for $50+ per copy. Not only does it supply me with passive income, but it serves as instant credibility when I introduce myself to people in the field.

[1] http://taprun.com/pricing

chown 3 days ago 0 replies      
After having it free for 2.5 years, started selling LightPaper (http://lightpaper.ashokgelal.com/) couple of months ago. I received a number of emails thanking me for continuing its development. I was pleasantly surprised how generous Mac app users are :) did much better than I expected. Honestly, I started charging it just to get better at "entrepreneurship". And so far I've learned a lot. I usually spend couple of hours every day except on weekends when I put in few extra hours.
rphlx 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Cryptocurrency mining, as it was in 2014. Although it's mostly- rather than fully- passive.
NameNickHN 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I run a couple of temporary email websites like fakeinbox.com and wegwerfemail.de. Earned a total of $3.153 with AdSense and cost about $655 (server, domains) since January 1st.
paltman 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have been running http://aminosoftware.com for almost 10 years now with a partner. It's not huge money but we do zero promotion and support amounts to a handful of emails a year and pays for my kids private school. Our customers are government and enterprise so purchase through invoice/PO paperwork but that's just a few minutes using a google docs template.
pauljohncleary 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have a chrome extension and service at http://tab.bz which has around 25k users.

It nets a tiny amount of revenue per month, I'm using it as a testing ground to keep my coding skills sharp, learn meteor and as a case study for growth hacking/product Dev

I run it off a couple of digital ocean droplets at around $10/month

reboog711 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote and self published a training course on AngularJS for Flex Developers. ( https://www.lifeafterflex.com/AngularJSForFlexDevelopers/ ). I think I released it in early 2014.

It never made the splash I had hoped; but it's staying power was lots more than any of my previous books and it still gets a bunch of downloads each month.

The series also works great as a way to convinced consulting clients I have the chops to build applications for them.

For those that want to check out the books at the lowest tier; they are pay what you want--even if it is nothing. You can use the code 'hackernews' to get 50% off the higher tiers--I think the real value of the series is in the screencasts.

I'm told the Angular pieces will work independently of the Flex parts.

thegabez 3 days ago 0 replies      
The first website I started was [SynbioSwag](http://www.synbioswag.com). My hail mary marketing strategy was to get Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory to wear one on the show, but that never happened. I usually sell a couple of shirts around Christmas though. It pays for hosting of the other sites I've built. About a year after launching SBS I learned to make web apps and built [TheMuse-Seek](http://www.themuse-seek.com) haven't made any money yet but slowly growing in users. So heres to 2016, hopefully Sheldon reads this.
watmough 3 days ago 0 replies      
My iPhone apps I created from 2009 - 2011 still provide a small income typically around $20 - $40 per month. Back in the day FemCal alone was doing $1500+ per month, with me 'full-time' on promoting and supporting it, but with little support or maintenance, apps waste away quickly.

It might be several hours to fix, retest and update documentation for even a small platform change, so just keeping up with platform changes can be significant effort if you work a full-time job, have children, other commitments etc.

The good news for me is that changes at work are affording me the opportunity to escape some process and re-open some of my side-projects again.

 * http://femcalapp.com

tarball 3 days ago 0 replies      
I design logos for Bitcoins. Designing a graphic identity can take me weeks, but this particular project is for me an experiment. The logos I design are quickly made: it takes usually 1 to 2 hour per logo. They are totally adapted to the (really) small brief I receive by mail, from total strangers. My clients usually want something smart, quickly. The small economy of those projects are for me interesting and inspiring design constraints. I use only open source fonts. Sometimes, I draw the typeface myself when I feel inspired.

Total income this year: about 5 Bitcoins http://ecogex.com/logos/

ortuna 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been running https://commits.io/ The income is passive, but I know I can do a lot more if I put more time into it.
2bluesc 3 days ago 0 replies      
My neighbor and I built https://backroad.io for easy on-demand OpenVPN servers
mbesto 3 days ago 1 reply      
Has anyone in this community had success dropshipping? Any indications of expected margins? I'm particularly looking at TV accessories.
nonotmeplease 3 days ago 1 reply      
roycehaynes 3 days ago 1 reply      
https://pareday.com - I'm making passive income off SitterCity affiliate program.
Ask HN: Is Experienced People in Software Industry Are Always Correct?
1 point by antoaravinth  13 hours ago   7 comments top 4
sarciszewski 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I frequently tell people "Don't use X" or "Y is better for this situation". Usually it's in the context of application security, where X might be JCryptCipherSimple or Y might be libsodium.

At no point do I expect people to blindly follow my advice. I expect questions, and I expect people to try to reasonably understand my answers, and if they can't, to ask more questions.

seren 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A good leader is not someone that say "use this because I say so", but someone that convinces you that is the best solution.

They should at the very least give some rationale to all their decisions/advices. With a design decision it might be hard to produce metrics and data on the spot, but they should be able to quickly draw on the whiteboard the overall architecture, with some pros and cons.

And this probably something you should do with less senior people.

eecks 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How can you be a senior engineer and only asking this question now?
colund 13 hours ago 1 reply      
No you shouldn't blindly believe what people say. You should use your brain and speak up if something sounds wrong or if you have questions. Are you from India or somewhere where this might be a cultural matter of never questioning and always abiding a superior?
Ask HN: Demand for analytics consulting for startups
2 points by tixocloud  12 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: How does Fed's rate hike affect lay people?
1 point by soham  9 hours ago   1 comment top
gesman 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Rosy prospects till mid-to-end of summer. IMHO.
Clara.io, online 3D modeling and rendering, is hiring 3D software devs
1 point by bhouston  7 hours ago   discuss
Seeking Frelancer Full-Stack Developer, 4th Jan for 20 days
1 point by Designwerk  4 hours ago   1 comment top
eecks 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not applying because I'll be working then and have no experience with Laravel. I'm interested in how much you're paying for the 20 days though.
So you seriously are crazy about star wars?
1 point by pshyco  58 minutes ago   1 comment top
williswee 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Agree --> To be frank, I think its a decent movie but not something to go crazy about.
Ask HN: What is the legality of hacking systems in lawless jurisdictions?
3 points by industriousthou  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
brudgers 12 hours ago 0 replies      

North Korea has laws. It is also a sovereign state under international law.

staunch 21 hours ago 0 replies      
IIRC U.S. citizens are always subject to U.S. law. There's no such thing as a lawless jurisdiction.

Vigilantes trying to hack ISIS probably just end up getting on NSA controlled honeypots.

Ask HN: Good programmable robot kit for teens?
51 points by fenier  2 days ago   37 comments top 24
Splines 2 days ago 3 replies      
Check out FIRST. If you're lucky a local high school or organization will already have a team that you could have them join.


It's a yearly competition and teams build a robot to compete. That robot is usually pretty big (3x3 ft. at the base, usually?). There's a kit of parts that includes a board, and the programming environment is mostly pre-configured for you.

Next year's build season kicks off early January. The stuff these kids can build in a month is pretty amazing.

playing_colours 2 days ago 5 replies      
Maybe Lego Mindstorms Ev3? [0] It's super cool and programmable with UI programmer app and PC/MAC assistance, though still with programming blocks. But I see people managed to use Python for programming it [1]

[0] http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/?domainredir=mindstorms...

[1] http://bitsandbricks.no/2014/01/19/getting-started-with-pyth...

redrobotics 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug, but...

I was frustrated by the lack of affordable, expandable walking robots, so I've been working on one of my own


Not for sale yet, but I'm starting to run workshops locally and the plan is to crowdfund in the early spring with a target price of about 70/$100. It'll work standalone but can hold a Raspberry Pi or Arduino for expandability.

I think legged/armed robots can be a lot more engaging than buggy robots, and open up some interesting avenues for creating motions and thinking about multi degree-of-freedom limbs, but things like Robosapian are just toys, and the $400 hobby robots can get boring quickly (e.g. adding a camera is difficult).

If you have access to a 3D printer there are some interesting open source robot projects at the moment - for example Poppy: https://www.poppy-project.org/ for which you can start by just building a torso

vytautask 2 days ago 0 replies      
The recent Hanselman post talks about this - http://www.hanselman.com/blog/The2015ChristmasListOfBestSTEM... . IMHO, Raspberry Pi / Arduino + addons (I believe they are called "shields") is the best thing that happened to robotics in this century...
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been involved in robotics for a long time. The thing that I find attractive is that they engage three different engineering disciplines, electrical, mechanical, and software. However, that same diversity can often dissuade a student who is interested but becomes intimidated by the steep learning curve.

The other thing about robotics is that you really need a goal, otherwise people lose interest. The HBRC started the table top challenge which was good for a variety of reasons, 1) it was approachable, 2) it needed only a table top to work, and 3) it had enough complexity (in stages) to keep people challenged. DPRG created a number of challenges as well that were similarly staged.

So first ascertain which of the three disciplines they are most likely to be successful at. And start there. Parallax offers a number of good kits which are easy to program and the Makershed has the Arduino based robots.

Second come up with a goal, an objective that you seek to accomplish. Working toward that will give you the feeling of accomplishment you need to stay interested and feel like you are going somewhere.

Third, decide on your budget and set your scale appropriately. For low budget robotics you can build robots using converted servos for motors that roll around on tables, but for higher budgets you might want to build "Magellen" robots which can navigate around outdoors. If you really want to burn money quickly I suggest starting a battlebots team :-).

VLM 2 days ago 0 replies      
ComputerCraft turtles on modded minecraft.

If you must spend money on hardware, buy them desktop upgrades, more memory or the fastest processor that'll fit in the socket (may need to upgrade BIOS first...) or a top of the line graphics card.

I think turtles are easy to program, they're in LUA and are a step above blockly type stuff. I kinda like the LUA APIs, they're not ridiculous or anything. They're simple enough that you'll get a chance to build useful larger functions / subroutines.

At least its cheap. If they throw up their hands in frustration at programming their own tunnel mining program, at least you'll find out soon and it'll be cheap. Start with building a robot smart enough to build stairs all the way down to bedrock. Extend to have it place actual stair steps and torches for light, etc.

Note that there's a subtle difference between a future-EE-teen who thinks programming robots is cool and a future-EE-teen who thinks robot hardware is cool (like motor H-bridges and gray code position encoders and sensors and generally melting solder). Obviously the latter is not going to find modded minecraft amusing. There is also the "competition robot" set which usually isn't programmable but amounts to homemade RC cars, you specifically don't want that, just mentioning it as something to look out for and avoid in the market.

joeevans1000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Makeblock is an awesome option. They are Arduino powered (and you can stack a Raspberry Pi on top of that if you want). Most importantly, it's all Creative Commons open source licensed, hardware and all. No buying into someone's patented system. Most of the other kits out there seem like a disassembled toy you're to screw together. The Makeblock kits are actually extensible and you can make anything... they even have a plans for a 3D printer from the same parts. The beams are designed to connect to Technic parts, as well. If you go to your Radio Shack (yes, many Radio Shacks are still open and continuing on) you can find these kits deeply discounted (like 25% of their original price). http://www.makeblock.cc/
bjpirt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Robot maker here so had to chime in with an obligatory plug :-)

I produce Mirobot which is designed to teach kids about everything from the engineering aspects of how it's built to programming it using a number of different methods. It's a drawing robot so you can also use it to learn about geometry and maths.

It's all open source and easy to program because it connects via WiFi which means it can all be controlled via WebSockets in your browser. There are a bunch of apps (http://apps.mirobot.io) which include some drag and drop type apps but also an app to program it with JS. But because it's all just async JSON over WebSockets (or raw sockets) you can program it in any program you like really.

It's Arduino compatible which also means you can dig in at that level too.

Check it out if you're interested: http://mirobot.io (15% off with code: XMAS15)

jcagalawan 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you have the cash, we use Turtlebots in our labs. They use ROS which can be programmed in C++, Python or LISP. There's a cheaper similar version that also uses ROS called DeepBot, but I haven't had any experience with it. It looks good from the website though and that price is hard to beat.

ROS is great as the code you write for one robot can be used on another one fairly easily. It's also gaining pretty large traction in industry with companies. I find that Raspberry Pi/Arduino route more geared towards hardware. I tried that route myself and lost interest fairly quickly.




bliti 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently developing a FOSS line of robots aimed at tweens, teens, and everything in between. They are not ready yet (work gets in the way!). I know the marketplace well. Your best bet is to go with a Parallax Boe-Bot with the Arduino instead of the Basic Stamp. The kits are high quality and cost around $150 per kit. They are durable and are extensively documented. One kit per 3 teens is the norm. Anything else will have a bunch of plastic proprietary parts that break and not be as well documented. With teens you want a solid road plan that will keep them interested without overwhelming them.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me (profile). :)

j_s 2 days ago 1 reply      
Less than 48 hours left on the $15 Humble Bundle 'Learn RPi/Arduino' ebook collection:


rogeryu 2 days ago 0 replies      

Register, and use this link to add ebooks to your personal library. I've added several books about Arduino and e.g. Python. You have to login each day, and the book can only be claimed that one day. You don't know what book will be free tomorrow, and yesterday's book is gone.

ocdtrekkie 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the DFRobotshop Rover is a pretty nice starting kit: http://www.robotshop.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=dfrobots...

It's really simple and straightforward construction, but it's also really expandable, and really standardized. The main system board is basically an Arduino with a bunch of additional parts like the motor controllers pre-included. You can drop in XBees for wireless control or what-have you, add Arduino shields, etc. The drive system is a very cheap, standard Tamiya kit as well, so it's very easy to repair/replace damaged parts.

And it's an Arduino, which means you have a programming platform that's pretty simple and exploding in popularity right now.

reportingsjr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bricktronics is pretty awesome: https://www.wayneandlayne.com/bricktronics/

It lets you add on much more advanced tools to lego robotics by way of arduinos.

Edit: I also want to add that bricktronics is open source!

skanga 2 days ago 0 replies      
We recently purchased ten Zumo robot kits from Pololu for our high school kids. They all learned a lot and solved a maze using Arduino programming.

Check out https://www.pololu.com/product/2510

entropyintheuk 2 days ago 0 replies      

Vex is definitely the highest quality stuff, you can program in C, and they have tons of competitions using this gear to get involved in.


geppy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mindstorms EV3. Hands-down, no question about it.
robotresearcher 2 days ago 0 replies      
The iRobot Create is a cheap, robust knock-about platform that has ROS drivers available. It's based on the Roomba, so it's unusually well made for a hobby robot.


Axsuul 2 days ago 0 replies      
Has anyone tried Littlebits?


panglott 2 days ago 0 replies      
A recent issue of MagPi has an issue about building RPi robots... https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/issues/38/
nycthbris 2 days ago 0 replies      
IRobot has a new hackable robot geared towards STEM education. It's basically a stripped down (read: vacuum-less) roomba you can hack on.


vitno 2 days ago 0 replies      
when I was home-schooled, my dad bought me this https://www.parallax.com/product/boe-bot-robot

It really sparked my interest in CS. I'm not saying it's the best thing out there, but there certainly is no bullshit GUI...

asfandyaar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Try building from scratch! Super fun.
Where do DevOps guys hang out?
6 points by misternyce  1 day ago   10 comments top 6
meirwah 1 day ago 2 replies      
conferences and meetups about Docker like:http://2016.dockercon.com/

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/devops

devops weekly:http://www.devopsweekly.com/

deftnerd 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is a good DevOps slack community at https://devopschat.slack.com/

You can request an invite here: https://devopschat.co/

staunch 1 day ago 1 reply      
Feel free to post to Ask HN with DevOps related questions. "DevOps" is just a newish term for something many people on HN have been doing for decades.
SanjeevSharma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Attend a DevOpsDays meeting - www.devopsdays.org.
childifchaos 20 hours ago 0 replies      
fred_is_fred 1 day ago 0 replies      
The bar.
Ask HN: How do you keep sane while developing for Android?
10 points by hn_throwaway321  1 day ago   12 comments top 6
Raed667 1 day ago 0 replies      
I developed for mobile platforms for a very short time. WindowsPhone has probably the best, most consistent tools.

Android tools, paradigms and platform-imposed choices are just ridiculous. People who have done this for a long time will be defensive because they got used to that mess.

Tl;Dr : It is 2015 and the only decent mobile platform to code on has basically no users.

thecupisblue 16 hours ago 0 replies      
1). Never experienced anything like this, and I've been on Canary version for the longest time. Also never experienced anything like this from any of my current of former colleagues. Which OS are you using? We're all on OS X.

2). IDE Questions are 99% of the time IntelliJ questions which have been asked a million times. Sometimes, it is a known bug in AS, submit feedback and it gets fixed in the next update usually.

3). Yes you can.

4). That I agree, Android is fragmented, mostly due to OEMs touching the original source in places where it shouldn't be touched. At least since L, the state has been getting better.

5). What? Really? /r/androiddev, AndroidChat.co, Android Arsenal, #android-dev .... there is so many channels to discover news and libraries one easily gets oversaturated.

FlyingLawnmower 1 day ago 0 replies      
I develop for Android using Xamarin/C# with Visual Studio. I don't have any of the IDE related issues you have, but there are a whole host of problems with Xamarin too, so the grass isn't necessarily greener on this side. Plus, Xamarin/C# are fairly pricey, even with the student discount I get.

I will say that the IDE/Environment are first class, however.

kleer001 1 day ago 2 replies      
Just out of curiosity, can anyone speak to what're the main complaints about developing for iOs, other than the well known byzantine labyrinth of actual app approval for the apple walled garden.
archimedespi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I sometimes just use subl or emacs as my editor and then use gradle and adb right from the command line.

If you wanted to get fancy, you could even write a little script that lets you rebuild on change.

Zigurd 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Android Studio is one of the worst pieces of software I've ever had to code with.

Compared to Eclipse?

Ask HN: How does Google search's subscribe to topic work?
3 points by blahsphemer  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: Industry-specific devs, your experience?
3 points by josephmx  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
RogerL 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was in defense - avionics, mostly. It was pretty great in the mid-late 90s as military aircraft were retrofitting to use GPS and digital navigation. Things got harder after most of the airframes were upgraded. I ended up doing an augmented reality thingy for the Air Force and I was able to leverage that into an industry position It's kind of dumb, but people lack imagination, and are unwilling to see a career path as evidence of any kind of skill at learning and executing if you don't have their exact set of requirements. So I lucked out in that I had essentially done the project already.

So, yes, it can be hard. Not sure about the pay in defense- you can be one of three people that know something, but with the way contracting goes I'm not sure it matters. Companies bid, supply some more or less random collection of resumes to 'prove' they have the skill set, somebody wins, they slap the cheapest people they can on the project, and so on. If you price yourself high the bid will have to be high, and the bean counters in Washington aren't going to recognize that you are the precious snowflake you know you really are ;) Probably the far better route there is as a contractor/consultant - they seemed to command arbitrarily big fees.

ramtatatam 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was starting as industry-specific, then gradually moved towards general IT so I could acquire more broad skills within dev/ops and then armed with that experience and knowledge came back to industry-specific again. I discovered there is a gap in IT knowledge within my industry - so there aren't many engineers who would posses industry-specific knowledge as well as IT skills (dev/ops + security). And that works pretty well even though there are not that many major players in this sector.
Ask HN: Diversity in Action at FB Hiring Yay or Nay?
9 points by DiversityinSV  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
raincom 1 day ago 1 reply      

Sorry to hear about the rejection. If fb/google/goldman sachs/blackstone/kkr hires a stanford mba, instead of you, it has nothing to do with you being a latino. It has everything to do with the fact that you are not a harvard/stanford MBA. If you were a harvard/stanford latino mba, they would have hired you.

Tech/VC/HB/PE/IB elite companies look for elite credentials. That's how the American system works: lack of 'culture fit'.

What is 'culture fit'? You can answer it negatively.

1. You don't have an elite mba (harvard/stanford)2. You don't have an elite undergard (hyp, s, etc)3. You don't have an elite job pedigree (you haven't worked for McKinsey, BCG, GS, etc)4. You don't have elite genes (you are not a kid of a billionaire/senator/president/dictator of Pakistan/etc)5. you are not a wealthy white (you are not a Rockefeller)

You can add many more to the list.

There was a time Stanford MBAs wanted to work for PE firms like Blackstone, KKR, etc. Now Facebook product mgmt roles attracting/recruting Stanford MBA's tells a story about how the valley has changed over the time: more routes are closed for ordinary mortals, esp if you don't want to be a programmer.

staunch 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you think wealthy Latino men with Stanford MBAs are struggling at all?

This problem is much more about class than race.

White people from poor backgrounds have the same kind of experience all the time. This is the way many companies founded by upper class people operate.

The good news is that there are plenty of meritocratic companies, or at least teams inside companies, that aren't fooled much by elite credentials. You just have to work harder than those other people to prove yourself.

Silicon Valley won't be truly diverse until more companies are founded by people from poor backgrounds. Almost all of the current ones were founded by the most elite.

argonaut 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah. Having done a few PM interviews, to an engineer like myself they do seem very very subjective and personal. Because there is no right answer, it seems to me you have to say things that the interviewer thinks is thoughtful (subjective), or reason about things in a framework that the interviewer likes, or otherwise share their opinions. Which is a huge enabler of hiring people the interviewer likes.

At least in engineering there is a right answer. I've never been rejected from an engineering position where I aced all the questions with clean code, and designed all the systems robustly (of course, this is rare, it's when you don't get everything correct that the subjective judgment in engineering interviews comes into play).

pavornyoh 1 day ago 1 reply      

I am sorry to hear you didn't get the job. Did FB give you any concrete feedback as to why they passed? There may be several factors at play here. Was it your salary requirements? How was your interactions with the group during your onsite? etc..

I am sure Facebook is looking to diversify their workforce so be more objective and look pass race (I know it is hard but try) for concrete answers as to why you didn't get the job.

Ask HN: As an employee, what kind of company do you wish existed but doesn't?
5 points by trevyn  2 days ago   6 comments top 5
urs2102 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Echoing auxym something Bell Labs like, I've had two professors Bjarne [0] and Aho [1] who both worked there, and I've always got the sense that it was just about research and building things for the sake of building them. Seems like a golden age of bright minds all together in one place. Maybe a mission of building things just for fun

(that - or maybe another business whose goal was to organize the world's information like Google - I've always like the idea of someone trying to build a new search engine today).


rfc 13 hours ago 1 reply      
For me, there are two companies I'd like to work for or build in my life time: Personalized Health Care and "moonshot" infrastructure projects (for lack of better wording).

Personalized Health Care - I'd love to work at a company that helps people be rid of diseases for an affordable cost. Ideally, we'd make big bets on understanding the genetic makeup of individuals and create drugs/therapies based on that make up. This would probably combine some interests of mine such as supercomputing, machine/deep learning, biotechnology, and a modern healthcare system to achieve this.

"Moonshot" Infrastructure - This is sort of similar to the Hyperloop stuff in a way. I think I'd really like to be part of a company that helps build the vision of what we thought it would be like when we grew up. Not necessarily flying cars but modernized & rapid transportation systems, incredible carbon-neutral buildings, robotics, etc.

Seems like my theme would be build the future I thought we'd have. Any company that contributes in a substantial way to progressing us towards something better than we had today, something meaningful, something memorable.

pshyco 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
focused on human values rather than $$$$
auxym 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a (junior) mechanical engineer, I'd like to work in a BigCo that invests in big R&D. Basically, I'd like to work in the 70s (or so).
orionblastar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would like to work for a company that seeks to treat or cure mental illnesses. In 2003 I ended up on disability due to a mental illness I developed due to too much stress. We also have disabled veterans who are also mentally ill.

When you reach a level of mental illness, you are no longer able to work anymore and nobody trusts you to do any work.

I'd like to work for a company that develops a neurochip to treat or cure mental ilnesses so mentally ill people can go back to work. A neurochip that can filter out negative thoughts and improve memory. A neurochip that can download information off the Internet and store it in your memory so that you learn faster. I figure just implant it in the frontal lobe using the lobotomy method to access the frontal lobe to avoid a surgery. But once installed it can't be removed or upgraded without causing damage. So it has to be perfected first, and any upgrades will have to be software based.

It should have Internet access to send emails and social networking using your thoughts into words. It should interface with your optic nerve system to display text and images in your vision. Even correct your vision if you have eyesight problems.

Yeah you'll basically be a cyborg, but psyche medicine doesn't work too well and turns most people into drowsy zombies, a neurochip would be the next step in treating or curing mental illnesses.

Ask HN: Will you pay 1$/month for?
29 points by tuyguntn  2 days ago   24 comments top 15
brudgers 2 days ago 2 replies      
Just some random advice from the internet:

Pricing at $1.00/month means that new customers + retained customers - non-collections = 200, $10.00/month means 20, $100.00/month means 2, and $2400/year means just one.

It's harder to acquire 200 customers than 20. It's harder to retain them. It's more work to process their payments and more costly due to per transaction fees. The channels that are used to reach such customers have to be lower cost and generally that equates with noisy -- think of app discovery for $1.00 apps in the appstores -- and $1.00 services are always directly competing with free.

I was going to say "web hosting/email", but then I realized that I wouldn't really trust a $1.00/month web hosting or email provider because at that price it doesn't suggest a sustainable business, and if it goes under after eighteen months, the pain isn't going to be worth the cost savings.

Pricing is signaling.

Good luck.

cromulent 2 days ago 3 replies      
An app where I can register peoples' birthdays.

For example: Anne, 27 Sep 2005.

Then, it emails me a month before with relevant gift suggestions from e-commerce retailers for female age 10.

For Christmas, I get a long list of everyone.

You could probably make the $1 off the affiliation links. However, I would like it to be multiple e-commerce sites, not just Amazon.

swanson 1 day ago 0 replies      
$1/month for a twice-a-month email that lists 2-3 shows/movies worth watching on Netflix/Amazon Instant. Could be new release/added or older 'gems'.

Bonus pts if it could sync up with my accounts to not recommend things I've already seen, but not required. More bonus pts if it could use my ratings for smarter recommendations.

Seems ideal to test out without writing any software -- just research and collect a list of 5-6 items and type up an email in MailChimp :)

ry_ry 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd pay $1 p/m for a regularly updated list of viable passive-income startup ideas, their potential market size, ideally all in the $1 recurring subscription range.
J_Darnley 2 days ago 0 replies      
A dead man's switch service to send out pre-composed emails to given addresses when no action has been taken in a given amount of time.

I might pay for that to send out an email revoking my PGP key in the event of my death.

MichaelBurge 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sometimes my sink get clogged up, and I have to spend a couple minutes unclogging it. I'd pay $1/month to somehow ensure that it never gets clogged again. Probably tens of millions of people would also use a solution to this.
sidthekid 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would pay $1 for a service that matches my skill level to various open source project issues on github and gives me an intro to make a PR for them.This service once stable and dependable could be sold to Comp Science depts of universities as real-world programming projects for their students.
kamphey 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd pay a dollar per month if you could track all my clients' social media in one place.

I help people on Twitter and instagram and YouTube.

Might be cool for following anyone you're a fan of on multiple platforms.

eecks 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Music, mail, tv/movies, ties
Raed667 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd pay for something that would help me manage my time. The app needs to find the sweet-spot between "inefficient" and "annoying"
tmaly 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would pay $1 a month for quick feedback on my website. Give me a quick 10 minute look and try things out and tell me what works, what is confusing etc. Sort of like customer feedback. I am sure you would have a large number of users as usability testing is expensive. There is not really a price point in the $1 range as far a I could tell.
tuananh 2 days ago 0 replies      
To low, users won't think it's sustainable.To high, they won't pay for it.
going_to_800 2 days ago 0 replies      
Haha, looking for something like this myself, but at least $20/month. I want to challenge myself in 3 months and get it to $1k...don't know if possible.

I would pay $1/month if you give me each month 10 ideas that I could build in a weekend with the potential of making $1k/month.

gadders 2 days ago 0 replies      
aswinshibu 2 days ago 0 replies      
1$ per email lead generated for sales or marketing? We do that service!
Ask HN: Hey HN, I need your advice 26 y/o visiting the US
7 points by beasTley0  1 day ago   10 comments top 4
mataniko 1 day ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately it's not viable. The H1B Visa program is extremely broken. Visas are capped yearly and run out in a few days. This happens around April.

There are a bunch of other reasons, like a preference for STEM graduates, abuse of the Visa program by big companies and more. They are all equally depressing to iterate through.

The easiest path to immigrate to the US legally is to find a good job in your home country in a company that has offices in the US, work there for at least a year and ask to relocate under the L1A/B Visa.

I went through several different Visas so feel free to ask me questions.

JSeymourATL 1 day ago 1 reply      
> What steps should I take? Where should I look at?

The US system is mindlessly, hopelessly complicated.

Here's a potential solution-- apply for permanent residency status (Green Card), then apply for a work permit (EAD) while your application is be processed > https://www.us-immigration.com/blog/applying-for-a-work-perm...

If you need a sponsor, go to the local Greek Orthodox Church-- ask who they might know that works in software. You will be amazed how well connected the Greek-American network is.

sparkling 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you came to the US with the intention to find a job (even a H1B job!) you are currently breaking the law. I would strongly advise not to apply to any companies during your US visit.

That being said: do a lot of googling on H1B and read this thread https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5150810

S4M 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am an EU citizen, so I don't know much about your chances of getting an US visa, although from what I heard and from what the other commenters say, I think they are slim. However, can you try to get a job in UK? Since you are Greek, you can go there without visa and don't require any work permit - you can try other European countries as well (here in Barcelona there are jobs that don't require to speak Spanish, I suspect there are similar jobs as well in Netherlands, and maybe Germany or Belgium.
Sex toy startup seeking investment, where do we look?
5 points by dr_swe  1 day ago   12 comments top 6
gesman 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Contact me with details.

One of my clients (i cover technical aspects) is well known sex and relationship therapist with large following and connections.

There might be an opportunity here.

cdvonstinkpot 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I've found the following people on Twitter are willing to talk & offer what they know about the industry:




exolymph 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would try pitching established companies in the same space. Incumbents often invest in newcomers in other industries -- might work here too.
rabidonrails 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why not run a kickstarter/indiegogo campaign?
borplk 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not an investor but just curious roughly how much money you need?
nextri 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm interested. Tell me more!
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