hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    26 Dec 2015 Ask
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Ask HN: Pivoting my startup, how should I submit to AngelList?
11 points by pupeno  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
mszyndel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you were not working actively on this project for last 4 years because the timing was wrong then don't talk about it. Just don't.

Inactive projects don't matter while talking about it can give an impression that you were struggling for way too long didn't get far with it.

Sidenote: please clearly explain what you're doing on top of the page (above "the fold"). Each section should be explained in writing, not just a video.

Including "for investors" section also looks incredibly weird to me...

zebra 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Describe your company in detail in https://Glycast.com/AuboutUs and do not put link to CarouselApps.com.

Or redesign CarouselApps.com and spread your new product on the homepage and move older stuff in some archive type page.

Ask HN: Tldr due to startup anxiety gf has left me, how do i get her back?
2 points by bluebluetimes  27 minutes ago   5 comments top 3
dopesavant 4 minutes ago 2 replies      
I dont know how I feel about this one. I feel she should be the one helping/supporting you through your down period and not leaving you when stuff is messed up
r2dnb 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hi mate, thanks for posting. First of all : get her back in what ? There's no point in getting her back if it's to put her in the same mess, get your life sorted first.

It sounds like you successfully identified the cause of this issue. I'll be honest with you, if you can't change the way you feel when going to work, find another job.

If I was you, I would quit my job, and after I found another one call my gf, tell her that I realize I screwed it, that I am very sorry and that I learned from my mistakes. By doing so, you have proofs that you are serious about it and she will likely come back.

Edit : But ultimately you need to understand the benefits of changing your work environment so that even if she doesn't come back you will have no regret. Keep your life above your work, consider your best interest first.

dominotw 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
many fish in the sea. let her go.
Ask HN: Useful web tools to build expressly to demo programming abilities?
3 points by votr  2 hours ago   2 comments top
gkop 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'd like a Slackbot who I can ask to submit the most recent posted link in the channel to HN.
Tell HN: Your great ideas that you won't pursue
9 points by mavsman  4 hours ago   1 comment top
benologist 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Write APIs for app store management and publishing so you can monitor and test performance of different assets and text, schedule different assets/text/prices, upload builds straight from dropbox, revert to previous builds easily, manage reviews etc, all within a nicer dashboard than app/game stores seem capable of producing.
Ask HN: Phone/conference for small global teams?
2 points by codegeek  4 hours ago   4 comments top 4
apryldelancey 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Other than what you've listed we use Google Hangouts.
dplgk 1 hour ago 0 replies      


DonMarlo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Starleaf works surprisingly good
Irishsteve 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Information you would like in one central place
2 points by scottilee  5 hours ago   1 comment top
AstroJetson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a number of things that I'm interested in from compiler and interpreter design to boating to things about the Raspberry Pi. While most of it I can find with Google, what I do is put the link and a snippet about the details and keep that in a personal wiki that I run. (Quick shout out to JSPWiki)

This lets me find things that are closer to what I want or have used before (where was that set of instructions on the Pi Sense Hat). The wiki allows me to categorize things for easier finding, but the built in search helps.

I also own books like Machinery's Handbook, ARRL Handbook (ham radio) and the CRC Handbook for quick data reference. All of that information is on the web, but the books bring it to something that is a little quicker for me to find.

Ask HN: In a difficult situation at work. Need advice
42 points by helplessdev  2 hours ago   39 comments top 25
itafroma 1 hour ago 2 replies      
1. Yes, they are allowed to do that, assuming you're an at will employee with no contract that specifies otherwise.

2. I'd give notice, citing the change in performance review and withdrawal of the promotion/raise as the cause. It's one thing to work in what appear to be horrific conditions, it's another to then be retroactively denied compensation.

The main X factor is when you give notice, and that's up to you: personally, I'd probably give notice immediately and see if the company counters with an offer to reinstate what you were promised. Otherwise, start looking for another job and give notice as soon as you get an offer.

This will certainly come up during your next job interview, so you don't want to burn any bridges or get too emotional about this (even though you have the right to, for sure):

- Be calm and factual when explaining why you're giving notice, to prevent poisoning the reference: your performance review was changed after the fact, and you were denied compensation and an advancement opportunity you were previously promised. In any situation, this is a reasonable and justified reason to leave a job.

- Do not give K as your reference. Give one of your other superiors.

- When explaining why you left your previous company during interviews, you don't want to throw them under the bus. Explain that you were looking to advance and grow as a developer, but those opportunities were not available at the previous company.

rhapsodic 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've been in a similar situation. There's nothing worth salvaging. It looks like your best option is to get out. Start looking for your next job immediately. It's easier to get hired when you're currently employed. Don't consider any counter-offers they might make. Leave quietly and professionally. As tempting as it might be to make a dramatic exit, there's no upside, in terms of your career. And take comfort in the fact that you'll probably one day look back on this as a valuable learning experience.
ScottBurson 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why haven't you quit yet?

I don't mean the question harshly or sarcastically. I'm suggesting you take a hard look at your motivations for staying even this long. I'm sure some of them are positive: you say the project interests you technically; maybe you have at least one or two co-workers you enjoy working with. But are there any negative motivations? Those could include martyrhood: a feeling that you somehow have to save this project, even though you almost certainly can't. Or, maybe you have some fear around interviewing, or are unsure you can find anything better. Or maybe just plain inertia.

If you thought that the project might somehow succeed and that you would ultimately get credit for that, that would be one thing. But in the extremely unlikely event that it does succeed, it's clear that K will get the credit; she's already moved to sideline you.

There's nothing here for you. Really. Find another job now.

ryporter 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
My advice is to try your best to deliver by the deadline. You want to be able to tell future employers (and yourself!) that you did what you could, and that you didn't bail during a final push.

After that, leave. You evidently have the ability to secure good job offers. Don't gripe about this when interviewing (it's a red flag). Just focus on moving your career forward.

jacquesm 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Mail the pastebin.com text to the boss of K, and if the result of that is not to your liking hand in your notice. Make it clear that you unconditionally request her removal or you will walk. This likely will result in you leaving the company but give her boss a chance to right the ship. If they don't then the situation is beyond your ability to influence.

If I were K's boss and unaware that this was happening (which I would consider my own failure) I would very much appreciate a heads up and I would make very sure that I'd do what is best for the company. Assuming you are telling the truth there are more than enough hand-holds in your email to verify this. Specifically the time-log and a bunch of other evidence. If your story tallies and hers does not the decision is clear. If it is a toss up you will have to leave, if hers is the one that I find more credible then you'll have to leave too.

Either way, I'd appreciate the notice and I would definitely take it serious, the project is large enough to be taken that serious.

best of luck.

lordnacho 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
I searched this page for the string "lawyer" and didn't find it yet. I hope you can see why. I would ask your lawyer about the laws about constructive dismissal in your jurisdiction, and generally what your rights are.

Ideally, you would be able to find a new workplace before suing their asses, and you would get some sort of settlement. Of course it's not a risk everyone would take, have a think about the situation. Perhaps the AWS job is still open?

I would definitely leave though. Having a person who can't code in charge of coding is a bad idea, and it can only get worse with the deadline looming. Coding is not like doing a bunch of slides, where you can suddenly cut the scope and still have something that works. (Why did I bring that up? Because if you're doing a non-coding project, you can often just chop the scope and still have something.) They've broken Brook's Law by adding people near the deadline AND they then lost those people, deservedly.

You're also being positioned for the blame, showing they simply don't know what they're doing. How are they going to deliver anything with you and an intern? The least fair thing that can happen is you and the intern produce a sub-par product, and you then get the blame. Your company loses the contract, or the bosses find some other people to do the work under a different name, and you get the boot. Sorry if I sound cynical, I just don't want you to suffer.

Osiris 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would try to focus on improving the communication and collaboration between the two teams.

I'm on the backend team with only two of us. I'm the sole REST developer. The UI team has three people. I sit with one UI developer to my right, one right behind me, and the UX designer kiddy-corner.

When features come up, ask five us talk about the requirements. The UI guys provide input on how they'd like the API to work. As we build, I ask them questions, they ask me questions. When I think I'm done, I push to a test server where they can hit on it. Sometimes they find I missed something or ask if I can add something.

In short, were referred to in the company as the "app team". UI + API is really one team with the same goal.

I would recommend coming up with ideas that you think would help move the project forward and present those to the management two levels up and try to get buy in from them. You might find yourself in an even better position if you can actually salvage the project rather than just leaving it.

clarkevans 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Sometimes it takes a time to recognize failed middle-management (tenured people can get over-promoted) and a frank chat with senior management might be mutually beneficial. If you're inclined to try and rescue this (it's certainly not your responsibility), then consider going up two more levels, asking for a lunch to speak with a business owner about the project. Make it clear the project has failed and that you believe there is a management problem. With poor leadership you could be terminated on the spot -- but, if you believe you're fully in the right, it should be worth your while. Be calm and respectful, emphasizing your mutual interest in a successful project.
zinssmeister 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Highly recommend getting out of there and looking for a new job. Depending on your financial situation I'd either get out this very moment or try to hold on another paycheck or two while sending out resumes and taking phone screens.Judging based on your pastebin I'd say that K is incompetent both on a technical (busy work and response times of backend calls) and on a people level (highly political, doesn't bother with proper requirements/communications). You can't change K and it might be a long time before she will get herself in trouble and eventually fired. So, waiting this one out is not an option, good luck finding something new, ping me if you need some leads.
pinewurst 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally I wouldn't want to work for an employer who'd retroactively change my performance reviews.

On the other hand, working for AWS is hardly any sort of panacea. Initially it'll feel good to be out of your current situation, but there's a reason why Amazon burns through so many people - and as a Seattleite, I've heard lots of bad stories. I suggest you consider other options assuming you can hold things together until hiring starts again Jan/Feb.

mikekchar 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Other posters are giving good advice. I agree with finding a better place to work. However, reading between the lines, I have some more general advice which you can follow or not, as you see fit.

As one of the other posters mentioned, you seem to be young. I say that not because you say anything in particular that gives it away, but that most of us old guys have gone through what you're going through many times before. Team lead is usually as much a political position as it is a technical position. Knowing how to deal with these issues and how to surf the chaos that can happen at the programmer/manager interface is a big part of the job.

I don't want to kick you while you're down, but it's important to realize that you have not succeeded in the political side of your job. It may very well be the case that you could not succeed, no matter what you did. That happens. However, you need to be quicker on the draw to either solve the problem or get out. It's way too late now (which is why the advice here is uniformly telling you to get out). In fact, understanding when not to take a team lead position is very important for your career.

When you have a failed project like this (and from your description, you can feel free to mentally label this project with a big red "failed" stamp), it is quite important to reflect upon what you could have done to save it. It's easy to say, "It was K's fault" or "Nobody listened to me", but if you were to save the project, it is entirely possible that it will require you to influence K in a certain way. Or perhaps you need to get more influence with people higher up in the project. The fact that your performance report was downgraded indicates a certain souring of the relationship with those above you. Rather than worrying about whether they can do this, you should be wondering, "Where did I screw up that relationship?"

My advice to you is to find a position with a very strong lead developer. When interviewing for a new position, make sure to seek out the lead you will be working for and choose a group where you will learn the skills that will enable you to be successful the next time you are in that role. I would advise you to avoid another lead position until you find that strong mentor (unless you are hard headed and don't mind the trial and error approach -- which is fine, but a bit taxing stress-wise ;-) ).

Good luck!

FennNaten 1 hour ago 1 reply      
From what I've read, I'd say that you seem a bit too soft for a team lead. That's something you can improve though, but it looks like it's a bit late for this project.

A team lead's role's spread across several areas: ensuring the project is set up in a healthy way to optimize quality/speed ratio, mentoring team members, and working with product managers (if applicable) to solve problems/remove obstacles which can harm the project.

From your narrative, you seem to cover first and maybe second point, but be completely off the loop on the third one. When faced with a defective team member as K seems to be in your story, you have to solve the issue. Start with talking one-to-one with the problematic element to see if things can be settled, and if not, go up the management chain without hesitation, explaining clearly why K's behavior is harmful and proposing some actions.

You say that you're 'not invited' to their meetings, and that's an issue because you mustn't rely on 'being invited', you should be the one who drives the thing and invite the others. If you don't rise up and speak for yourself, nobody will, and the blame will fall on you. A lead is not passive.

One important thing is putting each of your action in the perspective of the project. You're not 'pointing finger' at a coworker, you're stating that the project can't move on and is at great risk because of some missing parts, and you're willing to work with the responsible of those parts to have them done.

Same thing for your reviews, you're a lead, you shouldn't be given a paper to sign and vague excuses. Firmly request detailed explanations, and if not provided refuse to sign anything.

If after taking enough actions, things don't resolve as they should, start looking elsewhere for work. A company which fails to take the good advice doesn't deserve talented devs, and there is more opportunities for talented devs than talented devs to fill them up.

But on your end, don't accept tasks as lead if you're not prepared to assume the 'lead' part of them.

[edit: formatting]

YuriNiyazov 2 hours ago 1 reply      
You seem quite young. Did you email your AWS IAM contact and ask if that job offer is still on the table?
yoda_sl 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sorry to hear about the project heading in the wrong direction beside your attempts. As many suggested sooner or later things are going to blow up and you need to either be prepared to face the storm since you are acting as a team lead, or simply either move to another group in the company or find a new place by sending your resume around.When it is going to blow up, and if you are still there I will advise you to keep track of any emails that you may have sent and shared in larger group with your concerns. Being able to show some accounting of what happened may help you overall.

Personally I will get the hell out of there: it is not worst wasting your time, energy and stress level especially considering what they are doing to your review. Working in a toxic environment is not good in the long term.

Raed667 1 hour ago 0 replies      
My 2 cents: Get an offer elsewhere and give your notice. Don't bring this up to you future employer and find a generic excuse for leaving.
andreyf 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Sounds like you have a choice you can run from the political shitstorm that is around the corner (look for another job), engage with K and HR and her manager frankly and honestly (not easy), or just keep your head low and wait for everything to blow over. The choice is definitely up to you. You seem like a good communicator. Perhaps try succinctly voicing your concerns to someone else who can help advise or assist within the organization?

You could also start more carefully by asking direct questions about whose mistake it was to tell you about promotions and bonuses before the decisions were completely finalized, and what specifically the mistake in your performance evaluation was. When in doubt, always get more information first.

colindean 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
Also being discussed on /r/cscareerquestions:


wtbob 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Do your best at the job you have, and start looking for new jobs. Sounds like the current place is a mess, and there's nothing you can do to fix it; you've raised your concerns, and that's all you can do. You can re-iterate that professionally in your exit interview.
marshray 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
Whoever promised an early Jan delivery date for a $700M project is insane.
tehwebguy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Put in notice, your life will be so much better.
pluma 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Run away.
cespare 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's confusingly worded, but the OP turned down an AWS offer; they don't work at Amazon.
angersock 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Just get the fuck out of there--the company has shown it'll lie about your performance, that it doesn't know what the hell it is doing to develop software, and that it'll allow malicious and incompetent people free reign.

When, not if, that project craters, K will probably throw your ass under the bus. Get out.

amenghra 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Got a link to your resume?
puppetmaster3 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Call in sick to decide and to spam your resume. Once u have interviews lined up give notice.
Tell HN: Google seems to have changed ncr (no country redirect)
116 points by dragop  1 day ago   28 comments top 11
currysausage 1 day ago 0 replies      
It used to be like this: Visit https://www.google.com/ncr once, and on further requests, https://www.google.com/ or https://www.google.com/?hl=en wouldn't redirect to google.de any more. Unfortunately, visiting https://www.google.com/?gfe_rd=cr&gws_rd=cr doesn't appear to have this effect. Still a good workaround, so thanks for sharing!

I wonder if this might have anything to do with that EU right to be forgotten thing. The EU would like Google to remove search results from google.com, which is obviously very undesirable for Google, so maybe they try to appease the EU by making google.com harder to access for Europeans? Maybe the Use Google.com link will be removed soon?

3dfan 1 day ago 0 replies      
For me it works with just this:


In Firefox you can assign a keyword to a bookmark. So when you bookmark this and assign keyword "g" then you can visit google.com by simply typing "g". Very convinient.

weinzierl 1 day ago 3 replies      
I use Google Search rarely but https://www.google.com/ncr is still in my muscle memory. Nowadays I just ddg.gg and in the rare case I'm not satisfied with the results I add g! in the search bar.The g! seems to give me the same results as https://www.google.com/ncr. (I like to consider this a feature and not a bug.)

To give you some perspective: I live in Germany but prefer to read programming or scientific topics in English. My English is not so good but the amount and quality of English content counterbalances this by large. When using Google from Germany (google.de or google.com, doesn't matter what) looking for English search terms gives me subpar search results.

There is another reason for avoiding local Google search (google .com or google.de without ncr). From about October to mid December whenever I'm was not logged into Google I could only search when I OKed a popup to accept Google's terms. There was only an OK button so I could only search if I explicitly accepted their terms or logged in (I did neither). ncr avoided this problem. They stopped doing this but still nag with a big banner to accept their terms.

Just to be clear: I'm not complaining. I just think that most HN readers are not aware of this and some might prossible be interested to know how using Google another country feels like.

The only use case I have for Google search is localized search. For example: Yesterday I wanted to look up the ensemble of a local theater. There is nothing that can beat Google in this regard.

okasaki 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've always used https://encrypted.google.com/, which works the same way (I think?) The URL is from before google even had https.
fulafel 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's too bad Google ignores the browser's language preferences, this wouldn't be needed if they weren't so broken wrt Accept-Language.
tonyztan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you so much! I was trying to use google.com/ncr the other day and it wasn't working. No wonder. Just saved this one in my bookmarks.
doe88 1 day ago 0 replies      
kretor 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems like they fixed this. It's working for me
mahouse 1 day ago 2 replies      
What really gets on my nerves is that I can't configure it to use google.com when I search from the omnibox, I don't even know from where is it getting my current country, I guess it's IP geolocation.
pinaceae 1 day ago 0 replies      
they optimize for locals, while killing usability for foreigners and travellers. try using google in spain - even the results are worthless if you're not a spaniard. local search results get prominence, which is hilarious when searching tech terms.
wslh 1 day ago 4 replies      
Also, the prize for the stupidest behavior was won by Google: adding your country's suffix to a blogspot blog.
Ask HN: Is 24 too late to start life?
13 points by neo_begin  8 hours ago   23 comments top 17
r2dnb 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd like to learn more about your skills and your background. First time I realize HN does not have a private messaging feature.
coldtea 7 hours ago 0 replies      
First of all, forget the "success is taking in a huge salary". In fact, forget the whole BS "winners and losers" american mindset which is not the case in most other parts of the world.

None of your "failures" are that much of a failure or even unique to you.

Dropped out of college? Millions of Americans never even been there.

No job, no money? That can be fixed.

No friends except one guy? How many real friends do you think most people have? You can always meet some new people anyway.

24 and still living at home? Not too uncommon either. In fact in some places in Europe you could be 30 and still living at home, or even worse, 40 and coming BACK to live at home because of the crisis.

First get a job and some apartment. It doesn't have to be your dream job, but should be easy enough to do so you can hone your coding skills further and try to get a coding job. Even McDonalds are nothing to be shamed for.

Oh, and millions of people rebooted their lives after much worse situations, from wars that left them with no family, friends, money AND country, to accidents that cost them their job and life savings to medical bills, to prison...

andersthue 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's never too late to do something to improve your life!

6 years ago I stopped as partner in an company that had worn me out to the point where I only was able to work a few hours every day.

Now 6 years later I have 3 employees and is building a exciting new startup.

Nothing is impossible, it just takes time and effort.

staunch 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
You're smart, healthy, and 24 years old? There are a lot of older "successful people" that would trade everything they have to be you.

Motivation is based on momentum. You're at a standstill now, so you'll have to build up that momentum. Start off with small challenges (sleep, exercise, diet, or whatever) and then take on your big goals once you've got some speed.

You may also find Steve Jobs' speech helpful, as a reminder that even people like him were just as confused at times.


cmarschner 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You could see it in a different light: being that you don't have family to support, no mortgage to pay, given that you're healthy and young you are in a situation that many people would die to get into: you have full and complete liberty.If I were you I would take a year and travel the world. Take local jobs to finance it. This will give you new connections and new perspectives.And no, you're not too old.
guiambros 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of good advice on this question for Quora [1]: "I am in my late 20s and feel I have wasted a lot of time. Is it too late for me to achieve something worthwhile?".

Tl;dr: no, it's definitely not late. But doing nothing about it won't help. The secret is to start.

[1] https://www.quora.com/I-am-in-my-late-20s-and-feel-I-have-wa...

karmajunkie 3 hours ago 0 replies      
look, on a productivity level, everyone else is right: you're barely past the beginning of your life. I went through an almost total reset of my life for a couple of years after the first dotcom implosion, and I can tell you that its absolutely likely that you'll come out of it just fine. I've dropped out of college (twice!), gone through a list of terrible relationships, shitty jobs, great jobs, less great jobs, better relationships, had a kid, gotten divorced, and now getting married again and on top of my career (and have been for awhile).

But that's not really what you have to worry about right now. What's most clear to me looking at your post is that your language indicates a very deep depression, and until that's under some semblance of control or treatment you're likely to continue feeling helpless in your life. I hate it when people try to diagnose each other on HN, so I don't want to go further down that line, other than to say you really need to find a doctor or counselor who can help you in a concrete way. The rest of us here are just going to be making recommendations in a vacuum. Only someone you're actually connected with in the physical world can effectively help you get through this. But the takeaway from the rest of us is that a lot of us have been through similar and come out ok and even great.

I hope things get better for you.

Broken_Hippo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been around where you are. Around the same age, though my circumstances were different - My spouse had a suicide attempt, new bipolar/schizo affective diagnosis, nearly lost all income and had to move back to my parents place. It took some time for me to work out of it and wound up leaving him, but I am ever so happy that I did so. Life isn't perfect now, but much more happy. It isn't too late to start or change life. First things first, take care of your housing. It'll be an uncomfortable talk with your parents. Admit things, regardless of embarassment, and either tell them your plans or admit to your own confusion. This will take some of your worries away. Second, money. Any job will do. Try to do well at it, and find bits you like with it. The reality is that you might not be able to support yourself, by yourself - As in, countless people and their families are in the same situation. It is an unfortunate new reality, and easier on the mind if you view your situation as more normal than not. I oddly wound up with a retail job at a pharmacy and thrived: I'm currently taking language classes (I'm now an immigrant) that have a focus on health care terms so that when I re-job, I'll like it better. Third, give yourself a break. You are still reeling from the breakup, plus the life situations. Friends - I've always struggled to have friends. I tend to have very few, but I get my social needs met between that, any job/school/volunteering and the internet. Get active somehwere, anywhere - to get your mind off things.
stewbrew 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Your life expectancy is about 80 so, unless you waste your health, you can expect to be around for a few more years. Even if you come to the conclusion that you wasted 5-10 years, that's only a tiny fraction. Learn from your failures, grow, get better at living a life worth living.
Raed667 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have had students in engineering with me that were older than you right now.

Some went into medicine, some worked in shops, but all decided to change their lives at around your age. And it works!

I'm not saying engineering is the only way, I'm saying go talk to people and do interviews and see what college degree will give the skill set and job that you could see yourself doing.

apryldelancey 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You're ONLY 24. I went back to college at 26, got a BS and an MS and have changed paths many times. Get that "no reason to live" nonsense out of your head and get it together. You have many, many years ahead of you. Like others have said, doors are shut only to those that give up. I agree - get a job and practice coding and build up your portfolio.
am27 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Hello my brother .. I am 27 , trust meee I know what you are talking ... I dont have any saving , no friends expect one .. I have only two things left in life .. to build something because of which people know me and earning enough money to gift my mom any fucking thing on the planet whenever I want .. I knowwww how you are feeling trust me ! ... If you want to get together and build some thing together I am ready ! .. but you yourself will have to find a MOTIVE ! .. for which you will fight .. no amount of consoling session here on HN will help
etuil 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Calm down and put yourself together, find a Minimum Viable Job bettertake something that you are in contact with people.. Like a waiter barista or something it would not be a lot of money bit you will meet people... I your spare time pravtice coding until u sharpen enough to find a internship. Doors are shut only for those who give up
pupeno 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It's never to late and definitely not at 24hs. Read some biographies, yes, some people were rich by 19th, but some struggled for years and years not finding their success or happiness until the 40s, 50s, etc.

Do you like coding?

zhte415 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You have time and reason. That's all anything needs. Judgement of others is not important. Measure yourself by what you can do better each day.
neo_begin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Any recommendation of books/courses that may be helpful to me?
venusiant 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Why is HN Christmas theme using the deprecated font tag?
19 points by dan-silver  1 day ago   17 comments top 6
overgard 1 day ago 1 reply      
ASK OP: is your life significantly improved if they use a proper standards compliant tag for their festive buttons, or did you just think picking a nerd fight on christmas was just an awesome thing to do?
jklein11 1 day ago 2 replies      
Because it works.
noonespecial 1 day ago 1 reply      
Its not deprecated. Its... traditional!
pavornyoh 1 day ago 1 reply      
I logged in and saw the red and got scared. I thought I was banned for a minute there. But it works.. I like it :)
tvanantwerp 1 day ago 3 replies      
Today is the first day I've looked at the HTML for Hacker News. I feel like I've stepped into a time machine.
dang 1 day ago 0 replies      
Every day is Christmas when it comes to HN using the font tag.
Ask HN: How do you backup your private keys?
12 points by level09  1 day ago   10 comments top 8
deno 1 day ago 1 reply      

or print out on paper[1][2][3]/burn a DVD/write on floppy/etc but the encrypted version with very good passphrase. Dont ever store private keys in plain text.

[1] http://www.jabberwocky.com/software/paperkey/

[2] http://ronja.twibright.com/optar/

[3] http://blog.liw.fi/posts/qr-backup/

0942v8653 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A password manager on your smartphone isn't a bad place if you always have it with you. I think backing up to an encrypted HDD and my phone is redundant enough for me.

If you have a password store in the cloud, I recommend KeePass's keyfile feature. With a keyfile (again backed up, but never in the cloud), you can make sure that it takes more than just the master password to get in. If e.g. Dropbox ever gets compromised, and for some reason they can guess your password, keyfile will keep you safe.

srijanshetty 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I encrypt it symmetrically after creating a tarball and store it in my password manager as a secure note.

I wrote a blog post a while ago about the same: ttp://srijanshetty.in/technical/safely-storing-gpg-keys/

delcaran 10 hours ago 0 replies      
An encfs folder in my dropbox.The password for that encfs is in the same dropbox, inside a Keepass2 database.
jb510 1 day ago 1 reply      
I put them in my password manager (1Password) as a secure note, and then put its encrypted data file in DropBox. I wish I trusted DropBox a bit more these days (Condolezza), but I trust 1P's data file encryption and having that whole password archive cloud accessible has saved my butt more than once, once for SSH keys.
Raed667 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use a micro SD card (TrueCrypt) that I keep in my safe. I've had to use it twice now, both because of sudden disk failure.
edoceo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use QR for long term storage. Encrypted tarball in my GitHub as well
tux 1 day ago 0 replies      
Print it and put it a safe place. Then when you need it again, simply use a scanner ;-)
Ask HN: Books you read in 2015?
159 points by dbalan  3 days ago   158 comments top 81
dcolgan 3 days ago 3 replies      
Some of the books I enjoyed the most and found most helpful:

- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - Helped me better understand myself and others, highly recommend

- The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey - Advice on mastering the mental part of doing anything, not just tennis

- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo - actually maybe the most important book I've read in a while, helped me throw away a lot of stuff I didn't need

- Models by Mark Manson - very helpful and ethical advice on attracting women for people like me who never really quite figured it out

- A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine- discussion of a philosophy of life that seems like it would work well for modern living

DanBC 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mostly kids books. These stood out - I've read each of these at least 30 times.

This is not my hat: http://www.amazon.com/This-Is-Not-My-Hat/dp/0763655996

Smelly Louie: http://www.amazon.com/Smelly-Louie-Catherine-Rayner/dp/14472...

WOLVES: http://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Emily-Gravett/dp/1405053623/

Gorilla: http://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Anthony-Browne/dp/0763673668/

Goodnight, goodnight, construction site: http://www.amazon.com/Goodnight-Construction-Sherri-Duskey-R...

The Promise: http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Nicola-Davies/dp/0763666335/

Some of these won the Kate Greenaway Award - an award for excellent illustration. I've made a partial list here (this is an ugly list because I just needed a list of all the books in one place, with links to amazon, and I'm too lazy to do more now it works): http://danbc.neocities.org/index.html

The official list is here. http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/greenaway/

Jach 3 days ago 2 replies      
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius -- A fine classic I enjoyed.

Might count, might not, since it finished in March but was going on before. I loved Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - Eliezer Yudkowsky - http://hpmor.com/

Loved Masters of Doom - David Kushner

I liked Worm - Wildbow - https://parahumans.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/ -- but it falls short of overall greatness and I don't think it's worth its 22-average-books length if I were to go back in time and decide on rereading...

Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game (Volume I) - Janice Kim -- I've been learning Go and thought this book was particularly excellent for beginners.

There are at least 4 other books I'm close to finishing and I might get one done before the end of the month... Volume 2 of the above Go series, Mythical Man-Month, A handbook of traditional living, or The Waking Dream.

n3on_net 3 days ago 6 replies      
There are several books I read, still want to increase my reading amount:

1. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", nice bio about Feynman

2. "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future", inspiring biography and business book.

3. "Apollo" by Catherine Bly Cox. Awesome book about Apollo Programm. Goes even in some technical details.

4. "Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies". Very good and thorough book about bitcoins, the author implements most import concept in the book.

5. "F'D Companies: Spectacular Dot-com Flameouts". I seldom don't recommend a book, but this one is hard to tell. It is interesting read about a lot of failed dot-com era companies. But the layout and writing style looks like an automatic rip-off of some blog articles (I read on kindle). It's not totally bad, but be warned before buying. Try some free chapters.

6. "Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down", good layman general introduction into static. Nice overview why all the buildings/bridges etc around you don't fall apart.

7. "Never Eat Alone", Classics of networking. Actually basic stuff that people probably already know about networking. But still good to read, and author always shows examples on successful persons or himself.

8. "The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory", reading this at the moment. Very nice and simple introduction to relativity theory and quantum mechanics. I finished around 100 pages and like it.

I read 8 books this year. My aim is around 2 books/month.

Reading can make difference.

projektir 3 days ago 1 reply      
Daring Greatly by Bren Brown - discussion of shame culture, its effects on people, and how to combat it - pretty good book about a topic that doesn't get raised often enough, even if I don't agree with everything the author says.

The Sports Gene by David Epstein - how genetics may affect sport performance (and not only that); a bit of a counterpoint to Gladwell's Outliers - probably my favorite book this year.

The Martian by Andy Weir - a guy tries to survive on Mars - found this one rather bland. I would have liked to see more psychology and less calculations, and I am not sure how I feel about its presentation of the scientific community.

yetanotheracc 2 days ago 1 reply      
Absolutely amazing, changed the way I look at the society, will re-read:

- George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying


- Alastair Reynolds, House of Suns

- Andy Weir, The Martian

- Neal Stephenson, Seveneves

- Greg Egan, Teranesia


- Arthur C. Clarke, 3001: The Final Odyssey

- Arthur C. Clarke, 2061: Odyssey Three

- Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Laws

- Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

- Jonathan Slack, Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction

- John Scalzi, Fuzzy Nation (bought the audiobook for Wil Wheaton's narration)

- Ray Monk, Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center

- Alastair Reynolds, Revelation Space

- David C. Cassidy, Beyond Uncertainty: Heisenberg, Quantum Physics, and the Bomb

Found full of BS, did not finish:

- Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power


- order of 10^3 pages of Open University textbooks

- Klauber, Student Friendly Quantum Field Theory

- Feynman & Hibbs, Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals

- Wald, General Relativity (5 chapters)

- Peskin & Schroeder, An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (5 chapters)

Not as bad as I felt before making the list, but underwhelming in terms of quantity. I intend to read a whole lot more in 2016.

Pietertje 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'll skip some mentioned already by others. Books I really enjoyed this year:

The Wright Brothers, David McCullough - wonderful book on the Wright Brothers, easy to read, shows that persistence and logic thinking pays out. 5/5

The autobiography of Malcom X, Malcolm X - Nice bio, a bit repetitive sometimes. 3/5

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand - Although the book has more than 1200 pages it really kept me going. I read this book to get a better understanding of the ideology of some republicans. Fun read. 4.5/5

Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt - Levitt studies all kind of different everyday questions using economics. 4/5, short, easy to read

Guantanamo Diary, Mohamedou Ould Slahi - Diary of a Guantanamo prisoner who has been imprisoned since 2002. The US has never charged him with a crime. Profound and disturbing. 5/5

No place to hide, Glenn Greenwald - Story on Edward Snowden, probably read by most of HN. Enjoyed it, that's it. 4/5

How to lie with statistics, Darrel Huff - Short book on statistics, easy to read and fun. 4/5

scorchio 3 days ago 1 reply      
Leave it to Psmith - 10/10Anna Karenina - 8/10The Code of the Woosters 8/10Fooled by Randomness 7/10Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life 8/10How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia 9/10Reluctant Fundamentalist 9/10The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes 8/10The Last Question - Asimov - 9/10The Magic of Thinking Big - 6/10The catcher in the Rye 8/10Models 7/10High Fidelity - Nick Hornby 8/10The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman 7/10The Surrender Experiment - 10/10Untethered Soul - 9/10The Autobiography of a Yogi - 7/10Raja Yoga - Swami Vikekandanda - 7/10Something Fresh, something new - 7/10Karma Yoga - Swami Vikekandanda - 8/10Thinking, Fast and Slow - 9/10Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates 10/10The Pearl by John Steinbeck 7/10
fmax30 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had read zero books by April 2015.Have read the following since then.

1. 1984 by Orwell

2. Animal Farm by Orwell

3. 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

5. The Man in the high castle by Philip k Dic

6. Tuesdays with morrie by Mitch Albom

7. Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie

8. The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

9. Veronica Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

10. The Little Prince by antoine saint exupery

11. A Monster calls by Patrick ness

Books that I am currently reading very very slowly ( 1-3 chapters per week )

1. The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking

2. The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Murakami (I am really enjoying the slow reading here)

3. Zen and art of motorcycle by Robert Pirsig

Edit: Formatting

hkmurakami 3 days ago 2 replies      
"Shopgirl" - Steve Martin - short and poignant. Recommended.

"Madame Bovary" - Gustave Flaubert - Considered to be one of the masterpieces of literature, but it's so long that I can't really recommend it.

"The Sales Acceleration Formula" - Mark Roberge - I'd recommend this to any entrepreneur.

"Status Anxiety" - Alain de Botton - A pretty good pop scienc-y psychology book.

"Zero to One" - Peter Thiel - A philosophy book imo.

"Tokyo Vice" - Jake Adelstein - A look at the underbelly of Japanese society.

"Capitalism and the Jews" - Jerry Muller - A very good overview of the intersection of the Jewish faith and culture with their business success.

"The Richest Man in Babylon" - George S. Clayson - A personal finance parable. Recommended.

"The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" - Marie Kondo - A philosophy book. Worth a look even if you don't ascribe to its teachings.

Hortinstein 3 days ago 1 reply      
I read quite a few others that have been mentioned here, but I finally read two that hard sci-fi books that should appeal to the Hacker News crowd

Permutation City: People can run simulations of themselves or entirely migrate their consciousness into computer programs, but existence is often limited to the amount of computation that you can afford, leading to slow existences that stretch time into fractions of realtime. That premise had me hooked, but the book has fantastic thought provoking plot points throughout. Highly recommended. http://www.amazon.com/Permutation-City-Novel-Greg-Egan/dp/15...

Blindsight: Amazing first alien encounter book that should be read by everyone that is a fan of the genre. Memorable cast of characters...the Vampires are really interesting. All kinds of introductory scientific concepts throughout. Entertaining and educational.http://www.amazon.com/Blindsight-Peter-Watts/dp/0765319640/r...

musgravepeter 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Leaving Orbit - Notes from the last days of American spaceflight" - pleasantly sentimental view of the wind down of the shuttle program.

"The Dark Forest" 2nd installment in Three Body Problem series. Quite clever.

"This Changes Everything" - triggered by a quote from the doc on the radio about trying not to think about climate change and whether it's possible to be bored by the end of the world. Lots of good info (including a visit to a climate deniers conference), bit long winded.

"The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics". If I read only 10% still worth it. Lots of things to dip into.

"The Astronomer and the Witch" Kepler fights to save his mother from persecution.

Sherlock 3 days ago 0 replies      
"The Magicians", "The Magician King", "The Magician's Land" - Lev Grossman. 4/5

"Inside Job" - Connie Willis. 4/5

"Norwegian Wood (Tokio Blues)" - Haruki Murakami. 4/5

"Old Man's War" - John Scalzi. 5/5

"Persepolis" - Marjane Satrapi. 5/5

Non fiction:

"The 10,000 year explosion" about recent evolution. 3/5 ton of evidence for their thesis, but lacks predictions.

"What if" well known by HN. 5/5

"The nurture assumption" about education, 2/5. Maybe a 4/5 when it was published, but now their ideas are in the water supply.

"The man who mistook his wife for a hat", by Oliver Sacks 4/5. Several stories about neurological deficits.

acj 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Chasing the Scream" - a timely and interesting summary of the war on drugs and its (in)effectiveness.

"Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard" - a fun book about fungi from a mycologist with a solid sense of humor.

"On the Move" - Oliver Sacks's biography. Insightful and uplifting, especially if you enjoy writing.

"Ready Player One" - a dystopian cyber thriller. Reminded me of Snow Crash. Good stuff.

"The Last Place on Earth" - a good (if labored) summary of the races to the north and south poles and their geopolitical impacts.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" - been on my list for years. Long but good.

"Steve Jobs" - needs no introduction. Got me interested in Isaacson's other books.

"Hallucinations" (Oliver Sacks) - insightful analysis of the prevalence and for-reaching effects of hallucination. It's a lot more common (and puzzling) than most of us realize.

danso 3 days ago 0 replies      
I re-read Dune for the first time since I was a kid. Boy that did not hold up well. The world and lore building, which is what I guess I fondly remember, were still fantastic. The constant inner dialogues, not so much.
dbalan 3 days ago 0 replies      
I finished "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Kahneman - A slow read, but a good one. He talks about the intricacies and surprising observations about how me take decisions.

"Logicomix" - A brief "history" of logic, its not always historically accurate. Did I tell you its a graphic novel?

"Show Your work" - Aston Kleon - A short motivating read about sharing ones work, he makes some good arguments for sharing the process as well, not just the product.

Picked up "Coders at work" - read two chapters, a great read so far (I know its pretty popular one amoung HN)

louisrochal 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Thus Spoke Zarathustra" - Nietzsche (French Translation) - 5/5 An absolute Must read.

"1984" - Orwell - 5/5 French law on surveillance made me want to read it again

"Fahrenheit 451" - Ray Bradbury - 4/5

"La zone du dehors" - Alain Damasio - 4/5

"The name of the wind" - Patrick Rothfuss - 4/5 A great fantasy story. It's a big book, there is a lot of details, but very well written.

"Stranger in a Strange Land" - Robert A. Heinlein - 3/5 Awesome concept, but very slow

"The Inverted World" - Christopher Priest - 4/5 Great short book

1812Overture 2 days ago 1 reply      
Dune by Frank Herbert- I'm one of the few people on Earth who enjoys the David Lynch adaptation so I finally had to get around to reading the book. Kind of awkward stylistically and structurally but a lot of fun.

Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen - It's seemed to me that there are political philosophies that focus on economic needs and those that focus on personal freedom. This is the best I've read at uniting those concepts.

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - A blast to read and great insight into the thinking of a great mind.

The LA Quartet by James Ellroy (The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential, White Jazz) - Really the pinnacle of dark gritty noir. If you like that I can't recommend highly enough.

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett - I like a lot of Hammett's other work but this seemed to have a lot of wheel spinning.

City of Quartz by Mike Davis - As an Angeleno this gave me so much insight into the city I love. I have no idea if it would be of any interest to an outsider.

Antifragile by Nassim Taleb - Nassim Taleb is great and I've definitely been influenced a lot by his ideas, but he's getting too in love with the smell of his own farts.

Various books/textbooks on programming and databases - Nothing thrilling in this category. Gotta eat your vegetables.

oerb 1 day ago 0 replies      
The other Books that are not so live changing this Year: - "Fitness fr den Kopf mit Superlearning" - Sheila Ostrander, Lynn Schroeder (not much news, but good)

- "Menschen lesen" - Joe Navarro (not much news, but good)

- "Intros und Extros" - Sylvia Lhken (now I'm clear - I am an Intro" :)

- "Lassen Sie Ihr Hirn nicht unbeaufsichtigt" - Christine Strenger - (nice book about how to remember things, but I decided that it is not my way to remember. Need to fix my memory to real things)

- "Thinking, Fast and Slow" - Daniel Kahneman - ( something about thinking I descoverd 20 years ago by my selve)

- "Assertiveness at work" - Ken Back, Kate Back ( The way I walk now to Hack passive agressive behavior )

- "Emotional Vampires at Work" - Albert J. Bernstein - (Helped me to discover the passive agressive behavior I never noticed as what it is before.)

- Profile Books about: 1. Michel Foucault, 2. Jacques Derrida, 3. Villm Flusser

- "Theorie des kommunkativen Handelns Band1" - Jrgen Habermas (started Band 2 Book 2 month ago)

- "Super-Brain" Deepak Chopra, Rudolph E. Tanzi - ( uhhh... you need to find a better book, but easy to read)

- "Der Pychopath in mir -engl.:The Psychopath Inside" - James Fallon (nice Book - found some Psychopath around me and give them hinds now not to stumble)

necessity 3 days ago 3 replies      
Philip K. Dicks's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?": Liked the movie (Blade Runner) better, but not bad.

Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms": While reading it I found it extremely boring, though there was this feel to it that still made it pleasant to read. I can't really describe it.

Plutarch's "Lives" from the main figures from the end of the Republic (Penguin Classics collection): By far the best books on Roman history I've ever read.

Livy's books on the Second Punic War (Penguin Classics collection): A bit extensive, very detailed. I liked Plutarch's better (even though he's a bit more imaginative according to modern historians), but nevertheless a great read.

Various books by Machado De Assis (Quincas Borba, Helena, among others): National author, I just love his books, even though they all share a common plot.

A book on Alexander the Great. Can't remember the author. It was a summary of his life and conquers, very short but entertaining reading.

This year I'm planning to read some more Ancient History narrated by the classics, some Shakespeare and maybe Nietzsche or Dante (heavy reading I guess). I'm just as fond of history as of fiction, as Livy puts it:

I shall find in antiquity a rewarding study, if only because, while I am absolved in it, I shall be able to turn my eyes from the troubles which for so long have tormented the modern world...

thomnottom 3 days ago 0 replies      
I read a lot this year, so I'll just point out some highlights:

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante - The highlight of the year. I'm now partially through the 3rd book in the series. And amazing portrait of the friendship between 2 girls as they grow up and try to escape the violence and poverty of their small town in Naples.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - My guess is that plenty of people here have read it. Great read about the fall of civilization due to a massive flu outbreak.

Room by Emma Donoghue - Beautiful, heartbreaking, troubling and uplifting.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - A classic, glad to finally read it.

The Room by Jonas Karlsson - Absurdist take on corporate life about a man who finds a room in his office building that shouldn't be there.

Welcome To Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor - For fans of the podcast. I highly recommend both.

Uglies/Pretties/Specials by Scott Westerfeld - YA trilogy about a future in which everybody is made pretty once they reach a certain age. Not great literature, but a fun read. Although the second one is a little blah.

Get In Trouble by Kelly Link - Excellent collection of fantastical yet mundane short stories.

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine - Powerful exploration of race in America. I feel like I need to read it a few more times.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Still one of my favorite authors. Story of a baby whose family is brutally murdered and ends up being raised by spirits in a graveyard.

ycom13__ 3 days ago 2 replies      
Here are all the ones I read this year

 A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Martin A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin The Confident Speaker: Beat Your Nerves and Communicate at Your Best in Any Situation by Harrison Monarth House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewsk To the Last Man: A Novel of the First World War by Jeff Shaara Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain by Steven D. Levitt Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance Finders Keepers: A Novel by Stephen King The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I by Barbara W. Tuchman The Wright Brothers by David McCullough Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson Hitler's Last Day: Minute by Minute by Emma Craigie The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins Robopocalypse: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) by Daniel H. Wilson Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
My 5 favorite ones from that list are

 In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance To the Last Man: A Novel of the First World War by Jeff Shaara Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Diederich 3 days ago 0 replies      
One of the most interesting books I read was mentioned here on HN early this year: A Thread Across the Ocean


It covers the beginnings of one of the most important historical legs that most of our amazing technology rests on.

MuEta 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Baroque Cycle - Neal Stephenson - It was 3000+ pages all told, and I LOVED it. His writing has always enthralled me, and I was hooked from the start

Every Discworld Novel - Terry Pratchett - Not much can be said that hasn't already been said a million times over. If you haven't read them yet, start now

The Theory of Poker - David Sklansky - Helped out my poker game tremendously. I'm much more ev+ now

laxatives 2 days ago 2 replies      
The Memory Book - Fantastic, maybe not always practical unless you have a lot of practice, but extremely useful to at least understand some of the strategies to memorizing strings

Understanding Weatherfax - for an attempted (and failed) circumnavigation

Sail Power

Kon Tiki


Art of the Sailor

Business Adventures

Metamorphoses (by Ovid, not Kafka)

Guns, Germs, Steel

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - this book had so many rave reviews. it has a tremendous hook and style for the first 50 pages, but overall I thought it was terrible

Cryptonomicon -- fantastic

Simulacra and simulation -- started, but I need to start over. this is not an easy read...

Predictably Irrational -- another book with great reviews, but reading this book was not time well spent. the author just summarizes psychology experiments with pages of dumbed down explanations and tedious anecdotes

The Alliance -- read this on my last day at my old job, a good reminder on the social contract between you and your employer and how it should be mutually beneficial, lots of boring filler though

Triple your reading speed -- I wanted to take a speed reading course when I was in elementary school, but my dad thought it was a waste of time. I think I really missed out on something, but late is better than never.

Siddhartha -- rereading of one of my favorite books of all time

The Alchemist -- rereading of one of my favorite books of all time

Jazz (by Leveaux)

The Jazz Piano Book

Mastering the Piano

Big Blue Book of bicycle maintenance

Probability (by Pitman) -- its embarassing statistics/probability isn't a required course in many programs

Elements of Statistical Learning

Advanced Analytics with Spark -- feels like this book was published only 80% done

Optimization Models (by Calafiore and El Ghaoui) -- going to finish this is 2016

Functional Programming with Scala -- going to finish this is 2016

Linux Programming Interface -- going to finish this is 2016

Finished 18 books cover to cover in 2015, 6 of which were textbooks/academic texts. Currently have 7 in progress, 2 of which are piano workbooks and 3 are textbooks.

Goal for 2016 is 30 books cover to cover, at least 8 textbooks/academic texts.

agentultra 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fifteen Dogs: an apologue of rare insight. Apollo and Hermes make a wager that if dogs were given human intelligence they would die miserable, not happy. This was my favorite this year.

The End of Vandalism: a tale of a love triangle in a small mid-western town. Funny, dark, and a vivid portrait of that kind of town. A huge cast of characters, some only on stage for a moment or two and yet each integral and colorful.

The Annihilation Score: I love the series but this wasn't my favorite despite starring one of my favorite characters for the first time.

The Rhesus Chart: Another of the Laundry Files series. A sanguinary disease nearly brings down the Laundry. This one was snarky, good fun. One of my favorites from the series.

Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A creepy masterpiece of haute fan-fiction.

Without Their Permission: The tale of a privileged, mediocre man extolling the Libertarian virtues of the Internet. Anyone can open a laptop and get super rich! Without anyone's permission! Because that's why we're not all rich yet.

The Internet Is Not The Answer: A counter-point from Andrew Keene to Alexis Ohanian's unbridled optimism. Decent but not strong enough.

21st Century C: Amazing! Finally a practical book about C. The modern tool-set available, the notable language features of C99 and C11, and a few in-depth projects to pull it all together. Great book.

On Numbers And Games: A fabulous book by one of my mathematical heroes. Well worth getting through it.

Frankenstein: Mary Shelley's classic. I started collecting the new Penguin Classics line and the introductions are really insightful. These are well-researched and produced editions.

The Nature of Things: The epic from Lucretius. It was really eye-opening to finally read this book. Atomism, psychology, and poetic metaphors... from thousands of years ago.

... probably more I'm forgetting.

wushupork 2 days ago 0 replies      
Traction by Justin Mares, Gabriel Weinberg - would probably reread

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

How to Fail at Almost Everything by Scott Adams - great readScaling Up By Verne Harnish

Great By Choice by Jim Collins - love the whole series

The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes - probably worth a reread

How to Win at the Sport of Business By Mark Cuban - good read

Elon Mush by Ashlee Vance - need I say more

The Hard Thing about Hard Things By Ben Horowitz

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - probably need to deeply absorb this - a lot of good stuff

Copy This! By Paul Orfalea - another good "small business" entrepreneur book

The E-Myth Revisited By Michael Gerber - 2nd time read. Got more out of it this time.

The People's Tycoon (Ford) by Steven Watts - I love reading about businessmen from this age

Scrum by JJ Sutherland Jeff Sutherland - good read for development teams

garysieling 3 days ago 0 replies      
These are the ones I've liked best

Neal Thompson - "Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR"

Dee Brown - "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee"

Nicholas Johnson - "Big Dead Place" - about living in Antartica

Mark Noll - "The Civil War as a Theological Crisis"

David Halberstam - "The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War"

Stanley Karnnow - "In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines"

Esmerelda Santiago - "When I was Puerto Rican"

Lara Pawson - "In the Name of the People" (about Angola)

Marc Benioff - "Behind the Cloud" (surprisingly good for a business book)

Keith Anderson - "The Digital Cathedral" (book a friend of mine wrote, hard to describe, but suprised me at how good it is)

Adam Hochschild - "King Leopold's Ghost" (how the Congo became a colony)

Jessica Livingston - "Founders at Work"

"The Singapore Story: The memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew" (a little dry / long at points, but otherwise very instructive)

"Listening spirituality, Vol. 1: Personal Spiritual Practices Among Friends" (a book about Quakerism that was surprisingly good)

Michael Fogus - "Functional Javascript"

David Shi - "The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture" (traces the historical movements in the U.S. that value "simplicity" as a virtue, this was an interesting way to look at history)

A.J. Swoboda and studies, "Blood Cries Out"(recommended to me by someone I know who is in seminary, this is Pentacostal theologians writing about ecology)

Frank Moraes - "The Importance of Being Black" (an Indian journalist in the 60s who took a tour of Africa and wrote a book; his books are hard to find though)

profEpcot 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Debt - Updated and Expanded: The First 5,000 Years" - David Graeber - Bit of a slog, but worth it for an in depth look at the historic mechanisms of debt that are inexorably tied to violence and control

"Confessions of a Venture Capitalist" - Ruthann Quindlen - Peak into the world of VC, mostly interesting bc it was written in 2001 and her expertise was in tech. Not much has changed in that world it seems.

"One Plus One Equals Three: A Masterclass in Creative Thinking" - David Trott - Pithy treatment of design thinking from a writer with a staccato style.

"The Best Interface Is No Interface" - Golden Krishna - The best book on design out there IMO. Make it invisible. Plus the dude's name is fucking GOLDEN KRISHNA. Winner.

smcl 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had a weird year, reading no new 2015 books. Here's a handful I enjoyed the most:

"Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynmann" - probably needs no introduction here on HN, but some wonderful anecdotes by Richard Feynmann.

"Red Plenty" by Francis Spufforth. Enjoyable (and apparently thoroughly well researched) depiction of life in the Soviet Union during its rise and decline

"My Ten Years Imprisonment" by Silvio Pellico. An autobiographical account of an Italian revolutionary during the times of the Austro-Hungarian empire, he was imprisoned in a castle I live next to.

"Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer - luckily a couple of months before Everest was released (it was recommended in an HN discussion)

mlent 3 days ago 0 replies      
"The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared"by Jonas Jonasson(Love it -- hilarious, witty, a pleasure to read)

"Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami(Strange good -- but I'm not sure if I liked it as much as liked "The Wild Sheep Chase")

"One hundred years of solitude"by Gabriel Garca Mrquez(Very slow, had a hard time honestly)

"Gone Girl"by Gillian Flynn(A fast, exciting read but found the ending unsatisfying. But would recommend)

"Still Life with Woodpecker"by Tom Robbins(Fantastic prose, fantastical characters and situations. Will read more from him)

And for technical books, I read "The Art of Agile Development". Was alright.

mziel 3 days ago 0 replies      

"The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges" - Very nicely illustrated

"Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words" - Extremely enjoyable. People here certainly are aware of xkcd and it's type of humor.


"Functional programming in Scala" - good read for Scala beginners, especially after "Scala for the Impatient"

"Learning Spark" - the best book on Spark so far

"Assessing and Improving Prediction and Classification" - couple of interesting ideas for ML and Data Science

"Neural Network Design" - Quite basic, but I like the flow and introducing mathematical concepts just before they're needed.

brikis98 2 days ago 1 reply      
theologic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Got a new job in May so slowed me down, but got through around 8 this year.

I'm a Lencioni fan:

Death by Meeting -- Describes 3 types of meetings

Getting Naked -- Describes how to consult

I'm also a Marshall Goldsmith fan:

What Got You Here Won't Get You There - Once you get beyond a Director level with some mistakes, read this book

Mojo, How to Get It, How To Keep It - Another "look yourself in the mirror" book


21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership - John Maxwell. A little prod to act more like a leader.

Ready Player One -- Ernest Cline, Great Young Adult Book. Escapist fantasy.

Every Shot Counts -- Mark Broady, Statistical Look At Golf, but has some smell of Kahnemann

To Kill A Mockingbird -- Timeless Classic I Never Got To. Loved Atticus. I won't read a Watchman if it spoils my view of what Atticus was all about.

Started But Not Finished:

Business Dynamics Thinking -- Sterman (out of MIT). I need to take off work to read this 'cause it is so massive. Basically it is control theory applied to business modelling. However, I am convinced if somebody can apply these models, it really is the best competitive advantage. However, too people willing to stick with it.

How to Measure Anything -- Douglas Hubbard. Sort of makes me mad because it is so commonsense, yet most businesses don't apply this commonsense approach.

HCIdivision17 3 days ago 0 replies      
"The Long Earth" - Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter - First in trilogy about parallel worlds; the combination of those two authors makes it both fanciful and grounded, which is a bit odd.

"Clockwork Rocket" - Greg Egan - First in the Orthagonal trilogy; An alien story where physics is different.

"Seveneves" - Neal Stephenson - Goes great with the recent hard sci-fi space movies.

EDIT:"What-if" - Randall Munroe - Saw this on another list and need to make sure is shows up as often as possible. This is the thing to hand every kid as part of their back-to-school pack.

lmcnish14 3 days ago 1 reply      
A few books I read for fun this year:

- Armada: Ernest Cline - Very disappointing and predictable

- Library of Souls: Ransom Riggs - Easy but engrossing book

- Ruby Under a Microscope: Pat Shaughnessy - I find his style of explaining things very accessible

- Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End: Atul Gawande - It's a hard subject to think about but helped me to understand that prolonging life and continuing treatment shouldn't necessarily be the end goal for every case.

- Go in Action: William Kennedy - A must if you're learning Go lang

SuperChihuahua 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've read 33 books so I'm not going to publish the list here, but i blogged about it: http://blog.habrador.com/2015/12/books-ive-read-in-2015.html

The books I liked the most were:

- The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why

- On Intelligence

- The Martian

- The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

- Einstein: His Life and Universe

- Alan Turing: The Enigma

- Neuroscience for Dummies

- Thunder Run - (which is about the battle of Baghdad in 2003)

ThrustVectoring 3 days ago 2 replies      
Books I'm glad I've read:

The Inner Game of Tennis

Impro by Keith Johnstone

Seeing Like a State

The Timeless Way of Building

Linear and Geometric Algebra by Alan Macdonald

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (read this one thrice)

The Tao of Pooh

Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd

The Drama of the Gifted Child

Interaction Ritual

What Do You Say After You Say Hello?

Of niche use:

Mathematics: its Content, Methods and Meaning - mostly useful for figuring out what math you don't know. I recommend reading it at a fairly decent pace, and noting what subjects don't sound like an overview of something you've already learned.

tmaly 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway ( great book )

Hooked How to Build Habit-Forming Products - Nir Eyal ( great book very insightful )

The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg ( interesting topic, long book )

Bandit Algorithms - John White ( great book, very short and easy to get through )

Ask - Ryan Levesque ( interesting ideas on sales funnels for websites )

Predictable Revenue - Aaron Ross ( so so, I liked some of the sales ideas but I see them used too often now )

Sherlock Holmes Adventures - Mike Ashley ( good book if you like the original and want some fresh material )

wycx 2 days ago 1 reply      
All consumed as audiobooks.

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America - Colin Woodard;I learned much about early US history.

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman - Jon Krakauer

Find Me - Laura van den Berg

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

The Dog Stars - Peter Heller

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - Alfred Lansing;I was fortunate enough to read this right before Seveneves, so the references made immediate sense. Endurance looks to be popular on this list/this year. How many were inspired by Seveneves?

Seveneves - Neal Stephenson

The Years of Rice and Salt - Kim Stanley Robinson

Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age - Michael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson;I highly recommend this book. Like The Making of the Atomic Bomb, but for the transistor. Lots of background on John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain. I was unaware of the great legacy of John Bardeen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bardeen

The Making of the Atomic Bomb - Richard Rhodes;If you have not read this book, read it, just for the summary of discoveries that lead to the atomic bomb.

Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank

The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage - Anthony Brandt

The Worst Journey in the World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard

The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen - Stephen R. Bown

I am looking for other books similar to Crystal Fire and The Making of the Atomic Bomb, that cover the history of scientific and technological discoveries. Any recommendations?

ifoundthetao 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Hobbit - Liked, classic.

How Ideas Spread - It was decent, I feel like it could be condensed into an infographic after the fact, and hold great value.

The Lean Startup - Excellent. Changed the way I do business.

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1 - Great book, wonderful universe. Apparently Martin loves himself a good descriptions of clothes.

A Clash of Kings: A song of Ice and Fire, Book 2 - Great book.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Good book for a kid, pretty irritating kid though (the kid in the book, not mine).

The Andromeda Strain - Excellent!

Christ the Sum of All Spiritual Things - Great book! Very healthy view of a Christocentric theology.

Dracula - Sleeper hit of the year. This book was awesome.

Pippi Longstocking - Read this to my son, and we really enjoyed it.

The Secrets of Power Negotiating - Helped me out during the process of buying a house by understanding various negotiation gambits. Would recommend.

Scrum - Another book that changed the way I work. Would absolutely recommend it.

The Wizard of Oz - Much better than the movie.

The 4-Hour Workweek - .... It was "okay". I don't know. I'm still torn.

The Swiss Family Robinson - Awesome book, full of fun things to talk about with your kids.

The BFG - This was the start of the Roald Dahl stage for bedtime reading.. It's a great book, one of my favorite Dahl books.

Matilda - Reading this as an adult, it was not nearly as fun as when I was a kid, however my son loved it.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox - Fun and easy read for the kids.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Pretty decent book.

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator - Terrible. Absolutely terrible.

skorgu 3 days ago 0 replies      
I was on a sf kick this year apparently.

Full list (why can't amazon show me the read dates of my kindle books?!):

- Ancillary Sword

- The Magician's Land

- The Three Body Problem (incomplete)

- Libriomancer, Codex Born, Unbound

- Thank You, Jeeves

- Omon Ra (incomplete)

- Stations of the Tide

- 1Q84 (staggeringly incomplete)

- The Desert Spear (incomplete)

- The Lost Fleet: {Dauntless,Fearless,Courageous} (third one incomplete)

- Superintelligence

- Nexus, Crux (incomplete)

- Another Fine Myth

- The Annihilation Score

- The Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever

- The Fractal Prince (incomplete)

- Crooked

- Ancillary Mercy

- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

- The Traitor Baru Cormarant

- Excession

- Hive Mind

- Seveneves

horofox 2 days ago 0 replies      
- Make me a German(great read, even if you aren't into germany, nice read/comedy).

Still reading "Meditations" from Marcus Aurelius, definitely a must read. You can easily see why he was an imperator and can probably guess how much far a human can get even in today's society with the mindset he provided in the book. Maybe it's a good idea to finish this up this xmas.

It was a very poor year in reading for me, but compensated by the fact I've moved to Germany.

nkzednan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Riyria Revelations trilogy - quite good. Follows two thieves for hire. Read the books in publication order

Ready player one - liked it

samurai's garden

Expanse series by James Corey entertaining

Steelheart and Firefight by Sanderson- good but like Mistborn better

Worm online serial parahumans good

Nonfiction I read: Delivering happiness, Drive, Power of Habit, Power of full engagement

jpalmer 3 days ago 0 replies      
Freedom - Daniel Suarez - Follow up to "Daemon". https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7132363-freedom

Old Man's War - John Scalzi - My first Scalzi book and won't be the last. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51964.Old_Man_s_War

Red Rising / Golden Son - Pierce Brown - I'm a sucker for these YA SF series. Lots of fun. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15839976-red-rising

oerb 1 day ago 0 replies      
german translation to "the Blank Slate. The Modern Denial of Human Nature." -Steven Pinker - opens me a new view into Hell of Live

german Book "Darm mit Charm" - Giuelia Enders - Never laught so often by reading a Science book about my bowel.

"The angry Smile" - Jody E. Long, Nicholas J. Long, Signe Whitson - in 2014 i discovered passive agressive behavior arround and against me. But all Books I found since, had the one solution "get around them - do not talk to them - get rid of them" but if you need to work with passive agressive behavior, that isn't what you need. So this book gives me the hinds to hack this behavior.

arethuza 3 days ago 1 reply      
Books this year that I loved:

"A Place of Greater Safety" - Hilary Mantel [French Revolution - Danton, Robespierre, Desmoulins ...]

"One Summer: America 1927" - Bill Bryson

"Napoleon the Great" - Andrew Roberts

"Seveneves" - Neal Stephenson

Reading "The Box" at the moment which is pretty interesting.

galfarragem 2 days ago 1 reply      
Would be interesting to have kind of a poll with HN top recommended books. If somebody as a good idea on how to make/implement it.

edit: not only programming oriented books

r3bl 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've started keeping a file on my GitHub account where I'm listing every book I have read (or at least remember reading). Most of those listed there I have read in 2015 (there's also a score next to each one): https://github.com/aleksandar-todorovic/notes/blob/master/00...

Unfortunately I am quite a bit behind the goal I gave to myself (14/25 at the moment).

noxToken 3 days ago 0 replies      
Was light year for me:

Confessions of a D-List Supervillain - Jim Bernheimer

Origins of a D-List Supervillain - Jim Bernheimer

The second is a prequel of the first. I haven't read the third in the series. Light reading about a guy's descent into villainy.

Yes Please - Amy Poehler: I love memoirs. I just didn't love this one. It read a lot like Leslie Knope was the author, but there was an obscene amount of name dropping that kept interrupting the flow of the book for me.

Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir - Eddie Huang: Like I said, I'm a sucker for these things. Picked it up, because the series reminded me of a 90s Asian version of Everybody Hates Chris. The absurdity and random profanity was a little off-putting at first. Remembering how I felt as a black boy doing some of the same dumb things in the 90s really put it into perspective though.

The Serpent of Venice: A Novel - Christopher Moore: The follow up to Fool. It's a different take on Shakespearian story-telling. I can't recommend his novels enough.

Quantum Lens - Douglas E. Richards: I read this solely because I liked Wired and Amped. No-frills action with a sci-fi element. You probably won't get engrossed, but you will be entertained.

Spell or High Water & An Unwelcome Quest - Scott Meyer: Books 2 & 3 in a series about a group of guys who can manipulate reality through writing scripts. Good, but not my favorite.

Armada: A Novel - Ernest Cline: Ah yes. The long awaited sophomore effort from the author of Ready Player One. This book fell harder than it deserved to, because people where expecting it to be analogous to Ready Player One. Spoiler: it's not. The novel does have its short-comings. Repetitive dialogue, shoe-horned classic pop-culture references and shallow writing plague this book. If you've got time for a short novel, give it a whirl, but don't expect anything amazing.

Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson: Book 2 of the Stormlight Archives. If it's an epic by Sanderson, do yourself a favor and board the hype train. You won't be disappointed. It's everything you want in a long fantasy novel without being bogged down with side-plots and details.

Warbreaker - Brandon Sanderson: This is a standalone novel with a tie-on to Words of Radiance. I'm only halfway through it. Would recommend so far, especially since it's free from the author.

nothingpersonal 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do audio books count? If so my favorites from this year would be Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson, and Armada by Ernest Cline.

Books I actually read which were good:The Informationist by Taylor StevensReady Player One by Ernest Cline

thelonelygod 3 days ago 1 reply      
Pretty terrible data viz of everything I read this year: http://ruparel.co/book-viz/

TL:DR is I read too many comic books.

jaylitt 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Debt: The First 5000 Years" David Graeber

"Kokoro" Natsume Soseki

"The Politics of Dialogical Imagination" Hirano Katsuya

"History and Repetition" Karatani Kojin

"The Structure of World History" Karatani Kojin

"Anti-Oedipus" Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari

"Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors" Nicholas Wade

"Capital, Volume I" Karl Marx

These books have been the most informative and thought-provoking for me this year.

6footgeek 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ready Player One. by Ernest Cline.Brilliant geeky read (fiction) :)
pyotrgalois 3 days ago 1 reply      
Two great books:

- "Functional Programming in Scala" by Paul Chiusano and Rnar Bjarnason

- "Big Data: Principles and best practices of scalable realtime data systems" by Nathan Marz and James Warren

neilsharma 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The Righteous Mind" - Jonathan Haidt. This book helped me understand conservative thinking, made me less heated in my opinions, and provided a convincing framework for me to understand moral arguments

"Emperor of All Maladies" - Siddhartha Mukherjee. An excellently written history of cancer.

"Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" - Lansing Alfred. A true story of one of the last great explorations man has taken

FatalBaboon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been trying to up my game on reading:

- Founders at Work: Jessica Livingston. Good. Less repetitive than Coders at Work.

- Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage. Awfuly boring. But I don't care at all about sailing (it was a gift).

- Terre des Hommmes: Antoine de St Exupry. Brilliant, the chapter with the 2 girls made me decide to read all his work in 2016.

- Practical Common Lisp: Peter Siebel. Had to start Lisp!

mjhoy 3 days ago 0 replies      
My reading slowed to a crawl this year. Here were a few:

- Chronicles Vol 1, Bob Dylan. Inspiring, I felt very open to the world after. I loved his descriptions of Dave Van Ronk: "No puppet strings on him ever. He was big, sky high, and I looked up to him. He came from the land of giants."

- Peregrine, J.A. Baker. Intense, spiritual, like some sort of modern Moby Dick, but sparse, focused, elemental.

Next year I hope to read more Roberto Bolao and start Elena Ferrante.

aws_ls 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree - Rating 3/5 - Got an idea about the times in receding Muslim powers, at the end of the 15th Century, in Spain - The author is an historian so positive point is that fiction rooted in history. But some of the fictional narratives could have been better, as he was not a fiction writer when he started out.

2) Zero to One - Rating 4/5 - Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. Insights into and anecdotal examples of Paypal mafia, among the numerous over there.

3) Liar's Poker - Rating 4/5 - The first of several best seller's by Michael Lewis, gives insights into the working of Investment Finance business, and in a very interesting way (lots of humor)

4) Devotion of Suspect X - Rating 4/5 - Work of fiction by the Japanese best seller author Keigo Higashino. Enjoyable read - contrasts a Physicist and a Mathematician trying to out think each other in a crime context (reference to Maths/Physics are just pop-level so don't expect too much)

5) 'Digital Gold...' by Nathaniel Popper - Currently reading (very enjoyable at around 41%) - Captures the history of evolution of Bitcoin. Also made me sad for various people for different reasons, e.g. Hal Finney, who was the first adopter of Satoshi Nakamoto's idea. Reading this book made me appreciate why not knowing who is SN is important. I am no longer curious.

6) Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond - Rating 5/5 - A perspective changing book, if there can be one. Had picked it up from Gates notes' reading list couple years back. After reading this, my entire perspective on religions, politics, culture changed and I view everything from the reference point of when we started to do agriculture some 20,000 years ago, and of course geographical perspective.

Some others in my to-read list (hope to pick one before the turn of the year):

1) Emperor of all maladies - book on cancer research

2) Ashley Vance's book on Elon Musk

3) 100 years of solitude

4) The selfish gene

5) The hard thing about hard things

6) Or, if I see any other book: either on this page, or on Gates Notes or on HN reading share the other day. Am a big fan of exchanging/sharing reading lists.

Edit: Formatting. HN post editor needs two new lines ('\n') to display one

Edit 2: Had wrongly named book #4 as Salvation of a saint (which is another book, I read earlier by the same author)

kirk21 3 days ago 0 replies      
Best books I have read this year:

- Shareholder letters of Warren Buffett: http://amzn.to/1OgZVh9

- Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage: http://amzn.to/1Oh09oz

ing33k 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not including technical books

"The Four Steps to the Epiphany" - I got a very detailed view on customer development.

"Zero to One" - got some fresh ideas on how to think differently wrt business.

"Dhandha: How Gujaratis Do Business" - collection of stories , which highlight why/how Gujaratis are so successful in businesses.

dllthomas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Off the top of my head: reread "The Left Hand Of Darkness", "The Mythical Man-Month", and the end of "A Mote In God's Eye"; read "A Night In The Lonesome October".

All worth reading, the last probably the least enduring.

Church- 3 days ago 0 replies      
Oh where to start... too many to name of course. But several new favorites of mine from this yewr would have to be: Blindsight, Essentials of Programming Languages, Welcome to Nightvale, Glasshouse and finally after puttering around it for three years, Accelerando.
onion2k 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Chance: The science and secrets of luck, randomness and probability" It's a collection of New Scientist essays based around probability. Well worth reading, and because it's just short essays it's easy to pick up for just a few minutes at a time.
bryogenic 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Cryptonomicon" - Neal Stephenson

"Expecting Better" - Emily Oster

"The 9/11 Commission Report" - National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

"Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS" - Joby Warrick

"Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency" - Charlie Savage (not finished yet)

adrianhoward 3 days ago 0 replies      
This year's finished reading so far https://gist.github.com/adrianh/f6aca0e6ac3b2e9aec94

(doesn't include stuff skimmed or unfinished)

pmcpinto 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thoughts on Design - Paul Rand, Design as Art - Bruno Munari, Meditations - Marcus Aurelius, Ways of Seeing - John Berger, The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
gadders 3 days ago 0 replies      
I re-read all the Akady Renko books by Martin Cruz Smith, and the Harry Bosch by Michael Connolly. I enjoyed both very much, but I would say the Cruz Smith books edge it.
benajibayassine 3 days ago 0 replies      
1- The Emperor's Handbook by Marcus Aurelius. Jan, 10th 20152- The crowd, a study of the popular mind by Gustave Le Bon. Jan, 10th 20153- Remote by Jason Fried. Jan, 11th 20154- The shape of the world to come by Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, Jan, 20th, 20155- Post office by Charles Bukowski. Jan, 23rd 20156- Gang leader for a day by Sudhir Venkatesh. Feb, 6th 20157- Zen mind, beginner's mind by Shunryu Suzuki. Feb, 8th 20158- The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Feb, 23rd 20159- Darkness Visible by William Styron. March, 1st 201510- Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters. March, 9th 201511- The Kaizen way: One small step can change your life by Robert Mauter. March, 11th 201512- Time by Alexander Waugh. March, 12th 201513- Max and the cats by Moacyr Scliar. March, 14th 201514- Scattered by Gabor Mate. March, 20th 201515- East of Eden by John Steinbeck. March, 30th 201516- Crossing the unknown sea by David Whyte. April, 7th 201517- Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. April, 13th 201518- The World beyond your Head by Matthew Crawford. April, 22nd 201519- How to Think about Exercise by Damon Young. April, 23rd 201520- Solitude by Anthony Storr. May, 8th 201521- Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. June, 10th 201522- The bastard of Istanbul (in Arabic) by Elif Shafak. June, 21st 201523- Lordre libertaire: la vie philosophique dAlbert Camus by Michel Onfray. July, 7th 201524- Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse. July, 10th 201525- The arab uprisings by James Gelvin. July, 13th 201526- How to worry less about money by John Armstrong. July, 13th 201527- Self comes to mind by Antonio Damasio. July, 31st201528- Muhammad: The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton. August, 4th t201529- Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. August, 15th 2015 30- Heidegger's Being and Time by William Blattner. August, 18th 2015 31- Heidegger and a hippo walk through those pearly gates by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. August, 19th 2015 32- Why nations fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. October, 3rd 2015 33- Charlie Munger: the complete investor by Tren Griffin October, 9th 2015 34- The selfish gene by Richard Dawkins October, 23rd 201535- The philosophical baby by Alison Gopnik October, 28th 201536- The three-body problem by Cixin Liu November, 1st 201537- Open letter to a young man by Andre Maurois November, 13th 201538- Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman November, 16th 201539- What do you care what people think by Richard Feynman November, 18th 201540- When the body says No by Gabor Mat November, 29th 201541- The truth will set you free by Alice Miller. December, 5th 201542- The shallows by Nicholar Carr. December, 7th 201543- What matters most byJames Hollis. December, 14th 201544- Finding meaning in the second jalf of life byJames Hollis. December, 20yh2015
DrNuke 3 days ago 0 replies      
My favourite has been "Industrial Applications of High-Performance Computing: Best Global Practices", CRC Press, April 2015.
kwhitefoot 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Child of Time : Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg

Liked it.

anatoly 3 days ago 3 replies      
Non-fiction, best to worst:

Henry Marsh, Do No Harm. A brilliant memoir by a neurosurgeon about his work, the nature of his profession, successes and mistakes (especially the latter). Frequently touches or verges into the personal. Not morbid, but often sad.

Keith Johnstone, Impro for Storytellers. Viola Spolin, Improvisation for the Theater

Two very good books about improvisation, although Spolin's is too dry and theory-laden for me (it's meant for teachers more than practitioners). Both, however, pale compared to Keith Johnstone's earlier Impro: Improvisation and the Theater, which is a life-changing book about what improvisation can teach us about spontaneous creativity and relationships between people. I recommend that one first and foremost if you know nothing about improvisation and are curious.

Martinus J G Veltman, Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics. A readable account - necessarily simplified, of course - of the current state of affairs in elementary particles and much of the last 50 years of history, by one of the participants (a Nobel prize winner). Not as organized and methodical as I thought it would be, and half a year later I forgot most of the physical explanations, but it was an interesting read.

Robert B. Edgerton, Sick Societies. A thorough examination of the hundreds of horrible examples when "natural" societies studied by anthropologists have customs that are not only bad from our modern Western point of view, but arguably fail in achieving their own objectives. The whole book exists to counter lazy cultural relativism of the "maybe we don't like X, but if they do it, it must be for a good reason and it must be a useful adaptation for them" kind.

Michael Harris, Mathematics Without Apologies. A very eclectic and idiosyncratic book by a mathematician on the sociology and epistemology of mathematics as a discipline. To be appreciated for its wealth of ideas and references to other interesting books and theories, rather than for any particular argument or thread.

Milton Rokeach, The Three Christs of Ypsilanti. A story on what happened when a psychologist tried to bring three psychiatric patients, each believing themselves to be Christ, together and to talk it out amongst themselves. Happened in the 1960s. The idea is more interesting than the outcome.

Fiction, best to worst:

Patrick O'Brian, The Hundred Days. The penultimate book in the series of the best historical novels (the Aubrey-Maturin series) ever written, by a huge margin. The series transcend the genre and I count the Aubrey-Maturin books among the very best books I read in the last decade.

Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle. A brilliantly written coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in an impoverished family occupying a decaying castle in the English countryside, set in the 1930s. Reminded me in many ways of Rebecca West's The Fountain Overflows, a novel in the similar genre (but with a younger protagonist) that's known much less than it deserves.

Juan Rulfo, Pedro Paramo. If you read and liked Garcia Marquez's A Hundred Years of Solitude, this one is shorter, darker, involves many more dead people, and you may want to give it a try.

Alfred Hayes, In Love. A story of a man obsessed by love in a mid-century NYC. Unexpectedly touching, very convincing psychologically.

Iain M. Banks, Against a Dark Background. SF, a grand heist novel set in a advanced civilization living in a star system located unimaginably far away from any other stars and galaxies, and so doomed to a lone struggle with its own long history. A wealth of technological and social ideas you'd expect from Banks. The ending felt a bit forced.

Gene Wolfe, There Are Doors. Gene Wolfe, Nightsite of the Long Sun/Lake of the Long Sun.

Gene Wolfe is the best writer American science fiction produced in the last half-century. "There are Doors" is a pretty weird fantasy novel about an alternate world where men die after their first intercourse (as some spiders do in ours), and the hero travels back and forth between that world and ours. It's good, but not as strong as Wolfe's best, which to my taste is the Book of the New Sun tetralogy, the novellas in the Fifth Head of Cerberus collection, and many of his short stories (well-collected in The Best of Gene Wolfe). The other two are the first half of the "Book of the Long Sun" series that I'm still reading through.

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed. Superb political SF about an imagined anarchist [anti-]utopia. A serious attempt to describe a human society with no central power structures and no ownership. The hero is a physicist born and raised in that society who escapes to a sibling planet with the more typical modern states. This novel took all the awards in the 1970s when it was published, and deservedly so.


Symmetry 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here are the ones I'd be willing to recommend, in reverse chronological order of when I read them. I read 59 total. Listen to books on tape while working out has maybe doubled my reading rate.

Genghis Khan: His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy - Great book on how the Mongol Empire came to be, who Genghis was, and it put the whole thing in perspective for me in a useful way.

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch - What it says on the tin. Actually a good overview how some important technologies interrelate.

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction - How to be wrong less often. Based on the Good Judgement Project results.

The Three-Body Problem - Decent enough science fiction but extra interesting because it's science fiction from a different culture.

Ignition!: An informal history of liquid rocket propellants - A history of things that go boom. Engaging writing and I learned things about chemistry.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant - I'm nominating this for a Hugo. It tells you it's going to stab you in the gut but when it does you don't see it coming. Plus high quality scheming and speculation on economics, society, and empire.

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps - Excellent use of voice and an overall good book.

Bloom - Made my skin crawl in places and also was good at making you feel a radical change in perspective.

Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed - An interesting perspective on certain aspects of government. A bit too negative for the topic, the factors outlined are also why commercial economies were able to develop more centralized economies than agrarian ones in the early modern era.

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy - Quite good book on bureaucracy though not as excellent as the previous book on the origins of states.

Last First Snow - It's always great to read books about the struggles between people with sympathetic motivations.

The Unwelcome Warlock - The latest in a series of fantasy books where people use magic in creative and sensible ways.

Asteroid Mining 101: Wealth for the New Space Economy -Mostly about all the different sorts of asteroids.

Seveneves - Neal Stephenson's latest. If you like his books read it but maybe skip the last 1/3 after the timeskip.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future - Wow he did a lot of cool stuff.

Stories of Your Life and Others - Brilliant and poetic short stories.

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life - Some interesting perspective on materialism.

Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life - Best science book I've read in a while! Shows why mitochondria matter, the fundamental limits of prochariotic life, and several important ways mitochondria influence again and evolution.

Blue Remembered Earth - Awesome near futureish book that does well at imagining a future that isn't just a linear extrapolation but is still believable.

A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark - Not enough pacifist badass grandmothers in urban fantasy.

Quantum Computing since Democritus - I understand QM much better now.

rodolphoarruda 3 days ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: I am a manager.

No Hero - M. Owen;Zero to One - P. Thiel;The 7 Principles of Professional Services - S. Anastasi.

joefreeman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed Kevin Kelly's 'What Technology Wants'.
jiggaboo 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. This is a title that demonstrates I'm much smarter than everyone else.

2. A book that shows I am destined to be a successful entrepreneur.

3. How to recover from a childhood of being bullied.

goddess_divine 2 days ago 0 replies      
i read a shit ton of books, but only keep the ones i'd like enough to read again. New to my library this year:

the checklist manifesto


the left hand of darkness

banker for the poor


the pragmatic programmer

star diaries

cat's cradle

the dead mountainer's inn

spanner darkley

krishna2 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here is my list from 2015:

1. Mark Derby: England my England

2. Bill Messenger: Elements of Jazz [great courses]

3. David Mamet: GlenGary Glen Ross

4. Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Pluto Files

5. Elizabeth Vandiver: The Illiad by Homer [great courses]

6. Elizabeth Vandiver: The Odyssey by Homer [great courses]

7. Elizabeth Vandiver: The Aeneid by Virgil [great courses]

8. Robert Greenberg: Great Masters: Liszt - His Life and Music [great courses]

9. David Christian: Big History [great courses]

10. Robert Greenberg: Great Masters: Robert and Clara Schumann - Their Lives and Music [great courses]

11. Steven Novella: Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills [great courses]

12. Ramesh Menon (Veda Vyasa): Mahabharatha

13. Mark W. Muesse: Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation [great courses]

14. J.K. Rowling: Book 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

15. J.K. Rowling: Book 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

16. Steven Pressfield: The War of Art

17. Barnaby Conrad, Monte Schulz: Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life

18. J.K. Rowling: Book 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

19. Ramesh Menon (Veda Vyasa): Siva Puranam

20. Professor Allen C. Guelzo, Professor Gary W. Gallagher, Professor Patrick N. Allitt: The History of the United States, 2nd Edition [great courses]

21. Robert Greenberg: Great Masters: Brahms - His Life and Music [great courses]

22. Robert Greenberg: Great Masters: Tchaikovsky - His Life and Music [great courses]

23. Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni: The Palace of Illusions

24. J.K. Rowling: Book 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

25. Austin Kleon: Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

26. Stephen King: On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

27. David McCullough: 1776

28. Prof. Roy Benaroch: Medical School for Everyone [great courses]

29. J.K. Rowling: Book 5: Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

30. Siddartha Mukherjee: The Emperor Of All Maladies

31. J.K. Rowling: Book 6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

32. Robert Greenberg: Great Masters: Shostakovich - His Life and Music [great courses]

33. J.K. Rowling: Book 7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

34. Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries [great courses]

35. Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli: Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

36. Shurnyu Suzuki: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

37. William Shirer: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

38. Jhumpa Lahiri: Interpreter of Maladies

39. Stephen Greenblatt: The Swerve: How the world became modern

40. Professor Andrew R. Wilson: The Art of War [great courses]

41. Prof. Jennifer Paxton: 1066: The Year That Changed Everything [great courses]

42. Prof. Sherwin B. Nuland: Doctors: The History of Scientific Medicine Revealed Through Biography [great courses]

43. Sun Tzu: The Art of War

44. Prof. Robert Greenberg: Great Masters: Mahler - His Life and Music [great courses]

45. Prof. Seth Lerer: The Life and Writings of John Milton [great courses]

46. Prof. Robert Greenberg: Great Masters: Stravinsky - His Life and Music [great courses]

47. Stephen Guise: Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results

48. J.R.R. Tokien: Hobbit

49. George Orwell: Animal Farm

50. Prof. Seth Freeman: The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal [great courses]

51. Ram Dass: Be Here Now

52. Prof. Gregory S. Aldrete: The Decisive Battles of World History [great courses]

53. Conn Iggulden: Conqueror Series Book 1: Genghis: Birth of an Empire

54. Conn Iggulden: Conqueror Series Book 2: Genghis: Lords of the Bow

55. Prof. Frederick Gregory: History of Science 1700-1900 [great courses]

56. Prof. Indre Viskontas: 12 Essential Scientific Concepts [great courses]

57. Conn Iggulden: Conqueror Series Book 3: Genghis: Bones of the Hill

58. Conn Iggulden: Conqueror Series Book 4: Khan: Empire of Silver

59. Conn Iggulden: Conqueror Series Book 5: Conqueror

60. Prof. Robert Hazen: Origin and Evolution of Earth [great courses]

61. Mark Forsyth: Elements of Eloquence

62. Prof. Patrick Allitt: Industrial Revolution [great courses]

63. Ramesh Menon (Valmiki): Ramayana

64. Prof. John McWhorter: Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage [great courses]

65. Dava Sobel: Longtitude

66. Prof. Robert Hazen: Origins of Life [great courses]

67. Prof. Daniel Robinson: The Great Ideas of Psychology [great courses]

68. Tracy Kidder: The Soul of a New Machine

69. Prof. Garrett Fagan: History of Ancient Rome [great courses]

70. Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse Five

71. Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita

72. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

73. Kalki: Ponniyin Selvan: Book 1: Pudhu Vellam [apple music]

74. Upton Sinclair : The Jungle

75. John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath

76. Kalki: Ponniyin Selvan: Book 2: Suzhar Kaatru [apple music]

77. Karl Marx, Friedrich Engles: Manifesto of the Communist Party

78. Kalki: Ponniyin Selvan: Book 3: KoduVaal [apple music]

79. Kalki: Ponniyin Selvan: Book 4: Mani Magudam [apple music]

80. Kalki: Ponniyin Selvan: Book 5: Thiyaga Sigaram [apple music]

81. Kalki: Parthiban Kanavu [apple music]

82. Hugh Howey: Wool [Silo Series : Book 1 of 3]

83. Kalki: Sivagamiyin Sabatham: Book 1: Boogambam [apple music]

84. Kalki: Sivagamiyin Sabatham: Book 2: Kanchi Mutrugai [apple music]

85. Kalki: Sivagamiyin Sabatham: Book 3: Bhikshuvin Kadhal [apple music]

86. Kalki: Sivagamiyin Sabatham: Book 4: Sidhaindha Kanavu [apple music]

87. Thomas Sterner: The Practising Mind

88. don Miguel Ruiz: The Fifth Agreement

89. Prof. Jonah Berger: How Ideas Spread [great courses]

90. Prof. Robert Sapolsky: Being Human [great courses]

91. Michio Kaku: Einstein's Cosmos

92. Guy Kawasaki: Art of the Start 2.0

93. Edward Dolnick: Clockwork Universe

94. Prof. John Medina: Your Best Brain [great courses]

95. Sherman Alexie: Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

96. Prof. Thad Polk: Addictive Brain [great courses]

97. Jeff Kinney: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

98. Prof. Scott Huettel: Behavioral Economics [great courses]

99. Rob Walling: Start Small, Stay Small

100. Ernest Hemmingway: Old Man and the Sea

101. Prof. Robert Greenberg: Brief History of Holiday Music [great courses]

hackerbloos 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've just updated my list of books I read this year. Scores are out of 5. If there is a + it means I found it to be extra special for some reason or other.

= Jan =

Smarter Than You Think - Clive Thompson 3

The positives of tech and the internet.

= Feb =

Super Sad True Love Story - Gary Shteyngart 4

Science fiction set in the not too distant future. Main themes include life extension and surveillance.

= Mar =

The HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 4

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams 3

Had never read this series, thought it might be about time.

= Apr =

What does it all Mean? - Thomas Nagel 2 (though it is kind of meant for people who have never done any Philosophy, ever, so would recommend to someone like that. Will pass it on to someone taking an interest in the subject)

An introduction to Philosophy.

Earth - David Brin 5+

Science fiction set in the not too distant future, written in the 90s. Really interesting themes / vision of post climate change world.

SlaughterHouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut 5

Semi autobiographical account of the bombing of Dresden in WW2. Really funny and clever ideas. Very good.

= May =

Nick Cohen - Whats Left? 4

Account of how the left has degenerated since the collapse of the hard left and the winning of liberal battles e.g. LGBT rights. Basic premise is that those on the left hate the West and the status quo so much they stoop to allying themselves with anyone who also opposes the status quo.

= June =

Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy wont go away - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein 5+

Plato has somehow appeared in the 21st century and is doing a talk at Google! A really enjoyable account of how Platos philosophy could be applied to modern issues. Really good. I want to go to Athens.

= July =

The Mind Body Problem - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein 4

Novel about a female philosophy student shagging around and philosophising about it.

Believing Bullshit - Stephen Law 4

Book detailing the various tricks / schemes played by charlatans and how to avoid being taken in by them.

= August =

36 Arguments for the Existence of God: a work of fiction - Rebecca Newberger Goldstein 3

Novel about an academic and his mentor. It was ok.

= September =

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams 3

Think Im done reading these for now, dont feel the urge to finish the set.

Kafka - The Trial 5

Really good. Love the surrealism - the nightmarish / dreamish-ness of it. Saw it in the Theatre as well after reading it, thought that was great too.

= October =

= November =

Existence - David Brin 3

Not as good as Earth. Glad I read that first. Interesting imagining of what form contact from alien life could take though. Also interesting look at existential risks. The main part I didnt like was how it skipped forward in time 3 decades about 3/4s of the way through, I had thought the characters were a little weak in general up until then anyway, and then they were pretty much gone entirely at that point.

= December =

Alone Together - Sherry Turtle 4

The negatives of tech, robotics and the internet. Interesting and important read.

Imperium - Robert Harris 5

First in the semi-fictional trilogy accounting the fall of the Roman Republic, told through the eyes of Ciceros secretary, Tiro. Really good. The politics, the corruption, the ancient city really brought to life. Enhanced by having visited Rome in the Summer.

Also currently reading Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle, an account of the negative affect being permanently tethered to the internet has on our conversations, our capacity for empathy and our relationships, and Nietzsches 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra'.

baby 3 days ago 0 replies      
to kill a mocking bird: it was refreshing, looking for more simple books like this one
eecks 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Why has nobody gone to the Moon since 1972?
53 points by audessuscest  1 day ago   51 comments top 17
yc1010 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was just reading this today, first part deals with this subject > http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/08/how-and-why-spacex-will-coloni...

I asked the same question of an old engineer at Kennedy Space center who was talking about the Saturn rockets to a (small) group of people (most just wanted take photos and cared little for history). He was quite blunt in his response, "We were doing great but then someone higher up decided that we won the manhood measuring contest and its better to spend public funds on bombing some poor souls in paddy fields half a world away..."

transfire 1 day ago 9 replies      
There is plenty to gain from it. But it is a long term prospect. Unfortunately today, everyone is after the quick profit (You know like building bombs.)

Some examples:

* A telescope on the moon could be larger due to the reduced gravity, and have a better view without the atmosphere.

* Helium-3 mining, not to mention plenty of other resources that are starting to become somewhat scarce and hard to reach on Earth.

* Since the gravity is a 6th of Earth's, launching space exploration vehicles from the Moon would be much easier and thus cheaper.

* Colonizing the Moon would be first step in getting all man's eggs out of one basket, so to speak.

* If man can setup a sustainable ecosystem on the Moon, then he can do so almost anywhere. It really is a great testbed for expanding into the cosmos.

* The Lunar Olympics will be awesome!

tdicola 1 day ago 0 replies      
The intense cold war of the 50's and 60's ended and the cost couldn't be justified. Make no mistake, if there wasn't the constant fear that our enemy would use space to drop nukes on our head we never would have made it to space & the moon as fast as we did.
eps 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh, common [1]

There are several satellites on the Moon's orbit right now, including US and Chinese ones. Japan had an orbiter, and so did (and will have) India.

PS. Indian Chandrayaan was stuffed to the brim with HD imaging equipment, and yet the only orbit photos of Apollo landing sites are from NASA ... Say all you want, but that's remarkably odd. Who would've passed a chance to grab an image of one of very few monumentally important Moon sites if they were fully equipped to do that and were in immediate vicinity of it.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_the_Moon#Timeli...

veddox 1 day ago 1 reply      
Several reasons, some of which are:

1) "Been there, done that - why go back?"

2) The Soviets aren't trying to get there anymore, so the Americans don't see the point of trying.

3) We couldn't even if we wanted to (Apollo equipment is long-since obsolete and unusable, a successor program to return to the moon was scrapped by Obama in 2010).

4) Nobody is keen on spending the billions it would require.

I find it sad that we don't even have the ability to go to the moon anymore, but there you go, I guess that's the way it works when we let our money-saving drive control our curiosity.

harryf 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's expensive and the potential for scientific discovery is too low?
Lanari 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of records didn't got broken for a long time, humanity back then was like a kid just discovered a toy, we were surprised by what can technology do and we tried to do it just because it's cool and not because it's practical. Anything that didn't solve people's problems isn't worth taxpayers' money.
Gravityloss 23 hours ago 0 replies      

Too much people were needed.


The Apollo program was built to land a man on the moon as quickly as possible, with a high budget and immature technology.

It was very well designed for its requirements. However it is not the right way to sustain humans in space long term. It cost far too much, in fixed costs and per launch.


If you look at old films on how piston powered airlines worked, the amount of staff needed was much larger than the amount of passengers and the trips were short. Hence by definition only few could afford long trips. It's just mathematics. Everybody can't be a lord with servants.Only with modern jetliners the amount of work needed per seat mile dropped drastically, and travel became possible for the masses.Something similar has to happen for space launch. We can't have a significant portion of the population working in rocket factories / refurbishment shops / launch control, so it must be developed and streamlined a lot. In practice this means reusable rockets with high flight rates and low maintenance. Further out, we need to extract resources from space to drastically drop the needed amount to launch from Earth's deep gravity well.

The whole Apollo architecture was a result of immature technology, short time table and large budgets. NASA should not try to repeat it, as the budget and the political drive are not there, and it didn't result in anything long lasting the last time either. Instead, focus should be on lowering cost of more modest missions at first. The Space Shuttle attempted this, but it was too ambitious and inflexible. After they built the mammoth, all the money went into feeding it, and there was no money for developing new things.

"NASA is an organization that is dominated by fixed costs. In business terms everything is in the overhead, he said. The committee found, with some effort, that the fixed cost of NASAs human spaceflight program is $67 billion a year. The bottom line is that they cant afford to keep the doors open with they money theyve got, let alone do anything with it."

-Jeff Greason, more at:http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1483/1

williamle8300 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you like hilarious, sardonic, but also sincere writing, you should read, "Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?" by Dave Eggers. He founded McSweeny's.

It's a fictional story read as a dialogue (Socratic method). It's not stuffy post-modern fiction. Very readable.


cft 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hypothetical question: say gold or platinum was found on the surface of the moon (no mining required). Would it be profitable to go there with the current technology?
grandalf 1 day ago 0 replies      
All it takes is one rogue actor in space and suddenly all satellites need to be armored.

Even a moderately powered ground-based laser could take out billions of dollars in satellites.

The moon offers a useful strategic location because part of it is always facing away from Earth, making it difficult to attack from Earth-based lasers.

usrusr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because few places on earth are worse than living in a bunker on the moon.
mohsinr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because we are planning to go to Mars now.
Shivetya 1 day ago 0 replies      
No one to race against is likely the primary reason. After all it is pretty simple to get to and has been extensively studied. From an exploitation stand point the moon doesn't offer anything at a cost comparable to what can be done on Earth, yet.

So until the technology exist that makes the planets more accessible I doubt there is a true need to have a base there. Science could benefit by simply being out of atmosphere but money is sucked up in military and social budgets.

6d0debc071 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because there's nothing up there you can make enough money on to justify the expense. Not yet anyway.
lololomg 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is no money in it
davidgerard 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Space Race was funded out of the military budget, not the science budget. "We can put a man on the moon" is a phrase meaning "we can put a nuke in your capital." Once that point was established, NASA went down to science funding levels.
Ask HN: Papers you read in 2015?
191 points by racoonear  3 days ago   44 comments top 29
nrmn 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've been trying to read a paper a day since midsummer. These are a few of the interesting, for me personally, since then:

Generating Sequences With Recurrent Neural Networks - http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.0850 Older one, but important to understand deeply since other recent ideas have come from this!

Unsupervised Representation Learning with Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks - http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.06434

Unitary Evolution Recurrent Neural Networks - http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.06464

State of the Art Control of Atari Games Using Shallow Reinforcement Learning - http://arxiv.org/abs/1512.01563 Interesting discussion in section 6.1 on the shortcomings/issues of DQN done by Deepmind

Spectral Representations for Convolutional Neural Networks - http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.03767

Deep Residual Learning for Image Recognition - http://arxiv.org/abs/1512.03385

Fast and Accurate Deep Network Learning by Exponential Linear Units (ELUs) - http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.07289I wish they did more comparisons between similar network architecture with only the units swapped out. Eg. Alexnet, Relu vs Alexnet, Elu.

On Learning to Think: Algorithmic Information Theory for Novel Combinations of Reinforcement Learning Controllers and Recurrent Neural World Models - http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.09249

Just a few from my list :)

yankoff 3 days ago 0 replies      
Generating Sequences With Recurrent Neural Networks http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.0850

Generating Text with Recurrent Neural Networks http://www.cs.utoronto.ca/~ilya/pubs/2011/LANG-RNN.pdf

Bitcoin whitepaper https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Ethereum paper http://gavwood.com/Paper.pdf

PeCaN 3 days ago 1 reply      
Generalized LL Parsing - http://dotat.at/tmp/gll.pdf

Parse ambiguous context-free grammars in worst-case cubic time and unambiguous grammars in linear time, with an intuitive recursive-descent-ish algorithm. GLL is the future of parsing IMO, more powerful than packrat/PEG parsers and comparatively easy to write by hand. It also handles ambiguities more elegantly than GLR, IMO.

Dependency-Based Word Embeddings - https://levyomer.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/dependency-base...

word2vec algorithm with context based on linguistic dependencies instead of a skip-gram approach. A quick explanation is skip-grams give words related to the embedding (ex: Hogwarts -> Dumbledore) and dependencies give words that can be used like the embedding (ex: Hogwards -> Sunnydale). It's not meant to replace skip-grams, but augment them; skip-gram contexts learn the domain and dependency-based contexts learn the semantic type.

norswap 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not an academic paper, but I found the Roslyn (new C# compiler) whitepaper to be an interesting window into the future of programming languages: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2774...

"Tackling the Awkward Squad:monadic input/output, concurrency, exceptions, andforeign-language calls in Haskell" (http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/simonpj/papers...) finally made me understand monads. Or rather, why they have such an unreasonable draw on Haskell people. tl;dr: Monads are useful to thread data (state, side effects, ...) through a computation, without modifying all your function signatures (the functions can be lifted to work with the monad). But mostly, it turns out you NEED monads (or something like it) to sequence side-effects (since Haskell is lazy).

mtrn 3 days ago 0 replies      
* Program design in the UNIXenvironment (1984): http://harmful.cat-v.org/cat-v/unix_prog_design.pdf

Glipse into unix essentials. Do one thing well on an example so you'll never forget it again. Doing less requires more care and attention to detail.

* From Frequency to Meaning (2010): https://www.jair.org/media/2934/live-2934-4846-jair.pdf

A nice summary on vector space models along with three basic matrix layouts: term-document, word-context, pair-pattern and the resulting applications and algorithms.

* A Roadmap towards Machine Intelligence (2015): http://arxiv.org/pdf/1511.08130v1.pdf

Emphasis on communication. I liked the fact, that the AI is pictured as a research assistant, since I would love to see a more dialog oriented interaction with machines.

* 50 years of Data Science (2015): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/23421017/50YearsDataScie...

Great essay on how the past had a handle on todays data analysis landscape, just without the enormous computing power and data availability, that we have today.

DanBC 3 days ago 1 reply      
National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (UK): http://www.bbmh.manchester.ac.uk/cmhs/research/centreforsuic...

That paper tells us that pain medication is often used in completed suicide (paracetamol; paracetamol and opioids combined; and opioids; are three of the top five most commonly used meds)

So I have an interest in pain medication from the angle of suicide prevention, which is why these two are interesting.

Efficacy and safety of paracetamol for spinal pain and osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo controlled trials: http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1225

(Paracetamol probably doesn't help with long term musculo-skeletal pain, and increases risk of liver damage)


(Paracetamol probably no better than placebo for long term back pain)

mrdrozdov 3 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of NLP related papers. Here are a few of my favorites.

- HMMs and Perceptrons for Part-of-Speech Tagging and Chunking - http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/W02-1001

- MaxEnt for Part-of-Speech Tagging - http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/W96-0213

- RNNs for Slot Filling - http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~lisa/pointeurs/RNNSpokenLanguag...

Not related to NLP, but I really like the Facebook paper that covered delta of delta compression for time series data.

- http://www.vldb.org/pvldb/vol8/p1816-teller.pdf

web007 3 days ago 0 replies      
DagCoin : a bitcoin-like cryptocurrency with a "decentralized" blockchain based on directed acyclic graphs - https://bitslog.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/dagcoin-v41.pdf

Visual Search at Pinterest - http://arxiv.org/pdf/1505.07647v1.pdf

Fast Search in Hamming Space with Multi-Index Hashing - http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~norouzi/research/papers/multi_ind...

temuze 3 days ago 0 replies      
One weird trick for parallelizing ConvNets: http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.5997

Unsupervised Representation Learning with Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks:http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.06434

A Neural Network of Artistic Style:http://arxiv.org/abs/1508.06576

tedyoung 3 days ago 0 replies      
Surprised nobody mentioned The Morning Paper yet: http://blog.acolyer.org/
anildigital 3 days ago 0 replies      
Comparison of Erlang Runtime System and Java Virtual Machinehttp://ds.cs.ut.ee/courses/course-files/To303nis%20Pool%20.p...
serzh 2 days ago 0 replies      
This year I read a some cool papers:

Big Ball of Mud

Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder

About the reasons why good software become ugly and complex.



The Inevitable Pain of Software Development

Daniel M. Berry

About changes of requirements for the software.



No Silver Bullet

Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.

The software developing is in essense very complex.



Notes On Structured Programming

Edsger W. Dijkstra

Why we don't have to use goto.



Watermarking, tamper-proofing, and obfuscation - tools for software protection

Collberg, C.S. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Arizona Univ., Tucson, AZ, USA ; Thomborson, C.


mrswag 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've read two rather old papers on different cross-validation techniques:

A Study of CrossValidation and Bootstrap for Accuracy Estimation and Model Selection (1995) http://robotics.stanford.edu/~ronnyk/accEst.pdf

Improvements on Cross-Validation: The .632+ Bootstrap Method (1997) http://www.stat.washington.edu/courses/stat527/s13/readings/...

And one on MIMO techniques:

V-BLAST: An Architecture for Realizing Very High Data Rates Over the Rich-Scattering Wireless Channel (1998) http://www.ee.columbia.edu/~jiantan/E6909/wolnianskyandfosch...

I find it to be a good way to get concise and accessible introductions (with the associated results) to current practices.

travjones 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Unified-theory-of-reinforcement neural networks do not simulate the blocking effect"

Sci-hub link: http://www.sciencedirect.com.sci-hub.io/science/article/pii/...

georgerobinson 3 days ago 0 replies      
In search of an understandable consensus algorithm (https://www.usenix.org/conference/atc14/technical-sessions/p...)

SWIM: Scalable Weakly-consistent Infection-style Process Group Membership Protocol (http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~asdas/research/dsn02-swim.pdf)

ipunchghosts 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Development and Validation of a Biomarker for Diarrhea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Human Subjects"


Large cohort study done determining what the biological mechanism are of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

Defines a new test, IBSChek which can be used to determine if a patient has a subtype of IBS. Anyone can get this test done now.

genbit 3 days ago 3 replies      
What is a good resource for someone who want to read good papers from time to time?
NotOscarWilde 3 days ago 0 replies      
Elaine Levey, Thomas Rothvoss - A Lasserre-based (1+)-approximation for Pmpj=1,precCmax http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.07808

People are very excited about graph isomorphism being solvable in quasipolynomial time, but there are a few more problems from the seminal Garey, Johnson book that are still unknown to be in either P or NP-c or neither. One of them is computing the optimal schedule for three machines processing some tasks (jobs), when the tasks have all the same size, but there are dependencies among some of them and you have to do them in order.

This paper proves that there is a (1+)-approximation of this problem in "slightly more than quasipolynomial time" (I love this phrasing).

The technique they use is a Lasserre hierarchy which is a very exciting tool in theoretical computer science, although there still exist only a couple results where this hierarchy approach brings more to the table than other methods for designing efficient algorithms. This is one more to the list!

hedgehog 3 days ago 0 replies      
Using state lattices for motion planning was new to me but seems like an elegant approach:


bra-ket 3 days ago 1 reply      
chaoxu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here is an accessible algorithms paper. It's a cute puzzle problem. It was inspired by answers on cs.stackexchange.

Efficient Algorithms for Envy-Free Stick Division With Fewest Cutshttp://arxiv.org/abs/1502.04048

marcodena 3 days ago 1 reply      
Spotify Large Scale, Low Latency, P2P Music-on-Demand Streaming http://www3.cs.stonybrook.edu/~phillipa/CSE390/spotify-p2p10...

and many others but this is the one I liked the most

afancy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Benchmarking Smart Meter Data Analyticshttp://openproceedings.org/2015/conf/edbt/paper-55.pdf
binarymax 2 days ago 0 replies      
A couple years behind the times but I got really into word2vec and plenty of associated works. On a mobile so not easy to post links, but if you haven't checked out w2v I highly recommend it.
throwawaykf05 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not a specific list of papers, but I find Sigcomm to generally have very good papers in the field of networking and communications. Here's the link for this year's conference:


roninb 2 days ago 0 replies      
It didn't get published this year but I though Robust De-Anonymization of Large Datasets - http://arxiv.org/pdf/cs/0610105.pdf
j_juggernaut 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. Didn't realize how HOT deep learning was in 2015.
Ask HN: What is your favorite Christmas fable?
3 points by atmosx  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
apryldelancey 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Your #1 is the same as mine. I don't know any of the others except for The Gift of the Magi, that's a good one also. I'm a huge fan of The Year Without A Santa Claus and this guy:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbfgVEk-mxQ

I know that's not what you meant but I love, love, love it.

DrScump 1 day ago 1 reply      
I posted my favorite yesterday; link to MP3 in the entry:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10781019

(Alan Maitland's reading of Frederick Forsyth's "The Shepherd")

Call your folks
8 points by DanielBMarkham  1 day ago   5 comments top 2
DanBC 1 day ago 2 replies      
Or, if you had abusive parents, look after yourself and try to ignore the relentless focus on "you must rebuild your family relationships" that comes with Christmas.
apryldelancey 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes, those of you that can should. I wish I could call my mother but I can only visit her grave.
Ask HN: The Struggles of Poverty and Trying to become a programmer from 0
19 points by poveritysucks  2 days ago   20 comments top 12
jt2190 2 days ago 1 reply      
Start hacking.

CodeFellows/Udacity/College is expensive. Hack: Figure out what they teach you, and find other, cheaper sources of the same information. (edit: Check out Zed Shaw's stuff http://learnrubythehardway.org/book/http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/)

CodeFellows/Udacity/College says they teach you what you need to know to get a job. Hack: Ask employers directly what they look for when hiring. Learn that instead.

I don't have experience/proof of skills. Hack: Start posting your work online. (Get a free blog or use GitHub or something.) Even if it's a tiny thing. Bit by bit, day by day, you'll be proving that you can ship something. When someone asks what you can do, show them the site. (edit: A shining example is Jennifer Dewalt's 180 Websites in 180 days: http://jenniferdewalt.com/)

I don't know people who can help me. Hack: Find your local web development meetup and go. Don't sit in the corner. Meet people. Get their contact into. Tell them what you're trying to accomplish. Ask them for advice. (People love to give advice.) Email them later and let them know you enjoyed meeting them. Thank them for their advice. Build relationships.

LifeQuestioner 5 hours ago 0 replies      

Man I became a coder at 14 years old (10 years ago) when there was no where near the online resources there are now. I come from a low-income family I didnt take courses and I couldn't tbh, not because of prices but because there were none available anyway.

Get a book, join a community. =). Just start practicing. Do stuff for free, find charities that need some web dev and build a portfolio whilst doing good things for people.

Also, you can do the udacity courses ALL FOR FREE. The only difference is you don't get a certificate. And a certificate isn't exactly needed..

lumberjack 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If I were in your situation, I'd get an entry level job in an unrelated field, get a loan and go to college part time.

There's lots of reasons why you'd want to go to college:

1. You want to future proof yourself against ageism. It's much harder without a degree.

2. It's a really good place to find entry level IT jobs that do not require a degree/experience.

3. Once you're done you are not limited to working in web developement but in a wider range of IT and software development jobs

4. Sort of the same as no 2 but employers would really rather hire the guy who is working through college over the guy who is not, even though both lack a degree.

5. A degree is useful for a lot of things. Many visas require one, for example.

wsdookadr 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been working on a free service for some time now to allow freelancers to find jobs and understand the job market. It currently contains data from upwork.com and allows you to search for jobs and see various analysis of the job market.

Try it out


All feedback is valuable and I use it to improve the service.

apryldelancey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Subscribe to newsletters from Udemy, StackSkills, Stone River Academy, and the BGR Store. They often have specials where you can get a whole bundle of online courses AND there are several that have a project that you complete and can add to your portfolio. They've had deals where you can pick up 10+ courses for $20. I also echo the recommendation to go through the MIT or Stanford courses. Check out edX for many of those. As someone else said, it really never has been better. I even attended a free CSS3 tricks class from Noble Desktop earlier in the week. It was a gift for being a subscriber to their newsletter. It was live and they created a GoToMeeting for me and the instructor took my questions and paid me plenty of attention. Great free two hours of my time!

Good luck, you CAN do it!

carcamper 1 day ago 1 reply      
I lived in my car for 8 months this year. When I didn't have a job I was at the public library everyday reading about and writing code. I applied for every job I could anywhere in the country. Eventually it paid off and I got a job.

Playing the race card on why life is hard is a cop out. You have to put effort into this. You cannot huff and puff your way into it.

This site is filled with people posting blogs and sites that contain free tutorials.

SinomaSo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you tried http://freecodecamp.com/I'm going through it at the moment. I'm no programmer, but found it really interesting.
partisan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll do what I can to help you if you are serious about learning. Email me at partisanyc at gmail.
sharemywin 2 days ago 2 replies      
pluralsight is only $29/mo has a lot of training material. I bought it when I was unemployed. Also, look at upwork.com you might find some project to get you experience. I'm surprised you can't get college tuition assistance: https://fafsa.ed.gov/

Before I got a job after my degree:

1. I wrote a Point of sale system for my uncle's pizza shop. ( was supposed to get paid)

2. wrote a POS system for a friends print shop($10/hr) 93'

3. wrote a POS for a storage unit company($10/hr) 95'

each of these used it for themselves and hoped to sell it to other companies.

4. wrote an e-commerce site for a online card company($15/hr). 98' found this on an ad on campus bulletin board.

look at jobs from the state or local government. They are good way to get your foot in the door.

blisterpeanuts 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you can get online, you can take courses from Khan Academy for free. Stanford Online is free as well, and MIT has put a lot of lecture videos and course materials online for free. There are thousands of tutorials on any subject you care to study. Really, it has never been better.
DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you have a project that you can work on? Lack of a syllabus is a problem, so having a structure means you learn what you need to complete the project.

You then build up a portfolio.

gexla 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are many roads to doing what you are attempting to do. Just having access to the internet and a computer is a huge start. You are in a tough position, but I'm living in the Philippines where many have no access to a computer and some don't even have electricity.

Much of a career in web development (or anything) is about dealing with people. Communicating with your employers, team, clients and anyone else you need to deal with. Along with the technical components, take some time to practice writing and learning good grammar. You can take free online classes for writing and grammar. Writing well is one of the most powerful ways to come across as a professional who can solve problems. You'll be judged on this before you even get to the point of demonstrating technical ability.

Have you built anything? If not, then start there. Web development is a craft, it's about building stuff. For me, building came first. My passion in creating things to solve my own problems and sharing those things on the internet put me on the path to paid work, not the other way around. You don't need to go through courses to start building. Start with a Google search. Dedicate one hour every day to build on this first step. Increase the time you devote to this journey as you are able. Keep a journal of your progress.

Find communities of other developers and contribute your knowledge. Ask questions when you get tripped up (though in the beginning, you will find most of these questions answered already.) Build up your reputation, which will also add to your "authority score." As this score grows, others will seek you out for your knowledge. Once you have demand for attention from others, then you have the platform from which to get paid for your skills.

Most of the above is for the "web developer" route. Always keep in mind the end mission of your work. You are setting out to create solutions to problems. Even if you are helping out other web developers, those developers are probably working to help a paying client make money. At the end of all roads is someone like Bob Jones making a transaction with Amy Johnson. These are two great people who may know nothing about what you are doing, but Bob needs your help to advance his business. Amy loves what Bob is doing and feels that Bob's work makes her life a little bit better. Be a good guy and help make Bob and Amy's life a little bit brighter.

You will also have to do a bit of hustling. Don't wait for things to come to you, go out and get them. Go ahead and take courses, but drive your education through your own building and discovery. Don't send out resumes. Directly contact agencies and dev shops that you find on the internet. Find out who works for these places and follow them on social networking, Github, Stack Exchange and other platforms. Interact with them when you see the chance. If you can't get a job right away, go knock on Bob's door (and all the other doors in the community) and let Bob know that you can help him out. When you get Bob's go ahead, treat him like royalty. Even if you make mistakes on the technical side as you are starting out, Bob will always appreciate the person who treats him and his concerns as #1. Most people would take the money and follow-up with a half ass job. If you are different, then you are way ahead of everyone else.

Use the courses to supplement the above. They shouldn't be your driver. Remember that the vets who are celebrating their 10 year anniversary today as web developers didn't have all these courses available. We had books, documentation and for some things we sort of blazed our own paths.

Good luck and have a great 2016.

What is the most advanced AI I can go and speak to right now?
6 points by heraclez  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
oswalpalash 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Try Cleverbot
eugeneionesco 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Things you created in 2015?
25 points by thecosas  3 days ago   33 comments top 24
santaclause 2 days ago 2 replies      
http://www.xmastimeapp.comAn app that lets parents call their children posing as Santa Claus.

I posted it on Show HN the other day[0] but didn't get any comments yet. I am not complaining though, considering the scope of this. I would be very happy if someone would give us their thoughts though.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10783251

devarist 10 hours ago 0 replies      
https://devarist.com, an app for keeping a daily work diary. Another "scratched my own itch" app built specifically to do what I needed but it's been building a user base quite nicely over the last few months. I recently added Slack integration so that you can work with your diary from within Slack.
jrwan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Merry Christmas Everyone!

I created HitByWords this year, an iOS app which helps people explore news with Google Trends.

This is totally a passion project since I got a day job and only can spend my spare time building it. Due to serious time and budget constrains, I am only able to develop this app piece by piece. Though I am very enjoy the process :)

The motivation to build this app is I read news everyday but sometimes I cannot relate some reports. But I feel if a report is published by a credible news source, the event or accident is supposed to be crucial for some people in the world and I should feel sympathy. Like today an astronaut phones wrong number from space and I found people in London, Birmingham and Manchester have high interest in "Tim Peake" through Google Trends, which makes me feel this is a real thing.

I still have a lot of ideas to implement and try to make this app a better tool to explore news.

Hope my explanation is clear enough since English is not my first language.

Questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed.

[0] http://www.hitbywords.com/[1] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hitbywords-browse-explore/id...

yungGeez 2 days ago 0 replies      
I decided to create a twitter app that allows people to post 140 character rap, and challenge other people. I wasn't able to test because of a lack of users / ability to promote due to low funds.


The site pretty much explains how it works, and was supposed to be used as a "Coming Soon/I need Testers" medium, but failed completely haha.

I suck at front-end btw.

highsea 1 day ago 0 replies      
WhenToExchange - Know the right time to exchange your money.


Ive been working on this for the past serveral months, an idea I came up with as I was trying to figure out my vacation schedule for the next year and plan a budget for the various countries I thought of visiting. Its a website that calculates the best time to exchange one currency for another accounting for the various exchange rates involved.

LogCroc - Because Crocs like Logs

Analyzes server logs for events, exceptions and displays a realtime dashboard.


arunpn123 2 days ago 0 replies      
I built a voice-activated switch to toggle the lights in my bedroom: http://arunpn.com/projects/voice-activated-light-switch/. More than the project itself, I am happy that I got into the habit of working on side-projects regularly. Now I have a couple of projects going on to keep me entertained.
bewe42 2 days ago 0 replies      
I decided to dedicate my free /side-project time to my own biggest itch: how can we improve the way we learn and remember? In particular, I think the way we teach & learn software development could be greatly improved.

As a first step, I created http://www.codingbrain.com. It's a knowledge management app that integrates with your markdown notes.

I too posted on HN without much feedback https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10464525

However, I think codingbrain tries to do too many things at once and I have plenty of sub-ideas which I plan to implement in 2016

joegreen 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've always wanted to create at least a small working Java library that could be potentially useful to someone and put it into the Maven Central repository to learn the whole process. I've finally managed to do it in 2015 by creating the LambdaFromString[0] library that can convert a string with code to Java 8 lambda at runtime :-) Surely not a rocket science, but still makes me feel a little bit proud.

[0]: https://github.com/greenjoe/lambdaFromString

krapp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I built Space Invaders in C++ and SDL. It's the closest thing to a game i've actually completed so far.

The actual implementation isn't that great, it's lacking a few things but most of the gameplay is there, but my goal was mostly learning the peripheral stuff and throwing every tutorial I came across at it.

I posted a Show HN for it two weeks ago[0] but it was never commented on. I'm not complaining about that since, given the scope of some Show HN projects, it's not likely to be impressive and I wouldn't have expected much positive feedback, but i'm still proud of it.


andersthue 2 days ago 2 replies      
No doubt that I am most proud of (cannot say I invented it, more correct would be that I stumbled upon) the agile and Maker centric TimeBlock method http://timeblock.com

We started using the method Jan 5'th 2015 and now we have a SaaS app with paying earli bird users and more users of the method not using the app.

Two of the companies using the method (besides us), attribute their growth directly to TimeBlock.

rrrrrraul 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built http://highbetastocks.com as a way to scratch my own itch (was too lazy to have to login to my brokerage account every time I wanted this info). And in the process learned a little bit of Meteor js ^_^
drakonka 1 day ago 0 replies      
I created a snail brain for my snail simulation. There's still a lot of work to do, but my snails have sensors, memories, and make decisions now. I was pretty proud of getting the brain to the state where the snails could decide to eat, mate, etc. on their own.
DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was part of a group of people that created the new suicide prevention strategy for Gloucestershire, England.


henryscala 1 day ago 0 replies      
I created a opensource software with the name suosuoban. It is an illustrating tool, with ideas coming from this paper http://www-ui.is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~takeo/papers/watanabe_uist.... It is in https://github.com/henryscala/suosuoban. It is implemented in QT, so it can be run in multiple OS.
Ayietim 2 days ago 0 replies      

I started the blog:


Io share what I have learnt and keep learning about success and why so many people are failing in life. I share how to deal with depression, frustration, fear, a failing relationship and the challenges of starting a business. I leverage on my training, my passion for research and teaching and, my desire to always put a smile on a face. I read a lot of materials every day and talk to a lot of people every week, to learn more and to share lots of stuff that have impact on life. I try to keep my posts brief, simple and delivered in a poetic form. So, please come over and check out the blog:


Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Thank you.

imakesnowflakes 2 days ago 0 replies      
I taught myself Haskell and built a tool that searches and download movie subtitles. [1]

Taught myself angular.js and built Ceasium [2]. A tool for freelance programmers that can do minimal project/time management. It also has notifiers for watching HN and Reddit threads. If you run a bundled python script, it can even monitor multiple Reddit inboxes.

It actually helped me find work.

[1] https://hackage.haskell.org/package/hastily

[2] http://z-petal.com/ng-ceasium/ceasium-html5-angularjs-app-fo...

sideproject 2 days ago 1 reply      
This year, I took my side project HelloBox a bit more seriously


It's a tool for creating a community. Its premise was "Create your own HackerNews".

I've re-designed a bunch of things, re-branded it, and am now planning to turn it into a business next year. We'll see. :)

Klathmon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Actually "finished" a project for once.

I made https://stitchpics.net which is a website that converts an image into a cross-stitch pattern entirely client side (with some help from my mother-in-law for the idea)

Made it to try out Polymer and at this point I'd say that I'm not all that happy with Polymer's performance, but it is nice to work with components on the web.

The code is available at https://github.com/Klathmon/StitchPics

jathu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I made Annex, my first iOS app. http://jathu.me/annex/

It made it on to the front page of Product Hunt and reached top 100 in productivity, so I'm pretty happy!

One thing I learned is that after the media hype dies down, visits/downloads drop A LOT! I knew this from articles I've read before, but seeing it happen is something else (and sucks).

Wonnk13 2 days ago 0 replies      
I created my first Android app as a side project. I have a ton to learn both in terms of Java and the Android framework.


pesfandiar 2 days ago 0 replies      
I created and launched a phone auto-responder app* as a side project (a basic version of Grasshopper). Now actually trying to find paying customers seems outside my comfort zone, but there is a lot to learn.

[*] https://www.phonjour.com

mswen 2 days ago 0 replies      

A place for me to express myself through writing out of my own experiences as well as interviewing really smart and interesting people like:

John Cook

Tim Hopper

Jon Krohn

Rob Trangucci

ukasz Kidziski & Micha Warcho

Thanks guys for sharing your insights!

sccxy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Collected 40+ realtime weatherstations to one map.

Just for personal usage and for some friends.

Good to see where the wind is for surfing/sailing.


archagon 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not released yet (app review couldn't get back to me in time for the holiday freeze... grr), but I made an iPad music creation app called Composer's Sketchpad. My goal was to develop a modern, interactive take on sheet music that didn't require a ton of mental energy to reason about, and that could also be used to notate things like guitar solos and complex rhythms just as easily as any Bach choral. The app takes the form of a long scroll view with time on the x-axis and pitch on the y-axis; a grid indicates measures, measure subdivisions (time signature), and the notes of the equal temperament scale. You draw notes with your finger or the Apple Pencil, and you can start each note at any point and bend it to any pitch, with time and pitch grid snapping tools available as an option. Playback is instantaneous and defined by your current scroll position. There's a bunch of instruments as well as a percussion set to choose from. Performance was a high priority, and it runs acceptably well on my iPad 3.

Here's a brief demo clip. (Feel free to ignore the BG music; it's not directly related to the actions demonstrated in the video. I still have some editing to do.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS4-Qho6Log

I'm very proud of what I accomplished with this app, but I'm also ashamed of how long it took me. The app was first conceived several years ago, and the first serious commits were made early last year. Throughout 2014 and 2015, I spent far too much time slacking off and avoiding work (though admittedly I was travelling for a large part of it); my savings cushion prevented me from seriously worrying about deadlines. As a result, about half the work for this project was done in the last few months. I could have finished this project in half a year at most, and it kills me to think of all that time wasted. (I didn't have any other work during this time, though I did release a couple of small side projects.)

I'm also worried about whether anyone will actually find this app useful. I built it mostly for myself, and in using it, I've been finding that I can suddenly write music a lot more easily than ever before. On the other hand, it's missing most of the power features musicians expect from their music software. There's no Audiobus support; no MIDI in or out (largely due to the hacks required to get per-note pitch bending working); not even export at the moment, though I intend to add MP3 export ASAP. The samples are pretty generic MIDI sounds. It's intended to be a musical notepad, not a tool to create production-grade music, and I fear that might be too small of a niche.

In any case, even if it doesn't make me a ton of money, I'm elated that I created something that didn't exist in the world before. This is the first tool in my life that's precisely tailored to my needs. It's going to grow with me as I get new ideas. It's going to be used to write music that I could never write before. Already I have a feature list several dozen items long for the next few versions! Through this project, I've also finally proven to myself that I could design and build a fairly complicated app almost from scratch. I look forward to what I can do with this new-found confidence in the coming year!

Ask HN: How to get involved with AI as a non-AI programmer?
29 points by hndatapagan  4 days ago   8 comments top 8
PaulHoule 4 days ago 0 replies      
AI software projects need people who are good at builds and version control and releases and other things that you might not learn to do at a professional level in CS graduate There is a huge amount of chopping wood and carrying water to do.

It is already getting less important to know the algorithms than it used to be because everybody and his brother has been working on algorithms for the last few years and now you find them automated, overseen by an "expert systems" in products like this:


I may be biased, but I also think some of the "old AI" ideas are coming back, and it is very clear that logic programming and rules engines can be improved upon greatly.

For instance you look at Drools and think it might be pretty cool but then you write some code and fight with a compiler that can't give sensible error messages and then...

Something can be done about it

samdcbu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Berkeley's Aritifical Intelligence course,CS-188 is a great content base for concepts. The projects of the course include the implementation of search algorithms with Pac-Man. If machine learning is more interesting to you, Udacity's Introduction to Machine Learning is very approachable. If you are interested in learning in a traditional fashion, "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach" by Peter Norvig is a widely used AI textbook.
DrNuke 4 days ago 0 replies      
You may want to have a look at the 2015 projects from Andrew Ng's course at Stanford for some trends in machine learning too http://cs229.stanford.edu/projects2015.html
drakonka 3 days ago 0 replies      
A friend/ex-coworker of mine recently got a job at an AI company with no previous AI history as a software engineer. AI researchers need tools, systems, etc, that a programmer with little specific AI experience can contribute. Aside from also learning the topics etc in your spare time it seems like a good way to get into a relevant company early and work to a more AI-involved position from there.
yen223 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a non-AI programmer who's currently slogging through the material, you really need to get your math up to speed. Linear algebra, statistics, probability theory, and multivariate calculus. There are courses on these on Khan Academy and other MOOCs (or you can do what I'm doing and go back to uni).

It's really hard to get a sense of why you're doing this-and-that without those fundamentals.

HockeyPlayer 4 days ago 0 replies      
The introductory videos from PyCon are very accessible to anyone with a little programming knowledge, no math needed: https://github.com/jakevdp/sklearn_pycon2015

You aren't going to be an expert without math, but you can learn enough to evaluate ML related business ideas.

segmondy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Read AIMA, Know your maths, discrete maths, probability & stats. Take some machine learning courses (free ones at coursera, edx, etc), read up on Deep learning, you should be good to go.
Ask HN: Why don't cities/states create their own ride-sharing platform?
22 points by cheapsteak  3 days ago   16 comments top 11
venning 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's not entirely clear yet what long-term effect ridesharing will have on city traffic [1] and cities are very invested in keeping that low. Buses and trains and such keep that traffic lower, at least according to current data.

Of course, if ridesharing proves itself to reduce traffic, I wouldn't be surprised to find cities experimenting with public-private partnerships to implement them locally. We have something very successful in DC called Capital Bikeshare that is focused largely on reducing traffic.

But, unlike bikesharing, if Uber and kin prove out ridesharing as valuable to DC, I cannot see what the local government would add with their own system, something that I know the DC government does consider. Capital Bikeshare is so successful precisely because the government is involved. They can convert a couple street parking spaces or a traffic intersection median into a bikeshare without asking anyone, and have done so with no real complaint.

[1] http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/is-uber-making-nyc-rush-...

[2] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Bikeshare

pwman 3 days ago 1 reply      
Washington DC has been doing it as long as I can remember:


Basically pickup someone random so you can utilize HOV.

edwhitesell 3 days ago 0 replies      
Some do. Michigan has had it since 1974 [0]. Of course, it was a bit less dependent on technology when it started.

[0] http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9615_11228_11234--...

alahaitu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Helsinki tried this with their Kutsuplus service, but it ended up proving too expensive and underused for being publicly funded. They are now looking for private companies to run a similar service.


BjoernKW 3 days ago 0 replies      
Because they're clueless and they're living in the past. There are notable exceptions but for the most part this applies to public administration in general.

From their point of view, why should they try to find novel solutions to evident problems while they can much more easily just "regulate away" the potential for such solutions (for now, that is) and claim the problem doesn't exist in the first place? Public administration is notoriously bad at both embracing change and long-term planning because its stakeholders' outlook is measured in legislative periods.

barney54 3 days ago 0 replies      
City planners are enamored with building stuff. That's why they want to build subways and light rail systems instead of bus rapid transport.

Building stuff is more permanent and facilitates other building--like apartment building or office building near stations.

With IT dispatch systems they aren't building anything physical and aren't affecting the built environment and all their training is about affecting the built environment.

pjc50 3 days ago 0 replies      
They might yet do this, but local government tends to be terrible with IT. It's more likely that compromises will be reached to allow Uber to operate, such as requirements for insurance or real employment contracts.
ruraljuror 3 days ago 0 replies      
When driving on the highway recently, I noticed a standard governmental sign which had a 1-800 number to call for ride sharing.

Your post made me think of this, so I did some quick googling of my state and the surrounding states. It seems all of them have ridesharing programs and regulations to promote ridesharing to some degree.

Of course these are not sophisticated technological platforms with mobile apps. Personally I was intrigued by the possibilities for user experience... what would it be like to get a ride by calling one of these phone numbers?

w__m 3 days ago 1 reply      
Fuel is government-taxed.More traffic jams = more fuel = more tax.Forget long-term thinking. MORE TAX. NOW.

I agree with @BjoernKW also.

ericnolte 3 days ago 1 reply      
Merry Christmas
32 points by defenestration  1 day ago   6 comments top 6
narsil 1 day ago 0 replies      
Merry Christmas to you too, as well as anyone else on call tonight! :)
DougN7 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
notdonspaulding 1 day ago 0 replies      
Merry Christmas to you, too. ;-)
artacus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you and Merry Christmas.
DrScump 1 day ago 0 replies      
Humbug, I say!
6d0debc071 1 day ago 0 replies      
Merry Christmas to you, too

And to everyone else here, of course. I hope that you all have good food, better company, and that the server doesn't go down if you're on call. :)

HN: Christmas Colors
28 points by sdiq  1 day ago   12 comments top 8
Grue3 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought the blood-red header is an indication that I was banned.
sssilver 1 day ago 0 replies      
I look at these colors, the black text on the red, the orange Y logo on the red, and I am thinking to myself -- "who looked at this and said -- 'looks good, deploy it!'", regardless of the occasion.
legulere 1 day ago 0 replies      
One day to late for me, many countries (and the royal British family) are already celebrating christmas eve.


Oh, btw: Merry christmas :)

przemoc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Changing topcolor in settings from ff6600 to something else (like ff6601) brings back the right^TM color.
jaibot 1 day ago 3 replies      
As a colorblind person, Happy Thursday.
shabbaa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Merry Christmas HN!
Fluid_Mechanics 1 day ago 0 replies      
Happy Holidays! I thought I was having a stroke.
pja 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love it.
Tell HN: Its too easy to press flag on mobile
19 points by jitl  3 days ago   2 comments top 2
0942v8653 3 days ago 0 replies      
Luckily there's an "unflag" button. I hate this too, but something similar needs to be done about the downvote button, even if there isn't an undo.

Also, there's no reason to have flagging accessible from the main list page. This isn't true for comments, which you have to click to the individual page to flag, but for articles it is listed.

wh-uws 3 days ago 0 replies      
This problem has always been worst with the downvote arrow.

I've accidentally pressed it several times. And then subsequently upvoted 2 other things for the person

Ask HN: What was your biggest life lesson in 2015?
61 points by aforarnold  1 day ago   62 comments top 34
zinghaboi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I figured out that people bond with other people better by engaging in 'wasteful activities'. I figured out the importance of "fitting in". It is funny but I couldn't realize it in the first 24 years of my life. I had never needed to make others happy. At work, I would go about my stuff and didn't have to bother about what others thought (as long as my work was being done). In College, I could simply ace exams and didn't have to worry about what other people thought about me. People around me have always engaged in things that seemed excessively wasteful to me (going to movies, partying, drinking). And I was happy in my own little world.

Things changed when we started a company...a B2B company. We started selling at the beginning of this year and I found myself in a salesman's role (lucky me). I couldn't say no to meeting people, I couldn't say no to events, I couldn't say no to going to bars after events, I couldn't say no to partying, I had to engage in everything that I thought was wasteful. I was awkward and dumb at times but it helped me bond with people. I kept away from it for far too long, but now I try to force myself to meet people.

I know this is nothing new to most of you. But it was revelation for me. In startups, sometimes you have to force yourself to go against your very nature.

mindcrime 1 day ago 1 reply      
2015 was, for me, mostly just an extension of 2014 in this regard, as I had a big "life altering" experience late in 2014. I had a heart-attack in November 2014 and could well have died. Luckily I live close to a good ER and what-not and got prompt treatment and I'm mostly fine now. I'm on a bunch of new medicines, but otherwise things are mostly back to normal. I did some mountain bike racing this summer, before I tore my rotator cuff in a fall and switched to mostly road cycling until I get my shoulder fixed up.

Soo... to answer the question... and hopefully without sound to glib, I'd say "take your health seriously. Stuff creeps up on you". That is, all the warnings you hear about "eat right, exercise, keep your cholesterol down", etc... yeah, that stuff does matter. And yes, it can happen to you. I know, because I was one more person walking around thinking "that stuff only happens to other people" until I was on the back of an ambulance wondering if I was going to die.

I really don't like being the preachy type, but if I have any useful advice to share, I'd say it's this... invest in taking care of your body. And by "invest" I mean, time, knowledge, money, exercise, food, whatever elements you need to leverage to maximize your health. Read a book like Cholesterol Clarity and understand how this cholesterol stuff really works. If you're a little overweight (or a lot) find a way to start getting more exercise. Buy a bicycle, or a skateboard, or a surfboard, or just some comfortable walking shoes, whatever. Throw out the Doritos and sugary sodas and shit. Learn to eat healthy. Quit smoking if you smoke. That sort of thing.

aws_ls 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Nothing in the league of biggest life lesson, but somethings which I am happy about (or trying work-in-progress):

-- Cut down all sugar. I started to take my tea/coffee without sugar. And no sweets. Try to take a fruit when have the urge. Which resulted in a drop of 2.5 kgs of weight (better BMI)

-- Realizing that yelling at family members (e.g. kids) make you unhappy later on for a long time, with guilt/etc. Better at it, but its obviously a perennial work-in-progress

-- Off Facebook, for some months. Always had the power to quit and had quit intermittently couple times before. But the last stretch I was fooling myself that I need to be on it, to share interesting stuff with some friends I like. (Now when I really have an urge to share, just bcc select friends in email. But this mode and thought process may change again.)

andrewthornton 1 day ago 1 reply      
When you feel emotional, wait at least five minutes before acting, especially if you are upset. It is tough to do but waiting to cool off and think before acting has really saved my bacon a couple of times.
lazyjones 1 day ago 1 reply      
I learned several things the hard way this year:

- stay away from people who have shown bad character traits in the past (e.g. cheating, violence, drug abuse...) even if they downplay/justify it and behave reasonably towards you for a long time

- Severe health issues can creep up on you even if you have no symptoms and live a reasonably healthy life (no smoking/drinking/weight/obvious environmental issues). I apparently lost either the genetic or Chernobyl lottery and had a rare tumor removed that nearly left me quadriplegic. My typing speed is now approx. 1/5th of what it was before and my hands ache all day, but fortunately I can still walk and do most things like before.

Walkman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I learned that money is not everything, and a lot more from this article: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-yo...(Basically how people work).My life turned upside down after reading it.
spoiledtechie 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had a custody case for my daughter this year. To many bad things happening in moms side for me to allow my daughter to stay with her. I was $120,000 in debt because of it. I am now only $67,000 in debt.

Hard work and dedication pay off. Don't stop fighting for what's right.

madaxe_again 1 day ago 1 reply      
Be happy. Don't go looking for happiness, you won't find it anywhere other than in yourself.

I decided to stop being a miserable S.O.B. halfway through this year, and it's made a difference to everything from work to home to health.

Also, don't go seeking stress and strife out. They'll come to you often enough, you don't need more.

jboggan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Writing down an affirmation of fulfilling a goal on a daily basis and doing concrete work on it every day, no matter how small. I embarked on this after reading Scott Adams and found it remarkable in sustaining the mindset necessary to tackle a difficult project.
thearn4 1 day ago 1 reply      
Had a son. I learned that the whole "they grow up so fast! blink and they're not even babies anymore" thing is not a cliche at all. Time has flown and it is blowing my mind.
orky56 1 day ago 0 replies      
Develop your character by listening to your conscience in the face of ethical dilemmas. Develop your intuition by making mistakes and doing personal post-mortems to ensure you are learning rather than just floating through life. Put yourself out there and don't worry about what others think since this is the only way you'll know yourself. Vulnerability demonstrates courage more than staying in your comfort zone. Use the T-shaped approach to make an impact while still allowing others to respect you. Don't forget to be happy today since it is the journey to your dreams that makes the dreams satisfying and motivating enough to create new ones.
DougN7 21 hours ago 0 replies      
My Dad died this year. He was an engineer and a good man, but not very emotional. At the end of his life, the most important thing of all was relationship, and most important was family relationships.

His final advice was to include more people in everything I do (family, friends, coworkers, etc), and to "go have joy". That last bit is meaningful because I am overly concerned about the future.

dosh 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's been a crazy year.

- even smart people will react very differently to same events, mostly because of their context/interest/values.. but most of all, emotions.

- until the money is in the bank. many people will bs you, but you never really know everything until someone actually takes action or commits.

- scalability of an organization depends on its people. the leadership, the hubs(influentials), and the values/culture. the structure comes after.

- never give up. we got accepted to YC on our 2nd try.

Kapura 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you get bad vibes from somebody you're working with, be cautious. If that person's title is CEO, run.
kiraken 1 day ago 2 replies      
I learned that freelancing is only 10% coding and 90% people skills
codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I alwasy knew this but 2015 really confirmed it for me. My dad passed away this year. Life is short. Don't sweat the small stuff that wouldn't matter in the long run. Try to be happy with whatever you can. Yes, plan for things and work hard. But don't forget to party harder. Life is short. Did I say that already ?
rdl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do what you love. If you realize you're not doing that on a regular basis, change what you're doing.

(clearly this doesn't work at too fine a level of granularity, as there are always important tasks which if not done lead to bigger problems, but at least be able to connect those tasks to a bigger good outcome.)

Ayietim 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I realized that the entire essence of being here on earth is to help others fulfil their goals, I made up my mind to come up with ways of helping others solve few of their problems. In this regard, I have achieved an encouraging success in 2015. And I am now fired up to continue and make it a life long pursuit. I am totally convinced that if one should dedicate resources to serving others, the returns would exceed costs. I am opened to suggestions, advice and partnership. Thank you all.http://ayietim.wordpress.com
jules 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very few people are evil. Most evil is good people operating under incorrect beliefs.
Havoc 1 day ago 0 replies      
People skills matter more than I previously thought & determines professional success to a large extent.

Not a wild insight I know but still new to me.

amorphid 1 day ago 0 replies      
That being a software developer at a technology company trumps being a developer at a company that has technology.
eli_gottlieb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Things can go far better by sheer luck than you had hoped they might go by deliberate planning.
bitshaker 1 day ago 1 reply      
I learned how to incorporate life lessons unconsciously. A vastly useful tool.
skrebbel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Babies make you tired
nooron 1 day ago 1 reply      
I started the year with knee injuries that made basic activity, let alone sports, prohibitively painful. After months of PT and exercise, they're better now. I am pretty young, so this problem was very unexpected.

The lesson is that any day I can make marginal gains is a good one. Focusing on achieving on a day-to-day basis has made working on my startup -- a big long term project -- much easier.

Overtonwindow 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's better to stay quiet than say anything.
Entalpi 1 day ago 1 reply      
1. Never underestimate people.2. Never compare persons, it is unfair to everyone and makes the comparer look bad.
isxek 1 day ago 0 replies      
In general, the older you get, the more "boxed in" you become by your history.

At this point, it's either I start at the very bottom, competing with people fresh off school who are willing to work for next to nothing, or make some loans and take up a new college degree.

sultansaladin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Always look seconds ahead when driving
manish_gill 1 day ago 0 replies      
2015 was the most boring year for me. I didn't even venture out of my own city the whole year. So I guess my life lesson is to travel more, try new things, don't be afraid to take risks etc.
qute 1 day ago 0 replies      
I learned that reality is not so far from movies (depends heavily on where you live though).
huac 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't blame yourself
DGAP 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hard work and happiness are directly correlated.
hrishikesh2410 1 day ago 0 replies      
We are all stardust anyways!.........plz reply if you get this.
Nuclear disarmament and Mars
3 points by akshayB  2 days ago   2 comments top 2
spatulan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Completely impractical.

ICBMs can't even reach orbit, never mind Mars. So we'd have to build enough rockets to lift around 10,000 nuclear warheads to Mars, typically weighing around 300kg each.

The inevitable launch failures would be interesting too. Even if 99% reliable, that's still a hundred nuclear warheads raining randomly back to Earth.

And on top of all that, I don't think it'd actually make Mars significantly warmer.

atroyn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Musk's comments about using nuclear weapons to warm Mars were an offhand joke. It confuses me to see many people take them seriously.
Ask HN: How to create a remote development environment?
4 points by MuEta  3 days ago   5 comments top 4
0942v8653 3 days ago 1 reply      
Once you have an SSH server installed, you will need to first disable password-based authentication (this is very importanteven if you think you have a strong password, there are bots all over the internet just waiting for the chance).

Then set up port forwarding on your router. To do this, go to your router settings and:

1. Set up a DHCP reservation for the server. This should be easy enough, but depending on your router you might have to look up the server's MAC address and set it manually.

2. Set up a port forwarding connection from the router settings. The internal IP should be the one you just reserved, port 22, and the external port should be pretty much anything but 22; I recommend choosing a random number from 10000 to 65535.

3. Now you can use it anywhere! Look up your public IP (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=what+is+my+ip&ia=answer) from your home network, and SSH into it like this:

 ssh <username>@<public ip> -p <external port>
Last thing you need to do is set up the server with whatever stuff you wantgitlab or gogs for a github replacement, or anything really.

You can then access port 80 of the server securely with

 ssh <username>@<public ip> -p <external port> -L <some port>:localhost:80
and go to localhost:<some port>/ in your browser while that session is open. Don't forward port 80 to another external port on your router because it will all go over the internet (not just your home network) in plain text.

leoalves 2 days ago 0 replies      
m1k3r420 3 days ago 0 replies      
openssh-server will allow you to connect to the computers from anywhere. This will give you command line access, from there you can do anything.
atmosx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use docker.
Ask HN: How do you make something people want?
14 points by smaili  4 days ago   16 comments top 14
nostrademons 4 days ago 1 reply      
Two ways to approach it:

Make something. Most people won't want it. Show it to lots of people until you find some who are mildly interested. If nobody's interested, make something else. Otherwise, make what the people who are somewhat interested want. Repeat until you've made something people want.

Want something. Find other people who want it. Research the hell out of possible ways that you might make it. Talk to lots of people that might help you. Most won't, but some may give you some pointers or point you toward people who can help. Repeat until you've made something people want.

Empirically, the second seems to converge faster, but both can work. People tend to fall on different sides of the "I make things" vs. "I want things" spectrum, so the first approach will work better for some folks and the latter better for others. (I'm very much on the "make things" side of the spectrum, for example, so was basically forced into starting by making bad ideas and then incrementally refining and retargeting them until they become good ideas.) Know your strengths and what you care about and play to that.

Also, it can help a lot if a "make something" person partners up with a "want something" person, but this requires that they have compatible interests, working styles, and personalities. This itself is kinda a magic combination...if you find a team that works, run with it, but if you don't, either keep making things or wanting things until you do.

gdiocarez 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think, talking to them is the first step then telling them what you can do for them can help you make something.
pcmaffey 3 days ago 0 replies      
There are hundreds, if not thousands (x) of people just like you. Make something you want.

Then listen to people, adapt the edges 20%. You will reach millions.

This has probably been said before.

monroepe 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think a better question is "How do you make something people will use?" People want a lot of things that they won't necessarily use. Look at all the apps on your phone that at some point you "wanted," but now are never used.
timothybone 1 day ago 0 replies      
Aptitude. Some people can (and want) to sing. Esoteric talents abound. Use your aptitudes to help you make something people want. If you're good at, say for example singing, that is the natural talent you can bring to a making project. Make something you can make really well. Otherwise you might end up bored as hell.
Ayietim 3 days ago 0 replies      
You may not need to research so much by talking to too many people before you come up with what people want. If you could come up with something that satisfies one of human's basic needs, then you have created what people want. And as a human being, it is easy to figure out the basic needs of humans. When you have designed one, roll it out, let the people have it and wait for the feedback. Use the feedback to improve and consolidate. Success is a process that abhors delay and postponement.http://ayietim.wordpress.com
JSeymourATL 3 days ago 0 replies      
Look and listen for people's problems. Then come up with a brilliant solution.

The worlds biggest problems are the worlds biggest business opportunities. On this subject, Peter Diamandis writes a great blogpost > http://peterdiamandis.tumblr.com/post/128046793118/problems-...

Also, podcast discussion with Dan Sullivan >http://www.abundance360summit.com/podcast/2015/10/19/episode...

tluyben2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good comments here; an easy idea but harder to implement is something people already use (a lot) and make it easier and/or cheaper. Like Uber for instance.

Cheaper is something people always want.

ronnsan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ask yourself if you make something-

1. Why will you use it?2. How much will you use it?3. Will it use it daily or atleast with proper interval?

Then ask to be users around you and listen what they say on those 3 questions and derive from it.

ankurdhama 3 days ago 0 replies      
You don't make something that people want, rather you make something and then sell it in such a way that make people want it.
michaelmcmillan 3 days ago 0 replies      
By making something for yourself.
LarryMade2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Think of something you want... too techie? how about something your mom or gandpa wants.

Start making it, as you get into it expand the audience scope to include more people. Make sure you have other people try it out to get different perspectives.

tmaly 4 days ago 0 replies      
start with customer development, interview a whole bunch of potential customers. Then try to distill the data down into some generalization. If you can identify a pattern, your idea may work
azeirah 4 days ago 1 reply      
By knowing what people want.
       cached 26 December 2015 21:05:02 GMT