hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    28 Dec 2015 Ask
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Ask HN: A niche area that is in need of innovators
8 points by alykhalid  14 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
swayvil 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have a passion for money. And sex. Yeah, I have a passion for those things. How about you? Do you have a passion for that stuff?
tmaly 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
I can think of a few in regulatory compliance industry. I have systems that can sort of solve these problems, but it could be done much better. I may even try to build better versions at some point in the future if I can get my current things finished off my plate.
Ask HN: What system do you use for tracking and annotating academic papers?
14 points by chollida1  4 hours ago   13 comments top 8
RogerL 1 hour ago 0 replies      
PDFs in structured folders. I.e

 papers papers\filtering papers\math papers\languages papers\filtering\IMM papers\filtering\MHT 
You get the idea.

When I read I highlight using the yellow highlighter, and type notes in Evernote. Evernote is searchable.

I make this 'cloud'y by using bittorrent sync to share across computers.

That's all free. The folder method of holding papers/book/topics is nonideal - a paper can cover 2+ topics, for example. But it works, sort of, and I can still search. I use Everything (from void tools) to search on title or author, and then you can search inside pdfs with various tools.

Mendeley and such were nonstarters for me. Any service that makes me pay for cloud storage has lost the war, IMO. I already have 1TB each from Dropbox and google, more from Microsoft, why am I paying you for cloud storage?

I was having trouble with syncing with Mendeley, but reading the other comments aheilbut worked out the issues, so maybe i'll give it another go. I want to control the cloud, syncing, and file structure choices, not have a program decide those for me.

I don't worry about reading lists - I need to read what I need to read. When I get around to that topic there may be more relevant stuff than I selected back at the time, anyway. YMMV. If I see a paper of remote interest that I can legally grab I grab it, dump it into my file structure, and then rely on search to bring it to my attention again at the appropriate time.

aheilbut 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Mendeley is not bad at all. I save papers to a Dropbox folder, organized directories by general topic / relevance to project. Mendeley (on one computer) watches that folder, and imports the papers and fills out the bibliographic info, mostly automatically.

Mendeley lets you tag and organize things in virtual folders, as well as store notes and annotations. The bibliographic info for subsets of papers (eg. with a particular tag) can be exported to bibtex files when writing.

Mendeley is available on all platforms, and syncs across multiple computers. The only catch is that the links to PDFs are only maintained on the 'master' that watches the folder. (If you try to watch folders on multiple instances of the same synced database, all hell breaks loose.)

Pubchase (www.pubchase.com) can also sync with your Mendeley library, and does a surprisingly good job of recommending papers of interest.

88e282102ae2e5b 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I disliked Mendeley, Zotero and Referencer. I've been thinking about going back to just taking notes in a git repo in markdown (and keeping it on Gitlab or somewhere else that renders markdown properly. Also uploading the PDF to the repo alongside the notes, and having the main README have titles, DOIs and links to the relevant notes. Obviously you can't make citations easy like in any of the actual applications designed for this but I'm more focused on just understanding the material for now.
therobot24 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I use Qippa (http://www.qiqqa.com/) simply because it's fast. It's probably similar to Mendeley - i can tag, organize, mind-map, highlight, share, etc.
huac 1 hour ago 0 replies      
when I have to take notes from pdf's, webpages, and other sources, I've found Word to still be the most effective. i paste relevant sections in (with a macro to keep only text), and highlight the most important stuff. i have macros set up for condensing text, cutting whitespace, click-and-drag underlining

the biggest advantage of this is how flexible and easily searchable it is if i'm working with different content types.

jessriedel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I use Zotero, with annotations typed as PDF comments. The biggest thing I am lacking is a hardware device and compatible software for hand-written notations that actually works smoothly in practice.
GFK_of_xmaspast 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I use Zotero (https://www.zotero.org), and am liking it a lot. (It's also independent, as opposed to Mendeley which is owned by Elsevier)
pen2l 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Reuters' Endnote.

(have any of you guys tried it? Curious to hear your thoughts)

Upwork's Downfall
3 points by ftrflyr  1 hour ago   1 comment top
such_a_casual 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What do you miss about the life before Internet?
9 points by jimsojim  5 hours ago   15 comments top 12
FroshKiller 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing. I'm 34 years old and grew up in the rural Southeastern U.S. We had a meager public library that was a 20-minute drive from my home. I spent as much time as I could get away with in my schools' libraries.

My entire childhood, I had the sense of a world much bigger than the one I lived in that was just beyond my reach. My mother could give me glimpses when we went on vacation, but I was living years out of touch.

When we got Internet access, I got connected in a life-changing way to that world. It transformed how I learn, how I discover, what I remember, how I connect with people, everything, and all of it for the better. I think I'd rather die than go back.

haylem 4 hours ago 1 reply      
People's ability to accept and even enjoy being bored.

Related: People's ability to accept they cannot - and should not and do not deserve to - get everything right now.

hanniabu 4 hours ago 1 reply      
People being completely cool with just going for a walk. It could be a freak nice 70 degree day in December and people are still inside watching tv,on computers, playing video games, texting, etc. It's a sad world when you can't separate yourself enough to enjoy the moment.
JSeymourATL 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Newspapers-- it was once considered a professional requirement to read them daily. Beyond local news-- you were really on your information game if you read the NY Times or Wall Street Journal.

The printed paper format seems to lend itself more easily to tripping over interesting articles that you might not normally seek out. Versus mindless, repetitive web surfing.

And of course, if you wanted to share a news item with someone-- it meant cutting it out and mailing via the postal service. Usually, accompanied with a brief handwritten note. Always nice to receive. Now a lost art form.

tmaly 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
This was a post on reddit that was highlighted on businessinsider.

I miss less distractions

josh-wrale 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs), discovering new things at public libraries, traveling around to different libraries, having a tan.
outericky 4 hours ago 0 replies      
People not constantly staring at their phones. Everywhere. Outside. Inside. In restaurants. At work.
apryldelancey 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading more books.
AnimalMuppet 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The ability to start a face-to-face conversation with someone without feeling like I was intruding on their electronic world.
Raed667 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I miss not being so hooked and dependent on social networks.
ddingus 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a lot.

I sometimes miss the more quiet world, getting lost in my own thoughts, interacting directly with people, idle pleasures of various kinds. Of course, I visit that world with an off-grid camping trip each year. A good week being in a beautiful place with no possibility of connecting to anything is awesome!

Then I get bored, play, hike, explore, talk, relax, and sort of reset. I come back charged and ready to go!

Really, my only regret is not having Internet sooner. I would have done so much more as a kid.

jimmyzhao 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Agencies, how do you host multiple client websites?
5 points by codegeek  5 hours ago   4 comments top 4
atmosx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Do all your clients use the same stack? Most resellers use 1 big server and cPanel and (although I dislike GUIs and abstractions) I can say that cPanel is really good at what it does.

If you're not fond of cPanel and you want to use multiple VPSs you should definitely do it with docker, one container per client and then map them to a CNAME (e.g. www.website.com), you can use AWS, DO or any VPS provider with a mature API to automate the process, use logspout and ELK for logging and you're all set.

You can either choose to scale vertically (more servers) or horizontally (increase CPU/RAM).

riebschlager 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Every agency I've worked at didn't have one overarching solution for hosting client sites. Some clients already had a relationship with a hosting company and didn't want to change it. Other clients had a huge legacy codebase that they didn't want to pay to have replaced and we didn't want to pay to migrate and host it. With every client, there was some weird new situation that we had to navigate.

So rather than finding one solution, you might think about putting your client's sites into different buckets. Some sites might be a small one-off that you're starting from scratch, and those might fall into the shared hosting bucket. Some might be bigger or use a different stack than your typical site and those could fall into the VPS bucket. The remainder might fall into that unknown/unknowable zone, so it'd be good to plan out a way of managing third-party or client-hosted sites.

I think it's a rare thing for an agency to start off a new client relationship with an entirely blank slate, it'd serve you well to be flexible.

apryldelancey 4 hours ago 0 replies      
AWS and Rackspace are awesome. Scale up and down as you need.
ofcapl_ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think hosting client websites on multiple servers is more safe solution - imagine that Your hosting company have a huge server wipeout or something that makes Your data lost for ever. And Your EVERY SINGLE CLIENT data too.
Ask HN: Why is the software ecosystem of single-board computers so ugly?
40 points by hexman  19 hours ago   31 comments top 13
ChuckMcM 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The answer is that the interests of the creators of the chips powering these boards generally aren't aligned with non-commercial developers. So if you're a "hobbyist" you are not relevant.

Interestingly from the Commercial side, it is very different. If you've got a single board computer as part of your product and you are a going concern with the necessary legal NDAs and what not in place, the manufacturer will send one of their engineers to sit in your cube an pair program with you until your system is running the way you want. They will create custom releases of their binary blobs that do the things you need them to do in order to make you successful. That is so that your product ships and you start ordering a million a month of their product.

On the flip side there aren't too many really "open" SoCs, not like the old days where the data sheets told you everything. So things are a bit more challenging. I had hopes for the Zync series from Xilinx as they had the potential to be the basis for a good "common processor" base, a dual ARM 9 enough FPGA fabric to make a classic frame buffer, etc. But the number of people who want that sort of system is measured in the thousands, not the millions. No way to make a living at it, no way to sell it for what it would cost to support.

Intel has been bending over a lot however in order to try to take share from ARM. So they will talk to hobbyists about their smallest computers. The Galileo, compute stick, what have you. So there is an opportunity there, for the moment they are aligned with anyone trying to give them exposure.

miratrix 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm assuming you're talking about Platform / BSP side of the ugliness.

You have to look at the lineage of how things evolved to the current state - on the PC ecosystem, everything is already on enumerable buses (PCI, USB, etc) with standards (PCI, UEFI, etc) describing how it's all supposed to find what device is connected where and have it all work together. The incremental cost of opening that up to the public is thus fairly small since you need to build your platform to adhere to the standards that are already there anyway. That's how you get to being able to boot a kernel image on a random system or insmod a random driver you found and expect it to (mostly) work.

In the SBC/Embedded ecosystem, there really aren't any standards. Since internal topology of each SoC is different and the pace of new SoC releases is so high, there's no time for standardization - you throw in random IPs from bunch of different vendors, figure out how to connect it all together, and get it to the market. In this scenario, having something documented is actually a negative thing - once something is documented, people expect it to work the same way going forward. You can hide a lot of hardware deficiencies in binary blobs, something that's very difficult to give up. Thus, there's a huge disincentive to provide full hardware documentation. I'd imagine that in some cases, for licensed IPs, the SoC vendors may not even be allowed to do so even if they wanted to.

Things like DeviceTree is trying to nibble around the edges of this problem, but given the current state of things, it'll be a while yet as a lot of the building pieces doesn't even seem like it's in the picture yet.

Sanddancer 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Because people are trying to use a hammer on a part that needs a precision screwdriver. A generic OS with a monolithic, non-realtime kernel offers downright terrible support for the useful and interesting parts of embedded components -- the multitude of I/O components designed to keep things from needing the CPU, timers to trigger interrupts at regular intervals, so that it can spend most of its time in sleep, etc.

Generic OSes simply have the wrong sort of philosophy for this. Microcontrollers, like the AVR or ARM Cortex-Ms, tend to provide an environment that gives you more tools needed to take advantage of the processors in a reasonable manner. They provide the hooks for interrupts so that you can service IO when it comes in, they provide network stacks and filesystem libraries that you can use if your project calls for them, or ignore when it doesn't. Because of this, you end up in situations where programming for an ATTiny4313, with 256 bytes of RAM and 4 kilobytes of flash, is more enjoyable and rewarding than a system with a million times those resources.

A lot of this can be blamed on the documentation, or lack thereof. A lot of the higher end embedded devices -- like the broadcom chip in the pi -- don't have nearly the documentation available to the ordinary user as the smaller chips. As a consequence, users have to pore through the tiny amount of documentation that is available to guess their way to the answers, further ensuring that you'll only get a few ports of operating systems that really don't exploit the power of the chip they're running on. You just get a generic experience with a generic OS.

The solution is to hack. Go deeper than Debian, farther than FreeBSD. Bug manufacturers for the tools needed to expose the dark corners of the chip, to get register maps and interrupt handlers. We need good real-time solutions that the common person can count on. To get things not so ugly, we need the opposite of the tools we have now. We need to lay these chips bare, because the current path just isn't sustainable.

mschuster91 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think something that's been overlooked is that no one really cares enough to get Linux kernel patches upstream-compatible.

Even if the sources are available it 'd take many man-months of engineering work to get those compatible with mainline HEAD and even more effort to get to the coding standards required by the kernel maintainers. Manufacturers/OEMs/ODMs don't care because it won't improve their bottom line to have a current kernel (at least not until a customer wants to run latest Debian with systemd and udev, which carry certain minimum requirements on the kernel). The Linux kernel community already has too much work on their hands and I don't see any major company sponsoring the couple millions of $$$ that 'd be required for integrating work.

Just look at the myriad of linux-2.6.24 forks. Android handsets, SOHO el-cheapo routers (people still ship 2.4.x kernels for these, LOL), gambling machines (no joke, I actually own a real, licensed slot machine running 2.6.24!)...

imrehg 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I currently work at an embedded boards company as (technical) marketing, and using a lot of the boards outside of work too. I'm asking the same things myself too for a long time, and so far I figured about these comments to try to answer (at least in part).

Getting software right is bloody hard work! Especially with ARM where you need to redo a lot of things for every new piece of hardware.

Most companies (and most PMs/engineers) I think perceive boards as the end-products themselves, and any software development after the initial release (and maybe some bug fixes) is more of a burden than value add. This attitude needs to change, because it results in very-very few boards actually being used to their full potential. What good is a great hardware if nobody can make it work? Maybe this will change, but need good thought leaders inside companies to make that happen.

I see that upstreaming is often not considered, or couldn't be done. The quality of code is just awful, because that's not a design goal. Being part of an ecosystem, helping your future self doing a better job (not needing to start from scratch every time if things are upstreamed) is not part of the thinking for many. These things are (or thought to be) outside of the PMs responsibilities.

Resource constraints come in a lot, many companies try to support way too many products, and end up with a level of "barely" making it work, which is good enough for many traditional customers. Doing a good job needs a lot more resources. I remember reading that RPi spent about $5million worth of development on just the Linux support. Can't imagine lot of other companies putting that much into any single product.

And there's a lot of the traditional "trade secret" thinking. Lot of places are more afraid of losing sales doe to being copied than not selling boards because of lack of interest. The main goal is never really "enabling the customer/user" or giving options, but the first thing is protecting the IP because of the thinking stuck with the ways things use to work.

Also, the "software ecosystem" is highly fragmented, all projects rely a lot on volunteers, and require a lot of specialized knowledge. I don't know if it's even possible to bring people together, but whoever would achieve that would do a big service to both sides...

These are just some thoughts, I'm sure not the whole picture (and definitely, definitely do not reflect the opinion of my employer:)

bsder 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Um, because hardware is hard. Let's go shopping.

Specifically: Because until the latest incarnation of both the BeagleBone and RasberryPi, everybody was running hacky kernels with bodge after bodge of garbage layered on to make things work.

In roughly the last year, both the Raspberry Pi and the BeagleBone black can run relatively clean versions derived from Linux mainline (Debian in my case).

Once the BeagleBone got off of the disaster that is Angstrom Linux, the number of BeagleBone's around me shot up like a rocket.

nascentmind 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I see a lot of people having problems with the BSP. Excuse me for the shameless plug but I am developing an open source baremetal firmware for the Samsung SoC S3C2440 ( https://github.com/mindentropy/s3c2440-mdk ) and planning to port this to S3C2451. These are found in HP IPaq etc. It will be basically a tutorial for people trying to develop their own firmware or as reference code for bringing the SoC and the controller's up i.e. Drivers for the controllers and also the ARM board bring up code. It can also be used to test the board by testing individual IP's.

I am planning on supporting Samsung SoC's and will start of with TI AM335x Sitara series and FriendlyARM's NanoPi2 which contains the Samsung SoC S5P4418

I am running behind OEM/ODM's for funding me for development of their SoC's and nobody seems to be interested except FriendlyARM. What do you think I should be doing to get some funding for this?

SwellJoe 18 hours ago 4 replies      
What do you mean? They run Linux. How much more software could you possibly want? And, how could it be healthier? It is the largest free software ecosystem that has ever existed.

I'm not trying to be ornery, I just don't understand what is ugly about Linux, or what is specifically ugly about using Linux on these systems?

duskwuff 16 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not just those boards. Embedded development is generally "ugly" across the board. :(
afsina 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Google wants to bring some sanity on the development side with Fletch (https://github.com/dart-lang/fletch , Dart for embedded devices), not sure if this is what you are looking for though.


tmuir 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's to the point that hardware features on their own aren't really selling points, at least in my opinion. You can have high speed, tons of ram, 10 different buses/ports, and sell it for $10. But if there isn't a healthy user community, and a good bsp, all of that hardware remains highly inaccessible.

It's kind of a roller coaster of emotions. You can go from feeling like a wizard because of all of the shoulders you stand on for very little effort, to feeling like a dunce, because some driver doesn't work, and you have no idea how to go about implementing a solution.

stefantalpalaru 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The kernel space is ugly because of all those out-of-tree patches and binary blobs, but the user space is rather normal. I run a vanilla Gentoo ~arm on my Banana Pro and I have yet to encounter an issue.
hexman 16 hours ago 1 reply      
At the latest DockerCon Solomon told about solution - look https://youtu.be/at72dhg-SZY?t=1445
Ask HN: Who is behind the Linode DDOS attacks?
19 points by workitout  1 day ago   7 comments top 5
iSloth 12 hours ago 1 reply      
You'll probably find that they're targeting one of Linodes customers rather than the actual Hosting company.

As for the reason, it's normally trying to get money out of them, or just to take a website offline for a while (e.g. the DDoS is from a competitor).

Most attacks will continue until you can prove that your no longer affected by them and can clean out the dirty traffic, this is quite expensive to do though.

krotitelserveru 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I am surprised they were not prepared, our servers were down for 4 hours.
kujoeats 1 day ago 0 replies      
ISIS did it
iptel 1 day ago 0 replies      
stephenapple 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to know! I was wondering this myself...
Ask HN: What's your favourite personal website?
5 points by philippnagel  9 hours ago   2 comments top 2
vorador 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This one, by far: https://charlie.bz/. I love the idea of using Javascript to connect to a Windows 95 machine using VNC, just to display a very basic HTML page.
flippant 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What was your failure in 2015?
8 points by aforarnold  10 hours ago   3 comments top 3
insoluble 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My biggest failure in 2015 was probably that I was too reactionary. I lacked the autonomy that I often had in the more distant past. Instead of making and following long-term plans, I found myself doing small projects and waiting for people's reactions before proceeding to do something else. What I would do next was too often based on the responses I received. There have been times in the distant past where I was the opposite -- too much autonomy for too long -- leading to building a large project that nobody really wanted. In 2015 I saw the opposite end of the spectrum. Recently recognising this phenomenon has helped to remind me that both ends -- heavy autonomy and heavy interaction -- are bad for productivity. I am now thinking that perhaps autonomous spurts of 3 to 9 weeks at a time are best in the long run. Waiting for a reaction after just a few days of work is too short a time, and building alone for 9 months without validation is too dangerous.
apryldelancey 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My failure was not following my dream sooner. Once I realized this I fired toxic clients and got rid of toxic people in my life. Now I am back to actively working on MY dream, and yes there is less money involved right now. However, I've simplified my life and really reeled in the spending and it's working. I'm getting a lot more interest in my new project and funding is just around the corner - I fully expect first seed funding in Q1 2016. In the end you have to do what makes you happy and the sooner you do it, the better your life will be.
mod 5 hours ago 0 replies      
My failure isn't the good kind of failure.

Mine was inaction.

Ask HN: What are your predictions in technology for 2016?
94 points by Numberwang  1 day ago   98 comments top 37
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 4 replies      
1) Gigafactory comes on line and the price of batteries hits a new low.

2) The first re-use of a rocket booster to launch a payload into orbit.

3) A commercially exploitable use for Graphene is found.

4) Some genetic condition is completely cured in mice using CRISPr techniques.

5) VR/AR actually ships in underwhelming quantities.

6) Power companies sue to block people from installing whole house batteries.

7) Biometric firearms see widespread adoption.

8) Drone "mortar" shells (single use drone carrying a shrapnel grenade) see use in the battle fields of the middle east.

9) Google has its first wide spread layoff not associated with an acquisition.

10) Nintendo ships a fun to use game console.

lewiscollard 1 day ago 2 replies      
The ad blocking war is going to go hot.

1) Ad blocker usage doubles on the desktop in Western Europe and the US by the end of the year.

2) Websites locking out users of ad blockers becomes routine, rather than exceptional.

3) There will be at least one successful legislative attempt to outlaw ad blocking, in Europe.

4) Long shot: Apple ships a minor (+0.1) update to iOS with ad blocking enabled by default. (Blackberry might do the same, but it would not be as consequential as Apple doing it.)

Bookmark so you can all laugh at how wrong I was!

yongelee 1 day ago 2 replies      
1) Super bleeding edge technologies like Virtual reality / augmented reality doesn't take off or become popular, still viewed as 'super high tech'

2) The majority of the population still does not know / appreciate what it takes to make a website

3) Computer science grads are pissed because they can't find jobs despite constantly reading news about how there is a shortage of programmer jobs

4) Native iOS / Android is still dominant, Javascript hybrid apps are only used by technically advanced companies

5) JavaScript loses popularity, MEAN stack loses popularity but alternatives aren't appearing, just more criticism of the javascript frameworks

anaip1 1 day ago 2 replies      
My 2016 JavaScript predictions:

1) React.js starts to lose popularity due to it's ultra complex tooling ecosystem. People want to feel like what they learn will be still be useful at their next job. The React ecosystem doesn't provide that; the React ecosystem tends to burn people out.

2) Smaller frameworks like Vue or Riot takes the spotlight.

3) Angular 2 is a hit thanks to its "batteries included" design, which will appeal to React burnouts.

4) A new JavaScript rendering-based framework will come out and become a hit. Something like Turbolinks or Glimmer, except it doesn't break jQuery or sandboxes you to an ecosystem.

nl 1 day ago 2 replies      
1) Deep Learning-based techniques outperform hand engineered natural language processing stacks in every measurable way.

2) There will be considerable progress made on the Winograd Schema challenge.

3) The (unconstrained) Turing test won't be "officially" passed until October 2017 though (it will actually be passed in July or August, but the news won't leak until October)[1].

4) Some people will continue to insist that Deep Learning is nothing different to what was being done in the 1990s. At some point someone will get frustrated enough with this to blog everything that is different now.

[1] Specific enough prediction?

chipsy 1 day ago 1 reply      
1. Battery powered automotive devices, both small(hoverboards, drones) and large(cars), continue picking up steam; articles circulate about the potential danger and disruption of the new devices

2. Multiple new operating system projects announced, targeted for unikernel VM deployment

3. Emerging AI techniques commercialized for creative applications, e.g. a new wave of selfie apps, professional art or music tools

4. Distributed apps using blockchain protocols start making small ripples

5. Software and devices that successfully bridge the mobile/desktop gap are demonstrated

6. VR/AR devices ship, but demand remains modest and mostly in professional niches

I would have said something about the economy and finance too, but this is a tech predictions thread. So I'll go for a tech-economic one:

7. Trends turn against one or more of the current leading social networks, as a bold newcomer finds an opening

8. Bubble mania in the Valley peaks and shifts towards panic as key macro indicators start sagging

molecule 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Ask HN: What are your predictions for 2015?


fanquake 1 day ago 1 reply      
1) Autonomous farm machinery (more than just auto steer) becomes more commonplace.

1a) Release of the first non major brand (JD, Case etc) autonomous machine.

2) Drone see uptake in precision spraying applications. Although this will be on small farms. Broad acre will still be too hard for a while yet.

3) NDVI becomes one of the most commonly used inputs pre seeding and for nutrient applications.

tmaly 5 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan increase, but more use of drones in army this year and going forward.

2. First use of railgun in Navy in active campaign

3. More car companies go the battery powered route with newer models

4. It becomes even easier to make an app on the phone, but the landscape continues to fracture on the phone OS front

5. someone comes up with something interesting using a small computer like raspberry pi zero and 3d printing

6. Encryption for general population gets better with some really great app.

gautamb0 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) 2-4 Unicorns die

2) VR successful on a small scale, no successful AR products

3) 2016 is the year of drones

4) Marijuana startups heavily funded

5) More JS frameworks come in and out of vogue

5) Neither native apps nor web are going anywhere

6) YC's average founder age increases to slightly over 30

7) Apple releases a tablet/laptop hybrid which flops

8) Property values decline in the Valley yet relentlessly surge in SF

mitchtbaum 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Linux Founder Linus Torvalds: 2016 Will Be The Year of ARM Laptops"


Soon thereafter, fully free software ARM handhelds could take foot if common tooling accelerates both innovation and stability. So..

2. Base-level (free) software [and possibly hardware] (frameworks, languages, and developer tools) will coalesce and clear winners will emerge, while side-level interests will continue within ongoing and offshoot communities whose work then funnels back for mainline user adoption.

Bonus (re: emergent winners). Communities will pick targets and sets their aims based on principle more so than popularity.

logn 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Firefox decides to incorporate Tor Browser in private browsing mode.

Digital Ocean gets acquired.

Google Fiber buys Cincinnati Bell.

IoT still hasn't gained much traction.

Bitcoin suffers 51% attack.

Archaeological evidence of human life found on Mars/Moon from some time > 12K years ago.

4G meshnets become popular in developing countries.

beeboop 1 day ago 1 reply      
1) Hillary will become (or even more so than now) the dominate contender between both parties for next presidential election

2) Trump will die in popularity after taking a controversial stance too far

3) We will see scare pieces on local news stations about Oculus technology being for perverts and losers and it is destroying the fabric of society

4) Expansion of TSA pre-check program, including more options that cost more money and require some new hardware, like retina scanning, at the cost of billions of dollars in new machines

5) New NSA privileges are granted by congress by silently slipping into some entirely unrelated bill

6) Obama will make some sort of grand, popular gesture (ala taking credit for Bin Laden kill) in an attempt to make Democrats as a whole look better to improve Hillary's chances (edit: actually, this is more likely in 2017)

7) Standard of living will continue to decline for Americans as compared to other first world countries

8) Police corruption/tyranny will continue to be a hot button issue and we will continue to see a push for body cams throughout the country (thank god)

9) Some scandal will be unveiled or manufactured around Elon Musk

buro9 1 day ago 2 replies      
Just two big predictions from me:

1) FinTech will start to shine through, the first consumer banks built using modern tech will open to customers in Europe (London FinTech scene is strong, Zurich has ex-Googlers and strong finance, or Frankfurt but they are currently trailing - my bet is on London). These banks will experience very strong growth, the question really is: Will they go with it or go for acquisition

2) The "Family Plan" will emerge as a new sales market in most of the established consumer products, with Dropbox, Google, and others all building strong offerings for managing the product use and sharing of a group of users. This is ground-work for centralising both "family" and "home", and lays the foundation for the command and control of IoT over the next few years - it is how the big established players stay in the game.

Neither of those predictions is quite there, the leading new bank is Mondo https://getmondo.co.uk/ but it's in beta, is currently iPhone only which limits adoption in the UK, and the benefits of the new tech hasn't yet been fully realised.

And I'm not yet seeing the "family plan" head this way but I'd be surprised if the penny doesn't drop somewhere and this be the path taken. Control of the home is control of the family, and vice versa... the family want tools for this better than the ones they have today.

An entirely different thing I'd like to see exist but do not know of anyone working on at all:

3) A dating app that acknowledges the hook-up culture that seems to be growing in the millenial generation of users, and instead of hiding that under the carpet uses it's data to encourage responsible tracking of STDs and other risks.

That one is inspired by news this morning on Gonorrhoea becoming immune to antibiotics http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35153794 . The app should function similar to whatever the core function of Tinder is, but allow tracking of whom you've done what with for the sole purpose of allowing notifications of STDs to be quickly disseminated to people who may be exposed.

It may be infeasible, I don't know what the willingness of those who do hook-ups is to track risk-related activity and test results is. The core idea is "disease tracking in social networking and dating apps".

patrick_99 1 day ago 0 replies      
Random predictions from the top of my head:1. Funding for start ups is lower than 20152. Genomics and anything related to autonomous vehices (including drones) will be the hottest sectors3. Google's revenue from non ad based products will double
personlurking 1 day ago 1 reply      
One of my predictions (rather, hopes) is the same as every year: that we find more ways, socially, to get us offline through the use of technology.

- A Tinder not for hookups (perhaps even for friends - see below)

- A small-scale Meetup.com for exchanging knowledge

- Time banks take off

sandij 1 day ago 5 replies      
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bjourne 1 day ago 1 reply      
1. E-bikes will take off. Before the end of the year I suspect almost everyone will have one because Chinese manufacturers will flood the market. A bike with a 500-750w engine is an amazing way to ride to work. You save money, are environmentally friendly and get exercise. Even an untrained fatty can easily handle a 15 km commute on one. Awesome.

2. Mozilla and MS will abandon their own html rendering engines and start using WebKit.

3. The eye-balls as revenue model will fail. Ad-supported magazines, video sites and many more will become subscription-based instead.

3.5. As a sad consequence, Google will lay of A LOT of personnel. Facebook too I guess.

4. HiDpi 3200x1800 screens will become the norm. Tablets will make specialized devices like Kindle obsolete.

5. Bitcoin will not take of. Visa, Mastercard or a European bank organization will launch a crypto-currency that might take off. Critics will complain that it won't guarantee any anonymity.

6. Multi-threading and multi-processing won't go anywhere because it is to hard. A new language might be created by any of the big companies promising to make parallel processing easy, but it won't, and the language won't be adopted.

7. I predict a lot of health and self-improvement tech being marketed. Like do it yourself genome sequencing, apps to monitor your stats and help you live more healthy.

8. GPU:s will be equipped with chips to support raytracing and raytracing-based games will be released and they will look completely mind-blowing.

bitcuration 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. iPhone7 will finish the android dominance finally. Apple Pay become prevalent. 2. Google will re-license android so only Google can make android phone. Chinese and Samsung will either stuck with the last android OS or pushing into a fork.3. Driver assistance AI will become standard in 2017 model car, we will see car industry the most active AI research and acquisition market.4. AMD and nVidia competition heat up and will drive deep learning into deeper and ever increasing number layers, and hit a breaking point when the next Google emerges to replace search and Wikipedia, at finger tip. 5. Microsoft Hololens will be a hit, it actually revives Microsoft from doom. But we will find Amazon enter into VR market.6. Amazon drone delivery will start in a limit number of area, suburban mostly.7. Elon Musk will bankrupt as the oil price continue in downward trend, and solar panel adoption slowdown as punished by power company.8. We will see the first Bitcoin/blockchain based crowdfunding, may even be equity based. Meanwhile Bitcoin price will double as bankers busy push their own blockchain based banking infrastructure, while ignorant to Apple Pay is eating them alive.9. Facebook enter China market, and increases its size of user by another quarter, while Facebook breakthrough in online translation for the first time makes choice language irrelevant.10. Trump wins presidential election, WWIII becomes the predominant theme of the computer games released in the years followed.
yulaow 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Windows Phone/Mobile will probably die. Its market share will fall under 1% and so Microsoft will make only one model (Surface Phone?) just for those who want to have the "continuum" experience, but they will not invest a lot on it.

2. Windows 10 Store will remain totally unused. Microsoft won't say it is a fail but well, everyone will still prefer to use old x86 applications

3. Self-driving Cars not ready

4. Still a very low number of electric cars sold, but their price will drop making them probably a good investment in 2017/2018. In europe the situation will remain the same as today (almost no one use them)

5. Some move by apple in the low-price smartphone market. This time really low-price, they won't go for a 5C like before but for something else more simple

6. Touch screen laptop still ignored by most

7. Arm laptops hit the consumer market with linux or android on them

8. VirtualReality devices are a flop because of their costs (both for the devices and for the pc you need to use them). Almost no AAA game will support them

9. Vulkan will be a great revolution in gaming

10. All companies going back to native development on mobile instead of hybrid solutions.

11. React will slowly fall losing against Angular2

r3bl 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Windows 10 usage ratio explodes. Linux distributions might see a small increase on the desktop market (up to something like 2%).

2. Major browsers will start experimenting with warning the users that they are visiting a site that does not support HTTPS (although I think that they won't be adding that to stable versions until 2017).

3. Google+ is going away for good.

4. European Union makes the progress in uniting as a single market to fight against geo-blocking.

5. Self-driving cars are still not ready to be commercially available.

mindcrime 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hate these kinds of questions, because I have such a hard time divorcing the things I think will happen, from the things I want to happen. That and I am probably too enamored with the belief that "making predictions is hard, especially about the future".

There's another saying as well, which I think might be a billg thing (but don't quote me on that) which goes something like this (paraphrased a bit probably) "People tend to overestimate the magnitude of technological change in the short-term (2-3 years out) and under-estimate the magnitude of technological change in the long-term (say, 10+ years)".

I find that's largely true. Next year, most things will be mostly like they were this year, just incrementally different. 2017 will be mostly like 2016, and so on. But somehow these amazing things tend to sneak in there just the same...

I guess I still didn't actually make any predictions, did I? OK, find, you twisted my arm. I'll take a stab at some:

1. Wikidata will continue to grow in maturity and scope and will be a terrifically import piece of the Semantic Web as it continues to grow.

2. People will continue to insist that the Semantic Web is dead, and you'll see a continuation of something like an analog to the old saying "once it works, people stop calling it AI". Nobody will ever say that the Semantic Web has arrived, but we'll be using Linked Data and related technologies (although perhaps not the RDF/SPARQL stack)

3. I'll predict that at least one new (or new'ish) probabilistic programming language will gain some major traction in 2016.

4. Hadoop / Spark / etc. will continue to grow in the enterprise and start to move beyond POC's and demos.

4.5 - but most businesses are still just spitting in the wind, stumbling in the dark, etc. when it comes to actually becoming more scientific / data-driven. But you'll see more "stuff" (tools, technology, methodologies) etc. promoting the use of scientific thinking, analysis, etc. in business decision making.

5. Zeppelin will grow in popularity as people write additional integrations / interpreters for it.

6. MOOCs will continue to eat the foundation out from underneath traditional education. It's arguably already the case for programmers and people like us that a traditional university degree isn't all that important for many jobs; and more employers will start really looking at certificates from things like Coursera classes and hiring people without those traditional degrees.

chvid 1 day ago 0 replies      
One year is not really that long - but here is what I am seeing in the foreseeable future:

1. Development for proprietary mobile platforms (such as iOS/ObjectiveC/Swift and Android/Java) will drop in popularity.

2. Continuing increase in client-side JavaScript/HTML5 popularity. The dominant platform will be ES6/React not TypeScript/Angular2.

3. The "App Store" will start to loose its relevancy.

4. Mobile (vs. web) usage continues to grow.

And for business:

5. Social networks coming out of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, SEA - such as WeChat or Line) becoming globally popular.

6. Crash/collapse/accounting fraud scandal in a major internet company. (No idea for specifics but look at the ride subsidies of uber for an example of something that can go wrong).

7. Xiaomi starts selling in USA and Europe with considerable success.

sandij 1 day ago 0 replies      
A company stands up that people will refer to as the Apple of smart textiles.
choult 1 day ago 1 reply      
1. Privacy becomes more important to social networks

2. Social networks withdraw more APIs to protect not only privacy but their own business interests

3. Privacy becomes more annoying to lawmakers

4. Lawmakers in the US vote in more surveillance powers to force social networks to comply with their information demands

5. Lawmakers in the EU create new laws to constrain their citizens' data to EU countries

6. Distributed social networks pick up traction in both the EU and US in response to #3 and #4. One will be promoted by a major player, probably Google as a play against Facebook.

elwell 16 hours ago 0 replies      
askafriend 1 day ago 1 reply      
Marijuana Unicorns
diminish 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Several unicorn IPOs

2. Google becomes highest valued tech conpany before Apple

armini 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hope more things are voice enabled, here's a small demo I've been working on using Arduino and VeeaR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFRUFZU4FHE

The tools make it really easy to put together cool projects for 2016.

CryoLogic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Social Networking Sites and Apps are in a lot of trouble when we realize that once again they aren't producing profit (Snapchat, Twitter, Etc.).
middleclick 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anonymity and privacy apps are going to see an increase in users.
vmorgulis 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Aerial corridors and traffic systems for drones ...
billions 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook acquires Snapchat by force after IPO
isolate 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Incremental improvements all around.

2. Digital rights weakened all around.

3. Analog media makes a comeback (books, art, film, letters, photos, vinyl, etc.)

4. Phones become uncool.

5. Donald Trump wins the election. (Democracy is a technology, or at least it is in Civilization.)

int0x80 1 day ago 0 replies      
To add to what already has been said: Vulkan.
karlcoelho1 1 day ago 0 replies      
kutch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Robots must be anywhere
Ask HN: What is the best book for learning Swift?
10 points by hestefisk  1 day ago   7 comments top 6
liampronan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not a book, but since your description asks for a "source":

Developing iOS 8 Apps with Swift[0]: Stanford course with a great professor that focuses on learning Swift with a heavy focus on the iOS SDK. Really great for getting the fundamentals for iOS programming, and the course assumes a solid programming background (e.g., MVC).

Book: Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)[1]. This looks like it just came out, and I haven't read it, but I did read the authors' Obj. C Guide and their iOS Guide, and both were great, so I'm assuming the same for this one.

0 - https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/developing-ios-8-apps-swi...1 - http://www.amazon.com/Swift-Programming-Ranch-Guide-Guides/d...

_RPM 18 hours ago 0 replies      
By learning Swift, do you mean the grammar? If so, the apple documentation is a great resource [0]

[0] https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/Swift/...

cballard 23 hours ago 1 reply      
You don't really need to pay for a book. If you're experienced with C# it'll be pretty easy to pick up.

But, if you really want one, the definitive choice is "The Swift Programming Language", which is free: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/swift-programming-language/...

radnam 14 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are looking to build iOS apps, Swift is one piece of the puzzle. You will have lot to learn about libraries from Apple and others's to make you productive. Stanford's course and courses on Udemy are a good start. I like Stanford's course better because it is tailored for someone who has some experience in programming, however Udemy course is bit more pragmatic. Be patient and be willing to put in time.
bezalmighty 19 hours ago 0 replies      
You can watch the talk videos from Swift Summit at http://www.Skilled.io for free, and there's full transcripts.
MartinRogalla 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Have been doing iOS programming with Swift 2.5 days per week for a bit less than a year now. The first step I took was to read through Apple's Official Swift Language Guide[0]. After completing this I followed the Stanford course on iOS Development with Swift[1]. I didn't spend much time on this, I did this in a Friday afternoon(language guide) and full weekend(watching lectures), since I believe more in learning by practicing.

I've really come to like Swift as a language, since it's concise and simple. The iOS SDK however is not so much fun. Learning the iOS SDK will take a lot of time before you develop routines to approach your problems. I'm still learning about strange behaviour from the SDK and getting frustrated by it every time I use it. It's important to keep things fun, look through the trending Swift repositories on GitHub, follow #iosdev on Twitter and /r/iosprogramming, you will learn a lot if you keep up to date with these sources.

Some of the habits I've created, which might be handy to other people:

- I manage dependencies with CocoaPods, with no dependencies residing in my repository.

- I don't use storyboards or xib's at all. Everything I do is with SnapKit[2]. This takes some time to learn, but it greatly improves the diffs and overview on how the ui elements are constrained and set up.

- I use API endpoint enums which get called by an API Handler, which uses Alamofire[3] to execute the api requests.

- I try to use as many tools provided by Fastlane[4]. Especially if you're developing many Apps, or incrementally building an App, releasing a new version every two weeks: automate all the things. Otherwise you will waste so much time simply waiting for a process to complete.

Side note(if you're interested):

I'm currently developing a tool called Evans(will write a blog post as soon as it's reasonably finished), which performs all kinds of routines automatically. It for example listens to GitHub comments like '@evans screenshots' on a pull request. Evans then emits a request to one of the build slaves, which retrieves the branch, builds the project and runs the screenshot routine, puts the screenshots in an s3 bucket and posts a link as a response in the pull request.

[0] - https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/Swift/...

[1] - https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/developing-ios-8-apps-swi...

[2] - https://github.com/SnapKit/SnapKit

[3] - https://github.com/Alamofire/Alamofire

[4] - https://github.com/fastlane/fastlane

Ask HN: Books you read in 2015?
167 points by dbalan  5 days ago   160 comments top 82
haylem 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This will be an unlikely HN entry, but as there was not pre-requirement, I thoroughly enjoyed a French book named "Peste et Cholera" by Patrick Deville, about Alexandre Yersin [1]. Yersin is mostly known for identified the bacillus responsible for the plague [2]. Not that it relates to our field, but the guy's dedication and hard-work was inspiring (similarly, Pasteur's life is quite interesting to read about).

Also out of our usual targets here, though somewhat more related, I enjoyed "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" [3] by Haruki Murakami. I found the universes interesting and enjoyed the setting of a world were programmers learn to compute and encrypt things in their brains (even if it's a small part of the story).

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre_Yersin

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yersinia_pestis

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard-Boiled_Wonderland_and_the...

dcolgan 5 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 4 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 5 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 5 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 5 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.

Pietertje 5 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

hkmurakami 5 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.

fmax30 5 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

yetanotheracc 4 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.

scorchio 5 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
Hortinstein 5 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 5 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 5 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.

ycom13__ 5 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

acj 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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

necessity 5 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...

1812Overture 4 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.

thomnottom 5 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.

Diederich 5 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 5 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

agentultra 5 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.

laxatives 4 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.

oerb 3 days 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)

wushupork 4 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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.

HCIdivision17 5 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 5 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

brikis98 4 days ago 1 reply      
SuperChihuahua 5 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)

theologic 4 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.

tmaly 5 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 )

ThrustVectoring 5 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.

wycx 4 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 5 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 5 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

nkzednan 4 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 5 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

arethuza 5 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.

horofox 4 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.

noxToken 5 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 5 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

r3bl 5 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).

galfarragem 4 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

thelonelygod 5 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.

6footgeek 5 days ago 1 reply      
Ready Player One. by Ernest Cline.Brilliant geeky read (fiction) :)
pyotrgalois 5 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

jaylitt 4 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.

neilsharma 4 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

mjhoy 5 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.

oerb 3 days 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.

FatalBaboon 4 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!

kirk21 5 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

aws_ls 4 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)

ing33k 5 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.

Church- 5 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.
dllthomas 4 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.

onion2k 5 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 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
This year's finished reading so far https://gist.github.com/adrianh/f6aca0e6ac3b2e9aec94

(doesn't include stuff skimmed or unfinished)

gadders 5 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.
pmcpinto 5 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
benajibayassine 5 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 5 days ago 0 replies      
My favourite has been "Industrial Applications of High-Performance Computing: Best Global Practices", CRC Press, April 2015.
anatoly 5 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 5 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.

kwhitefoot 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Child of Time : Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg

Liked it.

rodolphoarruda 5 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 4 days ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed Kevin Kelly's 'What Technology Wants'.
jiggaboo 4 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 4 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 4 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]

baby 5 days ago 0 replies      
to kill a mocking bird: it was refreshing, looking for more simple books like this one
hackerbloos 4 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'.

eecks 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Pivoting my startup, how should I submit to AngelList?
19 points by pupeno  2 days ago   11 comments top 4
mszyndel 2 days ago 3 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...

rajacombinator 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Do people really "submit to AngelList" and expect anything to happen?
zebra 2 days 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.

tedmiston 1 day ago 1 reply      
Focus is everything.

Pointing to the marketing site for this new product and making no mention of the old business or past attempts will better guide investor interest. You can explain in the story how you got to where you are. Overall though, the pre-seed timeline is way less important than the product you have today and the traction/growth that's in progress now.

Tell HN: Your great ideas that you won't pursue
29 points by mavsman  2 days ago   24 comments top 7
tedmiston 1 day ago 3 replies      
"SpoonRocket for pizza" -- Can we deliver a pizza in 10-15 min instead of 1-2 hours? [By operating a vehicle that cooks them in the truck and circles the block, college district, etc.]

I won a hackathon with this concept and began to pursue it as a startup a year ago. The market is big, and people love comfort foods. Also, today's food delivery startups mostly focus on healthy options.

We did customer validation in Cincinnati, OH, and people seemed very interested, but we don't have the population density spots to run it here. I also don't think it'd work in New York (too many fast $1 pizza joints), or Chicago (people mostly want high quality and are willing to wait). We think it has a lot of potential in the bay, where SpoonRocket, Caviar, Sprig, etc. have paved the way.

Side note: Domino's unveiled their own cars of a similar concept in October. http://fortune.com/2015/10/22/dominos-pizza-car/

delfuturo 1 day ago 1 reply      
A social network that helps you connect and share with the people in your life.
benologist 2 days ago 1 reply      
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.
soared 1 day ago 1 reply      
1) Deliver espresso shots for $1 in <20 minutes by strapping a small espresso machine to your bike and having people order through text message. I made a website just for kicks, but never actually going to do anything. oneshots.squarespace.com

2) Uber for fixing people's computers/laptops. Plenty of us are good with computers and could easily fix most problems, while 90% of people can't.

yitchelle 1 day ago 4 replies      
Take a photo of a road sign, document, newspaper and it translates to a language of your choice, on the photo. Like Google Translate on steriods.
craftkiller 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see x2go upgraded with a mosh-like connection. I haven't looked too far into it but if QUIC isn't tied to http and can just function as a byte stream it could work.
yungGeez 1 day ago 2 replies      
Snapchat on Windows Phone (lol)

Real-Life Megaman Battle Network

Ask HN: Information you would like in one central place
6 points by scottilee  2 days ago   5 comments top 4
LarryMade2 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is what I'm working on for local community resources - http://doplaces.com The info is readily out there, and as you say there is info in lots of places... problem is some people don't really one solution especially if it isn't theirs.

For inspiration I googled around and looked at community search, event calendars, etc in the Portland area, sooo many variations, some good some not so good, some strictly limited in scope, other with specific goals that don't mesh with others.

It all sounds a lot easier to envision than achieve. My suggestion just find something you think you can do better and start eking out your niche.

rahimnathwani 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use Safari Books Online to read technical books. I love the way I can search for a topic or keyword, and instantly read about it in a bunch of different books. I'd like that for all books.
miguelrochefort 1 day ago 0 replies      

I hate having dozens of different inboxes. I hate having over 100 apps on my phone. I hate having to create over 1000 for different services and websites.

I want all data to be unified, and I understand that for this to work we need to think differently. We need a different language. That happens to be what I'm currently working on.

AstroJetson 2 days 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: The Struggles of Poverty and Trying to become a programmer from 0
27 points by poveritysucks  4 days ago   26 comments top 18
jt2190 4 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.

coderKen 1 day ago 0 replies      

I was born and live in West-Africa, meaning epileptic power supply, expensive/slow/sometimes unavailable internet connection.

Right now I am a software developer with about 4 years in the game and yes I am self-taught like most people here, this was before things like Udacity and Khan academy. Google was my teacher. I believe you can see free online resources to learn how to program like I did, I've never used Udacity or any of those online learning sites, I read a lot and use HN to keep abreast of latest news in tech. You are in America for crying out loud! is it not supposed to be a land of opportunity? With enough courage and determination, I believe you can do anything.

PS: Right now I work as a remote developer for companies in New York, Calfornia and I've never been to the United States before. I believe you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

znt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There are free Coursera courses available for webdev:


It lists a price for each course, but you can actually access the material without paying anything. You have an option to pay in case you want a certificate.

flannelncode 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is all you need. Good luck bro.


saluki 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You can learn everything you need to know for free, at least to get started.

The only barrier to entry is having internet access and a computer and some spare time in the evening and on weekends.

Email me and I'll point you in the right direction to get started. HN username @ gmail.

elcritch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Best of luck mate! I was a McNair scholar in college, even though I am caucasian I still faced my share of challenges and lack of what privelage can bring. To me, that privilege is largely in the sense of self-worth and knowledge about little things such as applying for Pell grants. Financial aid can be enough to allow one to live on in cheaper school areas. A college education for many is less important, but coming from a background such as yours can help establish credibility quickly and provide a broader sense of life. I'd recommend considering it, and especially fill out the FAFSA to see what help you could get (https://fafsa.ed.gov).

College is still expensive and particularly so in a big city like Seattle. I live in Boise and would highly recommend moving to a more inexpensive city such as Portland or Boise. Rent in Boise, for example, is often only $400 for your own. The job market is also often better in these smaller towns. However, family ties often bind us to a place, so there may be smaller outlying towns around Seattle which have community colleges and such while still being cheaper.

If you decide college still isn't for you, I'd heartily recommend doing what many of the other posts say: start hacking! Committing to open source projects is a great way to build a portfolio. Another good approach is to start offering to build websites for friends, family, colleagues, and well anybody. You probably know people or acquaintances who have small businesses (construction, stores, ...) that would like to have a website or inventory system but don't realize that it's both relatively cheap to get a website. Listen and offer to do cheap help setting up websites on WordPress, etc. A side benefit is it can help your own community in a positive way. For example, help make a website for "Aunt Matilda's lawn and gardening services".

I would also recommend reading classic authors who overcame difficult situations and valued practical skills [Up From Slavery - Booker T. Washington](http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2376).

crispytx 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You can download all the programming books you'll ever need for free with bittorrent. Its like Frank Zappa once said, "If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library."
carcamper 3 days 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.

LifeQuestioner 2 days 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 2 days 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.

apryldelancey 4 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!

partisan 4 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.
wsdookadr 2 days 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.

sharemywin 4 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 4 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.
SinomaSo 3 days 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.
DanBC 4 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 4 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.

Ask HN: Your Experience Using Soylent as a Food Replacement?
3 points by cdvonstinkpot  23 hours ago   4 comments top 4
panorama 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the reminder, I actually had no idea 2.0 was out!

I spent a short amount of time experimenting with an earlier 1.x version. I personally need significantly more than 2k calories/day, and I also found that I lacked a lot of energy on days I'd go to the gym but had taken a lot of soylent beforehand.

Ultimately the best compromise for me was to take Soylent as a meal/drink in the morning when I'm less likely to typically consume food. Also maybe after a workout or something since each serving had a decent amount of protein. I'd typically also mix in chocolate whey protein as well.

I don't think I could ever fully meal-replace with it but I wouldn't mind having a serving every day, which is why I had been looking forward to 2.0 since it'd give me a very convenient grab-n-go meal whenever I wanted it.

yrezgui 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Huel was a good experience for me. I don't think it's possible to replace food completely. Having good lasagna or whatever is your favorite meal at least one time per week is needed to avoid frustration. I found it quite useful when I don't have time to cook or I want to eat lightly for dinner.

I don't know the taste of Soylent because they don't deliver yet in UK but Huel has a small taste of vanilla and it's quite nice.


dangrossman 20 hours ago 0 replies      
You can buy the Soylent powder instead of premade drinks. It's $216 per month for 28 bags; each bag contains 2000 calories. Either way, if saving money on food is your goal and you're only spending $6 a day now, neither meal replacement powders or drinks is going to help much in that sense.
Jayboux 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This was my reason for giving it a try, and having no time to cook a decent meal. The biggest hurdle in my opinion is the taste. They describe is as being as plain as they could make it and boy is it plain. This may be just me but it was too plain, on the verge of off-putting. I have to supplement every batch with some sort of flavor additive.
Ask HN: Where are they now(YC Fails)?
4 points by sharemywin  4 hours ago   1 comment top
meta_pseudo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I was curious about this too, http://yclist.com/ was able to answer some of my question. Go through the list, research a bit and do let us know if you find anything interesting :D

Hope this helped.

Ask HN: Is asset building as a service (ABaaS) a good idea?
3 points by tboyd47  6 hours ago   2 comments top
riebschlager 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Clever idea! My current workflow for doing this same job is just using Bower to manage the dependencies and a Gulp script to concat them. I'd be a little worried about moving all my dependencies "to the cloud" like this.

But loads of people use sites like CDNJS, so I can definitely see it being used. I'm not sure I'd want to be paying the hosting bills if it takes off though :)

Ask HN: Copyright infringement alert from ISP
3 points by yeukhon  2 hours ago   4 comments top 2
zzalpha 2 hours ago 0 replies      
EFF has a page on this topic, in case you haven't come across it:


See the section on "What can I do if I receive a notice?", as it covers the arbitration process for dispute resolution.

The upshot is:

1. You have to challenge within 14 days, dropping the $35 fee at that time.2. You only get six choices of defense.3. Case is argued in front of an arbitrator (not a judge) and the judgement is legally binding.4. If you win, you get your $35 back.

The second defense might apply... maybe... but you only get to assert it once.

Assuming, of course, your arbitrator isn't more worried about retaining their clients than about delivering a fair judgement...

Meanwhile, as for monitoring, frankly, no, there's very little you can do. A standalone firewall with basic port blocking enabled for common bittorrent clients would probably cover most uses, but for anyone determined, you need L7 packet inspection to identify BT traffic, and even that only works if encryption isn't being employed.

Lucky for the group involved in CAS, they've managed to foist this technological impossibility onto their end users... convenient for them, not so much for the consumer. :/

Your best bet is, unfortunately, to stop offering broadband to your tenants in this fashion, as it opens you up to these kinds of legal issues.

Edit: Fun Fact: TWC claimed account termination would not be a sixth strike penalty:


Everything else I can find seems to suggest account termination is not supposed to be a consequence of multiple violations... is there additional background, here, that we're missing? You indicate a previous termination of service. What was that about?

doctorshady 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I don't have any advice for you here (I wish I did), but I have to ask - do you think this sort of enforcement is a result of the Cox vs Rightscorp case that just happened this month?
Ask HN: Books on data modeling and how to select a database for a given problem
7 points by soulbadguy  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
tedmiston 1 day ago 1 reply      
I may get downvoted for this, but I'm going to answer the question you asked directly from the context given.

If you have no knowledge/experience in databases, and you are solving a problem not yet at scale, the short (but possibly unsatisfying) answer is that it doesn't matter. I would encourage you to learn more about both non-relational and relational databases to guide your thinking for specific problems.

MongoDB is the most popular non-relational according to StackShare (http://stackshare.io/databases). Perhaps you want more of a database service on top of that though, in which case Firebase is easy/cheap to get started with.

At the end of the day, each has their advantages -- for example, non-relational can give you a flexible schema and very fast retrieval -- but until you have more constraints for the problem you're solving, it'll be hard to make an educated decision.

SkyRocknRoll 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Designing data intensive applications. Try this book
jauzepy 1 day ago 0 replies      
A very good book i've read on the subject is "seven databases in Seven Weeks" by E. Redmon and Jim Wilson. It doesn't cover everything because there is too much out there but it gives you the base and make you realize the importance between types of database.
Ask HN: Useful web tools to build expressly to demo programming abilities?
7 points by votr  2 days ago   4 comments top 3
skram 1 day ago 0 replies      
A web tool that took a CSV or JSON endpoint and ran a few R/Python/whatever scripts to see what the mean/mode/min/max of each column was, if there were any strong linear (or other types) of correlations, etc.

A lot of example datasets can be found on opendata.socrata.com, data.gov, data.atf.gov, data.cityofchicago.org, and more.

elcritch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a graphics/plotting DSL embedded in HTML5 web-components partly inspired by the ability to do customizable financial graphs. If you're interested in collaborating on a few financial graphs in HTML5/SVG/D3, PM me. I'm also transitioning to freelancing and creating a startup and would like to open source some more code (especially good demos).
gkop 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd like a Slackbot who I can ask to submit the most recent posted link in the channel to HN.
Ask HN: Phone/conference for small global teams?
3 points by codegeek  2 days ago   7 comments top 6
zenman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have used hoot http://onhoot.com it works well for streaming mobile first
apryldelancey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Other than what you've listed we use Google Hangouts.
DonMarlo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Starleaf works surprisingly good
taf2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google hangouts
Irishsteve 2 days ago 0 replies      
dplgk 2 days ago 1 reply      


Tell HN: Google seems to have changed ncr (no country redirect)
119 points by dragop  3 days ago   32 comments top 11
currysausage 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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.
mahouse 3 days 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.
doe88 3 days ago 0 replies      
pinaceae 3 days 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.
kretor 3 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like they fixed this. It's working for me
wslh 3 days 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: In a difficult situation at work. Need advice
54 points by helplessdev  2 days ago   64 comments top 33
itafroma 2 days 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.

ScottBurson 2 days ago 1 reply      
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.

pinewurst 2 days 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.

lordnacho 2 days 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.

jacquesm 2 days ago 1 reply      
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.

zinssmeister 2 days ago 1 reply      
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.
mikekchar 2 days ago 3 replies      
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!

rhapsodic 2 days 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.
FennNaten 2 days 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]

Osiris 2 days 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.

YuriNiyazov 2 days 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?
angersock 2 days 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.

clarkevans 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sometimes it takes a time to recognize failed middle-management (people can get over-promoted and/or change colours) -- a frank chat with senior management might be mutually beneficial. If you're inclined to try and rescue this, then consider going up two more levels, asking for a lunch to speak with a business owner about the project. Be calm and respectful, emphasizing your mutual interest in a successful project.
wtbob 2 days 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.
ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sad story. Sounds like you really care a lot about the project and in this case perhaps a bit too much. That your management has been pretty unclear with you suggests that the communication channels are broken as well.

My suggestion for you in your next job (as I think the environment has gotten so twisted where you currently are that it makes little sense for you to continue there) is stay focused on your deliverables. Don't give away developers that you lead. When others are not providing the support you need, bring it up with your manager that you have time to work on other stuff while you wait, or you can keep honing your project. Only do things you are asked to do (don't volunteer) and when questioned about why you are working on something explain it was because some superior asked you too.

The politics you're running into are wrapped up around ownership, competency, and leadership. By trying to help it sounds like you stepped on some toes (easy to do). The goal here is to have your manager doing the stepping on toes, not you. That keeps you clear of the politics and that is why you tell your manager you've got your stuff done as much as can be done and ask them what they want you to do next. Do that proactively, don't sit around because you have nothing to do, and they will give you new things to work on. And people who have a problem with what you're working on will have to blame your manager not you.

While it seems silly to have to do this, when you detect you're working with people who can't be adults about what needs to be done and who is, and is not, getting it done. You need to either leave or keep your head down. I recommend the former, life is too short to work with idiots, but if you really like your teammates or the project you're working on do the latter. Force the directives to come from your manager and you are left as the person getting things done and they are the person putting you on these projects.

Raed667 2 days 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.
sharmi 1 day ago 0 replies      

From what you say, the chance of any real fix is almost nil, as no one seems to have a grasp of the elephant that is software development and what it entails. All the delay, number of bugs filed and the new recruits leaving should have raised red flags all over.

Unless you are someone who thrives in office politics, you need to bail out right now. Software development is a mentally taxing job and its something you need a lot of mental stamina to do. Poisonous environments like these will erode your stamina and your love for your career in general. That is a perfect recipe for burnout. Unfortunately, the first time burnout happens, most of us do not know we have reached that point until much after the fact. You need to preserve your sanity and well being first as this experience can potentially affect your performance and contentment in the next job too.

Do not regret this experience. Try to accept it, learn from it and move on. This will help you filter out similar traps in the future.

andreyf 2 days 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.

dennisgorelik 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I suggest that we "loan" 2 of our current 4 people to the back-end

That was your biggest mistake.

In abstract theory, moving developers from frontend to backend might have sense, but in practice you moved developers from capable tech leader (you) to incapable tech leader (K).

So, in essence, your suggestion made these two developers to wasting their time and, ultimately, quitting in frustration.

At the time of your "loan 2 developers" suggestion did you know that K was a clueless developer/lead?

sixtypoundhound 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whoa. Take A Deep breath.

Speaking as a director-level leader of a shadow IT group who has (pardon my French) been through some shit, the situation isn't as bad as it looks on the surface....

Some key points:

- yes. You've got a cluster fuck in progress; K seems to be lacking in IT mgmt skills.

- regarding reviews, raises, and promotions they can do more or less whatever they want with those and nothing counts until the ink is dry. Nor will anyone who matters give two shits about them 90 days later. None of my big $ moves ever lined up with any review (actually, most of the time it was exactly opposite).

- The more pertinent question is "will I be fired" over this? Which would be silly if the facts are as you say. You are one of the remaining few who understands how the app is supposed to work.

In the long run, you know how the system works and she does not. I've played this game before several times and wind up walking my tormentor out the door.

Suggestion: mentally write off the promotion and ignore your review, dismiss all short term noise; focus on things which drive where you will be 12M-24M out. (This is also why I have never protested a review in the past 15 years; nobody gives a shit if you survive).

Fun games to play:

1) Inform C that you don't have enough access to what is going on in K's process, due to being excluded from the team lead meetings. Point to this as a source of delays and "confusion". Do so in writing.

2) Get K to put down specs; go ask clarifying questions with appropriate next level mgmt on copy. Gently highlight gaps.

3) Ideal time to get creative in how you develop / document solutions on the front end; I would give as little detail as possible to make it harder to fire me.

4) Call a meeting of your own, that overlaps the purpose of the meeting she excluded you from. It's agenda should be something like requirements validation or solution design. Be nice but indicate you need it to accomplish your goals.

What you're setting up here is a slow boiling cauldron of incompetence charges again K and yourself as a trusted "competent" source in the app and underlying technology.

Move SLOWLY and GENTLY in laying this groundwork; soft innocent questions are best. Be like water...drip drip drip. Slowly wearing away at her credibility and building your own. Maintain emotional control and calm when she lashes out (she will).

Look for a new job, of course. This crap may be more than you want to deal with and that's ok. But there are ways of fighting back against bullies like this....

ryporter 2 days 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.

colindean 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also being discussed on /r/cscareerquestions:


yoda_sl 2 days 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.

marktangotango 1 day ago 0 replies      
K is incompetent, this is not unusual or uncommon. What you have failed to do is cover your own ass, and play the political game. It's probably to late to recover an upward career trajectory at this company, if that matters to you, move on. Otherwise hunker down and protect yourself from this persons incompetence, all this busy work are api and requirements changes. Document them and make it known every change expands the already stresses schedule. Don't rush to fix the crap k team breaks, let it go. You're new line is "our stuff is done except these x items k team broke".

As others said this disfunction is the norm, anything better is the exception.

marshray 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whoever promised an early Jan delivery date for a $700M project is insane.
northernman 1 day ago 0 replies      
In situations like this, its normal to think that your own behavior is faultless, and that the "others" are conspiring to screw you over.

In reality, its usually you that is the problem. For whatever reason, the people in power don't view you as a key player. They may even be hoping you'll leave.

Situations like this are pretty much unrecoverable, so best to look for another job.

But, do think hard about where you went wrong, so that the same thing doesn't happen again.

tehwebguy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Put in notice, your life will be so much better.
tahssa 1 day ago 0 replies      
You need to do any sane person does when facing a disaster of epic proportions. RUN & DON'T LOOK BACK!

Sadly most workplace disasters are like tsunamis, people don't realize the severity until it's too late and bridges end up getting burned.

cespare 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's confusingly worded, but the OP turned down an AWS offer; they don't work at Amazon.
puppetmaster3 2 days ago 0 replies      
Call in sick to decide and to spam your resume. Once u have interviews lined up give notice.
amenghra 2 days ago 1 reply      
Got a link to your resume?
pasbesoin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Based on your TL;DR.

Keep a timestamped journal documenting what is happening daily. Keep it separate from their systems, but be careful not to include their IP in it.

My (limited) understanding is that such record-keeping can carry some weight, if things ever go to court or to some form of review -- arbitration, unemployment insurance qualification, etc. Hand-written might actually be better, because it demonstrates the amount of work that went into journaling and is additionally in your own hand. Also, there is no risk of it bleeding onto their systems nor onto the public Internet.

Second, based on your description, it is time to move on. Don't tell them this, in advance and beyond whatever "two week" or the like notice you may feel is appropriate. Just do it.

In my experience, once the company starts failing on its commitments and shifting blame onto you, the ship has sailed. Get out, before you're tossed out.

P.S. Some of your management may talk about some eventual "once things have improved" scenario. Don't believe it. Just look at their current actions.

Very likely, they are waiting for the opportune time when they have their ducks in a row, to let you go. (That includes, if they are competent for their own purposes, sufficient/overwhelming documentation to justify their eventual decision -- even if it is and including "manufactured" scenarios that guarantee resulting documentation of your "failure".)

Yes, this all sounds rather cynical. Another word for that is, "realistic."

Best of luck.

pluma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Run away.
       cached 28 December 2015 21:05:02 GMT