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Ask HN: Should I change jobs?
2 points by vs2370  1 hour ago   3 comments top 3
bradleyjg 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd say the increase in pay and title outweighs any negative resume effect from too many jobs. If you are jumping around a lot because you are a rocketship that's a far different story than if you are jumping around a lot because you don't fit in anywhere.

That said: since you were in fintech you may well be aware of this, but programmers at financial firms don't exactly have the same status or workplace conditions as programmers in software driven companies. If you don't know exactly what I mean, shake your network and find someone in the industry to have a frank discussion with.

Good luck.

PaulHoule 1 hour ago 0 replies      
shawndumas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is this your real account? And if so does anyone at your current employer know it as yours?
Ask HN: Monetise a blog in 2016
4 points by 10dpd  2 hours ago   1 comment top
loumf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would normally say that niche blogs are better off having members-only features, but worried that your sessions might be kids.

If that's so, making sure you are very mobile-friendly and looking at app-install ad networks might be better than adsense.

Ask HN: How do you know your donation is making a difference?
2 points by johnnycarcin  3 hours ago   3 comments top 3
monroepe 3 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing you can do is contact the organizations and ask for some documents about what they are doing with the money and other data. All organizations waste money or use it ways you might not like. But I think you have to do some research. Ask for the data from the given organization and make an informed decision from there. Any non-profit should have this data available in some form for you.

You can't really control how they use it. But you can see what they accomplished in the past. Look at what they are planning for the next few years. And then evaluate at the end of the year and see if you feel like they did what they said they would.

loumf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I prioritize my giving to local, small non-profits. I usually have a relationship with them beyond the check I write (I have volunteered or been a board member).

If you are giving to big charities (because they match up with your values), they have tons of data on what they are doing with the money. They also sometimes have internal funds you can donate to that are earmarked to only be spent on a specific activity -- just ask.

adenadel 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You should read Giving 2.0 by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen. She goes into depth this and many other aspects of philanthropy.
Ask HN: How do game companies keep their files organized for a large-scale game?
89 points by mfcecilia  1 day ago   50 comments top 23
jtolmar 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The best way to do it that I've found is to arrange a folder hierarchy of "where" rather than "what." So there's no one place with all the game's rock models, but rather firelands/towerofeternalflame/courtyard/rock01.3ds and so forth. "Where" doesn't have to mean a literal location; it could be playerbases/horde/rock.3ds or something. Though for most games, everything not tied to the player really can just be its literal location. It's crucial that these directories have a mix of models, textures, and whatever else you need, instead of a mass of parallel structures.

If there are automated tools, they should run on the entire asset directory and dump to a new directory in whatever hierarchy makes sense to the tool. When that turns out to be slow, check "file modified" timestamps in the tool instead of dumping required knowledge on the artist.

Getting artists to actually use source code control instead of having personal folders full of things like rock01_retouched_new_final_final.3ds is a bit of a pipedream, but you can at least put the asset directory under source control and make that the only way to see things in the engine.

egypturnash 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not quite games but back when I was doing Flash cartoons in the 90s we had an elaborate scheme for naming art assets. It was something like:

3-4-dd-rhand-07 - episode 3, scene 4, dirty dog, right hand, from keyframe #7

(there were naming conventions for background elements too but they were somewhat looser IIRC)

We had a cheat sheet for this with standard abbreviations for all the recurring characters, and a list of body part names. Everyone had a copy stuck to the wall or floating around their desk. I think that was an important part of what made it work. Don't expect new hires to pick it up by looking at the results of the naming scheme; codify it into a document you hand to them as part of orientation.

(We also accessed a lot of this stuff visually; the file handed to an animator would have all of the keyframe drawings in each scene laid out in sequence, with the raw art separated out into individual parts and turned into named symbols right there on the working canvas.)

All of this was something we hashed out over time; early stuff had a horrible mishmash of naming schemes. I'd advocate having a discussion about Organization as soon as possible, agreeing on a standard and sticking with it for new assets. Get the old stuff reorganized when you have a chance, maybe throw that task to an intern if you have one.

corysama 22 hours ago 0 replies      

 Code Game UI Gameplay GFX Physics Editor ThirdParty SourceAssets Levels Fire Ice Swamp Volcano Sewer Characters Player Models playerInital.fbx playerAwesome.fbx playerGodlike.fbx Animations Materials Merchant Thug ThugFat ThugTall Objects Urban Indoor Outdoor UI Menus Boot Main Options Icons ProcessedAssets Pak1 (UI stuff) Pak2 (Level 1 stuff)
Everything goes in source control. Directories are organized to group together similar work. Names are a mixture of searchability for the artists and conventions needed by the code.

cableshaft 23 hours ago 3 replies      
They don't. At least artists are really bad at it when naming their files. I've had to constantly rename assets received from artists to give them some sort of consistency, even after telling them how to name it.

But yeah, Perforce version control is pretty important. It's almost designed to help manage assets, especially large ones. And it's free for under 20 users, I think.

Beyond that, you might want to include the level, screen, and/or date for the assets in your naming structure. Pretty much every company, and sometimes every project, uses a different structure, though.

DonHopkins 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This may seem obvious, but some people just don't get it, and it can be easily taught: I like to purposefully and consistently use "big-endian" names for assets, classes, functions, variables, events, files, directory structures, etc.

The desired result is that related names are convenient grouped together in an alphabetical sort.

A rule of thumb is: the most important part is at the beginning, and most specific part is at the end.

But what is convenient, important or specific is context sensitive and debatable, since there are many ways to name the same thing in different kinds of hierarchies.

Sometimes it's ambiguous what's most important, like when you're classifying things along two or more dimensions, like x y and time.

Should it be (MouseXCurrent, MouseXLast, MouseYCurrent, MouseYLast) or (MouseCurrentX, MouseCurrentY, MouseLastX, MouseLastY)?

In that case I'd put the most tightly bound dimension last (x and y, which are usually used together as a 2d vector, so keep them adjacent).

groby_b 22 hours ago 0 replies      
First, you need to distinguish between in-game assets, and the source models in Maya, Photoshop, etc.

For the latter, most large games use an asset management system. Either homebrew, or something like Alienbrain. (Well, people used Alienbrain when I left. Not sure what's hip these days)

For in-game, there's usually a fairly strict organizational scheme. It depends on the game, but usually folders are about "location" - which map, which part of the world, which episode, etc. Asset names indicate a name, and various other bits like left/right hand hold, color, or whatever matters for that asset.

It's usually the lead artists job to come up with said scheme, unless you have a tech lead for the asset pipeline.

If you look for assets, you do a search in the asset management system, which also contains the in-game name and location.

For smaller games, you make do by manually organizing, but as things grow, you'll start hand-rolling tools.

bsamuels 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It's hard. I personally believe that designing large scale video games is one of the most complicated kinds of programming projects out there - so don't try to reinvent the wheel.

Like daodedickinson recommends; you want to look at how AAA game designers design their systems, then imitate them. Your best avenue to figuring out how games are designed is by understanding how game modding is carried out in AAA games. In many games, almost all of the content and mechanics within the game are defined using the same scripting interface that mods are created through.

I recommend using games like Skyrim, Morrowind, Mount and Blade, and The Witcher (i forgot which one shipped with all the game's scripts in the install folder, might have been 2).

fitzwatermellow 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone else see the similarity between designing Redis keys and game art asset filenames?

Being able to mine as much metadata from a file name and path is a plus. As is having a logical naming convention that can be queried from the string programmatically. Not to mention fast lookup and asset name generation merely from string concatenation...

This is a good problem to have, mfcecilia! You are on the path to making great games. Its stuff like this that gives you the confidence to say my solution is just as good as anyone else's and I am just going to do it and learn from my mistakes. Time pressure is actually your best ally. If you want your game to be playable by the end of the decade you will solve this challenge and level up to the next big one. Such as figuring out how to organize your assets in a single compressible pak that is laid out to support fast and efficient patching via binary diffs!

Good luck! And if you are still stuck check out the Unity and Unreal engine docs and forums for further tips on pipeline production. And of course, post a link when you build a playable alpha ;)

thenomad 10 hours ago 1 reply      
You can get a snapshot of how big game studios organise their art assets by using various modding or decompilation tools to have a look inside their package files.

For example, you can use MPQ Explorer to look inside the package files of World of Warcraft, and see how they organise their tens of thousands of assets.

Generally, as others have said, it's by "where" rather than "what", or sometimes "what"/"where".

Beyond that - Perforce is the usual asset control system for these things. It offers the ability to tag files, which makes searching easier. When you're dealing with a huge pile of art, searching is basically the only way to go, so good tagging is very important.

(Source: I'm not a game designer, but I've worked with the complete art libraries of multiple triple-A games over the last two decades creating Machinima films, either working directly with the studio or on a modding basis. I know far more about the internal file structure of WoW, for example, than is probably healthy.)

shorodei 23 hours ago 1 reply      
> Not all rocks are the same, so I am pretty sure they didn't name it "rock01" "rock02"

I wouldn't be so sure...

chipsy 22 hours ago 0 replies      
You'll never get around the source of the problem, which is that it's not the priority of the artist to figure out how to name and organize things. It's the same as bothering developers to "update the wiki". Pick a convention and structure the culture around that by providing a spreadsheet of assets or an equivalent document. Maybe the artists "own" their assets, so you lead with their username. Maybe you're building the environments collaboratively, so you lead with the environment first. Maybe you envision the project being a long-term thing like an MMO, so you start with the year and month. These are things that a good producer will keep their eye on, because they reflect how the team is communicating.

The most important thing, from the technical standpoint, is that your asset pipeline is robust and can handle weird things. The engine shouldn't consume files haphazardly, it should deal with "built" assets, where you can trace things from the in-game content back to the source file. A configuration layer usually appears to give an in-engine ID to a loaded asset, because files and assets do not map 1-to-1. You can choose to fight the organization battle in that layer, rather than in the file system. When you have a slick IDE like Unity, this is all built into the GUI, but a custom engine can just use a batch process to do the same.

Version control is useful - not a DVCS, because it doesn't scale to binary assets, but SVN or Perforce. Artists will groan about waiting around for the VCS to resolve things and the inevitable problems with locking, renaming, and deleting stuff, but their lives will be better off overall if it's in their workflow loop. It's "10 hours waiting on SVN Updates" vs "30 hours debugging project history".

Here's an article on "import" vs "export" based pipelines, where the thing being "imported" to the engine is a common, standardized format that every tool can export - rather than one proprietary tool the team happens to use:


vvanders 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perforce + Diligent lead tech artist.

Also most of what you see in the final game output is packaged and minified to a high degree in order to improve performance/memory/etc.

Usually the lead tech artist just sets a standard and everyone conforms to that standard. Art assets(.psd, .ma, etc) are usually stored in a separate section than in-game assets.

wink 23 hours ago 2 replies      
id software's were usually not too bad:

Quake's pak0.pak: https://quakewiki.org/wiki/pak0.pak

Quake 3 Arena's pak0.pk3: http://openarena.wikia.com/wiki/Pak0.pk3

gavanwoolery 14 hours ago 1 reply      
What you are looking at is a classic problem in all of programming: making data machine-readable vs human-readable. Relying on file names for any sort of data is bad practice, IMO. This info should be contained within metadata within the file. So in the file system "object_0001.obj" might contain metadata like "label" "tags" etc - that said you may want two versions of the data - let artists organize their files according to a human-friendly system, but when they are imported into the engine the appropriate metadata must be filled out and the file gets automatically saved to a specific location determined by the engine or editor.
liamkf 22 hours ago 0 replies      
From what I've seen, and as you guessed, each game handles it differently and no matter what conventions you have, someone will be grumpy. But if you're just looking for inspiration, I would look at the content for UE4/UnrealTournament which is about as good as it gets for 'industry standard'. It's free to get access to and you should be able to get some ideas by poking around.
bitwize 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The smart ones have asset management systems, big databases that track what gets used where how.

The Scheme hacker Shiro Kawai has, as one of his claims to fame, having written an asset management system for Squaresoft (now Square Enix) -- not for any of their games but for the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

CM30 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, in quite a few cases they don't. For example, I've seen the file structures for quite a few 3DS games via the modding community, and the files are often just named complete gibberish. Like 'file1music.brr' to 'file2639music.brr'.

But from games which do have somewhat logical structures, it's usually that the files are seperated by purpose. So the music and sound effects in one folder, the textures in another, some level files in another folder, etc. And the names would be somewhat descriptive of the content, like 'course_desert_1.lvl' If you're lucky, this is also backed up in a git repository somewhere and has version control.

daodedickinson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Skyrim's dev tools (the mod kit) should give you a hint. At least I know with Morrowind you could get a good idea of their naming conventions.
sly010 23 hours ago 0 replies      
solipsism 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Organizing assets is hard because the dependencies are complex and change often. We solved this at a previous company using in-game editor tools (material editors, level editors, character editors, AI script editors, etc) that all interfaced with a database back-end. The database didn't store the files, those were stored in Perforce (which the tools interfaced with as well). The database just stored metadata for each version of each asset along with the relational links between assets. So, for example, a particular 3D model referenced a particular material (storing just its id/foreign-key in the DB), which in turn referenced a set of textures and perhaps a shader.

An asset browser allowed you to perform queries (e.g. show me all the characters from level X which reference materials which reference texture Y). We had tags/labels, comments, everything you could want.

When you do it like this your folder organization becomes irrelevant. You can store everything in a single directory with a GUID for a filename if you want. Or store all textures in one place and all 3d models in another. The down side is it's quite opaque, everything must be done within your toolset, so you need great tool support.

malkia 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Assuming Perforce, or perforce like system. Couple of things.

//depot/main/game - all your code + exported (but not yet converted) data lives there. You can give this to QA, Build manager, scripter, coder and they can build a level, compile the game, tools, etc. if needs so. By exported here is what I mean: - Exported textures, models, sound, etc data ready to be further on converted to platform specific formats. The original data was kept in //depot/source

Keep several department oriented //depot/source p4 views. Each specific department would get mapped this in their view, others would not.

//depot/source/sound - For example big huge 24-bit sound files + whatever other extras ProTools or other software writes. Suitable for sound folks to keep their project settings, experiments, settings, but not suitable for everyone else to see.

//depot/source/textures - Your big ass huge PSD, or whatever else source files - containing all layers that you've built your textures, or whatever else a texture/material department might see fit (there might be more than one - character, environment, etc. departments with different organizations). Not suitable for the main team, great for whoever works on textures.

//depot/source/animations - For example big huge FBX MotionBuilder or something else files. Suitable for animation people to edit, but not suitable for the game tools to read them and convert them every time.//depot/source/models - etc. - your big ass again .3DS, .MA/.MB, even .FBX files. Great for modelers, not great for everyone.


You might even have external people working for you, you don't put their stuff directly with your stuff (legal maters, payment, review process, etc.)





You also don't want them to have access to everything you do, and you need to establish way to review their assets and how to communicate work - what needs to be done, requirments, etc.


So a typical game developer would only need


some studios would even submit back converted data, for example:





others prefer to convert while building. For example all huge ass PSD files with lots of layers were probably exported as .TIFF, .PNG, even .JPG for insanely big backdrops, and from then on these would get converted to swizzled optimized textures - for example on all iPhone/iPads you get PowerVR chip, and it has PVRTC texture compression, unlike ETC, DXT for PC.

It all depends also on your team.

So a WiiU only programmer, might just sync

# Not ideal locations, but something that might work:

//depot/main/game/... c:/blah/game/

//depot/build/game/data/wiiu/... c:/blah/game/build/data/wiiu

1812Overture 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Desktop/Bob's Files/New Project/Misc/Stuff for Jim/Important First Draft FINAL v2(1).doc
moron4hire 23 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a cultural problem in game development where they think the performance imperative makes them the epitome of software development. They do not understand how anyone in any other field of software development could ever touch them in terms of pure, unadulterated, programming prowess. As a result, tools, lessons, and best-practices learned in other fields are nearly completely ignored. Not-invented-here syndrome is strong.

There is nothing particularly special about game development. Yes, there is an emphasis on real-time operation that changes the specific design of applications. But there is no reason to believe that should have any impact on project management.

Ask HN: Hardware suggestion for entering deep learning?
5 points by jlu  7 hours ago   4 comments top 2
lmilcin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know your situation but my suggestion is, if you are really interested in deep learning, get hired by a company that does it.

Deep learning is a hot topic right now and if you have any aptitude in that direction you will get hired very quickly.

Ask HN: How do you manage Facebook/Whats App/Twitter/Email/Etc addiction?
42 points by pedrodelfino  1 day ago   69 comments top 41
scotch_drinker 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm embarking on a Slow Information Diet modeled after Tim Ferris' Slow Carb Diet. Six days a week, no Twitter, no Facebook, etc. On cheat day (for me, my slow carb diet cheat day and slow information diet cheat days are the same, Friday) I get to read and consume and binge all I want. Because Slow Carb really resonates we me, this concept does to and has worked out well. YMMV of course.
CrackpotGonzo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Honestly, the easiest way for me is to just use a "dumb" phone. I switched to an old Nokia and love it. I also use the SMS search engine Text Engine (http://www.textengine.info/) if I ever need to look up an address or directions. I definitely feel more productive, and most importantly present in my daily life.

Curious to hear if others have had success with other methods or if anyone else has tried going back to a non-smartphone.

Great question.

xythian 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I turn off all phone notifications. My information consumption is pull only, no push. Once you no longer the little 'reminders' the urge starts to subside and becomes more manageable and less distracting.
Reedx 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just don't use them. Really. The addiction will go away or at least decrease after a couple days or so.

I'm really only addicted to HN these days, but I solve it by not going to HN at all when I need to be in Get Shit Done mode. After a day or two I don't find myself thinking about it that much.

igetspam 1 day ago 3 replies      
Of the items listed, I only use email. Call me a Luddite but all of those other things are just unnecessary distractions. I find that my life is much more focused when I control the funnel of noise. I have an RSS reader for news and email or a phone for communication. All these other potential streams of data are like road signs or commercials: I know they're there but I've made such an effort to ignore them that they just don't register.

Try this:

$ cat /etc/hosts|grep face127.0.0.1facebook.com127.0.0.1www.facebook.com

sneakycr0w 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to have a problem logging onto Facebook, Twitter, and other social medias every few minutes. Even while I was at work. It was really bad. Every time I had a spare second that's immediately where I went.

What I learned in one of my courses where we talked about addictions, is that people with addictive personalities tend to replace one addiction with another. Now, saying this doesn't present it as a positive thing, but it can be.

I started by completely taking these socials medias out of my life for a whole entire month, strictly. I didn't get on a single time to any of them once. And I replaced the addictions with something else. At first I thought maybe games would be good, but it was hard to get on my phone without going to these sites. So what I did is I replaced them with reading. I would take 2 minutes to read a couple pages, read on my ten minute breaks, read on my lunches, etc.

You don't have to do that, although I recommend it, but I would try to replace it with something that didn't have access to it, and then you'll have more control over it.

elorant 1 day ago 2 replies      
Simple. I don't have an account on Facebook/Twitter/whatever. While others might find it necessary I find them utterly boring and irrelevant. I think that not owning a smartphone helps a lot in that aspect. I have a dumbphone with a battery that lasts for weeks and I'm happy with my choice. As for e-mail, I have two accounts, one for work, one for everyone else. I don't check the latter while at work, ever.
cpplinuxdude 23 hours ago 0 replies      
IFFT has a recipe to silence your phone when you're in focus time with rescue time.

I also put my laptop in a bag once in a while, padlock the bag, then put my phone and padlock key in my ksafe (http://www.thekitchensafe.com/). Offline heaven.

ashwinaj 1 day ago 2 replies      
Having a Pomodoro [1] app on your desktop/laptop helps. It sounded lame to me initially (do work in 25 min chunks), but it seems to work for me.

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

prawn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Switch off all notifications to start with. That's an easy first step.
egypturnash 1 day ago 0 replies      
Every now and then I just delete the phone apps I think I'm using too much. If it's a stock app you could just put it on the kiddie block list instead, that's probably enough hassle to undo to make you think twice before impulsively falling into the email hole or whatever.

Come to think of it maybe I should delete Tweetbot from my phone for a while. It feels about time.

Coming at it from the other end, I find that the "Pomodoro Technique" [1] of timeboxing works pretty well to keep me on task, when I go through the whole ceremony of picking up the cute ladybug-shaped kitchen timer I've modified by painting out anything beyond 25min, giving it a twist, and having that kinesthetic memory plus the soft ticking reminding me that I have A Thing I Have Promised Myself I Will Work On For This Block Of Time.

I haven't been doing that much lately either. I should start doing it again.

1: http://pomodorotechnique.com

smonff 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Most of the notifications are not necessary. It just gives you bad habits and distract you. The addiction you describe is partly created by getting used of all these small notifications sounds that excite you and give you the habit of checking all your accounts in a terrific infinite loop.

When you think about it, it is not human, you have far more things to do than being distract by these little sounds. Most of the applications makes possible to set precisely when you want to be notified or not. Don't worry, even with notifications, you will still be distracted by your kids, cat, neighbors, flying birds and dust.

I don't think the browser extensions are a solution to this. You have to learn to control it by yourself.

armenarmen 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I uninstalled a bunch of apps and put a domain blocker on chrome. I can get past all of that if I need to, but the extra 5 seconds of work needed to get to 'social' gives me some time to catch myself.
myc132 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I found when I was very addicted to facebook that if you turn off all mobile notifications and don't have it pull for updates, since I wasn't getting any notifications I wasn't checking as often. This eventually led me to be okay with not opening the app to check something and then lingering on for a while looking at the same thing over and over again. That's how I was able to become facebook-free. It's very similar to other addictions, if you see less things that remind you of it, it'll help you in the long run
im_dario 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe it won't work for you but this is how I see my way to deal with social addiction. YMMV.

I don't really manage it. I just let it flow, I don't feel guilty. That's the first step.

I also disable browser & desktop notifications. It's fine to see a highlighted tab or a number in the systray.

My mobile is always on vibration. Social apps are muted. All of them. I wear a Fitbit wristband synced by Bluetooth for phone calls notifications.

I use Serializer[0] as main input of news. I check it between tasks, scanning the titles and sending the articles to Pocket (important!).

I let myself check anything at any moment. When I feel "the urge" I just ask myself "should I check something?". Take a few seconds to answer that and I usually keep going on my task and check later. If not, it just happened. No big worry.

I also keep myself away from Twitter & Facebook using Buffer to plan my publications. I use Goofy or Pidgin to connect to Facebook chat.

Finally, I use Evernote with a keyboard shortcut to open my "brain dump" note. Here I jot down quick ideas that come across my mind while I'm doing a task. You can use anything else but Evernote is useful even walking. You can write down in your mobile and sync it later at home/office.

[0] http://serializer.io/

rgbrgb 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I use this "Block site" plugin [0] to redirect facebook.com -> openlistings.com because I still want FB pixels, etc to work for web development.

Keeps me addicted to the right things :).

[0]: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/block-site/eiimnmi...

d0m 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just turn notifications off from non-important apps. Or, put a "non disturb" mode for a few hours when you want to be focussed.
milge 1 day ago 0 replies      
Deleted my Facebook about a year ago or so now. I've never been happier. It's funny how unsocial social networks really are.
rygarfo 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had the same issue on my phone. Unable to switch to a dumb phone because of job requirements. Along with using some sort of ritual, I use an app on my phone called "forest" (iphone). Does a pretty good job of locking me out of distracting apps for chunks of time.

I like this question. I'll see what other better answers come out out of it.

pakled_engineer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a daily schedule/ritual to keep productive, after a week it just became the norm https://books.google.ca/books/about/Daily_Rituals.html?id=-t...
mcknz 1 day ago 1 reply      
This article has an interesting approach -- the author cut FB cold turkey for 2 weeks, but was able to return and be a more responsible, casual user:


tretiy3 15 hours ago 1 reply      
In case of Facebook the solution is very easy. In desktop version, when you put mouse over friend image there is a popup menu with item "Following" which contains one more popup menu with "Unfollow" item. When you unfollow friend his activity gets removed from the feed. The friend will never see that he is "unfollowed": no any notification fired. In several days i just unfollow everybody and now my feed is empty.
6stringmerc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Basic rules that have helped me over the years:

1 - No social media apps on my phone[1] that might be tempting to check during the work day

2 - No social media logins on my work laptop of a distinctly personal nature[2]

3 - Only checking social media when getting home and after a few minutes it's just tiring to wade through stuff and it makes it a lot easier to close it up and not be conditioned to think those outlets are worth the consistent attention

[1] This doesn't count Periscope which I use for promotional purposes or might come in handy in a pinch for sharing (but I don't open during work or watch many other streams)

[2] Social media doesn't include some forums, I'm strictly speaking FB/Twitter/etc. Forums are a different beast. Thankfully I tend to get tired of some which enable me to avoid them, or if I return, I've deleted my account and just read.

nareshv 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If we can find "why" we go to all these apps/websites, then we can find a solution by ourselves by satisfying the "why" with some other one which can improve our skills (or any other desired quality)

For example, if we always check emails just to see how many new-emails we have got, so that we can act on them asap, Its a good case as its going to improve our productivity and time-to-respond lower.

Another example, if we always check fb to see what other people's activities are. Well, we can turn this around and make us the person who is doing lots of personal activities (outside of internet domain) and posting it to facebook (may be weekly), or restrict it to closer pals/family.

Personally, if we interact more with Nature around us, it feels great.

Restrict the use of these "virtual" worlds and try to participate more with the world around us. Instead of posting a message on facebook, may be call your best friends and say hi. Its million times better than seeing 1 like for the post in the virtual world.

iphoneseventeen 1 day ago 0 replies      
For Android, I started using QualityTime. It tracks your usage. Annoyingly, it also counts background apps as "running". But it really helps to give me a snapshot of my day. I can see what time I woke up and started redditing on the can :P
gregorymichael 23 hours ago 0 replies      
- Took FB/Twitter off my phone. Laptop's never far away. This was the biggest 80% improvement for me.

- Newsfeed Eradicator. Keeps me from consuming FB. I can still post, lookup the groups I'm in, lookup specific people, use FB Messenger etc. But it's no longer a black hole.

- StayFocusd in Chrome to block Reddit/Twitter/FB/HN from 8am to 2pm. By afternoon, either I'm engrossed in my work and don't need to worry about distractions or my brain is mush and no more work is getting done today. Most crucial time is when I first get to the office. Can still use Firefox if necessary, but this eliminates the mindless CMD+T.

_csharp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I uninstalled Facebook app from my phone. Don't miss it at all.I have muted all the Whats App group conversations, as it is mostly recycled jokes. I still get notifications from individual friends trying to contact me.
throwaway11100 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Last week I got Modafinil. I've been using it every day this week. I've felt slightly happier throughout the day, and more focused than I've ever been in my life.

It used to take so much energy for me to start working. But on Modafinil I switch to emacs and start hacking.

I bet I'm going through a honeymoon period, but I'd say I've learned more about programming this week than in any (any!) month of my life. I feel really focused.

Many use it to avoid sleep. I don't; I get eight hours of sleep a night. I'm trying to avoid crashing, burning out, dependency et cetera by using Modafinil like an antidepressant, not a five hour energy.

giarc 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My trick - cut down the people you follow.

Take 20 minutes one day and block all those on facebook that you really don't care to follow or post too much stuff. You don't need to 'Unfriend' them, just 'unfollow' them. This way you only see the stuff you care about and will inevitably spend less time on Facebook. This can be applied to twitter/snapchat etc.

jongold 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use Focus[1] in hardcore mode, scheduled from 22:00-12:55 and 13:00-19:00.

I really suggest reading Deep Work by Cal Newport.

For my phone - I deleted all of my social apps (apart from Instagram, Swarm etc) and keep it in another room or in my bag as much as possible.

[1] http://heyfocus.com

eswat 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If I start labelling a site as an addiction - like I habitually type in the URL of one of these sites when I open a new tab - I block the sige by adding it to my hosts file. After a month or two The hunger pangs on wanting to go to those sites go away.
3beans 17 hours ago 0 replies      
At 8pm I go read-only. I tell my colleagues this as well. Unless anything is burning to the ground I don't care.

Sometimes I'll do an /etc/hosts block and shift that site I'm over visiting to another device. Makes me realize I'm using it too much. Once that moment hits I unblock when I feel I'm ready for it on my laptop again.

Bahamut 1 day ago 0 replies      
Quit using [insert service] for a period of time.

When you no longer feel a need to use it, then it is safe to use it. This has been the best cure for addictions for me in the past, but YMMV.

framebit 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've just crossed the three week mark of no Facebook. Scrolling through my newsfeed had become a bad mindless habit, one that sucked my time and emotional energy without giving anything back. But dang, it was hard to break. This hasn't been my first time getting away from FB, but it's been the most successful so far.

There is value for me in having a FB account. There are some people that I only communicate with through the service, and I'm part of some groups that do all their event organization through FB. Deleting my account, for me, was both undesirable and impractical. But I sure as hell wanted to break my addiction.

I started using a simple habit tracker on Android call Rewire to track my progress in breaking this habit. After a few false starts, "don't break the chain of success" became more motivating than I originally thought it would be.

I also ramped up the severity of my FB diet instead of going cold turkey right off the bat. This was roughly my progression:

1. Delete the phone app. There's not a great way around this. I still use Messenger, and for the first time I find myself really glad that the services are separated.

2. I started logging in and out of the service in a browser. When I finally tore myself away from the newsfeed, I'd sign out. When I was tempted to go back, having to sign in again was a usability barrier, but also a reminder to myself of what I was trying to accomplish. Sometimes it was enough to help me resist actually logging in.

3. No mobile FB. I did my best not to log in through a mobile browser. I still allowed myself to browse on a laptop or desktop.

4. No more FB. I configured my email settings to get notifications about very specific things and then looked at my news feed on a desktop browser for what would hopefully be the last time. My personal rule: if I get an email about something that was directed particularly to me, whether it's somebody posting on my page or somebody tagging me in a comment, I will log in through a desktop browser, address that event, and immediately log out. No looking at the newsfeed, no browsing to friends' pages. I also unsubscribed from all the promo emails FB started sending me when it detected that I was inactive.

I hope this helps! Breaking my FB addiction was tough, but very rewarding. I don't miss my newsfeed full of political vitriol and worthless clickbait. I've had more rewarding conversations with friends I care about through other means. I don't miss being part of "the conversation." So, A++, would recommend, but be realistic and gentle with yourself as you progress.

Good luck!

pacomerh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Deactivated my FB since 2012. Happier more productive ever since. These days I only do Instagram.
mdellabitta 1 day ago 0 replies      
I assume the discussion around how to manage HN addiction will be conducted elsewhere?
RoadRunner_23 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have kids. Addition will automatically go away.
conductr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Power on/off
mosburger 23 hours ago 3 replies      
I predicted there'd be a lot of sanctimonious "I just don't have an account, they're a waste of time" responses, and it seems like I was right. That's great for you, but that's really not helpful to someone who already has an account and is struggling to quit. And it can be a real struggle. The dopamine hits on likes and favs and the fear of missing out on a conversation can be really hard to break.

Like the OP, I'm using StayFocusd and I've used RescueTime in the past, and it's actually been very helpful for me. Right now I've given up Facebook and I'm tackling Reddit next. I don't have a solution for my phone, but it hasn't been a problem for me because I leave it charging across the room when I'm working. It's still difficult for me during evenings, but I'll probably try something similar for that soon.

ddingus 23 hours ago 0 replies      
One device.

I don't have a problem with most of these. Facebook can demand a lot of attention though. I learned others expect what you give. So I don't give much, others are fine with that and Facebook isn't a problem.

My Mac at home is the entertainment computer. It has all the problem stuff on it, potential problem stuff too. When I have time, I can hop onto that computer and enjoy. No worries.

Theodores 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I like to keep my computer 'clean' so that when a colleague comes over and asks me to look at some problem the browser auto-complete/suggest does not suggest any non-work things, whether they be news sites, social network sites or anything else that I read in my own time. The most embarrassing things my auto-complete suggests are things like the man page for 'strpos' (I should know whether the needle comes before the haystack by now).

If I really feel the urge to read non-work stuff then I have my phone, which costs money, has a useless keyboard and a diminutive screen. If I am making a cup of tea then there is plenty of time there to see if anyone has sent me email etc.

Regarding work email, I do not read a lot of it and I expect my colleagues to know that I don't read emails. I do read important ones but social events and other work emails that are non-critical I just move to the 'almost read' folder. Generally my email is just used for test purposes, lots of systems cc me in on things so real emails are hard to find amongst the reports etc.

I do have problems with 'slack' at the moment, some people are a little evangelical about it and I just find it to be lots of noise. I wish 'slack' would go and that I could return to the lame 'Skype' as that did work well for my needs.

Hackestimate Open Source Tools for Hackathon Organizers
3 points by ayush29feb  8 hours ago   1 comment top
brudgers 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This might make a good "Show HN".

Guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html

Ask HN: Palantir Software Engineering
23 points by turd_ferguson  1 day ago   18 comments top 4
kafkaesq 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just don't expect any answers to serious questions.

Like to what extent their software is used in planning drone strikes and other military operations. And what, exactly, Palantir knows about the number of civilians killed and maimed in these operations. Let alone how any of the engineers working there, behind their hoodies and their high-end headphones -- perhaps reading this very thread right now, as we speak -- personally feel about this situation.


pinewurst 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always view a large number of copy-and-pasted Glassdoor reviews as indicative that there's something wrong with a potential employer.

At least one of the non-clone ones mentions a strong Palantir internal push to pad GD with positive reviews.

argonaut 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I know some people there. They set a high technical bar, on par with Google (their reputation in SV is actually that they're tougher than Google/Facebook, which may or may not be true, I can't be too sure since the small sample of interview questions I've heard of were not any more difficult than Google questions). Expect a typical mix of algorithmic/systems design questions. Like Google/Facebook/etc, they draw heavily from elite colleges. Lots of Stanford, Harvard, MIT grads. The organization is very flat; not a lot of hierarchy.

The company itself is essentially an elite technology consulting firm (albeit one that is actually technically competent). They have a set of core generic products (they have a finance analysis product, government analysis product, some other ones). BWStearn's description is accurate (a tool for analyzing entities and their relationships). But the key to their success is they take that generic product and then dispatch teams of engineers to customize each deployment for each client (hence consulting). Often clients will hire them because the client has engineering talent and has to hire Palantir because of that.

From what I've noticed the culture does learn fratty, but I didn't find it uncomfortably fratty. However, the people there work hard and they work long hours.

irremediable 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've visited friends at their London office a bit. Fun place, a lot like the Google campus -- e.g. free food, Star Wars statues, Segways, etc. But high-ish security; any visitor gets a printed name badge that expires and changes colour after X hours.

I have no experience of their software, but the people I know who work there are very smart. Some of the best developers I've ever known. OTOH, many of the other best developers I've known refuse to work there on principle.

Ask HN: Have you developed with Squarespace?
19 points by jc_811  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
johnny_utah 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been using Squarespace's developer platform for a gallery site. It's decent. I used the blank developer template, so I built most of the CSS from scratch. In my opinion, some of the drawbacks are:

- The editable text fields only support h1, h2, h3, and p tags. If you plan to have four font sizes or the people maintaining the site don't mind using the editable code blocks, this isn't a bad thing. - If you use the built-in blocks then write your own CSS overrides, you are assuming those classnames (generated on squarespace's side) will be the same. Forever. - I found myself overriding a lot of the system blocks with very bad css (some !importants)

The good things:- Every post has an associated JSON endpoint. No heavy lifting on this side.- In my experience, support gets back to you in a day or less with helpful answers.- The support for custom post types (See the docs) is finally acknowledged.

In my opinion, the developer tools are great for your own site or if the client has familiarity with basic html tags. I am not sure I would use it again for a site to hand off to a non-technical client. If the system blocks (built in video, text, image types) were customizable, I would recommend Squarespace more heartily.

I have not used Squarespace's ecommerce functionality so I am unqualified to comment on those. I have heard good things about Webflow's CMS offering, so I would check that out to compare.

This post was very helpful to me in seeing how other people use the dev platform (I have no affiliation): http://www.instrument.com/latest/creating-a-clean-custom-mai...

Hope that helps!

markplindsay 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've worked on a client's Squarespace site on and off for the past couple of years. I initially stepped in when they had reached their own limits with customization.

At first I used the in-browser stylesheet and template editors Squarespace's free/low-cost plan had to offer. But almost immediately my clients had to step up to a plan that allowed me to access the Git-based developer platform. Unfortunately, they wanted to retain much of their existing markup and styling. It was all dependent on the system blocks johnny_utah mentioned, so I couldn't take the greenfield approach. This created some problems, but it still didn't take me long to put together a very nice brochureware site. And I am definitely no expert with the platform.

Yes, I would recommend Squarespace over WordPress. It seems very empowering to slightly-technical users who might want to do creative things that would be difficult with even a customized/fully-plugged-in WordPress setup. Also, avoiding WordPress security issues and third-party hosting headaches is a big plus.

ericzawo 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on this right now for my company. I have limited web developing experience though I've puttered around on Wordpress for about a decade and know some fundamental HTML and CSS. We're moving from Wordpress to Squarespace for both ease of theme customization (from a technically limited standpoint!) and overall more pleasing aesthetic. Our site as it stands is perfectly functional, but looks like it's from 2006, and we currently would rather not hire a web design company again and do it ourselves.
Ask HN: No HTTPS Why do you trust an app?
8 points by newsignup  1 day ago   6 comments top 5
patmcc 1 day ago 0 replies      
You have to trust the organization, same as always. If your bank/credit union doesn't use https in their app, they probably don't have a secure infrastructure period.

If the organization you're dealing with is incompetent, it doesn't matter if you communicate with https, carrier pigeon, or face-to-face. They'll still leave things open at some point and you'll get screwed.

And, as heinrichf points out, you can MITM and name-and-shame individual apps if you're technical.

tedmiston 1 day ago 0 replies      
A friend wrote a really nice blog post about this in 2013. It's always felt like the white elephant in the room of iOS apps.

"WebViews Are Not To Be Trusted" https://web.archive.org/web/20140213214723/http://matthodges...

heinrichf 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can redirect the traffic of your device through a proxy and sniff it (e.g. https://mitmproxy.org/) to determine if an app uses https or not, and furthermore if it performs certificate pinning.
MarkMc 21 hours ago 0 replies      
A similar problem is that many apps ask me to log in with my Facebook password. With a browser I can see that my password is being sent directly to Facebook but with an app, who knows?
kleer001 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have tiers of trust based on levels of perceived risk, and that's multiplied with the frequency of use.
Ask HN: What Startups are using AzureML
4 points by spacker  21 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Do you use Go in Neuroscience?
13 points by wuliwong  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
irremediable 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can speak a bit for the "no" camp. I work in medical imaging, so not neuroscience per se, but I know quite a few neuroscientists. Most of them are now working in Python, MATLAB and/or C++. IMO the (impassable?) barrier to using Go will be the existing infrastructure/libraries for those three languages. Even though you could use cgo... in my experience, most neuroscientists aren't that into fixing their tools. They'd rather be working on their models.

(I could easily stand to be corrected. On a similar note, I hope Julia replaces MATLAB for a lot of science/engineering.)

fundamental 1 day ago 0 replies      
I currently work on the ML side of neuroscience (EEG/LFP->classifications) and I can't say I've seen any significant projects out there using Go. Simulations seem to be mostly done in C, C++, python, matlab, etc. My own work is done in julia and I don't think that go has that big of an appeal in this space.
MollyR 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know a few computational biologists. They mostly seem to prefer python and r though some are talking about julia.
tedsanders 1 day ago 0 replies      
The neuroscientist I live with mostly uses Python. He does computational work, analyzing voltage signals/spikes in the retina and trying to model neural circuits.
Ask HN: Your Passive Income Suggestions?
312 points by nns  2 days ago   216 comments top 40
edent 2 days ago 12 replies      
* Apps with ads in them. Easy enough to churn out, but decreasing revenues and most of the high earning adverts are the scummiest. Low value and of low moral usefulness.

* Solar Panels. In the UK, the government pays you per kWh generated. Needs an upfront investment, but stable income and you reduce your own energy bills. See http://shkspr.mobi/blog/tag/solar

* Renting out property. Needs a much larger initial investment, and requires ongoing maintenance. On a good month I only hear from the managing agent once per month with details of how much rent is being paid.

* Stoozing. Find a credit card with 0% interest on balance transfers. Stick the money into a savings account. Or, if you like risk, on a horse. Need a good credit rating and decent savings rate to make more than a few hundred a year though.

* Affiliate marketing. If you can find a good theme (e.g. Halloween) and a decent place to put the links (somewhere that wants them - not spamming them everywhere) it's possible to get a moderate passive income. Well... not quite passive, requires upfront time commitment of selecting links and locations.

* Hosting / simple websites. Again, little bit of up-front commitment. Works best if you can find a local niche of people who want a friendly face to host their websites. Usually as simple as buying a domain, setting up WordPress, and turning on automatic updates.

In general, the best passive schemes require a large initial outlay and/or a dubious moral outlook. A better way to enhance your income is to eat out less, stop buying stuff you don't need, and shop around for deals. Boring but true!

CryoLogic 2 days ago 3 replies      
Here's my experiences for last year in passive income:

Total Gross Revenues: $20,000 or so.

Mostly from a single high-traffic niche site which I promote almost exclusively through social media. My site offers a free version of what a few other websites in the same niche offer as a SaaS service.

From that same site, most of the revenue (~80%) is from ads (ad revenue increased when switching to responsive units). Next, Amazon associate makes up about 15% of the revenue. And about 5% from donations.

The downside is that ad rates are DROPPING pretty quickly, ad-block usage rates are increasing rapidly, some browsers block ads by default now, etc. So I'm trying to get off of ad dependency.

I'm thinking in the future a Patreon funded project or project with additional SaaS component will probably fare better if you traffic is at least medium size (~50k/mo+), and comprised of repeat visitors.

I also have eBooks, which despite the rapid increase in popularity of Amazon authors, seem to be doing well. My most popular eBook is bringing in ~40$ / mo on the 35% plan (I can't use the 70% plan because someone stole it and uploaded it elsewhere). The rest of my eBooks are bringing in ~$20 total. If you have expertise, and strong communication skills - eBooks may be a good route to go down. Leanpub offers higher % rate, and I've seen some technical authors make a killing there - might be a better option.

As far as stocks go, I'm all invested in Vanguard which seems to like tech stocks - so not so great this year. The high-dividend yield funds are probably the way to go in 2016 since growth growth isn't so hot right now.

I would stay away from IoS & Android because app discovery is messed up, and you need a marketing budget in most scenarios to make it big.

cddotdotslash 2 days ago 1 reply      
I write eBooks for developers interested in using semi-new technologies. Previously, I wrote about developing websites to work with the Chromecast. Most recently, I published an eBook about AWS Lambda[1]. The income is not terribly good, but enough to make it worthwhile. I've been approached by publishing companies who want to raise the price to $50+ per copy, but I prefer keeping them at $2-$4 so they're more accessible for everyone.


lubujackson 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some overarching takeaways:

- niche sites with Google ads is a fading path, but still can work if you hit a good market or produce evergreen content

- selling niche e-books through Amazon or direct seems to be a decent option, but is a lot of work unless you can produce quickly and have a feel for the topic

- apps are dangerous because discover is nearly impossible. If you want to make apps, make quick little ones because the likelihood is that you will make $0 on any one app

My personal opinion is to make niche B2B tools. There are a million little inconveniences that small businesses deal with. If you find the right niche you can charge way more than a B2C product, deal with way fewer customers and charge extra for "custom" features and things like that. The trick is to find a business problem worth solving. The best way to do this is to find someone working a job and drilling them about their work flow. It's amazing the stuff that can be automated that people still don't recognize.

There is one guy who was blogging about a simple scheduling app that let 1 man operations (like barbers or chiropractors) simply text the app appointment details and it would automate putting them in the calendar. It's a great little business because scheduling is a big pain point for these tiny businesses but no one addresses it in a humane way. A good way to make $ and while also producing useful things for the world.

benologist 2 days ago 4 replies      
Amazon recently launched a new app store that pays developers by the minute in lieu of all other monetization techniques, it's great if you can come up with engaging apps.


jjangmes 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is not completely passive income, but after 1 ~ 2 months of some committed work, it can become passive income. This is assuming you know what you are doing and you have experience with e-commerce. (I was losing money for the first 3 months)

-Private labeling on Amazon using FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)

I currently earn some passive income (~$1000/month) by selling products on Amazon. Amazon FBA is great because you just send all the products to Amazon warehouse and they will do the packaging and shipping for you. If you shipped out all the items yourself, it wouldn't be so passive. But since all my items are currently at Amazon warehouse and everything's being shipped by Amazon, I spend little time at the moment.

A summarized process will be1. Sign-up for Amazon seller account 2. Find an item to sell on Alibaba3. Purchase the item, receive, check, and send to Amazon.4. Perform SEO for your product page5. Repeat 2 - 46. After some success, switch to Amazon Seller Merchant Pro.

The most difficult part wasn't finding the right item, but rather promoting the page. Ranking my product will involve tons of keyword research, pinning everything relevant on Pinterest, and revising copy-writing.

Once I start selling about 10 products/day for a single item, I'd move on to a new product. The best time to start probably is NOT at 3rd or 4th quarter. You want to have steady sales by 3rd quarter. Because if you do, you will experience some shockingly crazy sales starting November lasting until early January. If I now sell 10 units/day for product X, I was selling 100 units/day starting late November. I regret not stocking more items, but it was my first year doing this and it's a lesson learned.

shireboy 2 days ago 0 replies      
eBooks worked for me in 2014 & 15. I am the author of an ebook Trello Dojo (https://leanpub.com/trellodojo). I update it periodically and earn a couple hundred dollars a month. Lots of people from all over the world tell me it has helped them, which feels like I'm doing honest, good work with it. I'm not going to retire early from just that, but really want to do a few more, and possibly expand that concept into niche sites/training/etc.

niche sites and blogging have not panned out for me (yet). I feel that's more a lack of time/effort on my part. A test effort showed me my niche could work, but I just haven't committed to really getting it rolling.

I'm also a software developer and have a few service type sites up my sleeve. My thinking (as yet unproven in my own life) is that relatively simple subscription services that "do one thing well" and can be marketed to businesses and government agencies can earn well with minimal ongoing investment. The trick there would be to automate as much as possible- especially support- without sacrificing quality, and periodically dedicate resources to keeping the technology current (easier said than done, I know)

It's hard to balance a current "non-passive" job, family, and side passive gigs, but it _can be done_.

SyneRyder 2 days ago 0 replies      
There were a couple of posts with answers to this a month ago, you might find good suggestions there:



throwaway600613 2 days ago 4 replies      
Peer-to-peer lending can potentially be a great source of passive income. For example, if you invested $100,000 in lower grade (C-G) notes on Lending Club with an aggregate 12.0% net annualized return, you'd receive approximately $6,000 in cash payments each month.
nsxwolf 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like it's just really, really hard to get people to hand you money. If you already have a paying job, you're way ahead of the game. Maybe the best strategy is to just look for higher paying jobs.
Theodores 2 days ago 1 reply      
Paint pictures of people's dogs. Yep, a little bit of painting is involved, but painting is fun, right?

There is an inexhaustible supply of middle class people wanting pictures of their dogs painted and they are prepared to pay proper art prices for competent or in-style renditions of their dog in some picturesque scene. Since we are not dogs* and are people, poor painting is not so obvious and efforts get well received.

On the back of paintings-of-dogs it is possible to also paint your own stuff. May not be entirely 'passive income' but holding a brush isn't hard and you don't have to work in an office from 9 to 5 for the man.

*on the internets nobody knows you are a dog.

AJay17 2 days ago 2 replies      
10dpd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Borrow $1 million from a Japanese bank.
buf 2 days ago 2 replies      
Niche website. I built Casting Call Club (https://www.castingcall.club/homepage) for the voice acting community. Roughly 13,000 voice actors currently use the site, but it only breaks even with all the costs associated with it, so I couldn't call it income.
BimBimma 2 days ago 1 reply      
I made a command generator for Minecraft. It earns somewhere between $300 - $500 $NZD per month (adsense). It's a passive income because even when I go months without working on it, I still get paid. But what I would like to know is how to make it earn about 10x more. So I can quit my main job and then just make more cool stuff for the web.

I believe it's at the peak of what it can earn. Also about 25% of users have adblocker.

abatista111 2 days ago 0 replies      
I built a education platform and plan to charge monthly once I get more students.. http://thinkacademy.io/http://thinkacademy.io/courses/1/learn-ruby-on-rails-in-4-we...
33a 2 days ago 3 replies      
Save money and invest it.
AznHisoka 2 days ago 3 replies      
On-demand proxies that you spin up in 1 second.

I can spin out cloud servers in an instant.. but I have to wait days for my proxies to be activated.

cyogee 2 days ago 0 replies      
ThanksGiving season. I bought lots of YNAB codes (www.ynab.com) at 50% off and sold them at 25% off on eBAY. Win Win for everyone.

Now they moved to cloud and didn't do any 50% off this year.

vijayr 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is one person (Rob Percival - google him) who is making millions on udemy teaching people how to program. Not sure if it works for everyone, but lots of people seem to be trying. There are literally thousands and thousands of courses on udemy.
chad_strategic 2 days ago 2 replies      
http://www.bestoftheinternets.com This worked for a while until google shutdown my adsense, becuasue I had developed auto generated content.
p0la 1 day ago 1 reply      
After reading all of this, my conclusion is: There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. You may find some stuff with a more or less optimal f(risk, initial investment, running cost, return) function, but no no brainer. I wish someone had mentioned a blog a YouTube channel, I always been curious to know how much moderately successful guys are making.
nassirkhan 1 day ago 0 replies      
- i've tried and failed many times at this. Finally, I started an outsourcing company 5group.co. My growth model is to get business from field partners like your self and pay them 20% of the life time of profits from that customer. For example, if someone refers a chat support outsourcing customer and the customer spends 10k usd in a year, we pay out about $1400. We manage the labor/office space etc so the is no capex like in real estate. You do need to have the savvy to generate business though.-- Prosper marketplace...lend money on prosper and receive 7-8 % - tough if you dont have capital
NetStrikeForce 1 day ago 0 replies      
A service that people want to use :)

Just started https://wormhole.network and still putting some more money and time to add an API (coming very, very soon!), but I'm pretty sure it will take off if I manage to promote it properly. The product itself is pretty awesome, probably unrivalled and the possibilities endless.I have a lot of features in the backlog and will be adding those based on user feedback.

This is not fully passive, but the income is not a linear function with the invested time, which ain't bad either.

jo909 2 days ago 0 replies      
What does passive mean to you? 99% hands-off income that just shows up magically without any significant work?

Most schemes I see here and elsewhere require a lot of investment (of time mostly) upfront, and then often also ongoing attention so the scheme keeps working.

meric 1 day ago 2 replies      
I used my good income job to rent a three room bedroom apartment, and rent out 2 of the rooms. I pay < $100 a week on bills and housing, and I live in a city where the median house price is > $1m.
jcslzr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I made a website with a free exercise to learn to type faster: http://www.learn-2-type.com ...sadly a lot of people are using ad blockers
jxm262 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bookmarked this post and thanks for asking! My plan, which may/may-not work out - Start consulting, work like crazy to get _high quality_ clients, find common needs among them, build products from these common needs. I'm hoping I can find specific things between multiple clients that I might be able to sell as an actual product, alongside the consulting. Anyway I just started indepedent contracting on evenings/weekends about a month ago.. so far it's working quite nicely for me :)
skiltz 1 day ago 1 reply      
Built https://wholesaleorderform.com - Has 2 customers - Brings in $50 a month with zero maintenance. Still haven't even finished the homepage :) No idea how to find customers... Anyone want to partner up!
reinhardholl 1 day ago 1 reply      
I recently created http://filepiper.com, still busy validating the idea, then get someone to pay :)

I always wonder if software products are really the way to go. Getting initial traction is seriously hard

nether 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some people have successfully bought cars just to rent out via Turo (formerly RelayRides). It's not hard to make well over the monthly payment if you live near a major airport. Most insurers don't like this though and I wouldn't be surprised by an Airbnb-esque crackdown in the coming years. Until then though, it's the good times.
booop 2 days ago 1 reply      
Start a company. Hire a hardworking and dependable general manager on a salary and give him/her great autonomy.

Sit back and enjoy the dividends.

andrewsg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I run an product (clothing, tech, home-wares) curation site [1]. It primarily uses affiliate marketing to generate an income. Lots of effort at the moment, but hopefully will pay off in time.

[1] http://iwantdis.com

jacalata 2 days ago 0 replies      
>I presume by passive income you mean any amount of money > 0 that comes in with regularity

That definition would include 'a job' so it seems incomplete.

jerguismi 2 days ago 2 replies      
Bitcoin arbitrage.
max0563 2 days ago 0 replies      
Steam games, granted if you can get Greenlight which really isn't that hard to be honest. I have a game on there that isn't exactly the best, but it generates some beer money.
financedfuture 2 days ago 0 replies      
Allocate part of your wealth in riskier assets. If you think you're able to do it on your own, play around with some ETFs.

Alternatively, ask around for a good hedge fund.

elwell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Addons / Plugins for existing platforms that have an appropriate marketplace for this (e.g., Concrete5).
max_ 2 days ago 5 replies      
-Build a BTC gumroad version.

-AI stuff like http://predictor.ai

taytus 2 days ago 1 reply      
We are looking for investors...
Ask HN: Making the switch from physics to industry?
9 points by phystoind  1 day ago   8 comments top 6
hdkmraf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't, just don't.

I moved from algorithmic optimisation and old fashioned stats and computer science into data science, I was mostly shoehorned into it back when it wasn't hot.

The money is ok, but the problems you solve tend to be extremely inane and unfulfilling, mostly having to do with clicks, products, and how to divert people's attention to generate revenue. Sometimes I really feel I am just contributing to the evil of the world.

There is an emerging market for data science into energy, one of the few industries where you can do some good. I have been trying to move into it but seems DS is extremely tied to web and finance...

I would stay in physics if I was you, it is an intrinsically beautiful science along with mathematics.

Disclaimer: I will leave the field soon and dedicate myself to bug farming, among other projects.

tahoeskibum 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Please do consider medical physics. We have a former string theorist in our team who does great Monte Carlo simulations of medical linacs. I myself have an experimental physics background and use my knowledge in product development in the radiation oncology field in Palo Alto. APS has a local link service in which you can meetup with local physicists in Bay Area and talk to them about industrial positions.
ivan_ah 1 day ago 1 reply      
I recommend you go for data science rather than finance.

For one you'll have less to learn to catch up (ML = prob theory + modelling skills). Also "data science" is a much broader skill that is in demand in many industries, while to apply your modelling skills to finance requires that you join one of the dirty banks, dirty hedge funds, or other dirty system construct.

This is a good book to have on the shelf: https://www.cs.ubc.ca/~murphyk/MLbook/

also on topic http://p.migdal.pl/2015/12/14/sci-to-data-sci.html

kleer001 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please consider Visual Effects. There's always a need for "brainiacs" to bring the latest, fastest, smartest way to render/simulate/store the visual effects in the latest Pixar/SuperHero movie. It might just be a short contract for a few months or a year. Don't be afraid if you don't have much art/design experience, there are other specialists for that. And in all reality the day to day work of lighters, animators, etc is more matching the design specs of the director.

But maybe that's not your thing, just putting it out there as some of the biggest and oldest vfx studios are in the SF Bay, namely Pixar, ILM, Dreamworks, Tippett, and well honestly little young studios might be interested too.

www.creativeheads.net Is a clearing house for all kinda of vfx and games jobs.

warrenmar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recommend the Insight Data Science Fellowship.http://insightdatascience.com/You can read Ethan Rosenthal's blog about the transition from physics to industry. http://blog.ethanrosenthal.com/
a_shiri 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recommend you go for data science as Ivan.
Ask HN: What is your trusted system for GTD?
12 points by gammabeta  1 day ago   15 comments top 13
taoquay 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use Remember the Milk[1] and it has served me well for the past couple of years. I started off with the template presented in this post[2] from the RTM blog and it's a great basic implementation of GTD.

The advanced search functionality to combine items from multiple lists into a single view is my favorite feature. The keyboard shortcuts, quick entry and iOS/Android apps make it so that it's always easy to input something into my trusted system, whether I'm near a computer or on the go.

[1] https://www.rememberthemilk.com/[2] http://blog.rememberthemilk.com/post/116665489183/guest-post...

paulmatthijs 1 day ago 0 replies      
The trick of "proper" GTD is not what to use, but what not: focus on eliminating inboxes. You've got too many.

Triage everything that comes into your (e)mailbox, Slack, whatever. It's the deciding what's actionable and what's not that makes your GTD work. Get the info you need from those inboxes into a single filing system, and stick to it.

Mine is OmniFocus, your mileage most likely will vary.

SyneRyder 1 day ago 0 replies      
I need to give a plug for Toodledo, it doesn't seem to get mentioned much but has great GTD support. That includes fields for Contexts (and support for Locations), associating tasks with Goals (whether short-term or long-term) and assigning a Status (eg Next Action).

The real power though comes from memorized custom searches, that filter out everything except what you're currently interested in.

Their main product is their website and iOS app, but they also have an API & third-party developers making clients. They have an official Android app, but I much prefer Ultimate ToDo List on Android. They have a Mac menu-bar app as well, but I prefer to keep the website pinned in my browser instead. (I would LOVE a native Mac app of the calibre of Things / OmniFocus that fully supported Toodledo & had offline support, though.)

I also found an article with a more indepth look at Toodledo & GTD [2]

[1] http://www.toodledo.com/

[2] http://www.millwardesque.com/getting-things-done-toodledo/

luketych 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go with whatever works consistently and your can trust. So don't use a piece of shit like evernote, for example. This is where paper-based systems can shine (until you can build your OWN digital system). Can't even count how many times I had a perfect digital system set up only to find one stupid little thing about it I could not change because it was not my code to change.

Ideally we would have a digital system that works with our own unique way of thinking. Until then, paper sucks but it's the best.

Why do you need to keep a backup? A good analog system doesn't need to be inefficient. If you can stumble upon the right setup it should be plenty efficient, unless you can build your own digital system.

ja27 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've struggled a lot with having _one_ system that works. The best ones for me are either a physical notebook (Moleskine style or spiral) or a stack of index cards. What's good about index cards over a notebook is that you can lay them out so they're all visible at once, can sort them how you like, and it's easy to dispose of cards when they're used up.

Digitally, I juggle Keep, Evernote and email, so no I never quite trust one system. I wish Evernote had a Keep-like dashboard where you could see multiple notes.

josefdlange 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Hit List [1] was my go-to when I was in school. Really painless information ingestion, and convenient means of displaying data.

Unfortunately it is not well-maintained in terms of updates... hoping it will see some love eventually...

[1] http://www.karelia.com/products/the-hit-list/mac.html

scorpioxy 1 day ago 0 replies      
After reading one blog post after the other and trying out different systems(including ones I wrote), I reverted back to simple lists of tasks. I use orgmode in emacs to manage the multiple lists with different priorities. orgmode keeps the lists in text format and is simple enough to manipulate.

Honestly, it might not be the best but it works and works well for my needs.

piratebroadcast 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been fairly happy with Things 2. A big on the pricey side but have had zero issues. I have lists of lists, including places I want to visit, movies I want to see, etc. Everything goes in there.
jcrben 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm playing with facilethings.com and zendone.com. Previously tried doit.im. But mostly I just work off of Gmail and use Evernote for reference material.
formalsystem 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really like wunderlist, put items in, sort them by rank, go through them one by one and tick them off when you're done.

Also it can sync with your phone which is pretty nice

duncan_bayne 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/ + http://orgmode.org/ + https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/ + http://www.openssh.com/ + https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.danielrogg... + http://www.orgzly.com/

... with all files sitting on my home server, accessible over SSH via private key authentication only, synchronised with Unison on Linux, FreeBSD and Android.

So it's not perfect. If you broke into my house, you'd have the files. Ditto stealing my phone, or loading malware onto my equipment, etc.

But it's pretty solid; I'm comfortable with the tradeoff between security and convenience it represents.

Plus, org-mode agenda view is to die for :)


jskulski 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everyday, I write things down and then I do them and then I cross them off. It's really hard.
Ask HN: Any advice for a disillusioned young developer?
16 points by 265358  1 day ago   20 comments top 12
JSeymourATL 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I've also found it nearly impossible to gain any leverage or visibility within the company.

How have you asked?

Can you make a short list of 610 senior individuals in your company that you can get access to? These might be Director or VP types.

Ask them (in-person preferably) if they have any projects or assignments you might be able to assist them on. Tell them you're reaching out, looking for a new challenge and professional growth.

They will likely welcome your initiative and assertiveness. And you might be surprised what new opportunities this creates for you.

Ultimately, changing companies and moving away is easy. But the challenge of raising your visibility and getting career traction doesn't go away. You can get what you want, by helping others get what they want.

ljw1001 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the average employee, the main benefits of working for a tech giant are what management theorists call 'hygiene' factors: Pay, benefits, prestige. What makes a job good or bad, though, is intrinsic to the work itself, and the people around you- especially your manager. It sounds like you need to find a job doing work you like, with people you like. You can do that.

Getting work you like generally means something that is challenging, but not overwhelming, in a place where it's safe to make mistakes. Make sure you go in knowing what you'll be working on. This is a lot easier in a small co.

Consider the utility of the product you're making: Is it a net plus for the world? But be realistic. It's the nature of capitalism that most are in it only for the money. If they claim to be about changing the world, you can ask for examples where they went above and beyond for their employees, community, or customers.

On finding a company with good people, do your homework, starting with glassdoor. Avoid any company where more than a few people criticize the CEO or work-life.

For the rest of it, the hygiene factor that matters most is probably commute time. Get a gig where you have some balance in your life, or at least aren't wasting three hours a day going back and forth.

Finally, ask yourself if your expectations are realistic. 19 is pretty young to be disillusioned.

Oh, And see PG's Startup School lecture. And really think about going back to school.

calcsam 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes. Get a new job.

Go to Hired or Indeed Prime, list yourself, and watch the offers come in.

This is your first full-time job, right? Some jobs are good. Some jobs are good for a while. Some jobs are never good. It seems like this one was good for a while.

I suspect that as the youngest FTE, there's a lot of internal politics around promoting you. Possibly it involves you not having a college diploma (I assume you don't). So leave. Go somewhere else, where your talents will be recognized.

Incidentally, a friend of mine is 21yo, was hired at 19 as a full-stack dev at his fast-growing startup in SF, promoted, and is now leading a team. I'm sure you guys would enjoy meeting each other. Email me (email in profile) if you want to be connected.

jcr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Going from what you wrote, you have a sample size of only 1 company.

You're definitely smart enough to know a sweeping assessment of siliconvalley based on a single, isolated sample is a mistake.

Since you are talented enough to get hired by a "big tech company" insilicon valley at the age of 19, then you're definitely talented enoughto find tons of other work here. There is _TONS_ of fascinating andrewarding work being done here.




Before you go hopping into a new job, realize that nearly every task,paid or personal, can occasionally feel like an unrewarding slog. Heck,even contributing to fun stuff, like open source or HN, can occasionallyfeel like a frustrating struggle, annoying hassle, pointless toil, orthankless grind. When those lackluster moments happen and you can take ashort break, just divert your attention to something interesting for awhile until they pass.

Also before you go hopping into a new job, have you been rewardingyourself with spending free time doing interesting side projects?

Is there any technical itch that you've always wanted to computationallyscratch?

If you pick the right itch, you may end up creating your own startup.As John Belushi once said, "If you don't like the news, go out and makesome of your own." The same applies for jobs.

Of course, having a full time engineering job will keep the lights on soto speak, and it gives you the opportunity to spend your free timeexperimenting on side projects you love. Lastly, don't forget that theBay Area has _TONS_ of different types of user groups, maker sites, andenthusiast clubs with regular meet-ups. There are also plenty ofconferences and professional groups here. All of these groups, places,and events are a humongous asset to the curious and are thoroughlyenjoyable.

Silicon Valley is what you make of it.

sebastianmck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey, I'm 18 and currently work fulltime at Facebook in London. I can definently relate to some of the things you touched on, feel free to reach out if you'd like to have a chat. Email should be in my profile.
Cypher 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yea I resonate with similar experience, I've been working for a tech company for 8 years. I found myself worked into an agile silo and my confidence dwindled to an all-time low as the once creative problem-solving tasks turned to maintenance. I tried to solve the issues by tinker a lot in my spare time and exploring new technologies and ideas. However I'm finding it eats up all my spare time and I get burned out and mentally drained. My plan is to save up enough to support my family for 6 months and take a break to find a new path.
invalidOrTaken 1 day ago 1 reply      
I do not have any advice for the issue you're worried about.

I do have some advice that is still good, though.

It is: save up some money.

Being broke sucks. I don't advise it. If any of your plans involve "Be broke for a while," I would advise against that plan.

That's all. I wish you good luck with the rest of it. It's just that the problem you're complaining about is an ambiguous one that I can't help with very well from here. But the one I mentioned is not ambiguous, so I mentioned it.

CyberFonic 1 day ago 0 replies      
From what you write it appears that you are referring to a "big" yet new (aka Startup) company. It is not unusual for promises being made and endlessly deferred.

Look outside of your company to build up a network of allies. There is a variety of opportunities, so you need only make an effort to get out there and socialise.

The fact that your peers are promoted from around you suggests that you might be showing you negativity at work. You might want to consider that the same negativity could be making it harder to cultivate friendships.

visualsearchsv2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Have you considered going to a college/university, assuming you did not go since you were hired at 19. College is a fun experience. There is nothing wrong in taking a break and studying/partying. Since you are already good enough to get an FTE position, you shouldn't have trouble when you graduate/leave university.
danjoc 1 day ago 0 replies      
It sounds like your gut is telling you to bail, but your heart is wanting to hang on to that "big" tech company for prestige or whatever other reasons.

I agree with the other posters. Look for a better offer. In my experience, big raises or promotions don't really happen. I've gotten my two biggest salary bumps by changing employer.

nartz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Im just reading into it, but you sound both depressed, and also like you are finally growing up =D.

Things aren't always beautiful and rosey. You will find eventually how to take a longer-term view of the world, to slow down, to start enjoying the day to day by living it. Or you wont.

SFjulie1 1 day ago 0 replies      
The fact big companies in SV have been caught in a no poaching pact gives an indication of how workers are considered by the owners: just lemons to be pressed. They even strip you from your moral and patrimonial rights on any of your inventions in exchange for some ridiculous equities that give them fiscal advantages. And they call it "advantage". For whom? You do the valuable original part of the job.

In exchange, like a kid you have free lolipops and you have a nice kindergarten kind of ambiance, where immaturity and attitude prevails. You are distracted from thinking.

I faced your situation. I find modern IT mildly innovative nowadays and promises made at hiring often never held, IT culture often toxic. Especially the lack of critical thinking.

Take some vacations. Whatever you plan next. You may have good reasons to be disillusioned. (or none, the thinking is up to you)

Sometime just enjoying life is the right solution to a lot of problems. Because, fuck the IT. Your life and the search for your own happiness matters more than anything else.

By being honest, you are proving to be mature: trust yourself.

EDIT: Ask HN: How happy are you working as a programmer?https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11009956

How do you document what you are learning at work?
5 points by seeyes  1 day ago   10 comments top 8
drl42 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Mindmaps, with notes. Allows you to organize the information in a visual hierarchy, so that you can quickly refer back to the notes. I use Freemind[1], an open source tool.

[1] - http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

atmosx 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using tiddlywiki and I must say it's doing an amazing job. It doesn't stand on the way, works via mobile, everything is fine so far. I am slowly transitioning from Evernote. However if someone doesn't pick-it-up it will probably cease[1] by the end of 2016.

[1] http://osmo-service.tiddlyspace.com/ServiceUpdate20160112

theGREENsuit 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I use OneNote. I have a Notebook for each project I'm on, with tabs to keep my notes organized. My small team, 3 people, has a shared OneNote Notebook to allow collaboration.At my previous employer, we used Atlassian's Confluence.
kat 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a few text files at work that I keep track of things. I treat it more as a reference file/personal FAQ file, some notes are verbose and some are terse. When I am learning on a side project I keep my notes in Google docs. I take the time to format those notes better so I can study them easily. Google Docs has history and warns you when you delete a file. What do you use versioning for? I correct my notes when I discover they are wrong, and if we release a new version of the product, I just record the new behaviour in addition to the old behaviour (along with dates, build numbers etc)
afarrell 15 hours ago 0 replies      
A directory of markdown files. I use git for version control.
davelnewton 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wiki, that way other people can contribute as they learn incrementally.

Wiki gardening is a thing, though, and without it, doom will follow.

At my last job we did the same thing, but I heavily customized the wiki to include endpoint testing, DB access, context-sensitive autocomplete, etc. It was pretty cool.

tugberkk 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I just write them to text files and usually lose them.
ApolloRising 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I found Evernote was the easiest way to always have it around.
Ask HN: Makers, do you have mentors?
7 points by goodJobWalrus  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
Bjartr 1 day ago 1 reply      
This sounds really cool, and is something I've on-and-off been wondering how to make happen for myself. I'd also be interested in learning more about the Slack chats and forums you mention.
kleer001 1 day ago 1 reply      
That sounds fabulous. Even at 40 now I've just been puttering along on my own. I can't even imagine how far I'd be if there had been someone there guiding me.
Ask HN: Which industry sector should I target?
74 points by leksak  2 days ago   60 comments top 18
mseebach 2 days ago 2 replies      
What do you want to optimise around? Stable job, 9-17, decent salary? Lost of money, caution to the wind? Be something [for one or more of several values of 'something'] to a lot of people? Fiddle with deeply intellectual CS problems, shielded from pedestrian worries about revenue and users?

I personally enjoy the knowledge of having solved a real (business) problem for real people, and being appreciated both financially and personally for this, even when the actual tech going into this isn't very complicated, and especially, doesn't tick off a lot of "hip" boxes.

I have also met good people who do not thrive in these circumstances, so it's hard to give generic advice as to what might make you happy.

j0rd 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you like web-scraping, and you're not an idiot, you immediately have an information advantage for anything you decide to do. Do not underestimate this advantage.

I would suggest you leverage your interest in web-scraping and use it to customers in what ever niche you believe you can sell them something.

Collect your "beta" users through web-scraping, figure out a way to reach them at scale. Build/sell a product they want (you can leverage your information advantage to figure out what this is)

This is personally what I do and have created/worked on many bootstrapped companies over my career. Niche for me is fairly irrelevant, as long as I have a pool of interested customers ahead of time. I primarily use my information advantage to figure these out.

The additional skills you will need is:

* learn to think as a "user/customer"

* minor copy-writing skills (or at least understand what shitty copy is and how to improve it)

* UX

* Data mining & Analytics, Analytics, Analytics

* A/B Testing, Iterations, Incremental Improvements (see point above)

* Hypothesis Driven Development (https://www.thoughtworks.com/insights/blog/how-implement-hyp...)

My one suggestion is to avoid any projects which do not have a clear monetization strategy. If you're following my blue-print companies that don't make money from day will only incur costs as you reach your pool of customers at scale.

lmm 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've worked 5-6 programming jobs in 5-6 different industries. Honestly the job is pretty similar in any industry. I'd recommend working for whoever pays best and/or a team you get on with.
danieltillett 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to suggest something that I would not normally suggest which is you should pair up with a non-technical founder. What you want to be looking for is someone with deep business experience (15+ years) in a narrow business field. Team up with them and work towards creating something amazing, but tightly focused.
al2o3cr 2 days ago 0 replies      
IMO your question isn't really answerable: you've listed tools and techniques you enjoy but "sectors" in the industry are primarily about producing results using those. A similar realspace question would be, "I really enjoy building cantilevers and arches. What city should I look for construction work in?"

My personal recommendation would be to find people who are doing interesting things and talking about it in public - blog posts, conference talks, etc etc and reach out to them.

yitchelle 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't have any specific industry for you to get into, but I have a suggestion on how you might be able to find it. Attend as many trade shows as you can and talk to the folks to get an idea of what they are doing, although some of them may be difficult to get to due distance, cost, invites etc.

For example, Embedded World in Nrnberg, Germany provides a good cross section of industry that has embedded engineering involvement in it. There will be a similar one for telecommunications, Automotive etc.

Good luck on searching for your calling.

pedrodelfino 2 days ago 1 reply      
Have a look at the legal industry. There are quite a few legal tech startups by now. Even web-scraping applications are rare in legal. The sector is famous for being profitable (high margins), rusty and inefficient.
lafay 2 days ago 0 replies      
The technology to cost-effectively store massive amounts of raw metrics / data and quickly derive insight from it is still a relatively recent development, and so far we've seen turn-key tools to leverage that in just a few areas:

1. Where developers themselves are the likely product users (think Google Analytics, New Relic, Optimizely, Appdynamics)

2. Where there is a direct and immediate connection to $$$ (finance / quant stuff)

3. Generic data science platforms (Cloudera, Hortonworks, Databricks)

I think there is still tons of opportunity for industry-specific turn-key data science tools. Especially for verticals where there is a low coincidence of skilled developers with industry domain expertise.

bjwbell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Learn the art of writing gpu compilers. Software defined radio is another.

If you find web-scraping dull don't pursue it. Life is short.

cableshaft 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd just suggest looking into something up and coming that interests you, and start learning whatever you can about that.

Industries that will have specific uses for machine-vision: autonomous driving cars, drones, robotics, augmented reality, internet of things

Others: crypto-currencies (specifically digital ledgers/blockchains), virtual reality, commercial space exploration, online education, voice recognition, (more as I think of them)

Tech that's already big and probably getting bigger: streaming video, instant stock trading based on algorithms,

Certainly one of those must be interesting to you. They're all pretty interesting to me.

boothead 2 days ago 1 reply      
Whereabouts are you? If you're interested in PLT, DSLs and compilers, there are some small enclaves in finance that might interest you.

edit spelling

HFTGuru 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are interested in huge bonuses up to 400k-1M a year for being a developer, then I suggest to you high frequency trading development. The problem is you'll have to move close to an exchange, but the finance industry rewards you handsomely and takes care of it's employees.
jndsn402 2 days ago 0 replies      
Best of luck to you, I am not in the industry and cannot recommend from that perspective.

As a consumer though, augmented reality ( eg Hololens and Magic Leap) seems like it is about to become very big, and probably utilizes machine vision.

Can you recommend some resources for learning about web scraping?

sklogic 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm very much into DSLs, and I've been building and using them extensively throughout a very wide spectrum: database engines, CADs, hardware design and verification, compilers, device drivers, HPC (GPGPU).
sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
you should look at marketplaces. possibly even ones run by crypto currencies. There are alot of ways to configure a marketplace and it would be nice to abstract that from CRUD operations and such.
scardine 2 days ago 1 reply      
You can do pretty well as a Google for Work reseller.

I can make 1 USD per account per month, at 10k accounts it is a pretty good source of passive income.

drelihan 2 days ago 0 replies      
you're right, web scraping is dull ( it was a big, but important part of my job for a number of years ). The interesting, and non-trivial, part comes on how to use the data you have scraped.
sharemywin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Which one are you talking about:

Damn Small Linux, a very small Linux distribution

Definitive software library

Domain-specific language, a computer language designed for a specific problem domain

Ask HN: Why is My Bathroom Mirror is Smarter Than Yours being posted so much?
6 points by davelnewton  1 day ago   8 comments top 3
ocdtrekkie 1 day ago 1 reply      
Medium seems to have some URL cruft at the end of it that is unique for different users, and it doesn't seem like HN knows how to dedupe that.
nkijak 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't be jelly
echolima 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm sure he has invested some very serious cash into something he should not be spending that much time looking at, and now he wants a return on investment by building a readership; cue the submission bots/friends/family to spread the word.
Ask HN: Worth working on a project that you have no direct relationship with?
3 points by alexcason  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's worth working on a project you care about. It's ok if the manner in which you care is that you care about making a lot of money and that the problem you are solving is one that you don't care about directly...but it's probably harder to maintain caring only about the money over the long term.

The big problem is it's easier to care about the solution than the problem because coding is fun and other people's problems tend not to be fun. This leads to imagining problems that other people have and building solutions to those imaginary problems instead of actual problems. So it probably helps to start from caring about the people and then the problems they care about matter more than the solutions to problems you imagine they have.

It's even easy to solve problems that you imagine you have...because again, coding is fun and people's problems, especially your own problems, aren't.

tl;dr Do something for someone you care about that that person cares about. It doesn't really matter the person you care about is you or someone else.

Good luck.

LarryMade2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doesnt hurt to ask - I had an inkling of an idea that involved real estate, so found a real estate person locally and asked them a few questions - learned a few things about how it works I didnt know and realized it wasn't a priority for what I was doing.

Main thing is you don't have to find some bigwig, start with some informal conversation with a small player to get some perspective first.

Working on something you know is a problem yourself works great. Doesn't hurt to ask people in other fields if your other ideas are valid, and if they are you then have to ask yourself "is it worth your time to get excited bout them?"

drl42 1 day ago 0 replies      
If the idea is a B2C kind of business - Run a facebook ad campaign with the target audience. You can direct them to a landing page and collect email addresses/ other details.Facebook pretty much has a global reach, so you should get some validation points.

For more of B2B ideas - You are better off talking to people directly. Mine you network. Look for conferences, meetups, tradeshows where you might find your audience

tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finding the target audience is a problem in itself. If it is in a professional industry, maybe finding a forum or using a paid linkedin account to reach out to people might help.
partisan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe set up a landing page to gauge interest? It really depends on how niche your target audience is. You could also pick one particular person/company in your niche and introduce yourself. This is hard, but it sounds like you will have to do that every step of the way and if you can't see yourself doing it then this is the deal breaker.
Ask HN: Do you use an alternative keyboard layout like Dvorak?
7 points by cranium  1 day ago   7 comments top 5
o4tuna 15 hours ago 0 replies      
For about 21 years I was a qwerty guy, doing a lot of COBOL (a verbose, English-like language that facilitates fast typing). It's been fourteen years since I've switched to Dvorak. It was worth it, but it did experience a full month before exceeding my 80+ wpm qwerty speed. (The first couple of weeks would probably have been much easier if I had used a keyboard overlay or use a keyboard labeled as Dvorak instead of qwerty.)

Before switching, I wondered how it would affect my ability to use qwerty. Happily, I never lost my ability to be proficient on small keyboards (phone, labelmazer, etc.) that are too small for ten-fingered touch typing. If you switch, you will be able to text away using qwerty without any trouble.

But when it comes to touch typing, can you full-on switch back and forth between qwerty and Dvorak without difficulty? I can't really give you a field-tested answer to this question. I make it a point not to touch-type on full-sized qwerty keyboards--I don't want to risk slowing down on Dvorak. However, on the rare occasions when I need to go qwerty on a full-sized keyboard, I get the sense that switching back to qwerty would be fairly easy. When I use a qwerty keyboard I'm a little awkward--I have to think about where the letters are, but I've "still got it". I get the sense that I'd be back in fine qwerty form if I continued on for a few minutes. But . . . why would I want to go back? Dvorak just flows out of your fingers, and now qwerty just seems like something from the Ministry of Silly Typing. Unless you are typing the word "qwerty" over and over again, Dvorak is the way to go.

Also, a word on control-key combinations aren't really that big of a deal. But . . . OS X gives you the option of retaining the qwerty layout for control-key combinations if you don't want to go whole-hog.

And vim? Well, h/j/k/l still move the cursor the same way, but obviously the actual keys for h/j/k/l will no longer be adjacent to each other. Using these keys to move the cursor won't be as intuitive, but can it be said that vim users are prone to whimpering about things not being idiot-proof?

Along the same vein, video/audio editing programs tend to assume a qwerty layout is being used; if the editing app you use allows you to control the playhead with "letters", expect their position to change and be non-adjacent.

hakanderyal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take a look at Programmer's Dvorak[1], for a more developer friendly version of dvorak.

Other than that, replacing old muscle memories takes some time and practice. It took me a full two weeks of half-day practice to type at an acceptable speed with the new layout.

I'm using a mac, and I mapped the caps lock key to ctrl, which is in a more natural position to press with my left pinky.

As my both hands are always on home row when I'm typing, M-x, C-c, C-w, navigation etc. all comes naturally now. I've been using programmer's dvorak for 6 or so years.

If I need to do copy-paste etc. with one hand (when using mouse), I switch back to Qwerty with one quick keyboard shortcut (cmd+shift+a for me), than switch back to dvorak when I'm done.

[1]: http://www.kaufmann.no/roland/dvorak/

godshatter 1 day ago 1 reply      
That never became a problem for me. The worst was the up/down left/right keys in vim, but you just get used to the new ones. You're already changing the complete layout, which has totally messed up everything you type. I went through a solid month at least where I couldn't type much in dvorak or qwerty. Losing focus for a split second meant splatting gibberish to the screen or causing untold havoc in vim. It's been probably ten years since I learned it, and I still occasionally forget which layout I'm typing in. What's another mental hit for easy shortcuts on top of that? If it's a big enough problem, update your program's keyboard layout to bring back those easy shortcuts.

I added dvorak as a regularly-used keyboard layout because of cramping issues while typing. Those went away immediately and never came back, so it was a win for me.

geowwy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think there's an easy way to do it, you've just got to push through the awkwardness.

I have one piece of advice. Change the keyboard layout on your phone to whatever you're learning (Colemak in my case). I memorised the layout pretty quickly thanks to that. (Building up the muscle memory is another story.)

epikur 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've found that Colemak avoids this problem for the most part, as unlike Dvorak, most of the bottom row of QWERTY is left intact: http://colemak.com/
Ask HN: QTConcurrent or Apple's Grand Central Dispatch (GCD)?
3 points by mbkv  1 day ago   1 comment top
josefdlange 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, the first port I find of GCD for linux, libdispatch, hasn't been updated since October, but it looks plausible for use. ANSI C doesn't employ the same kind of code block mentality that Objective-C offers, so the interface is probably a little different.


Ask HN: How would you monetize a webcomics publishing platform?
5 points by rayalez  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
degif 1 day ago 0 replies      
- Merchandising comes first in mind - connect your platform with a printing API (e.g. theprintful.com), allow publishers to upload artwork for their own t-shirts, posters, mugs and commission on each purchase.

- Author tipping, receive commission.

- A Pro account for the readers - subscriptions, reminders, additional content newsletter (interviews, artist sketches, tips), access to high quality images or access to live chat events with the authors.

- A monthly subscription to a printed comic book with selected (or themed) comics and share the income with the authors. My guess is that comic fans are one of those people who really like touching physical paper. This one requires more manual work, but can be offered for a higher price.

- If you gather quality authors - a paid and easy to use mobile application. You can share the income with authors based on percentage of views.

tuvalie 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you had enough contributors, a sponsored "spotlight comic" feature could work. Or you could potentially offer subscriptions to a "webcomic round-up" type service, for people who want the best comics (potentially in certain categories) packaged together as a digest for them.
thenomad 1 day ago 0 replies      
Monetising for you, or for them?

Patreon's rapidly becoming the dominant monetisation method for webcomics (right behind ads, which you've said you don't want), so for them, I'd recommend integrating Patreon really well, and doing a bunch of research into how to optimise for Patreon conversions.

For you - probably just charging for hosting would at least be worth considering. I'm a webcomic author myself, and if you developed a really high-quality platform I'd be more than willing to pay for it.

erik14th 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd say work closely with the authors on merchandising.I see comics as a pretty personal kinda thing, there's a valuable relationship between authors and readers.
Ask HN: Why does Java continue to dominate?
7 points by augb  2 days ago   21 comments top 13
floppydisk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of reasons:

1) Everyone knows it or has touched it. Walk down a street filled with developers and you'll run into many who know or have worked with Java.

2) Apache. Apache. Apache. The saying goes No one ever got fired for using Java / no one ever got fired for using apache. Most major apache projects and libraries are Java/JVM based and the Java interface provides the best way to interact with them. Don't underestimate the pull from Apache on language choice.

3) Libraries - people have spent millions of man hours developing libraries for Java/JVM languages that aren't replicated elsewhere. Odds are pretty good if you're looking for an open source library that does X someone wrote it for the JVM.

4) Legacy Systems. Java is the new COBOL. There are billions of lines of Java code in existence chugging away around the world. It's more expensive to overhaul and replace an entire code base than it is to find or train developers to work on it.

5) People are riffing on top of the JVM. Rather than fight it, all the new hot languages like Clojure, Scala, Groovy, etc. are building on top of the JVM and taking advantage of what it gives you under the hood and the fact that the JVM has a wide install base. This reduces the likelihood Java will die in many capacities since it's being pushed into a more key infrastructure role rather than outright replaced.

Edit: fixed spelling

tumdum_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
Because world is different than bubble of HN/Lobsters/Silicon Valley ;)
hacknat 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Because choosing Java will almost never be a mistake, even if it isn't the most ideal language. The JVM(s) are fast(ish). So much open source code to grab and get productive on. Almost any developer you hire can be effective with it immediately, even if they've never used it before. Also, Android.

I've got only ever done one project in my career with it, and I found myself feeling "meh" about it, but I never hated it.

Someone1234 2 days ago 1 reply      
Java is just finally recovering from the 2008 recession. Look at this graph[0] instead. You can see that Java is very slowly going down before 2008 but generally flat, then suddenly in 2008 it loses pace extremely quickly, only to then recover as the economy recovers.

Java is about as enterprisey as programming languages comes. When a recession hits a lot of organisations tighten their belts, and a lot of programming projects get put into "maintenance mode" for a few years (with programmers and managers often being laid off).

After the economy improves companies start paying for new feature development again, fix bugs that had been ignored, and in some cases migrate TO Java from something worse (You'd be surprised how old some large well-known corporation's internal software is, we're talking 1980s mainframe age).

We won't REALLY know if Java is gaining or losing pace for a few more years (assuming there isn't another recession due to Chinese-related market issues).

[0] http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/Java.h...

samfisher83 2 days ago 0 replies      
Because it works for what people are doing. No need to be the coolest kid of the block.
eecks 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'll never understand why people hate on Java. Writing in Java is nice and easy, debugging is easy and getting support online is easy.
tmaly 2 days ago 1 reply      
Enterprise has made a big investment in Java. Once you build out a significant code base in a language, you are less likely to throw it all out.

Also in the Enterprise space, Oracle is a dominant database, and they have made some strong features for Java when it comes to the Oracle database. Having these features and someone you can call for support is good business and good risk protection for larger companies.

vram22 2 days ago 0 replies      
Same question could have been asked about COBOL some years ago, and to a lesser extent still can be, I guess.

Basically, at least partly, this other answer by tumdum_ explains it:


To clarify a bit: Even if newer languages / other technologies have merits (and of course they sometimes / often do), enterprises who have invested a good amount on getting apps built using older technologies (which may well have been current / popular at the time) may have no good justification to pay the cost [1] redesign and rewrite apps just to move to newer tech. ROI, CYA, etc.

[1] That cost is not only of design and writing but also prior research and evaluation, and subsequent deployment and training, etc.

vorg 1 day ago 1 reply      
The TIOBE rankings aren't to be trusted. Just click on Groovy to see its history graph - it went from #82 to #17 in a mere 12 months.

The last time Groovy made the top 20, it hit #18 in Oct 2013, but 3 months later (Jan 2014), had dropped back out of the top 50 (#32 in Nov, #46 in Dec). TIOBE said the following month "The data is produced by one of the sites that we track is interpreted incorrectly by our algorithms. After we fixed this bug, Groovy lost much of its ratings." [1] Just before that fix happened, interviews with the current Apache spokesperson for Groovy (Guillaume Laforge) promoting Groovy's top 20 position were published in 5 online rags (www.infoworld.com, www.eweek.com, cacm.acm.org, jaxenter.com, and glaforge.appspot.com), and all of them quickly appeared in Google's top 30 search results for "groovy programming" and remained there for 6 to 18 months afterwards. I'm guessing the same feedback effect was engineered again before the end of last month (Jan 2016), and Groovy will again start losing its new top 20 ranking.

This rapid rise then fall also happened with Groovy in December 2010. Groovy began a sudden rise from outside the top 50 when Groovy tech lead Jochen Theodorou "volunteered" his services to Tiobe in late 2010 to help them improve their algorithms. Than in April 2011, Groovy fell from #25 to #65 on Tiobe in a single month after they increased the number of search engines they monitor.

These fleeting peaks for Groovy in the TIOBE rankings (#25 in Apr 2011, #18 in Oct 2013, #17 in Jan 2016) between its usual ranking of somewhere between #51 and #100 (e.g. #82 only 12 months ago) are a bad thing for Groovy because of damage to its reputation as a solid language suitable for long-term IT solutions. Such ranking volatility gives off the stench of search engine optimization, a smoke-and-mirrors marketing tactic intended to benefit a single stake-holder, probably the person who privately owns the groovy-lang.org DNS domain.

[1] http://www.infoworld.com/t/application-development/c-pulls-a...

sauere 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Never ever use or trust TIOBE
twunde 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep in mind that many of these jvm languages allow you to use java code. So many of these languages are using the newer language and java so it won't drop off and instead should continue to increase
rwhitman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't the rise of Android have something to do with this?
parasitid 2 days ago 1 reply      
you mean php right?
Ask HN: How could I have a summer internship with a tech startup
4 points by trospan  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
jcr 1 day ago 0 replies      
HN has a monthly "Who Is Hiring" post [1], made by the automated "whoishiring" hn user account [2] and you can always find the most recent post through the 'submitted' link [3]. Many of the companies listing available jobs also list available/potential internships. Also, some mention visa (H1B or similar) info.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11012044

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=whoishiring

[3] https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=whoishiring

theideasmith 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because you are not currently living in the US (implied by "I'm not American") you won't be able to go to tech gatherings and develop inside relationships with companies.

I suggest you gather a list of companies you want to intern at and send emails to all of them. Send emails to the founders and to specific people within the company, not a generic company wide email address. This ensure your communication is personal.

Some are bound to respond, and of those that respond some will offer you an interview and of those you can get an internship. Unless you have your eyes set on a specific company - which it seems like you don't - go broad.

bad_alloc 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I'm not American.

Apply for visas early. Make sure you don't apply to a company involved in aerospace or military projects, as these often only employ US citizens and protected individuals. That bit me when I tried.

Ask HN: Who is using React Native?
8 points by damosneeze  3 days ago   2 comments top 2
ponyous 2 days ago 0 replies      
We have an app on iOS app store. And I am currently working on another iOS app that will be submitted to app store this month.

Our team consists only of web developers, but we really wanted app that feels native, so we evaluated the tools and came to conclusion that react-native will suit our needs.

I am not well informed about mobile app development in general but I found experience with react-native quite good.

Debugging process is quite the same to web development, open chrome go to sources tab and set breakpoints as you wish. Use CTRL+R to refresh the app the same as you would on the webpage. Performance is OK but generally you have to be more careful than on the web. Implementing `shouldComponentUpdate` can lead to drastic performance improvements.

Writing bridges between javascript and native code is really easy, even for somebody who has no idea about obj-c. So integrating custom third party libraries is quite easy.

I really enjoy development with react-native and would recommend it to any webdev who want to try app development.

applecore 3 days ago 0 replies      
NYT fluffs Dennis Crowley and his wife
2 points by TaylorGood  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
kafkaesq 1 day ago 0 replies      
The purpose of articles like that isn't to fluff their subjects. It's to the fluff you, the reader. To make you feel like you know these important, interesting people.
rajacombinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
How is this hard to understand?

Pay publicist > get flowery article > receive IRL reputation points > profit

Ask HN: Any open source alternatives to intercom.io?
7 points by bossx  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
drl42 1 day ago 1 reply      
Serious question: What would you be willing to pay for Intercom? Which features would you use the most?

Intercom is a cross between a CRM, Marketing Automation, Support and Live chat. There are open source alternatives for each of these product lines

skiltz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm looking for a cheaper automation system. Startup with not many customers. Starting point seems to be $49 for most of these companies. Drip, ConvertKit, Intercom etc
anthony_franco 1 day ago 0 replies      
Intercom does a lot. Any part in particular you're looking to use?
grzewarz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Alternative for intercom: https://userengage.ioHave a free plan.
How to create an instagram-like iOS app in an afternoon
8 points by ronbrinkmann  2 days ago   1 comment top
iqonik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Worth mentioning it involves using your company, which if successful, you will have to pay for. Other than that, it looks very comprehensive!
       cached 5 February 2016 21:05:03 GMT