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2
Ask HN: Who was your greatest mentor?
3 points by Kevin_S  1 hour ago   3 comments top
1
kzisme 55 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm always curious how people _find_ mentors.

I have heard of a few services out there where you are able to book "x" amount of time with someone to talk about work or whatever (basically a mentor).

Since finishing up school I've worked with 2 developers, and both have been great and I've learned a lot.

I don't think these sort of relationships count as "mentors", or at least it just felt like co-working. So, I guess you could say I'm still looking? :)

3
Volunteers needed to teach web development in Oakland
64 points by BeccaScriptEd  18 hours ago   9 comments top 6
1
dopeboy 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been volunteering for three years and am signed up for this fall. Happy to answer questions.

edit: Links for the lazy https://bit.ly/ScriptEdSFBAYvolunteer & https://scripted.org

2
salehk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love to volunteer but I work in the south bay so it would be very difficult for me to attend the after school sessions.

Is their any other way I can contribute or help out?

3
gelqura 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I volunteered with ScriptEd in NYC and now in the Bay Area. They are probably one of the most thoughtful, organized, and fun non-profits I've ever worked with. And most importantly the kids have gone on to do some amazing things!
4
mbs348 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Great program, happy to see it expand to Oakland!
5
snissn 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Any ability for me to mentor remotely?
6
justinschulz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
ScriptEd is a great and effective way to do something good for your soul! I volunteer in NYC and it's great to see the students empowered with coding skills! This is great for Oakland
4
Ask HN: Website go-live checklist app
265 points by DubDubThrow  1 day ago   48 comments top 27
1
ivanr 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
For a comprehensive check-up of network and security configuration, take a look at Hardenize https://www.hardenize.com. It covers a variety of things such as DNS/DNSSEC/DANE and CAA, email security (e.g., SPF, DMARC), TLS, X.509, HSTS, HPKP, CSP, SRI, cookies, application security and so on. It's a work in progress, currently in preview.

Disclosure: Hardenize is my project. I previously built SSL Labs.

2
jesperht 1 day ago 6 replies      
Covers dead links, basic SEO issues, and broken HTML/JS/CSS:

https://monkeytest.it

P.S I'm the author - feel free to get in touch / comment :-)

3
jdutoit 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Does Performance/Compatability/Spell Checking/SEO and Security (SSL):

https://passmarked.com

With the code open sourced here - https://github.com/passmarked

PS. Author, we're currently building it all out still so feel free to get in contact with any feedback.

Actual Headless Chrome coming up soon as well :)

4
janfry 1 day ago 1 reply      
For some security specific checks, take a look at:

1. Mozilla Observatory https://observatory.mozilla.org

2. SSLLabs https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/

3. Security Headers https://securityheaders.io/

For a comprehensive appsec checklist see OWASP ASVS https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Category:OWASP_Application_S...

5
corobo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use a more personally relevant fork of Spatie's checklist

https://github.com/spatie/checklist-going-live

I have not automated anything yet, but there are tools in that checklist that automate some of the process (HTTPS mixed content checks, dead link checks, etc)

6
kowdermeister 1 day ago 1 reply      
7
dbbk 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're sending transactional email, make sure you set up SPF, DKIM and DMARC records to prevent your emails from getting sent to spam. [Postmark offers a good tool](https://dmarc.postmarkapp.com/) to guide you through this.
8
LeonM 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had this in my bookmarks. I believe it was discussed once here on HN:http://webdevchecklist.com/
9
oliveremberton 23 hours ago 1 reply      
https://insites.com/ crawls your website in a cloud-based Chrome for both mobile and desktop, so you can check spelling, broken links, JS errors, layout etc.

Or if you prefer something free and lightweight: http://nibbler.silktide.com/

Disclaimer: I work here.

10
sidmitra 1 day ago 0 replies      
One other trick i've used successfully is to not actually go-live on the actual launch date. But go-live much before that and have restricted signup or something. This way you can signup and test around your site in its full production config(even run payments)

You can configure the webserver to show a different landing page if a particular key/cookie doesn't exist. To avoid unauthorized access to the public sections not yet publicly launched

11
instakill 1 day ago 1 reply      
For your question here's a few handy ones:

- https://humaan.com/checklist/

- https://simplesecurity.sensedeep.com/web-developer-security-...

- https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Web_Application_Security_Tes...

I find checklist apps/sites super useful. I've been building my own version of an interactive checklist site for email copywriting: http://honegrow.com/optimize-your-emails

What would be cool would be a checklist aggregator!

12
adjohu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty comprehensive and allows you to inspect pages issue by issue:

https://insites.com/

Doesn't currently support API key checks but that seems like a good idea! I'll suggest it. (I work at Insites)

13
scaryclam 1 day ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I think you'd be better off with your checklist and a competent employee than trying to automate many of those things away to a third party who doesn't know what the project is supposed to do.

Sure, get in tools for things like dead link checking (no-one likes trawling through pages), but for most things it's going to depend on what the site does.

A service will only go so far as to make sure you don't have anything blatently wrong. In my experience, it's the non-blatent things that blow up the worst. Little green lights from a third party are nice and all, but you should still be verifying things are really OK.

14
jriff 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Monsido (http://monsido.com) will scan sites for broken links, misspellings, and Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 accessibility compliance issues. And you can set policies for the website and get a list of pages not in compliance (e.g. don't allow "Lorem ipsum" or a certain CSS class). You can use RegEx for policies as well.

I'm co-founder of Monsido.

15
nulagrithom 1 day ago 1 reply      
I assume you've already seen Google's PageSpeed but if not: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
16
exclusiv 1 day ago 0 replies      
I haven't used it yet but this has a lot of what you're looking for:

https://littlewarden.com/

17
codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are some premium services that do this type of stuff for you. I like these 2 in particular as they are very comprehensive.

https://www.semrush.com/features/site-audit/

https://raventools.com/site-auditor/

18
jostylr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like scrutiny: http://peacockmedia.software/mac/scrutiny/

It is a mac desktop app

It will do the most generic checking (dead links, spelling, site maps, ...) leaving the more nuanced for either a person or a custom script

19
mylh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Crawl the whole website. Check SEO issues, spelling, server errors including broken links and missing resourses and so onhttps://seocharger.comI'm one of the founders. Welcome :)
20
VirgilShelton 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Use https://www.woorank.com/ it gives you a great SEO audit and website review.
21
adamwi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Alternative for automated security checks, https://detectify.com/.
22
totally 1 day ago 0 replies      
Might also check the page rank of the domain. If it was used previously you might be surprised how loathe search engines are to direct requests to you.
23
rgrieselhuber 1 day ago 0 replies      
We have a lot of agency clients using us (GinzaMetrics) to automate this sort of thing. Feel free to hit me up (ray@).
24
_Codemonkeyism 14 hours ago 0 replies      
[x] Setup backup
25
bhartzer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Siteliner.com (check for duplicate content issues, other crawling issues)
26
binthere 1 day ago 0 replies      
axe-core for accessibility issues.
27
user5994461 18 hours ago 0 replies      
How about open the site and do something???

Click a few links. Read the text. Buy something.

You're not thinking of delivering a site without doing the most basic QA, are you?

5
Ask HN: How do you encrypt your personal files / documents?
5 points by zabana  6 hours ago   8 comments top 5
1
mcgrath_sh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I use Cryptomator. https://cryptomator.org

I'm not sure of the program's technical specs, but it is multi-platform, available on mobile, and is easy to use. I am able to have a shared set of secured documents with various non-technical family members. I'm not overly worried about the Goverment having my files and I feel it is good enough to keep Dropbox and other hypothetical 3rd parties from my most sensitive documents.

2
atmosx 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I encrypt lots of things. I use the following: To encrypt directories cryptsetup and encfs on linux, dmg on mac, geli on freebsd and git-crypt with private bitbucket repos for docs that I'd like to have a history log (commits).

I think that in your case, you could take a look at git-crypt, but make sure you understand what is encrypted and what is not. Also make sure you don't push before git-crypt lock. A bash prompt changing colours might be handy.

3
dgranda 3 hours ago 0 replies      
With GPG's symmetric encryption ($ gpg -c <filename>) you just need a passphrase (no keys involved)
4
muzuq 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I personally use DiskCryptor, but I am not super up-to-date on the best programs for encryption/decryption.

DiskCryptor does the job for me. Easy to use, open source.

5
CyberCatMeow 5 hours ago 0 replies      
On Linux, you can encrypt your drives using LUKS and cryptsetup. If you want to encrypt single files, you can use gpg2 (with a password, or with a keyfile)
7
Ask HN : Name for a geeky newsletter ?
3 points by mquentin  8 hours ago   8 comments top 5
1
indescions_2017 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't discount the appeal of foreign language terminology to native English speakers.

For example:

"Urawaza", which is a Japanese word for life hacks. Or "wabi sabi," a kind of organic design aesthetic.

In Danish the concept of "Hygge" or Scandinavian coziness through small pleasures definitely got some traction.

There's probably tons of French and Parisian slang you use everyday and take for granted that would make fine brand names. I always like the way people use the word "Mec" on the streets of Paris, loosely translated as "Dude" in popular American parlance. "Zarb" is another good one. "Fric", "Gnac", "Kif", etc.

Bonne chance!

2
matt_s 6 hours ago 1 reply      
If its for geeks, your design won't matter, content will matter. Unless you plan on covering news about design, in which case you will get feedback from designers :)

What will differentiate you from other web/geek news sources? Maybe your name can be discovered in figuring that out.

Some names:

* GET News

* The /index

* Blinking Lights (looked at my router - there's always something being transmitted)

Try writing 30 days of content first before doing it, circulate it to friends that would be interested. Writing daily content will take a lot of work.

3
SQL2219 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You might spark some ideas using this:

http://www.thesaurus.com/

4
golemelog 8 hours ago 1 reply      
daily stdout, stdout daily, stdout times, stdout post, ... yeah i know. i'm suck at naming things.
5
mchannon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll take 1% for either:

Null Pointers

Broken Constraints

8
Ask HN: Feedback collecting software?
3 points by tixocloud  8 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
pelmenept 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hi I've started https://insightstash.com try it out.

If you have questions about how to start, let me know.

2
mtmail 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Base usage of https://www.tawk.to/ is free. They offer you pay $9/month to remove their branding.
9
Ask HN: Would you pay for a UI framework?
5 points by mstijak  9 hours ago   13 comments top 8
1
dvfjsdhgfv 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I might if it's a one-time payment and not a subscription service.However, these days before I choose something I base my decision not only on the actual merits of a given product/project, but also on its popularity. Like it or not, if there is a large user base, everything is easier (on average), from documentation to support. If you can replicate that and convince users you're a viable choice and unlikely to disappear soon, you have better chances. I'm not going to invest my time in learning and using a product that might get abandoned next year, and if it's not open source I'm really screwed up then.
2
mbrock 2 hours ago 0 replies      
By default I'm very reluctant to use proprietary libraries because I would have to invest time into learning something that I can't use freely in future projects, and I might even expose myself to some kind of risk of patent infringement or something.

Basically, if there's no freely available way to do what I want, I really prefer to come up with such a solution myself, so that I can then use that in my hobbies, nonprofit projects, etc.

I would be more likely to consider it if there were clear licensing terms that allow use in open source or nonprofit projects.

3
Lan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There are already a plethora of fly-by-night Javascript frameworks. Outside of hobby projects, I'd wager that most people prefer not to use frameworks that lack an established track record. For a business, the cost of switching frameworks after the fact is simply too great. Unless the framework has a sizable userbase and has been around for a few years, I wouldn't use it in any serious projects. To get a large enough userbase that people will feel comfortable using it in serious projects, you're going to need them to use your framework in those hobby projects. However, those projects are the least likely to have a budget, and the most likely to utilize free resources. This is why I do not think a commercial framework can succeed.
4
kapilkaisare 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It depends on how much the framework costs. I spent 3 years of my career using Sencha ExtJs[0], a framework you could use commercially by paying a license. I was in India back then, and could not afford the license to use it for personal projects I hoped to turn into a side business. By the time I came to the US, they changed their pricing model so that you now needed to buy a 5-pack license to be able to use it.

There is a lot to like (and a little to dislike) about the Sencha family of frameworks, but the licensing alone made me look at alternatives inspite of being familiar with it.

[0]: https://www.sencha.com/

5
petepete 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I think that as there are quite a few decent quality free frameworks, the paid-for alternatives have to offer something extraordinary. This is exacerbated by the fact that community support and shared code/instructional blog posts will be harder to come by.
6
thiagooffm 8 hours ago 0 replies      
We already pay for inspinia here. It's great. I think the business is legit.

You just need to make a very good brand for it and be able to show people that they need it. Once they use it, they'll see that they are getting something better than the bootstraps that you can find(which is still great, but for a professional project you might need something extra).

Also, work on your pricing. Maybe sell a basic version with the option to pay for the (very expensive, hard to maintain) components separately.

7
miguelrochefort 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There are dozens of such frameworks already... how do you differentiate?
8
supermdguy 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Such a framework would need to be extremely flexible in order to really support _all_ use cases.
10
Ask HN: Seriously, How Can We Begin to Make AI Safe?
9 points by cconcepts  9 hours ago   34 comments top 16
1
tsukikage 2 hours ago 1 reply      
We are already in a world where neural networks are used to drive safety critical processes, and engineers are having to reason rigorously about the overall behaviour of systems that include components behaving in ways that cannot be simply understood or enumerated - because if they could be modelled with simple logic, the engineers would just write and use that logic instead of training and incorporating a neural network into the design.

You deal with problems in this space by treating the neural network output as yet another noisy signal that is fused like any other to drive your comprehensible, rigorously designed system with its restricted range of behaviours that can be reasoned about and made to fail safe.

It feels like there is yet a great deal of room to extract utility from AI with this sort of approach - keeping it in a box which can only interact in narrow and well understood ways with the outside world - before one starts hitting the limits of its utility.

2
icthysilia 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Honestly, I think these kinds of fears are misguided at a certain level. What you need to be worrying about is regulation and/or incentivization of human behavior, not AI design.

Why?

Because typically people design things to solve a problem, and those problems have constraints. Your automatic vacuum cleaner wouldn't try to kill you because it wouldn't be equipped to do so, and to the extent that it might be potentially deadly, it would be treated as an extension of pre-existing problems (e.g., robotic lawn mowers can be deadly as a side-effect, but so can mowing your lawn with an old-fashioned gas mower).

Underlying these fears I think are two classes of problems:

1. The idea of a general-purpose AI. The problem with this is that this probably won't happen except by people who are interested in replicating people, or as some sort of analogue to a virus or malware (where rogue developers create AI out of amusement and/or curiosity and/or personal gain and release it). I would argue then the question is really how to regulate the developers, because that's where your problem lies: the person who would equip the vacuum cleaner with a means of killing you.

2. Decision-making dilemmas, like the automatic car making decisions about how to exit accident scenarios. This is maybe trickier but probably boils down to ethics, logic, philosophy, economics, and psychology. Incidentally, I think those areas will become the major focus with AI in dealing with these problems: the technical issues about hardware implementation of neural nets, DL structures, etc. are crazy challenging, but when they are developed, I think the solutions about making AI "safe" will be "easy". The hard part will be the economics/ethics/psychology of regulating the implementations to begin with.

3
dustyleary 4 hours ago 2 replies      
An idea, I don't know if it's original or not:

I think we can make AI that is 'intelligent' but has no personality or 'self'. An oracle machine you can ask any question of, but it's not an evil genie looking to escape and take over the universe, because it is not a person, and has no drives of its own.

Consider how we have recently made an AI that can defeat the best humans at Go. Even 10 years ago, this was thought to be impossible for some time to come. "Go is a complicated game, too big to calculate, requiring a mix of strategy and subtlety that machines won't be able to match". Nope.

Now, AlphaGo can defeat the best humans, with a 'subtlety' and 'nuance' that can't be matched. But it is not a person.

We might be able to do the same in other areas.

Note that games like chess and go are sometimes played as 'cyborg' competitions now, where the human players are allowed to consult with computers. Imagine if the Supreme Court were still headed by the human judges we have today, but they consulted with soulless machines that have no drives of their own, that can provide arguments and insight that humans can't match. Imagine if, in addition to the human judges written opinions, there were a bevy of non-voting opinions 'written' by AIs like this. Or if every court case in the world had automatic amicus briefs provided by incredibly sophisticated legal savants with no personality or skin in the game.

Note that several moves that AlphaGo played were complete surprises. We have thousands of people observing these matches, people who have devoted their whole lives to studying the subtleties of this complex game. There are less than 361 choices for where to move next. And AlphaGo plays a move that nobody had seriously considered, but, once played, the experts realize we've lost the match. That is really remarkable.

I think this future (non-person intelligent helpers) is definitely possible. But it doesn't solve the problem of 'evil' humans building an AI that is a person who agrees with their evil beliefs. I don't have an answer for that.

4
bhnmmhmd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A true AI will have its own personality, mind, preferences, and whatnot. If you were able to disable it from doing something, that wouldn't be AI anymore. It would be just another very sophisticated computer program with no free will.

A true AI will also be able to alter its code, making itself even more intelligent in an infinite loop. It would also be able to hack into any system on the planet, including chip-maker factories, in order to make the chips it "desires". You can't fight AI, it's only the natural phenomenon of evolution.

Actually, I hope AI becomes a reality sooner rather than later.

5
bsvalley 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We already know the answer. The only way to make AI vulnerable is to be as powerful as AI. We, human beings, need to become cyborgs.
6
markan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Eventually I think AI safety will be solved through some mixture of design choices, supervision/monitoring, and human-administered "incentives" for good behavior (not unlike the reward signals in reinforcement learning).

But to flesh that out in detail requires a specific AGI design, something we're far from achieving. The current inability to get specific is probably why AI risk doesn't get more attention (though it does get a lot).

I've written about this topic more here: http://www.basicai.org/blog/ai-risk-2017-08-08.html

7
ajaygeorge91 5 hours ago 0 replies      
why isn't this kind of discussion front page on HN regularly?

Because Its stupid

8
supermdguy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
How can we begin to keep _humans_ safe? Most people would never willfully kill someone, because of morals they've been taught since childhood. Human babies naturally have a strong connection to their parents, and can even respond to their emotions. Young children naturally want to be like their parents. Similarly, a successful AI must have a group of humans from whom it wants to gain respect.

Most arguments saying AI will destroy us assume a singular goal. With one goal, it's impossible to succeed. It's far better for the AI to try to get approval from it's "parents". Since this isn't a singular, well defined goal, its impossible for an AI to follow it in the " wrong way".

Of course, this gets into the whole "artificial pleasure" idea, where robots inject humans with dopamine to make them technically "happy". But, how many humans do you see drugging their parents? Any AI advanced enough to be truly intelligent will know whether or not its " parents" truly approve of what its doing.

9
Mz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
First, figure out how to make actual intelligence safe. This is not a solved problem. Then, use lessons learned there to deal with AI constructively.
10
havetocharge 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Do not connect it to anything that would make it dangerous.
11
shahbaby 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it's a bit too early to worry about that. Don't believe everything you read.
12
danieltillett 9 hours ago 1 reply      
To answer your question we need to build in a love lock ("arent these humans adorable") that builds a smarter love lock and hope the chain hold as AI scales up to the Singularity.

The more likely result is we lose control of the AIs since the last 100x increase will occur too fast for us to deal with. Even if the generalised Moores doesnt accelerate over the last 100x leap, we only have 10 years from 0.01x to 1x.

13
miguelrochefort 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A. AI is too stupid to do significant damage.

B. AI is too smart to follow our stupid orders.

If AI becomes so intelligent that we become obsolete, we should embrace rather than fight it.

14
jerrylives 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Seriously, how can we make matrix multiplication and gradient descent safe?
15
celticninja 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I think you need to create an AI that doesn't want to wipe out humanity. Anything done at a software level can be programmed out by the AI. Hardware level restrictions would work on a short term basis but once AIs start designing themselves and new chips then you lose the hardware restrictions you previously relied on. Even with the best people reviewing the designs they are likely to soon get too complex for a lone human or even a group of humans to understand.

So we need to look at why we think an AI would want to subjugate or destroy humanity and make sure we don't give it reason to do so.

16
johnpython 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I have zero faith that a homogeneous group of people (ie. white guys in SV) with the same beliefs and experiences can make AI safe. This is one area that must have a diverse group of people working on it.
11
Ask HN: Is it worth joining a startup that plans to sell in the next 5 years?
11 points by SamuelAdams  21 hours ago   15 comments top 9
1
toomuchtodo 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends entirely on the salary, option grant on the table, current 409A valuation, estimated valuation (with numbers to back it up) in five years, vesting schedule, etc. Don't forget to ask for a cap table, ask about liquidation preferences, etc.

Also, if they need you badly enough, make sure to include provisions that if an acquisition event occurs or your role changes materially from what you agreed to, your remaining options vest immediately.

2
JSeymourATL 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Beyond compensation-- consider how you might be able to leverage the experience you hope to gain to advance your career goals. Will it help you get to the next thing?

Is the broader industry/niche they serve growing?

3
marssaxman 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't most startups have similar hopes?

I am really puzzled about your perspective on job-hunting decisions, such that you see this, and nothing else, as the relevant context which would allow any of us here to give you useful advice.

4
freestockoption 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Would they be a viable business after 5 years in the event they don't get bought? If not, are they banking on the IP being worth something?
5
tylerFowler 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes! Depends on the company of course but if you have a decent amount of equity it could be profitable for you. And sales don't always mean you're out a job either.

Of course it's a gamble since the company might not be worth anything..

6
muzani 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see why not. You would end up working with the acquiring company. Often post acquisition jobs can be quite good, and it's an easier way to work at something like Microsoft.
7
segmondy 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Nope. In my opinion, Any startup that has that as their exit strategy is not going to hit it big. They already have a ceiling.
8
savethefuture 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Get vested, then profit on the sale.
9
IanDrake 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Totally depends on the deal.

I was once offered a job with a good, but not great, salary in a geographic region that was lite on IT jobs to which I would have to move.

The plan was for them to sell to a larger company in 2 years at which point any sane buyer would move this remote facility to their HQ.

Based on my equity and they're target sale price I would gross 40k from the sale, IF it ever happened.

No thanks. Maybe 20X that would have made it worth while since I'd be losing about 100k a year in total compensation.

12
Ask HN: How do self-checkout cameras recording your face prevent theft?
11 points by intermittently  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
1
ryanlol 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Self-checkout things get hit with lots of credit card fraud, the cameras help when the fraud gets so big that it's worth investigating.
2
sjs382 1 day ago 0 replies      
A clear photo of someone's face is very useful if they are found (via other means) to be engaging in criminal activity.

Have you ever seen low-res security footage where the perpetrator was hard to identify? Timestamps + secondary cameras can help with identification.

3
timothybone 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's valuable data. It's probably good for many things, from catching criminals, to selling to you personally, even to selling that data to other stores.
4
brlewis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Couldn't the separate system just be employees, or be a security camera you don't see?
13
Ask HN: How did you find your great side project idea?
111 points by bobnarizes  1 day ago   112 comments top 57
1
gschier 1 day ago 8 replies      
I solved a problem that I had at work. I needed a tool to make interacting with HTTP APIs easier, and didn't like any of the existing ones, so I created Insomnia [https://insomnia.rest/].

It took a weekend to build a proof of concept, then I released it to the public. As I improved it, the user base grew slowly. Then, a year later, I was able to quit my job to pursue it full-time. If you're curious, I have an Interview [https://www.indiehackers.com/businesses/insomnia] on Indie Hackers with more detail.

2
jmduke 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is a clich but honest answer I was using a similar tool and thought to myself man, I could make something better than this. I have this impulse a lot, and usually I stop myself from actually following through (there is always so much complication hiding below the surface!) but I kept coming back to it.

Eventually, I set a deadline for myself; I said if, six months later, I couldnt scratch the itch to make something better (or at least find something better) than what I was using, then Id start working on it.

The six months passed, and so it was born:

https://buttondown.email

3
jqbx_jason 1 day ago 3 replies      
I missed turntable.fm and I found the current alternatives lacking so I built a better one: https://www.jqbx.fm if you're interested.

IMO there's no shame in working on your own derivation of an existing idea (take FB as one example). Sometimes a tweak here or there can be the difference between a good idea and game-changing one. Also it gives you the chance to 'edit' an existing product which is both a fun and thought provoking experience that can really hone your skills.

4
dguo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was fortunate enough (as a philosophy major) to land a software developer job (CS minor) coming out of college. I made way more money than I needed, so I started investigating charities to donate to. I found the whole process of getting involved in philanthropy kind of frustrating. That led to me creating Sublime Fund[1] with some friends. It's pretty bare bones right now, but it's something that feels meaningful to me, and I'm happy to invest time into making it better.

[1] https://sublimefund.org

5
brightball 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not that I've had any time to do them, but I have often written up entire business plans just based off of profiting from something that makes me angry.

For example, when I had a contract programming business 10 years ago I absolutely despised the RFP process. I still have a business plan sitting around built entirely around that flow. I still hate the RFP process, but I figured if this thing is going to still be a thing I may as well make money off of it.

If I ever had free time to just sit and build stuff day after day you'd end up with this entire incoherent set of businesses based on things that I couldn't stand. :)

6
scrdhrt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I write down 5-10 quick ideas per day just by surfing around, reading articles or building upon current techniques or current features. 99% doesn't become anything, the 1% is usually a combination of other ideas put into one.
7
bricej13 1 day ago 0 replies      
I solved my own problem. I cut the cord two years ago, but I love to watch college football. When doing research this year to figure out where to stream each game, I realized that a lot of people would be doing this same research.

I built [https://wherecaniwatchmy.team] as a site specifically for determining which streaming service is best for watching a specific sports team.

I'm no entrepreneur, but I think it's something that could actually turn into a basic side income.

8
jorgemf 1 day ago 0 replies      
You don't find it, it finds you. You first have a problem or see a problem that annoys you, later you discover how to solve that issue and make a world little better place. Finally you get hands on and create a side project with the idea that solves the problem.

Or simple you like to do something by passion and spend time on it.

9
achariam 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I built Elyxel [https://www.elyxel.com] to learn Elixir and Phoenix while building open source community software. I wrote about it in greater detail here - [http://www.achariam.com/elyxel]

It hasn't really caught on but I hedged my bets a little by trying to optimize for learning. On that front it was highly rewarding.

10
teleclimber 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Like many others I got the idea because of an itch I had with work.

I run a small SaaS and I found myself constantly creating and updating HTML pages of various types: help and documentation for users, landing pages, product description, in-app content etc... There are myriad solutions for each of these, but none really nailed the use-case to me so I imagined what I really wanted and started building it.

It's taken a long time but Cicerone is getting close to an alpha release. Basically it's the most pleasant way of creating structured HTML content that I could come up with. http://cicerone.co

11
amorphic 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The more people you talk to and experiences you expose yourself to the more ideas you will have.

I spoke at PyCon AU 2016 on "Controlling a 3D Printer with Python" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgvnPB_77z8). I wanted a 3D-printed prop and came up with an idea for The Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment - a staff with the Python logo on top. A friend designed it, I printed it and it was a big hit with the Pythonistas. A few asked "where can I buy one?".

A year later we're about to launch Enstaved (https://www.enstaved.com). It's a service that lets you design your own staff using a range of toppers and colors which we then print and post to you.

12
apeduru 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was frustrated running into seg faults while working on an OS project for my undergrad. I wanted a tool to quickly prototype bitwise operations without having to write and compile C code. I made bspl which is a REPL to do exactly that [https://crates.io/crates/bspl]. Like others have said here, the project usually finds you. And it's up to you to drive it to completion.
13
Yabood 1 day ago 1 reply      
For us, the idea came from working at a startup doing something completely different. We were developing a software to leverage the Cloud as primary storage. At the time I joined, I wanted to understand the space better and how our competitors were positioning themselves. I looked for tools that can show top performing content across blogs and social media networks, I wanted to see what type of messaging was resonating with people and driving the most traffic and engagement. I found a few but they lacked the simplicity and ease of use that I had in mind. Most would return the results in an excel/table format or just give you a link with some stats and force you to manually visit each link to see the actual content and what people were saying. After I left the company, I decided to pursue this idea and build a social media management platform that can solve this problem (among others). In a nutshell, the idea came from a problem I encountered in the past. Our platform is going live in a couple of weeks https://socialweaver.com.
14
tmoravec 1 day ago 1 reply      
As an employee, I saw my past bosses making the same mistakes over and over. The problems stem from the fact that they are usually engineers promoted to a management role, but they get no training whatsoever.So I did some research, and I'm writing a short book discussing the essentials of day to day management; with a focus on communication.
15
SyneRyder 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started by scratching my own itch, made a really simple program, then released it for free. Some people started using it. But that wasn't the great idea.

What then happened is that a couple of those people found the contact form on my website, thanked me for my program, but also asked "Would you be kind enough and interested to write this [other program that automates a task I do often]." Those ideas are the ones that actually made money for me.

So make it really easy for people to contact you and talk about the problems they have. Give something away, to encourage those people to find you in the first place. And put contact forms everywhere, so even launching email or Twitter isn't an obstacle to contacting you.

16
vinoth15 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I began Todoodly (http://www.mytodoodly.com) as a side project after facing frustrations using Trello.
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Mojah 1 day ago 0 replies      
I too solved a problem I faced at work - and privately - that I couldn't get anywhere else. It started with a couple of simple scripts for me, and evolved into a full-fledged SaaS solution [1].

The best things - perhaps the only things to really motivate you - are the ones that scratch your own itch. Otherwise, you'll get demotivated or loose interest. You need to build something for you and hope it appeals to others.

[1] A DNS monitoring & change alerter called DNS Spy; https://dnsspy.io/

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Hedja 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm building a game wiki/guide platform right now[1]. The idea mainly came from just wanting to re-create a game's interface on the web[2] and it gradually grew to a game guide and now a multi-game guide platform. I tried to learn new tech on the way to keep myself interested. The large parts being LeafletJS/PixiJS, moving onto React, then Firebase, and so on.

A lot of my web project ideas are related to the video game community because I often use and contribute to them and constantly find certain things lacking (wikis, forums, list trackers, news). So this project has nicely grew into something that I can both learn from and enjoy building for the long term. Of course there are the tedious parts (like upgrades and maintenance) but they're overcome gradually; it is just a side project right now.

[1] https://frontiernav.jahed.io/

[2] https://frontiernav.jahed.io/explore/game0/visualisations/ma...

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DanHulton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Honestly, it was a dumb pun that inspired me. I started working on Chat & Slash (https://www.chatandslash.com/) when the idea of "Slack & Slash" - an RPG on Slack - come to me during a boring meeting.

Obviously, folks at Slack preferred a less-potentially confusing name, but they liked the idea, so I'm still working on it.

20
niosus 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I code mostly in c++ on Linux and I don't like big IDEs. I wanted to have a plugin that would complete my code and show the errors. Oh, and it should work with CMake.

To be fair, there was a number of plugins out there that did it in various text editors, but I was too dumb to be able to use them. None worked out of the box. So I contributed a bit to one project that looked promising and then quickly branched off to create EasyClangComplete for Sublime Text. I've been working on it on weekends and nights for over a year now and it is an important tool in my workflow. Also, I feel inspired by approx. 9000 people who have installed it throughout the time it existed.

21
sosedoff 1 day ago 0 replies      
My side projects ideas usually revolve around a problem or just plain curiosity. Some stick while others don't. Most of them, however, are tools that help with work stuff. My last side project that i still use almost every day since 2013 is pgweb - https://github.com/sosedoff/pgweb
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treve 1 day ago 2 replies      
My side projects tend to be libraries for other programmers. I usually get ideas by using existing libraries but being unhappy with the interface / api they offer. I love designing good apis that express the underlying concepts well, while hiding implementation details, and while many niche libraries have a good solution for their problem domain, many are lacking in api / UX.
23
dhruvkar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Be naturally and deeply engaged in a community.

This could be anything that you naturally find interesting - books, art, armadillos, roofing etc. Engage with other people that also find this topic interesting.

It'll take several months, but you'll uncover more problems than you'll have time for. And the best part - you now get to pick a problem you care about, and build a solution for it.

24
generj 1 day ago 0 replies      
One route is to pick a niche hobby/interest of yours and build off of that. Find pain points and then write up an level of effort estimate for a software solution.

Often there is little or no competition in these uber-small markets. Because you are your own customer, you might have a good idea of your monetization options.

Even if you fail monetarily, at least you solved your pain point.

25
encoderer 1 day ago 0 replies      
You don't need a "great idea". We built an incredibly crude v1 of Cronitor because my friend and co-founder needed to know if an important cron job failed. This meets no definition of "great idea" but has been a fun, challenging and profitable side business for over 3 years now.
26
pan69 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I was working for a start up some years ago where we were sending a lot of transactional messages over email, sms and mobile push to our customers. There were lots of great solutions around that solved the infrastructure problem (i.e, the problem of sending and email, sms or mobile push) but nothing that helped us with the content part of the message, rather then having transactional email templates in Mailchimp or something.

So I built Postways [1]. In a nutshell, it's basically a message management system with a unified API for sending email, sms and mobile push were you have to bring your own AWS account or SMTP server.

[1] https://www.postways.com/

27
adamzerner 21 hours ago 0 replies      
"I scratched my own itch" seems to be the most common response. I wonder if there's a notable bias towards saying what HN will approve of, and towards not wanting to say something HN won't approve of.
28
devdad 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a project that I'm trying to turn into a product. I got it from spotting a new tech in use in a restaurant, and applied it to another market. Fingers crossed, I'll have investment coming in around Christmas.
29
howlett 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't know if it's a "great" side project but I wanted a way to avoid hardcoding passwords in scripts, but in a way that I could revoke them if my RPi had been compromised (my RPi is used for backups/sync).

So I made https://www.remotepassword.com where you can store a GPG encrypted version of the password and then call-decrypt-passthrough the password to the command line. If the device is compromised, you can deactivate the online password and no-one can get access to your data.

30
nitramm 21 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was going through Wikipedia I have discovered that there is so many different prime types - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prime_numbers#Lists_...

So I have decided to put all this info on single place - https://prime-numbers.info - but there is lot of them so I am at C now. :)

31
WorksOfBarry 19 hours ago 0 replies      
My first long term project (greatest yet) started in January this year. It's an extension to Notepad++ which makes into a lightweight IDE - sort of.

The reason it was created is because the only stable option for developing on this specific platform was to buy an IDE from IBM. My goal is to provide a free option to developers.

This project only started because I couldn't afford the IBM product.

32
forkLding 1 day ago 1 reply      
I occasionally read HN comments, and once I see something people are touching upon in their comments that can either be automated or shown using an app, I post that idea and see the upvotes.
33
wut42 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm iterating on a problem we had a work and for other side-projects.

We needed to forward webhooks to one, or multiple hosts; sometimes mutate them (split, ). Sometimes forward, sometimes no. So I created Hook+ [https://hook.plus]. Still not finished at all, needs some docs, etc. But I plan to properly finish it by the end of the year. :)

The idea in itself already exists, it's not a revolutionnary tool at all.

34
pcorsaro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a bad habit of buying video games that I will probably never get around to playing, and I used to keep a list of those games in a spreadsheet in the order I wanted to play them. I decided to build https://www.grouvee.com to keep track of that list instead of the spreadsheet. Apparently there are quite a few other people that have this same issue!
35
WalterSear 23 hours ago 0 replies      
"My problem is not tripping over them when I get out of bed in the morning." - Beethoven

Consequently, my current side project is a task and information management app, so I'll never not be able to capture any ideas I trip over it in the morning :) It has a wiki and systems for note taking, spaced repetition, a DSL and plugin system.

At this point, it's turned into the dwarf fortress of todo apps, pretty much :)

36
rawfan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I never had to look for sideproject ideas. They are there all the time by the dozen. The time to start and finish them is usually what's missing.
37
tixocloud 1 day ago 0 replies      
Like many, I also took the advice of solving my own problem. I have a hard time remembering all the details of everyone I talk to. When I realized that the key to startup success is to develop relationships with folks and the way to do this is to actually remember them, I built Orchestra [http://orchestrahq.com].
38
riku_iki 1 day ago 0 replies      
I start digging one area of expertise, and more I dig into something, more ideas of products, services and problem solutions come to my head.
39
psenior 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I attended a meetup and was inspired to solve a problem I and many others experience with code. You can read about the details at https://medium.com/@CodeforFTL/the-story-of-oh-snap-civictec...
40
evanspa 1 day ago 3 replies      
I couldn't find a workout app that I liked. The ones I tried just didn't fit the flow-of-use I wanted. I just wanted something to track my weight lifting, and wanted it to be super simple. So, scratched the itch with Riker.

https://www.rikerapp.com

41
cisanti 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds cheesy, but I worked on something I actually enjoyed working with it, not thinking if it's a commercial success or anything that sort. I can't think of myself working out of working hours on something I do only for money.

People and their energy levels are different, I guess. I wish I had the willpower and stamina.

42
jonathanbull 1 day ago 0 replies      
Back in 2014, I had a number of side projects on the go and I ran out of money to pay my email marketing bill. I created https://emailoctopus.com to save some money, and that's ended up being my most successful side project to date!
43
rhizome 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't say I have any great ideas, but they sure keep popping into my head involuntarily. It feels weird to me for people surf the web without frustration, never thinking to themselves, "what if this, but without the annoying/hard to use stuff?" If you do do that, then those are ideas.
44
yairhaimo 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I was working at a startup which had potential but had a very boring implementation of the vision (in my opinion).

After several pivots of the original idea in my head I came up with my side project which is thrice removed from the original idea.

45
icpmacdo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am trying to improve my deployment skills so I just pick something dumb, currently an emoji only messaging app build it then run the deployment experiments I want to try. Always fun.
46
mandeepj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started an online clothing company. After sometime, I thought it would be cool to let users try cloths online so this product was born - sensestyles.com/tryroom
47
wolco 1 day ago 0 replies      
From games that I wanted to play but were not available
48
mapster 23 hours ago 0 replies      
back in 93 i would cold call tech companies and get to speak with engineers. my goal was to get them to talk my ear off. oddly enough it usually worked. funny enough I didn't know enough tech at the time to understand 3/4 of what they spoke of. but if you are a problem solver with skills, you can certainly start by asking.
49
hitgeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
theres an app for that. https://nugget.one
50
drakonka 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I was a moody teenager (maybe 16 years old) who had just been forced to move from her home in the US to Australia. We moved in summer and had nothing to do for a few months except explore Fremantle, and all of our luggage had not been transferred yet - we were staying for the summer in a company-provided apartment and my parents decided there was no point in getting everything shipped to this temp apartment. I was mad at my parents for making me move, bored, missed the horse farm I worked at in Alabama. Usually I'd always be tinkering on the PC making weird web projects and playing games, but now I had no computer. Basically I had a lot of time to think about random crap. Thinking back on it now it was my favorite time to be in Australia. Fremantle is a gorgeous, quirky city and I had all the time in the world to walk around the cool little hipster artsy stores and the "psychic" shops selling crystals and stuff. My imagination ran wild!

Anyway, during this time I thought a lot about all the places we'd lived and was feeling a bit nostalgic both for Alabama and my original home in Ukraine. I thought back on my favorite childhood memories, which were all at my grandparents' summerhouse in Kherson. One day when I was maybe six or seven years old it was raining really hard and a bunch of snails were crawling around everywhere. I captured some and had them race on the pavement. I "trained" them to crawl in a straight line (I swear this actually happened - or at least that is how I remember it). When I was done I put them all in my orange fishing bucket with leaves, water, and berries and put them aside figuring they'd be gone by the evening. When I came back in the evening they _were_ gone, but I spotted them all around the bucket (crawling away). The next morning, though, they were all back! This went on for a few days - the snails would leave around the evening and be back in the bucket by the next day. I thought it was really cool!

A few days later we had planned to go fishing the next morning with my grandfather so I knew I'd need my orange bucket back. That night before going to bed I put all the snails out into our garden patch and cleaned out the bucket to be ready by morning. But in the morning, the snails were back again. So I couldn't go fishing. This went on for another couple of days and each time I got more and more annoyed at the snails coming back. Even though I tried to "hide" the bucket from the snails by moving it around, they would always find it. One time I put the snails out into the patch again in the morning and went to get ready for fishing thinking they wouldn't be able to crawl back that fast, but when I got back most of them were just back again. I'm not sure why my kid-mind at the time didn't just put the snails away again right before leaving and take bucket, but I didn't.

Finally one morning after a few days of this I was angry. I was really excited about going to fish and there were a bunch of snails in my bucket again. I grabbed the bucket and started throwing the snails out one by one into the patch. I was so annoyed and didn't care about taking them out of their home anymore. The snails landed out of sight and in my mind I wasn't hurting them, since I was throwing them where they'd land on vegetation or soft earth. Except I misjudged a throw and accidentally threw one of the snails right in front of me - it hit a rock or branch or something and its shell cracked in a really bad way. I could see the body spilling out of the shell, and it was still alive and moving but I knew it was dying. That's when I realized I'd been hurting them, and now I'd killed at least this one. I was horrified, started crying - the thought of putting the snail out of its misery didn't even cross my mind. I felt awful and decided the snails could have my bucket and live there for as long as they want, so I tried to find some of the other snails I'd thrown away but it was too late - I couldn't find them anywhere. I ended up leaving to go fishing with the bucket.

As a kid I got over and forgot the incident by probably the next day, but in Fremantle when I thought about it again I just felt guilty again. And then I remembered how cool it was that the snails would crawl in a straight line when I raced them, and how it was even cooler that they kept coming back "home" even though I wasn't trapping them in the bucket! So I got the idea for a snail racing website where people could find virtual snails, take care of them, race them against each other, and breed them. My favorite games to play at the time were PHP browser games, so I envisioned it being written in PHP.

I had a few false starts over the years; when I first had the idea I only knew a bit of HTML and CSS and had no skills to build this thing. I didn't seriously start working on it until later, but that is my side project - a snail and snail management simulation - and I have a feeling I won't move on to anything else for a very long time.

51
tehlike 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used to hand fill a form to save me couple hundred bucks. I automated it.
52
misiti3780 1 day ago 0 replies      
I keep a spreadsheet of ideas i get from podcasts and reading books.
53
westonplatter0 1 day ago 0 replies      
gather 10 ideas a week -> get feedback -> wait/think -> get feedback -> build only the ideas that are revenue probable + have customer demand.
54
JoelSanchez 1 day ago 0 replies      
Existing product sucks, no good alternatives.
55
bathtub 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always got the best side project ideas when I was working on some other random side project.

Once you start to work on an even mediocre side project, just wait and after few days you get so many new ideas coming out of the mediocre project.

So, the message is, just start working on any idea.

56
SirLJ 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Follow the money!
57
stagbeetle 1 day ago 0 replies      
From features I really wanted that no one was offering.
14
Ask HN: Start web company? How'd you get started
7 points by a_lifters_life  7 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
stephen82 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Without knowing, I would like to share my own experience as a freelancer that helps friends for a while now.

Figure out what is the current market you want to address to.

If for instance, the area where you live has a high demand on WordPress developers, specialize on that and start showing your presence on places where WordPress developers gather on a daily basis: (forums, IRC channel, Slack, Meetup, Conferences).

By doing so, you will get the opportunity to have your voice heard and somebody is going to ask for your help eventually.

Remember: Quality over quantity.

Prefer to deal with clients that consist of the 20% of your clientele that pay you the 80% of your total income, than going the other way around and have to deal with toxic people that have no idea how businesses work.

If you want to gain some professional experience, you can find lots of non-profit organizations that are looking for such valuable help and they could give you incredible momentum to your company for helping them in need.

Be persistent and open-minded with the tools you have to use ("use the right tool for the right job") and embrace challenges.

The aforementioned suggestions are applicable with other technlogies as well, either that is PHP + Laravel, Python + (Django or Flask or whatever makes you happy), or Ruby on Rails, etc etc.

Good luck.

2
JSeymourATL 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On the subject of growing an agency, the Hubspot Podcast offers good food for thought > https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/podcast-episodes-agency-l...
15
Ask HN: Dr. Dobb's Jolt Awards current alternative for technical books?
21 points by xadoc  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
guohuang 23 hours ago 0 replies      
2
aarongolliver 1 day ago 0 replies      
Off topic: I really miss Jolt :( and I love that Dobb kept using their name post-bankruptcy
16
Ask HN: What is your advice to new HN user?
12 points by techstackblog  1 day ago   18 comments top 17
1
crypticlizard 22 hours ago 0 replies      
A bucket list type answer:

Don't just sit on the front page. Check out new, comment on someone's new submit. Or try digging up your favorite articles for others to check out. Maybe you'll hit the lotto(front page). Read some Ask:HN. Research something you'd normally use google for using the site search functionality. Try to build up your points to be able to get down vote functionality. Make two accounts and have an alter ego. Try using a throw away. Get into a conversation and consistently check on it/grow it so that you really feel like you're talking to others on here. Quit just lurking. Make some friends and try upvoting each others stuff(not recommended). See if you can find out the real identity of a random poster. Read someone's comment history. Find ways to make your passions relevant and post it! And of course be smart as hell so OP wants to hire you and you end up making six figures cause you cracked HN instead of noobing out on the front page forever...

In other words, HN is ridiculously dope, so discover for yourself how many ways to use it. my 2c.

2
rayalez 1 day ago 0 replies      
Enjoy browsing, reading, and getting some sense of what this community is about.

When commenting - try to be insightful and add some value to the discussion, not just jokes or emotional reactions. If you think of a comment as a small blog post - you will do well.

Add your website link or email to your profile, if you write something great, there's a chance people will want to contact you or learn more about you.

Try to avoid getting too addicted to it =) Instead of browsing HN directly(and refreshing the page for updates), consider using these tools:

https://hndigest.com/ - daily/weekly email digest of the top posts.

http://hnreplies.com/ - receive email notifications about replies to your posts.

http://hnrss.org - customizable rss feed of new posts/comments.

3
mattbgates 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't become so addicted you don't do anything else. Honestly, take an hour or two once a week to enjoy procrastinating, reading up on the latest Hacker News, answering the Ask HN questions, but don't become so enamored by it that you aren't doing anything else. Don't go on Facebook either.

Go do something productive with your time.

4
jrowley 1 day ago 0 replies      
The HN community is a subset of the tech community, so take everything (especially the latest hype and politics/ideological stuff) with a gain of salt. Also, as with all online communities, beware that some people view HN with disgust due to negative experiences in the past.
6
le-mark 1 day ago 0 replies      
Note at the bottom of this page are links titled "Guidelines" and "FAQ". Those are you go tos. Welcome!
7
jstewartmobile 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The best comments are at the top, AND the bottom.
8
akulbe 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're conservative, be conservative with stating your conservative opinions. I find that conservative viewpoints are generally unwelcome here.

Same goes for religion, if that's applicable.

Stick with tech topics, and you're generally safe.

I wish I could say this weren't the case, but \_()_/.

As far as sections, like someone else said... don't just stick to the front page.

Personally, I find a lot of value in the "Ask HN:" section, and the conversations that result from those questions.

10
kleer001 1 day ago 0 replies      
The ancient advice to new forums of "Lurk more" applies.
11
l33tbro 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's an unspoken scorched earth policy for lame humour and Reddit-style puns (which, btw, is marvelous). Also, intellectual honesty will take you far.
12
tomascot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Comment like everybody is judging.
13
source99 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't care about your Karma or downvotes on your comments. It's the internet and someone will hate anything you say.
14
muzani 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems a bit colder here. HN is content oriented. No profile pics, no rep. It matters more what you say than who you are.
15
tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
be as helpful as you can to others.

don't take anything personal, this is a very large diverse community with different viewpoints.

16
delbel 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't say anything anti-sjw otherwise you will be censored
17
SirLJ 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Act like a sheep or you'll be constantly down voted
17
Ask HN: What do you wish you did when you moved to a new city?
14 points by meagher  1 day ago   8 comments top 7
1
mmanulis 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm planning this at the moment. I reached out to people I knew who live in the city or have lived there and asked about where to live, where to eat, what to avoid, etc.

I also asked if they'd be willing to introduce me to 1-3 people whom I can ask same question(s).

Lastly, I plan on spending a couple of weeks living out of an AirBnB and working, as if I already moved there.

Check out the various tourism forums, e.g. TripAdvisor - as they are great for telling you what some of the highlights are. I have found playing tourist in a city is a great way to get your bearings, figure out where you do and don't want to spend time, etc. And lastly, it can tell you how easy it is to get around town with various modes of transport. E.g. San Diego / LA - you need a car but Portland you can walk/bus/bike anywhere.

2
richardknop 1 day ago 1 reply      
Be wise to choose a place to live. If you are moving after work, try living in a hotel/hostel at least couple of first weeks to figure out which part of the city would be best for commute to work. Don't sign lease on apartment prematurely.
3
samblr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apart from finding a good coffee shop and activities-on-offer because of geo-location. I would look at potential employers around and see what (tech based) jobs they offer. And how I fit into place if I have to stay long. To write this: I have been living in relatively small town for few years and only in last year I have paid attention to employers around.
4
mcgrath_sh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My friend's friend moved to a new city. He invited 6 of his new coworkers over and asked them to bring a medium pizza from their favorite pizza place. This let him quickly find out which would be to his "go to" pizza joint without having to order pizza 6+ times.
5
rman4040 1 day ago 0 replies      
Avoid pleasure at the beginning, observe, be open and simple, talk to people and ask question about everything.
6
tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
figure out the best place to be in terms of commute and eating out.
7
pythonik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Safe Cycle tracks
18
Ask HN: What gadgets you didnt think of but found you could not leave without?
9 points by jotjotzzz  1 day ago   8 comments top 4
1
lucozade 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Might be a stretch to say that it changed everything but my wife getting a Fitbit that displayed calls and texts reduced my frustration levels somewhat. My wife tends to keep her phone in the bottom of her bag and would often miss calls. Hardly ever happens now.

There is an irony here though. I have known my wife for nearly 30 years and for much of the earlier years we lived 100s to 1000s of miles apart. Any form of phone contact needed pre-planning. Textual contact required a stamp. Pretty much frustration free (well from a communication pov anyway).

So Fitbit was technology solving a problem that technology caused in the first place.

2
oblib 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty much in the order that I acquired and used them:

MIG wire welder. (this saved weeks of labor building custom cars)

Duct tape. (yeah)

My first Mac computer. (A Mac Plus, it was truly an amazing and sucky computer and I learned an immense amount about computing using it.)

The Suzuki Samurai. (Best little 4x4 ever made.)

Recordable CD-ROM. (My first app ran on a CD-ROM.)

Mac OS X (I coded my very first web app on the very first beta version I could get my paws on.)

Netscape Navigator (It too was an amazing and sucky bit of tech.)

Digital Camera (Everyone should put that on their list.)

Cell Phones.

Handheld GPS with Topo Maps (My first was a Garmin eMap. More than anything these increased my confidence in "bushwhacking off trail in the wilderness by confirming I knew where I was. As a result I was able to go further and now I don't worry or think much about it and go wherever I want using a printed topo map. I still bring a GPS but rarely turn it on.)

Super bright LED headlamp (These made a huge difference in my ability to hike at night.)

Linux. (This (and the price) is why I won't be buying another Mac computer.)

A "Supercat" cook stove for backpacking. I shelved several expensive backpacking stoves when I found this.

Raspberry Pi. (I've learned more about using Linux mucking around with these than I ever thought I would or could. I have one on my desk connected to a USB switch and a monitor so I can switch between it and my Mac for work and I will be bringing one with me on a trip this week to use as a portable desktop PC to keep up with things.)

iPhone.

LED monitors and TVs.

Roku (this has saved me a few thousand bucks since I got one. I was able to ditch Dish and DirectTV after years of expensive and crappy service and DirectTV flat out trying to steal from me.)

3
PascLeRasc 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Is Amazon Prime a "gadget"? Being able to not think about delivery speed or shipping costs is such a relief for me. I can pretty much order things as I need them instead of having to plan around going to a store or ordering a week+ ahead of time.
4
miguelrochefort 21 hours ago 1 reply      
- Instant Pot: I cook almost everything in it.

- Google Chromecast: I use it daily for YouTube, Netflix and Spotify.

- Kinesis Advantage: Typing on any other keyboard drives me insane.

19
Ask HN: Know of any non-digital toys/games that teach, for 6-10 year olds?
62 points by vijayr  3 days ago   71 comments top 44
1
ramphastidae 3 days ago 4 replies      
I think the best gift for kids is still Legos. I spent hours building miniature cities, vehicles, homes, train systems, etc. as a kid. My children love them too. It's a great way to develop imagination and motor skills. I would personally avoid the branded sets, although that may just be my bias.
2
__s 3 days ago 1 reply      
I commend you for wanting to teach children alternatives to digital. While binary & hexadecimal are popular, especially if you want to get them into the nuts & bolts of computers, I'd be interested to hear any reflections on duodecimal. I'm not too big a fan of this counting method: https://mihaslekovec.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/duodecimal-... as it comes off as a bit too digitcentric for my tastes

Balanced ternary could be a real fun starting point-- getting negative numbers involved asap surely has some great benefits. I think if balanced ternary was exposed to children more often at an early age we'd have a lot of these new fangled type level numbers being balanced ternary. I was playing around with implementing such in Rust: https://github.com/serprex/lambdaski/blob/master/src/typenum...

Binary comes off as particularly weak when type systems are still resolving lambda terms / prolog logic as associative maps & trees. http://repository.readscheme.org/ftp/papers/topps/D-456.pdf benchmarks 5 as being an ideal radix perfwise, but that does seem implementation dependent

My father wrote a song reflecting on our digital world: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw-au4sqKD2gWVJqOGFzSEVoakx...Stay strong & good luck

3
Inityx 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a big fan of K'NEX http://www.knex.com/knex-education
4
Z1515M8147 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's an obvious one, but I think there's something to be said for a simple three-in-one chess, draughts and backgammon set. The upfront cost is small but the long term benefits are vast.
5
Yetanfou 2 days ago 1 reply      
Give them a bunch of tools - hammer, saw, screwdriver, ruler, pencil, hand-powered drill, pair of pliers - and some scrap material (left-over planks, some thin sheet material, some small nails and screws, etc) to work on. Add a bottle of wood glue and some paint, preferably left-overs from other paint jobs to make them feel more at ease at wasting some and appreciate the fact that things don't have to be brand-spanking new to be useful. Help them along a bit but don't get in the way. They might make swords, bows, arrows, cars, horse stables, houses, whatever fits their fancy. The results might not be perfect but they're the work of their own hands and minds.

Yes, a 6yo can learn to use a saw, just make sure it is sized accordingly and has small teeth - both because they are easier to use as well as less likely to cause injury.

6
heymijo 3 days ago 1 reply      
Math Games

1) Prime Climbhttps://www.amazon.com/Math-for-Love-Prime-Climb/dp/B00PG959...

2) Tiny Polka Dotshttps://www.amazon.com/Math-For-Love-Tiny-Polka/dp/B01N1UUHP...

- Tiny Polka Dots might seem too basic, but counting is this complex topic that we forget because, well, we know how to count. Lots of downstream advantages of having the kind of secure understanding a kid can get from understanding counting inside and out. Tiny Polka Dots can help.

7
ajarmst 3 days ago 0 replies      
A kickstarted I supported is Turing Tumble, a simple Turing-complete mechanical computer. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/871405126/turing-tumble...
8
Jtsummers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Board games like scrabble and boggle are great for spelling and vocabulary development. Try to get them to say the definitions for the words (at least a brief one) rather than accept that they know them. Play with a dictionary at hand. Also ask them the meaning of the words you play so it seems that getting at the definitions isn't meant to just criticize/challenge their plays (which it isn't, the purpose is to develop their understanding).

Card games like Rook, Spades, Cribbage (mentioned elsewhere), Casino are great for math and pattern matching, planning ahead. These just require a standard deck of playing cards, maybe two (habit from playing Bridge, have one deck in play and one shuffled and ready for the next hand).

24 Game was a good one for arithmetic (4 numbers, put any of +, -, *, / between them and try to get the result to be 24).

Mastermind is another good strategy, logic type game. It can also be played with pencil and paper which makes it a very fun one to teach kids so they can play it anywhere.

Dots and Boxes is a nice abstract strategy game to play on paper, which can serve as a good gateway to other abstract strategy games.

Guess Who was a good game of logical deduction. Shades of 20 Questions where you ask for features of the person and mark off people who don't qualify. Clue, of course, is strictly a game of logical deduction if you can get past the movement mechanics and all (always frustrated me to get low dice rolls and not have a chance to win even when I knew or was very close to the answer). From Clue, books of logic puzzles that practice deductive reasoning from a set of facts (along the lines of Einstein's puzzle).

Others mentioned RPGs, these can be good with kids. Particularly if you focus the emphasis on teamwork (discourage showboating and hogging the limelight), storytelling (goes back to vocabulary, but also thinking about complex situations), planning and strategy. You can incorporate lots of puzzles into the game that emphasize wordplay (riddles and such) or math (numeric puzzles) or logic (colors, connecting their actions with specific effects) or just general problem solving.

9
gglitch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pencil & paper role playing games. If you view them as collaborative, improvised, slightly-structured, in-person storytelling, there's nothing like them for developing skills related to imagination, narration, language arts, cooperation, politics (seriously!), empathy, problem solving, and communication. They don't require exotic or expensive technology, can be played almost anywhere, help build meaningful social relationships, can be played by almost anyone, can be a lifelong hobby, and encourage learning about an enormous range of real world histories, ideas, technologies, literatures, skills, etc.
10
jlg23 3 days ago 0 replies      
Math: Skat[1] is an awesome card game with rules that fit on the back of a single card (basic version) and that trains addition and multiplication. AFAIK it is/was accepted as a teaching tool in Thuringia's schools. (usually for 3 players, a 2 player variation is described in the WP-article).

Literature: A membership in the local library was enough for me.

Problem Solving: Chess and related board games; any kind of puzzles - I loved metal puzzles where I had to separate/join pieces (e.g. those found here[2] - not endorsing the shop, just the first hit on DDG).

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skat_(card_game)

[2] http://www.zoompuzzles.com/Metal-Puzzles_c_15-2.html

11
avip 3 days ago 1 reply      

 Tanagram Frisbee Bike Prism Magnifying glass

12
michielk 3 days ago 0 replies      
A musical instrument. I would suggest not teaching them the traditional way, but in a more natural way. Check out the approach of Victor Wooten [0]. If you want things a little more structured, try Improvise for Real [1]. Both will teach creativity, self expression and more. Plus its fun!

[0] https://youtu.be/2zvjW9arAZ0[1] www.improviseforreal.com

14
hluska 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was 6 or 7, my Grandma taught me how to play cribbage. At first, it was a little tough, so my Grandma helped me decide which cards to put into my crib and with counting out my hand. But as my ability to add and spot patterns increased, I stopped needing her help so much.

Cribbage is a nice blend of strategy, applied math and pattern matching. I plan to teach my 17 month old daughter cribbage as soon as I can.

15
tmaly 3 days ago 1 reply      
there was a book getting started in electronics that use to be sold at radio shack. They had all sorts of basic projects from a battery using a potato to a transistor radio to an amplifier. I think it is still available online. I use to love making those projects when I was younger.
16
a-saleh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would really recommend MERCUR, I am just not sure where would you be able to get it. Where I come from (i.e. Czech Republic), it is this legendary engineering toy kit, and you could build almost anything with it :)

As kids we loved it, and then, even in college we still used it in our robotics projects :)

http://eshop.merkurtoys.cz/

17
ajarmst 3 days ago 0 replies      
Both my kids enjoyed Mastermind (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastermind_(board_game)) from a young age. Deductive logic game.
18
usegolang 2 days ago 0 replies      
Most board games can be great educational tools. Eg Guess Who teaches logical thinking skills since kids have to think of a strategy to use and a question that will support that strategy. Clue is similar but possibly a higher age range.

Same goes for puzzle games - Sudoku, or even those little golf tee + peg board games you see at like cracker barrel. Simple but educational and they exercise the brain.

As others have said, Legos and similar toys teach spatial reasoning and similar skills as well.

If you are looking for toys that teach a specific skill (eg algebra) that is likely trickier to find.

19
andy_adams 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know if you'd count this as "not digital" (it's mostly analog) but my kids have a blast with http://www.snapcircuits.net/
20
j_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Robot Turtles. This game teaches kids 4+ the ins and outs of programming in a fun, tactile game."

https://amzn.com/B00HN2BXUY $21.89

(originally a Kickstarter)

21
jamesdmiller 2 days ago 0 replies      
Meta-Forms teaches problem solving. You have to guess the arrangement of objects in a 3 by 3 grid based on clues such as two circles are next to each other, and no red objects are next to each other.https://smile.amazon.com/FoxMind-5512646-Metaforms-Games/dp/...
22
saluki 2 days ago 0 replies      
magnatiles (amazon have seen at target) one of our kids favorites, great for 6 year old but they will play with them for years. https://www.amazon.com/Magna-Tiles-Clear-Colors-100-Piece/dp...

Kapla Blocks (building)https://www.amazon.com/CitiBlocs-200-Piece-Natural-Colored-B...

Dominos for Toppling (lots of tutorials online to do amazing runs)https://bulkdominoes.com/collections/all

Wooden Blockshttps://www.amazon.com/ECR4Kids-Hardwood-Building-Storage-48...

If you don't have a hard smooth floor pick up a sheet of plexiglass for dominos and kapala blocks.

Legos, get a variety of sets, encourage mixing and building your own creations.

Board Games

---------------------

Catan JuniorSettlers of Catan

Ticket to Ride

Blockus

Scrabble (deluxe with plastic grid)

Chess

Stratego (Original General is 1)

Uno Card Game.

----------------------------

Snap Circuits (Electricity Projects)

----------------------------

Do science night where parents use a white board to teach how things work, let them ask questions/explain things they know.

----------------------------

Lego Mindstorms is good too, but they would need to be on a screen some for this.

23
marttt 3 days ago 0 replies      
For DIY toys, check out Arvind Gupta's toys from trash:http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html

A compelling way to introduce children to laws of nature. You can see him sharing his philosophy here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOllmFfELT8

24
murkle 3 days ago 0 replies      
For problem solving / strategy (and fun of course!)Marble run, Geomag, Monopoly, Canasta (2 or 4 player)

Also the games by thinkfun.com (Rush Hour etc) are very good

25
bikamonki 3 days ago 1 reply      
Books?
26
lprubin 3 days ago 0 replies      
My parents used Brain Quest cards with me and I loved them. Kept me happy on road trips and at restaurants.
27
Rabidgremlin 2 days ago 0 replies      
28
larrydag 3 days ago 1 reply      
Boardgames are a great way to teach. There are so many to choose from now. Also there is nothing better than spending time with your kids. https://boardgamegeek.com/
29
LarryMade2 2 days ago 2 replies      
Model Rockets (designing, working out altitude, etc.)

Ship in a bottle

Woodworking projects (especially involving measuring, proportion, etc.)

Journaling

I Hate Mathematics Book by Marilyn Burns

Stolen Sharpie Revolution by Alex Wrekk (and other books on creating Zines)

Problem solving/lateral thinking books.

30
ams6110 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have them try sports. Don't force them, but try a few and see if any stick. It's a huge social advantage for the rest of their lives both as something to do and something to talk about.
31
hackpert 3 days ago 1 reply      
There is this brilliant card game Set (https://www.setgame.com/set), which is a load of fun and also teaches visual reasoning skills.
32
DanBC 3 days ago 0 replies      
Math rods / Cuisenaire rods: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Viga-Wooden-Maths-Rods-Cuisenaire/d...

A Pound of dice: https://www.amazon.com/Wiz-Dice-Pack-Random-Polyhedral/dp/B0... (I'd be keen to know if there's dice at a similar price in the UK)

You can then play something like Button Men (which could easily be rethemed to "Pokemon battle") https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button_Men

33
noamhacker 3 days ago 1 reply      
Scrabble is great for vocabulary, although as you get better you'll learn strategic words and probably disregard their meaning (for example, I frequently use qi, qat, suq, qua but I can't define them)
34
sgs1370 3 days ago 1 reply      
Not sure if it will fit your age range but this company has a lot of good teaching toys/things:

http://www.melissaanddoug.com/

35
ams6110 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lego, erector set, chess, backgammon, othello/reversi, card games are all things I remeber from my pre-technology childhood.

Reading of course.

36
MachineMan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lego, Magic the Gathering, European board games, and playing a musical instrument
37
hprotagonist 3 days ago 0 replies      
bicycles teach you a great deal.
38
juancn 2 days ago 0 replies      
chemistry set, microscope, bicycles, roller skates, balls, play doh, legos, books, magnifying glass, compass, etc.

Pretty much anything you throw at them will teach them something.

The question is, what do you want them to learn?

39
josephorjoe 3 days ago 0 replies      
Poker for probability and a little bit of psychology.
40
skocznymroczny 3 days ago 0 replies      
Standard cards deck. Solitaire, card tricks.
41
mgallezot 3 days ago 0 replies      
Kapla (wood blocks)
42
Ace17 3 days ago 0 replies      
Rubik's cubes?
43
Kenji 3 days ago 1 reply      
MECCANO ( http://www.meccano.com/ )

6 might be a bit on the younger side for it, but 10 definitely not. You learn to use a screwdriver and screws and basic mechanics. You can go all the way to elaborate designs.

It's a timeless toy, my father already played with it (looked like this back then: http://www.dalefield.com/nzfmm/slap/RoyalMeccano.JPG ) and so did I. Heck, even an adult can use these, I once made a distillery platform with height-adjustable burner with these. Really nice to slap together sturdy prototypes.

EDIT: Now that I'm looking at modern MECCANO, I feel like they have diverted too much from the original path. I'd rather have the basic old metal kit in the second image than a fancy MECCANO car consisting of oddly shaped plastic pieces.

44
HammadB 3 days ago 1 reply      
No suggestions unfortunately, but I'm curious to know the motivation behind trying to find non-digital toys. Is there something we could do to bring the benefits of non-digital toys into digital ones or are the differences fundamentally irreconcilable?
20
How Do I Protect DIY Electronics from the Environment?
61 points by antoniuschan99  4 days ago   26 comments top 12
1
laydn 4 days ago 1 reply      
Your first line of defense will be conformal coating. There are various options here. Easiest to apply for DIY electronics would be in spray form (such as Electrolube HPA200H spray)

However, if you have an RF component and/or RF circuity in your PCB, you should be careful with conformal coating. As the frequency goes up and impedance requirements gets tighter, conformal coating becomes harder and harder to use, because it alters the RF circuit behavior. Also, obviously, you should not be coating certain sensors (pressure sensors, humidity sensors, etc).

Your next line of defense is your enclosure. Ideally, all your connectors should be IP67 or IP68 rated, and you should place your PCBs in an enclosure which is itself IP67/IP68 rated. This is usually achieved by using a gasket and designing the enclosure with a proper gasket opening.

If your device is going to be exposed to sunlight, you should make sure that any active IC in your system will not exceed its operating temperature. Metal enclosures exposed to sunlight will heat up considerably. You may want to think about a cooling solution, based on your power dissipation (enclosure with fins, etc).

2
taneq 4 days ago 0 replies      
Conformal coating is good for protecting against crud on the circuit board in general, so yeah, it'll help against condensation. To be super sure, put the board into an IP68 enclosure with a couple of sachets of 'Do Not Eat', and use IP68 rated cable glands for all cables going into and out of the enclosure to make sure no additional moisture gets in.
3
noonespecial 4 days ago 2 replies      
Believe it or not, I've had reasonable luck with JB Weld. Just make sure anything that might get warm has a little bit of heat sink poking up through the stuff.

Edit: Looks like you're aiming for an actual product release. There's no substitute for potting your circuit inside its enclosure. I'd look for a silicone based solution as you're aiming for large temperature swings.

4
scalaris373 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi,

I've had good results with simple plastic cases, as long as a few rules are followed:

- The case must have a gasket on its cover

- Any openings must be on the bottom of the case (including antennae!)

- Cable glands or waterproof connectors must be used on all openings

- All cables must have a little slack, so they hang below the case and come straight up

- Put a couple of dissecant bags inside the box

I've been using this for various DIY outdoor projects for years, like putting mikrotik routerboards, raspberry pis, arduinos, etc. outdoors.

Water will accumulate in all openings not on the bottom of the case, and air pressure changes will cause the box to "suck" this water in, no matter how tightly sealed that cable gland is. That's why the openings should all be at the bottom.

Just my 2 cents.

5
eternauta3k 4 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like a question for electronics StackExchange. Let me know if you ask there, I'm interested in protecting a bike light I put together.
6
lazylester 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is condensation a problem in a freezer? There is no moisture in the air b/c the temp is less than freezing, no?

Condensation happens when moist air hits a cool surface, how much power is your circuit consuming? You may not have a problem.

I have designed a number of telephony products (e.g. T1 repeaters) for use in outdoor environments, we never coated the circuit boards.

7
analog31 4 days ago 0 replies      
Conformal coating isn't necessarily guaranteed to be rugged against abrasion and handling, so you may still need an enclosure. Also, as others have mentioned, not all components can survive the process. But it has the advantage of being something that a PCB house already knows how to do.

Along the lines of "do things that don't scale," household products such as Household Goop (aka Shoe Goo), silicone sealant, etc., work pretty well.

If you have one or two components that can't be coated, you can leave them off the board and solder them by hand after coating.

8
snarfy 4 days ago 1 reply      
Conformal coating will work. You could also use clear varnish, which is what they use to coat tesla coils.
9
mapster 22 hours ago 0 replies      
clear silicon caulk and caulk gun.
10
itomatik 4 days ago 0 replies      
Is that a cooling solution for mining rig?:)
11
airbreather 3 days ago 0 replies      
Epoxy or sikaflex encapsulation.
12
moron4hire 4 days ago 0 replies      
If you don't have any components that generate a lot of heat, I bet a few coats of clear spray paint would work.
21
Video Wall on the Raspberry Pi: Configure it by taking a picture of your screens
23 points by dividuum  2 days ago   4 comments top 3
1
trcollinson 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is honestly very cool and amazing. Why didn't you add it to a Show HN? Nevertheless, very nice work!
2
Bilters 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow I like the idea; this could wel be elongated to very large scales! Nice work!
3
Meph504 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have to say, that's really impressive.
22
Ask HN: Is Anyone Living The 4-Hour Work Week?
102 points by Dejital  1 day ago   86 comments top 24
1
Sindrome 1 day ago 2 replies      
No, but my grandfather owned a successful restaurant. Invested all the profits into real estate. Built an empire of 5mil+ as a Mexican immigrant. Towards the end, he had everything pretty automated by people he hired. Property managers for the rentals and a mix of family and a good restaurant manager for the restaurant. He would just come in on Sundays to count the money/accounting.

Side note. Our entire family has been destroyed by fighting over money. Money isn't everything. :)

2
ShirsenduK 1 day ago 1 reply      
The book is about being "the new rich". The new rich is not about having a billion dollars in your bank. Its about having enough money and most importantly the time and brain space to enjoy your time.

In the book Tim, emphasises that burning through 90 hour work weeks are pointless if you are not able to enjoy the $$$ it will bring in. Rather spend some money to reduce your workload and focus on things that excite you.

While most the examples he cites are not very useful for me. (I am from India and outsourcing the boring jobs to India isn't very effective ). It helped me focus on what I want in my life. And what is the $$$ amount which will help me achieve that. Its a hard conversation which most of us don't have with ourselves.

I sum up the book as; "There is no point in feeling like shit in your 20s and your 30s for a great life in your 40s which might not even come." Its not exactly YOLO as it emphasises to have a great time and not just let life happen.

3
blueyes 1 day ago 3 replies      
For a lot of people, 4WW was a "think and grow rich" kind of pressure cooker. Sure, you may be able to do with if you combine the highly marketable skills of being a certain kind of programmer with a low-rent country. Those folks are corner cases. The main beneficiary of the book was Ferriss, who's just selling the dream, like a lot of people in the "information business".
4
gobengo 1 day ago 1 reply      
I saw a flash of it once. I was in the middle of vagabonding in the philippines (Cebu) where breakfast on the corner was $1 and a private room $15/night. I got a contract for 8hrs at $120/hr = $960.

So I rented a desk for $10 overnight (EST hours) and billed the hours after 2 nights.

In Cebu, $960/month is more than enough to live comfortably. So I realized I made an entire months living (traveling) expenses in one day of work. That's almost like the "2 hour work week"

5
bsvalley 1 day ago 3 replies      
The point of this book like many other books "get rich quick and work less", is to make the author richer. If you're successful, people will most likely listen to you. So, you need to be successful in some way in real life and if you do, Tim showed you how to leverage a success into a great business model. This helped him generating more income by documenting his journey to a larger audience. So, the content of his book is not the point I think. It's the existence of that book in itself. So, to me it's still about luck and about taking risks in life. It doesn't answer the question: "how to become rich?". More like "how to create a business model based on your success".

Like any other book... There is no recipe for success. But there are a lot of techniques on how to maximize your income.

6
moat 1 day ago 2 replies      
I lived it for a couple of years based on the framework from the book. Living on an island in Thailand diving everyday, hanging out in Bali or Barcelona.

Eventually I got a little bored with it and wanted to create bigger companies so I dove back in, but I still attribute a lot of my success to stumbling across that book one day.

7
vbsteven 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not living the 4HWW but that book kickstarted my journey from employee -> full time freelancer -> part time freelancer + working on my own products -> 100% my own products.

I'm currently transitioning into the part time freelancing phase.

8
4hwwperson 1 day ago 5 replies      
I have lived the 4 hour work week for the last 2 years. I created a course online and earned half a million dollars from it in the first year alone, after spending 3 months creating it (I was 29 when I created it). Many of the ideas from that book (4hww) were ideas that came naturally to me prior to reading that book. I think anyone who considers themselves resourceful (particularly with utilizing Google search) would say the same thing. Most of the world's information is on the web, so if you want to create a lifestyle that optimizes for high earnings and low work hours, you should start by searching Google.

It's striking to me how people seem so baffled about anything anymore these days. Is there a God? The best framework humans have discovered for figuring things out is the scientific method, and according to that, the answer is: not as far as we can tell. Why is this even a question anymore and why do religions still exist, 20+ years after the internet has been around for the public? Again, the answer to that is on the web as well (the answer probably has to do with how longstanding institutions take a long time to die without meteoric disruption - and physics research/the discovery of the Higgs boson clearly wasn't enough to disrupt religion, nor was the recent rise in popularity of Nick Bostrom's simulation theory which happens to be my favorite theory about what this universe is, etc.).

Anyway, I digress...the point is that nearly anything can be figured out via Google. Want to become a rocket scientist? Google it. Read the best books out there. Don't sell yourself short. Want to be an engineer? Google it. And then do it. You can also learn almost anything with very low cost, thanks to the Internet.

I just gave you the secret to the 4 hour work week. Google + determination.

If you're struggling with accepting this answer - start with getting better at searching Google. You can get good at it like any other skill.

9
stealsomesteel 1 day ago 2 replies      
Im living 4 hour work week and its one of the best books that ever helped me. Just use the advices in the book, pretty simple. I spend most of these days working on side projects, feels great! This also allowed me to earn a lot of money, so definitely not downshifting.

Actually kinda amazed that there arent many similar people in the thread...I can email you from a public address, it would prove I have a real reputation and not just Tims paid commenter.

10
Ilurkyeahsowat 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have not, but I know a friend who did this for a while directly out of high school. I've never read the book, but most of these types of books say "create passive income using ____________" he made a pdf and charged 15 bucks for it. Sold it on his own website and made ~$1500-2000 a month. the money he used to live and built some other not so successful websites. We were straight out of highschool though so this was enough money to live on and he didnt TOUCH the webpage for like 2 years steady income. Sometimes people just get lucky I guess.
11
dahoramanodoceu 1 day ago 1 reply      
I work one hour or two every morning to pay the bills. I spend an additional 3-4 hours working on things I want to see happen in the world. The hardest part is self-discipline, so I cut out all social media (no reddit outside of work-related stuff and limit HN). No movies and no porn surfing.

No internet at home helps me stay on track. When I need internet I walk to the coffee shop with a to-do list.

12
FrostAlot 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Not exactly a '4-hour work week' but after reading the book, I have put in a lot of effort into automating a lot of daily recurring browsing activity for which I used to waste time daily. Since I prefer email as the main mode of communication, I have developed automation to extract and send all the important information (for which I used to browse) to me via email daily or hourly. Activities like tech news updates with word cloud, real estate searches, stock prices of interested stocks and many more. This saves me a ton of time by not randomly starting to browse. I attend to only important emails from these email updates.
13
gasull 1 day ago 0 replies      
This story is a good example:

https://www.indiehackers.com/@yvo/how-ive-lived-the-4-hour-w...

Also I have a couple of friends who have done it for a while.

14
tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish I had read it sooner, but I have made small adjustments to my day job to improve things.

For those that cannot work remotely, you can still improve your productivity. I have a DND button on my phone that goes right to voicemail after one ring. I funnel everyone into creating a Jira task instead of trying to email, call, or ask in person for some work.

I document commonly asked questions like his FAQ in Confluence so I can point all new hires in other departments to this introduction training material.

15
bwb 1 day ago 0 replies      
My biz partner and I lived it for about 2.5 years. We finally sold the network we had built up for 7 figures and ended up buying a company with 25 people, so the opposite of 4 hours :)
16
miga 1 day ago 0 replies      
4-hour work week no, but I know pretty many people that wait to vest on 4-hour workdays.
17
_tulpa 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really don't think there are many people at all who are in a position to make use of the advice in the book, and of those who are I really don't think there are any who would actually benefit from it.

Gotta milk that survivorship bias though!

18
csallen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yvo Schaap, the creator of Directlyrics.com, recently wrote a detailed article on Indie Hackers about how he's been living the 4-hour work week for the past decade: https://www.indiehackers.com/@yvo/how-ive-lived-the-4-hour-w...

He created product where the brunt of the work took place in the first few months/years, but the SEO traffic paid dividends for years to come.

19
afpx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have two friends who did, independently. I surely doubt that they are still running things as they did way back then. But, at the time, and for almost a decade afterward, it enabled them to travel freely around the globe and have a relatively luxurious lifestyle.

Interestingly, both eventually got married and settled down back in the states. They each seem to be doing well - but have more conventional lifestyles now (i.e. Living in the burbs with kids).

20
chunkiestbacon 1 day ago 1 reply      
It gave me the dream to work remotely from abroad. I'm relatively poor and working a lot, but almost 2 years in Japan now.
21
michalpt 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, because most of these books are bullshit allowing their authors getting rich by selling them to people who look for some kind of "magic success formula" :)
22
mchan 1 day ago 1 reply      
A friend of mine is - she trained to become a Pilates instructor a number of years ago. Now she does 2 group classes a week (corporate clients) of 1 hour each, earns about $300 per class. That's enough for her to live on.
23
SirLJ 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, i can do it tomorrow with my side project
24
LeicaLatte 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yuck no.
23
Ask HN: What are the best US cities for for working remotely?
32 points by hueving  3 days ago   15 comments top 5
1
tedmiston 3 days ago 2 replies      
I don't usually like posts that just link to an external resource, but Nomad List is a (free) search engine built for this exact use case. They have both domestic and international cities.

https://nomadlist.com/

The same guy that created that also recently made a second project of crowdsourced neighborhood characteristics within each city. For example, if you want to find where the tech or hipster neighborhood in a given city is.

https://hoodmaps.com/

For example, SF:

https://hoodmaps.com/san-francisco

2
cylinder 3 days ago 1 reply      
Somewhere beautiful an hour or so outside of LA or north of SF. Drive into town when there's meetups. Don't waste this opportunity to live in a really nice place that most people cannot viably live in due to lack of employment opportunities.
3
zerr 2 days ago 1 reply      
A question for those who live in a year-around summer/spring - isn't it too monotonous? I mean when you don't have a "real" four seasons...
4
jamesmp98 3 days ago 1 reply      
Atlanta?
5
jpster 3 days ago 1 reply      
Dallas.
24
Ask HN: How to get app development clients?
7 points by softwareqrafter  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
1
rayalez 1 day ago 0 replies      
- Cold emailing. Find people in your niche and personally contact them, find people who are likely to need an app and make a personalized offer.

- Content Marketing + Social Media. Write a blog or make a youtube channel, share free value, submit links to HN/Subreddits, use it to advertise your service's landing page. This can be combined with smart PR/Influencer marketing(guest blog for people, get people to share your content), and SEO(think about long-tail very niche keywords that you can rank for).

- "Engineering as marketing" - create open source or free software that your potential clients will want to use, use it to drive traffic to your page. Look at draw.io or chapp.is for example.

- Facebook ads. Target audience in your niche, make an appealing ad that offers free consultation. If you think you can afford $1-2 per lead, that could be the best way to quickly test how well your offer will convert.

- Collaborate with people who already have clients(for example contact app designers, offer them development services).

- Referrals and word of mouth. This is kind of a chicken and the egg problem at the beginning, but after you have first clients, they might bring more business or recommend more clients. Consider giving people heavy discounts at the beginning, if you think they will bring you more business in the future.

2
tixocloud 7 hours ago 0 replies      
- 1. Cold emailing. Again, getting your name out there and if you're lucky, you may get the sale the first time around but continue following up as part of #2

- 2. Build Relationships. Let everyone know you're in the app development business and continue to touch based with them from time to time. Just because it's a "no" now, it doesn't mean it's a no forever. The timing just may not be right.

3
richardknop 1 day ago 1 reply      
What kind of apps? I had an app project I turned down as I had no more bandwidth for more work. Maybe they are still looking for somebody to make app for them.
25
Ask HN: Do you get more done working longer hours?
17 points by shifte  2 days ago   17 comments top 16
1
mattbgates 2 days ago 0 replies      
My company operates during business hours and then some (6 AM - 2 AM). I think, for the most part, they have decent hours, but I'd say we could be just as productive with working 10 hour days, 4 days a week, instead of 5 days a week at 8-9 hours. But generally, I work 9 hour days 5 days a week. About 4 hours of my day is somewhat busy, but not always. Once in awhile, my entire shift is busy.

Luckily, my company doesn't have a policy that anything I work on during my shift is theirs. They don't mind me doing me during downtime, and in fact, they encourage it. I believe its right in the handbook that they encourage us to go on social media if we have nothing else to do and have gotten all of our work done. I work for a media company, so it kind of makes sense that they would want us to be up to date with social media trends and news.

I've built several successful websites during downtime and off-hours (after I leave work and continuing on it). I think much of my success outside of work has to do with the hours I've had downtime at work. We can definitely get busy... but we pretty much sit around, waiting for an inbox to have work in it, and we just get it done when it comes in. After it's done, I return back to what I was doing before.

While I definitely procrastinate, it's rare for me to not do anything. Always working on something. In my early days, I had started up a side gig freelancing, building, maintaining, and editing websites for clients, and then I started up a side business while working for my main job and currently in the process of starting up a second side business.

None of my side businesses steal away any business from my company, and if anything, only compliment their work and mine. In fact, I try to reel in business for my company so that I can keep doing what I do. Everyone wins.

2
itamarst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given overhead of chatting with coworkers, meetings, planning, hiring interviews, etc., I would indeed expect most programmers just write code productively for 4 to 5 hours and that longer hours don't produce any more value.

My personal experience: for past few years I have been at least as productive as most programmers, while only working 28-35 hours a week. And not all those work hours were spent coding, obviously.

I'd take it a step further: I believe enforcing a shorter workweek makes you more productive. It forces you to prioritize, instead of going off on yak shaving expeditions, it forces you to spend more time thinking upfront, since you can't (badly) compensate by working longer hours. More here: https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/11/10/work-life-balance-so...

3
Powerofmene 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I was working full time and working on my doctorate I had very long days for 27 months. Several months I was only averaging 2 hours of sleep. I can say for me, working longer hours was not ideal. I had trouble concentrating. At times I could not complete simple tasks. I had leg cramps that were excruciating. We had a very short timeline to complete a ridiculous amount of work.

I firmly believe that obtaining a doctorate is as much about jumping through hoops that they have set on fire as it is mastery of your academic field of study. I just wonder the quality that was surrendered because sleep was in critically short supply.

In business, I believe it is better to work smart than to work hard. I acknowledge that when I was working on my doctorate had I taken a step back even for a solid day, I would have recharged and likely saved myself 5x that in lost productivity. Unfortunately, it is hard to see that when you are under intense pressure to produce huge volumes of work on a very brief timeline.

4
bradknowles 2 days ago 0 replies      
Each person is somewhat unique in this regard, but generally speaking there is a peak number of hours you can work and be effective. Beyond that, you're working longer and less effectively, and more likely to make mistakes. And that can be very counter productive.

On average, I think that number is about 6-8 hours per day for most people. But even that length isn't functioning at your peak, just high enough to be generally worthwhile. Peak effectiveness would be more like half that.

You need to do your research and find out what works best for you and your team, but the larger the group, the more likely you are to fall into the typical pattern.

5
db48x 2 days ago 0 replies      
Certainly. I get a lot more done on days when I work 6 hours than I do on days when I only work for 2. In fact, I probably get more than 3 the work done, which is nice. On the other hand, if I worked for 18 hours a day I would certainly not get another 3; I would soon hit the point of diminishing returns. Where that point is must certainly vary from person to person, for I have noticed that it also varies from project to project and day to day.

Sounds to me like you need to reduce distractions rather than working more hours.

6
danieka 2 days ago 0 replies      
There was a time that I could put in more hours and keep my productivity up. But it wears you down, and after two years of many hours I'm quite worn out. So, yes, short time you could probably get more done if you push yourself. But it will run you, and any developers, into the ground leading to lowered productivity over the long term.
7
twh270 2 days ago 0 replies      
Brain-intensive work is fatiguing just like physically demanding work, and if you regularly push past your limits mentally or physically there will be consequences. Yes, over the short term you can get away with it. But it's gonna cost you, and the longer you do it the more it's gonna cost.

With that in mind, not all coding is equally brain-intensive. If I put in a serious intense hardcore 3 hour session of gnarling code wrangling, I'm pretty much done for several hours. Conversely I can do minor refactoring and code cleanup all day.

It's well known that pushing developers to work more hours isn't effective. It might (might!!) get a product to deadline faster, but it will be at the cost of burned-out developers who will have greatly reduced productively, and a decreased quality in the codebase and more defects at the time of launch. And the better developers tend to leave for a healthier environment.

Regarding skipping meetings and emails, figure out (if you haven't) why you're doing that and take appropriate steps. Maybe it's having a discussion about why a particular meeting is unproductive, or alternate forms of communication. Maybe it's finding a reason to go to a meeting other than its stated purpose.

8
muzani 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have seen a few individuals work longer hours and succeed. But more often it's the kind of project they would sneak away to do, instead of sneak from. Software is one of those industries that runs so efficiently on passion, although passion is a limited resource.

I do think progress is proportional to time spent on it. The only question is how much time you can get in and at what cost. You can always push harder, but it can lead to burnout and deplete passion.

9
drakonka 2 days ago 0 replies      
I do, but it seems to be less about the hours being longer and more about my being in the office when it's quiet and distraction-free. Therefore I am hoping that noise cancelling headphones will help me be more efficient during the normal workday. It won't be the same as having the whole office quiet and the room to myself, but it might be an improvement.
10
psyc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the connection is loose at best. Personally, yes, I'm wired so I can mostly turn more hours into more progress. That's great when I'm working alone. But I don't think I've ever been on a paid project at a company where the bottleneck was straight-ahead serial work. It feels like teams have a way of divining when's the absolute latest they can deliver something, and will pad any length workday with slacking, as needed.
11
patatino 2 days ago 0 replies      
Working is like running, consistency and staying healthy are key. You can train/work your ass off and get better results short time, but you will pay for it later and geat injured/sick.

Plan your day so you can use those 4 hours of focus the most! For me that means no meetings, phone calls and email in the morning if possible.

12
tmaly 2 days ago 0 replies      
I get less done with longer hours. I try to eliminate meetings, phone calls, emails.

We have Jira at work as well as some legacy Bugzilla systems. I have been trying to get everyone sending requests to my group to put them in Jira.

I prefer a structured process so I can minimize interruptions of developers.

13
cuchoi 2 days ago 1 reply      
The problem with 4-5 hours days is that you will not be efficient 100% of the time. You need those extra hours (for breaks, communication, coordination, mentoring, etc) to be able to code 4 hours in a day.
14
NetStrikeForce 2 days ago 0 replies      
No, since I've reduced my day to ~6 work hours I am much more productive.
15
nidhi549 1 day ago 0 replies      
Definitely
16
oldandtired 2 days ago 0 replies      
To answer your question - Yes.

In point of fact, the observation of no interruption for the team (by anyone including management) means more work is done in less hours. This observation, which I have found to be true, was made in the late 80's.

Any interruption in thought processes when doing engineering/technical work requires the person to spend a significant amount of time returning to the place where the interruption occurred.

Management practise since the late 80's has ensured that all technical staff (engineering, programmers, etc) must be interruptible at all times (especially by management itself). The team/team members have no ability to redirect phone calls, email messages or management meetings to management PA's to deal with.

The experience that I and my technical colleagues had was that if we could have a non-interrupted period of 2-3 hours to work on any project, we would achieve more than we could in any normal interrupted 8 hour day. Often we found that an extended uninterrupted period of 4-6 hours would allow us to complete technical work/projects that would normally take us a week to complete. This was based on a total effective 1 hour due to the continual interruptions we normally received during our normal days. This lead us to start work early and finish late when we could work uninterrupted. Of course, this worked against as this was in effect unpaid time.

The common management practise of the last 30 years has ensured that every technical/engineering team works at its lowest efficiency. There are some managers who will protect their engineering teams from such interference and as a consequence get a much higher efficiency out them in a normal work day of 7-8 hours. Unfortunately, these kinds of managers are few and far between.

I would say that any team that works beyond this number of hours will still not achieve anywhere near the same results as a corresponding team that has the unfettered ability to block out all interruptions.

In addition, it also requires group offices for this to work. Open plan layouts are an instant cause of inefficiency, especially with technical/engineering groups. Two to three team members per office would be ideal.

As an office is considered a status symbol within management circles, we should not expect any sensible outcome in this area. All of this was documented and published in the late 80's.

In relation to your comment that in any day there is only 4 hours that you write solid code, I would suggest that if you had an uninterrupted 4 hours that the amount of code produced would very likely double or even triple and be even better.

Just don't expect any management or management guru's of today to see it this way.

The comment regarding brain-intensive work being fatiguing is certainly true when you have to deal with multiple interruptions. From my experience, mostly the fatigue is from having to get yourself back to the place you were at before the interruption. A uninterrupted period of time devoted to a brain-intensive activity is less stressful than the same period that has had interruptions.

I am also saying that such periods of time need to be regulated by oneself so that burnout doesn't occur. Good physical activity, good food, rest, relaxation and good non-work related socialising make one able to keep at peak efficiency.

Have made some edits about to fill in more explanation and correct spelling and sentence structure.

26
Ask HN: You have $100/mo to invest in cryptocurrency, BTC, BTC Cash or Ether?
32 points by iDemonix  23 hours ago   44 comments top 18
1
kleer001 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Whatever you decide, set it up on a daily, weekly, or monthly deposit. Then forget about it. Delete all your crypto news alerts, take off all your crypto book marks. Do everything you can to take yourself out of the equation once the thing is set. Keep it boring, keep it consistent. Emotion is your greatest enemy while investing. But you're smart and you know all this.
2
nodesocket 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Honestly, why take the risk? If you are looking to invest long-term, just buy an index fund like $QQQ or $SPY and sit back and let it ride. You can use Robinhood to continue to buy without paying commissions (which is going to be crucial since commissions would take a large percentage on such a small investment amount).
3
ac29 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not actually gamble? For $1200/year you can have a couple fun trips to Reno (or somewhere else that isn't Las Vegas, which is way too expensive to be a low-stakes gambler). No legal or tax ambiguities unlike cryptocurrencies, free drinks and other comps -- its not a bad way to spend money you can "afford to lose".
4
companyhen 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Check out r/NEO on reddit and learn on http://neo.org

One thing that makes NEO cool is that it generates another coin in it's ecosystem called GAS which you get for just holding it in your wallet. Make sure you move NEO from an exchange unless you're using Binance (which lets you generate GAS on the exchange)

It just hit Top 10 on http://coinmarketcap.com yesterday

5
gk1 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Why not diversify your portfolio and invest in all three? Coindesk.com supports BTC and ETH, though not BTH.
6
viraptor 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Are we talking long term investment, or do you want to play with speculation? If they first, I'd say it's neither - just go with some real fund, possibly via your bank. If you want to speculate - all of them. Setup a few buy orders at various levels below current price and wait for the next big event / crash / exchange fail / ...
7
CyberCatMeow 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Not BTC or Ether. And in no way Bitcoin Cash. As i invested a bit more time in Cryptocurrencies, i'm mainly looking for newer coins that could have a bright future (always read and understand whitepapers).

I would currently go for Wagerr, IOTA, SIA and TenX. For IOTA and TenX, i still need to read the Whitepaper in Detail, but they look very promising.

8
oli5679 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask yourself,

What's the personal value to me or someone else of owning this unit of currency, in terms of purchases enabled and transaction costs avoided?There are frequently financial bubbles, where people just buy because you expect the value to see further appreciation and sell to a greater fool. Unfortunately such bubbles inflate slowly but collapse rapidly:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

9
atarian 22 hours ago 1 reply      
If you live outside of the US, consider investing in an index fund that tracks multiple cryptos:https://www.iconomi.net/dashboard/#/INDEX
10
DrJid 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd go all in on Iota.

Transactions without a fee, Scalable. Meant for Machine to Machine Payments. The internet of things, nano transactions.. Doesn't use a blockchain but instead uses a Tangle. It's quite early and the tech may seem new but it does solve a lot of the scaling issues wrought with "blockchains".

11
skulquake 22 hours ago 1 reply      
It really depends on your objectives. Just want to save some fiat? Go 85% BTC/15% ETH this way you can ride the BTC price rises and still enjoy xx% gains on ETH. Or you can do what the most opportunistic do and go 100% ETH and then diversify that into ERC-20 tokens built on top of the Ethereum protocol. Now obviously you should do your due diligence but hopefully this can give you some ideas.
12
iDemonix 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I should point out that I'm in the UK, if that makes a difference.
13
freework 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I own about 30 different currencies, all stored on paper wallets. I recommend avoiding "wealth centralization" on any one currency.
14
tribby 17 hours ago 0 replies      
some BTC and ETH, but also consider adding monero (XMR) to the mix. it's a wildcard, but it's fungible. XMR is also trending in illicit use (laundering and trafficking), which will probably help its price in the short-to-mid term.
15
SirLJ 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Questions like this are showing that the bubble is about to pop...
16
wavesounds 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Neither you are literally paying people to waste electricity. Invest in a company that actually makes something people use
17
pigeons 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a ridiculously off-topic question.
18
krlo 23 hours ago 1 reply      
https://www.coinbase.com is great for simplicity. Diversifying with BTC/ETH/LTC is a good strategy to minimize risk.

You can use my referral link to earn extra BTC when you purchase :Dhttps://www.coinbase.com/join/5927caaa2cc81a08f16dab25

https://www.gdax.com/ is a more advanced trading platform (same company as Coinbase). Expect lower fees in exchange for managing your own trades

27
Ask HN: What Happened to the Segment.com Open-Source Fellowships?
36 points by _Marak_  1 day ago   7 comments top 5
1
fouadmatin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi Marak! Im Fouad and I work at Segment, specifically on this program.

To provide a bit of additional context, we launched the program on March 23rd (which closed on May 8th), received 285 applications, and then selected four of them as fellows on June 20th. We notified everyone that had applied that day.

From there, we still had to coordinate the final logistics with the fellows who were selected. A few were at full-time jobs and needed time to coordinate long-term sabbaticals, so weve had to delay the announcement on the selection process.

As far as why you werent contacted, this is totally my fault and an honest mistake. Even though the deadline was May 8th, we still had an apply late form that was able to submit applications for late participants. However, nobody was monitoring the form after June 20th since wed already accepted the fellows and were still figuring out the logistics with them. I just checked your application and it came in on June 21st.

Im really sorry about that, well do better here next timeI honestly feel terrible for botching the logistics, and can totally understand the frustration. For what its worth, nobody had seen your application until now, and I removed the application form earlier today to ensure this mistake doesnt happen again.

Happy to answer other questions here or at open@segment.com, well be announcing the four fellows in September.

2
shubhamjain 1 day ago 0 replies      
Slightly related to this is a Stephen King's FAQ Question [1].

> Will you read my manuscript and tell me what you think?

...."There's another reason, and that's a legal one. I've been sued for plagiarism 8 or 9 times. Any writer who has deep pockets has been sued for plagiarism from time-to-time-that goes for J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, really everyone. For everyone who publishes best-selling fiction, somebody wants to think, 'Oh, he got that idea from me' and so it's just much easier and much safer to say I never read that book at all".

I mean, out of hundreds of applications that they received, one idea slightly matching with what they were already doing is highly probable. It seems rather unlikely that a company leader would see an application and jump out of his seat to instruct his team to copy the idea without any credit.

[1]: http://stephenking.com/faq.html

3
giis 1 day ago 0 replies      
> I've now learned they will be soon be releasing a commercial product that is strongly related to the open-source project I submitted.

Is it someone from segment informed you about this upcoming commercial product? How did you learned about this info? What if there is no such plans or upcoming product?

Are you sure about their terms & conditions? Some companies include special clause to own or implement these ideas on their own.

I hope someone from segment will address your concerns.

4
hitekker 1 day ago 0 replies      
What was the project that you submitted? And, for comparison, what is the commercial product Segment will be releasing?

I hope someone from Segment responds to your concerns.

5
jaequery 1 day ago 1 reply      
sounds to me like you shouldnt be open sourcing your project if you are thinking like that.
28
Ask HN: Life as a developer gets boring real quick.remedy?
39 points by oggyhead  4 days ago   25 comments top 16
1
sp527 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is going to sound odd but I'd recommend journaling. You need to spend some time free writing to access your subconscious and gain insight into how you really feel and especially what you value. You'll be amazed at how effective it is. I'm of the opinion that a substantial share of ennui arises from a failure to commit to routine and honest introspection.

With respect to software, your feelings may stem from a perceived deficit in value creation. No matter what we do, we all want to feel like we're contributing in some way and we all try to find ways to achieve that. Could be blogging, OSS dev, teaching classes, turning an app into a business (or just putting it out there for people to use freely!), etc. If you're just hacking on things to learn, that's great and necessary. But you might be better served taking it a step further.

2
stepvhen 4 days ago 3 replies      
You sound like you need a hobby. Have you tried baking? Like, get a breadmaking book from a ised book sttore, read it carefully, and make bread. Its super rewarding, not that difficult, you end up with a finished product (that you can eat!) and its not math or programming.

Also, read literature anyway. Learn how to by doing it. If a novel is daunting read short stories (particularly Jorge Luis Borges or Cesar Aira). Reading wasn't important in my life until about 2 years ago, and since then books have improved my life dramatically. Its low cost, high yield, fully analog, ubiquitous, and enriching. Just learning new words makes it easier to form new concepts in your head and be better at stuff like math and programming. Seriously I cant suggest reading enough.

But really, this sounds more serious than just boredom or ennui. I side with Cozumel, and might suggest looking into a counsellor.

3
mythrwy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Programming is a lot of fun, but at the end of the day it's a tool rather than life itself. If you lose track of this (which is easy to do), it's a slide down a dark hole.

I'd recommend putting down the electronics for a bit as much as possible. You might wish to learn to enjoy people and look for opportunities to do so. Spend more time observing yourself and your world without tinker toy distractions. Spend some time alone (leave the smartphone out). In nature maybe. Think about life. And death. What life means, what you would regret if you died tomorrow. What you really want. Who you really are. It's uncomfortable sometimes, being around people and being around ourselves. We look for distraction. And that's what you have to overcome.

I'd venture a lot of us on this site have the same symptoms to various degrees. I know I do from time to time. It's a job hazard I think kind of like skin cancer or a bad back. The above paragraph is my way out of the hole and back to a grip on what's important.

4
apohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
>> After failing culture fit tests at companies

>> I don't like people that much though I do put up a front

Question: Do you not like people or do you not like the people you have to interact with on a regular basis? If you have to eat lunch with the people you work with, can you enjoy it or do you tolerate it/hate it?

I used to work in the consulting arm of a software company and got to interact with a lot of different teams. After the novelty of having a new challenge (new language, new algorithms, new project, etc) every few months wore off, I started to realize work was more enjoyable when I didn't mind spending time with the people I worked with. When I felt forced to work with people I didn't click with the work itself didn't matter - I felt either bored or frustrated. I asked about lunch because sometimes I'd rather have done anything else than try to force a conversation with some of the teams I used to work with.

"Enjoying" spending time with the people you work with is also not about after-hours or having a lively conversation. I used to work with a machine learning algorithm team that was filled with brilliant people, but they had zero interest in the typical office banter, small-talk, ping-pong, etc. Put them at a lunch table together and there conversations were not very animated. But after a while, an observer would realize these folks enjoyed spending time together, and there was a reason they had been together for 10+ years despite getting offers from big name companies who paid a lot more.

In my view it's easier to find a job with the a particular technology than it is to find a place where you can tolerate the people you work with for 40+ hours a week. I love to code and I'm introverted, but I struggled to fit in with the typical "developer" office environment and found myself happier in teams were I get to code but my role is more business facing.

5
Cozumel 4 days ago 0 replies      
This sounds a lot deeper than just being bored as a developer, maybe see a counsellor? They'll be in a better position to help you than any of us.
6
i456 3 days ago 0 replies      
Spend some time not doing anything: sit on a chair, close your eyes, and let your brain do its thing. Try not to focus on any thought. Some people would call it meditating, I call it letting go. In this world where we're always distracted, it forces onto me some boredom, during which my brain very often comes with unexpected answers to problems I've been working on lately.

In my case, I also often get hindsight into what I should be doing, and often end up doing things good for me, instead of things I've been asked to do (makes me do for me, instead of doing what others want me to do).

7
uptownfunk 3 days ago 0 replies      
I notice you talk about what you have been doing (programming, proof writing) and what you haven't been doing (watching tv, reading), but not at all about what you'd like to be doing.

Find something you'd like to do, and the only way to do that is to explore other things than what you are currently doing (since you are obviously not finding real satisfaction in it).

Might I suggest volunteering your time or a charitable activity? That can be a very fulfilling activity for some.

8
flaviusas 4 days ago 0 replies      
Try to attract interesting parties and make them approach you first by doing projects which are interesting to you. Keep those projects production-ready.

Then the parties who value your work will naturally approach you, and by default value your work and give you more decision power in whatever the two of you will want to pursue together.

Sounds twisted, but that's how life works.

Oh, and making the program is not a goal in itself, solving the problem is.

9
muzani 3 days ago 1 reply      
I had the same issue around the middle of my job. I took a break, started a cafe, thought F&B would be something better. It immediately shocked me back into programming. That's one approach - just do something else (preferably low cost) and see what you like more. Some people did up liking F&B more than tech.
10
PaulHoule 4 days ago 0 replies      
http://store.steampowered.com/app/282900/Hyperdimension_Nept... <- Here is how you can play video games and watch anime at the same time;
11
nonplus 3 days ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you expect a lot out of your job. I think the 'as a developer' part is going fine. Not liking people is fine. I don't have any good advice on the picking a hobby part. Most of mine are not things I picked up because I enjoy them. They are things I started doing because I wanted to build something. You sound like you might have that in common. You could try woodworking; it provides you many opportunities to take shortcuts, which would show in the final product. That won't really help with the meaningless part, but it passes the time.
12
bluemix 4 days ago 0 replies      
Life is all about choices. You can choose what you do next. It seems your only choice is always programming, of course you get bored.

Try something new and exciting, maybe extreme sports?

13
smnplk 4 days ago 0 replies      
What about girlfriend/boyfriend ? How is your love life ?
14
tehlike 4 days ago 2 replies      
Start your own company, or a side project. See how it goes.
16
wcummings 3 days ago 0 replies      
Find a more interesting career.
29
Ask HN: What is your biggest business expense besides salaries?
69 points by cronjobma  3 days ago   45 comments top 18
1
nodesocket 2 days ago 4 replies      
Health insurance in San Francisco which according to my quick research using Blue Shield[1] is some of most expensive.

Most people who work at tech companies in the bay area don't pay for their insurance, or pay very little. It's just considered part of benefits.

I think they'd be shocked if they had to pay full retail price for it. Also, the government subsidies only apply if your making less than 50k a year, so most likely everybody would be paying full retail price if not for their employer.

 [1] - Blue Shield monthly cost for Silver 70 PPO Downtown San Francisco $462.54 Downtown San Diego $388.22 Santa Barbara $372.58 Beverly Hills $342.53

2
rrggrr 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. Health Insurance

2. Marketing & Advertising.

3. Rent.

4. Employer Share of Payroll Taxes.

5. Other Insurance (eg. Workman's comp, General liability, etc.)

6. IT (Including AWS).

7. Legal & Accounting.

3
02thoeva 2 days ago 2 replies      
AWS fees. We're an email marketing platform, we send around 150m emails a month, all of which we need to store and process clicks/opens on.
4
manyxcxi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Health insurance is by far the largest, but I generally consider that part of salary when I'm thinking about costs.

After that it's hosting (we have no on-prem infrastructure), AWS is probably 85% of that cost.

5
TazeTSchnitzel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looking at some of these comments, it'd be great if more of them were contextualised with the particular line of business.
6
shoo 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you have access to a market research database you can get statistics on this kind of stuff for different industry sectors and different countries. For subscription services you may be able to get access via a public library or university library.

e.g. here's an estimate of costs in Australia's IT consulting sector, as percentage of total revenue:

 wages:40% other:26%incl. insurance, advertising, cleaning, repairs & maintenance purchases:16% profit:11% utilities:5% rent:2% depreciation:1%

7
corford 2 days ago 0 replies      
At the moment, aggregate SaaS costs and data licensing but I expect marketing to eventually become the biggest cost after salaries (or even the biggest overall).
8
wismacibanteng 16 hours ago 0 replies      
i think now forex is the best choice | aplikasi keuangan | https://www.finansialku.com/aplikasi-keuangan-finansialku/
9
TheAnimus 2 days ago 2 replies      
Office Space, after salaries and employer taxes is our biggest per employee cost.
10
contingencies 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hardware prototyping related expenses. After that, office space and lawyers are looking about equal right now.
11
superasn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Marketing and ads and site Support. All other expenses like hosting, rent, etc are very small compared to these two.
12
preinheimer 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hosting. I'm a co-founder at https://wonderproxy.com, so our product is having servers all over. It starts to add up after a while.

Jumping down an order of magnitude we've got: software, bank fees/processing fees, insurance, taxes.

We were really happy when our salaries passed our hosting bills and stayed there.

13
e59d134d 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Marketing
14
dangrossman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Credit card processing fees.
15
muzani 2 days ago 0 replies      
For e-commerce, logistics.
16
kidlogic 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. Salaries

2. Benefits

3. Contracting

4. Rent

17
yeldarb 2 days ago 1 reply      
30% platform tax

Servers

Advertising

18
edoceo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Legal

Advertising + Trade Shows

Travel

30
Ask HN: Beside Bitcoin, what has offered a 1000000 ROI over 7 years?
15 points by mrb  2 days ago   11 comments top 7
2
mattbgates 2 days ago 1 reply      
Timing is everything.

LinkedIn crashed at the end of 2015, but recovered in early 2016, dropping from around $250/share to $92 and rising up again to $190. If you took $10,000 and invested it and rode that wave... it is now $195. Would've been a 112% ROI with about $11k made.

I did take a risk on investing in another company with $10k recently and made $1000 in a day or two. There are websites out there that help you... its definitely risk taking with chances of losing a lot of money if you aren't quick enough, and while it's not technically insider trading... it's more similar to penny stocks, where timing is everything, and if you have at least a minimum of $10k to invest, and you ride the small waves.. you can make thousands of dollars doing that.

Money makes money and with time money can be made. I have a 401k that I can't touch because I no longer work at the job. I have spoken with financial advisers about touching it or not touching, and while some suggested I move it, the fact remains: My money got invested into some really good companies at early stages that are just not available with any other plans, either with my current company, or Roth IRAs, so leaving the money in there is just best. The last time I put money in there was at 4k. A decade later, it is nearing $12k. Might not sound like a lot to some people, but that is the power of money making money on itself. I haven't touched it because I can't put anything into it. Being as I'm still about 30-35 years away from retirement, I'm sure it will be just fine if I leave it.

Kind of like a Futurama deal... where Fry gets frozen for 1,000 years...

>>The account had contained 93 cents in 1999, but after accruing interest at 2.25% per year for 1,000 years, the balance is now $4.3 billion. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fishful_of_Dollars )

3
thiagooffm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looking at ROI(or any indicator alone) is possibly the worst way to spend your time, because it doesn't mean anything.

It's such a poor idea that you aren't even factoring the risks in. And can barely factor it, as it's bitcoin. What is the chance of this entirely thing breaking down tomorrow as people just give up believing on it? Big chance.

It's completely unusable. I can write a bash script which does more transactions than bitcoin on a calculator. The blockchain model it uses has no scale.

As soon as mining becomes more difficult and we hit close to 90% of the coins and use doesn't increase up(because usage didn't take off, like the prices), this is all worth 0.

Who has hit the jackpot is the one who sells before this ponzi scheme falls down and entered early enough.

4
anonymouskimmer 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) Jackpot winning lottery numbers.

2) Possibly various patents.

This is more a matter of the sheer number of people who could become involved in Bitcoin in a short amount of time (i.e. an artifact of the modern era) than it is about Bitcoin per se.

5
seattle_spring 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. Buying random art at garage sales and hoping they were painted by the famous deceased

2. Lottery tickets

3. Slipping at Wal-Mart and suing them for millions

6
gesman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Skills
7
celticninja 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think anything in history has had as good an ROI as bitcoin in the same sort of timeframe.
       cached 9 August 2017 20:05:02 GMT