hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    21 Aug 2017 Ask
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1
Bing/yahoo/duckduckgo are gaining on Google?
6 points by elid1979  3 hours ago   8 comments top 3
1
s3r3nity 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Isn't Yahoo still powered by Bing? Or did they move back to their own engine?
2
ajc-sorin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I know most people on this aren't a fan of the subreddit /r/The_Donald, but there is a tremendous push on that sub for people to use alternatives to major tech giants.

Google, Facebook, and Amazon (due to the connection with Washington Post) are vilified, and multiple posts reach the top each week outlining alternatives - Duckduckgo is a major one, firefox/brave are suggested browsers, and in general people on that sub talk about completely disconnecting from facebook, or minimizing use to messenger only.

I can see a pretty sizeable opportunity for platforms to come out that are truly tolerant of all speech/perspectives. I'm not criticizing, nor expressing favor towards, any of the services I've mentioned, but it seems like someone could make a solid earning in a lifestyle company aimed at servicing individuals who want privacy and uninhibited freedom of speech.

For reference, T_D is in the top 125 of subreddits by subscriber base and activity. If you exclude default subreddits, they're probably in the top 50 subs. Considering they probably have even more penetration through the amount of lurkers (like me), I wouldn't be surprised if they drove a sizeable chunk of users away from Big-Tech.

3
kpwags 2 hours ago 3 replies      
About 2 months ago I switched to DuckDuckGo and have been happy with the results I get back
2
Ask HN: Where to start with CSS?
5 points by xenopticon  3 hours ago   1 comment top
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codegeek 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I really like http://cssreference.io

They have a visual guide which shows you what it looks like along with code on side.

4
You can re-register deleted Outlook accounts without security checks
12 points by mnbghj  12 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
jaclaz 8 hours ago 1 reply      
As often happens, I don't see the "scandal".

How does it work in the "real world"?

You get a P.O. Box.

You leave that address, the Post Office re-rents it to someone else.

I would guess that should be your care to make all people that know that address to not send anything to it and/or change all references to it.

By the same token it is your responsibility to change all your current subscriptions/whatever updating the e-mail address to a new, valid one, the sheer moment you delete the "old" account.

2
Mz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
You knew a lot of insider info about yourself. Brute forcing registration of outlook accounts in no way guarantees they will be connected to a pay pal account etc.

I imagine there are easier ways to extract money from people. There are too many unknown unknowns here.

4
Andrenid 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Same goes for a lot of services I've found .. but it doesn't seem to be talked about much.

The fact it happens for a service as massive as Outlook is unforgiveable though.

5
Ask HN: Do you work for Google?
7 points by sysdyne  13 hours ago   9 comments top 7
1
rl3 10 hours ago 0 replies      
>I want know if the are any large amount of "Googlers" here.

There are many, although their representation is likely no different from any other company with a developer headcount that large.

I doubt there's any sort of flagging conspiracy. If anything, BigCo employees are probably less likely to flag such stories. If I worked for a huge company like that, I'd probably upvote every such story and then grab some popcorn.

Likely what you're seeing is simply HN becoming sick of the topic. Subsequent news articles that cover ongoing scandals which do not significantly differ from prior articles tend to fare poorly.

2
bsvalley 5 hours ago 1 reply      
We need a survey feature on HN. Otherwise we get Yes or No questions like that...
3
Inconel 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't. What articles have you seen that paint Google negatively and are frequently flagged? I'm genuinely curious.
4
DigitalSea 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I can confirm with 100% certainty that I, too do not work for Google.
5
romanovcode 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't and I don't want to.
6
miguelrochefort 5 hours ago 0 replies      
No, but I wish I did.
7
kermittd 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I do not.
6
Ask HN: What is the HN for quantitative finance?
20 points by onecooldev24  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
2
DrNuke 15 hours ago 0 replies      
3
scrappyjoe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Quantocracy
4
sunstone 19 hours ago 1 reply      
LTCM
7
Amazon advertised my search items on my wife's Facebook
9 points by cogs  12 hours ago   11 comments top 7
1
Jemaclus 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've noticed this phenomenon as well, but one thing you can do is watch the network traffic on your router, and you'll see that they aren't snooping in on your conversations. What's likely happening is that Facebook knows that you're married to her, and since spouses/friends/close relationships tend to have the same general interests, it's a good way to narrow down the scope of advertisements for you and your social graph. If you search for a coffee machine, then your wife is also likely to search for a coffee machine, therefore, it follows that Amazon would show an ad for a coffee machine to your local network.

Like I said, I've definitely observed this phenomenon before. I've also observed that it's likely confirmation bias: I don't remember all the OTHER things Facebook advertises to me. The only reason that ad for the coffee machine jumps out at me is because I was just talking about it, but who knows how many times it showed up on my feed and I just glossed over it because I tend to gloss over ads?

Posts like this come up quite often, and I definitely think it's dodgy and suspicious, but ultimately, I think it's just clever marketing tactics by Facebook to determine what to advertise to you.

2
demygale 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Facebook tracks your browsing history even if you log out. I suspect Amazon is the same way. Does it bother you to know that these sites can track almost every site you visit? If not, why does it concern you that it can link your account to your wife's.

Clear all cookies between browser sessions.

3
samblr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Below are the scenarios:

1. Amazon passed your [IP address + SKU browsed] to facebook ad platform. And facebook knows from there on.

2. Facebook snoops on your audio and its ad platform pulled SKU from amazon.

3. You have various extensions on your browser which can "read all websites data you visit" - which have sold your browse information with IP to facebook.

Third is most likely.

+ I have noticed - "somehow" my facebook learns what I watch in youtube and vice-versa. Only way this could happen is via one of my "trusted" browser extension!

4
bsvalley 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile people don't hesitate to upload photos of their homes, kids, trips, places they go everyday, to some random FB and google servers.

I mean, we're talking basic product advertisement from the largest store in the world...

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Paulods 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I often search for things at home on my personal laptop only to see them on my facebook at work on a different location/machine.

I assume its due to the fact your amazon has been linked to her facebook account at one point or another as you were logged in to both at some point.

6
drKarl 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Same IP address? Same computer? Same browser? Did that browser had maybe cookies that tracked your amazon searches?
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GrumpyNl 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Same happens when your friends are looking for something, they are in your network so you might be interested to. Second, you share a house / ip addressess so easy to link those together.
8
Ask HN: Should I start blogging when my startup is still early?
6 points by thomasttvo  13 hours ago   6 comments top 6
1
tedmiston 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Everything is ROI.

My company has heavily invested in blogging [1] which has helped us become influential in the product space (enterprise ETL around Apache Airflow). As an engineer, every time I write a post I try to balance time vs ROI. I think it's more valuable to pump out a good post that takes 5-10 hours of effort (not counting writing the code etc) vs tons of very low effort posts when you're first getting started. Occasionally, you can find time for a high investment post like 20+ hours but this is pretty difficult and probably not worth your time at the early stages.

If 10 hours invested into writing a good post turns into thousands of page views turns into a small number of conversions, this can be very beneficial in growth.

One trick you can do is recycle ideas across blog posts, meetup talks, and conference talks.

Another thing to think about is that not every engineer enjoys investing in writing. If it's not something you enjoy, I wouldn't force yourself to do it. Some people are much better at formats like podcasts or videos (personally I'm the opposite though).

Happy to answer more specific questions if interested (email in profile). Feel free to reach out.

[1]: https://www.astronomer.io/blog

2
Scirra_Tom 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You need to weigh up your perceived benefits of blogging against lost progress of other aspects of your business.

In the early stage, focus should be on generating money so you become self sustainable. If blogging is part of that strategy, so be it. But blogging for bloggings sake isn't probably a good spend of your time.

However, the relationship between doing something here = an equal loss somewhere else is rarely true - so if it's something you enjoy doing as something different to your normal routine then why not.

We've written a fair few blog posts in the past and always focused on keeping them high quality and is has paid off in some ways - I would say though that writing a good quality blog post easily can take 1 full days work. If you're looking to outsource it, you're doing it wrong.

3
hluska 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you have spare time to blog? If yes, blog. If no, what will you avoid doing in order to blog and will that other thing have a higher immediate ROI than blogging?

When your startup is young, your job is to keep it alive (which usually means to get it growing). Blogging can help, but don't blog if there are other higher value things that you can do.

4
CM30 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. In fact, you should generally start marketing anything while it's still fairly early in development. Build up a fanbase and supporters before your product or service is released so it gets a lot of users on day 1.

This will also get you more press coverage too, which is much easier to come by when journalists know they've got a guaranteed audience for stories about your startup than if it's a completely untested idea with no existing audience.

5
muzani 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, it also attracts talent to your startup, especially at a time you can't afford to pay more. Assuming you write intelligently.
6
codegladiator 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. Audience to your blog will build over time.
9
Ask HN: How to decide if someone is a right partner?
20 points by blacksoil  1 day ago   15 comments top 11
1
hwoolery 1 day ago 3 replies      
Let me give you three examples from 3 companies I started as the technical founder:

Company 1: Started by myself, partnered with a sales guy 50/50 after a few months. Company took off after the sales guy because he was able to close large contracts.

Company 2: Started with two other people I knew well (doctors) who were in the field but non-technical. I ended up leaving company after 3 years. This was in part because they couldn't put in the same amount of work (never partner unless they can contribute full time).

Company 3: Started by myself, raised money by myself.

Moral of the story: Partner with a sales guy if you have something to sell, and make sure they have a proven sales track record. If you're building a product that won't be ready for a long time, work on it alone and test the markets as soon as you can, then partner. There is no right answer, but don't partner with somebody simply because they are on the business side. It's also much easier to pitch with a sales guy. And don't partner simply because the business guy has an idea.

2
muzani 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I've gone through the process many times. Most partnerships were failures. The only startup that succeeded was with this guy who added me on Facebook after I bought his book.

But by far, I find that the strongest indicator of a good partner is whether you're adding them on Facebook.

For one thing, partners that avoid you on social media are a little dodgy. Some would even see you as an adversary - this guy they negotiate against, that they're going to leave when business is over, that we're splitting equity with.

And often there's some subconscious disgust to people you're not willing to add to your friends list. The reason for this disgust often becomes clear in about 3 months. But we have years of experience with people - if something is off about them, we'll know.

The best partners to work with are the ones who you want to get closer to. The ones who match with you on an ideological level. The ones you feel that you can learn a lot from. And more importantly, the ones who you consider a real friend, or truly want to be friends with, and are willing to go to long extents to help.

If you feel the need to test this person just because they have a nice business model, I'd suggest that they've already failed the test.

3
sage76 1 day ago 1 reply      
> A year has passed and I'm thinking of partnering with another two business guys. These guys came to me and explained their idea. I'm pretty impressed with it, but not yet sure if they'd make great partners.

The 2 business guys thing is something to be wary of. I can't think of any tech startups that had 2 business founders.

The biggest problem is that it's tough for you to judge their output initially, since there is no product to sell. If they can get customers lined up without a product, that would be a good sign.

If they can raise funding on their own, and THE MONEY IS IN THE BANK, that's a good sign.

The worst ones are those who have "connections" and will sell only when the product is fully fleshed out. They just keep asking for feature after feature while sitting there, twiddling their thumbs.

If they are cagey about paperwork or details, it's a bad sign.

It's hard. I have been burnt once already. Sales is hard. REALLY hard. If you do decide to try it out, make sure they too have targets to hit.

4
jwilliams 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a big, big fan of equity in the broadest sense. All co-founders get equal equity, pay, etc. The effort required to succeed is substantial, so you need everyone to be all in. It'll ebb and flow, but that's the way it should even out.

Today, being a technical co-founder gives you an advantage. However, that advantage is really a broader pool of people and ideas that you can work with. When you get a match -- that's it -- you're now all in this together. Choose wisely, then commit strongly. Personally I'd be uncomfortable with a situation where I was getting paid and my co-founders weren't.

If it's early days, or you've just met, stress test the partnership. What sort of exits are you after? Ask some hard questions. What if we couldn't fundraise? What if we need to to layoffs? What is we get a generous, but not massive, offer in the first couple of years? Some of those questions will feel churlish when you've not even got any runs on the board (and they are), but they're essential to finding out if this is a work dynamic that will make you successful.

Really push it. You should (must) have some really uncomfortable conversations early on. You'll have them eventually, so better to know who you are together before investing too much more time.

The good thing about the above is that you can do that pretty quickly. Start with an afternoon, a weekend, a few working days. Then go from there.

5
brianwawok 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would avoid the business guy trap. Find another tech guy or go solo and make a startup.

Ideas are cheap, tech is the hard part. Why waste 66% if your equity on two guys with an idea? If their idea is good they can hire developers or raise VC to makd their MVP.

Have been on both sides of this. In most cases i dont think the random business guy is worth hooking up with.

6
soneca 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the idea of 1.

As a non-tech sole founder I hired two developers in this mode. I called "freelancer as a test to CTO/co-founder". They both were interested in building a new web app from scratch using the stack they wanted so this allowed them to charge a discounted price.

I paid them by the hour totally trusting them on how many hours they had worked each week.

The startup ended up failing, but this arrangement was great for both parts.

If the startup had been a success, I believe the arrangement would be around the lines of some below market salary with large equity (but not co-founder level). Probably from 20% to 30% before any funding

7
samallan 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If youre unwilling to introduce the person youre dating at appropriate junctures to the most important people in your life, thats usually a bright, flapping red flag.

In general, if you have a good thing going, you cant wait for him or her to meet your friends, siblings, parents, the guy at the deli, and you wouldnt have any qualms about presenting this person to professional acquaintances, people you knew in college, family friends, even your ex.

8
mchannon 1 day ago 0 replies      
The only way you're truly going to know if these guys are worth partnering with (aside from some huge red flags you didn't mention) is by partnering with them.

If they can't develop product and they can't sell, they're useless to a startup. That won't take long to suss out.

Go all out, full marriage, full honeymoon. Have meetings as necessary. Work at it. The biggest problem with business guys is failure to close- either they don't put the time in or just can't sell.

Give it three months, and either pat yourself on the back or throw in the towel. Repeat until you find a successful venture or have to get a job.

One other warning about "two business guys". They tend to turn on each other more often than they turn on the tech guy. It's often sudden and unpredictable. Make sure you have that contingency covered in your formation documents.

9
pcmaffey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get paid now. Build a prototype. Test the viability of the product and the business partnership at the same time. If you're excited to double down on it all after initial experiments, then talk about a partnership / equity. (The conversation should start at split equally)

If you make a deal with some small portion of equity now, you set your price too soon. Making it harder to get equal partnership. Better to explore the relationship first with a easy and fair exchange of value (work for $).

10
Adrig 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Requirement : do you literally admire your potentiel partners ?

Step 1 : go cross the atlantic on a boat just the 3 of you.Step 2 : you didn't wanted to kill eachothers ? Good. Now give them all your credit card numbers and keys to your house.Step 3 : You trust them enough ? Alright you're good to go.

11
toptalkedbooks 16 hours ago 0 replies      
We are a team and building our side project now.

I think the most advantage, that my partner impress me is he is really initiative, includes (not only) use our product, find bugs, fix UI, marketing, and everything.

I'm glad to work with him, and proud of our work. We got friendships first. I think i got my answer.

10
Ask HN: What's your spectacular burnout story?
185 points by coackroachhead  2 days ago   148 comments top 39
1
bonniemuffin 2 days ago 8 replies      
About a month before my dissertation defense, I had already accepted a postdoc offer across the country, put in notice on my apartment, signed a new lease and arranged my cross-country move, but I had an absolutely impossible amount of work left on the list of things my dissertation committee claimed I needed to do before I could graduate, and my experiments just weren't working.

It was clear that the work was impossible, but the committee wouldn't budge on the fact that I had to finish it. I was working around the clock and then laying in bed for a few hours worrying before working some more, and I absolutely couldn't take it anymore.

I decided the only solution was to drop out, which meant the postdoc would rescind my offer, and I'd have to break the new lease, cancel the move, etc. I went into the admin office to let them know I was simply not coming into the lab anymore and they could do whatever they wanted to do about it.

Suddenly the "must do" list evaporated and they said I could just write up my work and graduate. So I did, and I got the phd and went off to the postdoc and it all turned out fine-- it turns out all I needed to do was decide to throw my life away and really mean it, in order to call their bluff.

I think the experience gave me a better sense of when I'm approaching the burnout zone, so that I can better avoid it. I've also never experienced anything even close to this in a work environment -- if my job was like that, I'd quit in a hot second and go work somewhere not-awful. It was only the fact that they were holding the degree hostage that caused me to feel forced to overwork myself into an unhealthy state.

2
middle334 2 days ago 3 replies      
Drank for the first 25 years of my career. High-functioning alcoholic, I guess. You've definitely heard of the products I have a bunch of code in, and the companies I worked for. I don't know how I managed getting blasted every night and still write all that code. As things got worse I started working for smaller and smaller companies, and wound up essentially jobless and alone and drinking off of my savings in a Silly Valley townhouse full of liquor bottles.

The CEO of the startup I'd just blown-off a job at (showed up the first week, "worked at home" for another couple of weeks, then stopped showing up entirely) drove over and knocked on my door to find out what was going on. Drunk off my ass, I told him, and that I'd get some help. So I made That Call and got some help. Did about three weeks of inpatient care (Stanford recovery unit, and then a place in the Santa Cruz mountains), then moved into a halfway house and spent a lot of time in AA meetings [AA is controversial, I know]. Never spent another night in that townhouse, wound up selling it. That CEO hired me back as a consultant a few months after I got out of inpatient.

I've got 18 years sober now, much of which I've spent working on software at great companies on products you've almost certainly heard of and probably used. Married, with a teen-age son, and doing better financially than I ever would have imagined. Still going to AA meetings, though nowhere near as often as I probably should.

3
atdt 2 days ago 3 replies      
I am in the midst of one. It has been about a year and a half, plus or minus, and it has taken a tremendous toll on my well-being.

I find it especially difficult to deal with the mismatch between my sense of what I can do, which is calibrated to my former self, and what I can actually deliver. I desperately need to believe that what I am going through is a temporary perturbation, so I keep trying to "shake it off", and I make plans and commitments from a sense of self that is still stubbornly calibrated to who I was then and not what I am today. As the months turn into years, that sense of competence seems increasingly fantastical and dubious. Was I ever good at my job? Did I suck then, too, and just fail to realize it?

These doubts are compounded by the fact that I have changed employers and change teams multiple times so no one I work with now is acquainted with that former self. But he really did exist, at one point. I swear he did. At least I think he did.

> When you are playing really well ... you cant even imagine playing badly. And when you are playing badly, you cant even remember what it felt like to play well.

(Tiger Woods: How Low Can He Go http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/tiger-woods-how-l...)

4
AnonyBrah 2 days ago 6 replies      
Quit my first job (software engineer) after 5 months.

I was burned out, not only from the work, but from spending my entire life following orders - from school to the workplace. So I quit my job after 5 months despite the fact that that's considered sacrilege, with maybe $13k in my bank account.

I spent the next 3 months pursuing nothing but my hobby at the time (music production). The first month was possibly the best month of my entire life. It was the first time I truly felt free - no homework, no stress of finding a job, no having to be in an office from 9:30-5:30 M-F.

Then I ran out of money, so I had to start applying for jobs again. Ended up getting a much better job (both pay-wise and quality-wise), so it worked out.

Now I'm burned out again and completely sick of working in this industry. The day-to-day work is boring as hell, and I couldn't care less about Javascript frameworks. I hate having to spend the bulk of my waking hours in the prison of an office.

But I continue working because I'm saving a lot of money every month. Currently have almost $100k in the bank. After this job, I'm going to take at least a good year off to do what I want to do, not what the labor markets force me to. I have a lot of passion in certain areas that I'm not able to devote full attention to due to work. I want to have a much greater positive impact on the world than being some menial code monkey working on proprietary software or a corporate Kool-Aid drinking cock sucker.

I've realized that I will never be happy in a traditional job. Being subservient and following orders is not in my nature.

5
codewritinfool 2 days ago 1 reply      
This might not be a normal burnout story, so sorry ahead of time. I'm not mentioning any names of individuals or companies, so please don't ask. They are all well-known, though.I partnered with a proven businessman for a project that took more than 5 years and about 8 hours per day, every day (I was already working 8 hours per day at my daily job). The deal was 50/50. We had great early reviews from media but only a handful of sales, like 5. He kept adding features because he said that's why we didn't have sales. The new features did not bring us sales. In the end it was my fault. He was known for being ruthless and litigious. When his attorneys came calling for full source code I caved and gave it all away and walked away from the partnership. It ruined a friendship or two, was tough on my marriage, and for a time I was suicidal.He never made any money on the product itself and ended up losing the code. I did not keep a copy. He sold a few of the patents here and there and they're in use by companies that if I mentioned the names your eyes would get big. They have incorporated some of the technology into products, but not all of it. I have no idea what he made on those deals.It absolutely killed my creativity. That's been 15 years ago and I still can't get motivated on any side project at all.I still am not completely whole.
6
throwaway378037 1 day ago 3 replies      
It's happening right now, for me. Burnout feels like having no purchase on life, nothing making sense, no creativity, no joy, just fleeting comforts amid growing and deepening discomfort.

The way I see it, this kind of tiredness can't be met by a good night's sleep. It's a tiredness of the soul.

Sadly, what I have found is that to cope with the tiredness, boredom, stress and loneliness of my 'successful' life, I have turned time and time again to pornography. My use has spiralled and includes really quite violent, and in some cases illegal, stuff. And I have hated myself for it. I don't even enjoy it.

The problem is that the porn addiction itself exacerbated and accelerated the burnout process, and further isolated me.

Now I have decided to take some time out, with friends and well away from any internet connection, to break the cycle and re-sensitize myself. I need to breathe and feel my body again and feel connected to life and other people. In a few days I will be away from the Internet in a beautiful place in nature with good, supportive people to be with me.

And for the first time, I intend to be open and share this struggle and let them know really how dark it has gotten in here.

7
burnout445 2 days ago 1 reply      
Agreed that this questions is asked in a stupid way but I'll throw mine out there.

Last July I ran a migration (SaaS CRM company) that should have taken 3-4 weeks with 1 week of downtime, but the client insisted on 1 week with 4 days of downtime. It was the first major migration moving this platform out of beta and I loved that product (and that client) more than anything, so I said fine.

I made it super clear to my boss that this was going to fucked up and this was a bad idea, but I was down to try. Long story short I work 20+ hours a day for 7 days (heavily helped by, in retrospect, pretty dangerous amounts of adderall/provigil/Ritalin/caffeine/ambien for when I actually did need to sleep) and we got it down.

During the last day of QA I clasped in my office from exhaustion and went temporarily blind, ended up in the ER. That didn't matter though because the migration was a resounding success - client was happy, executives were happy, product was stable.

My boss was incredible (truly the best boss I'll ever have) and was ready to give me anything I wanted... except a budget for more staff, which was really the issue here. This product was my baby and I was going to ensure its success no matter what happened.

Put in my notice three weeks later. They told me to name my price and title bump to stay, but weren't willing to let me hire the two or three staff I knew I needed. I offered to stay as long as they needed to help with the transition but turned down all their bonuses because I didn't want to be beholden to them.

I finally left 6 months later to make slightly less money with a slightly higher title at a company that gave me the team I knew I needed. I still miss that company more than anything, getting to see a mission criticalcproduct go from idea to being used by massive multinational companies was incredible and an experience I doubt I'll ever have again.

FWIW I'm still in touch with people from my old team and the company has since hired three more staff (plus the two existing staff the team already had) and a VP to manage the team. By not giving me to staff support I asked for and letting me burn out the company has "lost" somewhere around $800k in new staff costs alone.

8
dnautics 2 days ago 3 replies      
A buddy of mine was working in the lab of the scientist who "invented" unnatural amino acid technology (rumblings about how it was taken from the postdoc in the lab across the hall). That was the sexy project de jour of the lab; but my buddy was working on a less sexy project - catalytic antibodies. This is where you take the concept that antibodies can be adapted to fit any molecular shape and try to make it fit something that looks like the transition state of a chemical reaction, resulting in acceleration of the chemical reaction. (designer enzymes!)

The results till that day were modest at best, and that's because stabilizing the transition state is only part of what a real enzyme should do, and even though the professors are supposed to teach you this in your biochem/chemical biology deep-dive courses in grad school YMMV, and it's easy to sell a starry eyed grad student, especially when the prof doesn't know any better, too.

Anyways my buddy's project was even worse - he was supposed to make a protease (an enzyme that degrages proteins). And if you look at proteases, their clefts wrap around the protein even more than an antibody ever could (they have shallow clefts), because burying the reaction away from water is a critical aspect of their function.

He spent three years working in a lab that demanded 80+ hour workweeks. Towards the end his sleep cycle had flipped, he was playing around making geometric designs with his pipet tips, and spending much of his workday playing a flash website gameboy tetris, and many days going to the casino to play poker instead of work.

finally his boss modified his project, instructing him to graft a metalloprotease domain, onto the antibody in an attempt to get it working. A breath of fresh air! Suddenly he was invigorated with a new approach to the project. But not long after that, he was back to the old routine of being burned out, and totally unproductive, spending hours on trivialities, like trying to strip metals from his water supply to really get it right and get it working. In the end, it never worked.

It turned out that the metalloprotease domain was designed by Homme Hellinga. Years after this, the scientific community discovered that Homme Hellinga was faking his enzyme design work.

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patatino 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had a superior who quit and got treatment. After that he became a forest ranger.

I think your choice of words "spectacular" & "crawl back to reality" shows that our society is still not ready to fully accept mental diseases. This is not personal but why would you think they have to crawl back to reality? I don't think they ever left.

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rrggrr 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness

Lost major supplier responsible for about 1/2 our gross profit at about the same time our broad market entered recession, two key employees were mired in divorce proceedings, and another key employee left to fight CNS lymphoma. Three years and about three soul crushing false recoveries later we emerged with a lot of work ahead to rebuild and reduce debt.

The advice... expect nothing. Don't let the highs carry you or the lows crush you. Recognize circumstances outside your control and shut the door on them when it comes to your opinion of yourself. Earthquakes rock the brilliant and dullards al the same and sometimes having survived the experience is accomplishment enough.

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dlet 2 days ago 2 replies      
I had just finished the writing exams after my two years of preparatory class (a specific program we have in France to join the best business and engineering schools). During the 2 weeks of exams, I was sleeping 3 hours a night on average.

When I woke up one morning, everything seemed really blurred. I could not precisely get where I was in the room and, when I tried to talk to my parents, they seemed really far away. I was also deeply tired and just wanted to sleep.

After 2 scary days like this, we went to a neurologist. He looked at me and asked my parents to leave the room. Looking at me, he told me: "I know you take hard drugs. Tell me anything about it so I can help you". I have never taken any drug. When he realized this, he did a lot of tests but found nothing. He just asked me to rest.

After 2 long weeks, I slowly got better and finally fully recovered. The neurologist told us it was probably some kind of burnout. It happened 2 other times few years after but it was less intense and I am now able to feel more precisely when I work too hard or sleep too little and that there are some risks.

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mundanevoice 2 days ago 1 reply      
It happened to me when I was in the first year of my job. I was coding for 14 hrs straight for more than a year. I had a lot of websites that I needed to maintain and all the tech was new to me.

Then when burnout struck me hard, I realized that I just don't want to open my laptop anymore. Also, even side project started to feel like a burden to me.

Then I decided, enough is enough and I need to do some changes to my life.

- I did join a gym near my house.

- I stopped coding in evenings. I would wake up early and code for 2-3 hours in morning and be content with whatever I achieve during that time.

- Evening hours after office would be only for gym, relaxing, having dinner and watching TV.

Believe me, it was the best decision I did for myself. My health both mental and physical improved drastically and I started loving coding again.

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iforgotmypass 2 days ago 3 replies      
Wanted to achieve lot in my life. And saw money as means to do that. Was ambitious, working hard. Left the job, founded company. Worked my ass off for 5 years. Failed. But earned enough so that for the last 2 years haven't been really working while trying to get my shit together (although soon the savings will run dry). Ruined my marriage with the only person I really cared about. Can't get any motivation to do anything and feel "out of loop" and outdated to get back into the job market. Thinking about the suicide.

Lessons learned: 1) money does not make you happy. If you don't know how to be happy with little, you won't be happier when you have a lot. 2) job and career is not everything. Healthy work-life balance means a lot.

.. Actually kinda hard to put all the thoughts, feelings and experiences of turbulent 7 years in only some sentences.

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pier25 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had a few burnouts in my life.

The worst one... I was producing music and sound with a friend for a prime time TV show. We were supposed to start working on the music in February to air the show in October.

The project suffered from many production problems. The executive producer was the son of a billionaire who owns one of the biggest TV networks in Latin America and had never done this before. One of the directors was a junkie and a drunk. Money ran out. Actors were not showing up to the stage. It got ugly.

Eventually we started working on the music and FX in September, weeks before airing. We were 2 guys in charge of producing episodes of 45 minutes. Music, FX, dialog cutting, etc, at the rate of 2 episodes per week. I slept less than 20 hours per week and drank 5+ red bulls every day. I don't know how I didn't end up in a hospital.

Even worse, the mastering engineer destroyed our already bad job. We didn't know about that because we never had time to watch the show on TV and listen to the final audio that was being aired.

This went on for about 2 months until someone figured out the show was crap and they started cutting heads. We were fired, and they never payed us about 50% of the work.

I thought making music for an important TV show would be the best thing in my life, but it killed my musical soul.

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throwaway26960 2 days ago 3 replies      
Got sued by my previous company for a line of code that they asked me to change. Luckily I had proof that they asked me to modify that line of code. If I didn't, well, I'd owe them millions of dollars and have my wages garnished for the rest of my life. Writing software is a bit ridiculous, your employer can blame you for anything and you'll have to waste years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars in the legal system.
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Scirra_Tom 2 days ago 2 replies      
Mine was recently - worked on our new website for about a year. Then we took the decision to make it scalable. Tried to retro fit scalability in 4-6 weeks before giving up (ouch).

Took the decision to start from a blank canvas around last September, and up until February I only recall having several days off (Christmas, NYE etc). Worked in the day, the evenings and weekends. Impending sense of doom only seemed to subside when I made progress - this feedback loop kept me hooked and driving forwards.

Launched the site (https://www.construct.net) a couple of months later, but it burnt me out. Had to take a fairly significant amount of time off to switch off. I was waking up in the night with a horrible twisting in my chest and random bursts of adrenaline. Not healthy!

The site has been up and running and selling now for months really well, so I am proud and relieved.

Benefits:

* Learnt how to make a scalable site

* Re-writes are always significantly better written

* Learnt a LOT

Downsides:

* My health!

Also, you can't retrofit scalability which is a lesson I learnt the hard way. Seems obvious but I had a years work at stake so had to give it a try and having the guts to scrap everything and start again was incredibly painful but has worked out well long term. Feels very comparable to learning to backup.

When I look back at those several months - I honestly remember very little of it. As our startup has grown we've also learnt than I'm now becoming a significant bottleneck as my bandwidth isn't unlimited and it's a huge relief that we're now taking steps to address this.

I'm also not someone who can easily ask for help and leave it until it's too much to handle. This was a big contributing factor.

Not a "spectacular" burn out story but I teetered very close on the edge of something quite negative - I'm not exactly sure what but I'm glad I avoided it.

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jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ran a start-up for 7 years, burned out because of the toxic business environment for a start-up and ended up on an island in Canada. The next couple of years I spent building an off-the-grid house, a solar array, a metal working workshop and a windmill. In retrospect I wasn't doing less to recover, just different stuff and stuff that I did not need to interact with the world of business for. Since 2007 back in 'cilvilization', completely rebooted my career in a different direction which feels much better.
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yeukhon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started working long hours since undergraduate, plus my then-gf lived in SF and I was in NY, so I would work and talk to her until she went to bed (3 hours difference so if 11PM there would be 2AM here). Every other week I would work overnight in my lab. When I was an intern, I would also work on the weekend in the office until midnight. I remember sleeping overnight several times in the old Mozilla MV office. Oh not to mention attending several overnight hackathons (which I hate right now)

I continued this habit working long hours once I started my full time job espeixally because I was depressed after breaking up with my then-gf. I would committ 80-100 hours per week. I am talking about 9-9 or longer and on the weekend 9-5 or whenever I get tired. If major outage, I would be up all night. I would drop my dinner and solve whatever issues came up. I would skip lunch to get my code deployed or whatever. I would have 9-5 meetings and then continued my work afterward. I pretty much did everything I can before my offshore team takes over. I would just write an email and tell them I got most of the problems taken care of, just monitor the issues.

Relationship with coworkers and managment, and with my gf all added up.

This went on for about 6-7 years since college.

I am 26 now.

Then I attempted suicide, twice, this year. The second time, a number of HNer might remember, I posted here my goodbye. I still haven't had the chance to thank the dozens of people who sent me emails.

I am doing much better, although I can never work that many hours now , and I also will never do much coding after work unless I really feel like doing so. If I go back to work, I expect myself work 9-5 and only overtime if I have to.

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mindwork 1 day ago 0 replies      
Started startup with extremely high expectations of me and bad partner. Had 9-5 work as software engineer I threw myself on the startup working after hours till exhaust. I decided to do something to relax - started crossfit. Once I just collapsed on the street and after that I had extremely bad panic attacks and near death feels. Didn't know that it was panic attacks and clinical depression at the moment, thought maybe some internal organ damage. Took me 3 separate 1-month admissions to hospital and 3.5 years of taking anti-depressants to recover.It did change my outlook on life, first of all I shifted my priorities to health first and work - second, I'm trying to stay out of the stress and taking care of my body(running, gym, meditation, yoga) everything that helps. Ever since then I don't things too serious, and I don't wanna ever work till exhaust. I know it's sounds cheesy but listen to your body and be healthy. Also it takes a lot to admit that you are in depression, and seek medical attention to that. If you wake up every morning and the only thing that you want is to go to sleep because you can't embrace new day - you are in depression. If your personality changed out of the sudden - you are in depression. If you don't have any thoughts in your head only feeling of worries - you are in depression.
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user68858788 1 day ago 0 replies      
Grew up poor and depressed, decided to take risks because suicide is always an option. Took on $150k of loans to move out of the Midwest to an art college. Instructors couldn't help, I dropped out and taught myself programming. Flash games, then websites, then an internship. I lied about still being in college. Five years of frugality, study, and weekly depressive episodes before I got my first real job. I burned out quick, the smallest pressure would have me stuck in a depression so deep that I couldn't form thoughts.

My burnout is continuing into year four. Working at a big name company for a year now and haven't written a single line of code. I feel so apart from the team I'm on. Still have periods where I can't think, but now nobody notices when I don't come in, sometimes for weeks at a time. The big salary doesn't count for much when loan payments and city rent take the majority. Haven't seen my family in three years, missed both my grandparents' funerals.

I still think it was the right decision to leave the Midwest, but I wish it didn't take so much sacrifice.

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throwawway32018 1 day ago 1 reply      
After a decade of depression and trying to drown it with alcohol, weed, and the occasional psychedelic, something finally snapped. I'd tried therapy, AA, switching industries, none of it seemed to make anything better. Asked for a sabbatical from work but they wouldn't grant it, so I quit. Packed my things, moved in with the parents, and went cold turkey. I guess you could call it a self-inflicted rehab; they live in the middle of nowhere and not knowing anybody or having a car I couldn't really get myself in trouble.

The first few months were hell, but I read up on CBT, stoicism, meditation, habits and personal health and slowly, with a lot of work my mental state started to improve. There were a lot of weeks were it felt like I was regressing but I kept practicing healthy self-talk and eventually got through the rough spots. Being out of work, I worked on side projects to keep my skills sharp and learn new things whenever I was feeling good enough.

It's been a year now, and I've never been happier. After maybe 9 months I was feeling strong enough to "re-enter society," so I started applying for jobs. Nothing's materialized yet but I'm confident I'll get back on own feet sooner or later. Regardless of the current job-hunt stress, I think it was unequivocally worth it to straighten out.

The books that helped me most:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46674.Feeling_Good

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7015403-the-gifts-of-imp...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13721709-the-antidote

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/865.The_Alchemist

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pengo 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have my own software development company. My clients use a purpose-built framework for managing funding applications and grants online. As a sole operator my workload varies: when I add a new client, customisations can keep me at full capacity for several weeks, at other times maintenance can total less than twenty hours a week unless there are requested enhancements or I'm adding new features.

Late last year while my business hours were at a low ebb, I was asked if I could pitch in for six months as lead developer on a government web portal. I'd taken a similar contract two years before when my own business was ramping up, and not found it too taxing to meet the needs of my own clients on evenings and weekends. I didn't factor in two things: I now had twice as many clients, and a cynical dynamic called "Murphy's Law".

Almost as soon as I signed the government contract, clients began requesting (different) extensions to the framework. Without the contract I would have been at full capacity. I found myself starting work for my own clients at 4.00am every morning, then heading off to lead the web portal development team, then putting in more hours for my own clients at the end of the day ... plus weekends. This state of affairs continued with very little respite for the entire six months.

Knowing normal life will resume at a fixed future point is often enough to get through something like this. But my health suffered increasingly as time passed. In the last few weeks I was very sick indeed. I was asked to renew the government contract for a further six months but had the sense to turn that offer down. Two days after the contract finished I had to be admitted to hospital. I was seriously ill, and it has taken two months to get back to the level of health I usually enjoy.

Yes, I was foolish to accept that contract. I have learnt a lesson I won't forget.

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throwawayzzzz 1 day ago 0 replies      
PhD dropout. There was a rotating door of students joining for a year and then quitting, but I stuck it out for 3. By the end I was nocturnal, experienced my first panic attack, broke up with a long relationship, and my file organization went to shit. A few professors were betting behind my back whether I'd quit. We met 7 days a week, and I was expected to have progress everyday. Depression and stress evolved to new levels. Considered ways to relieve stress, like smoking, self harm, therapy, drinking. Tried some. Finally, decided if I didn't quit, I was headed down a very dangerous path. Spent the next 6 months playing video games and recovering, with the help of drinking alone, and trying to date again.

After 6 months, I was more or less better again, but picked up some minor bad habits I still haven't really kicked. Quitting PhD was the best thing I ever did for myself.

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burnout2017 1 day ago 0 replies      
Throwaway account, no names, vague time and place details, for reasons.

I loved my job, programming and developing software was what I always wanted to do, and had been very successful doing it for years. My company was shooting for new areas, with underwhelming results so far, but trying nevertheless.

Then, at one point, my personal life took a serious blow, one that relatively quickly destroyed my relationship with my spouse, but without the ability to separate or divorce. Social and family-at-large life, which had never been intense but was always satisfying, vanished. During that time, my company's situation simultaneously degraded in quality of projects, budgets and general outlook, and my job increased in scope with a lot less hands on programming, less resources, more management, more teams and more firefighting (human and technical). Like in the personal side, I was professionally stuck without the ability to make drastic changes.

After a few months of this, with increasingly frequent episodes of stress and anxiety, I ran out of steam and blew up completely. I took a leave under medical supervision, doing therapy and working on coming to terms with all the various aspects of what I was dealing with. Despite the newly available time to do whatever I wanted (within reason), I couldn't do anything at all. My mind ached to do some coding for its own sake, but it took a long time before my body could again be able to keep focus on anything for more than a few minutes.

Time has passed. Therapy helped, coming to terms has continued to advance at a very slow pace but is still very far from complete. My focus came back, and I went back to work in pretty much the same circumstances, professional and personal, that I was before the blowup. Part of the anxiety turned into desire to overcome challenges, another part remained (and still does) as energy-draining anxiety.

I wake up every day knowing that I'm not over it. I remind myself that me and everyone around me wants, and to various degrees needs, me to go on. I hope that things work out, and it is quite possible that they will, although it is impossible to predict how, when or to what extent. I have learned to allow myself some room to, in the bad days, not be the nice and strong person I want to be, and instead let weakness take over while I try to rest. One weak day something bad may happen. Many days trying to stay strong may lead me down the hole again, hard. I just try not to think of, or control, the future much anymore.

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strangecyan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think these are really important stories to share and openly discuss but the way this question is asked is just ridiculously insensitive.
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luckydude 1 day ago 1 reply      
I pushed the idea of clusters at Sun. I was the guy that designed Sunbox, which was a bunch of small cheap servers in a rack with an Kalpana ethernet switch in front of them and some vlan like stuff that made it appear like all the servers were on all the subnets (no router overhead, this back in the days of 20MHZ sparc chips, you actually noticed the router in the mix.)

Here's a picture of it, written GNU pic (I say GNU because I got James to put in a construct called the `i'th so you could do for loops. So the picture is adjustable, I can change the cpus variable and it will draw the picture with the new number of cpus. That's GNU pic unique.)

http://www.mcvoy.com/lm/sunbox.pdf

It was a big failure. For lots of reasons. Scott (ceo) insisted that it ship with Solaris rather than SunOS, nobody wanted Solaris (somewhere I have a tape of me presenting it at the Moscone center and someone was beating me up about the Solaris issue, I finally lost it and said "I know, I hate Solaris too, I was forced into it". My boss said "find all copies of that tape and destroy them". Yeah Solaris).

Sun was focussed on SMP machines, they thought that would solve all the world's problems, clusters just couldn't do it. Which completely missed the point. Sunbox shipped with SMP machines in the rack, I think 4 processors sparcstation 10's.

I pushed it along through sheer will power. It was like a little dude pushing on an oil tanker, I actually pushed Sun a degree or two off their stated path. But there was a ton of "Larry is trying to kill SMP" fud.

But it was too much. I burned out and my boss, Ken Okin (fantastic dude for many reasons), said "Go home, I'll call you when I need you". When I say "too much" I mean it. I was either in, or about to be in, a nervous breakdown and Ken saw that. I came back in after about 3 months and Ken took one look at me and said "I said I'd call you, go home!". Just to be clear, Sun was paying me to stay home.

So I did, for almost a year. My job became playing pool, but that's a story for another day (and probably boring to this crowd).

I did see my product manager years later, up in Tahoe skiing. He came over, bought a beer, and said "I guess you were right about that cluster thing". This was after google did 10,000 machine clusters that worked really really well, way better than any single SMP machine hope to do. Kudos to him for admitting it even if it was obvious.

27
acct37284632 2 days ago 1 reply      
I created an account extra for this, cause this is super personal.

So, it all started last year. My mother who has been suffering from lung cancer for three years was doing pretty well - given the condition she has to deal with.

Then, all of the sudden, my brother has died in an accident. My mom took that with the pain I guess only a mother can feel, but to my surprise she was braver than I thought.

I, however, pushed all the pain away and started to work as hell. Within weeks I took new responsibilities at work place, travelled a lot and to make things even worse, fell in love with a co-worker of mine. This ruined my years lasting relationship, but at that moment, I thought, it was worth it.

Turned out, it was not. My new relationship became a nightmare. Passive aggression all over, paired with depression, illegit accusations and stark disputes all over. Of course, all of this happened only when we were alone.

I have always been a very "stable" person, but at this time, I began asking myself what am I doing here. My mother is about to die, my brother had passed away, I left my girlfriend, who was my partner and my best friend for years for a girl who is so full of negativity. And the few moments I have for myself, I am doing hard work.

It was too much for me. I collapsed and could not do anything. Thanks to a good friend of mine, who brought me to the hospital. I went to a private clinic specialised on trauma and depression in a very nice area.

I had sports, psychological sessions, creativity and relaxation all over the day for a while.

I came back stronger than ever before. For me, key was to really enjoy every single moment. "Love it, leave it or change it", has become my slogan more than ever. Contrary to my situation before, I just applied it also to the very small parts of life. And, my focus changed from "leave it" to "change it". I am thankful for what I have, even if this is something I currently struggle with. But when I am really thankful from the deepest of my heart, I find the strength to change it. I started giving a fuck what people I don't care about think about me and instead started to reveal true feelings to the people I really want to have in my life.I learnt to say "no". I have never been overloaded with work from mean co-workers or managers who just piled their shit on my table. It was more I actively searched for work that somehow sounded "interesting" or a meaningful CV bullet point. I have been the mean manager of myself. I stopped that. Saying no to a thing that just sounds "pretty cool", but is actually not meaningful in my life, is the best lesson I ever got taught.

And, best of all: I quitted my job and just agreed to to stuff for the company as contractor until they find another person to work on it. I joined the company of a good friend of mine, which is outside the tech world, doing half of the hours I used to do and get the same amount of money. And the best thing, I can now learn and play with technology with no pressure which makes me more productive. And with that knowledge I feel I can help my friend surviving with his non-tech company in the storm of digitalization.

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nulagrithom 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had spent the day up in Omak, WA trying to install a new router at one of our offices. Omak is nowhere -- about an hours drive from the Canadian border in central Washington. Both the fiber company and the ISP had screwed up, and I ended up drinking my lunch at a bar. I was really pissed off because I knew there was no way they'd fix it any time soon, and I'd have to spend hours driving back up to that god-forsaken town sometime next week. On my way back, I started contemplating a career change, as one often does after a particularly frustrating day, when I saw a hitchhiker on the side of the highway.

I've picked up every hitchhiker I could since 2008, during the housing market crash. That was the year I saw a very clean looking man with a dog hitchhiking out of town. Being young and dumb, I picked him up. He was a construction worker, and told me the story of how he'd lost everything during the crash. He'd just sold his truck and was trying to make it to Spokane, where he'd heard there was still some commercial work going on. It took him two days to hitchhike from Seattle to Yakima; that's normally a two hour drive. That hit home. My entire extended family had lost their construction business during the crash. I've been picking people up ever since.

So I pulled over on the side of the highway just outside of Omak and offered a ride.

We start with some small talk. He's looking for work picking fruit and was striking out in Omak, so he figured he'd move along further south. I tell him I'm headed through Wenatchee, which about that time was ramping up for the cherry season. He'd never heard of Wenatchee, but it sounds agreeable to him. I thought that a little odd, but then he starts asking me what I was doing up in Omak.

I tell him about the router I was trying to install. He asks what brand it is (Cisco). He starts asking more questions about what was wrong. We're about 10 minutes in to troubleshooting the problem verbally when I realize he knows way more about networking than I do. Finally I point blank ask him why the hell he's picking fruit.

Turns out he had been working in LA as a Linux admin. He was also working on a side project, basically Pinterest for outfits, when his girlfriend took exception to the time he was spending on the project. He didn't go in to great detail, but it became pretty clear to me he had seriously, dramatically, burnt out, and the girlfriend was just a trigger.

He decided to forget everything and take a bus north to do some manual work for a while. He was still sending money back to her to make the car payments. This guy had abandoned everything, traveled to the middle of nowhere, slept in bushes, and done manual labor in the sun all because he was sick of life as he'd been living it.

I tried offering him a laptop. He wouldn't take it. He didn't want it. Said what he needed was a bicycle. As we crested a hill in to the Wenatchee valley, he became quite excited about the size of the town and the number of orchards he could see in the distance. I dropped him off soon after. I'm pretty sure I saw him riding a bicycle in downtown Wenatchee some time later.

This event still fucks with me years later. It could just as easily become my story, or your story. Mental health is fragile. Take burnout seriously.

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throwaway97987 1 day ago 0 replies      
Happened to me and currently in the midst of it.

What happened : A disastrous startup failure. While the people I worked with were nice, everything we did failed so completely and utterly, that I lost my mind. Part of it was a seriously underperforming founder, partly just really bad situations. We could not achieve even 10% of any of our goals. Everything was a miserable failure, we were living together in an apartment and since the other founders left after the failure, I lost my home too and had to go crawling back to my parents' place to recover mentally. I had no desire or strength to do anything at the time.

The worst part was, that it was a decent idea that has already worked in some markets and I saw myself as the ideal customer. Our team, on paper, was strong and had diverse skillsets. I had put all of my hopes into making this a win.

Now, I am left with no idea of what to do next, and still no motivation to do anything either. The only thing I always wanted to do, is a door that is permanently closed now (due to age. I'm young, but that path closes at 25. I didn't pursue it because I used to be a dumb kid who wasn't mature enough to make hard decisions early on in his life).

My GRE score expires next year, so I am considering a higher degree and a move to the US or Canada. Maybe even a Phd, since I did some research work in college and liked doing it. But I am terrified of a big commitment now.

The quality of startups in my country is really low, and while I have interviewed with a few, nothing stuck out.

A few good, big companies are there, where I SHOULD apply, but haven't. I have failed in everything I have done, even prior to my startup. Nothing has worked, and nothing has amounted to anything. So why even attempt right?

/meaningless rant

Advice to others : Do what you REALLY want to do, and stick to the most proven/established way of accomplishing it. Startups should be attempted ONLY if there's no other way at all of doing what you love. That precludes 99.999% of the cases.

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burnout170819 2 days ago 1 reply      
Long time member, first time anonymous post. Here's my tale of woe and burnout. There's a lesson at the end. Nothing profound. But if you find yourself in a situation like this it may help.

Last job. Unremarkable but comfortable corporate job in web/backend development. Longest stint I had done in my life, at least going back to elementary school. Been there over 5 years. Got promoted to senior. My boss got bumped up a step and another developer on the team got promoted to his role as my new boss. Long story short, my new boss had it out for me. I started to get reports from fellow team members that my boss was dumping on me to others.

I ignored it until the annual review came up. After years of positive reviews, I got a minimally acceptable review. I challenged it and a couple weeks later I was slapped with a PIP. The allegations in the PIP were complete nonsense. (In one instance, they actually cited a bug I had fixed at the documented request of the project manager on one of our major applications as evidence I had been working on unassigned tasks.) This is when the burnout started.

I talked to a few people whose knowledge and advice I trusted on the subject and they said basically the same thing, "This is a battle you can't win. Get out as soon as you can." I heeded their advice. I put my head down and continued to do my job (more carefully and scrupulously than I ever had) and started looking for a new job. I don't regret this. Actually, I had already been actively looking by this time. But I started broadening my standard. There is one other thing I wish I had done at this point. (Spoiler: this is when I should have talked to a lawyer.)

As I had come to expect being a regular HN reader: finding a new job as a senior developer of a certain age nowadays can be tough. Especially when you're outside a major tech hub and not able to easily relocate. After six month and a couple frustratingly close calls, I still didn't have a new job. Six month review comes around. New PIP. New bogus allegations. I was fuming. This is when my burnout peaked. It was affecting my sleep and I developed a weird hives-like rash on my the back of my legs.

I was ready to quit but a friend recommended talking to an employment lawyer she knew. So I scheduled a consultation. I wanted to know if I could sue for defamation or something like that since the claims management was making about my performance were completely unfounded and I could cite documentation, code, and project management records to demonstrate it. He told me to get real. If I couldn't demonstrate flagrant discriminate on the basis of a protected class (race, sex, or age), I was wasting his time and my money. My company could fire me at will and the only reason they were keeping me around was to "paper my file" so they could quash anything as silly as I what I was dreaming up.

However, he also advised me not to quit my job. That's just what my boss and HR were hoping I would do. He said unless they fired me "with cause", for which poor performance does not qualify, I should stick it out. That way I wouldn't give up my claims for unemployment or COBRA. He said they might even offer my a minimal severance when they let me go. So I resolved to stick around until they fired me. I also started to push back against my manager's harassment. I tried to be polite but firm. But I started openly using the term harassment in talking with him.

Once HR got wind that I had used that term, they were involved. There were meetings with our HR reps and mediated sitdowns with my boss. They even initiated something called a 360-degree review for my boss.

This lasted for another 2 or 3 months. The whole time I knew I was doomed but at least I now had the satisfaction of feeling like I was sticking up for myself and enjoying the chaos that was swirling around the team instead of feeling like I was suffering the brunt of it. Finally, one Friday afternoon, my boss and I got into a voluble debate about some trivial technical matter, some tests I was working on IIRC, that he had called me into his office to needle me about. Monday morning I was called into a conference room, where I found my boss and our HR rep waiting. My boss read a statement notifying me I was terminated immediately. I was walked back to my desk by the HR rep to collect my personal belonging and walked out of the building. I wasn't offered a severance. But I felt liberated. I signed up for Obamacare, kept my dental benefits under COBRA, and HR didn't challenge my unemployment claim. Rash disappeared after a couple months. It took me about 6 months to find a new job. And no joke that 6 months was tough. I had to work much harder at finding my new job than I ever did at my old job.

The one lesson I can offer from this experience, the one thing I wished I had done sooner: as soon as you think your boss is out for you, consult with an employment lawyer. It will be worth the $200-$300 it costs.

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v1k1n 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never told this story to anyone but here goes...

I was working at a consulting agency as a linux sysadmin pulling crazy hours for two years. I ran support for a client that had an app that in house devs had 'modified' and a mission critical file transfer service. I was on a team of two with 24/7 on call support. Thing was, no one ever called the other guy so I was always the one getting 5am phone calls on Saturday mornings. Weekly late night (8pm - 3am) deployments were common and considered successful in the eyes of the company.

After about a year of this my lifelong struggle with depression started to reemerge. Feelings of loneliness and doubt began to crop up and I would cry uncontrollably on my commute back home from work. It was around this time that the daily suicidal thoughts took a turn for the worse. It was all I could think about, every minute of the day.

One day I was chatting with a co-worker and my boss when they complimented me on some recent weight loss. I was in a mood that day and told them the truth: I was having trouble eating. I wasn't eating breakfast or lunch and most nights would trade dinner for whiskey. After my weight loss was noticed, I decided to hide the fact I couldn't eat by telling everyone I was on a new diet. Side note: I had gained a considerable amount of weight over the time I spent at that company. I recently celebrated my 100 lbs weight loss.

I continued to lose weight, though not entirely by choice. The suicidal thoughts were deafening, blocking out any hope or joy in my life. I had become my job and saw no way out.

Eventually the client I was working for no longer needed my services and I was removed from the contract. I tried to celebrate but was so numb inside I didn't feel any happiness at all. I took a week off but still had the same feelings of dread and depression. I did a lot of reading on burnout and realized I was on that slippery slope.

After returning from my sole week off, I was placed 'on the bench'. For those who have never worked at a consultating agency, this means you still get a paycheck but have no work to do. It also means you are in a constant state of fear for your job until the agency finds you a new billable position. That didn't help much to lighten my mood.

I made the switch from sysadmin to webdev during this 'bench' period. I was able to secure a position as an internal React.js dev and for a few weeks started to climb out of burnout. I thought I could start being happy again with my new role but my company had different plans for me.

As I was still 'on the bench' and not billable, the company decided to move me to a new contract doing dev work for M$ sharepoint. The project was in shambles, had no tech lead, and the only other dev had decided to format the site with tables (!) as he didn't know any other way. I expressed how displeased I was but my complaint fell on deaf ears. I decided I couldn't take it anymore.

After convincing the manager to make me 'lead sharepoint dev', I put my two weeks in. I had setup a job at a boat rental I had worked at in summers past. I now work the same hours but get paid for every hour, which is great.

I took a full month off after my two weeks. Spent the time laying around the house and playing video games. One of the best months of my life. I thought a lot about where I had been and where I was headed. I started hanging out with friends & family again and realized I was on the right track.

I can now saw I've never felt better in my life. I lost a bunch of weight, met a girl, and genuinely enjoy every hour of every day. The choking thoughts of dread and suicide are gone, replaced by the joy and happiness I thought I would never have again. I recently started my own consulting company and have vowed to never let myself dip back into burnout again. Every day is a new journey; you just have to find a way to make it work while not wanting to die every day.

My advice is to recognize the signs of burnout early. It is far too easy to attempt to 'push through' and stress yourself out more. Many companies are willing to sacrifice your well being only to turn around and ask for more. Dont be afraid to run far, far away from any place that prioritizes their bottom line over your mental health.

apologize for formatting, wrote this on mobile.

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herbst 1 day ago 0 replies      
First I let my doc give me amphetamines in order to be able to work again. But it only got worse so I quit my job and bought a one way ticket to Thailand. Since then I am travelling and coding whenever I feel like it. Never felt better. But i cant see myself ever going back to a normal work life. What kind of scares me a bit
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dkokelley 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've found this story to be an interesting perspective of what burnout looks like: https://tim.blog/2014/02/13/anxiety-treatments/
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hn2a76dc2a 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the late 1990s I was on the top of the dot com world, I ran internet operations for an F100 company. I had 35 direct reports, over 1000 people spread throughout the company indirectly reported to me. I did it all: systems admin, networking, application development for front and back end. I advised the CEO and senior execs on our internet strategies, what companies to acquire, which ones to avoid.

I poured everything into that role, shunning personal relationships with all but a few very close friends.

I made the calculus that, like others in the same company before me, I'd put my time in and after 5-7 years I'd downshift roles. Write some papers, some patents, put everything I'd learned into product and service development.

Thing is, I didn't appreciate how much the company and company culture was changing even as I was helping drive that change.

The company changed from focusing on experience to certifications. Personal loyalties were almost frowned upon. If you were a technical professional you had to demonstrate that you filed for multiple patents per year (in my role I was actively discouraged from filing patents for corporate politics reasonsI could always file later).

In very short order I lost my team and lost my role. It turned out that while I was excellent at "internet stuff", I sucked at corporate politics. Once real money started being spent on infrastructure and applications I grew a target on my back large enough for its own corporate task force.

Multiple executives pulled me aside to tell me bluntly that I had no future at the company, but I didn't listen, I'd been there close to a decade, doing "internet stuff" most of that time, how could they throw that all away?

I got a consolation role in another organization at the company which lasted a year and then the entire organization was disbanded.

In parallel in my limited personal life, both of my parents were dying, with their deaths bracketing 9/11 by months on either side.

9/11 destroyed the neighborhood I had been living it.

By 2002 I walked away from all of it.

And I've mostly stayed away since then. I made quite a bit of money in the 1990s, not enough to be a VC, enough to semiretire.

Every now and then I resurface and work with a startup for awhile, but I just can't pour myself in anymore the way people expect. It's just a job. I hope the startup does well, but I've become too jaded.

I briefly tried raising money, but found VCs were turned off that I walked away from the 7x24 lifestyle and my conservative approach to growing a business did not comport with their goals for portfolio returns.

So, yeah, it was a meh experience. I remain surprised that I survived the final year of working insane hours for the company even as I knew that they would jettison me as soon as I was no longer capable of working 18 hour days 6 days a week.

I'm in a much better space mentally, but it took over a decade after that experience before I "felt better".

My family and personal relationships take priority, and I actively turn down gigs and new work if they conflict with that choice.

I don't really have any advice. I feel like I wasted a decade creating capital value for a company way out of proportion to my compensation. And another decade wasted "recovering" from rejection from that company.

I guess my only advice would be, when you do burn out figure out an acceptable cover story if you decide to ever return to tech. Recruiters & head hunters, let alone hiring managers, will avoid at all costs anyone who admits to having burned out.

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guestimation 2 days ago 0 replies      
My first job was at a startup with ambitions wildly out of proportion with it's funding and leadership. From the time I started until the entire engineering staff quit/got laid off (~24 months), the CEO and COO hired and fired (or lost) 4 CTOs, 2 Directors of Engineering and 3 Sr. Engineers for offenses that ranged from disagreeing with project estimates to fomenting open revolt in the engineering team.

10 months into the job, CTO #3 had been forced out, DoE #2 had just turned in her resignation and we were completely unable to attract experienced engineers of any quality. COO assumed direct control of the engineers while marketing and sales kept themselves busy as "product people." I was looking for a new job and getting ready to jump ship when marketing and sales, giddy as children, came up with the idea of pivoting into EdTech. I was offered the chance to lead a small team in building out these new products and because I was a young engineer with ambitions wildly out of proportion with my experience and skills, I accepted. What resulted was the most stressful 10 months of my life. The hours (14-18 M-F and 10-12 on weekends) were doable but I was constantly second-guessed and undermined. My engineering teammates were all incredibly supportive and I would turn to the more senior guys for advice on navigating the technical landmines but it was a war everyday with everyone else. We had market research from parents, students, teachers and school administrators that would be ignored by the product guys in favor of "instinct." We had UI/UX designs that we paid for that were ignored in favor of "I like this better though." I can't even count the number of times I had "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse" quoted at me. I had marketing guys bully their way onto our sprint boards so they could move their half-baked, pet features onto the top of the pile. I had sales guys promising clients features that weren't even possible given our budget and deadlines.

I finally broke and set up some rules, some bullshit and some good, so we could make some progress. For starters, my team took over our main conference room and kept it locked. I told them to ignore any form of communication about the project from anyone that wasn't based out of the conference room. I would cancel or skip all internal meetings with sales and marketing and would only attend meetings one-on-one with the COO. I made sure that no one went on a sales call for the product we were building unless one of the team was on the call with them. I would monitor our sprint boards to see what features were being pushed up on the sly. And then I would delete them. In the end we managed to push out a fairly polished product (really nice beta) with about a quarter of all the promised features. Our clients did end up buying it but no one really loved it and no one really hated it. I quit 4 months later when I was asked if I was interested in leading the team to build out more features.

The entire experience was terrible during but I kept going because I thought it would look nice on my CV (it does). I took six months off to "crawl back to reality" as you put it and realized halfway through that there was no reality to crawl back to because I had lived reality in all it's HD, 4K shitty goodness. Sometimes when people are assholes you can be a bigger asshole back and win and sometimes you can't. That's all there is to it.

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sandworm101 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lawyer. 8 years in IT/privacy/compliance consulting, mostly startups. Tired of ratrace. Applied to armed forces to become JAG officer. Took all thier apptitude tests. "Want to be a pilot?"... hell yes. Now a 2lt finished basic and waiting for flight school. Of i fail as pilot ill become jag. Never felt more relaxed.
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HillaryBriss 1 day ago 0 replies      
i know the request here is for the spectacular, but sometimes burnout is a low-grade smoldering, a background process that lasts for years and ends with a dull retreat from the furious confusion. without some creative (and fictitious) adornments the story is a bore.

but maybe that's ok. sometimes life is more exciting than it needs to be.

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dilemma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looking at the answers here the common point is, expectedly, overwork. It is obvious why this causes burn out but there are a couple of reasons why you should not overwork that are not so obvious.

To handle stress and not burn out, you need:

1) A sense of self. You need to not just understand but to feel that no matter what happens at the office, and even if things go wrong, you'll be OK. You do this by having a life outside of work - friends and a social life not connected to your workplace or even industry, hobbies or side projects that give you confidence outside of your professional life, and people who care about you for non-professional reasons.

2) To compartmentalize. Work is work, and just part of your life. While it cannot be completely so, what happens at work shouldn't affect your outside life in too large a degree. Success at work should bring you some kind of satisfaction, and failure should make you reconsider your choices, but not to a too large extent. You can only compartmentalize if you have the things in 1); you need more than 1 thing that is important to you in your life.

If you overwork, you can't have 1) because you simple don't have the time or energy to cultivate it; you can't compartmentalize and leave work at the office, and work pressure will cause negative stress in all aspects of your life, resulting in burn out.

Even in high-level positions you should aim to stick to a 9-5 schedule as much as possible because otherwise you won't have the mental energy to be effective.

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fweespeech 2 days ago 2 replies      
11
It seems that GitHub is down
18 points by kiberstranier  6 hours ago   7 comments top 7
1
sschueller 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't get to it from Zrich, London or Atlanta. Newark, NJ and Fremont, CA works.
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akaralar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Status page reports elevated error rates: https://status.github.com I can't pull and push from terminal either
4
geerlingguy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
https://status.github.com/

> We are investigating reports of elevated error rates.

5
zb3 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Can confirm (Poland), albeit it's not completely down for me, some requests are served.
6
nik736 6 hours ago 0 replies      
For me it's down as well. This seems to happen every week now.
7
reubinoff 6 hours ago 0 replies      
same...
12
Ask HN: How JetBrains with just 500 employees can do this all?
36 points by edpichler  2 days ago   22 comments top 11
1
peoplewindow 1 day ago 2 replies      
Very experienced and skilled devs. Plus they build everything on the Java platform and always have, so they get a big productivity boost over many companies that use less effective tools.

Also, not VC backed. A 'real' company, that actually makes money because people buy their products. Our expectations of how many developers are needed for things is inflated by the prevalence of unprofitable venture backed firms that over hire.

2
rl3 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love JetBrains, but that number isn't that impressive. If you were to assume only half of that 500 were actual developers, that's still 13 developers per each product you listed. All of their products tend to use the same core technology as well.

Consider that Todd Howard's team that built Skyrim consisted of roughly 100 people.

Epic Games employed 250 people as of 2016. Most of those are not developers. Yet, their Unreal Engine 4 changelogs are mind blowing:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Support/Builds/inde...

3
quantummkv 1 day ago 0 replies      
All of their complex products are actually plugins on top of a single base called the intellij Platform(which is open source). Any changes they make to it automatically percolate to all their products. This allows them to keep small teams for every product that focus only on the specific language plugin.
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traviswingo 2 days ago 1 reply      
How many people do you think it takes to make a single product? From what you listed, they average 26 employees per product. The products aren't released at the same time. Most of their products are the same, with minor differences depending on the language they're supporting. IMO they have too many employees...
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Zekio 2 days ago 1 reply      
Most of the Products are basically IntelliJ IDEA with only features pointed at a specific language, so you have a smaller install really
6
xiaoma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look at how much more Microsoft did before reaching 500 employees. They wrote not only compilers and languages, but also games and productivity apps for poorly documented platforms and even OSes.

Jetbrains is doing well for themselves, but it's far from unprecedented.

7
dasmoth 1 day ago 0 replies      
The linked Wiki page now says 700 (looks like it was updated fairly shortly after this was posted).

I'm curious how this breaks down between developers, customer support, marketing, and admin. My guess is that developers might be a fairly small fraction of he 700...

8
dsacco 2 days ago 0 replies      
That's about the amount of employees I'd expect, actually. You might be surprised at how many products or engineering initiatives can be accomplished by an efficient 300-500 person team.
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edpichler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Update: they ended 2016 with 650 employees: https://www.jetbrains.com/annualreport/2016/
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LoSboccacc 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Just"
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netspider 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi they all based on intellij ide platform
13
Ask HN: Why HN logo not in SVG?
9 points by crehn  1 day ago   11 comments top 4
1
CM30 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Probably because it's so small that the benefits of making it an SVG would be almost nil. I mean, look at this thing:

https://news.ycombinator.com/y18.gif

It's 0.1KB. It's so small that any SVG version of it would actually be a larger file (seriously, I tested it with an SVG converter script online, and the SVG came back at 0.6KB).

There's no practical reason to convert it, at least not as far as file size is concerned.

2
muzani 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Because it's not about optimizing every little thing. It's about getting it good enough. And even when something sounds better in theory, it might not be that way in practice.
3
shoo 1 day ago 3 replies      
Make a business case for it
4
balazsdavid987 1 day ago 2 replies      
Explain the performance benefits
15
Ask HN: Writing my own Relational Database
5 points by tosh  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
1
andreasgonewild 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you really mean relational, and not SQL; then all you need is columns, tables and records. Just do it, once you have a stupid implementation of your ideas running you'll know what information to look for. I've been cooking my own relational persistence engines for quite a while now, here is the latest incarnation if anyone is interested in seeing the idea cut down to its core with optional encryption on top:

https://github.com/andreas-gone-wild/snackis/tree/master/src...

3
jwilliams 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a really great idea. I wrote my own (very domain-specific database) 7-8 years ago and it was a really fulfilling project.

Good luck with it. If you do find anything or start your own, please report back.

4
gjvc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try reading the SQLite source and tests. The postgres source is also surprisingly accessible.
16
Ask HN: How often do you unplug?
24 points by wu-ikkyu  3 days ago   21 comments top 18
1
nstart 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Not entirely an answer but maybe helpful. I don't ever conciously unplug. What I do do though is never let my devices/notifications interrupt or mix with any other activity I do. I don't check notifications at the gym for example. My phone is set to silent/vibrate when watching TV and it's kept aside. I never look at it when talking to someone (unless that someone caught me at a moment where I'm in the middle of a conversation online). So even going to sleep, I just get into bed and go to sleep. Thus I find the need to detox or unplug intentionally doesn't ever hit me which is pretty good tbh :).
2
amerine 3 days ago 2 replies      
I decided a few years ago that I was tired of being fat, so I started working out. Fast forward to today... I'm still fat (dieting is the trick folks, you can't burn an extra 700-1000 calories a day while using that "deficit" as a reason to enjoy that dessert and get to a healthy weight) but I usually walk about 7 miles a day (thanks Apple Watch for the effortless tracking), every day. During that time I will listen to an audio book. Sometimes I just spend the time thinking about hard problems in whatever project I'm working on, but most often I enjoy a book.

Listening to book on that walk is how I unplug and is probably the best habit I've ever picked up. I'm 40lbs lighter, probably 100 or so books better read and have a nice collection of destroyed Nike trophies.

3
kradeelav 3 days ago 0 replies      
(a) Insisted on having a dumbphone after college; and it helps immensely in this regard - still get text and calls without the notification spam.

(b) Recently settled on a plan of spending ~30 minutes after work explicitly checking social media/net stuff, but removing the firefox icon from my sidebar/dock after that. Not having that icon there gives just enough friction that I'll end up in a calmer loop of doing digital artwork (my second job) or wandering off to read. Any important emails gets taken care of during dead time at the day-job, or pre-written in textedit.

4
neilsharma 3 days ago 1 reply      
I turn off all devices an hour or so before bed every day. Realized it takes about that long to calm down and focus; staring at a screen usually means having my attention pulled in various directions every few seconds. I usually sleep better as a result too, and it gives me time to properly wind down my day (read a book, stretch, meditate, etc).

I also exercise quite a bit as well, but don't really consider that to unplugging -- it feels more like plugging myself into fitness + outdoors, which feels like another form of work tbh.

5
Tevunah 2 days ago 0 replies      
Every week for Shabbat (25 hours from Friday night).

Only notification I get is using my cell phone as an alarm clock that auto-dismisses after 5 seconds.

I go to Temple in the morning and evening. Read both religious and secular books. Nap and if the weather is nice a walk in the forest nearby.

6
nxsynonym 3 days ago 0 replies      
Daily.

I have a studio-based art hobby, and have made it habit to spend 1-2 hours daily in there free from internet,phones,and TV (music is ok tho). More time spent on weekends when I can fit it into my schedule.

It does wonders for my anxiety and stress levels, sort of like a brain nap without sleeping.

I would spend more time daily, but work and life get in the way.

I also try to read for 30mins-1hr at the end of the day, but by the time I get to it I usually fall asleep quickly.

7
thisone 2 days ago 0 replies      
My devices don't distract me.

I'm neither popular enough on Twitter or Facebook to be receiving notifications on a regular basis.

I have no need to get slack notifications unless I'm directly @'d and that's rare.

I don't belong to any WhatsApp group, because that's bloody annoying.

So, no. No need to switch off. I can carry on about my day, phone at my side and it only bings at me if it's actually important.

8
cweagans 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have one day per week where I'm not connected at all. It was very difficult for the first few weeks, but it meant that I have time for other hobbies. I've taken up woodworking and read quite a few books that I've been meaning to get to for a while. My overall happiness is up from when I started, and my productivity on my normal days is up too.
9
wingerlang 3 days ago 0 replies      
Literally never unless my iPad of iPhone dies while I'm on the toilet or such scenarios.
10
bsharitt 3 days ago 0 replies      
I unplug as a part of my usual routine. when I get home from work my phone gets put upstairs in my bedroom (and is essentially an alarm clock until the next day). For entertainment, I will use my computer as a TV(Netflix, etc), but most of my other entertainment is non-computerized. I read paper books, I've largely replaced video games with various tabletop games like boardgames, d&d and Warhammer with the last item there leading into another nondigital hobby of miniature painting and modeling.

So my evenings are usually unplugged, at least from interactive computer stuff, but still making allowances for TV and music.

11
marssaxman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just leave my phone on silent mode most of the time, and look at it when I want to see what's up. I don't use the facebook app, or use Twitter at all, so the only notifications I get are for text messages.
12
wreath 2 days ago 0 replies      
I need to have some time off between work and whatever else I'm planning for the evening. I usually go for walk (either walk from the office to my place, or after i go home) and during this time I don't check my phone or listen to anything.

The other activity is listening to music. Fully. I bought a turntable last year and that changed my listening habit. I usually put on a record and give it all my focus, almost like meditation.

13
PascLeRasc 3 days ago 0 replies      
My hobbies are playing bass and cycling, and I really try to keep them analog - I don't want a bike computer or tracking app, and I don't care about recording myself or digital modulation. It's stayed just as fun as 6-7 years ago when I got into both of these things. I'm pretty much the same way with cooking, which recently evolved from a necessity to a hobby. All my friends love their rice cookers but I find them really hard to use and I don't want to watch a screen to see when my rice will be done.
14
jwilliams 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I could say I was good at this habit. I tend to stick to it and then have lapses.

Ideally a full day off every week. Day off means a hike or a real disconnect. Being in San Francisco it's good to get out of the city and remind yourself of how beautiful Northern California is.

15
j45 3 days ago 0 replies      
Time away from the screen tends to greatly increase my effectiveness when back at a keyboard and screen.
16
michalpt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Surfing. Nothing better for me than having a 2-4 hours surfing session and then return back to my computer with a clear head.
17
SirLJ 3 days ago 0 replies      
walking (or biking) outside with my wife and just talking about stuff is the best way I find to unplug...

Just add, also around the pool in the evenings with a beer or a little cocktail again just talking and no electronic and no music even...

Before when the kids were younger the best was sports few times a week (hockey, basketball, soccer, football) - it was just great, raw emotions, etc :-)

18
taf2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Never
17
Ask HN: Current state of cross-plattform native app developement
8 points by KabuseCha  2 days ago   6 comments top 5
1
pcunite 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Resist the urge to be "pure", "perfect", and thus arrive at "beautiful" code. Instead code, ship, & sell. Be free from the burden of "best" practices. Then, when you can afford the inside coffee bar, by all means tell the rest of us what a beautiful framework you're "now" using.

So, start with what you know. Make something amazing to use even with the inefficient and uncool tools of the trade.

2
jwilliams 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend starting with what you know best. PWA/Webview is a decent place to start for many as it's a quick learning curve.

If the application takes off, usually you'll drop the cross-platform approach and re-write in the native variants - IMHO obviously. In that lens you're better off iterating quickly and then diving into specific native builds. I'm sure there are many that will disagree.

If you know React really well, then React Native might make more sense. Weex is good if you're coming from Vue, but the technology is still relatively new (and documentation is light).

3
palidanx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I created an app in ionic, and I find it good for pretty simple app workflows (standard tabs, traversal, etc). You can check out the app here (download links in the middle of the page).

sdabulletin.com

If you have any questions about the dev experience, or otherwise, feel free to let me know.

4
ghuntley 1 day ago 1 reply      
5
snyp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since its a small team and its your first app just a PWA is gonna take you a long way while trying to understand product market fit and simply to see if users like your product. Case in point checkout out Missive email app, everything is html/css (no frameworks) and it performs really well on all platforms (sometimes even better than react native), i think they're a 2 person team
18
Made a Drag n' Drop Bot-building Platform, but No Time to Manage it
9 points by mrcabada  2 days ago   3 comments top 2
1
nmstoker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks good, I wish you luck bringing it to market successfully.

You might want to have someone look over the language on the documentation pages as there a lots of subtle (and not so subtle!) mistakes: https://talkbot.io/docs?/Introduction-0/What-is-a-bot?-1

2
ffumarola 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you monetize? What is your CAC?
19
Ask YC: What happened to the YC Research new cities project?
22 points by awwstn  2 days ago   1 comment top
1
sctb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, there have been some developments and the project is definitely active. There should be more public information coming out soon.
20
Ask HN: Any blockchain lawyers in the Bay Area?
5 points by HD134606c  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
jwilliams 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cooley LLP has a number of people dedicated to blockchain and digital currency:https://www.linkedin.com/in/marco-santori-7ab37b28/

https://www.cooley.com/news/coverage/2016/2016-11-03-acclaim...

Never dealt with them, but a place to start.

2
fern12 1 day ago 0 replies      
He's not in the Bay area, but you might try this guy:https://www.linkedin.com/in/provencounsel/

I have not worked with him. Caveat emptor.

3
gt_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Aaaand it begins
21
Ask HN: Did you learn a language online? How fluent are you now?
10 points by superasn  1 day ago   12 comments top 5
1
Mz 1 day ago 0 replies      
My mother says her English became fluent from watching American TV. So, I will suggest you look for subtitled videos online in the target language.

There is a large difference between spoken and written. If you want to be able to converse in it, you need to develop an ear for it. I have an ear for German, which I never studied in school. I never developed an ear for French, though I studied it in both high school and college. I can make conversation in German. I can read and writes little French, but trying to verbally exchange pleasantries in French is hard.

Decide what your goal is. Realize that understanding is easier than replying, both verbally and in writing.

2
oblib 1 day ago 1 reply      
I learned Javascript and a bit of Python online, but I'd learned Perl years before that by reading the O`Reilly books.

What works for me is learning on a "need to know" basis. JS and Python are not so different than Perl, and most all languages have common traits and features so it comes down to learning syntax a lot of times.

I am not very fluent. I reference APIs and sample code, and head to Stackoverflow for answers a lot, but only when I need to and I don't hesitate when I need to because you can waste a lot of time doing that.

3
superasn 1 day ago 3 replies      
After playing Duolingo for almost 345 days straight and completing the course (english to french) I tried watching a french TV channel today and i couldn't even understand one single sentence.

I feel that while I have learnt a few basic words it's very difficult to get any fluency using such an app.

I guess the best way to learn a new language is to directly immerse yourself into the environment but that's not possible for me. So I was wondering what other ways are there to learn a new language and what worked for you..

4
tomdre 20 hours ago 0 replies      
When I moved to France from Italy I didn't speak a single word of French. I spent 5 months on Duolingo (en->fr), hung out with French colleagues, read books and watch cartoons for kids (Asterix and Tin Tin are my favorite).

After 8 months I was able to speak fluently French.A strong advantage was that I already spoke a romance language.

5
server36 16 hours ago 0 replies      
If phone lines are considered online, then yes. I learned mostly from listening to conversations. The easiest is just to listen.

If you cannot be around native speakers, try phone calls. Making a phone call stops you from feeling ashamed, but helps you to practice (standard) sentences and listening. It helps that they usually have a specific context. Look up standard sentences for a topic (like hotels or restaurants) and just call. If the call gets awkward you can always hang up.

22
Ask HN: Your opinion about tournament to hire people?
12 points by chukye  3 days ago   23 comments top 11
1
matt_s 3 days ago 1 reply      
200 hundred developers for ~8 hours and they value developers at roughly $50/hr. So they want $80,000 of free work with a reward at the end of getting a job for $100k/yr.

Steer clear of it. If this is their mental model of how work should be done, imagine what it is like inside the company.

I would also wonder, if in the US, what laws they might be breaking for this "hiring" process.

2
sevilo 3 days ago 0 replies      
My problem is not so much about getting paid, lots of companies when they hire they carry out at ~4hour in person interview, within which you'll be spending at least 2-3 hours solving problems and you're not getting paid to do it.

However I will not feel comfortable working for this company knowing this is their hiring process, they pay no respect to a developer's skill to communicate and work with others, their knowledge in building software at large scale, ability in bringing improvement to other people's skills and the company's processes. Sorry to be blunt but it sounds to me they're trying to hire code monkeys/coding robots not software developers.

3
bsvalley 3 days ago 0 replies      
Where is this? Which coutry/city? Where I live it's the opposite, you receive 200 emails per year from recruiters for jobs.
4
lsiebert 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess you might be able to go, eat the food, work on your own project, and walk out.
5
thisone 2 days ago 0 replies      
from my perspective of someone who likes working in collaborative environments, it's bullshit and indicative of a place that I would never want to work for.
6
Klockan 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like a typical hackathon, people participate in those for free all the time so I don't think that this is strange.
7
UK-AL 3 days ago 0 replies      
Massive waste of developers time if they are not paid for this.

I think they are relying on recruiting younger developers.

8
romanovcode 3 days ago 0 replies      
Are you get payed for the day? If so then it's fine I guess, no harm no faul.
9
kojeovo 3 days ago 0 replies      
If I got paid and got to keep the IP I might consider it.
10
bjourne 3 days ago 0 replies      
That's incredibly unethical.
11
29052017 3 days ago 2 replies      
A lot of people here are whining about getting paid.

If there are 200 developers who are willing to participate in such a tournament, then its most likely that they are either jobless, or looking for a better position or find this kind of tournament fair game.

Regarding getting paid for your code, I just want to ask do you get paid for writing/designing programs or solving problems when you go give a regular interview. Of course not. Apart from perhaps from a free lunch at the onsite facility and the travel tickets, do you ever expect to be paid your average hourly rate when you go to give interviews at companies like Google or Apple. I don't think so.

If someone whines about getting paid, then you need to assume that the person has either made it or is not jobless. A lot of jobless people would go great distances to land a job - sitting in a AC room for a day writing programs is surely not that unpleasant a demand.

I am sure that a lot of folks here would have a very different opinion if they were jobless/homeless or looking desperately for a job.

23
Why does Apple bundle the Yahoo Stock App as a default feature?
3 points by hbarka  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
1
dawie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Still. Why does apple use the yahoo data feed for its default app? It's shit.
2
minimaxir 2 days ago 0 replies      
The native Stock app is made by Apple; it just uses Yahoo data.
3
schappim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apple does not bundle the Yahoo Stock App.
24
How do you argue with anti vaxxers?
15 points by garyfirestorm  2 days ago   39 comments top 10
1
sirspacey 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ask open-ended questions recursively. People often have a story or experience at the root of their beliefs. Uncovering that root (with your questions) also gives the anti-vaxxer an oppprtunity to ask new questions about why they believe what they believe. Generally, we need new questions to arrive at new answers.
2
Mz 2 days ago 3 replies      
Unless you actually need to argue with them because, say, you share custody of your child with one, you probably shouldn't bother.

I am neither an anti vaxxer nor pro vax. I get hated on by both camps. Neither side is very rational about this. So, you should probably put this in, say, the same box as religion and try to a) be respectful of their right to live their lives as they see fit and b) avoid the topic.

3
djob 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So many brainwashed people out here.. So sad :(
4
kleer001 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't start with the goal of convincing them. Instead listen and ask for more.
5
propogandist 2 days ago 0 replies      
why has the government given vaccine manufacturers blanket immunity from injuries and deaths attributable to vaccines?
6
xchip 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd use a technique called Street Epistemology, it does wonders with religious people. There are lots of videos showing people lowering their level of confidence after just a few questions. I recommend watching this trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moApG7z2pkY&feature=youtu.be...
7
akulbe 1 day ago 0 replies      
You don't. They're convinced, and you're not going to change their minds.
8
oldandtired 2 days ago 1 reply      
You don't argue with either side. Neither side has a recognition of the other's concerns. If you have close friends that are doctors or even nurses who will be candid with you, you quickly come to the realisation that the range of reactions to any vaccine is dependent on the many factors, including effectiveness of vaccine in each recipient (from totally effective and full immunity to total ineffectiveness and no additional immunity to detrimental effects).

Some people react very badly to the current vaccines and when this is not recognised by those who are pro-vaccination, this just re-enforces the anti-vaccination viewpoint.

As a child I was around others who were infectious with chicken pox, never got sick. But as an adult, I came close to dying from chicken pox that I got off my children. No reaction as a child but near deadly as an adult.

Yet Tetanus vaccines (which I have had at various times) cause me no side effects at all, even though most people I know have a fairly severe pain reaction for a period of time after the injections.

When it is not recognised that there have been manufacturing errors in various vaccines over time or that there are proportion of people who suffer very adverse effects from vaccines (up to and including death), this only goes to strengthened the viewpoint that vaccines are dangerous for those who are against vaccinations.

I have come across various people who know that a specific vaccine would kill them or their children but have the viewpoint that everyone else must get vaccinated so that they (the unvaccinated) would be protected.

Where we should be putting our research is to find some sort of standardised way to pre-test an individual for efficacy or adversity of any specific vaccine.

There is no point giving a vaccine to someone who will have strongly adverse side-effects to it, nor is there any point in giving a vaccine to someone where that vaccine will provide no additional protection to the person. Too often, the excuse of "herd immunity" is used without thought to whether or not this actually true for any specific vaccine. The problem here is that, if the vaccine works and gives you immunity, then what reason are you concerned about that someone else hasn't had their shots, other than passing this disease onto other unvaccinated people.

I don't bother with a flu shot. But if you want it, go for it. I know people who get sick every year after they have had their vaccines for the flu. I know of one fellow did this religiously every year and every year he got sick. After discussing this problem with his doctor, it was suggested that, over a period of three weeks, he get a one third dose. Since then, he hadn't got sick.

Vaccines have made significant inroads into certain diseases that cause a great deal of grief for many in society. But no vaccine is 100% effective and every vaccine will adversely affect some proportion of the population (however small that might be).

Instead of demonising those against vaccinations, maybe, this demonising should be against the companies that push the affordability of drugs and vaccines (and all the other related medical technology) beyond the capability of those who need it most just because they can and it will be most profitable to them to do so.

Most have heard of Martin Shkreli and his antics with drug prices. What many don't realise is that he was just following the general principles of the drug manufacturers, he was just a little too obvious about it.

9
bdibs 2 days ago 0 replies      
You dont.
10
pneill 2 days ago 0 replies      
You don't. You can't argue with crazy. Or as philosopher once put it, you cannot answer questions of value with statements of fact.
25
Ask HN: Any way we can find the job opening and closing trend of any company?
7 points by ivarojha  2 days ago   2 comments top 2
1
SmellTheGlove 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> From a candidate's perspective, this can help identify what time of the year is the best one to apply and more importantly when to start preparing for one.

It can also tell you which jobs are potentially "fake" jobs posted for some other purpose - to signal the market, to fulfill a requirement for the H1B they want to hire, etc.

2
mchannon 1 day ago 0 replies      
An interesting theory, but there'd be the following complications:

Job websites are, for some companies first and foremost, a signal to the investment community. Hey look, series A, and now we have these 12 job listings open. Meantime they're trying to figure much more important things out than who to hire at that level (like who they can get who knows how to hire). Any emails sent in go straight to nowhere.

Quantities are going to be wrong. If you want to hire a team of 5 engineers, you could have between 1 and 20 job listings (because different skill sets might be all you can find, but that'd be good enough, or you're afraid 10 identical listings will make you look desperate).

Job websites are out of date. A company hires everyone it needs to, it moves along smoothly, job listings are still up for jobs already filled. Why bother taking them down? Maybe you'll get an application from a rockstar who'll work for $50k and no equity at the exact instant your leader puts in his notice.

Job listings are also a political tool. Say you have an organization with 1,000 employees and 90% of them are low-skilled H1B's. While you might ordinarily need about 50-100 job listings to keep pace with employee turnover, putting 1000 job listings out there helps give cover to politicians to expand, rather than curtail, the H1B program. Recruiting someone is expensive. Pretending to recruit someone is almost free, and unreasonably effective. Vaporware for fun and profit.

For a candidate, the best time to apply for a job is when he or she needs a job, or wants a better job. There's no Rolling Stones/Satisfaction/Losing streak when it comes to applying for work.

There's no threshold for perceived competence with most of these companies- they're happy to leave positions unfilled whether they have 1 or 1 million of them on their jobs website, because there's an endemic irrational fear of making a "bad hire" at the expense of a fear of losing good ones.

26
Ask HN: Seeking advice for the next steps of a health care side project
4 points by JPLeRouzic  3 days ago   15 comments top 6
1
jwilliams 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've known a few people go through this. One product was something that detected when someone hasn't moved in bed for a period of time. This can be used to prevent bedsores.

They found the regulatory environment absolutely crippling. After banging their head against the wall too long, they eventually gave up.

I'd say going with an experienced incubator/mentor/etc in this space would be a great idea. https://rockhealth.com/ is one good example. They can give you access to health care companies, networks, mentors, etc.

2
tixocloud 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have a friend who's been working on a healthcare-related startup (smart baby mat). When I used to help out, I remember it being quite complex as he's gone to hospitals to help him perform some clinical trials before going to market. If you'd like, I can put you in touch with him.
3
Jugurtha 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've worked a bit on ECG signals (Physionet, too). You may want to take a look at:

- "Baseline Correction with Asymmetric Least Squares Smoothing" by Paul H. C. Eilers and Hans F.M. Boelens[0]. They used it for chromatography and spectroscopy but I've had great results applying that to detect and remove the baseline from ECG. The article provides 11 lines of MATLAB code to illustrate.

- Savitzky-Golay filter: For smoothing. I liked it for some of the noisy signals.

- Poincar plot for RR intervals.

[0]: https://zanran_storage.s3.amazonaws.com/www.science.uva.nl/C...

4
somid3 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hi, I have a lot of commercialization background in this space - this is me - http://linkedin.com/in/somid3/ - shoot me a msg at somid3 at google's email service dot com
5
mchannon 3 days ago 1 reply      
Did the company that inspired you suddenly stop being interested in you, even if you had a proof of concept?

The profit motive means technology works as follows, particularly in health care: if you can build it and corner a healthy market, shut up and take my money. If you want to give it away or sell it as a loss, please leave a message at the beep.

Don't worry about building in all kinds of bells and whistles. Sounds like what little you have is more than good enough- call that company back and stop acting so profligate with the IP if you want them to throw the marketing and compliance resources at a project that desperately needs them.

6
itamarst 3 days ago 1 reply      
Keep in mind that selling something like this would quite likely involve an expensive FDA regulatory process. So probably not something you can do as a side project.
27
Ask HN: Why does YouTube not offer a download button?
9 points by zeptomu  3 days ago   18 comments top 13
1
krapp 3 days ago 1 reply      
Youtube is constantly on the knife-edge of being sued en masse by large media owners, as they were by Viacom. It's why their copyright strike system seems "broken," when it's really operating as intended, giving copyright holders arbitrary power to remove content they feel is infringing (without regards to fair use) because anything less would probably lead to those companies to simply prefer to sue Youtube into oblivion.

Technically speaking, of course Youtube could have a download button, but if they did, as far as the Viacoms of the world are concerned, they're just enabling piracy, and taking control away from content owners.

2
Digory 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Because musicians still get paid by the sale or play (like radio).

It was far cheaper to treat streaming like radio, so YouTube scans uploads for music and pays money to musicians for each play.

If youtube encouraged downloading, there would be no easy way to count the number of plays of music or pay musicians, which would lead to lawsuits galore.

3
jeabo 3 days ago 0 replies      
If someone downloads a video, they won't go back to YouTube to re watch it, thus not seeing more ads.
4
thewavelength 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ads, most probably.
5
tantalor 3 days ago 1 reply      
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6308116?hl=en

Download videos and playlists to watch offline for up to 30 days when you arent connected to the internet.

6
ralmeida 3 days ago 1 reply      
Aside from what is already mentioned in other posts, there would be logistic concerns to enable downloading in a large scale.

By assuming the content will be watched by a human, they can throttle buffering to transfer only what's needed for human consumption, thus spreading out the network load.

7
borplk 1 day ago 0 replies      
They want to monetise your eye balls.
8
hsuresh 2 days ago 0 replies      
It does, in countries that have poor internet connections.I did have the option to download videos, when in India.
9
michalpt 3 days ago 0 replies      
As others said, there would be no need to go back to Youtube.
10
wingerlang 3 days ago 0 replies      
They allow download of videos in their apps in selected countries. I don't think you can share the actual files though. But the feature is great.
11
Yaa101 3 days ago 0 replies      
And licenses, and lawsuits, and headaches and...
12
grover_hartmann 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just use youtube-dl, mpv even integrates with it nicely.
13
quickthrower2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Because you wouldn't need to visit the site, view ads, etc.
28
Ask HN: Looking for a tool
4 points by szatkus  3 days ago   10 comments top 6
1
gvisoc 1 day ago 0 replies      
That particular sub-area of static analysis is called (change) impact analysis. If you google that you'll find several tools, but many of those results are a couple of years old, or framework-specific. Take a look and good luck.
2
remyp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Good test coverage goes a long way towards solving this problem.
3
BjoernKW 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's called static analysis, which given JavaScript's dynamic nature obviously doesn't work as well as with statically-typed languages like Java. However, IntelliJ IDEA or WebStorm offer decent analysis tools for JavaScript as well. In IntelliJ IDEA "Find usages" is the name of the feature you're looking for.
4
paradite 3 days ago 0 replies      
You can definitely write a tool to do it for JavaScript.

Sublime text has something similar that gives you the usages of a function when you hover over its name. Its not as 100 percent accurate as strict static code analysis, but it works pretty well for function names that are not duplicated everywhere.

5
stephenr 3 days ago 0 replies      
What language is your project? Jetbrains IDEs have static analysis based "find usage" for dynamic languages like php.
6
rawland 3 days ago 1 reply      

 grep -inr 'X'
Can be expanded via regex, awk, etc...

29
Ask HN: Anyone else scratching their heads about coin offerings?
115 points by curtkobain  2 days ago   65 comments top 28
1
shp0ngle 2 days ago 2 replies      
There are no rules in general. There is an ERC20 standard, but that is basically "shared API" that all the tokens agree on, and that was created organically. Before ERC standard, people made up their own interfaces to tokens; now, they have a shared API. But these are technical rules. There are no other rules; everyone can create a token and dump it online, with no rules.

The discussions are taking place on Ethereum reddit, I suppose, or maybe on other Ethereum-related subreddits and forums.

Those forums are usually hives of scum and villainy, as you would expect. Scammers scamming other scammers.

Because of existing code, making a new token is relatively easy; you take an existing one and change some variables. Yes, it doesn't do anything useful, but it doesn't need to; you just need a pretty website, where you put """"whitepaper"""" and a pretty photos and some """graphs""", repeat the word "decentralized" a few time and you are ready to dump.

Since there is no regulation, those things are popping up one after the other. Want to create HackerNewsCoin for a new decentralized platform for programming discussion? Why not. Promise a release date for a very vaguely described project, far along in the future that everyone forgets by then, and you are all set. Does it make sense? No, but you get rich out of other people wanting to get rich.

Unlike with investing, there is no actual value being made here. Just people wanting to get rich quickly. There is no substance, just scams on top of scams.

2
keithwhor 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'm just going to drop this in here, this is a quote from Patrick McKenzie during a live chat on Product Hunt [1] that John Collison tweeted out back in April [2]. It's an answer to: "What is one thing you believe that others disagree with you on?"

It's a pretty cynical view, but worth digesting.

> The fundamental innovation in Bitcoin the social dynamics of the gold rush phase, which distribute cryptocurrency tokens widely for almost free. This creates a self-organized distributed boiler room to market Bitcoin. Bitcoin needs nothing else to get as big as it has; this is convenient because it has nothing else. Bitcoin has no utility as a means of transaction or a store of value. The blockchain is the world's worst database. The long line of very smart people on the other side of this bet have been scammed, are scamming, or both. Bitcoin will, accordingly, go to zero with the inevitability of gravity.

[1] https://cards.producthunt.com/cards/comments/452743?v=1

[2] https://twitter.com/collision/status/850454173384454144

3
macNchz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think there is a non-trivial amount of money laundering happening through these thingsthe new markets, wider selection and total lack of regulation of cryptocurrencies give people more avenues to mask the source and destination of money. There is so much money out there that people want to move but can't because of where it came from, government controls, taxes etc.
4
pavlov 2 days ago 2 replies      
My feeling is that the success of ICOs is a side effect of the meteoric rise in value of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

There are many people who have become virtual currency millionaires. At that point anyone would be looking to diversify. Purchasing traditional assets would mean paying taxes on the coins. Purchasing ICOs just diversifies your coin holdings into an even more speculative asset class.

5
infiniteparamtr 2 days ago 1 reply      
It doesn't make sense to me. I thought BTC was supposed to decentralize currency. One currency to rule them all. Having dozens of different ones that fluctuate like this seem counter-intuitive.

Sure, it's still decentralized. But now in order to buy things, we'll have to realize some sort of standardization. Of course, there are things like the Pot Coin, which obviously has only been deployed for a certain purpose.

So maybe everything is relative to BTC anyways, just specialized for different markets.

Apologies for the stream-of-consciousness format.

6
hendzen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly, none of these ICO's are generating any real value yet. What is a widely used product that has been funded by an ICO?

Even 0x is a protocol for trading tokens. That implies you need tokens worth trading...

ICO madness is just a symptom of the crypto bubble. Which is itself a symptom of the tech bubble. Who do you think is buying into all these cryptocurrency assets - Software engineers and other tech employees with a large amount of disposable income due to the meteoric rise in tech salaries.

7
kanzure 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't go as far as to compare the minds behind ICOs to the people involved on LKML.

The linux kernel developers that have jumped ship from LKML to bitcoin can be found on the bitcoin-dev mailing list: https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-d...

Also, bitcoin/linux developers should not be blamed for these ICOs -- many of these schemes are totally unrelated and would just as easily be using centralized databases for their shares.

Altcoins exploded in 2013 with their initial offerings listed here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=159.0

.. and since then you can go look up "ERC20" and find some Slack stuff.

9
FTA 2 days ago 0 replies      
Though the following may not answer many of your questions, I found these three videos to be very illuminating in regards to the blockchain and ICO processes and futures. They really helped me because I knew next to nothing about the whole field but saw lots of talk on social media and wanted to learn more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1mkxci6vvo Investment Panel with Naval Ravikant, Meltem Demirors, and Garry Tan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnHRnlrO6bQ Payments Panel with Balaji Srinivasan, Elizabeth Stark, and Ryan Charles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrSn3zx2GbM A conversation with Naval Ravikant (who is very prescient in this field)

10
davidgerard 2 days ago 2 replies      
My previous summary of ICOs: https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/icos-magic-beans-and-bu...

Truly the least substantial asset I have ever seen. I hope the SEC goes feral on them, and soon.

11
probe 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I'm not part of any, I have heard from members of the existence of underground slack and FB groups of fairly sophisticated investors and early adopters (obv now all closed to public).

Some money is also from investors escaping currency devaluations or restrictions (ex. China). I've heard of quant traders who are porting public equity algos to crypto. Naval R. Also Said on a recent podcast that some cryptocurrency traders meet in person to do trades too.

Would be interested in hearing what other things people have heard (or can confirm). I have a feeling some big whales(or syndicates) are participating in market making bc of the small caps of some of these coins, and that may cause a lot of boom-busts. Regardless, I'm still really bullish on crypto/blockchain as a whole though!

12
cslarson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Discussion happens on the two main Ethereum related subreddits: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum. At ethtrader, as a community, we've recently had an effort to put forward a set of criteria for evaluating ICOs, a test example of which is https://np.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/comments/6tg8up/ethtrader_...
13
TaylorGood 2 days ago 2 replies      
Also keep in mind the growth of Cryptocurrency as a whole. New wealth is being created and reinvested.

For example, I participated in a token offering 18 months ago which has produced a sizable value. I then took 20% of the gain and spread it across new token offerings.

At scale, think of everyone whom invested in Bitcoin early and Ethereum at the ICO. Their gains are used to reinvest into the crypto ecosystem at the earliest stages, thus, keeping their fortunes regenerating and growing.

14
michaelbuckbee 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't have a good sense for the size of the ecosystem. I had assumed that 1.5Bil of some ico coin was X amount of ETH * current ETH exchange rate. But that if you actually tried to sell all of that it would collapse the market, so if gun to your head you tried to cash out with $1.5 billion USD you'd "only" get $100mil or something.
15
thebiglebrewski 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm also flabbergasted by the amount of cash (seemingly) that is going into this. I bought some ETH and already made like $2K on a $4K "investment". I'm willing to lose it all but feel like it could be around for a while so why not.

As far as the ICOs....yeah I don't get why you'd buy into that unless you truly believe in the vision and team, and so many of these stories are super shallow. I go with what other commenters are saying, that many of them are shams, they go big on FB/Google advertising to attract rubes, or they're being used for money laundering.

However, I also think that there's room for an ecosystem like this eventually, hence my investment. Just seems like early days and a lot of people taking money because they can. And maybe I'm just the rube though!

16
bpicolo 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Are they preparing for an event where fiat currency becomes worthless

You know what they say about fools and their money. It's taking money in with no actual repercussion if any of your plans fail. It's hilarious how formulaic they are all now. They take some already existent service idea, throw 3 "decentralized ooh ahh" points at the top, and then show pictures of 10 people's faces at the bottom (employees and "advisors").

It's very 2k era dotcom bubble "how do I get rich quick?"

17
leoharsha2 2 days ago 0 replies      
To the beginners - Watch this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl8OlkkwRpc

Highly recommended. It's healthy to take a step back from all the 'money talk' and hear about why blockchain was invented. This is good for Mass adoption. Blockchain is good, the money run on Bitcoin adds it's piece to the pie.

18
techaddict009 2 days ago 0 replies      
I dont know about offline. But this ICOs are investing heavily in various advertising platform. Reddit, FB & Adwords full of ICOs ads if you just search anything about blockchain.

Shameless plug: https://www.cryptoground.com/what-if?amount=1&coin=all&month...You can check returns of currencies here :P

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jaequery 2 days ago 0 replies      
they arent your typical investments. id think its more like the millenials version of a horse race tracks as a form of entertainment. it is astounding to see there is a rediculous amount of of money that gets moved around every day, so obviously these arent just your average kids, there are some big hands involved. it should be pretty easy for bankers/whales to get in and manipulate the prices as they please.
20
TYPE_FASTER 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Are they preparing for an event where fiat currency becomes worthless?

Worth less, maybe.

Tensions in North Korea? Maybe South Koreans buy digital currency.

Magnitsky Act or sanctions preventing Russians from moving money to the US or other countries? Maybe they buy digital currency.

Real estate market sky high, maybe people who sell take the profit and use it to buy digital currency, seeing as the stock market is also at an all-time high.

21
cslarson 2 days ago 0 replies      
This got bumped off the front page rather quickly...
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viach 2 days ago 0 replies      
These misterious investors could be the people who have large amounts of etc to invest and not interested in mass selling, you know, just a thought.
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SoreGums 2 days ago 1 reply      
https://coinlist.co wants to be an ICO platform of preference, their first go is the Filecoin ICO. Issue with them is having to be SEC compliant which makes it pretty much US only (not strictly, however dealing with everything narrows the field vs here is the address, send ETH)
24
freech 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of people who regret not investing in Bitcoin early and who want to believe they'll get another chance now.
25
first_amendment 2 days ago 0 replies      
The "free and open" discussion is happening on Reddit and on various crypto forums like bitcointalk.org. There's quite a lot of it actually
26
Mahn 2 days ago 1 reply      
My impression is that ICOs are motivated solely by greed. There isn't a whole lot here other than an insatiable thirst to make money.
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sowbug 2 days ago 0 replies      
Compare to the dawn of the commercial internet, and it makes a little bit of sense.

Most of us know the internet has been around in different forms for many decades, but it wasn't until the 1990s that commercial use took off. Easy distribution of information was the killer technology: web pages and search engines made instant trips to the library for the silliest questions a normal thing. Amazon was one of the first to get online retail sales right: they picked a fungible type of merchandise (books, which are 99% software and 1% hardware, so you don't really need to try before you buy a specific copy, which means you're fine with a mail-order shopping model). Clearly this wasn't just something cool -- it was a better way of doing things that are a part of everyone's daily life.

But then lots of other folks piled on with increasingly worse "me too!" ideas. Pets.com is the poster child: yeah, you can buy dog food over the internet, but _should_ you? But there was lots of demand in the form of people realizing a little too late that the internet was a huge investment opportunity, and "Amazon except for kitty litter" was close enough to scratch the itch, so the money piled in.

The most positive angle of the dot-com bust is that a lot of incredible technology did come out of it. Google was far from the first search engine, but it had the benefit of learning from the mistakes of Lycos, InfoSeek, Yahoo, AltaVista, and Excite. Facebook was SixDegrees except targeting an amazing combination of elites (top-tier colleges) and young adults experiencing newfound freedom + maximum horniness (college students). Even Microsoft has successfully reinvented itself as a pretty good PaaS provider.

So here we are. Bitcoin started ages ago, in 2009. Some people got it at first, and many to this day still dismiss it as a scam (though I know nobody who understands the technology and thinks it's anything but genuinely revolutionary). But increasingly, people are realizing that, like the internet, Bitcoin has introduced killer technology: decentralized distribution of truth. I haven't yet seen the Amazon of Bitcoin that so obviously connects commercial potential with this new blockchain technology -- perhaps it is Bitcoin itself, where a large percentage of the world stores at least some of its wealth there and it becomes part of the fabric of daily lives -- but there is no doubt that it will arrive, and that there will be more of them soon after that, and that there will be a day in our lifetimes when we can't imagine how we lived our lives needing to consult a government, or an agency, or a giant corporation, or a bureaucracy to learn the truth whether we possess liquid assets, whether we own property, whether we have a professional credential, etc.

Unfortunately (but just like the late 1990s), most of the current ventures are garbage, and nobody knows which is which. Moreover, some of them weren't even created in good faith -- just like IPOs in the late 1990s, some of these offerings are patently absurd. So lots of wealth will be transferred, much unfairly and much semi-randomly. Many people will be hurt.

But out of it will come the next Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

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sabujp 2 days ago 0 replies      
coin offerings are great, it keeps increasing the value of my bitcoin, so keep it up please.
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Ask HN: You're on bathroom break, what productive phone app do you use?
6 points by fouc  3 days ago   13 comments top 13
1
AznHisoka 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used WebMD to learn new health facts like how sitting in the toilet and using the smartphone can lead to hemorrhoids.
2
gvb 3 days ago 0 replies      
3
chuck32 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow this thread is depressing..
4
patatino 3 days ago 0 replies      
I solve half my coding problems on bathroom breaks so no distraction for me :)
5
Jugurtha 2 days ago 0 replies      
My normal bathroom breaks are very long when I'm home and I have my laptop with me, but I can't do that at work (small startup, one bathroom) so my breaks are short and I just sit there collecting my thoughts.

Bonus: Alkido. I've installed Alkido and read a bunch of books (epub) on my phone. I read during commute. I haven't found other apps that don't suck (they all ask for way too many permissions, access contacts and information like WiFi, etc, which I find ridiculous).

6
afarrell 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use anki, a Spaced Repetition flashcard app. When learning a new tool/framework/etc, I make flashcards asking why it does things a certain way. This helps me learn the mental model of the tool more quickly.

I also make a flashcard if I spend a long time debugging something so that I make sure to keep the knowledge that I gained from the bug hunt.

7
abawany 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well, not necessarily during a bathroom break (sometimes, I just don't multitask) but I use Cool Reader, which is an eReader app. My phone contains all of the books that I have, some of which I haven't read yet, and I use the app to resume reading.
8
halfnibble 3 days ago 0 replies      
Helium IDE for BlackBerry10. ;-)In conjunction with Term48 terminal emulator and GCC.crap and codehttps://crackberry.com/helium-blackberry-10
9
wmboy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Pocket or Kindle
10
danreed07 2 days ago 0 replies      
Brilliant. Math problems that can be done without a calculator; separated by domains such as probability, group theory, number theory, physics, AI, etc. Wonderfully stimulating really.
11
coding_animal 2 days ago 0 replies      
True Skate for iPhone. I had a job that I hated and I played this game for fifteen minutes. It helped me relax.
12
threesixandnine 2 days ago 0 replies      
When in bathroom I play chess on my phone.
13
SirLJ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Safari browser to read HN
       cached 21 August 2017 20:05:01 GMT