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1
The day Steve Jobs dissed me hard sivers.org
547 points by grep 1 day ago   113 comments top 18
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42 points by guelo 1 day ago 0 replies      
All big companies spin and backtrack and screw people over, but what I think sets apple apart is their lack of communications. If you're going to screw me over please go ahead and tell me, preferably with a little notice. Don't make me stew in my stress flying my business blind. It is a lack of respect.
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50 points by bl4k 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lesson: pick unique price points so that you know when you are being dissed
3
30 points by netcan 1 day ago replies      
Reading this I realized how scary Apple's reputation is, like you should expect them to do spiteful things. I hear invited to be pitched by Steve, pissed off their legal department, no answer... I would be wetting myself.

Reading this in 2003 probably wouldn't have had quite this effect.

4
20 points by mirkules 1 day ago 3 replies      
"Whatever. Fucking Apple.

We started encoding and uploading immediately."

What really struck me about this post is that he went back to Apple after being disrespected so hard. The lesson is there are times when you have to swallow a big lump of pride in order to better your business. I know I would have a hard time doing that.

5
21 points by wccrawford 1 day ago 1 reply      
A good lesson about dealing with corporate giants.
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6 points by redthrowaway 1 day ago 2 replies      
"I asked again, saying we had over 100,000 albums, already ripped as lossless WAV files, with all of the info carefully entered by the artist themselves, ready to send to their servers with their exact specifications. They said sorry - you need to use this software - there is no other way.

Ugh. That means we have to pull each one of those CDs off of the shelf again, stick it in a Mac, then cut-and-paste every song title into that Mac software. But so be it. If that's what Apple needs, OK."

It would take about a day for a competent programmer to figure out how to automate this process.

7
14 points by jamn 1 day ago 4 replies      
Playing the devil's advocate here.

I have bought more than a couple of CDs from CD Baby and thanks to them I've been able to connect with more than a couple of wonderful artists.

However, from Apple's perspective, it must have seemed like CD Baby was simply trying to make a profit simply by guaranteeing access to the Apple Store, and therefore Apple decided not to move forward in order to protect its brand.

8
14 points by blr_hack 1 day ago 0 replies      
Steve jobs may be a much greater innovator. But surely, can learn a thing or two, on integrity, from Derek Sivers.

Also this is a lesson in on how to have only loosely-coupled relations/dependencies with other companies (particularly, if they are big).

When need to go for tightly-coupled ones dependencies, expect it to break, and have a back-up plan.

9
11 points by angryasian 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really don't understand everyone's reverence for Steve Jobs, but to me this shows how evil and manipulative he is ( not the first time hearing this about him). What people call timing, I call intentional to openly put it out there they want these independents, have others follow their lead and open their stores to independent artists, and then openly and publicly call every other service out there a joke because they let anyone on. Then the next day signing the contract. I highly doubt its all just coincidental.
10
15 points by dshep 1 day ago 3 replies      
Wow. Really interesting to see Steve spin the smaller music collection of iTunes as a positive. I think this is going to make me consider his words more closely in the future.
11
4 points by brisance 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is similar in a sense to how Adobe mishandled their "Flash on iOS" play, right from the start. They took it for granted that Apple would allow Flash-developed apps on the App Store.
12
2 points by jfb 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm no going to defend Apple here, really, but rather to point out that Apple tends to understaff, and what may read as malignancy from the outside can often be more charitably explained by too few people working too many hours.
13
6 points by antidaily 1 day ago 0 replies      
"They edit!" Classic.
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1 point by DanielN 21 hours ago 0 replies      
"Maybe you can't appreciate this now, but the summer of 2003 was the biggest turning point that independent music has ever had."

This has always struck me as interesting point from a music fan's perspective. It seems like the confluence of a lot of factor's led to expansion of independent music around this time.

2001, 2002 was around when cable and DSL prices started to drop outside of major cities. The opening of Itunes. And seemingly a lot of big time independent artists began to jump to major labels (or made major releases from smaller labels) and released very successful albums. Death Cab for Cutie, The Shines, and Modest Mouse off the top of my head.

Just an interesting phenomena I've always been curious about. This article was eye opening as to what one of the key forces in this move might have been.

15
4 points by tiagok 1 day ago 0 replies      
congrats, really, you had an amzing spirit of humility! my admiration goes to you!
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3 points by rdmlx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good on you for refunding the $200,000.
17
2 points by tunaslut 1 day ago 0 replies      
oh man, I saw this too early in the morning and read it as "The day Steve Jobs kissed me hard" :)
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-1 point by danielnicollet 1 day ago 0 replies      
This posts proves something that I feel many seem to forget at times. Despite great products, Apple is human after all.
2
Gmail: Trap my contacts now (warning when exporting contacts to Facebook) google.com
462 points by bjonathan 3 days ago   169 comments top 33
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167 points by ck2 3 days ago replies      
I approve a warning 1000% - it's not like they are stopping you from exporting.

This will slow down my AOL-using friends who gave away all their contact info to Facebook and now I get pelted with spam from Facebook using my name and list of friends (and I don't even have a Facebook account).

Google has never spammed me or share my name and location, Facebook does it all the time, pick who's more evil.

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31 points by portman 2 days ago 6 replies      
Le sigh.

I think Google has lost sight of something very simple in this fracas:

With Google Contacts, the user directly manages his contacts' email addresses.

With Facebook, the user delegates management of email address to his contacts.

These are not the same thing. The Google contacts team seems to think that Facebook is an address book just like them. They are not. And to me, that failure to understand the differences is the root source of all this tomfoolery.

--

Edit after some very welcome discussion downstream:

On GMail, my contacts' email addresses are MY data.

On Facebook, my contacts' email addresses are NOT my data. The FACT that I am connected to my contacts is my data, but any information about those contacts does not belong to me.

This is why Facebook is not an address book, and pretending it as an address book where "your data gets stuck" is bound to lead to frustration for everyone.

3
3 points by kmavm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's what Google had to say about social networks and email exporting less than one year ago:

"Mass exportation of email is not standard on most social networks " when a user friends someone they don't then expect that person to be easily able to send that contact information to a third party along with hundreds of other addresses with just one click."

The occasion was Google disabling exporting of contacts from Orkut to Facebook. I happen to think that both Google then, and Facebook now, are perfectly correct. However, I am curious how those who see Google as clearly in the right, and Facebook as clearly in the wrong, would reconcile Google's statement and actions of a year ago with its statements and actions of the last several days.

Edit: citation http://techcrunch.com/2009/10/26/orkut-slows-hemorraging-to-...

4
26 points by nkassis 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm just waiting for the backroom deal between the two that will allow two way sharing between only them.
5
9 points by ukdm 3 days ago 4 replies      
Is this a new warning page that has been added following Facebook's actions, or one that has been around a while?
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17 points by RoyceFullerton 3 days ago 2 replies      
"I recognize that once it's been imported to another service, that service may not allow me to export it back out."

I could see how this could scare the average user into thinking their contacts are moved from Google to facebook and stuck there, thus loosing their ability to use them within Google's products.

Do you think this is the intention?

7
15 points by corin_ 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's so nice of these two companies to be spending their time and money creating this great entertainment for all of us
8
1 point by phjohnst 2 days ago 2 replies      
There is a point that hasn't yet been mentioned here about the fundamental difference between an address book, and Facebook.

Facebook is okay to be a dead-end for contacts' emails, since the email upload is used once to find others on the service. After that, if you need to contact someone else on Facebook, you can do so with a wall post or an inbox message. The email address is irrelevant.

With an address book, you need it to be portable, since the medium is accessible from many different locations and services.

The fact is that you dont need to get your friends' contact details out of Facebook. You sign up for Facebook to make Friends on Facebook and communicate over Facebook. Not to communicate over email, etc. (And certainly not over a rival network.) When you add someone to your address book, you do so to communicate with them over email, or phone, or whatever, which are inherently completely open and interconnected systems. [Surely there is a debate to be had here about the ubiquity of Facebook as a platform and that it should be open - could you imagine Facebook Clients? But I dont believe that's a debate about exporting existing contact info.]

To that end, Google warning users about the terminal nature of their exported data is unnecessary and only confuses the process of finding friends for users (who, by the way, aren't thinking about data portability, or building up an address book/contacts list on Facebook, they're thinking about making Friends on Facebook, to communicate over Facebook)

TL;DR: This whole mess doesn't matter, and Google is only making things complicated for users.

9
1 point by jasonkester 2 days ago 8 replies      
As luck would have it, I picked today to set up a Facebook profile for me girlfriend. I'm now really angry with Google.

It used to be a 30 second task to sift through your address book and check off people to send friend requests to. Now, thanks to Google behaving like children, I need to figure out how to export her contacts as a text file so that I can upload it to Facebook.

Google, please stop.

You are pissing off your customers.

Edit: subsititure Users for Customers in the previous sentence if it helps you to parse it. The end result is still the same: The people who use Google's service are being punished by Google for the actions of a 3rd party.

10
4 points by scrrr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting how the tide seems to turn. My Conspiracy theory:

I think Facebook might have gone to far with Facebook Deals. Now Groupon, its friends and other bystanders start to react less kindly to Facebook's business model: Copying ideas from other websites with nothing in return. Oh, well.

11
2 points by chrischen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google should also point out that if Facebook lets you export your friends' emails then your friends can do the same to your email. And that if that happens one bad or compromised friend can give yours and everyone else's emails to spammers.

Same thing can happen with Google Contacts, but the difference is that on Contacts you give out your email. On Facebook you signup with an email and then you "friend" someone.

12
1 point by trevelyan 3 days ago 2 replies      
Google is being silly. First because they're breaking the usability of THEIR own site out of an invented vendetta against a company that is just using the feature they created and made available. If they don't believe people should be able to export data from Gmail they should stop offering it generally and compete against other email providers with a more closed platform, not whine about reciprocity from sites that are not in their business.

Second because they are in the wrong. The last thing in the world I want is my friends on Facebook to be able to give MY email address to random third-parties in return for free virtual pets or whatever Zynga is giving away this week. Google's moralism would mean much more spam and a far worse experience with Facebook. My being a "friend" with someone does not imply permission to let them give my contact information to third parties. Who is Google to say otherwise?

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1 point by illumin8 3 days ago 2 replies      
The warning says: "Here's the not-so-fine print. You have been directed to this page from a site that doesn't allow you to re-export your data to other services, essentially locking up your contact data about your friends."

I think this is misleading - Doesn't Facebook allow you to download all of your data, just like Google? As much as I dislike Facebook's privacy policies, the mudslinging seems a little thick from both sides.

Facebook and Google - two of the biggest privacy violating companies on the planet. May you live in interesting times, indeed.

14
5 points by joakin 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fortunately this gives more info to average users about their data and what's happening with it

Maybe they will care some day ...

15
4 points by atourino 3 days ago 1 reply      
It seems to me that their wording pushes their anti Facebook data locking agenda, intimidating novice users. To me, this goes against their "don't be evil" company motto.
16
2 points by kwamenum86 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am not sure if the back and forth between Google and Facebook is intriguing or just childish at this point.

Neither is doing this for the users. They are doing it to help their services grow and ultimately to help their bottom line grow. Believing anything else would be naive at this point.

17
4 points by paraschopra 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Select one or more options. Cancel and go back"

I liked this. So Godfatheresque!

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3 points by janulrich 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's great how they used check boxes to make the submit button appear. It makes it more likely that people will actually read the warning.
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1 point by itsnotvalid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apparently, it's just for Facebook only.

https://www.google.com/mail/help/contacts_export_confirm.htm...

By the link of this, one can see that only exporting to Facebook would render this confirmation message.

20
1 point by sdrinf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any publicly traded betting pool for this? I've got 10 bucks saying FB will open up their data silos (at least for Google) within the next 12 months :)
21
1 point by sssparkkk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe google is trying to get facebook to open up now, so it'll be in time for everyone to be able to use it to migrate to Google Me.
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1 point by pama 3 days ago 0 replies      
I just used this link and saved my contacts, just in case this story leads to more dramatic actions. I also tested the register complaint button and, sure enough, my complaint was duly registered (though nobody explained what this means). Interestingly enough, I could have done both in one step, by checking both boxes and getting a long button reading: "download my contact information and register complaint".
23
0 points by dsplittgerber 3 days ago 1 reply      
It allegedly registered my complaint without me being logged-in, so whatever they do, it's for show only?

This reeks of a cheap shot.

24
1 point by oemera 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a really clever move from Google and I think many people will read this and stop giving there data to Facebook.
I have a dump feeling about giving all of my data to Facebook cause they have sure enough.
Otherwise: it's free and they are making money with your data right?
25
0 points by gizmomagico 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is such bullshit.

A service that won't let me "get my contact information out"? Nice way to frame this in terms of "openness" too, apparently riding "open" for all it's worth with Android is not enough.

Can I just "get out" all of my personal information from Google? No? Isn't Google "open" enough to let me do it?

We think this is an important thing for you to know before you import your data there.

Did you also think it was super duper important with a cherry and smarmy bullshit on top to let me know before you gave Facebook my GMail contacts behind the scenes when I was registering there earlier this year?

No, and I was disgusted when Facebook started suggesting them for "friends" right away.

26
1 point by eiji 3 days ago 2 replies      
Facebook could allow users to "Opt-in" an email export.
If I'm not "Opt-in", only my name would be exported by me and my friends.

We all know that Opt-in is like "does not exist", but they could at least say they are open.

edit: They could even sell it as a privacy feature ...

27
1 point by zoowar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ironically, control of personal data ends once the data has been shared, by you or any of your friends. Terms of Service often enable a company to collect and share your data as they see fit.
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1 point by kyledreger 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want a page to see the total number of "complaints" Google has collected so far. Just curious as to how many people actually picked that option.
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1 point by luckyland 2 days ago 0 replies      
But does it work with Orkut?
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0 points by ajaimk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Alternate heading: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
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-3 points by gabrielmazzotti 2 days ago 0 replies      
jajajaja Gmail rules!
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-3 points by wooptoo 3 days ago 0 replies      
A big middle finger to FB.
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-4 points by alain94040 3 days ago 1 reply      
What bothers me is that Google is taking the stance that they have the right to lock my data in their service if they feel like it.

That's why that position, to me, is untenable. Don't do evil indeed: you just conceded the other side (Facebook) their main argument (that they don't have to be open, only if they feel like it).

3
Son, as soon as someone puts their hands on you... sebastianmarshall.com
427 points by kapilkaisare 1 day ago   347 comments top 85
1
128 points by Legion 1 day ago replies      
I firmly believe that earnest efforts to suppress any and all physical violence in schools has created an environment where bullies are able to operate without repercussion.

Good kids don't "fight". It's so ingrained into the head of the good kids that they are terrified of fighting even to defend themselves.

Thus, bullies get to bully with no fear. There's no consequence. Whereas when a weaker kid fights back, even if the bully is strong enough to "win" the battle, he still gets hit in the mouth and does not like it. Bullies much prefer low-hanging fruit that doesn't fight back.

My children, when school age (maybe not 1st grade, but certainly by junior high), will be sat down and have the following explained to them:

"You are allowed to defend yourself. You will avoid physical conflict whenever possible, but should you ever be physically threatened or subject to ongoing torment, you have the GREEN LIGHT to use physical force to protect yourself, OR to assist a friend who is unable to protect themselves."

"You may get in trouble with your school. THIS IS OK. Your well-being is more important than their rules. If you get suspended for three days, then I'll take three days off work and we'll keep up with your studies. I will be on your side. Do not let concern over the school rules stop you at all from defending yourself."

"However, you will never use force to do anything but protect yourself or your friend. If I find that YOU have been the aggressor, I will smite you."

I'll probably need to work on that speech a bit between now and then, but you get the idea. :)

I was lucky. I was never the small or weak one. Even still, I can think back to a couple of situations where fear of parental response prevented me from protecting myself as well as I should have. My children will have it made known to them that they will not be "assumed guilty" when a situation comes up where they physically defend themselves. No aggression towards others will be tolerated, but they will be trusted to properly use their discretion, and until they prove themselves guilty, they will be assumed innocent.

2
65 points by maxawaytoolong 1 day ago 10 replies      
It's sort of embarrassing this is the number one story on hacker news. Especially since it's 6 weeks old and was already posted before, and mostly seems fabricated. It reads like some fat kid ender's game revenge fantasy. I guess maybe this is what happens in white suburban schools? Cuz fights in the schools where I used to teach math would end up with kids in the hospital or dead. Or, I guess I don't really know, because both parties would both never come back to school.

I guess if Bobby Bully is putting beans in your pants you can try your karate kid routine on him. Maybe Eye of The Tiger will start playing and after you make him cry by ballet kicking him in the nose you and Elisabeth Shue can go share a milkshake at Pop's and then make out at the drive in. But in real life Jesus and Jose and their 20 cousins and homies just show up after school and steal all your clothes, your bike, your money and throw you into the dumpster.

I guess I don't ever really believe these stories, because whenever i've seen someone fight back it just turned into a drawn out war, not some fairytale DeGrassi afterschool special outcome where the bully "learned his place"

3
80 points by ErrantX 1 day ago 9 replies      
Not even slightly controversial here.

I suffered 5 years of bullying at school; and tried everything to get it to stop, without success.

Until one day I just got fed up, walked up to the main tormentor in class and, unprovoked, hit him really hard in the mouth (I think I broke his nose, I'm not sure). Was in weeks of trouble (with the staff) :) but once that was out of the way no one touched me again.

I've never outright recommended this approach to anyone; and indeed it's probably not the right thing to do all the time. But some sort of short-sharp-shock can work just as well (so... barging them to the ground etc.) as long as it is sufficiently hard.

4
12 points by seldo 1 day ago replies      
Fuck this.

I'm not a violent person. I never have been and never will be. I do not consider it a valid way to solve problems. Reverting to our animal nature is rejecting the progress we have made in our brains overriding unproductive basic survival impulses in favour of smarter solutions.

That's not to say this approach doesn't work. For some people it works perfectly. But hitting back only works if you're stronger than them. Otherwise they'll just kick your ass and things will get worse. And even if it works, all you've done is validate the world view that might makes right.

The world is full of idiots who ruin the lives of others, both at the micro level of domestic abuse and the macro level of dictatorships, because of this principle. It's the law of the jungle, and you know what? We don't live in the fucking jungle any more. We live in a civilized society, where intelligence can triumph over brute strength.

Nobody should know that better than HN, a community of nerds who dream of changing the world one keystroke at a time. I'm disappointed to see how much support there is for this idea.

The smart solution to bullying is to make it socially unacceptable. Kids don't take dumps in the hallways because there's no payoff to doing so. But if you beat up the unpopular kid, you get some credibility. Rob them of that credibility, rob them of their motivation, and you end bullying, without swinging a fist.

5
34 points by pragmatic 1 day ago 8 replies      
"This comment will be controversial, especially for North Americans and Western Europeans."

No not really. It will perhaps offend the bizarre establishment that has invaded school administration. However, this is bully repulsion 101.

If the system doesn't protect you, you must find a technique that does. Would we avoid school shootings,etc, if we taught our kids to stand up for themselves, don't let yourself get bullied? Real self respect vs the artificial "everyone's special" of today's thinking?

Sidenote: Why is this behavior (bullying) tolerated in school? What other part of our culture accepts bullying as "part of growing up" or "just the way it is?"

6
56 points by _pius 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm reminded of what Malcolm X said to the civil rights demonstrators:

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.

7
36 points by steauengeglase 1 day ago 1 reply      
Essay time.

In my freshman and sophomore years in college I did some substitute teaching. It was easy money. The state gives you $90 if you can pass a TB test and everyone makes it through the day with all digits. Simple enough.

So one day I was subbing in a high school math class. I looked over the lesson plan and noticed that one kid was marked as a "disruption". As I'm going over the roll I'm looking for him. Football player? Nope, not him. Thug kid? Nah. Smug asshole attention seeker? No. Oh, there he is and holy shit it's me! White kid with glasses, either over or under weight and reading Musician's Friend, probably has a copy of Elektor hidden in there somewhere. His bookbag has every one of his books in it because he doesn't want to go to his locker. Either someone keeps messing with him or he subconsciously doesn't want to remember his combination.

Soon the disruption became obvious. Every few minutes someone would hit him or yell something at him and he kept withdrawing into his shell. After I threw a couple out it stopped. After class I stopped him on the way out and chatted for a few minutes. I was right, there was a copy of Elektor in his bag and no, he couldn't remember his combination.

During lunch I hung out in the teacher's lounge and chatted with a few of the teachers. Finally I asked them about him. It was a consensus, he was a disruption and they couldn't wait to find a reason to expel him. This was the point where I realized I'd never make it as a teacher. After years of being angry at the other kids it never occurred to me that they were also the enemy. Suddenly the codes made sense. How many times had I heard teachers say that students should be able to "learn in a non-disruptive environment"? Fuck, they wanted me to get thrown to the wolves; it was always a part of the plan. I was just a cancer in the education system's body, something that didn't just work its way out, despite their best non-efforts.

The following year I took a job in a call center and moved to their IT dept. Subbing was easy, but at least IT didn't feel like blood money. There was a silver lining. I ran into that kid a few years ago in a restaurant. He was married with a kid of his own. He rushed and grabbed by hand. "I just want to say thanks. You were right, they were all assholes."

That was by far my most satisfying job related moment. Only Hallmark moment I have to offer.

8
32 points by lhorie 1 day ago 2 replies      
>> I had two guys try to mug me the other day in a dangerous area. Bad mistake, doubled one of them over with a kick the stomach and shouted at the other one, YOU WANT TO DIE? BACK DOWN, STAY BACK. He did, he let me walk away while his criminal buddy was doubled over.

Where I come from, the third kid, who was pretending to be a bystander all along, with the gun under his shirt, would've shot you from behind your back.

Just because resorting to violence to deal with bullies works doesn't mean you should go all rambo with actual criminals.

9
9 points by mcantor 1 day ago 2 replies      
Oh for fuck's sake. People, there are many reasons why bullying occurs, and there are many types of bullies, and there are many types of kids who get bullied.

Does anyone out there honestly believe that there's a single solution that will work in every situation? I hate to be so condescending, but really now! On a site like this, where we make careers out of handling edge conditions, we should know better.

If a kid punches you because he hates himself, should you punch him back? What if a kid punches you because he's trying to fit in with a circle of friends, and they hate themselves, but he just kinda has low self-esteem? What if a kid punches you because you remind him of a kid that bullied him last year? What if a kid punches you because he's having a bad day, but he feels bad about it after? What if a kid punches you because he likes you, but he has an abusive family environment and punching is the only way he knows to express affection? What if a kid punches you because he hates himself, but he hates everyone else too? What if a kid punches you because he has low self esteem and he's jealous of how smart you sounded in class just now?

The answer to everything up there is not "JUST PUNCH THE FUCKER" or "JUST HUG THE FUCKER." Come on. They are all unique situations in their own right, and they all must be considered separately. In fact, each of those has different solutions based on who the target is. They're schoolchildren. They're humans. They're not computer programs! They're not predictable automatons! If you're new in school and you fuck someone up on the first day, that's completely different from being bullied for six years and then finally punching back. The first has a higher likelihood of getting you left alone. The second will probably make it worse! If you're a small kid and you try to give them a hug, that's different from if you're a big kid. They could say the small kid is only being friendly because he's too wimpy to fight back. They could say a big kid is only punching because he's too stupid to think of a comeback. IT DEPENDS. It fucking DEPENDS.

The whole reason "bullying" remains an "unsolved issue" is because people keep suggesting silver bullets, and there fucking isn't one. Instead of attacking each other's silver bullets, why don't we take the difficult but arguably more worthwhile path of identifying different motivations for bullying and how the psychology of differing responses works? Because this "be friendly"/"punch them out" bullshit sounds more and more like emacs vs. vim to me.

PLEASE?

10
3 points by lmkg 1 day ago 0 replies      
My only problem with this article is when the author considers the antagonists to be animals. It encourages thinking of the bullies as sub-human, and beyond redemption, and treating them like that encourages them to keep acting like that. People are complicated, life is complicated, and completely dismissing someone as an "animal" and ignoring anything else about them is an arrogant effort to make yourself feel morally superior for taking what is an essentially pragmatic option.

Like I said, that's the only issue I have, and I condone the advice to fight back. I do think that bullies, or at least some individuals who are bullies, have the potential to be talked to. However, I think it's unlikely that they can be talked to by the person they're antagonizing, while they're in the process of antagonizing them. If you're being picked on, you have neither the responsibility, nor the ability, to redeem your tormentor. Concern yourself with your well-being, defend yourself, and leave the redemption to a professional counselor. No one has the obligation to act in the interest of someone who is acting against theirs (although I have deep respect for those who volunteer to do so).

The difference between fighting back as a deterrent, and fighting back as moral superiority, is rather fine, and in the moment of fighting back, probably indistinguishable. But there are downstream effects of thinking of others (and especially of treating them) as less than human, or even as inferior to you. Thinking that the current situation will never change blinds you to ways to change it, and in the long-term, that results in things failing to change.

11
12 points by ahoyhere 1 day ago 4 replies      
You don't need to hit a bully to break his power.

The trick is to emasculate them. Show them you don't care. When they insult you or hurt you, laugh at them. You just have to mean it.

I was bullied for years until I realized one day why they bullied me - I smelled of fear, and I didn't react, I just stood there and looked at them. Suddenly it all made sense, they were like braindead sharks to blood.

So I started smiling and laughing at them.

Took the wind right out of their sails, and they weren't able to force me to come down to their level.

I won.

Play their game and they still win on some level, because hurting another person hurts yourself.

12
60 points by nhashem 1 day ago 2 replies      
I liked this post until he started talking about fighting the Chinese mafia and jump kicking criminals. At that point I wasn't sure whether his point was, "take your own bullying into your own hands" or "watch me brag about how badass I am on the internet."
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7 points by toast76 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm the youngest of three boys. We all went to the same high school. When I arrive in Year 7, there were apparently quite a few kids "lining up" to have a go at me. My brothers were well respected academics as well as both celebrated for their Basketball and Athletics achievements, and I was the geek.

My group of geek friends and I took our share of hassling in the first week. It was probably day 4 when one of the bullies had a go at a friend of mine (over a paper aeroplane if I recall) so I stood up to him. I then got backed into a corner by 2 or 3 of them who started really hammering me.

Something snapped in me.

I started kicking, punching, kneeing, throwing windmills and swearing like a crazy person. I don't know how long it was before a teacher came out and broke it up. But I'm sure it wasn't long, and I'm dead certain that I barely made contact with anything. We all sat in the principals office and got a stern talking to. The older kids were suspended, I was let off...probably because my brothers were star pupils.

They thought I was bat-shit crazy. For the next 6 years I wasn't hassled again.

14
19 points by jbooth 1 day ago 3 replies      
I was with this guy until he started talking about mouthing off to a mafia guy in Japan.

Kid stuff is kid stuff, adult stuff is different. That 9th grader had almost certainly never tortured someone with a car battery. Same with the muggers - who's to say that they're sane in the least? What if they're really strung-out and have knives, now you're going to the hospital.

15
7 points by kenjackson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why don't parents do something? I'd have no problem, as an adult, confronting a kid and telling them that if they touched my son again I'd personally deliver them to juvy where I can make accomodations for buddies they don't appreciate.

And unless they're already hardened gang members, this should work pretty well, and probably breaks no laws. And if they do do it again, live up to your promise, to the extent possible.

If they are hardened gang members, you should probably get your child out of the situation, because fighting back is a losing proposition.

16
8 points by JabavuAdams 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would phrase the advice to sound less hair-trigger, but I essentially agree. "Ignore the bully", or "don't fight back" are terrible advice that put the (your) child at risk.

I think where parents get confused is on the individual vs. group distinction. We look at the world, see all the various tribal wars with their counter-attacks and counter-counter-attacks, and erroneously conclude that violence doesn't solve anything.

We're not talking suicide bombs and airstrikes, here. If Alice shoves Billy, and Billy shoves Alice back, there's often no escalation, and no-one else is harmed. The issue is settled, and everyone's still alive and well. This is much better than ongoing bullying.

17
5 points by marcamillion 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just to re-iterate many of the above comments. When I was in 7th grade (in Jamaica you are about 11 in 7th grade), I was perpetually bullied by one guy. Another 7th grader, but because I came from a middle class upbringing and he from lesser means, perhaps he felt a need to exude a 'gangster' image.

Given that I was one of the smallest guys in the class, that naturally meant I became a target.

At first I would try to ignore it, but it never went away.

Well, one day I decided I wasn't going to take it and I fought back. I hit him a few times and we rumbled together and I ended up having him in a 'sleeper hold' - i.e. my arm around & in front of his neck, with my other arm locked around the back of his head - with him fading quickly.

In a fit of desperation he quickly pulled out a compass (the one that had a 1-inch long point) and stabbed me in my arm - to get me to let go. Well, it worked, I let go instantly.

The pain was intense - but he was able to get his breath back. As soon as we both realized what he did, I turned to walk to the bathroom (because it had started bleeding by now), but he thought I was going to the principal's office. Naturally he ran after me apologizing profusely and literally BEGGED me not to go to the principal.

I bluffed a bit, and indicated to him that if he ever troubled me again I am going straight there.

That was the end of that...for the rest of my high school career he never troubled me again. As a matter of fact, if he ever saw anyone else try picking on me, he would kinda take up for me.

So while I wouldn't say 'take something hard and knock them in the back of their head' but simply fighting back and standing up for yourself can help significantly.

Although, a word of caution, I could have easily been stabbed elsewhere (like my eye, or head). So take that for what it's worth and advise your kids of the real potential consequences of fighting back - not to mention further retribution by the bully's friends (which is a very real possibility here in Jamaica).

That being said, I am definitely going to advise my son to hit back - but do it wisely and make sure not to do TOO much damage. i.e. once they back off, stop, leave, and report it (or not, as my case proved) or call me to at least let me know there was an issue.

Edit: Oh and for the record, the wound took about 2 months to heal properly and hurt like a mother-lover, for what it's worth.

18
17 points by brianmwang 1 day ago 1 reply      
His account of the 9th grader reminds me of the advice to punch out the toughest looking guy in the room on your first day of prison to establish a reputation of unfuckablewithness.
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6 points by kno 1 day ago 0 replies      
I grew up in a tough neighborhood, lower middle class, where we fix issues with fists fights. My dad, a tough guy, hated bullying period. He did not tolerate his child being the bully; he made us understand that is was shameful to mistreat the weak and the young. He always told us to stand our ground when attacked, he said if the attacker was stronger and bigger we could use a stick, a stone or anything that could really hurt the attacker. My dad said we should not respond to a push with a push, he thought an attack should be met with a response x times. A punch for a push; my two brothers and I were known for our fierce defense abilities, which made us safe from bullying growing up.

Today as a parent, I give the same advice to my children. We are a minority in our neighborhood and my kids go to great school. They have been through multiple attacks from bullies. My son is in middle school and so far has been able to fight back at many would be bullies. I made it clear to the principal and some parents of bullies that my children are permitted to fight back when attacked, that I will stand by them in all circumstances.

So far it has been working pretty well next year my daughter will be in high school and my son is a reputed defensive player in the basketball team.

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6 points by swombat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems like Ender's Game 101. Thoroughly agree, and wish I'd had the balls to carry it through when I was bullied as a kid.

My dad gave me this very advice at the time, but I was too cowardly to follow it...

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9 points by ck2 1 day ago 0 replies      
But how do we teach kids when the "authority" puts their hands on them?

http://www.boingboing.net/201011111141.jpg

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4 points by castis 1 day ago 0 replies      
In my findings, this method is not near as effective as having something you said get taken way out of context.

I got bullied a little in middle school. However, in a completely unrelated event, I said something with one feeling and someone nearby thought I said it in anger I guess.

Next thing I know, SWAT and local police are at my high school and somehow everyone knows who they're looking for.

Apparently "Really? OMG Im gonna kill her! lol" directly translates to "I'm going to bring a gun to school and murder her".

I was never messed with again and no one asked.

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13 points by iwr 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's strange how a society supposedly obsessed with safety nonetheless thinks normal to place a child in such an environment, then do everything to prevent them from defending themselves. It's a prison environment, only the inmates did nothing to deserve being there.

The problem could be that kids don't interact much with people outside their age group. They have no reference point of how adults behave. It becomes a sort of Lord of the Flies world.

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4 points by zaidf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was bullied quite a bit when I started 1st grade at a new school. Luckily I had two older brothers at the school. A couple times I pointed out the dudes responsible and they would go have a word with them and that'd take care of it.

I guess you get bullied when the other party things they have little to lose and lots(of pleasure) to gain. Soon as you signal they might have something to lose and they believe you they move on to the next victim.

A few times I remember just cursing out the bullies OUT LOUD. I was considered so weak that they never thought I'd do that. Once I did, the bullying stopped.

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3 points by mattmaroon 1 day ago 0 replies      
It does crack me up that people think being nice to a bully will work. They realize that bullies act out of misery due to self esteem issues, but they think one high school kid, who the bully sees as a helpless victim, saying something like "I value you as a person" is going to turn around the bully's self esteem.

Humans don't work that way. Years of ingrained low self worth take years of effort to correct. Going Joe Pesci on one of them works in minutes.

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3 points by armandososa 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree with responding to physical abuse with violence. But hitting someone for verbal abuse seems nonsensical, dumb, and animalistic.

Growing up being a short, brown-skinned, fatty-snotty nerd gain me a lot of verbal abuse, but I always was very good with wit and snark and more than once, the abuser ended up crying.

Funny enough, this ability gave me enough respect that almost nobody ever tried to physically abuse me.

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1 point by maxklein 1 day ago 4 replies      
You don't end a fight by starting a fight. It works in theory, but it just causes a culture of violence.

People who are bullied are bullied because of they way they are perceived by others. You notice how there are a lot of neutral people who nobody bullies?

There are the bullies on one extreme, then there are a lot of neutrals, then there are the bullied on the other extreme. Asking a person who is bullied to hit someone is not solving the problem at all, it is actually contributing to the 'weirdness' factor that made that person bullied in the first place. The people who are bullied are not bullied just because they look physically weak, but because they are giving off the wrong social vibe. Doing something like hitting someone is not addressing the real issue.

To stop a child from being bullied, you need to address the short term problem, and you need to adress the long term problem. The short term problem is that the people need to stop, and the long term problem is that he needs to gain a lot of confidence and properly learn how to integrate himself in a social situation. He needs to learn to assert himself, and not be weak.

The short term solution can be solved without violence. If a person is bullying you, and you just say nothing, just scowl and lean towards the person with your arms swinging free, look straight into the eyes of the people without blinking, speak in a low cold voice, then walk away without looking back you can almost always stop further aggravation. Most bullied people make the mistake of smiling and trying to laugh off the problem, then going into a body posture that says they are defensive, and hopping from foot to foot or fiddling with clothes, and looking down. This encourages the bullies, because you are displaying beta-male behaviour.

The long term solution involves forcing the child into a lot of social activities, so that he learns how to establish and build social hierachies. Also, a lot of physical activity, particular where he can get to dominate, and also team sports where he is working with people less competent than him will also help teach him to assert himself.

Saying somethin like "punch the person" is not only not very clever, it's also practically undoable for most bullied people. Most bullied kids are small wimpy and non-assertive kids. They can't punch anyone. Don't give this pointless advice.

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3 points by msg 1 day ago 1 reply      
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

Reading this thread, it occurs to me once again how countercultural the Sermon on the Mount is, and how hard it is to seriously live it.

I wouldn't recommend this as a plan of action for somebody else's kid. Or for others, in a pluralist political context. Or for nations. Because hey, this goes down to a very basic belief about how to live rightly and wrongly in the world, and how to respond to violence and evil.

29
2 points by anigbrowl 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is wrong.

But son, as soon as someone puts their hands on you, they've crossed a line. Fuck them up. It's the only thing these vicious freaks understand. They're wild animals. They make violence on you, you need to show them that you're the stronger, bigger animal. When someone attacks you maliciously for no reason, you need to impose your will on them.

All unwelcome contact is considered to be enemy contact, and nuclear retaliation is offered as the solution.

And yet not all contact is roughhousing, not all roughhousing is bullying, and not all bullying justifies maximum retaliation. Of course, implicit in this advice is the ability to distinguish how offensive or aggressive an unwanted contact actually is, and to measure one's response appropriately...exactly the sort of thing kids (usually) learn by experience, but (frequently) miss when receiving knowledge transmissions from a trusted moral authority.

This is not an argument for pacifism or passivity: I am well aware that not all aggressive people secretly want to be loved or are just having difficulty making polite conversation. I was a small child and remain a fairly small adult; I've been bullied (in school) and attacked by various street criminals (as an adult) - more than most people, I'd guess. I dislike fights and haven't started one since age 8 or so, but I will finish one if it is forced upon me, and also enjoy non-competitive martial arts (ie fighting with other students for enjoyment of skill rather than pursuit of belts).

Going all-out in response to attack is a poor strategy, rooted in fear rather than confidence. It may not be appropriate in the first place; indeed, bullies and criminals frequently exhibit a victim mentality and complain that the target of their aggression 'made them do it.' Overlooking this factor assures that sooner or later a person will end up wondering how s/he ended up being the bad gal/guy - if not for physical fighting, then in an employment or domestic context. Secondly, it may not be necessary: the aim of self-defense is to end the confrontation and deter future attacks, and most attacks are experimental or opportunistic. Such opponents will quickly fold in face of equivalent resistance, and often when confronted with far less (eg a push in response to a punch). Violently revenging your hurt feelings, rather than merely defending your hurt person, forces your attacker into defending themselves with an least an equivalent degree of fervor. You win by holding your ground and seeing your opponent quit; to withholding this option is to rob yourself of your own victory. No outcome that takes place under duress yields certainty to the immediate beneficiary. Thirdly, if your attacker is serious and dangerous, then going all-out can be quite dangerous. Such moves are more apparent and less calculated, and an experienced opponent can easily exploit this to use your own strength against you.

Having been on both ends of this equation, I feel comfortable in saying that the person who loses their temper will lose any resulting fight too. Conflicts are mental problems, to which the physical aspects are often only a footnote.

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3 points by nadam 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good advice generally. Although there are rare very serious cases when even this does not help. There was a mentally ill guy in our primary school who was strong, wild and agressive like an animal. (He has done weight training every day being 11 years old!) He had no respect of his own life, so if someone fought back he would fight until really dangerous levels. The older the guys are the more dangerous this whole thing can get. In an extreme situation the best thing someone can do is to tell everything their parents. The serious bully in our school was first 'met' by the father of a bullied girl and later were fired from the school.
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2 points by ern 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was in high school, I was hassled a lot by a bully, who enjoyed showing off to the (largely female) class by bullying me. He also had the nasty habit of grabbing and crushing the testicles of other boys when cornered.

One particularly bad day, after school, I went home, got a baseball bat (and ball, in case I was stopped by cops). Took a sidekick, went back to school, and looked for the bully. He ran back onto school grounds (I wasn't going to risk a suspension by going into school with a weapon), but I made sure that a few people in class knew I was looking for him. When I went into school the next day I got a grovelling apology from him, and was never bullied again. I was surprised by how well it worked.

Looking back more than a decade, I cannot believe how incredibly foolish I was, but it convinced me that bullies are most effectively stopped by the most primitive means.

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2 points by blhack 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe my experience with high school bulles is atypical. I went to a very small high school (my graduating class had 32 people in it), and I was also a big kid. I was (and am) 6'4", I played tennis constantly. Despite being in alright shape, I was definitely a "fat" kid, definitely a nerd, and I definitely took a lot of flak for it.

Until I stopped taking flak for it. Bullies are just trolls in real life. Letting them make you feel dejected (or showing it) just feeds them...it's just like internet trolls.

Responding back to them, not violently, but trolling them back meant that you were no longer a victim, but were just playing the same game. Eventually, I made friends with the kids that used to tease me.

I really don't think that responding violently to bullies is the answer. That just further serves to enforce an "us" and "them" mentality. Bullying them back, just playing their game back at them makes it into a game. Eventually, at least for me, bullying turned into friendly jabbings.

33
2 points by rapind 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was with you until the fight dirty part. Often but not always bullying is due to insecurity. While I will definitely recommend to my son to stick up for himself and others he cares about (sorry but turn the other cheek is not my thing) I would never tell him to fight dirty.

Win or lose, getting beat up is not the end of the world. Some people are tougher and that's just the way it is. Winning a fight against a bully is not nearly as important as showing the balls to fight even if you don't think you stand a chance. It won't always produce good results one-off, but overall it'll be worth it.

As for some of these comments advising trickery like showing strength, staring, talking crap etc. Doesn't work. Once you've been in a few fights you understand this. A lot of it's on a subconscious level and your body language will make it obvious that you're trying to avoid a fight while pretending to act mean. People sense that and it's the absolute quickest way to lose a few teeth. So what if he's bigger and stronger? The quickest way to end a fight is to hit hard and fast with an utter lack of fear. If you really are at a huge disadvantage then yeah it won't go so well. But if that's the case you weren't going to scare him off with intellectual techniques either.

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4 points by magicseth 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a really fine line. This type of response can just as easily backfire on you. One punch back can escalate things well beyond the original infraction, the next thing you know, you are in the hospital. Embarrassing someone who fancies themselves the leader of a pack is never a good idea. Even if you escape unscathed one day, the very next day you may be met with an even larger pack of people.

It is this very mindset that perpetuates violence, it doesn't end it. For Sebastian, the line is clear "as soon as someone puts their hands on you," but everyone has a different line. Taunting someone every day for months can push someone beyond their line, and when they push you away out of desperation they have "put their hands on you."

Being strong and standing up for yourself does not require physical violence. Understanding the reason someone is picking on you is perhaps the best way to actually stop it, and perhaps even address the root cause, making the road better for the next person in line. When complaining about the bully in my elementary school, my parents explained to me the social situation that he was brought up in, and how we were so lucky in comparison. I didn't "love" them, but I understood them much better, and learned how to avoid getting in their way. Hitting back wouldn't have solved anything.

35
2 points by pmichaud 1 day ago 0 replies      
Although this particular experience wasn't physical in nature, I wrote an essay recently that argues the opposite:
http://www.petermichaud.com/essays/your-inner-monster/

But I have to say, in an acutely dangerous situation, the right thing to do is physically defend yourself. Then you can love the person, if they are still alive.

36
5 points by Reclix 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd say every situation has an escalating set of responses, and I certainly don't believe that violence is always unacceptable, especially when nonviolent means have failed.

I'd suggest that a large part of why MLK succeeded is because Malcolm X was loudly stating the alternative.

I've never been physically bullied, as I've always been both a dork and an athlete, but I was teased relentlessly early on. My dad's advice was always to ignore, and this just didn't work well enough. That's how I discovered the power of personality - the power to fire back is (sadly) what wins respect of children.

The challenge once you've gained the skill is to reign it in - to be intentional in your response, and to sometimes decide that nonviolence, or silence IS actually the way to go.

37
4 points by pinaceae 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree and can confirm the effectiveness of this approach. My dad saw me being bullied in kindergarten. Rather than stopping the bullying himself, he taught me how to do a choke-hold.

The next day he had to pick me up earlier as I was accused of violent behavior - for choking the bully until he turned blue.

This lesson, learned so early, helped me a lot in later school life as I was that overweight small kid with thick glasses. And every time someone tried to bully me, I simply slammed my elbow in their nuts.

Kids can be mean monsters, they can be worse than any grown up. They have no idea how much harm they are causing.

Defending yourself against predators is a very important lesson in life.

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4 points by WalterBright 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's essentially the tit-for-tat response, which turns out to be a very effective strategy for all sorts of things, not just bullies.
39
5 points by krsgoss 1 day ago 4 replies      
Does this advice help at all with girls? Girls seemed to bully socially rather than physically when I was in school. What do you tell a young girl who's in a similar situation? "Punch her in the nose?"

I had a similar experience (and resolution) in middle school and I agree with the author's conclusion. But now I have an 8 month old daughter who may experience this type of bullshit one day, and I'm not sure what advice I'd give her just now.

40
0 points by pilif 1 day ago 0 replies      
Back in my school days, I was the constant victim of bullying (probably like many hoer geeks). I wasn't strong enough to hit back, and I also just could not get myself to hurt anybody. I still can't.

And even when looking back at what has happened (trust me, the stories of this and the article this one links to are nothing), I pride myself on not falling back to the ways of a savage animal.

I feel that it's deeply wrong to hurt anybody. How are you better than the bullies once you begin to hurt others?

How do you make sure you don't cross the boundary between self-defense and being a bully yourself? Even though it might feel good. Do you really want to be what you hate?

School is hard, but once you get to know people who respect you and take you for what you are (a nerd in my case), things get better and you will even feel pride for what you are instead of constantly hating yourself.

Take comfort in the fact that you lived up to your ideals of humanity and be proud of what you have become. Use the brain you got for good instead of shutting it off for revenges sake. Be human.

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4 points by dkl 1 day ago 1 reply      
I moved around a lot as a kid, so I was the convenient target, too. My 10 yr old is in martial arts and has a green-brown belt. He absolutely loves it. I've told him to only use it as a last resort, but to use it.

I recall being bullied by a rather dull kid when in elementary school. I remember him relentlessly telling me he would kick my ass. I told my Dad and he recommended that if it push came to shove, to just punch him in the face. So, one day the kid came at me and I hit him (don't even remember where). I was never bothered again at that school.

Bullies reign when no one stands up to them.

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4 points by cb33 1 day ago 1 reply      
As someone who used to be somewhat of a bully, I think this is the best advice. Bullies pick on smaller kids because they're insecure about themselves and bullying a smaller kid is... well, easy. If a smaller kid makes it difficult for bullies to pick on them (by fighting back), the bully will most likely stop (and move on to another victim).
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1 point by alexandros 1 day ago 3 replies      
This article is the seventh result on Google for "make violence on" (quotes included). Can a native speaker comment on this use?

It sounds odd/interesting to me and given that the rest of the article is well written, this puzzles me quite a bit. I normally associate such uses of 'make' with native speakers of Arabic, which obviously doesn't apply.

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2 points by andrewl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree with the author. In the meantime, the authorities should be doing something about the bullying themselves. Here's an interesting article about an unusual bullying-reduction program:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/fighting-bul...

And if it works, that's great, and I'm all for it. But while we're waiting, I agree with the author's post.

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2 points by a_m_kelly 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you find yourself to be interested in this sort of thing more broadly, in the justification of violence or it's utility, I recommend William T. Vollmann's exhaustive, intricate attempt to establish a framework for understanding the motivations, morals, and ethics of violence in his work Rising Up and Rising Down: Some thoughts on Violence, Freedom & Urgent Means.

To give some idea of what the text is like, here's a little bit of it from a section called "Where Do My Rights End?":

   Justified Choices of the Self:
1. Whether or not to violently defend itself against violence;
2. Whether or not to violently defend someone else from violence.
3. Whether or not to destroy itself.
4. Whether or not to help a weaker self destroy itself, to save it from a worse fate.

Conditions:
1. No attachment to nonviolent creeds.
2. No attachment to collectivity or authority which might prohibit the self from removing itself from "the line of fire"
Caveat to (1) and (2): So-called involunrtary attachments are not binding..." (pg 81-82. Abbr. Edition)

...

The abridged edition from which I quote above is over 700 pages and includes case studies and narratives of people, nations or groups acting a certain way, which Vollmann slotting them into his "Moral Calculus," I haven't had a chance to finish it yet but I remain interested in the elaborate thought experiment that is the book and the vividness of the historical anecdotes it contains.

Vollmann would fully support responding to violence in kind, there's a long section on non-violent movements and their utter hopelessness in the face of regimes unwilling (like bullies) to tolerate any dissent.

[The classic example of this is perhaps Harry Turteldove's story "The Last Article," which proposes Ghandi campaigning in a Nazi occupied India and ends just as you would expect it to.]

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1 point by postfuturist 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you really want to fight back, fight smart and fight dirty, call the police immediately after anything illegal (violence and threats of violence are illegal). File a report with the police after they arrive, photograph any bruises, etc. Upon repeat or grievous offenses, file appropriate lawsuits against the school and parents of bully. Yeah, it's lame, but not as lame as fighting fire with fire.
47
2 points by sliverstorm 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have never quite figured out how I'd teach my kid this. I never had to deal with violent bullies myself (even though I was totally a geek, I kind of made friends with skaters and druggies etc, and I later heard a lot of them respected me) so I have no life-experience with fighting back.

Only time things ever came to blows, the other guy (who struck first) was 8-10 years older than me, muscular and a good 2-3 feet taller, and that is a fight you do NOT fight.

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1 point by biafra 1 day ago 0 replies      
I remember having two fights in my entire school time. One in elementary school and one in secondary school. Both were about what I would let others do to me. After both fights I never had to fight again in that school. I don't even remember if I had "won" or "lost".

My parents let me do Judo and Ice Hockey at that time. I wasn't very strong or big but I learned some things in Judo class. Mostly how to fall and how bring someone down. I never liked fighting for my belts so I stopped doing Judo after a couple of years with the blue belt.

I intend to give my son the opportunity to learn some martial arts too.

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1 point by TallGuyShort 1 day ago 0 replies      
This guy is right on. I have a brother who is very reserved and quiet, and would be the last person you would expect to get in a fight. He and I were both bullied when we were little, and he had this one guy that would never give him a break. One day it went too far and my brother decided to involve a cricket bat. Teachers came and broke up the fight, they both got taken to the principals office, etc... My brother was willing to apologize, but of course the bully just kept being a dick in front of the principal. Brother? Got off the hook. Bully? Suspended - never bothered him again.
50
2 points by utefan001 1 day ago 0 replies      
My son is 8 and had to deal with some minor bullying in 2nd grade. The best thing we ever did was sign our son up for tackle football at the end of 2nd grade.

Now, when needed (so far only in football) he knows how to hit, get hit and not fear it.

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1 point by chrischen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why do we encourage more violence when we can just get schools to tolerate bullying less, and then encourage kids to report the bullying. I mean if they're shoving food in your mouth and throwing things at you they should be expelled.

Sure you should defend yourself if someone is physically about to harm you but I think most kids being bullied don't do this because they are weaker/outnumbered and it's just going to anger the bullies more. The smart thing to do is to report them because the system shouldn't tolerate them.

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3 points by dnautics 1 day ago 0 replies      
Four words:

Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma; Retaliating.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_dilemma#The_iterated_...

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1 point by ryanelkins 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree with this as it pertains to kids in school. I wish I better knew how to defend myself as a gangly teenager. I fully plan on making sure my son know knows how to defend himself and when it is appropriate to do so.

However, the author goes on to describe attacking people trying to mug him - that's a bit foolhardy I think. Sure, it may work with some people who thought they had an easy mark, others might pull out a knife and gut you. I'm not saying you hug they guy and tell him how swell he is - but for the sake of yourself and anyone that might be with you - just give them your wallet or car or whatever it is. Now if you feel they are going to put you in a situation where you won't be able to defend yourself (they want to cuff you, tie you up, etc) - now you have an argument for going on the offensive.

54
2 points by bg4 1 day ago 0 replies      
There was a mean, mean guy in my high school who endlessly bullied my sister and I (and many others). If I had thrown a punch at him, he would of beat me within an inch of my life.

Years later I found out from a childhood friend that he was beaten regularly by his drunk of a father. He ended up himself in prison for repeat drunk driving/vehicular manslaughter

Early on, I definitely felt a sense of schadenfreude at this news (him being in prison). As the years went on though, and having reaped the benefits of my circumstance for an good education, career, wife and a family, I can't help but reflect somewhat on his life and his circumstance.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

55
1 point by radu_floricica 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is all so terribly foreign to me... almost nothing I read here makes sense. In the Romania I grew up in if you had serious trouble with other kids you just talked to the teachers or your parents, and they'd solve the problem. Worst case would be a parent to parent chat.

I think I was under 10 when I upset a girl who lived next door. Don't remember really what I did, but I sure as hell remember her father chasing me three blocks, only to tell me very gently that it wasn't nice and he'll have to talk to my parents if I did it again.

56
1 point by oemera 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow I'm really shocked that this story is getting so much credits.

First of all I'm 22 and not living US so I can only talk about growing up in Germany but there is one thing I learned growing up in Germany: Fist fighting is not a solution.
I never used my fists in my entire live (!!) to beat someone cause I don't think it could change a situation into a better situation.

I think we can all talk. Saying that it is what works because of our "animal nature" it's plane wrong. We would never live in this democratic world if everyone would use their fists to make things right.

Also it is really URGENT to tell kids that this is not a solution cause this will never be a solution while getting older and sometime a job. At work it will not help you to beat someone if he/she is bullying around with you. You will lost your job if you do so.

So please stop telling your kids a solution which only COULD (I don't think it works though) work in school. Worst thing what can happen is that your kids will try to solve every problem with a solution father told him/her.

Last but not least I know very well how hard school can be for kids but developing a good personality needs downs and ups. We are all "nerds" and I think we know hard times really well.

Thank you for listening.

57
2 points by dnsworks 1 day ago 0 replies      
In 9th grade I threw a bully down a set of stairs, then proceeded to beat him with every bit of energy I had (not much, I was a fat kid). After he got out of the hospital, in casts, he stayed far, far away from me. That was the last time anybody tried bullying me. "God" isn't going to stop the bullies, a good old fashioned ass kicking is.
58
1 point by ilitirit 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was only bullied once in school. I retaliated, give him a busted lip (he beat me harder, though), and noone messed with me after that again.
59
1 point by icegreentea 1 day ago 0 replies      
We had a discussion on another blog post regarding this book a month ago or something.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1764236

60
2 points by ScottBurson 1 day ago 0 replies      
The "love the bully" approach actually worked for me on one occasion. But you know, if it hadn't worked, I wouldn't feel bad about slugging him back.
61
1 point by gabea 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an excellent article. I was bullied when I was in highschool and guess what? I fought back and they backed down. It not only made me overcome the bullies, but it gave me greater confidence in my adult years to not take crap from anyone.

Additionally people rarely change so those bullies you faced back in your childhood are sitting around you at your place of work as well. Do not let them have the time of day, and do not give in to them, fight back.

62
2 points by mrr2 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is probably the soundest advice to dealing with bullying I have ever seen. As a kid that has been to 7 different schools in 2 different countries (and learned English in '99), I assure you "hugging it out" with the bully will lead to you getting humiliated.

They do not respect loving them.
They do not respect constructive dialogue.
Your peers will not respect you for trying to reach out to them. In fact they will see you as a kiss-ass, or worse a "bitch" (sorry but that's the term).

I moved to the US in '02. Attended a great Catholic school for 8th grade. Was accepted despite the funny accent and funny name. Went to high school and had a miserable 1st month of school thanks to a group of jackasses. One of them had the gall to touch me after which I took a lunch tray to a kids face. God my butt handed to me but guess what? No more bullying. Hell I got elected to the student council, dated some great girls, and had a great high school experience.

Stand up for yourself. It might hurt but you will get respect. Kids/teens are animals. No need to go cerebral on them.

63
1 point by jchonphoenix 1 day ago 0 replies      
Agreed.

Bullies are animals. The only thing they respond to is something so simple that they can understand it.

If you try to explain that society expects more of them and they are disappointing society by not being a contributing member, you will fail because they are too dense to understand.

They do, however, understand violence. And if they cross the line, don't hesitate. Fight back. Otherwise you risk being branded an easy target.

64
1 point by joelbm24 1 day ago 0 replies      
i agree with what he is saying. I don't believe in picking fights. I do believe in standing up for your self and others. If they say that they are gonna punch you call them on it ask them to punch you. The whole reason why they do it is because ppl turn around and walk away. i am 16 right now and have been training in various martial arts since i was 7 and i still get bullied, the difference is that i don't hesitate to fight. I also get angry when i see a bigger kid picking on smaller kids. When i see that i go and rough the bigger kid up a bit. From doing this i have seen a huge difference in the bullies at my school. on the note i do recommend going to the teacher first, but if that doesn't work then your on your own
65
1 point by chrisclark1729 1 day ago 0 replies      
Statistically speaking, I would say this is not bad advice.

My guess is that less than 5% of bullies are prepared to actually fight. Therefore, even if you are setting your kid up for a beating it's only likely to happen with 4% or so of bullies. I would say this lean risk is far preferable to the daily torment that comes along with consistent bullying.

Just a different take on it. Comments have been good otherwise.

66
2 points by paolomaffei 1 day ago 2 replies      
This can also apply to the business world: As soon as some other company tries to damage you in an unfair way you are supposed to fight.

But like for kids, the other guy can be just too big for you to fight back.

67
1 point by jmtulloss 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why are there no bullies responding to this thread? Is HN really so one-sided that nobody that was a bully hangs around here?
68
2 points by kapilkaisare 1 day ago 1 reply      
Reminds me, oddly enough, of one of the early sequences in Ender's Game. Ender beats a guy to mush, so that it will never happen again.
69
1 point by othello 1 day ago 1 reply      
Funny that the standard response is to fight back the bullying kids. Another possible reaction is to outsmart them.

Just make fun of them. Make them the laughing stock of the whole class. Bully them verbally. Make fun of them and suddenly you'll become more popular - which will likely insulate you from any further bullying.

Maybe I was lucky, but this strategy worked wonders for me back in the days.

I'm sincerly surprised that a community as educated as HN only suggests brute force as an effective response to school bullying.

71
1 point by holychiz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good advice for my kids. I've had similar experiences, since I lived in many different places and at each place, I had to go through it again. After awhile, I started to do it pre-emptively by scoping out the assholes and wait for them to say anything even remotely provocative then I pounced. Since I'm smaller and weaker, I can't say I win even half the time, but they leave me alone 100% of the time after the fights. Some even become my friends.

Don't underestimate the element of surprise! Hit first, hit hard, son! :)

72
1 point by chrisaycock 1 day ago 0 replies      
Michael Lewis had a line in "Liars Poker" about dealing with asshole traders: lift weights and take karate.
73
3 points by Figs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given current events, I'm surprised this wasn't about the TSA.
74
1 point by zephjc 1 day ago 0 replies      
And never forget the old Klingon proverb: Revenge is a dish best served cold
75
1 point by bhoung 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a fine line really, knowing when to fight back, retort or walk away. If you never teach/encourage your son how to hold their own, then you are doing them a disfavor. Probably the caveat I would throw in is that the older your child is, the higher the stakes are (in physical terms), and the more likely something very ugly will result.
76
1 point by pshapiro 1 day ago 0 replies      
It isn't real love to "talk it out" with them anyway. If it doesn't bless them and yourself it's not love anyway.

Things as they actually are is the only way that they are in truth.

So the teaching that it's loving them is what's false -- not that love itself couldn't help. In this case, it was a kind of love of oneself to fight back and protect oneself.

77
1 point by axod 1 day ago 2 replies      
Whatever happened to 'just ignore them'. Personally, I think that's always the best policy (Unless you're in imminent danger).

Also can work well in business. If someone is being a pain, just ignore them and don't give them the publicity they're seeking.

78
1 point by zan_shikai 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bullying doesnt stop when school ends. There are bullies everywhere you look, in your office, on the roads. If you learn to run away in school you will never learn to stand up for yourself
79
1 point by dmn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I couldn't agree more with this article. My father was old school and told me to do whatever I needed to do (to not be bullied). Stand up for yourself and you gain respect for yourself and from others.
(and it most likely wont happen again)
80
1 point by known 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think parents should be counseled when children are involved bullying.
81
0 points by known 1 day ago 0 replies      
Children should be taught http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha
82
0 points by brockf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I guess they believed this too? Or maybe not until too late?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_High_School_massacre

83
1 point by ilitirit 1 day ago 0 replies      
.
84
-2 points by MoreMoschops 1 day ago 0 replies      
The off-topic HN posts are getting silly. This isn't coding, or business, or some kind of cool interesting hack. It's not even interesting and could be summed up in a few words instead of a long, rambling .... ah, fuck it, HN is over anyway.
85
-3 points by jrockway 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah, good idea. If someone bullies you, just bring some guns and bombs to school. The result is always positive.
4
The Myth of the Immortal Hamburger seriouseats.com
366 points by jacoblyles 6 days ago   34 comments top 6
1
44 points by mechanical_fish 6 days ago 4 replies      
I'm upvoting this partly because it's by J. Kenji (Lopez-)Alt, whom I have regarded as a sort of culinary god ever since I first encountered his awesome piecrust recipe in Cooks Illustrated a few years ago.

(The piecrust is made by substituting vodka for much of the water, which allows the dough to be rolled out without encouraging too much gluten formation and thereby making the crust tough. It is perhaps a shade too much on the crumbly side but makes up for that by being outstandingly tasty, it has now utterly spoiled my taste for the majority of store-bought pies, and it has convinced my friends that I, in turn, am some sort of culinary god, even though this piecrust recipe is idiotically simple, actually simpler than regular piecrust, if such a thing is possible. The lesson here is: Subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and make your loved ones' lives better.)

2
16 points by geuis 6 days ago 5 replies      
I love examples where people use the actual scientific method to test conventional wisdom. This is a good experiment. I would love to see it replicated by other groups (.e.g Mythbusters) to confirm or deny the results.

There is also a similar myth for McDonald's french fries. It would be nice to see those tested as well.

3
3 points by latch 6 days ago 1 reply      
half way through and having a hard time not running to the local McDonalds to buy a burger (to eat!!).
4
1 point by jemfinch 6 days ago 0 replies      
For those interested in a related Wikipedia odyssey, check out Water Activity <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_activity>, then hit the "shelf stable" link and move on from there.
5
-4 points by Charuru 6 days ago 0 replies      
Come on guys, this belongs on reddit. Stop screwing up the S/N ratio.
6
-2 points by CamperBob 5 days ago 0 replies      
I stopped eating McDonald's burgers years ago, when I accidentally dropped one on the floor at home while taking it out of the bag. I tossed it out the window for the birds to deal with.

A week later, it was still untouched. Even the goddamn crows wouldn't eat it.

That's when I realized that the critics were pretty much right about McDonald's. Whatever those guys are selling, be it harmful or benign, it doesn't qualify as "food."

5
Kinect reverse-engineered; open driver available adafruit.com
364 points by jgrahamc 2 days ago   84 comments top 9
1
18 points by iamwil 2 days ago replies      
The code for the camera.c is here:
http://git.marcansoft.com/?p=libfreenect.git;a=blob;f=lib/ca...

I've always wondered how people reverse engineer these things. Do they just guess what the interface might be based on the chips? Or are they able to probe it somehow through the port?

2
27 points by st3fan 2 days ago 1 reply      
So much for "With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering" ... :-)
3
7 points by InclinedPlane 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is a misleading title. The Kinect sensor has been hacked, but Kinect proper is a combination of hardware and software. Arguably the more interesting aspects of Kinect are in the software.

That being said, this is still pretty cool, it'll be interesting to see what people come up with using this technology.

4
9 points by markbao 2 days ago 3 replies      
Oh man. Ordering one ASAP. So much cool stuff could be done with this. Going to try to create a gestures thing so I can browse my email from bed.
5
34 points by olalonde 2 days ago 2 replies      
That was quick.
6
2 points by joshu 2 days ago 3 replies      
I would have thought there was some onboard CPU on the kinect, based on the power requirements (it can't be powered by a USB port alone.) If so, I suspect that any heavy lifting the unit does is probably by software that uploaded to the camera via USB at startup.

Anyone have further details?

7
3 points by augustl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I always wanted to be able to set focus on windows by looking at them. Perhaps that can be achieved with a Kinect.
8
2 points by shogunmike 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is an exciting achievement and I'm very impressed that it was carried out so rapidly. Good hacking indeed!

Although, I have two questions which HN may be able to answer for me:

1) What are the benefits of the Kinect over building a servo-driven IR bar with audio yourself out of cheap commodity hardware? Is the price far less when all components are integrated? Is the construction just that much simpler?

2) Presumably now that the "easier" task of reverse engineering the comms protocol has been achieved, the next step is to understand/replicate/replace the "proprietary" algorithms in use by Microsoft that run in the XBox in order to have some meaningful interaction with the device. Is it possible to use some FOSS such as OpenCV with Kinect? I know it's early days and many of you probably haven't had time to look at the protocol yet, but I am curious.

9
2 points by andrewcamel 2 days ago 0 replies      
What would be very interesting, is if you could mod the device to work with a better camera. Then, it would probably be useful in the photography industry. Maybe it would allow you to correct issues with lighting? It would allow someone editing pictures to easily select a part of the picture in the foreground or background. With selections being much easier, you could enhance specific parts of photos to make them stand out around other less-important parts without much effort at all.

I'm sure there are many more applications for this technology in the photography and even videography industry. Any ideas?

6
Life Hack - The 30/30 Minute Work Cycle Feels Like Magic chetansurpur.com
371 points by chetan51 3 days ago   133 comments top 30
1
51 points by edw519 3 days ago 7 replies      
The concept is excellent, but the ratio doesn't work for me.

I prefer 42/18.

42 because it is the Ultimate Answer of Life, the Universe, and Everything:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrases_from_The_Hitchhiker%27s...

and 18, because it is the Gematria for the word "life":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gematria

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chai_%28symbol%29

If I'm going to adopt a system, my inner nerd insists upon increasing efficiency by using components with multiple purposes.

2
37 points by DanielBMarkham 3 days ago 3 replies      
I did 50-10s for many years -- and was productive as hell doing it.

I think the numbers vary depending on the person and the project, but absolutely, having the discipline to push away from the desk and change context puts your productivity in warp gear. It works by allowing you mind to work on the problem while you play.

By the way, to let another secret out of the bag, this process of engineered distraction also works very well with teams.

Many times we confuse stubbornness with determination. Sitting there staring at the screen does not a work product make.

But I'll add one caveat -- the reason I got away from this (and am now only getting back to it) is because the internet itself has become the "getting away" activity. This leaves you at your desk checking emails, updating twitter, etc. In such a case, you're not allowing your subconscious to work on your problem at all. Instead, you're throwing a bunch more stuff at it. So in retrospect I think its critical to physically detach yourself from your technology. A stand-alone game would be fine. Sitting at the terminal listening to your email and IM chimes while you play a flash game would not.

EDIT: It's also interesting to note how hard it is to pull away from your work -- both when you're loving it and when you're hating it. I don't think it's ever easy, but after a while you get into a "rhythm" and it all just kind of flows.

3
25 points by ojbyrne 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you're flexible about the second 30, I find this works really well with working from home, because the second 30 can be typical personal chores. Wake up, work for a bit, then make coffee. Work some more, then eat breakfast. Work some more, then have a shower. Work some more, go for a walk. Etc, etc. Sometimes 5-10 minute breaks, sometimes an hour or more.
4
15 points by jamesjyu 3 days ago 5 replies      
People who know my previous comments might think I sound like a broken record -- but, this is the exact reason why I love having a table tennis table at the office. It's the perfect distraction to coding that focuses on pure reflexes and hand-eye coordination.

After a game of ping pong, my mind is usually cleared and can tackle the next problem. Lots of +1's to the idea of zoning your brain out of the problem area for a while to get your subconscious working.

5
17 points by gcv 3 days ago 9 replies      
For people who do something like this: how do you manage logistically? Do you set an alarm? Do you just know when your 30 minutes (or 42, or 50) are up? Do you always keep an eye on the time? I'm curious because the concept seems like it could work, but I lose track of time easily.
6
19 points by hackoder 3 days ago 0 replies      
The real magic? Learn your body/mind's rhythm. Sometimes you'll do productive work for hours. Sometimes you'll need frequent breaks.

Intrinsic (type of work, work environment, deadline, depth) and extrinsic factors (such as food, relationships, etc) will affect this rhythm and you'll have to be smart enough to realize when to respect your body's wishes and when to ignore them (feeling bored may have to do with not getting enough sleep, or maybe you just feel like procrastinating. Learn to figure out which).

7
16 points by JoelMcCracken 3 days ago 1 reply      
For a long time now, I have wanted to code in a cabin in the country.

Just imagine going outside and chopping wood, hauling it back in, and setting your fire correctly. I can hardly imagine a more ideal alternative activity to coding for that second length of time.

8
11 points by dpatru 3 days ago 0 replies      
This just reinforces the suspicion I've had for some time now that time working is not tightly related to accomplishment, especially if the work is intellectual.
9
3 points by JimmyL 3 days ago 0 replies      
I did an hour-on/hour-off cycle when I was in school studying for exams each semester, and it was great. Working for an hour meant that I could nail a solid two concepts, and then go do something else for an hour, and then come back and spend an hour on some practice problems that used those concepts. I remember initially trying a shorter 30-30 cycle, but when a problem takes 20 minutes to do (by design) subbing out at 30 didn't really get much done.

I also found it let me work much longer. I'd get to the library at 10am, work one-on/one-off until 11pm or so, go home and watch a bit of TV, and repeat - for three weeks straight, only interrupted by days when I had actual exams, on which I'd do about four hours off after the exam and get back to work.

10
11 points by amanuel 3 days ago 5 replies      
This reminds me the Pomodoro Technique. http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/

I bought a pomodoro iphone app and tried it for about a week or so, alas 25 mins was just too short for me.

I generally find 45/20 to be about right balance for me. I now use Vitamin-R (Mac App) to track time/goals.

11
6 points by andrewce 3 days ago 1 reply      
I use this work pattern when I'm doing particularly distasteful work, and it generally works well.

The only thing I'd advise is that if you're in a state of flow (in which the passage of time just disappears and your focus zeroes in completely), don't worry about maintaining a rigid time schedule.

Every so often, when I'm writing, I forget to check the clock and then it is 3 hours later and I realize that I've missed a meal. I wouldn't trade those times for very many things.

12
5 points by nikster 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is why smokers have a huge advantage. They go out for a smoke break every hour. Doing _nothing_ but smoking.

I will try this, sans the smoking, starting now. Goodbye.

13
3 points by topherjaynes 3 days ago 1 reply      
Definitely, this model did wonders for me in Gradschool, but I am wondering if anyone has tried doing this in a corporate environment?
I just started my first gig at a large company. I take "walking breaks" to circle the block several times a day to clear my mind and people seem incredulous that I am not tolling at my desk. Wonder how they would feel if I was devoting 4.5 hours of my day to "fun."
14
2 points by JimboOmega 3 days ago 1 reply      
I really don't see how you can do this in a normal work setting. If I work for 30, take 30 off... an 8 hour work day takes 16 hours...

Even if I got 16 hours of work done in that time, it does not matter really to my employer, who would still see it as 8 hours. Because we bill by the hour, what matters is the # of hours that are worked, not how much work gets done in them.

That said breaks in a lot of tasks are immensely useful. I can't remember how many times I've given up after getting stuck on a work task to come in the next morning and figured it out in 30 minutes.

I wish productivity mattered more :(.

15
1 point by rguzman 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like the concept and I personally use variations of it. However, I find that 30/30 is not only the wrong ratio (1:1) but also the lengths don't work too well for certain types of activities. c.f. http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html
16
3 points by adorton 3 days ago 1 reply      
This sounds like an interesting idea for personal projects. My boss might raise an eyebrow if he saw me playing games or surfing the web for half of my day.
17
1 point by manish 3 days ago 0 replies      
Definitely worth a try. I am concerned about my discipline to come back to work after playing a game for 30 mins. May be playing TT would be better idea, since I feel playing physical games refreshes me more that video games.
18
1 point by mkramlich 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like the key is to (1) really work when you're supposedly working (don't check email, don't read RSS, etc.) and (2) take breaks to refresh. Both of these are very old and well known techniques for maximizing health and productivity. Whether there's something magical about the 30/30 split, and forcing yourself to always switch hats like that, regardless of the actual specific situation: that, I'm not so sure of the general applicability of. I often find it takes me a while to get in The Zone, and when I'm Hot it's best to keep Pounding Out The Code and not force myself to stop and go play a game or whatever.
19
2 points by anon8712 3 days ago 1 reply      
A question to all the excellent commenters here.
I work at a place where the company culture considers developers the same way as Macy's employees.
10 minute breaks for every 4 hours you work.
Surf the net, chat on IM, everything counts as work....except stepping away from the computer. Be seen away from your desk more than necessary, you get warned of 'not being available during core hours of business'.
I am a contractor and I get paid very well to care too much about the company culture.

My productivity is not the best but according to them, I am a star performer. I, personally can't sit longer than an hour without needing a break. I worked for startups with ping pong tables and one large workstation vendor that recently ceased to exist. I miss the culture at those companies.

The company culture where I work has gotten to me, where I am considering leaving my contract to focus on my personal projects.
What would you do?

20
1 point by tnt128 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use a similar pattern, but instead of 30/30, I do 75/30, here are the reasons,
1. I need at least 5 to 10 mins to pick up what's left.
2. Work without distraction never happen(people talk to you, have to open the door for someone, answer the office phone etc). If that happens, I need another 5 mins just to remember I was doing.
3. My productivity picks up after the initial 20mins, and it lasts about 45 to 60 mins.
4. A few things could happen after 75mins of coding a) feature done or bug fixed - checkin code, git push. done take a break b) encounter a problem, internet searching - stop and take a 30 mins break, helps a lot. c) starting checking facebook, hacker news, email etc - stop and take a break. d) feature is not done, and I have not encountered a problem - this is the only time I might not take a break, but every time I didnt, I found myself ended up checking email and facebook a lot :)

30/30 sounds great, for me, 75/30 give me enough time to finish a feature or fix a bug.
4.

21
1 point by khookie 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess any rational sounding justification will do eh - 30mins work and 30mins break? Gimme a break... you're wasting so much time it's not funny.

But I guess you are what you want to believe - http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/october/willpower-resourc...

Not saying the principle is bad, you just need to make the reward significantly cheaper than what it is now.

22
1 point by egb 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those who use Merlin Mann's (10+2)*5 ratio (http://www.43folders.com/2005/10/11/procrastination-hack-102...) and have an iPhone, check out my timer app for it:

http://itunes.apple.com/app/10-2-x5-procrastination-hack/id3...

23
1 point by craigbellot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Already using this. Can't stay off facebook for more than 30 min anyway...
24
1 point by sdizdar 2 days ago 0 replies      
The concept is excellent. And here is what I use to achieve the exactly same thing: http://senadreport.com/post/1472323819/how-to-stay-focused
The ratio for me is maybe 15/45.
25
2 points by seejay 3 days ago 0 replies      
up voted for the statement: "Time is now my bitch" :D

The idea itself sounds pretty awesome too... will definitely try it.

26
1 point by javan 3 days ago 2 replies      
I would really like a timer app that blocks social, distracting sites during the work sprint so I'm reminded if I start to stray and then unblocks them during the rest.
27
1 point by Dramatize 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm going to give this a try for my after work side projects.
28
1 point by Void_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know if I could get back to work easily after 30 minutes on Facebook or playing World of Warcraft. Probably not.
29
1 point by MarkNederhoed 2 days ago 0 replies      
The great debate: Do you start with 30 minutes of twittertime or do you start your day working?
30
-1 point by devmonk 3 days ago 7 replies      
To start with, the author says he switched to Colemak keyboard layout. Interesting, but about as useless as Dvorak. Unless you get everyone to switch to it, you will be disabled whenever you switch to someone else's computer, a kiosk, etc. Why bother?

He mentions having switched to biphasic sleep. If he said- I don't use electricity at night and just go to bed and wake up with the light, then if he got up during the dark hours, that's fine. But scheduling it and forcing your body into a strange deprived sleep pattern is bad for you. Napoleon slept ~4 hrs a night. He was successful for a time, well- except for attempting and failing to conquer the world. Poor decisions may not have been made with more sleep.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biphasic_sleep

So, that leads us up to the 30/30 work cycle. This actually doesn't sounds that bad. But, it is totally not something that would work in a professional setting. When you are in the middle of an important meeting with the board, or working on getting a product feature out that day, you can't walk out of the meeting or walk out on your team to go play video games. I take time out periodically for a walk, but seriously- grow up.

8
The 18 things you must do when launching a new website seomoz.org
341 points by danshapiro 3 days ago   26 comments top 12
1
60 points by olalonde 3 days ago 3 replies      
2
17 points by carbocation 3 days ago 2 replies      
Please consider cropping the number out of the title: http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
3
13 points by rhizome 3 days ago 1 reply      
Next up: 24 mistakes people make when launching a website, then 41 things people who have websites should do more often, then 58 mistakes people make when maintaining websites, followed by the 4 things you should do when canceling your webhosting account.
4
6 points by alnayyir 3 days ago 0 replies      
Flagged, title is garbage and doesn't adhere to HN guidelines as stated elsewhere.

Keep this out of HN and leave it for your blogroll crap, and don't pretend you didn't know any better either.

5
5 points by ari_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
Rand,
This list is banal. About the only thing I Can agree with is installing some analytics software (preferably NOT Google Analytics) to monitor goals and traffic sources. The only thing you need to do when launching a website, or any business, is market your product off. Adding yourself to the various webmaster tools, tracking brand keywords via Google Alerts is all a huge waste of time and only makes sense (if it makes any sense at all!) once you actually have traction - links to look at, brand mentions to follow etc.

Ari

6
3 points by daveschappell 3 days ago 1 reply      
this is an awesome list -- we've been at this for almost 3 years, and while we had most of them, I just realized that we never set up Bing Webmaster Console -- given their continued rise in % (combined with Yahoo), it can't hurt.

other great recommendations as well -- we're also SEOMoz subscribers, so some of this is also just a great reminder about tools we're probably underutilizing

7
2 points by lkozma 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another tool I've found very useful, that I don't see on either lists is http://www.webpagetest.org/
More comprehensive than YSlow.
8
3 points by MrJagil 3 days ago 0 replies      
Excuse me, but why does this have 320 points if everyone thinks it is garbage?

As a newbie entrepreneur, I am utterly confused as to whether these steps really are helpful/necessary or not.

9
2 points by cubtastic71 3 days ago 1 reply      
Really some of these are things you do BEFORE you launch a web site. Do you really test the performance after its live? Really?
10
2 points by muppetman 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised that "Have a business model" isn't there somewhere.
11
-4 points by daryn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great checklist of things to remember!
12
-2 points by aarong 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sweet post... this should be a great blog to follow. Thanks for doing Rand!
9
Implementing the auto-buying bot from xkcd #576 bieh.net
325 points by bensummers 5 days ago   82 comments top 19
1
93 points by niyazpk 5 days ago 4 replies      
I am tempted to write a bot to submit $1 items that his bot is likely to buy.
2
27 points by mike-cardwell 5 days ago 5 replies      
A neat bot would be one which automatically buys and then resells things with a markup. It would figure out the usual price an item goes for on a website like Ebay, and purchase it if the price is set far enough below.
3
13 points by jimfl 4 days ago 0 replies      
XKCD has likely inspired more code than any other comic strip.
4
23 points by bieh 5 days ago 5 replies      
Heh, cool - I was going to submit this myself after it bought a few more items, but I guess I was beaten to it.

Any questions, or suggestions for smarter ways to select items to buy, feel free :)

5
3 points by Robin_Message 4 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the artwork by Caleb Larsen, A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter. It's a box that sells itself on eBay for a higher price. As a condition of buying it, you accept it can sell itself again, and so on.

Recursion, profit, AI - what's not to like? You can see its latest auction at http://atooltodeceiveandslaughter.com and more about the artwork at http://caleblarsen.com/projects/a-tool-to-deceive-and-slaugh...

6
5 points by heyrhett 4 days ago 1 reply      
There is clearly some confusion in this thread.

He didn't actually make the $1-buying ebay bot from xkcd.

He made a completely different buying bot for some new zealand auction site: trademe.

7
2 points by happybuy 4 days ago 0 replies      
Very similar to some of the automated logic I needed to create for price tracking & prediction for my new startup www.happybuy.com.

What I found was that the biggest savings list:

http://www.happybuy.com/search//by-savings/

Needs to be quite intelligent to filter out a lot of product noise.

A lot of this is due to pricing manipulation whereby a price is low but the shipping is high. Also a lot of the products with the biggest savings aren't that useful :)

We've managed to improve the value of the list but are constantly tweaking it to get a good balance of savings and useful products listed.

Its especially important as we use a bot to auto-tweet the best saving of the day through twitter & facebook. Trying to get a bot to do this sometimes produces unintended (and often interesting) results.

8
3 points by vog 5 days ago 3 replies      
Just a small announce on HN, and the site is down.

Why does most blog software fail at simple tasks like delivering static content? Apart from comments and quick corrections, blog articles _are_ nothing more than static content. And I'd be happy to not see any comments due to high server load, as long as I can read the article.

9
2 points by patrickk 5 days ago 0 replies      
In the book "Webbots, Spiders and Screen Scrapers" by Michael Schrenk, there's a topic that deals with automatic procurement and 'sniping' for those who are interested in reading further.

See #19 on the section list for a description:

http://www.schrenk.com/nostarch/webbots/DSP_inside.php

(Not affiliated in any way.)

10
2 points by ryanjmo 4 days ago 1 reply      
I would pay $20 to have this set up for two weeks for me. That would give you $6 you could keep for yourself. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Business here possibly?
11
1 point by hallmark 4 days ago 0 replies      
If the Apple App Store had an API, I would be tempted to write a bot to buy me a highly rated app every ~3 days.

Didn't try very hard, but I was unable to determine whether the Android Market has an API for purchasing paid apps. In that case, the Android phone could be the bot! "Bzzzzztt. I bought this app for you. Hope you like it."

12
3 points by danio 5 days ago 1 reply      
Why just restrict the search to buy-now items? In my experience more of the esoteric stuff seems to go on straight auctions and buy-now is used mainly by commerical retailers.
13
2 points by gokhan 5 days ago 0 replies      
The script has 341 followers on Twitter. I love technology :)
14
1 point by user24 5 days ago 2 replies      
Amazed it took so long for someone to do this! Start a blog with a post for each item that it buys!
15
1 point by Seth_Kriticos 4 days ago 0 replies      
Silent prayer for your soul, only $1, no shipping cost!

No, seriously, I like his crazy optimistic attitude. Probably get some fun stuff out of it. Non the less, there are really people selling this kind of enlightened service on eBay, not for $1 though.

16
1 point by trotsky 4 days ago 0 replies      
Considering the environmental impact of door to door shipping and the low chance the items will get any significant use, it's almost like the program is optimized to promote global warming over any other goals.
17
2 points by known 4 days ago 0 replies      
Imports goods from China.
Refurbish those goods and export them back to China.
18
1 point by cahit 4 days ago 0 replies      
This would be much more interesting if he spent the money on auction items, instead of "Buy Now" stuff where the value is not much more than the price.
19
-2 points by michael_dorfman 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'd be (much) more impressed if he implemented this one: http://xkcd.com/816/
10
Y Combinator announces two new partners, Paul Buchheit and Harj Taggar ycombinator.posterous.com
319 points by pg 22 hours ago   74 comments top 22
1
33 points by maxklein 22 hours ago 1 reply      
What does it mean to be a 'partner'? Do they then get some percentage share of the company?
2
27 points by markbao 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Congratulations to Paul, Harj, and YC. Really glad to see important things like Y Combinator grow, since even a small change at YC results in a huge effect on the industry given the influence that YC has.
3
18 points by redorb 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I think it speaks to the character of YC to promote Harj based on the job he has done; when I think a lot of others companies would have kept him where they hired him in at.
4
18 points by harscoat 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Will Paul take part in the interview/selection process? Will he participate more than the mentors dinner? & Congrats.
5
13 points by cool-RR 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I've been wondering for a long time, and this might be a good opportunity to ask: How do you pronounce "Buchheit"?
6
5 points by staunch 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I just can't believe it took so long. PB has always seemed (from the outside) like a de facto partner. This can only make YC better. Congrats PB, Harj, and YC.
7
20 points by fearless 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this mean YC will be able to fund more startups in the future as you add more partners?
8
3 points by PaulJoslin 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to YC, Paul and Harj!

I'd love to sit down with Harj one day and see how much he's changed since our school days. I'm really inspired by how much he's accomplished. Although, he's obviously worked very hard for it and it's well deserved!

9
6 points by mrduncan 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats all around!
10
4 points by rokhayakebe 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I do not know who HT is but it is nice to see 'promotion' from within (being that he previously co-founded a YC company and exited).
11
3 points by gaborcselle 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this mean that PB is leaving Facebook?
12
2 points by citizenkeys 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This, along with other things, feels like we're headed into a new renaissance period in silicon valley. There's talk everywhere about fundamental changes to how venture capital is done. There's ycombinator, 500startups, founder institute, etc.

Paul Graham's goal is obviously to be the valley's biggest patron for starving artists, err, hackers.

All of this is very fresh and exciting.

13
1 point by danbmil99 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought it was "do no evil", not "don't be evil". Subtle difference, but not the same thing.
14
2 points by jnw2 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like http://ycombinator.com/people.html doesn't list Paul Buchheit yet.
15
1 point by pchaso 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Incredible announcement, 3 days before (rumors say) Facebook opening their "gmail killer".
I am reading this like a fat slap on zuckenberg's face(book hehe)
Big thumbs up for PG for messing in facebook vs google brains war.

(edit: seems I wasnt able to explain I was trying to congratulate YC for being able to play in the big league where such companies are punching each other. I think this speaks a lot about how YC name is growing.)

16
2 points by bretthellman 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats - That's great news for everyone
17
18
2 points by jgervin 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrates Paul and Harj.
19
1 point by SteveMorin 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratz to YC and Harj another step forward
20
-1 point by why112 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Ok great, but why?

Is there more to hacker news than the frontpage? How many people are needed to maintain it?

21
-1 point by jdp23 21 hours ago 3 replies      
congrats to Y Combinator, Paul, and Harj.

it's an interesting choice to reinforce the demographic biases rather than trying to counter them. when you decided to add two partners, did you consider any women?

22
-2 points by rams 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Now these are all fine people.Maybe it's time to add some color and character to YC.How about a James Bondish cat stroking villain type as partner,who sits in a dark corner of the room during the interview.Meow - Make stuff people want.
11
Full CSS3 Lightbox - Absolutely no JavaScript deaxon.com
247 points by js4all 4 days ago   109 comments top 21
1
32 points by aw3c2 4 days ago 5 replies      
So I will get lightboxed even with my no-javascript browsing habits? I liked that most sites simply serve the direct image url to me. Lightbox is an annoying eye-candy.
2
16 points by krmmalik 4 days ago 2 replies      
Dont like how when i press the back button i get a history of pictures i have viewed. If i am at liberty to choose whichever picture i want then i dont need the back button to preserve my selection history. When i click back, i want to go BACK to the site i just came from.

I assume this isnt some bug or some flaw, and that it can probably be coded to behave differently, but as things stand that would prevent me from using this particular lightbox.

3
19 points by jluxenberg 4 days ago 3 replies      
Is it just me or is the Lighbox effect really annoying? What's wrong with middle-clicking an image and having it open in a new tab?
4
21 points by deaxon 4 days ago 2 replies      
I've been tweeting this today but I think it could be useful to repeat it here: my CSS demos are only experiments. The goal is to test all those new possibilities, show the power of CSS3 and, basically, having fun. They aren't intended to be used in production and actually you shouldn't. Most of them are not accessible and not cross browser…
5
11 points by cmer 4 days ago 3 replies      
Nice! It breaks the back button however...
6
7 points by Semiapies 4 days ago 2 replies      
Neat that you can do that. Not a technique that I'd ever want to use.
7
2 points by krosaen 4 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting to see this is possible, but this is beyond what I would want to use css for, how far will "look ma! no javascript!" go? Seing the logic in a jquery click handler seems at least as readable / maintainable as a bunch of css rules for the same reason I prefer to have more logic in java in android applications than in various xml layout and manifest files.
8
2 points by blhack 4 days ago 3 replies      
Out of curiosity, what is the point of a "light box"? I tend to open lots of images into new tabs while I'm reading articles, and it's really annoying to have the rest of the article go black when I do.
9
2 points by dmix 4 days ago 3 replies      
Looks great. Does this work cross-browser? (besides the transition effect)

Also, is there any documentation/github repos?

10
4 points by bradlane 4 days ago 1 reply      
Works great in Chrome; Firefox has a border around each pic, since they're links.

Of course, it's horribly, horribly broken in IE. Then again, that goes without saying ;)

11
3 points by TamDenholm 4 days ago 0 replies      
Works beautifully on the iPad. Very nice work.
12
1 point by dpatru 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's done by using the :target selector. Targeted images are lightboxed. There is a link in the lightbox that resets the target to dismiss the lightbox. Crudely:

css:
a.lb:target {display:block; text-align:center;}
a.lb {display:none;}

html:
<a href="#img">show image</a>
<a class="lb" href="#" id="img"><img src="image.jpg"></a>

13
2 points by IChrisI 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is pretty cool. Suggestions:

  - respect my back button [1]
- allow me to click outside the picture or press esc to close the lightbox
- allow middle-click to open the image directly

[1] We can argue about transitions and correct behavior all day, but this implementation is different from other lightboxes I've seen, and thus it is "broken" to me.

14
1 point by EGF 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is actually quite nice because it allows permalinks to the lightbox items. This makes for a rough browsing experience if you need to go back, but I like the detail that lets you link somewhere that someone can actually find in the future vs. "go to this page, then click here, etc...."
15
1 point by torme 4 days ago 0 replies      
Very neat, I checked out the other stuff you've got on there and it's pretty sweet.

Seems like a lot of people have missed the point that this is just a hack to see if a light box in JUST CSS and HTML could be made. Because theres no JS or actual logic, this demo just leverages the browser to maintain the state. It's a necessary side effect that the back buttons behave this way, and it could be coded to behave differently, but that would defeat the purpose of the exercise.

16
1 point by lurchpop 4 days ago 0 replies      
kind of annoyed me there was no explanation.

- 2nd UL list is opacity:0
- :target psuedoclass applies to element whose id is in the url
- targeted element has opacity:1

17
1 point by bradlane 4 days ago 1 reply      
If you go up a directory, there are some other neat things in CSS:

http://playground.deaxon.com/css/

18
2 points by akivabamberger 4 days ago 1 reply      
can someone post a screenshot of this in IE6
19
1 point by unicornhorn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Does anybody know of a minimalist JS variant? There are so many JS lightbox versions I don't even know where to start. I need something super simple.
20
1 point by DjDarkman 4 days ago 0 replies      
The problem is that not all browsers support CSS3.
21
-4 points by jon_hendry 4 days ago 0 replies      
Slow, like all lightbox implementations. And the flash of the background color is likely to give someone a seizure. (Ok, I'm being facetious there, but it looks jerky.)
12
Facebook's Gmail Killer, Project Titan, Is Coming On Monday techcrunch.com
228 points by obilgic 1 day ago   205 comments top 43
1
50 points by ajg1977 1 day ago 3 replies      
I will be really interested to see this, because as it stands Facebook's messaging interface is barely any better than 2001's Hotmail (you do get a pretty picture with address autocomplete though).

Going from where they are now to anywhere close to being a 'Gmail killer' is a humongous step.

2
80 points by Tyrannosaurs 1 day ago 3 replies      
Zuckerberg is absolutely the man I want to trust with my e-mail.
3
138 points by trotsky 1 day ago 1 reply      
If facebook can really deliver a rock solid web mail client, I think they will really be a company to watch in the rest of 1996 and 1997. If they play their cards right they may get snapped up by an industry powerhouse like yahoo or excite@home for eight figures.
4
16 points by sp4rki 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've always thought that Facebook could make a real difference by becoming a central hub to control your "persona" or identity so to speak. Facebook could integrate with every other service and app under the sun, and users would not require to input information (any more then their Facebook uri) to register for anything.

Instead they're trying to undercut Google by keeping them out of the 'shared data' agreement and now they're going into... e-mail and messaging? I'd rather they work on improving Facebook Connect and give me a way to control my data (and usable privacy controls while we're at it). I sure as hell don't want my personal email (and even less any business or corporate email) going through Facebook. Hell I have a hard time accepting Gmail, though it's so convenient I compromise.

Lots of people say that Facebook won't go the way of MySpace. But you know what? Lots of people said the same thing about MySpace too. Everyday I see or hear more and more about people I know just not using their accounts anymore and in some cases actually deleting them; even I don't get much value from it either this days.

I think Facebook is losing direction and just trying to wow users with amazing features that no one really needs. They need to focusing on making what they have better, not adding features and avoiding integration with other services.

5
13 points by zacharypinter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wasn't facebook's justification for not letting you export your friends' email adresses because they weren't an email application? Now that Facebook does email, will they allow an email export?
6
39 points by rkwz 1 day ago 3 replies      
I think Facebook has much much bigger goals than silly gmail killing. It's trying to become the internet for all those who don't know the difference between a browser, web site and the internet. Offering email services is just a small step in that direction.
7
16 points by gojomo 1 day ago 3 replies      
If @facebook.com email addresses have a stronger link to real, non-spammy, non-mass-produced identities than other domains, they could become preferred at many other sites -- a broader version of Facebook Connect.
8
19 points by didip 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.

-- Jamie Zawinski

9
9 points by ary 1 day ago 2 replies      
The sad thing is that facebook itself is already somewhat of a "Gmail killer." I have a ton of people that will only contact me through facebook. When I ask why they don't use email they usually don't have an answer. The ones that do mumble something about convenience.
10
5 points by d_r 1 day ago 2 replies      
Aside from the merits of this story, has anything that was branded "killer" by the media actually ended up being even moderately successful?

(The various iPhone killers, Facebook killers, Google killers, and so on come to mind...)

11
12 points by michaelhart 1 day ago replies      
The interface'll have the be unbelievably amazing and innovative for this to even make a dent in people's minds. And as others have pointed out, Facebook.com is not associated with professionalism (unless you're a recruiter or tech blogger or something).

All in all, I think nobody will care at the end of the day.

12
7 points by jscore 1 day ago 0 replies      
I closed my account few months ago, does this mean I will miss the revolution?
13
5 points by JonnieCache 1 day ago 0 replies      
I see this as a good thing. As others have mentioned here, FB messaging is more popular than email for a lot of people. This means I'll be able to communicate effectively with my friends who check their FB an order of magnitude more than their email (almost all of them,) using SMTP in any way that I choose rather than having to log into FB with all its attendant awfulness.

How does this news represent anything other than FB rewriting its inbox/messaging tool to operate over SMTP/IMAP? And how can that be anything but good? Okay we all wish they'd used the Wave Federation Protocol, but we can't have everything we want.

14
4 points by Supermighty 1 day ago 0 replies      
The killer aspect of any facebook email project is that your friends are automatically white listed and in your address book.
15
4 points by iuguy 1 day ago 2 replies      
Does anyone have any decent info on which free mail service is the most popular? I know a fair amount of people use any mixture of hotmail, gmail and yahoo. Perhaps 'killing gmail' isn't as big as killing hotmail/live/badabingmail.
16
3 points by dinedal 1 day ago 1 reply      
Something tells me that now I am going to get an email in my Gmail for every email that I get in my facemail telling me I have a new facemail.
17
4 points by pshapiro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Personally I really don't want my email visible to Facebook. What would they do with my information? Google already set the precedent for leveraging email data _somehow_. If so, Facebook will probably push the boundaries while carefully marketing it so that users accept something they would not have just previously. I only have a problem with this because they're profiting from data that users would not have allowed them to sell to advertisers if they had known about the terms when signing up. So it's like a bait and switch and that makes me distrust them.
18
5 points by tafle 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think an interesting case here that will be affected here is how social circles were dealing that one stubborn Facebook holdout.

Before, there were two choices. Either move communication to email, or leave them out of the loop. Now the choice is easy, and it will all happen within Facebook.

19
1 point by darklajid 1 day ago 0 replies      
I usually try to stop myself being overly protective of privacy. But - I already thought about leaving GMail several times to make sure that I don't rely on a big company that knows a lot about me.

Now Facebook, that would be an alternative. Uhm - wait a minute!

I do think they're going to pull this off though. Lots of people I know are still (happily) using the "older" services around, local free email providers, hotmail, whatever.
A sexy webmail client, promoted by the site they use heavily? Sounds like a dealbreaker. Lots of non-technical people don't know Google as something other than a field to type searches into (or even rely on the browser search fields). Facebook could "educate" those to switch quite easily, I guess, given a good marketing strategy and some neat "integrate your mails with your status updates" features.

Ugh..

20
4 points by randall 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't this the definition of feature creep?

Everything devolves till eventually it can check email. [someone more intelligent than me will find the source of that quote... I'm having a tough morning.]

21
1 point by tlrobinson 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this has to do with the recent back-and-forth antics between Facebook and Google. It would make sense that Facebook wants a way for people to get their contacts out of Gmail...
22
2 points by savrajsingh 21 hours ago 0 replies      
23
2 points by jhrobert 1 day ago 0 replies      
If Twitter is smart they will provide the smart ultra cheap fast answer:
mailto:username@twitter.com
with automatic forwarding to your actual email (that they know of already).

No brainer.

I hope that facebook users will use their twitter name to setup their facebook email adress, ie: use it as a very public address.

@jhr

24
2 points by Estragon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there any for-pay gmail-like mail services out there offered by companies who aren't trying to make money by selling their users to their advertisers?

I use gnus at the moment, but it's starting to feel a bit long in the tooth. On the other hand, the thought of having all my email in a marketer's database kind of squicks me.

25
1 point by JarekS 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't you guys think that it makes much more sense for Facebook to allow their users to hook up their email accounts (GMail, Hotmail etc.) via IMAP/POP and just be much better email interface with some extras?

Facebook could give priority sorting (based on your social graph), instant identification (kind of Rapportive features), and really easy to use and powerful address book (your social graph).

26
2 points by fjabre 19 hours ago 0 replies      
If Apple announces a new product, the world looks on with curiosity and awe.

If Facebook announces a new product, the world looks on with scorn and distrust.

27
2 points by cyanbane 1 day ago 0 replies      
How long till we see cellphones (not the purported FB phone) utilize just one source for your contacts? I just got a WP7 phone and had to merge all my contacts in from multiple sources, if instead MS just piggybacked off FB only, it would make things far easier for the end user. Also FB could claim "portability" to some degree (even if just with their partner MS)
28
4 points by gsivil 1 day ago 2 replies      
it seems convenient within Facebook
but I would not like using a @facebook.com
email address for serious communication.
Imagine applying for college with such an address.
29
2 points by asknemo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Even if the thing turns out to be unbelievably amazing, I doubt companies would like people to be constantly logged in to facebook "for mail" during work. For many offices, a browser tab on facebook could just imply chit-chat with friends, farmville, and many other unproductive pursuits. How could it be a "Gmail Killer" with such a born defect?
30
3 points by gonzo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Facebook is the new AOL
31
2 points by yread 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well for me Gmail's killer is the build 1060 of Opera 11
32
1 point by topek 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else think, that this was the main reason behind the "GMail blocks import" story (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1877845)?
33
1 point by resdirector 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Killer"?

Hard to make an email killer. Hotmail, for instance, is still incredibly popular, and will continue to be.

34
1 point by zecg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another address people will just forward to their gmail. The article claims facebook has "the most popular photos product"... it may be true, but their "photos product" is shit.
35
1 point by RtodaAV 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't have a facebook account but idk about this. Will users get another username for their email address or use their vanity usernames? The under 18 crowd will use it because like another poster brought up, my brother also doesn't have a email address. He tried using mine.
36
1 point by u48998 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, didn't they buy Drop.io? So obviously they're going after our emails. The interesting thing would be to see if they require people to adopt new email addresses or not
37
1 point by shuaib 1 day ago 0 replies      
O no, please! Why do they all have to turn into I-completely-want-to-own-your-Internet-life giants? Isn't doing one thing good enough, enough? Who needs yet another email service provider?
38
1 point by maheshs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google try to integrate social network with gmail (buzz) and failed.
Now facebook is trying to integrate social network with mail and result would be fail IMHO.

Mail and "social networks" are different need.

39
1 point by MortenK 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, can't wait to see all my personal contact info publicly available after writing a merry christmas mail to auntlisa@facebook.com
40
1 point by DjDarkman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Now Facebook will have no excuse not to allow exporting of friends email address... well they will probably think of something else.

I doubt they could kill GMail, if there is one thing Google is good at is, fast and efficient interfaces, it may not be pretty, but who cares, it's an email client.

41
1 point by obilgic 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was thinking about this when they launched username system, without knowing rumors about that.
42
-2 points by revoltingx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Social networking is lame.
43
-1 point by TallGuyShort 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm biased by having seen The Social Network, but does anyone else get the feeling that Facebook is motivated by hurting other people? I mean, when Google was starting to get big, it seemed like they were driven by their own creativity, by their drive to be awesome. But Facebook just always exudes this attitude of jealousy.

edit: Any of the downvoters care to explain? It's an honest question about two different companies - if you disagree, I'd like to hear what you think.

13
⌘Q is too damn close to ⌘W squishtech.posterous.com
224 points by sprsquish 4 days ago   105 comments top 40
1
25 points by thought_alarm 4 days ago 3 replies      
The reason it's not normally a problem is that if you're working on a document and you hit ⌘Q (or ⌘W for that matter) you will be prompted to save your changes.

However, this does become a problem in web browsers and file browsers where there are no changes to save.

Apparently in the early days of OS X the NEXTSTEP guys wanted to add a ⌘Q shortcut to Finder, which would log you out of OS X. As the story goes, some people at Apple really hated that idea, so after some lively debate they settled on ⌘⇧Q instead. (As a bonus, it's now a global shortcut, so you don't have to be in Finder to use it.)

Similar problem with web browsers. You can give it a different shortcut, or you can enable a prompt to warn when closing multiple tabs. Most people opt for the latter.

2
25 points by jemfinch 4 days ago 9 replies      
Do people really not know that Chrome has an option to reopen itself with the tabs you had open last? Preferences > Basics > On Startup > Reopen the pages that were open last.
3
20 points by dedward 4 days ago 2 replies      
Most browsers warn you if you are about to close multiple tabs.... I guess chrome doesn't? Weird.

That would be an implementation problem for chrome - every other OSX application tends to properly warn you if you are about to close multiple context windows with cmd-q.

EDIT: Just researching a bit- this seems to be a conflict between the Chromium design goals and the OSX UI guidelines... the Chrome team absolutely refuses to add a warning dialog if you try to close multiple tabs, but it would be the expected behaviour on OSX.

I tend to fall on the side of OSX - part of what makes it great is UI consistency - and this is one case where Chromium is making things worse, not better.

4
30 points by slig 4 days ago 1 reply      
Latest chrome (9.x dev) has an option in "about:flags" to show you a kind of confirmation box before quitting.
5
7 points by katovatzschyn 4 days ago 0 replies      
"The Opposite of Fitts' Law - The Ejector Seat Analogy"

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2010/03/the-opposite-of-fit...

6
8 points by martingordon 4 days ago 1 reply      
I've had this happen to me in Chrome a few times recently (I switched to Chrome full time a few weeks ago), but I've never had it happen in Safari since Safari prompts you if you have multiple tabs/windows open.
7
4 points by scott_s 4 days ago 2 replies      
In vi, I use control+w to shift between the sections of a split window. You can imagine the hilarity that used to ensue. But, it's not an issue anymore. I haven't made that mistake in well over a year.
8
2 points by mhd 4 days ago 0 replies      
German hackers represent: On a German keyboard on Windows or Linux, you have to enter a few characters with the right Alt key (the "AltGr" key). This includes the "@" sign, which is located on the "Q" key. A lot of first-time switchers thus cause their browser to close every time they try to enter an email address.

Incidentally, the "@" sign, as many other characters, is on a different key on the German Mac layout. Never understood why e.g. the US layout stays the same on every system, but the German one doesn't. Good time that I switched to the US one long ago. Now I only have to fight with different ways to access umlauts…

9
12 points by kamechan 4 days ago 1 reply      
no keymap is without its annoyances. in DVORAK, ⌘w is right next to ⌘v (paste). i close windows all the time :(
10
5 points by megrimlock 4 days ago 1 reply      
What's really needed here is not more distance between hotkeys, but instead universal lightweight undo for user interactions.

The most precious resource is the user's time. There should be no interaction that irreversibly discards the user's work. We have fairly universal undo for editing operations; there should be just as much undo support for closing windows, tabs, or apps -- carefully constructed artifacts of the user's workflow.

11
4 points by zaius 4 days ago 0 replies      
I use this to map it to ⌘⇧Q

defaults write com.google.Chrome NSUserKeyEquivalents '{"Quit Google Chrome"="@$Q";}'

12
1 point by ewjordan 4 days ago 0 replies      
Huh. I guess that's true, for some reason I've never noticed it before.

I usually keep my left hand on my "home keys" when browsing (Firefox user here), in order from pinky to thumb, q-w-e-f-⌘, of which I use w, f, and ⌘ on a regular basis, and I guess that usually keeps me from mis-hitting q when I mean w, I'd actually have to push the wrong finger, which is pretty rare.

Right thumb goes on the trackpad for mouse interactions (much easier now that the MBP trackpad presses in rather than having a button), other four fingers on that hand go on j-k-l-; (⌘+j/k/l I use all the time for downloads/search/address bar, ; is wasted, of course). Scrolling is the only thing that sucks, but you can get pretty far with space/shift+space (hit space with left thumb, shift with right pinky).

If I had a problem with this, I'd probably go with the WoW shortcut for quitting, alt+command+Q, which is pretty hard to do accidentally (Double-thumb keypress? Expert move...) and doesn't tend to be bound to anything else. Command+1 seems like a bad idea because some of us are very used to Command+(number) to switch to tabs.

13
3 points by limmeau 4 days ago 0 replies      
On German Windows keyboards, @ is on right-Alt-Q. Recently, I had a (Windows-trained) guest who wanted to write an email on my Mac, but Firefox kept "crashing".
14
4 points by jrockway 4 days ago 3 replies      
C-x C-c is too close to C-x C-b.
15
1 point by cookiecaper 3 days ago 0 replies      
This has bitten me several times and it really sucks. The "Restore Tab" function doesn't restore the state of Flash applications and it doesn't restore content in some input boxes (like those on Facebook, because they are hidden by JS initially).

If you're in Private Browsing mode and this happens, you lose the whole session forever, and that just happened to me the other day. It was really frustrating. :(

16
1 point by erikano 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm using Firefox and Vimperator [1] with a TypeMatrix EZ-Reach 2030 [2] mapped to US-Dvorak under FreeBSD 8.1 with xmonad [3] + xmobar [4].

This means that:

- When my fingers are resting on the home row, they are on keys a, o, e, u and h, t, n, s.

- When I want to close a tab in Firefox, I press d, which is left of h.

- When I want to quit Firefox completely, I press :q.

I can't remember the last time I closed a tab I didn't want to close or exited Firefox without meaning to do so. The only problem I had for a while, was that I started "record macro" with q when I meant to scroll with j - that hasn't happened for quite some time now.

I mostly only use Chromium if I am logged in on various sites in Firefox and I need to use my server as proxy to access a web service bound to 127.0.0.1 on the server (meaning that it is not publicly accessible), while also using the sites I am logged in on in Firefox. I always quit Chromium by closing all tabs, and as mentioned by others, Ctrl+w is far away from Ctrl+q.

[1]: http://vimperator.org/vimperator

[2]: http://typematrix.com/ezr2030/

[3]: http://xmonad.org/

[4]: http://hackage.haskell.org/package/xmobar

17
3 points by jolan 4 days ago 1 reply      
In Chrome, I just use Ctrl+Shift+T when this happens.
18
1 point by arohner 4 days ago 0 replies      
My real problem is that M-w is too close to ⌘-w, especially when I have meta mapped to ⌘ on my external keyboard.

I would really love to have a consistent set of shortcuts across emacs and everything else I use.

19
3 points by tedge 4 days ago 0 replies      
With a bit of practice, you can train your hand to do ⌘-W as a 3-finger "chord" by touching your middle finger to the 'Q' key before allowing your index finger to depress the 'W'.
20
1 point by meelash 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've never had this happen to me if I recall. Do the people who have a problem with this not keep their hand in "typing position"? It seems really difficult to me, with my left hand in position (which can be assured with the F dot) to hit W with my pinky or Q with my ring finger.
21
1 point by d0m 4 days ago 0 replies      
In theory maybe but in practice I've never typed cmd+q instead of cmd+w. (A little bit like I've never typed ctrl+a (which select all) instead of ctrl+s (which save)).

However, I've pressed f1 instead of escape a couple of time so I make sure to bind f1 to escape in vim

22
1 point by mcritz 4 days ago 2 replies      
This is like complaining that he keeps getting a spoonful of Cheerios up his nose every morning because his nostrils are too close to his mouth.
23
1 point by FluidDjango 4 days ago 0 replies      
That's why for applications that I do not want to quit easily I set "Application (keyboard) Shortcuts" [ OS X ] to require something less commonly used (like cntl-opt-cmd-Q) for quitting. [ OS X System Preferences -> Keyboard ]
24
2 points by Argorak 4 days ago 1 reply      
Huh? I never had that problem and do actually like it that way. Train yourself to use the middle finger for "W" and the ring finger for pressing "Q" and the problem vanishes. It will still happen to you perhaps once per month, but I can live with that.
25
1 point by drivebyacct2 4 days ago 1 reply      
I will give plenty of karma to anyone who can tell me an easy way of doing something even remotely similar in Linux. I'd love it.
26
1 point by edge17 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think the worst design decision was putting the print button next to the save button. I've definitely sent code files in excess of 50k lines to some unknown printer before by accident.
27
1 point by linhat 4 days ago 0 replies      
well, this is not really a solution to his problem, but instead intended as an informational bit.
i am actually using a dvorak(-programmers) layout. then the Q and W keys are quite far apart, with the Q key right above the left ⌘ key, and W right above the right ⌘ key, a really handy addition to an (already) awesome layout.
28
1 point by shawnwall 4 days ago 1 reply      
you just changed one of the consistent features of all os x applications, how to close applications and close windows/tabs of applications.

for some reason i always use the finger motion/press of thumb on left ⌘-key + index finger on q key to quit things and i've never experienced the ⌘q ⌘w issue.

29
1 point by hexley 4 days ago 0 replies      
I could have sworn somebody made a SIMBL plugin years ago to provide confirmation for Cmd-Q in all apps...or am I just going crazy?
30
1 point by wdr1 4 days ago 1 reply      
This doesn't seem to work for me using Firefox on Snow Leopard. The menu changes to the crazy keyboard shortcut I give to Quit (and sure enough the crazy combo works as well), however Cmd-Q still quits Firefox as well.
31
1 point by ankushnarula 4 days ago 0 replies      
FWIW... This is a useful resource when trying to remap shortcuts in Safari. I used it to remap Cmd-L to "Google Search..." to better mimic Chrome.

file:///Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Resources/Shortcuts.html

32
0 points by duopixel 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm willing to bet the author is either A) not a touch typist or B) Comes from Windows/Linux. It's not the author's fault, of course, but it has been around since 1984 and it's unlikely to change. The 'native' way to type commands on a Mac is using your thumb to press Command and your pinky to press Q, or your ring finger to press W.

It feels awfully weird pressing Q with your ring finger.

Window/Linux users use the pinky to press ctrl, taking your hand out of the usual touch typing position, and thus making it more prone to mistakes.

33
2 points by dmaz 4 days ago 0 replies      
Chrome for Linux addresses this by using Ctrl+Shift+Q.
34
1 point by foenix 4 days ago 0 replies      
I just did this to a blog entry after reading your post. I should have written in out in vim like I normally do.
35
1 point by jlees 4 days ago 0 replies      
Good thing we're fixing this!
36
1 point by stretchwithme 4 days ago 0 replies      
very true.
37
0 points by hippich 4 days ago 0 replies      
Can you close tab with Ctrl-W in Mac (like in Ubuntu and Win)? If so - just use it. Ctrl-Q do not quit browser =)
38
1 point by kuroir 4 days ago 0 replies      
It is indeed to close, but it's not worth it modify it since it's a system wide standard.
39
1 point by invertedlambda 4 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, yes and yes.
40
1 point by gmatty 4 days ago 0 replies      
A F#$#@$* men
14
Why I bill hourly orestis.gr
220 points by cwan 5 days ago   57 comments top 18
1
51 points by tptacek 5 days ago 5 replies      
Why you should never quote prices in hours: because it provides prospects with a frame of reference for price negotiation in which (a) you always sound very expensive, and (b) price movements that seem reasonable to the prospect can end up being very painful for you.

If you're going to end up haggling over your price, far better for you to be doing it over numbers like $15,250 which are tied to the specific project than over numbers like $125/hour which are affixed to you for the rest of your relationship with the client. You should never, ever be budging on your rate anyways. Give an inch on your rate and you will never get it back; companies hire whole departments to ensure that rate concessions, once taken, are never surrendered. Negotiate over project scope, not rate.

The question of whether you should go fixed price or time-and-materials is a reasonable one (and it's a negotiating point), but if you're going to bid time-and-materials, price in billable weeks, and estimate the number of weeks up front. Save the details about billable phone call minutes (and, seriously?) for your S.O.W.

2
30 points by bambax 5 days ago 2 replies      
I sometimes would like to be able to bill hourly, but find it impossible:

1) When I'm thinking about the project in the shower (where all the real thinking is being done) shouldn't the meter run? Apparently from the original post, the only billable time is the typing time, which is a little bit funny.

2) How do you know if you're fast or slow? Are you even consistent? Sometimes a stupid feature takes me half a day; sometimes something really complicated snaps together in an instant.

3) Even more so, the client has no clue of what time it takes to do something (and how could he, given that I haven't got many clues either, beforehand). If I tell him that it took me 3 hours to do X and 5 minutes to do Y he will be shocked! He will think I'm crazy, or bullshitting him, or that I'm trying to convey some other message that he'll spend the next week trying to decode.

4) What about warm-up time? When I get back to a project I left a week ago, it takes about an hour to get up to speed; how should this hour be billed?

Besides, every theory of pricing tells us that price should NEVER be based on costs. Price should be based on value because that's what it is: price == value. The problem of course is that the client won't tell you what the value is.

What I end up doing is:

- if I can get an idea of the client's budget, and I find this budget acceptable, then that's my price

- if not, my personal rule of thumb is (maybe counter-intuitively) to bid low on things that are new for me (and interesting), because I really want to learn the skills and get the reference on my portfolio; and to bid relatively high on things I know well, because I don't really care to get the project or not, and if I do get it I expect it to contribute financially to all the other stuff.

(So if you want to hire me cheap, make me do something I've never done).

Also, it's been my experience that clients care about the price before the project begins, but never after.

3
32 points by pan69 5 days ago 3 replies      
I tend to bill on a daily basis. I will present my clients with my hourly rate and then explain to them that I bill per day instead. My daily rate is slightly slower than 8 times my hourly rate. The reason I do this is to prevent nitpicking on time sheets etc and to be accountable for every single hour of the day. The last thing I want to do is have a clock sitting next to me measuring my every single move. Some days I do some overtime (1 maybe to 2 hours max) and other days I find myself working slightly less. In the end it all works out fine. The estimates that I give my clients are based on days, not hours. If they want me to do a 4 hour job, cool, I still charge them for the entire day. Most clients are cool with that. Since most projects I do tend to have time-frames that go into weeks it's much easier that way for everyone involved.
4
10 points by mattwdelong 5 days ago 3 replies      
tptacek hit it dead on. Don't bill hourly; bid on a project basis. Why? First of all, you can end up doing work for a client and you know how you can save them $2,000/month by fixing something they can't. It only takes you five hours to complete the project, so what, you bill them 5 * hourly rate? You just saved him $24,000 year. That`s worth much more to him than an hourly rate. Know what you want per hour, ALWAYS get that, but quote what you're worth to your client and nothing less.

Secondly, tptacek is right again. Once you bid $125/hour, you're stuck at $125/hr. Even if you save your client that $2,000 month for 5 hours work, they`ll expect to pay you $625 and nothing more.

Be warned, this post is spot on if you always want to earn the same amount of money but you will never grow a company with this billing method.

5
6 points by ora600 5 days ago 0 replies      
I find that billing hourly can make for a more pleasant relationship with the customer. Provided that you give good justifications for the hours you bill.

On fixed price contracts there is lots of haggling over the exact scope, requirements, changes and meaning of words in the contract.

Hourly billing lets me smile and say "sure thing" to more requests, something that I actually prefer doing.

6
3 points by Tichy 5 days ago 0 replies      
One reason why I think hourly works better than fixed price: might help getting priorities right. For example, suppose the budget is 20000$, and you have 2000$ left to spend on the almost finished software. With hourly, the money could be spent on useful enhancements, or on the most useful features still missing. With fixed price, you probably agreed up front on some stupid things like "all source code has to be documented", so you probably spend the remaining hours on writing crappy documentation everybody will hate to read anyway. Since you agreed on features x,y and z up front, you might end up doing a hush job on features x, y and z, rather than doing a good job on x and negotiating that y, z will better be scoped.
7
7 points by nfriedly 5 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a faster loading coral cache link: http://orestis.gr.nyud.net/blog/2010/11/06/why-i-bill-hourly...

(The site took > 60 seconds when I first tried to load it.)

8
2 points by rapind 5 days ago 1 reply      
I agree whole-heartedly this is a great way to work if you're client is cool with it. In my experience that's a big if though.

If you can always afford to walk away then this could actually work.

I always give my client's the option of fixed or hourly and really emphasize the benefits of hourly. However I've only been taken up on the hourly offer a few times with recurring clients.

I think it's a great thing to strive for but my advice to freelancer's starting out is not to flat out refuse fixed quote unless you can afford to. Fixed, while not quite as accurate, is still workable once you get a feel for defining requirements on smaller projects. And any larger project can be broken down, so long as you're getting paid for the spec.

Whatever you do don't spend a riculous amount of time specing out a large project without being compensated. I've gotten so many RFPs that are obviously the product of spec work and I'm positive most were unpaid. In fact I guarantee there are forums dedicated to tactics and advice for getting spec work done for free.

9
4 points by geekdesigngirl 5 days ago 0 replies      
I have to agree with a lot of the posters here that fixed bids are better than hourly. I've been doing the freelance thing for a while, as well as working for another company, and have a very good understanding at how long it takes me to complete task X.

When looking at a new project, I can usually estimate the time it will take me to within a few hours and then I always add an additional 25%. I don't ever bill a client for phone calls or emails and even when the project is completed will answer emails/phone calls from them to assist. Yes, my prices are a bit higher than average but my clients don't mind paying it and don't mind passing my name along.

When dealing with a new project that I haven't a clue as to how long it will take me, I give an estimate about how many hours I believe it will take me and, if it gets close to that, the client is immediately told and we decided together how to move forward.

My contracts are also pretty detailed. I learned early on that specs that aren't spelled out in a contract have a way of coming back to bite you.

10
4 points by gte910h 5 days ago 0 replies      
I find iterative fixed fee kinder to people hiring out their first few times. It gives them strictures on what they can do so they don't shoot themselves in the metaphorical foot.

However, hourly definitely has it's place as well. I find offering both a good compromise.

11
2 points by three14 5 days ago 2 replies      
We would love to bill hourly. We tend to work for large companies, and they need to figure out how much to budget, so we then end up saying, "this will take between 10 and 12 hours," and then being forced to swallow the costs when it takes us 14. And of course, if it takes 8, they win. If anyone has suggestions other than "just tell them it will take what it takes," we'd really appreciate hearing them.

Edit: Usually, just stopping when the hours run out isn't a good choice either, because most of the projects we have won't provide a partial solution. It's all or nothing. Example: converting data between two formats. We discover a quality issue when we've run out of time, so the converted data is unusable.

12
6 points by juddlyon 5 days ago 0 replies      
Fixed bid gives you a greater incentive to be efficient in my experience. If you're significantly quicker than your peers (e.g., have your own processes, frameworks, macros, etc.) then you can have large margins and happy clients if you can estimate decently. Another reason: you only have so many billable hours.
13
3 points by kristiandupont 5 days ago 0 replies      
For larger projects and clients, I recommend you look into agile contracts:
http://www.bestbrains.dk/Blog/2009/06/03/CollaborativeAgileC...
14
2 points by quizbiz 5 days ago 1 reply      
For those that bill hourly, do you go off of a monthly retainer and sort of use that as a budget for hours? If I am starting to outsource (not off shore, just with partners, specific tasks), I'm just struggling about how to approach that from a billing perspective. I would like to make a small margin.
15
3 points by hippich 5 days ago 0 replies      
I am doing hourly work. But this is for clients I have high level of trust. They believe me.

Most other clients are more concerned to know fixed amount of time and if project took less - they want to get it back, although I negotiate that successfully so far =)

The worst case is - estimate in hours. =)

16
1 point by mattiask 4 days ago 0 replies      
Well, there's two sides to that coin. By having the client pay hourly you put the "risk" of the project on his shoulders, but you also limit yourself to earning only a hourly rate. Why is that bad? An experienced programmer might accomplish a task/project quickly due to having done similar projects and have an arsenal of code/examples/tools at his disposal. An experienced programmer might be able to get 20%-30% markup on his hourly fee but he might finish the project five times as fast as another less experienced programmer might.

You won't be able to leverage your gray hairs and the time they save you as efficiently with an hourly fee.

If the project is well-defined you might be tempted to accept a fixed price and crank it out quickly which will net you more money per hour. I'd advice holding of atleast a week even if you do it in a day or two or the customer will start questioning your price ;)

If the project/customer is fast and loose with the spec and functionality (as most projects are) you're in dangerous terroritory where constant changes keeps eating away at your time.

If you can get a high hourly fee and the project is fuzzy, go for it, meetings and stuff like that will earn you a bunch anyways.

Another strategy is to split the project into discrete parts and charge a fixed price for each (negotiating each one), that way it's easier to define the scope of the project and it eliminates risk both ways. It also gives you and the customer have a chance to get to know each other before committing to the project and helps avoid being in the clutches of a psychopath customer.

17
3 points by loewenskind 5 days ago 0 replies      
What about using Scrum and billing by the story point?
18
1 point by thibaut_barrere 5 days ago 1 reply      
I find that using acunote to lay down the estimate (then remaining work with burndown) and freckle to track the hours and remaining budget works nicely.
15
World's largest association of pilots boycotts body scanners bigbrotherwatch.org.uk
218 points by mcantelon 4 days ago   108 comments top 6
1
50 points by aresant 4 days ago replies      
Did you know that they had full dose radiation-driven "shoe fitting" devices in over 10,000 shoe stores up until 1970?

They were eventually pulled when reports of burns and stunting of bone and cartilage began to emerge.

It's the little vignettes of history like this that remind me how many grand-experiments there are out there using us all as the unwitting test subjects.

Is the Pilot Union's boycott a kneejerk reaction to the measured warning about potential radiation damage?

Maybe.

But never underestimate how quickly politicos helping to equip our airports with $100 - 200k a pop units will happily ask for forgiveness, not permission.

Citation for shoe stores - http://www.hemonctoday.com/article.aspx?rid=28218

2
11 points by blahedo 4 days ago 1 reply      
Hang on, do we know this is for real? I followed the link to news.com.au, and I can find one or two other blogs that are referring to this, but the APA site itself (http://public.alliedpilots.org/) makes no reference to anything like this, including in their "For the Media" section (press releases and such).
3
27 points by jfrancis 4 days ago 6 replies      
The key is to make the pat-down as time consuming and embarrassing as possible for the TSA staff. Follow these steps:

1) Refuse the body scanner and request a manual pat-down.

2) Ask to have a supervisor, or a second TSA staff, present during the pat-down. Explain that this is to ensure that no sexual harassment occurs.

3) If you are a guy, ask to have a female TSA staff member perform the pat-down. If your request is denied, calmly explain to the TSA guy that you are homosexual and that a pat-down by another guy will turn you on and will make you sexually extremely uncomfortable.

4) During the pat-down, make comments such as "Oh yeah, I like it when you touch me there!", or "Can I get a happy ending?"

4
6 points by tomhenderson 4 days ago 0 replies      
There was an interesting opinion piece in New Scientist about radiation safety levels recently (31 July 2010). It looked at health studies from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and studies of chemotherapy patients that suggest that the current recommended radiation limit (1 millisievert per year) is overly cautious. The article went on to suggest that the recommendation be raised to a lifetime total of 5 sieverts at no more than 0.1 sievert per month.

The article is here, unfortunately behind a pay wall: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727715.800-whos-afra...

5
3 points by IgorPartola 4 days ago 0 replies      
It seems that the debate in the comments here is on whether to give the TSA employees a hard time (with suggestions) or to try to pressure the politicians who let this happen (with no concrete suggestions).

I wonder if the pressure really should be applied to the airlines. Obviously they are in a tough spot, but once they start to really lose profits, they would be sure to run to DC screaming. Just a thought.

6
2 points by xutopia 4 days ago replies      
I wonder what happens when a normal person refuses to be scanned by these newfangled scanners?

I'm going to the US soon and I don't like the body scanners.

16
Things You Should Do Immediately After Launching a Website sixrevisions.com
217 points by abraham 5 days ago   33 comments top 15
1
23 points by ary 4 days ago 1 reply      
After launching? Not to nit pick, but I'm pretty sure nearly all of these should be done before you launch.
2
4 points by bryanh 4 days ago 1 reply      
The same thing I said in their comments (dunno if they'll approve my blatant self-promotion):

If anyone is interested in automating their fetish for checking their organic SEO rankings, I'd be happy to give you a free spin in my app http://rankiac.com/. Basically, you enter your keywords and domains, and we email you daily with changes in ranking.

Hit me up at contact@rankiac.com if you want your account sprinkled with some free “Pro” subscription magic dust!

Regardless, this is a good list and contains a few things I ALWAYS forget to do (site-map & Google Webmaster tools).

3
8 points by thingie 5 days ago 2 replies      
There is only one thing on the list that is not completely obvious -- dmoz still matters. Is it possible? Sure, it's a valuable list of sites touched by a lot of care and bureaucracy, but does anybody who wasn't online 10 years ago know about it?
4
10 points by bill-nordwall 4 days ago 1 reply      
Be careful with these robots.txt suggestions.

Disallowing your css/js files in your robots.txt is probably not a good idea - Matt Cutts said as much himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNEipHjsEPU

If you're running Wordpress, disallowing your /uploads/ directory will nuke your Google Image Search prospects, as Googlebot won't be able to crawl any of your images to begin with.

Also, submitting to a paid directory such as Best of the Web or the Yahoo! Directory would be a much better use of your time. DMOZ is still a valuable directory (for a lot of reasons), but the likelihood is small that they will review, let alone add your site to the directory in a timely manner (if ever).

A few other things worth doing:
- Create a Twitter account for your site.
- Create a Facebook page for your site.

5
8 points by gabrielroth 4 days ago 2 replies      
OK, to everyone who read this list and said, 'That stuff is all obvious': What would you add to the list?
6
4 points by olalonde 4 days ago 0 replies      
7
7 points by yread 5 days ago 1 reply      
+1 for not saying "8 Things You Should do..."
8
2 points by citizenkeys 4 days ago 0 replies      
Good organic seo is almost always the best way to advertise your site. Spending money on fleshing out your site with lots of pages with lots of relevant specific copy and keywords is much more cost-effective than simply spending money to advertise the site.

A couple important things the article leaves out:

1) Create a cron script or otherwise automate sitemap creation. Otherwise, its easy to forget to manually add new pages.

2) Put a useful succinct meta description in the header of all your pages. Otherwise you leave the little blurb of text that shows up on google search results to chance and miss potential clicks on search results.

9
1 point by Towle_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow!

Sifting through sixrevisions.com ... they have some fantastic shit. Good writing, sure, but GREAT topics-- and that's such a rarity.

A big* high-five to abraham for the submission.

*The kind that makes your hand sting. Because I love you, that's why.

10
2 points by joshrule 5 days ago 0 replies      
As someone just starting up their first website (http://wayofthescholar.com), there's a lot of helpful material here, and a lot I still need to work through.

Although each item may be obvious and discussed in greater depth a thousand other places, a list is sometimes really helpful.

11
6 points by RtodaAV 4 days ago 0 replies      
Dmoz?

Good Luck getting in.

12
1 point by terra_t 4 days ago 0 replies      
uhhhh... i can't believe so much blogspam is getting in here
13
2 points by iworkforthem 4 days ago 1 reply      
I would also redirect my feeds/rss to FeedBurner, just to have an idea the number of subscribers I might have, and which are the more popular items people read about me.
14
1 point by coffee 4 days ago 0 replies      
"Submit Your Website to Dmoz" Are you kidding me? Please, please don't waste your time...
15
-2 points by seociety 4 days ago 0 replies      
XML Sitemap along with Google notifications goes a long way!

Many sites do not notify google when their XML sitemap is updated yet it is a very efficient way to achieve instant indexing for new content!

While large sites with high PR are crawled frequently, crawling rates for small/medium sites will never result in instant indexing unless they use this method.

Use it and gain some search engine results momentum!

17
Full Hacker News database for download (posts, comments, points, date, username) ihackernews.com
210 points by ronnier 5 days ago   83 comments top 15
1
61 points by Silhouette 5 days ago replies      
Am I really the only person who has dubious feelings about this? I contribute my words to HN, where they can be seen in context and where they are viewed by the same community that I am interacting with. I don't contribute them for arbitrary other uses off the site.

Unless I have missed something, posters who submit their comments here do not automatically release them into the public domain. In fact, I have seen no legal statement anywhere about transfer of copyright as a condition of posting, so it's not clear that posters give anyone any rights at all, other than probably the operators of HN an implicit licence to publish them on the site and visitors to HN an implicit right to read them while browsing the site in the normal way. That would make downloading and sharing the entire HN database in this way an obvious infringement of the copyright of every poster here.

Sorry if this seems a bit OTT, but some of us watched many comments we contributed to the community in the Usenet days being appropriated by long-term Usenet archives that then republished them out of context, covered in advertising, with comments/ratings attached to them that aren't open to the rest of the Usenet community, etc. That is basically profit-making on the back of others' work without their knowledge or consent, and potentially at the expense of the community the poster originally wished to support, and I have a problem with that.

2
12 points by dejb 5 days ago 0 replies      
Cool. Now in XX years time, after all my expressed opinions are proven to be correct, I can fire up an intelligent program to try to track down everyone who's ever dis-agreed with me and say 'I told you so'.
3
8 points by il 5 days ago 3 replies      
I can't wait to see what everyone does with this data, there could be lots of interesting insights gleaned from this.

For example, a more comprehensive list of top domains, domains with most upvotes, domains with most unique people submitting, etc.

4
5 points by Smerity 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks! This opens up a number of really interesting possibilities when mixed with people's expertise in search and machine learning / natural language processing.

A long time ago I got hold of a large chunk of Slashdot's stories and comments. The text and karma ratings for each post lead me to try some fun experiments automatically extracting the community's sentiment towards certain topics or trying to mine Slashdot memes.

I've wanted to play around with the comments of Hacker News for some time due to the wealth of knowledge most comments hold but felt that crawling would be a bad idea as I certainly didn't want to cause PG's bandwidth cost/server load to increase.

Think about it - HN's a community full of people like me and if we all crawled HN to get that data it would be somewhat ugly, so thanks for sharing your data ;)

5
4 points by chasingsparks 5 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks!

I have actually been crawling HN restricted by PG's "a couple of pages per minute" limitation for the past three weeks. This is far more convenient.

6
2 points by pak 5 days ago 0 replies      
Now this is neat. I spent a bit of today reverse engineering the Better HN chrome extension to see how it looked up url's on HN (http://json-automatic.searchyc.com/domains/find?url=%s, for anybody who wondered, I can't find this API documented anywhere). Now, if this API holds up, it seems like there might be a more sustainable way of doing what I was planning.
7
2 points by bambax 5 days ago 1 reply      
It looks great but it appears to be down? Every request of the form

http://api.ihackernews.com/profile/pg

answers

{"username":null,"createdAgo":null,"karma":0,"about":null,"version":"1.0","cachedOnUTC":"\/Date(-62135575200000)\/"}

and this page

http://api.ihackernews.com/page

says this

Server Error in '/' Application.

8
3 points by robryan 5 days ago 0 replies      
One of the problems with hacker news is that while there is great discussion whether it is one a short lived story or evergreen advice it pretty much fades into obscurity a couple of days after it is posted.

There have been curation efforts in the past and collections like this make it even more accessible and feasible the someone will apply some good NLP to organise the data in such a way to provide the benefit of the older content which is still relevant.

9
2 points by aditya 5 days ago 1 reply      
10
2 points by codefisher 5 days ago 1 reply      
It is a pity that the API does not have a way of getting what appears on the front page. I was planing to soon create a script that scanned the front page, and then applied pg's algorithm from "a plan for spam" to remove links that I think are off topic. Actually turning that into a desktop client would be rather cool, or maybe a Firefox extension as that is more my kind of thing.
11
1 point by nl 5 days ago 1 reply      
Based on the front page example, it looks like the database doesn't contain the comment structure (ie, what comments go with what article, and which comments parent others)

Am I missing something?

12
5 points by mattyb 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you.
13
1 point by Anon84 5 days ago 4 replies      
I was hoping for a dump of the actual database...
14
1 point by jacquesm 5 days ago 0 replies      
Cue dozens of made-for-adsense sites based on this in 3,2,1...
15
2 points by Sevki 4 days ago 0 replies      
its taken down
18
Netflix wins a longbet from 8 years ago. longbets.org
208 points by JustinSeriously 3 days ago   55 comments top 16
1
14 points by drats 2 days ago 4 replies      
Esther Dyson's bet "By 2012, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times will have referred to Russia as "the world leader in software development" or words to that effect."

http://www.longbets.org/5

The Computer History Museum gets $10,000 if she loses, I guess they should start planning an exhibit on old Russian computer technology.

But to be less smug for a moment why anyone would think this is beyond me. While the Russians did achieve significant technological advances in the 20th century, and implemented an impressive education system with regard to mathematics and computer science there are so many other factors which play into this. Namely Russia obtaining a score of 2.7/10 for corruption in 2002 from the Corruption Perceptions Index and sliding down to 2.1/10 in the most recent ranking putting them in 158th place. Further they are ranked 143rd on the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom. India with 87th on corruption and 124th on economic freedom, not great, has plenty of English speakers and a more impressive computer science educational infrastructure, as well as being cheaper. The stories of people dying in Russian prisons after resisting corrupt government shakedowns are just horrific and I am not aware of any Indian equivalent. But I suppose if you invest there as she does, you need to talk it up.

2
12 points by cobralibre 2 days ago 2 replies      
Maciej Ceglowski had a similar, if less grandiose, site called Wrong Tomorrow, but it looks like it's down:

http://wrongtomorrow.com/

I don't know if the site is only temporarily down, or if it's been abandoned, but it's a shame if the latter. The idea behind Wrong Tomorrow was chiefly to hold pundits accountable for their frequently bad predictions. You can read his site announcement, where he explicitly mentions sites like Long Bets and how Wrong Tomorrow differs from them:

http://idlewords.com/2009/04/wrong_tomorrow.htm

3
14 points by chrisaycock 2 days ago 0 replies      
"By 2010, more than 50 percent of books sold worldwide will be printed on demand at the point of sale in the form of library-quality paperbacks."

Vint Cerf challenges with, "At some point, laptop or smaller devices with high quality displays and suitable access controls for intellectual property will make the sale and consumption of books, sound and movies through these devices practical." He goes on to cite the "iPOD" as an example.

http://www.longbets.org/6

4
16 points by klochner 2 days ago 0 replies      
David Peterson nailed it in the comments in 2003:

  NetFlix claims to have more than 13,500 titles and more   
than one million members. You order the movie on the
Internet, you just can't watch it until all of the bits
of the movie arrive. They just happen to be delivered
to your mailbox and you have to put the bits into your
computer or dvd player.

-- Posted by David B. Peterson on May 16, 02003 at 12:32AM PDT

5
10 points by icegreentea 3 days ago 1 reply      
Reading the comments (I love that the years are written as 02002) this one particularly strikes me..

"...The net works differently than that... and Content owners have missed (and will continue to miss) it for 3 reasons: 1) Technophobia coupled with crippling ego (too cool to look dumb they fear the pipe) 2) Misguided content protectionism (go back and watch 'The Power of Myth'... again! It's the 'story' damnit!) ..."

This is 8 years old (and proven somewhat wrong), and we're still saying it, in some form today.

6
12 points by blaines 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow good find. I especially like this bet, Warren Buffett v. Protege Partners, LLC.

  “Over a ten-year period commencing on January 1, 2008, and ending on
December 31, 2017, the S & P 500 will outperform a portfolio of funds
of hedge funds, when performance is measured on a basis net of fees,
costs and expenses.”

http://www.longbets.org/362

7
6 points by steveklabnik 3 days ago 2 replies      
I like the RESTful urls, check out bet #1: http://www.longbets.org/1

We've got a while, but it feels like an appropriate bet.

8
6 points by antidaily 3 days ago 0 replies      
Service Temporarily Unavailable

Cached version: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:cyGf1Tn...

9
4 points by alextgordon 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's amusing that Eric Schmidt is the challenger on http://www.longbets.org/4 in light of Google's autonomous cars.
10
3 points by stellar678 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is it just me or did this seem completely inevitable and kind of on the cusp by 2002? We were building fileserver-based VOD services just to save our Internet connection from the torrenting masses in shared housing situations around this time.

This seems like a risky one to bet against, at least from a technical perspective.

I suppose it is true that it was still a pretty open question whether anyone would manage to negotiate licenses with the media producers to do VOD, but Bell doesn't even touch on that issue.

11
6 points by blntechie 2 days ago 2 replies      
I would love to see (or not see) how the predictor wins this bet,long bet making a decision and awards the stake.

“Large Hadron Collider will destroy Earth.”

http://www.longbets.org/382

12
1 point by tjmc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cool site. My prediction is that by 2025 electric vehicle sales will overtake ICE vehicle sales. I don't want to spend 50 bucks to put it up there though!
13
1 point by herrherr 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another proof that you may look like a fool when trying to predict the future (Bell's argument).

Also interesting in this context: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1887215

14
1 point by iwr 3 days ago 2 replies      
For a foundation thinking ultra longterm, they have a flaky server.

"Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
Apache/2.2.11 (Ubuntu) Server at www.longbets.org Port 80"

15
-1 point by rudasn 2 days ago 0 replies      
now this is an interesting site!
16
-1 point by WingForward 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder what the contribution to the bet has been from Xbox.

Connecting the Internet to the television is one of its great accomplishments.

19
Gmail Creator Paul Buchheit Leaves Facebook for Y Combinator venturebeat.com
200 points by hornokplease 21 hours ago   33 comments top 11
1
34 points by qeorge 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow. This changes my opinion of Facebook's webmail offering significantly.

Congrats to Mr. Buchheit and YC, you're both making out like bandits.

2
24 points by harscoat 21 hours ago 0 replies      
At a time where Google, FB fight w/ $M to get best people, that's one of the greatest talent win one can imagine.
3
35 points by indrax 20 hours ago 1 reply      
So now hacker news will get a Project-Titan-killing email service?
4
3 points by tmsh 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Great, clarifying talk at Startup School 2009:

http://venturebeat.com/2009/10/24/startup-school-gmail-frien...

Honestly, a large part of that talk has stayed with me and kept my main outside-of-work project quietly in the background. I'd like to think I had the confidence and motivation before that talk. But somehow that talk just clicked for me. And has encouraged me to keep at it.

His approach is sort of what we all, I think, aspire for. A really clear, honest core outlook. And then entrepreneurship as bottom-up programming. It's actually much more difficult than it seems -- because you have to look ahead compared to a lot of people and then insist on relearning things in a bottom-up approach. You see it with all great founders (Zuck, etc.). On the outside, they seem lucky. But if you look more closely, they have a habit of putting themselves in the right position by looking two or three steps ahead (as I think Adam D'Angelo's talk @ Startup School 2010 was partly getting at). But then they insist on revalidating things from the ground up (e.g., Paul B's 'winging it' and deriving the overgeneralized nature of advice without a particular context, etc.). Anyway, they all make it look easy. But if you're smart, I think you look at them as real inspiration in terms of getting things done the right way.

5
4 points by Jun8 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Forget about Facebook, etc, YC is the news. I've been following it (and HN) for close to three years now, it went from a locally cool incubator to a place where people look up for world-class innovation.

Someone should write an in-depth story about the rise of YC, would be an excellent read!

6
7 points by swah 20 hours ago 4 replies      
Is Y Combinator a full-time job? How long did Paul stayed on Facebook, a couple months? This is odd no?
7
3 points by brandnewlow 18 hours ago 1 reply      
"Y Combinator, the increasingly famous Silicon Valley incubator.."

What an odd modifier.

8
2 points by jey 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"YC now has a second partner who's pretty famous and respected in the tech world."

Er, 3 + 1 == 2? Or maybe they mean "web startup world"?

9
3 points by bigbang 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats Paul. Great news for startups in general.
10
1 point by radioactive21 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, very interesting, now there is a whole different angle to FB's Titan killing gmail system.

Why would Paul leave just before launch? To me it means Paul either was never involved even though he was told he would be, or it's crap and he's leaving before the shit hits the fan.

11
1 point by mkramlich 11 hours ago 0 replies      
PG, Robert Morris and Paul Buchheit all at one company. Talk about hacktastic overload. In a good way. :)
20
Oracle and Apple Announce OpenJDK Project for Mac OS X apple.com
197 points by cstuder 1 day ago   94 comments top 17
1
40 points by archgrove 1 day ago 1 reply      
Almost as important is the announcement that the current Apple JDK, 1.6, will still ship in Lion. Given the release cycle of Java 7, that's a big relief to Java users and given the HN crowd, budding Android developers. Moreover, it seems to quash the (ridiculous) rumours that OS X Lion will end up being some locked down antithesis of previous versions of OS X.
2
9 points by samps 23 hours ago 2 replies      
This bit is hilarious:

The best way for our users to always have the most up to date and secure version of Java will be to get it directly from Oracle.

Contrast that with a recent quote from Bill Evans:

We're happy to continue to support Flash on the Mac, and the best way for users to always have the most up to date and secure version is to download it directly from Adobe.

It's like they're just toying with the tech press.

3
9 points by pluies 1 day ago 8 replies      
This is off-topic, but I'm amazed by the descriptions at the end of TFA (I know, I know, it's a press release, but still...)

Oracle is the world's most complete, open and integrated business software and hardware systems company. (...)

Let's grant integrated and complete, but definitely not "open". Though this is dwarfed by Apple's incredible self-praise:

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Woah there cowboy! A bit of humility maybe?

4
7 points by rbanffy 1 day ago 2 replies      
So... Is this good or bad?

I know Oracle is giving its back (not to say finger) to the Apache Foundation, but OpenJDK is a GPL-licensed version of the Java stack. Why is it bad (as in why so many complain) that Apple, Oracle and IBM cluster around OpenJDK? Why is the GPL not good enough?

5
7 points by nwjsmith 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm itching to take a look at Apple's "foundation for a new graphical client"
6
4 points by vdm 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Blog post from Oracle's Henrik Ståhl, responsible for product strategy in the Java Platform Group, with a little more detail and comments.

http://blogs.oracle.com/henrik/2010/11/oracle_and_apple_anno...

7
3 points by mtinkerhess 1 day ago 3 replies      
Does this mean there's some chance you'll be able to use Java for Mac App Store apps?
8
4 points by bradshaw1965 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This thread breaks the really admirable hacker news quality of not giving in to snark.
9
4 points by riobard 1 day ago 2 replies      
“…the foundation for a new graphical client”

Cocoa??

10
1 point by BonoboBoner 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, now I can get the new Air without fearing it wont run Scala.
11
1 point by sudonim 1 day ago 0 replies      
The way people describe themselves in press releases is ridiculous:

"Oracle is the world's most complete, open and integrated business software and hardware systems company. For more information about Oracle, please visit our Web site at www.oracle.com.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices."

12
6 points by ivanmantova 1 day ago 0 replies      
This oughta help stop the FUD.
13
2 points by yakisoft 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is really Oracle's news rather than Apple's.
14
1 point by Autre 1 day ago 6 replies      
Though I'm glad for this desicion, I can't help but wonder: what's in it for oracle? The puny 5% of desktops running mac os?
15
1 point by haribilalic 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm glad that they're not throwing everything away. I wonder if this will provide any benefit to the Linux OpenJDK.
16
0 points by aita 23 hours ago 3 replies      
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." - proverb
17
-4 points by chevas 1 day ago 0 replies      
I trust Google with my email more than facebook.
21
Opera holds the web's most valuable secret theregister.co.uk
197 points by andyking 5 days ago   56 comments top 11
1
17 points by aw3c2 4 days ago 4 replies      
Opera Mobile will be released for Android tomorrow. I can't wait to finally have a great browser on my phone (the tab limitations of the default one make it unusable for me. All alternatives have major faults or drawbacks). http://www.opera.com/mobile/next/
2
19 points by dtf 4 days ago 4 replies      
Opera Mini on the iPhone 4 is a pretty bad experience. Hope they get time to update it soon.
3
27 points by axod 4 days ago 5 replies      
In summary, Opera does proxying and caching for its mobile browser.

The article does very little to tell us why that's 'valuable' or indeed a secret.

4
9 points by zitterbewegung 4 days ago 3 replies      
It sort of begs the question will opera still be relevant in a few years down the line as rendering on phones gets cheaper and faster.
5
2 points by tzury 4 days ago 0 replies      
I really do not see how this all proxy thing makes it "most valuable secret"
6
1 point by ashish_0x90 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am wondering though how the content providers themselves will react to opera deciding ad strategy on content provided by them if this happens. Right now opera is stripping all the ads and so even now content providers are only getting traffic and are not actually making money by any ads that they may be serving or any other content monetization strategy. How much benefit the providers will get really by opera's this move if any? Will the providers be then asked to pay to be in control of ads served on their content? Will they will need adapt to different ads system if the user is using opera as compared to some other browser?
7
1 point by thezilch 4 days ago 0 replies      
For those, like myself, that were wondering why there is talk about Opera Mobile being released, tomorrow, for Android -- I thought I already have Opera on my phone. After brief gleaning, I have Opera Mini, and here is what to expect with Opera Mobile: http://www.opera.com/mobile/specs/ -- mostly just the rendering engine being available to the device, as opposed to being server based.
8
1 point by stygianguest 4 days ago 3 replies      
But what to do with such a cache? Build a new search engine to compete with google? I sincerely hope they will do that, but it cannot be easy. That said, if you have the cache, you might as well try.

By the way, what about online banking etc. They are introducing yet another weak point by playing the middle man.

9
1 point by celticjames 4 days ago 0 replies      
There's another company, Skyfire, that's been pushing a similar solution for the past few years. I've never met anyone who actually uses it.
10
0 points by BerislavLopac 4 days ago 0 replies      
Funny thing is that, as bandwidth keeps increasing, server side caching will be less and less meaningful.
11
0 points by DjDarkman 4 days ago 0 replies      
Opera Mini is a HTML/Image viewer, not a real browser, it's too crippled to be called a web browser.

Comparing Opera's cache to Google's cache is not a good idea, they work differently.

22
We're moving. Goodbye Rackspace. mixpanel.com
193 points by suhail 4 days ago   172 comments top 16
1
39 points by zemaj 4 days ago 2 replies      
I moved all my services from EC2 to Rackspace Cloud about 2 years ago, but I'm regretting it.

Rackspace Cloud does one thing well - small instances have great value CPU & local IO performance. If your app is CPU or local IO bound, splitting it across multiple 256MB instances on Rackspace Cloud will get you huge performance relative to price. I've been worried that this would degrade as the service grew, but that hasn't been the case.

Unfortunately many other 'features' of Rackspace Cloud have been poor to awful recently. Some anecdotal stories;

1) We haven't been able to make images of our server or restore ANY backup of our servers for months. There is a bug in the backup service where if you have spaces in the names of your Cloud Files containers (completely unrelated to the backup service) then all images fail to be able to be restored. We can't remove the spaces in the containers because you can't rename containers (only delete) and there's too much data tied to different parts of our infrastructure in there.

2) In relation to the issue above, we have had a ticket open for over 2 months which we continually post updates with new information & asking for issue resolution. We never receive updates to the ticket itself and only receive information when contacting their live chat. The response is always "we're working on it". I could live with it if this was a short period, or not an absolutely vital part of their service, but come on - all backups broken for 2 months! No timelines on resolution. No ticket responses. No happy.

3) While CPU value is great on small instances you get the other end of the stick on large instances as other posters here have said. You don't get significantly improved performance above the 2GB servers. CPU capacity certainly does not double as their documents say.

4) Cloud Files latency is awful. Individual read/writes take 300-1000ms. Fine for a small number of large files. Impossible for a large number of small files. (Having said that, being able to upload files and publish to CDN in a click has saved me lots of time for static files I need to quickly publish).

5) Resizing mid to large instances is impossible. We recently tried to resize a 1GB (40GB disc) server to a 2GB (80GB disc) and it took OVER 3 DAYS. No really. It didn't complete. The resize process takes the server down towards the end. We had to get Rackspace to cancel the resize and manually spin up another server and transfer the files ourselves. To make it worse, we couldn't act on this issue initially because Rackspace insisted that the process was "almost complete" from 12 hours onwards. 2.5 days later we just gave up. We managed to do the manual transfer ourselves in a couple of hours. Even worse Rackspace seemed to not think that it was unusual for the process to take 3 days or express any desire to investigate further.

6) The web interface has awful performance at scale. Once you go above 20 cloud servers every single page load takes 10+ seconds. As the original poster says, the number of errors it spits out about not being able to complete operations is insane. It's rare I can go in there planning on doing something and not have to contact support to fix something broken on their end.

7) They're taking the entire web interface and API offline for 12 hours this week! You won't be able to spin up or take down any of your servers. Why? So they can fix a billing issue related to Cloud Sites (a service we don't use).

I've always been a champion of Rackspace Cloud and Rackspace in general, but sadly I would no longer recommend them to people. I'm starting to make contingency plans and looking for other providers again.

2
39 points by xal 4 days ago 7 replies      
My honest question is why there is this odd loyalty to virtual environments in this community. I realize that it may be boring but you guys are passing up insane savings that can be had by using colocation. All cloud providers are very expensive when you actually do the math and you need more then 10 servers.

Our example may be a bit extreme, but we are just building out a new datacenter at a colocation and will recover the entire up front investment ( about 150k, we have the cash to not need leasing ) in a bit over half a year.

3
29 points by newobj 4 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, that's a brutal under-the-bus-tossing. But well deserved. Most of the points are spot-on.

I've operated a several dozen machine fleet for 2+ years on EC2 and I can tell you that the number of times boxes have gone down never to come back (which most people tend to think happens regularly on EC2) is incredibly small.

We actually run a Hadoop cluster (including DFS) on a spot instances. We never lose the spot bid. We pay way less than the going rate for the compute time. Less than the reserved instance rate. It's awesome. Yes, you obviously need a plan to deal with your cluster vanishing in the blink of an eye. It's not too hard.

I would second another commenter's caution on EBS though. We never put it into production. Personally I never experienced an ephemeral drive failure that had repercussions - when they (rarely) occurred, the drive was RAIDed or in our Hadoop cluster (e.g. redundant). We made two experiments into using EBS with our DB's, and both times, literally within 24 hours, we experienced a catastrophic failure of the EBS volume, one time unrecoverable. So that put me pretty well off EBS.

I can't say that the performance is necessarily the best, and we do experience the occasional odd asymmetrical inter-machine latencies (e.g. 300ms to establish a tcp connection in one direction, but normal <1ms in the other), but for the most part AWS is just awesome.

4
12 points by jread 4 days ago 0 replies      
CPU is a major bottleneck for Rackspace Cloud. All instance sizes get the same 4 cores and about the same compute resources. CPU performance is roughly the same on a 1GB cloud server as an 8GB cloud server, you are just paying for more memory. Rackspace also uses ONLY Opteron 2374 2.20 GHz processors. EC2 on the other hand offers linear CPU performance improvement on larger sized instances. EC2 also uses a heterogenous hardware ranging from Opteron 2218 or Xeon E5430 for m1 instances; Xeon E5410 for c1 instances; Xeon X5550 for m2 instances and Xeon X5570 (hyper-threaded to 16 cores) for the cluster compute instances. EBS on the cluster instance is also much faster than local disk IO in the Rackspace Cloud based on testing I've done (due to non-blocking 10G network). Here are a couple of references for this:

http://blog.cloudharmony.com/2010/05/what-is-ecu-cpu-benchma...
http://blog.cloudharmony.com/2010/06/disk-io-benchmarking-in...

5
8 points by adriand 4 days ago replies      
This is a rather unpleasant review of a service we were about to move over to.

For companies that have moderate performance requirements (e.g. visitors in the range of 30k or 40k per day across a range of web apps and sites), reasonable but by no means expert level server administration skills, the need for a redundant environment to satisfy SLAs with clients (e.g. two app servers + load balancer + master/slave db servers), and the desire to focus mainly on software development instead of server admin, what companies does the HN community recommend?

We've been considering Rackspace Cloud and Linode, but are open to any suggestions. We also have a quote for a standard, managed four-server + hardware load balancer deployment in front of us but it is pricey ($3000+/month).

6
12 points by dangrover 4 days ago 2 replies      
Rackspace cloud's DNS stuff stinks. No way to add TXT records -- you have to open a ticket! Sure you can host it yourself, but every other cloud provider has this in their UI.

I get the feeling they're just in "maintenence mode" over there and don't have anyone working hard on improving the offerings.

7
12 points by cperciva 4 days ago 3 replies      
Quoth the article: Lastly, we moved over to the Rackspace Cloud because they cut a deal with YCombinator (one of the many benefits of being part of YC).

Can anyone say what this deal is, or is it secret?

8
6 points by jread 4 days ago 2 replies      
Another distinguishing factor between Rackspace Cloud and EC2 or Linode are bandwidth caps. Rackspace limits outbound public network throughput to 10mbps for 256mb instances to 70mbps for 16gb instances. EC2 and Linode both provide an uncapped GigE Internet uplink for instances of any size.
http://cloudservers.rackspacecloud.com/index.php/Frequently_...
9
22 points by powdahound 4 days ago 3 replies      
Make sure you explore the limits of EBS before assuming it's a perfect solution. We've found it to have incredibly slow throughput at times.

Some reference links:

  - http://orion.heroku.com/past/2009/7/29/io_performance_on_ebs
- http://victortrac.com/EC2_Ephemeral_Disks_vs_EBS_Volumes
- http://stu.mp/2009/12/disk-io-and-throughput-benchmarks-on-amazons-ec2.html

10
4 points by jread 4 days ago 2 replies      
<quote>Amazon has a CDN and servers distributed globally. This is important to Mixpanel as websites all over the world are sending us data. There's nothing like this on Rackspace.</quote>

Actually, Rackspace cloud offers CDN services with Cloud Files through Limelight, although it does not support some features that CloudFront does like CName and streaming.

11
7 points by yesimahuman 4 days ago 1 reply      
Another control panel complaint: DNS. For some reason beyond me you have to choose a server just to configure DNS. Added on top of the fact that the control panel is really slow, it just becomes a pain to use.
12
7 points by barrydahlberg 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'm suprised to see a setup using 50+ instances running on RackSpace cloud, wouldn't it have made sense to start moving towards dedicated servers by then?
13
19 points by powdahound 4 days ago 3 replies      
Goodbye code.mixpanel.com too? Page won't load. :(
14
2 points by lisper 4 days ago 0 replies      
15
1 point by mikey_p 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd also add that their billing software can't keep things straight. I've had a couple of servers that I spun up for a demo at a meetup, that somehow ended up with the same name, this prevented me from deleting them, and tells me that their control panel has concurrency issues, since you shouldn't be able to create two servers with the same name.

I didn't notice the issue until 2 months later (I thought I had successfully deleted the servers) because all of the sudden I received huge bill that contained over 1100 hours of usage for each instance, for that month alone. WTF? Turns out their software failed to bill me the previous month so I didn't notice any change.

Their response to my ticket about not being able to delete servers was to tell me the steps that I had to take to fix it (renaming the servers). I really wish when you had a ticket for stuff like that they'd actually act on it instead of just telling you how to fix stuff and expecting you to do it yourself.

16
-4 points by joecode 4 days ago replies      
One potential reason not to move: Security.

A good friend deep in the security community once told me, off hand, that EC2 was "owned." I didn't take this too seriously until another good friend, who has been working at Amazon for the past several years, told me that engineers at Amazon were generally forbidden from using AWS due to security concerns.

That much said, I still decided to use EC2/RDS/S3 to host the infrastructure of my latest startup. It is just too convenient to walk away from. Once it matters, I can move the critical stuff to dedicated servers.

EDIT: To clarify, I'm not suggesting that Amazon knows AWS is "owned" and offers it to others anyway. I'm only noting that, for certain critical services, they themselves do not appear willing to take the risk.

23
How To Mass Export All Of Your Facebook Friends' Private Email Addresses techcrunch.com
193 points by siddhant 19 hours ago   37 comments top 14
1
10 points by donohoe 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Have tried this in Firefox, Safari and Opera - both in Classic and New Mail environments.

Always ends up with 0 imported contacts. Makes me wonder if Facebook have disabled this for now... ?

2
8 points by MichaelApproved 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I was able to do this but I could only get 184 out of 221 contacts. Not sure what happened to the others. Could it be that they don't have an email address associated with their account?
3
4 points by samueladam 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Change your gmail address with your new yahoo email on facebook and it will work.
4
4 points by lewi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else find this amusing?

Facebook is so hypocritical, "We wont let you export your friends email addresses" but when there's money/profitable partnerships involved sure go ahead take all you want.

Michael was correct to append the second statement with "unless it's with a partner that's making it worth our while." This just shows the arrogance of Facebook these days!

Apart from that just exported 568 contacts :D

5
3 points by robchez 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Had to switch to classic mode in Yahoo mail and then turn on compatibility mode in IE9.

Worked great.

6
2 points by kul 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Sweet, just exported 1002 contacts using safari on my iPad! This makes me irrationally happy.
7
2 points by AgentConundrum 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not really sure what the big deal is here. I just tried this, and the only addresses it was able to import were for people with their email addresses set to public (or at least visible to me).

Has Facebook patched the issue already, or does Mike really think it's a security issue to do something automatically that you're already able to do manually or with a scraper?

8
1 point by yatsyk 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I was unable to export contacts to yahoo with chromium and firefox ("0 new contacts imported" message)
I'm registered with gmail email on facebook.

Would you share do you use gmail email in fb and is export successfull?

9
1 point by vimalg2 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This worked for me on GNUlinux/Firefox 3.6

103 contacts imported.

I decided I wanted a backup, just in case <insert_screweduser_scenario_here_>

10
3 points by johnnytee 18 hours ago 4 replies      
This did not work for me "0 contacts imported"
11
1 point by bg4 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I just did this with Yahoo mail on Firefox. I just realized that it actually imported my wife's friend's emails since she was the one still logged into Facebook.
12
1 point by AaronI 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Worked fine for me as well (using Chrome). I was able to get 591 out of 622 contacts, assuming those individuals changed their privacy settings to hide their email..
13
1 point by akozak 18 hours ago 4 replies      
Why can't you use the API to get all of your friends' email addresses? I thought you could use an access token to query a friend for 'email'.
14
2 points by lzy 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Worked for me in Opera.
24
Google offers engineer $3.5M to not leave for Facebook techcrunch.com
186 points by tlack 1 day ago   144 comments top 28
1
97 points by mrshoe 1 day ago 7 replies      
Sounds like a good way for Google to guarantee that every one of their engineers will apply for a job at Facebook, just for the chance of getting an offer.
2
36 points by jonknee 1 day ago replies      
"Part of that may be that Facebook is quietly telling people, never in writing, that there's no reason their stock won't hit $100 billion in total valuation over the next couple of years. No guarantees, yadda yadda, but hey if you get 1/10 of 1%, that's $100 million in stock. Now it's a party."

Shady shady. Not only are there plenty of good reasons for Facebook not hitting $100B market cap (that would be 100x revenue, making the P/E amazingly high), but they also aren't handing out .001% of stock to many new hires. There's just not that much stock available, there are already more than 1,000 employees and a lot of the shares are spoken for (Zuck's got ~30%, the VCs have another huge chunk, etc).

3
30 points by DevX101 1 day ago 1 reply      
Goldman sach's traders routinely get money in this order of magnitude for creating a net value less than top engineers at Google.
4
37 points by tlack 1 day ago 3 replies      
Anyone inside Google care to anonymously comment how morale is over there these days? Why so many people jumping ship? Is it purely about money, or something else?
5
7 points by Timothee 1 day ago 4 replies      
An interesting part of this story is that Google knows full well who that person is (unless they've been giving out $3.5M to a lot of people...), and leaking that story to TechCrunch makes Google look desperate and less interesting than Facebook.

Especially knowing that they just fired the person that leaked a positive (though confidential) memo that was addressed to 23,000 people. (that is, not super private to begin with)

It feels a bit like biting the hand that just fed you a huge amount of money.

6
4 points by neilk 1 day ago 0 replies      
The only way this story makes sense to me is if the engineer is one of the core contributors to Google Me, or some other strategically important new initiative.

Those teams are small enough that every engineer counts, and a defection could even delay launch.

Facebook would be interested in sabotaging that, but Google would pay even more to defend it.

7
7 points by dbrannan 1 day ago 3 replies      
I remember having a conversation with the athletic director @ BYU in my younger years. I naively asked why the football team had 92 full scholarships when only a fraction of that was required to field a team. He told me flat out, "because those 2nd & 3rd string players might make something of themselves if they played for another team."

So, there you go. A rock-star programmer can be a dangerous thing in the hands of the competition.

8
14 points by Mahh 1 day ago 2 replies      
Techcrunch really is eating up these Google and Facebook stories. I mean they're kind of interesting, but not interesting in the way that stories on innovation are interesting.

I kind of want to see the perspective of lower level google employees. They wouldn't get offers like this, but they would all have some thought about the future of their company

9
2 points by martincmartin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain why Pre IPO stock would be worth so much? Either something is wildly inefficient, or the employees are getting duped. If X shares are expected to be worth $1m after IPO, Facebook could offer potential employees X/2 shares, which is still a $500k signing bonus, and use the other shares for something else.
10
22 points by DrStalker 1 day ago 1 reply      
What a rip off.

I'll not work for Facebook for only $2.5M.

:-)

11
5 points by dnsworks 1 day ago 2 replies      
Are people really worth this much money? I can't help but think "$3.5m gets me 15 really good developers for a year, and a swimming pool filled with chocolate pudding, just for fun."
12
10 points by sliverstorm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Google is starting to look desperate.
13
4 points by bgray 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the market at it's best. I've heard from many times that Google's salaries aren't competitive but rely on the "you will change the world" mentality. Google pulls in the talent and Facebook gets to cherry pick.
14
6 points by ajays 1 day ago 0 replies      
Folks, from what I hear, "Staff Engineer" is a top-level position; it's not your garden-variety engineer on staff. These are people who have risen to a high position in the company as individual contributors, eschewing the management path.
15
4 points by birken 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like how this article is suggesting new hires at Facebook get .1% of the company, or over 25 million dollars worth of stock at the current valuation.

I have a feeling if we actually knew the truth, and not this sensationalism, the whole situation would probably end up being pretty logical. Google is actually a pretty smart company.

16
5 points by ojbyrne 1 day ago 2 replies      
One wonders if it's Steve Yegge.
17
2 points by firebones 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd work this backwards.

Consider a high-profile late-comer to Google who might have an existing equity position not comparable to peers who were there for the IPO, or peers who had hired in early (e.g., his grants were at pre-bailout highs and only recently recovered). Accepting a $3.5 million counter-offer means that the immediate "sure thing" is greater than or equal to the expected value of Facebook's offer when the risk of Facebook falling short is taken into account. Say this engineer thought there was only a 50% chance of Facebook actually hitting their "quietly told" market cap. That would imply the Facebook offer was something in the $5-$7 million range, or 1/15000th to 1/20000th of the outstanding shares. For recruiting a big name, this is much more plausible amount to offer than the 1/10 of 1% in the story.

If the story is true, then I'd bet that the engineer is someone who came to Google late (or at the wrong time), probably is pretty comfortable with his standing at Google is someone fairly prominent, and is more comfortable taking a stable, sure thing than taking a risk on a situation as early in the company life-cycle as Facebook is. (And it wouldn't surprise me to see this engineer leave for Facebook 5 years from now if and when Facebook becomes a more mature company and more of a sure thing.)

18
0 points by lee 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems to me that this story has a bit of sensationalism in it?

It doesn't mention the engineer's salary. At that kind of offer, I'm going to assume he's a super-star performer. So his salary is probably on the far right of the bell-curve.

Also, how long is the vesting period? 5 years? 10 years?

So that's a bonus of 350k to 700k per year? What if he was already making 350k a year? What if he was making 500k? If so, then 3.5M isn't that outrageous.

19
1 point by nivertech 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is ridiculous.
Much better strategy to attack Facebook, would be to spin off startups for talented engineers. Give this $3.5M to Google Ventures, which will invest it into spin-off. The engineers still work for Google with much better upside (comparing to Facebook).
20
1 point by random42 1 day ago 0 replies      
if you get 1/10 of 1%, that's $100 million in stock. Now it's a party

I dont get the maths here. Given that facebook already has 3000+ employees, I am not sure they can give everyone 0.1% stocks and given how 100 Billion evaluation is an atrocious claim, numbers dont add up to me.

21
3 points by EugeneG 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a nice case study that demonstrates an answer to the question of "Why do those evil Wall Street bankers make so much money?" Competition for skilled labor produces tremendous salaries.
22
2 points by chopsueyar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find it hard to believe that a bunch of post-IPO facebook millionaires ($100mill+) would stick around and maintain/work on Facebook afterwards.
23
1 point by herdrick 1 day ago 0 replies      
Who knows if this is true, or what the full story is, but in general I think this kind of tactic is poisonous to a company. Please read this: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1629201 I just re-read that. Such an excellent post.
24
2 points by Evgeny 1 day ago 0 replies      
How come no one asked yet, was the person who leaked this information fired or not?
25
1 point by robryan 1 day ago 0 replies      
As long as let some people go it's not to bad, if employees of similar importance to the guy they have given the stock to knew all it took was an offer for a big jump they would all do it. Letting some people take the offer though puts some doubt into the minds, are they really prepared to jump ship if Google calls their bluff.
26
1 point by dennisgorelik 1 day ago 1 reply      
"However effective these counter offers are, they sure aren't good for morale internally at Google. Unless, of course, you're one of the ones winning the lottery."

If you got sweet counter offer -- why wouldn't you just shut up so the morale would not be hurt?

27
-4 points by omouse 1 day ago 0 replies      
He's a computer scientist or software developer, not an engineer.
28
-1 point by VladRussian 1 day ago 0 replies      
it finally took Google, Facebook and 3.5M together to make a story that HN crowd would be interested more than being bullied in school :)
25
Wherein I help you get a good job aaronboodman.com
178 points by malbiniak 3 days ago   94 comments top 15
1
24 points by tjmc 3 days ago 8 replies      
An easier alternative - I'm really surprised that out of work graduates from the US aren't getting Australian working holiday visas and flooding down here. Due to a resources boom (thanks China) unemployment is only 5% here. There are skills shortages in most technical areas and particularly mining. The Reserve Bank of Australia just raised interest rates again because it was worried about the economy overheating.

The working visa has some restrictions - you must be between 18 and 30. It's only valid for 12 months and you can only work for a maximum of 6 months for any one employer. The last provision is a bit tough, but there are still plenty of 6 month contracts around.

Why do Americans have such a strong reluctance to travel abroad for work? I've never understood it. It's a great opportunity to get some work experience, live a little and, particularly for the mid-west and east coasters, skip winter!

2
36 points by wccrawford 3 days ago 1 reply      
Actually, that's a 103 step program, but I agree with the advice. If you want to get a job, you need experience... And the internet is full of projects that need bugfixes. That stuff looks -great- on a resume. Take that from someone who interviews hirees.
3
12 points by asolove 3 days ago 4 replies      
If this article is targeted at people with no experience (ie it mentions learning how to use IRC), is recommending that they fix bugs in C++ code really the right answer?

Why not start with a Python project or something more realistic?

4
6 points by KevinMS 3 days ago 5 replies      
But there are a few fields that are hiring like crazy. One of them is mine: software engineering. Major tech firms cannot hire fast enough. It's so competitive that you do not need to have a degree (I don't).

Was this written in the late 90's?

I follow job listing sites almost daily, and I'm just not seeing this. I'm also not seeing it in the volume of headhunters contacting me.

And thirdly, what job listings I do see, they have absurd ideas of what qualifications they require. Yesterday I saw a job listing for perl scripter for system automation tasks requiring a BSCS, MS preferred, and a little while ago I saw a sysadmin job requiring a BSCS.

I'm not in the middle of nowhere, I'm in the Boston/128 area.

So do I have the worst job hunting skills ever or is this guy living in a bubble?

5
7 points by ximeng 3 days ago 4 replies      
Advice is to contribute to Chromium, fixing 50 bugs over the course of a year or so. Might not be an easy path though, personally when I tried to compile Chromium, it took my PC 8 hours compiling before coming up with a fatal error. Been thinking about getting EC2 instances to compile it, has anyone tried that? Software license costs for Visual Studio put me off a bit.
6
13 points by rrrhys 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've never contributed to open source before - this might be just enough of a 'its easy just do it - like this' type tutorial to get me started.
7
3 points by bhoung 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's great that the community is giving advice on what steps to take for getting a programming job, but I would like to add that finding a job is a short term fix. If one is only trying to work out how to get a job for the sake of getting a job, it will only be a matter of time before one is bored. But then again, you'll probably only realise this only having gone through the process. Try to find something that interests you, which may or may not be programming.
8
2 points by Tycho 3 days ago 0 replies      
This article is like a breath of fresh air. One of the few things you read about the industry that doesn't make you feel vastly underqualified. I'll definitely take aboodman up on his offer (coincidentally I logged onto freenode for the first time in my life a few hours before reading this...), although I expect he's inundated with responses right now so I'll leave it a few days.
9
2 points by Mongoose 3 days ago 2 replies      
What's the most effective way to mention open source work on resumes? I generally mix it in with other non-school- or -work-related stuff in a "projects" section, but is there a smarter way to emphasize it?
10
2 points by celticjames 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great advice, but two caveats:

1. Employers are often focused on hiring very specific skills sets. Having fixed a C++ bug in Chromium should impress them, but if they need a Django expert they still see you as a novice. It can be hard to present yourself as a well-rounded candidate if all your experience is with one project.

2. In a couple of interviews I've had, I've noticed a distinct bias towards valuing paid work more than open source contributions. It's often hard to get interviewers to understand that something I've done for free is on the same scale (or greater) than things I've been paid for.

11
1 point by usedtolurk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Part of me loves this kind of inspiring advice ("you too can grow up to be president"). And it certainly is true for some people.

But the truth is that most people who try this will fail. Very few people have the right combination of aptitude and attitude to do this (especially considering that the intended audience is people without an IT background).

[edit] Perhaps the message to take away is that there is a low barrier to entry in our field, so it's worth giving it a shot.

12
1 point by bsk 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Work for me for a year w/o salary and I'll help you get a job." /jk

There are better routes for new programmers IMHO.

Start at http://rubyonrails.org/ and build a website you find useful.

Learn SharePoint or BizTalk, those are boring but in very high demand now.

Even more boring, sing up for a cheap 6 month Cobol course in India.

13
1 point by jkin 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is an interesting path to get a good software job. I agree that when it comes to software jobs, a good resume with a lot of techno buzz words does not mean anything. An interview that gives coding puzzle can easily tell a person if he's capable or not. But a non-tech hiring manager will not be able to carry one out, a few references of open source projects, bug fixes definitely boost up your scores quite a bit. I've hired some good people and some bad before, at the end of day, your project success is not based on how many PhDs there are on the team, but how many coders that can deliver.
14
1 point by smh 3 days ago 0 replies      
A good complement to this would be to work through the exercises in K&R.
15
-1 point by RockyMcNuts 3 days ago 1 reply      
Can't help wondering if CodingHorror.com posted this because they were running out of material.
26
The one true REST explanation martinfowler.com
177 points by jipumarino 1 day ago   43 comments top 10
1
14 points by joblessjunkie 23 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm with him until he gets to "Hypermedia Controls", which strikes me as needless bureaucracy.

The 'link rel = "royalhope.nhs.uk/linkrels/slot/book"' element isn't really helping anything. Before you can consume that service, you need to know what "royalhope.nhs.uk/linkrels/slot/book" actually means, and if you already know that, then having it listed here in the response justs wastes space.

He's disguising a custom verb under a cloak of some sort of 'standardization' which isn't actually part of HTTP or any common web practice. The consumer of this service will need to know what all the verb URIs mean and precisely how to use them anyway, so listing them here doesn't provide any benefit and significantly complicates the communication.

In this way, the "Hypermedia Protocol" doesn't demonstrate any edge over old-school XML RPC.

Up until that point, I agreed with the article. Simple objects exposed using standard HTTP verbs is the way to go -- but I stop short of supporting random lists of verbs labeled with URIs as just more needless bureaucracy.

2
9 points by terra_t 21 hours ago 4 replies      
I find it hard to believe that he's built real systems that work.

Yes, "decomposing services into multiple components" works well when everything is living in the same address space, but if you want to build fast and reliable systems, minimizing round trips is important.

If I didn't have anything better to do and if I liked dealing with idiots, I'd hang my shingle as a high-priced consultant who helps "enterprises" dig their way out of the REST morass. Just last year I managed to speed up an application 100x by switching from REST to POX. In this case, the app was doing thousands of round trips for no good reason other than architectural purity.

In the real world, composite operations should be done, more or less, in transactions. For instance, in one user authentication system I've worked on, there are about ten database updates to create a new user. There really ought to be one "createUser" call that creates the user. You could probably get away with not having database transactions if you're talking to the database locally, but in a distributed app on the wider internet, you just can't expect to do ten communications in a row and have it work "reliably enough".

3
3 points by contextfree 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It's always seemed to me that the difficulty with hypermedia controls is not how to have your server expose them, which is straightforward enough, but how to have your client do something useful with them.

It basically means writing your client as a state-graph navigating agent, which makes it closer to AI-ish programming (not surprising, since the argument for REST has been that web services should be structured more like the human-browsable web) than the input -> output or interactive event-driven paradigms that most programmers are more conversant with.

Yet the books and online evangelism etc. for REST that I've seen don't really address this issue.

4
1 point by buro9 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This stuff isn't new, it just isn't widely adopted yet.

OpenSearch does stuff like this:
http://www.opensearch.org/Specifications/OpenSearch/1.1/Draf...

It describes an interface (Atom XML based) that further self-describes how it was called and what you can do to it (how to search within results, for example).

Simply applying that thinking to JSON based RESTful services gives you that question "What can I do with this?", and that makes building the API easier... for everything you serve describe what can be done with it and how you were called.

This then totally de-couples the request from the client, the client can send many queries and not care about them, and get back something that encapsulates the state of the request (search terms), the state of the result (search pagination) and the verbs for each entity (what you can do with it).

I never would've called this "Hypermedia Controls", I think that's confusing.

It's just having your interfaces describe themselves and be discoverable. Coupled with a WADL-style thing (but probably not WADL itself... perhaps JSON such as on the Freebase API: http://code.google.com/p/google-refine/wiki/ReconciliationSe... ).

Perhaps we all just need a new catchphrase or buzzword though, just to get the wider industry onboard? I'd rather just say that your services should be discoverable, and that means within the results telling us what we can do, in addition to a top level thing to describe which services exist.

5
4 points by IgorPartola 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Are there any good examples out there of services that implement that last level? I have seen and used the others but not discoverability.
6
3 points by numbakrrunch 20 hours ago 0 replies      
nice writeup. caucho's "metaprotocol taxonomy" is great further reading, contrasting REST with other common patterns/protocols:
http://hessian.caucho.com/doc/metaprotocol-taxonomy.xtp
7
1 point by wyuenho 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know if he had intended to put the REST zealotry to rest, but Martin Fowler and Roy field seem to be on the same page when it comes to level 2 REST. I submitted this to HN a few weeks ago, I'm posting it here again:

http://roy.gbiv.com/untangled/2009/it-is-okay-to-use-post

I hope these 2 blog posts will just stop people from equating REST to full HTTP.

8
3 points by tszming 23 hours ago 2 replies      
This is one of the best (but simple) explanation of REST.
9
1 point by mattberg 23 hours ago 1 reply      
curious: why is the initial resource used to get the list of slots /doctors/mjones/slots?date=20100104&status=open and not /slots?doctor=mjones&date=20100104&status=open?

if i am setting up future communications at /slots/1234, to me /slots?doctor=mjones&date=20100104&status=open makes more sense. would you typically just have both resources available at those locations?

10
1 point by plq 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I kind of expected the XML to disappear in level 3. In its current form, this is a non-standard extension to HTTP.
27
What It's Like to Work at Apple aol.com
177 points by rams 4 days ago   77 comments top 6
1
98 points by novum 4 days ago replies      
Secrecy: Apple's secrecy is comparable to the U.S. government's in terms of "need to know" and compartmentalization.

This. My roommate is a hardware engineer on the iPad team, and he won't even confirm that there will be another iPad. He takes extra precautions when working at home - he won't take work calls if I'm in the room, and he set up the furniture in his room in an awkward fashion solely so that his computer monitor didn't face towards the door.

Several times I've brought friends or family down to Cupertino. He lets us inside to walk around the inner campus and eat at Caffe Macs, but that's truly all there is to see. Certainly we can't enter any other buildings on Infinite Loop.

One thing this article doesn't mention is work-life balance. We live in SF, and my roommate has a 90-minute commute (each way) on the Apple shuttle, and he usually works 12 hours on top of that. He's out by 8am and doesn't usually return until 11pm. He tells me this is a common topic of discussion at Caffe Macs - the balance between working on groundbreaking technology and, quite simply, having zero personal time during the week (and often on the weekends).

He can be called to go to China with no more than a few days' notice, and the duration of his stay there is never known ahead of time. He often estimates 7-10 days but it frequently ends up being closer to 2, even 3 weeks. Apple covers all of his expenses, of course, but he doesn't much care for Shenzhen.

He really likes working at Apple, but I think he recognizes that it's not a sustainable job for him for more than 3 or 4 years.

2
26 points by yardie 4 days ago 4 replies      
Reservists called up to active duty are put into a military-leave status and they remain Apple employees while Apple makes up the salary difference between their military pay and their Apple pay until they return.

I wonder if other companies do this. I know by law they are required to keep those positions for active reserves but I don't think they are required to continue to pay their salary. In the past, I've worked temp positions for employees that were deployed.

3
13 points by smiler 4 days ago 4 replies      
Would be great if he had expanded on the 'no career path' section - that will probably be something that most people want to know about - surely there must be different levels of developers to some extent? Moving from development to management?

Any Apple employees on here like to comment?

4
26 points by adamesque 4 days ago 0 replies      
I worked at Apple for 5 years (ending in summer '08), and one of the most amazing things about the experience was how well most people understood the core vision of the company, even in departments where you wouldn't expect that " like call center management.

I've worked with other big tech companies and frequently heard people talking about doing things "more like Apple". It was funny to think that was exactly the way people inside Apple talked too. Everyone's on board.

5
3 points by nhangen 4 days ago 0 replies      
As a former Army Soldier, it was very cool to read the piece about the military. Props to Apple for taking a strong stand.
6
2 points by davidj 4 days ago 1 reply      
A friend of mine worked at Apple as a consultant for a ERP system that ran on Windows NT and I used to pick him up all the time. They would let me walk right in no problem. I remember walking across a parking lot where there was a wine bar where he liked to hang out. Of course this was in 2000 though.
28
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, by Eliezer Yudkowsky fanfiction.net
176 points by robertk 20 hours ago   65 comments top 13
1
42 points by smanek 19 hours ago replies      
It sounds crazy, but as someone who reads a lot of fiction (and very little fan fiction, because most of it's crap), I sincerely think this is one of the best things I've read in years. I'd personally rank it up with Asimov or Heinlein at their best.

If you're the kind of person, upon discovering a 'wizarding world' would:

- Look into establishing arbitrage between the wizards' fixed ratio of Gold/Silver currency and the muggles' variable ratio

-Try to discover the underlying laws and mechanics of magic

-Use a time machine to prove/disprove P == NP

Read this Book!

2
13 points by iron_ball 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Recently re-read it myself. A tip for new readers -- if you find this version of Harry insufferable, yet the basic concept makes you keep reading, wait for around Chapter 20, where a much-needed mentor helps him learn some self-control.
3
8 points by mdemare 16 hours ago 1 reply      
What I like about this novel that is not directly related to rationality, is that Eliezer pays a lot of attention to the motivation of the "villains". Why would anyone want to be a Death Eater? Why on earth do Malfoy or Crabbe & Goyle act the way they do. Completely unconvincing in the original, (and almost all villains in Hollywood movies for that matter), but in MoR they have a convincing motivation for why they act the way they do.

This is really a pet peeve of mine - nobody thinks they're the villain, not Hitler, not Bin Laden, not Timothy McVeigh, nobody. Comic villains and Bond villains are just silly, impossible for me to take seriously. So writers must give an explanation for their villains' evil acts that is distinct from "because they're evil". Most writers don't, but Eliezer Yudkowsky does, and it's a breath of fresh air.

4
12 points by Splines 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Discussed previously on HN: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1385932

There are some links to an ePub version if anyone's interested (I enjoyed it).

It also looks like the author regularly appends new content. I'm going to need to re-read this!

5
4 points by memetichazard 13 hours ago 3 replies      
The thing that I find the most interesting is that a few people on the fanfiction groups I frequent absolutely loathe the story, and there's a sizable group that are ambivalent to it. What I haven't seen, however, is anyone here or on reddit criticize it in any way.

Probably because this is not really Harry Potter fanfiction - the main character of this story is not Harry Potter, so many aspects of the story are radically changed from canon, the author even admits to not having read some of the books, etc. Harry is your basic self-insert in this situation.

So this isn't really fanfiction - it's original fiction set in the Harry Potter universe, and I guess that's what makes it appeal to readers who don't follow fanfiction, and repels some people that do.

Along similar lines is Alicorn's Luminosity[1], which replaces Bella's character from the Twilight series with someone more rational and introspective. Where MoR was based on Eliezer's sequences on Rationality, Luminosity is based on Alicorn's sequence on Luminosity.

1:http://luminous.elcenia.com/

6
8 points by orangecat 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Highly recommended to anyone who hasn't been reading it. I'm impatiently awaiting new chapters...there are quite a few interesting directions it can go in after the last sequence.
7
8 points by carterschonwald 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is ridiculously awesome piece of fiction. If your friends are of the sort where logic at least partially underlies their thinking and behavior more so than it does most folks, then you will really love this.

Bewarned, it's very well written and fun(ny). You may fall out of your chair with laughter

8
7 points by Xelaz 10 hours ago 0 replies      
And do read the Sequences on Less Wrong: http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Sequences
9
1 point by JulianMorrison 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I suspect the hardest part of plotting this story must not have been changing Harry, but changing Voldemort. How on earth could someone capable of challenging the advanced Harry manage to lose so thoroughly against only Rowling canon good-guys?
10
1 point by Estragon 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, I've read the first three chapters, and this is so good. And I have always despised the Harry Potter books. Next time someone tells me that art would no longer be produced unless copyright guaranteed a way to monetize it, I'm going to point them at this masterpiece.
11
1 point by powrtoch 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Pro tip: Because of the smallish text size and full-screen layout (which gives some of us absurdly unfriendly line lengths), I find Safari's "Reader" feature to be indispensable in reading this fic.
12
3 points by meinhimmel 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow! I never expected to see this posted here. I'm a closet Harry Potter fanfiction reader, and I loved this story. I think it's time to re-read this again.. be back in a while.
13
1 point by akkartik 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Wish I could find a single page to read offline.
       cached 13 November 2010 16:04:01 GMT