hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    9 Dec 2010 Best
home   ask   best   8 years ago   
Salesforce Buys Heroku (YC W08) For $212 Million In Cash techcrunch.com
649 points by gspyrou 15 hours ago   180 comments top 45
104 points by hopeless 15 hours ago 5 replies      
This sounds like stellar news for Heroku employees and investors.

I'm not sure how it's going to be good for Heroku customers (like me) in the long-term. There will be the inevitable brain drain over the course of 1-2years when key staff move away as their contract clauses run out and then we'll be left with Heroku being run by SalesForce :(

21 points by plinkplonk 15 hours ago 7 replies      
This is great news for Heroku and YC (congratulations folks!). That said, does anyone have any insights on why exactly SalesForce would buy Heroku? What is the business rationale?

"This is Salesforce's fifth acquisition this year. Earlier purchases include Activa Live, Sitemasher and Jigsaw. Salesforce.com also spent $170 million to fully acquire its Japanese subsidiary, Salesforce Japan."

Anyone see a pattern? I don't, but then I am not that business savvy.

8 points by jacquesm 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I can see EngineYard opening a bottle to celebrate as well, $212M in 'mostly stock' would be landing a big one, to be landing it in cash is very good indeed.

Congratulations to everybody, especially to the people that brokered the deal on Herokus side, very impressive.

In other news, registrars the world over report a large uptick in domain registrations around the twin themes of rails hosting and sushi...

17 points by pwim 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm happy for Heroku that they got such a great deal, but I have to say I'm disappointed by this. Heroku seemed like they were in a great position to do amazing things. I thought they had a solid revenue model. I had hoped Heroku would be the one doing the acquiring.
16 points by webwright 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow- congrats. Great bunch of founders who totally deserve this. I think this is the biggest YC exit, no?
34 points by cuchoperl 15 hours ago 7 replies      
heroku 94%

pg 6% (early 2008)


$3M Series A (mid 2008) Assuming a $2M pre-money:

heroku 37.6%

pg 2.4%

series A 60%


$10M Series B (2010) Assuming a $5M pre-money:

heroku 12.5%

pg 0.8%

series A 20%

series B 66.6%


$212M Exit:

heroku $26.5M

pg $1.7M

series A $42.4

series B $141.3



series A $3M -> $42.4M // 14X in 2.5 years

series B $10M -> $141M // 14X in 1 year

pg $17K -> $1.7M // 100X in 3 years

All the pre-money valuations are guesstimates/fiction.

17 points by pavs 15 hours ago 4 replies      
How did they come up with 212 million valuation? Genuinely interested to know.
13 points by vidar 14 hours ago 4 replies      
This should put a hop in the step of all those Heroku-for-Django startups.
7 points by cubicle67 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone know what this means for Heroku? I love their service and I'd really hate to see it depart from what it is.

I'm really happy for the Heroku guys, but I'm also kind of nervous because I can think of so many ways Salesforce can screw this up.

4 points by wccrawford 15 hours ago 4 replies      
I really hate it when people to give arbitrary numbers to things like 'Cloud 2'.

It's still just cloud computing. 'Cloud 2' doesn't actually -mean- anything. It's not a standard. It's not like you can say something is or isn't Cloud 2 by any objective means.

It's marketing speak, and who exactly is he marketing it to? All developers see right through it and know it doesn't mean anything. All clients only care that their products work. What tech they're built on doesn't mean a thing.

5 points by hristov 15 hours ago 1 reply      
It comes out to about $2000 per ap hosted on Heroku. Pretty good considering most of those aps are probably free. Of course they are hoping for growth, and Heroku has been adding almost a hundred apps per day.
3 points by jacoblyles 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Man, the death of the IPO market and the increasing oligopoly in the tech marketplace is so depressing.
9 points by markbao 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, I did not see that coming from Heroku. Congratulations all around!
6 points by mcxx 15 hours ago 0 replies      
If every Heroku employee would get an equal share from the restricted stock, that means ~ $1M in Salesforce shares per employee. Congrats!
49 points by wouterinho 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Biggest YC exit so far?
8 points by Nrsolis 14 hours ago 4 replies      
I interviewed with Salesforce and I have to tell you that I found their culture a bit ....weird. It's something I couldn't put my finger on but I just had the feeling that they were all in some sort of cult or something.

I didn't get the job. Probably a good thing.

33 points by maxer 15 hours ago 2 replies      
pg hit the home run on this one
4 points by papertiger 11 hours ago 6 replies      
I've honestly never understood why startups want to be acquired (besides the monetary gain for individual employees). Doesn't acquisition often destroy or dilute the very successes they've worked so hard to build? (I worked for an acquisitive company that worsened nearly every product/company it acquired.) Why not just focus on making your business better?

Heroku will now be subject to all kinds of pressures and asinine ideas that may not relate to their core offering. As a Heroku user I am concerned and saddened.

Can anyone offer any perspective? I'm puzzled by the acquisition mindset.

3 points by sdizdar 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Very very good news for Heroku employees and investors. I also hope that Amazon will start bidding war.

However, knowing Salesforce (and fact that they have many very very big enemies in this business) I'm concern about future of Heroku offering in the current form. As far as I know, Salesforce is not a hacker company - they remind me a little of Yahoo! (product managers are running the show). And, don't get me wrong, in this case, not being a "hacker company" is a good thing. But, I assume that Heroku will be transformed to be much profitable and target bigger margin businesses.

1 point by epynonymous 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
27M USD, 30 employees, this is sweet.
2 points by kunley 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope this will have them a kick to spread into Europe.

For now, as they use only US EC2 regions, it's only possible for many EU-located users to have a prototype or a toy project on Heroku. Believe me, those few routers more and pings > 100ms do make a difference.

9 points by balac 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm glad the Heroku guys got a well deserved exit like this. It also makes me more confident to develop on the platform.
6 points by zackattack 13 hours ago 1 reply      
i always thought heroku was the best-designed site i've ever seen
3 points by jcapote 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I just hope some business guy doesn't go in there and "rethink" heroku
3 points by js4all 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats. This is huge.

I hope Heroku's Node.JS beta does not suffer from this.

6 points by Kilimanjaro 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Now database.com makes more sense.
2 points by smoody 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Also, don't forget about potential future value re: their upcoming node.js support. I suspect that'll be even more popular than their rails service at some point in the not-to-distant future.
3 points by wensing 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Please let the Heroku folks create an interface for Salesforce that doesn't feel like enterprise Java.
2 points by spencerfry 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats, guys! We'll see what comes from this.
11 points by balakk 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't Heroku use EC2? Would that change?
2 points by stephth 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not entirely surprised. Heroku's manual-scale model has shown a strong focus to sell to the enterprises. The App Engine's auto-scale model (no expenses if no traffic, but always ready to face peaks) is largely friendlier to individuals on a budget.

I hope these news will help boost projects like appengine-jruby.

8 points by m0wfo 14 hours ago 0 replies      
So each Heroku app is valued at about $2000?
2 points by PanMan 15 hours ago 1 reply      
AFAIK Ycombinator invests about 15K for 6%. That 6% would now be 12 million. That's a 800x ROI. Nice :)
2 points by datsro 9 hours ago 0 replies      
will this affect the pricing model for small ruby builds (Free)? I hope not. As a designer/developer this service has been beneficial to sell Ruby to my more technical clientele.
1 point by acconrad 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Everyone is happy for Heroku (I'm pretty sure this beats Mint for the canonical "ideal exit" case), and everyone is scared as a customer (I have no idea where I would build and alternatively easy-to-use Rails app that was as cheap).


1 point by rdl 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great news for everyone in the general cloud infrastructure space too -- expanding the number of viable potential acquirers for startups.
3 points by selvan 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. What does it mean for Engine Yard & its investors...
1 point by sixwing 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm glad that the Heroku team will continue running the company with some degree of independence. They've done great things for the community, and have amazing vision for the product's trajectory. Congrats, guys!
2 points by othello 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's surprising that it comes out of the blue like this. Had there been any rumor of a coming acquisition in the past few weeks?
2 points by Jgrubb 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of wellwishers in the Heroku IRC channel this morning...
2 points by kondro 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow. Didn't expect that. Didn't they just do some more capital raising themselves?
1 point by SingAlong 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Congrats to the Heroku guys!

P.S: Now what happens to the free app quota?

1 point by ivankirigin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
fuck yeah!
2 points by chopsueyar 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Good work, Heroku!
1 point by kristofer 9 hours ago 0 replies      
wow. this is surprising. they are RoR honchos.
Everest is littered with dead, exposed bodies godheadv.blogspot.com
633 points by ck2 1 day ago   252 comments top 26
158 points by wooster 1 day ago replies      
I recently got back (almost exactly a month ago) from a month long climbing trip in Nepal with some friends.

We had three guides, all three of whom have climbed Everest multiple times. One of our guides, who has summited 5 times, described Everest as his "bad habit".

As a relative newbie to high altitude mountaineering (the highest I got was ~19,850 feet), climbing in Nepal was really, really hard. You are never warm, the food sucks, camping for long periods at high altitude sucks rather a lot, you are never clean, altitude sickness sucks, pooping in an 8" hole in the ground sucks, not eating much protein sucks, but… the views are spectacular, the people you meet are amazing, the place itself is awe-inspiring, the wildlife is interesting and diverse, the peace of the place is fantastic, and the mountains… well, the mountains are something special.

I can see why some people spend their lives chasing summits, and I can also see why some people, having seen their first summit, turn away from the mountains forever and never come back. While we were in Nepal, within two days of our summit push, our head guide had two friends die. One died on Cho Oyu in an avalanche while traversing a glacier. The other died on a relatively unknown mountain in Tibet. Both were world-class mountaineers. These were people who no mountaineer in the world would accuse of being irresponsible, inexperienced, unprofessional, or, even, unsafe. They were serious mountaineers with long resumes and respected records.

That said, exploration is always a serious business, and when you're out at the sharp end, sometimes you get cut. Without these people, however, and the part of humanity which they represent, we would never expand our experience of what it is to be human and our knowledge of the space around us.

Even with Mount Everest, where the experience has been honed to the point where there are professionals whose entire job it is to make sure clients make it to the top… it's friggin' hard. Having been to nearly 20k feet, I have nothing but respect for people who can make it to 29,029 feet. Climbing that far is hard, no matter how you do it. I can only imagine the feeling of being on top of the world, and quite frankly I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge, personally, of tackling Mt. Everest. I will certainly never make fun of anyone who has climbed that mountain.

Given the difference in oxygen between where I got to and the top of Everest, I don't think I can comment on the impairment of cognitive facilities climbing Mount Everest imparts. However: there's a good reason most responsible climbs leave a controller in radio contact from base camp or Camp 1 in charge of final decisions. Oxygen deprivation is a serious impediment to rational decision making.

So, yeah, go ahead and don't climb where you don't feel comfortable. Just don't go judging those who do without having done a high climb yourself.

17 points by jasonkester 1 day ago 3 replies      
My relatives sometimes ask whether I'm 'still doing that mountain climbing thing?'. I'm pretty sure they think that this is what I'm up to.

I'm sure I'd fall in love with high altitude mountaineering (all other aspects of climbing are so addictive that it follows) but I've always made a point of staying away. The statistics are all there to see. I'll stick with the rocks, thank you.

My personal rule is that if it's cold enough that I'm tempted to put a shirt on, it's too close to mountaineering and it's time to move south.

26 points by rdl 1 day ago replies      
Deep wreck and cave diving is similarly dangerous (and was much more so before the adoption of Trimix by the technical diving community). There have been numerous fatalities among rescuers trying to recover corpses of other dead divers, too.

I decided after reading a fair bit about this that even if I can afford to dive like this ($20k+ for equipment, $10-20k+ for training, and $500+ per dive for helium-based gas fills), it's just not worth the risk. I'm going to build a ROV or AUV to do all my deep/wreck diving for me, and stick to much safer diving profiles.

The other problem with deep SCUBA is that it's all been done, and better, by commercial divers using surface supplied or saturation diving techniques. It's like cryptanalysis in the open world; the NSA clearly has vastly better capabilities, so at best you're discovering things they already know. Except with surface supplied/saturation, you can see exactly how they did it, and if you had the money, could just do it that way yourself. (I'd be really interested in semi-professional surface supplied or saturation diving as a new super-technical hobby diver thing)

6 points by physcab 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was fortunate to hear Peter Hillary speak last week while I was home on Thanksgiving break. His stories were amazing. I was absolutely floored the entire two hours. A couple quotes I remember (and damn I wish I brought a pen and paper)...some of these may be paraphrases:

"On the top of Everest, your perception of reality is distorted. I remember thinking, 'wow, its really cloudy down there' while looking down the mountain. When I got back to base camp, I looked at the pictures we had taken. There were no clouds. It was clear as day"

"People often ask me what I'm most afraid of. Sure the elements are tough...but what gets me is more mental. Often when you hike you are alone in your thoughts for days,weeks, even months at a time. You have nothing to do but think, and if you don't have the mental discipline, you can deteriorate quickly. Its important to have good relationships with your family, your friends, and especially your climbing mate"

"I once went on a trip to the North Pole with some friends and my dad Edmund. You may know them. They were Buzz Aldrin and Steve Fosset"

"The last time I went to Everest, National Geographic sponsored the hike and the plan was to have a 3-way phone conversation with my dad and the [CBS/NBC/ABC] affiliate in New York because it was the 50th anniversary of my dad's first climb. When we got to the summit, I phoned in despite my hands rapidly becoming frostbitten and the affiliate said, 'Gosh, we're really busy here. Can you hold on a minute. Theres a conflict going on in Afghanistan right now'...'What? I can see Afghanistan!'"

"When I went to the South Pole I had to train in a rather unusual manner. On that trip we had to pull a [x100lb] sack of supplies behind us for a month straight while cross-country skiing. To train, I tied a bunch of tires around my waist and went jogging with my son in a stroller. You can imagine the weird looks I got"

30 points by araneae 1 day ago 2 replies      
The article quotes a 1/50 chance of dying.

For perspective, only 1/20 suicide attempts are successful. That means that climbing Mt. Everest is only half as deadly as trying to actively kill yourself.

22 points by makeramen 1 day ago 6 replies      
I'm not the only one noticing the connection to startups right?

Though not as morbid, I would imagine "stepping over dead bodies" and "leaving teammates behind" is a rather common experience in startups as well, though potentially frowned upon (but even then, it would depend on the situation).

EDIT: I think I need to clarify, I'm thinking more that startup COMPANIES are like everest climbers, trying to reach profitability/success. And then we can similarly say "[The internet] is littered with dead, exposed bodies [of startups]"

20 points by joe_the_user 1 day ago 1 reply      
I had a friend describe his experience when climbing one of the highest peaks in South America.

He said it was the most specular view he had seen in his life - he could literally see both the Atlantic and the Pacific simultaneously. But despite this, he was so physically miserable that he derived no joy from the experience at the time.

Of course, that's still much lower the Everest.

31 points by varjag 1 day ago 1 reply      
Media 2.0 at its best: a bunch of photos lifted without attribution. I recognize at least one to be from a Nat. Geo. story.
4 points by BRadmin 1 day ago 0 replies      
The mini-documentary season Everest: Beyond the Limit (streaming on Netflix) is a pretty interesting watch, and chronicles an expedition to the top - including a climber who actually encountered David Sharp on the mountain, while he was still alive, and the thought-process / decision of having to leave him behind.

Also, even though Everest is the highest mountain the world...

Annapurna has the highest fatality to summit ratio of all mountains @ ~40%.

And K2, with the second highest fatality rate (and 2nd highest elevation), is generally regarded as the most physically difficult and technically challenging.

4 points by mark_h 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a few videos I've seen recently -- I've also just been trekking in the Everest region and watched and read a lot before going -- that do an amazing job of conveying that summit-fever attitude.

The one that most sticks in my mind is this talk on K2:
It's an hour long, but I highly recommend it.

There was an incredible documentary, which you can probably find online, called "Doctors in the Death Zone" which followed a team of doctors studying the effects of altitude on themselves as they attempted Everest. There's some pretty horrific footage of a team they encounter along the way watching their companion, in obvious distress, drunkenly attempt to reach their position, while they just wait.

Lastly, this talk from TEDMed is by the only doctor on Everest during the 1996 disaster, and it's both a great depiction of the main route, and a frightening reminder of just how dangerous it still is up there despite the number of summits and knowledge of the route these days:

14 points by mks 1 day ago 4 replies      
Articles like this are very suggestive - of course while in the warm, in front of the computer everyone would try to rescue the poor climbers. However add difficult terrain, height, snow, fatigue and race with the clock and you have wholly different story. Consider how much effort is needed to transport someone by Mountain Rescue teams in lower mountains (<4000m) - teams of 2-5, lot of ropes, pullies and special transport stretchers.

Even seasoned climbers admit that you are pretty much solo on the high mountain. The strongest ones with highest morals have even tried helping some other party at these altitude but with very little effect. The moral choice is hard - would you put your life at very high risk just to attempt rescue with very little probability?

3 points by yan 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those interested in mountaineering, I highly, highly recommend listening to Chris Warner's talk on summitting K2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zkC9IMQmYA

A very very gripping talk by someone who's climbed Everest (and K2, a more dangerous ascent) multiple times. I saw this in person (Chris is the founder of the chain of climbing gyms I used to frequent) and it's even more gripping in person.

6 points by kmfrk 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a great mountain-climbing article here that I recommend reading: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/11/prep-scho....
2 points by rfreytag 1 day ago 0 replies      
I keep hearing how startup founders are often "scratching an itch." I think the climber's itch is different in primarily beginning and ending in personal gratification.

If you are looking for a challenge climbing Everest might be only a little cheaper that doing a startup (about $65K it appears: http://outside-blog.away.com/blog/2009/12/how-much-does-it-c...).

4 points by ck2 1 day ago 5 replies      
Is it ego or the "human spirit" that makes people try the summit anyway?

Some things I'll never understand in this world.

How about just running a marathon instead?

7 points by morbidkk 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you liked the article you must also read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_Thin_Air by Jon Krakauer
2 points by CWuestefeld 1 day ago 0 replies      
According to wikipedia, Everest is no where near the most dangerous. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-thousander

Of 14 8km+ summits, it appears that Everest's death rate is only 5.7%, while Annapurna leads at 42.85% (!)

This weighs against the commercialization of Everest trend theory, I think.

3 points by ra 1 day ago 3 replies      
For a gripping first hand account of the danger and sheer lunacy of today's Mount Everest, I highly recommend "Into Thin Air", by Jon Krakauer


2 points by jodrellblank 1 day ago 0 replies      
"A National Geographic climber originally on Everest to document Brian Blessed's (ultimately botched) attempt at summiting"

On QI recently, they said on Brian Blessed's closest approach, he abandoned his climb and turned back to help an injured climber. In the context of this essay about bodies it's not on to call that a "botched" attempt.

1 point by T_S_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the risk involved is crazy, stupid and selfish. I judge therefore I am ;-).

However, at least these mountaineers effectively experiment with their lives in a relatively open manner. It's too bad the drug cheats in athletics aren't able to be as open. Then we might learn something useful from their crazy, stupid and selfish behavior.

3 points by jodrellblank 1 day ago 1 reply      
How far is materials technology from being able to keep people warm there?
2 points by wazoox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Read this absolutely fantastic article: Into thin air by John Krakauer.
1 point by aleem 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves" - Sir Edmund Hilary, first man to conquer everest
1 point by BeachVentures 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some friends and I are climbing some of the tallest mountains in the world (including Everest) to raise money for cancer research. I must say that these pictures certainly scare me a bit, but I really believe in our cause. We are starting our quest this January, in south America where we will climb Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the western and southern hemisphere, and the tallest outside Asia.

We would love some donations from HN community www.climb4coloncancer.org

We are also looking for cancer survivors interested in joining and sponsors. Email us if interested!


1 point by klbarry 1 day ago 0 replies      
Jesus - Annapurna is absolutely brutal, almost a 50% death rate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-thousander
0 points by gsivil 21 hours ago 0 replies      

True Everest
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Everest deals with trespassers harshly: the dead vanish beneath the snows. While the living struggle to explain what happened. And why. A survivor of the mountain's worst disaster examines the business of Mount Everest and the steep price of ambition.

By Jon Krakauer

Nexus S google.com
362 points by tomerico 2 days ago   260 comments top 40
88 points by tc 2 days ago replies      
Since I know that many Googlers follow HN, I just want to say:

Thank you. Thank you for ensuring that a clean, root-able, modern phone is available for developers and all those who like to fully own the devices they purchase.

38 points by sjs 2 days ago 3 replies      
For those who have No Fucking Clue what NFC is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_Field_Communication
17 points by theBobMcCormick 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm disappointed nobody seems to be discussing the curved display. Are there any other touchscreen devices with curved screens? If so, have any of you had any experience using one? I'm quite curious to find out out if that's a useful feature or not.
12 points by ukdm 2 days ago 1 reply      
4 points by mortenjorck 2 days ago 7 replies      
As this is a product page and not a comparison matrix, why does it specifically call out the omission of some features like infrared and physical keyboard? Not that I don't appreciate Google being forthcoming about what they chose to leave out (though who expects IR anyway?), but it seems an odd marketing choice.
8 points by eli 2 days ago 0 replies      
According to this http://www.tmonews.com/2010/12/nexus-s-product-page-goes-liv...

US pricing is $529 unlocked and $199 with two years on T-Mobile

6 points by drivebyacct2 2 days ago 2 replies      
I apologize, this is barely tangentially related... but I'm excited to endorse Google and T-Mobile...

I'm currently paying Verizon $40/month for an extra line on a family plan, and unlimited data with no tethering (though I do for free via CM6.1). I could have my own account with T-Mobile and get unlimited data for $50/month with no voice minutes.

I can use Google Voice and the Gizmo SIP Provider to be accessible via Voice Calls. I want the Nexus S. I am tired of Verizon, Motorola and HTC's nonsense with the locked NAND and the locked Bootloader. No new VZW phones have custom roms, in fact, hardly any since the Droid 1.

Go Google. Go T-Mobile. Thanks for not being (as) evil (as everyone else).

13 points by qeorge 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice! I have an N1, love it, and was apprehensive about my options going forward.
13 points by trotsky 2 days ago 3 replies      
"Near Field Communications (NFC)"

So the ability to both emulate a contactless smartcard and interrogate passive rfid devices. Pretty damn cool - the ability to open doors/start cars/unlock computers/pay for stuff just with your phone without resorting to bluetooth/wifi hacks or addon hardware. Also opens you up to lots of potential applications for extra information in the real world on things that otherwise don't have barcodes.

4 points by maqr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish they would announce this sort of things months ahead of time. It's so hard to plan around contract renewals. I just bought a G2, but would much rather have had this.
6 points by andreyf 2 days ago 2 replies      
The product release landing page is here: http://www.google.com/nexus/

Quite a simple/beautiful HTML5 design, IMO.

7 points by spaghetti 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has anyone here cancelled their att iPhone service? i.e. gotten out of the 2 year contract early? I know this sounds ridiculous but I'd like to make the switch to T-Mobile and Android.
9 points by mrbill 2 days ago 0 replies      
Other than NFC, more internal storage, and Gingerbread pre-installed, this pretty much has the same specs as my Nexus One, which I've been very happy with (no touch screen bugs here).
2 points by jsz0 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm pleasantly surprised people aren't having a privacy freak-out over NFC yet. My concern is more practical: too many eggs in one basket. I feel like if NFC were to really live up to its hype I would need to keep a secondary device with me at all times as a backup in the same way I carry multiple credit cards and have a spare set of keys for my car. I suppose when it becomes a more mature technology that would be an ideal use for an older generation phone with NFC.
3 points by mgcross 2 days ago 0 replies      
Under features, portable wi-fi hotspot is touted with no additional carrier fees. This currently works on T-Mobile with my Nexus one, but I assumed I was "getting away" with something. T-Mobile charges $15 for tethering/hotspot on other devices.
4 points by JulianMorrison 2 days ago 0 replies      
That thing is a desktop PC. It happens to be phone shaped, but geez.
3 points by ars 2 days ago 2 replies      
When it says "Three-axis gyroscope" does it actually mean "Three-axis accelerometer"? Or can I really use my phone to stabilize myself in space?
1 point by zmmmmm 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm mildly disappointed that it's only released on T-Mobile. I had figured that one reason to go with a Samsung device was that they already shipped a single core hardware set to every carrier, so there would be a low barrier to getting this thing on every carrier (or at least more than one). I guess this is not under Google's control, but still, I had hopes ...
2 points by eapen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seems really similar to the Samsung Galaxy S (Vibrant) and I am disappointed to see it doesn't have the
1. roller ball
2. physical buttons (that you can feel) for home/back/menu/search
3. LED (for notifications)

Now, if only Samsung would upgrade the GalaxyS owners to 2.2 (as promised) or 2.3 (wishful thinking).

2 points by r4ps 1 day ago 1 reply      
No offline maps?! The Google boys need to go out more and see how the real world uses their phones.
Very often, I found myself needing maps the most in areas with poor network reception (e.g., the Swiss Alps) and in places where data connectivity was not an option (e.g., London underground). I was very excited to hear about HTC implementing such a feature in their latest Sense builds and I hope Google will catch up and make it a native feature.

Edit: Okay, it seems they know about the problem and apparently the new version of Google Maps for Mobile will have some sort of offline caching capabilities. Hurray!

2 points by crocowhile 2 days ago 2 replies      
mmmh. I was not impress with the iphone 4 and I am not impressed with this either. I have a nexus one and the only thing that make me jealous with the S is the NFC.
Are we reaching a plateau in mobile phone development?
2 points by compay 2 days ago 0 replies      
Now, if only it could do HSPA on band 1900 so I could get 3G with it in Buenos Aires. :(
3 points by riffraff 2 days ago 1 reply      
am I the only want noticing the speech recognition feature "go to reddit" ?
1 point by jcl 2 days ago 1 reply      
It sounds like since the Nexus S runs stock Android it may not include the Swype text input system common on other Android phones -- practically a killer app for touchscreen text entry. Does anyone know if it will be available on the Nexus S (either preinstalled or as an add-on)?
1 point by GeneralMaximus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Shiny and plasticky is the signature Samsung look. Great hardware, great screen, but the handset itself ends up looking cheap. This is one reason I returned my Galaxy S, and now Samsung have done it again.

Edit: okay, the actual images don't look that bad.

2 points by oomkiller 2 days ago 1 reply      
VoIP and NFC certainly look interesting. Will the VoIP/SIP support allow me to interface with my PBX for mobile extension calling? I sure hope so!
2 points by nemik 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's a shame the NFC support isn't complete. Supposedly can only read tags for now, not emulate them (though the NXP PN544 chip is perfectly capable of that).

http://developer.android.com/reference/android/nfc/package-s... is looking VERY sparse. Hopefully it gets completed soon.

1 point by mitjak 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why is this an exciting phone? Genuinely curious. The specs seem the same as (CPU) or lower than (display resolution) than N1.

EDIT: My bad. Looks like the screen resolution is identical.

3 points by bkorte 2 days ago 3 replies      
Ugh, Can't use it in my area of Canada. Need AT&T compatibility. Damn you, TMobile.
2 points by danramteke 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hmmm. I wonder about much web surfing battery it has. There is quite a jump between talk time and standby time. I assume browsing uses up more battery than talking.

"Talk time 6 hours
Standby time (max) 428 hours"

1 point by tocomment 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone provide us with a step by step instructions on how to get this phone?

I'm really confused about buying a phone plan after I buy the phone.

1 point by klbarry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Man, looking at that landing page, you cannot have a doubt in your mind that google has absolutely no style. Emotion is an important part of decision making too, Google!
1 point by Raphael 1 day ago 0 replies      
>16GB of memory

Not the clearest phrasing. 16GB solid state, 512MB RAM.

3 points by ninifat 2 days ago 5 replies      
Is there a price anywhere?
1 point by jared314 2 days ago 2 replies      
Still no FM Radio. I don't understand why it is so hard to get that feature.
1 point by eitland 2 days ago 0 replies      
When will we see an international version?
-3 points by andre 2 days ago 0 replies      
no freakin' keyboard
10 points by p_h 2 days ago 0 replies      
It says there's a 3.5mm headphone jack
-4 points by xorglorb 2 days ago 6 replies      
1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM...

Kind of sounds like the iPhone 4 (from July) with NFC support and a built-in VOIP client.

-4 points by camiller 2 days ago 0 replies      
<sarcasm> at least it is still on the United States largest super regional carrier available in all 49 of the states I am not living in. </sarcasm> sigh.
Don't shoot the messenger for telling the truth theaustralian.com.au
329 points by ra 1 day ago   129 comments top 16
58 points by JacobAldridge 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ah, so he's a Queenslander. That adds context - we're a special breed north of the Tweed.

To add some other context to non-Australian readers:

* Gallipoli, remembered as Australia's 'coming of age', was a disasterous battle in the First World War. While hardly more pointless than most of that War's assaults, it was more or less the first time we had fought as a sovereign nation and Murdoch's efforts helped shock our young country to that war in general, and the results of our troops still being commanded by our former colonial masters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallipoli_Campaign

* The Fitzgerald Inquiry in the state of Queensland revealed corruption that ran through the police force and (via the Police Commissioner) into Cabinet and the Premier. Joh Bjelke-Petersen had been running Queensland for 19 years, supported by the gerrymander in state politics. We Queenslanders have a chip on our shoulder about being overlooked by the officials 'down south' - Joh worked this masterfully (in one election campaign he called Queensland the greatest 'Country' on earth) and while he is still remembered fondly for 'sticking it up them', the corruption of that era is a blight on the nation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joh_Bjelke-Petersen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzgerald_Inquiry Incidentally, Chris Masters' famous piece of journalism 'The Moonlight State' was seen as instrumental in propelling public support towards an Inquiry and a change of government.

Assange seems to be positioning himself as another in the long line of Australian journalists (and Australians generally) who believe the 'powers' want to hide the truth. His belief can be neither true nor false; I'm not yet convinced his methodology is supporting the outcomes he seeks BUT, if nothing else, he has certainly revealed by provoking the actions of our PM and other political leaders around the world that there remain powers whose opposition to truth is far stronger than their respect of law and principles like a fair trial.

52 points by ErrantX 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm not Assange's biggest fan (r.e. how he controls Wikileaks) but some of the nonsense coming from the US establishment (and elsehwere) is appalling.

It probably even vindicates what Wikileaks stands for.

This is one of those cases where damage limitation is the sane and sensible response; they've lost those cables, we are going to see them. Deal with it. They need perspective; in the grand scheme of things it is highly unlikely to be "the end of the world". And if it uncovers corruption and naughtiness then all the better.

Hounding Assange and Wikileaks only ends up making them look guilty. Which is stupid, especially as there is nothing (so far) hugely corrupt or terrible in the leaks!

42 points by ra 1 day ago 3 replies      
Quote - "In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government". The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth."
12 points by jacquesm 1 day ago 2 replies      
Bail was refused:

"Let down by the UK justice system's bizarre decision to refuse bail to Julian Assange. But #cablegate releases continue as planned."


64 points by ffffruit 1 day ago 1 reply      
"In a time of universal deceit " telling the truth is a revolutionary act" G. Orwell

I find the calls to get him assassinated or kidnap his son simply appalling.

20 points by Jd 1 day ago 1 reply      
If there is treason, it is with the person leaking the documents -- not the media vehicle which publishes them.
58 points by known 1 day ago 2 replies      
"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you." --Oscar Wilde
18 points by necolas 1 day ago 3 replies      
2.07pm: More financial problems for WikiLeaks: Visa says it has suspended all payments to WikiLeaks "pending further investigation".

Earlier MasterCard said: "MasterCard is taking action to ensure that WikiLeaks can no longer accept MasterCard-branded products."


11 points by pigbucket 1 day ago 0 replies      
"For freedom of speech, there's Wikileaks. For everything else, there's Mastercard. And Visa. And, um, Paypal. And Amazon." -- James Ball, on twitter.
28 points by newt 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Truth comes as conqueror only to those who have lost the art of receiving it as friend."
- Rabindranath Tagore
2 points by jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Guardian coverage with the actual charges: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/07/assange-bail-req...
1 point by viggity 1 day ago 5 replies      
If all wikileaks was doing was publishing information about illegal or highly suspect acts by the government it'd be one thing. But that isn't all they're doing, and it is these other releases that has really pissed me off. For instance, what legitimate purpose does it serve to release a list of infrastructure that are critical to national security? (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jWvPaI6hI...)

If diplomacy is so important to the people of the world, why are so many people cheering on the fact that wikileaks has made it almost impossible for diplomats to give frank and honest assessments of the countries in which they work? When wikileaks makes everything "transparent", everything becomes opaque, because no diplomat will write any memos or share information with one another. Wikileaks is a tremendous blow to anyone who wants to see international problems come to a peaceful and diplomatic resolution.

2 points by rorymarinich 1 day ago 4 replies      
He talks about Murdoch's actions in "1958" but then says that his actions are happening nearly a century later. Was that date inaccurate? Because 52 years doesn't strike me as a full nearly-a-century.
1 point by bfung 1 day ago 1 reply      
1 point by sigzero 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was with him in releasing information about war crimes. He lost me in this one though.
-4 points by joshuaheard 1 day ago 1 reply      
The "truth" has limits on publication: privacy, confidentiality, privilege, security, etc. Just because something is the truth, does not mean it is right to publish it. Assange is not a whistle blower. He is not exposing any misrepresentations or cover-up. He is simply exposing America's secrets in order to hurt America. That is criminal.
How I Screwed Up My Google Acquisition codusoperandi.com
317 points by jayro 8 hours ago   83 comments top 22
40 points by grellas 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Prospective acquirers will often pursue potential targets simultaneously and, if they go silent on you, this may have little or nothing to do with whether you followed up diligently or not. In my experience, when an acquiring company wants to move, they know how to do so quickly, at least to engage in sufficient due diligence to see whether they might want to do the deal. Thus, when you do get in a situation where you are getting slow or evasive responses after an initial expression of interest, or where things go silent after an initial set of exchanges, I am not sure there is much you can practically do about it unless you have options to sell to others and use this as a lever to speed the process. You can be as aggressive as you like in such cases but, if the acquirer is simply trying to keep options open, you won't be able to force things absent a credible threat of going elsewhere.

That said, this one may have simply fallen through the cracks owing to the early failures to follow up more aggressively. Only the Google people can know for sure.

77 points by joshu 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Another one I learned that pops up in this tale: get on the plane if the meeting is important.
34 points by jlees 7 hours ago 2 replies      
One thing I have learnt since joining Google: everyone inside Google is always infernally busy.

I'm British, so my concepts of bothering people, being a nuisance, and being impolite are already vastly out of skew with the American work culture -- I've had to relearn a lot of that behaviour since coming to the USA and Google.

IMO it's not really specifically a Google thing. I think the lesson to be learned from this post (and as a founder, I'm wincing along with you jayro) is simple: when dealing with a big company, keep yourself in the radar or you'll vanish altogether.

But please don't be too crazy or in your face. I administered Summer of Code for our open source project this year, and one very keen applicant kept IMing me for status updates. Unfortunately, he was based in India, and so this meant my phone buzzing at 3am. Suffice it to say (and for mostly unrelated reasons), he didn't get accepted.

Be sensitive, be fresh, be relevant, be interesting.

15 points by trickjarrett 7 hours ago 4 replies      
A great read about politeness (though it had some negotiating impacts) causing a missed opportunity. I too err on the side of politeness when it comes to business interactions and I've learned that more often than not, when I'm dealing with someone remotely whether it be a colleague or a point of contact, that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

I think it was a mistake to let it ride for so long. A few weeks, maybe two months, and I would have called them up and followed up. Even a short email positioning myself as asking more out of curiosity than need for an acquisition, etc.

Anyone else agree? Would you have followed up?

13 points by johnrob 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely a frustrating story to read. That said, two things stand out:

1) Deals fall through. PG et all write about this all the time. It's probably easy to figure why they fail in hindsight, but that doesn't make them any easier to manage in the future.

2) It seems like the main premise of the idea was to get bought by google/yahoo/microsoft. That is a dangerous strategy to employ out of the gates (although back in 2005 there was no hacker news and a whole let less general knowledge about the black art of startups).

15 points by jordanmessina 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Preezo sounds like it was built to be acquired from day one. I think that mindset makes it a lot more difficult to deal with missed opportunities and can really make the entire experience of building a product unenjoyable. This is probably why so many people suggest building something you want instead of what you think others will want; at least you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in the process.
6 points by robk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The "get on a plane" advice is crucial. Product managers lead acquisitions at Google and are the hardest to reach. If you get any interest expressed from them, try to get in person w/ them within a couple weeks max, even if just for coffee. From there, it's helpful to send them a monthly or bi-monthly ping just to keep them abreast of any developments. They might not be ready to acquire now, but it's very helpful to remind them of you when they're ready or thinking of an acquisition

*disclaimer - ex-Google PM

3 points by noonespecial 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It also says something about the randomness of the startup scene. You can have just the right product at just the right time and still lose.
5 points by Maro 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't have any relevant experience, but this sounds odd. If the product was good (better than Zenter), than why didn't they acquire Preezo at that later point in time?
3 points by bherms 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the moral here applies to more than just dealing with big companies, but anything in general. Persistence can pay off big time.

Quick example: I interviewed with a company back in August and was told I'd hear from them in a week. I didn't so I began emailing the CEO (who I'd interviewed with) at least once a week for almost three months (never got a yes/no, so I kept "checking in"). Because I kept myself on the radar and kept pursuing it, when something finally opened up, I got the job and was told that they admired my persistence. Don't be afraid of annoying people -- if the answer isn't final yet, keep trying.

3 points by kenjackson 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Jonathan Rochelle repeated wryly and with a smile, "Yes, time to go. Google is here,"

WTF? Is Google the mob or something? Almost seems like the next line should have been, "And I was never seen or heard from again."

1 point by elvirs 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
considering that Google's acquisitions are about about technology as much as about talent, and the fact that you hired another guy to help you with coding it is possible that they expected a team behind the technology to join them, but were disappointed when learned that you hired outsiders to help with building that technology.
2 points by deyan 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems to me that your analysis suffers from a fundamental attribution error (blaming you rather than circumstances). While it is possible that you could have done a few things better (with the help of the ever so omni-potent captain hindsight), my experience is that such deals are complicated and involve a lot of people. So I think it is much more likely that the final outcome was more out of your control than your essay implies.
3 points by zandorg 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I (a UK developer) just dealt with a company who were interested in my Pretext software, which finds text in images. I rang at 2PM their time when I rang, and when his development committee finally rejected me after a month of waiting, he said "You have written very capable and useful software - however, we want to develop in-house", I was polite and said goodbye, etc.

Everything to gain. Nothing lost but a couple transatlantic phone calls.

2 points by waterside81 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I gotta say hearing about things not going one's way is more informative and educational than hearing about when things all go peachy and a founder walks out with $X million. If you only read TC you'd think every startup in the world is cashing in.
2 points by newobj 3 hours ago 0 replies      

I know one of the Zenter guys. He is definitely a closer.

5 points by splatcollision 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This has inspired me to send some follow up emails on some leads I've been chasing, thanks!
2 points by TotlolRon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think you "screwed" anything. You can't force a relationship, and it is a waste of time to think about the email you didn't send. Had you sent it and got no reply, would you feel better? How about the email they didn't send? Maybe they are the ones who "screwed"?

"Still what could've been. Is better than what could never be at all" -- Tiffany

1 point by sportsTAKES 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I know I've had experiences in life where I look back and say 'what was I thinking?!?'

As difficult as it is, nicely done on recognizing the situation, holding yourself accountable and chalking it up as a lesson learned. No doubt about it, this experience will help you somewhere down the line...

I'm really impressed with your articulate re-cap of the story.

1 point by cavilling_elite 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This should also be a lesson about using engineering notebooks and other such legal documents in programming a new product, especially with new ideas such as the DOM manipulation indicated in this blog.
1 point by psnj 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to work at OT when Glazer was there, and I attended a workshop once where he gave a talk. Very impressive guy -- I remember thinking "I want to work for the company that guy's working for!"
0 points by seltzered 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I would say the problem is that you divulged technical details before getting a written "intent to acquire" from google.

While keeping the line of communication is important, it's also important to ensure it's worth your time.

MathJax, beautiful math in all browsers mathjax.org
304 points by scw 2 days ago   36 comments top 19
22 points by apl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sometimes, when the ol' fever comes back and nobody's there to remind me that we have come to accept HTML/CSS, I dream of a world wide web built on TeX and TeX alone. It's a place of wonder, and happiness, and river-less paragraphs. Then I wake up, sweating, screaming, to a world without proper hyphenation. XeTeX is my XaNaX. Makes the web-pain go away.

[MathJax, on the other hand, looks glorious. Many thanks to the people in charge of the project!]

13 points by pierrefar 2 days ago 3 replies      
I use MathJax on one site I'm developing. It has two problems related to speed:

1. It is so modular that you cannot really optimize it using something like Google Closure (http://code.google.com/closure/ ). If you do, it breaks it.

2. The modularity means that you're likely to need a few roundtrips to the server to get everything. Invariably these block the loading of the page and you get a hang, sometimes for a few seconds. This is not good for user experience.

Of course MathJax solves a very important problem, but it's a problem browsers have introduced. None of the support MathML in a sane way: Firefox requires content served as fully valid XHTML (good luck with that if you're using a CMS) and Webkit only got MathML support recently in the nightly releases. If browsers actually implement MathML in a way developers can use without losing hair, then MathJax is no longer needed. Till then, I love MathJax despite its warts.

10 points by mojombo 2 days ago 0 replies      
We use MathJax for inline display of equations in the GitHub wikis and it's really nice. I spent a long time looking for a LaTeX style math solution for the web, and MathJax was a great fit.
13 points by perlgeek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very nice, I'm looking forward to usinig it. So I thought I'd check the license to see if it's compatible with what I envision.

The documentation page just says "Open Source", the FAQ and download pages nothing at all.

The release announcement at http://www.mathjax.org/2010/01/12/news/mathjax-beta-released... finally says "Apache 2.0 open source license".

Note to other developers: don't hide your license -- it's a piece of information others might actually be interested in, particularly if it's not an application, but more of a library.

3 points by mhartl 1 day ago 0 replies      
MathJax is the secret sauce behind the pretty math typesetting at The Tau Manifesto (http://tauday.com/). For what it's worth, Davide Cervone, the lead developer of MathJax, is incredibly helpful and friendly. In the process of writing The Tau Manifesto, I was running into some weird problems; Davide realized that there was a subtle MathJax bug when used with HTML5, and pushed a fix within hours of finding the problem.
2 points by danparsonson 2 days ago 2 replies      
Looks nice! Minor issue with spacing in my browser: http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/6766/spacingissue.png

Source of the top equation is: J_\alpha(x) = \sum_{m=0}^\infty \frac{(-1)^m}{m! \, \Gamma(m + \alpha + 1)}{\left({\frac{x}{2}}\right)}^{2 m + \alpha}

Source of the bottom equation is:

<math display="block">


Browser is Chrome 8.0.552.215 on Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

3 points by splat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't wait for this to be incorporated on the arXiv.
1 point by prodigal_erik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Right now this works for some people and not others, because they aren't doing progressive enhancement over a server-side fallback rendering. The TeX samples just show raw \macros and the HTML-CSS renderings of the MathML samples are incorrect (x='b±b2'4ac2a is not the quadratic formula).

Looks nice on the machine I use as a js sandbox, though.

1 point by Jach 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been using jsMath for a while, I'm glad these sorts of libraries exist. It chips at my heart a little every time I see ascii sigmas and the like.
1 point by xtacy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wikipedia has LaTeX code in the ALT attribute for all images on their website. Would it make sense for them to migrate?
1 point by gradschool 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd like to port a large LaTeX document to a web browsable format but it makes heavy use of pstricks and picture environments. Can anyone comment on how well this would cope with that or what alternatives might help?
1 point by xtacy 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be awesome if someone could make an extension for browsers to enable this on browser chats/emails. :-)
1 point by sammyo 2 days ago 1 reply      
In all recent browsers. For silly corporate reasons one box I work on is stuck at firefox 1.5 and this displays nothing.
1 point by jules 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks ugly here. The letters are overlapping.


Chrome 7.0.517.44

2 points by hsmyers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Worthy of an 'atta-boy' from Knuth himself...
2 points by Muzza 2 days ago 0 replies      
All well and good except for the fact that it locks up my entire computer for several seconds.
1 point by zootm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Firefox 4 on Linux gives a message at the bottom saying something like "WebFonts not supported, falling back to image fonts", meaning that the scaling examples look horrible and most examples are very fuzzy. Shame, looks neat otherwise :)
1 point by ChristianMarks 2 days ago 0 replies      
This could use an extension for xypic. It would trounce the alternatives if this were added.
-1 point by jarsj 2 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't work as i expect in my browser.
Founder Control paulgraham.com
293 points by peter123 2 days ago   56 comments top 22
42 points by grellas 2 days ago 3 replies      
A few observations:

1. I would say that, even as of 5 years ago, it was rare for a startup to go through a Series A VC round without the VCs taking at least shared control.

2. Founders of reasonably strong startups can usually do angel rounds, also denominated Series A, without giving up board control and have been able to do so for some years now. These rounds used to be for smaller dollar amounts, often capped at $500K or so, but this has changed today in an era where founders can often turn to angels and superangels for larger fundings. VCs want to stay competitive with the angels at this early stage because, if they lose out at that level, they find themselves sitting on the sidelines as their deal-flow shrinks and they lose out on potentially strong investments made at an optimum stage in promising ventures. To stay competitive, therefore, the VCs must perforce bend a little on their traditional terms, including their former obsession with gaining board control right out the gate.

3. Founders themselves are far more savvy today, on average, than was the case a decade ago. In the bygone days, only a relatively few serial entrepreneurs had the sophistication to sit on a reputable board and still add value to it as founders. Today, the average founder is far better versed on what it takes to drive a company than was the case before. Thus, it is easier for VCs (and other investors) to accept the idea of a "founder-driven company" than it used to be. (Over the years, I have seen all too many "control-freak" founders and other variations that could only be labeled an embarrassment to sound management; based on this, I can understand the historic VC attitude, though of course this all must be counter-balanced by the many ills that the VCs themselves brought to the process when they would sometimes abuse the founders in whose startups they invested.)

4. Founders today have far more control over timing on when to do their Series A rounds. The cost of launching is far reduced today and the options for deferring larger rounds are greater, as for example by taking bridge funding from angels or F&F to allow the company to build value and minimize dilution before it goes for larger forms of funding.

When all these factors are combined, it seems clear from the trenches that a profound change is occurring by which founders have more control than ever before over their ventures. Of course, having this validated by someone such as PG, who is at the heart of this activity in Silicon Valley, goes a long way to letting the VCs themselves see it as respectable to accept as a fait accompli as they move forward.

14 points by uuilly 2 days ago 2 replies      
On the flip side, I've seen founders cling too tightly to control. Sometimes the guy that is really good at getting a version 1 out of the garage is not the same guy that is good at calling the shots once it's a 60 person company. Taking the stance that "I want to retain control," is obstinate and egotistical. The proper stance is, "I want to retain control until someone better comes along." That may be never. But it's the right attitude to have. In the end, it's not about who controls what, it's about who's more likely to make all the time and money that's gone into the company worth more.
14 points by tptacek 2 days ago 0 replies      
10 years ago, we had a "2 VC, 2 founders, tiebreaker CEO" board structure that I think was probably more common than simply "conceding the board to the VC". (I'm aware of the pitfalls in that structure, too).

My sense of it --- and someone with more recent experience please correct me if I'm wrong --- is that the shareholders agreements matter as much as the board structure does. Point being, you wouldn't want to see "founder control" becoming cosmetic, a fig leaf around the real power the VCs wield.

14 points by GavinB 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is this happening because start-ups are getting series A financing later in the life of the company? It used to be that you needed VC just to build and launch a business, but these days the business can be much more real and the founders more proven by the time they're ready for VC.

Startups are getting further and further on seed and angel funding due to advancing technology.

9 points by faramarz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish PG would go into the details of structuring a board control. Perhaps that's an essay for a another day.

Some context:
Founder of Magna International, Frank Stronach, who started his business some 30 years ago made a lot headlines this past summer due to the sale of his "special" founder-class shares. I found it remarkable that even though the company is public, he still had majority interest over the board due to his share structure. EDIT: Every 1 of his B shares converted to 100 Common Stock (and he had over 700 Class B shares, before he decided to give up control and convert)

Wikipidia explains:

  Stronach, who is currently the non-executive chairman of
Magna International, holds multiple-voting shares of the
company, which gives him majority voting power over
issues brought to shareholder vote. Although he controls
the voting power among Magna's shareholders, Stronach
owns only 4% of Magna's equity.

9 points by snewe 2 days ago 4 replies      
Perhaps the ycfounders list is a selected sample: it produces or selects above-average quality founders that are more likely to get a good Series A price (in terms of both control and pre$). I suspect that YCombinator's focus on founders for investment decisions also results in start-ups with assets closely tied to the individuals who run things (rather than say a patent). This leaves future VCs with less bargaining power when forming boards.
17 points by yurylifshits 2 days ago 1 reply      
Zynga Founder Mark Pincus - Control Your Board http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0lUNFHD-iM

(from Startup School 2009)

15 points by lkozma 2 days ago 3 replies      
I wish PG would write more about painting and hacking and education and lisp and history and psychology and philosophy and literature and politics and a bit less about investments. Seriously, quite a dry topic..
5 points by fleaflicker 2 days ago 1 reply      
In a dozen companies we've funded, the founders still had a majority of the board seats after the series A round.

Out of how many series As total?

4 points by chrisduesing 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain the power dynamics of a board, vs that of the shareholders? I always assumed that retaining a majority of shares between the founders would keep them in control of the company, but is it the case that the board has more actual power.

For instance; 2 founders hold 60% of the shares of their company collectively after a Series A. The investors hold 40% (lets ignore option pools etc). Now if each side had 2 board seats (plus a 5th seat held by a brought in CEO), does that mean the founders can in fact be outvoted?

6 points by gms 2 days ago 1 reply      
This essay makes VC's seem like a necessary evil that founders have to tolerate through gritted teeth, as opposed to something more benevolent like, say, YC.

Do I have the wrong impression?

4 points by matt1 2 days ago 1 reply      
As I'm reading this article and nodding my head, I realized that I don't understand what controlling a board actually means.

It sounds like its written in the term sheet somewhere--what does that look like? Joe Startup will maintain control of the board...? Would it be correct for a founder to say "I have control of the board so..." or is it more of a perceived power as a result of other negotiated terms?

7 points by gcheong 2 days ago 1 reply      
Minor typo: resort of compulsion --> resort to compulsion
2 points by iamwil 2 days ago 1 reply      
"VCs will still be able to convince; they just won't be able to compel. And the startups where they have to resort of compulsion are not the ones that matter anyway. "

I excepted some sort of footnote for this one. It's not immediately obvious to me this is true.

Hypothetically, the founders are the ones that know their business the best, and hence tend to have a longer term vision. Given that the founder executes on the long term vision, those are the companies that matter. Is that the line of thinking?

8 points by kapitti 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't a dozen a small percentage of total YC companies?
3 points by jaekwon 2 days ago 1 reply      
2 Questions:

Are there cases where a non-CEO founder controls the board?

What are the mechanics whereby the minority stake founder(s) control the board? Some sort of skewed voting system? If so, what sort of legal entities allow this structure?

2 points by Scott_MacGregor 2 days ago 0 replies      
With an equal number of founder elected Directors and VC elected Directors, if your outside tiebreaker director is brought in by the VC's you will be in danger of losing control because you cannot control the situation.

Especially if the tie breaker is planning on doing some additional business with the VC in the future, you may not have a truly neutral person casting the vote.

So, how is founder control typically structured?

For instance, do founder Stockholders get 2 votes per share to elect Directors with, and VC's get 1 vote per share with a guaranteed VC director seat on the board? Or are Directors elected by founders getting 2 votes on a particular decision item A and 1 vote on decision item B, and VC Directors get 1 vote on A and B?

Does anyone know what is currently going on with this?

1 point by samd 2 days ago 0 replies      
The switch to the new norm may be surprisingly fast, because the startups that can retain control tend to be the best ones. They're the ones that set the trends, both for other startups and for VCs.

Are they the best ones because they can retain control or can they retain control because they are the best ones?

1 point by EGreg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I definitely would like to control my own company.

That said, my philosophy is simple: Your first company should SUCCEED. You should be prepare to give up control, equity, etc. as long as it succeeds.

That gives you a track record AND money. Think about it. If you had $10 million dollars 2 years from now, and a 5% stake in your first venture, contacts lots of happy people and a reputation for succeeding with your first venture, don't you think you could own the shit out of your next company? Like 100% ownership in pretty much anything you want, with $5 million of your own money in it. You could try 30 different ideas or set up a nice lab.

Wanting to own your first venture is kind of like saying this will be your only idea, ever.

It might sound unproductive, but my advice to fellow entrepreneurs would be: listen to what investors want, and then give it to them. Put together a great team. Find VC firms who like to invest in your kind of thing. Develop just enough to get them interested. Set up appointments. Get funded. Exit with $10m or more in the bank. Do your own thing. Your first business can be all about the $$ exit.

It seems I myself am going a different route, though.

2 points by nlavezzo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think one of the main factors pushing the trend in the direction of more founders retaining control is the increased availability of angel money.

If it came down to my cofounders and I having to give up control to raise a Series A (or any series for that matter) I'm sure we'd turn to Angel List to raise a similar amount from well connected and useful investors, without having to give up control - if that were a viable option.

Increasingly it seems like raising a large angel round is an option, which is great for entrepreneurs.

1 point by pama 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Founders retaining control after a series A is clearly heard-of. And barring financial catastrophe, I think in the coming year it will become the norm."

Would a financial catastrophe simply stop new series A rounds, or would it rather change their terms? Are there any examples of changes related to the adventures in 2007--2008?

1 point by JVerstry 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good insight information, thanks !
Grooveshark's new Javascript/HTML interface grooveshark.com
245 points by codejoust 4 days ago   128 comments top 30
41 points by invisible 4 days ago 4 replies      
This is an amazing rewrite from the Flash version - well worth the time they put into this one. They have some really dedicated staff members and some great talent on the team.
9 points by zhyder 4 days ago 2 replies      
How come the RIAA is okay with Grooveshark streaming any music at any time? Pandora has many more restrictions in their free version to qualify for "internet radio" licensing rates.
18 points by pogos 4 days ago 1 reply      
Great work! Linux users now officially love you :-)
10 points by asnyder 4 days ago 5 replies      
Apparently the latest version of Opera isn't modern enough. I'm really sick of projects blatantly not supporting Opera. There's nothing wrong with it.

Update: Come on there's no reason to downvote this. At least explain why you're downvoting this, for example, Opera killed your puppy.

4 points by Locke1689 4 days ago 0 replies      
Fantastic -- I'm a Grooveshark VIP member and have been since shortly after launch. I still think it was one of the best investments I've made in the past couple years -- it's completely changed how I listen to music (especially with the mobile versions).

I wish you guys the best of luck and thank you sincerely for continuing to innovate.

4 points by kuldeep_kap 4 days ago 1 reply      
This an awesome step for Grooveshark. Now let the greasemonkey or chrome extension customization scripts begin. Would love to see, what users come up with. I already coded new ad remover for my self. Couple ideas I have are as follows,

1. Last.fm scrobbler
2. Lyrics plugin (same as winamp has)
3. put 'now playing' list at the right sidebar
3. make 'now playing' list thinner.

4 points by HaloZero 4 days ago 1 reply      
Question for the developers.

How was JVMC? Was it very useful using the MVC format in your JS, did you end up using it mainly for classes or did you do the whole MVC format?

Why JMVC over something like Backbone?

A write up on this in a blog would be awesome.

Was Javascript templating useful? It seems to be me that it would be very slow (though faster than doing async request to servers I suppose).

4 points by pvsnp 4 days ago 0 replies      
One thing I noticed is now the ad blocker (on Chrome) catches the ads and doesn't show them. Since I don't have a VIP account with them and the ads aren't as intrusive as Pandora/Last.fm services, I decided to whitelist listen.grooveshark.com to show ads.
It works beautifully though, Flash on Linux was such a pain.
3 points by ralphc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Doesn't work on the Galaxy Tab. Tried Browser, Dolphin, Skyfire & Fennec. Best I get is the spinning pinwheel after I pick a search.
3 points by VMG 4 days ago 1 reply      
So what is the plan for Grooveshark Desktop?
2 points by keyle 4 days ago 0 replies      
Wow they've done an awesome job. Another massive blow for Adobe, losing the battle once again (and I'm a flash developer)
2 points by decadentcactus 4 days ago 0 replies      
I visited Grooveshark just yesterday, and I just thought it was a flash rewrite. I did like the theme a lot, but the only sad part was my playlist was gone >:( (didn't have an account, it was just saved as cookie or whatever)
5 points by codejoust 4 days ago 0 replies      
It looks like they're utilizing js templates and localization along with a lot of jQuery and JMVC.
1 point by lg 4 days ago 0 replies      
Never used GrooveShark before but this is pretty cool. Wonder why they don't have playlist ratings though (as far as I can tell)? When I do a search for playlists I'd like to see what other people thought of them before I click through each one.
2 points by n-named 4 days ago 0 replies      
You guys are my number one favorite. I hope you don't get shut down. <3
4 points by tech_and_beyond 4 days ago 0 replies      
I am a big big fan of grooveshark. I work in a user interface team for a large blue chip company. The amount of work, time, dedication, motivation that goes into developing an intuitive user interface is huge. This guys just make it look as if it was a breeze.... If you could do a blog post as you have done on the architecture part, it will be great :).
1 point by meese_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
The Defacer Safari & Chrome extensions (http://babelstudios.se/defacer/, https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/ikfbfahhinbemoji...) seem to break this (just shows up a blank page)... any way to fix this?
1 point by simonista 4 days ago 0 replies      
Really weird scrolling on Safari 5.0.3 on snow leopard. The background flickers through the search results. Otherwise really cool.
3 points by mynameisraj 4 days ago 1 reply      
Does anybody know what this is written in/on, specifically? JavaScript/HTML seems a bit vague to me.
1 point by jdbeast00 4 days ago 2 replies      
Is there any way to make a grooveshark desktop version that uses this same html5 interface? I love how the next/prev buttons on my mac work with that interface (using gs desktop helper)
1 point by nik61 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a totally opaque interface that hardly works at all as far as I can see. Completely uninformative, dumb, not functional in any real way. What is going on? Why do all these other think it is great? It is not.
1 point by quizbiz 4 days ago 1 reply      
How do they hide the source code if it's all Javascript/HTML?
4 points by MykalM 4 days ago 1 reply      
you have just became my favorite website :)
2 points by enanoretozon 4 days ago 0 replies      
I love it! I can finally use middle-click to open stuff on another tab.
1 point by ubojan 4 days ago 1 reply      
I've spent a couple of minutes searching for 'My Music' and 'Favorites' lists. Just click on your username and they are in menu bar left to the search field. Beside that, great interface and fast loading.
1 point by sgt 4 days ago 1 reply      
Apologies for my ignorance, but I've been listening to a couple of songs now, and I can't figure out how to purchase them?
1 point by neuromancer2600 4 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the design! Got me going intuitively. And there's even some rare songs up. Nice work!!
1 point by CopyrightTroll 4 days ago 0 replies      
I switched back to http://retro.grooveshark.com It's more refined, runs fine on Windows, and it has more features. The Javascript version is too chunky for my taste. I can't see the song titles, overlays don't work, I'm not getting tips, etc.
1 point by flexterra 4 days ago 0 replies      
awesome job
-4 points by bbulkow 4 days ago 3 replies      
Whatever you think of the user interface, please don't use Grooveshark. Their business model is either illegal or immoral. You will get mail from copyright owners telling you cease and desist from accounts that you've closed in the past - Grooveshark will claim that you're sharing the music, and you have legal responsibility, not them. Mails to close accounts go unanswered.

And if you work there - shame on you.

Appointment Reminder Launches appointmentreminder.org
235 points by patio11 2 days ago   104 comments top 38
58 points by patio11 2 days ago 6 replies      
Thanks in advance guys. I mean this sincerely: I probably couldn't have done it without you.

I don't generally ask for things on HN, but just this once: y'all know that links my website gets gives me more ability to rank for search terms of importance to me. If I've said something which helped you or you otherwise want to go give me a Christmas present, please take a few minutes out of your day, go to your blog, and write up a few sentences with a link to the front page. I'd really, really appreciate it.

21 points by balsamiq 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats Patrick!

A small piece of feedback. On this page: https://www.appointmentreminder.org/a/calendar - I am wary of testing it because I'm not sure who'll see my phone number if I do. In other words, it's not clear if this demo is just for me or if this is a "demo sandbox" for anyone to use.

BTW, love the outrageous enterprise pricing that makes the small business plan look better, as well as the blatantly fake "HOT" tag - you shipped today! it gets hot fast in Japan! ;)

Not so sure about this "All questions are answered by our lead engineer. (Your business is too important to trust to a call center..)" - smells a little bit fake. I like Garrett's style better: http://sifterapp.com/support scroll down to the green box).

Just my quick first impressions. Congrats on a new beginning!

30 points by MarkMc 2 days ago 1 reply      
Patrick - you may find this useful:

"One restaurant owner greatly reduced the percentage of no-shows (people who booked a table but didn't honour the reservation and didn't call to cancel it) by having his receptionist change what she said when taking a reservation from 'Please call if you have to cancel' to 'Will you call if you have to cancel?' Of course, nearly all customers committed themselves to calling by saying 'yes' to that question. More importantly, they then felt the need to abide by their commitment: the no-show rate dropped from 30 per cent to 10 per cent."
(quoted from 'Yes! 50 secrets from the science of persuasion' by Goldstein, Martin and Cialdini)

One other suggestion: Give your would-be customers a FREE split test. Half of the appointments get a reminder, half don't. Get the user to place a 'value' on the outcome of each appointment, then tell them the result of the split test. The user will be BEGGING to give you money.

19 points by Hates_ 2 days ago 2 replies      
I found the audio on the video really hard to hear. A good quality mic and a little mixing makes a huge difference.
11 points by sgdesign 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know if you're looking for any design critiques, but since that's what I know here goes:

- The logo is not very readable. The letters are squashed together and the gradients are a little too strong. Subtle is always better.

- The pure white background behind the tagline is very harsh. I suggest using a light shade of beige instead.

- Your content needs some rythm. People hate reading big blocks of text, so you should add in some headings and lists.

- Maybe you're planning to add more slides to the carousel later, but right now you really don't need it. You could take out "who is it for" and put it in the sidebar instead.

- The two call to action buttons get lost inside the illustration. I suggest putting them in the brown bar instead.

- The tagline could really use some typographical love. There's a ton of gorgeous free fonts on FontSquirrel.com, just pick one from the top 10 most popular.

- The sign in link should probably not be placed inside the nav, most people expect it to the top right of the site.

That's just the things that jump out at me from looking at the homepage for 5 minutes. Hit me up on Twitter (@SachaGreif) if you have any questions or you'd like some more advice.

PS: I almost forgot to say, congratulations on launching what looks like a truly useful product!

PPS: I often go to Kyoto, not that far from you!

6 points by mrduncan 2 days ago 1 reply      
The signup links are redirecting to the coming soon page.

Example: https://www.appointmentreminder.org/coming-soon?plan=small-b...

5 points by scottyallen 2 days ago 1 reply      
This looks great. Nice work, Patrick, and congrats on the launch. I just sent my mom an email about it, and suggested she try your demo. Hopefully she'll sign up. She's a private tutor, and very frustrated by having students not show up to appointments. This definitely solves a significant problem for her.

Any plans on integrating more tightly with Google Calendar? That's where she currently keeps her appointments, and being able to suck appointment info out of there would be really useful for her. That being said, I have no idea how structured her data in there is (probably not very), so it may not be a super easy problem in the general case.

2 points by dgallagher 2 days ago 0 replies      
Love the idea. Great job. :) This is how I'd summarized things (I didn't watch the video):


- Automatic appointment reminders for your clients (phone, text message, email).

- No more meetings where nobody shows up!

- Get notified automatically if someone is going to be late!

- Client needs to cancel or reschedule? We'll let you know!

- Record phone reminders yourself, or save time and have our professional voice actors do it for you!

- Always on the go? Use it on your laptop or iPad. (iPhone coming soon!)

Never show up to an empty meeting ever again. How much time and money are you going to save?

:insert pricing chart here:

Questions or comments? email@email.com 888-555-1234

6 points by michael_dorfman 2 days ago 1 reply      
First of all: congratulations! That was an effective November....

I assume that you are going to be aggressively A/B testing this site.

Are you planning to share the results with us? I know I, for one, would find it very informative.

4 points by singer 2 days ago 0 replies      
<meta name="description" content="Quickly and easily send phone appointment reminders, SMS appointment reminders, and email appointment reminders to your clients. No software, no hardware, no contacts. Start your free 30 day trial today" />

I think you meant "no contracts".

4 points by pwim 2 days ago 1 reply      
In the video, from the time you answered the call, until the voice started, it took 5 seconds. If that's normal for the system, I'd be worried my clients would hang up before hearing appointment reminder.
3 points by davidblair 1 day ago 1 reply      
Caller ID is really important for me. Unless I know who is calling I will probably ignore my phone. Spoofing the phone number of the actual business would be really handy and greatly increase the chance that I take the call.

I can't tell from the site whether one can do this without signing up for an account but if it's not a feature yet I would seriously consider it.

3 points by kmfrk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Your tagline "You didn't go into business to spend the day on the phone. Let us handle that." uses a prime, ', instead of a proper, curly apostrophe, '.

It's also amazing to see a site free of any social network buttons. You don't get to see that often.

2 points by vaporstun 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats! It looks great!

A couple nitpick things I noticed which may be helpful:

1. When you go to the pricing page (https://www.appointmentreminder.org/pricing) the top navigation disappears.

2. You probably want the email address in the top right corner to be a clickable link.

Best of luck!

11 points by MarkMc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice work patrick - this has big potential! When possible, get a quote on the front page like:

"I save $320 per month with Appointment Reminder!" - Mrs Smith

7 points by RKlophaus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats! Just emailed my dentist to tell them about it. Keep up the good work. :
2 points by jeromec 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats Patrick! Successful entrepreneurs ship, and it looks great. In the thread where you introduced the concept of appointment reminders there was concern voiced that computer calls went in the direction of undervaluing customers by cutting down on human interaction. However, seeing the experience demo'd out I think it actually adds professionalism. If I received such a call I would be impressed, and actually view it favorably because getting a reminder is in my interest, too. Keep going!
3 points by HeyLaughingBoy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations Patrick!!! I hope the results blow your expectations out of the water.

Also, because of your blog, I discovered Twilio and it's exactly what I've needed for some ideas I've been thinking about over the last year.

3 points by user24 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well done! So now you've gone from building a successful startup in your spare time, to building another one in the spare time left over from the first one! Very impressive work, inspirational :)
2 points by marcamillion 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats Patrick. The link anchor text I used is:

>easily setup automated appointment reminders for your customers

Hope this helps. You can see my post here: http://marcgayle.com/appointment-reminder-launches-congrats-...

2 points by marilyn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congratulations Patrick!

I'm wondering, how did you put together the image with the cartoon characters? Did you have it designed? Do it yourself?

5 points by novon 2 days ago 3 replies      
Welcome to the club! ;)


2 points by scrrr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hehe. I was considering implementing exactly the same thing, but currently I am working on other projects. Anyway, I wish you luck and I'm curious to see how it works out.
1 point by saikat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on the launch. One bit of feedback - I might link the Coming Soon! text under "Enterprise" in the pricing page to some kind of e-mail collection form so you can let users know when it arrives.
1 point by aik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks great. Though, the demo seems so locked down it's hard to actually get a feel for how it'd be to use.
2 points by sahillavingia 2 days ago 0 replies      
The favicon's blue, while the website green. Sorry, minor nitpick!
1 point by cdr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Small question - why is the blog directly on the root rather than under something like /blog/? And don't you think it'd look better to post under something other than "ADMIN"?
1 point by theklub 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks really cool. I'm not sure what you know about Televox but that's what we use and I have to manage our account. Let me tell you they are very nice people but the service leaves a lot to be desired.
1 point by PStamatiou 2 days ago 1 reply      
Curious - why did you opt to launch on a Monday? Everything I've read says Monday is a bad day to launch products.
1 point by freshfey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on launching! But please consider either a. a better microphone or b. a professional speaker service. It's not that your voice is bad or so, it just sounds more professional when representing your company.
1 point by yters 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice. I like how you can eat your own dog food by using it yourself to remind and keep customers.
1 point by dminor 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like the white label idea - I think that's going to be pretty successful.
3 points by jeffiel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats Patrick, looking great!
1 point by speleding 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats on going live. It looks like http://www.supersaas.com provides much of the same functionality at a lower price though (free for small users).
1 point by maxer 2 days ago 1 reply      
love it, had an idea for the exact same service over here in ireland, would you be open to franchising it outside the US?
1 point by mkramlich 1 day ago 0 replies      
congrats and looks great!
2 points by teejae 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats Patrick!
1 point by dennyferra 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on going live and good luck!
Chromium Blog: A New Crankshaft for V8 chromium.org
237 points by twapi 1 day ago   90 comments top 14
7 points by kenjackson 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm curious to see if they broke any code, like the IE engine did recently. For example, with loop-invariant code motion, what is legal in a language like C, may not be in Javascript (for same reason the IE DCE optimization was invalid).

I'd find it hard to believe that Goog would make the same mistake after all the hullaballoo, but I'd love to see it validated.

7 points by ashot 1 day ago 2 replies      
unreal. how much theoretical headroom is left to optimize js compiler performance?

I had assumed we were reaching some theoretical upper-bound because all major frameworks were on par in terms of performance.

10 points by natmaster 1 day ago 1 reply      
"...performance of JavaScript property accesses, arithmetic operations, tight loops..."

Does this mean Crankshaft includes a tracing JIT like Firefox? This layman speak confuses me.

5 points by swannodette 1 day ago 2 replies      
It will be interesting to see how this optimization affects V8's memory profile (and how that in turn affects the currently slim memory profile of Node.js).
26 points by greattypo 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Chrome javascript engine team is simply a beast.
3 points by Splines 1 day ago 1 reply      
So - how long does it take for features to make their way into production? Am I reading the release calendar correctly in that it'll take 12 weeks from start of development to beta, and another 12 weeks from beta to stable?

It looks like Chrome 8 went stable on 12/2. So we'll see Chrome 10 in 4 months?

5 points by cosgroveb 1 day ago 1 reply      
Gmail really does seem to load in about half the time now in the Canary build.
3 points by thasmin 1 day ago 4 replies      
When Chrome was released two years ago, I noticed a significant difference in speed. Nowadays I think the announcements JavaScript performance improvements is a bit overenthusiastic. The only real world benchmark mentioned in the article is that Gmail loads 12% faster. What JavaScript apps are constrained by performance and what are Crankshaft's effects on them?
4 points by todd3834 1 day ago 4 replies      
Will this have any effect on NodeJS?
2 points by jorangreef 1 day ago 0 replies      
Next up, remove the 1.9GB max memory limit of V8 processes: http://code.google.com/p/v8/issues/detail?id=847
2 points by tsta 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've benchmarked Google Chrome 9.0.597.10 and 10.0.603.3 (with Crankshaft) and the latter is 30% faster. See the detailed results: http://dromaeo.com/?id=124912,124913
2 points by CJefferson 1 day ago 5 replies      
Has anyone got any experience using javascript/V8 as a scripting language for a C++ app? We currently use python with boost::python bindings, but are finding we have to limit the amount of python code, as it is too slow.
1 point by StuffMaster 1 day ago 2 replies      
Sounds like they borrowed the tracing idea from mozilla.
-1 point by erik_landerholm 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought someone was actually developing a new kind of crankshaft for a real V8 engine....
Plea HN: Any work?
229 points by throwaway911 4 days ago   48 comments top 25
38 points by neilk 4 days ago 2 replies      
Hey, I know you must be on an emotional rollercoaster right now, but just one question: why use a throwaway account?

You're just looking for work. There's no shame in being in this position, at least in this economy. And if you're going to refer to your reputation, why conceal your identity (which is probably already pseudonymous anyway)?

18 points by randfish 4 days ago 1 reply      
I love that this post got 50+ votes and that so many people here are stepping up. Despite some occasional negativity in the comments, HN is something special.

And throwaway - if you're not deluged with other offers, drop me a line (rand at seomoz dot org). We're a Ruby shop, but might have some opportunities.

52 points by tptacek 4 days ago 0 replies      
Mail me? Thanks!
3 points by lwhi 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can't help with work, but I can suggest some steps you can take now:

1) Ensure you communicate with your creditors. Keep them in the loop - burying your head in the sand is the absolute worst thing you can do.

2) Create a budget describing your monthly income and expenditure.

3) Work out what you can lose. If you can cancel contracts for luxuries, downgrade phone contracts etc. - do so. Reduce your monthly expenditure as much as (reasonably) possible.

3) When you realise that your income doesn't meet your reduced expenditure; prioritise your debts. Priority debts are generally the debts where defaulting will lead to homelessness or prison. Ensure you pay these first.

4) Contact the remaining creditors and start negotiating over reduced payments. You'll be surprised how many will be happy to help. Don't accept no for an answer. If your financial situation gets far worse, your creditors ultimately stand to receive nothing - remind them of this fact.

5) Consider contacting a credit counselling service, there's a lot of (free) advice that's worth investigating.

6. Realise that this is temporary - there are a lot of people who are working through similarly unfortunate circumstances. You will recover.

4 points by tibbon 4 days ago 0 replies      
Mail me. While I'm not in a position to hire, I have a good friend that often is able to hire for python-based consulting work in Django, Plone and Zope. He might be able to help, although I can't make any promises of course. Please attach your resume or github link to your email so I have something solid to send him.
9 points by jdavid 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was just asked about a python job. Where do you live?

What does your wife do? How can we help her?

7 points by iuguy 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have a Django project that might be worth discussing. Please contact me through the mail account on my profile.
5 points by asanwal 4 days ago 0 replies      
My lord - this is why I love HN and why it's unlike any other place on the web.

Just emailed you. Given the outpouring of offers, you may have found something (congrats if you have). If not, look forward to hearing from you.

3 points by eggoa 4 days ago 1 reply      
If the title of this post is intended to be analogous to "Ask HN", "Tell HN", and "Thank HN", then it should be "Plead HN". Plea is technically a noun.
(Sorry for such a nit-picky comment -- I hope you find something soon.)
8 points by alexsolo 4 days ago 3 replies      
It would be helpful if you mentioned where you are located.
14 points by cmbaus 4 days ago 1 reply      
We're looking to hire a python developer. Email me.
4 points by kmfrk 4 days ago 0 replies      
Check authenticjobs.com in your area just for good measure.
4 points by jollari 4 days ago 1 reply      
This may not be the most glamorous option, but my company is looking for a contract QA person. Someone we can hire on a project by project basis and QA our apps. The work might work for the 'nights' half of your schedule and offer a good amount of flexibility. Feel free to email me.
2 points by buro9 3 days ago 0 replies      
Are you in London, UK? If so, email me and we could have you in for a quick interview this week. Email me, the address is on my profile.
6 points by ssutch 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ever check out http://djangogigs.com/ ?
2 points by phamilton 3 days ago 0 replies      
I personally don't have anything, but I might be able to put you in contact with someone who does.

He needs a facebook app. Not exactly sure what, but a game or something that will provide some marketing.

Email is in my profile.

2 points by idlewords 4 days ago 0 replies      
I have contract work that needs doing. Email me your CV and rate.
2 points by zackattack 3 days ago 0 replies      

I need someone to add a login/user registration process to CompassionPit.com (build on pylons + cogen) as well as add a wordpress blog (i have no idea how you're going to accomplish this since the web server is "paste") but if this is something you can do, shoot me an email with an estimate

1 point by inovica 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hi there. I hope that things can be resolved quickly for you and I'm sure that there will be someone on here who has enough work to help you out, even short term. I also hope that your wife can find another job soon, to enable you to work on your startup. I've just dropped you an email also.
3 points by maxer 4 days ago 1 reply      
i need a flash designer/developer whos reliable for freelance work chris@justni.com
1 point by wazoox 3 days ago 0 replies      
Actually why not looking for a job for your wife? What is she up to? It looks like she has more available time than you at the moment.
2 points by mashingkeys 3 days ago 0 replies      
wow.. so many people stepping up to help this couple out. it's really almost tear-worthy for me to read.

best of luck to you and your wife! it seems like HN's got you covered

1 point by pconf 4 days ago 0 replies      
Your best bet IME, other than word of mouth, is to query Indeed(.com)'s job search engine using your favorite RSS reader.
2 points by known 3 days ago 0 replies      
Have you tried odesk?
-1 point by bennyk 4 days ago 1 reply      
Sorry I don't know all that lingo but I do need help fro my web site I need built. Good luck
Introducing Apache Wave googlewavedev.blogspot.com
213 points by andre3k1 2 days ago   24 comments top 10
27 points by Andrenid 2 days ago 3 replies      
As someone who used Wave intensely (all day, nearly every day) from the day I got my invite, until the day they announced it was going to die, I couldn't be happier about this.

Wave was invaluable to my daily business processes, working with people on projects that move way too fast to set up up a more structured/"proper" collaboration environment. It had pretty much completely replaced email for me at one point between me, my associates and my friends.

Can't wait to see it get a second life, and hopefully i'll be using it a lot more in the future now too. I still stand by this having potential to really change how we communicate with people.

29 points by PedroCandeias 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is great news. Wave has loads of potential, it just needs someone to take it by the hand and show it some UX love.
7 points by xtacy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am not able to find it; Google announced that they would have an exporter for the data that's presently locked-into Wave. Has there been any news about it?
7 points by huherto 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are they opening just the protocol software? Or also the UI?
8 points by dtwwtd 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm pleased that Wave will be in such able hands. It really shows that Google does care about open source when they take this much trouble to follow through on their promises.
3 points by acgourley 1 day ago 1 reply      
So who is starting a wave hosting business?
1 point by mattezell 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know that our team was happy to learn about this. Whether it will get used or not is yet to be seen. I did take a few minutes to get it compiled and running locally last night and have to say that getting basic* Wave functionality was easy on Ubuntu 10.10.

*UI and feature set is pretty light in comparison to the current state of Wave(+UI)

1 point by scrrr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I currently have a use case for wave and would like to use it. Would you recommend against it? What's the current status. When will it go offline?
1 point by te_chris 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used wave a little, but didn't really have any use for it. I always recognised the huge potential of the protocol and service nature of it, however. I'm very glad to see this happening.
1 point by hootx 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm really quite curious why Google is still investing time into wave. It seems to me that either it is a worthy endeavor (which I think it is), or it isn't (ie, it should be scraped). But I don't understand scraping it and then revitalizing it soon after. Couldn't they have done the work the Apache Foundation will do faster in-house?
Ask HN: Best book you read in 2010 and briefly why
216 points by sscheper 3 days ago   192 comments top 104
29 points by edw519 2 days ago 3 replies      
_Do More Faster_ by Techstars founders Brad Feld and David Cohen

(Apologies to OP's request for brevity; there's just a lot of good stuff that I'd like to share.)

A must read for anyone here who is serious about their startup.

I read it on the flight to Startup School to "get in the mood". I couldn't put it down.

It's easy to read for 2 reasons: every chapter is a short essay by a different person (including many Techstars alumni) and it's very well written, almost like pg essays but by lots of different people. It covers lots of ground, much of which has been covered here at hn many times, but then again, some of this stuff can't be covered too often. Also, sometimes someone says the same thing a little differently, and that's the one that actually reaches you.

My 300 page copy has 50 or 60 dog-earred pages and hundreds of red marks; it's that full of gems. (For that reason, I highly suggest buying a hard copy and keeping it on your bookshelf for future reference.)

I think that yc should come out with a similar book. I'd love to read essays from yc alumni, their advisors, and of course the yc principals themselves about what they thought was important. I realize much of this is on-line already, but there's nothing like a great hard copy too.

A few of my favorite quotes from _Do More Faster_:

"I realized that I had two options. I could quit buying comics or I could quit my job and build the iTunes of comics." - Kevin Mann

"Getting feedback and new ideas is the lifeblood of any startup. There is no point in living in fear of someone stealing your idea." - Nate Abbott and Natty Zola

"That means every moment you're working on something without it being in the public arena, it's actually dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world." - Matt Mullenweb

"Focus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful" - David Cohen

"You know you're on to something when the community starts donating money to make sure it stays alive." - Darren Crystal

"In companies that rely on having a large user base as ours does, it is very unlikely that you will offend enough people quickly enough to dampen your future growth." - Sean Corbett

"We learned that very few people care how you accomplish something. Instead, these people care more about whether you create value for your end user." - Colin Angle

"We knew that the high-level concept of our first site still really inspired us." - Alex White

"They stepped back from what they had created and thought about what they could do better than anyone else in the world." - editors

"During the first few days of every TechStars cycle, we tell the 10 bright-eyed new teams that one of them will not be together at the end of the program. Unfortunately, we have not been wrong yet." - editors

"If you can't quit no matter how hard you try, then you have a chance to succeed." - Laura Fitton

"When you ask CEOs of major companies what they're most worried about, one common answer is 'a couple of guys in a garage somewhere.'" - David Cohen

"Companies that work just always seem to move at lightning pace." - David Cohen

"It turns out that giving up your one obvious competitive advantage often proves to be deadly. If a startup can't do more faster, it usually just gets dead faster." - David Cohen

"There is an enormous difference between exciting technology and an exciting business." - Howard Diamond

"Changes come daily, weekly, and monthly - not once a quarter or once a year." - Ari Newman

"While it was only a detour of a week, that's a lot in TechStars time." - Bill Warner

"Only hope instead is to listen to their head and their heart and follow a path that they believe in, keeping some of the feedback and discarding other thoughts and ideas." - Bill Warner

"...when presented with exponential growth, remember that people tend to drastically overestimate what will happen in the short term, but will profoundly underestimate what happens over longer time spans." - Ryan McIntyre

"...consider life as a founder of a startup to be one big intelligence test." - Ryan McIntyre

"Remember that human nature has a tendency to admire complexity, but to reward simplicity." - Ben Huh

"If you are innovating, you actually don't know what your product needs to be. Furthermore, your customers don't either. No one does." - Ajay Kulkarni and Andy Cheung

"Nearly every startup must find ways to differentiate itself from competitors." - Raj Aggarwai

"What is the thing that matters most to making progress right now?" - Dick Costolo

"...you cannot create the need." - Michael Zeissner

"Opportunity cost can kill a startup." - Michael Zeissner

"It's easy to feel trapped by these handcuffs but if you change your perspective just a little, you might find that you hands are bound by nothing more than air, and the future is yours to create." - Eric Marcoullier

"There is one thing that the hundred of founders I meet each year have in common, and that is that their plan is wrong. Sometimes it's the big things, sometimes it's the little things, but the plan is always wrong." - Rob Hayes

"...we have to strike while the iron is hot! My experience is that this is rarely true." - David Brown

"Take the time to get it right and you'll find that those competitors might not be as close as you think." - David Brown

"Seeking the perfect combo: 'a smart-ass team with a kick-ass product in a big-ass market.'" - Jeff Clavier

"The moral of the story is easy: When you follow your heart, good things usually happen. We have a very short stay on this spinning orb and I believe life is way too short to be stuck in a career that doesn't fulfill you." - Mark Solon

13 points by aresant 2 days ago 3 replies      
The Alchemist

Heard about it for years, always wrote off as too esoteric but as an entrepreneur it seriously resonated and somehow made it all seem a little more manageable.


17 points by DanielBMarkham 3 days ago 0 replies      
"A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195374614?ie=UTF8&tag=...

It taught me (reminded me mostly) what kinds of attitudes I have when I am happiest and kicking ass with my projects. Over time I had somehow lost myself. This book helped me get back to the person I liked the most. I think it's also helping me do a lot better on my current startup, so it's not just a touch-feely book, it is having a lot of real, immediate, positive impact, at least to me.

14 points by portman 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Where Good Ideas Come From" by Steven Johnson

I'm fairly stubborn, so it takes a lot for me to change my ways. This book has changed my daily work routine. Johnson outlines 7 environments that have historically produced the most innovative ideas. It's easy to apply the lessons to your typical working day. Best book I've read in probably 5 years.

4-minute Teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU

TED Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0af00UcTO-c

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594487715

8 points by elptacek 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Switch" by Chip and Dan Heath. Website here: http://heathbrothers.com/switch/. I don't tend to go out of my way for self-help type books, which this may or may not be. The authors leverage a lot of research and rhetoric that was already familiar, plus some that was not. It was pleasing to learn some new vocabulary, such as "Fundamental Attribution Error" and "Ego Depletion." Since my kids were born, it has been very apparent that the better a human is at manipulating others, the more likely that human is to survive. But we tend to think of manipulating behavior as having negative connotations. "Switch" is full of stories about effecting change by manipulating behavior. Positive stories. As a parent, I found the reminder to look for positive ways to reinforce desired behavior invaluable. And, personally, I found the notion that behavior is highly attributable to environmental forces something of a relief.
14 points by daeken 2 days ago 2 replies      
"A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin: http://www.amazon.com/Game-Thrones-Song-Fire-Book/dp/0553381...

GRRM manages to create an alternate world that feels real, where characters have flaws, nothing is black and white, and the good guys don't always (or even frequently) win. By far the best book (and series) I've ever read.

12 points by fogus 2 days ago 2 replies      
Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut. I've read a ton of books in my life, but for some reason never took the plunge into Vonnegut. I was utterly awe struck by this book. I think every person has a small list of things that they wish that they had created (well, the ability to create them that is). Breakfast of Champions immediately found its way onto my list. The only problem is that such a book makes me embarrassed to have the audacity to ever put pen to paper (or fingers to M-x as it were). I'll keep trying though.
17 points by gchucky 2 days ago 4 replies      
Neal Stephenson's "Anathem". Seriously one of the best novels I've ever read. He's an excellent writer, and after about the first fifty pages I couldn't put it down.
8 points by bradly 3 days ago 3 replies      
Into Thin Air. http://www.amazon.com/Into-Thin-Air-Personal-Disaster/dp/038...

Amazing story, super inspirational, and lots of great history. My wife and I both loved this book and could not set it down.

5 points by makmanalp 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's a tie between Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan and Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.

Naked Economics was a brilliant overview of economics in that it explains all the concepts behind economics without being utterly boring (like all the other texts I've attempted to read) and has real life examples for each and every thing. Lots of revelations of how incentives work together and / or clash at times to create important results.

Predictably Irrational was a mind-changing book in that it questioned the notion that rational self interest is embedded in everyone. All the statements are backed up with either previous research or at least ad lib experiments, and I love that. None of that handwaving bullshit that I usually see in popular science (and especially psych) books.

10 points by bmcleod 2 days ago 1 reply      
Non-fiction: Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman! - I'm not sure how I'd managed to avoid reading it this long given that I already really liked Feynman and had read and watched a lot of his stuff already. It's a great book and I proceeded to inflict it on quite a few other people.

Fiction: Of Mice and Men - A tiny little book that fits in masses of content and atmosphere.

6 points by adriand 3 days ago 1 reply      
"The Player of Games" by Iain M. Banks. I love serious literature, I love non-fiction, and I love business & tech books, but I decided to give sci-fi a shot again and a friend leant me this book: wow. Fascinating, rip-roaring, mind-bending read! If you want to read something but don't want to fall asleep, I highly recommend this book.
5 points by mrduncan 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Failure is Not an Option" by Gene Kranz

An awesome look back at the space program in the 1960s.


6 points by petercooper 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seneca's On The Shortness of Life. It's extremely short and to the point on how best to spend one's life and how we have enough time to do whatever we please - I summarized/heavily quoted it at http://peterc.org/pedia/seneca-shortness-of-life/
10 points by brown9-2 2 days ago 4 replies      
"Shogun" by James Clavell.

Really great historical fiction about 16th century Japan. Quickest 1100 pages I've ever read.

7 points by johnwatson11218 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just re-read "Microserfs" and "Generation X" by Douglas Coupland. I actually read both of these years ago when they first came out. I am amazed at how prescient they were. So many themes and ideas that I had buried away were right there on the printed page. Looking back over the past decade of my own life I can see that even though I wasn't aware of it, these books had a profound influence on my dreams/ideas/aspirations.
5 points by evgen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Currently a chapter away from finishing Bill Bryson's new one, At Home. It is basically the same style and formula of A Short History of Nearly Everything but applied to a walk around his home in England. I am a sucker for a good history of science and technology and Bryson is really, really good at it.
13 points by aaronblohowiak 2 days ago 2 replies      
The Foundation trilogy, because it rekindled my interests in the relationship between determinism, humanity, choice and the succession of time.
10 points by boyter 3 days ago 1 reply      


Informative, in a space I am interested in, and im already applying the techniques. Probably something everyone on this site should read.

3 points by arvinjoar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not one book, but two graphic novels.
"Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta", Alan Moore's perspective is such a great perspective. Alan Moore tackles important philosophical questions in a really accessible medium. Alan Moore is a realist with very dramatic inclinations and all hackers will appreciate the references in his works. He combines the pretentious with the subtle in a way that will blow your mind. It's not very time-consuming to read through a graphic novel, but after reading them you will spend a lot of time processing the content in your mind, until you reread the graphic novels by Alan Moore.
4 points by ojbyrne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health

Not really the audience here (it has a very anti-libertarian message), but I found this book to be eye-opening. Basically it's about how companies create uncertainty, delay, litigate, whatever it takes to keep extremely harmful products from being made illegal (most of the methods were pioneered by the tobacco industry). I found it eye-opening.

7 points by macco 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Innovation & Entrepreneurship" by Peter F. Drucker.

A book from 1985 that makes many books discussed here on Hacker News seem obsolete ("Four steps to the epiphany", etc.).

Drucker discusses 7 sources for finding the right idea, entrepreneurial management and startup strategies.

I was really suprised how good this book was: Very insightful and fun to read.

Price was 1,93 an Amazon Germany.

Bottom line: the best book an entrepreneurship I ever read.

4 points by iuguy 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's a toss up for me between Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Ender's Game is one of those books I never got round to reading and I thought it was incredible what they put that boy through. I got the main twist a bit earlier than I should've done but it was such a good story that it didn't affect me too much. I loved the manipulation of political debate by the other children, it reminded me of Fox news for some reason.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the tale of two Afghan women, one in Kabul and one from outside. It's incredible, harrowing and keeps you in a vice-like grip from start to finish. I loved it so much I bought a copy for my Mother in Law as I kept raving about it. If you liked the Kite Runner then you'll love this (it's by the same author).

4 points by Estragon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Gandhi & Churchill: the epic rivalry that destroyed an empire and forged our age


From a HN perspective, this book is inspiring because it documents the tenacity of both of these men in the face of grinding failure.


From a personal perspective, it was eye-opening, because I have always lionized Gandhi and despised Churchill, and the rather clinical look this book takes at their lives shows both their warts and blemishes.

4 points by Jach 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh jeeze, I have to choose?

Nonfiction: QED, by Feynman. It made a large portion of quantum physics "click" for me intuitively and dispelled a bunch of popular notions about quantum physics that are just wrong.

Fiction: Probably the celebrated Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, for reasons others have stated over and again, or else Ass Goblins of Auschwitz for letting me explore an author's deliciously disturbing mind.

2 points by tptacek 2 days ago 0 replies      
It hasn't been a great year for books for me. Lots of things I found entertaining enough, nothing really stands out. Pinned down, I'd say _Game Change_, which I expected to hate (the story is getting very stale) but turned out to read like a West Wing season put to paper.

I'm trying to read more fiction and am cruising this thread for ideas. Downthread, someone suggested _Into Thin Air_ as being startup-relevant (in an entrepreneurial, building something amazing up from nothing sense), and I added _Kitchen Confidential_ to that pile. Both are nonfiction. What are some good fiction titles that resonate the same way?

7 points by Mark_B 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage" by Clifford Stoll was a great read.

The title gives away the premise of the book, but to think - it was all put into motion because of a $0.75 accounting discrepancy.

9 points by dmoney 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Baroque Cycle trilogy by Neal Stephenson was good. It took me about a year (off and on) to finish though. It's historical fiction through the eyes of a computer geek and sci-fi writer.
5 points by aik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin.

Fascinating book about the mental activity/game at peak performance, and transferring skills from old disciplines to new ones. This book helped me realize the value of interdisciplinary studies in my own personal studies and work.

7 points by nikcub 2 days ago 1 reply      
A toss between 'The Big Short' by Michael Lewis and 'Too Big To Fail' by Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Both books are about the financial crisis on Wall Street. They provide excellent insight into how smart people made very bad decisions that had repercussions around the entire world. The last time I remember getting such an insight into this important industry was Lewis' own 'Liars Poker'.

I think it is important for people to understand what went wrong with the most recent financial crisis, and these two books do an excellent job of informing us from an insiders perspective.

7 points by joe6pack 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Daemon" and "Freedom" by Daniel Saurez. Very enjoyable reads, and chock full of not-too-distant futurism. They display an enormous amount of thinking about how social networks and the massively increased availability of data about our lives are changing the ways we interact with each other. Sprinkle in mysteries that play out in both reality and MMORPGs, lots of interesting devices, and a terrifying peek at what a technology-driven global economic meltdown could look like, and you have the basis for these books.
2 points by wyclif 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Fabulous Showman: The Life and Times of P.T. Barnum by Irving Wallace http://www.amazon.com/Fabulous-Showman-Life-Times-Barnum/dp/...

Barnum was masterful at using the media of his day to promote his various business enterprises:

"I am indebted to the press of the United States for almost every dollar which I possess and for every success as an amusement manager which I have ever achieved. The very great popularity which I have attained both at home and abroad I ascribe almost entirely to the liberal and persistent use of the public journals of this country."

A great read for startup people, even though it's a biography of a 19th-century personality. Chock full of timeless advice and quotes, to whit:

"Without promotion something terrible happens... Nothing!"

"Every crowd has a silver lining."

"Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant."

"Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done."

"If I shoot at the sun I may hit a star."

3 points by etherael 3 days ago 0 replies      
Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos by Seth Lloyd.

It made me think about reality in a very novel way, and the nature of what a tautology really is, and it was extremely readable considering how cerebral it is.

3 points by Alex3917 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anatomy of an Epidemic: http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Epidemic-Bullets-Psychiatric-A...

About how there has been an enormous rise in the rates of mental illness over the last 50 years. And despite the fact that the APA says it's because we've gotten better at diagnosing mental illness, the bulk of the evidence points to the fact that psychiatric drugs are causing diseases that used to mostly get better with time to become both more severe and long lasting.

3 points by sayemm 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life", by Alice Schroeder - http://www.amazon.com/Snowball-Warren-Buffett-Business-Life/...

This is by far the best biography on the man. Alice Schroeder did an amazing job. His life story is incredibly instructive whether you're an entrepreneur or an investor. When you study Buffett's life you get a deep appreciation for the intangible qualities that define extraordinary entrepreneurs.

Best business book I've ever read, and probably will ever read. I don't say that lightly. My copy is thoroughly dog-eared, highlighted, and I turn to it over and over again.

Will teach you far more business than any MBA will -- but only if you're serious about learning, and reading through 832 pages.

10 points by flapjack 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Land of Lisp" http://landoflisp.com/

I'm not even finished with it, but it has still introduced me to Lisp, functional programming, artificial life, and web servers as well completely changed the way I program.

9 points by trptcolin 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Joy of Clojure - Michael Fogus and Chris Houser (http://www.manning.com/fogus/) Riveting look at the language and functional programming - covers edge cases, gives lots of idiomatic examples, and goes deep into the really interesting parts.
5 points by Dananjaya 2 days ago 0 replies      
"A Little History Of The World" by E.H Gombrich

From a long time I wanted to dig deeper in to the subject of human history starting from the undocumented prehistoric era. But the plethora of information available in the internet often bewilders me and I find my self thinking where to start. This book--mind you first printed in 1936--describes the story of humans from the stone age to atomic age in 40 concise chapters. It's like a reading a fiction (a good one..). This is the most comprehensive span of the human history and the most colorful and vivid account of it.. (at least comparing the history books I've read..)

7 points by dawie 2 days ago 1 reply      
Delivering Happiness

It made me think of what makes me happy and how I can help make the people around me happy, while still being entrepreneurial (which makes me happy).

3 points by baddspellar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory - by Peter Hessler

A fascinating book about everyday life in today's China. It's actually 3 books in one:
- Book 1 is an account of his driving trip along the route of the great wall from near Beijing to the Western deserts and steppes, the people he meets, and the towns he visits.
- Book 2 is an account of his experiences in the village of Sancha where he bought a house and came to know a family with dreams of setting up an inn and restaurant. Eventually the village becomes a suburb of Beijing and the family gets wealthier and wealthier, at a price.
- Book 3 is an account of his experiences in the town of Lishui, a small city on the way to becoming a major manufacturing center. The focus is on a couple of entrepreneurs who set up a factory that makes bra rings.

Besides the excellent writing style, what I liked about this book is that it focused on ordinary people and their hopes and dreams. It was impossible to avoid mentioning corruption of small time party leaders, but it didn't dwell on them. It was the first book about China I've read that didn't make the country seem like a dark menace or an unstoppable economic dynamo.

4 points by bootload 2 days ago 0 replies      
"White Fang", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_London

Klondike "like" experience, forges determination.

4 points by mindcrime 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The Four Steps To The Epiphany" - Steve Blank.

Because it opened my eyes to a whole new world in terms of understanding customer development and the "market definition" side of things. And, coming from a background as a hacker, not a sales/biz-dev guy, that's exactly what I needed.

3 points by dcaldwell 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a random one
R.G. LeTourneau: Mover of Men and Mountains

It's an autobiography of the businessman and inventor who basically created the industry of large scale earth moving equipment before, during, and after the Great Depression. "What does this have to do with tech stuff?" you may ask. I read this book right after re-reading Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham. LeTourneau utilizes many of the business principles that Paul Graham espouses in his book. Additionally, LeTourneau was a true hacker before computer hackers were around - he just hacked tractors. I highly recommend this book. One thing that many may not like is that his machines destroyed rainforests. Being from a different generation, he saw this as taking unproductive jungle and making it productive. Not a view many of us would take in this day in time as we've seen the consequences. LeTourneau was a Christian and he does talk about his faith a good bit in the book. Even if that's not your thing, I still think you'll enjoy the book and be surprised at the similarities between his makeup and the makeup of a modern hacker

2 points by rdl 2 days ago 0 replies      
SSI Open Water Diver. Not because the book is particularly (or at all) well written, but because it was my entry into an amazing hobby -- SCUBA diving. It's an enjoyable activity on its own, and the training model for SCUBA is actually a good way to teach a lot of things to consumers (a VC friend who just picked up diving too believes this as well).

For actual book as book, probably "First In; How Seven CIA Officers Opened the War on Terror in Afghanistan" by Gary Schroen. They basically went in with $30mm or so and an old helicopter, 2 SF ODAs, and accomplished most of the good accomplished to date in Afghanistan within 2 months.

For fiction, I'd love to say Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, but it's just too fucking long. He needs an editor; I'm on book 3. For unexpectedly awesome, Suarez's Daemon and Freedom.

6 points by panarky 2 days ago 1 reply      
_Shantaram_ by Greg Roberts

Violent criminal escapes from prison in Australia, travels to Mumbai on a forged passport, learns Hindi and Marathi, lives for years in a slum, fights with the mujahideen in Afghanistan, becomes a gangster, learns about life, love and honor in the process.

Not only is it a great story, but it's about a self-made man surviving by hacking languages, cultures and business. I read it as an allegory of entrepreneurship.

2 points by shin_lao 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Never had a chance to read it and now I think it's one of the most brilliant book I ever red.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Metamorphosis major spoilers)

4 points by llimllib 3 days ago 1 reply      
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nobokov.

Superb meta-literature.

5 points by justinmares 2 days ago 0 replies      
Linchpin by Seth Godin.

What Made this so valuable to me was that it introduced for the first time the concept of what Seth calls the "Resistance", the part of the brain that prevents you from taking risks and putting yourself on the line. I also love it for introducing me to The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Since reading those books I have been much better at doing important work that actually matters without putting it off or making excuses.

4 points by wmeddie 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices" By Peter Drucker

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0887306152

In Japan the book “What if the Female Manager of a High-School Baseball Team read Drucker's ‘Management'" (By Iwasaki Natsumi) is incredibly popular. So I decided to read the original Drucker book and see for myself. Drucker's historical perspective by itself is interesting enough to warrant checking this book out. Although the advice is more focused on management in large companies, I think it lays a good foundation for those of us lacking MBAs.

1 point by Luc 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Energy, the Subtle Concept", a great overview of the history and physics of energy that doesn't avoid equations: http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Subtle-Concept-discovery-Feynma...

"The Four Steps to the Epiphany" needs no introduction. The first couple of chapters really drove home some mistakes I have made in past projects.

2 points by DeusExMachina 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Against Love: a polemic", by Laura Kipnis.

The title is a little misleading, since the book is not against love per se, but speaks about coupledom. It does not want to give answers, but only ask questions and it's a good book to think about our love affairs.

3 points by middlegeek 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reworked by the 37Signals guys.

It fit with what I needed at the time. It gave me some great new ideas and confirmed others I had already been both coming up with on my own and brewing from others around me. I will probably re-read it again soon.

1 point by zzzmarcus 2 days ago 0 replies      
The book that caused the most external change in my life was Crash Proof 2.0 by Peter Schiff. I've been concerned about the economy and what its direction means for me, my family and my assets, but uncertain of what to do about it. Crash Proof is a practical and pragmatic approach to understanding and preparing for what Schiff predicts to be a virtual meltdown of the US Dollar.

The books that caused me the most mental change were the three volumes of the Gulag Archipelago. It's a harrowing real-life, incredibly human, insightful story of Solzhenitsyn's experience in the Soviet prison camps during and after Stalin in Russia. A real life page turner.

4 points by GlennFarrant 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The Four Steps to the Epiphany" by Steve Blank
For me it made the prospect of running a startup much more real. It gave a good grounding in the various phases you'll go through and the challenges and priorites in each. It gives clear actionable advice at every step.
For someone from a technical background or for those up at bat for the first time (both attributes describe me), I reckon it's indispensible. I carry my copy in my bag wherever I go.
2 points by dschobel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Atlas Shrugged

Mediocre novel, tremendous ideas. The prose is a slog but worth it.


6 points by gordonc 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Black Swan (unrelated to the Natalie Portman movie)

A great look behind some of the pseudo-science and psychological principles behind decision-making, rationality, and markets.

4 points by jayzee 3 days ago 0 replies      
Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure by Jerry Kaplan

Jerry started "GO," the company that was the first to bring to market "pen computing." His company raised over 75M and spent it all on a product that the market did not want. It is a great read. A time before the concept of "product/market" fit had entered main-stream vocabulary

4 points by sgallant 2 days ago 1 reply      
Pillars of the Earth. It's a historical fiction novel by Ken Follett about the building of a cathedral in 12th century England. Brilliant book.


3 points by roustem 3 days ago 0 replies      
Delivering Happiness is great. I loved it too.

The best book of 2010 for me
"Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall:

There are so many great things about this book. It has an amazing story and also delivers a message why humans were born to run.

3 points by mmaro 3 days ago 0 replies      
Gokhale's 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, via http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1739607 thanks, HN). It's not the best presentation or the best science, but it has ended my back pain and given me awareness of my body. Anyone who sits with a curved back or occasionally lifts heavy objects should read it.


2 points by thecoffman 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Masters of Doom" by David Kushner

It'd been on my list for quite awhile but I just got around to it a few months ago. It was fascinating to read about all the games I'd played growing up. For those who haven't read it - it covers pretty much the birth of the gaming industry as we know it today not just Doom. It goes all the way back to when Romero was writing games and sending them in to magazines to be included on disks. Carmack has always been an icon for me so it was interesting to read about him on a more personal level.

In addition to the interest factor - it was also quite inspiring to me. It certainly increased my drive to get stuff done. If the early history of PC gaming interests you at all; or you just want to read a page turner of a book about people not that dissimilar from you I'd highly recommend it.

2 points by whatrocks 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Little, Big" by John Crowley, a fantasy novel about several generations of a family connected to a hidden world of magic within our world. Could not be less like Harry Potter (even though I'm also a fan of that series). People who appreciate the sentiment that "cellar-door" might be the most beautiful word in the English language would enjoy the experience of reading this book - the only way I can describe it is that I literally wanted to eat the text I was reading. For example, character names include 'Daily Alice' Drinkwater, Grandfather Trout, and Smoky Barnable. People obsessed with typography or copy would probably enjoy this book because Crowley seems to always pick the 'perfect' word or phrase. Outside validation - "Little, Big" appears in Harold Bloom's well-regarded Western Canon.
4 points by mike_esspe 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Programming in Scala" by Martin Odersky, Lex Spoon, Bill Venners.

Very easy read, explains a lot of functional programming concepts. This book made me a fan of Scala and functional programming.

1 point by loumf 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Different" by Youngme Moon. This book was given out at the Business of Software 2010 conference, and she also spoke there. It's basically a call to arms for meaningful differentiation with organized business case studies of companies that have achieved it.


2 points by joshfinnie 3 days ago 1 reply      
My choice: Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

I was actually very surprised on how insightful this book was. It is a great look into the inner mind of a prolific writer and the anguish he felt by in genius.

2 points by ThomPete 2 days ago 0 replies      
I must say The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell


If you think this talk http://g4tv.com/videos/44277/DICE-2010-Design-Outside-the-Bo...

is good you should really read the book. Great stuff.

5 points by kore 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm getting great value out of this list.

Can anybody recommend a book that has helped them become a more productive and efficient developer?

2 points by giardini 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The Big Book of Concepts" by Gregory Murphy.

Killed off completely any remaining hope I had that artificial intelligence would be achieved via formal logical methods.

This was probably a good thing: can't say I didn't have some idea that it was coming but I didn't see the headlights until I read the book!8-)

1 point by ANH 2 days ago 1 reply      
The eight books of the House of Niccolo series by Dorothy Dunnett. Swashbuckling 15th-century entrepreneurship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_Niccol%C3%B2

And once you've finished that, there's a sequel series (actually written before the House of Niccolo): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymond_Chronicles

3 points by spacemanaki 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think you mean Tony Hsieh?

I haven't finished it, but the Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs was by far my favorite book that I've been reading this year. It really opened my eyes to a lot of new ideas, as it apparently has for so many other people.

1 point by pmichaud 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Finite and Infinite Games" - James Carse



4 points by cscheid 2 days ago 1 reply      
Andrew Hodges's biography of Turing, "Enigma", easily. Although "Profiles of the Future" by Arthur Clarke was also surprisingly good.
2 points by danielford 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel Willingham. It's primarily aimed at educators; if that's not your career path you'll find it less useful. So much of education consists of untested fads that it was a relief to see a social scientist go through the evidence of what works and what doesn't. Among other things, Willingham completely demolishes learning styles.

It's easily the best book on teaching I've ever read, and it will have a strong influence on how I structure my classes in the coming semester.

2 points by yewweitan 2 days ago 0 replies      
'The Master Switch' by Tim Wu, because it gave me an added perspective on how History shapes present Information Empires
2 points by cafard 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dunno. Maybe _The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet_, by Thomas Mitchell, a novel set in the Dutch trading post at Nagasaki, ca. 1800. Maybe de Tocquivelle's _Souvenirs_ (of the revolution of 1848)--but that I am re-reading. Maybe the NYRB edition of Thoreau's journals, but was that this year?
1 point by medianama 2 days ago 0 replies      
5 points by pathik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Founders at Work

The Big Short

1 point by danparsonson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am a strange loop by Douglas Hofstadter - fascinating exercise in 'thinking about thinking' that radically changed my perspective on the concept of 'self'. Lots of mathsy and techy overtones, great stuff.
1 point by rmanocha 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just got done reading "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis. Well written, does a good job explaining what bond traders were doing before 2008 and why this downturn started. Well worth the read, IMO (I was recommended the book by a hedge fund manager when I met him at my school).
2 points by ramkalari 2 days ago 0 replies      
Work Hard Be Nice. It helped me understand how tough it is to bring about change at the grassroots level and why one needs to make a lifelong commitment to such causes.
1 point by pwpwp 2 days ago 0 replies      
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, because he shows that there's writing after Dostoyevsky, and because he probably was a hacker.
1 point by 3ds 2 days ago 0 replies      
Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer

Exceptional book about the environmental, social and individual costs of industrial animal farming. Also somewhat philosophical about consuming animals and cruelty against them.


2 points by anigbrowl 2 days ago 0 replies      
How Judges Think by (judge) Richard Posner. Could also have been titled 'How things work.'
2 points by pramit 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Success Manual http://thesuccessmanual.bighow.com - Contains concise summaries of 200+ most useful business and self-help books of all time.
1 point by gsk 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Art of Travel by Francis Galton (1872) http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14681

Captures human ingenuity brilliantly. A timeless book that makes me look at _everything_ with an eye to make it better. A must read for any hacker of any persuasion.

2 points by SupremumLimit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. It's full of ideas about meaning of life, happiness and spirituality and it's one of a few books that made me think differently about life.
1 point by mikecarlucci 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Ridiculous Race
Steve Hely & Vali Chandrasekaran

Two friends challenge each other to an old fashioned race around the world with one caveat: no airplanes. Starting from the first page hilarity ensues as the two try to outdo, outthink and out race while experiencing as much as they can at the same time.

1 point by lancewiggs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Where wizards stayed up late - Matthew Lyon, Katie Hafner: The beginning of the internet. Plenty of history and lessons

The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins. Young adult fiction that reads fast but makes you think.

Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough - Lori Gottlieb: Amusing book, easy read and aimed at women, but has some good insights on why we fail to get married before it's too late.

I love that I was able to scroll through pages on Amazon to check (most of) the books I read this year.

1 point by adamc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Book: Straight Man, by Richard Russo
Why? It was funny. Might appeal more to those of us who have experienced academia.
1 point by visakhcr 2 days ago 0 replies      
The best book I read was a work of fiction.
"The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day" by Elie Wiesel.

Elie Wiesel is a Nobel peace prize winner and he is a survivor of The Holocaust. The short novel Night, talks about his experiences in the concentration camp. The Dawn and Day are fictional works by him .


2 points by Geoooorge 2 days ago 0 replies      
"The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Take time to walk slowly and think deeply. Walk slow enough to forget that you're actually walking.

1 point by wlievens 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Commonwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton.
1 point by mg74 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cosmos by John North.

This book is just threatening to be a masterpiece. An overview of mans scientific ideas about the stars and the planets and the cosmos in general from before Ptolemy to Einstein and modern times. Absolutely epic in scope. This book is to the history of astronomy like "The Prize" is to the history of oil, only bigger.

1 point by jorkos 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Reluctant Genuis" (biography of Alexander Graham Bell) - a must read to better understand the context in which the phone was invented, and the tremendous impact it had as a technology; the story of an amazing inventor, period.
1 point by dheerosaur 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger because of the Holden Caulfield in me who couldn't tolerate all the phoniness around.

Also enjoyed The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel. After reading about Hardy in this book, I have read "A Mathematician's Apology" which was excellent too.

1 point by pacomerh 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Wealthy Freelancer

It's full of realistic ideas you can apply to your freelancer career, and no BS about becoming a trillioner in an x amount of time. Its actually stuff that can put to work now as you read it, so it worked as a manual for me.

1 point by rblion 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas

This book is a new cosmology for a new age of civilization. Couldn't stop reading and it expanded my cosmic view.

1 point by ashitvora 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Delivering Happiness" and "Getting Real".
1 point by dm3 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Financier" by T.Dreiser and "Martin Eden" by J.London.
Some of the best books you'll ever read about character development. Definitely read the latter one if you're in your early 20-ies.
2 points by syamkris 2 days ago 0 replies      
I liked Delivering Happiness too - a great book.

For me "How We Decide" has been the best book of the year as it gave me quite some insights into human brain works and how to deal with different situations.

1 point by snow_mac 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is God really like by Craig Groeshell or Alien Encounters by Chuck Missler
1 point by pmorrisonfl 2 days ago 0 replies      
These are old, but I got a lot this year out of 'Dynamics of Software Development', McCarthy and 'Working Effectively with Legacy Software', Feathers.
0 points by Void_ 2 days ago 0 replies      

Some things are exaggerated. That's what I like about it.

1 point by sydd 2 days ago 0 replies      
from Cortázar Blow-up and Other Stories.
Yesterday I had this crazy idea: People pay me $15, I make them a web design (designfor15bucks.com
203 points by TheCoreh 11 hours ago   148 comments top 47
67 points by Sukotto 10 hours ago 4 replies      

  You allow me to put a screenshot of the design
on this page; ($5 extra if you don't)

You could reword that clause so your clients feel they're getting something valuable for their $5.

  Please note that I post all designs to my public
portfolio and this website. If you need the design
to stay secret, it only costs $5 more

Or you could invert your pricing. So you start off as "designfor20bucks" and offer a $5 discount if you can add the image to your public portfolio and post it on the site. People generally feel better about getting a deal than getting hit with extra costs unexpectedly.

21 points by swombat 11 hours ago replies      
Assuming it takes you at least 1-2 hours per design (and even with mad photoshop skillz it's unlikely it'd be much shorter than that), you're probably better off getting an office job somewhere, or even maybe a burger-flipping job. Given all the additional expenses of running your own business, this is probably not a viable business model (i.e. you will lose money on the whole).

The only way this would be justified is if you use this as a source of clients to up-sell more expensive work to.

28 points by hoop 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a design store, you see designfor15bucks.com sittin' there, there's designfor14bucks.com right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?

Ted: I would go for the 14.

Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. designfor14bucks.com. And we guarantee just as good a design as the designfor15bucks.com folk.

Ted: You guarantee it? That's - how do you do that?

Hitchhiker: If you're not happy with the first 14 bucks of design, we're gonna send you the extra dollar of design free. You see? That's it. That's our motto. That's where we're comin' from. That's from "A" to "B".

Ted: That's right. That's - that's good. That's good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with designfor13bucks.com. Then you're in trouble, huh?

9 points by jasonmcalacanis 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is Genius.

You should only do one a day, and if someone wants to jump the line they can big higher than $15!!!

I'm going to put the Launch conference www.launch.is/conference and ThisWeekIn.com up for $50 each right now. $100 is no risk... if you have one good idea in each design it would be worth it.

i love this idea!

9 points by tlrobinson 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Not a bad idea if you can make the numbers work.

One variation would be to charge $15 per iteration. The first one might take you 2 hours, but each additional iteration might only take 15 minutes, in which case it becomes more economical.

26 points by revorad 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Instead of penalising the customer($5) for not listing their design, offer it as a discount for listing their site. So, base cost $20, but with listing only $15!
6 points by acangiano 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Somebody delivering the same service, but including HTML/CSS, could easily charge $150 and have more customers than they could possibly handle.
6 points by wccrawford 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I just started a new blog and wanted a nice design for it. $15 is definitely a good price, if it's a decent design. (Note that I said 'decent' and not 'outstanding'. I know what design is really worth.)

But without some samples, it feels like I'm just throwing away $15.

8 points by lhorie 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Initial thoughts:

- the linked images have blue borders around them, look ugly

- you could put a couple of samples up if a design costs just $15 worth of your time

- I hope you don't live in North America or Europe, otherwise, you're undercharging.

1 point by run4yourlives 1 hour ago 0 replies      
He doesn't say anything about the design being unique. Odds are he'll make 50 templates at a loss and just reuse them.

Eventually, he turns a profit with an automated muse and everyone is happy.

2 points by Cushman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice! Do you want to tell us something about your background? I'm thinking a lot of people will see this as absurd, but if you're not spending too long on each individual design, $10-15 and hour is great money for a student or hobbyist, especially since you're developing a marketable skill at the same time.

Also, the #1 recommendation here is gonna be to put something up under "latest designs", even if you haven't had any clients yet. The first customer is the hardest, and you can help that along by putting a few coins in the proverbial hat yourself. (Although I realize the site itself is an example of your design :)

5 points by snorkel 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I bounced out immediately due to lack of Latest Design samples. I get the concept, like it, but gotta have examples.
1 point by yosho 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just a thought, you can consider teaching design which allows you to meet customers and give back to the community. http://skyara.com shameless self plug :
5 points by jeffclark 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Just out of curiosity: why did you buy the designfor15bucks.com domain and STILL setup a gmail account for contact?

Related: http://www.google.com/a

4 points by RyanMcGreal 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Is the "Hire my services now" button supposed to have a 2px blue border around it?
6 points by Staydecent 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm wondering, as I'm not making any money (devoting time to a startup idea) right now, if anyone would be interested in a similar service for the markup?

I'm really quite good and would charge $15/page. I can offer impressive turn around times and even CMS(WordPress) integration for an additional flat-fee($250?).

2 points by tlrobinson 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I just came across this site, which lets people sell their services for $5: http://www.fiverr.com/
4 points by coffeeaddicted 10 hours ago 3 replies      
As psd file - so I would have to spend another few hundred $ to get a legal Photoshop to watch it?
1 point by dpcan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Everyone watch as this fellow goes from zero to burn-out faster than any web designer ever.
2 points by Maro 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Right now it says "Latest designs: COMING SOON". Put up a template or something!

Also, charge $30.

If the sample designs are actually somewhat good, $30 is worth the gamble, maybe $40-50. I'd probably pay $30. But I'd need to see at least 2-3 references/samples/templates.

1 point by cloudhead 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Indeed, a crazy idea. Considering any decent design would take at least 3 hours of work, you'd be making $5/hour.

To make it worthwhile for you, you'd have to spend at most 1h per design, in which case it wouldn't be worth the $15 for the client, or a spot on your portfolio.

1 point by alinajaf 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't understand why so many replies assume that this was intended to be long-term, sustainable business model. It's a brilliant marketing exercise, nothing more, nothing less.
3 points by oogali 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Uhm, how about you team up with one of the many PSD-to-HTML services and do it soup-to-nuts, or at least get referral compensation from said services?
6 points by bee 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I need a logo for my website, do you also make logos for $15?
2 points by mikegreenberg 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you guys are looking at this all wrong. This isn't $15 for a complete and polished design. This is $15 for Marco's inspiration and thoughts being invested into my product! $15 is nothing to lose out on if it falls on its face, but imagine the benefit you could be missing had you not tried?
1 point by NxguiGui 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thats why i quit making colorful pictures for "blind" people with small pockets long time ago.
Time (effort spend) to return (money) equation is terrible.
Its shameful that todays perception on web design is PSD layered file.
Web design is a process of communication of an idea/marketing concept to a consumer.
Web design is UX thinking.
Web design is UI doing.
Web design is a illustration.

I don't see how the Client will perceive this low price PSD oriented service with less expectations.
The price is so low that its not serious, it's a joke.


Make some sassy layouts, put them online in portfolio section. Than put up your price per hour.
Give a client full service, feedback, comments on their ideas, professional advice etc.

Value in web design is not in pictures. It is in successful conceptualization of your professional view on clients problems.

Years ago i stop offering cool pictures, and start learning more about technology in front-end (html.css.js), UX, marketing, communication with customer and now i perceive the web design process as a whole of many valuable parts.

If you are in desperate position, do some freelancing or get a routine job and invest in your self in your spare time:))

2 points by seanMeverett 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Great concept, love the branding, and love the marketing built into the concept. Not a lot of fluff on the page, just the necessities. And once you get busier and have a portfolio, you can start charging more, more, and more until you're getting a good return on your time.

Helluva business model, love the thought that went into it. If there's anyway I can help, let me know. Tweeting commencing right....meow!

1 point by Luyt 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish I could do this for application prototypes. But from experience I know that prototypes can take much more time than $15 justifies. Or maybe I could just accept the ideas which interest me. Hmmmm....
2 points by mgkimsal 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Closed already - dang it - was going to send in a request :(
1 point by byoung2 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Where are you located? $15 doesn't sound like a lot of money for what could take about an hour of work (simple 1 page design). Unless you live in a country where money goes farther, or you can do designs much faster than 1 hour? Will this be profitable?

EDIT: I see that you are in Brazil, and a quick Googling shows that web designers make $4-$8

1 point by indiejade 10 hours ago 1 reply      
A couple weeks ago I built http://www.hackeress.com with the crowdspring / 99Designs clientèle in mind (who seems to be your audience).

You could expand your site and add a section for designers who specialize in the code-writing aspect of design. Just a thought.

EDIT: Fixed. I'm still working on the site's content; got busy over the holiday. But the design of the site is done, as are the custom 404 error pages. :)

4 points by ladon86 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It is crazy. I really think you should charge more.
1 point by grandalf 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks great. I'd like to submit a few designs, so please re-accept submissions. As long as they're done within a week or two that's fine.
3 points by winternett 9 hours ago 1 reply      
A PSD file does not a web design make.
1 point by findm 11 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're doing the designs yourself you're doing yourself a great disservice by charging so little.

Often times most people assume they have an endless well of creativity in them but in actually its a feast and famine scenario. Assuming you want to do this full-time you will burn out eventually.

1 point by Malcx 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I know you're not taking any more design requests at the moment - but could you put a reminder form on your site that emails when you are? By Monday I'll have forgotton all about you.
1 point by fido 5 hours ago 0 replies      
viral/discount/link juice - Offer a $5 discount for anyone who tweets/blogs your site
1 point by spoiledtechie 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Love the Idea. I know for my few websites I have, I would be willing to spend the $15.00...
1 point by frazerb 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I like. I'm sure you are at least three times as good as this alternative, but I have enjoyed using a few different (similar) $5 services from fiverr: http://www.fiverr.com/
0 points by wmeredith 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd really like to see the quality of these designs. I sure they'll reflect the price.
1 point by rkalla 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Great idea, good marketing. Hope this does well for you.
1 point by forcer 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Just ordered design and looking forward for the outcome in 2 days :)
1 point by NHQ 6 hours ago 0 replies      
HN, I will make your psd into html/css and even javascript for $200.
1 point by jorisvoorn 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, as you said, you had "this crazy idea"
sounds crazy indeed!

Hope to see some designs in the lastest section ;)

1 point by zimro 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Good job, I think that it is a good way to earn some bucks while gathering experience.
0 points by tropin 9 hours ago 1 reply      
How do you convert the PSD files into HTML & CSS? Does Photoshop have an option for it or what?
-3 points by marknutter 11 hours ago 1 reply      
HN, yesterday I had this crazy idea: People pay me $100 and I build them a car.
AeroFS - Unlimited P2P File Sync aerofs.com
198 points by makeramen 2 days ago   56 comments top 16
26 points by yurisagalov 2 days ago 7 replies      
well this is an unexpected but pleasant surprise :)

I suppose this is a good opportunity to let you guys know that the project IS very much alive and kicking still, and we've just released a new set of invites today (which I suppose is why we got posted to HN today, thanks!)

We've been very busy with coding and work, which is why we haven't really been updating the blog, but if you have any questions I'll be happy to continue answering them here

edit: FYI, the original discussion is at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1538731

8 points by nuclear_eclipse 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is still in invite-only phase, and while I do have an account, I'm not actively using it yet for my primary files because there are still some features it lacks over Dropbox, namely:

* can't choose where local files are cached, it assumes where you want them

* no way to back up more than 1G to their "cloud", ie, no paid plans yet, which I would really like to have at least for my most unreplaceable files

* no way to share individual directories with other users, you must share entire "libraries" as they call them, which are basically top-level folders on your aerofs drive

* no way to make files publicly available for download

Other than those points, I think the service is a fantastic idea, and I do eagerly look forward to being able to switch from Dropbox for my photos, documents, etc. However, the above limitations mean that I can really only use it for a few extra things that I don't have room for on my Dropbox account, eg, music.

4 points by mgunes 2 days ago 0 replies      
How will you be licensing and pricing it once it reaches 1.0? Any plans for making it available under a free software license, dual or otherwise? I know quite a few people who'd be inclined to pay for and contribute to a solution of the kind you provide and Dropbox and Ubuntu One don't (very decentralized, secure, fast, works local-only) with the condition that it's free-as-in-freedom.
3 points by davidu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been waiting for someone to create this.

Since libTorrent was released, I figured someone would do something like this. No idea if Aero is using libTorrent, but the idea was a natural evolution.

This looks well executed, thanks. Can't wait to see the next steps.

5 points by evo_9 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting/cool product.

One thing that threw me off - the term 'Aero' (for me) implied Windows only... No real easy solution there as I don't expect (or even think you need) to change the name, but maybe adding something like 'cross-platforming file sync without servers'.

Awesome none-the-less though!

3 points by Ixiaus 2 days ago 2 replies      
SSH and rsync? Or even better, use hg/bzr/git to maintain a version history of the files and then just sync across devices (it's uber easy with Mercurial, not sure about the other two). I personally use the latter (Mercurial).
1 point by urza 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using Wuala for last 2 years, and I am very happy.. I sotre there all my important data.. private documents, projects and stuff I want to share.. all my data is encypted and reduntantly stored in the web and peers, atomatic sync, sharing, p2p.. its even better than dropbox because I can trade space so I have about 10 GB for free and my data si truly encrypted so even the provider cant acces them.


4 points by ch 2 days ago 1 reply      
According to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_size#Asymmetric_algorithm_k..., their choice in using 1024 bit keys might be a bit short-sighted.
3 points by trotsky 2 days ago 1 reply      
even behind your pesky office firewall

Curious - can you sync between two such locations (nat/default deny/no udp)? i.e. will you bounce connections through your host or does one side have to open an inbound port?

1 point by alnayyir 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there a way I can use this to replace Unison, which I lean heavily on but am unhappy with?


3 points by phlux 2 days ago 1 reply      
What will your TOS be - what if something like a Wikileaks mirror is done across your system?
2 points by palewery 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hate to say it but I would use this if my peers were just my Facebook friends. not that I don't trust 1024 bit encryption, I just don't like my info on strangers boxes even thought it is encrypted
3 points by Sephr 2 days ago 1 reply      
How is this different from Wuala?
1 point by rb2k_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember talking to one of the devs some months ago when first signing up. Fun guy, great product.

It's a shame that I never got an invite, can't wait to get my hands on this :)

3 points by grok2 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is my disk space on used to store data for others in the p2p network?
1 point by TheAmazingIdiot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love the top image. Check out the file "How to earn HN karma"

I think you found out :)

Captain Crunch needs your help savingcaptaincrunch.com
192 points by andrew_k 3 days ago   73 comments top 11
29 points by ericlavigne 3 days ago replies      
There's no mention of this on John Draper's personal website or MySpace page. How do we know this message is from John Draper?



(Found webcrunchers via Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Draper and found MySpace via webcrunchers.)

30 points by weeksie 3 days ago 1 reply      
The US healthcare system never fails to shock and horrify me. I am so thankful for my dual citizenship every time I hear a story like this. Pathetic and sad.
8 points by sandofsky 3 days ago 2 replies      
There are barely visible links at the bottom of the page for "Shop the Best Verizon Wireless Deals" and "Thanks to Top CD Rates, Bank Rates and Bad Credit".

Nobody can verify the affiliation with John Draper.

I suspect this is a both a scam and black hat SEO.

7 points by frou_dh 3 days ago 3 replies      
The last few times he came up on HN I'm sure there were several accounts of him being accomplished but not a particularly nice person. I have no idea. Can that be balanced out?
7 points by sgt 3 days ago 2 replies      
USD 6000 + 2000? I don't want to seem insensitive, but a guy with Crunch's talent should easily be able to make the payments. He could take it across several years if he wanted to.

(Or he should have just gotten medical insurance in the first place, although I've heard some nasty things about private health insurance in America.)

6 points by eps 3 days ago 0 replies      
FWIW the 10K number is about right. The average cost of removing spinal hernia in Mayo clinic is 11K as of a year ago, and I expect his case to be similar. That's covering the whole stay, and excluding any follow-up physio.

However the site does look fishy... or if CC in fact can't afford a 10k expense, then things are just plain sad :|

15 points by thebooktocome 3 days ago 3 replies      
Hugged into submission by an overzealous fan?



4 points by jdcrunchman 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have been inundated with an amazing response, I know I need to update "webcrunchers.com", My "wiki", and my Facebook page. But due to my lack of being able to type at normal speed, I'm forced to use Mac Speech Dictate, which breaks when I get a skype call, or type with my thumbs. I can use a few more volunteers...
7 points by ayb 3 days ago 1 reply      
Could they have added any more self promotional links at the bottom?
4 points by aroon 3 days ago 2 replies      
Being such a skilled programmer, one would think he could get a loan for a measly 10k and be able to easily pay it back with the kind of salaries we're paid these days...
0 points by bluesnowmonkey 3 days ago 0 replies      
Who are the engineers that built the systems he broke into? How is their health these days?
Amazon Route 53 - A New DNS Service from AWS amazon.com
189 points by base 2 days ago   171 comments top 36
49 points by jacquesm 2 days ago replies      
Amazon got a lot less interesting in the last couple of weeks, I hear they will take down your site without so much as a warrant.
15 points by TomOfTTB 2 days ago 1 reply      
As someone who uses Nettica for Dynamaic DNS (which this seems to be targeting) I think it's great that Amazon is creating some competition in this area. Not enough web developers consider Dynamic, programmable DNS and that's a shame because I think it's a must. I monitor every site I have from an external location and if there's ever a host outage I have the DNS re-routed to a backup host within 10 minutes (it doesn't always propagate as quickly as I like but there's little that can be done about that)

I'm happy with Nettica but Amazon's offering will draw attention to this important point. Plus competition leads to more features, better service and so on.

64 points by there 2 days ago 1 reply      
if anyone is wondering about the name, 53 is the port that dns operates over.
14 points by tomstuart 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's hoping that this is the first step towards making ELB actually usable -- i.e. dropping the requirement that you must point a CNAME at the ELB hostname, which prevents you from using a zone's root record (you can balance www.foo.com but not foo.com). To wit:

In the future, we plan to add additional integration features such as the ability to automatically tie your Amazon Elastic Load Balancer instances to a DNS name

As demonstrated by https://forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.jspa?threadID=32044, lots of people want this.

21 points by RyanGWU82 2 days ago 3 replies      
Very interesting. We currently use DNS Made Easy but I see two huge advantages to Route 53:

1. It's API-driven, so we can modify our DNS entries programmatically. You can't do that with DNS Made Easy. (They've been "planning to implement an API in the future" for a long time now.)

2. At our scale, it's exactly 1/4th the cost of DNS Made Easy. That'll be a nice chunk of change. Plus, like other AWS services, you only pay for the number of queries that you actually use.

12 points by mgkimsal 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's no mention of IPv6 support. Given the situation that IPv4 addresses will be running out shortly, it'd be nice to see some acknowledgment of forward-thinking IPv6 plans.

edit: sorry to be so out of step - I guess I should have tied wikileaks to ipv6 to fit in with the rest of the comments.

6 points by kmfrk 2 days ago 2 replies      
Say what you want about the whole Wikileaks affair, but regardless of where you stand, Amazon's sense of timing seems really bad. Couldn't they at least have waited a week after they declined to host Wikileaks?

People will undoubtedly tie the two things together, and Wikileaks supporters will make a big effort to point out Amazon's recent misstep.

I would probably have waited just a couple of days or weeks before this recent event was out of most people's minds.

6 points by gfodor 2 days ago 1 reply      
A big reason this is important is that it's a stepping stone to location based DNS routing. That'd be the very last showstopper for some deployments being exclusively AWS.
15 points by rosejn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Routing traffic to wikileaks would have been a perfect demonstration of this new system. Instead they decided to show how much they respect freedom of speech.

And tptacek, yes we should speak about wikileaks when discussing Amazon, from now on. This isn't a fanboy site, this is a place to discuss the real ramifications of a company's actions.

14 points by 619Cloud 2 days ago 4 replies      
Does anybody else think $1/Mo a zone/domain is high? Sure its nice that a million queries is only going to run you $0.50, but I suspect most people have a lot of domains, but little queries. Makes sense if you have a single domain, that gets a boat load of DNS requests, but if you have a lot of domains, with very little requests, its not cost effective.
6 points by rmoriz 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you like AWS or not: It's not a good idea to have everything in one account.

It's a single point of failiure anway and you want to distribute your core infrastructure between different parties. It's cool to run a DNS by AWS but not cool if you don't have mirrors/secondary nameservers, too.

3 points by j_baker 2 days ago 1 reply      
"It is designed to give developers and businesses a reliable and cost effective way to route end users to Internet applications by translating human readable names like www.example.com into the numeric IP addresses like that computers use to connect to each other."

Maybe this isn't a big deal, but wouldn't someone who needs a DNS service either already know this or have a developer or IT guy who has explained to them why they need a DNS service?

4 points by WALoeIII 2 days ago 0 replies      
This combined with the recently rolled out SSL termination in the Elastic Load Balancer product (http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2010/10/elastic-load-balancer-sup...) makes supporting custom domains a cinch.
5 points by nphase 2 days ago 1 reply      
I take it Wikileaks won't be using this as their DNS provider.
4 points by shykes 2 days ago 1 reply      
We're very happy Zerigo DNS customers. Great API, great infrastructure, great support.
4 points by wwortiz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone explain what this hosted zone part is, I must be too sleepy or am just missing what it is.
6 points by sramov 2 days ago 1 reply      

  DJ Bernstein TinyDNS 1.05

Anycast djbdns, nice :)

6 points by snissn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Amazon should add a feature for geographic load balancing that could compliment their aws locations
9 points by chrismiller 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope they eventually build in the ability to do location based DNS load balancing. For me that would be a killer feature.
6 points by nikcub 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great, so now they can also switch off your DNS if they don't like what you are hosting.
2 points by charlesju 2 days ago 1 reply      
It seems to me that GoDaddy does this for free? I've also used Slicehost for free.

Is there a difference between their free DNS offering and Amazon's paid version?

2 points by mrinterweb 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm excited about the API available for AWS 53, but I just love the old crusty looking Zone Edit. http://legacy.zoneedit.com

If you're dealing with low volume DNS for a couple domains, Zone Edit is hard to beat.

3 points by philfreo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Did anyone else see "Amazon 53" and think "Amazon S3"?
2 points by benologist 2 days ago 2 replies      
$0.50 per million queries " first 1 Billion queries / month

$0.25 per million queries " over 1 Billion queries / month


2 points by jpcx01 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently using Zerigo. They've been awesome so probably wont switch anytime soon. Tough competition going up against AMZN for this though.
3 points by trotsky 2 days ago 2 replies      
needs more RRSIG - I don't understand why you'd launch a new DNS product at this point without DNSSEC support.
2 points by oomkiller 2 days ago 0 replies      
What's the big deal here? Linode provides me all of the DNS I need.
1 point by plusbryan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would love to see some reliability and speed metrics in the coming weeks as adoption increases!
1 point by elliottcarlson 2 days ago 1 reply      
One thing I couldn't find is if it supports wildcard DNS (granted I only did a quick in page search both here and the service description page). Anyone have any insight?
1 point by lhnz 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awful timing on their part, re: wikileaks, and talks of decentralised DNS safe from politics.
1 point by PonyGumbo 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if they supported vanity nameservers.
1 point by JeffL 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there any performance reason to use this as DNS as opposed to the DNS servers on register.com for just a regular web site?
1 point by MrRumblefish 2 days ago 1 reply      
The pricing is $1/zone and 1 billion (!!) queries per month.

Which seems quite good for a globally hosted DNS service.

Only potential limitations are that its listed as "beta" and that as far as I can tell you have to use the scripts in the Route 53 developer tools (or write your own) to manipulate the zone and do the initial set up.

1 point by nextparadigms 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, as if anyone wants to leave the DNS info in your hands too, Amazon, after pulling Wikileaks at a senator's call.

Amazon should offer domain names next, so it's just one stop for politicians who want to completely eliminate a website from the web when they feel like it.

1 point by javan 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be nice if they added this service to their management console; I'm lazy.
1 point by BenjieGillam 2 days ago 0 replies      
Finally! I've been wanting this for AGES!
This is experimental. However, it could start a revolution in information access imgur.com
184 points by fogus 11 hours ago   85 comments top 21
57 points by junkbit 10 hours ago 4 replies      
August 1991: WWW goes live; Linux Kernel announced; USSR collapsed; SNES English release; Terminator 2 was in the cinemas and Smells Like Teen Spirit had its radio début. What a month
33 points by Splines 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't know if it's just me, but the link appears to be broken.

> We're sorry, but we were unable to find the topic you were looking for. Perhaps the URL you clicked on is out of date or broken?

14 points by mambodog 10 hours ago 1 reply      
If anyone wants to take it for a spin: http://www.nextcomputers.org/NeXTfiles/Software/NEXTSTEP/App...

Note: NEXTSTEP required. Runs pretty well in VMWare.

If you're running a VM you'll want the "33fat" (fat binary) one.

Also here is the Obj-C source code: http://www.w3.org/History/1991-WWW-NeXT/Implementation/

19 points by ericb 10 hours ago 1 reply      
> However, it could start a revolution in information access.

He has a gift for statement (not over or under).

13 points by tobtoh 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Reading this announcement is like being able to see the first drop of water that starts off the Amazon river. Something so 'normal' to start with and yet ends up awe-inspiring by the end.
4 points by davidmathers 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember well what happened when I first saw this: I tried running the text browser via my telnet session, thought "this sucks", and went back to using gopher.

Then at some point Wired magazine removed their archives from gopher and put them on WWW. At first I was like "fuck you Wired" but then I was like "actually this WWW thing isn't so bad after all."

8 points by elliottcarlson 10 hours ago 17 replies      
Nice to see this announcement... Makes me remember what I was doing back in those days - and makes me wonder what other HN'ers were doing back then.

I was 12, playing on BBS' and attempting to teach myself Turbo Pascal so I could possibly write IGM's for Legend of the Red Dragon...

9 points by natch 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Why would anyone need this when they have Gopher?
6 points by subbu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Hypertext?? A bunch of special characters around text? Nah. Its too simple.
3 points by crocowhile 10 hours ago 0 replies      
And this is way doing research for living means having the best job in the world. Most likely you are not going to be rich by any mean, but once in a while what you do will change the world.
15 points by roadnottaken 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Link broken ?
5 points by junkbit 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmm read/write web browser/editor? So Web 0.1 was Web 2.0
1 point by andreyf 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting, I never realized this connection:

A NeXT Computer was used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN to develop the world's first web server software, CERN HTTPd, and also used to write the first web browser, WorldWideWeb. This workstation became the world's first web server on the Internet.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXT_Computer

1 point by Archaeum 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The announcement includes a notice akin to a primitive open source license:

  The code is not strictly public domain: it is copyright
CERN (see copyright notice is in the .tar), but is free
to collaborating institutes.

Was it typical back then to release code while retaining the copyright as opposed to making it public domain?

2 points by Kilimanjaro 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder why the didn't pick web. instead of www.

Not the best alternative for sure but at least a thousand times easier to pronounce.

1 point by storborg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is purely intellectual curiosity, but does anyone have those tarballs?
1 point by 27182818284 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Google's 20 year archive has a lot of fun little posts like this.


8 points by DanI-S 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Meh, it'll never catch on.
1 point by mitchellhislop 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I was about to turn 3. I am sure that I was geeky, and trying to program my high-chair, but never the less, still just learning the world.

I do wish that I would have been more in the 10-11 year old range. So much excellent stuff happened that year - just a few months after that, the Minnesota Twins won the series.

1 point by jcfrei 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What I still dont get: was this server accessible from anywhere, or just from within the local cern network? when were the root nameservers put into service, so you could access any server via an URL?
I'm guessing the infrastructure for the internet was already in place - what Tim Berners-Lee established was a new protocol that enabled the simple exchange of documents between remote computers...
Am I getting this right?
1 point by chmike 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A colleague, who was present when Tim presented the WWW at a CERN seminar in its early days, reported to me that one person in the assistance asked at the end of the presentation what was the use for this software (quelle est l'utilité de ce logiciel).
MasterCard under DDOS, can't process SecureCode online payments securetrading.com
183 points by gasull 11 hours ago   166 comments top 15
18 points by danilocampos 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Disclaimer: I just finished Accelerando a few days ago (late to the party). I'm hopped up on futurist vision.

First, let's stipulate that 4chan's Anonymous raids are mostly juvenile and often ineffective at doing anything meaningful to their targets.

At the same time: The ability of a community to completely self-organize, without central direction, and instantly execute a publicly-visible plan like this is without precedent in human history.

It stands to reason that as time goes on, larger groups of people will become involved in communities that exhibit 4chan-like cohesion. A larger pool means a higher likelihood of these groups including people with the knowledge and ability to do ever-increasing damage.

The long-term implications are interesting. Into the future, are we talking about the instant formation and dissolution of "terrorist" or "dissident" groups, bound together by transient common interest and gone again within days or hours?
If you're a government or corporation, this is terrifying. You can keep tabs on other governments, and even traditional terrorist cells, which each move at the speed of the usual group dynamics, proportional to their size.

But what the hell do you do about groups you can't predict that are gone before you even figure out what's wrong? Groups that aren't bound together by national identity or other easily quantified affiliations " just ideas, ideals and transient events?

There's something meaningful here that points to how we all get along in the future, in the same vein as the "post-secrecy world" presaged by Wikileaks-style activism enabled by network technologies.

Or maybe I just need a nap.

41 points by tobtoh 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Cyber warfare has always been a staple of sci-fi fiction, but generally between nation states. I can't help but wonder if the reality is that this 'warfare' won't be so much between nation states, but between governments and the public and we're witnessing the start of this with a secretive and paranoid government(s) on one side and a distrusting and increasingly activist 'public' on the other. Corporations are stuck in the middle looking at their bottom line, but pressured from both sides.
13 points by adriand 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It's sort of interesting - maybe even ironic, although I don't know if that adjective is quite applicable - that when a news story comes out that says that a major website is down due to DDOS, the first thing I do - and probably what many others do - is try to go to that website to see if it's still down. That, of course, must make the situation so much worse.
14 points by marknutter 11 hours ago replies      
I think this is setting a very dangerous precedent. Yes, it was lame what Mastercard did to Wikileaks, but it wasn't technically illegal. What Anon is doing to Mastercard, however, is completely illegal and damaging, not only to MC but to its customers too (who are innocent bystanders in this case).
18 points by eli 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm really not a fan of Internet mob justice. I don't see how this attack helps Wikileaks in any way. It's only going to make it harder to find anyone willing to do business with them.
5 points by faragon 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Better attack: reduce the credit card usage, and try to pay more with cash. As both MasterCard and Visa (the ones against Wikileaks) take the gross of its revenue from retail and pay by credit, that could really hurt them... but without doing anything illegal. It's just business: you fuck Wikileaks, I reduce your profit, dear [put your favourite megacorp name here].

Boycott list:

    * Amazon (Amazon stops hosting WikiLeaks website [Reuters, 20101202])
* Tableau Software (Another Falls: Tableau Software Drops Wikileaks Data Visualizations [20101202])
* Everydns.net (WikiLeaks fights to stay online after US company withdraws domain name [guardian.co.uk, 20101203])
* Paypal (WikiLeaks loses PayPal revenue service [cnn.com, 20101205])
* PostFinance (Swiss bank freezes WikiLeaks founder's legal defense fund [rawstory.com, 20101206])
* MasterCard (MasterCard pulls plug on WikiLeaks payments [cnet.com, 20101206]
* Visa (WikiLeaks loses PayPal revenue service [ibnlive.in.com, 20101207])
* Twitter??? (it was or it wasn't censorship?)

16 points by chrisbolt 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Only SecureCode is affected (the MC equivalent of Verified by Visa), not all MasterCard online payments.
5 points by Andrew_Quentin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If Private companies, all in concert, deny a party the ability to publish for whatever reason, is that different from government censorship?

I think not. It is of course if it is only one private company, because the individual has a choice, but if all private companies deny it, then the individual has no choice, thus it is no different than the government itself having denied it.

This that we are seeing, I believe, is the connection between corporations and government in action, the business-government complex if you like. Private companies should not have the right to discriminate based on other's beliefs or opinions.

10 points by m_eiman 11 hours ago 2 replies      
A better way to show Mastercard that you don't like what they're doing would be to cancel your Mastercard and/or stop accepting MC payments.
4 points by andrewingram 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm fairly naive about the specifics of a DDOS, but it's such an obvious vector of attack that I'm surprised it's a major vulnerability.

Could anyone explain what it would take to minimise vulnerability to such attacks? I would have expected the standard load on SecureCode to be pretty high anyway, so I'm surprised that an attack brought it down. I welcome anyone to fix my reasoning :)

1 point by ars 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So basically if you help wikileaks you'll be DDOSd by the (presumably) government. If you cut them off you'll be DDOSd by other parties.

The only solution is to have nothing to do with them. Not exactly an optimum solution - I'd much rather be cut off and constantly find new hosts than have people afraid to have anything at all to do with me.

These attacks are not helping wikileaks.

2 points by user24 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll be interested to see if Mastercard's stock takes a dive as a result of this. Not that I don't expect it to recover quickly of course. But it does make me wonder who first suggested 'operation payback', and what exactly their motives were...
1 point by motters 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As an organisation Wikileaks should distance themselves as far from this sort of activity as possible. If they condone it, or even merely appear to condone it, then their fate is most certainly sealed.
1 point by tshtf 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if the perpetrators of this attack realize an attack against e-commerce may attract the attention of federal authorities more than one against a quasi-religious group.
0 points by marknutter 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The really sad part about this is the people who are probably getting most hurt by this are the web developers who maintain mastercard.com; probably a few fellow HNers. I'd hate to be in their shoes right now.
With Domain Name Seizures Increasing, It's Time For A Decentralized DNS System techdirt.com
182 points by chaostheory 4 days ago   80 comments top 13
54 points by wibblenut 3 days ago 3 replies      

1) ICANN has nothing to do with ICE seizing domains.

2) wikileaks.org was NOT seized by ICE, in case you didn't know (their nameserver operator, everydns, terminated service due to alleged AUP breach). They should probably just run their own nameservers if it's too much for a free provider to handle.

3) DNS is hierarchical in structure, but very decentralised from a technical point of view. In fact, you might call it "P2P", since anybody can join the network and run their own resolver.

4) #dnsissexy - the average user doesn't even know it exists.

5) Not happy with something? ICANN is a community. (I'm not saying it's perfect - nothing is!).

6) Really really pissed about something? Free speech, courts, democracy.

7) Really pissed AND lazy? Use a ccTLD. I hear .ly is cool.

What are people like Sunde proposing? The PR is sensationalist and contradictory, with talk of an alternative root (where would it be located? who would control it?), and a new bittorrent-like protocol (no idea how this could even work).

Anyway, I'm standing up for the status quo. It works phenomenally well.

10 points by andrewcooke 3 days ago 4 replies      
Here's a quick, dirty, temporary hack I threw together today. It's a script that manages entries in your hosts file (it can do things like merge, pull from web pages, etc).


Feel free to fork and improve.

10 points by runjake 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can't wait for all the new logistical & security issues that come from a decentralized system. It will make the old DNS system seem like Fort Meade.
8 points by corin_ 4 days ago replies      
Here's my problem. It's great that some censorship will be prevented, but what about stuff like child pornography. I'm worried that, if successful, this will turn into a "we don't like our government so let's go create our own country where there are no laws", without thinking about the laws that we actually do want enforced...
3 points by mike-cardwell 3 days ago 1 reply      
A distributed DNS platform wont stop censorship. Governments will just find a different method of censorship.

Null routing IPs would cause collateral damage, but to block illegal content that the hosts refuse to take down? They might go ahead and do it anyway...

I would still love to see a distributed DNS platform. The issue that needs resolving for a distributed platform is trust. We will always need a trusted authority. That could be split over 50 hosts over 50 countries, but we still need one.

10 points by Mithrandir 4 days ago 1 reply      
2 points by NHQ 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think another big problem with ICAAN and our DNS is the TLD. The fact that somebody who wants to represent their self on the internet might not be able to do so in a manner of their choosing because the domain they want is "owned" across all major and minor TLDs is very anti-internet-philosophy.

Top-Level is anti-web, because the web is not meant to be a top-down system. To me, this is a fundamentally flawed implementation. And why not? In terms of mass web, it was the first. When are first iterations ever correct?

Destinations are IP addresses. We all have em. What you want to call yours should be up to you. Ever since there was a postal service, people could be reached at the address they had. Even phone numbers weren't top-down (area codes), so that you could reach a local address, even it was the same as one in another county, without pre-(or post-) fix. I don't have the solution, but it wouldn't hurt for the public to learn and understand their IP address same as they do their home one.

Google alone, or with the help of other major "linkers", could go a long way in changing our DNS structure, by indexing different systems.

Decentralization is every nerd's dream, aint it? Eventually the serving capacity of consumer devices should be adequate to resolve standardized requests.

I think this holds promise: telehash.org

3 points by watt 3 days ago 0 replies      
Please do not propose technological solutions to political problem, one that needs political solution.

Meaning, centralized DNS system will work just fine, we only need a law prohibiting government blocking or removing domain entries. That is, we need similar prohibition that limits government actions like first amendment.

2 points by cosmicray 3 days ago 0 replies      
A decentralized DNS has nothing to do with solving the (presumed) problem. The solution is a registrar (and DNS) that is not answerable to any nation state.

The corollary to this demands an answer: are nation states that afraid of information (and the truth that may lurk within) ?

2 points by antimatter15 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm still not sure how a decentralized DNS would handle registration, if domains were free-for-all, what's to prevent squatters from ruining everything. What if someone's domain is totally abandoned? Is there any way for someone else to take it?

From what I understand from the dotp2p wiki, there's still going to be a registration party, OpenNIC (which is an existing alternative DNS root that runs .geek, .free, etc. I'm guessing it's a DHT but it would use some public key crypto so that each entry needs to be signed by OpenNIC.

But this still leaves OpenNIC as a central point. It wouldn't be a point of failure, but it would prevent scaling if it was taken over.

1 point by jimmyjazz14 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if a decentralized DNS system could ever be secure, instead the current management of the top level domain space should be taken out of the hands of ICANN and placed under the control of a internationally governed body.
1 point by treitnauer 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why the P2P DNS project will not work:


2 points by swixmix 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's time for IPV6.
Visa.com Now Also Down Under DDoS cnn.com
180 points by thecoffman 5 hours ago   191 comments top 29
51 points by tc 4 hours ago replies      
I'm reminded of the country song whose chorus goes:

"I've got friends in low places."


[1] I agree, as noted by Nathan below, that this isn't helping Wikileaks' reputation any (despite, of course, WL having nothing to do with this). That's the problem with (and sometimes, benefit of) friends in low places -- no one ever accused them of being sophisticated.

[2] A related thought.... The system consisting of [ Person who leaks info + Wikileaks ] seems to be a modern instance of the Robin Hood archetype. Instead of "robbing from the rich to give to the poor," this system takes information from the powerful and gives it to the (relatively) powerless. Just as with Robin Hood, there's room for debate about the moral characteristics of this approach (particularly on the taking side). And just as with every Robin Hood reincarnation, this system is despised by modern aristocrats.

As I believe pg noted in an essay, during the time-setting of Robin Hood, wealth was nearly a zero-sum game. Today, wealth is not zero-sum, but power still is -- making this archetype all the more fitting.

15 points by DanielBMarkham 3 hours ago 7 replies      
So I'm some average merchant, anywhere in the world.

Because of this action, Now I can't make money and support my family.

Aside from your personal feelings, what are the odds I blame Visa, and what are the odds I blame Wikileaks? All of a sudden Visa doesn't work, MasterCard doesn't work, some sites can't be accessed, sometimes the net is slower than it should, etc.

Maybe I'm smoking crack, but from where I sit, the more hackers thrash out over WL, the more ticked millions of people are going to become at both Wikileaks and the hackers involved.

This is a very sad development. People of all opinions need to take an active hand in trying to settle this down as quickly as possible. This is no good for anybody. No good can come from this.

EDIT: If you want to support the idea of leaking to fix governments (and not the massive attack of government nodes through information overload), which I do, then WL needs a standard of conduct: what it will and will not publish. It needs a standard of acceptable behavior: what cyber protests are in line with it's mission and what protests are not.

Without these things, I can't support WL, they're going to lose track of their message and the larger media narrative, and they are going spectacularly shoot themselves and the rest of us in the foot. This is becoming dangerously nihilistic.

43 points by geuis 4 hours ago 4 replies      
Is it wrong to think of this at a very high level, where basically the internet as an system that relies on information to function properly has turned on its immune system?

I know this is a very meta idea, and its extremely easy to break this down to the component entities (Visa corporation, thousands of individuals, etc). But under the meta concept, wouldn't that be like individual t-cells talking to each other?

29 points by chailatte 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Finally something has pissed off enough geeks. I thought the government's lack of respect towards due-process, the systematic breakdown of basic freedom or the massive wealth transfer to the rich via dollar printing/bailout would've done it.

V for Vendetta.

8 points by netcan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What this whole wikileaks payment processing issue has made me aware of is how bottle-necked this whole area is.

A client of mine a couple of years ago selling personal protection equipment (smoke & hazmat masks, mostly). They were based out of Australia and selling globally. Apparently they breached some US advertising restriction with one of their products (disposable hygienic suit) by having the words bird flu in the description.

Simultaneously to contacting (apparently they tried to contact earlier during US work hours), they contacted paypal and had the account shut down entirely. The US was never a major market so they put a big red sign on the product page: "Not for Sale in the USA." Getting paypal back online took weeks. Whatever department shut them down was not concerned with reversing the damage and paypal seemed like they knew which side to stay on.

Basically, paypal (and apparently visa & mastercard) is the on/off switch that various players within the US government can use. It does not take a high level one off phone call. This is an issue.

11 points by pointillistic 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Considering that the Jesus was the original revolutionary and one of his major acts was throwing the money changers out of the Temple, I am stunned about the internalized commercialization of Christmas and the comments that put into question the current protest.

And I am saying this even though I hate DDos viscerally, my business was a victim of such an attack. But I have to say, as long as no one gets killed or injured this is a legitimate form of protest.

3 points by chailatte 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, think, and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillence coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.
11 points by nod 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Is this really an attempt to support free speech with a DDOS? Or is there some sort of meta/irony motivation here?
6 points by cosgroveb 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The attack on MC supposedly took down SecureCode affecting those payments... Seems like Visa's equivalent, Verified by Visa is still up:


5 points by joshfraser 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder how much money Visa and Mastercard have to lose before they regret their decision.

For the attackers, instead of positioning the DDOS attack as revenge, you should give them as an easy-out. Stop blocking wikileaks and we'll stop the DDOS. Since Visa/Mastercard are loosing millions of dollars for each hour they are down, it would turn the issue into a simple business decision and they could change their position without losing face.

4 points by jonknee 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Rumor has it the next target is Authorize.net (I assume not because anything they did but because that's how you actually take down the ability for Visa and MC to function). That would be quite dramatic to say the least.
1 point by araneae 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I should point out that Visa itself hasn't actually decided to stop payments to WikiLeak- only Visa Europe, its subsidiary. The people that run Visa.com are only responsible for selling Visa Europe the rights to use the name.
1 point by frisco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
CapitalOne account center is down for me; I was trying to log in to access a Visa card. Coincidence? I have no idea why they'd be synchronously connected, but odd timing.
6 points by 12341sa 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I find outrageous that compagnies like VISA or MASTERCARD take the right to forbid people to do what _THEY_ want with _THEIR OWN_ money.

Please continue the DDOS until they bankrupt.

5 points by goldenthunder 4 hours ago 2 replies      
A co-worker Engineer just went down to get frozen yogurt. They couldn't process his card. Apparently they route transactions through their domain DNS?

Suddenly corporate powers don't seem as strong. It's amazing how vulnerable something man made is.

5 points by binaryfinery 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Akamai's stock should be going up.
1 point by llimllib 2 hours ago 0 replies      
They had all day to prepare for this and they failed?

edit: up for me, at least.

2 points by hammock 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not surprising to me why the shutdown of Wikileaks donation channels, as opposed to TSA or any of the other civil liberties breaches, triggered such rage.

The answer is simple: People get fucking pissed when they can't spend their money where they want to.

And it holds throughout history.

3 points by goldenthunder 4 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a weird subject because it is totally dual sided.

1) It promotes freedom of speech and taking action as a community to promote change.

2) It is completely illegal which goes against the laws and freedoms they are trying to promote.

Right Idea - Wrong Method

1 point by tocomment 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this actually hurt visa? Wouldn't visa.com just Be a showcase type website eg "hey here's what visa is, here are some ringtones you candownload"

I'd imagine all their transaction processing happens elsewhere.

1 point by b1tr0t 3 hours ago 1 reply      
And I haven't even seen any comments on the possibility of this being a smear campaign to tarnish Wikileaks further in the media?

I'm just saying, if you wanted to completely discredit an organization what's the fastest way to go about doing so?

Step 1: Manufacture accusations against it's founder for which there is no defence, where the individual is guilty before a trial even begins. Oh, I don't know, how about accusing a man of a sex crime? (Especially a funny looking foreign one!)

Step 2: Manufacture scary "hackers" who do scary "hacker" things. Hide your children!

Step 3: Let CNN and Fox do what they're paid to do. Spin and spin and spin.

1 point by sukuriant 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There are so many active topics on the DDoS's happening today. I now wonder. What happens if Anonymous wins? If, under the pressure, Visa gives and succumbs to their wishes? What happens then?
1 point by InclinedPlane 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sure it's the US government! Or... not.

Turns out that DDoS is a dime a dozen today, they don't necessarily mean anything.

2 points by tkahnoski 4 hours ago 3 replies      
DDoS strikes me as a violent form of protest.

Has anyone started a non-violent protest (offline or digitally) for WikiLeaks?

EDIT: Rethinking my statement on DDoS as violent. I am still interested in knowing if there are other non-DDoS protests surrounding WikiLeaks.

1 point by sdizdar 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Both Visa and MasterCard are down. This just shows how fragile the internet is and how 'easy' is to shut down the entire economy and system.

The point is that coordinated attack by terrorists or plain old criminals can cripple the entire world's economy and there is no easy and effective way to prevent it.

We do need to think about how internet can be re-organized to be 100% distributed system to prevent this of happening again.

3 points by keiferski 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like they're redirecting it to USA.visa.com
1 point by balac 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You have to think that paypal is also being attacked, in that case I am pretty impressed that they are managing to stay up while mastercard and visa get sunk.
1 point by faragon 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Better attack: reduce the credit card usage, and try to pay more with cash. Spread the word.
0 points by toephu 3 hours ago 1 reply      
its up now
The Tree Slider - GitHub github.com
180 points by sant0sk1 1 day ago   33 comments top 9
22 points by jfager 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very nice, but what I'd personally rather have is a two-pane navigator: explore the tree in the left pane, see file contents in the right, a la NERDtree, eclipse, and other IDEs.
5 points by yan 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I guess this is a good place to ask, but does anyone know why GitHub opted not to list the file size in the file viewer? Whenever I browse other peoples' code I always want to glance at file sizes to see which files I should peruse first.
17 points by compay 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find the animation to be rather annoying.
12 points by wmf 1 day ago 2 replies      
It looks like the sliding transition may also mask network latency; clever.
4 points by storborg 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would love it if this widget eager-loaded the directory structure for a couple levels (doesn't even need to load the commit data) so that it made the navigation to a specific file/folder even faster.
5 points by bodhi 1 day ago 1 reply      
And thankfully they didn't screw up the ability to open links in a new tab.
1 point by marknutter 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this is better than sammy.js
2 points by cool-RR 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great! I've been looking forward to this feature for a long time.
-4 points by binaryfinery 1 day ago 1 reply      
A sliding UI is worth #2 HN spot? Wow.
It All Changes When the Founder Drives a Porsche learntoduck.com
180 points by bensummers 4 days ago   96 comments top 14
15 points by al3x 4 days ago 3 replies      
I'm kind of surprised that this conversation is solely about founders (well, and which Porsche to buy). There's only a few founders out there, and a lot more regular ol' employees.

Here's the thing about the scenario in this post: the founders and investors that are swinging for the fences and taking big risks probably have their nest eggs in place. But what about their employees? A modest exit could mean security for them. That exit may not cement the founder's "legacy", but it might give a few, a dozen, or even a big group of people a stable financial footing for the first time in their lives. What's more important? What has the most utility? I'm honestly not sure.

Having been an employee in that scenario and now a founder, I can see both sides. Personally, I'm glad to see more investors making sure that early employees get an opportunity to get a bit liquid if their founder bosses decide to shirk acquisition offers and spin the wheel of IPO fortune.

31 points by flyosity 4 days ago 5 replies      
The title of the entry put me off to the overall premise, which, I think, even the author may have missed.

Basically, the article should've been titled "It All Changes When The Startup Is Making A Lot Of Cash". Supposedly Groupon is making nearly $2 billion a year in revenue. The decision to turn down an acquisition has more to do with "we're a real company making a TON of cash and we don't need to sell" than the founder thinking about their legacy.

What's the point of an exit? Mostly it's to get a gigantic payday. If your startup-turned-cash-machine is already making a ton of cash every month, the founders are already getting a payday... all the time.

If you're already making FU money from the revenues of your business and someone offers you more of it, the benefit of the FU money is you can say FU to the offer.

4 points by mixmax 4 days ago replies      
"I have worked hard to get my founders as little as $25,000 to pay off credit cards and student loans. Or, in a small deal that closed this week, I was able to get a founder the money so he can pay for his wedding and not have to worry about taking on debt."

Am I the only one who finds this despicable, and probably bad business too? The one person in the company making the most sacrifices, taking the biggest risks and working the hardest is the one that can't even pay for his own wedding. Even when there are millions floating around in VC money.

5 points by WillyF 4 days ago 0 replies      
Not that it's actually relevant to the point of the post, but Andrew Mason rides a Vespa and lives in Ukrainian Village (not the most expensive real estate in Chicago). Apparently his big splurge was on a grand piano.

Source: http://chicago.timeout.com/articles/shopping/90800/groupon-2...

29 points by ChaseB 4 days ago 4 replies      
"Today, Groupon did something that all entrepreneurs, in their heart of the hearts, wishes they could do: spur the big acquisition offer and swing for the fences."

6B isn't a home run these days?

7 points by SteveC 4 days ago 0 replies      
While not related to the content of the article, the title reminded of Eagle Computer. Its CEO, Dennis Barnhart, bought a Ferrari and accidentally drove over a cliff and was killed on the day of their IPO.


9 points by hc5 4 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know if Groupon made a mistake, only time will tell, but this statement irked me a bit:

VC: “Founders make different decisions when money doesnt matter. He doesnt HAVE to sell, so he can wait. He can do what he thinks is right for the business. He can focus on his legacy.”

This can easily be the other way around: the founder chooses to focus on his legacy instead of what is right for the business.

9 points by daemon 4 days ago 1 reply      
It's possible they were turning down the terms of the deal. If someone offered me 1M for my site, I'd take it in a heartbeat. If someone offered me 1M and I had to dance nude in the lobby for a year... I'd still take it. But some people wouldn't and observers would say they turned down 1M.
2 points by whatusername 4 days ago 1 reply      
And when you drive your own custom branded supercar -- we all know that you're never going to cash out: http://zondahh.com/
2 points by danwolff 3 days ago 0 replies      
When the author implied that driving a Porsche means not caring about money is exactly when I lost interest in his opinions.

The most interesting and successful (same traits, different present situations) owners in the Porsche communities I participate in cringe at the type of people who see it as a status symbol. It's about the connection to the planet/universe that you get from driving such well designed and engineered machines.

To the author's point, though, if they're driving it for the purpose of that alone, yeah, I'd question their integrity, too.

edit - spelling typo

1 point by asanwal 4 days ago 0 replies      
For folks thinking of working at a startup where stock options (and their potential) are part of the decision criteria, it is important to ensure that there is at least high-level alignment of goals and incentives between employees and founders.
0 points by CamperBob 4 days ago 0 replies      
Never invest in a startup where the parking lot is full of Porsches and Ferraris... and don't ask me how I know.
1 point by piney 4 days ago 0 replies      
the rest of us are scrambling up the slope to get to $5m, then we can relax. Founders who reach that goal and still command the helm and less inclined, nowadays more than ever, to jump ship and sit at a cafe with their laptop, trying to look busy and tweeting about their comeback. Its cold outside baby!
-4 points by jfb 4 days ago 4 replies      
Porsches are gauche. There's some lunatic who parks his DB9 on the street (3rd & King, if you're interested), which is a statement of utter contempt for us proles. "I don't mind parking my quarter-million dollar car at a meter because I have four more just like it at home".
"Whale Fail" - Google Books' Error Page google.com
179 points by hornokplease 2 days ago   58 comments top 10
13 points by aresant 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't miss the original Fail Whale artist's page - http://www.yiyinglu.com/
7 points by jarin 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's interesting that the whale is becoming the international symbol of "fail". I fully expect Greenpeace to get up in arms about it.
3 points by dgallagher 2 days ago 1 reply      
SuperNews! did an awesome parody of Twitter and their Fail Whale (4:28 long): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2HAroA12w
5 points by run4yourlives 2 days ago 2 replies      
I hate to say it, but I think hackernews has officially jumped the shark. :-(
3 points by mikecane 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am more prone to seeing that damned "I'm Sorry..." but we think you're a bot or some dick sending automated queries and now we are killing your access for 24-72 hours.
1 point by ronnoch 2 days ago 5 replies      
Humorous, sure, but I wonder what percentage of Google Books users will get the reference. If I didn't know about Twitter's fail whale, "Whale Fail" might seem totally random.
1 point by rflrob 1 day ago 0 replies      
You'd think for a Books fail, one might have had the whale be white. Even better if you have Ahab attached to it with a harpoon, but that might be a little grisly for an error page.
2 points by Amnon 2 days ago 6 replies      
Turns out the page is a reference to a certain Fail Whale -- http://www.whatisfailwhale.info/.

The thing that's bothering me about the fail whale -- all the strings that hold the whale are curved. Is this physically possible? (Assuming the birds can hold the whale in the air). Shouldn't at least one of the strings be a straight line?

1 point by protomyth 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if someone will raise a fuss over the harpoon? It would actually not surprise me.
1 point by naithemilkman 2 days ago 1 reply      
google is so going to buy twitter.
EFF: Say No to Online Censorship eff.org
171 points by jdp23 11 hours ago   42 comments top 7
8 points by kiba 11 hours ago 4 replies      
If we were to make decision as voters, don't you think we should have some reliable idea about what the government is doing?

What if the current administration is doing evil something behind the back of the electorate? How would we know about it?

You see, secrecy is a catch-22 proposition. If you're trying to do actual real work of tracking down terrorists, you don't want the whole world to know(at least until years later). But if you're doing something EVIL behind our back, the world have the right to know.

The cablegate? Hardly any reason to get angry over. It make the government looks good. But politicians are overreacting.

2 points by jacquesm 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't see how putting a button or a banner on your site is going to stop censorship, that seems to be pretty symbolic.

Saying 'no' to online censorship is not equivalent to some cosmetic changes, it's a fundamental thing to do and in the end of all we do is place some buttons then I doubt that would put a dent in to the plan of those that would have it differently.

Contributing directly to the EFF (I believe VISA and Mastercard are still processing donations to them, possibly even PayPal) would be one way, what other ways are there in which we could make more than just a symbolic stand here ?

4 points by onedognight 8 hours ago 2 replies      
wikileaks.eff.org is not resolving for me. It seems inconsistent for the EFF to talk about standing up to censorship without them hosting a mirror and encouraging others to do so.
14 points by yread 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Just donated yesterday. You should too
1 point by lbrdn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The issue here is not about censorship on the web (ha!), it's about confidential relationships and whether, as a society and for the betterment of it, we feel some information should be confidential and protected.

Would the same arguments be made about censorship if WikiLeaks' instead posted health records, or confidential conversations between attorneys and their clients? (which are confidential and legally protected, similar to security clearances).

The debate should be whether we want to protect communications between our politicians and diplomats, not the inevitable publication of released confidential material and the vilification of the one who does it.

This release does show, however, that once this type of information is on the internet, whether it's medical records, nuclear secrets, or what the Secretary of State said to some diplomat, no one can stop its availability, as long as there are people who support its release.

1 point by oziumjinx 7 hours ago 2 replies      
If I have sensitive (and confidential) health records about my family members and someone steals them and posts them on the web, is that freedom of speech? Do I have the right to get them taken down, or in this case shut the website down?

If my company is working on a new product containing details we consider secret, is it OK to post those on the web?

If the gov't has secrets that could compromise our national security, is that Ok to post on the web?

How do we determine where to draw the line?

-2 points by billmcneale 6 hours ago 1 reply      
A lame attempt by the EFF to get publicity and gain new members.

Instead of selling buttons or memberships, how about offering to host the documents on eff.org?

Action > words.

I always forget the argument order of the `ln -s` command reddit.com
170 points by pepsi_can 6 hours ago   98 comments top 42
32 points by terra_t 6 hours ago 7 replies      
I used to have this problem. Then I realized that if I want to really copy a file, I type

$cp file_from file_to

and that

$ln -s link_from link_to

has a very similar effect to the cp command above. I haven't messed this up ever since.

12 points by frossie 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I've always used complex numbers as a mnemonic: real + imaginary, a + bi (obviously the file is real and the softlink is "imaginary").


10 points by dboyd 5 hours ago 9 replies      
Does anyone know why C calls like 'strcpy' and 'strcat' are the opposite of this?

  strcat(target, source)
strcpy(target, source)

But, in SH...

  cp source target

I feel like these things were developed around the same time, by the same community. I've always wondered if there was a reason for the different perspective.

5 points by muhfuhkuh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
For me, it's always the recursive options in (s)cp and chown/chmod and which one is capital -R which one is lower case -r. Simply vexing.
4 points by hasenj 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's the same argument order for mv and cp, also the same for rsync and scp

Hell, it's even the same argument order for git-clone.

Pretty much all command lines use "source destination" order.

Why is 'ln' confusing? Because people think of "linking" in a backwards way, it seems that if you're creating a link from A -> B, A is the source and B is the destination. But that's not the meaning of "source destination" that command lines expect

  mv B A

A is the new B

  cp B A

A is the new B, but B is still there

  ln -s B A

A is the new B, except it's just a link, and yes, B is still there.

B is the source, A is the destination. B is the source of the data, A is the destination for that data; the command will create 'A' (or modify it), that's why it's the destination.

For the link itself, B is the destination, but for the operation of creating the link, B is the source, and that's the meaning that's consistent with all other commands.

7 points by jvdh 5 hours ago 2 replies      
My god, this thing always keeps biting me. It seems so obvious now with that cp-mnemonic. But it makes me wonder, why does everyone do it wrong in the first place?
3 points by enneff 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The way I remember it is "ln -s target [filename]", where filename is an optional argument to override the default, where the default is a link created in the CWD pointing to target. Easy.
3 points by daten 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You can create multiple links with the original names at once with commands like:

  ln -s path1/files* path2/


  ln -s path1/* .

Doing that helped me remember the order because I knew my command could end with a directory as the destination and links would be created there.

Sometimes hardlinks are useful too. You don't always need -s

Edit: Why was this downvoted? I didn't see anyone else mention it until after my post and to me this was an easier way to remember the order than comparing it to "cp".

9 points by newobj 6 hours ago 1 reply      
That's funny, I do too. I always thought it was just me...
3 points by shimon 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I just read the -s as "source" even though it really means symbolic.

ln -s source fakename

2 points by pbhjpbhj 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Why don't we have better shells that give hints on these things?

I'm thinking like an IDE will pop up some help text when you begin typing a function name or a recognised special word. Why doesn't the standard sh (bash for me) give me similar help, as I type "ln" it could give me a pop-up with the possible completions and then as I get to "ln -s" it could remind me with "TARGET [NAME] // will create a file named NAME that is a soft link to TARGET, or use TARGET's name if NAME isn't specified". You get the picture.

In a pure text env the help could appear on the next line highlighted appropriately or could be to the right of the cursor or somesuch.

I'm hoping someone will say $CONSOLE does that already ...? Anyone?

1 point by sibsibsib 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I used to get this wrong all the time too. Mentally, I'd be thinking "ln -s source destination", where source was the link and destination was what it pointed to. Of course, that's completely backwards. 'man ln' on OSX didn't help either, since they use the terminology 'source_file [target_file]' which just re-inforced my incorrect thinking (target sounds like something that is pointed to, does it not?).

As other people have mentioned, thinking of it in terms of the files created (ala cp) has helped to learn the correct behavior. I think this is a case where some minor change in the documentation might help to avoid the whole problem.

1 point by Timothee 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The worst part with that kind of mistakes is that you end up never knowing for sure. :)

You start with "ln -s A B" and realize you always make the mistake, so you force yourself to do the opposite of your natural instinct: "ln -s B A". It works until this becomes natural but you still think you always get it wrong, so start doing the opposite of your new natural: "ln -s A B". You'll now be very confused until you force yourself to learn it for good.

This happens to me all the time for various binary things.

2 points by rythie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I just remind myself that second argument is optional (and it couldn't be the other way around for that to work)
1 point by joe24pack 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
remember real first fake second ...
2 points by nene 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, the UNIX ln command is full of trouble.

* The arguments order is just the opposite of common sense. It has taken me years to really remember it, and I still have to think a little every time I use it.

* The default is to create hard link, which you almost never want. And if you do want them, you are probably doing it wrong. Making hard links is just asking for trouble.

I've read that Plan9 has somewhat corrected this whole problem. At least there is no ln command at all. Instead one uses bind, mount, and unmount. Of which bind is most similar to ln -s, but with arguments in reversed order.

2 points by stretchwithme 5 hours ago 0 replies      
a copy points to the original (for an instant anyway) the same way that a link points to the original:

  cp original copy

ln -s original link

3 points by tedunangst 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If you leave off the second argument, you don't need to remember it. Much easier.
4 points by cdonnellytx 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The annoying thing is that the mklink command in Windows uses the opposite order, so you have to do

mklink link_to link_from

EDIT: formatting.

3 points by streeter 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I stopped remembering what the order was and just use the `lns` script found here: http://interglacial.com/~sburke/pub/lns.html
1 point by manvsmachine 6 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who always had that problem, I think it's because I always mentally picture a command as saying "do <action> from <arg0> to <arg1>", ie, "copy this file to that file". But this construct doesn't hold up for linking, so I just have to remember it arbitrarily by remembering cp. function(src, dest) just generally seems to be the unofficial "right way" of ordering things.
1 point by stevefink 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Ruby's alias_method(new_name, old_name) always gets me also because I'm so used to ln [-s] (src, tgt).
3 points by austintaylor 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone told me 'fact before fiction' a long time ago, and I've never forgotten it.
1 point by endtime 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My mneumonic is "lentil", since it's ln (-s) <T-for-target> <L-for-link>.
1 point by orangecat 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Ditto. I just remember that it's the reverse of tar, but the cp trick is better.
1 point by joubert 3 hours ago 0 replies      
think like so: ln -s {source} {target}

(not "from"/"to", which is ambiguous)

1 point by frankus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think up to the 100th time reading the man page I would forget, until I memorized the following mantra:

    ln -s target link_name

1 point by dminor 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I also occasionally forget the -s, and really wish it was the default since I'm almost always creating a symbolic link.
1 point by kaens 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"ln -s something somewhere"
1 point by tpinto 4 hours ago 0 replies      
when I noticed that I was messing up when using ln, I started thinking this way:
"write what you already know first, so you have time to think about what you'll write next

"what you already know" being the existing file and the second part being the name of the link to the existing file.

I never got it wrong again.

2 points by inanedrivel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Its like a black hole in my mind. Every single time I screw this up. I've.... just had to learn to live with deleting my first crappy link. :)
1 point by funksta 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The way I think of it is that the path that exists first (the target file), comes first.

It's kind of a dumb way to think of it, but it seems to work for me.

1 point by Florin_Andrei 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Imagine there's an arrow pointing left between the arguments. You know - "the symlink is pointing to this file".

ln -s file <== symlink

Always remember that. Pointing left. The symlink is pointing at the file.

1 point by its2010already 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My mnemonic for this is to remember that the link name is optional. When you specify only one argument the link name is the base name of the target (in the current working directory). Therefore the link name must be the second argument.
1 point by duncanj 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Keepin' it real fake...

ln -s real fake

1 point by fleitz 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah it seems backwards to me as well. I always thought it was the only one.
1 point by cgs1019 5 hours ago 0 replies      
My mneumonic is that in "ln" the "n" comes second, and n is for "name" so the name of the symlink comes second. But I still have to think about it every time...
1 point by dools 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I just think of the "-s" as "source".
1 point by mattwdelong 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Funny, I have a similar problem with scp.
1 point by grourk 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A co-worker once told me to remember it like: "I have a (src) that I'd like to call (dst)"
1 point by PeterWhittaker 3 hours ago 0 replies      
exist want

from to

source target

1 point by aeurielesn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I always forget the argument order of the `ln -s` command...

...because I met the `man` command.

PayPal: "State Department Said It Was Illegal" techcrunch.com
169 points by jeremyjarvis 14 hours ago   134 comments top 18
59 points by Zak 13 hours ago 7 replies      
Ok, so Paypal was told by a high-level Federal agency that Wikileaks was illegal. Freezing the account seems like the safe response to that.

I'm sure, by now, Paypal has figured out that Wikileaks isn't illegal - based on all the calls by lawmakers to ban it, if nothing else. Have they restored the account yet?

7 points by zmmmmm 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one for whom this seems like a case of mass fail in reading comprehenson? Did anyone actually read the letter?

Nowhere in the letter does the State Department say that what Wikileaks is doing is illegal. They use ambiguous and misleading language to imply that but in effect they just keep stating that the original leaker broke the law. If anything, by omission of a direct claim of illegality, this letter is confirmation by the State Department that what Wikileaks did was in fact, TOTALLY LEGAL.

Of course, given that PayPal routinely suspends accounts for absolutely no reason at all we can hardly be surprised if they suspend this one. They've always done this and nobody expects more of them.

24 points by eli 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Seems like an awful lot of feigned shock about paypal.

Paypal has a long history of closing account for arbitrary reasons or for no apparant reason at all. This is especially true of accounts for taking donations (rather than ones selling physical products). If you Google around you can find dozens of people complaining about closed accounts who were taking donations for completely innocuous projects.

By comparison, "because the gov't told us it was illegal" seems like a pretty solid reason. The cost of just paying lawyers to figure out if Wikileaks might actually be breaking any laws surely costs more than Paypal is likely to make in transaction fees.

17 points by ntoshev 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Interestingly, DDoS attacks against Wikileaks can only delay dissemination of information a little bit. DDoS attacks against PayPal, on the other hand, can be effective in costing them real money, for every hour they are down.

If I were attacking them, I would target the APIs that merchants use instead of the main site. The main site has probably been DDoSed before, APIs are a subtler target. I imagine a successful attack there would have a broader and deeper impact.

Also, have browsers been used for DDoS before? I imagine with the popularity Wikileaks has, you can ask people to keep a page open if they want to participate, and share that page on Twitter/Reddit/Facebook. The page would repeatedly create requests loading the target urls in an iframe or as a script tag.

In this approach one would have to get rid of the referrer header, I guess. So open the urls using SSL. The SSL handshake would cause additional load.

Not sure how effective would that be compared to a traditional botnet that can delay TCP and SSL handshakes; things browsers can't do.

9 points by patio11 13 hours ago 1 reply      
2.9% plus 30 cents a transaction wouldn't buy a lot of loyalty from me, either. If the Internet cheering squad sent them six figures, that would just about cover what it cost to ring legal and schedule, but not actually run, a meeting to decide what to do about this. Legal would, predictably, say that Paypal was not in the business of taking on risk for people whose business model is trolling Joe Lieberman.
7 points by DanielBMarkham 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm completely against making WL into a terrorist organization. But that's where we are headed -- or something very close to it. They're not publishers -- at least not in any normal sense I can fathom -- but they are certainly not terrorists either.

My point being: if PayPal and others want to play hardball and refuse to shut down their payments because WL aren't criminals, the other side will just up the ante by making them criminals. This is a no-win situation for PayPal and other vendors associated with this CF.

Ironically, the vendors who are voluntarily shutting off WL are probably doing the most to help the cause in the long term by not pushing the matter. WL supporters should really hope for a long spell of lowering the volume and everybody behaving like adults for a while. Probably won't happen, though.

5 points by JunkDNA 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Reading about these stories the last few days, it occurs to me the Wikileaks strategy is a major factor here. They have not been selective and released actual stuff that rises to the level of true whistle blowing. While the things released (thus far) might be interesting in the way a tabloid article about a celebrity is interesting, they are hardly at the level of the Pentagon Papers. The world has not learned any deep dark secrets about how the US government operates. Given this situation, when the government leans on PayPal and Amazon, there's nothing for them to hold on to and say, "We're going to fight this because we think the public has a right to know X". X needs to be something pretty important to take that position and all the heat it brings.
4 points by citricsquid 13 hours ago 4 replies      
I don't have anything against Paypal or any of the other companies who blocked Wikileaks. I guess in a perfect world it is bad, but if Paypal (and whoever else) weren't to do it and the US government did get angry then who'd be affected? That's right, every other customer (including me).

The problem isn't with these companies (although I suspect a lot of this is about how everyone already "hates" Paypal) it's with the governments. It saddens me that these companies are being targeted, people should be shouting at the government(s) putting pressure on the companies, not DDoSing the companies.

I'd rather wikileaks had their account closed than the service I receive be affected, however selfish that may be.

5 points by mcantelon 8 hours ago 0 replies      

1) Paypal lied to the public.
2) The State dept. effectively ordered content off the web, not unlike China.
3) Paypal hasn't restored service to Wikileaks, even though it's a legal organization.

12 points by allenp 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know if it is possible to get a freedom of information act inquiry to find out if the state department really did advise/request PayPal to do this?
16 points by meadhikari 13 hours ago 2 replies      
PayPal should have fought this instead of panicking and
complying with the State Department. If it's true their
exact words to PayPal were that Wikileaks was
performing "illegal activities", then they are liars. There
is nothing illegal about Wikileaks. In fact, PayPal should
have stood their ground.
5 points by nphase 11 hours ago 0 replies      
“One of the signs that you're a successful payments company is that hackers start to target you, this case isn't anything different.”

What a non-answer.

10 points by samiq 13 hours ago 0 replies      
when has paypal been known for defending their users? or even going the extra mile to talk and try to figure it out themselves? ... it's not only a nightmare to work with them as developer, it's also one to have them as a general service providers.
4 points by jdp23 11 hours ago 0 replies      
As an entrepreneur, this is exactly the kind of situation I'm worried about: a service provider (PayPal, Amazon, etc.) shutting me down based on nothing more than somebody in the government disapproving of some of the content on my site.
11 points by jeremyjarvis 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Yeah, and they've got no ulterior motives? due process anyone?
5 points by jeremyjarvis 12 hours ago 0 replies      
updated the title from "State Department Told Us It Was Illegal" to "State Department Said It Was Illegal" following update on TechCrunch post.
3 points by freechoice1 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Well I've cancelled one of my account with Paypal now. More to come.
2 points by mikecane 13 hours ago 3 replies      
If the State Department were to declare Wikileaks illegal, would that make everyone holding Wikileaks Insurance an Enemy of the State?
Android 2.3 Platform android.com
162 points by mcxx 2 days ago   63 comments top 23
14 points by brown9-2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Description of a new developer feature named Strict Mode from Brad Fitzpatrick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Fitzpatrick): http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/eh2jf/gingerbread_a...

Really neat how they are dogfooding and collecting metrics on performance from all the employees walking around with dev builds.

16 points by tshtf 2 days ago 2 replies      
The integrated SIP stack look excellent, but from http://developer.android.com/sdk/android-2.3-highlights.html:

"Support for the platform's SIP and internet calling features on specific devices is determined by their manufacturers and associated carriers."

This is disappointing, but not unexpected.

13 points by keltex 2 days ago 0 replies      
This page discusses the highlights over 2.2:


6 points by martythemaniak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a great reddit post from the author of StrictMode: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/eh2jf/gingerbread_a...
5 points by SingAlong 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here's a quick summary from the SDK release notes:

* Alarm clock APIs

* ability to detect first install time and last update time of an app

* Download manager API

* Mixable audio effects API

* A lot more locales (including indic language support)

* SIP VOIP support

* Front camera support

* 5-point multi-touch API

* Barometer

* Gyroscope

* NFC support (near field comminucation) - can interact using high frequency wireless communication with other stuff with NFC chips. Wikipedia has a pic of a phone interacting with a smart poster.

Can anyone throw some more light on NFC stuff and also why does a phone need a barometer?

6 points by JonnieCache 2 days ago 0 replies      
The new audio support is the most exciting thing to me here. Multitouch interfaces have such enormous potential for musical applications that have not even begun to be explored.

iPhones and such have long had the ability to drive PC-based instruments by sending MIDI or OSC signals through bluetooth or wifi, I have been to many gigs in the last year and seen people using iPads running touchOSC in their performance setups; however the high specs seen in current devices are easily enough to run fullblown synths, samplers etc on their own. This will open up the burgeoning art of musicians creating their own instruments to a much wider audience.

We're going to be hearing some pretty fun noises over the next year :)

9 points by rquirk 2 days ago 0 replies      
The new NDK lets you write an application entirely in C, no need to get your hands dirty with Java at all. Of course this only works with android-9 (2.3), so if you want to write a game that people can actually play you'll still need a Java wrapper, but going forward you can bet that a lot more game ports will be Gingerbread-only.
4 points by pdx 2 days ago 1 reply      

    SIP-based VOIP

Good. Let's get some competition to the adware SIP apps that are out now (I'm looking at you, SIPDroid).

1 point by portman 2 days ago 3 replies      
Wait, the NFC implementation is receive-only?

Doesn't this preclude using your phone as an NFC payment device (which would be transmit, not receive)?

Can someone confirm if I'm parsing this correctly:

"An NFC Reader application lets the user read and interact with near-field communication (NFC) tags. For example, the user can “touch” or “swipe” an NFC tag that might be embedded in a poster, sticker, or advertisement, then act on the data read from the tag. A typical use would be to read a tag at a restaurant, store, or event and then rate or register by jumping to a web site whose URL is included in the tag data. NFC communication relies on wireless technology in the device hardware, so support for the platform's NFC features on specific devices is determined by their manufacturers."

6 points by nkassis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sensor API now supports a barometer? Are they paying their dues to Gene Roddenberry descendent's yet?
2 points by orangecat 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any details on WebM support? I see it listed as a feature, but no specific API for it. I have an app where it would be very useful to turn a bunch of images into a video file, but I haven't found a reasonable way to do that and was hoping WebM would help.
5 points by crocowhile 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish they added partition encryption through the kernel (LUKS / dm_crypt).
9 points by charlesdm 2 days ago 1 reply      
FUCKING FINALLY, Audio access from native code. This is going to be awesome.
3 points by barmstrong 2 days ago 1 reply      
So...any word on when Android 2.3 will be available over the wire for Nexus 1? Surprised this wasn't mentioned.
3 points by martythemaniak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bouncy scrolling too. Yay.
2 points by gcb 2 days ago 1 reply      
Finally. Google waited until the telcos told so to enable voip.

Remember most telcos a while ago removing the unlimited data plan? And apple forcing skipe to only using wifi on all platforms.

Truth that google allowed work arounds for being evil this time... you could use sip with the buggy sip app. And you could even get free sip from google voice if you had an old gizmoproject account.

1 point by thinkcomp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone want to help us integrate NFC into our Android app?
1 point by jonursenbach 2 days ago 0 replies      
Finally I no longer need to use my clunky Nexus One trackball to pick text to copy/paste. Finally!
1 point by kgutteridge 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember discussing gestures and NFC back at Motorolas conference the day the iPhone 2g launched in the UK and back then all of us thought NFC would happen in the next 12 months! Glad to see its finally arriving, though this patent is going to prove interesting http://www.nearfieldcommunicationsworld.com/2010/12/03/35337...
2 points by gcb 2 days ago 2 replies      
Love how you can't read the android site in a android phone

Unless you send a android user agent, then it changes most of the css to enable it. Really a dumb move

3 points by bni 2 days ago 0 replies      
Still no GPU accel for the GUI?
2 points by tocomment 2 days ago 2 replies      
What's a SIP account?
       cached 9 December 2010 03:04:01 GMT