hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    3 Feb 2011 Best
home   ask   best   7 years ago   
Mea Culpa: GitHub works well, my mistake made them look bad andrewljohnson.com
695 points by NoKarmaForMe 2 days ago   45 comments top 18
89 points by adelevie 2 days ago 2 replies      
Very classy apology. While Andrew's quickly jumping to conclusions is certainly not something to emulate (as he obviously implies in his apology), his ability to assume complete responsibility for a mistake that damaged a reputation is something all members of Internet communities should take note of.
39 points by js2 2 days ago 0 replies      
With apologies to xkcd:

  $ git push origin HEAD:make-me-a-sandwich
git: what? make it yourself.
$ git push origin +HEAD:make-me-a-sandwich
git: okay.

23 points by theDoug 2 days ago 2 replies      
Instant overreaction and posting to HN has come up a lot lately.

The Skype story yesterday was another mistake where a technical support person wrote that a bug was "by design" when they meant to type "bug," so of course it gets raced into HN as 'news' rather than trying to get clarification.

13 points by guywithabike 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the lesson here is that for all our high-minded self-esteem, Hacker News is just as susceptible to hive-mind behavior as the sites HN users like to pooh-pooh.
29 points by nowarninglabel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this, it's always tough to admit when one is wrong.
7 points by perlgeek 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a side remark, I'd love it if github had an option to disable forced pushes for a project. In general they are very confusing in collaborations.
24 points by jefe78 2 days ago 0 replies      
+1 for actually stepping forward and apologizing! Always impressive when people do that.
5 points by wanderr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish github (and git in general) had a better way to view the history of your history, as it were. It's great that get let's you change histoy, but it can be quite problematic if someone messes up that history, especially if it's not caught right away. Yes, it's in the reflog, but so is _everything_, so finding the right thing can be quite daunting.
2 points by bbuffone 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is great to admit but this is also good lesson for developers... you should always blame yourselves first; I have heard lots of funny stories over the years.

1.) I think there is an issue with the compiler :)
2.) The Java Classloader is broken :)
3.) Git is broken :)

My response -> "I will think of a million things it could possibly be on my way to your desk of those; the compiler, the classloader and git won't even be in the list"

3.) It doesn't work in IE 6...

Well ok, I guess the browser is the one area where blaming something else might be appropriate.

If after looking through all the possibilities that could be a reason for it not being your fault, stand up get a coffee and look at it again.

3 points by epochwolf 2 days ago 1 reply      
Google cache: http://www.andrewljohnson.com/article/Mea%20Culpa:%20GitHub%...

Site is down. (Or not, there was a 500 error when I tried to access it)

6 points by grandalf 2 days ago 1 reply      
Shame on those who upvoted the original linkbait story. When will these sorts of sensational headlines stop?
1 point by malkia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wasn't there fiasco involving one prominent magazine for PC machines, where the author claimed that Vista was using all of the memory, while that memory in fact was cached.

But when in doubt, what happens with your cache on XP, Vista or Windows7 just use Mark Russinovich's RamMap. For example it helped me realize that NTFS compressed files, although compressed on disk would end up using the same amount of cache (memory). For that reason, it's probably better to store files compressed, rather than relying on NTFS.


1 point by eli 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good for you. I think this points to plenty of opportunity out there for making Git easier to use. I know I would pay for something like that.
2 points by alexg0 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is something that always bothered me about git. Anyone with access to the repository can delete or overwrite a branch. Would be nice, if github had a way restrict deletes of a branch, or a prevent a force push. Not sure if git architecture actually makes this possible.
4 points by spullara 2 days ago 4 replies      
Wouldn't it be great if your scm actually kept all your changes no matter what?
1 point by forkrulassail 2 days ago 0 replies      
Takes something to apologize like that. I'm sure they're glad about it.

You seriously made me paranoid about my repositories.

1 point by AliCollins 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nicely done, sir. Assuming all present here are human (!), we all screw up...something to do with the programming, I guess?!
-1 point by BasDirks 2 days ago 0 replies      
Everyone learns from this! Now let's form a circle, colour some line-drawings, and watch a Disney flick.
Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results searchengineland.com
671 points by illdave 2 days ago   269 comments top 65
135 points by raganwald 2 days ago replies      
Hmmm. Let's say that Bing sets up a script that sends queries to Google and then records the results. That's clearly copying. But what Bing does is when you use its toolbar, it watches what you do and uses that information to rank results. Is that really copying? It showed Google's Honeypot page because Google's engineers were clicking on the Honeypot page with the toolbar installed. That isn't copying Google's results, that's copying the actions of Bing toolbar users.

This can easily be demonstrated. Google can set up a second honeypot but instruct its engineers not to click on the link, ever. If it shows up in Bing's results, then Bing is watching what Google returns and scraping its results.

But if the second Honeypot doesn't show up in Bing's results, then clearly Bing isn't copying Google's results, it's copying its toolbar's preference for links.

The entire thing is moot to me. The takeaway in't whether Bing copies Google. The takeaway is that Bing's toolbar is spyware :-)

99 points by Matt_Cutts 2 days ago replies      
I had a front row seat for this test. I believe the experiment we ran provides conclusive proof. I'm on a panel with a representative from Bing later today and I'll ask Bing about this directly.
36 points by bbatsell 2 days ago 1 reply      
I thought this was the most interesting part:

> The day after that, Bing contacted me. They were hosting an event on February 1 to talk about the state of search and wanted to make sure I had the date saved, in case I wanted to come up for it. I said I'd make it. I later learned that the event was being organized by Wadhwa, author of that TechCrunch article. [emphasis mine]

So the supposedly independent author of an article on TechCrunch that kicked off a massive wave of Google criticism is, less than a month later, organizing events specifically for a Google competitor? Boy, that sure seems above-board.

19 points by KirinDave 1 day ago 0 replies      
Uhh... Yeah? Everyone in search does this. I've worked at and with 3 major search engine initiatives, and we all tested heavily against Google in a variety of ways.

But the article definitely gets a few things wrong. For example, having worked at Bing I can tell you this: in general "obvious" misspellings are autocorrected without comment. It's not some sort of magical copying procedure, it's actually a policy. Want proof? Here's an example query you can repeat: http://fayr.am/4KdG direct query link: http://fayr.am/4JZD)

But otherwise, shit yes everyone is scrutinizing google trying to figure out what they're doing. That doesn't mean other players aren't doing their own optimizations, or even running relevancy metrics against other search engines. Relevancy is not a concept with fixed metrics, and every player in the search market does everything they can to figure out what their competitor is doing.

And even the raw results leakage is fairly par for the course. It's not like Bing searches are a crawl of google searches; Microsoft gets this data from browsers running this toolbar and uses it to help shore up queries where they don't return good results.

27 points by tptacek 2 days ago 5 replies      
"Is it illegal? Is it cheating? Is it unfair?" Who cares? Google already got everything it needed out of this situation: a gigantic PR win, and a morale boost for their own team. Well played.
38 points by sjs382 2 days ago 3 replies      
No surprise, as both DDG and Blekko disclose that they use Bing for long-tail queries, but it works at both of those engines, too:



21 points by wccrawford 2 days ago 4 replies      
It may not be illegal or 'cheating', but it's incredibly stupid for the same reason cheating is: Without the person you are cheating from, you can't pass the test!

In the case, the customers don't get relevant results unless other potential customers use the competition! In short, Bing's results are only good if Google is popular.

Why would you invest time relying on your competition? Shouldn't you be striving to match or beat them, rather than trying to piggy-back on them?

9 points by dansingerman 2 days ago 0 replies      
My take is this: the whole Google ethos is that they are trying to have the best algorithm to give the best results. Outside of this sting they have always been at pains to put forward the view that nothing is manually ranked.

I think the same thing applies to Bing here: if they have a generic algorithm that ranks results based on toolbar (or other data) it could be easy to see how their data is skewed by Google given the amount of traffic Google search gets compared to the rest of the internets. This seems fine to me.

But if their algorithm does stuff with activity on google.com because it is google.com then this is a pretty clear foul - it is both essentially copying, and the equivalent of manually ranking results (specifically, Google results)

The corollary of this is that if their algorithm is generic, then it will still work if Google were to cease to exist. If it's not generic, it would be useless without Google.

6 points by gojomo 1 day ago 0 replies      
When asked by SearchEngineLand, Google's Singhal seems to imply Google Toolbar clicktrail data is never used for ranking, but his wording is actually a bit vague:

Absolutely not. The PageRank feature sends back URLs, but we've never used those URLs or data to put any results on Google's results page. We do not do that, and we will not do that.

Put any results could be read narrowly as "this data isn't used to add pages to the index", or more generally as "this data isn't used to rank results relative to each other". Also, Singhal's pledge that "we will not do that" is much stronger than any statement I've ever seen in any Google privacy policy, which all pretty much say Google may use any info they have to improve their services.

Matt Cutts, can you clarify if Singhal in fact meant the 'narrow' or 'general' interpretation above?

And, if the 'general' meaning, then is there any statement about the use of clicktrail data in Google's published privacy policies that is as strong as Singhal's?

7 points by gyardley 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sort of petulant on Google's part to release this, no?

Of course your competitors are going to copy you. It's not innovative, and you might consider it 'cheating' if you forget that each and every one of us are building off of a foundation laid by other people. But it works, and that's why it happens and will continue to happen.

11 points by zyb09 2 days ago 1 reply      
> It strongly suggests that Bing was copying Google's results, by watching what some people do at Google via Internet Explorer.

Wow, it almost seems that is exactly what they are doing, which is some pretty dirty stuff. Now MS always had a shady track record, but I thought recently the company got a lot better.

5 points by tzs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do I have this right?

1. User does a search in a Microsoft toolbar, using Google as his search engine. User is searching for $terms.

2. User gets a results page. User clicks on the entry in the results for $site.

3. Toolbar sends back to Microsoft that the $site was the first result the user chose for $terms.

4. Bing uses this to increase $site's placement in searches for $terms.

An interesting question then would be whether or not Microsoft also "copies" from Bing? That is, if you are using Bing as your search engine, do they still use the fact that you went to $site after searching for $terms to adjust the rankings?

7 points by duke_sam 2 days ago 0 replies      
So in an effort to be as good as a competitor MS is watching what you do when you interact with that competitors website and sending that information home. Seems like a really big reason to suggest to anybody you know that they uninstall the Bing toolbar.
3 points by gojomo 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's instructive to think of the cases where Google can return a search result, even though the searched word doesn't appear on the page. Most often, this occurs because another site includes an outlink to the page, with the searched word. That is, they're 'copying' a publicly-available source that indicates that word is associated with that page.

I see this Microsoft tactic as similar. They're considering search terms that resulted in a visit to the page from other search engines as being important indicators of the page content. If they have that URL-to-URL-trail data legally, and the signal works well, and they are not singling out Google's URLs as the only source of such a signal, I'm not sure what the problem is.

Google didn't get where they are by throwing out legally-collected useful data, and Bing won't catch up to a leader who has clicktrail sensors everywhere, via analytics/toolbar/ads/mobile/etc., by throwing away legally-collected useful data.

5 points by DenisM 1 day ago 0 replies      

1.Bing is inferring search results from user behavior, collected via Bing Toolbar

2. Google team makes an experiment: using Bing Toolbar to feed Bing particular behavior. Namely, they all go from a search result page on Google.com laden with a unique word to a particular target site.

3. Bing infers connection between the unique word and the target site.

4. Google cries cheating.

9 points by samwise 2 days ago 1 reply      
The real question should be why is Google not doing this. Bing seems to be learning from what results users choose and improving their results.

Seems like a no brainer, unless i missed something.

I also really like this for some reason. It's very ... gangster. Shows that bing is scrappy and willing to bend the rules.

That being said, i will still continue using Google.

19 points by bambax 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like Microsoft is "innovating" again...
2 points by earl 1 day ago 0 replies      
The balls on MS people are fucking amazing: "Harry Shum, VP of search development at Bing, responded by admitting that Google had uncovered a new form of search fraud, and said he wished Google had spoken to Microsoft about it before taking it to the press". So bing is either (a) scraping all web behavior out of ie, or (b) scraping G's search engine results, or (c) both -- and dude is pissy because G didn't give them time to get their lies together in private? Amazing.

ps -- there's a word for what MS's software appears to be doing: spyware.

8 points by btipling 1 day ago 0 replies      
The funny thing is that people with the Bing Toolbar are still using Google to do web searches.
4 points by topcat31 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google gathers lots of user data on 3rd party websites via services such as (to name a few):
- Google analytics (opted in for data sharing)
- Chrome
- Google toolbar

@Matt Cutts - I'd love it if you could confirm exactly which user data you DO and DO NOT use to influence rankings. Or, at the very least say on record that you don't do what Bing are doing and use data from bing.com

Overall, I'm not surprised that Bing are doing this for some keywords - all the major search engines use a massive number of different signals. I'll be more surprised if it turns out this is happening at a large scale or for competitive terms.

4 points by mcantor 1 day ago 0 replies      
They should have made one of the search terms "Agloe, New York"! [1]


[1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictitious_entry

2 points by Nitramp 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Is this illegal?"

IANAL, but in certain jurisdictions, most certainly yes. Many countries have copyright laws that protect compilations of things that are individually not worthy of copyright, for example telephone books. Copying down an individual telephone book entry is of course not a copyright violation, but copying the whole listing in a systematic fashion is.

I'd guess that this law applies to search engine rankings as well - rankings/listings of individual items that are not protected by copyright, but where a lot of effort goes into producing the listing itself.

4 points by darrenkopp 1 day ago 0 replies      
So what? Is it a scandal that Walmart and Target both send employees into each others stores and actively monitor prices on items? It's called being competitive, and to be competitive you have to at least match what your competitor is doing, then beat them.
3 points by seasoup 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wow, I'm surprised by all the developers on Microsofts side on this one. Google spends a lot of money developing proprietary algorithms for determining search results. Microsoft is then stepping in and taking advantage of the money Google spent by copying some of their results. It's rather like someone taking the results of a Consumer Reports list and publishing it themselves. It borders on illegal, and it's definitely shady.

But what I think is more important is all of the flak that Google has been catching for supposedly slipping in its quality of search results. If it's quality is so poor, then why is Bing stealing its results? It's a great method of striking back at the negative PR they've been receiving.

4 points by ry0ohki 2 days ago 3 replies      
Doesn't the Google toolbar do essentially the same thing they are saying IE is doing?
1 point by lhorie 1 day ago 1 reply      
A few quick thoughts:

- generally speaking, the conclusion seems to be that for regular queries, Bing uses mostly other clues to figure out relevance, so this is basically a storm in a cup of water. Regardless, since both Google's and Bing's algos are closed-source, we're going on faith when either company says data gathered from one of their products doesn't affect search quality.

- the whole thing about making a ranking overrider and talking about it publicly seems like a stupid move. Why in the world would you say you developed such code and then "deleted it" in an all-code-is-version-controlled-these-days world? This won't go very well against the claims that Google gives preferential treatment to its own services (e.g. email, maps) vs competitors.

- The experiment reportedly was triggered because Bing results were getting better for misspelled searches. But, seriously, returning wikipedia as the top result for something with low levenshtein distance to a rare word is not exactly rocket science...

- if Google feels that its SERPs are the most relevant possible, shouldn't it make sense that competitors trying to improve relevance will inevitably end up showing the same results as Google on at least a subset of queries?

- if you're saying Bing has just as good results as Google, regardless of the means to the goal, then how does publicizing that help the whole "Google's overrun by spam" meme going on?

2 points by contextfree 1 day ago 0 replies      
While the "cheating" angle on this seems hugely overblown, I do think that companies that harvest data through toolbars etc. should be obligated to explain upfront in clear language how they use the data. Not bury it in the legalese of a vast impenetrable ToS.
10 points by Bitmobrich 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google copies Bing's layout for images. Bing copies Google's search results.
2 points by ZoFreX 1 day ago 0 replies      
> For the first time in its history, Google crafted one-time code that would allow it to manually rank a page for a certain term

If that's accurate, that's a precedent I'd rather not have seen.

(a little help on the grammar here, anyone?)

3 points by benohear 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google's test.

Isn't that basic classroom solidarity?

8 points by yoyar 2 days ago 0 replies      
MS has a long history of stealing and sabotage. This doesn't surprise me one bit.
2 points by mkowalski 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's interresting. A little bit like browser wars, isn't it? Browsers are really similar between themselves. If any new noteworthy feature appears in one, it is very likely to be copied to another, which is a very good thing for end users and is a reason for which competitiveness is good. At the end of the day, users want more-less the same functionality, no matter which browser they use. There are some differences in details and quality, but rather minor.

Both Bing and Google are targeted towards mass market and I think people expect the same from both. If Google does it right, there is nothing more to invent. And even if there is, it is probably pretty expensive. It is so much easier to copy than to invent from scratch, just to get something almost exactly the same as Google :)

I am really interrested in what could Bing do to be REALLY different or better than Google. And if they did, Google would most likely do something very similar :)

2 points by feint 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is an ultimate opportunity for Google - Can't they somehow spoof the results that are sent back to Bing. I now if someone was cheating off me in an exam, I would try and give them the wrong answer.
1 point by naithemilkman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Instead of whining, I would have gone on the offensive.
So we have a competitor copying our search results. Great. Now how can we fuck with that?

Figure out the requests coming from microsoft and return a different set of search results (e.g. XXX stuff) so that it doesn't show up for organic google resutls. Set the trap and once bing has incorporated those results for a keyterm, spam TC and LOL at Steve Ballmer gettingn worked up.

This discredits the relevancy of bing and all that PR dollars spent rebranding would have gone down the drain. Imagine searching for a harmless search term like 'poodle' and getting hardcore triple xxx results.

Oh well, dont do evil right?

1 point by bambax 1 day ago 0 replies      
> When the experiment was ready, about 20 Google engineers were told to run the test queries from laptops at home

An interesting side-effect is that Bing has in its logs the home IPs of the Googlers involved in this research (i.e., anyone who searched for "hiybbprqag" in Dec. '10).

1 point by Groxx 1 day ago 0 replies      
>Is It Illegal?

Suffice to say, Google's pretty unhappy with the whole situation, which does raise a number of issues. For one, is what Bing seems to be doing illegal? Singhal was “hesitant” to say that since Google technically hasn't lost anything. It still has its own results, even if it feels Bing is mimicking them.

Funny... that's the exact same argument software / music piracy often makes.

0 points by contextfree 1 day ago 0 replies      
Buried halfway through the article:

"These searches returned no matches on Google or Bing " or a tiny number of poor quality matches, in a few cases " before the experiment went live. [...] Only a small number of the test searches produced this result, about 7 to 9 (depending on when exactly Google checked) out of the 100. Google says it doesn't know why they didn't all work, [...]"

The writer apparently thinks these results justify concluding the article with this takeaway:

"When Bing launched in 2009, the joke was that Bing stood for either “Because It's Not Google” or “But It's Not Google.” Mining Google's searches makes me wonder if the joke should change to “Bing Is Now Google.”


1 point by notahacker 1 day ago 0 replies      
The biggest article surprise for me was Google's claim they don't use the toolbar or Chrome directly to improve search queries. I assumed measuring bounce rates and patterns in link graph traversal across the entire web was part of their raison d'etre, as with Google Analytics
1 point by brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since when has reverse engineering been cheating? If the article is correct, there still is no allegation that Google's algorithms have been used. I don't think Google is in much of any position to cry foul over any company using data mining to tailor search results.
3 points by nhangen 2 days ago 1 reply      
The interesting thing here is that Google now has the smarts and power to play games with Bing, and were I MS, that fact would scare me more than any lawsuit.
3 points by frb 2 days ago 2 replies      
Doesn't this make Bing practically useless? I mean I go to an alternative search engine to get alternative search results...
2 points by mukyu 1 day ago 0 replies      
"We learn from our customers. We use our customer's data." That sounds like an admission to me, and he is really dodging and spinning the question.
2 points by notyourwork 1 day ago 0 replies      
What was that saying: "If you can't beat em, join em"?

disclaimer: this is not my acknowledgement that I agree with the practice.

1 point by NonMint 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm really curious as to how this is different than Bing using google's search results in some form of aggregate pageranking. If we assume that some arbitrary metric of "authenticity" exists for searches and a search for mbzrxpgjys results in results in a low (<0.1%) result for authenticity, but Google suddenly declares that www.page.com is the foremost authority in mbzrxpgjys's, it stands to reason that a good page-ranking scheme would take that into account and bump it to the front of the line.

I don't think it's cheating, no where in the article does it claim that they aren't doing their own search, they are just using Google's results as part of their own search algorithm. Is that really such a crime?

1 point by calbear81 1 day ago 0 replies      
Give me a break, MS has always played the fast follower game which means they will ride on the work and investment done by the market leader and it's worked out well for them in other parts of their business.

Using signals from user behavior on the toolbar on ANY search engine seems to make a lot of sense when it comes to improving search results. MS employees are the biggest QA group for Bing. Internal tools allow employees to tag queries and results that are superior/inferior to Google. Both are displayed side by side and employees provide active feedback to help improve the algorithm and identify more systemic underlying ranking issues.

1 point by silverbax88 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm not sure about this. It almost sounds like Google is posturing. The reason I say this is that while Google was getting bombed up until last week with scraper sites, Bing wasn't.

If Bing was really copying results, they would have reflected the spam sites, because people click on those when they are highly ranked just as often as they click on the originator site. After all, the problem is that the content is identical.

1 point by comice 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google wasting time embarrassing Bing? I think this is more interesting that learning what Bing are doing.

Google are clearly monitoring Bing (and others) as a matter of course. I'm interested to know what they'd have done if they'd found Bing providing better quality results. Would they have spent resources trying to figure out what Bing were doing right, or would that be "copying" too?

0 points by organicgrant 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did anyone stop to think that Bing is leveraging IE to improve/influence search results regardless of the URLs this monitored traffic is gleaned from?

Google states 9 of 100 planted queries showed up on Bing. You think Amazon, Godaddy, and AOL could make similar claims?

Probably...but those examples aren't worried about their market share evaporating.

4 points by funkdobiest 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wait.. MS is copying the competition!?
1 point by tmachinecharmer 1 day ago 1 reply      
If Bing is really copying what about those who fought Bing vs Google war as if it were Vi vs Emacs war?

By any chance, is Bing named after Chandler Bing?

"DuckDuckGo" has become by default. Its awesome.

1 point by rjvir 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps Bing tracks clicks for every search engine, not only Google. If so, they are not copying Google, but legally tracking user behavior across the web.
0 points by azharcs 1 day ago 0 replies      
With Google results filled with Spam & I hardly find a result on the first search, any sane-minded search shouldn't be even replicating (if they are).
0 points by jaekwon 1 day ago 0 replies      
In other news, Google has finally figured out why their search result quality has been steadily declining but won't comment on the specifics.
0 points by napierzaza 1 day ago 1 reply      

If Bing can't find it for you, it will google it for you.

0 points by grandalf 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the spirit of sensational, linkbait headlines, here's proof that Microsoft is copying Google's results: bit.ly/hTNYCW
1 point by known 1 day ago 0 replies      
1 point by beefman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google are really getting pathetic.
0 points by dralison 1 day ago 0 replies      
Microsoft has long said they have an embrace and extend policy. I guess this is just taking it to a higher level.
-1 point by hazelnut 1 day ago 0 replies      
uarhhh, he has taken my lollipop
-2 points by tomelders 1 day ago 1 reply      
It pains me to say it but... that's genius.
-3 points by executive 2 days ago 2 replies      
Google scrapes websites to determine search results. Bing scrapes websites (Google) to determine search results. What's the problem?
-4 points by 1010011010 1 day ago 1 reply      
Bing: powered by Google!
Bing: now with Google!

(suggested taglines)

-2 points by spoiledtechie 1 day ago 1 reply      
I personally don't mind if one is copying the search of another. The whole idea is to get the BEST search results possible. And thats what I use a search engine for is getting by far the best results possible. I don't mind how they do it and as far as I can tell they aren't breaking any copyright laws...
-1 point by keltex 2 days ago 2 replies      
Search for "hacker news" on both. The results are quite different. One might argue Bing is better because they don't have a duplicate result at the top.
Microsoft's Bing uses Google search results"and denies it googleblog.blogspot.com
492 points by atularora 1 day ago   190 comments top 51
72 points by andrewljohnson 1 day ago replies      
Setting aside the ethical questions, because I don't really care, when I look at the probable outcomes of this, I think it's wise for Google to point out what's going on here. This string of stories positions Google as the smart, sciency search engine, and Bing as a collection of hacks. This is how I'd want the public to perceive the battle if I were Google.

But even though this makes Google look good, PR-wise, Bing should still use this trick, if it makes their search results better. It seems like a short term solution, but a good one to get their results more competitive, while they work on the core problems Google has already solved. Google should call them on it and expose their hackery, so people know where the good search science still comes from, but Bing should still do it. They are both playing the game very rationally.

As an aside, I don't buy the arguments of "they shouldn't be mentioning Bing." This isn't like the POTUS running against some no-name congressman - this battle is already well-publicized, via hundreds of millions of dollars of ad buys by Microsoft, so the general public already knows there is a competition between Bing and Google.

99 points by seanalltogether 1 day ago 4 replies      
Google should proceed with caution, do they really want to get dragged into a debate about tracking user actions to influence search results?
61 points by hasenj 1 day ago 3 replies      
I don't see anything wrong Bing is doing. There's clearly an indirect link between the synthetic query and Google result.

If Bing was outright stealing Google results, all you have to do is:

1. setup the synthetic queries on Google
2. search for them using Bing

Clearly, it took several weeks of Bing toolbar being installed and people going to site X after searching for Y. The Bing toolbar has the right to assume there's a relationship between X and Y. It's a legitimate "ranking" strategy.

15 points by ellyagg 1 day ago 4 replies      
The holier-than-thou attitude by Google here dumbfounds me. Android phones and tablets would not exist in remotely the shape they do today but for the innovations of Apple. They organized with Apple's competitors to provide an offering extremely similar in spirit and often in form to what the iDevices do. There is zero chance Android adopts all the "conventions" it has without copying Apple. The world was not on a fast track to full phone, bright screen, touch capacitive displays and gestures and app markets before Apple pioneered them. iPhone was not the logical inevitable implication of the technology that had gone before. If Google thinks Bing is not playing fair, Google has 10x as much to answer for in real damages to Apple for thieving their innovation.

Some would say, "Well, Android has innovated on top of iPhone's precedents." So has Bing, right? In fact, I'd claim Android owes far more to Apple than Bing does to Google.

Some would say of Android copying iPhone, "Well, it's fair because we want competition in the mobile space, not for one company to dominate." Sort of like how Google dominates search? How much would I love for a true competitor to Google, so we can test, e.g., their policy of having terrible customer support.

17 points by neild 1 day ago 5 replies      
The number-one point I take away from this isn't about ethics or what is "right".

It's that Microsoft has no confidence in Bing. They aren't willing to trust their algorithms to produce the best search results. They've decided that, some portion of the time, the single best search result they can return is whatever Google is returning.

They've given up on trying to be better than Google, and are settling for being a cheap, off-brand knockoff that rebrands stale Google search results.

That's rather shocking, and I frankly thought the Bing team were better than that.

16 points by chaosmachine 1 day ago 3 replies      
Will any Bing users suddenly switch to Google because of this? Probably not. Will people who've never heard of Bing be reading about them in the paper tomorrow? Yes. Will complaining about competition from underdogs make Google look bad to some? Yes.

I don't see how making this a public issue is a win for Google. Seems like something they should have kept in their back pocket. "Keep your enemies closer", as they say.

17 points by sdrinf 1 day ago 3 replies      
Here's an alternative hypothesis: the bing toolbar might look for explicit search queries (either strings entered into a textbox, or q=, query= parameters), and navigation from such pages to external domains. This would match all "search engines" in the most relaxed meaning of the term: product search, thesaurus, lexicons, dictionaries, everything; and I'd argue to be a legit signal for a "general search engine" to match.

(Legit sidenote: Google has, via the use of Analytics data, a mass coverage of clickstream for the whole web, which are default opt-in, follows you everywhere, and can identify you uniquely. The Bing Toolbar at least asks first.)

If this is the case, Google isn't being picked upon; rather, they are merely the first, who figured this out externally. Cookie for the scientific rigor, but no cigar for the way they PRd the story. Correlation, after all, does not equal causation.

13 points by pbhjpbhj 1 day ago 1 reply      
From http://searchengineland.com/google-bing-is-cheating-copying-...

>Suffice to say, Google's pretty unhappy with the whole situation, which does raise a number of issues. For one, is what Bing seems to be doing illegal? Singhal was “hesitant” to say that since Google technically hasn't lost anything. It still has its own results, even if it feels Bing is mimicking them

This is actually just IE's "spying" working properly. If an MSIE user that has allowed Microsoft to see their browsing habits follows a link after a search then MS are associating that link. This is sensible as it's measuring actual visits following a given search.

If someone searches for a googlewhack and Bing have no results for that term then it's natural that MS would then use this data to associate the googlewhack with the visited page.

Initially I thought this sounded like MS being underhand but really they're tracking their users and associating their users search terms with the pages that they visit - _not_ using this data for search (given they have permission) would be silly, no?

The flag this waves for me is how easy is it to manipulate Bing results using false MSIE reports back to MS, anyone know of botnets sending fake data to boost page rankings??

11 points by c2 1 day ago 3 replies      
Isn't it bad form from a marketing perspective to continually mention their top competitor? Does Apple mention android so extensively in their press?

As Paul said, customers don't care. All they are doing is giving Bing some front and center advertising on it's blog (which has several non-tech readers) and the tech people who actually care probably don't enough to actually switch search engines.

9 points by rodh257 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm a bit confused - see this image, from Google Analytics on my blog.

Google Analytics knows that the search term 'autodesk revit devlopers guide' on Bing lead someone to my blog. I take it this information is in the HTTP header on the request to my site which the Google analytics code reads.

If Google were to use Google analytics information in their search results, how would that be any different to what Bing is doing? Or is the distinction that Google claims not to do this?

7 points by thought_alarm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google developed an impressive spell correction and error detection algorithm to improve their search results.

Microsoft inadvertently benefits from Google's research by simply watching and recording how people use Google. The end result is a Microsoft product that isn't as good as its competition, but it's good enough for some people. Sound familiar?

It's a classic case of true innovation vs. "Microsoft" innovation.

4 points by aneesh 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why do people think there's anything wrong here? Here's a (hypothetical) similar example:

In the 1990s, it probably look a lot of iterations, user studies, and market research to decide that copy/paste, undo, etc were the "right" set of features to include in a word processor. Do you think Google Docs re-did all that research? No, of course not. They probably just looked at Word and said, "we need to support these features". And there's nothing wrong with that. This is the exact same thing.

If you have a product out in the market, it's fair game for your competitors to look at and analyze its strengths and weaknesses, and use those to improve it's own product.

8 points by jeroen 1 day ago 0 replies      
These seem to be the relevant parts of MSs responses:

"Opt-in programs like the [Bing] toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites."

“We do not copy Google's results.”

I see MS denying _copying_, not denying _using_ Google search results. That makes the title of the Google blog post incorrect.

4 points by ot 1 day ago 1 reply      
As many others have said, I don't think that using click data from the browser/toolbar as one of thousands signals can be considered "copying". When doing a query with a nonexistent word, all the other signals are zero because there is no knowledge about the query, so the only remaining one is the history of clicks "sniffed" from Google/etc... SERP. OTOH, on real world queries the signal has probably a relatively low weight.

I don't think that it is a secret that Bing uses click data from browser/toolbar as a signal, it's just a not well known fact. For example in the paper "Learning Phrase-Based Spelling Error Models from Clickthrough Data" (http://aclweb.org/anthology/P/P10/P10-1028.pdf) by Microsoft Research, they explain how to improve the spelling corrections by using click data from "other search engines".

4 points by cookiecaper 1 day ago 4 replies      
I think this is silly. Unless Google can come up with a copyright claim on its search results, and I seriously doubt they can, they have nothing to complain about. I use Google's search results too -- information you pump out publicly can be used to the advantage of your customers as well as your competitors. If Google is scared that Bing is "stealing" their search results, they should quit making those results public in a way where people can "steal" them. Accept that freely available information is freely available or clamp down and stop publishing information that might help your competitors. In Google's case, unfortunately, the info that helps Bing is also the info that is essential to Google's customers.

I know of some other media companies that are hyper-paranoid about their mass produced, widely disseminated, public content being "stolen" by others, maybe Google should set up a lunch date with the RIAA.

5 points by maeon3 1 day ago 1 reply      
Google should have kept quiet, and figured out how Microsoft is pulling data from Google. They could then create a script that would cause Bing to link new borrowed content to goatse.
4 points by radicaldreamer 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is an excellent short term PR tactic, but Microsoft can just say that they're not copying Google's results, they're just using user click data to improve their search results and that sometimes that click data happens to come from users' google searches.

It's understandable why Google's concerned, because it's likely that Microsoft has access to a lot more this data due to their OS and software's ubiquity.

9 points by tristanperry 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good for Google.

Bing have done wrong (granted probably not legally), and their response to a very detailed Search Engine Land article was a quick, nonchalant 'Huh? Oh that. Yeah, we don't copy Google's results. I know that doesn't really answer the claims but we don't really care enough to give a proper response.'

Bing's actions here (and their response) has seemed very poor and I definitely praise Google in going public with this.

I'd certainly like to think that if I was in a position where I caught a competitor piggybacking off my work, I'd go public with the information too (in a non-confrontational manner of course, as Google are doing).

So yeah: good for Google. Bad for Bing.

3 points by dfranke 1 day ago 1 reply      
More interesting than anything Microsoft is doing here is Google's answer to it. If Microsoft caught Yahoo doing this, they'd bury them in lawyers. Google is confident enough to just go public and take the PR win.
10 points by droz 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think they (google) can really only cry foul if there is specific code in the Bing toolbar that targets google's search results.

The way that they describe the approach, it seems like the Bing Toolbar would also be scrapping results from bing itself, yahoo, altavista, ask.com and many others.

5 points by ecopoesis 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's funny that Google has a problem with Microsoft using their content (the search rankings), yet has no problem taking content from places TripAdvisor (http://www.tnooz.com/2010/12/14/news/tripadvisor-shrugs-off-...) and newspapers (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&s...), even when those companies specifically ask Google to not.

Google should be more careful here: either it's OK to repurpose other site's content or it's not, and Google has built their entire business around repurposing content. They shouldn't be surprised when their competitors start doing the same.

10 points by atularora 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some perceive Google's stand with hypocrisy e.g. http://twitter.com/#!/counternotions/status/3256864602692403...
2 points by mmaunder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, at least Bing will get a pagerank boost from all the new backlinks in the press coverage.
2 points by brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
>"We gave 20 of our engineers laptops"

OK, over the course of several weeks 20 google engineers were able to inject 7/100 false searches into Bing's database. That is more structured like a brute force attack than a scientific experiment. Is Google really surprised that SEO works? [edit]The blog contains nothing significant about methodology - no control groups, no restrictions on automation, no limits on methods used. In other words, what this shows is that 20 Google Engineers were able to hack Bing and that they did so for PR purposes.[/edit]

6 points by callmevlad 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can only imagine the confusion the Clyde-Findlay Area Credit Union SEO team is going through right now:

"Why are we getting so much traffic from people searching for 'delhipublicschool40 chdjob'?"

2 points by eps 1 day ago 3 replies      
What strikes me odd is why Microsoft would bother with making a sneaky toolbar that calls home instead of just grepping through their Bing logs for queries with no results and then running these queries against Google...
2 points by dholowiski 1 day ago 0 replies      
Did they do the same test with blekko or duckduckgo too? It would be interesting to see if Microsoft is the only one doing this.

I would try it now, but the test has been polluted by all of the news articles.

3 points by d0mine 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is unclear whether the Google results appear in Bing from the same computer the initial queries were made i.e., it is a personalization of search results or Bing uses that results for other users too.
2 points by pedanticfreak 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why didn't Google's investigation go further? Why didn't they decompile the IE8 toolbar to figure out what it was really doing? Maybe that's against the DMCA and Google can't admit to it?

Having the evidence in code would have made the accusation irrefutable.

1 point by akshat 1 day ago 0 replies      
While this is not completely Black and White, one thing which favours Bing is that a user has clicked on a search result which is determined using his own intelligence.

Google has assisted the user with that action. Bing is only correlating these two individual actions(search and click) by the user, to get some additional signals.

2 points by caf 1 day ago 0 replies      
"You can think of the synthetic queries with inserted results as the search engine equivalent of marked bills in a bank."

It's actually more like trap streets on maps.

1 point by sliverstorm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I may be misunderstanding what is happening, but is it possible Bing is just doing what it was programmed to do- examining the user's browsing habits? Is it necessarily directly and purposely targeting Google?
1 point by Athtar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seriously? Anybody else surprised at how little data there is given how serious the accusations are?

From what I've read, the general consensus seems to be that Microsoft is using IE in conjunction with the Bing toolbar to analyze user's search data. And this is something that worked only on 6 or 7 of the 100 terms that they tried it with? That was enough to incriminate Bing?

Google could've at least tested to see if this behavior is limited to just Google or if Bing was also analyzing other search engines (or even other pages). I would've expected MS to have released something like, not Google.

1 point by Natsu 1 day ago 0 replies      
They should have made one of the nonsense queries something like "westealourresultsfromothersearchengines" and linked it to something like yes.com just to make the copying easier for non-tech people to understand.
1 point by axod 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google should make their own toolbar that continually sends random bad data back to bing to screw up their results. I'd install it.
1 point by jtchang 1 day ago 0 replies      
In a way I see this click tracking that Microsoft is doing innovation. What better way to get relevancy than directly from the user and what that user clicks on?
1 point by BarkMore 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google could have made this story all the more interesting by using misspellings of the terms nihilartikel and mountweazel in the honeypot queries.
2 points by enthalpyx 1 day ago 0 replies      
"so Google set up a honeypot " some made up words like [hiybbprqag] linking to random unrelated sites."

That's not my understanding of what Google did at all. Google fed back search results for keywords that didn't exist on the Internet -- period, and they started eventually showing up in Bing.

1 point by mrnothere 1 day ago 0 replies      
As many have pointed out, Google has used clickstream data from their toolbar for a number of years.

Also, Google has used the links provided by hub and search pages to find relevant sites within a niche. They have happily indexed links they discovered on those pages, and then removed or penalized the pages that pointed them to it. It's OK, of course, because any SERP not provided by Yahoo Google or Microsoft is termed "spam"

1 point by kcdenman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another example like this that has just come out - Qwiki by Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of facebook. The new search engine pulls data for its results directly from Wikipedia and adds it's own flare. The open source text comes directly from Wikipedia.

Qwiki - see contents

2 points by wardrox 1 day ago 1 reply      
What a very clever way to test their theory. I'm very curious to see how Microsoft explain this one.

Also, why do I now want to buy things with "hiybbprqag" printed on them?

0 points by MichaelApproved 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is it possible bing is pulling the results from a third party provider who is doing the cheating? Maybe a middle man is partially whats to blame for the delay in the results.
1 point by kowsik 1 day ago 1 reply      
this is brilliant. all those years of "innovation" ruined by a simple MiTM tap.
0 points by jetaries 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think this is a very bad move by Google to get into these types of pointless arguments. Google being in the market leader position, there is nothing Google can gain from doing this. Google won't convert Bing users over with these acquisitions, all Google doing is raising awareness for Bing. If anything, Google would lose users to Bing for doing this.

If anyone from Google reading this. This is not a smart move, and should be ended asap.

0 points by slackgentoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take a look at feature list here:

Combing features 130, 131, 135 and 136, I think it is understandable what Google engineers did can give those fake links a boost in the search results. In a way, they cheated the algorithm.

1 point by kaze1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Never mind the ethics part. The fact that Bing's 'signal gathering' mechanism can be fooled into accepting some bogus links, without even an iota of content verification, illustrates a fatal flaw. I am sure developers at MS are capable people, but this throws poor light on them (well, at least in my eyes).
1 point by littlestove 1 day ago 0 replies      
How about this analogy? If Company A publishes a book and Company B somehow manages to get the content of the book from its readers (with their consent). Then B publishes the same content as if it is original content, how does that sound to you?
0 points by random42 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google, you are embarrassing yourself.
1 point by rome 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do I understand this right? Google (over a period of time)knowingly submitted info to Microsoft. When Microsoft used that data, Google accuses them of copying?

Does Google use the data I give them? Are they copying me?

0 points by krisrak 1 day ago 0 replies      
use hashtag #BingGate
0 points by bayjinger 1 day ago 0 replies      
Think I'll just quote Mike Masnick's post over at techdirt, since he sums it up so well:
"For Google to attack a competitor for using open information on the web -- the same way it does -- seems like the height of hypocrisy. It's fine for Google to crawl and index whatever sites it wants in order to set up its ranking algorithms, but the second someone looks at Google's own rankings as part of their own determination, suddenly its "cheating"?

This seems like the latest in a series of indications that Google has moved past the innovation stage into the "protecting its turf" stage. That would be a shame."

Cached OkCupid Article: Why You Should Never Pay For Online Dating googleusercontent.com
447 points by JacobAldridge 22 hours ago   78 comments top 16
63 points by pyre 22 hours ago 1 reply      
It's sort of funny how removing the article has spawned a bit of the Streisand Effect, though I gather it's probably only limited to our little corner of the web. And even at that, it would probably just 'look weird' if they were still hosting the article after the acquisition, regardless of the attention that removing it draws.
69 points by siculars 22 hours ago 4 replies      
hey, i'm all for selling out but im not into rewriting history. either leave the post or write a new one saying why it was wrong or what has changed. dont go rewriting history by trying to delete it.
4 points by maeon3 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Cache copy (for when the Google Cache expires)
15 points by dangero 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I have liked OKCupid's posts in the past, but this one is clearly propaganda. There's a pretty obvious flaw in this argument:

"It turns out you are 12.4 times more likely to get married this year if you don't subscribe to Match.com."

The data to back it up is based on Match.com press kit:

"12 couples got married or engaged today thanks to Match.com"

What they're missing is that a lot of people get married or engaged while subscribing to Match.com, but not due to Match.com. Heck, my roommate did. It's not an exclusive arrangement. In fact, it's pretty likely that if someone is subscribing to Match.com they are also dating outside of Match.com.

17 points by citadrianne 18 hours ago 1 reply      
9 points by rhizome 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I must have missed the story on this page's apparent disappearance or whatever.
1 point by kenjackson 19 hours ago 1 reply      
It's unclear to me why I shouldn't pay for an online dating site from reading that article? The only thing that he says that really drives that point is that they're incentivized for you to fail. But I'm not sure I buy that, since churn is probably higher when you get no dates than when you're dating but maybe just haven't found the "one" (if that's what you're looking for).

The main argument seems to be that number of profiles and active profiles are different. It seems like the takeaway to me is to be cautious and try to learn the number of active profiles.

1 point by weeksie 20 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with free dating sites is that they have to be fucking enormous to make any money. OkC is an amazing product with a huge user base and guess what? They had a tiny office and weren't making much money, then they were bought by (shock) a dating site with a sustainable business. IAC/Match sucks but they understand something the OkC guys don't"how to make money from their product.
1 point by citricsquid 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure it's the end of the world it was deleted, it was a conflict of interest and leaving it up would have been something they got criticised for, but on the whole I don't think the article was that bad. It just pointed out that paid dating sites are tricky with their marketing.
8 points by pointpointclick 19 hours ago 1 reply      
We have always been at war with Oceania.
1 point by GrandMasterBirt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this article, and I always loved OkCupid for their statistical analysis and myth debunking. I am very saddened that they had to join their competitor. O well.
5 points by alphadog 20 hours ago 1 reply      
It's called "harmonization". China does it all the time.
2 points by bmm6o 21 hours ago 1 reply      
It appears to be gone. Anyone have a copy?
1 point by jewgonewild 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I really hope that OKC keeps publishing articles about the online dating scene. They had some good insight about a lot of different online dating phenomena.

Match seems like a shady outfit that would not want to publicize this type of data.

1 point by joelrunyon 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Still wondering why I should care...
-4 points by chailatte 19 hours ago 0 replies      
For most American women a $19/month subscription is a good investment for them to sleep around for a while with some bad boys, and when the time comes, marry a chump who will pay her to quit her job, go to coffeehouses and have nice lunches with the other married girls, or get her nails done at the cost of maybe $15k a year. Then maybe divorce him a few years later for a nice change of $100k. Not a bad return at all.
So Long and Thanks for all the Bits jacquesmattheij.com
398 points by jacquesm 3 days ago   103 comments top 64
46 points by edw519 2 days ago 3 replies      
The downside for me is that I'm a person that is of an addictive nature
and I can't do things half...

Me too.

I have always struggled with how to allocate my limited time. Every time I have wanted to do something in the past few years, the first question that came to me was, "How much time will this take away from my work?" At first, if the answer was nonzero, I didn't do it. But I have slowly learned that nonzero answers were OK, and in many cases, quite welcome.

About a year ago I vowed that I'd quit HN on the day that I'd pass 50,000 karma...

Funny, some time ago, I vowed that I'd never quit HN, no matter how high (or low) my ROI. I was one of the first ones here and plan to be here to help turn out the lights (perish the thought).

Jacques, please understand that you are part of my addiction to HN. Your contributions have been priceless. I suspect you have reached the point in your life where you have a responsibility to "pass on" the gifts you have received. You probably have many other ways to do this, but none, I imagine, as effective as Hacker News.

Your contributions here have changed lives. I hope you haven't pulled a Matt Maroon and obfuscated your password. I urge you to reconsider. It is possible for an addictive overachiever to get most of his work done and still be part of HN. I am living proof.

Part of being a successful achiever is not giving up. I hope I'm not alone in not giving up on you. There must be a workable solution to your problem. Consider us resources to find it.

What do we have to do to help you continue to be part of this community without sacrificing too much else?

23 points by DanielBMarkham 3 days ago 1 reply      
So first thing this morning I scanned HN.

Then I scanned the rest of my 30 startup tabs in my browser.

Coming back to HN, and wanting to get some work done, I finally forced myself to close the tab.

Two hours later I succumb to my inner demons and open HN back up, and there's JacquesM saying he's bailing.

Yay Jacques! Boo Jacques! I respect the hell out of you and I'm going to miss you. I even at one point thought about coming by and visiting, and then it occurred to me: what would we do? Sit in a coffee shop and post comments back and forth on HN? Something wrong with this picture.

So I think you are doing the right thing. My current strategy is to use stopwatches and such to limit my participation -- so far with very mixed results. I am able to use HN as sort of a reverse productivity indicator: the longer I stay on HN any one day the less likely I am to feel like the day was well spent. That's not HN's fault by any means: I think there's just something naturally addictive about interacting with lots of other people who have the same skills and interests as you do. HN is my watercooler. And that's a good thing and a bad thing.

Remember that if you come back we will all forget the fact that you left. Kind of like your friends at the bar forgetting that you went to rehab. :)

52 points by patio11 3 days ago 0 replies      
I hope you (and everybody else in the community) have peace, prosperity, and happiness, whether on HN or wherever your journey leads you.
29 points by jgrahamc 3 days ago 4 replies      
Interesting. I've been working on a blog post entitled "My slow disengagement from HN" about why I had been slowly walking away. But people might as well read yours.

I've been consuming HN through the newsyc50 Twitter account which only shows me news items that have > 50 points. I started out with newsyc20 (> 20) and have been weaning myself off.

I've found that stopping reading the conversations has been the easiest part, but that HN's filter of interesting stories is hard to beat.

17 points by swombat 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sorry to see you go! I hope you're not leaving the IRC channel though :-)

For what it's worth, for those who feel HN is a bit too engaging but still want to read the best, most useful startup articles every day (according to who? according to me!) do follow http://swombat.com as a low-engagement substitute. Swombat.com will never take over your life - you can't even comment there! :-)

(Email subscriptions are coming soon, for those who don't even want to open up the browser)

20 points by pclark 3 days ago 2 replies      
I use all addictive web services primarily on my iPhone:

* Facebook

* Quora

* Twitter

* Hacker News

The interface is slightly more awkward - but not annoying - and I generally check my iPhone when doing something that is inefficient (eg: making tea) so I don't feel bad about using web services there.

I find its made a big difference to my productivity.

5 points by aresant 2 days ago 1 reply      
My personal solution to the HN addictiveness problem is to use the noprocrast, maxvisit, and minaway that are built into your user settings.

Mentioning here as it was probably 6 months before I realized these existed - from the original thread:

"Like email, social news sites can be dangerously addictive. So the latest version of Hacker News has a feature to let you limit your use of the site. There are three new fields in your profile, noprocrast, maxvisit, and minaway. (You can edit your profile by clicking on your username.) Noprocrast is turned off by default. If you turn it on by setting it to "yes," you'll only be allowed to visit the site for maxvisit minutes at a time, with gaps of minaway minutes in between. The defaults are 20 and 180, which would let you view the site for 20 minutes at a time, and then not allow you back in for 3 hours. You can override noprocrast if you want, in which case your visit clock starts over at zero."


17 points by michael_dorfman 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well, I certainly didn't see that coming.

I'm a bit speechless, but thank you for your participation, and all that you've given the community over the years.

11 points by Samuel_Michon 3 days ago 1 reply      
Jacques, you are one of my favorite commenters. I'm sad to see you go, but I definitely understand your reasons, this place is way too addictive. I've added your blog to my Google Reader list [1], I hope you'll write there often. I especially love the monthly idea dump.

Het ga je goed.

[1] For those interested, the RSS feed url is: http://jacquesmattheij.com/blog/1/feed

7 points by zackattack 2 days ago 0 replies      
Jacques has been a tremendously valuable member of this community and a true friend to me. Asking nothing in return he has always been there to help.

I remember one day a couple months ago everything that could have possibly gone wrong with my business/life... did. It was one of those moments they always warn you about in the startup literature, and I was not expecting it at all. I didn't even realize what was happening - that this was one of "those" moments - I really, really was ready to quit.

Jacques talked me through it. I was ready to throw in the towel and he was there talking to me on IRC and email and cheering me on.

It was one of those things that you just don't forget. I never forget people who are there for me when I really need them.

Jacques is a friend and the entire community is for the worse from his departure. The plus side is that since Hacker News is now slightly worse, hopefully the downward trend will continue and he will come back again, restoring equilibrium.

8 points by user24 3 days ago 0 replies      
I joined reddit when I was supposed to be writing my MSc thesis; my karma soared to a few thousand pretty quickly.

Karma is an odometer, counting up how much time you could have been spending doing something else.

It does pay to take a step back from time to time. Fare well, and I wish you all the best.

14 points by Flemlord 2 days ago 0 replies      
> About a year ago I vowed that I'd quit HN on the day that I'd pass 50,000 karma, that should be enough for anybody and that point in time has come.

Downvoted. ;-)

6 points by ohyes 2 days ago 1 reply      
When I want to get work done, I just set my hosts file to block all of the time-wasting sites. localhost news.ycombinator.com www.reddit.com


Then if I want to check those sites I have to go through the hassle of opening the hosts file and commenting the lines.

This definitely of keeps me from checking 'reflexively' throughout the day.

Its a solution that even works on Windows and Mac!

6 points by Jun8 3 days ago 1 reply      
What, noo! OK, here's the deal, nobody upvotes this submission so he doesn't go over 50K karma :-)

I never corresponded with jacquesm personally but in my relatively brief time in HN came to enormously appreciate his thoughtful and knowledgeable comments, his calm, anti-flame tone, but most importantly his generosity with ideas.

I am perplexed by this decision, though. I spend one to two hours per day on HN on average, assuming he does more, it's a good chunk of time. Yet, isn't stopping contributing altogether somewhat drastic?

I think HN needs all the mentoring it can get and hope that this does not become a trend. As they say: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!"

4 points by JacobAldridge 3 days ago 0 replies      
I look forward to reading the follow up memoir about your time on HN, 'Mostly Harmless (Assuming Time has no Value)'.

It is tempting to downvote some of your old comments to keep you below the 50,000 limit. But as others have pointed out, there will be plenty of other opportunities to connect and learn from you. I'm sure the productivity boost that awaits you will be a boon to us all.

For specifics, I found your sharing the experience with ww.com and video in the early days of the web were incredibly interesting and edifying. Thank you for that.

5 points by mahmud 3 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations Jacques! That's a very good decision. We will stay in touch privately, but I agree, it's best to get hooked on more useful things.


2 points by niyazpk 2 days ago 0 replies      
So one of the superstars of HN is leaving?

Jacques, it was wonderful to know you and read your thoughts here on HN. HN will miss you dearly. While I respect your decision to leave, I'd urge you to reconsider the decision to leave completely. And if you decide to come back, we will be as welcoming as we always were...

Till then, so long my friend.

4 points by justlearning 3 days ago 0 replies      
Jacquesm, I never written to you before...I have always procrastinated emailing you. Just wanted to say thank you!.

You have been among the articulate members in here. There are so many 'high' posts from you that not even a * top jacquesm 100 posts * would do justice to your contribution.
Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Would it be private to disclose what you would be doing in your "HN time"? Any thing new on your mind? I was wondering how you would hold it back without letting us know :)
Please do write about your 30 day de-addiction experience

Good luck to you (and hope you (don't) have a relapse!) :)

5 points by steveklabnik 3 days ago 1 reply      
Jacques, I'm sad to see you go. I myself remember telling my girlfriend that I was going to quit after 2k karma, and then I was going to quit once I made it to /leaders... and here I am, posting a comment.

Maybe someday I'll have the same degree of self-control you do.

5 points by jeromec 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's a bit early for April Fools, Jacques. Nice try. I give it about a week.

If you are in fact serious and able to break the engagement I'm sure I won't be alone in wishing for the speedy return of your contributions.

3 points by othello 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the kind of message that reminds me that HN is not eternal.

That one day, it will be remembered as a precious community, surprising in the quality of its members and the stability of its standards. A sort of modest, modern day digital Athens if you wish.

So let's enjoy it to the fullest while it lasts, and thank you Jacques, for all the invaluable contributions you brought to the community.

3 points by ajays 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, 50K karma in just 785 days? That's almost 64/day, quite a feat.

For me, the discussions in the threads are the best part of HN. The submissions are great; but what brings it all together is the discussion.

6 points by RiderOfGiraffes 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty sure I'd prefer to be remembered for most insightful contributions, rather than just as "Best Nick". Still, I'll take what I can.

No doubt we'll still be in touch. I have some follow-ups that I've promised, and are still on the way.


3 points by yan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Jacques, I can understand and respect your decision. Thank you for your years of engagement and contributions. Hopefully, we'll stay in touch.
3 points by zacharycohn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Jacquesm- You were the first person I ever "noticed" on HN, and whenever I'd scan through comments I'd always stop to read yours. While it's sad to see you go, I understand all your reasons. I've been involved with other communities and had to do the same thing.

Good luck, and like swombat said - I hope you stick around the chat. :)

3 points by chegra 3 days ago 0 replies      
It was a pleasure Jacques.

Well gentlemen, this how you make a graceful exit. Round of applause.

(HN Roast anyone?)

2 points by david927 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm actually really happy to hear this. While we'll all miss you terribly, every minute you're on HN you're not putting your brilliant mind to much more important things.
1 point by vaksel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sucks to see you go, you've been one of the better posters on here(if not the best). But I know exactly where you are coming from...HN is just a huge time sink and really hurts your productivity...something new and interesting shows up every hour, so you don't have time to actually get things done.

The best way I found was to eliminate HN from any bookmarks and navigation bars. When you have to type stuff in to get here, you really cut down on your visits.

I think HN itself is a net positive overall since you get to learn a lot of what's happening out there without checking 30 websites for news. The problem are the comments. You check to see what people are saying, then come back and see if there were any new ones or if someone responded to a comment you found interesting.

What pg should do is add a productivity option that doesn't show the comments link. That way you still get the stories, but aren't distracted by the discussion.

A quick and dirty version of this would be to set
.subtext { display: none;}

2 points by StavrosK 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well, that's too bad. I don't know if what works for me will work for you, but I find it very hard to check the news sites (or the web) when I'm working on something very interesting.

I'm guessing you wouldn't have to go if that did work for you, so thanks for your help and support over the months I've been here.

2 points by jaxn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quick! Everyone downvote comments from jacquesm and let's see if we can get his karma back below 50,000.

In all honesty, like many others here I completely understand and wish you the best.

The other day I saw the "lists" on HN and wondered what those karma leaders get done in addition to gaining karma on HN.

2 points by Mz 3 days ago 0 replies      
Classy exit. Should you find cold turkey not working for you, let me suggest this might be an opportunity to hack yourself and figure out how to participate in a non-addictive manner, which could be a profound positive change in how you operate generally (since you indicate you have "an addictive personality").

Peace and good journey.

1 point by mechanical_fish 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the kind words about my nic ;), and good luck to you.

Perhaps one of these days someone will succeed in inventing the optimally addictive HN experience, and we'll look forward to seeing you then...

1 point by ErrantX 3 days ago 0 replies      
Heh, going cold turkey to kick the "addiction", probably the only way. Wishing you luck with it. The place will be weird without you :)

Thanks for all your contributions Jacques, drop me an email any time :)

1 point by jackowayed 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel a lot like how I felt when _why "died". Someone who made great contributions to a community I love is leaving said community.

Best of luck, Jacques. We'll miss you, and we'll always love to have you back, whether to return full force or just ask for feedback on a startup and then leave again.

2 points by jacques_chester 2 days ago 0 replies      
Finally, I can rise to prominence as The Other Jacques!

edit: I can't read this thread, I feel like everyone is addressing me personally :/

1 point by pyre 2 days ago 0 replies      
A little off-topic, but I wonder if it would be easy/hard to write some sort of proxy rule that strips all cookies sent to the news.ycombinator.com domain. That would prevent you from ever being able to login, but would still allow you to maybe browse the frontpage. (Or even better strips all cookies, and only allows access to the frontpage or just the RSS feed
1 point by jeff18 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am really, really bad with names -- even more so on Hacker News where the names are grayed out...

But jacquesm is definitely one of the few that stuck with me. You will be missed!

4 points by rudiger 2 days ago 1 reply      
If I had known you'd be quitting after 50,000 karma, I'd have downvoted more of your comments!
1 point by rubyrescue 3 days ago 0 replies      
i totally understand the sentiment. i just set my maxvisit/minaway to 20/1300. one visit per day is healthier. perhaps no visits per day is healthiest for me as well...
1 point by khafra 2 days ago 0 replies      
Jacques, I remember you telling me once that karma here at HN was as gameable as it is anywhere. I remain convinced that you've gamed it by making consistently high-quality, thoughtful, well-supported comments and posts helpful to the people likely to vote here. You've certainly earned your HN retirement, if it's that time; but the community will be poorer for it.
1 point by ww520 2 days ago 0 replies      
Jacques, thank you for all the wonderful posts. Really enjoy your insights and the sharing of your life stories. I'm impressed with your desire to continue to learn new stuff and asked questions.

I completely understand your motivation to quit HN. It takes a lot of time and effort to write well thought out posts. Taking a break is good. I hope you do come back for reading. HN is a nice source for news. I found that not logging in helps to stop the urge to post. May be, just may be, after a while we'll see your posts, however sparsely.

Good luck and wish you success on all your endeavors.

1 point by ptn 2 days ago 0 replies      
A very sincere thank you, yours were the comments that would be on the top of my list. Good luck!
1 point by _pius 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for your great contributions Jacques ... it'll be strange not seeing you around here anymore. Best of luck!
1 point by petercooper 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awww - but, all the best to you, sir. Less traffic and faster pageviews does sound good though.. :-)
1 point by mattwdelong 2 days ago 0 replies      
You have helped me both indirectly through your contributions on HN and personally one on one via #startups on freenode, and for that, I thank you.
1 point by mcantelon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Happy trails, Jacques... enjoyed your commentary and perspective.
1 point by jhancock 2 days ago 0 replies      
Jacques, thanks for what you've contributed here. You are a voice of reason and capture the spirit of why I lurk and occasionally participate on HN.
1 point by eagleal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you found a new similar community to join? In the sense a new community with fresh "ideals" you are thinking of joining or already did. It's been more then 6 months I've been trying to find a good place (I need a way to keep track of trends).

I think I've assimilated all HN could give me. And good luck!

1 point by afterburner 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would HN participation be more manageably casual if the home page kept popular stories around for more than a day? Then you wouldn't feel like you had to visit every day just because you might miss something.
3 points by adii 3 days ago 0 replies      
I actually found your blog via HN and have since too become a regular user of the network.
2 points by kilian 3 days ago 0 replies      
Jacques, succes met je volgende avontuur ;)
1 point by neovive 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry to see you go and thanks for all the great insights over the years. Hopefully you stop by a few more times to read all of these appreciative comments.
2 points by Swannie 2 days ago 0 replies      
Au revoir, not good bye. I'm sure you'll be back, for old times sake.
1 point by dhimes 3 days ago 0 replies      
I will miss your contributions, which I always find thoughtful and often find enlightening. Best of luck to you!
1 point by fedd 2 days ago 0 replies      
i just (almost) quit smoking the http://www.sql.ru, a #1 russian database guru community where i have 30k posts, and now you say that hackernews is as addictive?

oh, no...

1 point by pclark 3 days ago 0 replies      
You're a good guy. Good luck. :)
1 point by aaronbrethorst 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you, Jacques! We'll miss you :)
1 point by fooandbarify 3 days ago 0 replies      
Cheers, Jacques. We never knew each other but I always appreciated your insights. All the best!
1 point by varjag 2 days ago 0 replies      
Your contributions will be missed.
1 point by nalbyuites 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope now you can concentrate better on your other endeavours. Good luck!
1 point by chanux 2 days ago 0 replies      
Will miss you. Farewell.
1 point by gsivil 2 days ago 0 replies      
All the best, Sir.
1 point by marknutter 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard googleblog.blogspot.com
364 points by ssclafani 2 days ago   100 comments top 24
24 points by dholowiski 2 days ago 2 replies      
Very cool. I assumed it would be filled up with Spam right away, but it's not - they must be doing some kind of filtering to make sure only Egyptian callers can leave a message.
Most of the messages are not in english (duh) but here are a couple english messages. I'm surprised google isn't doing speech recognition and translating these for us too.





30 points by JonnieCache 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some amazing stuff on there. This message brings a tear to my eye.


12 points by halo 2 days ago 0 replies      
YouTube are now offering a live stream of Al Jazeera (scroll half-way down the page): http://www.youtube.com/aljazeeraenglish
13 points by mvandemar 2 days ago 2 replies      
8 points by InfinityX0 2 days ago 2 replies      
This Egyptian situation puts new perspective on Malcolm Gladwell's popular article, "The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted". I'm not sure how it applies (if at all) - but it's interesting that the revolution comes from the fact that people really can't tweet (or use the internet, more importantly). Would love to hear 2nd thoughts from people here RE: that article.


3 points by elliottcarlson 2 days ago 3 replies      
I am surprised no one is concerned about this in regards to the safety of the callers. The government is obviously taking all steps in silencing in or outbound communication - with the obvious control structure in place over communications, it would seem feasible for the government to trace calls to these specific numbers (even if they block them) and punish people who do so.

Don't get me wrong, I want to know what is going on there, and anyone willing to leak that information out is doing something heroic imho - but the safety of these individuals could be in serious threat - or maybe I am just overly paranoid...

3 points by JonnieCache 2 days ago 0 replies      
Telecomix are working on their own system - they are taking faxes which they will then post. Unfortunately they do not have the resources to set up on the trunk in egypt like google so its an international call to germany.


3 points by nicpottier 2 days ago 1 reply      
Uhm.. isn't this what SMS is for? For one it is way cheaper for the callers, for two it innately enforces the Twitter character limit. Doing voice to text seems like a pretty roundabout way to do this, anybody have any clues?

It's nice and all, but just seems like a solution looking for a problem.

2 points by sfphotoarts 2 days ago 9 replies      
Thousands of years seemed to go by where uprisings didn't need social networking.

The Babylonians didn't need Twitter when they rose up against the Assyrian Empire. The Inaros' didn't need Facebook when they confronted the Persians in Egypt (although they did have the help of the Greeks). Julius Caesar didn't tweet 'hey watch out Pompey' when he marched on Roma. Did the Sicilian Vespers need Twitter to alter the balance of European power under King Charles 1st. Maybe the great Peasant revolt in Medieval England would have been more successful had they used Twitter - although they did manage to keep the term poll tax out of the tax lexicon for 600 years. Then, of course, the period of history after Elizabeth 1st where pretty much everyone revolted at some point (even here in America) those all seemed to happen without need for social networking.

I think humans are perfectly well equipped to revolt without social media. The currency of revolt has always been large numbers and big sticks.

Maybe our (the HN community) sees the world through a lens that makes it impossible to accomplish what is an everyday occurrence (on the historical scale) without the internet.

3 points by dustyreagan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here's a very active Google Docs spreadsheet of @Speak2Tweet translations: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?hl=en&key=tVDU006Wt9...
5 points by austinB 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is an absolutely great idea that strikes a blow to regimes who try to suppress uprisings by shutting down the internet. I can't say I am entirely optimistic about the direction Egypt will take if open elections are held, but their citizens have a right to have their voice heard.

That being said, the 'nonchalantness' in this line regarding the SayNow acquisition was quite funny, "We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality."

Well done Google.

3 points by nathanb 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting...in the old days, those phone numbers would go to the news desk of some major media corporation. The fact that (at least purportedly) Egyptians would consider getting their tidbits on Twitter--and the fact that Twitter scales better for this sort of thing than even the largest old-media institution--seems profound.
2 points by mvandemar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sad, a caller from an hour ago said they expect to have their phones disconnected also, which would render this useless, I think:


1 point by citricsquid 2 days ago 1 reply      
This raises a thought for me with regards to my own Twitter usage. I find this a great idea and would like to follow it, but the high level of tweets this produces will saturate my stream and block out the other people I'm also interested in (I follow ~30 people and keep the people I follow limited to those I am truly interested in) so I wonder, could Twitter eventually have some sort of "Watch" feature?

Display would be the same style as trending (maybe next to it and re-position the suggested users) where each "watched" user is displayed with a running tally of total tweets and next to that the # of new tweets since I last visited their page? I guess lists would be a temporary solution, but even they get saturated easily.

completely off topic, but maybe some others share the same desire, I figure this is a good topic to use as an example :-)

2 points by danteembermage 2 days ago 0 replies      
This should significantly raise the economic cost to stifling speech in Egypt for the current regime (shutting down the phone system is probably significantly more disruptive to daily life that the internet there). Of course assuming locals manage to find out about it.
6 points by p90x 2 days ago replies      
Seeing Americans companies take sides in the politics of foreign countries in such enthusiastic, carefree ways leaves me feeling very uneasy.
4 points by ptornroth 2 days ago 0 replies      
A profoundly beautiful project, with profoundly beautiful results. Honestly, I really think there's something more permanent here. We ought to experience more world events with this degree of humanity, and lack of abstraction.
3 points by ammmir 2 days ago 0 replies      
woah, i just posted http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2163688 about my startup camp experience and doing something similar but in reverse: calling you for new tweets.

doing my app with the google speech recognition API would be awesome!

2 points by ine 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find it pretty cool that Google is willing to get actively involved in this. Some of the calls are even in English (ie. http://www.saynow.com/playMsg.html?ak=TkxFNENGTHVQQzdTdVE4N0...)
2 points by yters 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hopefully the result of the revolution gets them a better government, unlike pretty much every other revolution in history (America is a special case).
1 point by jdp23 2 days ago 0 replies      
kudos to Google and SayNow. good use of Twitter too!
1 point by kalpeshjoshi 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is an excellent idea, another medium to get the message, especially using older phone technology. I think the arabic speech recognition / txt translation is on it's way, we've come a long way with just character based text translations (i.e. mandarin, hindi, etc.).

Another thought: it actually seems like the reverse strategy of the aftermath of the floods in Australia. Where services need to keep the phone lines open for rescue workers and orgs, so people could tweet their distress msgs and location to relief orgs using broadband access over 3g.

1 point by tobych 2 days ago 1 reply      
Couldn't translations be crowdsourced?

I've asked an Egyptian friend living in the UK if he could offer translations (transcripts) of some of these.

-4 points by _sebkom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't this very different to the way twitter works?

I follow this account and get links that I have to click on and then click on the "play" button again in order to listen to some(or any)one's broken english?

Canadians Just Became World's Biggest Internet Losers. thetyee.ca
356 points by nirav 4 days ago   268 comments top 41
107 points by acangiano 3 days ago replies      
I'll provide one data point of how this affects Canadian internet users.

I currently have no caps with TekSavvy and pay $39 a month. Starting from March 1st, I will pay $31.95/mo with a 25 GB cap. Any gigabyte over the limit will cost about 2 bucks.

Now, you can buy a block at discounted prices. According to TekSavvy, based on my internet usage, I will need to buy at least a 275 GB extra block. Believe it or not, I don't torrent. I simply like to watch NetFlix, HD movies from iTunes, lots of educational videos online, and backup data in the cloud.

That 275 GB block costs $55/mo. So I suddenly go from paying $39 for unlimited data to paying $86.95 per month, and having to be careful about what I download and what not.

Oh, and the first thing I need to do is stop backing up my data, videos, and photos in the cloud. That's pretty much out of the question with the risk of paying $2 per extra GB. I'm buying an additional external hard drive instead.

How is that for innovation?

61 points by JeffJenkins 4 days ago 3 replies      
This doesn't explaining what's going on very clearly. Small Canadian ISPs are allowed to use the infrastructure of Bell Canada at wholesale rates in order to foster competition. This has been reasonably successful. What has happened now is that the CRTC ruled that Bell is allowed to impose the same per-user bandwidth caps on its wholesale customers as it does on its own users.

Since the smaller ISPs should simply be getting bandwidth from Bell, this is totally ridiculous. Their ability to compete with Bell on price or levels of service is almost totally eliminated. When my friends and family in Ontario were explaining this to me I kept having to ask them to repeat themselves because it boggled my mind how ISPs using bell's infrastructure could be subject to those sorts of restrictions.

21 points by cal5k 3 days ago 2 replies      
Here's another reason why this is bullshit... this is an excerpt from an article I'm working on:

The biggest problem with these caps is that they are, plain and simply, anticompetitive. Probably illegally so.

Let's take Bell's internet service as an example. Bell recently rolled out their “Fibe” offerings, both for internet and IPTV.

Their most accommodating plan, Fibe 25, has a ludicrously low cap of 75GB. It would be pretty easy to exceed that with HD content from iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, etc.

Fibe TV, however, delivers TV over the same network. Bell even treats the IPTV traffic preferentially, as you can in this gushing review:

There's only one minor difference: Fibe TV is not subject to the same usage caps. You can stream as many movies as you like over Fibe TV, watch as much TV as you like, and never get charged extra for the bandwidth.

Well now, that's funny. Didn't Bell's regulatory spokesperson say something to the contrary just the other day? Oh yeah!

“A bit is a bit is a bit. If you're a heavy user, regardless of what's causing the heavy use, you will pay more. That's the concept,” said Mirko Bibic, Bell Canada's senior vice-president for regulatory affairs.


Yes, Mr. Bibic, it appears that all bits are equal " but some bits are more equal than others.

This is a textbook case of anticompetitive behaviour, one of a long litany of recent sleazy undertakings by major Canadian telecoms (e.g. Rogers' suspiciously well-timed lowering of caps on their most popular plans when Netflix entered the Canadian market). It is also a textbook method for successfully stifling innovation, a problem Canadians are all-too-familiar with.

The Internet is now an essential service. While smart countries like South Korea, Australia, and Japan are making (or have made) large public investments in fast, ubiquitous, and unlimited Internet for all citizens, Canada continues to lurch backwards courtesy of myopic regulators, oligopolistic telecoms and a government that is unwilling to intervene for the good of all Canadians.

19 points by jacquesm 4 days ago replies      
The telecommunications situation in Canada is terrible.

Typically, in rural areas the way to get broadband goes something like this:

A bunch of people get a deal with a small ISP to finally provide them broadband because Bell says they won't be doing it. Then two weeks after all the gear gets installed and the small ISP starts signing up customers Bell will swoop in with an offer to undercut them and suddenly all the things that made it 'impossible' to get broadband before are mere chalk lines instead of the hurdles they were made out to be before.

In Canada it is illegal (or was, this is 4 years ago, it may have changed) to have a satellite receiver that receives FTA programming and so on.

8 points by JimmyL 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you're curious about the regulatory history of this issue - and who isn't, really - then CRTC decisions 2010-255 (http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2010/2010-255.htm) and (http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-44.htm) 2011-44 may be of interest to you. The former is the final in a series of decisions relating to Bell's request to allow them to move independent ISPs onto usage-based billing, and the latter is the recent decision on (effectively) an appeal of that decision.

If you don't care to skim the whole thing, the bottom line is that Bell is now able to force usage-based billing onto third-party ISPs, but must offer them a discount of 15% under the retail price at which Bell sells those services directly to customers.

Some other interesting tidbits found in there:

Unsurprisingly, Bell was against the idea of any discount, saying that even without a discount it would still be possible for independent ISPs to differentiate their services on price and "other methods". It's not clear how they'd actually do this, however. Oh, and PS there's way to determine an acceptable discount rate even if those assertions weren't true, so we shouldn't have one.

There's a nice note in there that "[the] Commission also received a large number of comments, mostly from individuals, that almost unanimously opposed the Bell companies' applications [to force usage-based billing]" - thanks for pointing that out, CRTC.

Bell is only required to provide third-party access to their legacy ATM networks, and not their new fiber-optic networks. This makes sense - as I've never seen the service advertised - but I hadn't seen that in writing anywhere.

If Bell ever does some form of promotion where they let people sign up on unlimited plans, they have to let third-party ISPs do this as well - although the mechanics are unstated ("[The] Commission finds that...to the extent that each company chooses not to charge UBB rates to any existing or new retail customer, it is required to treat GAS ISPs on an equivalent basis.").

Bell was about ambitious as you can get in the list of things they requested from the CRTC in these decisions. I'm not saying that I like this decision (as of March 1st I'll be paying TekSavvy more for less), but the CRTC did OK for the little guy when you see what else Bell wanted.

No one - not Bell, not the CRTC - says this is a technical issue. It's not that Bell can't handle all the bandwidth people use (which require a technical ITMP, in CRTC-ese), but that they see this as a way to increase profits by charging people who use more bandwidth more money (hence it's an economic ITMP).

28 points by waterside81 3 days ago 1 reply      
For those not familiar with Canadian bureaucracies, the CRTC governs telecom issues, similar to the FCC in the US.

What may not be so obvious, even to Canadians, is that the members of the CRTC used to work for Bell, Rogers, Telus etc. Much like employees of the Treasury Department in the US, these people go from private sector to public sector and back continuously. A running joke at Rogers used to be that whenever they wanted some sort of legislation changed, the VPs would draw straws to see who had to quit and join the CRTC.

9 points by MikeCapone 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a Tesksavvy customer and I got a email about this yesterday.

Until now I thought it was crazy that Austrlia was getting a censored internet and wondered how such a thing could happen in a pretty modern democracy. But now I feel like something worse has happened here... While new internet applications that use more and more data are coming out all the time and the cost of moving a byte on the net is going down rapidly, caps are getting smaller and smaller here just so the big telecoms can protect their on-demand TV businesses and keep internet service minimal without having to worry about competition.

This is so anti-competitive that it sickens me.

8 points by ronnier 3 days ago 2 replies      
This really disturbs me. I just moved to Seattle where I signed up for Comcast internet. A couple of days later, my connection stopped working until I activated my account on comcast.com. I did, and the first thing I saw was

High-Speed Internet Data Usage: 17%
43GB of 250GB

They sure hide that fact when you signup, not that I have any options, as Comcast is the only provider where I live. This is a horrible direction we are heading. And, if you go over the limit, they call and warn you. If you go over again, they cancel your account.

8 points by itistoday 3 days ago 1 reply      
If this actually passes, any sentiments I had about moving to Canada would evaporate. Good job guys, you're keeping the techies out.
8 points by sedachv 3 days ago 0 replies      
Canadians can sign a petition that also purports to send email on your behalf to the CRTC:


I've been considering not getting Internet at my new place when I move (which is coincidentally the end of the month, when this regulation takes effect) for productivity reasons, and this cements the decision. I've been pretty happy as a Teksavvy customer otherwise.

7 points by gregsadetsky 3 days ago 3 replies      
How expensive would it be to start a number of small independent Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs)?

I'm thinking of a decentralized "movement" of geeks organizing what's required to get neighborhoods and villages online: an omnidirectional antenna high enough that Line of Sight can be provided to most residents, a high bandwidth fiber optics connection at the center, and subscriber antennas at the residences.

I've tried to find more information on Motorola Canopy technology in the past days -- look at this example deployment in Nova Scotia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_for_Rural_Nova_Scotia...

From what I'm gathering, Canopy can be deployed over unlicensed frequencies (2.4 and 5 Ghz), allows for hundreds of subscribers connecting to a single Access Point, can provide up bandwidth in the 5-10 Mbps range, etc.

Are there particular advantages to Canopy over 802.11x? Could it become viable, with infrastructure costs spread over some years, to run a small local WISP? I'm thinking of a "Real Internet" designation/"certification" that could be given out to any ISP that follows a basic code of conduct: offers at least one unlimited transfer connection plan and does not throttle traffic.

Is starting an ISP, regardless of the physical layer, overly regulated by CRTC? The Wikipedia page says "The CRTC does not regulate rates, quality of service issues, or business practices for Internet service providers" -- is that in effect true?

How can anyone manage with 25 GB per month? Are Netflix or the NFB going to do something about this? If not, can "we"?

4 points by dholowiski 4 days ago 5 replies      
Iv'e been following this debate, but it's been difficult to find actual facts.
Right now with Telus (Canadian dsl ISP) i pay for 125gb transfer a month and $2/gb if I go over. Yes, the overage charge is insane but it's been like that for a long time.

As far as I can tell, the issue is that the big ISPs (tells, Rogers, bell) all have caps/overage, but the smaller ISPs that piggyback on their network can offer unlimited data transfer. This new ruling seems to 'even the playing field'.

I want the Internet to be free and unlimited as the next guy, but I have yet to understand what the big deal is here.

14 points by rafd 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm embarassed to be Canadian.

I'm not opposed to usage based billing - users who use more should pay more, but the rate should be commensurate to actual costs. Regulation is meant to protect the public from potentially unfavorable actions by authorized natural monopolies. Perhaps the ISPs should be selling bandwidth on a market, like with electricity.

2 points by DrStalker 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's not that bad. Really.

Australia has had data caps since broadband first came out; for the vast majority of of users a basic plan provides all the data they need, techy users with heavy usage patterns get higher plans, and people with the compulsion to torrent every TV in existence get plans with unmetered periods (a few ISPs don't meter traffic during the quiet periods at night)

The usual behavior once you're over your data cap is to drop the internet speed down to ~64kbs for the rest of the month so even if you kill your data cap you can still access email and other low bandwidth services, you're not off completely.

1 point by efsavage 3 days ago 0 replies      
The most dangerous problem isn't the markup or extra cost, it's that as soon as UBB is old news, the media companies that are now also the internet companies (comcast/nbc) will offer discounts on "in network" bandwidth, so an NBC show will cost you the regular 1.99, but a movie from another network, or an independent production will cost you extra.

I'd be all in favor of this kind of pricing if it was anything resembling an open market, like how the cell phone industry had/has major downward price pressure, but there are far fewer choices when it comes to wires into your house, so the local monopoly effects are very strong.

10 points by ashchristopher 3 days ago 0 replies      
The real kick in the junk is that the infrastructure Bell owns was paid for by the Canadian taxpayers when Bell operated as a crown corporation.

Not sure if the Rogers infrastructure was publicly funded (I suspect it was in part).

3 points by napierzaza 3 days ago 0 replies      
Working at a Canadian university I hear my boss say that bandwidth doubles every year for the same price. But Bell has been selling the same service (DSL) for less and less bandwidth... for a higher price every year.
9 points by goombastic 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ok, here is what is happening in India. It's even more sinister. The ISPs have made some sites free and everything else paid. So, facebook for instance is free while your "littlesite dot com" is charged. The regulators are sleeping.
1 point by mkramlich 3 days ago 0 replies      
Selling Internet access could become something like the next oil. Almost everyone in the US has to buy oil/gas, whether directly or indirectly. Therefore, that's a good business to be in. Internet usage, both in terms of breadth and frequency and data volume, will likely keep increasing. Therefore, getting into the business of selling access to it -- especially if you can sell metered usage -- could be increasingly lucrative. And it's a growing pie.

Furthermore, since so many mediums and industries are seeing their traditional cash flow streams go away due to the easy availability of free alternatives on the Internet, it makes sense that if you can't beat em, join em, and then just charge for the pipe to it all. So-called "pirates" can avoid paying for the official e-versions of digitizable media (songs, movies, images, encyclopedic info, sound effects, games, books, news, etc.) but it's much harder for them to avoid paying for the physical connection.

5 points by hekar 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm really lucky to live in Waterloo, Ontario. There's a provider called Yak that offers unlimited bandwidth, non-throttled DSL up to 10MB for $60 a month (comes with non-voip phone line and 5 calling features).

They have their own DSL centers and hence aren't going to be affected by this new proposition. I think we might see more companies starting their own DSL centers.

2 points by GrooveStomp 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder how this will affect companies like Mobilicity who offer unlimited cell phone data usage for an additional $10/month. I have no idea how Mobilicity operates and whether they're dependent on Bell's infrastructure or not, and whether the infrastructure is the same for cell phones as it is for internet.

A systematic breakdown on how this affects all ISPs and phone providers across all of Canada would really clarify the issue!

9 points by colindecarlo 3 days ago 1 reply      
Didn't the Egyptians just have the Internet cut off? I'd say they're the biggest losers.
2 points by napierzaza 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised as to how many regular people I've talked to who don't torrent and who have gone over bandwidth (with Bell). The caps are super low, even for regular users and not just the techies.
2 points by Swannie 3 days ago 0 replies      
A much better article explaining the same issue:

http://www.zeropaid.com/news/91228/crtc-ruling-could-mean-da... 2010 Nov 3)

Sounds like the regulator really dropped the ball on this one, giving small ISP's only 90 days to investigate possible alternatives, plan for them, and implement. 90 days?! That's insanely short. 9-12 months would have been reasonable. 90days? I'm stunned.

1 point by nl 3 days ago 2 replies      
We have this in Australia.

Here at least the situation isn't too bad, because we have competitive resellers at the ISP level[1].

The ISPs compete on service, bandwidth, data limits and inclusions. For example, many (most?) ISPs arrange peering with video providers like Tivo so video streamed on their services don't count towards the data cap.

[1] There are laws to ensure that any ISP can install their equipment in the exchanges, or get access to the dominate telco's equipment at close-to-cost. Most of the time, these laws work, if slower than ideal.

1 point by dhughes 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is going to suck, software gets bloated far faster than network hardware can be developed and certainly faster than network hardware can be installed.

New services such as Netflix and who knows what else is coming down the line (3D Netflix movies?) are going to use up your overpriced bandwidth faster than your ISP can evolve, they'll just charge more for the same service.

This will be like when video became popular when everyone was still on 56kbps modems, the web developed faster than the hardware meant to use it and it will stall development. Why develop when there isn't anyone using it or able to use it?

In the end people will do what they have to when they only have a limited amount of disposable income, ISPs will see people spend $50 for 10Mbps service and when the ISPs increase the monthly bill by a $1 here and a $1 there (to serve us better) consumers will get the 5Mbps service for $50.

3 points by westajay 3 days ago 0 replies      
This could snowball with a nasty public backlash.

Can anyone tell me if this is specific to bell? If so, how would this affect us out west where our wholesale provider might be telus, shaw or allstream?

2 points by commanda 3 days ago 0 replies      
Literally, I think Egyptians just became the world's biggest internet losers.
1 point by SaintSal 3 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of when the Canadian RIAA (CRIA) successfully campaigned the Canadian government for a "levy" on all blank data media in 2002. They wanted to charge an extra $21 per GB on CDs, DVDs and hard drives in digital media player - ostensibly to cover the costs of piracy. Sound silly? Canadian legislators obliged (though it was overturned in court years later.)


As I recall, this backfired since the levy eventually meant that they couldn't sue people for pirating content - they had already paid for it via the levy. Like double jeopardy.

Anyway, it proved that levies like this don't actually change behaviour much. Canadians drove to the US to buy their MP3 players. Telcos benefitted by online media consumption and competed heavily for broadband subscribers. Digital lifestyles in Canada flourished.

Ironically, it's now the telcos that are complaining for the same reason. The key difference now is that big telcos can use this decision to squeeze their competitors (who they also supply.) Though I can see ways that this will backfire too.

The good thing about the Canadian government is that they have a history of continually watching, listening, adjusting and even backtracking if they feel they made the wrong move. I hope this keeps the telcos from abusing their new rights, and from stifling digital innovation in Canada, which hurts them too in the long run.

0 points by fleitz 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's not a matter of regulations, it's a matter of markets. Some companies such as Bell treat their customers like crap and just want to lock them into a long term contract. So what? There are lots of competitors who will not be doing UBB such as Telus / Shaw / Rogers. Customers on Bell just became the world's biggest internet losers. If people don't like UBB they can always switch carriers unless they were dumb enough to take Bell's crappy long term contract.
2 points by westajay 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is really about conflict of interest. Perhaps it is time for regulation mandating the split of telecom from media content ownership.

In Canada, the telecoms own most of the major media assets (Shaw, rogers, bell).

4 points by Dramatize 3 days ago 0 replies      
Welcome to Australia
1 point by chad_oliver 3 days ago 1 reply      
You mean that most countries don't pay per gigabyte? I live in New Zealand, and there's only one company with an unlimited broadband package, and that's only with a two-year contract.

The norm in New Zealand is to pay for say, 20GB per month, and if you exceed that then you drop down to dial-up speed (or pay for more).

With all due respect to the Canadians here, it's not really that bad at all. Life goes on, and it actually seems to be a pretty good life too.

0 points by thangalin 3 days ago 0 replies      

    while true; do
wget http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/policymonitoring/2010/cmr2010.pdf;
rm cmr2010.pdf;


Japan ($9/month unlimited Internet access)

1 point by transition 3 days ago 2 replies      
Would be interesting to see if companies like Google, who have a significant stake in a "free and open internet", could establish operations in Canada. Google wants users online as much as possible so they can continue to serve ads. It's too bad all that dark fiber they own doesn't extend into Canada.
1 point by benregenspan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Doesn't that title still belong to Sierra Leone? Or perhaps Liberia? http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm
1 point by sheldonnbbaker 3 days ago 0 replies      
From the CRTC website (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/t1003.htm):
"The CRTC does not regulate rates, quality of service issues or business practices of Internet service providers as they relate to retail customers. This is because there is enough competition in the market that retail customers can shop around for service packages."

Yet they've completely paved the way for competition to be swallowed into oblivion. They're standing aside saying "it wasn't us - it's not our fault" and yet snickering behind our backs while they rake in the dough.


0 points by switch 3 days ago 0 replies      
what an overreaction. I`m in Canada and calling Canadians the biggest Internet losers is nonsense.

People who use 300 GB of data per month cost the ISP more than people who use a few GB a month. That`s just a fact of life.

Should they have flexibility to charge more - Yes.

2 points by reedF211 3 days ago 0 replies      
Socialism FTW! My province's government run ISP faught against the CRTC and is not implementing UBB. Bravo MTS!
1 point by yoyar 4 days ago 2 replies      
Seems like the CRTC needs to find a way to remain relevant. This is central planning, socialist style. I hope everyone enjoys it.
-1 point by Createideas 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well honestly this does kind of make sense.I'll explain
1.Verizon owns the pipes an charges companies or.Facebook or NEtflix a set fee for bundled usage fee.
2.Netflix and Facebook in turn would have to charge customers basic membership or usage fees to recoup the cost of there bundled usage fees they pay Verizon.
3.Customer would pay membership fees for services that we in theory and utilize alot more because there free.

In retrospect though based on the amount of members or customers of both these companies would there usage growth take that much of a hit and would those two companies still be able to operate if they were forced to change there business models and chage people just to access there content.

In the case of Facebook how many members would thy have if people were required to pay say $9.99 a month to access Facebook.

In the case of the Internet as a whole clearly it costs money for companies like Verizon to expand and lay new lines to meet the demands of usage.Why then would it not be right to charge the data hogs for overuse of bandwith?

Society has become addicted to free and believe that content in itself should have no cost associated with it.However people don't realize the manpower,creativity and cost associated just to have that content produced. It makes sense now as to why Rupert Murdoch is against the freemium models for news via the web.

I mean just think about it on a small scale just for me to write this comment.I'm paying for Internet service,heating bill,electric and other costs also.So why shoudnt I be able to pas that cost to the end user?

Tell HN: There is a Scammer Amongst Us
327 points by lrm242 2 days ago   74 comments top 9
170 points by requinot59 2 days ago replies      
As a side note, news.ycombinator.com should really have HTTPS access.

Passwords and cookies in clear HTTP are no good. Anyone here (should) knows it. Firesheep proves it. GMail and Zuckerberg suffered it.

Just buy or get a free SSL certificate, and let nginx or stunnel handles SSL and proxies HTTP to/from Arc. Total cost, being pessimistic: 150$ for the certificate verification, and 2 hours to set-up the certs & nginx.

I know, it's awesome, it's a custom Arc webserver and all, and good practices are for PHBs only, but still. For a "hacker" website, news.ycombinator.com is a shame regarding to privacy/security (see also: passwords stored as shasums (without even a salt), funny things like <img src="http://news.ycombinator.com/logout>, outdated versions of software used [http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=516122], etc.)

11 points by lrm242 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to add. If you've been taken by this guy but have felt intimidated or fearful to come forward, please email me. I have a strong suspicion that there are others, but I'm hopeful there are not. If the guy that took jiganti has scammed others, the more we know the better we are. If you don't want to go public with the information I understand, but please contact me. My email is my last name at gmail.
6 points by raganwald 2 days ago 4 replies      
I read this post: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2157281

While anyone who invests money and gets nothing in return has my sympathy, I don't see the relevance of a private business transaction to HN.

You will sometimes find someone plastering notices all over the city. These notices have a picture of someone and the warning not to date them because they are a lying, cheating low-life. Is this a public service intended to save other people from an unhappy fate? Or is it someone trying to get revenge by naming, blaming, and shaming someone else?

Unless the "scamming" in question is happening on HN, such as someone spamming HN with fraudulent posts, I have trouble thinking this kind of thing meets the HN guidelines.

22 points by lwat 2 days ago 1 reply      
The internet is full of scammers and on any reasonably popular forum you'll find them. Let's not turn HN into witch hunting central.
7 points by OoTheNigerian 2 days ago 0 replies      
This BrianHolt dude is obviously NOT clean http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1299094. Why did you not do basic research on who you were doing business with?
7 points by rknight 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a long time HN user, I created this account and a new e-mail only to provide some new information of identities that I found in the internet of pinksoda, after I give them to you I will not use this account again.

I do realize that maybe it will be difficult to believe in a new user with these claims, but I do assure you that I'm here only to help, your linkedin profile list a domain, send me a mail from this domain (with the correct headers from the correct IP, I know that you use Google Apps in your domain) and I will answer with the links that I found, I do not kow if they will be of any help, but I think they provide trails for you, some of them are right here on HN, and these ones I think there's no problem in post here:


With BrianHolt saying about a past website of him, I do not know if he said the truth.


I did not confirm this, but searching his name in Google will bring some of the links that I found, although not in the front page.

The e-mail: XXX@gmail.com

EDIT: I will try to give the links as early as possible.

EDIT2: I gave the links and some trails for Louis, although I'm not sure if they will be useful, I will not use this account again and will only answer Louis in the e-mail.

EDIT3: Smarter to remove the e-mail... a long day programming.

5 points by coderdude 2 days ago 0 replies      
It looks like you can add venaltech.com to the list of domains the guy is listed as the admin contact for. It doesn't look like that has been mentioned yet in any of the threads. Google that domain and you find a crap load of "reviews" on sites of questionable origin. A few of the domains of the sites that talk about it follow the pattern of *reviews.com so it looks like he probably paid some service to write them. You might be able to follow that trail.
34 points by japherwocky 2 days ago 3 replies      
can we get a tldr on this?
Why Stack Overflow Sucks and Participating There is Impossible goofygrin.wordpress.com
329 points by acconrad 1 day ago   201 comments top 55
110 points by cletus 1 day ago replies      
Let me add some perspective as a relatively highly ranked user (cletus) on SO.

I've seen this kind of post before and frankly it's annoying. The typical template is "I tried to answer 2 questions and didn't get 1000 points so it sucks" or some variation revolving around faster answerers or whatever.

Rather than being a problem, SO is a superb solution for the person asking the question because they do get fast answers.

Compare this to forums or mailing lists which I abhor as a means of asking programming questions. You'll often get no replies or useless replies (eg a bunch of people who don't understand the problem telling you that you shouldn't be doing that or asking you why) or the right answer might be buried on page 17 when the thread descended into an OT discussion on page 7.

There are certainly low-hanging fruit on SO (reputation wise) and people do compete for those. In my case, I used SO to learn things because of the quick feedback loop you got when you said something demonstrably wrong.

Now I barely go there because whether there's something to answer or not is pretty random and I really don't have time for the waiting game anymore. Other priorities now.

But to complain about a system where there are too many people answering questions is, to be perfectly blunt, ridiculous and narcissistic ("what about me?" rather than what about the asker).

Also, the questions are, for me anyway, a lot less interesting. For a lot of topics, they've now been covered. New questions are rarer and cover increasingly edgier cases. So you're reliant on new languages, tools and problems, which doesn't seem to come at the same pace the earlier questions did, which were basically backfill.

Let me also say that there is an art to answering questions on SO. The OP bemoans the quick answer getting the points while you write a thoughtful answer. My response? To paraphrase Steve Jobs, "he's doing it wrong". SO teaches you this.

If the question can be answered in one line, this is what you do. If more comments will add to the value of the answer, explain deeper issues or perhaps help in cases not necessarily directly relevant to the OP but possibly relevant more generally, then you edit your answer as you go, adding as necessary.

And if you think you can't write thoughtful answers on SO, you obviously haven't looked at some of the great answers that are there.

53 points by dansingerman 1 day ago 1 reply      
The thing is StackOverflow really really works. If I search Google for a programming query I nearly always find links to useful information on SO, if not the precise answer.

(I've even found my own answers via Google when I have forgotten how to do something)

That is SO's first and foremost use case. And I reiterate - it works extremely well.

The community features are secondary to that (it's not Quora), and there are thousands of users who will tell you that it is not 'impossible' to use.

21 points by kylec 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's definitely true that there are a lot of people waiting for new questions so they can pounce with a quick answer and get a few upvotes. However, there's also a large backlog of unanswered questions as well (http://stackoverflow.com/unanswered) that are very much in need of a "thoughtful, correctly documented" answer. And while it's unfortunate that legitimate brand-new users are unable to post comments, the reason behind the rep threshold was to reduce spam on the site. Commenting requires 50 reputation, or about 5 upvotes on an answer/10 upvotes on a question (both of which can be easily accomplished in an hour or two) - just high enough to deter spam.
20 points by bryanlarsen 1 day ago 2 replies      
It sounds like this guy wants to participate in StackOverflow just to be there rather than because he finds it a useful tool for his own work. I'm glad there are hurdles for people who are just there to "get a good rep" rather than there to support their real work.

A (hopefully) more common workflow would look something like this:

- a developer googles a problem, the StackOverflow answer floats to the top, and he notices this is a particularly good answer.
- this keeps happening, and the developer gets impressed

then one of two things happens (or both):

- he googles a question, and finds an old question without a great answer, and adds an answer. Yes, old questions don't get as many upvotes on their answers, but they do get upvoted, and at 10 points an upvote, it doesn't take long to get to 50.

- he googles a question and doesn't find an answer, so he posts a question

Neither of these require any rep, and you only have to do it once or twice with a good question or answer to get to the magical 50 karma. And 50 karma is the only milestone that matters on StackOverflow, in my opinion.

16 points by alanh 1 day ago 2 replies      
To me, the #1 problem with Stack Overflow is the number of plain bad answers that are given and often accepted. CSS question? Here's someone's un-researched and invalid first guess, that doen't work in practice. +10 karma and accepted.

Hard question? Here's some loser's gut feeling of “can't be done” in exchange for +2 karma, and then a knowledgeable follow-up a day later from someone who has actually been there, done that, and figured it out.

Example: Someone with 82k karma posts a non-answer rudely telling me I should be using another technology altogether, a cheap and worthless move that earned +2 karma: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4696128/bash-script-deter...

So often it's apparent people are just throwing best-guess answers out there for karma, and this is hugely unhelpful. There should be a large penalty for stating incorrect guesses as fact.

It's to the point where I instantly mistrust any answer from someone with over 10k reputation as I learned there is a good chance they are just shooting from the hip for karma.

8 points by randrews 1 day ago 4 replies      
I asked two questions, one about C and one about Objective C. I got answers to both, relatively quickly. The answers worked.

But, in the C question, I provided some more information by adding a comment instead of editing my post. Result? Comment deleted with a snotty note. In the Objective C question, I called the language "Objective C" instead of "Objective-C". Result? My question edited to fit someone else's idea of good style: http://stackoverflow.com/posts/2669817/revisions

It's that last one that really gets me. Someone with more karma gets to put words in my mouth? And my name gets left on the edited post? Wow. Done.

I get why they allow it, they want the site to be more searchable. And in a way I'm glad, because I get a lot from reading answers to things other people ask, but I will never again write anything there myself.

16 points by bherms 1 day ago 4 replies      
I don't really agree here.. While I do have my own gripes with Stack Overflow, I don't think this is the biggest issue. It took me two days of casual browsing/asking/answering to get a reputation of about 50 or so and another few weeks to get into the hundreds. -- Keep in mind I'm not a super genius expert or anything, I just asked a few questions and contributed a few answers in areas I was knowledgeable about. It's not that hard.

The only major broken part (IMO) of SO is that the SE network is becoming so disjointed and your rep doesn't transfer between sites.

8 points by PaulHoule 1 day ago 1 reply      
Personally I haven't gotten involved in SO precisely because of this. I don't feel the prize is worth the amount of effort that I'd put into playing the game.

However, plenty of people do feel that it's worth it, and certainly the barrier to entry keeps out (some of) the griefers that inevitably show up in online communities.

2 points by AgentConundrum 1 day ago 1 reply      
What a terrible article. I'm sorry for the rant, but this really pissed me off.

Admittedly, I don't participate in StackOverflow that much right now - I sort of go through an ebb and flow where I get really gung ho about answering questions, then it sort of wears off for a while - but this guy sounds a lot like he wants to game the system, and is only in it for the points.

I'm not trying to put words in Jeff/Joel's mouth, but I think the "answer before you comment" system is constructed the way it is so that noise can be reduced. By that, I mean that the system wants you to actually contribute something to the site to get used to how it works before you can "join the discussion". Comments aren't downvotable, presumably because they don't want to silence dissenting opinions in a discussion, and the average comment doesn't get upvoted at all. If anyone could just walk in off the street and leave a comment, you would end up with a bunch of "YouTube comments" being left by random passersby.

For a newbie, your only way to contribute to a question is to write an answer. Answering has a different social contract than does commenting. When you answer a question, you are expected to provide, well, an answer! If your answer is incorrect, then it will be downvoted to distinguish good information from misinformation. Downvoting is a way of saying "this content is harmful", and this is a perfectly valid response to a bad answer, but not a valid response to a bad opinion (i.e. a comment you disagree with).

If the OP provided answers on StackOverflow and was downvoted, then his answer most likely was simply wrong. I haven't seen many, if any, correct answers with negative scores on StackOverflow. The system tends to be fairly self-correcting in that respect. If someone is downvoted wrongly, there is more often than not another user who will upvote the answer back to zero. If the OP is simply lamenting that he isn't receiving upvotes (in contrast to the idea that he's being downvoted, which is a separate concept), then maybe his answer simply isn't as good as he thinks it is, and the "flawed answer" he wants to comment on simply isn't that flawed.

If the flawed answer is indeed flawed, then there is no harm in adding a new answer. Simply write your own detailed answer and include evidence explicitly proving that the current top voted answer is incorrect. When you post an answer, the site will kick the question back to the front page of the site, so you should get the opportunity for your "correct" answer to get exposure, and if it's any good, it should get upvotes.

What I take the most issue with in this article, however, is the OP's lament that any question he wants to answer is already answered. That's the whole point of the site! If the question is already answered, then the system is working. The site doesn't exist for answerers to get points; it exists for askers to get answers to their questions. If a question gets a lot of responses, that is a Good Thing.

Now, OP used to have a valid point about having a lot of "in progress" answers being posted. This was the so-called "Fastest Gun in the West" problem, and was solved by modifying the site to display same-scored answers in a randomized order. At this point, an "in progress" answer which doesn't yet provide enough value shouldn't have any upvotes, and therefore a new answer would have the same opportunity to be viewed as that answer. If you get your answer into a steady-state first, then you will get upvotes and you will get views. If someone else does, and gets upvoted, then at least the asker will get a proper answer to their question. If you're complaining about other people giving "minimum viable answers" which nonetheless help the asker, then you're probably just "rep whoring".

For my part, I tend to answer questions in the same way. I'll quickly add an answer which provides a technically correct answer that at least gives the asker enough to finish the answer on their own (for example, "This can be accomplished using the some_function function" is enough of a hint that it's useful - the asker can look up the some_function documentation and learn for themselves). Once that answer is in place, I'll go back and edit the answer to include links to the documentation (I'll usually save at this point), then add a thorough explanation of how the answer works and how to use it.

I've been commended by askers and other users for my in-depth answers to questions, and I've even beaten the "horde of already submitted answers" due to my quality. O a few occasions, I've come to a question that already had 5+ answers with "minimal correct answers", some of which have upvotes, and have written an answer with a lot of detail which ended up either the highest voted, or accepted by the asker (or both).

Basically what I'm saying is that if you're only trying to be a "rep whore" then yes, the system is against you, but that's a Good Thing. If you're in it to actually help people, then taking the time to write a detailed, quality answer is the best way to go, and it'll often net you points to boot.

7 points by noarchy 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Rep grinds" (see how MMO-speak has influenced us?) on non-gaming web sites may be becoming the norm. You grind out some rep, and get privileges based on that rep. One can argue that this serves as an effective barrier to keep out would-be posters of bad content and discussion, but as we can see it also screws with "legit" posters. Determined individuals will figure out how to work the game to their advantage, both for good and bad.
4 points by praptak 1 day ago 1 reply      
"So if you're knowledgeable enough to provide a counterpoint to someone else's poor answer, you have to post it as a new answer… and then you get down voted (lose rep!) for adding a new answer versus just commenting on the original, flawed answer."

Never happened to me. Sometimes I even noticed that the author had deleted the original wrong answer and left a positive comment on mine.

3 points by kaffeinecoma 1 day ago 0 replies      
I totally disagree with this blog posting, but here's a situation that I feel SO could do better.

I wish there were a feature whereby as a question-asker, you could say "I've dutifully read all the provided responses, and none of them answers my question. Marking this as 'unsolved'".

And then the "unsolved" questions would not count against your percentage in "accept rate". When new answers come in, you'd need to go back and re-evaluate whether or not the new responses answer your question or not.

The original idea of publishing askers' accept ratio is to encourage people to "give credit where credit is due". But it also has the unfortunate side effect of encouraging people to accept sub-par answers at times.

Apart from that I love the site, and hope Jeff makes a bundle (or at least a happy existence) from it.

4 points by olalonde 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's why I try to avoid StackOverflow as much as possible when I can ask my question on a smaller StackExchange site such as http://askubuntu.com or http://programmers.stackexchange.com. The quality of answers on smaller SE sites is usually 10x higher.
3 points by david_shaw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please stop saying that StackOverflow is 'broke.' The word you're looking for is broken. StackOverflow's overflowing stack of cash is doing quite well, actually.

Other than that admittedly nitpicky detail, the article is accurate and provides insight on a problem that I, too, have experienced. However, I don't think that StackOverflow is broken, I just think it's overcrowded. And for a question-and-answer style website, isn't that a good thing?

2 points by petercooper 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree 100%. I was in SO early (the beta) and still encountered this. Not only that, but a quick/early bad answer would tend to do better long-term than a later but correct answer.

Given this (and I'm no stranger to accumulating high levels of karma/followers/whatever by natural participation on sites) I only use Stack Overflow as a user now and rarely answer anything. It works great for that and I can sift through the answers and pick the one that works best while ignoring the score. It's clearly not for me in terms of participating fully but I can live with that.

9 points by Khao 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've never seen stackoverflow as a race to get the most rep possible. Reputation is just a "bonus", not a prerequisite to participate in the website. I like stackoverflow the way it is
1 point by jws 1 day ago 1 reply      
The right question is as important as the right answer.

The easiest entry is to ask a good question. The next time you run into a poorly documented problem, do some research, and eventually work out an answer, reformulate it as the question you wish Stack Overflow contained and ask it. You can always comment on things in your own question so you can guide the answers if they are going wrong.

• Two question up votes and you can vote things up.

• Five and you can comment anywhere

2 points by RuadhanMc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would encourage anyone who is interested about the thinking behind Stack Overflow, reputation, money, question and answer sites, badges, commenting, wiki, etc, to go back and listen to the early Stack Overflow podcasts. You will get an hour by hour insight into their thinking behind certain features of the site and will see that there are some very good reasons (and to be honest, some not) for some things being the way they are.


2 points by topcat31 1 day ago 0 replies      
I completely disagree with both the premise and conclusion of this blog post.

I'm a complete coding noob (http://www.7bks.com/blog/179001) and along the way to learning programming have relied on StackOverflow for about 10 questions.

For every single one I have received complete, thorough, helpful and patient answers. In short, I could not be happier with SO. As a beginner it's been a phenomenal resource both for searching and for answering specific issues.

The post makes the point that newbies can't answer questions - and for me this is one of the reasons the quality of the site is so high. If you let anyone answer then you don't know how good quality the response is. As a beginner how am I to know if a given answer is correct?

Of course, any community site still has problems like this and SO is not immune to it but IMHO this is one of the ways they keep the quality bar higher than any other Q&A platform out there.

1 point by jswinghammer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I went through a short period where I really cared about what my profile looked like there. I don't know why I ever felt that way. I think my top voted answer is telling someone what I thought important concepts in C to communicate to students are. I don't think that says anything about me positive or negative to be honest.

If you look around the top contributors to the python tag you'll realize there is a lot of room for people to submit good, thoughtful answers. If you take the time to write something good then it will get voted up and if that's what you want you'll be all set.

It seems like no worse of a way to spend your time than anything save perhaps reading a good technical book and let's face it there aren't very many of those.

14 points by lukasb 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."
3 points by adnam 1 day ago 0 replies      
"but you quickly realize that every question that's not some vague, poorly worded, open ended impossibility has already got 10 answers"

Exactly :) Stackoverflow has built-in breaks to control growth. Maybe HN could benefit from this ;)

1 point by nlawalker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Headline is misleading - the real complaint isn't that participating is impossible, it's that reputation is hard to earn. In SO's nascent days, you could earn rep simply by showing up and answering questions. Now that it's popular, if you want to gain rep, you have to muscle your way in using methods like the author describes.

I find it amusing that SO's creators chose the term "reputation" for their participation points, as opposed to "karma" or something else, because in this aspect it's pretty similar to real-life reputation. When supply is high, it's hard to gain reputation without gaming the system. That's not SO, that's life.

4 points by sajidnizami 1 day ago 1 reply      
Rep whoring? Q&A sites are there to help out not to give you points and stroke your ego.

I think if SO is hindering you into getting a good rep, probably you don't have enough domain knowledge.

PS: I've been there since the beginning and I still got 114 rep. I love the place because it has gotten me solutions at times without even asking.

4 points by pgroves 1 day ago 0 replies      
While I actually can empathize with the author on wanting to help out, he's really making stackoverflow sound awesome - knowledgeable people are falling all over themselves to answer your question, and don't worry about being a freeloader, they already have too much free labor going into the answers.
2 points by mcantor 1 day ago 0 replies      
This post appears to be written from the perspective that the goal of Stack Overflow is to gain points, when I believe the goal of Stack Overflow is to answer questions.
1 point by eliben 1 day ago 0 replies      
SO is optimized for askers, not for answerers and intentionally so! The whole goal of the website is to make asking questions simple, finding related questions (reasonably) simple, and getting good answers quickly. As you can see from profiles of some users, some people exchanged their books for SO (why look it up - just ask). True, the rep game is a tough one, but so is life, so get over it.
5 points by jwtanner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is Stack Overflow a game in which the goal is to get the most reputation and badges?

Or are you using it as a tool to discover solutions to programming problems?

Or Both?

3 points by alexsherrick 1 day ago 3 replies      
A lot of people are dogging acconrad, but I have to agree with him. I was having a problem with rails, and I found the answer on stackoverflow. The right answer had no upvotes, so I figured I would upvote it; this way the original "asker" would know it is the right answer. However, it said I didn't have enough rep to upvote... I'm sure he'll figure it out but this would save him from checking the other "solutions".
1 point by vannevar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the poster makes a good point. In the early days of SO, as in any QA site, there were a surplus of questions and a dearth of answers. It would've been suicidal to obstruct people from providing answers, so the bar was set low there. Comments on the other hand are less valuable early on, so there was no reason to encourage them.

Fast forward to today, and now there are a critical mass of people willing---even eager---to answer questions, so that every new question has a surplus of answers, many of them wrong. SO might well improve their signal/noise ratio by reversing their policy and requiring higher karma for answers than they do for commenting. As the poster points out, a newb is unlikely to come up with an answer not already posted, but nonetheless might have some unique experience or insight on that answer that could be helpful.

1 point by ben1040 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought the same thing when I joined SO a few months ago, and agreed with a lot of what was written in the blog post.

But, then I decided to give SO another chance just now. I posted two answers and in ten minutes got enough upvotes to get me out of the 15-rep new-user jail.

So consider my mind changed and I don't see what the big problem is, now.

1 point by kstenerud 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've never liked karma systems.

On the surface it seems to make sense: People who are helpful/insightful get lots of karma.
In practice, it fails on two fronts:

First, karma systems in and of themselves work based on popularity, under the mistaken idea that popularity = correctness/insightfulness/suitability. Quite often, the most insightful or thought provoking ideas are unpopular (or speaking the truth is unpopular). What you get is a system that automatically filters out the ideas that the majority are unconfortable with, and so you end up with an echo chamber which doesn't admit new ideas.

Second, the policies formed around the karma system grow biased AGAINST new users over time, which leads to community stagnation:

The initial couple of years are great. The early adopters are all eager to participate in meaningful ways, and build a thriving, vibrant community.

Then the gamers join in. They learn how to game the system to gain points. They do this just to show that they can.
Closely related, the karma whores move in. Their sole goal is to gain points for self-worth. The community is meaningless; points are everything.

As the gamer's techniques become more widly known, the spammers move in, automating the techniques to promote their spam, and the cat-and-mouse game begins, usually at the expense of making things more difficult for the users. These measures are almost always done with consideration of the already established user base, using them to determine what a "normal, real" user is like.

Once you hit this point, it starts to become prohibitively expensive for a new user to join in, thanks to the biased notion of a "normal user". Stack Overflow is a prime example of this, where you have to jump through all sorts of crazy hoops just to be able to even comment or gasp edit your own question because upon re-reading, you decide it's not as clear as it could be.

And so you complain. But people don't like complainers, so they all jump on you and say "It's not so bad! I went through the red tape and so should you!" and "If you don't like the red tape, there's no place for you here!"

There's a word for this: Bureaucracy.

As a service provider, you should be doing everything in your power to make things MORE accessible to new users, not LESS accessible. You should be ENCOURAGING participation, not throwing hurdles in their way. New users are fickle. Their first experience on your site will largely shape their perception of it forever. Start them off with a bad experience and they'll refuse to participate. Rampant bureaucracy is a sign of severe failure in the system.

1 point by angdis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stack-overflow is amazingly effective, especially when one considers the alternatives like those countless forgettable websites heavily laden with front-and-center ads, and the ones that have nag screens that block responses to answers until you "sign up", and the ones with clueless dilettantes fumbling in the dark.

My only concern is that I think the exchange community might get fractured/diluted if there are too many separate stack exchange sites.

1 point by rexreed 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only person that doesn't get this whole Stack / Quora thing? Why does anyone care about points?

Don't get me wrong - I love the fact that there's a place I can go to ask a question and get it answered by knowledgeable people. But what does that have to do with points? If people want to help each other, then great. If not, then don't.

Newsgroups used to fill this role quite well without points, but came with all sorts of negatives (as detailed above). The benefit of the Stack / Quora stuff is that you don't have to wade through irrelevant stuff to find what you need. but points?

1 point by d0mine 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Edit: closing comments since I'm tired of moderating (and I didn't delete any but the obvious spam). Thanks for letting me vent.

It is ironic to hear it from a guy who complains that he can't comment without enough reputation points on a site visited by millions.

2 points by spinlock 1 day ago 0 replies      
Or you could just ask questions. I don't write too many answers on Stack Overflow either but I usually do get a good answer to my programming/Ubuntu issues.

I would actually argue that Stack Overflow works great. This article is an excellent example of how their badge system creates a strong desire in their user-base to contribute answers to and participate in the site. Maybe I'm just weird because I could care less about karma and just want to get my questions answered (by the karma obsessed trolling the new questions list :).

3 points by markstahler 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is rep important enough to warrant a blog post complaining you cant get enough?

Man, money is too hard to get. I wish this damned CEO wasn't getting a 600k salary + bonuses. Blog post upcoming.

2 points by rhizome 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Impossible" seems exaggerated. Somehow, in an article decrying rep-whoring, the OP decided that title-whoring was OK.
1 point by messel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe SO is designed so that new users ask questions. Then after getting a few rep points from questions they can contribute back with answers or comments (my preferred input).
2 points by marcusEting 1 day ago 0 replies      
The other bad thing about SO is that when a question has some answers, even if they are not really right, nobody really pays attention to the question anymore.

So it feels like questions that move down in the queue with a few proposed answers are basically dead.

1 point by RobertKohr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Who cares?

If I hit a wall while working on a problem, I toss into the gladiator pit known as Stack Overflow, and after it has been mawed to pieces by a bunch of brilliant people, I stop by and get my answer and can continue whatever I was doing. Usually this all happens in the time it takes for me to get some coffee and maybe take a short walk.

It is a beacon of hope and joy to someone who has wasted too much time in the past trying to find the answers to hard problems.

So they are at each-others' throats trying to out answer other users so they can increment up a point counter. Gamefication is a great motivator, and I am happy that I don't have to use the typical motivators of begging, pleading, or -ugh- paying for quality technical support.

Emotional reactions to the competitiveness is the success of a very well designed game that has the outcome of great answers to problems that are typically hard to find.

1 point by acconrad 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd like to point out that while I definitely did not write this post, I did feel it easy to relate, because it seems hard at this point to gain reputation without gaming the system a bit. But there are so many ways to get involved...I think the best seems to be being knowledgeable in a very specific area of expertise - answering C# questions is really tough, but if you know Heroku, there are so many more questions there without answers that you can really gobble up quite a bit of reputation by knowing something niche.
1 point by nopal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe not from his perspective, but from the perspective of those asking questions and looking for answers, it works pretty well.
2 points by reason 1 day ago 0 replies      
You are concerning yourself with increasing a meaningless stored value on a website on the internet that, chances are, you'll move on from in a relatively short period of time. Take a second to think about that. That applies to here and all other social-voting websites. It's an unnecessary worry. Focus on things that matter.
2 points by quinndupont 1 day ago 0 replies      
The information on Stack Overflow is fantastic, but I just don't want to be a leach. And contributing something useful is challenging. Maybe I just don't have anything wonderful enough to say.
2 points by lhnn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why <noun> sucks, and <false hyperbole>
1 point by jodrellblank 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do programming language designers look for repetetive questions on SO and improve their languages so those questions wont come up in future?
1 point by tmachinecharmer 1 day ago 0 replies      
In this article you say that you are <strike>a pretty and smart</strike> "a pretty smart guy". Then you are definitely welcome at SO.

NOT participating in SO is neither a solution to your problem nor a decision that a pretty smart guy would take.

Give it a shot buddy! and I am sure you will NOT write an article about how awesome SO is because you won't find the words to describe SO awesomeness.

1 point by infocaptor 1 day ago 0 replies      
No matter what others say, but SO is awesome. I have got nearly instant responses. Only once I had to pay someone on freelancer to solve my jquery issue. It is like having SO community helping me in my development.

I know it is tempting to gain reputation points by answering simple questions.

Simple questions will have tons of responses.
Instead try to pick the tough ones and answer them.

1 point by cfontes 1 day ago 0 replies      
I Disagree badly... It's a wonderful environment for developers. I personnaly love it and I only have 101 points. that doesn't keep me from doing a thing there.

Really bad, bad article.

1 point by ddkrone 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is nothing sucky about the stackexchange sites. They are designed to be useful and growing repositories of frequent question and answers. The whole rep/voting thing is just a gaming layer on top to make the process of participation a little more fun but if you just focus on the gaming aspect and take it way too seriously like this guy then you miss out completely.
0 points by ForumRatt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I frequent the sister site Super User, I had no problem in getting rep points, so far I am at over 8K in less than 8 months. No these are not forums and you will be berated for not following the proper order of things. If you can't compete stay off the site, its not for everybody like a forum is.
0 points by flipside 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any Q&A site that discourages potentially useful answers is doing it wrong.

As it happens, I've come up with an algorithm that would solve the most common problems with Q&A sites (included the ones cited in this article) and am in the process of building a prototype.

0 points by devin 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The point system is all wrong!"

Epic fail at life.

0 points by basha 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not to try a new site for programmers http://tagmask.com. It provides the ability to filter out content according your preferences and looks really good. Have you checked it out?
Scott Adams: How to Tax the Rich wsj.com
314 points by georgecmu 4 days ago   342 comments top 47
68 points by 100k 4 days ago replies      
I don't think the rich really get anything out of it, but in the Nordic countries, fines increase in proportion to your wealth. I remember reading about a Nokia exec getting pulled over for speeding. His ticket was like $75,000! http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1670583

I've often thought some fees should be adjusted for wealth. For example, a quarter a day isn't really enough to get me to take my library books back on time. Maybe for me it should be $2 a day.

20 points by frankus 4 days ago replies      
One thing that at least some rich people will pay for is status symbols (expensive watches, sports cars that will never exceed 100mph, mansions with rooms that are used only a couple of times a year, $500 t-shirts). Status signaling is ultimately a zero-sum positional arms race that can lead to some pretty ridiculous conclusions(1) and doesn't really leave anyone better off (other than, perhaps, luxury goods suppliers).

The bad version of this idea would be a special ID card and/or bumper sticker or t-shirt or watch that was given to top-bracket taxpayers. It would have to be reasonably hard to forge (or at least as hard to forge as, say, a Rolex) and able to be either displayed publicly or flashed discreetly in situations where one wants to assert status.

Another variation could be some kind of property tax where certain sub-neighborhoods would have exceptionally rates, say 100x what the ordinary tax on the land and improvements would be. Then people could signal status by living or staying in those areas. (This is actually not too different than somewhere like Manhattan or San Francisco currently, except the windfall is going to existing property owners rather than the government).

The nice thing about status symbols is that, like fiat currency, they can be rather cheaper to produce than what their value to the status-seeking public is. That is the government could potentially retain a very high seignorage, as it were, on this stuff.

Ultimately it would have to be determined whether the status symbols could be legally transferrable, and what, if any, penalty there would be for forging them.

As an aside, it strikes me that this sort of thing would be extremely similar to fiat currency, maybe identical.


8 points by jakevoytko 4 days ago 1 reply      
The best ideas in this framework would use sliding rewards. But they will never happen.

Take the HOV lane idea. Giving the top 1% access to HOV lanes is political suicide. But awarding hours for a special fast lane, linked to the infrastructure-based taxes you pay, sounds fairer. The family of 4 making $60K a year gets a few hours they can use when they need them, tax-exempt employees get nothing, and a CEO gets more hours than she can realistically use in a year.

But opponents would say you're giving advantages to those who are "ahead." Talented-yet-poor people have less time to strike it rich. It's a Catch 22 - you need time to make money, and money to get more time, and you have neither when you start anew.

This cuts to the heart of optimizing nations for the individual, versus optimizing for the nation as a whole. I'm not sure the answer is straightforward, or if the two answers are mutually exclusive.

15 points by lmkg 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think several of Scott Adam's proposals would be more palatable if we avoid the T-word. Giving high tax payers an express lane at the DMV smacks of elitism and pandering. But, giving an "express process" option for $1k doesn't sound so bad to me. Someone else mentioned auctioning off carpool-lane passes, it's a similar principle.

More importantly, it directly ties the cost to the reward. The biggest problem with Adam's system is that if you don't directly tie revenue to entitlements, then the rich would still push for lower taxes, while also wanting to keep the corresponding entitlements. The connection between the two has to be strong enough to resist politics.

39 points by forensic 4 days ago 4 replies      
Scott Adams is just talking about moving towards a visible aristocracy. These are the first baby steps.

Soon the rich will have special privileges just like the old days.

7 points by nazgulnarsil 4 days ago 0 replies      
The problems of the world summed up in a thread: the average IQ of hacker news is way above average and yet people feel the need to: comment on issues when they have no idea of the underlying numbers, use terms that they clearly haven't bothered to even look at on wikipedia or a dictionary, repeat fallacies that any undergraduate econ student knows is false, propose vast social engineering schemes with no regard as to their unintended effects.

I mean if we're the smart ones and we're pulling this bullshit what hope does the world have? engineers are supposed to know better. :(

32 points by sunsu 4 days ago 3 replies      
"The hole is too big to plug with cost cutting or economic growth alone."

Say's who? Take a look at the 2011 budget:

The biggest pieces of the pie are things we are UNWILLING to cut (not incapable of cutting)! Its time for us to make some difficult decisions about what cuts we should make instead of relying on other peoples' money to solve other peoples' problems.

8 points by bluedevil2k 4 days ago 4 replies      
There's a potentially dangerous line that the US is approaching where, factoring in all the exemptions, credits, and deductions, a majority of the population will not be paying income taxes at all. Thus, a majority of the population will be deciding (via their votes) how much and on what the taxes of the minority will be spent.

The only saving grace, if you can call it that, is that the people who actually place the votes (senators and reps) are themselves almost exclusively from that well-off minority.

6 points by hugh3 4 days ago 0 replies      
My idea along these lines, which I may have explained in this forum before, is to replace one of the houses of parliament (or congress, or whatever you call your local bicameral legislature) with the "House of Taxpayers", where representatives are elected by taxpayers whose vote counts in proportion to how much tax they pay. The other house remains a "House of Commons" where the one man/one vote rule applies.

The point of this idea is that every new piece of legislation must be approved (in effect) by two groups: the people who are affected by it (everybody) and the people who have to pay for it (disproportionately the rich).

14 points by abrenzel 4 days ago 5 replies      
Scott Adams, like the politicians in Washington DC, is living in a dream world.

Cut all discretionary and defense spending to 0, and we would still be running a deficit due to entitlements. Tax "the rich" at 100%, and we would still be running a deficit. Tax corporations at 100%, and we would still be running a deficit.

On the left, politicians make it sound as though we're just a few tax hikes and some defense cuts away from a sound federal budget. On the right, they make it sound as though all we need are some cuts to programs like the UN or foreign aid and some tax cuts to spur economic growth.

They are both in a DREAM WORLD. Some taxes will have to go up, but most importantly, Social Security and Medicare will have to be substantially reduced. Whether it means privatization, defined contribution, or some combination of solutions, no one in my generation (I am currently 24) will see either of these programs as our parents did. In fact, current retirees and soon-to-be-retirees will also probably need to have their benefits reduced. There is just no way around it.

5 points by mgkimsal 4 days ago 2 replies      
His idea about a 10% cut across the board is so common-sense - I've heard it before - yet we never ever hear this from anyone in Washington (not that I've heard, anyway). Why not?

10% may seem extreme - fair enough - but why not 2%? Could we try one year where every federal department has 2% less to spend than they did the year before? 2% isn't a lot, and would go a long way toward each dept rooting out their own 'waste/fraud/abuse', instead of making govt larger by adding oversight processes and staff.

And I do not mean "2% less than what we'd projected to increase our budget by next year". I mean if your department had a budget of $1,000,000, you only get a budget of $980,000 this year. Shaving 2% off a 3.5 trillion budget would be - what? - 70 billion? While that doesn't quite get us out of the mess we're in, it's a good start.

6 points by te_platt 4 days ago 6 replies      
Eliminate all federal taxes and print the money needed for government operations. Effectively this becomes an inflation tax. Automatically it affects the wealthy in direct proportion to their wealth as opposed to their most recent earnings. No loopholes, no games, no misallocation of resources for tax breaks.
6 points by richcollins 4 days ago 0 replies      
In reality, fairness is not so much about the actual distribution of loot as it is about the psychology of how you feel about it. That's important to understand because the rich won't give up their cash unless they feel they are getting something in return.

I appreciate his attempt at a nuanced view of the subject, but I can't see taking your possessions under threat of violence as anything other than reprehensible.

14 points by axod 4 days ago replies      
Taxing the rich (even more than they are already which IMHO is a lot) is just punishing success and rewarding failure.
5 points by martinkallstrom 4 days ago 2 replies      
The best way of taxing the rich is producing luxury goods. The fact that you can buy food, transport, housing, clothing at a magnitude or two (or more) higher cost is a sort of volontary tax. When you buy a $1000 bottle of champagne instead of drinking water, a large part of that money takes a pretty short path to pay the wages of people that never would buy the same bottle themselves. And would maybe be out of a job if they didn't take a small part in producing that bottle of champagne. So the fact that luxury goods exist is a sort of tax that spreads the wealth of the people that choose to afford it.
4 points by BlazingFrog 4 days ago 0 replies      
I think most of the rich people as described in the article (top 2%) already get most, if not all, of the perks he lists. It may not be in the law, but make no mistake.
These people don't go to the DMV (who cares about the express lane), don't read their own mail (so much for gratitude letters), often don't drive their own car (carpool eligible in most places), don't care about social services and how much they cost and already have a large influence on the election process.

Scott feels as if he's "on a path toward certain doom" when paying attention to news. In my case it's when I think about how little hope there is to radically change the system considering that the people in charge are the ones who profit the most from that system, by a long shot.

7 points by jbooth 4 days ago 0 replies      
Don't we already have this? If you have lawyers, accountants and possibly lobbyists, you have an entirely different relationship with the gov't than normal people.
9 points by bluedevil2k 4 days ago 6 replies      
I like the "rich" driving lane idea - put up X licenses for auction in each city, let people bid up the price, let the market decide how much time is worth.
4 points by megaman821 4 days ago 4 replies      
I think the best solution would be to get rid of income taxes and just have sales and property taxes.

Taxing the rich a higher rate is always going to seem unfair to them because the only way those taxes can be lessened is by making less money. Taxing $2 million house at a special rate is a different story, it seems fair because if you don't want to pay the tax you live in a more modest house. Luxury cars, fur coats, yachts, etc. can all have different sales tax rates and they still become a status symbol many of the rich are willing to pay for but not being forced to pay for.

4 points by WiseWeasel 4 days ago 1 reply      
A low-hanging fruit would be to retool Social Security to be relevant to the needs of more affluent contributors; they might feel better about paying in if they are assured a payout that might actually support what they would consider to be a reasonably comfortable retirement. As it stands, Social Security is pretty much a total loss for higher income brackets.

As for a power incentive, the only one I might envision is to create a public forum where the public and their representatives can debate how their tax money is being spent, and a user's "karma" or default visibility bonus on the site would be based on their tax contribution.

2 points by Create 4 days ago 0 replies      
The bad version is that anyone who pays taxes at a rate above some set amount gets to use the car pool lane without a passenger. Or perhaps the rich are allowed to park in handicapped-only spaces.

This is all over the place: e.g. London congestion fee (rich have no trouble paying, and it clears the lanes for them as an added bonus). Same for all other: parked in the wrong place? The secretary will send off the fine.

IKEA: Kamprad insists, that he and his family have no control over Ikea, which went entirely to Stichting Ingka Foundation and its subsidiary Inka Holdings, based in Liechtenstein. Billions are spread through Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Virgin Islands (travel Branson :) and Cyprus. When confronted, Kampard has declared, that Ikea respects the law and pays its taxes, but he added that it doesn't want to pay too much (GOOG comes to mind with Irish-Dutch-Bermuda triangle money laundering scheme).

It is just a structure optimisation, which gives the possibility and flexibility to use capital towards new markets to develop business without the burden of double taxation ...declared Kamprad. [src: SVT]

5 points by JeffL 4 days ago 0 replies      
I reject the premise of the entire article that "The hole is too big to plug with cost cutting or economic growth alone." The hole was created by increasing spending, it can be closed by reducing spending.
3 points by joshwa 4 days ago 0 replies      
1. Fix healthcare costs: single-payer.

Really. That's it.

$600B in administrative savings alone, which doesn't take into account the cost reductions that the system will achieve by negotiating rates downward.

2 points by jff 4 days ago 0 replies      
A salient note about how government austerity works: the Department of Energy labs have decided that as a cost-cutting measure, they will enact a 2-year pay freeze for all employees (except the top-level managers who work for Lockheed, not DoE). Hail the great cost-cutting measures! Except the government will still be putting the same amount of money into the labs andyway; we've been getting emails talking about how they're now trying to come up with ways to spend this windfall of excess cash. So far it sounds like they're going to go for some pseudo-green initiative; maybe we'll just get a new Greenification Department, which inspects all of our workspaces and penalizes us when we're not green enough. (This particular pay freeze is because Dr. Chu wants to make Obama look good. Good policy for a Democrat, screw the researchers but keep the $2 million salary for the head of the lab... wait isn't that what Republicans are expected to do?)

The talk about an across-the-board 10% cut made me think of that--unless it's specified that employee wages and benefits must not suffer, such a cut will probably just end up boning the minions.

3 points by chrismealy 4 days ago 4 replies      
Why have the rich suddenly became a bunch of babies? What's with all the whining? Having money isn't enough, now they want to be worshipped like feudal lords.
7 points by ctdonath 4 days ago 1 reply      
Recall that uber-rich Steve Jobs has an annual salary from Apple of $1, wears black turtlenecks and jeans (ever anything else?), and is building a modest 5000 square foot home on property he owns outright. What to tax?
1 point by zdw 4 days ago 4 replies      
My bad idea: Taxes and number of votes both increase on how "gifted" you are - smarter people would therefore have more say in the government, and have more incentive to make it more efficient and do it's job better.

I have no clue how to measure or implement this.

1 point by motters 4 days ago 0 replies      
The rich and their tax situation is really only part of the wider picture of how to govern an economy in a sustainable manner. It's my opinion that we need to take more of a systems approach, making use of lessons from cybernetics.

It's pretty obvious now that the economy is not like an ecosystem with multiple more or less autonomous agents acting independently, but is instead more like a machine where information flows are centralised and significant components of the system can act in concert.

5 points by kanamekun 4 days ago 2 replies      
The US Government could give out badges for every $1m in taxes you pay... then the rich could level up every April 15th.
2 points by law 4 days ago 0 replies      
There's certainly a lot of merit to this article. I think it's important to remember that the "rich" aren't necessarily people as wealthy as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Moreover, while there are many people born into wealth, there are many who make their own wealth through earnest work and frugal investments. They're the ones who are likely more outraged than "taxes on the rich," and it's a very valid argument.

If we look to how the private sector handles this, we see that airlines have their own VIP status system. You might have "Elite Access" status on Continental Airlines, you might have an American Express Platinum card, you might be an HHonors member at Hilton. These companies offer loyalty incentives to hold onto customers, and I think it's a model that the government could eventually adopt.

1 point by andreyf 4 days ago 2 replies      
I think the "power" category is best, but obviously a sensitive topic. What we need is a layered democracy, where the smart people who understand a field and have power to influence laws there (with the advice of experts in whatever fields those laws have side-effects on), but not in a selfish way.

The way congress works now, it's the people with money who influence law, and some of them are doing it either out of self-interest, or in the short-term financial interests of their institutional shareholders (401(k) managers, for example), who don't understand anything about the domain.

1 point by daimyoyo 4 days ago 1 reply      
We live in a society that uses fiat currency so why does it matter how much we're in debt? Why can't we simply say "that $12,000,000,000,000 we owed? We just hit a triple word score and we have it in the bank now." The USA has carried a debt for the last 190 years and we haven't gone bankrupt yet.
1 point by Ntagg 3 days ago 0 replies      
Let's say there are ten people in a room and they each give five dollars to an "elected" member who gets to redistribute that money, after which all the members re-vote on the next elected member. A savvy elected member would redistribute the money to five members, plus himself, thus perpetually stay in power and continue to receive the majority of votes.

I use this illustration to show that as long as one official or group gets to continue in power, they don't have incentive to do right by everyone; rather, they are incentivized to do well to only a slim majority.

The short-term problem this article presents is that our country's budget crisis demands a surplus contribution from the wealthy. For argument's sake, I'll admit it does.

The understated, long-term problem is that elected officials are personally motivated to spend their political power on getting re-elected, which only requires making a little more than half of their constituents satisfied.

My suggestion would be to stop allowing anyone to be re-elected. Once they know that their decisions don't have to be popular, they're free to make decisions that help long-term, even at short-term discomfort or dissatisfaction. There are obvious problems (how this reflects on their party, for example), but I think that there's a solution embedded in this line of reasoning.

2 points by ubasu 4 days ago 1 reply      
Some of these already exist

1. Time: e.g There are already carpool lanes where you can ride by paying an extra fee. Even otherwise, if you are rich enough, you can just pay the fine, which would be the added tax.

5. Power: Rich people already have power by having access to lobbyists or to the appropriate media. If you are rich enough, you can fund a movement on your own.

Others don't make sense in a democracy where everyone is presumably equal, e.g. writing thank you notes to richer people for being kind enough to participate in the functioning of the country. As another comment said, this is like moving toward a visible aristocracy.

Also, it is mostly not true that the country doesn't go to war unless the middle class majority is on board.

1 point by kree10 4 days ago 0 replies      
Deliberately proposing bad solutions sounds fun, but wow could that backfire. Applied to software projects, the "bad" version will get the go-ahead, and we'll be stuck maintaining it forever.

You could argue that this is already happening, but the difference is I think the people proposing bad solutions are usually not aware their ideas are bad. I'm sure I've been guilty of proposing and implementing bad ideas in software myself.

3 points by KMStraub 4 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of gems in here. My favorite line: "They also know that any project can get by with 10% less money if there is no alternative."

The world would be a much better place if there was less quibbling overall.

1 point by sayemm 4 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a good video on the topic: "Warren Buffett's Tax Rate is Lower than His Secretary's" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu5B-2LoC4s
2 points by jeffreyrusso 4 days ago 0 replies      
The ultra wealthy have done a great job of engineering the system to control how much they pay in - so why do we think incentivizing them would work? It may take time, but every perk that could potentially be offered at a premium would be just one more race to the bottom.
1 point by sambeau 4 days ago 2 replies      
If I could, I would link tax paying to the National Lottery. The more tax you pay the bigger your chance of winning big.

It would make a refreshing change to see people queueing up on a Saturday night, desperate to pay their tax.

1 point by teyc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Actually, every rich tax payer should be given a free trip to developing countries where poverty and crime is rampant, and the rich are forced to live in gilded prisons because it is so unsafe outside.
1 point by benohear 4 days ago 0 replies      
How about land ownership being allocated according to the size of your tax bill?
1 point by joshuagamen 3 days ago 0 replies      
He(Pres Obama) said that it doesn't make any sense that people who have accountants and attorneys can get away with not paying taxes, while the rest of the ppl get stuck with the bill. This translates to, “bye bye middle class.” The Pres was put in offc by the richest men in the world, he is not going 2 make them pay more taxes, hell, they benefit from taxes, especially the biggest of all(inflation). The way to level the playing field is not by stopping tax cuts to the top 2% in income, the way to level the playing field would be to extend tax cuts to the bottom 98% in terms of income. Bigger government won't solve anything. If you look at world history, you will notice that any government that tries to do too much, does not do anything well enough..
2 points by grego 4 days ago 2 replies      
How about just let the rich be rich and get richer, but making it very hard to pass on inheritance. So their kids would be on equal playing field with everybody else. That would make it their vested interest to improve conditions in that field for all.
1 point by KMStraub 4 days ago 1 reply      
My "bad" thought: The rich work hard because they're running out of time. The poor work less because they have too much time to waste.
1 point by known 4 days ago 0 replies      
In India Govt is auctioning street names. You can grab one.
-4 points by aj700 4 days ago 1 reply      
Communism sucks, so there's no alternative to the 0.1% (winner) takes all (80%) system that we've got.

Of course we have a "vampire squid on our face" (GS) but it seems to be necessary to allow technological progress and the industrialisation of the rest of the world

We have scarcity now, but it won't last. Money will be abolished. The question is how do we spend money now to bring about the end of scarcity sooner. Well conspicuous consumption and luxuries are probably no help.

-4 points by maeon3 4 days ago 1 reply      
Tax the rich too much and then they stop creating jobs for all you whiners who can't hold on to your money. The whole notion of taxing the rich more than the poor seems unfair, what makes you worthy of benefits and him worthy of a penalty? Just because he was more responsible and hard working than you were? Americans are not broke, it's the government that is broke and instead of take the negative consequences, they would rather have someone else do it.
Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code wired.com
309 points by karzeem 1 day ago   97 comments top 20
37 points by nagrom 1 day ago 4 replies      
My favourite line in the whole article was about the way he alerted the lottery board:

"The package was sent at 10 am. Two hours later, he received a call from Zufelt. Srivastava had correctly predicted 19 out of the 20 tickets. The next day, the tic-tac-toe game was pulled from stores."

I know that we're supposed to be fascinated by the statistical work done cracking the code, but my real sympathy is for the head of security that received that package. How do you react in such a situation?

As an aside, the statistician seems really cool too - it's a very forthright interview and the article's much better than I expected. Both the statistician and the author seem to be very surprised by the lack of concern shown for the apparent evidence of security breaches. This, of course, has a direct analogue with the way large multi-nationals treat computer security. I was only surprised to get to the end of the article and not find that the statistician had been threatened with prosecution or similar.

9 points by maeon3 1 day ago 2 replies      
The lottery system can now confidently continue to extracting money out of idiots who don't know better. Somehow this whole story leaves me feeling that nothing good has happened.

The whole story just feels like a good Samaritan helping a schoolyard bully steal change out of the back pockets of unwitting classmates.

A happy ending would be the lottery system managers getting thrown out after suffering unexpected sustained losses.

25 points by Xk 1 day ago 4 replies      
In some states, the lottery accounts for more than 5 percent of education funding.

Am I the only one who finds this ironic?

Edit: Except, of course, for those who learn to predict 19 of 20 tickets correctly.

9 points by lkozma 1 day ago 4 replies      
I find it strange that they don't use some true random source in generating the tickets. I'm also surprised the article finds this obvious.

"Of course, it would be really nice if the computer could just spit out random digits. But that's not possible, since the lottery corporation needs to control the number of winning tickets"

Surely the lottery could quantify uncertainties and set up a system where the probability of them losing money would be arbitrarily small. Interesting interview, btw.

37 points by notyourwork 1 day ago 1 reply      
Summary: If you are smart enough to crack the scratch off lottery you already make enough income that cracking the scratch off lottery is not justifiable.
4 points by MichaelApproved 1 day ago 2 replies      
It seems that a large part of the problem (aside from flawed algorithm) is that they allow people to pick the tickets they want to purchase. If they required people to buy the tickets in order they're dispensed from the roll it would bring the abuse down dramatically.

Even if you were able to crack the code you'd have to wait for others to buy the losers before a winning ticket would show up. The flaw in this would be if the store selling the tickets was be in on the scam. They'd be able to sell a bunch of losers and pull any winners as soon as it was their turn to dispense. But as with most crimes, the more people involved in it, the harder it is to keep quiet about it and pull it off.

8 points by bobds 1 day ago 4 replies      
> "I'd have to travel from store to store and spend 45 seconds cracking each card. I estimated that I could expect to make about $600 a day."

Or you could make an app for your smartphone that uses OCR to instantly tell you whether you are looking at a winning ticket.

3 points by Confusion 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wouldn't have been surprised if they had known about the 'flaw', but didn't mind it, because, as Srivastava said "it wasn't worth the time to abuse the flaw". In similar vein, I once randomly generated 2 million out of 40 million possible codes. Consumers would buy products, obtain a code and it would allow them to 'buy one, get one free' for some other product. The code being short and without the usual mixup candidates (I, 1, O, 0, etc.) was much more important than people 'cracking' the system. Even at half the price, the other product still sold at a profit and nobody saw room for mass purchase/reselling.

Of course, later in the article it appeared that people were abusing cracks in the system and reaping the benefits, so it doesn't apply to this case. I just wanted to note that sometimes business concerns trump all actually interesting parts of a problem :/

7 points by autarch 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wish the article had talked about the legality of doing this. Assuming I'm not doing this to launder money and that I report all my earnings, is this legal?
4 points by nowarninglabel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great article, though, I take issue with this tangent:

"James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious South Boston mob boss currently on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list"he's thought to be the inspiration for the Frank Costello character in The Departed"

The inspiration for that character is the original movie, Infernal Affairs, which The Departed is a remake of. They may have bleneded some features of Bulger into that character, but that doesn't make him the inspiration.

3 points by groaner 1 day ago 0 replies      
This story sounded familiar -- it turns out that some of our own HN'ers have done this too:


4 points by tgandrews 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why do they need a non random code to generate these? If they want to guarantee the number of winners, they can just ensure that they only release so many winners. This would require them "solving" all the tickets they were to release and holding/deleting/regenerating the ticket if they have enough winners already.

This may not be the most efficient system but it guarantees it isn't crackable with a couple of caveats:

1. They weren't always releasing a winner at a fixed time - i.e. they had to have x win per week, and they released a winner at regular intervals to guarantee separation. You don't want all the winners for a month produced in the first hour. Although this would be random and should be a possibility.

2. The random number generator was actually random.

2 points by Luc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I checked my national lottery (Belgium), but sadly none of the 15 scratch card types they sell have 'baited hooks' or other unique numbers, as far as I can see ( http://lotto.be/NL/Spelen_en_Winnen/Krasspelen/default.aspx - in Dutch). I would laugh SO hard if we found some exploitable lottery...
2 points by BoppreH 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why the hell didn't he hire people to find tickets for him?

If you are worried about people doing this without you, just make an app to calculate the values. Make the calculations server side, and only after checking if the phone is registered.

Just don't hire too many people, or the clerks may start to get suspicious.

2 points by asr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I excitedly went to the Virginia lottery website, thinking maybe I could find a game or two possibly vulnerable to something like this and then buy a few tickets for the fun of seeing if this can still be done...

But manufacturers appear to have dealt with this by getting rid of "baited hooks"--every number on a card is under a surface that has to be scratched off.

I guess they lose the allure of letting people say "I want to buy a card with lots of 7s because that's my lucky number" but it's a simple and effective fix. Oh well, guess I'll have to get rich through hard work :)

2 points by golgo13 1 day ago 6 replies      
In Canada, are you able to say, "I don't want this one" until you get a potential winner? Here in Texas, you cannot pick your ticket. When you buy a ticket, you get whatever the cashier gives you or whatever the machine spits out. Or is the guy simply not wasting time scratching off the losers? I still don't see how this could be profitable since most games have 1:5 odds, including break even prizes.
2 points by Duff 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll open myself up to scorn by admitting that I buy these things often. You don't get to select your tickets in NY, they are ripped off one at a time on a roll that is in a locked container.

The most obvious vulnerability here is clerks and convenience store owners who unroll the tickets and hand out the loser tickets to customers. That risk is mitigated by the craziness of lotto addicts, who won't accept a ticket that doesn't come off of the roll.

3 points by iamchmod 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish I were smart enough to figure out cool statistical problems like he is.
1 point by rottyguy 1 day ago 2 replies      
Even though he knew the formula, at least where I buy lottery tickets, the person behind the counter gives you the ticket. Assuming there are many more losers then winners, without being able to select the tickets yourself, it would seem as though it'd be a losing proposition. Now, if you were the store owner and had access to the tickets yourself, that would be a different story.
1 point by chalkhed 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can someone describe the statistical analysis that would be required to discover something like this? Is it along the lines of guessing different parts of an algorithm till you find something that agrees with the data (IE He'd have to guess that only "singletons" could form winning entries and go from there)? Or, are there some more general approaches here to draw out correlations between the structure of visible numbers and any hidden structure?

More generally, other than saying "statistics," what specific fields of math are applicable to a problem like this? I'd guess there's some relation here with cryptographic attacks and attacks against pseudo random generators, but what specifically would one study to understand these types of problems?

Space Stasis (Neal Stephenson) slate.com
276 points by chwolfe 17 hours ago   66 comments top 14
19 points by sophacles 17 hours ago 5 replies      
This is a pretty thought provoking article. I've always really enjoyed Neal Stephenson's odd perspective on things -- in fact, I always want to smack people who complain about his stories' content and ending situations, and tell them "That's not the point, read the descriptions of things dammit.". The thing I really enjoyed was the bit about "the catch is it has to be the size and shape of a hydrogen bomb".

Anyway that aside, it really brings up the old infrastructure problem -- Large investment in infrastructure is a two-edged sword, bringing both benefit and lock in, and when it comes time to change there is lots of debate. I think Neal either misses or avoids a big part of the argument here -- infrastructure is turned into the bad-guy and the good guy. People don't see the benefits it has brought for a myriad of reasons - they have internalized it, they are not in the class of society that directly gets money for it (and the general improved life isn't apparent because their neighbors are in the same boat), they are afraid of tax increases (or lack of tax cuts), they don't understand the current tech, and figure that "it has problems so anything else we do won't fix it either", it has broken society in the following ways...

Really all of this though is just setup. The way I see it, large scale tech and infrastructure projects are hard to get at and harder to revamp because they are just too easy to target with populist attacks from all sides. The issue is usually complex, but easy to attack with a simple disingenuous quip. Doubly so when the alternative is something that sort-of works, because then the quip doesn't even need the effort of disingenuety, just a mean spirited "they are trying to change the perfectly good stuff we have just to take it away from us, and ignoring everything else to fix"

I have no idea of the solutions we could offer to these types of scenarios, but I do think that somehow we need to find a way to look at these piles of infrastructure we have an find ways to make them better. To do that we need to get around the "infrastructure problem".

24 points by hartror 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I am sure many people are wondering about the alternative to giant explosive tin cans:


11 points by quickpost 17 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm surprised Stephenson didn't touch on SpaceX's potential as a game changer. The biggest "next" step to increased space access, is a vastly cheaper, more efficient, and potentially more reliable orbital rocket. And, SpaceX is doing exactly that!

As Musk is so fond of saying, the existing options are the Lamborghini's of launch vehicles, whereas he's trying to build the Honda. Safe, reliable, and cheap!

I have a lot of hope that we will have a new Space Renaissance in our lifetimes and I think the work that SpaceX, and other companies is doing will be instrumental in getting us to Mars and beyond.

1 point by bioh42_2 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great article but the modern oil industry did not grow out of whale hunting. In fact it bankrupted whale hunters because it provided cheaper oil.

Also we would only end up as "the Ottoman empire of the 21st century" if someone else creates a radically superior technology which we spectacularly fail to copy, reproduce, or simply license form them.

I think the sad truth is, there just isn't much to do in space if all you have is a cheap and easy way to escape earth's gravity.

Sure space tourism would be fun for a while. But at some point we need to either terraform something or decide to live in city sized spaceships, THEN you'd have a real incentive to innovate launch vehicles.

10 points by mbrubeck 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not mentioned in the article, but in addition to his work as a writer, Neal Stephenson once worked as an advisor to Blue Origin, the spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos.

Blue Origin is focused on suborbital space flight using rockets. But I remember Stephenson making some vague statements about his work there (at a reading of Quicksilver at the University of Washington) that included research into space elevators and other less-proven technologies.

9 points by Vivtek 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ha: "[After all,] the modern petroleum industry is a direct outgrowth of the practice of going out in wooden, wind-driven ships to hunt sperm whales with hand-hurled spears and then boiling their heads to make lamp fuel."

God, that guy has a way with words.

11 points by bkudria 16 hours ago 1 reply      
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to read "Mother Earth Mother Board", written by Stephenson and published in Wired in December 1996. It's a long and fascinating look at the world of undersea cabling, and it's chock-full of super-interesting facts.

Full giant extremely-long and interesting article here: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.12/ffglass_pr.html

4 points by uvdiv 16 hours ago 2 replies      
>The above circumstances provide a remarkable example of path dependency. Had these contingencies not obtained, rockets with orbital capability would not have been developed so soon, and when modern societies became interested in launching things into space they might have looked for completely different ways of doing so.

>Before dismissing the above story as an aberration, consider that the modern petroleum industry is a direct outgrowth of the practice of going out in wooden, wind-driven ships to hunt sperm whales with hand-hurled spears and then boiling their heads to make lamp fuel.

Is he seriously citing the adoption of petroleum fuels as an example of path dependency?

1 point by ZeroGravitas 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's worth noting that the article that always gets cited every time the Dvorak keyboard gets mentioned, ("Fable of the Keys", claiming that it's a myth that it is more efficient than Qwerty) is based on the near religious belief amongst certain groups of economists that path-dependency of this sort doesn't exist.

They believe we use rockets/Qwerty/Windows because they are the best and the all seeing market has chosen wisely, not because of a series of effectively random decisions and coincidences that occured in the past.

3 points by crikli 15 hours ago 7 replies      
Reading this article raises a question that I ask as devil's advocate (mostly): why do we need to get into space?

I can think of three reasons:
1) We need to put up comsats.
2) Military superiority
3) Because we can and it's cool.

To the first, as the article stated the sky's already getting a bit full as there are only so many comsat "slots"

To the second, SDI never really worked and that threat doesn't exist anymore.

To the third, well...is it worth the brajillions? I personally think it is because we don't know what's out there, but that's a really poor sales pitch. :)

Perhaps it's my limited imagination and understanding, but I'm unable to conjure the reward that offsets the risks/costs.

2 points by mncolinlee 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This article reflects a constant theme in American innovation. Capitalism by itself does not demand innovation, but its militant thirst for resources does. What Stephenson calls lock-in is a product of a system that demands maximal efficiency of resources within an organization, but huge waste across the culture. Think of the empty flatbeds driven across Iraq to inflate cost plus contracts, drug companies competing to produce chemical analog drugs, or three drug stores selling identical products on a single corner.

The modern Capitalist attitude among modern business schools is that research and development is a cost center which must be minimized. This was a major element of Carly Fiorina's plan to cut HP to profitability. However, tremendous resources are thrown into marginal technologies in order to redundantly market and protect them.

Most great innovations in American culture seemed to occur due to a great existential need by our military. The Internet was designed as a communications network to survive nuclear attack. Rockets, as Stephenson pointed out, were improved for ICBMs. Most alternative fuel research is funded by the DoD to provide alternatives for tanks and jets in case our nation gets cut-off from its oil supply.

As someone who has run for office twice, I deeply understand that lobbyists exist largely to make money flow regardless of the suitability of a given contractor or product. I doubt our current military-industrial-congressional complex is independent enough to provide groundbreaking developments when incremental improvements suffice. Military lobbyists have become too powerful and too monetarily influential to the candidate that wins.

2 points by neutronicus 15 hours ago 0 replies      
His points translate more or less directly to nuclear fission - Uranium-fueled light water reactors are the result of another "hill-climbing process" and other reactor designs (HTGR, LFTR, etc.) receive almost no commercial attention, in large part due to the regulatory, accounting, and insurance burden of proof that any new design has to meet.
1 point by tsotha 13 hours ago 0 replies      
>But we are not making any serious effort as a society to cross those valleys. It is not clear why.

Because what we have works well enough for the task at hand. The problem, which Stephenson alludes do earlier in the article, is space just isn't proving to be as useful as we had anticipated. We're already doing pretty much everything that you can justify from an economic perspective. Activities like asteroid mining and space solar power aren't going to make sense for centuries even if we dramatically cut the cost of $/kg to orbit.

So sure, we could do the same things more cheaply after a huge investment in, say, tethers. But so what? How does it make sense to spend trillions on a new launch technology when you could use that money to buy all the conventional rockets you'll need for the next 50 years.

3 points by l3amm 16 hours ago 1 reply      
TL;DR version (though you should just read it): The space industry is a great example of path dependency and lock-in in innovation. The reasons why we use rockets to launch satellites are historical dating back to the days of Hitler and the H-Bomb. After trillions spent on developing ICBMs capable of crossing the world, our governments are 'locked-in' to using rockets to get things into space. Using rockets for this purpose is not nearly as efficient as other methods, but we have perfected that practice to the point of perfection. In order to increase space accessibility we need to "cross-the-valley" to another technology, but since it has taken so much money (path-dependent) we are locked-in, and it will be very hard to innovate in this space.
The 4-Hour Dentist bygonebureau.com
271 points by zdw 20 hours ago   95 comments top 20
58 points by jacques_chester 17 hours ago replies      
I haven't read any of his books, but as an Australian, Mr Ferris's tone fills me with dread, suspicion and an instinctual need to take the piss.

I've seen various endorsements here on HN of the diet and the training regimen. In both cases I have a point to make: almost all of you are seeing novice gains.

Strength coaches recognise this phenomenon. The novice can see amazing gains in hypertrophy and strength in a short time with very little stimulus because they have never had to adapt before. Their capacity for adaptation is barely tapped by infrequent training and they're coming off a low base. It is not uncommon to see total newbs put on a decent weights program add substantial weight to both bar and body in 8 weeks.

In fact, novices are so underadapted that almost any training at all will see improvements in strength. Riding a bicycle will improve squat maxes, for the novice.

Likewise with diets. Often folk swear by diet X because it works for them. One of three things is usually happening:

1. It's their first diet, and they're simply having a caloric deficit for the first time in their lives.

2. They're still enthusiastic and regimented when they make the endorsement. Boredom has yet to set in and sabotage the gains.

3. They're an experienced dieter, having tried quite a few; but this particular diet just so happens to fit their particular combination of taste, hormonal cycles, insulin resistance, adipose senstivity juuuust right.

It's not linear. Did you gain/lose 10kg this month? Don't count on it next month. Maybe 9. Don't count on it for a year, either. In my first month serious weight training I added 60kg to my squat max. If progress was linear I should be squatting several tons by now.

But it isn't. Eventually you require more and more stimulus to disrupt homeostasis, to force new adaptation of the muscle, bone, tendon, nervous, cardiovascular and endocrine systems.

Take my sport: Olympic weightlifting. When I first started I went from naked bar to snatching 60kg in about 6 weeks. On a linear basis I would be snatching 750kg or so at this point, which would make the world-record holder by a factor of 3. Of course that doesn't happen, currently I am just shy of snatching 120kg.

With a goal of snatching 130kg in March, I am now training twice a day, four days a week.

Elite-level international competitors in my sport will train 3-6 times per day, 6 days per week. At the elite level it takes enormous stimulus to cause adaptation. 4 hours per month, let alone per week, just isn't going to work.

One more thing. Apparently Feriss mentions hCG in his book as an aid to sexual performance. Does he mention that its major use as post-cycle therapy for steroid users? Because, to be quite honest, I would be surprised to find any iron sport enthusiast using hCG who wasn't also performing the twist-and-jab exercise first.

54 points by ryanwaggoner 20 hours ago replies      
Huzzah! A straw man attack!

Am I seriously the only person on HN who has gotten useful, effective stuff from both of Tim's books? Does everyone just hate him because he's such an effective promoter that they assume he must be selling snake oil?

4HWW led me to quit my job and start freelancing, spend three months traveling through Asia, build some online passive income streams, and generally have a healthier respect towards my time and how I spend it. The 4 Hour Body has led me to completely change my diet over the last 6-8 weeks and I feel incredible, better than I have in a long time.

I know I'm not the only one, but am I the only one on HN?

30 points by joshkaufman 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Much of what Tim Ferriss writes is genuinely useful, particularly when it comes to experimentation, testing, and questioning assumptions.

Unfortunately, these messages are (1) packaged in the form of breathlessly-sold, instant-results snake oil; (2) explicitly modeled on the past 20 years of Men's Health and Cosmopolitan magazine covers; (3) contain obnoxious levels of social signaling and influence-via-association.

The reality is the above three factors are what have contributed the most to his renown. People want to instantly become wealthy, famous, and desirable with zero effort. They want to believe that someone (anyone) can provide these things, and they're willing to pay money on the off-chance they're able to deliver. They want to be associated with someone who travels around the world, hangs out with famous people all day, and seemingly succeeds in everything.

Ferriss promises people exactly what they want, so they buy. Simple as that.

The operative question for all of us on HN: what Ferriss does clearly works. Do you choose to emulate him? Why or why not?

19 points by chrisaycock 20 hours ago 4 replies      
That's precisely what I've been thinking about Tim Ferriss. His books look like get-rich-quick nonsense pawned off on the gullible. No notion of the hard work (and natural talent) required to build a great business or become a successful athlete. His next book will surely claim that we can all make Carnegie Hall with minimal practice.
4 points by JacobAldridge 20 hours ago 0 replies      
In case you missed the word 'Humour' at the top (I originally did, but I recognised the parody), this link may help save you from wasting the next 3hrs 54mins planning to mutilate a patient - http://mixergy.com/timothy-ferriss-four-hour-body-interview/

I'm hoping somebody can provide a direct link that demonstrates just how wonderfully the OP nailed the style of Tim's book!

5 points by runjake 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I lost over 20lbs in January by lazily following Tim's Slow Carb Diet, as described in the book. I'm currently working on a blog entry about my experiences and observations.

I anticipate losing another 15-20lbs this next month. I'll report back then, the next time a 4HB criticism is posted here.

11 points by surlyadopter 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a hilarious take on Tim Ferriss's style.
4 points by neworbit 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I enjoy Tim's books (and find them somewhere between entertaining and useful depending on chapter) but I found this darn near keyboard-kill amusing.

"Be careful of reading health books. You might die of amisprint." - Mark Twain

2 points by Dylanlacey 13 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a nugget of value to be taken from TF and every single successfully sold diet.

People love a system. LOVE A SYSTEM.

Anything that promises to take the work of determining what will lead to success out of an equation will be wildly popular.

"Always Eat Before 9pm"
"Don't Sell on a Monday"
"Drink 43.2mL of water per dollar you earn"

will all, ALWAYS, be more popular then "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Why do we need to know this? Because your startup will be more likely to succeed if it presents a systematic solution to a problem (OMG OPINION).

3 points by zacharycohn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
After I watched the Mixergy interview a few weeks ago and read snippets of his books... this is so spot on.
1 point by zdw 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone else get the Steve Martin Dentist song from Little Shop of Horrors in their head while reading this?


1 point by wallflower 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This essay reminds me of the classic College Admissions Essay from Hugh Gallagher.

    I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone
playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with
unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in
twenty minutes. I...


1 point by c0riander 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It's like a written, Tim-Ferriss-ized version of those Old Spice commercials!

"Hello, ladies, look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn't me, but if he stopped using ladies scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he's me. Look down, back up, where are you? You're on a boat with the man your man could smell like. What's in your hand, back at me. I have it, it's an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again, the tickets are now diamonds. Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady. I'm on a horse."

3 points by kmfrk 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Sometimes, there is a fine line between parody and imitation.
1 point by stcredzero 17 hours ago 0 replies      
1 point by Groxx 13 hours ago 0 replies      
>Success comes to those who force reality to bend to their will.

Words of wisdom in any age. Utterly fantastic.

1 point by trustfundbaby 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I bet Tim Ferriss is somewhere laughing at all this ... all the way to the bank.
3 points by dlsay 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I just choked on an almond. That was hilarious and dead on.
1 point by lanstein 17 hours ago 0 replies      
All this talk and not one person has discussed the fifteen-minute O?
1 point by KeyBoardG 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Brb... Searching for cod liver oil Syringes on Amazon.
The NYC subway system as a string instrument mta.me
272 points by clofresh 2 days ago   38 comments top 10
20 points by Jun8 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is really intense! I salute the mind level that conceives such a concept (and comes up with a cool visualization).
5 points by IgorPartola 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is very cool. Here's our way of visualizing buses driving around in a novel way: http://labs.transloc.com/streetview/
10 points by CognitiveLens 2 days ago 0 replies      
In case you haven't discovered it - you can click-and-drag your mouse across the lines to make sounds in addition to waiting for the lines to 'pluck' themselves
2 points by lsb 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's wonderful, if a little odd, to think of the NYC subway as a plucked guitar, versus the familiar steel-on-steel "ka-chunk, ka-chunk" as the trains rumble on the (unwelded) tracks.
5 points by icefox 2 days ago 6 replies      
Loading Sound is always at 0% for me.
2 points by jefe78 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. Would you consider offering a tutorial to implement alternate systems(other cities)?
3 points by britta 2 days ago 1 reply      
They should crash and shatter, like lightcycles.
2 points by louhong 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is pretty creative - does anyone have suggestions on how I can convert this into a screensaver?
1 point by goldins 2 days ago 0 replies      
Open up a few tabs for a more fun and chaotic track!

Though I am having some syncing issues when one of the tabs is active.

1 point by zelandpanther 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting, it's creative and artistic engineering.
Show HN: My 4-hour project, already profitable snowday2011.com
266 points by guynamedloren 14 hours ago   113 comments top 32
85 points by guynamedloren 14 hours ago replies      
I know this is not the norm for projects here on Hacker News and I realize that it may be seen as rather exploitive, so here's a very very brief background and my thought process:

- Idea was conceived around 2am this morning. Saw a few events on facebook picking up speed (hundreds of thousands of attendees) so decided to leverage that instant-market

- Wasn't sure whether or not it would work, but I didn't have too much to lose ($8 url and a few hours) so I went for it and started hacking away

- Around 10am the project was launched, complete with a website, domain name, and orignal t-shirt design, all done by me

- 4 minutes later the first orders came in, thus paying for the domain name and becoming profitable (minus my time value)

- Since then the site has gone slightly viral, with several thousand hits, hundreds of "likes" and a bunch of tweets (not to mention t-shirt sales)

- Became the "official t-shirt" and event photo for the Snowpocalypse 2011 facebook event with 300,000 attendees. That's a nice little market to advertise to, no?

This is really just a social + eCommerce experiment with a taste of vitality. While I have designed t-shirts and sold them online before, I have never done anything quite like this, ie "hopping on the bandwagon" and riding out a live-fast-die-fast trend. I have also never experimented with any sort of viral platforms. I hope to implement some potentially viral features in my current startup/project, so I figured it would be worth it to test the waters with this mini-project. It was indeed. I learned a lot, and hope to do a case study with detailed steps and statistics in the near future.

8 points by mmaunder 9 hours ago 2 replies      
What would be cool, and a nice courtesy gesture since HN gave you so much traffic, is if you shared actual numbers with us. Data we can use. I'd like to see:

Cost price of your tshirts, how many you sold over X time, conversion rate on the site, main sources of traffic, highest conversion source, lowest conversion source, fraud levels if known yet. Thanks.

15 points by bigiain 11 hours ago 1 reply      
You might want to keep an eye on that Pay Pal account - the "pay me now and I'll send you $stuff in a few weeks" pattern is exactly the sort of thing that trips their "might be fraud, lock the account and keep all the money for 6 months" response.
2 points by kmfrk 1 hour ago 0 replies      

    > Shipping & Handling
> These costs are already factored into the price of the shirts, so you don't have to pay any additional costs for shipping. All shirts will be shipped via USPS First-Class Mail. Shirts will only be shipped within US/Canada/Mexico.

I can't emphasize how brilliant this is. It really is a privilege to only worry about people on in three countries.

You've really done a great job of refining a website - one that was made in four hours to boot!

4 points by guynamedloren 6 hours ago 1 reply      
For what it's worth, I just remembered two somewhat interesting points:

1) There were several copycat shirts that came out on Cafepress/Zazzle shortly after mine started gaining traction. The shirt concept itself is not completely unique as we've all seen "I SURVIVED ..." shirts before, but the copycat shirts used the same font, word placement, and everything. Am I upset? Absolutely not. Those just validate my idea. And I wasn't too worried about losing sales as the copycats were way overpriced ($24+s/h vs $16) with lower quality and far inferior presentation. I would be surprised if they sold any at all, really.

2) The copycat shirts went as far as using very similar descriptions for the shirts. Not only does this show a complete lack of creativity, it shows that I may have been onto something with the humorous/witty/questionable description that has been mentioned here a few times. Is it offensive? Possibly. But I think it did more good than harm (in terms of measurable things like sales and hits).

Just thought I'd throw those thoughts out there for pondering.

13 points by soamv 12 hours ago 0 replies      
These costs are already factored into the price of the shirts, so you don't have to pay any additional costs for shipping

Nice touch -- both for including the shipping price in the advertised price and for not calling it "free".

I also thought it's a good idea that you de-emphasized the "2011" in the design, so the shirt remains mostly relevant if there's another "snowpocalypse" sometime :)

11 points by komlenic 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow on the idea, wow on the execution, and wow on the design! Out of curiosity:

Domain Name: SNOWDAY2012.COM
Created Date: 03-Feb-2011
Expiry Date: 03-Feb-2012
Registrant Name: Paul Jefferiesr

4 points by joelmichael 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice work, your good site design is a big part of why it works. Maybe you can turn this into a brand that makes more ironic t-shirts about overblown current events?
3 points by hartror 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Could you post a follow up statistics in a week or so? As this is a one shot sort of deal I wouldn't imagine you feel the need to keep the numbers under wraps.
1 point by u48998 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
So are we expected to wear these T-Shirts in summer in Chicago? Nice idea at the right time but I am not sure why people would buy such things. But then again, you'd know better.
7 points by genieyclo 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love a blog post describing the steps you used to get to a MVP; how you got the shirts en masse to be printed and shipped, platforms you used to quickly iterate, etc. Really inspiring.
8 points by djahng 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Where are the shirts being made? Are they made to order and drop-shipped like Cafe Press/Zazzle? Or are you building up inventory?
16 points by pitdesi 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I would suggest a shirt that says "SNOW MY GOD!!!"
2 points by jcromartie 12 hours ago 1 reply      

Did we already forget about the blizzard last year?


2 points by Tycho 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What did you use to build the page, if you don't mind me asking?

I've been wondering for ages if pages like that share some common tool/template, or it it's just that the 'full width' idea makes them look cut from the same cloth.

5 points by mrchess 13 hours ago 3 replies      
What if your orders go viral. How can you possibly fulfill them?
1 point by xtacy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice! This reminds me of a similar sieze-the-moment kind of situation: When pluto was no more recognised as a planet, someone printed a shirt that said, "Pluto is still a planet!" (and several variations)...
7 points by anonymouslambda 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats. I suggest a "Snowmageddon" t-shirt as well.
1 point by random42 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks very polished for a 4 hour effort. Congrats on being profitable. :
2 points by happyrichpinoy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
it's only a matter of time until someone will try to capitalize on what's happening right now in Egypt...something like "I survived Mubarak"
1 point by naithemilkman 11 hours ago 1 reply      
what stack did you build it on?

Really impressive from conceptual to live site in 8 hours. Your profile says you're currently learning RoR. Is that the stack you built on?

1 point by ramanujam 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you taking care of the shipping (after printing the T-shirts locally) or is the wholesaler taking care of everything? Congrats!
1 point by kalpeshjoshi 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I love online shirt designs / prints / creativity. I'm a regular fan of shirt woot, threadless, design by humans, etc. etc. Great job capitalizing on a fast trend, you can use the income to reinvest into other ideas and fast trend products.
0 points by cpeterso 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This success story reminds me of the just-in-time fashion design companies. They track the big runway shows and can quickly turn-out copy-cat fashions.
1 point by andresmh 12 hours ago 0 replies      
how are you dealing with shipping to Mexico without paying for importation costs?
1 point by icandoitbetter 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You found the opportunity and owned it. I can't see how that deserves any criticism. How much did you make so far?
1 point by lurchpop 7 hours ago 0 replies      
keep us appraised of your sales, dude!
1 point by joelrunyon 10 hours ago 0 replies      
any word on revenue figures for this? kudos.
1 point by parkq 11 hours ago 1 reply      
It might be a sensitive question for you. If you use PayPal as a payment platform, do they charge you income tax or will you have to claim income tax by yourself?
1 point by aith 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Created an account just to upvote this. Brilliant. There's nothing stopping you (or one of us) from doing it for every significant event in every country...
-4 points by zoowar 14 hours ago 1 reply      
When you earn enough to eat, let us know.
JQuery 1.5 Released jquery.com
263 points by digitalclubb 3 days ago   29 comments top 8
66 points by jeresig 3 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks everyone! The full blog post and release notes will be coming later this afternoon (EST).
28 points by m0th87 2 days ago 1 reply      
Linking directly to the source, that's true Hacker News style :)
4 points by robin_reala 3 days ago 2 replies      
I guess there's be a blog post coming up soonish, but for me the big deal is integration of a templating language. We experimented with the MS-written templating plugin that's now been integrated and it seems pretty good.
6 points by bdclimber14 2 days ago 1 reply      
The real question now is: When will Google APIs have this hosted on their CDN for developers to use?
4 points by jared314 3 days ago 1 reply      
2 points by ladon86 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know what the new features of this version are?
I can't wait for the blog post and haven't been following development closely :)
4 points by emef 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very readable code, I'm sure I could learn a lot by perusing it :)
3 points by purephase 2 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent news. My kudos to the jQuery team. Great work.
Free, Public Data Sets jacquesmattheij.com
254 points by iisbum 2 days ago   47 comments top 39
17 points by bravura 1 day ago 0 replies      
get.theinfo is the best way to find data sets. They are a bunch of data hoarders who can help you: http://groups.google.com/group/get-theinfo/?pli=1

I always ask there if I can't find what I'm looking for.

Here are more and more data sets. These are general data sets. Email me if you have a specific data set in mind (e.g. web-as-corpus, spam, images, social, reviews, etc.). I have a big file of information.

http://ckan.org [Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network]


Web as corpus:

    Good instructions:


etc. Email me if you need more

20 points by mindcrime 2 days ago 0 replies      
If anyone is looking for more datasets, see:





for some good lists of available stuff.

11 points by zipdog 2 days ago 0 replies      
The wikipedia dump is great, but I've started using http://wiki.dbpedia.org/ which has an API to query the dumps.

Thanks for these, iisbum. I wish more public data was available in db, xml or similar structures - too often I find myself scraping government sites or pdfs to get the tables I need

10 points by adw 2 days ago 1 reply      
We've got quite a lot of public economic data: http://timetric.com/.

If you're up to something in the economic data space we'd love to talk. Happy to take this to email (andrew@timetric.com) if anyone's interested.

8 points by cstuder 1 day ago 1 reply      
And I recently discovered Google Refine, for cleaning up messy datasets.


11 points by sosuke 2 days ago 0 replies      
Heh, a day after he leaves HN he makes the first page. He will still be here whether he visits the site or not.
7 points by agentultra 2 days ago 0 replies      
What about http://ckan.org/ ?

The Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network! Pretty sweet resource really.

5 points by hvs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Don't forget the Lahman Baseball Database with information from 1871-2010


7 points by steveklabnik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't forget Stack Overflow! http://data.stackexchange.com/
1 point by random42 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd prepared (based on other datasets) a smallish movie tweet dataset. You may find it useful, if working with tweets and/or reviews.


6 points by dmpayton 1 day ago 1 reply      
Kinda surprised no one has mentioned Factual. I'm using some of their diabetes data for my side-startup.


1 point by random42 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyplace I can find _small_ free web spam dataset? ( for commercial use, sorry :( )

All the datasets I found on www, are Huge (in double digit GBs..).

4 points by llimllib 1 day ago 0 replies      
2 points by jcr 1 day ago 0 replies      
United Nations stats (lots of goodies)


some free, some paid


AIS Data (Marine Traffic)



And there's a great list of sources on Quora


6 points by balakk 2 days ago 0 replies      

Some free, some paid.

3 points by toisanji 1 day ago 0 replies      
anyone know of a dataset that has dates for when companies when companies registered or announced in the news? For example I would like to see the data hackernews was launched.
3 points by jmtame 1 day ago 3 replies      
i've had trouble finding geographical boundaries on neighborhoods in U.S. cities (e.g. downtown areas and residential neighborhoods). anyone know where i can find this?
6 points by damoncali 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://infochimps.com also has a bunch.
3 points by Perceval 1 day ago 0 replies      
For international relations data, Correlates of War hosts a number of data sets: http://www.correlatesofwar.org/Datasets.htm
4 points by agbell 1 day ago 0 replies      
Non-Free Google data:


This data set, contributed by Google Inc., contains English word n-grams and their observed frequency counts.

3 points by LiveTheDream 1 day ago 0 replies      
I track datasets that I come across at http://www.delicious.com/tobym/dataset
4 points by svag 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is also the IMDB database in various format provided by IMDB itself here: http://www.imdb.com/interfaces

Edit: Although the use of this database is not free, I believe for personal use is just fine to download and experiment...

4 points by joubert 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have links to a few govt.-provided data sets at http://elev.at
5 points by tszming 2 days ago 0 replies      
Open Directory RDF Dump: http://rdf.dmoz.org/
1 point by eli 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some US Gov't data sites no one else mentioned:

http://data.govloop.com/ has data and lots of pointers to local government data.

Also I'm surprised no one mentioned Carl Malamud's site: http://public.resource.org/ - Lots of US gov't and legal data in friendly formats.

2 points by WildUtah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anybody have precinct-level election results for the USA? A set for recent elections would be great for public access redistricting apps that will become relevant this year.
1 point by nivertech 1 day ago 1 reply      
I looking for free public domain large high-resolution imaging datasets.

Something like satellite imagery, medical imaging, semiconductor masks and wafers photos or CAD files, etc.

Any pointers?

2 points by nico_h 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the website : Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales as tightly integrated vector and raster data ...
3 points by pwenzel 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those interested in transit data, check out the GTFS Data Exchange, a directory of many agencies' scheduling and map data, following the Google Transit Feed Specification.


2 points by fedd 1 day ago 0 replies      
do all of them have some uniformed api? that would be great, ideally. query and cache all of them on demand from your own app without additional programming.

bookmarked and shared this thread.

1 point by kaffeinecoma 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a real treasure to come across. I hope we'll keep seeing jacquesm's blog postings here.

Anyone know of any publicly available song lyric databases?

1 point by youknow 1 day ago 0 replies      
CIA World Factbook (demographics, geography, communications, government, economy, military stats of countries):


2 points by mcauser 1 day ago 0 replies      
Heaps of useful info:
1 point by _topher 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you all for posting links and links to links to datasets, I have an unrelenting interest in data aggregation and machine learning, and didn't even know where to start. So helpful, and I am no longer stuck. :
1 point by wladimir 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, useful stuff. This thread goes into my bookmarks.
Match.com Acquires Online Dating Site OkCupid techcrunch.com
250 points by ggordan 1 day ago   116 comments top 26
35 points by callahad 1 day ago 6 replies      
There's a somewhat frightening quote from Greg Blatt, CEO of IAC in the press release at http://iac.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1882

"We know that many people who start out on advertising-based sites ultimately develop an appetite for the broader feature set and more committed community, which subscription sites like Match.com and Chemistry.com offer, creating a true complimentary relationship between our various business models. 2010 saw record growth both for Match and OkCupid, and we believe coordinating the adjacent business models will help fuel continued growth for both. This acquisition therefore goes a long way toward our objectives of bringing new people into the online dating world, offering the ability to meet in whatever type of online setting, and at whatever commitment level, our members desire, and facilitating a seamless evolution of the online dating experience without ever having to leave our portfolio of sites."

Members of OkCupid, get ready to be upsold.

140 points by TamDenholm 1 day ago 5 replies      
Dunno about anyone else but i'm disappointed to hear about this. One of the strongest points of OkCupid was that they were kind of the anti-match.com :(
24 points by bugsy 1 day ago 1 reply      
They'll either ruin it or shut it down. Match sucks just in general design as a site compared to OKC.

I do agree with those saying that this might be the best way for the OKC developers to cash out and get paid for their work. Perhaps it was inevitable.

For users of Match, the best outcome from this deal would be for Match to replace their whole engine with that of OKC. I doubt that will happen though.

For users of OKC, the worst outcome from this deal would be to be forcibly migrated to Match (as yahoo personals users were - which is what I think is most likely to happen here) and get buried in the far less interesting personal ads and less fun community of Match.

98 points by Balsamic 1 day ago 4 replies      
The culture change has already started.

Where did the fantastic "Why You Should Never Pay For Online Dating" article from OkTrends go?

A great exit, however. Congratulations to the team.

20 points by ladon86 1 day ago 2 replies      
The perfect example of a fresh upstart being acquired by an incumbent dinosaur; I hope they can maintain their culture and spirit.

Congrats to the team, but I find this quite disappointing.

7 points by neilk 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Note to the wise: OKCupid still allows you to delete your entire account. They imply that this deletion is real deletion, and totally permanent, except that your user id won't be taken over by anyone else.

If you don't want IAC to have all your personal data, you should do this now before they merge systems.

22 points by risotto 1 day ago 1 reply      
Congrats! I hope OKCupid still publishes those awesome posts about the statistics of dating, those are fascinating.
21 points by ig1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats to the guys on their second exit (they previously sold SparkNotes to Barnes & Noble).
1 point by Jun8 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Ahh, there goes all those cool and really useful data and analyses from the site. These guys were the only people who published such results on a large scale.
13 points by christophe971 1 day ago 3 replies      
$50M cash is a fantastic exit for a company created only 4 years ago, with one round of funding ($6M).

Congratulations to the team! I hope the guys at IAC won't destroy the brand/product though... I hope their blog OkTrends will continue to publish fascinating articles too, it would be a great loss.

15 points by giberson 1 day ago 0 replies      
You know, I suppose had they put a Paypal button on okcupid's home page saying "donate now to prevent match.com from acquiring us" they would have easily garnered more than $50m.

As a user, I almost feel betrayed that they sold out to match.com.

Edit PS: Not betrayed because they sold out, but who they sold out to. I would have cheered an acquisition from a non competitor (ie like amazon as mentioned previously).

9 points by sanj 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I met my wife on OKC.

I doubt I would have met her on match.com.

3 points by aneth 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This is disappointing. I can't see them pushing people toward a paid service without crippling OKCupid's features and culture. OKC was built around optimizing for fun and matchmaking - match.com was built around maximizing revenue and disappointment. And I'll miss the irreverent analysis in the blog.

$50M also seems like a low exit for one of the most successful, and probably the most sophisticated, dating site on the internet.

Definitely makes me wonder if the dating space has much money left in it.

6 points by sjs382 1 day ago 2 replies      
End of an era? I met my girlfriend of 17 months there. Even though I haven't visited since, it's sad to see it go. They're definitely a company I'd invest in if I was in the position to.
18 points by underdown 1 day ago 2 replies      
Am I the only person thinking $50 million seems low?
5 points by sachinag 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am so happy for Sam Yagan and team - they've been busting their butts on OKC since 2004 (seriously, the site's that old), and it's good that they can finally take a load off. Hopefully Sam will now become Chicago's #1 angel (it's a low bar, but someone needs to jump over it).
5 points by noodle 1 day ago 2 replies      
sounds like its time to open up a free site that doesn't store passwords in plaintext and doesn't get sold to the terrible dinosaurs. one can only hope it doesn't turn out badly. intuit hasn't yet ruined mint, so its theoretically possible.
3 points by asnyder 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is ver unfortunate, I'm happy for the founders, but OkCupid is a great service. I met my girlfriend of almost 2 years now there. I fear for what it will become. This is a very sad day on the Internet.
4 points by lhnz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good for them but I expect that the quality of the site will now disintegrate in favour of pushing more people towards match.com.
1 point by x0ner 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Having been a member of both match and okcupid, I am sad to hear this news. I went to go cancel my match account the other day and to my dismay saw that my credit card had been charged again without my direct consent. After looking over the terms I saw that Match took the liberty of auto-renewing for me. While it is clear in the service agreement, I feel like these sort of things are a shady way of operating. To avoid any auto-renew, you need to literally cancel your membership and while doing so, you are unsure of what is really going to happen.

I am hoping things remain split as they are or as other have mentioned, match gets a boost in its technology. Anyone that has used both knows that match seems to be far behind on the times. Their features are crap, platform crap and overall design is ugly. I often found myself thinking how I could replicate the site (design wise) in a night with all the boiler plate code I have. I am not optimistic, but hopefully something good will come out of it for match.

Congrats to the okcupid team. Great work.

1 point by AlexC04 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I met my Girlfriend (of a year this Thursday) on OKCupid. I've always been impressed by the extremely high quality of the matching on OKC. They're by far the best online dating I've seen.
1 point by sosuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
After Match.com shut down their own free online dating site called Down to Earth it was only a matter of time before they just bought an existing and successful site.
2 points by hinathan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Good for the OkCupid team " this gives them a cushion to play again in this otherwise-desolate space before too long.

Brings back somewhat rueful memories of spending too much time browsing around sites like Match.com (meh) and eHarmony (zero. matches. ever.) Wasted several years and hundreds of dollars.

Met my fiancee on OkCupid. :)

2 points by marcusEting 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you haven't read the Dating DDOS article featured a few weeks ago you should: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2065604
1 point by kadavy 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Hearing about this deal makes me feel a little queezy. The only upside (other than congrats to their team) is that maybe now there will finally be some nice atheist / agnostic girls on Match. I realize many people have had success at OkCupid, but their users never really struck me as seriously looking for someone to date. Many are just there to take the quizzes.
1 point by alienreborn 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I am neither a member of match.com or OKC but I just hope OKC guys continue their awesome analytics on user data in their blog.
Farewell ticketstumbler.com
248 points by jacquesm 3 days ago   24 comments top 11
35 points by jacquesm 3 days ago 4 replies      
I was making the list of people to thank for my time on HN and when visiting ticketstumbler I came across this message. It makes me both happy and sad, sad that ticketstumbler died, happy to see that Tom has moved on and is doing something new (and a great idea too!).
9 points by JacobAldridge 3 days ago 1 reply      
Best of luck Tom, and thanks for sharing. I've signed up for Swaptitude so look forward to learning more.

(Some background, if anyone needs it - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=859117)

3 points by rriepe 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone in a similar situation, I gotta give you props. You lasted longer than I did. A bank would tell you that 90% of businesses in this situation fold within a few months. Add that to our already-high tech startup failure rates and you've turned a slim fighting chance into something nearly impossible to do.

Mix in the emotional motivations, and well, it's just a tough situation to be in. I applaud you for moving on and for keeping your entrepreneurial spirit alive in a new project.

6 points by jasonlbaptiste 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sorry for being a sap, but those lyrics at the end+that note almost made me cry. Best of luck Tom, I'm rooting for you.
6 points by jdp23 3 days ago 1 reply      
What a great ending: "For everything that could have been, Well at least we took the ride."
4 points by goodgoblin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cheers Tom -- shutting down must have been a tough choice to make. My condolences for you and your loss.
4 points by markessien 3 days ago 1 reply      
Was Tom not working as part of WakeMate?
3 points by RiderOfGiraffes 3 days ago 1 reply      
Where can I send some feedback on the swaptitude web site?
1 point by edawerd 2 days ago 0 replies      
It was an honor being in the same YC class as you, and I wish you the best of luck!
1 point by louhong 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tom - good luck on your new endeavor. Your last comment reminds me of Roosevelt's Man in the Arena speech (http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html). You're in a better position because of your efforts.
-2 points by iPadDeveloper 2 days ago 0 replies      
I heard stubhub was good, but I'm not sure if they are exactly the same.
Paul Buchheit: The two paths to success paulbuchheit.blogspot.com
244 points by paul 13 hours ago   73 comments top 22
41 points by uuilly 12 hours ago 2 replies      
The most depressing people I know were the results of either laissez fair parenting or overbearing parenting. If you let a kid do what he wants, he'll eat coco-puffs, watch TV and eventually turn to drugs and booze. If you're constantly on top of him, and if he doesn't burn out, he'll work incredibly hard for a goal that means nothing to him.

I know 30 year olds who can't put a month of work together. I also know 30 year olds who have no idea why they became bankers and they ask their mom permission to switch jobs. Each one is depressing and there is a balance.

34 points by inmygarage 13 hours ago 6 replies      
My favorite story from the Quora discussion on Chua's article (http://www.quora.com/Parenting/Is-Amy-Chua-right-when-she-ex...) was this one: "At one point, I attended a "piano camp" with other equally talented white students, and what struck me is that those students actually practiced for hours because they loved music, and genuinely practiced for hour after exhausting hour because they couldn't get enough of the emotional expression that piano afforded them. Piano held none of that for me."

I think it's obvious when someone is truly passionate about something versus just doing it because they think it will get them another carrot.

Is it possible, though, to have a functional society where everyone follows his or her passion? I believe it is, but would be curious to hear thoughts.

15 points by coffeemug 13 hours ago 3 replies      
What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it.

Whoever wrote this must not be very good at what they do (assuming they agree with the opinion). Programming was an enormous amount of fun for me, I would have never gotten good at it if it weren't. In fact, everything I ever got good at was tremendous fun. Sometimes it was work and pure misery, but for the most part it was fun. Perhaps others tick differently from me, but based on conversations I had with people that are very good at what they do, I doubt it.

26 points by paulitex 11 hours ago 2 replies      
"One of the problems I've faced throughout life is that I'm kind of lazy, or maybe I lack will power or discipline or something."

- The guy who invented Gmail and founded FriendFeed

23 points by tastybites 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish this tiger mom thing would just die. It's so embarrassing for Asian people that didn't have insane parents.
23 points by SMrF 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Ironically my mostly intrinsically motivated life was extrinsically validated while reading this piece.
8 points by zachallaun 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not lazy, I'm just intrinsically motivated. I love that characterization.

In all seriousness, this article hit home for me. I went through high school bored and came out with well above average, but not stellar, grades. I was accepted into a good enough college (where I'm currently enrolled) and have plenty of time to pursue my own interests, one of which is launching a startup. Which I'm doing.

2 points by sanj 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This rings true to me, and I'm finally following my own intrinsic motivation.

But it can be really hard to find a job that lets you do this. If you do, the first step is to realize you're in a rare position and take advantage of it.

I'm lucky to have a work environment (go ahead and ask) and a home environment that lets me follow this path to the extent possible.

4 points by yarapavan 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this:

It's often said that people become entrepreneurs because they can't handle a regular job. Perhaps these people are simply too "defective" to fit into any mold, or maybe they lack the extrinsic motivation necessary to care about bosses, performance reviews, and other things which are so important for success in the corporate environment.

7 points by ajju 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Great post. The reference to Alfie Kohn is worth following up on. His book "Punished by Rewards" changed my world view about what motivates people.
7 points by derwiki 12 hours ago 4 replies      
glad to hear paul thinks my alma mater (CWRU) is 'good enough' ;-)
5 points by farout 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Thank you. This is so true: "It takes time to find your internal voice, learn when to trust it, and stop fearing outside opinion."

When I was young I did as I was told. It was easiest way for people to leave me alone so I would have time to do the things I wanted.

Later I always wondered why I was never competing for prizes or honed a specific skill; I was having too much fun doing things that others could care less about. It was a great way of learning about being comfortable with myself.

What great blog post. So well written, I am envious.

2 points by 6ren 4 hours ago 0 replies      
On not wanting to amount to anything, chapter 33, The Tao Is Silent, Raymond Smullyan, p.150-4
3 points by pyjug 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I like to think I'm intrinsically motivated, because I don't like to do the boring, repetitive things at work. On the other hand, I haven't done anything creative myself either. Jeez, I'm confused.
3 points by stevenj 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd be interested in reading paul's thoughts on creativity.
1 point by robryan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess as a parent you don't really want to encourage your kid to take it easy in high school if they do want to get into college as they might take it to easy. Best I guess to encourage them to do their best without being overbearing so they will only slack off a bit under that level.
1 point by macco 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't believe in the Chinese model, too. But I think it is hard to say what is right or wrong. A lot of really succesful people were forced to work (z.B. Andre Agassi, Paco de Lucia, Mozart ...).
Probably you need both for exelence:
1. you need to absolutely love what you do
2. but sometimes you need some preasure to stick to it.
1 point by crjvice 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The cultural environment has a lot do with it too my friend. As a foreigner, my parents always taught education is the key to success. Obviously, they also forced me play the violin which I profoundly disliked.lol. However, being foreign, as we see the U.S as the land of opportunities, our parents want to make sure that we have a better future than they had back in the motherland. Thereby come the pressure our parents put upon us. Don't you think it is also important to see life from Chua's lenses?
1 point by toadi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
People tend to keep telling you have to follow your passion. I'm happy the guy who picks up my garbish every week is doing his job. Will he do it with great passion? Di I care.

Luckily not everyone follows his passion but brings food on the table.

1 point by stretchwithme 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I cannot upvote this enough.
1 point by alikamp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice post, but if you just applied yourself more and not be in a rush it would have been better C+
1 point by farout 11 hours ago 1 reply      
At Exxon, they used to switch people every several years. The way it worked was:

year 1 - learn to do this new position

year 2 - actually do it correctly

year 3 - now that you can do it correctly, can you improve it? Do you enjoy it and want to stay doing it?

Egypt shuts down Al Jazeera bureau aljazeera.net
240 points by borism 4 days ago   97 comments top 8
76 points by mixmax 4 days ago 2 replies      
Around a month ago a good journalist friend of mine was taken prisoner in Algiers because of his reporting. After a few days of heavy pressure from the embassy he was released unharmed.

A lot of friends were worried and continually asked if he was OK and whether his profession was really worth it. I congratulated him on his new status as a real grown-up journalist, whose reporting was so good that he scared regimes enough that they would want to imprison him.

This is the same - Al jazeera is doing such a good job that they're a threat to the Egyptian regime. They do what journalists are supposed to be doing but often aren't. They should be congratulated for that.

88 points by yequalsx 4 days ago replies      
I guess this is a ringing endorsement of Al Jazeera. It's the network the dictators fear. I can see some people saying they are being shut down because they are supporters of radical Islam but from what I've seen of them this is pure nonsense.

It's nice to have a news network that doesn't suck so bad. It's shocking that this network does better (in my opinion) at news reporting than American news networks given that it comes from a part of the world where free speech isn't a concept rooted in law.

Look for the network the dictators hate. The network that the ruling class denigrates. That's the one more likely to be telling the truth.

16 points by JonnieCache 4 days ago 1 reply      
Just so you know, aj jazeera is still broadcasting live from cairo. The egyptian authorities have revoked their license, but they are still carrying on regardless just as they have in previous days.

I think the title should be changed, they have not in any real sense been "shut down."

7 points by ck2 4 days ago 2 replies      
While this is a really bad sign, another really bad sign is they are flying F-16s low over civilian crowds right now, for no other reason than to intimidate them. Just saw it on CBS and it's pretty freaky and scary.

I'm starting to think this is going to end really really badly. Are democratic revolutions even possible anymore today, given the technology and sheer firepower the small number in power can wield against the masses (which ironically the USA sells them).

10 points by hasenj 4 days ago 2 replies      
Al Jazeera's bureau ALWAYS gets shut down anytime there are breaking news any where.



(keep scrolling down to Controversy)

3 points by netmau5 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a very sad day for objective journalism. My family is from Iran and I've spent plenty of time watching it over satellite. I liken them to CNN in the 90s before they too started getting politically charged.

I'm angry that Al Jazeera has such a bad rap in the states, but frankly, I think we'd believe Nickelodeon was evil too if Fox News caught them broadcasting a single frame with both Bin Laden and their network emblem.

1 point by luke_s 3 days ago 0 replies      
According to the Al Jazeera live blog for today 6 of their journalists have just been arrested in Cairo! Since the liveblog is always updating the relevant posts are:

2:40pm: Our correspondent tweets:

    Unsure if arrested or about to be deported. 6 of us held at army checkpoint outside Hilton hotel. Equipment seized too. #Egypt

2:11pm BREAKING NEWS: Six Al Jazeera journalists arrested in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Our correspondent there just tweeted this:

    4 soldiers entered room took our camera. Wr  ae under military arrest #Egypt #jan25

From: http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/01/30/live-blog-...

-4 points by swaits 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is this Hacker News?
What it's like in Egypt: An email from my mom
228 points by zefhous 1 day ago   53 comments top 10
83 points by elliottcarlson 23 hours ago replies      
"Of Egypt's 80 million people, 10% are Christians. Some Muslims have been guarding Coptic churches while Christians pray, and on Friday, Christians were guarding the mosques while Muslims prayed."


I hate it when people use that - but if anything deserves it, it is "This."

16 points by dkarl 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I will include a photo of the scene

zefhous, do you have this photo? Can you make it available?

Amazing submission, thank you.

9 points by phunel 22 hours ago 7 replies      
"...he brought us home a tear gas canister so that we could see “the gifts that America sends to Egypt”. It was made on Kinsman Road in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, 16134."

I've seen this covered all over the news and can't understand the logic. Despite the fact that the United States has publicly backed the will of the Egyptian people, calling for an orderly transition - there seems to be a pathological need to throw some egg. No one is grabbing the 7.62 casings from the Misr-AKM and saying, "see the gifts Russia sends to Egypt?"

14 points by jalgebra 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The tear gas company referenced above, which is located in Pennsylvania:: http://combinedsystems.com/
11 points by drndown2007 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Thanks for sharing that. After reading about how the Christians and Muslims are protecting each other, I think Egytians in general must be pretty awesome people.
3 points by prawn 18 hours ago 0 replies      
For those interested, Al Jazeera's online producer Evan Hill tweets pretty frequently with eyewitness updates on what's happening over there:


Things have gone up a notch in the last 24 hours or so.

4 points by rahooligan 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The US gives over a billion dollars in military aid to Egypt for strategic reasons and also to maintain peace between Israel and Egypt. This aid is not meant for Mubarak but it is for any government Egypt supports. So US should continue providing such aid even if Mubarak is toppled. Hope peace is restored soon. Thanks for posting the email. So informative.


1 point by Tinanot 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately all praying is waste of time...
1 point by eru 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing!
-4 points by mindctrl 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks fake to me.
What on earth are Google thinking? (re: Binggate) puremango.co.uk
224 points by user24 1 day ago   124 comments top 30
57 points by haberman 1 day ago 5 replies      
> At first I thought there could be three possible explanations to Google's handling of this situation:

I think he forgot option 5: whether Bing intentionally copied Google's search results or not, if Bing continues this practice then their index will contain a de facto copy of Google's index for tricky queries. Bing will inherit Google's spelling correction, it's long tail, its top results, and any other enhancements Google develops to return more relevant results.

Google invests so much into these things; if Bing absorbs these improvements without lifting a finger, Google loses its ability to stay ahead through technical merit and innovation.

I think Amit is telling the truth: "And to those who have asked what we want out of all this, the answer is simple: we'd like for this practice to stop." http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/microsofts-bing-uses-...

53 points by moultano 1 day ago replies      
If it were just click data, how would they get the terms?

They're either parsing the query out of the url, or violating robots.txt to fetch the result page, almost certainly the former. This seems like a pretty clear indication that they've special-cased clicks from google. It's theoretically plausible that they are treating all query parameters the same for all sites, but very unlikely given how much noise that would introduce into their results. Even so, they would have to know that most clicks with meaningful query parameters come from Google. This isn't something that's going to happen by accident.

27 points by neutronicus 1 day ago 3 replies      
Google's outrage seems silly to me. They made a fortune harvesting other people's judgments on relevant webpages. That's what PageRank is.

So Microsoft takes their search results - it's all in the game! And Google wrote the rules!

10 points by aaronsw 1 day ago 0 replies      
This piece is so bogus. If, as he suggests, Google's query data is accidentally getting caught up in some larger Bing project, then why doesn't Bing just say that in their numerous posts and tweets about the scandal? Instead, they've just thrown mud at Google.
5 points by contextfree 1 day ago 0 replies      
OK, out of curiosity I actually tried installing the Bing bar (on IE9 beta, which, btw, makes you manually activate add-ins after they're installed. The installer for the addin itself is pretty upfront about it sending your click data and stuff - it's right there on the one and only options page, next to one of three checkboxes - though the box is checked by default which I think is dubious).

I haven't been able to influence the Bing search results (no surprise there, since I've only spent a few minutes on it and not weeks like the Google folks) but one thing I did find very interesting was that if you search for something on another site, the Bing bar actually lights up and populates its own search field with your query so that with another click you can search for it on Bing.

As far as I can tell, the bar doesn't seem to be using any heuristic to tell what is a search query but just has a list of sites/URL patterns it knows about. Besides Google and Bing itself, these include Wikipedia, Yahoo, Ask.com, Amazon, Facebook, eBay, YouTube, MSDN and IMDB, but not Twitter or DuckDuckGo. This doesn't prove anything about how it's feeding search results of course but it does at least suggest that the Bing bar is very interested specifically in search queries, though not only on Google.

6 points by zacharypinter 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the key to all of this lies in the code for the bing toolbar (and the code that parses its data).

If I search twitter for "binggate" then click on a link, the referrer would be:


It wouldn't be hard to write a generic parser to detect URLs that look like search queries, and it'd be a novel way to gain a lot of information from private indexes (stack overflow, twitter, lucene/solr setups, reddit, etc).

If this is what Bing is doing, then kudos to them for clever thinking, no foul play.

However, if the toolbar has any logic to specifically parse Google's URL syntax, or if they're filtering and correlating google.com URLs against their own algorithms, then it's copying and foul play.

The surprising thing here is how much publicity Google's giving the issue knowing that Microsoft could shoot them down in no time with a few code snippets (if there's no foul play going on).

14 points by javanix 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can we please, please, PLEASE not call this Binggate?

Not everything needs a pithy one-word term of endearment.

4 points by trezor 1 day ago 0 replies      
I honestly don't get the controversy of this thing.

Let's say Microsoft via its bing-toolbar is checking what pages people are visiting, what search term they are using on various sites (including google) and what they deem are the most useful results of these queries, and incorporating this into their search engine. Is this really so bad?

As it stands, Google is collecting this data about you almost everywhere on the internet, even if you use google or not. Besides straight Google search, think websites which uses Google's CDN for stuff like jQuery, Google analytics, etc etc. Google is everywhere and they are collecting data to incorporate in their search and ad-platform from everyone. End of story.

Heck, with google instant and their new JS-based search-gui you can't even get the referer information on your own website to see what search terms lead your users to your site. You now have to use Google analytics to get that information, and in getting that information you are helping Google even further in tracking everything everyone is doing on the internet. WTH?

Relatively speaking, is really Microsoft the bad guy here?

5 points by pak 1 day ago 1 reply      
My first thought was that it was click data, and not outright copying. If a bunch of Google employees with Bing toolbar start clicking on links to some made-up term, that should spike the data enough to change results within a few weeks. How can Google positively rule that out without internal knowledge of how Bing works?
10 points by ig1 1 day ago 4 replies      
I think the biggest question here is, if a site robots.txt file prohibits bots from gathering data, should that also prohibit bots that piggyback on real user sessions ?
4 points by jdp23 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very good post. I'd like to suggest another explanation: they really ''do'' see what Microsoft is doing as cheating, and expect others to share their outrage. When you're "in the bubble", talking only with people who share your perspective, it's easy to believe everybody things they way you do. And Google's known for being smarter than everybody else when it comes to search, so at some level people there probably believe that the only way anybody could get results as good as they are is by cheating.
4 points by robobenjie 1 day ago 3 replies      
The article was interesting, but using Google and Bing as plurals really disorients me. I had to stop and mentally substitute every time he said something like "Google are thinking".
2 points by kj12345 1 day ago 3 replies      
Really interesting comment at Reddit about what Google might be thinking:


Apparently by creating fake results they've published something "creative" and thus potentially able to be copywrited. Just speculation but interesting.

2 points by melling 1 day ago 0 replies      
9/10 desktops run Windows and IE still has almost 60% market share, despite being much worse than Firefox or Chrome (yes IE9 is a huge improvement). Microsoft could do a lot of damage to Google by leveraging their desktop monopoly. I think Google has around 70% search market share, but they're easily replaceable. By the time the courts sort it out, the damage will be done.
1 point by user24 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've written a followup post addressing some of the common reactions to my first: http://www.puremango.co.uk/2011/02/what-are-google-thinking-...

On HN: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2169690

10 points by natmaster 1 day ago 0 replies      
Finally some sense in all this.
1 point by InclinedPlane 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think Google is right to be upset here. Google's biggest asset is their search results and Microsoft's response seems tepid at best. Effectively MS is claiming that they don't scrape google search results, instead they merely constructed an automated device which essentially does exactly that. If Bing doesn't see what's wrong with that then they are not terribly smart.
3 points by b0b0b0b 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like to imagine that the bing algorithms are so smart, that it realizes the preciousness of the signal in clicktrack-logged visits to websites with a referrer "http://www.google.com/search?q=%s. This single feature is given so much weight that bing unintentionally gives the appearance of wholesale google duplication.
1 point by gfodor 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have a feeling there is more to this story than meets the eye. Either Google did more tests then they mention on the blog and proved irrefutably that Bing is literally scraping their results, or there's some underlying political stuff going on that we're not privy to.
2 points by storborg 1 day ago 2 replies      
Can't someone just analyze the Bing toolbar binary and figure out what's actually going on here?
1 point by izendejas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whether it's wrong or not, it does make you wonder where Google's priorities are. How much time (cumulatively) did they spend on this and could they have spent this time improving their algorithms instead? Maybe it took a few hours, but still.
2 points by mukyu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why does he think that Google were not aware of the clickstream data when they set up (several) experiments where they specifically install what they thought were sources for the clicks and then purposefully clicked?
1 point by pluc 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's okay for MS to parse user input through it's toolbar, fine. However, it's not okay for Microsoft (or anyone) to use that toolbar to figure out what response any given server sends in reply to any kind of requests - unless it's part of a documented feature. You're only seeing the part where Microsoft is grabbing user input and not the part where Microsoft is grabbing Google data.
1 point by muyyatin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is the next push in SEO to pay users to navigate from search results or other sites to your site?
1 point by xaei 1 day ago 0 replies      
it's tangentially interesting that the number 2 result on bing for 'google' is a washington post semi-hit-piece regarding spam. google's results for 'bing' contain marginally less transparent attacks .
8 points by jbri 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you seriously think that a copycat service beating out and killing off the actual source of innovation is somehow a good thing?
1 point by jyanez 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm in Venezuela and it just didn't happened, I've parse HTML results from Google a couple of times and Google discriminates results from Address IP, Browser and Languague. So far, I think it's pretty wrong to say something like this without being 100% sure.
1 point by s_jambo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised google didn't just use this to poison the results.
1 point by known 1 day ago 0 replies      
1 point by jyanez 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I just tried what the blog said and it's simply not happening.
Why can't people in US watch Al Jazeera? salon.com
219 points by mih 4 days ago   174 comments top 31
64 points by ajays 4 days ago replies      
Every time Al Jazeera is brought up, people claim that it is anti-semitic, racist, anti-US, etc.

But to that I say: so what? Do you think Americans are that stupid that they won't see antisemitism? Do you think we're little children who can't think for ourselves?

As the old adage goes, "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer". If Al Jazeera is indeed "the enemy", then all the more reason to make Al Jazeera widely available!

Plus: when Al Jazeera started, the staff was almost entirely made up of BBC MiddleEast service people. So while they worked for BBC, they were unbiased; but the moment they started working for AJ, they became biased and completely untrustworthy!!

IMHO, this opposition to Al Jazeera comes from the fact that they (AJ) don't tow the 'company line'. There's a carefully crafted story around which news is reported in the US ("US = good; Middle-Easterners = uneducated religious bigots; Israelis = poor victims who can't do no wrong; etc." ) ; unfortunately for AJ, they refuse to follow this line and hence piss off powerful people here.

And before someone starts putting words in my mouth: I support Israeli people, and want them to live secure, peaceful, happy lives in Israel. In other words: I support the Israeli people, but not necessarily the actions of their government.

18 points by noonespecial 4 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting. I have cox cable in DC, we get Al Jazeera, and it has been most useful. When the gulf oil spill was happening and we wanted to find out what was going on, I turned to CNN only to get 20 minutes on Katy Perry's freakin wardrobe controversy. Al Jazeera to the rescue.
41 points by r11t 4 days ago 2 replies      
For Linux users wanting to watching without using browser + flash, using mplayer + rtmpdump:

  rtmpdump -v -r rtmp://livestfslivefs.fplive.net/livestfslive-live/ -y "aljazeera_en_veryhigh?videoId=747084146001&lineUpId=&pubId=665003303001&playerId=751182905001&affiliateId=" -W "http://admin.brightcove.com/viewer/us1. -p "http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/ -a "aljazeeraflashlive-live?videoId=747084146001&lineUpId=&pubId=665003303001&playerId=751182905001&affiliateId=" | mplayer -

37 points by iuguy 4 days ago 1 reply      
The reason people in the US can't watch Al Jazeera on TV is because it doesn't fit into the US MSM model. Modern US news isn't about news, it's about opinion and entertainment.

I don't know many Americans that watch Fox, but of those that I do know, they wouldn't watch Al Jazeera partly because it's not American (and therefore not trustworthy - with the exception of the BBC) but mainly because of the long form nature of the stories and focus on the news rather than building an emotionally charged narrative.

5 points by mmaunder 4 days ago 0 replies      
There is an opportunity for Al Jazeera in the USA because the signal to garbage ratio on our local networks has become intolerable.

Most thinkers in this country get their news from the web, but live TV still has it's merits and there is a cavernous gap in the market for quality international news coverage right now.

If Al Jazeera manage to capture some of that market, they could attract a more educated (and wealthier) demographic than CNN, CNBC and Fox. i.e. a more lucrative market for advertisers.

Because they're streaming online, there really is very little standing in their way. If I was a major US network, I'd sit up and take notice.

Al Jazeera reaches over 100 million homes:


It wouldn't take much to become the most popular international network in the country.

Prime time viewers over the age of 2:

Fox News: 2.1 million

MSNBC: 950k

CNN: 483k

CNBC: 303k

HLN: 462k

Source: Nielsen, Jan 28, 2011.


43 points by araneae 4 days ago 4 replies      
33 points by getsat 4 days ago 4 replies      
There is a large subset of the US population that would distrust any information from an Arabic source.

BBC, Reuters, and Al Jazeera are amazing compared to CNN/MSNBC/FOX.

31 points by CountSessine 4 days ago 3 replies      
It's surprising just how good a new source Al Jazeera is.

I wish my cable operator let me subscribe to Al Jazeera in lieu of CNN.

12 points by jat850 4 days ago 1 reply      
In Canada, at least two cable operators that I know of offer Al Jazeera as a subscription channel.
9 points by defroost 4 days ago 1 reply      
Their website is excellent. The recently acquired leaked documents, The Palestinian Papers, are fascinating reading.


And I just saw an interview with PJ Crowley about Egypt. There is no US reporter that would ever ask such tough questions as the Aljazeera interviewer. No way.


14 points by rospaya 4 days ago 2 replies      
Note that CNN International is a class better than CNN that you watch in the US. They carry less opinion and showbiz and more news and business, although go in-depth only in rare shows.

I used to switch between CNN and BBC in the 90s because of the great correspondent network they both had.

6 points by Isofarro 4 days ago 0 replies      
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Jazeera_English -- lists loads of options for watching, from online, to terrestrial, cable, to satellite, to Internet TV.
5 points by linhir 4 days ago 0 replies      
The article reminded me of this quotation from JFK: "We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
6 points by kingkawn 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've had the website on for two days straight, it has hardly even staggered. The coverage is amazing.
5 points by seiha 4 days ago 0 replies      
Al Jazeera is freely available over FTA through GlobeCast worldtv. http://www.globecastwtv.com/America/WhatsOnWTV/FreeToAirOnly...
2 points by keeptrying 3 days ago 0 replies      
There's also an iPhone app for watching aljazeera now. It's a great way to watch it on iPad. Great feed.
1 point by smackfu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't the real reason that the number of people who watch cable news is already a small minority of the cable subscribers, and they are already split three ways? Adding another cable news network isn't going to appeal to anyone new.
5 points by kennywinker 4 days ago 0 replies      
more importantly, why can't people OUTSIDE the US watch hulu?
1 point by richardw 3 days ago 0 replies      
That's very interesting - I assumed it was widely available. I'm in South Africa and have been watching it as much as BBC World News or CNN, more so over the last few months. What I do like about it is that there's a fair amount of actual 'world news' - stuff from countries that are hardly on my radar.
2 points by eli 4 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like a question for Reddit
1 point by alanh 3 days ago 0 replies      
“Comcast, Charter, Time Warner, Dish Network and DirecTV all passed.”
2 points by zackb 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hey Guys, check out our startup Frequency. You can see quite a bit of al jazeera.
1 point by gnosis 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have a direct link to a feed that can be loaded up in mplayer or vlc?
1 point by Duff 4 days ago 0 replies      
After watching about 45 minutes of inane coverage of Egypt on CNN and Fox, probably because they are controlled by an offshore entity and don't offer a point of view remarkably in line with whatever Washington is putting out.
2 points by jwcacces 4 days ago 1 reply      
because americans are afraid of everything
1 point by garfio 2 days ago 0 replies      
La libertad de información, para decirla y recibirla, tiene que ser ilímite. Los gobiernos, coomo el deEstados Unidos, que temen a la libretad de prensa, algo esconden. +Adelante, se;ores de Al/Jazeera!
0 points by guscost 4 days ago 0 replies      
What is the point of this article? I've been able to watch Al Jazeera the past few days just fine, and I don't subscribe to any cable company. Why are these old media folks acting like television is still relevant?
-2 points by hugh3 4 days ago 0 replies      
I hate to be "Why is this on HN" guy, but why is this on HN?
-3 points by berntb 4 days ago 2 replies      
Well, there seems to be much interesting information missed from the US air waves... :-)


In a sermon, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 9, 2009 [...] "Oh Allah, take your enemies, the enemies of Islam. Oh Allah, take the Jews, the treacherous aggressors. Oh Allah, take this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people. [...] Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."

Edit: I quoted (from Wikipedia) the content of the TV channel people want to show in the western world. Down voting is for lack of counter arguments?

Edit 2: I think it is really funny that I get downvoted a lot for noting that antisemitic hatred and prayers for genocide are sent on Al J -- the non-English one...

-3 points by jacobmg 4 days ago replies      
Here's why: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/

"Israel: The ugly truth",
"A week of racism in Israel",
"An education in inequality"

Notice something out of proportion here?

I know many people are keen to jump on the "Al Jazeera is great" bandwagon, but this level of intolerance is simply not appealing to Americans. Yes, there is anti-Islamic sentiment to a degree among a small portion of Americans, but it doesn't reach the levels on display here. This is a pattern of Al Jazeera's, which makes sense because news organizations do tend to slant their views to fit general trends among the populations of the countries they serve in.

It makes a lot more sense that Al Jazeera is so well spoken of here just because it is a significant shift from what were used to in the feeble mainstream US media, rather than Al Jazeera actually putting a much deeper level of intellectual effort into their news. In reality it's just an illusion that it's something objectively better. As far as the sometimes thorough reports Al Jazeera puts out, people must realize that PBS and NPR are also American news organizations.

Color wheels are wrong? How color vision actually works asmartbear.com
216 points by akkartik 1 day ago   54 comments top 20
42 points by joeld42 1 day ago 8 replies      
This article tries to sensationalize and obfuscate something that is pretty simple in reality.

RGB are the primaries in light. By mixing these three colors you can create any color the human vision system can perceive (yes, because of tristimulus).

When white light hits a material, some of those RGB wavelengths are absorbed (subtracted). RGB - GB(Cyan) = Red, RGB - RG(Yellow) = Blue, RGB - RB(Magenta) = Green. Thus, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow act as primaries (colors from which you can construct any visible color) for materials that absorb, not emit light.

The forth primary in print media, Black, is simply added because inks are imperfect and a mix of CMY inks yields a kind of murky black (plus it wastes ink).

It's a historical simplification to say that "red, yellow and blue" are the primaries for paint, the red works like a magenta, the blue works like a cyan. They sell Cyan/Yellow/Magenta primaries for oil/acrylics and if you paint with these you'll get a brighter, wider palette but you can get there with a traditional palette by adding whites and other pigments.

The tone of the article is awful. The opening sentence, "Ask any artist..." is flatly untrue, this stuff is basic for most visual artists (I first learned about the CMY primaries in a community ed. Painting I class). It's not that the article is factually wrong, it's just basic stuff presented as if it were obscure or clever.

None of this makes the color wheel or any other color theory any less valid. The "four color" wheel he lists at the end is not wrong, it's just silly: you could pick any points on the wheel and their opposites and have the same thing.

14 points by diiq 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm happy to see someone investigating color, and the way we perceive it. So many color theory books are more mystical than scientific; it's wonderful to see a physiological model.

I suspect that we continue to teach the RGB, RBY, and CYMK color wheels because they behave correctly with respect to the behavior of particular physical media. Yellow-looking paint and blue-looking paint do make green-looking paint. Red-looking light and green-looking light do make yellow-looking light.

The (physiologically accurate?) four-primary-color model proposed here does not correctly predict the world: yellow and blue act as additive color opposites; red and green act as subtractive color opposites. No one set of pigments or lights will ever consistently behave the way this 4 color wheel predicts.

We need multiple systems because colored objects mix by multiple mechanisms.

6 points by lukev 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish I could upvote this twice. I hadn't realized that our actual perception of color was so filtered from the physical spectrum.

I find it incredibly fascinating, from a philosophical perspective, that there are literally color combinations (i.e, greenish-red) that, despite lying within the physical spectrum to which our eyes are sensitive, we cannot see, cannot even imagine.

8 points by armandososa 1 day ago 4 replies      

     Artists get it wrong

I kinda get upset about all his use of "artist" as a derogatory term. Have he ever painted anything in real life? Beleive it or not, just a canvas plus red, blue and yellow acrylic paint will be enough.

Oh, and some kind of talent.

4 points by martian 1 day ago 1 reply      
In the early 20th century Albert Munsell did a series of empirical studies to determine exactly how people see colors relative to one another. The results are expected, but fascinating.


3 points by nollidge 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm getting a 503 error. Obligatory Google cache:


1 point by jessriedel 1 day ago 2 replies      
EDIT: joeld42 answered my question elsewhere on this page:


The artists reds and blues are just approximations to the magenta and cyan of printers.


So I understand that in order to mimic the electromagnetic stimulation to the cones you only need to control the amount of RGB light hitting the retina. And I understand that propagating light is additive, so that for light producing displays you mix amounts of RGB, whereas pigments subtract light, so that for printing you mix amounts of CMY. (C paint absorbs non-R light, M paint absorbs non-G light, and Y paint absorbs non-B light.)

I further (kind of) understand that once printing and CRT screens are explained, there are additional properties of light due to the filters described in the article.

But can someone explain why the artist's paints are different from the CMY ink pigments? It seems like it's either (a) something weird about the way paints mix, (b) artists use paints which somehow take advantage of the filters in the eye, or (c) a combination.

2 points by mambodog 1 day ago 0 replies      
A while ago I submitted an article[1] about the YUV colour system, which takes into account human perception of brightness/luminance, and how it differs between colours. It's also an interesting colour system to work with, as the 'Y' channel just stores luminance, so discarding the other two channels gives you a greyscale image.

I recommend reading it if you haven't already.

[1] http://nreynolds.co.uk/blog/hsv-is-dead/

2 points by steadicat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why does he conclude that we need 4 primary colors? He knows that our eyes have three kinds of 'sensors', which roughly correspond to [R, G, B]. How the brain processes the initial perceptions, allegedly [R-G, (R+G)-B, R+G+B], doesn't change the fact that you can approximate all colors by mixing quantities of R, G and B.

What I'd find more interesting is a proposal (or a mention) of a color space that's based on what are, according to him, the 'computed' values. Something like NTL (tiNt/Temperature/Luminance), where N is R-G, T is (R+G)-B, and L is R+G+B. (The names 'tint' and 'temperature' are taken from photo editing software, as they are the only tools I can think of that come close to this system.)

2 points by kylec 1 day ago 2 replies      
I must have missed something as a seven-year-old, because this is the first I've heard that blue and yellow were supposed to be opposites. To me, it always made sense that blue and orange were opposites, both conceptually and visually. The same with purple and yellow.
2 points by blahblahblah 1 day ago 0 replies      
So there's no such thing as "red with a little green" -- there's just a less intense red. The brain physically cannot see "greenish-red" because the filter removes that information.

Under ordinary circumstances this is true. However, it has been shown that the human brain can be made to see reddish-green, yellowish-blue, etc. Scientific American published an article about this strange hack of human visual perception just last year. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=seeing-forb...

1 point by apl 1 day ago 0 replies      

  > But I digress, and besides I did promise to be all gross
> and irresponsible, so I'll stick with that.
> So there are R, G, and B cones.

Cute and all, but so very wrong. There are acceptable simplifications; this is not one of them.

3 points by knutae 1 day ago 1 reply      
I find the CIE Standard Observer graph enlightening: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIE_1931_color_space#Color_matc...

As far as I understand this, the red function, which corresponds to the red receptors in a typical human eye, reacts mostly to high wavelengths, but also has a small spike in the lower end of the spectrum. This explains why the violet end of the spectrum looks similar to red to human eyes, and this is probably why color wheels seem so natural. After all, a color wheel is almost the same as rainbow that wraps around.

I also find it fascinating that the CIE color space was defined as early as 1931.

1 point by bobds 1 day ago 0 replies      
Site was temporarily unavailable when I tried to post a comment, so here it goes:

This post clears up a few misconceptions for me, thanks for that.

I think you will enjoy the following link about "context" related illusions: http://www.psy.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/color12e.html

Akiyoshi Kitaoka is a university professor from Japan that has created a very extensive and amazing collection of illusions, documenting so many subtle ways our eyes play tricks on us.

His homepage is really worth exploring:


2 points by mattmillr 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that Red/Green and Blue/Yellow colorblindness correlate to the opposite color pairs that Jason points out. Does anyone know why this is? Are these types of colorblindness related to a deficiency in the filters (#s 1 and 2) he describes?
2 points by wccrawford 1 day ago 0 replies      
The budding designer in me loves these articles. While I can intellectually understand the color wheel(s), I'm still having issues grasping it emotionally and creatively.
1 point by m-photonic 1 day ago 1 reply      
>And magenta? It comes from full R and B with no G, activating Filter #1 full-positive, Filter #2 at zero.

This doesn't seem right to me. If the second filter were at zero, you should have a pure red and not something with blue content in it like magenta clearly has.

I think he may be representing the second filter as R+G-B, when R+G-2B would make more sense. The latter system shows FFFFFF as being neutral on the yellow-blue axis, while the former erroneously puts it in the yellow region.

4 points by sambeau 1 day ago 0 replies      
The checkerboard illusion at the end amazes me every time I see it.
1 point by thret 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you enjoyed that article, you may also like http://www.designersreviewofbooks.com/2010/10/interaction-of...

It is a beautiful book.

-1 point by sfphotoarts 1 day ago 2 replies      
while the article looks like a mashup of text-books and wikipedia (not to mention the self-aggrandization) and is interesting, this looks like SEO spam, one of these sites that sells you some book on how to get rich quick or how to start your startup.

I think I'll stick with my Johannes Itten.

Electronic Frontier Foundation Uncovers Widespread FBI Intelligence Violations eff.org
208 points by randomwalker 3 days ago   40 comments top 10
44 points by ck2 3 days ago 5 replies      
They can get away with all this and more because we have been made to believe it's okay to be in a state of war for a decade now, because everyone can still go shopping at the mall.

"Homeland Security" has become such a huge industry, how will we ever get them to scale it back down and give up all their little ways to violate the people they are supposed to protect?

7 points by GHFigs 3 days ago 2 replies      
Take with a grain of salt. The "40,000" figure the EFF mentions is entirely their own. The number of potential violations actually described in the documents they have is 768.

Is it reasonable to assume that the actual number is 50 times higher? Please decide for yourself instead of just taking the EFF's word for it.

Also, when considering the scope and scale of these violations, recognize that little distinction is being made between simple violations of procedure and scandalous invasions of individual privacy. If you feel that violations of Constitutional rights are more significant than missed administrative deadlines, this is an important distinction, one that the EFF's "Big Number" only serves to obscure. In fact their own report states that the number of violations involving "violation of the Constitution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or other laws governing criminal investigations or intelligence gathering activities" is "almost one-fifth" of the already much-deflated total.

10 points by dsplittgerber 3 days ago 0 replies      
The EFF needs a more professional copy-writer.
3 points by acabal 3 days ago 0 replies      
Am I just being cynical or am I the only one completely unsurprised by this?
2 points by johngalt 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ever since CALEA it should have been obvious to anyone where we were headed. Only-the-fly remote monitoring capability in of all major telecoms, that the feds can turn on surreptitiously? Right, I'm sure they will only use it when they've filled out all the proper forms.
2 points by jamesbressi 3 days ago 1 reply      
What implications does this have for those who may have been convicted of a felony based on those 40,000 violations?

Scary thought that chances are... of those truly guilty and convicted, there's at least one or a few who committed a heinous crime and could now walk from illegal/improper police work. That's just as scary as violating other's rights and wrongful convictions.

Another loss for liberty and safety.

2 points by teepark 3 days ago 2 replies      
3 points by nik61 3 days ago 1 reply      
From the UK as at 21:25 GMT the EFF site seems to have completely disappeared...
1 point by raintrees 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just as a humorous aside, my wife and I both chuckled when I read the headline aloud stating that the FBI had violated intelligence...
1 point by daniel-cussen 3 days ago 0 replies      
While this is definitely news, it's hardly a surprise.
Ask HN: Who's Hiring? (February 2011 Edition)
199 points by meadhikari 3 days ago   228 comments top 142
6 points by smanek 3 days ago 1 reply      
San Francisco, CA

Greplin - We're a YC W10 company with interesting problems, smart people, cool tech, and huge data. What more could you want?

We're hiring across the board right now - front-end/back-end/generalists/designers/ops/dev-ops: it's all good!

We help people search their personal information that's in the cloud (Gmail, Dropbox, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). As TechCrunch said, we've "attacked the other half of web search."


Sorry, no remote work.

24 points by timcederman 2 days ago 6 replies      
I'm curious as to how helpful these threads have been to both seekers and employers. Has anyone found a job through one of these threads? Do employers get meaningful applications?
8 points by pchristensen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Groupon (Chicago, Palo Alto)

Groupon is still hiring developers. We have an aggressive hiring plan for the rest of the year. All job openings are at http://groupon.com/jobs. The jobs are all cooler than the posts make them sound - we're working on that.

Location: We have offices in Chicago and downtown Palo Alto. A unique thing about our dev team is that for most jobs, it doesn't matter which office you work out of. Both offices have most jobs, people travel between offices as needed or desired, and we have good teleconferencing practices.

Upcoming projects:

- scaling for big, big traffic growth

- Big Data work around personalization and more

- lots of new projects, both internal and public

- Most work is in Rails but previous Rails knowledge isn't a requirement. Previous awesomeness is a requirement though.


- job security, market salaries - we're making money and just raised $1B

- talented and excited coworkers - there's energy here I haven't felt at any other place

- good development practices - increasing test coverage, requirements planning, post-mortems and retrospectives, etc

- laser powered cat mascot

- visa assistance and relocation on a case-by-case basis

If you're interested or have questions, email me at peterc@groupon.com and I can direct you to the right people.

5 points by nixme 2 days ago 1 reply      
Salesforce (San Francisco, CA) is hiring across all organizations: http://www.salesforce.com/company/careers/

But we have an immediate need for a badass developer on our Product Marketing Demos team. We regularly use the latest technologies and platforms to build product prototypes, demonstrations, and visualizations that effectively communicate our product line.

To give you an idea, in the past three months alone, our team has used Ruby, Coffeescript, Backbone, Raphael, Java/Android, and Obj-C/iOS to build apps demoed across the world in front of over 30,000 people at our global events.

So if you like experimenting with upcoming technologies and want to make that part of your job description, email me at gopal.patel@salesforce.com

...And we work in downtown SF right along the embarcadero -- some of the best views of the bay and city.

4 points by pquerna 3 days ago 0 replies      
Rackspace - San Francisco

As part of acquiring Cloudkick (YC W09), Rackspace is building out its first bay area office.

Most of these positions are working with the Cloudkick team.

Looking specifically for:

  - Javascript people, who can help build a 
fully client side application.

- Python & Node.js people for expanding our
backend services (Cassandra experience is a plus)

- General C/C++/Lua for work on our agent
and monitoring systems.

If these interest you, drop me ( pquerna@cloudkick.com ) a line.

More specific positions are also up on the racker talent site:


6 points by holman 2 days ago 0 replies      
GitHub " San Francisco, CA. Remote's doable, although we dig SF'ers.

We're looking for someone to help us out with GitHub's Enterprise product, Firewall Install. Basically we want to add 22 units of awesome to it, at a minimum. See our job page for details and to apply, or feel free to ping me at @holman if you have super special questions.


8 points by sachinag 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cambridge, MA (sorry, no remote)

Blueleaf.com -- looking for interns:

Marketing Engineer Intern: ideal for someone who wants to be a founder someday; lots of A/B testing implementation, making APIs do things they weren't designed to do, implementing crazy ideas from Dir of Mktg (me) and CEO

Director of Content: you will write a lot about investments/investing, find others who will write for us about said topics, link to yet others who write on said topic, and generally start putting us out there (consistent with our corporate voice, which we know but isn't public yet)

Marketing Intern: your standard social media douchebaggery, AdWords/landing page testing, and other "flood the funnel" activities

No job posting to link to, but I'm at sachin@blueleaf.com

3 points by akeefer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Guidewire Software - San Mateo, CA (mid-peninsula in the Bay Area, for non-natives)

We do core systems for insurance companies. No longer a startup (we're about 9 years old), but still privately held and doing very well financially.

The core work is in Java, but the platform is mostly a proprietary stack, including the Gosu language that we've recently open-sourced (http://gosu-lang.org) and are still actively developing.

We need developers on our applications and our platform, as well as product managers and QA. http://www.guidewire.com/careers for more details.

Feel free to e-mail me directly (akeefer@guidewire.com) if you're interested or have any questions (I'm the tech lead on our platform team).

17 points by Macca 2 days ago 6 replies      
SpaceX, Los Angeles. Working remotely is not an option for new-hires. In December we became the first private organization to put a spacecraft into orbit and return it safely (highlights: http://spacex.com/multimedia/videos.php?id=57). The other entities who've done this are all governments or governmental collaborations. SpaceX is continuing our expansion. Want to write code that lives on the International Space Station or controls our vehicle while it visits? Want to help humanity colonize Mars? Drop us a line, we're hiring. Visit spacex.com/careers for more info. For reasons relating to ITAR, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
39 points by kamens 3 days ago 2 replies      
khanacademy.org - Mountain View, CA - remote is a possibility

Hiring full-time devs and dev interns. Non-profit trying to change education. Backed by Gates Foundation and Google.

ben+HN@khanacademy.org for more info

4 points by flyosity 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bronto Software - Durham, NC (remote is possible)

We build complex marketing software. PHP on the frontend (Zend Framework and custom components) and Hadoop/Cassandra on the backend. Lots of huge data challenges & tons of servers. You'd be joining a big Engineering team with a ton of smart people.

- Looking for a web software engineer with deep experience with PHP and MySQL.

- Looking for an engineering manager to run the new team working on new cool stuff.

Both positions shown here: http://bronto.com/company/careers

Bronto's a great company and the Engineering department is especially fun. The environment is great: 20' ceilings in an old tobacco warehouse, exposed 100-year old beams, gigantic windows, open floor plan. Foosball, lots of free drinks, snacks and food. Lots of freedom to build great stuff, no micromanagement.

5 points by malbiniak 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Nerdery (Minneapolis - HQ, Chicago - satellite office). http://www.nerdery.com/jobs

Hi HN. We're not a product/platform company, and aren't in SV, but we do have one hell of a culture, myriad projects, and an unending pipeline of new work. To support that growth, we're planning on adding an additional 100 people during 2011. If you're interested, have questions, or send in a resume, please let me know. I want to make sure anyone coming from HN stands out in our application pool. matt.albiniak at nerdery d0t com

Most common thing heard around The Nerdery - "I learned more here in 3 months than I've learned anywhere else." Dog friendly, caffeine provided, developer owned and operated.

We have immediate openings for:

* Front End Dev - JS knowledge required, jQuery experience preferred.

* C# ASP.NET Developer - ASP.NET MVC preferred

* PHP Developer - Zend

* Actionscript Developer - AS3

* IA/UX Designer - previous FED experience

* Software Project Manager - you make juggling look easy

* IT Systems Technician - we're tech-centric. Not so much "can you install this" as much as "need ____ provisioned."

* iOS Developer - please hurry.

* ExpressionEngine Developer - see above.

Oh, and if you're not a great developer but understand tech (like me), we're hiring in sales, too.

7 points by nathanh 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hirelite.com is on a mission to put headhunters out of business by hosting speed interviewing events where developers and companies conduct 20 interviews over video chat in 2 hours.

We have a few upcoming web-based events:

- For SF Bay Area/Silicon Valley jobs on Tuesday, 2/15

- For NYC jobs on Tuesday, 3/1

- For Boston jobs on Wednesday, 3/9

- We're considering hosting an event focused on remote jobs. Would that be of interest?

If you're interested in participating, feel free to email me any questions or sign up on http://www.hirelite.com. We have spaces available for both developers and companies.

3 points by david927 3 days ago 0 replies      
Kongoroo.com is offering a Business Development co-founder role.

(About us, quickly: Kongoroo is the front-page of the web for kids. Parents submit sites, which are vetted and filtered for age and interests, and popularity bubbles sites to the top.)

The site still has work to do but we should still make the soft launch date at the end of February. We need help to execute this right. If you're interested or experience in Bus. Dev. please contact me at the email in my profile. We prefer if you're from the SF Bay Area, but we're open to other locations.

5 points by lecha 3 days ago 1 reply      
Hopper - Montreal http://hopper.travel

Hopper is a search engine for making trips. We use information extraction, machine learning, distributed computing and custom search algorithms to transform ridiculously huge volumes of data into useful information. Interested? Get in touch.

For more info about us, check out http://nextmontreal.com/product-market-fit-hopper-travel-fre...

3 points by lpolovets 2 days ago 0 replies      
Los Angeles, CA and Silicon Valley, CA -- Factual

Working remotely is a possibility for exceptional engineers, but in-person is highly preferred.

Factual aims to be the place where people meet to share, improve, and mash-up data. We have an awesome team that is still fairly small, and an incredible CEO (he was the co-founder of Applied Semantics, which was sold to Google and became AdSense). We recently raised a Series A from Andreessen-Horowitz, and our customers include Facebook (we provide some of their Places data) and Newsweek. We have lots of challenging problems to work on at all layers of the stack: data cleaning and canonicalization, deduping, storage, serving, APIs, etc. If you love data, Factual is great place to be.

We're looking for awesome Java generalists. Bonus points for experience with MapReduce, developing NoSQL datastores and/or machine learning.


You can also email me personally at leo -at- factual.com

4 points by drusenko 2 days ago 0 replies      
Weebly (San Francisco, CA)

We're looking for 2 front-end developers. There's a puzzle at http://www.weebly.com/jobs.html -- see if you can solve it under 30 minutes

(Remote is not a possibility)

3 points by thinkcomp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Palo Alto, CA - Think Computer Corporation

We run the FaceCash (http://www.facecash.com) mobile payment system, which is being deployed nationwide. We have apps on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, and we're always looking for top people to help out. Merchants love us because we're cheaper (and we give them a free POS system), and consumers love the integrated coupons. Apply on our corporate site at:


or e-mail me at aarong at thinkcomputer.com.

5 points by techsupporter 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know it's not in the traditional vein of what people look for at HN, but Microsoft is hiring for Commercial Technical Support in Dallas (Irving) TX, Charlotte NC, and (I think) Fargo ND. There are openings in a variety of groups (SharePoint, Windows OS, SQL, IIS, Exchange) and for a variety of positions (Support [Escalation] Engineer, which is phone-based, and Escalation Engineer, which is debug/code-based).

Note: I work for Microsoft in CTS, though I'm posting on my own.

3 points by newhouseb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bubbli - Palo Alto, CA. Remote not a possibility at this stage.

We're a very well funded augmented reality startup co-founded by myself (who created Yelp Monocle) and my co-founder, a designer from NYC. We're going to be closing a big round in the next few days and are soft launching at TED (the real one) next month. John Doerr also told us he's just seen the future when he saw our demo, if that means anything to you.

We're looking to hire a computer vision engineer, front-end engineer, and back-end engineer. You'll potentially be our first employee - and we'll be paying well.

For an intro see http://bubbli.co/intro

For more about the jobs see http://blog.bubbli.co/jobs

For a bit about some internal tools see http://blog.bubbli.co

Shoot me an e-mail @ ben@bubbli.co

4 points by jplewicke 3 days ago 2 replies      
Boston, MA (not remote)

MDT Advisers - We're a small quant investing shop working with machine learning, financial analysis, and the hardest dataset in the world. We've got two main types of positions that we're hiring for: a dedicated developer position, and a general analyst position that's about 60% programming and 40% financial and statistical analysis -- http://www.mdtadvisers.com/careers/qea.jsp . The people, problems, and pay are good, and we aim for good work-life balance(e.g. no 60 hour weeks).

You can email me at jlewicke@mdtadvisers.com with any questions you have.

4 points by jack7890 2 days ago 1 reply      
New York, NY

SeatGeek - Data-driven search for event tickets

Looking for a frontend developer (Javascript/HTML/CSS) to have complete ownership over that part of our web app. An eye for design and Photoshop skills are a plus.

On-site only. Drop me a line if you're interested: jack@seatgeek.com

3 points by SpikeGronim 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wavii is hiring in Seattle, WA.

We need frontend developers to work on a rapidly iterating consumer facing website.

We are also hiring backend developers interested in natural language processing and the infrastructure needed to support large scale data processing.

TechCrunch coverage:




3 points by mace 2 days ago 0 replies      
MochMedia (San Francisco, CA) - http://www.mochimedia.com/jobs/

Mochi is hiring engineers (Python, Javascript and Erlang). We bulid highly distributed and reliable systems to help independent game developers distribute and monetize over 30,000 casual games across the web.

We also love open source and have contributed back to the community with simplejson, mochiweb, mochikit and other projects.


- Competitive Salary, Robust Medical Benefits & 401k

- 20% Mochi Labs R&D Time

- Equity in Shanda Games Limited (NASDAQ: GAME)

- Catered Family Style Lunches 2x Per Week

- $3,000 Education Budget

3 points by agotterer 2 days ago 3 replies      
Lot18 - New York City

We are revolutionizing the wine e-commerce experience. We're an agile, early stage, venture backed technology startup. Our company is a great place for smart, hard working people who want to make a difference and help change the wine world.

Engineers - http://www.lot18.com/careers#web_engineer

Designers - http://www.lot18.com/careers#web_designer

All careers - http://www.lot18.com/careers


Check out http://www.startupshiring.com for an aggregated list of startup jobs from many of the companies on this thread. If you're company isn't listed, please add a request. http://www.startupshiring.com/add.

3 points by felideon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- non-remote (worth the relocation!)

MCNA Dental Plans -- Looking for heads down engineers with Lisp experience or exposure.

Health care probably doesn't sound too interesting but this industrial-strength business application is being re-written from scratch in Common Lisp. The system being built includes a hybrid relational and graph database on Postgres, quasi-natural-language driven production rule systems, rich internet application (using Lisp to wrap/drive qooxdoo), and great graphics!

Did I mention working with 6 other awesome Lispers?

Original job post: http://lispjobs.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/lisp-developer-mcna...

Email me (look in profile) if you have any questions or you want a softer intro to the hiring manager.

7 points by squirrel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Boston (US) as well as London (UK) - youDevise, Ltd.

We're a 65-person financial-software firm committed to learning and improvement as well as great web software and agile development. We're hiring developers and other smart folks of many kinds. See http://www.youdevise.com/careers and https://dev.youdevise.com.

While we don't have remote workers, we do help successful candidates relocate to London or Boston including arranging visas where needed. For example, last year we hired HN readers from Denmark and the US, and we moved a Polish employee to Boston.

3 points by rbxbx 3 days ago 2 replies      
We're hiring at Hashrocket.


Ruby, Agile, Pair Programming (all the time!), open source time, benefits, a team of super smart and quite enjoyable people to be around, and a pretty office at the beach to boot.

We're also open to apprentices/internships, if you're interested feel free to email jobs@hashrocket.com and if you have any questions you can contact me personally robert@hashrocket.com or @rbxbx on twitter.

Cheers :)

2 points by nethergoat 2 days ago 1 reply      
EA2D - Redwood Shores, CA (SF Bay Area)


We're a small, autonomous studio within EA building social games for gamers. Our first monetized title, Dragon Age Legends, is about to enter closed beta and has been generating a lot of buzz (http://pc.ign.com/articles/114/1146553p1.html).

Our Platform team is looking for mid to (very) senior engineers. You would be responsible for building the platform on which all EA2D games will run, from the pages that serve the HTML to the suite of game servers supporting them. Analytics, social network integration, shared services (REST), scaling, real-time stateful and stateless game servers -- this would all be your domain.

Our stack is primarily Java with MongoDB on the backend, but we're becoming increasingly polyglot (Python, Ruby) in the middle tier. We're hosted on EC2 (w/auto-scaling and on-demand environments) and practice continuous deployment. A sampling of the tech we use: Chef, git (GitHub), Hudson (now Jenkins?), ant, ivy, SQS, S3, EMR, Loggly, PagerDuty, Mixpanel, Kontagent, NginX, Tomcat, Hive, and Google App Engine. We contribute code back to the open source projects we use, and we've even started open sourcing our own (https://github.com/EA2D).

The Platform team is small and young -we're still building out the initial implementations of many services- so you would have a tremendous impact on our architecture and direction.

We're a tight-knit team with lots of whiteboards, so you'd need to be on-site. On the plus side, EA's campus is fantastic - we have a stellar gym, cafeteria, theater, shuttle service to Caltrain, soccer field, volleyball and basketball courts, tournament-quality foosball tables, and much more.

Drop me a line if you're interested, mikeb@ea2d.com

We've already hired two people from previous HN "Who's Hiring?" threads, so you'd be in good company!

6 points by buymorechuck 3 days ago 0 replies      
Palo Alto, CA - Flipboard

Seeking iOS and web developers with a passion for design and craftsmanship. (No remote is possible.)


[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@+HN@%@.com", @"charles", @"flipboard"]

3 points by jbenz 2 days ago 0 replies      
eRetailing (Columbus, Ohio) (Sorry, no remote)

This is actually not a technical position but a marketing post. Specifically, we need someone who will get their hands dirty in Google Adwords and Analytics on a daily basis. See more here:


Find links to our sites here:


3 points by nfriedly 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sociable Labs is hiring several positions including sysadmins, front-end developers, and back-end developers.

I work on the front end, we do a lot of cross-domain ajax and work with the FaceBook JS SDK. I'm looking for at least one more front-end developer who knows JS inside and out. Experience with FB's new JS SDK is, obviously, a benefit.

Our back-end is Java / Jetty / PostgreSQL running on Amazon EC2.

We do basically a more advanced version of Facebook's Social Plugins for a number of large websites.

We're located in the San Francisco area. Remote work is an option; I work remote from Ohio right now.

Everyone works from home on Fridays, and the office is generally a pretty fun place every time I've been out to visit.


Contact nathan @ above website if you're interested.

2 points by GavinB 2 days ago 0 replies      
New York City - must be on-site.

A little bit of game design, a little bit of project management, a little bit of community management--a lot of fun. No programming required, but familiarity with web and game development is a plus. Interest in games, especially RPGs and puzzlers, is a must.

Full time freelance in NYC for an established book publishing company. It's fairly entry level.

gbrown at scholastic dot com

2 points by MediaSquirrel 2 days ago 0 replies      
SpeakerText (San Francisco)

SpeakerText is hiring Rails developers (employee #2) to work out of our new office overlooking Market Street in downtown SF (no remote work, sorry). We sell "transcription in the cloud" powered by a hybrid of AI & crowdsourced labor, with a heavy focus on video.

Upcoming projects:




-Improving our autonomous QA system


30% RoR development

30% Front end coding (HTML/CSS/jQuery)

30% Backend Server Management (EC2, Apache, Linux)

10% Plotting world domination with the founders

Compensation includes a competitive salary, healthcare, and stock options.

CTO's note: If you want lots of structure and a product manager telling you exactly what to do & how to do it, this is not the job for you. If you're a technical badass and know you want to start your own company one day, this job is perfect.

More info: http://speakertext.com/jobs/rails_hacker

4 points by hyyypr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Location: Paris, France.

A stealth Mode well-funded startup writing highly disruptive Internet software is looking for :

A C++/Web Application security developer.

Ensuring that security risks are known/evaluated and that prevention techniques are identified, implemented and applied.

An UI/UX designer

Developing creative UI solutions for large scale C++ and Web applications.

A MacOS X, Cocoa, C++ Qt developer

porting our applications (Desktop and Web browser plugins)
to the Mac OS X.

email me at jobs<at>kwift<dot>com

2 points by trunnell 2 days ago 1 reply      
Netflix has many open positions in Los Gatos, CA.


HTML5, javascript, iOS, Android, Silverlight, Security Architect, J2EE, QA and more. See the jobs page for the full list and hit the link to apply.

There is a startup-driven culture at Netflix that rewards risk-taking and high performance. It's a great place to push the bleeding edge, whether you build client software (lots of A/B behavioral testing) or server software (as one of the larger users of AWS, we're breaking new ground all the time). Come help invent the future of movie and TV watching.

1 point by philjr 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Pleasanton, CA (East Bay)

Dublin, Ireland

Workday - ERP space - Hiring Infrastructure / Systems Engineers

Working on some interesting problem sets, with large groups of data and some very progressive Java technology. All Linux (CentOS) based, we're really looking for some talented people to help out on the Linux side of things. We're kinda looking for Linux or general *nix whizzes with production experience and with a broad range of skills.

We're interested in a candidates with appropiate visa / working permits in either Ireland or the US and are willing to relocate the right candidate(s) (no remote)

Email me - philip dot reynolds at workday dot com for more info!

1 point by dawson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cambridge Healthcare, Cambridge, UK (remote considered)

We are a healthcare start-up, creating a unique and innovative healthcare application framework and marketplace. We are working in partnership with the NHS and will pilot regionally, then deploy nationally.

We're looking for a CTO and or Senior Engineer, who thinks that a Ruby/Rails 3 and Amazon RDS stack with AMQP and Distributed Memory Caching is cool, but not enough.

Competitive salary and employee stock options.

For more information please don't hesitate to get in contact, email and Skype in profile. The sites are http://nhs.info and http://about.nhs.info

3 points by tocomment 3 days ago 0 replies      
Gaithersburg, MD - A payment processing software company I used to work for is hiring an internal applications developer. You'd be working with Python, SQL Server, IIS and other technologies to automate internal processes.

They'd prefer someone local but working remotely might be ok.

They're open to hiring anywhere from entry level to senior. It's the type of job where either role would work.

Email me (in profile)

* As long as you can demonstrate some programming skill, and resourcefulness, they're happy to train you in Python, and SQL Server.

3 points by wmoxam 2 days ago 0 replies      
Savvica - Toronto, ON (must be on site)

We're looking for a Design Lead and a Senior Developer (http://savvica.com/jobs)

We are India's leading educational marketing and recruitment services company. We work with universities and colleges primarily in the US, Canada, UK and India to recruit Indian students for their programs. Savvica operates learnhub.com, studyplaces.com, and jumbotest.com, reaching more Indian students than any other education-focused sites in India.

2 points by GavinB 2 days ago 0 replies      
New York City or remote.

We need a flash game developer--someone who can take an idea like "parachuting onto an island" or "cracking a safe" and work with us to turn it into a clever game. Close enough to NYC to work on-site or pop in for meetings would be great, but we would also consider remote workers.

gbrown at scholastic dot com

1 point by blacksmythe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Calient Networks (no remote, should be willing to relocate to Santa Barbara CA) www.calient.net

Hiring for several positions.

1. Software Engineer: Deliver fast-track software solutions for Tier 1 Data Center Customers and Telco Equipment Partners, beginning from product definition, development, and validation through deployment.

  The successful candidate should be capable of developing real-time embedded 
software including implementation and integration.

- 5+ years in designing and developing embedded software development using
embedded operating systemS (RTOS / embedded Linux)

- Experience with SNMP would be useful

- Experience with high availability systems would be very helpful

2. DSP Software Engineer

  - Develop and test control of MEMS with an embedded
PowerPC or DSP processor.

- Work closely with hardware engineers

- Familiar working with embedded Linux

  - Should understand resonance frequency, Fourier transforms,
and have some understanding of control theory.

3. Manufacturing Software Engineer

  - Apply machine learning to manufacturing automation of complex system.

Presently manufacturing data interpretation requires a highly intelligent person.
The software needs to perform diagnostics to allow an average person
to manage the manufacturing process.

- Must have a passion for manufacturing in volume

3 points by lovitt 2 days ago 0 replies      
SB Nation is a media/technology startup in Washington, DC. We're hiring Ruby developers and visual designers (local preferred, remote considered):



We're a network of 290+ sports news sites & communities. As newspapers are shutting down their sports sections, we're quietly reinventing the media model with profitable, high-quality, innovative coverage by and for fans. Our investors include Accel Partners, Allen & Company, Comcast Interactive Capital, and Khosla Ventures. We get around 16 million unique visitors every month.

Our small product team develops the custom publishing and community platform (built on Rails) that powers the sites. The interesting problems we face range from editorial analytics, to social distribution, to scaling the system to handle our rapid growth.

Here are some of the humans you'd be working with:

And some recent press:

* Why sports is driving innovation in journalism: http://markcoddington.com/2010/10/08/why-sports-has-taken-th...

* NY Times profile: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/business/media/07fans.html

* Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab: http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/06/sb-nation-ceo-on-how-were-f...

4 points by StyleOwner 2 days ago 0 replies      
StyleOwner (San Francisco) is hiring for two positions. If interested please get in touch today if possible.

We're a small, venture funded startup in the fashion space (very hot right now). Looking for one frontend and one backend engineer.

Benefits: Competitive pay, small team atmosphere, you get to have a big impact on our success. Dev team located in SF. Currently we work from home / coffee shops & meet in person one day a week for a hack session / coffee.

Two postings:




The ideal candidates are comfortable on a small team, write solid, clean code, and are able to handle a loosely structured environment. Please send a link to your portfolio or github profile, etc. For a shortcut to apply, just email matt@styleowner.com.

3 points by qixxiq 3 days ago 1 reply      
Cape Town, South Africa (no remote) -- SnapBill

It seems there are a few South Africans around this site so giving it a shot. We're a small growing startup in the recurring billing space that just launched last week (www.snapbill.com).

We've got big plans and are pushing to get a lot into the system as soon as possible but need a little bit of help. Shoot me an email if you're interested.

3 points by takrupp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Los Angeles, CA - Quant Trading Firm - Not remote, must be authorized to work in the US.

One of my clients is looking for a network programmer. The developer will be responsible for low level, low latency feed handlers (from market data providers) and in improving/developing drivers for their distributed computing infrastructure.

Position is very competitive, but no former financial knowledge or experience needed. Must know C++ and socket (TCP/UDP) programming very well. They will look at junior to senior people, and can pay very well.

Email trent.krupp@constitutionllp.com for more info.

3 points by cristinacordova 2 days ago 0 replies      
PULSE - Downtown Palo Alto, CA (across the street from Caltrain) - We build Pulse News an awesome newsreader for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Website: http://www.alphonsolabs.com/jobs

We're hiring iOS engineers. We would love for you to come by and get to know our 7 person team. You will have a large amount of control and impact and have an extremely engaged user base to answer to! Shoot us an email at jobs@alphonsolabs.com

iOS - Ideally, you have already developed and launched an app in the store. You prototype features rapidly and iterate on design even more rapidly " while writing clean code.

9 points by gsiener 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hi all. I curate the NYC StartupDigest Jobs list -- email me if you'd like to see your posting included.
3 points by aschobel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Catch.com (San Francisco)

We are looking for hackers to join our team in SOMA. We have a bunch of ex-Metaweb and Googlers hacking on:

  * Android / iOS
* JS (Google Closure)
* Python (Pylons)and MongoDB.

We have a crazy amount of users on Android. =)


2 points by apike 2 days ago 0 replies      
Steam Clock Software (Vancouver, BC).

We're hiring a generalist as person #3 for our iOS app development shop. We need someone who can do awesome visual design for iOS as well as pick up some programming as needed. Currently we're profitable doing 1/2 App Store products and 1/2 contracting work, moving to mostly product sales in the future.

Interested in going for a beer? Email allen at steamclocksw.com.

9 points by benji-york 3 days ago 0 replies      
Canonical is continuing to grow. Most of the technical positions are remote. It's a great place to work. Tell them Benji sent you. http://webapps.ubuntu.com/employment/
2 points by joshuaxls 3 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco " stealthy startup in SF hiring seasoned Ruby/Rails developers. Telecommuting is okay some of the time, but you must be able to come into our SoMa office regularly. We pay market salaries and give nice chunks of equity despite being well funded.

What are some of the perks? Well, we're spending this week in the Dominican Republic coding on the beach. Come join us on our next work trip! Contact the address in my profile.

7 points by magicseth 2 days ago 3 replies      
Bump (Mountain View, CA)

Come work with me!!! I do iPhone magic at Bump.

We are hiring lots of positions in iPhone, Android, Web Dev (HTML etc), Systems Engineerings, Algorithms, and Designer positions too.


2 points by jonshea 2 days ago 0 replies      
Foursquare (NYC, SF): http://foursquare.com/jobs/

We have positions coding for our mobile clients (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry) and our server team. Our server code is all in Scala (booyah functional programming). It's a superb team in fun work environment, full of exciting projects, and with an amazing dataset.

Feel free to send me an email at the same username, or apply through the web page.

1 point by petervandijck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Developers in Montreal.

Hiring developers in Montreal. Full-time job with benefits, we pay well, and you get to work on startup-y projects (ie. agile, small teams, etc.) You get lots of freedom, ownership (projects are starting from scratch, no legacy projects here) and little corporate crap.

Specifically looking for:

- Javascript person: you should be really good at javascript, jquery etc. You'll be writing from scratch a gmail-like browser app (simpler though), using something like Sammy js, accessing data from a json backend api. When applying, show me something you've done in this spirit.

- Windows, Mac developers. You'll write a Dropbox-like app that runs on Windows and/or Mac. (It's pretty different from Dropbox but that's the closest I found.) Make sure it doesn't crash or slow down the computer. Make it Just Work. Show me something you've done when applying.

You must be located in Montreal. Contact info in my account info.

4 points by YammerMel 2 days ago 4 replies      
YAMMER helps turn the mayhem of the corporate world into return-on-investment unicorns and leveraged-employee-engagement butterflies.
We are a medium sized start-up that is battling several big enterprise software companies in this space. So yes, our target customers are in the enterprise space BUT we are turning this space upside down with our viral approach and how we build solutions for the user (which doesn't include an army of salesmen). We are solving consumer type problems but also monetize like enterprise software. (i.e. real revenues with fewer users)

What's in it for you?:

-GOOD catered Lunch and Dinner daily

-Fancy Apple Hardware of your choice (you can have a PC if you REALLY want one)

-Amazing group of smart engineers (sounds cliche, but we really do have smart people here :D )

-Ability to have influence without authority.

-Working with technologies like Scala, Rails, and advanced JavaScript

-Wine and Whiskey Connoisseurs onsite at your disposal

-Our CEO is David Sacks, and yes, he is responsible for making the movie, "Thank You for Smoking".

-Top of the market Start-up Compensation (we pay to play)

Check us out! https://www.yammer.com/about/jobs

1 point by mtsmith85 20 hours ago 0 replies      
New York, NY

Thrillist - We're a leading men's lifestyle newsletter.

We're looking for a jQuery developer who's also an experienced PSD-chopping, HTML-cleaning, CSS guru to write clean, lightweight code and keep our pages SEO-friendly. You'll be owning the frontend of our site, and helping us to make it lean and mean. This position reports directly to the Director of Technology.

- Minimum 2+ years of experience doing front-end work for a web-based business or web-focused agency
- Minimum 2 years experience with Javascript/jQuery/Prototype/etc
- Able to hand-code efficient tableless CSS layouts
- Up-to-date understanding of SEO best practices
- Strong dedication to cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility
- Capable in Photoshop

- Familiarity with the pitfalls of HTML email design a huge plus
- Git or SVN knowledge
- Flash skills a bonus
- Knowledge of Drupal theming a plus

We've got a bunch of fun applications in development. You'll work hard, and you'll learn a lot. Compensation commensurate with experience.

*Candidates MUST be available to work from our offices in Soho, NYC (though we're flexible about telecommuting a few days a week). No offshore/remote (sorry). Principals only, no recruiters please.

Join up: send resume and cover blurb with salary requirements to techjobs@thrillist.com with 'Interface Developer' in the subject line.

Read more: http://www.thrillist.com/jobs/#interface_developer

3 points by roobeast 2 days ago 0 replies      
Trulia (Downtown San Francisco)

Fastest growing real estate search site.

Looking for multiple solid back-end developers, a data scientist or two, an engineer with email systems experience, front end php/javascript types if experienced, and at least one data warehouse engineer and one sysadmin.

Ongoing and upcoming work:

Efficient scaling of multiple systems

Creating new products out of all the real estate data we have access to.

Integrating new sources of interesting data many of which are geospatial in part.

Excellent opportunity to work with cutting edge tech (we save the bleeding edge stuff for prototyping) and work in an environment where your work can have an immediate impact on the business.

The back end is mostly java with bits of python, the front end is lamp based. We make heavy use of open source where we can.

Not all the positions are posted all the time so if you don't see one of the ones mentioned, just apply for one of the other engineering positions and put in the cover letter part what you are actually interested in.

3 points by ashearer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Waltham, MA and Providence, RI. Some non-remote time desired.

We're an early-stage healthcare startup seeking web application developers (Python/Django) and UI/UX design talent.

Contact: Andrew.Shearer, at myrozi.com.

2 points by goatforce5 3 days ago 1 reply      
Avid Life Media - Toronto, ON


Ruby devs, designers, customer support and accountants.

For you rubyists: Interested in hearing from you regardless of whether you meet our requirements in the above Senior Ruby Developer position. We have a 'junior'(/intermediate/whatever) role open too. On-site only. jamie.wilson@avidlifemedia.com

2 points by usaar333 2 days ago 0 replies      
PiCloud (San Francisco, CA) is hiring engineers, marketers, and salespeople.

We're developing a cloud computing platform for general computation. Engineers work with a variety programming languages (python, c/c++, java), distributed systems, and data stores.

We're a growing seed stage firm, so you'd be playing a large role in our company. Unfortunately, remote is not a possibility.

2 points by cal5k 3 days ago 0 replies      
Toronto, ON - Myplanet

We're hiring for practically everything - and we really need to add some great developers to our team. We're a fun place to work and we've been on a pretty ridiculous growth clip over the last two years.

Check out our blog post with the job descriptions here:


1 point by shadchnev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Forward Internet Group in London, UK: http://www.forward.co.uk

We're a young entrepreneurial company that bootstrapped its way from its founder bedroom to a 150-strong company with very healthy profits in 6 years without any external capital.

We are behind uswitch.com, getinvisiblehand.com, omio.com, justcages.co.uk, petvillas.co.uk, forward3d.co.uk etc.
You can take a look at who we are and what we do at http://www.forwardtechnology.co.uk.

One of our guys created statefulapp.com during the recent Rails Rumble (been on the frontpage of HN), many others contribute to open source.

We have been doubling our revenues every single year (up to £118m in 2010) and plan to continue to expand. So, we need great people!

We're looking for great developers (and many other roles too) to work on a variety of exciting online projects. We use Clojure, Ruby, Hadoop, Node.js, Sinatra etc.

Above all we're looking for smart, ambitious, entrepreneurial people. Full job spec is here: http://www.forward.co.uk/careers or here: http://www.forwardtechnology.co.uk/

And it's fun to work here: you choose the hardware you want, you buy the books you need, the hours are flexible, no dress code, free classes (language, music and even poker), the people are reasonable and the entertainment budget is generous: for example the entire company hangs out in Las Vegas night clubs and casinos for 4 days every December and we've recently returned from Disneyland in Paris (birthday celebrations).

To find out more email me at evgeny.shadchnev@forward.co.uk with your CV.

p.s. sorry, all our devs are on-site, we don't hire remote devs. Also, given the recent changes to the immigration laws in the UK, it will be very challenging (maybe even impossible) for us to arrange a visa unless you're an EU national or already have a work permit.

4 points by kshashi 2 days ago 0 replies      
TheFind (http://www.thefind.com), Mountain View

TheFind is solving fundamental problems in information extraction and search by using applied machine learning. We successfully crawl and extract products from a billion web pages. We currently have 25MM+ users visiting thefind.com every month, and are growing 100% YOY.

Our goal is to build a product focussed on all aspects of the shopping process like comprehensive selection, price comparison, coupons, product reviews, sentiment analysis, shopping at local stores, eco-friendly shopping, hot trends, shopping based on your personal and friend's tastes, mobile shopping etc.

If you've worked on things like information extraction, search relevance, text mining, big data etc. and would love to architect solutions to challenging problems, please email our CTO at kshashi _AT_ thefind _DOT_ com

5 points by vide0star 2 days ago 0 replies      
Smarkets in London: http://smarkets.com

Real-time trading platform. Python frontend, Erlang backend.

Smarkets is one of the Wall Street Journal's Top 10 Tech Startups to watch in Europe and was shortlisted for the Startups Awards.

3 points by 20thr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Blaast is building a cloud-powered mobile OS, designed around web technology. We're disrupting the medium by building a platform that offers a native-like user experience: our apps are beautiful, fast and always up to date. We get there by leveraging our cloud platform to offer features that you don't see in today's mobile devices.

Our product has stirred the interest of a few big players and we're close to land our product into the hands of millions of users. We are a team of 15 young guys from around the world, based in Helsinki, Finland, and funded by experienced guys including the co-founders of Skype.

We are looking for brilliant software engineers that are looking to work into new disruptive technology. Our platform is based on Java and Javascript (node.js).

To apply ping us at jobs@blaast.com.

3 points by phillytom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Conshohocken, PA (outside of Philadelphia)

Monetate - jobs.monetate.com

SaaS provider of testing, targeting, and personalization tools for online retail stores.

Open Positions:
* backend engineers - work on data and web problems at scale in Python.

* front-end developers - build and test experiments on our client facing UI. You should be experienced in working with production-quality cross-browser HTML/CSS and Javascript with and without frameworks.

We're small, profitable, and growing fast while still having fun (happy hours, free lunch everyday, group cycling, running). We've hired people through these postings (3 now!) and look forward to interviewing fellow HNers.

Feel free to email me any questions - tjanofsky monetate com

3 points by NetMonkey 3 days ago 1 reply      
Copenhagen, Denmark

- Looking for full-time iPhone/iPad developer.

You must have good experience with the platforms as you will initially be responsible for creating the app from scratch without any in-house expertise.
Some decent knowledge of networking and possibly C is also necessary as the app will interface with an extensive backend.

- UX designer

If you are capable of making great looking vector graphics and know / can quickly learn to draw in Flash then we may have a full time position available.

- Info

Remoting is not an option currently. We are willing to look into helping with relocation for the right person, but we prefer locals at this stage.

Send an email to jonas at enwire dot dk with a short info about yourself.

2 points by will_critchlow 3 days ago 1 reply      
London, UK (no remote) -- Distilled



We are hiring SEOs (the good kind). If you want to help our clients deserve to rank better, come work with us.

If you know someone, refer them and win a frickin' quadricopter!

[If you are in Seattle, WA, there's a good chance we'd like to speak to you too...].

2 points by drallison 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maxeler Technologies (http://www.maxeler.com) is hiring for Palo Alto, CA and London, England. (no remote)

Application acceleration engineers to work with client applications to deliver order of magnitude speedups. You'll be involved in every stage of accelerating applications, from analyzing multi-million line code bases through developing new algorithms, to implementing complete solutions running on FPGA, GPU, or other technologies.

You will need a degree or equivalent professional qualification in Computer Science or a related discipline as well as experience in some of the following:
» High performance software development in C/C++ or FORTRAN.
» Program analysis and transformation
» Compiler design and implementation
» Computer architecture / digital circuit design.
» Working with scientific software code in HPC application
domains such as computational finance, seismic processing, life sciences or fluid dynamics.

4 points by svec 3 days ago 1 reply      
Boston, MA; not remote.

Ember has a couple of openings for firmware/embedded and manufacturing engineers: http://www.ember.com/company_careers.html

We make low power wireless chips and the software that makes them useful.

Ember is a fantastic place to work, email me directly at emberFeb2011@saidsvec.com if you're interested.

2 points by kyleslattery 2 days ago 0 replies      
Viddler (Bethlehem, PA, remote works too)

We're looking for a Rails developer. We're growing pretty quickly, so we need some extra hands to help build out new products and services. Email jobs@viddler.com if you're interested.

3 points by JonM 3 days ago 0 replies      
Leeds, UK (no remote) - Pitch Hero Limited

Sports website with 1MM+ UVs/month, looking for frontend designer / developer. £30k+ and possible stock options.


3 points by christyyyjoy 2 days ago 0 replies      
San Diego, CA - StockTwits

We're looking for a Senior Ruby Developer to join the team in Coronado: http://stocktwits.com/jobs#rd


New York, NY - Apartment Therapy

They haven't posted a job description yet, but I'm leaving my front-end developer/web designer position, so they'll be hiring soon. Email me at cgurga@gmail.com if you want me to send along the job posting once it's up =) Local is preferred (I'm leaving because I took a job with StockTwits now that I live in California).

2 points by kevindication 3 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like we've got quite a few positions open: http://www.woti.com/jobs.cfm

Feel free to ping me if you want to know if you're likely to be a good fit.

1 point by _mattb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Redwood Systems -- Fremont, CA (sorry, no remote) http://redwoodsystems.com

We're a 50 person startup that makes an LED lighting controller and sensor system for commercial buildings. Our system saves a lot of energy and we get a ton of sensor information that's lately been leading to some interesting analyses and visualizations.. We're putting physical systems on the web and it's pretty exciting! There are Engineering openings in our UI, Embedded C++, Test, and Sales Applications groups http://redwoodsystems.com/about-us/careers. We're also looking for summer interns if you're still in school (contact me directly).

I'm relatively new and it's an awesome time to work here. We have big name clients in the valley and we're constantly working with them to make a better product.

3 points by jdfreefly 2 days ago 0 replies      
Successfactors (Redwood City, CA)

Formerly cubetree.com. Recently acquired by SuccessFactors. We're no longer a startup but we still have that startup feel. We push code on a weekly basis and we've got a very strong, talented and well connected team.

We work in ROR with a mysql backend and CSS and Javascript on the front. We're building a secure and global social platform for businesses.

If you're interested send me your resume (john@cubetree.com) and a brief description about what kind of a position you're looking for.

3 points by mattyfo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Baltimore, MD

We're global ad agency working on some cool digital projects. We could use another solid front-end developer. Drop me an email at matthew.forr -at- eurorscg.com

2 points by Titanous 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ottawa, ON - Shopify


We're hiring for a ton of positions including Developer Advocate and Software Engineer (Core, Data, QA, Tools, UI).

We have a great work environment, love open source, and are profitable and growing really fast (fastest in Ottawa, in fact).

2 points by xyzzyb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bandwidth.com / Broadband.com - Cary, NC (no remote)

We're hiring for quite a few positions: http://bandwidth.com/about/join/careers.html

Everything from web programming to tech support to billing to sales.

I started with the company as a web programmer a little more than two months ago. Great so far: nice people, great work environment, fun atmosphere.

3 points by imoawesome 2 days ago 0 replies      
imo is hiring! Based in Palo Alto, CA, we are a small startup founded and funded by one of the first ten employees at Google. Our current team consists of top TopCoders, ACM ICPC World Finalists, and medalists of the International Olympiads in Informatics. We work on challenging projects that we choose from the ground up that have direct impact on our users. You can view all openings here: https://imo.im/jobs.html
3 points by beermann 2 days ago 0 replies      
StudyBlue (Madison, WI) is hiring for the following positions:

Marketing Manager

Front End Web Developer

Senior Applications Developer

iPhone Developer

Android Developer

Network Operations Director

QA Engineer

We're a funded startup out in the midwest (they do exist) building educational tools for high school and college students.

For more info: http://company.studyblue.com/about/jobs/

3 points by h3h 2 days ago 0 replies      
Austin, Texas / On-site only / Gowalla Incorporated

A fun company with interesting problems, stellar designers and an unrelenting focus on great user experience. We're looking for an iOS developer, Ruby developers, an operations engineer and a BlackBerry developer.

I moved to Austin last year to join Gowalla and I love both.


3 points by ptornroth 2 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA (Remote's a possibility, too)

Elation EMR - http://www.elationemr.com

We're building web based tools that improve the lives of physicians and their patients. We're a small, angel-funded team with some really incredible people on board ( http://elationemr.com/aboutus.html ), and we're looking to add one or two more engineers to complete core of our technical team.

As one of our first hires, you'll play a key role in shaping the company and culture, architecting the foundations of a very complex system, and designing the experience for a highly demanding user. No healthcare experience is needed, but you should be excited about building technology that has the potential to deeply impact people's lives.

Our tech stack is still growing but currently includes Python, Django, MySQL, jQuery, and Java. A few more details here: http://elationemr.com/jobs.html

Don't hesitate to be in touch!

2 points by tomh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Waltham, MA - no remote

Akaza Research, makers of OpenClinica, are hiring senior QA and sales positions: https://openclinica.com/openclinica-careers

Go ahead and send me a message at thickerson at akazaresearch.com if you have questions about the company.

2 points by trefn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mixpanel (San Francisco, CA)

We're looking for frontend engineers, a designer, and backend/data engineers.

We're also hiring interns!


2 points by cameldrv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kammeyer Development is looking for iOS, Android, and Java developers to help us work on transforming physician to physician communication. Must be local to Austin, TX, and we will start on an hourly contract basis. Contact kammeyer at kammeyer.org.
2 points by tungwaiyip 2 days ago 1 reply      
Kontagent (San Francisco, CA)

We are looking for developers and sales:


I've joined the startup a few weeks ago as a developer. We are pursuing multiple initiatives and I excited to start contributing right away. Our technology stack includes JavaScript, Python, Django, MySQL, data warehousing, etc. Free group lunch is served daily.

Remote a possibility for top notch people. Some developers comes in San Francisco every few weeks or every few months.

Kontagent measures people, not pages, and is a leading analytics platform for social application developers. The platform has been built to provide deep social behavior analysis and visualization that provides actionable insights via a hosted, on-demand service. It works with many of the world's largest developers and brands, tracking thousands of social applications and games with over 70 million monthly active users.

1 point by wallacrw 1 day ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA (SoMa)

Early stage, well-funded web startup with SoMa office seeks talented developer as lead engineer. This is a core position; you will have a chance to influence every element of the company's technology, and you will receive a salary, options, and a desk in an office in SoMa. Must be local.

We're keeping our business plan under wraps, but the gist is that we're building a platform that will help local and state governments raise new money from an existing public resource. Read the paper: the time is ripe for this idea, local governments are going bankrupt all over the country. They are desperate for new solutions (see Governor Brown's State of California speech last night), and we will offer them a solution that will raise millions at the local level.

If you like novel solutions to hard problems, saving the US from bankruptcy and working at a company with a massive profit potential and an incredibly well-connected advisory board and investor roster, then tell me what you can bring to the table:


Must have several years' experience building scalable web applications, with a preference for folks interested in auction theory. You'll have to demonstrate that you can take an idea and implement it from the ground up, and that you can work closely in a small team as a co-founder.

1 point by martharotter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nomad Editions - New York (sorry remote not an option for this role)


Developer for Digital Magazine Startup

Nomad Editions, a startup creating digital weeklies for mobile devices, is looking for an awesome web-standards focused HTML/CSS/JS developer to help build our content on top of Treesaver (treesaver.net), one of the most exciting new open source frameworks for digital news and magazine publishing.

The developer will be responsible for taking wireframes and translating them into standards-compliant web pages in Treesaver.

We're seeking:
- Expertise in standards-based web development with HTML/CSS/JS
- Experience with source control (Git or SVN)
- Ideal candidate would also have design skills
- Interest in working with a very exciting company doing something no one else in the digital publishing industry is doing: making digital content look amazing everywhere

If you're interested or have questions, please e-mail Martha Rotter at mrotter@readnomad.com

2 points by jbr 2 days ago 0 replies      
IA Ventures is looking for an unpaid VC intern in NYC. I'm not affiliated with them, but I thought it was a cool opportunity.


3 points by dshah 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cambridge, MA (sorry, no remote)

HubSpot is hiring web developers (Java/Python/PHP)

We're also paying $10,000 as a referral bonus if you help us find an awesome developer. Details at http://BostonBattle.com

3 points by cogg 3 days ago 0 replies      
Santa Monica, CA (next to the beach) - TrueCar/Zag - not remote

Profitable company still in startup phase: doubling revenue every year and need to scale like crazy.

Looking for full-time Rails, Django and Java (Spring) developers. Also looking for System Engineers (must be able to script).


2 points by ericsilver 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pittsburgh, PA (no remote) http://pikimal.com/jobs
We're looking for Semantic Web and Ruby Developers but if you're a strong developer who doesn't know Ruby yet that's no obstacle. We have extremely flexible hours, collaborative coder DNA, good tools, a strong team to work with, and great health care.

Pikimal is working to change how people use the web to make decisions. Once users tell us what's important to them, we can tell them what's best for them. Since all of our recommendations are based solely on facts, users receive results separate from marketing.

Please include a link to public code you've written or your Github repo when you apply. Feel free to reach out directly to my first name @pikimal.com

2 points by dctanner 2 days ago 0 replies      
Remote from US timezone or onsite at London (UK) office.

Pusher - http://pusherapp.com/

We're doing awesome stuff with Websockets to provide realtime browser push as a service. People with ace Ruby skills and a keen interest in realtime messaging should drop us a line (jobs@)

Panda - http://www.pandastream.com/

Cloud video encoding service. Checkout http://jobs.github.com/positions/64dc8f0c-23e1-11e0-97e7-85d... for more info.

Contact me if you have any questions or are interested: damien@pusherapp.com/pandastream.com

2 points by yume 2 days ago 0 replies      
Redwood City, CA - YuMe is hiring (www.yume)
A full list of our job openings is on our web site:

Technical Openings in our Redwood City HQ:

* Principal Software Engineer

* Senior Data Analytics Engineer

* Senior Database Engineer

* Senior Software Engineer - Ad Management System

* Senior Systems Administrator (Windows)

* Senior Systems Engineer (Linux)

About YuMe:

YuMe is a video advertising technology company that makes professional video profitable for publishers and effective for advertisers. Its robust ACE™ technology powers both its premium ad network and its industry leading advertising management platform solution, ACE for Publishers. YuMe's premium ad network aggregates the best in video content, representing over 600+ Premium publishers including MSN, NBC and Fox News. And with more than 1.6 billion video streams and 90 million unique viewers, YuMe serves over 30 million in-stream video ads per day. As a result, YuMe gives publishers and advertisers unprecedented reach, brand safety, contextual relevance, controlled syndication, and consistent delivery across all digital media platforms"Web, downloads, mobile, and IPTV. YuMe is a privately held company headquartered in Redwood City, CA and backed by Accel Partners, BV Capital, DAG Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Menlo Ventures. This is a rare opportunity to be part of an organization that is shaping the future of digital media!

For more information, visit www.yume.com, follow @yumevideo on twitter (www.twitter.com/yumevideo), or become a fan of YuMe on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yumevideo.

2 points by billpaetzke 2 days ago 0 replies      
Leads360 - El Segundo, CA

Looking for software engineers who know: C# and SQL Server. Knowledge of other web technologies is nice, too.


3 points by azeemansar 2 days ago 1 reply      
New York City, NY - IAC Mobile (http://www.iac.com)

We're hiring a few iOS and backend software engineers to work on new mobile ventures in a very startup-y environment.

Email me for more info: azeem.ansar@iac.com

2 points by dustingetz 3 days ago 0 replies      
Blue Bell, PA (greater Philadelphia)

Full stack web engineer

Small team, technical leadership, enterprise clients, family-oriented workplace


2 points by amduser29 2 days ago 0 replies      
Life360 - San Francisco, CA (Local Preferred)

We are building the next generation of family safety and security apps. We are currently focused on a suite of location-based apps, but we have a lot of cool things in the pipeline. We are absolutely blowing up right now in terms of user adoption and we could really use your help to scale out the business. Our only real requirement is that you are a wickedly smart hacker.

There is an awesome referral bonus for all of our open jobs (Android, iOS, and PHP).

See more at our jobs page:

Or, contact me directly:


3 points by sgrock 2 days ago 0 replies      
AboutUs.org in Portland, Oregon

We're building website analytics tools for small business owners and website operators:


1 point by reedlaw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Research Triangle Park, NC (or remote, anywhere) - http://www.smashingboxes.com/

Work with me and a few others building and maitaining Ruby on Rails applications. We are a small firm doing mostly client work from big projects to small in a variety of fields from academic to fitness. Looking for full-time remote workers or college interns.

Contact me at reed at smashingboxes dot com.

2 points by lcm133 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sawbuck.com is seeking to hire front-end (html, css, js) and back-end (c#, xml, sql) engineers. Full details here:

These jobs are located in Washington DC. If you are a stud front-end designer/coder, working remotely IS a possibility.

VC-backed and growing real estate website with a just-released iPhone app:http://www.sawbuck.com/iphone

If you are interested, email me directly if you'd like... lmintzer at sawbuck dot com

2 points by andrewwatts 2 days ago 1 reply      
TrueCar (Santa Monica, CA)

We're looking for back-end and front-end engineers.

Most open positions are for Python and Django developers looking to help us build out new features on our website, create apis and scale them. We also have RoR positions in Santa Monica and San Francisco, as well as front-end Javascript positions.

Benefits include: exciting work environment with competitive salaries, full medical, dental and vision coverage and 401K. Relocation is available on a case-by-case basis.


8 points by BBonifield 3 days ago 2 replies      
Anything in the Boulder or Austin area?
1 point by bharatvasan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Basis (mybasis.com) - Health/Fitness Startup in San Francisco

We are a team of alums from places like Google, Microsoft, EA and NASA building a product to improve the health and quality of people's lives. We're looking for smart, seasoned people who want to build interesting stuff, solve large problems and save the world :-) So, ping us at jobs@mybasis.com if you're local to the Bay Area (no remotes pls).

A couple of roles we're looking for:

PHP (Zend) Lead (http://bit.ly/eB7dVK) -- Design, implement, and maintain major portions of the server architecture and data visualization apps. Create and maintain the various APIs used by BASIS's web and mobile applications.

Native App (Win/OS X) Developer (http://bit.ly/dE2N0g) -- Develop a critical component of our infrastructure -- the native application (Windows 7, Vista, XP and OS X) that talks to our USB/Bluetooth-connected device and our web back-end. Evolve the drivers, SDK and APIs that enable our team and 3rd party developers to access data from our platform.

What we can offer:

- awesomeness all around, on team and product

- an early stage opportunity where you can exercise your creative muscles without big company politics

- competitive compensation, early-stage stock and the stability of a venture-backed company

- a unique gizmo (the Basis Band) that no one else has and all sorts of cool office perks that make you happy

If you care about building a product that can improve the health of millions millions and analyzing the world's single largest repository of vital signs, we want you.

Ping us at jobs@mybasis.com!

2 points by levonjlloyd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Location: Long Island, NY
Company: Silverline
Remote: No
Description: We are starting a new company using Hadoop and related technologies to improve data infrastructure at large financial institutions. We already have a flagship client funding the development and are looking for talented developers with experience building Hadoop based systems. This is an excellent opportunity for an entrepreneurial developer to get in on the ground floor of this new company!!.
If you have any quetions or are interested, drop me an email:
2 points by chrismjohnson 2 days ago 0 replies      
CollegeHumor (New York, NY - no remote) is looking for both Front-End and Back-End developers. http://www.chmedia.com/jobs

Work on challenging problems and have a good laugh while doing it. Our sites reach over 12 million users every month and we're growing.

If interested, apply at the above link. Questions? Shoot me an email chris.johnson@connectedventures.com.

2 points by gobrien 2 days ago 0 replies      
YuMe is hiring in product, engineering, BD and sales.

Product and engineering openings are in Redwood City, CA and Chennai, India. Remote not a possibility.

Sales and BD openings in Redwood City, New York City, LA, Chicago, and Seattle.

We're a profitable video advertising technology company backed by Accel Partners, BV Capital, DAG Ventures, Intel Capital, Khosla Ventures, and Menlo Ventures.


2 points by bluelu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Luxembourg, Europe

Trendiction - Collecting and parsing web data (message boards, blog posts, comments). Searching for 2 more java developers. No remote work.


2 points by thibauld_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
http://allmyapps.com is looking for a VP of Marketing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Not sure a lot of marketing guys hang out there but who knows... let's say that if someone responds here, I'll take it as a good point :)
Allmyapps is the first independent application store for Windows. Job desc can be found here:
2 points by tarvaina 2 days ago 0 replies      
Leonidas (Tampere, Finland) is looking for passionate programmers. No remote unless you convince us otherwise.

We are serial entrepreneurs for hire. A client gives us one week and a vision, and we try to create as much magnificence as we can in that time. And then if it's feasible and the client wants us to, we take it all the way to a finished product.


3 points by joelbirchler 2 days ago 0 replies      
DECK Monitoring (Eugene, Portland) is looking for senior Ruby and JavaScript developers. We do renewable energy monitoring software.

You should rock at: JavaScript, Ruby, Rails 2, HTML/CSS, MySQL, RSpec and testing, version control, basic math.
It'd be cool if you knew: haml/sass, git, jQuery, linux (Debian), ActionScript 3, Cucumber, Rails 3, Sinatra, foosball, agile/scrum/xp

Email your resume or a short intro to careers@deckmonitoring.com.

2 points by MarkSWeiss 1 day ago 0 replies      
Magnetic is a NYC online ad startup using search to target display advertising anywhere on the Web.

- Great mix of hard problems: low-latency serving, big data crunching, semantic analysis, elegant customer UI.

- Great mix of technologies: Ruby, Rails, MongoDB, Hadoop.

- Great team, including leading NYC Rubyist and technical founder with DoubleClick and Yahoo! pedigree.

- Perfect time to join: small engineering team, ownership of major parts of system, second-phase startup successful so far and building for next phase of growth.

- Competitive salary, excellent benefits, options. Perks include great views, pool table, after-hours beer and plenty of snacks.

1 point by jqhacker 2 days ago 0 replies      
WOTI (Washington, DC; on site)

Ours is a small team of 3 in a company of about 150, on a small but involved ground-up project that's just starting to take on beta users. It's a web app that pulls together data from many sources and presents an easy-to-navigate graphical summary. We use mostly Python (2.7) in a Unix environment. On the back end, we munge a few TB of data using Python, Hadoop and Pig, and some in-house distributed Unix tools. The processed data goes into Solr/Lucene, is served up by CherryPy and Genshi, and presented by jQuery in IE7, IE8, Firefox 3.5+ and some COTS viz software. A lot of the job is extracting the juicy bits from various data sources -- e.g., personnel databases and news articles -- then normalizing, aggregating, and indexing it. The challenge is that it's way too much data for a single system, so we need to parallelize the process on dozens of systems. We also need to think about how the data is organized to keep search and retrieval fast. And of course you want an intuitive, powerful front end for all that functionality.

A bit about the work environment: we heart open source. We have nice dual-monitor workstations running RHEL 5 with root; you're free to set up your dev environment how you like (as long as it's secure). You can be as back-end or front-end as you like, or mix it up. We all try to do a bit of everything. We have proper sysadmins to help, but end up doing a lot of the server and network configuration ourselves; that way we get it right, plus we kinda like it. We take security seriously. Mercurial for version control; Jira for project management; just starting with Scrum for process. You get a real office with a real window, shared with one person. The job is a government contract, but in a fairly agile R&D environment (though a startup it ain't).

Eight-hour days with a half hour for lunch, whatever hours work for you as long as you're in between 10-3. Overtime is very rare; no comp time. There's a basic but serviceable gym and a good walking loop. It's South of the beltway on the Maryland side, a short commute with no traffic from Alexandria, Arlington, Suitland, or Southeast D.C. Unfortunately there is no public transportation that comes this way. Occasional local travel. Pay is about average for the area. Benefits and vacation are pretty good. There are opportunities to move to other projects within the company if you get bored with this one. And if this particular job ain't your cuppa but you like what you hear generally, drop us a resume anyway; we have several locations in the metro area and are always looking for good people.

http://woti.com/jobs.cfm (The "Scripting Genius" posting)

2 points by srehnborg 3 days ago 0 replies      
Bandwidth.com/Phonebooth.com - Raleigh/Cary, NC No remote work.

Senior Web and Database Programmer

System Admin

Web Developer - Phonebooth Mobile

QA Engineer - Phonebooth.com

Technical Support Engineer - Phonebooth.com

Details at:

Contact me with any questions. Email in profile

2 points by sandipagr 2 days ago 0 replies      
We, TriTek Solutions (triteksol.com), are looking for lot of programmers/consultants. You can chose between DC and NYC.

Contact me at sagrawal@triteksol.com. New grads are especially welcome.

2 points by ruff 3 days ago 0 replies      
Location Labs (http://www.locationlabs.com/jobs.php)

Emeryville, CA (super short/BART ride from SF--No remotes)

Back-end devs (Python, Java, Ruby), Front-end devs (JavaScript, CSS, HTML5), Mobile devs (Android, iPhone, Blackberry, BREW), Product Managers, UX Designers

And more... Company is growing very rapidly in an incredibly exciting space.

5 points by macov 3 days ago 2 replies      
Nobody in VA, DC? Feds pay too much to start a company?
3 points by curtischambers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Uber (San Francisco, CA)

We're hiring engineers for all kinds of roles, including mobile development (iOS, Android), infrastructure (node.js and Python), as well as engineering-oriented data analysts (we've got LOTS of data to mine). Extra points if you can do all of the above.

More info here: http://www.uber.com/jobs

2 points by n9com 3 days ago 0 replies      
iOS/Mac Developer (Remote Possible, but London preferred)
£30k plus possible stock options

We're a profitable & fast growing mobile app startup. 2 hires this month already. Well known in London / mainstream press exposure / our apps are adding 500k to 1M new users each month.


2 points by thesash 2 days ago 0 replies      
InTheMO (Los Angeles, New York)

Come work with us on solving the problem of local discovery.

We're hiring for a variety of positions including web and mobile developers, biz dev, and designers.


2 points by semerda 2 days ago 0 replies      
Coupons, Inc. (Mountain View)

I'm looking for brilliant and innovative "Front End Engineer" and "Senior Software Engineer".

Create world-class software tools and help build the platform for our cutting-edge online consumer coupons product.

Email me: esemerda_AT_couponsinc_DOT_com

2 points by greenie 3 days ago 0 replies      
We're hiring! If you're interested in web developement and semantic anaylsis (and you live in the UK!) then take a quick look at:

P.S. we have AR.Drones :)

2 points by jasoncartwright 2 days ago 0 replies      
Potato (London,UK)

Hiring Python, Django web developers in London, UK. Clients include Google and PayPal.


1 point by ilamparithi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Chennai. India (On-site)

We are Valued Epistemics Pvt Ltd. (http://www.vepl.com), providers of http://www.GREedge.com an online academy that provides training for the GRE exam.

For more details, have a look at our careers page at : http://www.vepl.com/careers-rd.html

2 points by mentat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mocana (San Francisco, CA)

Interested in embedded security? Have C / Network / RTOS skills? Mocana is hiring into a variety of positions.


2 points by texodus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Benchmark - NYC Financial Analytics

Looking for excellent developers of all shapes & sizes; we work in Ruby, JS, Scala, C, Java, Matlab primarily but have a vast landscape of software projects in the works. Drop me a line at andrew.stein@benchmarksolutions.com

2 points by alchemyapi 3 days ago 0 replies      
AlchemyAPI (Denver, CO) is hiring C++ developers, front-end developers, and a community manager.

We do natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and semantic web stuff. Growing rapidly, profitable, w/ an amazing team. Our platform uses semantic technology to analyze hundreds of millions of documents monthly for customers across multiple industry verticals.


Highly creative work environment employing big data analysis, advanced AI research, and fun 20% time projects (Kinect-powered 3d visualization apps, mobile OCR+NLP tech, robots, etc).

4 points by davidmat 2 days ago 1 reply      
Long shot, but anything in Central/Eastern Europe?
2 points by marcelcorso 2 days ago 0 replies      
Amsterdam - The Netherlands

We are looking for a full time dev. That wants to code ruby, python, javascript. We are a small music startup.

email: marcel at tone dot fm

2 points by poolhouse 2 days ago 0 replies      
Poolhouse Enterprises (Toronto) is hiring a Web Developer. Front end, CSS, HTML, Javascript, PHP and knowledge of the Facebook APIs a plus.


5 points by doorty 3 days ago 6 replies      
Who is hiring in San Francisco?
2 points by rancar2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Architecting and implementing custom solutions for ECM and BPM products from EMC, IBM, Pegasystems, and others at Fortune 500 companies.

Main offices are DC, NYC, and Boston with remote possibilities for the right candidate. Absolutely great place to work:


The things you need to possess most are: intelligence, sociable, and a person of good character with a preference to those who are just plain nice.

If you have questions, contact me at rcarlton at triteksol.com

2 points by spradels 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cyan (Petaluma, CA)


email: jobs@cyanoptics.com

We have openings for software developers in Petaluma, Vancouver, Dallas, and options for remote work.

You'll have the opportunity to work with Python, Django, Cassandra, RabbitMQ, Google Web Toolkit (GWT), HTML5, and WebGL on small team in a fast-paced environment.

1 point by wangthony 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tobi (South San Francisco, CA + Portland, OR; no remote)

Tobi [http://www.tobi.com] is an online fashion boutique headquartered in the SF area. We have a small but strong core team, and are looking to add more talented engineers who want to build the next generation online fashion shopping experience. We view ourselves as an Internet product + technology company that happens to do fashion, and our team and strategy reflect that. Our stack is Ruby on Rails and Postgres, but we don't require previous RoR experience (none of us had it when we started, so that wouldn't be fair, now would it?).

If you are interested in solving interesting tech problems in a fun space with great visibility, then get in touch with me at anthony@tobi.com. Thanks HN!

2 points by jjolma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Animoto is hiring in New York, San Francisco and remote. Animoto is a video creation platform that automatically produces stunning music videos using images, video clips, and music.

We are hiring for multiple roles including software engineers, testers, product managers.


Email devjobs at animoto for more details.

1 point by notJim 2 days ago 0 replies      
New York City, ThinkEco

We're looking for engineers (software, front-end, electrical) to help work on our user-friendly energy-saving technology. Currently, all of our software is on the .Net (4.0) platform.

For more details, see our jobs page: http://thinkecoinc.com/careers.aspx. You can email me directly at david % thinkecoinc ' com

2 points by adellecharles 2 days ago 0 replies      
Carbon Ads - Remote - Front End Web Developer
2 points by mprny 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tinychat - New York City.

Looking for website lead engineer: nginx,apache,php,mysql,perl,memcache.


2 points by eprice 2 days ago 0 replies      
Web developer, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN; not remote)

Looking for a creative and committed problem solver to help develop our new website and maintain multiple existing sites.

Django/Python, Linux administration, Apache, MySQL, HTML5, jQuery, etc...


       cached 3 February 2011 16:04:01 GMT