Circles? Actually I think that many people like the idea of their posts are being read by as many people as possible and not just the ones with similar interests. Although it looks like a big discussion group, the news feed is really a giant personality-defining display for vain people. I saw a programmer friend post annoyance over some Android API today and I suspect that this was more than just a spontaneous exclamation -- he was communicating that he is smart (to non-techies) and that he is "cutting edge" (to fellow programmers).
Privacy? I have the feeling that most really don't care very much. But ironically, I think the privacy-thing could actually work in facebook's favor. Here is why: I use fb a lot even though I don't like their privacy policies. I trust google more than facebook. Still, it bothers me when it says "logged in" in the google bar at the top because google watches my searches. When I am on facebook I behave like I am in public. I don't hope for the best and write secret stuff anywhere. But with all the google searches I make through a day, I am giving google a lot of very personal information that I would not like anyone to see. I would hate to see something that I was searching for somehow show up in a stream for my friends to see because I accidentally clicked a +1 button or similar.
Finally, there is the fact that even if I can export my graph from fb to g+, it's worthless until my friends do the same. And I just don't see that happening before they come up with some truly ground breaking feature that will allow me to get laid with any friend I choose by clicking on their picture :-)
> Google+ is in limited Field TrialRight now, we're testing with a small number of people, but it won't be long before the Google+ project is ready for everyone. Leave us your email address and we'll make sure you're the first to know when we're ready to invite more people.
WHY?! WHY are they doing this again? They did this with Wave. Google, you cannot launch a social network while explicitly disallowing social networking! This is so frustrating.
I'm very excited to try this out. Context (AKA "Circles") is the biggest feature Facebook still hasn't gotten right. By mirroring the way we think about our social graph in real life, Google is making a huge step toward converging Online and Offline identity. It will be very interesting to see how Facebook responds to this... they might finally have a competitor.
Post something in your "feed", and "target" them, entering their email address. They will receive an email telling them about your post. When clicking the link to view the post, they will be prompted to register.
This worked flawlessly for all my friends.
Grr. Google /really/ need to fix their authentication scheme.
1) Extremely slick interface. Facebook beat MySpace in part because it was relatively clean; Google+ wins here by a mile. That reason alone makes me root for it.
2) It's Google's umpteenth foray into the social arena, so naturally most people are comparing it to Facebook. But its use cases strike me as being more comparable to Twitter than FB.
3) People can be categorized into contexts and multiple contexts. This is the killer feature. I find myself wanting to just eliminate the "Friends" circle wholesale and just have a different circle for each cluster in my social network.
4) I might be misunderstanding how sharing/the feed works. But, if someone is in any circle and you are viewing that circle's stream, I think you see whatever they share. I'd like something finer-grained than that. I have one friend who I both bike with and play board games with. If we get into a conversation about a ride on a weekend, doesn't the model inherently mean what I see in the board game stream gets polluted with the bike conversation?
I really would love to know what the FB stands for.
Now with features like Circles I can put my REAL friends in one circle, family in another, and all the noise and acquaintances(networking etc.) in a spam filter circle.
This is going to be awesome.
It will be interested to see if this impacts the IPO plans of Facebook. This does seem to be a direct assault on their home turf.
That "HTML5" there is simply for buzz effect. Seriously, come on already...
Supposedly they already did that, and yes I did the "merge the accounts dance", and still, no Profiles for me, and therefore, no +1 and no Google+.
Google, I'm paying for my google apps. I don't want to have another free account just to play with your new features (and I really hope this is not going Buzz way... which I also never saw in my gmail...)
However, this poll would suggest people think otherwise:http://www.wepolls.com/p/884244/Will-Googles-new-social-vent...
Might just call it a better version.
"With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let specific buddies (or entire circles) know you're hanging out and then see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until teleportation arrives, it's the next best thing."
imagine a jerk that noone loves intruding all the hangouts. but everybody too polite/dependant to unfriend
I immediately searched for a way to turn it off.
You can install the app without an invite, but cannot use it.
EDIT: The "Learn More" button in the app cycles you back to the "You need an invitation" message box. So the app itself is completely pointless if you haven't received an invitation.
Where do I sign up???
Picasa Web albums and photosYour Google profileGoogle BuzzGoogle ContactsStream
That alone would make me switch to circles.
Well, okay. I'll live without you, Google+.(Running Seamonkey 2.0.14, which advertises Gecko/20110430. Out of date since.. 3 weeks.)
Instead Google makes another Facebook with a different UI. It looks like a cleaner Myspace that will be embraced by a small set of techy users. No way will this ever be cool.
That would be interesting.
BTW, thanks for giving up on Google Health. This is way better.
Secondly, the fifth amendment of the US Constitution allows you to refuse to provide testimony which you feel may incriminate you. Generally encryption pass phrases do not count as testimony, the legal system treats them as keys. And that would be covered under the fourth amendment which says the government cannot compel to you to give access to your property for search unless they have probable cause.
If they do have probable cause, they get a warrant which gives them the power to do the search temporarily and only for what they think exists. So if you get a warrant to search your hard drive for something, you are compelled to give them the password just like you are compelled to let them into your house if they have a warrant to search for something like drugs or guns or counterfeit plush toys.
However sometimes the courts do see it as a fifth amendment issue  and that has been under debate for a while. (As far as I can tell the legal theory is similar to the police not being able to compel you to tell them where you left the body in a capital crime.)
Disclaimer I am not a lawyer this isn't legal advice, and I've not followed up the cited case to see if it made it to the supreme court or not. Any circuit level decision would not be binding on different circuits.
Follow up on the Boucher case:https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/United_States...
Where the fifth amendment defense was overturned.
For instance, if it's child porn, he'd be labeled a sexual predator for life. If it's state secrets, he'd be facing treason and espionage charges. If it's mp3s.. financial ruin on top of the felony charge..
Let's not jump to conclusions just yet. He was arrested on April 14th. Find out the full case history, what was said, what he's accused of, etc.
It's entirely reasonable to assist anyone who's rights are being violated. But keep that separate from what he's accused of.
To anyone reading this thread-if you want a quicker response to your comments or questions, send them to me at: Matthew Bumgardner Santa Rosa County Jail P.O. Box 7129 Milton, FL 32572 Right now it takes about 3 weeks for a post on this forum to get to me, receive an answer, then have the answer sent back to my sister so she can post it here. This is Matthew Bumgardner, the one in jail. I have given this note to my sister so that it can be posted. Obviously I have no access to email, so this is the best I can do. Eventually I will get a copy of the posts in this thread and I will respond when I can. My sister should have already posted the letter I wrote. Every word is true. There are a few things I would like to add. First, this jail could generate some serious money for a decent civil rights attorney. They are already being sued for their mail policy. Inmates can only write on postcards. They can only send letters to attorneys, members of the media and public officials. If you were in here and wanted to write a family member, all you could send was a post card. The jail also denies access to legal materials. Their policy states that "inmates will be afforded reasonable access to the courts. This is accomplished by way of your attorney or public defender." This is a joke, since some inmates wait 6 months or moe to see their public defender. The policy goes on to state that pro se inmates must obtain a court order granting them pro se status in order to get access to the Law Library. I am a pro se inmate. I have obtained a Court Order granting me pro status. I have provided that document to the jail staff, and I am still being denied access. I have filed a new motion requesting an Order to allow me access to the Law Library and I have also written the judge. I am waiting to see what happens there. I also ahe a problem getting copies made. When I give my documents to the person making copies, I inform them that I need them returned immediately. The past two times it has taken several days fro the copies to be made. This is intentional. Since I am a Federal inmate the Government pays the jail or me to be here. They make decent money off of so, so there is no incentive for them to assist in my release. Although it may seem unnecessary to complain about the jail, it is actually important. The US attorney and judge that put me here knew exactly what they were doing. They figured that the constraints imposed by the jail would allow them to maintain their secrecy. They are wrong. It certainly slows things down, but I will not remain silent about this. This issue is more important that you might realize. Right now, this US Attorney and US District Judge think that holding people in contempt is the way to deal with encryption. If you read this and still do nothing, then you are telling them that they are right. You are telling tem that the 5th Amendment is no longer needed, and that they can issue supoenas that compel acts which are oppressive, unreasonable and not possible. I am not asking for my own personal army to help fight this. If you think that you are my army, you misunderstand this situation. I am your army in this battle. If you use encryption, or any password protected file, then this issue affects you. You could be thrown in jail and denied civil rights at the whim of the government. I am fighting this battle on my own, and I am willing to continue to do so. The outcome is going to possibly affect many more people. To me, it seems like more people should be getting involved. At the very least write the attorney and judge and tell them that what they did was wrong. Tell them that True Crypt can use more than just a password. Tell them that a password can be 64 characters long. Tell them they have no right to hold someone in contempt for failing to produce documents they have never seen. Tell them that the precedent in US vs. Hubbell and In Boucher II proves that they are wrong. The addresses are: David L. Goldberg Assistant U.S. Attorney 21 E. Garden Street, Suite 400 Pensacola, FL 32502 Lacey A. Collier Sr. U.S. District Judge United States Courthouse One NOrth Palafax Street Pensacola, FL 32502 If you don't have time to write a letter, at the very least please forward this to everyone you now. E-mail it to any media outlet you can think of. If enough people e-mail tis, a major media outlet might pick up the story. The Government can only do this in secrecy. If more people know about this it never would have happened. Thanks i advance for any assistance you can provide.
* Existence of a lawful order * The contemnor's knowledge of the order * The contemnor's ability to comply * The contemnor's failure to comply
Simple as that, right? They can't compel you to remember information you never had in memory. It's probably too late, as he's likely admitted to remembering the password. Dumb move.
See: Cool Hand Lukehttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061512/
Does anyone know why it is important that a password can be more than 64 characters? Is he just saying "which makes it very hard to remember", or is there some legal significance to very long passwords?
If you want to learn more about typography, I'd pick up (what is considered) the typographic bible, The Elements of Typography by Robert Bringhurst. While it is largely intended for print, most of the rules and suggestions still apply to the web. Alternatively, some pioneering folks put together a web adaptation of Bringhurt's book, http://webtypography.net/
- "The classic typographic scale ... relies on the notion that these sizes, when used together, look pleasing to the eye."
The typographic scale has a fixed set of sizes because fonts used to be physical. Having a 71pt font would be a whole new box of lead.
- "I generally take the largest font I want to use and the smallest font I want to use, and place the headers into that scale at even measures."
For something like scale, a geometric progression makes more sense so that relative sizes are at even proportion (say each is smaller than the previous by 15%) then a linear progression of sizes. The difference between 72pt and 70pt is unnoticeable. The difference between 10pt and 8pt is huge.
- "One way is to adjust the kerning and tracking settings in your design program."
Another way, not mentioned, is to just choose a different weight.
- The "stroke width should be as even and consistent as possible"
It says Georgia has a more even width than Krungthep, which is visibly not the case. Some stroke variation seems to aid readability but too much (like modern serif faces) harms it.
- "Georgia features a larger x-height than Tekton Pro."
That isn't Tekton. WTF.
Perhaps I'm just not as excited about typography as I should be, but isn't this a bit too much hype? When I'm told that typography is a living creature that feels joy, I'm immediately going to categorize the teller as a person I will not understand. Instant loss of credibility.
Single long column, not adapting to size of browser window. It's more like a book/article/magazine than a web page. Only color jarring red links. Subtitles identical leading/trailing whitespace so text looks continuous instead of broken into sections.
oh but OA used emdash, that's surely important.
I've found that larger font sizes for copy-heavy sites almost always drive higher engagement
as i am not a designer at all, so i had to be minimalistic in order not to be very ridiculous. but i tried to make it look interesting. seems i followed some of the advices of the article intuitively (and some was violated of course)
- Don't use images for examples that are perfectly possible with just type.
- Em-dashesâ"like this according to convention.
- In one of your examples you combine sans small-caps with regular capitals. Not good style.
- Come on, there are better fonts than Georgia on my mac. Make me look at them.
And there are more examples of bad style on this page.
Like endtwist said, get yourself The Elements of Typography by Robert Bringhurst if you really want to learn.
I wouldn't normally be so nit-picky, but it is an article about typography after all.
For example(in px):10-12-14-16-20-26-32-42-52-64-84
EDIT: Obviously i have no idea what i'm talking about. I just thought that the widely varying heights and odd shapes of the letters was distracting from the content.
When I was doing my doctorate in security I used to attend or give papers at the IEEE Computer Security Foundations Workshop (http://www.ieee-security.org/CSFWweb/) which was held in a lovely old hotel in Franconia, NH. This was a really small gathering of people deeply involved the theory of securing computers.
Bob Morris and his wife Anne used to attend each year. It was unusual for people to bring their loved ones to this gathering and having the two of them there gave a certain holiday like atmosphere to the whole affair.
He was a gentleman and very kind to me as a young graduate student and I remember well playing games in the hotel grounds with him and Anne. At the time he was Chief Scientist at the NSA and the Rainbow books had been produced under his gaze. But he was humble, approachable and helpful.
Condolences to rtm.
What a pity, that's sad news to wake up to.
Condolences to Robert.
It's a poignant reminder of just how young our field is that we are mourning the loss of some true early pioneers. Imagine if you were a physicist just learning of the passing of Newton? It's also a reminder to value the experience and wisdom of those who are still here with us...
I don't know what to say. I'm just one of many strangers who knew ofyour dad, and appreciated his work, but never had the pleasure ofactually meeting him. I'm sure there are a lot of strangers like me whofeel uncomfortable saying anything more than offering condolences butalso feel offering condolences is not enough. We wish there was more wecould do. I hope by stating this difficulty for strangers, you arereminded of how amazingly lucky and blessed you are to have known him.You will always remember your loss, but it equally important to alsoremember your luck. I hope the warm thought of counting your blessingswill help you and your family through the troubled times.
My best to Mr. Morris and his family and friends.
My condolences to his family. He was quite an accomplished computer scientist.
Anyone savvy enough to hang out on HN probably has a fair amount of valuable info in their Gmail account (domain registration info, passwords/access to shopping sites, etc.) and should activate two-factor authentication: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/advanced-sign-in-secu...
Is it a little more hassle? A bit. But when someone else tries to log in from a new IP address in the Ivory Coast, or China, or wherever--they'll be prompted for a PIN and won't be able to log in.
I activated two-factor authentication as soon as I could on my Gmail. I think everyone reading this comment should too.
* Log in from a computer that's never used this account before
* Set up a forward
* Make a mass mailing
* Change the password
* Do extensive searching or searching for suspicious terms ("password", "credit card", etc)
* Export a large amount of mail
...and other such things. That way, I don't have to be inconvenienced by constantly having to use the second factor, but would still survive a stolen laptop, keylogged passord, or sniffed cookie with a contained amount of damage.
I would like Google to give me an option to disable the "last chance form" for my account. Or, if they inisist, I'd like the "last chance" to be to fly to Mountain View and show Google my passport or a court order.
EDIT: and for extra bogusness, it seems that the information needed for the "last chance form" can't be changed if it's compromised. I mean, I can change my passphrase if I suspect it leaked, but how do I change the date when I started using Gmail? Sounds like the best thing to do the moment a Google account is compromised is to close it.
If your weak link, was, as usual, the human link... I would be inclined to trust a system more catering to (forgive me) ignorant users.
I just worry that the mindset is, "I got hacked because I use Gmail, if I used something else I'd be safer." and I find that logical to be pretty flawed.
There's pretty much a one-click restore process now: http://i.imgur.com/1EYZ5.png
What I would love is if instead it asked for both factors under these circumstances:
- option A - on every login like it is now.
- option B - at least once every X days, with a warning that "within the next three logins you'll need to use your second auth" so I will know when it's coming without being locked out because my phone is dead.
- in both of the above cases ALWAYS require two factor auth every time I change the account settings (like password, recovery addresses, etc.) Possibly even require it when I try to do things like purge a mailbox entirely or bulk email all my contacts.
Having this blended option would make it a no brainer for me
Edit: Thanks all for the clarifications below. I am going to give it a try.
gmail's two-factor auth is nice and easy with the handy iPhone app. of course nobody wants to complicate something like sign-in, but email integrity is very important. facebook also has a similar two-factor auth process (though not as nice; they text you, vs a nice app).
two-factor is a no-brainer at this point for managing your identity, especially given the huge volume of leaked passwords we've seen in the past month. it only takes a few minutes to set up and almost completely eliminates problems like the one in this article. if you haven't set it up yet, do it now! much easier than learning the hard way.
Very strange - he thought he'd been targetted specifically.
It sounds very much like the hackers were also using the "last chance form." Consider that all of the information it requests is available through Gmail - account registration data, names of tags, most emailed people, and verification code (which was apparently emailed to him, and therefor present in the compromised email account) (Note: I haven't used the form myself, I'm going on the information in the article).
Also, the title is a bit link-baitish.
- He used the 'last chance form' to get into my gmail by entering the password I'd given him a year before this (I'd changed the password twice after giving him that password)
- He ran a dictionary attack on my college email which didn't have captcha's, then hacked gmail using the password that worked for my college email
- We were using shared vnc in college, he found his way to my firefox through a mutual friend, installed a plugin that sent him all POST data and got into my gmail again
I created a new gmail account after each incident. I had to abandon each gmail account once it was cracked because of the 'last chance form'. Back then, you only had to give it one or two correct past passwords, and it gave you access. On hindsight, I've been remarkably dense, but it was a good, early lesson.
However, I don't use Gmail for 'everything,' it's just too dangerous and I feel doing that way Google knows more about me than they should. I think everyone should be hosting the main email address under something that they can sure control (your work/edu account, or a paid email service). My main account is hosted on fastmail (I paid something like 12 bucks for three years) and is cloaked under a dozen of other email addresses.
Plus, for fastmail you get a free smtp account, and a standard IMAP account (gmail's IMAP is weird). And they will respond if you're in troubles.
I'm also very concerned about the no 'restore' option from gmail. What good are google backups if you can't initiate them?
This indeed increases security, but tends to be a bit cumbersome (I often have a depleted battery, for example, which could prevent access to my emails from a computer) and does not solve other case (like somebody stealing my laptop and using an already opened session).
1) You can print a list of one-time passwords and store it inside your wallet. If your phone's battery is depleted, you can use them to log in. You should store another copy of this list in a safe place, just in case.
2) If somebody steals his laptop, he could always log from another computer and disable his session and/or change his password. He should use a password-protected login on his laptop anyway, with an encrypted drive.
Thanks to my backup email account and 1password's ability to search accounts by password, I was able to restore access and change every account password I had gotten lazy about, before any damage was done. Turn on 2-factor authentication for my Gmail and Google Apps accounts, and now I can finally feel secure with only 2 passwords I have to memorize (Gmail and 1Password).
This would add a small measure of protection, though is not ideal as compromised machines (or proxies) in the U.S. could still access the account.
It had been hacked, but the recovery questions hadn't been changed (mainly, I think, because Hotmail makes it incredibly difficult to even find the option to do this). We reset her password, changed everything, and the account got re-hacked within 30 minutes.
This happened three more times until, eventually, the recovery questions were changed and we couldn't get access. I posted on the support forums, regained access, changed EVERYTHING (this included checking for email forwarding rules, and so on).
Now, through all this, I told my friend to not sign in to the account (or use MSN) from any computer except mine, to ensure that it wasn't a keylogger or Trojan that was causing this. My machine was running an up-to-date version of Ubuntu, on my home network, using HTTPS. So I'm pretty sure it wasn't a trojan.
Unlike Google, Hotmail requires a human to look over your problem, so after the third time we had to wait for a day to get the account accessed, we just gave up. I signed in, copied down as many contacts as I could, then deleted all the incoming emails. We ended up having to abandon her Facebook account too, as the hacker accessed that and was spamming her friends. Her Tumblr, and a couple of other accounts were toast also. We almost her Facebook back, but the hacker deactivated the account.
It was very frustrating trying to solve this, because I didn't know how the account was being accessed! I opened a ticket asking the Hotmail support staff to tell me how the password was being reset - not any more information, just the method - and they came back with the standard "we won't reveal information unless you have a search warrant or court order".
I love modern technology and all, but sometimes it's REALLY frustrating.
> That's when I lost the connection again...
I found several older passwords with my login up on a file-sharing website not so long ago. Luckily I didn't suffer the same fate as the writer's wife.
Also, I believe that google should have 'paid support' in place for this type of situation. No doubt it would be profitable for them, and would save many people quite a lot of pain.
And I just suggested gmail this:
-----Gmail runs my life, as it does yours! Yes, I have an alternate email but whoever has my password can change it and then I'm LOST! You need to make this hackproof (yes yes, i know. but please, atleast TRY)
I suggest:-Have a backdoor password. There MUST be a 24-48 hour window between changing the backdoor password and the main password.
-Must be a 24 to 48 hour window between a password change and alternate email change. -----
I spent a decent chunk of time last year building up a somewhat large Cocoa application (a telling synecdoche of how ambitious the app is: it integrates libevent with the Cocoa loop and involved writing a whole new evented Redis-backed HTTPS cache in ObjC).
But unfortunately, I got to the UI part of this project ("UI part", heh) thinking "this is going to be so much easier than webdev, look at all these tools!, and that was a crushing disappointment; getting anything reasonable on the screen has been intensely painful, and is if anything much harder than CSS3+JQ is on modern web apps.
I'm thrilled to hear that at least to some extent, it isn't just me, and making a good-looking Cocoa app (especially your first) is just very hard.
This sounds like a wrong design decision. I wish nobody could log into my github account using anything but my SSH keys.
This is also true of my AWS account: my ec2 instances are protected by SSH keypairs, but if anyone gets my AWS password, he has full control over everything.
I'm not a security expert, but SSH keys feel way safer than passwords, especially with all those recents article showing how easy it can be to bruteforce passwords.
Cocoa is probably the framework best suited for incorporating web views, and tons of apps do this: Mail.app, iTunes, Aperture, Colloquy, etc. etc. Use the right tool for the right job, if you have something that is going to have a lot of flow-based layout, then by all means use WebView.
It's kind of like refusing to use an NSTextView, then complaining about having to lay out text yourself.
I hope that means they plan to build a git GUI client for Windows, the poor bastard child of git support.
> Unfortunately for everyone involved, every OS X application that's showed up over the years gave up and tried to turn CLI commands into buttons.
It's my understanding that for a really long time there was no linkable library for interacting with Git. So unless these devs wanted to first write said library they were pretty much left with putting buttons on the CLI.
You might say "Well they should have written one, then!" but that is quite a risky capital expense on a piece of software that could easily flop. GitHub did it (with Summer of Code's help), but they have umpteen uses of such a library even if nobody uses GitHub for Mac.
> It blows my mind that no one tried to do anything special. Git (and its DVCS cousins like Mercurial & Bazaar) provide an amazing platform to build next generation clients â" and it's like the entire OS X ecosystem left their imagination at home.
I dunno, I think GitX (especially its forks) does some pretty special things, including making it dead simple to stage/unstage/discard single lines of files.
This is getting a lot better in Lion. If you browse the WWDC 2011 videos, look for Session 103 "Cocoa Autolayout".
What about conflict resolution? That's one of the hairiest, least-user-friendly scenarios in my experience.
Though, I think the difficulty of making a complex GUI in Cocoa shines in the OS X world. It's a lot harder to make a working UI, so you want to get the design right the first time, so you don't have to go back and re-do.
Apple wouldn't be able to politely ask people not to blog about their stuff.
Branching projects is hard in XCode? Zip up the project files and back up the revision... in I don't know, a source code repository? LOL!
None of the re-writing is required in Xcode for your app. Design the app, then make it in Xcode. If you have to make revisions to the design of your app, go back to designing it. Most of the code can be re-used, but clearly you haven't finished designing the app yet...
Interesting take on the initial experience. But instead of casting about for blame, it might be better to ask why your processes are going wrong.
I actually like the honesty of this quote:
"Silver Lake declined to comment. When asked about Lee's situation, Skype spokesman Brian O'Shaughnessy said, âYou've got to be in it to win it. The company chose to include that clause in the contract in order to retain the best and the brightest people to build great products. This individual chose to leave, therefore he doesn't get that benefit.â"
Most people will look at it and say "What an Asswad" - but at least he's not being a hypocrite. That's precisely what everyone in the M&A team is _thinking_ they just aren't _saying_ it.
This is another take on what Oracle did when they bought Oblix (I had just left Oblix in 1999) Oracle gave MegaBonuses to all the existing employees and executives, two of the founders, and paid absolutely nothing for the common shares. The acquisition price was still $100Million plus, but there was only enough money to cover the preferred options + liquidation preferences in the "on the record" purchase prices. Effectively, they wiped out all the employees who were common shareholders, but no longer with the company (or were part of the 15-20 out of 100 who were laid off during the acquisition) while taking care of the VCs and the acquired employees. (As a side bonus, they called the money they gave to the acquired employees "Retention Bonuses" - which resulted in the top people having to hang around for another year)
Lesson to be learned: When you leave a company, and it is still private - if they are Sold, instead of going public, there are probably any number of ways that you will get wiped out if you are no longer with them - possible exception if you are a founder with a significant percentage of the company, and you might be able to raise a stink for minority shareholder rights. Then you'll get a "consulting bonus" to shut you up.
This story is more common than not.
I teach contract drafting to third-year law students. It's hard work to take a complex if-then-else concept and render it in plain English.[a]
And here's the rub: Few clients want to pay lawyers to spend extra time on readability -- "good enough" (whatever that means) is the goal.
2. [EDITED TO ADD THIS:] It's not unusual for a private company's employee stock plan to include a "call" option that gives the employer the right to repurchase employee-owned shares when the employee leaves the company.
That makes sense when you think about it -- if you're a private company, you don't want a lot of random ex-employees owning dribs and drabs of your shares, especially if you're worried about the 500-shareholder limit (under current law).
On the other hand, for a company with an upcoming exit to buy back the shares at the employee's cost, instead of at a good-faith estimate of the stock's then-current value -- well, that does indeed seem unusual.
(EDIT: Some documents like this provide that, IF: The company wants to do its buy-back EITHER: (i) after an exit is announced, OR: (ii) if an exit is announced within 30 days or so after the employee's departure; THEN: The employee is entitled to the exit pricing for the buy-back.)
3. Again, not to defend Skype, but conceivably they might not have had a choice about the buy-back price, at least not without jeopardizing some kind of favorable income-tax treatment.
If I had to guess, I'd venture that, X number of years ago, some overzealous junior lawyer decided to draft the relevant documents so as to put the company in the strongest position s/he could. Now that zealousness may be tying their hands. I stress that I'm speculating here.
* * *
[a] If you have occasion to write a complex if-then-else sentence, try using all-caps and punctuation like this: IF: It rains at least one inch today but not more than two inches; AND: It doesn't rain tomorrow; THEN: You will turn on the sprinkler system tomorrow; AND: You will not do so the day after.
It is difficult to see this as private equity screwing over founders or early employees (Skype was founded in 2003 and had been valued at more than $2 billion for five years when Lee Yee came aboard). Indeed given the short tenure of many of the people involved in the story, there seems to be more smoke than fire.
[Lee Yee on Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yeeguy]
[Business Week article correlating Linkedin profile to article: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_27/b42350386...]
[my comments on previous versions of story: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2672786]
For most contracts I suspect that the overhead on a plain English version would be very small, as the lawyers' understanding of the topics is necessarily deep to formulate the contract (or they're just shitty lawyers, another topic).
Plain English versions of contracts, with their plain English meanings of clauses, should be included in any contract between two parties of vastly different bargaining power, i.e. a corporation with loads of legal resources and a non-millionaire potential employee.
Update w.r.t. commentsâ"I understand the points you're making, but I don't think it invalidates the argument. I'm racking my brain to find the examples I've seen, but there do exist in the wild "plain English" versions of contracts that are not binding (and they specify that) but instead contain comprehensible summaries of the salient parts.
Hey bizdev weenies out there that wonder why you can't find a technical cofounder/employee who will work for equity, here is your answer.
If this is true, it sounds like somebody didn't properly perform their due diligence before signing their options agreement. Although it's never right for a company or investor to exercise this buy back when it comes to an honest, hard-working employee, the onus really falls on the employee ensuring that this clause never sees the light of day in their contract in the first place. Perhaps in the event of "cause", one could make a case, but certainly under no other condition.
EDIT: It's an unethical clause to begin with - absolutely agree with the comments. Just saying that you can't count on anyone besides yourself to act on behalf of your own best interests.
They shouldn't use the terms "vested" and "unvested" then. His options were vested, yet were callable. That's not what vested means. They should call all options unvested until the company goes IPO.
On the other hand, you should have known Skype, incorporated in an international haven, was not your regular startup.
EDIT: also, the stock agreement just says "management partnership" on page 3, with no prior definition of what it might be. Later on, it gets more references, without ever being defined. A good lawyer may have a case?
But will Microsoft do such a thing? I doubt it very much. (I would love to be proven wrong, of course)
READ YOUR LEGAL DOCS (sock options, IP, etc) and negotiate sketchy terms before you sign them!
It would actually make for a great short story or novelette to see former classmates on opposite sides of a deal like this. A lot of very smart engineers go straight into jobs in technology sector investment banking, private equity, etc. soon after college that could eventually put them on a collision course with erstwhile friends.
I wonder if that contract is subject to legal action, though? Seems to me that was a deliberate attempt to screw him over. He shouldn't have signed it, but they shouldn't have written it, either.
I'm now serious considering canceling my Skype subscriptions and finding alternatives, despite how useful they are to me a the moment.
I believe there are quite a few of us here at Hacker News that could claim you, Mike and Jerry, as our giants.
I used SearchYC as my "google for startups" I honestly cannot reiterate how useful your service was. I wish you'd keep it going as I still use it over the Hacker News Search (habit, more features, search within search results, being able to search for specific comments from users, etc etc.)
A friend was having relationship problems in part due to his startup, and I explicitly remember him saying "I looked on SearchYC and found tons of other posts from founders in the same boat" (this was when you had the curated post categories)
Seriously, thanks. (my startup is kind of in crunch at the moment but I had been meaning to reach out to you guys when I saw your service went offline a few weeks ago, i couldn't let you guys go without me - and probably the majority of the community - giving you guys some thanks and credit)
I wish you the very best - I am almost expecting something even more kickass out of you guys soon.
But although I wish you would continue to include SearchYC in your future work, I wish you all the best in whatever you put your time and efforts towards.
if you want a maintainer, I am willing to takeover from where you are leaving
Thank you for all your work on it.
Seriously though, all the best, and thanks for all the years of good service!
You will be able to search for 'geeky news' also on other services than hackernews.
Bonus points for it being so easy to share, too: https://github.com/holman/holman-js/blob/master/news.ycombin...
"GreaseMonkey user scripts are great, but you need to publish them somewhere and re-publish after making modifications. With dotjs, just add or edit files in ~/.js."
but this caveat is just as strong for files you maintain outside of your browser, and some browsers' implementations of userscripts/greasemonkeylikes actually have a similar filesystem-based model for managing scripts already.
While respectable, I had hoped to be more impressed by a tool that beckons me to "hack the web".
just change your file extension from .js to .coffee
I think it might be because I use VirtualHostX - http://clickontyler.com/virtualhostx/ - which alters my hosts file. I had to create a host - http://dotjs/ - pointing to my ~/.js/ folder - then edit the Extension JS to point the Ajax to http://dotjs/ instead of http://localhost:3131. A bit of pain but it might just be who this affects.
Publish them where? I don't understand this. Whenever I change a user.js file and save it the browser updates it and it's ready to go next time the page reloads.
Side node: Scriptish is a fork of greasemonkey with many cool extras. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/scriptish/
Let's hope the Web Fonts API doesn't go the way of the Translate API, or many webpages will be rendered in incorrect fonts. Horror!!
For it's not consistent. I filtered for Serif and got sans serif in the mix.
But even worse. You can't specify very precisely. For instance if I need a slab serif how do I filter that?
Edit: 2 lines of code were all I needed to add. Ridiculously easy.
With some services I understand people rather have it externally has it's a hassle to do it yourself, but @font-face is too easy to not do it.
This is a snapshot of their IO's session video.
I started this as a response to the "how to keep productive" question, but I'll try to address the other questions people have been asking in the thread later on.
We also have the issue of taking some period of time to get back into the productive zone. What we do is spend the visa limit time in each country. For americans in the UK that is 6 months, for instance. So we rented an apartment for 6 months. In the Shengen zone (most of europe) it is 3 months, and last year we spent 2.5 months in berlin.
In both cases we spent most of the time working a normal lifestyle %90 of the time. After our 2.5 months in berlin we spent a couple weeks traveling as tourists (that's where the other 0.5 months went.)
I figure 2 weeks on either side of a relocation are not going to be productive, so might as well spend half of that time, or so, doing tourist stuff. By having such great breaks regularly, we are recharged and I think more productive when we are working.
The weird thing is, indoors, the only thing foreign really is the outlets... so it feels like we're still in the USA, but then you step outdoors and the language, accents and architecture are completely different. So you can "travel" across the globe every day. It is really hard to explain that feeling but it is pretty powerful.
-- Taxes & Visas-- As far as governments are concerned we're tourists. We present ourselves this way and we get tourist visas. However, for most visas "tourist" and "business" visas are essentially the same. We don't work in any country in the sense that we don't have a job, we don't participate in their employment schemes. We're taxed like americans (the US taxes your income no matter where it is earned).
--As I mentioned we're doing a startup. (We did one and we're just in the process of pivoting so what the new one is at this point is a little vague.) I don't feel out of the technology scene at all-- I have all the same connections I did before we left, except that I can't go to local unconferneces, but I didn't really get much out of them.
There is one conference that I miss that is done in the USA only, but we started buying the videos for it. Spending hundreds of dollars on conference videos sounds expensive, but it is cheap compared to actually going there (Even from within the USA). I don't really miss the networking opportunities-- and we're now networking with a real international network. EG: we network with the locals wherever we are.
The technology scene really is global.
This is a big one. This inhibits a lot of people. However, if you've got an income from your work, and savings to get by in the USA, you can get buy longer when you're traveling. Even traveling in expensive first world places like europe, right now, we're able to live on the budget we were living on in the USA. Overall, we're actually spending a bit less, and we spend a lot less when we are living in lower cost places (even places in eastern europe, which are "expensive" compared to southeast asia, are cheep.)
So, we could have remained in the USA, and spent the same amount of money. I don't think we would have gotten any more work done, and we would have had a lot less fun. Plus, as our product is global, better understanding of other countries helps.
Health insurance: We have the health insurance we had in the USA. It covers us globally. There are specific health insurance plans that cover long term travelers and we might switch, we just haven't done so yet.
Neither of us are under 30, nor are we over 50.
Crazy? You hear a lot of people who knock this idea. Lots of people say "I'd love to do that but I've got responsibilities" or the equivalent.
That's fine... just don't presume we're not doing serious work, we aren't doing a "real" startup or anything lie that. These days startups often have employees spread around the globe... we don't have to carry the whole company with us.
I think people thinks this is harder than it is. Or maybe for some people the idea of living out of a backpack is tough.
Personally, I relish the challenge!
Between my laptop, camera, and assorted stuff, I've got about 7 pounds of clothes etc, and 10 pounds of electronics gear. Every time we-repack, we actually shed some unnecessary stuff. It is a process... but I love it.
As always though, everything is best in moderation. I'm yearning to be back in the startup/technology scene - and I will be come September. I'm sure that'll I'll do another trip like this in my twenties though (I'm 21 now).
I've notice that nobody is interested in remote C++ development, and the few people I meet who are doing something like this are in some branch of web development.
Note that doing what the OP did is far more difficult if you have children, although it is possible to work stable jobs in a single country for longer stints with kids.
It almost seems more unique to hear about a hacker from NYC documenting a summer working in New Paltz, rather than another story about social media experts working from cafes in Buenos Aires and Thailand.
The hosts are two guys who have created a million dollar business in the last three years while traveling. Their business is not some bullshit "blog"/earn money by selling tips on how to make money thing, it's a real business that actually sells physical products.
Everybody should check it out. It's a shame that they're charging for the first episodes since it makes it kinda hard to recommend to people (I discovered them before that), but their content is definitely worth paying for. It's probably the best audio-only business content I've heard.
Why not be rich and live rich. I get the "Live rich" part but that "Don't be rich" is unwarranted.
Is the ultimate advice "be from a wealthy country that lets you travel on welfare"? :)
For example, look at the difference between Lausanne, Switzerland and Bangalore, India (the indian silicon valley!) -> bit.ly/ltwXUf
I did freelance for a while, and I came to the conclusion that I don't really enjoy doing client work, so now I'm working on a startup instead.
Does anybody have experience doing a startup on the road, as opposed to the more common freelancing/blogging/consulting?
My aim is to get my SaaS product(s) to the point of requiring almost zero work. (Everything automated, effective 'help' section to keep the amount support emails as low as possible, etc.)
This seems impossible with freelancing/blogging/consulting, as you'll only be able to lessen the workload so much (i.e. it can't be self-sustaining), whereas depending on the startup you can theoretically get by on just a few hours work per week, while your revenues are still increasing.
Besides, if you have kids, traveling is much harder / expensive.
Now that smartphone apps are widespread and someone developing a service can control both sides of the connection, there's definitely room for someone to devise a really good TCP replacement (layered on top of UDP) with an iOS library, an Android library, and an Apache mod.
Networks are slow. Mobile networks are slower. The most robust fix to the problem is to "optimistically replicate" your application data to the end user's device, so that the network latency does not become part of the user experience.
This is a strong fit for applications like CRM or geographically constrained apps, as the data sets are small enough to fit completely on your devices. For larger data sets the issue becomes: which subset of the data should be copied to the device ahead of time.
The user should never needs to wait on the network. All data operations are played against the local Couch, which handles asynchronously transmitting changes to and from the remote server, in the background. This pattern makes it much easier for app developers to make responsive applications, where users are never left waiting on multi-second round trip times.
Ended up writing a piece on Google because of this on my blog:http://micheljansen.org/blog/entry/1060
(shameless plug :P)
Indian Airtel's network is a live example of that disaster. It is almost unusable, while they still actively promoting 3G and iPhones. ^_^
Its clear they've tried not just to 'clone' Facebook, which I appreciate.
So it's like a reverse twitter, where you choose who can follow you?
I love the circles philosophy and UX.
One problem is the restriction on invites. Google+ is valuable to me if I can share things with others, just like I do it in FB right now. They have to enable invites soon or the early adopters will get bored and leave forever.
When I first heard the news about Google+ today, my initial reaction was wow, Google is going to fail again. I mean, with Wave, and then Buzz, and I figured this was just another in the line of failures.
However, after looking into it and reading about it, it is actually very cool looking. I look forward to trying it out live when it's ready.
Overall this seems to be very well thought through with some fresh ideas.
Circles addresses something like 70% of my gripes with Facebook. Of course, we still haven't seen Google successfully build a social network, so nothing's really been addressed until everyone joins the party (or doesn't). Google+ looks interesting though.
Too bad my primary Google account is my Apps account for my primary domain, and since Apps accounts don't have associated Profiles anymore, I don't get to play. Then again, I'm still dealing with the fallout of the transition to "The New" Google Apps, having already used my domain email as a Google account to sign up for really exotic things like Google Reader, so perhaps I don't need yet another new plaything at the moment.
I will add that I think the Huddle and Hangout components may offerâ"in the case of the formerâ"good competition both on Android and in general to iOS Messaging/BBM (the only hang-up that has me short of sold on iOS messaging is people don't yet think of their Apple IDs as communication accounts/channels, their Gmail accounts on the other hand...), andâ"in the case of the latterâ"someone not only to compete with Foursquare, but perhaps to answer the question from normal folks: Why "check in" anywhere to begin with? (Because you've arrived at the "anywhere" you just "Huddled" over meeting at, your phones already know it, and if you acknowledge their requests to "Hangout" together, even more of your friends may show up. Or something. That last part's a little hazier for me. What if you want to broadcast to the world that you're enjoying your new favorite tea spot, but you don't want to say which 5 people you're with and risk persons 6 and 7 whom were specifically not invited showing up? In any event it seems to me a more human workflow than "Go places, check in, get points/kittens/whatevr."
- You can only have add a person to one "circle". If I wanted to add someone to two or more, I'm SOL. Maybe they will change this.
- A "circle" can only contain a certain number of users before it runs out of room. I haven't seen how it deal with this - does it shrink the circles as you add more? What happens if there are 500 people in one, would they be a bunch of 1 x 1 pixel dots? Or does the circle just say "You can't add any more people"?
search > social
1. launch a social platform, but restrict signups to the point where nobody with access has any contacts on the service
2. keep it locked down until the buzz/hype is all gone
3. open it up to everyone and let them wonder why there was any buzz/hype in the first place
If they dont let early adopters use the platform and give the crucial early feedback, they might as well throw in the towel now.
Oh really? Tell that to a bunch of my friends who are either forced onto dial up, or 1.5Mb internet.
Not everyone lives in a big city.
Another annoying case of "do no evil" not implying anything about actually pushing the state forward or helping. I'm not altogether that interested in the greater of the two silos, although I am excited by a state of play other than facebook moseying down the field palming the ball in one hand.
EDIT: Seems to be answered in the FAQ: "We have decided to use the Canvas object as the main backend for now because it is faster than SVG and allows us to implement and optimize our own Scene Graph / Document Object Model. We will be offering SVG (and hopefully PDF) importing and exporting in the future."
Given how clunky SVG can be, it's surprising that this technique works so well. I believe the performance gain comes from batching everything you want to render into a single ginormous round trip between JS and native code. With Canvas, you don't have that option, so you have to cross the grand canyon with every call. The equivalent in SVG would be making a series of tweaks to the SVG DOM, and that's even slower. Much better to rebuild the entire DOM yourself in text and overwrite the old one.
As a bonus, you can take the same approach in IE using VML. Though the markup is different, the SVG and VML models are close to isomorphic - not close enough to abstract over without an annoying impedance mismatch, but much closer than either is to Canvas. Thus this technique affords a good way to get graphics performance out of both the modern browsers (SVG) and the pre-9 IEs (VML) for as long as the latter are around.
[EDIT] Slightly sharper eyes.
RaphaelJS has IE covered.
Wouldn't it be great if someone did all the RaphaelJS examples in PaperJS, and vice versa, so we could compare performance and ease of use?
var a = new Sprite();var b = new Sprite();a.addChild(b);b.x = 100;a.rotation = 45;
Which ideally should rotate both a and b by 45 degrees clockwise, with b offset in the rotation around a's axis by 100 px.
The "movement" is about polyglot persistence and not leaving RDBMS completely. Pull pain points out into something that's a better fit. Rinse and repeat.
Its better to use it as the write-cache for complex datasets with the database being the backup.
Resque is for background jobs (with many add-ons for locking, scheduling, retries, etc.), and redis-store is a drop-in store for Rack::Session, Rack::Cache and Rails.cache. Easy and super fast.
We just added it to our stack for caching and storing sessions.
It's blazing fast !
We're now trying to use it for different other purposes; autocompletion, counting and ab testing.
Yes, you've replaced a "select * from comments order by created_at limit 10" with a "select * from comments where id in (list_of_ids_from_redis)".
Wouldn't you cache the comment models in a top-10 list?
I have a console app that's backed by Redis (in much the same manner as described in this post), but I save my sessions to h5 when I switch between datasets. That means I need to combine the Redis data with my app data and export -- I do this using two separate h5 files, with with the appropriate links.
It would be nice (for me anyway) if I could do a Redis-native save, and move the resulting file. That would also improve my startup times when I reverse the process.
But, while h5 is nice for My data, I can't say it would be any good for generic Redis data...
I'm not sure of the typical game server stack though.
Really great tool for the belt.
As users gain more experience, their needs become slightly more complex. They start to understand the simple product completely, and then they have the cognitive ability to understand more fancy bells 'n' whistles. For users who have been doing project management for a long time with any software product, they will have a long list of things that they know -- from experience! -- that they need.
That is why there's a market for simple and there's a market for full-featured. Both are discrete markets, usually. Obviously every software designer strives for "power made easy" -- it seems easy at first, but there is power under the hood when you need it.
In addition to "Say no by default," one of their other points of advice has been: "Let your users outgrow you."
37signals has found that there's more people to sell to at the bottom, and when customers need/want more, they're free to find it elsewhere.
I have a feeling the author will write a similar piece in a year or two after using Podio -- no software is perfect.
DHH was fundamentally right, even if the details were wrong. For 99.9% of apps there is a replacement app available on any of the mainstream phone platforms. The long tail maybe gets you a bit more polish, but its polish on non-core scenarios. Most people will decide based on the polish for their core scenario, not on Textalyzer.
1. Apollo has great customer service, and listens.2. Apollo's interface doesn't look like Windows NT3. Apollo is moving forward, while Basecamp seems to have stagnated/rested on its laurels.
I think Basecamp is a good product, but it's not that good.
Being very deliberate about making sweeping changes to an application with an extremely large number of very satisfied users is not the same as allowing it to stagnate. Having spent 4 years of my life working at 37signals I know first hand the incredible amount of energy that is devoted to it by an extremely talented team.
That said, it's certainly not for everyone. And if you outgrow it, fantastic, feel free to move onto a new product that suits you better. We do this with many other aspects of our lives, why should software be any different?
However, within days I came to hate Basecamp intensely. Not so much because it imposed certain structures and ways of working -- discomfort is to be expected when you learn a new tool. And, of course, sometimes, it turns out you can learn better ways to work from tools that force you into certain ways.
No, what made me hate Basecamp with a passion is that the thing is slow. It is unacceptably slow. And the UI, be it the web UI or the various apps that existed for it at the time (late last year), did not manage to meaningfully mask the fact that the system was slow as molasses.
The fact that 37signals, a much lauded company, would allow an important product to have such a glaring fault now means that I see anything that 37signals say or anything that is said about them in a different light. I am now thoroughly biased to think that they have no business telling anyone how you make good software. I can't help this, though I will acknowledge that this is an emotional response rather than a rational one.
It also means that anyone singing the praise of 37signals now also seems suspect. Do they even form their _own_ opinions or do people just parrot the praise that people they look up to heap on the company.
Slow apps are not cool. Companies that make slow apps without visible embarrassment are not cool. Basecamp is dead slow and it is perfectly okay to point out that the monarch appears before the court sans clothing.
Worse, it hasn't been papered over well either. I can't load a Writeboard from Basecamp without some weird 1990s-style "we're loading your Writeboard" page hanging around for a couple of seconds. UI-wise, I'd be satisfied with it being separate if it weren't for the extra page coming up wasting time and making me think something happened.
I have to admire the way 37signals has grown over the last few years. Sure, they clearly don't integrate every feature. The user interface certainly works but has no iGloss about it at all. Pricing is steep and they hide the lower-priced plans. But it works: people still use the service.
If you're a coffee shop you concentrate on your coffee. If you're an electrician, you concentrate on the quality of your work. Adding extras like "nice cable ties" are irrelevant. 37signals are concentrating on their core functionality. When the day comes that the majority of their users require X feature and that feature becomes a norm in Project Management, Contact Management, Collaboration, etc then I'm almost sure they will react: why wouldn't they?
Most (all?) of us developers / product guys fight with feature creep. I'm glad 37signals is there to remind us, by example, that it's OK for a software business to focus on a specific solution, sans bloat. There are users that will appreciate your vision - and gladly pay.
For example, I don't consider Jira as in the same arena as Basecamp (and I've used both a good amount). I see Jira as a programming/development specific management tool, to be used by programming teams and maybe the managers of those teams.
I see Basecamp as a far more flexible project management tool that can fit a wide variety of needs. It works great for organizing our Entrepreneurs Unpluggd events. It works well for some web dev projects and design projects, but not others.
Basecamp isn't always THE solution. For some types of projects, it is. For others, it isn't.
At the end of the day, the right answer is the project management software that helps you more efficiently organize your specific projects. Because Basecamp doesn't work for Joe and his projects doesn't mean it can't work amazingly for Sally and hers.
I've, since, moved away from Basecamp and am almost completely on Jira now.
We are of the mindset that software should fit the way you work, not necessarily the other way around. We're building a Force.com-like platform that allows you to create custom business workflow apps in minutes to handle not just tasks, but also lightweight crm, recruiting, and other business functions involving a relatively defined process. We provide a fast UI to access these records, so all you do is specify the schema and callbacks.
We're still in beta, but happy to release some invites and work with members of the HN community -- http://www.devcomb.com
wow, that's pretty sad. and i thought they were only ignoring my problems.
We've been getting a lot of user feedback recently, spiking significantly over the past week, on the amount of application spam people are seeing in their feeds and on their walls. We turned on a new enforcement system yesterday that took user feedback much more heavily into account. This resulted in a number of applications with high negative user feedback being disabled or having certain features disabled. In particular, many applications were disabled which posted to the walls of other users and had very high mark-as-spam numbers.
My apologies for the suddenness of the action. The numbers were high enough to cause a real loss of trust in applications, which can impact the entire platform. Where we have failed is not providing enough feedback about negative engagement metrics to developers before needing to take this action. This is something we are working hard to fix with the new Application Insights that will be launching over the next few weeks - you will have detailed information about both positive and negative engagement of the content your application generates.
If you think you have been disabled in error, you should have received an email to your application's contact email address with a link to appeal. Just in case, the appeal link is https://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=dev_disa... . Note that no content is deleted when an application is disabled. If an application is re-enabled, all the content posted by the application will once again be visible.
Attempting to appeal to Facebook results in a generic email response instructing us to begin the application anew.
Worst of all, deleting our application also deleted the photos our users took. We had a video chat application that allowed users to take pictures together with their friends. Over 1 million photo memories deleted by Facebook. It's just a sad situation overall.
What's up with the silence from the FBers in the crowd? Not allowed to say anything? Don't know who to forward the issue to? Just don't care?
I did like Facebook at one point: two or three years ago. Now it's just getting ridiculous.
No, really. Google decided they could scale better if they used computers to do customer service, or just didn't have customer service. In exchange, they didn't charge anything for a lot of their services and told people 'deal with it.'
This worked well for Google! Facebook is staffed extremely lightly given their reach; stuff like this is just going to keep happening. I have no idea if the app developer deserved it, but these 'free to play' broad-reach companies CAN'T provide the service this app developer feels he/she needs, they wouldn't scale properly if they did.
Also, using user's feedback may not be an accurate measurement to the quality of the application. There are many methods or bot script that can simulate users to mass complain the application. This is a very common strategy uses by competitors.
all in all, we are still relatively new to for facebook, It may be possible that we did somehow crossed the line in feeds or wallposting, but.is it worth killing off a small start-up because of this?
thus, when apple's developers get screwed and there's no app ecosystem, there is the potential for decreased sales. when facebook apps disappear, i doubt there are a lot of people leaving facebook.
No human review of banned apps with millions of users.Moderators who volunteer to build the brand of FB are simply ignored.
The problem is that even if your apps are reinstated, the damage may have already been done.
What I'm suggesting is that the Facebook apps platform is fundamentally making it easy to post spam so they have to fight it afterward.
Would a better approach be to shore up the platform so that apps are simply unable to generate spam? For example, currently a user can only Allow or Disallow an app. They cannot Allow or Disallow certain permissions. I should be able to use an app while denying it the possibility to post to my wall or my friends walls.
It seems like it's the wrong approach to try to stop the spam by banning apps rather than fundamentally changing the way apps can access person sites and information and make generating spam incredibly difficult.
Looks like if there was really developer love, they wouldn't need to market their love of developers.
Now imagine Google dropping you from the index for whatever reason.
How many of us here would be wiped out?
A business that's dependant on a single channel or platform for more than 20% of its revenue/profit is not a real business as much as it is a sugardaddy's dependent?
I will never waste my resource in build apps that solely rely on closed commercial entities like facebook, apple. If they choose to ban/block/delete you then all of your hard-work is gone in a second and will leave your users unhappy.
and this can happen to any of us
Hope FB will react better then G and reactivate their apps.
So it can be done, hopefully the attention in HN will help
On top of that, facebook enforces FB credits from July, and banned adsense advertising in apps. We are not going to pay 30% of our revenue to facebook for such a crappy platform. We moved our apps to an external website.
The most extreme cases could be decided by a human arbitrator.
This is obviously just another similar data point on this thread, but what I want to add is to the discussion is this idea: why not create an completely OSS facebook? If a bitcoin can exist (and hell, a Linux), why not a decentralized open-source facebook? The core functionality is not that complex, IMHO. Well, Linux is complex and it took decades to perfect... but the need for it was pretty clear and it's proved itself. But Facebook, OTOH, is not a complex operating system or even a super-complex search engine (ala Google). It's simply a network of interconnected user accounts with certain assets assigned to each account (history, preferences, content, etc), and info feeds (transient) delivered to those accounts via various formats.
If such a project were OSS, people would design their own feed sorting algo's, their own notification systems, and most of all their own "spam" filtering systems, as plugins, all of which could mean nobody needs to "go dark" to satisfy the whims of one corporate entity.
Too many developers have their head in the sand and think just because they have 1 million users and a 4 star review rating that everything is peachy. The fact is there are a ton of crap apps that spew out BS. Maybe the user who installed the app thinks it is great to spam all of their friends' feeds, but when those friends hide the app's posts, mark it as spam, etc. then the app is going to risk auto-banning.
I know folks on HN don't play Farmville or spend all day on these apps like fortune cookie, quiz of the day, etc., but bazillions of FB users have nothing but app-generated posts on their walls.
Oh yea, and the front page of HN this time around.
It sounded like you got your hands wet in a lot of different things. That doesn't necessarily mean you are going to retire on this game, but think how many people are aware of you now and when you do Bullet Factory X (where you skeet-shoot puppies and elderly people) you'll have that much more information on how to promote the game or where to spend your time. It also sounds like you had a successful working relationship with your sister (as an artist) which is half the battle for any game title. So that's a big win right there for your next game too.
I'm not that surprised as the lack of feedback from bloggers though. I think I get 10 emails a day following the format:
OMG, Super Games Factory, LLC has just released the most amazing game on the planet: Dish Washer! Wash dishes in amazing stick-figure 3D! Contact us for a free evaluation code!
Bullet Factory is a fun/simple concept, but it seems better as an ad-supported title (it's too simple) than a 99 cents title when you compare it along side other 99 cent titles I've seen in the app store. The bar is getting higher and higher and unless I see something amazing in screenshots or a trailer, it's not even worth the purchase barrier to entry for me to try it. Unrealized value (purchasing a game for 99 cents only to realize I hate the gameplay mechanics) is so frustrating to me, I'd rather just not buy something I'm on the fence about.
I would take the low-sales-since-december-even-though-you-are-marketing as an indicator that it isn't a high-demand game. Release a free ad-supported version of it "Bullet Factory FREE" and move on to your next title. Keep track of the download differences to learn a bit more about what worked, what didn't and where the bar is.
That's not to say your next game or the game after that won't hit -- keep pushing, you'll have a success and it will catch you by surprise.
They always do.
1) Reviews are the most important things when you sell an app. I made the app free for the first week or so until I had about 10 5 star reviews. DO NOT use scammy tactics for fake reviews. Make sure your app is well polished for what it does. If it's not, don't put it in the App Store.
2) Review reminders. Basically the user uses the app a few times and they get a notice asking if they would like to review it. Include something like the appirater class. Google that.
3) Built-in sharing options for Facebook and Twitter. These should link back to the iTunes page for the app or to a custom site.
4) Setup bitly links for each sharing option. This helps in keeping stats about where your app is being talked about.
In the first week or so I was getting 3000 downloads a day. When I hit my 10 review goal, I switched to $.99. It's disheartening to see that 3k number drop to 20 the next day, but that's money in your pocket now. For the rest of the month, I averaged 20-30 paid downloads a day.
Things not to do:There are lots of stupid people out there. They will leave 1 star reviews because they hear no sound. Their mute is on. Don't get upset about these people.
Twitter is great for campaigning. Don't write bots that listen to the stream for people talking about the movie that then follows them and does @Soandso check out my Hangover2 app! Surprisingly, it actually works very well. It ran for about 45 minutes and followed 400+ people. About 50 of them clicked through (bitly again) and I think a few people bought it. However, Twitter banned the account after 45 minutes. So, don't do what I did.
Don't write well polished apps that use sound clips from a big upcoming movie. You might argue that it's fair use, but that doesn't mean crap when WB decides to stomp on you.
Is there some back-story to this game that is interesting? Are these spheres of mutant gel being produced by the evil Dr. Klaus Scheitzenburger to turn children into mindless drones so that he can take over the planet and only I can stop it using my Mutant-b-Gone sphere blaster?
Oh, none of that? It's just a sphere popping game? There's no marketing that can save that.
Now a killer back-story isn't a requirement, but it would help if it were "juicy fun". There's some great advice here: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2438/how_to_prototype_...
Your game screenshots scream "tech demo", which is no way to sell a game.
I took a look at your app in the App Store.
Here's your problem: your icon.
The icon is the most prominent thing the user sees when first looking at your app in the App Store.
Change your icon, and you'll get more downloads. Trust me :-)
Feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss good icon design, or other under-appreciated aspects of selling an app.
Be way more explicit with your branding and marketing about exactly what the game is, right down to the name, if you're willing to change it. Looking at the top charts right now, there are games that show you exactly how to play just with the title and the icon: Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, Flick Golf, Feed Me Oil. You want to be the gyro shooting gallery app. So, something like Gyro Shot or Gyro Shooting. It's sounds lame but it seems to work. It may also give Apple a reason to feature you, since you are demoing a hardware feature.
I think you also need a more fun look. The game looks really drab right now. A grey factory is not a terribly exciting backdrop and the balls are pointy. Choose a look that you can execute at grade A level. This is where the "glowing neon" look came from -- programmers who can't do art. Use shaders to make the balls perfectly round and give them some sort of cool effect. The screenshots should be attractive on their own.
First time I loaded it the menu seemed sluggish. When I pressed buttons, the button gave no feedback and I wasn't sure if the click had registered. I understand there's loading time involved, but some feedback would be nice.
During game play when I "Shoot" there is nothing that displays a shooting event. Balls just explode if my cross-hares are on it. That seems odd. Again, a feedback issue.
Also the menu buttons seem smaller than needed and there are too many options. If you could make it simpler that might be better.
Overall the game play is smooth and the gyro controls are cool. I think this would make a really engaging first person shooter. Maybe shooting something other than balls for points would be more fun.
the testimonial paragraph is awkwardly worded ("... a portal into a virtual shooting gallery overflowing with beach ball-shaped targets just waiting to be popped") and i can't tell how to play (or what makes it fun) from the screenshots. it's gyroscope controlled, but what the hell does that mean?
i'm going to give the lite version a try, but the app store page totally didn't grab me.
i thought "the heist" had a pretty good write-up and screenshot section, for what it's worth. i usually just read the first paragraph and scroll to the screenshots.
EDIT: i tried it, it's like an FPS where you shoot beach balls and twist the phone around to aim. looks pretty well done, but not my bag (i hate aiming anything by moving the phone)
You can know from very early user feedback whether the game is going to interest anyone as a product, but you have to stop believing in your game for a moment, or you'll ignore the warning signs. The in-person pitch or demo lets you pick up some details, but product releases give you broader feedback. Do lots of both.
If, after pressing people in-person for thoughts, the feedback is "hmm...well...i don't know...that sounds interesting..." the concept is wrong and you need to start over. You should have something that gives people a foothold to really discuss it and take ownership, or the subsequent marketing efforts won't have much impact on anyone. Online, this is reflected in dead silence. People look and then go away, or if there's interest, it's in something not really related to the product's selling points, like the technology stack it uses.
If there is a product there the volume of commentary will be much higher and drastically more opinionated. From there it's a matter of managing the conversation and picking the path that is likely to open the doors further for the product - pivoting it if necessary. The feedback here is from other developers, which means a heavy bias towards polish. Try to find deeper user concerns instead.
The problem with the screenshots, of course, is that the in game content looks to dull. I can't really say how you can improve it, but have a look at top selling games.
A couple of details - icon (as someone else mentioned). Another thing is - you're a textbook example of promoting "features", and not "benefits". Instead of writing "Using Oscilloscope", which nobody cares about, you should've written "The smoothest shooting experience there is (thanks to oscilloscope)".
Also: get a graphic designer. Your graphics are not that bad, but a good painter could really make this app work much better. People buy good looking games.
As for your trailers - they aren't that bad. As a tech person I'll say: wow. It really looks smooth, I'm impressed. BUT most people aren't technical - aside from the screen they should see a happy person playing, and they should see someone really TILTING the device - now it's barely visible (perhaps even exaggerate the moves so they can be seen on the camera). Look at one of the Kinect trailers. You can't do as good, but you can get close. Oh - and remember that there should be a link close to the end of the movie, directing to the app store.
Anyway - these are just a couple of things for a good product / landing page. Doing this alone won't increase sales though...
Have you considered updating the app icon? It looks quite dark and flat rather than fun and cartoony like many game icons.
I was a little surprised to see how non-spherical the balls look in your screenshots. If it can still perform well with a more detailed ball model, I would think that would help the look of the screenshots.
Regardless, I stopped promoting my best selling apps and they sell exactly as many copies.
I also have an iPhone game in the store, but I've done a little bit better than you have. I made about $8,000.00 in my first year.
Just echoing everybody else's comments: People are very reluctant to spend any amount of money on a game without being able to try it first. You must have a free option to get them interested. In my case, I have a crippled free version and a paid version. I started before in-app purchasing was available. Today I'd probably go with "free but pay to remove ads" instead.
The mistake I have made is that I program too slowly (heh). Eight grand a year for an app is not bad, if I could crank out a new one every three months or so. The app store audience favors having a bunch of shallow apps, rather than one big app you pour your heart and soul into.
I think sometimes we just fail to see that our games are really crap. I totally fell in love with the idea of a real-time multiplayer quiz for the iPhone. But nobody else did.
[EDIT]I am not saying your game is no good. I haven't really played it. More of a general comment on how we may not fairly judge our own work[/EDIT]
Your Ask HN not making it to the front page? Probably just bad luck (there are lots of good stories that don't make it to the front page). Game blogs not writing about it? Probably just bad luck that they heard about other games at the same time that they wanted to write about more.
I think there's a common feeling that there's just that one magic bullet that's going to make you a success (that TechCrunch article, or that Touch Arcade article, or if you can JUST get into YC or get that first investor). I think all that stuff definitely helps, but from what I've seen the best way to do it is to get a good amount of sleep, hustle your ass off 5-6 days a week, and have a partner in crime (even if it's just a drinking buddy who works on their own, separate projects).
I think you just have to pick up and start on the next project. The App Store is extremely competitive, but if you just keep making better and better games every time, something will stick. Just be sure to do some client work or keep your day job in the meantime to stay financially solvent. :)
Go play Fruit Ninja, and then go hire the best artist you can afford. (and put fruit ninja in your keywords!)
What we did was this:- picked a somewhat hight price point ($2) This seemed to use like the sweetspot, with what we could live and what we would expect an honest buyer to pay. (who knows?!)
- we wrote to the canonical forum, where we expected most of the potential users. That resulted in an initial rush (two days after writing to the forum), but it wasn't much at all.
- the domain iebtapp.com was registered prior to publishing, but contained nothing more then a simple "Something's coming this december" string. Watching the server logs, there seemed to be some who were trying to figure out where the link from the app pointed.
- after some time, we wrote the current, very limited text on iebtapp.com. Not even with images. That seems to have resulted in a minor increase in sales.
- with some text on the website, we thought it was time to do some advertisement, and went with Google Ads. This too seems to have resulted in a minor increase in sales.
And here's what we plan to do:- add Appirater to the App. We have only a very few reviews, and they are not enough to get any star rating on the AppStore. Maybe this helps, who knows. I will closely watch this.
Personal conclusion:iOS development is really /a lot/ of fun. But I think we need to change two things:- More marketing. But not all at once; results should be measurable.- Niche markets, that are this tiny, can be a very high risk game. (Especially if someone else, writes to the forum that he's going to release another iPhone app and lets people sign up for the beta :-))
--: see iebtapp.com
Also, I would recommend finding a good graphic designer to help you out. The icon for Bullseye Factory doesn't promise $1.99 worth of fun. Plus, I'm sure you can think of something more creative than stripped balls in a perfectly preserved yet empty factory. How about going along with the Jester theme and making it some sort of a factory taken over by zombie clowns?
Your game is technically very impressive, but needs a good theme to sell it. Looks at Nuts for instance. It's probably slightly less complicated technically, but it has a funny, slightly juvenile name, cute squirrels, and various alternative objectives.
Word of mouth was there: and it was 'don't bother'. If it's an app or game that people have to have, most of these techniques would have yielded different results.
Except for a few: like submitting to websites for review... most of them are looking for cash for reviews, so you get what you pay for.
I haven't seen any games that topped the list that were not worthy of chart-toppers... If games or apps like this were chart-toppers, then the chart wouldn't be worth much.
Stoic Jester indeed!
Nice overview of app marketing wasteland. I went thru much the same and the needle never moved, or not very much at least. My new approach is to give away a free version that is slightly hobbled but still useful and use that base of users to launch other ventures.
I guess what I am saying is that you have to keep going, market, iterate, try things and as said not give up. At some point hopefully your product will begin to sell itself enough for you to improve or version 2 it.
I thought I was the only one that behaves like that!
As you alluded to, releasing pre-Christmas and pitching bloggers with free promo codes is so common as to render it useless unless you're remarkable about it.
The graphics are dreary and the screenshots don't make it look fun (or even give me a sense of the gameplay)...
1. Buy ads. It costs about $0.00001 to show an ad banner on mobile. $0.01 to buy on a click basis. $10k to get into the app store top 25. Do the math. Minimums apply.
2. PR: meet/call or otherwise contact the people who can get your message out and convince them how cool your game is. Or pay someone who can do this for you.
Marketing is hard work, get busy!
The characterization of Microsoft being disorganized because they were working on OpenGL at the same time as Direct3D is a direct result of misunderstanding this difference. Microsoft had to address to entirely different markets: gamers for whom high frame rates were much more important than fidelity and engineers for whom accurate rendering was important (Even today, high end graphics cards for Windows workstations run OpenGL.)
3dLabs involvement with the development of improvements to OpenGL is symptomatic of OpenGL's emphasis on fidelity in rendering and the legacy of SGI from whence it evolved. The slow pace was perfectly acceptable to a group of serious people who care about standards and don't care about games.
3dLabs is also an example of the distinct segmentation of the consumer and engineering market for graphic cards in the PC market. The second PC I inherited in my first CAD job had was a 386 with an Nth Engine B752 - you could have built a kickass gaming system for the price of the card alone but it wouldn't put much of a dent in the price of an Iris.
Keep in mind that back in the 1990's all sorts of consumer grade graphic card craziness was going on in Windows boxes - e.g. VESA local bus [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VESA_Local_Bus] and the volume of new Windows machines was exploding and many of them were running graphically intensive games.
Take a step back:
A) There's no way in hell Microsoft would allow OpenGL to take the lead from Direct3D on Windows and Xbox. They would wield the carrots and the sticks to prop up Direct3D (and perhaps even disadvantage OpenGL) if it ever came down to it.
B) OpenGL is a success by any objective measure. Nearly every platform except Windows and Xbox uses it exclusively. E.g. mobiles. Game consoles may have dedicated APIs but I'm sure there's a better OpenGL compat layer than a Direct3D.
Recently I've developed some code on Linux for OpenGL 3.3 with GLSL and it is awesome.
I'm not really blaming Apple. I mean, on top of the core version they've implemented about 100 extensions with names like GL_ATI_separate_stencil, GL_NV_fragment_program2, GL_ARB_instanced_arrays, etc.. But the OpenGL 4.1 specs were released a year ago and I've got 3D code that runs significantly faster when I boot into Windows. Exact same hardware, but it's OpenGL 2.1 (+ extensions) vs. Direct3D 9.
In all seriousness, I did 1 graphics programming course back in the day, and it was pretty insane. This was all in OpenGL. The amount of code required to draw the simplest scene was massive. I seem to remember there's a built-in teapot primitive, and I ended up just using that to construct everything (yes, there are simpler built-in primitives, but none nearly as cool as a teapot). I didn't do very well in that course.
Almost by default - simply because DX is a Windows/Xbox technology, and these platforms (particularly Windows, but also the traditional consoles) are fading - and GL is ruling the new world of games - online games, Facebook games, web and so on.
It's rare indeed on HN to see much talk of Microsoft's continuing dominance, because in the web/tech world, that dominance doesn't exist. Games are changing too. And it's games we're talking about here - OpenGL has always run the show in serious applications of 3D, and that shows no signs of abating.
It seemed quite important at the time that he- who begat WinG, which begat DirectX, some of which is covered in Renegades of the Empire, which someone else mentioned, which is certainly worth reading- went on to agitate for OpenGL over Direct3D. Now there's kind of a scrapheap of history vibe off of the whole thing.
1) add or modify a significant feature of a working kernel
2) write a toy programming language
3) program in a programming language with concurrent constructs (e.g., erlang)
4) study some theoretical area, develop a practical application based on the theory
I don't know, these are some things a CS student should aspire to. Setting up a WordPress blog and configuring a basic Apache instance? Yeah, good stuff--but I would in no way attach computer scientist to these activities. It's like calling the Best Buy Geek Squad folks electrical engineers.
(FOOTNOTE let me caveat that I do on occasion, work as a web monkey.)
I mean, is there a list out there for astronomy students that includes, grind your own lenses?
- Build your own computer - Build your own (small) operative system - Build your own programming language
I'm spending the summer at an intership, where I'm writing very low level code. (For example, right now, I'm writing a utility to arping an address range. I've learned all about OSI, ethernet interfaces [I'm using BPFs ], etc.).
In my free time, I'm playing with opencv. For example, here  is an image I took of myself, ran through an edge detector, ran again through a distance transformer. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself.
I also know how to configure a LAMP , but that's nowhere near as interesting as the previous two paragraph.s
 in my case: FreeBSD, Lighttpd, mysql, and python, so... FLMP
- Meet a lot of interesting students outside of CS
- Go to at least one random social even that has no connection to CS
- Minor in something non-technical, or at least take a few classes
Not to detract from CS at all, but it discourages me how many of my classmates spend 4 years doing nothing but computer science and never think/learn anything else and become even the slightest bit well-rounded. So many of them barely socialize at all for 4 years, even within CS, much less outside of it.
There's more to being a good student and having a good life than knowing the ins and outs of programming languages and kernels, and your career will benefit from being a little rounded.
1. Designing their own CPU (this will go along with learning memory management, paging, translations, etc)2. Learn about Linking and Loading3. Write Toy OS4. Learn C and x86 assembly5. Learn TCP/IP and OSI model well.6. Write some damn code and try to contribute to open-source7. Learn about application security (stack overflows, heap, etc.)8. Write your own API for anything to learn how to create consistent and easy to use code.9. Apply what you learn about an algorithm or data structur in a novel way to solve a practical problem. Who knows you may see something and say 'wow I could use that algorithm and apply it to finding words that rhyme' or something like that.... 10. Please... have some damn system administration skills. Learn your way around a modern system be it linux, bsd, windows.11. Figure out why design patterns and OO aren't goddamn silver bullets for every issue. 12. Christ sakes, learn some damn math.13. Stop trying to learn every damn language you see. Just because proggit/hackernews is buzzing about some new technology doesn't mean it is worth your time. Be different go against the grain.
... and other stuff I can't think of..
If anything, I'd say, "Do the systems engineer job application challenge at Square in 2 languages of your choice, one of which should be Valley mainstream. Keep Python or Ruby in slot one, and aim for a big-iron language for #2, like maybe Scala or C++ or OCaml or Haskell.
* modifying the Linux implementation of strace to implement system call interposition for CDE
* modifying the official C implementation of the Python interpreter to create IncPy and SlopPy
* prototyping Python interpreter extensions by hacking on PyPy, a Python interpreter (written in Python!)
* enhancing Klee, an automated test generation and bug-finding tool based on the LLVM compiler infrastructure (written in C++)
* performing quantitative data analysis using SQLite for data storage and retrieval, Python for ad-hoc data munging, and the R project for statistics
* writing lots of Python scripts to automate routine tasks and to administer computational experiments
* writing a custom memory allocator for C programs
* creating dynamic program analysis tools in C using the Valgrind code instrumentation framework
* building components of a software simulator for semiconductor tester hardware using C++ within the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE
* creating an interactive image filtering application in C++ using OpenGL and GLU for image rendering and Qt toolkit for GUI.
* building graphical applications for Palm OS handheld devices in C using the Metrowerks CodeWarrior IDE
* writing a GUI for a handwriting recognition application in C++ using the Qt GUI toolkit
Programming, and indeed all of computer science, is a very mixed bag!
10 Write code in <language> for <project> based on <technology/idea> on <platform>
20 goto 10
It might just be me but shouldn't just a whole bunch of debugging, technical know-how and actually having a strong interest in technology also be important? I know many CS students that besides gaming are not really interested in nerdy technical things and I know there are a lot of people starting CS (at least here in my country) that have never really used a computer for anything other than internet surfing and word processing.
It's not like you become a good programmer or computer person over night just by taking a three year long CS bachelor.
Somebody who is already committed to learning more things on their spare time and already has an interest in these things before starting school will always come out of the situation/bachelor better. Don't you think so?
I would also have included a bit of electrical engineering knowledge (like soldering, electrical circuits and things like that) because just because you are a CS student and work in software it shouldn't mean you should know nothing of the systems and technology you use.
There's a gigantic world of computing out there, with good jobs to boot, that has nothing to do with web 2.0.
On the other hand, for a more CS-based list of tips, this is what Joel Spolsky has to say: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CollegeAdvice.html
Made all the difference for me.
Because someone, somewhere, shortly after you graduate, will ask you to do this. You might even have to do it for yourself at your first job.
[EDIT] You can downvote me, but any fellow CS grad that makes it to a business environment will encounter some coworker that will want help with their machine, and I guarantee it will be running some version of Windows. Trust me on this one.
This was all things I was doing before I started ATTENDING university. It's super simple, and you won't be downloading Slackware on 30 floppy disks any more!
I think its taken for granted that while graduating, we would be doing the more demanding things such as:-designing our own programming language.-developing a minimal OS dedicated for some specific task.-develop an new alogorithm or drastically improve upon an existing one.-etc...
While doing the things mentioned in the author's list, you may surely implement a few of the crypting concepts which you have learned during your graduation. No one is stopping you to do that.
Since when adding 3-4 self-describing lines (bare minimum required to add a virtual host) to config file is non-trivial?
No wonder resumes come with tens of technology names on it, but the owner fails to implement basic things like itoa.
CS students, lucky sods, should be making transistors.
Writing software != Selling software
(havent applied yet either)
Would anyone like to recommend something similar for people already well versed in (a) mainstream language(s)?
The idea of LPTHW has always seemed cool, but I've looked at the table of contents a couple of times and thought "huh, 80% of these topics seem trivial to me"; maybe I could still benefit by skimming through and reading anything that I don't already know. Also, it's kind of a bummer that there's no .mobi version.
* mentions HBGary a lot * focuses on people who have been previously associated with the HBGary hack * shows special disdain for kayla and sabu & seems to be personally offended * likes to link people to their social networking profiles * only non-skiddie name mentioned is Barr's * obviously works (worked?) in infosec * previously in the military? (ALPHA MIKE FOXTROT = Adios Mother Fuckers)
No honour amongst thieves eh.
1) The timeline in the beginning is incorrect. #11 shows Laurelai was part of the HBGary attack. Yet in the #hq logs, Sabu had no idea who Laurelai was (and raged on him/her pretty hard).2) Kayla is the only member that the A Team does not dox. However, the Laurelai/NA conversation contains a reference to the Xyrix = Kayla idea (which is referenced in many other places). Xyrix' denials are weak.
Reddit has rules against posting personal information. Does this website not? I really have little interest in websites that think it's ok to spread people's personal data. Weren't we mad at Sony and Lulzsec for allowing that sort of thing to happen?
What does the author mean by bounce in the document, take over a machine and proxy themselves with it? I'm confused.
Until we get some arrests I wouldn't be particularly excited over this.
1. The gross miss spelling in the post2. That Mr Barr could not catch somewhat beginner hackers
edit: desides? How old is the author, I wonder? It all sounds very 'schoolyard'.
Usually I'm not a grammar nazi (english isn't my first language so I understand the curse of engrish) but this is just annoying to read.
The problem with these tards is that they lack the discretion to find interesting problems to tackle. So: they pick on weaklings like Sony.
Real grown-ups find good problems to solve and, well, solve them. A lot of those guys profit from them.
I hope that the lolsec guys eventually realize that there's more to gain from helping the world than from hurting it.
This kind of mob-trolling behavior is not ok, and prosecuting perpetrators to the full extend of the law ought to set a nice example.
I'm all for free speech, and blowing the whistle. But this is much too far, and honestly, anarchy isn't any better than a police state.
Collecting videos around the net and put it in one page is useless idea. There are plenty of really great courses from MIT, Yale, Berkeley and they were already aggregated on sites like academicearch.
And of course, no one could ever beat 6.001 from MIT ^_^ It is art. Btw, if you like to improve your education in CS courses from MIT are enough. For general education visit Yale. For everything else there is Berkeley. CS69A is a masterpiece.
The other thing to note about Khan, is that the site is precisely intended for younger students in an effort to give them a solid foundational backing for further study.
Personally, I don't think we need another resource for experienced developers. Experienced developers have a level of understanding that already allows them to be more critical of the tools and resources they choose. If you're truly interested in following the Khan model, you should be focusing on the core fundamentals that are often taken for granted in many of the other resources. That's not to say that you couldn't expand to more advanced topics, but starting at the lowest level and working up would be more beneficial in my eyes.
Anyhow, interested to see what you get up there. Cheers!
I have only C++ right now but there are already 136 videos (and 227 subscribers). And I've gotten some very nice comments, and that makes me very happy.
Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/user/paueky
There is a companion site, which shows the dependency graph between videos: http://minidosis.org/C++
May take a bit before it has all the resources that can currently be found in the YouTube tutorials, but I can see it getting there in a short time...
This guy has a full range (and a good rep) of CS tutorials: http://www.thenewboston.com/. Maybe you could contact him and collab.
Keep us posted :-)
And it works in bright sunlight and doesn't require batteries.
On a more serious note, Khan Academy is great but the format allows too many distractions. I'd like to see a paper version of it.
Hopefully this is more about the fundamentals and theory of Computer Science, since there is a lot elsewhere online if you want to learn how to program.
Somebody else mentioned the format, and I would request that the videos are short and concise. It would also be nice if there were audiobook versions since I could listen to this on the way to and from work, although then you would have to make sure the visual part does not contain information that's not audible.
Some notes from the video I saw on YouTube. Needs better audio quality. Bigger fonts for the computer typing would be nicer, the existing size was just legible. It would be nice to see the diagram and code on screen at the same time rather than switching back and forth. I liked the 5 minute length, that is just long enough.
As blhack pointed out Voxel's per-GB rate before AWS dropped was extremely competitive, but they charge for in and out-bound data. AWS, after the 1st of July will only charge $0.12 for out-bound data and $0.00 for inbound data, effectively making it something like $0.06/GB compared to Voxel (I'm hand-waving this a bit to make a point).
Also as wiradikusuma pointed out, this comes right on the heals of Google's App Engine pricing structure change to be more business-friendly (read: more expensive/more predictable billing) that upset smaller shops and individuals.
As someone who reads most of the AWS forums every night, I would say overall that Amazon seems to be responding more quickly to low level failures that used to run rampant on the system (although US-EAST still has more failures than any other region. I guess due to overload). They seem like they are hitting faster/smoother, sounds like a good time to push forward and grow which I imagine this move will help do.
Getting a little excited to see what the price decrease for per-GB billing on S3 will be in the coming months following this up (my assumption).
$0.10/GB up to 40TB
$0.07/GB up to 500TB
This looks like the cheapest "real" CDN I've seen. Awesome :) Not that I need it [yet], but here's to hoping :)
I was going to look into deployment scripts for App Engine, but Amazon makes it more compelling to use AWS.
above poster has link showing it was 0.15
This is where I'd hope trademark law kicks in. Here's hoping Loopt gets what's rightfully coming to them.
And sometimes those companies take offense: http://37signals.com/svn/posts/1650-get-satisfaction-or-else
As soon as a business wants to opt out, we block them permanently in the system and remove any pending deals. We're changing the product right now to make the language more clear, and we're not going to use any trademarked images until the business approves the deal. We're going to make it really clear that a business hasn't approved a deal until they do.
We've certainly gotten negative feedback from a few businesses, but in general people seem excited about this--word of mouth is a great referral, and businesses understand that. The promise of u-Deals, if it works, is that your best customers become your big advocates.
Should we have gotten this right from the beginning? Yes, and I'm sorry we didn't. We've gotten things wrong in the past, and we're going to get things wrong again. As always, we'll try not to get the big things wrong, we'll do everything we can to make it up to our users, and we'll get it fixed as fast as possible. That's the nature of trying new things, and it's how the world gets better.
Seeing it in the flesh - it feels wrong. It's passing-off.
Anyway, I think judgement should maybe be postponed. This could easily be an awkward mistake. The overall intent doesn't seem nasty. The execution, particularly clear messaging, has just (perhaps) been done absentmindedly. It shouldn't be too late to clean this up. Let's see if they do.
I saw plenty of writhing away from the blame (It's a bug!), instead of admitting his mistake and apologizing publicly.
I saw a lame joke written by Sam in this thread (shortly pulled after by the author) that was something to the effects of "I wouldn't help clean his house, he clearly doesn't like me".
If I saw all this and I was on the board, I would've already called a quick board meeting to replace the current CEO.
The fundamental problems as I see it just starting with user persective: 1) I put in effort as a user to create a deal - with the high chance of no payoff - why would I ever do this the first time, let alone the second time 2) I have to wait for other people to join - so gratification is at best delayed 3) Very likely the deal will not be accepted by the merchant.
The ideal model for coupons would be take out the high cost of sales in this business. And getting businesses to go to a website and submit their deals by themselves. Of course SMB are notoriously slow to adopt new technology (many still advertise in YP). But over time, they will get there as well and the winner will be whoever is there when SMB begin making the move.
If they fail (which is likely for any startup) then it's because the idea wasn't a good. It stands to reason that they can make this clear to both parties: consumers and businesses. If they didn't at this point then I am sure they'll fix it because ultimately everyone actually will be angry. The market will answer so you need not worry. I am sure Loopt has done a sufficient amount of customer development before exhausting all their engineering bandwidth, marketing resources, and product focus--meaning you should consider giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Let businesses decide. It's not something you're capable of proving. Loopt likely is gaining more feedback about it then you realize.
If you got ten of your friends together and put in bids on Loopt for a few different pizza places, it's not too different from the GPO process. You are basically saying, "I am willing to buy 10 pieces from you at this discounted rate." It makes me wonder if most of this talk about brand erosion etc is mostly alarmism.
I have never met you, so I have no opinion on you. I know people who know you and they've said good things in the past.
This is a lie. Neither I nor my brother have heard from them. Keep in mind that this happened on Friday and it's already Tuesday here. In the meantime, I have been spammed about deals that I don't care about through e-mail and text messages four times.
scroll down ... down ... down ... there it is (gray text on black background), the crappiest example of SEO i have seen in a long long time. keyword stuffing is so 2004.
"Berlin ist als Hauptstadt der Bundesrepublik bekannt fĂźr seine SehenswĂźrdigkeiten und das umfassende Angebot an Freizeit-AktivitĂ¤ten. ... ... Berlin Deal ... ... Rabatten ... ... Geld zu sparen... ... Gutschein ...bla ... ... Angebote des Berlin Deals ... ... Wellness-Angeboten ... ... Restaurantgutscheinen.... ... .Freizeiterlebnisse, Events und Dienstleistungen in Berlin ... ... Shopping und Online Shop. ... ... Berlin Gutscheine ... ... "
i would have guessed that a multi billion dollar company could at least hire a decent SEO guy.
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---------------------First,Take the db dump, for backups/setting up another server etc.
$ mysqldump -u <user> -p <password> <db name> > xyz.sql
Now, lets move db dump file to webroot, I hate SSH,FTP,RSYNC -- too complicated for me. I like clicking hyperlinks. KISS FTW!
I guess nobody will notice that file is present here. How can they know, I won't tell them!
$ mv xyz.sql public_html/uploaded/users
now, I can download it simply by going to
See how easy this is, why complicate things unnecessarily.
I guess the guy wouldn't have even imagined mighty google will index this & people from around will download the file, resulting in major security breach.
This is what you get when you act ignorant or plain lazy. poor guy...lol
It's a stupid, boneheaded mistake, but one of those that could only be made in an environment where security is extremely lax. Easiest way to fix the environment here is to just fire everyone involved.