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Richard Stallman Was Right All Along osnews.com
712 points by thomholwerda  2 days ago   226 comments top 33
pg 2 days ago  replies      
This article doesn't seem to give any examples of specific predictions Stallman made that have turned out to be correct. All the article seems to be saying is that Stallman seemed paranoid, and present events seem to justify paranoia.

(Incidentally, people always feel that.)

Can anyone give some examples of specific predictions Stallman made that seemed surprising at the time, but that have come true? I'm not saying there haven't been any, just that such a list would be more useful than this article.

spodek 2 days ago  replies      
"I, too, disregarded Stallman as way too extreme... Only a short while ago I would've declared this as pure paranoia - but with all that's been going on recently, it's no longer paranoia."

I considered him extreme until I thought more about it, then came to agree with him on most major points...

... that was in 1993.

Glad to see others here.

kevinalexbrown 2 days ago 1 reply      
One problem with software you don't have control over is that anything is subpoenable. We don't have to wait for the government to impose their own tracking mechanisms, because as soon as they get probable cause, that's it (which includes missing a finger, having >7 days food supply at home, if you believe Rand Paul anyway). Or just look up Google's government transparency report[1]. When you don't have control over your data, it's just a warrant/polite request away from the government.

Not all government access to private data is bad. After all, it's needed to stop things like child prostitution/pornography rings, and yeah, terrorism. But what I liked so much about this article was putting the slippery slope into perspective. It's easy enough to quote the transparency report, "The number of user data requests we received increased by 29% compared to the previous reporting period." and go "well - just 29%" but that's one year. I'll make the surprising bet it doesn't go down. Compare to three decades ago, and a lot of what's happening now seemed draconian then.

[1] http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/

chc 2 days ago 4 replies      
This article is just a complete non sequitur. The Stallman angle has nothing to do with any of the problems it cites. Free software wouldn't prevent Obama from signing an indefinite detention bill, it won't stop the government from forcing ISPs and DNS roots to do harmful things " the benefits of free software are completely different things.
samstave 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think we are giving the government and Obama far too much credit for being stupid/naive/uncunning.

Of course the NDAA funding auth is going to be passed. It must be - thus, they throw on insidious clauses like the detainment, and Obama is the lucky guy who just happens to be in the unfortunate position where he must sign it even though he opposed certain items.

Here is an idea: require all laws to be single subject, single focus. If it is a funding measure, it cannot expand powers/modify any existing laws other than to either increase or decrease funding. If it is a law, such as one that is focused on the detainment of [whomever] then that should be a singular law stating under which circumstances this law shall be applied.

This is the number one source of corruption in the government, the ability to abuse the structure of the legal system.

By doing this one thing, you will cripple lobbying, create transparency and create accountability (you'll be able to understand where each rep is on each issue)

jasonallen 2 days ago 2 replies      
Agreed - Stallman was right all along. What's working against Stallman though is that his doomsday predictions are being delivered in piecemeal fashion. Each slight erosion doesn't seem too bad by itself. Only in retrospect does the magnitude of the problem reveal itself. Governments and corporations have evolved processes to change laws in such effective manners as to evade most human observation.

tldr; No one tells you the plane's not coming - they just tell you it's 20m late, perpetually...

strmpnk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Richard Stallman may have been right about the issue but that doesn't mean is approach to solving these issues nor his philosophy are in the same bucket.

I'd say he's always been right to a point since what he said years ago was true then and happens to be true now at a larger scale. It's not necessarily prophetic, just keenly observant. Likewise we have more free software options today than we did in the past.

My personal opinion is that it'd be wrong to get rid of either end. Eliminating freedom from software ecosystems would be disastrous. Likewise, I don't think free solves all of our software problems either (one could possibly abstain from many things but that's avoiding not solving the problem). SOPA needs to be stopped but lets not assume that non-free software needs to be limited because of this. Live and let live (and never let your guard down).

Tycho 2 days ago 4 replies      
I just don't see the relationship between government overstepping the mark... and buying a proprietary product form a company you respect, because you want to use the product and are willing to sacrifice the desirable but non-essential quality of unfettered access to its innards.

...OK, actually I do see the connection. The suggestion is probably that if the technology is not totally open, you don't know how much power you're giving away (the manufacturers could be cooperating secretly with the authorities). But if you really feel like this, all you need to do is refrain from using your iClosedDevice for any type of work or communication that you wouldn't trust in the hands of the manufacturers/authorities.

... And OK, I see the point that we need to support the alternative methods or else their won't be any when we need them. It's just the either/or sentiment that bugs me.

sunkencity 2 days ago 2 replies      
Good article but I disagree that supporting "Android (not Google) even though you like IOS" is a valid strategy for openness. android is all about monitoring and datamining the user. Sad to see the good old openmoko project die.
wycats 2 days ago  replies      
It's worth noting that Obama, upon signing, issued a signing statement that said that he was against the indefinite detention provision, and importantly, that he would not indefinitely hold Americans without trial:

"Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law."

Jun8 2 days ago 0 replies      
You have to counter the forces against freedom with an array of approaches, free software being only one of these. Without having a clear understanding of the economic and political understanding of the driving forces behind the ratcheting up of state control, resistance will be pretty much futile, I fear.
morpher 2 days ago 4 replies      
In Sec. 1021 (the one about indefinite detention power), it clearly states:

(e) AUTHORITIES."Nothing in this section shall be
construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to
the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident
aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are
captured or arrested in the United States.

So, how does this give the president the supposed power to detain US citizens? (The oft quoted 'slippery' line about not requiring detention Americans is from the NEXT section, which is specifically about requiring detentions in some cases.

trotsky 2 days ago 0 replies      
Rarely have I come across an article that promised such a ringing endorsement in its title only to find it peppered with bits of snarky back handed compliments.

So it doesn't come as much of a surprise that there wasn't much there even for the mostly uninitiated, still good(?) press is good press.

Surely, I thought, now that we've declared the imminent death of the Liberty and the Internet and its subsequent rescue by Saint Rick we must have hit bottom.

In the fine tradition of the showman the best had been saved for last. Never fear, he says, because Stallman's had our backs all along - it may have taken a long time but thankss to Richard we have Free and Open platforms like Android* that will protect us in the dark days ahead.

* resist temptation, remember: boot locks, carrier installs, 3rd party spyware, location tracking, cloud storage, baseband, drm everything, few security patches, etc.

Shorel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Of course he is right when he writes about fundamental issues. He's very smart and knows the implications of laws and licenses.

However, he allows no room for dissent, no transition path, no concessions for the real world. His followers are the same.

For this reason, I will never use the GPL for any of my projects (I prefer wxWidgets and MIT licenses).

SaintSal 2 days ago 2 replies      
"His only computer is a Lemote Yeelong netbook, because it's the only computer which uses only Free software - no firmware blobs, no proprietary BIOS; it's all Free." Interesting that it's made in China. I'm trying to reconcile the implications of that... http://www.lemote.com/en/products/Notebook/2010/0310/112.htm...
trotsky 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is why you should support Android (not Google, but Android), even if you prefer the iPhone. [...] There's going to be a point where being Free/open is no longer a fun perk, but a necessity.

Stallman on Android:

Craiggybear 2 days ago 0 replies      
Of course he was right all along. As we will all soon discover to our enormous cost.
jimmeh2 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've often thought that Stallman was too prickly as spokesman or organisational leader, but I've never regarded him as being too extreme from a free software, ideological perspective. His thinking along those lines has always been meticulously careful and he generally sought out and found extremely competent legal advise. His basic mode of argumentation is to point out various legal exploits and note that there was no good reason to assume that government and industry won't abuse them if given the right set of circumstances.

It's a mystery why every ten years we have to have this discussion about whether we've entered a new age of ethical business and responsible government, where we somehow think that human nature and human organisations have changed permanently (through technological innovation!) in some egalitarian way.

antoinevg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Excerpted from Volume 43 of How To Boil Frogs by P. Latanna:


To be sure the water is warmer this year but
surely it is only 9.943 degrees hotter and not
10 degrees like the author claims.


dmoney 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't find a news article saying that NDAA has been used to detain Occupy protesters, only that Occupy protesters have protested NDAA and some were arrested for failing to leave when ordered.
ypcx 2 days ago 0 replies      
From the "Yeeloong Notebook" page:

"If you prefer warm interpersonal dialogs in solving problems, you can dial our hotline. Technical personnel will provide help in the first time."

Now I can understand Mr. Stallman!

On a more serious note, the only question is: How much worse do things have to get, in order to start getting better?

Besides, the Yeeloong thing coming from China, I wouldn't be so sure it doesn't contain a bit of tracking circuitry.

Mordor 2 days ago 0 replies      
People latch onto the word 'terrorist' and think it doesn't apply to them, but we are all 'terrorists' in one way or other because our thoughts and actions do not completely submit to the state. Indeed this is never possible.
zeruch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very few people actually dispute the crux of most of his arguments (at least those that have more than a surface awareness), but his dogmatism and often shrill OCD about slapping the GNU-prefix on things and poor social and personal hygiene have resulted in an image of a wildly paranoid crank which has made it easy to write him off casually by many of those who should be listening to him.
paulhauggis 2 days ago 1 reply      
Take note who signed it.
Cieplak 2 days ago 0 replies      
To what extent can utilities like DTrace make proprietary software free? I know this is kind of a broad question, but can we detect hidden functionality in proprietary software without fully reverse-engineering it?
Tharkun 2 days ago 0 replies      
Invoking Godwin's Law.

Saying Stallman "was right all along", just because he's not completely wrong all the time, is a bit like saying "hitler was right all along". Complete and utter bullcrap.

Stallman is a tit. Being an unwashed dick is his god given right, I won't dispute that. In spite of his undoubtedly good intentions, however, the man has such a poor image that he's done "his" FOSS cause more harm than good. He should go away. Or at least shut up.

eddyweb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love what Bob Dylan said in a song "...instead of learning to live, they are learning to die". That really summed it up for me
hnsmurf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just because you're paranoid/doesn't mean they're not after you.
aquanext 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry, but the part about picking Android over iPhone is just bullshit. Android is totally open source and it still came preloaded with Carrier IQ on it. I agree with the sentiment, but let's not be stupid, okay?
tessellated 2 days ago 0 replies      
'Richard Stallman Was Right All Along' Is this really news anymore?
BiosElement 1 day ago 0 replies      
And I predict everyone on this planet will die at some point in time!


I guess that means I was right all along!

desireco42 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't like this enough
gonzo 2 days ago 1 reply      
This whole "Stallman doesn't carry a phone" thing is BS.

I spent a couple days with him in Hawaii. He most definitely has a cell phone.

Impress.js - a Prezi like implementation using CSS3 3D transformations github.com
577 points by ramanujam  3 days ago   62 comments top 27
tptacek 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is really slick.

I'm torn by Prezi. It's the moral antipode to Tufte's philosophy of presentation. It seems like it should be objectively evil. But the infinite canvas aspect of it makes the slides so dense they actually kind of work for reading online; the transition animations, annoying as they are, add pacing and create a reading experience that somewhat mirrors the delivery of an actual talk.

I'd love to hear some success stories from people who have actually delivered Prezi talks in public.

breckinloggins 3 days ago 2 replies      

impress.js may not help you if you have nothing interesting to say ;)"

Although said in jest, this struck me as poignant. I feel that many of us spend a disturbingly large amount of time researching, downloading and "hello world"ing all of these pretty well-marketed tools, but most of us still haven't figured out what we're going to build with them.

Opiate for the hackers. I plead guilty.

moocow01 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks fantastic although I have to admit these prezi types of presentations start to give me a headache after about 10 seconds from the motion. Also while the prezis look undeniably cool, I still use the standard slideshows in that I find the transitions to be a little too much whiz-bang fancy where standard slides are minimalist. But this is a very cool demonstration of CSS transforms.
aridiculous 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a friend who gets paid to simply make Prezis for clients (large and small). The tool was designed for anyone to use and yet she still gets plenty of business.

There is a gigantic market for making stuff that makes other people look good. People are looking for something that is like Powerpoint, but a bit better because PP is considered boring. This, if refined and made easier to use for intermediary content creators, has enormous financial potential because it works on all devices.

sharmajai 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is mind-blowing, I like how he uses transitions to empower content.

The transitions themselves are fantastic and like others in the thread I don't find them fancy at all, in fact I think they add movies like continuity to presentations for cheap, which if used wisely can enable story-telling style of information delivery.

I can see myself using it for info-graphics and tutorials, other than presentations, by making it do non-linear (zooming in/out or using hrefs) flow of content.

Oh now I realize why I liked it so much, it also removes the single most annoying feature of reading content on the web - the constant scrolling and zooming, like readability it alleviates that pain for you, by zooming in to the content that matters the most at this instant.

scommab 3 days ago 1 reply      
While a very cool library, it will only be really useful once we get some content creation tools for it.
skbohra123 3 days ago 1 reply      
There's an inkscape extension Sozi http://sozi.baierouge.fr/wiki/en:welcome which is also very easy to use tool to make prezi like presentation and it's also FOSS.
pace 3 days ago 0 replies      
Impress.js is an awesome piece of tech"but I wouldn't use it for a presentation:

There's just a very fine line between over- and underdoing a presentation. It's never good just to dash off a presentation with lousy layout and design but it may not be beneficial to overdo a presentation as well. Too much FX and animations makes you at a certain point needy: "Look what I did to impress you", "Look, another animation!", "How nice, isn't it??", "And here another 3D effect, awesome isn't it? I spent the entire day to make the rotation perfect, just for you because I like you!". After the 5th animation the viewers think you are a needy guy, needing approval, spending to much time on design than content and having nothing to do.

Different with pure web presentations for a large audience, then such tools are nice, but I don't know if they convert better than a gold old landing page.

wyuenho 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm actually a little surprised that no one has mentioned reveal.js yet. Different idea, but worth mentioning. Impress.js is more like those font animation we see lots these days. It's pretty cool.
brackin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yesterday was the first day I'd blocked Hacker News to get work done, ironically it was the moment when I needed something like this the most. Oh well, seems really cool. I'm glad the flash, closed alternative Prezi has a rival as this seems far more responsive.
pearkes 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would argue one of the reasons the demo is so effective is because it's expressing (in language) the same thing it's doing visually.
lwhi 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love this new format for presentations. I think the fact that slides are arranged in a spatially distinct way - and are linked fluidly - aids my comprehension. Would be interesting to find out if this is actually true (and not just expectation based upon novelty appeal).
darklajid 3 days ago 2 replies      
"I don't really expect it to run smoothly in non-webkit-based browser."

That's the new 'optimized for IE 5 at 1024x768' it seems. Sad.

lrizzo 3 days ago 0 replies      
excellent tool. For content creation it could be coupled with some markdown tool written in javascript.
I have been using this approach for a while, I put the content in a textarea and the browser does the conversion for you. The formatting instructions (to apply css styles) are similar to LaTeX which i am familiar with and is not too visually intrusive.

You can see an example at http://info.iet.unipi.it/~luigi/netmap/slides.html

Flimm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunate name. Impress is the name of OpenOffice.org's presentation tool.
aridiculous 3 days ago 1 reply      
Tried in Safari 5.0.2 and it's broken. Works great in Chrome.
Metapony 2 days ago 1 reply      
In looking at the stylesheet for the impress.js demo, I wonder if this http://leaverou.github.com/prefixfree/ would be useful to keep things tidy when rotating content and such.
mgualt 3 days ago 2 replies      
Is there a high-level markup language that I can use to output to this? E.g. LaTeX style document structure but for this kind of presentation output?
hackNightly 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great implementation and I enjoyed the demo. As I have nothing to say, I won't be using it, but good work.
j45 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very, very cool. I would use a tool based on this, are you thinking of building one out?
iambot 3 days ago 0 replies      
looks brilliant, pitty about the browser support, but thats to eb expected i suppose.
josscrowcroft 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love how it starts, definitely caught me off-guard!
janus 3 days ago 2 replies      
Very well implemented. Prezi it's amazing except that it needs flash.
artursapek 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is one of those cool things where you can say, "wow, so we can do this!" But it really doesn't solve any problem or help anyone achieve anything.
QuasiPreneur 3 days ago 1 reply      
damn..wish mobile webkit based browsers would support this..
cgcardona 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks really nice. Good job.
aniketpant 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is just brilliant!

I actually don't have any words to say now :D

Love the work man.

Resolutions for programmers might.net
488 points by fogus  2 days ago   151 comments top 26
parfe 2 days ago  replies      
Learn Dvorak -
I'd warn against bothering with Dvorak. Huge time sink with dubious claims of speed improvements. While a mythical programmer may exist who feels his raw typing speed limits his productivity, I never met that unicorn. While learning you have an increased error rate, run into incompatibility with other programmers and programs (emacs or vim... good luck) and end up needing to defend something no one actually cares about.

Back Up Your Data - I'd argue the resolution should be "Restore Your Data". Everyone has "backups" but that doesn't mean they have a valid restore procedure that they know works.

I like the list overall. It definitely has some interesting suggestions. The dominant arm in a sling sounds fun.

feralchimp 1 day ago 2 replies      
Most "list" posts suck; this one was awesome.

My only quibble: "Argue against something you believe" is not a special, part-time exercise. It should be a tightly-integrated element of your ongoing mindset, even in 'damn the torpedoes' dev mode.

silentbicycle 1 day ago 1 reply      
For anyone who takes him up on his Datalog suggestion, this (http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/ramsdell/tools/datalog/datalog.h...) is a pretty good standalone implementation. Free (LGPL), in a mix of C and Lua.

For Prolog, try GProlog (http://www.gprolog.org/) - it has good constraint programming support.

mhartl 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have a couple of contrary suggestions with respect to health.

    1. Don't follow the conventional wisdom on RSI

I struggled with RSI for years, and did all the usual things (warmups, exercises, braces, a Kinesis with modified key layout, etc.) Then, in early 2010, I read (at Aaron Iba's suggestion) The Mindbody Prescription by John Sarno. Within a couple of days, I saw remarkable improvement; within a month, I was symptom-free. YMMV, of course.

    2. Don't wear a brace of any kind.

I question the advice to wear a back brace. Over time, this leads to muscle atrophy and causes or exacerbates the very problem you're trying to solve.

I don't warm up, don't wear braces, and have switched back to a Qwerty layout. I stay strong and healthy other ways, but I now ignore all RSI-related advice that doesn't acknowledge the "mindbody" nature of the problem. I've been symptom-free for more than a year. (This is an anecdote, so take it for what it's worth. The book's like $12, though, so you don't have much to lose.)

candre717 1 day ago 3 replies      
Tips for completing resolutions, such as these 12:

a. Have a plan with dates, milestones and accountability mechanisms

b. Start small (Instead of one month using a different OS, how about day and go from there)

c. Make it meaningful, Know why you're making a Committment, Be Selective (Have an intrinsic motivation to make a change in your everyday life)

d. Stay the course (If you get off track, get back on)

edit: formatting, typo

teeray 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd like to add a caveat to the "Implement a cryptosystem" suggestion--Implement one, but DO NOT USE IT. It's a fun challenge, but only fools use their own crypto libraries.
maeon3 2 days ago 4 replies      
Programmers stuck inside who need fitness ideas get out and meet people. Go to meetup.com, type in your area and type in running, health and fitness. Find a running club where you meet up somewhere and run around a loop, trail, or city area. I found that extremely rewarding. It is a filter to screen out the fraggles from the doozers.
tedkalaw 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Going analog" is something I have really tried lately. The more I find myself into tech, the more I appreciate not being around it.

I really want to give woodworking a shot this year.

pknerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Though the entire list is pretty awesome but somehow I missed or got overlooked that it does not contain the factor to give time to family.

Most of us, programmers when get busy in work tend to ignore our families unintentionally.This pattern is not different than artists who pain pictures.

After watching the TED Talk by Matt Cutts(mentioned in my last post) and some serious complaints by my wife and kid, I decided to make a resolution of this year to give more time to family than I used to give last year. It's covering few things mentioned in the post:

1- Coming out of comfort zone: When I start coding or doing something relevant of it, I just forget everything and often work in wee hours. Now coming out of it is definitely not comfortable for me but eventually would turn out to make things sane around me.

2- Be social: When one gets social,even with wife and other family member, you got to face things which don't pertain coding. While things like that could be painful at times due to bad situation but it naturally makes your brain cells think about other things as well.

So, I request to myself and entire HN community to give more time to your family too. You never know how such "non-technical" moments make your technical journey more beautiful.

my 2 cents.

AznHisoka 1 day ago 1 reply      
I definitely recommend learning about the humanities and other fields outside of technology. For most people, we already know enough about programming, and learning another language or framework is a marginal investment.

But delving into another totally different subject like healthcare, or insurance, or psychology opens you up to a whole set of new problems and ideas. Whereas just learning technology helps you with the implementation side of things, not the high-level problem solving.

jiggy2011 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well I have tried to put my money where my mouth is in ref to this, just ordered the following from amazon.

SICP (Wizard book),

Practical Electronics for inventors,

Code Complete,

Javascript: The good parts,

Programming Android,

Arduino Cookbook

Now the question is , what order to read them in?

Impossible 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great list. This is basically my new years resolution, which is actually a list of things I've wanted to do for a long time that I put together after I lost funding. The most important one being complete a personal project. My list has a few additional items including learn web dev and launch a simple web app and get back into mobile development and release something on Google Marketplace and\or the Appstore.
eliasmacpherson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Other than going to work on time using a Seinfeld calendar ( so that my lax work environment doesn't eat into my evenings ) I'm going with this:
justindocanto 1 day ago 0 replies      
You will never be able to accomplish being "Healthier". What is healthier? a little healthier? maybe a little healthier than that? until you feel healthy? eat green stuff?

Try something more concrete like "Eat no more than 2 fast food meals a month".

Basically, your first resolution should be "Set 11 tangible goals".

gtani 1 day ago 1 reply      
languages: I'm going to give F# under mono another try, in the spirit of other langauges suggested (haskell, ocaml, racket)
justincc 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was really hoping this would be about screen resolutions. 1920 x 1200 all the way, baby (or failing that 1600 x 1200, which is increasingly expensive to get nowadays).
jwallaceparker 1 day ago 1 reply      
+1 for trying the vegan diet

If you do this, please go to restaurants and request a vegan meal. The environmental benefits of the vegan diet are well-documented.

The best way to enact change is to get restaurants to start listing vegan options.

fredus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Get serious with Testing? :-)
sidcool 1 day ago 2 replies      
Another one:

Meditate Regularly

samskiter 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really like the suggestions. So, January is analog. Time to buy myself an XBox Kinect and try and high score Virtual Dance Off High School 8.

3. Embrace the uncomfortable.
How about quit Facebook...

mathgenius 1 day ago 0 replies      
me: talk more.
cr0wppe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good mathematicians make good programmers ... if they want to. but those I work with (Finance) can produce very awefull code.
ghaste 1 day ago 0 replies      
A toc but no links, maybe you need to add: learn usability
zerop 1 day ago 0 replies      
13. browse stackoverflow daily
digitallimit0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love the list. Favorited that for future-use with spicing up my life.
g3orge 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazing list. I'm gonna follow every month.
A Man. A Van. A Surprising Business Plan. npr.org
466 points by slamdunc  1 day ago   100 comments top 29
johnnyg 22 hours ago 3 replies      
There are going to be a lot of vans parked on that corner before long.

If I'm these guys, I realize that my moat is weak and do these things:

1. Do not interview with NPR. It isn't like you are driving business. You are only attracting competitors.

2. Park 6 vans outside, each with a different dba so that the market looks saturated.

3. Make a retail space, see if it does better than the vans.

4. Look nation wide for similar geographic anomalies that would create this same pain point. Park a van at one of them and send one of the owners to sit in it. See if money can be made. Repeat.

There are many unemployed people in America right now, it sounds like several dozen can go rent a van and fix the glitch. :-)

BenoitEssiambre 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one who read that in a hip hop voice?:

"We've all been there. Trapped in line at the D-M-V

Or stuck on hold while trying to call a city a-genCY.

It's easy to complain about government bureau-craCY.

But it's the rare person who sees such ineffi-cienCY

as a business opportuniTY.

Meet Adam Humphreys. He lives in New York CiTY

It started simpLY

enough. Adam found out he needed a viSA

to travel to ChiNA.

for a vacation. His bureaucratic haSSleS with the ChineSe conSulate launched a whole new buSineSS.

"Can you help me?" he said.


"Do you have a printer I can use?" he tried.


jitbit 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I was born in Russia. Where they still have vans like this next to the US embassy, the UK embassy, the Canadian embassy, the French/German/Spanish/Swedish embassies, heck, all the "western" countries' embassies. We're used to it.

This "business plan" is 60 years old. When the WW2 was over and the world was (stupidly) divided into two parts. Visas are PITA. You, Americans, just not very used to it... Fortunately.

dugmartin 1 day ago 6 replies      
I wonder how many HN folk's first inclination would have been to create a website to do this instead of rent a van and deal directly with people? How much do we hold ourselves back by trying to go directly to a scaleable solution?
petenixey 1 day ago 4 replies      
I could see the same thing doing well outside the US embassy in London.

Offer a US-visa sized passport-photo service, a locker to put your phone when you can't take it into the embassy and some tissues to wipe away your tears of joy/despair and you'd be in business.

Add to that a £10 glossy file to give the assorted papers of your $2,000 application that final touch of gloss and you could make a wonderful income.

ShabbyDoo 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I talked to a guy in Chicago who just opened-up an upscale bar/restaurant. His description of the corruption and bureaucratic hassles reminded me of stories told to me by Indian friends about getting basic stuff done in India. Apparently the Chicago liquor permit process required standing for hours in lines only to be told that you were in the wrong line, had the wrong documents, etc. This guy gladly would have paid a couple hundred bucks for a "guide" of sorts.

I'm sure there are high-end, lawyer-run advisory services which handle these issues for large clients. Perhaps the opportunity lies in the middle-ground? People who don't have complex needs but don't want to waste hours of their day? I'm thinking about the walk-in, "Minute Clinics" at CVS and other pharmacies which are run by nurse practitioners. Nurses there know how to treat basic stuff and how to decide if someone's needs might be beyond their expertise. It works out pretty well for the patient who just wants to confirm that he has strep throat and get some antibiotics.

cdibona 22 hours ago 3 replies      
Let's do the math:

Gas + Truck Rental = 100$/day.
Parking/tickets in front of embassy: Free? Costly?

3 people (or 4? The article says they have 2 mandarin speakers on tap) in said truck for 8 hours + back and forth time splitting the remainder and you have a bit under 12.5/hour.

That said, they're not being up front about how much they make, and given its probably largely a cash business ...

ck2 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh it's not just the competition that will ruin this for them giving this interview.

It's the law enforcement that won't allow them to park and run a commercial business like that.

felideon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting. Having done all the paperwork myself for my wife's visa (thanks to help from visajourney.com) I always wondered how much 'consulting' one could do without being an immigration lawyer.

By the same token, if I am not a tax accountant how much tax advice can I give someone for a fee?

Granted, on the surface the Lucky Dragon Mobile Visa Consultants are just providing an internet and printing service " so there shouldn't be much of an issue. However, would they have to be careful of going from "What form do you need?" to "Hey, before you go in there, you probably need this form instead."

forinti 1 day ago 5 replies      
This used to be common in Brazil: a guy in a VW van with a typewriter to help you with bureaucracy. I see the fact that these characters are gone as a sign of progress, so it's funny that this has shown up in the US.
prawn 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Last time I went to China was just before the Olympic Games and security was a little higher - not sure if it's since relaxed. You needed to list an itinerary for the trip and, specifically, accommodation for each night you were there. I, however, was looking to arrive with basically the contents of my pockets and then make things up as I went along. (Turns out my phone died and I was still wandering Shanghai at 2am until I settled on a hotel, but that's a separate matter.)

Solution was to book a couple of the cheapest hostels in a believable travel pattern, get stamped confirmation letters and then cancel them once I had the visa. I think one of the hostels was so cheap and I felt bad about cancelling (even a month out) that for the $4/night cost, I just let them know I wouldn't be showing up but that they could keep the money.

I wonder if arranging cheap accommodation for this purpose is a service they offer in the van?

alexchamberlain 1 day ago 1 reply      
If they are making $500 a day, they only need this to work for a few months, then they have enough cash to keep them going for a few more to come up with another great idea.

I'm not sure it's sustainable, but it's certainly viable!

umairj 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Quite an interesting story, I would like to point out that being from Pakistan, I have seen such services since the first day that I went outside a passport office.
Here in Karachi, you can find people providing Copy services, to scanning and printing and also what they call here is document composition where the guy writes a complete letter application for the client to be submitted in the Govt office. You can also find different Oath Commissioners (for document attestation). And all these are commonly found outside courts and other Govt offices, usually having a desk under a tree !
nemesisj 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most of the trouble with the Chinese Visa system is the requirement that you apply in person. Note that this is for reciprocity against the USA requiring the same in-person application for Chinese nationals visiting the USA. There are several "by-mail" services that just stick a runner in line with your documents, I've used one for the last several trips to China.

These services are expensive, like roughly 50-100 bucks, depending on which consulate you're using. Those who stand in line risk running into trouble like the folks in this story, and I'm sure they're more than happy at this point to fork over some cash for the help they need.

hiccup 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great business. Serves an identified need for people with a real pain point. I'm glad to see that they're erecting some barriers to competition with native Mandarin speakers and a service oriented atmosphere.

It'll probably last a few months at least, but make hay while the sun shines. Doing NPR probably wasn't a great idea since their customers don't find them via traditional advertising means, but are literally thrown on their doorstep by the Chinese consulate.

pnathan 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I think there's a huge market out there for beauracracy negotiation/consulting services. Every time I open up an insurance information packet, I am deluged with many options, all slightly different, all carrying different implications.

I want something simple.

shimi 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I went to the American consulte in Tel - Aviv about a week after they've changed the Visa procedure and had a missing form. The consulte did had a couple of PC's but non of them could access an email account.

I wondered to the street and found a coffee shop next to the consulte that provided all the services you'll need, lockers (this part is strange since you can't pretty much bring anything to the consulte e.g. a mobile phone lockers are essentials, I know that other consultes like the one in Sydney provides lockers), printer, and for a fee will feel up your forms.

So this isn't a new idea, but its an interesting phenomenon.

I got my visa, and I must admit that the consulate service was outstanding

swombat 1 day ago 1 reply      
> And it's clear that Adam Humphreys and Steven Nelson have stumbled on a viable business. In a van. On the street.

Well, that all depends on your definition of viable. Being dependent on a single bureaucratic bug for your livelihood is not that great. They need to diversify a bit before this can really be called viable.

five18pm 1 day ago 3 replies      
This is what happens in front of every single Indian government office - state or central :(
arnoldwh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I live across the street from this, and I've always wondered what these guys did. Great to read their story, and I've got to say it definitely takes guts to put yourself out there day in and day out (especially right now when it's 14 degrees outside!).
carlsednaoui 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Find a problem: Check

Think of a solution: Check

Take some calculated risks: Check

Bring your solution to customers in need: Check

Make money: Check

This is brilliant!

simpsond 23 hours ago 0 replies      
When arranging my trip to China, I was told not to even try to get my visa by going to the consulate. I was told to pay a service company to do it. It worked. This certainly helps those who are willing to do it themselves. However, if you plan to go to China, find a service to do it for you.
taylorbuley 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Government creates inefficiency and markets spring up (here, drive up) to take advantage. Classic lesson of economics.
ilaksh 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The thing that bothers me is that everyone just accepts that the initial problem -- lack of printers or whatever at the government office -- won't get solved in that office.

I think everyone's premise is that the bureaucracy is unchangeable and unfixable, which in the short term and for an individual or small group is a realistic and practical perspective, but a longer-term responsible view for society is that the initial problem should be resolved.

First of all, its not _impossible_ to improve a bureaucracy. However, it is quite difficult, and therefore I think that in most cases bureaucracy needs to be replaced by a much more functional and responsive model.

Speaking of government versus private in general, we have two modes: 1) a private mode which has a profit motivation but no legal or ethical motivation but which is (supposedly) restricted in its capacity for monopoly and has (supposedly) highly restricted authority for force, and 2) a government mode has ultimate legal and ethical motivation and responsibility and total monopoly on force authorization and the domains of government.

I think we should be able to formulate another mode of operation that works better.

bond 1 day ago 1 reply      
See an opportunity and take it...
conradfr 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Thought it was going to be about BangBus.
michaelleland 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's an opportunity for some A/B testing, not just of price but of service. Another van, parked at another consulate, could vary one thing and the team could measure the gains/losses. I imagine this kind of thing is done in retail all the time.
irunbackwards 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm thinking more of a Life Aquatic look.
tyler_ball 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Upvotes for any headline with alliteration.
Python for Humans heroku.com
415 points by craigkerstiens  2 days ago   101 comments top 23
teyc 1 day ago 4 replies      
I blame GOF for making Python Standard Libs hard. The patterns described were for an OO system where functions were not first class. Python didn't need to be complicated.

If you have a look at the older libraries, most of them were written in a procedural style. Not only that, it is very amenable to testing in the REPL.

    import smtplib

note the absence of doers like "Adapters", "Handler", "Manager", "Factory"

If you have a look at the XML library, roughly when "patterns" became popular, this style of thinking infested standard library contributions. It also coincides with a time when camelCased function names crept into the python standard library.

Here's one in xml/dom/pulldom.py:

    self.documentFactory = documentFactory

Once you see this, you know you are in for some subclassing. You can no longer REPL your way to figure out how things work, and you now have to consult the manual.

Here's more pain from libraries of the same era, some of these I'd argue un-Pythonic:

def setContentHandler(self, handler):

class ServerHandler(SimpleHandler):

class HTTPDigestAuthHandler(BaseHandler,

The last example is especially jarring. Abstract classes have a place in strongly typed world to declare interfaces, and help with vtable-style dispatch. In Python, where you have duck-typing and monkey patching, a class that virtually "does nothing" on its own stands out like a guy in a tux at a beach party.

Even logging is infected by the same over-patterning. logging/__init__.py:

    class StreamHandler(Handler)
LoggerAdapter(someLogger, dict(p1=v1, p2="v2"))

"Managers" - what a pain when plain function handles would have done the job. Does this name even tell you what task the class performs?

class BaseManager(object)

If anyone remembers, Java had to do OO in a big-style with OO everywhere -- there were no alternatives.

Initially, buttons had to be subclassed just to handle click events, since functions were not first class objects. Then someone came up with a MouseListener interface, which proved too unwieldy to handle a single click. So the MouseEventAdapters came into being.

Therefore, to handle a click in a "pattern" manner involves

an anonymous class

which subclasses MouseAdapter

which implements MouseListener,

which overrides MouseClick.

Publishing how industry solves this problem of "MouseClick" over and over as a pattern [design pattern is a general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem within a given context in software design] only gives legitimacy to an approach that has dubious wider applicability.

Heavens help the future developers who are forced to do it because it is now recognized as being industrially "good practice" and codified in a reknowned book.

It isn't!

It was a style that was forced by the constraints of a language.

This is neither pythonic nor necessary:

new MouseAdapter ()
public void mouseEntered (MouseEvent e) {
System.out.println (e.toString ());

Embracing "foolish, unschooled" thinking, this would be rendered in Python as:

   def mouseEntered(event):
print event
panel.mouseEntered = mouseEntered

or for multiple event handlers


This style of API again allows effective exploration on the REPL.

loevborg 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was intrigued by the author's library "envoy", which is intended to provide a more intuitive interface to running processes from python. (https://github.com/kennethreitz/envoy)

The back story is that the older APIs that Python comes with -- os.popen and os.system -- are deprecated. Programmers are urged to use the "subprocess" module instead. Although this doesn't have the problems of the original functions, it has a rather arcane interface, in particular if you want to read the output (stdout or stderr) of a subprocess.

"envoy" seems to aim at fixing this, by providing sane defaults and being optimized for the common case. However, these defaults have drawbacks of their own.

1. envoy defaults to keeping the process output in memory, as a giant string. This can be a bad choice with regard to memory usage and performance.

2. You can run several processes in a pipe using ("cat foo | grep bla"). But otherwise as far as I can see, run() ignores regular Shell semantics, such as quotes. I imagine this can lead to unexpected results. The amount of data passed from one process to the next is capped at 10 MB -- recipe for bugs that are hard to find.

3. subprocess.call() accepts an array in the style of ["ls", "-l", "/mnt/My SD card"]. This has obvious advantages over having to deal with escaping shell characters. A good API should preserve this advantage over os.system().

4. The defaults cannot be overridden, and no preperations have been made to allow changing them. Of course this can be changed in the future. However, one of the reasons the subprocess.* API is convoluted is that it allows all kinds of flexibility, much of which is needed in many serious programs. It may be difficult to add this flexibility to envoy at a later stage. The point is that a flexible API is hard.

None of this is to discourage this initiative, which seems to me a much-needed improvement over Python's built-in API. Also, with a version number as low as 0.0.2, there is probably little need to worry about API compatibility.

mattdeboard 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great presentation on a library I've loved (and used) for awhile. However according to slide 42 I need to rewrite the regex module? I'm so busy this week though.

edit: If anyone wants to see a real-world refactor from HTTPLib/2 to requests, I did so with Pysolr here: https://github.com/mattdeboard/pysolr/commit/db63d8910dec42d...

kenneth_reitz 2 days ago 0 replies      
socratic 1 day ago 4 replies      
This presentation brings up a tangential point that has always confused me: how error-prone is starting a subprocess, really?

I agree with the author's goals of making common tasks easier and more obvious. urllib2 is an easy target, as it was added to the standard library over a decade ago, long before REST was something people talked about. The best tools for packaging, versioning, and testing have always been a bit ambiguous in any language, including Python.

However, the author points out something that has always bothered me about Python: it is way harder to start a subprocess with an external command in Python than almost any other language. This has been true whether using sys or os or even subprocess, which is quite recent.

I always felt that this had something to do with the constant warnings in the documentation about how a pipe between the subprocess and the Python process might fill and cause the subprocess to block. Or how running the program through shell rather than exec or something might cause some sort of security issue. Are these real issues that other languages ignore in the name of user convenience, or has Python just never been able to make the right API (as the author seems to argue)?

ovi256 2 days ago 2 replies      
Wow those libraries are indeed great, amazing compared to the standard libs. Hope they'll be included in the standard libs one day.
y3di 2 days ago 2 replies      
The slides don't fit vertically on my screen, so some of the content is cut off. There's no scroll bar so initially it was difficult to figure how to see the info cut off from the bottom. Chrome's text zoom out didn't work either.

I had to highlight the text and drag downwards in order to see the content. But it was annoying having to do this for every slide with a lot of content.

Otherwise, these libraries seem really useful. Thanks for this.

dspeyer 2 days ago 2 replies      
Anybody have a text version of this? I got maybe 30 slides in before I got too annoyed to continue.
joshbaptiste 2 days ago 3 replies      
The portion that explains of how subprocess shuns dev/ops guys in the beginning is so true. Perl/Bash colleagues at work would basically ask me how to perform output=`command`. Once they seen subprocess, they would continue writing their script in Bash/Perl.
nvictor 2 days ago 0 replies      
seems the guy nailed down many issues i have had in the past :)
drivingmenuts 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hangs on the first slide unless I'm doing something really wrong.
prolepunk 2 days ago 0 replies      
On installing python -- the most practical way to work with it, is to have a moderately recent os-level python install and then build all the other python versions from source if required -- https://github.com/collective/buildout.python

After that use virtualenv with virtualenvwrapper.

rmc 2 days ago 3 replies      
This makes a lot of good points, but some bad ones.

Esp. the "installing python" one. Just use your package manager to install all the versions you need.

And for "Packaging and Dependencies", just use pip.

prolepunk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish that the developers of requests module stop changing it's API -- code that was working just fine with 0.6.4 suddenly began finding missing methods in version 0.8.5
arjn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can confirm that the python subprocess api is a pain to use and also documented poorly. I recently had to use (no choice) python 2.5.x to write a script that extensively called external programs and ran into several problems. It strange that a language such as python which I find so easy to use in many cases does not already have a good as in simple, safe and well documented subprocess api.
pbreit 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's really inexcusable that in 2012 (or 1992 even) a language that otherwise is well-suited for internet programming does not come with a first class httpclient.
mixmastamyk 1 day ago 2 replies      
I guess I agree things could be simpler, although the cries of "garbage!" were a bit much. I wrote a wrapper function around urllib2 about 5 years ago and haven't looked back.
dhalexander 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Python standard library has gotten worse over time, as it got loaded up with more and more features, obfuscating the common use cases. The irony now is that to do simple, everyday things (like http requests) you are now better off installing a third party package like "requests" than using the standard library. So much for "batteries included."

The standard library needs a reboot. Why not do it in Python 3? Nobody's using it yet anyway ;-)

tuananh 2 days ago 0 replies      
The name says it all. This is much more readable compared to urllib2
sktrdie 2 days ago 1 reply      
What did they use to make the presentation?
edna_piranha 2 days ago 0 replies      
yes please and thank you muchly. puts away yak shaving contraption
josefrichter 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why don't you just switch to Ruby?
skrebbel 2 days ago 2 replies      
I like the presentation, but for me it just underlines how it's smart to stay far away from Python. It's great that it's improving, but many other languages have a much better library/API situation than Python has had for years already. Will Python catch up fast enough?
TVs are all awful dreamwidth.org
402 points by sciurus  1 day ago   159 comments top 20
algoshift 1 day ago 6 replies      
Right. One of the rules is "be nice".

OK. This article is flawed and many of the comments are just as flawed. Having been involved in the design and manufacturing of LCD displays (down to writing all FPGA image processing code, scaling, deinterlacing, etc.) I think I can say that none of this is accurate if the intent is to apply it generally.

Caveat: If you buy a TV don't expect it to be a computer monitor. Most TV designs are just that: TV sets. They are made to do one thing reasonably well: Take a crappy satellite/cable/whatever signal and give you a reasonable image back.

EDID can be programmed with any resolution you want. Do you need 921 x 333 at 12 frames per second? No problem. There is no such thing as a resolution not being available in EDID. Standards are one thing, but the EDID mechanism isn't inherently limited by standards.

BTW, there are commercially available EDID modifier gadgets that allow you to modify the EDID readout from the monitor. So, the monitor says one thing and your computer (or whatever device) receives your programmed values.

If you need a TV that will play nice with a computer you need to find one that was explicitly designed to do so.

Most consumer TVs use one of a very few commercially available processor chips to do their image processing. With a few exceptions they all do the same kinds of things. And no, the signals are rarely converted to YCbCr 4:2:2 internally but for the absolute cheapest and crappiest of processors. All the good ones convert the input to a common internal integer RGB format. The nice ones might standardize at 12 bits per channel (36 bits total) internally. When I did custom FPGA video processing we went as far as 24 bits per channel in order to avoid truncation of calculated values until the very last moment. This can make a huge difference depending on the application.

In general terms "monitor mode", if you will, should be a mode that bypasses as much of the internal processing as possible. You can force this bypass by using and EDID modifier gadget programmed for the actual resolution and timings of the panel. In other words, open the back of the TV, get the panel model number, get the data-sheet and program the EDID modifier to output these values to your computer. The processor should push this straight to the panel and you get very little, if any, processing. Again, this does not work on all TVs. As I said before, they are designed to be TVs, not monitors.

That said, I've connected many computers to off-the-shelf, un-modified, consumer TVs via DVI and HDMI. I have yet to run into any real issues.

mrcharles 1 day ago  replies      
If you are a gamer, TVs are now also awful for playing games, due to the built in lag between the TV receiving a signal and displaying it. On a CRT it was instantaneous, as game console data streams were sent basically straight to the electron gun -- nowadays there's a massive amount of processing before the signal is on screen.

This manifests primarily in a feel of poor controls, or a game not doing what you tried to do.

Good HDTVs will give you 100ms of lag or so, bad ones can be in excess of 400ms. With most games nowadays running at 30fps, that's between 3 and 13 game frames of lag.

It's pretty absurd the difference this makes, and as a game developer I have to fight with it constantly and it is infuriating.

noonespecial 1 day ago 4 replies      
Tv's too should have open firmware. Not to make RMS happy, but to protect savvy consumers from monumentally idiotic or short-sighted decisions made during the design. You can't make it perfect, leave the door open so your customers can.

I expect Apple will solve this problem in their usual way; pick slightly less stupid settings and lock those in. In this case, the difference will be stunning and people will marvel at how those apple tv's can look so good.

dgallagher 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used an HDTV once that had three different HDMI ports on it (0, 1, 2). Each port reported a slightly-different EDID for the same TV!

One of the HDMI ports reported this (extracted using SwitchResX):

    Established Timings:
720 x 400 @ 70Hz
640 x 480 @ 60Hz
800 x 600 @ 60Hz
1024 x 768 @ 60Hz

Standard Timing Identification:
#0: 1280 x 1024 @ 60Hz (8180)

The two other HDMI ports reported this instead:

    Established Timings:
640 x 480 @ 60Hz

Standard Timing Identification:

Almost all other EDID data matched, including additional timing data inside the EDID extension block, so I'm not certain these differences were that big of a deal. None the less, weird when all coming from the same TV.

jpdoctor 1 day ago 4 replies      
Relevant: Viewers are awful too.

Study: 18% of people can't tell if they're watching true HDTV content or not


baddox 1 day ago 8 replies      
Is his final point (about overscan) still relevant? Years ago I used to hear HDTV enthusiasts urging everyone to check their TV settings, but in the last 2-3 years, I've only dealt with PCs hooked up to a few HDTVs (all with 1080p native resolution), and I haven't seen a single one that overscans a 1080p DVI or HDMI signal by default. The author acts like it's a certainty that your 1080p TV will by default overscan a 1080p signal.
jedbrown 1 day ago 2 replies      
I want to put a display on the wall and stand five feet away with a keyboard and mouse while working (mostly Emacs, web browser, and reading pdfs). What should I check to determine whether a TV would work well in this configuration (without overscan issues and the like)? Is the only safe thing to go to a physical store with the computer, set everything up, and check for artifacts?
digitalsushi 1 day ago 9 replies      
Here's a non-facetious, completely honest question from someone who just doesn't know why- Why is is 2012 and my new TV and monitor each have about the same horizontal resolution as my CRT monitor from 1998? It's 14 years later, and I still only have about 2000 pixels to play with. I know the obvious answer is that everyone is just matching the resolution movies are sold as, but why can't I get a professional grade monitor with a "retina" quality display for my desk?
wvenable 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have one of those terrible older 1366x768 TV's. This TV accepts input at 1080i and 1080p as well as 720p. What they don't usually tell you, is that some of these TV's will up convert a 720p signal to 1080 and then down convert it back to 1366x768. So you're actually better off with a higher resolution signal.

Luckily I can get 1360x768 though the VGA port but the TV only accepts HD resolutions over HDMI -- this is becoming more of a problem as many computers now come with only with D-DVI or HDMI ports.

jodrellblank 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why would any technologist reading the likes of this over and over and over, have any faith in future brain-computer interfaces, mind-uploading or similar?
smackfu 1 day ago 1 reply      
My only complaint about my Samsung TV is that the input select menu takes about 45 seconds to dismiss itself. Most equipment like receivers that drives your TV expects that input select is instant and doesn't show a menu at all. So you press the button to switch inputs and it sticks text on your screen for almost a minute. Stupid.
jal278 1 day ago 0 replies      
"and so because it's never possible to kill technology that's escaped into the wild we're stuck with it."

Such a general truth, its why web devs have nightmares about old versions of IE

cs702 1 day ago 0 replies      
This would be incredibly funny if it weren't true :-(

It reminds me of Joel Spolsky's rant about standards: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/03/17.html -- the bit about headphone jacks in particular.

protomyth 1 day ago 1 reply      
TV's also uniformly have one of the stupidest designs for input ports.

My parent's HDTV has 8 input ports (4 are HDMI). All of them are crammed on the side of the TV and it looks like crap mounted on a wall. Not to mention being a pain to add new stuff. Why can't the TV come with a box that lies horizontal in my cabinet with all the in and out ports and have on umbilical cord hooked into the bottom of the TV? I know you can buy boxes, but it just seems like they should start looking at the implications of flat screens sometime in this century since they forgot to look in the last.

Aga 1 day ago 0 replies      
The second comment on the target page has a nice explanation on why this weird resolution of 1366x768 is so popular.

Apparently individual screens are cut from larger sheets of pixels. Using the same vertical resolution for 4:3 screens (1024x768) and 16:9 screens (1366x768) makes it possible to cut them from the same sheet, pushing down the manufacturing costs.

mcantor 1 day ago 2 replies      
I thought this was going to be an alarmist article about getting rid of your TV and doing something else with your time.
Derbasti 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are ways to achieve arbitrary upscaling without loss of information (e.g. FFT-based). It would be interesting if TVs out there utilize such methods or if they scale using some simple interpolation scheme.
Tooluka 1 day ago 0 replies      
Person who decided that HDReady should be 1366x768 was a little bit insane.

And personally for me I have even more crazy problem because of that:
When I transfer signal through HDMI from 1280x720 notebook to HDReady TV it actually thinks that the signal IS HDReady from 1280x720 and stretches it by that 6% of difference and crops it by 6% and stretches again.

As a result I have something around ~1210x660 center part from original 1280x720 signal stretched to 1366x768... Can't find any solution yet.

Craiggybear 1 day ago 0 replies      
Television is the worst -- and best -- invention of man.

Apart from radio. That was genius.

kinnth 1 day ago 0 replies      
wow I just read the etiquette on hacker news and then clicked around to this topic. I then just happened to click on user "mrcharles" as I never knew people had profiles before.

Turns out he is a game designer too and I read lots of interesting stuff. I love this site it has great people on it!

Show HN: Scrollorama github.com
389 points by johnpolacek  3 days ago   51 comments top 23
notJim 3 days ago 3 replies      
Cool plugin, but I can't help but think of that quote"“Scrolling is the new flash.” Not trying to hate on your plugin or code, but I really hate all this scrolling stuff people are doing now. I wanted to scroll, not have a bunch of crazy animations explode in my face.

I feel like the popularity of this effect is to some extent a symptom of our society's constant information overload, and the attendant inability to slow down and focus, which then compels sites to compete for our attention with increasingly flashy presentations. Of course, to a much larger extent, it's probably due to cargo-cult website design.

buro9 3 days ago 2 replies      
I hate these things, maybe it's just me.


1) I use a mouse with a scroll wheel and the default setting is to scroll three lines at once, and I use the scroll wheel a lot. None of the scrolling effects ever look good for me, and if it's a site which depends on the scroll effect to communicate (a few marketing sites have done this) then I don't get the message.

2) When I use keyboard shortcuts (which I do quite frequently buy I realise most users don't), I just hit page up and page down. I see none of the effects.

To me, this is as bad as hover effects on tablets. I just can't see how it helps to improve user experience or accessibility. Sure, sometimes that isn't the desire but even in the case of those marketing sites I'm fairly sure the marketing men behind it would be appalled to find out some of their target audience was communicated to poorly. Though the worst thing is those same people on other sites then disable some key presses and default keyboard short-cuts to make sure there is no choice but to go through the bad UX to be communicated to.

What worries me when I see these things so high up on HN is that I fear others think this stuff is good.

Is that the case? Is it just me who prefers the idea of the client determining how to render something and not putting such stuff on the websites we create, or to put accessibility to all pretty high up?

tsunamifury 3 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately its a does not work well with iOS as it doesn't update until the scroll event is finish -- resulting in a somewhat jumbled and confusing experience without the animations. No doubt this is due to the way Mobile Safari conservatively updates events to save power.
ceol 3 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome job! OS X Chrome 16.0.912.63 has some stuttering when using trackpad scrolling, but it's surprisingly smooth for all those animations!

By no means is this meant to dissuade using Scrollorama, but for very long pages (like the demo), I tend to flick the trackpad up to scroll through and stop it when I see the content I'd like. However, I find it's hard to follow the sections because they're almost in a constant state of transition. I'd love to see this used on a site with lots of dummy content, since I assume if it's padded with text or photographs, it will flow much better.

This could be really cool on a portfolio site!

johns 3 days ago 1 reply      
Excellent landing page. Epitomizes "show, don't tell"
DrCatbox 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is this a bug in firefox 8.01? When scrolling up, the O overwrites the adressbar, bookmarkbar and part of the main menu. Upgrading to 9.01 made the effect less visible, since now only a small part of the O can end up covering the firefox UI.

EDIT: It can in fact cover parts of the main menu in 9.01 just as in version 8.

ot 3 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome plugin and landing page. Minor nitpicking: the "scrolldeck" link is broken.
mmastrac 3 days ago 1 reply      
Very cool. Nitpick: would be nice if it smoothly animated when using the scrollwheel - it's pretty jumpy using the wheel, but awesomely smooth with the scrollbar.
drivebyacct2 3 days ago 2 replies      
Sadly, these just don't look very good unless you're on a Mac and using a touchpad.
johnpolacek 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fixed the scrolldeck link, thanks. That's another plugin I made that is for making html slide deck presentations (similar to deck.js or reveal.js) and uses Scrollorama for navigation and animations.


To fix the jerkiness, I could animate the css props but that would probably cause quite a performance hit. If anyone wants to fork it and make improvements, please feel free!

spicyj 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just a heads-up/reminder: http://johnpolacek.github.com/scrolldeck is broken.
mikeleeorg 3 days ago 0 replies      
Totally random, but I scrolled down this page while listening to Limp Bizkit's "Take a Look Around" and thought: someone's got to create a movie credits page using this, just for the fun of it.
aridiculous 3 days ago 0 replies      
The bursting lettering at the top was truly unexpected. Bravo.
richardburton 3 days ago 2 replies      
I love the http://www.groupme.com scrolling stuff. It was done tastefully and to great effect.
lvillani 3 days ago 0 replies      
This script seems to trigger a bug in Firefox or X11 which brings the whole session down.

It's 100% reproducible with my setup: Firefox 9.0.1 on Ubuntu 10.04 (x86_64) and Fglrx 8.920 (Catalyst 11.11, if I remember correctly). Load the page then scroll down a bit: the whole X session blows up.

Anyone else experiencing this?

alagu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Totally love it. I was searching for iOS address book style scrolling (fixed headings for a context). This would help.
derekerdmann 3 days ago 0 replies      
Very cool, but I'd hesitate to use it on a production site - it's really jerky if the scroll isn't fluid, like on most PC's.
shdon 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm very surprised at how much more smooth this is in Internet Explorer (version 9) than in either Chrome, Opera or Firefox on my PC. IE doesn't actually scale the letters in the title though.
Trezoid 3 days ago 1 reply      
The rollout of the top H1 is downright painful (locked up the browser with 100%+ CPU usage on a C2D MBP 13") in Firefox 12.0a1.

Everything else works though.

It's all good in Chrome 16.0.912.63 on the above machine though.

lowglow 3 days ago 0 replies      
Totally awesome. I'm constantly impressed at the holiday projects that were developed.
ricardobeat 3 days ago 0 replies      
no dice for mobile webkit.
sn_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
Doesnt work with scroll up/scroll down keys, which I always use.
earle 3 days ago 0 replies      
paging looks broken
Never create Ruby strings longer than 23 characters patshaughnessy.net
338 points by there  22 hours ago   105 comments top 18
minimax 19 hours ago 2 replies      
He's nearly there, but the reason for the number 23 is staring you right in the face. It's not arbitrary. A heap allocated string requires 8 bytes for the length, 8 bytes for the pointer to the string, and 8 bytes for the capacity / reference count. The sum is 24 bytes.

So you either use it as a length/pointer/capacity/refcount struct, or save the malloc and use the 24 bytes directly for 23 chars and a NULL terminator.

ComputerGuru 19 hours ago 4 replies      
I read the title and thought that I was going to see some really stupid design decisions. To the contrary, it's vary clean and smart.

It's not that strings over 24 are slow, it's that strings below length 24 have extra optimizations.

It's a great article, but I really, really despise the linkbait title.

tptacek 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting deep dive; but remember that calling :+ to append to strings is a pessimization (in both Ruby and Python); :join'ing a list of 2 strings is about as fast as :+'ing them together, but :join'ing 3 strings is about twice as fast.
parfe 21 hours ago 5 replies      
Unicode of course takes up more space and fills up your buffer sooner. Looks like the jump happens after 8 chars.

  Benchmark.bm do |bench|
run("と", bench)
run("がと", bench)
run("りがと", bench)
run("ありがと", bench)
run("ありがとあ", bench)
run("ありがとあり", bench)
run("ありがとありが", bench)
run("ありがとありがと", bench)
run("ありがとありがとあ", bench)
run("ありがとありがとあり", bench)
run("ありがとありがとありと", bench)
run("ありがとありがとありがと", bench)

user system total real
2 chars 0.210000 0.000000 0.210000 ( 0.212420)
3 chars 0.200000 0.000000 0.200000 ( 0.199957)
4 chars 0.200000 0.000000 0.200000 ( 0.199356)
5 chars 0.200000 0.000000 0.200000 ( 0.199142)
6 chars 0.200000 0.000000 0.200000 ( 0.198047)
7 chars 0.190000 0.000000 0.190000 ( 0.198984)
8 chars 0.190000 0.000000 0.190000 ( 0.196917)
9 chars 0.250000 0.000000 0.250000 ( 0.245808)
10 chars 0.240000 0.000000 0.240000 ( 0.247153)
11 chars 0.250000 0.000000 0.250000 ( 0.248083)
12 chars 0.250000 0.000000 0.250000 ( 0.247753)
13 chars 0.240000 0.000000 0.240000 ( 0.250674)

Grabbed those unicode chars from http://blog.trydionel.com/2010/03/23/some-unicode-tips-for-r... no clue what that says.

dpeck 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Terrible title, but the content is quite good. Ruby programmers, at least here, should have enough foundations to be able to understand these "deep" dives into the interpreters, and the more you understand the hows and whys of the tools you build on the better your end product will eventually be
adriand 20 hours ago 2 replies      
This was interesting and caused me to go off on a neat little tangent too.

I was curious about the VALUE declaration in:

    struct RString {
long len;
char *ptr;
VALUE shared;

From the Hacker Guide referenced, I found this definition:

    typedef unsigned long VALUE;

This is then casted, when needed, to a pointer to whatever type of struct you are dealing with. How does that work?

Well, on a 32-bit machine, if I'm correct in my reading, an unsigned long is 4 bytes in size and can contain these numbers: 0 to 4294967295

That last number is 4 gigabytes, which is the size of byte-addressable memory on a 32-bit machine. So VALUE can point anywhere. Neat!

jbooth 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This article should really have the word "stack" in it someplace.
extension 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Why would str2=str create a new string?

How are RStrings modified when they are referenced by other shared RStrings?

Is there any way to create a shared RString other than calling .dup?

dblock 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It's too bad that Ruby requires strings to be GC-ed, otherwise you could get away with an even faster stack string up to a certain size. Basically you would do the same thing as RString, but when you declare a string on the stack, there's no malloc unless you need >N chars.

https://github.com/dblock/baseclasses/tree/master/String for an implementation (a bit thick).

endgame 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Does that maximum length need to be a magic number, or could it be an expression written in terms of `offsetof` and `sizeof`?
jeffremer 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Link bait titles irk me. Nevertheless nice post on some of the MRI internals.
anrope 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Cool dip into Ruby internals.

If you roll your own ruby, instead of redoing all your strings, you could just change RSTRING_EMBED_LEN_MAX. This would cause more wasted memory if you have a lot of short strings (0 < len << RSTRING_EMBED_LEN_MAX), and probably isn't worth it since there isn't much performance improvement.

The most confusing part of this article was the actual RString struct implementation. Are the anonymous unions and structs used to control structure padding and alignment?

wtn 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Link-bait title…

Author directly contradicts the title in the tl;dr at the end.

rodw 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I'll admit to only having skimmed much of this article, but that's a lot of words to say this:

"It turns out that the MRI Ruby 1.9 interpreter is optimized to handle strings containing 23 characters or less more quickly than longer strings."

The rest of the article seems to back that some with benchmarking numbers that suggest allocating a 23 character string is about 50% faster than allocating a 24 character string, which in this particular test worked out to about 200 milliseconds difference in the time it takes to allocate 1 MILLION strings, which makes the time savings about 0.2 picoseconds (200 nanoseconds) per allocation if I remember my SI units right.

jcoder 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Robert Anton Wilson would be proud (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23_enigma).
gte910h 21 hours ago 3 replies      
I have this sinking feeling reading that article took more time than I'll ever save by knowing this.

Computers go unimaginably fast now. Really. Humans can't intuitively comprehend how fast it is. I doubt that this fact will save perceptible time for more than a dozen of its readers.

pillbug88 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't this just the small string optimization with copy on write?
mikehoward 19 hours ago 0 replies      
good to know - thanks
The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You'll Ever See slate.com
322 points by tptacek  2 days ago   88 comments top 27
viraptor 2 days ago 2 replies      
Looking at both maps, I see only one thing: they are both so much worse than new interactive maps... There's too much information and not enough "whitespace". They're so generic, it's hard to find some specific thing on them. If I'm looking for highways, I'm not interested in areas of Chicago. If I'm looking for known places in Chicago, not only is 5 items too short, it's forcing even more information on the map where it's not really needed. Regarding the careful placement... let's see for example: According to Imus's map Plymouth is north of the river, while according to National Geographic it's south of the river. In reality the river goes through the city. If the place is not right, what's the meaning of a "better" placement of it's label?

Regarding typography, I don't like the italic text on Imus's map - once you have many lines in random directions around your labels, it's not trivial to say if some 3-4-letter name containing many round letters is italic or not (is ORD in Chicago italic?) Here it's trivial to figure out from context - when you're trying to determine a size of some city, it's not.

Yes, I'm being negative about this map (maybe a bit too much), but apart from art, is there really a good reason to produce maps like this anymore? I don't agree with the angle this article takes:

> For one thing, that zooming capability means the makers of a single digital map are forced to design dozens of differently scaled versions. This severely limits how much time they can devote to perfecting the layout at each zoom level.

It's actually better because it can show the same information after zooming in, but you can still read the "important" information while zoomed out. Reading any text on this map while standing back from it must be a much harder exercise.

> Imus argues that you can't truly understand a place if you only use zoomed-in maps on teensy screens. [...] Looking at Imus' big, richly detailed map offers a holistic sense of what America looks like"how cities spread out along rivers, forests give way to plains, and mountains zigzag next to valleys.

Give me an option to turn each category on and off and I'll see the relations much better. Being able to filter out noise would give many more possibilities of exploration than a "generic map with absolutely everything on it". If cities and rivers are what you're interested in, many maps will provide you exactly that information. Trying to figure it out from a map with 10 other layers is harder.

In short, I disagree with this article trying to prove that "old-style" paper maps can be more useful or readable than interactive, zoomable maps with customisable layers. In my opinion those are always more useful than paper maps. </rant> Not to discredit the work that went into this map of course. I do appreciate this map as art and see what the author was trying to achieve. I just disagree strongly that it's useful nowadays.

barrkel 2 days ago 4 replies      
I have to say, I think the typography / lettering / label placement of the NatGeo map is significantly better than the Imus map. It's easier for me to see what's what, and it looks less cluttered somehow, probably helped by having freer choice of orientation. But I won't deny that there's more information in the Imus map.
Terretta 2 days ago 2 replies      
The greatest paper map of the United States I've seen is not this one (though I ordered this one), it is "USAtlas"[3] created by Richard Saul Wurman using early Macintosh design tools like Adobe Illustrator 88 and Aldus PageMaker 3.02 on a Mac Iici.

Wurman is cited in "Building Legible Cities 2 Making the Case"[1] and, oh yeah, created the TED conferences[2].

1. http://aprb.co.uk/docs/building_legible_cities2_0.pdf

2. http://wurman.com/rsw/ also http://www.ted.com/pages/16 )

3. http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0139322450/ref=dp_olp...

The biggest innovation for me as a frequent long distance driver in the late 80's and early 90's was having every page the same scale. But the clarity of information on a given page or city was unprecedented, was easily glanceable while driving, and is still unmatched to this day though Google Maps' data view comes close while offering more details. But this was hand drawn.

Here's Cincinnati. Notice the state borders vs rivers:


lkozma 2 days ago 2 replies      
The Imus map does look nicer, but as a computer geek I am more interested in how one could capture the heuristics he uses and better automate the process. Surely all (or most) of the label placement, typography etc. ideas he uses could be captured in a set of criteria that could improve the state of the art in computer-mapmaking. This is similar to what Knuth did to maths typesetting.
johnohara 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interview with map creator and cartographer David Imus.


Nice close-ups of the map and his own words.

moultano 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm originally from Cincinnati, and the National Geographic Map makes better choices about what to show. Norwood and Newport are important. The Roebling bridge is not.
mrb 2 days ago 0 replies      
This map is small: 4x3 feet. I would like a large map, maybe four times the area (8x6 feet), but with the same density of information. One could represent four times the number of towns, streams, roads, etc. I want to hang it on a wall, and be able to read it for hours, always discovering new places to visit.

Anyone know of such a map?

egypturnash 2 days ago 1 reply      
I only see one little image at the head of the article, but the text refers to what seems to be a few closeup shots. I bet it's Slate's damn tablet view dropping them on the floor. God I hate Slate's tablet view, it's slow and makes reading HARDER.

edit. Found the Normal view link. Yep. Tablet view is missing images. YAY.

unwind 2 days ago 5 replies      
I tried going to the author's site (https://imusgeographics.com/) to see what the map costs just out of curiosity, but at this point the site seems to be down due to exceeding its quota. Too bad.
joeyh 2 days ago 1 reply      
The first closeup, of Cincinatti is an odd choice because the Imus map does not color the river on the border blue. It was not clear to me that it showed the river at all.

The Chicago closeup has a confusing combination of a time zone line and dotted line. Still it is nice to have the time zone lines.

Paper maps are my favorite thing to put on the wall. My favorite right now is a map of the Appalachian trail. A tall, very narrow map, it cuts diagonally across the traditional map of eastern America, giving a very different perspective.

cjdavis 2 days ago 0 replies      
At first glance Imus' map is more accurate as well. He has the location of the airport (CVG) south of I-275, and the location of Vandalia, OH west of I-75. NatGeo is wrong on both.

But like moultano said, he missed Newport and Norwood.

agwa 2 days ago 2 replies      
Beautiful map. You can buy it here:


Just $12.95 plus shipping (which was a few bucks for me).

brc 2 days ago 2 replies      
Maplovers should check out the Ordnance Survey maps you can get of Great Britain.

Because there is so much less countryside to cover, the detail you can get is quite amazing. They are a very interesting thing to peruse.

msisk6 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Imus maps really are fantastic. I used his Oregon map for years for charting trips around that state.

My 2nd favorite map maker is also in Oregon: Benchmark Maps.

I just moved to Texas and haven't been able to find a map of this state that's even close to comparable to the products of these two.

alabut 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of a post (from a now defunkt blog) explaining the design decisions of google maps that gives it superior readability compared to yahoo and bing:


They're fairly basic and common sense Edward Tufte tips but it's interesting to see what a difference a collection of tiny UI tweaks make in the aggregate.

shasta 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is like a really nice, hand carved slide rule.
Sukotto 2 days ago 0 replies      
His site is back up. I also took the liberty of inviting him to come talk to us (or to do an IAMA Master Cartographer AMA on Reddit
PanMan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Side note: this article is a good example why websites should Not make a touch version. While the article looks more iPad-like in the iPad version, it also strips out the map example images, making half of it quite pointless. And off course switching to the desktop version of the site sends you back to the touch version for the next page, as it detects your user agent...
jackfoxy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Really well done. One of my cherished wall adornments is a Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion Airocean World map. I'd really like to see what Imus would do with that projection.
tomjen3 2 days ago 3 replies      
Reading this, I am most shocked that there are still that many mapmakers -- the age of exploration is long past and I guessed that the few updates that are necessary (renaming the cities and updating country borders, add a new street here and there) was pretty much done by a couple of guys on a computer, somewhere.
myoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish someone would have documented Imus's creation of this map. It would be interesting to see what circumstances perplex and excite a map maker.
wensing 2 days ago 0 replies      
I could relate to a lot of his painstaking efforts after building the maps for Stormpulse "by hand" albeit digitally. Hundreds of little decisions all along the way.
dmvaldman 2 days ago 0 replies      
icebraining 2 days ago 2 replies      
For one thing, that zooming capability means the makers of a single digital map are forced to design dozens of differently scaled versions.

How so? Aren't digital maps just a database of items that are rendered in real time?

hummer 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is definitely a dying art. Wish the site (https://imusgeographics.com/) is up soon.
Pelayo 2 days ago 1 reply      
The article says he used a computer to draw the map. Does anyone know what software he used? Is it something specialized or just Photoshop? I couldn't find it in the article.
kfcm 2 days ago 1 reply      
But does the scale read "1 mile = 1 mile"?
Poll: As a freelancer, how much do you bill per hour?
324 points by llambda  1 day ago   212 comments top 37
j45 1 day ago 7 replies      
Know and learn the difference between these three words:

Freelancer, Contractor, Consultant.

Each has it's own mindset. I wish I knew it when I started 12 years ago full time. When a customer asks something, they're asking for one of these three relationships.

When we get upset customers aren't listening, it's often a disconnect of which relationship the customer wants, and what you are offering. It's helpful to know which role you're being asked to play (and be paid for).

FREELANCER - Someone who you use from time to time to do a part of what you need. Directions provided. Generally freelancers work more part time than full time.

Typcially with freelancers you have to give notice on the order of 1-2 weeks.

CONTRACTOR - A regular expert who you provide detailed work instructions to. Customer cares more about your opinion but the strategy is still set by them.

If I'm asked for a design that leads to work, it's a quote. Typically the customer knows what they want, how they want it, or why, I'm just a hired gun.

Typically with freelancers you have to give notice for work from 0-7 days based on your arrangement.

CONSULTANT - A dedicated expert who is asked for their opinion of the best strategy to take, as well as delivering on it. Consultants can be part time, but most are full time. If all I'm being asked for is my professional opinion (and no ensuing work) I bill for that time.

Consultants are needed when you need expertise around at the drop of a hat to tend to things, or an ongoing basis to develop/manage/direct/drive internal business processes and hand them back in-house once management would like so you can focus on the next thing for them.

Customers who use consultants properly know it's not what it costs them, but what consultants save, or make them. Sadly, this type of relationship can often be perverted by consultants as well and I inherit people who have been burnt.

Me: I spent my 20's getting 20 years of experience in 10. That makes me about 40+ work wise, in my 30's. Consulting is heroin once you become capable at delivering value.

I am moving out of hourly/daily based consulting and moving to value based consulting, and entirely out of consulting as reasonably possible. If I do something that saves a customer $3,000/3 years forever, I ask for 20-30% of it regardless of whether it takes 5 minutes or hours.

I spent 15-20 man years working to learn how to do something in 5 minutes that will take someone 5 hours, if the customer is willing to pay for my 5 years to learn to do it in 5 minutes, I will bill them for 5 years, and then for 5 minutes.

I love learning and seeing this from different perspectives, let me know what you think too!

jasonkester 1 day ago 5 replies      
Pro tip: Call yourself a Consultant instead of a Freelancer and you get to double your bill rate.

A Freelancer is a 26 year old who will design you a logo in her spare time. A Consultant is a man in his late 30s with 15 years experience and a tie. Since nobody can tell the difference via email, you get to choose which one you'd like to be viewed as.

tptacek 1 day ago  replies      
Reminder: quote prices daily or weekly, not hourly. You're not a furniture mover.
sequoia 1 day ago 1 reply      
Without more context this poll is kind of meaningless. Are you editing up a wordpress site for a pizza shop or overseeing the setup of the intranet for a fortune 500 company?
thibaut_barrere 1 day ago 3 replies      
I charge 115 € per hour ex VAT (or roughly 900 € per day of 8 hours). I do mostly remote work (ruby, rails, etl, agile project management, sysadmin, devops, css/js, technical/org coaching).

If a client can give me visibility and ensure eg: 10 days per month for some months in a row, then I provide a discount on that rate.

I never do fixed-price projects and instead, provide best-effort estimates and bill by the hour.

Splines 1 day ago 2 replies      
(I feel like this is probably a frequently asked question on HN, but I'm throwing this out here anyway)

As a full-timer working for a big corporation, where would I even begin to start getting freelance work? I'm thinking about a change in my career path and see freelancing as a potential way to go about doing that, but I'm honestly scared about where to even start.

kaisdavis 1 day ago 3 replies      
I bill $60/hr. When I start to reach capacity, I multiple my rates by 1.5 for all new clients. I can see myself starting to bill out at $90/hr by June, 2012.

An interesting follow-up question for the freelance community could be how many of us employee freelances beneath us.

I've added a freelance copywriter and designer to my team and it's a joy to be able to work with and support another freelancer as they develop their practice. It's also a joy to have some of the capacity problems resolved by the addition of another set of hands. (:

johngalt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depends entirely upon the person buying the work.

Penny pinchers = lowest rate, but only as a discount when buying an hour block in advance. Rates are double for afterhours/emergency work.

Waffles = Project based billing so they have to describe clearly what they want. Then changes are additional, or rolled into the next project.

Rich/Busy/Business types = Hourly rates billed monthly net 30. These will generally just cut a check so long as 'X' problem goes away, and you're not a problem to deal with yourself. Best customer type to have. Just make sure you include the scope of what you've handled with the bill. Even better if you figure out what their approval limits are and stay under that.

polyfractal 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm curious, what should someone do if they are just starting out?

I'm moving into freelance/contractor/whatever soon, but have zero "official" experience. It's a complete career shift. I code in my freetime and have started to build demonstration projects to throw up on github, but I look new right now.

Should I just charge a "can't beat this price" so I can get some experience and then up my prices to what everyone suggests? Or just pretend I know what the hell I'm doing and charge those rates from the beginning?

I'm already prepared to factor in unbilled, learning time but am not sure what to do on the actual billing side.

gavingmiller 1 day ago 1 reply      
Regardless of whether you're a freelancer, contractor, or consultant please do yourself a favour and have a lawyer created contract together. If you don't have a rock solid contract you're leaving money on the table, and making yourself extremely vulnerable.

Also highly relevant - Fuck you, pay me: http://vimeo.com/22053820?utm_source=swissmiss

Mizza 1 day ago 0 replies      
I saw this question being asked a lot, so I wrote my policy here: http://gun.io/blog/how-much-to-charge-as-a-freelance-compute...
Swizec 1 day ago 0 replies      
I bill $30/hr and slowly increasing my rates with every new client.

Only being available for work two-ish days a week greatly reduces my client pool. Being 8 hours away from most of them doesn't help much either. (I don't like working locally because everyone puts too much effort into trying to rip you off)

InclinedPlane 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is about as worthwhile as asking "as a human, how much do you bill per hour?" Everyone has a different skillset, caters to different customers, and thus has a different reasonable range of what they can bill. Some freelancers may be doing little more than some simple cut and paste or configuration work, others may be writing operating systems from scratch, the rate they charge for those services will of course vary greatly.
dylanhassinger 1 day ago 1 reply      
Whenever possible, I try to do a package price. This works when all the pieces are things I can do, or I can accurately predict my outsourcing cost. It doesn't work when a project gets thorny (damn you google APIs!)

For ala carte or ongoing work, I sell prepaid blocks of hours. I offer 10, 20 and 35 hour blocks; 10 hour blocks are at my highest rate, but if the client buys more then the hourly price goes down. If they don't use up all the hours, then they can bank them for later.

marcomonteiro 1 day ago 1 reply      
I develop iOS applications. Based on j45's definitions I'd be a consultant/contractor. I have one client right now and they take up most of my time. They're a small startup and it was my first development job in nearly 10 years. The first projects were priced according to the scope of the work and what they could afford. I was severely undercutting myself but I Didn't feel I had any leveraging power. Their dependence on me grew and they've come to rely on me to help them shape the direction and future of the company. The last project I charged what I believe is market rate for an iOS developer and I let them make payments while I retain all IP rights until its been paid. Now I have an ongoing agreement with them where I guarantee them a set amount of time per week in exchange for $1,000/wk. How that time is used is up to them. It could go to consulting or to actually writting code. This works out for both of us because my income is fixed from this client, it's not full time, gives them flexibility to use me as best serves the business and keeps us from wasting time on the negotiation table on individual projects.
lrobb 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised at some of the low points on here... The general rule is to take your desired annual income and divide by 1000 to get your hourly rate. So if you want to make $120,000 year, your hourly rate would be $120.

I think a lot of "freelancers" must end up going through headhunters instead of finding clients directly? You might want to ask what your headhunter is making if that's the case -- I know of one body shop that only offers $50/hr to its contractors, while the client company is paying the headhunter $150/hour.

You can't even get a desktop support person out around here for less than $75/hour...

jfruh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Traditionally when I've freelanced in the past I've billed hourly (varying rates, depending on what the client will bear) but I've read some convincing stuff that billing that way in essence punishes productivity. If you figure out how to do things faster, you just end up costing yourself money, so why bother? I've done agreed per-project rates as well and I think they're both more lucrative and better for your sanity.
ludwigvan 1 day ago 4 replies      
Looking at these numbers, I am amazed at the inequality bt. different parts of the world. Here in Turkey, hourly rate of a developer is around 10$, maybe 15$ if you are better. Of course, the cost of living is lower, but still...

Time to move abroad perhaps.

jeswin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I charge between 40-50 in Bangalore.

I have been thinking about an interesting idea. Would anyone be willing to relocate to Bangalore for a 1 year freelancing gig? There will be lifestyle compromises to make, but you can save about 4k/month or more. It is insanely hard to find talented developers here, and I am thinking there is a limited opportunity for outsiders to come and work here.

Sort of like outsourcing backwards. I can help set it up if a group of people are interested in this.

(About to get into a plane, so will be replying only after 3 hours)

wilhelm 1 day ago 2 replies      
Approximately 200 USD plus VAT. Sometimes more, sometimes less. If the customer doesn't haggle, the quote was too low. I'm based in Oslo, Norway.
larrys 1 day ago 1 reply      
Another tip: Always quote a range not a price no matter the time period. A range allows you to gauge a response and many times allows the higher end. Whether you are quoting hourly or a per job basis.
samlev 1 day ago 0 replies      
It depends on the work. If I'm guaranteed a large amount of ongoing work (something getting close to full-time hours), then I'll usually bill lower. If it's a once-off project, I'll usually bill either a fixed quote, or a higher hourly rate.

Fixed quotes aren't that common, though, unless the client already has a scope set out, or is willing to agree to one.

kal00ma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Given the extra costs of being a freelancer (health insurance, self-employment tax), if you want to be living in the same neighborhood as your full-time peers you should be charging at least 75/hr.
manmal 1 day ago 0 replies      
I develop apps for Android (got some good iOS knowledge too), and I currently charge 40€ - I'm constantly raising that number (last gig was my first paid Android project, for 30€, which I now consider a dumping price). I do have to say that I'm still not sure whether Android development is a good sector to earn good money in - maybe I should start consulting or remote working (Berlin and London seem to be good places).
Interestingly, there is a culture of undercutting hourly rates in the Austrian freelancer community, or so have I experienced people around me ("What? You're leaving us because 30€ is not enough?" said a web-freelancer when I left).
lazy_b 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone who has worked as a consultant and hired them, it's hard to imagine a piece of work that I'd be willing to pay an outside contractor a continuing percentage for. Products,definitely, but that assumes a more or less tu rn key solution that I am not responsible for maintaining. But code rots, marketing is forgotten, and business practices must continually adapt in the face of changing realities on the ground, as it were. If I'm paying you for your expertise, I'll leave the money on the nightstand , but you're not getting half my stuff. ;)
Achshar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Contractor, i guess? I dont bill by hour because my work productivity highly depends on my mood, so hourly rate would be unfair. A project wise prefixed rte s what i look for.
kposehn 1 day ago 1 reply      
I charge $300/hour for marketing consulting or a different structure on commitment to budgets.

One thing I've learned is never do a flat rate, no matter what. Projects will always be different than what you estimate so do time and materials only.

BerislavLopac 1 day ago 0 replies      
What I would like to see is this data with geographic distribution. I'm pretty sure it would be quite interesting to see the differences between the global regions.
yeureka 1 day ago 2 replies      
I am new to the freelancing game and I try to bill at roughly USD65. However I tend to work more hours than what I bill for or I charge less per hour because I am afraid of loosing their custom when the project slips in time. I think this is because most of my clients are friends and acquaintances from previous jobs. Maybe I need to get strictly business clients. Also, one of my clients as asked how much I would charge for a retainer fee. I don't even know what to answer to that. Does anybody have experience with retainers? Are these a good idea?
jordanbaucke 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm at $50/hr doing SFDC -- I think a lot of my rate is based on the fact that I'm local and there isn't a large talent pool locally for what I do (Denver, CO)

I'm thinking I could move up to $75, if I didn't get benefits (very expensive and worth it here in the US)

If I thought I was working with a product where there were more people with experience around - I'd ask for less.


mattacurtis 1 day ago 1 reply      
To those of you with years of experience:

If I'm looking to start consulting on the side, is it reasonable to charge lower rates at first to attract business and get some experience (something in the $50/hr range)

While I want to be paid fairly for what I'm worth, I also don't want to overcharge clients while I figure out what I'm doing (processes and services etc).

saltcod 1 day ago 0 replies      
I charge $40 to do design and WordPress development.

As another example, an ad firm I interviewed with a few months ago were charging $1,000 per day to develop a website, brand, 'strategy' etc. The $1,000 got you a developer (really just a mid-range non-programmer), a copyrighter, a graphic designer, and a project manager.

Maven911 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any tips on how to start charging more without scaring away new and existing clients
CoughlinJ 1 day ago 0 replies      
75 for the first hour, 40 every hour after that.

That's just for general workstation & network support. Other 'projects' come with different pricing...

glimcat 1 day ago 0 replies      
A few hundred. It varies depending on how much I want to do or don't want to do what they're asking for. Tends to be "consulting" and monthly. I think the last one worked out to about $400-500/hr, but I wasn't tracking time closely.
jkaljundi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depends on a country or region.
easy_rider 1 day ago 0 replies      
TileMill " an application for making beautiful maps mapbox.com
304 points by dhotson  2 days ago   36 comments top 17
jashkenas 2 days ago 1 reply      
One of the neatest hacks in TileMill is the "UTFGrid", used for associating tooltips to regions of the map ... without having to do all kinds of expensive boundary checking on the client-side.


edit: TileMill is also a really cool example of using Backbone.js + Bones to build a Desktop app: https://github.com/mapbox/tilemill/tree/master/models

cullenking 2 days ago 3 replies      
TileMill is great, I used it to style our replacement maps, since google maps decided to start charging. Here is an example: http://tile.ridewithgps.com/leaflet.html

TileMill is addictive to play with, though very tedious if you don't have a fast machine with some SSD's, as refreshes take a while to reload various zoom levels to see your work. Not much to be done there except throw hardware it.

Edit: I am hosting our maps on my own hardware, mapnik2+mod_tile. I just used the slick client to create a mapnik XML file for rendering.

akamaka 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks great, and kudos on releasing open source code as well. As a developer who has specialized in making web-based maps, I've been dreaming of something like this coming a long, and here it is.

I had seriously considered working toward the same goal, but gave up because I wasn't sure about what kind of customers I might find. I'm still convinced that there are a lot of customers out there for this type of thing, and I hope you guys make this into something big!

ericgund 2 days ago 1 reply      
we just posted 2012 TileMill + MapBox major investment priorities today: http://ds.io/mapbox-2012. In short, big push for:

- TileMill on Windows,

- Live map rendering for dynamic data via TileMill + direct uploads to MapBox for hosting,

- Beautiful new OpenStreetMap base maps as an alternative for Google Maps w/ its new usage fees,

- Shipping fast hardware (which we are still designing :) http://www.flickr.com/photos/developmentseed/5812414817/).

NelsonMinar 2 days ago 0 replies      
TileMill is a lot of fun; you can download it and be making custom maps in just a few minutes. There's a lot of very sophisticated open source cartography hiding under the covers, not to mention nodejs wizardry. They've done a great job of packaging it all and making an easy to use tool for map-makers without requiring a lot of GIS or OSGeo expertise.

One particularly nice option is the ability to "print" your pre-rendered map to an MBTiles bundle for serving in a slippy map on the web.

mmaunder 2 days ago 2 replies      
Can you create large map images from tiles that can be turned into a poster?
ojilles 2 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe not entirely on topic, but after some googling I could not find this: what is the easiest way to have this interface (or Google Maps, etc) towards a huge picture (so not maps/GIS). A gigantic panorama picture so that the end user can pan and zoom?
xbryanx 2 days ago 0 replies      
News and background on Development Seed's great work: http://developmentseed.org/blog/2012/jan/02/major-mapbox-inv...
spacestation 2 days ago 0 replies      
i fiddled with TileMill last week.

I need something more "freehand" and Ortelius is what I need;

hunvreus 2 days ago 0 replies      
We've been using TileMill for a good 6 months now; for anybody who has been struggling with the tools that were available so far, it is a breath of fresh air.

I'd recommend anybody to give it a try and then have a look at their plans: http://mapbox.com/plans/. It's damn affordable for that kind of service.

We even use Tilemill's underlying node.js framework, Bones, for some of our projects.

twog 2 days ago 1 reply      
Its so refreshing to see someone launch software with an OSx, Windows, AND linux version. Thank you for your hard work.
noeltock 2 days ago 0 replies      
Talk about filling a gap in the market, good luck with this model!
dangoldin 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is awesome. Thanks for posting.
tectonic 2 days ago 0 replies      
jarnix 1 day ago 0 replies      
every month we have this post about your app :)
iampeter 2 days ago 0 replies      
fantastic. guess they were faster than me :)
JoannaMeiger 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is merely alright.
Bill Joy's greatest gift to man " the vi editor theregister.co.uk
292 points by sytelus  1 day ago   124 comments top 27
enobrev 23 hours ago 5 replies      
My favorite quote in the article:

> "So you didn't really write vi in one weekend like everybody says?"

> No. It took a long time.

Nearly every day I come to this site and skim past headlines resembling "Check out my weekend project!" or "Look at the awesome business idea I put together in 12 hours!!"

While I understand there can be a great sense of accomplishment to come up with an idea and pull it together in a short amount of time, I far more appreciate projects that people have dedicated months and years of their lives to.

Forget weekend whims. Dedicate yourself to an interesting project for 6 months or a year and then tell me what you've learned. You may suddenly find yourself in high enough demand that you're no longer able to spare the weekends to waste on something to show off on HN.

Jach 1 day ago 2 replies      
A nice bit of history. Of course, even more interesting bits on the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vi#Creation

> Many of the ideas in ex's visual mode (a.k.a. vi) were taken from other software that existed at the time. According to Bill Joy,[2] inspiration for vi's visual mode came from the Bravo editor, which was a bimodal editor. In an interview about vi's origins, Joy said:[2]

> > A lot of the ideas for the screen editing mode were stolen from a Bravo manual I surreptitiously looked at and copied. Dot is really the double-escape from Bravo, the redo command. Most of the stuff was stolen. There were some things stolen from ed"we got a manual page for the Toronto version of ed, which I think Rob Pike had something to do with. We took some of the regular expression extensions out of that.

And fortunately for those of us in the modern world, we have vim.

nezumi 1 day ago 2 replies      
But that world does still exist: I often find myself ssh'd into a desktop tmux session, via my laptop tethered to my phone's internet connection. In that situation, I am highly appreciative of vi's 300 baud history.
StavrosK 1 day ago 2 replies      
> Now that computers are so much faster than you can think, nobody understands this anymore.

Are you kidding me? Only vi is much faster than I can think. I still have to wait for Eclipse. Hence, I use vi, because there's too much friction in waiting for my editor. I find that I miss lots of the convenience features of Eclipse, but when I can alrady get productive in vim by the time Eclipse has loaded, it's too easy to just work in vim.

martincmartin 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is from 2003. Can we put [2003] in the title?
bch 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It's been pointed out that world -does- exist (just not as pervasively distributed as it was): people are using slow satellite connections, or low-powered devices where vi is the perfect fit. Regardless, whether vi was written "for a world which doesn't exist anymore", vi still works perfectly well in the world we live in, and a lot of people produce a lot of value with it, and enjoy using it. vi was written for a world that doesn't exist anymore; welcome vi to the world in which we live today.
jamesrcole 1 day ago 1 reply      
...I was trying to make it usable over a 300 baud modem. ...the editor was optimized so that you could edit and feel productive when it was painting slower than you could think.

Seems a good example of how constraints can produce innovation.

pschlump 1 day ago 3 replies      
That world is not completely gone! I use VI to connect to amazon AWS servers over a satellite link. It is faster than 1200 baud but with horrible latency. VI is the only editor that works.
sgt 1 day ago 2 replies      
As I read the article, "Joy leaves a lasting legacy " gave me a small shock, causing me to fire up Bill Joy's wikipedia page to ensure myself that he hasn't passed away. Phew, thankfully he's fine. Too many great people are dying these last few years.
Yuioup 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I beg to differ!

I have several clients with which I connect to remotely via Windows Terminal Server or VNC. I usually have to connect to via the webbrowser by opening a link and then the session is opened. I usually have no option to change the performance or quality options.

We have a fast connection here but our clients have ADSL. Yes that's right, the A stands for really slow uploads.

I don't know about you but have you ever tried using Notepad/Notepad++/UltraEdit via a slow internet connection with all the options on full blast (32-bit color, themes, etc ..)?

I'm so glad that I can download PortableVim and run it off the "My Documents" folder and quickly do my editing without being too bothered by the refresh rate.

So the "world that doen't exists anymore" is very much alive if you ask me!

g3orge 1 day ago 1 reply      
Vim is my favorite editor ever, and I'm not gonna change it for the world.
ojbyrne 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems like a back-handed endorsement of Emacs ;-)
zaph0d 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Many vi users don't know that they don't use vi but use ViM which was created by Bram Moolenaar.
kahirsch 20 hours ago 0 replies      
In another interview, Coulouris said:

> By the way, 'em' stands for 'editor for mortals' - I christened it that after Ken Thompson visited our lab at QMC while I was developing it and said something like: "yeah, I've seen editors like that, but I don't feel a need for them, I don't want to see the state of the file when I'm editing".

zerostar07 1 day ago 2 replies      
Understandable why it's the most fond of his achievements, i spend more time thinking about it more than any of his other inventions. You get a glimpse of that old world he's talking about when you use it over a slow data connection on your smartphone.
16s 1 day ago 4 replies      
vi is the lowest common denominator among *nix text editors. It's a huge advantage to know how to use it.
saddino 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone who was limited to 300 baud for learning UNIX and C, I actually preferred Joy's ex over vi. I found that I could type ahead very quickly and just let the edits scroll in as they were echoed from the mainframe. Watching the edits cascade in a scroll made much more sense to me than a slowly updating vi screen.
pconf 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Still my most used piece of software ever. No other text editor comes close in efficiency. Let those who can't learn vi remain tethered by the mouse, they'll never be able to write or edit text as quickly.

Now if only the sc spreadsheet could be retrofitted with Lotus 123 menus. With that, vi, and screen I'd be nearly as efficient as 15 years ago with 123, MKS vi, and Desqview.

Sad that today's software interfaces have so little to do with efficiency (and that includes the 'pc' keyboard layout).

quattrofan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish the title of the article was "Joy leaves Sun", dual meanings are always more fun.
dextorious 1 day ago 1 reply      
So, besides democracy, theater, abstract math and the debt crisis, we Greeks also (sorta) gave vi to the world!
MPSimmons 1 day ago 0 replies      
And yet, it still works great.
mlopes 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know which world he lives in, but in mine, it is used every day... and it's not even my main editor.
rio197 23 hours ago 0 replies      
awesome history
gonzo 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to work for wnj. I asked him about vi.

His retort, "I wrote that when I didn't know how to program."

He uses Textedit (on a Mac) these days. (Emacs bindings, if you didn't know.)

He hasn't used vi in years.

funkah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe that's why I feel so crazy whenever I try to use it. We can have bitmapped interfaces now, no need for the arcaneness of vi and similar editors.
zobzu 1 day ago 0 replies      
vi(m) rock my world.

If that means I don't exist anymore, there's only one ascii art I can think of for Mr Bill Joy.

.i. (o.o) .i.

blhack 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Hammers were invented for a world that doesn't exist anymore".

"Manual screwdrivers were invented for a world that doesn't exist anymore"

"Chisels were invented for a world that doesn't exist anymore".


The mere fact that people are still using vi[m] is evidence that this author is wrong.

Show HN: How I built a self-driving (RC) car.
287 points by dps  2 days ago   21 comments top 14
JoachimSchipper 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hint: it's common wisdom that such things are best posted as links instead of "Show HN", since "show/ask" posts leave the front page more quickly. You can always add a # or ? if you want to fool the duplicate-detecting algorithm...
aiurtourist 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congratulations -- you'll never need a resume ever again. :)
Game_Ender 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very cool robotics project. Were you aware of FANN (http://leenissen.dk/fann/wp) before you started your neural network implementation? Also have you tried any other machine learning techniques on that data, comparison results would be interesting.
jakejake 2 days ago 1 reply      
super cool! it would be even more cool to see the arduino hooked up directly to the android so there was no separate computer involved and it was totally autonomous. even still, this is cool, thanks for sharing!
richardburton 2 days ago 0 replies      
What a great side-project! I wonder how long it will be before we are comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars on the road? The transition will be slow but I think it is inevitable. Humans are less reliable than robots. I hope.
tzs 1 day ago 1 reply      
The input layer for the neural net has 25345 units. The input is a 176x144 image, which is 25344 pixels. Why is there one more input unit than pixels?
EwanG 2 days ago 1 reply      
So I have to ask, how well do you think this would scale? AM I but a month of effort away from never having to actively drive to work again (given I follow the same route most days, etc)?
leoedin 2 days ago 0 replies      
How practical is running the software onboard? Would you have to port it out of Octave to Java? There seems to be a useful library in the form of [jlmath] that may well let you run the program as-is.

jlmath: http://www.jmathlib.de/

I was going to suggest using the audio jack, but it seems you've already found a (really cool) project that's using it.

Anyway, it's a pretty awesome project. I'm building a robotic vacuum cleaner currently, although I'm building the chassis from scratch and that's proving to be a bit of a stumbling block with my current tools. My software right now is pretty much rudimentary collision detection, so something like this is pretty interesting as a far more sophisticated option.

endianswap 2 days ago 1 reply      
What sort of latencies did you see in this project while the car was running? Specifically, from the point where you have access to the camera's preview buffer to encoding it, sending it, running it through the neural network, and sending the button bits to the microcontroller.
josscrowcroft 2 days ago 0 replies      
Made my day and seems to have reignited my curiosity about DIY robots. Congratulations!
geekfactor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, very nice. Congrats on putting the course into practice!
noeltock 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well done, that's pretty awesome.
jack83 2 days ago 0 replies      
What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success theatlantic.com
272 points by dirtyaura  2 days ago   185 comments top 28
ender7 2 days ago 3 replies      
It's important to remember that the Finns implemented their new system for moral, rather than competitive reasons. Their resulting academic performance was a pleasant side-effect. This is a critical distinction that even this article seems to gloss over.

I went to the best private high school in my state. Before that, I attended an elementary school whose tuition cost more than many people pay for a college education. My parents were by no means rich, but were willing to spend a significant portion of their yearly income on the education of their only child.

I have also worked in schools of the other kind. The ones with metal detectors. The ones where the administration's main preoccupation is not which college their students will get into, but whether their students will graduate high school at all.

Arguments that competition between schools and school systems is necessary in order to maintain academic quality do not impress me. The quality of a child's education should not be determined by how much money a parent is willing to or is capable of paying. I am quite willing to let children to be buffeted by the inequalities of capitalism in every other aspect of their lives (except, perhaps, healthcare), but our current system is not only ineffective and inefficient, it is immoral.

DanielBMarkham 2 days ago  replies      
Assuming there's something here, which is a bit of a stretch for me, let's ask the obvious question: where else has this been tried? Did it work? Better still, how do we know we're being equal enough?

This is not Marxist by any means, but I have to use Marxism as an example. The problem with Marxism is that whenever it doesn't work, people say it wasn't tried enough. In the examples where it does work, there's always some special attribute or thing that causes it to, like a very small sample size. Yes it works in some cases and at some scale, but it never really works in a practical way. It's just a cluster of feelings about fairness in search of an practical application. This is, by definition, a "loose analogy". Finland has schools. So do we. Finland does all these things to make their schools better. So should we?

I love Finland, and I admire the Fins I've worked with. But I think we can play this game of "If we were only like Europe" only so much without actually having to apply some critical thinking skills. We are not like Europe -- as much as we'd like to be. I've been reading articles that claim we can improve various parts of society if we were only like some European country my entire life. If I didn't know better, I'd think a lot of academics spend time in Europe and become Europhiles the rest of their lives, much to the rest of our detriment. Seems like no matter how hard we try at these things, we can never be like European country X. There's probably a good reason for that. My best guess is that this has something to do with culture, but I'm not sure. If you want a country of Fins, perhaps you should consider moving to Finland?

So yes, maybe there's something here, but I have no idea what it is. Does the author suggest outlawing private schools? Perhaps indoctrinating our national culture with pithy slogans like "accountability is what's left when you take responsibility away"? Tighter control over immigration so the culture is more cohesive? Greater oil revenues? Decrease our population to 1/70th of its current size? More alcohol consumption? What is there that's here that we can take away and use today aside from a general admiration of how nice Finland is?

pg 2 days ago 2 replies      
The article mentions another difference between the Finland and the US that is equally extreme and probably more directly related to results:

"teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country"

tokenadult 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'll have to check the published literature for what it says about reading instruction in Finnish. Finland has a minority of native speakers of Swedish (not a closely cognate language). Finnish (Suomi) and Swedish are co-official as national languages in Finland.


Finnish, by far the majority language, has an alphabetic writing system that is recently reformed enough that it has very consistent sound-symbol correspondences.


The late John DeFrancis


and current researcher and author Stanislas Dehaene


develop historical and international comparisons, backed up by brain imaging in Dehaene's book, to make the argument that initial reading instruction should at its best focus students' attention to sound-symbol correspondences in the written language taught in primary reading instruction.

But initial reading instruction in the United States specifically and in English-speaking countries in general is only half-heartedly done that way,




and when school pupils in English-speaking countries struggle to learn to read independently, they are also likely to struggle to learn other subjects thoroughly.

The best current information I have suggests that initial reading instruction in Finland, whether in Finnish or in Swedish, is better done than much reading instruction in the English-speaking world, and that advantage may account for much of the national advantage Finland enjoys (and partially explain why immigrant families who use Finnish as a second language are the bottom group found in national-level sample testing of Finland for international surveys).

icarus_drowning 2 days ago 0 replies      
Regardless of whether you think it is moral to abolish private educational institutions, there's good reason to look at other aspects of the Finnish education model rather than this one single point.

Finland does not use multiple choice exams and has literacy standards that are clear and simple. Contrast this to the U.S. model, where literacy standards are a byzantine mess, and are often completely disconnected from a student's inability to read and write.

Mike Schmoker has addressed this in his excellent book Focus, where he writes:

"[Finnish] success, according to observers, is a result of how much time students spend actually reading during the school day. They found one Finnish student who, upon returning from a year in U.S. schools, had to repeat an entire grade. This is because in the United States, instead of reading and writing, she and her fellow students spent their time preparing for multiple-choice tests or working on "projects" where students were instructed to do things like "glue this to this poster for an hour"..."

I teach in a charter school. We have mandated standards requiring us to assign students X numbers of hours of reading/writing per semester. Students who leave our school and then re-enroll in later years are often entire grades behind, and have often not been assigned any writing or reading of any kind during their time in the "mainstream" public school district.

I suppose my argument isn't so much that private schools are/aren't a good and moral thing, but rather that there are many far less controversial methods of improving the U.S. school system than abolishing private education.

yummyfajitas 2 days ago  replies      
The article claims Finland focuses on equality, and that immigration hasn't had much effect on aggregate education outcomes yet.

Immigrants tended to concentrate in certain areas, causing some schools to become much more mixed than others, yet there has not been much change in the remarkable lack of variation between Finnish schools in the PISA surveys across the same period.

This is only because there are still very few immigrants in Finland. In actuality, immigrants to Finland score about 50 points lower on Pisa than Finnish natives (about double the gap in the US).

(For comparison, the gap between Americans of European descent and non-immigrant Finns in Pisa scores is 22 pts, and the gap between European Americans and Greeks (the lowest performing European nation) is 46 pts. )


Jun8 2 days ago 1 reply      
One interesting thing about student performance in the US is that on the average it's not that bad early on (e.g. in grade school) but then takes a sharp dive. It is amazing to me what such comparison articles do not take into account: the toxic, sports-based culture in American highschools.

As a foreigner, when I encountered how sports culture derives high school and, in continuation, college student mindset. In high school, athletes and cheerleaders pretty much rule. Every high school in all countries have popular, good looking kids but the the esteem these kids have in the US, I think, is unheard of in other places.

hugh4life 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The Scandinavian country is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence. "

This is absolute complete nonsense... America does worse than Finland because America is racially diverse... and Finalnd is the most "bigoted" of all the Scandinavian countries. America's education system is just fine... actually it is excellant.

Just look at the 2009 PISA scores. American Whites do better than all other "white countries" except for Finland. America Asians do better than all other Asian countries except for the elite part of China(Shanghai). American blacks do better than all other black countries. American Hispanics do better than all other Hispanic countries.


aiscott 2 days ago 3 replies      
Personally, I think this one sentence from the article has a lot to do with why US schools are less than good: [In Finland] "If a teacher is bad, it is the principal's responsibility to notice and deal with it."

In the US, if a teacher is bad and the school is public, not much can be done. They certainly won't be fired.

Private schools, on the other hand, have more freedom in this regard.

I think the article made a lot of good points regarding creative play and avoidance of heavy standardized testing.

27182818284 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whenever a successful act is presented to Americans they tend to throw out the same generic defense we used to see on technology forums all the time: "That's good for them, but that won't scale for us!"
MaxGabriel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't find it, but there was a great post on HN awhile back about how Finland doesn't really know what makes its schools so successful. Thus, articles like this pull some facet out of the hat as the key differentiator.

There was a good comment, suggesting that instead of modeling who has the highest test scores, instead model who is most successful at climbing the ranks of PISA. That's probably a better way of figuring out what contributes to success, because there are fewer independent variables.

tokenadult 2 days ago 0 replies      
RandallBrown 2 days ago 2 replies      
Are other countries really doing that much better than the United States? It seems like most of the worlds top Universities are in the US and filled with students mostly from, the US.

Sure, they may score better on the tests for comparing students across the world, but it seems like the same people saying this are the same ones complaining about standardized testing in the US.

floppydisk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Out of curiosity, did the PISA study compare the level of parental involvement in a child's education between the countries? This NYT, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/friedman-ho... , article has a link to PISA conclusions about parental involvement from a 2009 study and shows that children with involved parents tend to do better academically.

While we're dealing with complex cultural systems with thousands of moving parts, reforming the education system to improve parental involvement might yield significant gains. As it stands now, the system offers little to no incentive for parents to actively get involved with their kid's education. You place the kid(s) on the bus at 7 in the morning and don't see 'em again until 3-4pm or later if they do after school activities. No incentive to get involved at the school during the day or afterwards. As a personal anecdote, I've met several people who view public education as nothing more than day care, kids in at 7, free time until 4pm or later with no involvement outside of "mandatory" meetings.

yason 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's more to cross unknown factors out: a very interesting article on how the Finnish language itself affects schooling and has significance in PISA results.

Finland and Estonia share similar lingual roots and they both rank relatively great, even if Estonia is a lot poorer country than Finland. Yet, the Swedish speaking people in Finland fare relatively worse than Finnish speaking people, even if the schooling system is exactly the same.


hack_edu 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has anyone here had any experience hiring or working with grads of Finnish schools? How about Master's/PhD level grads?

I'm curious how an employer or co-worker would view the quality of their school's end product.

jks 2 days ago 0 replies      
One thing that many commentators seem to ignore is what exactly the PISA tests measure. For example, the PISA math problems (http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/38/51/33707192.pdf) are very specifically meant to assess how well students can solve pretty easy problems that could occur in their lives and where basic math literacy is needed, and the PISA exam is given to a random sample of all students. Contrast this with the International Mathematical Olympiad (results at http://www.imo-official.org/country_team_r.aspx?code=FIN) which measures how well the very best students do on very hard problems.

It should not be surprising that an education system emphasizing social equality instead of individual excellence performs well when you measure how well the average student does on an easy problem. It just shows that Finland's and PISA's values align well with each other.

ggwicz 2 days ago 1 reply      
- No standardized tests (except one)
- Individualized grading by teachers
- Less homework and days of school
- More emphasis on creative play
- etc.

No, I don't think "equality" is the main thing we Anericans are overlooking. We're overlooking freedom. Trust in people and children to be curious and learn, and let them be free enough to do it. So many of the big bureaucracies put in place here in the US to "help" education just legislate the shit out of schools and regulate everything. Yikes.

dcrom 2 days ago 0 replies      
What Americans are really ignoring is the idea that maybe someone can "hack" education for the better.

Numbers and anecdotes aside, we all know in our guts a few things that are beneficial to education: studying more, decreased distractions, (parental) encouragement, high standards for technical subjects, and nurturing of creativity. Every parent wants these things for their children.

The system in Finland has some of these things, but who cares why they have them? You could copy some aspect of Finland and hope you get Finland's results. You could copy some aspect of China and hope you get China's results.

We are trying to have the government build a model to explain WHY China's students study more or to explain WHY Finnish students have less distractions in the classroom. Are you confident about the government's ability to model this? I'm not sure I'd trust the world's best statisticians to figure it out.

The main point is that while everyone thinks they're an expert on how to get the above mentioned qualities into a school, simply finding a school that has them and then sending your child to it is a REALLY, REALLY easy way to get your child a good education. However, under the current system, you are discouraged from sending your child to said school.

Suppose your friend used a government chalkboard for a relational database. He's really upset about its performance. He hears about Oracle's fast databases, so he adds an index etc to his chalkboard, since queries with an index are faster. Maybe his chalkboard will catch up, and maybe it won't. MySQL is down the street offering what he really wants (a cheap, fast database) but he doesn't want to use it. He's worried that using MySQL will cause a decline in the quality of the chalkboards and leave all his neighbors with a piece of cardboard instead. He would rather spend his time mimicking Oracle until his chalkboard gets fast, and trying to figure out WHY Oracle is fast.

Shouldn't he just let the innovative minds behind MySQL sell (or give away) what they've built, and just know that their product has all of the features he wants? If it doesn't have what he wants, then he can use his chalkboard.

Are we all really afraid of that? An educational process is technology too, even if it's not software. This community is in love with software that solves problems, but is very cautious of schools that can solve problems.

jiggy2011 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think that in the UK our school system's failure to set a standard of consistently adequate reading and writing skills for school leavers is a partial cause of many of our problems.

I would estimate that close to 50% of our population are functionally illiterate , by that I mean they are unable to put something into written (or typed) words that can be easily parsed by the human brain with a non ambiguous meaning. Look at the comments section of any British tabloid website for evidence of this.

This then causes employers to make a university degree a pre-requisite for many jobs that may not actually require one. If somebody has been able to pass a degree course which requires essay writing then they are probably able to send a professional email without looking like an idiot.

This then causes the government to create targets like "50% of Britains should attend university" which of course feeds a spiral of debt that may not have needed to exist if the standard of secondary education was high enough.

Personally I learned to read and write mainly by reading fiction books and computer manuals followed by writing text based games (added bonus of learning BASIC and C).

I think many things are best learned not by directly focusing on them but by creating paths of learning that subconsciously teach "supporting" skills.

valgaze 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sal from Khan Academy said it best: "I would make the US Education system more American (promoting creativity, ownership of learning, and independence) and less Prussian (moving together in an assembly line)."
skylan_q 2 days ago 0 replies      
How about "because it's full of Finns"?
RyanMcGreal 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is my quote of the day:

> Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.

davekinkead 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is actually a very strong structural argument for why public goods such as education and health, should be distributed equally:

If those in power have to use the same system as those they hold power over, then they have a strong incentive and self interest to ensure that those public goods are of a high standard.

This is not to say that public goods must be delivered by the state, but rather there should no difference in opportunity of access (such as the Finnish private schools that don't charge tuition).

jongraehl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe there's too much homework, too many hours in class, and not enough physical movement / play in U.S. education. And it's probably true that teachers at some especially bad schools have given up entirely.

However, I got tired of reading U.S. educational-silver-bullet fantasy writing a long time ago.

swaits 2 days ago 1 reply      
The author ignores the power and idiocy of public unions in public education. Anyone interested in this topic should really watch the movie "Waiting for Superman".
gamechangr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Oh the Irony.....

You lost me on the quote above the picture:

"The Scandinavian country is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence."

jshou 2 days ago 1 reply      
Regarding the quote on Finnish not having a word for "accountability": http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3678
Why do we pay sales commissions? fogcreek.com
250 points by buzzcut  21 hours ago   109 comments top 32
tptacek 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I have trouble with a comparison between incentive comp schemes for programmers and sales commissions. One of the biggest problems with programmer incentive comp is the need to align it with business goals --- which is why you'd have to be an idiot to pay per-line-of-code. Programmer comp is several layers of indirection away from company income.

The same is not true of sales comp. Salespeople earn commissions on money they are bringing into the company. It's much easier to measure and while it's not easy to perfectly align incentives (which is why sales teams have spiffs and regions), it's at least possible.

Remember also that the alternative to "no sales commissions" probably isn't "lower paid account managers"; it's "account managers paid nearly as high, but on a salary basis". The best sales account managers can virtually print money; the median sales account manager can't sell bottled water in the Sahara Desert. Most companies that do direct sales need to attract talented sales teams.

But even with a perfect sales team, most products have sales cycles stretching weeks-to-many-months. Which means it can take a quarter or two to see how a sales account manager is going to work out. If you're paying them fixed comp, that's an awfully expensive experiment to run.

I have no idea how well this works with "inside" sales teams ("dialing for dollars" operations); maybe fixed comp makes more sense there.

edw519 20 hours ago 7 replies      
...and are less worried about who is going to buy right now...

So you implemented a system that makes people less worried about the most important thing to worry about?

OP makes many fine arguments about the pros and cons of commissions, but this one little nit trumps them all.

There are many reasons for businesses to suffer and eventually die: capitalization, profitability, positioning, etc. but insufficient revenue is the biggest poison of them all.

I always thought of revenue as the water level in a creek. Enough covers all the ugly rocks below. Insufficient exposes all other weaknesses.

It sounds like Fogcreek must be doing rather well for this to work and I'm happy for them. But it makes me wonder: if revenue ever starts failing to meet projections, how soon will commissions be re-instituted to stop the bleeding?

[EDIT: Some of the replies below imply that I overlooked the words "right now", but that was exactly my point: like oxygen, "who is going to buy right now" is the most important thing to worry about. Enlightened organizations may be able to ascend Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs, but as soon as sales people worry less about Level 1: Revenue Right Now, I begin to worry.]

johngalt 19 hours ago 3 replies      
I was very pro-comissions until I worked commissioned sales. Completely agree with the author.

I had extremely high numbers, but I hated the work environment. Suddenly every other salesperson wants a piece of you. Trying to stick their names in for a percentage of the sale. Screwing my long term clients for a very small short term sale. Even breaking into my desk to copy my book of business. Adding commissions = scorched earth among co-workers. Not even talking about how this affects training/new hires.

Without incentive my performance would have been equal or better. Commission sales specifically attracts sociopaths.

edit: Despite the above; I think hackers should try a real sales job at some point. It's empowering once you learn how easy it is.

AnonSales 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Long time HN contributor, first time I've felt the need to go anonymous.

I've been in sales my entire professional career, but always commissioned based. I've worked in SMB with small teams and enterprise with massive teams. I feel like these are related points (to paying commission), but you may have a different opinion.

First, commission is like crack. Once you get a taste, it's hard to kick. Earning potential is outrageous. I was the highest paid employee for two years. I made more than the founders, anyone on our leadership/executive team, and anyone that built what I sold. That last point kept me up at night, so I eventually found a way to redistribute the wealth. I stayed in sales because I couldn't imagine "how anyone could live on that little" (< $100k). It's hard to quit.

Second, crack either transforms people or attracts a certain personality type. I've never been surrounded by so many disloyal, self centered, unethical, and maniacal people. Ever. I've also caught myself crossing boundaries I would have never previously considered -- until I thought about how it would push me over the accelerator and significantly increase my commission. I have met some people with strong character and ethics in sales, who are great salespeople, but they're a tiny minority.

Third, those ethical breaches typically result in misrepresentation of the company/product/service you're selling. Commissions are typically paid on a contract, not on the lifetime value of the customer. I firmly believe the commission-based sales people are potentially the most damaging thing to your company. Set an inaccurate expectation to close the deal? As a sales person, you're on to the next one. Results in high churn and damaged credibility, neither of which affects the salesperson's commission check.

Last, sales people are typically the least knowledgeable in the organization about the company/product/service they're trying to sell. I've always been in, uhm, technology as a service(?), but neither of the companies I've worked at have any desire to hire people who understand the technology. They hire salespeople that have "consistently exceeded quota" and "increased customer spend by x" or some other sales achievement. That's great, dude, but you sold fucking vacuum cleaners. What do you know about the product those guys in the dark rooms are slaving away over? Why are you the best person to go out and represent all of us in the market? Speaking of, I've yet to interview a salesperson that's come in with "here's a list of my previous clients who will vouch for my integrity."

For those talking about large sales team, I can personally assure you all of the negative aspects mentioned in the post become even more apparent with scale. Poaching leads, generating fake orders, tarnishing the company to exceed quota ("total lack of ethics")-- it's all there, and it's easier to hide in a bigger pond.

I know you need to move units and generate revenue, but I agree, why do we pay sales commission?

binarymax 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I will tell you, for anyone who actually helps to build the selling product, there is nothing worse than watching a salesperson completely oversell a project, walk away with a fat check, and you are left holding the bag and working overtime.
leelin 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Measurement & Leverage?

My experience in sales is tilted almost exclusively to real estate transactions, but I'll say PG's How To Make Wealth Essay offers an explanation (http://www.paulgraham.com/wealth.html).

There is large variance in skill when it comes to many jobs, but in sales it is huge. Fortunately we can measure and properly attribute the more skillful salespeople, and those people have a pretty clear impact on the firm's revenues. All the negatives mentioned in the post are certainly true, although in real estate the mitigating factor is that the biggest source of leads for good brokers are referrals from past happy clients (enterprise SAAS is probably less viral).

Sadly there is also large variance in programming skill, but it's far harder to quantify or justify or transport to the next employer. In real estate, if you suck and sold no houses in 2 years as a broker, or if you were awesome and sold 30 houses, that's easy for a future employer to notice and verify. When I interview for hacking gigs, no one really knows whether I did a good job, I can only say what I generally worked on and have them take my word for it as a 1/N contributor. Self-employed programmers seem to be able to sidestep some of these problems.

earle 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is just an absurd argument. You're paying top sales people commissions because thats what top sales people demand! You dont have a choice in this matter if you want real world class sales people -- you'll be giving them more than just commissions!
chernevik 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a very thoughtful post, they've put the usual Fog Creek thought into this. But I suggest that one year is not enough time to properly evaluate the policy.

For one thing, I wouldn't say this is known good until the organization has demonstrated to itself that it can recruit / train / inculcate new people into this system. I'd suggest they'll also want to keep an eye on how the sales team evolves over time -- habits die hard, but they do die, and it may be that the commission system served to ensure that some positive habits were maintained.

For another, this may be suited to their competitive niche, or even this particular moment in their market penetration. If the product is selling itself, if the market is growing for everyone, then commissions may not help and may be counterproductive to the image and relationships they want to build. The situation may change if the market position matures and stabilizes.

I'm not saying any of these _will_ be issues. I'm just saying that corporate cultures develop over periods of years, and that comp systems are important signals into that development. It sounds like this is going great, and good management will always be looking at how corporate culture is moving -- but I would think management would want to keep a careful eye out for unintended consequences of this for quite some time.

(And they may well be doing just that. But the post seems a little more definitive.)

deltaqueue 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I suspect FogCreek had success because their sales team is relatively small, but I'm curious to see how this works long-term. Is a lack of commission structure going to deter future recruits? They said nobody left, but have they tried hiring any additional sales reps? Big time sales reps will assuredly balk at the prospect of cutting their income to some average amount, but perhaps that type of employee only exists at larger organizations.

As a sales engineer, I'm not sure I agree that employee views can be divided into a black-and-white categorization of X vs Y. I'm not lazy, want to avoid work, etc., and yet I still think a $200,000 deal requires more work and yields more profit for the company than a $5,000 deal, and thus I should be rewarded for that additional effort.

Comparing this reward system to coding or some other profit-generating segment of the company only works part of the time. With sales, the increased profits available for reward are immediately clear. With coding, the value-add of a coder's efforts are less clear, so it's up to his or her manager to see the financial impact of that employee and reward accordingly via bonus. Simple example: a friend of mine optimized some javascript, reduced the file size, and this ultimately saved his company over $200,000 a year in bandwidth. This is quite clear, whereas a simple bug fix or new feature is not.

briandoll 20 hours ago 1 reply      
IMHO, a key reason this works well for them is that their compensation package is really nice and well rounded: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000038.html

In short: they pay market rates based on a transparent internal system of scale, they have a generous profit sharing plan (thus motivating everyone to increase profits regardless of role) and excellent benefits (health and non-health related).

It's hard to argue against a system like that.

JumpCrisscross 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The article mis-interprets Ariely's study.

Fog Creek asserts that the study shows a negative relationship between commission and performance. This relationship was found - for very large rewards. Small rewards increase performance when compared to no reward.

Here is the original paper: http://m.pss.sagepub.com/content/15/11/787.short.

In a follow-up study, he showed that effort increases with reward almost as predicted, but error rate increases exponentially: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009..... The effect is also variable depending on whether it is a primarily intellectual or mechanical task.

I'm not making a ruling on commissions here, just saying the Ariely quote corroborates Fog Creek's null hypothesis.

absconditus 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I find it a bit baffling to see so many comments defending commissioned salespeople with claims that most of the major problems with commission are due to improper management or pay structure or this or that. Where are all of these magical salespeople in enterprise software sales who are knowledgeable, ethical and do not overpromise? One might even argue that this type of sales process leads to worse software as it becomes bloated with promised features, half of which are never used.
bdfh42 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember some years ago talking to the CEO of a company that was doing a great job of selling to us - I mean way over expectations - fantastic.

I asked - how much are you paying that guy - he is great? the answer was - "an OK salary" - but they did find out what motivated him - for this guy it was vacation time.

Everyone wants a salary that reflects their worth in a business - then (for peak performance) everyone might have different motivators. It might be recognition, a great car, a better office - it does not matter - find out what it is and supply it...

niklas_a 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm sorry to say that this is wrong on so many levels. We engineers like to believe that the author is right and our guy gut tells us that "hey why do the sales people get commission and I don't??".

So why is the author wrong?

While there certainly ARE cases where commission is being used in the wrong way, there is nothing inherently wrong with it.

1) The author misinterprets the research and states that people perform worse when under an incentive. This is only true for INTELLECTUAL tasks. If you tell one group of people that they get $50 if they solve a math problem in five minutes then that group will perform worse than another group without an incentive.

But if you tell one group of people they'll get $20 for every brick they move from A to B in five minutes you can be sure they'll move the bricks much faster than a group with no incentive.

2) "The problems include infighting over who gets credit for accounts and sales."
Again, a problem with how you set up the system. This fighting can easily be avoided. Just make sure it is clear who is responsible for each customer.

3) The author also forgets one of the great features of a commission based system. If you are a small startup you may not be able to hire a large sales force. In that case, you can hire great sales people at a low base salary and make sure they only get paid when you get paid.

TL;DR: commissions are a tool among others. Use it well and it will help you. Use it in the wrong way and it won't. Use common sense.

pbreit 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Fogcreek doesn't seem like the best proxy for a "normal" company. Would this work on a broader basis?
paulhauggis 18 hours ago 2 replies      
"Our salespeople all estimated that they were spending about 20% of their time just keeping track of what money was due them. There was constant horse trading."

I had to laugh at this. How is this that difficult? An excel spreadsheet with a few columns might only take a 20-30 minutes per day (if that). If it's based on a percentage, excel can automatically calculate that based on a column. I am a re-seller for a few products online and this is exactly how I calculate it. I have another sheet that tallies all of my monthly revenue. I can't imagine it being much different when selling services or products for a company like Fog Creek. You could also keep track of all names/companies, etc. here.

I'm going to offer another perspective: Fog creek basically just gave themselves a pay raise. Rather than giving salespeople a cut of the sales, they now are paying them a flat-fee.

Some people may like this because now they have consistent income. However, it's much less than what they could potentially earn. If I was a salesperson there, I would quit. I would like to see the results of this in 1 year (or 5 years). I suspect they will switch back to a commission-based system within that time-frame.

It reminds me of my brother's job. He used to work as a bike builder at a local shop here in PA. He used to get paid $10/bike and he would build many bikes per night. They switched it over one day to $11/hour and he then had no incentive to build as many bikes (and he admits didn't doesn't work as hard..because he was going to get paid the same regardless). Most people are like this.

In a way, it's like converting from free-market capitalism (you have no limit to your success) to communism (everyone is now equal).

They do this to developers all the time. Every job I've ever had has been based on salary. This sounds great, until you realize that the employer now has no incentive to keep you within 40 hours/week.

At one company, the new COO came in and announced that new working hours were an hour earlier and half-an-hour later. Everyone working there was on salary, so we essentially all got a pay-cut.

storborg 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Previous posts[1] have indicated that Fog Creek does rather extensive profit sharing. Isn't that just a form of commission? Further, profit sharing includes non-sales employees.

[1] http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000038.html

tibbon 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I think places use commissions for the reason of underpaying some salespeople- not for the reason of rewarding top salespeople.

In my experience, commissions exist so that places can hire a ton of salespeople with relatively little risk to themselves.

Cass 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised Fog Creek kept commissions around for so long, considering that Joel has been writing articles about how incentive pay causes dysfunction since 2002 (Edit: 2000, even!)




elmarschraml 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Why salespeople are on commission?
Because it's one of the rare jobs where performance can be easily and objectively measured.

Most of the arguments in the article could just as easily apply to a fixed salary (jumping ship for better pay, fighting over who gets the big deals etc). And I would argue that the theory y vs theory x argument, that good employees are by nature more intrinsically motivated than just in it for the money, probably holds true a lot more for programmers than for salespeople. By definition, sales is about getting customers to pay money, so for a salesperson it's probably a good thing to be motivated by money.

The real question about commission-based compensation is: Is what I measure, and pay people for (this quarter's revenues) really what I want to achieve (maximum long-term profitablity)?

If you pay by commission, you will probably get higher revenues right now, but also more of the problems mentioned (mostly overselling to customers that arent really a good fit for the product).

I'd say it depends on the situation the company is in. If you're an established, profitable software company like FogCreek that wants to build long-term relationships with happy customers, a fixed salary is probably better. But if you're a startup with 2 months of runway left, desperately needing some revenue right now, you're probably better off paying commissions to your salespeople.

gamble 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The fundamental reason companies use commissions is because it shifts risk from the company to the employee. Companies that depend on salespeople tend to scale up with the number of feet you have on the ground. If you pay salaries, every employee increases your cost structure. If you depend on commissions, employees pay themselves or go hungry.

You can see this in an extreme form with car dealerships, where the salesmen are usually 100% commission. It's common for dealerships to have a half-dozen salesmen loitering on an empty lot, because they don't cost the dealership anything.

cjy 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought this article made a lot of really good points (especially about wasting time tracking commissions).

However, the OP seemed to miss why we pay sales people with commissions but programmers with salaries: it is easy to objectively measure the output of sales people and it is not easy to objectively measure the value of code.

If you asked the question, "Why do we pay most people in salaries?" the answer is because there is no easy way to pay-by-performance for most creative, subjective, or service oriented tasks.

gallerytungsten 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Very few salespeople can actually sell. By which I mean find prospects, build a pipeline and actually close deals on their own. Many are just order-takers who are in the right place with a warm prospect. I would put the percentage of "real" salespeople at around 20%.

Many people hired for a sales job never actually sell enough to justify their cost to the company. Hence the need for commissions as a way to weed out the many non-performers.

If all or a majority of compensation is commission, you also deter the non-performers from trying to get the job in the first place.

numlocked 20 hours ago 1 reply      
But surely all the logic applied here to commissions also applies to quotas, right? (measuring performance, assigning credit to a sale to a particular sales rep, dividing up territories equitably, etc) But the post doesn't mention eliminating quotas. Wouldn't they go hand in hand? Can you have a sales force without quotas?
AlexBlom 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree that commissions can generally be corrosive (and are a hallmark of lazy management, generally speaking), but I have to wonder how this would work in larger teams.

In smaller teams (when managed well, and with the right talent), the focus is always on the sales number vs. the sales commission, which is properly considered as a byproduct of the sales number. If you dig deeper, many of the negative attitudes are associated to reps working to hit their sales number.

My assumption is that sales numbers still need to stand at individual levels (to avoid social loafing) unless the team as already proven themselves. I'd be interested to see what different problems this tactic floats later down the road.

d_meyer 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Atlassian (which also makes bug tracking software) has been around longer than Fog Creek, and doesn't even have salespeople, much less commissions.

Demonstrated model of success, no need to blog about it in 2012.

dextorious 19 hours ago 0 replies      
"""Think for a second: we don't insist that other kinds of workers be paid on commissions. Only an amazing idiot pays a programmer by lines of code."""

This is an idiotic argument, if I ever saw one.

Lines of code don't measure the programmers contribution to your companies bottom line.

Sales do.

That said, paying sales commissions to sales people is not that different than giving shares and stocks options to programmers as an incentive.

A mediocre post, at most.

thekevan 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Sales guy and coding hobbyist here.

My snarky answer to this is if a software guy wants to get rid of commissions, he shouldn't complain when I client gives him a mock up in Word.

My serious answer is the problems his sales department had were symptoms of a broken system. Many easy, smaller fixes could have alleviated the boiler-room atmosphere he describes.

smackfu 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Why didn't they call this blog post "Why we don't pay sales commissions"?
jriley 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The most effective sales quota scheme in my corporate experience: 10% higher sales than your last quarter.

There are many more complicated systems, but this one was very difficult to game.

davidbitton 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Our company does not have commissioned reps either, and frankly, I'm not complaining. Our sales figures are fine.
rrrgggrrr 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Belarus Makes Browsing Foreign Websites a Misdemeanor loc.gov
250 points by anigbrowl  3 days ago   82 comments top 12
masklinn 3 days ago 6 replies      
From my reading, the title seems to be a mis-representation:

* Scratch that, the text notes a misdemeanor, is there no way to strike text on HN? ~~The offense is entirely civil, not criminal.~~

* Belarusians registered as entrepreneurs (individuals or companies) must provide their service to belarusians from a belarusian domain.

* Owners of internet cafés or other places providing internet access must restrict their access to belarusian domains or identify, record and report any access to a non-belarusian domain to the authorities.

* The law includes a provision for government-ordered blocking of banned websites by ISPs.

The note linked does not seem to specify any offense by citizens not registered as entrepreneurs and not business owners, although the second paragraph may hint at information missing from this note:

> The newly published Law imposes restrictions on visiting and/or using foreign websites by Belarusian citizens and residents. Under this new Law, the violation of these rules is recognized as a misdemeanor and is punished by fines of varied amounts, up to the equivalent of US$125. (Id.)

(immediately following this paragraph is the section on entrepreneurs in point 1)

As I can not read Belarusian, I can not assert the correctness of the english note linked or which informations are missing, I'm interested in corrections or more complete informations from native speakers.

edit: I seem to have missed a section of the second paragraph which, while it does not make the title any more correct, makes the law even more worrying: foreign internet use would not be a civil offense for belarusian citizens but being a foreign service used by belarusians in business contexts would be:

> It appears that business requests from Belarus cannot be served over the Internet if the service provider is using online services located outside of the country.

hippich 3 days ago 1 reply      
Title is quite wrong. In both cases there is _civil_ offense. Here are two main cases:

- Belarusian companies have to offer service from servers located in Belarus physically.

- Owners of internet-cafe have to identify all users so any connection could be tied to particular identity anytime.

I am not saying this is right, but for country like Belarus it is quite minor issue. I was almost excluded from university due my participation in opposition movement and know a bit about wire tapping phone lines (including mobile - have no clue how they do it actually).

I am glad it did to front page of HN. It means someone still bother what is going on there.. :)

goshakkk 3 days ago 0 replies      
That's how my country got to the top of Hacker News.
ohashi 3 days ago 7 replies      
Can anyone explain why they implemented this law for those of us with little-no knowledge of Belorussian politics?
guard-of-terra 3 days ago 3 replies      
The title is outright lying in action. The law being cited only talks about civil offences. Didn't see anything about criminal offence.

The law in question seems to be vague, stupid and prone to interpretations, but that doesn't make lying right.

viraptor 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have a strange feeling that actually implementing this globally would be the easiest way to reverse the law. There has to be a large number of government agencies which rely on 'foreign' internet for many reasons. This would pretty much paralyse a lot of the country for some days...

Also... How many security patches are obtained from foreign servers?

guard-of-terra 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another twist: Belarus has implemented a huge economic and customs union with Russia and Kazakhstan starting 1st january.

I wonder if they are bound to let Russian internet firms operate on Belarussian market unconstrained by any local laws; therefore giving them even more advantage.

Of course this is pure speculation; we do not know if they are going to enforce this law at all.

tantalor 3 days ago 1 reply      
If they want to limit network access why don't they just prohibit routing at the ISP level? They could set up VPN for authorized foreign network access.
perfunctory 2 days ago 0 replies      
The only reason this law wasn't initiated earlier is because until recently very few people in Belarus had access to internet, so the regime could leave it alone and boast internet freedoms as oppose to China let's say. Now that the internet usage is growing rapidly it became important to control it.
gadders 2 days ago 1 reply      
Oh, man. I only just bought a .by Belarus domain six months ago (as a vanity domain, my surname ends in 'by'). I hope it doesn't effect that.
ishi 2 days ago 0 replies      
OMG. Just when you think you've heard the worst (SOPA?).

The discussion going on about whether it's a criminal or civil offense is really pointless. The main thing is that a country can simply decide one morning that it's illegal to access websites from other countries. Thinking about this as a possible reality makes me feel physically ill. Not to mention how stupid this idea is in the first place: many modern professions rely heavily on international websites for doing their jobs. Think about academic researchers, importers/exporters, even school teachers...

Horrible, just horrible.

xxqs 3 days ago 1 reply      
this will simply push the use of encrypted tunnels to a new level. It's already a commodity service in China.
Ask HN: Who is Hiring? (January 2012)
249 points by whoishiring  4 days ago   213 comments top 142
ecaron 4 days ago 19 replies      
Month after month, the same companies list the same opening here (with probably 30% shift.) I would love to know if the companies that relist aren't getting applicants, aren't getting the right applicants, have a high turnover or are (hopefully) just continuing to grow.

Also, are any HNers getting hired from these threads? Success stories are the most needed ingredient to remind everyone that hiring is happening.

ig1 4 days ago 3 replies      
Summary of startup related job boards from around the world, most of them are broadly recruiter free:



Crunchboard http://www.crunchboard.com/jobs/

Startuply http://www.startuply.com/

YC Company Jobs: http://news.ycombinator.com/jobs



CoderStack (Developer Jobs - run by me) http://www.coderstack.co.uk/startup-jobs

Mind The Product (Product Management Jobs) http://mindtheproduct.com/jobs/

Work in Startups http://www.workinstartups.com/

Enternships - (Startup Internships) http://www.enternships.com/en/enternships



Berlin Startup Jobs http://berlinstartupjobs.com/



StartupNorth http://jobs.startupnorth.ca/

davi 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ashburn, VA/Heidelberg, Germany

Scientific Software Developer


Ilastik (http://ilastik.org) is a collaborative open-source project with the aim of providing a scalable image analysis platform for the neurosciences and beyond. Current ilastik development seeks to bring the power of interactive machine learning to very large data sets.

Janelia Farm (http://www.janelia.org), one of the premier centers for biomedical research worldwide, is funding a Scientific Software Developer (Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, VA with visits to Heidelberg University, Germany) to reach that goal quickly. Tasks include the refinement of the architecture, the integration with existing tools and the design of a graphical user interface for handling of very large microscopic data sets using image analysis and machine learning algorithms. The software developer will also support proof-of-principle studies on pioneering applications from the neurosciences, and liaise between experts at Janelia Farm and ilastik core developers at the University of Heidelberg.

The position requires a strong background in C++, experience in software engineering applied to large projects, and the skills to integrate existing algorithms and functionality into a unifying biomedical processing framework. Experience with python, Qt, numpy, scipy and scientific parallel programming is a plus. Good communication skills are essential to make for good cooperation both with local experts and with other programmers working remotely. Salary is commensurate with prior experience and will be highly competitive for extremely well-matched candidates.

The principal work place is on the beautiful campus of Janelia Farm, with regular visits to Heidelberg. The successful candidate will be in a position to help shape a project that is becoming an enabling technology in one of the most interesting fields conceivable: the deciphering of the inner workings of the brain.

see also:


coffeemug 3 days ago 0 replies      
RethinkDB (www.rethinkdb.com/jobs) - MV, CA.

Hiring C++, algorithms, and systems junkies. We've hacked the kernel, JavaScript, and everything in between. We love computer science and systems hacking. We dislike fads and one trick pony programmers who've only learned one trick.

The software, hardware, and use cases have changed. Databases did not (and those that did are doing a bad job). Let's do a phenomenal job together!

transmit101 4 days ago 0 replies      

At Mixlr, [http://mixlr.com], we're currently looking to meet developers.

Mixlr is a platform for broadcasting and listening to live audio. We launched less than a year ago, and have a large and fast-growing user base including some of the world's top DJs and radio stations.

We also have an interesting and scaleable backend architecture which involves not only Ruby but lashings of Java, C and C++, with heavy usage of Redis and MongoDB.

We practice test-driven development, use Puppet to automate our server configuration and live by the mantra of rapid deployment: join us, and you can expect to see your code being put through its paces by thousands of users - within hours (or quite possibly, minutes).

We would love to meet developers with:

- deep web development knowledge - most likely involving Ruby on Rails.

- a strongly test-driven approach to coding.

- a love for learning new skills and technologies, and the enthusiasm to break out of Ruby and try their hand at unfamiliar languages and frameworks.

- a driving passion not just for coding, but for audio, music and startups as well.

For the right person(s), we are able to offer:

- A competitive, full-time salary - negotiable dependant on experience.

- Meaningful stock options.

- Offices a stone's throw from Old Street tube.

- The opportunity to take a leading, hands-on role in building an exciting and ambitious music company.

If the above interests you, then we'd love to talk. Contact me: rob <somehow> mixlr.com.

Sorry, but we're not hiring remotely at this time.

brandnewlow 3 days ago 1 reply      
SF/Bay Area, Chicago

NowSpots is a venture-backed startup (we've raised an ample seed round) that's taking the pain out of customer acquisition by making it easy for small brands to create really awesome ad campaigns that do more than just look pretty. We're looking for clever devs who understand that the hardest part of building a business is defeating apathy, getting noticed, and connecting with people looking for your product or service. If you have any sort of subversive, counter-establishmentarian impulses, we'd like to talk to you. :)

Ping me at brad@nowspots.com if you want to chat. We're a small team of just a few folks but count several fortune 500 companies as customers. Come hack with us.

diego 3 days ago 1 reply      
LinkedIn, Mountain View, CA. INTERN, H1B welcome.

We're hiring software engineers and data scientists for search, network (graph) and analytics. Of course there are tons of other openings.

Why LinkedIn is interesting?

- We have unique data about the world of work. It's an excellent place to play with Hadoop/MapReduce/Pig/Hive.

- We have a ton of open-source projects (IndexTank, Voldemort, etc).

- We are trying to do something good for the world (help people find better opportunities), and make money in the process.

- We have great food!

Contact me directly if you want, or check out the link below.


pbiggar 3 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco (REMOTE, H1B, INTERN welcome):

Circle (http://circleci.com - full-service, hosted, continuous integration): Designers and Engineers

We're hiring our first employee(s)! You should love making code better, and optimizing developers' workflow: our mission is to make millions of developers lives better.

Circle does hosted, full-service, continuous integration. Users give us their code and we do as much magic as possible to make their code better: less buggy, faster, less risky.

Engineers: there's a broad range of really exciting work to be done for great engineers: static analysis, file systems, databases, and working with a broad range of languages, platforms and environments. You must be smart and get shit done!

Designers: If you love UX, data visualization, streamlined workflows, this is the job for you. We have tons of data available, and need to present it such that developers can get out of the app and back to their jobs sooner. We're hugely developer focused, so to ability implement your vision is essential, at least on the front-end.

We're a young and exciting company. We have real customers, we're growing fast, and our users are really passionate about the product. We pay well, have great perks, and are based in SFs coolest office building (http://ongig.com/blog/career-development/the-best-san-franci...). A big plus if you love table tennis.

Email paul@circleci.com and we'll chat.

BenS 4 days ago 1 reply      
Pinterest is hiring engineers and product designers in Palo Alto, CA. (http://pinterest.com/about/careers/)

We are a very small team with a lot of interesting and creative challenges ahead of us! Pinterest already does billions of pageviews, has terabytes of interesting data to analyze, and is growing at 50% each month.

There are fascinating problems ahead of us, including search and recommendation algorithms, a developer api, internationalization, and a monetization platform will make using Pinterest better, not worse.

We care about creating a great place for people to do their very best work. We look for folks who are creative, humble, talented, and hard-working.

squirrel 4 days ago 0 replies      
London (UK) and Boston (US).

We're a 100-person financial-software firm committed to learning and improvement as well as great web software and agile development.

We use Java, Scala, and some Groovy; we always write tests first and pair on most coding tasks. Developers have Linux workstations with at least two monitors. We have weekly lightning talks that cover finance and technical topics.

Some of you may know us from our sponsorship of Hacker News meetups in London. See http://devblog.timgroup.com and http://www.timgroup.com/careers for more about us.

Note we recently changed our name from youDevise to TIMGroup but we're still the same folks!

ridejoy 3 days ago 0 replies      
We're looking for designers and engineers!

Ridejoy is a community marketplace for rides (YC S11)

We love well-designed experiences, we have a rapidly growing community that loves us back (and loves telling us so), and we're building a marketplace for everyone who's ever needed to get somewhere.


We've all been employees at early-stage, venture-backed startups. We know what it's like, so we're generous with the benefits and your equity. (Plus full salaries, of course.) We're well-funded by top-tier investors, and we do things like all-you-can-eat free food, and free tickets and transportation to Burning Man.

We have a tight-knit team and we're looking for people who we can develop a deep mutual trust with. This is not code for "the same as us"; we want to build a team that's more diverse than your typical startup. We understand that a great company and a great culture depends on far more than technical aptitude.

Details: Located in SF. We will happily pay for and help with relocation for the right candidate.

For designers: As the lead designer, you'll be working closely with two engineers who care deeply about the user experience of our product, and want to let you focus on what you do best.

The product is very early, so you'd be shaping it from the ground floor; we want someone to help us build a design culture from the very beginning. Like everyone else we work with, we want you to teach, and to be teachable.

For engineers: Our current stack is Ruby, Rails, Postgres, Coffeescript, Sass, and jQuery, and we're looking to expand into iOS and Android. It's not mandatory to know these coming in; passionate generalists who can learn quickly work too.

PSA: Refer someone we hire, and get a thousand bucks of collaborative consumption credit! You can pick from among Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Grubwithus, Getaround, RelayRides, Tutorspree, Skillshare, and Vayable.
Link: http://www.ridejoy.com/jobs/

ivanzhao 3 days ago 0 replies      
Inkling, San Francisco, CA

Inkling is a publishing startup. We are a new medium, the future of books and publishing (currently with a focus in textbooks on iPad); our platform is so good that completely leaves ebooks in dust, and even most major publishing houses are invested in us.

We are pretty much hiring in ANY POSITION - from the JavaScript/Python/Scala/iOS to UI/UX design to marketing to product management to interns. We are Sequoia-backed and just recently secured another round of $17 million funding.

The team is lean and flat. Located in the downtown SF, TV-celebrity chef in house, best gym in town, plus generous salary and options.


Contact me if you are interested (annemarie@inkling.com)

myenergy 4 days ago 0 replies      
MyEnergy - Boston, MA - FULL TIME: VP Eng, Data & Rails Engineers

We're building the consumer side of the universal energy internet, and we're looking for talented engineers to bring it to life. Working atop datasets never before accessed and assembled in the same place, you'll build experiences and interactions that make a difference here at home and the world over.

MyEnergy, formerly Earth Aid, was recently named to Fast Company's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Energy. We're venture-backed, with strong strategic partners and investors committed to our vision of building the people's energy internet. We've been called "the killer app for energy efficiency" ( http://bit.ly/dZBy7q ) and our work has been featured in publications such as Mashable ( http://on.mash.to/hqyZqF ), TechCrunch, The New York Times ( http://nyti.ms/ayzLHb ), The Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

We're currently hiring for:

* a VP Engineering to lead us in tripling our team => https://www.myenergy.com/careers/vp_engineering

* Rails Engineers to take ownership in dreaming up and building out new front and backend functionality => https://www.myenergy.com/careers/rails_engineer

* Data Engineers & Scientists to embark upon ambitious projects leveraging machine learning and AI => https://www.myenergy.com/careers/data_engineer

* and UI Designers to make the whole of the user experience astounding => https://www.myenergy.com/careers/ui_designer

We've just opened up our new HQ in a sunny two story loft by Faneuil Hall in Boston, and we offer very competitive salaries, excellent benefits, a fun company culture, and a small arsenal of office helicopter drones. If you might like to join us, send us an email to introduce yourself to jobs at myenergy dot com

dabent 4 days ago 0 replies      
Santa Monica, CA (Los Angeles area)

TRUECar.com - TrueCar shows consumers how much people actually paid for a particular new car in their area, then guides them to dealers we've certified. When someone buys from a dealer we've sent them to, we get paid. We already have solid revenues, are well funded and and are growing rapidly. We need lots of technical talent to help us grow.

* JAVA - We are looking for several talented Java developers and architects to design and build the technology used to power our production websites, APIs, widgets, and internal tools. This is a chance for you to join a growing company and build something that's going to scale to support millions of users/visitors and provide them with all kinds of data.

* Front End - HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. Help build out our main site and our partner sites.

* Senior .NET Developer - You should have extensive experience building .Net applications using C#. Our user interfaces are web-based, so ASP.NET MVC, JQuery, and CSS are important. We use SQL Server heavily, so you should read, write and debug enterprise-grade SQL. Strength in developing applications using ASP.NET MVC and modern JavaScript frameworks.

* Python/Django - Our main site is in Django, which means we need serious talent to help it scale and expand as we continue to grow. Plus, you'll get to work with me.

* Senior Systems Engineers - Got Linux? Keep our 200+ servers going strong.

* Front End - HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. Help build out our main site and our partner sites.

* QA engineers - More software, more bugs. Help us find them.

* We also have some non-technical openings for senior positions in marketing, customer retention, HR, finance and accounting. Email me for details.

My story - moved from Atlanta all the way out to Santa Monica after stopping by the TrueCar booth at PyCon 2011. I started here three month ago and love it. I'm working with a great team that knows how to develop software and for management who seems to "get it" with regards to software developers.

The Python team in an open workspace that has a view of the ocean (http://picplz.com/user/dabent/pic/tpc4v/), and all the Santa Monica offices are blocks from the beach. They have great benefits, including company equity, 100% paid family medical, dental, vision, and a healthy 401k. They also offer gym membership reimbursement ($50 a month), 12 holidays, career training, 3 weeks PTO and have a kitchen stocked with fruit, snacks and such. I've honestly never had a job this good.
If you're interested, send me your resume. My email is in my profile.

ejames 3 days ago 1 reply      
Austin, TX - BarZ Adventures.
Software developer, Rails or iPhone. Android experience also welcome.

We're a small but profitable business that licenses software for making tour guides and visitor directories. The company was founded on sales of a specialized hardware device - still in use in many places, such as the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. - but the company has now moved to producing white-label mobile apps for iOS and Android.

I'm currently running both the iPhone project and the Rails back-end myself, but it's too much to juggle with the growing business. Looking for someone to help out on either project, so I can focus on the other.

Contact evan.james@barzadventures.com.

josscrowcroft 4 days ago 2 replies      
For what it's worth (and as far as I'm aware), H1B visas are now capped (i.e. full) until October 1st, 2012 - applications are accepted from April 1st - so there may not be much sense in companies including the keyword "H1B" as requested, unless they're looking to fill a roll later in the year..
TimothyFitz 3 days ago 0 replies      
New York, NY - Software Engineer - Fulltime

Canvas (USV Funded) is looking for engineers #3 and #4 to join a small close team building the rich-media community platform of the future.

The job title says "Software Engineer" but really we're looking for "Software Entrepreneur" or a "Startup Engineer". Yes, your day job will be writing code. But that's the only similarity to a big company software job.

You'll be challenged to take big ideas and turn them into concrete testable hypotheses. Shipping a great feature is important, but positively changing user behavior is the ultimate success criteria. Built-to-spec takes a backseat to moves-the-metrics.

More details and how to apply http://canv.as/jobs

ladon86 3 days ago 0 replies      

We're an edtech startup funded by some of the biggest names in the valley, and we're one of the fastest growing education companies of all time.

If you're a strong JavaScript hacker who wants to use node.js to change the world, apply here:


Or email jobs@classdojo.com

We are looking for:

  Lead Software Engineer (node.js)

Lead Front-end Developer

Lead Visual Designer

Developer internships

epi0Bauqu 3 days ago 1 reply      
DuckDuckGo is hiring (albeit slowly): http://help.duckduckgo.com/customer/portal/articles/216387

We have an office in Paoli, PA though remote is OK depending on the relationship. We have people now across the world. We also welcome Philly-area interns. H1B is also OK.

jonbischke 2 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA (SF/Mission)

RG Labs is hiring: http://www.rglabsinc.com/#jobs

It is our belief that the most important decisions we make are decisions about people (e.g., who to start a company with, who to hire, who to date/marry...) We also feel like the Web is in its infancy in terms of helping us to make better decisions based on data and that this space will explode in coming years.

We're planning to help with the detonation.

We have a long backlog of customers waiting to use our product when it launches (in Q1) and a big market in front of us. We're building an engineering-centric organization and working out of a cool work/live space in the Mission. Our current stack includes Ruby, Rails, MySQL, Resque, and elasticsearch, etc. We're also planning to contribute to open source as much as we can (e.g., https://github.com/rglabs/teleport).

We're funded but also really early so it's a unique opportunity to help us set the tone and to be a major contributor (not to mention, get a sizable option grant).

To hear more drop me a line directly at jon@rglabsinc.com or contact via our website. We'd love to share more with you.

dons 3 days ago 0 replies      
New York

Haskell and Finance/Software Engineering.

Developing next-gen trading, risk, pricing platforms. Strong comp. sci or math background and software engineering in functional languages required.

dmnd 3 days ago 3 replies      
Mountain View - Khan Academy (full-timers and interns welcome year-round)

Our mission is to provide a world-class education to anyone, anywhere. We already have millions of students learning every month, and we're growing quickly.

Our students answer over 2 million math exercise problems per day, all generated by our open source exercise generation framework (http://github.com/khan/khan-exercises, http://ejohn.org/blog/khan-exercise-rewrite/), and Sal's videos have been viewed over 99 million times. We're just getting started feeding this data we're collecting back into the product to help our users learn more (http://david-hu.com/2011/11/02/how-khan-academy-is-using-mac...). If you're interested in data, analytics, and education, this is a dream gig.

Plus, it's one of the highest educational impact positions you can imagine.
We're hiring all types of devs -- mobile, frontend, backend, whatever you want to call yourself. Big plans ahead.


asanwal 4 days ago 0 replies      
New York or Remote (only if living in US/Canada)

Full-time and Intern


CB Insights (www.cbinsights.com) looking for:

- Front-end web developer
- Machine learning / NLP engineer

We are using data to assess the health of private companies. We're National Science Foundation backed and have very large companies paying us real money today for our data, i.e., we have a real business / business model.

If you're humble, happy and hungry, please reach out to me directly at asanwal@cbinsights.com or career@cbinsights.com.

Happy new year.

RichardPrice 2 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA. Full time.

Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. The company's mission is to accelerate the world's research.

It's widely held that science is too closed, and too slow. We are trying to change that. We believe that faster sharing of research will lead to an acceleration in research innovation: faster innovation in medicine, biology, engineering, economics, and other fields. Faster sharing in biology and medicine, for example, could lead to cancer being solved 12 months before it otherwise would have been, which would lead to millions of lives being saved.

Academia.edu has over 850,000 registered users, and over 3 million monthly unique visitors. Both of these metrics tripled in 2011. Over 2,500 papers are added to the platform each day, and over 3,500 academics join each day.

We need talented engineers to come and help us accelerate the world's research. We believe that there is a chance to make a big impact.

We just raised $4.5 million from Spark Capital and True Ventures http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3297812. Some of our angel investors include Mark Shuttleworth (founder of Ubuntu) and Rupert Pennant-Rea (Chairman of The Economist).

We have a strong engineering culture. We're a 6 person team based in downtown San Francisco. The site is Rails, and other technologies we use include PostgreSQL, Redis, Varnish, Solr, Memcached, Mongodb, Beanstalkd.

Familiarity with our technologies is a plus, but it's not essential. It's far more important that you are a quick learner who can pick up new technologies quickly. There is more information about the company on our hiring page, at http://academia.edu/hiring.

The kinds of things you would be working on include:

... building new features (a conference feature, a discussion feature for papers)

... enhancing existing features (News Feed, Profile page, paper upload tools)

... building back-end infrastructure to scale the site

What we're looking for are:

☀ 2+ years of web development experience

☀ Experience with the full engineering stack

☀ Passion for engineering

All the strategic decisions in the startup are made collaboratively, whether they are about hiring, new feature development, user growth, user retention, funding, or revenue. You can participate in those general startup decisions as much or as little as you want. We have found that our decisions are much better as a result of everyone contributing to them. If you like having an impact, you will enjoy the Academia.edu culture. There is more information here http://academia.edu/hiring.

H1B candidates are very welcome. We will take care of the visa process.

If you are interested to learn more, please email Richard Price at richard [at] academia.edu

nhangen 1 day ago 0 replies      
St. Petersburg, FL - Paradise Advertising

http://paradiseadvertising.com don't worry, one of your projects will be to help me build a new rocking website)

On site with possibility of remote days.

We're looking for an entry-level - jr software engineer/front-end dev to help fill out our interactive department. You'll need to be comfy with HTML/CSS, working in Photoshop/Fireworks, and willing to dabble in everything from MySQL to javascript.

This position is unique in that we are not a software company, but work on and in a lot of software projects. You'll be the 2nd technical hire, and will have the opportunity to make you mark in the department.

Email nathan@paradiseadv.com

pretzel 3 days ago 0 replies      
London (Soho) - Full Time

At Qubit - http://www.qubitproducts.com/ - we're helping some of the biggest companies in UK understand their data and providing them with actionable intelligence. Founded by 4 ex-Googlers 2 years ago, we're looking for top Front-end/Back-end/Test/Infrastructure/AI/Statistical engineers to help build our core infrastructure to find deeper insights into our huge data sets faster.

We mainly use Java, to develop our Hadoop pipeline on AWS, and JavaScript, both in browser and on our nodejs/redis servers, with a bit of R, Python and what not in the mix.

2012 is going (to continue) to be an exciting time for our company and we'd love to have a bunch more people help us grow!

Have a chat with me at will+yc@qubitdigital.com an let me know what you are looking for to get the ball rolling.

vnorby 3 days ago 0 replies      
Menlo Park, CA (San Francisco Bay Area) (INTERN, REMOTE, H1B)

Everyme (YC S11) is hiring its first web engineer. Remote is OK for the right candidate, or if you're nearby commuting a couple times a week is fine. Our world-class team of five is reinventing the address book. You will be absolutely critical to the mission that we are on as we build APIs for our mobile clients alongside our fully JS website and mobile website. We're ventured funded and launching soon. Competitive salary, equity, benefits, sick desk/laptop/monitor setup etc. Summer internship candidates can also apply, folks interested in mobile (iOS/Android/other) or web are fine for internships. Some keywords for Cmd F-ers: Ruby on Rails, MySQL, MongoB, Redis, Node.js, Javascript, jQuery, Backbone.js, HTML, CSS, Coffeescript, Mobile.

Email me at vibhu <at> everyme <dot> com and let me know you came from HN!

jeffbarr 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Amazon Web Services team is hiring for over 370 full-time on-site positions at 15 world-wide locations. We need developers, solution architects, network engineers, support engineers, account managers, data center technicians, development managers, and more.

Here is the most recent list:


Feel free to contact me for more info or to apply. Search for "contact" and my first and last names to discover my email.

PS - You might enjoy reading about the code and the system architecture that were used to create the job list: http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2011/12/behind-the-scenes-of-the-...

Aloisius 4 days ago 2 replies      
San Francisco, CA

SeatMe is hiring! We're a cozy 13 person startup in downtown San Francisco. We're revolutionizing the restaurant industry and we need your help! We're in search of:

  * Web developers (we're a Django/jQuery/Backbone shop)

How often do you get a chance to work at a tech startup where eating out can be written off as a tax-refundable business expense? Well not here, because our CEO would go to jail (and he's never going back to the big house), but we do work in an awesome intersection of technology and fine dining.

We offer a very competitive salary, benefits, moving costs and equity options for all full-time employees.

Apply online - http://www.seatme.com/jobs/

Questions - jobs@seatme.com

ethank 2 days ago 0 replies      
Los Angeles, CA

LiveNation Labs (division of LiveNation Entertainment).

WHO: We are a brand new division of LiveNation focused on disrupting and reinventing their consumer products from within. We don't even have desks yet, just one huge room. Think of us as a startup funded by a Fortune 500 company.


We are looking for an engineer to work in various capacities on our product team. Work can and will include application development, systems operations, application design, support and engineering solutions to difficult problems when they arise. This position will work across all layers of the application stack: from sites to servers. While expertise in all areas isn't required, an eagerness to learn within each is a must.


Develop and improve new and existing application products and features

Code using primarily Javascript, Ruby, Java, Objective-C and Python

Write well-tested, maintainable code

Collaborate with systems and front-end engineers to support new products


BS, MS, or PhD in Computer Science or equivalent work experience

Comfortable working in a fast-paced, iterative environment

Ability to quickly become productive in existing systems

Great debugging and reasoning skills

Attention to detail


Experience with A/B testing

Ruby on Rails experience

Demonstrated contributions to open-source software

Holistic application experience (ie, made your own web app or mobile app)

A love for everything and anything music and live event related.

avar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Booking.com is always on the lookout for good developers, DBA's and sysadmins on-site in the center of Amsterdam. I'm a developer there and relocated over there about a year ago and have been very happy with it. We have people from all over the world relocating to work with us and are very well set up to handle relocation / visa issues.

It's a rapidly growing company that represents the biggest chunk of the Priceline group of companies where problems that look relatively mundane on paper become much more interesting due to the scale and growth levels we're operating at.

We use Perl for almost everything with a MySQL backend and Git for development. We get our changes out really fast, it's rare for your code not to be on our live systems within hours of you pushing it.

We have a relatively flat hierarchy with minimum levels of bureaucracy since we're very data driven and have a clear goal: helping our customers. Everything we do is aimed at solving problems for our customers, if it doesn't help our customers we're not interested in doing it.

You don't have to know Perl in advance to be a developer there. We've hired people who've done C, Java etc. before.

I'd be happy to answer any questions at avarab@gmail.com and/or forward your resume. http://booking.com/jobs also has some good information.

daveman692 3 days ago 0 replies      
Menlo Park - Facebook

I manage one of our tools engineering teams focused on making it easy for employees to quickly find the right information and keeping it up to date. But there are a number of different tools engineering teams focused on things from tools engineers use daily to how we can better support users.

Email is on my profile.


danberger 2 days ago 0 replies      
A little late to the party. I blame the hangover I had yesterday :)

Social Tables (http://www.socialtables.com), a funded, DC-based startup is looking for a Senior Developer/VP of Engineering (employee #1, wahoo!).

If you immediately thought that this startup makes databases social, you're the kind of person we're looking for and you'll fit right in. Please read on :)

Social Tables is the seating plan platform for events. You know how weddings, galas and other large events have assigned seating? Well, the biggest PITA in planning these events is figuring out how to seat guests (it can take weeks). Our cloud-based software solves that problem.

Since launching in May 2011, we've seated 43k guests at 450 different events. We're expanding rapidly through big strategic partnerships and aggressive customer acquisition.

In this role, your responsibilities will be to lead product development of our next version. We prefer Rails but if PHP is your weapon of choice, that's cool. You should also be proficient in JavaScript since things will be a little heavier on the client-side going forward.

You must be a motivated self-starter who is energized by teamwork and loves to learn new things.

Traction aside, right now is the perfect time to join Social Tables and we would love to tell you why. In addition to competitive compensation, you will get serious equity (we agree with Naval in his recent post on this issue - http://startupboy.com/2011/12/13/why-you-cant-hire/).

If this sounds interesting to you, email me: dan [at] socialtables dot [com!]

Thanks for reading and applying!

itay 4 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of people think Splunk must be a terrible place to work at because they think it is an "enterprise" company. But the truth is, we have great jobs for a lot of people. Want to work on awesome visualizations for gigabytes and terabytes of data daily? We got it. Want to work on building a development platform for an extremely powerful data analysis tool? We got it. Want to help make the core server that powers our extremely fast indexing and performance better? We got it.

Whether it's UI, core systems engineering, dev platform or anything in between, we likely have something for you. I personally work on the development platform in the Seattle office, but I'm happy to answer questions about anything. Feel free to shoot me an email (in my profile), or comment here.

Some specific areas where we're looking to hire:
Frontend engineer - Splunk is doing some awesome frontend development, so if you're interested in the intersection of presenting big data in a human-usable manner, this is a great position. http://www.splunk.com/view/SP-CAAAGK3?jvi=okO3VfwQ
Sys Admin: we recently launched Storm, our Splunk in the Cloud offering. We're looking for a sysadmin to help us manage that undertaking. This is a product that just launched, so you could have a big impact here. http://www.splunk.com/view/SP-CAAAGK3?jvi=ou6XVfwc
Sr Developer for Hadoop: Splunk is doing more and more work with Hadoop, and it's a completely new offering for the company and product. We're looking to add more people to the team who are excited about the space and want to improve the Hadoop landscape. http://www.splunk.com/view/SP-CAAAGK3?jvi=o792VfwX

Also, check out our new dev portal which we launched recently: http://dev.splunk.com

dget 3 days ago 0 replies      
New York, NY

Coursekit - Software Engineer

Coursekit is looking for more engineers to help bring the best possible online experience to education. If you've ever been forced to use a crappy piece of software because your teacher (or worse, your school) demanded it, you know the pain we're trying to solve. We launched our product for university courses recently, and the reaction has been awesome. (http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665657/coursekit-aims-to-overha...)

We are a small and young team, but we are well-funded and growing. We work mostly in/with Coffeescript, Python, node.js, Redis, and MySQL. We don't care whether you have tons of experience with these technologies, but if you're smart and learn fast, we'd love to talk.

We're also looking for a Front-end Engineer, who would be able to help set a standard for our HTML/CSS and help us build awesome experiences for students and teachers.


klochner 3 days ago 0 replies      
RentMineOnline (San Francisco, based in the Presidio).

We're looking for our 3rd full-time rails developer. We're changing the way that large apartment communities find and retain residents.

Why you should consider us:

    - define and take ownership over your projects
- work at all levels of the tech stack
- exposure to a profitable company with a small team
- work with smart people (Duke and Stanford grads)

Our current stack is {git, slicehost, nginx, passenger, ree, rails 3, delayed_job, MySQL}.

We also use some amazon services {s3, rds, sdb} and have a fairly deep integration with facebook platform and linkedin.

We're in the process of moving from prototype to jquery, and will be doing the move to ruby 1.9 sometime in the coming year.

contact me - kevin@rentmineonline.com, and include #job somewhere in the subject.

x5315 4 days ago 1 reply      
Twitter. San Francisco and a few other places.

According to many people I work with, Twitter is the best place they've ever worked. The perks are great, the challenges exceptional, and the culture inspiring.

Join The Flock - http://twitter.com/jobs

swalberg 3 days ago 0 replies      
Toronto, ON. Full time

Wave Accounting is an online accounting application for small business. We save business owners countless hours by automating a lot of their accounting needs. We're also doing payroll (which is my area).

* Front end developer - Our meaning in life is to present a beautiful, easy to use interface, this person will be working on both the accounting and payroll applications to do the necessary front end improvements.

* Python/Django developer - This is for the accounting application. Working on a larger team, you'll be implementing new features and integrations.

* Ruby/Rails developer - This is for the payroll application. Working on a smaller team, we're turning payroll into something that small businesses don't hate.


joshuamerrill 3 days ago 1 reply      
* TapCanvas, a venture-funded startup, is seeking a Founding Engineer in Silicon Valley or San Francisco *

In 2012, TapCanvas will bring mobile apps to everyone. We're creating a brand new market for mobile apps, and we have a chance to write the rules in this space.

TapCanvas has some of the best investors in Silicon Valley, including K9 Ventures and 500 Startups. So far, the "team" consists of one serial entrepreneur, Joshua Merrill (learn more about Josh at http://josh.io). This is a unique, full-time opportunity for a Founding Engineer who wants a fast-track into the world of startups.


- Work side-by-side with TapCanvas founder"a designer"to implement new features

- Solve technical challenges that would baffle lesser programmers

- Create and improve processes for developing and shipping code

- Help to recruit and train an awe-inspiring technical team


- Expert in Rails 3.1 and Backbone.js

- Familiar with jQuery Mobile framework

- An insatiable love of all things mobile


- Experience building consumer and/or small business-facing web apps

- Willingness to wear many hats, and generally perform acts of superhuman strength"this is a startup, after all

Why you'll love this gig:

- Take pride in building a product that will touch millions of users

- Work with smart, capable people who get things done

- Competitive salary, and generous stock options

If you're ready to have an absolute blast while making your mark on the world, let's talk.

lpolovets 4 days ago 0 replies      
Bay Area or Los Angeles or Shanghai preferred, but remote work is possible for exceptional candidates (must live in the U.S.). Full-time only. H1B is okay. We also have several summer internship opportunities.

Factual's vision is to be an awesome and affordable data provider, so that developers, startups, and big companies can focus on innovation instead of data acquisition. We believe in openness and transparency rather than proprietariness and obfuscation.

We have a terrific team that is still fairly small, and an incredible CEO (he was the co-founder of Applied Semantics, which was sold to Google and became AdSense). In late 2010, we raised a Series A from Andreessen-Horowitz, and our customers and partners include Facebook, Newsweek, Loopt, and Blekko. We have lots of challenging problems to work on at all layers of the stack: data cleaning and canonicalization, deduping, storage, serving, APIs, etc. If you love data, Factual is the place to be.

We currently have about half a dozen job openings, from data engineering to software engineering to system administration. For the software engineering position, you would ideally know Java, Clojure, and/or Ruby, and you'll get bonus points for experience with machine learning, NoSQL, algorithms, infrastructure, and/or Hadoop.

If you're interested in the Bay Area office, it just opened last month, so you'd have a significant influence on the culture there.

You can email me personally at leo -at- factual.com, or view our job postings and apply directly via Jobvite:

Palo Alto Software Engineer: http://hire.jobvite.com/j/?cj=oTR1Vfwq&s=Hackernews

Los Angeles Software engineer: http://hire.jobvite.com/j/?cj=oQR1Vfwn&s=Hackernews

Los Angeles Data Engineer: http://hire.jobvite.com/j/?cj=oSS1Vfwq&s=Hackernews

ianl 4 days ago 1 reply      
Halifax, NS (Canada) - http://www.goinstant.com

  Senior QA Engineer
Senior Web Developer
Web Developer


GoInstant is a venture-backed startup building a unique co-browsing tool that allows two or more people to surf the web at the same time. It requires no downloads, plugins or installs. People connect in 3 seconds or less and share a web experience in real-time.

We've raised $1.7M from top tier investors in Silicon Valley, including Freestyle Capital, Chamath Palihapitiya, Steve Anderson, Reid Hoffman, Yuri Milner and Ed Sim. They are the people who have helped build Facebook, Twitter, Playdom, Heroku, Linkedin, GotoMeeting and more.

We're currently in private beta with some of the world's largest B2B SaaS vendors and e-commerce sites, and expanding quickly.

GoInstant is a small, tight knit team building a technically complex and sophisticated system.

jeffh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Vancouver, BC, Canada

ActiveState Software (http://www.activestate.com/)

Multiple FULLTIME positions open. REMOTE possible for the right candidate.

We are looking to grow our sales and development team on our Stackato private PaaS product.

Rather than repeat the listings, just check them out here:

   * Cloud Software Engineer
* DevOps Engineer
* Technical Support Engineer
* Senior Product Manager
* Sales Engineer
* Account Executive

ActiveState is the world leader in development, management, distribution, and cloud solutions for dynamic language applications. The company's products and services for Perl, Python, Tcl and other web languages are used by over 2 million developers and 97% of the Fortune 1000 to build and run applications from mission-critical to open source projects.

cmos 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Albany, NY Vicarious Visions, an Activision Studio

Come help make the next generation of video games!
We have openings for: Software Engineer, Tools Engineer, Senior Software Engineer, Network Software Engineer

I'm a Software Engineer at Vicarious Visions and can attest it is a great place to work! My email is in my profile...

ramanujam 3 days ago 0 replies      
Monetate - Conshohocken, PA - (Philadelphia)

Full time, No remote.

We're a SAAS provider of testing, targeting and personalization tools (e.g. content targeting, segmentation, A/B testing). We are located in Conshohocken, a Philly suburb and our clients list consists of many big e-retailers. I got hired via HN a year ago and we do have a good number of engineers in the team who found Monetate through one of these threads.

We are actively looking for Front End and Backend engineers.

Front end engineers primarily write JS that runs on our customers' sites or for building features for our client facing product. Backend engineers work on large data and web performance. We work in Python, but experience with the language is not a prerequisite. We have many interesting front end, scaling and big-data problems to solve. Monetate is a fun work place with an awesome culture and a big list of benefits. If you want to work with interesting people who are passionate about what they are doing, do check out our jobs page


Feel free to email me if you have any questions. ram <at> monetate <dot> com

yummyfajitas 3 days ago 0 replies      
Pune, India. Full time.

Styloot is a search engine for fashion. Currently it's difficult for women to find the clothing they want online - it involves browsing many sites, it's unclear what to type into the search box, etc. We aim to make that process easy.

Currently we are 5 people on the tech side - myself (CTO), our CEO, a developer, and two designers, as well as 8 girls on the fashion side. Culturally we are pretty much a valley or NY startup - I'm a NY startup guy myself and I wouldn't work anyplace with big company culture.

We are looking for a junior programmer. There are a lot of things to do at styloot and we don't have time for all of them. We are looking for an entry level programmer to whom we can hand off the easy tasks. Web scraping is one of the biggies - we index a lot of sites and each site needs it's own scraper. Of course, if you can do more than just the easy tasks, that's even better.

If interested, send me an email. Contact info is in my profile. If you have code on github/bitbucket, you don't need to waste time writing a resume.

techscruggs 3 days ago 0 replies      
Austin, TX
Senior Software Engineer

Use Postgres, Redis, AWS, Ruby 1.9.2 & Rails 3.0 to help college students find scholarships. AcademicWorks is a profitable startup that values work/life balance and career development.

Learn more here: http://www.academicworks.com/rubyist.html

truebosko 4 days ago 0 replies      
Toronto, ON. Full time.

G Adventures is a technology-driven adventure travel company in downtown Toronto, and we're looking to expand our software engineering team.

Our current stack is Python/Django. We use Macs, deploy to Ubuntu on Apache/Lighttpd, and love experimenting with technology. For example, we recently rolled out a dynamic booking process built on Backbone.js and async data-refreshing with Celery.
We love coffee, roti, beer, and foosball. Oh, and of course adventure travel, for which there are generous perks!

Great location, themed meeting rooms, regular cultural lunches, tons of merch, technical freedom, and a huge amount of company spirit and staff appreciation.
We have multiple positions open, and are eagerly waiting for passionate developers to fill our inbox. Send us an email at talentagency@gadventures.com


JesseAldridge 3 days ago 1 reply      
Austin, TX and Hyderabad, India

Mutual Mobile is hiring all sorts of people: iOS, Android, Python/Django, Javascript/JQuery/NodeJs, Project Managers, User Experience Design, Business Dev, and Marketing.


lvella 1 day ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA. Full time.

We are looking for talented Software Developers.

The medical software industry is experiencing a revolution, and pMDsoft is looking for a Senior Software Design Engineer who has the talent and drive to change it forever. You'll have a huge impact on health care in America by using cutting edge technology to change the way that physicians practice medicine.

It's like a startup in that you'll wear many hats, have a lot of responsibility and be part of a small, highly-motivated team. It's not like a startup in that we make our own business decisions. We have a proven and profitable product, extremely happy customers and a team of people as talented as you are. We love what we do. We strive to work like a beautifully engineered German car: fast, efficient and fun.

As a Senior Software Design Engineer at pMDsoft, you're a technical leader in training. You've not only demonstrated engineering excellence, you've also been informally building management skills since you were in school by balancing multiple high-priority projects simultaneously. Your past accomplishments suggest that as the company continues to grow, you're ready to start mentoring others and eventually build and lead a team of developers.

Your programming work will focus on extending our Java/JSP Web application, with an emphasis on open source technologies like Linux, Apache, Tomcat, Struts, AJAX/Web Services and MySQL. You'll have opportunities to work on sophisticated native apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and possibly others.

Here is a link to the full job description:


Interested candidates please email your resume to: lvella@pmdsoft.com

cellularmitosis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Austin, TX

I work for Phunware, Inc in Austin, and I'd love to have a few more iOS ninja's in the trenches with me! Send me an email and impress me with your nerdy excellence. cell@phunware.com

cameldrv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Austin, TX


DocBookMD is creating a smartphone platform for physicians to communicate in a fast, secure, HIPAA-compliant way. We are ramping up our activity, and looking to add to the team. We are growing extremely fast, and we're looking for candidates that can take responsibility move quickly.

iOS Developer:

You have 1+ years writing apps for the iOS platform, and have a solid knowledge of the iOS environment, including architectural design, coding, testing, deployment, and managing releases.

UI/UX Designer:

You love to make beautiful designs for smartphone apps. You know how to design an app that is easy to learn, quick to use, and great to look at. You know how to do detailed, pixel-level design, and how to slice up your design for use in smartphone apps, as well as on the web.

DocBookMD offers a competitive salary, and equity for the right candidates.

Contact kammeyer at docbookmd dot com

mkeblx 4 days ago 0 replies      
Madison, WI - (REMOTE possible)
Circuit - http://circuitapp.co

Circuit is a collaborative webapp for designing and building electronic projects aimed at the exploding Maker/hobbyist market. We're going to disrupt hardware with a tool that makes things 10x easier & faster. Launching Q1 2012.

We need a passionate all-around programmer, experienced with creating advanced frontend interfaces as well as backend systems. Mainly would be doing a large amount of challenging HTML5, Javascript, and using PHP (Cake) & MySQL on the backend. Big bonus points if you have graphics programming experience and hardware background: microcontrollers, designing PCBs, tearing things apart, and familiarity with the Maker movement.

Interested, questions? jobs@circuitapp.co

triggit 1 day ago 0 replies      
Triggit inc.

San Francisco, CA Full-Time, REMOTE

Want to work with hundreds of terrabytes of real time datas using advanced JVM Languages like Clojure and Scala " dig into that data with Hadoop & HBase while playing with cutting edge platforms like MapR?

Triggit, a San Francisco ad:tech start-up is hiring.

Ping us @ engjobs@triggit.com.

If you're obsessed with distributed systems for processing big data and are intimately familiar with Java and Hadoop your going to have a lot of fun. At Triggit we pride ourselves on our merit based, ownership culture. You get to run your projects, not be run.

What You'll Do All Day:
• Design and Deploy Triggit's data tools including A/B testing, forecasting, etc.
• Collaborate with multiple teams to implement requests into the Hadoop Cluster
• Build and Optimize dozens of reports and create data visualization and storage tools around them
• Grow and Scale the Hadoop Analytics Platform

Additional Openings:
- BackEnd Engineer (C/C++ on Linux)
- Platform Engineer (Ruby on Rails)
- Sr. Dev Ops

Base pay for engineers starts in the six figures, you get to build your own battle station, and every engineer gets an office " with a door. The position is full time and based in our SOMA, San Francisco, CA office. We will pay for relocation, and telecommute can be considered!

:) Same post as last month for Triggit! Still looking for great engineers.

kevinburke 3 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA

Twilio is hiring. Want to call/text message your users, or build a product around phones? Instead of writing horrible interface code to text message or call users, people use Twilio's REST API to take care of the messages and get back to doing what they do best - building great web apps.

We are growing like crazy and hiring for lots of positions - see a full list here http://www.twilio.com/company/jobs. Two good ways to get your resume to the top of the pile: build a Twilio app, and mention this HN post in your cover letter.

chiamonkey 4 days ago 2 replies      
Software Developer, Rangespan <http://www.rangespan.com>; (Paddington Area, London, UK)

Job Description:

Rangespan is looking for software developers and data scientists to join our growing team. As an early technical team-member, you'll have broad and hands-on responsibility for design and development of new and extraordinarily scalable systems and web services for retailers and suppliers. Rangespan believes in quantitative decision making and automation; data science is core to the business and has influence over all parts of the company.

Software Developers should have:

- a BS or MS degree in Computer Science or equivalent

- Fluency with Python

- Proficiency with Django, MongoDB and MySQL

- Experience designing and building REST Web Services

- Bonus points for those with catalogue and machine learning skills

Data Scientists should have:

- a MS or PhD in computer science, computational linguistics, statistics, applied math

- Experience with HDFS, Hadoop, Hive/Pig

- RDBMS and NoSQL experience (ideally MongoDB and/or HBase)

However, what we're really looking for is someone who fits with the team and will be productive from early on. Most of these requirements will be compromised for the right candidate. Go ahead and convince us of your fit.

Founded by ex-Amazon executives and engineers, Rangespan is an ambitious e-commerce and supply chain software company making it easy for retailers to offer deep product selection. Rangespan is located in Paddington, London.

Contact Information:

- Contact: Christian Ricci

- Email: chris@rangespan.com or jobs@rangespan.com

- Web: http://www.rangespan.com/jobs/

- No contract or agency offers.

jwegan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Palo Alto, CA

(H1B welcome)

Shopkick - http://www.shopkick.com/jobs.html

Shopkick is a startup looking to use mobile to transform retail shopping. Macy's, Best Buy, Target, and Proctor and Gamble are just a few of our partners. We are backed with $20 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins and Greylock Partners. We're still small, but we are growing fast.

Here is a recent tech crunch article on us: http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/shopkick-by-the-numbers-700...

A few of the positions we are hiring for:

* Mobile developers (iOS & Android)

* Server side developers

* User experience designer

* Marketing, Customer Service, & more

Go to http://www.shopkick.com/jobs.html for more details and to apply online.

chrisrb 1 day ago 0 replies      
San Francisco (remote possible)

HotelTonight is just over a year old company now. We have great funding (plus a solid business model and increasing revenues & growth every month), and a wide range of interesting projects in mobile (iOS, Android, web/HTML5/JS), Rails, devops, etc. We are always hiring at this point.

I truly love the company and team we've built. The culture is outstanding, and one of the best parts is that every developer has a direct impact on product. We're continuing to innovate in our mobile apps, but also doing some very intriguing work on the back end.

Our main office is in San Francisco, but remote is possible too - US or Canada only. No contracting firms or recruiters please.

Our main jobs page: http://hoteltonight.com/jobs
Ruby/Rails jobs: http://www.hoteltonight.com/jobs/rails_developer
Android: http://www.hoteltonight.com/jobs/android_developer
iOS: http://www.hoteltonight.com/jobs/ios_developer
mobile web (CoffeeScript, HTML5, etc.): http://www.hoteltonight.com/jobs/mobile_developer

suhail 3 days ago 1 reply      
Mixpanel is hiring. We power analytics for huge destinations and process billions of actions every single month.

We're looking for engineers: http://mixpanel.com/jobs

durin42 4 days ago 0 replies      
Chicago - Google

We're hiring at Google Chicago. It's a great office, and we've got a great group of engineers. Feel encouraged to email me if you want a resume put into the system - my email is in my HN profile. You don't have to move to Mountain View, and you get to play with all the awesome toys we've got and work on huge-scale problems.


jcn 3 days ago 0 replies      
New York, NY

Indaba Music - http://www.indabamusic.com/ - gives musicians reasons and opportunities to make music. We launched in 2007 and over the past five years our community has grown to over 650,000 musicians from almost every country on earth. Our musicians compose, record, and remix music for fun and professional opportunities. We have created original songs for brands like Red Bull, Bacardi, and the NFL and have remixed music for Yo-Yo Ma, Linkin Park, Metric, T-Pain, Peter Gabriel, Snoop Dogg, and dozens of other incredible artists.

We're looking for developers and web designers who are passionate about music and believe that the music industry is more alive than ever.

  - We code Ruby
- We code Javascript
- We love AWS
- We <3 New York

We believe in test coverage and giving our developers a fair amount of autonomy. We have a large code base and are happy to experiment with it for a better experience for our users and our developers.

Email jobs@indabamusic.com or find out more on our jobs page (which is mostly a re-telling of this post):


beck5 2 days ago 0 replies      
London UK - Sys Admin, .Net, JavaScript.

7Digital, electronic media company, our API powers Samsung Music, Blackberry, Ubuntu our own website and loads. Now also do ebooks powering services like Waterstones. Loads of interesting problems including scaling an API to serve 170,000+ requests per hour, processing and serving hundreds of TB's of data world wide while innovating. You get 10% of your time to innovate with, regular katas/dojo's. We are established, 7 years old, and profitable, 70+ people based in main old street office, ~45 of which are technical jobs. Fantastic work mentality, we always work the right way even if it takes a little longer, i.e. we don't cut corners on quality. Currently looking for dev's who are experienced with Test Driven development.


esilverberg2 3 days ago 0 replies      
New York, NY

SCRUFF, one of the largest and fastest-growing gay social networks, is hiring a senior engineer for its New York office.

SCRUFF is not a traditional software startup - we think there are a few reasons why working at SCRUFF is a one-of-a-kind experience:

• You will get to make consumer software that lots of people use.

Consumer software is by far one of the most fun businesses to be in. Consumer software is easy to explain, you can share it immediately with your friends, and you get to apply both technical and design skills. Business-to-business software is well and good, but there's a reason why we aren't writing automated trading platforms for hedge funds :) SCRUFF has been fortunate to find a market that is both growing quickly and very excited about our product. When you come on board, the code you write will affect hundreds of thousands of guys every day.

• Our #1 priority for you is your professional development

Most startups want engineers to start producing shipping code on day one. We would much rather take the time to allow you to explore our codebase, do deep dives into the technologies we use, and ultimately write great production code in weeks or months. We feel mentorship is one of the most critical aspects of enjoying your job.

We also strive to practice good core software engineering principles, because we believe in the long-run it will make the code you write better, bring more benefits to our members, and be most helpful for you in your career. The ideal candidate should come in with a healthy ego and a positive attitude, be open to critical feedback, and be eager to develop more in the practice of professional software development.

• You will touch every piece of code we have.

Our engineering team is small. There are no client-side/server-side functional divides. You will be responsible for the servers (we have a lot). You will be responsible for the client (iOS and Android). Your brain will be stretched in new and confounding ways. But in the process you will build a set of skills that will form the core of all software innovation of the next 10 years. What we teach you at SCRUFF about mobile development will be like learning HTML in 1995 or GUI programming in 1985.

• Parties are our business, and now they're yours, too.

No, seriously. Lots of startups will talk about their Friday night beer busts, but at SCRUFF we take it to a new level. SCRUFF partners with promoters and events all across the world. As a SCRUFF team member, you will become part of the SCRUFF brand, and will have opportunities to represent us at events both locally and across the country.

• New York City.

SCRUFF is based in Manhattan, the most amazing city in the world. Everyone you've ever met will want to come and visit. Your other friends who work at banks will complain to you about their schedules while you are busy planning SCRUFF parties into your workday(night?) Startup networking events will be blocks away, every day. You'll have access to the most restaurants, the most culture, and an endless stream of new people to meet. We love New York, and think you will love it too.

Read more at http://www.scruffapp.com/join

axiom 4 days ago 0 replies      
Waterloo (soon to be Toronto), Ontario Top Hat Monocle

Looking for amazing web developers (Python, Django, javascript, NodeJs, CSS, HTML.)

Also looking for interns (paid of course.) Good pay, meaningful stock options, and a great work environment.

Apply here: http://bit.ly/txegcq

zukhan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Delphix - http://www.delphix.com

FULLTIME or INTERN. Offices in San Francisco, Boston, and Menlo Park.

Delphix is a data virtualization company that does for databases what VMware did for servers - this is a massive market, and we are on track for similar success. The product is unique and provides huge value to our users - in our first year of selling, we have already added 30 large corporate customers, including many of the Fortune 500 (Proctor & Gamble, Staples, Qualcomm, etc.). The engineering team is top notch, which includes inventors and architects of the VMware platform, Oracle RAC, Sun ZFS file system, and DTrace. We believe database virtualization is the next frontier for achieving 100x payback in IT, and Delphix is leading the way.

Delphix engineering sits at the nexus of three core technologies: databases, operating systems, and the cloud. We've taken the best and brightest across the industry and built an engineering culture where anyone with a good idea has a voice and can drive unique projects with the backing of a wealth of knowledge and experience. Whether its developing new abstractions in the filesystem, designing an architecture to inter-operate with a novel database, or developing a new cloud paradigm for structured data, there is no lack of hard problems and opportunities at Delphix.

WANTED (intelligent/creative/passionate problem solvers)

Do you want to work with brilliant people in a culture where creativity and clarity of thinking is encouraged and rewarded? Are you interested in working on the Data, the next big problem in Data Center? Do you thrive on solving difficult technical challenges? Do you take pride in writing beautiful code with a strong attention to detail? Then we are looking for you! Engineers who strive to master their craft; generalists who want to contribute at all levels of the application, from the database to the client and all things in-between. Delphix offers awesome tough technical challenges in the Systems Management, File Systems, Distributed / Cloud Computing, Clustering, Databases, and software excellence.

Email jobs@delphix.com for more information and include Hacker News in the subject line.

robjava 2 days ago 0 replies      
Miami, Florida, REMOTE

Established Wall Street energy trading firm has moved to beautiful Miami, Florida and is looking for REMOTE (contract or perm) software developers for our energy trading and back office support platform. We are revolutionizing the commodity trading space and are looking for those who think different, and not only can code but can contribute ideas and concepts to take us there! We're a Java/MySql/MongoDB/Maven shop, use Mercurial for source control, current stack runs on Tomcat/Xfire and we are moving to JBoss. We don't mind where in the world you are as long as you don't mind working in the Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5). We've been in business for five years now (trading for 14) and are hiring in these areas:

1. GWT front end developer
2. Backend Java developer, requires strong Maven skills.
3. Hibernate developer
4. MySql DBA
5. JSF developer (JBoss Seam is a plus)
6. .Net/MongoDB developer, must be able to work with real time data feeds, crunching and processing big data. Graphing/visualization gurus are prized!

Contact Robert at careers [at] kemplerenergy [dot] com we'd love to hear from you!

sahil_lmn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Reston, VA (west of Washington, DC) - FULL TIME, INTERN, CONTRACTOR (H1B if you're already in the US)

Lucidmedia Networks - http://www.lucidmedia.com

Internet ad network looking primarily for Java developers (experience with [My]SQL and front-end web experience would be great too). The Internet advertising industry is quite complex behind the scenes and somewhat parallels the structure of the financial markets. We are analogous to a high frequency trading firm, buying page views to serve ads in real-time on exchanges like that of Google or Yahoo. Our server software runs on Spring, MySQL, Redis, and AWS at a glance. We handle about a billion page impressions a day. Big data, big throughput.

Small yet experienced team, catered lunches _everyday_, your choice of Mac or PC (dev team is almost all Mac now), good benefits. Our office has superhero posters all over the walls.

Contact me directly at sahil_lmn@yahoo.com.

From HN, we've hired an intern and full-time dev (me). These posts do work!

smilliken 3 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA. Full time.

MixRank (YC S11) is crawling the web and indexing ads. We see everything: banners, text ads, placements, keywords, split tests, etc.

We're looking for smart engineers to solve big data problems with us.

Job post: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3160100


flippyhead 2 days ago 0 replies      
Work from anywhere (or in our swank Seattle offices)!

We're hiring CoffeeScript/JavaScript/Ruby developers and UI designers. We build social software to dramatically improve how people interact, communicate and meet at conferences and events. We're profitable, majority owned by the original founders and growing quickly. We offer full benefits, maternity/paternity leave, significant equity and competitive salaries. Did I mention we encourage working remote?

Please have a look: http://www.pathable.com/careers-at-pathable/

Please apply here: http://jobsco.re/vPBk6r

mikek 3 days ago 0 replies      
Mountain View, California

Kiwi Crate - http://www.kiwicrate.com/jobs

We're looking for a Front-End Developer, a Software Engineer, Marketing, Operations, and more!

puppetrecruiter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Puppet Labs in Portland, OR, is hiring for several new positions on our Technical Operations team:
* Support Engineer - Linux/Unix SysAdmin background preferred
* Technical Writer - 3+ years experience required
* Technical Training Manager - 10+ years experience in technical training management role with experience training IT professionals in Linux/Unix based programs

We are also hiring an Intern for our Release Engineering team for a 16 week paid assignment.

In addition, we're always looking for strong Professional Services Engineers and Software Developers as our team continues to grow in 2012. Note: Senior PSEs can be based out of remote offices anywhere in the US, not just Portland.

For more information on these positions and to apply online, please go to http://www.puppetlabs.com/jobs.

Aimee Fahey
Talent Acquisition Manager
Puppet Labs

masnick 3 days ago 0 replies      
Durham, NC - fulltime (H1B)

Duke University, Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research

We're a group of public health researchers looking for a junior software developer to work on the software that runs our research. This is a great opportunity for a developer with an interest in public health, including an interest in possibly traveling to international study sites.
More information (and contact info) at http://bit.ly/chpir-software-developer-job, or contact me directly from my profile.

eekfuh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Platfora is hiring JavaScript engineers to Distributed system engineers. They are in San Mateo, California and closed their series A with Andreessen Horowitz leading.

They offer solid benefits with competitive pay and have some of the smartest people I've met on their team.

Also they need serious JS engineers, people that know the ins and out of the language and can build entire applications out of JS.


(This is a friend's company)

JonM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Leeds, UK (no remote) - Pitch Hero Limited

Sports website with 2MM+ UVs/month, looking for frontend and mobile developers. Competitive salary and possible stock options.

Already profitable, doubled website traffic in the last 12 months.


mmettler 1 day ago 0 replies      

San Francisco, CA. Full time. H1B applicants welcome.

card.io is an early stage mobile payments start-up located in SF's Mission District. We're backed by top-tier investors including Harrison Metal, SoftTech VC, Manu Kumar, Omar Hamoui, and Alok Bhanot. Company founders were early employees at AdMob, and are now building software to enable simple, low-friction transactions on a mobile device.

We're tackling interesting, hard technical problems with immediate real world application. We maintain a work-life balance and have fun. We have generous comp, benefits, and vacation.

You should be an amazing engineer, love writing code, love deleting code, and live in the Bay Area.
Interested? Drop Josh (CTO) or Mike (CEO) an email at jobs@lumberlabs.com, showing us what you've done -- a resume, a letter, an open source project, etc.

cristinacordova 3 days ago 0 replies      
Palo Alto, CA (1/2 block from the downtown Palo Alto Caltrain station) - FULL-TIME & INTERNS H1B welcome!

We're looking for Backend, iOS, Web and Android developers to join our 18-person team. Pulse makes the most downloaded news application for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone. At Pulse, you will work closely with a tight-nit team of experienced engineers. Each of us is part engineer, hacker and product designer. Pulse was originally founded in the Stanford Design School, and beautiful, user-centric design is at the heart of our product and work. We recently raised a Series A round of funding led by NEA and Greycroft.
Find out more about us here: http://www.pulse.me/jobs/ and feel free to send your resume to me at cristina@pulse.me

jonkelly 3 days ago 0 replies      
Englewood, CO (Denver metro)

This or That Media is hiring experienced software engineers: http://thisorthat.com/pt/jobs

yannickmahe 3 days ago 1 reply      
Fulltime or Intern in Paris (La Défense), France. We are looking for experienced or beginner PHP/Symfony developers.

We are a profitable startup developing a SaaS marketing solution for franchise networks. Small team, growing company.

If you're interested, send me an email.
email: yannick.mahe@alveos.fr

200902 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cyrus Innovation - Boston, MA or New York, NY

Cyrus Innovation is an NYC-based Agile development consulting firm. We embrace the latest Agile practices, technologies (Rails, Java, Scala, node.js, Groovy, MongoDB, HTML5), open source tools, and strive for continuous process improvement.

Cyrus is looking for developers who are passionate about coding and enthusiastic about Agile. We offer a ton of great benefits including true 40-hour work weeks, health, dental, vision, 401 (k), generous vacation and professional development programs, a casual work environment, and much more.

If you think Cyrus might be a good fit for you, feel free to send me a message or shoot me an email at mrosenberg@cyrusinnovation.com to set up a time to talk further.

To learn more about what Cyrus is all about, check out www.cyrusinnovation.com

gnubardt 3 days ago 0 replies      
Brightcove - Cambridge, MA & Seattle, WA

We're hiring Software Engineers, a Product Designer and a VP of Operations.

We use Java, Python, Rails & MongoDB to build and scale the second largest source of video traffic on the internet (after Youtube). Even though we're growing fast it still feels like a smaller company. Individual engineers are able to make an impact, and do. We hire people who are smart and nice and it shows!

We're also looking for interns.

foobar2k 3 days ago 0 replies      
Heyzap (YC09) is growing fast and hiring for multiple roles, including rails and mobile (iOS/Android) full-time engineers. We are also continuously looking for great interns.

Like some others have posted, we have had great luck with Hacker News readers joining our team, come and be a part of it!

loumf 4 days ago 0 replies      
Easthampton, MA (US)

Developer Support Engineer for Atalasoft/Kofax

We make .NET SDK's for document capture and imaging. Job is to help our customers use them. Help us determine if customer issues are bugs, report them, get fixes back to customer.

Not posted yet, so contact me through profile if interested.

nelken 3 days ago 0 replies      
Cambridge MA, Outbrain.com is hiring.
Outbrain provides content recommendations on many large-scale Web publishers and blogs. Similarly to Netflix's recommendations for movies or Amazon's recommendations for products, we provide recommendations for content (mostly articles, but also image galleries, videos, and mobile content). We are looking to hire a full-time motivated and smart hands-on developer to help improve our recommendation algorithms. Must have good Java skills. Machine learning experience a plus. Send your resume to jobs@outbrain.com.
amduser29 3 days ago 1 reply      
SF, CA - Lead Android Developer

Life360 is

  - a utility used by millions of families
- set on making a difference in people's lives
- working on some very ambitious goals

Life360 is not

  - another photo sharing app
- a Groupon clone
- built on the FB platform

Life360 offers

  - interesting and engaging work
- great pay and awesome equity
- lots of freedom

Life360 would love to tell you more

  - alex@life360.com
- http://life360.jobscore.com/list

maxaf 4 days ago 1 reply      
NYC (Midtown East) - https://www.novus.com/

Novus is building the next generation of real-time financial analytics platforms. We offer difficult challenges, a no-bullshit work environment, and competitive compensation.

We're looking for bright and motivated engineers to fill multiple roles, namely: front end, back end, and quantitative developers. You get extra points if you can combine two (or more!) roles into one.

If making immediate impact on the product & working alongside business users is your thing, e-mail me! max at novus dot com

codepoet 3 days ago 0 replies      
gateProtect, Hamburg, Germany FULLTIME, working permit required, only on-site


gateProtect is a company providing security solutions focused on unified threat management (all-in-one firewalls).

Backend Software Engineer: Help us write the control application of a network security device using Clojure. You are an excellent software developer and know many different paradigms from object oriented to functional and used your knowledge to create complex systems in many different languages like C++, Haskell or a Lisp dialect. Prior knowledge of Clojure is not required if you know another Lisp dialect. You also know the details of low lewel systems programming under Linux.

Backend Software Test Engineer: Write automated tests that check if the production code is working using Python. A strong understanding of network protocols, related tools and Linux is more important than excellent programming skills.

Please contact job@gateprotect.de for more details and mention Hacker News.

douglasjsellers 3 days ago 0 replies      
Los Angeles (remote/H1B for the right fit) - Ruby on Rails Developers

Tired of just not doing evil and actually want to do GOOD? If so, check out @good worldwide (www.good.is). GOOD is a small startup in West Hollywood focused on building tools and relationships for people looking to push the world forward. We are currently looking for some super talented junior and senior software engineers to help us build out a a next generation social entrepreneurial-ship platform.
Interested? Email me at doug <at> goodinc.com

willowgarage 3 days ago 0 replies      
Palo Alto, CA

Suitable Technologies - http://suitabletech.com

Suitable Technologies is a startup working to create an innovative new product for something called "remote presence."

We have funding, competitive compensation, and a fun work environment, complete with our own chef and break-time games like table tennis. We provide top-of-the-line development hardware, adjustable desks, and will try to get your workspace just right.

Our first product, in development now, is similar to video chat on a computer you can drive around. Unlike videoconferencing, you're not stuck to a wall or desk. It becomes your physical presence, anywhere in the world, with the freedom to move and interact with people as if you were there. Our technology has already been seen by millions of people, and we think the potential impact is substantial.

We're looking for great engineers, designers, testers, and more. We need help in C++, audio and video software and codecs, web frontend and backend, UI/UX design, electrical, and networking. We think this could be a unique opportunity for someone with experience in web or mobile to work on something a little different.

More information is available on our site:


anandiyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA

We're hiring a Lead Python/Django developer and a Lead iOS Developer at Hitpost - http://hitpost.com

Hitpost is revolutionizing the sports world. We're a fast-growing startup and we are catering to sports fans by letting them create and participate in discussions about the teams and players they love.

We love what we do and we love what we are building. Everyone discusses product and is empowered to build what they think is right for our users, the fans. A challenging problem is what excites us and we value engineering.

Join us and change the game - learn more about us at http://hitpost.com

curt 3 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA


Mobile gaming startup hiring everything: iOS, C++, Python, Product Managers, UI/UX, Artists, Game Designers, Data Analysts. See all the positions here: http://tinyco.com/jobs.php

Joined recently as a Technical PM and love it there. The company's growing fast and they are laser focused on maintaining the awesome culture they've built. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me: curt at tinyco dot com. Let them know you heard about the position through the posting.

skyfallsin 3 days ago 0 replies      
Kicksend - Mountain View, CA - H1B welcome

At Kicksend, we're building apps that empower non-technical people to send & receive photos, videos, and other stuff with the people they know.

It's a directly consumer product with a lot of interesting challenges around engineering (how to push large files in realtime at scale), design (we're serious about it), and data-driven, highly measured product design and development.

We're hiring product engineers on:

- iOS

- Android

- Mac Desktop

- Windows Desktop

We're also hiring folks to help with:

- Inbound Marketing

- QA

We're VC-backed and YC S11. It's a very small team, with most folks wearing many hats. Relocation provided to the Bay Area if we decide to hire you.

Read more here: http://blog.kicksend.com/kicksend-is-hiring

shahed 3 days ago 0 replies      
Chicago, IL (REMOTE AVAILABLE) - Software Engineer - Part Time

Viatask is looking for engineers #2 and #3 to join a small close team building the new way to outsource your physical errands.

We are looking for someone who not only is a "Software Engineer", but some one who can also feel comfortable calling themselves a "Softwarepreneur". Taking issues and solving problems without having to ask questions is something we accel at Viatask and hope you can as well.

You'll be challenged to take big structured ideas and bring them to life. Shipping each feature with pride and courage. Also loking into the users criteria and implementing upon that.

Viatask: http://crunchbase.com/company/viatask

Requirements: Rails, JQuery, HTML, CSS, and expert web development knowledge




Interested or want more info?
Email: contact@viatask.com

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

JOnAgain 3 days ago 0 replies      
Los Angeles, CA (H1B Transfer welcome)

ThinkNear - Software Engineer

ThinkNear is building the infrastructure to help usher in the post-PC era. We help the mobile app ecosystem thrive by enabling developers to make money from their apps, consumers to enjoy free experiences, and advertisers to reach relevant consumers in a privacy friendly way.

We are tackling hard and interesting technical challenges, creating massive opportunity, and having a ton of fun in the process. We're always looking for ambitious, driven self-starters who want to be on the leading edge of developing technology.

We are looking for a top tier software engineer or chronically under-recognized hacker. Along the top of your resume, you could list 30-odd acronyms from SQL to XML and back through the JVM a dozen times, but hate the idea that that's what companies will evaluate you on. You don't code, you craft. Your solutions are as elegant as they are simple. You love getting that perfect solution that takes only 4 lines of code instead of an ungodly 6. You have experience building real products in the real world.

Final note: The Software Development Engineer position is for one of the first few engineers. You'll be in a position to shape the direction of the code, the team, the product, and the company. We're looking for people who are excited by that.

motti 3 days ago 0 replies      
London, UK


REMOTE or onsite in our London offices, or some hybrid arrangement.

We are CopyCopy (http://www.copycopy.cc/) - a startup company creating a cross-platform productivity tool that will make it simple to transfer information between phones and desktops.

We use:

• Java (for Android, BackberryOS, GWT and in our homegrown lightweight Java server)

• C++ (for Win32, Qt, Android NDK and Objective-C++)

• Python (occasionally) to string bits together

• Objective-C (in the future)

• JavaScript (web frontend work and browser extensions)

• Redis

We are young and fast-moving. Our product is in its early stages but moving fast towards the first release. You will have the opportunity of working on self-contained projects from spec to release to consumers.
Our Git repositories, code review and Project Management tools are geared towards remote working and we are open to flexible working conditions.
We urgently need interns (paid), longer term student placements, and especially full-timers.

We are happy to consider remote workers who are located in timezones +/-3 hours from London but being able to come into North West London often is a big plus.

Send your CV to jobs@copycopy.cc

binhtran 1 day ago 0 replies      
San Francisco (H1B, INTERN welcome):
Klout is in growth mode for most of 2012 and is currently at 30 engineers. We are looking for research, backend, frontend, QA and generalist engineers. Our requirements for various positions: machine learning, java, hadoop / hbase, scala, and node.js. We have a goal of becoming one of the Best Places to Work in 2012.

Jobs here: http://klout.com/corp/careers

eloisius 3 days ago 0 replies      
Emcien, Atlanta, GA.

We're looking to hire two people to satisfy the following needs: Rails, sysadmin and C programmer.

We're a pattern analysis company based in Midtown, Atlanta. We've recently hired a sales team and we've got plenty of work to do.

Our apps are Rails-based, but are anything but typical. We do some computationally heavy stuff and basically use Rails apps as a presentation layer. We're usually dealing with huge datasets and need someone that has a strong sense of what Rails is doing "underneath." ActiveRecord behaves differently when you're dealing with 60,000+ records at a time.

We need a C programmer to back up our chief scientist. Operations research experience is a huge plus.

We use several AWS tools including EC2, S3, SNS, and RDS (We also use Heroku for several apps). We need someone to manage our EC2 environment. This probably wouldn't amount to a full-time responsibility, but we do need someone to "own" this aspect of our business. We'd like to have a C programmer + UNIX admin combo but if you can fill our Rails and sysadmin needs, that works too.

If you're interested, take a whack at our developer test and send us an email.

- http://emcien.com/dev-test.html

- emcienjobs@emcien.com

dougb 3 days ago 0 replies      
Pittsburgh, PA Fulltime, local.
MobileFusionInc.com is an 8 person startup looking for a fulltime developer with experience in developing HTML5 web apps. We are in the electricity monitoring/management/purchasing business. If you're interested, email doug at the company name.
runeberendtsen 4 days ago 0 replies      
Senior Developer for SteelSeries, Copenhagen, Denmark: http://steelseries.com/joinus/senior-developer

Need to haves:
- Object Oriented PHP.
- Frameworks (e.g. Symfony 1&2, Zend).
- MVC pattern experience.
- Agile experience (e.g. Scrum).
- Databases (MySQL, MSSQL).
- Linux experience (Debian).

- Develop, but also contribute in conceptualization, to make great solutions.
- Development of e-commerce and features to improve customer experiences.
- Development of internal web applications, such as sophisticated product management software.
- Development of web applications to support new product features.
- Overall optimization and improvements of existing systems where considered necessary.

SteelSeries is a leading manufacturer of gaming peripherals, including headsets, keyboards, mice, software and gaming surfaces. For the past decade, SteelSeries has been on the forefront of competitive gaming gear thanks to continued innovation and product development in cooperation with leading professional gaming teams.

We're a fast moving company experiencing high growth in a global market. Close to 100 employees spread around the globe in 3 main offices and multiple satellite locations, creates an interesting and educational multi-cultural environment.

dbuxton 4 days ago 0 replies      
London, UK

Arachnys, a global intelligence startup focused on emerging markets business information, is looking for ambitious, multitalented devs.

We gather and analyse multilingual business information worldwide to help companies manage risk and find opportunities in complex and opaque environments. We're funded by smart people - including ex-McKinsey and BCG regional and global heads - and are attacking the global business research market using great technologies like Hadoop, Lucene, CouchDB and Redis.

We're currently growing our datasets fast and need devs with NLP and big data analysis skills to help us handle the information explosion.

We work mainly in Python and JavaScript - but candidates with a strong web background in any language are welcome.

You'll get a good salary, equity and the normal startup flexibility and fun. More details here: http://www.arachnys.com/jobs/

To apply please email founders@arachnys.com to apply introducing yourself and linking to code samples.

We're not yet ready for remote employees but we can be flexible about face time if you live outside London and can commute 2-3 days/week.

snapvolumes 2 days ago 0 replies      
SnapVolumes is hiring two Windows kernel developers. We are located in downtown Los Altos, CA (close to VMware headquarters and Palo Alto).

We are a funded early-stage startup (< 5 engineers) with unique technology, solving lots of interesting and challenging problems in virtualization space, with lots of room for career growth and plenty of financial upside.

We are happy to talk with anyone with Windows kernel experience (ideally experience writing mini-filter drivers but it isn't required). We are willing to hire H1Bs or remote developers, but we'd prefer people to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area (we can cover relocation expenses).

Email: jobs@snapvolumes.com

zds 2 days ago 0 replies      
Codecademy is hiring developers, designers, and developer evangelists to create the future of education.

More information: http://codecademy.com/jobs

adjohn 4 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco:

Software Engineers, OpenStack Engineers, Sales Engineers

Midokura - http://midokura.com/careers.html is looking to grow our SF team! We are working on network virtualization technology, and need some more hardcore infrastructure engineers to help us grow. Now is an awesome time to join the team.

Any Questions, mail me at adam@midokura.com

jeybalachandran 3 days ago 0 replies      
Doximity, San Mateo, CA.

Doximity (https://www.doximity.com/) allows physicians within US to connect, build referral networks and communicate with each other by means of HIPAA-secure messaging. More details on the product at https://www.doximity.com/product.

Our development team is small, smart, nimble and fun to work with. We are currently looking for a RoR engineer, iOS engineer and a UX designer.

You can contact me directly (@jeybala) or click on the links below:

RoR: http://doximity.theresumator.com/apply/jobs/details/I4u6BD

iOS: http://doximity.theresumator.com/apply/jobs/details/QVGX9k

UX: http://doximity.theresumator.com/apply/jobs/details/iqDQ8d

Happy New Year folks!

elboby 3 days ago 0 replies      
Berlin, Germany
(english speaking environment)

At Lieferheld.de, we are building the next generation of online food ordering platform. We are a venture backed startup located in the heart of Berlin, the tech capital of Europe. We focus now on the German market, where are already #2 after 1 year, but we are preparing to expand wildly and tackle down new challenges (i18n, SOA, mobile...).

We are currently looking for:

  webdesigner (1 fulltime, 1-2 partime/freelance)

javascript developer (1-2 fulltime, jquery/require/jasmine/mobile).

tech QA engineer (1 fulltime, Jenkins/BDD).

backend developer (2-3 fulltime, Python/REST/AMQP).

sysadmin (1 fulltime, nginx/pgsql).

Interested? Send your CV to newheroes@lieferheld.de
Happy new year!

madaxe 3 days ago 0 replies      
Bath, England:

We've got a variety of technical positions (developers, QA, Systems) at our eCommerce development shop building a cutting edge platform with plenty of nitty-gritty engineering and high volume sites on a SaaS platform.

Further info, see the site!


nwilkens 4 days ago 0 replies      
REMOTE (or onsite in Monroe MI)

Senior Linux System Administrator @ MNX Solutions

We are a team of Linux experts and are looking to bring on our next team member. We work for startups, and other companies seeking expertise around managing their Linux based infrastructure.

If interested, send an email to hr@mnxsolutions.com and introduce yourself!


jkmcf 3 days ago 0 replies      
Denver, CO: iTriage - Improving the healthcare process and reducing costs.

HIRING: Frontend UI, Android, Rails, and Devops

A lot of major people in the healthcare industry are excited about what we are doing and where we are going. Being on the inside, you don't interact with those people so when you hear and read stories, it reinforces our notion that we are providing a meaningful service. Some of the IOS and Android reviews are pretty moving.


blo 3 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA (SOMA). Full time.

Stealth - consumer web and mobile


We recently closed funding (unannounced) from well-known investors. This is an opportunity to join at the earliest stages and help shape product/culture.

Do you find yourself using Google to navigate websites that you commonly use, or end up with many browser tabs trying to accomplish some task? We're innovating along how people interact with online services and designing a new web-based experience that allows users to accomplish tasks in a more usable, efficient, and social manner.

In addition to great generalist engineers, we are actively hiring front-end developers and mobile (iOS/Android) developers.

We work mainly with Javascript (jquery and node.js) and HTML5.

Curious? Contact [my username] at alum.mit.edu. And yes, we have hired from these threads in the past!

hfzd 3 days ago 0 replies      
Vancouver, BC, Canada

SurfAds is hiring! We're an online advertisement start-up located in Vancouver, Canada that is looking for developers to help us build up our infrastructure to support our advertising platform.

Responsibilities will include improving the performance of our adserver by removing some key bottlenecks, as well as developing monitoring, testing and administration tools to improve the performance and reliability of our systems. Our current architecture already handles thousands of transactions per second, produces 50GB of MySQL data per day, and is based around a stack of open source technologies beyond the basic LAMP environment.

For more information and to apply, see this post: http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/eng/2778431934.html and please mention HN).

DanielShir 4 days ago 1 reply      
Nextpeer - Tel-Aviv:

So weird, I just sent out this email today looking for our very first employee :)

Nextpeer has been growing at an insane rate we're now looking for our first employee.
We're looking for startup-minded people, who want to take on an influential role in our company.

A little bit about us - we're changing the way people are playing games on their mobile phones (here's a short article about us http://www.insidemobileapps.com/2011/12/06/nextpeer-multipla...).
We're funded with offices in Ramat Hahayal.
Being our first employee will be both a privilege and a responsibility.

We're searching for someone smart, creative and independent.
Tech skills should include either mobile (iOS) or backend (PHP+DB+Node.js) knowledge.
Most importantly though, we're looking for a person who is passionate about gaming.

If you're interested you can contact me directly at daniel <at> nextpeer.com

JoeAltmaier 4 days ago 0 replies      
Mountain View, CA

Sococo is creating a social collaboration tool and ecosystem, currently targeted at Enterprise installations.

We use a variety of tool chains on a variety of targets (desktops, mobile, servers) so don't be shy, you probably have skills we need!

tomblomfield 2 days ago 0 replies      
GoCardless is a VC-backed London-based startup looking to hire great backend developers. We're building the next generation of online payment tools, and are partnered with one of the world's largest banks.

Experience with modern MVC web frameworks and dynamic OO languages is a plus!

More detail here: https://gocardless.com/jobs

creativeone 4 days ago 0 replies      
Podium Advertising Ltd. is hiring a web developer in Tel Aviv. We have a leading Google Adwords optimizing technology that we will be releasing to the public in 2012. Our technology enables large online stores to bring their inventory to Google Adwords, automatically updated their ads, create ads dynamically, and then optimize them automatically towards a CPA goal. Our technology works much better than Google's optmizer. We need a talented developer to make help the CTO get the product ready for "Freemium" release.

Please check out our linkedin job listing:


Casc 2 days ago 0 replies      
NYC - Live Entertainment Technology Industry

Hiring talented front end dev. Medium size company building startup esque apps, very closely knit dev team (about 6 of us). Informal, laid back yet fast paced, you can rock jeans to work.

Javascript, jQuery, CSS, HTML, Controller-to-View with a scripting language (Pref Perl) Some DB (NoSQL) and an aesthetic sense.

We're doing some pretty cool stuff. You'll be working along side some very cool people entrenched in both the startup and respective technology communities.

Email (in profile) with interest.

otb 3 days ago 0 replies      
New York, NY



Qwiki is looking for talented front-end and interactive developers to work with an amazing team on creating a new medium for the 21st century and building the next generation of publishing tools.

We push the limits of HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript on the client and have extensive server-side JavaScript as well. Other tech we use: Rails, backbone, node, Scala (heavy lifting) and Objective-C, C, and Java for mobile.

We're a small team, we have great benefits, and are passionate about changing the world every day.


Email me directly with questions o <AT> qwiki <DOT> com

alz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Creativesloth is hiring iphone/web developers and ux designers

We're a new product-focused startup located in central London, UK. We're looking for Software Engineers and UX Designers to help build and launch a portfolio of innovative mobile and web applications. If you are skilled in mobile & web development or design, and fancy making some cool tech with some creative rebels, check our website for more details on how to apply : >


bittitan 1 day ago 0 replies      
MigrationWiz, Redmond, WA - Software Engineering Intern

International candidates welcome (J-1 visa, 6+ months required).

We're hiring interns for big data projects. Why us?
- We make it possible for consumers to migrate their mailbox to anywhere.
- We've migrated petabytes of data from individuals to Fortune 500 companies.
- We're working on interesting email-related stealth-mode projects.
- We're located in a shopping mall (cafes, restaurants, shops, buses).
- We love enterprise software and automating everything.
- We just had our last company meeting in Las Vegas.

More info: http://www.migrationwiz.com/Public/Jobs.aspx.

steilpass 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looking for Software Developers in Cologne, Germany. Have a look at http://adkla.us and ping me for any questions.
whitespi 4 days ago 0 replies      
Comufy (http://comufy.com) is looking for talented PHP developers and JavaEE developers in London.
If you have a passion for social media and at least 3 years experience in the industry, please give me a shout at seb -at- comufy.com
vtrac 2 days ago 0 replies      
Austin, TX - DevOps / Systems Engineer - Python, AWS

Bazaarvoice started in Austin a few years ago and is now one of the most trafficked platforms on the internet. We're in need of good hackers to help us grow and automate our world-wide infrastructure. The full job description is here:


Ping me if you are interested.

jbox 3 days ago 0 replies      
Mobify, Vancouver, Canada.

Director of Engineering

Mobify is a growing, profitable, bootstrapped startup. Our goal is to build a web where every website delivers and amazing experience on every device. We serve millions of pageviews for companies like Starbucks, Threadless and Conde Nast using a combination of client/server side JavaScript.

We're looking for an experienced technical manager with a history of delivering successful web products.

We have a glee club, yoga classes and an awesome team.


jkupferman 3 days ago 1 reply      
turntable.fm - New York City

We are a team of nine people who love music and building the best social music experience anywhere on web. We keep the work environment a lot like our application, awesome and fun.

We run Python, put our data in Mongo, and run our servers on AWS. We do absurd things with Javascript.

We're looking for a VP of Technology, iOS Developer, Devop/Sysop, and generalist developers.

See our jobs page for more information:

objclxt 4 days ago 0 replies      

Mobile Interactive Group [http://migcan.com] is looking for iOS and Android developers to join our growing team. We develop mobile apps for big brands across the world, and I'd love to talk to you if you've got existing native app development experience and can demonstrate your work with confidence.

We're not hiring remotely for full-time positions, but have some potential remote work for freelancers (see 'Ask HN: Freelancer? Seeking Freelancer' for this month).

E-mail me via nick.shearer//at//migcan.com

consultutah 3 days ago 0 replies      
Orem, UT - full time on site - looking for 8 debonair .net developers to rock the distributed app development scene. Email Jeff @ my hn username .com
gambeht 3 days ago 0 replies      
REMOTE (San Francisco)

PlayCoMo - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pet-fair/id429367771?mt=8

We're a fast growing mobile gaming company looking for talented people to join our team.

Backend Engineer

C++ Game Engineer

Data Analyst/Scientist

Server Engineer

UI Engineer (C++)

User Acquisition Analyst

Interns (all positions)

To apply, email: jobs [at] playcomo [dot] com

lamplighter 3 days ago 0 replies      
Uken Games in downtown Toronto

Uken is looking for talented developers and designers to help us build mobile games in HTML5 and push what is possible in a browser.

We are a profitable startup (~25 employees) experiencing massive growth, with over 100,000 players a day across iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Facebook.

More info at http://uken.com/jobs

chaud 3 days ago 0 replies      
Huntsville, AL - Curse

• .NET Team Manager

• .NET Web Developer

• PHP Web Developer

• Senior System Administrator


Curse is one of the largest gaming-information properties worldwide, attracting more than 14 million unique visitors a month. Curse's mission is to provide information and tools to help core gamers succeed in online worlds.

paulmok 3 days ago 0 replies      
Toronto, On - SiteScout.com

SiteScout is an internet advertising technology startup connected to all the major advertising exchanges. We're doing exciting things in the realm of real time bidding (buying advertising on auction).

We're looking for talented hackers,developers and sysadmins to join our small team. We're mainly a java + javascript shop.

Please inquire by sending us an email: careers@sitescout.com

sethbannon 3 days ago 0 replies      
paul167 3 days ago 0 replies      
New York, NY


Livestream is building the next generation live event coverage and social network platform here: http://new.livestream.com/livestreamsessions

We're looking for people to grow the ny engineering team, we work with node.js / redis / scala. Contact me if you're interested: techjobs+yc@livestream.com

dhruvbird 3 days ago 0 replies      
I applied to one company based on the posts below and they were very prompt in getting back and was eventually offered an internship there, so yeah, they do take this pretty seriously.
greedoshotlast 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thank you for these posting they are extremely helpful. When you say you can not find the right candidate. Please explain (skills, experience, ability to work under-pressure, ability to answer Google-interview style questions). I'm curious.
andrewhubbs 3 days ago 0 replies      
San Francisco, CA

Rally is changing the way fundraising works online.

We are hiring full stack web developers looking to make large individual contributions to a very small team. We have a RoR stack, practice TDD heavily and push code daily.

If you want to know more contact me at andrew@rally.org

jasonwilk 3 days ago 0 replies      
140Fire (YC W2010) is hiring. Looking for junior and senior hackers in Los Angeles. Ping me: jason@140fire.com
veszig 3 days ago 0 replies      
Budapest, Hungary: Prezi is looking for smart people in several different positions. I won't go into detail, generally if you are interested in working in Budapest, this is a great place to be. For details go to: http://jobs.prezi.com/
navneetdalal 3 days ago 0 replies      
Flutter - http://flutter.io/#jobs

Palo Alto, CA
Full-time, H1B

C++, Python, JavaScript
Computer Vision, Machine Learning

tehmasp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Check us out: http://www.rallydev.com

- tehmasp

podiodev 3 days ago 0 replies      
Copenhagen, Denmark

Podio is looking for an Android developer to join our small team in Copenhagen. You'll be doubling the size of our awesome mobile team, and joining one of the best dev shops in Europe.

The challenges are many. You'll need to have a great flair not only for code, but also great mobile UI, taking full advantage of everything Ice Cream Sandwich has to offer. Take a look at our existing apps on iOS and Android and tell us what you think.

If you are interested, apply directly at https://company.podio.com/jobs#android (please mention HN)

vimeojobs 2 days ago 0 replies      


Backend PHP Engineer

Vimeo is looking for kick-ass server-side engineers. The full JD is here: http://vimeo.com/jobs#backend_engineer_php.

  Technologies that turn us on-
Linux (Debian, CentOS)

Apply on our site or give me a shout: tyler@vimeo.com

meganelacarte 2 days ago 0 replies      
E la Carte (Palo Alto) - We're revolutionizing the restaurant industry with touch-screen tablets integrated into POS systems so customers can order, play, and pay right from their seats without having to wait.

- Front-End Engineer / UI Developer
- Back-end Software Engineers
- Tools Engineer
- Test/QA Engineer
- Software Engineering Interns
- Graphic Designer

Check out openings and more details online at www.elacarte.com/jobs

createdm 4 days ago 0 replies      
CreateDM, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK.

iOS Developer , we have a full job listing on our website at http://createdm.com/jobs/

soham 3 days ago 0 replies      
googoobaby 3 days ago 1 reply      
Any more hiring in Seattle?
Google+ Is Going To Mess Up The Internet (readwriteweb.com
242 points by jonmwords  1 day ago   129 comments top 35
DanielBMarkham 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I hate to do a tl;dr, but here it is: Google has bought and/or acquired so many web properties that they all can't appear in their own little special spot in search results. If you type in the name of an article you wrote and it's the 3rd or 4th listing, below somebody just mentioning it on G+? It's broken. Like Facebook, but to a greater degree, Google is making the internet crap by putting it's own little frame around everything.

To me Google isn't evil by any means, but it has way too many smart people all trying to jump on whatever the latest popular bandwagon might be. It's definitely getting a "McGoogle" feel to it. Whatever is getting popular on the web, some little Googlite is busy working to assimilate it. I like Google a lot. The author has a point. At some point enough is enough. I think he exaggerates to a much greater degree than is necessary. So far.

VikingCoder 22 hours ago 3 replies      
> The stream is so noisy...

See "Pump up (or down) the volume!" here: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/google-few-big-improv...

> Culturally, it feels like walking into a religious school.

Your Google+ is made up of who you Circle. Just like the parties you go to are made up of the people who are at the parties you go to. If yours feels a certain way, it is because of who you Circle, and who you share posts with.

> It was familiar because I had written it. I didn't see any attribution, though, let alone a link to the story.

Rohit Shrivastava was a bad actor, in this case. Plagiarism is a terrible problem, and it's childish of you to blame Google+ for it. It is very easy to correctly link to an article, or share it. I agree that you have legitimate usability problems in many of the versions of Google+ that you used, but Rohit intentionally plagiarized you. You don't want attribution, you want links - that's understandable. Encourage people to use the tool the way it was intended to be used, don't blame the tool for existing.

> Google thought I would prefer to click through Google+ to find my article than to go straight to it.

Google thought that you and your friends are more interesting to you than the unwashed internet. In general, I think that's the correct choice. If I search "Steve Smith," I probably care a lot more about my friend, than any of the other Steve Smiths on the internet.

> One comment (to which Google+ allows no way to link)

I can't link to comments on your site either, Jon.

> Hoops like reading the article?

Hoops like Disqus, which you use allow people to comment.

> All this personalization and real-time stuff surely helps Google organize its content, but it's breaking search.

No, it's not. It's combining multiple searches into one interface. Searching your Google+ friends is one aspect of what a person could possibly want to search for. It sounds like you don't want to search the people you've Circled, and what they say. Other people do. If you want to search the internet with as little personalization as possible, your best bet is to open an incognito window.

> Remember when it was "minimal?" This is what it looks like now:

Look at your own site, Jon. No, seriously - go back and look at it for a moment. Sites got rich, with lots of content.

> But Google is different. Google used to be about organizing the world's information. It was a service to the entire Web. But this social tangent is changing that.

No, it's not. It's an outreach of that. It's a recognition that your view of the people that you know, and what they think, and how they're talking, is information - information that they're trying to help you organize, if you wish to use their tools. If you wish to use Google News. If you wish to use Android. If you wish to use Google+.

> Thanks to the Scoble effect, I have 8,000 encirclements on Google+. It creeps me out, because I don't know why I'm encircled by all these people, and I don't really get what they're talking about most of the time.

There are people who want to know if you say anything publicly. If you don't want to say anything publicly, don't.

> I changed it, because my informal language gave trolls too much ammunition to make a distracting non-point.


Do you want people to care what you say, or don't you? Whose job is it to make sure that people think you're saying what you mean to say?

> Google+ Hates The Internet

Who is the troll? No, seriously - please define the word troll such that it includes the people who pointed out how ridiculous it was for you to say "because now I know Google is showing different Internets to different people", but excludes you, when you say "Google+ Hates The Internet."

> I hate Google+.

That's unfortunate. I wish it was a valuable tool for you, to help you organize how you're sharing content with people you know. If it's not, then oh well. My mom hates email. If she wrote an article like yours about how email is ruining cursive, she'd have a valid point. But the world is moving forward - and social interactions on the internet are going to spread everywhere. The only question is, what tools are we going to want to use?

Again, you have legitimate complaints about sharing links on some platforms. I hope they get fixed, over time. But your other complaints strike me as either being your own fault for how you used the tool, other people's fault for doing the same bad things that people have been doing forever, or minor differences of opinion about usability... or just lamenting the decline of cursive.

sequoia 23 hours ago 1 reply      
"Well, that didn't make me feel much better, because now I know Google is showing different Internets to different people."

OP is a web-tech blogger and he just now learned this? I don't use G+ much so I can't easily evaluate the rest of OPs assertions, but I am questioning them by default because when someone makes one statement I know to be false (or in this case inexcusably ignorant), it calls the rest of their statements into question. This is unfortunate because I think much what OP says is useful, but, c'mon: if you blog about web tech and didn't know google tailors results, it makes you seem like you "don't know how any of this stuff works" and I can't take you seriously in that regard.

I am very confused by the section about plagiarism/mis-attribution/non-attribution. OP says his work was "almost-unattributed" but I couldn't find any link back to him on the G+ posting. Did someone click the share button, or paste in a link to his article? Or did someone copy and paste his article? If it's the latter, this phenomenon is much older than the Internet and has nothing to do with G+, specifically, besides the fact that Google may rate your plagiarized "work" higher than the original on its results (which is a distinct issue that applies to both plagiarized and properly-attributed posts).

EDIT: I see the name now, it was next to the title in the post. Thank you OP.

jroseattle 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Google search results are beginning to bore the life out of me, and part of it has to do with inane google-plus entries in the search results.

WTF goog search? It seems like ever since Bing showed up and did that little left-hand column of filters, you started running around doing all sorts of "innovation" and it seems messy and quality control is just starting to suck wind. It's obvious you're tinkering with search results to promote your own services -- did you not think anyone would notice?

Goog search, I don't even know you anymore.

dasil003 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm torn on this issue. Before Google+ things were all over the place. Google had lots of great services, but they were poorly integrated, appeared and disappeared frequently, didn't work with apps users or vice versa. Now Google clearly is moving in a direction that promises better unification and clean-up of annoying edge cases.

The problem is that Google is losing track of its mission statement. It's seeing everything through the lens of social, which is not really in its DNA to begin with. I understand they don't want to dismiss a threat and get their lunch eaten, but they are throwing away a lot of what made them great. There's gotta be a happy medium between completely ignoring up-and-coming threats and throwing yourself so fiercely behind every trend that you end up sabotaging your own strengths that are the very weak points of your feared competitors.

icebraining 23 hours ago 3 replies      
But never forget that you're Google's product, not its customer.

And never forget that you're a ReadWriteWeb product, not its customer. You don't pay for the articles, your eyeballs are sold to RWW sponsors and partners.

Sigh. Hypocrisy much? This is how most of the web works. The constant attacks on Google or Facebook over it are ridiculous and tiring.

bradleyland 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe this is obvious to everyone, but this is clearly Google's reactionary response to the assertion that social is the future of search. At some time in the past, there were a slew of articles espousing the belief that users would change from searching Google for their quandaries to a more personal exchange of information: asking someone you know.

I don't know what the underlying causes are, but I know three kinds of internet users:

A) Those who are capable of finding information using a search engine

B) Those who aren't capable of finding information using a search engine

C) Those who never even try; they just ask someone

It's easy to jump to the conclusion that the type A individuals are simply more "savvy", but my father, who hardly uses a computer, astounded me the other day by deftly searching out a fantastic manual for the carburetor on his Suzuki Samurai. My father is the type that would much rather be out de-gunking his carb than sitting at a computer. How is he so effective at search? I would have expected him to fall under the type C user category.

Google knows this scenario all too well. They're watching it play out in real time on the web. They have to get in front of it and provide solutions for all three types of users. For better or worse, giving Google+ pages "website" status in their results is their way of getting ahead of sites like Facebook and Quora.

vectorpush 22 hours ago 1 reply      
>One commenter said, "It's an algorithm. Get over yourself." Typical, orthodox devotion to the Almighty Google Algorithm and its Infallible Wisdom.

That's a pretty disingenuous take on his comment. He's actually suggesting that algorithms are not perfect and that it's silly to infer intention from an arbitrary search result.

icebraining 23 hours ago 2 replies      
And he goes on to say that he'd rather see a Google+ post about the article than the article itself, because, and I quote, "I can comment here without having to jump through hoops." Hoops like reading the article?

Sigh. No, jumps to comment. He likes the G+ links for the same reason I prefer HN over a simple RSS feed: because we can read the article and then comment easily in a good community.

The thing is: he can get to your article through the G+ link, but he can't get to the G+ comments page from your article. Therefore, the G+ link is richer.

(Not that I'm condoning that Google put his products above everything else. But to the G+ user, it's obviously better)

jc4p 20 hours ago 1 reply      
It seems like most people here are jumping on this guy's throat about minor problems in what he wrote. Let me instead back-up one of his points with more evidence:

First off: I am a huge Google fanboy, I'm a full-time Android developer and Google scholarships even helped pay for my college. It seems that every time I say anything bad about Google anywhere on the Internet people call me an Apple fanboy so I just wanted to state that.

> Google's Weird Attempt At Social

Let's take a look at how many different ways I can do a simple chat with my friends using Google products on my Android Ice Cream Sandwich device.

Google Voice - My main way of text messaging.

Google Talk - My main way IM client

Google+ Messaging (Formerly known as Huddle) - A mobile only way to communicate with my G+ friends.

Here's where it gets weird:

Google Voice - Anything I can is instantly synched with the Google Voice app on my iPad, Google Voice on my browser, the third party Google Voice app I use on my computer and my phone.

Google Talk - Anything I do is synched up to Google Talk on my computer or any place I'm logged in, which also means all my Google Talk conversation logs can be found using the GMail app on my phone.

Google+ Messaging - Boom. Say something to any of my friends on here, unable to look back at the messages unless I get on my phone again. "Oh, where did Kyle say we're meeting up tonight? I should print directions" Oh, my phone's out of battery and charging. Well, there goes that plan.

The craziest thing is that if I want to do Google+ Hangout (worst name I've ever heard for any product) I have to either use the website or the Google+ Messaging app. That's right, if I want to do a Hangout on my phone (a feature they're really pushing with their ICS video ads) I have to do it in a self-contained application that will not reflect any changes on the website. How does this make any sense?

It's even worse when you think about it. If I want to do a video chat with my friends using ONLY Google products I actually have two different choices! I can either Google+ Hangout with them using the Messenger application on my phone (try to comprehend that sentence, seriously.) or I can use Google Talk's video chatting (the feature they were pushing very hard with Honeycomb). Why couldn't they just integrate group messaging and video chatting right into Google Talk? I already have a fully functioning video chatting application on my phone that doesn't require people to be on a website or their phones to use it! I can use Google Talk's video chat to talk to anyone using Google Talk anywhere!

I know that Google's Weird Attempt At Social is due to buying so many different companies and not consolidating them, but it's not anything close to an ideal user experience.

As soon as my Sprint contract is done I'm switching over to an iPhone, iOS 5's text + iMessage all in one application is a wonderful implementation of what Google should be doing with all of their conversational products.

zalew 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I enjoy G+ and it's a huge usability improvement over fb, but there's another 'feature' I simply can't stand - that comments are visible in the stream under the post. I don't mind it under my friends' posts, but public popular profiles are another story. I'd like to progressively replace my twitter newsfeed with g+ profiles, but twitter gives me the comfort of not seeing opinions of some random people who like to comment on mainstream, the names who shared (I don't know some John Doe, why would I care he and +320 other people shared it?) and other noise. G+ is nice with the preview and lack of artificial 140char limit, but on twitter I can quickly scan the news without TMI I don't care about. example: http://i.imgur.com/8i8Az.png
j_col 23 hours ago 3 replies      
From the article:

"The quickest way to do that was to type 'jon mitchell jury duty' into the Google search bar.

To my astonishment, the post I wanted was not the first result. It was the third. Ranking above the result I wanted were two Google+ posts, one by me, and one by our webmaster Jared, that were nothing more than links to the article with brief comments."

So Google continues to use it's search muscle to promote it's own web services first, and yet some people still find this surprising.

thurn 23 hours ago 1 reply      
His first point is just wrong. You can link to the original post (https://plus.google.com/102025628931490661645/posts/6D2CtDQx...), but only if it's visible to you. You obviously can't link to a post you can't see.
resnamen 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm on several Internet forums where people copy and paste entire articles with no attribution. Slideshows are unrolled, images are hyperlinked, etc.

They're breaking the Internet!

No, wait, they have been the Internet since the very beginning.

yanw 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This sort of post is further evidence that whenever G+ adds some new feature or publishes new numbers a PR attack is imminent. Usually you can tell straight away by the hyperbolic headlines.
takinola 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Because Google favors G+ results in search, G+ is going to become a very powerful SEO tool and this is going to push publishers to become more and more invested in G+. Search is Google's advantage over Facebook and they are going to press this advantage to the max in order to take on Facebook.

I can't say I blame them but I do wonder if there are no real anti-trust issues here. How is this different than when MSFT used its OS dominance to promote its (late-to-the-party) browser? Google is basically using their own dominance in search to promote their (late-to-the-party) social network

manojlds 22 hours ago 1 reply      
"It creeps me out, because I don't know why I'm encircled by all these people, and I don't really get what they're talking about most of the time"

The above line really shows the author doesn't get Google+. While I do have my own grievances about Google+, the author doesn't make valid claims and shouldn't be making any because the author has not understood it.

endtime 20 hours ago 0 replies      
> And it hit me: True Believers of the Holy + might see this re-shared Google+ post of an almost-unattributed rip of my story instead of the original. Google+ hates the Internet!

Stopped reading here. This is a waste-of-time troll article.

devmach 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Google isn't the internet and if it fails , it's google's problem not ours( or internet's ?). There is other alternatives to google's services, if one finds the others better than google, he is free to use them. Seriously, just don't use it if you hate it, that's the best response that you can give.

I don't use G+ because of the "Real Name Policy". It's my choice to give my real name or not and Google don't respect my choices. I have FB, e-mail (yay!), blog, skype etc... I have everything to communicate with my friends or with the world ! I don't need some Nazi to give me an advice like "If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It"....

gldalmaso 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe that Google itself will end up being the 'Google killer'.

I used to enjoy google products because they had very little branding footprint (or maybe I just thought they did), but now I'm constantly trying to avoid branded/sponsored content in order to get the real thing I wanted.

I'll be slowly migrating away from google products from now on because of that. Like the post puts it, I'm tired of being the product. If search and social web won't change it's ways, then I'll be changing away from it.

lukeschlather 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is not actually a Google+ problem. It's a social networking problem. Facebook.com, linkedin.com, and google.com are all preferred over anyone's personal site.

My name is a good case study because it is, as far as I know, unique. Google is currently doing the "right thing" but previously it had been returning my Facebook page above my personal website. That's broken, but it has nothing to do with G+, and everything to do with the way all search engines rank people. (Bing does the "wrong thing" with respect to my name, and shows LinkedIn first. DDG also throws in two random things from years ago in before getting to my modern website.)

Search is a hard problem, and the result is subjective.

Vivtek 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Yargh. OP searched on his name plus "jury duty" and is complaining because Google returns two G+ hits with his name in the title before getting to the article he wrote about jury duty?
mike-cardwell 23 hours ago 0 replies      
As well as the user experience being crap, there are the issues of Google silently removing swearing from your profile, and kicking you off if they don't think your name is real.
Zimahl 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"And he goes on to say that he'd rather see a Google+
post about the article than the article itself, because,
and I quote, "I can comment here without having to jump
through hoops." Hoops like reading the article?"

The hoops I think he is talking about here is having to typically set up an account on a third-party site to comment. I've not commented on a blog post or article because I don't feel like figuring out a username/password (and then remembering it), doing the typical confirmation steps, etc., just to give some feedback. Some have Facebook integration to save you a step but I, like others, don't particularly like having every comment I ever make aggregated by Facebook.

mcgwiz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Out of desperation, Google's gone evil. For all of the shady things that Google had done in the past that people said were evil, nothing approaches the infection of their search service with Google+ rankings. Google had always largely maintained the integrity of their search product which, despite minor adulterations added over the years, was still essentially based on little more than a strict, normative interpretation of the HTTP and HTML standards. By doing so, they maintained the integrity of the company itself. The standards now take a back seat to Google+.

The author is spot on about this. It's evil. In my estimation, it's disrespectful to users. And it therefore creates a huge opportunity for Bing, et al. What remains to be seen is whether, on balance, this degradation of the search service is significant enough to drive away a substantial number of users.

toddh 22 hours ago 0 replies      
While I agree Google is deprecating the URL, as indicated by the removal of the Shared in Reader features, isn't this just a case of somebody cutting and pasting without attribution? G+ can't do anything about that.
lubujackson 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Lol, I just Googled "jon mitchell jury duty" myself and the first 4 links were 1) this post about google+, 2) google+ page 3) google+ page 4) the original article. So writing about this problem has only made things worse!
gospelwut 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah, SEO, how much I loathe everything you spawn and touch.
jonmwords 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi everybody. Sorry I can't respond to everyone, but this conversation has been very productive, I think. Thanks so much.
Varun06 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I also enjoy using G+. and as the writer said that he wanted it to get off his chest, that's what he did. so no problem...keep writing.. People will do what they want to do...
obilgic 22 hours ago 0 replies      
irony that his post is +1'ed 50 times (more than facebook shares
ferrofluid 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Mess up "The Internet"? I don't think so. If you don't like Google, switch to Altavista.
gregguida 22 hours ago 1 reply      
What a bunch of link bait... The title is blowing the whole thing out of proportion. It should have been "My free Google service is messing up my free Google service"

The beauty of the internet is and always has been that if you don't like something its really way to switch to something else.

Cybersky 23 hours ago 0 replies      
G+ is an abomination. I'm glad no one is using it except non-influential geeks.
steele 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm, I enjoy using G+. Maybe I don't have the needs of the e-media i-blog web-news e-lite.
Google's Jaw-Dropping Sponsored Post Campaign For Chrome searchengineland.com
230 points by kruipen  2 days ago   65 comments top 17
evmar 2 days ago 6 replies      
Here's a hypothesis that is more generous to Google (I don't know the real reason): some Google campaign that pays per download of Chrome is prompting site owners to generate this low-quality content. It seems more plausible to me than Google paying directly for this, because it's a terrible marketing campaign.

There's an onclick handler on the link to the Chrome download site on the blog that is in the screenshot on that page. I can't figure out what it does, though I did see when I clicked on it that my browser hit some URLs containing the substring "googleadservices", "conversion", and the Chrome download URL.

kevinalexbrown 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I read: These days, it's hard to know who to trust, but with the name Google, you know you are in good hands. I get a stomach-ache. I wonder whether something like this might backfire to some extent, not counting the possible hypocrisy. When you have people writing phrases like that, it almost sounds condescending, like an awkward author's attempt to portray a simple, good-old-fashioned person. Except real, good-old-fashioned people don't actually talk and make decisions like that, and even if they're not familiar with Chrome, they're not going to be persuaded by that. If this is the quality of content from such an SEO campaign, I wonder if such endorsements only work against Chrome in the long run.

OTOH, if the SEO works, then maybe enough people switch to Chrome to justify the crappy endorsements.

runn1ng 2 days ago 3 replies      
This seems very un-Googley to me.

This doesn't mean the article is not correct, but I just can't believe Google would do this kind of grey-hat SEO... mostly, companies do this to outsmart Google. Why would Google be trying to outsmart its own search engine?

jroseattle 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, marketing people in this industry can be sooooo lame sometimes. What a terrible campaign.

Google Chrome is a very good product, and doesn't need to be associated with this type of approach. The product speaks for itself.

Zirro 2 days ago 2 replies      
To be honest, I fail to understand why Google needs to do this. Chrome is gaining market-share at a very high pace already. Are they targeting a specific group of people in this case, or is this some misdirected effort by a third party advertiser?
mmavnn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looking at the most recent (at the moment, http://searchengineland.com/googles-jaw-dropping-sponsored-p...) comment it looks like this is part of a video advertising campaign by Unruly. Apparently (according to Unruly) the video is theirs, but the surrounding text is supplied by the blogger and should use nofollow links.
prophetjohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll be interested to see an explanation for this, but the title is a little on the sensational side. I would say that Google's sponsored post campaign is closer to mildly intriguing than "jaw-dropping."
dannyr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Comments are jumping all over Google without a word from the company yet.

I believe Google deserves the benefit of the doubt.

manojlds 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google was banning blogs doing paid reviews from PayPerPost and others. Now they do it themselves...
silentscope 2 days ago 0 replies      
This was bound to happen in some fashion eventually--it would happen to any company. The question is what will Google do about it. If it's a mea culpa I feel just fine about it. If it's a "no comment" one can hardly ignore the fact that they've gone down the road of filtering your access to information for the worse by making it less open and therefore less informative.

Your move Google.

jacobwg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Conspiracy theory - perhaps someone other than Google is running this campaign in order to trigger Google's automatic censoring of the Chrome download page... Pretty stupid attempt if so as Google is not likely to censor its own pages (certainly not for 400 "bad" links), but spammers can be stupid.
orijing 2 days ago 0 replies      
So the concern is that this impacts the ranking of Google Chrome in Google Search, and that the FTC is investigating Google for favoring its own content unfairly?

It makes sense in the context of travel websites (Expedia complaining about Google, for example), but I'm not sure about Google Chrome. It's been promoted on the front page of Google many times--so does Google really need the extra boost in its search results?

chintan 2 days ago 0 replies      
IMO they want to possibly avoid anti-trust issues in future when Chrome becomes the dominant player.

"Look we are teh small guys using plain old paid link marketing"

brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
<snark> Your winnings, sir. </snark>
nestlequ1k 2 days ago 0 replies      
What an absolutely bullshit article, by a site that only exists to advise people in the fruitless zero sum game that is search engine marketing.

So theres a bunch of idiots out there that are gaming Google's paid campaigns, and Google is indirectly benefiting from it. Outrageous!!

Search Engine land should shut down and find another line of work, something that actually benefits society in the tiniest of ways.

wes-exp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Obligatory Steve Jobs reference:

Google's don't be evil mantra: “It's bullshit.”

kaffeinecoma 2 days ago 2 replies      
I switched to Chrome about a year ago for its performance, and now I'm about to go back to Safari for exactly the same reason. What happened to Chrome performance on OSX Lion? Why does it scroll like molasses?
Why the Movie Industry Can't Innovate and the Result is SOPA steveblank.com
225 points by grellas  1 day ago   37 comments top 8
jonnathanson 1 day ago 6 replies      
I've worked at studios and networks for a large part of my career. They have hired plenty of people over the years with "skill at managing disruption." They've poached talent from the Microsofts, Googles, Facebooks, hot startups, etc., of the world plenty of times over.

The problem is that they tend to place these folks -- or any of their people ostensibly charged with "innovation" -- in isolated silos. Typically they'll hire a handful of "innovation" people, most of them ex-McKinsey consultants, but a lot of them tech people, and put them in a sort of internal consulting group. This group will have no P&L of its own, and no real authority to change or mandate change. And it will be tasked with influencing the rest of the company to change. As you can imagine, it's a recipe for failure.

And even this is a symptom of a bigger problem: silos, silos, silos. Every department might as well be competing with the next -- because nobody talks to one another, people are constantly politicking against one another, and nobody wants to fund a win that shows up on somebody else's P&L. The whole thing is very reminiscent of "Game of Thrones," actually. Each studio is host to a bevy of competing fiefdoms, and the heads of the fiefdoms are constantly plotting each others' downfalls.

And even the studios are, themselves, fiefdoms within much larger media conglomerates. The head of the Disney movie studio, for instance, still answers to the head of The Walt Disney Corporation, and competes for his favor with the heads of ABC, ESPN, Theme Parks, Licensing, etc. And the head of The Walt Disney Corporation is beholden to Wall Street and quarterly reports. (Big risks and disruptive strategies are extremely hard to implement when you've got quarterlies to answer for).

If you ask me, these companies have grown too big and unwieldy to innovate properly. I'm not saying that in an antitrust-activist sense, but rather, in the sense that it's extremely hard to get everyone within a giant conglomerate on the same agenda when the goal, business, and job description of each P&L leader is so wildly different from the next.

None of this is meant to be an apology for the entertainment conglomerates, but rather, an observation. It's an observation born out of intense personal frustration, of course, at having seen the same patterns over and over again. At the end of the day, "innovation" is a very easy word to preach, but a much more difficult word to implement.

At the same time, I get the sense that a tipping point is very close at hand. Producers, writers, actors, directors, and other talent are themselves getting very tired of the same old studio game. And many of them are seeking out innovative deals with tech firms, brands, and other direct-to-consumer channels. All it takes is a handful of breakout hits -- shows, movies, or what have you -- that occur outside of the established Hollywood distribution system. The second you've got a legitimate hit series only on Netflix, or a direct-to-Amazon smash hit, or a Facebook series drawing in more viewers per week than a network show (very feasible), Hollywood will take notice, and it'll start getting serious about rethinking its approach. It may be too little and too late by then, but that's how these things go.

[Sorry for the tl;dr text wall!]

Jun8 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't know about "can't" but the reason why the studios won't innovate alternate business models is simple and is another example of the classic Innovator's Dilemma. The studios are huge companies embedded in other, even bigger companies, so there's a large amount of inertia. The MPAA is just the symptom of this. Go through the list Blank mentions: none, I repeat , none of those advances came from the industry itself, it was always some outside influence that the movie business resisted and then had to eventually deal with.

But the inertia of the studios is only part of the story. Large actor's unions, e.g. SAG, also oppose drastic changes, because they understand the current model and don't want it to be disrupted too much. This is similar to how teacher's unions are generally against efforts like the Khan Academy. Remember that many actors (e.g. Charlie Chaplin) in the 20s were against the introduction to sound to movies due to precisely the same kind of intellectual and business inertia.

One of my favorite quotes: "Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution."

gerggerg 23 hours ago 2 replies      
The movie industry does innovate. They've been innovating like crazy. Tons of new tech and innovations come out of the movie industry. It's the MPAA that doesn't care to innovate. The MPAA doesn't produce anything. They just want/need control. Their sole job is to make money and any time you have an organization whose sole purpose is to make money, they're just going to want control.

The problem isn't the movie industry or piracy, it's the relentless fight for control that the pushers of a dying business model want over you.

mgkimsal 1 day ago 3 replies      
I will point out that while the cries of "it'll ruin us" (meaning, our business model) have been going on for some time, each time it seems to get closer to the truth. When the original business model was "people going to theaters", new technology options meant that fewer people might go to movies. And that does happen from year to year, and may be on a downward trend for a variety of reasons. Other markets open up but it can take time to adjust (and rather than adjust, big studios seem to just fight).

I do think they're pretty close to the mark on music these days. The cry of "radio will destroy us" is rather silly in hindsight because radio is still a physical limited system. I can only tune in X stations, signal isn't always good, and I'm limited by the realtime aspect of station X only playing Y songs per day. Instant access to all music (or, a very large subset) all the time means ... a big shift in how people consume and think about music. Bigger than most big companies are ready to deal with.

What I'd like? $10-$20/month for instant streaming access to all movie content from X major studios. Another $10-$20/month for instant streaming access to all OTA/Cable channels. When I say all I mean all - every movie in an archive going back to the dawn of time. Every episode of every TV show that was aired (and maybe some that weren't). I'd even be content with not having access to current stuff. I don't particularly care about being "up to date" with whatever the latest shows are - I much prefer going through entire series after the fact.

Index everything - make it searchable. Let me search up actor FOO, find the shows he was in, and go watch those scenes. We're close on some aspects of this, but still so far away.

All of this content exists, somewhere. Yes, it'll take time to convert it to online. But that's a one time expense (big as it may be). And the 'long tail' effect I believe would justify people spending a nominal amount per month to get at all the old stuff whenever they want. There's no value in movie X sitting in a vault.

johngalt 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Gaming killed them.

WoW has made more money than any movie ever will. As the top shelf creative types realize the winds have changed, you will see a brain drain. The next Spielberg or Lucas will work for a game studio, and the movie industry will never get them back.

TheCapn 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think government and the populous as a whole play a large part in this natural progression of things as well.

When it comes to innovation and changes to the way the world works we're faced with two competing sides:

1) Let innovation take over and increase all things good to the consumer

2) Protect jobs

Once the MPAA/RIAA or whatever finally realize that their role is no longer to play the middleman between the artists and the consumer there will be massive job loss. Its not my job to envision where these workers will migrate but its an unfortunate truth of life when processes become automated and require less people in the whole scheme.

And that's primarily how people maintain support for the associations instead of piracy or streamed content. Those ads in the theater of the key grip going "piracy is killing my job" is the pity response they're trying to drive from us. The Key Grip in reality shouldn't be hurting MPAA should be. They haven't realized yet that their role in the process isn't worth the same amount as it was 10 years ago and they're refusing to take a pay cut as a part of things.

enobrev 23 hours ago 0 replies      
While I'm not a fan of the industry tactics, which seem to essentially amount to throwing a tantrum anytime the world decides to do things a little different, this article seems to show an amazing resilience. It baffles me how these slow anti-tech companies continue to remain well planted as the "owners" of our content.

Especially considering how well developed the internet has become, I can't imagine how these companies have continued to thrive.

PaulHoule 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think Hollywood is very interested in the internet as a distribution medium. Already it's clear that advertising CPMs are several times higher online than on conventional television -- and online advertising isn't even fully mature!

Hollywood isn't opposed to the "internet" as a technology; they just want to control it.

A Programming Idiom You've Never Heard Of dadgum.com
227 points by pavel_lishin  1 day ago   151 comments top 32
psykotic 1 day ago 7 replies      
This idiom is even more useful in functional programming where the last step is an inverse of the first step in the applicative sense rather than in the side-effects sense.

Mathematicians call it conjugation, and it can be usefully thought of as a temporary change of coordinates or change in vantage point. Problems often become simpler, even trivial, when working in the right coordinates.

In practical programming, it is commonplace that the "inverse" that occurs in conjugation idioms is a genuine right-inverse but only partially a left-inverse. This is true for his example of squares and square roots. For another instance, consider

    reverseWords = unwords . reverse . words

The composition words . unwords :: [String] -> [String] is the identity, but unwords . words :: String -> String is the identity only for strings whose words are separated by a single space rather than multiple spaces, tabs, etc. This property can actually be put to good use:

    normalizeWhitespace = unwords . words

If you like, you can think of unwords . words as an orthogonal projection onto the subspace of strings on which unwords is a genuine left-inverse of words (cf. Moore-Penrose pseudoinverses).

That's cool and all, but the effect on reverseWords is that it normalizes interword whitespace in the process of reversing words, whether you like it or not.

Incidentally, it's not too hard to abstract out this pattern with invertible functions:

    data Invertible a b = Invertible (a -> b) (b -> a)

invertible = Invertible
apply (Invertible f f') = f
unapply (Invertible f f') = f'
inverse (Invertible f f') = Invertible f' f
compose (Invertible f f') (Invertible g g') = Invertible (f . g) (g' . f')
conjugate i f = unapply i . f . apply i
on = flip conjugate

Now you'd have to set up invertibles for all the usual foo/unfoo pairs of functions. Assume that has been done. Our example only needs words/unwords:

    import Data.String as S
words = invertible S.words S.unwords

With those preliminaries out of the way, you can then reimplement reverseWords very neatly:

    reverseWords = reverse `on` words

In fact, it's now so concise and self-explanatory that you hardly need the named definition anymore and can just refer to reverse `on` words directly.

sgentle 1 day ago  replies      
A similar pattern that blew my mind when I first saw it was ruby's scoped open().

instead of

  f = open "test.txt"
print f.read

You can write

  open "text.txt" do |f|
print f.read

The file is automatically closed at the end of the block, and it also handles exceptions and so on. I find it also lines up better semantically with how I think about opening handles to things.

I believe Python also added something similar via the 'with' syntax. Not sure about other languages.

thristian 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interestingly, Python has the "with" statement for this basic genre of operation (executing a block of code while some particular resource is held), although it doesn't require that the third, "undo" step be automatically derived from the first step - it's just a protocol where a 'start' and 'end' method are called on the object representing the resource.

It sure makes it easy to be sure you're closing your file handles/database connections/mutexes, though.

robotresearcher 1 day ago 2 replies      
Constructor / Destructor pairs are how you do this in C++. This is so fundamental to the object system that it's a bit steep to claim that "you've never heard of it". You have. The author's example of "get the rake - use rake - put away rake" maps exactly to [construct - call methods - destruct].

Given the jmp-iness of exception handling in C++, this is the recommended (i.e. the only safe) way to clean up after yourself.

jbarham 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go handles this type of situation nicely using deferred function calls:

"Go's defer statement schedules a function call (the deferred function) to be run immediately before the function executing the defer returns. It's an unusual but effective way to deal with situations such as resources that must be released regardless of which path a function takes to return. The canonical examples are unlocking a mutex or closing a file." http://golang.org/doc/effective_go.html#defer

scscsc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Bidirectional programming is somewhat related.


e.g. read a file, parse it into an AST, modify AST (i.e. rename a variable), unparse the new AST, close the file.

sigil 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a programming languages where functions have inverses?

How about a computer architecture where every instruction has an inverse, and therefore all functions and even programs are invertible? (Quantum computing, for example.)


ssp 1 day ago 1 reply      
The language Nickle (http://nickle.org) has a "twixt" control structure:

    twixt (expression1, expression2)

If expression1 is true, then statement1 will be executed followed by expression2 in that order. The twixt statement guarantees that expression2 is always executed if expression1 is true, similarly to how "finally" works in java.

d0mine 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is a common idiom in C++ RAII https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_acquisition_is_initia...

Context managers in Python:

  with fly('Seattle'):

Real-world example from Fabric http://fabfile.org:

  with cd('/to/path'):

chrislipa 1 day ago 0 replies      
This idiom is common in mathematics, where it's called a conjugate.

Any time you have an element, y, of a group, the action of pre-composing with any other element, x, and post-composing with x's inverse to get xyx^{-1} is called conjugating, and the result is a called a conjugate of y.


lispm 1 day ago 2 replies      
That's in many cases what a LET with a dynamic binding does in Lisp.

Set origin
Reset Origin


    (let ((origin (move 50 50)))
(draw something))

Similar in the Common Lisp object system we use :before, :after and :around methods.

    (defmethod draw :before () (move 50 50))

(defmethod draw () (draw-something))

(defmethod draw :after () (move -50 -50))

rmc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Python has this with the "with" statement. It's often used for files, but you can write your own with classes and an __enter__ and __exit__ method.

However you can use the ``contextlib`` module to make really simple ``contextmanger``'s with the yield statement


    from contextlib import contextmanager

def glcontext():

(This is an example where someone wanted to do OpenGL in python)

sdevlin 1 day ago 2 replies      
People have posted a lot of examples in a lot of different programming languages. What they show is that all you really need to build this idiom is first class functions (or some approximation thereof). (It also shows that the title is not correct; many, many people are familiar with this idiom.)

When you need to wrap up a common block of code, you use a function. This lets you call the same block in a number of different contexts. When you need to fix the context in place and let the block in the middle vary, you write a function that takes another function as a parameter. An example in JavaScript (might be a little off):

    var withFile = function (path, action) {
var f;
try {
f = File.open(path);
} finally {

withFile('foo.txt', function (f) { ... });

This can be generalized (to some extent and depending on language) so you don't need to write the same structures every time:

    var context = function (prolog, epilog) {
return function (action, ...args) {
var o;
try {
o = prolog.apply(args);
} finally {

var withFile = context(File.open, File.close);

This example uses JavaScript' hypothetical future "rest" parameters, but there are other ways to manage the same goal.

(Other comments have mentioned the author conflates context management with applying reversible functions. I've only dealt with one of those things here, but similar techniques apply in solving both problems.)

tikhonj 1 day ago 1 reply      
This reminds me of my friend's project for a recent hackathon where he implemented a language that guaranteed every function in it was reversible. It would let you do something like this for any function.

Unfortunately, I don't think he found it particularly useful and gave up on it after the hackathon. Still, it was a cool project.

v-yadli 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems that everybody is talking about files. :-)
Open, operate, close.
I think the author tries to bring us more, mathematically.
Like a matrix operation:
Move to origin, rotate, move back.
But this is a lot harder than just "resource guard", imo.
Any ideas?
niklas_a 1 day ago 0 replies      
I refuse out of principle to click on links with headlines that are so obviously trying to trick me into going to a site.

Make the headline informative instead, if you have great content people will read and share it anyway.

Better version of this headline:

XXXX: A programming idiom that helps you do YYYY

ajuc 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If there was a way to mark functions and their inverses consistently in language, then functions with inverses could be used in (semanticaly) pure functional code, even if they were destructive.

For (stupid) example:

    def reverse(x) as inversible with(reverse): #special case - reverse is itself inverse function
x = x.reversed() #I'm too lazy to code this by hand

def lastFive(x) as pure: #let's say language checks if pure function only uses pure and inversable functions
return x[:5] under reverse

Here lastFive is pure function even thought reverse is destructive.

This assumes everybody sticks to one definition of reversing something, in this case functions f and g are inverse of each other, when after invoking f(x), doing only pure or reversable things to x, and invoking g(x), x is unchanged.

And I don't know if this will be useful for anything - the only point seems to be avoiding making copies and still making pure functions. But resulting code, while semanticaly pure, is not threadsafe. So I don't know if it's worth anything.

phzbOx 1 day ago 0 replies      
IIRC, we use this Idiom in SICP while doing symbolic algebra.

For instance, when we have x+y=z and know only x and z, we need to reverse the equation to have y=z-x. The system was built on nodes which would propagate change (a-la events).

IMO, python's with statement with __enter__ and __exit__ looks mostly like this.

Zak 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Other posts have already mentioned that specific macros of this form exist in several Lisps. I've seen more than one macro-writing guide that talks about the with-something macro pattern for managing resources, and I've seen it applied in libraries that provide macros like with-database and with-query-results.

CL and Clojure could easily support a generic with macro requiring that there be an open and close method for the resource in question.

drx 1 day ago 0 replies      
You could dispense with the 'you've never heard of'.
sbmassey 1 day ago 0 replies      
The OP seems to be conflating two different things: undoing an action (closing a file, etc), and performing the inverse of a reversible function.

The first is amply covered by the RAII/unwind-protect etc idioms than most languages do have.

The second is not, as most programming languages don't have the concept. The closest I can think of is the ability to use a predicate in either direction in Prolog (or logical programming in general)

cpt1138 1 day ago 1 reply      
LISP has had this for years:

(with-open-file (output "foo.txt" :direction :output :if-exists :supersede)
(print-foo output))

tkahn6 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pretty sure Ruby has this.

File.open(name, mode) receives a block, executes it, and then closes the file.

sdevlin 1 day ago 1 reply      
C#'s 'using' statements allow this kind of pattern for types implementing IDisposable. It looks something like this (might be a little off):

    using (var file = File.Open("foo.txt"))

kabdib 1 day ago 1 reply      
The BETA language does this with methods (you can't override a method, but you can add pre-and-post operations that wrap it).

I was never convinced this was a great idiom. BETA didn't become very popular, in any event.

thurn 1 day ago 1 reply      
An interesting approach to this is the one used in Go, where the "defer" keyword schedules code to run on function exit. It's simple and doesn't require adding more nesting to your code.
rbanffy 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Never heard of" is quite a stretch.

During my dark past as a VB programmer (early-mid 90's) I even indented the code for pairs like this.

dromidas 19 hours ago 0 replies      
In C# this is "using".
using(new something as something)
Do something with it.
} //it goes away now.

Typically this idiom is the function call itself. The act of sipping coffee is the point of the function, and picking up the cup and putting the cup back down are the whole point of the function call.

singingwolfboy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Python has this idiom for a while now: it's known as a "context manager", also known as the "with" statement. Here's the PEP: http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0343/
mvanveen 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of Suzuki's idiom, "Leave No Trace," found in the book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.
lelf 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh, c'mon! All people with with and RAII and files, please reread the article. At least the last example.
New Year's Resolution: Full Disk Encryption on Every Computer You Own eff.org
226 points by tobiasbischoff  3 days ago   182 comments top 28
DanielBMarkham 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm not an expert on security, but I do know a bit about human nature. I'd suggest a 2-level encryption scheme. Perhaps FDE and a BIOS password as level 1, and then a futher encrypted area of your HD as level 2.

Why? Because this allows you to appear to be cooperating with any request to look at your computer. Simply type in the level 1 stuff and demonstrate the system booting up. I bet 9 times out of 10 whoever is checking you over will stop right there: it looks a lot like compliance. If they keep pushing for total access to your data simply say "no" Whereas if you say "no" to begin with, you're likely to attract more attention than if it appears you have nothing to hide. In many cases people are working jobs where they only have so much time to check things -- unless there appears to a be a person with a problem, in which case they can take all day with you. So help them out. Give them something to ask you for that you can produce. Then everybody can move along and it's not a problem for anybody.

ck2 3 days ago 5 replies      
It's sad we need encryption mostly for protection from not criminals, but our own government for even trivial data.

What freaks me out most these days is how easily people fall into the belief that "oh well traveling is not a right so you have to give up rights when you fly or drive anywhere".

No, if you are a citizen of the United States and unless you are actually crossing a border, you should have the unqualified protection against unreasonable searches, especially without warrants.

I also don't accept the "well it's worse in other countries, be happy you are not there" argument. This country is not even 250 years old. The laws we made are pretty fundamental and not old at all. It's not some kind of game where they should be allowed to dance around the edges to break them.

trotsky 3 days ago 1 reply      
The feds and other serious folks are pretty careful these days not to turn off anything until they've had forensics evaluate the situation. And not just because of FDE, memory analysis very frequently yields the best evidence due to it's timely and overlooked nature. Since most encryption systems retain their keys during lock and sleep, unless you usually leave your system powered off I wouldn't count on being afforded much privacy if you're interesting enough to bother.

That said I still use it on both of mine and definitely suggest it, it's a very small performance penalty for what will be a godsend if your laptop turns up lost or stolen.

It's an excellent precaution against the much more mundane and common threats like loss or theft though

kia 3 days ago 2 replies      
Microsoft BitLocker in its most secure mode is the gold standard because it protects against more attack modes than other software. Unfortunately, Microsoft has only made it available with certain versions of Microsoft Windows.

Though MS says that BitLocker doesn't have back doors [1], I wonder how true this actually is...

[1] http://blogs.msdn.com/b/si_team/archive/2006/03/02/542590.as...

Jach 3 days ago 4 replies      
If you go full disk encryption with TrueCrypt, make sure you look into their Hidden OS feature as well. A judge may be able to order you to give up the decryption key to the OS when accessing the drive prompts for one (last I checked the precedent is still somewhat shaky), because while they can't know what's being encrypted they can infer something readable is. They can't prove the existence of a Hidden OS, though, so your 'real' encrypted area is just noise and can't be legally proved anything else so a second key can't be demanded.
finnw 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am not convinced by one of the quiz answers:

> Our calculations confirm that a relatively short series of truly randomly chosen English dictionary words is secure; many people find these somewhat more memorable. Above we used "In the jungle! The mighty Jungle, the lion sleeps tonight!" The important thing is to choose enough words and to choose them in a random un-guessable way, such as by changing the spacing, punctuation, spelling, or capitalization.

The problem with this example is that the 10 words are not chosen independently. Type "in the j" into a google search box and the whole phrase will appear in the drop-down box. So the entropy for the choice of that phrase is about lg2(37^8) or about 42 bits.

So an approximation of the total entropy is:

Choice of source phrase = lg2(37^8) ~= 41.7 bits

Choose one of the 10 suggestions from the drop-down box = lg2(10) ~= 3.3 bits

Permutation of words = lg2(10! / 2! / 3!) ~= 18.2 bits

Spacing (assume each word may independently be precedeed by a space with probability 0.5)
=10 bits

Punctuation (each word may be independently followed by '!') = 10 bits

Capitalization: independently choose one of {lowercase, camelcase, uppercase) for each word = lg2(3^10) ~= 15.8 bits

Total so far: 98 bits.

Now consider the third option: a mixture of 16 independently-chosen letters, numbers and symbols. Assume most ASCII characters are available (lets eliminate single quote, backslash and $ which cause problems for some web apps) and we have

lg2(92^16) ~= 104.4 bits, which wins.

bengl3rt 2 days ago 2 replies      
Unfortunately, full-disk encryption absolutely kills SSD performance because it makes the data look random (i.e. incompressible). It will wear out the SSD much faster than using it without would, because the hardware compression unit in the controller can sometimes achieve 8:1, and therefore have to rewrite only 1/8th of the NAND cells that it otherwise would.
tobiasbischoff 3 days ago 5 replies      
phillmv 3 days ago 1 reply      
What's the performance penalty like? That's pretty much the only thing holding me back.
josscrowcroft 3 days ago 1 reply      
Enlightening (and scary) stuff.

Encryption is great but won't save you if they ask for your password (honestly, I'd prefer to give them the password and circumvent using online storage.)

With that in mind - what advice would all you security buffs have on the best way to back up your hard drive to an online disk? Specifically using a basic hosting account as opposed to SAAS or cloud service?

nohat 2 days ago 1 reply      
One thing that worries me is how difficult it makes it if you get some data corruption. For example, I had a hardrive that had full disk encryption start to fail, and found pulling the data off much more difficult because I had to decrypt the whole lvm to get any access. I'm actually not confident how exactly corruption maps from cyphertext to plaintext in various modern crypto systems. I would guess that you would get out gibberish though.
samstave 2 days ago 2 replies      
What about on my mobile? I am not aware (as I havent looked) of any encryption available to the data on my iPhone, or MyTouch 4G.

Further, I use Gmail - I have zero expectation of privacy from google.

I also store all my important docs for work and personal on DropBox.

What will I gain from encrypting my laptop? aside from it being stolen/lost - I dont see any added security/benefit from doing this.

I am not trying to be obtuse - but can one explain to me why I would want to do this, other than expressing my tech savvy?

pasbesoin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone comment on the speed/performance of TrueCrypt, EncFS, and similar on older systems, e.g. a 5 - 7 year old laptop? I'm considering carrying a "sacrificial" machine in case it is, um, "indefinitely detained", but I'm uncertain what kind of a performance hit full disk (or partition -- though I'm inclined to encrypt the entire disk) encryption will incur. (I currently have Core Duo and P4 candidates for the job.)
code4pizza 3 days ago 3 replies      
I wonder if there would be significant environmental implications if everyone switched to full disk encryption...

Does this impose a significant processor load and does that translate to greater power consumption?

Havoc 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm concerned about privacy too but none of the worrisome areas would be improved by FDE. Facebook/Google, tracking, keyloggers etc is where the main problem lies.
codesuela 3 days ago 1 reply      
I got myself an SSD for Christmas and that is why I moved off full disk encryption on home computer and instead encrypt almost everything except the system. However I've turned off the page file and I'm trying to set up pre boot authentication for non system volumes.

On another note, I plan to slowly switch to Ubuntu and I wonder how secure the home folder encryption is?

casca 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's nice that computers are now powerful enough that full disk encryption is almost performance-neutral. But realistically, if they want your data then they can get it.
Spear phishing works very well and if not, there's always indefinite detention.

Technology is only a small part of the solution to warrantless border searches.

brador 3 days ago 0 replies      
I just use two RAIDed NAS boxes, one as a long term, large file media/data store and another for small files on SSD RAID. All my comps are now dumb terminals, booting an OS and software. Works well and was surprisingly cheap for what is essentially a complete, hassle free system.
bumbledraven 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's great to see the EFF recommending http://diceware.com for secure passphrase generation.
wazoox 3 days ago 4 replies      
None of my current computers is powerful enough for that without it being a serious hassle. And I'm pretty sure it will drain my laptop battery much faster...
SickAnimations 3 days ago 2 replies      
My system triple boots into OS X, Windows and Ubuntu. I have a home partition, formatted in HFS+.

What would be the best strategy for me to use? Should I just encrypt the home volume using something cross-platform like TrueCrypt, or is it practical (an maintainable) to do full-disk encryption in such an environment?

My home partition has very sensitive data and I've been putting off creating a TrueCrypt container for this data.

quinndupont 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone have any thoughts on Apple's File Vault? I assume the crypto is perfectly fine, but I worry about bugs destroying my data.
dicroce 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did this over a year ago and am very happy. I use TrueCrypt. I have not noticed any slow downs (even for gaming)... That said, you should probably not do this if your drives are failing (or you tend to suffer a lot of disk failures).
paulhauggis 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is all good, until you get any kind of disk corruption. Good luck getting any of your data back.
rogerbinns 2 days ago 0 replies      
So how do you encrypt a home server? Any device that has to be bootable without human intervention will have to store the encryption keys on the device somewhere making the encryption merely obfuscation.

It is possible for "swap" RAM to be encrypted on Linux and it could generate a random per boot key, also being a form of obfuscation. https://lkml.org/lkml/2011/12/28/69

jrgifford 3 days ago 2 replies      
Unfortunately, the amount of time I spend running/breaking the development version of Ubuntu prohibits full disk encryption, but I do have /home encrypted. Is that "good enough"?
justatdotin 3 days ago 1 reply      
do most people really have private information on their computer? I don't think I do ...
mike-cardwell 3 days ago 3 replies      
"I have always thought that the only reason you would need full disk encryption on a computer is if you was doing something illegal."

Did you even read the article? It mentions several legitimate reasons why you would need to use encryption for perfectly legal reasons.

It still surprises me hear people who are intelligent enough to use the Internet come out with the, "if you've nothing to hide" argument.

EDIT: The information I claimed was in the linked article, was actually in the whitepaper, linked to from the article. I will quote the relevant passage below. It amazes me that anyone would not be able to come to this conclusion independently though:

"For doctors, lawyers, and many business
professionals, these border searches can compromise the privacy of sensitive professional
information, including trade secrets, attorney-
client and doctor-patient communications,
research and business strategies, some of
which a traveler has legal and contractual obligations to protect. For the rest of us, searches
that can reach our personal correspondence,
health information, and financial records are
reasonably viewed as an affront to privacy and
dignity and inconsistent with the values of a
free society."

The Future of CouchDB damienkatz.net
209 points by badcarl  11 hours ago   65 comments top 23
antirez 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Probably it is very hard to create a company around an open source project without disrupting part of the open source ecosystem around it... on the other hand it is important to create some kind of structure to pay the developers to continue working on the project. I'm not sure what I would do without VMware helping Redis... but I guess that some decent compromise should exist, like creating a support company for the software but leaving the project itself as an open source effort with it's own separated site, mailing list, and so forth.

There is also an ethical problem IMHO. For instance is Redis mine? I guess it is not: VMware is funding the development so I can write code thanks to Vmware. Pieter is contributing a lot of code. The community is helping a lot the project: with talks spreading the word, helping on the mailing list, helping to fix bugs, and so forth.

My guess is that the developers really conceptually "own" a very small piece of the pie, and when they create business around an open source software, they should take this in mind otherwise it is simple to involuntarily use work/efforts that other people did in the past and turn it into your business.

It's not easy however... as: the end users should be happy and well served, and the software should not just be "open source" but an open process, with an open community, and so forth. At the same time the developers should pay their bills without issues and earn enough to avoid being tempted to joined company XYZ instead of working to their project. It's not trivial to have all this together I guess, and I feel very lucky that there is VMware making this simple for me, but not all the open source developers are equally fortunate so I guess it is crucial that the open source community keeps working on different ideas to find viable solutions.

rubyrescue 4 hours ago 2 replies      
This is NOT second system syndrome. This is business, pure and simple. I had a long, LONG series of emails and calls with CouchBase about commercial support for Couch. We have some big production apps on it.

When it got down to time to pay for support, they told me (this is 2 months ago) in a rare and unusual bit of candor, that they were going to drop Couch in less than six months, so did I want to buy commercial support for just six months?

I told them not only do I not want commercial support, but I just got so freaked out I would not recommend couch for future projects to clients, because it was obvious that internally the team had moved on.

They asked me not to tell anyone so I didn't, but now that this is out there I can say what I deducted from our discussions: Couch doesn't make any money; MemBase does. Period.

Kevin Smith at Opscode said they're moving away from Couch (and to MySQL) as Couch just doesn't scale. No finely grained reader/writer locks, one reader/writer thread/db, huge and random delays due to checkpointing that can make the server inoperable, difficulty ever finishing a view checkpoint under load, etc. I think he's right - it's been abandoned as a platform.

It's absolutely their prerogative to move on and it seems like the right decision, but it's not a technical decision. The reality is that CouchDB is largely a product running small, toy apps, written by people who won't PAY anything for support. MemBase is being used by big companies with a lot of money to spend on commercial support and enterprise features.

Actually there is still one case where I recommend Couch and it's when you need the mobile sync features. I doubt that they'll make those a priority anytime soon on the MemBase product (at least I haven't seen or heard anything).

robterrell 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've spent the past year building an app on CouchDB and I've really enjoyed using it. The couch.io to CouchBase transition was poorly communicated, so I'm glad Damien's made such a clear statement of intent. Clearly I'm going to have to stick with Apache CouchDB for now. I was interested in moving to CouchBase, but that's surprisingly difficult:

1. There's no easy transition for my data. I thought I could just install CouchBase and replicate from my existing CouchDB -- nope, can't be done. Huh? But why...

2. It's partly because CouchBase drops the CouchDB REST API. Which also means, none of my existing code works with it. So I guess it's no big deal that my data won't move over, because my app won't be able to retrieve it anyway.

Because there's no easy transition, they've created a situation where anyone considering a move to CouchBase is just as likely to re-evaluate all of the other document (or k/v) stores.

rdtsc 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It is interesting, when they dropped Couchbase Single Server I jumped on #couchdb irc channel and said how there will be a developer drain from CouchDB since quite a few of them work for Couchbase and will be working on Couchbase Server only (instead of supporting and sending patches back to CouchDB as well).

I got a lot of disagreements and nasty responses back, suggesting that it would not happen and CouchDB is doing awesome, and how this basically doesn't affect CouchDB at all. However here is its creator, urging everyone in so many words to drop CouchDB and switch to Couchbase.

epistasis 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The ideas in CouchDB were really great, but I was very disappointed with what was termed a 1.0 release of CouchDB, as it did not feel ready for prime time, and it ended up torpedoing a project I was working on. I'm also disappointed that it did not quickly improve, and that it appears to be abandoned by it's creator. I am therefore going to avoid Couchbase or anything by it's creator, as I do not trust that it's a foundation that I can build upon.
smacktoward 9 hours ago 1 reply      
> if I had it all to do again, I'd do many things different

> now, as it turns out, I have a chance to do it all again

> throwing out what didn't work, and strengthening what does

> not feel like you're running a dirty hack

Second-system syndrome [1] ahoy!

[1] See http://www.the-wabe.com/notebook/second-system.html, http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?SecondSystemEffect, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-system_effect, http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html, et al

plinkplonk 10 hours ago 2 replies      
"We are moving more and more of the core database in C/C++, while still using many of the concurrency and reliability design principles we've proven with the Erlang codebase. And Erlang is still going to be part of the product as well, particularly with cluster management, but most of the performance sensitive portions will be moving to over C code. Erlang is still a great language, but when you need top performance and low level control, C is hard to beat."

This is interesting. If I remember correctly, CouchDB was first written in C++ and then moved to Erlang. Now the project has come full circle (which is fine of course).

sgentle 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Shame. I really like CouchApp. It felt like CouchDB was one rails moment away from being a whole new way to develop web apps, where the DB, the client, and the application were all part of the same glorious union rather than being a bunch of ugly parts bolted together.
FraaJad 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The FAQ [1] tells me that Couchasebase Server 2.0 is open source. But, the link to source tarballs and git repos is conspicuously absent from all the pages i've looked through on couchbase.com/org.


rb2k_ 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I looked at couchbase and it seems somewhat user-friendly. The way to preview your created views by using only a subset of data is nice. Another nice thing is the split into ?16? different databases that allow compaction to occur on a smaller level rather than having to compact the whole 60 gb file at once

The downside for me so far:

- I couldn't find any way to import my current couchbase single server data over to couchbase.

- The old couchdb webinterface (futon) made browsing through data easy, the couchbase interface seems to make this a bit more complicated. (Maybe I didn't look in the right places?)

- I couldn't figure out if I can still hook up the _changes feed to elasticsearch

zerothehero 9 hours ago 2 replies      
This post is pretty vague. Having heard of Couch a few times over the years but not used it, it would been more helpful if he said something like: "I started a company and forked the open source CouchDB project that I founded. The company and new commercial product is CouchBase and it will be better for these reasons..." And I would be curious about some examples of where the open governance limited the CouchDB project as he's implying.

Those seem to be orthogonal things -- he could have just created a non-Apache open source project rather than making it commercial.

He is beating around the bush so much and using such vague wording that I wonder if he is hiding something, or just ashamed that he's cashing in on his creation. There's no shame in making money and no shame in making a commercial fork of your own project. But the CouchBase website looks awfully "enterprisey" now and I think there is some shame in that...

clark-kent 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This feels like bad news for CouchDB users, since they will need to re-write code and re-learn a new system if they choose to migrate to Couchbase Server.

It's better to promote Couchbase server for it's own merits rather than promoting it as the future of CouchDB.

henchan 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really bad news. Not exactly out of the blue, but there's no ambiguity now.

There's such a wide functional gap between CouchDB and CouchBase that it feels like the heart has been ripped out and placed into an entirely different beast. Of course the Apache project is still there, but I have grave doubt over whether it will continue to be actively developed.
To ease anxieties, it would be great to see a roadmap or some statement of commitment from those remaining in the CouchDB community. Including Iris and Cloudant.

perfunctory 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm glad I didn't invest too much time into CouchDB
jhawk28 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like a lot of things about CouchBase, but is it going to get the replication approach that CouchDB has? That is exactly what I am needing right now.
czue 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I found it surprising that Damien comes off so completely unapologetic about his decision to abandon Apache and the CouchDB community. As a long time CouchDB user and open source believer the whole tone of his post leaves a dirty taste in my mouth.
nephics 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It would have been a bold move, if Damien had left the "Couch" name with Apache CouchDB, and released his CouchBase product under another name. Also, this would have liberated him from having to distance himself from CouchDB, Erlang and Apache, when promoting his new product.

CouchDB is dead, long live Apache CouchDB.

crabasa 10 hours ago 2 replies      
"And I'm dead serious about making it the easiest, fastest and most reliable NoSQL database. Easy for developers to use, easy to deploy, reliable on single machines or large clusters, and fast as hell. We are building something you can put your mission critical, customer facing business data on, and not feel like you're running a dirty hack."

That sounds like something I very much want, I hope Damien and the team can deliver.

skrebbel 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is an excellent move that fits with the current times. If I'm going to use a DB for production use, I want it to be well supported, well documented, easy to use, etcetera. Very few consensus-based projects I know reach all those goals. CouchDB sure hasn't entirely. If this move is going to improve on that, I may very well end up a Couchbase customer.
thesorrow 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So if i understand right, everyone is trying to be RESTful except Couchbase ?
gr2m 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The features I got exited most about (and am relying on today) are: databases per user, continuous replication and the _changes.

From my understanding, these are not part of the CouchBase server, right?
What are the future plans for these features?

Telling from the 2 CouchConfs I've been to, Couchbase is focused on huge one-db setups, distributed and fast ... but what about the "database per user" setup? Is this going to die?

grout 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is what happens when people with the kind of crazy that broke HP and Palm and Compaq decide to play with open source projects.

Clue: Dealmaking is not codemaking.

daniel_levine 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm super excited about Couchbase and the team. It is already a great product and gets better all the time.
       cached 5 January 2012 16:11:01 GMT