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Web Developer Checklist webdevchecklist.com
403 points by grantpalin  2 days ago   74 comments top 34
tokenadult 2 days ago 2 replies      
I see that Jakob Nielsen's venerable "Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design" checklist


just got new styling the other day, as I work on updating my seventeen-year-old personal website.

There are still a LOT of websites that make several of those top ten mistakes. They are higher priority than many of the other issues mentioned on the checklist kindly submitted here. As other comments here have pointed out, it's desirable in a checklist to establish priorities.

eranation 2 days ago 4 replies      
Liked the favicon part, very often forgotten...

Would be nice if this was open sourced so more items could have been added by the community (also framework specific checklists) but I like the concept

One thing I would add which is driving me crazy on mobile / tablet sign up pages

  - make sure your email fields are annotated with type="email"

Another common issue is with SSL mixed content waring, so I would also add

  - make sure to use protocol relative / https only URLs 

(with a reminder to NOT use protocol relative URLs in email templates, your outlook users will appreciate it)

franze 1 day ago 2 replies      
sorry but that

   Remove 'www' subdomain

is just harmful. force 'www.' instead. why? shitty URL parsers, marketing people and DDOS attacks, that's why.

let's imagine you write a

  - blog post
- blog comment
- press release (distributed via free and paid press release services)
- mail
- word
- forum post
- ...
- ...

if you have a non-www URL it's a game of chance, your in text "whatever.tld" domain will get transformed into a clickable link. yes, a lot of modern URL parses will transform whatever.com into a clickable link, some will even transform whatever.in into a useable link, but a lot of old, shitty, idiotic, strange URL parsers won't. and well, a big part of the web, i would say most of it, is not up to date. so using non WWW will lead to a loss of inlinks and to a poor user experience of users who want to reach your site, but can't click on the in-text-domain (they need to copy/paste instead)

and the situation will get worse with the new commercial TLDs to come.

yes, you can - in most cases - force a domain to link conversion in most CMS if you write http:// in front of it. but well, in a promo text most marketing/pr people will not write "and http://whatever.tld has a new feature to give people endless bliss" they will write "whatever.tld has a new ....".

oh, and by the way. whenever a journalist will write a piece about you, in print or online, they will always (or at least in a lot of cases) write www in front of your domain anyway. yeah, that's not an issue if you have redirects in place, just annoying if you have an non-www webproperty.


having a subdomain is another layer of defenses agains DDOS attacks. see this discussion on hacker news from may 18 2011 (my birthday by the way) http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2575266

go for www.

vasco 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interestingly enough this website doesn't have:

1) Custom 404 page

2) robots.txt

3) PICS label

4) viewport meta-tag

5) Google Rich Snippets

6) Fails the recommended CSS validator

bwblabs 1 day ago 2 replies      
A no-www domain might not be the best solution if you ever want a 'Cookie-free Domain' (static.) for images etc. which speeds up your site. If you start with a no-www domain you have to setup a different domain (no subdomain) for it: like sstatic.net for SO, ytimg.com for YT and yimg.com for Yahoo.

When the browser makes a request for a static image and sends cookies together with the request, the server doesn't have any use for those cookies. So they only create network traffic for no good reason. You should make sure static components are requested with cookie-free requests. Create a subdomain and host all your static components there.

If your domain is www.example.org, you can host your static components on static.example.org. However, if you've already set cookies on the top-level domain example.org as opposed to www.example.org, then all the requests to static.example.org will include those cookies. In this case, you can buy a whole new domain, host your static components there, and keep this domain cookie-free.


pdog 2 days ago 0 replies      
Would be nice to have this automatically generated for a given URL.
jiggy2011 2 days ago 2 replies      
Custom 404 page under usability? hmm.

I'm sure just about anyone who has used the web for any length of time has hit the standard apache "Not found" page hundreds of times now and pretty much knows what it means.

Custom 404 pages of often quite confusing as they will try to be clever and redirect you to other content that may be interesting. Sometimes these aren't clear and give the impression that the link was not broken and that this is where the site designer intended you to go which leaves you looking around the page for the content you thought you were going to get.

zxcdw 2 days ago 3 replies      
It's sad how "Security" there's only one very generalizing item. "Implement best practices". Right.

Is the author just ignorant, or am I a fool thinking that if anything it should be "Security" which has the most elaborate items?

kylelibra 2 days ago 1 reply      
Good stuff, I'll probably use this for clients who say, "What have you been doing? It looks done to me!"
prodigal_erik 2 days ago 0 replies      
A document that bills itself as "The ultimate checklist for all serious web developers" should not hide most of its content (via CSS) and require trusting some unknown author's javascript to display it.
danso 2 days ago 1 reply      
So "SEO" has four different checkboxes but "Security" has just one: "Implement best practices"

Uh...I think that can be broken down to at least two different things...

Flimm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would add one: Make sure your log-in form is uncomplicated so that browsers can remember passwords correctly.
jacalata 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I built a public trello board from this list: not quite sure if that's the best presentation (should it be one card for each heading?), but ideally people would clone it to work on their own sites, and make contributions of new cards/info for existing cards on the main board. https://trello.com/b/hkC4B6HA
javajosh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Solid functionality that I'll personally use. Good work.
karolisd 1 day ago 1 reply      
What would be the best approach to automate this so I could put in a URL and it detects as much as it can about the website?
mikle 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a sublist of that, that I built over the last ~year of hacking on web projects. One of my biggest to dos in each project is automate stuff like validating. I still haven't really found a good way so I either go to w3c and check everything once in a while or I just don't. Usually I just don't.

This to me is like a checklist of things to automate. Is there any "build" system for the web?

malachismith 2 days ago 2 replies      
Great start. Wish it were set up to be collaborative so we could suggest some of the missing elements.
steerpike 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did something similar - a checklist for prelaunch which you might find some useful things to add to your list:
soitgoes 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd add: check your SSL certificate installation using a tool like this: http://certlogik.com/ssl-checker/
bencevans 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice work, I use this at the moment http://lite.launchlist.net/ as it has more checks and well a prettier interface.
Achshar 1 day ago 1 reply      
What do people here think of no-www? I personally hate www and see no reason to unnecessarily increase my url length by 4 characters.
furyofantares 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is cool, I expect a lot of people could get use out of this. The security section is kind of amusing, though.
marknutter 1 day ago 0 replies      
And people say web development isn't difficult.
zupa-hu 1 day ago 0 replies      
WoW I am building an automated tool right now for exactly that. It is in private beta. Anyone interested in test riding it drop me a line!

The intro is already outdated, I'll make a new one very soon.

codegeek 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thx for sharing. For a newbie in web dev (like me), it is a great resource. Bookmarked.
johnpowell 1 day ago 0 replies      
Security > Cross-site scripting > XSS cheat sheet link is broken. Funny considering the first item in the checklist.
jacobwyke 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a template project in Basecamp that contains a similar kind of list of tasks that I use to launch all projects.

Just have to create a new project with the template for each launch and then work your way down.

tiedemann 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really good for showing customers/bosses/coworkers why a site need those extra hours of love after the proof-of-concept stage.
r0s 2 days ago 1 reply      
No clean URLs?

How about setting up automated backups?

Yaggo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice list. Missing: HiDPI images.
ahallock 2 days ago 0 replies      
The spellcheck item didn't have a link. Any good spellchecker bots out there?
drinchev 2 days ago 1 reply      
You might want to link your href-s to new tab/window.
alexanderclose 2 days ago 1 reply      
Big time bookmark. Thanks!
Power surges in Britain caused by millions of people making tea [video] bbc.co.uk
374 points by shrikant  3 days ago   275 comments top 29
Cogito 3 days ago 9 replies      
I don't know enough about the English power market to draw comparisons, but I'll outline a little bit about how the Australian NEM (National Energy Market) works and how it deals with situations like this. My understanding is derived primarily from an old house mate who did his electrical engineering honours around the NEM.

A while back the various disparate energy grids in Australia were more-or-less unified into one big grid (well, a few small grids with intercouples), the NEM was established, and the newly formed company NEMCO tasked to govern it.

The NEM is a bidding market, where various energy providers (and interestingly consumers, more on this later) provide bids detailing how much energy they are willing to provide and at what cost. These bids are placed, I believe, at least one day in advance though they can be revised after being placed.

If a providers bid is successful, its output gets adjusted automatically by the NEM to fulfil the quota allocated to it (note: "NEM" is used to describe both the market and the computer system that manages it, as far as I can tell). The providers will be paid whatever the current 'spot-price' is, regardless of the original bid price.

The spot-price is determined by, essentially, greedily consuming the cheapest energy possible until demand is met. Demand is met when the frequency lies within an acceptable bracket (around 50Hz). So a coal power station with high base-load capacity will place low bids for the majority of its capacity, to ensure that it gets picked first when demand is being met. It costs a lot of money to turn a station like that off, so they price their bids accordingly. Gas turbine engines have extremely low start and stop costs but their operating costs are significantly higher. These turbines will price themselves so that they get turned on only when demand is high and the spot-price has increased accordingly.

During some heatwaves in the summer the spot-price can increase to thousands of dollars per megawatt/hour and it is extremely profitable to have a diesel generator hooked up to the grid to take advantage of precisely these situations.

I mentioned before that some consumers will place bids. The realities of power generation mean that a station shutting down can be a long and expensive process. They need to ensure that someone is buying their electricity so that that doesn't happen. Typically this comes in the form of a brokered agreement with a large consumer, such as an aluminium smelter. The smelter agrees to buy a large amount of energy at a certain price (the details are a bit fuzzy to me) and the station ensures that they never drop below minimum load. The thing is, there is a point where the difference between the spot-price on the market and the brokered purchase price is larger than the value of the aluminium that can be smelted with that energy. When this happens, the smelter shuts down its smelting operations and sells the energy back to the market instead.

Now its not so simple as the greedy algorithm I outlined before, for precisely the same reasons as brokered deals happen - physical and political constraints. It's an incredibly complex job to schedule power station ramp-ups and ramp-downs while still balancing the load, but for the most part it's handled by the NEM. It takes into account renewable energy quotas (what my house mates thesis was on), maintenance shut-downs, water supply (for hydro stations) and much more.

One thing in particular that I found interesting was the cost of transporting the energy. There might be tariffs on intercouples between states, but the main cost is actually the distance the energy has to travel. You can't simply turn a coal power station up when a town in the middle of the desert has a power spike, as the attenuation between those two points (well, the closest station that has excess capacity as a result of the increase) means the demand isn't met. Instead, a diesel generator near the town might need to be turned on, which can be very expensive. The grid has a number of way to mitigate issues like this, but it's still very interesting.

The point is, a well written system makes this market work efficiently, but the domain of the problem is still huge. The (mostly) free market takes care of many of the load balancing issues, however human intervention seems unavoidable because there are simply so many things that can go wrong.


NEMCO is now called the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and their website is at [0]. It has lots of good stuff to look at for the interested. In particular [1] has lots of nice details about the history and structure of the Australian Energy Markets.

[0] http://www.aemo.com.au/

[1] http://www.aemo.com.au/About-the-Industry/Energy-Markets

mrb 3 days ago 3 replies      
The demand is increasing by 3 gigawatts in less than 5 minutes, right at the end of a popular TV show. The operator who oversees the whole grid has a TV to be able to watch the show, to know exactly when it ends and be prepared. That is insane.

The demand for the whole country is ~40 GW on average. That's an 8% increase in 5 min.

afarrell 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a bit surprised that they are using Hydro power to handle the extra demand, given that natural gas turbines generally are easier to locate close to urban areas. However, their marginal costs are lower. I'm more surprised that this is done manually. In the US, or at least in New York State, this is a market system and scheduling is done by a big 'ol linear program. It takes the supply curves from power plants, the amount of energy required by each region, and the constraints imposed by the physical limits of power line capacity, and solves for the lowest overall cost required to power New York State.

To be more detailed:
For a given region, the algorithm schedules the lowest-cost sources first and keeps adding higher and higher cost sources until it reaches necessary generation capacity. Then, everyone is paid the same rate as the the marginal watt that just got scheduled. As a consequence, sources of power which cost money to shut down, like nuclear plans, will actually bid negative into the market to ensure they are scheduled. This is followed by low-marginal-cost plants like hydro dams. Then coal, which is relatively cheap. Then natural gas which is more expensive (or at least was before fracking) but the turbines for which can respond quickly. This actually happens twice as they run this market once the day before based on predictions and then run an adjustments market in real time. IT is actually possible to sell power in the day-ahead market and sell it in the real-time market without owning any generation capacity and do arbitrage. Another way to do arbitrage is to build two reservoirs and pump water to the higher one at night when power is cheap and then generate hydro power during the day when power is expensive [1]. You can also use flywheels or batteries. There are also markets for ancillary services like standing by ready to generate electricity or decrease generation with a few seconds' notice.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blenheim-Gilboa_Hydroelectric_P...
Source for the rest of this: I interned at the New York ISO four years ago. Read more here: http://www.nyiso.com/public/about_nyiso/understanding_the_ma...

patrickyeon 3 days ago 3 replies      
This also happens in Canada, but synchronized to hockey games (predictably). http://www.patspapers.com/blog/item/what_if_everybody_flushe...
EEGuy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Stepping down from aluminum smelter load levels, consider the comparatively low power demands (orders of magnitude less) of modern lighting and electronics. There's some interesting geekiness to be found in their power demand under varying line voltage.

Voltage-regulated "inverter technology" electronics can, ironically, behave less "linearly" under adverse supply voltage conditions than resistive loads such as incandescent lighting and electric kettles.

Electronically-ballasted fluorescent lighting, CFLs, computer power supplies, VFD motor drives, "inverter technology" microwave ovens all electronically regulate their current draw inversely against voltage supply changes. Voltage goes down, current draw goes up, power demand remains ~relatively~ constant.

So when a brownout (voltage sag, not an outage) comes along, to some extent, these "well regulated" devices hide it from the user. You might not see a "brownout": The electronically ballasted fluorescent lights don't dim so much -- or at all --, your laptop computer keeps running fine if the sag doesn't drop too much, and any DC-powered fans won't necessarily slow down so much or at all. But maybe you heard a universal motor somewhere slowed down. Or maybe the lit-up display area on your old CRT monitor (is anyone still using those anymore?) shrinks 10% then comes back. You hear your computer's desk-side UPS click in (if it has a relay, cheap ones do) then back out but don't see the lights dim. I've seen and heard this and found it rather jarring.

The term "brownout" may become an anachronism (perhaps it has already), not because brownouts don't happen anymore, but because they don't dim the room lights anymore.

To see how much variation a small "non-dimmable" CFL will tolerate, I just put one on a variable transformer and lowered the line voltage gradually from normal (120 Volts) downward. Here's what happened:
o It lost very little brightness until about 60-some Volts
o Below that threshold, it just turned itself off

As a device user, this is what I'd expect of a "well-regulated" device that runs on mains (grid) power.

But I don't imagine such "well regulated" loads make grid dynamics marginally easier to control under the severe conditions which lead to voltage sags. Probably not much worse though, considering all the heavier loads a grid must support.

caf 2 days ago 1 reply      
The opposite effect happens once a year in Australia, when factories across the country down tools for 10 minutes to watch a horse race, resulting in a large drop in aggregate demand over a short time period.
pixie_ 3 days ago 5 replies      
It begs the question why can't the operator watch a computer that does the operator's job for him. Is split second power allocation really done better by a human? Note I'm not suggesting computers are perfect operators, just less error prone.
DigitalJack 3 days ago 2 replies      
What did the power draw have to do with the frequency?
nandemo 3 days ago 8 replies      
Does that mean that Brits use electric kettles, or they use regular kettles but stoves are mostly electric (instead of using gas)?
rurounijones 2 days ago 0 replies      
if you can find it the BBC documentary "the secret life of the national grid" (3 episodes) is a fascinating look into the history of the UK National Electricity Grid

EDIT: You can find it on youtube if you do a search.

peterwwillis 2 days ago 3 replies      
If the power grid in the US drops to 57HZ, we're all boned.

Fun fact: Texas is the only state in the union with it's own power grid independent of other states. It is literally the only state that could successfully secede from the union.

vineel 3 days ago 7 replies      
I thought some clocks used the frequency of the power grid to keep time. How are they reliable if it keeps fluctuating so much?
thrownaway2424 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nevermind the grid, that guy in the video has not just one but several bitchin' keyboards.
aj700 3 days ago 1 reply      
You can monitor the UK National Grid inputs and transfers, sales, demand etc. in almost real time here http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp.php

You need flash, I've never got this page to work in Chrome, but it works in Firefox

kaliblack 3 days ago 3 replies      
The thing that stands out to me is how inefficient kettles are in terms of power usage. Is it a simple case of more power equals shorter time to boil? Is there a more efficient way to turn electricity to heat?
arankine 2 days ago 1 reply      
Back in high school, i visited the JET nuclear fusion project in Oxfordshire, they told us that they have to plan fusion experiments so they don't coincide with the end or commercial break of a soap, due to the tokamak requiring (i can't remember the exact figure) ~1 - 5% of the national grid's output.
rmc 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are some interesting consequences of this. I heard about a "Earth Hour" or something, a campaign for people to turn off their lights (or something) for a hour (or minute) to use less power.

However unless the National Grid can plan for how many people will do it (nigh on impossible), they'll probably wind up wasting power, and more people can be used preparing for everyone to turn things back on, resulting in Earth Hour/Minute actually use more power than if they'd done nothing.

icambron 2 days ago 0 replies      
The fundamental issue here is that it's hard to store electricity, so that demand has to be met in realtime. This kind of problem should fade away as cheap grid-scale batteries become available in the next decade.
afandian 3 days ago 5 replies      
Unique British problem caused by tea. What must you Americans think of us? (is it true that Americans don't have enough power through the mains to boil a kettle?)
henrikgs 2 days ago 0 replies      
The volume slider on the BBC player goes to 11. Brilliant.
JosephRedfern 3 days ago 1 reply      
Very interesting. I live just a few miles from the Dinorwig hydro plant that is mentioned and have been on a tour. It's and incredible feat of engineering - if ever you get the chance to go there (or somewhere similar), I'd recommend it.
josscrowcroft 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is hilarious, had me searching for the post date to make sure it wasn't a late-picked-up April Fool's joke.
kokey 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know why they say it's unique to Britain. I've visited a hydro station in South Africa a few times where they've shown me that surge, and South Africans have fewer television channels to choose from.
olympus 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'm not sure I understand why the spike happens. Is there some etiquette that says you must wait until the T.V. show is finished before you may start making tea (why not switch the kettle on during a commercial break)? Also, is tea in the evening really that popular? Sorry if these are dumb questions, I'm not a tea drinker and I live in the U.S.
dakimov 3 days ago 1 reply      
For me it just screams for the question what if that guy will not keep up or just will go to the bathroom? Power outage on the national scale? Frankly that story just blew my mind, all that seems so ridiculous in its hilarious epicness, but very thought provoking. And of course what I did first is checked was not it an April's Fool Day joke. Also the main property of stereotypes is that they often come out to be true. Great post.
spikels 3 days ago 2 replies      
Reminds me of the apparently fake story that large numbers of people simultaneously flushing their toilets during breaks in the Superbowl damaging sewerage systems.

I wonder if some kind of evil flash mob could bring down the grid by having everyone turn on all their power hungry appliances at the exact same time.

dhruvbird 2 days ago 1 reply      
EC2 for power!!
sippndipp 3 days ago 0 replies      
Jeesh I'm so happy that I'm a rails engineer. How can I follow him on twitter?
trainthis 3 days ago 0 replies      
One gobby bloke in my flat would take the lift and run out for his bits and bobs -- that spanner would come back after a fortnight with a hold-all and straight away put the kettle on, then have an ice lolly.
Host me in California hostmeinca.com
311 points by jurajmasar  2 days ago   101 comments top 26
chewxy 2 days ago 1 reply      
What I think he did well:

    - Strong, direct message within first view (he out right tells you, the visitor, what he wants)

- He takes you through his expanded 'executive summary'.

- This sequence: What, why, who, how. Many startups get this wrong and do Who, What Why, How.

- Nice CTA at the bottom

- A modern design

Things I think he didn't do so well:

    - No close. Everytime I see these sorts of design, if I don't see a CTA or a close on each panel, I make a note of it.

- No close. Seriously. Even at the end, the CTA wasn't trying to close at all.

- Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag

- The site was designed for smaller screens. I don't think he expected screens with higher resolutions.

EDIT: Formatting.

UnoriginalGuy 2 days ago 9 replies      
That page causes Chrome to lag.

I would also say that if that page was any longer or any more information dense then it wouldn't work as a thing. It only works because there is so little content.

In general it depends what you're trying to sell. I've never actually purchased from one of these "flow" pages, but I have purchased a lot from more boring product pages like this:


The OP's sales page is definitely in fashion right now, in fact it looks like every current startup's page. But just because it is in fashion doesn't mean it is actually effective, and I've seen no evidence (and the OP supplies none) that it causes higher conversions than a "boring" sales page.

jan_g 2 days ago 2 replies      
This seems very vague:

  I need you. A loving family that will take care of me during my school year in CA.

Does he only need an address and a room, or full service including meals, financial aid, school tuition, etc.

citricsquid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Design aside, does something like this work? I notice he's starting with just an idea (he has no place, no visa) if he can find a family willing to take him in for a year is that the hardest part, or will it be difficult for him to also get a visa and a place in a school?
Codhisattva 2 days ago 0 replies      
He's done a great job and presented his information quite well. As an adult and a father I'd say that I represent his target market perfectly and he succeeded in: a) impressing me with his ability and determination, b) delivering to me the kind of information I need to know and c) delivering to me a sense of his maturity.

Not only do I think he would be a great guest but I can see him being very successful with whatever career path he chooses.

So is it a better sales page than you? Yes indeed, information delivered.

waitwhat 2 days ago 2 replies      
He appears to have made zero sales. By most metrics, this is not a "better sales page".
gesman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think 90% of commenters here would benefit from making an effort to remove your heads from your own asses.
"Chrome bug?"
"sales pages"?
Give the young guy the benefit of expressing exactly what he wants without any reservations. And share a few of his talents along the way.
I am sure he'll get to CA soon!
ianstallings 2 days ago 0 replies      
Damn it. I came in all skeptical ready to fire away and found out the site is actually very nice. My trolling has been thwarted. Good job!
kjackson2012 2 days ago 1 reply      
What sort of legal implications or liabilities would someone take on by hosting this person? For example, if the child got hurt or in a bad accident, would they have the legal obligation to pay for him? And would this child fall under the hosts' medical insurance, or would he have to pay for his own medical insurance?
AncoraImparo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why is everyone criticizing his website? He isn't here looking for a website review. He is here looking for a family to host him. Reading from Ireland here, if I lived in CA, it wouldn't be an issue.
tonfa 2 days ago 3 replies      
So are high schools in the US actually of higher quality than in Slovakia?
lifeisstillgood 2 days ago 2 replies      
Can anyone with JS debugger experience (I am learning to fight the Chrome debugger now) tell me how to identify what is causing that terrible lag

Partly it would be nice to let the poor kid know, partly I want to know how to fix such issues as they inevitably crop up for me. (CPU measures seem not to point to anything useful)

(If the answer is take stuff away till it works, well, why have a debugger?)

chris123 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, neat idea and nice looking web page. One comment comes to mind: Think about applying to school and getting in first (that what I recommend, in fact). You will then find a place to stay even if you have to do it after you arrive in Cali for school. Sure, you might have to work out a temporary solution, such as crashing on a couch or short-term rental, but being on the ground and meeting people and seeing places will be best, IMHO. That's how I've done it and that's how thousands of students do it. I did it myself like that when I was a student and I've hosted multiple students in my home now that I am in a position to do that. Have fun and best wishes! Cheers :)
mrknmc 2 days ago 4 replies      
Slovakia is in central Europe.
PonyGumbo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm getting a Service Unavailable page.
b0rsuk 2 days ago 0 replies      
This 16yo boy from eastern europe has a better sales page than you (hostmeinca.com)

503 Service Temporarily Unavailable

It looks like a cruel joke.

conradfr 2 days ago 1 reply      
But not a better host :p
zxcvvcxz 2 days ago 2 replies      
What is the incentive for a family to host this boy?

I understand the value that someone in his position gets from being able to live and study in California. But you have to give value to take value right?

jarospisak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi Marek, a fellow Slovak from Presov here :). Great job on the website. I would suggest being more specific on what you actually expect from the family in the US. Do you want just a place to sleep or do you expect them to provide food, transportation, pay your study fee (if any) etc. Good luck!
sdoering 2 days ago 1 reply      
AdBlock Plus and Ghostery do not only kill the Trackers, but also kill the design/css.

Not quite sure, why that is, but site doesn't really look good.

Non the less - hope this guy has success...

pla3rhat3r 2 days ago 0 replies      
Say what you want but I know people in their 30's that can't put something together this creative. I love the idea. Very creative. I hope he finds a family.
beefsack 2 days ago 0 replies      
MisterBastahrd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any page with that little information on it and forces users to scroll is a testament to over-design.
ghaskey 2 days ago 0 replies      
link to the cached version, as it looks like HN traffic killed the site. :)
KirinDave 2 days ago 0 replies      

When I was 16 I had lots of free time for projects like this, too.

Are we implying that everyone who reads hackernews should have a page like this? Because if so, then this page is a _terrible_ sell for a hacker.

jfb 2 days ago 3 replies      
It is very nicely done, but I think that "Eastern Europe" as a synonym for "Borat" is a trope that, while never accurate, has run its course.
Here's what I learned hanging out with Jason Fried danshipper.com
293 points by vanwilder77  2 days ago   43 comments top 13
edw519 2 days ago 1 reply      
But the human brain is very good at talking about specifics. Questions like "can you walk me through what you do everyday" or "are there any repetitive tasks that you do day-to-day" will lead you down a much more interesting path. You'll find problems that your software actually can solve.

Great advice. I like to take this even deeper:

  - What is the next thing you do?
- Who do you call / talk to / pass this to?
- Show me that form with real data on it.
- What's the worst thing that happens?
- How often does that happen? (hourly, daily, etc.)

And my 3 favorite questions (which are often very revealing):

  - What % of time does that happen?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how good is that?
- What is the #1 thing needed to take that to a 10?

Also, I try to ask these questions to > 1 person. The discussion of 2 or more people coming up with the answer is often more educational than the answers themselves.

I have at least 10 years of real work in my pipeline thanks to these techniques. I never worry about "make something people want".

Great post, Dan and Jason. Thank you!

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
"When a lot of people think of marketing or sales they think of tricks that fool people into buying something. But great marketing doesn't do that. Great marketing comes from understanding exactly what the customer needs on an emotional level, and showing how your product will satisfy those needs."

This is so true. The difference between knowing your product and not knowing your product is knowing why someone needs to have it. That is why the question "Why would anyone buy this?" is so revealing. It is also why so many startups blow it.

I asked an engineer who was talking to me about their product that question and he said, "Why not? Its free!" I pointed out that going over to the side of the road and picking up rocks is also "free" but people don't do that everyday. Certainly not so often that municipalities feel a need to secure their landscaping from theft.

Understand what people need, and solve that.

BobWarfield 2 days ago 1 reply      
Talking to people who just bought or just quit is great, but if that's all you do, a lot of key insights will be missed:

- Talking to people who didn't buy, but instead bought a competitor.

- Talking to expert users who've been with your product for a while to learn what they're doing with it you never even considered a possibility. Or to learn what they thought they'd be able to do, but could never quite make work well.

- Talking with all sorts of people to refine your elevator pitch and figure out how to secure the earlier parts of the funnel. Just because someone bought doesn't mean they're the only oracle of why people might buy. They could simply be early adopters after the latest shiny thing.

These are all things I've done with success.

#1, talking to competitor's customers, is what led me to invent spreadsheet notebook tabs on Quattro Pro at a point when most everyone thought the world wanted 3D spreadsheets instead of formula linking across sheets. By talking to folks who had bought Lotus 123 and asking why they wanted a 3D spreadsheet, I quickly discovered it had nothing to do with summing along a z-axis and everything to do with grouping multiple spreadsheets together as a single file.

I've gained all sorts of insights from #2 by talking to power users. This is particularly true of products that have programmability through scripting and API's. But it's also true when you hear about someone doing something amazing you'd never dreamed the product could do, and then you hear about how many flaming hoops they have to jump through to get it done. Yet, solving the problem is so valuable that even making it a little easier makes them thank you. Suddenly, you see how to make it a lot easier and a lot more accessible to a broader audience. Depending on what you've discovered, you might even open a whole new sub-market this way.

#3 just comes from the realization that the more you pitch an idea, the more you learn about how to present it. It is extremely helpful for the people calling the design shots to get to go through the full two way interaction of trying to sell the design. Engineers, especially, quickly learn that prospects aren't going to give them a blackboard and 2 hours to prove that the laws of physics insist they must buy.

rsync 2 days ago 3 replies      
"When we make a sale, we want it to be because the copy addressed customer pain and offered a solution they could connect with on an emotional level. We don't want to make a sale because a customer is smart enough to swim through a list of features he doesn't care about, and come up with a reason to pay money on his own."

I completely disagree with this.

From day one, we've eschewed all of the little tricks and the mind games. We have no time for users that pull the trigger based on our font sizing or our color scheme.

On a deep, gut level, I just know that this monkey business ends up being zero-sum.

Ask yourself this: as an end user ... as a consumer ... do you think you should be trying to make yourself more or less susceptible to this kind of work ? And then what does that say about practicing it on your products ?

tobiasbischoff 2 days ago 5 replies      
There's an 12 year old notebook right on the front of firefly's homepage. It instantly makes this product look like it was from 2001. why do you do that?
greenwalls 2 days ago 5 replies      
The most shocking thing for me was that people drink milkshakes for breakfast? No wonder this country has a health crisis. Does anyone here drink milkshakes for breakfast?
zeynalov 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel like deja vu. It looks like I've already read this article. Someone wrote similar blog post about chatting with him and what he has learned.
davemel37 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great Insight. I think the information problem is much larger than people realize. So many times I found myself trusting feedback from the wrong people.
Dan Kennedy says, "The only people who have a vote are your customers, and the only way they can vote is with their wallet."
As Jason Indicated to you, customers just buying or recently cancelling have the only vote.

I would maybe add that many times people don't really know why they behave a certain way...or more importantly, they are afraid to admit the real reason they take a specific action. Most people have a deep rooted emotional reason, and a logical justification that they would share with you.
This is why you are much better off getting them to recount a specific story or experience, not just answer broader questions that they may not even remember.
A classic example is why call tracking is so important for offline conversion tracking. Asking customers where they heard about you is almost never accurate. Asking them which phone number they just dialed, is almost always accurate, using call analytics is even more telling... but overall... getting the right information is SO IMPORTANT...thanks for bringing these insights to light.

sayemm 2 days ago 0 replies      
"When we make a sale, we want it to be because the copy addressed customer pain and offered a solution they could connect with on an emotional level. We don't want to make a sale because a customer is smart enough to swim through a list of features he doesn't care about, and come up with a reason to pay money on his own."

That's a great lesson and why branding is so important, Apple's products are a great example.

munroe 2 days ago 1 reply      
I always thought about comparing products as the direct competitor. Very enlightening to think of it by taking a step further to figure out what the real problem being solved is. Then, it is much easier to understand who the real competitors are. The Clayton Christensen paragraph's were the highlights for me.

In theme of the post, I typically catch up on blog posts over lunch while eating at work, so if someone is building a product for me to use while eating lunch, your competing with the likes of Dan's posts.

shanellem 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Learning how to sell deliberately."

Easier said than done. It can be hard to not get distracted by "the next big thing". Especially when the last big thing isn't doing too well. I once read that it's 20% initial effort and 80% testing and optimizing.

Great read!

tombot 2 days ago 3 replies      
If your interested in more answers to the "What are people switching from to use your product?", would recommend you checkout a few episodes of Jobs to be done radio http://www.therewiredgroup.com/tag/jobs-to-be-done-radio-2/
__abc 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a marketing blog post about his product, not a lessons learned!


Totally kidding, I think.

Introducing Contributions github.com
285 points by jakebellacera  2 days ago   89 comments top 34
tav 2 days ago 2 replies      
As a fanatical user of calendaraboutnothing in the past, I'm stoked to see the streak graph on the profile page. As others have mentioned, it can be extremely motivating!

However, I really don't care for most of my popular repos or some of the external ones I've contributed to. My ideal would be to hide repos that I don't care about and to highlight the ones that I want to showcase.

The "Contribution Activity" stuff is totally fine, but given how much the public repos reflect the "personality" of an individual, I am a little saddened that it's being lost in the sea of popularity. It'd be nice to be able to reclaim some control over that.

Edit: To clarify, two of my popular repos with a few hundred watchers between them are efforts I spent all of a few evenings on. I am as proud of them as some notes I scribbled last week. In contrast, I have repos which I've poured months of effort into which I would rather highlight.

Likewise, one of the repos to which I recently contributed is of such subpar quality that I'd rather not be publicly associated with it so prominently. Whilst I'm happy to help others out, knowing that it'd be displayed in such a prominent manner acts as an anti-incentive to partake in low quality projects.

So, if any GitHubbers are listening... please replace "Popular Repositories" with "Highlighted Repositories" and give us more control over what gets displayed with regards repos we've contributed to. And, oh, whilst I'm at it, perhaps "Most Recent Streak" would be more motivating than "Current Streak" which I imagine would be at an awe-inspiring 0 for many of us way too often.

moe 1 day ago 3 replies      

There's a good idea buried somewhere in this, but they managed to completely miss the mark.

1. It needs an off-switch (globally and per repo). How did this feature get out the door without that switch? Does Zuckerberg manage product at github now?

2. The data is useless. What does it tell me that ednapiranha "contributed" to X during the last month, without any quantification? Nothing.

3. The data is useless. For most people the "popular repositories"-box shows 5 popular projects that they have forked...

4. The data is useless. When I want to see what a user (or myself) has contributed to then I want to see all of it, not the last 1 month.

Github appeals to the self-improvement, tomato-timer, fitbit crowd here. Those people will start blogging in no time about how "commit-streak tracking changed my life", from their barefoot standing desks. For everyone else these vanity-stats are worse than wasted space; they are visual noise that pretends to convey useful information but doesn't.

clobber 1 day ago 1 reply      
Streak? C'mon, what is this, Xbox Live?

Not all commits are created equal and I don't find this new 'contributions' calendar/graph at all useful.

You still cannot get a good snapshot of contributions for users that are members of organizations.

prezjordan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've wanted this for a very long time. I'm in search of a summer internship, so I've been hoping for a way for potential employers to quickly see what I've been working on. Not just my own projects, but also my pull requests to other projects.

Thumbs up for GitHub, this is a welcomed feature. Very attractive, too.

cytzol 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure I like this.

It's generally considered that there's no effective way to measure productivity[0]. Whenever you introduce metrics, programmers end up gaming it: pay them by lines of code, they write too many lines of code; pay them by commit, and they're going to start committing too much.

These graphs are going to just cause programmers to both commit in too small chunks (or splitting up a commit into several), or delaying some overnight so that they have a longer streak. I know that the data was there already, but now it's made visible, people are going to start commenting on how much I'm coding.

[0]: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/324399/what-is-a-fair-pro...

beaumartinez 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hm, I'm divided on this. It's cool to be able to see what someone works most on... But at the same time, there's the privacy concern of being able to see what someone works most on. I'd like the ability to turn it offâ€"hell, you can already decide what repos you expose to the public, so why not activity?

Of course, I realize that your activity on GitHub is public anywayâ€"but it's never been so obvious.

rachelbythebay 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think I'll be using github for anything else. There's too much stuff which can't be disabled, deleted, or otherwise hidden.

I don't like their idea of "sharing".

jacques_chester 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know whether I'm pleased that it hides my private activity or whether -- because almost all my activity is in private repos -- to be upset by that :D

Anyhow. Very pretty.

craigc 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love this. I was not crazy about some of the changes Github had been making lately, but this is great! Way easier to see what someone has done at a quick glance vs having to scroll through a long list of repos.

The only thing I would suggest is like @tav said. They should change "Popular repositories" to "Featured repositories" and give users the option to edit the list. It could offer sort options (show 5 most recently active, show 5 most popular, show 5 most recently created) and also give an option to manually select which 5 to showcase and put them in a specific order.

In my case popularity works fine, but considering this is a way to showcase yourself offering some additional control is not the end of the world in my opinion.

philipn 2 days ago 4 replies      
Very cool! I used calendaraboutnothing /extensively/ - it was a hugely important motivational tool for me.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this counts contributions to non-master branches? I work mostly in branches and my calenderaboutnothing streaks were much longer.

eps 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks great. How can I disable this for my account?
rurounijones 2 days ago 0 replies      
Certainly makes github more recruiter friendly and more and more the techys' CV site.

"Can I program and work in a team? am I active? Check out my github profile"

unwind 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having taken a few seconds to look at my (meager) contributions, it took me a while to understand the vertical axis of the field of boxes.

Then it hit me: it's happily US-centric, with weeks starting with Sunday. Aaargh. This should really be a user setting, since in my mind weeks start with Mondays.

chewxy 2 days ago 1 reply      
FINALLY. I've been wanting a summary page for all the projects I'm working on. I don't get the streak thing though
telemachos 1 day ago 1 reply      
I love it overall, but it would be great if the user could fine tune it a bit. An example: Under "Repositories contributed to" on my page, I see two repos from a place I worked. Those repos are private, and after I left, I had my commit rights revoked (reasonably enough!). But the odd upshot is this: those two repos show up on my page, and yet if I follow the links, I get a 404 page (which is how GH handles this situation: "you're trying to look at a private repo where you are not a collaborator".).

Since that's the case, it would be great if I could manually remove those two repos. (Note: if I logout, those repos no longer appear. So I'm not complaining about what others see - which I think is handled very well. I'm just wishing that I had more control over what I saw.)

Shank 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love the idea of Github as a resume, and this is easily one of the best features that push it in that direction. It allows for a quick glance at what an author contributes the most to, which can be a quick way of identifying the most successful projects they work on.

It really fixes the problem that organizations always had of visibility. My commits to an org repo usually weren't visible on profile except in the feed and as a link to the organization. This is a big improvement.

reledi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice! A link to your gists (e.g. https://gist.github.com/username) would also be nice to have on your profile page.
guptaneil 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ha, if you look at a GitHub profile with a current streak of 0 days, the date range is "Rock - Hard Place" :)
nicholassmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
Seems this has been some what divisive looking over the comments already posted here. Kudos for GitHub trying something different, it's a small tool that might help motivate people to keep going, in the same way fitness trackers do.
glenjamin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I sent a support email suggesting this feature on the 17th of December - that's either a good turnaround time or they were already working on this!

I think it's great for people who mostly contribute to others' projects, rather than starting their own - which is arguably a better way to get involved in open source.

nicpottier 1 day ago 1 reply      
That's an interesting visualization of every day in the year. Anybody know if there is a standard name for them and/or any good tools for generating them in JS?
jbellis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmm, doesn't seem to be connecting all the dots. None of the committers to Cassandra show Contributions there on their profiles: https://github.com/apache/cassandra/graphs/contributors
edna_piranha 2 days ago 3 replies      
omg that's me.
richo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Awesome work dudes, I've been wanting something like this for a while.
aantix 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a repo that I am co-own, but since it was originally created by my colleague, it's shows up as he's the owner. Wish there was a way to make a repo equally credited on multiple profiles..
tazer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Like the idé , But don't know if it's that useful cause, It changes depending on who you are. Example if your Anonymous you went see much. If your a member of same Organization as the User your viewing , you will see different stats. And you self will also see other stats. So not sure whats the use-fullness of the feature.
deanpcmad 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow this is great GitHub. One of my fave features so far. It was always a pain to see my most popular repositories and to view the repos that I have contributed to!
mbell 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is it just me or does this only count commits to master? Nothing in branches seems to show up for me.
plg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Q: can you get these visualizations per project?
anderspetersson 2 days ago 0 replies      
A dream for someone looking at a github profile with the purpose of see if he/she should be hired or not.
sailfast 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone that's been working to wrap my head around how to work with and develop d3.js visualizations, this provides a great example of what's possible. Looks good, and the source definitely gives me a few things to investigate!
vassvdm 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's interesting to see where GitHub is heading these days. The combination of software collaboration and showcasing projects / recruiter friendly profile pages is pretty compelling...
jjbohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very cool! It's interesting how much mine changes when I am logged in and can see all the private repositories I've contributed to at work.
plentz 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I read this news I was expecting something like this http://www.ohloh.net/accounts/Stefan show all repos that this person had done any commits/opened issues). Kinda sad.
Trello celebrates One Million Users trello.com
266 points by aritraghosh007  1 day ago   129 comments top 34
JPKab 1 day ago 3 replies      
I have, in the past 3 months, been forced to work in a location where the only internet access is on machines with IE8 on them (and no ability to install Chrome Frame). The loss of Trello has absolutely FUCKING sucked. I'm sorry for the profanity, but it is an abysmally awful process to have to STOP using Trello and go back to emailing spreadsheets back and forth or shudder MS Project.

I think this huge drop in my productivity is a testament to just how awesome Trello is.

citricsquid 1 day ago 1 reply      
These sort of product celebrations (with users providing feedback on what the product means to them) are fantastic. As a user it's great to be able to see what a product means to others too and how they're using it. We had a similar page for a website we run and reading user feedback is so much fun, companies should do this sort of thing more often.

Trello only reached 500,000 users in July of this year, that's some spectacular growth: http://blog.trello.com/trello-is-now-500000-strong/

nthitz 1 day ago 3 replies      
That announcement page was buggy for men on Ubuntu Chrome. The page loaded and I saw the text letter but the smaller "title" card was overlayed on top of the letter but was mirrored left to right so you couldn't read it. Looks good on OSX chrome though!
IsaacL 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm impressed Trello has managed to succeed in what many had written off as overcrowded space. I think the key to its success is the insight that Joel Spolsky explains in his post here: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2012/01/06.html - that successful apps often provide a new kind of data structure, that makes them suitable for many purposes. (For Trello, that's a "list of lists".)

Fog Creek Employees: can anyone comment on who had this original insight? Was it Joel himself or another employee?

richardofyork 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wonder how much, it at all, has Trello's success impacted sales of 37 Signals' Basecamp. We cancelled our Basecamp account and switched to Trello after we realized Trello was ideal for our project management needs.
rogerbinns 1 day ago 2 replies      
My biggest problem with Trello is that they don't support multiple identities. I use it for work and have also created a personal account. What I would expect is a nice dropdown to switch identities (eg like you get with Google or Github). The mobile apps also only have one identity.

A work around is in theory to keep logging out and back in again as the different users, but this is extremely tedious and in my case completely impractical as I don't know my passwords (stored in a password manager).

On one of Joel's posts it was clear he used Trello for work and for personal activity, but didn't state how that was achieved.

joelthelion 1 day ago 2 replies      
How many active ones?
bane 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ha! It's funny since I literally just finally signed up this past week.

I saw it when it first came out and was blown away but didn't have time to fit it into my routine until recently. Really wonderful elegant software, I've gotten a few other people to convert to it too just in the past couple days.

I have boards for misc tasks, various engineering tasks, shopping, development, sales pipelines etc. It's fantastic.

ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting tool. This is something I normally do in a notebook (or a text file) so it wasn't like I was out looking for anything to replace that, but if this can add
value to that process I'm all for it.

One of the things I don't have in my home grown process but wish I did was a way to surface important but not urgent things periodically. Sort of along the memoize theme you need to keep the important things in your head even if you're not currently working on them, and having them surface periodically would assist that. I've had stuff get
pushed so far down in the stack that it basically submerges
until it becomes an urgent issue.

KevinMS 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm curious if an app like this could have gotten traction if it wasn't put out by a shop like Fog Creek. In other words, if some guy built this in his basement, would anybody have noticed, no matter how great?
edanm 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've looked at Trello several times, and it's always seemed like a great app to work with... but I never got around to actually using it.

So, open question time: How do all you HN'ers use Trello? What kind of things do you manage with it? Bonus for telling us what you used before, and how Trello makes it easier. Super-duper bonus for anything to do with running software projects, and running businesses.


psteinweber 19 hours ago 0 replies      
found in the comments:

"I manage my relationship with my girlfriend using Trello. I stack potential gifts for her in one list, briefs on arguments we have in another, etc. My friends share the board and help me resolve the arguments in real time. I use the labels to convey my emotions at a certain point in time for a specific card. I really love her. Fingers crossed she doesn't find out!"

j45 1 day ago 0 replies      
I still wish for the deeper Fogbugz integration with Trello that has been coming up for a while.

I reasonably use it, would love to use it more, it's Wonderful. :)

dodger 1 day ago 1 reply      
. . . and is still super, super fun to work on.
michaelfeathers 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've just started using it but now that it has 1M users I'm a little apprehensive for the usual reasons: no easy way to export or access offline, and no idea of whether there are any monetization plans on the horizon. It could be another way to get lost in the cloud.
monty_singh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started using Trello about 2.5 months ago and its really impacted the way I do almost everything for the better. It has made organizing a plan of action for my to-do's and side projects so much easier that I feel like a blow through my tasks now.

Congratulations and good luck on your way to 2 million users!

dfischer 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for an alternative to Trello take a look at http://www.kanbanpad.com we've been working on it for quite a while and it fits a niche that many like.
pgrote 1 day ago 4 replies      
Great service. I hope they start charging for the service soon.
thelarry 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really like trello. Something about it feels so natural. I like it a heap better than jira + agile plugin. I do like pivitol tracker too, but trello can do more.
terjeto 1 day ago 0 replies      
My company has developed a similar product. The philosophy is to combine productivity with fun-factor.

Instead of lists-in-lists it is based on a customizable grid (spreadsheet) with sticky notes.


tesmar2 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great Service. Recently, however, we moved to basecamp because of the calendaring features.
DougN7 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a great description about the tech stack at http://blog.fogcreek.com/the-trello-tech-stack/

Does anyone know how many servers it runs on? I'd like to see a physical tech stack description (is it already out there somewhere? If so, my Google-fu failed me)

EDIT: discussion -> description

halis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used Trello for a little while, I thought the software was good, but didn't really match my taste. Just didn't like the cards =/
gryphonic 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks like a great service that i didn't know about before. Definitely going to be getting one more user. I wish we could use something like this at work.

Since most of this is rather new to me, are there any other great organizational/ basic life services out there? I would be curious to see what other people are using.

hayksaakian 1 day ago 0 replies      
Too many project management platforms nowadays. I'd rather let them compete for a few years and see what comes out on top.
uses 1 day ago 0 replies      
Trello is one of those things that I would have said nobody needed, until the first time I touched it and realized the pure joy of moving cards around lists.

That's the power of making something that's fun to use.

elchief 18 hours ago 0 replies      
mad props to spolsky-spolsky, but pivotal is better.
pswenson 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've been pushing for trello over the much slower, less intuitive sprint.ly.

the main hangup is the lack of a daily digest report. anyone have a solution?

fady 1 day ago 0 replies      
i love trello.. i use it for everything and really love what fogcreek has done with it. i do have one suggestion: please make you mobile app faster. the UI, in terms of moving cards to different list is really hard to use and lags a lot. i suggest finding a better solution for that feature, instead of trying to replicate the desktop experience. i rarely use the mobile app for this reason.

keep up the good work

pla3rhat3r 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is awesome! So happy for these guys! GREAT solution. 1 million is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure they will have millions more.
neel8986 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can Trello become for node what twitter was for rails?
warrentr 1 day ago 1 reply      
They don't check for uniqueness of email address when registering via google, so perhaps this claim is dubious :
lazyjones 1 day ago 0 replies      
So what does the 1000000th user win? Nothing? I'm disappointed. ;-)
james-singh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats to Trello! It's one service/solution I love dearly.
The Best of Kickstarter 2012 kickstarter.com
259 points by sethbannon  1 day ago   102 comments top 24
edw519 1 day ago 5 replies      
Slightly off-topic, but not really...

That design is gorgeous. Maybe not the most practical, but I couldn't stop clicking the arrow to see more. I don't remember being this excited about eye candy since the first time I saw Flash.

Is this a trend or an outlier?

evoxed 1 day ago 1 reply      



From groundbreaking projects to inspiring stories, 2012 was a year of many memorable moments on Kickstarter.

To celebrate the year that was, our team put together this look back at some of our favorite projects and moments. We hope you enjoy!


Let's begin with some numbers

In 2012 2,241,475 people

pledged a total of $319,786,629

and successfully funded 18,109 projects

Backers pledged $606.76 per minute to projects in 2012


Of the 2.2 million people who backed a project in 2012

570,672 people backed two or more projects

50,047 people backed ten or more projects

452 people backed 100 or more projects


People in 177 countries backed a project in 2012

That's 90% of the countries in the world


Of Kickstarter's 13 creative categories

Music had the most funded projects with 5,067

Games had the most money pledged at $83 million

Art, Film, Music, Publishing, and Theater each had more than 1,000 funded projects


17 projects raised $1 million+ in 2012

andrewljohnson 1 day ago 1 reply      
All I can say is... holy cow. I had no idea Kickstarter had so much influence, from Oscar nominations, to amazing technical products.
melling 1 day ago 3 replies      
I've backed almost 30 projects on Kickstarter. I managed enough diversity to finished my pie. :-) However, I'd still like to see more projects that do big things. Like build a rocket engine:


There's another site that claims to do real science.


Wouldn't it be great if we could crowd source, and solve, "real" problems too?

sami36 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've backed over 20 projects on Kickstarter & I check it daily for promising upcoming projects. I know of no other use of my money that delivers a better bang for the buck in terms of making a difference. I'm grateful it exists.
I just wish it would grow faster. Launch in more countries, accept other forms of payment, enlarge the scope of projects it accepts. It's such an amazing mechanism for raising money.
eggbrain 1 day ago 2 replies      
Word to the wise -- open this link up in a new tab unless you like clicking back more than a dozen times
replicatorblog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting note: There wasn't a single mention of the Pebble watch or Ouya game console, by far their two biggest financial successes. Kickstarter is not a store. http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/kickstarter-is-not-a-store
jakozaur 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kickstartes is absolutely amazing. Any 3rd party statistics of project deliveries after they were funded?

Delays are common, but they are acceptable (at least for me), but I wonder how much actually never delivered anything close to the promises.

Anyway, I would guess it is still far better than most VCs.

peterhajas 1 day ago 3 replies      
How many of the projects delivered products to their backers within 3 months of the Estimated Delivery Date?
ebertx 1 day ago 6 replies      
I know Kickstarter has been around for awhile, but 2012 seems like the year it really took off. I'll be very curious to see what percentage of funded projects see completion. I genuinely hope it's high, because I would like to see Kickstarter be a permanent fixture in the world of project funding.
adambenayoun 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is amazing.
By the way - it seems they did around $14M in revenues.
From their help page[1] - they state they're charging a 5% of collected money from successfully funded projects.

Knowing that $274,391,721 has been pledged on successful projects.


wissler 1 day ago 6 replies      
Congress needs to allow "poor" people to become investors, that'd make Kickstarter 1000X more effective because you'd be able to purchase shares in these companies rather than merely being promised a one-time thing.
egypturnash 1 day ago 0 replies      
"In 2012 2,241,475 people
pledged a total of $319,786,629
and successfully funded 18,109 projects"

Kickstarter and Amazon Payments both took 5% of that, for a total of $15,989,331 apiece.

Not that I'm complaining; $5,928 (before KS/Amazon's cuts) of that $320k was for one of my own projects.

arjn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've backed several projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last 1 year and am happy with them. Most of the projects were successfully funded and I have received the products. Sometimes I wish there was more.
niftylettuce 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you plan to launch a Kickstarter in 2013, then get in touch with the Teelaunch team; we'd love to work with you.


We print and ship your t-shirt rewards.

lazerwalker 1 day ago 2 replies      
Of everyone who backed a project in 2012, only around 25% backed more than one. That seems kinda low to me.
danieldrehmer 18 hours ago 0 replies      
18k projects?? Think of all the ukulele players needed to create the bg music on all those pitch videos!
Mz 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish I knew how to do the kickstarter thing. And thank you to those folks who reposted some of the info here. My Android isn't coping so well with it.

It makes me grateful to be alive in the Internet era and reminds me of all the ways in which my life has been made infinitely better by the Internet and technology and the infofmation age.

hawkharris 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kickstarter is a great organization and I think that this page, for the most part, nicely showcases its impact in 2012. That said, they might some lose viewers' attention by opening with several pages of stats.

As a public relations student specializing in social cause-related campaigns, I learned that it's usually most effective to choose a "killer fact" (or 1-3 facts) and to tether those facts to a memorable short story with visuals.

To be fair, the stats interest me and I'm sure that they appeal to other HN readers, who probably have an above-average ability to appreciate data. Just saying that all this info, when presented to a broader (non-technical) audience, is probably too much of a good thing.

FredBrach 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sincerely amazing. It's just unbeleivable. For me, Kickstarter is the startup of the year 2012. They did amazingly well as a company and by the way make possible so much good things for people and creators.

Thanks so much Kickstarter.

nhangen 22 hours ago 0 replies      
They are certainly great at self-promotion, I'll give them that.
acremades 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out the kickstarter for startups here http://www.rockthepost.com
ceautery 1 day ago 0 replies      
That popsicle sounds pretty damned good.
DocG 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not readable on nexus 7:/
Getting Started With Clojure jrheard.tumblr.com
258 points by jrheard  1 day ago   104 comments top 17
DigitalJack 1 day ago 1 reply      
I didn't know about clojure-toolbox. That's pretty neat.

One thing though, regarding this page, is that you don't need to install clojure with brew. Leiningen takes care of all that... clojure is just a jar that's included in your project, aka a dependency, and Leiningen manages that. This lets you tie a specific version of clojure to that project, which is handy for some legacy projects that aren't maintained anymore.

Also, if you drop the brew references, then this becomes OS agnostic. Just go to the leiningen page on github[1] and it'll get you started: osx, windows, linux.

I develop with clojure on my mac and I've not brewed anything related to clojure.

[1] https://github.com/technomancy/leiningen

manishsharan 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is a great article. More articles in similar tone are needed to highlight how simple this language is. A big disservice to Clojure was probably done by a few early adopters of Clojure who hyped up the LISP heritage of the language to the extent it turned away C/java guys like myself: I recall reading somewhere that in order to learn Clojure , one had to master SICP and Scheme. That was a huge learning curve I did not have time or inclination for. However, once I waded into Clojure, I was amazed by how simple the language is really and how productive I could get; Clojure REPL is awesome . I still haven't mastered the language, I haven't mastered macros, protocols etc. and I bet my code is ghastly and non-idiomatic but I have still managed to write Clojure code that does what it is supposed to do in a highly concurrent workload.
scarmig 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very nice, JR, best guide I've seen.

I've always wished, though, that all "getting started" guides would just provide a chef recipe or machine image with everything ready to go. Getting to know a language shouldn't require jumping through an hour of hoops and documentation to get it set up.

(Of course, the guide here is broader than simply getting your system set up.)

spacemanaki 1 day ago 2 replies      
> The reason that you won't find yourself running `clj` often is that the REPL built into bare Clojure is pretty much garbage....

This is what rlwrap is for. Call `rlwrap clj` instead of `clj`, and you get all that and more (C-r, for reverse incremental search, etc). Works with every other REPL that doesn't bother to re-implement read-line.

wonderzombie 1 day ago 2 replies      
I knew about clojars.org, but I hadn't known about http://www.clojure-toolbox.com/. Very nice!

I also recommend the Value of Values video presentation: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/Value-Values. It will help you internalize Clojure's approach to data.

I really wish I could remember why I didn't experience nearly as much pain starting out as the author, but I'm glad that he took the trouble to put this together.

technomancy 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish people would at least attempt contributing to official documentation instead of spreading stuff across random blogs.
leephillips 1 day ago 0 replies      
At first the Clojure environment is confusing: why do I need Leiningen? How do I use libraries in my project? This article is a good place to start for beginners, as it explains all that.
pandeiro 1 day ago 0 replies      

  # make sure you have java/open-jdk already

wget https://raw.github.com/technomancy/leiningen/preview/bin/lein && chmod +x lein && ./lein repl

dizzystar 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wish someone would do a Learn Clojure the Hard Way. The comments in this thread is a great documentation of the unfounded fears of the language.

I also want to point out to those who are using Windows: Yeah, you could, but this is not a good idea. Leiningen 2 is not available for Windows, but you can still get quite a bit done. At some point, you just have to bite the bullet and install a VM with Linux to really dive into it.

tesmar2 1 day ago 3 replies      
I have been thinking about getting into Clojure, but time is precious. It doesn't seem like there are that many jobs out there, but I could be wrong.

For those of you in the industry, why would I want to use Clojure? What would be a good project to try it on? A Web app? Why is it worth learning it?

dschiptsov 1 day ago 2 replies      
The same thing could be done in Python (with requests) and Ruby (with whatever-it-is) with more clarity, less confusion, and much less consumption of resources.)

  (:headers resp)

This construction is confusing - it breaks environmental model (scoping) and general evaluation rule of Lisps - is :headers a global symbol? a part of foo namespace? Is it macros?

  (resp :headers)

On the other hand, this form is perfectly consistent - I'm sending to some closure which is bound in a global or other environment a constant message.

The assumption that the reader function implicitly transforms first form to second is of no good, because it is not obvious and breaks intuition about environments and violates principle of less astonishment.

That thing (:headers resp) returned - what language is it?)

gits1225 1 day ago 0 replies      
"When I was going through all this myself a few months back, there was a weird period of a good few weeks when I had basically no mental map of the Clojure ecosystem and had no idea how to assemble one."

One of the things you can do when learning something new is to hop onto IRC and join a channel related to the topic. I almost always have got a good overview of things just by asking around what I am supposed to know.

tripzilch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Shouldn't the title say "Getting Started With Clojure in OSX"?
paddyoloughlin 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm interested in learning LISP.
How good a choice is learning Clojure as a way of achieving this?

I've read a page[1] listing differences between Clojure and other LISPs, but I'm not sure that I fully understand the implications of these differences.

[1] http://clojure.org/lisps

jumanjisama 15 hours ago 0 replies      

this video by Chas Emerick (co-author of clojure programming) also gives a good introduction to start with clojure, especially for people who uses eclipse.

politician 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hope the Light Table guys see this article and incorporate the guide into their OOBE content. hint, hint ;)
147 1 day ago 2 replies      
Anybody have any ideas for beginner projects in Clojure?
2012 Personal Annual Report jehiah.cz
258 points by jehiah  2 days ago   83 comments top 24
edw519 2 days ago 1 reply      
Cool, beautiful, clever, engrossing, and yet something about it bothered me.

It took me a while, but then it hit me: This is a beautiful display of inputs.

Where are the outputs?

Where is the gorgeous dashboard that shows the results of all your hard work and the benefits that others got from them? That's something I'd love to see.

ForrestN 2 days ago 3 replies      
Beautiful design, but a little depressing as a picture of a life: work, transit, texts, coffee, neutral facial expressions.
m0th87 2 days ago 2 replies      
Beautiful. I would pay for a product that I could just turn on in the background and get reports like this daily.
arscan 2 days ago 3 replies      
What tools do you use to collect this data? Looks great, by the way.
citricsquid 2 days ago 1 reply      
You could start using whatpulse to track your typing too (http://whatpulse.org) and if you listen to music last.fm would be great too (http://last.fm)

There was a really awesome program called Wakoopa that tracked program usage for a few years, but they shut down their social portion last year :( http://social.wakoopa.com/

codex 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has a use been found for this visualization, or is it simply info-porn? What lessons can be drawn from this data? I must admit, I'm having trouble not classifying this as a waste of time--the result of the evolution-bred desire for tool-making, misapplied.
nanook 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is amazing! For those who haven't seen this already, Stephen Wolfram's been tracking such data for over 20 years (http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2012/03/the-personal-analytic...).

I'm going to try to track some of my data this year. I'm more interested in health data - sleep, exercise etc. It'll be interesting to see how other activities relate to sleep and exercise.

aditya 2 days ago 1 reply      
Good job presenting the data as usual, Jehiah! The d3 stuff looks nice :)
ww520 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the great presentation. I especially like the weekday/month visualization.
hamxiaoz 2 days ago 1 reply      
How do you track your sleep time? Anything with Fitbit or just hand writing/computer/mobile entry?
omarkassim 2 days ago 1 reply      
Could you include a beard length index next year? I'm not certain, but it definitely looks like it grew out somewhat over the year.

I'm all for a proper beard!

awesomekid 2 days ago 1 reply      
Really cool! So what aspects of the report surprised you?
mmvvaa 2 days ago 1 reply      
Was the coffee move from Carte Blanche to Bourbon Coffee due to a change in location or a change in preference?
pazimzadeh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like the "water" and "I'm a Mac" shirts are big winners.
mattlong 2 days ago 1 reply      
Lots of fun data here that is visualized well. Unfortunately Safari crashed several times on my iPad 1 while trying to load it. :(
datr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any reason behind the move to Starbucks as the end of the year?
rhodin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did a similar report last year, focusing more on consumption (books, movies..) http://johanrhodin.se/RhodinReport/RhodinReport2011.html
Hopefully this can be automated. I still have too many manual steps to perform.
mikeevans 2 days ago 1 reply      
Go on vacation at the end of July/beginning of August?
001sky 2 days ago 0 replies      
The 24x365 matrices for both Coffee and Computer activity -- perfect level of abstraction
buremba 2 days ago 3 replies      
what did you use to take pictures from your webcam periodically? If it's a python script, could you please share your code with us?
visualR 1 day ago 0 replies      
At first I thought this post was poking fun at the Bingo Card creator-style annual reports.
bliker 2 days ago 0 replies      
for a moment I tought someone from czech republic made it to top of HN
awesomej 2 days ago 0 replies      
A very beautiful way to combine together lots of tiny snippets of data. Great fun!
tribeofone 2 days ago 0 replies      
and that was awesome!
Things I learned by pretending to be blind for a week silktide.com
237 points by silktide  2 days ago   88 comments top 16
digitalengineer 2 days ago 5 replies      
Here is a tip from someone who lost his sight last year: If you suddenly see little black spots, don't f&##^ing wait and get your eye(s) checked out by a specialist at once! Have a deadline? A demanding client? Or perhaps it's just a really bad headache? Don't wait.

I literally waited a whole week and thats waaaay to long and saw the curtain close (literally, that's what it looks like: a curtain closing). Finally (and only thanks to my experience with inplant-contactlenses that made the doctor confident I would be able to hold still like a statue when they insert 3 or 4 metal tubes in your freaking eye with only local anesthetics). My eye was fully drained and I was operated at midnight. The nice thing about local anestetics is you'll get to see everything.

After 4 weeks I was able to see again. Another 4 weeks and my brain had made the new 'connections' linking my left and right eye. When I started seeing little black spots with my other eye (half a year later) I took immediate action and dropped everything. The doctors were able to use a laser to burn/isolate the distortion and prefented my retina from ripping up.

TLDR: DO - NOT - WAIT. Drop everything when you see black spots that remain constant. Regular doctors can't help you, even specialists have difficulty finding the little holes in your eye.

ctoth 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a blind software developer who's been lurking on HN now for a couple years. Every few months an article about the blind comes across and seems to generate some discussion. I tend to stay quiet here on HN, as I generally feel I have little to contribute to the latest discussion on whether or not software is like a Japanese restaurant.

Now, a few points:
First, and most importantly: your web sucks. I'm a very proficient computer user--the same gap between supertechnical and nontechnical users exists in the blind community, perhaps even magnified by other aspects such as secondary disabilities in a good chunk of the blind population. That aside, I've been doing this for around 13 years, using a variety of screen access solutions on Windows, OSX, and even the hellscape that is modern desktop Linux a11y.
All of these solutions suffer from the same basic problem namely they are trying to squeeze a dynamic, multidimensional viewport into a linear text string for rapid communication. This don't work so hot, but like most things, you can adapt to it over time.
So why does the web suck?
First, a history lesson:
Back in the halcyon days of the 1990's, when I was just getting started with this silly computer stuff, the problem that was desktop accessibility had already nearly been solved. Microsoft gave us MSAA, and several screen reader vendors implemented their own heuristics on top of it to give pretty good access to standard controls. Highlight detection worked ... reasonably-well to know when text changed on a form, screen readers would perform nasty little hacks including API hooking and other black magic to give a pretty good picture of what was going on at any one time.
Then, along came the web.
At first this wasn't too terrible. Several screen reader vendors made a stab at solving web accessibility, and thus the virtual buffer was born.
The virtual buffer is where the story really gets interesting. You can follow along should you like -- I'm currently using the NVDA screen reader to compose this comment, and you can get it at http://nvda-project.org for those who do, no I don't listen to that dreadful voice all day, there are alternatives.)
Okay: So, you have a tree, the DOM, and you need to render it linearly, and not only that, but it needs to make some kind of sense. Enter the virtual buffer.
Each screen reader gets a hold of the DOM through whatever ugly hacks, then renders your beautiful website with lovely topography into a flat, basically plaintext representation. Links get prefixed with "link", headings with "heading 3", so on and so forth.
The software developers in the audience probably already see the problem coming, when I learned how this worked I was rather offended.
So, for the screen reader, there are two single points of truth: the DOM, and the virtual buffer representation. As we all know, when a complex system includes information in more than one place, the two have a tendency to get out of sync.
Consider what happens when you update your DOM with some javascript magic. The screen reader needs to, hopefully without making me lose my current place on the page, diff your changes against its current buffer, update its buffer, and somehow indicate to me that the content has changed, without interrupting my current task.
Complex DOM manipulations aside, let's just talk about how poorly-marked-up your content is:
For those of you who got NVDA, I invite you to explore around HN a little. Note the unlabeled links for voting, for instance. Is there any indication that the first edit field on a submission's page is where one enters a comment? And HN is hardly a dynamic website. How can one tell nonvisually (or visually for that matter) who replied to whom in comment threads? That's something that's puzzled me for a while, I just have to heuristically separate conversation threads.

Now, it's not all bad. Slowly, aria is being deployed to a variety of websites. Even more importantly, I've recently been looking into adding access at the UI toolkit level for some popular projects, especially Bootstrap.js (if a proficient web person would be interested in helping me with this it would be awesome, I'm primarily a desktop software guy (yes, the blind are one of the few subpopulations who haven't gone hole-hog for the web, and I'd argue a good reason for that is the web's lack of accessibility.))
Simple fixes -- adding aria-haspopup="true" to dropdown toggles, adding aria roles to various things can help, and I'm hopeful that work at the bootstrap and similar level will take the onus off of individual web developers.

I'm typically pretty difficult to offend, but I must say it's just a tad bit jarring to find the top comment thread on this submission be about how terrible it is to lose one's vision and how one should do absolutely anything to avoid it. Isn't this Hacker News? Where hackers talk about technical things? Mreh.

As for the article itself, a couple rather important things:
Yes, I'm certain that it is extremely difficult to navigate the web as a newly-blinded person, and this is partially because of many of the issues that I outlined above.
That said, if you people want to know how a blind person sees the web, don't ask a sighted person to wear a blindfold for a week and expect it to be at all representative of how someone who's been doing it their entire life does. Why not just ask a blind person?
Just a few examples:
Where as the author of the submission refers to headings as the primary navigation mechanism, modern screen reader users are quite lucky in that most screen reader developers have mapped hotkeys to nearly every type of HTML element. For instance, I hit f to navigate to the next form field on a page, shift+f to navigate to the previous. Similar keystrokes are available for all the levels of headings, for links both visited and unvisited, for landmarks, for tables, so on and so forth.
The title attribute of a link is read in a few cases: 1: when the link is explicitly tabbed to, and 2: when the link does not have text. A perfect example of where the title attribute should* be used is for the HN voting links.

Anyhow, I think that's enough rambling for now. Anyone who would like to discuss this, my e-mail is in my profile.

jareds 2 days ago 3 replies      
As a totally blind software developer everything he has in the article is accurate. There are two things he did not do though which I do on a regular basis and assume most other blind users do as well. First is using the feature of screen readers that allow you to view all links on a page as one giant list. While this isn't helpful when initially browsing a page if you use a site on a regular basis and know where you need to go it's easy to bring up a list of links and start typing to use first letter navigation to jump to the link you need out of the 150 that may be on the page. An example of this is typing “pri” to bring up the print link in order to view stories on a single page. Second is the ability to use a find feature of a screen reader to search for specific text on the page. Once again this is not useful for general browsing but if you visit a site on a regular basis and need to repeatedly access a section of the page that isn't easily findable by links or headings searching for a text string you know will be there is a god send.
josscrowcroft 2 days ago 5 replies      
As great as this article is, the title should be "10 things I learned about accessibility by pretending..."

I was hoping it might be about somebody who was 'blind' for a week in everyday life, and the potential shifts in their subjective perception of reality this might have caused.. it's something I've wanted to do for a while â€" anyone know of anything like that, actually?

unimpressive 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's currently on my to-do list to try going without sight for a month while I use my computer.

I figured I'd try using a high pitched tone generator to produce different buzzes depending on where I am on the screen.

EDIT: I am aware that using non-standard hardware will not help me develop accessible web pages. That's not the point of the exercise.

vnorby 2 days ago 1 reply      

I was stunned by how fast the blind can "speed listen" in the linked video. Is this something anyone can learn?

lmm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Even as a fully healthy user, I often find the "mobile" versions of sites are much easier to use. They tend to have a lot less junk on them and make the actual content much more prominent.
daniel13 2 days ago 0 replies      
I agree with some earlier comments about watching out for black spots. I lost my sight in a grizzly bear mauling and learning to use adaptive technology was a critical part of my recovery which lead me back into the work place. The technology available is very helpful, but definitely has its limits and can indeed be quite frustrating at times. Agree with the article that Facebook is really not accessible in a meaningful way at all. While the mobile site is slightly better, it has no structure and is essentially made up of approximately 99 links on my mobile homepage. Like all skills though, you do get better at using a screen reader with practice. I believe the brain's neural pathways actually adapt to accommodate the way a blind user interfaces with the screen reader much in the same way it does for other tasks such as orientation and mobility (travelling blind). So, blind users actually do get used to the super fast speech that may be unintelligible to most people. With that said, I appreciate the article because there are very simple ways to make websites user friendly to the blind. Headings that are not over used and well labeled and having all controls on a site well labeled alone can make a huge difference. The other key is really simplicity. Less is more for the blind user for sure. I've tried to do that with my website (danbigley.com), but it can be difficult to test and ensure accessibility.
dmlorenzetti 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a similar, but easier, experiment, try listening to Adobe Acrobat read a PDF file out loud-- especially if the PDF contains anything at all interesting, like mathematics, figures, tables, or any kind of "float" that pegs to the top of a page as the text flows around it.

While tools are available to let the PDF creator tag the document in order to facilitate reading, in practice they don't seem to be used much, and even then the experience is painful at best.

embplat 2 days ago 1 reply      
Read about WCAG (http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag), that's what you need to follow to make web sites accessible, not markup validation, which really means "jack shit".

Visual impairment does not necessarily equal total blindness. Accounting for text size, contrast level, etc. is a lot to consider. AA conformance level (middle level, so to speak) is very hard to achieve.

septerr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Shouldn't websites start having an accessible version, like they have mobile versions of their sites? These would be free of too much JavaScript fu and go directly to the meat of the matter. In fact it is possible people with no physical challenges would start preferring these simpler faster versions too. Maybe in near future, the latest trend in web will be less JS, less graphics, less animation and more matter.
Mahn 2 days ago 4 replies      
Am I the only one who thought this has startup potential? It sounds like a problem in search of a solution. I can picture for instance a service that would take a page, scan it, remove all the unnecesary clutter and make it as much screen reader friendly as possible.
zplesivcak 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just a note of marginal importance: I'm pretty sure that speeding up movie 1.5 times would bring its runtime from 2hrs to 1hr:20mins (not 1.5hrs as mentioned). With 24 frames per second 2hr movie has 172800 frames. Speedup brings framerate to 36 fps, and dividing we get 4800 seconds, or 80 minutes.

Edit: Thank your for pointing that out leberwurstsaft!

baalexander 2 days ago 1 reply      
Has anyone had experience with newer versions of Chrome Vox (http://www.chromevox.com/)? Would that improve the experience over the other screen readers for web browsing?
hamidnazari 2 days ago 1 reply      
By W3C validator do you mean the Markup Validation Service or the Web Accessibility Initiative aka WAI? I think WAI validators were introduced to address the issue you raised in your experiment. Is this true?

Anyhow, I can't agree more, "being W3C valid means jack".

bauc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very interesting experiment. Sighted people often take their vision for granted. I know I do and I try to think of what I would do if I lost my vision but we can all work on improving accessibility in general.
How I Hacked Facebook's Secure Files Transfer Service for Employees nirgoldshlager.com
231 points by denysonique  1 day ago   48 comments top 12
mocko 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is an example of how a competent cracker (as opposed to a script kiddie) works. He's:

1) Identified a badly protected side entrance to use rather than the front door

2) Painstakingly researched the third party product (similarly one could investigate a third party library used in a bespoke codebase)

3) Figured out the adaptations the target organisation had made to it and guessed some mistakes they'd made

4) Eventually hit on a cookie modification attack made possible by limitations found in that publicly-available codebase.


MichaelGG 1 day ago 1 reply      
"This Version of ionCube was not vulnerable to a possible decryption"

Does he just mean "this version doesn't have a readily available dissassembler yet"? Even if they chose the path of compiling to native code, if you own the box, it can't be that hard to get the code.

Dylan16807 1 day ago 2 replies      
I like this but what the hell is the problem with base64?

'Still alive these day?'?

It's useful for what it does, always has been, never been a security feature.

dmak 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why does an enterprise level SaaS have such weak security? It is a rookie mistake for a company who emphasizes security.
denysonique 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is another Facebook vulnerability, a more serious one -- a password reset bug: http://chingshiong.blogspot.in/2013/01/facebook-bug-4-passwo...
secure 1 day ago 1 reply      
For a non-facebook user/employee, can someone please explain which service that is?
cool-RR 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm confused. This looks like an interesting hack, but I don't understand what's going on here, despite reading the post 4 times and watching the video twice.

What is this "Password Recovery" page? Is this for emailing a person a reset link to a password? Is it for changing your password? What is the cookie used for? What is the flawed logic in the system?

Can anyone explain this more clearly please?

ing33k 1 day ago 2 replies      
I understand that facebook has other important things to do ,than create their own file sharing service( for internal purpose ), but I can't stop asking this question, why not create their own thing ?
dreamdu5t 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Soon i will publish OAuth bypass in Facebook.com, Cya Next time!


bcl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depending on user supplied data for password changes? Not a good idea...
bmohlenhoff 1 day ago 2 replies      
The date in the last screenshot (19/3/2012) doesn't match the date in the rest of the images (7/1/2013).
el_duderino 1 day ago 1 reply      
Windows Media Player?


How To Make Trillions Of Dollars thoughtcatalog.com
228 points by dreadsword  1 day ago   135 comments top 29
rndmize 1 day ago 10 replies      
Happiness, health and stability are not core objectives of our society. The production of wealth, as measured by GDP, or by the stock markets, or consumer spending, is our yardstick of success.

I hope that in the remainder of the century we can can transition to better forms of society where the health and happiness of the general population is more important than the efficiency of our economic structures.

michaelochurch 1 day ago 5 replies      
It's amazing to me how much expense comes out of fear.

For example, one of the reasons why Manhattan real estate is so expensive is that people feel a need to live here in order to keep up their professional status. Not to limit their commutes, but because the really evil law and financial firms stop promoting you as soon as you move off the island. So they spend $5 million on a house, as opposed to, for example, not working for douchebags.

Where this is worst in New York is in the private school industry. $40,000 per year is market now, and it starts in nursery school. On no data whatsoever, parents now spend half a million out of fear that if their kids go to public schools, they won't be able to get into the top colleges and get good jobs. New Yorkers, take note that people in the rest of the country think you're a giant douchebag if you spend $40,000 on a nursery school.

The Bush years were awful for political reasons-- curtailment of civil liberties, illegal wars, disastrous morale-- but, economically, this past decade would actually be a fairly good time for the U.S. if the Satanic Trinity-- healthcare, housing, and tuition-- of costs were better controlled.

jacques_chester 1 day ago 4 replies      
This is a classic example of the animism fallacy.

Lightning flash, terrifying thundercrack. The Invisible Skygod is mad!

All bunkum, of course. But it fits how humans usually think about the world: that every event has agency, has some directing cause which involves intelligence.

The idea that the world we see emerged from a massive, incomprehensible complex system? Bah. Can't be. I see the lightning and hear the thundercrack.

Must be the invisible trillionaires.

Incidentally, the only thing in this article that resembles classic marketing is the title. Straight out of the copywriting handbook.

fumar 1 day ago 2 replies      
Consumerism dominates our culture. I used to think that pertained to the United States the most, but it is a global issue.

I have not had a job since March of 2012. You could say I lost my consumer power. I have made very few purchases outside of utilities, food, and other basics. It has been an eye opening experience to my own habits.

At first, I felt lost and out of touch with society. I could not make purchases like my friends and family. I did not have any new toys to show off or new clothing to wear this year. This past holiday season was the worst. As much as I disliked the holiday spending spree every year, being left out feels strange. The feeling that arises from lack of consumption is strange. It is as if society fixates on purchases and those purchases define your life(create milestone). I have not had any of those recently.

Today, I feel normal. Sometimes, I lust for new gadgets. But, most of the time, I never think about buying "stuff." If I was not in a committed relationship, I would be happy not being an avid consumer.

Maybe, it is just my brain adapting to the circumstances.

*My girlfriend, buys lots of things, she works in retail. I am not completely out of the consumption sphere.

josscrowcroft 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is handsâ€"down one of the best pieces I've ever read on the Internet.

I love the message of not hating "The Man". I've noticed in the past years more and more energy being wasted on hating things which are beyond our control (at least, they are if we only spend our energy on hating).

To focus instead on building our self-reliance (and creativity, etc.) is a brilliant take-away.

This is one of those bits of writing that didn't add any knowledge but reminds me of things I forget on a day-to-day basis.

btilly 1 day ago 0 replies      
firefoxman1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Amazing article. The most powerful method of marketing I've seen is that which blurs the line between "want" and "need", or between pain and discomfort. Then they put their product on the "need" side, or categorise your discomfort as real pain.

"You don't want a cell phone, you need it. Look, everyone around you has one, so it must be necessary!"

"Hey, that minor discomfort you have with [whatever]? You have every right to be in pain from it. Heck, you should go out right now and get diagnosed with a disorder we invented/coined last year. Oh by the way, we also have a drug that relieves the symptoms."

Evgeny 1 day ago 1 reply      
Originally posted on the author's blog, about 2 years ago


bnegreve 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Very good article !
I am genuinely surprised that HN's positively reacts to blog posts like this while massively reacting against ad blocking initiatives. For example this HN news thread: France's second-largest ISP deploys ad blocking via firmware update [1].

Can someone that like this article and dislike [1] explain me.

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5004621

grecy 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's been a long time since I read an article I agree with so much.
mikekij 1 day ago 5 replies      
This is a great post. My only disagreement is with the insinuation that the lack of universal healthcare in the US is there to intentionally trap people in unfulfilling jobs. While I agree that it sometimes has this affect, I think universal healthcare may actually make people even more dependent on the system the author is writing against, all while decreasing the quality of the health care we receive.

Great article though.

--Written from my budget apartment, while working on stuff I love

guscost 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fuck the police, kill your television, and Like us on Facebook.
geuis 1 day ago 1 reply      
The author makes a good introduction and really gets to the point about halfway through. Should have ended there. The rest is just repetitive.
nazgulnarsil 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The article is a bit silly but there is an interesting tidbit. The observation that people can afford seemingly limitless trinkets that they don't really need while the necessities of life are quite expensive. Shouldn't something that literally everyone needs and thus is guaranteed a ubiquitous market and thus obscene rewards for innovation be cheap? Is there some iron rule of technology/market that says that innovations in these areas is impossible or prohibitively expensive?

There are multiple answers to this question, and I think it is worth meditating on.

othermaciej 17 hours ago 0 replies      
This article didn't actually give useful information on how to make trillions of dollars or on how anyone else has done so.
PaulHoule 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The "culture of narcissism" wasn't invented after WWII and it's not even western. You could see the modern kind of moral decay even in Tokugawa Japan 200 years ago.
S_A_P 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one who finds irony in the fact that he recommends throwing out the things with a low ROI yet at the bottom of the article he recommends "liking" the blog on Facebook?
pippy 1 day ago 1 reply      
I loved everything about this post. Very enlightening
dreadsword 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Poster here - just to be clear, I'm not the author - I just came across it on Reddit, and figured it would resonate here.
Mz 1 day ago 2 replies      
Great points. But: How do you make a living while combatting this?

I am torn on the question of universal medical coverage, for complex reasons that I imagine no one here wants to hear. I am wondering, though, if anyone has any ideas on how America could implement government funded, universal healthcare, what pitfalls we should look out for, etc.

josh_fyi 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Note that people who are outside the American madhouse, those who live in developing countries like the Philippines or China, very much want to adopt American customs.

Few of them want to live a monastic or back-to-nature lifestyle. These people can learn from Americans' experience, yet there is no mass movement to adopt the good part while staying relaxed, centered, and happy.

I'm not saying that they prefer employer-linked healthcare to single-payer, or that they want to be stressed-out and depressed, but they very much want TV, possessions, yuppie-style jobs, etc., without worrying too much about the alleged misery that we Americans experience.

AlexeiSadeski 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Different people have different goals in life. Just because others chase GDP or work all day doesn't mean that you have to.
digitalWestie 14 hours ago 0 replies      
if you liked this post I'd recommend reading Prosperity without Growth - http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php?id=914
dmor 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Where is our modern day Victor Lebow to set a new paradigm?
gz5 12 hours ago 0 replies      
great points on life skills, understanding marketing motivation, worthless hate. i don't believe the author is implying a conspiracy theory - but maybe i'm missing it - do we need conspiracy for each marketer to do their job?
BlackNapoleon 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this an homage to the Rothschilds?
joebeetee 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Good article. Counter-cultural without being conspiritorialist.
vicks711 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this enlightening article. I now know hot to make my first million.

Thanks again mate for posting this here on Hacker news.

orionblastar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Only one way to make trillions of dollars, be born into the Rothschild family or marry into them. They are worth trillions and own banks and own a lot of nations' debts. Because they own a lot of debt, they charge huge interest rates on them, and profit from them a lot.


Howdoi â€" Instant Coding Answers via the Command Line github.com
226 points by gleitz  1 day ago   85 comments top 28
davej 1 day ago 1 reply      
Super useful, love it.

Some queries I tried (results were not perfect but pretty decent):

    howdoi split string javascript
var split = 'john smith~123 Street~Apt 4~New York~NY~12345'.split('~');

var name = split[0];
var street = split[1];


howdoi get day from date javascript
var date = new Date();
var day = date.getDay();

howdoi iterate coffeescript
ages = []
ages["jim"] = 12
ages["john"] = 7

for k,v of ages
console.log k + " is " + v

howdoi get referrer url php


if (!isset($_SESSION["origURL"]))


roryokane 1 day ago 4 replies      
According to the source code (https://github.com/gleitz/howdoi/blob/master/howdoi/howdoi.p...), the answers come from Stack Overflow, searched using Google site search. Howdoi scrapes and prints the first code block in the top answer, or the full text of the top answer if it contains no code block.
nicpottier 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really like the idea of this, I'm getting some good results and some not so good.

One that fails rather badly:

format dates django templates
Returns simply "date", despite StackOverflow having lots of hits:

But some others are super cool:

create datetime from epoch
>>> datetime.datetime.fromtimestamp(1284286794)

One suggestion is that by default I would include the link to the stackoverflow page.

Some color might be nice to make it extra sexy, look at the colorama package to do it easily cross platform.

decktech 1 day ago 1 reply      
$ howdoi program

Why do you need the Apple Developer Program Enrollment ID? I also tried to apply to the iOS Developer Program this weekend.
I applied, I paid and I got my activation codes. But then when I tried to activate with my Apple ID I got an error saying (in my case) they "were not able to successfully verify my identity". In that error message there was an Enrollment ID# consisting of both letters and numbers, a total of 10 characters, that I was supposed to include when contacting the support regarding this issue. I have not seen the same Enrollment ID somewhere else in the process and therefore I assume it is some kind of internal ID for my signing up process and you should only see it/use it when you hit some problems during the process.

I'll figure it out one of these days.

andrewljohnson 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is pretty cool, but it doesn't really feel a need for me.

Google for _split string javascript_ or the other queries, and you'll get basically the same results, just not limited to StackOverflow as howdoi does.

Maybe if I were more married to my command line this would be useful, but in general, I'm only there for bash and git. I spend most of my time in an editor, so popping over to the browser is no more work for me than showing the terminal.

nnq 19 hours ago 1 reply      
It even has a good sense of humor:

    $ howdoi kill someone
ps aux

...yeah, first I must find out if "he"'s alive and how can I find "him", so it's a good first step :)

    $ howdoi clean up blood stains
No, you cannot achieve that with PHP [...]

...indeed, PHP has never been my fav language :)

roryokane 1 day ago 1 reply      
A similar program is `cheat`, from http://cheat.errtheblog.com/. Like howdoi, it prints short help on various topics to the commandline. But rather than searching Stack Overflow, it accesses a much smaller online wiki of cheat sheets. I'd give some examples of cheat sheets it has, but the online wiki seems to be down right now.
cllns 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very cool! You might want to change

USER_AGENT = "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8_2) AppleWebKit/537.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/24.0.1309.0 Safari/537.17"

to something a little more honest though, unless you have a good reason for keeping it.

alexkus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Excellent, I can give it to a friend who seems to use me (via Skype) as a proxy for StackOverflow.

He hasn't got the hint with lmgtfy links so I'll try a different tack...

darkarmani 1 day ago 2 replies      
It took a minute to realize that it requires an internet connection. Maybe you should spell that out?

I thought at first you had compiled a corpus of knowledge, but this is much better, but with the requirement of internet access.

Hawkee 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the code here is a very good example to get started with Python. It includes some very essential elements for interacting with external websites.
coldpie 1 day ago 2 replies      
Be nice if you'd make it explicit that it depends on Python 2 (change your hashbang to point to python2, or make it work in either runtime). Arch Linux defaults to Python 3 these days.
nerdfiles 1 day ago 2 replies      
Brilliant. Given the data set, this appears somewhat intelligent, since more theoretical computer science problems may simply result in something like "advice" rather than code blocks.

$ howdoi mvp pattern

$ howdoi wittgenstein

$ howdoi hopfield network

$ howdoi feed forward network

$ howdoi artificial heart

It's like an overly precocious child that got trapped in a library, and is now set to aid you in your research/development.

lightyrs 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is amazing. Thank you so very much!

I was very impressed by responses to queries like this:

    howdoi retrieve the keys from an array of hashes in ruby

hash = {"apple" => "fruit", "carrot" => "vegetable"}
array = hash.keys #=> ["apple", "carrot"]

mtraven 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very nice. I like the -l feature but wish the link could appear with the normal answer, doesn't seem to be a way to do that.
firesofmay 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Would be nice if it caches 2-3 answers so it doesn't have to call each time. Also if I could specify like -p123 it shows me first three answers instead of only first and I have to make a new call till I find my answer.
Really useful. Thanks for sharing.
travisby 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is awesome! I'm going to create some issues (and hopefully pull requests!) later with some feature ideas.

I'm thinking seeing the question, and listing all questions so I know which -pX I want ;)

niggler 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is there a way to "contribute answers"? I think a hookup with a wiki-type system would make this useful and essentially replace the text file of commands I discovered.
madethemcry 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can`t use tools like this nor other local knowledge databases like evernote (although I save programming notes in evernote). If I have a pending question I ask myself two questions.

"Have I ever had this problem ?"
"Did I save the answer ? (In evernote or whatever)"

To think about those two answers I need around 2000ms. After 1000ms I wrote the query and asked google again... Is it only me? I wish I would use my local knowledge database but I only use it when I`m not lucky with google after the first queries.

tathagatadg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Whoa! I was just doing the same thing but with stackoverflow's api and in vim ... instead of making the query from the command line i.e. leave your editor, I'm thinking of writing the query like a comment and highlight it so that I can see the returned search results in a separate buffer. Haven't made much progress due to unfamiliarity with programming vim
cpa 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Would be cool if one could directly call howdoi from the python shell.

>>> howdoi foo bar

Or as a magic function for ipython.

thiderman 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I enjoy this, since it's a very clever and well executed idea. Cheers!

However, something bugs me a little; Is there any reason for not mentioning Stack Overflow in the README?

SonicSoul 13 hours ago 0 replies      
this is incredible! thanks so much for creating this. now i just need to figure out how to port it to Alfred :
crazydiamond 21 hours ago 1 reply      
btw, on my system the `brew install` failed giving an error about "make the appropriate changes to your system". When I tried installing pyquery I realized it requires sudo access to write to /Library. I was able to install using "sudo python setup.py install". (pip gave a stack trace).

Tried "howdoi split string zsh" and it gave me a good answer.

kwang88 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks like an awesome tool for the little things that nobody bothers to memorize -- very cool!
slajax 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can't seem to get it installed either via brew, pip or python setup.py install on osx 10.8.2

Bummer. It looks really cool.

udfalkso 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very nice, I'm going to use this. Thanks!
hughdbrown 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Classic Stackoverflow moment:

howdoi -a parse HTML with regex

Show HN: Our alternative to recruiter spam trypitchbox.com
225 points by bitsweet  2 days ago   161 comments top 45
DavidAdams 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm currently hiring developers, and I also hate recruiters, for the reasons you outline. I was interested to learn about your flat $25K fee in the comments here, and I can tell you that I'd be unlikely to pay it. I have other ways to find developers that aren't so expensive.

If I'd bothered to sign up after reading "It's free to get started" then learned later about the hefty fee, I'd be disappointed at best. Since I didn't sign up, I don't know how much bait there is before the switch, but if you talk about the fee right away after the signup I guess it's sort of okay, since you didn't waste much of my time but you did receive my contact information under false pretenses.

I'll be interested to see how many takers you get at that fee level.

bitsweet 2 days ago 7 replies      
Hi HN. We were tired of recruiters so we built this because it was something we wish existed. We had "satisfying" jobs and liked who we worked with but we were not naive and knew there could be a better job out there. Either building a product more aligned with our personal interests, making more doing something we enjoyed even more, or work with a team that challenged us further. It was too time consuming to actively look for jobs and the thought of dealing with incompetent recruiters turned us off so we built Pitchbox. We link to think of it as a talent agency for developers so only personally relevant jobs are pitched to you... think of it as "Here's what I'm looking for, if you can provide it then let's talk"

Is this something that you want?

electrograv 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a developer, I love the concept - obviously, a tool that filters for great jobs and pitches them to developers is really appealing. However I'm curious about a few things:

1) It sounds like companies are hand picked. On the other side: How do you filter for great developers? I'm sure you can't assume every prospective employee signup is a top-tier developer. Do you have some algorithmic, human, or other process?

2) As someone about to graduate and transition to a PHD program after the summer, I'm looking at technically challenging summer internships. I'm sure there are other prospective interns. Do you have any plans to support matching summer internships?

3) Assuming a github profile is the only "resume" your site accepts (implied by another comment here), where do developers list journal and conference publications? (Apologies in advance if this assumption is wrong -- I haven't signed up due to reasons mentioned in question #2.)


clebio 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sorry, but what part of 'Stay anonymous ... 100% Private & confidential - Learn your market value without your current employer ever knowing' involves me giving you my name, current employer, current title, and email address in step 2? That's just down-right cognitive dissonance. The landing page doesn't give me enough assurance, but to get any more details, I have to click through. Or do you expect a curious candidate to read the two pages of legalese (Terms of Service, Privacy Policy)? Not saying we wouldn't, but that's sort of a slow, boring sell.
martythemaniak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks pretty sweet. It's been a few years since I've done the job-search thing, but this looks like what I'd want to use.

Now that I think about it, this reminds me a bit of Feynman's pickup technique [0] - why waste your time with the whole song-and-dance routine if what you want was never on offer to begin with?

Anyway, good luck!

[0] http://www.roberttwigger.com/journal/2010/9/16/richard-feynm...

codva 2 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting - kind of reminds me of a site a friend built a few years ago. It was a resume site with contact info hidden. In order to contact you the recruiter had to pay you - at whatever price you put on a contact (usually a buck or two). If you didn't respond in a reasonable time the money was refunded. But he was trying to solve the same problem - recruiter spam. Unfortunately he launched right in the deepest pit of the financial meltdown and he was unable to get any traction with the site.
PedroCandeias 2 days ago 2 replies      
Just went through the signup process. There should be a textbox for those of us who don't maintain great github profiles to say a few words about ourselves.
decadentcactus 1 day ago 2 replies      
Aw man, am I the only one who doesn't have this terrible problem of everyone wanting to offer them a job?

I'm sure I'm not doing 100% of what's possible to be able to sit back and pick and choose whether I want the 150k job or the 180k job, but almost all of these "recruiters suck" posts apply to a small minority of people, those near the top of their profession.

Maybe I need a "Do you make shitty weekend projects that end up going nowhere? Let us know" site.

liberatus 2 days ago 2 replies      
Our solution to recruiter spam:

Become a recruiter.

I'm sorry but how is your business model any different from that of a recruiter? (Other than claims of human or AI filtered quality.)

I just don't see how you will not run into the exact same problems that existing recruiters run into.

What makes you different than a normal recruiter building profiles of companies and employers and soliciting both? This just looks very familiar, abeit drop dead gorgeous. :-)

I guess if good design and AI are enough to solve the recruiter problem, then count me in, it's just not clear to me how you are really different from your landing page. (Other than of course it is beautiful, seriously fantastic work.)

andy_adams 2 days ago 2 replies      
The salary ranges seem very high from my experience. I've been developing for a few years, and I know a handful of excellent developers working for big-name companies...and I know they're not making the numbers listed here.

I want to believe $180k is doable for a software engineer, but I've yet to meet a salaried programmer over $110k. Am I keeping the wrong company?

I should note I don't live in a major city, but even amongst devs I know in San Francisco, $180k would be very high. It seems most of the programmer salary estimates I see online are similar. Are these numbers real? Or are the numbers I see coming from software fantasy land?

brown9-2 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think the signup flow could use more handholding as far as telling the prospective developer why you need the information you are asking for and what you plan to do with it (i.e. how it will help you find them a good opportunity).

As an example, I got as far as the second part of the form where I am asked for my name, current company, location and title, and became hesitant because I have zero idea what you are going to use this information for specifically.

Tichy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd prefer it if I could see the possible "goals" before entering my contact information. At the moment it is the usual: no information before signup. (I didn't proceed past the contact information tab, so can't comment further).
esharef 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seems like a great idea. I recommend making the "what do you want to do" a bit more explicit (e.g., more multiple choice, asking me to give examples of jobs I'd leave my current position for, etc). When I completed this, I wasn't sure how you'd know what my "dream job" was. I know you're probably trying to keep it short, but I think I'd be more of a believer that this was going to yield good results if I were asking for slightly more info.
arscan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Recommendation: go niche if you have trouble building a critical mass of employers and prospective employees. Be known as the "go to" place for getting jobs in obscure but important technology/programming language <X> (for example). Brand appropriately, and manually reach out to companies and developers that use those technologies and try to kickstart the process. Get on the first page for "X jobs" in google. Then build out from there.
ig1 2 days ago 2 replies      
I used to run a software developer job board startup for several years and I came the the conclusion that what the market needs is a better way of reaching passive job seekers.

While I think this approach is along the right lines, the big problem is that it's incredibly hard to get passive job seekers to sign-up, so mostly you'll get active job seekers signing up and then you'll essentially just be another curated job board / CV database.

I think your key to success will be if you can figure out someway of getting lots of passive job seekers to signup.

Personally if I was doing it I'd go the route of making hyper-targetted mailing lists. So like a reverse groupon catering to specific niches. So have one for developer evangelists, one for flash games developers, etc. with the idea being that the niches are specific enough that people want to be on the list not because they're job hunting but because they want to keep their finger on the pulse of their niche.

(feel free to email me if you want to talk more about the developer recruitment space; I've spent a lot of time thinking about it!)

drcongo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I made a collaborative Gmail filter up on GitHub. I no longer get any recruiter spam at all.


hnwh 2 days ago 1 reply      
A little sketched out about putting my real name on here.. how do I know my current employer won't see it?
michaelochurch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice site. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this problem; have you thought about an "allocate <number> points" solution? I've had the thought that an "allocate 20 points" resume / requirements list might be superior to the traditional, cluttered approach. ( http://michaelochurch.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/why-i-wiped-m... )
swalsh 2 days ago 1 reply      
I understand you're trying to create an alternative to spam from say Linkedin, but that really is what I use for my resume these days. Can I use that for my "application"
kirinan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I applied, it will be interesting to see what kind of jobs you have in mind. Although one way to improve is to be able to tell you where I would be willing to relocate. Id love Seattle for instance, but wouldn't consider a job in Colorado or Austin. Other than that, it is a very cool service and look forward to finding out what you find for me.
donretag 2 days ago 1 reply      
One item to pay attention to is location. If someone currently works in San Francisco and choose to remain there, will a Palo Alto company be able to contact them? Is there a default radius?

Perhaps someone wants to relocate, but only to specific cities. Expanded options would be nice.

demosquared 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think this is much needed service. However, I did not see anywhere mentioned - how long I might have to wait after I said I am interested in, lets say $100+ job. What I am asking is how exactly does your process-timeline work? (i.e. Roughly how long do I might need to wait? Is there some sort of strategy/rational that helps me set some realisting timeline expectations?
fatalerrorx3 1 day ago 0 replies      
For me I would do it if the salary field was optional, I think the employer should decide what value to place on a specific candidate based on his or her past experience.

Companies who can afford to pay for someone with an expansive background will do so, but certain candidates might also be more interested in working with local startups who don't have Silicon Valley or NYC budgets, but allow for more flexible positions (i.e. Telework, like others have mentioned).

Not to mention certain people thrive in a small team environment versus a large corporate culture, and there's a chance to get meaningful equity to build something new and exciting.

scrumper 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can we make changes? I have submitted, but would like to amend my resume to include some of my relevant side projects.
ssebro 2 days ago 1 reply      
I noticed you guys used the same form UI as Barack Obama's donation page. I like it!
evan_ 2 days ago 2 replies      
Do a lot of people click the lower "what do you want to make?" options?
contingencies 1 day ago 1 reply      
Re: Your overboard filepicker thing on the last page, if it's blocked by noscript, enabling causes a total back-to-step-1-hassle for the user.
chris123 1 day ago 0 replies      
Quick design comment: I like the clean look, but I find the home page a bit long (i.e., a lot of scrolling is required), even if that's the style these days. Best wishes with your project. I look forward to updates. Cheers.
jsmeaton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you considered adding StackOverflow as one of your "Resume" links? That's, personally, where I keep my most up-to-date information. And now I think it's time to update that information.
reinhardt 2 days ago 4 replies      
Is it US only? How about telecommuting?
chockablock 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe my liberal arts major is showing, but I keep reading your URL as 'triptych box'.


connor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good idea. Does that Cinema Display on their homepage also look odd to anyone else? https://d2221r371oqwhn.cloudfront.net/assets/feature-image-b...
derwiki 2 days ago 1 reply      
This reminds me a lot of Developer Auction (http://www.developerauction.com/).
zeynalov 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know why but the font on your website appears as times new roman. I'm on Mac OSX, Firefox 12.0. On Chrome looks ok.
DGCA 2 days ago 1 reply      
$25k is ridiculous, unless you make some guarantees, which you don't seem to do (wouldn't know, there's no relevant info for employers without signing up).
sarhus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice and interesting idea!

Out of curiosity, are you also working on Coderwall?

Your email ( from your HN profile) matches the twitter username of a Coderwall founder.

In your privacy page, you have "Appdillo, Inc. [..] provides this Privacy Policy" and the domain http://www.appdillo.com has a coderwall email address in it.

gunmetal 1 day ago 1 reply      
I stopped at entering my name, company and position. Why can't I try this out anonymously? The stakes are too high for most people to willy nilly add their personal info to a conduit for recruiters.
mehulkar 1 day ago 0 replies      
I may have missed it on a quick glance, but how does this stop recruiter spam?
benblack86 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't fill out the form as I have two major problems. I am legally entitled to work in the USA, but only for my current employer. - there is no option for this. The salary I expect depends on the type of job and total compensation (equity) - there is no way to specify this.
cuttooth 2 days ago 0 replies      
I submitted my information; it doesn't hurt to give it a try. I live in the Philadelphia area, but I'm open to relocating if the position is right, so a service such as this may be able to work for me. I'll have to see.
abahgat 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm curious: in

"Every pitch received improves our personalized matching algorithm, making pitches get even better over time."

how would you distinguish a "good" pitch from a "bad" one?

syassami 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice and clean/simple. Also great use of filepicker, just joined!
webbruce 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome, any plans for designers?
romeonova 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just a small ui thing. When the info icon is clicked the layout flicks everytime. Can get annoying for some people.
draftable 2 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't realise it was a requirement of a dream job to be earning over $80k a year...
A year without caffeine (part 2) bryanalexander.org
225 points by sramsay  3 days ago   124 comments top 19
jperras 3 days ago 5 replies      
The title seems a tad misleading. The author describes some relatively major lifestyle changes (huge changes in diet, sleeping habits, large increase in aerobic/anaerobic physical activity), of which the elimination of caffeine is but a small part.

I used to have some very bad problems with acidity as well, to the point where my doctor thought I might have had acute ulcerative colitis, but what fixed it for me was sleeping more, eating better, and exercising more frequently.

I still drink 1-3 cups of coffee a day (every few months I go for a week without coffee, just to make sure I can still function without it), and have had no flare-ups or problems since I changed the rest of my lifestyle habits.

ChuckMcM 3 days ago 2 replies      
This is pretty inspiring. It is always amazing to people how much diet and exercise affect their health, which I find amazing that they are amazed. Its fundamental. Of course the ulcers could have been cleared up with the right antibiotics [1] but regardless, Bryan is in a much better place than he was and it doesn't matter which path he took.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/ulcer/consumer.htm

rcthompson 3 days ago 6 replies      
I personally have never been a caffeine user. I had always assumed that if I used it regularly, my body would eventually counteradjust so that I would require coffee just to bring me back to my original baseline level of alertness. Can anyone comment on whether this is the case?
tsahyt 2 days ago 0 replies      
2 years ago, I was drinking 12 cups of coffee on an average day. More than that on days when I had night shifts. For some unknown reason I suddenly started reacting weirdly to all the caffeine. Somehow it sparked anxiousness in me. So I decided to stop drinking coffee altogether, since only a single cup would make me feel and behave strangely.

At first it was hard to concentrate, I had headaches, it was harder to wake up in the morning, etc. However, after two years I wonder why I was drinking coffee in the first place. I feel calmer and more relaxed nowadays and I'm capable of greater workloads now without feeling too exhausted.

Going without caffeine also made me appreciate the power and importance of sleep. In the fast-paced world we're living in, I believe people underestimate that. I honestly know people who think they can achieve more by sleeping less. In my opinion they couldn't be more wrong about it. A good night's sleep is what productive days are built upon.

geoka9 3 days ago 6 replies      
Reading this gave me chills - the symptoms of withdrawal described here are not unlike those of a heroin addict gone cold turkey.

I can't imagine normal healthy people routinely taking a drug and teaching their children to take one. And yet this happens with coffee all the time. Many are even proud of their addiction ("coffee snobs").

vasco 3 days ago 3 replies      
Never having liked the taste of coffee, I rarely drink it. I think the first time I had one was in a school field trip where everyone decided to pull our first all-nighter. Now I only use it when I need to finish something with a deadline and I can't possibly sleep to do it (this would be mitigated with better time management, but alas, this is how it is).

Never having made an habit of it though, a single espresso (1 once) gives me the jitters, a slight disturbing feeling in my heart area and keeps me fully pumped up for about ~4 hours if I am falling asleep when I take it.

I think this way of using it is much more valuable than "wasting" it by accustoming my body to a morning "pick-me-up" ritual.

drivebyacct2 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is scary to read. GERD, Barrett's Esophagus and acid reflux is not to be taken lightly. It is life altering. I have a relative who has to take 3 days every year to be sedated and have their throat stretched, another 3 later to have it scoped and this is after the surgery that effectively tied her esophagus in a knot (she can't physically vomit).

If you're popping antacids all of the time, be wary.

kysol 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been without coffee for two months now. Having been someone that loved coffee and needed it to "survive" the daily work environment, if I was to have just quit it voluntarily, it wouldn't have happened.

For me I was on a business trip where I fell ill prior to the flight home. Lets just say that it wasn't pretty, my girlfriend picked me up from the Airport struggling to stand up. The next week I wasn't able to eat anything surviving on water.

Seeing that I consumed an unhealthy amount of coffee daily, and how I hadn't had one in a week, I decided to make the break while I could. I was already weak from what ever I had picked up on that trip, but it was nothing to the next few weeks. I was lucky to only get mild headaches, but the lethargy and the sleepless nights drove me insane.

Having read this article, I'm now re-thinking what I eat as well. I too challenge the heat of my curries... and thanks to desk jobs I don't get out that much. Looks like I'll be changing things shortly.

One kicker that has happened to my health since this change, an ailment that I had never had prior to the removal of coffee, has caffeine as a way to help reduce the effects. My body... hates me.

Sindrome 3 days ago 2 replies      
I think I could do a year without caffeine. But a year without alcohol? IMPOSSIBLE.
yawgmoth 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sort of an odd question, but have you found that the flora of your mouth changed when you cut out all of the acidity and sugary drinks? Less plaque \ bad breath?

How long does it take you to go from first opening your eyes when you awake, to being 'normally awake'? One of my big things is to get out of bed ASAP and get a dose of caffeine right away (powdered, usually). It's a fairly small dose (50mg) but I found that I really despise the first few waking moments enough to keep it up.

hobbyist 3 days ago 2 replies      
Why is green tea not included in the drinks to be avoided. I thought green tea also contains caffeine.
jakeonthemove 3 days ago 2 replies      
Going off caffeine gives me 2-3 days of indescribable headaches, then it's a pronounced fatigue for another 2 weeks. It ain't pretty.

However, if coffee must be eliminated from your diet, I believe you can always use caffeine pills - same energy without any side effects on the stomach.

mleonhard 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I get as much work done as I used to.

I get more work done without caffeine. When I use caffeine, my attention level spikes and plunges. The increased productivity of the spikes doesn't make up for the dips.

andrewcooke 3 days ago 2 replies      
if you haven't (though i suspect you have) i would suggest giving napping one more try now you're caffeine free. it's seriously good if you can get it to work.
Mz 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am medically curious and would like to hear the dehydration story. :-)
chimpinee 3 days ago 0 replies      
Coffee withdrawal headaches and tiredness can be reduced by taking caffeine pills (approx 50mg per day for five days).
NeilRShah 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the article - that was a good read.
phormula 3 days ago 3 replies      
Why wouldn't he just get treated for H. Pylori if he had stomach ulcers
prtk 3 days ago 0 replies      
I guess deleting facebook account will have similar healthy effects on peoples minds.
Never Lie About Who You Really Are hbr.org
224 points by antalkerekes  14 hours ago   191 comments top 17
ForrestN 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm gay and this analogy is strained and opportunistic.

The charged moment when you're buying flowers for a same-sex partner is charged psychologically, not because of external fears. I live in a very liberal city, and there's almost zero chance I'm going to get bullied by the lady at the flower shop. It's charged because of how I grew up, because of the other people who made me feel like an outsider or a freak, because of what it means more broadly that the world, even this city, is set up for other people.

None of that comes into complaining about the speakers being on the wrong side of a TV. True, you can use slippery language to say that these are both "standing up for truth" or something, but in reality the motives behind each gesture are totally different. Standing up for quality as a person in a supply chain might be admirable, but it is not a "coming out" and it is not emotionally charged in the same way that revealing your homosexuality, over and over again, still is.

He talks to the cab driver because not doing so would mean rejecting himself. You mention the speakers because you want your company to do well and you're frustrated that the person who's job it is missed something blatant.

crikli 8 hours ago 4 replies      
The inference of this paragraph bugs me:

"Last week, the pest control guy came to the door. "Are you Mr. Smith?" he says. "No, I'm Mr. Pallotta, Mr. Smith's partner," I reply. "Partner?" he asks. I'm being questioned in my own home. "Yes, partner," I answer. "We're a gay couple." "Oh," he says, trying to process this and maintain his composure."

The writer assumes that because the pest control guy doesn't immediately grasp the context of the word "partner" and questions it that he's being interrogated. Then he assumes that the pest control guys is somehow disturbed by the open admission of sexuality and is trying to maintain composure.

There's a good chance these perceived slights are in Mr. Pallotta's head; he's misinterpreting the pest control guy's confusion as some type of muted bigotry.

There's a lot of ambiguity when the word "partner" is used. I run a business with a partner, so when someone says they're someone's partner, my brain assumes it's meant in a business context because that's the world I spend 95% of my time in.

When I'm informed otherwise, I'm sure there's a noticeable hesitation as my brain processes the change of context from business to relational and re-establishes the rules of social interaction from "this is so-and-so's business partner" to "this is so-and-so's significant other." It's definitely not because I'm "disturbed by the open admission of sexuality and am trying to maintain composure."

InclinedPlane 12 hours ago 1 reply      
It's so easy to compromise, or cover up. I see it all the time in software dev. For every dev who cares enough to pursue an issue diligently to its root cause there are a dozen other devs who are perfectly willing to patch up symptoms of deeper problems or jump to faulty conclusions without bothering to seriously understand what's going on. Everyone wants the quick fix. They want the pain (the bugs, tickets, pages, scrutiny, etc.) to stop.

And it's easy to say that something is "almost done" or "mostly done" when in reality there are huge roadblocks in the way. It's hard to tell people you're struggling with a problem, or that you don't know how to do something, or that you don't know the meaning of a word your coworker just used, or you don't understand exactly what they're saying. It's easier to avoid embarrassment in the short-term even if it makes everything harder in the long-term.

jpwagner 12 hours ago 6 replies      
I hope I'm not insensitive, but if I'm having a bad day and my cab driver (or just about any total stranger) asks "how is your day" I am not compelled to tell him about the intricacies of being me. It's not about fighting for "the truth", it's simply practical. This is generally how to behave for all matters of sex, politics, religion, and anything else personal. Small talk is small talk.
michaelfeathers 13 hours ago 6 replies      
In the UK I've run into people who use the term `partner' for whomever they are in a non-married exclusive relationship with, regardless of whether they are gay or straight.

I don't know how common that is, or how it got started. I wonder whether it will ever catch on in the US?

typicalrunt 11 hours ago 2 replies      
People have the misconception that a gay person comes out once. It's not true. If you're gay and you're authentic, you're coming out constantly. You're on a business trip, for example. A cab driver asks if you have kids, and you say that you do. Then he asks about your wife. Even though you may be exhausted, you find yourself summoning the energy to have a transformative conversation with a total stranger on whom you are depending to get to the airport and whose reaction you have no way of predicting.

The author's own situation is clouding his judgement. It is entirely easy to predict that asking if you have kids is going to lead to asking about a wife. This is the way family life has gone on for centuries. It's only recently (in generational terms) that gay couples could adopt children or even be openly gay and married... yet the author thinks that there's no way to predict how someone is going to steer a conversation. I wouldn't take offense if someone steered a conversation in the wrong way because it's more about their reaction to the surprise news ("oh, i have a husband not a wife") than to how the conversation found itself. Maybe I perhaps steered the conversation the wrong way instead of the cab driver.

As an aside: I had to rewrite this many times because I didn't want to come off as being homophobic, discriminatory, or what have you. I really don't like walking on egg shells, but some topics really cause other people to pounce.

Jabbles 13 hours ago 5 replies      
Just because you shouldn't have to lie about it, doesn't make it good advice to never lie about it. There are, sadly, many places in the US (and many in the rest of the world) where expressing your true self will cause you (physical/emotional) harm. If you live in such a place, be careful.
kvnn 13 hours ago 0 replies      
"Your ability to stand up for your truth is a muscle, and the more you exercise it the stronger it gets."

His attitude is commendable and helpful in a lot of different situations:

- people with stand-out religious beliefs
- people with strict diets
- people who don't drink

It makes me very appreciative that I don't have anxieties over anything that would require me to correct people or divulge personal information.

Being gay in his situation, and in general having anxieties attached to information you must always carry, is a pain in the ass. This might be a good reason to act "flaming" (when its an act): get the information out there immediately. I do that in certain situations too.

gizzlon 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but is he telling us that we should try to be offended?

I'm referring to the second to last paragraph: You can't know if your values are being violated if you're ambiguous about what they are. Second, learn to develop a sixth sense for when your line is being crossed. It may be a gut feeling. A nervous laugh. A habit of rationalizing.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it because some people (especially in the media) seems to set out to be offended, and they're really annoying.

Of course there are many valid reasons to be offended and we (as individuals and societies) should treat everyone with respect and try to offend no-one. But it is possible to be too easily offended, and I'm afraid one might end up in that category by following his advice.

exit 13 hours ago 1 reply      
> First, know what you're coming out about. Identify your truths. Write a personal values manifesto. You can't know if your values are being violated if you're ambiguous about what they are.

most people would come out about the fact that they don't give a shit about the value of the product their employer produces.

many would have to admit they delight in sabotaging the system they hate.

nerdfiles 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not so sure this advice is generally applicable. At the same time, I understand the author probably doesn't mean for it to be, but maybe that is a problem with the inherent vagueness of language. I don't care to do philosophy of language here.

When I behave as I truly am, stuff like this applies:


b) Poor Understanding of Social Situations:
Their good verbal skills enable adults with WS to initiate superficial social contacts. However, they tend to lack understanding of the underlying, 'unwritten' rules governing all types of social intercourse. They are often too open, direct or personal in their interactions with others, and do not recognize the social constraints that would be apparent to other people in the same situation. In other cases their social naivetZĚŚ and lack of inhibition can lead them to tell tales or to say things that might hurt or embarrass other people. Such behaviour is rarely intentional or malicious, but occurs because the individual may not understand the social implications of his or her utterances. Similarly, adults with WS will not hesitate to try and gain other peoples' attention with comments and questions, or to reprimand others. Consequently they may give the impression of being rude, bossy or attention seeking, which again may antagonize others if they are not fore-warned.



Generally I get asked if I'm stoned or something like this, when I'm only trying to be myself. And if I tell people about my Williams (like my heart conditions and other obvious elfish features, including psychological), it doesn't matter how much truth or scientific backing or reading I bring to the table. Given the linguistic problematic of Williams, everyone just gets frustrated since there is the unfortunate problem that if you self-diagnose, and talk about it, you have to present symptoms/evidence/whatever-makes-you-think-you're-X in a sequential fashion.

I'm learning that this hypermetropolitan-supraurban lifestyle is too fast-paced for a conversational exchange where Demonstration is feasible in conversation. It's like presenting evidence has been restricted to purely scientific settings. It's unfortunate.

jrochkind1 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Okay, how do you do what he's saying _without_ being the guy who bitches about everything and is all up in everyone's business thinking he knows better than everyone how to do their jobs?
fallous 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems to me this suffers from the lack of defining "lie", be it of omission, commission, or in the case of simply remaining silent whether one has committed any act at all.

If I say "the product is GREAT!" when I believe it to be otherwise, then I'm very obviously lying by commission and that's obviously not a good thing. I do however often cause social consternation when I don't engage in the usual "white lie" that is generally accepted as "correct" for many people. "Do these pants make me look fat?" asked by wife elicits a truthful answer, which she's used to but many who witness the exchange are not.

A lie of omission would be something on the order of "is the product ready for market?" with a response of "we've done focus groups and the response was positive" leaving out some useful information like "positive by +.1%", which would be a valuable piece of information to have for the questioner but one in which the respondent does not want to provide since it would probably negate the response.

Remaining silent seems to me often to be none of the above. CEO declares a new initiative, I may at first blush disagree but lacking any real information or thought-out objection, and also understanding that he may have more information than I and certainly a different set of responsibilities, I remain silent rather than blurt out an objection with no real argument with which to back it up. My silence in this instance is neither an endorsement nor an objection.

straws 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Well, this thread is a new low.
jmole 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Wish I'd seen this a bit earlier. I read a great article today from Leo Babauta from Zen Habits on essentially the same topic.

Set a value system, and stick to it. That's exactly what this author is encouraging. I think it's unfortunate that the context the author chose to illustrate the point is distracting to many, but it doesn't change the validity of his message.

Check out the article from Leo here at Zen Habits: http://zenhabits.net/12rules/

noja 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Isn't the idea of "coming out" a bit old fashioned now?

(Straight people don't "come out")

unquietcode 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been reading HN for half a year without ever bothering to login, but this post was so inspiring for me that I had to chime in and say 'thanks'. Never compromise. This is just what I needed.

As well, I really like the muscle metaphor. :)

Doom3 Gangnam Style in WebGL playcanvas.com
216 points by robhawkes  13 hours ago   42 comments top 21
macavity23 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Not only a great idea but also free load testing for the playcanvas.com guys. Their appserver appears to have melted: the CTO's hands are currently a blur on his keyboard!
kjackson2012 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I was ready to declare the whole Gangnam Style thing dead-and-buried, but this still made me chuckle. Very nice work!
CJefferson 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Ah, I came to make a comment about needing 'in WebGL' adding to the title, and I see it is already there!

Little comment: If like me you try to click on anything in chrome, you will get a message about the page wanting to disable your mouse cursor. I thought that sounded dodgy, but agree. It just means let the app take control of the cursor, so you can use it for changing viewpoint.

kjhughes 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You realize that you just have to provide a chain gun now, right?
base698 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Works on Android for me which is even more impressive.
lexy0202 12 hours ago 1 reply      
And suddenly the true purpose of WebGL became clear..

This is pretty awesome, would be better if it was in sync with the music though? It gets out after a bit.

wheaties 11 hours ago 0 replies      
How do you shoot? I want to blow these guys up. Hysterical.
Fletch137 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Very interesting, and very well done.

I also cannot adequately express my thanks for putting a mute button on there.

gojomo 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Very nice! (Is there a way to rotate rather than just strafe-move?)

Now if there were a game that reproduced the scenes and people (including Psy) in the actual video -- and let you blow them all to pieces, stopping the music each time a scene is cleared -- that might get another billion plays!

danvideo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Very creative and entertaining. I can't stop watching the middle monster.

Something I didn't realize at first was the ability to use the movement keys - seeing different angles is pretty cool. As another comment mentioned, the sync could definitely be tighter, but otherwise well done.

Tyrannosaurs 11 hours ago 0 replies      
That is just wrong on every level. Utterly brilliant but wrong.
mcpoulet 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Last august there was this other WebGL animation with Doom 3 characters : http://alteredqualia.com/three/examples/webgl_animation_skin...
egb 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Well dang, crashed my firefox after loading about 1/3 :-\

Chrome is fine, but firefox is where I keep a bazillion pages open

ph0rcyas 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This is just great. Enjoyed it - posted it on fb and ready to watch it again - then the server is apparently overloading. Wonder what the traffic is like.
gingerbreadman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is neat! Had to show it to a couple of other people around me, sucks to explain who the characters are though to non-gamers :).
drazion 12 hours ago 0 replies      
that's a silly, yet creative, take on using WebGL - bravo
agildehaus 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Ah, technology.
arikrak 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Warning: May freeze your browser.
dexter313 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Shadows are kinda blocky. And some weapons would be nice.
xyproto 12 hours ago 0 replies      
That's amazing.
mnml_ 10 hours ago 0 replies      
gangnam style overdose
Another awesome US immigration experience seldo.tumblr.com
202 points by nphase  3 days ago   233 comments top 36
jacquesm 2 days ago 12 replies      
As long as you feel the benefits outweigh the downsides the only person you can complain to is yourself. You're still going there aren't you?

I've had an episode quite comparable to this one and it was the last time I visited the US. I don't bitch about it, I don't begrudge the border guards their jobs or attitude (I assume they get a lot of shit heaped on them every day, not an excuse for a non-professional attitude but I'm sure that it eventually wears you down). I simply took my few-hundred-K per year benefit for the US elsewhere, their loss.

Don't like US immigration? Good, don't emigrate to the US. Once enough people do this that it starts to affect the US GDP I'm sure there will be some change. As long as everybody accepts it this will continue or it will even get worse.

I had a pretty lucrative offer about two years ago to become involved in a company. The catch: the work had to be done in the United States. No thanks... But call me when the TSA is abandoned and the border guards are no longer treating immigrants like shit. You know, the way it used to be before everybody went crazy.

And on an off-topic and non-related note, additional conditions would be that Guantanamo is closed, the US ceases its drone program and the CIA gets thoroughly reamed for their 'renditions' program, including full exposure of all parties that were involved domestically and abroad.

Until then the US will have to do without me, I'm quite sure they don't care one bit.

zee007 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had many similar run-ins with immigration when I worked for Microsoft in the Redmond area (brown guy with a beard, likes to travel the world [sometimes taking trips as short as one weekend]). I've missed more than my share of flights (at one time my name was in the do-not-fly list because it partially matched the name of someone they wanted).

Final straw came when one time I was returning from an international trip with my x-wife and kids when the immigration officer decided she didn't qualify to accompany me (we were married at the time).

"No big deal, she'll just fly back to Canada" (we're Canadians).
We were told she couldn't do that, she had to be deported to the country she came from.
"But sir, we just had a single entry visa and cannot re-enter".
"That's not my problem, the law is the law. You need to be deported back to countryX".
"But sir, we have no ties to countryX. We dont have visa to countryX. We have a Canadian passport, if you dont want to admit us then let us just turn around and go to Canada".
"Oh y'all can come in, but she can't".

So I ask for a supervisor and he refused (I later learned he wasn't allowed to do that). Had us sit there for many hours with cranky kids after a transatlantic flight and then said:

"You can take her now (take her??) but I'll hold on to her passport. She can come before the judge in 30 days with the document and collect her passport or she'll be deported to countryX".

I had to unnecessarily waste time and money hiring a lawyer to figure out what the heck went wrong. She showed up 30 days later with our lawyer and the judge couldn't figure out why she was there. Gave us the passport. My x-wife dropped me home, told me to pack up and drove up to Toronto the same day. Even though I was about to get my green card (everything including labour cert was done) I told my employer to halt the process and moved back. For next few years I continued to work for US companies but remotely from Canada and pulled in close to $1 million in salary and stocks over the years that IRS wasn't able to tax at all. Canadian economy (not the American economy) benefited from my well over average spending over these years.

I can wrap my mind around "your name is similar to xyz we are looking for [even though xyz was a different ethnicity with a different age, height and everything]. But for me this made me realize how vulnerable non-citizens are when it comes to US immigration and border patrol. To this day I have no idea what ticked that guy off to single us out like that but I decided I did not want to live in a country where I had such little rights. I am well educated, make a lot of charitable contributions and spend a lot of time volunteering in the local community. Everything the US used to benefit from but now Canada does.

DrSbaitso 2 days ago 7 replies      
I'm a Canadian citizen and get this type of treatment all the time. Every time I enter the US, which is about once a month or so, they send me to a back room for secondary screening. The reason? Their system thinks I overstayed my visa once back in 1995. What actually happened was my family took a road trip to New England, and nobody bothered to check our passports on the way out, so there was no departure record.

So for the last 18 years, they've sent me back for questioning every single time, wasting countless hours of both my time and their time. They always ask me if I worked illegally in the States in 1995 and I just tell them, "No, I was nine years old." When I ask them if they can remove the flag on my account, they say it's impossible because only the government department that created the flag can remove it, and that department no longer exists.

rdl 2 days ago 2 replies      
I hate how hostile and incompetent the US immigration process seems to be for foreigners. It's sad to go by an embassy basically anywhere in the world, see the fortress that is the US embassy, and the huge lines and amount of documentation needed for people to get US visas. Even worse is the non-deterministic hell on actual arrival.

I'm glad I've never had immigration or customs problems anywhere, despite going to some really sketchy places (flying into Iraq as a civilian at the civilian airport with no visa a few times after the invasion...) or otherwise bending the rules ($200k in computers, including 6 big 21" CRTs, on my way to set up an office in Anguilla...).

Permit 2 days ago 3 replies      
>They keep taking breaks to crack off-color jokes about each other's sex lives, and moan about how hard they're having to work tonight.

The jokes might be uncalled for, but you just told us they were under-staffed and had hundreds of extra people to process. I can see why they'd be upset. Especially when absolutely zero of the hundreds of people they talk to in a day are happy to see them.

I get the impression you've never worked in the service industry or in retail. The immense fuckup that is United States immigration is not the fault of its lowest level employees.

blago 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am a US citizen and I had a similar experience. About a year ago I spent a few months in Asia while working remotely for my US employer. Reentering the states (after an almost 24 hour trip), the border agent really didn't like the fact and went out of his way to find a hole in my "story" - "So you did work in Asia?", "But your company did not send you there?" This dragged on for a while.

This was the climax of the confrontation:

- "Have you been in trouble with law enforcement before?"

- "No, but you make it sound like I am now. Am I?"

- "We'll see"

- "I am a law abiding citizen and I've been giving honest answers to all of you questions. What can I possibly be afraid of?"

Ever since, I DREAD reentering the states. I have dual citizenship, work flexibility, and friends and family all over the place. I find myself spending less and less time in the US.

iloveponies 2 days ago 1 reply      
So I've experienced something similar minus the overcrowded room with British immigration. I watched the immigration official turn from apathy the moment I handed my passport over into passive agression with loaded questions ("When was the last time you were deported?" answer: "never") into apologies ("Sorry for making you wait sir there clearly has been a misunderstanding") to vague answers to the question of future prevention.

After being told "and there's nothing you can do to stop this happening again", I tell every British immigration official I stand before briefly what happens every time I want to come back here and they're usually understanding about it all.

jfb 2 days ago 4 replies      
I like particularly the sneering attitude of superiority towards the initial immigration officer in this article. I'm no apologist for the US immigration system (Canada's, on the other hand, I have nothing but good words for), but Jesus creeping Christ, having to deal with that sort of entitled horseshit ten hours a day would turn the Buddha into Dick Cheney.
ajg1977 2 days ago 1 reply      
Pointless, wasteful bureaucracy

I think few people would consider border controls to be any of these things.

You were flagged somehow and that sucks, but if you don't like the immigration procedures of the US you are free to either a) live elsewhere or b) try to take action to change it (we are a democracy after all). On the other hand, venting on a blog isn't going to do anything but irk people who wish they were fortunate enough to hold a US green card, or come back to haunt you if this happens again and some cranky overworked agent google's you.

FWIW I'm a former, now naturalized, US green card holder and this happened to me twice in six years. It sucks, but I considered it a very small price to pay for being able to freely travel and work (or not work!) in this country.

photorized 2 days ago 1 reply      
As someone who went though lengthy (10+ years) immigration process, from student visa to work visa to Green Card to Citizenship, with extensive travel in between - there is nothing particularly unreasonable about the experience described. OK, so he was delayed for a few hours, due to some error or inconsistency in the USCIS database... There's no reason to freak out.

And the condescending remarks about the officer not knowing the difference between "web developer" and "software developer" were unnecessary.

ryan 2 days ago 4 replies      
If you have a green card you can avoid this by signing up for Global Entry[1]. Then you can avoid customs lines and just swipe your card at the kiosk - enter the country without ever talking to anyone. As an extra benefit the kiosk is always empty so you are through in minutes... hmm maybe I shouldn't be spreading the word about this :)

[1] http://www.globalentry.gov/

madaxe 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a simple solution for not dealing with US immigration's bullshit. Too many trips marred by days spent in featureless rooms waiting for Godot, a full-time employee of your border agency.

Anyway - simple solution - don't go to America. Don't work with Americans.

Europe and Asia are big markets.

ta201301 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is precisely the sort of nonsense that made me decide to leave my job a few years ago. I used to work for <household name Internet technology company>. After some re-structuring I would have had to travel to the US a lot more often, or possibly even move to the US. For me it wasn't really worth it. The dehumanizing experience of subjecting myself to dangerously stupid, underpaid, over-empowered, assholes on a bi-weekly basis made the decision easy.

While I do love California, and the Bay Area in particular, it is still inside the US. And I do not enjoy travelling to the US. To get to the US you have to go through the twilight zone that is immigration and customs. Not to mention the TSA.

I can remember travelling to germany as a kid during the Baader-Meinhof terrorist era. I can remember that I felt it was somewhat unpleasant being pointed at by germans with sub-machine guns. But you know what: they were not even half as frightening as the sort of personel you encounter when travelling to, from or within the US. Because with the germans you at least have the sense that the people holding the gungs are not the lowest life-forms of their society.

But I am not complaining. Taking this choice meant that I had to figure out what to do. And now, some years later, over 100 people have jobs because I don't want to travel to the US ever again.

rajeshd 2 days ago 1 reply      
His experience doesn't seem all that bad. It looks like they were merely doing their jobs trying to ascertain that they aren't making a mistake letting him in. If the immigration officer isn't sure of something (either because of an unclear answer to a question or a nervous vibe), it's not abnormal for him/her to ask for a more thorough check of the person. I wouldn't expect them to clear everyone with a quick, cursory glance of a passport or a green card.

I sympathize with him, but it doesn't look like his rights were violated in anyway.

Mvandenbergh 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is nothing unique to the US about this in my experience. There is literally one part of the government that deals (by definition) with people who cannot vote and do not have elected representatives.

If you want to know what it's like dealing with government agents in highly undemocratic countries, it's precisely this. Except it's every day and it's in your own country.

dkokelley 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would not want to be a non-citizen in America. I love my country, but I agree with the general sentiment that we have things very wrong when it comes to treatment of non-citizens. I believe that much of it stems from fears about 9/11. The Bill of Rights does lots to protect US citizens from an agressive/repressive government. The spirit of the law is that there are basic human rights that the government can't remove without due process. Unfortunately those "human" rights in practice only barely apply to US citizens.
smsm42 2 days ago 1 reply      
Let's look at the incentives. The picture here is not pretty. There's a big incentive to squeeze budgets, of course, anybody who watches US politics knows you can't just get any money you want, especially when there's 2 dozen another 3-letter agencies competing for the same. There's some incentive to serve citizens better - since once in the country, the citizen can call his congressmen or his local paper and raise hell if he was mistreated, and if bureaucratic middle-management hates something it is being featured in bad press and asked unpleasant question by his superiors. But when it comes to visitors, there's pretty much zero incentive to treat them better. I'm not saying that immediately leads to bad treatment - I am a non-citizen, I crossed US border more than a dozen times last few years and always was treated with courtesy and respect, which I assign to the good nature of the people that worked there. But there always are bad apples, and there's very little that can keep those in check. If the immigration officer mistakenly denies entry or costs a person 5 hours of their life, there are no consequences, ever. So these things are bound to happen, unless some kind of incentive to become better will be found.
flavmartins 2 days ago 0 replies      
I completely agree with your feelings here. I, too, am a permanent resident with a green card. I live in fear of immigration deciding that "something isn't in order" and then my life is completely upside down. I've grown up in the US, my wife is a US citizen, my kids are all US citizens, yet dad always has that crazy worry in the back of his mind.

AND...for those of you who brush this off. Please contact my wife and ask her feelings about immigration. When I was going through my green card process she just about went nuts at the immigration office and destroyed a few of the workers. Eventually she had to stop coming to the appointments and just wished me luck. She is more frustrated with the process than I am.

The problem is that we're talking about immigrants here. No one is going to stand up for them. Citizens never have to deal with the these issues, and most immigrants, once they've gone through the process, never want to look back on it again, let alone try to fight it.

trimbo 2 days ago 0 replies      
This story is true the world over. A friend got deported from India the other day for a mistake they (as in the Indian government) made on his visa.
surfmike 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's embarrassing how poorly people are treated when entering the US. We should put pressure on the government to improve that, but also pragmatically if we want to keep attracting talented people from around the world we really need to change this.

For the time being, I'd highly recommend to the poster to enter into Global Entry (people with PR are eligible: http://www.globalentry.gov/eligibility.html)

alexkus 2 days ago 0 replies      
My first two attempts at entry to the US on my H1-B were simple, maybe one question and in I go. It was the third entry that they asked more questions and asked to see more paperwork (which I did have with me).

I guess it's to catch people who obtain visa/green-cards and then pass them off to others or their situation changes (and they no longer qualify for the visa). I'd also guess that frequent visitors to the US go through at least one of these increased scrutiny experiences every few years. I don't think it's unreasonable given the amount of problems they have with people trying to sneak into the country; I know that I don't have a right to be there so I expect some hassle.

The only other problem I had was coming back into the US after I'd gone to Canada for a friend's wedding (all on a VWP); so UK->US, then two weeks later US->Canada->US, and I wasn't due to fly back to the UK for another 2 weeks or so. I was nowhere near the 90 days of my original VWP, but they might have thought I was taking a quick trip to Canada in order to reset my 90 days with a new VWP entry. It just took a few extra minutes explanation.

Other than that I've done lots of trips to the US (20 on the Visa Waiver Program, 5 with my H1-B and another 10 or so since I moved back to the UK) with no problems at all.

aneth4 2 days ago 1 reply      
Immigration processes millions of people each day. There are going to be mistakes.

This sounds like they got a false positive, investigated, and released him. That's how the process is supposed to work. Making this into some massive anti-American rant says more about the author than America. This experience sounds unpleasant, but like it was handled professionally.

I've spent an hour being searched by customs. I don't know why - perhaps because I was returning from India and hadn't shaved in a month. It was inconvenient, but also the job of customs. This did not bother me.

I fly domestically and internationally at least 20 times a year. I get caught up briefly in all sorts of different ways all over the world. It's part of travel, and it's really not that bad. This is how nations protect their borders and enforce their laws, because not everyone is a saint like you.

All you idiots saying you won't work in or travel to the US because of the TSA searches - give me a break. EVERY country in the world I have ever been to has nearly identical search procedures as the TSA and most countries have stringent immigration checks. Many asking far more probing questions than American immigration, including Netherlands, Israel, and Britain. I was nearly denied entry to Britain because I didn't know the address of a friend who I was staying with.

Sorry, I'm tired of all this false outrage about minor f-ups with the TSA and DHS. These organizations have some major policy and procedural problems, but a few hours one time while immigration officials do their job of making sure you don't have false documents is not among them. If you don't like it, go somewhere else where a $20 bribe instead of an objective investigation gets you admitted - which is most countries in the world.

cunac 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am Canadian citizen and for two years I was traveling every second week to US on TN visa. In all that time I got 1 "bad" experience from US side and 2 from Canadian side. (it wasn't that bad just longer questioning with 'trick' questions)
Question which confused me a most entering Canada was "How long you plan to stay ?" , WTF , I have Canadian passport ?
It took me a moment not to say "Not your damn business." and just play nice....
But in general crossing border is 99% no issue
codegeek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seems like you name might be similar to a name they had in their database who might have the criminal/arrest record. These are false hits and irritating but once the verify, they let you go. Hope they correct it soon for you.

Also, sometimes they randomly (not sure how random though) select individuals for what they call "secondary inspection". Here, you are just asked "extra" questions to ensure you are not a threat. I was pulled over once and the guy had a great time asking me all kinds of questions.

tlear 2 days ago 0 replies      
Was coming back from NYC (vacation over Christmas) and got the typical BS bully treatment by the security guy, I made a decision there, I will not go on vacation to US ever again.
tinbad 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a non-US citizen, I've had similar experiences where I was taken apart and asked some more questions by border patrol. However none of those experiences, although very similar to yours, came over as unnecessary harassment. I don't quiet understand why you would be 'terrified' crossing the border if you have all your shit together, which it seems you have.

The people "whose educational attainments have qualified them to sit behind a desk stamping passports" were simply doing their job and from what you described they did it without causing more inconvenience for you than necessary.

Like some others commented, if you don't like to abide by the rules of your new country of residence, nobody is forcing you to be there. Oh, and downplaying other people's intellectual abilities does come across quiet snobbish :)

gadders 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know everyone hates on the US Immigration people, but as a fairly regular traveller to the US (normally at least twice a year, mixture of business and pleasure), I've never had a bad experience. The guards I've dealt with have never been less than professional, and some have gone out of their way to make smalltalk ("You have nice handwriting" (?), "Your birthday is the same as mine.") etc.

I even got let back through immigration from baggage control as I had a bad stomach and really badly needed to use the toilet, No guns were drawn on me.

Of course, it probably helps that I'm white and British, but I thought I would offer up at least one counterpoint.

_pferreir_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know what you mean. The bureaucratic establishment allows people in low ranking public jobs to have a disproportionate amount of power over pretty much anyone.

9/11 seems to have made things worse for pretty much everyone. Governments went paranoid and chose the easy way: delegating extra authority on people that were not prepared to exert it.

But border guards tend to be dumb and/or rude pretty much everywhere, so, don't take it too seriously.

donohoe 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is why I choose citizenship.

I have kids so I cannot risk some guy having a bad day at the border ruining my life.

zobzu 2 days ago 1 reply      
I entered quite a few times under visa so far and my experience has been more than fine (in fact, it's even been pleasant). Hopefully, it'll never get to what you've had.

It happened a couple of times that the officer wasn't sure if I was doing what I said I was, for whatever reason, and they generally just asked a follow up question like "do you have an access card for this company and can I see it?" which resolved the matter every time. Didn't realize it was so close to "wait in the horror room for hours".

stickdick 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's somebody on the US no-fly list that has the exact same name as me. I can't check-in online with any airline, and checking in at the desk anywhere in the US results in some sort of warning on their computer, and a quick call to somebody to come out from the back and check it out. Unfortunately I have to fly at least once a month.

A quick look over the passport shows it's obviously not me (though I don't have any details of the real bad guy). Must happen to quite a few because I have a fairly bland, common British name.

rjzzleep 2 days ago 1 reply      
welcome to how germany treats their own citizen
y1426i 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is not an immigration issue. There is no place for common sense in government matters. Some day computers will take over the decision making and we will have a joyous experience coming in or happily avoid this country because the decision will be known.
nottrobin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks so much for sharing this.

I think treatment of immigrants by border controls is shocking, and the biggest problem is how little attention / voice the problem gets.

Please continue to write about your experiences.

thawt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't seen anyone say it, but I can tell you that the experience of entering the US as a US citizen is only marginally better.

Leaving/entering the US is something I avoid at all costs. Sad but true.

tmktmk 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is the biggest non-problem ever:

1) Did the author get in? Yes

2) Did customs do their job and scrutinize the person's paperwork? Yes

3) Was the person held for an inordinately long time? No -- 3 hours is not a "long time." If you can't deal with the fact that you just flew (potentially) halfway across the world in an airplane

4) Was the author unduly molested or given harsh treatment, perhaps by being denied food, water, medication, or otherwise harassed? No -- the author points out that there was a water fountain and snack machines, and the author was not strip searched, nor was he otherwise harassed/degraded. Sitting in a waiting room while your paperwork clears is "not a big deal."

Please stop blowing things out of proportion, and criticizing the US for no reason. I've immigrated to and lived in 3 different countries, and BY FAR the procedure described here is not difficult or tedious. If you can't deal with a a 3 hour wait, how can you deal with anything? Patience is a virtue.

BTW -- I was a paying awe.sm customer -- I just cancelled my account due to this overblown blog posting. Enjoy.

Amazon's top selling laptop doesn't run Windows or Mac OS, it runs Linux zdnet.com
195 points by iProject  2 days ago   160 comments top 20
cooldeal 2 days ago 17 replies      
Funny to see something even more locked down than Windows being cheered by the Linux crowd. There are no native apps,you need a Google account to access it(don't know what happens if your Google account happens to get disabled for whatever reason). Google neither releases the source for it's online offerings, not is it very useful even if they do.

The kicker is that the 100GB free storage on Google's cloud is only free for 2 years, after which you have to pay for it.

How is any of this better for consumer freedom than just Windows 7? The answer is not "because it has a developer switch on the back to install Ubuntu"; you can do that on a Windows PC as well. And an overwhelming percentage of normal consumers buying it won't be installing Ubuntu on it. In fact, I suspect that this kind of device that is absolutely at the mercy of a corporation is much closer to RMS dystopian vision than any Windows PC.

Would it make any difference to the user or even developers if it ran GoOS as the kernel instead of Linux? This is pretty much like a Tivo or a router.

MattRogish 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have the first CR-48 Chromebook that Google sent out a few years ago. The first iterations of Chrome OS were a disaster. It was basically a full-screen version of Chrome browser behind a login window. Ugh.

However, for kicks and grins I pulled out the CR-48 a little while ago and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to update to the latest version and - gasp - it was actually quite usable!

I have been using it on and off ever since (it sits in our conference room as a general note-taking and projector device) and I must say - there's absolutely something to this thing. The battery life is great (like 9 hours), screen is OK, keyboard is nice. Trackpad is still miserable.

For the most part my non-professional-work-life lives in a Chrome window anyway (gmail, google docs). If it had a decent text editor (I guess there's a SSH app you can get) I could see it working pretty well as a web development machine.

But for the proverbial "Aunt Tillie", this would be not a terrible device if the iPad was a little too simple. Auto-updates, Chrome syncing, Google docs? Pretty compelling.

jamesaguilar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ah, let's remember one thing real quick. When people talk about macbooks being the best selling laptop line by a large margin, someone else always points out that that is because it represents the entire access to that ecosystem (i.e. the total sales are not split between brands).

In this case, you're also looking at a very cheap laptop in an OS where there are only two MODELS even on sale, one of which is older. It does not necessarily, or even probably, signal a sea change in the way people think about OSes.

RexRollman 2 days ago 0 replies      
The most interesting thing about ChromeOS (to me) is the way that it updates. My understanding is the ChromeOS has two root partitions and when it updates, it updates the one it is not currently booted from. After updating, it then boots from the newly updated root.

I haven't heard of this technique being used in any other Linux distribution and I think it is quite novel. Sure, it wastes some disk space, but that if fairly cheap these days.

Tloewald 2 days ago 2 replies      
Microsoft may not last as long as we (I) have always assumed â€" on the PC front at least it seems to be bad news and more bad news. Mobile sales already dwarf desktop, and installed base will soon follow. Even if MS is successful in mobile, there's far less fat to play with â€" it can't sustain licensing costs (netbooks already dinged it) either for OS or applications, and its network effect lockin is pretty much broken.

Interesting times.

eli 2 days ago 0 replies      
That seems misleading.

Sure, the ChromeBook is the best selling SKU, but wouldn't it make more sense to combine numbers for the 500GB MacBook Pro and the 750GB MacBook Pro?

drivebyacct2 2 days ago 6 replies      
Funny that Linux is everywhere in the form of Android and Chrome OS, but for all the efforts of Linux on the Desktop, it just isn't terribly successful. Is it a marketing thing? By all measures, Ubuntu (preinstalled) on a laptop is more functional than Chrome OS, or is the continuation of the dumbification of computing interfaces?
kurrent 2 days ago 1 reply      
"it runs Linux".....a specialized version of Gentoo to be exact.
tbirdz 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Do you spend 90% of your time working on the Web? Using software-as-a-service or Web apps most of the time?"

No and No. I guess chromebooks aren't for me.

so898 2 days ago 1 reply      
As the Windows Phone get the top selling smart phone in Amazon, I do not trust any list from Amazon anymore. I think they make these lists for some reasons.
smallegan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think return rate would be a very useful statistic for Amazon to give out. I love the Chrome OS but my guess is that many who buy these Chromebooks expect a full blown laptop and return them or sell them as soon as they realize it isn't. My local Best Buy has stopped carrying them for this reason.
nicholassmith 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is sort of like when netbooks took over a significant marketshare for a brief period. It's new, it's novel, more importantly it's cheap and that's a big motivator. When netbooks were selling like hotcakes a lot of them came with Linux distros pre-installed, so it's not like Linux doesn't get its moment in the sun every now and again.
shmerl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd prefer to see more high end laptops with normal Linux to be sold.
plg 2 days ago 0 replies      
The chromebook is not a general purpose computer, it is a google appliance. Like an iPod is not a computer, it's a music-playing appliance. Chromebook is not a computer, it's a gmail/google-docs/google-calendar appliance.
black4eternity 2 days ago 2 replies      
Most likely it is the 'not very tech savvy' crowd which is buying these laptops for themselves or others without realizing that it's not a fully functional Desktop OS.

I can imagine a loving grandparent buying this affordable "Laptop" for their grand kids thinking this suits my budget.
Or someone thinking sure this thing is like the one I have back at home.

zura 2 days ago 0 replies      
And the second top runs FreeDOS? I don't think that's relevant in the scope this article emphasizes.
chrisringrose 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's misleading to make it sound like this is somehow a victory for Linux.

This is a win for web apps. This is proof that traditional desktop apps are dying.

k_bx 2 days ago 1 reply      
Skype. The only missing thing is skype.
arindone 1 day ago 0 replies      
For Mac OS sales in-store will always trump sales out-of-store; the Mac buying experience is quintessential for the average consumer. This comparing Linux Chromebook purchases on Amazon with Mac OS is irrelevant to me.

I will say the comparison to Windows-based computers is a bit surprising however. Still, the type of person who buys a computer on Amazon is more tech-savvy anyway and would prefer a Linux-based OS as compared to the other two.

tuananh 2 days ago 2 replies      
Apple sells Macbook via Apple Store. The title is misleading.
How Tide Detergent Became a Drug Currency nymag.com
194 points by atestu  2 days ago   124 comments top 30
nikcub 1 day ago 0 replies      
I grew up in a suburb in Australia that bordered a bad area where crime and drug dealing were rife, and I went to school with a lot of people from that area.

The network seemed to always have one product or another that was used as an informal currency. For years it was the Energizer brand AA battery, then it became prepaid cell phone minutes after one provider allowed users to send credit to each other (this was shutdown).

At one period it was Gillette Mach 3 razors, but then stores started putting them behind the counter so it didn't last long. Cigarettes were always a quasi-currency, I remember the value going from 20c to 50c, and cigarettes being exchanged for everything (and some smaller stores selling or buying them individually).

After I left the school I heard that the market had reverted back to batteries (there was always a battery market, I don't think I ever purchased batteries from a store), after a very brief period where the most shoplifted items in the local supermarket were cuts of meat and meat trays[0].

What these items all have in common is that they can be shoplifted from large supermarkets easily, are portable, easy to store, have a long shelf life (well, not the meat) and are essential household purchases even in poor neighborhoods.

I find interesting that even if you aren't involved directly in the drug trading, you are taking part in the surrounding economy by purchasing or exchanging these goods. I never bought drugs but my friends and I were always buying and trading these goods. I assumed that they would always end up back with the drug dealers somehow, who would find a way to convert them back to cash.

[0] Apparently this is an issue again in Australia - "GROCERY prices are rising because organised crime gangs are stealing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of meat" - http://www.news.com.au/national/organised-gangs-targets-meat...

Edit: an interesting related article from Forbes that came up in my Google search - "Why do people steal meat from grocery stores?", goes into the economics and details of shoplifting and is US-centric: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larissafaw/2012/12/24/why-do-peo...

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 8 replies      
Tide as a poor man's bitcoin.

TL;DR version - Laundry Detergent is pretty fungible, everyone needs it, and its difficult to trace, unscrupulous retailers will buy stolen tide for cash.

This situation provides crooks with a couple of benefits, one they can separate the money trail for selling drugs, after all who thinks this looks like a drug buy:

   Alice goes to grocery gets laundry detergent;
Bob sells stolen detergent to a grocery for cash.

No way to connect Bob and Alice until you add:

   Alice goes to grocery gets laundry detergent;
Alice gives Detergent to Bob for drugs.
Bob sells stolen detergent to a grocery for cash.

Now you can connect them and see the drug deal. Hard to get a warrant to search Bob's car for laundry detergent.

Cogito 2 days ago 1 reply      
The primary reason for using detergent as a currency, beyond the fact that the market for stolen Tide is so strong, is that shoplifting carries a far lower penalty than robbery or burglary -theft-.

If they were robbing the stores at knife point, or breaking and entering, the risk is significantly higher. This way they have a low risk, easy to turn over, virtually untraceable scheme, and that is obviously a very attractive thing.

djt 2 days ago 1 reply      
A similar story:
I read years ago that there was a gang of people that would steal laptops at airports when businessmen were tired and unattentive.
The reason they gave was that it was easy to move them (this was 10 years ago so a Macbook Pro was about $5k) and if they got caught they could pretend they accidently picked it up instead of their own bag. If they got caught it was very unlikely to be prosecuted.

The robbers said that compared to robbing a convenience store etc it made as much cash but the risk was extremely low.

alaithea 1 day ago 0 replies      
I saw one of these transactions go down a month or so ago in my town (a DC suburb). A somewhat ragged looking woman was lugging a large bottle of tide down the street. Another person waved at her and they approached each other in the middle of a crosswalk. They haggled for a brief moment, the Tide changed hands, and they went on their respective ways. My husband and I were totally confused as to what we'd just seen. Now we know!
trevin 1 day ago 2 replies      
After reading through this a second time, I'm convinced it's an elaborate press release. Way too much of the article is devoted to the benefits of Tide and why people are so brand loyal.

Also, many of the quotes and details given appear to be pretty tongue-in-cheek.

norswap 2 days ago 1 reply      
tl;dr: Thieves and crackheads are using Tide bottles as currency, because those are getting bought by some stores under their market value in order to turn a bigger profit.
chrisballinger 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm surprised no one has made a money laundering joke yet.
eric_h 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have been curious, since I moved to the LES in NYC a year and a half ago, why the Duane Reade near me had security dongles with metal cables attached to the handles of Tide and other premium detergent and on nothing else in the store. Now I know.

[edit] this comment's reference: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5024191 suggests that my local Duane Reade may have simply fallen victim to paranoia induced by a viral and perhaps inaccurate news article. I'm inclined to investigate further.

[edit again] the end of the article mentions another Duane Reade in NYC that had someone steal a great deal of Tide detergent. I now wonder if there is, in fact, a black market for tide, or if this thief fell victim to viral misinformation, causing Duane Reade (equipped with the same misinformation) to also over-respond.

monochromatic 2 days ago 1 reply      
What a strange article. Almost feels like an April Fools Day joke.
bulletsvshumans 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is listed as 'undetermined' on Snopes, for what it's worth. http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/tide.asp
montecarl 2 days ago 2 replies      
This article makes Tide almost sound like its worth the extremely high cost. I buy store brand everything for the most part. Am I missing out?
justx1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stolen bicycles are another example of a drug currency:

Interesting read about the "Economic Theory of Bike Crime": "...Using this risk-return framework for crime, it begins to be clear why there is so much bike theft. For all practical purposes, stealing a bike is risk-free crime. It turns out there is a near zero chance you will be caught stealing a bike (see here) and if you are, the consequences are minimal. "

rickyconnolly 2 days ago 4 replies      
But I still don't get it. Why Tide in particular? Why not any other high-price bulk retail product? Why not gourmet coffee grounds, for instance?
kleiba 1 day ago 4 replies      
[...] the average U.S. consumer buys 68 pieces of clothing a year [...]

I'm speechless. Can that figure be true?

brokentone 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whether this story is fully accurate or somewhat sensationalized, it seems as if the market accepts it. I was in a Duane Reade (convenience store/pharmacy, think CVS or Walgreens) recently in the LES, NYC and I was trying to figure out why they had alarm tags on most of the bottles of Tide, but none of the other brands that had similar value and value density. This explains a lot.
onethree 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used to work in a supermarket in Australia, and we had a very similar problem. We'd lose $10,000 a month in Olay products, virtually all of which would end up at the local markets. It's not as uncommon as you might think
smoyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Perhaps the thieves are hoping for a clean get-away?

(Sorry ... someone had to do it)

bluedanieru 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh fucking great, so now we can have the DEA confiscate your car because you have some laundry detergent in the trunk.

The last half of the article detailing the "detective work" (read: harassing destitute drug addicts) made me sick.

GregBuchholz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bravo. Better than _The Suit is Back_ by a country mile. "If You're Watching, It's For You" (http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2008/08/if_youre_watching_its...).
elsurudo 1 day ago 1 reply      
The undercover cop selling the nail salon $1000-worth of stolen goods for $30, then busting them for a felony is a little harsh and dishonest. They relied on a trick, too (including expensive items, like quality headphones, with the Tide, ONLY to push the "retail cost" of the goods over the felony-minimum).
bane 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of a story I can't seem to google where a D.C. council woman was killed and robbed for her credit cards, which were used to rent a tanker truck and to buy thousands of gallons of gasoline, which (the plan was) was to be sold for cash back to another gas station (at a discount) in order to buy drugs.
dminor 2 days ago 3 replies      
Sounds way way less convenient than cash to me.
idunno246 2 days ago 1 reply      
I guess this is why safeway locks up the most ridiculous things. Like toothbrushes!
pixie_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this for real? Seriously this is the definition sensationalism.
marze 2 days ago 0 replies      
Of course it would come to this. People need to pay more attention.
speedyrev 1 day ago 0 replies      
A new take on Money Laundering? rimshot
frozenport 1 day ago 1 reply      
this speaks to effectiveness of traditional regulations on currency.
Favorite Unix Commands clippy.in
193 points by nickwoodhams  2 days ago   127 comments top 33
aidos 2 days ago 1 reply      
It took me a moment to figure out what was going on there (with the whole clippy thing). The bulk of this list is the top commands from commandlinefu which has been on HN before [0], [1].

You can even go meta and install a command to let you search commandlinefu [2].

[0] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=527486

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3843373

[2] http://samirahmed.github.com/fu/

jasonkostempski 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many years ago, before I ever used Linux in any serious fashion, I often used a password that ended with '!!'. One day I was playing around with setting up MySQL and was having a very hard time with something that seemed super simple. I don't remember exactly how I figured it out, I think I accidentally type my password at the wrong time in the command line and observed some odd behavior and, after hours, finally tracked it to the '!!' command. I decided to try a different root password for MySQL and it was smooth sailing from there. A few months later I was transferring a domain away from a small DNS hosting provider. After a week or so of waiting support told me they were having a hard time with my account and couldn't do what they needed to do to initiate the transfer. I don't have the support emails, must have been my old hotmail account, but something they said suggested they might be trying to run commands on my account with my password (I knew they stored it in plain text since it was in several emails from them and I knew they were Linux servers) and it reminded me about the '!!' issue I had with MySQL. I changed my password and they were able to move forward. I wish I had dug deeper into the issues at the time they occurred.
pajju 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check fasd, it will blow your mind, be prepared! :)
Fasd (pronounced similar to "fast") is a command-line productivity booster.

I've been using this for a while, and trust me, its changed my command line workflow, and I wish, this should come as inbuilt for all POSIX shells!

Here is how it works -

If you use your shell to navigate and launch applications, fasd can help you do it more efficiently. With fasd, you can open files regardless of which directory you are in. Just with a few key strings, fasd can find a "frecent" file or directory and open it with command you specify. Below are some hypothetical situations, where you can type in the command on the left and fasd will "expand" your command into the right side. Pretty magic, huh?

  v def conf       =>     vim /some/awkward/path/to/type/default.conf
j abc => cd /hell/of/a/awkward/path/to/get/to/abcdef
m movie => mplayer /whatever/whatever/whatever/awesome_movie.mp4
o eng paper => xdg-open /you/dont/remember/where/english_paper.pdf
vim `f rc lo` => vim /etc/rc.local
vim `f rc conf` => vim /etc/rc.conf

Fasd offers quick access to files and directories for POSIX shells. It is inspired by tools like autojump, z and v. Fasd keeps track of files and directories you have accessed, so that you can quickly reference them in the command line.

The name fasd comes from the default suggested aliases f(files), a(files/directories), s(show/search/select), d(directories).

Fasd ranks files and directories by "frecency," that is, by both "frequency" and "recency." The term "frecency" was first coined by Mozilla and used in Firefox.

Here is the Link -

robbles 2 days ago 0 replies      
Handy addition to the "mount | column -t" trick:

You can use this within Vim to pretty-format text tables, initialization of variables, etc. Just highlight the lines in question in visual line mode (V) and type

    !column -t<CR>

to pipe the lines through the column command.

jcampbell1 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have never understood the love for `sudo !!`. I think `ctrl+pa sudo ` is faster, explicit, and more versatile.
csmatt 2 days ago 2 replies      
I forgot about the DNS querying of wikipedia. Probably could've used that to entertain myself on my flights over the holidays since I'm pretty sure gogo inflight passes DNS through.

Anyway, I'm a big fan of piping things into xargs. xxd is a terminal-based hex editor. It can convert both to and from hex to binary. I also use 'pgrep -lf 'partial_program_name' a lot in place of 'ps aux | grep partial_program_name'. 'pkill -9 partial_program_name' searches for and kills all processes matching the string.

bcoates 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a fan of using cut or sed or awk and ending it with:

  | sort | uniq -c | sort -n -r | head

to get a nice top 10 whatevers in the whoosit

SkippyZA 2 days ago 6 replies      
Ctrl+l is my most used command. I need a clean terminal
q_revert 2 days ago 0 replies      
a few nice ones here too, http://www.pixelbeat.org/cmdline.html, http://www.pixelbeat.org/docs/linux_commands.html

always worth looking at these types of lists imo, whilst some of the commands mightn't really fit into your workflow or seem useful immediately, they're often exactly the snippets of information that can save hours at a later stage..

loudmax 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have this in my .bashrc:

function lc() { if [[ "$#" -gt 1 ]]; then for DIR in "$@"; do echo -n "$DIR - " ; ls -AU1 $DIR | wc -l ; done ; else ls -AU1 "$@" | wc -l ; fi; }

So, "lc /dir" will count the number of files in /dir and "lc /dir/*" will count the files in subdirectories of /dir. This is useful if you're working in an environment where you may have thousands of files in a directory, and a regular "ls -l" will lock your terminal while it eats your entire scrollback buffer.

ragmondo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the wikipedia DNS text lookup - I work in a "firewalled" environment where the unices are only allowed DNS queries. If only wikipedia could provide central switchboard numbers in their text fields as well ...
madao 1 day ago 1 reply      
Alt Sys Rq o - useful if you need to shut down a system and your kvm is not working.


DanBC 2 days ago 1 reply      
Single user mode on an HPUX machine was, I think, the most useful to me.


I wish I still had that machine, but I do not.

INTPenis 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of my favorite aliases that wasn't listed.

alias easy_search="curl -s http://pypi.python.org/simple/ | perl -ne 'print if s/<[^>]+>//g && $.>1'|grep"

tlarkworthy 2 days ago 3 replies      
grep -r . "some random debug message"
(searches for the passage recursively in all files from the directory it was executed, the main reason I like developing in linux more than windows)
carlesfe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's my list, a very compact plaintext file: http://mmb.pcb.ub.es/~carlesfe/unix/tricks.txt
nickwoodhams 2 days ago 9 replies      
Please comment if you have a favorite not on this list.
crazydiamond 1 day ago 0 replies      
On zsh, "print -rC2" for printing some listing in 2 column format. The number of columns (C) can be specified. (print is a builtin).

zsh's file globbing is awesome. Some simple ones:

    *(.)  - only files  
*(/) - only dirs
*(.m0) - files modified today
*(.om[1,15]) - 15 recently modified files

vog 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's a typo: The command is spelled "apropos" (not apropo).
fusiongyro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Remove trash Emacs leaves lying around:

$ find . -name \*~ -delete

drinchev 2 days ago 2 replies      
faucet 80 --in cat

This is useful for creating a connection for receiving the input of what you get...

e.g. running

faucet 80 --in cat

and later


will deliver to you console :

GET / HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: curl/7.21.4 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) libcurl/7.21.4 OpenSSL/0.9.8n zlib/1.2.5 libidn/1.19
Accept: /

gbog 1 day ago 0 replies      
esc-#, comments the current line

ctrl-\, kills current process even xtail

xtail, tails dirs

tweaks in .inputrc to have up and down arrow do backward history search, like in ipython.

dchichkov 2 days ago 1 reply      
mount -t overlayfs -o lowerdir=$HOME,upperdir=/tmp/tmpHOME overlayfs $HOME
overgun77 2 days ago 2 replies      
Not really a unix command, but a vi command that has been really useful, specially if you do lots of editing protected files and want to keep your custom vim configuration:

!sudo tee %

kungpoo 2 days ago 1 reply      
What a ridiculous fixed header. It's taking up 2/3 of my phone's screen.
amalakar 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find this site handy for clever commands:
glazskunrukitis 1 day ago 3 replies      
I like those un- commands for easier archive extracting, e.g.:

alias unbz2='tar xvjf'
alias untar='tar xvfz'

re_todd 2 days ago 0 replies      
alias cd5='pushd .; cd ../../../../..'

This lets me cd five directories at a time, and if I want to go back, I do a "popd"

donquix 2 days ago 3 replies      
sudo !!

Instant favorite

gailees 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think I might've just saved days of my life....thank you!
Zenst 1 day ago 0 replies      
in ksh set -o vi so I can use the vi editor to navigate the command line history.
t_lark 2 days ago 0 replies      
grep -r . "Some random debug msg"
A letter to my daughter, Augusta, in ruby jpfuentes2.tumblr.com
180 points by pacbard  1 day ago   58 comments top 26
sutro 1 day ago 4 replies      
I once wrote a letter to my son in C++.

We don't talk anymore.

shmerl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of this obfuscated C classic: http://www.ioccc.org/1990/westley.c

If you want to compile it, replace each "1s" with "is" in the code and compile for example like this:

gcc -Dis=1 westley.c -o westley

(or just put is=1; in the beginning with the same substitutions).

Normal compilers don't like 1s notation for short. Then run the result with some integer parameter ;)

minikomi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Nice! Reminds me of judofyr's "On Camping vs Sinatra"


emillon 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's cute, but most of the "magic" is hidden behind the require line. That's somewhat breaking the rules I think (compare that to Perl poetry such as the Black Perl).
gesman 1 day ago 2 replies      
Here's a bit shorter version of this amazing letter:

puts 'Augusta, we <3 you!'

smegel 1 day ago 2 replies      
That guy who said Javascript is the new Perl has been proven wrong.
liberatus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah but the maintenance overhead on such complexity...
Just wait till the teenage years!

Nah, given the design decisions inspiring this codebase, I don't have any reason to believe your daughter will have any challenge extending and reusing its functionality once she's grown up. ;-)

sethbannon 1 day ago 3 replies      
Code as poetry. Are there any other examples of this?
kachhalimbu 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm tempted to fork this, change name to my daughter's name and frame it or make a Tee. Not sure if the author would think of it as disrespectful.
Shank 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really love how the second to last line rhymes in such a way that, when read with the semicolon out loud, produces a neat sound to it.

"Until infinity ends do; Forever end."

EGreg 1 day ago 0 replies      
The thing is, these things are supposed to be personal. But someone can fork it.
phodo 1 day ago 0 replies      
LoL (Lines of Love) is inversely proportional to LoC
mattyod 1 day ago 0 replies      
A little more flippant but I wrote this version of Goldilocks in JavaScript a little while back: https://gist.github.com/3755270
cupcake-unicorn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Blah, this is not a good way to get back into Ruby. I get that most of it is just fluff, but can anyone break it down a little? Really stretching the syntax.
tzaman 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the most emotional script ever I have ever seen :)
Skoofoo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very touching :)
xyproto 1 day ago 1 reply      
16 months before finding time for programming again. Sounds about right.
yeison 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had to upgrade to ruby 1.9 in order to run it. Very beautiful, btw.
kelvin0 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wow it never ceases to amaze me the things that headline in HN.
As much as I understand the love for one's child(ren), I am a bit disappointed to go on a site called 'Hacker News' to see this type of irrelevant posting.
so898 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems like the daughter will become a programmer.
haven 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love it! <3
nicholasspencer 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is great! Proof that code is art.
powerfulninja 1 day ago 0 replies      
knwang 1 day ago 0 replies      
3pt14159 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't be a dick.
ragsagar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Battlecode: MIT's longest-running hardcore programming competition cory.li
177 points by Cixelyn  2 days ago   46 comments top 16
aaroniba 2 days ago 3 replies      
BattleCode was the best thing I did while at MIT, and one of the most unique and rewarding experiences of my life.

The way David and I were able to win it in 2003: at that time, robot positions were stored as two doubles (x,y). You could move yourself by a precise amount or read the precise x,y position of another robot, each in only 1 bytecode. So instead of using broadcastMessage(String), checking that no other team was trying to screw with our messages, all of which took lots of bytecodes to get right. Instead of that, our robots communicated through the low bits of double values in their positions. Kind of like bees dancing for each other. This gave us enough of an edge to beat out all the other players. This was 100% David Greenspan's idea, by the way. I just worked hard to help code it up.

MIT classes are supposedly a lot of hard work, but at that point I had never worked as hard on anything as I did on our BattleCode player.

sskates 2 days ago 0 replies      
I highly, highly recommend any current MIT undergrad who is serious about starting a company to compete to win in Battlecode during IAP. It's as close to starting a company as you can get.

Watching your bots win and lose while trying to prioritize fixes is exactly what prioritizing things in your startup is like, without all of the downsides of taking forever to get traction.

There's also a long legacy of alums going on to found successful YC startups (Dropbox and Etherpad being the best examples). You also get to say you've won MIT's biggest programming competition, which gives you a huge amount of credibility.

Also feel free to reach out to me if you're interested in starting a company/doing Battlecode and currently an undergrad at MIT! (My team won in 2009 and 2010 and I'd be happy to help.)

leelin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Now I feel old! I participated in the first two Battlecode's ever, but that was back when it was simply 6.370. The first year was a board game and we stared at ASCII graphics all IAP long. By my M.Eng year, Aaron Iba and co. turned everything around and kicked off the golden age of 6.370.

Amazingly, they still have the final prizes posted from 2002 and most years in between. Our team won the hilarious gag prize: "greatest design mismatch between document and code." First place that year was $500. Last year when I went, some of the gag prizes were $1000, including prizes like "last team to submit a jar before the submission deadline"


mindstab 2 days ago 1 reply      
Battlecode is actually also open to the public and the two years some friends and I did it (09 and 10 I believe) we came in #1 and #2 outside of the MIT teams (since we didn't have it as a class and it was only free time it was a bit harder to compete) but I agree with all the points, it was a great experience and I encourage everyone to give it a go at least once!
barbs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ah man... I'd love to see a documentary on this, in the style of Wordplay or Spellbound.

Meanwhile, here are some programming battle games you can play at home!

Core War (Redcode, assembly dialect): http://www.corewar.info/

Robocode (Java/.NET): http://robocode.sourceforge.net/

Scalatron(Scala): http://programminggames.org/Scalatron.ashx

BitBath (Java): http://bitbath.org/

mpapi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Battlecode (RoboCraft!) taught me a whole lot about the sorts of tradeoffs you have to make as an engineer in the real world in a way that nothing else at MIT really did. It definitely put freshman-year me in my place, too. Pretty sure it was my first MIT all-nighter.

It's an awesome experience for the directors as well, as the competition itself is basically a small startup. 3 or 5 students responsible for coming up with an idea (for that year's game objective), pitching to investors (sponsor companies), shipping a product (game engine + docs + online scrimmages), supporting several hundred users (contestants), keeping servers up, orchestrating a live tournament, placing an order for $2500 worth of pizza, getting up and speaking in front of a thousand contestants/spectators/sponsors, fixing bugs in the tournament bracket viewer in the middle of the tournament... Not something that every undergrad gets to do, that's for sure.

rekwah 2 days ago 0 replies      
I participated in the public competition a few years back with a few other classmates. We had a blast, but definitely underestimated the amount of time required to reach the upper echelon in the tournaments (finished middle of the pack). As a side benefit, we were actually able to convince our university to honor this class as a directed study and pick up a few credit hours as well.

I highly recommend this competition to anyone even remotely interested. You're at a disadvantage entering with no experience from previous years, but it's still a very worthwhile experience.

Cixelyn 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those that are interested, the new 2013 release is now live[1]. Should be a fun game this year -- enough spec changes that even seasoned Battlecode veterans will have to sit down and think quite carefully about how to write a bot.

Shared sensor data now makes higher-level strategies a ton more viable, so it'll be fun to see what contestants come up with.

There's a quick start available if you want to just clone and hack some things together in git[2] and hg[3] flavors.

[1] https://www.battlecode.org/contestants/releases/

[2] https://github.com/Cixelyn/bcode2013-scaffold

[3] https://bitbucket.org/Cixelyn/bcode2013-scaffold

LoneWolf 2 days ago 1 reply      
This reminded me of the last AIChallenge (http://ants.aichallenge.org) it was a great experience and made me choose between adding features, improve existing ones or fix hard to find problems with a relatively short time remaining since I found it near the end.

I didn't even knew about BattleCode, now I plan to keep an eye on it and if it is possible to people outside MIT to participate I will try to.

jpdoctor 2 days ago 3 replies      
From a curious alum, and excuse the inside baseball: Long ago, there used to be a 6.270 contest. I noticed this is a 6.370 contest. Anyone know the history if they're related?
kwang88 2 days ago 0 replies      
Really awesome post. I'd also strongly recommend 6.470 (Web Design) to any current MIT undergrads. I competed in both 6.370 and 6.470 and had a different take than the author of this piece -- I found that 6.470 was a much more startup-y experience, although the emphasis is much more on product rather than pure software development. That said, both are excellent.

Additionally, the ratio of number of teams to prize money was (historically) more favorable for the Web Design competition, although my information is out of date and things have likely changed.

ilamont 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are there examples of other schools that have tried this type of programming competition?
Raz0rblade 2 days ago 1 reply      
Try this virtual life emulation much cooler


And slightly less retro, if your on mitt challenge make it 3d

stevearc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great post, Cory! It's super awesome that you're open-sourcing all your players. I would have loved that when I was competing.
Raz0rblade 2 days ago 0 replies      
nicolethenerd 2 days ago 4 replies      
Ah, the mythical man-month. Or student-month, as the case may be.

You can't measure productivity in klocs, and you're also not taking into account the distribution of effort across those 350 contestants. Plenty of people sign up, poke around with the API for a bit, and submit a half-assed bot (or none at all)... but those who do well? They're spending quite a bit of time on this. I think it's safe to call them "hardcore."

No office, no boss, no boundaries â€" rise of the nomadic rich cnn.com
176 points by chriscampbell  2 days ago   126 comments top 16
nlh 2 days ago 17 replies      
Anyone else have their "sketchy" filters activated after reading this article? Author mentions how he travels around the world and how he's meeting up with friends / colleagues at this conference (and that he knows them from email lists / online forums), but there's no talk whatsoever in the article about what businesses any of them run.

That's usually a red flag to me -- feels like the scummy side of the Internet.

Doesn't take away from the point (mostly) - that the Internet is enabling a new type of remote-working lifestyle - but I can't get over my spidey senses tingling about the underlying...

gyardley 2 days ago 3 replies      
Yes, working for yourself over the Internet can bring you financial security and scads of free time, which will let you avoid conventional life indefinitely. There's no need to take on the responsibilities that come with marriage, children, and community, which admittedly can be a huge drag. However, there's also a lot of deep pleasure in that conventional, normal life, pleasure the nomadic traveller is forgoing - wandering around the world indefinitely comes with an opportunity cost.

If this was just a temporary choice of one thing over the other, I'd say 'go for it, and enjoy yourself', but I wonder if this sort of lifestyle, done long enough, can really be put down. By the time you want a spouse, a family, and a place to put down roots, will the temperamental changes brought on by your nomadic living even make this possible? The guy at the end of the article who's lonely and wants a home - he might want it, but I'm not at all sure he'll be able to get it or keep it.

Perhaps I'm completely full of it. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who knows a long-term womanizer who can't manage to settle down, even though he now claims to want to. These guys might be setting themselves up for the same sort of problem, with 'new experiences' taking the mental place of 'new partner'.

sushimako 2 days ago 3 replies      
TL;DR Life as a nomadic-broke founder is fun and possible if you want to and will reward you with life-changing experiences.

I personally find the topic interesting for various reasons. For once, because i've been living a "nomadic-founder" lifestyle for the last 17months (sidenote: rather "nomadic broke" than "nomadic rich" :) and because my startup creates a platform that tries to free more people from classic employment and enables them a global "workdesk".

My whole journey was inspired by someone's travelling-story on reddit, which is why i'd like to share mine here. Maybe someone thinks about doing something similar, in which case i hope my story can give insights/inspiration as well.

I'm in my mid-20s, IT-guy for >14years, YC alumni, don't have kids, speak 2 languages (english & german) and in the process of learning spanish (thank you duolingo!). When i started, i moved out of my apartment, gave away all my belongings but a backpack of clothes, my camera and thinkpad. I had only little money on the side and apart from my role as a startup founder, not really any perspective on regular income in the near future. Never had plans for more than 1 month ahead, sometimes plans would completely change in matters of hours. I was expecting to be living very low profile and in case money runs out completely, find some simple job to get by. Money and materialistic belongings became my lowest priority pretty soon. On the upside you gain a completely new sense of freedom. (A particular quote from "Fight Club" immediately comes to mind)

So moneywise, in the first few months i was still employed and working remotely for a befriended company as a programmer. But that ended soon, because i wanted to focus more on the startup. One of my co-foundes had some funds from his former startup with which he could support the team for some time. Not overly much, but enough to get by without much luxury. Earlier that year i got the opportunity to build a funded art-installation[0] that won a price and some money. But to be honest: I'm constantly broke, but somehow there's always a way if you want to.

You'll learn to enjoy your life with the little you have. You get creative eating healthy for little money (have never eaten so much good fruit in my life) and finding places to stay. Mostly i stayed in hostels or i could live with people i met on my journey. Sometimes only due to their hospitality, sometimes in exchange for work (small IT stuff, built a hostel, crafted a "designer locker", gardening and so on). When you stay in inexpensive hostels (my only requirement was wifi), you'll also meet interesting people that are in a similar situation and learn new ways to get by.

For the last 6 months i've been in south america. Life here is comfortably cheap. Most of the time you can easily get by with 10$ a day or even less. And if you're schedule is flexible and you're not in a hurry it's easy to experience some of south-america's incredible nature for little or no money. And you will meet interesting people and life-changing moments travelling outside the usual touristic way of moving around these countries.

What i'm trying to say: If you feel your situation is similar and you maybe even have some money on the side for the beginning: do it. You will not regret it. Don't be scared and never give up. Just always remember that, even if hard times come, there's always a way and surviving those will only make you stronger. You'll find a simple way making money on the side for food & shelter (heck, here in south america you could just be making and selling bread or cake on the street for some hours a day and get by).

Needing only your laptop and wifi to work is an incredibly enabling gift. Pretty much everywhere i went i had access to wifi and could work on my startup and communicate with my co-founders. Take use of that gift and you will have a life-changing experience. Founding a startup in such a globalized way _is_ possible with some coordination skills. Our whole team is spread around the world for the whole time being and we successfully launched a couple of months ago.

Shameless plug: We[1] are building a plattform that enables many many more people to live a location-independent lifestyle like ours. Our vision is that you'll be able to work directly on our site, offer your expertise and/or being presented with jobs directly targeted at what you're good at, always knowing how much money a finished job will make you. We're still in the process of collecting feedback and iterating. Getting a two-sided marketplace off the ground is hard :)

If you have any questions about the story or feedback on our startup, i'd be happy to answer them here or contact us at hello@workio.com

[0] http://www.ffaloox.com/wiremap-principle/

[1] https://www.work.io

michaelochurch 2 days ago 6 replies      
How does this work for people with families?

I'd really like to see someone turn a cruise ship into a moving, floating tech city that would move about the world (possibly spending a week in each port, allowing inland travel) so people can travel but also have a stable support network. It'd even have a school for people with kids. It'd probably be cheaper than living in New York or the Bay Area.

ilamont 2 days ago 0 replies      
A few years ago, I was emailed by a firm that billed itself as being located in London but the IP address was in the Philippines. The correspondence indicated that it was a native English speaker on the other end of the conversation. They had some interest in one of my blogs. Through discussion (always email, the London phone number went to voicemail) I determined that they wanted to add link-filled pages to my blog in return for $125.

I suspect many nomads are following similar SEO consultant/"passive income" schemes, but I also know from previous HN threads that there are a fair number of members (many of whom I assume are programmers) living an expat life overseas:


vertr 2 days ago 1 reply      
This guy is yet ANOTHER self help guru sort: http://postmasculine.com/
sdoering 2 days ago 1 reply      
>> "For the first time in three years of non-stop travel, I wish for a home."

Something I had to learn myself. Something, I did learn and it centered me, gave me context and a lot more happiness.

So I am happy for everybody living that way. If it does please them and does not hurt anyone else. But I know for me, that this is not my style of life.

pinaceae 2 days ago 0 replies      
oh well, look at the core of his site:


BobWarfield 2 days ago 0 replies      
Aside from the bit about loneliness, which I regard as his personal problem, this is the lifestyle I aim for. I don't want to be on the road constantly, but my life and I love travel. I'm early on the path (see: http://smoothspan.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/a-solo-bootstrapp...), but it's totally doable. With a laptop and an Internet connection, I've run my business from an Alaskan Cruise Ship Cabin, a Cozumel Mexico dive trip, and a recent trip to Waikiki. Met one of my co-conspirators in Waikiki for dinner.

It's good stuff.

The flip side is I work 24x7. When I'm on a push to get a product out, I've been known to forget what day it is. And I have had to limit myself to doing all my marketing work after 7pm. I do customer service from about 8am-9:30am. So that's a lot of hours in a week.

Wait. How's that different from a startup where I own only a small equity stake instead of 100%?


malachismith 2 days ago 0 replies      
(Not people doing businesses around users' and customers' lifestyles, but people doing businesses FOR their own lifestyle).
Also known as dilettantes.
josscrowcroft 2 days ago 0 replies      
Really not a very good article. The title suggests it's going to be a glowing appraisal of a new set of people. All it really accomplishes is describing a particularly sad-sounding circle-jerk "conference" for people who write about writing about lifestyle, etc., and otherwise (I presume) contribute very little..
petercooper 2 days ago 2 replies      
How does this work with visas, etc? Maybe Asian countries are less strict but in the US and EU you'd need to jump through many hoops or lie to immigration officials about intent.
sputknick 2 days ago 8 replies      
I would like to take my skills on the road, but I have a wife and two kids. My wife does not work. Is this lifestyle practical for me? Any advice would be appreciated.
kristianc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems very similar to Fjord's 'Digital Nomads' report, released in March 2011...


ryguytilidie 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whenever I read articles like this I just read it as these people thinking "Thank god I have rich parents, because lol at any actual human being living in the real world doing this." Pretty much exactly how I felt watching the Bravo startup show as well.
edwinyzh 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I don't have two kids and the wife (I'm glad I have) I can do that too, although I'm not rich at all but I can afford the travel while working on my software products.
Quitting LinkedIn capwatkins.com
159 points by nj  2 days ago   96 comments top 44
TY 2 days ago 6 replies      
Oh boy. When has it become fashionable to quite X and announce it to the whole world?

LinkedIn is just a tool - it's usefulness depends on what your current needs are. It's useless today and useful tomorrow. Just like any other tool - i.e. take hammers for example.

Would it sound absurd for someone to announce that they quit hammers tomorrow? Does any of this make sense?

- Yeah, hammer was really useful to me when I hanged that picture on the wall last year. Not so much any more, I should quit it!

- I'm past hammers - electric drill with screws can do 90% of it does and for the 10% it does not I should really re-assess whether I'm doing the right thing in the first place.

- I tried to make a cereal with a hammer this morning, but it did not work! WTF???

- I watched this movie where someone was killed with a hammer. What an evil tool, I should quit it as it stains my karma!

- I don't use it any more, but every time I pass by the toolbox it reminds me that I still have it and I get this strong urge to get rid of it. It depresses me so much, that I want to throw away the whole box or move out of the house!

Don't mean to be harsh on Cap Watkins, I'm just tired of reading this kind of posts. Oh wait, I know - I should quit the Internet!

scrumper 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's not just job seeking: LinkedIn is pretty valuable for sales. The reps in the enterprise sales team I work with use it extensively. With a premium account you can find out who occupies a given position at your target firm, then ask for them by name on the phone. It turns cold calling from truly freezing to some level of initial connection, eg "I see you're connected to my friend Brian on LinkedIn? Blah blah phi sigma kappa lacrosse MBA blah. Now how about you hear my pitch?" Works enough of the time to be their default tool.
justjimmy 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is how I use LinkedIn:

When I'm scoping out a position/company, I see who's on the team that I'll be working with ie: Design. Then I hopefully, there's a link to the blog/portfolio/Dribbble/Twitter. This is to get a sense of their work and style, though it doesn't have to match the style of the company itself, but you can an idea of experience of those people.

Then I look at employee insights - which shows those who left the company recently. Again, I dig through till I find the ex designers. I also pay attention to the duration - ie: if the company are churning out alot of ex employees who stay no longer than 3 months, then I'd pay closer attention.

And I never initiate contact though LinkedIn. Twitter, email is the way to go for me, which you can easily find as you dig through their profile.

In short, I don't use LinkedIn to find jobs. I use it to find out more about the company, somewhat culture and its people.

Also I do it all when I'm not logged in - it gives you more info when you're not logged vs logged in (they'll put up upgrade/pay walls). Really, really dumb.

xpose2000 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just to recap over the past few months. We should quit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This effectively covers the top 4 social networks. I'm wondering what this says about us more than these companies. Maybe we are just burnt out with social networks in general?

The author makes some valid points. I mainly use LinkedIn to get an overview about the person who is emailing me or just followed me on twitter. I find that to be pretty useful.

As far as the recruiting emails. The more successful you are the more cold emails you get.

bobdvb 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think the O/P is just doing it wrong. I have a 100% complete profile on my LinkedIn and I have 770 connections, but I don't get spam, I do get the occasional recruiter or app development company wanting to sell me their services, but not so much that I would notice. But I am not in marketing, I am just a senior R&D guy. I have that many connections because I go out, meet people and remember to add them to my LinkedIn connections, plus I do accept 'random' connections from people who have mutual business interests with me (but not just anyone).

The first thing to note is it isn't a social network like facebook, it is a business meeting place. It isn't just a recruitment tool it is a place to promote yourself and your organisation in a B2B context.

I know some programmers who sit in their cubicle and have no interest in promoting themselves, fair enough, but I find it a valuable tool for meeting my peers. If I want to contact someone in another company then I can see who of my connections is linked to that organisation. If I need to keep track of where one of my contacts is then LinkedIn is useful for seeing job movements. I even connect to those dreaded recruiters, but only the ones I find relevant and the first time they offer me something offensively irrelevant I shoot them down quickly.

Overall you get out what you put in to LinkedIn. It hasn't made me rich, but I am sure I get value from the time I put in.

crusso 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've never found any real use for linkedin. Never gotten any references to hires that were worth it. Never gotten any work through it.

About all it's useful for is knowing when some people are dissatisfied with their current job and looking for new employment... their linkedin activity goes way up and you hear from them through the service.

driverdan 2 days ago 2 replies      
LinkedIn is my least favorite social network. Unless you're looking for a job or are recruiting it's pretty worthless. Their spam controls are terrible. Recruiter spam is rampant. Groups are full of spam and self promotors with no easy way for non-admin users to stop it.
telecuda 2 days ago 0 replies      
For me, LinkedIn is immensely useful and worth the $50/mo premium subscription for InMail. I don't spam people, but when I want to reach a C_O or the Founder of [Insert Company], I find that nearly all of my InMails are answered - much higher than the rate of directly emailing that person.

It's actually quite difficult in most industries to Google someone's email address, and if there's no profile/background attached to a simple Gmail like there is in LinkedIn, your message gets dumped that much faster.

Spooky23 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like it with Outlook 2013 -- there's a built-in plugin that basically looks up people that you communicate with on Linkedin. I find it handy as I meet with alot of people, and I get a picture and brief bio, and I get you see who they've "linked to" recently.

Before that, I found it to be completely useless -- sort of like a grown-up version of baseball cards... you collect people for unknown reasons.

ricardobeat 2 days ago 2 replies      
Who cares? Turn all e-mails off, use it as a self-updating business contact list. Works great.

btw, am I the only one who get's confused by these "I quit xxx" thinking it's a post by a former employee?

zalew 2 days ago 0 replies      
> When it started, LinkedIn was about connecting you and the people you know (and endorse) professionally. It was the answer to not wanting to add your boss on Facebook.

LI launched before FB and years before FB opened to the public.

koko775 2 days ago 0 replies      
Chris, you've jumped from Zoosk, to Formspring, to Amazon, to Etsy all in the period of two to three years. Maybe you've proven yourself resourceful enough at this point to not need the value it gives?

(also, hi, former coworker!)

codegeek 2 days ago 1 reply      
I totally get what the author is talking about. However, to provide another perspective on the other side, I have successfully used linkedin more than once (3 times) to secure a new opportunity (both fulltime and contract) in the past. 2 of them were passive i.e. I was not really looking that hard but was open to it if it was the right fit for me.

Linkedin is just another tool like many others. You have to know how to use it to your advantage or usefulness. Yes there are countless and pointless groups/recruiters who just spam (I get a lot of them as well) but if you create a highly targeted profile, chances are that you also will get invites from good recruiters or professionals in general. The percentage is more like 95% crap, 5% good. I am happy with the 5% part.

debacle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Michael O Church of HN fame was the reason that I decided to dump LinkedIn. He pointed out that a stupid mistake in entering information on a site like LinkedIn can band you as a liar (even if the mistake was inadvertent) and give you no ability to correct yourself.

It would be tantamount to sending out hundreds of resumes with a typo in your email address.

drivebyacct2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I care so little about LinkedIn that I don't know why I'd bother quitting.
city41 2 days ago 0 replies      
I deleted my LinkedIn account about 1.5 years ago. I was getting hammered by recruiters constantly, and I felt like I needed to politely decline them all. After a while it got to to be too much so I just pulled the plug.

That decision isn't without consequences. I've greatly reduced my possibilities for networking by doing this. If I had to do it over again, I probably would not have deleted my account.

But, on the other hand, when I now get contacted by recruiters they find me through StackOverflow, github or my website; and thus they have infinitely better opportunities for me and generally seem to be higher caliber recruiters to boot.

daemon13 2 days ago 0 replies      
Every tool has its purpose and shall be used accordingly.

LinkedIn - sold you to recruiters. OK, I got 1'000+ connections, most with the people I never met [80%?], but who heard about me, or we share connections, or work in similar fields [finance, multinational company, senior management, etc]. I mainly use LI as an extended address book and public CV. So any recruiter, who calls me, knows pretty much all about my skills / experience / etc. Got bunch of interviews through LI. Yep, quite often see some spammy stupid invitations to connect. So what? Just don't accept those. I login 2-3 times per month.

Facebook - FB is a timekiller, so I log in 2-3 times per month to kill some time, exchange with people I know.

Twitter - info flood, cutting access to API, sold you to advertisers, etc, etc. Sorry, never bothered to learn how to use it. Never made one tweet. Have no time for Twitter, since I am already using FB 2-3 times per month.

To sum it all up - just understand how the tool can be useful for your needs and use accordingly. No overlap, don't use the tool or build your own.

tarr11 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's fairly easy to control where and when you get email in LinkedIn. It's even easier to control in GMail (as the user states)


I know that's not the author's entire point, but the "tragedy of the commons" argument becomes less compelling without all the spamming complaints.

k3n 2 days ago 0 replies      
IMO if there's a single social network to worry about [going evil], it's LinkedIn. It's a phisher's wet dream right behind genealogy sites, and the data they have access to is worth magnitudes more than your run-of-the-mill "social" data.

Sure, you can better target me for a small-time sale because you saw that I "liked" some nuanced TV show on FB, but that's chump change compared to having pretty much unfettered access to 1000's of executives....execs who write checks on a monthly basis that are larger than what most households spend in a year.

There's also the worry that if they become a sort of de facto hiring platform, then we'll be forced to ante up for a premium membership in order to simply be considered for an interview.

Warranted fears or not, I don't trust them and never will.

shawndrost 1 day ago 0 replies      
Refer to the following handy graph of "how useful linkedin is" vs "how much people want to talk to you":

    _   |          _________
\ | / \
\ | / \
\|_______/ \_______

- 0 +

manishsharan 2 days ago 2 replies      
I like LinkedIn . However I am getting annoyed by my contacts who are endorsing my skils without my asking them and who then expect me to do the same for them and get all sullen when I don't. The funniest instance of unsolicited endorsement was when people began endorsing my SOA skills ; anyone who has worked with on a project knows that I despise SOA from the bottom of my heart.
fusiongyro 2 days ago 0 replies      
I deleted my account two years ago and haven't regretted it. In fact I get more legitimate (and nicer) job offers by having an email address in my account info here than I ever did on LinkedIn.

I had a lot of friends who insisted I would not be able to get a job in the future by not being on LinkedIn. I haven't looked since I quit, but I think being "hard to get" usually makes you more desirable rather than less.

michaelochurch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's my take on it (I didn't quit, and I don't get spam, but I think LinkedIn is taking the wrong approach:


jeffool 2 days ago 0 replies      
I often include a link to my profile in emails with the idea that if the person has or cares about it, they can see recommendations. If not, well, then hopefully it doesn't matter to them and it's not a negative. A few people have commented on it positively, not many. The vast majority seem oblivious. That's not overly surprising considering how many people in TV news seem to not be overly "techy".

Usually something small, like:
Here is my LinkedIn profile, with recommendations from previous coworkers:

(I know, I need to re-write that summary pretty bad.) The only thing that leaves me scratching my head is that my profile is stuck at 90%. It asks me to fill in my current position, and describe my current position. I don't have one. You'd think a site focused around looking for jobs would have that as an option.

btilly 2 days ago 0 replies      
My use case for linked in is simple. I think I might want to work with place X. Who do I know, directly or indirectly, who works there? Let me talk to them directly.
fourstar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Then opt out. This happens on any social network in which you have a public profile that gets a lot of exposure. Hell, my brother who works at Google explicitly lists Google as his employer on his public G+ profile, and he's been added to thousands of peoples circles who he doesn't know. If you aren't interested, then there is an email preferences setting tab that you can easily customize what gets sent to your inbox (https://www.linkedin.com/settings/?trk=hb_acc). LinkedIn is the only social network that I've had and will continue to keep, since it's focused on one thing -- professional networking.
dgudkov 23 hours ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn is the only one really useful social network for me. I got several times excellent jobs thanks to LinkedIn, my professional blog got good promotion via LinkedIn connections and I get orders for my product because of networking effect in LinkedIn.
laureny 2 days ago 0 replies      
As much as I find LinkedIn's web site overloaded and hard to follow, unsubscribing from the emails is trivial. It's not just that they have a convenient "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the email, you can actually use that link even if 1) you're not currently logged in or 2) you are logged in as another user (I have several accounts).

I give them credit for that.

ddunkin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, the sign-in to unsubscribe junk is BS. Unsubscribe should be a simple direct link, nothing to fill out. I end up blocking domains instead of unsubscribing at that point.
devsatish 2 days ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn is the best tool out there, as a software engineer, I was able to get all my recent jobs (last 5 years) only by LinkedIn and the premium membership is totally worth it. Make sure to have a good profile, good recommendations, and if you are not interested in job offers, mention it on your profile. LinkedIn is much more than a recruiting site. Prune useless connections (especially those who have LION 1000+ connections etc on their profile).
hughw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, lots of group spam, but today, I used LI to contact a scientist at a company whose thesis I'd read. I'd like to meet him in person, possibly to try to hire him, or possibly just to have the business relationship. I rarely use LI fruitfully but this is its value proposition, to me. Once a year or so, I can make a contact like this.
sardonicbryan 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a hiring manager, I also like to verify people's resumes against their Linkedin profiles. I generally find some kind of useful context (something they left out), recommendation or discrepancy on about 1 out of 10 resumes.
bicknergseng 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I'm sure many people would be happy to have Cap's problem, this seems easily fixable from LinkedIn's side. Simply allow people to filter or dial down who can message them. While it might hurt their InMessage product, it seems better to nerf that than to force people like Cap off the platform.
pknerd 2 days ago 0 replies      
You should expect this when you're part of a social network. First you join it free, you share your data which is ...then used to get bucks. What do you want? should not they earn money? I bet you will be doing same.

Instead of complaining and wastint a few hundred bytes and CPU cycles and more important..your energy, you could simply delete account and move on. Expecting something extra ordinary personalize from a social network is nothing but day dreaming.

eli_gottlieb 2 days ago 0 replies      
But if I quit LinkedIn, what will be my honeypot for professional interviewing or recruiters, and where will I keep my long-form resume ;-)?
publicfig 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm kind of becoming tired of the argument that a service is bothersome with the amount of emails it's sending if there are ways to disable the emails. When I was seeking employment, I was getting multiple emails a day from the service, many of which were helpful (Alumni network postings, messages, connections). However, once I took an offer (One I happened to be recruited for on LinkedIn), I disabled all of those emails coming through. I still check the site fairly frequently but can still just use it for the way I like to use it, to keep a record of my professional journey.
ianstallings 2 days ago 0 replies      
This title confused the hell out of me. I thought he/she was leaving a job at LinkedIn.
seenxu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm another victim of linkedin's shameless mailing spam, I had disabled my account, but they still try to send me connect emails again and again, und you got no way to stop them...
dsowers 2 days ago 2 replies      
Today I just launched a new app that acts as a portfolio/resume for programmers and other people who build things. If you are unsatisfied with linkedin, maybe it's worth checking out: http://www.mycelial.com
deanclatworthy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whilst I remain on LinkedIn, I have yet to get any value from it. Furthermore the new endorsements feature is utterly useless. I consider myself a back-end AND front-end developer but for some reason I am heavily endorsed in CSS, making it look as if I am not as skilled in back-end work.
sebnukem2 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's the first time I ever read or hear that somebody got something useful out of LinkedIn.
atul_wired 1 day ago 0 replies      
Title of this post reminded me to checkout my linkedin account(after so long time).. :-)
codexnight 2 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I don't know why LinkedIn is so "cool".There is nothing innovative there.I knew it from the beginning.But awesome advertising wins.
OGinparadise 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Quitting LinkedIn"

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the sun will still rise tomorrow, just as it rose when people "quit Facebook" ...Google, Twitter, iPhones or whatever.

Adobe says it is not providing free copies of Creative Studio 2 adobe.com
156 points by pappyo  2 days ago   93 comments top 24
jspthrowaway2 2 days ago 3 replies      
I never advocate changing titles, but this one is in need of work. It took me a bit to realize what was going on.

Also, this seems like a non-issue. As I understand it, they've built a version that doesn't require activation and takes a special serial number, so they can phase out the CS2 activation servers. Some blogger (shocker, at Gizmodo) being fast and loose with the facts, well, got that wrong. Other blogs copied that mistake (a real problem in the "blogosphere"), Adobe took down the page that was linked, Monday rolls on. We're talking about software that won't even run on an Intel Mac here, people.

The rest of this story is, "hey, check out the beating Adobe is taking on their forum!" Thanks, blogs. You win again.

error54 2 days ago 0 replies      

Blogs - "You can grab yourself a free, legitimate copy of Photoshop and the rest of the Creative Suite 2, right now, direct from Adobe. No catch."[1][2][3]

Adobe - "You have heard wrong! Adobe is absolutely not providing free copies of CS2!"

1- http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2013/01/grab-photoshop-and-cs2-for-...

2- http://lifehacker.com/5973750/download-adobe-creative-suite-...

3- http://www.petapixel.com/2013/01/07/adobe-may-be-offering-a-...

toyg 2 days ago 1 reply      
It might have been a screw-up, but Oracle does the exact same thing for all their products: you are free to download and install everything you want (and they provide universal license codes for acquired products that might still need them), but you're not actually allowed to run anything past 30 days (with some exceptions, like Enteprise Linux, SQLDeveloper, XE etc). Nothing in the software actually forces you to stop, but should Oracle sue you, you're screwed. It's a win-win for everyone: users can easily train themselves, and Oracle gets mindshare and goodwill without renouncing their expensive support contracts and license renewals.
ynniv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of comments here say that this doesn't really change anything for Photoshop, but I think that it does. Compare downloading a cracked version to downloading this version.

The cracked version might contain terrible malware. It might still contain activation code that will phone Adobe with your serial number. You probably downloaded it from BitTorrent, which we know is easily trackable. If a serial number is still required, you will be using a number that is well known as a pirated number.

This version will not contain terrible malware (it may even come with updates from the vendor!) It has been modified by the people who wrote it to definitely not contain activation code. You will have downloaded it directly from Adobe at their request, along with their other paying customers. If your serial number is ever reported, you are indistinguishable from a legitimate user. The bar has been raised from "this IP reports a pirated copy" or "this IP downloaded a pirated copy" to individually auditing possibly legitimate customers in person. Adobe can't even include the hash in the list of hashes that will trigger ISP copyright enforcement alerting systems such as "six strikes". Unlike existing cracked versions, the risk for using this is very low.

I too was expecting an interesting business announcement when I clicked the link, and I too was disappointed. However, if you think this is a harmless mistake and no different from the existing Pirate Bay release, you aren't thinking very scrappy. This could easily make CS2 the version of choice for students and startups. (And Mac users can run it in VirtualBox on WinXP)

campnic 2 days ago 2 replies      
IBM has done this forever. Its called soft licensing. (or at least that is what their term was)

It not a free copy. If you use this and they have proof, you would be sued for violating the licenses. Its the same as stealing. Just because they aren't locking you out doesn't mean you can use it.

jiggy2011 2 days ago 3 replies      
So, Adobe is providing copies of CS2 that are activation free and are providing the serial numbers with the download? So it's basically an honesty system not to pirate it?
nthitz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like they released a statement via their blog http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2013/01/update-on-cs2-a...
sycren 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why have they not changed the information on their download page yet? http://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/index.html

For news sites that have not redacted or said something about this error, many of their readers are still going to be pushed towards downloading a free 'legitimate' program.

brador 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does it really cost that much to keep an activation server running? How much are we talking here?
doodyhead 1 day ago 0 replies      
What I find surprising is that the download page itself contains no mention whatsoever of licensing. It lists the system requirements and has a big graphic up the top apparently attempting to upsell you to CS6 / Creative Cloud.

Would it have been so hard to say something like, 'These downloads and keys are provided for users who already possess a valid CS2 license. If you have not paid for any of these products, you are not entitled to use them.' ?

Makes me lean more towards publicity stunt.

yuhong 2 days ago 0 replies      
For older Macromedia products they just provide special serial numbers:
josh2600 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have to believe that Adobe did this on purpose, at least from a marketing standpoint. If they indeed didn't want blogs releasing this as "free" all of these major publications (LIKE FORBES) would not be using that word in the headline.

I think the PR team at Adobe labeled this as free or, at the very least, pitched at reporters that way, and I frankly don't think this is a problem or that they're upset about it.

djt 2 days ago 0 replies      
A good marketing ploy to save money by decommissioning their Validation servers. Would be interesting to see the cost of maintenance versus.

Having said that, this is bad for the GIMP guys

drivebyacct2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh, so they have a special copy of CS2 with a key that will allow it to work since Adobe's activation servers are down. That having been said, it is intended for users that already hold a CS2 license.
unreal37 2 days ago 2 replies      
Seems an honest mistake, although it would be brilliant marketing to release CS2 for free or very cheap because people (companies) who pay $1000+ for Adobe CS would not still be stuck on CS2...
bernardom 2 days ago 1 reply      
What's the legality of this? Would it be illegal for me to download proprietary software from the owner's domain if the owner didn't mean to make available for free?

If a movie studio broadcast a brand-new movie over the air for free by mistake, would it be illegal for me to record it? Would I have to delete it? I'm pretty sure I couldn't put it up on a server for free download, otherwise I could do that with NFL games right now.

Does the fact that they require a license key (or make you click a box saying "I own a license") change this from legal to illegal?

mxfh 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
Henry Ford


If this is meant to be related it's borderline genius.

001sky 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is true is that Adobe is terminating the activation servers for CS2 and that for existing licensed users of CS2 who need to reinstall their software, copies of CS2 that don't require activation but do require valid serial numbers are available.

==From Adobe

tuananh 1 day ago 0 replies      
[that page](http://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/index.html) is still up for me with serial #. I didn't even purchase CS2.
zdgman 2 days ago 3 replies      
So, CS2 is free but it is actually not free? Interesting that they would make CS2 free as it is only compatible with PowerPC based Macs.

Should have just made CS4 free and had more people jump onto the upgrade bandwagon!

hanleybrand 2 days ago 0 replies      
If problems is shorthand for "has a lot of cease and desist paperwork to file" I agree.

I'm not clear what Adobe did wrong here, other than actually try to not completely screw people running very old versions of their software.

Sadly, no one would seriously make an accusation that they were screwing up if they had just shut off the validation servers and posted an note to their knowledge base, ID #FU-CS2-15-01734-81-CS6-plz.

codysoyland 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awful title. I half-expected to see bankruptcy proceedings.
emeraldd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like someone at Adobe is having a very bad day.
BitPay, PayPal for Bitcoin, raises $510K â€" already has 2,100 businesses on board techcrunch.com
149 points by thepumpkin1979  2 days ago   73 comments top 19
TY 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice idea. I've gone through their website and even watched the explanation video.

One thing they don't mention is how buyers come into possession of bitcoins. Buying bitcoins is currently a hassle for an average consumer and has transactional fees that are paid to bitcoin exchanges - enterprises of unknown origin and reputation that don't have household level brand name recognition (ask your aunt Sally or uncle Kamal about Mt. Gox).

I assume that chargebacks that are offloaded to bitcoin exchanges. These exchanges are the weakest point of the bitcoin ecosystem at the moment - this is where bitcoins touch the real world.

Contact with the real world makes them susceptible to the control of the authorities (regulators, law enforcement, criminals and etc), easy target for malicious parties meaning harm (yes, don't want to use the word hackers) as well as financial manipulators.

Success of BitPay and the like depends on the health and stability of the whole ecosystem, which is still quite immature, so if I were a merchant I'd approach this cautiously.

icey 2 days ago 3 replies      
I've got other projects filling my time, but I think there's a great opportunity for someone who isn't opposed to working on an adult-themed idea using bitcoin. Selling sex toys for bitcoin, specifically. I think the anonymity of it is a huge selling point. Yes, there is still shipping to be concerned with, but in exchange for no worries about line items on credit card statements or your neighbors seeing your car at the sex shop; it might be the lesser of all evils.

If you do this and get rich, please email me to tell me it worked!

nym 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you're interested in buying bitcoins, check this out:


We have regional guides, as well as company reviews+ratings so you can buy with trust.

nym 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those who are interested, Cups and Cakes Bakery in San Francisco uses Bitpay to allow customers to buy cupcakes with Bitcoins instantly. Here's an article and video showing what it's like:


shawn-butler 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't see any evidence on the web or in that airy press release other than its headline to support that they have 2,100 real world businesses accepting payments.

Does anyone have the list? I'm not trying to be negative it's just that I would like to have some basis in fact before I inadvertently spread someone else's mistake in my advocacy!

gallerytungsten 2 days ago 2 replies      
The more mainstream Bitcoin becomes, the greater the likelihood that it will be shut down. As an alternate currency, it's a direct threat to the dollar. That threat is miniscule at present, but as Bitcoin gains traction, through services like Bitpay that reduce friction, it will be targeted for elimination by the economic powers that be.
Swannie 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm sure this is on their website, but:

They accept bitcoins, they pay in local currency. Where are they acquiring their local currency? Are they:

- Selling bit coins to consumers?

- Selling bit coins on open exchanges?

- - If they are selling on open exchanges, are all the local currencies currently available? I'd guess not, so they must have currency reserves in all outbound countries?

- Paying their staff in bit coins? :-D

This would be a huge multi-national operation. Not least in running the bank accounts in outbound countries, and managing ForEx reserves and bids. Let alone dealing with money laundering laws in respective countries, commercial operations expatriating or repatriating profits/revenues, etc. etc. Not for me!

alexanderh 2 days ago 0 replies      
"PayPal for ______" is the last thing I'd want my company associated with ever, for any reason, period.
cmaxwe 2 days ago 2 replies      
Until there is an easy mainstream way to fund a bitcoin wallet then I think bitcoin payment gateways are kind of pointless and will struggle to get any real adoption.
mtgx 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is Bitpay the "Paypal for Bitcoin" only from a merchant point of view, or from a user's point of view, too? I haven't looked at it much, but I think their web page was more oriented towards merchants not users, while Coinbase seems to be more oriented towards users, and sending money to each other and whatnot.
josteink 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I read that headline I ask myself is that $510k real money or is it the Bitcoin-equivalent of that sum?

And the fact that I ask that, as a techie - an enthusiast in the know about stuff like this, probably means Bitcoin still has some way to go before it can hope to achieve any sort of mainstream success.

coderdude 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very glad to hear this. I went with BitPay about a month ago and the Bitcoin orders are starting to roll in now that the community has gotten wind. Anyone looking to expand their audience should consider offering Bitcoin payments, regardless of which processor you go with (BitPay, CoinBase, etc.).
LunaSea 2 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't it a risky move to build a company around a cryptographic concept that wasn't around for that much time ?
snitko 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was really surprised they were asking for my and my company's personal information during the registration process. Bitcoin is supposed to anonymous. So I went with Coinbase instead, they don't do that.
Illychnosis 2 days ago 1 reply      
Bitcoin will be at $20 by the end of 2013. Great move on the part of all the principals involved in this deal.
amalag 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe obvious but you can get most of this benefit with Liberty Reserve. Non-reversible transactions and you can fill your liberty reserve account with bitcoins.
cmaxwe 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yeah I am Canadian so neither Coinbase or BitInstant work for me. As far as I can tell my best option is adding a Bitcoin payment site as a "Bill Payee" in my online banking and paying it like a bill. Not exactly mainstream... :-)

Even BitInstant and Coinbase are kind of clunky and require the user to have an understanding of how Bitcoins work. (e.g. understand wallets, etc). That is the nice thing about Paypal...you can either login and pay with your paypal account or use them as a CC processor if you don't have an account.

frozenport 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is 1/8 the money that Cherry (joke of 2012) raised. Is it becoming harder to fund ideas?
sktrdie 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't get this. Isn't the whole point of Bitcoin not to have any "central" entity? BitPay sounds like precisely this?
       cached 10 January 2013 03:11:01 GMT