I really want to get behind WebGL, but when is it going to have decent performance/compatibility? I tried this out in both FF and Chrome on a powerful desktop computer (i5-4670K, GTX760, 16GB RAM) and it was glitchy/stuttery as described. Firefox rendered some scenes at what seemed like 2-3 FPS. Chrome was much smoother, but I couldn't tell what parts were glitches. For example, the "classic demoscene water effect" looked completely different in Chrome. But neither FF nor Chrome produced an effect remotely resembling water.
Although this looks like a great library, personally I prefer to stick with OpenGL programming until WebGL's quircks are sorted out.
First is that you can write vertex shaders in a reactive DOM. That makes it much easier to get pictures up on the screen. If any of you have ever messed around with vertex shaders, it can be a bit of a nuisance.
Second is that while the reactive DOM doesn't really exist as XML, it can be expressed as such, and would be easily diffable. This is important for collaboration.
Lastly, because it's making the GPU do all the work, data visualizations can be done by pushing large amounts of data to it. We should be able to see more patterns from data as a result.
I wonder what it needs to handle text presentation and input. HTML overlays are mentioned. Perhaps there are already WebGL text renderers that could be integrated. Of course visualizations this complex make my Macbook scream, but that's all right since I'm seeing something new (in a browser) and delightful. I have a few million data points that could benefit from vantage point like this, which need complex dependencies and controls.
Calculate just the points to be drawn, then draw them (explicit generation).
Calculate the entire surface/volume, and draw values where they exist (or based on magnitude or whatever properties are used) (implicit generation).
The second method is in some circumstances less efficient, especially if the graph is very simple and takes up little screen space, but overall much easier to work with. Its similar to the difference between ray casting and rasterization, in a way.
I'm just about ready with rewriting the underlying semantic web framework to typescript and will soon be plugging it in to either Away3D TS or Three.js. Since I already know Away3D and it's written itself in Typescript I thought I might try that first, but seeing this ... and knowing how much more tested three.js is... I think I'm gonna go with Three.js
I really can't wait to play it with once you release it. I hope you can find some time for good documentation though. Cause at the moment I know just too little of the concepts involved to understand everything you explain in the slides.
Thank you already for this amazing presentation
It's eye candy AND it's interesting at it's core... wow. Beautiful work.
I just can't articulate a better thing than "wow". Really. This is incredible.
First time I heard about Steven was when I saw this  post last year.. the best part is that he leaves many easter eggs or "achievements" around for you to discover :)
 acko.net https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6268610
But this is something I really want to see. WebGL and GPU acceleration being put to use in the Web proper. Not just a box of 3d graphics inside a web page. Plotting neat 3d graphs with nice shading, fast and smooth rotate and zoom, etc. While you could probably do this using Canvas or SVG, you probably couldn't match the performance.
Now I'd like to see this technology being used outside of tech demos. Some real world data plotted this way.
I hoe someone builds the latter on top of it, since the flow-based paradigm is so effective in these contexts. Excellent presentation.
I have waited so long for a good hardware-accelerated 3D screensaver in my browser! ;)
I don't get why he says vertex shaders aren't doable in web GL though. Don't the various shadertoy type sites let you write vertex shaders right now?
What technology did you build this with? What do you use to decode videos and write out gifs?
EDIT: are you getting hammered by traffic right now? Because I tried this on a 15 second video, and it's been processing for ten minutes.
I'm not sure why you see the need to be so 'internet' with it all when you could do a fully functional equivalent that would be easier on your servers too. Just make it clean and usable and it'll be far better.
Fuck GIF; just because the patent expired doesn't mean we should use this piece of shit (by modern standards) format for things it was never really intended for and for which there are far better solutions, like just linking to the actual video.
Took like 15 seconds to make http://share.gifyoutube.com/lcD.gif a game-winning shot from a couple seasons back).
I made quietyoutube.com (put 'quiet' in front of any youtube video) and get a page of just the video, nothing else. I made it a couple years arg. Shame I can't get the SSL cert, though the bookmarklet I made works well enough.
Feature request: please enable preview of youtube loop right in your url like gifyoutube.com/y0ut0oo0biD&loop=123.4;5.67 where first number is 'start time' then second number is 'length'. And allow millisecond specification.
File size could be smaller? EG 0.14 second frames instead of 0.08, longer duration frames aren't too noticable and may cut bulky GIF sizes almost in half.
One issue I see is when someone uses the same word as title, no one else can use it (as opposed to a number-based titling system where no one would care if /90289432 was in use). Also someone else can peruse other people's gifs by just checking random titles (perhaps a non-issue, though).
Which doesn't work. I am amazed that Google hasn't complained about the gifyoutube.com domain.
Do you scrape the whole video, or just the part requested? And is the conversion to gif a library or something you wrote?
I'm totally ignorant when it comes to scraping videos and converting them, but I find it interesting.
But one key feature for me would be the ability to add text to various frames/time ranges. That would make creating GIFs that actually say stuff you can read much easier.
What are you using for the queue?
how does one go about deciding to use such markup?
Also, I'm super excited that something I made a long time ago prompted someone else to make something waaaaay more awesome.
Question, you asked about using Gunicorn in our conversation, is this written in Python or is it written using something else? I'm really curious about the technologies you use to make this work!
Also of note, why do you ask for a title? I don't see it on the resulting gif page: https://www.gifyoutube.com/gif/lP1
 - http://i.imgur.com/KVl7beK.png
 - http://gifmachine.xwl.me/
Surface UI really does make all the difference.
Interestingly, makeagif also has trouble with vevo vids.
EDIT: The emoticons in your comment replys
I think your choice of license may be incompatible with the GitHub terms of service--there's an implied right to fork by using GitHub, but your license states no derivatives are allowed. IANAL, but something to look into: https://help.github.com/articles/open-source-licensing
As I mentioned in another comment, it's pretty slow under Firefox.
Lastly, the game is quite pretty, but I feel that since the gameplay involved is so precise, the imprecise visuals can be confusing. It's hard to tell exactly when a piece is going to set in place, when a group is eliminated, what would happen if you rotate and a piece is blocked by a stack already in place, etc. I went by pure geometry at first, but I definitely got bitten a few times where a piece moved after I thought it was in place, or a piece didn't get eliminated with the rest of a group since it hadn't fully landed in its column. The collision animations don't quite help there either.
I'm struggling to beat 5863
One quick criticism:
I played a couple times and maxed out around 700pts. Then played a game where I didn't touch a single key -- no rotation whatsoever -- and managed to score 3292pts.
I'm not sure what this indicates, but it feels off.
Also particularly impressive as the creator(s) seem to be high school students.
One feature that might be cool to have would be to make the gray background hexagon one block larger if you get four or five blocks in a row. That way, you'll be able to keep your ahead above water a little better when things really start to speed up. It would add another level of strategy and planning to the game.
Keep up the great work!
Kind of misleading to use the name "Hextris" for what looks like a very different game. The original Hextris is 2D falling blocks exactly like Tetris, except that the world consists of hexagons, and so the pieces have six rotations. I played this like crazy for a brief time in the mid 1990's.
A few comments:
I think a key to drop faster would be a nice addition.The speed progression could be tweaked a bit. It's a bit boring until it gets faster, and it takes a while.
I believe that game was made for a Ludum Dare originally.
Maybe a little walk through/instructions displayed for longer. Had to start over to quickly read again (was zoning out first time)
Can't stop playing regardless.
This would allow combos even if the pile heights are different.
It's the perfect mashup of Tetris and Super Hexagon.
However, not storing emails, and thereby giving up account recovery with the explanation that it's about security is a shit sandwich.
My email is <myfirstname>.<mylastname>@gmail.com, a pattern I share with millions of people. This is public information. I could spray paint my email address on local bridges without in any way making my email less secure (cops might complain, though).
I understand that some people have reasons to have private email addresses that they don't want released (they'll give them to family, but not the general public). They should never sign up for anything with those email addresses, because the moment you sign up for things, you will almost certainly be entered in a database somewhere, and eventually be spammed or subjected to whatever other bad consequences you're concerned about.
Account recovery is a basic feature of a website (except those that contain data too sensitive to have account recovery), and they're giving it up for phantom security.
Must have been really tempting to just sack it off as a bad job. Congrats to the team!
I know OAuth has it's own warts, but isn't part of the point to offload the burden of authentication to someone else?
Also, feel free to replace OAuth with Mozilla Persona or OpenID.
 - s/storing less password/storing less information\(email\)/
I love PE and I don't intend this question snarkily at all, but am genuinely curious why securing a database of emails for a site as simple as PE would be such a perilous problem? I know security in general is always more difficult that it appears, but in this case I would have thought we were dealing with a solved problem. I'd love to hear about why my assumptions are wrong.
What is in the opinion of the HN community a good score on Project Euler?
For which scores do you tip your figurative hat?
Remember kids: Most software development isn't about puzzle solving and algorithms, it's about making stuff like forms work properly.
Of course the puzzles and algorithms are fun, which is why I'm signing up for PE again!
Neither the news page, nor the "about" page, nor the front page of "Project Euler" care to explain what this website is all about. Of course, I can guess that it has to do with mathematical problems of some sort.
It is sad if you have to turn to Wikipedia to find out the basic details about a website. A sentence or two of introduction would have made everything better :-)
One feature to add might be a view for one year ago today. There are journals that have 365 pages and you write a line for each year of the highlights of the day. As you write the new year's line you end up reviewing what you were doing in previous years. It seems like you have most of the pieces to do this.
That being said, I feel like the replies here are a bit of a hugbox. As far as the app's value itself goes, I don't see any benefit of this compared to an accomplished.txt file. In fact, a txt file is better because it covers more use cases and has a simpler interface(just start typing).
Why should I use this rather than a notepad? Look for features you can add that would be useful for manipulating data about accomplishments. Find ways to set the app apart.
Accomplishment ranking could be one useful feature. Then you could list even the tiny accomplishments, but if you want to just look at the big accomplishments you can always sort based on ranking to clear out the noise.
Stress burns the mind in the same way as physical activity burns the muscle. At some point you need to give your mind a rest. I suggest this book:
or this one:
This should help you keep your strengths intact regardless of your current situations ... who is to say that next endeavor will be better than the previous one.
While that would have been moderately amusing, the actual application is a much more useful and helpful concept.
Great job on launching something!
How about a Windows Phone version (Hey stop laughing! I am too being serious)
I find critique useful, I hope you do too. I do not like the notifications, how you set them. I would prefer to wake up to my morning alarm and see a random awesome thing I did the day or week before, along with a motivational 1-a-day quote.
One thing I wanted in my app was a timeline view so that I could see an overview of the most notable events in my life, and drill into certain periods for more detail. I think you could do that with this app.
Lastly, provide a way to export data. I want to remember these things forever, even if you decide not to continue supporting the app.
I'm giving this app a shot to see if it has benefits over the .txt file. Thanks!
Looks nice too :)
I'm a recent graduate, in the weird transition of student life and real life.
So my questions...Is it possible to load up a bunch of existing data in to the app? And would there be a way to implement a count of the achievements for each category?
The value proposition is just really bad in all the services I've seen so far.
"Oh, you want me to sign up for your service so that I can look at the content you think I should see alongside the ads you're making money off of? And what exactly is in it for me?"
Something I would pay for: a rolodex social network. No centralized feed. No useless info. Your profile is 2-3 sentences and your current city (with some sort of maps integration for when you travel, to see who's near you). Two buttons, one to request to view resume, and another to request to view email. That's it. With the idea being, you use the site to enable you to keep up with people. You add people you know or have worked with to your network, and you can easily get their current email and catch up when you're in the same city. Simple, no obnoxious ads, no slimy tactics to increase time on the site.
Probably will never come to pass, but I can dream...
I think this has been helped by the general lack of innovation in the email space. From pretty basic mail, we ended up with a few (very surprisingly few) email clients and very little advancement on the original theme outside of html formatting and huge inboxes.
Lots of people dump on Microsoft, but one of the huge upsides of exchange is the tight integration of mail and calendar. From a conversation you can immediately schedule actions. Invites are even sent out over SMTP if I'm not mistaken. Getting a calendar to integrate well with gmail was one of the major accomplishments of web-based email, yet it seems like repeating this anywhere else is an accomplishment comparable to discovering cold fusion.
There's also been pitifully little work done in improving the experience of managing email and calendar servers. Managing spam is still a tremendous problem and all this adds up to most places, if they aren't using Exchange, just buying corporate Outlook.com or gmail accounts for their employees.
The problem of course is that for any serious advancement to really work, everybody (both client and server) have to move to support the advancement.
But one lesson to be learned from Facebook and G+ is that email can be replaced by an easier to use and friendlier system. There's a possibility of disruption, but it's obviously not in anybody's particular interest to keep reinventing email+otherstuff in this kind of highly centralized way. If Facebook goes down, there goes a huge chunk of the global communication system. At least with email I can be pretty sure my message is going to arrive at the destination at some point.
Another lesson to be learned is that social networks like Facebook are actually just a combination and integration of two (or three) common things that used to be all over the web: a personal website and email. You get a profile (which does a good enough approximation of the personal homepages of the web 1.0 days but actually a bit more like ) and people can message you (and more recently IM you). Basically a global presence you don't have to put much effort into to manage and a way to contact you. More importantly Facebook offers you various levels of control over who can see your presence and who can message you. Spam is almost unknown in Facebook's version of email.
So when I see distributed social network efforts like Diaspora, and all this talk of authentication and protocols and whatnot I wonder why we're not really using and extending the distributed infrastructure we already have. Even if we improve it in some way that makes it no longer work with the old email network, it won't be the first time a better internet service replaced a previous one (WWW replaced gopher for example) -- there's no reason two competing distributed messaging services can't run in parallel.
The first two of those properties arise from being based on the DNS for SMTP endpoint discovery.
This is why every protocol needs to specify that it uses the DNS, and how.
And that is why I get so worried that the draft HTTP/2 editors so steadfastly refuses to do so.
Email will outlive everyone commenting here because it works. I run my own server so I know the NSA don't have direct access to content (although I always take note of any inbound messages that are flagged as not having used TLS, or where the other address is gmail etc.), I can make disposable addresses, addresses specific to websites (to identify sites that sell/leak your address), I can run my own spamfiltering that doesn't invade my privacy, I can DKIM sign my messages and have a provable way that only I sent the message, I can use PGP for any private information, I have a set of filters to classify email so I don't even need to spend that much time dealing with it, and I can access it from anywhere I can get an SSH client. No service does that.
It is also a good medium for non urgent communication that paper mail used to serve. The problem people see with email is actually not a problem at all with email, it is with how it is sometimes abused. My boss sometimes sends me an email and then prods me via Slack if I did not read it in 5 minutes. That is what these chat/message services are replacing... The short term action required requests that were formerly served with a phone call.
Sure, email isn't "sexy" anymore, but that doesn't mean people of my generation don't appreciate it.
Is email our last success in popularizing an open and federated standard?
Maybe you can count OAuth, but IMO i have low confidence that we'll in the near future be able to collaborate on an open protocol so that many benefits of email such as control without vendor lock-in can be enjoyed.
We have too many entrenched interests by the main players. I have been working briefly on improving the exchange of trust/reputation data online, but it seemd for us that there was no alternative to a proprietary system if you wish to see widespread adoption.
EDIT: I guess Bitcoin has good potential.
Looking at Facebook's sign up page right now, and it seems that email is still required for registering a new account.
The thing is, almost every Internet service still requires an email address to sign up, and that ranges from mobile games to ecommerce shops. Some services provide the alternatives of allowing users to sign up via Facebook/Twitter/Google+; but in order for the users to get a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account, they'll still need to sign up using an email address. Besides, almost all services that allow social network sign-in gives their users the option to sign up with email as well.
The services that do not allow email signups are few and far between -- like Medium.com, for example, but as said before, in order to get a Facebook or Twitter account, the user would still need an email address. Even mobile only apps like Whatsapp still appear to require an email address to sign up for their online support site.
I use gmail so that I get good operation cross device but it's heavily filtered so I only see a fraction of total email on my phone, but I can search everything.
I then pop everything off using fetchmail and process all emails down to zero once or twice a day using pine (either in Terminal or irssi connectbot on my xperia).
This suits me not only from a day to day perspective but also because if gmail locks me out for some reason I can easily route around it and still have a full
backup of my email history.
applications die, protocols stay.
if your software solution use the web protocol, you're already limited by it. that's why I hate 99% of the internet techs.
This is a big part of why email continues to thrive. So many services have email baked in (e.g. a new WordPress install sends you an email). There are some services that let you choose between email and SMS, like plane reservations and banking alerts, but 95% of the time, any notification will come through email.
Given that, there is no way you could eliminate email without cutting off all those services in the process. Any new protocol to replace email would have to be a drop-in replacement for anything that currently sends out email or at least coexist peacefully alongside it.
You would think that if anyone could accomplish that it would be Facebook or Twitter, but I haven't seen any integration like that so far (e.g. get your plane reservation update or Amazon shipping confirmation by Twitter DM or Facebook message).
For example, I don't remember the last time my team sent an internal email that wasn't a forward from a client. We use Slack. Exclusively. We organize projects around it, sales efforts, everything. It has the async nature of email, the separation of topics like email, and the search power of email. It also means that none of us ever feel like we're out of the loop.
The closest that anyone has come have been the big social providers with messaging applications which mimic email in many respects. Even then, they are copying the email model with a branded version - not replacing it.
It will take an entirely new and different protocol that simplifies communication with the same or better capability scope to displace email.
I don't see cloud designs of now working on top of standards like email does. No wonder data tends to get stuck in silos these days.
http://incubator.apache.org/wave/ first from Google, now Apache) was/is a brave try. The main problem with email is the lack of consistent formatting rules which means that it's difficult to keep track of structure.
But hey, it's a massive success. Worse sometimes really is better.
One thing that email does not provide for anyone is choice. The barrier to entry is running your own IMAP, SMTP, and possibly spam blocker servers, which almost no one wants to or even knows how to do anymore. It's also somewhat inefficient for conversations, just like regular snail mail is inefficient for conversations. You mail letters, not one-line replies.
So I tend to think of IMs, chat rooms, and other methods of communication on the Internet as simply compliments to email, not replacements for it. Nothing will replace it, because nothing needs to. It's email.
(sidenote: I'm pretty sure one big reason everyone uses email is because they were given an email account, and didn't have to search out the technology. You don't see people clamoring about the reduced use of Usenet in comparison to forums nowadays. Same can be said for texting, I personally got a phone one day and someone sent me a text message, that's how I started texting. Probably never would have thought getting text messages sent to a phone that I can just talk on would have been a useful enough communications platform to seek out and possibly pay for.)
But I do use the heck out of email ever since I quit all social networks a couple of years ago.
I really think that if Google could help alleviate people's concerns with email (volume, spam etc), people would be quite happy with email again :)
But I agree that email is a great thing. I hope someone creates a sick email client that turns back the flow from Facebook to the email. I'm fine with Thunderbird + Enigmail, but I don't see the average person using it any time soon (or ever if unchanged).
1) Even if there is a low chance of success, it would be wildly profitable if successful, and investing early gets you a good share if it's successful.
2) Fusion power would make the world a better place; investing in this way, when you already have huge returns and it's someone else's money, is actually rational even if you think it's not the best financial investment.
3) This looks like an amazingly smart team; even if they fail at fusion, they might find something worthwhile in the process. Just handling magnetics and high power well could be a useful toolkit for other problems.
4) "Halo effect" -- both because it's awesome science/engineering and because it shows a willingness to take extreme risks -- boosts YC (which probably doesn't need it) and Mithril (which is maybe even more awesome than YC, but nowhere near as widely known). If it loses $1.5mm but makes it more likely the next Facebook comes to either of these funds, it's a win.
It's certainly interesting, and I wish these companies all the best. The consternation I see occasionally over a company like this getting a (relatively) small amount of funding confuses me. There are so many software startups that receive equivalent or greater funding that eventually die or pivot into something else. Here, you have physical cutting edge engineering with potential implications that blow something like Slack, or Square, or even Uber away. Personally, I love seeing companies in the physical space get in on today's Silicon Valley high.
Semi-related, but I've been to NIF (National Ignition Facility), since I spent a summer at LLNL, and the inside of that facility is like the dream vision of every little kid that was into science and science fiction. Unfortunately (as my physicist significant other who was not working there found out) the public tours are far more restricted and you don't get to see the cool stuff.
Safe: With no possibility of melt-down, or hazardous nuclear waste, fusion dose not suffer the drawbacks that make fission an unattractive alternative.
I wonder what the service interval on an installed reactor will be? Or are they doing isotope separation on the produced helium on-site?
(Fun fact: you can get deuterium from water but helium comes from natural gas fields! It's literally a fossil gas, which is why we're running out of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium#Occurrence_and_productio... )
1: Commercially, heavy water is a byproduct of electrolysis plants: since deuterium doesn't electrolyze quite as easily as light water, it tends to accumulate in electrolysis stacks
2: The same rock formations that trap natural gas also trap helium.
edit: looks like it is - this is the group: https://www.aa.washington.edu/research/plasmaDynamics/phdx.h...
Three decades? Either this is a very long-term investment, or a very confusingly written article.
I had office hours today with a co in the current YC batch whose (genuine) TAM is so big I worry investors won't be able to parse it.
Three... years? Decades? Days? Millennia?
Another big contender (IMHO) is Tri Alpha's aneutronic approach: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri_Alpha_Energy,_Inc.
Either way, cool stuff!
Fusion works particularly well for stars because of gravity. We're trying to use magnets to contain superheated plasma.
The Sun generates less energy on a kg-for-kg basis that compost . And it has gravity to contain the byproducts (other than energy).
But the real problem is neutrons. To start a fusion reaction with a small amount of matter we use heavy isotopes of hydrogen (specifically deuterium = 1 neutron, tritium = radioactive isotope with 2 neutrons). The fusing material releases neutrons that damage the containing reactor.
This is using the most "promising" deuterium-tritium reaction.
Alternatives are suggesting using He3. Unfortunately that's super-rare, which kinda defeats the point of "free" energy.
I remain skeptical but hoping to be proven wrong.
Here's an article about MagLIF research using the Z Machine at Sandia Labs: http://www.nature.com/news/triple-threat-method-sparks-hope-...
Not exactly related, but this made me wonder : inside a tank full of liquid hydrogen, do the DH and DD molecules lie on the bottom? Is it possible to just siphon them from there?
The figure, deuterium fuel is confusing as deuterium is an isotope and am unsure what they mean 'extraction' (how?).
Directly how? No boiling water driving pistons, no intervening steps at all? It seems a bit like "and then a miracle occurs" to me.
They are all so apt -- A steampunk-sounding mechanism for combining things, a mythical element/alloy of magical powers, and a naked Helium nucleus. It just tickles something very artistic for me.
Edit:  ok fine it's actually a math function, but I like my perception of the name better.
For comparison, consider robotics, drones, nanotechnology, and AI. I am fascinated by these subjects (and, apparently, so are many other HN readers), but I have some concerns that these non-nuclear technologies may end up having very negative consequences. Yet these high tech areas, with which I would guess the HN readers have a better understanding than fusion, don't engender such negative reactions here.
1.) There's no chain reaction mechanism.2.) The probability of a reaction constrains reaction size. 3.) The absurd amount of heat generated by fusion. I think I once heard it was 100M degrees.
Curious, anybody know how they design around this? Are they using some form of magnetized containment?
Excited to see this funded.
why do vcs with a specialty in software suddenly stray into completely unknown territory? nothing left to fund in software? rarely does this end well.
Tracking Google Apps for Education and even paid Google Apps for Business emails to build ad profiles, making misleading statement to the public that they're not doing so, and then when it finally came to statements to federal court, lacking the dare to continue lying and finally confessing the truth and then claiming the consumer Gmail policy applied to Apps for Education data.
Conspiring to kill SkyHook(and succeeding) with its 500lb outsized influence like Microsoft used to.
Tracking the physical location of Android phones for ad purposes without properly informing users and disabling things like Google Now if you disable the tracking.
Google employee access personal information of others. Google says it has fixed the issue, but how do we even know? Is there any legal safeguard against someone at Google reading your email?
Paid inclusion for shopping search results
Ranking Google+ reviews over Yelp results even if the user explicitly searches for Yelp
Decreasing contrast in the background of ads, this especially hurts older people as ability to see contrast decreases with age, and the FTC found that almost half the people fail to notice that there are ads on the page, thus forcing products that are first in the organic results to pay Google for ads.
Making people literally cry with the forced Google+ integration into Youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccxiwu4MaJs warning, NSFW language)
Extracting petty revenge on CNET for googling(!) information on its CEO
I regularly keep several hundreds of tabs open for months on end on my PCs one a 32 bit m/c another a 64 bit both with about a Gig of RAM (one a shade below 1 Gig). Trying to do the same with Chrome has been a torture.
I have used Chrome, its pretty good, but am very happy with FF. Some people get allergic reactions when I mention keeping so many tabs open, I have commented about it here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2936369#up_2936784
A few others have a snark ready, "buy some RAM", I perhaps could, but I would rather use my RAM for other purposes than clogging it with a browser (cat pictures), window manager eye candy etc. In addition, this low RAM environment has turned out to be a good filter, software written without much attention to detail or resource efficiency just doesnt run well, and thats perfectly fine with me. I like hanging out with better ones.
Technical features will continue to improve over time. The browser that is "best" in any given area will change as the code evolves. Most of the other reasons to like a given browser are the subjective opinions we all have or the particular use cases we have in mind.
None of this matters. When comparing Firefox and Chrome, the substantive difference isn't which browser is faster or which browser uses less memory. The difference that matters is the power of monopoly and what their dominance means for our future. Supporting Chrome by using it is a vote in support of Google being able to dictate standards. Chrome already sends way too much data for storage and analysis.
Even worse, using Chrome instead of Firefox will eventually damage the Free Software ecosystem. While most people focus one the availability of source code, barriers in interoperability is the more fastest and most effective way restrict both developer and user freedom. This is why the LGPLv2 puts a special restriction on static linking; you (usually) can't replace or modify the Free Software components unless they are dynamically linked. We already see Google following Apple's lead in restricting phones. Do you really want the browser to end up with Android-style limitations?
Even though I don't think it's a good idea to let anybody aggregate and analyze all the data we generate, I can respect the decision of someone who actually wants Google/Chrome to win over Firefox. I'm primarily suggesting that there are Big Issues going on around us and - intentional or not - there seems to be a lot of people being distracted by stuff that won't matter in the long run.
"...we have to create the future, or others would do it for us." - Ivonova, B5/"Sleeping In Light"
 Even if Prism and XKeyScore didn't exist, that data is still merely a subpoena or "national security letter" away from the NSA or any other branch of government.
 "Open Source" is not the same thing.
 (lack of) interoperability is also the problem a lot of us have with systemd. Too much focus on technical features that distracts from the threat to interoperability.
I once switched from Firefox to Chrome as Firefox became bloated and drifted away from its original mission to be a light weight branch from Mozilla (the browser). Now it is much better, but I still end up using Chrome when doing front end development as the developer tools on Chrome are fantastic. I do notice lately though that Firefox is putting new emphasis on devtools.
Whether you agree with Google or not (I don't), be realistic and admit that any web platform standard like pointer events that lacks an Apple implementation won't help developers--how good is a "standard" that doesn't work on the iPhone/iPad? My guess is that Apple sees no reason to move quickly on improving web standards, since they'd rather have people develop for their proprietary walled garden. They just created a new proprietary language to do so!
Microsoft and Mozilla lack the market share in mobile devices to be able to move standards in any direction by themselves. Google is in the driver's seat. Apple is willing to sit quietly in the back and we seem to be okay with that?
On Windows, there's also the 32-bit issue. On machines with 8+ GB of RAM, having all tabs share a 2 GB address space just doesn't cut it. Especially when your addon model, one of the key features that sets Firefox apart from other browsers, eats an additional 4 MB of this limited space per tab (and that's just for one addon).
Having said all that, I know that brilliant people are working on fixing this, and there have been huge improvements in the past year. And that's how I hope they'll win back users: by building a better browser, not just by appealing to open-source ideals and fear.
But frankly it kind of sucks a bit and I have to jump over to Chrome a lot because almost no videos will play in FF.
Obviously the underlying goal here is a plea for more FF marketshare, but it's a tad hypocritical if the message is to not use services from a company you're promoting yourself. That's do as I say, not as I do type stuff.
For example, you have locked (left and right) arrows and now refresh button. What's next home button ? I don't mind arrows been locked, even throught I like to have a choice. But having my refresh button locked in one place without ability to move it to alternative spot is just rediculous.
Another weird option which is missing is ability to disable PDF view inside firefox browser. Again I can use "about:config" and switch "pdfjs.disabled" from "false" to "true".
But having this options in Preferences will be much better.
Not to mantion a lot of websites load much faster in Chrome or Chromium then Firefox.
I think this is why many people ether user it as second browser or switching from Firefox to Chrome/Chromium.
As for Google search engine, I have been using "DuckDuckGo.com" as alternative for some time now. For email use "ZoHo.com" instead of Gmail.com
Firefox changed the game back in the early 2000s not only because it fought for the open web, but because it was way better than the competition.
Granted, beating a very actively developed product is much harder than a stagnant one. Google's got a lot of smart people working on it. I think Mozilla is going to have radicalize and go places where competition isn't willing to be. Crazy different features and UI besides evangelizing on privacy.
Web developers trying to make their pages look exactly the same in "all browsers" may enjoy a browser monopoly since it reduces the effort, but I think that's the wrong way to do it; instead, they should aim for "similar enough" - after all, content is what site visitors are after. The idea of progressive enhancement/graceful degradation, which can make for a better environment for browser diversity, seems to be completely lost on many developers.
Love the project, have nothing but minor complains.Currently leading the list: For quite a while FF on Android has a 'broken' long press menu on links. Someone thought that it should be
Share Link ->
Open Link in New Tab
Open Link in Private Tab
I.. guess I don't understand how others use their browser. The last action doesn't make sense to me (bookmarking a link I haven't visited/open?), but worse: The first item annoys the hell out of me. Same question applies (share a link that isn't open?), but reserving the top spot for that? In my world you use the 'open in *tab' operations or copy a link. I regularly hit 'Share Link' and curse about the UX and shake my head trying to figure out what process lead to this design.
Minor quibbles.. :-) Best browser, hands down.
* Still no elastic scrolling, 3 entire years after that became the standard scroll behavior for all Mac apps (this started in Mac OS 10.7)
* Still missing HiDPI icons for most toolbar and sidebar icons, 2 years after the first Retina Macbooks were released
* Took nearly THREE YEARS to adopt the new scrollbar style first seen in Mac OS 10.7 
At the point that the bugs were interfering with my daily life, I switched to Firefox. There are a few extensions I miss, but overall, it's made my life better.
The only thing I really miss is the separation of tabs from each other, so that one tab can't bring down the entire browser. It is very rare, but I was visiting a site yesterday that did it. It was painful to wait until the UI would be responsive enough to kill the tab.
A web browser is probably the least sticky software application you could conceive of. Switching from one browser to the next can typically be done in minutes, so reading something like
> So if you want an Internet --- which means, in many ways, a world --- that isn't controlled by Google, you must stop using Chrome now
makes me think the author of the article has a huge chip on his shoulder.
This not the right tone for this kind of discussion.
This may be true but it doesn't seem to do much to bolster the argument. I just want to know - what are those things?
I find their own reasoning for making Android and Chrome in the first place quite compelling. They're making platforms from which it is easy to use their services and distributing them freely. With that in mind how is creating lock-in in their interests? What motives would they have for creating a lock-in with their platforms? Why would Google want to risk less use of their products from other browsers and platforms? Google makes money from the use of their services, but not from Chrome directly. The only way they're making money on Android "directly" is the Play Store.
The examples mentioned in the blog post are not very strong examples of Google creating lock-in. Of course offline Docs is coming to Chrome (and Chromebooks) first. Google has long announced that Chrome would become Android's default browser (and was criticized when it was not). I don't think they are particularly laudable actions on their own, but I don't think they are evidence of a bigger Google plan to create lock-in.
Do i care? I do, but none of these are going to pull users away from Chrome. As a matter of fact, if Firefox didn't have a bunch of loyal fans, Chrome would have taken over 60% of Desktop Browsers market shares. With the majority of the rest going to IE, then Safari and Firefox.
Users care about speed. Having deployed over 100s installation of Firefox, and forcing them to use it, everytime they get to touched Chrome their instant response was, why is this so much faster. Can I use this?
I am a Firefox Fans, but I hated it, all because i love it so much.
Want Firefox to succeed? Then they will need to change priorities.
The multi process in Chrome is implemented in a very bad way that multiply without a reason the RAM usage, it is better implemented in Safari but still heavy, I eventually have crash in Firefox once a month, but the session manager addon can remedy. As for addons they use way less memory in Firefox, you can see it with the about:addons-memory addon (yes another one), "add block edge" uses around 25MB, whereas in Chrome it is 10x more. I still use Chrome for webdev, but the firefox dev tools are progressing.
Tree Tab Style is a better way to navigate the web, you can see more tabs because screens are wide and the web is vertical, so it makes a better use of the screen. Also the tree structure is better for the way to browse the web with hyper-links, it is like a multi stack trace of page you saw.
I know you can get rid of it, but then I have to fiddle around with about:config to get it working as I want it to out of the box. All very strange.
I use Firefox on the desktop mainly because of Tree Style Tabs and Snap Links. I can't browse the web without these two anymore.
I use Firefox on mobile because it allows me to use extensions. Especially, with Ad Block Edge, I can browse mobile web without the annoying ads. And with Phony (user agent switcher), I can easily switch to the desktop version of a site.
Speaking of Ad Block Edge, anyone complaining of Firefox being slow and hogging memory, it's probably because of Ad Block 'Plus'. Replace it with Ad Block 'Edge' and enjoy smooth browsing!
Second, Firefox give me more freedom so far. I can install whatever plugin I want, regardless whether violate Google's terms of service. Instant example, you can't download a Youtube video with chrome store app.
I would love there to be a minimal but usable browser.
It's littered with garbage-ware. Outdated extensions, broken extensions and extensions with fucking ads. It seems like anything can get in and you don't know if it's broken until you test it yourself.
It's a mess. At least with Firefox addons you can expect a certain level of quality, especially with the vetted addons, and you know before you install it whether it;s likely to be compatible.
EDIT - This thread is an example of 'That escalated quickly!'
By the way isnt Mozilla like 90 percent financed by Google?
EDIT: Would much prefer Opera if it supported all my Chrome extensions.
Firecrap will support HTML5 DRM. What kind of choice are you talking about? We have _no choice_ (well, except from way smaller projects, which doesn't matter. I can't see the majority of users using netsurf or some other cool project).
Yes, I still use firefox from time to time, but the situation is getting worse. Instead of fixing older bugs, they keep adding new ones. Huge memory leaks and for what? For a browser that supposedly let's you view... web pages.
I begin to think that unix and it's simplicity destroyed my way of thinking. ;)
With `bent` you mean like they're trying to build the best products people would want to use? What should they do instead, not try as hard?
> Google controls Android, which is winning; Chrome, which is winning; and key Web properties in Search, Youtube, Gmail and Docs, which are all winning.
IOTW success of a competitor is bad.
# of open tabs - % MarketShare1 50%??? 2357101215202550100??200 tabs open?
And also do it by browser type?
Plus Why not show us how productive you are with hundreds of tabs open in FF? Or for that matter any other browser?
They're actively making it worse. It's slower and more bloated than ever.
Not to mention it caused a small periodic interruption in MacOS (you were typing and then it would stop the whole system). Shut down Chrome and voila, no more interruptions.
I'm using Chrome exclusively for GMail, and I keep logged out of Google on FF which is used for everything else.
I am using firefox because it is multi-threaded (vs. chrome's multi-process) and thus lighter. My version is still 28 since it has less dependencies than current one.
Be different, otherwise FF may die.
1) Bring security sandboxing already.
2) Fix the terrible rendering on Android. Seriously, Firefox has literally the worst rendering out of all mobile browsers. And by worst, I mean slowest. I don't know whether it's some kind of on purpose delayed rendering, or if it's just that slow, but they need to change that. It's especially more obvious on lower-end phones (where Firefox OS is supposedly making a big push).
Also, after all this time, Opera Classic (not the new one) is still my preferred browser on Android. It acts the way it should when double tapping (makes the page big and usable). Chrome/new Opera don't really do anything when double tapped. And it has the fastest rendering.
It also still has a great mobile browser UI. I don't know what Opera did with the new one, but they totally killed that UI in it. Anyway, my point is, Firefox could learn a thing or two from Opera Classic for mobile.
NaCl let's you use e.g. C# in-browser without shitty and low-performance workarounds like transpiling. I hope it will become mainstream.
Because they make a good browser? Firefox is still slow, hangs frequently and the developer tools are still not up to par to Chrome's. All IMO of course, but as a developer I don't have the patience to use slower, clunkier tools "just because".
Also, Mozilla gets most of its revenue from their partnership with Google. Is there a difference between using a Google made browser or a Google funded browser?
1) Mono hasn't been updated for five years due to licensing issues on iOS. GC pauses with a complex game can be hundreds of milliseconds, being stop the world non generational.
2) A similar story of PhysX, though I can't pin down the exact date, 2010 at the latest
3) They added a new particle system with flashy features, but no scripting access. I don't even...
4) Unity 4 added next to nothing useful (DX11 naturally on Windows only, Mechanim which was broken etc), though it was necessary to purchase to keep getting bug fixes
5) No 64 bit editor is very painful (I have 32gb of ram laying around doing nothing)
6) The project is riddled with bugs, being added and removed each release, though probably much less than hacky in house solutions which are the norm in the game industry
7) Nasty serialization formats make programatically changing the hundreds of meta files in a project next to impossible
However, I'm getting the impression that the new Unreal licensing scheme has been a real kick in the ass for UT, and they're taking the competition seriously. Nearly every major problem I've had with Unity seems to be being worked on now, for Unity 5, after a long period of atrophy.
I fully expected Unity to die a slow death, and that it was just a question of when to switch to something else (there is not much high quality competition), but now I'm not so sure. If they pull off their roadmap, it'll finally be an engine I will be happy to use and recommend. Right now my feeling is: it does the job, mostly.
Note that the experience making small puzzle games for iOS etc may be very different, I've done that kind of thing but not with Unity.
We are only a two-person team, making a fairly limited-scope 3D puzzle racer game. Thus we didn't hit the major issues with collaboration bugs (we did a few times) or platform switching (we're focusing only on PC). We were able to build our MVP in less than 2 weeks of hacking, and it felt amazing. The asset store was also an amazing resource to circumvent the artist issues.
However, it's been nearly a year since then, and polishing the game to the standards we'd like has been presenting larger and larger challenges -- performance, obscure shader behaviour, limited editor extensibility (it's good, but not quite good enough), and reading this post, it looks like at this stage of development Unreal would have served us much much better.
If we can get our studio rolling and increase our team size to actually incorporate dedicated artists, we'll have to seriously consider switching to UE4 for our next game.
Jeff's write-up sheds insight that few people can have, given not everyone has spent the time to get well-enough acquainted with both engines in the team setting to know their professional tradeoffs as well, and I appreciate it a lot.
But the worst was the support. It was worthless. Anytime we would open a ticket, they would simply google and return us links to forum threads that didn't address our issue. When we asked about missing important features or bug fixes, they told us to buy something on the asset store.
I need the pro version of Unity3d to generate iOS, Android or VR games for the Oculus Rift.For someone who is just doing a bit of indie development, that's too expensive.
So I checked out UE4 also. You can subscribe for a month for $19 and then continue using the version that was the current version during your one month of subscription. If you need updates later on, subscribe for another month.
UE4 is harder to learn but looks a lot better than Unity OOTB.
Anyway, I hope Unity will be competitive again regarding pricing with the imminent announcement of their 5.0 release.
- How does UDK build apps for iOS natively on Windows without requiring a Mac? Are they doing some kind of insider thing that Unity can't replicate?
- I see Unity as massively extensible and that's one thing I like about it. Comparisons are often made between vanilla Unity and UDK; what about Unity + PlayMaker + UFrame + Level Builder, etc. I don't see this ease of editor extensibility with UE4 (I'm sure it's there; but the Unity Asset Store just lets me cherry-pick one, click buy and then just have it to use immediately after download - I like that).
- My biggest gripe with the editor is the font size. Will the new UI that's coming in 4.6 and/or 5.0 allow me to increase the font size used by the Unity editor to actually make it comfortably usable rather than fatiguing?
FWIW I've preordered Unity 5 and I use UE4 at the moment as well. Nothing big completed in either engine (just some side work here and there) but no fanboy-ism for any particular one (though a bit of a fondness for Unity as I encountered it back in the old Mac days when Unity were called Over The Edge Entertainment; GooBall was pretty cool by the way).
However, for smallish projects (smaller than Republic Sniper, I mean) sometimes it's the right choice. I see a lot of indies struggling with lugging around and maintaining a huge engine (unity, especially, but even cocos2d), and running up against the limitations like difficulty integrating with native sdk features, and their game's requirements are modest enough that they could probably code it from scratch in not too much time.
For visual programming in Unity, there's PlayMaker -- an add-on available from the asset store. It allows creation and graphical editing (and graphical runtime debugging) of FSMs (though not hierarchical FSMs). It's quite a good implementation of a FSM / event / action framework. It's basically superior to some tech I spent half of 2013 developing for an in-house proprietary engine.
I agree on the collaboration problems. Even with purely text-based serialization, collaboration is one of Unity's weak points.
Things were synced using subversion.
I never really jumped in that. I did not continue at that school.
I really think a video game is something that should be made with your custom tools. A good smith makes his own tools. Of course if you want to save time, you can use an expensive, well-made tool, but it will be at the expense of something else.
I'll always remember at that school, quickly arguing with a guy, that in C++ a vector is just a linked list.
Game programming is often highly technical, and often much more complex than what you're expecting it to be. That's why you should not neglect your tools and highly concentrate on making choices that fit your work.
Unity seems like it was built with ease of of entry as a first consideration. As people do larger and more ambitious projects with it they are hitting some of the tradeoffs and limitations. I am sure UE4 is a good choice as well.
I moved because I was originally a C++ developer. Had code lying around I could use easily.
That really doesn't seem like a great way to run a railroad.
But it comes off as a rant without a real suggestion.
Python 3 was an internal interpreter cleanup. That's actually part of its lack of widespread popularity. The core developers didn't add a ton of unique functionality (and most of the new stuff was backported to 2.7 anyway), but they fixed some annoying problems in the CPython codebase and broke some things in the name of cleanup/unification of concepts. They made Python easier to maintain and easier to build new features atop. They sharpened the axe.
Yes, they didn't clean up Armin's pet thing -- slots. And they created new problems for library developers in their bytes vs unicode changes. But they cleaned up a whole lot of other stuff.
I personally think with the maturity of pypy and the stability of both the 2.7 and 3.4 lines of development, the Python ecosystem has never been more exciting. The advances in pypy make Python attractive for CPU-bound work and the inclusion of asyncio in the stdlib will make it more and more attractive for I/O-bound work over time. Python has long been a winner for mixed workloads, and the ecosystem around Python, especially pydata utilities like numpy and pandas, keep getting better. Stop complaining -- let's just build an awesome future atop this marvelous language.
This post remember me of Spolsky's one (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/LeakyAbstractions.htm...) though. When you get to a point where you get to know what's under the hood and why it's not working the way you are trying to use, however in a majority of cases you are just fine and don't need to know what's happening under the hood and maybe if this majority is big enough that's just fine.
However, I am disappointed with the difficulty of turning a program into a Windows EXE. I wrote a small program (couple of thousand lines), tried Py2exe which failed to handle the Numpy (or Matplotlib, I forget which) imbroglio.
PyInstaller works, except that the EXE is 85MB, and takes one minute to start up. Not practical for customer distribution. I can't expect my customers to install the Python runtime. In contrast, my 500KLOC C++ program, with all its third-party libraries, is 19MB. Yes, I know, Python needs everything including the kitchen sink. Still, 85MB is not practical.
Too bad. Not all programs run on a server.
>>> original = 42 >>> class FooProxy: ... def __getattr__(self, x): ... return getattr(original, x) ... >>> proxy = FooProxy() >>> proxy 42
>>> sys.getsizeof(OldStyleClass), sys.getsizeof(NewStyleClass) (104, 904) >>> sys.getsizeof(OldStyleClass()), sys.getsizeof(NewStyleClass()) (72, 64)
A great feature that's not really talked about is the __prepare__ function in metaclasses: you can supply a custom type that stores all class members. You could whip up multiple-dispatch using this (it lets you handle classes with duplicate property names) in conjunction with signature annotations, which I think is pretty neat.
Ronacher should also know better than to post microbenchmarks like the one provided here, especially without corresponding (C) profiler output. At the C level, slots allow the implementation constant-time access to the most common code paths for an object, and especially when you have C code calling other C code via the type system (IMHO the primary use for Python, and still its strongest use case), "interpreter overhead" is reduced to a few extra memory indirection operations.
In the alternative world, sure, perhaps some microbenchmark may behave faster, but now systemically, and for e.g. "reduce(operator.add, range(1000))" requires more hash table lookups than I can count.
Python is all about providing a lightweight way to compose bits of fast code (the kernel, network stack, NumPy, MySQL, whatever). Unfortunately somewhere along the way solutions like Django got popular, which are almost the antithesis to this old viewpoint. Ronacher seems to be advocating that we should punish the CPython implementation's traditional strong areas in favour of.. actually, he didn't even describe any vision that was impacted by his complaints. He just seems to want the CPython implementation to suffer.
Perhaps his complaint about new-style __getattribute__ would be better suited as a bug report, it seems the only substantial observation made about the language itself in this post.
I'd probably argue that most uses of metaclasses are a reason to step back and make the code simpler. There are a few cases where they come in very usefully, but at least in open source code, they create a barrier to understanding and increase complexity.
ython starts to get ugly when you start writing code that does "automagical things", and that's somewhat tolerated because it's not a language for building automagical things.
Or, to say it another way, if you have to think about how the interpreter works, your python has jumped off the idiomatic wagon a while ago.
That being said __slots__ as a performance enhancement is crazy useful - and I'd like to see more things in that area.Though for most people, the thing that would lead to cleaner code would be a more powerful and elegant standard library.
Sounds like OP should investigate Lua (and LuaJIT in particular).
He might like Lua more than Python.
(Given that OP created Flask, I'd love to see a Flask equivalent developed in Lua)
(Just a joke, people. Just a joke.) Anyway, I wonder why Armin's not more involved with core Python things, his perspective should be valuable. As someone doing some Python stuff on the side his articles are always worth reading carefully.
The Python community has always been the best part of the language, but the important subcommunities like NumPy, Twisted and PyPy has always seemed like they are a bit outside looking in. I don't know why. Perhaps the language would have evolved differently if these projects were a bit more involved in the actual language development.
So I think it's about time that leaders of the community like Ronacher, Rietz, Gaynor, etc come together to talk about the next generator of Python.
We have PyPy now; why not use the tremendous advances there in the next Python?
Python 3 was supposed to be "the next thing" five years ago; it fizzled. Let's make the real "next thing" for 2016. Python 4.
Also, <3 Flask. So good.
If you didn't read it all the way through, do so over lunch or something; it's amazing.
The idea of "millions of dollars" worth of debt being traded for around on thumb drives, and that all those thumb drives really contain are excel spreadsheets is mind boggling. Those people in those spreadsheets are real people, and they're being completely duhumanized.
Also the fact that debt is being purchased for 1/12 of a penny is completely just...unbelievable.
Honestly this whole article reads like some dystopian nightmare. Shady former criminals trading peoples' lives around like it's nothing.
For example, if you're about to sell $1.00 worth of my debt to someone for $0.10, first you must offer it to me at the same cost: $0.10.
Billions of dollars are being thrown around at companies where the average level of technical sophistication is Excel spreadsheets and the prototypical competitor is a high-school graduate with an average of N weeks of experience in the industry.
When they called I was confused at first, then remembered and realized it was legit, paid it, end of story. They were utterly professional and courteous about everything.
The real question is how to make digital signatures work for people at that level. That's a really tough question; I don't have the answer there. Maybe Excel could have some sort of row-signature cell type, which could stack (e.g. First Martian Bank would sign each row upon issuance, then each seller would just sign it again). It'd be even better if it weren't just a statically-signed document, but could also document stuff like 'Joe Smith paid down $320 in principal.'
Gosh, almost sounds like Bitcoin or a similar protocol would make sense here
About 12 years ago, I started getting letters from a debt agency about a medical bill that I did not owe. Letters that I forwarded to the insurance company.
Then the phone calls started, with people trying to convince me to pay a bill I didn't owe.
It took about 9 months to get it sorted out. What had happened is that the doctor had improperly billed the insurance, for a fee they had already billed for, and the insurance refused to pay it.
The doctor's office sent it to collections. And the collections agency would only stop harassing me if I got the doctors office to call them and admit they had billed incorrectly.
That was not fun.
they take donations to buy debt and instead of then trying to call in that debt, they just forget it, absolving the original debtor
My mind bends, but cannot wrap around why this game is necessary.
So all I have to do to get out of my loans is live off the grid for 7 years? I wonder if this is the same for student loans.
2. Don't pay it back
3. Ask debt collector friend to buy debt
4. Pay him off
Why would this not work?
How to do such a thing? Seems impossible, but even a 4x or 5x overhead would be a giant bargain for the debtors next to the sharks, and the sharks wouldn't be able to compete on those margins.
I'm sensing a collective consumer opportunity. Form a group, take donations, buy the bad paper (for pennies on the dollar) and forgive all the debts on it. No doubt many of the people would be simple deadbeats, but lots of them are probably just people who ran into problems, and something like this would help clear up their credit and give them a new start. What a gift! I'd kick in $25 for something like this.
As a side effect, with cleaner credit the debtors would be able to start racking up more debt again and this would stimulate the economy!
Not long after getting out of prison, Wilson took a job as a debt collector. He proved quite good at it, and soon he bought some paper and opened his first agency. Later, he also became a debt broker or dealer, a type of role he knew quite well: I used to buy pounds of weed, all right, and then break it down and sell ounces to the other guys, who were then breaking it down and selling dime bags on the corner, right? Well, thats what [Im] doing in debt.
I mean a lot of it has comical tones -- granted, darkly comical. But, hey, I have probably had more real financial problems then most folks on HN and my dad once collected about 98% of the defaulted debts kept in (probably) a shoe box at a small business he worked for. So I have seen kind of both sides of this quite close to home.
Blind people can have a good or bad sense of direction, just like their sighted peers. I think the device described in the article might be more useful on short distances and less relevant for knowing where your home is while you're far away from it. This because blind people don't have the visual queues to determine if they're walking in a straight line for example. Getting immediate feedback could help with such skills and learn them how to verify the signals from the device with other senses.
Sensory substitution, aka how to replace input from one sense with input from another is a quite interesting topic.
They then take you into a series of rooms (bathroom, the street, art gallery, kitchen etc.) which are completely black. Not a shred of light. You are blind. I can't describe how it felt other than terrifying. I didn't know if my eyes were open or not. It wasn't the black that I saw when closing my eyes, or am sleeping in a dark room. It was this empty hollow of nothingness.
As someone who has always wondered what it's like to be blind then closed my eyes for a few minutes and stumbled around my home - it's nothing like that at all. I left having found a new sense of understanding for the struggles that blind and visually impaired people go through on a daily basis.
An interesting but harrowing statistic they mentioned at the end of our trip was that the majority of people go blind, instead of are born blind. And the main cause is diabetes. It's not uncommon that those with diabetes lose their sight and then their sense of touch. Imagine not being able to feel your way around after going blind.
I highly recommend the exhibition if you're ever in Warsaw, and I think they have it in a couple of other cities:http://niewidzialna.pl/en/
A much younger person I know who has very limited vision (and the prospect of declining vision as she grows up) attends summer mathematics programs with children running around playing soccer and Frisbee and seems to handle that with aplomb. To not even be able to recognize shapes or moving human beings, something that the blind people I know best are still able to do, would be especially challenging.
Aside: Have you all noticed that people who have acquired profound deafness that begins in adulthood have much less understandable speech than people with normal hearing? Apparently we all rely on feedback from our own senses to keep our speech behavior within the phonologically normal range of whatever language we speak as a native language, and habit alone can't maintain the fine tolerances necessary for readily understandable speech.
AFTER EDIT: Of course anyone can experience total lack of sight simply by going into a totally unlighted place. The human eye doesn't emit vision rays, after all (even though the ancient Greeks seemed to think otherwise), so if you are where there is no light, you see nothing with your eyes. Studies on the human diurnal behavior cycle are sometimes done in deep caves with no source of artificial light.
It seems slightly cruel to me to give someone a device to augment their senses without some provision for them to continue using it if the experiment is successful.
I suppose it's also possible that Wachter didn't want to continue using / being reliant upon the belt despite the loss of the spatial sense it had provided.
What has always fascinated me about sight is how our brains augment and outright invent things you think you see with your eyes. It's not at all about believing what you see, but about seeing what you believe.
The Glaucoma has steadily been eating away at my retina and optic nerves over the many years. Causing blind spots to form all over my visual field. In daily life, I can't see those spots. As in, there are not actually black holes in the images I perceive. The brain somehow manages to fill in those gaps with visual information directly surrounding those gaps and combine it with what my experiences/memories tell me should be there.
It's only when I start concentrating on really small details, that these holes become apparent. Particularly when looking at small LED lights in a dark environment. The LED keeps disappearing and reappearing as I slowly turn my head in various directions. Everybody has a single blind spot like this in the center of their visual field which behaves in the same way. Imagine this, but multiplied over 60 - 80% of your visual field.
Additionally, my almost-blind left eye has caused me to lose depth perception all together. This means those fancy stereoscopic 3D things are pointless to me and one would expect I would have a hard time in traffic. Not being able to judge the distance to an oncoming car can be deadly. But again, the brain seems to draw on its memories and years of experience and somehow manages to account for the lack of depth perception. It's not perfect, but enough to cope in daily life and safely move from A to B. At least on foot, that is. I am not allowed to drive a car for obvious reasons. A moped is technically permitted, but I don't. It moves too fast for me to accurately judge my surroundings in time. The same even goes for a bicycle. I only ride those in daylight. Not at night.
As far as blindness goes, I've had this once. As a kid, I fell out of a tree and landed flat on my back. For the following 45 minutes I was completely blind. It freaked me out to no end, as I was terrified it would not go away. Luckily it did. Not looking forward to that again!
Although having written that, I now wonder whether a person who loses their hearing might be plagued by phantom hums or such things, as can sometimes happen to hearing people when exposed to extended silence.
Gregor Mendel is called "father of modern genetics" for his work on plant hybridization and discoveries in the area of hereditary traits. He's called that because he described "invisible factors" producing "traits." We would now say that he discovered genes and their expression.
Around the same time Charles Darwin produced his great works on evolution. He was also essentially relying on invisible factors inherited from previous generations producing discernible traits in subsequent generations. He went beyond that and hypothesized about how constant sexual and natural selection would allow certain traits to be more common in the species as a whole.
Both of these men were essentially studying and describing genes, geneplexes & DNA. But, DNA was unknown to them. They knew that traits are handed down from one generation to another. But, if you asked them what the physical form of these traits was, they would have no answer.
DNA & Genes were not observable to them. They had placeholders in their mind. I guess they new that the seed produced by the parent plant contained the traits, but they might have also used "spirit" or "essence" as their placeholder.
We are at this stage when it comes to cognition. We don't know what a thought, memory or emotion looks like. We don't know what their physical form is. We know it has something to do with neurons and the brain, but we don't really know the how and what.
There is an obvious hole in our knowledge. It' missing in discussions like this.
Describing my lack of sight is difficult, because few people have the necessary frame of reference to understand. The best way I've found to describe it is to say that I can only see one side of my nose. Now, I know the other side is there, obviously, because I can look in a mirror and see it with my good eye. But without a mirror, that side of my nose doesn't exist to my vision. --There's not a dark blob or anything like that - it simply does not exist.
It also means I have no real depth perception. I have to try and estimate the distance of an object based on what I know of it's true size - when it's moving towards me, I don't get a real sense that it's actually coming at me, just that it's getting larger at some rate. Needless to say, that makes playing games like baseball very diffciult as there is not necessarily other objects around that make it easier for me to recognize the rate at which the ball is flying towards me.
It went on about some difficulties he had processing the new data. His brain had to "learn" how to see. It was so difficult that he would sometimes close his eyes and and rely on his echolocation skills to navigate.
Very interesting book if you want a first hand account of what it is like to go from being blind to being able to see. (and also about being blind)
People think that deafness means silence, but they are wrong. It is a constant noise that ranges from a gentle whisper going through some cracks to a constant buzz, which is worse.
My right eye is my "main" eye (95%) and my left eye just submits the missing parts from the left that my right can't see because of the nose being in-between.
I always have the right side of my nose in my field of view, except that at the same time it's somehow not there. Like 50% opacity. The left side of my nose isn't visible.
When I "hide" a finger behind my nose for the right eye and look in it's direction it's gone. When I stare straight forward, it appears again.
(My) vision is weird :).
> I see what sighted people describe as "white". When I ask a sighted person what they see out of their elbow they typically get it. They see "nothing", but if pressed will usually say "static" or "white".
Fact: I've met these rich/free people and they are largely working their asses off to get more rich (and presumably more free?). The ones who make it (largely) LOVE THE GAME. The few who get rich somehow but don't actually love the game of getting rich are listlessly complaining about being unhappy.
You don't love the game, it seems. The way to be happy/satisfied is to find the game that you love or learn to love the game you're playing. The latter is often what to focus on-- there people with much less interesting jobs that are satisfied with them. Whatever job you have, figure out how to be freakin' awesome at it and opportunities fall into your lap- trust me. Or be the guy who gets by, can't be happy, is always looking out the window.
All that said, don't settle for a shitty job. Get one where you're surrounded by people who impress you in an industry/market that has potential. That's where you'll find your next co-founder.
If you've got great ideas, start side projects. They turn into businesses all the time.
Reduce your burn rate ruthlessly and save $. Seriously, your car/house/clothes are too nice, and you have them because society makes you feel less successful if you don't. Happiness and stuff have virtually no correlation. Get to the point where you're downright smug about your burn rate. Smirk at people who drive BMWs.
Remember that a million years of evolution has made humanity naturally discontent-- do you think happiness/contentedness is a survival trait? Add to that the external pressure of peers who make it big, do "great things", and the river of marketing telling you that you need fancier watches, shinier cars, the newest iPhone. Being happy/content takes smarts and discipline that most people simply can't manage. Be one of the ones who can.
1) You're 25 years old, and already have one acqui-hire under your belt. That's pretty impressive. Considering probably 90%? 99%? of people will never have a startup they build acquired under any circumstances, it seems weird to describe yourself as an underachiever.
There's this weird cult of young entrepreneurship, where it's implied that if you're in your 20s, you must be founding companies or you're just wasting your time.
I'll throw something out there instead - why not spend the next few years working at your day job and trying to learn how to be a better startup founder the next time you do it? Think of it like being in training for the next gig.
2) my other perspective on this:
> What do you do when you believe that you can do great things but something that you have no control over is holding you back? You believe that you are good at what you do and are meant for great things but you have to do your job even though it doesn't do justice to your capabilities.
That's called "adulthood". Sometimes you have responsibilities that limit your options or make it hard to do what you love.
When you get older you'll see that it doesn't mean much. Once you achieve the status you've set your eyes on today, some higher status will beckon. The treadmill will never stop.
You can find happiness in work only if you find happiness in the work itself. Not only because of some monetary or prestige-based result.
Prestige chasing is not a recent phenomenon, but it is certainly more common now than it was in the past.
My father and engineers of his era entered the field for the love of making things. Yes, it provided a solid middle class job, but their aspirations were to work on some machine they were fascinated with, and to provide for their families. Becoming a millionaire or billionaire was not in the realm of possibility.
And yet they were so happy and content.
In my own generation many engineers are filled with angst. The stories of rich engineers fills them with envy ... and sometimes drive.
Because some engineer made it, you feel your good grades mean you can make it.
But success in business is not often linked to your engineering chops. And sometimes its not even linked to your hard work.
You need a combination of a lot of different traits.
And even with the traits you might be born in the wrong country and not make it.
But it is no loss to not make it. Happiness is not guaranteed by commercial success.
And many without commercial success are happier than those with commercial success.
As one of many who turned down a Google job long before it reached its lofty current share price, I have often had reason to question my life choices. My former colleagues who took the Google jobs are very comfortable (understatement). Sometimes I have pangs of regret. But they pass.
My regrets are mostly not for myself, but for my wife and family. I see missed opportunities where I could have helped the people I love.
But I am fortunate that my family really doesn't need my help that much. My wife is self sufficient (actually makes more than I do). My extended family can take care of itself, even if I have to lend money every once in a while (which hurts).
I focus on these things. I also try to do those things which make me happy--like going to meetups that I enjoy (Go, Docker, CoreOS, Clojure, etc.), playing video games, watching movies, hanging out with friends. When I do these things with my rich friends, I realize our happiness is not materially different from moment to moment.
Really our subjective wellbeing is exactly the same when we are living in the current moment. Only if I contemplate my mistakes of the past, or the possibilities of the future does my happiness and theirs diverge. Otherwise we are traveling along the graph, parallel to the time axis, with two almost co-incident lines. In times of volatility their line may even dip below my line ... deaths ... bad days with spouse ... etc. Mine may soar above theirs sometimes ... a great meal, the birth of my nephew ... meeting a cute puppy ... giving some money to someone I know will use it well.
We will all have some ups and some downs. You are in the downs right now.
The downs happen a lot in our twenties because we don't understand at that age that our brain is sometimes like a state machine. We have to manage the state transitions from bad states to good states using conscious actions, applied whenever we find ourselves in an unwanted state.
You will soon realize what you need to transition from bad mood to good mood.
For example, if I am hit with melancholy I do several things which 99% of the time guarantee a cure. First I run or lift weights till exhaustion, and then I eat a big meal with a friend and discuss some interesting topics. And then I come home and give my wife a tight squeeze and sleep. In the morning usually I will have transitioned to being upbeat again.
You will find for yourself what your transition processes are. Just try some stuff.
I worked at a small web shop, a big ad agency, and a tiny remote-only web thing. I saw what people were doing, and what was out there, and knew that I knew enough that I could survive.
The hardest part was making the leap. To say "OK, I design and develop websites under my own flag," and then to find people. Having worked in the industry for a while, I had contacts, and so far (knock on wood) I haven't really had to do a lot of marketing. It's all mostly word-of-mouth. Build something, do a great job, get remembered/recommended, repeat.
Even though when you first get started you'll take a couple projects you might not be thrilled with to get your feet underneath you, soon enough you'll be raising your rates, getting to say no to projects your not interested, and maybe even working on small product-like projects too to mix in with your client-work. That's what I'm doing, I also co-lead development of a little CMS called Statamic. I use it on a lot of my clients' sites (if they're OK with it), and using it lets me improve it, while improving it helps me sell it.
It's not glamorous. It will probably never net me a 7-figure-profit for a year. But it's fun, challenging, and rewarding. You don't have to build a product that makes hundreds or thousands of people happy. You can build one site for one person and they'll be just as thrilled. And on top of that, all the challenges of business are there too. You get to pay taxes and everything. :)
You also mentioned family obligations. For me, being self-employed helps with that too. If something comes up, I can walk away from my desk and go help out whether it's picking up the kids, or just meeting my wife for lunch if she's having a bad day.
Self-employment is risk, but it's a calculated risk that balances with freedom. If I want to make more, I take on more projects. The hardest part I've found is turning that off. ("You mean working 80 hours pays me 80 hours!? SIGN ME UP!" that just leads to burn out.)
Anyway, I know Hacker News is more startup-focused, and that you're probably more interested in that, but I wanted to throw my two cents in that there are other things you can do relating to the Internet that are just as interesting and just as rewarding.
I've been involved in start-ups and have been a partner in a couple.
I now have 3 kids and view my 8-6 job as an athlete views game day. I seek to perform at my highest level during work hours and then try to turn it off after. I don't miss it when I'm with my kids or my wife or friends. For me, there's more to life than work/job/running a business.
I've also come to the conclusion that I have 100% certainty of improving my kids lives through spending time with them. That time doesn't scale like running a startup, but it's guaranteed to be effective. I'll take those odds over the 1 in a million of running a startup, even if it's just improving 3 lives.
There's something called Y-Generation; you're it.
Good for you, you think you're special. And your friends all think they're special. Guess what? I think I'm the most special of everyone. Yup... this is our plight, and frankly, we just need to get the hell over it. :)
If I really believe I'm capable of doing great things (which I do), then there's no reason I shouldn't be doing them. But for some reason... shrug Excuses -- my biggest one, ultimately, is that because I think I'm sooooo smart, and capable of suuuuch grand things, I'm scared shitless of trying and failing and realizing that maybe I'm not quite as exceptional as I thought. Poor little baby ego, awwww.... Keep putting up a front though.
You managed to say the sentence "Thus, I have picked up another job which I'll join in a few weeks." Do you have friends who don't work in tech? Like, for real? Normally... in the real world... you don't just "pick up" a job as if you were going shopping. Spoiled goddamn brats, the whole bunch of us!
My suggestion is to go find a local pub with good staff and good regulars that you can relate to. Go there more and more often until you're blowing all your money getting tanked every night of the week. If you keep that up long enough, and then push it just a little bit longer, you'll either figure out you're exactly where you belong, or you'll get so fed up that you'll end up back exactly where you are now. But this time you'll have something to run away from.
This part of your post sticks out like a sore thumb. What "things?" How will you know when the "things" you have "done" are "great" enough? What makes you think you are "meant" for them? What does "meant" mean? Was your birth heralded by a double rainbow or something?
I'm betting that "great" is defined relative to some imagined ideal that you can never reach, or which you will constantly shift to ensure your own continuing dissatisfaction.
Decide what you want.
To be perfectly frank, I don't think you can learn the true craft of software development (you didn't say you were a developer but I am so it's my perspective) at least without a few stints in the "real" world.
I've also found the meme that big corps. are full of bad employees and startups are full of the best and brightest to be completely untrue. At this early stage in your career if you can't learn something from a traditional job you aren't trying hard enough.
Also, you've been in the working world for one of the high times in our industry. Those don't last, and startup scenes dry up. This won't be your last move in/out of that world.
You co-founded a company that was acquired - how many people can say that? Even if it was an acqui-hire, does that really make a difference? Why do you feel that this accomplishment is not worthy of praise?
You didn't like working at the parent company and so you left to find different work. What is wrong with that? I would bet that most people on HN have been through a similar circumstance. If you don't like working at a certain place and don't fit it, it's not necessarily your fault or anyone's "fault".
Furthermore, you had the ability and confidence to leave a job you did not like and take a job that perhaps will be a better fit. Why does it matter that it's not in a "sexy" or "trendy" industry? Reading just the big headline stories on HN or other tech websites will leave you a bubble where it seems like everyone is working for an ultra-trendy hipster startup that will be "the next big thing", when in reality many software developers work in more mundane industries but are still very technically astute and have a fulfilling life.
If it's something you can do day after day and it doesn't bother you, in my mind that is great. Don't compare yourself to what others want, compare yourself to what you want.
Which leads me to my next point: Why do you believe that you are an underachiever? Compared to what benchmark? There is nothing wrong with being ambitious - motivation often provides the drive to succeed. But if you are always left wanting more, then you never really get to savour the reward from your efforts and hard work.
Take a step back and try to figure out what really fulfills you in life. Work is often treated as a means to an end, and there's nothing wrong that. However, some people really do relish work and for them, that is an end in an unto itself. But if that's not what fulfills you, you shouldn't try to pigeon-hole yourself into someone else's goals by way of comparison.
She was 'failing' at getting a job, for the summer. She had made over a dozen attempts and not a single offer. The lack of success was putting a huge damper on her ability to motivate herself to try again. When we talked I suggested that perhaps rather than "failing" to get a job in an attempt she "succeeded" in learning something new. By letting the 'end goal' of getting a job go for a minute, and concentrating on things to learn, she when from failing 12 times to get a job to succeeding in learning 12 new things. Different spin on the same circumstance. And before you say "But Chuck, isn't that just a mind game you play on yourself?" The answer is no it isn't, you really are learning new things and recognizing that is important, like the App on this site recently called 'RememberWIN' that is the key, realizing you are making progress even when it doesn't feel like it.
This is especially important in the 'do great things' sort of arc because frankly it is generally impossible in normal circumstances to do something truly great in fewer than 5 or 10 years and it is generally impossible to do great things alone. That means you have to find some folks who can be part of it, communicate a vision and a plan to achieving that vision, and then executing on that plan. All of that takes time.
Because of that the only productive way to 'score' your progress is by noting successes in 'found a great web designer' person or 'sales person type' or 'engineer' or 'mathematician' what ever. Assembling the folks who you will want to be the team will take time as well.
When I have something that it going to take a 'long' time to get done I try to write out the history of that in reverse with options, example lets says it is "deliver an electric vehicle", so just before that you've got the "car passed all its manufacturing approvals and tests". Before that you've got "opened manufacturing plant", before that you've got "designed manufacturing plant", before that you've got "found a parcel to build the plant", before that you've got "closed funding to buy a parcel", etc and walking back to where you are now with just an idea and you'll have a series of milestones you can work on between now and then.
The trick is that people see things happen when suddenly "all this stuff comes together" but for that to happen "all this stuff" has to be converging. If you plan for that you can understand when things are converging and when they aren't and that helps inform where you are needed most at any given time in the process.
 This arises from the fact that there are lots of smart people out there and 'great things you can do in a year' have all been taken. Times of war and disaster however offer accelerated schedules since there are lot of people already motivated to do something and leading them to do something great is then possible in a shorter period of time.
The thing is, putting things off makes sense. You can't do everything you could ever want today, or tomorrow, or this week, or next. But you also have several decades to do things. I think my greatest peace of mind comes from the knowledge of three things:
- I have plenty of time. And if I die suddenly from disease or accident or whatever, the bad thing will be death, not I didn't do everything! - I won't ever do everything I want to. My mind is coming up with new things that might be interesting to explore on a reasonably regular basis. But that's okay. The things I choose are what make my life distinct from that of others. - What I want to do is going to constantly change. More of a corollary to the previous one, but what I'm doing today will have inevitable influence on what I want to do tomorrow.
Choosing to focus on taking care of your family now doesn't mean you'll never have another opportunity to attain financial freedom. That opportunity may take a different shape than what you're thinking of right now though. Sometimes it's good to just let things settle for a while before launching into the Next Big Thing. Sometimes you let things settle out and you realize the Next Big Thing wasn't what you originally had in mind. That's what makes things fun ;)
Whoever taught you that made a mistake. This is very typical of our generation (yes me included) we all think we can be the president if we just work hard at it. While all our parents heard was: "You know when you work hard you might own a house, with a garden even!"
Happiness is reality minus expectation.(http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-u...)
And you, your expectations are too big. Yes you can change reality but how hard do you have to work to make it match your expectations of greatness? Perhaps you should just learn to be content with what you have, be happy, who knows what comes on your path. Your alternative is facing a high chance of never being happy with yourself and your achievements.
I'm half way through this book:http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic/dp/01953...On the advice of the HN crowd. So far I'm liking the message. Try, regularly, to imagine life without the things you hold dear. Try to want the things you already have.
I have gone through periods of burn out and extreme passion about my startups. Sometimes it's nice to have a steady paying job and be stress free for a while. That's you biding your time until the right idea/opportunity comes along.
I went through an acquihire myself. Don't feel bad, startups are a longshot, and to see any positive outcome is much better than nothing. I worked for that company for 2 years, became frustrated, had an idea I was excited about, and then started something new.
So my advice is, take the stress-free job until you build up the passion to work on something new. And then do it.
This is what I call the "hero myth." We're all inculcated with the idea that there is a heroic destiny before us from a young age. The stories we read, the movies we watch, the parents and educators who teach us beseech us to "believe in yourself and you can do anything." This seductive myth gives us the escape hatch from reality that lets us believe we are special and that everyone else is normal. It's a terrible myth and responsible for many summer blockbuster movies and burning out many bright, young people.
It's bullshit. Do things. Enjoy your time doing them. Don't worry about what other people think. Every person who has done great things is feeding the tulips right now. You will one day too.
As for dealing with having responsibilities: get used to it. It doesn't limit you. You have be more tactical with your time and learn to cut away all of the fluff and focus. It tests you to learn what you truly appreciate.
Here's the thing, I was worried about going backwards in my carrier when I went to work for the insurance company, but instead it taught me discipline and gave me the chance to learn from veteran programmers. I would not trade in those years for a new startup firm.
Don't feel like you're giving up just because you have to step back a bit. Use it as a chance to get a different perspective on our industry.
I received some advice a number of years ago which has stuck with me, and served me well.
If there's something you want to do with your life... Don't talk about it. Don't think about it. You'll do so forever.
Just do it. You'll be 50 before you know what the hell happened.
Most people don't ever wake up to this fact ( that we all have this capability ). Our culture instills fear on all fronts to undermine this. It prefers quiet complacent followers to disciplined gadfly leaders.
But with greatness comes great sacrifice. One day you will wake up with a vision for such an application of greatness which you will want to share with the world for its betterment.
Write that shit down.
Got immediate responsibilities? Shit we all do. Get pragmatic. GrowthHack your situation.Ideally find the right job/culture that either has a great collection of people you can learn from or projects which can hone those skills you will need to leverage later for your vision.
Your vision can be nurtured as a seed within the largest corporate office parks. While you are plugging away at your daily grind, take time every day to learn what parts of your corp experience can be leveraged into your newfound vision. Perhaps its a product growth process or some efficient OOP architecture..whatever..put it in the toolbox.
Test the vision.Network. Make crazy connections. Have conversations with your colleagues about your (hypothetical) idea. You will notice they would much rather small talk brainstorm about that than actually work. Take notes.
Life is not linear. Its not perfect. But your vision and passion is infinite. Keep beating the drum.It will get you through the tough times.
(Watch : http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_smith_why_you_will_fail_to_ha...)
Personally.. I deal with this everyday. Im about to turn 40! I should be an internet retirement home in Florida by now.
I grew up in NYC and rode the internet bubble..always working for various agencies and a few startups. One day I said fuck it..I'm tired of the rat race and want to craft my own perfect SaaS.
I was 32, a bit frightened, used to my expensive NYC lifestyle, had crazy ccard debt and was still paying off grad-school loans.
But I didn't want to live with the 'what if'.
How could I pull off the 6-month runway i needed to create my perfection?I moved to Argentina - where I found my dollar had 3x the buying power - and was able to stay in the same time zone with my existing clients in NYC. (most didn't even knew I left )
>> Fast fwd 8 yrs later.. Im on my 3rd startup. But now I have a co-founder wife and 2yr old that keep my ass in check.
Everyday is brutal.. its slow going ( since we are bootstrapped and split time between consulting) and on the toughest days I do think about just ejecting and going back to a cushy golden-handcuff job..especially now that my family needs stability...and I dream of a good night's sleep.
But then there are those days when I'm user-testing..and get to watch people come to life with the dormant creativity which our platform has re-awakened deep inside. Or when a random VC calls to say "I really love what you are doing..let's keep in touch".. Thats when its all worth it.
Its when you are faced with death at your throat - and have your family in your corner - that greatness truly has a chance to blossom.
I have a few more rounds left in me. But regardless I will never have regrets; instead Ive got one hell of a story, family, and mvp to be proud of.
So do your good work quietly, laugh everyday water your seeds....and one day they will sprout, young man.
I also think we are tuned to focus on the future and all its glory and not focus on the present, especially in an environment that is all about "becoming the next big thing." So, one suggestion is to focus and be mindful of the present because if your head is always in the future or in the past, then you will be always unhappy. I see this present mind advice everywhere, but it is easier said than done. I don't have nearly the success you have, and I go through the same issues. "Why can't I start up a company and get it going? Why am I just working at a company? Why don't I get all the cool perks like Facebook employees? Is this going to be my life? Am I going to find someone to settle down with?" These questions naw at my core, but I am starting to find ways to avoid them.
One of the best ways to focus on the present is to exercise. When I mean exercise, I mean the gasping for air at the end exercise, which I accomplish via basketball. I only just starting realizing how truly blissful I am after a game of basketball because all I can focus on is getting air into my lunges. Nothing else matters at that point. My mind is forced to clear out because the need for oxygen has taken over.
The other one is to be introspect and read about this kind of stuff. I journal almost every day about my experiences, my emotions and that exercise helps me be more mindful of myself. I bet just writing this HN post felt good for you! Once in a while on HN, I will see articles posted about mindfulness and behaving in a zen-like manner, such as http://zenhabits.net/toolset/ and http://nyti.ms/1ld9lfU. A lot of this stuff is very nebulous, but the more you read and the more you write, the more it solidifies.
My advice would be do what you please, maybe take a job and learn things asides and live.
With such a resume you will not have problemes to find a job, why not just live ? Travel , meet people , try to learn things and skills.
And there is two things in life , things that you control and things that you can't control. Don't worry about the second part. Enjoy yourself and don't forget to laugh and have fun. Life is hort.
Even i you are the best in something, you may not achieve renown because of unluck or politic.
Find something / someone that you like and do it. An other things is that as long people that you respect, respect you tell the others to f* off. You don't have anything to prove to anyone.
Once you will realise this you will be more peaceful.Life is short enjoy , go out your circle of confort.
I worked in a lot of menial job (doorman was the worst for some aspect, having some drunk rich kids spent your monthly wage in one night) but you may find in something interesting in it (for me it was networking my contacts and practice undercover hypnotism on asshole drunk people).
Live. and don't forget to laugh :
For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtainwith a bow
Forget about your sin - give theaudience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chanceanyhow.
So always look on the bright sideof death...
a-Just before you draw your terminal breath...(Whistle)
Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true
You'll see its all a show, keep 'em laughin as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you
Unless you subscribe to one of the many religions that tell you that there IS an award ceremony after you die, you can rest assured that your presence here has absolutely no point or goal. To some people this is extremely depressing, but I firmly believe this and it's the most liberating thing in the world. There is nobody I have to impress, no goal I have to meet, and no level of success I have to achieve before I'm happy.
That's liberating because my life is more like play than work. You ever play a pick-up game of a fun sport, where you don't keep score and you just enjoy the competition with friends for its own sake? That is ALWAYS better than organized competition with awards and a goal, and I've done both.
I'm not saying check out and smoke pot all day, unless that's really your thing long term (probably isn't). But nobody gives a shit about how successful you are but you.
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away."
I saved up some money, then took the best paying, most flexibleyet reliablepart time work I could find. I got really lucky and found a boss who was very understanding of my situation.
For the next few years I was fairly broke, but by having a steady part time job, I was able to swing back and forth between developing new skills, working on my own SAAS business, and freelancing when things got tight.
My business didn't hockey stick, but it had a steady bootstrapped upward incline. When it was making enough to pay the bills, I stopped freelancing, then eventually quit my part time job.
I traveled overseas a bunch, toured with my crappy band a few times, did all the other stuff on my bucket list, then bought a house and had a kid. Business is still good and consistent. I'm not rich, but I'm not poor either.
I'm 35 now. I spend my days hanging out with my son and answering the occasional email, hacking at night or whenever. I've never been happier than I am these days.
Sometimes, I wish I could travel back in time 10 years so that I could tell younger myself, "hey, things will turn out really well." Would've made the trip here a lot easier.
Take the day job, save money, travel, enjoy life, meet people. You don't have to set such enormous expectations for yourself - you'll always end up disappointed in what you do (like you are now).
Find something you like enough to do as a hobby, and grow it into something more. And go easy on yourself.
Most people don't ever wake up to this fact ( that we all have this capability ). Our culture instills fear on all fronts to undermine this. It prefers quiet complacent followers to sacrificial gadfly leaders.
* You should be really proud of your achievements so far, an acqui-hire is no joke.
* I understand you may be afraid of starting or joining a risky startup. But what have you got to lose? At age 25, you can live a scrappy life, there's no social pressure not be a salary man anymore these days, especially in a startup scene where it's so normal. You're young and can take the risk.
* Third, the only point that really matters in my opinion, is the people you have to provide for. If there's no way around it, there's no way around it. I know what that's like and I respect that. Just make sure to check your assumtions carefully. I'd had to take care of my sick dad for a long time, but wouldn't throw away an opportunity I really believed in, as he'd hate himself if he was an obstacle, and he'd still have my mom and my bro, and I'd still be able to support him partially. Talk to those who you support, and consider if they really depend on you. Sometimes there's room to juggle both, sometimes it's possible to find an alternative caretaker.
Lastly, there's quite a few startups that are challenging and do pay decently from the get go. Bitcoin is a fun space for example, and Bitpay and Coinbase pay well, yet exist in a challenging and ever in-flux ecosystem.
> This will never change. Conquer your fears and do it.
2. I have a few financial responsibilities towards my family which I have to take care of.
> Manage these as you work to own #1.
You're 25. What a great age to be! To be young enough to take risks, fail, and get back up and begin again. In my experience, most of those who were/are successful in their endeavors, were at the brink of financial failure and dealing with both issues you mention, when the risks paid off quite literally overnight. Of course startups can be absolutely huge undertakings, but the risks and rewards involved are the reasons we go after them.
Don't miss out on a chance at your passion because you were too afraid or intimidated. Regret sucks. There are just as many lessons (or more) in failure as there are in success for the next project you take on. Regret has nothing to offer but regret. It's a complete waste.
Go after what makes you happy--no matter what and never ever stop. Anything less and you will remain unfulfilled as you mention in your opening statement. Go get it and good luck!
Good luck what ever you choose, it's likely that there are no bad choices right now which is why you're feeling like this.
This might sound cheesy, but fulfillment and happiness are usually achieved in the process of working towards your goal, and are rarely found after an accomplishment.
I think taking care of your financial responsibilities is wise and responsible. Just keep plodding on.
Picking up another job is not an easy thing to do in this current economic situation, so I would be pleased about this! Non-sexy and non-trendy industries are still important. Working in farming is not very sexy or trendy but people always need food. Just because it isn't trendy doesn't mean it isn't important.
The difficulty is that the things we want to do are put off by the things that we HAVE to do. We unfortunately have no control over a lot of the things that are holding us back, but probably just need to accept that we have no control over them and carry on anyway. If we have no control over them, there's nothing you can do.
Try working on things on the side that do do justice to your capabilities, even if the main thing you are doing perhaps doesn't. The main thing will cover your financial responsibilities whilst you scheme to escape it. That should keep things in balance.
You need to reflect what's most important for you, what makes you happy, is it money? Is it helping the other? Is it reading books? Does being happy mean having buck loads of money? Do you feel alone? Do you feel good about yourself being alone? Do you like the company you have? Partner, family, friends?
We live in a amazingly connected world with billions of people, so while you are brushing your teeth there will be people practicing gymnastics, people winning gold medals, launching new programming languages and selling million dollars companies, it's fine, you can't keep up with everyone, don't compare yourself, don't envy, the key is to understand what makes you happy, in a peace state of mind.
For sure in the future I know that I will have my own business. But Right now I'm trying to get a new job. Also I have to maintain the responsibility that I have to support my family. It is very tough life. I was very suffered. I recently just realised that yeah suffering demands to be suffered, we have to experience it and never hold back, but once when we done with it we just let it go and look for positive possibility and pursue it.
I was very miserable for past months and just recover from letting those shit go. I choose to be thankfully happy not miserably lost. I am now having job interview with Amazon AWS and Google. I keep positivity high but expectation low and still keep looking for, again, positive possibility. I keep telling myself that always believe in yourself, always look for positive possibility, focus and pursue! Lifehacking is fun after all :)
here are some of my stories. I wrote it couple weeks ago when I was super miserable and I didn't know what to do.
On doing great things:
"It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite insecurity, a feeling that you or what youve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.
The way to develop this package of qualities not that its easy, or that everyone would want to is through grit. It requires turning the ability to work hard, to persevere and to overcome adversity into a source of personal superiority. This kind of superiority complex isnt ethnically or religiously exclusive. Its the pride a person takes in his own strength of will."
"They use difficulty as a catalyst to deepen purpose, recommit to values, increase discipline, respond with creativity and heighten productive paranoia translating fear into extensive preparation and calm, clearheaded action. Resilience, not luck, is the signature of greatness.
... turn it into one of the best things that ever happened, to not let it become a psychological prison.
The 10Xers exercise productive paranoia, combined with empirical creativity and fanatic discipline, to create huge margins of safety. If you stay in the game long enough, good luck tends to return, but if you get knocked out, youll never have the chance to be lucky again. Luck favors the persistent, but you can persist only if you survive."
On finding happiness:
"Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems. Putting problems at the center of our decision-making changes everything. It's not about the self anymore. It's about what you can do and how you can be a valuable contributor. People working on the biggest problems are compensated in the biggest ways. I don't mean this in a strict financial sense, but in a deeply human sense. For one, it shifts your attention from you to others and the wider world. You stop dwelling. You become less self-absorbed. Ironically, we become happier if we worry less about what makes us happy. "
Best of luck to you.
5 months ago, I posted something very similar here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7398968
I'm only 26, so I can't give you the wise advice that others in this community can, but I'll say that I just stuck it out, and things got better. I was in a job I really didn't like, I was personally unhappy, and felt very alone.
Simply as a process of time, continuing to get better at my craft, and continuing to poke on my network, I now am in a much better place, working on something I'm excited about with a team I really respect. I don't even like calling it a job.
I think a lot of us are going through the same thing you are, especially people our age when we look at the web and see all these other people our age who are far more successful. Just remember that if you see some 26-year-old millionaire on the front page of TechCrunch, it's because that person is an exception, not the rule. You don't have to size yourself up against their level of success, or even what you perceive as their happiness.
Live your life. Find and follow your path. You're always doing what's in your heart, so listen to it. You cannot run from your own nature, so take time to sit with it, discover it, and fall in love with your own desires. If you truly know yourself, and can discover what you truly, deeply want to do, I think you'll be happy. Just know that there's no timeline on when you discover it. I still haven't found my "thing", but I'm happy because I know I'm getting closer to it.
My email is in my profile. Please reach out if you need someone to talk to. I'm sure there are many others (older, wiser heads) here who would offer the same.
It sounds like your someone with ambition. You know you're capable of great things and wouldn't be satisfied with anything less. I'm like that too and I thought a lot about it.
IMO, the ultimate goal is to be happy, so the natural question is how these ambitions translate to happiness and whether you could do better by taking another approach to happiness.
Other approaches might work for other people, but I suspect that they wouldn't work for people with true ambitions. I suspect that people with true ambitions are so driven and motivated to do big things that they won't really be able to rid themselves of these thoughts. If you try to settle down into some nice relaxing lifestyle where you should be happy, you'll always be haunted by the thoughts that you could/should be doing something better.
Note: I'm saying "suspect" a lot because I'm only 21 and am not too confident in this hypothesis.
So if you're ambitions are a core part of you, I suspect that it's best to pursue them. And if you need to get yourself some stability in the short term, don't worry about it. Do what you can with what you have, and think long-term.
- - -
Also, I hate the idea that smart and ambitious people can't pursue their ambitions because they need to pay the bills. I wrote about it here - https://medium.com/p/f4902d078f58. I think you'll be able to relate.
This is what happens to most post-college grads. You're led to believe that you are the smartest most capable person in the world and that _you will_ make a difference.
Then you get a real job and and eventually come to understand how the world really works.
1. Put your family first. They are likely the only one that will not give up on you in the long run.
2. Pursue what you enjoy. It's a long life (hopefully) and you will do great things _because_ you love what you do.
3. Plan the future. You will end up _somewhere_ is 5 years. The destination can be determined by planning.
At 25 I was married, had a house, a riding mower, 3 cars, and everything felt out of control. I had pretty much the same crisis. At that point I was making good money, but my stuff owned me. So, I sold the stuff and started to take control.
One year later, I was debt free and had tons of options. I could have put my few possessions in storage and lived in Costa Rica or backpacked across Europe. I didn't do that, but I could have, and that made a huge difference in my mental state.
Stop whining and grow up would be my advice. Life is about taking knocks, getting up and getting on with it - sure ask advice but its hardly a "crisis"
Speaking from a perspective of being close to 60 years old and having worked in IT for 38 years. considerably longer than you have been alive, my observation is that what has truly mattered has been the people I have met, the friendships I have made, my family and my children.
In your context - great things are defined by adding something of fundamental value to your chosen professional discipline or field. That comes from damn hard work, intellectual rigour, a willingness to face and overcome obstacles, vision and often sheer bloody-mindedness
No one knows the future. The best experiences of my life have been things I hadn't even thought about a year before they happened.
> You believe that you are good at what you do and are meant for great things but you have to do your job even though it doesn't do justice to your capabilities
Spend one hour per day working on your own project idea. Maybe it will turn into something, maybe not. But at least it will be something you own and you'll learn a lot from it. Does it suck that progress will be slow? Yes. But 1 hour per day over the course of two years can add up to something pretty impressive.
What the hell is the difference? Someone was interested enough in your company to buy it. This is a very superficial distinction and irrelevant.
All of these voices telling you you should be crushing it are coming from within, and actually originate in some sort of arrogance/insecurity where you simultaneously believe you are amazing but are also not sure of it, and the only way to prove it to yourself for sure is to prove it to other people.
I spent my 20s with a debilitating chronic neurological illness, to the point where I was totally unable to live up to what I originally thought my potential to be. Even though this used to be a source of great distress for me, I eventually learned to stop struggling. Instead of fighting it, I began to understand that on each and every day I'm only the person I am that day, and only have the capabilities that I have that day. I let myself off the hook, and things became a lot easier as a result.
And if you think it's different for you because you don't have a neurological disease, you're wrong. You too only have to be the most amazing person you can be today. If you find that to be distinctly un-amazing, that's ok - you might be different tomorrow.
Remember too there are those out there who are in a much worse position than you are. Keep perspective. It is easy to lose sight of that in the tech bubble where everyone is always crushing it 100% of the time. (They aren't, and you don't have to either.)
If your family care about you then they'll know you'll pay them back at some point.
If you've got something and feel that you're destined for greatness don't hide it away, it'll only make you miserable.
Live the dream whilst you can.
I'm 25 too, I've been like you and I'm starting to getting out of this 'crisis'.
Like you I lived awesome things in the last 5 years, things that I would have never think I will accomplish.
I don't have a solution for you, but for me what's worked is reading books (non-fiction). In a book, you will generally find a condensed version of the life of the author and that's great. In a few hours you'll understand what he went through, how he did this or that and what they learned from that experience.
And that's great because at 25, your lack of experience doesn't help you make choices.
Here is a few books I can recommend you:
- Choose Yourself (James Altucher & Dick Costolo) - It's mostly about how to become your own boss, but there's a few chapter that are really useful when your a bit 'lost' or in 'crisis'
- The Obstacle is the Way (Ryan Holiday) - Really great reading!
- Satisfaction (Gregory Berns) - I'm in the first chapter but it's seems to be a good book.
These books are really easy to read.
If you don't like reading, listen to James Altucher podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ask-altucher/id868149214...
What makes you happy ... dig really deeply into this question by:
0) Acknowledging that you are free to do whatever you want (really!)
1) Seeking out and being around people you admire
2) Trying brand new (scary) things
3) Practicing collecting data about your state of mind and happiness, and pursuing behaviors that improve it.
4) Acknowledging that unhappiness and happiness can exist in a healthy balance which both motivates and rewards you.
5) Do what you want.
6) Accept that your goals and ideas about happiness will change over time and aren't static
Right now I'm an over-working, game loving, big spender. And right now its pretty fun because I have the confidence to love this lifestyle for what it is -- pretty silly. Its not who I am nor who I will be forever. I've also been a survivalist and outdoor photographer for magazines, a car-living homeless person, a Master's student, a startup-er, and most recently a researching for one of those big SV companies.
You'll find it. You'll do great. Don't be afraid.
2. Spend time with family and friends.
3. Find a way to help others. Get out of yourself for a bit.
4. See a therapist. There's no shame in getting an emotional 'tune up'.
5. Life is longer than you realize. And harder than you imagine. Start being good to yourself.
6. Remember that difficult times don't create character. They reveal it.
I just turned 30 two weeks ago. I am married, have three children and a mortgage. I am leaving the government in December to build my start-up (visidraft.com) into a successful business.
The reality is, beyond a certain point your responsibilities will not shrink. The key questions once past that point are: Is your family on board; and is the risk probably worth the payoff? If you can answer yes to the first and maybe/yes to the second then your mind should be eased.
Beyond that though, it sounds like you need to figure out where you want to be and then set a path for how to get there. The fact that you had a positive in your favor liquidation event is massive and you should not spit at that. Maybe your path requires you slogging at a regular job for a little while, building up a war-chest to bootstrap the next project.
Bottom line is: you need to find a place that you want to be in the future and then determine what your vectors are to get there.
I had my own company for about 8 years and had quite a lot of fun doing it. The money wasn't great, but the freedom to do what I wanted was nice. Or so I thought at the time. I probably put in 60+ hours a week. I was constantly thinking about it. I rarely took long vacations simply because there really wasn't anyone to answer the phone when I wasn't there.
Then I gave it up, and went to work for client of mine and now had the freedom to actually take a couple weeks off. And to actually work on interesting projects without worrying about my paycheck. I had a wife and a 1 year old daughter and being able to leave the office and forget about work until tomorrow was wonderful. And it wasn't something I was able to do at my company.
After 13 years doing that, I've gone out on my own again. Consulting for my old employer and picking up a couple new gigs. Its not going to make me rich, but that's not important to me.
Anyways, enjoy the different kind of freedom of working for someone else. Maybe you'll find you like it. Maybe you wont. But at least you'll have some more experience under your belt.
Aim to save the maximum humanly possible (reduce spend/be frugal) to give you potential budget or run-way for your next project. Start it while you are employed, work on it when you are at work. Be a terrible employee while more-or-less still looking good... but vest your time in new projects or ideas, or exposing yourself to where you might find them (not pointless crap like most other bad employees do).
Personally, I am in the latter stages of 'medicore job' period after a very similar gig at a fairly similar age (few yrs older). I am hitting 70% net wage savings rate and have one project in-hand progressing reasonably well and a bigger/ambitious project in the works. I spend the majority of my work day working on these projects while still delivering for my job - I really dislike working for someone else but, as a means to an end, this is pretty cushy.
Cultivate a rich life and identity outside of work. It's hard but what we do doesn't have to be what defines us.
There's a range of possibilities that you are more in control of things than you think. Is it The opinions of others? Perhaps take a needed vacation to travel. Travel alone to reflect or just not think about it. Perhaps someone is actively trying to control you for what they think is best for you?
I believe in a 25 year old crisis. Because you still have people out there who think they inspire you, or want to influence and guide you. Or you are legally an adult but there's all these older folks to still see you and treat you as a kid. Or you overcompensate for it by out-adulting the adults. Or you are self-aware of your age and how your accomplishments overshadow those who are older than you. You have surpassed them in some ways yet still try to find meaning in life. I think that's what I'd call something like the quarter life crisis.
I guess no matter what age you're at, it's time that matters in how you invest it and appreciate it. I want to control time!
Instead of saying "I'm annoyed that I can't do these things arg" why not say "I've made a decision to do Y because, and I'm going to make the most of that." Next, try to evaluate whether you are succeeding in that role. Are you learning? Growing? Maybe you're not coding as much but you're learning a crap-ton about how NOT to do things, or about a business domain that has a bunch of meaty problems you can solve later.
Look hard at the things you really want that make you happy (spending time with family, creating things, etc) weigh them, and use that as a new target.
Unfortunately your conundrum is a constant struggle throughout life for those that want to have an impact. First, breathe and relax, and know that it is impossible to do everything all the time. Second, realize that you have a bunch of time left, and there is no formula that determines when in life you can have an impact or be successful. You'll be just fine.
'Thinking Fast and Slow' changed the way I think about everything. In fact I need to read it again.
I like you have had perhaps two periods of feeling incredible inadequate since I moved to London 3 years ago. The quarter-life crisis is well recognised if you do a quick search.
One thing is certain: Money != Happiness. Last time I received a pay rise I requested a day off every fortnight. That day I get so much done, it is unbelievable. Just that day makes me happy. My aim is to keep reducing the number of days I spend sitting in offices.
> I'm 25 years old and I am lost
I can easily look back and apply the same sentence to the way I've felt at times.
PS email me if you would like more advice. I mull over this sort of stuff almost indefinitely.
I would try to shift your mindset. Nothing is permanent, nothing is forever, and there is no perfect situation.
Try to view life as a series of choices. Right now you're choosing stability and that's fine. When your financial situation improves, you'll be able to make another choice.
Plus there is always bootstrapping on the side :)
Learn what you can out of your new situation and try to view it in the most positive light. It's not your ideal situation, but ask yourself "What can I learn from this experience?" and it will be easier to digest. A stable company has the potential to teach you about leadership, the structure of successful companies, how strategy scales beyond 3 people in a room, and you also have the potential to form friendships and relationships along the way.
I've been running a tech business since I was in school, it's all I've ever known. Ten years on it's not like a startup any more, it's a daily slog and I dislike it immensely.
Friends and family think I've done well even getting this far but all I see is the lack of real growth for the past few years. I thought I would be a lot further ahead than this.
So I'm now doing my best to stop feeling sorry for myself. I've started helping my wife progress her career and it feels far better than anything I've ever done for myself. It gives me a reason to carry on with my boring job every day, knowing that doing so brings in enough money to give someone else the chance to follow their dreams.
I don't think I'll ever give up on my own dreams but at least if I can help someone else in the mean time I'll never have to say that it was all for nothing.
This does not mean 'accepting' it and 'acknowledging' that mediocrity is all you're bound to. This means that for the time being, you will make the 'best' of the opportunity 'at hand', you will work for a better one to present itself while eliminating all the negativity and irritation associated with the present.
Changing your mental state, to become a catalyst for progress instead of a shackle, is the actual problem and the real challenge. Work on this point, the rest is relatively clearer (side projects, another startup, better offer, fancier pay, more exciting challenges/problems to solve etc...).
I'm in the same position, at the same age, battling the same demons. The above is my realization after a prolonged phase of depression. 'Work with what you have to reach what you couldn't before'.
I have friends who are millionaires, and one who is close to a billionaire. I don't think they are any happier than I am, and in fact my relationships are much better than most of theirs. It's weird, but when you do finally have tonnes in the bank, and you've had your fill of partying and the good life, it becomes a bit tiring. Then the question becomes "now what?".
Also, what do you do with your guilt?
Once you get the meaning of life sorted, everything else makes sense. Whether you are rich or poor, healthy or sick, or
This is, of course, just my opinion. I respect a person's right to believe whatever they want, all I ask is they respect my right to believe whatever I want.
If it isn't fulfilling then don't do it.
Keep the vision of what you want liquid. Go in a general direction. Role with the punches and don't swing at every pitch. Try and use your distinct perspective to give you insights that others do not have.
While the journey might take longer, or may not be as conventional, if you stick at it my experience has been that things work for me when I stay at things regardless of how distant or implausible they may appear at any given point.
I'm only speaking from my own experience, but every seeming downside I've had has, after enough time and experience, actually appeared to be a boost rather than a drag on my long term aspirations.
Secondly, take some time for yourself. Assuming the terms of the acquisition were favourable, you should have a fair amount of financial freedom (at least for a few months). Take some time to travel and see parts of the world that are new to you. For me, travel is a very effective "reset" that helps me examine my life and the world more holistically.
After founding a startup and working hard to see it succeed, you're probably used to a fast-paced cadence and it's hard to relax into a less high-producing role. Time box your relaxing so you don't feel like you're just giving up - but give yourself some space to live.
I left the startup world behind and my life satisfaction went through the roof - I no longer felt guilty for not crushing it 100%, or that I hadn't sold a successful company by the age of 24. I'm not saying this is the answer for you, but it's never a bad thing to get some perspective. Get out of the bubble - take a road trip around some states, maybe. Take a break from Hacker News. You and your friends might be chasing the wrong thing.
Grab that bag of money and go travel if you can. Have a good time, you deserve it.
One approach I can suggest: in my generation if you wanted to change the world you went into nonprofits, which is what I did. You don't have to build a startup on one of your own ideas to make a difference. What are your causes? What do you care about?
I find that it also helps to remind myself that life is managed not cured.
So you're working a non startup gig for a while - there is zero shame as that. If you've got your heart set on a startup long term then see it as a tactical retreat whilst you gather your strength and evaluate options. Chance are it might just help you - sometimes its better to bid your time and attack from a position of strength than charge at the problem blindly.
I've worked at a couple of startups, two groups at Apple, two groups at Google and now at Twitter. I've learned two things chasing a feeling of fulfillment, like you seem to be:
1. You can't expect your job to give you the all of the fulfillment you need.
2. The most fulfilling work is the kind of work that's just challenging enough, but not too challenging--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)
You just need initiate and bootstrap the idea yourself on the side quietly, then when ready for demo, show it to your boss and ask for some sponsorship to keep working on it (you gotta make sure it has clear business impact for them) Most reasonable bosses will allow for some time invested in new and interesting ideas. If your boss always shoots it down then find a new boss.
You will have these transitions in life. They are not failures. They are the closings and beginnings of chapters.
Before you know it, you'll be approaching the end of the book. But right now, you're young. Take more (positive) risks. Enjoy everything, knowing you have plenty of options. And definitely don't waste any of your youth on self-pity.
Money alone doesn't bring happiness because happiness comes from within and not from external sources.
Email me if you'd like to talk more.
You'll get all sorts of advice on HN but at the end of the day all that matters is that you're happy and excited to work on your goals everyday while providing for your family.
Don't underestimate the Mental Game aspect of this personal challenge. An unusually good read on this subject, Way of the Seal by Mark Divine. Here's a recent interview> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_bDMEUF7F8
Mindset is crucial. And a 24-36 month game plan to pay-off debt, salt-way cash, & plot your next move is a smart strategic play.
1) To be a good boss to anyone except the elite talent2) To understand how/why gears of productivity can grind to a halt as you get layers of management beneath3) To have a vantage point to appreciate what you achieve later.4) To meet anyone who you can say forever was there for you when things weren't going rockstar sexy.
I've been doing this for last few years. I currently have a startup that has very little funding but I have cashflow from consulting, so it's not that risky (can still pay the bills)
Take care of your financial situation and push on with your new startup.
It is easy to feel panicked when facing a situation you want to change, but I'm sure if you reflect upon your life you've felt that way before and made it through. Problems ahead can often seem insurmountable but few things in life actually are.
It won't (make you happy, that is). Acqui-hires usually end badly, but they're good for your career because you've joined Those Who Have Completed An Exit. This industry tends to overemphasize past results (which are 90+ percent noise) because the people in power have no ability whatsoever to judge talent. Be thankful that you're on the winning side of that error source. After two years and some distance, you'll probably be at peace with how this has played out. You have something most people don't. You can say that you were acquired. Most people have to lie to cover up shortfalls in their 20s; you can actually tell the truth about your career.
Thus, I have picked up another job which I'll join in a few weeks. It is not in a very 'sexy' or 'trendy' industry and I have no idea where it is going to take me in two years.
Sexy/trendy is overrated. Those VC darlings are good at marketing themselves to broken people (such as midlife-crisis chicken-hawk VCs who want to be "cool" because, when young, they never were) but those companies often have broken cultures and harbor a lot of terrible personalities.
On the other hand, there are companies in "boring" businesses that have great cultures and, under the hood, are actually doing fascinating work. Personally, I'd rather do machine learning for a retail company or a bank than repetitive grunt work at a "sexy" startup.
Macroscopic sexiness doesn't matter unless you're an owner, and it sounds like you're not ready for that stress, and that's fine. Just do the work, save money, cut away time to learn the things you'll need to know for your next gig-- even venture into "resume-driven development"-- and get an education on someone else's time and risk.
You believe that you are good at what you do and are meant for great things but you have to do your job even though it doesn't do justice to your capabilities. How do you cope with that? Seeing your future as an underachiever pains you. What do you do?
Organizations tend to be talent graveyards. This is the norm. Want to change it? Possibly beat it? Get political. Learn about how organizations work (read Venkat Rao's Gervais series, then mine). Learn about different professional and union structures. Start writing. Advocate. Work within the system while undermining it (but never undermine the company that pays you; be more indirect and lash out at corporatism in general while leaving the activism and your day job separate; rabble-rousing at your day job is a bad idea). Figure out what it will take to drive out the MBA-culture invaders and get technologists the upper hand again, and then go and do it.
99.9% of us have our talents wasted by an anti-intellectual, status-driven corporate system. You're not alone. So figure out how it works and how to beat it, and recognize that the final outcome involves millions of people and is out of your control, so just learn to enjoy the fight itself.
I find my biggest problem is a lack energy / motivation to start that next thing. I really have no clue where the fuck it came from... a few years ago I could work endlessly...
one foot in front of the other. get rid of the fear, its pointless after the first time - you have a network and a net under you.
It will help you to have some tools to deal with these problems. CBT and DBT are two such tools, and can help you manage your thoughts and mood. Counselors teach these tools.
Complain about it until the pains of underachieving are greater than your fear, and then take action?
If it is true, then you're probably doing the right thing by quitting your current job. You don't want to be the bad apple. As the founder of the acquired startup, the acquiring company would have made it abundantly clear if they wanted you to stay by providing "golden handcuffs" as part of the deal. But since you feel so comfortable quitting just after the aqui-hire, I suspect you were not given any such incentives. When you understand why, you'll have a better perspective on how to make yourself and your next role more valuable to everyone. "Make something people want" applies to people as well as products. Maybe especially people.
I've been in a similar situation and can relate to the cocktail of hope/anxiety/despair that come with entrepreneurship and the quarter-life crisis. If you're interested: david [at] moctopus [dot] com
Problem Solve. Swallow your pride and do what needs to be done. "Being Great" is not the ego trip you think it is. You get there by doing hard things for a long time while people act like you are crazy, stupid, etc. It isn't all about your ego. Set your ego aside.
If you really believe you can "do great things" than start doing 'great things." But, you know, I think you and I maybe interpret that phrase differently. If you are actually awesome, that will eventually shine through. But it won't be a picnic. You don't get the valor without doing the hard work first.
So, even while you work a regular job, you can make plans for another startup and work on pursuing financial freedom. Paying the bills now, even though it isn't doing something sexy or trendy or ego-enhancing, is part of pursuing financial freedom.
This is really cool to have that mindset. I'm also building my own business right now while I'm working for another startup.
But are you sure that this is what you want? Why do you want this? Will it make you happier? If so, why? So many people are on the top and yet they are unhappy.
I _know_ I will be downvoted for this, but I can only suggest you to pray about it. My rationale for praying is simply this:
1. If God doesn't exist, I only lost a couple of minutes.
2. If God does exist and what's told about him in the Bible is true, he will hear me.
There's nothing much to lose in both case. Only a potential win. I prayed all my life and I saw answers to them so often.I can assure you God loves you and he really cares about your future. Ask him about it. :-)
For myself? I work out what I want to achieve and go work on it. There are several problems I'm interested in at the moment: visual IDEs and complexity, computer aided research planning, local-proxy based encryption, sousveillance as a peer to peer service...
Do I have a job in any of these areas? Well, yeah, one. But that's besides the point - I don't stop working on the others because I don't get paid for them, I just tinker at home. If I lost my job on the one I'm working on at the moment I wouldn't be in a 'The world is over, can't work on what I love.' position, I'd just find someone else to pay me to work on something that interests me.
I feel like you're maybe feeling lost because you want to work on great things but don't know what those are. Might be wrong? The worry there is that great things isn't a thing you can steer towards, it's a magnitude - and in so far as that magnitude lines up with someone's values it's an opinion. You could almost call the want to work on great things an expression of longing for a goal.
What interests you? What problems keep you up at night? What has hurt you in your life? What might you like to help others with? What have you enjoyed and would like to see more of in the world?
What are your current strengths? How well do those fit addressing the earlier problems? What do you have to do to make them fit better?
I feel like sitting down for a few hours with a sheet of paper and answering those sorts of questions might make you feel a bit better. Even if you can't think how to steer A towards B immediately, you at least have a starting point to begin looking into what you'd need then.
It sounds like you're not excited about your new job. I understand that you took it anyway because you have financial obligations to your family, and that's great. But the solution is obvious; look for another job and/or do something you ARE excited about in your spare time.
It's up to you if you don't actively dislike the job you're taking, it just doesn't excite you, then maybe doing that full time and working on something exciting in your spare time is the way to go.
If you find your new job miserable, then look for a new one.
Usually after this realization, most people turn 19. Sorry, but you are not unique in your belief that you have the ability to do great things. Every young boy thinks this (I was never a young girl so I can't speak to that). To be honest, this comes across (to me) as privileged only-child whining, a trait probably absent from most who accomplish great things.
As for family, you have to decide on your priorities. I think family is a worthy priority, and I also accept that realistically, because I make family a priority, that I will very likely never "do great things", outside of affecting a handful of close friends and family.
Here's another reality check you have coming. After the age of 25, very slowly at first, your energy level will decline. By 30 you will notice it and it will affect you. By 35-40 you will willfully admit that your days of pursuing great things are over. Sure, there are a handful of overachievers who run their first marathon at 40 or whatever, but to this point you definitely do not strike me as the "conquer and overcome no matter what" type.
TL;DR: My advice: life is hard, grow up
* Germany invades Poland (September, 1939)
* Britain, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany (September, 1939)
* Soviets invade Poland, which is later split (October, 1939)
* Nazis begin euthanasia of ill and disabled in Germany (October, 1939)
* Soviets attack Finland (November, 1939)
So by the time Orwell published his review, it was clear Germany and the Soviets were mobilizing for war, but it was entirely unclear what would happen next.
In the next six months, Germany would invade Denmark, Norway, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands while beginning their blitz on Great Britain. The Soviets would take Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Mussolini would meet Hitler in Munich, declare war on France and Britain and Italian forces would take Greece and enter Egypt. The Tripartite Pact would be signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan to formalize their alliance.
It's amazing to me how fast things moved during that time.
People did not want struggling at the time. After the Great depression created by the banks bubble and having everything they could produce taken by countries like France as payment for WWI GERMANS WERE ALREADY STRUGGLING.
Germans were dying in winter because the coal was sent to France as payment. And this is not like winter in Morocco. In Germany you have no energy in winter, with 30 Celsius degrees under zero you die.
Not only they were struggling, but having all what they could make confiscated to pay debts created a very dangerous situation, there was NO HOPE.
They had become slaves. Romans already measured that a slave worked way less than half what a free man did.
So Hitler brought hope. He stopped paying the debt(default), the military occupied the coal areas back for Germany and brought hope.
Is not that he promised suffering, but that he promised that suffering will end.
He also made suffering more tolerable making it social. Hitler created social programs for workers that let them travel and meet other people.
It is probably hard to understand for Westerns, but there are millions of people in Africa or India that are happier than people from the West, even while being very poor, because money is not everything, there are friends, for example, that people from Africa have more than isolated westerns.
Today the world is in Great Depression number II. Countries are over indebted, and we have the same problem they had: economies had stop to a halt and will be there until bad debts are cleaned, and defaults are issued.
"He [Hitler] had crushed the German labor movement and for that the property-owning classes were willing to forgive him almost anything. Both left and right concurred ... that National Socialism was merely a version of Conservatism.
Plus ca change...
(full disclosure I work at Genius.)
Especially his speeches, rhetorics and strategies, and why they worked out how they did.
I hate to feel that hitler is somehow still a little controversial today. I don't really want to watch his speeches or read what he was saying because it's a little depressing and painful to think about, but understanding how he politically convinced people, and the underlying causes.
We're safe from that today, but I'd still like to understand how we protected ourselves from that happening again.
Somebody asked, why this document is so high up-voted. I would say, we can't up-vote it enough, when we have the chance to learn from history and especially from the dark sides of history and from people like George Orwell.
Chance is very big, that a new era of darkness could fall on humanity, if we don't stop it at the right time (and nobody knows, when the chance is over).
EDIT: I can only attribute this silly parrallel between Hitler and Napoleon to Orwell's origins. Being a British writer, he was probably educated throughout his life to loathe Napoleon, presented as the ultimate Evil causing trouble in Europe.
Anyway, let me recommend "Down and out in Paris and London". It taught me more about the human condition, and why you want to stamp out poverty and let everyone to be able to have a humane life, than most any book I ever read.
Also, imho after learning a bit about Eastern Europe after 1945, I put "Animal farm" along "1984". It is a master piece.
Edit: 'adventured', I really hope you are correct. The problem with your argument is that we see Hitler with hindsight now; he was a joke in the beginning too.
This seems wrong (with hindsight, I suppose). My mental image of Orwell is that he was quite sharp. How did he manage to get this bit wrong so badly? Does anyone know the reason?
I'm curious about the desire to reduce ambiguity, which seemed to be emphasized as a motivation for the creation of Ithkuil and some of the other languages mentioned.
Is it desirable to completely eliminate ambiguity? I can see why it would be desirable in a scientific paper or a public political debate. But in everyday interactions, (intentional) ambiguity plays many important roles.
In my experience, politeness is bolstered by some level of ambiguity. Rather than explicitly state your needs, desires or opinions, you imply them at some level of abstraction, allowing other participants in the conversation to accept or decline more easily. Imagine Jessica who has brought two friends who don't know each other to see a play. They chit-chat a little afterwards, then Jessica goes home early leaving two virtual strangers to have a drink together. It's not hard to imagine the conversation going like this:
A: "Did you enjoy the play?"
B: "It was very interesting. I thought the stage dressing was a little unconventional."
A: "Yes, I noticed that too. Very creative. I was intrigued by the style of the narration. It really let the audience write the story for themselves."
B: "It certainly didn't constrain the imagination did it? I couldn't help noticing that many of the actors took a somewhat avant-garde interpretation of the source material."
A: "Yes, as if they didn't want it to seem like they were 'acting', so to speak?"
B: It was awful wasn't it!?
A: Thank god! Yes, worst thing I've ever seen!
Ambiguity allows subtle social cues (not so subtle in my example!) that avoid direct confrontation when it might be uncomfortable. If one person loved the play and the other hated it, they each might want to avoid offending the other.
Intentional ambiguity plays an important role in other social interactions like dating or friendship-making. Correct use of ambiguity protects feelings, demonstrates subtlety and good judgement, and avoids non-productive conflict.
In artistic expression too, ambiguity is often intentional or even necessary to the effectiveness of the work. Consider a poem like "My Papa's Waltz" . Does it describe happy memories of the narrator's father, or dark memories of childhood abuse ? Can it describe both? Is there something in between? The ambiguity isn't a byproduct of imprecise language. The ambiguity is the meaning. To resolve it is to remove the point of the work. The poem cannot be effectively communicated in any medium that does not allow for the existence of ambiguity.
 'Yet, this poem has an intriguing ambiguity that elicits startlingly different interpretations. Kennedy calls it a scene of "comedy" and "persistent love", and Balakian, in part, labels it a "comic romp" (62). In contrast, Ciardi sees it as a "poem of terror"' - from http://www.mrbauld.com/exrthkwtz.html
I wonder if a similar approach could be taken with language construction. Instead of spending 25+ years fleshing out the details of a language in painstaking detail, computer programs could be devised that, using large amounts input, determine the most "efficient" means of expressing information. The approach would not only be far less labor intensive, it could also accommodate the rapidly evolving nature of language, for example adding to its "dictionary" in response to new phenomena in need of naming.
I worked in his lab on one of many projects showing that most human languages use a near optimal trade-off in various semantic domains (so far - color, kinship, containers, and spatial relations). His work also includes some of the best evidence for some language dependent forces in cognition interacting with some universal ones.
I don't know much about designing human languages, but I know how hard it is to design a decent programming language (see http://colinm.org/language_checklist.html), and building a serious human language seems orders of magnitude more difficult. I've never seen an attempt that really intrigued me until I found Ithkuil.
I did get a few somewhat weird emails that I think were in Russian some years ago, but I think they figured out pretty quick that it wasn't the right email address to reach Quijada.
IMO this suggests the bottleneck is something about our brains on a biological rather than linguistic level.
This is amazing. But I can't grasp the difference between inference and conjecture - they are both 'figuring out'what happened rather than knowing or hearing?
I'm in awe of the creator of Any language. Because to create a (Good) language isn't easy. This is true or both programming languages and otherwise. However, it comes without saying that adoption is a vital component of any language, and with mass adoption comes evolution.
People will often make changes in languages, make their own dialects (based on things perhaps the can relate to on a deeper level, etc..). This isn't a bad thing. To me it only signifies growth and expansion of the language.
> A sentence like On the contrary, I think it may turn out that this rugged mountain range trails off at some point becomes simply Tram-mi hhsmapuktx.
> Romanization: Oumpe xuktx.
> Translation: "On the contrary, I think it may turn out that this rugged mountain range trails off at some point."
I mean, things like:
We could have used LZW algorithm and the sentence could probably become even shorter, just a "simple" sequence of random-ish bytes. If you increase the number of allowed symbols, of course you need less symbols to convey the same information. If you allow for a limitless set of words that are dynamically generated from combining many roots, of course the number of words decreases... sometimes down to 1, as in polysynthetic languages. This is Information Theory 101.
If this invented language were to catch on, it likely wouldn't be a generation or two and kids who grew up speaking it would start saying the Ithkuil equivalent of things like "yo dog, that's the rad shizaz!". Then, several generations thereafter grandmothers would be regularly using the word "shizaz" and they would have to put it in the dictionary. That's just the way it goes and is probably the reason we don't all speak the same language in the first place.
That being said, I've always been fascinated by the idea of a systematically created universal language and think the world would be much better place with one....if that were possible.
This was a neat article.
-- Whose pot did the Croats, Bosnians and Slovenes piss in to not make it into this super Slavic union?
-- China Mieville wrote a book along very similar thought lines which won the Locus Award.
Also, Garkavenko appears not to have taken the obvious side  in Ukraine's present conflict given how he is described in Foer's article
But years ago he got the free (from the US government) digital talking book player. This device is an excellent engineering and user interface solution for delivering audio material to blind users. The buttons are all large and report their functions by audio. There are all sorts of built in modes, including an extensive set of self-tests and diagnostics. Around the US, there is a service infrastructure so if there is any problem with the devices, the user just drops them off at a local library and takes a replacement.
These devices can play prerecorded DRMed audio books or MP3s delivered on USB cartridges or thumb drives. The Library of Congress maintains a large collection of downloadable books called BARD.
You should also check with his local government to see what services are available for the blind and visually impaired. Even with no vision, one can live a happy life and still be an active member of society. All it takes is some help learning how to navigate the world.
And I solved it by buying them CD - Boombox and modifying the buttons.That way they can switch CD's themselves and they can also buy them.But your project is awesome with the remote uploading.
Burning all those CD's is soooo timeconsuming, but it's worth it - my grandpa has a lot of fun with those books!
 http://www.loc.gov/nls/  https://www.bookshare.org/
Most projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo don't even have a fully functioning product, whereas, you already have your product and your 1st customer, so why don't you take this product to the next level, and sell it to the wider audience of blind people?
You will have a tremendous impact on society doing good, and make a decent side-income at the same time.
We have one with just four buttons (play/pause, stop, forward/next-track, rewind/prev-track) plus a volume knob. You can tell which button is which pretty easily based on their position.
It would be fairly easy to switch CDs and control the boombox without the use of sight.
I guess you could argue that by digitizing the CDs, it saves the person from having to change them out themselves ... but it also limits selection. (For instance, my local library has a wide assortment of CDs, but it would be a hassle if I had to rip each of them before I could listen to them.)
By the way, anybody who's interested in building stuff that's accessible to the blind, you might be interested in the work of T.V. Raman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._V._Raman), a Google engineer who himself is blind.
Check out this NYTimes article from a few years ago that tells a bit about his amazing story:
EDIT: I'm also curious about which products you looked at and why you rejected them. For example, did you look at any dedicated talking book players, such as the Victor Reader Stream or the BookSense?
> I spoke to my grandmother today because it's here birthday,
Have you seen the Kibano DigiPlayer devices?
...running Debian Wheezy
Listening to the music from their youth is shown anecdotally to have a HUGE impact on people with dementia and Alzheimers. But often iPods are too much for these people to manage, maybe a simpler device (such as yours) could be used in this space?
(emphasis mine) IANAL, but my understanding is that at least in the US, it is the expression of the idea (the software and code, the graphics, and the other things mentioned on that line) that are subject to copyright, not the idea. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idea-expression_divide.
The screens are positioned correctly next to each other.
Are you writing this in assembly?!
 - http://nifflas.ni2.se/
That's true, but I'm really trying to shake it off! And looking for contributors, should you be interested :)
I am very interested in this type of work and have been hacking at trying to build a game for the SNES. All I've been able to do so far is to collect all relevant documentation for developing it: https://github.com/bttf/snes_dev
I really like your project page as well, very concise, extremely informative, and covers exactly the things that someone wanting to make their own would need. Bookmarked!
really cool and impressive that you developed an published a game on such a platform, that's still easily playable via a browser
I got stuck really early on, oops: http://i.imgur.com/pqAblgU.png
I submit this bug: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=403907&t...
Everything "unusual" becomes suspicious. See a guy taking photos at an airport? Must be a terrorist! Can't be a photographer and aviation enthusiast, no!
As Bruce says, the CYA angle is also horrific. Landlord sees something, thinks it might be nothing, but just in case, tells the local cops. Cops figure it might be nothing, but just in case, calls the FBI. Branch office figure it might be nothing, but just in case, gets regional / national HQ involved. Somewhere in the chain someone inadvertently gets word to the other 3-letter agencies, and the effect is magnified.
... and every time it's escalated, people figure "well, the people below me wouldn't have escalated unless they had reason to" ... while at the same time thinking, "well, I'm not sure, but I'm also not going to be the scapegoat if I fail to neutralize a potential attack and something does happen."
Everyone in the chain has plenty to lose and little to gain for not escalating to the next level -- nobody wants to be the guy who missed an opportunity to stop / neutralize a threat, especially in the unlikely-but-possible scenario that an attack does occur.
Regarding "if you see something, say something", Rick Moranis had an intelligent take on that at the beginning of his guest column in the NYTimes:
You are a nontechnical person and stumble upon what appear to be plans for a terrorist attack. You talk to the person about it and they say "Don't worry. is computer game".
A great exploration of this is the 30 Rock episode where Tina Fey reports her neighbor for what ends up being a plan to get on the show 'The Amazing Race'.
The problem is, not knowing any better, you feel obligated to report the activity just in case. Let someone much smarter than yourself decide what is really going on. If you say nothing and someone gets hurt, can you forgive yourself?
As a hacker, I would understand this is definitely a game. But can I really expect the same from non-technical people?
I got evicted from a property years ago because they did a surprise inspection while I was out (which is, of course, totally illegal), and decided they'd found "mountains of cocaine" on the kitchen counters.
It was fucking Ajax kitchen cleaning powder. Still, they didn't care. The police (who they contacted) thought it was laughable, but couldn't do anything about the fact they were evicting me.
Its sad how sensationalist and afraid we have become.
I wanted to see more of your posts, so trimmed the URL down to "http://henrysmith.org/blog/" and got an error message "Included file 'navbar.html' not found in _includes directory" at the top of your page. Clicking your name in the left directs me to henrysmith.org which doesn't have this problem.
I'm not sure whether he has any legal recourse over this. I doubt it, but he has potentially been materially disadvantaged (if indeed, it goes "up the chain" and he finds visas being denied).
At the very least, he needs to enumerate to his landlord the various ways in which this could seriously affect him, and ask for a rent reduction.
Goes to show how dumb people can be.
Title is "Dont Talk to Police" from 2008. Henry Smith should probably watch it.
Matt is wrong about this. He's being victimized by a pernicious fallacy.
It certainly appears that the most "successful" cryptosystems have transparent keying. But that's belied by the fact that, with a very few exceptions (that probably prove the rule), cryptosystems aren't directly attacked by most adversaries... except the global adversary.
In the absence of routine attacks targeting cryptography, it's easy to believe that systems that don't annoy their users with identity management are superior to those that do. They do indeed have an advantage in deployability! But they have no security advantage. We'll probably find out someday soon, as more disclosures hit the press, that they were a serious liability.
There is a lot wrong with PGP! It is reasonable to want it to die. But PGP is the only trustworthy mainstream cryptosystem we have; I mean, literally, I think it might be the only one.
But for some reason (maybe because it's generally less life-threatening), people seem to expect deeply complex subjects, like e-mail encryption and identity management, to be easy. "Yeah, if you can just give me a fancy, easy-to-use GUI with forward secrecy, that'd be great!" Sure, it'd be great. But it's not going to happen. And that's not because PGP is broken -- of course, it does have its weak points. It's because people are too lazy to bother to learn.
What's the old addage? You can have quick, cheap and reliable. Pick two? Same here. You can have secure, easy to use, and reliable. Pick two.
used to provide the fingerprints that are readable? Verifying would be much more convenient than now.
"For example, the 128-bit key of:
CCAC 2AED 5910 56BE 4F90 FD44 1C53 4766
RASH BUSH MILK LOOK BAD BRIM AVID GAFF BAIT ROT POD LOVE
TROD MUTE TAIL WARM CHAR KONG HAAG CITY BORE O TEAL AWL
EFF8 1F9B FBC6 5350 920C DD74 16DE 8009"
One thing I have learned watching the crypto forums over the years is that there are well calculated misinformation campaigns trying to dissuade people from using secure methods. I see it again and again and the people on this forum need to think carefully before swallowing this as sincere.
I would never never never trust a solution from Google or any large American corporation. They have just been caught lying about prism (Google) and taking bribes (RSA). These companies are now and always will be totally untrustworthy.
While the CA-model seems to be broken in most X.509 use cases, like TLS/SSL, where a duplicate certifcate can be used to do a man-in-the-middle-attack, this does not really affect S/MIME, especially after both parties started a "conversion". People that need to communicate "really" secure, should therefore be able to ignore all "CA-Trust" and white-list certificates on a per user basis (e.g. like PGP).
Ordinary communication still can by default fall-back to the existing CA-model to keep it usable (but not secure).
1. We need more love by the MUA-vendors, who mostly support S/MIME but it's still a PITA to use. Google e.g. still does not support S/MIME on android, see https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=34374
2. We need CAs that are usable. StartSSL is nice and free, but it's not easy to use. Lower the entry barrier for getting and renewing/recreation of certificates
3. (most important) Make it easy to manage local CA-trust. On each new system, the user should be able to select a "trust no CA/whitelist only" approach and then be responsible for trusting other parties. No vendor (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Mozilla) should silently distribute and trust new CAs without users consent.
PGP is complicated (VERY complicated, to the average user), resulting in next to zero adoption.
Simplify the goals in a way that can be upgraded at at some later date.
I think we need a browser plugin (All browsers. Other non-browser tools too, ideally, but the browser is important) that lets you securely SIGN posts locally in a style more or less like GPG's --clearsign option. Ideally, this should literally be --clearsign for compatibility, with the plugin hiding the "---- BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE ----" headers/footers, though these details are less important.
The key should be automagically generated, and stored locally in a secure way. (Bonus points for leting you use the keyrings in ~/.gnupg/ as an advanced, optional feature). The UI goal is to simply let people post things and click a sign this button next to a <textarea> or similar. Ideally, later on, this could become sign-by-default.
On the other side, the browser plugin should notice signed blocks of text and authenticate them. Pubkeys are saved locally (key pinning). What this provides is 1) verification that posts are actually by the same author, and 2) it proves that someone is the same author cross-domain (or as different accounts/usernames).
No attempt is made to tie the key to some external identity (though this would be somewhat easy for to prove). The idea is to remove the authentication problem (keyservers/pki) entirely. This can be man-in-the-middled, but the MitM would have to be working 100% of the time or the change in key will be noticed.
No attempt is made regarding encryption (hiding the message). This should also greatly simplify the interface.
The goal here is to get people using proper (LOCAL STORE ONLY) public/private keys. The UI should be little more than a [sign this] button that handles everything, and a <sig ok!> icon on the reading side. It should be possible to get the average user to understand and use such a tool.
Later, when the idea of signing your posts has become more widespread and many people have a valid public/private key pair already in use, other features can be added back in. As those "2nd generation" tools have a large pool of keys to draw from, it should be easier to start some variant of Web Of Trust. Even if that never happens, getting signing widespread is useful on its own.
I realize this doesn't protect against a large number of well-known attacks, and only offers mild protection against MitM. This is intentional, as the goal is getting people to actually use some minimal subset of PGP/GPG-like tools, possibly as an educational exercise. The rest of the stuff can be addressed later.
We really do need to let users manage trust, because trust is a rich concept. And humans are actually really good at trust, because we've been thriving and competing with each other in complex social situations for a long time.
The trick is finding ways to recruit people's evolved trust behaviors into an electronic context. That is, can we build meaningful webs of trust through repeated social interactions, just like in real life?
So it's not the mail client vendors who are best positioned to solve the problem, it's the social networks.
(Whether they want to solve the problem is a separate question.)
I like the email model such that anyone can install and run an email server. I'd actively push friends, family and colleagues to use a decentralised email replacement that was as easy to use and secure as TextSecure.
The NSA isn't my concern, Google etc. are. I don't want to bother going to the lengths necessary to secure myself from the NSA since that just isn't practical. But it would be nice if google and its employees didn't have access to the plaintext of my email. If I send an email to anyone using gmail and they decrypt it in a way that lets google see my text when they reply, all of my own security steps are worthless.
In the last few years we have seen IM and SMS merge into an almost seamless experience. Surely we could engineer a UI that also copes with larger bodies of text at the same time?
We need clients or servers that are multi-protocol. That way we can experiment with new ways of communicating.
(confession: I myself am too lazy to use PGP)
If you click yes, you then exchange fingerprints using eg QR codes, and the authenticity of messages from Bob are retrospecively checked
Problem is, it's not obvious this can be done without compromising privacy of location.
Also, about terrible mail client implementations, the problem is, to not be terrible for many is to be built-in to GMail (and work transparently there). The consequences of that are obvious I hope. So no, thanks.
SMTP is not meant to be secure. You insist in communicating through an insecure channel-protocol and making it secure as an afterthought, and it's always going to be inconvenient or otherwise suck. I say PGP is pretty good at what it does, and it's nice in that it doesn't promise what it doesn't do.
Is it really fundamentally possible? The author asserts this without really backing it with anything. I can understand how OTR-like systems can work between a static pair of clients, but it is not entirely clear if it is possible at all to extend such scheme to work in scenarios where message delivery is async and I might be using a set of clients/devices for messaging.
The article also doesn't mention Bitmessage, which addresses a lot of the concerns. Bitmessage isn't forward secret though.
> Modern EC public keys are tiny.
Well, which is it?
It isn't about being NSA-proof, its about having the volume of "Enveloped"/PGP encrypted emails be so high that it isn't possible to directly target everyone.
Even in it's long form, it's relatively easy to generate different keys that have the same fingerprint.
Why? Last I heard, breaking PGP was equivalent to being able to factor large integers into a product of prime numbers. So, NSA is able to do that, and no one else can, no one in the public heard about it, no university research mathematician published about it, NSA has mathematicians who figured out how to do that but their major profs back in grad school don't know how, no one got a Fields Medal for it, etc.? I don't believe that.
What's going on here?
He means I need a Faraday cage? Okay, tell the NSA I have one; put it in place this afternoon.
He means the NSA has trained cockroaches that can wiggle into my hard drives while I sleep and steal all my data? If so, then fine. I'll spray bug killer.
Otherwise, why should I believe that the NSA could crack my PGP encrypted e-mail?
The relationship didn't last, so the morale of the story ended up being always trust software defects when it comes to relationships. This turned out to be especially true later when a pretty egregious Myspace bug introduced me to my wife :)
More testing: not just this file, some other file transfers from unrelated places as well - and always at the same places within the file (but different across different files).
Take the tcpdump on both sides - always the same segment of data within each of the file transfers does not make it through the PIX. Take the offending segment and convert it into a small file of its own - this file is impossible to download through, gets dropped.
Needless to say, this all was observable only on that particular setup - not in the lab.
Finally I noticed that the CRC error counter on the inbound interface increments by one every time I try to push through the offending small file.
Replacing the Ethernet cable connecting that interface had solved the problem with all of the "hanging" transfers.
We did not do any further research into the root cause (the user did not want to put back the previous cable), but the working theory was that the initial cable was made bad, but not bad enough to not work at all - and the fault only showed up on particular sequences of data.
Given that neither 10BaseT nor 100BaseT used scrambling, this seemed plausible enough of a theory, but was quite fascinating nonetheless.
"Printer won't print on Tuesdays" :http://mdzlog.alcor.net/2009/08/15/bohrbugs-openoffice-org-w...
"A member of the famous Black Team manages to create a sequence of operations that topples over the tape drive":http://www.penzba.co.uk/GreybeardStories/TheBlackTeam.html
After much investigation, we traced the problem to a Rock Band drum set foot pedal. It has an AC adapter plugged into the wall, and also acts as pressing L on the PS3 controller when it's triggered. Somehow, pulling the cord on the ceiling fan made the foot pedal act like it got kicked, which would rewind the movie playing on the PS3. Unplugging the foot pedal or drum set solved the problem.
One of these sensors was a simple conductive sensor which sensed metallic tape on the floor of the arena.
One of the teams had a freezing issue that they couldn't get to the bottom of, until they realised that it froze when their back roller (a sphere in a cage so it can rotate in 2 directions) went over the metallic tape.
The theory goes that the moving lego parts generated static electricity which was then conducted somehow down to the metallic tape, which caused some fault in the single board PC we used.
I wouldn't have believed it unless I'd seen it. Replacing the metal roller with a lego piece cured the issue.
Why would anyone who has used a printer more than once think it would be impossible to reliably jam a printer...
One of them memorably had a wire or a resistor or something that wasn't connected to anything else in the circuit. So they removed it.
The circuit stopped working.
They put it back in.
It started working again.
The best anyone could figure was that that bit of metal was interacting electromagnetically with the rest of the circuit in some immeasurably small way that the entire thing depended upon.
Here is a link to their app on their website:http://pinetartinc.com/?p=44
This certainly doesn't replace official complaints but having independent data collected on Police interactions can probably increase political pressure to tackle abuses.
We need some way to force a consequence with said documentation. The police in Missouri simply don't care because the penalties are so small that they can be written off.
Though, I do wonder how the app compares/will compare with the ACLU app for the same purpose.
Take the billions of dollars the pentagon and homeland security is giving to these departments and instead of buying useless armored tanks and other nonsense, buy a wearable camera for every cop in the country.
There are 700,000 cops in the usa. Bulk purchase at $100 each is $70 Million. Throw in $30 million for tech support, downloading, etc. and you are at a "mere" $100 million. Since it is a government program, budget it at five times the cost and you are still "only" at half a billion, which is a fraction of the pentagon's program.
Fund it now, make it a law they have to wear it at all times while on duty or instant termination.
"suspects" will behave better, cops will behave better, it is already proven.
| YC (S14): "Yelp for Police Officers"
Why do people want everything to be an app, when a website would do the job better?
I was lucky enough to contact its creator and he agreed to open source it, so I can one day finish a modern cross-platform port that I can enjoy on OS X at 4k resolutions, etc.
Unlike books, games tend to suffer this fate where you can't easily enjoy the classics from many years ago because they run on proprietary/closed source systems and aren't maintained.
It's a wonderful thing that we now have faster hardware, and better knowledge of how to solve these kinds of problems cleanly, and more available libraries/frameworks to encapsulate that knowledge. Still, hats of to the pioneers who were traveling that territory before the superhighways were built.
Works for me on Windows 7.
That said, I had several other pinball games at the time and I thought that Full Tilt! was one of the worst ones, so I don't understand the love that surrounds it.
Currently I have a Windows 8 PC that is there for reading emails. I do all my real work on another box. I have tried to use the Office apps and such like so it is not like I have not tried to use this Windows PC. However, I have no idea what games it comes with. On older Windows such feature would be discovered in seconds even if you had never used a computer before. With the newer Windows 8 there is no such discovery - in fact I only learned how to do power off 'mouse only' without using CTRL+ALT+DEL last week.
Looking back I wish Windows did have pleasant surprises such as the Pinball game rather than be what it has become. Windows isn't really a 'serious' piece of software any more.
I thought it was some licensing problem because most if not all of the games were licensed from third party companies.
Anyone remember the old Microsoft Windows Entertainment Pack with Tetris and other games? They were all 16 bit and when Windows went to 64 bits they wouldn't work anymore and they didn't convert them to 32 bit, and I think they didn't have the license to Tetris anymore to make a 32 bit version because of some lawsuit that Atari, Nintendo, and others had made illegal copies of it over the licensing rights between the Russian programmer and the company he worked for at the time he wrote Tetris.
Removing the silly game could be part of Microsoft's agenda to undo the damage that Windows 8 did to its image, and rebrand itself as a "Windows OS is for getting work done" tool, rather than a novelty 'yon dungeon' video game where you try to swipe, swirl, shake, and charm your way through the 7 steps everyone must do to get to the control panel.
- Fully militarized police with a Tank(!) and multiple snipers with assault rifles confronting unarmed civilian protesters.
- Tear gassing and arresting reporters
- Al-Jazera news crew was shot at and tear gassed 
- No fly zone over all of Ferguson
- Street level blockades & teargassing of porches to keep people inside
- No badges, tags or any identifying marks on police
- etc, etc,
This is a disgrace for America and a wake up call for all of us.
 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bu9CVPGIYAA_tFz.jpg:large https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bu-N9uIIIAEImna.jpg:large
"""He was denied information about the names and badge numbers of those who arrested him."""
If hiding the badge numbers or other identifying marks distinguishing law enforcement officers from each other isn't already a crime it ought to be. And it ought to be one that disqualifies the officer involved from serving in any position of authority over the public.
There is no excuse by which law enforcement can expect to have both legitimacy and the cloak of anonymity. If there is one thing the last 4000 years of recorded history has taught us; it is that unaccountable power will be abused.
If our civilisation is to have a solid foundation of law; it's law enforcement authorities must be more law-abiding than the average citizen rather than less. As is so glaringly the case in Ferguson tonight.
One of the scariest subtleties with these situations is how police officers always chant "stop resisting" regardless of whether the person is resisting. It's almost as if they are explicitly trained to repeat that mantra. It's eery.
> But it is hard to see why Fargo, North Dakotaa city that averages fewer than two murders a yearneeds an armoured personnel-carrier with a rotating turret. Keene, a small town in New Hampshire which had three homicides between 1999 and 2012, spent nearly $286,000 on an armoured personnel-carrier known as a BearCat. The local police chief said it would be used to patrol Keenes Pumpkin Festival and other dangerous situations.
> Householders, on hearing the door being smashed down, sometimes reach for their own guns. In 2006 Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old woman in Atlanta, mistook the police for robbers and fired a shot from an old pistol. Police shot her five times, killing her. After the shooting they planted marijuana in her home. It later emerged that they had falsified the information used to obtain their no-knock warrant.
This situation is going to keep escalating. If you visit Ferguson, you'll see the business-district smashed up but the residential areas nice, calm, well-kept - with families literally everywhere walking around. The community is united and organizing. I can only hope that the period of chaotic rage settles down into something strong, long-lasting, and effective. This would be a true tribute to Michael Brown.
Last - I want to mention that a St. Louis City Alderman/Protestor was also arrested tonight. He remains peaceful as his respected reputation depends on it, so one can only gather that it was to silence his filming.
An account of STL police two years ago:http://antistatestl.noblogs.org/post/2012/03/19/a-personal-a...
And some resistance:http://antistatestl.noblogs.org/post/2012/04/22/welcome-to-c...
You took my son away from me. You know how hard it was for me to get him to stay in school and graduate? Do you know how many black men graduate? Not many. Because you bring them down to this type of level where they feel like "I don't got nothing to live for anyway. They're going to try and take me out anyway."
EDIT: Why the downvotes? Honest question, how much more are people willing to take?
I don't believe the issue you are seeing with regards to the militarization of police stems to anything so terribly insidious. Instead, I think it is just another sign of corruption in politics & business as usual.
There is a terrible amount of money being tagged for "Homeland Security". Police departments are _still_ strapped for cash, but are given the option of buying expensive toys with funds that can only be used to buy these toys from the companies of successful lobbyists. In other words, "sorry, no money to hire more officers this year. however, we can give you a grant for $20,000 to spend on an armored carrier - but nothing else"
The money won't go away, because if a congressman _does_ stand up to this sort of abuse, they just give a big donation to his opponent to runs TV ads saying he's "soft on terrorism"
So what's a police chief to say? it's free
After that, we enter the simple world of psychology - it's a well-known fact that when you give people pads and helmets, they will act in a riskier and more aggressive manner. If you give them a mask, they will become more belligerent. Toss in an "us vs. them" situation, stand by your team, etc.
So, these men are simply doing what psychiatrists say we would all do, if you strapped us into a Robocop getup and told us to go protect the city.
That said - the Chief of Police should be experienced and responsible enough to judge the situation and tell his officers "No riot gear". This is their normal riot gear, but someone should have used some common sense to tell them to leave it at the station. That is the fault at the local level.
The US has such poor police training that this problem will not go away. There are also way to many people in the force that are mentally not fit for the job.
Sadly the the Police appears to reflect the conscience of the country. Where force rules over diplomacy. Shoot first ask questions later and revenge over forgiveness.
Anonymous has claimed that they will be releasing the name of the cop who shot Mike Brown if they recover it: http://www.salon.com/2014/08/13/anonymous_released_alleged_a...
(Short answer: Congressionally-enabled DoD surplus transfers.)
"Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: 'Wow. That sounds hard.' "
While it seems that many aspects of "politeness" are intended to trigger pleasant feelings in the other person (which seems harmless enough), I find it hard to be in favor of something so disingenuous. Even when it comes to small talk, I think one can be both respectful and charming without having to fall back on a script and cheapen the interaction.
He talks about North American obsession with touch like a normal thing, but in fact it is the exception in the world.
Being polite changes with the culture. In Morocco it is totally ok for male friends to hold hands in the street.
In South America you touch a lot other people. The same happens in Africa. I had India children and adolescent jump over me just after meeting them just playing.
I had played soccer all around Africa and touched shoulders of my playmates, grab their head and hug celebrated with them goals without a problem. Also it was very manly thing to do.
In China or Korea people to burp is ok. Using a kleenex on your nose is not.
In Spain we kiss women when we meet them and we touch kids we recently met a lot. I used to photograph kids a lot. In the US or UK with the obsession in sex they have they can put you in jail for photographic a kid smiling.
"Useless in high school but extremely useful later on": yes, school is when you'd expect to learn such skills, but high-school is such a toxic environment that too many folks learn the opposite of politeness (like how to dominate in an interaction, or flee it).
"it provides insulation against bad situations" (the gloves/dirty laundry paragraph): very much so. Politeness and etiquette provides guidelines to interact in situations that would instinctively lead to aggression.
"it lets you gather information about people": I don't like the manipulation undertones of this part, but it's true that with a little skill you can turn many a conversation into a mine of information and bonding.
"touching and personal space": as others have mentioned, this is very flexible across cultures, but I believe that everyone has some level of personal space boundaries. Break these and the other person becomes defensive, uncomfortable.
It's like we all want to live in a bubble. In non-western countries bumping into someone isn't the traumatizing horror it is in the US. It's just about expectations, if people didn't expect to have a vastness of empty air around them they wouldn't suffer PTSD for the rest of the day when someone stood almost within touching distance of them.
I'm not saying it's OK to be breathing down people's necks and people should consider the comfort zones of others, but it's kind of extreme in the US. If there's an empty chair next to you, I'll sit in it, and if there's a public urinal available next to yours I'll make use of it. Deal with it.
Touching a girls hair, or even giving it a light tug was all part of the flirting game. To be clear it's not like you just met someone and started touching them everywhere and it didn't have to happen everytime, but during the course of conversation if it was appropriate and natural a light touch here and there was just part of how things worked.
Moving to the US I found out very quickly that you give most people space unless you were invited in closer, but I've found Europeans that I've met are more open to an appropriate natural touch
With social skills, as with any other discipline, merely following rules will make you a craftsperson, not an artist. Artistry comes from knowing the rules so well you can transcend them. I prefer the musician who knows how to improvise sometimes the "wrong" note, the quarterback who shines when the play falls apart, the chess player who develops new moves, ... you get the idea.
Personally, I'm more interested in becoming an artist than just following rules. For example, I prefer to find out how I can quickly create deep bonds, which you can do when you break some of the author's rules. I grew up with poor social skills and the geek scientist in me wanted to understand what was going on. Then the geek entrepreneur in me wanted to use what I figured out and develop it as far as I could. Then the business entrepreneur in me wanted to polish it so people would appreciate it. Now I coach people in it too. I feel like the guy wrote a story about how to play scales on the piano, though I enjoyed the writing style. Who wants to stop there?
My story about my friend and Jack Nicholson at the U.S. Open illustrates the social value in breaking a dress code (from my blog http://joshuaspodek.com/high-status-living-rules-jack-nichol...). There are a million other role models of people who shine in breaking rules, but I'll just tell that one story about him:
A friend who grew up in Queens and became the senior ball boy at the U.S. Open told me a story about his friend who worked there too.
One day he was working at the door to the U.S. Opens VIP room enforcing the jacket-and-tie dress code. Jack Nicholson came by and started walking into the room wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
My friends friend, following the rules, in a nervous high school student voice, said Im sorry Mr. Nicholson. There is a dress code and Im afraid I have to ask you to follow it.
With a polite laugh, Jack Nicholson said I dont think so, and continued in.
I'll bet Jack Nicholson didn't start breaking rules because he became a star. I'll bet he became a star by breaking rules -- not blindly, but intelligently.
Lately, rather than moving towards politeness, I'm trying to move away from it. The examples of always replying positively to people, never steering towards or even approach hostility is a very, very tiring path to walk. In my experience, it does pay off on the whole, but I've spent a lot of time talking to people that were just never 'interesting' or 'rewarding' to be with, simply because it always seems easier to please than to confront.
These days I'm trying to move towards blunt honesty with people as soon as I can (after an initial period of polite conversation to gauge if they'd be comfortable with it). So far, I think the people I know appreciate me more for it, and the people who wouldn't appreciate me for it are not in my life.
Or perhaps it just feels good to try something different.
I don't think we realistically can connect with everyone on a meaningful level, and given there's 7-8 billion people out there, a search/filter strategy just seems more reasonable than trying to please everyone.
That being said, I am not advocating to the burning of any bridges at all -- as the scenes we walk tend to get smaller and smaller the more focused and specialized they get.
Politeness for me started as a facade to hide behind, but over time it turned into a tool of empathy and connection. I believe this to be my most useful and powerful skill, far beyond any technical skill I have.
I wish more geeks (such as Lennart Poettering to name just one notorious hacker) would learn this.
This may not apply to the author, who writes "I am often consumed with a sense of overwhelming love and empathy", but certainly to the vast majority of people who don't have such extreme levels of empathy but use the same tactics.
Yes, like many people I will fall for the "that sounds hard" trick, but if I see you pull that multiple times I'll file you under "manipulative cunt" unless I have a good reason to assume you're that one in a million who actually gives a fuck. Because most of us really, really don't.
you could observe the same thing when the ccc guys had their first gsm phones. Someone just showed up with a base station in the trunk of his car. compare that with the huge buzz that went around the same thing at defcon a couple of years ago. The defcon truck definitely looked WAY cooler.
but on topic what's actually really scary about this is that even newer smartphones would allow sim exploits to roam free. contrary to what you may think it's not just old phones.
EDIT: while technically not exactly the same as opensimkit here's an answer to the why question posed by jacob appelbaum. I suspect the same applies here(and it's not really a bad reason either)
The iPhone has a menu option within Settings > Phone > Sim Applications where these are displayed. I haven't seen this on other SIM cards
Havent had a chance to watch the presentation, perhaps its already answered there: Are these totally locked down or is it within realms of possibility to take out the SIM card from an average GSM phone and start poking around, adding one's own applications.
I still think it's no coincidence that Gavin is spearheading Bitcoin- He is impressive because he's very down-to-earth but still supernaturally smart. I'm not sure Bitcoin would have gone anywhere without him.
Doesn't Andresen's response reflect more of how Bitcoin status quo will be maintained rather than actually addressing why it won't change much?
This also seems to ignore the ways in which so-called "Bitcoin 2.0" uses of the Bitcoin-platform-as-ledger will affect the actual nature of the platform, as these uses have yet to be employed on any large scale yet.
And it's also a great read.
Excuse me, but mining back them was extremely simple. I could be millionaire if I would not lost my wallet.
Peter Troll. The guy never gets tired of derailing discussions and slowing down all development on github issues. It's always about bringing completely unrelated technical or economical issues, for the sake of saying "look I'm smart!". He also loves to imagine conspiracies, like the block size issue (Nakamoto didn't want to keep it at 1MB forever, but Peter says he says he did and even created a website just for that :s). And he is always accepting donations of course, and contracts with altcoins (they get the press -useful for a quick pump/dump-, he gets the money).
One of the beauty of the ad model is that it influenced the vast majority of people to publish information in a way that did not require accounts, authentication, or any kind of barriers.
It meant things like crawlers and search engines could exist and scale to the entire Web, without having to make millions of indexing deals or paying micropayments just to index content. It means archive.org and wayback machine can exist.
It meant people could click on a link transaction free.
Though it may displease the people working in the news business, I for one, want to keep the Web as transaction free as possible.
The mobile world of app stores, install apps, and constant freemium nags to buy DLC I hope does not move to the web.
On the downside, some deep pocketed businesses subsidize everyone else's content consumption in exchange for some of their attention. It's a worthy trade for many people. I grew up poor, my parents didn't even have credit cards, we didn't pay for tv, and I had to sell my comic collection just to buy my first computer.
Being able to consume the world's information, ad supported, or charity supported, would be a far better model for my inner city neighborhood of youth than micropayment paywall madness.
Users do pay for those services, but not very much and not very often. There are simply too many obstacles in the way, both technological and psychological. To make it practical will require both social change and a much easier way to make small transactions. Not because it's difficult in any absolute sense, but because even the slightest practical barrier is enough to make people reconsider.
The most successful payment models now seem to be app stores and in-app purchases, which are certainly marked by convenience. You just give your credit card details once and then you can buy things with no hassle. A model like this for web content is the minimum for moving off of advertising!
More generally, though, this change is not something we can achieve unilaterally. We'd have to convince everyone else to go along with it, to choose paid services over free. Not an easy proposition at the best of times and, given the nature of the internet, not something we can force. (Fundamentally, this is actually a good thing because it means the internet can't easily be controlled, which is also why the emergence of gigantic, largely self-contained web properties like Facebook is decidedly troubling.)
My first goal for Patreon was 'turn off ads on the current project'. It's REALLY nice to have them gone.
I don't know if there are any multi-person projects that're paying a serious chunk of their living expenses with Patreon yet, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen sooner or later.
Reddit's not profitable.
Free (as in beer) is the enemy of free (as in freedom). It's the enemy of privacy, security, and human dignity as well.
In the beginning there was the bubble. Well, actually there was DARPANet and such, but our story begins with the Internet bubble of the late 1990s.
In the early 90s the Internet hit mainstream. I was there. I got online (first by umm... borrowing accounts at my local university at 14) in 1992, then moved to a legal ISP when such things became available in my area. I basically watched the whole thing unfold.
When the Internet and the WWW went big there was a huge flurry of innovation, lots and lots of companies and open source efforts and various DIY projects and personal home pages and everything else.
The small scale stuff was -- and often could be -- a volunteer effort. To this day there are millions of independent sites and blogs and OSS projects. But the big stuff was expensive.
Building a site that is usable, content-rich, curated, and available for hundreds of millions of visitors is expensive. Building massive services like search engines is expensive. Building really high quality software is expensive. Making the gears turn is often the easy part... the polish that it takes to make something great often takes at least twice as long as it takes to do the "techie" stuff and get a working prototype.
There was always a search for ways to make it pay, ways to finance the new medium, but in the beginning it didn't feel urgent. We were building the future, and damn the torpedoes. (By now I was doing it for my day job, so I was there in the trenches coding up early dynamic sites in PHP and Java, playing with Linux, hacking network code in C.)
Lots of things were tried: early freemium models, paywalls and subscriptions, and of course ads.
Only ads worked.
Freemium can work but only if your costs per user are super-low, which they aren't for content creators or computationally expensive or bandwidth-heavy centralized services.
Paywalls and subscriptions? Nobody wanted to pay. Everyone wants free. Total failure.
Then the bubble popped and all the companies that couldn't find a way to make it pay went out of business. The only ones left standing were those who used the Internet as a secondary channel (print magazines and such) and ad-driven sites and services.
But wait... it gets worse.
Ads work but they don't. People, it turns out, hated intrusive ads, popup ads, and ad clutter in general. Ads were the only way to make the net pay (for most non-b2b businesses), but the more ads you have the uglier your site becomes. Back then they started calling it "portalitis" -- named after the buzz-word "portal" for sites like Yahoo and ICQ (remember that?) that became ad-encrusted messes.
Then Google appeared. They dropped everyone's jaws when they launched with a search engine that not only worked but was incredibly clean. I remember seeing it... a text box and "search." That's it. Lots of people think PageRank was responsible for Google's success, but I think the clean site was a lot of it... maybe as much as half of it.
The techies loved it. The users loved it. But the business folks, I'm sure, were like "huh?!? how!!!?!?"
I'm not sure if Google planned their model or figured it out as they went, but eventually they did introduce ads. The ads were targeted, mixed into results and clearly marked. People clicked them because they were relevant. Genius. Google conquered the world.
Google also did something else. They demonstrated a new and now trendy Silicon Valley business approach: launch a free service everyone loves, get a ton of users, then figure out how to monetize.
It's that approach combined with the information needed to underpin finer and finer grained ad targeting that led to the real disaster.
The real disaster wasn't ads. Ads are fine. The real disaster was surveillance as the business model of the Internet.
Facebook was the second massive company to follow in Google's footsteps business-wise with launch first, get big, then monetize. Google kind of tiptoed into the surveillance business model by way of their ad targeting needs, but Facebook found that mass surveillance was the only way to really monetize. Again I'm not sure if Zuckerberg had this in mind from the get-go or not. I tend to think not. But how else do you monetize a massively expensive to run centralized social networking site where everyone just happens to post all kinds of personal data?
The Internet, which was supposed to be our great liberator and engine of learning, became George Orwell's bidirectional TV set. It's a TV set that watches you.
... and it all goes back to free.
The need to be free (as in beer) has led to a dystopian nightmare. That's because I'm sorry folks, but nothing is actually free. It has to be paid for somehow. Governments do it with taxes. But private entities? They've had to get creative.
Unless we somehow challenge "free," I think it's only going to get worse. Surveillance will get worse. Google Glass failed but it's not the end... pretty soon there will be an effort to normalize the idea of your smartphone turning on its microphone and listening to your conversations. That data will be mined for product name drops.
I'm sure more creative ideas will be explored. I had a nightmarish thought the other night.
Full text analysis and meaning extraction is getting good, and it's only going to get better in the future. How long will it be before Google Docs, Dropbox, etc. start data mining the documents stored on their systems and extracting valuable... umm... information?
Picture this: you're writing a novel. It's a really original plot. Then you see an ad for a Hollywood movie. It is your novel, verbatim. The characters are different but the basic plot points are all there. The story is there.
Gotta monetize those data storage services somehow!
I've started to even wonder if free (as in beer) open source needs to go. The idea that software should be free means that only software that isn't free gets polished to the level that anyone uses it. The market expectation that software should be free leads software writers to look for other ways to monetize, which brings us back to surveillance and data mining. Look at some of the creepy stuff mobile apps can do, for example.
Pay for it, or it pays for you.
They are also critical to the success of my business as we do a lot of advertising.
"Ghostery found 25 trackerswww.theatlantic.com"
25 is a LOT!
If you don't like clickbait then don't support publishers who use it. It's easy to avoid Buzzfeed and Upworthy. If you don't like "native ads" don't click them. Support publishers who respect their readers and make a clear distinction between content and advertising. I made such a pledge on my news site.
Just as gambling is a tax on the ignorant, Facebook is a tax on the bored and undisciplined.
If you can use Facebook even half as much as the average person, you'll have a huge productivity and happiness advantage.
Unregistered users unaffected. Seamless for everyone. Thoughts?
In this case: "Free: The Internet's Original Sin" is 100x better than "The Internet's Original Sin".
Under no conceivable legal system has TPB violated any law (though TPB's users may have). The closest analogy I can think of is putting the mayor of a city into prison because there are people in the city who might break the law, and properly running city services and having functional roads, public transport, property title management, etc. enables them to break the law slightly more easily.
I think in US Jails like Rikers is that if you insist upon your rights you will be thrown into solitary. Americans don't think prisoners should have rights, they went through the due process system and lost them because they did something bad.
Imagine if millions of people from all around the world sent Peter something every week. I think the prison would want him out of there pretty quick.
(I should disclaim that these are my personal opinions as someone in the industry, and I don't claim to speak on behalf of my employer)
"Native advertising" like The Atlantic's Scientology advertorial is unequivocally bad. It's sneaky, it's underhanded, it purports to be unbiased reporting when it's anything but. However, that is really the exception rather than the rule. (It's worth noting that this has been the status quo in print magazines for quite some time; brands provide 1- or 2-page ads which are presented to look like an article that belongs in the magazine, with a tiny bit of "This is an advertisement" text stuffed in a corner. I'll scan a few if folks are interested. They're massively worse than the sort of native advertising under discussion here.)
"Good" native advertising is the practice of letting brands pay to attach their names to thematically-relevant articles, whose content is not bought, directed by, or advertising the brand who wishes to advertise on it. This pays really well for media outlets, converts well for advertisers, and results in less obtrusive, annoying advertising for readers. For example, from the FTC workshop on native advertising:
> [An example] is American Express, who came to us looking to reach female small business owners. So what we created on Mashable was a site called -- sorry, a content series, including videos and articles and info-graphics called "The Female Founders Series" where we profiled female entrepreneurs in technology, profiles and videos and vignettes, that we published on Mashable that were presented by American Express.
(http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_events/1713... page 43)
In this case, profiling female startup founders is directly in Mashable's wheelhouse; it is relevant to our audience (which is socially and technologically savvy, young, and a majority of whom are female), and it's relevant to our advertiser. At no point are Amex's services pushed or touted or even talked about. Amex doesn't get to write the articles or have any editorial control over them. Our KPIs are typically engagement, so in order to deliver on our end of the deal, we have to provide content that people enjoy and want to share. The sponsorship is clearly disclosed in the interest of transparency, but at no point does the sponsor get to inject their brand, agenda, or marketing fluff into the actual content; it is always adjacent to it in the form of "sponsored by" highlights and traditional ad units.
The key difference here is that Amex can say "We want our name to be in front of people for every page view of this series of content", rather than "We are going to do a traditional ad buy which will be demographically targeted to US females 19-30 years old, which may or may not end up associated with this series of content". They can't say "Write about this founder, and tell the story of how Amex made her business succeed"; we flat out will not do that.
I'm of the opinion that this kind of advertising is actually better for all involved, as long as editorial independence is maintained. All media is sponsored at some level - advertising drives the entire industry - so if the benchmark for "good" content is "content that advertisers don't have any stake in", then...well, good luck. Advertisements that advertisers push through otherwise-respected media outlets in the guise of articles written by the outlet from a journalistic standpoint are bad, but they are the tiny minority of native advertising.
Talk about native advertising!
Since then I've learned to expect that at least 80% of the stories in papers are planted stories. That is they are stories whose ideas and information is provided by PR firms.
The best ones are the ones where it is not obvious.
A recent crazy but is it? example: national quasi-public radio here in Eastern Europe has been running reports on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investm...
They sent a reporter to USA to interview what seems to be overwhelming pro TTIP sources.
A public radio station struggling for funds sending a reporter on a month long junket? Something does not vibe right here.
I am hoping the financing comes from some EU public fund and not something even more nefarious.
This reminds of the time that US paid journalists if they run anti-drug stories.
Here's a very leftist source but I assume the facts are correct: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2005/01/will-j13.html
I wonder if you could do a linguistic analysis to gauge bias and ad-iness, and show a score. Gather a corpus of paid advertorials and compare to ostensibly unpaid material.
I don't want to see links to native advertising.I don't want to see the short leader blurbs about them showing up when I visit the front page of other news sites.I don't want to even be aware that native advertising exists, I want it completely torn out of any article or website that I go to.
Ironically I would likely even pay a small one-time fee for such an extension/program.
AllareGreen is a "..free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox that exposes the role money plays in Congress. Displays on any web page detailed campaign contribution data for every Senator and Representative, including total amount received and breakdown by industry and by size of donation."
In fact I am rudimentarily working on a Bias Detector type application that shows, if it is sponsored content, if the main principals mentioned in it are on the payroll of companies etc (does some other things such as Sentiment analysis, chronology ordering etc).
I've been working on some projects along similar lines. First one is http://churnalism.com/extension
Browser extensions which check news articles against a central database of press releases, and can highlight shared text.Disclaimers: It's pretty UK-centric and I think the infrastructure needs a lot more work. I'm somewhat hesitant to expose it to HN at all... but hey :-)
There is also http://unsourced.org, which lets you attach warning labels onto news articles. There's a browser extension for that too, but the whole project is pretty quiescent right now while I work on other things. But I've got a lot of plans for both these projects...
Not one of mine, but for a more US-oriented tool, also check out: http://churnalism.sunlightfoundation.com/(again a website + browser extension combo)
I never notice advertisements, and I am surprised more people aren't the same. You've been doing the same thing for years -- it's so easy to tell what's content and who's not.
I so occasionally get caught by the very clever ones - and so what? If you're big on privacy, I guess you would care more tun I would
As I'm growing older I don't mind donating small amounts of monies to good websites and projects. I just wish more people were like me in that regards -- it'd definitely be more profitable IMO. Has anyone got any experience in this (a/b testing maybe?!). I think this behaviour came from the ease of buying from Google Play or the App store... It's almost like, "I just spent $35 on apps last night?"
Some corporate advertisements really are stupid. I just imagine someone's crated the perfect advert and the client goes, "make it pop!!!". Those are the ones I would not mind vanishing - but if it's helping the website then I'm all for it -- my continued visits are purely based on their content and ease of use.
I'm more interested to see how it performs on less obvious sites that at least maintain an air of journalistic integrity.
This is something the operating system can provide (or another application). No need for a 'special' client.
definitely makes it seem as though Satoshi was a group of people running many machines.
would be very interested to see more content like this in the future from other early-stars of the BTC world.