hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    19 Nov 2010 News
home   ask   best   9 years ago   
Fabricly (YC W2010) launches threadless for fashion and raises money techcrunch.com
19 points by arihelgason 1 hour ago   4 comments top 2
1 point by rickmak 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I am curious how those design being produce. There is many restriction on mass producing cloth. And how can I vote on the textile by looking on the photo?
5 points by ramanujam 48 minutes ago 2 replies      
I seriously hope startups stop the 'ly' naming trend. There are already a zillion of those and its not creative anymore.
Another Hacker's Laptop, Cell Phones Searched at Border wired.com
58 points by philipn 3 hours ago   21 comments top 6
11 points by snissn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
slightly relevant:

To protect his privacy and that of his clients, Mitnick encrypts all the confidential data on his laptops, transmits it over the Internet for storage on servers in the U.S., and wipes it from the computer before returning from any international trips, just in case officials decide to search or seize his equipment. He also encrypts his hard drive. And now, he says he is going to keep a "clone" of his MacBook at home so he will have an exact duplicate of it if it is ever seized.


3 points by mmaunder 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Border search exception (to the 4th amendment warrant requirement):


In a similar vein, check out Exigent Circumstance:


The text of the fourth amendment to the constitution:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

2 points by blhack 38 minutes ago 2 replies      
Interestingly, I just had a discussion with my roomate about this. We were sitting in a coffee shop, and he was mad at himself because he forgot the latest copy of a game he is working on at the house...

Why is this a problem at all anymore? Hosting is cheaap. I have a linux VPS at linode that I pay $20/mo for and almost everything that i do is stored there. Honestly, the only things I can think of that aren't stored on that machine (which trades nightly rsyncs with another machine with a different provider and on a different network) are minecraft, my music collection, some photos, and a journal that I just started keeping a couple of weeks ago (gets encrypted with 256bit AES and lives in the home dir on my laptop).

My point is that there is absolutely no reason to keep anything on your local machine anymore, at least not ones that I can think of. Why not keep a server in the basement, and then just run SSH with X11 forwarding? Keep a cheap, disposable machine with you and if something like this happens, sell it and buy a new one.

It's really sad that this is even an issue, but I do think that there are solutions to it.

11 points by Super74 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Let me get this straight. This is a person who has openly admitted to knowing how to hack banking systems among others, then travels to countries like Abu Dhabi and the Dominican Republic to present that information.

We are surprised that he is searched at the border to the US? He was treated politely, not physically harmed and had his hardware returned. Sounds like the government is finally doing their job.

Maybe there are "certain" people out there throwing his name around and the government was obligated to look into this.

I would not support gross negligence by our government and this sounds like normal procedure to me, given the extenuating circumstances.

4 points by pavel_lishin 2 hours ago 3 replies      
If I were him, I'd be tempted to make an image of his drive, and compare that to an image made after the agents tampered with it, to see what changes occurred in the process.

But like he said, he couldn't even trust them physically. I'd be tempted to just toss them in the trash, if I could afford to easily replace them.

1 point by jwu711 1 hour ago 1 reply      
That's completely ridiculous. Makes me want to travel even less now ...
W3C Working Group Just Killed Web SQL Database w3.org
49 points by Udo 3 hours ago   33 comments top 11
11 points by halo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Probably a good thing. The most complex part of Web SQL amounted to "Whatever SQLite implements", neither Mozilla nor Microsoft supported it making the standard effectively irrelevent, and I remain thoroughly unconvinced that providing an extremely thin JavaScript API to an SQL-driven database is an elegant solution to this particular problem.

Presumably the W3C have decided to favour IndexedDB instead, which solves many of the same problems in a much more elegant, simple and well-specified fashion.

8 points by jchrisa 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This spec isn't the only game for offline storage. IndexedDB is the favored replacement: http://www.w3.org/TR/IndexedDB/

I like it because the API is much more web-like than SQL. Others have other reasons to prefer it.

3 points by Groxx 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Not quite, methinks:

>This document was on the W3C Recommendation track but specification work has stopped. The specification reached an impasse: all interested implementors have used the same SQL backend (Sqlite), but we need multiple independent implementations to proceed along a standardisation path.

That notice has been up for quite a while now. They're just making it plainer that they've given up, because there's already a spec out there that they don't have control of.

Also, to perform a join in IndexedDB, you've gotta do it by hand, iterating over the results and merging data programmatically[1]. While WebDatabases have a PITA async-only API for reasons which are entirely beyond my comprehension, SQL is an incredibly capable language for interacting with a database, and has very mature and efficient implementations. Losing that would count as a massive loss to me. Why can't we have both? WebKit / Chrome is already going this route, as they have WebDatabase and recently implemented IndexedDB as well.

[1]: http://hacks.mozilla.org/2010/06/comparing-indexeddb-and-web... example 4

5 points by jfb 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Why, again, was this needed? HTML5 is already looking like a security and management shitstorm; anything that makes it simpler is fine by me.
3 points by henryprecheur 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I think that's a great news. HTML5 adds lots of complexity in the browser, and yet don't address most of the fundamental problems of HTML: security, complexity. Web SQL was another step in the wrong direction.

Local storage wont go away. I hope Web SQL will be replaced by something "better" and more straightforward, A simple key-value database would be great.

1 point by amattie 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
No one has mentioned yet that both Android and iPhone implemented SQLite as described in the draft spec. There's a tremendous number of developers -- including myself -- who have built apps against it. The described spec may not become commonplace in desktop browsers, but it's an entirely different story on advanced mobile devices where Mozilla / Microsoft have nearly zero influence.

I definitely don't see this just suddenly evaporating or going unmaintained in those platforms.

1 point by jasongullickson 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
So what does this mean for browsers that support web SQL and apps that are built on it? Is it likely that Safari, Chrome, etc. will drop support for it before a viable alternative is avaliable?
4 points by ronaldj 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one that's sad about this?
1 point by jhrobert 2 hours ago 1 reply      
If the SQL guys were serious about their shit they should have patch some JavaScript at the syntax level.

Instead they pushed/lobbied for the usual broken binding that is the very reason SQL is so contreversed: impedance mismatch.

Of course, hacking a javascript parser to introduce some SQL semantic in it is not exactly "easy"

Basically, the initiative was doomed from day one, what a waste of time...

2 points by Eil 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
So is IndexedDB a beefier version of localStorage or does it serve a different purpose altogether?
1 point by bluedevil2k 2 hours ago 1 reply      
There's enough security/privacy issues with cookies, and those are simple text strings. Imagine the issues a nefarious mind could cause with a DB.
Brave New World banned from High School curriculum seattleweekly.com
165 points by mfukar 7 hours ago   60 comments top 22
33 points by grellas 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The Enlightenment was premised on the broad idea that people were rational and that, once education became widespread, reason would eventually stamp out superstition and other evils and would cause humanity to want to promote and defend liberty. This thinking broadly underlies the idea that we are continuing to progress as a species and will ultimately learn to solve the problems that historically have beset us.

This sort of episode should serve to remind us that passion and prejudice are ever at-the-ready to spring up and override reason.

On the side of reason:

1. You have a classic work of literature that is widely recognized as an important indictment of totalitarian societies, something that young people in a free society should presumably regard as a staple of their learning.

2. You have a significant historical work that is a product of its times, which sound learning should suggest ought to be taken on its own terms, notwithstanding that society has changed since then in what it regards as acceptable cultural references. Again, even if regressive, one would think those raised in a free society would encourage its study, if nothing else than to understand why the older cultural references existed and why people accepted and later rejected them (if that is indeed what happened).

3. You have reasonable arguments that the references to "savages," taken in context, were not intended to be demeaning at all but were essentially a literary device used to promote the themes of the work. Again, in a free society, one would think these would be topics that ought to be debated as part of coming to grips with a classic work.

On the side of passion and prejudice:

1. You have public school systems that are charged with developing strong young minds and yet willingly succumb to the premise that some forms of expression ought to be censored or circumscribed at the whims of pressure groups in the community.

2. You have serious subjects being resolved by supposedly responsible public officials at the level of pure emotion.

3. You have what amounts to open demagoguery holding sway over that which scholars would widely if not unanimously oppose.

The stunning thing here is how one-sided this all was, with cravenly officials scarcely even putting up resistance. The next thing you know, they will be banning books that use the word "niggardly." Based on the logic on display here, that is surely next in line.

43 points by alanh 7 hours ago 3 replies      
> What Sense-Wilson and her daughter seem to be having trouble grasping is that the "savages" in the book are only called "savages" because the mainstream society which they aren't a part of is so perverted. In reality, Huxley's savages are indeed the heroes…

Indeed. The “savage” reads Shakespeare, which no one else in the book does anymore, for example.

It's just like people wanting to ban Huck Finn because it uses the word “nigger,” without realizing the friendship between Huck and Jim shows just how silly racism actually is, or how the novel basically satirizes slave ownership by making Huck explicitly contemplate the “immorality” of helping a slave escape.

13 points by kenjackson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It is a bit more nuanced. As pointed out by the appeal record (http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/10-11agendas/111710...) there were three required non-fiction books for the 10th grade list: BNW, Othello, and Lord of the Flies. Apparently all three make reference to native or indigenous people as "savages".

And then apparently in one lecture they promoted an inaccurate view as to why we have reservations.

It's kind of like the Huck Finn example. If you read that book and it says the n-word -- that's one thing. But if the other two required books also say it, then it begins to get a little odd. I think people would reasonably begin to ask, "you couldn't find one book that didn't say nigger/savage in it?"

Although her attacks on the text itself were misplaced and uncalled for.

39 points by BigZaphod 7 hours ago 2 replies      
It's not exactly banned, but just removed from their curriculum. It will still be found in the school's library.
28 points by rbanffy 7 hours ago 5 replies      
"the text lacks literary value"

Oh boy... Why not ban Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 while we are at it. And let's burn all copies too.

What kind of spineless school principal is this?

13 points by daeken 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Why do I feel like I'm being indirectly trolled? I mean, this woman can't be serious about this, right? Sad. Seriously, seriously sad...
3 points by ivanzhao 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My family moved from China to Canada during my high school years. It was Brave New World (along with Animal Farm) that really opened up my eyes what a Communist world I was raised in.

Yes, Huxley could be cruel on his depicting of the native stereotypes (like most elitists during his days). But besides stereotypes, I think it's equally important to educate kids about ideologies -- and the big social and political systems we live in -- with that in mind few literature titles could come even close to Brave New World.

3 points by malandrew 1 hour ago 0 replies      
best comment on the article:

"Brave New World takes place in London... I'm left wondering how many Native American reservations are near London, England."

3 points by jdavid 2 hours ago 0 replies      
When I read "Brave New World" just last year again. The terms "savage" and "reservation" never once conjured an image of American Indians. Instead I more or less saw the sort of savages one might see in "sanctuary" in the film "logan's run."

Of course in this world it's much easier to be offended than to tolerate. #legalism and #liability is the death of us.

3 points by tokenadult 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I was assigned to read Brave New World in high school. I had already read it at home, as it was in the collection of books my parents had in our house when I was growing up. The term "savages" occurs in the book to make a comment about the persons speaking the term, not to make a comment about the persons described as savages.

The best book I was assigned to read in high school was The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I later read most of Potok's other books on my own. A few years ago I reread The Chosen--that is a very fine book for a reader of any age.

9 points by Evgeny 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Ironically, I'm reading the book now ...

"You can't consume much if you sit still and read books."

3 points by sdh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The book is about sterile, future society. "Savages" is completely relative. We'd all be considered savages by BNW standards.

If that school focused more on educating and less on banning it, the student might have understood the context of the book.

4 points by sp4rki 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If test tube people that the deserving ones and natural born people are the savages, what does that make the poorly educated self righteous kid and the retarded mother?

At least it had nothing to do with the fact that natural born people need to have sex to do so, but I'm sure it'll happen eventually.

5 points by makmanalp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Why do people think they have a right not to be offended? They don't.
1 point by seldo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If I buy Brave New World as a result of reading this article, is that ironic? What if it's the Kindle edition? Meta-ironic?
4 points by forgotAgain 6 hours ago 1 reply      
>The school eventually agreed, promising to remove the book from students' required reading list and releasing a statement apologizing that the "cultural insensitivity embedded in this book makes it an inappropriate choice as a central text in our 10th grade curriculum."

Anyone who played a part in releasing the statement should be fired for failure to understand the concept of a free society.

The rational for government supported education is that a democracy needs educated citizens to survive. The people involved obviously don't grasp that.

4 points by mathgladiator 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else find the best books are usually banned? I've heard of this book, and meant to buy it; now I've bought it. This is great PR for the book.
1 point by araneae 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the case in a University of Michigan museum where a Native American woman and her son got those little dioramas of native people removed. Apparently after seeing them, her son asked how he could be Native American if Native Americans were dead (because only dead cultures are depicted in the museum).

So this woman, a graduate student, bullied the museum into removing the dioramas.

4 points by wiredfool 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Brave New World was banned from my 6th grade class. (or, at least, the teacher was told in no uncertain terms to not continue reading it out loud to the class)
4 points by Overmind 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is ridiculous. They also shouldn't teach history because you know someone might be offended the same way.
0 points by auxbuss 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think that removing it from the curriculum is a bad thing. But not for the reasons suggested by the article.

BNW isn't a great piece of literature, imo. I understand it's place in literary history, but it's aged badly, and pretty clunky because of that. The themes are certainly important, and will continue to be retold, I'm sure.

There's great modern literature and contemporary YA fiction that is far more entertaining and tackles equally difficult moral issues.

1 point by rodericksilva 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess this makes us HN readers savages!
Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth cnet.com
11 points by cwan 56 minutes ago   1 comment top
1 point by tectonic 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Computational Neural Networks are getting further and further from the reality of their inspirational biological models. It'd be interesting to see some of this physiology research transition into revised computational models.
The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet techdirt.com
202 points by yanw 9 hours ago   66 comments top 17
22 points by jws 8 hours ago 3 replies      
The bill in question is COICA " "Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act"

EFF has this to say: The main mechanism of the bill is to interfere with the Internet's domain name system (DNS), which translates names like "www.eff.org" or "www.nytimes.com" into the IP addresses that computers use to communicate. The bill creates a blacklist of censored domains; the Attorney General can ask a court to place any website on the blacklist if infringement is "central" to the purpose of the site.

They go on to list sites which might be affected, including HN's own little darling, Dropbox.

17 points by marcusbooster 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep in mind a committee vote is just that, a vote in committee to move the bill along.

Sometimes a legislator will like the overall bill but see some problems and be assured by the patron that they can come to an agreement. Sometimes they absolutely hate the bill and know it will die, but they'll move it along just to get the opposing party on record so they can embarrass them in commercials. Sometimes they just move it along in because they have a deal with the patron. It's all politics as they say.

22 points by stevejohnson 9 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm extremely surprised to see Franken on this list. Wasn't he outspoken against this sort of thing?
3 points by DanielBMarkham 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Very interesting.

Wonder what all of these senators have in common? It doesn't look like party, section of the country, or left-right leanings.

Usually when you get a wide dispersed group like this, the next thing to do is look for businesses and organizations (either inside the senator's state or not) that use money and votes to heavily lobby. Wonder who would lobby for this?

Just thinking aloud. I don't mean this to be a slam of the senators -- they're incompetent enough without my slamming them -- just trying to figure out if there is a commonality.

18 points by MBlume 8 hours ago 3 replies      
California senator Dianne Feinstein, who appears on this list, also sponsored Consume But Don't Try Programming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Broadband_and_Digital_...) back in the day.

As long as she's on the ballot, I'll be voting for her Republican opponent, however loathsome.

5 points by sdh 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be easy enough to get around a DNS ban. Especially since they can't stop people from using whatever name server they choose or mapping IPs locally themselves.
9 points by kinghajj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If this does pass, couldn't we just set up alternate DNS servers which include the blacklisted domains?
17 points by phlux 8 hours ago 2 replies      
2 points by natmaster 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I honestly do not understand people who cite the first amendment to the constitution as reasoning, but think the second amendment is antiquated.

(Note: They don't mention the second amendment in this article, I'm merely referring to the fact that I don't hear uproars like this when it is violated.)

3 points by pasbesoin 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Several disappointments, including in my state. I guess it's time to break out the letter writing.

Of course, Democrats (of whom I note several prominent figures) have long been whores to big media.

1 point by jdavid 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Bills like this allow for the technology to be put in place for broader censorship. Even though in theory protecting copywrite is good, it's also very scary to think the government has a big large red button to block any website they want, maybe even without oversite.
2 points by davidj 6 hours ago 0 replies      
maybe its about time to start boycotting the businesses that resides in the states where these senators are elected to represent. After all, all these senators are doing is representing the will of their constituents. Their constituents want to censor the internet and we should boycott them.
I can't vote against any of these senators because my state wasn't a supporter of censoring the internet, but I can vote with my wallet.
2 points by lhnn 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Would a website dedicated to providing IP addresses to websites whose domains were seized be seized?

Just have a directory on an IP-address-accessed server and you've circumscribed the law.

Nevertheless, this law is farking redonkulous. Aren't there already processes for removing illegal content from websites? Surely shutting down domains isn't the most effective way.

There must be some alternative, nefarious motive for this legislation, and I will tell all my friends who in my state voted for this joke of a bill.

2 points by Towle_ 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Extra Credit: Why aren't the senators' party affiliations listed?
2 points by joshes 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The fact that numerous law professors were rebuffed speaks to the growing anti-intellectual sentiment at the highest reaches of this nation.
2 points by pintojohn2134 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm gonna start doing stuff to prevent these 19 people from being elected. For a start, I'm gonna make a website, I'm a coder, any designers here who'd be interested in making a site dissing these 19?
1 point by thethimble 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The linked article is a bit biased.

Although I'm still vehemently against the item in question, the real bill in question is the "Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act" (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20023238-38.html?tag=cnetR...) which involves with maintaining a blacklist for domains associated with piracy. Although this is still clearly censorship, it isn't what the title led me to believe (across the board censorship like China).

Still, Dianne Feinstein just lost my vote for the coming election :(.

Paychecks Exposed: Google, Apple, Facebook and More cnbc.com
37 points by lunatech 3 hours ago   16 comments top 5
5 points by credo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Facebook seems to offer the most salary/compensation.

More interestingly, Facebook is one of only two companies (among 10) where the company rating is higher than the compensation rating.

Google gets 3.9 for company rating and also 3.9 for compensation rating (both are good). Facebook gets 4.3 for compensation rating. It gets an even higher score 4.6 for company rating (and that makes it the only company where Glassdoor describes the employees as "very satisfied")

It will be interesting to find out what Facebook is doing right and why other companies aren't able to match it.

3 points by chime 1 hour ago 5 replies      
Is Facebook rated higher because it is the new cool kid in the neighborhood or because it is doing something different? After all, Google was considered the best place to work less than 5 years ago.
1 point by rorrr 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is it just me or these numbers are not that impressive?

Many of my friends make $100+/hr, it's not out of the ordinary.

I'm sure there are really highly paid developers there as well, but it just feels good to know that you don't need to work for one of the huge companies to make good money.

1 point by ryanwanger 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How could Facebook be so much higher in terms of satisfaction? Maybe it's too casual?!?
1 point by ronnier 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Missing from the list are Microsoft and Amazon. I wonder how they compare?
Rails for Zombies - Learn Rails from the comfort of your browser railsforzombies.org
271 points by trevorturk 12 hours ago   43 comments top 20
13 points by trevorturk 12 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a wonderful idea. Every time I try to get someone started with Rails, I sent them to the Rails Guides and warn them that "getting Rails up and running in the hardest part." Being able to have someone jump straight into videos and interactive prompts from their browser is going to be so much better...
3 points by patrickk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Kinda makes you wonder why all your development can't be 100% web-based. No messy installs, version control built in (autosave like gmail?)...if your deployed app is web-based, why not your entire development environment?
5 points by bphogan 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Love it, but I can't shake the feeling that the people who I want to show this to would not dig the zombies vibe. Maybe I just hang around too many people who do Real Serious Business (TM) programming. :)

It's neat as hell though.

5 points by catshirt 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The whole package here is a great idea, but the "labs" have insane potential.

I would jump on the opportunity to build labs for other languages if they offered an sdk of some sort.

7 points by peteysd 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow. Just wow. This is incredibly well done. The videos (well, the ones I've been through so far) are informative and entertaining, and the site is well thought-out.

I think that if you can re-skin this and retool it for other themes/languages, you've got an excellent educational tool on your hands.

Good job!

5 points by LiveTheDream 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This reminds me a bit of Heroku's initial offering, which was an online IDE combined with the insta-deployment.
5 points by evanrmurphy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Just when I was thinking that there couldn't be an easier introduction than railstutorial.org + heroku.com.
2 points by judofyr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Oops: http://d.pr/Chjg I'm working with EnvyLabs right now to fix the hole).
6 points by Adam503 10 hours ago 0 replies      
We're getting really, really close to the "one zombie thing too many" threshold as a culture.

But this is pretty sweet :)

1 point by tectonic 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Why do I have to signup first?
1 point by danielhodgins 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of the most enjoyable ways to learn Ruby/Rails I have found so far. Great idea!
2 points by mrchess 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Good idea to simplify things but just side-stepping around the issue and delaying the reality that it really isn't this easy. You're eventually going to have to get dirty if you really want to do anything -- configure ruby, install gems, learn git, deal with gem versions... ah, good times.
3 points by danishkhan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, I thought ruby koans and hacketyhack were amazing interactive tools. This is amazing and a lot of fun too.
1 point by reedlaw 10 hours ago 1 reply      
While I love the concept and polish on this and would love to be able to recommend something like this to friends, I'm sorry but I have no room in my heart for zombies.
1 point by obiefernandez 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This feels like an important development for Windows users that want to try Rails. (Assuming it works on IE
1 point by JoelMcCracken 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really similar to something I have been working on. Awesome.
1 point by jhubert 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty fantastic. I travel around to universities with the Yahoo! HackU program and have had a heck of a time teaching students ruby and the rails framework from scratch. This is going to make it SOO much easier. :D

As far as the labs thing goes, this feels like the future of interactive learning.

0 points by thenayr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't a huge part of learning a new language being able to install and configure it in the first place?

Also the went WAYYYYYYY overboard with the whole zombies thing. We get it, zombies are trendy these days, please just keep them away from anything learning based.

1 point by sudonim 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Glancing at Why's poignant guide is probably a good step too.
1 point by abrudtkuhl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Was looking for something just like this last night. Awesome.
Worm Was Perfect for Sabotaging Centrifuges nytimes.com
22 points by yagibear 2 hours ago   2 comments top
2 points by jbyers 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
...But We Can't Say for Sure It Did
MailChimp launches $1 million integration fund mailchimp.com
33 points by moses1400 3 hours ago   4 comments top
1 point by kyrai 2 hours ago 2 replies      
They arent taking any equity but the companies will use mailchimp which is a paid service. So either way, Mailchimp will probably get something out of it.
Be honest and call things what they are. abrinsmead.posterous.com
35 points by shill 4 hours ago   9 comments top 7
5 points by ryanwaggoner 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is this article supposed to be irony? All the terms he used to describe the procedures in question violate the rule he just laid out. The TSA is not "raping" you, the scanners are not "pornographic" (any more than an CT, X-ray, or MRI scanner is), and the risk of cancer from these machines is likely so low that calling them "carcinogenic" is downright dishonest.

Don't get me wrong, I am not in favor of any of the TSA's actions here, but it seems the height of hypocrisy to write a blog post critical of the dishonesty of TSA's language while attacking them with equally misleading and dishonest terms.

12 points by T_S_ 3 hours ago 0 replies      
In a situation that calls for persuasion you can be sure that nothing is exactly as its name implies. If a cheap words will convince you of a high value situation, they will always be used instead of nuanced words. Words are like currency and they are debased according to the ease of their production and the urgency of the persuader.

Politicians and governments aren't alone in this, business does it too. That's why we jump right from a pc to "web scale". That's why the bigger the company, the more meaningless the titles. They are trying to persuade everyone they are important.

It makes for a handy rule. You can be pretty sure a "peace process" has little to do with peace, CEOs don't execute and Directors don't direct.

Unfortunately it also makes it hard to think. When we have the "War on X", where X is the flavor of the month, we forget what "war" means. Lack of nuance leads to false dichotomies that prevent you from forming a nuanced opinion. A lack of transparency makes a discussion about costs, risks and tradeoffs very difficult.

4 points by watchandwait 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of the TSA's "customers" in this case aren't really the traveling public. They are the insiders, like former DHS chairman Michael Chertoff, who are making money from lucrative government contracts for the scanners. The public fallout doesn't matter, as long as the scanners keep moving.


12 points by pavel_lishin 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The term is "freedom fondle".
6 points by watchandwait 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What is interesting here is that the U.S. govt is not a monolith. TSA is clearly ignoring the will of Congress, which voted in 2009 to block the scanners. They are also certainly violating the 4th Amendment limit on government searches. Both the Congress and the courts may yet have their say on the matter of the porno-scanners. Not to mention that the states should play a role-- already local DA's are challenging potential TSA violations of sexual assault laws, and state legislatures and even city governments are looking at banning the scanners.

The genius of the American system is the separation of powers, both at the federal level and the states. Ninety years of progressivism has greatly centralized power in Washington and atrophied the Framers' design, but there's life in the old federalist system yet...

1 point by djacobs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think language will be a big decider here. Language comprises most rhetoric, which in turn defines politics.

And unfortunately politicians are going to be the ones who make key decisions in this debate.

1 point by karanbhangui 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I know this article is about the TSA, but what about people in SV referring to everything as an engineer?
Thiel Fellowship Application Goes Live thielfellowship.org
21 points by sz 3 hours ago   4 comments top 2
3 points by tgriesser 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder why the birthday dropdown in the personal information section goes earlier than 1990, since they're only looking for under 20's
2 points by liuhenry 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this just a new layout? There was an older version of the form that has been up for a while (beginning of Nov)
Playboy Interview with Steven Jobs Circa 1985 playboy.co.uk
15 points by drey 2 hours ago   4 comments top 4
4 points by mcav 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Interesting retrospective future-predicting-ish:

Playboy: More important, are you ignoring your potentially biggest rival, A.T.&T.?

Jobs: A.T.&T.. is absolutely going to be in the business. There is a major transformation in the company that's taking place right now. A.T.&T. is changing from a subsidized and regulated service-oriented company to a free-market, competitive-marketing technology company. A.T.&T.'s products per se have never been of the highest quality. All you have to do is go look at their telephones. They're somewhat of an embarrassment. But they do possess great technology in their research labs. Their challenge is to learn how to commercialize that technology. Also, they have to learn about consumer marketing. I think that they will do both of those things, but it's going to take them years.


and this:

Jobs: I'll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I'll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I'm not there, but I'll always come back.

1 point by justinph 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Jesus, I never realized how on message the guy has been for 30 years. If you showed that 1985 Steve Jobs an iPhone, I don't know if he would be impressed or be nonplused and see it as some obvious progression that he's had in mind for a long time.
1 point by jackvalentine 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love his answer to "Maybe we should pause and get your definition of what a computer is. How do they work?"

It would be really interesting to see how he would answer that question now.

1 point by rradu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Funny how much has changed in 25+ years, yet most of Steve's ideas are just as relevant today.
Ask HN: what was your first programming gig, and how much did you actually know?
19 points by Tycho 1 hour ago   7 comments top 6
3 points by waterlesscloud 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
I got hired straight out of college by a company that made software for banks. They were just starting on a windows version of their consumer lending product (banks move slow. very slow), to be written in c++.

The regional VP at the company in was kayaking buddies with the professor who was my advisor for my senior project. The VP asked the prof if he had any good graduating students for an entry level job, and I was recommended. From what I can tell, this is one of the better ways to get a job out of school.

My first assignment was helping a senior guy track down a bug in some multithreaded C communications code for handling ATM machines. Legacy stuff from the company that had been bought by a company that had been bought, etc., that no one completely understood any more. I had no idea what I was doing, at all, and it was a great situation to be in professionally.

Worked for that company for 5 years, then it got bought and I was laid off because I was still the newest member on the team. Very stable group, learned a huge amount from them.

I got lucky.

4 points by scruzia 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
A few of us were sitting around in the Computer Club office, and Steve comes in and asks us if we want jobs for the summer. So Tony, Jim, and I ended up working that summer on a weird research experiment, hooking computers up together. Part of what I did was writing test programs to make sure the computer could talk to this smaller computer, that knew how to talk to others of its kind.

The smaller computer was called an "IMP". The main one was the Sigma 7 at UCLA, host #1 on the ARPAnet. Steve was Steve Crocker, and other folks on the project included Jon Postel, Vint Cerf, and Prof. Leonard Kleinrock.

Last year, I got to mention to Vint Cerf in person, that we had last worked together some 40 or so years ago.

So, to answer some of your questions, 1- definitely underqualified. I was 16. 2- Lucky? No kidding. Right place at the right time.

1 point by albahk 2 minutes ago 1 reply      
After high school I got a data entry role in a Satellite broadcaster's IT department doing Crystal Reports templates for boring subscriber reports (i.e. how many subscribers in this region cancelled last month). I picked up SQL and VB6 doing this, then around 1999 the company decided to start doing everything web-based and I got thrown into learning ASP, Java Servlets, JSP and no one bothered to question my lack of experience. Things grew from there to doing online community micro-sites, TV program webpages (Southpark in Taiwan) etc until the dot-com bomb and everyone left - I went to study engineering.

Note: I am not a professional developer/programmer, although people pay me money to do software development

3 points by azrealus 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
I started in a very small web dev shop when I was still in college. I had some programming experience but when I started I quickly realized my experience was irrelevant. The place was a good starting point because I was able to experiment with different technologies, talk to clients, do front and backend stuff and manage 2 small apache servers. During this time I also learned what I like and don't like doing.

It's true companies often put a lot of requirements on the list but they are usually serious about few of them. I think what is important for a lot of them is if you can actually pick up things fast. If I were you I would choose something which excites you and try to get better at it every day. Use it to build something like a prototype or small project etc, and then look for companies with similar interest.

2 points by donaq 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Don't worry about it. In my experience, a lot of the criteria listed in these job postings were done by non-developers and have little to do with the actual job. Also, when in doubt, just apply. Interviewing is a skill like any other. It requires practice. Even if you feel you're not qualified, the interview might surprise you, and if it doesn't, it's still good experience.
1 point by eps 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
My first gig was a FoxPro contract to find a bug in a very messy report generator, written by a recently divorced, overweight diva in her late 40s. That, my friends, is as close to getting an immersive reality check as it gets. I was on 3rd year in the Uni and had fluent Pascal, working knowledge of C, could solve Hanoi towers by hand and tell the baud of the modem whistle by ear. Quit in one week, earned $40, didn't manage to make a single change to the code, and acquired a life-long dislike to anything database :)
How to Start a Successful Bootstrapped Web App Business (12 hours of audio) justinvincent.com
72 points by jv22222 8 hours ago   19 comments top 8
24 points by antigua 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Q: How do you Start a Successful Bootstrapped Web App Business?

A: Don't spend 12 hours listening to podcasts.

1 point by marknutter 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Step 1: self promote with how-to-start-a-successful-startup books, podcasts, and blog posts.
3 points by samh 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Of course we know the real reason for this post is to beat Jason in the battle of the blogs :)
1 point by samh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The techzing podcast is great easy listening for startup hacker types.

For those who don't know the techzing format is two developers having a regular chat about the startup projects they are working on, their consulting work and the stories they found interesting on hacker news.

There are also guest interview shows, sometimes with tech / startup people and sometimes with more exotic guests (one interview was with a geologist about peak oil and helium 3 fusion. Another was about the evidence behind alien sightings).

If you like startup podcasts I recommend you check out a few episodes of techzing and see if it's too your liking.

1 point by wyclif 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Deciding on and Idea

I think you meant "Deciding on an Idea." Right?

[EDIT] Also... Derek Sivers muses this question should properly be written, "...muses on this question."

2 points by idleworx 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Well put together. I've been catching up with techzing shows for the past few months (while commuting), and this brings together some of the better podcasts (not sure why you don't have Pelti there from balsamiq, it was the first best interview on techzing in my opinion)
1 point by sabat 7 hours ago 1 reply      
You see, Justin? We are paying attention.
1 point by Jak3t 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Files are missing!
Hidden limitations of Google App Engine stackoverflow.com
14 points by zeynel1 3 hours ago   6 comments top 5
3 points by mmastrac 2 hours ago 0 replies      
AppEngine has made some great leaps in the last year. We built http://gri.pe on it earlier this year and have been impressed by the platform.

The last two months have seen the platform mature a lot as well. The latest 1.4 release has some amazing features: async datastore queries, app keep-alive, longer timeouts for background tasks, etc.

1 point by rorrr 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
The biggest limitation is that they only support two languages - python and java.

Not that there's anything wrong with these particular languages, but I'd prefer more choice. It would be cool if they supported C++, PHP, Javascript (V8), Ruby, Erlang.

1 point by SkyMarshal 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Notice the date of this question is Feb 20th, 2009. Almost 2 years out of date. I imagine at least some of the limitations mentioned are gone by now.
1 point by rubypay 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The biggest limitation I had was while writing to the database, the database would sometimes return an error for no apparent reason. I'd then be forced to catch these errors, and resubmit. But if you had lots of traffic and resubmit too quickly, Google App Engine would throw more errors back at you. This was all over a year ago, not sure how it is now, I would never go back to using it.

From http://code.google.com/appengine/articles/life_of_write.html

There is an expected failure rate on writes as Bigtable tablets are sometimes unavailable, for example, when they are being moved or split. The presence of more indexes increases the probability of hitting an unavailable tablet as an exception will be raised if a write fails for any of the indexes.
In those situations, your application will need to decide how to handle the exception. One option is to add a task to the task queue to retry the write at a later point in time. Another idea would be to respond with an error from the app and have the client retry. This tends to work with things like AJAX requests where there is client side logic which can handle an error message from the server.

1 point by makeramen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if the simplenote guys can provide some input?


Required Reading (for pythonistas) ericholscher.com
59 points by niels 8 hours ago   2 comments top 2
2 points by andrewcooke 6 hours ago 0 replies      
What's Pro Python like? http://propython.com/ The online preview stops just short of showing whether the contents are actually useful.
1 point by switch007 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Pylon's unit testing guidelines was a very insightful read. Thanks!
Life after X: Plans for getting rid of the X server in the future lwn.net
36 points by eerpini 6 hours ago   8 comments top 5
2 points by jluxenberg 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
Does no one else ever use X applications over an SSH tunnel? It's an easy way to, for example, control the music playing on my Linux box hooked up to my stereo system.

In all the blog posts about replacing X, I don't see anyone even mentioning this feature of X. Or if they do, they say that its an irrelevant feature.

2 points by henryprecheur 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love to see X die. Over the years it has become a very complex beast. But I don't think X will die anytime soon: Replacing it with something better is a daunting task, but it's kind of trivial compared to rewriting all the applications that use X.

Of course we can run X on top of something like Wayland, but we'll just have added another layer, and X will still sit on top for another 10 years.

3 points by joe_the_user 3 hours ago 1 reply      
An alternative to X would be great.

The Linux windowing system is currently a gawd-awful mix of poorly mixed layers.

The problem is that any replacement might follow the dynamics that generated the present arrangement...

3 points by aufreak3 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Apart from jokes about the "X is dead" (where X is a variable) reports, I think the principles on which X stands are very much alive in the webM.N space - web apps treating the browser as their display. When looked at that way, "X has won".
2 points by rryyan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Could anyone explain what the "mouse ahead" feature of X is? It's mentioned in the article and it piqued my curiosity -- googling has been unhelpful.
Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web 20thingsilearned.com
105 points by twapi 12 hours ago   42 comments top 19
19 points by wccrawford 11 hours ago 3 replies      
What I learned is that the web is not a book and trying to use real life ideas in webdesign doesn't always work out.

There's an arrow to go back, but some funny page-curl-click thing to go forward. Oh, and a button to open the book.

Took me a while to figure out the page curl thing. The first time, I got it to change by randomly clicking everywhere. Even worse was that it follows you for a while, then gives up, making you think you're doing something wrong.

18 points by GBKS 10 hours ago 1 reply      
You may not like the idea of the book or the approach, but the site is executed with amazing detail. From the design to the animations, to the use of local storage to work offline, remembering which pages you have visited, window.history, the graphical search auto-complete and all the other little details.
10 points by albertsun 12 hours ago 1 reply      
And one more thing I learned is that Google Chrome supports HTML5 history features so they can change the URL string without that ugly # symbol!
4 points by arnorhs 6 hours ago 1 reply      
At first I was incredibly surprised that Google made this, since it a) looks beautiful b) uses jQuery and c) the UI is darn good - but then I viewed the source and saw this:

		  20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web

Built by Fi (www.f-i.com) for the Google Chrome Team.

Design-by-committee (or by data) would never have built this. This is why I know there would never be a place for me at Google, even though I don't consider myself a designer.

6 points by adamdecaf 11 hours ago 0 replies      
#1 You should have learned to make webpages that still load without scripting.
2 points by Sephr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The extensive use of HTML5 is great and all, but including font files in your cache manifest (http://www.20thingsilearned.com/cache.manifest) seems like an inappropriate use of the offline cache (better fit for normal caching), unless you're absolutely sure the user doesn't already have the font installed (e.g. custom font made just for the app).
2 points by aaroneous 4 hours ago 0 replies      
For those that are interested, the JS behind it: https://gist.github.com/705761
5 points by emehrkay 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been trying to figure out how they are changing the url without a page refresh. It must be a webkit only thing.
1 point by pornel 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> This illustrated book was designed for HTML5-compliant browsers and will not work with your current browser.

I wonder which HTML5 feature isn't supported in Opera that warrants complete degradation of page to non-JS version (Opera is not served <script>TT.initialize()</script>).

2 points by wanderr 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Works terribly on my droid. As I scroll that bar that is meant to sit at the bottom of the page is right in the middle, obscuring the text in the book.
1 point by jdavid 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The UX is not that interesting to me.

Does anyone know how the page avoids a refresh while changing the location url? it changes the path, and not just a hash. i thought all path changes demanded a page refresh.

2 points by Charuru 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't get this site, who's the target audience? kids? Are you sure they want to read about packets?
0 points by igrekel 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Arg! Safari on windows... the only thing I can get to beside the front cover is the credit page no matter what I try... I guess the 21st thing I learned is when people are too clever with their web interface, it usually mean I'll have to try in a few browsers or give up.
0 points by quinndupont 4 hours ago 0 replies      
All I learned is that Google just made an ad for their core services (Chrome, Docs, etc), and disguised it in an informational online book.
1 point by eiji 10 hours ago 1 reply      
All I got was -> "... want's to store offline information on your computer." -> always deny.
0 points by jcapote 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Surprised "Don't use real life metaphors in a web app" isn't one of them
-4 points by rorrr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is retarded.

Horrible navigation, simplistic content.

-3 points by pzxc 11 hours ago 2 replies      
We should start a list of things this site apparently DIDN'T learn about browsers and the web.

#1 - breaking the back button will cause people to never visit your site again

-1 point by tygorius 4 hours ago 0 replies      
tc;dc (too cute; didn't click)

I was dubious about the link from the "X things about Y" style of title, but left as soon it looked like a more stylish version of a Web slide show. I hate slide shows; if a site doesn't offer an obvious "all slides on one page" option, I'm out of there.

(Edit: Yes, there is a TOC link, but that page also evoked a tc;dc response.)

Google TV: No Need to Tune In Just Yet wsj.com
28 points by grellas 6 hours ago   11 comments top 3
4 points by djenryte 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Same negative leaning review at nytimes:

"[Google TV is] all customizable, unfamiliar and mostly baffling, and you don't get a single page of instructions. (I learned how to use Google TV by shooting a fusillade of questions to the Google P.R. people " an option I'm guessing won't be open to you.)"


2 points by aberkowitz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple failed with the Apple TV; now it's Google's turn to fail.
-4 points by jameskilton 5 hours ago 5 replies      
WSJ, Owned by News Corp, who ownes Fox, who recently blocked Google TV.

Not exactly an unbiased source.

Why wreck a blank canvas? sivers.org
75 points by gr366 11 hours ago   24 comments top 8
14 points by Eliezer 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Study enough information theory, and it will start seeming obvious on a gut level that a library containing all possible books has less information in it than a library containing one book.
8 points by InfinityX0 11 hours ago 1 reply      
So.. we should just think about doing our work and not actually do it. Because imagining, and not reaching the finished product, is the most fun? Uh.. right.

I like the implementation in his house, but it doesn't apply to business or creating things. In some ways, what he's done is created something by creating nothing - but very rarely does that occur elsewhere.

3 points by achompas 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome, awesome post. The great Ze Frank has a similar video [1] where he calls this "brain crack" (because your mind is addicted to the idea more than what you actually accomplish...or don't accomplish).

[1] http://www.zefrank.com/theshow/archives/2006/07/071106.html

27 points by nikcub 10 hours ago 1 reply      
this is why I submitted my YC application without filling in a single field
6 points by alexyoung 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Reminds me of John Cage's 4'33", a composition where no notes are played and instead the audience is expected to observe the sounds of the environment.
5 points by kristiandupont 9 hours ago 3 replies      
But then, google "creativity constraints" and see how many people talk about using constraints to foster creativity.
3 points by seltzered 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Because you end up spending your life with no memories other than a blank canvas, and because you won't stay alive with only a blank canvas.

"Happiness is only realized when it is shared." Communicating ideas without a few wrecked canvases never works.

As far as i know, most artists continuously start with blank canvases. The "wrecked" ones are the ones everyone buys to help the artist eat.

1 point by dzuc 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Frank Stella said (during a 1964 radio interview): "I knew a wise-guy who used to make fun of my painting, but he didn't like the Abstract Expressionists either. He said they would be good painters if they could only keep the paint as good as it is in the can. And that's what I tried to do. I tried to keep the paint as good as it was in the can."
ClojureQL - 1.0.0 now in beta bestinclass.dk
73 points by aaw 10 hours ago   18 comments top 5
9 points by andreas_bak 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I can not understand what problem this library solves ? Why to write SQL in Clojure and translate it back to SQL ?

Examples on website are quite simplistic. They are far away from real life SQL queries that usually bigger and more complex (not select and join couple of tables). What about "group by", joining 5 or 8 tables etc.? How you are supposed to prototype and test your queries on existing schema (there are many good graphical clients for many RDBMSes)? There are many questions remaining unanswered.

At least Clojre-QL do not try to fit a square peg into round hole like Hibernate. Personally I liked Hibernate for some period, until I sat down and learned to use SQL.

1 point by sandGorgon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
MySQL only

Which is why I'm still using Oyako (https://github.com/briancarper/oyako)

3 points by peregrine 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been looking for something similar to this! Having just learned of Relational Algebra in class I've always wondered why we went with a more difficult to understand abstraction of SQL.
1 point by rapind 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty sweet. Can't wait to try it out.
1 point by constant_change 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been waiting for this rewrite! By the looks of this page, you've done a fine job. Excellent work team ClojureQL! I'm looking forward to giving it a test run.
Woz misquoted 'Almost every app that I have is better on the iPhone' engadget.com
81 points by lotusleaf1987 11 hours ago   31 comments top 7
12 points by msie 10 hours ago 2 replies      
It's amazing how commonly you can be misquoted by anyone, let alone a reporter. You say something to someone, they'll interpret and internalize what you say according to their beliefs and they could possibly construct something entirely new when they "quote" what you say to another person.
4 points by Samuel_Michon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
"according to Dutch paper De Telegraaf, Woz said that "Android phones have more features," which would help Google's OS become the dominant smartphone platform."

Not exactly the most reliable source. De Telegraaf is the Dutch equivalent to the National Enquirer.

A typical front page:

5 points by martythemaniak 9 hours ago 0 replies      
He still says he expects Android to be the dominant mobile OS. What exactly was he misquoted on?
3 points by brudgers 8 hours ago 0 replies      
>"Wozniak called into Engadget to say that Apple would eventually catch up to some of the features Android has that Apple's iPhone are currently missing"

The ease with which people have come to accept the idea that the iPhone is playing catchup in important areas shows how radically Android has altered the marketplace.

Edit: If Wozniak actually said "eventually" that's not exactly high praise for the iPhone roadmap.

4 points by J3L2404 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Android will be like Windows, lots of marketshare - Still crappy
1 point by devmonk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
-1 point by drivebyacct2 9 hours ago 3 replies      
And who's fault is this? It's not hard to make a good app. I could implement XMPP messaging in the Facebook app given a few hours and given a few days for a couple other missing bits, I could get the feature parity down to nothing between the Android and iOS Facebook app. Why this hasn't happened, despite the explosive growth of Android, despite the fact that Zuckerberg is now an Android-user, etc, I don't know...

but the unintelligent comments here and on Engadget are frustrating. Blame the app developers, not the platform. That's just silly.

The One Thousand Hour Rule yongfook.com
98 points by iuguy 13 hours ago   36 comments top 18
15 points by keyist 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I hate to dump on someone's effort to motivate others, but this post is a dangerous extrapolation that combines Outliers [1] and the author's personal experience.

It promotes the idea of a magic number, and that hard work and time leads to returns (not true for the majority of startups). It encourages thinking like "Man I'm at the 950 hour mark, I'm almost there!", or even worse, planning one's product milestones around time spent.

One of the main attractions of the 10k hour rule is that there are few external stimuli that can negatively affect your learning/training.

If I decided to invest time in taking up the trumpet, I don't have to worry about competition with other budding trumpeters or whether BrassCrunch or Spitter News have effusive posts on my latest performances. I won't have to determine which percentage of the public 'gets' trumpets and plan how my playing should appeal to them.

With proper practice one hardly ever goes backward -- ability increases monotonically give or take a few plateaus. With startups you often go backward as you try to figure out your product-market fit and so on. Userbase size or revenue would not increase over time the way ability does when it comes to personal improvement.

1. I haven't actually read Outliers but I'm familiar with its thesis. If it's anything like Gladwell's other books, I recommend The Talent Code for better treatment of the subject matter. Norvig's http://norvig.com/21-days.html is also great reading.

28 points by nikcub 12 hours ago 5 replies      
You need to put in 1000-hours of hard work on a new project to begin seeing meaningful returns.

Gladwell based his quotable theory on some research, and it wasn't a new idea.

In terms of a thousand hours to viable product, there are just far too many examples of products that have become successful in less time for it to be a theory. eg.

* first version of Facebook was ~2 weeks of code

* chatroulette

* Inviteshare - built in 24 hours and sold to Techcrunch the next day

* First version of Crunchbase we built in 48 hours

* all the 24 hour hackathons that have released products

* you can pull together various bits of open source software with some glue and a stock template and have a product in 24 hours

There are heaps of other examples of products launched with 10-200 hours of work that became hits, I am sure others can suggest more.

While you may have come to this conclusion by looking at your own two examples, it definitely does not apply across a broader spectrum.

13 points by yatsyk 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Do I need to provide example when 1 hour of hard work leads to meaningful returns and 10000 hours leads to nothing to show that this theory incorrect or it is obvious?
6 points by harscoat 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This 10 000 hour rule (or let's see with this 1k h rule) is liberating: you do not have to be a genius to start. Again that does not mean you will be a genius but no genius got to be one without 10000 hours. Herbert Simon talked about the 10 years rule.
2 points by bobf 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a big difference in efficiency across people and startup teams, in terms of what they might achieve in <X> amount of time. A solo founder with no experience as an entrepreneur, little technical prowess, and few useful connections would generally take longer to be successful.

For example, look at YC companies' varying degrees of progress at demo day. They usually have at least two founders -- if they are working 80 hours/week, they would roughly be putting in 1,000 hours per founder after 3 months.

2 points by InfinityX0 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The comments are largely very, very accurate. This does not compute as does Gladwell's formula. However, this can again, reductionally, be broken down to another cool cliche: work hard, and beat out the dip.

So, read Seth Godin's "The Dip".

2 points by Eliezer 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds like the right order of magnitude for every individual project I ever worked on that had an impact.
2 points by erikstarck 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey, I wrote that blog post half a year ago. :)
1000 hours or five years, the gist of both these posts is that you need persistence.
4 points by skwavu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Both the original "10,000 hour rule" and this rule run afoul of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox unless you rephrase the statement to something along the lines of "we have found that most people either succeed at X and continue doing it for the rest of their lives regularly or give up, and that of the people who give up, 95% of them give up before doing X for 10,000 hours"

I believe the question is, "what is the mean and standard deviation of the time investment at the point when a sustained positive feedback loop is achieved?"

3 points by drv 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Grammar nitpick: All of the uses of "1000-hours" in the article are incorrectly hyphenated. You should write "a 1000-hour project" but not "1000-hours of work."
1 point by swombat 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Our very own zackattack might beg to differ. I can't imagine he put 1000 hours into his AwesomenessReminders, which are making him a pretty penny.
1 point by rodericksilva 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It is 2010. I'm sure there are apps that were a success after 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and some after a year or two of pivoting.

If its an innovative and useful idea users "get it" almost immediately.

If it's not as innovative and you're building an app that is improving another idea it will take more time for users to see it, try it, and switch.

I don't think there is a magic number.

3 points by Abid 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The point is to focus on the fact that it will take time (and thus, effort) to give your project a chance. In other words, don't set unrealistic goals - e.g. "I'm going to build, launch and get my first 1,000 customer in two weeks" - because you're more likely to abandon the project instead of grinding it out as you should.
2 points by kayoone 9 hours ago 1 reply      
sorry but this is total BS.
I know projects that have been instant hits with 100 hours of work (some cheapo iphone apps for example).
Then again if want to make a decent social game or a technology related product, 1000 hours will get you nowhere.
Spread over a years timeframe, which it usually takes to get a decent product to market from start to finish, thats about 3 hours a day.. Even if you leave out weekends and stuff, its still nothing.
1 point by danielschonfeld 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's funny. In flying we use 1,000 hour as the passing point from flying small airplanes to joining your first airline and technically start "the career".

So I think I agree with the camp that believes in putting the time first and only then being able to judge results.

Before you fly those first 1,000 hours you haven't learned a thing, and after you flew them you discover again every 1,000 a bunch of new things.

1 point by da5e 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think a "while" is a better measurement than 10k or 1k. It takes a while for things to click whether it's a skill, a product or business. And the while is usually longer than we predict.
1 point by joshrule 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if this rule translates into other domains as well? That is, does a violinist become noticeable after 1 000 hours, but only a true master after 10 000 hours?

Also, we should never forget that these X hours rules are speaking to X hours of deliberately stretching practice/work. They don't mean, try randomly for X hours and you'll automatically become awesome/successful.

1 point by chr15 11 hours ago 0 replies      
1000 hours is about 6 months.

Assuming that "meaningful" return means profitable, some companies will be able to get a return in < 1000 hours. Some it might > 1000 hours. It's going to depend on the market, your customers, the problem you're trying to solve, and your work ethic.

Scribd Stats: Google Analytics For Documents techcrunch.com
12 points by qhoxie 4 hours ago   discuss
The rise of the dead: How many ghosts are on Facebook? 1000memories.com
79 points by jonathanbgood 12 hours ago   30 comments top 8
16 points by docgnome 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Reminded me of this XKCD http://xkcd.com/686/ Which just made me sad.
10 points by southpolesteve 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The guys at www.entrustet.com have been talking about this for the last 6 months. Some of 1000 memories points are straight up lifted. Have some integrity guys. The interwebs know when you copy.

Stats are free, but you should at least credit them for inspiration.

4 points by adrianwaj 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I recently came across some YT channels of high-altitude climbers who'd deceased in their endeavors, with their last videos remaining.

http://www.youtube.com/user/karlunterkircher http://www.youtube.com/user/FredrikEricsson http://vimeo.com/joepuryear/videos

Creepy. There'd be an opportunity for digital wills, so a next of kin can claim passwords for ghosted accounts. Maybe some type of program that various sites can adopt, and users just register their account names with the program's hub site.

11 points by danshapiro 11 hours ago 3 replies      
It would be fascinating to calculate when the dead on Facebook will outnumber the living. Anyone able to interpolate based on the data provided + Facebook's growth rate?
3 points by jluxenberg 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Had never heard of 1000memories. Interesting idea, but how can they really promise to be around "forever?" Does anyone know how they plan to make money on their "free" service?
1 point by brc 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I know of at least one, and it's annoying when Facebook does that 'hey, you haven't talked to this person in a while, write them a message' thing. There needs to be a way for the deceased to have accounts either deactivated or taken out of regular circulation.
2 points by cosmicray 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems like a (morbid) opportunity. An AI to keep these people posting on each other walls.

I'm reminded of a short story by Larry Niven...

2 points by kul 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Do they really have to be called 'ghosts'?
Hell Freezes Over As MySpace Fully Surrenders To Facebook techcrunch.com
61 points by davidedicillo 11 hours ago   28 comments top 13
16 points by cryptoz 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Hell is usually frozen over. In fact, it's -7 there right now.


9 points by slay2k 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This certainly made me giggle a bit, but I wouldn't define using FBConnect, pulling user data and pushing updates to be fully surrendering.

Fully surrendering would be more like MySpace outsourcing the social networking to FB. In the meantime, dying as they might be, I still think they have a different vibe.

3 points by qeorge 9 hours ago 2 replies      
MySpace is not what it used to be, but I still don't think its dead. Facebook has eclipsed it as the mainstream social networking site but there are still things MySpace does better.

Notably, you just can't do as much with your profile on Facebook as MySpace, especially for bands. Whether that's a bug or a feature is in the eye of the beholder.

As an example, compare the Snowgoons' FB and MySpace pages:



The 28-year old me likes the FB page better, but a 15-year old me would have loved the MySpace page.

5 points by mxavier 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I sometimes log into MySpace just to see how bad it still is. Their frontend developers still don't appear to care about user experience or have any design sense. They've smattered the site with ajax, rollovers, effects, etc, and as usual there's ads all over the place. Picture browsing is even more of an eyesore than it was before. As if MySpace wasn't taxing on the CPU enough already.
6 points by athst 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I like what MySpace has done recently. They have made a major change in direction, and this is agreement is simply another acknowledgement of it. "Surrender" implies that MySpace is at war with Facebook, and that is not longer the case - MySpace is now positioning itself as a separate destination that you go to in addition to Facebook, one with a much heavier media focus. I think it's the best thing they could be doing now - playing to their strengths.
2 points by gxs 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Hm..I'm afraid that..I am in fact getting old. I try to fight it, I really do, but I'm afraid it's inevitable.

Did anyone else find the use of that picture a little tasteless?

1 point by Groxx 3 hours ago 0 replies      

Relatively speaking, maybe. Or maybe not. Or both!

2 points by mitjak 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hang on, let me crank up the article title drama wheel. Ah snap, it's already at 11.
1 point by brc 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Just shows that the Network effect can be a massive help or a wicked enemy.
4 points by beagledude 10 hours ago 1 reply      
"MySpace is huge in Japan"
2 points by osuburger 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What are the odds that anyone would ever go to Myspace looking to see Facebook statuses? Just one more nail in the coffin I guess.
1 point by vinhboy 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't get over how ugly their logo is. Can't. Sorry.
0 points by rodericksilva 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I personally think they should focos on bands, musicians, and teenagers.

Regardless of whether or not its a good move by MySpace, i think its a little low class of FB not to send their CEO. Yes we all know the almighty FB is king and the MySpace is now officially making it known that they are riding 'bitch.' It's almost like they are proving a point.

I personally don't like it.

Internet blacklist bill COICA one step closer to becoming law cnet.com
71 points by starkness 12 hours ago   29 comments top 11
29 points by jrockway 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I emailed Dick Durbin and he told me that this legislation was "vitally important to America", and that he would be voting for it. I told him that I wouldn't be voting for him.
4 points by ewjordan 9 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing I was wondering was whether or not, for instance, Google would be prohibited from returning a direct IP address link to (say) the Pirate Bay in response to a search for "pirate bay".

The text in the bill says:

`(i) a service provider, as that term is defined in section 512(k)(1) of title 17, United States Code, or other operator of a domain name system server shall take reasonable steps that will prevent a domain name from resolving to that domain name's Internet protocol address;

...and the definition of "service provider" as referenced is:

(1) Service provider. " (A) As used in subsection (a), the term “service provider” means an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user's choosing, without modification to the content of the material as sent or received.

(B) As used in this section, other than subsection (a), the term “service provider” means a provider of online services or network access, or the operator of facilities therefor, and includes an entity described in subparagraph (A).

It looks like Google would probably fall under (B) there, so if they received a court order, they couldn't specifically do DNS routing; it's probably questionable whether returning a link as the first result to the IP address that the domain name would resolve to if it wasn't blocked counts as resolving a domain name, I'd imagine the government would make an argument that it does.

But there's still a gaping loophole here: the bill says that a service provider must "prevent a domain name from resolving to that domain name's Internet protocol address", so fine, maybe Google couldn't return a link to in response to "thepiratebay.org", but there's absolutely nothing in the bill that says they couldn't return a link to in response to "Pirate Bay", "piratebay", "thepiratebay", etc. There's also nothing in the bill that prohibits them from responding to a "thepiratebay.org" query with a message telling the user that the link they were looking for was filtered out, and suggesting that they strip the suffix off of the search term to get around the domain name resolution restriction.

I realize this doesn't solve the problems of broken links on the net or anything like that, but it's an indication of the fact that this bill, horrible as it is, will likely just be routed around like many other problems on the Internet, with a lot of effort wasted in order to do so.

17 points by olefoo 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Once again Americans are or should be embarrassed by their legislators. This puts us in the same boat as China in that we are attempting to block bad knowledge by fiat rather than with education.

How can we decry repressive censorship regimes in other countries when we reserve the right to blackhole sites that we disapprove of on whatever grounds?

7 points by jambo 11 hours ago 2 replies      
What if bit.ly and other shorteners supplant DNS for affected sites, e.g. http://bit.ly/xAwIp redirects to thepiratebay.org's address,

Will bit.ly have to start breaking every previously shortened URL that redirects to the IP address of an offending site? Or more likely, any shortened URL that redirects to an IP address directly at all?

7 points by lkrubner 9 hours ago 0 replies      

"After a flurry of last-minute lobbying from representatives of content providers including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)..."

Well, I am glad they listened to so many diverse groups. I mean, the MPAA and the RIAA? That ensures the legislators heard every possible viewpoint on this issue.

14 points by frisco 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Once again, the government fails to understand how the Internet works.
1 point by hartror 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So if this gets passed there will be a numerous ways of circumventing this as people will organise around it. Also once this starts happening it will provide huge promotion for the sites that are inflicted with this legislation.

Can we volunteer to go first? I'm sure I can find a snippet of a Disney movie to post under the grounds of fair use.

1 point by Ixiaus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Illicit material will always exist, it may just be less visible to the average joe/public (who, honestly, are dumb enough anyway that it's a pointless battle to educate them) and the legislators are simply making it more difficult to track people by forcing them to use innovative and private measures. VPN? Check. Self hosted DNS? Check. GNUnet/Freenet? Check.

Dinosaur politicians and corporate lobbying will always be behind the times, nothing we can do about that except do what we do best: hack. Do the "illicit" stuff under the radar and keep your shit to yourself.

1 point by devmonk 10 hours ago 1 reply      
(posted this in related thread)

Contact your senators and tell them to just say no to S. 3804:



No good can come of the gov't trying to control what domains can be accessed, and it won't stop those that wish to do us harm or take advantage of us, because they'll just use another domain.

1 point by devmonk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
1 point by mrschwabe 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Okay. So what's the best .com alternative domain name extension; one that will not be subject to this tyrannical law?
       cached 19 November 2010 05:59:01 GMT