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1
WikiLeaks Founder Added To The Interpol Wanted List techcrunch.com
97 points by aaronbrethorst 3 hours ago   62 comments top 9
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54 points by philk 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Perhaps I should be joining the tin-foil hat brigade but these allegations have always seemed conveniently timed.

There are few better ways to damage someone's credibility than alleging rape, even if the allegations don't hold water.

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22 points by handelaar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
In fact, what this says is that Sweden has issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) because they want to bring him in for questioning.

His lawyers have pointed out that it's not a valid one since an EAW requires criminal charges to be filed first (and thus no EU state is obliged to pay it any attention and there's no chance whatsoever that it will result in an extradition).

And the Swedes have refused his offer to meet them both in Sweden and in the UK in the past eight weeks...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/nov/30/interpol-wanted-...

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4 points by lionhearted 2 hours ago replies      
I dislike Julian Assanage, I think he's reckless, and I think he's in it for celebrity and attention and power rather than his stated ideals. As an American, I hope my government investigates any crimes he's committed and prosecutes him to the full extent of the law.

However, tarring and feather his political/espionage/leaking work with personal allegations seems wrong to me. His work at Wikileaks and drunken party happenings don't bear any relation to each other. Pursue him for being reckless with stolen diplomatic materials and prosecute him for it if there's a case under the law. Don't tar and feather his reputation like this, I think it's the wrong way of going about it.

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5 points by tptacek 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Or, maybe there is actually a serious investigation happening in Sweden? Maybe, just maybe, not everything in reality is governed by the Narrative.
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2 points by jluxenberg 23 minutes ago 3 replies      
"When fugitives flee...crime victims are denied justice."
(from Interpol's blurb about fugitives)

I thought the criminal corrections system was about rehabilitation, not Hammurabi-style eye-for-an-eye justice.

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22 points by Dramatize 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Anyone surprised he hasn't "disappeared" yet?
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2 points by grantheaslip 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I come to HN for the tech stories, not for completely ill-informed, conspiracy-theory-laden political speculation. I get that it's not my place to say what HN should or shouldn't be, but some of the nonsense I've been seeing recently, especially about the domain name seizures and WikiLeaks, is really making me lose respect for this community.

I'm a political science student and a web developer, and though I don't claim to be an expert on either, I think a lot of you seem to think that the world is a whole lot simpler than it actually is. I've said it before"I think a lot of what makes geeks great at conceptualizing data and logic makes them terrible at understanding nuance and subtlety, and without the ability to see shades of grey, you're always going to have simplistic, naive understandings of the world. How do you operate on a day-to-day basis when you think that the government is out there to take away your freedoms and cover up conspiracies at every turn?

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1 point by alanh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Anyone else notice the left-side nav in the INTERPOL website screenshot? Looks like someone's using an outdated box model ;)
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4 points by adambyrtek 2 hours ago 1 reply      
And the hunt has begun...
2
BankSimple Launches Preview Site banksimple.com
132 points by ssclafani 5 hours ago   74 comments top 22
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20 points by jakarta 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm still trying to nail the business model here.

"BankSimple account plus BankSimple debit card replaces your existing personal bank account. Make deposits, withdraw cash, pay bills, earn interest, and more.

However, BankSimple is not a "bank." We partner with chartered banks who provide FDIC-insured products, leaving us free to concentrate on designing the complete consumer banking experience, via the web and your smartphone."

From the looks of it, it appears as if Bank Simple is going to be gathering deposits for the actual banks they partner with. In exchange, those deposits will be fenced in and administered by Bank Simple via the online and mobile presence.

The mention of debit cards at first made me think that maybe they would be able to split fees, so Bank Simple would get a cut of the interchange fees that occur whenever a debit card is used... but those fees will go away because of the Durbin Amendment (this is putting the squeeze on every major bank in the US and will result in an increase in fees for customers -- see Jamie Dimon's comments at the recent Barclays Conference).

Maybe the partner banks will split some of the interest they make off of the deposits? Presumably, Bank Simple's value proposition to them would be that they are providing something that is slightly more than zero cost funding but less than a CD rate. So they could earn a little bit in that area.

The only thing that is left then, that I could think of, is that Bank Simple will mainly try to make money by cross-selling products. Bank Simple Brokerage Accounts. Bank Simple Mutual Funds. Bank Simple Pre-Paid Debit Cards. That sort of thing, where they'd be able to gain market share. This would work out pretty well I think.

For reference, the average American uses 16 different financial products, with about 2 products per bank. A good bank like Wells Fargo boasts a ratio of 5.5-6 products per customer. Your typical bank earns its money on an 80/20 split, where 80% comes from the interest spread (borrow at 3%, lend at 6%, net 3%) and 20% comes from fees (overdraft, interchange, fees for other products). But a trust bank will have a 60/40 split, where they earn extra fees by offering wealth management services to the majority of their wealthy customers.

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18 points by Lewisham 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I'd pay for Mint + Bank in a single package. It looks great. However, it's hard not to be a little disconcerted when the "meet the team" bit doesn't have a single person who has any sort of financial title like "accounts manager" or anything. It's just a group of devs. That doesn't scream "we know finances" it screams "we know how to make web apps, hope you trust us with money too... it can't be that hard, right?"

Mint got away with this by simply being a front-end, and never touching your money. BankSimple should try a little harder to prove that it's not just a company that can identify why banks suck (not all that hard, really), but a company that can actually be relied upon to safely handle your money.

* I know that BankSimple are putting all your money into an FDIC bank, but as the intermediary and the company you are doing business with, the buck stops with them (pun somewhat intended)

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3 points by spolsky 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm wondering how they got around the state banking laws requiring them to be a chartered bank if they want to use the word "Bank" in their name (for example, in New York, Banking Law Section 132). All the confusion in this forum as to whether they are actually a "bank" makes me think they may not yet have heard of these laws...
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13 points by rms 3 hours ago 5 replies      
In the meanwhile, I've been very happy with Charles Schwab's checking account. Free as in beer, you're allowed to overdraft with no overdraft fees, free ATM fees at all ATMs (including international!)
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7 points by Qz 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The signup form doesn't work if you use autocomplete to enter your name and email address. Had to delete random letters and retype them to get the button to light up.
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7 points by nathanwdavis 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It's unclear what Bank Simple actually is. Hopefully (for their sake) it will be clear when they launch.
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2 points by simonista 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Good work guys. A few text/spelling errors you might want to fix. On the careers page after clicking for more detail in the "smart and talented?" section, there are about 5 places where two words are getting smushed together. Maybe a line break problem or something. And then in the thank you email after signing up, the first line, "thank you requesting ..." should be "thank you for requesting ..."
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3 points by yummyfajitas 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm just curious - what exactly is banksimple selling? Just regular banking + better UI?
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5 points by callmeed 4 hours ago 1 reply      
My email has a . before the @ and was deemed invalid ...
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1 point by rkwz 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Alex talks about BankSimple and more in this podcast.
http://thisdeveloperslife.com/post/1475231255/1-0-7-audacity
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1 point by irons 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The first time I connected, Safari 5.0.3 threw an invalid-issuer SSL warning. Can't seem to reproduce it, though.
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1 point by jond2062 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This bank "overlay" concept appears to be very similar to what SmartyPig (http://www.smartypig.com) has been doing for a couple years. The revenue model is slightly different (SmartyPig partners with retailers to offer cash back bonuses to customers if they convert their savings goal into a retailer gift card or load it on to the SmartyPig Cash Rewards Card), but the general model of leveraging existing banks for client deposits is the same. I will be interested to see how competitive BankSimple's interest rates are and if they can differentiate themselves in a meaningful way from the many great online banks that already exist (INGDirect, Ally, etc.).
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2 points by corin_ 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Has been said before but: if it was available in the UK, I'd sign up in an instant.
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2 points by csomar 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this going to support third-world countries? Will I be able to sign up and get the card and bank account running?
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1 point by jamn 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I got a message from BankSimple telling me that I was going to get an invite soon and asking me for feedback. I got really excited and responded with an e-mail, but never heard back from them. I'm not sure if I misinterpreted the original e-mail, but this was a huge letdown.

Did this happen to anyone else? In any case, best of luck to BankSimple. I can't wait to actually get to try the service. :)

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2 points by Andrenid 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm very excited to see how this pans out. Even though i'm not a country they're going to support, if they do well it will set a good precedent and maybe we can finally see banking stirred up a bit. Banks are my most hated companies as a whole.
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2 points by clofresh 2 hours ago 0 replies      
SSL. Respect.
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1 point by haribilalic 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I understand it's not the only thing behind BankSimple, but I'd love to see that UI on top of my current Internet banking.
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2 points by julius 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The site has an easter egg.
Keyboard navigation:
Try j,k,Esc,1-7

(its explained at the bottom of the page)

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1 point by muffinman2010 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks great, but scrolling is choppy on my computer
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1 point by benmccann 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I like new design. Very cool. Good luck guys.
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1 point by x0ner 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone else having issues signing up for the beta?
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WePloy: WePay's Deployment Tool wepay.com
48 points by sophmonroe 3 hours ago   5 comments top 3
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8 points by jbyers 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Note that the author is Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of PHP. The system he describes covers a variety of edge cases that are almost never properly handled in PHP deployment scripts I've seen in the wild.
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4 points by DanielRibeiro 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Twitter's murder project( https://github.com/lg/murder ) for deploying via bittorrent was also really creative.
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2 points by leftnode 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is pretty awesome, I was looking for something exactly like this the other day. I can't wait to play around with it.
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Excellent analysis of Assange's Wikileaks motivations (from the horse's mouth) zunguzungu.wordpress.com
133 points by RickHull 7 hours ago   74 comments top 11
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31 points by CWuestefeld 5 hours ago replies      
tl;dr version (and it is quite long). I've copied out what I think are the key bits, the following is all quoted:

He begins by positing that conspiracy and authoritarianism go hand in hand, arguing that since authoritarianism produces resistance to itself -- to the extent that its authoritarianism becomes generally known -- it can only continue to exist and function by preventing its intentions (the authorship of its authority?) from being generally known. It inevitably becomes, he argues, a conspiracy ...

the most effective way to attack this kind of organization would be to make "leaks" a fundamental part of the conspiracy's information environment. Which is why the point is not that particular leaks are specifically effective. Wikileaks does not leak something like the Collateral Murder video as a way of putting an end to that particular military tactic; that would be to target a specific leg of the hydra even as it grows two more. Instead, the idea is that increasing the porousness of the conspiracy's information system will impede its functioning, that the conspiracy will turn against itself in self-defense, clamping down on its own information flows in ways that will then impede its own cognitive function. You destroy the conspiracy, in other words, by making it so paranoid of itself that it can no longer conspire ...

The leak, in other words, is only the catalyst for the desired counter-overreaction; Wikileaks wants to provoke the conspiracy into turning off its own brain in response to the threat. As it tries to plug its own holes and find the leakers, he reasons, its component elements will de-synchronize from and turn against each other, de-link from the central processing network, and come undone.

... he quotes Theodore Roosevelt's words from his 1912 Progressive party presidential platform as the epigraph to the first essay; Roosevelt realized a hundred years ago that "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people," and it was true, then too, that "To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of statesmanship."

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14 points by lmkg 5 hours ago 2 replies      
It's a pretty good analysis, and Assange seems to have put a lot of thought into it. However, he's making an assumption that I think is unfounded, which is treating the concentration of political power as monolithic. If you assume that an organization is concerned about the power of the organization, then I think he's correct in his logic that authoritarianism leads to conspiracy and communication is important to having power. However, if you assume that most members of an organization are concerned with personal power rather than the power of the organization, then the importance of communication goes down sharply, as the only coordination is opportunistic. A bureaucracy, as opposed to a dictatorship, is quite content without having goals, coordination, or communication[1], and can expand its authority based entirely on the mission creep of lower-level individuals within it.

How valuable the disruption of communication is in fighting a "regime" depends on how you model that regime. And, of course, in practice you will find that reality is some bizarre chimera of any group of models. My intuition is that Congress (plus lobbyists) act more like a decentralized bureaucracy, executive administrations act more like dictatorships that fight against each other for territory, and that the closest things we find to Assange's "banal conspiracies" are small, ad-hoc, opportunistic alignment of objectives, much smaller, less powerful, and less stable than the government as a whole.

[1] In fact, lack of coordination could help a bureaucracy grow by fostering redundancy.

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14 points by joshes 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> These leaks are not specifically about the war(s) at all, and most seem to simply be a broad swath of the everyday normal secrets that a security state keeps from all but its most trusted hundreds of thousands of people who have the right clearance. Which is the point: Assange is completely right that our government has conspiratorial functions. What else would you call the fact that a small percentage of our governing class governs and acts in our name according to information which is freely shared amongst them but which cannot be shared amongst their constituency? And we all probably knew that this was more or less the case; anyone who was surprised that our embassies are doing dirty, secretive, and disingenuous political work as a matter of course is naïve. But Assange is not trying to produce a journalistic scandal which will then provoke red-faced government reforms or something, precisely because no one is all that scandalized by such things any more. Instead, he is trying to strangle the links that make the conspiracy possible, to expose the necessary porousness of the American state's conspiratorial network in hopes that the security state will then try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby making itself dumber and slower and smaller.

A long quote, yes, but I could not think of a way to shorten it without severely hindering its meaning.

This is a perfectly articulated description of how I initially felt about cable release. Wikileaks (and necessarily, at this point, Assange) is not trying to reveal a huge scandal, to embarrass or to destroy connections. If one or more of those things happen then so be it. The goal is to reveal, to expose the standard type and content of information that is traded like currency amongst the few who govern the very many.

The leak is an attempt at provoking forced honesty; if Wikileaks exposes a vast amount of cables enough times, the veil and shroud of secrecy that governments use as a personal cloak will continue to shrink and shrivel until it is non-functional. And voila! Now governments can no longer act in complete isolation from its people and governments such as that of the United States, which promise to be of and for the people, are forced to live up to that promise, out in the open. If you force the government into that situation harshly and fully enough, eventually it has no choice but to act that way. And finally it can be held accountable for its actions, positive or negative.

In short, the goal with all of these leaks is first and foremost to poke and prod through the secrecy and conspiracy until there is a large enough hole for the public to be able to view what its own government is doing on its behalf. Whether or not you feel that this is morally or ethically correct is up to you; this is just my take on the rationale.

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11 points by gasull 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Any political system with secrecy evolves into authoritarianism. Why shouldn't it? Secrecy ensures politicians/bureaucrats won't be accountable.

When did we start thinking that we can have democracy and freedom without accountability?

It isn't about conspiracy theories. It's just common sense that some people will abuse their power if they can't be held accountable.

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1 point by dkarl 3 hours ago 2 replies      
With respect to the potential for popular opposition to government policy, I think he drastically overestimates the impact of exposure and drastically underestimates a "conspiracy"'s need for secrecy. Perhaps if he paid more attention to domestic U.S. politics, he would see that the standard response to revelations like this is boredom and disinterest. Did Abu Ghraib morally discredit the Iraq war with U.S. voters? No, the ones who still supported the war found it easy to shrug off an isolated incident caused by bad apples. Did it shock any Iraq War supporters to discover that the guys who pushed the Iraq War in 2002 and 2003 had already been looking for ways to sell another war against Saddam Hussein for almost a decade before to 9/11, and that their motivations had nothing to do with terrorism? No, people who had listened to the arguments and made up their minds to support the war did not care about the motivations of the obscure policy wonks advising politicians in Washington.

Anyone expecting the public to be shocked and outraged by a revelation ought to temper their hopes by reminding themselves how much publicly available information they find extremely shocking, and how different the typical voter's response to that information is.

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4 points by smokeyj 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As a citizen I like to remain ignorant to the dealings done on my behalf. I think it's sinful for Julian, or anyone else to seek information that isn't blessed by the State - and anyone seeking knowledge that is not sanctified by my Representatives is unacceptable. Now I'm going to stick my head in the sand because I hate learning about facts.
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4 points by paulgerhardt 4 hours ago 1 reply      
As a side note, can we go easy on the appeals to emotion in headlines on Hacker News?

Yes, this article is good; yes, some robots are incredible; as far as titles go though, it's a distasteful use of rhetoric.

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4 points by yoyar 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Assange is poking at the illusion of democracy and it makes people damn uncomfortable as far as I can see. I think most people know that they are ruled by rulers and that the idea of the state as benefactor is dead, but to admit it is another thing for most. They will fight very hard to retain the comfort of the illusion. And the state will act to retain it also, by any means necessary.
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2 points by danielschonfeld 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If anyone is interested here is the full PDF that is quoted throughout this article dubbed "State and Terrorist Conspiracies":

http://cryptome.org/0002/ja-conspiracies.pdf

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3 points by cavilling_elite 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The question I have (and I will start the linked pdf tonight) is if unjust systems are nonlinearly hit vs. just systems in the event of a leak. What happens if the new communication or propaganda tools start a copy cat organization to "leak" their own agenda.

It might work both ways: complete openness and complete falseness.

11
0 points by Maro 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have not followed all the previous Wikileaks, but I definitely disagree with this latest one.

I don't see what purpose is served by releasing internals memos about what some diplomat located in Germany thinks about certain German politicians.

There's nothing evil in having a negative opinion about German politicians and communicating it to your boss. The People certainly don't need to know such micro level details. OTOH it does harm your diplomatic relations.

-

This is kinda like somebody hacking your Gmail account and releasing all your work emails to your startup's investors, because, after all, they're your investors, they deserve to know what's going on?

5
Startup Ideas Every Nerd Has (That Never Work) eladgil.com
250 points by eladgil 10 hours ago   178 comments top 51
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132 points by blhack 9 hours ago replies      
I hope I don't come across as negative here, but I hate lists like this.

Peopel are always raining on each others' ideas

"Oh, what, you're going to make a myspace clone? Bahahahaha." (facebook)

"Oh, what, you're going to make a facebook clone? Bahahahaha."
(twitter)

"Oh, what, you're going to make another dating website? Bahahahaha."

(Okcupid, plentyoffish)

"Oh, what, you're going to make another social bookmarking website? Bahahahaha."

(Reddit, digg, hacker news, etc.)

This sort of "You can't improve on an existing design" rhetoric is usually coming from the same people who champion companies like netflix and say things like "The RIAA suing downloaders is like wagon wheel manufacturers suing car tire manufacturers! GET WITH THE TIMES, HELLO!"

You want to make a better dating website? Awesome, I hope you do and I hope it's better than okcupid! If it fails, guess who's going to come out the other side better than they were when they started?

You want to make an abstract machine learning system? Good! I hope you do! Guess who's probably going to be learning a lot about ML when they come out the other side?

You want to make a craigslist/ebay mashup? Good! Do it today! Start it right now and, if it's better than craigslist, my friends and I are all going to use it! How much are you going to learn about interface/UX design in the process?

You want to apply gaming mechanics to exercise? Good! Do it and tell me about it! That sounds awesome! Make an iPhone app for it, make a facebook app for it, let me pick random strangers across the internet to challenge at it. Make leaderboards and lots of badgers, and blog about it. If you fail, write more blog posts about why you failed.

I'm sorry, I'm sure the author of this blog post had good intentions; trying to help other geeks, but I find this sort of "don't even try this because it's a stupid idea and you're going to fail" attitude extremely harmful.

The first project I ever did was called http://newslily.com it was a fark/reddit/hn/digg clone. Did I sell it to google for 2 billion dollars and retire to a yacht somewhere just east of anywhere on the planet? No. Did I go from knowing absolutely nothing whatsoever about web development to being able to turn ideas into things? Yes.

My current project is called http://thingist.com . Have people said "oh, psh, you're making a twitter clone...boorrrrriinnnggggggg."?

Guess who doesn't care? My daydreaming about having 50 millions users is forcing me to learn about scaling, and how to use mod_python (oh, and if I get super crazy, maybe nginx as a web cache for my 10 users!). In a year, or two months, or six weeks, or however long it takes me to decide that, yeah, well, it's just another twitter clone and isn't going to get more than 10 users, I'm going to be 1 twitter clone closer experience wise to making something people love. (Although I still think that thingist isn't a twitter clone).

My advice: make 10 twitter clones and 20 abstracted ML frameworks. NOT doing this is like a running coach advising their runners not to waste their time jogging around their neighborhood because they're really not going anywhere anyway.

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67 points by pg 9 hours ago 3 replies      
It's true that such ideas tend to be magnets for sloppy thinking, but I think most if not all of them could be pulled off if done right.
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41 points by allwein 10 hours ago 5 replies      
In my day (I'm only 32), the startup ideas everyone always wanted to do were:

1. A better bug/issue tracking system

2. A custom CMS

3. A code library/platform for easily building Business CRUD apps.

4. A word processing app that has only the 20% features that 80% of Word users use.

5. A better classmates.com

4
10 points by _delirium 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Versions of #4 have worked, though not usually structured as X% of all future earnings. The most common version is the group-of-freelancers variant, where a group of people are really working independently, but do it legally via a partnership, which pools income to reduce risk, share upsides, smooth cash-flow bumps, etc.

It's pretty well-established in a number of professions outside tech, e.g. in law, a partnership of four or five lawyers will all get rich if any case that any of them took hits the giant-settlement jackpot.

5
18 points by binarymax 9 hours ago 7 replies      
Here are some of the other common one's I've heard:

- A social-networking site that totally respects my privacy and lets me own my data!

- An app store that lets anybody sell their digital stuff to anyone, not in some walled garden!

- A drag and drop interface that lets you make any program you want...totally code-free!

I could go on and on...

6
5 points by dlevine 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that all of these (or at least most of them) are reasonable ideas that could work. I think the biggest problem is that a lot of them are either technically difficult or involve entering crowded markets.

For example, the Craigslist killer can and has worked. The guys at RentHop and AirBnB are both attacking pieces of Craigslist's functionality.

The problem is that most nerds don't have the ability to pull these ideas off. Heck, most people in general don't have what it takes to build a successful company. There's a big difference between hacking on something for a weekend and building a company out of it (although you can't build a company without starting somewhere).

Overall, a lot of people (including many successful YC Founders) start out with stupid, unfocused ideas, and morph into something that's focused and solves a problem that people need solved. It's all just part of the process - if you wait for the perfect idea to hit you, you might never get started.

7
4 points by sedachv 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There is something common with some of these ideas worth noting:

Dating sites, social travel (social anything), and Craigslist killer all depend on network effects.

A common argument for starting a new business is that "hey, someone else already has this idea, they've mapped out the market and proved it can make money." This works really well for things like restaurants where there is no network effect, no incentives for new users to go with well-established providers or disincentives for existing users to switch providers.

In the social/dating/craigslist space, you don't just need to build a better X, you need to convince people to leave the old X (or pray that they've never heard of the old X before and won't consider it) and sign up for your new X.

In terms of dating, social and craigslist at least you're only dealing with one type of customer. As soon as you turn to local events/businesses you needs to do this for two (the people looking for events and businesses, and the promoters and business owners).

Cable networks are similar businesses, but I think the key distinction is that they charged money for their services. Somewhat paradoxically, I think this makes it much easier for people to switch than if all the services are free - there is the immediate incentive of "save $10 a month!"

I think this is why AOL and Prodigy managed to make so much money. Then all the free (ad-supported) online services came along and basically wiped out the paid services, and intensified the network effect and its disincentive for switching to better services.

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10 points by timf 9 hours ago 2 replies      
> Giant, Purposeless, Unfocused Machine Learning System.

There's a YC company that does this in a general way but I would not label their use cases as "purposeless".

http://www.directededge.com/

9
4 points by rwhitman 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Amen. Definitely been sucked into and subsequently failed at Social Travel big time. I think that's a sexy one, there is an unsaid allure in it of being able to mix travel with running a startup. Such a crowded space, and most fail out the gate. Once you do the math you realize there is far more travel media out there than travelers, especially in a down economy.

Anyone who loves to travel and wants to get out more, but is stuck inside writing friggin code all day gets this idea at least once. "Wait! How would I combine writing code with travel? I know, I'll make my own travel recommendation site." The irony is in reality I traveled wayyy less as a result of committing to this idea. Bummer

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8 points by jbail 9 hours ago 1 reply      
One idea I hear all the time: Better agile/project management software. I've never met a nerd who liked what they were using (myself included).
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8 points by djb_hackernews 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel like this misses a ton of apps. In chronological order:

textbook swap
todo list
dorm rating
apartment/roommate rating/review
local business rating/review
something to hack the stock market
better pet site
better dating site
better wedding site

12
3 points by praptak 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"Gaming Mechanics Applied To X Vertical"

I have seen real money spent on something along the lines of "Hey, we're in accounting business! Let's make a Facebook of accounting where accountants will create profiles and publish their annual and quarterly reports." (details changed to protect the guinnocent.)

13
2 points by raganwald 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure that "Better Search Engine" was on the list when Google, Cuil, Bing, and DuckDuckGo were founded. SOmetimes you win, sometimes not so much.

Let's get empirical for a moment. If we are sifting through applications for funding, do you think that there is a significant correlation between whether a business is on this list or not and its eventual success or failure?

If the other factors driving outcomes--founder quality and so forth--have higher confidence levels, this kind of list isn't very useful.

14
4 points by dnsworks 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Geeks are so incredibly negative it's why I end up trying to convince friends to find a better career filled with happier people whenever they ask how to get into the tech field.

There's nothing more pathetic then that guy who is the born skeptic and can't see beyond his own inability to find success, constantly putting down every idea his friends give him. I'm told that's what it's like trying to do a start-up in England.

15
4 points by clistctrl 9 hours ago 5 replies      
I was honestly expecting to see something about a bar revolving around gaming. I've heard it proposed by at least 4 seperate nerd friends.
16
2 points by randrews 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The stereotypical "never gonna work" idea that I always see is this:

* There's a sort of thing that there are many implementations of (website logins, say)

* Having many implementations is confusing, one canonical one would be better (Hey! Let's make OpenID!)

* They make a new one, announce it, everyone sees that it's not as mature as what they already have (Provider? XRI?)

* Nobody else adopts the new one, now there's one more competing implementation for the next never-gonna-work idea to contend with.

Note: I don't want to pick on OpenID, it actually works pretty well, but I needed an example.

Once you start looking for this pattern you see it everywhere: Linux distros, OpenSocial, OS X package managers, etc.

17
4 points by lkozma 10 hours ago 1 reply      
He forgot the data synchronization system, except that Dropbox pulled that off. Also the "social browsing", "see who else is visiting this webpage", except that Facebook is after that one already. Also the "alert me if a website has changed", well, I don't know if that really exists in a usable way or not.
18
1 point by wheels 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I know of companies doing well in at least 5 of the 6 spaces listed here. (Future success of friends being the missing one, and there very well may be companies doing well there, and you could almost consider the fact that prominent angels often raise money from other prominent angels as an instance of such.)
19
7 points by wtracy 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Favorite comment: "You should have made us sign an NDA before reading this post."
20
2 points by ja27 3 hours ago 0 replies      
21
1 point by chwahoo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the wrong-headed idea that many nerds have is that creating a startup is mostly about having a brilliant idea. If someone comes along and creates something similar to their idea, they think "that could have been me."

I suspect that the real value comes from execution of the idea, perseverance, and willingness to let your idea evolve until you've created something that people want. Often folks fail to recognize that the ability to execute and evolve (and be willing to fail) are traits that we don't all have, and so it's very possible that it couldn't have been them.

While there are probably some ideas that are doomed to fail, I don't think that label applies to any of the ones from the original post.

22
1 point by sedachv 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This reads like a list of the Montreal startup scene. So far I've met people working on dating sites, purposeless recommendation engines (to be fair, in one of those startups two of the guys were part of the team that won the Netflix prize, the other one is headed by someone who placed second in the GitHub contest, so they're not dilettantes at least), social travel ("we'll get film students to make videos about restaurants... for free!"), I'm pretty sure there was a Craigslist killer there somewhere.

Other hard things of dubious utility people work on:

1. Local events

2. Local business directories (I was once removed from this space by working at a company that provided an integrated directory/SEM buying product to various Yellow Page companies around the world; the cynic in me thinks this is a great way to fleece small businesses, although if you try it really can drive a lot of business)

3. Microsoft Access for the web. Dabble DB tried (acquired by Twitter), I tried, http://formlis.com/ HN user warrenwilkinson) is trying. There's probably a bunch more. Google Forms and Wufoo seem to be the most successful with the least functionality. The hard part here seems to be getting people to know about the service. Companies typically contract these apps out, and the contractor companies are more interested in $30k contracts to build custom form apps and making busywork for PHP drones than reselling a solution where the customers or other contractors can cut them out as middlemen. Actually the more I think about it, the more I want to try this again.

23
5 points by topherjaynes 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I dunno, I agree that everyone and their brother has these ideas, but it's like writing a novel. In literature there are a bunch archetypes (hero, heroine, Christ-like figure, etc), it's the nuance the author brings to the new iteration . Your right in that everyone has these ideas, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't think about ways to do them in a different way!
24
1 point by joe_the_user 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I imagine "social networking site"/"myspace killer" would have been on the list five years ago.

The article sketches ideas that have promise and long odds. Five years ago, most people who were trying to create "yet another social networking site" looked dumb. One doesn't now.

There is are many reasons that most of the cool ideas people come with brainstorming late at night don't work. But it's not that they are bad ideas. The factors for failure include the distance between idea and execution, competition, the need for good design, etc..

It's just a question of whether you want to make an easy bet or a hard bet.

25
3 points by acgourley 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I would also like to submit a whole spectrum of ideas that have a huge bootstrap problem and that problem is often hand waved away.
26
3 points by alex_c 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Take-out services / services for restaurants.
27
1 point by Goladus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Dating sites still kind of suck.

If I were building a dating site, it wouldn't be anything like what the original author suggests. Rather than focus on matching algorithms or ways to stimulate initiative (okcupid is already reasonably good at that), I'd focus on providing value after the initial connection has been made. I don't know of any dating site that does that well, at the moment.

28
2 points by nowarninglabel 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Meh, these are more like ideas that nearly every person has, and then wants a developer 'nerd' to implement (for free mind you, for x% of future profits).
29
2 points by there 9 hours ago 4 replies      
is anyone still trying to innovate in the online dating arena? i thought okcupid has had it pretty much locked for a while.
30
8 points by iterationx 10 hours ago 1 reply      
He forgot the 3D window manager.
31
1 point by mmaunder 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The idea for building a better search engine and a better social network was on a list like that, once upon a time.
32
2 points by roadnottaken 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish somebody would actually make a better Social Travel website. TripAdvisor is exceedingly unpleasant to use, despite the solid content.

I keep hoping that wikitravel will thrive but it's never very good...

33
1 point by rwhitman 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Social e-commerce". I get a lot of project bid requests for variations on this theme. Especially when the economy really tanked every panicking startup tried to pivot their business plan to be shopping related for a while. Very difficult to implement, people are much less amped about sharing purchases than nerds would expect
34
3 points by anmol 8 hours ago 0 replies      
isn't hunch an example of #2?

as an outsider, with many west coast friends, it appears that both start-ups and investors move in herds. for example, six months ago it was location-based check-in services?

35
2 points by swecker 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the point this author is making is not, "These ideas won't work, so don't do it." but rather, "You might think these ideas are unique, but they're not."
So he's not shooting down the ideas per say, but warning people that if they undertake such a project they need to be honest to the fact that your "variant" needs to be something special and/or you have to execute seamlessly to get ahead of the crowd.
36
1 point by Tichy 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't see why 1 to 4 shouldn't work. How many failed dating sites are there? Also, many dating sites seem to simply be a matter of efficient advertising - even if you are a newcomer, if you can pour enough money into advertising, you are all set.

Machine learning: I hope Directed Edge is doing well (YC startup).

Social Travel: what are some good social travel sites? I don't know any.

37
2 points by yoak 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The most common thing I see from such people is a desire to break off and do whatever is being done at their current company, but to do it right instead.
38
5 points by s3b 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Another one he's missed : Algorithm to predict stock market movements.
39
1 point by ErrantX 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Social network. That tends to be a common one.

(yes, I spent a long time creating a social network, no it went nowhere special :))

40
1 point by WalterBright 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This site is hilarious. Every successful business idea I've had was met with derision by every respected professional I encountered.
41
1 point by cj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm guilty of #4.

Made this but never followed through with it.
http://brandonpaton.com/demo/

42
1 point by user24 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Quite pleased to see none of these are on the list of ten startup ideas I released a few weeks ago: http://www.puremango.co.uk/2010/10/ten-ideas/
43
4 points by Keyframe 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't forget MMORPG!
44
3 points by daimyoyo 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Does this mean I should stop working on www.craigsmatchsquaretravelocifund.com?
45
3 points by JabavuAdams 9 hours ago 0 replies      
... until they do
46
1 point by uast23 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It boils down to the cliche "if you think you are unique, you are probably an asshole". The mere fact that you manage to find a co-founder in your own country/city is enough to prove that there are lot of other people in ROW going in the same direction where you are headed. It's not about doing things uniquely, its about doing things in a better way or at least trying to do it in a better way. So, I should get back to work now.
47
4 points by rgbrgb 10 hours ago 2 replies      
All of those ideas have clearly worked.
48
1 point by rlander 10 hours ago 1 reply      
#2 works and is a profitable company called tellapart (http://tellapart.com).
49
1 point by rrrhys 6 hours ago 0 replies      
How about the best to do list ever!
50
-1 point by ojbyrne 8 hours ago 0 replies      
This would have been better with at least a little explanation for why each idea wouldn't work (other than a Nerd thought it up).
51
1 point by JabavuAdams 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> driverless cars

Why not? Technologically, or socially?

6
The only script in your head headjs.com
178 points by timf 9 hours ago   23 comments top 7
1
26 points by dinedal 8 hours ago 7 replies      
I wish it was just the script loading and the other stuff was in a separate library. For a script that purposes to make less loading times I find it ironic that it would also throw in the kitchen sink.
2
9 points by CWIZO 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The idea seems nice, I'd have to test it out to actually see if it really delivers. One thing that bugs me tho is the tone of the text. It's all "this is the best thing since sliced bread" and "authors surly must be at least demi-gods". This comment in the page's source says it all really:

"headjs :: possibly the most important script after jQuery"

I'm all for cocky and confident attitude, I just think it has no place in a presentational web page/docs

3
6 points by Sephr 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand the whole dynamic class selectors for "Screen size detection". If it's trying to add support for standards, it should support media queries instead.
4
3 points by Griever 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been reading up alot on javascript loaders lately to see which one I should use in the webapp I'm currently building.

So far I'm checking out LABjs, RequireJS and now apparently headjs. Unfortunately I am not so sure which will suit me best. Has anybody had any luck with any of the aforementioned three?

5
2 points by forgotAgain 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If most of your javascript is made up of libraries like jQuery wouldn't it be simpler to use a free CDN like Google or Microsoft so that the library is most likely already on the user's machine? That would appear to be have a better payback than adding another library to load.
6
1 point by tjarratt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've wanted something exactly like this for a while now. Looking forward to trying this in a few projects over this next week.
7
1 point by aaront 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Very interesting. Will have to try this for some of my projects.
7
SecDef Gates on Wikileaks smallwarsjournal.com
13 points by tptacek 1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
1
6 points by wooster 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
That's a refreshingly honest and frank assessment. It's nice to see someone in his position speaking to reality.
2
1 point by gfodor 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's classy responses like this that really contrast Assange et al as being a bunch of classless amateurs. They got lucky and ended up dumping a bunch of gossip and information that didn't serve any real political purpose than making the U.S. look bad. No widespread conspiracy blown open, no major corruption revealed, nothing but trashy gossip and a few questionable ethical violations, but nothing even worthy of being in the same sentence as the pentagon papers.

This will be, in the end, a net loss for the perception of Wikileaks in the public eye.

8
Hacker Monthly Issue #7 - December 2010 hackermonthly.com
36 points by bearwithclaws 3 hours ago   6 comments top 5
1
1 point by sahillavingia 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Woo! Thanks for the mention, man.
2
1 point by Alex3917 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Are you looking for any exclusive content, or are you only looking for stuff that's already been voted up?
3
1 point by timmorgan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
OK, I feel dumb. Thanks.
4
3 points by dreur 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for the student subscription.
5
2 points by nikcub 1 hour ago 1 reply      
who does the design? I really like it (both web and PDF
9
Galois releases the Haskell Lightweight Virtual Machine (HaLVM) galois.com
59 points by dons 5 hours ago   10 comments top 5
1
4 points by dons 5 hours ago 1 reply      
2
2 points by narrator 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I looked at the source. Apparently they are writing NE2000 drivers in Haskell. It appears that this is more of a platform for writing an OS in Haskell with the help of Xen and not really for web apps.
3
4 points by plesn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it possible to run a web server like, say, Snap, directly on top of it ?
4
1 point by chc 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like Galois' blog has already buckled under the influx of traffic, so here's the Google cache link: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?client=safari&#...
5
1 point by ljlolel 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Very cool. Might it one day be possible to run pure haskell on Xen on AWS?
10
Hacking Google Calendar nealpoole.com
14 points by dfield 2 hours ago   2 comments top
1
1 point by jrockway 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Very odd that they included XSRF tokens but did not validate them.
11
Main GNU source repository server compromised gnu.org
115 points by there 9 hours ago   27 comments top 7
1
16 points by Sandman 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I see a lot of angry comments on their webpage, people asking why somebody would do this. Well, the real answer is probably - simply because he/she could. And to all of those wondering how anybody could do this to a project that hosts free software, well, the attackers don't really care. They saw the exploit and used it. Personally, I expected that a project such as Savannah wouldn't be vulnerable to an attack as simple as SQL injection.
2
7 points by raphman 8 hours ago 0 replies      
From the comments on the linked page:

Date: Tue Nov 30 01:34:15 2010
Pseudo: mjflick - Savannah Hacker
Comment: re: HappyCrow,

Only one project was targeted in this attack.

Second, a postmortem will be forthcoming, as well as more information shortly from the FSF staff, who are planning on making an official announcement about this.

3
5 points by konad 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Headline missed a word : "again"

Original issue date: August 13, 2003

http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2003-21.html

ftp://ftp.gnu.org/MISSING-FILES.README

                              Moving Forward

All releases after the 2003-08-01 date will have checksums GPG-signed by
the GNU maintainer who prepared the release. This assures automatic
certification of the integrity of all GNU source from that date onward.

4
2 points by viraptor 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Ok... I hope I misunderstood this, but does anyone see a problem in the order they're doing this in?

    [X] Reset passwords
[/] Fix SQL injection and look for potential others
[ ] Implement crypt-md5 support (like /etc/shadow, strong and LDAP-compatible) hashes
[ ] Implement password strength enforcement

So they're basically forcing password resets, even though people can use "password123" in plaintext on a site that's not completely audited for vulnerabilities?

5
2 points by pluies 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Ouch. This is bad.

It illustrates how much of a pain SQL injections are, if they can affect the GNU project which has some of the most incredibly talented hackers worlwide...

Props to them for having a working backup strategy though.

6
-2 points by linuxaddict 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I thought more eyes on the source means that OSS is impenetrable. Guess not.
7
-4 points by SriniK 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What a moran whoever did this.
12
Python NLTK Bayesian Classifier for word sense disambiguation - 92% accuracy litfuel.net
50 points by beagledude 5 hours ago   14 comments top 6
1
10 points by terra_t 4 hours ago 2 replies      
92% accuracy, unfortunately, isn't good enough.

Bag-of-words models perform pretty well at classification and search, and the main thing you need to improve search is to boost scores when words are close together.

You might think you could improve performance by using semantically better defined features, but even 92% accuracy adds enough noise to foil your plans.

It's a big problem in A.I. systems that have multiple stages. You might have 5 steps in a chain which are each 90% accurate, but put them together and you've got a system that sucks. Ultimately there's a need for a holistic approach that can use higher-level information to fix mistakes and ambiguities at the lower levels.

2
3 points by fibonacci1 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
He did it for one word. Bad article title.
3
1 point by jlees 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I always prefer to see these things in context (how well does a naive rule-based classifier do? what's the P/R/F-score i.e. how many Apples are apples and apples are Apples? What about Apple Records?)

It's still fun to remember how quick and easy something like this is though. Any interest in similar articles on named entity recognition, sentiment/topic classification and spam filtering? I've been meaning to do a few for a while, but you know how it is.

4
3 points by alanman25 4 hours ago 1 reply      
As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time studying NLP, I have to say that this post outlines a pretty naive approach when it comes to disambiguating words.

Here are some questions:

- What happens when we change the language model?
- What happens when we intersperse language models (English phrases within Chinese)?
- What if someone were to just say "i love apple"?

This post title is also very misleading. The 92% accuracy reflects only one particular use case. How about attempting to disambiguate hundreds and thousands of terms?

5
2 points by tkahnoski 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an interesting exercise in building a very specific word disambiguator ('apple' the company vs 'apple' the fruit).

It is a testmanet to NLTK that this can be accomplished in less than 100 lines.

6
0 points by vietor 4 hours ago 1 reply      
A blinking favicon? Seriously? I couldn't finish the article because my eyes jumped to the tab bar every 5 seconds.

Has anyone else seen this elsewhere? It's new to me and I was surprised by how obnoxious it was given that the web isn't exactly a stranger to obnoxious flashing content.

13
BitTorrent Based DNS To Counter US Domain Seizures torrentfreak.com
189 points by mcgin 12 hours ago   62 comments top 17
1
17 points by buro9 10 hours ago 2 replies      
So I'm going to let someone inject DNS entries into a local /etc/hosts hijack, based on information from a 3rd party over a distributed network?

You know, I'm not actually against that so long as I can verify the end site in some way. Perhaps all traffic over this .p2p network should be SSL? And perhaps someone somewhere can hold a verifiable list of certs.

Basically, who in this arrangement can I trust to route my request to the right site? How do I know they won't lie? I know that applies now too, but DNS is based on trust and that generally means the roots are trusted and they won't risk that trust. In this decentralised world, who can be trusted?

2
13 points by mrcharles 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I wonder about the security of this kind of a solution, and how they'll respect/protect owned domain names. I'm assuming the idea of ownership of a domain name becomes somewhat grey using this solution.

For example, how will they protect against domain poisoning by someone hacking their client to send out fake entries which redirect a domain to something they own?

3
8 points by RBr 11 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a very interesting project. However, I think in order for something like this to succeed, it needs to be founded in a truly altruistic goal such as education, research, or some form of free information.

"By creating a .p2p TLD that is totally decentralized and that does not rely on ICANN or any ISP's DNS service"

Sadly, the acronym p2p is tied with media piracy. If this alternate DNS system relies on the .p2p TLD, ISP's will have an easy way to filter this traffic. Beyond simple blacklist blocking, similar to what Comcast is doing to Level 3, it would make more sense for ISP's to simply charge extra (a lot extra) to access the .p2p side of the Internet.

A similar conversation was had years ago around the .xxx TLD discussion. In the end, the Internet needs to be open and priced at a level where everyone can access the information contained within it. If the US, China, etc start to impose drastic, unresonable restrictions then we will have no other choice except to create alternate systems. Eventually, this will create a fragmented, disjointed Internet completely different from the one we are using now.

4
13 points by natch 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore
5
4 points by gst 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I had a similar idea some days ago and planned to write a simple prototype.

However, instead of supporting standard registrations my idea was more similar to Tor's .onion namespace:

You first generate a RSA keypair and build a hash of the public key. This hash is your domainname.

Then you timestamp your zonefile and sign it with your private key. Afterwards, you store the result in a DHT under the key of the hash generated earlier. DHT nodes responsible for your data verify that your signature corresponds to your public key and that your public key corresponds to the hash.

As a last step you need a way to retrieve the data: The first possibility is to use your own local resolver on your PC that queries the DHT. An alternative would be to have several public resolvers that make this data available under different subdomains.

Supporting non-hash domainnames is somewhat harder due to security problems (if you want to have a fully decentralized solution). However, it might be possible to do this with an approach similar to Bitcoin's, where a block-chain is used to store transactions.

6
8 points by trotsky 11 hours ago 1 reply      
According to the project's website, the goal is to “create an application that runs as a service and hooks into the hosts DNS system to catch all requests to the .p2p TLD while passing all other request cleanly through. Requests for the .p2p TLD will be redirected to a locally hosted DNS database.”

Cool, so, uh, /etc/hosts?

7
2 points by aditya 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So, this has happened before, with not much success: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlterNIC - of course the guy that started that also cache poisoned InterNIC so that might've had something to do with it...

I'd assume that anything of this nature needs critical mass more than anything else. Like Google Public DNS/OpenDNS supporting it on day one, or the next version of BIND (whenever /that/ happens!) having it built in.

8
2 points by stevedekorte 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not replace DNS names with public keys? Anyone can generate one - removing the need for centralized namespace authority for key->ip mapping - and any lookup can easily be verified as only the server at the correct IP would have the private key.
9
2 points by randomtask 6 hours ago 0 replies      
10
3 points by hsmyers 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Would be interesting if by the time Senate hearings get around to looking at this (if they ever do) that a simple demo will show how useless the actions were in the first place...
11
4 points by Aloisius 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm confused. Why would you use BitTorrent? A DHT sure, but the whole BitTorrent protocol? Seems silly for transferring less than 100 bytes of data.
12
2 points by mudil 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope this effort pans out nicely.

I envision future where individuals and companies are free to buy/sell services and goods from each other, without government sticking in its nose.

Also, I envision p2p marketplaces, where online ads and other goods are sold and bought. Can anyone come up with an open source p2p AdSense killer? Do we really need Google to do it for us?

13
2 points by m_eiman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one who thinks that basing this on Bittorrent seems a tad bit like "when you have a hammer…"?
14
1 point by retube 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I was thinking about a sort of reverse Tor this morning, so that sites can hide their IP from users, as opposed to the other way around. Trouble is, you want it to work with existing browsers - users aren't going to install a new piece of software or a special browser to access masked domains.
15
1 point by aj700 5 hours ago 1 reply      
this torrentfreak article links to the opennic wiki page that's within their own glue domain, which won't work unless you have opennic set up:

http://wiki.opennic.glue/dotP2PTLD

The page they meant to link to, within the normal dns root is:

>>>>>> http://wiki.opennicproject.org/dotP2PTLD <<<<<<<<<

update: what I wrote still stands, but it has been fixed in the article.

16
2 points by goombastic 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This could finally mean freedom from ICANN and any other controlling authorities. Somehow this needs to have domain identity verifying mechanisms as well.
17
1 point by j2d2j2d2 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If bittorrent services centralize on this, the US will have effectively shrunk the scope of it's target space.
14
Google Beatbox google.com
929 points by shomyo 1 day ago   88 comments top 21
1
95 points by iamdave 1 day ago 7 replies      
Here's your rudiment/instrument notation

zk = suspended cymbal

bschk = snare

pv = brush

bk = bass

tk = flam1

vk = roll tap

kt = flam2

kttp = flam tap

krp = hi hat tap

pv = short roll

th = better hi hat

thp, ds = instant rimshot.

2
15 points by alanh 1 day ago 2 replies      
I don't get it, I don't hear anything. Am I supposed to hear something?

Edit Okay, there are Flash “Listen” buttons you can't see if you don't have Flash installed.

And yet, even in a browser with Flash, I hear nothing. All I see is a button that turns light blue and dark blue. Which is “play”? This is why I always rant about piss-poor UX from Google.

I still don't hear anything. Anyone have an MP3?

3
45 points by s1w 1 day ago 1 reply      
4
34 points by julian37 1 day ago 6 replies      
On a related note, try running this on a Mac:

  say -v cello d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d d

5
12 points by keyle 1 day ago 1 reply      
6
10 points by blr_hack 13 hours ago 1 reply      
7
7 points by pygy_ 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Drum and Bass anyone?

http://translate.google.com/#de|de|bvf%20tkçshsht%20bvf%20tk...

edit: correction fr|fr => de|de

8
3 points by RyanMcGreal 1 day ago 1 reply      
It also passes first year German with flying colours:

http://translate.google.com/#de|en|Der%20himmel%20ist%20blau....

9
28 points by iwr 1 day ago 1 reply      
German is the mother tongue of beat.
10
2 points by cturner 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Would it be practical to make remote calls to the listen function? Usage: if I want to have a webpage read speech automatically to the user after a javascript event, without showing the google page. I expect the first step would be loading the page in a hidden iframe.
11
2 points by InfinityX0 18 hours ago 2 replies      
OK, on the serious side, is the most upvoted story ever? If not, what is the most upvoted story ever? How about a list of the Top 25 All Time?

Can I pay to see it?

12
7 points by arturadib 1 day ago 0 replies      
absolutely brilliant!!
13
1 point by anonymous 6 hours ago 0 replies      
14
4 points by reason 1 day ago 1 reply      
If any of you want to hear some ridiculously awesome beatboxing, check out Roxorloops - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P7sdo_Aj0o
15
2 points by nervechannel 17 hours ago 2 replies      
In case anyone from Google Translate reads this: your URLs are highly resistant to shortening services.

Both is.gd and safe.mn mangled it, I think it's the pipe characters. Thankfully bit.ly works...

16
6 points by hboon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Listen doesn't work in Safari 5.0.3?
17
5 points by Kurtz79 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Now waiting for Radiohead to pull out something based on this.
18
3 points by Andrenid 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone build a little web app that lets you press symbols that represent each instrument, and build beats that you can loop.The google site stops letting you use the "Listen" button after a certain number of characters.
19
5 points by MatthewRayfield 1 day ago 2 replies      
Can anybody explain why this works in German?

It seems like in other languages it just reads out the letters.

20
-4 points by kjf 18 hours ago 2 replies      
...and so continues the long slow decline of hacker news...
21
-4 points by currant 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I think that this submission does not belong to the HN. It carries little educational value and I wouldn't call it deeply interesting (as described in ycombinator.com/newswelcome.html ). There isn't any effort to explain the beatbox effect. Also there are many voice synthesizers, google's is just the easiest accessible one. This is why the link seems to me just like a funny picture of a cat and I am deeply alarmed. (sorry for bad english, non-native here)
15
Level 3 outbid Akamai on Netflix by reselling stolen bandwidth digitalsociety.org
75 points by chaostheory 6 hours ago   50 comments top 12
1
40 points by jws 6 hours ago 5 replies      
I still fail to see why a leaf node internet provider thinks they should be paid for receiving the data their customers have requested.

Paying for transits is easy to understand, and in a complicated topology paying for bytes-in as a peer makes sense because they may be transits.

For a leaf node network like Comcast, whose customers pay to receive bytes and pay to have their connections installed to then demand payment from producers for supplying those bytes seems unjustified.

The author tries to hang this on the relatively higher build out cost per customer Mbps of residential nodes compared large commercial drops, but that is just different businesses. The residential providers already charge many multiples higher for bandwidth, this is just haggling about the multiplier.

2
8 points by akamaka 4 hours ago 2 replies      
In case you're wondering who wrote this, they are closely connected to Comcast.

From digitalsociety.org: "Digital Society is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization, funded by donations from Jon Henke and from Arts+Labs."

From artsandlabs.com: "Arts+Labs partners include entertainment companies, software providers, telecommunications providers, artists and creators committed to delivering innovative and creative digital products to consumers." (including NBC Universal)

From Wikipedia: "As of August 2010, Comcast's proposed acquisition of a majority stake in NBC Universal is pending government approval."

3
14 points by andrewvc 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The article does a decent job of introducing the concepts of peering and transit. However, it's pretty long winded and goes through a number of tortured justifications. Here's a much simpler explanation:

Comcast is charging Level 3 because they can.

4
7 points by brown9-2 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The discussion of this article over on reddit has uncovered some interesting past articles by the same author, and it seems he has a strong bias on this topic

http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/edxjp/level_3_ou...

5
6 points by ck2 5 hours ago 2 replies      
How exactly could an ISP ever match the upload volume of a downstream contract?

It's technically impossible.

Even without netflix, the download to upload ratio is huge.

6
7 points by ashbrahma 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Level 3 found itself in Comcast's shoes back in 2005. They felt that Cogent Communications unfairly taxed its network and made the exact same argument that Comcast is making today, and even temporarily pulled the plug on its connection to Cogent, cutting off some parts of the Internet for millions of Cogent customers.
7
6 points by oogali 5 hours ago 2 replies      
utterly stupid.

comcast is a customer of level3, not a peer. even though marketing has blurred the lines (i blame overly ambitious hosting companies), there is a very large difference between peering and being a transit customer.

what applies here is a transit agreement, even though george ou completely skips over that in his analysis by assuming comcast is not a customer.

to be redundant: this is not a peering spat, because comcast and level3 DO NOT PEER, comcast is a level3 customer.

customer.

customer.

8
4 points by rburhum 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally, I would take three extra network hops and a slower internet if it meant Comcast got screwed. Having been practically forced numerous times to use Comcast as a home internet provider because there were no other options, spent days (when you add it all up) on their stupid support line and having been bit by not calling after 3 or 6 months "trial" (or actually them putting you on hold enough - like 1+ hour), I dont care. This article is asking me to be worried/sorry about the equivalent of a child molester of ISPs. Sorry. NO
9
2 points by nikcub 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Now it makes perfect sense how Level 3 managed to outbid Akamai since no CDN provider operating legally could outbid hot goods."

I think he means contractually rather than legally, very big difference and suggests that this story is a beat-up. There is no way in the world that Comcast (a dedicated end user provider) was almost equal with L3 (almost dedicated to providing first-tier backbone to private networks and colo)

Peering is interesting in that you can get a lot of free hosting if you find a company that does a lot of inbound but no outbound. We hosted all of the OpenBSD, FreeBSD and 100+ other projects au mirrors for 10+ years for free hitting peaks of gbits+ because of the provider having to make up peering arrangements. I imagine Comcast would be the same (we did it with a similar company - home broadband provider)

This is definitely a case of Comcast attempting to double-dip and feeding a story to a journalist to get their side of the argument out (the journalist even put a hit on one of his competing publications for 'getting it wrong')

10
2 points by pilom 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Lots of people seem to be forgetting that content providers want to connect to customers just as much as the customers want the content.

Comcast:"L3 you want to connect to all my cable customers fast and you don't want to pay even more to get to me through AT&T so lets make a deal."

It makes perfect sense that Comcast should be paid for access to their customers.

11
1 point by netc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The article talks about 5 times increase in volume of the traffic.
Wouldn't it mean Comcast gets to make extra bucks even though number
of Comcast customers who access Netflix will not increase that much?
Right or wrong, Comcast wants a cut every time Netflix (or any one
else) changes CDN provider.
12
10 points by jerf 6 hours ago 2 replies      
No. The stolen bandwidth in question is between L3 and Comcast, not between you and Comcast. It's "stolen" because they had a contractual agreement which L3 is breaking, which is perhaps stretching the meaning of "stolen" but is defensible, I think. (Or at least so the story goes, I can't vouch for any element of it.)

This is all sausage making details that go on all the time and shouldn't and probably still won't actually involve you.

16
Experiment HN: Crowdsourcing Tech Stock Predictions zacharyburt.com
29 points by zackattack 4 hours ago   27 comments top 11
1
23 points by joshu 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The stock market is already a crowdsourcing platform. As is the options market.
2
1 point by aantix 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
The biggest issue with this design is that there's no incentive to put in effort for better predictions.

Take it to the next level; design this for Mechanical Turk (https://github.com/aantix/turkee), and make this offer; for each prediction received, get a nickel. If you're on the right side with your prediction, receive an extra nickel. If you're within 0.5%, receive an additional nickel.

Not enough people utilize the "bonus" feature of Mechanical Turk as financial incentive to increase the quality of data they receive. You don't have to pay everyone the same. Reward better input.

3
5 points by drcode 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Just to be fair to everyone entering things into this form: After you're done, you don't get to see any aggregated predictions, only a "thank you" message (which I found disappointing)
4
2 points by jbooth 2 hours ago 0 replies      
These are mature stocks, which are basically a random walk, unless you have some insider info.

What'd be really interesting would be if you got a couple thousand speculative plays on there, and allowed people to only submit on the industries they knew something about. Although that'd probably just lead to people only submitting their pet stock as "going to the moon!"

Nice job in any case though.

5
1 point by larrykubin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Some other popular sites with similar ideas are caps.fool.com and YC funded socialpicks.com.
6
2 points by keyle 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's more an experiment on chaos theory and dart throwing than "Predictions". I recommend you look at the fundamentals and aggregate the EPS forecasts in relation to the ROE to get a better idea as to where they should be in a year's time. On top of that you need to factor your economy and China's.
7
1 point by ary 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wasn't there just a story linked here the other day about the advice given to the newly minted (back at the IPO) Google millionaires? As I recall it said;

Don't try to beat the market.
Don't try to beat the market.
Don't try to beat the market.

8
3 points by puredemo 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Make sure to tell me how I did in six months. ;p
9
1 point by strooltz 2 hours ago 1 reply      
are you planning on removing blank entries (those set at 0.00). i, for one, only filled out predictions who i actively follow in the market to keep "uneducated" data from entering your prediction. maybe a good strategy would be to remove the lower and upper ends of the curve as well...
10
1 point by trotsky 2 hours ago 0 replies      
SELECT username, MAX(one_year) AS price_target FROM guesses GROUP BY ticker;

A cunning strategy to discover Mary Meeker's HN account name.

11
1 point by kevinburke 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Does everyone get an equal vote?
17
Awesome: DIY Data Tool Needlebase Now Available to Everyone readwriteweb.com
11 points by joelhaus 2 hours ago   discuss
18
Big Nerd Ranch needs a loan possibleprobable.com
3 points by zdw 11 minutes ago   discuss
19
HaLVM: run Haskell directly under Xen halvm.org
10 points by budu 2 hours ago   2 comments top
1
2 points by mikemainguy 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure why this isn't a more popular approach. I've often wanted a JVM (or Ruby VM) that ran without an OS, but it's a little "off the grid" right now. Good idea.
20
If You Have a Blog and Allow Comments, Register for DMCA Protections, Sites Warn abajournal.com
24 points by dctoedt 4 hours ago   10 comments top 6
1
10 points by Scott_MacGregor 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not just write it into Federal law that a site can act as its own registered DMCA Takedown Agent, instead of having everyone go through additional red tape and pay a $105 fee to run a blog.

In a way it seems like the fee to register is a freedom of speech issue. Pay an inconsequential tiny fee to run a blog, or potentially suffer huge financial losses. Kind of like the old Poll Tax from years ago.

It seems like being proactive as builders and maintainers of the internet, and getting a new field added to the WHOIS data for a DMCA takedown email addresses would make the process easier to administer for the complaintants, and more in keeping with Freedom of Speech that the United States is founded on.

2
4 points by jrockway 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Do services like Disqus handle this for you? The infringing material is hosted from their site, after all.
3
2 points by seldo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I was going to mention that DMCA is typo'd in the title, but it's also mis-spelled in the article itself.
4
1 point by chrismiller 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Does this at all apply to a service hosted in the US but owned/operated from Australia? I wonder if there is a separate organisation we would need to register with here.
5
1 point by kyleniemeyer 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Wouldn't comment moderation be a simple way to avoid this?

Although I can understand that for larger sites that is not feasible - but for personal blogs, avoiding the $109 would be nice...

6
-1 point by Chiisuchianu 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
How can anything in a comment be a copyright violation? Since when is text or words copyrighted?
21
Thank HN: Design for Hackers kadavy.net
120 points by kadavy 10 hours ago   33 comments top 9
1
23 points by enjo 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I plan to send out about an email a month, and have already started drafting some sample content. A lot of this stuff I had thought about releasing on kadavy.net, but it's too valuable to just put out into the ether. I want to make sure only those who are really interested in it learn these secrets. Find out:

Just sounds like an infomercial to me.

2
12 points by shrikant 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Just did a bout of gratuitous clicking and selecting text all over the page a few hundred-odd times to confound the profoundly annoying Crazy Egg tracking script.
3
6 points by subbu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Hackers are used to teaching themselves whatever is necessary to achieve their vision;

Can't be more succinct.

4
4 points by martinkallstrom 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Congratulations to the book deal! I'm happy for you! Don't burn out that flame of yours too soon, it's a long way from here to the finished book. I'm looking forward to reading it!

My suggestion is that as soon as you've written one chapter you're sort of happy with, put it on HN for for feedback.

5
3 points by mortenjorck 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Increasing design literacy among hackers is a great thing.

Now who will step up with a "Hacking for Designers"?

6
4 points by swecker 6 hours ago 1 reply      
My thought process were as follows; "Oh great, it's just an ad for a book." to "It's a future book, could be interesting." to, "Hey this is the guy that wrote that article on Monet's use of black!" I guess it's a really good idea to give a good sample of what you have to share.
I really love implementing more real art into design, rather than simply following web trends. I'm looking forward to reading more.
7
4 points by lukev 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is exactly what I've been looking for. Will definitely buy.
8
6 points by christopherslee 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Congratulations! The original blog post was pretty awesome, and I look forward to the book.
9
2 points by DanI-S 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds pretty good, I look forward to reading it.

If anyone clicked on the link looking for information, I posted an 'Ask HN:' a while back on the same topic. Loads of people responded, with some great advice. It's here:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1839022

22
WikiLeaks attack escalates netcraft.com
27 points by fun2have 4 hours ago   14 comments top 4
1
5 points by etherael 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems to be counter to the goals of the attackers, no?

Problem: Site is disseminating information that you view as confidential at a slow rate.

Solution: DDoS / otherwise stop the site.

Catch: The entire archive of unfiltered content is already widely disseminated via a non-DDoSable channel and in the event that you ever actually manage to succeed at your stated goal there is almost certainly a dead man's switch to trigger distribution of the cryptographic key to unlock said information.

It seems to me that by pushing this option you just bring the "enemy" closer to the nuclear option of simultaneous, mass, unfiltered release. Unless you think they're bluffing with the insurance file, I suppose? Doesn't sound like a good risk to take.

2
4 points by spinlocked 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty sure 50% of the people on this forum have ran nmap against wikileaks, just to see. Anyhow: ssh and ftp are open but they terminate the connection after a delay when you try to connect, probably source ip restrictions. Same for ssh. They are hosted on EC2. I am assuming they are using the Amazon AMI, which doesn't take ssh root logins, and the user name will be ec2-user@[host].

The connection is open for the period of the delay. This might a viable attack vector for a DDOS? (If you cannot connect to FTP or ssh, you cannot upload files).

Note: Wikileaks is hosted on Amazon AWS Ireland. You're telling me the US government doesn't have the ability to pull an AWS server in Ireland with a phone call? Oh please. Wikileaks is a poor attempt by the US government to unleash an attack a group that funds its political opponents - this will occur in the near future.

3
1 point by trotsky 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised a flood that regularly takes an AWS load balancer offline isn't showing more link congestion...

get /:

  tsl@crabapple:~> time curl http://wikileaks.org/ > /dev/null
% Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current
Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
100 5837 100 5837 0 0 20684 0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 30087

real 0m0.298s
user 0m0.003s
sys 0m0.005s

where:

  tsl@crabapple:~> dig wikileaks.org A | grep -A 1 "; ANS"
;; ANSWER SECTION:
wikileaks.org. 2517 IN A 184.72.37.90
tsl@crabapple:~> dig -x 184.72.37.90 PTR | grep -A 1 "; ANS"
;; ANSWER SECTION:
90.37.72.184.in-addr.arpa. 300 IN PTR ec2-184-72-37-90.us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com.

palo alto:

  3  rtr-border1-p2p-core1.slac.stanford.edu (134.79.252.133)  0.796 ms  0.433 ms  0.400 ms
4 slac-mr2-p2p-rtr-border1.slac.stanford.edu (192.68.191.245) 0.371 ms 0.415 ms 0.400 ms
5 sunnsdn2-ip-slacmr2.es.net (134.55.217.2) 0.668 ms 0.709 ms 0.676 ms
6 sunncr1-sunnsdn2.es.net (134.55.209.98) 0.808 ms 0.842 ms 0.823 ms
7 eqxsjrt1-te-sunncr1.es.net (134.55.38.146) 1.231 ms 1.268 ms 1.247 ms
8 equinix01-sfo5.amazon.com (206.223.116.177) 1.930 ms 1.780 ms 1.516 ms
9 * * *

nyc:

  3 te2-7.ccr01.jfk07.atlas.cogentco.com (154.54.1.134) 0.564 ms 0.575 ms
4 ntt.jfk07.atlas.cogentco.com (154.54.12.66) 0.664 ms 0.659 ms
5 ae-2.r22.nycmny01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.174) 0.760 ms 0.731 ms
6 ae-1.r20.asbnva02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.2.9) 31.672 ms 7.974 ms
7 ae-0.r20.sttlwa01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.2.53) 90.576 ms 98.458 ms
8 ae-4.r20.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.103) 93.544 ms 85.011 ms
9 ae-1.r21.plalca01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.5.32) 90.292 ms 108.205 ms
10 po-2.r03.plalca01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.5.142) 78.070 ms 82.080 ms
11 xe-3-3.r03.plalca01.us.ce.gin.ntt.net (140.174.28.118) 91.133 ms 91.491 ms
12 * *

dallas:

  3 vb1300.rar3.dallas-tx.us.xo.net (216.156.0.81) 4 msec 0 msec 4 msec
4 ae0d1.cir1.dallas2-tx.us.xo.net (207.88.13.125) 12 msec 0 msec 4 msec
5 dap-brdr-04.inet.qwest.net (63.146.26.169) 0 msec 0 msec 0 msec
6 snj-core-01.inet.qwest.net (67.14.34.14) 44 msec 44 msec 44 msec
7 snj-edge-01.inet.qwest.net (205.171.233.38) 48 msec 44 msec
snj-edge-01.inet.qwest.net (205.171.233.34) 44 msec
8 67.128.102.202 48 msec 44 msec 44 msec
9 * * *

4
2 points by zzleeper 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a way to track those attacks? Do they come from random zombie boxes, or maybe the IPs are from somewhere in Virginia?
23
Google Set to Launch E-Book Venture wsj.com
7 points by grellas 1 hour ago   discuss
24
Work/Life Balance garrettdimon.com
56 points by joshuacc 8 hours ago   11 comments top 7
1
34 points by toast76 6 hours ago 2 replies      
People thought I was mental when I went out and started my own business. They were probably right...especially when you consider WHY I started my own business.

I wanted to spend more time with my family.

WHAT!? Yes, really. I had just gotten married, just bought an apartment, my wife was about to have our first kid and I started a business so that I could work from home and be with them more. I start at 7.30am and finish at 4.30pm. I usually work a half day on the weekend, and occasionally allow myself to take a weekday off to take my family to the zoo, or go shopping or whatever it is we feel like doing.

We're not rich, and we're always keeping an eye on the budget, but in exchange I've spent every day of the first two years of my sons life with him. In may we'll have our second, and I hope to achieve the same for him (or her!).

It IS hard work. I DO have to be disciplined. But with a careful balance of contract work and "Startup" work, we're doing ok.

We may never hit it rich, but whenever I hear my son cracking up laughing, I can walk out and see why and join in. That's worth more than any startup will ever be worth.

2
11 points by abyssknight 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's about time someone wrote this post. I'm currently working full time, going to school, raising 2 cats, married, and bound to a mortgage as well. Even without the startup it's hard. I couldn't imagine doing all of that while starting a business.

This is a gem:

"So, next time you read an article with the media glorifying somebody starting a company and working 168 hours per week, don't assume that's the only way or even the best way. It's just one way. It's just as possible to have your startup and friends and family too."

3
8 points by stevenbrianhall 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked at a start-up in Boston about a year and a half ago. It was my third go-round in the start-up world across the span of several years, but the first for my co-workers.

I went into the whole situation telling them "I've been through this before, and I will absolutely work hard, but not at the expense of my work/life balance". They agreed, and we got to work.

Sadly, they were shocked after about a week when I actually followed through and refused to work through the night, every night (we would definitely pull all nighters when it was necessary, but they wanted me to pull 12-14 hours a day every day as the sole technical co-founder). This issue became a large reason why I ended up needing to leave the team, regrettably.

Do you know right now that you need a balance between your work and your life? Sure you do! If it's your first time in the start-up game, will you actually put that into practice? In my case (and I would be willing to guess that a lot of you are the same), the answer is no. Some lessons must be learned the hard way, and this was one of mine.

4
4 points by nbauman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I love these types of posts. People forget this is a long term game. I can't help but think that people who think a startup necessitates an unsustainable lifestyle are focused on short term gain. It is not two years make or break for the simple reason that when you're done with the first two years you will likely be at it again. The people I know who understand work-life balance have a keen eye focused on the long term. In my opinion, the more that filters into their business the better. It's all about the long term value to you, to your employees, to your customers, and to your industry.
5
5 points by eddiegroves 7 hours ago 1 reply      
"Inevitably, I would get burnt out and be wildly unproductive for weeks at a time."

I can attest to this and I think it is something that a lot of management types may not understand about the engineering work culture (at least in my experience). When we're in full steam our job's don't naturally lend themselves to down time like a game of golf with Gary from Sales might.

It's definitely a problem that I am still learning to deal with effectively and am always looking for tips/experiences from others.

6
1 point by PatrickTulskie 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I work for a small startup company. I work a lot more than you do at a typical 9-5 but I also recently got engaged, got married, went on a honeymoon, am getting ready to purchase a new car and a house. It's all very possible to do as long as you are able to determine what is actually an emergency and what is not.

When your head is constantly bouncing between code, product, algorithms, problem sets, tests it's hard to break away and focus on your family and financial obligations. If you don't though, you really do risk terrible burnout.

The best piece of advice I can give to anyone who feels they work too much is to learn how to say "no." It's easy to say yes, and it's very difficult to learn when and how to say no. The second best piece of advice I can give to anyone nearing burnout is learning to delegate. If you're a one-man show you can delegate to your todo list instead of to another person. Either case requires followup though.

Not everything is an emergency and maintaining your sanity should be your #1 priority throughout all that you do.

7
0 points by jshen 6 hours ago 0 replies      
wait till this dude has kids, then he'll really know what it's like to try to achieve balance.
25
"When did American business leaders turn into such wusses?" latimes.com
3 points by petethomas 24 minutes ago   discuss
26
Eclipse Cheat Sheets Rock architexa.com
3 points by samBaggins 28 minutes ago   discuss
27
How to Win at Coin Flipping wolfram.com
36 points by RiderOfGiraffes 6 hours ago   1 comment top
1
3 points by samd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I had to work out a sample game the long way to understand the strategy for a 3-sequence game, maybe others will find it helpful:

Suppose some games where the players choose a sequence of 3 and the game goes up to 4 tosses max. For any sequence of 3 there are going to be 4 possible ways to win. Let's suppose player one chose THT, the ways of winning are:

HTHT - game ends after 4 tosses
TTHT - game ends after 4 tosses
THTH - game ends after 3 tosses
THTT - game ends after 3 tosses

Now, as player two, you know that any combination you chose will also have 4 ways of winning, so in order to beat player one you need to rob them of one of their ways of winning by picking a sequence that appears before their winning sequence.

You have no options in the latter two cases, player one wins after only 3 tosses, but you can beat them in the first two cases. Both HTH and TTH appear before THT, but in the third case THT appears before HTH. So HTH won't work, you both take one of each other's winning conditions leaving you both with 4. But there are no cases where TTH appears after THT, so you have 4 ways of winning while player one only has 3.

28
Sleep hacks cnet.com
171 points by RiderOfGiraffes 16 hours ago   33 comments top 10
1
24 points by RiderOfGiraffes 13 hours ago 1 reply      
2
21 points by cturner 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Hurrah! Thank you fellow scribd-loather. I flagged the other article out of disgust but was annoyed as the topic interests me.
3
6 points by RiderOfGiraffes 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This submission - http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1953615 - is of a document about getting better sleep, and taking control of your sleeping patterns. It's also hosted by scribd.

In the discussion a link was provided to a non-scribd version, so here it is. It's a 1.8MB ZIP of a PDF.

4
2 points by david_shaw 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Not trying to give a personal plug (well, maybe a little bit), but I wrote a bed time calculator that might count as a pretty cool 'sleep hack'.

The idea is that it counts backwards in sleep cycles from the time your alarm has to go off so that you wake up during a light phase of sleep. Waking up in light sleep (vs deep sleep) will let you wake up feeling more awake, alert and refreshed.

If you're interested, the URL is http://sleepyti.me

I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions about the page, so if you have any feel free to let me know!

5
3 points by fragmede 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Surely I'm not the only person who thinks a PDF inside a ZIP is worse than Scribd.
6
2 points by mise 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel sorry for http://www.sleepwarrior.com/ that their site is in "maintenance mode".
7
1 point by ashconnor 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one who thinks you shouldn't "hack" your sleep. The human body isn't a computer or a program and shouldn't be treated as such.
8
1 point by astroguy 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Thank you. I have a feeling that my brain works best during nights, but I have to start tuning to overcome that feeling.
9
2 points by goldenthunder 11 hours ago 0 replies      
modafinil = sleep hax.
10
0 points by stefanve 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you :)
29
How to represent strings, the heavy way finger-tree.blogspot.com
4 points by pjscott 1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
1
1 point by RodgerTheGreat 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
This type of data structure is sometimes called a "rope". (get it?)
2
1 point by pjscott 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's funny, strings are one of the most often-used data structures, and yet people don't think about them as much as they think about more sexy things like hash tables. Strings are just part of the scenery. They deserve more glory. (Except for C strings, which need to die.)
       cached 1 December 2010 03:59:01 GMT