hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    13 Sep 2011 News
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1
Clojure vs Scala - Anecdote google.com
79 points by plinkplonk  3 hours ago   23 comments top 5
1
snprbob86 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'm not so sure this is a Clojure vs Scala story, as much as it is a Write One To Throw Away story.

"The form of the Clojure code mostly follows the form of the Scala code, most of the same functions"

Well evidently not. Otherwise, the code would not have seen a 75% reduction in lines of code.

What specific transformations resulted in this delta?

2
abscondment 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that rewriting in Clojure was "less work and more timely" than migrating to Akka or waiting for Scala 2.10. Any insight as to why? Having written no Scala, I'm not sure what the Akka changes would entail.
3
Uchikoma 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Excellent, the title says anecdote to set the right context. There have been other discussions on how much the knowledge of writing one solution helps in writing another solution in a different languages and what is attributable to the new language itself.
4
Uchikoma 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It takes a little away from the story that it took them a lot of time to discover a widely published performance and memory problem with scalas actors.

"after a lot of poking around, we became fairly convinced it was due (at least in part) to the default actor implementation in Scala"

5
jzoidberg 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Akka actors are the accepted production solution in Scala.

I wonder how the author translated actor heavy code to clojure - I guess the closest available concept would be agents.

2
New Boston Globe website design bostonglobe.com
294 points by ra88it  7 hours ago   77 comments top 33
1
Adaptive 6 hours ago 5 replies      
The real success here is not the fluid design (which is awesome). It's getting it through inside a traditional media company.

I'd love to read a frank overview of that process as well as the design itself.

2
keeperofdakeys 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is one of the lines of the source code:

  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, minimum-scale=1, maximum-scale=1">

For those who don't know, this disables user scrolling on every standards-compliant mobile device. The reason is a bug on iOS, that causes test to flow off screen when changing orientation on non-default zoom levels. http://adactio.com/journal/4470/

I really wish more sites would enable it by default, then use javascript to disable it for iOS devices. I have come across many sites with small text that I want to zoom, but can't (this is especially bad for people with poor eyesight). Disabling it for everyone reminds me of the days of IE5 and 6, when other browsers were hampered by IE's bugs; we are only starting to see what having no bug-ridden, dominant browser on the Desktop can bring.

Before anyone says that browsers shouldn't implement this feature, they should. For better or worse, it is a part of the standard. Using browsers that don't implement parts of the standard would bring about situations even worse then this.

3
ra88it 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Resize the window to see how gracefully the site accomodates a wide range of window sizes (from a phone to a desktop monitor).

[edit: After further reflection, I'm stunned by how well they pulled this off. Huge leap forward.]

4
guywithabike 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Keep in mind that the point isn't to be flashy when you resize your window, it's that the site will work just as well on tiny mobile screens, medium tablet screens, and large computer screens without separate domains, crappy shim layers (I'm looking at you, wp-touch), etc.
5
3dFlatLander 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I have terrible vision, and utilize the browsers zoom function a lot. On their new site, I can zoom without having to do a lot of horizontal scrolling (just in Firefox though, doesn't seem to work as well in Chrome). So, aside from the aesthetic for the masses, there's an element of accessibility here that shouldn't be overlooked.
6
chrismealy 7 hours ago 2 replies      
It's weird, when a layout is too clean it feels like the site is fake somehow.
7
blahedo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I am IN LOVE! It has been years since I've seen a mainstream site that didn't force itself wider than my default window (usually 600-800px, a bit less than half my screen). A lot of the sites that "try" to "address" the issue of multiple resolutions still focus on two targets: mobiles, and full-screen 1024+ monitors. Some of us are in between!

Thanks, Boston Globe.

8
alexkearns 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I used a similar technique on my web-based timeline-software. The aim was for the timeline to work at almost any size. Not quite perfected it but getting close.

If you want to play with the resizing, you can use this link - http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/43/Beautiful-web-bas...

9
beatpanda 7 hours ago 1 reply      
We did the same thing on my college newspaper this semester (we're still working out bugs ) " http://spartandaily.com
10
MadMikeyB 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Very well executed, and everything I've read about it is positive. Good job PR team? Or good job social web :)

Oh, the site is pretty good too ;)

11
sogrady 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The real success here - if it is successful - will be convincing readers that have previously had free (for registered users) access to Boston Globe content at Boston.com to pay $208/yr simply for the new interface. It will be the same content, with a few exceptions, simply rehosted at a new site with a new URL.

If they're able to convert even a subset of their current audience over, journalists everywhere will rejoice.

12
T_S_ 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Great job making the font size respond to Cmd+. Many sites seem to drop the ball on this important feature (ahem LinkedIn, NYTimes mobile).
13
linhir 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Boston Globe is owned by the NYTimes company, I wonder if this design might be a preface to a more fluid design of that site.
14
ForrestN 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I assume they are testing the waters for something similar for the NYT. I think it's very successful visually, and certainly a nice use of this new technology. My only nitpick is that I wish there was more letter spacing on the headlines. I don't know why the type has to be so squished.
15
ChuckMcM 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That is very nicely done. I am glad they didn't go for the temptation to put the display add in the laft column so that as the page shrinks it re-flows to putting only ads above the fold.
16
niels_olson 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I would have liked to see the resize use additional space by bringup an additional column of headlines instead of just expanding the already useless picture.

Here's a nice thread on newspaper designs, shamelessly jumping to my head-to-head of above-the-fold comparisons of the top 10

http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0...

17
pauljonas 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks good, but line-height gets messed up when using the menu dropdown to select a bigger (i.e., "bigger", "biggest") text size.

See screenshot:
https://img.skitch.com/20110913-qpbjnmcr2cjqcgwtfahen878sp.p...

18
bstar 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Screw the layout, whoever came up with the dependency manager is a friggin' genius.

<script src="/js/lib/rwd-images.js,lib/respond.min.js,lib/modernizr.custom.min.js,globe-define.js,globe-controller.js"></script>

19
roopeshv 7 hours ago 0 replies      
http://mediaqueri.es/, now stop picking examples from certain place, give some background what you want to talk about.
20
Titanous 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Great design, but they have a registration wall in front of every single article.
21
joshmlewis 7 hours ago 4 replies      
It is worth checking out. Really neat how well it does go from big to small. Was this done with Javascript/jQuery?
22
elliottkember 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I think responsive design that changes when resized like this is a bit annoying and unexpected. When I'm using the page and I resize it, I lose my place on the page and all the content reflows. There's nothing in traditional media that works that way.
23
RegEx 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't have to be a huge web design shop to successfully build fluid websites. A good place to start building sites like this is the 1140 grid[0]. We've knocked out a couple of client sites with it [1]. Getting the basic layout to resize is super easy...it's the positioning details for the media queries that can take hours.

[0]: http://cssgrid.net/

[1]: http://etbeancounter.com/

24
voidfiles 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I smell filament group(http://www.filamentgroup.com/). Anyone know who led the design?
25
xelfer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks similar to the http://www.news.com.au redesign which was rolled out 2 weeks ago. Lots of white space and thin grey lines.
26
kanetrain 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great responsive design. This works, in part, because it is a news site with predictable image sizes, headline sizes, and very limited GUI.
If you want to build something that is more graphically intensive, with more focus on visual appeal in traditional browser sizes, it gets more and more complicated. I'm working on a project now actually, and it's pain. I'm not saying it can't be done (it can with a lot of work). It's just more difficult and time-intensive the more graphics you use.
27
sailfast 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice design and a layout that I'm sure will be mimicked by a number of other traditional paper outlets - if they're smart. Now to figure out how to do it myself! hehe
28
andymboyle 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for posting this link. I'm kind of wondering why my post from hours earlier didn't pop up. Did I just write a crappy headline?

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2987246

29
abredow 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks great. It's awesome that we can make sites like this that theoretically allow us to serve the same pages to desktop and mobile browsers. I'm curious though, is there any significant overhead to having mobile clients parse 1600+ lines of HTML, or is that a non-issue these days? Anyone have any data points on this?
30
roshanr 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems to compare favorably to the Andy Rutledge redesign (http://andyrutledge.com/news-redux.php) save for the ads. The ads on the story pages don't work as well resulting in horizontal scrolling.
31
adeaver 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Make sure you check out the online crossword. It's 'responsive' as well. And quite cool. (Have to register to access it)
32
naed 7 hours ago 0 replies      
wow thats a really slick and usable design. the call to action page if you click to a story is really fresh to.
33
blake213 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is called an adaptive layout.
3
Tech recruitment: how not to do it seldo.tumblr.com
54 points by jfarmer  2 hours ago   9 comments top 6
1
autarch 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
Beau has been around a long time. I remember him posting jobs to the jobs.perl.org site and perl jobs list years ago (back in 2001). We had to ban him for similarly bad behavior.

I'm amazed he's still around.

2
jackowayed 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Sketchy in a lot of ways.

His LinkedIn profile has stars around the name http://www.linkedin.com/in/opensourcestaffing

He also has every state in the nation listed twice (postal code + full state name). SEO bait I guess.

It seems surprising to me that some of the fairly big companies listed on their website (eBay, Disney Internet Group, Rapleaf, Shopzilla) would engage with someone so visibly awful. http://open-source-staffing.com/clients.html

3
adelevie 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The moral here has way less to do with tech recruiting than it does with just being a civil human being.
4
tricolon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I do hope that whoever knows him personally points out just how unprofessional those emails were.
5
roneil 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm glad Gould got called out on this; he probably just lost himself a lot of future business by being so cocky.
6
jrbran 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Xbox-Live approach does not strike me as the prudent course of action for trying to recruit others for your cause. Even when actually on Xbox Live.

I've questioned how some recruiters that I've dealt with had jobs, but never had one remotely reached this kind of level of fire-him-now-ness.

4
Diamond planets, climate change and the scientific method theconversation.edu.au
55 points by evolve2k  3 hours ago   29 comments top 9
1
hugh3 2 hours ago 4 replies      
This thread is relevant to my interests.

On the subject of the "diamond" planet, I'm actually surprised to see the lead author of the paper in question referring to it as a "diamond planet". I thought that was just a media label. I read the paper when it came out, and all that was indicated was that an extremely large (Jupiter-mass) extremely dense (much smaller than Jupiter) body was detected orbiting a pulsar. The density was consistent with something reasonably close to diamond, but I would have thought that there always has to be some other elements in there... and in any case I wasn't convinced that the vast majority of the interior would be cool enough to be crystalline rather than liquid carbon. So while I'm very confident that there's some extremely massive, extremely dense planet orbiting that star, I'm yet to be one hundred percent convinced that "diamond" is the correct label for it.

Which brings me neatly to the actual point of the article, on climate change. I'm somewhat out of my field here, but no more than the author is. The reason I'm skeptical about the hypothesis "burning fossil fuels is likely to cause significant and disastrous climate change in the future" is that it's all based on simulations which can't be tested against experiment. And I do simulations for a living, so I know enough about them to be very skeptical whenever confronted with simulations in the absence of experiment. Maybe it's true, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were, but I'm certainly not willing to talk about it as if it's as strongly supported as... well, the vast majority of other stuff that we mean when we talk about 'science'.

The strength of a scientific theory is (and I'm still working on figuring out exactly how to phrase this) determined by the question of "If this turned out to be false, how much experimental data would suddenly be very difficult to explain?" If evolution were false, then pretty much all of biology is suddenly very difficult to explain. If the hypothesis "big dense planet thing orbiting PSR J1719'1438" turns out to be false, then there's a bunch of measurements which are very hard to explain. On the other hand if the hypothesis "diamond planet orbiting PSR J1719'1438" is false then it's not at all difficult to explain. And if the hypothesis of significant anthropogenic climate change turns out to be false, then this makes very little difference to our ability to explain existing experimental data.

2
zeteo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> there is actually no difference between how science works in astronomy and climate change " or any other scientific discipline for that matter. We make observations, run simulations, test and propose hypotheses, and undergo peer review of our findings.

Things change a lot when your scientific theories need to be transformed into policies, though. If these same authors had also proposed, say, spending a significant proportion of world GDP to send a spaceship to the said diamond planet, their theories would be received more critically, I imagine.

3
ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR version - our press was positive because their is no political agenda in astrophysics at the moment. It then goes to pity climate scientists who are pilloried because politicians have chosen to use their words to enact and enforce policies that their constituents don't like.

Astrophysics was a lot tougher discipline to be in if you were Galileo. Again the science was was being perverted to show support for what the government wanted to be true, rather than what was true. I suspect that if someone could have sold the church on a way to 'fix' difference between what science was telling them, and what they wanted to be true, they would have wasted millions doing that too.

Galileo knew that no matter how hard they wished it, the planets would not suddenly stop in its orbit and the universe begin to rotate around it. No more than any amount of wishing, better behaviors, and offerings of gold could stop the seasons (or the climate for that matter) from changing.

Not sure we've learned all that much about mixing science and policy since Galileo's time.

4
robryan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
One big problem is that usually the person with the loudest voice gets the most attention, even if they are from the fringes of science. The real climate scientist don't want to use absolute certain language as that's not what the results tell them and their conclusions are harder to whittle down into a 30 second news report. Those without so much evidence to back them up are more than happy to deal in absolutes.
5
hartror 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had friend doing his biology PHD say effectively the same thing as this to me.

It is frustrating that science communication is such a PR game to the detriment of the general public's understanding of what science is in reality.

6
Tim_Benham 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
There are no pure carbon white dwarfs. There are carbon-oxygen dwarfs. Crystalline C/O doesn't sound as sexy as diamond. Scientists shade the truth for publicity all the time.
7
natmaster 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
The author states, "...that suggests man-made activities are responsible for changes in concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere."

Notice the difference between that statement, and "OMG we're all going to die a giant heat death 5 years from now if we don't give up all our liberties!"

8
orblivion 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Well, it's an unfortunate fact that diamonds in space are not as politically charged. In a vacuum it's unfair to give more scrutiny to climatologists, but given that it is politically charged, there's reason to question people's motives (and to be fair, people who will go overboard in the questioning).
9
kapilash 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If they want some "People on the fringe of science" to be quoted as "opponents of their work", they should try saying that the existence of a diamond planet 4000 light years away from the earth is a proof that God did not create the universe or some such.

But to me, it does not seem a well-thought blog. Who says a "scientific-method" that works for identifying the structure of a planet 4K light years away would also work for climate on earth?

5
Google & the Future of JavaScript infrequently.org
56 points by simanyay  5 hours ago   15 comments top 5
1
cageface 4 hours ago 4 replies      
With about nine months of work behind me on platforms designed from the ground up to support rich, interactive UIs (Android & iOS), the mess of JS, HTML & CSS just seems so gratuitously painful in comparison.

From a philosophical standpoint I'm rooting for an open, interoperable web as much as anybody. As a programmer though it's hard to feel much enthusiasm for such a fragmented, baroque, and inadequate toolkit.

2
swannodette 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Deferred functions. ClojureScript.

Scoped Object Extensions. ClojureScript.

Modules. ClojureScript.

And you don't have stop there. Want advanced pattern matching? Want logic programming? Want delimited continuations?

You don't need to wait for Apple, for Google, for Mozilla, for Oracle. Language development is too important to not happen where development happens best - in the field and in open source software projects.

3
geraldalewis 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm looking forward to discussing this, but in the meantime, can anyone parse "Similarly, I think we can find a way to repair “this” binding foot-guns with softly-bound “this”." for me? I don't understand what "binding foot-guns" are.
4
esk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
With Windows 8, Microsoft is ushering in native JavaScript apps. It's probably in their best interest to keep developers firmly in the JavaScript camp"the more JavaScript developers their are, the more developers there are for whom native Windows 8 development will be second nature.

Unless Microsoft adopts Dart, I see them fighting hard to improve the JavaScript development experience.

5
GutenYe 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
cross-platform is the future.
6
How bugs per line of code is similar to traffic deaths per car vivekhaldar.com
12 points by emuegg  1 hour ago   4 comments top
1
zyfo 50 minutes ago 3 replies      
What would happen if driving drunk became legal? Nothing? That seem extremely counterintuitive.
7
IOS After Android (what's been copied by Apple from Android) techthirst.com
26 points by apress  1 hour ago   13 comments top 9
1
tjogin 12 minutes ago 1 reply      
Some bullshit in here unfortunately.

"since iOS was not built from top-to-bottom for multi-tasking functionality, you have to address what continues to happen in the background as the user leaves app and you're app has to scurry and get everything ready in within a short period of time, or iOS will completely shut it out"

This is just patently false. Multitasking was not an afterthought in this UNIX based OS, the absurdity of that claim reveals the thickness of the author's bias. This compromise was made to save battery life as well as to make sure users are aware of what their device is doing at any given moment.

There's a lot of other obviously stupid claims in there too, I'll leave those as an exercise for the reader.

2
jeiting 24 minutes ago 1 reply      
Re iOS: "This also means that multitasking will only work for an app if the developer specifically implements it. Nice."

As opposed to the Android model where all apps get free reign to drain the users battery life unless the user explicitly kills the app. Task killers are quite a popular application on Android for this reason.

As to the notion that Apple stole the notion of multitasking on a mobile device from Android, I'm pretty sure that Apple engineers knew about multitasking before Android implemented it. Apple made the very difficult (but correct) decision to sacrifice functionality to protect the overall user experience.

3
oohmeplums 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
First time poster, long time reader.

Not a great article.

"since Android was built for multitasking, inactive applications remain in a saved state for a particular amount of time." -- uhh, this is exactly how it works on iOS.

"This doesn't need to be strictly implemented by the developer, it's a core part of the OS" and "is also means that multitasking will only work for an app if the developer specifically implements it" -- completely wrong. Compile the app with the iOS 4 SDK and you get it all for free. Background services like audio and VoIP require developer work though.

"iOS still missed the mark. On the iPad, the notification bar is super awkward and doesn't scale well." -- citation needed. I actually prefer the iOS 5 notifications, as when they come in they are more conspicuous than the Android system.

"And the backwards compatible version of iOS4 for iPhone 3G slowed down the phone so much that users wanted to throw their phones out" -- 4.0 was a bit pants, but that was fixed pretty quickly, and worked reasonably well. And at least Apple actually provide updates to their older phones, unlike most Android OEM's.

"Even things like voice-chat were available on Android devices before the iPhone 4 was even announced" -- pretty sure the iPhone 1 could make voice calls.

4
rwaliany 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's not a service to humanity to copy the features from a Desktop computer, call it a mobile phone, and claim that this phone is better than a product that was designed to be a phone.
5
zalthor 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
I feel that the jailbreak dev community offers more "direction" to the changes that are brought about in iOS, compared to Android. The multi-tasking feature for one, was available on iOS 3 if jailbroken, the same goes with wifi sync (which is going to be on iOS 5). One could probably argue that the jailbreak apps get their inspiration from certain Android features, which could be possible, but I don't know the release dates for each feature to retort to that.
Though I think this article is right about one thing, competition does bring about innovation, be it from Android or from Cydia.
6
chriseidhof 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
It is possible to interact between apps on iOS, using URLs. You can encode data in base64. It's not even close to Android's intents, but it works.
7
JohnTHaller 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
What's even more interesting is how much Apple copied from Palm and others. Like the whole device with a big screen and a grid of icons copied from the Palm Tungsten TX (debuted in October 2004) which was something Apple was suing Samsung about. Or did they copy that from Windows 3.1?
8
klinquist 22 minutes ago 2 replies      
"People often say that Android is a copy of iOS."

Who are those "people"?

Sounds like the author is debating a position that few people actually hold.

9
kennywinker 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Troll troll troll troll
8
Shocker: Power demand from US homes is falling seattlepi.com
28 points by ph0rque  3 hours ago   16 comments top 7
1
ars 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Energy use has been correlated with economic output for virtually all of human history.

So either this trend is reversing (which seems unlikely to me), we are in for a prolonged recessionary period, or this is just a temporary dip due to new lighting technology, and the trend will revert.

2
jmathes 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Misleading title. Power demand from US homes is rising. The rate at which it's rising is falling, and projected to continue falling.
3
simonsarris 3 hours ago 1 reply      
That is a bit of a surprise. On the face of it one might expect Jevons paradox[1] to take hold, but I guess a home is a pretty closed system and there aren't too many new places to use power. More gadgets, yes, but a person can only use so many gadgets at once.

I for one find myself wanting to install more subtle light now that my power bill is so low (almost completely 10W, 13W and 18W CFLs). I started wondering where I can get creative, such as putting 0.5, 1 or 2 watt under-the-cupboard lights to gently illuminate the kitchen counters. I already have some brass wall-mounted "candles" that use 0.5 watt bulbs; they are nice and subtle night lights, and leaving them on all year round would be less than 8 dollars a year.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox see especially http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox#Khazzoom-Brookes...)

4
icefox 2 hours ago 1 reply      
As mentioned in the article states are setting up programs to help you save energy. For those that live in MA head over to http://www.masssave.com/ and sign up for the free* audit on your house. They give you stuff and will chip in the first $2K on work they find that can improve your house and there is a 0% loan you can get for major improvements like windows, replacing your heater etc. Heard from several friends last year that did it saved a bundle last winter and just had them out on my house and expect my heating bill too be much less this winter.

* Well free in the wacky logic that part of your utility bill funds this, but ....

5
sogrady 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm curious how much - if any - of the abating rate is due to shifting patterns of device usage. Our household, for example, is much like Mark Pilgrim's: "My 7-yr-old is sitting in front of a working 42-inch HDTV watching cartoons on an Android phone. The future is now." [1]

We have a fully functional 37" Sharp LCD, and yet the majority of our media is consumed via laptops, tablets or phones.

All of which draw power, of course, but likely less power than a large television. And even if they were comparable in terms of power consumption, the fact is that the computers would be on even if we were watching TV.

Throw in wider trends like the number of people cutting the cord (getting rid of cable) and it makes me curious about whether using smaller devices - particularly those designed to be power efficient - and the absence of others has an impact.

The plural of anecdote isn't data, however, so I have no idea if this is relevant or not.

[1] http://twitter.com/#!/diveintomark/status/112491024936476672

6
hugh3 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Article could do with some more numbers.

Is the huge growth in compact fluorescent lighting sufficient to account for the difference, alone? I'm wondering whether the other factors are sufficient at all.

7
sailfast 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In addition to more energy efficient homes and lightbulbs this is probably also being caused by a huge dearth of demand due to a down economy. Crude Oil prices drop during economic downturns for the same reason - the markets know that demand will be significantly lower.

Glass half full - hopefully this is a signal that we're becoming much more efficient in our consumption and we can produce the same economic growth with a lot less energy.

10
Kendo UI - a framework for modern HTML UI kendoui.com
157 points by fbnt  11 hours ago   67 comments top 23
1
zedshaw 9 hours ago 4 replies      
If you take away how this looks, and start digging into the project from a beginner's perspective, this project is awful. I find this with most of the supposed "UI frameworks" out there for HTML. With a few exceptions, they mostly lack:

1. Good documentation that doesn't just define the framework, but teaches you how to use it and get stuff done with it. Code already defines what it is, your docs should tell me why it's this way and how to use it. In Kendo UI they've got a list of dependencies for javascript projects they need, then a few code snippets with no explanation as to why or how they work.

2. Good sample code, in a full complete project you can download, with documentation on getting it up and running. Your first sample code is how everyone will write code using your project. If you've got bad samples, poor formatting, and weird file layouts (or none), then that's what everyone will write and that's what you'll be known for.

3. Examples that gradually increase in complexity. Start off with a simple hello world, graduate to a chat app or something simple, and get them to a full blown large application. In this Kendo example they've got a demo picture viewer, with no explanation for how it was built, and viewing the source it looks like a huge mess.

4. Humor. These kinds of documentation are boring as hell, especially if you're just defining everything. It doesn't have to be insanely hilarious, but at least throw a few little funny tidbits in the code. Even the great tech books of our time have tiny little jokes for the people who pay attention.

5. Finally, these frameworks rarely have a "theme". MVC is a theme. Convention over configuration is a theme. There's only one way to do it. There's more than one way to do it. Themes work to help people keep the script for why everything works the way it does in their head.

It's too bad because this looks really good, and it could be the most awesome thing on the planet. But if I can't figure it out even if I want to, then I'm never going to try.

Finally, none of what I wrote above applies if your project is for fun and not meant to be a "product".

2
goodside 9 hours ago 4 replies      
Note: You cannnot use this library on your web site. The licensing agreement forbids you from redistributing the library, whether or not it's minified. It further states, "You are not allowed to integrate the Software into end products or use it for any commercial or productive purpose." So private deployment is out too. It's strictly for your own evaluation and amusement.

http://www.kendoui.com/download/licenseagreement.aspx?skuId=...

Have fun with that.

[Edit: Their web site has conflicting information in the FAQ. See below.]

[Edit: Updated link. Thanks pakitan.]

3
dgreensp 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hate to jump on the negative bandwagon, but... I had a momentary hope for something truly novel, but found the usual aggregation of data-binding framework, templating language, and widget kit, where the widgets have various bugs/quirks that make them undesirable to use as is.
4
kls 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The question I am asking myself right now is how did this project make it to the top slot of HN. It seems to be a re-hash of some standard frameworks, some bad documentation, some buggy widgets and be backed by a largish vendor. I hate to say it, but it reeks of a voting ring.
5
forgotusername 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Demo pages are completely broken for keyboard navigation (try tabbing or activating the accordion widget). Wake me up when the hard stuff is actually working (accessibility!
6
WayneDB 9 hours ago 7 replies      
I apologize in advance if this opinion offends anyone, but every HTML UI kit that I've seen simply can't hold a candle to native kits such as WinForms, WPF or even Cocoa. I would really love a write-once browser based solution, but I just can't see that type of solution ever catching up to native tech.

How long do we have to wait before the browser can catch up? Do you think it will ever happen?

The closest thing that I've ever seen is Silverlight. With it I've been able to make some very excellent front-ends, with EASE, that look and behave identically between Mac and Windows. EDIT: The only challenge with Silverlight has been wheel-scrolling, which works fine on Windows but only works in Out-Of-Browser on the Mac.

7
TrevorBurnham 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd seriously consider using this, just because of the stagnancy of jQuery UI. It's a massive project with hundreds of long-open tickets (despite thousands of dollars spent on incentivizing developers over the summer through http://rewardjs.com/). 1.8 was released in March of 2010, and the last milestone release for 1.9 was back in May.

To be fair, a lot of jQuery UI's development headaches come from supporting IE6, while Kendo only touts its support for IE7+...

8
trb 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Using Chrome13 on Ubuntu, when I try to use the Drag&Drop Demo, the draggable element jumps to the lower right corner of the mouse cursor.

In the slider demo, rapidly clicking multiple times on the left or right arrow to increase/decrease the value fires a doubleclick event, highlighting most of the text on the site.

In the window demo, the mouse cursor does not change when I hover over the title bar, although the window is draggable.

It's these little details that scare me off. When I use a framework, I want it to take care of everything. If I have to add css classes for the mouse cursor or fix element positioning, I'd just build what I need myself.

9
lean 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Seems like an obvious FAQ would be, "How does this compare to jQuery UI?".
10
sunchild 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've learned from experience to run away from these kinds of UI kits. I always end up hacking around their shortcomings (e.g., tokenized inputs with autocomplete, etc.)

This one does seem to have a nice, compact, intelligible stylesheet, though " big improvement over jQuery UI there.

11
wavephorm 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It actually looks pretty good and would save you a ton of time rather than trying to build some of these widgets yourself.

But are people willing to buy a framework like this? Or is everyone just using JQuery UI and leaving it at that?

12
stoph 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm having a hard time nailing down what the killer features are here. For example, I saw that they advertise drag-and-drop with support for touch devices, but I couldn't even find the drag and drop demo on the site.
13
pbreit 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem I have with this and JQueryUI is that both are still too stylized such that they don't lend themselves well to being integrated into an existing design. And the JqueryUI themeroller doesn't help much. YUI probably does the best job of being generic enough to utilize broadly.
14
dillon 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I couldn't say if jQuery UI is better or this is better, honestly seems they are just different. Even if Kendo UI is faster I have never had a speed issue with jQuery UI (not speaking for everyone, just, I personally have never had a speed issue).
15
scotty79 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Aeroviewr button borders look ugly in Chrome and on Samsung Galaxy S also arrow on play button is of center.

Dragging on SGS shows circular dragged object as if dragged by left top corner of bounding box.

16
ayanb 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Has anybody downloaded this yet? I see three css files and one minified js. What is the total size of all three of these?
17
snorkel 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice but decent upload widgets these days include support for drop-zone uploading.
18
sgt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks pretty good. Good UX and well designed, and I see that it's based on jQuery. That's useful for many reasons, e.g. you can least pull jQuery from a CDN.
19
notb 10 hours ago 1 reply      
For some reason, in Chrome 13 on OS X, some of the UI animations cause the browser view to go black for a second and redraw. Not sure if this is just a Chrome bug but it's really obnoxious and means I won't use it until it's smoother.
20
twog 10 hours ago 1 reply      
We arent far away from being able to copy and paste beautiful front-end designs.
21
ereckers 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a bit off the topic of your actual framework, but as far as branding, I love your logo. Do you mind sharing the person/company that designed it for you?
22
alphadogg 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Needs a lot more baking.

For web apps built now, I use ExtJS. The newest release has been a little too buggy, but they are working hard to make it better.

23
youngtaff 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's hope the code produced by the controls is better than the code Telerik's CMS generates...
11
Your Invention Assignment Clause Is Killing Your Company ralphbarbagallo.com
7 points by acknickulous  1 hour ago   10 comments top 3
1
danshapiro 36 minutes ago 2 replies      
I admire the poster's idealism, but the advice is poor and the title is pure linkbait.

The problem is this: it is difficult bordering on impossible to get a company funded or acquired without IP assignment in place. It's the first check in due diligence. That means you'd be a fool to work at a company like the one the poster describes, since it is clearly run by amateurs and has grave, self-inflicted problems in its future. There are always exceptions - maybe an idealistic consulting firm could pull this off - but this is very dangerous stuff.

If you're dubious, ask your favorite startup attorney what the #1 killer in due diligence is - it's nearly always IP assignment. Someone wrote some code without having it in place, and you have to either excise the contribution (not always possible) or try to buy the IP retroactively - and since the entire company is likely on the line, you won't be paying market rates. It's more like extortion at that point than a purchase.

Long story short: if you're not assigning your IP, then you're not working for the company; you're working at the company. Don't try this one at home.

2
wmeredith 55 minutes ago 1 reply      
This whole article is based on a line in the second to last paragraph:

>>The fact is the smartest and most creative employees won't offer up a single decent idea if they know it's company property whether or not it's used.

It's an argument that I find pretty weak and it's presented with no backing at all. The smartest employees will kick ass for their employer and expect to be remunerated in kind. If I wasn't I would move on. And if I never offered up a single decent idea at my job I probably wouldn't be there very long.

3
Joakal 57 minutes ago 1 reply      
IBM's invention policy is:
first patent: $1500 when it's filed, another $500 if the patent is awarded
any patents after that: $750, +$500 if patent awarded.

Every 4 patents you hit a "plateau" and get a bonus $1250 or so on top of everything else.

- Random post in a thread where people apparently get $1 for developing patents for the company http://ask.slashdot.org/story/03/10/28/0055253/Employee-Pate...

But I also saw that IBM even demands former employee's patents filed after employment: http://www.goodwinprocter.com/News/Press-Releases/2011/Court...

Is the above good or bad for a company encouraging creativity? What's the right balance?

12
YC Office Hours with PG and Harj ustream.tv
49 points by fbuilesv  6 hours ago   11 comments top 6
1
Shenglong 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
PG and Harj's pace is amazing - not a moment wasted. It's unfortunate to see that the lucky founders up there aren't really listening to his opinions. It seems like they're more interested in defending their product, more than take suggestions.
2
jcampbell1 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The first guy was doing K-6th iPad stuff, and Paul didn't have much advice. Anyone interested in this space should checkout ixl.com. Most people haven't heard of it, but they are crushing it when it comes to K-6 math skills. By my estimation, they do something like $100M rev/year. As far as I can tell, they actively avoid the press as they don't want competitors.
3
orky56 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Key takeaways or at least the main ideas behind PG and Harj's questions & comments-
What pain point are you solving?
Is it something you dealt with (or the market deals with)? How do you go about using the product?
What is the killer feature of your product that will allow a user to switch from their current method?
4
look_lookatme 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Anytime someone asks you what makes you better than an established competitor please don't ever, ever say something along the lines of "because <competitor> sucks". It's better to acknowledge your competitor's legitimacy and respond with how your product is better.

Chauvinism has a place, but I think you have to be careful with it.

5
wvl 6 hours ago 0 replies      
For reference, a link to the hn thread discussing the session as it went live:
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2988407
6
roneil 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Its awesome for us to see how PG conducts office hours, but it seems like a bad idea to do this in front of so many people. I can imagine how hard it would be as a founder to answer these questions so publicly.
14
Saipan claims ComputerLand founder owes taxes yahoo.com
66 points by vipivip  8 hours ago   39 comments top 6
1
bugsy 7 hours ago  replies      
I remember ComputerLand stores. Sounds like he was a hard working guy who earned his success.

Saipan is one of the most corrupt backwards places on earth. As a US trust territory, for many years they had slave plantations that produced clothing for chinese companies which was labelled "Made in USA". Many workers were kept under brutal conditions, raped, beaten and killed. The Saipanese are mostly incredibly lazy and loved this system as it allowed them to have houses full of slave servants and great wealth without ever having to work for it. It all collapsed a few years ago, but there's a close to 100% chance that they are the ones running the scam in this current case.

edit: Keep downvoting this, monkeys! I have no doubt I am one of a small handful of people on HN that has intimate experience of how Saipan works and how corrupt this place is. My post gives true insight to what is going on there. Imagine the worst fundamentalist christian ignorant half retarded hillbilly sex fiend town straight out of the movie Deliverance, but then give them dictatorial control over outsiders, a total lack of desire to work and a strong desire to dominate control and cheat others and you have Saipan. It's like a stereotypical town thought to exist in the backwoods of Arkansas, but it's real, slavery is still legal, and it's part of the US. Absolutely anything involving Saipanese officials that has a money angle for them is a total scam. Since their slave factories collapsed, they have been in desperate straits to steal what they can. I totally believe the CEOs explanation that they backdated their tax code specifically to target him, and then never served him of any real notice of it until now, after they've gotten a bunch of judgements against him in which he had no chance to represent himself because he didn't even know there was a case about this. That is exactly how they work. They are incredibly conniving and will work every system to get what they want. Typical small town american fundamentalist hillbillies, but in a pacific island trust territory. These comments apply to the people in control there. There's also the regular people who hate what has been done to their island over the years, many are ostensibly good people. It's the corrupt people in power that are the troublemakers, and dealing with them is exactly exactly like Southern Bible Thumping Fundamentalist - which the Saipanese basically are. The fundamentalist missionaries infected them with the peculiar sort of madness, entitlement, laziness and corruption that comes with that belief system. And if you had no idea about the slavery and corruption and you are downvoting this you are only proving how mentally you are exactly like them. This post tells you the truth about Saipan, a place that until just now you probably never heard of. Ignorant fools.

2
nowarninglabel 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Saipan is indeed one of the most corrupt backwards places on Earth. I know because I've actually been there and got to know some of the locals and politics of the place while there.

To say more eloquently what bugsy was trying to express, while it is unclear if Mr. Millard did commit a crime, you must take into account that the people chasing him for supposed tax abuse are some of the most corrupt people on Earth. Much of that information is available on Wikipedia, but just read some of the websites of ex-pats and such and you will get a good idea. Thus, I would take anything said by anyone in the Saipanese government with a large grain of salt. Furthermore, even if Mr. Millard is guilty, if the Saipan government gets his money, it will be a negative outcome for everyone.

3
pg 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Structurally this article reads like one that has been "placed" by a PR firm. That combined with e.g.

http://www.google.com/search?q=saipan+corruption

makes me feel like whatever the truth is, it's not exactly as described here. I'm not saying the guy hasn't done anything wrong, just that I suspect we're not getting the whole story.

4
Steko 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I also remember ComputerLand stores. Sounds like he was a hard working guy who earned his success... who then decided to use it to become a tax cheat for the rest of his life.

Regardless of what you think about the Northern Marianas, this guy doesn't deserve anyone's pity, he's been a tax cheat for well over 2 decades.

And no I don't "believe the CEO's story that he was never served", that's horseshit. He left Saipan for a reason, to continue to dodge taxes any way he could.

5
nl 6 hours ago 2 replies      
A devotee of est, a faddish self-empowerment regimen of that era

What is est? Google and Wikipedia seem quite unhelpful.

Edit: found it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erhard_Seminars_Training

6
Hyena 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Stories like this convince me that many of the most sophisticated cases of tax evasion are actually the product of an OCD-like behavior.
16
MongoDB 2.0 Released mongodb.org
172 points by meghan  14 hours ago   64 comments top 6
1
nirvana 12 hours ago  replies      
I'm curious as to why MongoDB is so popular. I chose Riak, and my purpose here isn't to bash Mongo, but to understand what was the key feature that made you choose it?

Is it pure speed on a single machine? Is it the query interface? Something else? Datacenter awareness? Geographic support?

The key features that made me choose riak:
- built in distribution/clustering with homogenous nodes
- bitcask had the level of reliability/design that I was looking for.
- better impedance match for what I was doing than CouchDB (which was what I looked at before choosing riak, but couch does view generation when data is added and I need to be able to do it more dynamically.)

What sold you on Mongo? What would you most like to improve?

(Please don't let this be a debate, I'm more interested in understanding the NoSQL market, what other developers priorities are, etc.)

2
kennu 13 hours ago 6 replies      
I think I speak for everybody here when I say that 1.8 + 0.2 = 1.10.
3
foobarbazetc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have no idea how anyone who's ever read the mongodb source code can entrust it with their data.
4
samrat 13 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm interested in learning more about MongoDB so that I can use it for web apps. But some comments I've heard about it(especially here https://plus.google.com/111091089527727420853/posts/WQYLkopE...) seemed to discourage its use. Can someone explain to me why it is "criticized by academics"? And what its pros/cons are?
5
Deutscher 4 hours ago 1 reply      
A few months ago, I saw an online interactive 'trainer' of sorts for MongoDB, much like Codecademy's JS tutorials. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

EDIT: Damn Google, you good: http://www.mongly.com/

6
deleo 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A bump like that should be for backward incompatible changes but it actually looks like a makeover to appeal more to serious biz customers that would have trouble getting on to a 1.0 technology.
17
PostgreSQL 9.1 released postgresql.org
253 points by wulczer  17 hours ago   38 comments top 9
1
saurik 16 hours ago 3 replies      
The only thing I feel is wrong with this (really: the /only thing/, which is fricken awesome... I love PostgreSQL from the bottom of my heart, and have been using it for almost all of my database needs since the late 90s) is "per-column collation": collation is not a problem "per-column", it is a problem "per-index", which means you really want it "per-operator class".

Here's the use case: you have a website, and you have users using it in English and French. With per-column collation, you are being advocated to have two fields, one english_name, and one french_name, that have /the same content/, but are defined using a different collation, so that the ordering condition on them becomes language-dependent.

The effect that has is actually terrible: it means that the size of your row (and yes, this may end up in TOAST, but there is still a massive penalty to going that route) ends up becoming ginormous, and the size of your row will just get larger the more languages you want to support as first-class citizens in your app.

Instead, what you /want/ is to just have an index english_ordered and an index french_ordered, and you want to be able to select which index you use for any specific query. If you "do it right", you'd also want to be able to support ordering the data using German collation, but it would "just be irritating slower".

Now, if you don't use PostgreSQL much, this may seem like a pipe dream of extra standards and complex interactions ("how will you specify that?!", etc.). However, it turns out there is already a feature that does 99% of this: "operator classes", which is how PostgreSQL lets you define custom collations for user-defined types.

Only, PostgreSQL operator classes are slightly more general than that, as you can specify an operator class to be used when performing order operations for your index; and, even more importantly: they are already being used to work around a specific case of operator-specific collation.

Here's the example: let's say that your database is set up for UTF-8 collation, and yet you have this one field you want to do a "prefix-match" on: WHERE a LIKE 'B%'. The problem with this is that you cannot use a Unicode collation to index this search: it might be that 'B' and 'b' and even 'Q' all index "exactly the same" for purposes of this collation (and there are some other corner cases with the other mapping direction as well).

So, to get index performance for this field, without changing your entire database to collate using "C" collation (which works out to "binary ordering"), you have a few choices, with one of them being to create a index that uses the special "operator class" called text_pattern_ops ("text" in this case as the field is likely a "text" field: there is also varchar_pattern_ops, etc.).

Once specified in your index, PostgreSQL knows to use it for purposes of the aforementioned LIKE clause. You specify this while making your index by specifying the operator class after the column.

    CREATE INDEX my_index ON my_table (a text_pattern_ops);

The next piece of the puzzle is that an ORDER BY clause can take a USING parameter to pass it a custom operator, and you can always (obviously) use a custom operator for purposes of comparison. So, you now are in the position where you should be able to do this:

    CREATE INDEX my_index ON my_table (a english_collation_ops);
CREATE INDEX my_index ON my_table (a french_collation_ops);

SELECT * FROM my_table
WHERE english_collation_less(a, 'Bob')
ORDER BY a USING english_collation_less;

So, really, the only thing that needs to be specified, is we need the ability to have "parameterized operator classes": as in, we really need a "meta operator class" that takes itself an argument, the string name of the collation, and then returns an operator class. With this one general technique defined, we not only drastically increase PostgreSQL's user-defined type abilities, but we better solve this whole class of collation problem.

(Unfortunately, I suck at e-mail, or I'd get on the PostgreSQL mailing list and try to argue for this in a more well-defined way; maybe someone else who cares will eventually see it and become this feature's champion; or, of course, come up with an even better solution than mine ;P.)

2
pilif 16 hours ago 0 replies      
(Mostly) like a clockwork: A new year, a new release. And like every year before we find a beautiful collection of new stuff to play with.

Even better this time around: It's looking as if the next release of Ubuntu will get 9.1 packaged which spares me from manually packaging or using a PPA this time around.

The new features each release introduces are too sweet to skip just because a distribution is lagging. And ever since I began using PostgreSQL at the 7.1 days I have _never_ experienced a bug that really affected me. No byte of data has ever been lost, no single time did it crash on me due to circumstances beyond my control (cough free disk space cough).

Congratulations to everybody responsible for yet another awesome release!

Yes. I am a fanboy. Sorry.

3
rbranson 9 hours ago 0 replies      
For a trivial, synthetic write benchmark that I usually use to benchmark hardware and/or config changes, I'm seeing slight slowdowns for non-concurrent loads, and solid improvements for concurrent loads with.

For 1-2 clients, I'm seeing ~8% slower.

For 4 clients, 7.2% faster.

8 clients, 15% faster.

16 clients, 16.4% faster.

32 clients, 11% faster.

64 clients, 10% faster. Aggregate performance starts to level off here, so I stopped.

These are just cycling super simple INSERTs/DELETEs against the same table, columns data is 1K string, 100 byte string, then a concatenation of the pid and current iterator count. No indexes or primary keys. Each client is just a fork that performs 10,000 INSERTs, then 10,000 DELETEs in a loop of 10,000 iterations.

For the record, that's around 6,729 writes per second with 32 clients. If I set synchronous_commit = OFF in each client before running the benchmark, it's 27,157/sec. Then, if I reduce the first column size to 100 bytes, it's 50,592/sec. Impressive. I'm sure the synchronous_commit improvement would be much more drastic on disks without BBU write caches.

Database server is a 4-core Nehalem-based Xeon with 16GB RAM and a SAS disk array. PostgreSQL configuration has been decently tuned and full write durability is retained all the way down to the disks.

4
socratic 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Should I as a web app developer at a startup be looking for an RDBMS beyond PostgreSQL, probably a commercial one?

I have somewhat of a database background, so I see the obvious advantages of PostgreSQL over MySQL. In particular, things like more procedural language support, a better query optimizer, better concurrency control, etc. (Though things like Amazon RDS are compelling from a deployment perspective.)

I fundamentally believe that using an RDBMS, rather than a NoSQL data store is the right approach for rapid development of web apps. (Though, I primarily mean this as an attack on, e.g., MongoDB, since I think Redis is great, just not a replacement for an RDBMS.)

However, I have almost no experience with the more advanced end of the RDBMS spectrum, primarily because they tend to cost money (for the real, non-free versions). Should I be learning/looking at DB2? Should I be learning/looking at Oracle?

Or do the additional features of these more advanced RDBMS options require such specialized scenarios (a bank, a big enterprise) or such specialized hardware (weird clustered setups) that MySQL/PostgreSQL will always be just as good?

5
ConceitedCode 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I recently switched to PostgreSQL from MySQL and I couldn't be happier about it.
6
clarkevans 14 hours ago 0 replies      
If you happen to be in Chicago, or near Chicago this week, be sure to come to PostgreSQL Open from Wednesday to Friday this week(Sept 14th-16th).

http://postgresopen.org/2011/

7
hyperrail 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Finally! True serializability! Never let anyone (including the docs for older postgres versions) tell you that predicate locking is too hard to implement.
8
pvh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Congrats to the team for a really exciting release. We can't wait to ship it here at Heroku.
9
jgavris 14 hours ago 1 reply      
KNN indexing!
18
AngelList API angel.co
53 points by jot  7 hours ago   7 comments top 4
1
joshuaxls 5 hours ago 1 reply      
AngelList dev here. Feel free to send questions, ideas and other feedback my way. I'm more than happy to whitelist any HN users that want to do something awesome on the API.
2
benatkin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Fantastic. It's nice to see an alternative to CrunchBase for data about startups. CrunchBase is easy to read (including the JSON) but a pain to edit.
3
aherlambang 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I plan to create an iOS app from this. If there's any designer or dev who wants to help, shoot me. Otherwise I'll be working on this during my free time by my self.
4
gnok 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Pardon my ignorance but, who or what is AngelList and what can I do with it? Do I need to start with the API
19
TestFlight SDK Released testflightapp.com
76 points by dmpatierno  9 hours ago   15 comments top 9
1
olivercameron 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Previous to TestFlight, life was ridiculously painful for an iPhone developer to beta test apps. I wish they'd charge me, it's that good. I'd probably pay at least $100 a month.
2
davepeck 8 hours ago 0 replies      
These guys are killing it. Going to bake this in to my next test release of GetCloak for iOS.

One feature I'm particularly jazzed about is the logging capture support. It is so painful to explain to test users how to capture logs on iOS!

3
daniel_levine 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Huge fan of the TestFlight App, helps me test out lots of startups' products. Also a huge help to the startups themselves and I think the SDK will be another great step.
4
timeuser 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Can this be used in a release distribution app or only beta test ad hoc apps? It sounds like it's only for test distribution, which is cool, but reporting on distribution apps would be nice.
5
nhangen 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This product is so amazing that it makes iOS provisioning and ad hoc distribution look professional, and that's saying a lot. Huge fan of this service.
6
marcomonteiro 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using it since the first beta and it's a huge help especially when working with beta testers who aren't tech savvy enough to send back crash reports or to clearly explain what they're doing when they experience issues.
7
scraplab 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've just installed this in an app I'm working on. It's amazing stuff. I don't know how they continue to offer all this for free. Waiting to be bought by Apple perhaps?
8
foobarbazetc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the catch?
9
lordmatty 7 hours ago 0 replies      
TestFlight are doing excellent work - congrats guys!
20
Spool Is Instapaper On Steroids techcrunch.com
52 points by lladnar  6 hours ago   14 comments top 4
1
martingordon 6 hours ago 3 replies      
> "The app is free for now, while the founders consider monetization options involving freemium services, search offerings and mobile CDN models."

Yes, this always ends well. Every download Spool gets loses them money. For every download Instapaper gets, Marco makes money.

And yes, Spool may be more feature rich than Instapaper, but when is being "on steroids" a good thing?

2
sdz 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is why I think it was shortsighted for Instapaper to reject outside funding. As much as I like Instapaper, it is very much still a single-platform app with very limited scope (text-only), and the app hasn't been updated in several months. Meanwhile its competitors (like Readitlater and now these guys) are getting funded, rolling out features, and attacking this market with much greater resources.
3
rglover 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Just watched their demo on TC disrupt and it looks wonderful. I've been really into the content scrubbing systems that have been coming out as of late. This reminded me a lot of my current favorite, Gimme Bar (http://www.gimmebar.com), but much smoother of an experience. Signed up for the beta. You should too.
4
ashrust 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I like this a lot but it does seem more like a feature for Instapaper and (my fave) Read it Later. I would expect them to get acquired or copied.
21
Fucking Sue Me pud.com
650 points by pud  1 day ago   146 comments top 36
1
grellas 23 hours ago 6 replies      
Contract reviews done by lawyers need to follow good-sense guidelines.

Some contracts are routine and don't need any form of customizing. The review in such cases is minimal and can even be skipped if the routine nature of the contract is obvious or if the entrepreneur is seasoned enough to identify a clean situation without lawyer help. Most such routine contracts cover simple cases, such as a simple nda or a recurring situation in which a basic template is used with no material variation apart from non-legal business items that typically get customized in an exhibit.

For most cases, though, the whole key to doing a contract right is to customize it properly on its material points. This means it should be clear, it should accurately reflect the intent of the parties, and it should contain basic legal protections for each party. It is vital to this process that both the lawyer and the entrepreneur understand what is material. Why? Because that determines the proper cost-benefit analysis for how it should be reviewed.

For example, say a startup is negotiating a 1-year office lease for only a few hundred square feet of space at a modest rental rate. That sort of lease needs very little lawyer review because there is not much at stake (the money is small, the location itself not particularly important to the startup, etc.). A quick read-through by the lawyer is the max that this needs and then only to see if there is anything wildly out of line in the document. What about a 3-year lease with more square footage and a higher rent? In that case, maybe a good high-level review is in order, with comments and mark-ups on a range of important points but little or no attention paid to boilerplate clauses that may be highly unfavorable to the tenant as worded but that are also highly unlikely to occur. And what if the lease is for 5 years with two 5-year options to renew, with a location that is very important to the business involved, and with risks (such as potential environmental liabilities) that can far exceed even the value of the lease itself if mishandled? In that case, lawyer review is normally vital and needs to be pretty thorough (including even haggling over much of the boilerplate language) because it is far more likely that contingent risks can come about over a lengthy period, the amounts at stake are greater, and the lease itself may be important to the business (e.g., a restaurant that depends heavily on having a particular location).

This same sort of approach applies to a whole range of contracts. What if your business is getting acquired or if you are buying a business? Well, if it is a little business and the purchase price is very small (say, $50,000), you can very likely be well-served by a canned form used for small business sales (brokers who do these deals use these all the time). Such a form will have basic provisions covered and will usually contain the most important warranties and representations but all of it will be bare-bones. This normally works fine for a small sale. Again, lawyer review can be skipped or done at the quick read-through level. But what if the business you are buying is going to cost you $1,000,000. In that case, you still are in the small-business category but the money is more significant. This likely warrants an intermediate level of lawyer review (contract needs to be customized for the deal, with proper account taken of whether it should be structured as an asset sale, stock sale, or merger - each having different tax consequences - and with careful attention paid to reps and warranties, to conditions for closing, and to collateral matters such as non-compete, etc.). This might take $5K or $10K or sometimes more in lawyer time but it is money normally well spent (it certainly is if you are a small business owner and $1M is a lot of money to put at risk for your situation). And, of course, once you start talking about acquisitions in the tens or hundreds of millions, you need major lawyer time to make sure the complex aspects of such deals are handled properly.

What about a license agreement? A small deal, with non-exclusive rights concerning routine IP needs little or no lawyer review. But a core OEM deal involving the licensing of IP that is at the core of your company obviously warrants significant lawyer review, especially if it involves joint development efforts, sweeping indemnification clauses that might trigger major liabilities, or other complications that require sophisticated handling of IP and other rights. Of course, there is also the issue of weasel language and its nasty impact if it is not caught and deleted from any major contract.

In short, lawyers and entrepreneurs need to be guided by good sense in handling these matters. It is not good sense simply to act as if lawyers are not needed. It takes only one really bad instance for most entrepreneurs to realize how bad a mistake it is to cut corners in really important matters. On the other hand, letting lawyers run wild with their reviews is foolish as well. Their time must be managed and managed well. It should be used where it matters and curbed where it doesn't.

Let the barbs fly, then, but this is one lawyer who will insist that the advice given in this piece may have a grain of truth in it but is too simplistic to cover most serious business affairs. It may work in a number of cases but it can easily get you into trouble.

By the way, I am not saying give an open ticket to lawyers. If your lawyer can't make good judgments concerning what is important and what is not, and can't manage time wisely, it is time to get a new lawyer.

2
tptacek 1 day ago 3 replies      
Ugh.

At one extreme: giving your counsel veto power over what contracts you sign, and allowing them to bill time ping-ponging contracts until prospects give up.

At the other extreme: just signing everything and saying "fucking sue me" when things go sideways.

You should be somewhere in the middle. Contracts more often than not have provisions that are silly for you to accept verbatim. And, contracts more often than not have provisions you'd rather not accept, but that are baked into your prospect's own processes and not changeable.

No matter what you do, if you're being sensible, there are going to be tough decisions to make every once in awhile. If there aren't, you're probably doing something wrong. Like, for instance, signing tens of different contracts from giant companies without any legal review.

3
shawnee_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
The lesson here: it was 1998. "The industry" was still a little fledgling, so the legal territory was still largely unchartered. But it grew into an ugly duckling, quickly.

Sent the contract to my lawyer. She marked it up, sent it to the client. Then the client marked it up and sent it back to my lawyer. And so on, back and forth for almost a month.

Garbage in, garbage out. During the "ugly duckling" phase, the legal machine is just learning that it can spew garbage. It tests its limits. Just how much garbage can it spit before something happens? When the garbage is between private parties? Apparently, a lot.

I charged my first client $1,400. My second client paid $5,400. The next paid $24,000. I remember the exact amounts " they were the largest checks I'd seen up til that point.

Then I wrote a proposal for $340,000...

The Bust was just growing pains.

It probably could be reasonably argued that the industry is still in an ugly duckling phase (multi-Billion dollar valuations, really?)

But this is part of growing up.

In Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace Lessig writes:

It is a lack of a certain kind of regulation that produced the Y2K problem, not too much regulation. An overemphasis on the private got us here, not an overly statist federal government. Were the tort system better at holding producers responsible for the harms they create, code writers and their employers would have been more concerned with the harm their code would create. Were contract law not so eager to allow liability in economic transactions to be waived, the licenses that absolved the code writers of any potential liability from bad code would not have induced an even greater laxity in what these code writers were producing. And were the intellectual property system more concerned with capturing and preserving knowledge than with allowing private actors to capture and preserve profit, we might have had a copyright system that required the lodging of source code with the government before the protection of copyright was granted, thus creating an incentive to preserve source code and hence create a resource that does not now exist but that we might have turned to in undoing the consequences of this bad code. If in all these ways government had been different, the problems of Y2K would have been different as well.

[source: http://www.code-is-law.org/conclusion_excerpt.html]

This is dated (1999), but interesting. He was wrong about Y2K, of course, but not about the underlying issues and problems with contract law and IP.

4
owenmarshall 1 day ago  replies      
> Then there was the time I wanted to hire my first full time employee. I was apprehensive to do it because I only had enough money to pay him for 2 months, unless I got another client fast.

> “Worry about that in 2 months,” Dad said.

Speaking from the perspective of that employee, fuck you.

OK, for the serious point: you may be not give a shit about risk. Good for you, you crazy risk taker! The world truly needs more people like you.

But for me? I've got a mortgage and a car payment and a wife who is trying to go through graduate school. I need to know that my ass isn't going to come into work on the 61st day and hear you say "Well, looks like we're outta cash -- sorry buddy..."

If, on the other hand, you share that risk with me up front, thanks -- you're a good boss.

5
mmaunder 1 day ago 1 reply      
Two things:

1. They will sue. Medium to large - in fact any mature business, considers lawyers and the threat of lawsuits and litigation as a cost of doing business. They don't get emotionally involved, they just do it. FYI, looking at lawyers & legal as cost of doing biz is a healthy attitude and may save you a heart attack.

2. Telling someone to just "fucking sue me" or simply "sue me" makes it combative and I made this beginner mistake early on in being a CEO. I actually simply asked their lawyer if he thought his case "actually has any merit?" in a cocky tone in a phone call. Turns out he thought it did. Once I had capable council on my side she had to work hard to make nice with the other side and bring it to settlement hours before we were irrevocably committed to litigating the issue.

Lets put it this way: Wouldn't it be awesome if everyone you signed an agreement with "just signed it"?

6
dctoedt 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are some specific contract provisions that can cause real-world problems for your business. (Shameless plug: These are discussed, and illustrated with true stories, in my short e-book, Signing a Business Contract: A Checklist for Greater Peace of Mind, at http://www.ontechnologylaw.com/before-you-sign-a-business-co...)

* Most-favored customer clauses

* Exclusive-rights provisions

* Indemnity obligations

* Automatic renewal

* Confidentiality obligations (or no confidentiality obligations)

* Termination for convenience

* Unilateral amendment rights

* Best-efforts obligations

* Assignment-consent requirements

* Non-compete / no-hire / no-solicitation clauses

* Tax consequences

7
tjmc 1 day ago 0 replies      
This poor advice is like saying you can save money by not paying insurance premiums. Of course you can - until something goes wrong.

A better lawyer would have been able to amend that contract with minimal fuss. I used to get a legal briefing on the dodgy parts of the contracts I was asked to sign, along with sensible suggested changes that often benefited both sides (eg. termination clauses more appropriate to the length of the gig) I'd then send through the amended contract and discuss all the reasons for the changes with the client. Never had any problems.

8
mathattack 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think his dad is a good advisor.

The reason he was hard to sue is that he's so small. If things went really South on a small project, what's the worst thing that happens? He's 22 and talented in New York - he declares bankruptcy, and gets another job or stays on Dad's couch. This is a situational thing - you can accept liability when the downside is so low. This is why legal departments in small firms are much gentler than legal departments in the Fortune 500. Of course this doesn't work for a large firm, or someone with 3 kids and a mortgage. His dad would have said, "Go get a real job" or something like that.

Similar on the hiring - when you're that small, you invite someone to take the risk for you. You can take more risk when there's limited downside. And in this case it was the other guy's downside - if there was no work, he'd be the one in trouble.

9
AJ007 1 day ago 2 replies      
Linkbait. Some of my competitors write contracts specifically so that they can sue other companies. How about this, I fucking read my contracts and I don't sign bullshit.
10
nandemo 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Then there was the time I wanted to hire my first full time employee. I was apprehensive to do it because I only had enough money to pay him for 2 months, unless I got another client fast.

> “Worry about that in 2 months,” Dad said.

This seems really dishonest. Yeah, everybody knows that startups are risky, but if you can't afford to pay more than 2 months of salary, then don't hire a full-timer. Either find a co-founder or hire a contractor instead.

11
SomeCallMeTim 1 day ago 2 replies      
I still show my contracts to my lawyer, and sometimes really fight for certain clauses, but I'm realistic: Sometimes having a signed contract is more important to me than certain categories of unlikely risk mitigation.

If you have the luxury of leverage -- the ability and willingness to walk away if the contract isn't perfect -- then yes. Hammer it out to protect your interests.

But if the contract is critical to the company's survival, then he's right: Just sign it. It's better to have an income from an imperfect contract, then no company at all because you've run out of money.

12
revorad 1 day ago 0 replies      
I once rode a motorbike drunk, with a stranger sitting behind me. We didn't die. Lesson learnt: I got lucky.

I don't drive drunk any more :-)

13
radarsat1 1 day ago 5 replies      
Articles like this depress me, because in 1998, I totally knew how to make websites, but didn't know I could make money doing it. Instead I was 18 and doing what I was supposed to do, that is I was busy going to school, and now I'm 31 and still in school not making money. What's wrong with me? Sigh.
14
toast76 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just change that one line "He was right. I got the job, they paid, things went well, nobody got sued." to "He was wrong. I got the job, they didn't pay, things went horribly wrong, everybody go sued".
15
jeremymcanally 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree with the sentiment of this point in general I think. Having counsel read every single contract and letting them wrestle directly with clients is probably a bad idea. Your lawyer will have only your interests in mind (or theirs, who knows?), and it probably won't lead to much productive happening. And even further, taking a few business law classes would be cheaper than using up tons of lawyer hours and probably net a better end result.

Anecdotally, At Arcturo, both myself and one of my principal guys have a good bit of contract reading experience (he much much more than myself). Every time I get a contract, I toss it to him and let him give me a thumbs up/down/comment. Having him around to handle reading things over and nit picking (often times to the point of having their lawyers concede points to us they hadn't addressed or thought of) has been awesome. If you can find someone who has a lot of business operations experience and can also hack code, they'll add a LOT of value to your company.

16
compay 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Just be lucky like I was" is rather poor advice.
17
nirvana 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish someone would write an expert system that works like his dad. Something that had some validation of what was a worthwhile risk and what was a risk that even if you tried to mitigate the risk really would still be a risk. (For instance, even if you had enough work to presume you could employ that employee for more than 2 months, that's not a guarantee. What if the contract with a customer was for 12 months, but 2 months in, right after staffing up, they just cancelled it and said "fucking sue me"? Kinda hard for the small startup to sue... and if they did, and they won, that win would be years after they had to let the employees go.)

You can't mitigate all risk, and being able to ignore the ones that you can't' do anything about is an important skill.

This goes for technical risk as well. I try not to over-architect. I spend a lot of time trying to decide which things need to be handled now, and which things can just be added later.

18
ditojim 1 day ago 0 replies      
sounds like your dad had faith in you, above all. don't misinterpret this as careless disregard for risk.
19
officemonkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of my favorite bosses was general counsel for a state government agency. She once told me that "no contract can ensure performance of someone of poor character."

Whenever I'm offered a contract, I boil it down like this: "Do I believe they'll hold up their end of the bargain?" If the answer is no, I do not sign the contract.

20
wglb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, your business may well not be like his business. First, it was all new then, and the first half of the swhoosh to the top.

But being of the conservative sort, I have generally had a lawyer review whatever contracts people want me to sign, firstly for him to explain what it really means--what are the actual risks. Even as a very young fellow in my first one with a contract, I knew enough that it was for me to make the business decision and for my lawyer to explain what the legal ins and outs were.

Then there was the fellow who liked to do negotiation by contract. It said that everything that I did they owned, probably back a year before I started, and that if I didn't perform the would take my house and my first born, but then on the second page they said that we are kidding about the house. And it was from a law firm that was bigger than most buildings, and Very Famous. But I pushed back and after a couple of cycles got things to be in a reasonable state.

In another long-term consulting contract negotiation, my lawyer's first response after reading it was one word "Egregious". Fortunately, I was able to hammer that into better shape. This was one where the contract was supposedly non-negotiable. I learned something there.

But in no world that I am familiar with does it make sense for the lawyer to do the negotiation. They (in all likelihood) don't understand your business as well as you do.

Even though I have been doing this for a while now, I wouldn't sign anything without a lawyer's review.

But I have also been at the other extreme, where there was no contract for a multi-year deal and it worked out well.

Use a lawyer, but use the lawyer wisely.

21
Iv 23 hours ago 0 replies      
> I'm not sure what the lesson is here.

The lesson is : you were lucky. You are the prey to some people who look for people like you to sign a contract and then extort money. Saw that happen at a company I worked for.

22
m0shen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like the opposite advice to: http://www.vimeo.com/22053820 Fuck you, pay me).

Should have found a better lawyer.

23
TomGullen 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the lesson is here it's all fine and dandy until someone does sue you. Then it's a different story.
24
powertower 1 day ago 0 replies      
TL;DR;

"Get lucky"... Then walk away with survivor bias.

25
JoeyDoey 1 day ago 1 reply      
Remember watching a vid (1) where Pud explicitly mentioned his mom being said lawyer and his dad (as mentioned in the article) being the entrepreneur. Wonder why he left that out this time. I certainly enjoyed the dichotomy know who his folks were and what role each played.
(1) http://vimeo.com/25489184
26
tici_88 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This sort of advise works great until they actually do sue. One of my biggest clients got recently sued by a long term client of his - a Fortune 100 company with all kinds of legal resources. My client had to shut down his business and then scramble to protect his personal assets like house, properties, etc.
27
joshfraser 1 day ago 1 reply      
You have to balance your risk and reward and take the biggest risks when you have little to lose. The riskiest thing you can do is play it safe.
28
TWSS 1 day ago 1 reply      
The interesting part of this from my perspective is "my dad - a lifelong entrepreneur."

I recently saw that pud is a year younger than me, and we entered the job market at almost the same time with similar skill sets. Why did it take me so goddamn long to pull my head out of my ass and finally start my own company (at 35)?

Perhaps pud's acceptance of risk has a genetic component, or at the very least he was brought up in an environment where he learned to adjust to uncertainty.

He credits laziness - but we all know that lazy + smart = effective. I wonder if that's part of entrepreneurial DNA as well...

29
EGreg 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are the small guy, then try to get YOUR document to be the starting point. Use YOUR law firm to write it. Go to a law firm and tell them to use something from a similar contract before.

If you expect there will be negotiations, basically try to use and re-use your standard document. You are going to be in this business for a while, hopefully. So you only have to pay for your standard document once. Plus you'll know the ins and outs of it better than anyone else.

I think the right solution these days is to insist on standard documents and focus on the amendments rather than getting something from scratch. There is a good list of documents to form startups, for example, here:

http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/03/standardized-venture-funding...

Similarly there are things at legalzoom and other places. I realize that sometimes the big company will insist on going with their standard contract, but if they were really that adamant, they wouldn't let you go back and forth with your lawyer too much. Just start with your own document or walk away if you don't want to take the risk.

30
nhangen 1 day ago 0 replies      
I took something different from this article, which was that if you wait to do business until you have a sure thing, then you are waiting too long. Take advantage of opportunities, and figure out the details on thew way.
31
ja27 1 day ago 0 replies      
The two contracts I spent the most time going back and forth with before signing were the two biggest wastes of my time. One was a ridiculous NDA with a paranoid guy with delusions that he had the world's best original idea which turned out to be worthless and obvious. The other was a decent gig but they tanked and ran out of cash before I ever got paid. It didn't matter how tight the contract was when there's no money there.
32
EponymousCoward 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not just a way to run a business, but a way to live life. Might not work for everyone, just as the opposite of whatever this strategy is may not work for everyone.
33
n9com 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really dangerous advice
34
taariqlewis 1 day ago 0 replies      
When there's nothing to lose, there's everything to gain, but when there's everything to lose, there's alot more lawyering that will keep yer nose clean if something eventually goes south. Get a lawyer when there's really something to lose.
35
nolliesnom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats on constructing the perfect troll for this community!
36
petegrif 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great post. :
23
Nerdy Day Trips nerdydaytrips.com
107 points by jgrahamc  13 hours ago   26 comments top 15
1
kqr2 11 hours ago 1 reply      
John Graham-Cumming is also the author of The Geek Atlas.

http://www.geekatlas.com/

2
funkah 11 hours ago 1 reply      
How about a little IP geolocation action? The UK isn't exactly a day trip for me.
3
redcap 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Feedback using Firefox 6.0.2

- no meaningful feedback when mousing over a tag.

- mouse scroll wheen controls the window's menubar, not zooming in and out. Disconcerting for someone used to Google Maps.

- clicking on a tag takes a relatively long time to load.

- when you load location information maybe make the background a little more transparent.

4
prawn 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Great idea. Dragged my wife out to Lowell Observatory on our honeymoon in the US. She will be horrified to learn that I now have many more options for future trips.

My brother, father and I visited the Budweiser Budvar factory in České Budějovice earlier this year and could've watched the bottling processes and robotics at work for hours. We talked later about how tours of so many factories would actually be a really interesting experience. Auto plants, cooperages, electronics factories, food processing factories, etc. If these opportunities already exist, I imagine they'd be lost in a sea of common tourist options.

5
verisimilitude 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget the world's tallest (guyed) structure, a TV broadcast mast in North Dakota: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KVLY-TV_mast

First man-made structure to exceed 2000 feet in height.

6
king_jester 10 hours ago 0 replies      
As a fan of the The Geek Atlas, this was pretty awesome. It turns out I used to go past the Mossman Lock Collection every day at an old job many many months ago, and I didn't even realize it until I saw it put on a map!
7
sambeau 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is brilliant. I hope it stays spam-free. Thanks for building it.

Can we have a way to go back and re-edit our entries as I'd like to add a website link to one of mine?

8
aw3c2 9 hours ago 0 replies      
If you focus on the UK check out openstreetmap. The map data coverage might be better. cloudmade has some beautiful styles.
9
orenmazor 11 hours ago 0 replies      
this is awesome. I just discovered another place to hit on my vegas trip next march.
10
estel 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Love the idea! But please can you make the map the default action for mousewheel scrolling? I want to zoom into the map, rather than up and down a page I'm not going to read anyway.
11
togasystems 9 hours ago 1 reply      
What does everyone think of the map as the background portion of the UI? I found it to be a little cluttered.

I recently wrote similar app for cougar sightings (the cat) http://cougarreport.com . I moved the map into a separate spot.

Any opinions on which layout is the preferred way?

12
marc10000 2 hours ago 0 replies      
13
abailin 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Great idea! A little browser geolocation would be a nice finishing touch.
14
rnernento 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Slowwwwww. :(
15
38leinad 11 hours ago 0 replies      
are all nerds living in the UK (or going only there for day trips)?
24
'Wi-fi refugees' shelter in West Virginia mountains bbc.co.uk
3 points by obtino  44 minutes ago   discuss
25
Fatherhood depletes testosterone, study finds latimes.com
4 points by tokenadult  1 hour ago   discuss
26
Rule #1 for beta invites: remind me what you do scottkle.in
175 points by scootklein  17 hours ago   20 comments top 8
1
andybak 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Not just beta invites.

I often get emails along the lines of: "Annoucement! Spluttr adds 25% more foo to free plans!" or similar.

Now I probably signed up to Spluttr 6 months ago, took a quick look and decided I wasn't interested as I needed 25% more foo.

In the intervening months, you've lived, breathed and sweated Spluttr whilst I've signed up for another 20 services and forgotten what most of them are for.

Remind me in every email.

2
jxcole 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Also, make sure you put it on your front page. A lot of times I see a link to someone saying "look at my cool project" on HN, and it takes me a long time to figure out what the project is actually supposed to do.

Also, make sure you explain it clearly. Once I went to a site that had pictures of food all over it and it said "like AirBNB but for food". I could not remember at the time what AirBNB was.

3
bradly 15 hours ago 2 replies      
And rule #2: don't ask me to spam with friends for an earlier invite.
4
sophacles 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes, this is a big deal. I won't go searching to find out what you do when you announce a new feature. I will however read it in the email.

Going a step further, if you haven't seen me in a while (say a year), send me an email reminding me I have an account with you, and summarize what you've done in that time. Remind me of my username too. This is kind of a big deal, because I sign up for everything (can't have username dilution :) ). Just because I don't use your site now, doesn't mean I won't after your new features, so as long as it doesn't turn into spam, I like the reminder.

Amusing anecdote: I signed up for Reddit within a year of it's launch, but really start using my account there until 2.5 years or so ago when I decided to re-evaluate it. I had completely forgotten about my earlier signup and was real bummed when I learned of my username being taken. Fortunately I was smart enough to do my "It's probably me and I've just forgotten" ritual where I try all my password variants and sure enough either I really got lucky and the old sophacles had one of my passwords, or it really was me. I probably would have been actively redditing 2 years prior if there had been a not-to-spammy email reminder once in a while.

5
Hisoka 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd also recommend asking people for their FIRST name only, and emailing people with a personal email right after they sign up for the beta. Start a conversation, ask them what their problems are, what features they want, etc. Make them feel special, and tell them "Nice idea, why didn't I think of that! I'll try to include that."

They're sure to remember you if you do this. You can even do automated email segmentation. If their reply has "Sent from my iPhone", you know you can send launch emails for the iPhone version to these guys. If their reply has "Sent from Droid", send the Android launch emails to them.

Starting a conversation also lessens the probability your launch email gets put in spam as well... I'm sure Gmail, Yahoo, etc all have algorithms where if you respond to an email address, any future emails from that email doesn't get marked as spam.

6
mikegreenberg 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain to me what is meant by "Optimize for the back button?"
7
jwedgwood 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Not just beta invites and email promotions, but also emails to advisors and early investors. It's more than just a reminder of what the heck you do, it's also handing them language to talk about your business to other people.

For beta users, advisors and early investors - these people are going to be your advocates. You need to give them the tools to advocate for you, and a well crafted 3 sentence elevator pitch that describes your business is a huge help.

8
brandonjrobins 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree that its a good idea to remind people what you do, especially if it takes a long time between the sign up and launch (or further communication between parties). I just put up a landing page for my startup and think I did a decent job conveying what the company does, but I'm curious, but how much is necessary to remind them (in future communications)?

Is a one-liner enough (i.e. "We're a crowd-sourced record label!"), or would people prefer the whole spiel (i.e. "We're a crowd-sourced record label that does this, this and this!")?

27
Obama's job aid plan - $10,000 to $13,000 in assistance for entrepreneurship time.com
167 points by GBond  17 hours ago   152 comments top 20
1
DanielBMarkham 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the spin on this. Sounds like something that could be very useful.

I must note, however, some phrases that set off my bullshit detector.

>SEA participants were 19 times more likely than eligible non-participants to be self-employed

Either I'm missing something or this says that people who are in a self-employed assistance plan are likely to be self-employed. Perhaps this is an editing error?

>In Oregon, nearly half of the successful SEA entrepreneurs have each created an average of 2.63 new jobs

Ok, but what kind of filter does "successful SEA entrepreneurs" imply? 1 in 100? 20%? Once again, the language is loose and circular.

Money is not an answer to everything. In fact, funding at high levels can be the worst thing ever to happen to a good team in a startup. At small levels, like this, it perhaps can make a big difference. Perhaps.

There is a great big giant humongous gap between something that sounds good in an editorial and something that actually does something useful. I'd want a lot more data on this before passing judgment one way or another.

2
philiphodgen 15 hours ago  replies      
1. I run a business. Therefore I make jobs. Or don't.

2. If I fire an employee, a portion of the cost of that person's unemployment claims is charged back to me. The employer. It isn't government largesse that funds unemployment claims. It's me.

3. Will this program be yet another potential cost to me? Hard to tell from the PR and press-gab. We'll have to see the law and how it is implemented. Devil in the details, etc.

4. My payroll is suddenly $100K/year lighter than it was. Am I going to replace that guy with another full-timer? Fuck, no. Hello, independent contractors.

5. By the way. I pay 100% of the medical costs for all my employees.

3
rada 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Whoa, the article is ageist, and proud of it.

Though this program is geared toward people of all ages, young people are the best suited to maximize its advantages. Older generations tend to have families and other financial obligations, making it more difficult for them to transition into the roles of entrepreneurs.

I am married with a young child, and my salary covers all of my family's expenses, so my husband doesn't have the pressure to get cashflow-positive out of the gate. Contrast that with my younger, single self, when I burned through the start-up capital in a matter of months and had to take consulting gigs just to stay afloat on office expenses.

Young people can more easily adapt to less expensive lifestyles.

Young people care a lot more about what others think, the very foundation of "expensive lifestyles".

Further, young people have access to a wide range of resources, such as Income Based Repayment (IBR), SCORE, Startup America, [...]

IBR is a student loan repayment program, nothing to do with entrepreneurship. SCORE is open to all small businesses (and a waste of time, in my experience). Startup America targets young companies, not young people. And so on...

4
jeremymcanally 16 hours ago 4 replies      
The ignorance displayed in the comments on that article is scary. It's quite obvious a lot of people have never been in the position to actually need this sort of aid before, so it's easy to knock everyone using it as "an illegal" or "lazy."

Of course people will abuse this, too, just like they abuse the unemployment insurance we have now. But to me, the net positives that come out of this will outweigh the (probably minor) fraud that will happen. Adding benchmarks (e.g., you have to legally register a business, you have to prove some sort of business activity to a case worker, and so on) will keep a lot of the fraud out, even if they're token requirements.

5
sliverstorm 12 hours ago 1 reply      
In essence, the president's plan will create a guaranteed source of startup capital...

Is that necessarily a good thing? I was under the impression the whole "trial-by-fire" of a business plan looking for funding was a valuable testing grounds for the business-to-be.

6
GBond 14 hours ago 1 reply      
To me the true significance, more so than this money, is the milestone of the federal gov't finally recognizing "entrepreneur" as a third category of employment status and not just the unemployed/employed binary.

Hopefully this leads to further help for folks starting a company (that will in-turn create more jobs when successful) like healthcare coverage.

EDIT: This will also help with mainstream cultural and social acceptance. Less weird looks when explaining to Joe Shmoe your employment situation!

7
jwb119 16 hours ago 1 reply      
About time.

The policy of forcing a decision for laid off people between 1) sitting around doing nothing (i.e. "looking for a job") and being eligible for free money vs. 2) trying to start something which could have an an impact in not only getting that person back into a paying position but also on the economy as a whole (and thereby being ineligible for money) needed to end

8
teyc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
incidentally this has been done in Australia under the auspices of NEIS apparently over the past 20 years (link to monthly success story here: http://www.nna.asn.au/success-stories )

On top of it, there is a layer of mentoring as well:

  To be eligible for the NEIS Small Business Course, 
you must be in receipt of a Benefit and must have a Jobseeker ID Number.

http://www.becnorthside.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&...

9
fredBuddemeyer 16 hours ago  replies      
genius. who needs voluntary transactions live venture capital or angels, what have they ever done? instead lets take money from everyone (if they don't like it we can lock them in a cage) and then give it to others who we decide are worthy.
10
talmand 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Then, if you become successful, you can be labeled as one of the hated rich and they'll put you out of business with crushing regulation and taxes.

Excellent.

11
donnaware 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't want to sound synical here, but I know a lot of people already using unemployment as seed money to try to do their start up idea sort of "off the record". If you make it legal or OK to admit it (since it is already happening a fair amount) perhaps it would make the unemployment number more accurately reflect people really looking for a job. But I could be looking at it from a perspective that is not common since I know more people trying to get their idea going than the average perhaps.
12
becomevocal 16 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems really cool and all, but what are we talking about in terms of wait time and hurdles to jump through? Anyone know details?

I've looked into and seen others go through grant processes and they are often terrible. Hope it isn't similar.

13
hexis 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Starting a tech company is so cheap that funding should never be the bottleneck. If your idea is too expensive to start with a laptop and cheap hosting, think of another idea.
14
americandesi333 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like there are some states that have this program in place- Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/self.asp

Unfortunately, not California

15
protomyth 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this just PR releases or is the full text of the bill out? After the pre-press on the health care bill versus actually reading the thing, I really want to see the actual text (and the follow-up rule making).
16
pythoning 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This article does not mention that in order to qualify for unemployment insurance you have to have worked for a certain period of time and then been laid off.

This program will not help a college graduate (or dropout) that wants to start a business right away.

It's a great program, but unemployment should be expanded to include people who are first time entrepreneurs that have never had a job and been laid off.

17
guelo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Who cares about these proposals? They might be good ideas but the Republican House is never going to pass this.
18
bsiemon 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I found the link for a list of unrelated things 2 paragraphs in quite jarring.
19
delinquentme 7 hours ago 0 replies      
where the hell is the TLDR?

i just want a place to submit an idea and prototypes and get cash ....

20
known 15 hours ago 2 replies      
US need a win-win proposition with Chindia
28
TechCrunch TV - PG, Harj backstage interview techcrunch.tv
21 points by Kavan  5 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
joshuamerrill 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Funny. It was so patently obvious that PG was holding back on a couple of the startups today. One was positioning itself as "Google Maps but better." PG recommended the company focus on something Google wasn't doing well, so that "...at least then [they'd] be hanging on the cliff by a finger, rather than in free fall."
2
joshmlewis 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you didn't watch the office hours I would recommend watching that first as it provides a ton more context to this video.
3
dmix 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is PG wearing two collared shirts at the same time?

/offtopic

4
count 3 hours ago 0 replies      
'Oh, so you dont suck, thats a great feature to have'

I love that quote.

29
ReactOS "ready approximately for 80% of real world usage" osnews.com
39 points by userulluipeste  7 hours ago   31 comments top 7
1
BrandonMTurner 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I was an active developer of ReactOS for about the time period of 2003-2007, including acting as the release engineer for the project for 2 years.

I feel like I can speak from unique stand point as I saw everything from the inside.

ROS is a lot of things, but one thing it is NOT is production ready.

From what I can tell, not a lot in the process has changed since I left. I am sure a lot of things code wise have changed but not enough to make a marginal difference.

One of the biggest issues ROS faces is the lack of testers. Since it can't be used a production OS very few people will actually test it. When I was there, we had 2 dedicated testers. For a whole operating system, that will not cut it.

Another issue is with driver compatibility. While it is true that it runs good on emulated hardware, it has a long long way to go before actual Windows drivers let it run on actual hardware. One small thing in the driver can cause everything to stop working. And with only ~20 active developers at the time, there is a finite set of hardware that can be debugged on. Not to mention only 3-4 of the 20 developers were skilled enough to fix issues with device drivers.

ROS is also fighting uphill battle by chasing Windows when Windows has 100s of developers working on it. I left ROS and worked for Microsoft for two years so I also know how much faster MSFT is going then ROS. Though, even if they got to full XP compatibility it would be one of the most impressive feats I have ever seen of open source, I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

And finally, the last main issue with ROS is the developers itself. There was so few dedicated, we only had ~30 people with write permissions. Of those, only 15 were active. And those 15 were all working in their own area. I worked in shallow (read: non complex) Win32 API and user applications (cmd.exe, control panel, etc...). But everyone had their own section they were interested in and they worked at their own pace with little to no oversight. You either need focus/vision or resources to make real technical progress on a project this large. Without one of those you have no chance. And ROS didn't have either.

All that said, I loved working on ROS. It taught me how to write real code and I learned way more from working on ROS then I did getting my degree. The people on a personal level were great, and some of them were the most technically sound developers I have ever met. Sadly, a whole OS is being carried on their back.

2
SwellJoe 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This has always seemed like a solution looking for a problem, to me. There are better Open Source operating systems for (more than) 80% of real world problems, and have been since before ReactOS began. If you're choosing an OS that can't run most of the big apps on Windows, anyway, why not simply choose a better OS to start with. It's obvious that Linux and UNIX systems are pretty vastly superior to Windows in all but application support...and there are several very good free and Open Source Linux and UNIX systems. And, as far as I can tell, WINE can run as much or more Windows software as ReactOS.

It's a tremendous amount of work to make a bug-compatible version of Windows. Of course, I can't argue with people and what they want to spend their time on, but I sure as heck wouldn't volunteer to work on a Windows clone. It seems a big waste of some really talented people's (and I'm certain they're quite talented; getting this far is a monumental feat) time.

3
xyzzyz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not link to the original source?

http://www.reactos.org/en/news_page_67.html

It contains much more information.

4
runjake 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This isn't a slam against ReactOS, but it's ready for 80% of real world use if you're using late 90s/early 2000s applications. Seems like Marat might've been stretching the truth to the president.
5
chrisballinger 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The last time I used ReactOS it would crash and burn after using it for about 2-5 minutes with their supplied VMware image. This is with only using the applications that were included with it, as well.
6
teyc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
meanwhile Windows8 wouldn't even load the desktop until it is required. The Windows as we know it is turning into legacy OS just to run old apps.
7
jigs_up 5 hours ago 1 reply      
the last 5 percent is the hardest
       cached 13 September 2011 06:02:01 GMT