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The Hushed Dangers of Startup Depression betabeat.com
78 points by bproper  2 hours ago   27 comments top 10
edw519 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
I know nothing about depression and even less about the "startup community", but I still think that this might be a good thread to throw in some of my thoughts, for what they're worth:

First, a little background...

In March, 2008, I attended my first Startup School. Even though I had been programming for many years, it was my first in-person exposure to the "startup community". It was incredible! For the first time in my life, I felt like I was immersed into the group of people with whom I belong. (The closest feeling I had before that was here at Hacker News.) Two great days talking about passionate things with like minded people! Then I got on the plane home and sat with 2 girls reading "People Magazine". All I could think was, "Welcome back to the real world."

Fast forward to today...

Sorry to say, I'm having trouble distinguishing our "community" from the "community" of those 2 girls. Sure, they were probably interested in celebrities while we're interested in technology & business, but the similarities are still striking: We're both often caught up in the latest fads, the "cool" stuff, what the fanboys are interested in, who got funded, who met with whom, who knows whom, where everyone's hanging out, etc., etc., etc. There are days when I come to Hacker News and have trouble finding a single reference to the most important thing: our customers.

I became interested in building digital things because it was such an incredibly cool way to provide for others. I still feel that way.

Whenever I start thinking about the "startup community" and all the details we mistake for issues, it's no wonder people get depressed. Sometimes we just lose our way.

But whenever I start thinking about my customers, what they need, why they need it, and how cool it is to help them get it, it's almost impossible to get depressed.

If you think you're getting depressed because of all the distracting details, find someone who needs something, focus on them instead of yourself, and build something.

Just a thought from an unqualified observer too busy and having too much fun to get depressed.

benl 1 hour ago 4 replies      
Just as broken bones are a danger inherent in riding a motorbike, depression is one of the dangers inherent in trying to start a company.

Understanding this leads to two helpful realizations:

1. It's nothing to be ashamed of and should not be stigmatised

2. You would be wise to take precautions to protect against the danger (just like you would wear a helmet when riding).

The danger is particularly strong for solo founders, simply because of the lifestyle some have to live. Long periods of time spent on your own, slow progress toward your goals -- these are signals that the depression-triggering algorithms in your mind will latch onto.

Some things that may work to counter those signals:

* Socialise with friends, family or new people every day. If you can't socialise on a particular day, spend some time making plans with people to socialise in the near future.

* Be having sex, and regularly. Seriously, this is a very strong signal.

* Exercise a lot. Run, swim, work out -- even just walk around the neighbourhood.

* Plan your work to have near-term achievable milestones.

* Eat healthily and avoid alcohol. A weak immune system leads to frequent illness, which leads to slower progress.

dextorious 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Well, depression in this context doesn't surprise me.

I think of the "Let's build a company to sell and retire" startup as an attempt, in desperation, to avoid the rat race, by working your ass and some of your best years away, with extreme pressure and slim chances of success.

We only get to here the success stories, 99% of the time, though, which makes it seem much more glamorous.

I much prefer the building of a sustainable business a la "37 Signals", or failing that a series of good paying / sensible time jobs working in interesting problems.

Come to think of it, most of the hackers I respect most weren't at all "entrepreneurial", some were in academia and others worked in companies, from Brian & Richie, to JWZ, to Knuth, to Guido, etc.

And I don't have much respect for the "successes" in the startup sense, like Zuckenberg et al, nor I think Facebook, or Groupon, or Spotify (or whatever the flavor of the day is) as "changing the world". Tim Berners Lee changed the world from a small office at CERN. Mosaic/Mozilla also changed the world. The IBM PC and the Mac changed the world.

Overhyped IPOs and social networks? Not so much. (And don't get me started on the overselling of western media of the supposed role Twitter et al played in Middle Eastern riots/revolutions).

tsunamifury 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I work a full time job and am a small time weekend entrepreneur. I work with one other partner at a distance and developers half way around the world.

I find it is very easy to slip into crippling depressions for a few reasons:

1) Working after you get home from work is exciting at first, then very quickly becomes grueling and exhausting

2) Every time you take time off after work you begin to feel guilty and start assigning all free time guilt because you should be working on your startup

3) You are constantly aware that when you work alone, or mostly alone, your work can easily trail in scope and head in a useless direction. There is no one to check this for you.

4) You have to be everything, your own marketer, designer, UX/UI dev, product testing, QA not to mention planing and ideation for product features.

These all add up to really, biting off more than I can chew, which in itself is probably the cause of a lot of depression -- the sense of an insurmountable task.

Not sure the best way to combat that.

tptacek 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is an article whose lede is about a 22 year old killing himself, with a lolcat title ("U CANT HAZ SADZ"). I stopped reading right there. Can anyone summarize?
leelin 37 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'll admit I'm never a huge fan of other founders asking me how my startup is going as a conversation starter. There are often three scenarios:

1.) Nothing new or exciting has happened since last time, in which case I feel pretty crappy.

2.) Something cool has happened, but I don't feel particularly boastful nor do I want to get into a long discussion of why that thing is cool.

3.) Something very amazing has happened, but I'm actually not allowed to talk about it.

I do notice when I return the question, I almost always hear the answer this article suggests ("awesome, best month ever, crushing it"). I guess that's why people always gave me funny looks when I used to give an honest assessment.

Now I just always answer, "Good good, we're pretty close to (some lofty feature or pseudo-pivot that is months away)". It's a convenient way to change the subject. Keep in mind this primarily applies to casual meetups with people I see regularly every 1-3 months but don't consider close friends.

marquis 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Is this particularly endemic to start-up culture? University was also extremely demanding and brought many people to their knees. And while on the one hand, you may work harder than you ever had in your life, you are working for yourself, your own goals. There is a liberation in that (I can certainly speak for myself - to be reminded that every drop of effort I'm putting in is for my own forward movement keeps it going).

I hope those who are young and just learning how hard they can push themselves have a mentor. I owe mine a million thanks a thousand times over.

tmugavero 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It seems like the bigger problem may be denial. I don't think depression is unique to entrepreneurs. Just living in NYC brings an exceptional set of challenges for someone to overcome (The article tells stories from NYC). For start-ups though, constantly having to put on a pretty face for everyone (employees, investors, clients, customers, friends and family) and deny the fact that you're a total mess on the inside technology-wise, business-wise and personally is the root of the problem. It creates incredible pressure, and if you can't live up to all the beauty you say you have, it makes you feel sad, angry, frustrated, and lost. Throw in not eating properly, not exercising, and not getting enough sleep and you have a recipe for depression. If we could just talk about how messed up everything is, we might find that we aren't the only ones and feel better about it. I'm a founder in NYC, so if anyone wants to talk, hit me up!
DanBC 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Talking about mental health problems is important. Some of them commonly start around the early twenties; stress[1] can be a trigger; having "rainy day action plans" can be immensely helpful making any times of illness much less disruptive to the sufferer.

Knowledge helps people around the person too -- knowing that pulling someone aside and just talking to them about their feelings is a good, helpful, thing could save lives. Knowing that this person has a disorder that makes them incredibly effective for a few months but that comes with a risk of "crashing" allows them to put support in and encourage taking of meds or contct with professionals.

In the UK employers are not allowed[2] to discriminate against people with mental health problems, so knowledge is again really useful.

[1] "Stress" means slightly different things to different people. I tend to use it for unhealthy harmful stress, and "pressure" for the stuff that people enjoy and thrive on. Pressure for one person could be stress for another.

[2] I guess there's some exceptions.

ams6110 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Likely some useful insight to be found in the military. The "loneliness of command" is not exactly a new phenomenon.
Manufacturing bombshell: AMD cancels 28nm APUs, starts from scratch at TSMC extremetech.com
41 points by DigiHound  2 hours ago   1 comment top
Symmetry 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Yup, Semiaccurate reported on this story a week ago. Its probably a good move, given that the slips in GF's 28nm process mean that the two products would only have been produced for 6 months or so.


Backbone vs Knockout lostechies.com
43 points by philbo  2 hours ago   17 comments top 9
equark 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Basing my judgement off of implementing a todo list in each, I found Sproutcore's handlebars.js templates with data-binding even nicer than Knockout. Unfortunately it's not clear yet what's happening with Sproutcore 2.0 or whether you could just extract the view layer.
ludicast 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Can't load article but I'd give angularjs a look as well. It has great databinding features that imitate Adobe Flex in a clean way leading to terse code.
j_s 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article points out that the purpose of the two libraries is different (I believe it was saying Knockout focusing on binding and Backbone providing more of the MV* functionality).

It also highlights two projects combining them:



amalag 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I am a knockoutjs lurker right now. Reading up on it and trying to understand how to use it because I have a project coming up. From what I see it seems great. There is even a Rails-knockout plugin to help bind the knockout objects to Rails models. I am excited about it. I think the binding of data to HTML elements is a perfect fit and natural extension of HTML. I briefly looked at backbone, but it seems very limited in the user experience portion of the puzzle.
atomical 28 minutes ago 2 replies      
The documentation on these frameworks isn't great. In fact, it's downright horrible. There are no conventions or standard practices and every tutorial I can find builds an application with these frameworks in a different way.
jph 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Our team is building real projects in both. We especially like Knockout's view bindings. I highly recommend Knockout Model to provide the model, and it also has a good REST API.

The Knockout authors are great about updates - new releases this week, and the Knockout Model author just merged our feature request.

If you're interested in these, our team's searching for a JavaScript senior developer to work on both these - see http://handl.it

bullsbarry 2 hours ago 2 replies      
My company is looking to move one of our core apps from Silverlight/RIA Services to ASPnet MVC/Javascript client and we're looking to use Knockout, since it maps well mentally to what we've been doing with XAML in Silverlight.

In light of this article, what is a good application structure to use on the client if we do decide to go with Knockout?

derickbailey 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It looks like LosTechies.com is down - maybe all the traffic from HN :) It's being worked on as fast as we can! Sorry about that!
GitHire, find the best programmers on Github githire.com
15 points by wolfparade  58 minutes ago   15 comments top 8
shadowfiend 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm mildly confused. What repository is listed alongside a user? My user (http://www.githire.com/user/Shadowfiend ) shows a repository that, to my knowledge, I've never created, forked, or contributed to...
achompas 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm sure you're working to fix a couple of issues with your app, so I'm not trying to pile on here. Love the idea, and I just wanted to report two bugs:

1. githire.com/user/acompa returns my account, while www.githire.com/user/acompa returns someone else.

2. Clicking "Add Info" on my profile


takes me to the profile of user "edit" via


You might need to construct your URLs more consistently, it seems?

tibbon 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
I actually love this based on easy of finding cool programmers in my area using languages I can play with. Yea, this sounds silly if you're in SF, but in Columbus, Ohio, finding cool programmers that dig FoSS and interpreted languages is tricky. Too many people doing Java, .NET and Oracle stuff at Nationwide and similar. Too few people doing fun things.

THANK YOU to whoever made this.

kstenerud 25 minutes ago 1 reply      
So how is this different from Klout's "high tech super-secret ranking algorithm" that everyone knows is worthless?
tmcw 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Cool idea! - though the projects that show up next to users don't correspond with those users, as I would assume they're supposed to?
asolove 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
NB: It seems you have your DNS/subdomains set up incorrectly. githire.com returns nothing while www.githire.com works. Be sure to set one of them to the canonical url for seo purposes.
iambot 20 minutes ago 1 reply      
hmmm, seems I'm entirely irrelevant, with a GitRank of: N/A. Better not tell my employer.

I'm not sure whether this is due to my profile not being indexed or that its rank is so low so as to be negligible.

Would be nice if they explained their ranking system better. (On the site itself)

jt11508 48 minutes ago 1 reply      
Looks like they are in 503 land right now...
UnConj clojure.com
51 points by llambda  3 hours ago   13 comments top 3
swannodette 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just wanted to communicate how amazing it was to have two of the authors of The Reasoned Schemer (Dan Friedman, William Byrd) there this year. At the first Clojure/conj I was opening up its pages for the very first time. To find out that such a powerful computational model can be described in about ~200 lines of Scheme was a shocker. To find out that it is also efficient was just unbelievable. I'd been doing Clojure for two years already I don't think it really hit me what Lisp had to offer until I spent nearly 6 months understanding those mere 200 lines and reimplementing them in Clojure.

Having Dan and Will around to bounce ideas off at the Clojure/conj was simply incredible. One thing I've disliked about the miniKanren system is that many finite programs do not terminate depending on where the recursion occurs. Dan & Will have been working on that problem for 8 years.

Being the unprincipled fool that I am I decided to tackle this problem head on. Over the past weekend I implemented a version of miniKanren that not only terminates now for an incredible number of programs (it implements fair conjunction), but it does so without sacrificing miniKanren's excellent sequential performance when you so desire it.

So for me, yes modern programs should be written in Lisp. We don't even know what modern programs should look like yet :)

t-crayford 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Super amused to see my work on clojure-refactoring mentioned there. I don't work on that anymore (nor do I think clojure is the right language for me these days).
spariev 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Any chance of having recordings of these talks posted online?
Wishbox Released: An Amazing New Way to Get Feedback from Web Site Visitors jotform.com
26 points by aytekin  2 hours ago   16 comments top 8
zacharyvoase 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It would be helpful if the video had more footage of the product actually in use; when I realised it was a cross between a Feedback tab and Skitch, that's what really excited me. The rest seemed to be fluff.
buro9 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The one thing that should not have bugs is the bug reporting system.

I tried it, it looks promising, but when clicked... nothing happened first time. A reload, another click, something happened and the browser was slow and unresponsive. Another reload, another click... the dialog opened and felt clunky and slow.

I'd rather get broken feedback than no feedback. At least some indication what was going on.

Urgo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool idea but it doesn't look like its quite ready yet. I just installed it on my site ( http://socialblade.com/youtube after you search for a user) and then tried to submit feedback. It took a screen shot but the size was messed up (was super wide) and after I submitted it and looked at it in the ticket system I was not able to get the screen shout out. The image of a camera there goes to.. an image of a camera instead of a screen shot when you click it. photo.png
geoffw8 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
Obviously cool stuff, but, is a user really going to invest their time in doing that?

We run a womens fashion store, and I know for sure our users WOULD NOT fill this out, or even interact with it. Would be interested in seeing some stats in 6 months.

Best of luck, of course!

singingwolfboy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm curious to try this thing out, but as a developer, I want to see what's entailed before I commit to it. I don't see any documentation, and when I click on the big "Get Wishbox" button, you ask for my email without giving me any information. I'm not giving you my email without (1) knowing what you're going to do with it, and (2) some documentation so that I know if this is simple enough to be worth it.
daniel-warner-x 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The G+ feedback system is something special, and kudos to these guys for moving so fast... but... this is nowhere near as elegant and easy to understand. Less time making chubby little controls more time making it so you can mark up the actual page!
barryhunter 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I just tried it. Not bad. But its a little confusing when you first get ths screenshot. Its like 'now what?'

A prompt like "This is a screenshot of the page, annotate it to let us know what part you are contacting us about" would be useful.

omfg 1 hour ago 1 reply      
How Do I Cassandra? slideshare.net
6 points by tjake  19 minutes ago   2 comments top 2
dpritchett 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Attended Rick's presentation last night. It was so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend taking one in.

The md5 hashing to shards around a keyspace ring and the read/write quora were particularly interesting. Definitely going to be browsing the Reddit source (https://github.com/reddit/reddit) for ideas on how to use Cassandra.

rbranson 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
FYI -- the presentation says "temporal data" is a bad use case for Cassandra, but that's a misuse of the word temporal. "Ephemeral data" is a better way to say that.
Scala Feels like EJB 2 joda.org
99 points by thebootstrapper  7 hours ago   77 comments top 16
ekidd 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Scala's great, if you have a gorgeous Haskell program and you want to port it to the JVM. Unfortunately, by itself, that may be a niche market.

If you want a dynamic language, you have lots of great choices. If you want powerful syntactic abstractions, you have Clojure, Lisp or Racket. You can win big with any of these tools.

But some problems benefit from powerful mathematical abstractions, and that's where Haskell and Scala start to shine. For example, if you need to do Bayesian filtering, you can bury all the math in a monad, and make Bayes' rule as easy as an 'if' statement. (I've got a blog post for the curious: http://www.randomhacks.net/articles/2007/02/22/bayes-rule-an... ) And when your library designs start involving generalizations of linear algebra, even Ruby-lovers may learn to appreciate a strong type system.

But this raises the real question: How useful is Scala if you don't need to do functional programming with a strong type system? Most people don't, at least today, and the jury's still out on whether it will ever be mainstream. Certainly, some smaller companies will use Scala and win big in specialized domains. But if Java hackers want to claim that Scala's an inappropriate tool for their jobs, who am I to argue? I write far more Ruby than Haskell, because I encounter lots of work that's well-suited to Ruby. (Of course, there's also Akka and a lot of other useful Scala features, which may appeal to people who don't need FP.)

So if Scala becomes seriously popular, I'll be delighted. But a large fraction of Scala's complexity is devoted to niche use cases, and that may make some people unhappy if they're merely looking for a "better Java".

sreque 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's unfortunate that there a number of very smart people from the Haskell community that are trying to mold Scala in Haskell's image that also appear to be very prominent and active in the community. Other than having some negative effect on Scala's public image, however, there's nothing wrong with what they are doing. People work on open source projects that interest them, and it is an interesting exercise for some to find out how different Haskell constructs can be encoded in Scala.

However, the rest of us lesser mortals use Scala very differently, and we far outnumber these people. If you pay attention to Martin Odersky, the creator of the language, you'll notice that he is more interested in serving our needs than those of the Haskellites. He's outright refused to make IO monads a core part of the language, for instance, even though they have pushed for it. He's also said that scalaz is on another planet entirely, and he's asked publicly that people stop using symbolic method names in their libraries unless they have external meaning beyond the library. This guy gets it. He really has created a language that is powerful, but also practical, an excellent language for writing code that is readable, maintainable, efficient, and concise.

The author of this article admits that Scala doesn't feel right to him. He then proceeds to try to justify that feeling in his mind with some very weak arguments. The only one that holds much water is the one about modules, which coincidentally happens to play into fantom's strengths alone, as No other JVM language is trying to tackle this problem right now AFAIK.

Scala is lightyears ahead of Fantom and Fantom will probably never catch up. If Fantom can't win on technical merit, then apparently the next best strategy involves negative blogging!

codelion 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Most of the comments here talk about how whatever useful can be done in Scala can be done in some other language. That is not the point, Scala is a good language because

- Compatible with JVM

- Strong type system

  - Linear Typing

- Substructal Types

- Local Type inference

- Concurrency constructs built in as actors (Akka)

- Integration of OO and functional paradigms

- Supports Higher Order Programming

- defn-site Variance based Parametric Polymorphism

- Mixin Class Composition for finer grain reuse

- Traits provide stackable behaviors (aspect-oriented style)

- Embedded Polymorphic Domain Specific Language (DSL)
using dependent path types

Every language design is a trade off, but Scala is more expressive and concise than Java. Sometimes that may look to you as code which is unreadable. Other languages like clojure make some other trade offs. But Scala tries to bring some of the benefits of functional programming (in say Haskell) to Java.

nirvdrum 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been picking up Scala on-and-off for the past few months. "Programming in Scala: Second Edition" is one of the best tech books I've ever read. The authors assume you already know how to program, offer mutable & immutable approaches to nearly everything, anticipate esoteric questions in the footnotes, and even have a good sense of humor.

The book also weighs in at 883 pages and I was astonished how much of it I needed to read to even get started. Once I did, I very much like what I saw. But I was a big fan of ML back in grad school.

I do share some of the blog author's gripes though. Most of the popular Scala libraries are just a mess of DSL operators that have no real world association. I'm constantly having to look up what an operator means. I still have no clue how to use the Dispatch library, since the concepts it encapsulates are about 400 pages deeper into the book than I'm currently at. This, just to issue an HTTP GET request. I really thought there might be something on the lines of Ruby's rest-client library.

Additionally, my issues with versioning occur at a much simpler level. The release notes of any given Scala release are devoid of anything useful. Usually it's just a list of JIRA issue numbers (not the issue titles). And then there was this whole debacle around and how SBT called the version. That took me 4 hours longer to work than was really necessary.

So, anyway, I do have some Scala projects. Incidentally they're all Java interop because I just can't wrap my head around how to use most of the Scala-specific libraries. But I've found it works really well in those situations. Deep down I really do like the language. The Scala ecosystem leaves a lot to be desired, but fortunately I can pull in stuff from elsewhere on the JVM.

bad_user 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Consider this method signature:

def map[B, That](f: A => B)(implicit bf: CanBuildFrom[Repr, B, That]): That

All this complexity to allow for automatic conversions (the following will return a Set[String]) ...

BitSet(1, 2, 3).map { _.toString + "!" }

In a dynamic language, the signature of map is simply this: (a ' b) ' [a] ' [b]

The big difference is that the language doesn't care about types "a" and "b" until runtime. You're the one that cares about it, only on a need-to-know basis. Hence the implicit conversions become explicit (although conversions are less necessary) and code correctness is guarded by unit tests, which you need with Scala anyway. Also, the implementation of "map" in a dynamic language is something that a junior developer can come up with.

So the biggest problems I have with Scala:

    1) it is not readable
2) it separates developers in two camps:
library designers and users
3) it does not provide clear benefits
over dynamic languages (Haskell does)

codelion 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Odersky says Scala is PlayFramework not EJB2 https://twitter.com/#!/odersky/status/138950022703222784
dkhenry 6 hours ago 1 reply      
A few things about this post.

firstly it is never good when you start out a discussion by saying now I know people will disagree but thats because their bigoted zelots. Its kind of disingenuous to attempt to post a technical dissent filled with personal opinion and preface it with that kind of clause inevitability allowing you to label any dissent as "See those scala zelots are at it again"

That being said this is an article that attempts to raise technical problems with scala but really just list a few of the authors own personal gripes with the language. In order here are his complaints

1. Scala doesn't have a rigid versioned module system
2. The functional way of doing concurrency isn't how I like to do concurrency
3. The scala community isn't helpful enough for me
4. The type system is too powerfull
5. The syntax is too flexable
6. There aren't enough tests in the compiler test suite

Its alot of the same thing I have seen when people try to list "The" problems with the language and not "Their" problems with the language. Technically there is only one argument that could even hold water thats about the module system . Which if he really needs a module system for his work then that is a technical limitation of the language and he might consider using a better tool for his job. The rest of it however is just nonsense and personal opinion pretending to be technical dissent.

nessus42 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Where I worked, we switched from Java to Scala a few months ago, and we're all loving it. I really don't understand Stephen Colebourne's criticisms. Well, actually, sure I understand every one of his criticisms, but I could make equally damning or more damning criticisms of just about every programming language. No programming language is perfect. On the other hand, we find Scala to be much more expressive than Java. In Scala, I can write code in a natural way, rather than the way that Java wants to force me to write it. The result is cleaner, more elegant code, that is significantly shorter with much less boilerplate and code repetition, and easier to understand.

Sure the type system is complicated, but I don't really have to understand all its nuances in order to get my program to compile and work. When you use Scala, after a short while you just develop an intuition for it.

The comparison to EJB 2 is a bit nutty, if you ask me, since writing code in Scala tends to be the antithesis of all the terrible Java monster enterprise library crap. The libraries that people use in Scala tend to be much simpler and more straight-forward.

I do agree that there's a contingent of the Scala community who seem to want to rub their fluency with category theory in your face. This is hardly representative of the entire community, however, and I'm sure they must exist in the communities for almost every functional programming language these days. The solution for this is for people to come up with more intuitive explanations for the powerful tools that category-theory inspired abstractions provide. I know that this can be done, and it will be done, when functional programming become mainstream enough that it attracts better writers.

(I, myself, have been thinking of writing up a little essay called "The Mapcat is the state monad of Massachusetts" to try to explain monads in a better way than comparing them to space suits, or whatever. Okay, okay... mapcat isn't a state monad, but I think the title's funny anyway.)

adabsurdo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
i used scala for a few months. it sounded very promising, java without the verbosity. but in the end i decided to stop using it.

The biggest problem for me was readabilty. Scala is the first language that i've learned where at first i couldn't just read code and immediately guess what it does.

I think the prime reason for this is that scala permits operator overloading; more than that, in fact, almost every character can be an identifier. This results in often very cryptic code and libraries, because you can't guess what that function does without reading its definition. quick, what's the difference between +++ and ::: ? what's /: and /:\ ? You can't even google it!

The other big problem for me was the type system. At first it sounded really great, and in fact the amount of compile-time code verification that you can achieve is indeed impressive. But in practice, i found myself fighting with the type system a lot, for example when trying to reuse a function with generic type restrictions that I had't written: some time these can get very long and your only choice is to copy-paste them from the original definition.

Also, how do you test that your type constraints are correct? you can't, by definition, write compilable code that would invalidate them.

Finally, it turns out that a lot of the bad stuff that's in java ends up in scala also, because of runtime compatibility concerns. in particular, scala's generics are an extension of java's. so, for example, almost all generic type information is lost at runtime, except for some extra metadata that scala stores in the object. this results in pretty ugly code when you have a dynamic object and you need to use it with a generic method.

jzoidberg 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article seems very fear driven, many of his arguments simply do not gel with my experience.

We have been using Scala for 4 months now and have the first cut of our product released:

The Scala community have been great - we have had insightful answers on the Lift, Akka, Dispatch and Scala users list and on stack exchange.

We have used parallel collections and Akka actors to get good scalability without the usual pain. We do have some mutable data structures where it makes sense - we appreciate the flexibility to do that. The distinction between mutable and immutable data structures is pretty easy to read in the code.

Our code base is very concise, and i think readable for the breath of functionality we have implemented. We have not used type level programming, simple Scala constructs like pattern matching, collections and closures make a huge difference.
You can write obtuse code in Scala - we choose not to.

In short we see Scala as a competitive advantage going forward.

beagledude 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Scala is awesome, when combined with AKKA it's even better. We're much more efficient then we ever were in Java. Also, ops doesn't know it's not java since they can use all the same jvm tools.

val myList = "Jim" :: "Bob" :: Nil

what's hard about that?

twp 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Having dipped my toes in Scala, and written some Clojure, it seems to me:

If Java is CVS, then Scala is Subversion and Clojure is git.

michaelcampbell 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Everything's unreadable until one learns to read it. This is a classic non-argument that people buy into for reasons I can't comprehend. Is Scala harder to read than other languages? Perhaps, but then just say that.

As Rich Hickey pointed out recently, "I can't read German; does that mean it's unreadable?"

ajuc 5 hours ago 0 replies      
So Scala is to Java what C++ was to C
krookoo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
There are those who say scala is complicated, and there are those who actually learn it and once they do they love it more than anything out there. So yeah, I love scala.
Maven911 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Could someone explain to me what are entreprise javabeans and how they are used - in easy to understand language
Electronic contact lens displays pixels on the eyes newscientist.com
82 points by illdave  6 hours ago   37 comments top 12
tallanvor 5 hours ago 1 reply      
It will be interesting to see if they are able to progressively scale up the resolution while still ensuring that you can actually see out of the lens.

As cool as this is, though, I'm more interested in having them figure out more ways of restoring vision rather than augmenting it. For purely selfish reasons, I'm especially interested in retina replacement, which is being worked on (they've been able to create new retinas using embryonic stem cells), but I haven't heard of any studies having started yet to actually swap out damaged retinas with the new ones.

DanBC 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm still waiting for easily affordable "Virtual Retinal Displays" (using a laser focused on the retina) to be available:


jasonabelli 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I want one with facial recognition software. Never have that nervous moment again when you have to do introductions and you are just not quite so sure about your old acquaintances name.
delinka 3 hours ago 1 reply      
How do you either keep them turned "upright" or detect rotation for updating the images? Contacts slide around in the eye a bit and their shape keeps them on the eye's lens pretty well, but there's no asymmetrical shape for keep the contact lens from rotating.
meatsock 4 hours ago 0 replies      
thread title incorrect, should be 'displays pixel'
exDM69 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Did anyone else think about the Eyephone episode of Futurama when they saw this?
dfischer 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Show me the best ratio to winning when playing Blackjack. WIN!
sireat 3 hours ago 0 replies      
First thing that came to my mind, was Neuromancer where the implanted mirrorshades in Molly's eyes showed time.
Egregore 6 hours ago 0 replies      
It's an interesting development, but unfortunately not tested on humans yet. So we don't know yet the real resolution for human eye.
tribeofone 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As interesting as this is, I don't think embedding all this into a contact lens is t he way to go. This is purely hypothetical but how about something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUdDhWfpqxg SixthSense) done with a sort of polarity/light effect that could only be seen though a special contact lens.
billybob 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Wirelessly powering something that sits in my eye? I don't think so. Isn't it about 10,000 times easier and safer to do a HUD using glasses than contacts?
leviathan 4 hours ago 2 replies      
That sound you hear is the sound thousands of advertisers creaming their pants.

Now you will have to look at that ad, even if you close your eyes.

TiltNYC: like a hackathon. minus the hack. coming early 2012. tiltnyc.net
14 points by justinj  1 hour ago   9 comments top 3
thechut 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sounds pretty neat. Sort of like Odyssey of the Mind[1] or Destination Imagination[2] for hackers. Although only one having one afternoon might make it somewhat tough. Or am I missing something?

[1]: http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/learn_more.php
[2]: http://www.idodi.org/index.php/the-organization

amirmc 52 minutes ago 1 reply      
This needs a little more explanation than just a webform.

Nice that the form is so short but no info on who it's for nor why they should take part.

justinj 1 hour ago 1 reply      
compete with other teams over the course of an afternoon, honing an idea around a themed concept. each round will set valuations and present new challenges. teams can buyout others and have to pivot to stay ahead. winner takes all.
Without Siri, the iPhone reminder app stinks gravitationalpull.net
30 points by apress  2 hours ago   27 comments top 11
falling 1 hour ago 3 replies      
While I agree the app's UX is absolutely sub-par, the guy could skip steps 4-7 and just tap on Remind Me, as the screen looks exactly the same at step 4 as it does at step 8 and as you can do on every cell with a right pointing arrow.

I don't like this trend where everybody is now a UX expert and actively looks for subtle defects everywhere to prove they are smart. Same goes for praising the designers.

Sometimes little details are just little details.

runjake 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
So does the calendar app, and perhaps the texting app. I think that's the whole reason Siri came along, to help alleviate the shortcomings of the smartphone interface.
RandallBrown 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
I hate todo list apps that make me enter a bunch of bullshit just to make a task. I actually really like how easy it is to create a task in the reminders app. I often don't need an actual reminder, I just want a list.
saturdaysaint 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This has been a problem with every mobile to-do list app ever, even best-in-breed stuff like Orchestra and 2Do. There are just too many things that you reasonably expect to do with a to-do - mark it off, see all of your completed tasks, delete, change the date, change the alarm, change the priority...

These things seem much easier to pull off in a full web browser, so that all of the controls are revealed all the time.

I think the reason that so many of these to-do list apps exist is because the workflow seems like it would be easy to nail, but it isn't. Voice is quite possibly the best solution.

mason55 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The worst is that even though you set the date & time for a reminder and hit "Done" you still haven't saved it; you have to hit "Done" a second time.

I learned that when I missed a few reminders because I didn't hit save a second time.

w0utert 35 minutes ago 1 reply      
I must have a very special iPhone that comes with a very special version of the reminders application, because half of the 10 steps he lists are simply not necessary, and also, the application seems respond perfectly fine to my inputs.

Let me see:
1) Tap + button
2) Type reminder text, hit enter, reminder is added to the list
3) With the keyboard still up, tap the reminder text
4) Tap 'remind me'
5) Tap 'on a day', then tap the date select box that appears and select the time and date
6) Done

Hardly rocket science, and I can't really imagine how you would do this with less user input. I call BS on this article.

kmfrk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The worst part of the app is that "Home" is not the default location reminder; "Current Location" is.

I don't know if I am in the minority, but I think there is a benefit the the American GDP, if Apple changed the default location to "Home", instead of forcing everyone to waste their time setting it themselves.

nvk 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
That's why i created a supper simple app to remind me of stuff, ended up selling a few hundred thousand, till Apple copied our name.


epaga 1 hour ago 1 reply      
At least on ipad, you can switch the view from List to Date-based. You then have a scrollable calendar view on the left. When you tap a day, you can then type in a reminder on the right and it automatically gets added to remind you that day at 9am. Pretty nice, albeit a bit "hidden".
ianstormtaylor 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Setting location reminders requires that the address be in your Contacts for someone. So forget just adding reminders for when you need to go to the store, or the pharmacy, or whatever.

Deleting reminders is no easy task either since they used swipe right to change lists instead of the usual pull up a delete button.

Yup, the app is horrible.

cmelbye 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I'm convinced that Apple intentionally made the Reminders app cumbersome to make Siri's interface to create reminders more attractive. Apple simply knows too much about good design to have made an app this awkward without it being intentional.
Welcome to the new web. whatwg.org
422 points by dkulchenko  12 hours ago   98 comments top 23
nirvana 11 hours ago  replies      
I'm a member of a forum for graduates of one of the schools I went to. In 2007 it was a vibrant and active forum, growing steadily, and straining its hosting account, which constantly had to be expanded.

At some point, around 2009, most of the members of this forum got Facebook accounts. That forum is now completely dead.

Facebook took all the oxygen out of the site, and it seems like a lot of other sites.

Now very mainstream people seem to think of Facebook as "the internet" and they just hang out there. Some of the bigger sites are doing ok, still, of course.

But at least for that forum, its audience is gone.

To a person, the members of the audience say they love it, and many of them say they hate facebook because "its so impersonal." On the forum they were able to share more private things with closer friends.

I think they would rather hang out on the forum, but there isn't the critical mass anymore... simply because Facebook is more addictive.

It has gotten into some sort of a gamification, or addiction loop, in these peoples heads, it seems.

I think the web is going to undergo a radical change in the next 5 or so years.

tgrass 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As I write this there are two comments that have been downvoted to the bottom for expressing how difficult the post is to read. They draw attention to the post's textual interface, albeit perhaps sarcastically ("Is the new web better at UX than this? That was painful to look at.").

Not only is theirs a serious concern, but it speaks to the main issue of the post, for it reminds us that like web interfaces, even text has accreted arbitrary rules to interpret it. Take the apostrophe for example, it is for most purposes superflous as one can tell from context whether a word is plural, possessive or a contraction. Well, I can tell the difference, cant you?

The original post is saturated with consistent, but by no means universal and certainly not empirically-derived, pre-conceived rules for communicating textual content: the date posted is in italics; the site name is bracketed and bold; the post name is bold; links which serve a sorting function are colored, underlined and bracketed; a presumably copied email prefaces the actual post in italics with each line itself prefaced with a less-than-sign; and most importantly much of the post is composed of incomplete sentences ("A web where...").

We allow ourselves to bend the rules of grammar. And as we bend them, we adapt to the new general rule.

We are all familiar with the english teacher's common correction of a misplaced object: "It's 'He and I went to the store', not 'Me and him went to the store'". This "rule" has been so often repeated, that most days I hear college-educated individuals perform the inverse, substituting the nominative for the objective case, as in "Bob critiqued the web page with Jack and I." What is interesting to me is apparently the act of replacing the nominative with the objective also occured in the Latin language around 200 AD (and it's a common act in children). So, if we create our rules for grammar empirically and not not arbitrarily, we can look at saying "Me and Jack did something" as acceptable because it has a natural precedent.

Which is all just to say that communication as a web form or in paragraphs is subjective and organic. Differences in type should be no more surprising than differences in human ethnicity.

16s 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's ironic that ten years ago many people (average consumers) thought that AOL was the Internet. Now they think Facebook and Google are. Ten years from now, it'll be something else and HN type people will still be doing their own thing as usual.
zdw 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds just like the old web, if you were blind and went to a Flash fullscreen website.

As much as I like the ways that sites like G+ are trying to push the envelope, if you're handling data that was created by or belongs to others it's more important to fit into the greater data ecosystem than to stand out...

gbog 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I agree with the claim in this forum post. It is annoying to have all pages javascript generated, clicks hijacked to make some special sauce, and content popping in, up, down or out whenever you hover something. It is a growing mess that will have it "let's rollback and clean this crap out" time, like Google did with its famous blank home page.

Another example: trello.com is a very nice and free card tool for small projects, but because they wanted to avoid having an "edit" button on editable text, they hijack my clicks, so it makes it painful to select text, and quite impossible to use "middle-click as paste".

But, there is a more positive perspective liked to Google+. In fact, I think the midterm result of Google entering in the SNS arena could (and should) be to force open Facebook. I mean, right now G+ is not open, it doesn't have all the needed APIs, and this is probably OK because they they need a critical mass before opening, and one should not bash them for testing, pondering, adjusting a bit more before releasing some important changes. Time is on their side anyway.

But in the end, they will go, I hope, the full good-old Google way, which means:

- Read/write APIs for posts, followers, followees, etc.

- Ability to dump all data and go away

- RSS or similar subscribing hooks

These tools will allow a much higher interoperability for social content, similar to interoperability of emails today. Users will not really care if the comments on their baby pics are written using Facebook, G+ or any other Social Content Manager, they will read and respond to them in the SNS of their choice, like we do today with emails. (I wrote a bit more ion this topic there: https://plus.google.com/104035200377885758362/posts/A9r7twSD...)

pgroves 10 hours ago 2 replies      
As much as I wish the innovations of g+ and Facebook were centered around RSS and email, this is just the way new technologies evolve. Identity management and permissions management for who can see a user's content just don't have a good standard yet. Therefore private companies are rolling their own proprietary solutions and competing with each other.

At some point, the standard techniques for dealing with these issues will become Standards. This is a well worn path. Html was a standardization of the previous 10 years of work on markup languages, plenty of them proprietary. There are other examples... ODF standardizing on XML and cloning established MS Office functionality... etc.

Real Standards that could address the article's concerns are only reasonable when NO innovation is necessary, merely choosing a methodology that has already been built and proven to work in practice. IMO, Java more or less committed suicide when it started a standards-first innovation process, which resulted in many multi-year projects doing design-by-committee of an api before anyone tried to build an implementation or an actual product on top of it.

As long as G+ is introducing features not available elsewhere, the fact that it's a currently closed system just isn't a reasonable criticism.

tambourine_man 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Listen to this guy. Nils Dagsson Moskopp, what a great post.

We are giving the web away because people can't handle email, address book and a blog.

ms123 8 hours ago 1 reply      
To me the difference between "old-web" and "new-web" is a lot like the one between "program" and "application.

Old-web was just text and markup. A lot like the output of command line programs that could then be used by other programs to perform what we want.

New-web is about application. Programs made for the end-user. Apps aren't thought to be pipelined with other apps. Thus for a web-app, the browser is often designed to be the only supported plateform. Thus the extensive use of JS.

earnubs 5 hours ago 0 replies      
We need a better, open, ways of connecting people on the 'old' web.
nbpoole 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> A web you
cannot easily read without JavaScript because somewhere in the page
header there is a „<style> body { visibility: hidden; } </style>” later
getting unset by a script that the platform owners want you to run.

To be fair to Google, that sounds like a fairly standard clickjacking prevention mechanism. It's necessary to provide protection to browsers that don't support X-Frame-Options.

nomdeplume 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
lowglow 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The only power the "new web" has is the power we give it.
zalew 10 hours ago 0 replies      
it's a bit sad that in the most decentralized media, people tend to stick to the most centralized utilities to communicate with each other (I use them too). but:

> With less sarcasm: What use is this if one already reads the blog?

none. if you don't want to use it - don't. move on.

giving users another subscription channel is not a problem. a problem appears when someone uses these closed platforms as their only communication channel, f.ex. it's impossible to move a fanpage with it's community out of facebook. when people and organization treat it just as another feed broadcast (as whatwg did), everything is fine.

ma2rten 6 hours ago 1 reply      
In the grant scheme of thing, do people really think it is a big deal if a page shows you a 404 error, even if the content you are looking for actually exists? I think it's very tempting to get lost in tiny details like that.
steilpass 8 hours ago 3 replies      
So what are we going to do about it? There must be a business opportunity here.
sxtxixtxcxh 11 hours ago 2 replies      
i remember the old web, a web without RSS or ATOM feeds.
zqfm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
And don't forget: "This content not authorized for mobile devices."
Gigablah 11 hours ago 0 replies      
And apparently the old web is filled with sarcasm and spite.
evertonfuller 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Someone call the UX police. Cannot read that. Looks like it got lost from 1995.
zobzu 11 hours ago 0 replies      
this was quite insighful actually.
hm2k 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Google tried it the other way via Google Wave and unfortunately nobody bought into it.
ChrisArchitect 11 hours ago 0 replies      
daark. I get the uncertainty and fear of the 'seedy' nature of G+ and rise of the corporate platforms...but seems like more of us trying things out, learning, so we can maybe direct change/influence the evolution of the platforms....
wmeredith 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Is the new web better at UX than this? That was painful to look at.
Over time, Linux package dependencies show predator/prey relationship arstechnica.com
39 points by codelion  5 hours ago   11 comments top 4
jiggy2011 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I have a Love/Hate relationship with Debian/Ubuntu packages.
99% of the time it works swimmingly and is superior to any other way of installing software.

Then you get a problem where you try to install something really simple like the jdee extension for emacs and you get this:

Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies.
jde : Depends: cedet-contrib (>= 1:1.0pre4-2) but it is not installable
Depends: cogre (>= 1:1.0pre4-2) but it is not installable
Depends: eieio (>= 1:1.0pre4-2) but it is not installable
Depends: semantic (>= 1:1.0pre4-2) but it is not installable
Depends: speedbar (>= 1:1.0pre4-2) but it is not installable
Recommends: ecb but it is not going to be installed
E: Broken packages

Wow great, what the hell are these packages and why the hell are they not installable?
It gives me absolutely no clues whatsoever so your only options are:

A) Google the error and hope that somebody has exactly the same problem with exactly the same version of the distro you are using.

B) Try and compile everything from source which about 50% of the time will generate even more cryptic error messages or ask you questions you have no idea of the answer to like asking for the locations of obscure libraries and even when it does work,it will take the software outside the cozy world of apt-get management and may require you to install different versions of dependency libraries all over your home folder.

C) Completely give up on the idea of installing that software.

incidentally if anyone has a solution to this particular problem with jdee I'd love to know :)

I don't understand how these conflicts come into existence in the first place, surely if two programs require different versions of the same library to run it should be possible to somehow install both versions and link each program to a different one?

codelion 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I linked to the comments by mistake, the link for the post is at
estevez 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the work done by Răzvan Musăloiu-E. [1], which used some
visualization techniques commonly applied to genomic and phylogenetic data to
examine the relationships between filesystems in the Linux kernel.

[1]: http://cs.jhu.edu/~razvanm/fs-expedition/

kijin 4 hours ago 1 reply      
You linked to the comment section with the pun thread.
IE has 1% of market share ... on HN: "Show HN" aftermath
27 points by zeratul  1 hour ago   15 comments top 8
sciurus 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
1440x900 resolution is used on desktop monitors, too.
ma2rten 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
"For me the biggest cost was getting time series data out of the DB"

Is there some reason you can not use memcache or even instance memory for the most part ?

epaga 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"768x1024 - is your laptop sideways" - you could call it that. It's iPad in portrait mode.
ghc 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
Interesting to note that normalized for population, New York seriously lags behind CA and MA.
anujkk 23 minutes ago 1 reply      
So, 41.76% users used Mac but only 14.84% used safari. 29.94% were on windows but only 1.18% used IE. Interesting.
rokhayakebe 16 minutes ago 1 reply      
I would like to know who those 100 users are.
icefox 1 hour ago 1 reply      
It would be nice if the viewport size was included in stats like this as that is more important than screen size.
Be a Paranoid Pessimistic Programmer grokcode.com
13 points by grokcode  2 hours ago   3 comments top 3
div 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Paranoid is overloaded here to apply to both sourcecode and dealing with people.

When slinging code, by all means assert instead of assuming.

When dealing with customers / bosses as in the example provided, try to agree to build the simplest thing that can possible work.

i.e.: scrape google and don't build a distributed architecture just yet.

Maybe that's all your boss needs, just ask for some feedback and mention that results would probably be better if the app had a distributed architecture and that you're not sure if this is in line with Google's TOS.

Let him take responsibility for wether or not to invest extra time / money in these issues.

disclaimer: obviously there are certain aspects that you would be unwise to ignore, such as securing your app etc. But feature wise, building something small first is awesome.

richieb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As an antidote to defensive programming read up on Programming By Contract. Here for example: https://github.com/andresteingress/gcontracts/wiki/an-introd...
gilini 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
I completely agree, and this is specially true when you're talking about highly heterogeneous environments, like user agents ;
Cautious Optimism Follows SOPA Hearings: Don't Get Cocky readwriteweb.com
8 points by jzb  1 hour ago   discuss
Virgin America's Web Meltdown: Four Weeks and Counting technologizer.com
6 points by technologizer  55 minutes ago   discuss
Fundable vision gabrielweinberg.com
14 points by duck  2 hours ago   2 comments top
cperciva 1 hour ago 1 reply      
C. Is this (for lack of a better phrase) a lifestyle business?

Out of curiosity, how do you define "lifestyle business"? The most accurate definition I've seen so far is "a business which VCs aren't interested in funding", but that's rather circular.

A reddit "AMA" thread with me about the Turing apology reddit.com
38 points by jgrahamc  5 hours ago   1 comment top
javert 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it's mistaken to say that you "forced" the government to apologize. There was no use of force, or coercion. I think it's very important to maintain the distinction between forced action and chosen action in societal/political discourse.

That said, this is just a minor nit in the grand scheme of things. I greatly appreciate the campaign you ran and your bringing Turing to greater attention.

A new approach to minimum viable product humbledmba.com
12 points by benehmke  1 hour ago   9 comments top 6
TillE 51 minutes ago 1 reply      
A minimum viable product is something that customers can actually use. Something that you can sell, that people are willing to pay money for.


> We did everything possible to not show that we hadn't even started the back-end yet.

Is testing marketing and UI design. Which is great. But it's not an MVP.

dangrossman 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
This isn't MVP (there's no product!), just the beginnings of customer development, no?
tomwalsham 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
MVP is one of the many words which has undergone corruption and softened in meaning through people's personal interpretations (Pivot, Startup...other increasingly vague terms).

The approach put forward here is not exactly new - if you read Ash Maurya's Running Lean (http://www.runningleanhq.com) he talks extensively on using a rich landing page (rather than a 'viral' launchrock-style page) to accelerate validated learning. The classic DropBox video example is another piece of classic Lean case material. What these both somewhat lack is the 'P' of MVP. Product.

I'd suggest this is 'practical application of Lean Startup principles' rather than MVP - people tend to talk about 'building their MVP' and that process hasn't begun in this case. Validated learning is critical, and getting a headstart on it in this way is a useful technique, but blurring the distinction of early-stage customer development and the actual MVP doesn't help the discussion. It makes the conversation around desirable qualities of a public MVP somewhat harder.

bjoernbu 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
The cicles do not make sense to me. Minumum viable means the result of the lowest effort/functionality that leads to a viable product. Using overlapping circles just does not work at all, I'd say

Using minimal without viable is somewhat strange. If you look at a program: What is minimal? Hello World? No, I can still do "int main(){ }"! But wait, this still does a context switch... IMO it just does not make sense to say something is "minimal" (but not viable). it's better to say there is viable and not viable and within viable thing, you can head for minimal, too.

poppysan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am missing the new approach. Maybe this is an explanation of how you applied lean and MVP principles?
jaequery 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
I got a new term for this. A fake MVP. Think it's a cool concept, as long as you only fool a couple people (around 10 ~ 50 and not thousands) with it to get some feedback.
James Cameron and Martin Scorsese discuss the use of 3D alexandrosmaragos.com
5 points by MatBailey  1 hour ago   discuss
Android App Revenue Only 7% of iOS Revenue? Not So Fast androidauthority.com
28 points by nextparadigms  3 hours ago   31 comments top 8
albertogh 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'd say it's even lower than 7%, both for paid and ad supported apps, at least on my experience of having several applications for both iOS and Android. There is a small percentage of Android users willing to pay for apps, primarily due to Google not requiring a payment method when setting up your account and lots of Android users who don't use the smartphone features. This, in turn, makes the CPM lower in ad supported apps, since the ads have smaller returns and thus the advertisers pay less for them (compared to iOS).

Just to prove my point, here are yesterday's profits for a couple of apps:

- Paid app:

    - iOS: $128
- Android: $6

- Ad supported app:

    - iOS: $1285
- Android: $21

And that's without taking into account that Apple does most of the tax collection/invoicing for me while Google does not, despite taking the same sales percentage.

maxklein 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I have run endless tests comparing Android revenue to iOS revenue. It's pretty difficult to make money from Android with the same apps. Either with Ads or Paid - the Android version of the exact same app gets less downloaded (even if free), the revenue from Ads dies out quicker and if it's paid, it will get bought much, much less.

I believe the core problem is that there is no clear discovery mechanism. With iOS people use iTunes to sync. They open the app store and can try to discover new and unknown apps that happen to be in the charts. The same does not exist in Android. New apps don't get discovered.

Almost all apps in Android making money are externally marketed or viral. Making an app for android is like making a website - nobody will come unless you do something else. iOS however, does the marketing for you.

betterth 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is nothing more than an unsourced fanboy response to a poorly created article.

This guy seems to be endlessly harping on Android market share as if having the most users will trick Android developers into forgetting that a much smaller slice of a soon-to-be-larger pie actually is willing to pay for your apps...

I get his argument that a more fair comparison would include Google Ad revenue / iAd revenue, instead of just app sales.

But the only party stopping that comparison here is really Google. They're super tight lipped about the performance of their app store.

And it doesn't take a wild guess to wonder why.

idspispopd 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The author is hopeful at best, even to concede each single tenuous argument made, the article still doesn't make a convincing story. To consider even the most simple counter points makes the article entirely feeble. (Does the author believe ad-supported apps are unique to the marketplace?)

iOS's high revenue isn't chance:
The iOS store is a stronger performer due to not only a better demographic positioning, but it's an extension of the worlds largest music store, it's a longer-term cultivation, it's run by a company with very-high consumer trust, apple seed programs and provide continuous incentives for developers, apple's yields massive advertising and events programs and apple's incredibly high penetration due to inclusion with iTunes and installation on all iOS devices, are each very strong reasons on it's own.

Meanwhile, those factors do make it a popular choice for developers who are wanting mainstream consumers, but this doesn't leave android in the dark. Android can tout greater variance/complexity of applications due to more lax regulation by google. Such as porn, apps that are counter the OS's UX, apps that reproduce functionality or overtake certain OS features and of course simple apps.

Millions of increasingly fragmented Android devices out there will not make the marketplace more attractive to developers. Plus Google is only half interested, their goal is to get as many Android devices out there, to ensure Google search and services are the only choice for consumers as this is their business model. The emergence of a future run by smart phones where search was commoditised by the phone provider was the motivation for Google into making Android.

yardie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you don't like the other guys numbers back them up with your own. Don't just go nuh uh. From the post, Android is at 55% market and 1:1 installed base with iOS so.... nothing.

He just doesn't like that iOS had a 1 year headstart on Android and had 3 months longer to get App store sales (july-september).

BrandonMTurner 1 hour ago 1 reply      
For what its worth, this data might play a role in debate but doesn't provide proof either way:

Our app is #8 in our category in the App Store and #13 in for the category in the Android Marketplace. It is free and has no advertisements; only available in US / Canada markets for both. We only get about ~1250 downloads a day on Android and about ~3500 downloads a day on iOS.

With that skew in raw downloads combined with a variance of stereotypical buying habits on each platform it is easy to see a way where iOS revenues could outweigh Android revenues by a lot.

From our standpoint, at our scale, advertisements are almost worthless to the amount it would hurt our brand. No agency, in Google itself, has shown us revenue predictions that make our mouth water. We have also experimented with a few direct placements (heavily target to our audience, and we did the design work of the advertisements ourselves) but will likely not continue with that in the future because of how bad they perform.

ashleyw 2 hours ago 1 reply      
He's assuming there aren't ad-supported iOS apps too…
coob 2 hours ago 2 replies      
We sell the same apps on Android and iOS.

Android revenue is 5% of iOS revenue.

How Israel turned itself into a high-tech hub bbc.co.uk
23 points by avirambm  2 hours ago   30 comments top 7
rcamera 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
This article is pretty poor. I had the opportunity to attend a presentation from Professor Shmuel Ellis, from Tel-Aviv University, where he discusses exactly about this, how Israel turned itself into a high-tech hub. In his research, he could trace the growth of this entrepreneurial culture to a few things. Now, I won't remember all of his words and reasoning, but I do remember some of it and my own takeaways from the talk.

First of all, Israel is a country that went through alot of challenges right after it was formed. Its population doubled in less than 5 years (due to imigration), so there were big problems in building the infrastructure to support this tremendous growth in such short timeframe, which required extreme levels of coordination and a wide set of skills to make this possible. This challenging start, with the imigration of very capable and educated people (many of which had a science background), alongside with the Israeli tradition of debating and questioning (which can be seen even inside Israel's army, according the the talker), led to strong learning, generation of ideas and knowledge. This culture with the funding jump-start from the government gave birth to the first few technology companies in the country.

Later on, government support, influx of new, capable and educated work-force (Israeli families value good education and Israel has some of the best education institutions) and the beginning of the first Israeli VC companies (many of which were funded by imigrants from the U.S., where they acquired the expertise by working in this industry) set a very favorable environment to entrepreneurship. But this wasn't just it, Professor Shmuel Ellis then introduces his research in the genealogy of Israel's tech companies, and manages to show how the first technology companies in the country gave origin to hundreds of new start-ups that were formed either by the parent's company founders, its employees or a mix of both. It wasn't just the environment culture that was favorable to being an entrepreneur, but these companies themselves inspired their own employees to also have an entrepreneurial posture and estimulated the creation of new companies. His genealogy graphs are amazing and I fortunately found some of them here (ppt - slide 22 on): http://www.leadership.umn.edu/news/ppt/Droripowerpoint.ppt

Anyway, according to this (http://recanati.tau.ac.il/_Uploads/Personnel/cvellis-March20...) his research on this subject is still in progress, but he already gives alot of insights in his talks.

ekanes 23 minutes ago 1 reply      
The conversation is around whether and how Israel became a high-tech hub. Please let's keep politics out of it.
rfairfax 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Israel's rise as a tech hub has quite a few similarities to Silicon Valley's early history. Having good schools and a frontier spirit seem like key ingredients. Perhaps most important is the involvement of military spending in seeding research which leads to new technologies, which in turn spin off from their government-funded roots and form new private companies, which then seed other new companies, venture capitalists move in, more companies are seeded, the cycle continues. Another 50 years and continued military support from the US, and Israel will surely be an excellent complement to the valley.
adrianwaj 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Another example is Boxee. The five Israeli founders decided from the get-go to headquarter the company in Delaware in the United States, but locate the company's research and development office in Tel Aviv."

How many other "Israeli startups" are registered as US businesses and pay tax to the US government, let alone sell-out to US corporations, and funded by non-Israeli sources?

Israeli entrepreneurs? Yes. Israeli startups? hmm.

tachat 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
had to check the comments to see how quickly this would get off topic. this is tech news. it's getting as ridiculous as slashdot around here.
cq 1 hour ago 6 replies      
Israel has extreme human rights issues they need to deal with before I'll consider doing business with them. The Israeli government insists on continuing to settle its citizens onto Palestinian territory, driving local Palestinians off their land. As long as settlements continue, businesses should not look to Israel as a country to work with.
jarodym 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Guys look at this. I was about to same as CQ,

Things are about to get so hot over there. This is very big news. This could be the thing that sets everything off.

The Sugru story sugru.com
596 points by aqrashik  1 day ago   78 comments top 28
ColinWright 1 day ago 1 reply      
Such a familiar story: great idea, hundreds if not thousands of hours invested, clearly a strong market, no investor interested.

Get some sales, suddenly investors come out of the woodwork expressing "passion" and "belief".

Been there. Bankers will lend you an umbrella when you don't need it and demand it back when it starts raining. So many investors are similar.

But not all. The good ones are better than brilliant.

Well done Sugru - I hope you go from strength to strength.

oz 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm not a particularly emotional guy, but something about this story just got to me - especially the part where they launch and it's sold out in 6 hours. After so much....so much slog...finally.

Ok. Time to man up.

BTW, notice how the story follows the classic startup curve?


yanowitz 1 day ago 2 replies      
Their customer support has also been great. I ordered an early batch, they discovered it had some problems and proactively notified me, explained they were manufacturing replacement batches and then sent me the bug fixed version. And I hadn't yet noticed the problem.

How I wish all companies were like that.

jrmg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I fixed a cheap plastic key fob that was snapping apart with Sugru at their stand at the Maker Faire in Newcastle in 2010. Just yesterday, after jangling around continuously in my pockets for a year and a half, and becoming a substantially worn down and different keyring, it finally broke completely.

The Sugrued part, however, is still in perfect shape, and still attached to the key ring.

lambada 1 day ago 2 replies      
Sounds fantastic, although given some of the examples (child-proof camera, and dishwasher repair) the fact it's not certified as being food or child safe is slightly disturbing.

I'd play down those two examples if it was me, until it did get certification from a reputable source.

dekz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Having "I have a voucher code" on your payment page is just a reminder that I may not be getting an awesome deal and leads to me leaving the page to quickly search, often forgetting about an impulse buy in the process.

Lovely story and marketing of the community though.

maguay 1 day ago 1 reply      
That may be the quickest a site has ever sold me on something ... I'd never heard of it before this, and just ordered a pack to Thailand, and the shipping was only £1.91 to Thailand. Now that's awesome.
DanielN 1 day ago 3 replies      
God, why are physical product startups so terrible. I understand it's the nature of the beast. But still, it's been at least 25 years since the advent of carrier shipping and the proliferation of make-piece manufacturing throughout Asia.

I suspect there is a billion dollars in it for someone with supply chain experience who wants to make the Amazon of manufacturing.

marcusf 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is slightly OT, but if someone from Sugru is reading, the page looks weird in Chrome. The background is very jittery when you scroll (Chrome 15.0.874.121). It stays fixed in Safari and scrolls down in Firefox, and both look fine, but Chrome looks a bit weird.
nirvana 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Imagine if patents had been eliminated. They would have died once a big company like 3M got a sample back to their lab.

This company exists because they were able to patent their invention.

People say that patents are bad because everything relies on previous efforts. Well, they didn't invent silicon rubber. They didn't invent the volatile compound that allows their rubber to cure overnight. But they did invent a new thing.

Pretty analogous to software patents and combinations software-hardware patents like the iPhone's multi-touch.

InfinityX0 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Lost within the story is the amazing, powerful way they delivered the message of how they came to be. Subtle, unique storytelling that is quite unlike anything I've seen before in the way it was presented. Clearly, there's a whole heaping of talented people in there - and not just an amazing product.
bialecki 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a such a great story. It's valuable for a lot of reasons, but I like it simply because it's a story of success from having a passion, working hard and persevering. Kind of the same way I don't think I could never watch too many inspirational movies (Remember the Titans, Miracle, Rudy, etc. come to mind), I don't think I could ever read too many stories like this.

You can't read stories like this all day (at some point you have to work on changing your corner of the world), but having something like this once a week is super motivating.

niklas_a 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems like an excellent use for Kickstarter. Too bad that didn't exist when they got started!
nodata 1 day ago 0 replies      
Shipping to Europe: £0.96. That's service!

(but please monitor+scale your buying page - it's often down)

ajays 1 day ago 1 reply      
What an amazing story!

It is interesting how much they mention "community". I have a feeling that forming such a community of early adopters and treating them well is the future of marketing. The days of "build a better mousetrap" may be numbered; now you not only need a better mousetrap, you also need a community of people who will use it and support you.

danmaz74 1 day ago 0 replies      
If someone from sugru is reading; from the about page: once it has been removed the it's packaging
jamesgagan 1 day ago 2 replies      
I knew I'd seen this stuff before! https://www.buymightyputtynow.com
danso 1 day ago 1 reply      
I read the origin page and then immediately went to the purchase page in case the HN rush brings their site down.
jsilence 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well done Sugruonians!

Fixed the broken side brushes of my Deebot yesterday. With Sugru of course. Very nice material, easy to handle, good results. Recommend it.


sp332 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just checked, it's already on Hacker Things http://hackerthings.com/product/sugru-silicone-rubber-100109
Zirro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sweet story. A part fell of my earphones a few days ago, exposing the water-sensitive internals. I think I'll order a pack of Sugru and see if I can fix them myself :)
zeruch 21 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a compelling story and its well presented here. I'm a fan, as I've found Sugru works really well for extending the life of the Vibram shoes I use trail running (although it took some practice to apply it in a way that didn't leave me with a lumpy foot). They have a pretty neat product and service it well.

Good for them.

senthil_rajasek 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Why is this better than duct tape? I use duct tape for a lot of these things.
giddas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Never heard of this stuff before - ordering my first pack now!

Will be getting some for friends for Xmas.

ortatherox 1 day ago 0 replies      
I bought some the moment it appeared in boingboing, I still get asked about it now
darkstar999 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone tell me the difference between Sugru and products like InstaMorph (polycaprolactone)?
iand 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really inspiring story
gnosis 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Scheme in C++ solarianprogrammer.com
19 points by mmisu  5 hours ago   8 comments top 5
bhickey 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Guile is worth mentioning here. Mature, LGPL and widely used. It supports R5RS and most of R6. It has hygienic macros. If you're looking to use a Scheme in production, you probably want Guile.

Stalin and Chicken Scheme might also be worth a look if you aren't faint of hearth.


eliben 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of Scheme implementations floating around the web, in any language you can imagine. I have one of my own (shameless plug: http://code.google.com/p/bobscheme/) in Python & C++, and there are many others, at least some of which are better than mine in some respects.

The implementation linked here is IMHO badly written - that's not good code to learn from. So if your goal is to learn how to implement Scheme, I suggest to look elsewhere. For example, one good resource is Scheme from Scratch: http://michaux.ca/articles/scheme-from-scratch-introduction

Note that this is nothing personal, I just frankly think this is not good code to learn from.

agentultra 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Scheme has a really simple syntax but wouldn't this code be a little more readable with separate lexing, parsing, and evaluating steps?
VMG 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Code is unreadable (I have to scroll horziontally). Better paste it as a gist.
li-ch 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This was the OOP course project in my UG. Spent an entire semester on it. http://www.cse.ust.hk/~dekai/151H/
Copyright monopoly study claims "without copyright, no computers" falkvinge.net
12 points by ZeroMinx  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
brlewis 53 minutes ago 1 reply      
They forgot to mention that without copyright there would be no clothes or cars, since the purpose of those items is unquestionably to dress up and drive to the movies. There wouldn't be any food either, because why would people eat if they couldn't watch TV at the same time? If you dispute this, just do a google image search for "TV dinner" and you'll see lots of photographic evidence to back me up.
pyre 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sounds like someone felt like there was no need to fact-check whatever they were writing. Maybe it was written by some young staffer that only uses computers for YouTube and/or video games?

Otherwise it's pretty unforgivable that the writer could not imagine any other use for computers than media consumption of some sort. They were originally created for business/military as number-crunching devices.

       cached 22 November 2011 17:02:02 GMT