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HN: Amit Gupta hasn't found a marrow transplant match; today's your last chance. amitguptaneedsyou.com
117 points by ryanwhitney  1 hour ago   23 comments top 8
SandB0x 13 minutes ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain what the November 30 date means? Is there another treatment route they will try if they can't find a donor? How is the cut-off date chosen?
febeling 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
The risk to the donor is quite low. It requires general anestesia, and so a night in the hospital. But serious complications have a probability of 1:20000 (wikipedia German). The english article gives some more differentiated figures.

The spine is not invaded, the "marrow" are technically stem cells extracted from blood, in most cases.


I'm not a doctor.

jcr 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
A good friend of mine, Eric Drew, survived two failed fully oblative bone marrow transplants (partial match) and was out of options, so he "qualified" for an experimental "Cord Blood Transplant" which cured his Acute Lyphoblastic Leukimia. I believe it was done through the University of Wisconsin, but I'm uncertain if the procedure has gotten out of research trials. If Amit runs out of options, he should look into it.

EDIT: I do know the fancy medical terms, but I don't pretend to really understand what they mean. You need a real serious medical education to understand this stuff.

palish 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm American, but I'd happily do one of these kits and also go through with the operation if it would save Amit's life...

...but I see no way to actually do that. Does anyone else? Where are the kits?

ryanwhitney 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
Brought back to my attention by today's GOOD article "Bone Dry: Amit Gupta and the South Asian Bone Marrow Problem"


Irfaan 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
I really do wish this reminder had came sooner; I have the swab kit sitting on my desk, waiting for a free moment for me to swab and send. While I'm obviously still going to send it in, I was really hoping to help Amit. :(
rorrr 39 minutes ago 6 replies      
Why doesn't he simply offer money? If I needed to survive, I'd offer something like all my savings, plus 50% of my net salary for 10 years.
freemarketteddy 29 minutes ago 2 replies      
I am a south asian male living in the US.I tried to sign up as a donor.Here is my experience.

>Your password needs to be between 8 and 15 characters long, must contain at least 1 number and 1 letter and cannot contain spaces.

Seriously WTF....I am sure half of the people who wanted to sign up did not just for this bs!

Okay chill...password abcd......

> In the past 5 years have you taken money or drugs in exchange for sex?.. (Men only) In the past 5 years have you had sex, even once with another male?

Half of the people who passed stage 1 probably said "fuck it" at this stage.I am close but am willing to go through this for amit.

> SSN? Driver License Number ? HomePhone ? Current Mailing Address? Permanent Address ? Employer Information ?

Should I also give you my bank account username/passwords?At this point I am really mad!..Luckily the SSN and DL fields are not mandatory

> First Contact Information ? Spouse Information ? Second Contact Information

Grrr....what the fuck!

> Race Information? Not Hispanic or Latino ? Black ? Asian ?

Wtf...take my DNA and figure it out you fucking idiots!

After a cpl other irritating forms I am finally able to get a kit sent to my address.

My advice to Amit's friends would be to please do something to improve the signup workflow.

US Road Fatalities 2001-09 mapped with OpenStreetMap itoworld.com
137 points by harrylove  5 hours ago   70 comments top 20
AmericanOP 3 hours ago 7 replies      
Not quite sure yet how this influences my recent urge to start riding motorcycles.

There seems to be a (near) 1:2 ratio between motorcycle and vehicle fatalities. I already knew motorcycle riders were 5 times more likely to get in accidents, and those accidents were 35 times more likely to result in very serious injury. In my life so far I've been in one small fender bender.

This does confirm some of the self-imposed safety rules I'm planning. No car commercial road joyriding. Lots of yellow in the hills. Highway driving seems to be relatively safe, which is comforting. Extreme caution at intersections (look at the bay bridge on-ramp). No riding at night.

dmvaldman 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
For a benchmark for comparison, the design firm Fathom made a map consisting of only the roads of the US and no other geographical features. It's also an awesome poster I have up in my room. It's interesting to overlay these two maps with each other.


xbryanx 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I really wish maps like these would display their data on cartograms related to population - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartogram. The open west always makes my eye come up with false conclusions at first glance.
freejoe76 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This is an interesting dataset -- too bad it's such a boring map.

Two ways it could be improved:

1. Allow filtering by year, by type of death.

2. Allow data to be compared (deaths by state, by type, by year) in a non-map based form.

I'm sure there are more...

jamesbressi 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Very well done. It would be interesting to have the ability to click on one of the reports and get details--something I'm sure you would have done if it was available or possible.
danso 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a link to the NHTSA pick-a-checkbox data finder, but here's the link to the FTP site for the raw data:


Maps like these are visually interesting, but I think a stats analysis of the many characteristics the data include, such as previous DUI offenses and weather conditions, could be even more fascinating.

tobiasSoftware 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I think a per-person version of this chart would be interesting as well, dividing the map into regions, counting the number of accidents, and dividing it by the number of people in the region. Placement of accidents is less interesting than chance you will have an accident if you live there IMO. Still cool though :)
tux1968 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
The age of pedestrians killed in accidents was surprising to me. Of course I didn't do an exhaustive scan, but everywhere I looked they were much older than I imagined they'd be. Many seniors.
benvanderbeek 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I was involved in an accident where I caused a fatality in 1999 (guy sleeping in my lane on a rural highway at 3am), so it's not on here. Otherwise I would be able to say something about its accuracy and completeness.
steauengeglase 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Interesting, looks like the previous owner neglected to tell me that someone was killed in my driveway back in '07.
laconian 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Found my friend that died in 2002, though it only reported his death and not his fiancee's as well.

What a sad nitpick! :(

tibbon 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems driving in Barrow Alaska is much safer than I thought!

I wish I could switch on and off things. I want to see motorcycles only.

tsumnia 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Very awkward to see the number of deaths that I drive past daily...
Even more awkward to think I could have been a statistic on this site a few years ago!

The searching functionality could use some work. I was unable to input the actual address of my accident and had to guess-timate. Like others said, filtering would be highly appreciated as well.

vcadambe 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is a similar map of UK - http://map.itoworld.com/.
eande 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Great chart and SF downtown has a denser deep blue color; always suspected that is a more risky place for pedestrian.
Florin_Andrei 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Far more fatalities in the CA Central Valley than in the SF Bay Area, even though the respective population densities are the other way round.
s00pcan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is not very interesting without any ability to add a filter.
teflonhook 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy fuck, humans should not be allowed to drive. Bring on google.
hesdeadjim 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love to see this map annotated with fatalities involving blood alcohol content > 0.08. Not sure if that information is made available though...
PLejeck 4 hours ago 3 replies      
This has just reaffirmed my fear of east-coasters.
Making Coffeescript's Whitespace More Significant github.com
82 points by raganwald  4 hours ago   46 comments top 10
Groxx 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I like it a lot. It would also simplify the ".end()" function in jQuery[1], because you could control it with indentation:


[1]: http://api.jquery.com/end/

thedufer 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the idea, but the lack of backwards-compatibility is less than ideal. Some people who update CoffeeScript compilers will suddenly find their code mysteriously doing the wrong thing (when they wrote what this suggestion considers "cascading messages", but expect them to not cascade). I have worked on multiple projects that would fall prey to this issue.
iambot 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I actually agree with everything that is suggested in this submission. I wonder what the best way would be to get it implemented is. Perhaps as a form of feature request poll, to see what the suppor for it is. Or perhaps a call for people that agree to "watch" it on github.
alexyoung 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is important to me:



phzbOx 3 hours ago 3 replies      
There was a conversation on this recently on HN. IIRC jashkenas said he liked the idea but it would be better to encourage library author's to write a functional style enabling chaining rather than adding a new feature to the language.

Btw, I found that missing too in Python and created Moka (http://www.phzbox.com/moka/ It's still in heavy construction)

scotty79 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Where do I sign?

Do you think it would be hard to introduce such feature to CoffeScript on your own?

alexyoung 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"writing functions to return a certain thing just to cater to how you like to write programs is hacking around a missing language feature"

To me chaining demonstrates just how flexible JavaScript is, rather than pointing out a fundamental missing language feature. In fact, by avoiding adding language features like this, I feel like the language is simpler and allows me to be more creative within its constraints.

lisper 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with significant whitespace is that you can't count on whitespace to be preserved across many common protocols. Text editors will convert spaces to tabs and vice-versa. HTML rendering eats whitespace. Cut-and-paste may or may not preserve whitespace.

Python has had this problem since its inception. If you're editing a Python program in emacs python mode and you hit TAB at the wrong time you can inadvertently change the semantics of your code. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm a big Python fan, but significant whitespace is a bad idea.

perfunctory 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like it
PLejeck 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice title change, much better than the racism from before, but I'm afraid my spacebar, being white, is offended.

Additionally, my previous opinion (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3296010) still stands, that whitespace-significance isn't such a good thing, and this whole "YAY TREES" stuff is overrated.

The mental gymnastics involved in having a high security clearance. motherjones.com
43 points by pavel_lishin  2 hours ago   14 comments top 5
teyc 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
If anyone has seen "Yes, Prime Minister", they'll often understand how a leader can be manipulated by his mandarins through selective disclosure of uncorroborated information.

This is especially true if dissenting opinion is filtered before it gets handed to the President etc.

I apologize if the following sounds a little leftist. I only intend to make a point about how mistakes come to be made, and what governments may need to do to arrive at better conclusions:

Over in Australia, an ASIO analyst chose to resign rather than see Australia join the Iraq war on the basis of WMD pretexts. (Andrew Wilke is now a Member of Parliament).

The trillion dollar mistake US made was due to influencers being able to feed super-classified information to the willingly gullible people.

It is not easy for a President to call bullshit. I believe the reason is because there isn't sufficient accountability that is built into the system. In days past, members of the royalty are expected to fight in wars. Even during Roman days, only landowners could join the army. The appearance of the professional soldiers lowered the personal risk of the people in power who rush into war.

falcolas 6 minutes ago 1 reply      
A side note to the content of the article, which was interesting, but I couldn't zoom the text.

I'm using Chrome, and when I zoomed in, the pictures, headers and footers all grew appropriately, however the text remained a constant size.

I'm not sure how they managed that, but it makes for a terrible user experience when you want (or need) to increase the font size to make it more readable.

Palomides 1 hour ago 0 replies      
for those interested in US governmental secrecy stuff, http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/ is a very interesting blog/newsletter
throwaway31 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
I used to be in the intelligence field, and I held a top secret SCI clearance for about five years.

What most people don't realize about classified information is that it's not the information itself that's so sensitive; it's the means via which such information is acquired that must be protected. If this were not so, targets could simply sidestep our intelligence collection vectors.

I rarely dealt with any classified information that was interesting or surprising. It's mostly stuff you would expect. The technologies and methods used to acquire a piece of intelligence were always more interesting than the intelligence itself.

bediger 1 hour ago 6 replies      
Well, this sure puts a different spin on the arrogance of the US Government. The new Aristocracy, those with "clearances", receive and can act on information that the rest of us can't be allowed to have. The Fed's "We just know better than you" attitude probably derives directly from this secret pool of knowledge.

But why would you divide up information into 15 or 20 categories? I bet that even at "Top Secret" levels, the narrowness of view is stultifying.

Patient sues dentist over gag order, gets Medical Justice to backtrack arstechnica.com
61 points by binarybits  3 hours ago   17 comments top 7
logjam 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm a physician. I'd never heard of "Medical Justice" before this story. I'm going to notify my own state Board of Medical Examiners about these kinds of gag "contracts", which in my opinion are completely unethical, if not downright slimy. Medical boards should get involved in investigating dentists and physicians who behave like this, and in taking a closer look at a company who would go after patients like this. I recommend others consider contacting their own state Board.
georgieporgie 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
On a vaguely related note, I've been somewhat bothered by some television ads I've seen for reputation.com. Example:


"Reputation.com helps you set the record state, by monitoring and managing (!) your online reviews. And repairing your online reputation if you've been attacked, by pushing down (!) false or misleading search results with truthful, positive material, putting you in control (!) of your image online." (exclamation points reflect my level of shock)

Judson 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know if their are any positive merits to Medical Justice?

I always (possibly wrongly) assumed these agreements were an attempt by doctors to "level the playing field" since they would be unable to counter any negative feedback by a patient due to HIPAA.

Seems like the wrong solution to me, but I can see why doctors think they are protecting themselves from phoney reviews.

VladRussian 2 hours ago 1 reply      
yep, toothache would make you sign anything on the spot (met the situation several years ago, though it wasn't copyright agreement situation).
drcube 1 hour ago 2 replies      
How do they figure a review someone posts on the internet is under copyright by the party being reviewed? That point baffles me, and I'm used to copyright making no sense.
Newgy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This guy Lee, who fought back, is a hero to me. Everyone benefits when someone takes on systemic abuses of law and power. Bravo!
pavel_lishin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Could have sworn this said "medieval justice".
Learning Modern 3D Graphics Programming arcsynthesis.org
295 points by julian37  10 hours ago   42 comments top 14
exDM69 9 hours ago 3 replies      
This one of the only tutorials on OpenGL that is worth reading. This is the one we recommend at ##opengl in freenode.

Most GL tutorials use deprecated legacy OpenGL 1.x, which is terrible from an efficiency standpoint and has very little to do with modern 3d hardware. In addition to using legacy API's, they are often plain badly written.

The same applies to many books on OpenGL. They use legacy GL and/or are written by clueless people who know very little about the hardware the code runs on. Then they get branded with a silly name like "Writing 3d apps for iPhone", because the books stand no chance in comparison with better GL books.

Don't ask me for book recommendations, I don't really know. The only one I've heard good things about is the very latest edition of the OpenGL Superbible.

rdouble 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What is considered the canonical graphics book these days?
Back in my time it was Foley and Van Dam.
jacobolus 7 hours ago 0 replies      
davidwparker 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for great resource!

I've been making some screencasts recently, and I'll admit that they're not exactly "modern", as I'm using OpenGL 2.1. The main reason I'm still there is due to OSX-- I should probably invest in a modern Windows/Linux machine that at least runs OpenGL 3.3, so I can make something more up-to-date.

Anyway, bookmarked- thanks!

nicolasp 9 hours ago 2 replies      
PDF versions (including one in Kindle format) are available in the archives at https://bitbucket.org/alfonse/gltut/downloads
exDM69 6 hours ago 1 reply      

Here's another one that's pretty good. Not as long but maybe a even a bit more thorough.

angerman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice. I wonder if there will be a kindle version available. Does anyone know how to automatically convert that website into a kindle ready format?
frankc 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Could anyone recommend something similar for 2D programming in opengl, or anything else, or would that be covered in this tutorial? I'm mostly interested in building custom data visualizations beyond what is offered in the kind of visualization libraries I use like ggplot2.
felipemnoa 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I wished it were in pdf. Is really annoying to have to follow the links in HTML.
fishtastic 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I've started reading this after I found it on an old HN post. I went through everything except chapter 12, 13, and the latest one that just came out. I would highly recommend learning OpenGL from this tutorial if you have no prior experience with opengl or computer graphics. This tutorial dives right into shaders in the very first chapter, where as the other sources (the red book, opengl superbible) still tries to teach your fixed pipeline rendering for several chapters before introducing glsl.
pcestrada 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a paper book version? Didn't see it on amazon.
gizmo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anybody found a PDF version?
octopus 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like a great first book on OpenGL, written in a tutorial style. One can read this book first and then approach more complex (complete) books like OpenGL SuperBible.
miloco 9 hours ago 2 replies      
A Java version of this would be great. A lot of it I can follow but there are some parts which look totally foreign.
A Google Patent mentions my prior art cmdrtaco.net
84 points by cmdrtaco  6 hours ago   16 comments top 4
jcr 1 minute ago 0 replies      
It's a bit funny to notice how the folks on HN generally haven't studied
the site they are using. Sure, there is source code available for the
forum through arclanguage.org, but it does not include all of the secret
sauce that PG is actually running on HN.

If you believe that you have unlimited voting on HN, you are mistaken.
Some votes and flags don't count, or better said, count less. There are
thresholds in place to prevent excessive voting, up or down, and
excessive flagging. How you vote/flag is weighted in a number of ways.
For example, if you flag submissions that are heavily up-voted by
others, your flags might count less, but if you flag submissions that
are heavily flagged by others (till [dead]), your flags might count

Can I "prove" the above with actual code running on HN? --NO. The most I
can do is point out posts where PG has (vaguely) explained how things
work, and of course, things may have changed since he posted his
explanations. Also, there's probably tons of other secret sauce that he
has very intentionally never mentioned.

The meaning of "up" and "down" votes has never been defined. Some might
use votes to indicate agreement or disagreement. Others might use votes
to indicate appreciation, contribution, or other personally defined

I'll flag spam submissions and posts, but I'll only down-vote when
someone is clearly and intentionally being an ass. Though it might seem
odd compared to other forums, I often up-vote people I disagree with (or
who disagree with me -- same thing) because I appreciate the time they
took to share their views and opinions with me and everyone else. None
of us have a monopoly on knowledge, so finding other ways to look at
something is always beneficial. Agreeing or disagreeing with another
point of view is less important than appreciating and learning from
other ways of looking at things.

Anechoic 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I found that the most significant factor in diminished reliability was simply to let people have infinite moderation powers all the time.

Interesting observation since, IMO, unlimited "moderation powers" has been the biggest problem with Digg and (as of late) Reddit. I'm hopeful that HN can avoid this fate (no downvotes until the karma threshold is reached seems to help somewhat).

notatoad 6 hours ago 2 replies      
wait, i'm confused. google is essentially patenting the /. moderation system, and you're happy about it?
NelsonMinar 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't believe Daniel Hillis or Bran Ferren work at Google; they are the principles of Applied Minds, a consulting/R&D firm. Applied Minds spun out Metaweb which Google bought in 2010, I wonder if this patent was part of the acquisition?

Both Hillis and Ferren are also listed as "Our Inventors" on notorious patent firm Intellectual Ventures' website: http://www.intellectualventures.com/whoweare/Inventors.aspx

Move The Web Forward movethewebforward.org
98 points by necolas  7 hours ago   15 comments top 7
georgemcbay 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If these sorts of ultra-long-single-page-with-fixed-element-jump-point web pages are 'forward' for the web, I don't really want to help move it there.
billpatrianakos 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm all for this. Especially teaching others. I recently befriended someone from HN who's been asking how to code in HTML and CSS. I directed to my github account and have been writing little tutorials to answer his questions over email. It really helps you get a better understanding of your own skills when you teach it to others. I'd also much prefer someone ask me directly than reading some tutorials online. There are so so many tutorials online that are teaching people the old, non-standard way of doing things. Basically, it's like all the tutorials from 1997 somehow get the best rankings in google for "HTML tutorial". Though it is important not to overestimate your skill level and hopefully you aren't passing along bad practices and techniques to others.

Other ways to move the web forward: stop supporting Internet Explorer altogether. That browser needs to stop being coddled and forced to get with the times. The difference between Webkit and Gecko rendering is almost a non issue but when you start having to support Trident then it's almost like having to code a site twice. Let's just stop supporting it and either let that thing die or force it to keep up. Version 9 and 10 are steps in the right direction but it can do better.

That said, we can't always drop IE support. Very high traffic, corporate, and intranet sites will still need to have support for IE for some time but all in all, lets drop it when it makes sense. Personal sites and even some business sites can work. I personally don't do anything to specifically support IE on my own business' website and it hasn't hurt me a bit. Let's take a risk here and there and drop IE support and move forward.

Moving forward is about more than just code though. It's also about user experience. A site with code that's 100% valid but is hard to use or uses distracting elements like gratuitous animations isn't moving forward. It's just building a site that looks like its from the 90's except with modern, valid code. That's lame.

thedjpetersen 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is excellent! Its awesome to see yet another great set of resources for aspiring web developers. I am not very surprised that Paul Irish is one of the developers leading the charge on this. If someone followed through this list in several days I imagine that their proficiency would increase quite dramatically. I especially like the layout and the easy to follow steps throughout the website.

If anyone is also interested in another excellent compilation of learning websites. Another collaboration of web developers created this:


It provides some excellent resources on beginning to learn HTML and CSS.

Fluxx 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm all for this. A lot of developers I've met learned HTML and CSS back in like 2007 and their skills and understanding of new technology hasn't progressed since then. The web is moving forward, and you should learn some new skills.
DrinkWater 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Move the Web Forward. Prior to that, remove the layouting bugs (horizontal scrolling, after scrolling to bottom and then back to top). Be a good role model
0x006A 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This webpage is not available

Why the downvotes? DNS for this site was not working at the time this was posted. Possibly they just changed there IP and it did not propagate to all dns servers.

rickmb 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting that the words "Microsoft" or "Explorer" don't even appear on the whole page.

Whatever your opinion on either, ignoring their existence completely is not going help "move the web forward".

IOS App Store Submission Checklist - anything else to add? ontestpad.com
147 points by stefanbutlin  9 hours ago   55 comments top 21
aculver 8 hours ago 4 replies      
I've got one you can add: iPad applications don't have to support all four orientations. However, whichever orientation you do support (in our instance, portrait) you must support the top-up and bottom-up variations unless some special circumstance warrants only supporting one or the other. Just had a submission rejected earlier this week for this reason. FYI, here is the response we received from Apple:


We found that your app does not comply with the Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines, as required by the App Store Review Guidelines.

Specifically, we noticed your app only supported the top-up variant of the portrait orientation, but not the bottom-up variant.

While supporting both variants of both orientations, each with unique launch images, provides the best user experience and is recommended, we understand there are certain applications that must run in the portrait orientation only. In this case, it would be appropriate to support both variants of that orientation in your application, e.g., Home button up and down.

Addressing this issue typically requires only a simple and straightforward code modification. However, if you require assistance, the Apple Developer Support Team is available to provide code-level assistance.

For more information, please review the Aim to Support All Orientations section of the iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

psychotik 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is post-approval, but good to keep in mind.
scott_s 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Does not "accidentally" contain such material, e.g. unrestricted web browsing, explicit lyrics, unfiltered collections of books.

Is that still true? That is, they will still reject a new e-book reader because it can read the Kama Sutra, and they would still reject an app that allowed the user to navigate to a porn site? I have the Wikipedia app installed, which I think would violate those terms.

mirkules 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's one to add: if your app has a in-app purchase of more than $100, your app HAS to be rated 18+ because of a fear of teenagers can run up their parents' credit card bills.

It's somewhat unfair because 18+ means adult content, but an app might not contain adult content (as was the case with our client's self-help books/videos).

waterside81 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Can someone elaborate on the no pricing information within the app point? If we have an in-app purchase, we can't tell people how much it costs? That sounds opposite to what I'd expect.
uptown 8 hours ago 1 reply      
"Lite versions must not prompt (up-sell) the full or paid version"

Is this true? I play a game that periodically shows an up-sell to the paid version as an alternative to the app's advertisements.

coob 8 hours ago 1 reply      
With regards to the HIG:

At a recent Apple iOS Tech Talk the engineer giving the session mentioned that breaking the HIG wasn't expressly forbidden, but that you needed to "know the rules in order to break them". Break them, if it's better than sticking to them.

mirkules 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a fantastic list! Thank you for putting this together.

Question: can you elaborate on what this means exactly, and why it's necessary? "If you use encryption, you have registered with BIS and can provide documentation."

shaggyfrog 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Surprised to see "does not leak memory" is not on the list. That's a biggie.
sashthebash 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't believe the crash reports in iTunes connect, they lie, your app does crash... a lot, so add a crash reporter.

The best I found so far is the self-hosted QuincyKit (http://quincykit.net/) or if you don't want to fiddle with your own server, use HockeyApp (http://www.hockeyapp.net/).

Aqua_Geek 7 hours ago 0 replies      
> App looks well designed and of high quality

While this is wonderful to have on a checklist, let's be honest: the vast majority of apps fall short of this goal (and that's putting it nicely).

jen_h 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Good list. Would add: Does not include the names of any other competing platform (e.g., Android, Blackberry) in your description or inside the binary.
AznHisoka 8 hours ago 3 replies      
"e.g. Images and icons are not framed with a "polaroid" style (thicker at the bottom) border"

Can someone give me an example of a Polaroid border? Is it just a frame around an image?

lloeki 8 hours ago 1 reply      
> Lite versions must not prompt (up-sell) the full or paid version

That one I see quite a lot. Example: Cut The Rope Holiday Gift (which is free) proposes me to get CTR Original and CTR Experiments on the last tab.

_corbett 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I once had an app rejected as it was "not amusing" (it was a "Unicorn Chaser" app). I also have had apps rejected for putting "iPad" in the wrong section of the name. For example "X for iPad" is fine, but "iPad X" is not.
p_monk 5 hours ago 1 reply      
You should remember you turn off NSZombies before submitting.
sanderson1 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Here's one to add to the list:

Don't submit any sort of tethering app. Chances are it will be approved and removed within a couple of hours. Apple is 2 for 2 so far: Netshare and iTether.

kayzee 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Excellent checklist. Thanks OP. I also like how you are keeping it up to date with commenter's suggestions.
mjs00 7 hours ago 1 reply      
to add: if map is used, do not cover or obscure the Google logo
signalsignal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
0071 Make a million dollars
funnyGuy77 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Any mention of my personal hero Chuck Norris is also an instant rejection. :( I even tried a little s/Chuck Norris/Nuck Chorris/g but to no avail. http://bit.ly/oHvY1b
You'll be dead soon - Carpe Diem steveblank.com
121 points by Maro  8 hours ago   22 comments top 9
mechanical_fish 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if professional coaches have a vocabulary word for that feeling. The one you get when you watch a student creep right up to the edge of success and then stop dead and start flailing around in apparent desperation.

I guess the term for the actual failure is choking, but what's the word for having to sit there and watch a student choke? Either because it's the only way for them to learn, or because it's impossible for you to help?

Whatever it should be called, it's painful. My best teachers seem to have been pretty good at it, though.

Mc_Big_G 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is where failing a few times gives you the insight to know when you have a winner on your hands. Those of us with a lot of attempts but no winners would kill to have users waiting to pay.
gallerytungsten 5 hours ago 1 reply      
re: "Bob was in the wrong business, not the wrong market. He wanted certainty, comfort and security."

This is a key point of difference between those who are cut out for startup life and those who are not.

brd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a victim of his own fear of failure. Knowing you're about to start an endeavor that will truly test you is overwhelmingly scary for someone who isn't ready to be tested. I've watched a lot of people (myself included) give up before starting instead of risking a chance of actually failing and facing their own limitations.
herdrick 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder what the product / prototype was.
pghimire 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I think this is where proper mentorship is extremely valuable. If the student was consistently coached from the get-go he might have pulled it off.

On that note, is there a community online where one can seek out mentorship. It doesn;t have to be a community of who's who - just some decent nice people with common sense and desire to succeed should suffice. I am at a stage where I could use some advice as well.

mrleinad 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Great advice.
I find a bit more interesting the "Memento Mori" motto. Same idea, though.
Herring 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Sounds like he was burnt out. It's not that hard to recognize when you have a good product.
mapster 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It is one thing to learn engineering, but one also needs to study leadership first hand for a while before attempting it themselves. Bob couldn't find it within him to pull the trigger when he should have. Or he is more risk averse than he considered himself to be.
Spotify announces music app store - Spotify Platform techradar.com
45 points by estel  5 hours ago   24 comments top 7
saturdaysaint 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Awesome. It's starting to dawn on me that audio is increasingly powerful in an ever more "mobile" world. I take in more and more content via audio (audiobooks, The Economist, a widening array of podcasts, I'm even playing with text-to-speech apps for Twitter and web articles). It's more convenient while I'm on the move and I find it more conducive to actually focusing on long form, high-value content. A music service with a strong API really creates the opportunity for a platform to grow out of these disparate content sources.
PLejeck 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This seems like a wonderfully pointless gimmick.

Plus, last I checked, Spotify is en route to implosion with so many people realizing it's hurting more than piracy is.

A very profitable collapse, by the looks of how much they pay out ;)

allbutlost 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Link to the apps page on spotify site http://www.spotify.com/apps/

[edit] - seems you can now get the preview of apps on http://www.spotify.com/uk/download/previews/

adamsmith 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds awesome! It reminds me of Winamp plugins from back in the day -- only hopefully with all of the advantages of modern technologies.
chrischen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Rdio has the same API, except it's web based so you can integrate into websites.
snikolic 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't find any info for developers. Has anyone else?
The node.js aesthetic substack.net
113 points by substack  9 hours ago   61 comments top 7
zzzeek 7 hours ago 6 replies      
>You don't need to reason about multiple instruction pointers or mutexes or re-entrant, interruptible execution because all the javascript you write just lives in a single thread.

I see....on the other hand, when I write request-handling code using (any web framework ever on any platform), you're suggesting that we do worry about mutexes and reentrance (not to mention, handling a single request uses multiple threads?) and that these details aren't already handled by (any web framework ever) ?


MostAwesomeDude 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I find the spinning in this article to be incredible.

The "limited surface area" is all well and fine in JS, because there is no object inheritance in JavaScript. The author tries to emphasize usability over extensibility, which is a false dilemma in my book since it's possible to code to an interface in other languages. You define a usable interface, and then everybody codes things that fit that interface. You don't even have to care about whether your objects are inherited or composed. Of course, languages with inheritance are even more reusable because it's possible to inherit from, and extend, objects which implement the given interface. This is a key tenet of design in Java and Python.

The second part of "limited surface area" talks about how namespaces and qualified imports are great. Yep. Welcome to the party, guys. You're only a couple decades late.

The "batteries not included" section is a great dig at Python, but he could have bothered to actually bring up examples. It's easy; things like asyncore are so god-awful that it's trivial to point out where Python's batteries have expired.

However, he's comparing apples and pomegranates here; Node is not a language! It's a framework. It has a large library of its own which doesn't come standard with JS. That library provides stuff which is built-in on other languages, like unit testing, cryptographic primitives, zlib, filesystem accessors, URL handlers, buffers, iterables, type checkers, and a REPL. To repeat: These are batteries which are native to other languages.

Let's go ahead and compare with Twisted, shall we? I'll omit things for which Twisted provides protocols and Node provides streams, since those are (technically) equivalent. Node doesn't appear to contain these things which Twisted provides: Common protocols for handling lines, netstrings, and prefixed strings; non-blocking stdio as a protocol, serial port as a protocol, DNS as a protocol, a DNS server, a handful of RPC protocols like XML-RPC, AMP, and PB; and full suites for: NNTP, telnet, SSH, mail, more chat protocols than I care to remember... Not to mention powerful utilities like credential handling, and enhancements to the Python standard library like object-based file and module handling. And that's just what's included in the main tarball; there's a big community of third-party code which implements whatever you might happen to need. I didn't bother to list the reverse, because there is nothing in Node which is not in Twisted.

"Core distributions with too many modules result in neglected code that can't make meaningful changes without breaking everything." Are you not aware of deprecation? Write the new code, mark the old code as broken or deprecated, wait a few years, remove the old code. This isn't hard. Of course, if Node or JS actually provided useful tools to mark things as deprecated, it might happen more often. Python's got DeprecationWarning; why doesn't Node?

The "radical reusability" section is just the author realizing that modules are awesome. Again, welcome to the party.

gbog 7 hours ago 7 replies      
Hmm, seems a bit hand-waving to me, but to be fair I have never tried Node.js and would probably have hard time convincing my finger to type javascript code for server things.

Javascript always seemed to me a language that you used, and tried to use correctly, because you had to. On a server I have the choice, right? So my choice is currently Python so I read this article with some bias.

In the section "batteries not included":

> modules in the core distribution get an unfair advantage over the libraries in userspace by virtue of availability and prominance.

I would call it "unfair" if some modules had access to special backdoors and APIs, but it seem to not be the case for most modules I checked in Python. For instance, 20 mn ago, I did vim /usr/lib64/python2.6/unittest.py and could check this piece of code directly. I did see no special magic that could not be provided by other modules, like Nose or py.test. Moreover, the code was not looking like "neglected code", even if it did not look like the most modern kind.

> experimenting, and iterating is much harder

Well, that's what I like the most with core modules: they don't change overnight, and, while some of them like urllib(2) may be replaced by some because they have a better competitor, most of them are just good old friends, like scipy, that don't need to be put upside down every month because someone found a slightly more elegant way to call two of it's functions.

> "core modules"' advantage evaporates in the face of baked-in concurrent library versioning and sophisticated package management.

I have never been considered as a shy sysadmin when I was sysadmin. I am actually strongly against the "Tool X have misbehaved once therefore tool X is evil and will never put a foot again on my machine" philosophy. I know some guys who are. (I was also sound engineer before and mostly all musicians I met are this way, by the way). But still, having dealt with library version issues sometimes, I think "concurrent library versioning" and "sophisticated package management" sound awfully nightmarishly black-magic to me. I guess I would be more on the "let's understand the most of what happens and not change what don't need to" kind.

munificent 4 hours ago 2 replies      
> So if a module "foo" was tested against and depends on "baz@0.1.x" and a module "bar" depends on "baz@0.2.x", then when you go to use both "foo" and "bar" in your own program, "foo" and "bar" will both use the version of "baz" that they were tested and depend against!

That sounds like a recipe for disaster if I get an object from "bar" that came from "baz@0.2.x" and try to give it to "foo" which then gives it to "baz@0.1.x".

I'm suspicious of silver bullets in general and I'm deeply suspicious of any silver bullet that claims to slay version hell. Versioning is hard.

sktrdie 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The way modules are looked up - localized to the piece of code that needs it, inside the /node_modules directory - is one of the greatest strengths of the node ecosystem.

It's just dead simple and solves dependency conflicts like nothing I've ever seen before.

phamilton 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Could someone clarify something for me?

Is http.createServer robust enough for production?

It is my understanding that running it as is in production is not a good idea. You want to at least configure nginx between node and the world. If that's the case, doesn't that undermine the whole "focus on your application, not the configuration" point he's making? Sure you can call startServer multiple times, but then you would still have to focus on configuration.

koen 6 hours ago 2 replies      
> A big part of what empowers node to make these kinds of interfaces possible is its asynchronous nature. No longer do you have statelessness imposed from on high by the likes of apache or rails. You can keep intermediate state around in memory just like in any ordinary program.

Should that not be:

A big part of what empowers node to make these kinds of interfaces possible is its "statefull" nature. ...

Really, that it is asynchronous is nice for performance (but only complicates the implementation). But the fact that you keep state in memory is indeed a big win for ease of implementation, and also performance, especially if state is not global but only relates to a single session. Of course, that is usually frowned upon by the web developer community which believes that this somehow hurts scalability (while it actually helps scalability).

Pivoting is really hard. sahillavingia.com
45 points by sahillavingia  4 hours ago   12 comments top 10
nirvana 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm in the middle of a pivot. I think that the difficulties described in this article, while totally possible, are more a result of doing it backwards. Before we pivoted, my co-founder and I had very long discussions. As we brought our employee aboard, we made her aware of the pivot. IF we had external investors, they would be aware of the need to pivot at least as early as us (in fact one of the arguments for external investors is that they'd hopefully have made us aware of it earlier... I wish we'd pivoted a year ago.)

I'm sure the larger your company is, and the more staff you have and the more money you've taken the harder it is to pivot.

I think the lean startup methodology and pivoting itself, is more focused on a way of doing things before you get all that.

Keep things really small and nimble and don't spend years on something before pivoting. OF course this is useless advice to someone whose spent years on something that looked good and now needs to pivot. But I think that this is an indication that they weren't ready to pivot more when it was easier.

In fact, isn't the whole goal to pivot when you're small and its cheap, and easy?

So, I think the lesson learned here is to be really focused on the metrics & nature of your business so that you know really whether you've got a viable business before you hire people, raise money and get a lot of emotional and other investment in that business you need to pivot away from.

Maybe the lesson is not that Pivoting is hard, but Pivot Early, Pivot Often.

(Not sure about that. Doing my first real pivot here as we speak.)

I don't deny the momentum.... in fact, the momentum of the old product is such a pull, even though everyone's fully committed to the pivot... its a distraction at best and at worst, we spend some work maintaining that product (which is where our funding is coming from now) that could be better spent on the product we're pivoting into.

Just some thoughts, apologies if they're a bit all over the place. Pivoting is hard, I don't deny, pivoting early and often, I think, is the approach that will make it easier, and make pivoting later, when its hard, less needed.

nostrademons 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of the reasons to keep the team as small as possible and invest as little effort as possible in your idea to validate it. The less you have invested, the less you have to throw away when it turns out the idea wasn't so great in the first place, and the easier it'll be to make that mental context switch.
jroseattle 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It is really hard. As a matter of fact, "pivoting" is a bit too easy a word to use. Kind of like when "shell shock" was replaced by "battle fatigue".

A pivot is typically a center point, such as a pin or pole, on which something anchored to it can rotate. This is pretty easy if you're a pin or a pole, as you were probably constructed with this type of operation in mind beforehand.

Teams are not constructed with this capability in mind. We optimize based on current plans, not on potential future plans. As such, the only real pin in a team's pivot capability is their mental capacity to switch off plan A and go to plan B.

This is hard to do, consciously or otherwise. Most people need the time to wind down, process their thoughts to understand why the idea they've been working on is no longer feasible. This is a big mental leap, even for the most prepared. Some struggle for a while. Some never get there. One thing's for sure -- it rarely if ever shifts simultaneously for everyone on a team.

Pivoting is the other shoe that drops as a result of "failing faster". Indeed, it's a necessary tactic if one wishes to stay in business. But, because of the makeup of teams and original plans, efforts to pivot seems to fail more often than not.

gfodor 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're truly pivoting, and not just giving up and changing plans, then one would imagine that you can latch onto the common thread between the old and new direction as a means of motivating the team. If you're building a new product towards the same vision, focus on the vision, if you're re-using technology built but towards a different vision, focus on the technology.
cnorgate 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's an interesting post, because there are probably two types of 'pivots':

1) Change the solution to the problem you're solving
2) Change the problem you're solving

(1) is a lot easier than (2).

I think the key here is to love the problem you're solving - if you've chosen a big enough problem (or important enough), then there should always be a market for a solution... don't get discouraged when the particular solution you tried doesn't work... you just need to find a new one that will.

jphackworth 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends on the situation.

Sometimes pivoting is easy, because you've been struggling with a crappy product, everyone knows you need to change something, and you're getting an incredible response for a landing page you threw up on a whim over the weekend. So pivot - easy call.

Sometimes pivoting is hard, because you're making some money, employees are happy, but you're convinced that in six months your market segment won't exist any more.

It just depends.

DanielRibeiro 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Relevant post: "Why Lean Startups are Hard Part"[1]

[1] http://kevindewalt.com/blog/2011/08/05/why-lean-startups-are...

zlotty 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This view on pivoting reflects the Groupon pivot fallacy where you just dramatically change your business model and, poof, you're a billionaire.

What we've found to be a more tolerable, easy-to-execute view on pivoting is to say, we know what general problem we're focused on solving, but we don't know exactly how to solve it.

Pivots are therefore continual and small. We probe in various directions hypothesizing that a certain approach might help us make headway. Among other things, lowering the stakes and testing in small, bite-sized pieces will make it much easier to sell a new idea to your team.

jorisw 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Isn't a pivot supposed to take place before any actual product development is done, much less months or years of it?
PLejeck 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Love your idea, but don't love it too much, because there's a good chance it won't last.
Route9.js: A VP8/WebM decoder in JavaScript badassjs.com
36 points by devongovett  5 hours ago   8 comments top
tlrobinson 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Neat, but it runs best on Chrome, which already has VP8/WebM.

I'm hoping eventually all the browsers will have something low level and fast enough to realistically do this kind of thing (e.x. Native Client)

A lot of things that need native speeds can be run in sandboxes with a few IO APIs (network, display, user input) just fine. Video codecs are a perfect example.

Imagine being able to link your app to the best available version of HTML6 immediately... or some other application development environment entirely.

Rich Hickey: STMs vs Locks [2008] azulsystems.com
76 points by DanielRibeiro  8 hours ago   13 comments top 4
radarsat1 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I've always had a hard time with this argument that STM is problematic because logging rollbacks for every variable in a transaction is time consuming and profiling is hard because you don't know which variable is causing conflicts.

The reason I don't understand this argument is that I was always under the impression that you shouldn't normally DO very much at all in a transaction. As in, most transactions should basically just consist of a single pointer-swap.

What are typical operations during transactions that are more complex than this? I suppose if several variables are modified in sequence there could be problems---is this typical when STM is used in object-oriented languages?

If so, that basically demonstrates the value of using immutable data structures, generally considered beneficial for any form of concurrency. And so it's no wonder that STM is more popular in functional languages.

But when I've used locks in the past in C++ or Java, I've always avoided problems by reducing my synchronization periods to pointer swaps, either for updating a state vector or for passing ownership of an object; so the same lesson, I believe, is applicable to locks. Which leads me to believe that STM simply enforces practices that are good when using locks anyways, and additionally simplifies their implementation.

kenjackson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Joe Duffy wrote one of the best posts on experiences building STM. Well worth a read if you found Hichey's post interesting:
gtani 4 hours ago 0 replies      
somebody decides STM not so bad tho he's not ready to concede Rich Hickey's points


jerf 7 hours ago 0 replies      
[2008] please. An update would be interesting.
The PC is dead. Why no angry nerds? futureoftheinternet.org
86 points by pauljonas  6 hours ago   102 comments top 27
typicalrunt 5 hours ago  replies      
Why no angry nerds?

Because nerds are still using their PCs to create mobile and web-based software. The PC may (just may) be dead for the hordes of average consumers out there, but it'll never be dead for those people creating things -- that is, until you can adequately create a mobile or web application on an iPad/iPhone.

Does anyone truly believe that scores of software developers writing financial software for banks are going to trade in their PC to type on an iOS device? Don't bet money on that (at least for the short-term).

vladd 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I saw in the supermarket the other day a group of parents buying for their young child a so-called "mini-laptop" that costs $100 and probably only knows to do addition, multiplications and some basic word-games on a cheap LCD screen. And I realized that for them, and for a large portion of the end-users, lack of education in IT makes it very difficult for them to see the difference between the said laptop and a regular PC device.

Apple realized first what this lack of knowledge can do: the ability to lock-in a product so that it runs only your AppStore's apps is not only good for the high-end of the market that is willing to sacrifice freedom in the name of usability and beautiful design, but rather more importantly it's good for the ignorant masses that don't even realize this fact when they buy the product just because it's fashionable to do so.

WiseWeasel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm optimistic for several reasons:

1) Less need for IT support for family and friends;

2) I'm well-served with the computers I assemble and purchase, and even if mainstream operating systems continue their slide towards not serving my needs well (from my vantage point looking at OS X Lion and Windows 8), I am confident that there will be solutions out there, possibly increasingly exemplified by Linux, that facilitate web development and mundane user empowerment;

3) The web has become the democratic platform for publishing interactive content to the masses, which no vendor would dare attempt to exert control over.

Now, the real question is who's going to capitalize on this amusingly-phrased headline and come out with the Angry Nerds mobile game, where you launch a variety of nerds at iPads hidden in the temporary safety of their elaborate Apple Stores? Let's see, there's the fat, bearded nerd, the pale, skinny, tall one, the kid with glasses, the token girl nerd with freckles and glasses, and the $1.99 in-game purchase Darth Vader helmet nerd.


Looks like I wasn't the first one to think along these lines:



dasil003 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> The iPhone restricts outside code, but developers could still, in many cases, manage to offer functionality through a website accessible through the Safari browser. Few developers do, and there's work to be done to ferret out what separates the rule from the exception.

I don't want to be paranoid, but I feel like what Apple has done is brilliantly nefarious. They've given developers an offer they can't refuse: for 30% we'll sell your software frictionlessly. Sure you are giving up control, but how much does requiring a payment form and non-standard, non-obvious, potentially painful installation process cost an indie developer. 30% is always far less than the losses of a traditional website sales funnel, potentially by 2 orders of magnitude. The App Store simply sells more software.

Of course it has corrosive effects on the developer community in that prices are driven down (maybe not as much as volume increases, but still) and control is forked over the Apple. But what can developers do? It's a game theory problem. If everyone refuses to play Apple's game then maybe developers and innovation win, but if one breaks the line they stand to make a fortune.

I'm really not looking forward to the day when Macs go App Store only. If that happens it will probably mean I have to switch to Linux. It saddens me that the future of computing may be completely locked down, but it's hard to argue against it if for no other reason than it offers the most promise for actually making users safe as malware proliferates and becomes more sophisticated. Part of me thinks the free software and Internet as we know them today can not last, and if it wasn't the App Store it would be some other powerful interest eroding our digital freedom in the name of profit or control. This line of thought makes me think that maybe RMS is not such an extremist after all, but merely an equal counterbalance to the forces of power and greed shaping out future.

georgieporgie 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Alarmist fluff.

And every app sold for the iPhone would have 30 percent of its price (and later, that of its “in-app purchases”) go to Apple. Famously proprietary Microsoft never dared to extract a tax on every piece of software written by others for Windows"perhaps because, in the absence of consistent Internet access in the 1990s through which to manage purchases and licenses, there'd be no realistic way to make it happen.

Microsoft never provided a complete distribution channel for software, either.

Complying with Apple requirements and limitations is annoying. However, the consumer gets reasonably vetted software, and the developer gets a single method of distribution.

What's the complaint, again?

VladRussian 3 hours ago 0 replies      
instead of 1 single core single cpu PC shared with my wife, we now have (counting only ours, not company issued laptop and 2 Mac desktops) 3 PCs (1 desktop type and 2 are server dual quad cores opterons (and 1 old dual dual core)), 2 laptops and 1 netbook, and 3 iOS devices. And i'm looking to get soon new SB 2[5|6|7]00K (or may be even indulge with 3930 - it is Christmas time :) + mobo + pile of DDR3 to upgrade the desktop. I'm a happy nerd as RAM/CPU/HDD and big LCDs are so cheap these days.

Edit: just today a new store opening nearby got several cargo pallets of new Dell's PC based hardware (POS and pure PC).

In the next few years 5+ billions of people will get their first computing device (and the rest 2 bilions - their first 2nd, 3rd, 4th ... computing device). The vast majority of this growth will not be a PC. That's clear. Yet this growth in mobile devices will "synergize" an unprecedented growth in PC/server hardware dwarfing whatever we've seen so far.

sliverstorm 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The mainframe is dead too.

By the way, on an unrelated note, did you know mainframes are still IBM's biggest business?

jsz0 4 hours ago 3 replies      
There are definitely angry nerds out there but they are in a position of arguing against a better user experience for the vast majority of people who don't want to have malware, a broken OS, their personal data stolen, etc. They should be trying to find less restrictive solutions that provide the same benefits. Otherwise the companies that are moving forward with making a better end user experience are going to win in the long run.
vectorpush 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The PC will never die. When the average tablet is robust enough to productively operate my entire development stack, or modular enough to allow enthusiasts to build performance gaming tablets, maybe we'll see an end to the PC, or perhaps that which we call a rose by any other name will smell just as sweet. I don't see how a tablet is any different from a PC except for form factor, especially when they catch up with PCs in terms of general utility.
jes5199 5 hours ago 0 replies      
People don't use PCs as general purpose platforms anymore, anyway. I can code anywhere that there's a unix environment - or a connection to AWS. And people can use my software anywhere there's a browser.
The ability to build and run .exe files hasn't really been a major enabler of geekery since, I dunno, Napster, I guess wa s the last time.
jroseattle 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> Why no angry nerds?
Mostly because very few people really believe the PC is actually dead.

Mobile is the big wave, yet I don't know anyone who says "I have a phone, I sure don't need a desktop/laptop."

The closest possible thing is a tablet. Yet, the most common refrain about any tablet to do that I've heard is "well, it doesn't do this" or "it doesn't do that". On the flip side, I've yet to hear anyone state that they wished they didn't own a PC, since their tablet does everything they need.

mikemarotti 5 hours ago 0 replies      
People have been saying the PC is dead just about as long as I've been Personal Computing.

The role of the PC may be changing, but that is far from meaning that it's dead.

howeyc 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm not as quick to discount the point as the others here,

Look at it this way, assume in the not so distant future you can do it all on the tablet as opposed to the desktop and no longer nead desktops, having them die a slow, slow death: Counter-Strike, WoW, Development (Github text editing, Cloud9 IDE,... etc), word processing, browsing, you get the idea.

But instead, the applications are vetted and controlled by the tablet OS maker. Now instead of law makers trying to get every search engine to block something, or tear-down registars all over the world, they just go to tablet OS maker 1 and 2 and have them take down access to website/app. No more website/app for anyone as desktops are dead and the tablet is so locked to shit you can't change a thing (secure boot anyone?)

Now, I'm not sure death is as current as suggested, but I see the trend the blog post is referring too.

rplnt 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Last time the PC was dead, it was because of the gaming consoles. All the games are there, web browsers too.. why would anyone want a PC? That was half a decade ago and PCs are still here.
cq 4 hours ago 3 replies      
The PC is dead to idiots. It's actually still quite awesome for those of us who are producers, not consumers.
pawn 3 hours ago 1 reply      
A lot of people here are quick to discount the title "The PC is dead", but I think the actual meat of what he was getting at merits consideration - walled gardens are a lot more popular today than they used to be. No doubt, there are certain innovations that we may never see because of this. For example, what if there's a Mac developer out there who has ideas for a better browser than Safari. You're never going to see it, because Apple won't let you. Today, he has the option of bringing it to PC, but that might be too big of a barrier for him to jump if he's one of those guys who won't buy one.

Also, its not too hard to imagine a day when Microsoft follows Apple and makes their own marketplace. Probably won't be anytime soon, but it would be naive to say it could never ever happen. The main thing stopping them is probably the fact that they're still the big dog and can't get away with doing what Apple does. People judge them differently. In a few more years though, I could see them pointing at what Apple does and saying, "There's precedent here. Let's go for it." Some people would jump ship and move onto Linux, and say "I still have freedom" but what about your mom and dad who will keep buying the Walmart special every Black Friday? As an indie developer these things are limiting what you can do.

I think the solution here is to take a look at what people like about these marketplaces - a convenient way to find apps, and duplicate it - without the bad stuff. Make a marketplace and don't limit what goes on it. Also, make less profit for yourself than what your competitor (Google and/or Apple) makes. The toughest thing is traction. Getting it in front of eyes as something to use instead of the other one. Get past that, and you're set. Am I missing anything? Has this been done and I just don't know about it?

caller9 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The scary part is when parents who just need a consumption device only buy a tablet. How many of you would've been able to program at a young age if your parents didn't buy the family PC.
chc 5 hours ago 0 replies      
For any writers who want to talk about how the PC is dead: Try guesstimating the number of people who will use a PC on a given day, then look at how many people read your blog/newspaper/magazine in a given YEAR. (Hint: Not even HuffPo will win this one.)
darksaga 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I remember when a friend of mine got his first i-pad. We're both developers and he said he could do some basic editing with one of the included apps. First thing I thought was, "Oh yeah, I'm going to write code on a 7" screen as opposed to my 23" monitor."

The PC isn't dead and it won't be for a long time. Although there are a lot of lines being blurred between devices (tablets vs. smartphones vs. laptops), there's still a TON of people working at large corporations who you'll have to pry their PC's out of their cold, dead hands.

quellhorst 4 hours ago 0 replies      
PCs are trucks for getting serious work done.
jl6 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not sure what it means for a particular technology to "die". A lot of "dead" technologies are "alive" and kicking in the Enterprise world. Perhaps "undead" is the word you're looking for...
qdog 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I was just looking at building a new computer, I was contemplating a dual-cpu setup for using vm's, hoping it would be easy to run copies of various OS's on one box and use all the different streaming technologies for tv output.

Looks like about $2k or more.

While it would be great to be able to coordinate all the streaming media using my phone as a remote, my phone doesn't do most of the 'computing' tasks I like, and reading HN on a 4" screen is handy, but not optimal.

I think his point is exactly that if I want everything to work, I need an Apple and a Windows machine running (nevermind whether it's legal to run Apple in a VM, I'm under the impression they don't want you to, but if I purchase a copy of OSX, it's not clear I wouldn't have the right), and maybe a Chrome machine, because they DON'T WORK TOGETHER BY ARBITRARY RESTRICTIONS.

I think there is another guy that likes to rant about this walled garden approach. Personally, I've been trying to use iTunes on a windows box to play to an apple tv recently and it is sucking. Music plays fine from an iPhone. So now, my wife is all ready to pay the Apple Tax for a new computer. To just get music to play. They fact that apple makes a cool device is fine, the fact they don't want to play nice with any of my other equipment makes me loathe to buy a new one, but apparently I'm not with the mainstream on this one. But count me as one of the angry nerds.

iamandrus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The PC isn't dead. It never will be. Sure, it's changing roles in a smartphone/tablet world, but it'll never "go away."
vph 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you believe that in the future, people do accounting on the ipads, write papers/programs on the cell phones, then the PC is dead.
cavilling_elite 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, I've been blinded. I have never equated what Apple is doing with the app-store/"taxing" and the MS IE anti-trust case.

The empowerment of the censor. Scary words.

libraryatnight 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm too busy doing awesome things on my super awesome PC to be angry.
killnine 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am angry. really angry.

What is the solution to make the gatekeepers and the gatekeeper-supporters obsolete?

I don't need them- why do you?

Watch a VC use my name to sell a con jwz.org
2227 points by jwwest  1 day ago   288 comments top 44
grellas 1 day ago 6 replies      
"Those who work hard make good" is a profoundly American theme that dates back to Horatio Alger and before - it can hardly be said to originate from a cabal of VCs trying to "put one over" on hapless founders and startup employees in Silicon Valley. No doubt Mr. Arrington adds his peculiarly abrasive touch to the debate (toughen up, don't whine, and let's applaud Zynga for what it did to its employees), but he did something very similar not too long ago in chiding investors who were whining about being in the "middle of a terrible blubble" (http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/24/were-in-the-middle-of-a-ter...). Like it or not, this is his philosophy and outlook about what it takes to play the startup game. It is his expression of ideas and social commentary. One can disagree with it as much as one likes but it is unfair to say that this is nothing more than a con job. It is also unfair to take him to task for quoting from a publicly available source to support his idea of what the experiences of startup employees have been like in Silicon Valley - if the goal is to illustrate such experiences, then what better source to use than a diary whose purpose was precisely to document them. If the author of that diary wants to say, "no, that's not what I meant" in response, that is fine but that doesn't justify an ad hominem attack on the person using it to illustrate ideas he wants to espouse.

My point here is strictly about fair argumentation, not about the merits of the debate. Whether right or wrong on the merits, I think the author takes an unfair shot in the way he makes his points here. We all have ideas and core beliefs, even those who are VCs. We all should be free to express them without being accused of nefarious motives.

antirez 1 day ago  replies      
Humans are not designed to:

1) Stay long hours sitted, immobile. It ruins your health.

2) To provide a steady high quality output in creative disciplines (writing code qualifies) for more than a 4/5 hours a day (add to this the time to do breaks, install your updates, check news sites, fix the email client, and you'll reach the 7/8 hours per day figure).

It makes sense in a startup to work hard in crucial weeks, you can sustain that for a few days both from the point of view of your body and your productivity, but making this the rule is just plain silly.

Also, remember that a startup has a small percentage of probabilities of making you rich, so better for you to also enjoy life while working at a startup. Try hard in your working hours (but it is more a matter of doing the right things than the wrong things for a lot of hours), but enjoy life when it's 6 pm.

What's silly is that also VCs are likely to don't really get more return from you by overworking you, but there is nothing than humanity has seen more often than a silly boss that feels more comfortable if you are overworking yourself.

dschobel 1 day ago  replies      
I love that this is the top story on HN. I only wish that PG got as much flack for his startup economics hype piece[1] and proposition to compress a lifetime's worth of work effort into four years.

[1] http://www.paulgraham.com/wealth.html

tom 1 day ago 4 replies      
I hope this signals the end of folks walking on egg shells around Arrington. He's no longer a "newsman". He's no longer going to make or break every startup that ends up on AOLCrunch. He's just an investor hoping for deal flow. An investor who's proven he's probably not the guy you'd want to work with, probably not the guy you'd want to partner with, probably not the guy who will ever be on anyone's side but his own. Kudos to Zawinski for calling him out.
felipemnoa 1 day ago 2 replies      
>>Follow the fucking money. When a VC tells you what's good for you, check your wallet, then count your fingers.<<

This is just gold.

prawn 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm glad he finished with a note for the people who actually get something out of hard work on their personal project because I doubt I'm alone in getting a lot of personal satisfaction in performing like that. It's not all the time that I pull an all-nighter or a couple of weeks of hard slog, but I often feel better for them.

And I'd rather be doing that for myself on a side project or in the start-up lottery or within my own business than for someone else. If that isn't possible, then even for someone up the chain. If someone else (VC, client of mine, landlord, etc) also profits from this endeavour, so be it.

Sometimes you have to know the lows to fully appreciate the highs.

Further to that, I tend to enjoy weeks of fulfilling hard work with those glimpses of recreation more than I do the ones where I'm procrastinating, spinning my wheels or at a loss for something I can be bothered doing that day. Hard work, or hard holiday - that half-arsed stuff in the middle rarely satisfies.

betterlabs 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would love to hear PG's comment / viewpoint on this whole issue.

I have done 3 startups so far (1 VC funded, 2 bootstrapped) and I work very hard because I love it BUT I never ever work at the expense of the time with my kids and anyone saying you have to give up your life to find success in the startup world is just misleading in a big way. There are tons of examples of highly successful people across many industries who have made a fortune without giving up their lives. And its wise to look beyond such myths which are made to seem like the "norm" sometimes.

mncolinlee 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would argue that some of the best code I've ever written didn't take long to write. If Arrington understood both the physical and mental nature of bug-quashing, he'd have a more nuanced view of the slavish work sessions he's advocating.

Sometimes it makes sense to pull overnighters and sometimes it simply burns a coder out and drives him to poor productivity and an infectious bad attitude. It takes an expert to know the difference.

rwmj 1 day ago 0 replies      
And don't forget the people who worked hard, slept under their desks etc and then got ripped off and ended up with no lottery win at all.
Joss451 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've lived through a programmer's career already. Everything was good until age 50 when my body punished me for punishing it for 25 years.

Seven heart surgeries. High blood pressure. Damaged kidneys. Removal of an inner ear (from flying while ill and not getting to a doc in some place or another).

Take care of your body, blokes. It's the only thing keeping your brain intact. The cummulative effect of stress over a number of years is to attempt to kill you.

someone13 1 day ago 4 replies      
Some people may not enjoy the green-on-black text, so this might be of use:


aaronf 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Working consistent long hours does not mean you're getting more done. I believe RescueTime has data showing the average person at work 8-hours a day is only working 2-4 hours. The people I know who are consistently first in and last out are not getting more done - in fact they're usually doing it to make up for something. One theory on productivity says procrastinators and workaholics have the same core issue - but respond to it in opposite ways.

This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode when George Castanza leaves his car at work so his boss thinks he's always there.

We need to stop measuring productivity by hours worked. Instead, productivity should be about finishing what you set out to do. If that only takes 4 hours, GO HOME. Plan the next day. Get some rest. Your output will be higher, and you'll be healthier and happier.

bl4k 1 day ago 5 replies      
wait, does jwz really expect us to believe that he doesn't know who arrington is? I mean, the techcrunch conference afterparty two years ago was at his night club .. and I am pretty sure i saw both of them there.
alexwolfe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some good advice and wisdom in this post. Getting rich from a startup is a lottery, I've personally worked for many over the last ten years (most fail). What isn't a lottery is your time and how you use it. If you do something that makes you happy every day, you don't need to win the lottery to be successful. Nice article.
dlikhten 1 day ago 0 replies      
While reading this post I was thinking of a few funny things about life and money:

Money makes money. An example is Kim Kardasian. What does she produce? Nothing. Does she actually make anything better than others? No. She has money. Using that money she was able to be part of a TV show, which she used as an oportunity to make herself a character people liked, used that to up-sell whatever crap she made, used that to make shittons of cash on her wedding.

How is that relevant?

Well, same happens here. If you have money, you can invest, money that is much needed for business to get off the ground. Now you may argue that "don't get investment money, start small, then make a bigger business when you can affort it" which is actually quite valid. However if that is not what you want then you are basically asking people for money. They made the money, and are reaping the benefits of that money.

So basically you get rich, they get rich. You did the work though. However once you get rich, you can now make the bigger business that you wanted to, this time bootstrapped.

bigohms 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. I didn't expect this one bit from Arrington. I'm surprised he is choosing to mine Internet archives for blog fodder over putting that much more time into guiding his portfolio to fewer mistakes and possibly 1% more potential.

Startups, hard? Yes. We ALL know this. Are his opinions skewed towards his agenda? Also yes. There is no hiding the fact that he's in the money. The problem is that the "thought-leader" portion of his rant was lacking. And it's a bit of unfair baseball to bring up a random blog post from some guy nearly 20 years ago. My bets are that he didn't even bother doing follow up on this guy after the fact.

agentultra 1 day ago 1 reply      
For the argument that "my father taught me to work hard...":

If I get more done in an hour than you do, should I continue to work as many hours as physically possible just to get ahead? What if the experience I've gained over a decade of doing this allows me to do twice the work that you do in an hour?

Simply working more hours is just a race to the bottom. There's nothing there. In fact I'd argue that it stifles the mind from seeing the bigger picture. A good mind built for solving problems doesn't try to exhaust itself with repetitive, menial tasks. You may work 16 hours a day but I argue that you will get less and less done per hour. And in the end whether you get rich or not all you'll have to show for it is diabetes, some form of erectile dysfunction (if you happen to have those bits), coronary disease, and an amphetamine addiction.

Instead cultivate your mind and aim higher.

Perseverance does pay off. That should be the lessons of your fathers/mentors/etc who "worked hard."

beachgeek 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This has been a great discussion all. Being a tech guy myself, I agree with the majority of you. Its pointless working oneself (to death?) for someone else like we do, especially when the end result isn't even cast in stone.

But every time I think my job sucks, its too hard, my boss sucks etc, I think of this guy. I took this pic in India when they were laying a road near where I live. It was 100F and 100% humidity. The guy in the picture was carrying hot rocks and tar in a metal pan and spreading them across the road:


In general, I am thankful and immensely grateful. If you are reading this you should be as well.

mmaunder 1 day ago 0 replies      
This argument has been painted as VC's vs employees. You're either one or the other and a VC gets rich and employees do all the work. What about company founders that get rich and work insanely hard?
neilk 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Please check out erinn's comment, which is as good as the original post if not better:


kamaal 1 day ago  replies      
Oh, C'mon.

So I'm not supposed to work hard and get rich because as a side effect that some one else also is?

My dad is a cab driver. He really works his life off. Under absolutely dismal financial conditions he and may mom have given their whole lives to bring us out of poverty. They got me and my sister decent education. They did what every poor family in India does. They worked hard, saved money, invested it and got their kids good education so that we could now stand on our own legs.

He still pushes a 12-16 hours schedule everyday. You know what? Compared to most of his cab driver peers we are like 1000x better. He has achieved what none of them have ever or will ever achieved.

He pays a lot of commission to the travel office which gives him rentals. And sure they are getting rich too. He is using them and they are using him. That's how it all works. But he would not exist without them and vice versa.

He can of course sit back at home, he is old too(like he is nearing 65) and tell the travel office is getting rich because of his work so he won't go to work. But, he doesn't do that. He works hard for everything he has every earned.

Of course most of his friends and peers call him merely lucky. And that he is also a fool to be working hard not smart.

I really want people to define smart work. Its like people try to say there is some magical way to produce wealth and value out of nothing and that only smart alecs are capable of that.

someone13 15 hours ago 0 replies      
COMPLETELY unrelated, but I do wonder - is this the most upmodded submission here on HN? I know reddit has the /top/ modifier you can add to links (e.g. http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/top/), but I was unable to find anything similar here.
aspensmonster 1 day ago 6 replies      
> What _is_ true is that for a VC's business model to work, it's necessary for _you_ to give up _your_ life in order for _him_ to become richer.

Isn't this more or less the case for any profits-go-to-owners business model? Or rather, any business model where employees are viewed as calculated costs and not owners worthy of a commiserate portion of the profit?

I've often wondered how a different ownership model would work for a company. One where the owners still make more money than the VPs, who still make more money than the engineers, who still make more money than the techs, who still make more money than the CSRs, who still make more money than the cleaning staff, but everyone is seeing a salary that is at least XX.X percent higher than it was before. Or perhaps a function of CPI, per Capita GDP, and a few other variables. Honestly, company ownership just seems like one big game of who can grab the most power in a given time metric. Rather than money being a means to an end, it is the end. But that's just my inexperienced, undereducated take on the whole thing thus far.

kanwisher 1 day ago 0 replies      
Makes total sense, enjoy your work and don't buy into you have to kill yourself to make it big in a startup. And the payout might not be worth it in the end unless your in a lucky percentage.
staunch 1 day ago 3 replies      
It's the height of ridiculousness for someone who retired, at like age 30 to run a nightclub, after working at a startup to say it's a "con". What kind of terrible "con" turns the victim into a millionaire.

There are far more startup employees that have become rich than founders or investors. Tens or hundreds of thousands of them. Of course they don't get as much money as the founders or investors, but how is that anything other than perfectly fair?

Empirically it does require extremely hard work to make a startup successful. You can't point to any major success like Netscape or Google that didn't involve someone at some point sleeping under a desk. That's really all Arriington is saying, and it's quite obviously correct.

For some people it might be no better than playing the lottery, but for other people their odds are going to be very high. Someone like Bill Gates would have been hugely successful as a McDonald's franchisee or anything else he chose to do.

Just because some people are delusional about their odds doesn't make it a con.

pithic 1 day ago 0 replies      
To succeed, one must work hard and smart. Overwork is rarely smart and, if done regularly, practically a guarantee of failure.
thewisedude 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think just talking about only hard work being a means to success is a over-simplification of working of this complex world. Working smart as opposed to working hard is also important if you want to benefit financially.

Lets say a kid works hard in his college days and gets to be a dentist or a lawyer or somebody like that. Lets say another kid in similar circumstances chooses not to work that hard or makes a bad judgement and ends up in a not so rewarding area- rank and file job. It is totally fathomable that the dentist kid could end up making twice as much by working half as hard as the rank and file kid for the rest of their lives.

All in all, the idea that working harder will reward you in the future seem fair or karmic. The real world probably is not that simple. I would think there are many other equally important factors like opportunities, luck, judgement etc.

mythz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Massive respect for jwz.org for disregarding popular opinion and dropping truth.
brk 1 day ago 2 replies      
I find that I really connect with about 1 in 4 of jwz's rants.

It is a general rule that anytime there is someone above you in the hierarchy, they are going to make $2 for every $1.50 you make. Of COURSE the VC's will make more money than you. And the people who put the actual money into the funds should make even more than THEM.

The startup world, and economy in general has changed dramatically from the last time jwz was heavily involved, IMO. It's good that he made what qualifies as his own fuck you money and can now look in on things from the outside and comment thoughtfully. For a lot of people though, working 80 hour weeks grinding out a startup or 3 is still the most probable way of banking a decent retirement fund AND still having some life left to enjoy. I don't think that I'd advise many people to do a 30 year career of crazy startups, but it's kind of a geek lottery and worth the gamble for lots of people.

I don't really see where this is using his name to sell a con. If that were the case, I would think Arrington would pick someone who hadn't dropped out of the game a decade ago to sell his 'con'.

snowwrestler 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's worth pointing out that while Arrington is a VC now, he also started his own company (TechCrunch), worked very hard to grow it for years, and guided it to a nice exit to AOL. So this is not necessarily a case of "do as I say, not as I do." He was famously hard working when he was growing TechCrunch.
frouaix 1 day ago 0 replies      
Somehow I fail to equate Zynga with "dent in the universe". Netscape did make a dent. Google did make a dent. If you have the choice of where you'll work, and you want to work that hard, you might want to pay attention to how what actual value will come out of your work for the rest of us...
AznHisoka 1 day ago 0 replies      
Overworking yourself sounds sexy, and glamorous until you experience what it's like for your brain cells to literally attack itself due to not getting enough sleep.
jorkos 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think Mike is writing in the spirit you suggest; he's just arguing that you have to work hard to achieve something great. Is there something wrong with that argument? Of course, VCs want the people they invest in to work hard....does that surprise anyone? No one has to take VC money.....know what you're signing up for.
joshontheweb 20 hours ago 0 replies      
From all of these comments it becomes apparent why Arrington doesn't allow comments on his blog ;P
EGreg 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is the comment I left on Uncrunched:

(PS: if you feel inclined to downvote, cool -- but I would like to know the reason. Maybe you can reply and tell me why you seem to disagree.)

LOL Mike. Our company gets things done without having to live like slaves.

There is a reason http://qbix.com/about has pictures of all of us in nature. It's subtle but it all fits together with our company's vision. We want to have fun and enjoy LIVING LIFE as we enjoy creating the tools that improve other people's lives.

Yes, we work hard. And we create things together. But with the internet, 3G, and Wifi we are able to work from anywhere! This is more than can be said for any other industry, and we are lucky to be around in this time when we can travel and still get things done. Not only that, but the geographical constraints are now loosened. Not too long ago you could only choose among engineers that live nearby. Today you can hire engineers that do great work even if they live halfway around the world, and you can connect over the internet, Skype, and a host of other tools that just work.

We are building more of these tools. We believe in liberating people from their computers and focusing on just living their lives and getting things done. We love freedom. We want it for others, and we want it for ourselves.

It takes a careful system and a focus on process, but it can be done. With the right tools, the right guidelines and habits, we can be productive without sleeping under desks.

After all, you have one life, and work is a part of it. We have a motto: people live lives, companies create products.

Chirael 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are there I <3 JWZ shirts yet? :)
codeslush 1 day ago 1 reply      
I LOVE, absolutely LOVE his home page! http://www.jwz.org/ WELL DONE SIR!
jebblue 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I couldn't stay on the web page for more than three seconds, all black.
barce 1 day ago 0 replies      
tl;dr: don't get played by Arrington.
dylangs1030 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not a very helpful comment. Opinions aren't facts - there are two sides to the story. If you agree with the author, there's a better way to go about it then ad hominem insults.
lwat 1 day ago 2 replies      
Anyone got a readable link please
rbreve 1 day ago 1 reply      
the goggles they do nothing
moonchrome 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yeah VC's have it easy, it's all hookers and cocaine for them...

His advice about "do what you like" is true in general but doesn't really account for the fact that you choose to work for a startup and you choose to accept VC money, with all the ups and downs attached to it. If you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen.

mike_esspe 1 day ago 1 reply      
What do you care about someone becoming rich due to your work, if you are becoming rich too?

Let's consider two situations:

1) You work X hours, paid Y dollars for that

2) You work 2 * X hours, paid 100 * Y dollars for that, and some VC is paid 1000 * Y dollars.

Should you chose the first?

Why are entrepreneurs leaving the U.S.? inc.com
69 points by mchafkin  6 hours ago   52 comments top 10
nirvana 4 hours ago 3 replies      
In several of the comments, people have asked why entrepreneurs might want to leave the USA, given the common perception that the USA is a great place to do a business. I'm making this comment in response to those questions as an example of an entrepreneur whose left the USA. My reasons for doing this are obviously going to be different than those who would choose not to, so don't get mad. I'm not trying to persuade you, just explaining.

I was born in the USA, and worked for startups for nearly 2 decades in the USA, but when it came time to do my own startup, I left the USA. There are many reasons for this, and further, when I come back to the USA, I'm reminded of some of the nice things we've given up.

The biggest reason we left is that the cost of living is high in the west coast of the USA, compared to most of the rest of the world. If we could travel around the world and actually save money while getting to do something we've always enjoyed doing, then that's great. Going to europe is more expensive than the USA, but not that much, well worth it. In fact, berlin was such cool city, that if germans were more supportive of the idea that we might want to stay there for an extended period we'd be working on residency permits.

But behind this reason is another one- The USA is going in the wrong direction. Pick whatever examples work best for you- SOPA, domain seizures, an increasingly baroque tax code, increasing regulations all over that, even though they don't yet effect small businesses much, would be a burden if we are at all successful, even dealing with the TSA when I want to fly, and the thought that my tax money is being used to kill afghani, iraqi, pakistani and other children.

When I was young, I was brought up to believe that the USA was great because it believed in human rights. That the bill of rights protected us from an out of control government. Over the years, I've seen those rights be violated, one by one, and the supreme court claim that it was "legal" in their rulings. I've come to believe that there is no effective restraint on the US government by the legal system, and I've been shocked to see, how rapidly these transgressions are accelerating.

For instance, I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that at ever airport adults and children have a choice between being photographed nude by government agents and being molested by same. This is a violation of state laws in probably all 50 states, yet no charges have been filed. Worse, while many americans protest, there has been no action. I take this as evidence that americans will put up with any rights violations. Many of them will get mad, but they have no method to resolve the situation. While Obama was president when these scanners were put in, only a couple of the people wanting to run against him want them out. And while Bush was president when the TSA was created and the PATRIOT act was passed, Obama has expanded both. Despite the majority of people opposing various bits of legislation (like the bank bailouts) they still get passed. So, I see no way for things to turn around until things get bad enough to make people really unformfortable.

Also, I've studied economics and been watching the economic situation. I've come to understand the real nature of the federal reserve and the fiat currency of the USA. The USA benefited greatly from Bretton Woods alls these decades, but a side effect of that is that the inflation that has existed in the dollar supply has been exported to other countries, giving americans an artificially better standard of living. This in itself is not bad, but it and our debtor economy are dependent on that money being kept out of the system by being locked up in vaults and pocketbooks and accounts of foreigners who want it because they think the dollar is a strong currency. Given the fact that our economy is faltering, but more importantly our government is spending like crazy (obama is worse than bush who was worse than clinton who was worse than bush who was worse than the very bad reagan who was worse than carter, it just goes on...) eventually they are going to be inflating so fast that the dollar loses its reserve status, and at that point, it won't matter that the US government is inflating because people will start dumping their dollars. We'll start seeing the effect of all those previous years inflation that was exported realized in the dollars in a rather short time. This is not a black swan event, it happens regularly, just not often enough that people remember its possible. But because of bretton woods, it will be much worse for the usa than, say, argentina.

Its pretty much impossible to do business in the USA and not be tied up in the dollar economy.

Meanwhile, because I have been a traveller, I've been to other countries and seen how in some ways at least many of them are better than the USA. Chile for instance, has a culture that is more instinctively capitalist. New Zealand, while its more socialist on the surface has a much less corrupt government. So the question becomes, of all these countries, which provides the best protections of the rights I care most about and is also going in the right direction? I've not yet decided, I'm still traveling.

There's a lot to commend the USA. One surprising thing is how convenient having amazon and walmart is. Especially compared to europe. You can just order anything you want from amazon or go to a walmart and buy most anything you want. In europe, the retail stores are generally very tiny, and with the exception of an astounding chain of 3 story electronics shops we found in berlin, its often very hard to find obscure things. And when you do, of course, the prices are often almost doublet the USA due to tariffs and on top of that you've got %20 VAT.

One downside of running a startup this way is that traveling involves spending a fair bit of time on the traveling part. This gets in the way of the startup part, and it is also a bit disruptive. Each time we go to the next country we have a bit of time figuring out where the grocery store is, arranging the apartment to suit our needs, etc. We're staying in AirBnB places almost exclusively and AirBnB has totally solved a lot of the hassles of having to find apartments. But we're going to try staying linger- getting permits to stay a year or so in each country.

Finally, its a hell of a lot of fun to run a startup this way.

So, I'm sure most on hacker news disagree with at least something I've said, and this post is by its nature political because it is a questions whose answers, for me, are politically motivated. I'm not looking for a debate. If you disagree with my perspective on any of these things, that's fine, but I took a long time to reach them, and a lot of consideration, and there's really not much point in trying to persuade me (nor am I trying to pursuade you. I'm just answering the question.)

I am up for answering followup questions if anyone's concerned about mechanics etc.

billpatrianakos 6 hours ago 1 reply      
There may be a few stories like this but this is the exception, not the rule. As much as we have problems here in the states, it's still one of the easiest places to start and run a business (#4 in the world).

I didn't quite get why the guy in the story left for Korea though. It was just a story of an entrepreneur who left the states and is now S. Korea's Zuckerberg. So? I mean, it's impressive but so what if he left? Maybe his particular business would fair better there but again this the exception and not the rule.

There are other countries like China and India that have exploding GDP but the great thing about the U.S. is that while we are decently regulated those regulations don't do much to Hirt the founding of a business and allow businesses to expand easily. For example, India until recently has been chock full of mom and pop shops but not many larger, expanding businesses. This is because they didn't allow you to open a store in more than 2 location until just recently. That means no corporate franchises and the like. Over here you can pretty much do what you please within reason. Not sure why I got off track with the India anecdote but I just learned about it and thought it was very intriguing.

alecco 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Anecdotal evidence and a lot of narrative. What a poor article. Reminds me the also poorly researched bashing piece on Argentina a few months ago. They missed the point completely as business is booming here. A recent startup conference registered hundreds of projects. INC is junk reporting.

Edit: Same reporter! This is hilarious.


geebee 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Yeah, it's worrisome to see immigrants or (especially) naturalized or native-born citizens with strong ties overseas leave the US to start companies. But not necessarily a bad thing.

If they are leaving because the US has become an unfriendly place to new businesses, especially in high tech, that's bad.

If they are leaving because opportunities overseas are exceptional, and it's easier to capitalize on those opportunities for people with strong cultural or linguistic ties to a particular region, that's not necessarily bad. Having grown up in SF, I see the tech boom as a mixed bag. It's of course phenomenal to have so much wealth here. But I've also seen a lot of displacement. It's hardly a crisis that we can't cram every single tech startup in to this small peninsula, and I don't think it's a bad thing that people might actually want to live somewhere else either, in the US (Austin, Seattle, Boulder...) or overseas (Seoul, Bangalore, Copenhagen...).

That said, I do think these sort of stories do underscore why it's so important for the US to have a steady and reliable stream of STEM graduates come up through our own educational system. It's great to be open to talent from the rest of the world, but becoming excessively reliant on it long-term seems like folly to me.

sounds 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is just one anecdote. I don't see a broader trend of entrepreneurs fleeing the U.S. It's true, entrepreneurs are outside-the-box thinkers, so they may do unexpected things. Though the U.S. has plenty of troubles, I don't believe it's any better anywhere else.

(Except maybe Canada :-) I'm not from there, though, so I wouldn't know.)

hello_moto 5 hours ago 2 replies      
There are gazzilion reasons why people opted to do business back home as opposed to the U.S. and all of them are probably similar decision-making as to choosing your next programming languages: there's no one reason to rule them all.

I'm an immigrant. I'm considering heavily to go back home and start a business there (online, offline, doesn't matter). Reasons? cheaper workforce, more power, more connections, cherry picking, bigger pond, more people (consumers), etc.

I'll be using North America to include both US and Canada for the rest of my comment.

Here are a few more detailed examples (all of them are of course anecdotes to me):

Managing westerners that believe that they're entitled for everything such as perks, private offices, their choice of programming languages, their choice of best practices are often a time consuming activity. Back home, I can drive the workforce to do the best practices that I believe without having to have long discussions. Give them laptop, give them work, they're happy. This is because their mindset, perspective, and standard are different than here in North America. They're also cheaper.

After working with many programmers throughout my careers, I kind of grow a belief that I can train the less "creative" developers back home to be at the same level at most of the programmers in North America. They might not reach the level of superstar engineers, but they will reach the level of more than good enough at where I will be.

Connection is a big thing. It's harder to have a connection in N.A., especially when you're an immigrant (maybe it's just me). Where I come from, hooking up with people who have excess money is very easy. Especially when you graduate from a pretty good N.A. university (doesn't have to be Wharton or Harvard, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine is enough). They look at you as someone who has something "more" (whatever more that is).

In Iowa, you're nobody. In the [Capital City of your ancestor's land], you're something. Imagine that.

Overall, I find that the majority of large Asian cities are probably more alive than some well-known (but not necessarily large) N.A. cities.

Again, all of these are anecdotes.

bryanlarsen 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Sure, there are entrepreneurs leaving. But there are still lots of people moving to the States to become entrepreneurs. YC is one of many factors. What's the ratio of coming to going? I suspect that it's still quite a bit higher than 1.0...
8bitpal 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm really interested in what compels entrepreneurs to leave a country or area that was formerly a hub for startups.

I posted before in the context of SOPA: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3265961

What would it take for you to leave the place you are based now and try your luck somewhere else?

PLejeck 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If SOPA passes, imagine how much worse the situation will get D:
beefman 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Yet another article written for the pleasure of its author. Just tell us what data you have and how they answer the question in your (leading) headline. Three sentences and a table; done.
Web Consistency Testing webconsistencytesting.com
46 points by nirvdrum  7 hours ago   discuss
       cached 30 November 2011 23:02:01 GMT