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1
GNOME (et al): Rotting In Threes igurublog.wordpress.com
121 points by EdiX  4 hours ago   71 comments top 20
1
aes256 34 minutes ago 3 replies      
GNOME is clearly trying to imitate OS X. That much is plain to see.

In doing so, it seems the devs have adopted the Apple approach; dictatorial design. In many respects this is a good thing. It gives them the good sense to say "no" to certain proposals; I'm sure there are active GNOME contributors who would prefer Nautilus to have five customizable toolbars, and the system menubar to have a mind-boggling array of system stats. No.

Obviously, haters gonna hate. People who get a kick out of relentlessly customizing their desktop environment will no longer feel welcome. GNOME sold out, it went mainstream, whatever. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

This is a victory for ordinary users. This is giving the developers focus. A lot of user suggestions are just pointless distractions from the core goal, which is apparently to imitate OS X as much as possible without being called on it.

2
opminion 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Two golden quotes from a Gnome dev. Beware, they are taken out of context:

I guess you have to decide if you are a GNOME app, an Ubuntu app, or an XFCE app

and

for the first time we may have ability to really shape the user experience and form an identity for the GNOME platform

Why would the windows manager be a "brand", rather than the distribution? (Red Hat, Ubuntu).

There is no point (for them) in people "recognising the install" if they don't have easy access to it.

Having wasted enough time configuring appearance, I now would be in one of two scenarios:

1. Install a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu or Red Hat and then use whatever comes as a default (and avoid fiddling around to save my time for more important things). Won't use Gnome if it is not the default.

2. Install whatever allows me to use the same appearance as in the other machines. SuSE/KDE used to have a "Redmond" theme that looked and behaved like Windows Classic. Do the same in the Windows machines.

3
kayoone 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is alot of unnecessary Windows bash in that article, mainly because most of the arguments applied could also be said about Apple eg:

"...as I read some of the GNOME developer comments below, I was given to believe that this breakage stems from a Microsoft-like climate of preventing users from customizing their systems..."

4
graue 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This was a depressing read. But I noticed there was no dirt on the Xfce project. They continue to produce a useful, stable, customizable desktop environment that doesn't radically change every 6 months or try to force its way on you. And so, I continue to give Xfce my highest recommendation for anyone interested in running desktop/laptop Linux.
5
josteink 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I guess you have to decide if you are a GNOME app, an Ubuntu app, or an XFCE app

That's it. Gnome has peaked.

No point supporting people who are unable to grasp the idea that they work in a software-community and that pieces, even ones they don't use or make, will need to fit together.

6
mercurial 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This was posted on r/linux too. While I completely understand that you can't make a UI to please everybody, it's not an excuse to ignore user feedback and sacrifice everything to branding.

I had wanted to check out Gnome 3, actually, just out of curiosity, but being one of these people who actually like to select their terminal emulator, I realized I'm not part of the target demographic.

7
VMG 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Lots of hilarity and conspiracy in the comments - evidently Google is behind the decline of Mozilla and Redhat is killing Gnome.

Gnome3 has it's problems, however I as a user much prefer having one pretty theme and a changing API instead of a stable API and a forest of ugly themes.

Despite all the ranting and foaming of mouth, Gnome3.6 still is the best DE out there in my opinion.

8
likeclockwork 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
I find myself thinking about the historical criticism that has been aimed at the Linux ecosystem, that it lacks design awareness and doesn't have a unified aesthetic principle..

Then I see something like this and I wonder if in a way that wasn't a strength.

I mean "brand coherence"? I can't imagine what that has to do with Linux. Everything has always been so configurable, that in a way a lot of aesthetic decisions were left to the user and the app developer. People used Gnome 2, and other desktop environments to design their own desktop.

I used Gnome 3 for a few months last year when I was making my swing back to using Linux full time with Fedora. I found it usable enough, but it's lack of configuration options became frustrating because it didn't allow me to fine tune my GUI workflow, it also handled multiple monitors terribly and being unconfigurable didn't allow me to adjust that.

I was initially excited about Gnome 3 but it was pretty shallow. KDE 4 is an amazing desktop environment, with lots of configurability and in keeping with letting the user design their own experience. I made a good long stop there, for about a year, optimized my windowing workflow (one size simply does not fit all) then ended using xmonad but running some KDE apps..

It looks like GNOME and Unity are turning against the traditional spirit of the Linux community. I don't think that's for the better. The answer now to the question "I don't like it." for these Desktop Environments is "If you don't like it, tough." where as before it was "If you don't like it, change it."

I don't think Linux devs should ape Apple, Google, or Microsoft. Linux can be, and is, for everyone.. but it's especially for hackers and for people who like to tweak their experience. A project like a DE is huge and by turning away from hackers they're going to limit their ability to pick up new devs and devs are going to turn away from the GTK.

For some people Ubuntu IS Linux, Gnome IS Linux.. but for others not so much.

I don't develop desktop applications currently but I would like to. I don't see myself wanting to start a new project or get intimately involved with one that is dependent on the GTK at this point though.

9
acqq 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Here's my vote to "Reintroduce location/path bar toggle button." I really need the location edit box in file dialogs, and those %$£% removed it. Now I can't simply paste the whole file path to open or save the file, no, I have to click, scroll, click, scroll for every path component, instead of just one paste. %^$#

I also don't understand this "brandmaking" by alienating as much people as possible. Depressive read.

10
josteink 1 hour ago 1 reply      
After reading the full piece, it's obvious Ubuntu and KDE are not that much better than Gnome. Should we say 2012 looks like the year Linux "lost" the desktop after a few years of prosperity?

For someone running Ubuntu 12.10 with "basic" desktop needs, can anyone come up with some recommendations for a more open, forthcoming distro and DE? Someone to reward for their efforts?

It seems like using and supporting Ubuntu, Gnome etc at this point would be sending out the wrong signals.

11
vacri 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am really concerned about this effort to encourage and sanction themes and extensions.

Sanction is a great word - it's an antonym of itself!

12
bkor 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Allan Day is a designer, not a developer. Obviously he's not involved in GTK+ development. It is true that GTK+ is not much tested on any other theme than the default theme, but that is a matter of focus and lack of manpower.

IMO easier to be honest about it (no focus).

13
kzrdude 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> It is my hope that you are a GNOME app…

I can't really wish this guy anything other than good luck and good bye.

14
f4stjack 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is so true. And, unfortunately, this rot is not limited to GNOME only IMHO. In the good old days the desktop environments used to be cool and functional. I mean look at kde 2 and compare it with windows 98. Or take kde 3+compiz and compare it with xp and windows vista. Those desktop environments were different, has an unique style and blowing the minds of the windows + mac users. I mean compiz for god's sake. A lot of my friends' eyes go wide when I started rolling my desktop left and right and said it is all native, and uses this much of ram.

Having said all of that, let's take a gander to kde 4 and gnome 3. Can you really see that kind of difference and coolness? I, for one, can't see it. What I see is desktop interfaces which tries to macify themselves, which is sad.

15
josephlord 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Thankfully Ubuntu 12.04 is the Long Term Stable release. I think I'll be sticking with it for a really long time partially due to all this nonsense.

If 12.10 was the LTS I would probably have looked at switching distros.

16
drivebyacct2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
On the one hand, I don't like Gnome's attitude. On the other hand, I love elementary OS even though it has a similar approach and it builds on Gnome. I think I excuse the behavior because they actually pull off the experience well :/
17
gpvos 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
All this "we have simplified the interface" makes me think of the Emacs antinews file...
18
micaeked 3 hours ago 1 reply      
so, i read through some of that, the complaints about api changes and the developer responses. i did not read the entire thing

however, from what i read, i agree with the developers. they want a certain thing, so they are making it. they don't want people changing their ui/ux. if you don't like that, don't use it. use something else. or, fork it. make it what you want it to be

19
Tmmrn 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> > 2.) A close button on the corner of the bubble as soon as a mouseover
> > occurs (like Growl, instead of disappearing away)

> Same. The design of Notify-OSD is specifically not clickable, and we
> would NOT accept patches to change that.

Excuse me, Mr. Shuttleworth, but have you tried using blueman? When you get a pairing request blueman expects you to click "accept" in a notification...

20
compilercreator 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I disagree about KDE4 not being customizable. While the earlier iterations of KDE4 (such as 4.1) were lacking in options, newer iterations like KDE 4.8/4.9 are really customizable. See also Linus Torvalds' recent post where he also praises the configurability of KDE4, saying that it may even be too configurable.
2
E17 (Enlightenment) enters alpha after 12 years enlightenment.org
58 points by stock_toaster  2 hours ago   23 comments top 13
1
dschiptsov 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, I also remember E16.. Seems like Rasterman was the first one who made icons, that represent the content of file, and those transparent window titles and other decorations. And pseudo-transparent ETerm. Now we have all that in Gnome, but back then it was a feeling of going into the right direction.

Nowadays it must be a great product, because it was made with vision, for themselves, re-implementing cleanly and consistently all the layers from the very foundation, with attention to every detail. These are landmarks of a remarkable opensource product.

Someday I will replace my Gnome.)

2
anigbrowl 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Rasterman is kinda rushing into this, no? Seems like just last millenium I was installing DR16.

I would love for it to catch on again, but I wonder if/how it can build an audience after such a long hiatus (notwithstanding EFL etc.).

3
abuzzooz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
At one point, my favorite desktop by far.
As it happens, a few weeks ago I decided to take E16 for a spin after many many years of neglect. It still felt great and snappy. I'll be trying this latest alpha for sure.
4
antihero 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
The design seems to feel like they were designed by someone with no aesthetic taste but has just made things they think will look bling. I'm sure that it does something very impressive, but I can't see why everyone raves about it.
5
zemanel 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
As a Gnome fan, i used E16 as a replacement for Metacity (i believe?) and it was great.

This one time at a former employer, my boss was touring a visitor around the office while i was flipping the windows just because and it got their attention for a 5m talk ("oh shiny what is that ?") :-)

6
CJefferson 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Does anyone have a good guide, or set of packages, to get this going in Ubuntu?

I have tried a couple of guides and packages already, so please only suggest something if you know it works, I know how to google!

7
aditya 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Would love to see screenshots if anyone got it built and running?
8
stock_toaster 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh man. I remember using e16 for a while way back in the day. The "water effect" desktop thing always turned heads.

aside: Interesting, but brief, interview with the project lead (Carsten "Rasterman" Haitzler): http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Seeking-Enlightenment-...

9
urza 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
What are the key features? Why should I wanna try use it? Where is it better then other window managers? I cant find these information on the website. Just that it is "lean, fast, modular and very extensible window manager" which tells me nothing. I see that it is also for Mac and Windows. What does it have that these OSes dont have? What would be the benefint of using E17 ond windows 7?
10
jejones3141 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
e17 has been pretty darned useful and, from my user's viewpoint, stable for pre-alpha software... and the anti-user, customization is evil attitude of the GNOME 3 developers has pushed me to switch to e17. I seriously recommend Bodhi Linux.
11
syassami 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I never understood the allure of enlightenment, I always thought XFCE, Fluxbox/blackbox/openbox was a much more aesthetic minimal de. Everytime I saw an enlightenment desktop I thought I was being sent back in the past
12
DrinkWater 1 hour ago 0 replies      
i still remember me hacking through all the configuration files of E16, yeeeeears ago.

If i hadn't shifted from Linux to MacOSX, it would probably still be my window manager of choice.

But boy, this e17 thing is taking a ridiculous long time!

13
leadholder 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I took E16, newly installed on my laptop, to a work presentation once. I was really excited to turn the thing on and see everyone's eyes bug out. But I plugged the projector in and it turned out there was some strange compatibility problem. One step forward, two back.
3
The Best dcurt.is
313 points by jordanbrown  12 hours ago   239 comments top 66
1
mapgrep 12 hours ago 32 replies      
This is empty madness. It is, very literally, a celebration of total materialism.

What is ultimately important in life are people -- messy, filthy, bacteria-and-disease-laden, imperfect, emotional, sweating shitting cursing crying screaming laughing farting people and the connections we build to them.

This celebration of spending insane amounts of time choosing the perfect flatware or the perfect wallet is sick. Steve Jobs spent eight years discussing furniture with his family before buying a sofa etc (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/11/14/111114fa_fact_...). I will never do that, and I will never have flatware as nice as Dustin Curtis', and I will never have sound as good as an obsessive audiophile, or the perfect car.

I won't even write a particularly convincing Hacker News comment on this very topic. I've got to go. Life is too short for this shit.

2
onan_barbarian 10 hours ago 1 reply      
It's almost beyond parody: "when you have trust in everything you own, you don't have to worry about anything. It's liberating and an amazing feeling. My life was markedly better because of it."

Right, because sane people would otherwise spend a lot of time sitting around worrying about their stuff.

It reminds me of a Louie CK routine:

"I need the best Blu-Ray! What are you, the King of Siam? You deserve the absolute best everything? These machines are all the same, made by the same Asian suffering."

3
Swizec 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Dustin thinks he's discovered something new, instead he's just a product of this generation. The generation new york times once characterised as "Would rather own one pair of $100 jeans than ten pairs of $10 jeans".

Our parents are mystified. Their parents much less so.

4
oz 11 hours ago 4 replies      
This is the age-old debate of maximizers vs satisficers:

http://happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2006/06/are_y...

In a nutshell, Dustin is a maximizer.

Regarding flatware, my views have changed as I've grown older (I'm 26). A few years ago, I didn't care. Now, for some reason, I always reach for a specific knife/fork combo: I like the weight (most are too light for me), the balance between the handle and the blade/tines and the industrial design. Eating with them just feels better.

5
atourgates 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Finding "the best" of a product is an obscure hobby. And I'm all for finding joy in an obscure hobby. But I have a hard time believing that Mr. Curtis is any more liberated by the flatware that he spent 6-months researching than I am by the set I happened upon at Crate and Barrel.

I wholeheartedly admire people like Sori Yanagi who work hard to create "the best" of anything. I also wholeheartedly believe that trying to pin virtue on the process of being a consumer of "the best" of anything is little more than pretense

6
amix 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this kind of obsession (about things that don't matter) was best portrayed in American Psycho's business card scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoIvd3zzu4Y
7
gfunk911 12 hours ago 0 replies      
“Who are you the King of Siam, you got to get the best one? Who cares? They're all the same these machines. They're all made from the same asian suffering.” - Louis CK
8
wamatt 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Mr Curtis could do worse than watching Gladwell's Ted Talk from a few years back:

http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce...

tl;dr when one asks a question involving people, and you want the most fitted data, then you need to consider grouping/segmentation of the population into clusters of preference.

What is the best spaghetti sauce?

It's a flawed question, as it contains an invalid assumption.

Thus what Curtis seems to be describing is a (great/awesome/very good) etc set of knives, but not 'the best'.

Very good = a maximization of universal requirements

Best = maximization of universal && local requirements (population segmentation preferences, spacial and temporal context etc)

Example:
Those forks may be best for Curtis at his dinner. They are certainly not best for me, on my camping trip. Or best for a tribe in Africa with different shaped mouths and habits etc. Or best for someone eating Chinese takeout. etc

9
brianwillis 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I agree with Dustin's point that life is "markedly better" by having the best available. In saying that, I'm often happier to outsource some of the responsibility for deciding what is the best product to someone else than do the leg work myself. I just can't bring myself to get excited about televisions, cars, and most household appliances.

Would I find a product that better matched my sensibilities by carefully researching the market? Sure, but buying a product that's a 97% fit for twenty minutes of work is better than buying one that's a 99% fit for twenty hours of work. Or at least in my head that's how the cost-benifit analysis works out (this sort of thing is deeply personal, and I'm prepared to accept that other people's values are different).

The Wirecutter is great for this sort of thing (http://www.thewirecutter.com). Need a set of headphones? What's your price bracket? OK, get this pair.

10
scarmig 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Perfection is meaningless when it comes to material goods. They're always a means to an end.

Dustin would probably argue that finding a well-designed product is a better means to the end (of forming relationships, living, loving, friends, experiences, adventures). It's a plausible point, but it's empirically wrong.

No one in the history of the world has ever gone, "the one thing I regret most is not spending 40 hours researching to find the perfect set of flatware."

Following this advice is difficult for me. I usually find it very difficult to not do the same: obsessing over the best bed sheets, the best cutting boards, the best computer, the best Linux distribution, the best jeans, the best bike, the best books, the best newspaper, the best way to cut onions, the best suit, the best $MATERIALGOOD.

Because of a recent housing disaster, I lost virtually everything. It has been very liberating. All those hours spent obsessing over stupid shit? Worthless. The friends, family, and relationship that helped me get through it? Worth everything.

A shopping list, Target, Ikea, and Amazon can get you everything you need to live a materially comfortable life in 10 minutes. Everything else is just a means to playing an unwinnable status game.

11
collypops 8 hours ago 0 replies      
In the past week, Dustin has posted a few articles [1,2,3] that have gained a massive amount of attention here, which all try to drill home the point that we should be out there living our lives as if they're going to end tomorrow. We shouldn't put off decisions, we should act on impulses that will make our lives better in ways we won't even realise. In summary: Life's too short, so get on with living it.

Now he gives us this. Cutlery.

He should take his own advice and get out of The Waiting Place, get back in The Fight and Do more than obsess over subjective things that even his own opinion will change about in time.

[1] http://dcurt.is/the-fight

[2] http://dcurt.is/the-waiting-place

[3] http://dcurt.is/do

12
marknutter 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder how Dustin would react if he discovered that the company he bought the cutlery from was actually mass producing them and floating the whole "Japanese product designer from a family that made Samurai swords" story to help sell their product. Would it matter to him? Is he buying great silverware or a great story?
13
marknutter 8 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was in fourth grade I bought a tri-fold leather wallet from target. My older brother wanted me to give it to him because he would need one for his permit some day but I refused. I've went on to use the wallet for 20 years before I finally retired it. It held my money and cards perfectly every day of those twenty years and I spent maybe 2 minutes picking it out. I paid around $20 for it.

The point is, almost everything we buy these days is of pretty high quality - even the cheap stuff. Far more often do we throw away of give away perfectly good objects because we want to upgrade or because we no longer have a use for them than we do because they have stopped working.

I can see the appeal of owning what you perceive to be "the best" of a particular item, but you're kidding yourself if you think it's somehow fulfilling. It's just stuff.

14
calinet6 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Props for the URL - http://dcurt.is/the-best

My bet is he dreamed up the title and then wrote an entire meaningless post just to sneak it in. Y'all just been trolled good.

15
jwb119 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Can't help but think of that scene from Fight Club.

"It's just, when you buy furniture, you tell yourself, that's it. That's the last sofa I'm gonna need. Whatever else happens, I've got that sofa problem handled."

16
esolyt 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Impressive. Dustin Curtis has now developed the ability to praise Apple without mentioning Apple.
17
goblin89 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
> These might seem like stupid things to worry about, but when you have trust in everything you own, you don't have to worry about anything. It's liberating and an amazing feeling. My life was markedly better because of it.

Partly I agree, but I would simplify the statement: “You don't have to worry about anything. It's liberating and an amazing feeling.”

While not worrying, if you notice your wallet falls apart, you may momentarily feel uncomfortable and next time buy a better wallet to avoid losing money.

Should that be a reason to worry that you're using not the best wallet?

That might be true for certain things. Losing money can make you significantly uncomfortable, depending on various factors. There's probably a good enough wallet, but buying the best might just save some time.

Otherwise, IMO in the end it's up to you whether you worry or not. We can choose to alter the environment to be happier, or alter our outlook to achieve the same. I think it's mostly under our control, although may be limited by environment a person was raised in.

18
grecy 10 hours ago 0 replies      
While I try very hard to own a minimum set of possessions, always buying "the best" rings very true for me. Here in The Yukon we have 20+ hours of daylight for activities in the summer, and regularly see -40C/F in the winter.

Quite simply, if you don't buy "The Best" of anything, it will break or fall apart very quickly.

Kia cars last at most 2 winters up here.

Cheap canoes and kayaks won't last one summer.

I bought $200 hiking boots that were destroyed in one month walking to work at -40C

Gore-tex? freezes solid, cracks and is destroyed after -35C

The motto is very simple. Buy it right the first time.

19
kiba 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There is no best in everything, only tools that meet specifics requirement.

For example, there many kind of hammers for so many different purpose. One doesn't just use a hammer for everything that a hammer could do. Some hammer you use for smashing, others for driving a nails in, some to shape objects, and some to bash the opponents' head in battle.

Likewise, there's no perfect single piece of flatware. The Victorians, for example, loves to buy tons of silverware just to make eating elegant and perfect for every single dishes. They could have solved the problem of eating by merely washing their faces and their hands afterward, but custom dictates. Instead, they spent thousand of dollars on the many variations of fork, spoon, knife designed to meet different challenges of each particular dish.

20
waxjar 9 hours ago 1 reply      
This does not belong in the top spot on Hacker News. Quality stuff is nice to own, woop-dee-fucking-doo.

Just because Dustin Curtis wrote it, doesn't mean you instantly gotta hit that tiny little triangle. I very much doubt this little article would have collected more than 10 upvotes if it were written by some 20-year old that happened to stumble upon r/minimalism.

I've seen a few of his articles now that are upvoted mindlessly and don't have the slightest relation to technology or startups. It makes me a little bit mad.

21
driverdan 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Dustin and I walk similar paths. Last year I got rid of everything I owned, sans a medium daypack of stuff, and traveled for 6 months. A year later I own more things than can fit in my backpack but am very much a minimalist.

My philosophy of ownership is simple. If I need something I'll almost always get the best I can afford. Why not understand what you own? Why not own quality? I don't mean spend hours researching every small purchase but certainly spend a little time looking into something you'll use over a period of time.

I don't need a cabinet full of plates or a closet full of clothes. Why not own higher quality, fewer items?

22
ruswick 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This reeks of pretention and arrogance. It's fairly obvious and intuitive that expensive things are nice and that you should pursue them. However, the overwhelming majority of people have neither the time nor the means to spend hours researching silverware or dropping $50 per set.

Finding and paying for the best of anything requires more time, patience and income than most have. To me, it sounds as though Dustin has way too much time and way too much money, and hasn't a clue how to productively spend either.

Upsetting.

23
pulplobster 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I have never even given flatware or towels any thought. They both have minimal impact on my life and thus don't need optimization. My laptop has a great impact on my life, so I think it's reasonable to spend time researching what you need and paying for the best if that makes sense. My wife is a terrible premature optimizer. She pinches pennies on the most obscure things like toilet paper, just to turn around and spend hundreds on a bag. My view is that I would cut that bag out of my purchases, and then it doesn't matter if I optimize my toilet paper or not.

Oh well, people are different.

24
1as 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I like Dustin, and I love what he's doing with Svbtle, but he has this " as I see it " irrational need to own and experience "the best". Maybe there is such a thing as the best cutlery, and maybe the cutlery he bought is it...but it seems like such an empty, odd, materialistic goal. 'First world problems' writ large.

I first noticed it from this tweet (http://twitter.com/dcurtis/statuses/246843440179056640) where he asks about "the best ramen in Tokyo". Anybody with any cultural, historical, or indeed culinary understanding of ramen can see that this is totally missing the point.

My question is, why continuously talk about and seek "the best" as opposed to, say, "really good"? There's a kind of arrogance entrained in such a mode of thought.

25
olalonde 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I have the completely opposite experience. I find it much more stressful to own things that are high quality and expensive because I tend to worry more about such things. In general, I prefer to buy cheaper things knowing that I can easily afford to lose or break them.

Anecdote: as a kid, I hated going over to some of my relatives' houses - the ones that owned a lot of expensive stuff. They always seemed so stressed out about me breaking something and got pretty angry when it happened. I don't want to become that kind of relative I guess.

26
kiskis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Some guys just don't realize how artifical the problem is they pursue.

I'm wondering how much time will they devote to try to find the perfect coffin.

I mean, "some of the things that matter in coffin design are obvious, like the material and weight. Other things, which are arguably more important, are seemingly never even considered, like how the wood feels against your bones and skin, for example, or how the weight balances under the tombstone. The long term durability of each plywood is also important."

27
tlrobinson 12 hours ago 7 replies      
I love the idea of having very few things, but getting rid of the stuff I already have feels daunting.

I'd be happy to donate most of it, but I'd have to sort through everything, figuring out if each thing is worth selling, donating, or throwing away, then figuring out where to sell, donate, or throw it away, then actually doing it.

Anyone who has gone through the process, do you have any suggestions?

28
chewxy 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure if this is helpful, but I wrote a long response to The Best: http://blog.chewxy.com/2012/11/08/the-best-really/

In this I raise the point of "the best" being a meaningless measure as we're actively bombarded by lack of information and other factors that make us terrible in making calls on whether something is "the best".

I think it's rather hollow to claim that one wants 'the best' and yet doesn't discount in factors that makes one perceive something as 'the best'

29
jcromartie 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I was going to say that not everybody can drop $200 on 4 table settings worth of flatware...

But yeah, that's pretty much it. People living paycheck-to-paycheck really just can't afford the best because they have needs that pop up and make it next to impossible to save a lot of money when you can just as easily buy flatware that will last for years for $10 from a thrift store.

30
trotsky 6 hours ago 0 replies      
i respect a guy who doesn't give a shit what he owns about a million times more than this example of privilege and loneliness run amuck.
31
pvarangot 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry for you Mr. Curtis whoever you are... guess you'll never be able to learn how to play the violin.
32
mcantelon 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Man, those times my cutlery failed were rough. Glad someone's figuring out the big problems of life.
33
tnuc 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Is this an advertisement for cutlery?

Tune in next week when we will be told what the best toilet paper is.

34
dnos 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the author is getting at something, but I don't think he articulated his thoughts too well -- or at least not well enough to be analyzed by the HN audience.

To me, it came off as just pure garbage, spewing from a wealthy and/or insane person who cares more about the things he owns than what he actually does with those things, with a means of not necessarily communicating with others, but a way to convince their own self that it's OK to spend many hundreds of dollars on a flatware set.

The type of thinking the author seems to be making an argument for can consume you. You will NEVER be happy if you filter the world like this. Sure, there's a time and place for it, but don't try to convince me that it was "liberating" when you spent $50 or whatever for a fork.

35
ben0x539 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Couldn't someone have editoralized that title? It's not very informative.
36
MortenK 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
232 comments and counting, I never knew $10 utensils could be such an intriguing and polarizing subject.
37
rdl 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I like to optimize, but also optimize on price. In ~2007, I felt proud to buy a $21500 new Lincoln LS V8 (loaded) which I bought for $23k less than sticker the day they got discontinued, in UAE, since it was essentially a Jaguar S-Type. It made me happier than buying a $45k stripped BMW would have.

I also put a lot of effort into getting great headphones, great keyboard, etc., and a chair that I like.

I didn't put weeks of research into buying bowls. I saw they were cheap on slickdeals, noticed I needed bowls, and bought some on sale. I don't really research who makes the best bottled water at Costco, I just get whatever is cheap at the time.

Pick your battles.

38
vertr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"The result"being able to blindly trust the things you own"is intensely liberating."

It seems somewhat pathetic that psychological liberation should come from choosing the correct personal possessions. I think a better form of liberation would be to shift focus away from possessions entirely.

39
rhizome 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What is this, dcurt.is week? There were two on the front page yesterday.
40
rodolphoarruda 10 hours ago 0 replies      
My ex-girlfriend developed this obsession for having "the best" of every possible thing... I realized it by the time she dumped me...
41
ChristianMarks 9 hours ago 0 replies      
He died in 2011 but his flatware lives on. A whole year. OK.
42
milroc 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand why there is so much talk of this article being so very materialistic. It's kind of the mentality of a good number of individuals who did or are wanting to try a very minimalistic style of travel (others exist obviously: ignore certain needs (for me: don't bring a computer; for others: only the clothes on your back); buy and throw away each time you're somewhere new (only works in certain areas of the world with certain high budgets); etc. This however is the majority view point for vagabonding. Invest in key items that meet your exact needs (knowing your needs is an important aspect of this). If you do this beforehand you won't be stuck in some country without a passport because it fell out of the hole in your siblings old backpack.

If you ignore the anecdote about flatware you realize that the article describes minimalism at it's core. Ensuring all your needs are met with the minimal amount of goods. There is one flaw with this concept of "The Best" that individuals who follow this mantra tend to lose sight of another very important aspect - time. While Daniel Curtis clearly showed his obsession by buying 20 different sets to determine which is the best for him. I imagine that others don't have that amount of time to invest in this decision.

I am this way with most purchases; if you have something that will significantly improve the quality of life you have or something that while not necessarily a need but has moved to a desired addition to your lifestyle, spend the time to find the best fit for you. If it is not worth the time to look for what is the best fit for you; don't purchase it because you merely want it.

43
negamax 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is anybody else surprised by the hate mongering in the comments and losing the essence of the post altogether?
44
ftwinnovations 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought some flatware... A spork made of titanium. Why? Because I saw an ad on a nerd gear website. I've had it for years, and eat everything I can with it. But I don't have a strange obsession with everything being the best. But I love my titanium spork.

To each their own I guess.

45
Steko 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Call me crazy but imho "most functional set of flatware in the world" will not have 2 forks and 2 spoons.
46
DanBC 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Eh, I prefer the cutlery from Pott. (https://pinterest.com/pin/278519558175121239/)

Guy DeGrenne does nice cutlery too. (https://pinterest.com/pin/278519558175121407/)

The worst? (http://pinterest.com/pin/278519558175126518/) - this abomination.

Pinterest links used because, let's be honest, that's the best place for this kind of stuff.

47
javajosh 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If one attacks the OP for being materialistic, then one misses the entire point.

This post is about minimizing hypocrisy. Too often we do not pay attention to the things that others have built for us. We, the builders and the makers, do not pay enough attention to the builders and the makers that influence our lives! Don't we wish that our customers would pay close attention when they are deciding whether to use our products? Of course we do.

Dustin's materialism is the symmetry to the Hacker ethos of making, and if you think he's doing something wrong than you sir are no hacker.

48
nadam 11 hours ago 1 reply      
It would take an extreme amount of time and quite a lot of money to apply this philosophy if you have a family with small children (like me).
I am quite minimalist and selective in my work, but do not (and cannot) apply the same philosophy for my life.
49
kidfropro 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As an aspiring minimalist, I agree with Dustin's premise but not in his universal application. I believe the goal is to maximize the utility of a purchase, including the cost of information.

Spending an amazing amount of time researching features and the subsequent benefits and the combinations there of are extremely valuable for objects or services upon which we thoroughly rely. For anything less, it is just as important give equally less energy, if any at all.

50
antidoh 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Or: you're gonna lose it anyway, so don't sink too much into it.

The only things I'm willing to spend serious money on are shoes and teeth.

51
chrischen 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I also think it's a consumer's responsibility to seek out the best and do a little research. It sends the wrong signals to competitors if consumers do not do that.
52
Fando 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the philosophy! Many miss the point because they take the article literally. It's not about materialism, the article is about the benefit of cultivating a behavioural trait regarding the process by which one attains knowledge. It can pertain to something as simple as the craft of a fork or to a more abstract and complex idea such as the structure of industry. Thanks for the read.
53
jwilliams 11 hours ago 0 replies      
That flatware has design issues. I went through a lot of knife/fork combinations. The little "nubs" on these serves a few important purposes.

1. It gives an easier point to grip, particularly for people that have problems gripping.

2. It stops liquid (e.g. a juicy steak) from dribbling down the fork on to your hand.

Of course, it doesn't look at cool...

54
zerostar07 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Buying the best stuff, i have no problem with that. Being the guy who always buys the best stuff, reminds me of that phrase about the things that end up owning you.
55
mrknmc 12 hours ago 2 replies      
He should post a list of such things.
56
giblfiz 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This post makes me think of many of the concepts from "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance".

For those who haven't read it, it focuses heavily on the nature of quality (how it is both somewhat universal, and somewhat a matter of taste) and the spiritual nature that quality can contain.

to mapgrep, the first poster, I would suggest that not all things concerning or focusing on physical objects are materialism. One could even argue that dcurt is attempting to _avoid_ having to think about material objects once he has bought them, that this is what he means by "trusting" the things he owns.

57
Myrmornis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Neurotic materialism. Or a joke.
58
Donch 10 hours ago 0 replies      
American Psycho.
59
Peteris 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Reminding me of that Motorolla Droid add with the guy living with his devices and bed in an open concrete square house. Thoroughly optimal design is neutral, soulless and impersonal, it is frightening.
60
heed 8 hours ago 0 replies      
>What is ultimately important in life are people

What's important in life is whatever you define is important.

61
grinich 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Buy the best, cry once.
62
alexmr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the loosely follow this philosophy without it taking over my life. finding a person/source you trust a ton and buying what they say is helpful, for example thewirecutter.com
63
adebelov 9 hours ago 0 replies      
i think this is an incredible post. We rarely embrace the art and quality it takes to build things that we use everyday (toothbrushes, wallets, backpacks, forks, etc.), but in search for them, you encounter people that built them and an incredible story behind them.

Very inspiring to strive to surround yourself with best of everything.

64
andrewartajos 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The best is usually expensive.
65
namank 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be wary of your 'intrinsic side effect' carrying over to your relationships and human interactions.
66
leeoniya 5 hours ago 1 reply      
who is upvoting this? why? hackernews has gone to shit.
4
No Studying After 5pm: Using Parkinson's Law to Kick Procrastination's Ass seangransee.com
70 points by seangransee  5 hours ago   27 comments top 12
1
kanamekun 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Racing to get everything done by 5 pm, telling yourself that you can't work on weekends... hmm, sounds almost exactly like being a parent!
2
paulsutter 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Clocks vs alarms is a new insight. During hour-scale procrastination, I do check the clock often. An alarm near the deadline, instead of clock-checking, could force me to start the task immediately because of uncertainty. I'll try it right now.

EDIT: I just tried it. Unable to check a clock, I felt a real urgency to get things done. Very interesting idea.

3
mindstab 4 hours ago 4 replies      
That must be nice if all you are doing is being a student. I on the other hand don't even get off work till 6. Home by 7, then dinner. If I'm lucky I sit down to study at 8. Lets face it, you really don't realize how good you have it as a student, but your advice isn't terribly useful to the rest of us now in the work force also trying to continue to learn/enhabce/keep up.

tldr: student life has a lot of freedom and perks over working a job, nanananana.

4
tsahyt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For me, productivity changes on a day by day basis. There are days when I'm able to stay focused and work from 8am to midnight, taking a half-hour lunch break and a 5 minute break every 3 hours and I actually get a lot done in that time. On other days I work for hours on end on the same thing and won't get it done because I keep procrastinating, checking HN, reddit, whatever.

I think it's a lot about being motivated and excited about what you do. If it feels really interesting, the work is basically doing itself. If I've got other things on my mind (which I have lately), everything feels like a chore. Still have to do it though. The same even applies to my personal projects to a lesser degree.

5
mediocregopher 5 hours ago 0 replies      
YMMV. I'm also working part-time along with full-time school, and my average school day doesn't end till around 3. This ends up with me not home till 8 usually. I would never be able to hold to any kind of schedule like this, since my days vary so wildly, both in amount of school work and work work.

Personally, what keeps me from procrastinating is that at this point of my school career the work I have to do at home is mostly project based, so I actually find most of it somewhat interesting, unlike the busy-work laden gen-ed courses I was in the first two years (when I did have a big problem with procrastination).

6
DrorY 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm sorry but I can't see how this is applicable for my situation. What kind of studies are you talking about? University (First degree)? Second degree ? High School? I've just started my first year of computer science and mathematics. I study all day long and still don't find time for anything else. Also, try adding a girlfriend or a spouse to the equation. With all the positive sides of it, it adds a lot of distractions during the day that you can't control.
7
jessepollak 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Are you actually able to get all of your work done by 5pm on a consistent basis? I really like the idea you're promoting (and I may well try it myself), but that seems like a stretch for me. Between 2.5-3.5 hours of class a day, lunch, and the time it takes to go from class to another etc, that would really only leave me 2-3 hours for work every day...I honestly don't think that would be enough even if I could focus 100% for the whole time. Is your experience different?
8
rizzom5000 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's the same story every time someone posts one of these.
1. Be Motivated
2. (optional) Use (1.) to be healthy, and therefore increase your ability to be (1.).

Yep, that's been the story for as long as people have been thinking about success and communicating to others on how success works.

9
rgbrgb 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What classes are you in? The labs for my OS class seem to usually take on the order of 20 solid hours per week and my school requires at least 5 classes per semester.
10
eLobato 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What was your schedule like during hackNY?
11
holograham 5 hours ago 1 reply      
To summarize:

Get adequate sleep and exercise
Maximize flow time

12
taubo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
You have some great student life there.
I'm 2nd year, full time CS student + working part time(30h/week) as a developer. My day starts at 6.30am and usualy ends at about 1am working/studying all day.

I could only dream about your schedule.

5
Are "Shameless Plugs" Worth It In Blog Posts? Some Data danmaz74.me
8 points by europestup  1 hour ago   8 comments top 3
1
zalew 45 minutes ago 1 reply      
I guess the desired conversion from promoting yourself is getting a client, not click and tweet count. So: did you get any gigs thanks to that?
2
Camillo 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
You make a library for A/B testing. Why didn't you use A/B testing here?
3
huhtenberg 28 minutes ago 2 replies      
The other way to look at it - 97% didn't react to your shameless plug, and probably a good chunk of these were annoyed by it. An ad is an ad, regardless of how you call it.
6
Keep writing Dustin sufficientlyadvanced.net
6 points by suhail  53 minutes ago   discuss
7
Great design from Apple on an interaction with Siri 37signals.com
265 points by joeyespo  14 hours ago   99 comments top 24
1
minikites 13 hours ago 10 replies      
That's one of the things I liked about the Android alarm app that I miss on my iPhone; when you set an alarm and tap "Done", it would say "Alarm set for 9 hours and 22 minutes from now" (or whatever), a quick sanity check to make sure you didn't confuse A.M. and P.M. or accidentally put in the wrong day.
2
markbao 13 hours ago 3 replies      
It's all about the little big details that reduce friction in user experience. This attention to detail:

1) reduces errors and user frustration,

2) substantiates the thought in the user's mind that "the software will do what I want", and

3) teaches users that the software will accomodate them, instead of requiring the user to accomodate the software.

It would have been better, actually, if the dates also mentioned the day of week, like "Thursday, October 21 / Friday, October 22". I'm more familiar with what the day of week it is, but not necessarily what the date is.

If it mentioned the weekday, I would be able to answer "Thursday" immediately, since I know that I intended it for Thursday, but I wouldn't necessarily know that it was the 21st without looking at my watch.

3
Firehed 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is what causes my love-hate relationship with Siri: when it works, it's a fantastic experience and gets little details like this spot-on; when it doesn't, it's off by a mile. More frustratingly, it doesn't seem to improve much between major iOS releases despite being mostly a thin client to Apple's services.

To be fair, I generally prefer obvious failure rather than quietly doing the wrong thing (which is what probably would have happened here), but even really simple stuff like "take me home" only seems to work as expected half the time.

(I'm ignoring situations where the voice recognition fails outright, since that's a totally different problem - this just relates to handling of correctly-interpreted commands)

Like many others, I wonder what Apple's QA and user feedback processes look like with Siri. Unlike Maps, there's no way (AFAIK) to report a crappy Siri response, so while I'm sure they have stats on low-confidence speech-to-text results, I'm not sure what they do to determine "you heard me right, but you did the wrong thing" or "doing X instead of Y would have been a lot more useful". As such I assume most of it is internal QA process, and Apple's secrecy around new features (fortunately Siri no longer qualifies as such) definitely hurts QA that requires a lot of real-world usage.

4
whalesalad 13 hours ago 3 replies      
My only complaint with this is that I often have no idea what day it is. I'd love it if it added the day of the week as well. "It's after midnight, did you mean today, Tuesday, or yesterday, Monday the Xth day."

I too have seen this a handful of times and thought, "Wow, that's really clever Siri!" only to realize a few seconds later that Oct 21st vs Oct 20th does not help me and I am still screwed. Then I cancel out and go look at the calendar day and then re-sirify it.

Then again I am not that smart.

5
esolyt 13 hours ago 4 replies      
Actually, this isn't the best possible design. As others here have already pointed out, a better design would be presenting the options as:

4 hours from now

28 hours from now

This one doesn't require me to know the current date and also works as a sanity check to make sure I'm not confusing AM and PM.

6
acangiano 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Discussion on Reddit from a month ago: http://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/10f3al/clever_siri_if...

In that thread, I commented:

In my opinion a much better question would be "Do you mean in 9 hours?". If you say yes, set it for today. If you say no, then it's tomorrow.

7
zaidf 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Boy I can't wait for the day when we look at this screenshot and chuckle that it was even needed. My problem with Siri and others is that if I have to look at the screen after every command, it kills away a huge chunk of the benefit. If Siri was a human, it is the equivalent of having the human repeat what he heard every time you made a request to confirm he understood you correctly. That would be annoying. And often just easier to do it yourself.

This is one area there is massive room for innovation. I'd give it a few years before we can say a command like "hey iphone, text mom that I am home" and within seconds, hear back "done!". I'd know with confidence that the right message was sent. Even more importantly, I'd be able to do all this without needing to lift my phone, or have to get closer to the phone or speak too much louder than whispering the request to an assistant.

8
epaga 2 hours ago 1 reply      
One time I had to set my alarm for 4am (early flight) and Siri said, "OK, but don't wake me up!". On the one hand that's pretty funny of course, but on the other hand, I think it's a helpful sanity check for you to make sure you didn't actually mean 4pm.
9
ComputerGuru 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I just want to point out that this must be a recent innovation, because only two weeks ago I got screwed over by telling Siri to create an appointment "tomorrow" after 12am, and she booked it for the day after and told me she created the appointment for "tomorrow" (no date).
10
pws5068 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I've also benefitted from this condition once but it would have been helpful to show a day of the week beside the date for added clarity.

Did you mean Sunday October 21st, or October 22nd?

11
keltex 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anybody know how "Google Now" handles this?
12
sturmeh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Whilst that may seem like intellegent design, you'll notice that you can't see the current date anywhere on that screen without making assumptions.

This screen would make me feel uneasy and over-analyse the options. (Does it mean yesterday or today? today or tomorrow?)

It would be nice if it also showed the day of the week on each option.

13
runemadsen 13 hours ago 5 replies      
I wonder what the workflow is in the Apple teams that allows them to catch stuff like this. Is this the work of a single, smart programmer, or a good QA team?
14
altrego99 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems common sense to me, I would most likely have done it this way if I were designing a voice operated alarm module. Hence it follows Apple is already likely to have a patent on it.
15
jonmc12 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This particular feature may been less a function of Apple design philosophy and more a function of Siri being built on top of a contextually-sensitive disambiguation engine.
16
jamesrcole 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, it's not about the literal details, but how the user perceives the details.
17
tbrock 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I constantly check this website for nice little touches that usually go unnoticed: http://littlebigdetails.com/
18
daladd 12 hours ago 0 replies      
When I first saw the Siri Query, I was anticipating it would try to disambiguate A) remind me (to inflate my tires tomorrow) (at 9:00) vs. B) remind me (to inflate...) (tomorrow at 9:00). I guess I was overthinking it.
19
cecilpl 13 hours ago 4 replies      
This is the difference between a programmer's understanding of "tomorrow" and a user's.
20
IheartApplesDix 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I love this post so much. Please upvote onto front page so more people can be made aware that Apple and Siri exists, and they are the bestest.
21
aviswanathan 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone once said that the best things about good software are the things you don't notice but improve your life. Case in point here.
22
jheriko 12 hours ago 0 replies      
This is why everyone should test things... stuff like this falls out of good testing if you miss it on a first pass. :)

some people could learn from that idea - even if they already hire 1.5 testers for each programmer.

(yes i mean microsoft)

23
corwinstephen 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't call it great design. I'd call it lack of bad design. I feel like asking which day you're referring to is an extremely obvious step in selecting a time. The fact that we're surprised by it is a testament to how terrible most productivity software is.
24
pmtarantino 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Excellent. I would love to know who, from Apple, suggests this details.
8
The definitive guide to forms based website authentication stackoverflow.com
290 points by mmare  17 hours ago   66 comments top 23
1
mdemare 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, this is weird. I created this question when StackOverflow was just out of beta, hoping to steer it to more broader questions - guides, if you wish. This question really took off, but the format didn't, and SO mostly became a stack of incredibly specific questions and answers.

And now somebody, but not me, has submitted this question to HN. Under my name. I'm puzzled...

2
UnoriginalGuy 15 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm normally highly sceptical of anything which is essentially a how to guide on security of, well, anything but I have to say whoever this author is they absolutely know their stuff.

Normally security advice is just 1980s circle-jerking of the same meaningless "sound good" concepts (e.g. "At least one upper-case, number, special character") but actually, no, not in this case.

Instead he is giving advice which is modern, which is based on how people actually use these systems, and also the common mistakes developers make while building them (e.g. not hashing forgotten password keys).

He even linked to NIST Special Publication 800-63 and THEN talked about login attempts over time. This dude is just incredible. I literally couldn't have written a better article than this.

3
DenisM 16 hours ago 1 reply      
As a rule most security advice on stack overflow is dangerously wrong. It's just not a good topic for the site, because consensus if often wrong in such complicated question.

I don't see anything obviously wrong with this particular article (aside from challenge response or SSL choice - one should just always use SSL, and if you can't, then seek professional advice), however I am still apprehensive of the hive mind.

4
WayneDB 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Why do maximum security sites always disable auto-complete for username and password?

That seems less secure to me. If I always have to type in my password, chances are that I'll choose a password that can be easily remembered or I'll be forced to write it down somewhere.

(Personally, I use plugins to get around this anyway. My computer, my rules.)

5
y0ghur7_xxx 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Where I work we use something simple like kerberos/basic/digest/custom http header authentication on our apps, and then put Apache with mod_auth_form in front of it (or ISA server).

I even wrote an authentication reverse proxy[1] in java in my spare time, so I can use that to publish my apps, and have SSO across all of them (until BrowserID becomes mainstream that is). This way I centralized the cookie auth problem, and don't need to care about it in every app.

[1]http://p.r0xy.it/

6
dochtman 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Added a mention of/link to Mozilla Persona.

IMO, it's the easiest way to handle authentication today, fully decentralized, secure, and with nice privacy guarantees. With it, you don't have to care about user names (just use email addresses), passwords and secure storage thereof, it mostly just works (and once it'll get linked into the big email providers in December or so, almost everyone will already have an account).

7
optimusclimb 15 hours ago 1 reply      
2 points by sreeix 160 days ago | flag | discuss
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4047424

316 points by moonlighter 457 days ago | flag | comments
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2859234

8
madjar 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The first answer mentions a couple of time that any token given to the user (for remember-me login or password reset) should be hashed in the database.

Would it be possible to replace the whole storing by signing the token with some private key, so that the validity of the token can be checked without having to compare it to some stored value ?

9
novaleaf 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm jaded, but the first thing I thought when I read this was:

"If I asked this question, 5 minutes later it would be closed as subjective"

10
jicktroyat 16 hours ago 2 replies      
In the article they talk about the 500 worst passwords of all time. Here is a gist listing those passwords. https://gist.github.com/4033452

Might be useful for some of you.

11
nsxwolf 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I still have no idea what a "Remember me" checkbox is when I encounter one. It certainly doesn't seem to be a "keep me logged in" function. I don't know if it has something to do with form autofill, because my browser seems to do that wether it is checked or not.

Can anyone demystify this for me?

12
jonalexr 14 hours ago 5 replies      
Regarding website authentication, I've been looking for some feedback on a new auth scheme.

Instead of using a standard password (all characters are allowed, min 5 characters, common passwords not allowed), you're able to login with a 4 digit passcode. I know someone just cringed at that thought, but the idea centralizes around improving user experience on the website.

First, all normal precautions would be taken (no common digit patterns - 1234, 1111, 2222, etc). There would also be a limit of two attempts before the passcode is reset. The reset procedure would be them receiving a new passcode via SMS, and them having to reply "yes" before the account is unblocked. The passcode is also reset every month, and a new one is sent via SMS to your phone (you can reply to change the passcode to something else).

Now for the issues I would need to address before this is even a possibility:

1) Users on the website login with their phone number, so one obvious attack would be someone cycling through all possible phone numbers with the same passcode (for example 8237). One suggestion in the article was detecting average error rates and comparing them to see if the entire website login should be throttled.

2) If someone somehow gets a hold of the database, all passcodes would be easily crackable. Now usually this would be a huge issue, but this is because normally people could use the email/password combination to login to other websites the user might use. Since they're using 4 digit passcodes, this wouldn't apply.

3) Someone could write a script to try phone number/passcode combinations until the entire website has their passcode reset, but this would fall under 1) where the error rates would exceed the normal limits and the logins would be throttled.

4) What would be an appropriate way to throttle? I mentioned it twice above, and in the article it was referring to a timeout, but the user experience of this would negate all benefits of a 4 digit passcode. Someone could keep trying combinations, and keep throttling the site every day. I could block the ip's, but what if those ip's were also sources of legitimate traffic and stopping users from logging in/signing up.

Thoughts?

13
eze 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope this gains traction before it's closed as subjective or such...
14
hayksaakian 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Two things that stood out to me:

Given that the most common 50 passwords are known, why not reject them outright? Simply state to the user: your password is too easy to guess.

Passwords should always allow spaces in order to allow people to use easier to remember passwords, a la xkcd.

http://preshing.com/20110811/xkcd-password-generator

15
dools 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Shouldn't this be called the definitive guide to session based authentication?
16
duncans 14 hours ago 1 reply      
> I see multiple, severe problems with this old question from 2008 and I am tempted to delete it outright -- primarily because the most highly voted answers read more like blog rants than actual "answers".

http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/95172/old-problemati...

17
led76 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What do people think of services like https://www.loginprompt.com/? (provides logins as a service for your startup)

Isn't this sort of security something we wish we didn't have to learn? And for people who don't take the time maybe it's best to let a third-party handle it.

18
zobzu 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Its full of good info, but most of the time now, i'd just put persona and be done with it
19
duncans 14 hours ago 1 reply      
> if an attacker got his hands on your database, he could use the [persistent login cookie] tokens to log in to any account

If an attacker gets his hands on your database, it's kind of game-over already.

20
frasierman 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Quick note about CAPTCHAs... A more accurate rate is $1.50 per 1000, and that's even a tad expensive.

If you buy in bulk, it's much cheaper.

Source: Security researcher.

21
criswell 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I love the attention to usability in the first answer.
22
thefsb 16 hours ago 1 reply      
it's mostly good. NIST abolished their algo for pasword entropy estimation some time ago. i do not much like any password strength tests, most of which rate any number of terrible passwords as strong. as such i think they give a false sense of security. maybe consider cracklib.

as DenisM said, always use SSL for all traffic if security matters and don't trust SO for security advice.

23
bjhoops1 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Fantastic resource. Just what I was looking for.
10
How the Internet of Everything Will Change the World…for the Better cisco.com
8 points by harrydoukas  2 hours ago   2 comments top
1
bdfh42 1 hour ago 1 reply      
There is also a more immediate and practical issue. Each connected "thing" (let us assume sensor for the moment) is supplying a state signal about one thing - this needs coordinating in some way to tell you useful things (like some action needs to be taken or there is someone in your house - or better, a particular person is in your house). This requires some form of set-up for each potential scenario.

I am looking to start in with the Eve Alphs Kickstarter project http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ciseco/eve-alpha-raspber... to explore ways for sensors to self organise through software to provide a higher level view of current state that can be interrogated at a much higher level - perhaps be able to deal with a completely new situation.

11
AMD dismisses numerous open source developers h-online.com
9 points by manish_gill  2 hours ago   discuss
12
Typography Spacing Research aldusleaf.org
77 points by jashmenn  10 hours ago   13 comments top 9
1
crazygringo 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, what a beautiful site, and beautiful typeface (reminds me a great deal of Minion, which was chosen to set The Elements of Typographic Style).

And an absolutely fascinating investigation. It's almost like the famous quote of not being able to define something (pornography), but knowing it when you see it. [1]

Typography, with its rhythms, is almost the purest example of this. It's so easy for a good designer to kern, set linespacing, etc. until it "looks right" to your eye. But I wouldn't even know where to begin to try to translate this into an algorithm -- because it's not just about spacing between letters, but having that spacing be harmonious as well with the structures within letters (like the horizontal rhythm of an "m").

I personally suspect it's something close to trying to equalize the "area" between adjacent letterforms, but the problem is that depending on angles, case, etc. that "area" is a "blob" we feel, not an easy calculation. I wouldn't be suprised if the best approximation involves some kind of fuzzy-bitmap blobs, rather than any hard of hard exact calculations.

I look forward to reading more research results!

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it

2
aston 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The tl;dr of this article is that the author summarizes some really interesting leads on automated letter spacing, but so far hasn't come up with a winner. There are a number of loose ends in there that might be interesting for others to pick up and run with since he's made much of his code available.

Most promising to me is the concept of bubble kerning, which not only appears to work in the limited testing the author does here, but also meshes with my intuition about how to space letters.

3
dfc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
His Crimson Text font is very attraactive:

http://aldusleaf.org/crimson.php#download

4
idan 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A fantastic deep-dive. If you want to know just how deep you can take the craft of presenting beautiful type, this is a great example.
5
lucb1e 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Am I the only one where the typeface on the site bugs? Or perhaps it's supposed to look like this, but it's really hard to read. Windows 7 with Chrome, no uncommon setup.

Is's really ironic how most typography blogs have this problem. Same problem occurs on Linux too by the way, which I run on my desktop (this is a laptop). No localized issue.

6
evoxed 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting. I haven't attended TypeCon in a couple of years but last time I went algorithmic kerning was a fairly hot topic amongst event-goers and some of the people giving talks. Machine kerning is still sort of looked down upon as far as I can tell (in the design world) but as a practical tool it's great that people are working on it and it has certainly improved many times over.

It looks like a great article and I'm looking forward to going over it fully to see if there's anything really new but overall it looks quite clear and covers at least a few things that I've tried (maybe less than successfully) to describe to others.

7
mh- 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Misspelled letters within the first twenty words of an otherwise-excellent article about letterfitting. :)
8
exolxe 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is pretty intense. I'm a designer, but even for me it's almost too dense. Would be really if there was a cheat sheet with the main takeaways.
9
verroq 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Am I the only that thinks "Wow people actually give a shit about this?". It seems comical how much people are willing tolerate this typographical circle jerk disguised as "designing".

I for one, cannot take this guy seriously when the title of his post isn't even antialiased (funnily enough with no kerning present). Or when he commits binary and swapfiles into his git repository.

13
The email I received from Google in 2007 when they wanted to buy Zlio berrebi.org
124 points by cypriend  13 hours ago   35 comments top 10
1
nugget 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of these comments confuse me. What do you expect an m&a email to read like? Having been through a bunch of acquisitions, that email is par for the course, especially for a (presumably) smaller acquisition. You have an internal product sponsor who asks for basic financial info, asks for a price, has clearly laid out next steps and the process, and wants to start immediately. All positive for a first step. Some of the best corp dev guys I know have the worst grammar and email manners and to focus on that as a weakness is ridiculous...as long as they can approve a wire transfer, who cares? Some people are Youtube and have Eric layering sweet sugary syrup on their Pancakes whilst they discuss the beautiful synergies of a monster deal, but most of the time, the startup CEO is hustling it across the finish line.
2
mvkel 12 hours ago 5 replies      
What an awful email. Reads like a lazy VC associate trying to do as little work as possible to pass along metrics to higher ups.
3
trevelyan 12 hours ago 0 replies      
They wanted financials and a valuation range? And then deep communications about technical challenges and workarounds? Reminds me that one of the nice things about owning a company is you can tell people to go away.
4
citizens 13 hours ago 1 reply      
> "For the little story, Zlio, became blacklisted/sandboxed by Google 6 months after…. It killed the company…"

This is only speculation, but it looks like zlio.com was sandboxed/blacklisted because of rampant spamming. 4 out of the top 5 referring domains are porn sites (about 150k links).

Source:
http://ahrefs.com/site-explorer/refdomains/subdomains/zlio.c...

5
woodchuck64 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Social eCommerce Site Zlio Joins the Deadpool: http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/19/social-ecommerce-site-zlio-...
6
damian2000 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like they also got banned from selling on Amazon too...
http://techcrunch.com/2007/05/21/zlio-banned-from-amazon/
7
dsymonds 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Why is it now trendy to publish private mail like this? Is there really that much public benefit to be had?
8
OldSchool 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Of course I don't know what the terms were, but if you're in a position to decide to take on (more?) VC or sell to Google I'm inclined to say going with the latter is the better choice.

If you're a great visionary you'll have another chance not too far down the road to show the world again. If your good fortune hitched a ride with lady luck to some extent, then shamelessly cashing out your personal bubble is also a smart thing to do.

9
satp 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I always used to wonder about the contents of the first mail when an acquisition offer is made. Sad if all read like this! I hope not.
10
exolxe 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I love Jeremie's life principle which got him through the Google sandboxing/blackballing and company failure after passing on the acquisition:

“Everything that happens in your life is for your own good”, “Every challenge makes you stronger”... "All he said was, don't worry, good things will happen after this tough experience"

--http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/ilan-abehassera

15
Reflecting on 14 years of free software ben-collins.blogspot.com
22 points by bitcartel  5 hours ago   discuss
16
Help save the cultural heritage of Afghanistan pasthorizonspr.com
6 points by codelion  2 hours ago   discuss
17
Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win time.com
261 points by sek  21 hours ago   120 comments top 17
1
zeteo 19 hours ago 11 replies      
I think polling on such a detailed level is fundamentally changing the democratic process. In the past, politicians had to be leaders - present a vision that was quite possibly unpopular to start with, and persuade people to come around to it. (See e.g. JFK and the space program.) Nowadays they're becoming expert hagglers: keep this mini-group barely content, say exactly the right nice things to the other, ignore a third altogether because they're 10% over in enemy territory. I don't know where this is leading to, but it's definitely a big change.
2
ryanwaggoner 19 hours ago 6 replies      
I find this really interesting, but I'm unclear on the proof that this made a big difference for Obama's campaign success. I'm sure Romney had people crunching the numbers as well, and he actually raised more money than Obama.

This was a pretty narrow victory, there are a lot of structural, ideological, and demographic biases at work here, and Obama did worse among most groups than he did in 2008.

Put another way, is there any evidence that Obama would have lost or even done much worse without this data crunching effort?

3
downandout 20 hours ago 5 replies      
The gist of this article is that Obama was able to use a combination of data mining and creative marketing to pinpoint impressionable voters in crucial areas with a view toward manipulating the electoral college system to his advantage. This is yet another reason to toss the electoral system in the garbage and set it on fire. In no event should a relatively small subset of the population in a handful of states be responsible for choosing the President of the United States.
4
RyanMcGreal 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Interesting.

I somehow got added to the Obama campaign mailing list, and their recent fundraising emails politely noted that their records did not show me having donated any money (I'm not American and don't live in the US). They also said that their records might not reflect my donation if I had made it through a different channel.

However, this article suggests that all the channels go to the same database. I wonder whether one of the following scenarios is correct:

* The database has eventual consistency (maybe my donation through channel X would take some time to be reflected by the campaign team);

* The message was a ruse to throw off independent and Republican analysts to the sophistication of the database;

* It was CYA in case something had gone wrong.

5
soupboy 19 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/victory_lab/... - Slate article from Jan 2012 "Project Dreamcatcher
How cutting-edge text analytics can help the Obama campaign determine voters' hopes and fears."
6
fatbat 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone have additional insights to what is meant here?

"...the campaign's Quick Donate program, which allowed repeat giving online or via text message without having to re-enter credit-card information, gave about four times as much as other donors. So the program was expanded and incentivized."

- How did the Quick Donate program work? Like Amazon's 1-Click checkout?

- What was the call to action for Quick Donating again?

- How was the program expanded/incentivized?

7
brown9-2 19 hours ago 1 reply      
A similar profile from Mother Jones pre-election: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/harper-reed-obam...
8
plinkplonk 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone have any info about the tech stack?
9
azernik 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Nate Silver made an interesting point a while back when he compared the political data revolution to the Sabremetrics revolution in baseball.

In baseball, the journalists and pundits were way ahead of the professional operators in moving from gut calls to data-crunching, while in politics, it's the opposite - what Silver and other public number-based forecasters do is commonplace inside the campaigns.

10
andrewkkirk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Want a future in campaign management?

Cut your chops with an e-commerce company. While there learn big data, how to test, and read into behavioral economics, and you're set.

11
binarray2000 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Fascinating stuff... and something I want to learn more about.

Can you please recommend me books/software applications/online courses for doing the work these guys were doing for Obama campaign?

(Just to clarify: I am a developer and I grok SQL. So that part is covered. Other parts... less so.)

12
clarkmoody 17 hours ago 2 replies      
What this article seems to show is that the election was not about political ideology. It was about getting out the vote. The Obama campaign fine-tuned its message to scientifically increase returns in those targeted groups. The Romney campaign played the 'smoke-filled room' game (for all we can tell).

In none of the presidential debates did either man speak in depth about his governing philosophy (or the Fed for that matter). Their talking points rang loud and clear over and over, and finger-pointing abounded, but neither spoke of his core convictions. The campaign speeches were much of the same. For all of the complaints about Romney's lack of details in his economic plan, the President didn't do any better, simply offering a 'stay the course' message (he learned something from Bush).

Therefore, given this article and the lack of ideology involved in the campaigns, I conclude that the voters were not persuaded by philosophy. They were targeted by the campaign so that the powers that be could keep their power.

Looking back to the electoral college results of 1980 and 1984 shows what a strong, clear ideological message can do. Those familiar with Reagan's speeches will know why.

So for those who say that America has embraced any certain ideology, I say that it has not, since ideology hasn't been on the ballot for a long time. People have embraced a man, and the philosophical debate has reached a new low.

13
wilfra 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Too bad the single biggest piece of data here is going to be ignored. If they started competing with Silicon Valley for talent and put thousands of these guys to work in a building somewhere to fix this country, they'd quickly become the 'nuclear codes' of the USA. But they wont bother, they'll immediately forget all of this until the next campaign and go back to politics as usual.
14
lukethomas 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that they mention email lists - I tried unsubscribing several times from the President's list, and it never worked. Anyone else notice this?
15
harshaw 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd sure like to know more about their methods and algorithms. What exactly "is" big data is glossed over so much that I can't tell if they are doing something unique here or simply applying a large degree of automation.
16
f137 15 hours ago 0 replies      
"A politician thinks about the next elections " the statesman thinks about the next generations."

There are no leaders anymore.

17
patrickgzill 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Hilarious!

What gave PA to Obama was the blocking by the courts of the Voter ID act that the legislature passed.

Note that in all the praise about individual contibutors in the article, there is no mention of "bundling" and the routine use of cutouts, both rather unsavory practices that both sides use.

EDIT: this site may prove a useful antidote to the above article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/campai...

Romney raised more than Obama in total $$$. Even without the SuperPAC contributions that gave Romney more money, the two campaigns were within about 10% of each other in terms of what they raised.

18
Was Intrade being manipulated over the last month? overcomingbias.com
42 points by randomwalker  8 hours ago   21 comments top 8
1
hooande 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The author brings up some good points about the potential for arbitrage between prediction markets. But in my experience, intrade has a strong conservative bias. This is more likely a case of people betting on their (incorrect) political convictions as opposed to intentional manipulation.

I remember observing a similar thing around the betting on the supreme court healthcare decision. The odds were 3-4 points more against the legislation on intrade than they were on other sites. The comments were overwhelmingly partisan and conservative. "The Supreme Court will find this unconstitutional because Obama is a socialist."

The idea behind prediction markets is that people will only bet when they know something that the rest of us don't. But we shouldn't underestimate the human ability to convince ourselves that everyone else feels as strongly about an issue as we do.

2
pg 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been wondering about this for week. Is there a statistical smoking gun anywhere?
3
cypherpunks01 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A commenter over there mentioned that a similar phenomenon was noticed during the 2008 presidential election, and quoted John Delaney (Intrade founder, now deceased):

Mr. Delaney conceded there had been erratic behavior - including spikes in the direction of Mr. McCain and away from Barack Obama "by up to 10 points." And he said "trading that caused the unusual price movements and discrepancies was principally due to a single 'institutional' member on Intrade."

But, after interviewing members of the institution involved and tracking its trades, Mr. Delaney wrote in an e-mail message on Saturday: "I do not believe based on our investigations and over seven years' experience in such matters that the trading on Intrade was designed or motivated to artificially inflate McCain's chance of winning."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/business/20predict.html

4
gojomo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Over betting markets as a whole, it's hard to distinguish 'manipulation' from simple 'overconfidence' by a certain side.

The difference between InTrade and Betfair over long periods is the large mystery... though given the lags/fees in getting money in, and the fact the markets aren't that large -- so maximum profits aren't very high -- seem likely to be part of the answer.

There's a reasonable Robin-Hansonian-case to be made that attempts at prediction-market manipulation improve market accuracy over the long term, by increasing the rewards to those taking sides against the manipulator.

5
Dn_Ab 7 hours ago 2 replies      
My friend and I also did some 'arbitrage', we almost didn't do it because we were sure we had something wrong, I mean, aren't markets supposed to be efficient? We even made a program that calculated optimal amounts and alerted us when the odds were aligned to a particular criteria taking into account exctraction fees, exchange rates, commission and stuff.

Our only explanation was that betfair (our other side) was mostly European while Intrade was mostly American so it is possible that lots of Intrade betters were buying into the media's attempt to try to make the race a lot closer than it was while the Europeans were not so biased. I don't know but it is a simpler explanation than someone purposely losing money because they think influencing a prediction market would affect the actual outcome?

7
qq66 6 hours ago 1 reply      
If a prediction market is famous enough to affect an election, it will generally cost more than $1 million to manipulate. I doubt that voter turnout would have increased if Intrade had predicted a Romney win -- too few Americans know what Intrade even is.
8
colonel_panic 6 hours ago 0 replies      
One Intrade commenter from London claimed he was set up to earn about $20,000 in arbitrage against Betfair. If you expect the manipulation to continue over a period of time (which I certainly did, and wished I could register on other betting sites), it's worth it to deposit larger sums of money with bank transfers despite the wait.

At one point I wondered whether the manipulators were making large purchases once per day and whether this could explain why the different betting sites never came back in line with each other. In that case, a savvy arbitrageur might take advantage of prices while they're at their widest differential, and then wait to buy more the next day. I thought I saw a pattern like this going for a few days in a row but it was gone by the time I felt confident enough to trade around it.

20
Simplicity francispedraza.com
52 points by brianchu  10 hours ago   16 comments top 8
1
bithive123 4 hours ago 1 reply      
How are readers supposed to approach this piece? The tone reminds me of Morpheus from The Matrix. I know we live in the age of "tl;dr", but the formatting demonstrates the piece's assertion that "Less, for the sake of less, is not more."

I should probably regard it as a poem of sorts, but as a series of assertions it basically tells us that in order to advance the state of the art (which has come so far that things once thought impossible feel simple) we must be willing to spend a lot of effort solving hard problems. The rest of the piece tries so hard at profundity that it ends up being mundane.

2
6ren 31 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Simplicity is removal of redundancy.

2. More redundancy can be revealed by expanding scope.

3. The ideal scope size is what can be reasoned about independently and specified independently from the rest (there's a global optimisation problem here, of trade-offs between the scopes of adjacent parts).

4. The scope for measuring redundancy can also be expanded, to include all things reasoned apart and specified by a person. This enables us to account for specification techniques which are complex in themselves (in an absolute sense), but which improve simplicity overall, by being applicable in many situations (generalised) - they can remove redundancy across unrelated domains by factoring it out.

an information-theoretic perspective

3
jhuckestein 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The author quotes Jony Ive on simplicity. There's a great interview he did with the telegraph on simplicity: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/9283706/Jonathan...

My favorit quote is "Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that's a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product. That's not simple."

4
gklitt 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I found it quite a stretch to call manufacturing exactly identical iPhones "truly one of our civilization's greatest accomplishments". An impressive feat, to be sure, but pretty far down there on my "greatest accomplishments of civilization" list, after democracy, basic medicine, space exploration, etc.

The general point is a good one though! It's true that simplicity is often invoked as an excuse for laziness, and authentic simplicity can be very difficult to achieve. I think that developers/designers sometimes confuse simplicity of their process with simplicity of the end result. The latter is really all that matters.

5
adrianhoward 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't claim this as any great insight - but I've been finding using 'sharp' or 'precise' as a description useful instead of 'simple' when talking with clients about UX and UI design.

It doesn't cover quite the same ground as 'simple' - but it seems much easier to talk about. Simple is one of those words that means radically different things to different people. Minimal. Easy. Monotone. Etc.

Folk who liked the OP would probably find the book The Laws Of Simplicity by John Maeda of interest http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/laws-simplicity. It's more a series of extended blog-post style essays around simplicity than it is a unifying framework of laws - but I still found it a thought provoking read. Short too ;-)

6
michaelkscott 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The best

Simplicity

Loving all the great minimally titled posts coming out of sbvtle lately.

7
brianchu 8 hours ago 0 replies      
My takeaway was that simplicity = precision, not elimination.
8
francispedraza 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks to whoever added this to Hacker News! Great to find it here.
22
Firefox OS " video presentations and slides on the OS, WebAPIs mozilla.org
139 points by vectorbunny  18 hours ago   47 comments top 6
1
pajju 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Mozilla nurtured the web with Firefox. This is yet another great project for the Mobile ecosystem.

I always wished for myself and for the larger web community a 'Rock solid web based Open' Mobile Platform. And it is happening fast.

All such advancements are only possible today, as we have faster Javascript engines, can leverage Cloud services, access to cheaper hardware and much faster Internet Penetration and adoption than ever before. The web can function as a strong platform by itself and not a hybrid model.

Also let's not forget the big failure of the over hyped Palm WebOS.
Many said - it was too early; not ready for the market. I too agreed then. :)
Lets hope Firefox has good design patterns and moves agile.

Couple of things I wish everyone knows -

1. Are all the System level API's ready? Telephone API, Sensor API's et al. It looks to me, its under prototype and design, what's the current stage?

2. Can this leverage WebGL and all HTML5 features?

3. AFAIK, all the front end is around Javascript or some Javascript MVC.
Are there any other programming API's?

2
y0ghur7_xxx 17 hours ago 6 replies      
Sorry for the OT, but I always get a certificate error when visiting that domain. Am I the only one?

http://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-checker.html#hostname=hacks.mo...

Says the cert is ok, but my firefox complains:

  hacks.mozilla.org uses an invalid security certificate.
The certificate is only valid for tbpl.mozilla.org
(Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)


Maybe there is something wrong with my network.

3
leeoniya 17 hours ago 2 replies      
i haven't been this excited about something in a long time. what i wouldn't give to hack my own phone without learning proprietary platforms.
4
thelukester 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Mozilla has lost their way with Firefox, and are becoming like MS. They have a slow, bloated browser that runs terribly on Android. Instead of trying to make the best browser for the platform, they created FF OS, locking the user into their platform and API standards, just like MS tried to do when it bundled IE in Windows.

I had a WebOS phone and despite loving the beautiful UI and it being ahead of iOS in many ways like notifications and task switching, I dumped it. HTML5 killed the user experience. I need fast, responsive apps that only Android and iOS can deliver.

There's no way I'd ever go back to generic, laggy, HTML5 Apps.

5
jobu 17 hours ago 2 replies      
There's no mention of gaming in those slides. Will they be supporting WebGL?
6
johnmmurray 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Oh yay... another OS.
23
Twitter survives election after Ruby-to-JVM move theregister.co.uk
106 points by tawman  5 hours ago   137 comments top 17
1
timothya 4 hours ago 3 replies      
It's interesting that when it comes time to scale to serve enormous loads, you have to be willing to change fundamental parts of your stack which you've made a huge investment in. Ruby holds up well enough on the majority of the sites that use it, but when you have traffic the size that Twitter does, it's just not good enough. And it turns out that Java provides a nice tradeoff with high performance and high-level code.

It's also interesting to see different companies approach this problem differently - Facebook famously recreated a way to run their PHP source code (by compiling it to C and then running it natively) instead of actually rewriting the source to a different language. I wonder if something similar would have been possible for Twitter, or if they weren't happy with how their existing code was structured in the first place which may have made the rewrite more attractive.

2
SiVal 4 hours ago 9 replies      
What this says to me, a non-RoR user, is that it's harder to build websites with Java than with RoR, but if you pass a certain (very unusual) level of traffic, you'll wish you'd made the extra effort; otherwise, you'll be glad you didn't. (Extra effort isn't free.)

Fine, but what I wish I understood was why RoR is so popular to begin with. The claim is always that Rails is so wonderful that it's worth learning Ruby just to be able to build web apps with Rails. Well, if so, then why isn't there a sequel to RoR: Python on Rails? "The benefit people care most about (Rails, not Ruby) using the language you already know (Python)." Since Python, Perl, and Ruby are so similar except in syntax, and people love the Rails part more than the Ruby part, and so many more people know and love Python, and new Python web app frameworks appear all the time...why isn't one of them Python on Rails after years of Pythonistas being forced to abandon Python and learn Ruby just to be able to use Rails?

Is there some significant difference between Python and Ruby that explains this? What makes Rails so attractive and why isn't the same thing done with Python?

3
kevinconroy 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The novice programmer says: "My language is better than yours."

The wise programmer says: "Use the right tool for the job."

Please HN, we're wiser than trending stories would suggest.

4
malandrew 4 hours ago 2 replies      
While I can agree that scala/java/jvm deserve some credit for this (typing, concurrency support), I think stories like this do a disservice in that they underestimate the importance of building a system a second time with all the lessons learned the first time around.

This is not unlike those stories where a developer writes a trivial program in a new language that is similar to a trivial program they wrote in another language 1+ years prior and compare the results. "I wrote program foo in 30 lines of code in language X, which is much better than the 120 lines of code it took me in language Y two years ago". It's natural for a developer to write a shorter program two years later since they have 2 more years under their belt. In fact I'd expect the same program to be much better two years later even if written in the same language.

5
erichocean 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Would have been nice if the title was "Twitter survives election after Ruby-to-Scala move", since that's what actually happened.

(They do use a bit of regular Java, but the majority of the core code is Scala, and it's Scala that should be getting the top line credit here, not Java.)

6
Cowen 5 hours ago 1 reply      
> None of this will be welcome news to the army of fanatical Ruby developers who believe the language's syntax, its high developer productivity, and its overall philosophy far outweigh any performance disadvantage it might have compared to other languages.

I'm a relative newbie to the Ruby world, but as best I can tell, the Ruby and Rails communities both accepted long ago that they weren't made for Twitter levels of traffic.

Fact is, almost no one has Twitter levels of traffic besides Twitter. That's why Ruby and Rails are still so popular, because for ~99% of performance needs, they're more than capable and also extremely pleasant to work with.

7
neya 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is why I insist people to work on a robust stack from ground up, so it will be less painful in the long run. This is not to say that you shouldn't build a prototype in Rails to get everything up and running as quickly as possible and worry about scaling later, but, it is just my opinion that if you invest the time and effort in working with a robust stack (for example Scala+Lift), your investment will pay you off in the long run.

I've always admired rails for its flexibility and its enormous productivity boost, but all my serious applications are coded in Lift. I for one believe in "develop and forget", because I'd like to call myself a business guy than a programmer, though I'm deep into both. I like to spend more time expanding/marketing my business than worry about scaling it. But that's just my perspective.

JVM is terribly under-estimated and I realized this when I got started with Lift+Scala. Scala is a very powerful language and requires a totally different mindset (=functional). And Lift is fairly complex for those wishing to get started with it and has poor documentation, despite being a 5-year old Framework. But once you understand it fully (somehow), there's no looking back. Lift provides so many things out of the box, especially related to security (unlike PLay!), so it's kind of a trade-off you have to choose between. Even if you compare all the benchmarks, most of the JVM-based languages like Scala outperform even something like GO! (Ok, that's not fair, since GO is fairly new)

If you're interested in Scala, Coursera has a course on it by the creator of Scala himself (Martin Odersky).

8
eta_carinae 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The rumors of Java's death are, indeed, greatly exaggerated.
9
pyrotechnick 4 hours ago 5 replies      
This move marks the beginning of the end of a four year long effort for Twitter to rid themselves of Ruby.

History will remember the entire Ruby industry as a series of compounding failures.

The de facto formalisation and specifications.

The black-box behaviour of core development.

The broken-linked, un-versioned docs.

The rampant cargo-cult mentality.

The arcane exceptions.

The meta-frameworks.

Gem hell.

1.9/2.0

Rails.

10
nnq 4 hours ago 1 reply      
...I never get it why scaling is seen as such a "hot" problem and everybody seems inclined to make language and technology choices based on it ...I bet Twitter could have scaled well keeping Ruby and rewriting performance critical parts in C and maybe keep tweaking and tuning the Ruby interpreter, much along the way the Youtube team did with Python and C and now some Go I hear...

I think their decision was more influenced by the experience of their team of programmers or by employable talent pool - they went the JVM|Java|Scala route because they had people with experience in high level languages and the JVM. If they happened to start with a team with "C hackers" background they would've gone the Ruby|C way and it would've worked as well.

...I think almost any language and technology can (be made to) scale, even to Twitter scale, at least if it's open-source and you have people with the required technology to hack around the internals and recode performance critical parts in lower level languages (basically C, C++ or Go nowadays)

11
cpt1138 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Ive heard that Java is DSL for turning large blocks of XML into stack traces. But it does it fast and reliably.
12
gary4gar 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Twitter's better performance is because of a better architecture than Java language. Further, the performance is from JVM, so you can use any of the JVM language including JRuby to get similar effects.

This articles seems more like link-bait to me.

13
camus 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
And i say they should have use C++ directly, C++ is the only thing that scales ... what? oh sorry i meant Assembly. Nothing scales more than assembly, java is slow... why are we having that discussion again anyway ?
14
DigitalSea 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if Node.JS would meet the needs of Twitter? It's marketed as a language for real-time applications that require a lot of concurrent connections and whatnot, not nearly as complicated as Java/Scala either but would it be stable enough to power a site like Twitter? The inner nerd in me is going haywire with the possibilities.

While most won't ever encounter the issues Twitter encountered using Ruby and Ruby on Rails these kinds of articles are very damaging for the Ruby language and Rails framework because even though I primarily still use PHP, Ruby & Rails are something I have a vested interest in as well and this will no doubt push potential newcomers away from the language.

15
jakejake 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I would think that scaling the web servers to handle 15k requests per second would be relatively easy compared to scaling the database servers.

I would have thought that you could just throw cheap hardware at that problem, whereas the database would be a considerably complex scaling issue.

16
elchief 5 hours ago 1 reply      
JVM is a wonderful thing.
17
sicxu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Scalability is an architecture issue, not a programming language issue. You can certainly build linearly scalable system in Ruby. It just costs more to scale a Ruby app vs. an equivalent Java app. In the end, the tradeoff is between engineering cost and operating cost. When you spend 100k to hire an engineer and your traffic can be handled by a few boxes. Engineering productivity is your primary focus. As your traffic grows, you need more and more servers, server efficiency becomes more and more important. At some point, the savings in server cost justifies the increased cost in engineering effort and you make a switch from Ruby to Java.
24
When You're Visited By A Copy Of Yourself, Stay Calm npr.org
94 points by llambda  15 hours ago   8 comments top 5
1
experiment0 13 hours ago 2 replies      
The book mentioned by Oliver Sacks on hallucinations looks interesting.

I have to say that one of my favourite neuroscience books has to be, "The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat" by the aforementioned Dr. Oliver Sacks.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Man-Who-Mistook-His-Wife/dp/03305236...

It's really a great read for anyone interested in neuroscience, psychology or just weird and wonderful stories in general.

2
1123581321 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I took the subject to be advice for composing recursive functions.
3
denzil_correa 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the Nobel Prize winner who came up with the first concept in Game Theory - John Nash.
4
kefs 8 hours ago 0 replies      
seems as if npr.org is having an issue with their ssl cert.. or akamai's..

(Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)

5
hypno 9 hours ago 0 replies      
In my self-hypnosis scripts for Summon the Warrior: http://SummontheWarrior.com I use sensory recall and a few other techniques that can induce hallucinations. Certainly, they can be triggered by a smell or sound.

Negative hallucinations are even more common (like not being able to see the car keys when they are right in front you). I see people show signs of negative hallucinations when they walk past litter on scenic paths.

26
Ask HN: Tell us about your side projects.
5 points by anujkk  38 minutes ago   6 comments top 3
1
shanelja 22 minutes ago 1 reply      
Since I was a little kid I've played on these text based "mafia" games, where the idea was like any other game, to be the highest rank, the richest, the one with the most "kills" or in the best "crew", etc.

I started learning to code because of these games in all honesty, over the last couple of weeks I've been working on an open source mafia game (with an installer and configuration page, control panel for moderators, etc) to allow inexperienced people to release their own version of the game (or to give experienced programmers a solid base to work from.)

At this stage I'm getting in the content, the gambling aspects of it, etc. and I am reaching the point where I will consider releasing it. About 90 hours have gone in to it so far at about 6 hours per day (I also have a 40 hour/week full time job with a 2 hour each way bus commute.)

I've come up against and defeated a lot of challenges, and the codebase is very clean and MVC based (I use php5, CodeIgniter and MySQL) so I'm genuinely proud that this revisit to my more youthful days has been a fruitful one. I plan to go live with a demo and release the source on github and via my personal website in about a week or two, depending on how I fare against what I have left to code.

2
jgrahamc 26 minutes ago 1 reply      
Here are some of my little hacks: http://jgc.org/labs.html
3
anujkk 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
I will start with myself. I recently introduced the first version of my wordpress theme "strapfolio" on HN [1]. Got lots of visitors, not so many sales and some valuable insights through comments and analytics. I will be utilizing my coming weekends to improve it.

I am also looking for ideas for my next side project that I will use as an opportunity to get a better understanding of Flask & Angular.js. So, if you aren't able to work on it yourself, let me know if you would like to get some web app that you wish existed.

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4753200

27
Sweden Needs More Trash, Because It Has Turned All It's Got Into Energy fastcoexist.com
38 points by exolxe  9 hours ago   17 comments top 5
1
martinkallstrom 2 hours ago 3 replies      
The municipality in my city Linköping, Sweden has actually made a really impressive business model out of this. I pay them to pick up my garbage twice every month, and then I pay them to heat my house by burning that same garbage. And they have me put organic waste in special green bags that are separated from the other garbage using computer vision, making bio gas that I pay for to drive my car on.
2
hansbo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In my home town of Trollhättan, the entire public transportation network was driven on biogas from the organic trash of the people. While sorting the garbage into organic/inorganic was a bit of a pain, the result was really impressive.
3
Wintamute 42 minutes ago 1 reply      
Wait, isn't it better to actually recycle this stuff, rather than just burn it? By burning it aren't we forever losing access to that physical matter by just turning it into heat radiation? What if we need it later?

EDIT: It sounds like the Swedes mainly burn the organic waste, and recycle what can be recycled. If that is the case, fair enough. Would have liked to see discussion about this in the article, seems fairly key.

4
zurn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Same discussion from 10 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4706196
5
Bjoern 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone have an idea what the impact of burning the trash has on the air pollution?
28
Colorado measure legalizing marijuana passes coloradodaily.com
444 points by neverm0re  1 day ago   179 comments top 26
1
scythe 1 day ago 3 replies      
The most important part of this to me is that it generates a huge amount of precedent for the Latin American countries such as Uruguay and Guatemala that are considering legalization. The United States has used its global influence to push drug prohibition in other countries -- see for instance http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/bulletin/ww_en_db_cannab... -- and with these victories -- even if they prove to be merely nominal -- the people of Latin America can see that prohibition is crumbling.

There are some people who like to portray marijuana as a first-world-luxury or sideshow political issue, but for people in the countries most affected by the drug war, it is anything but. This electoral victory may just show some serious positive influence in Mexico, where the realities of drug prohibition have inflicted a lot of suffering on a lot of innocent people, and that's the real victory here.

2
moistgorilla 1 day ago 4 replies      
As someone that doesn't smoke weed and never wants to. I'm happy that this got passed. I want Cartels to go out of business.
3
trotsky 1 day ago 1 reply      
In unrelated news, doctors announced unprecedented drops in the number of 20-40 year olds suffering from migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and insomnia.
4
llambda 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interestingly enough, Washington State's similar initiative, Initiative 502, passed as well tonight. It would seem momentum is growing around legalization. How the federal government via the DEA and DOJ ultimately handle these two victories for legalization proponents may be telling in regard to how close a national concensus is.
5
pinchyfingers 1 day ago 2 replies      
Alcohol prohibition in the United States underwent a similar process. New York legalized alcohol, while it was still prohibited by federal law. Eventually, enough states had stopped arresting and prosecuting people for alcohol that it was not feasible to continue federal prohibition.

Yes, the DEA may have a presence in Colorado and Washington, but the vast majority of law enforcement is handled by local authorities. When enough local authorities stop enforcing the federal prohibition of cannabis, the prohibition will come to an end.

6
detst 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm actually optimistic about civil liberties in this country. Didn't see that coming. Two states legalized marijuana and possibly four more states have approved gay marriage (btw, I rarely smoke and I'm not gay).

Let's keep this going.

7
46Bit 1 day ago 1 reply      
Provided this actually happens (ie: it doesn't get sabotaged by the DEA), I expect Colorado's tourist numbers and college applications will compete for the largest increase next year.

Not a weed smoker here, but good to see some sanity emerging.

8
DanBC 1 day ago 5 replies      
Prohibition is clearly stupid and has caused very great harm. Other people have mentioned the death and destruction in Mexico as one example. I am strongly pro legalisation.

But the links between cannabis and mental ill health remain unclear. We don't know how many people have mental illness caused by cannabis; we don't know how many people with an underlying illness have that illness triggered by cannabis; we don't know how many people with an existing illness are self-medicating with cannabis. (Legalisation will help. Researchers now have the ability to do better science.)

Mental health treatment in America is sub-optimal. I am concerned that legalisation and the lack of good health care is a bad combination. But this is just a gentle concern - I am still strongly pro legalisation.

9
stinky613 18 hours ago 2 replies      
This is all well and good, but at this point there's no guarantee that the federal government won't slap it down. My limited understanding of the law suggests there are two avenues for the federal government to do so:

I. - Under the Supremacy Clause "the U.S. Constitution, Federal Statutes, and U.S. Treaties [are] "the supreme law of the land."...and mandates that all state judges must follow federal law when a conflict arises between federal law and either the state constitution or state law of any state." [1]

Whitehouse.gov lists Department of Justice Guidelines for (medical) marijuana laws, stating that "persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling, or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of Federal law, and are subject to Federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution."[2]

II. - Under the Interstate Commerce Clause, Congress has the power "to regulate Commerce...among the several States"[3]

A quick example of how the ICC could be applied:
If a farmer in Colorado buys fertilizer from a company in a marijuana-illegal state for the purpose of growing and selling marijuana they have engaged in interstate commerce and may be subject to the ICC.

I just hope that the federal government stays hands-off long enough to see what kind of net change in state government cash this can make.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause

[2]http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/federal-laws-pertaining-to-m...

[3]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause

10
Osmium 1 day ago 5 replies      
As an outsider, I'm not sure I understand what this means. Can someone explain how this will work in practice? in the sense that this doesn't over-rule federal laws, and presumably federal agencies (like the DEA) will still operate in Colorado?
11
dutchbrit 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good news! Let farmers grow it and people at home. Sell it, tax it, allow people to buy it in a safe environment instead from dealers that try to get people hooked on other crap. This makes weed less of a gateway drug and more a greatway drug.
12
at-fates-hands 19 hours ago 3 replies      
I think they are plenty of good arguments for legalizing marijuana - however, things like this tend to make me think twice about it:

"In California alone, nearly 1,000 deaths and injuries each year are blamed directly on drugged drivers, according to CHP data, and law enforcement puts much of the blame on the rapid growth of medical marijuana use in the last decade. Fatalities in crashes where drugs were the primary cause and alcohol was not involved jumped 55% over the 10 years ending in 2009.”

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/02/nation/la-na-pot-dri...

13
seanalltogether 1 day ago 4 replies      
Are there any other instances of this kind of issue to compare this against and see how it's going to play out. I'm trying to think of other instances where something was illegal at the federal level, and states have made that legal?
14
tubbzor 1 day ago 4 replies      
Living in Colorado, I voted yes on Amendment 64. This was mostly because I think the hemp and 'recreation' industries will pull in a lot of tax revenue (of which, the first $40 million will be put directly into a public schools fund for the state), as well as potential job growth.

I'm not sure about the rest of the state, but Fort Collins and surrounding cities banned dispensaries within the city limits. Will this still be the case despite 64? Or will stores that sell marijuana products no longer be considered 'dispensaries'?

It will be interesting to see if the federal government will even let a hemp based industry get started up at all.

15
suby 1 day ago 0 replies      
At the time of posting, it also looks like Washington is going to pass their marijuana ballot too.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/marijuana-legalizat...

16
signifiers 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Didn't think I'd ever see a .gov page officially referencing: a) a ballot initiative, b) marijuana and c) Cheetos & Goldfish, but here you go: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?c=Page&childpagenam...
17
lsiebert 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Legalization this is not. It's decriminalization under state law, but that doesn't mean that federal criminal laws go away. The Supreme Court is content to have both laws exist in force, IE, it didn't suggest in Gonzalez vs. Raich that medical marijuana laws are illegal exercises by the state, merely that they don't remove existing federal laws.
18
doctoboggan 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a pretty big deal. It will be interesting to see how the federal government handles this.
19
larrykubin 1 day ago 2 replies      
20
pioul 1 day ago 1 reply      
The amendment will allow those 21 and older to purchase up to one ounce of the drug at specially regulated retail stores.

I'm glad this passed for the several reasons highlighted in other comments, but doesn't that mean every one of these stores will have to track who buys weed and how much in order to not sell more than one ounce to the same person?

And wouldn't that be very tempting for insurance companies or even corporations to get their hands on these records?

21
HistoryInAction 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can't wait to see the impact analysis from http://www.marijuanamajority.com/

Perry Rosenstein++

22
Inebas 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I am having a hard time understanding the reasons for support here in HN so please help me out. A common reason cited is that it prevents violent crime outside of the US but is that a 'good' reason to support it? Suppose that it is a more powerful drug that is very hazardous to a person exist. Doesn't that speaks to the same situation? Should we legalize that as well?

I can't articulate it well but shouldn't we make the decision to legalize it based on whether it is good for this country? I'm unfortunate that it created a lot of bad side effects elsewhere but that won't ever stop.

With that said, I am for it because I think drugs shouldn't be treated like criminals. They don't 'hurt' anybody but themselves so it's along the lines of alcohol addiction, etc...

23
piokoch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'am curious how health insurace companies will react. Would they charge more from people who take marijuana? Would it be legal for them to investigate if someone is cannabies smoker?
24
sigzero 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I am sure the Feds are going to slap it down.
25
black_kiwi 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder what the increase in tourism and population is going to look like
26
armenarmen 1 day ago 0 replies      
...and im trying to profiteer
http://www.facebook.com/HerbTours
29
Why Startup Founders are Always Unhappy jessyoko.com
72 points by jesskah  12 hours ago   21 comments top 13
1
diego 10 hours ago 1 reply      
If there is one thing I dislike more than self-help, it's self-help based on anecdotal evidence from one person with no background in psychology. Even more so when the title of a post states an extreme personal hypothesis as if it were a fact obvious to everyone.

If you want to know more about happiness from a scientific point of view, read or listen to experts like Daniel Kahneman. For example:

http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kahneman_the_riddle_of_exper...

2
kloncks 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I never understand this. Where are all these unhappy founders?

I'm a startup founder myself and I naturally know many others. This is the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Yes, it's stressful. No, I don't know what will happen tomorrow. Yes, it's a lot of work.

But I can tell you one thing. I wake up every day wanting to do one thing: go to the office and work until midnight. Again, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

And every other startup founder that I know is the same way.

3
rdl 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been a startup founder of one form or another for pretty much my whole adult life.

I have stress or anxiety when things are up in the air (positive or negative), but happiness or unhappiness has a lot more to do with factors other than the startup. Mostly because I believe in expected value and statistics -- there's a lot of randomness in everything, and you can do things which influence probabilities substantially, but if you've done that and there's an 80% chance of a good outcome, the actual result doesn't mean you're doing well or poorly as much as whether the odds were 80% or 30%.

My goal is to try to use skill, connections, effort, etc. to raise the expected returns as much as possible, then just take a lot of shots to get the right returns. Worry before things are resolved, not after.

4
turoczy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
In addition to "Remember where you came from," I'd also add: track regular, incremental progress. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to move from big win to big win, while forgetting all of the little steps that got them to that point.

Keeping track of daily or weekly progress (even as simple as iDoneThis), can help minimize the amplitude of the downswing. It will still be there. It's inevitable. But this can help take some of the sting out of the low points.

5
radley 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I always thought it was tied to the creative's dilemma: what we can imagine is amazing, yet always just beyond what we actually produce. So by the time you produce something amazing it's "old news"... and your imagination has grown 10 steps ahead.
6
D_Alex 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"I'm generalizing from one example, here, but everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do."

- Vladimir Taltos (http://dragaera.wikia.com/wiki/Vlad_Taltos, see also http://lesswrong.com/lw/dr/generalizing_from_one_example/)

7
ftwinnovations 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I enjoyed this little post as I really related to what he wrote, and the graphs were funny and accurate, but I think he put a bit too much emphasis on "unhappy", which I believe is not accurate. I, and other entrepreneurs I know, are not Always Unhappy. It's more like Never Happy For Long. During the upswing on the graph, I am extremely happy! Ecstatic! But then even though business (let's say) has doubled almost overnight, a month or so will go by with no new growth, and I'm just miserable, wondering how I can make something happen.

I would chalk this up to the human tendency to always want the next thing, or always want what one doesn't have. And that personality type I think is a perfect fit for a self driven risk taker entrepreneur types.

8
mbesto 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I always never use the words 'always' and 'never'. They are always never true.
9
sardonicbryan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who was early stage at a startup, I appreciate the reminder to stop and smell the roses. As someone who's been grinding for four years now, it's easy to forget how far you've come.
10
josephagoss 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This can be applied to all life. Sorry but founders are now sounding like doctors, thinking they have a monopoly on stress and ups and downs.
11
RVijay007 7 hours ago 0 replies      
First article I've seen approaching emotional state in this manner, so kudos to that. Back at MIT, I also came to this realization and my friends and I used to say "it's all about the ddt" whenever life got us down (or even up, as a cautionary tale to not get too excited and watch out). We were of course referring to d/dt of life, and how that had more influence on our states than the absolute position of our lives. Nothing proven, but an observation that held up very well in all our lives. We still have this saying amongst ourselves - glad to see others thinking along this path now.
12
rogerclark 7 hours ago 0 replies      
pretty sure it's because they're all mentally ill, delusional, narcissistic egomaniacs with technology addictions and nothing meaningful to live for besides Y Combinator
13
jonathantrevor 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting observations about founder happiness (or lack thereof)
30
Entrepreneurs Tell What They Wish They'd Known before Founding First Startup davidhauser.com
151 points by dh  20 hours ago   36 comments top 15
1
pg 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Notice how a lot of the answers form a single connected thread: how hard it is to get users, that doing so depends on making what they want, and that to make what they want you have to understand them (instead of working on some idea conceived in a vacuum).
2
edw519 17 hours ago 1 reply      
What I liked most about this post: not so much the answers, but the fact that the answers were all so different...further emphasizing that there rarely is one right answer, but many possibilities and that you have to find your own.

Great read. Thank you, OP.

3
ArbitraryLimits 17 hours ago 3 replies      
These people seem to have been chosen because of(and their advice ordered by) their physical attractiveness rather than their actual entrepreneurial success.

Edit: OK, I kind of take it back. I started paying attention at #4 and stopped at #10.

4
GFischer 18 hours ago 1 reply      
My personal takeaways:

Mike Arsenault's suggestion of the Van Westendorp's Price Sensitivity Meter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Westendorp%27s_Price_Sensit...

http://orconsulting.com/blog/?p=133

Just what I needed right now (I'm struggling to find the correct price for an app, was going to go with the market).

Something that also resonates with me is:

"I wish that I knew how difficult it is to acquire a customer, get them to pay for your product and believe it's as magical as you think it is."

Edit: changed broken Wikipedia link.

5
ssmoot 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Gotta say, that font-color is absolutely terrible. Light on light, really difficult to read.
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trustfundbaby 17 hours ago 2 replies      
> Don't hire people that are getting a salary bump up by working with you

Anyone else find that piece of advice a bit odd? Wouldn't someone like that be more of an asset since they were (ostensibly) getting paid closer to their worth than before, especially if they actually fit your culture?

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moens 6 hours ago 0 replies      
My takeaway (Cliff's Notes):

Customer: build from distribution backwards / know your customers / build small or incomplete first in order to test demand

Self: running a company is an emotional roller-coaster, be prepared mentally, schedule the important stuff, your team is extremely important

Company: build necessary metrics from day one, price test / analyze, iterate quickly, learn always

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dh 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Tumblr is having a problem today, guess we have to move the blog
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why-el 18 hours ago 1 reply      
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songzme 14 hours ago 0 replies      
it seems that the recurring theme is "You can loose so much time worrying about things that don't even matter" - Gautam

"start saying NO to things that would take me away from what really needed my attention" - Renee

"is the question I am agonizing over right now likely to be the thing I will agonize over four years from now? The answer is usually no." - Bo

The main idea I got from this is to re-evaluate the things you are doing every day and prioritize the tasks that are absolutely essential to the startup.

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bhauer 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Was one of them capacity planning?
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robwhitley 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A very interesting one: "Never take advice from anyone who hasn't done or isn't doing what you want to accomplish."
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funkwyrm 18 hours ago 2 replies      
This has happened to me often enough lately that I really wish someone would implement peer-to-peer hosting in a form that will replace the way the current internet works.
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noAtlas 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks so much for the great post. I can definitely identify with the emotional roller coaster aspect.
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amerf1 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What users really want. That's a billion dollar answer before starting the start up
       cached 8 November 2012 11:02:01 GMT