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0 second visits according to Google Analytics paweljaniak.co.za
105 points by vidyesh  3 hours ago   47 comments top 16
adventured 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I believe this article is false.

I have a site that is extremely heavy on front page traffic. Basically 97% of all traffic is front page traffic, and 75% of all traffic is single visit (they hit the front page and nothing else). 55% of traffic does not generate multiple page views on any given day.

I have absolutely no problem with Google reporting 0 second visits. In fact, quite the opposite, Google reports very high visit durations, as visitors tend to spend a lot of time on the front page and then leave. If there were a problem with 0 second counting, it would decimate my time on site numbers due to all the people not generating second page requests for GA to count.

I've been using Google Analytics since they purchased it, and have never run into this problem (across millions of uniques and two dozen sites). The only time I've ever seen 0 second requests on any scale, is from bots, and in that case they're easy to out by looking at flash settings + browser version. If you're seeing a huge number of 0 second requests, it's most likely a bot.

belorn 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Honest question here: Why do all this? If there are no secondary source of data that one can observe (subscriptions, adclicks, citations, google link scores...), then why spend so much time and energy on statistics?
brokentone 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A word of caution: make sure to set the "opt_noninteraction" flag in the event tracking to "true" otherwise your bounce rate will be off.


alexatkeplar 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
We added a page ping event into Snowplow for this exact reason. Tracking user activity on the page, including where/when the user scrolls around the page, yields a lot of interesting data, including average % of page read, by page:


simontabor 3 hours ago 1 reply      
We get a lot of questions at GoSquared (https://gosquared.com) as to why their engagement metrics (and visitor counts) are so different between GA and GoSquared.

Pinging all visitors to check their still online is our solution, rather than making a guess/estimate - this means that sometimes GA reports about 10 visitors online when there are actually more like 100.

This is especially true with HN posts where most people only visit the one page and then leave.

Thanks for the great post :)

bsimpson 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised they don't have a timer running that pings themselves every N seconds. The ads all do that. Pinging themselves on visibilitychange or beforeunload could also be helpful (though there will always be people who disconnect without warning, which is why you ping periodically if you care about time spent as a metric).
pagealizer 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
This happens a lot with landing pages because many times there is no 2nd page view as people don't convert. In landing pages this metric is super important. If a person left after 5 seconds your page is probably ugly. If a person leaves after 1min your content might not be convincing enough or no clear call to action. You need to know when people usually leave your page in order to know how to fix it. In http://www.pagealizer.com/ we track the time spent on page (beside other metrics) by pinging the visitor.
danpalmer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Also, over a certain amount of traffic Google Analytics will just extrapolate the numbers up rather than actually recording every visit.

If you don't want this to happen, there are plenty of other analytics services out there. I'd recommend GoSquared, but I did work for them last year, so I'm biased in that recommendation.

janesvilleseo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
4th solution: GA breaks the segment of 0-10 into 0 (or N/A) and Greater than 0 - 10 Seconds

Problem solved.

The other proposed solutions do help to show engagement but requires more knowledge of how to implement, this 4th solution helps to KISS

shurcooL 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Can I get some feedback on the following idea please:

- Maintain an open (but idle) websocket connection on your page to have an accurate real-time visitor information. The websocket should remain open as long as the user doesn't close the tab or navigate away.

What are some cons that prevent everyone from doing so?

cjstewart88 3 hours ago 0 replies      
From personal experience I used to be very discouraged that users spent seconds on my site until I read up a bit more on why it was being reported that way.

My fix was to "ping" GA with an event every 60 seconds. This results in about 55,000ish pings a day and has made my average time on site a little more like something I'd expect off a music streaming website(http://www.tubalr.com). My average time on Tubalr is around 1 hour with the new event tracking I'm doing.

kzrdude 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I block google analytics with noscript. No downside for me.
lifeformed 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel like I'm missing something here. Surely you can get an accurate time with some simple Javascript? There is the onbeforeunload event, and you could always do polling.
lancedouglas 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Great idea, but why do we require real-time and user-impacting statistics in the first place?

Why not place a AJAX script to a local session monitor that stores up details about a visit and flushes the results via hits to GA? That way, a user doesn't have to wait for GA to load on a page (I've see it be the majority of load time on many websites). The AJAX script could be tied to all types of events such as mouse movement (people hover over links, images, ect. without clicking so capture that as interactivity), onFocus events, and in future eye-tracking events.

This could be built up as a off-screen buffer that generates a more detailed session and fires it off to AG in near-real-time. One other important factor could be to label the events in a concatenated nomenclature so that home.hover, home.idle.30s, home.unFocus, home.gaze.rightMenu.17s, and home.scroll.down.x143 all make sense.

dhughes 2 hours ago 2 replies      
What is a visit is it the search time or the time I am on the page?

I know I have searched for things that seem to take a long time (when I am in a rush) but the results page show my search took e.g. 0.22 seconds when really the page may have loaded slow or I had to reload the page taking maybe 30 seconds or Google Instant is being annoying.

faxilux 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder why Google does not track the time to an event fired on another Google Analytics site. While it might yield strange results if the user closes the browser or opens a page without Google Analytics, it would provide quite accurate results. Of course, this only works if most websites use GA.

Also, I am not a web developer, but is it not possible to specify another GA event in the onbeforeunload function?

Samsung is hurting Android trustedreviews.com
93 points by YeahKIA  3 hours ago   32 comments top 14
emanuer 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The Samsung software I have seen on their TVs, laptops, phones has been adequate at best. I wish them best of luck developing another closed ecosystem. However their track record of developing good, functioning software is not very promising.

When you use Apple products everything is tied into Apple. I didn't like some parts of their ecosystem (Itunes). It is all or nothing for Apple, so I said farewell and moved on.

When I switched to Android I discovered it is strongly tied to Google, their services are great and free. However I grew increasingly worried about a future in which my account ends up as a "false positive" and my life get's deleted. Seriously those horror stories about people's Google account getting deleted for no good reason are very scary to a startup founder. The probability is very low, but I am scared enough to invest money and time in moving all my data away from Google.

So Samsung if the article is right and this is your longterm strategy, I wish you best of luck, don't expect me to be a customer at any point in the future.

UnoriginalGuy 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> If ITV wanted to avoid fragmentation it would have chosen to make its app compatible with only pure versions of Android

That isn't what causes Android's fragmentation issues. Even between virgin android devices there is a LOT of fragmentation, these devices just happen to be popular with developers so most people aren't impacted by it.

Different screen sizes/resolutions, driver issues, graphics acceleration, aftermarket distro's, all cause a LOT of issues and these things all exist on virgin Android just as much as Samsung's strange re-imagining of the ecosystem.

Nvidia Tegra in particular has broken a LOT of stuff.

fossuser 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What's strange to me is that everything Samsung does to try and differentiate themselves just makes me like their phones less. Their hardware design is plastic and cheap feeling and I hate the touchwiz layer they put on top of android with their gimmicky features (camera based gesture controls? - who cares?).

I think Apple, Nokia and even HTC make much nicer hardware (although HTC still puts its Sense on top of android). I really wished Nokia had partnered with google to make the nexus phones instead of joining up with microsoft - then we would have had awesome hardware and a solid vanilla android phone.

bjustin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
>The exit strategy is called Tizen.

I see two major issues with Samsung switching to Tizen:* Samsung is unlikely to get developers as talented as those at Google. I doubt that Tizen development could approach mainline Android's development pace, given the talent difference.* Tizen would need its own app store. Ask BlackBerry or Microsoft how well new app stores do.

Tizen is unlikely to catch up with Android functionality- or app-wise. Unless the carriers push it hard over Android, it will have no advantages and thus will not sell.

salimmadjd 59 minutes ago 1 reply      
From what I'm hearing, Google is not happy with Samsung. Google wants to lead and direct the future of Android but Samsung wants to do what's best for Samsung. Google is facing a bit of a dilemma. They can't push and risk alienating their number one device producer and they don't want to lose control of Android.

Their only option is to move faster than Samsung to make sure samsung follows.

electrozoic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The time is right to capitalize on Android's big weak spots (OS fragmentation, disorganized app infrastructure, indifferent branding) but I don't see Tizen looming large yet. Samsung is doing a great job selling phones to consumers, but it's not in a great position to buy up the whole Google Play collection one piece at a time, and it doesn't seem to be trying to get developers and advertisers interested in Tizen at the moment.

If their long-term plan is to fly close to Android and then swap it out for something completely different, I'd be very excited. As a longtime smartphone user and current Android developer, I've been through the transition from one proprietary platform to another... BlackBerry, iOS, Android... I'm weary of dismissing a dozen app update notifications from my tray every day, and I'm tired of "apps" in general. I don't want to jump to another copycat of the same old junky, cluttered world. If Samsung is prepared to offer a fresh way of seamlessly being in the physical and digital worlds without having to navigate through a bunch of noisy, crappy apps (possibly without even the candybar form factor), I will be right there, wallet open. But as the author points out, it looks like the current iteration is just to load up a bunch of crapware onto a plastic toy, and users have to buy into the whole infrastructure if they want access to their favorite brand. No thanks.

corresation 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
As a monetization strategy an app maker gets in bed with a certain vendor. This has literally nothing to do with Android (or "fragmentation"), and Samsung is just as capable of entering into such deals as HTC is, or Apple, or any other vendor.

If I were a consumer of the service, I would be pissed with the service provider for making that choice.

radicalbyte 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I don't really care for Samsung's overpriced plastic phones, but their S-Pen is all sorts of awesome.

Why no-one else is innovating in that area is beyond me. Or do google prefer us to type our data in, because it's easier to index?

Oletros 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
contacternst 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd think twice before going to war with Google. Samsung's phones aren't as much better than Motorola as Samsung seems to think they are. It isn't hard to see Google pumping the next Razr model with significant advertising dollars and claiming the crown for best selling Android smartphone for itself. Remember how fast Chrome beat out Firefox and and IE?

Samsung should have been content slipping under Google's radar and riding that wave. I can't see how poking the Google beast is a good idea.

jackbravo 48 minutes ago 1 reply      
This articles just increase my expectations for FirefoxOS and Ubuntu phones. I really want one of them to succeed. Firefox can probably attract more developers than Ubuntu.
_pmf_ 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Without Samsung, Android would be about as relevant as Windows Phone OS.
ccdan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Way too much fuss about something most of the world can't use (the ITV player)and don't care about...
rutos 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The only thing Samsung is hurting is the patience of people waiting to buy the 32GB or 64GB versions of their fucking phone.
Google SMS search has been shut down productforums.google.com
41 points by duked  2 hours ago   37 comments top 10
hmsimha 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I posted this when it was pulled a couple days ago, to no traction :/

Google says their mission is to 'organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.' To me (and several others who have posted in that forum), this seems to be counterintuitive to that mission. Many people can't afford or don't want to pay for a smartphone or the data plan. When you try using SMS search now, google responds "SMS search has been shutdown. You can continue to search the web at google.com on any device". This isn't exactly helpful for someone lost in an unfamiliar city without a smartphone or GPS.

film42 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Sometimes when a google service shuts down I think, "Hmm, what did that one do? I don't remember hearing about that."
tobyjsullivan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I was always a huge evangelist for this service and it was incredibly useful to so many people I know. I'm both surprised and disappointed to see it go but I guess you can't serve ads via SMS (well, you can, but...).
lobotryas 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, from that thread the service looks very useful(even if you have a smartphone with data). Wish I knew about it before the shutdown.

I guess such is life in the Googleverse now: if you're unprofitable then you're "distracting us from our core mission". Who wants to make bets on the next service(s) to bite the dust? :)

jstanley 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Are Google having cashflow problems?

How come they're shutting down so many of their services?

gkop 1 hour ago 0 replies      
People with feature phones are still going to need to find info, and this move shifts the traffic onto services with less resources than Google (eg. https://twitter.com/Telefact). As additional services shut down due to increasing traffic, that traffic will move to the surviving services, until they all shut down.
espo 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
If there really is a market for this, it shouldn't be too hard to recreate with the help of twilio and google APIs. The problem is getting paid, maybe you could charge a monthly fee or the users could agree to receive 1 ad for every X searches?
sbuccini 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It seems to me that this service would be really, really handy in countries where Nokia bar phones are prevalent. I'd love to see how many people actually used this service in those areas, because it depriving those people of this service goes against Google's mission of providing the entire world with information.
Kiro 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What did Google SMS Search return exactly when you sent a text?
samfisher83 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
How expensive can this be to run. They should just leave it up.
The Startup Story I Want To Hear whattofix.com
40 points by DanielBMarkham  2 hours ago   25 comments top 12
graycat 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
In the US, just pick a town, any town,tiny to huge, and walk down its MainStreet. There you will see just whatyou are asking for except mostly thebusinesses are not in information technology,Web 2.0, mobile apps, etc. Instead thebusinesses are dentists, pizza shops,Chinese carryout, franchised fast food,auto repair, auto body repair, lawn services,plant nurseries, boutique retailing, kitchen and bath remodeling, roofing,driveway installation, other construction trades, CPAs, general practice lawyers,auto dealers, bakeries -- get the pattern?

Can look at an information technology startupessentially the same way. A great exampleis the Canadian matchmaking site Plenty ofFish -- long just one person, two old Dellservers, ads just from Google, and $10 million a year in revenue.

There are some advantages to an informationtechnology startup: First, if connect a server to the Internet and keep it busysending Web pages with ads, then at commonad rates will get the five figures a monthin revenue. E.g., send two Web pages asecond, send an average of four ads per page,get the charge per 1000 ads displayed (CPM)average of $2.125 in the KPCB Meeker report,and then get monthly revenue of

  2.125 * 4 * 2 * 3600 * 24 * 30 / 1000 = 44,064
dollars. So, the advantage? Sure: The serverstands to be something can plug together inan afternoon from parts that cost less than$2000 in total. So, $2000 in capital equipmentand $44 K a month in revenue. Darned near a license to print money and totally blows awayeverything else, legal or not, on Main Street.

If the usage keeps growing, fine: Get more servers.Else, the $44 K a month will do fine for providing for a family.

Moreover, most of the work is just learningthe coding skills, e.g., in the Microsoftworld, .NET, ASP.NET, ADO.NET, IIS, systemmanagement and administration. Then if thefirst Web 2.0 site flops, use the skillsto bring up another one.

But, it might grow, especially if it wascarefully planned to from the beginningto grow. So, then, let it grow.

Any questions?

dvt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> No business porn for me. I want struggle, not Disney.

+1. Even though @jstanley is correct about the latter quote, I do agree that most start-up stories are dominated by these fantastical circumstances and ridiculous buyouts. I think there are primarily two reasons for this:

1. Retention (or lack thereof) in the start-up world

2. The success bar

As far as (1) is concerned, I think why we don't hear about people that try, try, and try some more for many years is that once you reach a certain age or once you have kids, you can no longer afford to live on Ramen noodles and Ritz crackers. If you fail once, twice, or three times, it really is very very difficult to try again. Even tough you've (hopefully) gained some valuable lessons by failing, you've lost (a perhaps disproportionate amount of) resilience. Thus, you're much less likely to try again.

(2) is moreso culture-dominated than rooted in the real world. As far as I'm concerned, I'd consider myself "successful" if I launched a 1-person start-up and sold it for mid-to-high 5-figures. That's not even close to "Facebook successful" and maybe my success bar has been lowered since I've failed a bunch of times, but most of these books/interviews/talks are written/given by people that have had outstanding exits. No one wants to talk to the tiny 2-man studio that built a company and sold it for $300k (even though I would argue that's a successful exit).

kevinpet 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
"That eventually combined the right idea with the right execution in the right market to make a living. Not buy a boat you can land a helicopter on. Not conquer the world with iPads. Just make a living."

I think I wouldn't call that a successful startup. When someone says "startup" to me that inherently means the seed of a large business. A software consulting business isn't a startup in my book. Even Bingo Card Creator, though it at least has the technological leverage, is in too small a space to really be a startup.

Selling out early or late doesn't change it, and if they transition from startup to small-medium sized business somewhere along the way, they could have been a startup that had a best case failure, but they would cease to be a start up. I'd worked at one of the latter. A good indicator is when you are given 65k stock options ... at a penny a share.

alaskamiller 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
You get the groups that get out of the gate and are just outright lucky. Then the second groups who figured it out. Then you have the third group that worked to get there.

Then you have the last group that tried everything and failed to know what that one thing is that could work.

You just have to wait.

I've been at this for twelve years, since I was in my teens. The struggle stories takes time to mature for that redemption.

madaxe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Seven years of slog. A few disastrous false starts, four years living on a floor in a bundle of rags. A diet of rice and spaghetti, plain.

Always profitable, even through the doldrums. Decent (seven figure) pile of cash in the company account. Moderate pile of cash in mine.

Still have no idea what to do with it. It's a byproduct of creation.

I suppose this pointless little anecdote intends to shed light on the fact that we're not all in it for the money, and therefore not all stories are the same.

Some of us just need to struggle.

jazzychad 36 minutes ago 0 replies      
I did the first interview on Mixergy with Andrew about a failed startup: http://mixergy.com/etzel-notifo-interview/ - I discuss my struggles and lessons learned, but it doesn't have a happy ending like you are looking for.
SurfScore 57 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think this is more a product of selective reporting than it is lack of reporting. Angry birds was something like Rovio's 52nd game when they were on the verge of bankruptcy. If you've ever really read into most of these stories, there's almost no such thing as an overnight success. It is just reported as an overnight success because most people don't want to hear about the 51 games Rovio made before Angry Birds. If you have time, I would encourage you to watch the talk AirBnB founder Brian Chesky gave at Startup School a couple year ago, and see how long it took them to do anything.


bdcravens 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You said you were at Microconf - Rob Walling's story sounds like that. Personally I get more out of Startups for the Rest of Us than Mixergy (both are in my regular rotation). Also did up all the podcasts patio11 has done - his story is fairly humble. Ditto for Brennan Dunn. Some of these guys are HN rock stars, but if you dig, you'll find some really good stories there.
jstanley 2 hours ago 4 replies      
"Not buy a boat you can land a helicopter on. Not conquer the world with iPads. Just make a living."

Not to nitpick, but by looking at startup stories you're not likely to hear that. That sounds like more of a Small Business story to me.

greghinch 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's going to be hard to find stories like that, because startups generally take investment to move and grow quickly ("Startup = Growth"). When you have a business that has taken outside investment, you don't have the luxury of taking your time for years to succeed. Anyone who's started along the path you want to hear about, as a "startup" defined as I mentioned above, probably failed. Certainly there's something to learn from those failures, but if you want to hear successes that took that path (investment for rapid growth, but ended up going slowly for many years), there are probably almost none.
jaxytee 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What about the entrepreneur that launches a startup that makes him/her a multi-millionare relatively quickly? No helicopters or yachts involved, just a enough success to live a comfortable middle class life for years to come. Im sure it isn't always Instagram or bust. At the same time though, is this not a Startup story? Why don't we hear these?
duncanwilcox 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Dude. You won't hear that story from VCs, they want a 100x exit, and a kid with his "brilliant" ideas is their best bet at catching media attention.
Jaron Lanier: The Internet destroyed the middle class salon.com
29 points by anielsen  1 hour ago   26 comments top 7
LarryMade2 24 minutes ago 1 reply      
I think a better example would be the travel industry... the corner travel business has virtually been obliterated in part of the easy access to on-line travel booking and planning services. A lot of "middle-person" jobs are now unnecessary as most of their functions are now accomplished with scripts and servers, this goes with booksellers and other specialty shops.

Just look at any business that isn't direct from the company and does not really require direct contact with the customer ; those are the ones to worry about.

And sometimes we push it along, I've seen companies work hard to cut the bottom line by automating things, developing on-line materials, and reducing the accessibility from the public, part to cut costs, other to "be more efficient." Those are the ones what one day have worked themselves into obscurity, because what's the different if local person A helps you over the phone or corporate/outsourced person B?

So what do we get left with - outside (cheapest) labor and local direct services (construction, health, entertainment/dining), and creative.

If you think about it its the creative developments over the past couple hundred years that made many of us redundant. We either should look for new opportunities to grow (space colonization/exploration) or break down the mass production industry to make more communities sustainable.

Aqueous 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow. This argument is somewhat ridiculous.

A) It proposes a solution that is already happening on its own. (micropayments for work that enriches the network.)B) It compares apples to oranges. Instagram is not the Kodak of the Internet.C) It misidentifies the cause-effect relationship of phenomenon that happened well before the Internet boom. The reason inequality is so high has very much to do with the winner-take-all society that was in place well before the Internet came to prominence. Libertarian fiscal policy and lax government regulation is mostly to blame.

whatshisface 1 hour ago 2 replies      
"Kodak employed 140,000 people. Instagram, 13."

I was not aware that instagram manufactured cameras or mass storage devices. Cannon employs 198,307.

julienmarie 38 minutes ago 1 reply      
Well... the guy should read Schumpeter. Every "industrial" revolution wipes off industries. In the same time, a whole new industry appears, a whole new class of jobs and a whole new lifestyle and culture. The middle class is not destroyed at all. On a world scale, it is rising. Rising in China and South East Asia.

We can't reduce a world wide phenomenon without taking into account hundreds of other factors ( populations in western countries growing old, the globalization, sacrificed generations in Europe and exodus of its skilled youth ) to Kodak vs Instagram.

bw2 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
This article is written as some kind of drunken rant, desperately holding on to overly formed opinions and 2 validating points of data.

That's not to say that the author doesn't have a point, it's almost certainly true, but Salon should have really had an editor look over this. For crying out loud, he shifts between 14k and 140k employees for Kodak in the article.

How will readers who do not already agree w/ him become convinced?

deluxaran 48 minutes ago 1 reply      
Interesting article but my impression is that you try to compare apples and melons and you want to get some results on oranges, they kinda look alike but they are not the same.
chaetodon 1 hour ago 5 replies      
Only fragile jobs are lost during technological upheavals (See Taleb, Anti-fragility).
Angry young Indians: What a waste economist.com
32 points by pajju  2 hours ago   1 comment top
gyepi 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
>The average age of cabinet ministers is 65. The country has never had a prime minister born in independent India. >One man who might buck that trend, Rahul Gandhi, is the son, >grandson and great-grandson of former prime ministers.>India is run by gerontocrats and epigones: grey hairs and groomed heirs.

Aside from that wonderful turn of phrase, this may well be the key concept: India has long been run by entrenched interests for their own benefit and the situation shows no signs of abating.

How Facebook ruined comments (at least for me) time.com
13 points by technologizer  1 hour ago   4 comments top 3
codva 1 minute ago 0 replies      
I've noticed that when I comment on a page and come back later, my comment appears at the top. Now I realize it probably only appears that way to me. That's good, because I was wondering why FB was choosing to highlight the comments that it did.
k-mcgrady 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
I haven't noticed this myself (and I have the replies feature) so maybe it's just one of many things they're testing with a limited number of users. I agree with the OP though, I don't see how this would be useful for anyone.
onlyup 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
How can they make a mistake like this? Unless they are aiming to change how people comment on things. That won't happen without an interface change IMO because people are used to the way it was for about 4-5 years..
How Colleges Are Selling Out the Poor to Court the Rich theatlantic.com
58 points by georgefox  4 hours ago   33 comments top 7
DanielBMarkham 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't mean to restate the obvious, or pander to the crowd on HN, but every time we read one of these articles it needs to be stated that the current system is broken even when it is paid for. That is, for all the ink spilled over who can afford what and how much money is spent where, there are tons of kids right now graduating without a sliver of hope for a job. Worse yet, the system has been blowing smoke up their asses for so long that many of them somehow feel entitled to a job whether there's one out there or not.

I love education-related stories. I feel that hacking in this area can help the most people and advance the species the furthest. But we also need desperately need to keep new information we receive in context.

rickdale 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I graduated from a college that cost over $160,000 through four years. I am also from a low income house hold and I will attest to the fact that the college was very hesitant to give me any financial aid, while these kids that would pour in from Marin County California and Manhatton were going to school on a huge price break.

What I realized is that for the institution, my tuition money is all the money they were going to get. From the rich families they could expect donations throughout the year. I had a friend who paid very little to go to school there, but it was also clear to us that without his Dad financing the tennis team, we probably wouldn't have had any of the amenities that we were treated to. There's always that give and pull.

Another point to bring up is that financial aid can be up to the individual in charge of your application. When I worked at the schools technology center fixing faculty computers, one time I happened to fix the head of financial aid's computer and when she came to pick it up she asked to thank me personally and told me that, "If you need anything from the financial aid office, even just a little bit more, you come tell me and I will make sure to take care of you." I didn't know this lady until then, but I was sure glad to have fixed her comp...

mdkess 3 hours ago 3 replies      
When people vote to not raise taxes to fund these schools, what do they expect is going to happen to subsidized tuition? We saw this happen a few years ago in Washington after voters voted against raising taxes to fund schools, and schools started accepting more foreign students and fewer local students to make their budgets. People were upset about this, for some reason.

If the school gives four students $5,000 scholarships on a $20,000 bill - the school makes $60,000 and the students feel good about themselves. If they give one student $20,000, they make zero. At the end of the day, someone has to foot the bill - and if it's not the taxpayer, it'll be the people who can afford to pay.

Of course, high quality education should be available to everyone, but as a society we have to be more lucid about where the money is coming from. If taxpayers want people from low income families to go to school (and I am firmly in this camp), taxpayers need to be willing to pay for these people to go to school.

rayiner 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That's not quite true. They're giving merit aid instead of income based aid. You can be poor and get high test scores and they'll court you too.
vsbuffalo 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> At Wabash College in Indiana, 28 percent of students receive Pell Grants, and low-income students pay an average of $15,480. Yet 12 percent of its freshmen get merit aid, averaging $15,393 each. At Case Western Reserve, one of the better known institutions among the high-pell, high-net-price schools, 23 percent of students receive Pell Grants grants, and low-income undergrads pay $18,381 on average. And yet 19 percent of freshmen also receive merit aid, averaging $18,359 each

I don't mean to nitpick, but these are tiny differences between averages.

darkxanthos 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Historically hasn't this always been the case? I thought it wasn't until recently when college became a at least remotely affordable option.
tnuc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Why is the graph so small?
Why virtual worlds died iteratingfun.com
14 points by hkyeti  1 hour ago   16 comments top 10
azakai 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> Virtual worlds dont have explicit goals. [..] They arent games.

> Great technology doesnt mean a great user experience.

Of course, but IMO the real missed opportunity was that the one virtual world with real traction - Second Life - just made most kinds of games impossible because of technological limitations. The client-server model they chose made it impossible to play responsive games in Second Life.

Imagine if it were possible to enter a SL region and jump right into a platform game or an FPS. Yes, virtual worlds are not games, but they could have incorporated and enabled games.

Instead, Second Life focused on showing how much it was "not a game", and never even tried to address the technological limitations that prevented games from running on it.

I agree with the post on the reasons virtual worlds failed. But it could easily have been otherwise - allowing games would have grown the entire virtual worlds market.

zimbatm 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Give people a blank piece of paper and ask them to have fun! A few might get excited and start writing a poem or sketch a masterpiece. But most will be annoyed, grow bored and give up.

Here we get explained how minecraft is a failure.

dasil003 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
The technology was just premature. Of course fantasy worlds ala the cyberspace of science fiction are something people will be interested in. The problem is that we are nowhere near the technology to make a virtual world that is 1/10th as compelling as the real world.

So for now we are stuck with purpose-built networked games and applications that enhance reality rather than replace it. I don't see the next step happening until either a major breakthrough in computing power and/or AI. Assuming we can find a new hockeystick from the current plateau, I expect virtual worlds with the addictiveness of heroine are inevitable.

I will be an old man and yell at the kids to get off my lawn.

sbov 41 minutes ago 2 replies      
I must be misinterpreting this - how have virtual worlds died? Every MMO is a virtual world, there's still millions who play them, and they're still releasing more and more.
lmm 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
The virtual world was never a good idea; the whole concept arose from a bad analogy made by nontechnical people. I'm not sure it's even worth looking for anything good to come out of them; my impression is that what success Second Life enjoyed (and let's face it, when we talk about virtual worlds we basically mean second life) came not from its virtual world status per se but by giving certain subculutres a place to roleplay. Just let the concept die and get on with producing things people actually want.
wildgift 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
I tried second life a couple times, and just didn't get into it. Either it was totally boring, or way too kinky. Often, both. I designed a couple objects. It was exciting at first, but got tedious, and I lost interest. The idea of making a simple gambling game kind of got me interested again, because greed is often a good motivator, but I had so little interest in those games to start with, that my idea just seemed crappy after a day.

I'm kind of feeling the same way about tablets.

nazgulnarsil 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Horrible timing, virtual worlds are about to make a major comeback as the oculus rift makes them compelling again. Just wandering around a static environment with the oculus is more fun than the best AAA titles on traditional consoles.
AJ007 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
- Just because virtual worlds didn't results in a multi-billion dollar IPO doesn't mean they failed.

- The sequel to LucasFilm's original Habitat still is alive and running online, 18 years later.

My two cents, in virtual worlds the users are the product. The more mass market they become, the more the less interesting the average user becomes. Unlike social networks, people visit virtual worlds to meet new people. In some regards, more could be learned from PlentyofFish than Facebook.

iterationx 56 minutes ago 2 replies      
The Internet conquered Time and Space. Want continue a chat with someone from another continent in real time or have your messages stored and retrieved over a period of years? No problem. But now with time and space conquered we decide we want to add time and space... Hmm... So do I have to walk over to his avatar? And chat? I would like to see someone solve this conundrum and make it compelling. I find it an interesting problem to ponder.
zapf 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Nothing new here.
Prototype Android apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript jaunesarmiento.me
66 points by jamesflorentino  6 hours ago   15 comments top 5
hayksaakian 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
A visual demo would be nice too.

(If its there,via didn't see it on nexus7 4.2

amenod 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks like this will be the first sceptical comment... ;)

I didn't try Fries, but I tried using PhoneGap for prototyping and found that building such a web app is not much faster than building one in XCode (and I was a web developer for nearly 15 years!). So why bother?

Another problem is that if I want to build prototype in your framework, I must learn its conventions (what was that CSS class again, "buttonnormal" or "button-normal"? Since the web frameworks can't really compete with native apps in terms of user experience (behaviour of UI elements differs from what user expects), I will have to build in Objective C - which means I have to learn both iOS programming AND your framework.

Granted, such a tool would be useful if UX team wants to build prototypes and they only have web knowledge - and you have a separate team for building a final (native) version. Other than that I fail to see a point.

I would love to be proven wrong though. :)

BTW, my comment doesn't apply to Titanium which basically produces a native app (but I don't use it for other reasons).

elietoubi 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty cool ... reminds me of ratchet http://maker.github.io/ratchet/

Why would you use that only for prototyping and not in production?

sauravt 5 hours ago 1 reply      
How is it different from using jQuery Mobile with phonegap(cordova) ,just curious.
warrenmiller 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Prototyping them in the IDE is pretty damn easy tbh..and you've done some of the work to build them.
Understanding Python Super [video] neckbeardrepublic.com
4 points by googletron  12 minutes ago   discuss
Learn Web Penetration Testing The Right Way pentesterlab.com
89 points by morphics  8 hours ago   9 comments top 6
qpleple 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> Do you accept donations?

> Sure, you can make donation to louis@pentesterlab.com using Paypal. If you don't like Paypal just send a donation to any charity and email me so I will feel good about it ;)

I like this state of mind.

robmil 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
For anyone who's after a book: I've found Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto's "The Web Application Hacker's Handbook" to be invaluable.
a1a 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I like it, looks great. But I would like to see your education/certification/experience presented on the website. I would say that is kind of mandatory when saying you teach "The Right Way" of something.
darxius 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Very cool stuff. However, I think you might get more people to use it if everything was web-based (instead of having to download the .iso).
mooneater 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Some corporate clients are asking for pentest results from "a reputable pentest organization". Anyone on this thread have advice as to how I can satisfy them without breaking my startup bank?
_mpf 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Great initiative, it would be nice to have some more info on your site who you (they) are. I think many people aren`t going to download and execute data from unknown person/organisation.
Startups and Moms 42floors.com
29 points by hurtmyknee  4 hours ago   3 comments top 3
ncasenmare 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As a 2013 Thiel Fellow, this hit close to home for me.

Growing up in an Asian family, I was always pressured to take the safe, traditional college route. And then grow up to be a doctor or lawyer. It's not their fault, of course, who wants a risky life for their kid?

As part of the Thiel Fellowship, I'll be moving away from Vancouver to the Bay Area. Leaving the nest. This article will be my Mother's Day Gift, to let my parents know - it's okay to let go now.

skrebbel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
And there was me hoping this was a plea for "generous parental leave policy" to be as common a startup perk as "full health and dental".
orbital303 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We get it. It's an addiction that's glorified by society. Parents can't help because the entrepreneur doesn't want help. Till he ends up totally broke, burnt out, and unemployable. I'm pretty sure then the "don't give us money" rule gets reversed, at least by some parents. It's no different than having a crackhead or dopehead as a child. The chances of success are equal, if not higher for the drug addicts.
Contextinator: Divide your web browsing into projects vt.edu
39 points by _ankit_  5 hours ago   16 comments top 10
zerovox 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Worth pointing out that this is pretty similar to tab groups available in Firefox, with added commands when right clicking on a tab to move to a group.
glomph 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One thing that would be nice is if you could right click and 'send to project' tabs from another project or an unclaimed window.

Or even have checkboxes by tabs in the project list that allow you to select lots and send them all to another project.

That way say you have a lot of tabs open and you suddenly realise that half are procrastination and half are part of a project, you could send the first half to a new project and keep the second half open as a procrastination window.

Adding to this the ability to merge projects would be cool.

mackmcconnell 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think this is a super realistic way to approach project management in when we're using a bunch of different services, all in different tabs in a browser.

I use Evernote to do the task management that the Contextinator Home Page gives you and I have a shortcut to open up all my project-relevant tabs quickly in a browser. It's a pretty similar setup, and a bit less elegant but it does the trick for me. If the task-management side of Contextinator looked a bit more like Evernote (tags, sharing, etc...) I think it would be even better.

That being said, I think it's a super cool way to manage projects. Keep it up _ankit_!

guyfawkes303 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I would love this, combined with the functionality of 'StayFocusd'. That way I can block distracting websites (Facebook, Reddit, Twitter) during work periods, but just as easily unblock those sites and BLOCK work sites during weekends for example.
pilooch 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm pretty sure this would be useful to me, but at install it does ask for 'access your data on all website'. Now, what does this mean exactly ?I do understand this is very much probably not this extension's fault, but Chrome being very vague.
oulipo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
lunixbochs 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
Cool idea, but it seems to have at least one weird side effect (visited an image link on OS X and it added broken unstyled UI to the page itself :/)

I'm interested enough to follow its updates.

edwinyzh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
It's quite useful when one is doing Internet researches! I've just started using it in my searching for a html beautifier SDK for LIVEditor (my live html/css code editor).

Would you consider adding a 'Notes' section, just like 'Tasks'?

pygy_ 3 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks awesome.

I'm trying to switch back from Chrome to Firefox, though... Is there an extension (or a set thereof) approaching this one?

arb99 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I can see this really catching on, it would be really handy in quite a few situations.
Mir in Kubuntu martin-graesslin.com
40 points by Tsiolkovsky  5 hours ago   17 comments top 2
lmm 3 hours ago 2 replies      
There's a lot of truth here but the article seems to overstretch at times. The benefits of TDD are many, and I don't understand the logic of refusing to use a GPLv3 component because you're worried about GPLv4.
kh_hk 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a mirrored version of the article in planet kde: http://planetkde.org/#item-f97a50b7
Flesh-Eating Plant Cleaned Junk From Its Minimalist Genome nationalgeographic.com
3 points by kens  7 minutes ago   discuss
Why education startups do not succeed avichal.wordpress.com
110 points by sajid  9 hours ago   35 comments top 16
michaelochurch 5 hours ago 2 replies      
The issue that education runs into as a business is that the people for whom it would add the most value don't have present resources to commit. We've seen three models:

1. Public financing. This is the most successful; even if there's a reputation of bureaucracy and mediocrity (largely because public schools have to contend with the full range of inputs) the system actually works extremely well. A lot of people (read: short-sighted conservatives) just don't want to pay for it, so they gripe about the public-school model itself, rather than (admittedly, serious) issues with execution.

2. After-the-fact donations. The problem here is that it converges on a Nash equilibrium where the rich get the resources anyway because they are most likely to be future donors. (Depressing news: in spite of the "economic miracle" that college is supposed to work, but hasn't for a long time, the #1 predictor of whether someone will be wealthy is having wealthy parents.)

3. Non-dischargeable debt. Student debt might have been a good idea (a) before it started having effects itself on pricing --making college again unaffordable and replacing minor debt loads with indentured servitude-- and (b) were the economy less volatile than it has been since 1990 or so. It's horrible now.

None of these solutions (of the three, public financing being the only one that works) admit themselves well to the startup business model.

graycat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The article throws out the baby with the bathwater.Let's focus on the consumer market for US grades7-12 and vocational education, especially computing.

For fine arts such as singing, piano, violin, otherinstruments in a symphony orchestra, guitar, dance,painting, sculpture, photography, etc. it appearsthat overwhelmingly the way children make progressis (A) their family has some expertise andencourages their children and (B) the education isavailable in the home, in the church (e.g., forchoir), or from private tutors, e.g., a local pianoor violin teacher. E.g., for violin, consider Ms.Caroline Goulding as at

Or consider Ms. Alina Ibragimova playing the Bach'Chaconne' as at

She's good; the last part of the first D-minorsection is world class work. Tough to believe thatshe learned how to do that in a standard school!

For the consumer market for grades 7-12, before aconsumer will devote much time or energy toeducation, they need to know that there will be a'payoff' from official education 'certification'which mostly means better grades in grades 9-12 orhigher scores on tests of the College EntranceExamination Board (CEEB), e.g., as at

Of course good scores on CEEB tests are useful forgetting into college and getting collegescholarships.

So, really such consumer education has to aim atexisting graded courses in grades 9-12 and/orsubjects tested by the CEEB.

Now we face a hard lesson: Doing well on these aimsis "not a spectator sport", more work than justwatching TV, and a lot of hard work.

For such learning, the first source is the student'susual school. For more, the student may want sometutoring. A few students want to do better thanwhat is available in the school.

For tutoring, here's an approach: Find what are themore popular textbooks and develop some videos tiedclosely to those main books. Then a student whoneeds tutoring, or just to get ready for a test onMonday, could use the videos for just the place theyare in their textbook.

For going beyond what is available in the school, astudent could use some guidance and then thelearning materials. For going beyond, we are reallyaiming just at some CEEB tests, in particular, thetests of the College Level Examination Program(CLEP) as at

For the course content, just get some of the bestavailable textbooks and then maybe have somecorresponding supplementary videos. Some on-linetests so that a student could 'check their progress'would be helpful.

E.g., maybe a student wants to do well in calculus.So, get a book on calculus aimed at the CLEP test incalculus.

For still more, that is, for an ambitious student ingrades 9-12, just aim at the subject matter tests ofthe GRE.

For vocational, the audience of Hacker News theunique, world class cream of such education. Why?Because in the US, nearly all education in practicalcomputing is from self teaching from books, on-linefora, practicing at a computer, on-linedocumentation, e.g., the Microsoft MSDN Web pages,etc.

Improving such vocational education? Not easybecause it would involve at least writing betterbooks than the best ones already available fromO'Reilly, Microsoft Press, and many other publishersand better Web sites, fora, etc. For one company ineducation to improve on all those sources ishopelessly difficult.

So, where do I see a significant startup opportunityin education for grades 9-12 and vocationaleducation? I don't. Really, that's good news: TheCEEB seems to have the needed means of'certification', their tests. Otherwise, get somegood learning materials, commonly just textbooksalthough maybe PDFs downloaded from the Internet.

The bottleneck is the work -- no spectator sport andno royal road. Instead hard work. E.g., look atthe left hand finger tips of Ms. Ibragimova; theyare bent backwards. So were those of JaschaHeifetz. Why? Thousands of hours of intensepractice. Hard work.

I did some such things: (1) I'm no good at violin,have too little talent and never practiced nearlyenough, but I did make it through the D-majorsection of 'Chaconne' and parts of the rest mostlyvia being self-taught. (2) I never took freshmancalculus. The college where I did my freshman yearwas not so good and pushed everyone into a 'collegealgebra' class a bit beneath what I'd already donein high school (in the same city as the college butthe best high school in the city -- Dad carefullyselected where he bought his house). So, I showedup for the tests only and otherwise got a goodcalculus book and dug in. For my sophomore year, Iwent to a much better college and one that happenedto have a quite good math department and juststarted on their sophomore calculus from Johnson andKiokemeister, then also used at Harvard. It's agood calculus book. Did fine: Made As in thatcalculus, got Honors in Math, and 800 on the mathsubject matter test of the GRE. (3) I continued witha lot of largely independent study much like I'dused for freshman calculus, and that background wascrucial for my Ph.D. in Engineering -- really someapplied math. (4) My career has been in appliedmath and computing. I've taught computing in twowell-known universities, but I never really took acourse in it and, instead, was essentiallyself-taught, as is nearly standard on HN.

One little victory: One Christmas at the farm of mywife's family, I was upstairs practicing violin. Abright daughter, about 9, of one of my wife'ssisters came up and watched. So I put my violin bowin her right hand, showing her how to position herfingers to hold it (the more natural Russian wayHeifetz used and not the less natural German way!),put the violin under her left chin, and let her makesounds. Her mother had been trying without successfor years to get that girl interested in music, butthe next day her father asked me "Now, how much is aviolin going to cost me?". She was a bright girl:She was at a large, very competitive high school,the pride of the community, and in her senior yearher parents were surprised to discover that she wasby a wide margin the head of her class. She gotValedictorian. In college the retraced the steps ofmy wife and got PBK. She got her LLB at Harvard andstarted at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Bright girl.

So, net, really, just do the darned work, and nogreat educational startup opportunity.

For a reader who got this far and heard of the Bach'Chaconne' here for the first time, here's what itis: At one point, Bach wrote six pieces forunaccompanied violin (he did the same for cello).Three of the pieces he called called 'Sonatas' andthe other three, 'Partitas'. These pieces aresecular, unlike his other ecclesiastical music.While Bach was mostly a keyboard player, especiallyfor organ, his violin and cello pieces show amazingknowledge of violin and cello, even if heavily hetried to have them play chords more appropriate forkeyboards.

The crown jewel of the unaccompanied pieces is thelast part of the Partita #2 called the 'Chaconne'which was a old dance form.

A lot of the music is trying to play on 3-4 stringsat once. Those efforts can view as chords sometimesand just more than one melodic line at other times.Bach was good at doing such things.

The piece is in three sections, D-minor, D-major,and D-minor again and is a 'theme and variations'.The variations have great variety, slow to fast,calm to agitated, low pitches to high.

The D-major section starts off calm. Soon it isplaying some nice arpeggios with some triplets. Thetriplets get to be more and more intense, say,'insistent'. The end of the section is essentiallythe climax of the piece and is the most difficultsection to play. Depending on how it is played andheard, the last bars can sound like chords orseveral melodic lines, each heard before. How toplay the last few notes is up to the violinist, butHeifetz makes a big climax there and then quicklymoves to the start of the last D-minor section whichcan view as some 'cathartic' relief from theintensity of the climax at the end of the D-majorsection.

Due to the use of the chords and the relativelynon-melodic main theme, for a listener the piecetakes some effort to follow well enough to 'like'.

What it all 'means' is for the listener to decide.But it does appear that something intense anddetermined is going on underneath there somewhere.Playing it is great fun -- parts of it are a greatway to scream out to the heavens the spirit ofhumanity or some such.

There is an old joke: At times the piece is playedon guitar. So, at a concert a guitarist in theaudience sat waiting for the concert to begin. Withnothing else to do, he mentioned to the person nextto him "The Bach 'Chaconne' sure is difficult toplay."

The next person was composer Castelnuovo-Tedesco,known to be a man of few words, who said nothinguntil the concert was over at which time he turnedto the guitarist and said, "The Bach 'Chaconne' isthe greatest piece of music ever written." It's myfavorite.

Again, the bottleneck in education is the need forthe students to do hard work. Given that, there'slots of great music, good violins and pianos,textbooks, CEEB tests, colleges, universities,guidance, YouTube videos, etc. With the hard work,we can soar to the heavens. Without the hard work,we're stuck in the mud.

DanielBMarkham 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Ok, so the University of Phoenix has a six-billion dollar market cap. That means that somebody, somewhere is wanting products they sell. There is a market in education that views it as an legitimate expense. The only question now we have is cost and perceived value.

Instead of a four-year, pass-or-fail model for education, how about switching to a incremental model? You can have 50 levels of applied knowledge, rising all the way to PhD. People can purchase small amounts as they can afford it. Certification systems could tie into the levels. Early levels could require 2 or 3 courses in other areas. Later levels could be more narrowly targeted. A universal directory could manage it all and allow competition between providers.

As some random internet commenter, I agree with the author: this field is getting ready for major innovation. Just not quite yet.

lambdasquirrel 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice article.

The one thing I'd like to see the data for is the notion that the poor in America are more likely to try new things. This has not been my experience -at all-. I hadn't even heard of a Montessori school until I came to Palo Alto, CA. The idea that the poor are more likely to try things would make sense, but as an Asian-American growing up in this country, I noticed that the poor Caucasians were more likely to be set in the their ways than the rich Caucasians.

melindajb 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Another thing not mentioned, so many faculty and administrators are often technophobes, luddites, and in some cases dinosaurs. There is a very strong "union" mentality about anything that even begins to encroach on the classroom experience, so professors and teachers will fight that tooth and nail.

Otherwise, I pretty much agree with everything in this article based on what I've learned about the education business recently. It's a long, long, long game and my guess is that most investors (right now) will not have the stamina to play it. It will happen, but my guess is that tipping point will not be reached as fast as it does in other verticals.

gingerlime 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This post seems to make lots of sense. I think going into the education market, you must feel at least some passion for doing something good, leaving a mark, making a difference (however small). I would even go as far as saying that making lots of money from education is some kind of a contradiction in terms. Good teachers and educators don't usually make a fortune, but they make a difference.

I think that's why VC and education do not go well together. If you plan to make an exit, then you're not really there to support the next generation of people who want to learn. You're not a teacher or educator if you're there only to make the jump up to the next thing.

In that sense, the idea of passionate angels, and small startups that can find a niche and build a sustainable business out of it makes a lot of sense. It might not make you a millionaire, or won't disrupt the entire education market, but it should hopefully make you proud and help even a few people improve their learning experience.

disclaimer: my startup kenhub.com tries to build a (small) platform to make learning anatomy more easy and fun.

mgla 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Khan Academy is pretty successful. Millions of students have benefited from their work, without having to pay a dime.

Sal Khan's vision of what education should be like is spot on and I strongly agree with him. He seems to be sincere about this thing and has received millions in donations.

This is not a company looking for success by means of an 'exit'. They are actually making a difference to millions of students. In doing that they're being successful.

Wish we could see more of this instead of useless, gimmicky stuff.

notahacker 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised the article doesn't touch on the main reason why startups at the "quality" end of the market struggle to get beyond the early adopters, which is founders' assumptions that the target market is as autodidactic and focused on acquiring skills in the most efficient way possible as them.
IsaacL 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I was working on an education idea a few years back in university, something very similar to YC's Lingt. After reading up on the market, I came to the conclusion that education was a sales-driven business, not a product-driven one - ie you can't beat Blackboard with a better product, because they have an army of salespeople and you don't. However, I do think you could "consumerise" edutech products where you sell directly to consumers, and where consumers are willing to pay a lot, like in language learning or professional qualifications. (Which suggests I should have stuck with the Lingt idea, but whatever).
japhyr 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Many people make lots of money in education-related businesses. But if your focus is on making money, you are not going to create something that is available to all students.

I have a conviction that a quality education should be available to everyone. To that end, it really seems that most education resources should be free and open.

That said, developers deserve to be paid well for their time. I think the ed-tech world should focus on paying good developers a respectable rate for creating high quality, free and open resources.

beat 4 hours ago 2 replies      
If you want to sell a million dollars' worth of product, there's a quantity/quality of sale ratio. You can sell a million people something that costs a buck, or a thousand people something that costs a thousand, or one person something that costs a million. Hidden inside this is a problem that affects all startups, not just education... there's no money to be made selling to poor people, because they don't have much money. Poor people aren't thousand dollar customers, generally. If you want to get rich selling to them, you need deep/broad market penetration.

So to make money on an education business, you either need very broad use (at least six figures of users), or something of very high value to those who can afford it - the thousand people for a thousand dollars model (much more than that, and you're actually selling to institutions).

When we say "startup" around here, we're specifically talking about a pretty narrow economic model... angel/venture funded software companies targeting $10M-$100M+ annual sales in less than a decade. It needs those hockey-stick graphs to justify the investment. How do you get that?

There are probably spaces that can be exploited by startups - mobile software that simplifies the lives of college students in the under-$100 range, for example. But really, I think the innovation mostly has to come as entrepreneurship within institutions.

SurfScore 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Where does this place "education" companies like ClassDojo and Code Academy? The author says education companies don't experience consumer-product level growth but both of them have definitely done that. Is that because they are more "consumerized" in that they don't always target schools directly? Is it because they are free? Or is it something else?
HarryHirsch 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a good article, the only thing that is missing is that universities are cash-strapped, too, these days, and they would like to outsource instruction to whoever can deliver.
billjings 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Y Combinator is an education startup. It's had some amount of success.
eatitraw 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If this is true:

> The average, middle class person thinks about education as an expenditure, not an investment

Is it a state-occupied (compulsory) education system that does so? IMO, it is. For example, many(most? vast majority of?) people go to college to get a diploma, not to get actual education. The system sucks and doesn't deliver any actual value(in terms of knowledge or personal growth, not in terms of signaling to the market), so no wonder that people don't view education as an investment.

stevenschronk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is especially interesting to me. For the last month or so I have been creating a free online training center for game development.


We are getting funding through Google Adsense and it has worked out so far.

I think this could be the future of education: delivering quality content with as little overhead as possible.

I guess we'll see how it works out.

An Incomprehensible Retirement medium.com
17 points by extremecake  3 hours ago   17 comments top 7
CleanedStar 1 hour ago 1 reply      
"The occupy movement rallied against what they perceived to be a rigged game: a financial system that required their participation but did not offer them a seat at the table. Then they went home - maybe because the weather got bad"

Occupy Wall Street was cleared out by police starting at 1 AM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011. It was done at 1 AM as they only had to deal with people staying at the park at that time. They arrested 200 people in a well-planned operation. One of the reasons given for clearing the park was unsanitary conditions, which I can personally attest was BS - OWS was always sanitary, and when the mayor began using sanitation as a reason to clear things out OWS became fanatical about cleanliness. I watched people sweep the same spot of ground multiple times an hour. Compare that to the parks and recreation cuts where some NYC parks can go more than a week without any cleanup.

The police pushed back attempts to re-occupy the park in the day of November 15th and November 16th. A more organized effort to get back in the park was tried on New Year's Eve, and was met by pepper spray, dozens of arrests etc.

While this is the reality, which can be easily verified, I realize there is this hegemonic false way of thinking. I realize this requires reporting that OWS were a bunch of trustafarians not affected by Wall Street shenanigans, and who went home when it got cold. Because to talk about what really happened, as opposed to the invented ideas of what would happen from someone embracing a propagandistic model of explanation, would require revealing things which are not allowed to be revealed.

While I embrace ideas that came out of OWS, I didn't go for the first week or two even though I knew about it before it happened, because I didn't see how occupying an area would do anything, and I didn't think people were interested. On that latter point I certainly misjudged - people from NYC and surrounding areas who had pent-up frustration about unemployment and the economy came flooding into OWS. Any how, it's funny how Russian governments or Chinese governments and their press organs lied, and much of the population knew its BS, yet the corporate press organs in the U.S. lie and say it got too cold so OWSers went home, and it is accepted as fact by so many. That the press lies is not surprising, that Americans are so credulous is what's surprising. I guess with so much fundamentalist religion among the working class and a different sort of warped thinking among professionals in the US, I shouldn't be continuously surprised by this, but I am.

ChuckMcM 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I think the Money Moustache guy has a much better take on this than someone trying to figure out the complexities of finance.

Yes there is a limit to how much you can put into a retirement account that isn't taxed by the government, but there is no limit on how much of your income you can save, caveat you need some of it to live on.

And while saving and investing can get as complicated as you want it can also be greatly simplified with funds investing.

saalweachter 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is it just me, or is this article incredibly full of crap? First he goes on about how the Fed is lying about inflation, then he kicks OWS. If he threw in a claim that Fannie Mae caused the housing bubble, we'd have the insider trifecta.
tunesmith 1 hour ago 1 reply      
We can't really even match the long-term stock market averages. We tend to make more money when times are good (when the market is high), and less money when times are bad (when the market is low), so if we invest money as we save/earn then we're generally buying high.

At some point you wonder if you should just give up on saving and instead invest it into a business or a duplex or something.

jkldotio 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Isn't there substantial evidence that Goldman Sachs were telling clients to make investments into areas they were themselves betting against? I am not sure if they are the best people to use as support for any economic argument, but especially given the wealth of other critics of pension sustainability who don't have such a track record.
PaulHoule 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Sometimes I wonder if the way out of the recession is to declare 401K and IRA failed policies and just let people have the money and spend it now to get the economy moving.
to3m 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What does FED stand for?
Our most recent startup venture did not just fail, it deserved to fail willthisfly.net
3 points by WillThisFly  20 minutes ago   discuss
Chromebook can make a surprisingly sweet machine for a developer pbrisbin.com
60 points by mzehrer  8 hours ago   34 comments top 13
jkldotio 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't see the point in using a crippled operating system when it will prevent you from quickly editing a low res screen cast or editing an image in the GIMP. Machines in that price range have enough performance to do some of these tasks even if they're not optimal for them. If I'm on the move away from a bigger system I might still need to do it though, so not having that capacity just because of someone's "in the cloud" dream is silly.

It's already bad enough that Google maims some of the Nexus line by disabling tethering. Android is also inflexible in many ways regarding having a local easy to use file system etc. I personally can't wait to get off Android and onto Ubuntu mobile or Firefox OS.

Zenst 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Any cheap old laptop works just as well if not better if you just want to use ssh into another box!

I personaly snapped up a nice Asus netbook with built in 3g modem, wifi and bluetooth and cuts a lovely battery life.

But a nice cheap chromebook is probably the best option for most unless you can find a cheap netbook of comparable use.

Though ironicly none have beat my old psion 5mx (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_Series_5) for battery life and that can do ssh as well, sadly though IRDA and serial are not the cutting edge comm's standards. Have been a few that come close, but just not jumped out at me.

That said I'm still awaiting for something of that form factor with some modern love.

That all said if Mr Linux Linus is happy with a chromebook as a dev machince, then they must be doing something right, though a Chrome pixel just for SSH would be fiscal perversion on my budget.

rwmj 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I used one (running Fedora 17) for a couple of weeks as a light development machine, and wrote about it here:


Note I was using it for disconnected development on the road, not as a fancy ssh client as in the article.

The upshot is that it's not too bad as a development machine. But you definitely want to root it and put something other than ChromeOS on it. Fedora, Ubuntu and other regular Linux distros are available.

sxp 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Dropping down to dev mode to get access to ssh is overkill. I suggest https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/secure-shell/pnhec... which lets you run SSH as a normal Chrome extension.
vittore 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I just don't understand this attempts to use shitty and cheap piece of hardware to do development. You are not coding for food, right? Why bother yourself trying to use something that will make you so counterproductive?

Need powerful something - get desktop.

Need something slim and sexy - get f* macbookair

Need both - get pro

Need internet connection on the go - get nexus if you use tablet.

Oh don't need it -use tetering on your phone.

It is expensive - get Clear device

Yes, it will need more money than shitty chromebook, but you are making money with it, so it's worth _investing_ in your everyday companion a little.

What I'm missing?

sramsay 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm so tempted to get one of these. With the shell plugin, I have access to my very high-powered servers, and Chrome comes with a nice development environment. Besides that, it's cheap and light -- a perfect roadkit.

The only problem I see is the keyboard. I hate typing on netbook keyboards. I don't even like the keyboard on the Macbook Air.

Maybe I'd get used to it after awhile?

jebblue 1 hour ago 0 replies      
>> Right out of the box, things work quite well. The Secure Shell browser extension can give you an xterm-compliant terminal directly in a browser tab.>> Be sure to install the Crosh Window browser extension. It allows you to pull the browser-tab terminal out into its own window. Without it, many important key bindings will be swallowed by the browser.

Or just buy a new laptop, delete Windows and install Ubuntu and have a real machine with real software, not browser based similarities.

edits: fixing my brain's desire to misspell buy.

johnbellone 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not sure I actually see myself doing development on this hardware. Maybe it is due to the type of work I am doing now and the requirement of the sheer amount of data/services running locally. But I wouldn't mind using this essentially as an operating environment with a few tmux sessions open.

The more that I tinker with OpenStack and generally setting up virtualized services I am beginning to be sway towards never necessarily needing to buy a desktop machine again.

Up until a few months ago my machines sat around just to collect dust. But I see a future where a Chromebook style machine can easily connect to a VPN with an OpenStack cloud powering development. Its actually quite damn easy now if you invest the time.

The only reason I do not do this now is that I have been unable to find a machine with decent enough resolution and great battery life. But I've told myself that my next laptop (right now a 15 inch MacBook Pro) will be something significantly smaller.

I just hope that the retina displays catch up with the rest of the industry.

jerrya 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What I want is a Chromebook that can use a Nexus 10 (or two), or Nexus 7 as an additional display.
jbeard4 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd be curious to hear more about installing chrooted Debian/Ubuntu to provide a full GNU userland locally. I'm still not quite sure what this would look like, or what the limitations might be.
cpursley 4 hours ago 0 replies      
With Nitrous.io (previously action.io) https://www.nitrous.io/#aio any device with a large enough screen and a modern web browser makes an excellent dev machine. Been using it for the past several weeks. For web apps, it's the future. Basically no configuration and you get a linux environment that is similar to most production environments.
hollerith 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the $250 ARM Chromebook he is writing about BTW.
gregulrajani 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a chroot'ed Samsung Intel Chromebook that makes an OK development machine for small projects using Eclipse/Java/H2/Jetty. If I fully rooted it the extra ram would make the machine a bit more useful.


Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was messynessychic.com
107 points by ttuominen  11 hours ago   16 comments top 7
noonespecial 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Could someone take me through how this John Maloof fellow suddenly has all of the copyrights to these photos?

Clearly the photographer would never have sold these photos and the copyright term would not have expired. The photos would be in the "lost or stolen" category wouldn't they?

If anything at all, they should be (in a perfect world, I know copyright doesn't work this way) public domain if no heir steps forward to claim them.

Jun8 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I was one of the early backers in the Kickstarter project, Maier's photography is mesmerizing, although I know nothing about photographs. I don't think they've done a very good job with handling the collection, though. Only a handful photos are available online. The prints are few and are very expensive. I recently bought the book and found both the print quality (all photos had a weird sepia tone, see Amazon comments for more details: http://www.amazon.com/Vivian-Maier-Street-Photographer/dp/15...) and editorial content (no context for the photos, just a skimpy Introduction) not very good.

Still, overall I think John Maloof has done a good job in publicizing Maier's work.

js2 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I submitted this 2 years ago but it didn't catch:


GigabyteCoin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Those were some incredible sample photos. It would be amazing to see a larger selection of them.
eatitraw 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder, is it possible that something like this may happen after beginning of the internet era?

Like this. Year 2050, some guy accidentally discovers an abandoned site, which is created in 2010. There is a blog, which sparks this future anonymous guy's interst. The guy discovers a link to instagram on this , and then finds out that this website was quite popular back in 2010s, but gone defunct in 2020s. The full photo archive is available though. Curious, this guy downloads the whole archive and encounter amazing photo collection of cats and food on this account. The copyright law is different in 2050, so the guy decides to sell pictures on an world-wide digital auction...

Or maybe it will be no different: a real estate agent finds a small box filled with SD cards and then sells it on a local auction.

tiatia 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Vivian Maier seems like an extraordinaire photographer. And John Maloof ("Maloof collection") seems like an extraordinaire douchebag.
dhimes 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Interesting, but I wish the author would decide if the name is spelled Vivian or Vivien. I also wish the author had said why she was so important, as I know nothing about photography.
Equate - Clojure fact management library github.com
14 points by php  3 hours ago   2 comments top
crucialfelix 2 hours ago 1 reply      
is this a simplified implementation of what core.logic covers ? I was looking through that earlier today.



its certainly not as easy to understand when you are starting off, but it would seem to have more rewards to work with core.logic since they've implemented a lot of classic logic programming.

or is there no overlap ?

Why babies in every country on Earth say 'mama' theweek.com
45 points by Lightning  3 hours ago   45 comments top 16
dsrguru 3 hours ago 6 replies      
This is a highly contested subject in linguistics and very much not definitive like the article makes it out to be. There are many languages where mama does mean mother, but there are many languages where it does not. In some cases, you get the opposite. In proto-Old Japanese, for example, papa meant mother. In Georgian, mama means father and deda means mother. I don't know enough about the mama/papa topic to comment further, but a quick Google suggests that this paper is somewhat well regarded by at least some people:


davidroberts 2 hours ago 0 replies      
In Japanese, the work "Manma" is a baby-talk word that means food. "Mama" is used for mother sometimes, but I think this is a recent influence from the West. "Haha" is the normal (non-polite) word for mother, although children are taught to use the more polite "o-kaa-san." "Haha" still has those repeated "ah" sounds.
Samuel_Michon 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Every language has a word for water. In Swahili they call it maji. In Dutch, it's vand.

Vand is not an existing word in the Dutch language. The Dutch word for water is water.

tsm 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Interestingly, in Spanish "mama" means "breast". The intimate word for mother is "mam" (stress on the second syllable, not the first).
pestaa 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Mama" in Hungarian means grandmother. On the very very rare occassions when I heard a Hungarian child call her mother 'mama', it felt really awkward and strange, and always suspected western cultural influences (i.e. western dad or moving between countries, etc.).
gjulianm 3 hours ago 3 replies      
In spanish 'mama' and 'papa' are the actual words for mom and dad, respectively (and IIRC they are too in italian). Funny that other languages don't use the same simple sounds for both.

Auto-nitpick: Well, actually it's not 'mama' but 'mam' (same with 'papa'), the accent is in the last syllable

jeremyswank 3 hours ago 1 reply      
in georgian, 'mama' is father, and 'deda' is mother. it is a striking exception.
spudlyo 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
The Basque (a language isolate) word for mother is 'ama'.
meritt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> The "m" sound is the easiest for a baby mouth to make when wrapped around a warm delicious breast.
antonios 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"The child is recognizing that the hairy flat-chested lunk trying to sing "Little Bird" to it is NOT Primary Food Dispersal Unit #1."

Laughed out loud with this. Nice article!

rickyconnolly 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Their story checks out.

Using google translate, I can't find a single language that does not have a 'mama' or something very similar.

beothorn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
In portuguese 'mamar' means to suck, usually associated with babies. Mother is 'me' or 'mame'. Actually, the r is usually dropped when speaking, so 'mamar' is usally spoken 'mama'.
foobarqux 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The article presents a hypothesis without experimental evidence.
bbayer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting read. In Turkish 'mama' = baby food and also 'meme' = breasts. Also it looks like there is connection to word 'mammal'
brisance 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Mama in Mandarin Chinese literally means mother.
Ihmahr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am dutch and I can tell you that the third sentence of that article is wrong. 'vand' doesn't even resemble a dutch word.
I Don't Want Your Fucking App idontwantyourfuckingapp.tumblr.com
451 points by rustc  6 hours ago   208 comments top 52
Nursie 5 hours ago 3 replies      
So much this.

When I come to your site it is very unlikely I'm looking for any sort of long term relationship. What I want is access to the information I'm looking for as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Secondly, your app probably wants various permissions on my system. No.

Third, why the hell would I want hundreds of apps grunking up my menus?

Fourth, you already have my whole screen, what more do you want?

So yeah, you make my experience of your site worse and probably even reduce your already small opportunity to advertise to me.

flatline 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I see two primary problems with this. First is the #doorslam, as the article mentions, which is really just bad user interface. Plus who wants to get an app for a one-off reading of some article on some site? But I also see companies release an app that appears to have some useful features - it looks better on the mobile device, it has better navigation on a mobile device, etc. Why they chose to do it as an app vs. in-browser is another question but whatever, apps are hot so companies think they need/want one, and in my experience people are often happy to have them.

But it turns out that websites are really freaking easy to update, and apps are not. And now you have two completely disparate codebases to maintain. So once something rolls out on the web property, the shiny new app is not so shiny and new, and may be missing critical features. Some companies do this well, Facebook for example finally has an app that more usable than the mobile site IMO. But Facebook has serious resources to dedicate to this type of thing, and it took years for them to get to the point they are at now, their app was barely usable for a long time.

Case in point: I've been using Piazza for a number of classes over the last few years. They have an iOS app, and a lot of people in my classes have expressed that they are glad of this and use it exclusively. But it hasn't been updated for the iPhone 5 so the app display is cropped. Worse yet, there is now a course documents section that some teachers use almost exclusively, that you simply can't get to on the app. And the web page itself does not work terribly well on mobile Safari. So I hardly ever use it on my phone, and my overall impression of Piazza has seriously declined because I've spent so much time cursing the (lack of) usability on my phone. Plus you get the #doorslam every time you try to go to the web site on an iOS device.

millerm 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I am with you, and I don't mind the harshness of the title. It explains exactly how I feel. This "download our app" trend has abolutely been ruining my browsing experience on my phone and tablets. I've used other browsers that allow user agent hacks, but there are just too many other factors that we developers can use to determine the hardware the user is using. Perhaps we need a way to create a new blacklist of annoying sites and a way to notify the user of it so they can just avoid it.

The other annoying sites are the type that use that horrible 'mobile experience' JavaScript/CSS hack that is just awful, I don't know what it's called because I haven't looked for it but as soon as you hit the page it redirects a loads some giant framework to mock a native app. The browsers we have on the devices are just fine for sites, they were built that way! Leave it alone!

apunic 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I am very surprised that so many people are not complaining about Mobile Safari's missing automatic word wrap feature. This is the number one reason why people want to use apps for anything (because their mobile browser is just broken). With word wrap like you get on Android's browsers most traditional desktop websites are totally sufficient on mobile devices, there's even no need for a mobile web version (HN is the best example).

Some could think that Apple is indirectly pushing an app ecosystem with its broken mobile browser experience and I am just seeing excited folks traveling to some worldwide dev conferences and building shitty apps for every and anything. For end users there isn't often any additional benefit and for developers building a native app is a nightmare -- software development like 20 years ago, long release cycles, different platforms and on top one gatekeeper deciding about your fate, wtf and no thanks. No surprise that most mobile first and only startups are struggling like living crap.

Web based apps are still the way to go for most use cases, just check the awesome mobile versions of Airbnb and LinkedIn, both based on Node, fast and ultra responsive. Building native apps belongs to the traditional publisher business model and are good for games and interaction heavy use cases (Facebook, communication, photo sharing, etc.).

EDIT: downvoting != disagreeing

RyanMcGreal 4 hours ago 3 replies      
jkldotio 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I really loathe these app popups, unless you are doing some serious processing like a for a game there is almost no reason for an app. It breaks the power of a browser to have multiple documents and it breaks urls and linking to content. And, as they point out, it also is highly redundant when a mobile site has already been built. That's to say nothing of further redundancy in having more than one app: one for iOS, one for Android and maybe one for Windows mobile. That's potentially four different expensive mobile development processes for an entirely inferior experience and causing significant annoyance.
downandout 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm....perhaps there should be a "I don't want your fucking app" setting on Android and iPhone. This would make sure that an X-App-Fuck-Off header is sent with every browser request, informing the site not to prompt you about its fucking apps. That way everyone would have a choice.
wes-exp 4 hours ago 0 replies      
FYI to developers:

Apple tried to fix the obtrusiveness of these popups with "smart app banners" in iOS 6:http://www.macgasm.net/2012/09/19/ios-6-smart-app-banners/

Please use them!

incision 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I have at least one anecdotal perspective on app proliferation.

Currently, I'm struggling with higher-ups who have decided that we must have apps.

They don't know what these apps will do or who will use them, simply that we have to start pushing out apps because, well - others have apps. Therefore, we must have apps too.

They don't seem to care that the apps they envy have dismal reviews and download stats, that we lack a mobile website entirely or recognize that spending a few hundred thousand on an "enterprise" framework does not equate to instant apps.

300bps 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The crux of the site is that the mobile web experience is getting worse, not better. I agree with that. With today's smartphones, one of the easiest and user-friendly things many sites can do is just direct users to their full web page. A properly done mobile-optimized website can improve on that experience but often "optimization" means a banner at the top that tells you the name of the site in 15% of the small screen and a banner ad at the bottom of the site that takes up 30% of the small screen.

These calls to install apps are just as annoying. Several years ago I remember going to LinkedIn.com on my iPhone, it prompted me to install their app, I installed it. I must've agreed to something I didn't intend to because suddenly my contacts list was filled up with all 350 connections I had on LinkedIn, rendering my phone contact list all but useless.

robinduckett 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I find it funny that Tumblr immediately asked if I wanted to open the page in Tumblr for iPhone
akadien 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
Oh, hell yeah! I want a mobile-enabled web site on my iPad, not another useless app-wrapper proxy for a web site. Shouldn't the fact that I remember the URL be enough??
chriogenix 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
for android on dolphin browser you can change the user agent and get around all of this but then the mobile version of the site doesnt load so thats kind of a hassle. i agree that a really good mobile site would work a lot better in most cases.
fixxer 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Quora. (n).Definition: A site I used to visit.
smegel 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
They exist because they work - i can imagine lots of novice users clicking OK perhaps because they think its the only way to continue.
gnu8 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Many HN readers are guilty of contributing to this problem. Instead of complaining about the site having a naughty word in the name, you should be quiet and rethink what you've done.
anonymfus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Worst thing is when they detect my browser as mobile and show links to apps, but don't actually have app for my platform.
shurcooL 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree. In most cases, mobile apps are just fancy website bookmarks with a few more advanced abilities (native code, more hardware access, permanent local storage)... Except you have to download the app, organize it within all your other apps, download updates, delete it when you no longer use it, make sure its settings are in order, etc.

Imagine you had to download an app on your desktop computer before you were able to visit any website for the first time. How crazy are these people? Why do so few companies put user experience first.

cognivore 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This gives me an idea. Wouldn't it be cool if had some sort of run-time environment/virtual machine that everyone could target for their applications, where it used some sort of markup for forms and layout and a built in language for automation. It could post back to your server to send and receive data. Everyone could use that instead of their own native app that has to be downloaded.

I'm sure there would be some challenges to this, but I imagine it could be done.

aneth4 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Google anything about Accor hotels, say what the benefits of Platinum are. You'll find you can't even access the content from mobile because the page is "not ready." Been like that for a year.
peteretep 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't want your fucking "mobile-friendly" site either, doubly so if it can't fucking handle the redirect process to a specific piece of content, or keeps fucking reverting.
michaelfeathers 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The worst case of this I've seen recently as an offer of free wifi at an airport after you.. <wait for it>.. download their app which gives you push notifications about hotels.
shocks 3 hours ago 0 replies      
And as usual, any HN post that contains profanity is immediately overrun by 'offended' fuckheads that simply don't understand the joke and are offended by fuck all.

Stephen Fry says it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_osQvkeNRM

emhart 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Site prompted me to install an app: http://t.co/CfOxUiLobq
GhotiFish 6 hours ago 1 reply      

   Thanks to James Fucking Whatley for the tip.
That guys got a great middle name.

bergie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I fully agree with the basic point. Forcing these "download our app" doorslams is annoying and mostly pointless. I would never download an app for most of the sites I use, preferring the linkable, cross-platform web experience instead.

This is particularly annoying for me because I actually use an Android tablet as my "programming workstation", and so I get these popups on both my desktop service and when mobile.

Of course the irony us that tumblr where this site is hosted has such a pop-up as well... http://imgur.com/uPMetSR

runn1ng 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe it's a "feature" of the tumblr skin, but it took me a few minutes to realize the small and almost invisible arrow to the right at the bottom leads to another page.

Make it bigger, if you can.

Ilmesnkie_Jones 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That Tumblr would be so much better without the useless and unfunny commentary.
tbatchelli 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel the same way about onswipe. At a time where mobile devices have ultra-high screen resolutions and very fancy zooming features, I find the use (shoving into our eyes) of onswipe by many websites to be disruptive and annoying. I usually don't bother the moment I see the spinning wheel. Swipe right to left, paginated content, larger fonts (less content), hard to scan content... it breaks the whole internet experience. I know how to browse, I know how to read web pages, thank you, please give me my web page or gtfo. .

.. Maybe wrong thread?

Nux 4 hours ago 1 reply      
ZOMG! Nice blog entry! Lots of steam released. :D

And now the question: why do people build apps and shove it down other people's throat?Most of what they do can be done via a ("mobile") web site. Hell! Most of them are useless without internet connectivity anyway!

So why not make a great web site and just let people bookmark it?!

qingu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of people follow the newest trend. The same thing happened with the web in the early days. Everybody (person, company, entity) wanted a website. They didn't know why, who would use it and what for, but they said all their clients/customers/friends were asking for it. The same thing is happening now with mobile.

As time progresses, people will get a better understanding of who uses mobile, when and for what and will adapt development of mobile apps accordingly.

rschmitty 4 hours ago 0 replies      
What is worse (if you can believe that is possible) are mobile apps (yes I downloaded your fucking app) that then nag you to download their iPad app while I'm on the fucking iPhone

See http://imgur.com/yRLTOsd and Go Pens :)

mark_l_watson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow that resonated with me. So tired of the push to install apps.

Last night I watched for the first time "The Gilmore Gang" podcast and was surprised to hear all but one pundit talk about the future being apps + Internet, and not the web. I don't want to see that. There is so much content, including interactive web apps, that fit well with HTML5.

DominikR 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Everyone should try to have a good user experience, but it is not always the best business decision to dogmatically follow some usability guidelines.
orangethirty 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Fucking Plus. The only social network more fucking useless than MySpace

Well, he does make a good point here.

crimsonzagar 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Well seems like the discussion has moved away from the central thought of the post; let me try and add some of my life into the thread.

Here is how I live today:

Web is good for me. Porn is good for me. Anonymity is good for me. Given that I have an iPad, Galaxy Note 2 and a Chinese tablet with Android on it, the total installed 'app count' of my toys is zero. Zilch.

I have said it a numerous times before, and I'd proudly say it again ... I hate all the native apps on the planet. Keep all that great, smooth and butter-y experience up your garden's ass.

return0 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Angry titles attract the most clicks, i read that somewhere yesterday. This has now been proved. I would like to make it an eponymous law now.
arcosdev 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wha? But we spent all this money on our glorified webview wrapper!
ancarda 4 hours ago 0 replies      
On a positive note, almost all of these offer to say "no" to the app.
majkinetor 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Apps like that are really idiotic as concept. Why the fuck do we have mobile view ffs? Can't you do your mobile version of the site looking the same as your idiotic app ? Why do I need to have 77 entrances to the same thing?
ruswick 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Certainly, this "door-slamming" practice is detrimental and is a UX decision that needs to be confronted, but this sort of incoherent diatribe doesn't contribute to the discussion.
notyourpal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel this way about random advertisements I see on sites (mainly intrusive ones- well don't we all) . especially on the Forbes website. forbes can have interesting information (mixed with too much opinion maybe) but the writing is good...shitty site though because of ads and millions of click throughs to read an article .
zapf 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Love your man's way of putting the point across.

Never seen the point being made so fucking clearly. ;)

Wintamute 5 hours ago 8 replies      
How about we drop the prudishness, and discuss the points raised by the article? Seriously, what's with all the language moralising? This guys is totally free to make his points colourfully and passionately however he wants to. If it upsets you so much (it really shouldn't) then don't read it. His word choices are not hate speech or discriminatory so the fact that they may offend your sensibilities has precisely zero relevance to anything.
JcMalta 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Fucking Brilliant.

You should make an app to display this list.

leephillips 6 hours ago 7 replies      
It takes a certain special skill to use high-frequency profanity and make it funny. I doubt I possess it, and now I know that these guys definitely do not.
pullo 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Reading through the comments I am glad I am not the only one who finds over the top profanity upsetting. Yes , the author is free to make his/her point any way they want to. and No, not everyone who thinks that this profanity is undue is a prude. and I dont think it is fair to make a culture or age characterization based on a user's response. Extreme or sometimes, any profanity changes the tone of the article. that alone is a good reason to avoid over the top proclamations. IMO the author comes across as loud and noisy , and not strong and forceful. Just like a stand up comedian, who says 'fuck' for every joke.

As to the point in discussion: yes, it can be extremely annoying at times when companies prompt you to download their app. they have good reasons to do it too.

a) you spend good money to build an app, you want to drive users to the app instead of the site

b) many times , the app can be more functional than the site

c) one of the harder things for companies to do , is to retain user engagement. ex, if you have a firm that delivers stock quotes for users, you want to modify the users behavior to use your firm instead of a yahoo finance, or google. by making the user commit to download your app , in a way you get the users commitment to use your service.

d) you get a piece of users mental space , when you get their phone's screen space.

I personally think, having a small, disappearing toolbar to remind the user an app is available is the best way to go. Since every business with a website, also trying to get a mobile presence, a dual strategy of mobile web and app, seems to be the norm.

p.s I usually upvote the stories that I find interesting enough to comment. I choose not to do it this time.


gearoidoc 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Since you're over-fond of profanity I'll say this in a language you understand:

Relax. For fuck's sake.

sjltaylor 6 hours ago 1 reply      
potty mouth.
hawkharris 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Think of four-letter words as exclamation marks: you can use them on occasion when you want to drive a point home, but they appear less punchy! and less funny! with every! successive! use!!!
cpursley 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Get over yourself. I like the option to select the mobile version or web version.

Non-sophisticated users might be looking for the mobile site but do not know how to get to it.

I think the best UX pattering is:

A: View the mobile optimized siteB: Download the mobile app (if applicable)C: No thanks, continue and remember my choice

Hacker News apps github.com
50 points by captn3m0  9 hours ago   13 comments top 7
ruswick 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Of the six sites on this list that I attempted to visit, four did not resolve, one was an arabic blog, and one was an archaic-looking but functioning job board.

This list is obviously outdated and needs to be pared down.

obviouslygreen 5 hours ago 3 replies      
While the "my single-digit sample of your already-fairly-small population indicates..." posts will surely continue to be amusing... this seems like a curious waste of effort. Is the HN site so hard to use -- on any device -- that it really needs an app, let alone a repository of apps?
shocks 8 hours ago 1 reply      
How old is this list? The first two links[1] I picked at random are dead.

1: http://hntop100.com/ and http://hn4d.com

chromejs10 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're going to post a giant list like this without any screens or up-to-date links, at least add some bullet points about positive and negative things for each app or something. Otherwise I might as well just search "hacker news" in my iPhone's app store (or just Google).
iamdann 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Did HNPod just fade away? I had forgotten about it and I see there haven't been any episodes in a while.
bradleysmith 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love to see a list of HN clones running on Arc included. Maybe just me. Always interested in seeing what forums choose the hacker news system.
nvk 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A description beside each link would be more useful than the author.
Haskell style list comprehensions in Ruby github.com
74 points by ldubinets  12 hours ago   28 comments top 8
wedesoft 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Somewhat related: I've developed a library for operations involving multi-dimensional arrays [1, 2]. When possible it uses GCC for jit-compilation to achieve higher performance.

  require 'multiarray'  include Hornetseye  # Object  lazy(4) { |i| i + 2 }  # Sequence(INT):  # [ 2, 3, 4, 5 ]  lazy(3, 2) { |x, y| x }  # MultiArray(INT,2):  # [ [ 0, 1, 2 ],  #   [ 0, 1, 2 ] ]  lazy(3, 2) { |x, y| x + 1 }  # MultiArray(INT,2):  # [ [ 1, 2, 3 ],  #   [ 1, 2, 3 ] ]  lazy(3, 3) { |x, y| y + 4 }  # MultiArray(INT,2):  # [ [ 4, 4, 4 ],  #   [ 5, 5, 5 ],  #   [ 6, 6, 6 ] ]  lazy(3, 3) { |x, y| (x + 1) * (y + 4) }  # MultiArray(INT,2):  # [ [ 4, 8, 12 ],  #   [ 5, 10, 15 ],  #   [ 6, 12, 18 ] ]  lazy { |x,y| Sequence['n', 'p', 'r', 't'][x] + Sequence['a', 'i', 'u', 'e', 'o'][y] }  # MultiArray(OBJECT,2):  # [ [ "na", "pa", "ra", "ta" ],  #   [ "ni", "pi", "ri", "ti" ],  #   [ "nu", "pu", "ru", "tu" ],  #   [ "ne", "pe", "re", "te" ],  #   [ "no", "po", "ro", "to" ] ]  s = lazy(33) { |i| 3 * (i+1) }  # Sequence(INT):  # [ 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 51, .... ]  s.mask((s % 2).eq(0)).collect { |i| i ** 2 / 3 }  # Sequence(INT):  # [ 12, 48, 108, 192, 300, 432, 588, 768, 972, 1200, 1452, 1728, .... ]
[1] https://github.com/wedesoft/multiarray[2] http://www.wedesoft.de/hornetseye-api/

tome 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It's neat that Ruby has programmable syntax like this, but Haskell's comprehensions are one of its worst syntactic features IMHO. They're inherently non-composable.
VeejayRampay 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Cue to Haskell people lamenting the fact that this is an abomination and not by any means "Haskell-style list comprehensions".

Still very nice though.

dopamean 8 hours ago 2 replies      
As someone who is still learning Ruby and would like to learn Haskell I have no idea what is going on here. Would someone be kind enough to explain? Thanks.
gbog 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Side question, rant. I love the syntactic side of list or dict comprehension (in python) and often use them but as soon as I have to debug or expand the functionality, I have to slice them into for loop. And then I hate myself for being lazy/clever and more and more, when I start typing a = [, I hear an internal voice: wait, aren't you being wrongfully clever one again?

I am the only one?

stiff 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, that's some nontrivial Ruby, some explanation of this code would be nice, I program in Ruby for some 6 years now and I still had to do a lot of head-scratching to more or less figure this out. I had no idea Ruby allows overloading of prefix operators, for example.
egonschiele 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh wow, that is so wrong and so beautiful.
andkerosine 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This has no business being at the top of HN.
U.S. Students Rank Worst in New Sleep Study time.com
30 points by edtechdev  7 hours ago   15 comments top 7
suprasanna 5 hours ago 1 reply      
As a University student in the States, I can say that, other than academics themselves, this is mostly propagated by a "I slept fewer hours than you so clearly I work harder look at me and feel bad I'm so stressed kbye" mindset. I have seen many times people waiting to tweet or Facebook something right before bed to prove to the world (and elicit responses) that they were up till an ungodly hour.

It's similar to what happens in adulthood when everyone compares how "busy" they are 24/7 and display it as if it's a badge of pride.

pocketstar 4 hours ago 1 reply      
"The results of the new comparison have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal." I would read this article with a grain of salt. Although as a university student I can attest to seeing myself and my peers sleep deprived. I make sure I get the sleep I need now.
technoslut 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm sure that lack of exercise is also playing a role in this though it was not mentioned. Many kids are quite comfortable sitting at home on the computer, playing online games and instant messaging instead of leaving the house.
GigabyteCoin 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if the excessive levels of alcohol consumption in U.S. universities correlates to their lack of a good sleep as well?
majurg 4 hours ago 1 reply      
As a current student, I see sleep deprivation in all of my peers. Staying up late is seen as a 'cool' thing for people my age and younger, and I hear stories of kids as young as middle school going to sleep well after midnight on weeknights.

Since college, I have gone to sleep earlier, just so I can stay functional for work and classes; I don't know how these other people do it.

andyzweb 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been sleeping poorly for the past 4-5 years. I'm trying to change that over the next three months.
grimman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems fairly obvious to me that cramming and sleeping poorly will lead to the same bad results as any long term code crunch would have.
A rant about some of the nice things in the NT kernel neosmart.net
101 points by ComputerGuru  13 hours ago   71 comments top 10
mjg59 12 hours ago 8 replies      
In the time since that comment was written (just under 5 years), Linux replaced most graphics drivers with ones based on in-kernel modesetting and the DRI2 interface. This was done without breaking applications. So, the assertion that changing the video driver model would be disruptive is kind of disproven by reality. I guess Linux has a liberal bias.

That's not to say that NT doesn't have benefits. Linux is still catching up with implementing some features that Windows has had for some time (and multiple GPU support is actually a great example of that), but so far there's no real evidence that these disparities are because of architectural differences.

Really, a worthwhile comparative analysis requires someone who has a deep understanding of the kernels they're comparing. I'm pretty familiar with Linux but know almost nothing about NT, so I'm a bad choice. But "Take the recent Linux arguments about the HardLocks code that is giving Linux trouble with multi-processor granularity"? That's not someone who knows Linux, otherwise they'd be using words that I recognise. "You call BSD a kernel, it technically is a set of APIs"? That's not someone who knows BSD either. This isn't an in-depth analysis of benefits that one kernel has over another. It's a handwavy justification of some NT design decisions without any reasoned comparison to Linux design decisions in the same area.

I'd love to read an in-depth comparison of the benefits of NT over Linux. This isn't it. Is there one?

United857 3 hours ago 0 replies      
From a developer's perspective, the main problem facing Windows is not the kernel itself -- despite common misconceptions to the contrary. For example, OS X is built on a BSD which has it's roots in 60's and 70's OS design, just like the VMS roots of WinNT.

OS X didn't change the world by bringing some great new underlying architecture to the table. In fact, their kernel and filesystem are arguably getting long in the tooth. The value that OS X brought to the table was the fantastic Carbon and Cocoa development platforms. And they have continued to execute and iterate on these platforms, providing the "Core" series of APIs (CoreGraphics, CoreAnimation, CoreAudio, etc.) to make certain HW services more accessible.

There's very little cool stuff to be gained in the windows world by developing a new kernel from scratch. A quantum leap would not solve MS's problem. The problem is the platform. What's really dead and bloated is the Win32 subsystem. The kernel doesn't need major tweaking. In fact, the NT kernel was designed from the beginning such that it could easily run the old busted Win32 subsystem alongside a new subsystem without needing to resort to expensive virtualization (as the original article mentions).

Unfortunately, the way Microsoft is built today it have a fatal organizational flaw that prevents creating the next great Windows platform. The platform/dev tools team and the OS team are in completely different business groups within the company. The platform team develops the wonderful .NET platform for small/medium applications and server apps while the OS team keeps crudging along with Win32. Managed languages have their place, but they have yet to gain traction for any top shelf large-scale windows client application vendors (Adobe, even Microsoft Office itself, etc.) Major client application development still relies on unmanaged APIs, and IMHO the Windows unmanaged APIs are arguably the worst (viable) development platform available today.

What Windows needs is a new subsystem/development platform to break with Win32, providing simplified, extensible unmanaged application development, with modern easy-to-use abstractions for hardware services such as graphics, data, audio and networking.

This is starting to come to fruition with WinRT, but the inertia in large scale apps is unbelievable.

nailer 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The article (not the comment linked to, which was quite informative) also has this:

> Anyone thats ever manually compiled a Linux kernel knows this. You cant strip ext3 support from the kernel after its already built any more than you can add Reiser4 support to the kernel without re-building it.

Even 5 years go (and at least 10 years ago) you could remove ext3 and add add another filesystem without rebuilding the kernel. I know Red Hat at least included a helpful Makefile for precisely this purpose.

Rebuilding entire kernels in order to compile a single kernel module is a well known habit of early Linux uses, following advice from pre 2.x kernel days when loadable modules didn't exist that seems to have stuck around in the collective mind of the Internet.

aaronbrethorst 11 hours ago 1 reply      
> Soma

It's weird to me that the original blog post put Soma's name in "scare quotes." Soma is the Corporate VP of Developer Division at Microsoft, which means he's in charge ofamong other thingsVisual Studio, .NET Framework, ASP.NET, the now-dead Expression Studio, and I'm sure a few other things.

He goes by Soma because his full name is Sivaramakichenane Somasegar (really, I looked it up in Headtrax once and remember it, for whatever reason, seven years later). And, let's be honest, that is really hard to spell.

vxxzy 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Anyone thats ever manually compiled a Linux kernel knows this. You cant strip ext3 support from the kernel after its already built any more than you can add Reiser4 support to the kernel without re-building it."

Ummm.. Kernel modules anyone?

Or do I have something wrong here? Have I taken something out of context?

coldtea 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The neosmart.net post was totally ignorant.

And he dismissed "Shipping Seven" with hysterical handwaving and BS pedantic arguments, that were even wrong. He could not understand what SKUs were, he thought Seven referred to Windows as merely a kernel, like what you build in Linux, and other BS, he made some BS comments that only apply to monolithic kernels and ONLY if you compile extensions instead of loading them as modules...

ck2 12 hours ago 6 replies      
Are there any old-schoolers around here who remember IBM's OS/2 and how it could have changed the PC world completely


Its design was supposedly far better than NT

(it initially came on 50 5.25" disks, that was "fun" to install)

I think UPS was the largest user/developer.

You know the company Parallels that made Virtuozzo (and OpenVZ) - well it was initially formed to make virtual environments to run OS/2.

michielvoo 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Given that the source code of the NT kernel is apparantly available for academic purposes, I wonder if there are university courses where the NT kernel is used as the subject, and students are exposed to this code. Does anyone have that experience?
wfunction 12 hours ago 2 replies      
> MinWin

MinWin (affecting Kernel32.dll) has nothing to do with the NT kernel.

ulpis 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The NT kernel represents all strings as UTF-16 internally AND in the syscall API.

This single fact is enough to make it clear that it's a piece of shit.

Declarative Data Visualization library akngs.tumblr.com
73 points by pajju  12 hours ago   6 comments top 6
csmatt 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've been creating a bunch of angularjs directives for d3 for a project at work and was thinking about seeing if they would let me put them up on github. I've seen FullScale's danglejs, but it's not as configurable as we'd like and only has a handful of visualizations.

If you're interested in us open-sourcing them, please let me know and I'll convince them to let me put the code up.

ex: to produce this http://mbostock.github.io/d3/talk/20111018/tree.html

<collapsible-tree orient="horizontal" bind="treeData" click-node="handleNodeClick" dbl-click-node="handleNodeDblClick"></collapsible-tree>

zacharyvoase 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Very nice, but I'd appreciate it if graph types/options were declared through HTML attributes rather than in text or in adjacent elements.
ansgri 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Exactly the thing I'd like to use in our company's dashboard, missing the webdev fluency to apply things like d3.js.

Moreover, generating JS from templates feels like a hack, and delivering separate JS docs via Ajax is somewhat more complex.

Thanks a lot!

tekacs 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Inline transformation of data would seem like the natural fit for SGML derivatives - it seems a shame that we've so often found the need to go with explicit graphs, decorations and indeed the just-gone situation of seemingly redundant HTML to help fight the CSS box model. :/

(cue responding comment(s) about XSLT, WPF, etc.)

Also nice call on the simple-as-possible colouring, there. :)

kanakiyajay 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I have featured this awesome jQuery plugin by @alanking in http://jquer.in
AndreasFrom 11 hours ago 0 replies      
How do you label the axes?
       cached 12 May 2013 20:22:28 GMT