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The YouTube Contract for Indies digitalmusicnews.com
124 points by AndrewDucker  3 hours ago   41 comments top 13
nijiko 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Transcription from comments on the site.

Key Points

1. Removes windowing, unless you give youtube offers within reason (but what reason?). (Part 4/3b)

2. Google forces you to offer them comparable offers.

3. Parts of the contract are Illegal in many countries.

4. Prevents future sales through multiple means.

Major Paragraph:

Catalogue Commitment and Monetization. It is understood that as of the Effective Date and throughout the Term, Providers entire catalogue of Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos (including Provider Music Videos delivered via a third party) will be available for the Premium and Free Services for use in connection with each type of Relevant Content, (excluding AudioSwap Recordings, which will be at Providers option) and set to a default policy of Monetize for both the Premium and Free Services, except as otherwise set forth in this Agreement. Further, Provider will provide Google with the same Provider Sound Recordings and Provider Music Videos on the same day as it provides such content to any other similarly situated partners. The foregoing will be subject to reasonable quantity of limited-time exclusive promotional offers (in each case, with a single third party partner) (Limited Exclusives), as long as a) Provider provides Google with comparable exclusive promotional offers and b) the quantity and duration of such Limited Exclusives do not frustrate the intent of this Agreement.


YouTube not only forces artists to make their entire catalogs available on its free service however, it also demands that it happens on release day, online AND off-line.

This prevents future sales i.e. YouTube users can now download all songs for free, which means theres no need for anybody to buy music from iTunes anymore.

Side notes:

3. Rate Change. To the extent that any major label agrees to any rates for the Google Services that are lower than the rates set forth in Exhibits C or D, including with respect to bundling, Google will have the right to reduce Providers analogous rates accordingly, following thirty (30) days written notice (via email will be sufficient) to Provider.

Also, check below for some more in-depth links that convert to laymans more.

nickconfer 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I hope this doesn't happen. With Google weakly policing illegal content, labels really do have a bad situation here.

They either take the deal Google has given them which is bad, or say no, and risk getting removed from YouTube and having their music uploaded by fans as lower quality streams. In other words, they take less money, or possibly lose everything while paying huge fees to send YouTube take down notices.

This is bad for the consumer in my opinion. I want indie musicians and labels to be able to make more money, not less. This further incentives musicians to look for another path of work.

Its disappointing that while technology is making it easier than ever to record and produce music, its becoming tougher and tougher to make a living off it.

nostromo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The music industry is changing so fast. I feel sorry for the industry, despite their bad karma.

Illegal digital downloads disrupted everything, and cut profits substantially. Luckily, Apple and Steve Jobs showed up and offered a brief reprieve. But now, just a 10 years into paid digital downloads, when the new revenue is still a tiny fraction of the old revenue, the field is disrupted again by streaming. And as with previous disruptions, it appears revenue will again be cut dramatically.

I'm not sure what the takeaway is. Maybe the importance of owning your distribution channels?

waterlesscloud 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm actually happy about this. It will boost YouTube competition, which is sorely needed.

Indie music may not show up on Google's metrics as being all that important, but it's a gateway drug of sorts. The internal data analysis is probably missing that.

Some other video site will pick this up (Vimeo is so primed for it) and pick up a lot of viewers in the process.

kmfrk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I guess this is exactly the kind of case where you'd have a chance to see whether RapGenius is actually useful?
rudimental 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Could someone with better legal knowledge and familiarity with licensing help me make sense of how I should react to this?
bryze 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
Is it time to break up tech monopolies? I think the writing is on the wall.
aram 2 hours ago 1 reply      
For anyone wondering what's all this about - check out the comments at the bottom of that page.
hayksaakian 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Has someone OCR'd this or made it searchable
cnst 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
All the more reasons for Baboom?
good-citizen 2 hours ago 3 replies      
can someone explain? is this secret?
dbwat 1 hour ago 1 reply      
A sane take on things, discusses some of the sticking details: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140623/17084727661/more-...

It's worth noting that this is a negation process. This is Google's proposal and the labels aren't even willing to negotiate: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/24/youtube-mu...

Also the fact that someone leaked this is most likely part of the negotiations.

meandave 2 hours ago 4 replies      
This is disgusting
Oculus to Acquire Carbon Design Team oculusvr.com
35 points by GraffitiTim  2 hours ago   14 comments top 3
th0ma5 43 minutes ago 2 replies      
I keep thinking the long term goal here is not an Oculus Rift product, but devices that tie in augmented reality and marketing / sales, with hooks to your Facebook account. I honestly see them ditching anything to do with a game display device.
balls187 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
So Carbon Design is now the Occulus Bellevue office, or did Occulus already have an office there?
paperwork 1 hour ago 6 replies      
So why would Oculus acquire Carbon Design, rather than contracting them to design/build their products?
Lisp CPU frank-buss.de
99 points by auvi  4 hours ago   38 comments top 11
TD-Linux 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This would be interesting, but it looks like it has been barely started - the CPU is barely what I would call a CPU, let alone a Lisp interpreter.

Verilog isn't a programming language (it tries to be, unfortunately). For synthesis, it is a hardware description language. Someday I'll write up some decent Verilog tutorials because there aren't any good ones on the Internet.

ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This was started back in 2004 and the last update was in 2007 apparently [1], not a lot of the content changed. Building CPUs in FPGAs is fun, a lot of the demo boards available these days already have memory and often either an SD card type interface or some sort of NAND flash attached. A good place to start if your interested is fpgacpu.org ( not exactly a 'live' site but there is good info in there ) or opencores.org.

[1] http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.frank-buss.de/lispcp...

TazeTSchnitzel 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Wouldn't a "Lisp CPU" be like the one in the classic Lisp Machines, which didn't execute Lisp directly, but were optimised for executing it?
mhewett 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You need to look at The Architecture of Symbolic Machines by Peter Kogge. It contains a machine you can implement. I have implemented it in the Jatha LISP interpreter ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/jatha/ ).
listic 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
What are the good convenient and modern FPGA's good for a modern computer?

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, really. I would ask for a PCE-Express board, but I've switched to a laptop as my main machine, with external monitor, keyboard and mouse when in home/office. I guess a PCE-Express board that could in principle be used in a rack-mount server would be useful.

adrianm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This looks like a really fun project. I'd be interested in any good Verilog resources anyone can recommend. Also, does anyone know if there is there an affordable way to get components you design manufactured on a small scale? (Not in the thousands of units, I mean.)
wes-exp 4 hours ago 6 replies      
I'd like to see a modern CPU that handles dynamic typing in hardware. Registers can store values as well as the type, e.g. 32 value bits and a few type bits. Basic arithmetic like addition can automatically compare the type bits and just do the right thing with a single instruction (fixnum add, float add, bignum add, etc.).

Would this be cool or am I dreaming?

swetland 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Jeff's LispMicrocontroller is another example of this sort of thing (but a bit further along, it seems):https://github.com/jbush001/LispMicrocontroller
Brashman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As written, that INIT section is really going to limit clock speed. I also don't understand why currentState is double clocked.
daveloyall 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not familiar with Verilog. I wonder if something like this[1] would be a useful tool in this developer's belt.

1: http://www.cs.colby.edu/djskrien/CPUSim/

moron4hire 4 hours ago 2 replies      
It always surprises me to see these sorts of projects NOT based on Racket. I guess that is the danger of Scheme, it's so easy to reimplement the base language that everyone is doomed to spending lifetimes reimplementing the standard libraries.
Arthritis drug spurs hair growth in man with alopecia universalis yale.edu
56 points by mhb  3 hours ago   15 comments top 6
mglukhovsky 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've had alopecia universalis for the past two years, so it's exciting to see new research in this area. However, the drug in question (tofacitinib) is still an immunosuppresant, with some serious side effects (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM330702.pdf) -- so I'll be watching the clinical trials closely.

The original paper that's been submitted to Nature is worth a read: http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/vaop/naam/pdf/jid2014260a....

Mizza 2 hours ago 3 replies      
This is for alopecia universalis - don't get your hopes up, gents!
spankalee 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have a friend with alopecia. This would be awesome if gives her an option for reversing it.
HarlowDuDy 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Can I participate as a female volunteer for this study?? Me and my "eyebrows" are up for the challenge!
taeric 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The title really should refer directly to alopecia. Those of us that have it likely know the name. For everyone else, they don't realize that "male pattern baldness" is completely different.
pessimizer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Hope for George Dawes!
Show HN: $4.4B in Startup Funding Rounds Visualized machete.io
33 points by viggity  2 hours ago   27 comments top 7
henryw 3 minutes ago 1 reply      
Wow, YC-accelerated companies has captured 64% of the 4.4B.
codemac 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Where are you getting the data for this? It seems to be missing a fair number of startups that have had significant (>20M) rounds.
fancyremarker 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Anyone know why Dropbox is considered a Dublin-based company? Shouldn't their SF office be considered the main HQ?
akavi 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What's the data source?

Is it the rapid increase in total raised from 2012 - 2014 (even without Freakish_outlier) a data artifact or has the amount of funding actually exploded?

viggity 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I created this with a new service I released (Machete). Machete is built on top of dc.js (which in turn is built on d3.js and crossfilter). dc and d3 both have decent learning curves, Machete is aimed at non-programmers or as a prototyping tool for developers.

The visualization works best in chrome or any edge browser. In the off chance you're a huge Luddite and surfing HN with IE8, here are a couple extracted stats across the 2,040 rounds:

YC dwarfs other accelerators with $2.8B in funding, next largest is AngelPad with $185M.

Average A Round - $4.3M, B - $17M, C - $58M, D - $98M

Airbnb and Dropbox so skewed stats, that I created a filterable attribute for them called "Freakish_Outlier".

I should be on for a couple hours, please feel free to comment or ask questions.

pgt 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Awesome idea. The name, "Machete" is fine, but the logo is too aggressive. Consider something more playful, like a smiling machete, or ASCII art of Danny Trejo :D, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/Danny_Tre...

Just kidding. But seriously, a friendlier logo would make me more likely to try the service. Best of luck!

stephenhess 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Surprised to see so little startup activity in the Seattle area. Is there a reason for this? - in spite of what I expect to be a pretty serious pool of a talent drawn in by Amazon and Microsoft.
Stripe: Alipay support stripe.com
111 points by siddarthcs  5 hours ago   55 comments top 16
sabalaba 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a huge deal. I'm currently in Shenzhen and Alipay () is a common and convenient way to make payments, on Taobao, in person, or otherwise. Alipay is an interesting product in its own right, even if examined independently of the Alibaba Group. It has a money market service, Yu'E Bao () that is currently a top 3 global money market fund with $89B AUM. That's a taste of the scale of the market in China.


hunvreus 4 hours ago 0 replies      
On a personal level, I'm very excited to know that I won't have to try and integrate Alipay in any of our products anymore. It's nightmare to deal with, even for our Chinese team.

But for Stripe, it's a huge step forward into tapping in a massive market. Most Chinese people can't (or won't) use card to pay online; they simply have Alipay connected to their bank account or use prepaid cards. Good move Stripe.

silverlight 5 hours ago 2 replies      
If you guys would do this exact same thing for PayPal, I would be so happy.
vcherubini 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow this is awesome. I had to integrate Alipay into a checkout process in ~2010 and it was a complete nightmare - and not even as a result of the language barrier. The API was just so so bad. Glad this is in Stripe now.
jqueryin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is great news for those using Stripe Checkout. Are there any plans to offer Alipay to Stripe customers who are utilizing the API for subscriptions, invoicing, and recurred payments?

As an aside, we also get a load of client requests for PayPal as an alternative simply because many people don't have a US-based credit card. If you're making the moves to support global markets, it's tough to side step them.

I really wish PayPal brought back their digital credit card which you could preload with cash and use online like a real credit/debit card. It would solve all of our problems with users who don't have a CC!

PhilipA 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Now we just need to see Stripe come to the other countries, which doesn't yet have access to them (I have Denmark in mind).
alphadevx 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Kudos to Stripe for adding this. Having working on an Alipay integration via another provider, I know there is business demand for this.
darvy 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I wish there was a non-JS version of Stripe Checkout. Rather than throwing up the modal window, I'd prefer to redirect my users to a Stripe hosted checkout page where they can make payment and we can deal with it via webhooks. Similar to how PayPal works really.

Currently I'm integrating with the API directly to do this but I'd have preferred to use a page hosted by Stripe, especially considering they are starting to open up to other payment methods.

pastaking 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is awesome!

PS author misspelled the link to Stripe Checkout https://stripe.com/chekcout missing a c)

joedrew 3 hours ago 2 replies      
As a Canadian, I'm most interested in when Stripe will start supporting our Interac debit cards. At that point, from my point of view, it'll have taken over the world. :
karsonenns 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If we don't use stripe checkout, would there still be a way to integrate this using the APIs?
SpacialSense 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Alipay payments will all be nominated in Yuan (RMB). How does Stripe convert this back to USD? The laws of converting currency in China are very restrictive.
jpalley 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How does Stripe deal with the currency conversion? Is this tracked by Alipay on an individual level (i.e. so consumers can't spend more then the legal conversion amount of 50k USD)?
taigeair 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What do you think about Amazon Payments? How come people don't use it?
Silhouette 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a very interesting development, partly for being a useful feature for some merchants in its own right, but perhaps also if it signals a more general move from Stripe toward supporting a broader range of payment methods through a unified API. That strategy seems to dovetail neatly with accepting payments in multiple currencies, which was something else Stripe developed not so long ago but isn't much use alone where the local conventional payment methods don't involve credit cards.
mattste 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm curious what method they use for identifying the buyers as Chinese.
A texture-mapped raycaster in 128 bytes pouet.net
23 points by RodgerTheGreat  1 hour ago   3 comments top 2
leorocky 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
These kinds of ray casters are really cool, but at this point in time I don't care about how small the code base is, just make a really cool ray caster in JavaScript and don't worry about how big the code is (within reasonable limits)! I just want an awesome JavaScript ray caster library to be honest. :)
bshimmin 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
Something terrible and greatly upsetting seems to have happened in the comments, but I can't for the life of me understand what.
Improved default settings for Linux machines tobert.github.io
39 points by dctrwatson  3 hours ago   26 comments top 8
colanderman 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
"this disables swap entirely, which I think is virtuous" -- stopped reading right there.

Swap isn't some artifact from the days of 640k, used only because memory is expensive. Shit is always stored on disk; swap just allows that shit to be unused pages of active programs rather than actively used pages of files on disk.

kev009 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Sorry but this is really bad 'default' advice. Shocking, but defaults often are default for a reason. Cranking everything up to 11 is a sign of ignorance in which case you need to step back and understand what you are doing first.

The mmap, file-max, and SHM advice is application dependent. Understand what your system is doing, and only increase if necessary. i.e. PostgreSQL < 9.3 is the only large user of SHM I can think of off hand.

The limits.conf advice is also bad. You should have a safety net here and increase these as needed and per user in /etc/security/limits.d

A less harmful guide would be something like "these are the knobs you may need to turn for certain apps, and here is the documentation on what they affect" - this looks a bit better https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/sysctl

lazyant 2 hours ago 6 replies      
I'm very much against changing kernel settings in production servers without really understanding the implications. Take for example the "swappiness = 0", most likely what you think it does it's not what it does.
hassy 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
Increasing the number of file descriptors on machines running HTTP servers is one of the first recommendations I make to my consulting clients.

It's much easier to overlook than you'd probably imagine. I have seen apps serving hundreds of thousands of API requests per day that had the default settings. It's one of those quick changes that can have a big impact.

mediaserf 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Swappiness is not just about swapping. http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/10678 <- This is a great article on Linux swap and how it works. It will change your life.
jccooper 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
To apply the sysctl changes right away:

sudo sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.conf

My oldish kernel doesn't recognize the PID settings, which is unfortunate.

KaiserPro 50 minutes ago 1 reply      
It would be good if you were to explain your reasoning for your changes.

As alluded to before, defaults are default for a reason. Having someone explain why they change them is a good exercise for both reader and author.

for example fiddling with swappyness means that you'll end up with less RAM for important things, like file cache.

alex_duf 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Don't change max values unless it's really needed. Not every production machine needs billions of IPC handles.

My philosophy is keep it do default unless you have an issue. Guess what ? It works just fine.

Linux dominates supercomputers as never before zdnet.com
12 points by tanglesome  1 hour ago   2 comments top
Alupis 15 minutes ago 1 reply      
I really amazes me, that Linux is so darn flexible that it runs on some of the world's largest machines, down to the smallest embedded devices.

After years of being a Windows fanboy -- I look back now and am very glad I made the switch. With Linux -- it's never a case of "you can't do that".

Silicon Valley and the Edtech Revolution imaginek12.com
49 points by sama  4 hours ago   31 comments top 7
jnbiche 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If someone wants to create a start-up that will really help teachers to teach tech, they'll find a way to help teachers bypass their local IT departments in an acceptable manner.

I know of multiple school districts that are absolutely plagued by overzealous IT admins, including the director, who lock down teacher and student computers to the point where they're unable to install or use the software they need to learn or login to all these cool educational services that use Google or Facebook login. Watching educational YouTube videos? That's not even open for discussion.

They're totally blocked from learning. Funny thing is: the kids all know how to get around these blocks, but the teachers don't dare do it for fear of losing their job.

This on top of the fact that these schools' LANs fail on a regular basis, including when students are taking computer-based standardized tests.

So teachers spend hours each week filing bug reports and calling IT to get these sites unblocked, software installed, or LAN/wifi back up.Most people here wouldn't believe what is going on in many school districts because of overzealous and incompetent IT admins. It's a structural problem in at least 3 states I'm familiar with (all of them low-performing states on standard tests).

Maybe build a "screened" portal to educational sites (including ones with YouTube videos) and software? But it would have to be accompanied by some serious lobbying towards the IT folks to whitelist it.

codingdave 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
I don't think we are at "revolution" yet. We are dabbling. We are giving teachers new tools. We are creating content for kids who can already read fairly well, and content for pore-K kids, but failing fairly miserably at the 1st-3rd grade level.

We are tooling up the industry, but not revolutionizing it. We are the same old industry, with shiny toys, and online classes that supplement schooling, but only replace it for a very small minority of very clever children.

The investors don;' signal a revolution. They signal a market opportunity, which is not the same thing. When parents start pulling their kids out of the public schools, because the online options surpass the local school district at a functional level for lower income working families, THEN we have a revolution on our hands.

MarcScott 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I get extremely frustrated by the plethora of Edtech initiatives, all purporting to solve some problem but in reality simply making more work for teachers.

In my school we have an MIS that seems to have evolved from an Access Database created in the 90s, that manages all student data, but has no API. We also have a VLE that was designed to look pretty, but offers almost no functionality and has a UI that is tortuous to use and actually lengthens the time it takes to mark work and record results.

Every teacher I work with has a different way of operating. Some write assignments on the board and take in hard copies. Other's use the official VLE. Some use email or shared network drives, and others Edmodo or whatever platform is flavour of the month.

Work is marked and fed back to students, and then inevitable placed in an Excel spreadsheet, exported as a CSV or transcribed into a paper mark book, only then to be then double entered into our MIS at a later date.

The system is a mess, and every new Edtech tool I see just adds to the confusion - another URL to remember, another username, password, interface. I wonder how many Edtech startups have founders that were actual teachers, or bring teachers on board at an early stage. Judging by the tools on offer, I would guess that it's not many.

There are a couple of exceptions. EdX, I think, is an amazing platform, but even though it is OpenSource, it is well beyond the capabilities of most schools to set up an in-house platform. Codecademy seem to genuinely want to engage with teachers (in the UK at least) but where are the Codecademy startups for Geography or French or Science.

In my own teaching I find myself increasingly shunning new Edtech tools, and now barely bother clicking on the links I receive in my inbox every day. Until Edtech startups really engage with teachers, rather than just treating them as beta testers, I really don't see anything in the future other than increasing fragmentation and frustration.

jonbischke 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm super psyched about this but, as a former ed tech entrepreneur, also a bit concerned.

The concern lies here. The blog post references a record $509 million in ed tech financing in 2014. However, in the last 10 years I believe we have only seen two companies go public (2U and Chegg). Both trade at modest multiples to invested capital and neither is focused on the K-12 space. And those are the success stories. Other than those two, I can't think of a nine figure acquisition other Wireless Generation.

My concern is that, unless we start seeing large exits soon, we'll have a lot of investors fleeing the space similar to what happened to the "e-learning" companies in the wake of the dot com crash.

I sincerely hope that I'm wrong though. I'm a big fan of ImagineK12 and many of the companies referenced in the blog post. I'd love to see a number of IPOs and big exits which will drive more capital towards innovation in this sector.

jonhmchan 3 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm curious what proportion of edtech is geared towards teaching how to code.

It seems that a lot of companies in the space (or at least the ones I hear about) are geared towards this one topic, and only a notable few are tackling other areas of academia or infrastructure issues around education. On surface it makes sense - tech companies geared towards education are probably going to focus on technology as the subject. It's also relatively cheap to source material, employees have first-hand experience in the field, and there's high demand with straightforward business models available.

I certainly noticed all these things when I launched Bento (http://bentobox.io/), and I still think about it today. I do try and maintain a healthy skepticism though: is the edtech being referenced in this article still largely in the narrow band of technology, or are we seeing it expand?

bfwi 3 hours ago 4 replies      
How effective are MOOCs really? I'm not saying that they're not effective, I'm simple asking the question.

Are people getting hired based on a resume of a MOOC education? Do you know anyone who really learned a subject by taking a MOOC? If so, that's fantastic.

quarterconfig 3 hours ago 2 replies      
"The idea that great education was never for the few and should always be available to all led to the creation of MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, led by Silicon Valley companies like Coursera and Udacity"

This is presented as a novel idea, but governments have been subsidizing education for a long time because of this long held value (see: student loans).

"You know a revolution is happening in Silicon Valley when the money shows up."

Correlation does not equal causation? Money does not a revolution make.

FAA bans the use of drones to deliver packages techcrunch.com
72 points by aritraghosh007  4 hours ago   48 comments top 11
donatj 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
> > If an individual offers free shipping in association with a purchase or other offer, FAA would construe the shipping to be in furtherance of a business purpose, and thus, the operation would not fall within the statutory requirement of recreation or hobby purpose.

> Surprising? No, but it is almost fun to see the government be so particular in its language

Well couldn't amazon get around this by using negative shipping, whereas they pay you to ship items to you? Like pay you a penny. To me being "so particular in [..] language" just leads to loop holes.

jkaljundi 3 hours ago 3 replies      
FAA has never allowed the use of drones to deliver packages. The right headline would be "The FAA does still not allow use of drones to deliver packages."
DEinspanjer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One of the interesting pieces I picked up from the related reading to this article is that any use of FPV equipment on a model aircraft puts it square out of the exemptions as far as the FAA is concerned. If the operator does not have un-aided eyes on object at all times, they lose the protection of the exemptions afforded to model aircraft.


danboarder 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Meanwhile, in Russia a pizzeria recently launched unmanned delivery: http://rt.com/news/167936-russia-drones-pizza-delivery/
bdamm 1 hour ago 2 replies      
The part I've been thinking about and don't have a good answer to is, where would the drones fly? The best answer I've come up with is directly overhead non-highway surface streets. Or put another way, where is it OK for drones to crash?

I do think the FAA is too risk adverse, and they ought to allow less-limited market trials in large metropolitan areas. The current UAS plan is good but too conservative.

jedanbik 3 hours ago 0 replies      
First comment, couldn't have put it better myself:

N Lawrence Pfeifer"FAA Bans The Use Of Drones To Deliver Packages""As such, the FAA wants to ban it."

TechCrunch, please.

derwiki 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
So theoretically, I could start using a drone to deliver gifts to my friends. Non-commercial, not "free shipping in association with a purchase or other offer" right?
purringmeow 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I really can't see the need for premature bans. Has there been a significant amount of accidents involving the use of delivery drones? I don't think so, so why potentially limit your competitiveness? :(
orasis 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Drones are really annoyingly loud. This isn't a bad thing at all.
logfromblammo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Establishment resists potentially disruptive technology. News at 11.

While agencies of government have never hesitated to step in and order people about, I am somewhat concerned that they are saying "Stop that at once!" far less often, in favor of "Don't even think about it."

Rather than allowing people to test the limits of their ingenuity, and intervene only when there is a demonstrable externality to be addressed, they are now issuing orders based upon an unrealized potential for harm. I think the latter demands a higher standard. You would have to be worrying about buildings burning down and people dying before I would want anyone to ban something that hasn't even been done yet. Let's ban people from building nuclear reactors in their toolsheds, yes. Maybe don't allow people to set off high-powered fireworks in the middle of a bunch of flammable homes. And let's not drive cars at high speed through suburban avenues where children, joggers, and pets may be present.

How, exactly, would software-piloted package-delivery aircraft present such a severe threat to life and property that we have to conclude that they cannot possibly be operated safely?

The public wants to use its airspace in a manner that benefits them. That includes noncommercial hobbyists, people such as journalists and surveyors profiting incidental to their usual work, and people earning money directly. The FAA does not get to pick the winners and losers here. That job, unfortunately, belongs to the legislature, not the executive (unfortunate in the sense that they have opted not to do their jobs, of course).

FAA is either exceeding its authority, or its authority is ambiguous at a result of legal refactoring proceeding more slowly than societal development. Either way, it stops Amazon from even trying, while black marketeers will blithely use drones to make drops of contraband, and cops and soldiers will use them for illegal surveillance and ethically dubious methods of crowd control.

As with so many other things, the real barrier here is how much it costs for Average Joe to buy and operate his own software-piloted drone. If you can get one cheaply enough, drones will eventually be resupplying beers from the camper to the bass boat, and the FAA will be stuck trying to enforce an extremely unpopular decision that is routinely ignored by people who have never even heard of it.

hippich 2 hours ago 1 reply      
From reading all these legal nuances I feel like next step would be to rent away for free drones to customers which they will use in turn to pickup their packages at amazon warehouses :)
Show HN: Fast.js faster reimplementations of native JavaScript functions github.com
203 points by phpnode  9 hours ago   137 comments top 29
danabramov 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Reminds me of this comment by Petka Antonov on native V8 Promises being way slower than Bluebird[1]:

>I'd expect native browser methods to be an order of magnitude faster.

Built-ins need to adhere to ridiculous semantic complexity which only gets worse as more features get added into the language. The spec is ruthless in that it doesn't leave any case as "undefined behavior" - what happens when you use splice on an array that has an indexed getter that calls Object.observe on the array while the splice is looping?

If you implemented your own splice, then you probably wouldn't even think of supporting holed arrays, observable arrays, arrays with funky setters/getters and so on. Your splice would not behave well in these cases but that's ok because you can just document that. Additionally, since you pretty much never need the return value of splice, you can just not return anything instead of allocating a wasted array every time (you could also make this controllable from a parameter if needed).

Already with the above, you could probably reach the perf of "native splice" without even considering the fact that user code is actually optimized and compiled into native code. And when you consider that, you are way past any "native" except when it comes to special snowflakes like charCodeAt, the math functions and such.

Thirdly, built-ins are not magic that avoid doing any work, they are normal code implemented by humans. This is biggest reason for the perf difference specifically in the promise case - bluebird is extremely carefully optimized and tuned to V8 optimizing compiler expectations whereas the V8 promise implementation[2] is looking like it's directly translated from the spec pseudo-code, as in there is no optimization effort at all.

[1]: https://github.com/angular/angular.js/issues/6697#issuecomme...

[2]: https://github.com/v8/v8/blob/master/src/promise.js

Joeri 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Today i was refactoring some js code that rendered a graph to svg. It was taking several seconds in some cases, and the developer had done a bunch of micro-optimizations, inlining functions, building caches to avoid nested loops, and so on.

I ran a profile. The code ran for 2.5 seconds, 4 ms of which in the micro-optimized js code, the rest updating the dom, five times all over again. Needless to say that i threw out all the micro-optimizations, halving the number of lines, and fixed it so the dom was updated once.

Anyway, the point i'm making is this: you should micro-optimize for readability and robustness, not performance, unless profiling shows it's worth it. I haven't known a case where pure (non-dom, non-xhr) js code needed micro-optimization for performance in half a decade.

throwaway_yy2Di 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I think in most cases where you'd worry about JS array performance you should use actual numeric arrays [0] rather than the kitchen sink Array(). Also, I think those function abstractions have a pretty significant overhead?

[0] https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Type...

(edit): Yeah, the abstraction overhead is ridiculous. Here's the forEach() benchmark again, compared to an explicit for loop (no function calls):

    // new benchmark in bench/for-each.js        exports['explicit iteration'] = function() {        acc = 0;        for (var j=0; j<input.length; ++j) {            acc += input[j];        }    }  Native .forEach() vs fast.forEach() vs explicit iteration      Array::forEach() x 2,101,860 ops/sec 1.50% (79 runs sampled)      fast.forEach() x 5,433,935 ops/sec 1.12% (90 runs sampled)      explicit iteration x 28,714,606 ops/sec 1.44% (87 runs sampled)    Winner is: explicit iteration (1266.15% faster)
(I ran this on Node "v0.11.14-pre", fresh from github).

olliej 3 hours ago 2 replies      
As a person who works on a JS engine I can say that a lot of the speed up in this library is the failure to handle holes correctly - it's surprisingly expensive to do a hole check, although there's still room in most engines to optimise it, those checks are fairly time consuming :-/
sheetjs 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Premature optimization is the root of all evil -- Knuth

V8 has excellent profiling tools (exposed in chrome and in nodejs) which should be used first before considering fallbacks. Before seeking a third party library, be sure to check if the function is called many times or is taking a long time.

For example, I found that throwing map out and using a straight array (avoiding the function calls entirely) can be up to 50% faster than using the functional suspects. But that, in the eyes of some people, unnecessarily adds complexity to the code and may not be worth changing

simonsarris 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Here's another one for you, one of my favorites that used to be drastic: http://jsperf.com/pipetrunc

    blah | 0; // fast!    Math.floor(blah); // slow(er)! (except on FF nightly)
Caveat: Only works with numbers greater than -2147483649 and less than 2147483648.

nathanb 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a bit concerned about this...

On one hand, I'm a big proponent of "know your tools". I'll gladly use a fast sort function that falls apart when sorting arrays near UINT32_MAX size if I'm aware of that caveat ahead of time and I use it only in domains where the size of the array is logically limited to something much less than that, for example.

But on the other hand, I write operating system code in C. I need to know that the library functions I call are going to protect me against edge cases so I don't inadvertently introduce security holes or attack vectors.

If I know that some JS I'm interacting with is using fast.js, maybe there will be some input I can craft in order to force the system into a 1% edge case.

The lesson here is probably "don't use this for your shopping cart", but we need to be careful deriding Javascript's builtins for being slow when really they're just being safe.

jrajav 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Here's a jsperf of fast.js / lodash / native: http://jsperf.com/fast-vs-lodash
netcraft 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I wonder how these compare to the ones in lodash.
VeejayRampay 8 hours ago 5 replies      
Javascript. The language where you can reimplement basic functions such as map, each, reduce (which by the way are still available for objects in 2014) and have them be faster than their native counterparts.

It might be that I don't particularly like the language. but it's kind of frightening that we're building the world on that stuff.

seanewest 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think this shows that standards bodies could implement less native language functionality and let community-made libraries/tools compete for those areas. ES6 goes so far as to implement a native module system, seriously calling into question any effort by the community at large to implement a competing system (e.g. browserify, requirejs).
peterkelly 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I think the forEach issue is a bad example, and something that could (and arguably should) be handled by the native implementation. The reason they get faster execution here is by breaking the spec.

A native implementation could have a single flag associated with the array recording whether it is sparse, and use the more efficient code path given here in the common space where it's non-sparse.

illumen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I did this with CPython and psyco. It turns out that writing map() in python was faster than the builtin C version. Because the JIT was allowed to do some tricks, like inlining the function.
franze 6 hours ago 0 replies      
micro-benchmarks are the root of all evil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65-RbBwZQdU Vyacheslav Egorov - LXJS 2013 talk

i don't know if he actually said these word, but it was the overall theme of this (very entertaining and very enlightening) talk.

grhmc 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Amazing, the "performance tests" here operate on a list of only ten items long: https://github.com/codemix/fast.js/blob/master/bench/for-eac...

I'm sure that is a statistically valid way to measure performance.

dgreensp 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It's fairly well-known that Array#forEach is up to an order of magnitude slower than a for-loop, across browsers. The usual reason given is the overhead of invoking a closure from the VM. A JS implementation of forEach ought to be somewhere in the middle.

The speed-up for "concat" is surprising to me. I wonder if it holds for "splice" and if that is true across browsers.

aikah 9 hours ago 8 replies      
Some V8 people here ? how can a JS re-implementation be faster than the native implementation of a function ?
dabernathy89 7 hours ago 1 reply      
> there is essentially no performance difference between native functions and their JavaScript equivalents

> native functions often have to cover complicated edge cases from the ECMAScript specification, which put them at a performance disadvantage.

Aren't these opposing statements?

Kiro 6 hours ago 0 replies      
So the forEach magic that is so much faster is... a normal for loop:

  exports.forEach = function fastForEach (subject, fn, thisContext) {    var length = subject.length,        i;    for (i = 0; i < length; i++) {      fn.call(thisContext, subject[i], i, subject);    }  };
I knew that forEach was slower than a normal for loop but I was expecting something more.

cordite 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm interested in what those edge cases are, to say it works in 99% of the cases but provide no caveats makes me think that I might be surprised by something if I use it.
gpvos 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It would have been nice though if they would have documented exactly which edge cases they're neglecting.
nijiko 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Submitted a pull-request that does decrementing iterations which in some browsers / engines can give an increase in performance due to less instruction.
talles 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder which projects does actually need that.

Hey I'm not bashing here, I thing it's kind cool for learning purposes attempts to do such thing, but I truly wonder if there is an actual production need for such thing.

CountHackulus 8 hours ago 0 replies      
No mention of relative memory usage though. I've been bitten by this kind of thing too many times in node in the past to not wonder about it here. Especially for such core functions.
idbehold 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you provide benchmarks against Lo-Dash?
MokiD 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A while back I was programming for a naive but well-written JS interpreter for set top box apps, where map was generally being avoided because of performance.

I wrote quite a fast "map" (along with the others) that looked a bit like:

  exports.map = function fastMap (subject, fn, thisContext) {    var i = subject.length,        result = new Array(i);    if (thisContext) {      while (i--) {        result[i] = fn.call(thisContext, subject[i], i, subject);      }    } else {      while (i--) {        result[i] = fn(subject[i], i, subject);      }    }    return result;  };
I'm not sure if I just used "result = []", but on modern browsers I think that'd be recommended. But yeah, if you're programming for a web browser then using another impl of map is probably going to be a waste of time.

webXL 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Looks like John-David Dalton has some work cut out for him!
phpnode 8 hours ago 0 replies      
this library does not overwrite any native functions or manipulate any prototypes, you have to call the fast.js versions explictly - it's opt in.
cristiantincu 8 hours ago 1 reply      
> In fact, native functions often have to cover complicated edge cases from the ECMAScript specification, which put them at a performance disadvantage.

What. Is. This. I dont even.

Introducing the Revert Button github.com
47 points by _pius  1 hour ago   11 comments top 4
benatkin 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I think it would be neat if GitHub detected and archived branches that are deleted or overwritten with force --push. I don't know how feasible this is but it would make it more true that when code is pushed to GitHub, it's safe.

Edit: what I have in mind is something like a Recycle Bin or Trash for deleted branches where you can restore a branch (with a different name, if needed) or delete it permanently. Not some esoteric git feature. I'd like if it were added to git (as an optional feature enabled in .git/config), but I'd want it to work more like stash than a feature for searching for things that were left behind.

artursapek 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Kind of ironic how Github continues to make it less necessary for developers to actually learn git.
alistairjcbrown 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is an awesome feature - not one you'll use every day, but one that's very convenient when you've made an oops.
tildedave 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This will be a huge help for teams of larger developers who use Github.

It's really easy for a branch to "look okay" at the unit level (generally covered by the commit status API) and then completely fail at the integration level.

Enabling quick reverts of bad code encourages people to make the "right fix" rather than trying to hotfix issues in an integration environment (which blocks the rest of the team and prevents other features from going out).

Svpply to retire on August 31st svpply.com
22 points by uptown  2 hours ago   18 comments top 9
felixbraun 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"Working with @FictiveCameron and @fictivekin on a new Svpply. Kickstarter coming soon."

Ben Pieratt, Svpply founder: https://twitter.com/pieratt/status/481524249522216962

Judson 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's a strange feeling to see Svpply finally setting into the sun. Most of us have moved on from ebay and the site has been semi-running itself for the past 6 months.

It's going to be weird saying "I worked on Svpply, a site that used to be about letting people curate and discover products".

frandroid 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
brianbreslin 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
What was SVPPLY?
sagichmal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Extremely saddened. Svpply was one consumer goods portal I continuously felt like I could rely on.
nedwin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Bummer. I still use this to find clothes. Glad to hear they're going to bring back a slightly different version of it.
syc 1 hour ago 1 reply      
http://www.lyst.com is a great alternative to it
chollier 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Brrr I'll miss my everyday notification from Want, that's a bummer !
shoxxx 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
bummed about this. canopy.co is another alternative - but just for amazon products.
Programming on a Piano Keyboard elekslabs.com
132 points by yuriyguts  8 hours ago   23 comments top 12
JoshTriplett 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Fun idea! The note mappings shown at the end of the article seem quite specific to producing the code written for the demo, but I could imagine a more general mapping. Velocity also allows for some interesting possibilities, such as uppercase/lowercase. Rather than mapping chords to individual letters, notes could map to letters and chords involving those letters could map to common patterns with the letters as mnemonics.
UrlichtZwei 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome hack. It'd be interesting to run the rules in reverse: i.e. take some code, run it backward through the mapping and see what music comes out.

(P.S. you can't really call it C# minor if there are no cadences, ya know, in C# minor.)

nullc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Typing via a mapping to the keys is a normal feature in some integrated synthesizers. E.g. the K2600 does it... certantly beats entering in labels for patches via a little wheel or 9-key.
dllthomas 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting. I did something a little like this a while back. The way I worked it, it spanned two octaves, and chords in the lower octave determined a one-to-one mapping in the upper. It seemed about as usable as any unfamiliar keyboard, though I didn't play with it for more than about 20 minutes in total.
fjcaetano 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice to see that the key mapping was projected to sound good, not only random notes being played.
totoroisalive 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Refreshing hack news, after all that startup BS.
rch 6 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a lot of this sort of thing going on right now actually. I've been experimenting with dynamic interfaces on a tablet and found it to be strangely satisfying to have task-oriented controls come into view when they're likely to be needed.
auvi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
one of the earliest typewriters had a piano type keyboard.[0] http://www.nytstore.com/Typewriter-Patent--1868_p_8837.html
dspig 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My suggestion for the sustain pedal is enable/disable all breakpoints.
kylerosenberg 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out OSCulator if you're on a Mac.http://www.osculator.net/You can route MIDI, plus a number of other types of physical controllers like a Wii Remote to keyboard commands, mouse movements, AppleScripts, and more.
nocman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The old Styx song "Too Much Time on My Hands" comes to mind :-D

Still looks like fun, though.

thegeomaster 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I imagine working in Emacs would sound like Mozart playing.
Sel4: Were going open source sel4.systems
84 points by wglb  6 hours ago   27 comments top 9
StefanKarpinski 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is an awful lot of fanfare for the open sourcing of something that was funded with public money by the government of Australia, using open source tools and technologies. Why isn't it already open source?

In general, I would like to see more software developed with public research funding required to be open source as part of the grant stipulation, ideally from early on. Too often tax-payer money is used to develop software which then ends up being closed source and providing profit to some commercial entity, instead of benefiting, you know, the people who payed for it the public.

webmaven 3 hours ago 0 replies      
<blockquote>All will be under standard open-source licensing terms.</blockquote>

Hmm. Lumping together the mind-bogglingly broad variety of Free/Libre/Open Source licensing options as something 'standard' does not instill confidence.

That said, perhaps they are using something standard, like straight-up Apache, GPL, or BSD.

zmanian 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There seems to be a lot of utility here for folks developing hardware based public key infrastructure like BitCoin wallets.
fsiefken 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
This might become a good competitor for OpenBSD and the hardened linux.
sj4nz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This will be pretty exciting for anyone learning operating systems. More source to read.


hackuser 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Could someone with expertise in this area share what is really meant by "end-to-end proof of implementation correctness and security enforcement", and the practical implications of it? The words suggest that the kernel is 'proven' to be absolutely secure, which obviously is false (and I don't think the authors are trying to make that claim). So what are the precise implications for confidentiality, availability, and integrity?
luckydude 4 hours ago 5 replies      
"In short, the implementation is proved to be bug-free."

Has any smart person looked at their claims enough to vouch for them?

mantraxC 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Hmm, given how compilers & hardware can introduce incorrectness and security vulnerabilities in otherwise valid code, it makes you wonder if anyone can really claim "end-to-end proof of correctness" unless they include the specific compiler & hardware in their proof.
UweSchmidt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Love the default bootstrap theme <3
A New Chip Tells Farmers When to Water modernfarmer.com
25 points by ryan_j_naughton  3 hours ago   9 comments top 3
jqm 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I actually did an internship on a grape farm in the early 90's. Getting a degree in agonomy I was all hyped on modern technology and exited about tensiometers. The 20 year old me wanted to install them, but was shut down by the old Hispanic foreman during the meeting. He had been growing grapes for 30+ years. When I asked him how he decided when to water he said... simple. See these weeds growing under the grapes? (it was a type of pigweed I believe) When they start to droop it's time to water. Turns out, the grapes roots are deeper and the vines much larger than the weed, so this was in fact a free (and pretty accurate) tensiometer.

I love tech. And not to be a cynic, but I kind of doubt many serious "farmers" read this magazine. The old foreman maybe converted me to a degree of traditionalism. There doesn't need to be a tech solution for everything. Sometimes simple time tested solutions are better.

EDIT: One more point. Suppose one was able to figure out an individual plant's water needs. I don't know of any irrigation system that would let you meet it. The block, patch, field, whatever gets watered all together. Unless you send people to adjust individual emitters or something. And, if you are doing that you have undoubtedly spent far more money than you will ever make back in increased yields or water savings. This "modern farmer" magazine kind of drives me nuts and I see it posted here on HN frequently.

EDIT2: I guess I'm at my commenting limit so I'll leave the reply here. I agree with poster who says tech is necessary to feed more in the future. But this chip, in a production setting, is a non-solution looking for a problem. And there is way too much stuff like this that people think are "breakthroughs".

People have trouble comprehending scale when it comes to agriculture. A tray in a hydroponic gardens, even a roof full of hydroponic gardens... cool, but it isn't going to ever provide a significant portion of the worlds food. And it is way too expensive to set up and maintain for what it provides. Now... for specialty applications and a few off-season vegetables it's fine. But many thousands of acres and lots of water are required to produce the real bulk of our food... i.e. grains. The aquaponics systems pictured in the links below wouldn't even sufficiently feed the two guys in the picture. And... examining the moisture usage of individual plants per watering cycle... great for research or hobbyist or specialist crops, not practical day to day production agriculture. That's my point.

Shivetya 2 hours ago 2 replies      
so dumb question, would not some forms of spectral analysis or similar work? This chip solution seems a bit too work intensive for most crops, would not large fields be a bit much for installs?

for my dumb question I found this http://isda.ncsa.illinois.edu/Hyperspectral/hyperAgricultur....

jasonlaramburu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting-- tensiometers have been used in soil for a few years now, but never implanted into the plant. Tensiometers basically measure the pressure change caused by plant roots soaking up water.
It Takes Guts To Do Research (2013) rjlipton.wordpress.com
10 points by gwern  1 hour ago   discuss
Babel Nimrod's package manager picheta.me
39 points by dom96  4 hours ago   26 comments top 3
tikhonj 4 hours ago 5 replies      
This post got me thinking: why must every language reinvent the package manager, poorly? It seems profoundly wasteful. How much of the logic and infrastructure involved is actually specific to the language being used? I could be missing something, but it seems very little.

It would be really cool if languages just started using a common package manager instead. It could also be more fully-featured, able to do things like track dependencies that aren't written in the language like C libraries. We would also avoid having a ton of custom file formats and dependency solvers.

From what I've seen, Nix[1] is the perfect candidate for this. It's self-contained, can install packages locally and does a good job of simultaneously managing multiple versions of the same package: all very useful for development. It's also portable, working on Linux, OS X, FreeBSD and even Windows with CygWin.

In a sense, I suppose this would be like reinventing the system package manager. But I don't think that's a problem. Unfortunately, most Linux package managers seem configured in a way that is not convenient for development (ie global packages only). It's also a bit of a pain for a language community to maintain a package for everyone's favorite package manager; if they just settled on one (like Nix), they could have a single Nix repository similar to how they have a custom package list now.

[1]: https://nixos.org/nix/

tiedemann 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I'm just happy other people than me like hg and Nimrod which is the sole reason of this comment.
joeevans 3 hours ago 1 reply      
With all the options, it's too bad the authors had to choose the name of a popular emacs mode.

Just makes it harder to find either.

Jrnl A simple command line journal application maebert.github.io
93 points by kul_  9 hours ago   23 comments top 16
Monkeyget 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I keep a coding journal of all those unsettled questions and thoughts that pop in my mind. The questions I ask myself, the things I could improve,... It turns out to be highly valuable in my projects and I recommend anyone to try it.

I started a comment but it became gargantuan so I turned it into a blog post : http://tburette.github.io/blog/2014/06/25/the-power-of-keepi...

chrisfarms 2 hours ago 1 reply      
If you are relying on that encryption, just remember to clear your bash history :)
zrail 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been tracking various git actions (commits and branch creates and checkouts) in a file via git hooks for the past year or so and it's been super valuable to go back and look at, especially to remind myself what I was doing yesterday for standup meetings.

This is far and away a better solution, since I can have `jrnl` auto-tag those things and filter them in/out when I want to look at regular journal entries.

arh68 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I almost really like this tool. It's close to being seamless and Unixy, offering a pretty small command-line-option-language that expresses a bunch of journal-related commands. I like that idea, a lot. But the recipes dive right into piping text through wc and grep, so I wonder: what exactly does this offer over some bash functions and raw textfiles? I've already got cat, grep, find, tail, xargs et al.

More nitpicking: the * escaping bothers me. That's a core feature, using the * to mark things, but you have to avoid letting bash expand it. Are there any better characters? Does 'single quoting' help anything?

The fuzzy date parsing looks great. (: I also think the no-dash (new entry) vs dash (filters..) vs double-dash (action) convention is fairly neat as far as calling conventions go. Tagging things with @ seems like a useful convention, too, even if I end up using notepad.

danneu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Consistently journaling has been my most valuable habit over the past 5 years.

It's the only way to relive thoughts I'll never have again because I become jaded. It's also a great way to grasp just how much of everything I forget. I wonder if I'd even have any personal stories to tell from the time I studied in Prague if I hadn't written so much of it down while enamored by it all.

LVB 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Minor comment on the otherwise nice site: repeatedly clicking the right arrow on the side of the demo console causes it to get confused.
ripter 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using http://www.geeknote.me/ for a while now. Jrnl looks interesting, I'll have to try it out and see how it compares.
bshimmin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty neat.

Just a small thing - the little terminal goes a bit crazy if you click the carousel arrows forward a few times.

nodivbyzero 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Emacs Org mode is way to go!!!http://orgmode.org/
padraigk 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice util. Just a suggestion for the encryption: You should consider using a password-based key derivation function (PBKDF) rather than just hashing the key once with SHA256. This could help deter brute-force attacks particularly if the chosen hashing function is computationally intensive; e.g. scrypt
thegeomaster 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Oooh, great! Just something I needed! Kudos for the author.
dufferzafar 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks great! though I'd have loved it even more if there were binaries available. I just like having all my favorite applications in one portable folder. I'm guessing using something like py2exe to create one won't be hard.

Also, what are the chances that the jrnl[encrypted] package will work on Windows? (without using Cygwin?)

bybjorn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How does the use of encryption affect/play with DayOne?
IanCal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome. Small, simple, text-file based.
schnevets 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Fantastic! I made a quick and dirty BASH solution two years ago and I've been meaning to rewrite it in python ever since. It's uncanny how similar this design is to what I was planning, though.
chid 5 hours ago 1 reply      
How well does this deal with conflicts with DayOne?
My startup failed, and this is what it feels like medium.com
827 points by wbharding  1 day ago   238 comments top 80
GuiA 1 day ago 4 replies      
I met Nikki while I lived at a Hacker House in Mountain View for a few weeks in January 2012, having recently moved to the Bay Area. I remember being impressed at the time by her intensity, and by the fact that she actually had a real product with real users that solved a real problem.

An audible "oh no" came out of my lips when I clicked this link and realized I was reading about someone I had shared a few dinners with.

It's important for little pieces of history such as this one to be recorded. For the founders, to whom it gives a sense of closure, and for the community. So that we don't forget our comrades who didn't make it to the other side, but still have insightful lessons to share.

The press likes to glorify the AirBnBs, the Googles, the Facebooks - but as founders, I think it's important for us to be realize that this is only a tiny visible part of the iceberg, and that at the end of the day, there are so many factors at play that it would be foolish for us to focus solely on the "how many millions did they make". Human stories are never boring, and experience is one of the most precious thing others can share.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to write this, Nikki. We're with you.


"Investing money, creating new products, and all the other things we do are wonderful games and can be a lot of fun, but it's important to remember that it's all just a game. What's most important is that we are good too each other, and ourselves."(http://paulbuchheit.blogspot.com/2012/03/eight-years-today.h...)

birken 1 day ago 7 replies      
Well written. One thing I always find funny about the startup world is the idea that hardship is good. Hardship isn't good. Hardship sucks. Sometimes hardship is something you need to survive to accomplish your goals, but not always. While there are a lot of successful startups that went through a lot of hardship, there are a lot of them that didn't. It seems that based on a lot of factors that were outside of your control you were playing the startup game on "hard mode" and you gave it a pretty good run anyways.

Also a pretty good lesson that having a good job and comfortable life maybe isn't so bad after all (a very un-silicon valley lesson).

andrewljohnson 1 day ago 5 replies      
It struck me when she glossed over how/why her two co-founders left. There's got to be a deeper story to why two "co-founders" would leave right when 1.2M is secured.

She said they decided to tell me they were leaving the company without even a hint of warning - my guess is there was no agreement in the first place or a lot of unnoticed warnings. To conclude she's just too trustful is almost certainly a flawed conclusion.

I'm sure she learned a lot from this experience, but she seems to write off the deserters as flaky. I'd be asking myself what I did or what lies I was telling myself that made me think I had co-founders when I really did not. That sort of character judgment is as important as product judgment.

vijayboyapati 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I was in the same YC batch as Nikki. The thing I remember most about her was her enthusiasm. I also remember that her presentation on Demo Day got the loudest applause and most interest. Sad to hear 99dresses didn't make it, but I'm sure Nikki will have a bright future. Few young women her age will have gained the experience and insight that comes from founding a company and seeing it fail. As Michael Jordan said "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
nostromo 21 hours ago 5 replies      
Sometimes I wonder how non-technical founders can sleep at night with all the stress. It elevates cofounder risk to a single point of failure for the entire company.

Seeing through "developer bullshitting" is a dark art that is hard to master without spending a bit of time as a developer.

kevinalexbrown 1 day ago 4 replies      
I take complete responsibility for this failure. Were other people involved in 99dresses? Of course. Was any of this their fault? Absolutely not.

I understand what you're going for here (and it's nice), but it's fair to let your team share responsibility for the defeat. Otherwise it never really feels like they were part of the successes.

mindcrime 1 day ago 2 replies      
One thing Nikki has going for her is that she's young. At 22 and already having the experience she's had, she has a great opportunity to learn from those lessons, tap into the network she's built, and ultimately do something great.

I love the aggressiveness and the spunk she clearly has. Looking back on my own life (I'm one of the "older crowd" in HN terms), I wish I'd been that ambitious at that age. Or, maybe ambitious isn't the word, maybe "focused" would be better. In either case, I wound up waiting until my late 30's to found a startup and now I'll be 41 in about a month, and we're still looking for the mystical, mythical "traction". :-)

The downside is, being this old, I feel a certain sense of "this is my last shot". If I fail with Fogbeam Labs, I doubt I'll have the energy, passion, drive, and mojo to try again. So if there's a lesson in my experience, that I'd try to share with the younger crowd, it would be "Be more like Nikki, and less like Phil". :-)

lubos 23 hours ago 4 replies      
So I see another startup failed story. Thinking I'll read it later after getting something done. an hour later, I start reading...

Right in the first sentence I see "99dresses". I have to admit, it took me a minute to process what's going on. She has been receiving significant coverage in mainstream Australian media. As someone, who is running startup from Sydney (there aren't so many of us), this felt like someone in your family has passed away even though I've never even met Nikki.

I'm not even sure what I'm writing here... I just feel sad.

AndrewWarner 1 day ago 4 replies      
Nikki, I just sent you a request for an interview on Mixergy. This is a courageous post.
boyter 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I met Nikki in Sydney while at a start-up camp.

I will admit to being slightly jealous because she did get a lot of attention due to what I thought was solely being a tall attractive female that dresses well. However having read this seeing and seeing how this played into her impostor syndrome has made me re-evaluate my thinking. The attention might be useful, but I can totally understand questioning if its because its who you are or what you are doing. Since everything in the start up world is about what you are doing I can see this attention leaving you with self doubt.

She certainly has done more then I have, and at a far younger age.

Sorry for the bad thoughts Nikki. I had been following 99dresses loosely over the years and I had hoped you would succeed as there are so few start-up stories that come out of Sydney. Wishing you the best of luck with whatever you chose to do in the future.

andretti1977 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Even if i obviously understand why she felt that way, there is something really wrong in the way she thinks: she didn't fail. It was the startup that failed.She felt bad because she impersonified her project. But a person is not the things she creates or tryies to create. That is a misconception. And this wrong (even if understandable) way of thinking, may drive people to depression and other dangerous situations.Please, remember that we live once and that we are not the things we create: we, as people, are much more valuable than anything we can do.
UVB-76 1 day ago 0 replies      
Strange as it might sound, I'm rather envious of Nikki.

Although the business didn't work out, to have gained so much life experience at such a young age is incredible.

jakejake 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really appreciated this article. I'm on year 5 of my "startup" which has struggled and kicked and clawed and just barely hit profitability at the end of last year. I have to admit that it feels totally uncool that we have hung on all this time instead of just quitting after spending somebody's millions of dollars in 6 months. (We never had millions to spend, but anyway). There are so many times when you feel like things are just not going to work. Working hard and persevering are ideas that don't always jive with the "fail fast" strategy.

Even after all this time and things beginning to look positive, I still worry constantly that we will backslide or somebody will come along and take our marketshare or any number of other things. I wish that 99dresses had a different outcome, but still it is an encouraging story. No doubt with this kind of attitude and experience Miss Durkin is going to find success. I think it is extremely important to know that not every venture has to take off within six months to be successful. It's a long haul for most of us.

dougabug 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The "sky high heels" might invite more attention, but the patronizing comments part make me wonder whether it was the right kind of attention.

"99dresses was squarely focused on trading cheaper fast fashion (fast fashion is really hard to re-sell for cash)" I wonder how much demand exists for cheap secondhand clothes which go out of style quickly. Isn't it the point of this type of clothing that people can buy it new for not much money, and not worry that that it often doesn't hold up well? The clothes themselves are probably mass produced in third world countries for next to nothing. This seems like a very vertical online thrift store.

Does the world need another online thrift store?

Fede_V 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for being so raw and honest about this - even the less glamorous parts. It isn't easy to talk honestly about issues like gendered expectations and approaching VC, black hat marketing, or emotional manipulation for Visa, and a lot of people would have chosen to gloss over those aspects, but it takes a lot of guts to be upfront about the darker sides of running your company.

Reading this, it confirmed an important lesson that I learned in a completely different setting (grad school). It's much, much better to do an impossible project with an excellent mentor and fantastic coworkers, than an easy project full of low hanging fruits with colleagues you can't stand.

People who were in the former condition all flourished, even if it meant pivoting to a completely different project after having invested 2 years in a dead end idea. People in the latter camp burnt out completely and almost uniformly dropped out of grad school. The few that stayed were basically running on spite the entire time.

nish1500 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Your story is mostly about you not getting a VISA, getting back-stabbed by people, spending 2 months fund-raising, media coverage, personal issues, your age, your gender. There is hardly anything about why the startup failed.

But maybe the article isn't about the startup - it's about the emotional ride. Maybe that's why a lot of startups fail - they get so involved with other things, it's not about the startup anymore.

mmaunder 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's some very old entrepreneurial wisdom that says if your business can make it past year 4, it has staying power. I thought that was bullshit until I made it past year 4 and right about that time we discovered efficiencies, lucrative markets, a kick-ass business model and what we are really good at.

And yeah, not having money is really really awful, especially when it goes on for years with no certainty that it will ever change. But as entrepreneurs, that's how we do.

iD3 1 day ago 1 reply      
22 is so young.

At 21 I was on a plane headed home from another country. I cried in the office. I cried on the plane home. We'd Burned almost half a million dollars, a couple of years of work, let go a team - and had nothing to show for it. With no degree, no more money and no job I moved back in with parents.

So I suppose this article resonates, and in the most literal sense - I've been there.

I think the hardest thing for me at that moment in time was I didn't really have a handle on just how young I was and how much more I had coming. It was all I'd really done with my life up to that point.

It's taken me quite a few years to gain that perspective, and it's a difficult thing to communicate. The world is inconceivably vast and expansive and you have the next half century to build within it. Yourself, your ideas, your creations.

At that age and on that scale it's only a failure in the moment. Then, as time passes it becomes just another step along the way. It imparted knowledge upon you, and opened doors you don't even know about yet. All of the parts that hurt fade away and you're just left with the experience gained.

The fast-paced echo-chamber of the technology startup world is a particularly hard environment to step back and get a real sense of perspective in, which makes it a particularly hard environment to fail in, especially as you'll always be reading about someone else magically killing it.

I've failed since then, and I've succeeded since then. But as the years roll by, I've come to realise that the winning and losing don't even matter, because the journey just keeps on going regardless. If I saw myself now, when I was on that plane at 21, I'd have thought I was looking at someone who had mythically 'made it'. But you know what? I haven't. It's exactly the same: I've got another 40-odd-years of succeeding and failing ahead of me, in both my personal life and my professional life.

Personally I find that quite cathartic.

jpatte 11 hours ago 1 reply      
"Fail fast, fail early, fail often! they all chant, trying to put a positive spin on the most excruciating pain any founder could experience."

Is it just an impression, or did she get this sentence the wrong way?

The whole point of this saying is to make you realize that failure should actually not be such a big deal. Failure isn't an dead end, it's a step forward on the difficult path of entrepreneurship. Therefore, saying things like "I couldnt fail. This was my baby, and if it was going to fail it would be over my dead body." can only lead you, indeed, to excruciating pain in case of failure.

Resilience is an excellent quality, and I think the only way to give your best and surpass yourself is by facing real challenges, but please remember that you cannot in any way resume 4 years of ultra rich/challenging experience with the two words "I failed". Jeez, just having survived 4 years in her very first startup experience is already a success.

I sympathize with her pain; I just find it sad that she doesn't seem to realize the incredible experience and skills she gained from this adventure. Those years were absolutely not wasted; the chances of success for her next startup are incomparably higher than for her previous one, and I wish her all the best for the future.

Edit: A startup is first a human adventure. After it "failed", ask yourself the right questions:- Did I learn something? Do I know better?- Am I a different person? A better person?- Did I help some people in any way?- Did my social skills improve? Did my network grow?- What about my legal/technical/managerial/whatever-ial knowledge?

If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, than this adventure wasn't a failure at all. :)

rudimental 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for posting this! It sounds like it was incredibly difficult at times. Hard to imagine, but thanks for making it vivid.

I would love to hear more about the following (not holding my breath):

"After hiring a few people and finding an office in NYC we were ready to launch. We solved the chicken-and-egg problem using techniques that we promised never to speak of again because they squarely sat on the grey/black spectrum of naughtiness. If there was a line, we definitely crossed it. We had to. These hacks were harmless to others, so I figured it was only a problem if we got caught."

Edit: ++empathy.

mindcrime 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a very wise man once said[1]

"It ain't about hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now if you know what you're worth, now go out and get what you're worth".

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z5OookwOoY

the_watcher 1 day ago 1 reply      
>> You rarely hear the raw stories of startups that persevered but ultimately failedthe emotional roller coaster of the founders, and why their startups didnt work out.

I feel like I've read this sentence, or a version of it, so many times that it self-refutes. You hear plenty about people who failed. Not as often as the next big thing (since no one puts in the effort to send out press releases about how their failure happened - although that actually might be an interesting strategy for figuring out a next step if the post-mortem is honest enough), but it feels like once a week or so a post like this hits the front of HN.

MrGando 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey there Nikki,

Nice story, I have a similar one myself. I remember that I followed 99dresses quite closely two years ago, I was the technical co-founder of a Fashion & Tech startup, and we were trying to do something really similar for a while. (I'm also foreign, got a lot of local press coverage, traveled to Silicon Valley to work etc.)

I've been the leaving co-founder of a startup, mostly because I thought (and told) that my co-founder was incompetent and bringing zero value to the table. He took it pretty bad, but at least I was honest about that (and right).

You're very young, I'm 28... my biggest advice would be for you to get a stronger technical background. You can still do it, you are young, and it would greatly empower you.

If you wanna have a chat shoot me an email or add me on skype 'n_goles'.


thomasfromcdnjs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Bad luck. Though, where are all the expenses? Seems to just be an iPhone app with not much schelps, could your technical partner manage it part time?
zeeshanm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
M$ was founded in mid 70s and had not made a dent until the 80s. More so their killer product was launched in the 90s that put them as the definitive leader on the map. In a way, it took roughly 20 years for M$ "to take over the world." Not to mention Gates and Allen started off writing software for traffic systems and I don't recall that was a huge hit. Innovation does happen relatively faster these days. But it's really hard to do one-to-one comparison of companies that are mega successful (aka they make a lot of money) and those that relatively bring in lesser revenue. Besides this I believe one really has to derive the meaning of success on her own. I would not consider you a failure by any means as you gave your best to the startup. There is so much you can take away from this experience. For example, you can write a book about your experiences as you have got a good talent for writing. You can travel around and give motivational speeches at colleges and networking events. You have got a good story to tell and I bet many of us out there would be interested in hearing about it. Don't worry too much that you could not save up. I don't think this is any way puts you behind anyone your age. I bet most kids your age have spent lots on crack, booze, food, superfluous relationships, etc. Whereas you have built a pretty good reputation that really can take you far.
pbreit 1 day ago 1 reply      
Gotta hand it to OP. Sounds like she gave it her all as a very young founder. I suspect after re-grouping she could have a bright future.

The one thing that made no sense to me was why they didn't stay in Australia and go after local market. Does the concept not work there?

XorNot 21 hours ago 0 replies      
So I remember hearing about 99dresses in the Australian press, and this write up does leave me wondering the same thing I was wondering at the time:

Was the product ever successful in Australia?

Fully 20% of Australia's entire population is concentrated in Sydney alone - what was the expected total market (for a product heavily invested in shipping physical items) that didn't work here that there was a need to, apparently, move so quickly and wholly into the US?

fsniper 1 day ago 0 replies      
That is a really good and emotional post mortem. I think we need more of these. Great lessons are learnt from failures.
semerda 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Nikki, thanks for sharing your story. You definitely experienced alot!

It sounds like you hit 2 of the biggest issues startups can face. Co-founder disputes and Product issues.

Re Co-founder disputes - once money gets involved and the cap table is in your favor in the early days, the st will hit the fan. Raising money dilutes everyone and that too has a negative effect of the minority holders and can create some bad energy.

As you found out working with the right people is super super important. What I have found that has worked super well for me is working with people I have worked with before. One, you know they are good (the ones you choose to start a business with them) and the honeymoon period doesn't exist so its all about execution. I don't believe in cofounder dating events.

As you found out having a mobile product is a big deal. People are mobile creates. Even more now then ever. So being able to reach them via the computer in their pocket is an opportunity not to be missed.

Regarding the Visas, E2 Visa would have gotten you into USA. Or you could have setup an entity remotely in USA and through the company setup E3/H1B for yourself and your cofounder. There are some obstacles to jump but possible with the right legal/immigration team.

Finally, I didn't see in your story mention of an advisory board? I have found that getting the right people around you can open doors to investors, industry people, advise on technology, product etc... highly recommended if you can use them wisely.

Overall I believe the experience you have gained at such a young age will only set you up for big success in the future. Don't give up and keep on going! Good luck!

greghinch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Quite a roller coaster of experience for 22! I'm sure we'll see great things from Nikki in coming years.

You kids doing startups in your early 20s have so much going for you! I wish I'd not waited until my 30s to get on this train, there's a lot more to lose (and less time to sort something out...)

harel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I understand the frustration and outright sadness at a startup dying. Its your baby while its there, and sometimes, you wake one day and its not. But that is the nature of startups. Like you said - the odds are against you from day zero. But we do it regardless for that 10% chance of "not dying" and the even more anorexic chance of "making it big". I think ultimately we're doing it for the ride. And I think every person going into a startup should be given a little laminated fact sheet explaining that he's joining an enterprise which will try to fight this statistic and nothing is guaranteed in this rollercoaster. Same way the banks have to warn you before you invest in a portfolio, that your investment might be buggered to hell, people should be aware the same applies to tech startups. If nothing else, that might cut down on the disappointment of letting your staff know its over.

Keep at it Nikki. Well done for your first round. Level up now and go at it again.

31reasons 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow I am kind of jealous of getting an opportunity to fail so spectacularly. It is obviously very hard but Nikki is very young and decades ahead of her to try new ventures. I call this great learning experience a success if you haven't lost your arm or a leg and can still function as a normal human being. She is definitely a winner, its pretty obvious to me.
tmsh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My uncle used to say that instead of having the handful of successful entrepreneurs come back to b school to tell their war stories -- they should sponsor at least one lecture of an entrepreneur who, in their most recent enterprise, failed. And I would tend to agree.

Very well-written. Makes your readers stronger in novel ways for reading it. Thanks for sharing.

It's all about knowing how to light up parts of the graph in life though. Now you know. Second time will go further.

mathieug 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Nikki. Have you thought about learning how to code?It's really never as hard as it seems to be. If you had a business model and some level of revenues then you might be able to sustain yourself financially, run everything yourself and keep it going maybe!?

Probably too late for that kind of advice though. But I believe a start up dies if you give it up. But you don't have to let it if you don't want to. Sometimes that's the most reasonable thing to do, but you don't always have to.

I'm in the same case as you. I had to let go of all my employees, Couldn't pay them anymore. And I'm now the only one on board doing all the code, design, marketing and everything. I'm just too stubborn to give up and I still believe in what we do 100%. (Damn I still say 'we' I mean 'I'. Just a reflex)I do feel your pain. But my best advice is to try to learn how to code and sketch things yourself. With all the skills that you accumulated you'll be able to create prototype rapidly, be less dependable and bounce back rapidly and next time you'll be fearless. Food for thoughts ;-)I wish you the all the best for your next adventures.

graeme 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for writing this. I've bootstrapped my business. For the first 2.5 years, cashflow was tight. You've described the fears I had of seeing it all crumble, not necessarily because the idea was bad, but because the friction was too great.

I hadn't heard of your startup before this post. But from reading the comments here, you and your startup are very well regarded.

I doubt it feels that way right now, but I think you have a bright future ahead of you. Take some time to process and relax. Good luck!

jacquesm 23 hours ago 2 replies      
> I had to fly back to Australia to get a working visa as soon as the funding paperwork was signed, and the next day my two co-founders decided to tell me they were leaving the company without even a hint of warning.

Hindsight and all that. But still, don't just take on anybody as co-founder, easy come, easy go.

Super tough to read all this, I'm really sorry your hard work did not work out but you've done all that could be required of you and then some.

I very much recognize your trust issues, but over time even that will fade.

dkersten 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just don't let it stop you on whatever your next venture will be! The experience will stand for you.

I had a startup crash and burn almost a year ago now. We wrote a blog post about it too: http://blog.piratedashboard.com/post/69595110761/out-of-the-... Basically, we made a ton of mistakes that ultimately led to a founder disagreement that prevented us from closing an investment deal which may have saved us. So we cut our losses and moved on. My new startup has evolved a lot from what is mentioned in that blog post and is doing well so far (but not yet at the stage where I feel secure).

Losing your startup is almost like losing a loved one. After putting so much into it, when its gone it sucks. Really bad.

But in the end, you just gotta move on and not let one failure stop you.

creature 1 day ago 1 reply      
Post-mortems like this are always really enlightening. I'd really like to know more about some areas the author glossed over, though. What were the grey/black tactics they used to get past the initial chicken-and-egg problem? And what change did they introduce that caused a near-revolt of their userbase?
coralreef 1 day ago 0 replies      
Man, just reading the story gave me anxiety.
hakcermani 14 hours ago 0 replies      
You have achieved so much at such a young age. Your whole life is ahead of you. I am 50+ and working on my first startup, with hopes that I will make it someday !Glad you shared your story. See this link - so many stories here, some very close to home for you. (http://www.fastcompany.com/3029883/bottom-line/11-famous-ent...). Take a break, clear your head, and come up with the next big thing.
clarebear 1 day ago 2 replies      
I cringed at the description of "a lady who took an obvious immediate disliking to me" in the visa office. It made me sad to recall times that a woman has controlled my destiny and denied me for whatever reason when the men would have let me in. I'm so sorry that Nikki also knows what that feels and looks like. I hope my daughter never does.
ulisesrmzroche 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Ya'll too soft around here. Truth is all the youth and heart in the world won't save you if you don't know how to throw a proper jab.
thegeomaster 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like her so much! This amount of perseverance and strength is so overwhelmingly commendable and inspiring.

I wish Nikki all the best in the future!

dicroce 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah, you failed... but you put yourself out there... that's what really living is all about.
mVChr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel for the author, but in reading this detailed post-mortem it's clear to see there was a combination of bad luck, poor planning, and a number of incorrect decisions. Hopefully she learned from them, will correct what she can and ride out what she can't in her next venture.
jenius 1 day ago 2 replies      
> I just knew I wanted to solve a problem I personally experienced: having a closet full of clothes but still nothing to wear.

These are the kinds problems we are gunning for. These are the kinds of things investors are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into. This is the scope of problem our industry is solving right now. This is why I'm often embarrassed to work in tech.

andrewstuart 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Too few female founders around. YC should shepherd this girl straight back into the game and support her.
utkarsh_apoorva 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow. Amazing story. I have heard of 99 dresses a lot - though women's fashion is farthest from my interest area. So you did build quite a brand. I am also pleasantly surprised to see that you probably have set up this blog just to share this article?

I have been an entrepreneur 5 years now, and I can totally relate with the part of showing a positive face when you have none - its an occupational hazard. Good luck for the next set of adventures.

BTW, I am sure the Valley community will be open to welcoming you back. You are an entrepreneur through and through - so if its not the Valley, Bangalore's doors are always open :-). Best of Luck.

yoanizer 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I know failure success. You just have to deal with it. Sometimes it's so hard that you have lock yourself in your room cry, and curse the world. That's fine.

That's just something you have to go through on your road to success.

zkirill 1 day ago 0 replies      
The author took many, many hits and still kept on going. I have an immense amount of respect for her and hope that she will embark on a new venture soon where she can apply everything that she learned.
jqm 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's sad to read stories like this. But I have to wonder... if the concept is profitable what keeps it from being executed without 2 million dollars in investor money? So maybe you stay smaller... who cares? For you, it is about what you are making, not how big the company is. How much does it really cost to set up a database driven website? Hmmm?

Now, I realize this doesn't apply if the end game is a high dollar exit, but if you can make a decent living with your application/web site ("startup" and "founder" are overused terms in my opinion) who cares?

If you can't make a profit long term, then maybe you your idea doesn't deserve to live. Simply passing the bomb on to the next set of suckers be they the public at IPO's, or acquires, or VC investors hardly seems like the right thing to do (although no doubt it is done all the time... sometimes with incredible profits).

There is life outside the VC world. If it's a good idea and profitable and you love it....stick with it. If you are looking for a billion dollar exit... that's another thing entirely and it's time to move on to the next idea.

spion 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think I've ever read a story about failure that felt this motivating and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it.
cdelsolar 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The site is still up and you have a core group of people who love it. Can't you just keep it and the app running for now? The costs for the servers can't be that high.
skizm 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe I missed it, but how did the author get going with 99dresses as a non-technical person with no college degree?

EDIT: Nevermind. Found the answers. Turns out to be a pretty cool story actually: http://wpcurve.com/y-combinator/

yepyepyep 1 day ago 1 reply      
You rarely hear the raw stories of startups that persevered but ultimately failedthe emotional roller coaster of the founders, and why their startups didnt work out.

Great post. However, when guys paint the other gender with a similar broad stroke as here, we go after them. I hope posts like this make it okay to state our general observations about the other gender.

mbesto 23 hours ago 0 replies      
This is what failure feels like. I hope it helps.

It does help. Keep writing. Welcome to the club :)

adventured 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"Maybe its because most founders are men, and men generally dont like talking about their feelings. Maybe its because failure is embarrassing."

That would be regarded as sexist if it were arranged with such a blanket statement the other way around.

I've seen countless stories on HN where guy founders talk about the emotional side of failing and their startup going under. I'm not sure where she gets this notion. In fact, I see the emotional side written about more often than anything else. It seems like there's a few new stories every week on HN by some guy that failed, and he's discussing dealing with the substantial emotional fallout (how it affected his life, his savings, his family, his sleep, and how agonizing in general it all is).

sid_xervmon 1 day ago 1 reply      
You will do well II time around.
dreamweapon 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I just knew I wanted to solve a problem I personally experienced: having a closet full of clothes but still nothing to wear.

Maybe her real problem was picking a big "problem" to solve that wasn't.

sudhi_xervmon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Come back stronger Nikki. Best wishes and good luck
ilaksh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The part that I really am not sure of is the difference between failing and giving up or the difference between failing and pivoting. Or is failing just when you have to get a full time job?
pasharayan 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Nikki, shame to see 99 dresses go down, wishing you the best post startup run.

If there were three things you would do differently, what would they be?

jasonlgrimes 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Literally, the best thing I read today. Well thought out and written. Keep rocking Nikki!
kapupetri2 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I think your startup was doomed to fail because your business idea just sucked.
nichochar 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Good story. On a completely unrelated note, this girl is very beautiful, so that's rather positive
pyfish 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Great write up. I look forward to when she is recharged and build the next great thing.
crassus 23 hours ago 2 replies      
The crazy thing is that people go through this experience and want to do it again. A failed startup leaves you burned out, emotionally wrecked, and financially crippled. Why take another ride on that roller coaster? Pride? Status? Money?
samstave 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Amazing read. And I recall when I first saw 99 dresses how much I recognized the need, where my wife has literally hundreds of dresses and doesn't wear much multiple times.

On mobile but will elaborate on this as I think the idea was amazing but could have also benefitted from something specific...


My wife as a great style sense - and also reasonable with her money. She would find amazing fashions at Crossroads in San Francisco where she could find desirable brands like D&G, BCBG and other smaller labels where women sold their designer clothes at a discount.

She picked up MANY amazing dresses from this place, as well as shoes. She hardly recycled dresses for events or dates and did it economically.

If 99Dresses had coupled with places like this where they had rental inventory as well, I am sure this would have been an amazing offering.

You could have had a daily rental price, as well as an option so that if the owner chose; a sell price.

A place like crossroads was actually pretty good at being discerning, yet well priced in their garments.

It would also had been an opportunity to provide brick-and-mortar fitting rooms... as well as local inventory. Connect this with a garment style ID and a "different sizes available via online at locations X Y and Z.

DISCLAIMER: Did 99Dresses have all this already?

I am amazed it did fail - I LOVED the BM and Idea.

api 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had a big failure years ago. It was horrible, and in retrospect there were a lot of really screwed up things going on from day one. This included a business partner who turned out to be a delusional sociopath, etc.

Nevertheless I learned a tremendous amount. You learn things by going through it in the trenches that cannot be taught in school.

Currently working toward attempt two, which is probably much more likely to be successful.

inventor 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've developed a survival guide for creative geniuses. It's called Die Penniless, and people can sign up here for first access: http://diepenniless.com
sejje 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Let me tell youfailure fucking sucks."

"I felt like I was drowning in a black ocean, and I couldnt see any light at the surface. I didnt know which way to swim."

"I was fucking tiredphysically and emotionally. I wasnt sleeping properly."

"I had no bandwidth for anything else."

"I felt physically sick all day"

"I felt shame, guilt, embarrassment..."

"I was scared Id meet someone new and theyd ask me what I do"

"I was also embarrassed because I couldnt afford to pay for anything..."

"I wasnt depressed so much as disappointed."

..and on and on.

zenjzen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this what HN has become? A fail-blog? :(
aimhb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stopped reading after the fourth misspelling of "it's".
colinplamondon 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Jesus. What a horrible comment.

She crushed it starting this business, got traction, built up a community, and was getting close to scaling what was a real business, with a real business model, and real money.

It's phenomenal how much her team accomplished on that money - which is not very much for a team of 5. Until you've run a business yourself, it's hard to understand just how much overhead truly does walk on two feet.

If this company had gotten to scale, it could have provided food for hundreds of thousands of men and women, selling extra stuff laying around their closets. And that's off a glance at their site and app. If your comment was your first response to an amazing post like this, you should look in the mirror.

pravda 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Aussie Nikki joins Silicon Valley millionaire factory"

Y-C = Millionaire factory? Who knew!

BigChiefSmokem 1 day ago 1 reply      
"...I was going to go big or go home"

Ms. Durkin I think you just need to go bigger next time. Don't just solve a small problem, solve a dire one that we all (man and woman, black or white) have in common.

Why disrupt a market when you can create a new one while simultaneously destroying four others? You know, that sort of thing.

Good luck!

Agathos 1 day ago 0 replies      
My TL;DR: a founder ran into some painful but survivable bumps along the road, plus one killer.

The latter being there are people in the US government who would rather burn down the whole economy than share any of it with a dirty immigrant. Even a white, English-speaking one!

nikkidurkin 22 hours ago 4 replies      
Just telling it like it is. I could have lied, but how does that help anyone?

I'm a firm believer that with gender issues you can either whine about it, or you can find the positives in it. If your whole startup depended on you getting a visa approved, you'd use anything at your disposal to get the job done. If that meant fake crying, then so be it. It worked.

captainderp 1 day ago 1 reply      
"It got to the point where I had to call the consulate hotline every single day and split test different types of crying

"for some reason a 5'11 woman in 7 inch heels commands more talking time and attention from investors

"As a woman going out in NYC my nights were normally cheap because cute guys would buy me drinks, but I am not the kind of woman who expects that.

Why did YC ever bet on such a dud? Like honestly good on you for trying and all but you sound very immature. I don't mean that in a negative way I mean that in having read your post that's how you come across. Your cofounders decided to leave you and you are calling them out - I wouldn't blame them at all - they made a choice and their equity would not have vested. Cofounders have walked away from much larger startups than yours and its for the reason that they did not believe in your vision. Seems kind of immature to call them out. No one wants to be led by someone who responds to their problems by sobbing.

Its a shame YC bet so big on a non-technical founder because you give non-technical founders a bad name. They got you in Forbes, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. The Stripe brothers had a billion dollar company before even getting half the notoriety you got. For a two-sided marketplace that's like getting to start a mile race with a kilometer lead. Any startup that gets such a ridiculous head start (global publications covering you before you get to 100,000 members) comes down to a failure to execute.

History theft with CSS Boolean algebra coredump.cx
4 points by afreak  38 minutes ago   discuss
Rapper Divine Drops A Music Video Tribute To New Friend Ben Horowitz techcrunch.com
12 points by danielbru  51 minutes ago   1 comment top
davidgerard 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Cargo, Rust's Package Manager crates.io
175 points by wunki  14 hours ago   105 comments top 15
bryanlarsen 8 hours ago 5 replies      
This is sweet:

For example, if I have three packages:

   - uno depends on json 1.3.6   - dos depends on json 1.4.12   - tres depends on json 2.1.0
Cargo will use json 1.4.12 for uno and dos, and json 2.1.0 for tres.

Hopefully rust builds a culture that respects semantic versioning better than the Ruby & Node cultures do. That has to start at the top. There were several Rails 2.3.X releases with minor ABI incompatibilities. Truly respecting semver would have required these patch level updates to get a new major number.

ithkuil 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd love if

$ cargo cult

would build a new project/module from a template.

wunki 14 hours ago 0 replies      
And here is the announcement from Yehuda Katz:


Sanddancer 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Will this play nicely with the package management tools OSes already have, or is this going to end up being yet another source for files/packages to accumulate that are outside the view of well-documented and designed administrative tools?
bfrog 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks like yet more awesome stuff coming out of the Rust camp.

I'm pretty excited to see Teepee and Rust come together so I can really give it a spin doing what I'm currently doing daily for a job.

tomlu 13 hours ago 2 replies      
How do you pin a dependency to a particular version or git sha? I can't find anything in the FAQ or docs that implies that it's possible.
cies 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Learn two things:

1. Wycats (Yehuda Katz) is on Rust apparently :)

2. `.toml` -- some crossbreed YAML/INI file format that I like

FrozenCow 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I haven't been following the development of this package manager, but previous attempts at making a package manager for Rust have failed. Is this package manager supported officially now? I really hope it will stick around.
jpgvm 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I would really love to see some docs on how to actually install and get started with Cargo.

It doesn't ship with Rust and the docs on GitHub and crates.io are not very enlightening.

pjmlp 4 hours ago 2 replies      
What about binary only dependencies?
sigzero 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If someone can log into github and enter a ticket to say no to toml. Yaml would be perfect for it and it is mature and people already know it.
tempodox 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is very welcome news, indeed. I will have to give it a try as soon as I can make the time.

I hope it will be more stable and work better than the Haskell package manager, Cabal. I literally never got that to work on any machine. It would typically destroy itself while attempting to update itself...

dreamdu5t 3 hours ago 1 reply      
While I support semantic versioning, people need to be aware that it's only as good as the package maintainer. I have used packages that have (unintentionally) broke semver conformity. Nothing really stops an author from releasing breaking changes when going from "1.2.1" to "1.2.2".
mellisarob 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is good news. a better alternate to conventional techniques
yazaddaruvala 13 hours ago 8 replies      
Why not just use JSON?

Infact, why not just use npm's package.json?

Show HN: Protoplug Create audio plugins on-the-fly with LuaJIT osar.fr
12 points by pierrec  2 hours ago   1 comment top
snarfy 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty awesome. It says it's fast, but I'm curious how it benchmarks compared to a C (non SSE) implementation.
A Startup With a Way to Filter Botnet Traffic Gets Funding bits.blogs.nytimes.com
21 points by digital55  4 hours ago   32 comments top 8
opendais 4 hours ago 4 replies      
> "Our discovery is that both Javascript and Flash will also tell you if theres a real user behind that inferface, Mr. Kaminsky said."

That isn't how that works. That isn't how any of it works.

Selenium + https://code.google.com/p/flash-selenium/ == Has both.

People who block flash & javascript for security reasons? Also blocks both.

The sheer ease of bypass and the rate of false positives for any sophisticated operator is going to be huge.

Maybe I'm overly skeptical but I don't see this filtering any bot operation that is sophisticated enough to run something like selenium.

EDIT:Folks, I'm aware Selenium is a terrible example but it was the first thing that came to mind.

There are plenty of other headless toolkits that are easier to weaponize. Maybe I didn't want to point that out by linking to them/mentioning them? :|

parley 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I don't usually complain about titles (and I know it's the original one from the article), but I came here with the fascinated (though admittedly skeptical) hope that someone had improved radically on botnet DDoS mitigation techniques. It would be better if the title contained words like perhaps "ad" and "fraud".
nailer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems pretty much exactly like http://spider.io, now acquired by Google.
thirsteh 1 hour ago 2 replies      
So this is a piece of JavaScript. What happens when a bot blocks that JavaScript from running and/or emulates it but returns a result that indicates the user is human?
briancass 3 hours ago 2 replies      

This is a more descriptive article on this funding round and what White Ops does. The company uses side channel analysis across an array of variables to detect behavioral differences between humans and bots.

morley 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> White Ops sells customers one line of code that allows them to differentiate between bot traffic and the real thing... White Ops tells website operators how much of their traffic is coming from humans and how much of it is coming from bots.

Looks like they only report on the percentage of bot users. While that can be useful in the long-run (especially if you're implementing ways to mitigate it), but it seems like it'd be much more useful if you could tell on a per-user or per-session level whether the user was a bot, so you could turn off features like ad-serving or message-sending or whatever.

kylequest 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Trying to derive technical details from a business press release or an article in NY Times is silly. Unless you know about the tech and know how to read between the lines it will not make much sense.
AznHisoka 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Is the startup's secret sauce simply: - Scrape all IP's of server hosts from Arin.net- if IP in that list, it's a bot.- if not, it's human
Show HN: LGBT News Hacker News for LGBT Topics equaldex.com
15 points by danlev  1 hour ago   4 comments top 2
mappum 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Why not just use a subreddit?
epochwolf 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Is this Safe For Work?
Testing Free Will with Single-Neuron Measurements of Pre-Conscious Activity technologyreview.com
23 points by fortepianissimo  4 hours ago   11 comments top 3
aschampion 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sensationalist, neuroscience vs. philosophy drivel from the author. There's nothing extreme about reductionist physical determinism in philosophy of mind literature. This methodology, besides being grossly inadequate at the experimental goals as portrayed in the article, doesn't add substantial evidence to the philosophical debate. Supervenience, epiphenomenalism, etc., all allow for fully deterministic physics of mind with various mechanisms of free will available (even if only as an explanatory agent in some). And I say this as someone who shares a similar metaphysical outlook as Kreiman.

Luckily Kreiman's work isn't about free will, but neural mechanisms of decision making. And it's quite interesting in that context. He (and Bok and Boyden) say as much in the article, but for some reason scientific journalism has to create equivocal contexts for everything because they're convinced whatever they're reporting on isn't interesting enough for what it is. And apparently it works, because it ends up here.

stickperson 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I had a professor in college who was adamant that we do not have free will. His argument basically boiled down to this: we are who we are because of our genes, our environment, and random events that go on in the brain. We can't control any of them. Sure, you may be able to control your environment, but how we choose to do so is influenced by everything in the past. We think the way we do because of events we couldn't control.

Here's an interesting paper he wrote on the subject: http://www.pnas.org/content/107/10/4499.full

amalag 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Trying to figure out where electricity comes from by changing the color of light bulbs.
Federal judge rules U.S. no-fly list violates Constitution reuters.com
201 points by Shivetya  2 hours ago   71 comments top 11
unreal37 2 hours ago 4 replies      
This seems like the right decision to me. Being blocked from air travel is indeed a violation of liberty.

I think the U.S. government has a right to keep a list of suspicious persons, watch and monitor them, block them from visiting the United States, but there should be a way to appeal your inclusion on that list especially if you are a U.S. legal resident or citizen. You can't just remain on that list forever, unable to travel, with no evidence or justifiable proof of criminal association with terrorists. That's limbo.

middleclick 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"The 13 plaintiffs - four of them veterans of the U.S. military - deny they have links to terrorism and say they only learned of their no-fly status when they arrived at an airport and were blocked from boarding a flight."

This truly fits the definition of a Kafkaesque system -- you are put on a list and you are denied justice and never told what your crime is.

Great work by the ACLU.

TallGuyShort 2 hours ago 2 replies      
>> individuals listed under the policy may ultimately petition a U.S. appeals court directly for relief

Why isn't it the other way around? Shouldn't they have to prove to a judge that there is reasonable suspicion you are or have been engaged in terrorism before they can interfere in your affairs?

Aqueous 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I do not believe a judge currently has to authorize someone's placement on the No Fly List, which right away raises red flags. So the No Fly List is definitely unconstitutional as it is currently implemented, but I wonder if it would be replaced a constitutional implementation. For instance, if FBI, CIA, or NSA had to clear a probable cause legal hurdle in order to place someone on the list, and if a judge, rather than the TSA, had to approve their placement, then the program might be constitutional. The proceedings might have to be secret, so the no fly list would function like some NSA programs that I know folks here are so fond of (note: sarcasm) - but at least it would involve the judiciary rather than giving the executive branch carte blanche to prohibit anyone it deems suspect from travelling.
motbob 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The ruling only applies to U.S. citizens. As mentioned in the article, the vast majority of people on the list are non-citizens.

EDIT: Or perhaps it does apply to non-citizens when they are on U.S. soil. I'm not sure.

webmaven 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very welcome news. I hope it will have a positive impact on cases like http://www.papersplease.org/wp/category/freedom-to-travel/
tiedemann 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
The US needs to rewrite some of that amendment stuff. It clearly sucks.
adventured 2 hours ago 0 replies      
At a minimum challenging these systems is a good thing. Most were put into place with zero debate, no serious judicial challenges, and zero input from the general public (whom they have the greatest impact on).

Whether or not the no-fly list can really be stopped through a normal judicial means at this point, I think that's up for debate given how far the US Government has gone past concerning itself for the rule of law.

higherpurpose 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Now if only we'd get a similar ruling for no-warrant "border" searches, where border can mean tens of miles from the actual border.
XorNot 2 hours ago 2 replies      
About time.

There's no human being on Earth so dangerous they can't be safely put on an airplane.

INTPnerd 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"Brown wrote in her 65-page ruling." 65 pages! They need some good programmers to help them refactor that to be shorter, more expressive, more readable, and changeable using the DRY principal and such.
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