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Notes on Distributed Systems for Young Bloods somethingsimilar.com
65 points by kiyanwang  2 hours ago   8 comments top 6
lightbendover 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
I feel like tracing is the biggest thing missing from the article, especially since the author takes a hard stance on logging. Tracing is one of those things that will eventually save the day for you (ops released a bad config on some load balancer you don't know about -- good luck) and if you don't approach your design with tracing in mind, it will be very hard to add it later.
dschiptsov 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is a much better reading for Young Bloods


panic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Some good previous discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5055371
yumaikas 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
Interesting that he considers logs to not be worth the investment. I can appreciate his argument and all, and logging seems pretty hard to get right, but still.

Thankfully, my current job is a monolith database and webserver on a box, so I'm still in the realm of pointers for now.

firasd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Great line: "Learn to estimate your capacity. Youll learn how many seconds are in a day because of this."
dschiptsov 7 minutes ago 1 reply      
> Switches go down, garbage collection pauses make masters disappear

This happens only with piles of Java crap (gigabytes of jars). With [mostly] functional Erlang, Common Lisp, Haskell everything is fine.

Why do CPUs have multiple cache levels? fgiesen.wordpress.com
110 points by panic  5 hours ago   34 comments top 4
rwmj 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I was "enlightened" many years ago when I asked a colleague (a great electronic engineer) why we didn't do fast task switching by having two sets of registers. His reply was that this would require every regular access to a register to go through an extra gate (to decide which bank of registers you want to hit), making every access slightly slower.

Larger registers/caches/memories are slower because they need more address decoding, that time scaling approximately linearly as the storage doubles in size.

daly 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Suppose you want to make a salad.

register: a tomato in your handlevel 1 cache: a tomato on the counterlevel 2 cache: a tomato in the refrigeratorlevel 3 cache: a tomato at the storemain memory: a tomato on the plant at the farm disk: a tomato seed being planted

i336_ 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> For a Haswell or later Core i7 at 3GHz, were talking aggregate code+data L1 bandwidths well over 300GB/s per core if you have just the right instruction mix; very unlikely in practice, but you still get bursts of very hot activity sometimes.

Reading that reminded me of http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8389648/how-do-i-achieve-.... I don't 100% understand either domain, but I think this link is relevant - it's asking how to achieve the theoretical max of 4 FLOPs per CPU cycle.

forgotpwtomain 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I find the real world analogies quite weak and unnecessary.

If you haven't read it already, this is worth mentioning: https://people.freebsd.org/~lstewart/articles/cpumemory.pdf

CuratedAI: A literary magazine written by machines, for people curatedai.com
17 points by ryan_j_naughton  1 hour ago   1 comment top
dingaling 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
Fairly awful stuff but it would be fascinating to keep that experiment running for a decade to watch AI evolve.
TLS Everywhere, not https: URIs (2015) w3.org
138 points by schallertd  7 hours ago   65 comments top 12
btrask 6 hours ago 5 replies      
Users/user agents need to know whether to expect a connection to be secure. Unfortunately, you can't necessarily trust any random link you follow to reliably tell you. If I can get you to use HTTP when you should've used HTTPS, I might be able to sniff your traffic. If I can get you to use HTTPS when you should've used HTTP, it might be a DoS.

Incidentally, this is the same problem as public key distribution. You need a trusted channel to receive public keys, and a trusted channel to know whether to use a public key. Why can't these be the same channel? Right now we have HSTS preloading[1] for the latter, but in that case why not preload certificates (or hashes thereof) too?

Then we can finally cut out the middle-men and realize the truth: that the browser is the ultimate certificate authority.

[1] https://hstspreload.appspot.com/

ckastner 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
The problem is of course that moving things from http: space into https space, whether or not you keep the rest of the URI the same, breaks any links to. Put simply, the HTTPS Everywhere campaign taken at face value completely breaks the web.

Tim Berners-Lee is certainly an authority in the area, but I (an amateur) fail to see any major problem here, let alone one that "completely breaks the web".

Can someone illustrate a use case where either this fatal link-breaking cannot be solved by a simple HTTP->HTTPS redirect, or any other scenario where the user is so much worse off?

In a way it is arguably a greater threat to the integrity for the web than anything else in its history. The underlying speeds of connection of increased from 300bps to 300Gbps, IPv4 has being moved to IpV6, but none of this breaks the web of links in so doing.

I'd venture to say that IPv6 probably wishes it had the traction that HTTPS Everywhere has...

vtsingaras 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem with opportunistic TLS is that while it protects from wide-scale DPI it doesn't protect against MITM. Personally I think that the effort that would be put to implementing opportunistic TLS in all web servers and browsers would be better put to migrating all web applications to HTTPS only.
dcw303 7 hours ago 4 replies      
It only breaks the web if you cut everything over from http to https. If you can serve both you don't have a problem.

This works fine if you use anchors without protocols in your html:

a href="//site.com/resource"

alexbecker 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I find the HTTP/HTTPS "ring-fence" or "oil/water boundary", as he describes it, to be the most frustrating aspect of HTTPS, and recently wrote about it in some more detail (and how it might be fixed): https://alexcbecker.net/blog.html#towards-universal-https-ad...
heimatau 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is from early 2015. Should be noted in the title, since it more than 18 months old.
billpg 1 hour ago 2 replies      
If we're designing in hindsight...

Browsers should connect to port 80 and perform a GET for /tls-cert with an Accept: header listing all the certificate formats it knows and the applicable Host: header.

The server would respond with the certificate for that host-name and the browser would validate it. After that, the HTTP connection would switch into TLS mode using the key in that certificate.

If the server responds to this initial request with 404 or some other error, the browser either shows an error or continues in insecure mode.

mercora 6 hours ago 0 replies      
if there was just one scheme for both and some kind of protocol upgrade needs to take place wouldn't it be easy to manipulate the connection and just doesn't let it take place?
schallertd 7 hours ago 1 reply      
5-10 years and http:// will be as rare as having a lottery jackpot. our kids kids will ask - what is this http? like our kids did with floppy disks...
steve371 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like ppl didn't listen. I saw more https movement this days. and surely enough, it breaks...lots of stuff.
dredmorbius 6 hours ago 0 replies      
TBL's points here are well-made. In particular, there's the issue that security is a multidimensional probability field, not a binary state.

The questions of secure document transfer and/or interchanges are:

1. Am I talking to the party I intended to?

2. Is the communication free from third-party interception?

3. Is the message itself originated by the party I intended?

4. Are the contents of that message as originally intended by the author?

(Possibly more, but those strike me as the Big Four.)

There are various ways for this to fail, and there are different and independent assurances which can be afforded. I remeber the first time I heard phrases to the effect of "you can trust our secure webserver" in the context of commercial transactions, and cringed.

The present HTTP / HTTPS split addresses only a subset of these concerns, and few of them well, whilst breaking multiple elements of functionality.

I will note that TBL seems to be concerned over the expiration of old, previously-valid URLs. To that I can only say that this appears to be a lost battle. The duration of a contemporary URL is on the order of 40-45 days, I think from the Internet Archive. That's scarcely longer than an old-school Usenet post might be relied on to persist online, and suggests to me that perhaps the successor to Usenet is the Web, with origins and various archival services (archive.org, archive.is, the NSA, ...) providing robust storage needs to various audiences.

lifthrasiir 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Just in case, note that it is not against "TLS Everywhere", just against the separation of http: and https: schemes in the URI. TBL essentially argues that http: should upgrade to TLS without any change in the URI (I think that this also implies that, when TLS deployment is finally universal, http: should equal to today's https:).
The Update Framework theupdateframework.github.io
53 points by ashitlerferad  5 hours ago   15 comments top 4
doublerebel 3 hours ago 2 replies      
So obviously we have to wonder why TUF hasn't been applied to NodeJS's npm. All I can find is a suggestion that maybe someone from TUF posted to a node mailing list in 2014 [1]. Any more recent info?

[1]: https://groups.google.com/forum/m/?fromgroups#!topic/theupda...

wtbob 1 hour ago 1 reply      
From the spec:

> Delegated trust can be revoked at any time by the delegating role signing new metadata that indicates the delegated role is no longer trusted.

This is a mistake, as it means that a client must receive the new metadata in order to be made aware of the revocation. The correct approach is either to delegate trust for a particular time period (determining how long is a risk-based decision), or to specify an online trust check (this fails safe).

breakingcups 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Quite obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/927/
fit2rule 1 hour ago 4 replies      
We've got a great update framework already, if only everyone would use it: git.

Seriously. I can't think why this wouldn't "just work".

FreeBSD Vulnerability Update: libarchive hardenedbsd.org
50 points by utternerd  7 hours ago   14 comments top 3
2trill2spill 5 hours ago 3 replies      
> Around three months ago, a post was published (mirror) on GitHub's Gist service. In the report, multiple vulnerabilities against portsnap, freebsd-update, bspatch, and libarchive were detailed. To this date, FreeBSD has been silent on official mailing lists.

Why didn't the poster file the bugs in the FreeBSD bug tracker and/or contact the FreeBSD security team? Even posting to the mailing list would have been better than posting on some random github page. I don't think you can fault the FreeBSD people for not seeing some random post online.

Titanous 6 hours ago 3 replies      
If you're interested in securing software update systems, check out The Update Framework. TUF is the only system I'm aware of that has a comprehensive threat model for the problem of securely distributing software updates.


rodgerd 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
> The libarchive vulnerabilities could allow a malicious third-party to distribute update archives that could place arbitrary files on the filesystem.

Why do people keep doing this crap every time they re-invent the packaging wheel? And it's particularly awful from something purporting to be more secure than vanilla FreeBSD (which generally purports to be "better engineered" than Linux, where sane behaviour for distributing binaries is a long-solved problem).

Computing machinery and intelligence (1950) loebner.net
45 points by drikerf  6 hours ago   6 comments top 3
fauria 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed the 2014 film about Alan Turing, "The Imitation Game" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2084970/, named after this article: "The new form of the problem can be described in terms of a game which we call the 'imitation game.'"
firasd 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting passage:

The fact that Babbages Analytical Engine was to be entirely mechanical will help us to rid ourselves of a superstition. Importance is often attached to the fact that modern digital computers are electrical, and that the nervous system also is electrical. Since Babbages machine was not electrical, and since all digital computers are in a sense equivalent, we see that this use of electricity cannot be of theoretical importance. Of course electricity usually comes in where fast signalling is concerned, so that it is not surprising that we find it in both these connections. In the nervous system chemical phenomena are at least as important as electrical. In certain computers the storage system is mainly acoustic. The feature of using electricity is thus seen to be only a very superficial similarity. If we wish to find such similarities we should took rather for mathematical analogies of function.

It's easy to look at some technology (like machine learning today?) and think: this is how the brain works. But Turing reminds us: not so fast.

femto 5 hours ago 2 replies      
If you're interested in how Turing developed the ideas in this paper, I can fully recommend the Turing biography by Andrew Hodges. I'm halfway though it now. It's an interesting read, as apart from Turning's life, it tries to reconstruct the relationships that he had with fellow researchers, the environment in which he was working and the development of his thinking.
How to Give Rural America Broadband? Look to the Early 1900s nytimes.com
14 points by dredmorbius  2 hours ago   3 comments top 3
pjc50 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
Co-operatives are great for bringing services to the underserved, but they require the input of a particular kind and level of political engagement from the public that seems to be rare.

Other examples: http://b4rn.org.uk/ , various community buyouts of Scottish islands like Eigg.

merlincorey 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Since the reclassification of broadband internet as a utility, "electric cooperatives" are able to use federal funds to get broadband out to rural and remote locations big companies won't go to because the setup costs outweigh their potential profits (in theory).

Early 1900s was more like the 1930s, when part of "The New Deal" allowed for electric cooperatives to exist.

x0x0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I wish there where a high-speed coop in the bay area. Comcast is ass. They managed to knock my 25 Mbits down to about 0.5Mbits yesterday, and when I complained, were like what? Did this bug you? You still have internet access! Works just fine! All for the low price of $70/mo with $5/mo annual increases. Unfortunately, my only alternative is AT&T and they're even slower.

It's ridiculous my first broadband connection 15 years ago in the midwest was faster than my $70/mo comcast connection. Plus it was symmetric!

Metropolis Algorithm and Bayesian posterior sampling efavdb.com
48 points by efavdb  8 hours ago   6 comments top 3
panic 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Metropolis Light Transport (http://graphics.stanford.edu/papers/metro/) is a clever rendering technique based on this sampling technique applied to light paths.
gaur 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the rationale behind 100 as the thinning factor? Just a conservative number based on the autocorrelation length?
asifjamil 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Can anyone here recommend a good reference (blog, e-book, etc.) for beginners in Bayesian statistical analysis?
How my open source hobby project became my job: 10 years of OptaPlanner optaplanner.org
184 points by ge0ffrey  14 hours ago   23 comments top 10
jasonkester 1 hour ago 4 replies      
I can't help thinking this isn't the optimal result for the author. After 10 years of working on his thing, it has essentially been taken over by this company who sells it in their name for a profit, while keeping the author working on it for a salary. They seem to be getting a really good deal.

Imagine if, instead of building the "Leading Open Source Constraint Satisfaction Solver", this guy had instead spent the same time building the "Leading Constraint Satisfaction Solver", differing in that it had a price tag associated.

For as smart a guy as he seems to be, I can only imagine he'd be doing a lot better today.

I read this as a sad commentary on how the Open Source philosophy, that seems to be so drummed in to kids at University, leads them to think that the best course in life is to give away their best work for free.

ranedk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I was extremely enthusiastic about doing something in optimization just after graduating, but realised that businesses were happy solving things manually and reaching sub-optimal solutions. Also most problems needed to be solved once and there were few use cases of continuous optimization.

Thanks for sharing your story of perseverance and spirit.

Now that you are at it, are there any easy-to-use solutions to solve time-tabling problems for school/colleges. I know of solutions which use GA, but since its a generic problem for every academic institution, someone(you) might want to provide an easy to configure and use solution.

jondubois 12 hours ago 0 replies      
>> "Meanwhile, I learned more about other, similar projects. And they seemed to have more people working on them. And they had sales people."

This is exactly my situation right now with my open source project http://socketcluster.io/ - We actually already have a clear monetization plan (see http://baasil.io/) but we have no funding, few industry connections (aside from companies which are using SocketCluster in production), and our competitors are spawning up like mushrooms.

The one positive thing about being in such a position is that it forces you to be resourceful with how you spend your time.

tener 2 hours ago 0 replies      
After reading the article I have a strong feeling that without RedHat there wouldn't be such a happy ending. Great contribution on their part.
fegu 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Thank you for this software. It is on my list of "need to try for real". What do you see as the main reasons holding such software back from mass use? Is it real world soft constraints, or prevalence of "small enough for humans to do well" datasets or something else?
gjrjfnfnndjd 4 hours ago 2 replies      
As someone tinkering away on their own optimization algorithm, how big is the market for these sorts of optimization solutions?
tunnuz 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Geoffrey, thanks for sharing this, very interesting!
pikachu_is_cool 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Just an FYI, there's a typo here:

> During this [[though]] period, I regularly considered giving up my Open Source project a few times. Somehow, I couldnt. I just soldiered on. And in the end, it all worked out well.

Frogolocalypse 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty cool read.
drdrey 7 hours ago 0 replies      
One-word summary: grit
Show HN: Publish blog post with a simple Git push github.com
55 points by snehesht  10 hours ago   31 comments top 11
jads 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Always like seeing these types of projects.

One piece of feedback: that gif of the process needs to be recreated. It's far too quick and the erroneous key strokes and typing/deleting is really confusing. Recreate the gif, but make it slower and error free to clearly demonstrate the process.

p4bl0 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of my old project (still in use to this days by something like a dozen people) fugitive [1].

[1] http://shebang.ws/fugitive-readme.html

shade23 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Dont want to be a bubble-burster here.This can also be achieved by picking any of the blog engines[1] and hooking it up with a CI. Gives you much more legroom then right?


ams6110 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been publishing stuff on the web for years using just a simple scp.
jalami 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I considered doing this with my hugo blog, but decided I wanted to do the work on my client and keep my server stupid. In order to build my site, I have a lot of minification, pdf generation, syntax highlighting etc, that requires a few packages to be installed on the client.

If my server had to rebuild after a git push of a new post, I'd have to install all of the tooling on the server. I just commit my post, then run npm deploy which rsyncs all the static assets to the server after building on the client. This also makes it so I can see everything on my client easily before deploying. If I was building a blog for someone else though, this would make sense, stupid client, smart server, commit from anywhere.

Flaiming 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems to me that publishing blog post through git push is much more work than use some admin interface (for example Wordpress).

You can use it from any device (without aby app for CLI interface). You can use for example VersionPress[1] for backups to git. And I don't get what's the point of publishing without touching server, since you need to touch the server to view published post.

[1] https://versionpress.net/

rcarmo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Both my current[1] and previous[2] blog engines work like this - as long as the post tree is updated by git or Dropbox, they're perfectly happy. Plus I can use whatever markup I want (even Jupyter notebooks).

1: https://github.com/rcarmo/sushy2: https://github.com/rcarmo/yaki

johnnyo 8 hours ago 2 replies      
How is this different from Jekyl?
worg 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Alternatively you can setup a pipeline on gitlab and let the runner build/publish your blog
hendzen 4 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be cool to implement this as githook -> AWS Lambda -> publish to s3 bucket.
jradd 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Damn, this is cool. I have been meaning to build something similar, inspired by Gollum, or Jekyl.
Video of Valley Mogul Kicking His Girlfriend 117 Times Could Send Him to Jail thedailybeast.com
64 points by nreece  2 hours ago   31 comments top 11
jakobegger 55 minutes ago 5 replies      
I don't get why US judges often throw out evidence because it was not acquired according to correct procedure. I understand that confessions made under pressure are worthless, since people confess anything when threatened or tortured. But factual evidence like a video recording? What difference does it make how it was acquired?

The correct action in a case like this should be to use the evidence, and discipline the officer who violated regulations.

When a court disregards obvious evidence, and pretends that it doesn't know things it really does; and when that happens to help a well situated criminal with expensive attorneys; then the obvious result is that the public loses trust in the government. The abstract ideal of "justice" must guide how the law is applied. If courts rule only according to the law as it is written, rather than on the spirit behind it, when courts fail to bring justice to criminals; then we will end up with lynch mobs and vigilantes.

Who can blame a redneck in the woods stocking up on guns when you read an article like that? You can't trust a government that lets a wife beater run free because of a formality. When the system doesn't protect you, you need to protect yourself. Right?

JKSingh12 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I've known the guy, his entire career is based on lies and deception. Some years ago he started a restaurant called Planet Bollywood in Milpitas (ripoff of Planet Hollywood). It obviously failed and he faced lawsuits for trademark infringement. He burned the entire place down and collected the insurance money.Very old story, but nothing about the guy has changed.
auggierose 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What's really frightening is how major bribes are done quite casually and as if there is nothing much to it.

That's something you would not want to occur in your democracy.

How do you effectively fight this sort of behaviour? I think what would be necessary is a system where all money is handled electronically and transparently, such that bribes would be immediately visible to everyone.

xupybd 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"And it seemed certain that 31-year-old Chahal was one Silicon Valley start-up star for whom IPO would now stand for Initial Prison Offering." Really? A pun when the topic is that serious. I'm all for dark humour, but domestic violence and puns shouldn't mix.
max38383 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is nothing new. You can't actually even find much information about the whole thing online because he's paid off and sued to ensure that nothing damaging was online and tried to replace it with positive PR.

This article will be gone soon too. Buying off another girlfriend, judge, and a few media sites is still chump change... and it seem VCs seem to jive with that kind of skill set that he has.

He may have a career in politics come to think of it.

th894983 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This was already discussed on HN. I found really troubling how the whole thing just evaporated. Shit-storm around Brendan Eich who did much less, started around the same time, and lasted for months.
smcl 1 hour ago 2 replies      
OK sorry for going off-topic on a topic as serious as this, but I've got a question about something that's been bugging me for ages.

There's 8 sentences in a row that start with "Never mind that..." - is there a name for this style of writing (repeating yourself, presumably for dramatic effect)? It really irritates me, but I can never describe it to anyone and I don't know how to google for it.

girvo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
> In a brilliant move, the district attorneys office asked the judge if the video from the first case could be admitted to establish that the second assault was essentially a repeat offense. The judge ruled that it could.

My initial reaction is that this is an interesting ruling, but then my knowledge of these sorts of rulings is decidedly spotty? I'm going to assume it's not the only thing that has been put forward to the judge: the 911 call definitely helped, and frankly I have little sympathy for the accused, but otherwise I find the idea of a video of past behaviour being used as evidence for current behaviour (on it's own) sort of... odd?

camillomiller 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Rich man does illegal things that involve damaging another person and gets away with it because he's rich and has connections and could pay the victim a hefty sum.

Nothing to see here, people, move on.

codeduck 1 hour ago 2 replies      
'could' should be 'will'
thinkcomp 1 hour ago 0 replies      
His civil litigation history is here, including some of the lawsuits mentioned in the article.


Ask HN: What book have you given as a gift?
245 points by schappim  13 hours ago   389 comments top 209
klausjensen 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have given away ~20 "Who Moved My Cheese" by Spencer Johnson over the years.

It is a great little book, which deals with how we handle change in our lives (work and other) and how we sometimes fail to see, when it is time to move on.

My favorite one-sentence takeaway from the book is the question: "What would you do, if you were not afraid?" - which has helped me make hard decisions many times over the years.


ComputerGuru 7 hours ago 2 replies      
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas. I'd read thousands of books, novels, and other literature and never had an answer to "your favorite book?" and thought I just wasn't meant to ever have one... Until I read it. Since then, I've bought copies solely to have on hand to gift to people I actually care about.

To drive home the point of just how much I loved this book, I went on to learn French just so I could read it in the original print.

Make sure it's the full, unabridged edition (1200 or 1400 pages), though!

(Just to throw in a nonfiction title as well, Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything is a great gift for scientifically-inclined minds (esp younger ones) looking for a first foray into the world of nonfiction, wittily-written and well-narrated.)

peckrob 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I read a lot of Science Fiction for fun. These are a few of my favorites that I've given to other people:

1. Vacuum Diagrams by Stephen Baxter. When I think of epic hard science fiction, the Xeelee Sequence books spring to mind. With a story line that spans millions of years (and a few dozen books), this collection of short stories is a good introduction to one of the best and most underrated sci-fi series out there. Baxter's Manifold trilogy (Manifold: Space, Manifold: Time and Manifold: Origin) are also fantastic.

2. Foundation by Isaac Asimov. The whole Foundation series is wonderful, but this book is a landmark of sci-fi that should be on any fan's bookcase.

3. The Martian by Andy Weir. This book is what I've been giving the last couple years to people who don't think they like sci-fi. Everyone I've given it to has loved it.

4. Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. Another hard sci-fi staple. The rest of the Rama books he "co-wrote" with Gentry Lee are decent but become more space opera than hard sci-fi. I enjoyed them but many sci-fi fans find them polarizing.

5. Silver Tower by Dale Brown. More of a military thriller than sci-fi (Flight of the Old Dog is another favorite of mine by him) and terribly dated by modern standards (it was written when the Soviet Union was still a thing). But it's the first "adult" sci-fi book I ever read as a kid, so it'll always have a special place for me.

EDIT: Another one:

6. Coyote by Allen Steele. I love stories like this one: primitive, longshot interstellar exploration and primitive, first generation colonization. Especially for desperate reasons. The first two Coyote books were good, but I just can't get into any of the subsequent ones.

anonyfox 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Rich dad poor dad. It's not the most professional book on the topics, sure. But the content is written in a very accessible manner and I give it to young friends that are about to throw away their life because they were never exposed to any other mindset but "underclass".

It is really shocking to me, that bright young people (with a bachelors degree) choose to go for a crappy paid hamsterwheel job, barely make ends meet, feel miserable at work, begin drinking/TV to cope with these frustrations and complain all day.

A few years ago I discovered that it isnt a choice for them at all. Many can't even imagine that life can could be any different than this suffering. Once you're trapped in the hamsterwheel a few years, your life is basically wasted and you're a slave to the paycheck forever. But being exposed to very basic lessons like kiosaki's early on can spark just enough curiosity to break out. Just invest a little time in yourself aside of work goes a long way to improve life situations over time. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, not a lottery ticket.

Going entrepreneur isn't even required, but just getting paid adequately for something you actually like doing, and the confidence by being quite good at it, does work wonders to improve your daily quality of life. You just have to "get" some basic ideas and invest a little effort in yourself.

dantheman 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitthttps://mises.org/library/economics-one-lesson

It's focus is to get people thinking about 2nd and 3rd order effects. It's very simple and well written.

qwertyuiop924 12 hours ago 5 replies      
I don't have any friends who haven't read it who would appreciate it, but Clifford Stoll's The Cuckoo's Egg is both a highly entertaining thriller, a fascinating look at how computer security was, and is, viewed, and a highly personal story about a man trying to figure it all out. It's very funny, entirely true, and taught me a lot.

Oddly, a lot of people hated the various more personal aspects of the book, as you see Cliff's friends, and his life as a whole. While that's valid, calling it a flaw in the book is, I think, inaccurate. The book as much a story a story about Cliff as the shadowy hacker on the other side of the wires, and that's a big part of its charm, IMHO.

Ghost in the Wires, and Exploding the Phone are also good, and true stories.

collinglass 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Eric Fromm's The Art of Loving.

It's my grandmas favorite non-fiction and she's read over 1000 books. She gave it to me and it sat on my shelf for months because the title wasn't appealing and I'm not a big book reader. Since I read it, I've now bought a second version of this book and give it to friends to read.

It's a technical write-up about Love in the general sense. Fromm pitches the idea that love is an art rather than a feeling.

I highly recommend the read. This book discusses the topic in a serious and insightful way.

david-given 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds.

Set in a mediaeval China that never existed (but should have), it's the story of how village peasant Number Ten Ox and the ancient sage Master Li (who has a slight flaw in his character) go on a quest to save the children of his village from a plague which can count... and the other quest which they find themselves part of.

On the way you'll learn how to make a fortune with a goat, how not to cook porcupine, the best way to move rocks using only a corpse, why you should always be polite to ginseng, and the true meaning of courage. You'll meet ghosts, monsters, and gods --- and they're typically less bizarre than the human cast, which contains such jewels as the Ancestress, Miser Shen, the Old Man of the Mountain, Lotus Cloud and of course, the inimitable Ma the Grub and Pawnbroker Fang...

It's by parts hilarious, touching, gripping, and there are parts that will make you cry from sheer beauty. Read this book.

spdionis 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
The Dune series by Frank Herbert is by far one of the best works of fiction ever written.

I recommend it to anyone interested in something mind-expanding and entertaining at the same time.

avh02 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm really surprised by no mention of the tripods trilogy by John Christopher. Only managed to gift it once. Don't think they even read it :(

Truly a phenomenal story IMO


davewasthere 9 hours ago 5 replies      
The most: Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. Think I've bought almost a dozen copies over the years. Although that book wasn't really a gift, more a loan I never got back.


Lord of the Rings - I gave this to the guard who detained me in Russia. I thought it was the best revenge.

The life changing magic of tidying - to my partner. We're both messy. I've read it, she hasn't... neither of us have changed.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami to the friend who lent me Wind up Bird Chronicle all those years ago and started me on the path.

Gnarl 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
"The Body Electric" by Dr. Robert O. Becker. Everyone in healthcare, medicine and especially the wireless industry should read it. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Body-Electric-Robert-Becker/dp/0688...
gooseus 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is the sort of thread that hits me right in the wallet.

Here are some books I've given as gifts recently:

* The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm, Lewis Dartnell[1]

* The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb[2]

* Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse[3]

* The Happiness Trap, Russ Harris and Steven Hayes[4]

* Code, Charles Petzold[5]

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Knowledge-Rebuild-Civilization-Afterm...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Improbable-Robustness-Frag...

[3] https://www.amazon.com/Siddhartha-Hermann-Hesse/dp/161382378...

[4] https://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Trap-Struggling-Start-Livin...

[5] https://www.amazon.com/Code-Language-Computer-Hardware-Softw...

chenster 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"How to read a book" should be the first book gift you ever give. It changed my life.https://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Book-Intelligent-Touchstone/...
mindcrime 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is one I've given adults. For kids, every year a local group called Book Harvest does a thing with Barnes & Noble where if you go in a B&N store, you can donate a book straight to Book Harvest which gives books to disadvantaged kids. For them, I usually grab a few books like A Wrinkle in Time or some Choose Your Own Adventure books or something.

I also semi-frequently buy (by accident) a second copy of a book that I already own. Usually instead of returning those to the store, I keep them and just give them to somebody as a gift, where the "who" depends on what the book is.

funkaster 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams"[1]. Even if you're not in a management track, it's a great read to learn and better understand how to structure teams for a happy, productive and successful path.

[1]: https://www.amazon.com/Peopleware-Productive-Projects-Teams-...

Edit: add Amazon link.

warpas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Great book about how and why people respond to incentives. A lot of good examples told through fascinating stories supported by data.
yumaikas 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software was one of the most formative books for my programming self education. I've tried to loan it to several of my friends more than once, and it was a gift to me.

Also had a strange case of loaning out C# 4.0 in a Nutshell and never getting it back, but I would do it again (with an updated version). Albahari is good at writing a reference without being too boring, and C# has some legitimately interesting sides in how it does some things, like it's dynamically compiled regexen.

Jaruzel 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
Last Christmas, I was given and then bought for others:

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer

( https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thrilling-Adventures-Lovelace-Babba... )

It's a halfway house between a graphic novel and a proper book, and is written in a very entertaining way. I can thoroughly recommend it for anyone who is interested in Computer History, and normally struggles through dry tomes of non-fiction (which this is most definitely not!)

SwellJoe 12 hours ago 2 replies      
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. I've given it to just about everyone I've known who seriously wanted to be a writer, journalist, etc. as well as some folks who just wanted to write better. It's a small, beautiful, book about writing better. This is the book I've gifted the most.

Several scifi books have also been gifted to friends, mostly Asimov (both the Foundation and Robots series), Herbert's Dune, and Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama.

Also, gifted a copy of Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad, which is my favorite book about my favorite bands (and the American punk scene of the early 80s). The recipient was too young to remember the scene from that era, but was open to understanding why "punk" isn't so much a style of music, but an ethos.

Every book I've gifted is because I really love the book, and really like the person I'm giving it to.

cure 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Fiction, because it is so funny:

* Good Omens, by Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman [1]

I wish Pratchett and Gaiman had written more books together.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060853980?ref_=sr_1_1&pld...

Jemaclus 11 hours ago 2 replies      
"I Will Teach You To Be Rich" by Ramit Sethi (http://amzn.to/2aF1vjF). It's a fantastic, easy read that takes you step-by-step into automating your finances and making smart decisions toward not necessarily being rich, but being richer and having some financial security on a month to month basis.

Every once in awhile, I'll have a conversation with friends about finances, and they'll complain about how much work it is to manage money, and I'll go home and order them this book. It's an easy $10 gift, and they've all told me it changed the way they approach finances. Good stuff. Cannot recommend it enough.

old-gregg 11 hours ago 5 replies      
"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany" by William L. Shirer. It's a classic history book of our century which, despite its title, primarily focuses on Hitler's raise to power in the early 30s and the long, painful and ultimately futile international attempts at avoiding WW2 in the late 30s.

It's a book I wish everyone would read, particularly everyone in a public office and the media. It's a shame that comparing politicians and their actions to Hitler has became a cliche everyone now is quick to ignore. Meanwhile there's plenty of stuff happening in the world straight from the Nazi playbook of the 30s.

taylodl 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I give Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to High School graduates. It's a good book for that time in a person's life.
justifier 11 hours ago 1 reply      
i play a game where i have duplicate copies of some books to give to anyone interested who has yet to have heard of one

here's a incomprehensive list in alphabetical order:

a people's history of the united states; howard zinn

a rebours; joris-karl huysmans

alcestis; euripides

apology; plato

belaya staya; anna akhmatova

die verwandlung; franz kafka

elements; euclid

epic of gilgamesh; unknown

ficciones; jorge luis borges

fractals: form, chance and dimension; benoit mandelbrot

fragments; sappho

gospels of mary and judas; unknown

i ching; unknown

la vida es sueno; pedro calderon de la barca

leaves of grass; walt whitman

letters of vincent van gogh

meghaduta; kalidasa

my life; isadora duncan

nightwood; djuna barnes

oku no hosomichi; basho

one piece; eiichiro oda

poems; emily dickinson

relativity: the special and general theory; albert einstein

saga; fiona staples and brian k vaughan

the brothers karamazov; fyodor dostoyevsky, translated by constance garnett

the first third; neal cassady

the power of pi; stickman lagrou graves

the secret life of salvador dali; dali

the way of a pilgrim; unknown

twelth night; william shakespeare

thing explainer; randall munroe

ulysses; james joyce

women, race, and class; angela davis

if you want a quick description of any i enjoy talking about them, and i appreciate suggestions

feiss 12 hours ago 1 reply      
"A short history of nearly everything" by Bill Bryson. The best science book I've ever read, recommended for anyone.
thallian 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett + lots of the Discworld novels (also by Terry Pratchett).

The latter have become one of the basic building blocks of my life.

halhen 12 hours ago 2 replies      
I've given Alan Watts The Book to at least five people I thought could use it. Four of them never mentioned it again. I'm marrying the fifth next month.
nickbauman 11 hours ago 3 replies      
"Ishmael, An Adventure of Mind and Spirit" by Daniel Quinn. The book that created and destroyed the Turner Tomorrow Foundation Fellowship Award. It will make you examine some of the most profound myths at the center of our civilization and how those myths will determine our destiny, for better or for worse. It's a book that changed the way I think fundamentally. I will never be the same because of it.
phaitour 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Fiction: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafn is beautifully written and I've recommended it to many people. I've gotten lost in Carlos' worlds over and over again, and the cemetery of forgotten books is mesmerizing.

Humor: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I've recommended this to many friends who needed a good laugh. I don't remember another book that made me laugh so hard that I dropped the book.

Non-fiction: this one's a tough one because many good books are mentioned already, but two that I really enjoyed and have recommended in the last year are: Boyd by Robert Coram and How the Other Half Banks by Mehrsa Baradaran. Boyd tells the story about a brilliant but petulant air force pilot who rewrote the guidelines of US military aviation. How the Other Half Banks is an eye opening account of how broken our banking system is and the history of how we got to where we are.

Business: again, a lot of good books are mentioned already, but two I've enjoyed are Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg and Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. Both are fascinating books that'll leave you thinking about how to improve your own game.


Bonus: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a tremendous piece. It's a short read but a must read!

jasonlmk 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised there aren't more philosophy-oriented books mentioned here. I think they make great gifts.

Many of my friends are straight out of university, and it's a period where most people seem to start asking existential questions. The two books which have affected me greatly (and which I regularly give as gifts) are:

* Meditations by Marcus Aurelius* Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

SyneRyder 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers.

It's still my favorite book on business, a short easy read filled with anecdotes from his time running CD Baby. The situations are ones I keep encountering myself running a small business, and the way the stories are written makes them highly memorable & applicable. If I can't decide between opportunities, I remember "Hell Yeah! or No." If I'm working on fraud screening, I remember "Don't Punish Everyone For One Person's Mistake". When working on an MVP and feel it isn't big enough, I'm reminded of "Start Now. No Funding Needed." And it has my favorite twist ending in business.

It's the first book I've specifically bought multiple copies of to give away, including to clients.

markvdb 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Dead souls", by Nikolaj Gogol. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Souls
kareemsabri 10 hours ago 2 replies      
The Selfish Gene - fundamental world-view shaker
AdrianRossouw 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. I pay it forward.

Stopped smoking six years ago and haven't had the desire to start again since. it feels great.

I actually played the nintendo DS adaptation of the book, which was also available on ios for a while.

it turned all the points the book was trying to make into a series of minigames that really illustrated the principles beautifully.

chiph 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've given out a few copies of Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn't Want You to Know---and What to Do About Them. So far, the recipients have done well after reading it. It really clued them into the hidden meaning behind common corporate-speak.


cheshire_cat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"The Genius and the Goddess" by Aldous Huxley. It's one of his lesser known works and also quite short (128 pp).

I really like Huxleys way of waving thoughts on psychology and philosophy into a story and specially liked it in this novel.

JimmyM 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
On What Matters by Derek Parfit.

Happened to be vol. 1, but vol. 2 is also fantastic. Honestly, Reasons & Persons would also make a fine gift.

jen729w 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hyperion by Dan Simmonds. It, and the follow-up Fall of Hyperion, are by far and away my favourite sci-fi books.

Given them to 5+ people over the years and every one has loved them.

CalRobert 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting out: Your guide to Leaving America

The title is a bit provocative but if you're looking to move from the US to another country it's a great place to start. I've given it to a couple of footloose people in their twenties who wanted to move abroad but were intimidated by dealing with visas and expense. (Remember, not everyone works in fields where countries are clamoring to give out visas!)

d-roo 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A couple years ago a friend gave me 'It Starts With Food' and after reading it I bought it for at least a half-dozen of my friends. It was truly life changing for me and my approach to food and health. Within a couple weeks I went from having hypertension/pre-hypertension to normal blood pressure and over the course of 6 months or so I lost 40 lbs. Changing my diet to 'whole' foods redefined for me what hunger was. My daily diet had been one of going from one sugar high to the next. What I interpreted as hunger and a big appetite were in fact cravings for sugar.

Admittedly, it may be a bit below the reading level for the average user here but I can't recommend this book enough. Especially for those of us that sit in front of a computer all day. Take a look at the reviews at Amazon which are numerous and nearly unanimous. Do yourself a favour and give it read.


stevenking86 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

It opened the doors to the remote lifestyle for me and led me to switch to careers to tech (due to the abundance of remote opportunities) and to embrace a new kind of lifestyle.


upbeatlinux 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I found each of these invaluable at different points in my life. YMMV

Biz - the Personal MBA - Josh Kaufman - http://amzn.to/2aFsj3c

Org - the Fifth Discipline - Peter Senge - http://amzn.to/2aNpbQz

SciFi - Perdido Street Station - China Mieville - http://amzn.to/2aNoWFn

Parenting - The Continuum Concept - Jean Liedloff - http://amzn.to/2aZEAAL

xacaxulu 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I always have copies of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" to give out. As I get older, I love seeing younger people flip out when they read it and see how applicable it is in modern life.
pjmorris 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I've given a copy of 'The Making of the Atomic Bomb', Rhodes, and lent a copy that didn't come back. The gift recipient has urged the book on various managers, as the book has much to teach of scientific and technical management, as well as much, much more.
crdb 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It's tough finding books that don't send a message to the receiver. I particularly remember a colleague expressing disappointment at whichever secret Santa gave him The Fountainhead at the office Christmas party (he was pretty left wing).

The four I remember gifting were Asimov's entire Foundation series, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, The Phantom Major by Virginia Cowles and See you in November by Peter Stiff.

durga 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman is amazing.
PebblesHD 10 hours ago 0 replies      
My personal favourite that I've given as a gift is Thomas Glover's Pocket Ref [0]. Its easily the most useful thing you can buy for anyone in engineering, fabrication or just generally a tinkerer. I've loved my copy since I was given it as a kid.

[0] - https://www.amazon.com/Pocket-Ref-4th-Thomas-Glover/dp/18850...

AlphaGeekZulu 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Douglas Hofstadter: Gdel, Escher, Bach
matwood 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Replay by Ken Grimwood.


It's ground hog day, but on a lifetime scale. The search for happiness and what it means to be happy.

mooreds 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Books I found so amazing that I actually bought copies and given them as a gift (in some cases to multiple people):

* Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier--eye opening list of vegetables that come back year after year

* The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz. Somewhat presumptuously, I bought multiple copies and sent them to some of my friends/acquaintances that were CEOs.

* Climate Wars, by Gwynne Dyer. This mix of fiction and non fiction really brought the climate change crisis to my attention.

joshstrange 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Motivating the Middle [0] by T.J. Sullivan

It's a relatively short book and it's focus is on college fraternities (which is what I was in when I first read it). I bought about 20 copies and handed them out after reading it. While it has nothing to do with software development I have found it's core message to be applicable to working on a team. The core message is you can normally divide your organization up into 3 categories, these will not necessarily be equal in size. These categories are the highly motivated "top" go-getters who will do everything they can to help further the org, the "middle" who with the right motivation can work just as hard and be just as driven as the first group, and the "bottom" who rarely make more than minimum effort if that and are extremely unlikely to go out of their way for the greater good of the org. The book suggests to more or less ignore the bottom and spend your energy on "motivating the middle" to use them to their greatest potential. It says that spending your time on the bottom is a fruitless endeavor and will only result in alienating the middle people who are somewhat on the fence.

Now this applies much more to a community-run (in this case student-run) organization where letting someone go is often off the table (in greek life removing a brother/sister can be a much bigger challenge than one might assume). I do not bring any of this up to debate the pros and cons of greek like of which there are many (you can talk to me privately if you wish to do that), but just to bring some clarity to what I'm trying to say.

Often as an employee not in a managerial role you are in a similar situation and while I'd be a lier if I said I always applied this logic but I do try to always remember that being annoyed/angry with under-performers is, in all honesty, a zero-sum game. It's best to focus on what I can do to make the place I work better and work to bring the "middle" to want the same.

It's probably not the best book to bring up here but it's really the only book I'd ever bought for more than 1 person (and the only one that I didn't by for purely entertainment/enjoyment reasons, I've gifted fiction books on a number of occasions).

[0] https://smile.amazon.com/Motivating-Middle-Fighting-College-...

psiclops 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I learned a lot from that novel
pjmorris 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The software-related books I've given most often are Gerald Weinberg's 'Becoming a Technical Leader', Brook's 'Mythical Man Month', Demarco and Lister's 'Peopleware', Hunt and Thomas 'The Pragmatic Programmer', and Mconnell's 'Code Complete'.
misiti3780 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Antifragile by Taleb

The Black Swan by Taleb

Thinking Fast & Slow by Kahneman

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Diamond

The World According To Monsanto by Robin

The Organized Mind by Levitin

The Vital Question by Lane

Life Ascending by Lane

Chasing the Scream by Hari

Anything By Gladwell.

iamben 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I've literally just bought someone "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami. It was the first Murakami book I read, and I've read plenty since. Wonderful.
probinso 9 hours ago 0 replies      
"Calvin and Hobbes: there is treasure everywhere"

This book was amazing.

shoedog 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight.A memoir of how Nike was build from scratch. Written is a witty funny way that can be totally funny and brutally honest.
ktRolster 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I gave my own book, "Zero Bugs and Program Faster."

I gave Randall Jarrell's version of Faust it is an excellent book.

d4nte 3 hours ago 0 replies      
One book I've given is Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. It is deeply philosophical, beginning with astute observations about human nature, continuing with an evaluation of possible worldviews and their consistency with logic and evidence, and concluding with an enlightening discussion of Christian theology. Regardless of a person's beliefs or lack thereof, it provides interesting ideas to consider and challenge.
KRuchan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"The Defining Decade" by Meg Jay to anyone in their twenties.

Shameless plug -I posted a summary here: https://rkirti.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/learnings-from-the-d...

mwest 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Player_of_Games
nhumrich 12 hours ago 0 replies      

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0321934113/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_1Y6P...

pavlov 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I gave Stafford Beer's "Think Before You Think" [1] as a gift because I didn't seem to understand any of the book, so I gave it to someone smarter than me in the hope she would eventually explain it to me. I've forgotten to follow up on that.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Think-Before-You-Complexity-Knowledge...

(Edit: I just looked at the Amazon page and realized the book seems to cost about $200 used -- can that be true...?! I think I paid $30 for it. Maybe I should have kept it.)

callmeed 2 hours ago 0 replies      
On Writing Well by Zinsser

Traction by Weinberg & Mares

Predictable Revenue by Ross

Choose Yourself by Altucher

Learn Python the Hard Way by Shaw

Mere Christianity by Lewis

itbeho 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Fiction: Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny.

Non-Fiction: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Technical: The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Richie

endgame 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Gift? Not quite, but I enthusiastically offer my copies of Simon Singh's books up for loan when anyone sounds vaguely interested. "The Code Book" is a great history of cryptography and "Fermat's Last Theorem" is a good history of the problem and its eventual solution.
rukuu001 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I heard the owl call my name, by Margaret Craven

I get the feeling this is better known in the US/Canada than here in Australia.

I found it during an unstable time of my life and it helped a lot.

francasso 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Obviously "The Universal Master Key" by Franz Bardon. They might start looking at you in strange ways though... you have been warned


jsmith0295 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Atlas Shrugged

Just kidding. I did give a friend The Go Programming Language by Donovan & Kernighan, though

simonpure 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Alexander Osterwalder's Business Model Generation [0]

[0] http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/book

stevewilhelm 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Turtle Island, by Gary Snyder.

or more recently,

Tamalpais Walking: Poetry, History, and Prints, By Gary Snyder and Tom Killion


Quiet Light, by John Sexton


Places of Power: The Aesthetics of Technology by John Sexton

RobLach 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. A stoic tenet plus it grounds everyone once you realize not even the power and wealth of a Roman emperor is enough to escape certain realities and you need to re-adjust your definition of success.
miduil 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This Saturday as a birthday present for a 14 year old friend of mine, who haven't been reading so much lately:

* Persepolis, first version

* Dark Angel, by David Klass

I've just started reading "Flowers for Algernon", I guess this can also be a good birthday present. I think gifting books is something very difficult, in my experience I never wanted to get books for present.

billhendricksjr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A People's History of The United States by Howard Zinn. Given it at least 5 times.

All students should realize that history is written by the "winners" see US history from the perspective of the oppressed - Native Americans, slaves, women, the poor.

jayroh 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I've given this as a gift several times -- "What Should I Do with My Life" by Po Bronson.


Had a run-in with serious burn-out about 12 years ago and had considered leaving software entirely and starting a landscaping business. This book was inspirational in that it helped me figure out what I might LOVE doing, and then made me realize it was right under my nose the whole time. I just needed to get a new job that appreciated and challenged me

daniel_iversen 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Strategic Selling" by Miller Heiman. It was the first book that really opened up my eyes to the fact that sales is (mostly) a science and its an awesome methodology. I got it as a gift and I've given it as a gift too.
thatha7777 7 hours ago 0 replies      
1. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupry. Repeatedly (to different people).
bschwindHN 8 hours ago 0 replies      
* How to Sharpen Pencils: A Practical & Theoretical Treatise on the Artisanal Craft of Pencil Sharpening for Writers, Artists, Contractors, Flange Turners, Anglesmiths, & Civil Servants

* Ulrich Haarburste's Novel Of Roy Orbison In Clingfilm

wj 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A cookbook is the book I have given the most. Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller is an absolutely great book for somebody that is getting into cooking.

Of the top of my head some books I gave my brother included Salt, Siddhartha, and Shantaram. There were others that didn't start with an S as well.

evanb 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Bradbury: Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band Is Playing & Leviathan '99

Gleick: The Information

Michener: The Source

Martin: A Song of Ice and Fire (all of them, digital)

a_c 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim.

A novel that tells how to manage IT department in a very enchanted manner. The situation entailed in the story is too real. I had some many "I have come across this shit before, wish I handled it better" encounters that I couldn't put the book down until finished.

jfb 8 hours ago 0 replies      
River-Horse, William Least-Heat Moon. It's a wonderful account of a classically idiosyncratic journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific, through the waterways of North America.

Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov. The pinnacle of the memoirist's art. I find it nearly uncreditable, Nabokov's facility with English, his 5th language.

Lyonesse, Jack Vance. Vance is the greatest stylist in 20th century American letters, and Lyonesse is probably his greatest achievement. Fantasy indebted to Celtic mythology, not Tolkien. Marvelous, poetic, pungent language in service of a wonderful story.

acidburnNSA 9 hours ago 0 replies      
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It's about life. Has become 2 recipients' favorite book so far.
wilwade 9 hours ago 1 reply      
No kids books have been listed, but I have found them all too often enlightening. Sometimes even more than an adult book.

I and my kids have enjoyed all of Graeme Base's books, but The Eleventh Hour is particularly good and have given it to many kids and adults:http://graemebase.com/book/the-eleventh-hour/

I am also thinking about giving Yertle the Turtle By Dr. Seuss out to anyone I meet before the election:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yertle_the_Turtle_and_Other_St...I have given many Dr. Seuss books away as well.

voycey 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I tend to either give "The Belgeriad" or "Mistborn" as a gift to people who want to get into Fantasy.

I think when Rothfuss releases his final Kingkiller Chronicle book it might be my new intro series :)

adrinavarro 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I have given out as a gift a copy of 'Predictably Irrational'. I found it interesting and insightful at many different levels (whether you're just a normal person and enjoy those 'huh' moments, or you're actually dealing with this stuff at a professional level).
rahulskateboard 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I have in the past gifted multiple books written by Terry Pratchett,his Discworld series is an amazing example of social satire.The people who tend to love his stuff most are usually science oriented folks though since he tends to reference a lot of technology in an oblique fashion,including programming.
vectorpush 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe.

My favorite sci-fi story, I might even admit it is my favorite of all stories. I've given it as a real book but the experience really benefits from the e-reader format because, at least for me, there were many terms to look up and many sections that I wanted to notate for consideration later. It's a challenging book but a very thoughtful and rewarding read. Highly recommended.

Frogolocalypse 2 hours ago 0 replies      

The Emperors New Mind - Roger Penrose

Godel, Escher, Bach - Douglass Hoffstadter

Brocas Brain - Carl Sagan

The (mis)Behavior of Markets - Benoit Mandelbrot

The Black Swan - Nicholas Nassem Taleb


Gates Of Fire - Stephen Pressfield

Neuromancer - William Gibson

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

Hardwired - Walter Jon Williams

Altered Carbon - Richard Morgan

Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson

Space - Stephen Baxter

Enders Game - Orson Scott Card

Skeleton Crew - Stephen King

I've given away a lot of books. I'm old.

sguav 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Ambidextrous Universe, Martin Gardner, 1979 edition. I find it fascinating even today
ehudla 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
dmourati 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The Little Prince, or Le Petit Prince if the recipient is a francophile. A wonderful story that I personally try to read every year. Netflix has recent plans to release as a film as well.
bjelkeman-again 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Maverick, by Richardo Semler. I must have given away a dozen of this book to various people. Very inspiring if you are looking to build an organisation.


brianzelip 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Kahlil Gibran's 'The prophet'
petr_tik 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I give books to people I work with and the 3 books that people will have heard of are:

Thinking fast and slow by Danny K

Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

Algorithms To Live By by Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths

I thought about giving fictional books to people, but it seems to personal a present for a work acquaintance

neelkadia 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.. I've bought around 20 copies and given as a gift to all my close {friends, cousins, co-workers} two years back.
rmchugh 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan. A beautiful and moving tale of post-boom rural Ireland.
kp25 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green,

"P.S. I Love You" by Cecelia Ahern,

"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee,

wdr1 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The Princess Bride.

I've given it away seven times & purchased it eight.

Like every book, it's different from the movie. I'm not going to say it's better than the movie, but I'm also not going say the movie is better either. Both are just so amazing in their own right that I adore them both.

kingkawn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Letter to a Teacher by the Schoolboys of Barbiana. Beautifully written call for better education for the poor by the children who need it.

Available in PDF now too: http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/LTAT_Final.pdf

sflicht 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Huygens and Barrow, Newton and Hooke [1] by mathematician V. I. Arnol'd.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Huygens-Barrow-Newton-Hooke-quasicrys...

mrmondo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Phoenix Project, many, many times.
xf00ba7 9 hours ago 0 replies      
An imaginary tale, the story of sqrt( -1 ). link: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9259.html. One of my favorites. Oh....also handed out the foundation series in combined hardback form to a few folks for the winter holiday. I loved that series as well. Thankfully so did the people I handed it out to.
adolgert 12 hours ago 0 replies      
bash Pocket Reference. I keep a stack by the office door, sort of like a candy bowl.
Gatsky 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.

This book got its hooks into me. Also fantastic writing craft if you get a kick out of that.

physicsyogi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I gave Joseph Brodsky's Watermark and Alan Watts' The Wisdom of Insecurity to two friends last year. And for Mothers Day last year I gave my wife a book of themed photos and prose, Two, by Melissa Ann Pinney.
agentgt 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Many of the books I would have been covered already but one that hasn't (ie not found via option-f) is:

"Is God a Mathematician?" by Mario Livio

It is a wonderful exploration and history of math, science and light theology (mostly historic though. the book is written by a mathematician).

I still wonder frequently if math is human made up thing or is it innate. Is the universe inherently mathematical? Can we prove it?

woodpanel 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Why the Germans, why the Jews" by Gtz Aly - good insight into younger German and Ashkenazi history. Is the most comprehensive book I've read about the why. Why the broad anti-semitism, why the NSDAP, why the holocaust.

Poor Charlie's Almanack - It's one the books that Warren Buffet always recommends. I gotta say though that I don't get why. But it makes a good gift since it has good "coffee table" value because of the many illustrations.

schappim 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I have given The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.
EliRivers 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Books by David Mitchell. Possibly the finest modern literature author alive.
qq66 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Maus" by Art Spiegelman

"The Way Things Work" by David Macaulay

"Winnie the Pooh" by A.A. Milne

mbauman 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Daz (fiction) - At face value, a story about a nerdy outcast in love, which means most people I know will relate to it. Pulitzer Prize winner.

The Elements of Typographic Style by Bringhurst (design) - Most designers I know already own a copy, but interesting for laymen.

The Little Schemer by Friedman & Felleisen (programming) - Fun and educational for anyone interested in programming, at just about any level.

robot 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The intelligent investor - benjamin graham. In my home country investing is still a mystery for many and there are no good books. This book gives you some base and perspective about investinng
yla92 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I have given Humans of New York book as a gift to a friend of mine and now preparing another one to another friend.

Mainly because I think the book has so much great quality photo essays, worth keeping it for a long time, sit down, flip it through from time to time and enjoy the beautiful stories.

ScottBurson 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Oliver Morton's The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World.

Obviously this is a selection for someone who likes to read serious nonfiction and is interested in the science of climate change and what we might be able to do about it.

I've mentioned the book on HN before and got an unenthusiastic reception, but I loved it. The author does an excellent job avoiding both knee-jerk skepticism and knee-jerk credulity, and it's so well written I could hardly put it down.

bmh_ca 12 hours ago 0 replies      
How to Win Friends and Influence People
abrkn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
10% Happier by Dan Harris (audio book, narrated by the author)

A light hearted account of a news anchor's introduction to meditation

mangamadaiyan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
One, Two, Three... Infinity by George Gamow.

I can't recommend it enough.

SeaDude 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"Ecotopia" by: Earnest Callenbach

"Self Reliance" by: Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The Iron Heel" by: Jack (fuckin) London!

Induane 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Gdel, Escher, BachZen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceEnders GameSpeaker for the DeadA Brief History of TimeI Am a Strange LoopLila: An Inquiry Into MoralsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (5 or 6 book trilogy)Dune
bluejekyll 11 hours ago 1 reply      
"The Four Agreements", I wish I had read it when I was younger, I give it to anyone who seems to feel other people are their problem.
anonbiocoward 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Strunk and White. I put my email and phone number in the inside cover. Only for good friends. Have gotten contacts from people I haven't seen in 10 years.
aaron695 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If the book is so generic that someone can suggest it here, then it's not a good gift.

But a great philosophy is below. People will appreciate the gesture and you'll never get cranky about lent books never returned.

It's a gift. Never lend a book.

Bill Adama

lettergram 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein, I've recommended it to four people and all came back with it being their new favorite book.

It has all of science fiction classics, but focuses on a guy who can live forever and attempts to experience everything. Of course this leads to some strange events, and is definitely worth a read.

dredmorbius 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting question, and a quite difficult one for me to answer as I'm refactoring much of my thinking presently. I'll offer a list, some authors, and some guidelines, largely based on books which radically changed my thinking.

Madelaine l'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. A quite profound children's book with lifelong impacts.


Frank Herbert's Dune introduced true complexity into storytelling for me.


James Burke's books Connections and The Day the Universe Changed, and their accompanying television series, were a profound introduction to the history of technology, science, ideas, and philosophy. Though 30+ years old, they remain highly current and relevant.



Jeremy Campbell's Grammatical Man (1984) introduced the concepts of information theory and their deep, deep, deep interconnections to a tremendous number of interconnected systems, many not explored within his book. Darwin's The Origin of Species, James Gleick's Chaos, and many of the works of Santa Fe Institute members, including John C. Holland, J. Doyne Farmer, Geoffrey West, W. Brian Arthur, David Krakauer, and Sander van der Leeuw, continue these themes.



William Ophuls' Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity (1977) is perhaps the best, most comprehensive, shortest, and most readable exposition of the fact, reality, dynamics, and interactions of limits on the present phase of fossil-fuel fed economic growth I've found. This is a book I recommend not only for the message, but the author's clarity of thought and exposition, his meticulous research, exquisite bibliographical notes, and, given the nearly 30 years elapsed, testability numerous of his predictions, some failed, yes, others uncannily accurate. Rather more the latter. In a similar vein, William R. Catton's Overshoot looks at the ecological dynamics in more depth, with much wisdom, the writings of Richard Heinberg cover the ground of limits fairly accessibly and more recently. Vaclav Smil in numerous books addresses technical factors of the profound nature of the past 250 years, and implications for the future. Meadows, et al, in Limits to Growth set off much of the post-1970 discussion (though they're hardly the first to raise the question -- it dates to Seneca the Elder),





Though hardly pessimistic, Daniel Yergin's book The Prize (and TV series) impressed upon me more than any other just how much petroleum specifically changed and transformed the modern world. Though intended largely as laudetory and championing the oil industry by the author, my read of it was exceptionally cautionary. The impacts on business, everyday life, politics, wars, industry, and transport, and the rate at which they occurred, are simply staggering. You can continue this exploration in Vaclav Smil's Energy in World History (1994) (I've recommended Smil independently elsewhere), and a rare but profound two-volume set I'm currently reading, Manfred Weissenbacher's Sources of Power: How energy forges human history (2009). The shear physicality of this book speaks to the message -- it's divided into five parts: 1) Foraging Age (6 pages), 2) Agricultural Age (156 pp), 3) Coal Age (160 pp), 4) Oil Age (296 pp), and 5) Beyond the Oil Age (142 pp). That is, the ~2 million years of pre-agricultural existence are little more than a footnote, the 8,000 years of agriculture roughly equal to the 150 years of coal, and the 100 years of petroleum use roughly twice either. The oil and post-oil ages comprise their own volume. Yergin followed up with The Quest, continuing the search for oil, though I've been less impressed by it.





Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is among the most-cited (and most incorrectly cited), least-read books of high influence I'm aware of, outside religious texts (and perhaps it is a religious text to some). The author's message has been exceptionally shaped and manipulated by a powerful set of forces, quite often utterly misrepresenting Smith's original intent. Reading him in his own words, yourself, is strongly recommended. I'd also recommend scholarship particularly by Emma Rothschild and Gavin Kennedy, though also others, on Smith. Contrast with the portrayal by the propaganda disinformation front of the Mont Pelerin Society / Atlas Network / so-called Foundation for Economic Education, and much of the modern American Libertarian movement (von Mises, Hayek, Friedman, Hazlett, Rothbard, and more recently, Norberg). Contrast The Invisible Hand (1964), a compilation of essays published by Libertarian house Regnery Press in 1966, at the beginning of the rise in public use of Smith's metaphor to indictate mechanism rather than an expression of the unknown.

There are numerous editions of Smith, I believe the Glasgow is frequently cited by Smith scholars: https://www.worldcat.org/title/glasgow-edition-of-the-works-...





I'd like to put in recommendations on technology specifically, but am still searching for a good general text. The material's covered somewhat in the chaos and complexity recommendations above (Campbell et al), though I'd add Joseph Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies. Charle's Perrow has several excellent books including Normal Accidents and Organizing America. I'd like to reference something concerning Unix, Linux, and programming, perhaps Kernighan and Pike's The Unix Programming Environment, Linus Torvalds' Just for Fun, Richard Stallman's The GNU Manifesto, and Steve McConnel's Code Complete. The O'Reilly book Unix Power Tools also encapsulates much the strength of the Unix toolset. All these are somewhat dated.









ehudla 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Danny, the Champion of the World. For kids and kids at heart. One of the books that I feel made me want to be a maker/hacker.
spapas82 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
fny 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
m12k 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Letters of Note. From the blog of the same name - a fascinating collection of letters from and/or to historical figures. Makes a great coffee table book. https://unbound.com/books/letters-of-note
ehudla 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The Swiss Family Robinson. A children's book, about a family that has no other option but to become makers.
japhyr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
When I've had friends interested in learning to play chess, I've given Play Winning Chess by Yasser Seirawan. It's great at explaining what to think about when playing the different phases of the game, with no emphasis on memorizing particular lines.
35bge57dtjku 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I give One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, in movie form, to departing coworkers.
jgord 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Capital in the 21C - Thomas Piketty

Because it changes the way you see the world.

typeseven 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine.
jrs235 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The Underachiever's Manifesto: The Guide to Accomplishing Little and Feeling Great http://amzn.to/1GmFRvX
ehudla 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas (Papert)

Since this was discussed here recently (in sad circumstances), I'll just say that everyone who might be involved with kids, either as an educator or parent needs to read this book. And it was great to read when I was a kid, too!

ultrasandwich 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. I think her writing appeals to a wide range of people. The stories are simultaneously experimental, hilarious, methodical, obsessive, but mostly just excellent.
nabusman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
- 48 Law of Power (Because we all have to deal with power games and politics)

- The Intelligent Investor (Because people ask how do I invest)

- Fooled by Randomness (Same ideas as Black Swan but oriented towards the markets)

Edit: formating

hartem_ 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Mostly 'Hackers and Painters' and 'Surely you are joking Mr. Feynman'.
sokoloff 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Web Operations:Keeping the Data On Time
jboynyc 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Most recently, Password by Martin Paul Eve. Highly recommended. http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/password-9781501314872/
ilikebits 9 hours ago 0 replies      
My favourite is "The New Way Things Work" by David Macaulay. Loved this book as a kid, it really got me into trying to figure out how the world worked (the title really nailed it).
hardmath123 8 hours ago 0 replies      
One book that works well for techy parents who have kids is The Number Devil. It's fantastic read-with-your-kid-at-bedtime material.
drited 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Misbehaving by Richard Thaler. It's like Thinking, Fast and Slow except more hilarious.
zgotsch 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I've given out several copies of "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson and "Stories of Your Life and Others" by Ted Chiang.
phonon 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers", by Jan Gullberg.
aaronbrethorst 11 hours ago 1 reply      
ehudla 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Programming Pearls (Jon Bentley). His essays on bumper sticker CS, Doug McIlroy @ Bell Labs, and little languages still resonate in mind regularly. It's when I feel someone can be trusted with really cool ideas.
daltonlp 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Shadows on the Koyukuk, by Sidney Huntington

Skunk Works, by Ben Rich

gpestana 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton https://g.co/kgs/3WZtk1 . I highly recommend it!
nether 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

Great primer on mindful meditation.

werber 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I've given "Go Tell It On The Mountain" by James Baldwin more times than any other book.
randcraw 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"At Home" by Bill Bryson.

"Quiet" by Susan Cain.

"Hackers" by Steven Levy.

jackess 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Carol Dweck's Mindset. Really gives insight into how our limiting self-beliefs can stunt our growth and potential, and how to fix them.
lackbeard 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The Blind Side, The Hard Thing about Hard Things, Sex at Dawn.

If asked, I would say those aren't the books I've found most amazing but they're the ones I felt compelled to give as gifts.

eddd 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Zero to One by P. Thiel (cheezy for HN, I know)

Meltdown by T. Woods (cool guy, Austrian Economy)

The Witcher by A. Sapkowski (Fantasy, but It reads well only in polish language)

ehudla 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The Mythical Man-Month
davidjnelson 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
cionescu1 6 hours ago 0 replies      
After reading Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, I offered it as a gift to most of my friends. It's an exhilarating read, one that I would recommend to anyone
fillskills 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I've given On Intelligence and The Alchemist as gifts.
bch 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"how to cook a wolf" by mfk fisher. Insight into tough times, getting by, and making the most of those times.
BarkMore 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.
danbolt 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've received The Brothers Karamazov, and found it to be my new favourite book.
Ace17 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Masters of Doom, by David Kushner.
zelcon 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The Little Schemer
bcook 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Android Internals: A Confectioner's Cookbook
jackgavigan 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Against The Gods by by Peter L. Bernstein
omginternets 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson

I was surprised to find out how old this text was. It hasn't aged a day!

StanislavPetrov 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Not a long read but classic Dostoevsky. A real gem.
cmdrfred 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Dune, Enders Game and Ready Player One.
arkadiyt 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I've gifted the PostSecret books to several people - it's always well received.
nugget 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
skmurphy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
many copies of "Secrets of Consulting" by Gerald Weinberg and two copies of Bionomics by Michael Rothschild
kowdermeister 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Would anyone recommend a book about mathematical thinking? Basic, intro level would fit best.
vskarine 9 hours ago 0 replies      
- The Ultra-Mind Solution, by Dr Mark Hyman

- Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

- The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

jvrossb 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson
rendx 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Mitch Albom: Tuesdays with Morrie

Karin Boye: Kallocain

Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451

Raymond Chen: The Old New Thing

dmd 11 hours ago 0 replies      
For the under-4 set: The House In The Night. It's a perfect new-baby book.
danmaz74 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"Make you contacts count", to a couple of cousins who will start working soon.
oaalami 10 hours ago 0 replies      
"What do you do with an idea?" By Kobi Yamada
jurgenwerk 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Cookin' with Coolio
edoceo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Lean Customer Development
darksim905 12 hours ago 3 replies      
The 48 Laws of Power
gravypod 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The Kamasutra to a friend.

Didn't work sadly.

krapp 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf
arisAlexis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The peripheral by Wiliam Gibson
ehudla 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The Interpretation of Cultures (Clifford Geertz)
pessimizer 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality by Paul Barber. It's pretty much my Bible, and is all that needs to be said about the nature of my secularism. I tell people it's a cool book about vampire myths, though.
hanoz 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
sonabinu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The Alchemist
miloshadzic 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The Art of Computer Programming
Thriptic 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Complications by Atul Gawande
bertique 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
LeicaLatte 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Life Inc. by Douglas Rushkoff
jbmorgado 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I've given Flatland: an adventure in many dimensions on some occasions.

I think it's a wonderful and amusing book, full of philosophical and political meaning that can be read at almost any age.

raymondh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Thing Explainer.
anonymoushn 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Thinking, Fast and Slow
x0x0 12 hours ago 0 replies      
_The Book With No Pictures_ by BJ Novak. It's a great book for friends with kids under 6 or so. You can see the author reading the beginning here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cREyQJO9EPs

I've given probably 10 copies to family and friends with kids and it's been universally liked.


smacktoward 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The Stephen Mitchell translation of the Tao Te Ching: https://www.amazon.com/Tao-Te-Ching-Laozi/dp/0060812451/ref=...

It's beautiful.

bostonaholic 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The Lean Startup
syngrog66 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Steven Levy's Hackers, to a boy considering a career in computers

Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, to a fan of history

jesuslop 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Something of John Verdon
thomasreggi 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The Alchemist
mudil 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I gave my father Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Horrors of war and the triumph of the human spirit. What a story, what a life!
iyn 10 hours ago 4 replies      
> Meanwhile there's plenty of stuff happening in the world straight from the Nazi playbook of the 30s.

Can you elaborate?

caretStick 9 hours ago 4 replies      
To be fair, it is a good book with a noble goal. After reading it, I didn't smoke any more. Granted, I didn't smoke before it, but that's beyond the point.
atsaloli 8 hours ago 1 reply      
"The Way to Happiness" by L. Ron Hubbard is a common-sense moral code. It's inspired me to be a better person in different ways (e.g., as a husband, professionally, personally, etc.). I gave it to a plumber in Sydney once (I used to hand them out) and he came back and asked for a few more for his mates "because they could use it".


Researchers or Corporate Allies? Think Tanks Blur the Line nytimes.com
47 points by chishaku  14 hours ago   15 comments top 3
matthjensen 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I strongly believe that open sourcing the analyses that are intended to influence policy would be a big step to mitigating the 'money problem' in Washington. If we could see exactly which assumptions policy researchers rely on in their analyses, we could judge the analyses more easily and more accurately.

Disclosure: I work at the open source policy center at aei.

Animats 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So that's what Lennar is up to at Hunters' Point.[1] Build high-end condos on the waterfront, downsize the public housing,[1] push out the low-income black people. With the head of the project now a "senior fellow" of the Brookings Institution, it's easier to sell this.

[1] http://thesfshipyard.com/[2] http://hope-sf.org/hunters.php

kiba 10 hours ago 3 replies      
It boggles my mind. People actually think think tank are independent?
Emperor Akihito of Japan Asks to Leave Throne in Televised Address nytimes.com
77 points by aaronbrethorst  3 hours ago   99 comments top 9
hristov 2 hours ago 2 replies      
One interesting factoid that the new york times did not mention is that while it was common for emperors to resign before the meiji restoration, a lot of those resignations probably were not voluntary.

The Japanese emperors are the longest reigning royal dynasty in the world, having reigned for the entire known history of the nation. But perhaps heir secret is that they did not have much power most of the time.

During the time of the shoguns and even before that it was common to force an emperor to resign before he reaches adulthood so as to ensure that there was a child emperor on the throne at all times. A child emperor of course is unlikely to use his position to seize power.

The Meiji restoration was a revolution whose stated goal was to restore the power to the emperor. Perhaps it was in view of that goal and the history of forced resignatons that they made a law that did not even give the emperor the option to resign. However, I am not certain whether the present emperor for life law dates back to the meiji restoration.

Or perhaps they put the law in after WW2 to ensure that foreign governments do not mess with the emperors.

caminante 3 hours ago 1 reply      

 I am concerned that it will become more and more difficult for me to fulfill my duties as a symbolic emperor
This sounds like the opening or the punchline for a Dilbert strip!

brandelune 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The buzz in Japan is not so much about the resignation itself but about the timing: exactly when Abe is strong enough to modify the constitution. It is said that the Emperor is trying to slow the constitutional change by first pressing a change that would allow him to resign.
moogly 3 hours ago 12 replies      
I propose a deal: Let the man rest in exchange for the abolishment of the constitutional monarchy. Symbolic or not, it's outmoded and incongruent with modern egalitarian society. The list of constitutional monarchies is rather embarrassingly long (37 countries).
lovart 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Does anyone know how much of the 2,700 year 'official genealogy' is credible?
dmichulke 2 hours ago 3 replies      
My take - the emperor is well educated and knows what's coming. Continuous tensions with China, printing money for some 35 years now (correct me if I'm wrong), a demography that's unsustainable, a treasury and stock market controlled by the central bank, ...

1920s/30s all over again with first a collapse of the yen and later on a war to distract the blame from the failed monetary policy and funnel the anger into some nationalist ideology.

I certainly can't blame him for not wanting to take part in that.

timwaagh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
They should let him step down. They should have changed that law ages ago. Japans politicians should be ashamed they did not. Whether or not Japan wants to be a constitutional monarchy or not is of course their matter. But if you consider what is happening right now in Turkey and Russia, the argument against constitutional monarchy seems really thin.
stuaxo 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Then maybe Britains Queen could resign, she looks like she's eaten a wasp whenever she appears in public or on TV.
gfodor 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I find it bizarre that Japan is having an contentious debate about if it's appropriate for a woman to ascend to a completely powerless role while the US just nominated its first (viable) female candidate for president.

edit: Wow, apparently this is an offensive comment. I'm having a hard time twisting my brain to see how, but my point was simply that the it seems odd that there would be contention over a powerless role for a woman in any part of the world when (arguably) the most powerful political position that exists today has a female candidate. One would think that if the latter is true the former could not be.

edit 2: Oh, I think I get it. Posters are assuming I'm American and am boasting about how progressive my country is. Huh. Nope, that wasn't what I was doing. (Though I am American, and not voting for either mainstream candidate.)

How to Become a Data Scientist, Part 2 experfy.com
153 points by iamjeff  14 hours ago   45 comments top 7
stevehiehn 10 hours ago 6 replies      
I don't like the term 'Data Scientist' at all. I think its far to loaded. Its a bad thing. Many developers already building sophisticated analytics and predictive systems will avoid identifying with what they are really doing in fear of being challenged as to whether they are a 'real' scientist or not.
tomrod 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I liked this series and this part. I think it's important for people using data science in the industry to continue giving insight into best practices, feedback to academic programs, and occasional insights into the problem applications. In my mind, this ultimately improves the quality, education, and marketability of data science.
mastazi 10 hours ago 3 replies      
In part 1/3, the author writes that there are 2 branches of data science:

> Data science for people (Type A), i.e. analytics to support evidence-based decision making

> Data science for software (Type B), for example: recommender systems as we see in Netflix and Spotify

Isn't "type A" business intelligence, and isn't "type B" machine learning? Why doesn't he use those more widely known terms? Or maybe he is referring to something else?

apathy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
COI: author is a "data science" recruiter and the field has not coalesced down to a static definition. Caveat lector
mrjaeger 7 hours ago 1 reply      
In the article Alec mentions it is important to be able to read academic papers properly. Does anyone have good resources for this? I've read some papers before but do not have a research/academic background where I really had to dig deeply into them.
curiousgal 12 hours ago 2 replies      
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12243816 and marked it off-topic.
darkhorn 12 hours ago 5 replies      
BS in Statistics? If you don't have one you are very likely not a data SCIENTIST. You will be data guy.

I know that some meteorologist have used normality in forcasting. This is an example of why you cannot become a data SCIENTIST. Another example; applying regression to your data. If you think that regression is as simple as its formula then you need at least 4 years to understand what I mean.

No Empirical Evidence for Thomas Pikettys Inequality Theory wsj.com
24 points by davidklemke  11 hours ago   16 comments top 4
jcbeard 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Umm, send this to peer review. Here's the link to Ges actual paper(http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2016/wp16160.pdf) published as an IMF working report which doesn't even have the backing of the IMF/managers/etc. I doubt it'd get published if reviewed. Really, out of the centuries of data they could have pulled in, they chose to use 1980 through 2012? Return on the capital is not ~1%....flawed assumptions, flawed model IMHO. Amazing that WSJ parades it as if it were peer reviewed fact. Then again, I'm not an expert. I only did mathematical modeling for HPC systems, not economies.
forreal2 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Many of these kind of "studies" need the author to have actually witnessed at least one or twice how a person, man,woman, children, have opening a garbage bag looking for food, and then you know how the face of a hungry human being looks like.
chakkop 59 minutes ago 3 replies      
I'm curious - does anyone else think that the equality that matters is equality in material outcomes? I think that would be such a boring world. The real equality that matters is equality in dignity as human beings, equality before the law, equality in our respect to each other. I think the developed world has made monumental strides on these fronts, which are spreading around the world too. (Even though, of course, there is still work to be done).

Incidentally, I think even though (as Piketty claims) inequality may be increasing, the average person (certainly in developed nations, but also in developing ones) has also been unimaginably enriched over the past 200 years. By any ethically relevant standard (access to food, shelter, heating, technology, entertainment), we live unbelievably fortunate lives. This when our ancestors a mere 3-4 generations ago were unspeakably poor.

praptak 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Ah, economics. "There is little more than some apparent correlations the reader can eyeball in charts" - so, how does this compare to the actual standards of testing of competing theories in economy?
Finland: The early stage nation in need of late stage money thenordicweb.com
18 points by neilpeel  2 hours ago   1 comment top
gpvos 1 hour ago 0 replies      
TIL decacorn is a word now.
Street food chef's stall becomes world's first to earn Michelin star mirror.co.uk
271 points by wallflower  15 hours ago   100 comments top 10
bane 12 hours ago 7 replies      
Until recently, I thought Michelin stars were awarded everywhere if the food was good enough. As it turns out, only select cities are reviewed. Recently there's been a big push to get Michelin to review food in Seoul, South Korea (which was successful). I always just thought the lack of stars meant the food scene wasn't quite good enough. It turns out the lack of stars in, say, Washington D.C., just means they haven't bothered to rate food in that town.

So questions like "which city has the most stars?" really mean "which cities that Michelin rates has the most stars".

yomly 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Really fantastic achievement and a really down to earth take on food - good to see Michelin not adopting a stuffy elitist stance on their awards.

I shudder, however, when I think of the queues to try this tasty goodness. For reference, queues can easily top 90 mins if a hawker stall is locally well reviewed! And just over the sea, the queues for Tim Ho Wan (Michelin star dim sum in Hong Kong) are also already oppressively long (1-2 queues). Bookings are non-existent (it's a street stall after all).

hiou 8 hours ago 9 replies      
* > Incredibly, the 51-year-old, who works 17 hours a day*

Could anyone comment on if this is an exaggeration? After commuting plus basic life tasks like bathing etc, this would allow him for a realistic maximum of 5 hours of sleep a day. And that is optimistic as likely this results in about 4 hours a day.

It seems like the story of a person who has gone 35 years on 4 hours of sleep a day is possibly more interesting than a Michelin star if this is true.

phantom_oracle 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Not to discount the efforts of this chef, but is it not possible that the organization called Michelin has done this in an attempt to stay relevant with the growing East-Asia market?

It kind of reads like a touch-your-heart story that will increase brand-presence of Michelin and the validity of their ratings of food.

Who knows though...

avar 13 hours ago 2 replies      
The article doesn't make this obvious, but the Michelin Guide just expanded into Singapore this year.

Singapore has some amazing food, and the hawker stalls are no exception. If anything they exceed far fancier restaurants with their focus and authenticity.

But as far as this being news or worthy of HN goes, this just seems like shameless corporate propaganda, even the video accompanying the article is entirely produced by Michelin.

If anything I think the newsworthy aspect of it is why there's been literally no street food stall in Michelin's established markets deemed good enough for certification? Maybe I just have my guilty pleasures, but there's some truly delicious street food to be had in Europe.

xorgar831 13 hours ago 6 replies      
I thought Michelin stars were about the whole restaurant experience, and especially the consistency. That's interesting they said it was just about the food in the video, that really opens up the award to a more contemporary foodie audience, which is interested in where to get the most delicious X, which is rarely even expensive.
mark_l_watson 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Wonderful! I worked in Singapore in April, and the street food is indeed great! I looked at the pictures in article and didn't recognize the chef or his restaurant. My other favorite place to eat in Singapore, that I would like to recommend: in the basement of the famous "Buddha Tooth Relic Temple" is a cafeteria where the monks and the public eat; delicious food!
crdb 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I have mixed feelings about this Guide and I think it's important to see the backstory.

The origins of the Michelin Guide were to be a trustworthy guide for its salesmen travelling around the country. Gradually, it became the de facto standard for an impartial guide that not only checked food quality with experienced, anonymous inspectors but also consistency with repeated visits - all costing a fortune, all more than made back with sales. Chefs would literally kill themselves for losing a star (see [1]). The Gault Millau became the Michelin rival but few other guides or competitors really existed.

This has been true in London or Tokyo as well as Paris. You could trust the Michelin Guide: not only would your meal be good, it would be roughly at the level implied by the stars, and it would always be good.

However, I suspect the internet killed sales of the paper guide and generally, as with movie piracy, reduced the amount of money people were willing to pay for the information. Why pay when you can check any of a thousand blogs and newspapers and grab the latest stars there? So the Guide needed a new strategy and Singapore is sort of the hard launch of it.

This Guide was financed (cannot find a source now) by both the tourism authorities (fair enough) and various corporate sponsors (not so good for impartiality). Various writers (see for example [2]) have pointed out the large presence of Resorts World Sentosa restaurants (this is also where the award ceremony was held) and the absence of young interesting chefs or many restaurants that are on par with the starred.

(Examples: I'm personally surprised not to see Gunther's anywhere in the rankings, since the restaurant has been around for years, is a massive favourite of the community, has a chef with pedigree in Singapore (Les Amis, starred), the service is friendly (I've eaten there in shorts a couple of times surrounded by suits and it was STILL friendly) and despite the eye watering dinner prices there's a $35 set lunch with 3 courses and petits fours which is one of the most generous in Singapore. No mention of Hakumai, where a Singaporean chef with a decade of training and experience at the best sushi-yas is doing very interesting things with the same Tsukuji fish used at every other high end sushi-ya in the country. Pollen is not listed; I haven't eaten there, but corporate friends who have and who do these things all the time often told me they thought it was "the best", and Jason Atherton has stars in London where the standards are higher.)

And then we get to the food courts. Yes, including a chicken rice stall and a bak chor mee stall have gotten the "new Michelin Guide" what they wanted - massive PR, as seen by many of the comments on this thread and virtually every headline everywhere. Yes, hawker food can be good and filling. But it's also quite commonly good. I've not been to either of the starred stalls but friends have and confirm they are nothing that rare - you can probably find a similar quality stall in your neighbourhood.

So, either you star them all - after spending a year and a huge staff to create a good quality guide - or you don't star any of them, because the standard of cooking is far below what - even in Hong Kong - used to pass as the minimum for a star. Just yesterday, I was hesitating between two stalls facing each other, both of whom were making their noodle fresh from flour even as they served customers. This is normal and starring a hawker is like starring a bakery or cheesemonger in Paris (not Pierre Herme, more like your decent neighbourhood bakery) or a chippy in London or a kebab or pizza truck in Berlin. It's a massive departure from what the guide stood for.

On the other hand, Singapore is the ideal city for this departure, because its food review scene is completely and utterly commercialised. I ate yesterday at a delicious, packed restaurant which has 2.5/5 on Yelp and is ignored by bloggers. I've talked to chefs who have confirmed that bloggers and reviewers literally come in and say "I have X visitors, feed me your best food for free" and in some cases "if you don't, I'll slam your restaurant" (one did not, the threat was executed). The bulk of the high spending customers are brand driven - a chef that trained at a French 3* place told me he could not sell his boeuf charolais hanger steak because the customers repeatedly requested wagyu fillet and got angry at him for not stocking it. It makes it hard to spot where are good places to eat and as such everybody relies on word of mouth, friends' recommendations, and so on. Michelin was sorely needed but at the same time, could get away with what they did big time: now a steady stream of affluent foreign tourists will be directed like a hose at the awaiting arms of RSW's various commercial ventures, and the next year's Guide list price can probably go up multiples once the data is in.

I am sad as a Frenchman that one of the last bastions of French excellence has just died out like that. I hope Paris and Tokyo will not follow.

I recommend anybody who wants to understand why the Michelin was a big deal watch "L'Aile ou la Cuisse" [3]. The fight between integrity and encroaching corporate interests is absolutely there, and beyond the comedy, you get the message: journalism is about getting past your short term interests, fighting those who want to use you as a shortcut to profitability, and enlightening your readers.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Loiseau#Death

[2] http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/unhappy-with-mich...

[3] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074103/

sandworm101 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Does the star go to the chef or to the stall? I always thought it was awarded to the restaurant rather than a particular member of staff. That would seem to preclude such small venues where the quality of food is so tied to the chef on duty at the time. This guy is always there, but the principal remains.

Fyi, from what I've heard about getting your 'first' star is that there is then a not-fun obligation to try and keep it. I hope this guy handles the pressure well.

lifeisstillgood 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I have tried to comment on this several times but cannot say what I mean : my last try...

This is a fairly big deal for me - not because Michelin awarded a street vendor a star. I don't think this is a stunt, Singapore has sufficient vibrancy in this market that someone was going to be worth a star once they started looking.

No this is a big deal because of the golden future of humankind. Somehow it's possible for all humans to live safe middle class low energy democratic not in a war zone lives. It's a 5% chance maybe.

But it means that to do it we need to raise the lives and lifestyle "bottom" billions. This is the goal of the UN millennium goals and their new follow on work, and it is worthy - and this award, while not really about the poorest of the world, is about how we are spreading the wealth, spreading the capability. A street vendor has the supply chain, the training the market to cook Michelin starred food. This is a tiny tiny hint that we can do it - We can pull everyone up to the golden future

I know there are a million objections to this - but to bastardise William Gibson, the golden future is here, it's just unevenly distributed.

SSH with Facebook Auth scaleft.com
36 points by rchiniquy  13 hours ago   15 comments top 7
bhhaskin 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Wouldn't this give Facebook indirect control over your server? If Facebook wanted to they could just ban your account. Or change your password. Also it is far more likely that a hacker is going to gain access to your Facebook account over well protected SSH.
castratikron 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Tell me when the opposite happens, when I can use a key pair to login to Facebook.
findyoucef 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This sounds like a horrible idea.
unixhero 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You've got to be kidding me.
nl 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think [1] is a better link, which actually explains how it works.

[1] https://coreos.com/blog/international-friendship-day.html

visarga 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'd downvote this if I had the points. It's anti-security to trust your SSH login to anyone.
0xmohit 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook: All your servers are belong to us.
Software Library: Amiga archive.org
227 points by ohjeez  20 hours ago   57 comments top 16
textfiles 16 hours ago 4 replies      
Greetings, Hackernews. Jason Scott, guy adding these to the collection right now. Great work by the team (they'll all get credited in the Internet Archive announcement when it goes up).

All together now:

* Still adding items (we're at 10,380)* AWS instances are screenshotting these to find issues* A notable amount of issues* Yes, we're using AROS kickstarter ROMs.* The emulator (Scripted Amiga Emulator) is excellent and will be improved over time* Enjoy what works* Have fun* Viva Amiga

scarygliders 19 hours ago 3 replies      
This is very cool.

The first thing I did was to click on Frontier: Elite II, seeing as how I grew up with it on the Amiga and now I play Elite: Dangerous.

To be emulating the Amiga in a browser is rather impressive, although it naturally does have a few drawbacks. Some comments/observations...

The emulator and game took a long time to start with no feedback as to what is happening (e.g. it would be nice to see 'Booting the emulator' , 'Loading the game', 'Optimising for running' or what have you).

The actual emulation within the browser was slow on my machine at least (An ageing AMD Phenom II X4, and using Google Chrome) - the frame rate is noticeably slower than the Real Deal running on original metal [again, it's an emulation therefore understandable]).

The sound is very very close - although if you scroll up and down the page a bit you notice the sound slows down (again understandable - you're probably stealing execution cycles from the emulator when doing this).

The full screen icon did nothing.

The sound icon did nothing except bring up a message window telling me it only did something if the emulator was running - even when the emulator is running.

Verdict: An impressive feat to be running old Amiga games in a browser, but at least on my system speed improvements, feedback on what is happening whilst it sets up the emulation environment and game, and having the full-screen and sound icons work properly, is desirable.

gbraad 17 hours ago 4 replies      
Many games are wrongly configured and do not seem to run. Games usually run best with KS1.3 on an expanded A500 (1MB), while later games with AGA, need to run on KS3.0 and an A1200 with 2MB+. it seems that many are configured to run on a KS2.04 A500.

BTW, they use the Scripted Amiga Emulator: http://scriptedamigaemulator.net/

Note: reach out to me... would really like to help with improving this.

Noseshine 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So I'm trying to play music from "Turrican" because the Chris Huelsbeck sound is awesome:


How does that work? I don't get any sound. I don't know what to do. I can select items in the upper menu by click, but I can't get anything else done.

Clicking on the audio button (which shows disabled audio) shows a popup "This button only works once the emulation is running" - well, it is running.

"Fullscreen view" does not do anything either by the way.

mastazi 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there any plan related to an Atari ST/TT/Falcon section on archive.org? I know the Atari is probably considered sort of a "second class citizen" compared to the Amiga, but it had a very important role in the development of modern music software.
db48x 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone want to recommend more things to include in the Showcase? See https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_amiga_showcase. We're looking for items with good screenshots and which are fairly straight-forward to use once they load up.
bane 18 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the real achievements here is that the IA is streamlining the process from going from a new MAME/MESS release to in-browser emulation very quickly. Along the way they're helping provide input to improve browser audio, transpilation, and archiving and making available the efforts of millions of man-years of creative work.
milesf 12 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my all-time favourite games: Mind Walker. Haven't really played anything else like it since:


bencollier49 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I have just learnt that the Amiga version of Chuckie Egg was woeful.

However - amazing library - thanks!

qwertyuiop924 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ahh... The sweet taste of the Amiga without the hell of UAE4All. Yes, it really is that bad. No, really.

Now, if we could get saves (prob. not happening), I could run Ultimate SoundTracker in the browser...

pjmlp 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice, but almost all the ones we used to play don't seem to be there.
benmarks 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, hah, "Maze Man"... What a great time software was back then!
the_rosentotter 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Very cool, but the selection is pretty arbitrary with not really any of the classics in there. Probably licensing issues?
cableshaft 18 hours ago 1 reply      
No Cosmic Bouncer :/ That was by far my favorite Amiga game.

Good to see Hardball, Kikstart II, and Zany Golf on there though.

no_gravity 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Would love to see this for the C64.
jordache 18 hours ago 3 replies      
no newtek video toaster?
Google Outpaces Facebook on Getting India Connected to Internet bloomberg.com
235 points by JumpCrisscross  18 hours ago   146 comments top 19
dhawalhs 15 hours ago 8 replies      
The article re-iterates the convenient lie promoted by Facebook that Free Basics was "designed for people who cant afford expensive mobile-data charges."

The cost of internet access is really low in India. For less than $2 a month, you can easily get 500MB/month of 3G access [1]. Even cheaper for $2G access. The cost of a getting a phone is the bigger barrier. But in Facebook's world everyone already has a phone but cannot afford internet.

The example Mark Zuckerberg usually talks about is US where it costs around $2000 for a plan over two years. Which makes it makes a convenient case for Free Basics.

It was disappointing to see how major publications are just re-iterating FB/Zuckerberg words. The only journalism I saw was from Buzzfeed[2][3] and Backchannel[4].

[1] http://www.plansinfo.com/reliance-gsm-prepaid-mumbai-plans.h...

[2] https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolineodonovan/heres-how-free-bas...

[3] https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexkantrowitz/how-facebooks-plan-t...

[4] https://backchannel.com/how-india-pierced-facebook-s-free-in...

TrevorJ 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Facebook isn't interested in getting India connected to the internet. They want India connected to Facebook. Google benefits from increasing the population of general internet users, but facebook's business model does not benefit from this to the same extent.
starmilk 17 hours ago 8 replies      
$0.02: I honestly feel that Google's CEO being Indian hastened the adoption. In India, Sundar Pichai is a celebrity. There are billboards, advertisements, and the whole country is cheering for him, a "local".

There is more to it than this (of course), but I think that the community view Google through the friendly face that is their CEO, while viewing Facebook as the big blue tech conglomerate which that have become.

nnain 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I may also point to a subtle subconscious factor that might be helping Google.

Google posted the free WiFi on Railway stations. Indian Railways is huge and celebrated as a backbone to the countries transportation. On the other hand FB's Free Basic, broke net-neutrality and partnered with Reliance & Airtel, two companies in India that put people's guards up already.

Google's hotspots simply don't seem like a 'scheme', while FB's offer does.

kerkeslager 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Free Basics isn't internet, it's a walled garden controlled by Facebook. Comparing what Google and Facebook are doing in India is comparing apples to oranges.
ohstopitu 15 hours ago 1 reply      
When I was in UAE, I remember a telecom company called du provide facebook for free on a website called 0.facebook.com.

Basically, it was the normal mobile facebook, but without any images (and for some reason, they decided to make it all black and white as well).

The funny thing is, I and a lot of my friends switched to du from a much better company just for this service - because for us it was either no internet on our phones, or free facebook - and we chose free facebook.

Over time we felt limited and decided to opt for a social package (facebook, twitter, BBM, etc.) but had it not been for the initial free facebook hook - we'd never have bothered with mobile data for a much longer time.

_greim_ 17 hours ago 2 replies      
It sounds like Facebook's approach is to provide free wifi to specific websites (which presumably includes Facebook) while Google's approach is to just provide free wifi. Is that true?
bahularora 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I run a startup called Mhire, it helps companies hire blue-collar workers. These workers are one of the target audience of the FB's Free basics program, from my understanding it will be helpful for them to get free internet, but it would be bad for startups like ours as it would give a huge unfair advantage to our competitor BabaJobs which is a Free Basics partner. It would be extremely bad for competition. And would prevent competition from finding unique models which try to eschew the problem of low internet penetration in this marketplace. There are many unique ideas startups are utilizing to solve this problem, like using miss call marketing, call based broadcast of jobs, human social network to name a few. It will be extremely bad for the whole startup ecosystem.
0xmohit 17 hours ago 3 replies      

 While Google isnt targeting those using its Wi-Fi with advertising, its aiming to get more people online and betting that they will use the companys services and see more ads.
Essentially, Google is happy that those who would possibly never connect their phones to the Internet do that. (And, in the process, give it more data.)

 If we dont address it, a few generations of Indians will feel left behind.
Maybe it should also consider giving away free smartphones so that those not having one so that they don't feel left behind.

As a matter of fact, millions of Indians are left behind every year due to lack of education. Free education would help them much more than free wi-fi. (It wouldn't help Google, though.)

somberi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Jio, a new Telco player in India, is also an important new and enabling factor to get Indians online. Already the limited tests peg the usage pattern:


IvanK_net 13 hours ago 0 replies      
That webpage uses 36% of my CPU (not just at the beginning or during scrolling, but all the time). Are they mining bitcoin or something?
whack 10 hours ago 1 reply      
"Google began offering free Wi-Fi at about two dozen train stations in the country earlier this year, and now has 2 million people using the service each month, Pichai said in a recent earnings call. Millions more will gain access as the service expands to 100 locations by the year end. The search providers goal is to reach 400 stations."

It's great that Google is doing this, but I don't think offering wifi at 400 train stations counts as "getting India connected to Internet." It's a great convenience, but the vast majority of the time that people spend is at home/work. The amount of time that people spend at train stations is pretty miniscule.

The fact that 2 million people used the service at all, is not surprising. I think a far better metric would be the number of man-hours that the service has been used for.

NEDM64 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook should spend more on advertising, they would have avoided what happened to their program.
mtgx 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Facebook was trying to offer access to a handful of websites. Google is giving Indians the whole Internet. So yeah, I'm not surprised.
mkagenius 14 hours ago 1 reply      
How will it be monetized? E-commerce or ads? E-commerce would be a better idea, i guess.

p.s. This whole thread has been disappointing, seems like everyone had some angst and needed some venting outlet against fb.

shafiqissani 14 hours ago 0 replies      
we will build our own internet... with blackjack and hookers :P
xacaxulu 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A win for India!
basicplus2 8 hours ago 0 replies      
errr.. doesn't Google pretty much own Facebook?
reachtarunhere 13 hours ago 1 reply      
You totally sound like the idiotic T-Mobile guy.
Quake's Lighting Model: Surface Caching (1996) bluesnews.com
124 points by panic  15 hours ago   36 comments top 5
erikpukinskis 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Semi off topic, but:

Does anyone remember a magazine spread that came out before Quake's release that featured a bunch of high res widescreen screenshots of the early game? They were big, full bleed images. I believe they also made a big deal in the article about scanning the bodies of id employees and mapping them onto the player, saying that when the game was released players would be able to do the same.

What's confusing to me is that all the early screenshots online I can find online are 320x240. I am remembering some high res screenshots, and they were some of the first widescreen shots I ever saw of a game. Carmack was an early adopter of the widescreen monitors. It seems impossible that it was Quake 1, but I remember it being kind of blue and castle/cathedral-y, in the style of Quake 1. But the resolution was very high and the textures were pretty high res too, so it seems impossible that it was Quake 1.

For some reason, I feel like it was levels that were never released.

It's been bugging me I can't resolve the errors in this memory. Anyone else have any memory of this? It's right on the cusp of pre-internet, so it's hard to track down.

thraveboy 12 hours ago 2 replies      
It was so fun, when I first went to grad school Pat, Peter, and I figured out the fundamentals how to separate the lighting from the surface reflection using multi-resolution textures maps. And it was so fun sitting in the Princeton Graphics lab hacking up the Renderman shaders to implement it for the first time. Great memories, and what amazing insights and tools built by so many others to make what we have now possible. :)


kevinastone 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Blues News! Man, that takes me back...
spitfire 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This was Chapter 68 (!) in Michael Abrash's very excellent Black book of graphics programming. I still have my copy, and it's still relevant today.
fdsaaf 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Isn't it sad that every generation of programmers forgets, probably not deliberately, that previous generations of programmers existed and were just as smart and talented as we are today?
Dtrace Conf 2016 Event Videos joyent.com
57 points by solarengineer  10 hours ago   6 comments top 4
helper 8 hours ago 2 replies      
The talk on finding vulnerabilities in dtrace to escalate privileges seemed to be the most interesting/terrifying to the attendees. Definitely worth watching: https://www.joyent.com/about/events/2016/dtrace-conf/videos/...
solarengineer 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Here [1] is the conference wrap up by Bryan Cantrill.

[1] https://www.joyent.com/blog/dtrace-conf-16-wrap-up

Philipp__ 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Was waiting for this!
joshbaptiste 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Dtrace is a great tool to dive in and understand the internals of an operating system without being a systems programmer per se.
On Post-Modernist Philosophy of Science (2000) uwgb.edu
63 points by iamjeff  10 hours ago   48 comments top 14
pjscott 4 hours ago 0 replies      
> She: I've heard that the main thing is to avoid relativism. But I'm a physicist, and that presents a real difficulty. Without relativity there'd be no possibility of making measurements and we'd each be prisoners, to all eternity, in some single point of view. In my discipline, we need the relativity of frames of reference in order even to begin work. I have a special need for relativity because I work on events close to the Big Bang. You don't need relativity, too?

I think it's safe to say that, with this paragraph, Bruno Latour failed the Ideological Turing Test: this conflation of philosophical relativism with the physical theory of relativity is not something that would ever be uttered by someone who knew what the latter is.

It gets worse from there. Please, anyone who's tempted to write a dialogue with a fictional person holding an opposing viewpoint: talk to one first! Find out what their arguments really are! And, if possible, learn their views well enough that your summary would seem accurate to one of them.

hcs 9 hours ago 2 replies      
The discussion near the end of Philip Scranton was the most interesting and coherent part of the article for me, while earlier Dutch is mostly just incredulous about the words used by Latour and Derrida.

I think he makes a good point about a mutual misunderstanding:

> The history of science as presented in science texts, especially older ones, is rightly unsatisfactory to sociologists. In the interests of providing students with a heuristic framework (frequently a historical approach is the best way to explain a complex concept) and a sense of historical orientation, the accounts were streamlined to the point where they presented a highly linear view of science devoid of false starts, blind alleys, and personality clashes. The reason textbooks do it perhaps a tad better than they used to, by the way, is partly due to the insights of sociologists.

> Sociologists, on the other hand, need to realize that the way they present the history of science can seem just as distorted. However honorable their intent, their language seems at times to deny the existence of objective knowledge.

coldtea 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
>In a century that produced Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and Slobo Milosevic we still see philosophers and sociologists seeking the roots of evil in externals like family violence, poverty, television, even circumcision and lack of breast-feeding (and no, I am not making those up!).

Whereas the correct answer is what? Some disturbed individuals like Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot etc are the cause? Or was it "philosophy" that perverted them -- because Hitler sure as hell didn't read much philosophy.

And what about the millions of victims of atrocities from the "civilized" colonial powers not mentioned in this list, because they're third world so nobody cares, and b) they kill the nice argument about "pure evil" leaders motivated by philosophy. Those crimes were motivated by the almighty buck.

>Calling twentieth-century philosophy superficial gives it too much dignity; vacuous is the closest term.

Yeah, man, you dismissed it in a sentence. How intellectual. And coincidentally, how anglo-saxon, the very culture that never understood continental philosophy to begin with, and deals mainly in scientism and crude empiricist platitudes.

aub3bhat 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Having met with some of the "Science and Technology Studies" students and floored by the ignorance of basic technical facts by some of the people they quoted to be correct, I believe this postmodernist trend arose out of post-cold war technological superiority.

With Science and Technology no longer needed to fight against a powerful enemy, it was easy to devalue it. However times are changing.

A society can only ignore science and facts in favor of meaningless word salad as long as their security does not depends on it.

hyperpape 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll go ahead and confess that I haven't read the whole article, but I think it will still be valuable to relay that as a former philosophy grad student (though not a philosopher of science), my first response was "who the fuck is Andrew Pickering?"

Don't think that the initial quote is the norm in philosophy.

leoc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, this is old newspaper. The Science Wars were a product of the post-'60s worldview, in which good-natives-versus-wicked-colonisers was more or less the overarching theme and rationality was suspect; they quickly died the death in the revised, post-9/11 master narrative of Enlightenment-versus-superstitious-darkness, which wasn't fertile ground for even modest and non-radical skepticism about The Science. A classic document of this is the "Why Has Critique Run out of Steam?" paper, in which Bruno Latour scrambles to get with the just-modified program: note the 2003/4 date. http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/89-CRITICAL-I... Of course we'll have to see how things develop in future, now that the post-2001 frame of reference is already fading in people's minds.
gaur 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Jacques Derrida is the Picasso of bullshit artistry.
bitwize 9 hours ago 4 replies      
People assume that postmodernism is an attempt by the left to weaponize rhetoric for their own ends. But the right has already weaponized rhetoric. Postmodernism is more like "defense against the dark arts". Yes, much of the work of e.g. Derrida sounds like long-form trolling, because it is. It's a form of culture jamming to disrupt the cognitive processes by which we accept things as "truth" or "reality".
thanatropism 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Counterpoint: http://retractionwatch.com/

(Edit: now -- this, from the very bottom of the article, is disturbing:

"If you don't understand why science has a valid claim to objective knowledge, and why undermining the belief in objective reality is dangerous not just to science but to society at large, don't disturb those of us who do.")

ittekimasu 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Also see, Dawkins review of Alan Sokal's book,


thefastlane 6 hours ago 0 replies      
maybe it's a formatting issue in my browser, but it was less than clear when it was the author talking, versus when he was quoting something. i had to bail. am i not giving the paper a fair shake?
nxzero 10 hours ago 0 replies      
From Wikipedia on the Science Wars:

>> "dangerous extremists are using the very same argument of social construction to destroy hard-won evidence that could save our lives."

_delirium 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I was about to say that this guy is about 15-20 years late to the party with the polemic, but noticed from the footer that this essay is in fact 16 years old. Maybe someone could add a (2000) to the title?

For more background on the period this essay came out of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_wars

fizixer 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Article with such a title doesn't have a mention of transhumanism. I'm sorry I don't have time for this.
React Fiber Architecture github.com
137 points by wanda  14 hours ago   89 comments top 8
Bahamut 13 hours ago 2 replies      
This looks quite interesting - I got the impression that React would need quite a rewrite internally to accomplish incremental rendering.

One thing I noticed with the priority mechanism proposed - Angular 1 has something like this, but it turns out to be a complex api to understand and use. In fact, just about everyone stays away from mucking around there, and all usages of it I have seen in the wild is a straight up hack/misusage. I suspect that something like this would increase complexity dramatically.

Animation is a problem I feel might be worth studying different systems on, maybe not even just the browser. For example, Angular's implementations have ended up mirroring how Chrome handles animations after collaboration with the Chrome team. It probably shouldn't be singularly focused on how one browser has implemented it, but studying these systems is probably best for maximizing extensibility and performance.

jiaweihli 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Can someone explain the benefits of React's DOM diffing model?

Rather than try to diff two DOM trees and optimize reconciliation, why not use one-way data binding and update exactly what has changed, with 0 reconciliation cost? Either way, the upfront work - linking DOM elements with model attributes - is the same. In JSX this is done by interpolating variables into the template, and in one-way data binding this is done via data attributes.

Anecdotally, I've found one-way data binding (using Rivets[1]) to be very fast in practice for a view hierarchy ~10 layers deep.

[1] http://rivetsjs.com/

gedy 13 hours ago 6 replies      
This is very cool, but the nagging issue I have with React is this desire to reimplement everything in JavaScript and bypass the Browser, DOM, CSS, etc. I've lost track of what benefits this really offers?
toomim 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What is the "incremental rendering" that this article is talking about?
iamleppert 11 hours ago 10 replies      
Does it strike anyone else that the entire battle cry of react reeks of pre-mature optimization?

Let's load a giant javascript framework, slow our onload and page ready event by half a second, overcomplicate our build infrastructure with JSX, mixing up our declarative code with non-standard imperative/functional javascript and HTML, start importing sass and CSS into our javascript files, and use an API that is weird and borrowed (componentDidMount?).

What exactly is the savings here? I fail to see it. When and if you have 100,000 DOM elements on a page and need to do efficient rendering and reconciliation of what has changed? Poor code organization? Adherence to a weird and clunky API? Because Facebook does it?

I'm sorry but I've had the displeasure of working on a few apps where developers have used React and I could have done the same thing, without all the bloat, achieving much faster performance, both measured from first byte to when the page was ready for the user to use, to any interactions on the page. All of these apps were relatively simple single page apps.

What has happened to us as developers that this sounds like a good idea? Whatever happened to pragmatism? Has that just lost by the wayside of the new shiny?

amelius 13 hours ago 1 reply      
So how does React know which parts of the model need reconciling, without traversing the complete model and/or the complete state on every update?
k__ 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Has this something to do with Preact, which started as an animation experiment and became a React alternative?
eatbitseveryday 11 hours ago 0 replies      
And I clicked this thinking it was some competitor to Google Fiber, to describe their networking architecture.
Video surveillance recorders RIDDLED with 0-days theregister.co.uk
24 points by kushti  2 hours ago   3 comments top
bigdubs 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Did the headline have to have `RIDDLED` capitalized? Feels sensationalist.
Ask HN: Technology stall
82 points by bidev81  15 hours ago   34 comments top 23
virmundi 14 hours ago 3 replies      
First to your lack of focus. I had the same issue. I jumped around various languages like Scala and Closure and D. I would jump around background products like Mongo or Arango or PostgreSQL. Probably for the same reason for you: novelty driven by a sense of the industry leaving me behind.

I think this is a false sense driven by HN and the like. Startups playing with new things made me feel that my Java centric knowledge was outdated. They would say, "look at the scale we achieved with clusters of Node and Mongo." When I looked at what they were doing, what they actually produced the sheen faded. A generation spent on ads.

Then I turned my attention to a problem that I have and to another faced by my clients. This gave me clarity. Stay aware of new tools and techniques, but realize they are just tools and techniques. Don't lust after them. Rather look how and if they can be applied to your problems. Look if they are a better fit. See if they can help you achieve your goals in a compressed timeline. Then dig in.

As for teams and deadlines, that is not really a matter of tech. Poor teams occur even in the newest tech. I've seen people totally misunderstand, at best, and squander Hadoop and its tooling. I've seen systems that used proper decoupled design rot into a quagmire of failure due to people not reading about software architecture or the tools in the stack. You have to power through this. In such situations, I've seen first hand that people want leadership even if during the process of asserting that they despise you.

sixFingers 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hey, I can't express how much I can relate. Some facts:

- I'm Italian

- I'm in my 30s

- I have ~8 years of professional experience, mainly in big agencies

- I have fully experienced the pains of your country, consider also I have been independent contractor for some years (you know, clients not paying you?)

I moved to France following my girlfriend, and I'm sitting here waiting for a response to some job positions I applied for. Also I'm running out of money. I am also really thirsty when it comes to technical challenge. So well I'm the last who can give you advice, but here are some things that worked for me:

- Stop looking at Italy for jobs, instead look at Europe. I had an experience working for a company in San Francisco (ok, that's USA) and it was ages beyond the typical Italian experience. I'm pretty sure that Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona can offer great positions _and_ professional cultures. I'm actually checking europeremotely.com basically daily, but also StackOverflow jobs is pretty cool for that. I hope not being wrong about this.

- Don't stop feeding your passion. If you love coding, keep doing it. Personally, I took everything which was outside my consolidated professional competence, and put it in a box called "game development". That's my secret corner where I experiment everything I love. Like well "modeling a mafia economic system through agent based simulation". There, I practice stuff I'll probably never use professionally: C#, LUA, C++, Golang, OpenGL.

- When you evaluate new technologies which may become part of your daily work, don't stop at the tool, but look at the context around it. RUST is good for system development. Would you like a job in that area? I'm basically a PHP developer, but man how much I would like to escape from it. I'm currently learning Elixir, as it looks like the Ruby of the next decade. I bet there will be a lot around it in web area.

- I force myself to switch off the mac after 8 pm. Before, I could sit there all the day and a good part of the night. Doing something else, especially if it involves physical activity, often helps me seeing more clearly myself, my real interests, and above all works as an antidepressant.

After all of this, I'll fail and be forced to return to Italy anyway. In that case, I'll give up coding and learn doing pizzas.

mpermar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Being specialized in .NET stack you're likely like me in your 30s or 40s. Life in our 20s was simple. Java or .NET or PHP, specialize in one or the other, and there we go, we can build a career on top.

I share many of your feelings. I live in Spain. The markets are common. But honestly, I think it's not a matter about Italy being shitty at anything. The IT world has changed. There is no three platforms any longer. There is no one single deployment paradigm any longer. Things are much more complex now and it's truly impossible to try to take on everything as it was 15 years ago. I found that myself frustrating many times. Thinking, heck, 15 years ago I could study this, this and this and be an expert pretty much on everything software related. Now this is not true any longer and it can be very frustrating for all of us that come from that world.

I think the key here is holidays of course, but also to adapt to the new software world. And learn that not all what appears in HN is shiny and great, not all that is done in the cool places like SV is shiny and great, and not all those frameworks and languages that pop up are shiny and great. Rather than a matter of focus is a matter of taking it easy. Do something that you like and that you enjoy learning and learn to let things pass on. You don't have to be a master of react, golang or angular to be a competent software person, there is more choices than ever. Focus on the models, patterns, problems and solutions. That's where the value is today.

peteforde 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with other posters that you should exercise, take a vacation, make sure that you're not burning out. It does sound like you need to shake things up in your life. Can you leave Enterprise world and try a startup? Can you leave Italy? Can you take a job in a different industry for a year?

Here's what I learned when recovering from burnout (it took a year): the reason you do something dramatically impacts whether you're able to enjoy doing it. This is why being a prostitute is not the best job ever. I recommend to all of my artist friends that they find a job that pays the bills so that they can do art on evenings and weekends. This prevents them from coming to resent their art as necessary to live. Why do we let our need to buy things strip away the joy from things we enjoy most?

I do want to say that it's not your lack of focus which is the problem. It's good to be curious and try new things. There are some people that thrive because they spend their lives being the best at one thing, but many of us are valued because we're really good at a lot of different things.

Make sure that you have hobbies that are not technical. I like photography. You'll find that being an interesting person, you'll attract other interesting people (and opportunities) to you.

Finally, always make sure that anything "work" related that you do, including programming, that you do in the context of having a problem to solve or a project to finish. Even if you're the one with the project or problem. The key is that problem solving is how we learn to use tools and the reason we retain knowledge. You know a language or tool not when you have the API memorized (forgotten next week!) but when you have developed your instincts suitably to know how you'd use it to solve a problem.

People don't pay you to know everything, they pay you to be faster/better at figuring out the solution than the others.

Anything worth doing in life is hard. Good luck and have fun.

ankurdhama 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, I have been in this situation and I guess most programmers who started programming coz it is amazing felt the same at some point. I call this the "infatuation with tools", where we keep learning new languages, frameworks, libraries, OS etc but once you learn it you feel empty and bored coz somehow our subconsciousness develop the idea that tools gives you silver bullet to solve any problem, which of-course is wrong. The way to overcome this is that you need to understand that Computing is a tool that can be used to many problems. The tools are not fun and interesting rather the problems are fun and interesting. Think about real world problem and how computing can solve them or at least play a part in solving them. Get fascinated by problems and not tools. Probably that's why I hate most job postings where they say "hey do u know x,y,z tools?" rather than saying "Hey we want to solve X, are u interested?".

And yes, computing is about data and algorithms and nothing else. Don't fall into the trap of new names of same concepts. Always think about problems in terms of data and algorithms and no other bullshit like objects, patterns that so called software engineering piled up in search for a silver bullet.

noname123 13 hours ago 1 reply      
My suggestion is to try to audit a series of courses. This will force you to concentrate on a particular theme; some of the courses are not self-paced and have a deadline to finish problem-sets (which are Juyptor notebooks where you have to actually do the work, and fill-in the code snippet but not to muck around with setting up annoying IDE/dev environment, autograded with unit tests), so will force you to stick to deadlines.

Here are some of courses that you might (read: actually I am) interested.

https://www.edx.org/xseries/data-science-engineering-apache-...(3 courses on Apache Spark using PySpark and introduction to simple machine learning and distributed computing)

https://www.edx.org/xseries/genomics-data-analysis (3 courses on R, next-gen genomics sequencing, annotation and some more cool computation protocols involved with CHIP-Seq and RNA-seq).

https://www.coursera.org/specializations/scala (4 courses + capstone, spearheaded by Martin Odersky; the guy who is the big-wig in the Scala community).

Also, I'd recommend taking the verified tracks for all of them. This will force you to complete them as money is on the line (if possible ask HR/your boss if it's related to your work, for tuition reimbursement benefit).

brianwawok 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Non tech advice but do you exercise? A 30 minute run ever day before work makes a day 100% more enjoyable.

Seldom does using a different language fix anything. Programming is programming.

Excercise can fix your life outlook. Better teammates can change things. Nicer boss. But seldom will language or business do that much do your day to day life.

DenisM 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Most likely you will not be satisfied working on technology in a non-technology company. Find a job where a company considers technology to be instrumental to what they do, and you might see a much better environment.

If you can't, move to another country.

drewm1980 2 hours ago 0 replies      
An italian expat colleague studying in Belgium explained to me that Italy is so beautiful that it has to have severe societal problems just to maintain homeostasis; otherwise everyone else would move there. If it's any consolation, there are people in colder, rainy countries, with worse food, and with cultures where next door neighbors don't even know each other's names, looking at Italy and wondering if they should accept some boring job there for the other benefits.
nercht12 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Whenever that new tech excites you, just remember that behind the scenes, everything is that same "old" tech you've always been using, and that your could do "the next big thing". Nothing is really "new" in programming. Most of it is C and C++ behind the scenes. Those fancy new languages? - Some of them take just as long (if not more so) to create the same software you're already making with the "old" stuff (despite the repeated boasting of a puny hello-world), and they have their own new set of pitfalls. If it makes you feel any better, find a fancy icon and stick it in your project folder. Once you do, congrats, you're now more geeky-hip. I mean the action of programming, between you and the computer, not the industry, duh.
bkanber 14 hours ago 1 reply      
There's no good answer. You have to learn how to focus. You can't wait for focus or motivation to come to you, you have to make it happen. Why do new languages interest you? Probably you're just looking for something different, to escape some depression you're feeling. Instead you should focus your attention on solving problems, and then picking the right language for those problems. You may also want to talk to a therapist about depression, it really does help a ton.

I don't know much about tech in Italy but I have heard the same complaints -- culturally, Italy doesn't have high standards for quality in technology. If you struggle with that, then there are two solutions: work for a US or Israeli company, remotely if you can, or start your own business.

If you want to start your own business, I'd recommend starting a solo software consulting practice first, that way you know you can make some money on the side while building your business.

terminado 9 hours ago 0 replies      

 in my country (Italy) there is no importance (or almost) to quality of projects (especially Technically), you have to face with ridiculous deadlines, poor team mate (in order of thech knowledge) and tremendous customers.
Quality versus deadlines, jousting with shitty team members, or suffering the burden of demanding and insipid customers. All of this is normal. These are human factors, and they exist within a spectrum (or gradient). Some areas can be worse than others, but none are ever quite good.

Moving into a different field (one which is more specialized than generalized-enterprise-business development-in-yet-another-problem-domain) won't fix any of those things.

 i constantly feel interested in IT Security, then low level programming (C/C++) than again "new" languages like GOLang, RUST etc.. i can't focus on nothing, i think it's due to my work frustrations
Having tangential interests (security, low-level computing, new languages) is also normal, and a symptom of possessing a naturally curious creativity.

So, the question: Is an inability to deliver on hobbies, and convert them into productive professional skills, driven by miserable distractions? Nah. Whether you make something of them, isn't going to be the cure of the things that you find frustrating, BUT the time you spend tending to frustrating tasks will be time that is poorly spent, under any circumstances. Fluffy bean-counting busy work will eat up the precious moments of your life, no matter the career.

So, now you'd like to migrate your skills over to newer hoobyist interests, that you've explored tangentially? Makes sense, but it won't solve the human factors stemming from social circumstance. Nor will it prevent unfulfilling, soul-crushing toil from creeping into your newfound career path.

It WILL, however, temporarily cure your wanderlust, and relieve that dreaded sensation of stagnation.

I dunno, try this, for starters:


 LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman looked back over his career and cited his biggest career mistake as not leaving Microsoft for Netscape. At the time, Netscape was where all the innovation was happening. It was spouting out entrepreneurs. The right question wasnt how can I learn to be a product manager? It was, how can I get in the building at Netscape?

zubat 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Find something that seems challenging and maybe a little scary. Maybe that means getting away from development somehow and picking up a complementary skill. You've already seen a lot of aspects of development, but in the larger picture any development job is just one segment of how a business operates. As long as you feel like you're really changing and not just staying in your comfort zone you'll feel alive.

Edit: And try making it more than just a cursory whim. Write up a whole document of what you do and how you plan to do it, as if someone else had to approve it. That really tests your resolve up front.

benologist 12 hours ago 0 replies      
For me it helps to try and recognize that a constant state of procrastination, and distraction, are just like a constant state of learning when it comes to finishing the task at hand.

The right tool for launching might be the one that requires the fewest trips to StackOverflow via Google, or maybe that idea is not an important optimization to your workflow.

viraptor 11 hours ago 0 replies      
While other comments are great, I don't think the things you listed as new interests are really that diverse. As a security person I don't use C that often, but it's really useful to know well and gives you the knowledge of memory management that other languages will not. But if possible, I'd write any new user facing service in rust/go due to the safety they provide.

If those technologies excite you, great! Maybe you'd rather do security / be a generalist. Just make sure that's the path you choose rather than just looking for escape from boring enterprise software. If it's that, then see other answers and take a break.

asimuvPR 14 hours ago 0 replies      
What do you want to do?

What is stopping you from doing it?

What can you do to remove the obstacles?

Can you work around the obstacles?

Note: Whenever I find myself in such situation these questions help figure out the next step. I posted them with hopes to help the OP.

bobosha 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest trying to contribute to various open-source projects e.g. in machine learning ("deep learning" is all the buzz). You could pick up a tool like Keras and see if that piques your interest. Similarly, you could try other areas such as security and see if you can contribute to some of the OSS such as Snort or OSSEC.

Personally I find trying to work on an OSS project the best way to "try-before-you-buy".

vonklaus 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Take a vacation; you are burning out.

If you can take a >1 week you can program for fun after 5-7 days and get a sense for what interests you without work interfering. If you can only take a shorter vacation have fun and do something outside of technology and relax.

Consider working on a side project in the weeks following a break and hack on small projects that interest you. If you want to leave the .net space find local companies working on interesting problems.

Ask to get coffee with anyone in your network (or outside) to get information about other parts of the industry/other companies and methodologies.

All in all take a vacation and then spend 2 months hacking on projects and talking to anyone in any part of the industry around your area (or potential prospect cities).

> I am interested in security, c, go ect...

Talking to people actually coding in a language, securing infrastructure, doing X, will be a lot better then learning Go for 2 months and finding out that it didn't help with your core goals.

Take a break. Expand your professional circle and knowledge base. Format a plan based on that info. Execute

wlievens 13 hours ago 1 reply      
A very vague comment but here goes: IIRC Italy is a pretty significant partner in ESA projects, maybe there are some interesting challenges in that space?
didibus 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You sound unhappy, and if so, it won't disappear without concrete change. Change your job, change your department, change your neighborhood, change your girlfriend, change your friends, change your morning routine, you have to change something or nothing will change. I hope this is self-evident.

Since this is mostly work related, I'd say change your job. You want to find a place where you can work with psychological safety. Psychological safety is the condition where you feel safe to take risks, and be vulnerable to people you interact with. It's proven (https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/five-keys-to-a-successful...) to be the most important factor in success and employee satisfaction. You cannot achieve this by yourself, it is dependent on the work culture of your workplace, and unless you have enough authority to change the work culture, you'll have to keep switching job until you find a place that has the culture you need to have psychological safety.

Trust me, at first glance, two jobs might appear similar, but work culture is a very subtle arrangement of tiny details that add up to be the most influential factor, and so, it's really hard to know without just trying the work for a few months. But also, each and every workplace will have a vastly different culture. So try other jobs, it's worth it.

Now about your lack of focus, that's normal. Try to work at two levels of attention. Off course, you want to have some fun, learn some new things, be curious. This is your intrinsic motivation, and do not kill it off by trying to tell yourself you need to focus and bore yourself to death to become more "professional". Don't try to have rewards take over it either, value a lesser paid job if it allows you more creativity and freedom for you to learn and try new things. This is the first level of attention, you enjoy the details, the tech for tech's sake. Now also try to think more about the second level of attention, imagine all the code you write is assembly language, and even though such details are interesting, it is mostly the case because it is also easy for you to work at that level. So spend some time learning about the higher level. What happens if I consider all algorithms to exist as tools for me to use, what problems can I become interested in solving at that layer. This is when you realize it takes you closer to business problems. How do you optimize the business needs, with the tools you have. How do you arrange multiple systems together to scale, etc. Unfortunately, most people's CS degree didn't go there, and so going to that level is hard, and most people find hard things less interesting. If you put some more thoughts into hard things though, they start to become easy, and suddenly, interesting again.

imaginenore 13 hours ago 0 replies      
My brother in law worked in IT in Italy. He ended up quitting and working for a US company. Makes a lot more money.

Italy is so far behind when it comes to the internet adoption, it's not funny. It's also a rather poor country, especially among the young generation, many young people live with their parents till 35-40. So you're much better off making (or working on) a project that faces some of the more developed countries (US, Australia, UK, Germany).

ilaksh 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Work frustrations: find a better job, if you can. Not every software job in Italy has the problems you mention. Of course, its easy to say that, hard to find a really good job. I think honestly most people are frustrated one way or another with their job. Some are better than others though. A steady job though, in a way, is a good job, even if its a bad job.

Focus: its healthy to try lots of different things, there are lots of interesting areas. Maybe if you can get a better job, they will be using a particular new technology, and then that will motivate you to focus more on that.

partycoder 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, enterprise environments are in many cases are not early adopters. They may need to comply with different standards, policies or guidelines that make technology adoption slower.

There might be a division in your company dealing with newer technologies. You can try to switch there, or try to join a startup that is more akin to your technology preferences.

Regardless of what you prefer, I strongly suggest that you join a meetup (see meetup.com) that is related to your interests. You will be learning new things and connecting with people that share your interests. If you lack the time, hang out in IRC channels and join interesting conversations.

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