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Hedge Fund Uses Algae to Reap 21% Return bloomberg.com
36 points by chollida1  1 hour ago   14 comments top 12
habosa 13 minutes ago 2 replies      
In the chart, this is how the fund has compared to an S&P index over the past 5 years:

 * 2013 - 5% over * 2014 - 15% under (and negative overall) * 2015 - 30% over * 2016 - 10% over * 2017 - About even
One exceptionally strong year, and pretty uneven otherwise. Hardly proof that these biology-derived algorithms are the secret to market-beating returns.

frgtpsswrdlame 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Here's the important part of the article:

There are skeptics, too. Emanuel Derman, who was among the first physicists to work on Wall Street, doubts that biologists possess secret sauce for investing. Derman rose to lead the quant risk strategies group in his 17 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He found that as physicists applied their expertise of the laws of motion, atoms and mathematics to investing, their models didnt work nearly as well as they did in a lab.

Newtons law of gravity hasnt changed for eons, Derman said, but human behavior in markets changes all the time, wreaking havoc on even the best models made by scientists.

Ive developed a lot of skepticism about anyone bringing their expertise from one field to another, said Derman, author of the book Models.Behaving.Badly and a Columbia University professor of financial engineering. They say stocks are like atoms, or like genes. But stocks are not atoms or genes. There is a resemblance, but ultimately they are very different.

platz 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Was disappointed because title is misleading; I had hoped the fund was using actual Algae (i.e. computation in biological medium) to produce market decisions. Instead it is just biologists that are creating algos with their existing machine-learning knowledge. Apparently deep-learning and algae are the same thing.
chollida1 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
> As the genome project produced reams of data, Lun saw an opportunity to break ground in computational biology and in 2006 joined the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a crossroads for scientists and hedge fund managers. There Lun met senior computational biologist Nick Patterson, a former cryptographer who had spent a decade at Renaissance Technologies making mathematical models. Another Lun colleague, genomic researcher Jade Vinson, left Broad for the same pioneering quant hedge fund for 10 years.

Well he is certainly surrounded by some impressive people.

I think at this point in the search for alpha, wall street has employeed applied mathematicians, physicists, code breakers, engineers, economists, chemists, computer scientists, sociologists, and now computational biologists.

Each one of them brought some new/novel mathematical techniques to the field. Do Medieval Historians learn any specialized math?

Maybe he can beat the market reliably but he's only managing $20 million. The big question every quant fund asks is can this strategy provide alpha at a salable level of investment.

A 3 year track record is plenty long enough to prove out a system and provide a track record. It's a troubling sign that there is only $20 million in his fund if.

sixhobbits 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
The article is pretty hyped and low on actual details. From what I can figure out, he used the same models that he used to predict stuff about Algae to predict the market.

No information about what these models are is given. But it seems more "I created a system which can predict cell changes and stock market movements" than "I used Algae to predict the stock market".

gnaritas 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Boo, he basically got lucky twice, once on Brexit and once on Trump's election; he'll raise a bunch of money for his fund, lose much of it and be out of business in a few years when his model fails because luck isn't a strategy.
m777z 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
I guess I'm a bit skeptical. The article doesn't address how the fund managed to lose 2% in a year when holding an S&P 500 index fund would've gotten a 10+% return, and in general we just need more data before we can conclusively say that this has an edge on the market.

I also did not understand why cells specifically provide such good insights for markets, as compared to any other complex natural system (like weather or ecological systems).

pliny 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just from eyeballing the chart it looks like they made a few million more than the index, over those five years, which pays for 3ish engineers if they're taking half the performance over index and no management fees.
b_ttercup 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
I can't tell if this suggesting he uses models that were made to predict algae growth or if he is using algae/bio/genetic inspired optimization algorithms. But either way he is certainly not "using" algae.
Jabbles 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
From the chart in the article:

 Year Market Algae 2013 +16% +22% 2014 +14% -2% 2015 +2% +33% 2016 +12% +22% 2017* +9% +10%
*Til June

computerex 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
A 3 year sample does not prove anything.
ph0rque 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
Did a double-take: that word is algae, not algos.
Pass: A standard Unix password manager passwordstore.org
237 points by jaybosamiya  6 hours ago   119 comments top 19
jbg_ 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I've used this for a long time, and along with its Git integration (pushing/pulling to/from a repository on my own server, accessed over SSH) and a GPG key stored on a Yubikey Neo, I've got basically seamless sync between two laptops, a desktop and an Android phone, without using any third-party service.

The "Password Store" app on Android is compatible with `pass` and supports Git and NFC for using the Yubikey Neo to decrypt the passwords.

allerhellsten 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Pass is pretty awesome, but nowadays I've switched to gopass: https://github.com/justwatchcom/gopass - much better support for teams, structured secrets, binary secrets and quite a few other improvements. Oh, and it's (mostly) drop-in compatible.
tombert 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I love Pass, but the problem I've had is that I always feel like I have to spend a bunch of time setting it up when I'm on Windows.

I understand it's the standard UNIX password manager, so I suppose I don't have a ton of room to complain, and most of my computers are Mac or Linux, so it's not a huge deal, but I think it increases the barrier of entry a ton of people.

That said, I think Pass is awesome, and having my passwords stored in Github makes me really happy.

dsacco 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Note that pass was developed (and is maintained) by Jason Donenfeld (zx2c4), the same person who developed Wireguard, the new VPN protocol.

Not that my opinion is worth a whole lot, but this is the password manager I would choose to use if I wasn't using 1Password. Where many other password managers use convoluted constructions with (e.g.) AES and PBKDF2, this is very straightforward GPG.

alex_duf 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't like the fact someone with access to my hard-drive can figure out all the services I'm using just by looking at the filenames.

It's convenient yes, but I prefer one encrypted file that contains it all.

planetjones 4 hours ago 2 replies      
With all the discussion about 1password and its decision to "more or less" move to the web and a subscription based model, I had a TODO to look at what the open source community had; especially regarding browser plug-ins, mobile apps, etc. I don't understand why a simple problem like password management, needs a subscription and a private company to create software for the problem.

This post seems to have saved me the trouble of Googling myself. I am installing on the Mac and iOS as we speak.

mrhigat4 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I use pass and love it. It provides a lot of flexibility. To fix the "website metadata is leaked in filenames" issue, I use another project by Jason, ctmg[0]. I changed the pass directory to be one directory deeper, encrypted it and just do `ctmg open` when I boot to open my password list (similar to unlocking a keypassX store) then use pass as normal. On shutdown, the opened folder is re-encrypted automatically. You could also set a ctmg close on a timer if you don't want the list to be available during your entire session after open.

Other things I do:

* store all the files as .toml files so I can rip specific keys with a custom script.

* Have a directory for web so `pass web` will give me all websites. Have a script to fill username pass for each.

* Have a directory for contacts. Then wrote a script to generate vCard files by crawling and pulling keys, base64 profile images and all.

* use syncthing to keep all devices up to date.

It's pretty slick workflow IMHO

[0] https://git.zx2c4.com/ctmg/about/

Aissen 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been using password managers for while now, but I've recently discovered pass-rotate: https://github.com/SirCmpwn/pass-rotate

It's basically a rotation manager ! Very powerful and lets you properly change your passwords regularly on many websites (like the proprietary Dashlane Password Changer or Lastpass' similar feature).

rkeene2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Related: hunter2[0], a password manager which uses a smartcard to manage the keys for each password, and supports multiple users.

[0] https://chiselapp.com/user/rkeene/repository/hunter2/

adtac 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Isn't copying the password to clipboard a vulnerability?

I think a better idea would be to fill in the password through something like xdotool

fwx 5 hours ago 3 replies      
How does this compare to other popular solutions? Specifically, KeepassX / Keepass2 which are the most common solutions I've seen most Unix / Linux users employ. Can we objectively state which one is a better solution?
nickjj 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been using pass for a long time now. I have over 200 passwords stored.

I like it because you can use it to store sensitive info along with metadata, not just single field passwords. It's also super easy to access the info on the command line with ways to auto-copy passwords to your clipboard (which expires after 45 seconds).

I did a write up on it a while back at https://nickjanetakis.com/blog/managing-your-passwords-on-th....

darrmit 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I think pass is awesome if you have the workflow that supports it, but for the vast majority (myself included) it's entirely too difficult to setup and maintain. Particularly if you're using Windows regularly.
lower 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using this for a while and am very happy. Especially the ability to use a private git repository for synchronization of laptop and desktop makes this convenient.
amelius 3 hours ago 5 replies      
Anybody else here simply hashing their master password with the domain name of the website?

I think this is something the browser should offer by default.

JetSpiegel 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Using this and something like rofi-pass:


Gets me really close to the holy grail of password managers. Browser integration is possible too with PassFF:


leshow 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used pass for years, it's great.
thesmallestcat 5 hours ago 2 replies      
No, no it's not.
hasenj 4 hours ago 1 reply      
If it becomes standard, people would use it without a master password, and then stealing passwords via malicious scripts will become very easy.
Emacs and Magit lwn.net
197 points by tangue  5 hours ago   121 comments top 14
avar 5 hours ago 13 replies      
If it were to be accepted into Emacs itself that would only be the beginning of the story.

Right now Magit is hosted on Github and anyone can contribute by just sending a pull request.

If it were part of Emacs you'd need to use the FSF's collaboration tools which have a higher barrier of entry, and if you're a first-time contributor with a non-trivial contribution you're going to have to wait days/weeks as your copyright assignment papers make their way over snail-mail.

I've contributed several (trivial) patches to Magit, zero to Emacs itself, and would likely have contributed zero to Magit if it had been an FSF project to begin with.

I think the FSF has gotten their priorities seriously wrong. The package is already licensed under the GPLv3, they're wanting to subject everyone to a more onerous contribution process to guard against the edge case of someone ripping off one specific Emacs package and the FSF not being in a position to have standing in court if they wanted to sue them.

gnuvince 5 hours ago 4 replies      
> Either all of the significant contributors to Magit must sign papers with the FSF (with code from the holdouts being replaced), or an entirely new Emacs interface to Git must be written.

False dichotomy: GNU Emacs can simply not ship with a git porcelain.

Most Emacs users I know typically have dozens of packages installed from MELPA; I don't think most users mind having to install an extra one. If an acceptable agreement regarding copyright assignment cannot be reached, I would really prefer that the status quo be maintained.

dkhenry 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Magit is still the reason I haven't jumped ship to Atom of VSCode at this point and I would hate to see anything happen to it that would negatively effect its development.

As far as the argument goes, I feel the platform is _better_ by having such a marquee package not be included. The barrier to get it installed it quite simple ( run one command ) and it opens up the user to the package management system which is getting better and allows users to bring in all the features that used to require elisp hacking

rcthompson 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So, the reason that FSF wants the hold the copyright to the code they distribute is so that they, as the copyright holder, can enforce the license [1]. But why do they need to be the ones enforcing the license on every bit of code they distribute? They could include Magit with Emacs and just declare that they will not be the ones enforcing the license on that part of the code. The main issue I see with such an arrangement is that if Magit was included with Emacs, then conceivably some low-level Magit functions that have more general use could start to find their way into other Emacs code, and other people writing code for Emacs will use those functions in their code. Then the FSF would be in a situation where some of the code that they hold the copyright to depends on code whose copyright they don't hold.

To prevent this, I guess they could establish a "contrib" directory in the emacs source for GPL3+-compatible code that is distributed with Emacs but whose copyright is not owned by the FSF. Any GPL3+ code, or really any free software code with a compatible license, could be added in this directory, without copyright assignment, if the Emacs maintainers feel it's worth including with Emacs. Then, they could require that code outside the contrib directory must not depend on code inside it, and that would be a fairly easy rule to enforce. Then they can include Magit and whatever other GPL3+ Emacs packages they want to with Emacs, but they will still have precise knowledge of which parts of the code they hold the copyright to and can enforce the license on (namely, everything outside the contrib directory).

Are there any downsides to such an arrangement that I'm missing? Is there something that makes this kind of solution unworkable?

Ultimately, I don't see why the FSF doesn't want to distribute any code that they can't enforce the license on. Maintaining copyright on their own code and distributing other people's code aren't mutually exclusive activities.

[1]: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.en.html

selectnull 5 hours ago 5 replies      
Emacs does not need to bundle Magit (or most other packages for that matter). What it needs is better package manager - built in!

As of recently, I'm an Emacs user (long time Vim user, just wanted some change) and I still have not completely comprehended how MELPA works. If anything should be more closely built in (and documented and standardised) to Emacs, package manager should. Everything else is better placed into outside packages.

If we look at Python world, here and there we can find discussions to include some library into stdlib and there are good reasons not to do it. Yes, batteries included is cool at first but it's no wonder that pythonistas say that "stdlib is place where packages go to die". We can think the same of Emacs and its package system.

bjpbakker 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As one of the small contributors (ranked #225 to be exact) I just became aware of this and emailed the FSF how I can assign them my copyright.

I'm not sure if this is a tedious process but I do believe that it is worth it in the end, when the FSF is able to legally defend this freedom.

green7ea 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Magit is my one of my favorite Emacs packages. It's not entirely intuitive at first but once you get the hang of it, it streamlines the git workflow to a very pleasant interaction.

I highly recommend that anyone using Emacs and git gives Magit a try.

moomin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Whilst appearing even handed, in practice the article fails to mention a single reason for Stallman wanting the copyright assignment. I don't know what his reasons are, but he does tend to have thought through these issues carefully.
freddref 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you've already learned to install and use Emacs, one more package aint gonna kill ya.
hellofunk 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I tried for a long time to get Magit to work on OSX. Never could; anyone else? The way OSX was setup for emacs to hook into the git process was strange and not smooth for getting them to behave well together.
kronos29296 5 hours ago 1 reply      
So like org mode and other packages they want to include magit in Emacs. Just got bigger but magit being such a great package I think they should do it. Hope the copyright assignment happens and FSF does it.
Myrmornis 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Why is there a desire to include things like magit in emacs? (Same question regarding e.g. org-mode). Wouldn't it be better to have a lean core, abiding by the strict FSF rules, and a high quality package ecosystem and package manager? It needn't be a barrier to beginners, high quality "distributions" bundling the great packages like magit and org-mode would appear immediately (kind of exist already, like spacemacs).
hacknat 2 hours ago 3 replies      
The number of people who use emacs, but also need a friendly front end for git has to be vanishingly tiny.
timwaagh 2 hours ago 1 reply      
the reason im not an emacs kind of person is that it comes with too many goodies. it becomes too complex. i have no need for org-mode and if i need a psychiatrist i can use a real one. including git wont help much. its almost as complex as Eclipse the way it is now. including some fancy git interface will not help matters.

so vim it is. if it does not have functionality i need i download it (or write it myself, easy enough). its a shame emacs is such a hodgepodge as i would definitely like to write new editor functionality using a lisp.

NASA Uploads Hundreds of Rare Aircraft Films to YouTube gizmodo.com
36 points by rbanffy  3 hours ago   2 comments top 2
eterm 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
They're uploading the films which have been all be freely available at https://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Movie/index.html for many, many years.

That said, it's a great collection, I remember spending hours downloading single Jpegs because of how high resolution their original scans are. (This was back on dial-up, which gives you an indication how long this site has been around!).

SingletonIface 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
Show HN: End to end deep learning experimentation platform for Tensorflow github.com
94 points by xboost  6 hours ago   11 comments top 3
peterburkimsher 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm taking a course on Deep Learning right now, because my boss asked me to. It's Udacity course number UD730.

The first homework assignment was image recognition on notMNIST. That dataset has been used thousands of times before, so I decided to make it more interesting! I got data for 1500 Chinese fonts, so I could make a better OCR for Chinese characters.

I put that into the example, made the "pickle" files, trained the model, got a 90% prediction-test result value... but now what?

How do I take that model and make a real image OCR that can take a photo from my phone and analyse it?

I can write scripts to get data, and follow the steps in a course to make a model, but unless I have a useful output, I don't know how I'm going to apply this to my other programs. If you're offering "end to end", then documentation and examples of some kind of API would be great. (e.g. send a PNG to this REST service, and get the prediction back as text).

TheAlchemist 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Could you explain how it differs from Keras ? I've looked quickly at the blog intro and examples and it looks very similar to me.
option_greek 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If I have to do MNIST with my custom images (either for training or inference) (png), what steps do I have to follow in here to get it working ?
Y Combinator raising $1B for new fund axios.com
69 points by tamalsaha001  1 hour ago   20 comments top 4
orthoganol 32 minutes ago 1 reply      
I believe it's possible YC has overextended themselves such that top AI companies - the most valuable companies in the future - are going to first try Gradient Ventures or more specialized funds, and it may cost them their future. I understand they want to be a destination for AI, but I have a tough time imagining it. Maybe when they opened the floodgates to 100+ per cohort was when their brand became "the best anything and everything of startups," and if a rich, connected AI veteran launched his own AI fund, I'd be more excited to knock on that door first, if not an AI fund from an org intimately tied to a top AI shop.
justinzollars 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Please don't become a typical VC. I love YC for what it does so well
ericb 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'm wondering if this is related to scaling Startup School. A clear business purpose for YC isn't visible in startup school, yet--could this be related?
richardwhiuk 1 hour ago 2 replies      
YC edging to become more like a typical VC?
How Did Anyone Do Math in Roman Numerals? washingtoncitypaper.com
126 points by iamjeff  8 hours ago   66 comments top 11
zw123456 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I always thought that roman numerals would be a simpler way to do basic arithmetic and might lend itself more to simple commerce. For example: III represents 3 things, so III + II = IIIII For simple commerce application that is simpler, I just have to then remember that IIIII = V, and VV = X and XXXXX = L, LL = C. Armed with just those simple rules I could probably get by in the market place in Rome.

With Arabic numbers, I have to learn that 1 is one thing, 2 represents 2 things, 3 represents 3 things and so on. Then I have to remember that 2 + 2 = 4, and 3 + 2 = 5, there is more memorization required.

Where Roman Numerals for someone with little or no education could get by in the market square with some simple rules and even use twigs as a primitive calculator. It is not until you get to much more complex ideas that the Arabic notation wins out.

So perhaps, different notations lend themselves better or worse depending on the application ?

Just some random thoughts that this very interesting post brought to mind.

WalterBright 5 hours ago 7 replies      
It's interesting how the notation used can encourage or retard progress. For example, Leibniz's calculus notation was vastly superior to Newton's, and calculus theory advanced much more quickly where Leibniz's notation was used.


oaktowner 1 hour ago 2 replies      
You know what I've always wondered? How did they pronounce each number? I mean, I read it "eye, eye-eye, eye-eye-eye, eye-vee, vee, vee-eye."

But of course, there's no way they actually said it that way.

Right? Right??

flipp3r 3 hours ago 2 replies      
> the Romans greatly preferred the simpler IIII to IV, XXXX to XL, and so on. (The IIII-for-4 notation survives today on the faces of clocks.)

looks at watch

Well, damn, it's IIII. However my watch does use IX over VIIII, what's up with that?

ewanm89 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Okay so the article is wrong about some points. We have evidence for both IIII and IV notation in classic roman archeological finds. The obvious example is the entrance fee doors around the colliseum in Rome, they're are engraved with numbers, in both forms of notation.

Seriously I figured they used abacus for everything they just figured out the notation to write it down in at the end some would convert to the if notation while others would not.

barking 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The greeks used the method on this page (http://www.trottermath.net/algebra/multsqs.html) to do multiplication so I suppose the romans did too.
maxxxxx 3 hours ago 5 replies      
Since we have a lot of math experts here I thought I'd ask a question I was always wondering about: Is there an inherent advantage or disadvantage to using the decimal system as we do? Somehow I think octal or hexadecimal would be easier but I am not sure.
thunderbong 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I had, for some reason, never thought of that directly. Although I do remember some joke on arithmetics in one of the Asterix comic books.

But reading this article and trying out a few things, I found it was great fun!

squid_ca 4 hours ago 0 replies      
MayeulC 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The article is wrong on a couple of counts (for multiplication and division).

Here is a more complete one:https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/the-widespread-and-p...

(Surfaced on HN with https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13636277 )

MichaelBurge 5 hours ago 1 reply      
In 2017 we just do:

 $ perl6 -e 'say / ' 4

A Co-Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks acm.org
15 points by tosh  3 hours ago   1 comment top
dboreham 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
A hacker stole $31M of Etherhow it happened, and what it means for Ethereum freecodecamp.org
423 points by HaseebQ  14 hours ago   305 comments top 39
kanzure 11 hours ago 0 replies      
ckastner 7 hours ago 6 replies      
> Having sounded the alarm bells, a group of benevolent white-hat hackers from the Ethereum community rapidly organized. They analyzed the attack and realized that there was no way to reverse the thefts, yet many more wallets were vulnerable. Time was of the essence, so they saw only one available option: hack the remaining wallets before the attacker did.

> By exploiting the same vulnerability, the white-hats hacked all of the remaining at-risk wallets and drained their accounts, effectively preventing the attacker from reaching any of the remaining $77,000,000.

> To prevent the hacker from robbing any more banks, the white-hats wrote software to rob all of the remaining banks in the world. [...]

One argument I keep hearing in favor of cryptocurrencies is that they are beyond the control of individual governments and their regulation through legislation and law enforcement.

Next time, I'm going to use this case as a counterexample, because when the solution to the problem of "hackers robbing banks" is "vigilantes robbing the remaining banks", something is very wrong with your system, and it is certainly not something for the general public.

owenversteeg 10 hours ago 13 replies      
I think the fundamental problem here is an economic one. Make three assumptions:

1) most contracts worth implementing in Ethereum are fairly complex

2) even given great developers, bugs are inevitable in complex code

3) the budget of the contract-makers' security team MUST be smaller than that of the hackers

You quickly see that if the chance of a bug is nonzero, "smart contracts" don't make economic sense. If you have a $100k contract, and you spend $5k on security (which would absolutely destroy most companies' margins by the way) you'll be facing hackers that are EACH willing to spend up to $90k or so. Let's say all the experts in this example world are $200/hr. You spent 25 expert-hours on security. But you're being hacked by people who spent 450 expert-hours on hacking you.

With that in mind, would YOU want to use a smart contract? Spend 5% of the contract value instantly on security, and risk losing 105%? This isn't a normal loss by the way, where you can prosecute someone or sue somebody. No, this is the instant, digital theft of the entire value of the contract, to an anonymous digital address where it will be quickly blended in with hundreds of millions of dollars of similar thefts a month.

shadowmint 11 hours ago 5 replies      
This is a very pro-Ether take on what happened, but ultimately it comes to the right conclusion:

> The problem is that his programming toolchain allowed him to make these mistakes.

Damn straight. The problem is that the model of 'public by default, opt in for security' is fundamentally daft in this context. There's quite a good read on that particular topic here too http://hackingdistributed.com/2017/07/20/parity-wallet-not-a....

...but hey, if this ends up making Ethereum better, more secure and more robust as a result, then that's a good thing; it probably does need a different better language to express code in.

Just remember...

> certainly you should not store any money in a hot wallet that youre not comfortable losing.

dawidloubser 6 hours ago 1 reply      
As long as Ethereum apps are powered by a deeply-flawed programming language (Solidity) and VM (EVM), this will happen over and over again.

Writing provable, secure software is difficult, and highly unlikely if your environment doesn't force the correct mindset. Solidity (poorly named) was made with the primary goal of being easy for JavaScript / Node hackers to use.

The cost of this is now illustrated through the repeat 'hacks' of bad 'smart contracts'.

icelancer 12 hours ago 2 replies      
>"Its important to understand that this exploit was not a vulnerability in Ethereum or in Parity itself."

I mean.... I guess. It's a feature of Ethereum, if we're going to weasel around.

jlebar 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Its going to take a lot of work to develop the training and discipline to treat smart contracts the way that banks treat their ATM software."


ATMs are not secure because of their software. They are secure despite their software.

Maybe eth will reach the point where the police will come after people who try heists like this. That seems much harder than coming after someone who stole $30m from a series of ATMs, though.

Dowwie 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
The world's most expensive security audit...
verytrivial 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm sort of confused[1] that formal proofs are not mandatory tools in this space. There's some Herculean effort underway[2] to create verified HTTPS stack. The failure mode in that case is maybe, sort of data leakage or server control that might be worth something to someone. In the Etherium case, they just walk away with cash. It takes a sort of hubris (or is it foolishness?) to think you can just be very very careful and it will all work out okay.

[1] Actually, its more schadenfreude, partly with the audacity of the speculator and system market makers, and partly at the mindless waste these proof of work/stake systems require.

[2] https://project-everest.github.io/

joeyspn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> a hacker pulled off the second biggest heist in the history of digital currencies.

This is not accurate... the MtGox hack was ~$100M, Bitfinex ~$60M, the DAO $50M, so this would be the 4th, not 2nd.

esseti 8 hours ago 1 reply      
But now, how can the hacker spend it or transoform to USD? To spend them if on online stuff is rather ok, execpt the fact that the items (if are a phisical objects) needs to be sent to an address. If he's going to transoform them to USD or BTC or whatever they need to use a platform, which asks for ids and co.

so, how can he get rich without getting caught?

Cakez0r 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I have to expect that some bug like this has surely happened with a traditional bank too, causing them to lose a bunch of money. Humans inevitably write buggy software regardless of the platform. The difference with blockchain-based currencies is that their failures are forced to happen in public. I'd be interested to know what banks do when they discover that something doesn't add up in their ledger. I can't believe that it has never happened and never will.
gciruelos 11 hours ago 3 replies      
Nothing was stolen. All I see is a programmer abiding by the contracts.
JohnJamesRambo 8 hours ago 2 replies      
As an Ethereum investor, this hack has shaken my belief in Ethereum ever making sense as an ecosystem. Smart contracts which will always be fallible plus irreversible blockchain transactions seems like a peanut butter and tuna fish sandwich.

I moved my money out of Ethereum for now.

seanwilson 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Hmm, so don't most courts consider the spirit of a law/contract as opposed to the exact wording to get around people finding obscure loopholes in the phrasing? That's one area a computer is not going to be forgiving about.

Obviously in this case, reassigning the wallet owner is completely against the spirit of the smart contract. What solutions are there to this? All I can think of is for contract coders to use a language that allows contract constraints to be specified more easily (e.g. "owners cannot be reassigned") and have it verified by the language. Maybe this is a good application of formally verified code but the language being used doesn't seem built with that in mind.

Steeeve 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> In the end, attacks like this are good for the community.

I'm sorry, but what a bunch of baloney.

seanalltogether 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a quote from John Carmack that heavily influences my take on OOP and DRY programming in general.

"A large fraction of the flaws in software development are due to programmers not fully understanding all the possible states their code may execute in."http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/169296/Indepth_Functional...

As long as ethereum contracts support stateful OO contracts, they are bound to run into these kinds of bugs.

kovacs_x 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What I'd like to know as a developer- what was the "great" idea with the "call forwarding" in specific contract function?!

What would be the valid use case, why author decided he should put it there beforehand?

e79 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Manual code review would have likely helped. A tool like this maybe?


artursapek 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You gotta love the hooded figure with overlay of CSS + HTML snippets. Hackers give me the chills!
PhilWright 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Is it possible to track where the money goes from the hackers account onwards? Or is then opaque? How easy will it be for the hacker to move the funds around so it cannot be traced back to the theft?
bitcoinmoney 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Lol. The author really knows how to make click-bait articles. Same guy here: https://www.highstakesdb.com/2375-haseeb-qureshi-admits-to-c...
pmoriarty 12 hours ago 5 replies      
"smart contracts can also do things that normal contracts cant, such as enforce a set of rules entirely through unbreakable cryptography."

Isn't "unbreakable" a bit of a dirty word in the security community? Is there really such a thing as "unbreakable cryptography"?

vasilipupkin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe I'm wrong, but people seem to view smart contracts as theoretically infallible replacement for normal contracts. They to me are nothing of the sort, just some code that makes certain money transfers and disbursements more efficient than if implemented differently. So, of course there will be technical problems and hacks, just like when regular corporations get hacked in the non crypto world
staticelf 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a programmer and I don't understand Ethereum. Sure I haven't really read up on it but if I don't understand it, how will the common man?

I have little faith in this kind of system. Could anyone here explain to a noob how Eth would be any better than Bitcoin?

thinkloop 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the fairest distribution of the recovered white-hat funds:

- return them exactly as they were, with the unlucky people completely losing funds

- distribute them back among everyone based on the % of total funds that were in their wallets

peter303 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Just like the Hans Christian Andersen story:"The emporer has no clothes"
BadBougie 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"Ethereum is a descendant of the Bitcoin protocol, and improves on Bitcoins design"

Misleading statement

nodesocket 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Do we have any idea if the wallets that were stolen from were individuals, companies? How angry would you be if you lost millions and there was nothing you can do.
andretti1977 9 hours ago 3 replies      
How did the white hats understood the vulnerability? I don't know anything about ethereum so i'm honestly asking. Is there a public log of the method invocations so they could see the hacker was exploiting that exact vulnerability and decided to replicate it?
GrumpyNl 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The keep telling me Crypto's are safe.Everybody controls them. I haven't heard of any banks that have been robbed several times this year from these amounts of money. Sounds like me that crypto coins are the easiest hackable sources right now.
heliumcraft 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Again, Gavin Wood did NOT write the change that caused this, he wasn't even the reviewer.
richardknop 7 hours ago 1 reply      
So many Ethereum related posts on front page every day lately. Is this some sort of marketing campaign or the sudden increase is just because of the hack?
dynjo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Criminals stole $40m USD


What does it mean for the dollar?

Answer: Nothing, but people improved their security so it doesn't happen again.

Temasik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
another hardfork?

ethereum oldskool?

mdekkers 8 hours ago 0 replies      
As an aside, every time I see a headline with "Hacker" and an image of a hoodie with binary and mostly dark colour tones, my expectation of the quality of content to follow drops significantly.

Having said that, the actual article is pretty good...

formula1 12 hours ago 2 replies      
The developer shouldn't have executed arbitrary text. Hopefully we can just fork, blacklist the stolen transactions and pretend this didn't happen.
EdSharkey 12 hours ago 6 replies      
Stories like this make me consider whether programmers that engage in commerce should be forced (yes, by law) into guilds that have rigid journeyman and apprenticeship stages before the programmer gets to touch the production environment. Specialized, official, bonded developer roles need to be established.

Our community cannot continue operating in the hacker mode wherever money is involved.

catherinezng 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Great read. Thanks!
You Can Now Explore ISS in Google Street View blog.google
22 points by gbugniot  3 hours ago   3 comments top 3
gbugniot 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Direct link to the famous "Cupola":https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5602853,-95.0853914,3a,75y,2...

BTW Thomas Pesquet, french astronaut behind this work, shares stunning pictures of Earth: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thom_astro/

christiancorwin 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
elvirs 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
did isis mount google streetview cameras on their toyota pickup trucks right next to the antiaircraft machine guns?
These doctors think EHRs are hurting their relationships with patients pbs.org
11 points by rexercises  45 minutes ago   1 comment top
Powerofmene 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
I agree with this. Over the past five to six years I have taken my aging parents to many physician appointments. In the past two years I have seen time spent with physicians expand from five to seven minutes to thirty to thirty five minutes. Less physical exams and more typing, typing and typing.

As a result when you need an appointment what you hear is that nothing is available for three to five days. Numerous times I was unable to get my Dad in for over a week when he needed to be seen. Sometimes progress is not progress for everyone.

Coq-based synthesis of Scala programs which are correct-by-construction [pdf] cnam.fr
94 points by pharrington  10 hours ago   19 comments top 4
tehmillhouse 6 hours ago 3 replies      
If you're interested in this kind of thing, note that Coq can also extract code in Haskell, Scheme and OCaml.

If Coq's not quite your cup of tea, Isabelle/HOL is another proof assistant with amazing (dare I say superior?) tooling and automation, and it supports code extraction in SML, OCaml, Haskell and Scala.

Microsoft Research's Lean theorem prover is also promising in this regard. Work is almost complete on native code compilation (via C code extraction), allowing you to compile all the constructions you can formalize in Lean directly to native code. (see https://github.com/leanprover/lean/pull/1241 for progress)

(Note that none of those code extractors are verified to be correct themselves, lacking a formalization of the target language's semantics. You don't get a mathematical proof that the code you're running does what you specified, but you get pretty damn close.)

pharrington 9 hours ago 0 replies      
unboxed_type 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder why they have not used Coq's extraction approach?
amelius 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I didn't read the paper, but is this restricted to purely functional programs?
Ask HN: How do you invite contributors to contribute on your project?
13 points by wasi0013  1 hour ago   1 comment top
FLGMwt 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you have a project looking for continuing, this question might be a good place :)
Buried tools and pigments tell a history of humans in Australia for 65,000 years theconversation.com
77 points by iamjeff  10 hours ago   48 comments top 6
dalbasal 7 hours ago 3 replies      
It puts to bed the whole idea that humans wiped them (megafauna) out, said Dr. Clarkson. Were talking 20,000 to 25,000 years of coexistence.

Does it? Is it not still possible that human populations increased, new (less mgafauna friendly) cultures emerged or subsequent migrations caused one of these? Humans co-existed with large animals in many places, before causing extinctions at later points.

peatmoss 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll note that one of the co-authors, Ben Marwick, has been very active in elevating reproducible computing practices in research. My understanding is that there's code and data available for this research.

Also, here's a short bit about reproducibility from Marwick that is worth a read for anyone in academia: http://theconversation.com/how-computers-broke-science-and-w...

teilo 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Well, this will certainly bolster the "Out of Australia" theorists.


sohkamyung 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I prefer the version published in The Conversation [1] by the researches themselves. It contains more details including one part left out of the NYTimes version: that the work was done with the approval of the Aboriginal people who control the site:

"To make new research possible, a landmark agreement was reached between the University of Queensland (and associated researchers) and the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation representing the Mirarr traditional owners of the site.

The agreement gave ultimate control over the excavation to the Mirarr senior custodians, with oversight of the excavation and curation of the material. The Mirarr were interested to support new research into the age of the site and to know more about the early evidence of technologies thought to be present there."

[1] [ https://theconversation.com/buried-tools-and-pigments-tell-a... ]

aaron695 10 hours ago 3 replies      
You don't get published for confirming existing theory (Sad but true, to an extent)

So I'd bet against it.

The article itself links to another article that seems to have evidence contradicting it -


It'd be interesting to hear an expert opinion on it.

grecy 7 hours ago 4 replies      
This is one of my favorite things about Australia, because science has absolutely no explanation for how humans arrived in Australia that long ago.

It massively predates any boats, and there are no boats in the history of the Aboriginals.

In fact nobody has even really bothered to try an explain it, because it's way, way, way outside the story that everyone came out of Africa.

Ask HN: Ubuntu Desktop Default Apps
36 points by dustinkirkland  4 hours ago   32 comments top 25
Kostic 14 minutes ago 1 reply      
Web Browser: Firefox

Email Client: Thunderbird

Terminal: Tilix[0], Gnome Terminal,

IDE: Visual Studio Code (although it's not a fully fledged IDE)

File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: Gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: Polari, HexChat

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice

Calendar: Gnome Calendar

Video Player: Totem

Music Player: Lollypop[1]

Photo Viewer: Eye of Gnome

Screen recording: Peek[2]

[0] https://github.com/gnunn1/tilix

[1] http://gnumdk.github.io/lollypop-web/

[2] https://github.com/phw/peek

a_humean 1 minute ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Chromium, Firefox, Chrome

Email Client: Gmail web

Terminal: Gnome Terminal

IDE: VS Code

File manager: nautilus

Basic Text Editor: gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: xchat

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: Office360 web, LibreOffice

Calendar: Gnome Calendar, Google Calendar web

Video Player: smplayer

Music Player: cmus, Spotify non-free

Photo Viewer: Eye of Gnome

haspok 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
I have but one humble wish: when I want to start the calculator app I open the Dash and type "calc". However for some reason LibreOffice Calc has higher priority than the Calculator app, so I always have to select it specifically (instead of just pressing Enter) - even though I might have never used the LibreOffice Calc on this computer. Can you make the LibreOffice Calc app lower priority in the Dash please. Thank you.
gremlinsinc 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser : Google Chrome StableEmail: ThunderbirdTerminal : TerminatorIDE: Sublime Text3/Vs Code.File Manager: Thunar/NautilusBasic Text: GeditIRC: IrssiPDF ? (Usually just use chrome)Office Suite: LibreCalendar : (don't use)Video Player.: vlcMusic Player: A good google play music/spotify app that can stream to chromecast would be nice... Photo Viewer: N/aScreen Recording: Don't know of any.

Caveat.. not a ubuntu user here per se... But left because of some of the bloatware/opinonated stuff and it crashed a lot. Plus I like Antergos with i3-gnome better than anything I've ever used before... Much better performance, less crashes/bugs...etc..

SingletonIface 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web browser: Firefox, Chromium. Comment: It is important that neither Chrome nor Chromium eat too much market share in order for the web to remain healthy.

Email client: ??? Comment: I use mutt but I'm wishing for something better. mutt is too limited

Terminal: Terminology, urxvt

IDE: None; neo-vim is sufficient for programming tasks, don't need most IDE features.

File manager: What ever is the default for the selected DE.

Basic Text Editor: neo-vim

IRC/Messaging Client: irssi and Pidgin

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice

Calendar: Don't know

Video player: VLC

Music player: Tomahawk

Photo Viewer: What ever is default for the selected DE

Screen recording: Open Broadcast Studio

Freak_NL 3 hours ago 1 reply      
For most I would say the current defaults more than suffice.

Web Browser: Firefox. Of the two modern web browsers that are applicable (Chromium being the other), Mozilla and Firefox are more in tune with the free software mentality many users of Ubuntu adhere. It is an excellent browser as well.

Email Client: Thunderbird? Are there mature alternatives that will work for most people that use a standalone mail application?

Terminal: Keep gnome-terminal, it's perfectly fine for most.

IDE: None. Leave this to the user. An IDE need not be present by default, as it depends greatly one the language chosen. For simple scripting Gedit suffices at first, and associating code files with Gedit by default is fine too.

File manager: I take it Gnome Shell still ships with Nautilus?

Basic Text Editor: Nothing wrong with Gedit.

PDF Reader: Evince. Mature and fast.

Office Suite: LibreOffice of course.

Video Player: Something that supports everything you can throw at it.

Music Player: I'm partial to Quod Libet. :)

kevincox 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Firefox

Email Client: Thunderbird

Terminal: gnome-terminal

IDE: neovim

File manager: nautilus

Basic Text Editor: gedit (but actually neovim)

IRC/Messaging Client: None

PDF Reader: evince

Office Suite: Libreoffice

Calendar: Lightning (thunderbird plugin)

Video Player: Totem

Music Player: Totem/None

Photo Viewer: eog

Screen recording: I don't use them frequently enough to remember one I like.

brian_herman 17 minutes ago 3 replies      
Kind of offtopic but is there a linux terminal program that when you paste a bunch of commands with carriage returns asks you if you want to continue?
erazor42 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Chromium

Email Client: gmail

Terminal: terminator

IDE: Sublime / VSCode

File manager: terminator

Basic Text Editor: Sublime

IRC/Messaging Client: irssi

PDF Reader: Chromium plugin

Office Suite: Libre office (I'd prefer Microsoft one)

Calendar: Google calendar

Video Player: vlc

Music Player: YouTube :D

Photo Viewer: basic gallery

Screen recording: -

antihero 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Chromium

Email Client: None

Terminal: Tilix?

IDE: vs-code

File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: vs code

IRC/Messaging Client: None

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice

Calendar: Gnome Calenar

Video Player: mpv

Music Player: Audacious

Photo Viewer: ???

Screen recording: ???

petepete 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Firefox

Email Client: Geary

Terminal: Gnome terminal

IDE: ???

File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: Gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: Empathy/Polari

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: Libre Office

Calendar: Gnome calendar

Video Player: Totem

Music Player: Gnome music

Photo Viewer: Shotwell (definitely not Darktable or RawTherapee, far too complicated)

Screen recording: Built in Gnome screen recorder

brian_herman 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Firefox

Email Client: Thunderbird

Terminal: gnome-terminal

IDE: vscode

File manager: nautilus

Basic Text Editor: gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: ???

PDF Reader: evince

Office Suite: libreoffice

Calendar: Thunderbird

Video Player: vlc

Music Player: vlc

Photo Viewer: evince

Screen recording: never use one so I dont really have an opinion

devillius 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Firefox, Chromium, Chrome

Email Client: Thunderbird

Terminal: gnome-terminal

IDE: Atom, VS Code

File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: None

PDF Reader: None

Office Suite: Libreoffice, Openoffice

Calendar: None

Video Player: VLC

Music Player: None

Photo Viewer: None

Screen recording: Recordmydesktop (Kali recorder)

dallamaneni 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Firefox

Email Client: Thunderbird

Terminal: Terminator

IRC/Messaging Client: Pidgin, Thunderbird

PDF Reader: evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice

Calendar: Thunderbird

Video Player: VLC

acidburn1995 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: palemoon

Email Client: mutt

Terminal: terminator

IDE: jetbrains stuff, vim

File manager: ranger, nautilus

Basic Text Editor: vim

IRC/Messaging Client: hexchat

PDF Reader: evince

Office Suite: libreoffice

Calendar: cal, webshit

Video Player: mplayer,vlc,totem

Music Player: clementine

Photo Viewer: feh

Screen recording: shutter

mrkrabo 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've removed the ones I don't use.

Web Browser: Chrome

Email Client: Evolution

Terminal: gnome-terminal


File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: Gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: HexChat

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice

Video Player: mpv

Music Player: GTK3 frontend of Audacious

Photo Viewer: eog

dustinkirkland 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you'd prefer, you can fill out the survey here:


smacktoward 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Firefox, Chromium

Email Client: Thunderbird. (Note: I'm a bit worried about the future of TB, with Mozilla cutting back its support of the project. Since it's been the default email client in Ubuntu since forever, it would be great to see Canonical pitch in to support it more.)

Terminal: GNOME Terminal

IDE: Does Ubuntu need to ship with an IDE?

File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: Gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: Does Ubuntu need to ship with an IRC client?

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice

Calendar: GNOME Calendar, Lightning

Video Player: VLC

Music Player: Clementine

Photo Viewer: No opinion

Screen recording: No opinion

brudgers 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What I want is no change unless there is a good reason to change. The internet voting for Browsey McBrowseface etc. is not, in my opinion, a good reason to change.

There are things Canonical does well, I think. Those things are technical. When it comes to trying to be Microsoft/Apple/Google, it misses the mark. In part because it assumes that which PDF reader it ships with matters to users.

Good luck.

_R_ 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Chrome, Chromium

Email Client: unity-mail

Terminal: Gnome Terminal


File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: Gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: None

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice, Google Drive

Calendar: Gnome Calendar, Google Calendar

Video Player: VLC, YouTube

Music Player: Audacious

Photo Viewer: Gnome Image Viewer

Screen recording: None

Giako 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Chromium, Firefox, Chrome

Email Client: Thunderbird, Web GMail

Terminal: Terminix

IDE: IntelliJ IDEA Community, Eclipse

File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: GEdit

PDF Reader: evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice, Google Drive

Calendar: Thunderbird Lightning, Google Calendar

Video Player: Totem

Music Player: Spotify webapp, Spotify client non-free

FranOntanaya 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Web Browser: Firefox

Email Client: Thunderbird

Terminal: Gnome-Terminal

IDE: None

File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: Gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: Whatever supports Slack and Discord I guess.

PDF Reader: Current choice is fine.

Office Suite: LibreOffice

Video Player: I prefer SMPlayer to VLC for simple playback

Music Player: Clementine

Photo Viewer: gThumb

Screen recording: Kazam

j0ar 55 minutes ago 0 replies      

 Web Browser: Firefox, Opera Email Client: Geary, Thunderbird, pantheon-mail (when the new version is ready) Terminal: gnome-terminal, pantheon-terminal IDE: ??? File manager: Nautilus, Thunar, pantheon-files Basic Text Editor: gedit, scratch-text-editor (from elementaryOS) IRC/Messaging Client: Telegram PDF Reader: envince Office Suite: Libre Calendar: gnome-calendar (please please please with Caldav support for posteo) Video Player: totem, mpv (gnome-mpv) Music Player: audacious Photo Viewer: gnome-viewer Screen recording: ???

jacek 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Web Browser: Firefox, Opera (non-free)

Email Client: Thunderbird

Terminal: Tilix, gnome-terminal

IDE: Atom, gnome-builder

File manager: Nautilus

Basic Text Editor: gedit

IRC/Messaging Client: telegram-desktop

PDF Reader: Evince

Office Suite: LibreOffice

Calendar: gnome-calendar

Video Player: gnome-mpv, smplayer

Music Player: gnome-music, Spotify (non-free)

Photo Viewer: gnome photo viewer (don't know the name)

Screen recording: don't use

Photo editing: Darktable

Note taking: QOwnNotes

Research source organization: Zotero

ovh 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Totally agree with Freak_NL.

For video player, definitely VLC.

The Decline of Investment in San Francisco Startups tomtunguz.com
178 points by kawera  12 hours ago   197 comments top 19
kevinburke 11 hours ago 9 replies      
Both top-level comments have mentioned housing prices. I grew up in the Bay Area and want to stay here and I am trying to work to change policy to help build more housing. Unfortunately due to law, bad policy and NIMBY's the market is not going to solve this problem on its own, without political change rents and housing prices will keep increasing. Here are some political actions you can take to help:

- call your State Assemblymember about SB 35, which would streamline (read: Force cities to approve) the production of housing near transit. Up for a vote very soon

- call your State Assemblymember and ask them to vote Yes on AB 71, which would end the state tax deduction on second/third homes and use the money to build affordable housing.

- contact the Brisbane City Council and ask them to build housing on the Baylands, near Bayshore Caltrain. The developer wants to build 4,400 units and the city wants to build 0. Baylands@ci.brisbane.ca.us

- Ask for more housing in the Central SOMA plan. BART and Caltrain are packed every commute hour and they want to add 50,000 new jobs and only 7,500 new housing units. Best is to show up for the hearings, failing that, email the plan director, steve.wertheim@sfgov.org. http://sf-planning.org/central-soma-plan#contacts

nailer 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This is excellent opportunity for anyone who wants investment from west coast VCs but doesn't want to deal with San Francisco, Oakland or the bay area.

San Francisco frequently has human feces on the sidewalk in many areas right near the city center, high housing prices and a combination of startup bros and angry hard left outrage culture folk. The bay area is a cultureless void and Oakland is still dangerous.

Better Portland, LA or (from what I hear) Boulder.

ultimoo 11 hours ago 4 replies      
TL;DR: The investments are moving from the city proper to South Bay over the last 2-3 years. Mostly a good writeup backed by sufficient data points.

If I may anecdotally share my observations, of the handful of people that I personally know who have founded Startups in 2016 and 2017 -- all of them are in their late 30s, and have dependents (spouse, children, pets). All of them currently live on the peninsula or in the south bay, even if at some point in the past most of them lived in the city.

It is increasingly getting harder and harder to justify the costs of living in the city in view of the small livable space that your apartment gets you. Add to that a lousy school system, a never-ending homeless problem, and an incompetent MTA. Living in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, or Mtv. mitigates most of these flaws while retaining all the upside of being in the bay area.

fragmede 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Complaining about housing prices and city living are easy targets; there's a secondary question - what are SF founder pitching VC's? and how does that compare to what founders are pitching down in the valley?

Is everyone in SF pitching yet another subscription box food delivery services? Drones? VR?

Also keep in mind this is VC investment money - it comes with a price, and in the graph of rounds, by region, series A rounds are down from a peak in 2014, but SF and SV are fairly close - it's the other rounds where SF has really fallen. An alternate explanation (based on the very limited data presented here) could be that SF companies are to keep going without accepting VC funding; either with large cash infusions from the blue chips, or by having enough customers give them enough money.

babesh 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
Different sectors are hot now and different sectors are concentrated in different areas. Its not consumer social that is hot. Nor is it enterprise. It appears to be silicon. That is South Bay.
richardknop 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I think remote working really is a part of solution to this.

Perhaps augmented/virtual reality could be a good solution for some sort of application to have remote meetings with colleagues with headset in a virtual room/scenery and collaborate like that.

It could be used for daily standups and other meetings and it would remove the social isolation problem of remote working and make it much more feasible. Is any AR/VR company working on anything like that?

readhn 8 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a self correcting cycle. Money pours in - salaries and living expenses go up - real estate goes up. Money flows out - everything shrinks.

What goes up must come down. Everything is cyclical. SF economy is no exception.

mathattack 4 hours ago 0 replies      
People complaining about real estate prices miss the point, or didn't read the article. Non-SF Silicon Valley firms got more funding, ruling out cost of living as the reason.
rl3 8 hours ago 3 replies      
What are the best alternatives to the Bay Area?

Off the top of my head I'm thinking Portland, Seattle, Boston, Austin and Chicago in no particular order.

The annoying part is that there's so much talent concentrated in the Bay Area that it makes going elsewhere very difficult, especially if you have specific senior talent in mind that have already established their lives there.

Hopefully telepresence tech gets so good that one day it won't matter.

jpao79 8 hours ago 4 replies      
A few questions for HN:

1.) Do you think San Jose will ever become "a thing" for tech startups? Is there enough to do there? There is a WeWork and San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. Or is a waterfront view what make San Francisco, Seattle and Portland what they are? Also, if you did want to live in San Jose there where are the up and coming places for HNers to live?

2.) Cupertino used to be cherry orchards and suburbs. Will Morgan Hill (strawberries) or Brentwood (cherries) ever become "a thing"?

3.) Is it bad if housing prices are high on the West and East Coasts? If housing was unconstrained in the Bay Area and at cost parity with the MidWest, wouldn't that remove any reason to live in the MidWest?

tshiran 9 hours ago 0 replies      
We considered starting a company in SF a couple years ago. I'm glad that we decided to instead start it in Mountain View (http://www.dremio.com). We're able to attract very talented people from San Jose, Milpitas, Redwood City, etc. where rents are a bit more reasonable.
sulam 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The smart bet IMO is out of the US altogether. Eastern Europe (and Moscow/St Petersburg), China, Brazil, Argentina.
peter303 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Too many infantile products. Basically apps telling you what earlier generation knew through common sense.
hjorthjort 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no-one is calling "regression towards the mean" on this.
parandeh 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Another explanation could be that real estate costs is driving founders and startups out of the city. If most of the founders don't live in SF, they're more likely to open offices in the valley. Heavy traffic to/from SF doesn't help with the situation.
timothycrosley 8 hours ago 1 reply      
For people looking for an escape from San Francisco: come join us in Seattle! https://www.codementor.io/blog/best-cities-software-engineer... it's great here. And we have been building several times the housing to keep up with demand: http://www.spur.org/news/2017-06-15/keep-building-oakland.
_pmf_ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't see how more vetted, responsible investing hurts anybody.
fblp 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if Tunguz looked at B2B vs B2C trends. It seems that there's lots of B2C apps in SF that are crashing, yet many of the startups in outside SF in the valley are B2B.
tanilama 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I say this is a good thing. Bubble benefits no one.
SaaS, PaaS and IaaS explained in one graphic oursky.com
55 points by ashitlerferad  1 hour ago   19 comments top 7
sverhagen 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
It says "BaaS" in one diagram, I didn't know that one. I've probably been referring to the same as "Middleware-as-a-Service". And I'm disappointed in it. As amazing as it still is that Amazon and friends let you spin up machines at will, this day and age, I find us (where I work) still rolling a lot of stuff ourselves, that I'd hope by now to be able to buy as a service inside Amazon. (From Amazon, or from 3rd parties that integrate into your Amazon account, somehow magically, I don't know what that model would be.) Still we're doing our own Elasticsearch, JMS, databases (been burned on RDS), cache, Kubernetes, and so on. Is this just a market that hasn't matured yet? (While SaaS probably has?) Not because AWS offers nothing for it, but just because it's quite not always the best of breed.

(Disclaimer: while we practice DevOps quite a bit, me being a Java architect, I'm still not an operations expert, so I may well overlook something real obvious...)

jondubois 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
- SaaS is for those who can't code.

- BaaS is for hackathon participants.

- PaaS is for web developers.

- IaaS is for software engineers.

- On-premise is for dinosaurs.

justin66 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am pretty sure the point of these graphics is to get people deeply pondering what the #*#$ "drinks" represent in the analogy and, while they are staring into space, sneak up on them and steal their wallet.
TheMagicHorsey 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Why don't people just explain it with actual computers instead of pizza? MBAs are not that dumb.
andrenotgiant 1 hour ago 2 replies      
bonzini 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I have just realized that all the time I have been reading the pizza-as-a-service graph the wrong way (that is, the way the author suggests instead).

This is the key point: "The [original graph] doesnt allow customization, which is what IaaS and PaaS offer".

Spivak 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I like how being full-stack is 'legacy'. I do understand the separation of concerns though: once you are big enough to afford a team of sysadmins and infrastrcture people you can provide your devs in-house PaaS and IaaS.
Comic Con Tunisia: Where cosplay and conscience collide middleeasteye.net
43 points by jackgavigan  6 hours ago   2 comments top 2
jgrahamc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This article mentions the Star Wars sets in Tunisia. I had the opportunity to visit them a few years ago: http://blog.jgc.org/2011/01/visit-to-mos-espa-on-tatooine.ht...
curiousgal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It is heartwarming watching Tunisia's transition into an actual beacon of hope for the Arab world.
Azure Stack Running in an Azure VM azurestack.blog
54 points by darmour_msft  12 hours ago   8 comments top 2
majewsky 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It's turtles all the way down.
OkGoDoIt 8 hours ago 3 replies      
Is there a reason you would ever want to do this in the real world or is this just pushing the boundaries for the sake of experimenting?

Im not sure what the use case is for adding an extra layer of azure infrastructure on top of the existing azure infrastructure. I assume it costs more than just running on azure directly and doesnt really get you any privacy/efficiency/performance benefits since its still running on the azure cloud. Perhaps it makes migration/deployment easier in some way?

Ethereum from scratch Part 1: Ping ocalog.com
469 points by mjfl  19 hours ago   109 comments top 9
canada_dry 18 hours ago 6 replies      
Though I meet the criteria as stated (knowledge level wise - I'm a retired IT Exec/long time geek), yet this still is a bit too esoteric for me.

As one of the 'killer apps' for ethereum is smart contracts, I'd like to see this explained in a 'for dummies' high level way, then decomposed into the finer technical chunks needed to make it happen.

mjfl 19 hours ago 12 replies      
Hi all, I'm the author of the post, and also the creator of the website. I'm writing this series of posts to demonstrate the site. Do you guys get what the site's trying to do?

Hope you enjoy the post. If you have any constructive criticism you'd like to give regarding either the post or the website, let me know!

mgbmtl 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the intro, very clear! I also like the narrative cross-referencing the docs, which people will sooner or later need to do as well. I have to admit that I only glanced over the code.

This caught my attention: "In the EndPoint specification, it demands the "BE encoded 4-byte" address, which is exactly what's outputted by self.address.packed."

Does this mean that Ethereum only supports IPv4?

I searched around and only found this, dating back to 2014: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/IPv6

mjfl 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi! Thank you all for the attention! I was not expecting it!

It seems that the user registration emails are causing a 500 server error and I'm working on a fix.

Edit: I'm bypassing the email confirmations for now, if you got a 500 error, please try to login using the account you signed up with. It should work, otherwise email me at mflynn210 <at> gmail.com.

andrewbinstock 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Java Magazine published an article on Ethereum, explaining how it works, and how to access from Java [1]

[1] http://www.javamagazine.mozaicreader.com/JanFeb2017#&pageSet...

Artlav 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Neat. I contemplated writing something like that, only without the "import rlp" cheat.

Basically, there were a lot of blind spots in the official documentation and it took me a while to figure out things like how to make a proper key recovery id or which endianness to use where in the messages.

How far have you been able to get to? I still can't quite wedge into the mainnet - the nodes keep disconnecting me for unknown reasons some time after, and finding a new node to connect to takes a while.

My node does works rather well on the ropsten testnet, however.

zagdul 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Wasn't the purpose of bitcoin to eventually hit a limit someday? Isn't the creation of Ethereum just devaluing bitcoin?
mdevere 18 hours ago 0 replies      
excellent thank you
aqsheehy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Ponzi pumping
The DAO, the Hack, the Soft Fork and the Hard Fork cryptocompare.com
80 points by jacquesm  5 hours ago   71 comments top 7
nkrisc 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I've only just started following Ethereum in light of this incident and the other recent one I saw on HN yesterday. That said, if I understand it, the "attacker" was just the first person to truly understand the contract and exploit that understanding, no? If what happened isn't what the creators of the contract intended, then that's the fault of the creators, not the "attacker". Lastly, if they'll fork for one bad contract, why not fork for all bad contracts?
koolba 3 hours ago 2 replies      
> This is not a bailout as you are not taking money from the community, it is just a return of funds to the original investors

Isn't this the exact definition of a bailout? Specifically it's bailing out the investors in the DAO.

shp0ngle 3 hours ago 7 replies      
There is way too much Ethereum and Bitcoin stuff on HN now. :/
sanxiyn 5 hours ago 4 replies      
It was wrong to fork Ethereum. Terms of DAO were pretty clear and there was no reason to refund.
npongratz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> The super majority of people (89%) voted for the Hard-Fork...

Wasn't it 89% of those who voted? What was the voter participation rate?

tromp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> A few hours before it was supposed to be released a few members of the community found a bug with the implementation that opened a denial-of-service attack vector. This soft fork was designed to blacklist all the transactions made from The DAO

In particular, blacklisting DAO operations means that one can broadcast transactions that perform huge computations but just before running out of gas, perform a DAO operation. This huge waste of resources by miners cannot be compensated if the transaction cannot be included...

GrumpyNl 5 hours ago 3 replies      
As i predicted then in my statements, a fork would be the start of the downfall of the crypto currency. They smashed the foundation of crypto currency down, the unbreakable block chain. Solution, just fork it :(
Unlocking the Secrets Behind the Hummingbird's Frenzy nationalgeographic.com
36 points by Hooke  11 hours ago   1 comment top
ivan_ah 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Mechanical Turing Machine in Wood (2015) live.com
52 points by breck  11 hours ago   15 comments top 5
pmarreck 46 minutes ago 1 reply      
File will no longer download. Please do not use Microsoft Live for this stuff. Can someone re-host it at a less obnoxious site?
breck 11 hours ago 1 reply      
jfries 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow that is one beautiful machine, and the documentation is beautiful too.Imagine if software could be this clearly illustrated, where one glance immediately gives full understanding of the interaction of a dozen parts.
jimhefferon 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't reproduce it in wood but I'd love to be able to 3D print a copy. Very nice!
eof 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I like to use examples like this to illustrate why classical computers will never become conscious despite the hype.
We currently have no plans to support Xwayland nvidia.com
174 points by ollien  13 hours ago   248 comments top 19
posguy 12 hours ago 6 replies      
For a company that is wholly reliant on Linux to sell quite a few of their products, the lack of support from Nvidia continues to be impressive.

Intel is actively trying to kill off lowend and mid-range GPUs in the desktop, and has locked them out in the mobile space, leaving Nvidia with just the high end GPU market and their ventures into the ARM SOC space.

By not treating Linux end user devices as first class citizens, I don't see how Nvidia intends to have a viable business long term. Who wants a tablet, phone or desktop GPU without drivers?

pfooti 11 hours ago 1 reply      
this isn't "no plans to support wayland" - these drivers are built to support wayland. It's the Xwayland translation layer they're talking about here, which (I think - my understanding is a bit thin here) is for running applications that are compiled to use X11 graphics in a wayland environment.

So: it could well be that this is an issue of resource allocation more than anything else. Over time, most applications should move to using wayland (or whatever window / surface library emerges as the clear winner, but that looks like wayland is the future here) for their graphics. A lot of effort into supporting Xwayland would mean work spent on a library that should be of limited utility - only useful during the transition between platforms (like the old carbon layer for OSX in the early 10.0, 10.1 days). Right? Or maybe I'm misreading it.

hyperion2010 12 hours ago 3 replies      
I've been following the X11 vs Wayland story since very close to the beginning and have built and used wayland and weston multiple times over the years. Cutting through all the FUD on both sides, my conclusion is that Wayland was created in the context of some very specific use cases which essentially preclude it from being a general solution that can replace X by itself (it could succeed if there was a single project to reimplement X in a sane way, but leaving it to GKT and QT is NOT a solution by any stretch of the imagination). Nvidia's engagement with linux simply does not cover the use cases that Wayland was created to address. In my view desktop/workstation use cases are not sufficiently covered by Wayland, and that is where nvidia's focus has been.

tl;dr Nvidia has no need to play in this space, anyone using X will just use X without the translation layer.

concede_pluto 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Ouch. Is Xwayland still the only way to do remoting? https://wayland.freedesktop.org/faq.html#heading_toc_j_8 just punts on it and speculates about what could theoretically happen someday, but I don't even know how or why I'd start using a backend that can only run on one computer.
seiferteric 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Why is support from nvidia even needed? I remember that there was always this weird thing where graphics drivers were written for X11 instead of being part of the kernel (or a module) like all other drivers, is this still the case? Why can't they write a kernel (framebuffer?) driver so no specific support is needed for a desktop environment?
gigatexal 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Is AMD supporting xwayland? If so Ill just buy their stuff and call it a day.
shmerl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
That's just too bad, especially for those who use Wine (Wine on Wayland now looks completely stalled, and XWayland would be the only way to use it in the foreseeable future). Firefox is also far from ready.

But Mesa really caught up lately, so switching to AMD was never as good. Just forget Nvidia and enjoy properly integrated graphics stack.

reikonomusha 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Note that this is not equivalent to saying "we plan to not/we will not support Xwayland." It just means it's not currently in the pipeline (and may or may not be in the future).
dragonne 12 hours ago 3 replies      
I guess I have no plans to buy another Nvidia card, then. Their current X11 drivers tear like crazy, and I have hope that Wayland will fix that.
sunnyps 10 hours ago 0 replies      
From what I gather, it's about GLX support in Xwayland. Most general purpose applications won't be affected* but games would be.

* The big exception is Chrome which uses GLX for accelerated rendering. The software fallback path uses a lot more CPU and won't support WebGL AFAIK.

Iv 12 hours ago 4 replies      
Yeah well I doubt they keep that stance for very long. Nvidia is investing like crazy in keeping the deep learning community happy about their products and they are disproportionately on Linux.

If/when Wayland becomes the default for Ubuntu, Nvidia will follow. Can't let them ponder the amount of time it would take to code the missing layers for AMD hardware

userbinator 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps Linus needs to give them another middle finger.
sleavey 12 hours ago 5 replies      
What's the best supported graphics card line on Linux now and in the near future, anyway? I recently tried to search and it was difficult to get good information.
kronos29296 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This really sucks considering that nvidia drivers have better perf than nouveau. Well can't help it, only nouveau till nvidia releases new ones.
ajdlinux 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, that's seriously disappointing.

As of recently, I have a mixed 1920x1200 and 4K setup on my home desktop, and 1920x1200 + 2560x1440 setup on my work laptop. I was very interested in what I'd heard about Wayland supporting per-monitor scaling and hoping to move over whenever KDE's Wayland support stabilised.

Well, I guess I'll still be doing that on my work laptop with its Intel graphics... here's hoping AMD does better for my next desktop GPU upgrade.

jolux 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Is xwayland the same thing as wayland?
thrillgore 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I've consistently had issues with Vulkan on the 960M my laptop has. Nvidia sure makes it easy for me to go back to AMD.

The graphics market is dangerously locked up by two players and its time some new players took the capital risk and stepped in. Nvidia would probably give a shit if someone bothered to challenge their share of the market in both graphics and computational space.

microcolonel 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I currently have no plans to buy an NVIDIA card ever again for display; and if AMD does well enough, probably not for compute either. They've been consistently useless in supporting the platforms I want to use for work and play, and while they've gotten a shade better over the last decade, not as better as their competition in the discrete GPU market.
jopsen 12 hours ago 4 replies      
This is why I buy Intel graphics only... No laptops with Nvidia, not even dual graphics.

Maybe AMD if they drop proprietary drivers. But never Nvidia.

80-year Harvard study has been showing how to live a healthy and happy life harvard.edu
378 points by t23  21 hours ago   136 comments top 22
rubicon33 18 hours ago 19 replies      
What I take from this article is that social interaction is extremely important to ones health, and it's something that we largely taken for granted. In the age of computers and secluded work environments, I think we need to be aware of the effect that even casual interaction has on our mental and physical health. I have some personal/anecdotal experience which back this research up and affirms my belief that communication and interaction with others is vital.

I've been working from home for a number of years. During this time I've on average spoken with and interacted with 1 person every day - my wife.

I occasionally go out, occasionally see family members, but the majority of my day-to-day work is quiet, alone, working at a computer.

- I have been more sick in recent years than ever before in my life. This is even compared to previously living in a major city and taking public transportation.

- I have been experiencing sharp mental decline especially in the last year. Solving complex problems is much more challenging.

- My memory is suffering. Even my wife has begun to notice, I forget little things and have developed an "aloof professor" disposition that wasn't natural to me.

- I now find social interaction more difficult. I'm more akward, and find myself over-thinking previously natural interactions.

- Lastly ... I'm far more depressed. I just don't enjoy much these days. I wake up, work, don't talk to many people.

The TLDR here is that I urge everyone to tend to their social garden. I let mine decay for too long, and I'm paying the price now. I am beginning the process of restoring connections, and getting out more, and I'm already noticing an improved mood.

Oh and I should mention - I'm naturally an introvert so this reclusive lifestyle was all too comfortable for me.

indescions_2017 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I've got a simple hack I employ when in a new city. All through my twenties, I moved basically every year or two. Most of the time I had a network of family or associates to drawn upon before arrival. But often, I'd find myself a complete stranger, knowing not a single soul.

What I'd do is this: find a local diner, not a touristy place, but a real local institution and landmark. And then eat dinner there every single night at the same time. If constrained budget wise, look for the early bird dinner specials. Become a regular. Trade gossip with the wait-staff, complement the cooks on their sublime creations, chat up the little old ladies, engage the workmen about their craft. After a few weeks you'll find yourself invited to birthday parties and have the opportunity to give back your own time and energy, shovelling a driveway or helping out at a food drive.

A summer time variant: farmers markets. They typically have the same vendors every week and will remember you if you purchase a quart of organic honey and ask with genuine interest questions about their practise. Offer to get them started on Facebook / Shopify. Pretty soon, word spreads and you're no longer a stranger in town!

fernly 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I find this perfectly credible because almost exactly the same conclusions were stated by Putnam in the classic _Bowling Alone_ [1]. A couple of pull-quotes from that,

> Dozens of painstaking studies... have established beyond reasonable doubt that ... [t]he more integrated we are with our community, the less likely we are to experience colds, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, depression and premature death of all sorts...

> ... the positive contributions to health made by social integration and social support rival in strength the detrimental contributions of ... risk factors like ... smoking, obesity, elevated blood pressure, and physical inactivity.

> ...as a rough rule of thumb, if you belong to no groups but decide to join one, you cut your risk of dying over the next year in half.

Putnam was surveying a large number of studies, not just the Harvard one.

[1] Putnam, Robert D, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community; https://www.amazon.com/Bowling-Alone-Collapse-American-Commu...

glbrew 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't know the nuances of this study but I am curious about the role of personality. I have lived much of my life with large groups of caring family and friends and I was miserable. I have lived parts of my life as relatively isolated and reclusive and was enormously happy. Have any related studies accounted for personality? 5,10,20% of the population might be the exact opposite?
stewbrew 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The sad thing about this is, nothing of this is news. I did some health research in the 1990s and read tons of studies telling you the same things. One of the best predictors for subjective well-being was whether people had 3+ really close friends.

IMHO there is something wrong with this kind of research that rehashes known facts but doesn't really go any deeper than what was already known before. My gratulations to the researchers involved for getting the funding for such a long running study.

smallgovt 19 hours ago 4 replies      
The article seems to argue that healthy relationships CAUSE physical health.

How do you actually prove that the relationship between the two attributes is causal versus correlated?

For example, one could conclude, instead, that being in good physical health is the cause of successful relationships.

mcableton 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great article. I agree with the comments here that says working at home can really squish your mood. It makes me wonder about social security. I remember some comments here about if they got rid of it, grandma would have to move in. Well, according to this article, that might be the best thing for grandma! I work from home but have been staying with my in laws since we had a baby. It has been great for my mental health.
numbsafari 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A suggestion: take up a social hobby.

I taught social dance for a number of years. This is a great avenue for expanding your social interactions, getting healthy, building self awareness... blah blah blah. There's a great Argentine Tango scene in SF, just sayin, folks.

There's also joining a hiking group or a walking group. Great to get out, get active, and get social.

Or engage with an after school program, or mentorship organization.

You have, like, so many options.

aschearer 18 hours ago 4 replies      
If you like this you may also enjoy "The Village Effect" by Susan Pinker[1]. In the book the author documents various ways in which social connectedness impacts our well being.

As this article and book say "loneliness kills", but what does that mean for those of us who want to live long and healthy lives? Do we need to start scheduling social time alongside gym time? Will a hug a day keep the doctor away? Should we join organized religions or get married strictly for the health benefits?

[1]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22933077-the-village-eff...

Lxr 4 hours ago 1 reply      
There's no mention of how they sort correlation from causation. Does being physically healthy perhaps also lead to happier relationships?
polpenn 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Note that what they reportedly found is a stronger positive correlation between relationships and happiness than between money and fame and happiness (just based on the article):

"Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed"

So going after fame and money doesn't necessarily lead you to become unhappy (if we interpret the results as causal). Quality personal relationships just makes you even happier.

Also, I'm curious to what extent cultivating meaningful relationship serves as a coping mechanism for people with little money or social status (alternatively, focusing on making money and acquiring high social status to compensate for poor personal relationship development skills). My impression, based on my observations from people I've met in developing countries, is that low income / social status people tend to have richer and active communities and personal relationships. High status individuals tend to be lonelier. But this could just be confirmation bias.

rdudekul 15 hours ago 0 replies      
In Summary:

Our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health.

Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed.

Loneliness kills. Its as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.

Good relationships dont just protect our bodies; they protect our brains.

The key to healthy aging is relationships...

faragon 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Bertrand Russell already put most of that in a book in 1930: "The Conquest of Happiness" [1]

[1] Some quotes: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Conquest_of_Happiness

elyrly 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Please take the time to actually read the book, this article doesn't do it justice.


danr4 18 hours ago 0 replies      
While it does shed a light on the "quest for meaning", this study is not useful as long as we lack the understanding of the role of personality. I think a good analogy is researchers finding that a certain disease kills, but not knowing how do you contract that disease and what you can do to cure it. It might help you identify your situation, but not how to change it.
Aron 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Let's all have a drink to that! Cheers!
Dowwie 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.
zeteo 18 hours ago 6 replies      
This reads like someone consciously decided "Hey, let's build the ultimate poster boy for bad statistical studies!".

1. Sample bias: "Why just study WEIRD [1] subjects? Let's do male Harvard graduates!" (Yes, half the study included inner city men, and one eighth of the duration featured women. It's still super heavily biased towards Harvard men.)

2. Correlation is not causation: "Hmm, health is correlated with relationship satisfaction. Could there be a common cause for both? Or maybe people like to hang out with healthier peers? No, the clear conclusion is that working on your relationships magically makes you healthier."

3. Inconsistent data collection: "Those '30s nincompoops were measuring skulls and handwriting. We'll stop doing that and take MRIs instead. But it's still the same study!"

[1] https://schott.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/weird/

megamindbrian 19 hours ago 0 replies      
TLDR: year 0 - 29 - Experience as much trauma, stress, and failure as you possibly can.30+ - Stop giving a fuck about your unaddressed trauma and find a new reason to strive to stay alive.


LoSboccacc 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Don't worry too much this study is bullshit

Step 1 - be an adult white male graduated at the beginning of an unprecedented and unique economic boom

Step 2 - graduate out of the most prominent college of the period

Step 3 - watch your asset grow themselves

Step 4 - enjoy the life without never have to worry about job security, housing, spending power

Yeah no shit sherlock. I guess being upper middle class does wonder to one life. Meanwhile we have to contend with constant worry about our future, our kids future and one misstep in our career path can and will landslide into a life of regrets.

And this study just say 'socialize' and everything else will magically go away.

gojomo 18 hours ago 2 replies      
Step 1: Achieve admission to, and enroll at, Harvard.

Step 2: ?



As a male in 1938.

thegenius2000 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't mean to be offensive or inflammatory, but how is this a discovery? Yes, money and success don't buy you happiness; living in a complete community is healthy. How was this not completely obvious?
Ways a VC says no without saying no unsupervisedmethods.com
358 points by RobbieStats  22 hours ago   152 comments top 39
AndrewKemendo 21 hours ago 7 replies      
These are all still pretty fast No's in my experience.

The worst No's are the ones where they ask to do Due Diligence and then never open the dropbox folder. Or if you are on your fifth meeting and they just keep trying to pump you for competitive information.

So how do you know when you get a Yes?

When you get a wire or a check. That's the only way.

Even a signed note or Equity docs don't mean anything until that money clears.

The best No's I've had were from Bessemer and a16z years ago. Almost immediate and right to the point that they wouldn't invest, with specific reasoning/metrics behind them. A++ would get told no again.

chris_va 20 hours ago 2 replies      
From the VC side, it looks like this:

"LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME! Ok, what do you have? 40 slides that tell me nothing other than you have a big vision and if you own 10% of <insert market here> it will be worth a lot."

At this point, VC options are:

1) Hard pass (crazies, maybe 60% of people pitching), but you want them to still refer their friends for better deal flow, so <insert excuse here> that makes them feel better about rejection.

2) Soft pass (30%): maybe they have something, hard to tell without spending weeks figuring out what they really meant, and if the team is even the right team to be solving the problem, much less actually competent. Give them some <come back when> that doesn't ruffle them too much.

3) Next stage of funnel: The 10% that actually got their concept across, explained why they are a good team to implement it instead of the other 10 people you heard with the same idea, and why now is the right time. Enter diligence, and hopefully you can convince the other partners that you aren't crazy by taking a chance on them.

yodon 20 hours ago 4 replies      
As an entrepreneur, I find it valuable to have coffee with entrepreneurs I don't know and listen to their pitches, founder-to-founder. When I do this, just like VC's, I find most of the pitches I hear are terrible ideas pitched by people with no knowledge/experience of the industry/problem they are trying to solve.

Why do I find this helpful? Because I watch my own reaction to the experience. I've just met this person. They've just told me their dream, the thing they quit their job to do, invested years of their life in, and it's an absolutely terrible, terrible idea. What do I do?

If I can, I give them good advice within the confines of what they are trying to do. And in almost all cases that's as far as I can go.

I just met this person and they just met me. It's not my job or my place to crush their dreams and the odds are vanishingly close to zero percent they'd listen to me if I tried, so I don't (think about all those VC rejections, how many of those VC rejections causedthe entrepreneur to drop the idea? The answer is probably pretty close to zero).

Even with close friends, it's very dicey whether to say "I think that idea is a mistake" because most entrepreneurs are so driven by passion (and need to be).

Each time I hear one of those terrible pitches, I try to remember this is why VC's don't want to tell people solid no's, and this is why I should be so appreciative for every hint of criticism I've ever received. Because people will absolutely tell you your idea is great and they'll almost never tell you what's profoundly wrong with it. I put as much truth and as much insight into my answers and observations on those painful pitches as I think the entrepreneurs can hear, and hope they'll eventually internalize it and pivot in a better direction, because "please, for the love of god and your family and mortgage, stop what you're doing now" simply isn't an ansewer the entrepreneur will be able to hear from a stranger (or probably even a close friend).

lisper 21 hours ago 4 replies      
He left out an important one: sometimes VCs say no by saying yes. It goes like this:

VC response: We're really interested and we want to do the deal, we just need to wait to hear from partner X who is currently out of town.

Translation: We are about to fund one of your competitors, and we want to string you along as far as possible in the hopes that we can distract you from other fundraising efforts so that you will be less of a threat to our baby.

Comment: It's not a "yes" until the check clears. (And even then you should probably wait two weeks just to be sure.)

lpolovets 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Most of these basically bucket into "I'm not interested" or "I'm not interested at this time, but I think that might change in the mid-term future."

Why are there so many ways to say No? Because just saying "no" is rude -- although some of the 15 alternatives in the Medium post are even worse because they waste a founder's time. It's like if a recruiter reaches out to you: most people don't reply, or they reply with something like "sorry, this is not a great fit" or "I'm not looking at this time."

FWIW, there are many VCs (though probably not the majority) that give concrete reasons when saying No. When I got into venture capital 5 years ago, many peers told me to be vague in order to maintain option value in a company's future fundraises. That sounded dumb to me because if I were a founder I would want feedback, so I try to give useful feedback when I'm passing. That's worked out well over time, and founders whose companies I passed on often introduce me to other founders, or reach out when they're fundraising again.

jroseattle 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
Best "no" conversation I ever heard.

Us: how did you like our pitch?

VC: we're a no, because we don't trust your unit economics.

Us: fair enough. Could you please share some scenarios you've invested in where there were parallel unit economics to us? We'd like to understand what you know about our space and where those economics make sense to investors such as yourselves.

VC: certainly! We have an investment in <X> that's in your space, and their unit economics look great! The assumptions you have and the ones they have are about the same, but look at their margins!

Us: ummm, so that's a function of revenue/price that we don't believe is even feasibly attainable. Our margins are smaller because we think the per-unit revenue is going to be challenged. It's why our numbers are fairly skeptical.

VC: well, we believe they can reach that (unfounded) level of revenue.

Within a year, the company this group funded was raising a Series A to stay alive because -- drum roll please -- the unit economics were not panning out.

I say this is the best "no" because we had hard feedback on what worked for them. It also let us know they didn't really understand how price in our market space was going to have downward pressure. Our approach was to start very cheap, then improve over time. These investors weren't interested in that approach; rather, they went with the team who had "better margins".

We learned a lot, and kept learning, from this investor's "no".

jscheel 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I got some good advice in 500 a few years ago when trying to raise a Series A. We were getting the "location" excuse over and over. It usually went something like, "we love what you are doing, and we would probably invest in you, but your location is a non-starter for us." The truth, as was illuminated to me during, is that they just aren't interested. If you were a compelling enough business for the investor, your location would not be a factor. If you can prove that you are succeeding in your location, then the location obviously isn't an issue. Too many investors saw our location as an easy out, and it took a while to understand that. We had way too much hand-wringing about upending our families and moving to the Valley to try to secure investment, when we should have just been looking inward at our own shortcomings.
kinkrtyavimoodh 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I don't like the tone of this piece.

It makes it sound like all startups out there have a RIGHT to be funded, and annoying, idiotic VCs just say no them... how mean of them.

But plenty of startup ideas are BS, plenty of founders are incompetent, and they don't automatically deserve a VC's ear, let alone their money. Why do they think they have the right to an audience? I know that you can have exceptions (Harry Potter was rejected by some 12 publishers before Bloomsbury took it), but if no VC is willing to even listen to you, consider that you are the problem, and not the VC industry.

I know that a bit of boundless optimism on behalf of the founders is needed for startups to succeed, but exercise that optimism in your own time and on your own dime.

jedberg 20 hours ago 6 replies      
The most frustrating no I've gotten, repeatedly, is "We'd love to get in on this as soon as you find a lead investor".

Translation: We don't really believe in your idea or you, but if you get a big player to put some money in we'll be happy to follow them.

jacquesm 17 hours ago 2 replies      
The reason VCs say no 'without saying no' is because they would like to keep the door open in case you and your crazy idea - against all odds - succeed and need a follow on investment a while from now.

The reason they say no to begin with is because you are not pitching in a vacuum, you are pitching together with another 1,000 or so companies in a year, 900 of those will get 'no' right off the bat, 100 will get a meeting (or two) dedicated to reviewing their proposition in more detail, 10 of those will enter due diligence (at substantial risk to the VC in case the deal does not go through) and maybe 8 out of those 10 will get funded.

The amount of time wasted on worthless pitches by people that don't stand a chance of getting funded is very large, and no amount of feeling that you are entitled to funding is going to get you funded unless you manage to convince the other side of the table that you are one of those 10, which means you need to look better than the other 990. Good luck!

keithwhor 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the thing to realize here is that "no"s aren't personal.

Well, I mean, sometimes they are. But they're usually not. A $1B fund has roughly three years to allocate that $1B in resources --- that's nearly $1M a day. You need to make sure that the speed at which you're expected to invest doesn't detract from the quality of deals, so your bar has to be extremely high.

I think a valuable skill to develop as a founder is to recognize the difference between; "no, but I like you" and "no, and I don't like you / don't care." This industry is built on relationships. Unfortunately there will be a ton of people who just don't give a shit about you. But the ones that do, they're going to help unlock doors for you, and even if you get a "no", focus on recognizing real "clicks" with people.

dfjpitcher 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Gave a presentation to an analyst at DFJ. Showed her an alpha prototype. She said, very interesting, but we really wanted to fund <competition>. That other company was in a similar space, but did not have the product that we demoed. Then they got funded by DFJ and in 6 months, that company released an inferior clone of our demo. In 2-3 years they got acquihired by Google (the founders did not do very well judging from their subsequent LinkedIn jobs), and Google shut the product down. Our product grew bootsrapped and has been feeding us for 10 years, without making anybody rich, just comfortable.
rdlecler1 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Of all the VCs I spoke with, ba16z was the best. They were proactive in reaching out (2nd3rd/4th+ teir VCs are lazy), they gave you a quick no, acknowledging their fallibility, and telling you why they passed. That said if you randomly email a VC and don't hear back, they're not obligated to respond. They get hundreds of inbounds each month and 99%+ are simply uninvestable.
tommynicholas 19 hours ago 0 replies      
There are two versions of this one:

"VC response: Wed love to get in on this as soon as you find a lead investor!"

The first is "talk to us when you have a lead". That's not helpful and it's bullshit. When you have a lead you can always raise as much money as you want - I do not contact these VCs back when I get a lead.

"We are 100% committed for at least $X00,000 if you get a lead or fill out the rest of the round" - very helpful, shows conviction, etc. This version is still not great, but look everyone can't be a lead, and having good folks 100% committed with $$ amounts shows a lead you have interest and will quickly fill out a great round around their check.

Don't do the former, only do the latter.

KirinDave 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Best "No" I've heard recently: "Are you way too early this time? Because last time you were way, way too early."
redm 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The one that was missed is where the VC is really excited during the meeting, does more research after the fact, and then switches to one of the provided answers. In my experience, VC's don't do any research UNTIL they are excited.
vit05 11 hours ago 0 replies      
So how do you know when you get a Maybe? Every time you do not get a yes, does it mean you got a no?

I have contact some VC using emails and showing my MVP. Usually they ask some questions, or give some advice. Sometimes they say No, but for now... Other times they said that it is not a fit for us. One of them say that we are in a different country and that he preferred to talk in person.

emiliobumachar 9 hours ago 0 replies      

"Here's a test for deciding whether a VC's response was yes or no. Look down at your hands. Are you holding a termsheet?"

From http://paulgraham.com/guidetoinvestors.html

Mz 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I have had a class in Negotiation and Conflict Management. If you haven't had any training in negotiation, at least get a copy of the book "Getting to Yes." It is short and research-based.

It takes time to broker a deal. (Of course, that doesn't mean every single person is being straight up honest with you every single time they communicate.)

This article kind of admits to being perhaps unnecessarily snarky. ("Note: Im normally not this cynical, but this article was fun to write ") I don't have experience trying to woo VCs for an investment. But closing a big deal tends to be time consuming due to the slow process of gradual exposure of pertinent info on both sides.

So, I am reluctant to take this article too seriously.

pcsanwald 20 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a bunch of variants for B2B as well:

"We see you have X reference clients, and usually like to see X+2 reference clients"

"We'd like to see you get a little further along in terms of product/market fit, and then let's talk"

websitescenes 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I've experienced at least two of these responses in the last few months. Your write up has confirmed some of my suspicions. Tying to raise funds is hard! Luckily I have enough saved for a six month runway, that will get me to beta and hopefully a yes on some venture capital. Thanks for sharing.
dccoolgai 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Having never been around the West Coast tech scene much, it sometimes seems that there is almost a tacit expectation that someone "owes" you money for your idea. Without commenting on whether that is "bad" or "good", it's just interesting to compare it to the attitude most of the people I know who start businesses on the East Coast who would find it at least odd if not right outlandish that someone would give you money before you demonstrated in some concrete way that you have the ability to tender it back with some form of interest.
Alex3917 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Trying to recognize noes from investors strikes me an being a bad framework for thinking about business. Of all the investors whom I've asked if they'd like to receive an email update every time we add a zero to our core metrics, I've yet to have a single one say no. It's your job to make a good product with good economics, marketing, retention, etc., and to consistently grow your metrics. If you're not willing to actually do this and demonstrate progress on a regular basis then why would you expect anyone to fund your company?
miiiiiike 20 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not just VCs. Over the past three years I've noticed that more and more people in general are giving "positive sounding words" instead of a yes or no. Designers, developers, writers, business people, from every part of the world.

The best people I've worked with have always gotten back to me right away with a concrete yes or no. I do the same, anything else is a waste of time. As soon as someone starts giving me anything like the responses in the article I move on.

netvarun 20 hours ago 1 reply      
"Let me circle back."
jaxomlotus 17 hours ago 0 replies      
> VC: Thanks, but this isnt a fit for us right now. Lets keep in touch.

I don't see what's wrong with this. It's a clear no without slamming the door on a future investment should the scenario change. If the VC would say "VC: Thanks, but this isnt a fit for us ever" that would be shortsighted.

rdtsc 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it a pretty safe bet to say if VC-s are not calling you asking to invest, there is little chance you'd get them to invest by calling them.

Also there 0 downsides for them just stringing you along as other pointed out. "We are totally interested, lets see your details blah blah" then pawn you off to Hayden.

dboreham 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, statistically whatever the VC is saying, it means "no".
jaoued 18 hours ago 0 replies      
So funny to read and so true. Moral of the story, best money to secure is the one from customers. Much more difficult to get but so rewarding and the types of answer we get from prospective customers does not exceed 3.
danm07 20 hours ago 0 replies      
In my experience, everything but "yes" means no.
kalal 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I never got this business in business. If your idea is really good, then you don't need to ask for money.
erik_landerholm 18 hours ago 0 replies      
My shortened version of the answer to this topic: if they don't say yes, it's no.
fuzzieozzie 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Everything short of seeing the money in your bank account is some version of "No."

Now get back to work!

Odenwaelder 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not just say "no"?
losteverything 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Im curious, are there serial pitchers? Round after round of "nos"
EGreg 21 hours ago 4 replies      
Seriously, with all the new crowdfunding and ICO options, why fight to convince the gatekeepers like VCs when you can first try to convince some percentage of the population to each put in a small amount?
graycat 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Here I consider just early stage information technology VC -- later stage and bio-medical can be much different.

Yup, from my experience, the OP has what a lot of VCs do.

One thing for an entrepreneur to do is to read some remarks from a VC or their firm about what their interests are. Then, when their interests well cover my startup, I write them and explain how their interests cover my startup. So, sure, I rarely hear back with anything and otherwise nearly always just as some in the OP.

So, then I get pissed: (A) They said what their interests were; (B) I wrote them showing how their interests covered my startup, but (C) they ignored my contact. Bummer. So I used to, sometimes, wait a week or two and then write them and say that they were so unresponsive that there would be no way we could work together successfully and stated that I withdrew my application.

Since then, in part I wised up. By process of elimination, I began to conclude some basic facts about VCs.

(1) Mostly their stated "interests" don't much matter.

(2) They actually do have some interests and these are nearly universal across VCs and their firms: They are interested in traction, significant and growing rapidly, especially in a large market.

(3) Really, the situation is essentially as in the old Hollywood line, "Don't call us. We'll call you." Or, really, VCs want to learn about the startup from existing buzz, virality, etc. They want to see the product/service, play with it, and try to estimate how successful it will be in the market.

(4) For a first step, for a VC, (1)-(3) is about all that matters.

Actually, (1)-(4) seem to be so astoundingly uniform that they must have some common cause. My guess at the common cause is the larger LPs, e.g., pension funds; they insist on (1)-(3).

For me, I'm a sole, solo founder, toilet cleaner, floor sweeper, ..., computer repair technician, systems administrator, ..., programmer, user interface designer, data base administrator, software designer, product manager, CTO, COO, and CEO with a tiny burn rate. Some venture funding could have made some of the work go faster, but really I haven't needed venture funding and don't really need it now.

But with all the above, there is a surprising situation: My burn rate is so low that I can continue self-funding until my Web site is live. Then, if users like my work, soon I'll have enough revenue from routine efforts running ads that I will have plenty of free cash for organic growth without equity funding. If I get that growth, then I'll have a life style business with, again, plenty of free cash for more organic growth.

About that time, some VCs will learn about my startup and give me a call. They will expect that my company has about five co-founders, each with maxed out personal credit cards, has a business bank account close to $0.00. They will assume that the company and each of the co-founders is just desperate for an equity check on just any terms, say, because each of the co-founders has a pregnant wife. Then the VCs will believe that they can play hard to get, strike a hard bargain, and grab control of my company for next to nothing.

At that time I will check my computer, confirm the name of their VC firm, and let them know the date long before when I sent them a description of my company they ignored. So, I'd inform them that they were too late, that my plane has already left the runway, and no tickets were for sale.

So, now sometimes I write VCs just for fun, so that if my startup does work and they do call me, then I can tell them that I wrote them and they ignored my contact!

To me a biggie point is that apparently the VCs want nothing to do with any business planning, crucial core secret sauce technology, etc. To me, such things are the keys to the big successes the VCs must have toget the investment returns theirLPs have in mind to invest inVCs. Further, such planning, special technology are the keys to themany amazing technology successesof US national security.

Well, again, apparently VCs want towait for traction significant andgrowing rapidly.Maybe that approach will usuallybe okay for VCs:At least apparently the VCs believethat on the way to a big company,a startup will nearly always needsome equity capital.

But for a sole, solo founder with a tiny burn rate andwriting software,the VCs can miss out:That is, by the time theVCs want to invest,the founder will no longerwant or need the investment.

A big example of such a sole, solofounder success was the Canadianromantic match making site Plenty ofFish.

rickdeaconx 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This is so painfully accurate.
graycat 12 hours ago 0 replies      
In the last few years, for early stage, information technology venture capital, the situation has been changing radically:

A blunt fact is, that the VCs very much need big wins, commonly, say, 30% ownership in a company with exit value $1+ billion. Moreover, even more seriously, to get their limited partners (LPs) excited, they need some ~30% ownership in another Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Google, or Facebook. That's just the facts of life. To pass the giggle test, that's the game they are playing, the business they have chosen.

We need to keep in mind, beyond Moore's law and the Internet, the examples Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Google, or Facebook don't have a lot in common. So, we can't hope to extract much in the way of predictive patterns by just external empirical observations.

So, if VCs or anyone is to find another Microsoft, ..., Facebook, they they will have to look deeper than just patterns from external observation.

Also we should keep in mind, say,




on the average venture capital return on investment. One word summary, the average return is poor, not high enough to excite LPs.

Here is a hint at the nature of the radical change: At


Sam Gerstenzang, "The Happy Demise of the 10X Engineer"

with in part

"This is the new normal: fewer engineers and dollars to ship code to more users than ever before. The potential impact of the lone software engineer is soaring. How long before we have a billion-dollar acquisition offer for a one-engineer startup? "

So, a solo founder building a company worth $1 billion?

Of course, there is half of an example -- the Canadian, Internet based, romantic matchmaking service Plenty of Fish with a solo founder, with two old Dell servers, $10 million a year in revenue, all just from ads from Google. He added people and sold out for $500+ million. So, his ~$500 million is half of the $1 billion A16Z mentioned.

So, what are the causes of the radical changes?

(1) Cheap Hardware.

From any historical comparison, within computing or back to steamships, now computer hardware is cheap, dirt cheap; transistors are cheap; so are compute cycles, floating point operations, main memory sizes, hard disk space, solid state disk space, internal data rates, LAN and Internet data rates, etc. Dirt cheap.

(2) Infrastructure. It used to be that an information technology startup could expectd to have to build or at least wrestle with lots of infrastructure. Now quite broadly, getting the needed infrastructure is much easier and cheaper.

So, nearly any room in the industrialized world with a cable TV connection can be a quite active server farm because the rest of the infrastructure, to a local Internet service provider, a static IP address, a domain name, and plenty of Internet data rate for a quite serious business, is right at hand.

Of course, the big quantum leap ineasy infrastructure is the cloud, from, say, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.

(3) Software. Now software is much easier. There is a lot of open source software, excellent software for quite reasonable prices, etc. And really it's much easier just to write new applications level software. Web pages, graphics, database operations, algorithms, etc., all are much easier.

So, with (1)-(3), a solo founder with a good idea for a startup to be worth $1+ billion can for darned little cash write the software, bring up the idea as a Web site, run ads, get publicity, and, if users come, get good revenue.

It's easy to argue that at current ad rates, a server costing less than $1500, kept busy, could generate monthly revenue $200+ K for investment by the founder of basically just their own time. Such a solo founder with that revenue, then, will just laugh at any suggestion that he should take an equity check, form a Delaware C-corporation, and report to a BoD. Instead he will just form an LLC and remain 100% owner.

Then, the main issue now is the evaluation of the basic idea of the sole founder. Or if the idea is really good and VCs wait until there is traction significant and growing rapidly, then the VCs will be too late. Or, the solo founder wrote the software, has one server from less than $1500 in parts connected to the Internet, has a static IP address and a domain name, has done and is doing some publicity things, and otherwise is running the business each month for not much more than pocket change, for less than a lot of people spend on McDonald's or pizza or Chinese carryout. Literally. So, the founder's startup is just dirt cheap to run. If enough users like the site to keep the server busy, then the founder is getting maybe $200 K a month in revenue, plenty to grow the size of the server farm, and in a few months buy a nice house, for cash, put several nice new cars in the garage, for cash, and spend a hour each afternoon in the nice infinity in-ground pool. Then a VC calls and wants to invest $10 million for 30% of the business and have the founder report to a BoD of a Delaware C-corp. -- we're talking LOL.

Does that situation happen very often yet? Nope. But now it is just such situations that the VCs desperately need in order to get a significant fraction of ownership in $1+ billion exit values.

Or, put very bluntly, the VCs desperately need really exceptional startups. For Microsoft, ..., Facebook, there are no visible patterns. The founders no longer need big bucks for a team of developers, expensive servers, and communications data rate.

Net, for the projects the VCs must have, by the time they want to invest according to their old rules, a solo founder with a good idea has already got plenty of revenue for rapid organic growth and a life style business and won't accept an equity check.

Again, so far there are not a lot of examples of such solo founder startups, but the radical change and the big deal for the VCs is that it is just such startups that stand to be the exits the VCs desperately need. So, for the next Facebook, etc., by the time the VCs call the founder, all they will hear back are laughs, and the VCs will have to push back their chairs, think a little, and realize that they just missed out. The VCs will see that, really, there has been a radical change and they must make some radical changes or just miss out and go out of business.

So, finally we discover that the core idea is what is just crucial because for a good idea a solo founder can do the rest alone for essentially just his own time as the investment. So, to evaluate startups, must evaluate the idea at just the idea stage and just hope that the founder will accept a check.

Show HN: API Bootstrap A better way to build your API apibootstrap.com
27 points by roelbondoc  11 hours ago   34 comments top 18
brandonhsiao 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
I signed up and played with the app. I think this would be better implemented as a library or wrapper on top of one. The "code using a mouse" idea has been tried and almost every time the verdict is: code is the preferred interface for programmers.

That said, clearly standardization is coming to the world of APIs, and code reuse/generation along with it. Have you looked at Django REST framework? They have a pretty good approach. http://www.django-rest-framework.org/

staticelf 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The landing page doesn't provide any information what so ever about what your service solves. Only a madman would go further.
joenot443 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a great idea, but as other have noted, the landing page definitely needs either a lot more information or at least a couple examples of what kind of service you're actually providing.

Are you actually hosting the API I'd be building? Or just generating boilerplate code for it? Maybe I'm just misunderstanding :)

skamoen 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure what it is you're actually selling. More documentation or practical examples would be great. I'm not willing to create an account / sign in to find out stuff like that.
jcadam 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm wondering what all the upvotes are about? I've seen fairly decent "Show HN" submissions languish down in the 0-1 range while this one (which is being universally panned) is up to 17.

The "It's so bad it's good" effect?

throwaway2016a 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The page doesn't really show me enough to know if I want to buy.

At the very least I'd need a comparison with a more mature system like https://www.mulesoft.com/

What is the documentation in for example? RAML? Swagger? HTML?

noer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I don't understand what exactly this is? Is it just starter scaffolding in the vein of create-react-app or one of those hackathon starters?

I'd put some time into showing some examples of what exactly the service is and how it works. What problem does it solve specifically?

mring33621 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I signed up w/ my github creds and made a small "hello world" GET endpoint. Here's my comments & questions so far:

1) allow non-json responses2) why would I do pass-thru? for metrics?3) add test data generation features for mock responses4) add at least limited scripting features for both pass-thru and mock

Looks like a good start to me and I was not particularly bothered by the current sign up.

haburka 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
This seems way too cheap for what it's offering! If you're saving developer time and effort then you should be charging 100/mo at least.
cdevs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with complaints the landing page is extremely lacking in getting me to move forward and sign up for something I need to see more info about.
dfgonzalez 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Agree that more info is needed to proceed, but lovely theme though! Is this a bootstrap theme or something made from scratch?
aaossa 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi, I'm getting "502 Bad Gateway" :( Seems interesting, so I hope you could fix it soon to let us see your webpage :)
adamc 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Making me sign in before you tell me anything is a non-starter.
blikdak 5 hours ago 1 reply      
bad gateway, is this for building write-only apis?
orarbel1 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The irony
waibelp 7 hours ago 1 reply      
502 Bad Gateway


567bfwhjb 6 hours ago 1 reply      
502 Bad Gateway
throwme_1980 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh god, this is awful, enjoy the 15 mins of fame because most likely this is the last time this website will enjoy such a spike in traffic
       cached 21 July 2017 16:02:01 GMT