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{"tptacek": {"number": 50, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Also a little baffled by why touch panels would seem like a good interface for a cooktop at all.", "link": "item?id=3442877", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "\"Interface ferromagnetic disk\" meaning \"round piece of any metal efficiently heated by induction\".<p>I think this downside of induction is wildly overstated; I have very few pieces of cookware that aren't \"induction compatible\", and I certainly didn't shop for them with that as a criteria. Any All-Clad pan works; my cheap-o omelette pan works; my enameled dutch oven works; obviously, my cast iron skillet works.<p>So much normal, good cookware works on an induction cooktop that it might make more sense to think about \"induction incompatibility\" as a liability of exotic (or particularly cheap) cookware, instead of a liability of induction.", "link": "item?id=3442875", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Home cooks are way more fetishistic about knives than cooks are.", "link": "item?id=3442744", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "No, chefs clean their cooktops continually during service. The thing to know about most pro kitchens: they're incredibly small. There's no way most of them could even fit the person who'd clean up around a cook. And in small kitchens, if you're not working clean, you're going to look like the Swedish Chef.", "link": "item?id=3442739", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "It's marginally slower to boil water than a good gas burner (my tests, but also Cooks Illustrated's, and they're not usually wrong about stuff like this), but they the two are so close that it's not worth comparing.<p>Also, not sure how energy efficient. It may depend on the specific cook top. At max power, the things drain a <i>lot</i> of power. It's possible that they consume less \"energy\" than gas but are still more expensive, right? Gas is very cheap.<p>It's very trippy to sear meat or boil water on a burner, lift the pan off, and have the cooktop surface be cool to the touch.", "link": "item?id=3442732", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "In 1990 the biggest competitive threat to what would become the most important single business unit in all of software was... Sun/SPARC. The biggest strategic initiative in that BU was... port to RISC.", "link": "item?id=3442668", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Why? Induction is nothing like an electric cooktop. It's very responsive and very very fast.<p>They're also pretty cheap; a single burner cooktop from a good brand costs under $70.<p>My understanding is, gas is the gold standard in the US mostly because gas (cooking fuel) is so incredibly cheap here; induction is more common in Europe.", "link": "item?id=3442480", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Sorry, I meant to upvote you, but misclicked and now you're greyed out. You're making the post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc point here, right?", "link": "item?id=3441097", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "The stridency/accuracy ratio of this comment is interesting.<p><a href=\"http://cr.yp.to/publicdomain.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://cr.yp.to/publicdomain.html</a>", "link": "item?id=3440789", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "The ObjC object model is very similar to Ruby's object model.<p>ObjC's way of handling mundane data structures (strings, arrays, hashes) is (once you learn to stop worrying and love long sequences of calls to very long method names) very similar to how Ruby addresses the same problems.<p>ObjC lets you drop into vanilla C code when you want to.<p>ObjC doesn't impose GC.<p>ObjC implements a form of duck typing.<p>You might be surprised at how good a fit ObjC is for a game engine you prototyped in Ruby, as opposed to C++.", "link": "item?id=3440729", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "It's clear why this happens. The people interested in fuzzy, quasi-political or \"outrage\" issues are passionately engaged with them. People are less passionate about the debate over the worst-case complexity of hash table lookups. At a step's remove, it's evident that the topics HN was intended to cover are systemically disadvantaged compared to whatever the moment's advocacy topics are --- and <i>every</i> moment has at least one advocacy topic: the TSA, SOPA, Occupy, Wikileaks, police misconduct, Asian manufacturing, ebook licensing, DRM, &#38;c &#38;c &#38;c.<p>More passion, less thought, less tolerance for conflicting views, worse threads.<p>Paul Graham seems cautiously optimistic about comment quality. I think he's being too generous. I suspect that advocacy energy is cumulative; it doesn't go away when the topic fades, but sticks around and waits to bind to subsequent advocacy topics, causing the site to steadily crud up with them.", "link": "item?id=3498385", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Plus, the reviewer is right about Codd. ;)", "link": "item?id=3494274", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I ran this calculator with two founders, one of which \"had the original idea and told the others\", the other \"the developer who would end up leading all the developers when a team was hired\". All else equal.<p>The calculator gave a multiple percentage point bump to the founder with the idea.<p>So, grain of salt.", "link": "item?id=3491421", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Submission from an account that submits only stories from The Atlantic:<p><a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=nbj914\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=nbj914</a><p>I like the Atlantic --- a lot --- but look at the titles of those stories, and look at this story, and ask whether these submissions are in the spirit of the site guidelines.<p>I flagged the post. I wouldn't have if this was really a comprehensive critique of the FDA, but it's not; it's just a position piece about factory farming.", "link": "item?id=3475299", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "(random Google hit)<p><a href=\"https://github.com/DrWhax/mpOTR/tree/master/libotr-0.3.2/src\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://github.com/DrWhax/mpOTR/tree/master/libotr-0.3.2/src</a>", "link": "item?id=3468079", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I don't think it's disingenuous; I think it's pretty on-the-nose. Also, I think \"early exits\" are still win conditions at YC; that's one of the (salubrious) benefits of being organized like YC and not DFJ; there's a lot of reasons why a \"YC\" would want to tune outreach to young people, and none of them need to be \"avoid build-to-flip companies\".", "link": "item?id=3466075", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "The amount of money more-or-less promised to all YC companies is deceptively larger than the amount YC itself publishes. Also, until you get to Webvan sizes, there are existence proofs to pretty much all the possible company sizes at YC.", "link": "item?id=3466066", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Something is wrong with your MBP. Maybe you have a bad RAM stick in it.", "link": "item?id=3454581", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "You realize that doesn't make it acceptable to harbor prejudices, right? The only reason you're not directly penalized for having them is that they're hard to screen for in job interviews... or were, before you gave the Google crawler trace evidence about one of yours.", "link": "item?id=3454104", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Or, \"How not to make money selling software: a succinct illustration of cost-based and market-based (specifically, value-based) pricing in just two comment threads.\"<p>Why can Github charge FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER YEAR for a local install of Github and succeed, impressively so, despite a small army of nerds pointing out how inexpensive it is to run one's own Git server and Gitorious? Why does 37signals have an office with walls made of 37signalsium (really, seen it, it's fuzzy) and trendy furniture despite selling software that the nerdosphere can clearly duplicate? Why does Yammer even consider publishing a $5/user/month price for software that is among every web geek's top-5-most-likely-personal projects?<p>Answer: they don't sell gypsum.<p>Cost based pricing, which works for gypsum sales but not so much for software, suggests that the price of a nice photo should be the price of the gas to get to and from the photo shoot, possibly divided by the number of people interested in buying the photo, plus maybe throw a couple bucks in there and buy yourself something nice, photographer.<p>Value-based pricing says, \"how much it cost me to create the photo is <i>irrelevant</i>\". YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES, say the nerds. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WAS SAYING! But value-based pricing continues: \"no, what matters is how much it would cost <i>you</i> to make that photo and how much benefit it brings\".<p>How much it would cost <i>you</i> to make that photo: (say) $6000, perhaps divided by the number of different photos you'd take given the same setup (but then also scaled back up to account for the headcount or professional services required to take lots of pictures).<p>How much benefit? It depends. I could take 10,000 words listing out factors in figuring it out. Most importantly: what are the substitutes to this photo and how much do they cost? For some businesses, clip art of the Eiffel Tower suffices to bring 80-90% of the value. For others (like ad-sales print publications), comparables might also be very expensive.<p>Now, the extent to which the YOUR business benefit from my photo exceeds MY cost to produce the photo is MY ADVANTAGE IN PRODUCING PHOTOS (the extent to which your <i>cost</i> exceeds <i>my</i> cost is my \"comparative advantage\"\u2020\u2020\u2020, and if it's a positive number possibly suggests that I'm the one who should be doing the photos in any case, since you have better ways to put your money to use). Having an advantage is a <i>good thing</i>. Among other things, it's a key reason why software startups are lucrative, and why we don't all work on line-of-business software for non-software companies.<p>It's probably true that a photo of a sunset isn't worth $6,000. But, exclusivity aside, the value of the photo also has nothing to do with how much it cost the photographer to take each shot at the margin, and it has nothing to do with the cost to make each marginal sale. What matters is how much it costs the <i>customer</i> to replace that value with a substitute, and in that analysis the $6000 set-up cost, while not determinative, is relevant perspective.<p>The moralism in these threads is an irrelevant sideshow. Situationally, the nerdosphere oscillates between extremes when trying to compute valuations for stuff with intangible-seeming benefits. Today, the nerdosphere apparently thinks either (a) every photo is a precious snowflake or (b) photo costs should be scaled by the current price of hard disk storage. Yesterday, it was whether it's right for Github to charge per repo. Before that, it's whether it's fair to have markets for spec work like 99designs.<p>None of that matters. What matters is, is there a market for what you're selling, and will it clear based on the model you use to price stuff on the market. Clearly there is a market for high-quality photography. Clearly it is not a cost-based market like gypsum, or there would not exist sites selling photos with royalties attached, or photos costing hundreds of dollars --- which clearly those sites do exist. So instead of arguing about how much photos should cost --- because, again, they cost what the market says they cost, not what you think it costs to make them yourself --- think instead about how this discussion applies to your own work product. More than you think it does, is my guess.<p>\u2020\u2020\u2020 <i>(Actually this isn't all what comparative advantage is; comparative advantage says, if there's a market for widgets and a market for photos and you're better at widgets than photos and I'm better at photos than widgets, then I should do widgets and you should do photos, which is a subtly different idea, but the point stands either way.)</i>", "link": "item?id=3453606", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "It's not complicated. Look how Louis CK markets his own shows: \"ALL NEW JOKES\". People want to pay for new stuff, not just jokes they've heard. Comedians test out new material in safe, small sets; if you record that material and stick it on Youtube, you're fucking them over.<p>Regarding the personal drama tacked onto this:<p>@pattonoswalt Less and less sorry for what I did. Got into comedy 'cuz it's the one vocation that lets you treat assholes like assholes.<p>@pattonoswalt I'll post my response to this gnat-fart of a situation sometime this weekend. But no matter what...<p>@pattonoswalt I'll always err on the side of real human emotion. If it costs me asshole \"fans\"? Guess what? Less assholes in my life.<p>(Incidentally, Patton Oswalt is I think the only \"celeb\" I follow on Twitter. He's pretty excellent there. Also, the best live show I've been to.)", "link": "item?id=3437067", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "It's not quite that straightforward, is it? State taxes are federally deductible. And virtually everyone in the upper middle class owns a home and takes a whopping deduction on mortgage interest, and property taxes are also deductible.<p>I'd also push back on \"not much in the way of a safety net\". I'd like universal single-payer health care, but in the meantime it's worth remembering (a) once you hit retirement age, you very much do get public health care, and (b) retirement age is when you're most likely to incur medical expenses.", "link": "item?id=3437054", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Was thinking exactly the same thing, because this is exactly what I think when candidates say \"I'm in the X's but looking to improve that\". Well, yeah, of course you're looking to improve X. You still set the floor, saving me the trouble of guessing it too high.", "link": "item?id=3435995", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I thought the same thing as I read this. I understand the point Spolsky was making and wouldn't want to argue with it, but my dad used Excel formulas, every salesperson I've ever worked with used basic formulas, the marketing teams I worked with made basic formulas...<p>Also, surely one of the reasons so many people used it to make lists was that it was the tool Office shipped with that <i>had</i> gridlines (Word has them too, but they're clunky). If you bundle a spreadsheet along with the world's most popular word processor, it's no wonder it gets used for pedestrian tasks in addition to the ones Bricklin thought about.<p>This is a point Spolsky danced around in a much earlier blog post: 80% of users want just 20% of the features of a program, but they're not the same 20%.", "link": "item?id=3435967", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "... and Google bought them and made the team millions of dollars? Yeah, that YouTube.", "link": "item?id=3435875", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Isn't the strong case against SOPA that it would strangle sites like Reddit in the crib, by creating a cloud of uncertainty and subjecting them to disruption without due process? That case seems straightforward.<p>The fact that Game of Thrones is available on BitTorrent though... that is itself a problem. HBO is within its rights to prevent its content from being published for free to anonymous Internet users.", "link": "item?id=3431891", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Are you asking why one might, in general, prioritize that upgrade? Rails 2.x to Rails 3 is a pretty big deal. For a huge production site, the \"Merb-ificiation\" (modularization) of Rails might be a performance/maintenance win.<p>(I have no idea why Airbnb in particular upgraded, but the 2-&#62;3 upgrade is in general very much worth it --- the new router and Arel alone are sufficient wins).", "link": "item?id=3427051", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "A nobody? He chaired the Senate GOP Conference.", "link": "item?id=3426900", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I find the Santorum \"Google Problem\" disquieting, to say the least.<p>I think his politics are repugnant, but less than 1% of Google search queries for his name are looking for Dan Savage's prank. Google knows this. Google obsessively tweaks all manner of other links in the index. But Google's overall politics happen to be the same as my politics, so Santorum gets unequal access to the 2012 Internet.<p>Savage's prank actually discredits the Internet. Surely nobody's mind is going to be changed by that disgusting link. Instead, it just serves to associate Internet content with the culture wars. I don't think I'll upset too many HN'ers when I assert that the people most likely to be offended by that link are the people we'd most like finding better ways of informing themselves than talk radio.<p>Finally, and most obviously, we all happen to share the same sense of humor and political stance as <i>today's</i> Internet gatekeeper. But we are by no means assured of compatibility with the next one.<p>That \"Santorum\" link is perhaps the most notorious attempt ever to game Google's search rankings. Google should penalize the shit out of it.", "link": "item?id=3426570", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Competent direct sales people choose that career because they are good at handling that risk and like the boost in compensation they get from it.<p>The guy who's content with the base salary is almost the definition of a sales account manager who isn't working out.", "link": "item?id=3426548", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "It is not cheap and easy to find new vulnerability classes. The people who say things like this are virtually always members of the set of professionals who have never discovered any new attack classes at all.<p>It may be harder to build something <i>good</i> than it is to break things, but it is almost invariably harder to break things than it is to build the <i>average</i> thing.", "link": "item?id=3371202", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Step back from MongoDB and Node.js and whatnot and look at simple Ruby on Rails and Django applications. Heck, pan all the way back to J2EE Java web apps.<p>Best practices for securing these kinds of applications are well known, well documented, supported by tutorials and libraries.<p>How many J2EE applications do you think we work on that survive first contact with a pentest team?<p>I don't know what to tell you about the tone of this particular blog post. I also find the tone of published security research to be grating, especially over long periods of time, most especially coupled with trade press coverage.<p>But please do not kid yourself. We are not a few actual tutorials and open letters (?) away from secure web applications on any stack, let alone the new ones where developers actually start projects assuming that \"NoSQL\" does in fact mean \"NoSQLI\".<p>It's best to think of presentations like this as having a very narrow thesis: \"Developers widely assume technology X is free from application security flaws. In this presentation I demonstrate conclusively that this isn't the case. The contribution made by this research is the confirmation that programming mistakes that are similarly pernicious and damaging as SQL Injection do exist in this technology.\"", "link": "item?id=3371198", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Programmer interviews are famously terrible. Take a second to think about FizzBuzz, why anyone ever thought we'd need something like it, and how it actually continues to serve a purpose.<p>Everyone thinks they're better at interviewing than they are. They often have a survivorship bias. In clueful companies, it's not that dead weight doesn't get hired. It just gets washed out. Interviewers tend to remember the people they end up working alongside.<p>There are dev questions that are harder to study for. They tend to be open ended. A few of my favorites:<p>* Describe some code that tends to follow you from project to project (I mostly interview C devs, so I tend to ask this as, \"what's in libyou.a?\"). What's in your bag of utility functions?<p>* What's the worst library you've ever worked with and why did you hate it?<p>* Estimate the amount of time it will take you to complete system X. Drill down, both by forcing the candidate to specify components (do an informal design exercise) and then <i>cost each of those components</i>. Estimation is an extremely important skill regardless.<p>* What's a piece of functionality that tends to crop up on lots of projects that you'd never implement yourself if you had the option of using a library? (Usually, I'm trying to get C programmers to tell me that they would not in fact hand-hack doubly linked lists out of structs with nested struct pointers).<p>* Describe the last system you contributed significantly to; how did those contributions break down structurally (did you write libraries for X, Y, Z; did you write plugins for X, Y, Z; did you extend the engine in X, Y, Z ways). Now describe the trickiest bug you ran into on that project.<p>For C devs, I always used to ask, \"You're testing a component you just wrote and finding that it crashes in malloc. Diagnose the problem.\" This is less relevant now, but there are probably surgical questions you can ask e.g. a Python dev that verify that they actually have the experience of working professionally in the language.", "link": "item?id=3371050", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "More of my immediate family is on Twitter than on Facebook.<p>I have no idea what value the Twitter data feed has, but the value proposition of the service is compelling: reach interested people with minimal effort, build follower relationships to retain them.<p>My butcher, for instance, periodically twerps when he's got some oddball piece of beef to offload.<p>I used Twitter to enroll multiple cryptography classes. I had plans to use Facebook and email as well, but the response I got from a couple twerps filled my classes.<p>ChiSec, our local meetup for infosec people in Chicago, is scheduled and promoted entirely through Twitter. I use Crowdbooster's scheduled-twerp feature to post consistent reminders. It's miraculously effective.<p>This \"people only use it to track celebrities\" thing is a load of crap. Just as many celebs brag about their Facebook likes, but nobody says people go to Facebook for the celebs. The fact is that Twitter has a different, lower-drag interaction model than Facebook (which requires me to decide whether someone I want to talk to gets to see my kid's pictures). It's better optimized to broadcasting than Facebook is.", "link": "item?id=3370958", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Unless you have an extraordinarily clever implementation of \"linked list in Ruby\" (in which case this is <i>still</i> a terrible interview question), no. Arrays are more efficient for every reasonable access pattern. If the links of your list are references to Ruby objects (which every online \"linked list in ruby\" page uses), they're not so much \"more efficient\" as they are \"tractable\" compared to linked-list's \"intractable\".", "link": "item?id=3370899", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "For <i>arbitrary</i> businesses reaching out to mass-market clients, it'll be a decade at least before \"customer is extremely likely to be carrying true smartphone\" will translate to \"exploitable assumption\". Local businesses do not as a rule write cross-platform phone apps. If you want to be the company that e.g. gets rid of those stupid flashing pager things that restaurants give people waiting for tables, it helps you very little to know that 1/3rd of restaurant customers will be holding an iPhone.<p>On the other hand, that application is more or less \"hello world\" with Twilio, and presents a fine customer experience even to people with iPhones.", "link": "item?id=3370894", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "That's a sensible point, but interpreter and runtime overhead <i>crushes</i> any cost savings you might get from adjusting links instead of the whole array backing store.<p>(Ruby arrays, at least in MRI, are basically STL vectors).<p>1000 inserts to the middle of a 1,000,000 element Ruby array happens so quickly you can barely perceive the delay. The same insert pattern to a basic Ruby linked list sets my machine on fire.", "link": "item?id=3370857", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Linked lists are overused even in C, where they have a natural expression.<p>The reason to use a list instead of an array is that it's cheap to insert/delete anywhere into a list, but expensive to do so in the middle of an array.<p>There's probably no expression of a list in Ruby where insertion is cheaper than inserting into an array. Perhaps if your \"list\" is a secondary Fixnum index on a larger pool of objects? At any rate, that's no longer a \"linked list\".<p>I think it's a silly question. I hope the expected answer is, \"why would I ever do that?\"", "link": "item?id=3370779", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "HE'S A WITCH! BURN HIM!", "link": "item?id=3367144", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Does that matter? They could just buy the book on their customers' behalf. It's a rounding error.", "link": "item?id=3357596", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "People say this every time the topic of incorporation comes up. It's true: if you take funding, they're going to tear up your existing corporate structure and rebuild it. This argues for keeping your pre-funding structure as simple as possible. But what's not true is that you'll get passed up (for anything) because you're already set up as an LLC. If your pitch is so flimsy that $1000 of legal work kills a deal, you never had the deal to begin with.", "link": "item?id=3357585", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "That \"for i in 1..100\" loop would get you dinged at lots of Ruby shops, since it's not idiomatic. \"100.times { }\" is the idiom.", "link": "item?id=3355165", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Aren't the rich always going to get richer, no matter what? Holding all else equal, the rich have more capital to put to work than the poor.", "link": "item?id=3354489", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "There is zero chance yelling at or about me on HN is going to get you hellbanned. There's a bigger chance <i>I'll</i> get hellbanned.<p>This is one of the dumber meta-threads HN has had. Not so much your comment in particular as the whole thing.", "link": "item?id=3354470", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "For what it's worth: I didn't mean to sound so dismissive; I was genuinely surprised. Sorry about that.<p>(This wasn't a thread <i>about</i> fanfic, btw).", "link": "item?id=3354151", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I don't buy it. His explanation is more plausible.<p>We're on-site only in Chicago, NYC, and SFBA, and have to confirm with every candidate that they're willing to work in one of those locations. \"Open to relocation\" is a sequence of words that gets you past that step in our hiring process. Lots of people can't honestly promise relocation without knowing what the offer is going to be.<p>No, I think it's a lot more likely that he's simply right, and startups suck at returning email. I base that on grim personal experience as well.<p>It can be hard to keep up. Lots of people you don't want to say \"no\" to, and instead ask a bunch of follow up questions or offer some advice to. I end up with an email folder full of those, and a couple weeks later manage to plow through them. Of course, the experience for the candidate is (sadly): mailed, they went dark.<p>And we care <i>a lot</i> about recruiting; it is probably the thing we care most about (it's the only rational reason I'm on HN, for instance). Lord knows how bad startups that haven't realized how important recruiting is are with emails. Lots of startups still see recruiting as a hazing opportunity.", "link": "item?id=3353126", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "The article had a linkbait title, to be sure.<p>It is a significant problem to have deployed CBC with predictable IVs (all zeroes is no worse than any other predictable IV), for the very same reason it's bad to use ECB mode.<p>The IV does not need to be secret, but an attacker shouldn't be able to predict what the IV for a given piece of plaintext <i>will be</i> before it's encrypted. If that makes sense.", "link": "item?id=3352260", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "This is kind of a silly thing to file a bug about.<p>The library design decision we don't like is that the IV isn't required; ie, an IV is not among the required arguments of some function in the argument.<p>There's no reasonable hot fix for this problem. It requires an API change to \"fix\".<p>Believe me, please believe me, there are much much worse things that developers will get wrong with AES on the iPhone than not remembering to set a random IV.", "link": "item?id=3352242", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Long story short: a crypto lib on the iPhone is among the many where the default is an all-zeroes IV. Does any application shipping with the iPhone use that default? The author doesn't know. I think it's unlikely.<p>How big a deal is CBC with an all-zeroes IV? Well, it's less of a big deal than ECB mode, which is the default in <i>even more AES libraries</i>. But ECB mode, is (inexplicably) an actual \"mode\". ECB is harder to single out as an error than an all-zeroes IV, which is explainable only as a mistake. Also, no library on the iPhone ships with a ECB default, unlike, say, OpenSSL, Cryptlib, the Java crypto extensions, &#38;c.<p>In both ECB mode and CBC-with-predictable-IV mode, the problem is that the same 16 bytes of plaintext will (often, in CBC's case; always, in ECB) produce the same ciphertext. This increases malleability and allows attackers to easily rewrite messages. More importantly, if an attacker controls the size of any part of the input, they can arrange to create ciphertext blocks with only 1-2 unknown bytes, which are trivially brute forced.<p><i>By the way: here's more than you ever wanted to know about IVs in CBC mode:</i><p><a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2029640\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2029640</a><p><i>If you just want to know what \"IV\" means, it's \"fictitious first ciphertext block in a block cipher mode that involves chaining ciphertext values\".</i>", "link": "item?id=3352195", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Isn't this effectively what Redis does too?<p>There are whole Salvatore posts about doing binary data structures in Redis string values.", "link": "item?id=3340588", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 29, "names": "tzs", "comments": [{"comment": "This is an induction cooktop, so you can safely touch it with your fingers. It doesn't get hot.", "link": "item?id=3444445", "user": "qw"}, {"comment": "Not in my experience. When I worked in fine dining the chefs were fanatical about their knives. Later in life I've become friends with some professional chefs who also are particular about their knives.<p>Now, they don't go around announcing to all their friends about what kind of knife they use (like many home cooks), but they do care about their tools.<p>Personally I just want knives that are sharp. I view them a lot like wine. There is a big jump from the $2 bottle to the $8-$20 bottle and then not so much from there. Buying the middle ground makes sense.", "link": "item?id=3442886", "user": "matwood"}, {"comment": "You know - I unfortunately never was to 'pro' kitchen, so I don't know how these work, but if it is similar to how I cook - sure, they're cleaning them up as they go (that's the only sane way to do it.), but I'm not sure whether such stove doesn't require throughout cleaning after whole day/night of use - and that's something I imagine being done by someone else than chef - and that's when the 'cleanability' part comes in play.", "link": "item?id=3442818", "user": "klausa"}, {"comment": "Gas may be very cheap, but we pull it from the ground.<p>We may pull a lot of our electricity from the ground at the moment too, but there are options for renewable sources of electricity.<p>GE rates their induction cooktops are being able to boil water about 25% faster than their gas cooktops with similar gas output. But I have seen other scores that show that induction is only slightly faster at boiling water.", "link": "item?id=3445414", "user": "kondro"}, {"comment": "I'm actually from Europe (The Netherlands), but it is not the price of gas that appeals to me, but the flexibility of a gas stove.<p>I do a lot of stir-fry cooking with a wok and the only way those things work well is if there is a blazing inferno below them. I also like to use cast-iron pans for grilling, because they hold heat well and don't cool off as quickly as aluminium cookware, which helps a lot with big pieces of meat and fish.<p>I must admit that the cleanliness and beauty of induction stoves does appeal to me. A combination stove where half of it is induction (for boiling water, cooking pasta etc.) and half is gas for more heavy-duty work would be perfect.", "link": "item?id=3443355", "user": "micheljansen"}, {"comment": "The GP [SeanLuke] does make one good point, which is that using a BSD-style license is a good idea, because it gives you ammunition to help defeat a \"creative\" claim that you should be liable for problems other people have with your code.<p>Otherwise, I agree, there are a fair number of inaccuracies in the GP [SeanLuke] comment.", "link": "item?id=3440812", "user": "dctoedt"}, {"comment": "ObjC++ might be an even better fit", "link": "item?id=3440741", "user": "fleitz"}, {"comment": "I don't think it's really an issue of <i>passion</i>. Rather, it is an issue of demographics: almost everybody is affected or at least mildly interested in politics; only smaller subsets of the population are interested in Haskell/Erlang/complexity/aglorithms...etc. Frankly, I bet some people are as \"passionate\" (for a loose definition of \"passionate\") about, say, functional programming as others are about politics; there are just more people with at least a casual interest in the latter than the former.<p>Also, as HN gets more readers, it becomes more diverse. I've seen doctors, medical students, lawyers...etc post. It's no surprise somebody like that is going to skip a post about using abstract mathematics to model programming or about optimizing lunch at your startup; they are probably gravitating towards the political articles. On the other hand, just being interested in start-ups and CS does not preclude looking at politics.<p>So really, I think this is a function of diversity: in a purely democratic system--everybody has an equal vote--less specialized things really have an advantage. This is why I don't bother reading the newspaper or front page of reddit, but still enjoy /r/haskell.<p>I'm sure there are also plenty of confounding variables; I just think it's more broad appeal than passion. (Seriously, have you read the responses to people's blindly disparaging functional programming? At least as passionate as most political posts ;).)", "link": "item?id=3498493", "user": "tikhonj"}, {"comment": "Thanks for the feedback. If you could send me the details, I'll check that they make sense. The key part is \"everything else being equal\". The everything else actually influences how important the idea is and how much the developer would get...", "link": "item?id=3491659", "user": "alain94040"}, {"comment": "One of the things I'd like to know is how The Atlantic ended up with so much HN coverage. I like it from time to time, but not a day passes without an article from there on here, many times multiple articles, and that's kind of weird.", "link": "item?id=3475324", "user": "DanielBMarkham"}, {"comment": "I am aware that there are very large companies that were originally funded by YC. There are some problems that do not begin with throwing some code on EC2 and iterating to success. Hardware design and production is the area that comes to mind. I realize that there are a few companies that were funded by YC that did some hardware design and production, but they are certainly not representative of the entire problem of hardware design and production.", "link": "item?id=3466123", "user": "absconditus"}, {"comment": "To test for bad ram, run Memtest. It'll run overnight and look at all the parts of your ram.", "link": "item?id=3470231", "user": "rmc"}, {"comment": "Being more on the business side than the development side, I completely identify with what you're saying. The statement that value is derived from the cost of the alternative is central to market thinkers, of which I identify myself as.<p>However! This statement struck me as out of place:<p>&#62; The moralism in these threads is an irrelevant sideshow.<p>There is not 100% agreement on the moralism of copying digital goods. There is, agree or disagree, a lack of 100% acceptance of copyright as it stands today. This introduces an alternative that costs $0, which messes up the whole market equation. This moral conflict has to be resolved before you can arrive at a market price for digital goods.", "link": "item?id=3453740", "user": "bradleyland"}, {"comment": "(Oswalt's response: <a href=\"http://www.pattonoswalt.com/index.cfm?page=spew\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.pattonoswalt.com/index.cfm?page=spew</a>)", "link": "item?id=3437707", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "If he's in Virginia (I was there 9 years), it takes a significant income to have a home. My old one bedroom condo at 835 sqft was 240k in 2005. A single family home in a reasonable neighborhood starts at $300k pretty easily which is easily 2-3x prices here in Austin.<p>The problem is that salaries in DC aren't double Austin.. they're more like 1.3-1.5x.<p>Also, once you're about the 50k threshold for income, some of those deductions - like for student loans - start decreasing and disappear.", "link": "item?id=3437205", "user": "caseysoftware"}, {"comment": "SOPA is an attempted transfer of wealth from the Internet Industry to the Entertainment Industry. The entertainment industry has out-lobbied the Internet industry.<p>SOPA will be incredibly destructive to a _vast_ range of internet properties, and it's not clear how effective it will be long term in protecting the entertainment industry.<p>Re: Game of Thrones on BItTorrent - Everything is available on Bit Torrent. People with money are typically honest, and turn to Torrenting only because they have no other avenues to purchase these things honestly.<p>[edit]: I used to think that Torrenting was unethical/immoral in addition to being illegal. Now that I pay for pretty much 100% of everything I watch - I think Torrenting plays an important role in motivating rights holders to make their material both competitive and broadly available. $50/Season for GameOfThrones is fine, as long as it's available (a) in a format I can download onto my MacBook Air, and (b) on a timely basis. HBO would have close to zero motivation to make this content available in downloadable format on a timely basis if there weren't alternatives.", "link": "item?id=3432298", "user": "ghshephard"}, {"comment": "Along with such notable somebodies as James McClure (who is currently being Google-bombed by a pickle company) and Norris Cotton (being victimized by a fluffy fiber).", "link": "item?id=3427012", "user": "scarmig"}, {"comment": "I would agree with you, except it's not one company or person gaming google. Thousands of different internet users have linked his name to the gag site. The reason it's at the top is that it legitimately IS the center of the web of links for the keyword \"Santorum.\" The links driving the popularity of the site are not from content farms or SEO networks, but legitimate blogs, tweets and articles. It's not a result of SEO gaming, but a genuine internet-wide smear campaign (which of course is reflected on Google).<p>So the only motivation Google would have for penalizing the site is that it <i>is</i> the result of a smear campaign. And that sets a very dangerous precedent - for Google to identify and penalize sites based on intent or message would be censorship much worse than just allowing their algorithm to run its course.", "link": "item?id=3426599", "user": "lukev"}, {"comment": "Sure, but my point was that it's not a one-way exchange of value. The sales staff may be paid less, but they get lower risk in return. Whether they like that is up to them.", "link": "item?id=3426977", "user": "jacques_chester"}, {"comment": "You're right. Finding vulnerabilities is <i>not</i> easy. I was talking about people in the security industry that just like to talk.", "link": "item?id=3371254", "user": "va_coder"}, {"comment": "Saying that a fundamental different approach is needed to improve software security is radically different than saying we are \"a few tutorials and open letters from secure web applications.\" My rant was the former.", "link": "item?id=3371513", "user": "miles_matthias"}, {"comment": "These are great questions. The one question I use with experienced hires is \"Talk to me about the hardest bug you've ever worked on.\" I will keep drilling down to deeper and deeper levels to figure out how much they actually know, as opposed to memorize.", "link": "item?id=3371147", "user": "steve8918"}, {"comment": "Looks like you're right, interpreter time dominates unless I use rbx, and it's still not a big win for linked lists.<p>But the meaning of your last sentence escapes. Linked lists are tractable compared to intractable linked lists? Antecedent mismatch?", "link": "item?id=3370972", "user": "tedunangst"}, {"comment": "Wow, that sounds painful. So do people not use things like graphs or trees in Ruby due to perf? I actually used to do Python development -- about 13 or so years ago, but had to quit due to perf just being abysmal for applications intended for customers (and started focusing on C++). Is Ruby today similarly bad for apps that make heavy use of data structures like trees/graphs as Python more than a decade ago?<p>EDIT: Updated to remove the term 'toy-apps'", "link": "item?id=3370920", "user": "kenjackson"}, {"comment": "It's actually kind of fun to write a program in a language you don't know, just learning by Googling as you go. I did that when I wanted to write some add-ons for Warhammer Online. Someday, I'm going to have to properly learn Lua and its idioms and conventions and then go back and look at my Warhammer stuff and see just how horrible I did.<p>If anyone wants to laugh at my code, here it is: <a href=\"https://github.com/tzs/WAR-Whom\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://github.com/tzs/WAR-Whom</a><p>I also did the same thing with JavaScript. I wanted a calculator for Talisman building in Warhammer Online. At first I was going to do it as an iPhone application. Then I decided a web page would make more sense, and so was going to write it as a Perl CGI application. Then I decided it would make more sense to do it in JavaScript so that my server wasn't doing the work.<p>That code is here: <a href=\"https://github.com/tzs/WAR-TalismanCalculator\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://github.com/tzs/WAR-TalismanCalculator</a><p>These were fun experiments, but overall I think I prefer to learn the way I learned C. I got K&#38;R, read it, then went to the computer center (this was before personal computers were common), sat down at a terminal, and started hacking out some simple programs, with my K&#38;R at my side. A couple sessions of that cleared up the few things I had misunderstood.<p>Unfortunately, I've never found a book as good as K&#38;R for any other language I've wanted to learn.<p>I remember reading an article about \"Digital Natives\" and \"Digital Immigrants\". The thesis of the article was that people who grow up in the digital world have a fundamentally different approach to things like learning than do those of us who grew up pre-digital. They are the natives--they grew up with computers, and multitasking, and access to vast amounts of online knowledge. They don't want to learn things by sitting down with a book and reading it through chapter by chapter, and then go out and apply that knowledge. They expect that for any task they wish to accomplish, they can learn what they need when they need it by going to Wikipedia, or Googling, or getting help on IRC, and so on.<p>When I set out to write my Warhammer Online add-on and the talisman calculator, I was consciously trying to act more like a digital native than a digital immigrant, to see how well it worked. It worked out better than I expected, but not enough to convince me that the digital native approach is better than the digital immigrant approach.", "link": "item?id=3355727", "user": "tzs"}, {"comment": "You won't be shitbanned, tptacek. Someone with 100 karma who makes a contrary post for a YC company will.", "link": "item?id=3354615", "user": "tshtf"}, {"comment": "I took a job at Scribd at least in part because their lead recruiter, Jack, was the only one of six recruiters / companies to whom I spoke who could be bothered to read my individualized cover letter before speaking to me on the phone. I put in 2-3 hours of research per company before applying, and my cover letters were written for the firm and position. Most people couldn't be arsed to read 3-5 paragraphs.", "link": "item?id=3353333", "user": "earl"}, {"comment": "The big difference between the ECB and CBC block cipher modes is that in ECB identical blocks of plaintext will produce identical blocks of ciphertext, within the same communication. This will reveal something (at least that there's lots of identical blocks) about the content of the plaintext which may be used to device an attack.<p>In CBC (with known IV) you only get the same ciphertext for identical blocks in the beginning of different transmissions if you use the same key for both transmissions. As you're not supposed to use the same key twice for a stream cipher, it's not a really big issue.", "link": "item?id=3352298", "user": "exDM69"}, {"comment": "<a href=\"http://redis.io/topics/data-types\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://redis.io/topics/data-types</a><p>Strings are the most basic kind of Redis value. Redis Strings are binary safe, this means that a Redis string can contain any kind of data, for instance a JPEG image or a serialized Ruby object.", "link": "item?id=3340781", "user": "iFire"}], "children": [{"number": 20, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "My concern is not that you'd burn your hand off (I have an induction burner). My concern is that people who cook a lot like to be able to adjust temps by feel and (as someone else pointed out) muscle memory. If you listen to Dave Arnold's \"Cooking Issues\" podcast (you should! it's really awesome!), you'll learn that pro kitchen chefs have this problem in a lot of places --- high end equipment with digital variable controls, when they just want simple dials and paddle switches.", "link": "item?id=3444834", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I probably know fewer chefs than you do, but the ones I know make fun of the ultra expensive Williams Sonoma knives home cooks buy.<p>What part of fine dining did you work in? Any kitchens I'd have heard of?", "link": "item?id=3442916", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "If we're talking about a cooktop, my thought about the word \"cleanability\" is, does it attract grit and grime, can you quickly wipe it down with a side towel, does it have lots of fiddly grooves where things get trapped, do the burners get clogged easily.", "link": "item?id=3442861", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I think I agree with all this; I'm just making (or actually regurgitating) an argument for why induction isn't as popular here as it is in Europe. Again: induction is awesome.<p>But I've done my own tests and so has Cooks Illustrated and it doesn't look like the typical induction unit boils water faster than gas. On the other hand: who cares?", "link": "item?id=3445771", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "The gas burners designed for woks also supply heat all around the wok, not just from the bottom-up; woks are supposedly notoriously poor performers on conventional cooktops.<p>Gas cooktops are great! For me, based on my limited experience and knowledge, it's (Tied for 1st) [Gas, Induction], then the 2-slice toaster, then the microwave oven, then electric.", "link": "item?id=3443424", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "While conceding immediately that you generally do want to take whatever \"free\" steps that are available to you to avoid frivolous lawsuits, what's your take on how likely it is that someone would prevail with a claim like \"a bug in the software code that you abandoned all claims to cost me millions of dollars\"?<p>(I ask because I'm curious, not to further a debate about PD).", "link": "item?id=3440836", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I always got a \"stay on the golden path and away from ObjC++\" vibe from ObjC++, kind of like trying to ask Rails to do database stuff without using ActiveRecord in 2008.<p>You can easily write C++ code without having to bridge ObjC's object system to C++'s object-and-generics system: provide a simple C API to your C++ libraries.<p>But the other thing is, one reason to do ObjC at all is to avoid all the heartache that comes bundled with C++.<p><i>PS: You got modded down. Baffling. Fixed.</i>", "link": "item?id=3440751", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "2-3% is an entire team lead role; it's what you'd give to an amazing VP/Marketing, or one of your best developers 9 months in.<p>There may be ideas worth an equity bump, but I think Spolsky is dead-on about the common case: the idea doesn't mean anything. Sure, you can take your idea and work it with another team --- but your prospective team can take their ability to execute and work it on another idea.<p>Moreover, in many <i>many</i> companies, the key idea that enables the business comes long after the team starts on the first idea; maybe it's a pivot, maybe it's a refinement, but either way, the core intellectual kernel that \"makes\" the business isn't predictable. When it comes, most teams don't suddenly grant the person who generated it another 3% of the company.<p>It's destructive to suggest that, in the common case, an idea is worth multiple percentage points. Just zero that line out in your calculator. You can't calculate the uncommon cases, so what's useful is a shared understanding of what \"usual\" is.<p>Personally --- again, this is just me --- if you all start at the same time, and you all quit your jobs, and you all get the same kind of income (steady salary, quarterly distro, nothing, &#38;c), you split the thing up evenly. Not even worth discussing. 33/33/33 and vest.", "link": "item?id=3494778", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "One obvious explanation: there are accounts that do nothing but submit Atlantic stories to HN.<p>Another one, more saddening: the Atlantic has in the past 2 years crafted an online presence that basically competes tit-for-tat with Slate, meaning a lot of clipped little blog posts (often from guest writers) and fewer long-form narrative journalism pieces.<p>Also, Graham has more or less let go of the \"what's on-topic for HN\" site guideline.", "link": "item?id=3476331", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "We software developers are in a whole heap of a lot of trouble if we expect the broad market to dignify the idea that digital goods are legitimately priced at \"what they cost to copy\".", "link": "item?id=3453756", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "A $300k single family home is a starter home in the upper middle class.<p>The only deductions I mentioned --- mortgage interest and state taxes --- don't vanish at $50k.", "link": "item?id=3437361", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Sure, delis would have zero incentive to pay protection money to the mob, if there weren't alternatives, like a busted kneecap.", "link": "item?id=3432969", "user": "euroclydon"}, {"comment": "I'm not sure we're working from similar definitions of terms.", "link": "item?id=3427014", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Google already states its intention to tune its SERPs so that they answer the questions users likely intend to pose when they type a search in. Google is already in the business of judging search intent.<p>The \"dangerous precedent\" you're talking about was set by the Google web spam team a long time ago.", "link": "item?id=3426615", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "But I'm not making a moral judgement. Pay your sales team whatever you want. Pay them minimum wage; for the people who accept the job, you're still doing them a service.<p>My point is that you will get <i>bad</i> salespeople by selecting for the ones willing to take smooth, low returns over commissions.", "link": "item?id=3427018", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I got \"tutorials\" and \"open letters\" from your comment.<p>I fundamentally disagree with the idea that publishing new ways to break software <i>isn't</i> the best tool we have to improve software security.<p>But even if I didn't, if you're going to berate someone for publishing an attack instead of doing something else, the onus is on you to come up with a plausible alternative.", "link": "item?id=3371815", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Something like that. rbx takes about 0.5 secs to start up, but after that it generally runs in the neighborhood of 10x faster, assuming you're spending enough time in actual ruby code to make that possible.", "link": "item?id=3371031", "user": "tedunangst"}, {"comment": "The key to understanding languages whose runtimes interpret an optree is to realize that all performance depends on the number of ops. When you implement a linked list in pure Ruby, that's a lot of operations that the runtime has to keep track of. When you insert into an array, the actual work is done (in C) in a single operation. Less bookkeeping, less overhead. If you implement both arrays and linked lists in pure Ruby, you'll see the performance you expect. If you implement arrays in C and linked lists in Ruby, the array will probably be faster for any workload. (But implement the linked list in C, and you'll see the performance you expect again. It's computer science, not magic.)", "link": "item?id=3371735", "user": "jrockway"}, {"comment": "A couple years ago a prominent user with ~9000 karma was hellbanned for <i>getting picked on by Zed Shaw</i>, and pg went as far as adding new code to news.arc afterward so he wouldn't show up on the \"leaders\" list anymore (he was unbanned a month ago).<p>You'd be surprised, it doesn't take much to get pg trigger-happy. He's threatened me with banning a few times myself!", "link": "item?id=3359041", "user": "blasdel"}, {"comment": "It's a significant issue. For instance, Thai Duong and Juliano Rizzo's recent SSL decrypting attack relied on predicting (not controlling) IVs --- in other words, literally the attack this thread is talking about, but under more constraints.<p>It is not a \"really big issue\" in the sense of \"we forgot to put a MAC on this ciphertext to guarantee authenticity\", which is a more common mistake than not setting an IV; or, a \"really big issue\" in the sense of \"we managed to expose a padding oracle\", which is a more common CBC mistake. But it is a significant mistake.<p>How you choose to key streams is an orthogonal concern to whether your block cipher mode leaks data.", "link": "item?id=3352315", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 9, "names": "cageface", "comments": [{"comment": "Obj-C++ is working well for me so far and the STL is much better than Obj-C's awkward and slow collection classes for anything that needs to run fast or that requires significant algorithmic complexity.", "link": "item?id=3441181", "user": "cageface"}, {"comment": "The odds that a plaintiff would prevail in such a claim are close to zero. <i>But</i> defending against the claim would cost money. \"Free\" steps such as the BSD license give you a better shot at being able to stop the claim at lower cost --- think Spock with a Vulcan neck pinch, as opposed to Kirk having to slug it out out.", "link": "item?id=3441309", "user": "dctoedt"}, {"comment": "Keep in mind I didn't mention anything about the price, just that they had tools that they liked much like I am about my computers. They each had what they liked and that's what they used. The thing is, unlike home chefs, the pros didn't care what anyone else used or felt the need to talk about their knife being better than some other knife. They just found a knife or set that had a good weight and fit their hand well.<p>When I worked fine dining it was at the Mills House [1] over 10 years ago. Sometimes I miss the days where my job ended as soon as I left work with a wad of cash :)<p>[1] <a href=\"http://www.millshouse.com/amenities/dining.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.millshouse.com/amenities/dining.html</a>", "link": "item?id=3443771", "user": "matwood"}, {"comment": "I feel that way about cars. The new digital controls are awful and slow compared to the old sliders and dials.", "link": "item?id=3449747", "user": "michaelcampbell"}, {"comment": "I think the moral position of \"copy anything\" is definitely questionable, but time and time again we've seen the actual markets compete in this way. The decline of music sales is practically a case study in this fact. Whether or not someone will openly state that they evaluate the \"cost to copy\" option is one thing, but how they act is another. I can't claim that I've never pirated a movie or music, thus I have no moral basis for dismissing that position out of hand.<p>I'd take the contrary view. If you <i>don't</i> consider \"cost to copy\" a market competitor, you're in a whole heap of trouble. Position your business in a way that isn't exposed to this type of alternate-pricing, or be prepared to compete with it.", "link": "item?id=3453793", "user": "bradleyland"}, {"comment": "I think you are misrepresenting the power structure here. If it weren't for people downloading music for free off the internet, we would never have managed to get $0.99/tracks on iTunes in DRM free format - no motivation for the Music Industry to do so.<p>Remember - Consumers are _customers_ - all we really want is to be able to read/play/listen/purchase the content that is created in a format compatible with the tools/systems that we use.", "link": "item?id=3433988", "user": "ghshephard"}, {"comment": "<i>The \"dangerous precedent\" you're talking about was set by the Google web spam team a long time ago.</i><p>Yep. If you wanted to look at one particular event, several years ago a major Nazi site ranked #1 for [Jew], because the people who care about [Jew] and were early adopters on the Internet happened to be Nazis. Google, at the time, refused to hand-edit that, and instead put PSA AdWords ads against the SERP for [Jew] saying \"While we're certainly not Nazis, the algorithm decrees that the most relevant result for this search is, regrettably, a Nazi site.\" [Edit to add: Wow, the page did not linkrot: <a href=\"http://www.google.com/explanation.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.google.com/explanation.html</a> ]This was a deeply controversial result internally and externally at the time.<p>Google 2012 <i>is not</i> Google 2002. Results which would get mentioned on the nightly news get fixed, period.", "link": "item?id=3426767", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "&#62; But I'm not making a moral judgement.<p>I was addressing the parent comment to mine, which did seem to be making a value judgement.<p>&#62; My point is that you will get bad salespeople by selecting for the ones willing to take smooth, low returns over commissions.<p>Can you back this up with figures, or is it your expert opinion?", "link": "item?id=3427362", "user": "jacques_chester"}, {"comment": "Can you show me your list implementation? I just installed rbx and tried this; the Array implementation ran in single-digit seconds, but I gave up and CTR-C'd the list one (which works fine for smaller lists).", "link": "item?id=3371092", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 5, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "One of the nice things about going back from Ruby to a C language is, it's hard to think of anything you could do in the C language that would be as non-performant as Ruby. As slow as ObjC's collections are, they're faster than Ruby's.", "link": "item?id=3441612", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Since appropriating someone else's photo for commercial use without compensation will assuredly get you sued and incur costs far greater than simply licensing the photo, there's an irony to the fact that the discussion on HN about photos is couched in moralism, even though morality is way less relevant to the photo case than it is to the software case (you can easily appropriate software without paying for it, as GPL violators do every day).", "link": "item?id=3453806", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I concede immediately that I'm oversimplifying the issue. Google doesn't keep the \"problem\" Santorum result at the top of the SERP simply because they don't like Rick Santorum.<p>They're also (perhaps mostly) doing it to keep themselves out of the news, since the prevailing meme about that SERP now is \"oh well, that's how the Internet works\" and the result of a manual intervention would be a flood of news stories about an intervention Google probably doesn't want everyone knowing they do regularly.", "link": "item?id=3426801", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "In the 3 companies I've worked at where I worked closely with direct sales teams, the ones who beat their numbers stick around, the ones who don't get fired. Your salary is the base pay you get whether you clear your numbers or not.<p>It's weird to call that \"expert opinion\". I'm not an \"expert\" at managing sales teams, though I've hired salespeople in 2 companies (I've never done sales or managed a sales organization). But we're right now not so much discussing my <i>opinions</i> about direct sales as we are talking about basic facts.", "link": "item?id=3427675", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "My test was:<p>1. Make a 1,000,000 node linked list of integers (I used doubly linked lists but I don't think it matters).<p>2. 1,000 times, insert into the middle of the list; I wrote a trivial O(n) stateless insert and called it with an offset of 500,000 1,000 times.<p>3. Make a 1,000,000 element Array of integers --- I just did \"1000000.times.map\".<p>4. 1,000 times call \"insert\" with an index of 500,000.<p>Step (2) takes so long I kill the process. Step (4) takes a barely perceptible amount of time. (Both in Rubinius).<p>It looks to me like:<p>* You're using much smaller data structures than I am<p>* Your \"Array\" case is still building Link objects, so still incurs the object management overhead<p>* You're inserting at the head of the list every time, which doesn't incur seek time. But inserts at the head or tail of a contiguous array don't need to seek or reallocate either.", "link": "item?id=3371362", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "tedunangst", "comments": [{"comment": "If you have to seek into the list, of course it's going to suck, that's not a good application for a list. Your test would blow just as bad in C. I'm not sure that says anything interesting about lists vs arrays in ruby in particular.<p>I am using the same data structure, I guess it would be a little smaller without the next attr. Still seems fair. Building an array of objects is going to require allocating them. I build hand rolled linked lists by directly linking the objects of interest. Calling the class Link may have been a misnomer, it could have been called AnyClass.<p>It's easy to insert at the tail of an array (I'm actually inserting at the tail of the list, btw), but popping from the front means having to shift everything down. That's what makes the FIFO case interesting. If we're going to prove that ruby is too slow for linked lists to be viable, we need to be testing a scenario where linked lists generally are viable.", "link": "item?id=3371439", "user": "tedunangst"}, {"comment": "I agree with you, personally; commissions have their place.<p>That said we don't really know. Everyone uses commissions because everyone agrees that they work. But I'm not sure we've tested the alternative. That's why the Fog Creek trial will be interesting.", "link": "item?id=3431113", "user": "jacques_chester"}, {"comment": "Yeah, and they're fast enough for a lot of things, but I'm doing DSP at 44.1k/sec and even C++ virtual functions are too slow for that. But I can use an STL vector at no penalty over a native array.", "link": "item?id=3441745", "user": "cageface"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "The most naive possible C implementation takes 2.5 seconds to run this same test. I just tried it.<p>The point of a list is \"insert and delete from the middle\", so I don't know how to respond to the idea that actually inserting and deleting from the middle of the list is a bad benchmark.<p>It's difficult to respond to your last point about FIFOs for a different reason. Popping 1000 times from a 1,000,000 Array is so fast that I'd have to write code to benchmark it. And Ruby doesn't even optimize for that case; in real code, I'd use a ring buffer so that pops are just pointer adds. Ruby is, to the best of my knowledge, actually copying every single time. Copies are just way way way faster than you seem to expect them to be.", "link": "item?id=3371486", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "barrkel", "comments": [{"comment": "The reason manipulating linked lists in the middle is faster than arrays is so you can save the O(n) work of moving elements. But you lose that if you still do O(n) worth of seeking. There is no big-O difference between inserting and deleting in the middle of an array and a plain linked list, if the linked list is forced to seek.<p>I'm sure this is as obvious to you as it is to me, but perhaps the perspective it comes from explains why people are thinking that your described operations on the list are a dodgy benchmark for judging linked lists vs arrays; absent constant factors, they should perform the same. (And yes, for reasonable input on modern machines, the constant factors will dominate.)", "link": "item?id=3372332", "user": "barrkel"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm sure I agree with everything you're saying here, but it carries a whiff of tautology. You lose the benefit of middle-insertion in a list if you have to seek, but part of the point of using an array is not having to seek ever.<p>Anyways the only thing that moved me to comment is the general inferiority of linked list data structures compared to arrays, which are what Ruby (sensibly) uses.", "link": "item?id=3372429", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "adam", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm reading this thread and kind of tearing my hair out.<p>One theoretical case where lists beat arrays is seeking to the middle (once) and inserting 1000000 items in that one spot.<p>If you want to test if lists <i>can ever be useful</i> in Ruby then you want to test the case that they are theoretically useful. Your test is a theoretical dead heat as arrays and lists both perform O(n) in it. All you learn is that arrays are faster in Ruby for the same complexity, which we knew already.", "link": "item?id=3373579", "user": "adam"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "\"We\" didn't know that already; there was an implicit argument that there might ever be a point to building a linked list in Ruby, which, no.<p>Like I said, we're way off the rails here.", "link": "item?id=3373845", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "adam", "comments": [{"comment": "I probably shouldn't have replied and dragged it out, and I apologise for my tone but you seem to be almost wilfully missing the point.<p>There are problems where a linked list is theoretically better suited than an array. Your test is a problem where they are theoretically evenly matched. The interesting question is: do the benefits of native code etc, that you get when using an array outweigh the costs that you incur for using a non-optimal data structure for a given problem? To answer this you would need to come up with a situation where a list should be faster if the array and list were both native or both higher level ruby implementations. Then compare the actual running times to see what impact native code vs ruby code has.<p>All your test shows is that in a problem where neither data structure has an advantage in complexity, i.e. they both perform in O(n), the one backed by native code is faster. My assertion is that is a pretty boring thing to discover and \"we\", or most people, would guess that anyway.", "link": "item?id=3374073", "user": "adam"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "I think we're not communicating well because we're deep in a tangential subthread.<p>I take your point that repeated insertion at a specific held reference to the middle of a list is faster than insertion into the middle of an array.<p>I'm just saying that in Ruby, where every list node incurs object overhead and where list iteration is done by tree walking and array referencing is done by pointer dereferencing in the background, lists underperform arrays even in cases where you'd expect the algorithmic complexity of a list to yield a big win.", "link": "item?id=3374273", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "Retric", "comments": [{"comment": "If your want to insert and delete in the middle use a binary tree. Linked lists are reasonable for queues and that's about it.<p>PS: Slip lists are not bad though.", "link": "item?id=3372345", "user": "Retric"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "anonymoushn", "comments": [{"comment": "Of course blitting half of an array will be much faster than dereferencing an equal number of list nodes. I don't think you would want to use a linked list in a situation that resembles your benchmark. If you were going to insert many more elements at a time than 1 (like, say, all 1,000), or if you had to traverse the entire list and also update some parts of it, then I would expect it to do significantly better.<p>Probably not in Ruby, though.", "link": "item?id=3371597", "user": "anonymoushn"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>Groan</i>.<p>The point of doing 1000 list middle-inserts isn't to see how fast 1000 list middle-inserts are; it's to capture how <i>much faster</i> those inserts are (or aren't) than the same number of Array middle-inserts.<p>As it turns out here: Arrays way faster than lists.<p>This whole thread has gone off the rails a bit (albeit in the most enjoyable possible way --- the kind that makes us write code to test assumptions). The real point is: linked lists in Ruby are pretty silly, and an even sillier interview question.", "link": "item?id=3371821", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "moultano", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>Google 2012 is not Google 2002. Results which would get mentioned on the nightly news get fixed, period.</i><p>I disagree. We certainly like to fix bad results, but not manually. There's a very narrow range of things Google is willing to do manually in search. One of them is taking action on sites that are found to have violated the webmaster guidelines, but banning a result from a query just because it's embarrassing isn't something we do.<p>For instance, in that example you cite, jewwatch.com is still at number 2 for [jew].", "link": "item?id=3427701", "user": "moultano"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "jaggederest", "comments": [{"comment": "It still ranks 3rd for the term 'jew', right after 'jew watch', which I assume is a hate site.", "link": "item?id=3426826", "user": "jaggederest"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "drivebyacct2", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62;Results which would get mentioned on the nightly news get fixed, period.<p>I can't think of a single publication or media outlet that hasn't covered Santorum's \"Google problem\".", "link": "item?id=3427325", "user": "drivebyacct2"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "rat87", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm not sure whether he is right ,but I think that's his point(ie he believes that most similar problems get special tweaking and Santorum doeesn't for whatever reason)", "link": "item?id=3427543", "user": "rat87"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "burgerbrain", "comments": [{"comment": "Software developers don't have to sell \"digital goods\". They can sell their work. Pay a developer to get the feature you want added next.", "link": "item?id=3454482", "user": "Peaker"}, {"comment": "Well, I (of course) cannot speak for the general google using population, but the few times I have ever googled santorum it has been to show people the gag results.", "link": "item?id=3426777", "user": "burgerbrain"}, {"comment": "<i>All I meant to say is that on MRI, you might as well give up on reference-based linked lists; they just don't work at scale.</i><p>I think that, sadly, this is true of almost any well engineered data structure. MRI's overhead is so vast that even if you perform an operation at, say, O(n) with the logical solution, using a naive built-in or iterative technique with retrieval of O(n * n) will be faster up until the often rather distant point where the lines cross.", "link": "item?id=3372460", "user": "petercooper"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "That works great, as long as we're all happy shaving a couple orders of magnitude off the value of the software industry.", "link": "item?id=3454872", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "That's the only reason anybody I know that has ever googled \"Santorum\" also.<p>And seriously, given that The Daily Show has pumped this gag several times (the Mitt Romney v. Santorum chocolate box thing last night being the latest), with its millions and millions of viewers, to say nothing of all the other publicity that this gag has gotten, I think it's reasonable to say that this \"gag\" -- the collective redefinition of the word Santorum in response to perceived bigotry -- is actually a bigger deal than Rick Santorum the (fringey, extreme, minor) Republican politician.<p>That would likely change if Santorum actually began to be a <i>plausible</i> contender for the presidential nomination, but that's extremely unlikely.<p>I think the maximum response from Google appropriate to this issue would be one of those explanatory disclaimers in the sidebar, like they put next to the photoshopped gorilla photo results when you image-searched for Michelle Obama.", "link": "item?id=3427129", "user": "veidr"}, {"comment": "It's just as bad on Rubinius and just as bad on JRuby. I think this has more to do with tree-walking (and using a data structure that intensively requires that) than simply MRI overhead.", "link": "item?id=3374083", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "Drbble", "comments": [{"comment": "s/value/profit/<p>There is a difference. GPL software like Linux is hugely valuable, it's value is generally not measured, since it is a cost saving (and a near no-brainer to choose when the quitting is good), not a profit or expense.<p>Also, MS and Apple (only _really_ since recently) sell software, but Google and Facebook no not.", "link": "item?id=3455050", "user": "Drbble"}, {"comment": "You might want to read up on the developments of the last 24 hours.<p>Santorum has gone from being a fringe minor candidate to being the last conservative standard bearer with a shot. It may be temporary, but he lost the Iowa caucus by 8 votes (ie, essentially tied it).", "link": "item?id=3427502", "user": "yahelc"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "I do know about the Iowa caucus outcome, but I don't think it says much about Santorum's chance of becoming the Republican party nominee.<p>Now if Santorum somehow went on to win, or even do well, in South Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, and then several more states, then I'd be proved incorrect and at that point Mr. Santorum would probably be a bigger deal than grody-substance santorum. And, perhaps, Google's top search result might even organically change. But that's still exceedingly unlikely.<p>Not that I place <i>too</i> much stock in arbitrary futures markets, especially with regard to democratically-conducted elections, but Intrade's numbers are historically more predictive than what Iowa's ~120,000 Republican caucus-goers choose:<p><a href=\"http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=690905\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=69090...</a>", "link": "item?id=3427866", "user": "veidr"}, {"comment": "I'm just saying that we'll all make a lot less money.<p>Anyways, this is a tangent from the point I was originally trying to make.", "link": "item?id=3455074", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "ams6110", "comments": [{"comment": "In 1980, Reagan, the conservative, narrowly lost Iowa to George H. W. Bush, the \"establishment\" Republican.", "link": "item?id=3427612", "user": "ams6110"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "lukev", "comments": [{"comment": "Algorithmically, sure, that's their goal. Manual intervention is another kettle of fish entirely.", "link": "item?id=3426756", "user": "lukev"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "wglb", "comments": [{"comment": "So that leads to the question of why Bing is giving similar results.", "link": "item?id=3427238", "user": "wglb"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm not disputing the fact that the \"problem\" link landed at the top of [santorum] organically and algorithmically. Of course it did. Google didn't stick it at the top of the SERP.<p>But Google <i>does</i> police SERPs for shenanigans like this, and is deliberately not touching this one (for any of a variety of reasons, most of them not ideological).<p>All it takes is for Bing to be a little more lax about policing its SERPs for it to have the same result.", "link": "item?id=3427639", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "mattgreenrocks", "comments": [{"comment": "I'd respond to this, but the \"toy apps\" wording makes me think this conversation will be unproductive.", "link": "item?id=3370928", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I consider the official definition of the word \"Santorum\" to be on SpreadingSantorum.com, and I suspect that many other people do as well. Why should Google try to project an alternate reality, just because Rick doesn't like it?", "link": "item?id=3427048", "user": "xpaulbettsx"}, {"comment": "This is why I refuse to buy property in the DC metro area. Not a good deal at all. Better to export the salary elsewhere.", "link": "item?id=3437537", "user": "mattgreenrocks"}, {"comment": "The point of using an IV is that you <i>can</i> use the same key for multiple messages. You're not supposed to repeat (key, nonce) pairs for a stream cipher, and CBC's IV is sort-of equivalent to the nonce. (AES-CBC is not technically a stream cipher. Not all stream ciphers have nonces.)", "link": "item?id=3352321", "user": "JoachimSchipper"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Updated to remove the term.", "link": "item?id=3370976", "user": "kenjackson"}, {"comment": "Using the same key+nonce pair in a stream cipher has the effect of generating an identical keystream. It's a much, much worse problem than repeating IVs; it makes decrypting the resulting ciphertext stream almost a pencil/paper exercise.<p>Sorry for the pedantry.", "link": "item?id=3352406", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Well, to start with, the issue here isn't that Ruby doesn't efficiently support the \"modify-in-the-middle\" access pattern. It's just that Ruby does this with the Array class. Similarly, even if you intend to insert into the middle, you still probably still want to use NSMutableArray in Objective C.<p>Even on fairly large graphs --- say, graphs at the scale of basic blocks in a program, but (obviously) not on the scale of \"recommendation graph at Amazon\" --- you shouldn't be burning huge numbers of cycles seeking through reference links. In naive reference-link implementations, Ruby sorely increases the constant factors for graph analysis, but computing a minimum cost spanning tree isn't going to kill you (especially because the intermediate data structures you'd use to do it would be native-code Arrays and Hashes). On the other hand, linked lists more or less pessimize Ruby, forcing it to do nothing <i>but</i> expensive interpreter looping, pointer chasing, and object management.<p>Having said all that, for serious work, I'd keep my data structures outboard, probably in Redis.<p>Other people would probably answer \"just write a graph library in C; for instance, you could write a C wrapper around void-star-specialized boost::graph\", then bridge it to Ruby with FFI.<p>Ruby is as good at C for I/O bound problem subsets. This is a <i>lot</i> of problems, and so having a language as pleasant to write in as Ruby is a win (you could say the same for Node.js and maybe even Python). It is obviously not the only language you'll ever need, though.", "link": "item?id=3370999", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "brc", "comments": [{"comment": "Didn't Google kill the 'miserable failure' google bomb of years ago?<p>If I were Google's team I would kill this just because it looks very bad for Google. Let's assume Santorum goes on to win the Republican Primaries and then the Presidency. Is President Santorum going to be receptive or agressive if someone from Google (or the search industry in general) turns up on their doorstep?<p>It's the sort of thing that stays with people for a long time, rightly or wrongly.<p>This isn't a plea to treat all potential presidents with kid gloves, it's a plea to make sure that pranks against public figures of all kinds are squashed once they become known.", "link": "item?id=3426642", "user": "brc"}, {"comment": "13 years ago. When the Pentium II was around. This is what I don't get about questions about linked lists.<p>They're so utterly irrelevant in 99% of startups today, where knowing how to lay out your classes and methods for maintainability is so much more important than any trivial and pointless performance gain.<p>The complexity of solutions is at such a higher level now than it's ever been and yet we're still worrying about structures that shaves less than a ms off something that's called once every 10 seconds.<p>The reason why ruby and python have grown in dominance in the last few years is because you don't actually have to worry about this any more.", "link": "item?id=3373202", "user": "mattmanser"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "kenjackson", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't generally ask about linked lists, but I will say that if you can't reason about them, it's a pretty big red flag. They're an extremely simple data structure.<p>With that said, a lot of startups (and web apps in general) are effectively consumer CRUD apps w/ nice images and transitions. Perf generally isn't important until scale becomes an issue (and until then you're main perf bottlenekck is some DB and/or network code that someone who cared about perf wrote).<p>So I agree. It makes sense to use effectively a domain specific language/framework like RoR when you're in that domain. And linked lists may not be applicable. But I'd still be weary of hiring people for whom reasoning about them is off-limits.", "link": "item?id=3374115", "user": "kenjackson"}, {"comment": "&#62; Didn't Google kill the 'miserable failure' google bomb of years ago?<p>From what I recall, that googlebomb is widely believed to have been \"defused\" algorithmically, by devaluing anchor text which didn't match the target page at all (e.g, \"miserable failure\" didn't appear on GWB's page). Those measures only really defused googlebombs to unsuspecting sites; they wouldn't help for sites which are intentionally trying to rank for a term that they are relevant for!", "link": "item?id=3426707", "user": "duskwuff"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "there", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>If I were Google's team I would kill this just because it looks very bad for Google.</i><p>killing it would probably look even worse, as google would be attacked for censorship.<p>also, the site in question comes up first on bing, yahoo, and duckduckgo.", "link": "item?id=3426692", "user": "there"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "LeafStorm", "comments": [{"comment": "I just searched \"Santorum\" on DDG, and every result for the first few screens is in fact about Rick Santorum the politician and not about that disgusting definition.", "link": "item?id=3427210", "user": "LeafStorm"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "cdmoyer", "comments": [{"comment": "Huh, I did this just now and it's the top result.<p>Screencapped: <a href=\"https://img.skitch.com/20120105-x7fb17is53yx99pw61bfur6g57.jpg\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://img.skitch.com/20120105-x7fb17is53yx99pw61bfur6g57.j...</a><p>edit: Ah ha, it only shows up if you have safe search off.", "link": "item?id=3427258", "user": "cdmoyer"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "LeafStorm", "comments": [{"comment": "Maybe Google should follow suit and flag the \"santorum\" site as requiring safe search. It does focus on sexual content, after all, and this way they don't have to tweak their algorithm.", "link": "item?id=3427432", "user": "LeafStorm"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "zak_mc_kracken", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; Is President Santorum going to be receptive or agressive if someone from Google (or the search industry in general) turns up on their doorstep?<p>So Google should start manually tweaking sites supporting public figures in order to garner favors from them in case they get in a position of power?<p>Talk about setting a bad precedent.", "link": "item?id=3426763", "user": "zak_mc_kracken"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "brc", "comments": [{"comment": "Please read the comment fully next time:<p>\"This isn't a plea to treat all potential presidents with kid gloves, it's a plea to make sure that pranks against public figures of all kinds are squashed once they become known.\"", "link": "item?id=3428159", "user": "brc"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "zak_mc_kracken", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; This isn't a plea to treat all potential presidents with kid gloves, it's a plea to make sure that pranks against public figures of all kinds are squashed once they become known<p>You're still missing the point. It should not be up to the search engine to do that: just let the search engine reflect what the web thinks.", "link": "item?id=3445055", "user": "zak_mc_kracken"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "EvilLook", "comments": [{"comment": "Why stop at pranks against public figures?", "link": "item?id=3430487", "user": "EvilLook"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "seanalltogether", "comments": [{"comment": "The \"miserable failure\" bomb was a different issue that exposed a problem with their algorithm, which was associating search terms with a web page even though that page had nothing to do with the keywords. In this case the search term and web page are sympatico.", "link": "item?id=3426719", "user": "seanalltogether"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "cloudwalking", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't think Google should censor their search results to get on the good side of a politician. Google's mission is to organize information, not to satisfy lawmakers.", "link": "item?id=3427735", "user": "cloudwalking"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "InclinedPlane", "comments": [{"comment": "Your argument is that google should kowtow to power?<p>No thanks.", "link": "item?id=3426951", "user": "InclinedPlane"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 14, "names": "zmj", "comments": [{"comment": "I knew a left-handed cook who was very particular about his knives - but yeah, most professional cooks just use whatever is supplied by the restaurant.", "link": "item?id=3443154", "user": "bhousel"}, {"comment": "Gas oven with induction hobs are a popular choice. Natural gas is cheap (in the UK), but the efficiencies of induction are nice.<p>I did have trouble a few years ago finding a good quality pan suitable for use on induction hobs with a non-stick coating for my US sister.", "link": "item?id=3442492", "user": "DanBC"}, {"comment": "Just because Daniel Bernstein claims something on the internet doesn't make it any truer than, well, if I claim it. [okay, maybe a little truer. He did write qmail]<p>But I'm particularly interested in Bernstein's ad hominem broadside on Rosen for stating, while general counsel for OSI I believe, that public domain dedication is unlikely in the US. Rosen is \"only a lawyer\" according to Bernstein -- who I might add is \"only a mathematician\". Though you have to give him props for representing himself in Bernstein v. Commerce.<p>I myself think that Rosen's conservative position is the right one. Even Lessig's CC0 dedication is couched in tons of careful \"we're not sure if this works\" verbiage. At any rate, presuming this is unsettled law -- and it seems to me that it's pretty unsettled -- that alone makes it unwise to be attempting a public domain dedication.", "link": "item?id=3440877", "user": "SeanLuke"}, {"comment": "There are geopolitical/economics issues that are as important to hackers as algorithms. This past week, of SOPA, PIPA, OPEN, ACTA and other less beloved acronyms are of at least some interest for hackers because they directly impact our ability to hack things, to the point of having pg reminding us that the long-entrenched entertainment industry is ripe for disruptive innovation.<p>Here we find people of diverse tastes. I am an engineer and, given the possibility, I'd be designing processor architectures and instruction sets. I also like programming - and do it for a living, but I have lost some of my taste for algorithms and data structures and prefer to generate competitive differentials elsewhere on the stack. But I am also very worried by the political background, both here in South America, where I live, in Europe, where my ancestors came from, and with the US, which is a very fine country where a lot of dear friends live and that we shouldn't allow to be ruined by a bunch of crazy people. When I was a teenager, I read 1984 and the idea something like that could happen scared me a lot. It still does. Bad politics is contagious.<p>I think all is fine, as long as we remain civilized and don't forget to disagree in constructive ways. Community and relationships are important too - I have only one nickname, after all, one which is easily identifiable. All my friends know who I am, where I came from and what my opinions tend to be. I like to think that, in the many times we disagreed about things, we never ourselves a bad example.", "link": "item?id=3498652", "user": "rbanffy"}, {"comment": "It's about as in the spirit of the site guidelines as saying that you flagged the post ;)", "link": "item?id=3475680", "user": "lawnchair_larry"}, {"comment": "Right. You're discrediting the Labor Theory of Value, variations of which are endlessly seductive and are always creeping back in as The Way Things Ought To Be.", "link": "item?id=3454307", "user": "WalterBright"}, {"comment": "Same here. I love his stuff and he's posts just enough to be interesting but not obnoxious.<p>Patton has been around Hollywood long enough to provide a unique view on what content is and how it should be paid for. I'm interested to see what he has to say and how this issue will play out in the week to come.", "link": "item?id=3437339", "user": "joezydeco"}, {"comment": "This places people who have absolutely no desire of ever owning a home (such as myself) at an unfair disadvantage.<p>Higher taxes because I choose to pay other people for housing for the rest of my life? Huh?", "link": "item?id=3438251", "user": "burgerbrain"}, {"comment": "The controversy over his remarks and savage neologism are what I remember about him and I was a bit of a political junkie at that time. Outside of Pennsylvania I doubt many remember much more about him.", "link": "item?id=3427801", "user": "rat87"}, {"comment": "I live in the UK. Literally the only thing I know about Rick Santorum is that he is a homophobic bigot, and the only reason I know that is because of the Santorum neologism. The same goes for the people around me. In my experience, outside of the US \"Santorum\" is an internet joke first and a politician second. The word \"Santorum\" is a bona fide cultural phenomenon, whereas until a few weeks ago the man Rick Santorum was just a crank ex-Senator taking a shot at the primaries.<p>Spreadingsantorum.com has relevant, keyword-dense content and a substantial number of high-quality links, more than enough to outweigh any possible penalty for the hokey googlebombing links. By almost any SEO criterion I am aware of, it beats ricksantorum.com by a country mile. If Rick Santorum wants to solve his Google problem, he needs to play the game like anyone else - add quality content and build quality links.<p>For Google to manipulate these SERPs in the interests of propriety or prudishness would be absurd. They have an explicitly stated policy of ranking based on their algorithm, with the exception of webspam. Tinkering with results manually is a can of worms they have no interest in opening. They've stuck to their guns on much thornier problems than this.", "link": "item?id=3427225", "user": "jdietrich"}, {"comment": "Far more courteous disagreement back in the day ;)", "link": "item?id=3376888", "user": "spearo77"}, {"comment": "I'm not sure I understood you correctly about FizzBuzz, but if you're saying that it isn't necessary then I'd have to disagree. I wish the world was such that FizzBuzz wasn't an effective filter, but it is.<p>I really like the rest of your questions.", "link": "item?id=3371162", "user": "zmj"}, {"comment": "100.times is also wrong (unless you i+1 in your block all the time)<p>Cleaner, I think is \"1.upto(100){ ... }\"", "link": "item?id=3355347", "user": "ryanbraganza"}, {"comment": "The issue is less about applications shipping with the iPhone doing this and more about Apple stating that IVs are \"optional,\" prompting many non-crypto-savvy developers to ignore IVs completely, thus resulting in highly insecure AES implementations by default in many third-party apps.", "link": "item?id=3352213", "user": "magikarp"}], "children": [{"number": 9, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Dan Bernstein's a mathematician (albeit one unusually well versed with the legal system, for obvious reasons), but you should also note that one of the commenters on this very subthread is a lawyer.<p>I'm really not interested in the conflict between the OSI and Dan Bernstein. I'm just responding to your comment.<p>Pretty sure you're wrong about PD being a \"fiction\".", "link": "item?id=3440905", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "You can get metal slugs that sit between any pan and the induction surface to transmit the heat.", "link": "item?id=3442575", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "... don't know that that's true either... I think cooks do carry their own knives! I was just under the impression that most of them used (pricingwise) mid-range knives. I know one who uses Victorinox stamped knives, for instance.", "link": "item?id=3443181", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "The Labor Theory only kicks in in reality when sufficient competition exists on the supply side.", "link": "item?id=3455056", "user": "Drbble"}, {"comment": "You might just as productively debate the whole concept of the progressive income tax scheme, because the mortgage interest tax deduction is probably the most popular deduction in the code.", "link": "item?id=3438282", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "&#62;add quality content<p>Ouch. I don't think that is even remotely possible.", "link": "item?id=3428409", "user": "bartl"}, {"comment": "Thomas is saying that the hiring process for programmers is so <i>comprehensively</i> fubared that asking the FizzBuzz question to someone who has worked as a senior developer for 8 years at a well-regarded firm <i>provides valuable signal</i> and that if you fail to ask it you might <i>hire people who are completely incapable of programming</i> even with your fancy-dancy recruiting process, which shows that the pipeline and standard interview process are both borked like crazy.", "link": "item?id=3371189", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I don't like clever languages. For loop is good enough :P", "link": "item?id=3355515", "user": "abrown28"}, {"comment": "Again, that is no worse (better, in fact) than any of the many libraries which default to ECB mode. You might just as productively yell at Java and OpenSSL.", "link": "item?id=3352232", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 4, "names": "magikarp", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; I'm really not interested in the conflict between the OSI and Dan Bernstein. I'm just responding to your comment.<p>Well, you did directly cite an article, about a third of which is devoted to smacking down someone with more cred than himself.<p>That being said, my comment about PD being a \"fiction\" was overly excessive bomb-throwing, I admit.", "link": "item?id=3440979", "user": "SeanLuke"}, {"comment": "Although I don't in fact like the progressive income tax scheme, I don't see why it isn't possible to critique this aspect of it while supporting the concept at large.", "link": "item?id=3438408", "user": "burgerbrain"}, {"comment": "Essentially: It is not common for doctors to be asked to locate the interviewer's mouth, ears and thumbs. If an interviewer asked that kind of thing, you'd really have to suspect that he couldn't tell a good doctor from a bad one.<p>But programming interviewers do need to ask this kind of thing. So you really have to suspect\u2026", "link": "item?id=3371324", "user": "chc"}, {"comment": "You have a good point, but it's still suggesting that you can implement CBC correctly without a good IV.", "link": "item?id=3352258", "user": "magikarp"}], "children": [{"number": 4, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "I generally don't agree with your premise, that it's unfair to advantage homeowners in the tax code. I think society as a whole benefits from increases in home ownership (homeowners are stakeholders in neighborhoods). I think the tax code can either be simple or effective.<p>You are free to disagree at length with both of those beliefs and I won't fault you for doing so, except that if the best argument you can muster is \"no fair, I just want to rent\" I may roll my eyes.<p>But the thing I really wanted to point out is, there are 104905480 things we can debate on HN where a change of perspective might be productive. This isn't one of them; the mortgage interest tax deduction is a psychological pillar of the middle class of the US and eliminating it would be painfully disruptive to huge numbers of voters.<p>Narcotics will be decriminalized nationwide before we lose deductible mortgage interest, is my prediction. People have strong feelings about drugs, too, but the decision to legalize them or not doesn't change whether they can still afford the cable bill.", "link": "item?id=3438433", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Thanks.<p>But, can I just add two things: that's about as specific a legal argument as I've ever seen an engineer (or mathematician) make, including chapter/verse citations to actual court decisions. Not only are you mischaracterizing it, but you might also take a moment to be <i>specific about which parts of it you disagree with</i>. Why should we be interested in how we feel about people's interpersonal conflicts? Bernstein is right or he isn't.<p>Second: I didn't call you out for bomb-throwing (that would be hypocritical in the extreme). Can I ask, how much of your original comment do you still stand by?", "link": "item?id=3441013", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "The problem isn't that we're asking doctors to locate their mouth, ears, and thumbs.<p>The problem is that the resume and candidate pipeline is so crappy, that the interviewer <i>cannot be sure</i> if the person sitting across the table is a doctor, or a plumber, or a carpenter, or an accountant, or maybe a bum off the street.<p>My interviewing life would be a lot easier if there was a firm guarantee that every candidate knows at least basic programming - and by basic I mean <i>basic</i> - i.e., can put together a for loop that compiles, in a language of their choice.<p>The second part of this problem is that the industry has so many jobs where the <i>absolutely clueless</i> can survive that \"X years experience\" in-industry is not a trustworthy metric for competence. \"5 years at County General\" for a MD, with a clean record, is a pretty decent guarantee that your candidate is in the ballpark. \"5 years at Accenture\" for a programmer guarantees nothing, not even the ability to write FizzBuzz.<p>Elsewhere in the thread someone mentioned being incensed that, even with his years of experience, he was being asked elementary questions. That's why - years of working experience is <i>not</i> a valid signal for competence.", "link": "item?id=3371908", "user": "potatolicious"}, {"comment": "I think you're making a \"gotcha\" point. It's impossible to implement any crypto protocol safely with ECB mode. And yet libraries far more popular than this one aren't subject to blog posts dinging them for being \"broken by default\".<p>I actually agree with you that not requiring an explicit IV is a bad interface choice.<p>On the other hand, I'm appalled by the idea of any library that exposes AES directly to applications anyways. There's a myriad of mistakes developers make using AES directly. CBC IVs are not among the top three.", "link": "item?id=3352276", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "burgerbrain", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>It's impossible to implement any crypto protocol safely with ECB mode.</i><p>But ECB mode may be a useful primitive component of some other, more secure, mode. For example, this API doesn't support CTR mode, but if you needed it, probably the most efficient thing would be to fill a buffer with your nonce and counter values pass it to this API to be encrypted using \"ECB mode\". It's parallelizable that way.<p>And that is the point of this level of crypto API: providing efficient access to whatever software implementation or hardware acceleration may be available on the target system.<p><i>And yet libraries far more popular than this one aren't subject to blog posts dinging them for being \"broken by default\".</i><p>I want to give Nadim some credit here: he is thinking like an attacker now!<p>This represents a great improvement over his previous crypto implementation endeavors.", "link": "item?id=3352873", "user": "marshray"}, {"comment": "\"5 years at County General\" for a MD, with a clean record, is a pretty decent guarantee that your candidate is in the ballpark.\"<p>Scary but true: There are plenty of experienced doctors who couldn't pass a medical Fizzbuzz. My supervisor at my last teaching hospital, who has been treating patients for at least five years, failed the Fizzbuzz question I asked him. (\"What's that other class of antibiotics you can't give patients with penicillin allergies?\", if you're wondering.)<p>(There's also a few stories of people faking medical licenses and working as doctors for years before anyone noticed [1], but those are probably too rare to worry about.)<p>1: <a href=\"http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/hamburg-falsche-kinderaerztin-verurteilt-1.499146\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/hamburg-falsche-kinderae...</a>, couldn't find an English language link, sorry.", "link": "item?id=3374072", "user": "Cass"}, {"comment": "<i>\"You are free to disagree at length with both of those beliefs and I won't fault you for doing so, except that if the best argument you can muster is \"no fair, I just want to rent\" I may roll my eyes.\"</i><p>This is fundamentally an issue of the tax code, once again, favoring those who are well off while disadvantaging those who are not.<p>If that doesn't concern you, then so be it.", "link": "item?id=3438552", "user": "burgerbrain"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Sure. But I'm not talking about the <i>availability</i> of ECB; I'm talking about ECB as a <i>default</i>.<p>And, I agree with the fundmental point he's making: optional IVs for CBC mode are a bad interface details for lay programmers. Just remember, <i>every</i> AES library makes similar (usually worse) design mistakes.<p>Generalists are very poorly served by low-level AES libraries (where \"low level\" certainly includes any library where you have to think about IVs or, indeed, which block cipher mode to use).", "link": "item?id=3352921", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "rwmj", "comments": [{"comment": "I'd love to see that list. I'm sure not generating MACs is on there. I could imagine reusing keys could be there. What else?", "link": "item?id=3352990", "user": "SoftwareMaven"}, {"comment": "The equivalent UK benefit (MIRAS[1]) was abolished by the Conservative party, which out of the two main parties would be the right wing party of home ownership. It can happen ...<p>[1] <a href=\"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortgage_Interest_Relief_At_Source\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortgage_Interest_Relief_At_So...</a>", "link": "item?id=3439339", "user": "rwmj"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "toomuchtodo", "comments": [{"comment": "The mortgage interest deduction is subsiding those who make the choice to reduce their labor mobility; why would we subsidize people who want to reduce their competitiveness in the labor force?<p>Hopefully the mortgage interest deduction will go the way of ethanol subsidies.", "link": "item?id=3438941", "user": "toomuchtodo"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "Retric", "comments": [{"comment": "High levels of home ownership causes long term economic harm by preventing people from moving around in response to better job offers etc. More importantly the mortgage tax credit simply increases home prices vs. making them more affordable. The reality is it's wildly understood as a bad idea economically, but it's so popular it's simply being chipped away by capping it and not indexing the cap to inflation.", "link": "item?id=3439781", "user": "Retric"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "xiaoma", "comments": [{"comment": "At one Beijing-based start-up I've been working with full-time fewer than 30% of the <i>senior</i> iOS dev web dev applicants who have already passed the resume screen were able to complete FizzBuzz within an hour. Of those that could, only about half could code a fibonacci function.<p>On the other hand, there are <i>lots</i> of applicants and a few are very talented people who will work for under 2k USD per month. In your terminology, there's \"a wee bit\" of human capital here.", "link": "item?id=3378592", "user": "xiaoma"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "netfeed", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm saying that the fact that FizzBuzz actually works should be an indication of how crappy programming interviews tend to be.", "link": "item?id=3371185", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I like (1..100).each {} better :)", "link": "item?id=3355548", "user": "netfeed"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "pfedor", "comments": [{"comment": "I think this conclusion is wrong. The fact that FizzBuzz exists actually means that programming interviews are awesome: with most other professions, you would end up hiring a candidate equally as incompetent as the programmer that failed FizzBuzz.", "link": "item?id=3372317", "user": "pfedor"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "rmc", "comments": [{"comment": "No. You do not have to ask doctors or lawyers or taxi drivers fizzbuzz levels of questions. If applicants for doctors jobs were as incompetant as programming interviews, you'd have to ask applicants to location the ear on the human body. Doctor applicants aren't that incompetant, programmer applicants are.", "link": "item?id=3373190", "user": "rmc"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "pfedor", "comments": [{"comment": "This is obviously a flawed analogy, since you don't need to be a doctor to locate the ear on a human body.", "link": "item?id=3374128", "user": "pfedor"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "Cass", "comments": [{"comment": "I've had plenty of taxi drivers who could barely drive, let alone find any given address in their city. And as for doctors, see my answer to potatolicious above - I've seen some terrifyingly incompetent ones who really should have been screened out with a fizzbuzz level question.", "link": "item?id=3374094", "user": "Cass"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "zmj", "comments": [{"comment": "Gotcha. Agreed.", "link": "item?id=3371313", "user": "zmj"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "mlinsey", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>\u2020\u2020\u2020 (Actually this isn't all what comparative advantage is; comparative advantage says, if there's a market for widgets and a market for photos and you're better at widgets than photos and I'm better at photos than widgets, then I should do widgets and you should do photos, which is a subtly different idea, but the point stands either way.)</i><p>Surely this is supposed to be the other way around. If I'm better at photos than widgets, and you're better at widgets than photos, then I should do the <i>photos</i> and you should do the <i>widgets</i> ... right? Crazy pills?", "link": "item?id=3454094", "user": "dools"}, {"comment": "I think the only problem here is that Google isn't updating fast enough to reflect an increased interest in Santorum the person.<p>When you say: <i>I think his politics are repugnant, but less than 1% of Google search queries for his name are looking for Dan Savage's prank.</i><p>I am sure this is true today but I think it was definitely not true a month ago, and a year ago the opposite would probably be true. The difference between this and other Google bombs is that people really do the word Santorum in everyday conversation. (Well, perhaps not 'everyday', but definitely in contexts unconnected to Google search results and with the alternate definition of the term in mind.) I would expect that most people searching for \"Santorum\" before 2011 probably heard the word in that context and are wondering what it means.", "link": "item?id=3426799", "user": "mlinsey"}, {"comment": "Before clicking on \u201ecomments\u201c I wondered how long it would take the John Gruber brigade to declare it non-relevant.<p>Thanks for answering my question.", "link": "item?id=3352530", "user": "soc88"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Yep, thanks for catching that.", "link": "item?id=3454107", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "aneesh", "comments": [{"comment": "Comparative advantage is actually even more subtle than that. Even if we're both better at photos than widgets, it's still beneficial for me to produce the one I'm better at relative to you (say photos), and for you to produce widgets. Then we can trade with each other and both gain from trade.", "link": "item?id=3455147", "user": "aneesh"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "brc", "comments": [{"comment": "As my econ 101 lecturer used to say 'we have to mangle the english language and use the term <i>more better</i>'<p>As long as I am <i>more better</i> at photos than you, you produce the widgets, and I produce the photos.<p>For some reason that hashing of the language sticks in my mind like a beacon and ensures I never lose the concept of comparative advantage.", "link": "item?id=3455773", "user": "brc"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "cperciva", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62;Value-based pricing says, \"how much it cost me to create the photo is irrelevant\".<p>Almost, but not quite. In the case of a hobbyist, yes it's irrelevant. But for a business, the cost to create should set the minimum cost they'd be prepared to charge (or at least be expecting to charge - you may find yourself discounting it below cost if you've already made it and fail to sell).<p>I do mostly agree though, and it always amuses me when I see people complaining about eBooks that cost more than dead tree ones. If it's not worth more to you, then don't buy it.<p>&#62;The moralism in these threads is an irrelevant sideshow.<p>Again, not quite. Morality doesn't, or shouldn't, come into play when determining the price. But it does when it comes to how a \"buyer\" reacts to a price they don't like in relation to goods that have no marginal cost to produce a new copy - e.g. digital photo, movie download. If you don't like the price that's been set, but it's not going to cost the creator anything for you to simply take a copy for free, do you have any moral issue with that?", "link": "item?id=3456054", "user": "prof_hobart"}, {"comment": "<i>less than 1% of Google search queries for his name are looking for Dan Savage's prank</i><p>I'd be surprised if there weren't a large number of searches resulting from \"hehe, if you Google for Santorum this really funny page comes up\".", "link": "item?id=3426761", "user": "cperciva"}, {"comment": "The author is also the creator of crypto.cat. I think he knows what he is talking about.", "link": "item?id=3352647", "user": "maksoorah"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "maxerickson", "comments": [{"comment": "I wonder, do you think that the people complaining about ebook prices are buying them?<p>It seems likely to me that they are mostly complaining because the price has stopped them from making the purchase.", "link": "item?id=3456310", "user": "maxerickson"}, {"comment": "I looked at the source to crypto.cat and, in the politest possible way, I wish to disagree.", "link": "item?id=3352758", "user": "marshray"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "prof_hobart", "comments": [{"comment": "Possibly, but it's usually not the price of the ebook itself that they are complaining about. It's the fact that the paper version is cheaper. If someone charged \u00a310 for a particular ebook and \u00a315 for the paper one, then there would rarely be much complaint. If they charged \u00a310 for the ebook and \u00a35 for the paper one, then people are up in arms.<p>And the argument is alway that it's cheaper to make the ebook than the paper one, and that it's therefore wrong to charge more for the ebook. The point is that this is the wrong way to think about it. As a buyer working out how much you're prepared to pay for something, the cost of manufacture should be pretty much irrelevant. If the ebook is worth \u00a35 more to you than the paper one, then buy the ebook. If it isn't, then buy the paper one instead.", "link": "item?id=3456380", "user": "prof_hobart"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "bfrs", "comments": [{"comment": "I didn't know \"Santorum\" was a guy's name until <i>years</i> after it became a name for the sex term.<p>I believe Congressman Santorum screwed up big time and now has something moderately well known named after him. Such is life. The substance <i>is</i> literally called that now. Tough luck for the politician.", "link": "item?id=3426670", "user": "gte910h"}, {"comment": "That is some refreshingly clear thinking.<p>If I remember right, Jaron Lanier's \"You are not a Gadget\" [1] makes similar points.<p>[1] <a href=\"http://www.jaronlanier.com/gadgetwebresources.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.jaronlanier.com/gadgetwebresources.html</a>", "link": "item?id=3455410", "user": "bfrs"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "po", "comments": [{"comment": "I guess he really borked it. His name is mudd.<p><i>edit: I guess people understandably think I'm trying to start a reddit pun thread or something. My point is that there is a long history of this happening. Google delisting this isn't going to change the term now.</i><p><a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bork\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bork</a><p><a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Mudd\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Mudd</a>", "link": "item?id=3426839", "user": "po"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "botker", "comments": [{"comment": "From your second link:<p><i>Samuel Mudd is sometimes given as the origin of the phrase \"your name is mud\", as in, for example, the 2007 film National Treasure: Book of Secrets. However, according to an online etymology dictionary, this phrase has its earliest known recorded instance in 1823, ten years before Mudd's birth, and is based on an obsolete sense of the word \"mud\" meaning \"a stupid twaddling fellow\".[18][19]</i>", "link": "item?id=3427280", "user": "botker"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "He screwed up by aggressively promoting policies that were offensive to Dan Savage. Today's Internet gatekeeper is Dan Savage. Who's tomorrow's?", "link": "item?id=3426897", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "lmkg", "comments": [{"comment": "Dan Savage didn't <i>just</i> make this change on Google, he actually made the change on the English language as a whole. Santorum is the only name for the substance, and there are large groups of people who are aware of the neologism but do are not (or were not) aware of the person or the history of the term. Santorum is just as valid as any other neologism that's been around and alive for the better part of a decade.<p>The point is, the Google bomb isn't the only \"artifact\" of Dan Savage's campaign. If this association were something that <i>only</i> existed in Google's SERPs I would be more inclined to agree with your point, but it's not. Google is not the only thing, and arguably not even the biggest or most important thing, that was affected. The association with the term is real, for a very real and meaningful sense of the word \"real.\"<p>Now, I will agree that the association is over-valued due to the Google-bombing, and most users this month are better served by politician than the term in the results page right now, but that's an issue of poorly-ranked results, rather than artificially-constructed results, which is qualitatively less troubling.", "link": "item?id=3426966", "user": "lmkg"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "adriand", "comments": [{"comment": "You're absolutely correct, and this is by no means the first time that a word has been coined as the result of people being upset with a politician. The word 'quisling' means \"A traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country\", and it was coined by The Times in Britain in reference to Norwegian Vidkun Quisling, who helped the Nazis conquer his country.<p>If Vidkun Quisling were alive today, would he have a legitimate complaint against Google if searches for his name brought up the dictionary definition I just quoted?", "link": "item?id=3427142", "user": "adriand"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "fr0sty", "comments": [{"comment": "\"Quisler\" is a non-sequiter. Quisling was a quisler and Obama championed obamacare and Savage wanted to create a vulgar definition of a man's name. One of those is not like the other...<p>If \"Quisling\" meant \"a man in drag\", \"pile of manure\" or something less tasteful then you may have a point.", "link": "item?id=3427173", "user": "fr0sty"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "ams6110", "comments": [{"comment": "Changed the English language? I'd never heard of this guy (Savage) or this definition of \"santorum\" until today. Merriam-Webster doesn't know of it either.", "link": "item?id=3427063", "user": "ams6110"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "botker", "comments": [{"comment": "Ditto.", "link": "item?id=3427208", "user": "botker"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "dminor", "comments": [{"comment": "If it was just Savage that was offended, Savage's campaign would have gone exactly nowhere.", "link": "item?id=3426916", "user": "dminor"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "You think Savage is the only motivated public figure with a large, hyper-engaged following?", "link": "item?id=3426921", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "eropple", "comments": [{"comment": "Nope. But his worked and became a legitimate neologism. That's how language works.", "link": "item?id=3426948", "user": "eropple"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "ams6110", "comments": [{"comment": "Let's not kid ourselves, if the page didn't appeal to a junior-high sense of humor, this wouldn't have happened.", "link": "item?id=3427042", "user": "ams6110"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "gte910h", "comments": [{"comment": "Just like Obama pissed off Rush Limbaugh so the current health care reform law (which is well over 50% republican originated ideas), is called Obamacare?<p>Yeah, it happens.", "link": "item?id=3426988", "user": "gte910h"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "I think you're making my point for me.", "link": "item?id=3426997", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "nimblegorilla", "comments": [{"comment": "I kind of see where you are coming from, but I'm not sure what your ultimate point is. It sounds like you want search engines to modify results so that activists can't create meanings like Obamacare or Santorum. In order to do that they would need to control the way language changes over time to keep that from happening.<p>How do you feel about terms less mean-spirited like the \"Arab Spring?\"", "link": "item?id=3427053", "user": "nimblegorilla"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "You don't get it. Google <i>routinely</i> modifies search results. There isn't a coherent \"algorithm\" that determines all SERPs. The whole site is carefully calibrated to adjust to user expectations. I think that gives you a choice of two conclusions:<p>(a) Google believes that most of its users really are looking for Dan Savage's prank when they search for the name of one of the best-known national Republican figures of the last 30 years.<p>(b) Google is deliberately choosing not to adjust this particular search result for reasons of ideology or pragmatism.<p>Please understand that I could give a rats about Rick Santorum. I find him odious. I firmly hope he does win the GOP nom so that Obama can win 2012 in a walk.<p>But [santorum] does not return that particular SERP because the word \"Santorum\" organically became associated with that particular idea. A group of people decided to rewire, well I guess the Internet, to force that association. If they can do it, anyone else can too. Google's search results should be more credible than that.", "link": "item?id=3427074", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "snowwrestler", "comments": [{"comment": "The answer is obviously (a). But Rick Santorum is hardly \"one of the best-known national Republican figures of the last 30 years.\" I'd put on that list people like Reagan, George HW Bush, George W Bush, Cheney, Powell, McCain, Limbaugh, Gingrich, etc. That fact that you'd even think to put Sen. Santorum in that company inclines me to question your judgment.<p>Santorum is a 2-term Senator who ran poorly for president a couple times, and who was made mildly more famous due to a minor controversy. He's like the Gary Hart of the GOP.", "link": "item?id=3427192", "user": "snowwrestler"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "You think that of all the searches across the country for [santorum], <i>most of them are for the prank</i>? That strains credibility. I get that virtually no HN'ers are naturally interested in ultra-right wing conservative Republican politics, but let me assure you that approximately half the whole country is, and even the most conservative among them have net access.<p>Meanwhile, Google most assuredly does have signals as to which of the results on that first SERP are the ones users are actually looking for.", "link": "item?id=3427645", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jonhendry", "comments": [{"comment": "\"You think that of all the searches across the country for [santorum], most of them are for the prank?\"<p>I think enough of them are that it justifies the prank being among the top results.", "link": "item?id=3429071", "user": "jonhendry"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "snowwrestler", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; Google most assuredly does have signals as to which of the results on that first SERP are the ones users are actually looking for.<p>Yes, and the spreading santorum site is the first result. So unless you have some actual counterproof, I think the reasonable assumption is that Google is giving the people what they ask for, as usual. Especially since Bing returns the same top result.<p>Anyway, the whole thesis of this thread is factually wrong, since the top result today on Google for \"santorum\" is actually the Iowa caucus results table from the Associated Press. So Google has, in fact, manually inserted a search result in response to the surge in interest in Santorum the candidate. (Bing, by the way, has not.)", "link": "item?id=3429632", "user": "snowwrestler"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "ascendant", "comments": [{"comment": "Lets get Zed Shaw and edw up in here and we'll have all the HN royalty in one thread, emirite?", "link": "item?id=3430020", "user": "ascendant"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "TheloniusPhunk", "comments": [{"comment": "Wow.", "link": "item?id=3430095", "user": "TheloniusPhunk"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "statictype", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>Google is deliberately choosing not to adjust this particular search result for reasons of ideology or pragmatism</i><p>Not sure I believe that all the people at Google involved in deciding how search results get tweaked lean the same way politically and are interested in having their ideology reflected in Google results.<p>That's kind of what you're implying here isn't it?<p>I think the overall argument we're seeing here is fundamentally the same as those questions about sexism in the tech industry.<p>Some believe its just a reflection of the fact that most people in that group happen to fit into a certain demographic and that nothing is really broken. Others believe there's a fundamental underlying problem that needs to be fixed.", "link": "item?id=3427183", "user": "statictype"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "gammarator", "comments": [{"comment": "There's also c) No one at Google with the power to change this judged Rick Santorum an important enough figure to modify the results.<p>Here's Google's response on this issue from back in September, after Santorum requested the result be removed: <a href=\"http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63952.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63952.html</a><p>\"Google\u2019s search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the web.\"", "link": "item?id=3427410", "user": "gammarator"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "So, \"no comment\".", "link": "item?id=3427647", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "gte910h", "comments": [{"comment": "While these things are created to injure and tarnish reputations (and I think they are generally mean spirited), they're a feature of <i>language</i>, not google.<p>Should they be editing out search results where people say they intend to \"Xerox\" things instead of photocopy them? Same sort of neologism.<p>(Yes, I get that this was an intentional GoogleBomb, but it <i>has gone beyond that</i> and is now the meaning of the substance).", "link": "item?id=3427528", "user": "gte910h"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "thisrod", "comments": [{"comment": "No. Santorum screwed up by defaming 10 percent of the people on Earth, who replied in kind. Dan Savage just got them organised.", "link": "item?id=3427071", "user": "thisrod"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Over 40% of Americans (not me) believe that first trimester abortion is a form of murder. You sure you want to play this game?", "link": "item?id=3427100", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "NTH", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62;No. Santorum screwed up by defaming 10 percent of the people on Earth, who replied in kind. Dan Savage just got them organised.<p>Disagreeing with a position held by 40% of people != irrational hate speech towards 10% of people.<p>Obviously, a view isn't made more correct by having more people believe in it, but if one makes entirely baseless attacks on a large demographic, and that demographic responds, I find it hard to be sympathetic.", "link": "item?id=3427336", "user": "NTH"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "You have it backwards. I'm not chastising people for disagreeing with pro-lifers. I'm not pro-life. I'm saying that 40% of America hold a militant viewpoint in direct conflict with most of HN'ers. So when you say, \"well, that's what happens when you offend 10% of the world's population\", I'm saying you should bear in mind that much larger factions are much angrier about beliefs <i>you</i> hold.", "link": "item?id=3427665", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "gte910h", "comments": [{"comment": "I get your argument (Which is \"What about that slippery slope!!!\")<p>The issue with the argument is that normal people don't work in real, crazy absolutes. That's a certain type of technical person thing. Normal people don't get to Richard Stallman levels of consistency in action. They stop their environmentalism at perhaps picking up some trash or buying a Prius, maybe even bringing bags to the grocery store, they stop their pro-choice stance at perhaps sending a check to the tax deductible (aka, non-political) branch of Planned Parenthood<p>Google WILL eventually stop this sort of thing if it becomes pervasive. When it's isolated, and arguable that it shouldn't be fixed, they likely will not fix it.<p>It isn't like Google lets the billions of spam blogs effect search results when they can detect it's going on. They did at first, but once it became a problem distorting results, they stopped.<p>I get that you're trying to loudly assert \"BUT THAT LINE HAS BEEN CROSSED\", and the rest of us are pointing out that \"that's debatable; Google surely will figure something out when it's and issue that's very clean cut\".<p>Would you likely see action faster if were say, a conservative renaming of the liquid made after an abortion? Perhaps, due to those political leanings you ascribe to googlers. But will it stop for \"left wing\" terms eventually as well? Surely.", "link": "item?id=3429485", "user": "gte910h"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "mikeash", "comments": [{"comment": "99% of searches for \"santorum\" <i>today</i> might be searching for the man, but I seriously doubt that number was anywhere near as high e.g. six months ago. Should Google change their results around in response to sudden and transient current events like a politician suddenly gaining the spotlight?<p>I also think that your description of the smear campaign as an attempt to game Google is misleading. It is fundamentally an attempt to add a new word to the English language. It seems to be working pretty well. Getting it to rank high on Google isn't an attempt to game Google, it's an attempt to create a new word.", "link": "item?id=3426724", "user": "mikeash"}, {"comment": "You've got some really good insight. If you could recommend a good book on this topic, value based pricing vs cost based pricing, it would be great.", "link": "item?id=3456546", "user": "shkabazi"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "mikeash", "comments": [{"comment": "Er, I never said it wasn't a smear campaign. I said it wasn't an attempt to game Google. It's not, it's an attempt to define a new word. That is <i>definitely</i> part of a smear campaign, but I don't think that part is all that relevant to determining the legitimacy of this search result. They <i>have</i> succeeded in defining a new word, and the site dedicated to doing so certainly <i>should</i> be near the top of the results for searches for that word.", "link": "item?id=3427020", "user": "mikeash"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "tryitnow", "comments": [{"comment": "A similar campaign can be held for any word, personality, or cause. This is more like a political campaign than any form of manipulation. Google shouldn't be in the business of picking and choosing which popular movements should be \"penalized\" and which shouldn't.<p>Now if content farms, SEO or other forms of manipulation are involved then I agree 100% with you.<p>But I don't like the idea of a corporation suppressing a popular cause, which is really what this is.<p>Is there evidence of a real SEO type manipulation going on here? If so, your point would be a lot stronger if you provided some links (I am going on the principle that the accuser should provide the evidence which is why I haven't provided evidence of the nonexistence of manipulation).<p>I would sincerely like to know if there is evidence of widespread manipulation of search results here.", "link": "item?id=3427108", "user": "tryitnow"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "DTrejo", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't think that those who are not skilled with SEO should get a free pass from Google because they can't get their shit together.<p>The santorum definition is a media campaign, just like any other. I don't see why it should be penalized because it attempts to spread what some might consider the distatefullness of Santorum's political views.", "link": "item?id=3426598", "user": "DTrejo"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "The Santorum \"problem\" link is a Google bomb.<p>You can call ANY attempt to game Google's SERPs a \"media campaign, just like any other\". Spam is spam.", "link": "item?id=3426611", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "mitchellhislop", "comments": [{"comment": "By definition from the webspam team, its not. Its SEO. Google bombs are getting someone else's site to rank.<p>[Citation: <a href=\"http://searchengineland.com/should-rick-santorums-google-problem-be-fixed-93570\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://searchengineland.com/should-rick-santorums-google-pro...</a> , about half way down]", "link": "item?id=3426652", "user": "mitchellhislop"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "paulhauggis", "comments": [{"comment": "I would be interested to see if someone did the same thing with Obama.<p>My guess is that since Google is in bed with the Obama administration, we would never see anything like this.<p>The majority of people are supporting it because they hate rick Santorum and don't want him to become president.<p>It also makes me question the validity of the opposition. Rather than trying to win with logic and reason, many resort to mud-slinging, rumors, and false information. Tactics I despise.", "link": "item?id=3427110", "user": "paulhauggis"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "DTrejo", "comments": [{"comment": "I recommend reading the whole article \u2014 it explains why you are wrong, and how there is no \"bedding\" involved in this situation. The explanation is about halfway through the article (ctrl-f \"google bomb\").", "link": "item?id=3427377", "user": "DTrejo"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "paulhauggis", "comments": [{"comment": "Google isn't causing this. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that if there were anything negative related to Obama like this, Google would remove it.<p>My hunch is correct (taken from the above poster): <a href=\"http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/24/michelle-obama-photo-goog_n_368760.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/24/michelle-obama-phot...</a><p>This is an example of state-controlled media (IE: Google is in Bed with the Obama administration). How is this in any way okay?", "link": "item?id=3429599", "user": "paulhauggis"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "NTH", "comments": [{"comment": "I agree that such tactics are not helpful for a rational, adult conversation. However, if someone is spreading hate-speech about gays on religious grounds, he is far beyond the reach of logic and rationality.", "link": "item?id=3427328", "user": "NTH"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "smackfu", "comments": [{"comment": "Should a presidential candidate have to be skilled at SEO to get their site listed first for their name? Or should Google's algorithm be the skilled one?", "link": "item?id=3426833", "user": "smackfu"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "cabalamat", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; Should a [X] have to be skilled at SEO to get their site listed first for their name?<p>Yes. The internet should work the <i>same</i> for everyone, whether they are running for president or are merely John Q. Citizen.", "link": "item?id=3427089", "user": "cabalamat"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "smackfu", "comments": [{"comment": "The point is that Google is supposed to return the result people want for a given search result, not the result that has the best SEO. This big picture gets lost sometimes.", "link": "item?id=3428796", "user": "smackfu"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "eropple", "comments": [{"comment": "When it's competing against a completely legitimate neologism?<p>Certainly.", "link": "item?id=3426953", "user": "eropple"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "brown9", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>less than 1% of Google search queries for his name are looking for Dan Savage's prank.</i><p>How do you know this?", "link": "item?id=3426733", "user": "brown9"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "nhebb", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; Google obsessively tweaks all manner of other links in the index<p>Via algorithm or manual intervention? I thought they were dead set against manual tweaks. I imagine their todo list of algorithm improvements is never ending, so I'm not too quick to judge them on this.<p>It is a PR issue for Google, though. If someone is searching for Santorum, there's a pretty good chance they're a cultural conservative. When they see listings like this at the top of the search results, do they come away with a worse perception of Santorum or of Google? I wouldn't vote for Santorum, but I didn't really like seeing \"frothy mix of lube and fecal matter\". C'mon, Google, I just ate.", "link": "item?id=3426618", "user": "nhebb"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "scarmig", "comments": [{"comment": "Well, come on. If you're googling a disgusting substance like santorum, don't be surprised if you get a gross result.<p>Which is to say: santorum is now a word in its own right. It's not a Google bomb in any sense: people can and do use it all the time to refer to the aforementioned substance. A month ago, that definition was definitely the more relevant, and five years from now, when the Santorum flash in the pan is over, that'll again become the most relevant item. What you're asking for is for Google to censor a word for the sake of a powerful man, who it happened to be named after.", "link": "item?id=3426999", "user": "scarmig"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Black is white. Pants are shirts. Minitrue called, \"Santorum\" is a substance and not a person.<p>The fact that this particular association is notorious almost entirely on the Internet, and that any notoriety it has achieved outside the Internet falls directly from its success <i>on the Internet</i>... well, that's not relevant. We have always used the word santorum as a common noun.", "link": "item?id=3427090", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "scarmig", "comments": [{"comment": "\"Minitrue\"? Really?<p>I think a lot of the distaste people have for santorum is that there was an active campaign to coin and propagate it. But lots of words have that heritage: if someone looks up \"pegging\" on Google, no one gets upset when it turns out to be an invented but widely adopted sex term.<p>Savage's hostile intent, though, has a major role in people thinking santorum's an illegitimate word, even though no one can point to any real metric by which Santorum should trump santorum; we all like to feign genteel shock at crassness. But we can't let our emotions, be they anti-Santorum or anti-Savage, dictate whether Google should manually intervene to change the ordering of the search. That road leads to 1984.", "link": "item?id=3427162", "user": "scarmig"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "jsnell", "comments": [{"comment": "I agree with you on that clearly the it's a result that should not be shown. But there's still the problem of figuring out how to fix it in practice. Should Google point-fix this particular instance, fix it algorithmically even if the change is negative on the whole, or hold out for an algorithmic fix that is neutral or positive.<p>There are strong engineering reasons to not point-fix stuff. Maybe in this case there are stronger legal/political/PR reasons to get any fix at all out quickly. There certainly wouldn't have been any 2 weeks ago, when Santorum was still an also-ran.", "link": "item?id=3426702", "user": "jsnell"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "arn", "comments": [{"comment": "This article presents good arguments why Google shouldn't intervene: <a href=\"http://searchengineland.com/should-rick-santorums-google-problem-be-fixed-93570\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://searchengineland.com/should-rick-santorums-google-pro...</a><p>which boils down to trust (in Google results) and free speech/censorship", "link": "item?id=3427097", "user": "arn"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "cabalamat", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; But Google's overall politics happen to be the same as my politics, so Santorum gets unequal access to the 2012 Internet.<p>I doubt if Google are manipulating their search engine results based on a dislike of Santorum; do you have any evidence otherwise?<p>&#62; Savage's prank actually discredits the Internet. Surely nobody's mind is going to be changed by that disgusting link. Instead, it just serves to associate Internet content with the culture wars.<p>The internet contains the totality of the uhman experience, so it is associated with the culture wars (and with everything else humans do).<p>&#62; Google should penalize the shit out of it.<p>It should be up to Google how they run their website, provided they doing do anythning dishonest.", "link": "item?id=3427072", "user": "cabalamat"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "They tweak a myriad of other ranking anomalies, sometimes for PR, sometimes to combat spam. They choose not to tweak this one, every though the ranking comes from a deliberate and artificial boost in link quality.<p>I wouldn't want Google to attempt to squelch the culture wars, but I would hope that Google wouldn't allow themselves to become a part of the culture wars.<p>I don't think Google is being dishonest.", "link": "item?id=3427115", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "drewrv", "comments": [{"comment": "The intent of the campaign wasn't to Google bomb Santorum and it wasn't an attempt to \"game Google's search rankings\". The original intent of the campaign was to define the word \"Santorum\" and the fact is, it was successful.<p>Now that there are two definitions of Santorum, why should google favor one over the other?", "link": "item?id=3426714", "user": "drewrv"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "ithought", "comments": [{"comment": "If a man like Santorum was President, Google would probably be required by law to fix it. The problem with your excellent comment is that nobody gamed Google's search ranking. Google can't censor the result as it is legitimate.<p>The real problem here is Santorum's insane ideas and forcing his delusional beliefs on the public. Thus the Internet public has chosen to redefine his name as cultural slang. For Google to censor this would be simply wrong.", "link": "item?id=3426752", "user": "ithought"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "You'll be modded down for being so direct about it, but this is in fact the logic that I think underpins virtually all the support for [santorum].", "link": "item?id=3427096", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "InclinedPlane", "comments": [{"comment": "In what ways is this so different from many instances of political satire and parody throughout history?", "link": "item?id=3426981", "user": "InclinedPlane"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Political satire in the past didn't inherently reduce access to opposing views. The first SERPs for a term on Google effectively are the Internet for a huge percentage of all readers.<p>I think the irony of deliberately re-engineering \"language\" in the name of \"free speech\" is lost on a lot of HN readers. It seems to me like almost the definition of Orwellianism. We're just not freaked out because we don't like homophobes.<p>We have always used the word santorum to refer to excreta. We have always been at war with Eastasia.", "link": "item?id=3427055", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "erikpukinskis", "comments": [{"comment": "You call the link disgusting as if it's some sort of universal value, but \"disgust\" is a culturally constructed physical reaction. Not everyone is disgusted by the same things you are. Some people think kimchi is disgusting. Other people think it's the most delicious thing on this planet.<p>I'm not trying to dissuade you from your disgust, but try to appreciate that not everyone shares your values.", "link": "item?id=3427276", "user": "erikpukinskis"}], "children": null}]}, "edw519": {"number": 50, "names": "edw519", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>you usually don't have the luxury to pay your bills, pay your employees in full etc, let alone do stuff orderly.</i><p>Make not mistake about it: paying your bills and paying your employees in full are <i>not</i> luxuries, they are <i>requirements</i>.<p>Grandparent didn't say you have to do it now, just that you have to do it.<p>Anyone who hides behind \"market conditions\", \"the bank\", \"unrecoverable errors in judgment\", or old faithful \"bankruptcy\" in order to escape their obligations <i>doesn't deserve</i> a second chance from the same investor.<p>OTOH, someone who finds a way to do the right thing, not matter how difficult, probably moves right to the top of that investor's list.", "link": "item?id=2770619", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>The pricing strategy is based on nutrient content, again according to the Harvard pyramid plan. For the vended products, you pay: one cent per gram of sugar, two cents per gram of fat, four cents per gram of saturated fat, one dollar per gram of trans fat...</i><p>Reminds me of the time I encountered a world renowned nutritional expert...<p>edw519: \"I'm having trouble understanding these food labels.\"<p>expert: \"Don't eat anything with a label.\"", "link": "item?id=2763992", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Axiom: Boring work can never compete with Hacker News.<p>Axiom: Hacker News can never compete with interesting work.<p>Theorem: The interestingness of my work is inversely related to my Hacker News participation.<p>Supporting data: Today I'm regression testing. I'll be here all day, folks.<p>Idea: Employers, monitor your logs for Hacker News. Occasional spikes probably indicate boring, but necessary tasks. Chronic use probably means your devs are bored. Bored devs probably means you better take a deep hard look at everything else.", "link": "item?id=2755122", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "How I deal with recruiters:<p>If they need understanding of the technology, I will gladly help them with that.<p>If they need understanding the domain knowledge, I will gladly help them with that.<p>If they need understanding of interpersonal, organizational, or \"soft\" issues, I will gladly help them with that.<p>If they want referrals, I will usually do what I can.<p>If they don't call back or follow up, I will eliminate them.<p>If they are ever dishonest in any way, shape, or form, I will eliminate them and tell everyone I know.<p>For a recruiter, brutal honesty can overcome any perceived weakness and enable others (even us hackers) to be on their side.<p>Steve, thanks for your brutal honesty here at hn. That's the best we could hope for and should be a model for any other recruiters lurking here. Respect.", "link": "item?id=2754589", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "11. Rewrite something that desperately needs to be rewritten.<p>So many times I've encountered something and thought, \"I can't believe that people are actually expected to use this software.\"<p>It was bad from a user perspective: difficult to use, slow, tedious to do what you actually needed to do, unable to \"get there from here\".<p>Then once I looked under the hood, it was often worse: built upon a horribly designed data structure, inflexible with constants where there should have been parameters, no apparent thought put into its use, too many violations of acceptable practice to mention, looking as if it evolved haphazardly (which it probably did).<p>It's easy to bitch about stuff like this, but you often have to go to the next level to <i>do something about it</i>. It's amazing how much rethinking you have to do and how many tools you have to build to turn horrible software into what should have \"obviously\" been done in the first place.<p>Easier said than done. And often, some of my best learning experiences.", "link": "item?id=2713969", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "First this:<p><i>1plusV claims its sites were \u201cblacklisted\u201d by Google and lost most of their traffic over a period of several years, suffering \u201cirreparable\u201d harm</i><p>then this:<p><i>Between 2007 and 2010 no less than 30 vertical search engines created by 1plusV were \u201cblack-listed\u201d, some of which showed significant business potential.</i><p>By definition, a business that can suffer \"irreparable harm\" because of another entity's actions which are outside their control does <i>not</i> show \"siginificant business potential\".", "link": "item?id=2706098", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "\"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.\" - Isaac Newton<p>I believe there are quite a few of us here at Hacker News that could claim you, Mike and Jerry, as our giants.<p>Respect.", "link": "item?id=2703754", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "The biggest differences:<p>1. Grouping into chapters. Ranking by score loses context.<p>2. Sorting and grouping comments together to give it some kind of flow.<p>3. Eliminating comments I wish I hadn't made.<p>4. Substituting cuss words.<p>5. General edits to eliminate errors and help the comments stand a little better on their own.<p>6. Grouping jokes together. They belong in a separate chapter.<p>7. Adding a forward, introduction, and table of contents.<p>8. 100 comments didn't seem like enough. 256 seemed right.<p>My version took me 3 weeks. This version takes one click. You can't beat that.", "link": "item?id=2662461", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Nice list, Jacques. My list of heroes is shorter and even more obscure:<p>Samuel Weissman &#38; Louis Marcus<p>My grandfathers<p>There were two of the smartest people I ever met, but neither ever went to school a single day of his life. Both worked very hard and succeeded at everything they tried. I imagine that if they had been born 80 years later, we may admiring their Silicon Valley achievements right now.<p>Both came to the U.S. very young and alone, surely knowing that they would never see their birthplace or most of their friends and relatives ever again. They did it to build a better life for themselves and their families.<p>And they did it all for me, long before I even existed.<p>That's why I have to succeed; I could never let them down.", "link": "item?id=3134889", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>Have you had another idea you\u2019d pay if existed?</i><p>1. A device that rings a bell or flashes the lights in any/all rooms of my house if my cell phone is at home and rings. This way I don't have to carry it with me everywhere in the house.<p>2. A service which lets me know which restaurants have excess capacity and will give me a discount if I come right now.<p>3. A reasonably priced dependable on-line grocery service that delivers in fly-over country.<p>4. An email device for senior citizens as easy to use as an iPod.<p>5. A device that lets you know whether the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty or clean.<p>6. An open source Windows clone that works.<p>7. A device that automatically disables any cell phone in any car within 50 car lengths of me and heading in my direction.<p>[EDIT: Numbers 1 thru 5 were serious. #6 was a pipedream. #7 was a joke, but like James Bond's Austin Martin, I can dream, can't I? You guys are giving me what I deserve for mixing jokes in with the real stuff.]", "link": "item?id=3132287", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I appreciate a good hack, but just can't get past the idea that this is a solution in search of a problem.<p>2 Reasons I would never consider using this:<p>1. I don't want anyone to have any idea \"how busy I am\". Maybe I'm old fashioned, but the size of my inbox, like many other things, is no one's business but mine.<p>2. This effectively makes the sender the gatekeeper for deciding what's important. I want to be my own gatekeeper. I would much rather have everyone send everything when they would normally send it and let me decide when or whether to read it. I can't think of any good reason why losing control and losing data would be advantageous. I'd rather figure out ways to manage my time and my inbox than wonder what I'm not receiving because someone else made a decision \"on my behalf\".", "link": "item?id=3131687", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Thanks for posting this. It takes a lot of balls (even with a throwaway account) to post something like this and, hopefully, only good will come out of it. If this thread goes like these kinds of threads usually go on Hacker News, I have no doubt you will have helped quite a few others with this. And hopefully, you will get help too. But that won't be easy. Here's why...<p>When I read your headline on the front page, the first thing I thought was, \"OK, someone to help and encourage. Good.\" After I read your comment, I didn't feel quite the same way.<p>I normally try to be upbeat and positive, but in your case, it won't sound that way. I'm going to give it to you straight and I hope that you don't get offended or upset. You need feedback from my point of view.<p>It's perfectly normal for someone to be weak technically or with other people. It's perfectly normal for someone to struggle with work habits, project management, or personal issues. It's also perfectly normal for excellent people to have been fired. Many of us have been on both sides of these issues.<p>And these are the kinds of things that are easily managed and fixed.<p>Your issues, unfortunately, run deeper. Conflicts with bosses? OK, we've all been there. Not getting along? That happens, too. A negative assessment of your boss? Whoa. That would piss me off, too. Why didn't you just talk to him? Refusing to work on a project? WTF? That's your fucking job!<p>These are the kinds of things that are <i>not</i> easily managed and fixed. I don't know why anyone would take a chance on someone with this kind of track performance. I know that I wouldn't. I'd much rather hire a weak performer with good attitude and potential than a strong performer with interpersonal issues you describe. It's just not worth the trouble.<p>You most telling remark, however, was:<p><i>Another obstacle is that I'm an introvert loner and hence just the opposite of the \"communicative teamplayer\" companies seem to be looking for.</i><p>As one introvert loner to another, I can confidently tell you that this is just an excuse. Almost all of us are introvert loners and almost all employers want \"communicative teamplayers\". And most of us just find a way to make it work.<p>I bet I've been in situations like yours (and worse) far more times than you and I bet many others here have too. I've been abused more ways than I care to remember. I've done the work of 5 people and been passed up for promotion. I've worked overtime for years and got no credit. I've been yelled at, cussed at, and many times, generally treated like shit. But I've learned how to put up with it until it's no longer time to put up with it. It all depends where you draw the line.<p>I've never had words with a boss or customer. I've never emailed, talked about someone else, or filled out any form about them without <i>talking to them first</i>. And most of all, I've <i>never refused work</i>. That's our reason for being there in the first place.<p><i>Any ideas on how to get back into the working world with such a track record?</i><p>I may sound negative, but believe me, I really want to help. So here are a few thoughts:<p>1. The root cause of your negative experiences is probably still there. You need to identify that cause, understand your role, and fix it. Get help with that if you think you need it. The good news: you know there's a problem and you're already talking about it. You may be 90% of the way there.<p>2. Always tell the truth.<p>3. Don't be afraid to admit that you may have been wrong.<p>4. Be prepared to describe your experiences (truthfully always!) and what steps you have already taken to grow because of them.<p>5. Don't volunteer (in writing or in person) anything that you don't have to that can potentially hurt you.<p>6. <i>Never</i> give references until <i>after</i> you have a job offer (contingent upon those references).<p>7. Find a way to have a positive attitude and make it show.<p>8. Understand that there are assholes everywhere and you will surely encounter many more. You can't control them. But you must control yourself. Don't let them fuck you up any more.<p>I hope I haven't been too tough, but I think you needed to hear this. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing about you getting up on your feet again. If you want to refute anything I have said or need any follow-up feedback, please contact me off-line. Best wishes!", "link": "item?id=3130389", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>So I'm kinda confused...</i><p>You shouldn't be. Here's what happened:<p>You thought your ex-boss wasn't an asshole. You were wrong and you found out the hard way. Now that you're in business, sad to say that it's probably not the last time that will happen.<p>You were a gentleman and he was a jerk. Please don't let this experience keep you from being a gentleman in future business dealings.<p>I would not cancel the offer. Carry on.<p>Best wishes to you both. Keep us posted.", "link": "item?id=3118670", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I admire OP's financial project and appreciate his sharing it. I imagine quite a few people may benefit from it.<p>But make no mistake about it, the #1 reason for any \"How I did &#60;anything regarding money&#62;\" is really, \"I am cheap.\"<p>We only get one chance at this life, and the thing that bothers me the most is, \"What are you missing that you're too frugal to consider?\"<p>Some of the greatest pleasures of my life came as a result of a discretionary purchase. Incredible people, experiences, even business opportunities came my way because I bought a product, went to an event, or took a trip that most frugal people I know wouldn't have.<p>Once you decide to be frugal, you'll probably be stuck that way for life because you'll rarely be in position to take advantage of those opportunities that would break the cycle.<p>If that works for you, fine. But not for me. I may not be extravagant, but I don't want to miss any wonderful opportunity because I was too worried about my bank balance. In the grand scheme of things, how sad that would be.<p>&#60;/sipsLatte&#62;<p>[EDIT: Yes there is a difference between \"cheap\" and \"frugal\". Every time I mention \"frugal\" above, I really meant \"cheap\", but I was trying to be nice. I will leave it that way to make the thread below make sense. Also, I failed to mention that there's a big difference between being cheap because you have to and being cheap because you choose to.]", "link": "item?id=3117315", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>A programmer\u2019s greatest enemy is getting stuck.</i><p>Agreed. I often know where I want to go but can't seem to get there with code. This sucks and good programmers must find a way to get through this.<p><i>A crucial skill in programming...is the ability to recognize when they\u2019re stuck,</i><p>Yes, and this is the only time I ever measure lines of code. Here is my metric: If I've been sitting at my computer (developing, not testing or anything else) more than one hour and LOC written or changed = 0, then I'm officially stuck, and must move to GettingUnstuck mode.<p><i>to get out of being stuck,</i><p>The most effective way I've ever found to get unstuck is to <i>get away from the computer</i>. I take pencils, paper, and code listings and get away, always into another room, sometimes to another building.<p>I have learned that the reason I'm stuck is not because I don't know how to do something; it's because I don't know <i>what to do</i>. <i>What</i> needs to be determined away from the computer; <i>how</i> can be determined at the computer.<p><i>and to avoid getting stuck in the first place.</i><p>This is the one time I disagree with OP. Getting stuck is not the problem; getting unstuck is. If you're not getting stuck on a regular basis, then you're probably not working on big enough problems.<p>Never getting stuck makes programming like almost any other vocation. For me, getting stuck and then getting unstuck and making something cool work for the first time ever is one of the best feelings you can have.", "link": "item?id=3114723", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Great post, Jacques. Thanks for your kind words.<p><i>People might even consider doing business with you, but nobody wants to be 'first' for fear of being burned.</i><p>This can also work in your favor...<p>It's rare, but sometimes you can find someone who <i>does</i> want to be your first customer. When this happens, it's solid gold and one of your fastest shortcuts. Others call them \"champions\"; I prefer \"sugar daddies\".<p>I have had this happen several times with great success. This is how it usually worked...<p>Sometimes they knew me, but sometimes I was introduced. In every case, they were desperately looking for something they couldn't find, sometimes for years. They would say, \"If you could build this, you'd be my hero.\" (or something like that). They have offered me office space, access to their people and systems, and often an advance because it was in everyone's best interest that I'd succeed. Sometimes, but not always, they wanted equity. And all of them had peers with similar problems, so Prospects 2 thru x were already lined up.<p>We should all be building stuff people want. When you find one of them with their checkbook open, take a good hard look. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it can save you a lot of runway.", "link": "item?id=3110851", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I am about to give you the loving advice you need:<p>Fuck that shit.<p>You asked for help. You got excellent advice from many people here. Then you came up with excuses for not taking that advice.<p>Forget \"social stigma\". Forget the past. Forget your perceived weaknesses. Forget your excuses.<p>You are obviously smart and want to help yourself, otherwise you wouldn't have posted here to begin with. You need someone qualified to talk to (in person, not here). Do it and recapture your life.<p>Things are never as bad as they seem when you're at a low point. You will soon discover that once you take action. Do it now. Best wishes.", "link": "item?id=1851205", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Very inspiring, OP. The little tips and tricks are always helpful, but what is best is getting us to think, \"If he can do it, then so can I.\"<p>One giant question, though. You describe a life where you often squeeze in a few hours on your start-up here and there. This sounds like it would work rather well for repetitive tasks like stuffing envelopes, folding apparel, or answering emails. But what happens if you have trouble getting \"into the zone\" for writing software during your short window of opportunity.<p>I have found this to be my difficulty developing leading edge software. Finding time isn't always the biggest problem; getting creative is. It's tough to get creative. It's tougher to get creative when you have to right now and you only have 2 hours to work on it.<p>How do you handle that?", "link": "item?id=1847948", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I wonder if tomorrow's front page will have:<p>Happy Birthday SPAM - 1st spam sent Oct 30 1969", "link": "item?id=1847374", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Never.<p>If the project was a success, I did it for the project.<p>If it wasn't, I did it to learn and grow.<p>Either way, nothing to be embarrassed about.<p>(Am I embarrassed by the code I wrote 3 years ago? Now that's another story.)", "link": "item?id=1843688", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Many times. A few of my favorites:<p>- We upgraded our hardware and our forecasting software vendor wanted a one time $600,000 charge. I convinced my boss to replace them with in-house written software. Took 6 weeks to write.<p>- Our 400 worker factory was $30,000 under-absorbed per month. I wrote both standard costing and data collection software. Supervisors compared the standards to the actuals to discover where they were losing money. We were over-absorbed by $30,000 per month 6 months later.<p>- We budgeted over $1 million for a new ERP system to \"solve all of our problems\". I helped others solve most of their problems by identifying them and coming up with solutions from the existing software. We never did buy new software.<p>- (My favorite). Our HCFA feed from the U.S. Government was broken and no one knew why. I dug in and changed 1 byte of code (1 byte, not 1 line). The next day, our bank account had $6.5 million more in it. I never had the heart to tell them how easy it was to fix.", "link": "item?id=1843672", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>To the right of where I sit, is my boss, the son of one of the Managing Directors of this company.</i><p>100% of the gigs I've ever had working for a child of the founder were absolute hell. Looks like you're there, too. Run, don't walk, in the other direction!<p>Now I'm not saying that <i>all</i> children of founders are like this, just that it's my overwhelming experience. I don't know why this is, but I have many guesses. Perhaps they feel entitled, <i>as if</i> they actually built the business. Perhaps they have stunted social skills because they never needed them. Perhaps they feel superior to everyone else because they landed in a pot of gold having earned it only by being born.<p>You are not the problem. Your situation is. If your work is good, it's because he thought of it. If it's not, it's because you suck. You can't win. Get out.<p>Once you're in a more normal environment, two things will happen: you'll feel much better and you'll wonder why you took so long to do it.", "link": "item?id=1842966", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I'm not even going to use my stock rebuttal of \"correlation != causation\" because in the case of #1 through #5, I doubt if we even have correlation. For every example of a good programmer for any of these 5 that OP can provide, I can provide multiple counter-examples. None of these is much of an indicator of anything.<p><i>1. How opinionated are they?</i><p><i>Everyone</i> has an opinion, assholes included.<p><i>2. How much do they contribute to open source projects?</i><p>Many of the best programmers I know contribute nothing to open source because of confidentiality agreements.<p><i>3. How much do they enjoy programming?</i><p>You mean when it's fun specing something out or at 4 in the morning when everything is down?<p><i>4. Do they actually ship?</i><p>And what does it cost to maintain or fix it? There are 2 ways to find out. a. Read the source. b. Wait a year. Which would you prefer?<p><i>5. What have they mastered?</i><p>Who cares? What they do on their own time is their own business. This is an indicator of nothing.<p><i>6. How well do they communicate?</i><p>This is important for all people, for all things, so it doesn't even need to be on this list.<p>So, how should a non-programmer hire a programmer?<p>a. Become a programmer.<p>b. Hire a programmer to hire a programmer.<p>c. Punt.", "link": "item?id=1836276", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>A colleague of mine is meeting Bill Gates in the near future and is pretty nervous about the interaction...</i><p>A colleague of ours (HN name spolsky) met with Bill Gates in the past and was pretty nervous about that interaction:<p><a href=\"http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/06/16.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/06/16.html</a>", "link": "item?id=1834144", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Demonstrated Performance<p>(the only indicator that really matters)", "link": "item?id=1826848", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>So, printf() is your friend. Log everything your program does, and if something seems to go wrong, scour the logs to figure it out. Disk is cheap, so better to just log everything and sort it out later if something seems to be broken. There's little hope of doing real interactive debugging in this kind of environment, and most developers don't get shell access to the machines they are running on anyway.</i><p>1985: Interactive debuggers suck. PRINT() is your friend.<p>1990: Interactive debuggers have matured. No one uses PRINT() any more. Debugger questions are now even part of technical interviews.<p>2008: Concurrent processing and cloud computing have made interactive debugging difficult.<p>2010: printf() is your friend again.<p>Developing software is getting to be like fashion. Keep those old skinny jeans and workarounds in your closet. Sooner or later, they'll be in style again.", "link": "item?id=1815068", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Congratulations, Jason Baptiste!<p>I made a point of meeting Jason when we lived in Miami at the same time. I had to meet this guy who made so many great comments here at Hacker News.<p>Glad to see you've moved on to bigger and better things. It was only a matter of time. Looking forward to hearing great things about Onswipe.", "link": "item?id=2557244", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Reminds me of this oldie but goodie:<p>A smart businessman went to a bank near the airport to borrow $10,000 for his overseas trip. The bank demanded collateral, so he left his Rolls Royce in their warehouse vault. A week later, he returned, paid back the $10,000 principal, the $19.23 interest (10% per annum for 1 week), and picked up his car.<p>After he did this several more times, the loan officer asked him, \"It's obvious you have plenty of money. Why do you have to borrow every time you travel overseas?\"<p>To which the smart businessman replied, \"Do you realize how much it would cost to park my Rolls Royce at the airport for a week?\"", "link": "item?id=2556532", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I could have written the bit about my grandfather.<p>He passed away 36 years ago this week and I was already thinking about him quite a bit.<p>He was the most amazing person I ever met. He came to the U.S. alone when he was 11 years old and lived with strangers until he met my grandmother at a picnic. They were married 3 weeks later. He spoke 5 languages fluently, played 6 musical instruments, never went to school a single day in his life, and he could fix anything.<p>Like OP, one of my most favorite days of my childhood was when I was 12 and my grandfather took me to work with him. I remember helping him carry his tools down the back steps and load them into the trunk of his Ford Galaxie 500. He taught me my all time favorite cuss word when he said, \"Move all that shitcrap out of the way.\"<p>Just the other day, I drove right past that spot, stopped, and sat for a while, remembering the good old days. Today, just like OP, I just call someone to get something fixed. I've almost forgotten the joy of getting things done with my hands with the gentle guidance of a master.<p>Thanks for the memories, Mike Rowe and goldins.", "link": "item?id=2544609", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "2007: Is this really the kind of thing we want on Hacker News?<p>2008: Maybe we oughta just autokill techcrunch posts.<p>2009: More drama from the drama queens.<p>2010: Not Hacker News.<p>2011: Sigh.", "link": "item?id=2541880", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Programming is...<p>examining an existing problem, devising an elegant software solution, building that solution, and enjoying the results.<p>helping a customer define a process and improving that process with technology 100X.<p>building something over and over again but knowing it's not quite right until we've sifted through the output enough to figure it out and then build it perfectly.<p>always working on puzzles but never knowing when the lightbulb will go off. When it does, dropping everything to build the solution that popped into our head.<p>taking existing software that was built with good intentions but didn't quite do the job and getting it to do the job right.<p>changing the way a data base is structured in order to eliminate 90% of the existing code.<p>teaching proper technique to someone who only knows how to hack together kludges and watching them blossom.<p>experiencing the tension between getting really good at what you know and always yearning to learn something new.<p>something we never could have done if we were born 100 years earlier and may not be able to do if we were born 100 years later.<p>building something that never existed anywhere before except in your own mind and bringing it to reality.<p>doing a happy dance when something works for the first time.", "link": "item?id=2536060", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "It's not so much that I disagree with OP, it's just that I've never done much of what he recommends.<p><i>Initially, screw the algorithms and data structures.</i><p>That's like saying, \"Initially, screw the basement and build the attic.\" The number one problem I've ever seen with shitty code, over and over and over again, is lack of understanding of fundamentals. Do yourself a favor and learn how to build things properly first. Poorly structured data cannot be overcome by the greatest of processes. Poorly structured processes will give you technical debt forever.<p><i>Choose a good language. One that you think you can produce something useful in short time.</i><p>This is a chicken and egg problem. How would anyone know which language to choose without using it first? Choose <i>anything</i>, just get to work. (When in doubt, choose something popular. Things will be tough enough without running into problems no one has ever seen before.)<p><i>Choose a good editor.</i><p>No. The more features and functions an editor or EDI has, the more crutches you'll routinely use when you don't need them. Which means you won't learn and grow as quickly. Choose something simple like Textpad, disable the syntax color highlighting, and make mistakes. Sure, it'll be a pain in the ass, but that's the best way to learn the quickest.<p><i>Use an operating system that\u2019ll teach you something.</i><p>If you are paying enough attention to the operating system to know what it is, then you aren't paying enough attention to what you're building. Focus on what you're building. Get it to work properly on any operating system. Let someone else worry about porting or emulating on other operating systems later.<p><i>Don\u2019t copy-paste files to backup stuff.</i><p>I've been doing this for 30 years and have never lost anything. I save every old version. Relying on special software to do this for you makes you dependent on that software so much so that you may lose track in your head of what you have. Other programmers may disagree with me; it just shows that there is more than one way to do things.<p><i>Know where to get help.</i><p>The more popular your choices are, the easier it is to do this. (Don't make the same mistake as me: using specialty and proprietary technologies. When Technology A and Technology B don't play nicely together, it's really hard to find someone else who has experienced the same problem.)<p><i>Develop your netiquette.</i><p>\"netiquette\" shouldn't be any different from any other etiquette. Just treat others the way you'd like to be treated.<p><i>Meet people, because books only teach you routine stuff (oh and the \"book\" is dead they say).</i><p>People aren't much better than books. The best teacher is building stuff.<p><i>Write opensource code.</i><p>I've never done this and have never understood why people think it's so important. I prefer to build stuff for paying customers. They're never bashful and are a great way to get really good really quickly.", "link": "item?id=2528505", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "My favorite bit:<p>Evan: This is one of our recruiting strategies. We literally go to recruiting events...and we just tell them, \"Hey, I'll give you a thousand dollars if you can beat my co-founder, Prasanna here, in a coding challenge.\"<p>Jason: Do you usually win?<p>Prasanna: Ah, I mean, if we lose...<p>Jason: Then you're going to hire the guy...<p>Prasanna: Yea.", "link": "item?id=2515756", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Which one are you? The guy on the ladder looks like he's about to Darwin himself.", "link": "item?id=2271097", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "The single biggest problem for <i>any</i> new business is almost always getting noticed. This sounds like \"getting noticed to the third power\":<p>- great name<p>- y-combinator<p>- windfall to charity<p>Sounds a little gimmickly, but so what? Finding a way to be noticed enough to get traction is mandatory. Good job.", "link": "item?id=2268921", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Another 100 billion reasons why Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on earth.", "link": "item?id=2268885", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "[Disclaimer: aerospace industry veteran]<p>When a plane crashes, it is standard procedure to determine exactly what went wrong, what weaknesses in the \"system\" enabled what went wrong to go wrong, what prescription is needed to fix that system, and for the system to be fixed.<p>This was a plane crash.<p>I know this article was about one man, but there's no mention of anything about fixing what must have been broken in the first place. Sadly, I fear, because it doesn't exist.", "link": "item?id=2267955", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>Not</i> my experience. I despise maintenance programming. I dread the thought that I may have to inherit some maintenance programming as part of a gig.<p>The only thing I ever learned from maintenance programming was what not to do.<p>Over the years, I have maintained the work of hundreds, maybe even thousands of programmers on everything from clearly rushed fixes to large scale commercial software packages. And almost everything I ever encountered sucked. I bet I've seen the work of less the a dozen really good programmers.<p>Maybe it's selction bias...perhaps the work of the best programmers needs less maintenance, so it's much less likely that I'll ever get to see it. But thanks to the bell curve and the infancy of our industry, 99% of all programmers I've ever followed have significant shortcomings in the work...<p>I hate not instantly knowing what a variable stands for.<p>I hate 4 different variables for the same thing.<p>I hate program variables that don't match the file variable.<p>I hate the same line of code twice.<p>I hate 100 lines of code when 5 lines would have sufficed if the programmer only had a clue.<p>I hate steady violations of pre-agreed upon standards (whatever they are).<p>I hate spaghetti code. Especially where touching one little thing breaks everything because no previous programmer anticipated any of the 42 likely things that would happen in the life of this program.<p>I know that the rewrite debate comes up often, but once I reach a certain subjective tolerance threshold, a rewrite is a certainty. I like to think that:<p>a. This horrible shit will be banished forever.<p>b. This will finally work the way <i>I think</i> was originally intended.<p>c. This will finally look like it should have in the first place.<p>d. I'll be the last one who ever suffered maintaining this module.<p>Don't believe me? Just hit \"View Source\" on any random web page to reveal the mountain of shit that's about to fall out upon you.<p>Joy? I'd rather chew razor blades.", "link": "item?id=2267930", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>5. Hold regular family meetings....There should be scheduled, structured family meetings with a written agenda.</i><p>Ugh. I think I'd rather have my old job back.", "link": "item?id=2264226", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Like \"Quick and Dirty\", \"Moral Majority\", \"Jumbo Shrimp\", and \"Military Intelligence\", there is no such thing as \"Fuck You Money\".<p>By definition, everyone I know who claims to have \"Fuck You Money\" doesn't have enough money to buy themselves class, humility, kindness, or inner peace. They're never happy because everyone else either:<p>- has more \"Fuck You Money\" than they do, or<p>- doesn't know how much \"Fuck You Money\" they really have<p>If you really want more money so that you can say, \"Fuck you\" to others, you may want to consider an attitude adjustment before going after any more money.", "link": "item?id=2264070", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "1971: Dear user, You cannot have more than 10,000 records. If we increased the maximum in the data base schema, we'd have to modify half of our software. Sorry, IT.<p>1981: Dear user, You cannot have more than 10,000 records. Our software vendor set this limit and we don't have the source code. Sorry, IT.<p>1991: Dear user, You cannot have more than 10,000 records. We don't have enough room in our budget for more hard disk. Sorry, IT.<p>2001: Dear user, You cannot have more than 10,000 records. Our network traffic is so high that we had to set arbitrary limits. Sorry, IT.<p>2011: Dear user, You cannot have more than 10,000 records. The internet is full. Sorry, Google.<p>[EDIT: Replaced \"contacts\" with \"records\" 5 times. The general case causes less confusion. Thank you, juiceandjuice.]", "link": "item?id=2263255", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "In the brick and mortar world, it's extremely difficult to secure financing, investment, or even revenue if you're more than 50% dependent on an outside entity for your survival.<p>Yet in the digital world, 100% dependency on another entity is becoming more and more common. Sounds like a high wire act without a net. Best to find other distribution outlets before you lose your balance.", "link": "item?id=2255615", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Great post!<p>AFAIC, Success = (BuildingStuff) * (TheValueOfEverythingElse)<p>If you're not building stuff, it doesn't matter how much value you get out of everything else. Zero is still zero.<p>Sorry it took you 4 years to learn that lesson. It took me a while too. I don't really know how long because I don't look back. I suspect none of us should.", "link": "item?id=2255547", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "A sensational title with illogical predictions based upon no data.<p>Like lawyers, insurance agents, and government officials, everyone bitches and moans about IT...until they need them.<p>Does OP honestly believe that small business people can maintain their own servers? Remember, these are mostly people who believe that theBrowser = theInternet, all you have to do is \"plug and play\", and when in doubt, reboot.<p>Does OP really believe that small business people can rely on \"local expertise from a web site somewhere\" to insure mission critical up time, maintenance, and fiduciary compliance. Not anywhere I've ever been.<p>I get it that 37signals is cool and has built a really nice silo within which to operate. But please stop with the posts about the other 99% of the world you know nothing about.", "link": "item?id=2255503", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>A lot of what our parents generation did: building interstate highways, Manhattan Project, etc, could not be done today.</i><p>Being the only remaining superpower (and having little global military competition) really takes the wind out of government's sails of achievement.<p>Interstate highways, the Manhattan project, the space program, national infrastructure, aerospace, much medical technology, and even computers were all borne out of military necessity. With so many bad guys around the globe, only a traitor could vote against these things.<p>Our parents built the stuff needed to save the world. We're building better ways to instantly share our bowel habits. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.", "link": "item?id=2255199", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Hmmm, I smell a general case...<p>Our best estimates put the number of x in the world at around y.<p>Applying the 80/20 rule you can estimate:<p>Of those, 20% (y(.2)) want to z<p>Of those, 20% (y(.2)(.2)) have enough motivation to start educating themselves about the process<p>Of those, 20% (y(.2)(.2)(.2)) will actually start building something<p>Of those, 20% (y(.2)(.2)(.2)(.2)) will actually finish building something<p>Of those, 20% (y(.2)(.2)(.2)(.2)(.2)) have prepared themselves enough to achieve some measure of success", "link": "item?id=2254485", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "1. There is no position. We're just \"feeling out\" the marketplace.<p>2. There is no position. This was a headhunter building his database.<p>3. We were planning to promote from within, but HR made us post the position anyway. We didn't read or respond to any of the resumes.<p>4. We already had the perfect candidate, but HR made us post the position anyway. We didn't read or respond to any of the resumes.<p>5. We posted the position as required by HR, but when an executive saw it on the intranet, he made us hire his son/nephew/family friend. We didn't read or respond to any of the resumes.<p>5. We were planning to hire someone, but by the time the resumes started arriving, the perfect candidate presented himself. We didn't read or respond to any of the resumes.<p>6. We were planning to hire someone, but the budget was cut. We didn't read or respond to any of the resumes.<p>7. We got 1,200 resumes in 2 days so HR ran them through a filter with almost no correlation to potential suitability for the job. Your resume didn't get through the filter. Next time, add buzzwords from the ad.<p>8. Your resume made it through the HR filter, but we only had time to read 20% of them. Yours wasn't pretty enough.<p>9. Your resume didn't stick out in a field of many that did stick out. You probably should have some kick-ass differentiator FRONT AND CENTER.<p>10. We read many great resumes. Yours was substandard compared to many of them for one or more of many possible reasons. Have 5 friends proofread it and give you brutally honest feedback for next time.<p>11. Your resume sucked but you don't. Find 5 friends. See #10.<p>12. You interviewed well, but someone else absolutely kicked ass. We loved him/her. Tough break for you, I guess.<p>13. You didn't interview well, but we can't really put our finger on it and don't have time to respond. Tough break.<p>14. You interviewed well and are still under consideration. But we are waiting on corporate for 27 other things. You'll probably find another job before we get back to you.<p>15. You really do suck. (No you don't. Chances are the process never got this far.)", "link": "item?id=2253945", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I don't know about D.C. or Detroit, but here is my instance of the class \"Pittsburgh\":<p>85 year 2000 sq. ft brick house on 1/4 acre. 4 BR, 2 ba, 2 car garage. Totally gutted and modernized. 3 miles from downtown, 1 mile from Oakland (Carnegie-Mellon, Pitt, Carnegie Museum/Library, Schenley Park). Walkability index 92. Within one hour flying and 8 hours driving of 50% of the U.S. population. $160K. Same house in Miami: $500K. Same house in California: 7 figures + first born.<p>4 distinct seasons, but some people still don't like the weather. I prefer these thoughts:<p>\"Everybody complains about the weather but no one does anything about it.\" - Mark Twain<p>(Looking at gray sky) \"What a beautiful day, Herman!\" - Lily Munster", "link": "item?id=2252057", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>Is there a right way to do this?</i><p>Yes.<p>a. Make it a fully owned subsidiary.<p>b. Don't fuck with it.", "link": "item?id=2251901", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I also put together the full game stats: <a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2220667\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2220667</a>", "link": "item?id=2222371", "user": "ckwalsh"}], "children": [{"number": 43, "names": "0x12", "comments": [{"comment": "There's no escape from obligations. If your company goes bankrupt without cash to pay off its obligations... its simply impossible to fulfill them.<p>You are essentially saying as a hard-and-fast rule: do not invest in people who ran companies that declared bankruptcy, even once.<p>I do not thing that kind of absolutist stigma should be associated with bankruptcy.", "link": "item?id=2770708", "user": "true_religion"}, {"comment": "Jack LaLanne made two relevant comments (<a href=\"http://www.jacklalanne.com/jacks-adventures/lalanneisms.php\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.jacklalanne.com/jacks-adventures/lalanneisms.php</a>):<p>&#62;If man makes it, don\u2019t eat it.<p>&#62;If it tastes good, spit it out.", "link": "item?id=2764109", "user": "zck"}, {"comment": "(1) joking aside, please don't monitor logs like this. instead, treat your employees like real human beings and understand what they feel. not only is it more efficient than trying to reduce complex humans to a few \"metrics\", but it will allow you to detect more than just \"boredom\".<p>(2) if you're thinking \"how can they be bored when everything is so busy and there's so much to do?\" maybe you are one of those over-managing bosses that doesn't delegate enough and, surprise, ends up running around being busy while everyone else is bored and lacking responsibilities. [i considered posting this anon, but it's not aimed at my current employers and, if you know me, you'd know i'd have said it to their face if it were...]", "link": "item?id=2755216", "user": "andrewcooke"}, {"comment": "I think that honesty is a two-way street, especially in this scenario, and too many developers wind up holding a recruiter over a fire for what the developer perceives as a dishonest/snake oil salesman approach when they themselves are often inflating the truth either on their resume or when talking about previous accomplishments (I was guilty of this early in my career as well).<p>Now I do my part to be honest, and I look for the same in any recruiter I come across. I'll echo Ed's sentiment in saying thanks and it's nice to read about recruiters who have a passion for the industry and the people in it and not just a passion for making the sale.", "link": "item?id=2754805", "user": "dolinsky"}, {"comment": "Rewriting something is most definitely a good way to learn that a) rewrites are easy to underestimate, and often not such a good idea as they seem, and b) the previous programmer may not be such an idiot as you first thought.<p>Understanding the thinking behind other peoples code (yes, even crap code) is one of the hardest programming skills to acquire.", "link": "item?id=2714574", "user": "rickmb"}, {"comment": "wait. so these ARE search engines themselves? doesnt that mean they're competition? i'm sure google can argue that no law could possibly require preferential treatment of competitors? or something like that?", "link": "item?id=2706605", "user": "ehutch79"}, {"comment": "Also, now people want to be somewhat disguised as nerds, using geeky gadgets and pretending to like computers (just because they like Facebook and MSN).", "link": "item?id=2695713", "user": "loboman"}, {"comment": "I don't want to overstate this, and it's been brought up before, but I find it interesting to consider the matter of heroes we don't personally know versus those we do.<p>I don't know whether this has changed, over recent decades. But it seems that we have so much \"media attention\", these days, that many things we at least ascribe as being very significant to us are actually at great remove from our personal lives.<p>I don't mean this by way of judgment, but by way of reflection. And introspection: Who has really influenced me, and am I acknowledging -- to myself, or to them -- their roles in my life? Am I using such understanding to make my own decisions and in my own actions?<p>Taking this a bit further -- perhaps too far and potentially getting a bit judgmental: Am I trying to be on the billboard, or the organization that decides whether the billboard is a good idea for the neighborhood?", "link": "item?id=3136233", "user": "pasbesoin"}, {"comment": "Here in Austria we have these things already .. dunno if you need to get a license for them, or something. But anyway they're definitely available to the general public - I've been in a few restaurants with 'jammer' stickers displayed prominently on the front door.<p>I'd buy one, personally. I can't stand dickhead drivers and if this is some way to make the roads safer I'm all for it ..", "link": "item?id=3134166", "user": "seclorum"}, {"comment": "\"I appreciate a good hack, but just can't get past the idea that this is a solution in search of a problem.\"<p>I had exactly the same reaction: good hack, where's the problem?<p>The solution to the problem of too much email already exists, and that solution is ... email. Email is asynchronous, and you get to decide when and what to do with it.", "link": "item?id=3131842", "user": "sixtofour"}, {"comment": "But he did post here and he asked for input. So even if none of us would likely give the man/woman a chance based on their admitted attitude (and that's not what is being asked) the input is what matters.<p>And input like yours is exactly what might make the difference when he or she interacts with potential employers next time.<p>As a non-team player that manages to successfully fake it (within limits) I think that even that can be turned into an asset.<p>Refusing work that you are paid to do for is a firing offense all over the world. But circumstances do matter and since they're not provided I'm going to at least reserve judgment on whether or not there were any mitigating circumstances. For the record, I once refused to do a job that was technically within my abilities and job description. The only reason that job was given to me was as a revenge action for speaking up against a superior on an earlier occasion. Fortunately for me I had enough credit by then to be able to refuse the job and get away with it but technically that would have been the perfect pretext to fire me.<p>Growth is a process. Posts like these are part of that process, so I have plenty of hope that the OP will eventually manage to find his way, and improving on his communications skills would seem to be the first order of battle. Even saying 'no' is a sales job.", "link": "item?id=3130430", "user": "0x12"}, {"comment": "I agree with the overall sentiment here, but in this case I'd rather the departing employee be the gentleman and give me a heads-up, instead of his future employer.", "link": "item?id=3118686", "user": "gyardley"}, {"comment": "Story of my life, Ed. I am your poster boy who lives \"cheap\" and not \"frugal\" by choice. I clip coupons and browse slickdeals before committing to a purchase. I never buy anything at MSRP. I monitor airfare prices for weeks before booking a ticket.<p>This is a difficult problem to escape because it's one that <i>I behaved myself into</i>, and that it's self-reinforcing for a variety of reasons:<p>- When you're already on a fixed salary, the opportunity cost of spending time on being cheap is not obvious. You're not taking time away from that $500/hr side consulting gig that you don't have. Instead, you're at a situation where the marginal rate of return on clipping coupons (say, $10/hr) is significantly better than spending the next hour working on that iPhone app that is months from release and has no interested buyers (how long is it going to take to recoup the Apple developer fee?).<p>- Some people get a rush out of saving money, a feeling of <i>\"Ha! I beat the system.\"</i> To them, saving money is a form of entertainment [1], and there's certainly far worse hobbies to have from a well-being perspective. Unfortunately, there are people who take this too far and end up as total misers or compulsive hoarders. I'm not a pathological case, but I've done things that would make some people cringe.<p>- Seeing people successfully live frugally can be a motivator to follow in their path. My parents are immigrants who worked hard and saved for 20 years before they were finally able to afford a house in an expensive neighborhood (and nearly paid for it all in cash). They drive Toyotas, shop at Costco, and cook at home. They are basically the epitome of the \"millionaire next door\" [2].<p>- There's also a moral justification for this. <i>\"Why do I have to keep up with my spendthrift neighbors? So what if I don't drive a Maserati or carry a Herm\u00e8s bag? No thanks, I shall be comfortable in my own skin, since envy and greed are evil.\"</i> This is now an identity statement [3], and while it's a good position to take from a financial perspective, it can be crippling in the way it makes some people closed-minded. Of course, this doesn't necessarily stop them from pontificating about retirement at 30.<p>I do still think that my years of being cheap are starting to pay off, mostly because I'm finally getting comfortable with the sort of \"discretionary\" expenses you mentioned in your post. The difference is that it probably took a much larger bank balance for me to consider them \"affordable.\" I just flew across the continent purely on a whim to visit some friends that I hadn't seen in years, I no longer cringe at expensive bar tabs if they were time well spent with buddies, I can afford to make an impulse electronics purchase just to see what it's like, and I'm preparing for that self-funded sabbatical [4] to reboot my life.<p>Was it worth it? Well, it was really, really hard to re-orient myself this way, and it took much more sacrifice than necessary, but the good news is that aside from lost time, most of the rest hopefully can be recovered.<p>[1] <a href=\"http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2009/08/saving-money-trumps-sex/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2009/08/saving-money-trumps-se...</a><p>[2] <a href=\"http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Next-Door-Thomas-Stanley/dp/0671015206\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Next-Door-Thomas-Stanley/d...</a><p>[3] <a href=\"http://www.paulgraham.com/identity.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.paulgraham.com/identity.html</a><p>[4] <a href=\"http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000076.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000076.html</a>", "link": "item?id=3117780", "user": "CoreDumpling"}, {"comment": "My trick for getting unstuck is to start maintenance on the part where I'm stuck. Any kind of cleanup, comment clarification and so on will do. Once I'm doing that I'm doing something and moving from doing something to doing what I want to do happens more or less automatic at some point.<p>I got this trick from working in a metal shop. We'd get stuck trying to solve a problem all the time, and whenever that happened we'd simply start cleaning up. Usually after cleaning up the 'way forward' was crystal clear.<p>Now, of course one day there will be a problem where this will not work but for now it seems like a really good trick.<p>The underlying mechanism is as far as I can see related to being stuck in the same cycle in your head. As soon as you start cleaning up you force yourself to look at the forest instead of the individual trees and that's where you'll find the key for moving on.<p>ymmv, it works for me.", "link": "item?id=3115014", "user": "0x12"}, {"comment": "Moore (Chasm guy) says that \"visionary\" customers actually do like to be first: they want to leap-frog their competitors, and to do that, they need something that their competitors don't yet have; which is necessarily not known or trusted. They therefore <i>expect</i> (very) rough edges etc (of course, they also need some amazing order-of-magnitude breakthrough benefit).<p>BTW: the 3-year rule-of-thumb rings true for me too: a year to get the first customer (putting it out there and improving it for a year); a year to refine it/build the customer list; a year to make money hand-over-fist. (Unfortunately, by then I also got competitors, and worse, I also got bored.)", "link": "item?id=3111669", "user": "6ren"}, {"comment": "I used to think I needed long uninterrupted stretches of time to do good work. It turns out I was wrong. I'm working on a side-project now, putting in less than half an hour a day (but making sure to do it <i>every</i> day). Strangely enough I'm making better progress in many ways than when I had the luxury of spending many hours on side-projects.<p>I'm blogging on my progress, if anyone is interested: <a href=\"http://prehacked.com\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://prehacked.com</a> (read <a href=\"http://prehacked.com/pages/about-this-blog-53\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://prehacked.com/pages/about-this-blog-53</a> to get an idea of what I'm working on).", "link": "item?id=1848501", "user": "abstractbill"}, {"comment": "I think if you're not embarrassed by the code you wrote ages ago then you're not improving.", "link": "item?id=1843850", "user": "TamDenholm"}, {"comment": "&#62; I dug in and changed 1 byte of code (1 byte, not 1 line). The next day, our bank account had $6.5 million more in it.<p>That's just gangsta. Can you expand on that last story? I can't wrap my head around such a simple problem costing so much.", "link": "item?id=1844091", "user": "danilocampos"}, {"comment": "I would like to point out that in this case, (not that I'm trying to sound overly supportive of the guy, but it's not that I hate him either), his dad fired him THREE times whilst working for him. His dad only hired him back after he had gone out and made something of himself (selling his own business for lots of money).", "link": "item?id=1843047", "user": "throwaway_burn"}, {"comment": "I have to say I disagree; their list provides some good, <i>sufficient</i> indicators of a good programmer. You appear to have read an assertion that these are <i>necessary</i> qualities into the article, but I'm not seeing that anywhere.<p>&#62; <i>Everyone has an opinion, assholes included.</i><p>Not true in my experience; there are plenty of apathetic floaters who don't care enough to form an opinion about anything. They use what they're told to use, don't look around at anything, don't form comparative opinions, and don't care. They all produced terrible work, because they didn't care enough to form opinions, or look around for better tools and techniques, and so never learned anything<p>&#62; <i>Many of the best programmers I know contribute nothing to open source because of confidentiality agreements.</i><p>Absolutely. But again, it's a good sufficient tell, not a necessary quality.<p>&#62; <i>You mean when it's fun specing something out or at 4 in the morning when everything is down?</i><p>Yes. You want them to fundamentally enjoy what they do. Dispassionate automatons may exist who nonetheless churn out solid work, but in my experience there are far fewer passionate, horrible developers than uncaring horrible developers, so it is again a good sufficient distinguisher to help find a good developer.<p>&#62; <i>And what does it cost to maintain or fix it? There are 2 ways to find out. a. Read the source. b. Wait a year. Which would you prefer?</i><p>c. Contact previous employers/coworkers, see what their reputation for shipping (and shipping quality) is.<p>&#62; <i>Who cares? What they do on their own time is their own business. This is an indicator of nothing.</i><p>It's an indicator of intellectual curiosity. Again, intellectually incurious developers who nonetheless do solid work and stay up to date may exist out there, somewhere, but I've never met one, so it's yet another good sufficient identifier.<p>&#62; <i>This is important for all people, for all things, so it doesn't even need to be on this list.</i><p>If you really believe that, you haven't met a lot of hiring managers who completely and utterly forget about it or think it is unimportant for technical positions. There are people who absolutely need this reminder.<p>&#62; <i>b. Hire a programmer to hire a programmer.</i><p>Turtles all the way down?", "link": "item?id=1836399", "user": "msbarnett"}, {"comment": "Anybody notice that OP asked \"How to tell quickly...?\"", "link": "item?id=1827070", "user": "techbio"}, {"comment": "This just tells me that we need to figure out a new way to debug concurrent/cloud processes more easily. The traditional debuggers just don't cut it anymore.", "link": "item?id=1815290", "user": "hvs"}, {"comment": "Ed, thank you, it means a lot :). Hope to see you again before my next time in Miami.", "link": "item?id=2558580", "user": "jasonlbaptiste"}, {"comment": "These making skills are going to come back over the next few years - they aren't 'taught', they're learnt. And people are having to learn them RIGHT NOW, because they can't afford to call someone out to change their fuse / fix their washer. If you aren't working, you've got time to fiddle around for a while and get something fixed. Do it a few times and you start to get good at it and more confident. I'm really hopeful that it will be a positive outcome from the recession.", "link": "item?id=2544630", "user": "AlexMuir"}, {"comment": "Not that Facebook would have any excuse for this kind of thing, but put yourself in the position of someone who desperately needs to bring attention to their product and is willing to take risks: How is this not of interest to someone in the early stages of a startup business?<p>I've been tangentially involved in some small business PR-agency blunders and some minor successes. Believe me, it's extremely easy for something that looks good on paper and is being pitched by persuasive people to blow up in your face later.<p>This is the kind of thing where one simply cannot underestimate the value of the ability to learn from other's mistakes.", "link": "item?id=2541933", "user": "marshray"}, {"comment": "A slight variation of (5): Investigating ancient code bases to discover what some long forgotten piece of code does and why it's not working as expected.", "link": "item?id=2536187", "user": "drtse4"}, {"comment": "I have to say that I agree with the article on 'screwing the algorithms and data structures'.<p>Sure, if you want to be a good, successful programmer, you <i>need</i> to know your algorithms and data structures, inside out, back to front, whilst underwater being surrounded by sharks. This is far more important than being up-to-date with language X or framework Y.<p>However (and this is a big however), the letter is targeted at people who are thinking about learning to program, in which case it's important for them to actually achieve something quickly, so that they will be encouraged to continue.<p>When I started to program (at the grand age of 3), I wrote absolutely terrible programs in BBC-Basic. For years I wrote lines and lines of code without a single function, procedure or subroutine. Even Arrays, lists and such were beyond me.<p>I didn't care though. I had written stuff that worked. I had created text based adventure games that the computer would play with me. To a young kid, that feeling of power, creativity and success was like a drug, and I was addicted.<p>If instead, I'd spent ages reading books to work out whether I should be using quicksort or radixsort, or whether my Hashmap would scale well enough, I'd have gotten bored and never written anything, and probably become an accountant.", "link": "item?id=2528538", "user": "NickPollard"}, {"comment": "If you're going to play a pointless game of semantics, you should at least take a second to check your definitions:<p>\"pro\u00b7duc\u00b7tion: (<i>Economics</i>) the creation of value; the producing of articles having exchange value.\"<p>100,000 lines of generated code would have no value and, therefore, your productivity would not be \"incredible\" at all, it would be zero. You knew what he was asking for, no need to try to rewrite his question.", "link": "item?id=2514195", "user": "rkon"}, {"comment": "I'm standing outside in socks, with a super-soaker in hand :) it was in August.", "link": "item?id=2271136", "user": "wazoox"}, {"comment": "Is it the fact that one can see the sky from it? I wonder what other reasons are like :)", "link": "item?id=2268917", "user": "abcd_f"}, {"comment": "It seems so obvious. Why don't more countries do that ?", "link": "item?id=2270805", "user": "yannickmahe"}, {"comment": "All of the things you hate drive me crazy too. I sometimes want to bang my head against the wall when I see copy-and-paste code written by someone who didn't know how to program. But I enjoy the challenge of fixing the problems, one by one, refactoring incrementally.<p>I've also learned that what I think is the right way to solve a problem isn't the only way. Most often I am rewriting bits of crap code, but I also learn new techniques and approaches.<p>I love green fields programmers who know the best way to do everything. Their projects frequently flame out, leaving a desperate client and an almost-working code base that fell short of someone's idea of perfection, but is fairly close to working after some practical compromises are made.<p>The best thing about maintenance programming is working on real code with real users. I don't miss spending three-fourths of the project schedule arguing data structures with three other programmers and a nervous client.", "link": "item?id=2269287", "user": "gregjor"}, {"comment": "I'm sure six year-olds love the idea of having to sit down for half an hour and listening to mom and dad talk about cashflow. You can even get them a copy of \"Robert's Rules of Order (for Kids!)\".", "link": "item?id=2264502", "user": "shaggyfrog"}, {"comment": "You're misunderstanding what \"Fuck You Money\" is. It's not so you can say \"Fuck You\" to everyone they meet. The purpose is to be able to decline or quit jobs you don't like.", "link": "item?id=2264153", "user": "DerekL"}, {"comment": "Before 1991, it would have probably been \"A Rolodex can only hold 10,000 cards\" for most people. The solution would be to buy another Rolodex.", "link": "item?id=2263450", "user": "juiceandjuice"}, {"comment": "To me, that is the surest indicator of a bubble-like market. I think some of the recent valuations for companies with many users but no profit nor any obvious business model are dubious at best. However, I think the valuations for companies that depend exclusively on one framework/inftrastructure base provided by another mega-valued company are downright crazy. Companies like Facebook have come and gone before, and when they go, they often disappear into relative obscurity pretty quickly after losing critical mass. Investing heavily in a company built on that foundation is compounding two very high risk strategies, which doesn't sound very smart to me. But then, I'm not a billionaire VC, so maybe I just don't get it. :-)", "link": "item?id=2255741", "user": "Silhouette"}, {"comment": "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is right now ;)", "link": "item?id=2255557", "user": "amirkhella"}, {"comment": "Welcome, new sales guy, new HR rep, new project manager! Now set up your gmail, google calendar, share with this list of other calendars, use this other password to sign into your laptop, on which you should install these apps (you can probably download them from the internet somewhere), and which you will maintain entirely on your own. There is no one to help you. IT is obsolete...", "link": "item?id=2255551", "user": "dgabriel"}, {"comment": "China has no problem taking on projects like these.<p>It's very naive to tout the benefits of central authority without considering the costs. A government that has the power to push through massive public projects isn't going stop there.<p>One of the main reasons projects on this scale are so difficult to organize is that there are so many independent stakeholders with diverging interests. Glorifying the state's ability to steamroll these interests for the sake of 'progress' is dangerous stuff.", "link": "item?id=2255304", "user": "danenania"}, {"comment": "General, yes, but useful? You can easily get wildly different numbers by arbitrarily adding and removing steps. \"Of those, 20% don't get too discouraged after educating themselves about the process\" Now there are 320. Or combine start and finish building into simply \"20% actually build something\". Now it's 8000.<p>It was clearly meant to be motivational, not something you should bet your house on.", "link": "item?id=2254821", "user": "adamtj"}, {"comment": "There are actually courses/books on how to spot the faux job ads (forced by HR policy, worker's council, ...).", "link": "item?id=2253972", "user": "Nitramp"}, {"comment": "Or me: Here's my house: <a href=\"http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&#38;source=s_q&#38;hl=en&#38;geocode=&#38;q=641+Maryland+Avenue,+Pittsburgh,+PA&#38;aq=0&#38;sll=40.455046,-79.930215&#38;sspn=0.009372,0.01929&#38;ie=UTF8&#38;hq=&#38;hnear=641+Maryland+Ave,+Pittsburgh,+Allegheny,+Pennsylvania+15232&#38;ll=40.45516,-79.930215&#38;spn=0.009307,0.01929&#38;t=h&#38;z=16&#38;layer=c&#38;cbll=40.455066,-79.930189&#38;panoid=kLaDfqOqymd2T-qvZoUkPg&#38;cbp=12,48.95,,0,1\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&#38;source=s_q&#38;hl=en&#38...</a><p>I have the bottom floor. 3 bedrooms. 3 roommates. $1200/month rent, so I'm paying $300/month. (my girlfriend and I share a room.) I live in one of the more affluent neighborhoods in town. Yep. It's that cheap.<p>20 minutes walk from CMU, 30 from Pitt. Buses come either one block or 4 blocks away. CMU shuttle goes _past my house_. One block away: 4 bars. A restaurant. Two coffee shops. A bunch of other junk. A Japanese grocery store two blocks away, regular groceries about 5, a Whole Foods about 8. My two neighbors on either side are families.<p>Pittsburgh is sweeeeet.", "link": "item?id=2252113", "user": "steveklabnik"}, {"comment": "That's what Google did with YouTube, right?", "link": "item?id=2251935", "user": "petervandijck"}], "children": [{"number": 28, "names": "edw519", "comments": [{"comment": "BKs happen and are factored into the price for a lot of business-to-business services. But no, I wouldn't invest in anyone who stiffed their employees. Ed is exactly right about that.<p>And you wouldn't want to anyways. The kind of person who keeps employees on staff after they stop being certain they can make the next payroll isn't a good investment anyways.", "link": "item?id=2770884", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I worked for a 30 person database consultancy for my first job out of uni. Their Intranet home page contained a large and prominent link to \"Internet access by user\", which listed the amount of bandwidth being consumed by each person through their HTTP proxy. I have no idea who instituted that policy, but I instantly disliked the company .<p>You could download large binaries for only so long to cover your tracks, so I just ended up running a constant SSH session to a Lynx browser, so casual passersby would think I was working.<p>I quit about 6 months later for many other very good reasons, boredom being a huge one. A couple of months earlier I had asked if I could transfer to a new role (from developer to admin), which was flatly denied. When I announced I was leaving, one of the three senior management came up to me and said that in the last management meeting he had said I was bored and that they needed to find something more for me to do. Apparently he was shouted down (metaphorically).<p>The last I heard of the company was that as a result of my departure, they would no longer hire graduates with A grades. They would look for B or C grades from now on. I can't imagine a worse lesson to learn, but there you go.", "link": "item?id=2755623", "user": "Lewisham"}, {"comment": "This is something that took a lot of mistakes to learn for me. Replace only the code that's definitely wrong, and resist the urge to start over. Whenever I see a project announce that they're going to rewrite the next version, I know I'll never see it.", "link": "item?id=2715413", "user": "steve"}, {"comment": "&#62; i'm sure google can argue that no law could possibly require preferential treatment of competitors?<p>Google can argue that point, but it's not true.", "link": "item?id=2708395", "user": "anamax"}, {"comment": "How do you know they're pretending? Why can they not \"like computers\" in a different way than you do?", "link": "item?id=2696820", "user": "scott_s"}, {"comment": "I don't think jammers are the right way to deal with the \"loud talkers\" problem - they also block emergency calls. What if someone who lives above the restaurant needs an ambulance? What if someone in the restaurant gets an emergency call from their spouse?", "link": "item?id=3134852", "user": "nodata"}, {"comment": "Overflowing inboxes are the problem. Perhaps we should have provided more context about what we're trying to fix : )<p>These guys do a good job: <a href=\"http://emailcharter.org\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://emailcharter.org</a><p>We're trying to provide a framework around that first rule of respecting the recipient's time.", "link": "item?id=3131917", "user": "mtgentry"}, {"comment": "Well I would say that savings driven life is far better than the spendthrift side of things. Now this is purely personal choice. No denying.<p>In my case I like to sit on piles of cash, without any debts and EMI's to pay. And loan interests to worry about. I like to live a tension free life at the same time get a realization that I'm getting rich. And if you do so, you actually see that a lot of luxuries come a little late, but they come at zero stress, worries and hassles to worry about. The lateness in affording things is often very differential and in my case at least has made very little difference. Over the years you are far better off having money, peace and tranquility in your life even if you drive the Mercedes two years late. Than having a Mercedes right now and all the while paying off debts endlessly in cycles(Home, Credit card etc).<p>Now the point is simple, I don't really understand the spend thrift part of the world. Just because I don't dine at a seven star hotel eating a sever course meal, I doesn't mean I'm not eating well. I eat whatever I like, drink whatever I like and wear whatever I like. I just don't fall for the brands and buy 1 get two free kinda stuff.<p>I can go with the same phone for some years provided that server the job for the moment. Which most of the times it does. I don't see any reason to have credit card(Yes I don't have a credit card at all). Its just if you don't succumb to peer pressure and blindly imitating others spending patterns. You sort of can end up saving really lots of money. With savings and investments you can really end up making a lot after a while.<p>And then you can buy everything your want, retire early. Buy your dream home and live well.<p>In fact this is more pleasurable than the other approach.", "link": "item?id=3119201", "user": "kamaal"}, {"comment": "That's a very nice way of looking at it.<p>I've found doing a bit of refactoring on messy code has always helped if stuck and the effect is just as you describe.", "link": "item?id=3116719", "user": "5hoom"}, {"comment": "&#62;I'm working on a side-project now, putting in less than half an hour a day<p>Is that including thinking time? Do you have commuting time or some other time without responsibility for other people in which to think?", "link": "item?id=1849210", "user": "pbhjpbhj"}, {"comment": "The code I wrote sucks. The code I am writing is cool. The code I am going to write rocks!", "link": "item?id=1844267", "user": "mikerg87"}, {"comment": "HCFA issued a bulletin (as it often does) about its upcoming file layout changes but no one bothered to read it. They changed one line code from \"SA\" to \"SK\" or something like that. The change took effect, but since no one applied the mod, the money stopped. Three months later, I was brought in to fix it. I just read the bulletin, changed the hard code, and promoted it. I still can't believe they were that incompetent (and one of the many reasons I'll have nothing to do with health care any more.)", "link": "item?id=1844261", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "You still sound overly supportive of the guy. His dad actually hired him back at least twice before he had made something of himself.", "link": "item?id=1843637", "user": "shimon"}, {"comment": "Shouldn't take more than a couple minutes to look up online - or to call somebody who knew and have worked with that person before.", "link": "item?id=1827254", "user": "tomjen3"}, {"comment": "How about trying to find errors as early as possible, by for example using the type system? That will not catch everything, but it will catch quite a lot.", "link": "item?id=1816010", "user": "aristidb"}, {"comment": "Yes, important point - skills are learned and you need to practice them.<p>I somewhat look forward to fixing stuff. I just fixed our furnace. Even if I need to buy a specialty tool, I'm usually better of getting the tool and learning how to do something myself.<p>I have a joke I like to tell: The first guy from the [HVAC|Electrician|Plumber] just comes out to get the check. Then next 1 or 2 might actually fix it.<p>Because I've had so many right out of votec kids come out, don't know what they're doing and don't fix the problem. I'm relieved when I answer the door and an older guy is there.<p>They really need to apprentice the young guys with older guys more than they do.<p>(I have some experience here, my brother is a master electrician in 2 states).", "link": "item?id=2544667", "user": "pragmatic"}, {"comment": "Where \"ancient\" is defined as: written more than six months ago or by people who have long since left.", "link": "item?id=2536400", "user": "arethuza"}, {"comment": "What you call \"semantics\", I call \"a critical distinction\" that needed to be pointed out.<p>In my early years, I wasted a lot of energy trying to be more productive, efficient, effective, (call it whatever you want), until I learned one of the most valuable and counter-intuitive lessons of my career: it really doesn't matter how \"good\" you are, how \"well\" you work, or how good you \"feel\".<p>All that really matters is whether or not your cumulative contributions keep increasing. Take care of that and you won't have much else to worry about. Don't do that and you'll end up worrying about all the wrong things.", "link": "item?id=2514341", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I think he is counting each star as a different reason.", "link": "item?id=2268975", "user": "JonnieCache"}, {"comment": "Justice is not perceived as a service rendered to paying customers. Misbehaving policemen, prosecutors and judges have legal armors that makes it nigh-impossible to punish.", "link": "item?id=2271166", "user": "iwwr"}, {"comment": "True, but hackers are smart people and don't like dumb rules.<p>In real physical rolodex you can understand the limit, because it really exists. In Gmail it's hardcoded \"OK &#60;= 10000\" and that's hard to understand, specially when there's upgrade for 20,000 contacts - so 10,000 is just an artificial dumb rule.", "link": "item?id=2265391", "user": "valjavec"}, {"comment": "What you're seeing here is <i>leverage</i>. Basing your business on Facebook gives you very high potential market exposure vs a total dependence on Facebook.<p>It's analogical to buying shares with borrowed money. You've increased the potential upside, but now the downside is that much more catastrophic.", "link": "item?id=2256028", "user": "jacques_chester"}, {"comment": "Maybe the best quote I ever read. Never heard/read it before but I will probably quote it over and over again for the rest of my life. If it's from another language I'll probably get a pretentious tattoo of it.<p>I finally live according to that dictum now, but it took me 37 years to get to that place.<p>Facebook itself is brilliant testament to that. They entered an insanely crowded marketplace, with many leaders way way ahead of them. The were as late as late could be to create a \"Social Network\". It would be like showing up to a potluck at 2AM with a tray full of appetizers.<p>And then they mowed everybody down.", "link": "item?id=2256064", "user": "ludicast"}, {"comment": "I was with you up until \"you should install these apps\".. Wow is <i>that</i> gonna end up a disaster. Virus infection in 3..2..1", "link": "item?id=2255946", "user": "theBobMcCormick"}, {"comment": "Do you have any examples of egregious civil rights violations as a consequence of the moon mission? I mean, having some sense of investing in your country and future doesn't mean you have to massacre people in Tiananmen square.", "link": "item?id=2255892", "user": "jbooth"}, {"comment": "Any recommendations? It would save me a lot of time if I could spend a little money and read a book to save the hours wasted on applying for junk offers.", "link": "item?id=2254157", "user": "mkr"}, {"comment": "Can you live there without a car?", "link": "item?id=2252762", "user": "rdouble"}, {"comment": "Well, sort-of. I prefer the Amazon-IMDb example", "link": "item?id=2258594", "user": "barredo"}], "children": [{"number": 15, "names": "logicalmind", "comments": [{"comment": "I see your point, but you have a lot of real-life experience? In Europe bankruptcy is a much bigger stigma than it is in the US; it haunts you forever and it's noted as one of the biggest reasons EU startups are less gutsy than US ones; if you go broke, you are screwed for life here. But it goes very very fast; I know a few product companies at least that went from going well to complete misery in a few months. Those are trains going to the wall with <i>necessary</i> burn rates of $1M+ / month; what I mean by that is, the only way to have a <i>chance</i> at survival is actually servicing the few clients (we're talking <i>big</i> contracts) you have left and during that trying to reinvent your business. This is a win or lose fight; sometimes you win, but if you lose, you have a good chance to be millions in debt in no time. We are still talking startups here, so no $15M war chest in the bank. Probably some of that money was investor or bank money as well. Other reasons can include a business partner screwing you or just both events at the same time :)<p>For the same token I have seen companies get out of this predicament and they are doing extremely well now. So should they have thought; 'I'm not taking the risk, i'm paying everyone and closing the doors'? There was no in-between here; it's all or nothing in these cases. Sure you can say the growth rate was too high; doesn't that go for most invested startup companies in SV? I'm not sure it's as clear cut as you make it out to be especially if you make good on your employees with your next venture; i've seen cases were this was actually better for the employees as well.<p>I feel that stiffing your employees is deliberately going for BK to not have to pay wages etc; standing with your arms up high, he yeah sucks, but we're BK and fuck you very much for your support! At least here that's an official crime and you will pay the price if the curator can prove you 'went for bankruptcy' for reasons of not paying employees and other (notably tax) bills. But I can see enough reasons where this can happen outside your control as well.", "link": "item?id=2770997", "user": "tluyben2"}, {"comment": "<i>\"The last I heard of the company was that as a result of my departure, they would no longer hire graduates with A grades.\"</i><p>This reminds me of a Feynman story. After he had found and demonstrated a security hole in a particular type of lock used by the military they \"fixed\" the issue by ordering everyone not to let Feynman anywhere near the locks :-)", "link": "item?id=2756018", "user": "praptak"}, {"comment": "No nerd would wear lens-less glasses when they have 20-20 vision.", "link": "item?id=2697692", "user": "Devilboy"}, {"comment": "Fair point, I don't know how these issues are addressed with the current technology .. but I do know, these jammers are out there and can be deployed by those who want a cell-phone free environment. Every location that I've seen them in has a big sign, usually, on the front door that says \"YOUR CELL PHONE WILL NOT WORK IN HERE\", or something to that effect .. its up to the owner of the technology to work out what to do in that case, I guess.", "link": "item?id=3138979", "user": "seclorum"}, {"comment": "But respecting people's time isn't about knowing how much e-mail the person you're sending to has...<p>It's about sending only important e-mails/\"not spamming\". So, regardless of whether the guy I'm sending to has an empty or an overloaded inbox, I should always send the e-mail, because it's important.", "link": "item?id=3132031", "user": "avree"}, {"comment": "It's funny that a black 0 in your bank account can make you better off than so many others, these days.", "link": "item?id=3119629", "user": "hessenwolf"}, {"comment": "eh, I think that following references rarely results in an accurate picture, especially following up on references that the applicant gives you.<p>Have you <i>ever</i> given a bad reference? I've given lots of references, and I've checked lots of references. I've never given a negative reference, and I've never gotten a negative reference when I checked someone else.<p>This is for two reasons. 1. when the applicant lists references, s/he is going to list people who think positively of him or her, and 2. if some random guy calls up and asks for a reference for someone who used to work for you, you have a relationship with your ex-employee. You have no relationship with this new company. You have nothing to gain (and possibly significant liabilities) from handing out a negative reference.", "link": "item?id=1827902", "user": "lsc"}, {"comment": "You can definitely get a lot out of using better abstractions, as the success of MapReduce has shown. I'll list a few ideas, with the warning that they may be half-baked:<p>* Strong, stern type checking has always been kind of a pain in the ass, but it's very effective at catching miscellaneous stupid errors. If debugging in the cloud is hard enough, then maybe overbearing type systems are the lesser of two hassles.<p>* Interactive programming is a big win. One of the best things about Lisp is the REPL, and how well-integrated it is with the editor. (At least, if you use something like SLIME.) If I'm programming on a distributed system, I definitely want to be able to quickly test out my code, preferably in a concurrent environment. You could solve this by having a bunch of servers for this, or with some fancy simulation environment, or a bunch of virtual machines, or something. The point is, I want errors to show up fast.<p>* Really good log analysis. Ideally, any framework you're using would automatically log everything it does, and then you would use some nice tools to figure out what happened, and where it went wrong. Maybe the Loggly guys will come up with some good stuff.<p>* Data-flow oriented abstractions like what Apache Pig offers. Pig lets you define a directed acyclic dataflow graph, in which each edge is some operation like \"group by field x\", or \"filter by function f(fields)\". It compiles all this into MapReduce jobs and runs them on Hadoop. It's probably a lot harder to mess up a query in Pig than with raw MapReduce, for sufficiently complicated queries. I'm not sure how much of a performance hit you take, though.", "link": "item?id=1816934", "user": "pjscott"}, {"comment": "Actually, sending the least experienced technician to your house first is an intentional tactic. My father is a retired HVAC person of more than 40 years. He used to work for small family owned shops but the big companies (like gas companies) began buying up the shops in various areas. Then providing HVAC service plans via your gas bills.<p>They would load up on young guys and keep one or two old guys. They'd always send the young guys first because they were paid about 1/5th of the amount of the old guys per hour. If they fixed things correctly, then they made more profit. If they didn't fix things, you still paid the hourly rate anyway. After the revolving technicians of various skills attempted to fix (and charge you anyway), they would eventually send in the senior guy to actually perform the repair.<p>Most of the repairs are easy and minor. Nowadays furnaces have circuit boards with LED lights indicating the problem. So it's mostly just replacement of a known part. So most of the time they made a lot of profit by sending the youngest/cheapest guys.", "link": "item?id=2544733", "user": "logicalmind"}, {"comment": "Or more often than not written by yourself last week :)", "link": "item?id=2536775", "user": "johngunderman"}, {"comment": "Exactly. And given what excessive leverage did to the world's financial markets not so very long ago, I think relying on that kind of leverage again in this market is crazy.", "link": "item?id=2256410", "user": "Silhouette"}, {"comment": "Appetizers tend to be good snack food, and by 2 AM most people are hungry again and need something to sober up with... so actually your analogy works better than you probably intended.", "link": "item?id=2256392", "user": "Psyonic"}, {"comment": "The same politicians and ideas that motivated funding for those missions were directly responsible for horrific wars in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and many other countries during that period. I'd gladly trade our man on the moon to erase those wars and the philosophy that led to them from our history.<p>In sum: fuck nationalism.", "link": "item?id=2256043", "user": "danenania"}, {"comment": "I think the total time spent reading the book and evaluating the job would be more than knocking out a quick cover letter and sending it off with your CV", "link": "item?id=2257408", "user": "andy_boot"}, {"comment": "Yep. I do bike a lot because I dislike the bus, and they're never on time.", "link": "item?id=2252766", "user": "steveklabnik"}], "children": [{"number": 10, "names": "dlitwak", "comments": [{"comment": "Back to back startups, all funded except my current one, since 1996. Pay your employees. There is no way around this. You should be RIF'ing well in advance of payroll looking dubious.<p>The terrible thing about this thread is that it's conflating 3 separate obligations:<p>* Payroll, which is inviolate<p>* Contracts<p>* Free users<p>There are different judgement calls to be made on all three of these (for instance, your office lease or a telco contract might have been set up for a year or more, and can't be dialed back on no notice).<p>But the judgement call on paying your employees is <i>crystal clear</i>. It is so clear that there are large US states where payroll obligations can pierce the corporate liability shield and attach to officers. Don't fuck around with this. If you're not sure you make your next two payroll cycles, you lay people off (ideally, you lay people off well in advance of that).", "link": "item?id=2771055", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "The word you might be looking for is, \"overqualified.\"", "link": "item?id=2756553", "user": "DougBTX"}, {"comment": "They are called hipsters not nerds :)", "link": "item?id=2737102", "user": "dlitwak"}, {"comment": "I don't have an overloaded inbox, but for those who <i>do</i>, it seems to me that they're mostly overloaded with stuff that was sent to a group rather than to them as an individual.<p>If the sender is even thinking about the question \"Does this particular individual have time to read this email?\" then the chances are that this email is already far more important than average.", "link": "item?id=3132347", "user": "hugh3"}, {"comment": "Debt is a dangerous thing. I don't think the same about governments. But I consider debt to be disastrous for individuals.<p>The reason is simple a lot of your work, time and energy drains into paying the most scary thing invented by finance industry so far - 'Compound Interest'. This is especially dangerous in the case of credit card. The debt keeps mounting because of two reason, you being unable to pay and yet still continuing to borrow money. This sort of a spending patters brings a lot of pain to people every where.<p>And all of this for what? Upgrading from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4s. Is this really worth?<p>In this sort of set up people living with a savings driven life get a automatic lead ahead of spendings driven people.<p>Because while you are working to pay off the interest money. He works for the same time and saves that interest money.<p>I think it will be safe to say to say that if your paying X% money as interest to bank by working for hours Y(Remember you are loosing X% money, thereby in effect rendering your Y hours of work useless, as though it never happenned). The same X% is the money earned by the savings driven guy in the same Y hours(Additional to the money he is already earning. So this his extra income).<p>You work to loose money and he works to get rich. Although both work for the same time. One gets richer other gets poorer. This is how bad debt can inflict suffering on you.<p>These days you can be relatively rich by just saving money! And avoiding debt.", "link": "item?id=3119753", "user": "kamaal"}, {"comment": "If you do some research and cold-call their previous employers/clients, you'll usually find out if the relationship was a negative experience for them. If you get a couple of these, and they've come to that conclusion independently, then you have your answer.", "link": "item?id=1828788", "user": "anthonyb"}, {"comment": "Also, the older guys are probably doing construction work and making more money.", "link": "item?id=2544784", "user": "protomyth"}, {"comment": "This is a really bad argument. You're implying that the leverage discussed here (coupling your product with Facebook) is the same as the leverage that caused the financial crisis. The only thing they have in common is you can use the word \"leverage\" to describe either of them.", "link": "item?id=2256508", "user": "gfodor"}, {"comment": "So if its 2am and you're holding a tray full of appetizers, show up any way? (Next best thing, after all.)", "link": "item?id=2256907", "user": "arjunnarayan"}, {"comment": "Generally speaking, the politicians most in favor of nationalistic wars are those who are most opposed to domestic infrastructure speaking. Just saying.", "link": "item?id=2256078", "user": "jbooth"}], "children": [{"number": 8, "names": "logicalmind", "comments": [{"comment": "Let's see: <i>\"What an amazing overqualified company. They must be very overqualified of themselves.\"</i> No, I don't think so. :-)<p>Speaking of your actual point (that the employee was overqualified), I think the company that considers A students overqualified for work for which it prefers to hire B and C students is going down a dangerous path. A,B,C here are not the qualification levels but performance levels.", "link": "item?id=2757018", "user": "cema"}, {"comment": "Well, I guess that's also kind of different in the US than here in EU; you cannot 'lay off' people here like that. You need to give them 2-3 months of pay. And yes, there are economical reasons to be able to lay-off people, but those are really strict; you are really almost broke before you can fire people for those reasons here.", "link": "item?id=2777494", "user": "tluyben2"}, {"comment": "I think the lack of understand about borrowing to fund an asset, versus borrowing to fund lifestyle. If it is going to return higher than the interest rate you are borrowing at, then cool. If, in the case of a house, it is cheaper than renting (without a high risk of capital value falling putting you into liquidity diffulties), then also cool.<p>Borrowing for consumption is where people make the mistake.", "link": "item?id=3120240", "user": "hessenwolf"}, {"comment": "that solves the first problem (the applicant only choosing to give you the contact info of people who are likely to give them positive marks) but it doesn't help with the second issue.<p>I don't see any case where it's in the best interest of anyone to say negative things about a past employee. And I don't think you can count all \"company policy is that we simply confirm they worked here\" messages as negative, because sometimes that really is company policy.<p>When asked for a reference, have you ever said anything negative about a past employee or co-worker? Have you ever heard anything negative about someone you were considering hiring after cold calling a previous employer?", "link": "item?id=1828826", "user": "lsc"}, {"comment": "This brings up an interesting side point. I'm not sure if it's the same everywhere, but in the state I reside there are two sides to the trade professions.<p>One side is the service side. This is typically non-union and employees are trained at vocational schools that specialize in some field of expertise.<p>The other side is the new construction side. This is typically union and employees are trained via schooling and apprenticeships provided by the union itself.<p>In general, the union/new construction side makes more money, but, it's harder to get into the union and you generally work less hours (and make less money) until you are a fairly senior person. The non-union/service side will make more money (and work more hours) at least initially. The service side has very high turnover of youngsters.", "link": "item?id=2544835", "user": "logicalmind"}, {"comment": "Yes and no. If the companies in question are privately held then to a certain extent the risk is only with investors brave (or foolish) enough to back them. However, what do you think would happen to the tech industry, and potentially the wider world economy, if a big name company suddenly went up in smoke, public or otherwise?<p>Now, please pause for a moment and consider: it doesn't have to be Microsoft or Apple or Oracle. Some of the crazy valuations are putting much less robust companies within an order of magnitude. If one of them goes, it's going to be big news and stock prices right across hi-tech industry could race to the bottom scarily fast as we've seen before.<p>If you are, for example, Zynga, then the kind of disaster that could lead to catastrophic failure seems awfully difficult for you to anticipate or control. Likewise all kinds of new companies being built on Twitter and so on, keeping in mind that Twitter (as far as I know) doesn't actually make any money itself yet and could easily be displaced by the next new shiny thing tomorrow.<p>I'm not saying it's going to happen at all, never mind tomorrow, but there is definitely a house of cards building up here, and of such things, market bubbles are made.", "link": "item?id=2256873", "user": "Silhouette"}, {"comment": "Absolutely", "link": "item?id=2259399", "user": "Psyonic"}, {"comment": "Which politicians are favor nationalistic wars but oppose to domestic infrastructure?<p>Off the top of my head, the Chinese seem to favor both. The old regime in Iraq also had a penchant for both as well. Going back further, Japanese and German nationalists also were huge proponents of both big domestic infrastructure projects and nationalistic wars.<p>If you are looking at US politics, the wars mentioned by danenania were all started by US politicians who were also proponents of big infrastructure (Truman, Kennedy, Nixon). I don't think they were nationalistic wars, however.<p>Am I missing something here?<p>(Note: I'm ignoring former Communists, since Communism officially disavowed nationalism. In cases of other nationalistic wars, e.g. Rwanda or Kosovo, I don't know the opinions of politicians on infrastructure.)", "link": "item?id=2256181", "user": "yummyfajitas"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "Lewisham", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't think I was overqualified for the actual job (by my own interpretation, and of the way it was advertised). I was overqualified for their interpretation of the job role.<p>More specifically: I was the only full-time developer on a database which processed welfare payments for a smallish country, to the tune of hundreds of USD a year. This, I think, is not really the sort of system you would call trivial, nor one that the government would want a B or C grade student as the only full-time member on.<p>The company wanted someone that would essentially keep the lights on, on a legacy system that was woefully inadequate. One particular clanger was a PL/SQL file which was 5000 lines long, and didn't have a single function in it. It had minimal comments, which were frequently wrong. No-one really knew how it worked. There was no automated testing at all (they'd never heard of unit tests).<p>What the job should have been was thinking of how to provide value to the customer, trying to improve the system and perform code health updates. What they wanted me to do was do as little as possible to satisfy a work order from the government. This thinking was endemic in the company. One job asked another team to add an email reporting service. It worked on their internal Exchange servers, but they weren't able to figure out why emails weren't arriving at the government offices. Finally someone figured out that the emails didn't conform to SMTP at all. The people implementing this didn't know what SMTP was. The team leader/middle-manager in charge responded \"They asked us to write an email sending function. We did. They didn't specify that they wanted SMTP, so they'll have to file another work order.\"<p>I have many more like this.", "link": "item?id=2757092", "user": "Lewisham"}, {"comment": "I haven't, but I know quite a few people who have checked references and gotten a negative response - in one case derisive laughter followed by an incredulous \"Really? They put me as a reference?\". Obviously it depends on whether it's a big shop where you'll get HR stonewalled, or a smaller place where you'll have the owner or a coworker.", "link": "item?id=1833633", "user": "anthonyb"}, {"comment": "How about the entire modern conservative movement? I'll reiterate my \"generally speaking\" qualifier because I'm not trying to pigeonhole any individuals, but I'd say that \"in favor of nationalistic wars and cutting domestic spending\" is pretty much the 1 sentence description of anyone who gets a good reception on Fox News.<p>The modern chinese pretty much stay out of the war thing. They got Tibet and that's all they care about.<p>Communism, well, yeah they said that, but it was really only true for a brief period in between China going communist (solidarity!) and Nixon going to China (they're enemies now!).<p>EDIT: Also, re: nationalistic wars, I agree on all except for Nixon not wanting to leave Vietnam. There's no other explanation for \"peace with honor\" besides nationalism and pride. That only half counts since he didn't start it, of course.", "link": "item?id=2256296", "user": "jbooth"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "rcfox", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; This, I think, is not really the sort of system you would call trivial, nor one that the government would want a B or C grade student as the only full-time member on.<p>While I sympathize with the rest of the story, I think you place too much weight on one's ability to jump through hoops to get grades.<p>(Disclaimer: My marks were pretty bad, but I was also busy writing games/AIs, and getting into trouble for improving my school's systems.)", "link": "item?id=2757145", "user": "rcfox"}, {"comment": "You are pigeonholing and you are uninformed. Ron Paul just won the straw poll at the biggest conservative conference in part because of his opposition to the endless wars. Nixon pulled out of Vietnam, a war that Democratic presidents started and expanded. There is a long tradition in the American conservative movement that opposes foreign wars and entanglements. This wing is ascendent at the moment.<p>In the last 60 years China fought wars of aggression in Tibet, Vietnam, North Korea, and the Indian border. China constantly threatens Taiwan and to some degree Japan as well. I don't understand your Nixon/China comment-- you need to learn some facts, Nixon began America's slow detente with China. (They're friends now!)", "link": "item?id=2256649", "user": "OstiaAntica"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "Lewisham", "comments": [{"comment": "Maybe you should get a bit more informed yourself before derailing the discussion into gambling on candidates and bashing others on topics you clearly don't understand.", "link": "item?id=2256720", "user": "danenania"}, {"comment": "Yes, fair enough. I was using it as a \"B or C grade\" as in \"beef grades\" in my mind, but I realize what I typed was about actual marks from universities. I totally agree with your assessment :)", "link": "item?id=2757495", "user": "Lewisham"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "billswift", "comments": [{"comment": "On the other hand, grades are a decent proxy for diligence on a job.", "link": "item?id=2757525", "user": "billswift"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "zackattack", "comments": [{"comment": "Is this useful up to a certain level of process-execution and then inversely useful?", "link": "item?id=2757991", "user": "zackattack"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "danenania", "comments": [{"comment": "Apparently you are only paying any attention to what \"conservatives\" say on Fox News, not the policies they implement.", "link": "item?id=2256717", "user": "danenania"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jbooth", "comments": [{"comment": "The policies they implement??????<p>Bro. The Iraq war happened. John Boehner is speaker of the house right now, they're in a huge budget standoff over slashing domestic spending (while ignoring military spending and entitlements).<p>Hence, \"the modern conservative movement is about nationalistic military stances and cutting domestic spending\". This isn't really a hard statement to substantiate.", "link": "item?id=2259066", "user": "jbooth"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "danenania", "comments": [{"comment": "Ehh, let's be real. Republicans spend just as much domestically as Democrats, they just favor different industries and utilize different accounting scams.<p>We effectively have a one-party system in the US.", "link": "item?id=2261253", "user": "danenania"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "loup", "comments": [{"comment": "Maybe so, though the space program is a clear exception and I think there are plenty of others--the modern 'neoconservative' platform, for example, pushes for high levels of both military and domestic spending, and is firmly rooted in nationalism. The point is that unchecked domestic power generally implies unchecked military power. And then there's the secret police...", "link": "item?id=2256092", "user": "danenania"}, {"comment": "The two leverages have another thing in common - risk.", "link": "item?id=2256574", "user": "dman"}, {"comment": "Don't forget however that you still have to have a roof over your head. Assuming you have close to $0 net worth when you graduate, you still have to lose money, be it over a mortgage or over renting.<p>So, the question is, which is cheaper? Your mortgage, or your landlord?", "link": "item?id=3120214", "user": "loup"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "iuygtfhnjmn", "comments": [{"comment": "Sounds just like offshoring your code.", "link": "item?id=2544984", "user": "hnal943"}, {"comment": "Great point. That's why theres a line underneath \"unbearable\" that says \"please only send if it's urgent.\"<p>Also to your point, I'm not sure if this is a good product for workplace email exchanges. In that setting you're sort of forced to send things to people wether you want to or not.", "link": "item?id=3132104", "user": "mtgentry"}, {"comment": "So if my business relied on airfreight I am leveraged by the airlines, the airport owners, the aircraft makers, the pilots unions, the oil companies ....<p>So logically anyone who wants to ship a physical product should start by developing their own oil well and aluminium ore mine.", "link": "item?id=2257103", "user": "iuygtfhnjmn"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "route66", "comments": [{"comment": "The better analogy would be: if you business depends on Delta Airlines you should have a good chat with other Airlines to expand your business. It' s a common pattern in the non-virtual world that dependency on one exclusive channel/customer (Ask textile producers in Pakistan about IKEA) is prone to fail.<p>And indeed, if your business depends on airfreight you will also be strongly coupled to the destiny of that part of the industry. There's no need to develop your own oil well, but to have a vision about alternatives is a good thing in that case. Branson's Virgin sells records. And airtravel. And Mobiles. Would he have survived by betting exclusively on Sony MiniDisc ?", "link": "item?id=2257317", "user": "route66"}, {"comment": "Or, for a more direct analogy, the various tiers of support you get from any help line.", "link": "item?id=2545691", "user": "roc"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "neworbit", "comments": [{"comment": "Well, for what it's worth, airlines do engage in quite a bit of commodity price collaring in order to ensure that fuel price fluctuations don't totally destroy their business model. This is in some respects de-leveraging at least as far as this conversation is concerned :)", "link": "item?id=2257359", "user": "neworbit"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "loxs", "comments": [{"comment": "Just imagine that all of the above were owned by the same company/government, without any real competition.", "link": "item?id=2257306", "user": "loxs"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 5, "names": "symptic", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>But no, I wouldn't invest in anyone who stiffed their employees.</i><p>Dunno. In an early-stage start-up, I would rather be an employee who takes on a little risk in exchange for not distracting the founders with bean counting. Frankly the financial and lifestyle costs are already so great that two week's is just rounding error on my losses.", "link": "item?id=2771094", "user": "Daniel_Newby"}, {"comment": "Professional recommendations are formalities.", "link": "item?id=1827268", "user": "techbio"}, {"comment": "That's one of the trade-offs when deciding between a statically or dynamically typed language. Static typing isn't really going to help you with debugging/avoiding concurrency issues, though.", "link": "item?id=1816038", "user": "hvs"}, {"comment": "See Zynga.", "link": "item?id=2257067", "user": "symptic"}, {"comment": "Optimum tempus plantandi arborem annos XX, proximus ad presens tempus.<p>You might have more luck than google translater, but at least it sounds right.", "link": "item?id=2257365", "user": "tomjen3"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "jedbrown", "comments": [{"comment": "The companies we are alluding to aren't giving you that option; they're shoving the risk down your throat by not making it clear, when you receive your last full paycheck, that there may not be a next one.", "link": "item?id=2771197", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Well, the type system can be used to isolate side effects, thus ruling out large classes of concurrency bugs (especially with threads instead of separate processes or strict message passing (e.g. Erlang)). It can also prove that typing errors cannot occur, whereas with a dynamic language, it is possible for the program to be ill-typed in only certain circumstances (a function could return a different type depending on input). But yes, there are plenty of concurrency issues that are not greatly mitigated by static typing.", "link": "item?id=1816748", "user": "jedbrown"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Daniel_Newby", "comments": [{"comment": "Thanks. I wasn't thinking about the surprise implosions where employees have to put a five-fingered lien on the office equipment.", "link": "item?id=2771826", "user": "Daniel_Newby"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 13, "names": "SystemOut", "comments": [{"comment": "If you can't see the writing on the wall early enough to wind down then you really have no business running a business. Yeah, I could come up with some pretty out there exceptions to that statement but they are pretty out there exceptions.<p>Let's take an example. Your current revenue/expense ratio has you running out of cash in two-three months and short of a miracle or users all of a sudden finding your product indispensable you are toast. At this point a responsible business manager would say \"we're not viable\" and begin discussions with vendors, investors, banks and progress to talking to employees and customers.<p>Now, the opposite of waking up one Monday and saying \"@#$# I don't have enough money for next payroll - we gotta shutdown\" is pretty lame and not the mark of someone I would want to invest in.", "link": "item?id=2771006", "user": "SystemOut"}, {"comment": "(2) It is very easy to be super busy and bored. Having lots of boring work does not magically add up to become interesting all of the sudden.", "link": "item?id=2755449", "user": "ora600"}, {"comment": "That's an unfortunate trend.<p>But maybe there is a positive side to it. Maybe it's the beginning of a process that could end up making computer-related activities more mainstream. More accepted. More respected.", "link": "item?id=2695811", "user": "demian"}, {"comment": "I believe Limor Fried did something similar for her master's thesis.<p><a href=\"http://www.ladyada.net/make/wavebubble/index.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.ladyada.net/make/wavebubble/index.html</a>", "link": "item?id=3134415", "user": "chopsueyar"}, {"comment": "Money let's you trade things you don't mind doing and stuff you don't need for things you want other people to do and stuff you want to have. Clipping coupons can pay 1000$ an hour or 1.5$ an hour but the important thing is not just ROI but how much you like or dislike doing things. But with stuff there is a third option. I don't listen to music so the cost of a CD or concert ticket is irrelevant to me. I don't like to travel so the cost of a plane ticket is irrelevant, I don't like posters, nick nacks, or buying clothes so most stores simply don't have anything I want to buy.<p>So, when you see someone that saves most of their money don't assume they are hording it, some people just don't find all that many things they want to trade it for at a price they are willing to pay. Now I like playing video games, but I have several of them unopened new in box so I don't feel the need to buy yet another one that may or may not get played etc. I have cable TV, but I spend far more time playing free flash games not because they are cheap but because I simply enjoy them more. <a href=\"http://www.kongregate.com/games/light_bringer777/learn-to-fly\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.kongregate.com/games/light_bringer777/learn-to-fl...</a>", "link": "item?id=3118386", "user": "Retric"}, {"comment": "There is some simple elegance to this approach. I'm making a note of it for the next time I get stuck.", "link": "item?id=3115140", "user": "ch"}, {"comment": "No, I don't think so. I'm still quite proud of the Vic-20 bulletin board I wrote 26 years ago that got me my first job as a programmer.", "link": "item?id=1848392", "user": "mrlyc"}, {"comment": "&#62; Where did Mike Rowe's grandfather learn to be a jack-of-all-trades?<p>Some place I did. I picked it up. I kept trying. I read books, I did it. I was also raised on a farm and took wood shop and engine shop, drafting and auto-cad (and physics, chemistry, etc).<p>Maybe some people just have a knack for this stuff?<p>(Can't reply directly to this comment)", "link": "item?id=2544680", "user": "pragmatic"}, {"comment": "And a slight version of yours: Learning an ancient programming language in order to investigate some long forgotten piece of code...", "link": "item?id=2536294", "user": "balac"}, {"comment": "The word was productivity, not production.<p>\"Productivity is a measure of output from a production process, <i>per unit of input</i>.\"<p>\"the ratio of the quantity and quality of units produced to the labor per unit of time\"<p>[1] <a href=\"http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=productivity\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=productivity</a><p>[2] <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Productivity\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Productivity</a>", "link": "item?id=2514353", "user": "orijing"}, {"comment": "Would that I have had two votes to give...", "link": "item?id=2269110", "user": "thangalin"}, {"comment": "That's probably a bit overstated. Many, many companies are completely dependent on the Microsoft framework or the Oracle/Sun framework, yet there is not an issue with that.<p>The bigger issue is they are dependent on frameworks that are still evolving at very high rates. Rapid changes brings a lot of chaos into the equation, which is dangerous from an investment perspective, but that same chaos can lead to unexpectedly strong results as well.", "link": "item?id=2255941", "user": "SoftwareMaven"}, {"comment": "Is there some hidden meaning to '20 years ago', am I missing something?", "link": "item?id=2256511", "user": "light3"}], "children": [{"number": 7, "names": "acangiano", "comments": [{"comment": "In the past if you said to a random person, \"I'm a computer programmer\" it didn't really emotionally connect with anything in their world. Now you can say \"I make iPhone apps\", or \"I make Facebook games\", or again \"I make web applications\" and people will have a vague idea of what you do and why it's cool.", "link": "item?id=2695822", "user": "acangiano"}, {"comment": "Yes, that's possible in some cases. I did forget to think about the fact that in EU (where I live) it is <i>hard</i> to fire people, even if you are facing problems in '2-3 months'.<p>Also you say \"and short of a miracle or users all of a sudden finding your product indispensable you are toast\" ; that happens, but it also happens quite a lot that it's not a miracle; it's just hard and smart work and you'll make it; you pivot your marketing, your start running a bit harder, you hire different kind of sales people or all of the above. So it's not always based on luck and miracles; often it is not. I think you are seeing it oversimplified; The Last Stand of a company can really be very tense and even sudden and can actually make the come back bigger and healthier than before. If you quit (fire your employees, you can no longer deliver anything, so you die) you might actually be much worse of than if you continued with the risk of not being able to pay. Of course, as I said before, I do believe you need to do the correct thing for your employees, even over the event (bankrupt) horizon; they stuck in there even when you told it's not going well. But I, as much as I loathe him, like Bob Parson's first rule; 'security is for cadavers'. It is. And I don't want that from my employees either.", "link": "item?id=2777640", "user": "tluyben2"}, {"comment": "I think it was a post on HN awhile back that got me thinking like this. If I don't want to do it, and the opportunity cost for me is greater than the cost to hire someone else to do it, then I should just pay them. The key here is the opportunity cost is <i>for me</i>, not for anyone else. For example, I hate mowing the lawn and I estimate I'd have to be paid well over $100 to get me to \"enjoy\" doing it. Thus, I pay the $60 for lawn service. To me, I just earned $40 of my time back. Now, I'll admit, it isn't as cost effective as being cheap or \"frugal\", but I do think I enjoy life a bit more.", "link": "item?id=3120517", "user": "abyssknight"}, {"comment": "\"Maybe some people just have a knack for this stuff\" is a different way of saying \"I was also raised on a farm and took wood shop and engine shop.\"", "link": "item?id=2544869", "user": "tudorachim"}, {"comment": "Wait, what do you mean?", "link": "item?id=2269272", "user": "solipsist"}, {"comment": "But the difference is they're not dependent on the Microsoft presence. If Microsoft ceased to exist tomorrow (localised meteor strike, let's say), the code running on .NET, Windows, etc. will still work. If Facebook is down, so are you.", "link": "item?id=2255964", "user": "kolektiv"}, {"comment": "Many varieties of trees take a couple decades to grow into something that adds a lot to the landscape.", "link": "item?id=2256530", "user": "Yahivin"}], "children": [{"number": 4, "names": "hieronymusN", "comments": [{"comment": "But not all programmers make iPhone apps, Facebook games or web applications.", "link": "item?id=2695901", "user": "loboman"}, {"comment": "You don't have to be raised on a farm to learn this. I was born and raised in a very large city and learned a lot of this stuff by having to work around the house to earn my allowance (mowing the lawn, painting the house, changing the oil in lawnmower &#38; cars, helping build a new deck, etc etc). I also learned basic construction skills, metal working and welding in <i>gasp</i> my undergraduate art classes. This came in very handy when I had to build the walls, kitchen and bathroom in my Brooklyn loft many years later.", "link": "item?id=2545252", "user": "hieronymusN"}, {"comment": "He means \"wish\". He wants to upvote you twice.", "link": "item?id=2270075", "user": "scotth"}, {"comment": "That isn't really true. If Microsoft somehow ceased to exist, business would switch away from Windows and products written exclusively for that platform would be toast. The difference is really that for internet/cloud platforms, <i>temporary</i> outages can lead to lost revenue--which everyone developing apps on those platforms hopefully recognizes, especially given Twitter's former reputation for instability.", "link": "item?id=2257044", "user": "dougws"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "Gormo", "comments": [{"comment": "Sure, but it's still progress towards making our profession a bit more respected and glamorous.", "link": "item?id=2695966", "user": "acangiano"}, {"comment": "His comments show he is from Canada. I guess that explains his strong approval of the quote. :)", "link": "item?id=2270181", "user": "solipsist"}, {"comment": "I doubt many businesses that have built and scaled their infrastructure on Microsoft systems would overhaul their entire operations just because Microsoft itself disappeared. Consider the amount of legacy systems still in use in large enterprises today; many of these were originally designed by companies that are long gone.<p>If anything, the collapse of Microsoft would produce many smaller companies competing to satisfy the ubiquitous demand for Windows support.", "link": "item?id=2259142", "user": "Gormo"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "fleitz", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't really want it to be glamourous. Keep it unglamourous, supply low, and demand high. It's good for prices.<p>Once it becomes glamourous we'll have no end of professional certifications, professional organizations, etc.<p>There will be no end to the red tape and little increase in price and yet more people attracted to it because of fame / money rather than enjoying the practice of the craft.", "link": "item?id=2696761", "user": "fleitz"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "enneff", "comments": [{"comment": "And, just like during the bubbles, those who just get good work done will need none of them.", "link": "item?id=2697505", "user": "enneff"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "cheez", "comments": [{"comment": "But the switch would not be immediate, a least giving providers <i>some</i> time to move to other frameworks. As you say, from a slightly different angle, it is the immediate effect that is the problem with relying on facebook or a similar network for your business: if they fall over tomorrow or simply change their rules so your product does not comply, your revenue stream stops that instant and until you can design and implement changes in the product or business model.", "link": "item?id=2257543", "user": "dspillett"}, {"comment": "I'm one of those who don't. This is the way I explain it:<p>Well, I don't do any of those things but what I often do is provide tools to people in highly technical industries.<p>Oh. &#60;Change the subject not fully trusting that there is anything beyond iPhone, facebook or web apps&#62;<p>Argh.", "link": "item?id=2696244", "user": "cheez"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "kooshball", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't agree with this at all.<p>Yes it's true that your products wont stop functioning in the short term, but a dead framework that's no longer supported and updated means you HAVE TO rewrite it using another framework. and we all know how costly rewrites are.<p>I find the 2 scenarios you listed to have much more in common than not. The main difference is the amount of time you have to react.", "link": "item?id=2257420", "user": "kooshball"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "mikeleeorg", "comments": [{"comment": "That \"knack\" could also be an affinity for tinkering &#38; working with your hands. My brother is a self-taught auto mechanic because he is really interested in cars. Give him a free weekend and he'll rebuild his engine for the heck of it.<p>When we enjoy something, we do it often. When we do something often, we get better at it.", "link": "item?id=2545517", "user": "mikeleeorg"}, {"comment": "I think nerds are going to become respected like linux.", "link": "item?id=2696360", "user": "yters"}, {"comment": "Here, take mine.", "link": "item?id=2269268", "user": "knieveltech"}, {"comment": "&#62; Many, many companies are completely dependent on the Microsoft framework or the Oracle/Sun framework, yet there is not an issue with that.<p>The difference is that if Microsoft of Oracle/Sun disappear, the framework does not.<p>There is another rather unhealthy (IMHO) trend in the market today for DRM to be applied to everything. That <i>can</i> mean that products consumers have paid good money for can effectively just be switched off arbitrarily, and that's why I don't personally buy things that are DRM'd in such a way.<p>Developing for mobile platforms can be similarly risky. For example, my startup has no current plans to build an iPhone app, even though our users might appreciate it. We simply don't trust that Apple will not just arbitrarily squish us and not even notice/care based on their track record to date, and we would rather invest our money in safe platforms like the web. Apple aren't going to stop shipping a browser that can view modern web sites, it would kill their products.", "link": "item?id=2256395", "user": "Silhouette"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "elliottkember", "comments": [{"comment": "Talent is the willingness to practise.", "link": "item?id=2547385", "user": "elliottkember"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "dhughes", "comments": [{"comment": " Some people seem to be born troubleshooters they seem to be able to just know how to fix any problem especially obscure problems.<p>For example your car is acting up and the troubleshooter knows it's the fifth contact on a relay since it's the old original model 5b relay which he can tell from the sound of the clicking and he knows the fifth contact tends to corrode on the left side each spring when the humidity is higher. Give it a whack and a spray of contact cleaner and tells you to park it in the sun for an hour. Good as new.<p>The normal way is taking 20 or 30 years to know about a trade or just life in general and just seeing it so much you become a bit like the born troubleshooter but you'll never be as good.", "link": "item?id=2546075", "user": "dhughes"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "fleitz", "comments": [{"comment": "Troubleshooting is just the art of isolation. You isolate areas of the system and experiment until the problem becomes apparent.", "link": "item?id=2549101", "user": "fleitz"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "juiceandjuice", "comments": [{"comment": "I think some people get inspired at an early age and tend to go on stuff like that. I didn't grow up on a farm, but I know my dad inspired me. He almost never had anyone do anything for the house, or the car or anything. I was taking vacuum cleaners apart before I was 5, finding out how they worked. I ended up going into Physics in college because I wanted to find out how everything works, as it seemed the most logical choice for learning a bit about most everything. In high school, I also took wood shop, machine shop, drafting, autocad, etc... along the way. I also repaired my own car (A jeep, so I got lots of experience :)<p>So, I know my dad inspired me at a very young age, and I've been mechanically inclined as long as I can remember (I'm sure watching the This Old House, the New Yankee Workshop, The Woodwright's shop, and every other sunday morning PBS show and car show with my dad probably helped)", "link": "item?id=2545387", "user": "juiceandjuice"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "mgarfias", "comments": [{"comment": "I helped yank a motor from a wrecked stock car when I was 3 (I was running the crane while dad and his buddy had their fingers in there). I got to play with the drill press, grinder, and welder before I was in school.<p>No, I didnt grow up on a farm. But dad DID, he was overhauling tractor motors at 10, and driving at an obscenely young age (first ticket at 12: no license).<p>I knew how to drive a car before I was in high school, and was playing with carbon composites at 15 (left over b2 bits, whee).<p>It IS a knack for these sorts of things, but also having someone around to help get you started, combined with an interest in what ever you're working on.<p>This is no different than how most of you learned to program. Well, I guess it is: you're not sitting on you butt while you do it :)", "link": "item?id=2549272", "user": "mgarfias"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "goldins", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; Maybe some people just have a knack for this stuff?<p>True, but IMO that knack has to be fostered for it to develop. If you were raised on a farm, I assume you had some guidance. I doubt that a lot of kids whose parents are software developers would go into woodworking.", "link": "item?id=2544750", "user": "goldins"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "aliguori", "comments": [{"comment": "You would be surprised at how many software developers have hobbies that involve working with their hands. I spend much of my free time doing wood working and am sure it's something that I would introduce my children to at a young age (as my father did with me).", "link": "item?id=2545213", "user": "aliguori"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "shade", "comments": [{"comment": "You know, my dad was a very skilled woodworker and home handyman, but he passed away before he had a chance to really start teaching me very much of it.<p>I've always kind of wanted to get into woodworking (although it's hard right now since I have an apartment, not a house), but I'm not sure how to best start. Do you know of any good resources you could recommend for an adult who wants to get into that kind of thing?<p>Thanks! :)", "link": "item?id=2545365", "user": "shade"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "AlexMuir", "comments": [{"comment": "Dolls houses is something you can make with virtually no space - and because it's furniture in miniature some of what you learn can scale up when you've got more room. Things like measuring, marking, joints, and wood types all apply - if you can accurately build something at 1/12th scale you can prob build it full size. And it costs virtually zero. And your kids will LOVE you for it.", "link": "item?id=2546255", "user": "AlexMuir"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "phr", "comments": [{"comment": "Wooden boat building is a lot of fun, and doesn't have to take a lot of space. There are kits available for beautiful kayaks and such that people have built in their apartments. Be sure to plan how to get it out of the house if you build something bigger inside :) Also, beware of potentially toxic chemicals. Some wood dust (cedar) is dangerous.", "link": "item?id=2546644", "user": "phr"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "localtalent", "comments": [{"comment": "Depends on where you live - here in NYC there's things like Makeville where you can take classes, would assume there are similar in most urban centers.<p>If there aren't any, it's the same as learning programming - pick a small project and look for how-tos (like this breadbox, for example: <a href=\"http://www.am-wood.com/nov97/bread.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.am-wood.com/nov97/bread.html</a>) and have at it. Work your way up to more complicated things once you've got some skills and tools under your belt.", "link": "item?id=2546182", "user": "localtalent"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 5, "names": "dstein", "comments": [{"comment": "A lot of people are buying Macbook Pro's these days, and all I see them ever do is use them to read Facebook.", "link": "item?id=2695858", "user": "dstein"}, {"comment": "On the contrary, I think that \"aggregate number of hours spent on HN this week\" would be a very good metric for \"interestingness of work this week\". Reversely correlated, of course. I would definitely draw that graph.", "link": "item?id=2757033", "user": "StavrosK"}, {"comment": "Spoiler alert !", "link": "item?id=3132514", "user": "reddit_clone"}, {"comment": "I'm embarrassed by the code I wrote last week.", "link": "item?id=1845601", "user": "alanthonyc"}, {"comment": "That's a good point, but I'm not sure to what extent it's true; Where did Mike Rowe's grandfather learn to be a jack-of-all-trades? Most likely from his father or grandfather. If parents today choose to be \"less interested in how things got made, and more interested in how things got bought\" then chances are so will their kin.", "link": "item?id=2544665", "user": "goldins"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dmix", "comments": [{"comment": "A lot of people buy SUVs these days and all I see them do is drive to Walmart.", "link": "item?id=2695909", "user": "dmix"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "flyosity", "comments": [{"comment": "By themselves.", "link": "item?id=2696300", "user": "flyosity"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "rokhayakebe", "comments": [{"comment": "From a technical point of view, what are some critical tasks can you do on a mac that you couldn't do on a windows or linux machine?", "link": "item?id=2696280", "user": "rokhayakebe"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tomjen3", "comments": [{"comment": "Program IOS apps.", "link": "item?id=2696750", "user": "tomjen3"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "rimmjob", "comments": [{"comment": "why would anyone want to do that?", "link": "item?id=2697342", "user": "rimmjob"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "whatusername", "comments": [{"comment": "From a legal perspective -- it's the only way to run OSX. And it will run Linux/Windows)", "link": "item?id=2697193", "user": "whatusername"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "yters", "comments": [{"comment": "a mac is sort of both, a good unix w/ a good UI on top, and good integration", "link": "item?id=2696364", "user": "yters"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "dlitwak", "comments": [{"comment": "Most intensive development is a bother in Windows. When I started learning ruby on rails I had to go through cygwin(a command line simulation program) to be able to follow along with the tutorials. There are lots of bugs, and since Macs are based on BSD, same as Linux, it is supposed to be easier to develop on them.", "link": "item?id=2737113", "user": "dlitwak"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "ignifero", "comments": [{"comment": "You sound as if you 're one of them.", "link": "item?id=2696259", "user": "ignifero"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "pgbovine", "comments": [{"comment": "s/Macbook Pro/good computer<p>and your point is?", "link": "item?id=2695925", "user": "pgbovine"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dstein", "comments": [{"comment": "Simply the irony of people using geek-worthy computers for socializing.", "link": "item?id=2695958", "user": "dstein"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "scott_s", "comments": [{"comment": "Why is that ironic? You're getting downvoted for being elitist, which is the mentality that makes so many kids feel like outsiders in high school.", "link": "item?id=2696818", "user": "scott_s"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "ujeezy", "comments": [{"comment": "It took me three tries to fix the wax gasket under my toilet (symptom of a worn-out wax gasket: water leaks out from the bottom of the toilet whenever you flush), but I did it out of curiosity, wanting to be more like my dad who fixed everything in our house, and because I didn't want to be the guy who called the landlord to fix every little thing... I think more than anything, the feeling of control over my surroundings is what pushes me to do as much handywork as I can.", "link": "item?id=2545457", "user": "ujeezy"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "localtalent", "comments": [{"comment": "Learning a lot of these skills is easier than ever.<p>I wasn't raised doing a lot of around-the-house stuff, but in the past five years I've learned to do everything from recaulking a tub and rewiring lamps to fixing bicycles and repairing vintage rangefinder cameras.<p>I buy tools on craigslist and learn the steps online. Sometimes there's an unintended consequence to deal with (water spraying out of the sink, burned chicken, stripped set screws) that forums, skillshares, and hackerspaces are great at helping with.<p>None of this makes for a vocation, and I'm not advocating that people learn welding from eHow. But there's a lot to be learned from 'do it yourself' rather than 'do it for me'.", "link": "item?id=2545681", "user": "localtalent"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "swishercutter", "comments": [{"comment": "The tools are there for the properly motivated like they have never been in our entire history. The internet and social networking have made it so there is a forum for every trade, interest, or fetish. It is time to use it for more than just porn and gaming...not that there is anything right or wrong about either.<p>I try to force myself to learn something new before I go do something for entertainment. I will watch one MIT video lecture on physics or something to that effect, or research something that I am curious about. Then when I am done I can go game or watch something mindless if I choose so.<p>It makes it hard when I have to explain to people that I am self employed and I do about 5-10 different things...just depends on what is paying...most people just don't understand.", "link": "item?id=2546762", "user": "swishercutter"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 35, "names": "Derbasti", "comments": [{"comment": "It is a rare developer who can handle the Nesin step 3. It requires an empathy that doesn't come naturally to many engineers. However, when cultivated, that empathy makes for phenomenal developers. When I manage development teams, that is the number one trait I manage for. With empathy, all other problems can be solved.", "link": "item?id=2759453", "user": "SoftwareMaven"}, {"comment": "Rands covers this, more generally, when he talks about \"changes in routine\".<p>What you're looking for isn't the absolute value of, e.g., HN participation, it's the first or second derivative.", "link": "item?id=2755308", "user": "mechanical_fish"}, {"comment": "Thanks Ed. As for the points you mentioned, you nailed it.", "link": "item?id=2754594", "user": "Peroni"}, {"comment": "Instead of rewriting something, you should really refactor it until it is beautiful. Unless the original author was really stupid, you are bound to go through all the same errors and dead-ends the original author went through on his first try.", "link": "item?id=2717315", "user": "Derbasti"}, {"comment": "1. Clever. You can probably build it yourself with some google voice hack. My computer (via googlevoice chrome plugin) tells me when someone has called or texted already, which is pretty useful in itself because there are often times when I've left my phone somewhere but I'm on my computer.<p>2. <a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/now\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.groupon.com/now</a>, <a href=\"https://livingsocial.com/instant\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://livingsocial.com/instant</a>. I don't know if they are in Pittsburgh yet but will be soon, and maybe google will join the fray now that offers is there.<p>3. In Chicago (also flyover country) we have <a href=\"http://Peapod.com\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://Peapod.com</a><p>4. <a href=\"http://www.getpeek.com/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.getpeek.com/</a> was an attempt. A failed attempt as far as I know, though it did get a lot of press 3 years ago.<p>5. I can always tell by looking at them. You should add a sliding clean/dirty thing on your dishwasher.", "link": "item?id=3132571", "user": "pitdesi"}, {"comment": "I know lots of people who could get a ton of use out of this. VC's, local startup facilitators, generally people who are probably getting a ton of emails from people who they don't know. I think this could be really useful for these people. Hell, even middle managers at large corps who are buried in mail.<p>Basically, if you're not getting a ton of email, you don't need this.", "link": "item?id=3133137", "user": "k33n"}, {"comment": "Ed (edw519) recently gave us the <i>I'm going to give it to you straight and I hope that you don't get offended or upset</i> routine and after working with him we came out a million times better. If you are sincerely looking to improve your situation then you have my recommendation to take Ed up on his offer.", "link": "item?id=3130975", "user": "abbasmehdi"}, {"comment": "\"the #1 reason for any \"How I did &#60;anything regarding money&#62;\" is really, \"I am cheap.\"\"<p>I read it as \"what happens when you invest intelligently in a booming real estate and stock market\" (especially the former). I don't think this path is open today.", "link": "item?id=3117447", "user": "webwright"}, {"comment": "I once was stuck for seven months. I never quite understood why my employer was OK with that. The solution however was just as you described. I needed to get away from the computer. In that case, I had to get some science/math straight. Once that was sorted, I steamrolled that roadblock in one evening. True story.", "link": "item?id=3115777", "user": "Derbasti"}, {"comment": "Your original sugar daddy did not mind that you sold the solution that he helped develop to other companies?<p>That is the situation I am in. I have developed solutions to problems for the US's 4th largest company in a space with hundreds of other competitors. I own the technology but they would certainly take a dim view of me selling it to their competitors - and stop using me thus cutting off my only source of income.<p>Any ideas how to capitalize on what I have developed?", "link": "item?id=3110967", "user": "asmithmd1"}, {"comment": "That's a really interesting question. What I've found is that when I'm obsessed with a project it tends to almost always be on my mind, so that when I sit down to work on it I generally have a very good idea of what I want to accomplish and how to go about it (or at least how to get started on it). And when I know I'm only going to have a limited amount of time to make progress then I really try to do as much mental prep as possible so that when I do sit down I can really do some damage. That said, there are times when I end up getting sucked into reading HN and accomplish very little. ;(<p>By the way, one quick trick I use to avoid wasting too much time on HN is to use the Instapaper bookmarklet to print out the articles in a condensed format to read later when I'm away from the computer.", "link": "item?id=1850247", "user": "jayro"}, {"comment": "See this is based on the assumption that \"you did it for the project\" or \"to learn and grow\", but failure (for me) is based on goals and one's inability to meet them. If your goal was to \"create a project\", you have succeeded even in the face of \"failure\", unless you never created your project. Most of us, however, have goals: get 100 users, design a great user experience, play 45 shows in a band, get a record deal, get famous.<p>I don't think you can repurpose your project as a learning experiment... even if you learned, what was the goal?", "link": "item?id=1843797", "user": "mattblalock"}, {"comment": "Didn't you also comment recently about doing an analysis that led to the reorganization of stocked products such that the most frequently lifted products were more accessible? That must have saved some indirect dollars (if not direct), through increased worker efficiency.<p>Seems like you have a real eye for this type of thing!", "link": "item?id=1844113", "user": "sga"}, {"comment": "The only way one can hire a programmer is to be a programmer.<p>That's a awfully large sense of entitlement there, one that is very, very difficult to support. I'm surprised such a comment is coming from you.<p>While I don't excuse idiot HR recruiters and headhunting firms on quotas, there is a level between clueless and mastery that a person can attain that allows them to make the comparative judgement required in the hiring process.<p>I know little about law, but enough to hire a semi competent lawyer, I know little about masonry, but have successfully hired a firm to rebuild a chimney. They are probably not the absolute best at their professions. They probably take shortcuts that purists wouldn't like. So be it. They get the job done and that's <i>good enough for me</i>.<p>There is really no reason that someone with little knowledge of programming cannot properly hire or outsource a competent developer for work that they need to get done.<p>To suggest otherwise is only to worry about which way the mortar is spread in between the brick, when it all boils down.", "link": "item?id=1836558", "user": "run4yourlives"}, {"comment": "What is a professional's web presence: <a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1827294\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1827294</a>", "link": "item?id=1827306", "user": "techbio"}, {"comment": "All projects are different. Use the most useful tool for your job, and pay little attention to other developers. They may be using something better, or they may just have different needs.", "link": "item?id=1815108", "user": "jakevoytko"}, {"comment": "Ed do you still live in Miami?<p>Ditto on congrats to jason", "link": "item?id=2558000", "user": "brianbreslin"}, {"comment": "Over ten years ago (when I was in high school) the school I went to ended the metal shop class that I took. We were told that it was ended because of a lack of funding to support the class. Soon after they closed the class the school sold off the metal lathes and CNC machines. It was pretty sad.<p>I agree that outsourcing and manufacturing automation has had an effect on the size of our skilled labor workforce. But let us not forget that our underfunded schools are another part of the problem.", "link": "item?id=2544852", "user": "eyeareque"}, {"comment": "<i>&#62;&#62;2008: Maybe we oughta just autokill techcrunch posts</i><p>The original story about the PR firm and its tactics (without the drama and without specifically naming Facebook) was broken by USA Today (<a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2539841\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2539841</a>).<p>That post got zero upvotes (yes, I submitted that post yesterday night :)<p>Two subsequent TechCrunch posts (about the PR firm) are now among the top 4 posts on HN. There is a big market for drama and I think the people have spoken that they do want TechCrunch posts:)", "link": "item?id=2541963", "user": "credo"}, {"comment": "&#62; helping a customer define a process and improving that process with technology 100X.<p>This, this right here. One of the things that I discovered over the course of my 20s is that this one particular thing gives me vastly more satisfaction than solving any of the \"big problems\" I thought I cared about when I was 23.", "link": "item?id=2539250", "user": "tingley"}, {"comment": "&#62;&#62; Choose a good editor.<p>&#62; No. The more features and functions an editor or EDI has, the more crutches you'll routinely use when you don't need them. Which means you won't learn and grow as quickly. Choose something simple like Textpad, disable the syntax color highlighting, and make mistakes. Sure, it'll be a pain in the ass, but that's the best way to learn the quickest.<p>I disagree...disabling syntax highlighting is crazy advice. This is not endurance training with sand bags on the ankles, and there is no real long-term benefit of having a syntax-unaware editor. I'd instead recommend using an editor with basic support for many file types, like vim, emacs, or TextMate (or something like notepad++ for windows, which I can't comment on) to eliminate as much as possible the chilling effect on picking up something new, caused by \"uh oh, my editor has no clue what this is.\"", "link": "item?id=2528742", "user": "oinksoft"}, {"comment": "How do you measure your value at that level of granularity Ed?<p>Given that <i>Value == whatever the customer says</i>, how do you measure the change in value of the project over the course of a day? (Excluding the trivial case of you completing exactly one \"value\" per day)<p>Do you make a reasonable guess at the overall value of a given project, then compare % completed as a % of the total value? (How then do you handle the receding goalposts of scope creep?)<p>I often find it difficult to measure the value of my work mid-project. It's usually only at the end when I can, for example, point to how many hours-per-person-per-year of work I've saved other people.", "link": "item?id=2513882", "user": "Sukotto"}, {"comment": "You seem to be a bit misanthropic. A single advantage of working in an office within a team is that you engage everyday, face to face, with human beings, learn from them, eat with them, struggle, fight, laugh, sweat, etc. All those things I hope you won't tell me you can do with your pet(s).<p>For me the prefered config is a war room, with tech lead and devs in the same place, at the same table. Add headphones, irc and politeness, and you'll get great things done quickly, if (big if) the team spirit is good.", "link": "item?id=2271483", "user": "gbog"}, {"comment": "No arguments from me, or Mark Twain.", "link": "item?id=2269841", "user": "djahng"}, {"comment": "Instead, we handle this the way the Obama administration chose to handle the financial crash - by saying it was best \"to just move on.\"<p>I heard the FAA analogy when this (terrible) policy direction was becoming clear. The commenter observed that handling airplane failures with the same carelessness that we were applying to the banks would mean that no one would every fly.<p>The problem with similar carelessness in the justice system is that you really can't avoid it by opting out.", "link": "item?id=2268979", "user": "alexqgb"}, {"comment": "Another thing I hate with pure maintenance programming is that you're generally told to touch as little code as possible. If it 'works', don't change it.<p>Sometimes you'd love to refactor a bit of 10 year old C code to be more readable, or less bug-prone. But you can't because it's not a bug.<p>In some cases it's even worse and you can't even fix bugs that you find. Only bugs reported by customers count as bugs. Of course, a customer will eventually stumble on it, but heh.<p>I don't mind maintaining code as long as it's focused on structural improvement, not on manouvring through the code very carefully hoping the whole thing won't collapse.", "link": "item?id=2271458", "user": "wladimir"}, {"comment": "Yeah, that's a bit over the top, but in my own experience a weekly brief with my SO is the only way I've been able to keep a happy relationship while building businesses. I never really thought about it before I started doing it, but treating my gf/now fiancee as a investor (which she is in a sense) got us through those uncertain times.", "link": "item?id=2265300", "user": "mbenjaminsmith"}, {"comment": "I think \"fuck you\" means something more along the lines of \"no I won't sell cocaine to orphans so I can drive a nice car, fuck you\" and less \"fuck you mom\".", "link": "item?id=2264121", "user": "mrkurt"}, {"comment": "I fear that 1981 still applies today, and is indeed the case with Google.", "link": "item?id=2263767", "user": "mvalle"}, {"comment": "There are many companies 70-100% dependent on a single outside entity; defense contractors.", "link": "item?id=2256876", "user": "philwelch"}, {"comment": "All those things you said are government projects. We just tried a grand experiment to see if we could usher in a new era of healthcare and were met with strong resistance, oddly enough, from the _very same generation_ widely credited with producing all of those things (Interstate, Manhattan project, space program) that you mentioned. Those radical free-thinking minds are now more conservative as they grow older, those notions of revolution are replaced by memories and a strong desire to put things back to \"how they used to be\".<p>Now, people in their 20s and 30s, the ones that are supposed to be revolutionary, are worried about finding jobs, putting food on the table, and keeping work so that they can keep their healthcare plan. So, the big companies that used to work on big things and revolutionary technology, can now focus on extracting as much profit per product as they can (not that they didn't before, but there was, as you and this article admits freely, more focus on radical innovation and Doing Big Things). Instead of \"revolutionary new products and projects\" we get \"refreshes\" and marketing of said refreshes as \"revolutionary\". The bottom line is more secure, the worker subjugated, and thus the Empire retreats, stage right.", "link": "item?id=2255414", "user": "muhfuhkuh"}, {"comment": "&#62;20% (y(.2)(.2)(.2)(.2)(.2)) have <i>prepared themselves enough to achieve some measure of success</i><p>What does this prep entail? What more needs to be done apart from having the motivation,starting and finishing building the damn thing?", "link": "item?id=2254760", "user": "pingu"}, {"comment": "Most of the reasons you list that mention HR can be traced back to reasons why big companies become stultified.", "link": "item?id=2253980", "user": "stcredzero"}, {"comment": "Yup. I pay $400 for a 2br, all to myself, in Oakland. Doesn't get much cheaper than that.<p>The weather is pretty bad though - and I say this as a native.", "link": "item?id=2252205", "user": "keiferski"}, {"comment": "Do you have some examples of where that has worked in the medium - long term? (i.e longer than the 2-3 year mark most of these founders have bailed out at)<p>I am guessing it can work but founders/entrepreneurs aren't necessarily the best managers and are likely to get bored and be looking for their next startup. As a new owner of a company it seems to make sense to transition the senior management to people who are more suited to managing and running a company rather than those who like building a company.<p>This goes two fold for those companies who have primarily technical founders who are <i>almost</i> always unsuited for the roles in senior management.", "link": "item?id=2252258", "user": "hartror"}], "children": [{"number": 16, "names": "edw519", "comments": [{"comment": "At this point, investing capital in real estate and stock markets is a fool's errand. They're done. Maybe they're okay as a savings vehicle (maybe!), but you should not realistically expect to make more than 2-3% returns after accounting for inflation, fees, taxes, and time spent on them. And, no, you're not going to be able to consistently outperform people who specialize full time in those kinds of investments and who have access to insider information.<p>The real trick is to invest in something you do have access to insider information about and that you do do full time: being yourself. Invest in human capital, aside from a financial baseline to diversify for when your human capital starts to rapidly depreciate.<p>In some ways this is cheap. Reject certifications besides the most basic (a degree). Focus on getting an education instead. Buying a top of the line computer, high speed internet access, and books to learn from, for developers, is an almost negligible expense that will go a long way. And the most valuable way to learn--creating useful projects--can more than pay for themselves.<p>In other ways this is expensive, though. Choosing to invest in a 401k* takes an hour or two of your life per year, while investing in yourself is at least one or two hours a day. This is very, very expensive if you're already spending 50 hours a week sitting at a computer pounding away at brain-deadening code. (On the other hand, if you can get paid while also increasing your human capital... you've hit gold. Stay there until you've stopped rapidly learning, and then jump to the next big thing.)<p>Key point, though: there are multiple areas you have to invest in. Yes, a professional skill like coding is useful. But who knows what it'll be like in 5 or 10 years? Make sure to put time into your relationships, your physical health, your non-coding hobbies (drawing, banjo, typography, whatever). This diversification exposes you to more long-term investments: they help you maximize your luck surface area and will come in handy surprisingly frequently down the line.<p>How do all these retire-at-30 articles fit in? They aim to maximize financial investments early on by under-investing in many categories of self-capital, hopefully catching a good bull market, and rapidly switching to building self capital at 30. The obvious flaw is the assumption of outsized returns--they're not going to be as big as hoped--but that can be dealt with by tinkering with the numbers a bit.<p>The more fundamental issue is that it's not diversifying. It's risky. If you've saved up 500k by 30 by working long hours and frugally cutting coupons on your time off, that's nice, and if things work out right you might be fine. But suppose the defaulting of some government thousands of miles away sets off a chain reaction of bank failures that ends up massively contracting the economy you live in. There goes most of your savings. Yes, you might have invested in bonds, but you wouldn't have been pulling in those massive returns you were banking on to retire so early. And your job, having been funded by massive amounts of loose capital, suddenly disappears. Oh, you're farked, and you'll have to start nearly from scratch again after the economy recovers. Back to giving up your weekends to the whims of an MBA. (If anyone's willing to hire an expensive 35-year-old developer when there are all these recent college grads willing to work like dogs so they can retire at 30.)<p>Or even simpler: you hand in your resignation on your 30th birthday, walk out the door, and are hit by a semi driven by some overworked and drugged up trucker. Wow, that sucks. At least all those hard-earned dollars will go to some charity or another.<p>The ideal, I think, is to semi-retire as soon as you can, and work 15 to 20 hours a week at jobs you find interesting or fun. You get the best of both worlds and have diluted the amount of risk you face at any one time.<p>*Controversial statement here: 401k's are the biggest scam alive today, you're not only freezing your capital but also betting on taxes being lower in the future than they are today.", "link": "item?id=3118001", "user": "scarmig"}, {"comment": "Chicago is like layover country though, right?", "link": "item?id=3133736", "user": "zachrose"}, {"comment": "I thought that edw519 was actually talking about incremental rewriting, i.e. refactoring.", "link": "item?id=2717826", "user": "eru"}, {"comment": "<i>[empathy] is the number one trait I manage for. With empathy, all other problems can be solved</i><p>You win. I've stumbled across a handy mental model (in which empathy plays a pivotal role) through research on mindfulness, emotion, and neuroscience, as well as in an emotional intelligence course taught at Google by Chade-Meng Tan. In short:<p>Bodily awareness -&#62; emotional self-awareness -&#62; emotional other-awareness (empathy) -&#62; effective communication -&#62; healthy relationships -&#62; happiness.<p>It turns out that your brain uses the same machinery to model your own emotional state as that which it uses to model the emotional states of others, so the better you are at identifying your own emotional states, the better you will be at identifying them in others, which will allow you to communicate more effectively and so forth.<p>Also relevant: Asana's Jack Stahl touches on the importance of empathy in a post post about peer feedback at work: <a href=\"http://asana.com/2011/06/peer-feedback-at-asana/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://asana.com/2011/06/peer-feedback-at-asana/</a>", "link": "item?id=2760658", "user": "pkghost"}, {"comment": "You bring up something I failed to mention: this can be a touchy situation. In your case, it sounds like you have a great customer, but not a sugar daddy. I would never do something to upset a current customer.<p>You could make them a partner so that they can make a little extra money selling the clever solution they conceived, but that's really hard to do at the enterprise level. That works much better with a small business alpha male owner.<p>Some of the things to consider when taking your sugar daddy's solution to market:<p>Are they enterprise? If so, this probably isn't worth the trouble. Too much red tape and illogical thinking.<p>Does the solution provide them with a distinctive advantage over their competitors? If so, it only makes sense that they'd want to keep it for themselves. If not, they may gain favors among their peers by sharing it.<p>Is is a horizontal solution? Then there's really not much of a competitive threat by sharing it.<p>How opportunistic are they? Some people want to be sugar daddies because they're jealous of our IT margins. They can make as much sharing their technology as they do in their primary business.<p>Does wider use of the technology help their primary business? Some solutions become geometrically more effective if your trading partners are using them too.", "link": "item?id=3111048", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I think you're right. I also think that's where the culture of learning is really powerful. You do need to set the expectation ahead of time that the real objective is learning or validated knowledge.<p>I have a company and we set goals, but our overarching goal is to learn. If we fail at meeting a metric there is always something to learn and take forward to the next attempt.<p>The only failure we define as a company is not setting your goals high enough to push yourself, or not taking your learning forward. That's how you build a culture that is willing to take risks. Defining failure as not meeting your metrics isn't productive.", "link": "item?id=1844171", "user": "rechtaht"}, {"comment": "Oh, you must be referring to this:<p><a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1811500\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1811500</a><p>I work primarily on software that's being used pretty heavily in business. There are opportunities <i>everywhere</i>, if you only bother to look. To me, \"hacking the business\" is even more fun that \"hacking the code\".", "link": "item?id=1844287", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>That's a awfully large sense of entitlement there, one that is very, very difficult to support. I'm surprised such a comment is coming from you.</i><p>Sorry if that's how it sounded; that's not what I intended.<p>A little background...<p>I have worked for about 100 managers over the years, and with few exceptions, here's my experience:<p>- Those who were programmers were able to understand, examine, critique, question, and drive almost anything I worked on.<p>- Those who were not programmers were able to fit whatever I was doing into their project plan and evaluate it only through the eyes of other programmers (who may or may not have done a very good job of it).<p>I have also maintained hundreds of thousands of lines of code and I can predict with uncanny accuracy that which was written for a programmer boss and that which wasn't. There <i>is</i> a difference.<p>There are probably billions (or trillions) of lines of shit code out there that never would have made it through peer review of almost any programmer here at hn. But no one had to worry about that; they were written by programmers working for non-technical bosses.<p>Hope that paints a better picture of my skepticism :-)", "link": "item?id=1836689", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "<i>our underfunded schools</i><p>Sigh. At what level of funding will you finally consider it adequate?", "link": "item?id=2545262", "user": "CWuestefeld"}, {"comment": "<i>How you measure...</i><p>Simple answer:<p>I guess my original post was a long round-about way of saying:<p>Bad measure: \"Do I feel like a had a good day?\"<p>Better measure: \"Do I feel like I got a lot done today?\"<p>Best measure: \"Do I have more valuable stuff built now than I did this morning?\"<p>Sometimes we should just use the simplest measure and leave it at that.<p><i>how many hours-per-person-per-year of work I've saved other people</i><p>Oddly, in my experience, this is a poor metric. Example: I wrote a sophisticated workbench to make inventory planners much more efficient. And they were. All 8 of them. Then I made a 5 minute change to enable factory supervisors sort their dispatch list 8 different ways. Which helped 800 people become more efficient. That's why I don't even try to measure \"value\" anymore. I let the customer worry about that. I stick with daily deltas as my best measure.", "link": "item?id=2514139", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "One thing he didn't say that is, in my opinion, a result from all those things, is getting and staying in the zone. If there is a harder place to get into the zone than a \"war\" room, I can't think of what it is.", "link": "item?id=2287748", "user": "wglb"}, {"comment": "There is code that really needs to be rewritten. If it's so creaky that you can't make any change without breaking other things, and you aren't allowed to refactor, that's trouble. I don't take on projects like that. But in my experience it's more common with web applications to find code that has lots of room for improvement, but isn't really falling apart. Most freelance developers/consultants immediately go to \"we have to rewrite it,\" which the business can't afford right now, and therefore deprive themselves of the maintenance business.", "link": "item?id=2277054", "user": "gregjor"}, {"comment": "I bet Google actually has access to its own code for Apps contacts.", "link": "item?id=2263986", "user": "Semiapies"}, {"comment": "You are confusing your generations. The people currently in power are 50-70 years old, ie born in 1940-1960. They were children during the WWII era and Eisenhower administration, and had nothing to do with the Bomb, the Apollo program or interstates.<p>For example, Feynman, one of the \"young kids\" of the Manhattan project, was born in 1918.", "link": "item?id=2255520", "user": "aristus"}, {"comment": "Yeah, the last factor I didn't quite follow. Seems like the original author felt like 8000 was too large, so he needed a bullshit excuse to scale it down one more time.", "link": "item?id=2255076", "user": "Benjo"}, {"comment": "Sure: IMDB, Audible, and Zappos.<p>Also, the issue isn't that the founders leave; it's that the energy does. Founders are always going to leave.", "link": "item?id=2252270", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 9, "names": "muhfuhkuh", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>At this point, investing capital in real estate and stock markets is a fool's errand. They're done.</i><p>Absolutely ridiculous. When I hear a lot of people spouting nonsense like this, I know it's time to buy. American corporations are making a killing right now; why exactly would I not want to buy a piece of that business? Especially when it's on sale? Similarly, real estate is dirt cheap right now. Have people decided they no longer need housing?<p>Think what you want, but I'm actually <i>doing</i> it, right now, as are many shrewd investors I know. And I'm doing quite well.", "link": "item?id=3118403", "user": "ryanwaggoner"}, {"comment": "That's some good advice.<p>But, don't forget with enterprise customers you can offer to sell the company to them. 2-20 million for a long term strategic advantage plus your proven track record can be seen as net win for everyone. And if negotiations break down they are less likely to think they already own you.<p>I would be cautious of any sort of long term profit sharing, but offering to share a few years revenue from any 'connections' made in the industry can offset the feeling you are burning them by sharing the secret sauce.", "link": "item?id=3111296", "user": "onemoreact"}, {"comment": "<i>\"hacking the business\" is even more fun that \"hacking the code\"</i><p>Consumer startups: Build something people want.<p>Enterprise startups: Hack the business.", "link": "item?id=1844597", "user": "rokhayakebe"}, {"comment": "I can certainly attest to shit code getting through non-tech bosses.<p>It's not just a matter of 'getting away with something' either. A badly managed programmer won't know the larger scope of what they are doing, or even worse be doing something the wrong way because they 'have to', and the code inevitably becomes a series of hacks fixing whatever the latest requirement or problem is.", "link": "item?id=1836992", "user": "eof"}, {"comment": "I would like to see a breakdown of financial distribution between skills-building classes versus special education. I imagine that metal shops are closing due to legal liability while special ed/needs spending is up due to legal obligation.", "link": "item?id=2545385", "user": "georgieporgie"}, {"comment": "Pretty much.<p>Do that enough days in a row and you'll have little else to worry about.<p>(I'd say \"good\" instead of \"productive\".)", "link": "item?id=2514241", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "Having access to the code, and having the willingness to modify it, are different things.", "link": "item?id=2264021", "user": "Florin_Andrei"}, {"comment": "So, it's the Baby Boomers, the _children_ of the Greatest Generation that did all those great government infrastructure and technology buildouts, who are holding us back from being able to do those great things again? My mistake, then!<p>But then it begs the question: Why do they want to do that?", "link": "item?id=2255621", "user": "muhfuhkuh"}, {"comment": "Interestingly, all of them purchased by Amazon.", "link": "item?id=2252589", "user": "TY"}], "children": [{"number": 5, "names": "nostrademons", "comments": [{"comment": "Exactly. Saying that most investing is done is just as bad as people saying real estate will never go down. Generally when everyone feels one way, it's time to act on the opposite.<p>I'm also actually doing it right now. I own stocks and close on my first house Friday.<p>Now for a crazy side anecdote. My cousin closed on her first house a few weeks ago. It took her 5 houses to finally get one. The reason? Her other 4 <i>full</i> price offers were rejected because someone else outbid her. Yep, outbid in the down market. It certainly doesn't mean that the market has turned, but it shows the interesting difference between what the news reports is happening, what people think is happening, and then what's really happening.", "link": "item?id=3118904", "user": "matwood"}, {"comment": "++, when I was in local politics we had a single student who cost the district 100k a year, several more at 20-50k, and the average spending per student was around 8k.<p>Federal and state legislators can pass an unfunded mandate (\"I will not stand by while we ignore these kids\"), do a photo op, then cut the funding going to local districts and take credit for balancing the state budget.<p>I'm not advocating eugenics or anything, just pointing out that after all the rhetoric and grandstanding, it's the school districts that wind up eating it.", "link": "item?id=2547755", "user": "jbooth"}, {"comment": "And yet both are different from \"we don't have the source code\", now aren't they?", "link": "item?id=2264178", "user": "Semiapies"}, {"comment": "Because they're scared of losing their power and being left behind by new technologies. And because they'd rather invest in life extension.", "link": "item?id=2255717", "user": "jdp23"}, {"comment": "YouTube and Android as well, both purchased by Google.", "link": "item?id=2253725", "user": "nostrademons"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "scarmig", "comments": [{"comment": "And keep your government hands off my medicare!!", "link": "item?id=2255940", "user": "jbooth"}, {"comment": "Doesn't the fact that my POV is apparently outnumbered 7:1 undermine the idea that everyone is a bear? =)<p>Instead of subjective measures like what everyone feels, I prefer to focus on things like P/E and Case-Schiller ratios. Though they obviously have their limitations, they tend to suggest that the market is still overvalued relative historical norms. And I see no reason for our economy to prosper in the near- and medium-term.", "link": "item?id=3120687", "user": "scarmig"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "protomyth", "comments": [{"comment": "I really have a problem with the labeling \"Greatest Generation\". It seems misplaced given the entire history of the USA and the constant struggle to be better. It also shows a pretty horrible sense of history about the founders, and it forgets that the whole point is to make sure the next generation is greater than the current.<p>If the next generation isn't \"greater\", then the USA is in decline and the one who didn't enable their children to be greater shouldn't be held up as greatest.", "link": "item?id=2256384", "user": "protomyth"}, {"comment": "We can argue whether there are opportunities out there or not (I personally believe that there are), but in this link I see many instances of annual returns far greater than 10%. The writer seems to have an above average understanding of the market (or just got lucky), and presuming that the average Joe (who is the target audience of his blog) can replicate these returns in any given economy sounds rather absurd to me.<p>Retirement managers typically assumed 8% annual return for portfolios, but in recent years have adjusted this number to 5-6% per annum. The writer's returns are at times more than 3x this number. Generalizing his experience to the wider population is going to be dangerous.", "link": "item?id=3119261", "user": "hkmurakami"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "rdl", "comments": [{"comment": "I believe, and think I do so based on reasonable evidence, that the \"Greatest Generation\" was in fact particularly good, and the Baby Boomers were quite possibly the worst cohort in the US of all time. Gen X was probably on par with the Greatest Generation in many ways, and Gen Y/Mill are too soon to tell, but certainly appear better than Baby Boomers.<p>Strauss and Howe's book \"Generations\" or \"Fourth Turning\" seems pretty reasonable. (<a href=\"http://www.timepage.org/time.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.timepage.org/time.html</a>)<p>While I might not push the \"redact the boomers\" button (maybe...), it would pretty much fix all of the major problems in the US. Their outsize numbers have imposed a lot of costs on society, so even if their politics and economics weren't also destructive, they would have seriously stressed medicare and social security. Couple that with that seems to be the worst of both conservatism (lack of investment) and liberalism (lack of discipline), and they're a serious threat.", "link": "item?id=2257075", "user": "rdl"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "protomyth", "comments": [{"comment": "I guess my central thesis is if generation n didn't teach/push generation n+1 to be better than them, then they failed at continuing the chain and don't deserve the title.<p>I think Wilson and FDR's group did more damage to the future US generations than the Baby Boomers did.", "link": "item?id=2266793", "user": "protomyth"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "Kadin", "comments": [{"comment": "Saying that real estate and stock markets are \"done\" is ridiculous. I don't know where you got the 2-3% return expectation from, but outperforming professional investors need not be the goal. Independent (retail) investors can generate sufficient market returns to live a very comfortable retirement without having to be disappointed that they're not the next Warren Buffett.<p>To your point, investing in human capital (yourself) is valuable -- but it's not enough. The problem is it doesn't scale. If your biggest asset is yourself, your biggest income is going to be from each additional hour you work. If you invest in other assets (real estate, companies, whatever) you can generate passive income without having to work.<p>I agree with your controversial statement about 401K's, not just from the future tax prediction standpoint, but also from the perspective of limiting your investment options.", "link": "item?id=3118428", "user": "thematt"}, {"comment": "When the average person who comes out of it can get themselves a living-wage job without loading up on debt for \"higher education\" in order to learn a marketable skill?<p>High schools used to concentrate on teaching young adults what they needed to know in order to survive independently. At some point they stopped doing that, perhaps because they're still trying to teach them to read. But that seems like a problem.", "link": "item?id=2545803", "user": "Kadin"}, {"comment": "But isn't that the issue? The energy tends to come from the founders so how do you reliably transition away from the founders, whether it is without full company integration or not?", "link": "item?id=2252283", "user": "hartror"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "So how is this change in strategy a \"funding\" problem?", "link": "item?id=2545896", "user": "jerfelix"}, {"comment": "If you look at reasonable returns back in the days when we weren't busy pulling forward demand with ever rising debt / GDP ratios, 2-3% over inflation is pretty much the best you can reasonably expect if you can't afford to lose your capital.<p>What's \"done\" is the days when real (post-inflation) returns of 7-8% were achievable from passive stock market investments. Any retirement plan based on those assumptions is probably underfunded.", "link": "item?id=3120820", "user": "pja"}, {"comment": "No. The issue isn't that the founders leave. It's that the team dies.", "link": "item?id=2252304", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "jmathai", "comments": [{"comment": "I have to agree with hartror. If the founders leave then what are you left with? It sounds great in theory that a team can keep the motivation and innovation coming but ultimately that's the job of the founders - and founders aren't easily replaced.", "link": "item?id=2252404", "user": "jmathai"}, {"comment": "Funding is being allocated to the wrong areas. Therefore it is a funding problem.", "link": "item?id=2546778", "user": "nitrogen"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "portman", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>\"If the founders leave then what are you left with?\"</i><p>By this logic, the maximum life of any company is about 40 years.<p>Walmart and ExxonMobil are two examples of companies that became gargantuan long after their founders had left. In fact, of the Fortune 5000, I would bet the majority no longer employ their founders.", "link": "item?id=2254163", "user": "portman"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "PaulJoslin", "comments": [{"comment": "Reddit's Founders left the company and since then it has grown to become bigger and better and exceed everyone's expectations.", "link": "item?id=2253865", "user": "PaulJoslin"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "doki_pen", "comments": [{"comment": "Could it possibly be that some of the employees are special people? There is no magic bullet. If the right people are in a position where the can succeed, they will. If you don't have the right people, it doesn't matter what scheme you employee, it won't work.", "link": "item?id=2254151", "user": "doki_pen"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "PaulJoslin", "comments": [{"comment": "That is my point doki. The OP I replied to, said that once the founder left - not even a good team would be able to survive.<p>However, Reddit had some innovative founders, who came up with a new concept, then got acquired and eventually the founders left. However, due to its great team (and passionate community) it has continued to grow and become something amazing.<p>Therefore neither getting acquired or the founders leaving caused a negative effect.", "link": "item?id=2257391", "user": "PaulJoslin"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "goblin89", "comments": [{"comment": "Regardless of whether you get acquired or not, if you build a company that won't persist without your individual presence, the process is still incomplete. (And what you really have is a vehicle for your individual talent.) Any company that's supposed to last more than a few years must be build so that it can handle key people leaving, because that's what people always do in the long term, one way or the other.", "link": "item?id=2252597", "user": "tomkarlo"}, {"comment": "IMO passive income can be dangerous in that it may negatively affect your motivation to invest time in yourself. The trick is actually using that income for self-investment in the first place. Self-investment is essential, while passive income isn't (I think that's among the points of grandparent).", "link": "item?id=3119467", "user": "goblin89"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Vivtek", "comments": [{"comment": "This reminds me of some quoted wisdom I heard back in the 80's about management styles and Star Trek: the difference between Picard and Kirk is that when Picard was away or taken over by an alien or what have you, the bridge crew could cope with the situation, while Kirk's absence meant that the Enterprise was utterly helpless.<p>If your team can't fight Romulans when you're down on the planet, you've failed as a manager, was the moral of the story.", "link": "item?id=2252867", "user": "Vivtek"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "wiredfool", "comments": [{"comment": "I'll settle for \"not another 20% cut this year\".<p>(hey downvoters -- that's what's happening to my kid's school. It's a little personal)", "link": "item?id=2545319", "user": "wiredfool"}, {"comment": "401k is ok even if tax rates go UP, due to compounding gains.<p>However, IMO, it makes sense to Roth as much as you can. Especially if your're a startup founder in early stages, making &#60;$200k/yr, it probably makes sense to do Roth IRA (up to 105k), Roth 401k, or Roth IRA backdoor contributions (via 401k to Rollover IRA to Roth IRA, or SEP IRA to Roth IRA). Pay the taxes now, be able to compound tax free, and distribute tax free.<p>I'm suspicious of the public markets in general, due to the baby boomers retiring, the sense that a lot of it is fraudulent, and the rigged nature of the markets, but it's probably the only way to do passive investing.", "link": "item?id=3119665", "user": "rdl"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Duff", "comments": [{"comment": "My parent's school taxes were $1,800 in 2000. Today? $6,500.<p>From 2006 when I bought my home to today, my school taxes are up over 60%. This year, the school wants a 6% increase. The library district 25%. My pay has been frozen for 3 years.<p>Of course I live in New York, where the teacher's union essentially governs the place. During those timeframes the local schools have gotten worse by just about every measure. So the technique of paying 20% of the teachers $100k+ isn't working.", "link": "item?id=2546899", "user": "Duff"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "CWuestefeld", "comments": [{"comment": "If that's what's happening in your area, you need to understand that yours is a one-in-a-million area. Where I live, and everywhere that I'm aware of, has monotonically increasing annual school budgets.<p>Or are you one of the people that counts a reduction of the proposed <i>increase</i> as a \"cut\", so even though you're getting more than last year, it's lower than what you asked for, so you consider it a cut?", "link": "item?id=2545594", "user": "CWuestefeld"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "wiredfool", "comments": [{"comment": "Nope, those are real cuts. And really, it's at the very least, 1 in 50, since the budget at the state level in WA is being balanced by axing a lot of school funding. Federal funding is also way down this year.<p>Our school district has had to cut teachers for the last few years(I think 5 by now). They do it based on seniority, within each endorsement. Now, there are no teachers with less than 14 years of teaching experience in the district.", "link": "item?id=2545629", "user": "wiredfool"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "jbooth", "comments": [{"comment": "Healthcare costs are increasing at a rate of 15% a year, give or take. Historically, teacher contracts lean towards lower pay and an 80/20 split or so on healthcare so the district really eats a lot of that increase. Plus you have contracted cost of living raises.<p>So, a 2% increase in funding is typically a cut in \"real\" terms, even if inflation were under 2% (which it isn't), the grab bag of costs for municipalities has a lot of healthcare and very little consumer electronics, so inflation of school district costs of typically much higher than 2%.<p>So, basically, yeah, this is not unusual, not 1-in-a-million, go to your local school board meetings and you will likely find them struggling with budget cuts and layoffs.", "link": "item?id=2547752", "user": "jbooth"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "nitrogen", "comments": [{"comment": "In a monotonically increasing population, a monotonically increasing budget can still result in cuts in important metrics like per-pupil spending.", "link": "item?id=2546785", "user": "nitrogen"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "CWuestefeld", "comments": [{"comment": "In principle, yes. But that's not what's happening -- at least in my district, where I know the numbers. The per-student expense is also increasingly monotonically.", "link": "item?id=2547742", "user": "CWuestefeld"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "nitrogen", "comments": [{"comment": "If only that were the case everywhere. As far as I know from the teachers among my friends and family, in my state budgets are being cut, class sizes are increasing (there are more students than desks in many classes), teacher count is decreasing, the curriculum is being dumbed down, etc.", "link": "item?id=2548658", "user": "nitrogen"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "CWuestefeld", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>class sizes are increasing</i><p>You seem to be perpetuating the idea that class size determines educational quality, and it ain't true. Indeed, it seems that many people take class size as a proxy for the quality. But it's false.<p>If you go looking for actual data on the relationship between size and educational achievement, you'll find that it's pretty inconclusive. Nobody has been able to show a strong correlation linking smaller classes with better learning. The one exception is a study showing that in the specific population of \"at-risk kids\" (meaning, those who are probably not getting educational support at home), having smaller classes does help. But for the mainstream, nobody has been able to prove that investing in more teachers to shrink the size of classes has any positive impact.<p>Continuing to harp on class size is part of the problem. It wastes money, preventing it from being employed in areas where it could do real good.", "link": "item?id=2548763", "user": "CWuestefeld"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "nitrogen", "comments": [{"comment": "I think you'd be hard pressed to demonstrate that students sitting on the floor or at a side table facing away from the teacher because there aren't enough desks leads to a quality education. It's nearly impossible for one teacher to control a class of 40+ teenagers, especially at-risk teenagers. My parents are both teachers, and they don't have time to provide individualized feedback to their students because their class sizes are increasing <i>and</i> their preparation time has been eliminated.", "link": "item?id=2549164", "user": "nitrogen"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "CWuestefeld", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>students sitting on the floor or at a side table</i><p>That's not a class size or teacher problem, that's a furniture problem.<p><i>and their preparation time has been eliminated</i><p>I call BS. Does somebody come home with them and prevent them from preparing. As a manager and software developer, I spend a fair amount of my own time researching a prepping. Why should teachers not do the same?", "link": "item?id=2550017", "user": "CWuestefeld"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "nitrogen", "comments": [{"comment": "I respectfully believe you are grossly misinformed. Do you know any teachers personally? It varies across the country, but local teachers are paid half the salary of managers and software developers after receiving the same amount of education, yet they're expected to spend every waking hour dealing with students. Here are some concrete numbers for a junior high teacher:<p>7 classes per term, average of 40 students per class = 280 students total. There are 7 classes per day of 45 minutes each, with 5 minutes between classes and a 30 minute lunch. Teachers have to meet with students before and/or after school and monitor students between classes, so they're typically at school and busy for 8 hours or more per day with no breaks except <i>maybe</i> lunch. You try locking yourself in a building with 1000 or more shouting young teenagers for 8 hours straight without so much as a bathroom break.<p>If a teacher assigns a homework assignment every day and spends three hours per day (at home) grading assignments, then <i>each student gets less than one minute of attention per assignment</i>. Every student has his or her own points of confusion on the subject matter, which cannot be addressed in just one minute per day, and using class time to broadly address the questions of a few students slows down the students who don't have the same questions.<p>Notice I didn't include any time for designing lesson plans and presentations, writing grant proposals, creating assignments, or meeting with parents, let alone spending time with their families (which often enough just doesn't happen).<p>Regarding \"furniture problems:\" desks are a fixed size, they have to be spaced apart enough for students and teachers to reach them without tripping, and the classroom also needs presentation space at the front, a teacher's desk, and storage space. Fire codes specify maximum occupancy limits for rooms. There's only so much room available for desks.<p>Maybe you have to see the combined exasperation and exhaustion of an overworked and underpaid teacher to appreciate the level of decay present in our public school systems. This is an area where averages and statistics are misleading.", "link": "item?id=2551248", "user": "nitrogen"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "anamax", "comments": [{"comment": "If that school was in CA, we've been increasing spending for decades without any benefit. Since increasing spending didn't help, any harm from cutting spending is sabotage or incompetence by the public school folk.<p>We're spending enough money, so if you're not getting what you want, you need to talk to the folks who are in charge of turning that money into decent education.", "link": "item?id=2545414", "user": "anamax"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "wiredfool", "comments": [{"comment": "Nope, Washington State. I'm already volunteering in the classroom, working on getting the library sorted out, figuring out where we can help with enrichment classes next year (where enrichment == not reading/riting/rithmatic), and getting the chairs recovered because the cushions are worn out.<p>And they (the state legislature) is trying to cut all funding for our school secretary and remove any janitorial services. Because, apparently, they don't realize that the secretaries actually run the damn place.<p>I'm not sure where you are, but my experience is that most of the teachers are pretty good and care for the kids. We've got one that we wish we could ease out the door, but we've got a few that are just great. That is, if we get to keep them, because their hours will be cut and the district reshuffled.", "link": "item?id=2545545", "user": "wiredfool"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "anamax", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; I'm not sure where you are, but my experience is that most of the teachers are pretty good and care for the kids.<p>I didn't suggest otherwise.<p>I said that in CA, like many other places in the US, we've been increasing spending on public education for decades and haven't gotten any benefit from that extra money.<p>It may well be that this money never made it to the classroom and that the classroom is being cut while \"the black hole\" is being protected.<p>My point is that enough money is going into \"the system\" as a whole. You're saying \"enough money\" isn't going where it's needed. That's a different problem, one that won't be solved by adding money.<p>Doesn't it bother you that your kids are being used as an excuse to line someone's pockets? (And no, I don't mean tax payers.)", "link": "item?id=2546516", "user": "anamax"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "russell_h", "comments": [{"comment": "You should take a look at what is being spent on teacher benefits. The school district in my hometown (Anchorage, Alaska) signed a contract whereby they're obligated to pay $1180/month for healthcare for each teacher.", "link": "item?id=2546909", "user": "russell_h"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jbooth", "comments": [{"comment": "Yeah, healthcare costs have been out of control for a decade. But that's not the teachers' fault. I don't know Alaska but that seems high, Anchorage should get a better deal with their provider.", "link": "item?id=2548117", "user": "jbooth"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "anamax", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; It's not the food service, their contract is really crappy.<p>Are you confusing the amount of money spent with the amount of benefit delivered?<p>I note that you're looking at the school level and you're guessing at spending.<p>Let's look at it from the other side. Suppose that you wanted to educate 25 kids. Would it cost more than $187k? I ask because $7,500 * 25 is $187,500.", "link": "item?id=2551704", "user": "anamax"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "chipsy", "comments": [{"comment": "Consultants.", "link": "item?id=2547190", "user": "chipsy"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 6, "names": "todsul", "comments": [{"comment": "Opportunity abounds at every point in time. Most of all, at times like this when markets are flailing after a severe and (somewhat) protracted period of chaos.<p>Even if we were at the peak of markets (arguably the worst time to invest), there are so many opportunities that oppose real estate and public equities. I'm not talking about selling stocks short, but potentially commodities, natural resources, agriculture, business, and so much more.<p>The thing is, we're not at market peaks. Not even close. If anything, I'd cite this pessimism and cynicism as a good indicator to start buying.", "link": "item?id=3117565", "user": "todsul"}, {"comment": "A company that I worked at did this:<p>Started as a consulting company. Made one-off web apps for businesses in a particular industry. Realized a pattern in what these businesses wanted. Built a generic web app product. Sold the product to (and migrated) the old customers. Flourished as a product business.", "link": "item?id=3112587", "user": "billpaetzke"}, {"comment": "My first thought on reading Rowe's speech was this might be a symptom of public education itself. Do-gooders using other people's money to push their agenda (higher education is the American dream) on other people. It means the people making decisions are disconnected from the outcome and reality. The result is a distortion of of the market, and also the distortion of culture that not getting higher education is disrespected (as Rowe says). Unfortunately, Rowe wants to use the government to push his agenda.", "link": "item?id=2546278", "user": "mike_organon"}, {"comment": "You don't need the source! Just find where 10,000 limit is in the binary and change it to some other larger number. Assuming it's a normal 4-byte signed integer, it can go a lot higher..", "link": "item?id=2264744", "user": "Jach"}, {"comment": "I believe what he meant was the stuff in between 'starting' and 'finishing', i.e. doing the work. Lots of people start and do some of the work and never finish. Many also start, do a huge amount of work, but also never finish. It's 3 distinct phases, each of which represents a progressively smaller proportion of people.", "link": "item?id=2255626", "user": "tastybites"}, {"comment": "Trade Me - the New Zealand site that owns Auctions, motors, and half of the property and jobs markets in the country. It was bought by Fairfax Media, the biggest media company hereabouts, and they followed the golden rule for several years now. The founder is gone, but the CEO is a tech and the site still dominates both in numbers and hearts and minds.", "link": "item?id=2253631", "user": "lancewiggs"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "steve", "comments": [{"comment": "There absolutely are always opportunities, but those opportunities are not always available to those that won't or can't treat the investments as a full time job.<p>As long as there is inflation, all you need to do is buy assets to make money. When there is stagnation or deflation, making money becomes very hard work and luck plays a bigger role. That is because the number of wrong answers exceeds to number of right ones.", "link": "item?id=3117627", "user": "AJ007"}, {"comment": "Every plan of action is somebody's agenda[1]. Some are better than others, and whatever the best plan is, it's still going to be someone's agenda. Government can't exist without \"pushing\" <i>some</i> agenda.<p>[1] agenda - A list or program of things to be done or considered.", "link": "item?id=2546777", "user": "nitrogen"}, {"comment": "Aaah, but it's in \"the cloud,\" and the user of the software can't change even the binaries.", "link": "item?id=2264801", "user": "steve"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "thematt", "comments": [{"comment": "The difference is using large amounts of other peoples' money.", "link": "item?id=2547266", "user": "mike_organon"}, {"comment": "<i>There absolutely are always opportunities, but those opportunities are not always available to those that won't or can't treat the investments as a full time job.</i><p>Perhaps, but more often than not I hear this excuse given by people who don't spend <i>any</i> time researching their investments. According to the BLS, the average American spends 2.7 hours per day watching TV. If that time were instead spent on investing people would be surprised at the difference in the financial situation.<p><i>As long as there is inflation, all you need to do is buy assets to make money.</i><p>If you're only keeping pace with inflation I hope you plan to consume a lot less in the future, otherwise you're just treading water. I don't consider that \"making\" money.", "link": "item?id=3118445", "user": "thematt"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "philwelch", "comments": [{"comment": "That's exactly what I read:<p>Step 1: Be born at the right time to take advantage of market conditions.<p>I see no reason to escape work. Rather my goal has always been to enjoy what I do. No matter the money pile, you'll never be able to repurchase your youth.", "link": "item?id=3117530", "user": "angstrom"}, {"comment": "It doesn't sound like they negotiated an exclusive license to the technology in the initial contract. If that's what they want, they should pay for it. Assuming the value of your work is now proven, I think you should work that angle. \"You see how valuable this is; wouldn't you like to have exclusive rights to it?\" The price should go up by at least 10x.", "link": "item?id=3111860", "user": "ScottBurson"}, {"comment": "Bungie.", "link": "item?id=2252756", "user": "philwelch"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "veyron", "comments": [{"comment": "That is true of almost all success stories though ...", "link": "item?id=3117625", "user": "veyron"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "kahawe", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; <i>what happens when you invest intelligently in a booming real estate and stock market</i><p>Or, more realistically... what happens when you just get lucky swimming on the rising tide.<p>I wonder what OP did after year 10 when the real estate crash and the current financial crisis kicked in? No matter how clever your investments, the whole market came down.", "link": "item?id=3119741", "user": "kahawe"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 24, "names": "rokhayakebe", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; Supporting data: Today I'm regression testing. I'll be here all day, folks.<p>There's an interesting gem here. No job is 100% excitement, all the time. More to the point, that kind of a job would burn you out.<p>The key is having a proper ratio.", "link": "item?id=2755156", "user": "maratd"}, {"comment": "Edw519 comments in list. Edw519 turns every post into a list. Do you speak in list?...<p>\"how are you this morning Ed\"... \"1) I woke up 2) I had some coffee 3) I checked HN 4) Hell yes I am ok\" :)", "link": "item?id=2760119", "user": "rokhayakebe"}, {"comment": "So true, there's a lot of bad recruiters out there. However the few I know to be good, I try to keep a good relationship with.", "link": "item?id=2754831", "user": "clistctrl"}, {"comment": "1. I use a cordless phone at home with stations in every room. The base unit has bluetooth which when paired with cellphone(s) is able to receive calls. I drop the cell phone off at my charging station when I get home and never pick it up again until I'm ready to leave the house.<p>4. Isn't this the Peek(getpeek.com) device?<p>6. Doesn't Windows have to work first before a working clone can even be fathomed? I kid.", "link": "item?id=3132338", "user": "rednaught"}, {"comment": "2) I can understand why you would want to see each and every email. Although I think some people get so much email that they would happily place some of the burden on the sender in exchange for the time savings.", "link": "item?id=3131857", "user": "mtgentry"}, {"comment": "Thanks for your thoughtful answer. It contains a lot of things I have to think about. And no, it wasn't too tough, it is the kind of feedback I was looking for.<p>One clarification:<p>&#62; A negative assessment of your boss? Whoa. That would piss me off, too. Why didn't you just talk to him?<p>Filling out the assessment form was a required preparation for the yearly staff appraisal. You fill it out, give it to your boss and then you discuss it with him at the meeting. Though the discussion never happened in my case.", "link": "item?id=3131209", "user": "throwaway789a"}, {"comment": "I've found it's not that hard to balance frugality with, well, spending money. They can actually work quite well together. So while most of my wardrobe is still acquired from thrift-shops, I also bought my most recent car without taking out a loan. I liked not having car payments, but needed a new car for a road trip we're taking next year, so I tuned my budget and saved cash to buy a car outright.<p>Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you can't have nice things. My wife just bought me a $600 leather jacket (that I've admittedly been too frugal to pull the trigger on) -- for $450, new, via eBay. My 10 year old set of Sennheisers were showing their age, so I bought HD595s. MRSP $329, Craigslist price? $100, new in the box. My other car's radiator was shot - and if I can develop loan disbursement software and ecommerce stuff, surely I can handle changing the radiator in my car, and did, saving myself hundreds of dollars. And these are just things I buy, not even going into the stuff I do.<p>On that last one though, there is definitely a balance you have to find between doing stuff yourself and better spending your time. My father would always wash his own car, but I can drive two blocks and spend $20 to have 8 guys and a giant machine wash it more quickly, and I'll pay someone else to change the oil.<p>In short, I think that your idea that \"you'll probably be stuck that way for life\" is absurd, and you're mistakenly mixing up the terms frugal and cheap.", "link": "item?id=3117346", "user": "leviathant"}, {"comment": "Do you have any advice for finding such people and the problems they face? Do you have examples of the things they wanted built?<p>I think that if you wrote an article detailing your experiences and what you learned/inferred from the experiences, that it could be quite a popular article.<p>It is basic economics, \"build stuff people want\", and every time I think about things that I should do for money, I think I should be an auto mechanic, because lots of people have cars that need being fixed (or plumber, or other slightly-skilled-but-not-everyone-does-that-but-everyone-needs-that type profession). While logic may take me there, I am not sure if that is the best way for me to go and while it isn't a glamorous \"build the next facebook\"-type starting business, it is not even a \"build something no one else has\" type business.<p>Thanks,", "link": "item?id=3110898", "user": "laaph"}, {"comment": "I was thinking the same thing. I have two little ones - I've been a freelance programmer for a long time but only recently have I realized that I am actually a creative. Like a musician or writer, I don't get paid for typing away on my keyboard, I get paid for ideas. By and large.<p>This means I need time in my day where I do \"nothing\" - where my mind is at ease completely - it's surprising how well it works when you just give it a try. That hard problem you were trying to solve? An elegant solution will suddenly appear in your mind. It's like your mind works best when it can slave away in the background, and not be distracted by thoughts.<p>I am sure it's different for everyone - but despite the fact that we have to bill hourly, it's important to understand that insights have nothing to do with the number of hours spent staring at the screen.<p>So the answer to your question is simple - as long as there are periods where we can relax completely, that's where our best work gets done. Whether I stress out and frantically type for 2 hours, or relax my mind completely in whichever way that works best for me, both is work, and I propose the relaxing way is much more efficient.<p>It's a whole world view. Answer the question of how much can a programmer get done in 8 hours? Well - the answer can be anything from getting close to fixing a bug to writing the next hit web application.", "link": "item?id=1850250", "user": "nikster"}, {"comment": "\"No failure, only feedback.\" Now, you have to have a retrospective and really learn your lessons for this to work but it can be a very liberating mindset.", "link": "item?id=1844149", "user": "aaronblohowiak"}, {"comment": "How much did it cost to write it in-house, in terms of man-hours, and the salary cost? (I assume there was other stuff developers could have worked on, and that they weren't just sitting around previously.)", "link": "item?id=1844022", "user": "pavel_lishin"}, {"comment": "I enjoy programming both when specing it out AND when things are down at 4am. I would prefer it not be 4am that they be down, but I still enjoy the challenge and feeling of accomplishment when I fix it.", "link": "item?id=1836406", "user": "wccrawford"}, {"comment": "You don't mean Demonstrated Performance, Inc. <a href=\"http://www.livedpi.com/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.livedpi.com/</a><p>Do you?", "link": "item?id=1828374", "user": "techbio"}, {"comment": "&#62; Developing software is getting to be like fashion. Keep those old skinny jeans and workarounds in your closet. Sooner or later, they'll be in style again.<p>Or is developing software like business? Sell those skinny jeans and workarounds when they are in demand, then buy some back when they go out of style. You're now ready for their comeback <i>and</i> you have some mad money in your skinny jeans' pocket.", "link": "item?id=1815887", "user": "polynomial"}, {"comment": "Thanks everyone for the comments on the blog post. I don't know how whoever submitted this found this one. This started as a letter to my junior in college who asked me for advice on where to start.<p><i>The number one problem I've ever seen with shitty code, over and over and over again, is lack of understanding of fundamentals.</i><p>I humbly beg to differ and would stick to my words - <i>\"Initially, screwing the algorithms and data structures\"</i>. I guess I should have written the word \"initially\" in all-caps.<p>I feel that to be creative as a programmer, it's very essential that you can fuel your creative self by motivation. And that can happen not by reading too much about how to do it, but instead just jumping into the pool and checking it out (which a you, me and a lot others agree on). Later on, when interested to improve, the theory part can be learnt. The intention was not to scare away those who want to begin by telling them there's a learning curve to be followed and instead just say \"here's what you can do, check these out, install these stuff and get started\".<p><i>How would anyone know which language to choose without using it first?</i><p>Which is why I mentioned trying out some languages for a few hours and choosing something of personal taste + something with good docs (getting started, tutorials, etc).<p>About backing up files by copy-paste, IMO, it's just personal choice. Whatever works for you. Since the post was targeted at someone who wanted to begin, I thought I should clearly mention to the reader that better tools existed.<p><i>I prefer to build stuff for paying customers.</i><p>Atleast to get to that point where you 'can' build stuff for paying customers, you have to start somewhere. First, finding paying customers isn't that easy for everyone. Second, when you don't know programming at all, and are trying to deliver something technical to a paying customer, IMO, it's just building castles in the air.", "link": "item?id=2528715", "user": "SingAlong"}, {"comment": "Productivity isn't necessarily the wrong term here. In the context of individual productivity, your Input is always going to be a unit (say, a day) of your time. While you can split your time between a number of different tasks, your overall productivity still has 'one day' in the denominator (at least until cryogenic freezing is an option). Second, Output doesn't need to be measured in lines of code, it can be Value. The way you have written 'Value Delta' as a difference of two Values measured one day apart you have obscured the fact that time is in the denominator. The interesting quantity for a given interval is (Value Delta) / (Time Delta), which can reasonably be called efficiency or productivity.", "link": "item?id=2513898", "user": "shasta"}, {"comment": "Well, the change that prevents this from happening again is DNA evidence.<p>Definitely the human factors that caused this will still complicate things, but at least the most egregious kinds of cases can be prevented.", "link": "item?id=2268011", "user": "axiom"}, {"comment": "I'm pretty sure the work is interesting (we're a newly funded startup, exciting times!)<p>For the other things, we hit almost ALL of those. Nice, spacious space in Mountain View, near lots of restaurants. Our office manager bakes cookies for us, gets snacks, and drinks are provided (everybody had to sign up for the beverages they specifically liked) etc.", "link": "item?id=2264336", "user": "joshu"}, {"comment": "haha, that is horrible. written agenda? but for my 8 year olds, they get pumped about new challenges and new places to live. i've had success chatting over a few burgers. they dont need to know about cash or conversions. just adventures.", "link": "item?id=2264980", "user": "jasonlynes"}, {"comment": "In the brick &#38; mortar world, you have a lot more capital risk up-front. Digitally, your costs are your minimal-viable software product and your computer resources. The latter you can get pretty cheap and elastic.", "link": "item?id=2256204", "user": "lallysingh"}, {"comment": "Blah Blah Blah. Social networking was crucial for a country of highly oppressed people to overthrow their tyrannical government. Doctors can identify diseases from their phone in a way that would have taken days, we can de-salt water in way that is practical. New times, new problems.<p>Our generation is pushing innovation at a speed that is unparalleled, don't confuse the 47 fart apps in the app store as a complete misappropriation of focus.", "link": "item?id=2255241", "user": "shakeshake"}, {"comment": "When HN first started it was kind of like r/truereddit but with an emphasis on startups. HN today has almost nothing in common with this. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think it's correct to say that the quality level is just an oscillation.", "link": "item?id=2253223", "user": "Alex3917"}, {"comment": "I don't like the weather. It's too rainy and spring and fall are far too short (some of my friends call fall/spring \"poorly dithered winter and summer\", since it tends to just jump back and forth between cold and hot for a week or two).", "link": "item?id=2252136", "user": "jwatzman"}, {"comment": "Didn't work for Nullsoft, did it?", "link": "item?id=2252204", "user": "eps"}], "children": [{"number": 12, "names": "edw519", "comments": [{"comment": "Does that bluetooth cordless phone handle multiple phones? So that my wife and I can both use it?<p>Also, got a link or brand?", "link": "item?id=3133419", "user": "jedberg"}, {"comment": "Kind of like with games. You need to balance challenge and routine in your work. Otherwise you will be bored or stressed", "link": "item?id=2755463", "user": "MaurizioPz"}, {"comment": "I don't have this problem as I just leave emails I'm not immediately taking action on in the inbox. But maybe an auto-responder is a better solution for those that have this problem. It could explain that you're busy and hint that the sender can add the word \"URGENT\" to the subject to grab your attention in emergencies. You could then, with a few simple rules, manage your inbox without giving an external service access to your inbox.<p>Anyway, as far as anyone is concerned my inbox is always swamped. It's usually true, but if it's not I might get away with reading a few extra articles on HN without anyone knowing my inbox is screaming for some action.", "link": "item?id=3132048", "user": "gurraman"}, {"comment": "I think that's the point - why didn't you communicate major issues in private before humiliating in public?", "link": "item?id=3131744", "user": "abbasmehdi"}, {"comment": "<i>\"I can develop loan disbursement software and ecommerce stuff, surely I can handle changing the radiator in my car, and did, saving myself hundreds of dollars.\"</i><p>Only if your time is worthless.<p>I say this not to be snarky, but because I found myself having to re-think these same decisions as I moved on from graduate school (where my time really was almost worthless...on a monetary basis), to having a real job that consumes most of my week. Life is too short to spend part of a weekend day (or more) changing a radiator. Much better to pay someone skilled at radiator replacement to make the problem go away (or in my case, to outsource the problem of owning a vehicle to Zipcar).<p>More generally, the older I get, the more stuff I try to outsource in an effort to viciously guard my spare time. Sometimes it feels a bit bourgoise (e.g. am I really so important that I'd pay someone to clean my apartment?) but it definitely helps to be able to put a dollar value on each hour of your life, and answer the question <i>\"would I pay someone $X an hour to do this?\"</i> If the answer is no, it's probably better to outsource.", "link": "item?id=3117374", "user": "timr"}, {"comment": "I don't have lots of advice, but I have written about my experiences. Check out #232 here:<p><a href=\"http://edweissman.com/53640595\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://edweissman.com/53640595</a><p>The pawn shop guy, the employer of the friend I met for lunch, and the stranger I met at an industry dinner all turned out to be sugar daddies.", "link": "item?id=3110973", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I have no idea. I doubt anyone else does either, but \"$600K &#62; 6 man weeks\" is something anyone can understand, especially management.", "link": "item?id=1844304", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "The DNA got him released in the end but it's not the problem with the system since there are cases with no DNA evidence in which people are wrongfully convicted the exact same way he was. Here is a summary of what happened. He is a black. All blacks look alike and are criminals. Therefore he is guilty. This is what went wrong and needs to be fixed, just as with an airplane that leaks fuel and isn't detected because of a faulty fuel readout, the answer isn't to carry more fuel.<p>Here are some things that are broken.<p>1. There is a presumption of guilt.<p>2. Prosecutors are interested in their kill ratio, not justice.<p>3. Judges are interested in arbitrary exercise of power, not justice.<p>4. It is very rare to find a public defender who diligently defends the interest of the defense. Public defenders work with the prosecution to get the case through the system.<p>5. In some jurisdictions elected judges don't need to have law backgrounds, or have demonstrated any competence or knowledge of the law.<p>6. The prison system is about punishment and exercise of power, not rehabilitation.", "link": "item?id=2268180", "user": "bugsy"}, {"comment": "That's not always true. Most of the startups I've seen get funded are not always that interesting to me. Interest is in the eye of the beholder and for people looking to work at a startup whether as a career choice or for experience before launching their idea, they may or may not always be working on an idea or work that is considered interesting to them personally.", "link": "item?id=2264552", "user": "us"}, {"comment": "<i>Blah Blah Blah.</i><p>Normally, I ignore such responses, but how could I resist bait like that?<p><i>Social networking was crucial for a country of high oppressed people to overthrow their tyrannical government.</i><p>Ahh, the jury's still out on that one. Let's see how much less tyrannical the next government is. I bet not much.<p><i>Doctors can identify diseases from their phone in a way that would have taken days</i><p>To what purpose? This is the first generation with worse health and life expectency than its parents. What good is providing so much technology at so much cost to those who push so little value out of the other end of the pipeline?<p><i>New times, new problems</i><p>No question. All I'm wondering is, \"Where is the new value?\"<p><i>Our generation is pushing innovation at a speed that is unparalleled</i><p>Versus what? Citing, please.<p>Hmmm, lets see...<p>From 1910 to 1960: The masses received first value from the automobile, the airplane, the telephone, radio, television, electricity, indoor plumbing, sewage treatment, and antibiotics.<p>From 1960 to 2010: We can carry our phones with us. Cool.<p><i>don't confuse the 47 fart apps in the app store as a complete misappropriation of focus</i><p>Opps, I completely forgot about smart phones. I was referring to all the instant communications we now have that produce so much activity and so little value. Is that all we've got?", "link": "item?id=2255349", "user": "edw519"}, {"comment": "I guess I don't really agree; HN of several years ago typically had <i>much</i> briefer and less \"weighty\" articles and discussion than r/truereddit, and a lot more offhand stuff, like the typical techcrunch stories, and \"here's how you do a thing in vim\" type quick-tip articles. Certainly <i>some</i> good, in-depth technical articles and discussions, but that's the case now too. I've been digging through archives to try to remind myself of whether I had missed some sort of golden age (I was a lurker then, and considered it an interesting but not <i>amazing</i> site), and I still don't really see the golden-ageness, even in retrospect. Nothing like the Kuro5hin golden age, anyway. ;-)", "link": "item?id=2254063", "user": "_delirium"}, {"comment": "Case in point for \"don't fuck with it\".", "link": "item?id=2252278", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 7, "names": "throwaway789a", "comments": [{"comment": "There was no public humiliation. The only person who saw the assessment form was my boss.", "link": "item?id=3133865", "user": "throwaway789a"}, {"comment": "Yes, they support multiple phones. Check the Amazon link that portman provided. It appears that all the major cordless manufacturers have sets that support this now. It's been pleasant to use since it (I'm using a Uniden set) has \"just worked\" for me since day one.<p>I'm actually going to set this up for my elderly mother for Christmas who has a regular landline but also a \"dumb\" cellphone. Her hearing is not that great so if the cellphone is not in her immediate proximity, she'll miss the call. In this case, I'm just interested in the redundancy for phone service in case of emergencies. It doesn't change how she will use the cordless phone at all but does provide us(her children) with more piece-of-mind. It really is this good.", "link": "item?id=3133484", "user": "rednaught"}, {"comment": "You unreasonably discount the possibility of someone deriving enjoyment from working on their car.<p>I personally find it to be rather cathartic.", "link": "item?id=3117596", "user": "burgerbrain"}, {"comment": "1) Agree: Presumption of guilt is definitely a problem. I would assume we could blame prejudices, arrogance (over confidence in pre-judging), or profession apathy for this.<p>2) Disagree: Prosecutors only caring about their kill ratio is a plus to me. This is what they should be doing. If they slack in any way because they think the accused might be innocent they are taking away the power of decision from the judge or the jury.<p>3) Wha?: Judges only care about exercising power? This seems like a blanket statement, like an absolute, which are typically wrong.<p>4) Agree: I would guess that this is the sad consequence of the talent going where the money is. In some states lawyers are required to do X amount of pro bono cases a year. I am sure this helps but maybe there is something else we could do.<p>5) ?: Do you have examples of this for Judges that oversee criminal court proceedings?<p>6) No opinion here for the prison system.", "link": "item?id=2269394", "user": "Sakes"}, {"comment": "The pace of innovation in America has slowed, though, as the government has consumed a greater share of GDP. For example, cellphone technology was invented in 1947 but was stifled by the FCC for a generation.", "link": "item?id=2256687", "user": "OstiaAntica"}, {"comment": "\"Nothing like the Kuro5hin golden age, anyway.\"<p>Well I think we can all agree on that. It seems like the entire web really peaked in 2005-2006, and it's been all downhill since there.", "link": "item?id=2254121", "user": "Alex3917"}, {"comment": "From what I gather AOL didn't really \"fuck\" with Nullsoft, they kept working on what they wanted. Justin &#38; Co. got bored being a big corp subsidiary and needing to work on WinAmp (which is what they were acquired for). And so it just didn't really whip llama's ass for them anymore, they escalated and quit. Effectively it was <i>them</i> fucking with AOL, not the other way around.", "link": "item?id=2252390", "user": "huhtenberg"}], "children": [{"number": 5, "names": "timr", "comments": [{"comment": "Glad to hear, however isn't that form added to his record/file with the company? I don't see HR shredding it. Unless I'm wrong.", "link": "item?id=3135820", "user": "abbasmehdi"}, {"comment": "A fair point. If you find something enjoyable, then I agree the economic calculation is obviously different.", "link": "item?id=3118028", "user": "timr"}, {"comment": "For #2, you have them doing things like hiding exculpatory evidence. I don't think that's what they should be doing. If they find something that proves a guy innocent (e.g. they do a DNA analysis that excludes the suspect), they have no right to hide it just to get a conviction.<p>For #3, I tend to agree with you, but there are a handful of hang 'em judges out there.<p>For #5, I don't have any examples because that happens only in a handful of states and the people who appoint the judges usually have more sense than to appoint someone absurd. That said, Supreme Court appointments only require Presidential approval and Congress' consent to the choice. There has been a justice or two that wasn't exactly a highly regarded legal mind, but with the appointments being so contentious these days, in practice, they tend to appoint people with auspicious pedigrees.", "link": "item?id=2269724", "user": "Natsu"}, {"comment": "I sort of agree, but I meant it a bit tongue-in-cheek (hence the smiley). I'm sure plenty of people would argue that the Kuro5hin golden age was nothing like the WELL golden age, or the Usenet golden age, or various other possibilities.<p>One thing I did like about the Kuro5hin model was discussion organized around original, substantive stories, written by the same userbase who were the commenters. That, and stories posted at a rate of one or two a day. Sites like Slashdot/HN/reddit are instead mainly based around discussing offsite links, which K5 allowed but sort of discouraged as \"mindless link propagation\" (there was a section for it, but people didn't want too many submissions to it, and you typically had to add some substantive commentary to the link to get the submission accepted). The articles were also directly written for / targeted to the K5 community. People do sometimes write blog posts specifically to target HN, but they're often more multitargeted--- stuff submitted here might not be written with an HN audience in mind at all, or HN might only be one of several intended audiences.<p>Some classic Usenet groups were sort-of in that style as well. You <i>could</i> start a new thread with a one-line post or \"what do you think of this?\" query, but some groups had a culture of starting new threads only when you had a significant, well-thought out post to make; otherwise you were supposed to stick to existing threads.<p>I'm afraid it's harder to attract good content to a community these days, though. The people who used to consistently write good stuff for Kuro5hin now have their own blogs, and post their content there instead. In the early 2000s, it was a win-win situation: Kuro5hin provided an outlet for people who had things to say, and people who had things to say provided interesting content to read and discuss. These days if you have something compelling to say, you can just start a blog, and then try to get readers by submitting links across the web.", "link": "item?id=2254206", "user": "_delirium"}, {"comment": "AOL shut down Gnutella and WASTE. Certainly the right business move because of they were both lawsuits waiting to happen, but I'd imagine that it disappointed Nullsoft nonetheless.", "link": "item?id=2253327", "user": "thasmin"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "keeptrying", "comments": [{"comment": "If the boss deserves a negative assessment then he deserves to get one. The mistake that the OP made is believing that HR is there for low level employees and putting his true feelings on paper.<p>Always remember that HR is present to safeguard the company. They will look after the manager more than they look after you because he is, to the company, much more important.<p>OP: you need to learn what I learnt during my time in corporate America - focus on getting what u want instead of focussing on being right. When your a startup founder you can work on creating a better workplace. For now though focus on getting along with the boss. It's a way to make good money and it's a great skill to have - being able to work with difficult people.", "link": "item?id=3135967", "user": "keeptrying"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "abbasmehdi", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>focus on getting what u want instead of focusing on being right.</i> This is excellent advice.<p><i>If the boss deserves a negative assessment then he deserves to get one.</i> Yes, but not without speaking with him first, giving him a chance to correct himself or working something out with the OP. It is wrong to come at anyone from the left field. Just like an employee does not deserve getting fired w/o fair warning, the boss does not like being written about to HR about without ever communicated with first.<p>Note: I am comparing firing with a bad review because they are both the strongest action the given party can take against the other.", "link": "item?id=3136101", "user": "abbasmehdi"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "keeptrying", "comments": [{"comment": "Lots of my bosses have given me negative reviews without talking to me first.", "link": "item?id=3137575", "user": "keeptrying"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "throwaway789a", "comments": [{"comment": "HR was never involved in this (except in doing the admin stuff after the termination).<p>And it wasn't about my true feelings or me being right. I enjoy analyzing and thinking about stuff, and so when you give me an assessment form with about 20 topics, you will get a (critical) analysis of them. With my thoughts on what's good and what could be improved. And many questions. For me it was like a code or design review.", "link": "item?id=3139983", "user": "throwaway789a"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "keeptrying", "comments": [{"comment": "Well all reviews go thru HR and its basically safer for you that way.<p>So your saying that a manager fired you solely on feedback u gave to him? I'm pretty sure that's illegal.<p>Also you seem stuck on \"being right\". That's a lonely place to be in my friend.", "link": "item?id=3140513", "user": "keeptrying"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "throwaway789a", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; So your saying that a manager fired you solely on feedback u gave to him?<p>Yes.<p>&#62; I'm pretty sure that's illegal.<p>Why would that be illegal?", "link": "item?id=3143582", "user": "throwaway789a"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "keeptrying", "comments": [{"comment": "You have to have good reason to fire an employee. There needs to be a paper trail of him not being able to do his job or him being generally insubordinate. The only thing that can legally get you fired on the spot is sexual harrasment or where you've broken the law in some manner that could affect the company.<p>Anyway you dont fit in to a regular command and control type organisation. Welcome to my world :) ....<p>Now if your generally a rebel but you do love creating things then you _might_ be an entrepreneur. First get a job and then view the job as the thing that allows you to become an entrepreneur in the future. Ie the job is your \"Venture Capitalist\". Save up enough so that you can quit in the future and go it on your own.<p>Again this means you have to put what you want before your urge to be right. This will take you about 3 years to learn. In 3 years you could have $50000 saved up and the oppurtunity of a lifetime to be an entrepreneur.", "link": "item?id=3145369", "user": "keeptrying"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "greenyoda", "comments": [{"comment": "Actually, if someone is an \"at-will\" employee in the U.S. (<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment</a>), you don't need any reason at all to fire him. Certainly gross insubordination (such as refusing to do a job when asked) is something that people are fired for all the time. Paper trails are useful when the employee is a member of a protected class and could allege in a law suit that they were fired because they were a minority, pregnant, over 40, etc. But that doesn't seem to apply to the original poster's situation.", "link": "item?id=3147164", "user": "greenyoda"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "keeptrying", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm pretty sure your wrOng. There's a reason why incompetents ate kept on payroll for so long.", "link": "item?id=3147424", "user": "keeptrying"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "throwaway789a", "comments": [{"comment": "That's true. In my case I was not fired on the spot from a legal point of view. I had just to give up the keys, and my access to the company network was revoked, but legally I was still an employee for a while.<p>And maybe you are right about me being a potential entrepreneur. It's something that's in the back of my mind, but so far I didn't find a business idea.", "link": "item?id=3153914", "user": "throwaway789a"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "keeptrying", "comments": [{"comment": "Go help someone. Someone who helps about of people is an Entrpreneur if he can figure out a way to make money for his help.", "link": "item?id=3161350", "user": "keeptrying"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "sliverstorm", "comments": [{"comment": "Indeed. Working on a car can be pleasant. Admittedly I do not currently- partly because bikes are more fun to work on, partly because I don't have a good space in which to work- but I hope someday to resume doing some repairs.", "link": "item?id=3117763", "user": "sliverstorm"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "philwelch", "comments": [{"comment": "On the other hand, if you don't enjoy working on your car, presumably a professional mechanic would enjoy it better. And he would certainly enjoy the money.", "link": "item?id=3118831", "user": "philwelch"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "eneveu", "comments": [{"comment": "Zen and the Art of Car Maintenance.", "link": "item?id=3118222", "user": "eneveu"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "leviathant", "comments": [{"comment": "Having never heard of Kuro5hin, I decided to google it. If it ever had a golden age, it must have fallen <i>far</i>. The current front page reads like a mix of 4chan, freerepublic, and the occasional tidbit of interesting content.<p>Seriously, a selection of headlines:<p>\"OFFICIAL NOTICE: SITE CLOSED DUE TO AIDS\"<p>\"Judiciary Abdicated. Republic Dead. All Hail Emperor Obama\"<p>\"The New York Times Editorial Board Should Be Executed For Treason\"<p>\"Our lunatic Military\"<p>What kind of content did it have originally?", "link": "item?id=2256093", "user": "redthrowaway"}, {"comment": "<i>This is the first generation with worse health and life expectency than its parents.</i><p>Could you explain why you believe this? The simple timeseries tells a different story.<p><a href=\"http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&#38;met=sp_dyn_le00_in&#38;idim=country:USA&#38;dl=en&#38;hl=en&#38;q=life+expectancy\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&#38;met=sp_dyn_le...</a>", "link": "item?id=2255653", "user": "yummyfajitas"}, {"comment": "DNA evidence should not be used as the sole basis for a conviction. From what I gather, DNA collection and processing is still done on an ad-hoc basis, with no standards and auditing.", "link": "item?id=2271180", "user": "iwwr"}, {"comment": "Ah, I thought I addressed that when I mentioned that I don't wash my own car. I don't do my own oil changes either.<p>The last decade of my life has been incredibly busy. It's nice to take a half hour and mow the lawn, or walk to Pep Boys, chat with the folks behind the counter, walk home with a radiator, and spend an hour figuring how to replace the old one without spilling coolant all over the driveway.<p>With all the coding I do, there's a satisfaction I get out of physical assembly and creation in things like home renovation or working on my car that doesn't, for me, ever feel the same coming from an LCD screen. Wiring up a three-way switch on both ends of a light bulb, throwing the breaker back on and having it work the first time, or buying a \"broken\" drum machine, opening it up and soldering the power connector back on, or tuck-pointing the stone foundation in my house.<p>I agree that spare time seems more and more fleeting as the years pass by. And though I'm sure there are interesting things for which you're saving your time, your not having mentioned them reminds me of a poem by Ogden Nash, \"The Strange Case of Mr. Artesian's Conscientiousness\" which Google shows me is quoted in full at <a href=\"http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69657&#38;page=1\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69657&#3...</a>", "link": "item?id=3119359", "user": "leviathant"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "_delirium", "comments": [{"comment": "It's sort of a dive bar these days; a surprising proportion of the good posters are still there, but they just post different things, while they post \"serious\" stuff on their blogs or somewhere else. Most discussion goes on in the diaries (which are also dive-bar-ish, mixture of serious and unserious chat), while the front-page is a bit of an active joke. Hasn't had much serious content in probably 3-4 years, with the occasional exception.<p>(Actually that's a strangely common thing on the internet; the offensive-joker and troll types sometimes are the same people as the good-technical-content types. For example, the Rands of <a href=\"http://www.randsinrepose.com\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.randsinrepose.com</a> is <i>also</i> the Rands of <a href=\"http://www.jerkcity.com.\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.jerkcity.com.</a>)<p>As a half joke, I collected a bibliography of k5 articles that have been cited in academic papers, which includes some of the better ones: <a href=\"http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2007/12/8/23637/9295\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2007/12/8/23637/9295</a> , <a href=\"http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2010/10/17/5512/5360\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2010/10/17/5512/5360</a>", "link": "item?id=2256162", "user": "_delirium"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "Perceval", "comments": [{"comment": "I've posted this on HN before, but I wrote a long article about the decline of online community, which includes some retrospective about k5's decline as well: <a href=\"http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2009/3/12/33338/3000\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2009/3/12/33338/3000</a>", "link": "item?id=2256440", "user": "Perceval"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "Charuru", "comments": [{"comment": "The trap here that I fell into during my youth is to ask this question at the wrong time....<p>Is going out on a date with my wife worth $X/hr ?<p>Is helping someone by giving them a lift worth $X/hr?<p>Is sitting down to read a book / watch a movie worth $X/hr?<p>Drove my wife crazy.", "link": "item?id=3118128", "user": "gridspy"}, {"comment": "But that's sort of how most things work though. The positive, good outcomes are sort of incidental (though hopefully intentional) side effects of a complex system of incentives that are usually not perfectly aligned.<p>ie, why does Exxon Mobil drill oil? Because they sincerely truly love that black stuff? No because they want to make money.<p>The system could probably be improved with good economic analysis, but just because the incentives are misaligned does not mean they're broken.", "link": "item?id=2268334", "user": "Charuru"}, {"comment": "&#62; I was referring to all the instant communications we now have that produce so much activity and so little value. Is that all we've got?<p>We are more connected with people than ever. And future generations will be even more so. I get that there's a general sentiment that spending more time on Facebook or Twitter isn't valuable \"real people time.\" But I'll be contrarian and say it is.<p>I've kept in touch with more of the people I care about AND have deeper relationships with them because of social software and mobile communications tech. Yes, because of Facebook, Skype, and the panoply of other innovations that may seem like just pointless activity.", "link": "item?id=2255386", "user": "garry"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "cperciva", "comments": [{"comment": "What would Exxon do if they could get away with selling any old blackish liquid as if it were oil?", "link": "item?id=2269656", "user": "caf"}, {"comment": "<i>Is helping someone by giving them a lift worth $X/hr?</i><p>I've done that calculation from time to time, but I've always ended up concluding \"yes, because I'll enjoy talking to this person for half an hour more than I would enjoy having an extra $50\".<p>... which, depending on your perspective, either means that I understand that money really isn't worth a lot, or just that I'm desperately lonely.", "link": "item?id=3118765", "user": "cperciva"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "mahyarm", "comments": [{"comment": "And if you get 2 u-turn tickets and hit someones car by mistake before zip car, you can't use it or many of the other zipcar like services out there.", "link": "item?id=3119574", "user": "mahyarm"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 5, "names": "potatolicious", "comments": [{"comment": "1. Neat. Just to clarify, this doesn't require a landline?<p>I keep my phone on vibrate all the time, which tends to mean that when I'm at home I miss a lot of calls. I'd definitely pay for a thing that looks like a regular landline phone but docks with my mobile phone.", "link": "item?id=3132383", "user": "hugh3"}, {"comment": "&#62; <i>\"MRSP $329, Craigslist price? $100, new in the box.\"</i><p>Have you considered that those goods are probably hot? Perfectly good, brand new, item on CL for 70% off?!", "link": "item?id=3118301", "user": "potatolicious"}, {"comment": "I found a niche providing mobile solutions in a very low-tech business to business service - like janitors. Any time you see people using paper these days there is waste and error. Ask business owners what problems and worries they have - not their ideas for solutions that they want built", "link": "item?id=3110984", "user": "asmithmd1"}, {"comment": "&#62; Well, the change that prevents this from happening again is DNA evidence.<p>This is the very optimistic interpretation - another tool and a permanent reduction in the wrongful conviction rate. The pessimistic interpretation is that DNA tests served as a short-term oracle where the system nigh-magically was stripped naked and its true past error rate laid bare, but to which the system will slowly adapt and figure out how to circumvent.<p>We can probably expect in a few decades to start seeing articles about how DNA evidence gets lost, misinterpreted, planted (remember OJ and the issues with the blood evidence? more than a few police have no issues with framing a guilty man, it seems), and other such strategies that are not obvious to people outside the system.<p>In other words, if there were suddenly another nigh-magical breakthrough which gave us a second look at true error rates, we would see, superimposed on whatever other trends are going on, a dip in the '80s-'90s and then a slow increase to whenever the second breakthrough's innocence projects got going.<p>Unfortunately, this is a very long-term prediction and there may never again be a breakthrough as dramatic as DNA testing which would give us the second oracle, so who knows if time will let us distinguish between the optimistic and pessimistic interpretations.<p>(Related ideas: <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_homeostasis\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_homeostasis</a> &#38; <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodhart%27s_law\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodhart%27s_law</a>)", "link": "item?id=2269202", "user": "gwern"}, {"comment": "<i>Social networking was crucial for a country of highly oppressed people to overthrow their tyrannical government.</i><p>No, not really. It might surprise you, but repressive regimes have been overthrown for centuries before Facebook. What really helped was high food prices, historically a harbinger of political change. Social media was marginal.", "link": "item?id=2255394", "user": "vannevar"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "leviathant", "comments": [{"comment": "Use location-awareness apps to set it to a ringtone when you're in the house. If you're on Android, I've had good results with [Locale](<a href=\"https://market.android.com/details?id=com.twofortyfouram.locale&#38;hl=en\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://market.android.com/details?id=com.twofortyfouram.loc...</a>). If you're on iOS or something else I have no idea.", "link": "item?id=3132554", "user": "egypturnash"}, {"comment": "I considered that they're now $200 NIB on Amazon, and that the dude I bought them from attends UPenn, so the chances are pretty good that unless he's financing his ivy league degree by selling stolen goods, it's more likely that he bought them, tried them on, decided he didn't like them, and listed them on CL to cut his losses.<p>We have really nice furniture in our house that we bought from a family on the main line. They still had the tags on them - if I were to guess, the family moved here from India, landed a job making more money than they needed, and overspent. Bought this couch and loveseat, decided they didn't like it, and moved them into the basement, buying another. Not sure how long they sat down there before we picked them up, but they sure look nice in our living room.<p>Even when back in college, I went to yard sales in (central PA) affluent neighborhoods. Sometimes people just want to get rid of otherwise good stuff. Now that I do alright, when I need get rid of a DVD player or a stereo I don't use anymore, I list it for free.", "link": "item?id=3119316", "user": "leviathant"}, {"comment": "Try convincing 500 of your rebel friends to meet in a poorly lit restaurant before you march the capital by yelling out the window.<p>Now try telling them on your facebook wall.<p>Lets see who pushes change.", "link": "item?id=2257551", "user": "shakeshake"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "hugh3", "comments": [{"comment": "Interesting, and I am on Android. But the reason I keep it on vibrate is to stop it making noise every time I get a low-priority notification. What I want is for it to ring for calls and text messages, but only vibrate for emails and facebook notifications.<p>There's probably some way of doing that, I guess.", "link": "item?id=3132824", "user": "hugh3"}, {"comment": "The government can see your Facebook wall. If you don't yell it out the window but pass the message along by more subtle means, the government will have to go to more effort to find out what was said at the poorly lit restaurant.", "link": "item?id=2260735", "user": "jwhite"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "egypturnash", "comments": [{"comment": "Facebook: If you're using the official app, go to the main melu screen, menu button, settings, and notification controls are pretty much the bulk of the prefs.<p>Email:menu button pretty much anywhere, 'settings' (it's in the 'more' section if you're looking at an e-mail, then if you have multiple email accounts you tap on one. Though I don't see anything that explicitly says \"make noise/vibrate/notify in menu\"; all I see is \"Email notifications\" which I have turned on - and all I ever see is status bar notes and a trackball color flash.<p>I'm using CyanogenMod 7.1 on a Nexus One, things may be different for you. Especially if you're using a carrier or manufacturer branded ROM.", "link": "item?id=3157304", "user": "egypturnash"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "nodata", "comments": [{"comment": "You can easily set per-thing notifications. What didn't work?", "link": "item?id=3134830", "user": "nodata"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "vannevar", "comments": [{"comment": "The problem isn't telling people about it---again, rebels have communicated with each other since there have been governments to rebel against. The exact means of communication is irrelevant (obviously, since revolutions have happened in the age of print, telegraph, telephony, television, and now the Internet). The problem is motivating ordinary people to actually take action, and that depends on socio-economic factors that have nothing to do with technology. What you're seeing in the Middle East is how business has been done there for thousands of years. It's how these countries change their government in the absence of any stable democratic traditions. Or rather, it <i>is</i> their democratic tradition to change regimes this way.", "link": "item?id=2262245", "user": "vannevar"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "rednaught", "comments": [{"comment": "That is correct. I also couple it with a VOIP service but cordless phones can be used with only cell phone if you want that. I'm using Uniden but I know AT+T and Panasonic also have cordless sets that offer this \"cell link\" feature as well. The key is just ensuring you've got compatible versions of Bluetooth. If you're on a fairly recent cellphone, it's almost a given it will have Bluetooth.", "link": "item?id=3132559", "user": "rednaught"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "jakejake", "comments": [{"comment": "Can you be more specific on #1?", "link": "item?id=3134653", "user": "bvi"}, {"comment": "When you're working for yourself or in a situation where you can work more hours and make more money (freelance, sales, whatever) then you can lose money by being cheap. Anything that can be hired out at a lower hourly rate than your own should be hired out. The catch is that you actually have to spend that time you saved working and earning income!<p>If you have a fixed salary, though, you might as well do those things for yourself if you have the skill.", "link": "item?id=3117587", "user": "jakejake"}, {"comment": "Don't be sure that having DNA evidence will mean there will never be a miscarriage of justice. So many reasons that can still happen.", "link": "item?id=2268174", "user": "quattrofan"}, {"comment": "Yeah really. Incredible innovations affecting people's daily lives all over the world. Peter comes across as somebody who prefers his parents generation's view of how great it used to be to all the exciting and empowering stuff happening today.", "link": "item?id=2255339", "user": "jdp23"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "rednaught", "comments": [{"comment": "Well, if you have a fixed salary you probably work 40+ hours per week. This means your free time becomes scarce, and its value increases.", "link": "item?id=3117769", "user": "sliverstorm"}, {"comment": "A common use of Bluetooth with mobile phones has been for a wireless headset or handsfree operation in a car. This is another example of that but it happens in your home using cordless phone sets as the extension.", "link": "item?id=3135449", "user": "rednaught"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "leviathant", "comments": [{"comment": "I understand that perspective, however I feel that there are experiences more valuable than money. Even when I was scraping by month to month during college, I blew time and money on experiences that no amount of work for hire would ever get me.", "link": "item?id=3119382", "user": "leviathant"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "danssig", "comments": [{"comment": "I think you need to go see how DNA evidence is actually used. CSI is not remotely like what goes on, forensics is not any kind of science it's just a kind of \"best practices\" from cops.<p><a href=\"http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09054/950979-85.stm\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09054/950979-85.stm</a><p>DNA has a lot of issues as well.<p><a href=\"http://www.bioforensics.com/articles/champion1/champion1.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.bioforensics.com/articles/champion1/champion1.htm...</a>", "link": "item?id=2271024", "user": "danssig"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 19, "names": "losvedir", "comments": [{"comment": "Moral of the story: Scott Nesin should be in charge of all Enterprise Development Projects from here on out. :)", "link": "item?id=2759204", "user": "gacba"}, {"comment": "It works the other way too.<p>According to rescuetime, I've been spending a LOT of time lately on HN and links to articles.<p>It kind of crept up on me and I didn't realize just how bored I've been at work lately. Definitely time to figure out why and how best to return to a happy-nonbored state. (Quitting isn't really a viable option right now)", "link": "item?id=2755737", "user": "Sukotto"}, {"comment": "* 7. A device that automatically disables any cell phone in any car within 50 car lengths of me and heading in my direction.*<p>Pretty sure this would have the opposite of your desired effect. Nothing will distract people more and have them fumbling around with their phone than if a call drops, GPS loses signal, streaming radio stops, etc.<p>Obviously, people shouldn't be doing these things in cars, but I think it's always interesting to think about unintended consequences. Also, I'm pretty sure your (7) was in jest, anyway, but just playing along here...", "link": "item?id=3132316", "user": "losvedir"}, {"comment": "<i>2 Reasons I would never consider using this</i><p>I'd never use it either, but I'd also wouldn't post nearly as much information on facebook as most of my friends do.<p>Ones own preferences might not always be a good indicator the public's preferences.", "link": "item?id=3134134", "user": "VMG"}, {"comment": "Yup. It's only too late if you don't want to do it in the first place.<p>While I started programming at 13, I didn't become a pastor until age 40. I suppose I could have said that I was too old to add such a different activity to my life, but I wanted to do it and dove in with enthusiasm. Was it difficult? Yes thank you. It's a small congregation and I still have to work the day job as a programmer, but coming up on five years now and we are close to doubling the original size of the congregation (was just over twenty people). It's the best job I've ever had and my dream is to eventually go full time ... just gotta get Ramen sustainable!", "link": "item?id=3120642", "user": "simon"}, {"comment": "I live, by most comparisons to people within the same bracket, very cheaply. The thing is, I'm not watching every penny, I'm not buying the cheapest thing there is. I just refuse to pay more than what I value something at (and dollars, not intrinsic value of the time). There's some things that are significantly under what I would value them at dollar wise and have no trouble paying for, but there's a large number of things that are priced over what I would value them at and just don't buy them. Additionally, the immediate price isn't the only thing to consider in the cost, there's the lifetime value of the item as well. So, I would disagree that the sole response is being cheap, I'm completely confident the same things are capable of being accomplished by having an understanding of the total cost and total value of things you're spending money on and being smart about purchases and use of money rather than buying expensive things because they're \"nice\".", "link": "item?id=3117406", "user": "ismarc"}, {"comment": "I'll follow this up by saying I've had my early adopters very happy to be \"getting in on the ground floor\" (as they put it). I believe some will find this as the leverage they need to become successful, or at the very least have one up on their competition.", "link": "item?id=3112644", "user": "todojunkie"}, {"comment": "Using a Lisp dialect helps me pick up where I left off: <a href=\"http://ourdoings.com/2006-05-01\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://ourdoings.com/2006-05-01</a><p>Sales/marketing seems to require extended effort though, or money.", "link": "item?id=1848793", "user": "brlewis"}, {"comment": "PS. I'm always embarrassed by the code I wrote ages ago as well... seriously, what I was I thinking?", "link": "item?id=1843803", "user": "mattblalock"}, {"comment": "Are you being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian?<p>Beside, if everybody become a programmer, who will produce the pencils?", "link": "item?id=1836466", "user": "kiba"}, {"comment": "This seems to be even more interesting to compare the Ruby community (from what I've seen is massively test-driven and shuns use puts()), to the use of Python at Google. Of course, most Ruby stuff that I mentioned is Rails based, and there isn't that much concurrency happening and its set up well for testing- but just an observation.", "link": "item?id=1815142", "user": "tibbon"}, {"comment": "&#62; I've been doing this for 30 years and have never lost anything.<p>Just because it works for you doesn't mean it's good advice. I don't doubt copy+paste has worked for you for $LONG_TIME but I wonder whether you would say the same thing if you had started using $VERSION_CONTROL_SOFTWARE $LONG_TIME ago.<p>Having finally gotten into the habit of doing all my development with the help of version control I can't imaging going back to copy+paste or project/backup/YYYYMMDD. Yes it works but all it is is a poorly, and incosistently implemented manual version control system with none of the advantages of a real VCS.", "link": "item?id=2528769", "user": "fr0sty"}, {"comment": "The ultimate metric is <i>product</i>, not productivity, you are correct about that. One seeks to maximize their production in the course of their lifetime.<p>However,<p>1. Productivity = product / unit of time<p>2. Time is a constant (there are only 24 hours in a day, we cannot stretch time aside from living healthier)<p>Thus, maximizing productivity is practically the same thing as maximizing product, our ultimate metric.", "link": "item?id=2515146", "user": "hammock"}, {"comment": "The fact that the appeals were denied is eye-opening. Maybe that shouldn't be allowed? But I'm sure there are tons of non-legitimate appeals too.", "link": "item?id=2268070", "user": "makmanalp"}, {"comment": "On credit applications our business bank specifically asks if more than 25% of your revenue came from one source in the past calendar year.<p>If you think about it, a typical brick and mortar gets its money from hundreds if not thousands of customers every year (restaurant/cafe, auto mechanic, etc).", "link": "item?id=2255683", "user": "tastybites"}, {"comment": "It's a strange example to use in a story bemoaning the decline in startup innovation as well, since the interstate highway system and the Manhattan Project were not exactly things done by startups.", "link": "item?id=2255272", "user": "_delirium"}, {"comment": "The question is, of course, are we entering the Eternal February?", "link": "item?id=2253209", "user": "oconnor0"}, {"comment": "The airport is about an hour away so nothing is an hour away flying unless you just count fly-time!", "link": "item?id=2252308", "user": "cyrus_"}, {"comment": "I pray that's the route SF will take with Heroku", "link": "item?id=2252891", "user": "callmeed"}], "children": [{"number": 8, "names": "cubix", "comments": [{"comment": "Your comment is intriguing, but the link is broken.", "link": "item?id=1849639", "user": "cubix"}, {"comment": "<p><pre><code> Quitting no, switching is always an option though. I.e put feelers out, silently pick up a second more interesting offer and give notice. If you have a large amount waiting to vest you may be able to get a match from another employer.</code></pre>", "link": "item?id=2758414", "user": "keithnoizu"}, {"comment": "Moral of the story: have engineers only work on projects from clients who are related. Nepotism facilitates communication!", "link": "item?id=2759567", "user": "Apocryphon"}, {"comment": "Google is <i>extremely</i> test-oriented, every project is covered by a test suite and there is a powerful distributed continuous integration infrastructure in place that executes tests \"in the cloud\" and doesn't allow to commit code that doesn't pass. Not to forget about the public Google Testing Blog[1] and the famous Testing on the Toilet[2].<p>People in the Ruby community also use temporary puts/logging statements for exploratory debugging, but of course nobody in right mind commits such code to the repository.<p>[1] <a href=\"http://googletesting.blogspot.com/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://googletesting.blogspot.com/</a><p>[2] <a href=\"http://googletesting.blogspot.com/2007/01/introducing-testing-on-toilet.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://googletesting.blogspot.com/2007/01/introducing-testin...</a>", "link": "item?id=1816772", "user": "adambyrtek"}, {"comment": "Exactly right, sad to say.", "link": "item?id=2269143", "user": "anigbrowl"}, {"comment": "Your restaurant/cafe may have lots of customers, but they may be coming to you b/c you're across the street from the movies or a mall. If a primary store in the mall closes (or as in my hometown, a stabbing in the mall scares away customers), your business is pretty dead.", "link": "item?id=2256199", "user": "lallysingh"}, {"comment": "Yeah, particularly strange for somebody who sees himself as a libertarian. Oh well. \"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.\"", "link": "item?id=2255344", "user": "jdp23"}, {"comment": "As of now (9:10GMT) I've read every post on this page, and I think as short as it is, the parent (Eternal February) perhaps is the one that is closest to what I think has happened.<p>I think this is a people problem, not a technology one.<p>For those who haven't heard this phrase before, the \"Eternal February\" apes the \"Eternal September\". Pre-1993, each September would herald the start of a new university year and an influx of new students who would suddenly gain access to the internet. Whilst their presence was being integrated by existing on-line communities, the standard and quality of debate in Usenet was perceived to decline as the same questions got asked again and the conversation standard was forced again. The same problems came forth until such a point that the existing communities had assimilated the newbies and by October or November things had returned to where they were, just a bit bigger.<p>Then along came AOL, giving out free/cheap internet access to all and lowering the technical barrier to getting on-line. A good thing for the world, but a bad thing for those Usenet communities who suddenly had to assimilate an influx greater than a normal September, and also an influx that didn't subside. At some point the ability of those in Usenet to assimilate was surpassed by the people getting on-line and finding Usenet. The term \"Eternal September\" was coined to describe this problem and the general failure of Usenet to keep up with the flow and the lowering standards that are the result of this.<p>I think HackerNews has no technical problem.<p>The discussion around karma and mod points is a distraction, the same goes for invite only systems and \"classic\" view.<p>I'm going to speculate that the problem is purely the size of the population and the growth rate, and that the community gravity is now such that this is not going to stop.<p>Anyone who has been here for years, and anyone who has a shed load of karma points... those who give in time, effort... there's no questioning that we/they all want to have a place such as this, and few really want to leave it. But it's hard to see how staying is going to help, and here's why: Time is valuable to us, and our expectations have risen as our experience and knowledge increased, and we feel defeated by that influx and we sense the gravity (that if anything increases the rate of influx).<p>Due to the growth, the noise level is so much higher (even if only 0.1% of the population post new things or respond, 0.1% of hundreds of thousands rather than thousands is still a far higher noise level). How can we cut through the noise to find the good stuff (subjective to the individual) given this noise? I read the firehose (/new) in an attempt to not miss the good, but realise that I've amplified the volume of everything to try and not miss the gems.<p>The influx is such that it feels non-correctable to some degree. We can look back at the side-splitting Erlang day as a humorous attempt at a correction (which it was, but we probably didn't perceive the bigger picture then... the \"Eternal February\").<p>The thing is, most old-timers are aware there is still a lot of value in learning from new people, of passing on knowledge to new people... it's a two-way street and some good comes from growth and closing the gate isn't the desired thing. As the noise levels get higher closing the gate seems tempting, but it's silly. Shutting the gate is not going to help.<p>There is a natural contribution rate at which the noise levels are manageable, and there's a natural growth rate at which people can be assimilated such that the noise doesn't go above manageable levels. When either rate is crossed it can be difficult, when both are crossed we end up here.<p>My suggestion would be along Alex's lines... to not divide by date registered (just those with early registration dates), to not exclude by network (an invite only boys club), nor to kill HN (which still serves as a really important hub by bringing us all together, and I'm sure some would feel that anything new is a conscious threat to the old).<p>Instead we should create some thing (or multiple things) that is so much more narrowly focused that it doesn't have much appeal beyond a smallish number. That focus needs to be narrow enough that growth is naturally limited too.<p>I think that defining that 'thing' is where it gets interesting. What that narrowly focused topic is, well that is going to be different from person to person.<p>It's likely that many small communities would spring up; maybe one focused on devops + computer science (a bit like the ACM SIGACTS-SIGOPS), maybe one focused on purely the business side of startups, etc.<p>HN is rare because it encompasses all of these, but I'd suggest it may be better to not be so far encompassing and instead to have a set of communities (subreddits vs stack overflows vs unconnected sites) more narrowly focused and people would join subsets that interested them rather than have them all exist in a global scope (where the noise level is that of the whole set).<p>The hardest part of doing anything comes down to the people.<p>Ultimately it's the mix of people here that is so awesome, it's what acts most as gravity to those outside of the community. Having this calibre of people choose to invest in smaller communities is going to be the hardest thing when staying on just HN, or just opting out altogether, is so easy to do.<p>I too think it's time for something more focused and smaller to emerge to tackle the noise level. That this is likely to be many smaller things and that I'd miss part of the debate is kinda fine, I'm fine with missing some stuff if the standard on the bits I'm more strongly interested in can be raised and I don't miss that stuff.", "link": "item?id=2253573", "user": "buro9"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "tastybites", "comments": [{"comment": "The mere fact that you took the time to compile this lengthy response and have received meaningful responses is evidence enough that HN has not \"jumped the shark.\"<p>It is a people problem, but I feel the biggest problem is that people are <i>pointing out that there's a problem.</i> Communities evolve; that is, in fact, practically <i>all</i> they do. Perhaps HN isn't the same as it was 2 or 3 years ago, saying that it's worse is a bit of a stretch.<p>I've yet to find a community where people have meaningful discussions in the comments without some snarky response like, \"lol wut\".\" On HN these comments are self-moderated; those with the karma downvote the meaningless comments and they disappear into the aether.<p>Simply put, I don't think HN is dying. Rumors of its demise are highly overblown.", "link": "item?id=2254100", "user": "VolatileVoid"}, {"comment": "That's why the smart thing to do is open several locations, which is what restaurateurs generally aspire to, for that very reason. Sometimes it backfires, usually it doesn't if the restaurateur knows what they're doing.", "link": "item?id=2256253", "user": "tastybites"}, {"comment": "Sorry, done manually from the phone. I will check the link after posting this time.<p><a href=\"http://ourdoings.com/brlewis/2006-05-01\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://ourdoings.com/brlewis/2006-05-01</a>", "link": "item?id=1849737", "user": "brlewis"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "redthrowaway", "comments": [{"comment": "I agree, to an extent. This navel-gazing tends to precede a noticeable and rapid decline in quality, as the community becomes too focussed on itself, and less upon content and discussion. I've only been on reddit for just over a year but have noticed a marked decline in quality just in that time. Around this time last year, there were many discussions about reddit's declining quality and what's to be done about it. Now, about half the posts on even my heavily-culled front page are talking about reddit itself, half of the rest are using absurdly editorialized headlines, and there's a smattering of good content here and there. Heavy moderation seems to be key, as the mods quite simply don't seem to care anymore.", "link": "item?id=2256383", "user": "redthrowaway"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "pault", "comments": [{"comment": "No snark intended, but I feel like you are basically describing reddit, with its subreddits and customizable front page. If you unsubscribe from main, funny, pics, politics, askreddit, and add programming, computer science, mathematics, etc to your front page, you will get a pretty high quality experience, IMO (at least no 4chan garbage). The main difference that I perceive between the two sites is that reddit seems to have a slightly younger demographic, skewing towards college students, while HN seems to be mostly older, working professionals, and silicon valley heavy-hitters. Remember when reddit was the upstream digg? Now digg is dead and HN is the upstream reddit. If there's an upstream HN, by the time I find out about it, people will be complaining about how badly the community has declined lately. :)<p>EDIT: Never mind, I just unsubscribed from all the default reddits and it's still mostly crap. Carry on...", "link": "item?id=2253664", "user": "pault"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "ilovecomputers", "comments": [{"comment": "What does it matter? These complaints of decline in community quality is all superficial. In the end, all that matters is how you use a site.<p>What is it that you want out of these sites? Expert Opinion? Helpful articles? The Zeitgeist among your peers? The analysis of the community might help you decide how to use a site to your liking, but because it is superficial, it will be of little help. Seek out the experts yourself or trim through the article listings yourself instead of basing it completely on a democratic vote system. The quality of the community will only make this process more convenient, but it is the quality of individual posters that define what is most helpful to you.<p>Now, I would like to compile a list of posters whom I can trust for insightful comments on a particular matter instead of posting assumptions.<p>So far, I know of pg, joshu...crap, I wish there were avatars here. Why was I stuck with just visual memory like a common human? Unicode avatars would have been helpful: \u2764", "link": "item?id=2253691", "user": "ilovecomputers"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "InclinedPlane", "comments": [{"comment": "In simplest terms the HN community &#38; culture fosters open minded discussion while reddit fosters group think.<p>Even if HN has lost its edge over time that fundamental difference is worth fighting for and worth coming back to HN.", "link": "item?id=2253735", "user": "InclinedPlane"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "byrneseyeview", "comments": [{"comment": "Right, but these companies have lots of customers. They just get them from one place.<p>It's like renting a particular location: it's technically true that you could lose your lease, but that's only a risk to your business's long-term viability if your lease is artificially cheap (otherwise, you'll just move to another place on similar terms). And if your location <i>is</i> a particularly good deal, you should take it, even though losing it would suck.<p>Online, the same dynamic applies, but with lower transaction costs.", "link": "item?id=2255979", "user": "byrneseyeview"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tastybites", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>lots of customers</i><p>A customer is not necessarily someone who uses your product or service. That's a user. Think of a venn diagram....", "link": "item?id=2256104", "user": "tastybites"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "code_duck", "comments": [{"comment": "You can get revenue from many sources, as in many individual customers, but be dependent upon a single source for your product.<p>The situation of startups who depend upon an external large business like Facebook, Amazon or Twitter is analogous to a car dealership that only sells one kind of car - say, Saturns. If Saturn stops selling to you or goes out of business, you're going to have to make some major changes.", "link": "item?id=2256203", "user": "code_duck"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 11, "names": "Aegean", "comments": [{"comment": "Hacker news participation can also indicate compilation, as it does for me right now.", "link": "item?id=2755187", "user": "alexgartrell"}, {"comment": "Feeling potential for a new buzzword-methodology in this. It's common sense, but not so common that you can't charge for workshops/talks/certifications.<p>The only thing you need now is a good, substantial name that evokes a mechanical and engineering process, like \"User Language Oriented Design\".", "link": "item?id=2759389", "user": "demian"}, {"comment": "&#62; 5. A device that lets you know whether the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty or clean.<p>The door latch tells you that. If the door is latched, the dishes are clean. If the door is unlatched, the dishes are dirty.<p>This works if everyone who opens the door when it is latched either empties the dishwasher (and leaves it unlatched) or relatches it AND no one latches the door after putting in a dirty dish unless they also start it.", "link": "item?id=3132298", "user": "anamax"}, {"comment": "I too chuckle when I hear \"not too late...\". Even more so when someone is in their 20's.<p>I began programming at age 36. Shortly after, having been so inspired by how exciting it was, I enrolled in a university. I am now just a few classes short of a Computer &#38; Information Science degree. I will be 40 when I have an actual degree in my hand.<p>What I can contribute to others from my experience is that you will have greater determination, focus, and perseverance to learn something you really enjoy. This is especially true when you get older.<p>I don't believe I would have done as well or learned as much if I had pursued programming in my 20's. I wasn't as focused; I had far too many distractions.<p>My advice on getting started. Start at CS101. Learn the basics to a degree were it becomes second nature. Solve small problems, when you can do that easily solve larger ones. Don't cheat yourself; don't skim over bubble sort because it is boring, everything will teach you something. And most of all, enjoy yourself.", "link": "item?id=3122092", "user": "wysguy"}, {"comment": "I am sorry, but I think I disagree with your viewpoint. My idol in being frugal (but not cheap) is Mr. Warren Buffett. I don't think he lost an opportunity by being frugal or has any regrets. Obviously it is a very personal choice. Some people do get pleasure by discretionary purchases, and some (like me) by knowing that there is money in the bank.", "link": "item?id=3117343", "user": "mailanay"}, {"comment": "Actually around 1985, Mark Williams invented the C Source-Level Debugger, which certainly did not suck, and was quickly imitated by other larger outfits.<p>However, my use of debuggers has always been quite minimal, perhaps because despite the CSD experience, I am often behind the times. Or perhaps it was due to my early (not quite childhood) experience building real-time interrupt-rich programs in Sigma 5 assembly language.<p>I also read recently that most of the grownups don't use debuggers but have always stuck by printf or equivalent.<p>It kind of reminds me of an early attempt on my part, not wanting to do laundry in my early bachelor years, to start a wrinkled shirt fashion trend. I was not successful, at least for a large number of years. It finally did become fashion.<p>So stick with printf and build useful but lean logging habits would be my advice.", "link": "item?id=1823582", "user": "wglb"}, {"comment": "&#62; I've never done this and have never understood why people think it's so important. I prefer to build stuff for paying customers. They're never bashful and are a great way to get really good really quickly.<p>I'm not sure if you mean in a startup context or a freelancing, but both have some degree of urgency that don't promote writing great code and developing new skills. It's very tempting to stick with what you know because you're out of time and don't want to take a chance on something new.<p>That said, it's also easy to fall into the trap of never releasing anything so I prefer a mixture of both.", "link": "item?id=2528803", "user": "mnutt"}, {"comment": "fully agree. unfortunately systems are as perfect as the people that run them, in this case the rotten judge, attorney, and even the victim really did this man great injustice. you wonder what ever happened to the victim and the real felon.", "link": "item?id=2268069", "user": "epynonymous"}, {"comment": "I don't think there's a lack of radical innovation. maybe it's less concentrated in silicon valley , but all across the u.s. and worldwide you can see radical innovations unfolding.<p>Things like robotics and artificial intelligence are probably the most radical technologies since the industrial revolution. probably much more radical.<p>And what about clean energy and clean technology ? the solution to the biggest problem of the 21th century ? and on the way make our chemical manufacturing clean ?<p>And what about stem cells ? they hold the potential to be a cure to many chronic diseases.<p>And telepresence , the holodeck at every home?<p>Things just take time , that's all.", "link": "item?id=2255652", "user": "ippisl"}, {"comment": "I don't think this answer holds true anymore, i.e. the newbies who are a year old would claim comment quality is going low. I think it now has become the norm. Why not just aim for a standard near the top quality submissions?", "link": "item?id=2254182", "user": "Aegean"}, {"comment": "A house like that isn't 7 figures in California - it would definitely be above 500k but it wouldn't break a million in a lot of places near SF, LA, or SD.", "link": "item?id=2252186", "user": "tastybites"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "endeavor", "comments": [{"comment": "Compilation is a form of boredom ;-)", "link": "item?id=2755200", "user": "PaulHoule"}, {"comment": "Newer dishwashers have a \"Clean\" indicator light that stays on after the cycle finishes, and you can toggle on and off.", "link": "item?id=3132333", "user": "endeavor"}, {"comment": "I don't think that's the whole story or planes would crash all the time because someone somewhere failed to do their job properly after a night out with friends. Checks and balances matter. Process matters. The art of organization is to have an open upper bound of what is possible to achieve and still make sure there is a limit to the downside.<p>Of course it will never be perfect and there is no process and no rules that can work without a sufficient share of decent individuals trying to do their job properly.", "link": "item?id=2268799", "user": "fauigerzigerk"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Lewisham", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but this is entirely true. I'm sat here watching a data mining job. It's wasted time, largely brought on because the job doesn't have unit tests, so I have no confidence it'll actually complete correctly, so I need to watch the log and see what its doing.<p>This not a good use of my time, and I hate seeing that console, and I feel bad for being on HN when I could be productive.", "link": "item?id=2755654", "user": "Lewisham"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Lewisham", "comments": [{"comment": "Hah, if only it was so simple! The integrity of the job is the problem. It's been coded to failover problems (as the original data integrity its mining from isn't good), so it will happily do something stupid for hours. That's why I have to watch it, and make sure its not doing something stupid.<p>Unit tests would ensure stupidity was not a possibility, and regressions could be tracked. Too late for that, unfortunately.<p>So I watch.", "link": "item?id=2755746", "user": "Lewisham"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "rcfox", "comments": [{"comment": "Couldn't you write unit tests while you wait?", "link": "item?id=2755973", "user": "rcfox"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Lewisham", "comments": [{"comment": "Fair point :)", "link": "item?id=2756367", "user": "Lewisham"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "rcfox", "comments": [{"comment": "Or just use \\!", "link": "item?id=2757077", "user": "rcfox"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "paulbaumgart", "comments": [{"comment": "Good call. Though for multi-word messages, you'd have to do something like:<p><pre><code> growlnotify -m \"$(echo Great\\! Success\\!)\"</code></pre>", "link": "item?id=2758258", "user": "paulbaumgart"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "wpietri", "comments": [{"comment": "No shit. I would much rather spend $10k in hardware than have a developer bored while waiting for something to finish.<p>Part of the problem, though, is tools. A lot of things are built for resource use minimization. That made sense 20 years ago, but now I have 8 GB of RAM and 4 fast cores on my desktop, and most of that capacity just sits idle. As far as I'm concerned, if I'm typing and the compiler isn't already running then it's missing an opportunity.", "link": "item?id=2755867", "user": "wpietri"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "bartl", "comments": [{"comment": "<a href=\"http://xkcd.com/303/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://xkcd.com/303/</a> ?", "link": "item?id=2755222", "user": "bartl"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "lars512", "comments": [{"comment": "That's one of the legitimate reasons to switch to an interpreted language, or else Go. Unless you value your compilation off-time :)", "link": "item?id=2758071", "user": "lars512"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "keeran", "comments": [{"comment": "Or a long-running test/spec suite :)", "link": "item?id=2755285", "user": "keeran"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 6, "names": "atrevisan", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>7. A device that automatically disables any cell phone in any car within 50 car lengths of me and heading in my direction.</i><p>Thanks, you just disabled my GPS, so now I'm looking at my phone trying to figure out what's wrong, instead of looking at the road. That's an idiotic idea if I ever heard one.", "link": "item?id=3132371", "user": "swombat"}, {"comment": "I know <i>my</i> rate of karma increase decreased substantially when I quit my previous job and started working for a small company (a startup, for a loose definition of \"startup\").<p>I don't know if historical karma values are readily available, it would be interesting to plot the rate of change over time.", "link": "item?id=2755358", "user": "gvb"}, {"comment": "How much can you save per month by being frugal? Top several thousands dollars per month.<p>I prefer to focus my efforts on maximizing my income, which is theoretically unlimited, instead of minimizing my personal expenses, which are limited to $2K/month.", "link": "item?id=3117651", "user": "nivertech"}, {"comment": "\"I prefer to build stuff for paying customers.\"<p>Thanks for this brave sentence. I already started to think it was only me.", "link": "item?id=2528713", "user": "mironathetin"}, {"comment": "I don't think you can compare generational innovation. These things are all relative. It's hard for me to believe that today's minds who are building a supercomputer that can reproduce human logic and understanding couldn't produce the Manhattan Project.<p>We aren't becoming more short-term focused, rather the future is shrinking. A 20 year time frame in past generations is now 3 years. In this day, if you have a long-term scope and vision you will become obsolete in five years. Adaptation is crucial to innovation as well.", "link": "item?id=2255675", "user": "atrevisan"}, {"comment": "It'd be nice to put in another curve for 'value of HN comments in shaping startups.'<p>Do those peaks feed periods of frenzied success (inspiring people to do better stuff faster)?<p>Or do they lag periods of success (pearls of wisdom come out when people are past the sweat-soaked white knuckle phase)?<p>Or is there some other correlation?", "link": "item?id=2257613", "user": "jdap"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "billswift", "comments": [{"comment": "Do GSM jammers also affect GPS devices?<p>It's illegal in most places anyway: <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_jammer#Legalities\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_jammer#Legalities</a>", "link": "item?id=3132410", "user": "bobds"}, {"comment": "On the other hand, as todsul pointed out, cutting your expenses can give you more money to invest. Cutting costs that also eat up your time also gives you more time to increase your earnings potential. Owning many things brings to mind the definition of a boat as \"a hole in the water into which you pour money\" and your time.", "link": "item?id=3117867", "user": "billswift"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "egypturnash", "comments": [{"comment": "If you use an Android phone then you're streaming map data off of Google's servers. The Maps app <i>does</i> cache stuff but there's only so much room.<p>Also other stuff like traffic conditions...", "link": "item?id=3132546", "user": "egypturnash"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "kamaal", "comments": [{"comment": "There is only X amount of time and Y amount of energy you can use to 'maximize your income'.<p>Now come to think of this. If you choose to go this way More expense imply more work. How long can you can you continue doing this. Unless you have a business which you can milk like a cash cow, a salaried employee can only go so far with 'Work more earn more' attitude to match his increasing expenses.<p>The only approach is to know to how to save and invest appropriately.", "link": "item?id=3119626", "user": "kamaal"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "alexallain", "comments": [{"comment": "It's worth noting that you are better off tax-wise saving one dollar than earning the same dollar. I didn't expect it to impact your argument that much, but given that the 2010 income tax rate in Israel is 44% for anyone making over ~90K/yr, 2K in savings is roughly equivalent to 3.5K in marginal income. From what I gathered last time I was in Israel, that was a pretty significant amount of income.", "link": "item?id=3118712", "user": "alexallain"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 6, "names": "chc", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; Axiom: Boring work can never compete with Hacker News.<p>&#62; Axiom: Hacker News can never compete with interesting work.<p>I disagree[1] with your second axiom. HN, in limited quantities[2], counts as professional development, I would say. That means that limited HN usage is <i>necessary</i>, which certainly helps it \"compete\".<p>If I were interviewing someone for a programming job, and I learned that they never read HN or SO or Proggit or /. or anything like that, then I would have some serious reservations about them.<p>-----------------<p>[1] Okay, being a mathematician, I know that an axiom simply <i>is</i>; one doesn't agree or disagree with it. But this does mean that your theorem has limited applications.<p>[2] HN in large quantities, on the other hand ....", "link": "item?id=2756529", "user": "ggchappell"}, {"comment": "Great ideas, Ed. Way to bring the thinky.<p>Though I have to ask...why haven't you made any of these things? Your #1, #4, and #5 seem like weekend projects. I can think out the basis of the technical solutions for all of them while just sitting here. Granted, there are much better ways to spend a weekend. But hooking up my cell phone to the house lights sounds like it might be kind of fun.<p>In general, why don't more hackers make stuff like this? It seems like coming up with the long list of ideas is the hard part. Is it that putting the things together is just too much work?", "link": "item?id=3132676", "user": "hooande"}, {"comment": "<i>We only get one chance at this life, and the thing that bothers me the most is, \"What are you missing that you're too frugal to consider?\"</i><p>And I ask instead, \"What are you missing because you have to spend so much time working?\"", "link": "item?id=3118221", "user": "colanderman"}, {"comment": "<i>I've never done this and have never understood why people think it's so important. I prefer to build stuff for paying customers. They're never bashful and are a great way to get really good really quickly</i><p>This is explicitly advice to new programmers. If you're established and have people who <i>want</i> to pay you money, sticking to paying customers makes sense. But do you really think that applies to people who are new? I mean, who in their right mind would want to pay Joe Justlearnedpython to build their stuff? From what I hear, even many people who actually know what they're doing but haven't had their name \"out there\" have a hard time finding paying work.<p>(I can't speak from experience. I'm not primarily a freelancer, and I pretty much only do it when somebody I know comes up to me and says, \"Hey, I need X. Can you provide it?\" But I don't feel like I could just magically get clients if I wanted them.)", "link": "item?id=2529650", "user": "chc"}, {"comment": "I'd love to find links to old newspaper articles talking about building interstate highways and such. Doing nearly anything today seems like it is near impossible. The costs, the time, and the political divisiveness (at even the city local level) makes doing a monorail or adding a line seem like Roe v Wade.", "link": "item?id=2255213", "user": "kenjackson"}, {"comment": "Nice chart. How did you make it?", "link": "item?id=2254934", "user": "cmars232"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "narrator", "comments": [{"comment": "Interesting work will teach you <i>far</i> more than HN will. It's very easy to overestimate the amount of professional development you get from Internet websites, because at the end of a session, you can point to an article and say \"I learned that\". However, at the end of a project, you will very rarely be able to point to something and say \"I learned that\", but you will have unconsciously absorbed so many problem-solving techniques that you're miles ahead of the guys who sat and read a book the whole time.<p>I say this as someone who sat on the Internet and read websites about programming all through college. Yes, it was useful - but nowhere near as useful as the time I spent actually programming.", "link": "item?id=2757480", "user": "nostrademons"}, {"comment": "#4 a weekend project?", "link": "item?id=3133636", "user": "robot"}, {"comment": "The health care debate in the U.S is a microcosm of all this. The only thing that people argue about is how much more money we're going to spend on it, and we already spend far more, as a percentage of GDP, on health care than any other nation.<p>Any solution that has to do with process innovation, technology innovation or any sort of thing that would otherwise upset the status quo besides more money is largely ignored. There are so many vested interest involved that the only thing they can all support is even more money being poured down the same old rathole.", "link": "item?id=2255234", "user": "narrator"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "ggchappell", "comments": [{"comment": "Interesting work gets you in-depth knowledge of whatever you need for that specific job. Reading widely (e.g., HN, in small doses, and taken seriously) gets you breadth. I think we need both.", "link": "item?id=2758001", "user": "ggchappell"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "dennisgorelik", "comments": [{"comment": "Interesting work counts as professional development too. So there is no contradiction here.<p>If work is boring then HN reading is the must to compensate in professional development.", "link": "item?id=2756597", "user": "dennisgorelik"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "MattBearman", "comments": [{"comment": "As someone in the enterprise IT space I would like to re-emphasize the writer's point about technical skills being less important than communication and being a valuable team member to management.<p>I have yet to encounter a manager (in the enterprise) who actually cared to take a closer look at the things mentioned in your above list. Managers promote those who make their lives easy and make them look good. They care alot more about whether your status report is up to date, if your time sheet is on time and if you are meeting deadlines than what your program structure is.<p>In fact, as long as it works and conforms to requirements, most managers don't care at all what your program actually looks like and it won't factor one bit into your yearly evaluation.<p>Granted, a poor program structure and organization may make you fail at any of the above mentioned points, which will lead to poor reviews, but the structure itself doesn't matter from my experience.<p>To me, as a technical architect and someone priding myself on my work...it does...but not necessarily to management.", "link": "item?id=2518833", "user": "canterburry"}, {"comment": "What you're saying is that you spend money and it increases your luck surface area; but there are plenty of free ways to do this. You don't need to go on vacation, make extravagant purchases or even go to the coffee shop to meet new people, make contacts, etc.<p>It sounds like you need money to get outside of your social comfort zone. If that works for you, fine. But it's not necessary.<p>Also, don't confuse using money to increase your luck surface area with blatant consumerism. Flying to a conference in Finland is much different than buying a new TV.", "link": "item?id=3117862", "user": "Androsynth"}, {"comment": "#7 would be pretty dangerous.<p>So, the guy suddenly loses his call. He then looks at his phone, trying to figure out what happened. In that time he accidentally swirves into another lane.", "link": "item?id=3132339", "user": "ebiester"}, {"comment": "I can vouch for this, as boredom at my job has gone up, so has my HN usage, I'm probably over an hour a day right now.<p>I'll be handing in my notice as soon as possible.", "link": "item?id=2755641", "user": "MattBearman"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "edw519", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>I have yet to encounter a manager (in the enterprise) who actually cared to take a closer look at the worked performed in your above list.</i><p>I have. Many times. But indirectly. Let me explain...<p>IT Managers get feedback from our customers. You write better software, you will generally get better feedback. Obviously, lots of shit falls through the cracks that managers/users/customers would never be able to tell the difference.<p>But here's the rub...<p>If you don't learn the stuff on my list, sooner or later you will be outed. Someone will need great software and you'll deliver your usual shit. And someone will find out. (Of course, in order to survive, all you have to do is stay one step ahead of the managers and users, and be ready to jump to the next job before you have to.)<p>Why bother to live like that when the easiest and best way is to just learn how to do things right and get really good at what you do. I think that was OP's original point.", "link": "item?id=2518904", "user": "edw519"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "dasil003", "comments": [{"comment": "Yes, this is why so many developers hate the enterprise. But it's hard to imagine any way it could be different (at least outside of the Googles and Facebooks of the world).<p>One powerful remedy to this is contributing to open source. Granted that may be easier said than done depending on where you work, but open source is where you can build a powerful reputation based primarily on technical excellence. In some ways this can be a parallel career ladder where reaching the top means you get the best of both worlds: a high corporate salary plus the freedom to work on whatever you want. That's pretty rare, but in my experience even very modest open source contributions opened doors for me in shockingly short amount of time.", "link": "item?id=2518942", "user": "dasil003"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "strlen", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; <i>Yes, this is why so many developers hate the enterprise. But it's hard to imagine any way it could be different (at least outside of the Googles and Facebooks of the world).</i><p>Huh? This is a false dilemma. There are plenty of places that aren't Google or Facebook that are software technology companies: where managers are technical, where engineers are judged on their technical skills and application thereof. Of course, non-technical skills matter everywhere and generally the larger the company is, the more important self-promotion and politics become. Yet if you're good (not just great), you should be able to find a place where management is technical and your technical skills are an asset: if you haven't, keep studying the fundamentals (interviews heavily focus on Computer Science) and take an active role in your industry (open source, etc...): connections you make, that can vouch for quality of your code <i>will</i> be able to make references that actually get you in the door.", "link": "item?id=2519211", "user": "strlen"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dasil003", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; <i>There are plenty of places that aren't Google or Facebook that are software technology companies</i><p>Hint: \"Googles and Facebooks of the world\" could in fact refer to a company that is not Google or Facebook.", "link": "item?id=2519260", "user": "dasil003"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "strlen", "comments": [{"comment": "Sure, but it also connotes brand name and mainstream recognition. It also suggests that such companies are few and in between. Finally Google and Facebook aren't just technically impressive, they're stand out financially. If it's just a technical organization you're looking for, your choices are much wider.", "link": "item?id=2519281", "user": "strlen"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "nandemo", "comments": [{"comment": "My personal axiom: Boring/Uninteresing work leads to me working more on my personal/startup projects.<p>Thus, I should be looking for a job that has nothing but boring work. :)", "link": "item?id=2756141", "user": "matwood"}, {"comment": "5)<p>Get a laminated card with a magnetic back. The card says \"i am clean\". When you turn on the dishwasher, you put the card on. When you empty it you take the card of. No exceptions.<p>Alternatively you can buy these novelty \"i am in/i am out\" switches that some people have on the door of their kids room.", "link": "item?id=3132488", "user": "tomjen3"}, {"comment": "This is not about being cheap. This guy won't cheap out on food and drinks on a night out, because he doesn't do it very often. He will buy better shoes and clothes than you, because they have to last longer. He will have a nicer house than you, because he has put time into it, and the end, can afford better stuff than you do. Spending wisely and being cheap are very, very different things.", "link": "item?id=3118928", "user": "ricardobeat"}, {"comment": "Really? There's nothing on that list that suggests a guide for sysadmins. It's really about learning the basics of Windows and Unix so that you can not only be more productive but also let the admins do more productive work.<p>&#62; <i>So we developers need to focus more on building better software and leave as much admin as possible to those experts.</i><p>I've worked in a small company where there were only 3-4 sysadmins, and besides the usual user support they were also in charge of maintaing a few hundreds of servers. In this situation you don't want to bother the sysadmins with stuff like \"how do I check if port X on foo is open? Why is ssh asking for my password?\". You want to troubleshoot this kind of thing by yourself, so that admins have more time to build clusters and automate stuff instead.", "link": "item?id=2520215", "user": "nandemo"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "civilian", "comments": [{"comment": "While I was learning how to code (and taking night classes) I worked data entry. Our machines were ubuntu, so they already had python on 'em. In the last few months there, I was spending ~20% of my work time coding. :D<p>Now my job title actually says \"developer\" and I'm kept busy. But I kind of miss all the sandbox time I had. I knocked out so many projecteuler.net problems.", "link": "item?id=2757321", "user": "civilian"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "wglb", "comments": [{"comment": "Have you ever seen a senior citizen try to use an iPod? A better idea would be \"as easy as a toaster.\"", "link": "item?id=3132434", "user": "gkoberger"}, {"comment": "currently reading this bored off my ass on my phone. my development computer is being used to give a presentation! i'm outta here in 2 weeks folks.", "link": "item?id=2759538", "user": "metaprinter"}, {"comment": "The thing that \"cheap\" and \"frugal\" characterizations miss is one that I think is significant (and is noted in other comments in this thread, e.g., ebay) is \"resourceful\".", "link": "item?id=3117486", "user": "wglb"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jlees", "comments": [{"comment": "We recently did a ton of customer development in this area. They are pretty good at using iPads and apps, if the font is scalable, but transitioning between apps is harder. Agreed, though, that \"appliance\" is the mindset to go with.", "link": "item?id=3132729", "user": "jlees"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "gallerytungsten", "comments": [{"comment": "re: \"2. A service which lets me know which restaurants have excess capacity and will give me a discount if I come right now.\"<p>Some of my local pizza places use Twitter to provide this service.<p>re: \"7. A device that automatically disables any cell phone in any car within 50 car lengths of me and heading in my direction.\"<p>Cell phone jammers are readily available, but are illegal in the USA. (This is not legal advice.)", "link": "item?id=3132293", "user": "gallerytungsten"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "dforeman", "comments": [{"comment": "As someone with consumer electronics experience and a 94-year-old grandmother, I actually think #4 is brilliant. She will never understand how to maneuver to email on her iPad, and the abstract 'reply' and 'send' symbols we all take for granted are hieroglyphics to her. There's definitely a market for an always on, single screen email device a toddler could use. Perhaps the stylus isn't dead yet!<p>I don't know the first thing about marketing to senior citizens and their caretakers, but I know I spent hours searching for \"senior citizen email app..\"", "link": "item?id=3132586", "user": "dforeman"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "lotharbot", "comments": [{"comment": "<a href=\"http://www.zoodles.com/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.zoodles.com/</a> is designed for kids, but I think it could be converted or re-imagined for senior use. The video mail system is pretty slick. I bet my kid will have it figured out before he turns 3.<p>Key features for such an e-mail system:<p>- simple addressing. In this case, just click on the picture for who you want to mail.<p>- a big fat \"I'm done, send this!\" button.<p>- email whitelist. No spam, no scams, just people you personally know.<p>- new messages should either be read automatically, or you should get some sort of overlay every time you go into the app that says \"you have new messages from [people]! [BIG read now button] [smaller wait until later button]\" This way, grandma will always see her new messages.", "link": "item?id=3132654", "user": "lotharbot"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "narag", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>5. A device that lets you know whether the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty or clean.</i><p>I would pay for a device that simply washes the dishes at once, one at a time, only dishes.<p>It could be a hybrid of a toaster and a car washing tunnel: you insert the dish and it spins inside the device with sucessive phases of soap, rinse, drying, the the dish pops up, hopefully not falling to the ground.<p>Same for glasses.", "link": "item?id=3134664", "user": "narag"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "frobozz", "comments": [{"comment": "Surely 4 is impossible. Email is both consumption and production. Listening to music is just consumption. By the crudest estimate, that means that any email device must have an interface that is twice as complicated as an ipod.<p>The jokey 7 Reminds me of the time I hitched a lift with a drunk driver, because I concluded that it was safer to be in his car, than walking along the road with all the drunk drivers about. Such a device actually sounds quite dangerous - I'd rather have someone driving towards me talking happily on their 'phone, than looking at it in confusion trying to see how many bars they have.", "link": "item?id=3134239", "user": "frobozz"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "hariis", "comments": [{"comment": "#2: Is Groupon Now doing this?", "link": "item?id=3132363", "user": "hariis"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "vilya", "comments": [{"comment": "Re:#6, there's ReactOS: <a href=\"http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html</a> but I've not used it so I don't know if it fits the \"works\" criteria.", "link": "item?id=3133955", "user": "vilya"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "callmeed", "comments": [{"comment": "So you'd pay for a service that gave you a restaurant discount? How would this be priced so that there's a net savings?", "link": "item?id=3132579", "user": "callmeed"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "ma2rten", "comments": [{"comment": "Concering #6: I worked on ReactOS, for some time, a long time ago. But they still have a long way to go. On the other hand, they also come a long way.", "link": "item?id=3132661", "user": "ma2rten"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "ohashi", "comments": [{"comment": "#4: LinkedSenior.com is similar (not quite what you're describing but solving the same problem I think)", "link": "item?id=3132622", "user": "ohashi"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "earbitscom", "comments": [{"comment": "#2 exists.<p><a href=\"http://www.thinknear.com/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.thinknear.com/</a>", "link": "item?id=3132510", "user": "earbitscom"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "mfenniak", "comments": [{"comment": "#1: There are a few devices out there that work like a Bluetooth headset merged with a cordless home phone. Here's one example: <a href=\"http://www.sigelectronics.com/SIG/Panasonic-KXTG7622-Link-to-Cell-Bluetooth-Cordless-Phone\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.sigelectronics.com/SIG/Panasonic-KXTG7622-Link-to...</a>", "link": "item?id=3132680", "user": "mfenniak"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "coreymaass", "comments": [{"comment": "Analog clean/dirty indicator <a href=\"http://www.zazzle.com/clean_dirty_indicator_dishwasher_magnet-147078147607292534\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.zazzle.com/clean_dirty_indicator_dishwasher_magne...</a>", "link": "item?id=3134292", "user": "coreymaass"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "c3", "comments": [{"comment": "2. Opentable actually does this - they give you up to 10x more \"points\" (redeemable for meals, later) for certain restaurants on quiet nights.", "link": "item?id=3133896", "user": "c3"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "run4yourlives", "comments": [{"comment": "Number 7 rocks. :)", "link": "item?id=3132291", "user": "run4yourlives"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "hornbaker", "comments": [{"comment": "Not sure about that. Here's how it plays out: 1) driver coming towards you gets disconnected from her call; 2) she looks at phone to diagnose problem, starts to redial; 3) drifts across center line just before reaching you...", "link": "item?id=3132357", "user": "hornbaker"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "hugh3", "comments": [{"comment": "Not to worry, I'm sure it's highly illegal anyway.", "link": "item?id=3132386", "user": "hugh3"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "pmikal", "comments": [{"comment": "It'd likely cause a more dangerous condition as the jammed drivers would be fussing with their phones trying to figure out what happened to their signal.", "link": "item?id=3132334", "user": "pmikal"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "civilian", "comments": [{"comment": "#5: Your tongue", "link": "item?id=3132467", "user": "civilian"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "Sniffnoy", "comments": [{"comment": "I have to wonder if someone who can't determine order of execution should be an electrician or plumber either -- those aren't static systems!", "link": "item?id=3132631", "user": "Sniffnoy"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "JonnieCache", "comments": [{"comment": "I guess the point is that there's no \"privileged\" position in these systems which changes with time, like the point of execution in programming.<p>What is the proper name for the bit of code that's currently being executed? I've suddenly realised that its a concept you think about constantly when coding, but its so much a part of the scenery so to speak that you never consciously consider it.", "link": "item?id=3132783", "user": "JonnieCache"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Androsynth", "comments": [{"comment": "At the hardware level it's called the program counter, which is a register containing the address of the current operation the processor is running. After the operation is finished, it increments itself and moves to the next step in the program.<p>Edit: just realized I didn't really answer the question, I believe what your actually talking about is a statement.<p>I usually jump at the chance to talk about stuff from my old EE days :)", "link": "item?id=3132870", "user": "Androsynth"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Zaak", "comments": [{"comment": "The program counter isn't the only element of that \"what the program is doing now\" state though. The context in which the current instruction is being executed makes a world of difference.", "link": "item?id=3133100", "user": "Zaak"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "vogonj", "comments": [{"comment": "inclusive of that, the best term is probably \"machine state\" or similar.", "link": "item?id=3133393", "user": "vogonj"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "calloc", "comments": [{"comment": "I consider the \"context\" the scope. What is the scope in which the current statement is being executed...", "link": "item?id=3134056", "user": "calloc"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "jpendry", "comments": [{"comment": "And the ability to save all of that into a variable so that you can pass it around to other parts of your program means that your programming language supports Continuations.", "link": "item?id=3134966", "user": "jpendry"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "sounds", "comments": [{"comment": "Current instruction or active instruction (at the processor level)<p>Currrent statement or active statement at the code level", "link": "item?id=3132945", "user": "sounds"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "mrb", "comments": [{"comment": "On the amd64/i386 platforms, the Instruction Pointer CPU register points to the executed instruction. Its name is IP for 16-bit code, EIP (extended) for 32-bit code, or RIP (register) for 64-bit code.", "link": "item?id=3133241", "user": "mrb"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "5hoom", "comments": [{"comment": "That's an interesting point.<p>I know that when I'm in the flow coding, there is a sort of <i>Tick:</i>the-program-does-this, <i>Tock:</i>the-program-does-that stepwise execution of the code in my head.<p>There are many answers as to what the hardware is actually doing with the instructions, but more generally what exactly is the name of an imaginary discrete state of a program that currently only exists in a coders head?", "link": "item?id=3133085", "user": "5hoom"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "JonnieCache", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>&#62;but more generally what exactly is the name of an imaginary discrete state of a program that currently only exists in a coders head?</i><p>This is what I'm trying to get at. There isn't one is there? It's weird.", "link": "item?id=3134253", "user": "JonnieCache"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "sambeau", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>What is the proper name for the bit of code that's currently being executed?</i><p>I would have used 'Cursor' or 'Program Cursor'. But I'm now convincing myself that that a database term.", "link": "item?id=3133224", "user": "sambeau"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "kennywinker", "comments": [{"comment": "Top of the stack?", "link": "item?id=3132815", "user": "kennywinker"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Zaak", "comments": [{"comment": "<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coroutine\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coroutine</a>", "link": "item?id=3133109", "user": "Zaak"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "Sniffnoy", "comments": [{"comment": "Program counter?", "link": "item?id=3132837", "user": "Sniffnoy"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "eru", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm glad that as a purely functional programmer I don't have to worry about order of program execution so much.", "link": "item?id=3132326", "user": "eru"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jrockway", "comments": [{"comment": "Unless you are using a magical computer, you still have to worry; there are resources you must manage that depend on the underlying OS and von Neumann architecture.<p>An example that bites Haskell programmers are space leaks due to too much partial evaluation and not enough full evaluation. Other problems include keeping a file open for too long and leaking the fd. An ideal computer has infinite space and no files. A real one... nope :)<p>The advantage of functional programming languages is that you get to write <i>part</i> of your program as though you have an ideal lambda calculus evaluator. But at some point, you still have to realize that there's a grey box under your desk that doesn't know what a lambda or fixed point is. (But this is better than programming languages that say \"hey, you've got a heap, a stack, and some registers! well, so long!\")", "link": "item?id=3132409", "user": "jrockway"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "eru", "comments": [{"comment": "Yes. Notice my choice of words. \"Not so much\" vs \"not at all.\"", "link": "item?id=3132739", "user": "eru"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Xurinos", "comments": [{"comment": "In fairness, \"so much\" fits the \"weasel words\" category (<a href=\"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word</a>). You and jrockway placed different values on the phrase because it is a \"numerically vague expression\". I admit to making similar expressions. :)", "link": "item?id=3134529", "user": "Xurinos"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, "cwan": {"number": 50, "names": "cwan", "comments": [{"comment": "Exactly what I did to get my G1 here in Australia. Bought it outright for around $600 and then went on a $5/month plan with calls and data that are cheap enough ($15/GB).<p>As far as I can see, buying outright always works out cheaper than a hefty plan with all the trimmings included", "link": "item?id=1021864", "user": "Andys"}, {"comment": "While I can't say why others voted it up to the top page I will say that I did find this interesting. From the guidelines: \"Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.\" (<a href=\"http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html</a>)<p>I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in finding the origins of popular things/products/services interesting - and in this case, it's about the origins of a pretty common and national dish as a result of an odd series of ethnic and economic events. More broadly you could say it also speaks a bit to how and why ideas spread.", "link": "item?id=1021779", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Not knowing the details of the judgement, a shut down seems a bit heavy handed and only more likely to bring scorn/attention to Apex (this despite the fact, I disagree with what these opposition groups are advocating).<p>On one hand I sympathize with Apex in that it seems fundamentally wrong that there are those who can attack you with impunity and anonymously online - particularly if they're lying about it. On the other, pursuing court action especially since it is unlikely that those running these sites have deep pockets seems like a PR disaster in the making (not to mention the fact that I think most readers take anonymous postings with a big grain of salt anyway - the legal suit for some will lend legitimacy to those false claims with many suspecting that 'the lady doth protest too much' and that their point may just be about revealing who those posters are to take retribution).", "link": "item?id=1020652", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "That video of the Amazon facility would be extra special if this were true (from the article): \"When we told people were going to do this, someone said 'Whenever I click the order button on Amazon, I always imagine a chorus of happy, singing Oompa-Loompas riding around on Segways and shipping my stuff.'<p>More seriously, the idea of using traveling RV nomads as workers definitely qualifies as a hack. Who would have known that they'd make reliable employees given that based on the article you'd think they're effectively being paid an amount that would make them volunteers compared to their previous jobs? As an aside have you seen the systems made by <a href=\"http://www.kivasystems.com/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.kivasystems.com/</a>? They have a number of videos on youtube.", "link": "item?id=1018142", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I (mostly) agree. It would seem that to do infrastructure especially in the middle of a recession (when you might be able to get it done cheaper) is the time to do it. That being said, you have to layer on the inevitable inefficiencies/corruption when such projects are rushed in order to have any impact to a recession.<p>I wonder if there are more creative ways to go about it like encouraging private firm participation through road privatization (which means that you get the same impacts without the government spend from private firms that are incentivized to be more efficient to maximize ROI). There are also creative experiments like congestion pricing that have the potential to greatly recoup costs while improving productivity.<p>There also obviously environmental impacts though of cheap free roads which have also been blamed for enabling urban sprawl. Again, it would just seem to me that yes, infrastructure is important (and much of the existing infrastructure is aging and needs to be replaced) but the way that we've gone about building it in the past and in how it's being proposed to build out now as stimulus, is less than optimal.", "link": "item?id=1016690", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Here's one: <a href=\"http://reason.com/archives/2008/05/13/kidneys-for-sale\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://reason.com/archives/2008/05/13/kidneys-for-sale</a>", "link": "item?id=1015026", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Another thought if you're still thinking about this and monitoring this discussion - give people a limited number of \"show stopper\" flags intended to draw the attention of moderators. They only get say 1 or 2 over the course of a month - much like dating sites to indicate importance (e.g. plentyoffish with their 2 roses).<p>These could be used either to reward or punish depending on how they're designed but people would use them sparingly if they're given after a certain criteria is reached (e.g. age of account, karma points, etc.). The purpose would be to cut down the noise that moderators/you have to deal with. Thus there could even be karma points and a red flag/green flag score.<p>The red flags might only be visible when you click in to their profile for example so as not to draw attention to their presumably highly offensive postings while the green flags are visible highlighting extraordinary comments.<p>PS I hope you figure out a solution to this as I'm sure I'm not the only one who was alarmed by your comment \"I occasionally find myself thinking lately that I just don't want to be here anymore.\"", "link": "item?id=1009587", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "In the US: \"In 2000, the top 25 percent of all taxpaying filers paid a whopping 83.6 percent of all income taxes. By 2005, they paid 85.6 percent of all taxes. So in spite of tax rate cuts for the well-off, the share of taxes paid by the well-off has risen.\" <a href=\"http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/columnists/sburns/stories/DN-burns_04bus.ART.State.Edition1.4603045.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/columnists/s...</a> - The irony is that tax cuts for the rich under the Bush Administration made taxation more progressive as it grew the overall tax base.<p>More here: <a href=\"http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2007/10/top-1-pay-more-.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2007/10/top-1-pay-mo...</a> \"The new data shows that the top-earning 25% of taxpayers (AGI over $62,068) earned 67.5% of the nation's income, but they paid more than four out of every five dollars collected by the federal income tax (86%). The top 1% of taxpayers (AGI over $364,657) earned approximately 21.2% of the nation's income (as defined by AGI), yet paid 39.4% of all federal income taxes. That means the top 1% of tax returns paid about the same amount of federal individual income taxes as the bottom 95% of tax returns.\"", "link": "item?id=1008773", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I'm sure one of the many lawyers who lurk can elaborate but I'm pretty sure that limited liability doesn't shield managers who commit criminal acts.", "link": "item?id=1008732", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Recognizing and monetizing value isn't something that I'd snub my nose at. The basic idea is that there are often other suitors who can build a company better than you - why should there be any shame in this?<p>I suppose the question of long term value can be pretty subjective, but in a world where the average age of a Fortune 500 company is less the work life of an average worker, and the immensely greater access to markets with ever smaller amounts of capital, it's also fairly easy to see why many of these companies deserve the valuations they get. As someone who likes to drink the \"koolaid\" I tend to think that those who build companies to flip have a much greater likelihood of failure - and it's those who aim to build sustainable and great companies who are often the same ones that create the luck to be bought out at a significant premium. Besides those who do the entrepreneurial thing quickly learn that business is a marathon not a sprint.<p>As for the original quote, I'd disagree. I think it's incredibly important to understand your weaknesses and let's face it, not all entrepreneurs are great managers. Heck, there's practically an entire field of academic research that considers the differences between leaders and managers. Creating an organization and having the ability to come up with the initial ideas does not generally use the same skill sets as building, running and maintaining an organization.", "link": "item?id=1007287", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "If your submission/comment is older than 2 hours old, your ability to delete it expires. I'm also pretty sure you can't delete your account so that your comments that you don't delete within 2 hours or that admins don't delete remain on the record.", "link": "item?id=1052187", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "As a Canadian, that's the bizarre thing I've found about the American system. The US spends more per capita on Medicare than Canadians do on healthcare - you'd think they would want to try to fix that before they tried to \"extend coverage\" and force everyone to participate in a public system. I should point out further though that the Canadian model is less than sustainable. As I've mentioned to others in the past, it took me over 6 months to book a physical and unless you know people access to specialists is a very lengthy wait.", "link": "item?id=1051419", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Largely irrelevant - at least for now, since Twitter, Facebook and a host of other social networking sites are currently blocked in China.", "link": "item?id=1051100", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I have to imagine they have also weighed the business calculus on this. Where they might lose in China for now, will enhance their reputation elsewhere - particularly given how they've come under increased criticism in a wide range of fields. This decision whether intentionally so or in keeping with their stated mission is highly symbolic.<p>Further, don't think this won't help them in China over the long run either. When a \"glastnost\" comes to China, as it did Russia, if they're clever about marketing, using Google could ultimately be a symbol of new found freedoms. The fact that the Chinese government has made it difficult for them to operate, given competitors an operational advantage and enabled hackers that attack them and other firms, must make it an easier risk to take.<p>Being the idealist I am, I want to believe, and I think there's a good probability that doing the right thing here, will mean greater profits now <i>and</i> in the future.", "link": "item?id=1048927", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I do think he makes a good point though that \"Your patient, non-bastard supporters are the lifeblood of your community\" and these are the people who have to be protected. Whether his approach is the right one is arguably questionable.", "link": "item?id=1047005", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "An addendum from Fred Wilson (another one of the partners at USV): <a href=\"http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/01/why-we-need-an-independent-invention-defense.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/01/why-we-need-an-independent-i...</a> -<p>\"But anyone who has spent a significant time in technology based businesses will understand that two groups working completely independently from each other will often solve a problem similarly. One group is not copying or ripping off the other group. They are simply coming to similar conclusions about how to get something done.<p>In these cases, it makes no sense to protect one group from the other. Nobody has taken anyone's \"intellectual property.\" Both groups should own their inventions outright without having to license technology from the other.\"", "link": "item?id=1046750", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "That's a pretty cool program that's evolved with other NGO's using SMS messages to cell phones. The proliferation of mobiles and utility of cheap cell phones has been a massive boost to productivity in rural areas. One of the key market barriers continues to be consistent logistics given the shelf life of agricultural products which means some of these middlemen still have a significant upper hand.", "link": "item?id=1046683", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I'm not sure how \"dumb\" it is to consider the economics of resource consumption/exploration/extraction. On a practical level, the last drop of oil will never be consumed or x resource mined because substitutes develop and markets are forward looking.<p>While this article doesn't talk about the substitutes specifically, have a look at the availability of natural gas as just an example of why energy prices will go down. What I think they suggest here though is that politics and technology make it more available. Now as for \"serious analysis\", it's impossible to predict what new technologies will show up in the future as the massive _new_ abundance in natural gas in the last couple years (compare to just 4-5 years ago) shows.<p>Now consider the emerging technologies that could have a major impact on reducing both cost and carbon dioxide emissions (e.g. thorium, pebblebed, thin film solar, concentrated solar, non-corn biofuels, etc.). To bet that we'll \"run out\" of oil/peak oil is to place a bet against our ability to innovate and adapt.", "link": "item?id=1043961", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I think a large part of the problem is the crass level of hypocrisy involved here. We look to leaders to be well... leaders. To paraphrase others, it's difficult to think of climate as a problem when the people who are telling us it's a problem aren't behaving as such. It's as if they're asking the rest of us to make all the sacrifices when they make few to none.<p>As I've said elsewhere, I've personally made some changes and tried to reduce waste and I do think that AGW seems likely though the science appears far from certain.", "link": "item?id=983899", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Quote from deceiver.com (<a href=\"http://deceiver.com/2009/12/07/no-sleep-till-carbonhagen/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://deceiver.com/2009/12/07/no-sleep-till-carbonhagen/</a>): \"Taking a private jet to a conference on stopping global warming is a bit like traveling in a sedan chair carried by indentured servants to a summit on stopping human trafficking.\"", "link": "item?id=983853", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "For those of us who didn't know who this is: <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Baker_%28computer_scientist%29\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Baker_%28computer_scienti...</a>", "link": "item?id=983719", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Startups are still far more than just their teams. This is different - the author seems to be arguing for something broader as if they create a shared contract technical organization underneath each of the 3+ ventures that may go in wildly different directions.<p>A few problems come immediately to mind - people and personality conflicts. Can you imagine 3 CEO typess competing for resources/timing on various projects? It might sound ideally initially but conflicts in time and resources are bound to happen.<p>The second is trying to convince each startup founder that their idea is equivalent to the other two and the timing/stage of development is the same. I doubt it's an impossible idea, but certainly not an easy one to execute. A lot of (contractual) planning for \"worst case scenarios\" would be especially important here.", "link": "item?id=982006", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "It is - <a href=\"http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6945445.ece\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article694...</a> - and I agree, instead of the stonewalling and name calling, more data and transparency is far more helpful.", "link": "item?id=981239", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I found the article to be unnecessarily patronizing. The idea that the general public can't handle the truth on any number of subjects is simple arrogance. Wasn't it revealed that McCain and Obama shared common ancestry way back? How is it possibly even shocking that yes, there is \"mis-attributed paternity and covert mating between classes, castes, regions and ethnicities\"?<p>Take this, one of the final and most bizarre statements: \"If the shift from GWAS to sequencing studies finds evidence of such politically awkward and morally perplexing facts, we can expect the usual range of ideological reactions, including nationalistic retro-racism from conservatives and outraged denial from blank-slate liberals.\"<p>I agree with you - it'll be a blow to political correctness, but I'm guessing there won't be the \"nationalistic retro-racism\" the author seems to hype - at least no more so than exists now. But even for political correctness, there will always be those who will deny that differences exist in the face of evidence (just as in the case of \"nationalistic retro-racism\") as the recent gender studies skirmishes show.", "link": "item?id=979233", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "What do you suppose the practical military applications for this is? (and maybe a corollary is if this solution was worth 40K + whatever overhead was required)<p>This is what the challenge says: \"The Challenge explores basic research issues such as mobilization, collaboration, and trust in diverse social networking constructs and could serve to fuel innovation across a wide spectrum of applications.\"<p>That's pretty general, and we now know the solution - so does this have any commercial applications?", "link": "item?id=979108", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "A supplementary article that the returns of acquisitions through portfolio companies (known as bolt on acquisitions) can create better value than investments in new firms (from the perspective of an investor) - <a href=\"http://seekingalpha.com/article/175698-the-economics-of-bolt-on-acquisitions\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://seekingalpha.com/article/175698-the-economics-of-bolt...</a>", "link": "item?id=976374", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Different source: <a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=973490\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=973490</a>", "link": "item?id=975535", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I suspect that HN is a massive advantage over other incubators that really doesn't ever seem to get talked about. The treasure trove of data for finding and keeping the best candidates alone... and it's not something that can be easily copied - though how the magic can be kept alive as it grows seems to be an open question.", "link": "item?id=2483978", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Not sure how you figure. The scarcity that they are targeting here is the intersect between entrepreneurs with a higher probability of success. Venture capital/angel investors follow whichever sectors offer the greatest growth / future economic value. The article does not suggest that there is any sector that is being targeted.", "link": "item?id=2014875", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "All forms of insurance are financial instruments. Not all forms of insurance are as regulated. Premiums are another word for savings/downpayments for some potential future payout. Insurance is an appropriate word for credit default swaps - as it is insuring against the default on a given loan.<p>In this case, I have my doubts as to how significant the role CDS's played in the crisis in the first place given that after they were all netted out, the actual size of the market was nowhere near the initial scare numbers put out in the press. Here's a decent overview of how the market works: <a href=\"http://www.wilmott.com/blogs/satyajitdas/index.cfm/2009/4/12/Credit-Default-Swaps--Through-The-Looking-Glass\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.wilmott.com/blogs/satyajitdas/index.cfm/2009/4/12...</a><p>More here: <a href=\"http://seekingalpha.com/article/138047-how-cds-spreads-affect-equity?source=yahoo\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://seekingalpha.com/article/138047-how-cds-spreads-affec...</a><p>In the aftermath I figure we'll probably find that the much larger issue was in the debt markets and fears of the underlying asset values related to subprime cascaded down to other loans.", "link": "item?id=885029", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Who are the ones robbing us blind here? The problem wasn't so much the underwritten credit derivatives - for which there's an actual genuine business need, but rather governments who have enabled companies like Goldman Sachs (AIG, and Lehman - which the government of course let go under), instead of letting these guys get reborn through some type of accelerated bankruptcy structure or better yet, collapse to be replaced by nimbler, smaller competitors.", "link": "item?id=884978", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "That's not quite his complaint. His complaint is that despite the project being quite well funded (relative to others), they don't seem to take an active interest in measuring results that they can be accountable to. It is somewhat remarkable that they wouldn't though if the goal of the Millenium Villages is to show others 'the way'.", "link": "item?id=883431", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Absolutely not - but it'd probably be a good idea to find (hire or partner with) those who are strong where you're weak. Check this out - <a href=\"http://www.scribd.com/doc/17772299/Anatomy-of-an-Entrepreneur\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.scribd.com/doc/17772299/Anatomy-of-an-Entrepreneu...</a> - it gives an outline of what the typical entrepreneur looks like. For starters, a typical entrepreneur isn't just coming out of university (and that includes entrepreneurs of tech startups).", "link": "item?id=874340", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Not entirely sure what you're trying to say, but just because someone is unhappy doesn't make them unproductive - certainly and quite likely less productive - but not unproductive (and almost certainly productive enough to be worth more than their cost). While the Economist tries to point some of the blame on measurements on performance, I would make the argument that it's the wrong measures that are the problem. After all, churn/attrition obviously greatly affects productivity/performance as can happiness.<p>I suspect employers have and do get better at managing people as it's always the best ones who are able to (and often do try to) find work elsewhere in good times and bad. For the employers who don't change, they're left with the results of adverse selection.", "link": "item?id=873148", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I don't think that's a uniquely American trait... something about being human. That said, I'm not sure that spending itself was the lesson that needs to be learned - it's about going into debt to spend on things that didn't generate value/and were unnecessary.<p>With respect at least to this point, I think Americans will ultimately be more frugal because they'll have to be (higher interest rates, lower debt ratios). Previously unsustainable low interest rates along with loose loan underwriting obviously didn't help.", "link": "item?id=864561", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "True - thanks. I've modified it by parsing the first sentence in his post.", "link": "item?id=862264", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Quite fortuitously, there was an article Friday in BusinessWeek on the subject: <a href=\"http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/oct2009/sb2009102_031287.htm\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/oct2009/sb20091...</a>", "link": "item?id=861930", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I have a few friends who have more than a thousand facebook \"friends\" but if you were to ask at least one of them how many friends he considered \"close\", he would answer probably none. Personally I see Facebook just as something of a way to keep in touch with contacts - I really don't see it as anything more than that. Not that I really care either way, I'd be more curious about the question of how many facebook friends the average user would consider to be friends let alone good friends offline.", "link": "item?id=859536", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "This is very sad. Deepest condolences to his family and friends. Really makes the poll that was done only a few days ago more brutally shocking: <a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=849650\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=849650</a><p>Sometimes it's really difficult to ask for help. Building a support network is one of those paradoxical things... if you don't have one already it makes it even more difficult to build one. And for some people (as it appears in the case of Dan), the saddest thing is that it may not even matter making it worse for those left behind.", "link": "item?id=859294", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I use witopia.net - great service - but make sure you get the more expensive ssl package (and play around trying the various nodes). As others have said, it is truly the best $60 bucks I've ever spent if you're a frequent traveler in China. I use it to watch hulu, youtube, facebook, etc. Sometimes it's a bit slower than I'd like but I often find that using it I can get foreign sites faster than even going direct.", "link": "item?id=856593", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "You may have misread the quote. It's more than a 0.1 standard deviation:<p>\"At the end of two years of the program, students in incentive schools performed significantly better than those in comparison schools by 0.28 and 0.16 standard deviations (SD) in math and language tests respectively....\"<p>That's 0.28 for math and 0.16 for language. I'd say that's pretty significant - especially for a large sample size. In this case presumably because of the sample size it's more than being about \"power/tools/money\".", "link": "item?id=852465", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "On a practical level you could probably extend the analogy to illustrating the effectiveness of using \"us\" against \"them\" rhetoric.", "link": "item?id=849760", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "That's not quite how I read it. Agree with it or not, this guy seems to be a fan of Comcast. The complaint is that these companies often treat new customers better than loyal customers... which is a huge and short sighted mistake - but also one a lot of companies make.", "link": "item?id=849751", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Not sure there's a right number but you do have to make sure that you contact the right people (ie those who have the power and interest in buying). If the need is sufficiently great, you may only need a sample size of one to start - especially if they're willing to bankroll the development. I've had a few fortunate friends who have built a business that way.", "link": "item?id=849570", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "As a sometimes follower of GTD, I also find dumping my to do's from my mind onto paper is remarkably energizing/motivating.", "link": "item?id=848969", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I've heard that the three strikes law in Arizona is supposed to apply only to more \"serious\" and \"violent\" felonies with only certain felonies counting as \"strikes\". Does marijuana possession falls under this category? <a href=\"http://www.kvoa.com/global/story.asp?S=4808026\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.kvoa.com/global/story.asp?S=4808026</a> [It'd be crazy if it did?]", "link": "item?id=847797", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "What I personally find interesting about the story is the execution and optimization to get such remarkable margins in what should be a commoditized business:<p>\"We built software with computational algorithms to determine what the optimal number of boxes to have in the warehouse is and what the sizes of those boxes should be. Should we stock five different kinds of boxes to ship product in? Twenty kinds? Fifty kinds? And what size should those boxes be? Right now, it's 23 box sizes, given what we sell, in order to minimize the cost of dunnage (those little plastic air-filled bags or peanuts), the cost of corrugated boxes, and the cost of shipping. We rerun the simulation every quarter. Using the right box probably adds close to 1 margin point.\"<p>1% is incredible - that works out to being 890K+/year (though that might depend on what their \"null\" case is/was).", "link": "item?id=847175", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I think their lack of disclosure has already severely damaged them.<p>Ultimately, in this case it would seem the damage will be pretty brutal unless Nate Silver was wrong. Either they don't sue and don't disclose and the result is no one trusts them enough to pay for their polling (after all, what's the point in paying for a poll if it's going to come under question afterwards?) or they'll sue while not releasing the support for their polls/data on their merits - and that also opens them up to discovery which could be even more damaging.<p>The best case scenario at this point is if they can publicly prove Nate Silver is wrong. And based on their policies in the past of not releasing the additional supporting data, I suspect this won't happen.", "link": "item?id=846524", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Have you bothered to read Lomborg's rebuttal? It thoroughly addresses each of the claims that Friel makes [at least in the book review]. (as linked by Luyt: <a href=\"http://www.lomborg.com/dyn/files/basic_items/118-file/BL%20reply%20to%20Howard%20Friel.pdf\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.lomborg.com/dyn/files/basic_items/118-file/BL%20r...</a>)<p>Did you even read Begley's screed? As WindsofChange notes: <a href=\"http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/where_tone_torpedoes_credibility.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/where_tone_torpedoes_c...</a>, Newsweek discredits itself in its opening paragraph. Since when is \"fact checking\" so distasteful so as to be considered to be one of the worst jobs by Newsweek? I mean isn't that supposed to be sort of their job? And they wonder why circulation continues to freefall (falling from 2.6M to 1.5M <a href=\"http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-washington-post-company-reports-2009-and-fourth-quarter-earnings-2010-02-24?reflink=MW_news_stmp\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-washington-post-company...</a>) in one year alone!<p>There was no \"debunking\" here. What exists, appears a desperate editor watching her circulation plunge while she attempts to hype a made up controversy to plug the hole.<p>There's a journalistic dictum if I recall that goes something like: \"extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence\" [Thanks sailormoon for the correction]. The evidence from both Begley and Friel do not rise to this level especially as Begley attempts to trash not only Lomborg, casting aspersions on both the reviewers of Lomborg's work and Lomborg himself. What is particularly galling is how profoundly unskeptical Newsweek was of Friel's claims and the remarkably anti-intellectual stance they've taken.", "link": "item?id=1148261", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Not sure why you're getting downvotes for this. Lomborg's defense directly addresses Friel's rather serious claims (the same cannot be said for Friel). On the other hand, at least as this blog notes: <a href=\"http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/where_tone_torpedoes_credibility.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/where_tone_torpedoes_c...</a>, we now know quite clearly where Newsweek stands on the issue especially as they outsource their skepticism to foreign news services despite recent challenges to the \"gold-standard\" IPCC reports.", "link": "item?id=1148258", "user": "cwan"}], "children": [{"number": 28, "names": "vlod", "comments": [{"comment": "There are very few examples that you could point to where privatizing a public good has been successful. In general it leads to rent-seeking behavior and slow decay while the current owners try to wring every last possible nickel and dime out of users before reselling the husk down the line to someone else who thinks they can squeeze a few more pennies before the state eventually steps back in to clean up the mess. Private enterprise does exceedingly well in many areas, but infrastructure and sustainable resource management are not areas where it excels.", "link": "item?id=1016715", "user": "evgen"}, {"comment": "I believe that $10 an hour is decent pay for relatively unskilled itinerant labor. My wife says she made about that much working in an actual bookstore. And it's apparently more than the average full-time position at Wal-Mart will pay unless you're a department manager:<p><a href=\"http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Wal-Mart_Stores,_Inc/Hourly_Rate\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Wal-Mart_Stores...</a><p>It's not easy work -- you're on your feet all day -- but no harder than the rest of retail. Plus you don't have to actually deal with the general public during the holiday season, which is worth a lot right there.", "link": "item?id=1018525", "user": "mechanical_fish"}, {"comment": "<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect</a><p>I didn't even know Apex existed.", "link": "item?id=1020690", "user": "huherto"}, {"comment": "Fair enough. I certainly don't disagree; I was just interested in the reasoning behind it.", "link": "item?id=1021855", "user": "NathanKP"}, {"comment": "That's around the same price you pay for phone + unlimited dataplan in germany (atleast for iphone and G1).", "link": "item?id=1022090", "user": "buster"}, {"comment": "Thanks, I was just dubious about the 'one day' bit (which I don't think is mentioned here) but it is certainly interesting nonetheless. I'm actually surprised there's no religious objections standing in the way of organ donation in Iran.", "link": "item?id=1015966", "user": "nopassrecover"}, {"comment": "It doesn't. It does shield shareholders. Sharesholders control what a company does, by choosing its directors, so if they are made responsible for a company's misdeeds, they'll have an incentive to police it.", "link": "item?id=1008823", "user": "cabalamat"}, {"comment": "Can I contact the admin to have my submissions deleted. I really need to.", "link": "item?id=1056608", "user": "tupsi"}, {"comment": "It's relevant for other snooping &#38; MITM attacks. Twitter's DNS hack last month was cause for concern for me.", "link": "item?id=1051207", "user": "pronoiac"}, {"comment": "The more right you are, the more significant this is.<p>Already Google have made a lot of people believe that \"Don't be Evil\" is a good business strategy. Regardless of the truth of this sentiment, it is to the benefit of society.<p>The more the slogan is fleshed out and the more evidence accrues that this is indeed good business practice, the more companies will follow.", "link": "item?id=1048961", "user": "netcan"}, {"comment": "It is extremely questionable. However, on the occasions I stopped doing what I do (usually because I felt that I was starting to burn out and be too much of an asshole even for my own tastes) nothing anybody else did helped very much and eventually I got asked to come back by a number of the nice people because the standard of behaviour was sliding and they weren't being listened to because they were, well, being too nice.<p>So I can't claim my approach is right, only that it works and that in the absence of somebody finding a better one I'll continue to follow it - and I'm reasonably comfortable that in this case the ends -do- justify the means, at least according to my own moral calculus.", "link": "item?id=1047035", "user": "mst"}, {"comment": "Yes, there's a problem with my original post; no, it's not related to federal transfers -- it's correct to exclude them from the calculation. The problem is that Texas (bizarrely) allocates its budget on a biennial basis. I didn't read the documents closely enough, and had assumed that 2009-2010 meant fiscal 2009-2010. Oops.<p>From the same Texas source, table A-12, the estimated total state revenue is $39.3 Bn for fiscal 2009. Thus, the per-capita revenue numbers for fiscal 2009 would be $1,617.30, versus $2,391 for California. So, I'm wrong. Texas takes in about 32% less per capita than California.", "link": "item?id=1044198", "user": "timr"}, {"comment": "Nearly all instances of \"we'll run out of oil\" are calls to action to innovate and adapt to ensure that the problem never comes to pass.<p>Claiming it's a bet against that is disingenuous at best.", "link": "item?id=1044122", "user": "mschy"}, {"comment": "Small stuff won't solve global warming. Not yours, not mine, not politicians.<p>It is of no use to care so much about these small details.", "link": "item?id=983922", "user": "ugh"}, {"comment": "I could imagine three CEO types competing for resources &#38; timing on various projects, but I can't imagine skilled developers or designers working for them for long.", "link": "item?id=982046", "user": "gyardley"}, {"comment": "It was Obama and Dick Cheney.", "link": "item?id=979313", "user": "mlinsey"}, {"comment": "It's a good solution to any 'spot the terrorist' type problem.<p>As for commercial applications, maybe marketing as it incentivizes spamming your friends and family.", "link": "item?id=979146", "user": "dschobel"}, {"comment": "What data are you referring to, specifically? Anyone can lurk HN threads or crawl user profiles for karma data.", "link": "item?id=2484183", "user": "teaspoon"}, {"comment": "Would you be happier if I had said sectors instead of a sector? Or do you have in mind a sector that gets a significant amount of venture funding that also suffers from high unemployment?<p>Most venture also wants to see ideas that can scale well non-linearly with employee count. This leads to the few ballpark successes being pretty job light compared to their revenue. Which is better for the economy, cash hoarding and dividends or continual reinvestment in expanding into new markets?", "link": "item?id=2014960", "user": "trotsky"}, {"comment": "No credit defaults swaps are NOT insurance they are a swap. They <i>can</i> be used to hedge 'bets' as options can be used to hedge positions.<p>Heres a link: <a href=\"http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/07/04/why-insurance-commissioners-should-not-regulate-cds/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/07/04/why-insuran...</a>", "link": "item?id=885038", "user": "vlod"}, {"comment": "I think the general thought is that a few banks would fail, nobody would really care (because they are sleaze anyway) and everything would continue as normal. errh.. no.<p>They let a few banks die and look at the global effect. Imagine if they let everything tumble down.<p>The banks are <i>very</i>-<i>very</i> tightly coupled together, such that the whole system nearly collapsed.<p>Thats not just the finance industry, thats the whole economy.", "link": "item?id=885006", "user": "vlod"}, {"comment": "PDF version:<p><a href=\"http://www.kauffman.org/uploadedFiles/ResearchAndPolicy/TheStudyOfEntrepreneurship/Anatomy%20of%20Entre%20071309_FINAL.pdf\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.kauffman.org/uploadedFiles/ResearchAndPolicy/TheS...</a><p>And Google cache HTML:<p><a href=\"http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:FKhjp-qc6sIJ:www.kauffman.org/uploadedFiles/ResearchAndPolicy/TheStudyOfEntrepreneurship/Anatomy%2520of%2520Entre%2520071309_FINAL.pdf+anatomy+of+an+entrepreneur&#38;cd=4&#38;hl=en&#38;ct=clnk&#38;gl=us\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:FKhjp-qc6sIJ:www.kauffm...</a><p>I never thought I'd find myself suggesting a PDF version, but I really do hate iPaper that much. If only Scribd had put all that effort into doing a PDF to HTML converter that doesn't suck...", "link": "item?id=874384", "user": "nostrademons"}, {"comment": "If I could afford any premium vpn, it would be a great choice. Thanks any way.", "link": "item?id=857226", "user": "juvenn"}, {"comment": "My skills in stats aren't quite current but this was from a large sample size - covering 500 schools and more than 55,000 students.<p>From the wikipedia article on statistical significance (<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance</a>): \"Given a sufficiently large sample, extremely small and non-notable differences can be found to be statistically significant, and statistical significance says nothing about the practical significance of a difference.\"<p>This isn't even \"extremely small\". From the report: \"The mean treatment effect of 0.22 SD is equal to <i>9 percentile points</i> at the median of a normal distribution. We find a minimum average treatment effect of 0.1 SD at every percentile of baseline test scores, suggesting broad-based gains in test scores as a result of the incentive program.\"", "link": "item?id=853236", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Why is it a huge and short sighted mistake? Without data, this statement is unsupportable. As a numbers guy, I'm inclined to believe it's a smart decision. In most jurisdictions, the cable operator has a monopoly. That's why cities offer franchises. If your current customers can't easily switch, then why on earth would you give them a break?<p>Now, as we start seeing competition from telcos, these \"for new customers only\" deals go away - everyone becomes a free agent when their contracts are up. We see this in the relatively competitive cell phone market: once your contact is up, you can get a new, fully subsidized phone from your current carrier.", "link": "item?id=849785", "user": "sachinag"}, {"comment": "You are correct. The Arizona three strikes law only applies to aggravated or violent felonies, not all felonies. The law lists 24 kinds of felony that are considered aggravated or violent (they are things like murder, assault resulting in injury, sexual assault, kidnapping, terrorism, arson). Drug crimes are not among them.<p>Here's the statute: <a href=\"http://law.justia.com/arizona/codes/title13/00713.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://law.justia.com/arizona/codes/title13/00713.html</a>", "link": "item?id=847865", "user": "michaelkeenan"}, {"comment": "I remember being shocked that \"packaging\" was a four-year bachelor's program when I went to my university. After some examination of the curriculum, I was convinced. (Though I still don't know what you do for a PhD....)<p>Anyhow, my point is that rather than stunning innovation, that sounds rather like Packaging 101. However, I'm sure that's because that's the summary for the journalists and I wouldn't be surprised that they are doing actually innovative stuff beyond a journalist's grasp... because as we should all know by now, getting past a journalist's level of knowledge is not a challenge.", "link": "item?id=847497", "user": "jerf"}, {"comment": "I have no way to assess Lomborg's rebuttal without having a copy of Friel's book and Lomborg's earlier books to hand. I have a copy of one of Lomborg's books, but not where I am right now, and don't have Friel's at all. However, I don't think I believe that Lomborg's 27-page rebuttal can possibly address every claim made by Friel in a 272-page book, no matter how wrong those claims might be. (Rebutting claims, even very wrong ones, notoriously takes more space and time than making them.)<p>The Newsweek review does not claim that fact checking is a distasteful job. It claims that <i>fact checking Lomborg</i> is a distasteful job. The two are not equivalent.<p>No one is claiming that the Newsweek review does any debunking. It reports on someone else's alleged debunking.<p>Just for reference: Have you read Friel's book and checked his analysis of Lomborg's references?", "link": "item?id=1148414", "user": "gjm11"}], "children": [{"number": 13, "names": "cwan", "comments": [{"comment": "So if I buy a few stocks in microsoft as a %0.00001 stock holder and microsoft get's another anti-trust charge I should be held liable too?", "link": "item?id=1009227", "user": "elai"}, {"comment": "\"There are very few examples that you could point to where privatizing a public good has been successful.\" I suppose that depends on how a public good is defined. After all, airlines for some countries were considered to be in the national interest to the point that many were owned by their national governments - ditto for steel plants, etc.<p>These days, I'm not sure the issue is black and white what with quasi public/private partnerships where an infrastructure project is owned by the public but leased to an infrastructure firm, or capital is raised using bonds sold to the public.<p>I think it's a bit naive to think that in the hands of government, rent seeking behavior doesn't happen - it is possibly even worse with contracts developed and awarded based on political connections/favor or in building roads/infrastructure in places that neither need it or even want it in some cases. There are however good and bad ways to privatize as well. I live in Ontario and the privatization of the 407 has been highly successful (both profitable and useful for private users and performs its function admirably). I try to avoid it during rush hour because of the cost (as is encouraged) but it's quite well maintained and built. Can you provide a few examples where roads have been privatized but made public again because \"rent-seeking behavior and slow decay while the current owners try to wring every last possible nickel and dime out of users before reselling the husk down the line to someone else who thinks they can squeeze a few more pennies\"?", "link": "item?id=1016760", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I'm sure there's no harm in trying: <a href=\"http://ycombinator.com/contact.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://ycombinator.com/contact.html</a> - whether or not they'll do anything about it is a different question since there are good reasons why they wouldn't want to let people 'revise history' or 'interrupt the conversation' which is more or less what the site seems to be about.", "link": "item?id=1057026", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "An additional thought: this could potentially be genius from a business strategy standpoint against Microsoft. I confess I've been weighing the possibility of switching to Bing for a variety of reasons but because of this I'm less likely to do so.<p>After the dust settles, if Google is able to change Chinese government policy on search that would be monumental. If they aren't and ultimately leave China, that puts the spotlight on other infotech firms particularly Microsoft which has far more to lose by leaving China. On the other hand, if Microsoft chooses to do nothing and stay, it reinforces in the minds of users internationally a key point of differentiation between Google and Microsoft.", "link": "item?id=1048966", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "It's not that bizarre they budget biennially -- when you consider that the Texas legislature is part-time, and meets only every other year.<p>Given the eternal train-wreck that is California budgeting -- even in good years, they just give away the store in future obligations (like public pensions) that make the bad years twice as bad -- fewer, longer budgets might be a good idea here as well.", "link": "item?id=1044468", "user": "gojomo"}, {"comment": "&#62; Nearly all instances of \"we'll run out of oil\" are calls to action to innovate<p>Hardly. In my experience, most alarmist calls about the finite nature of oil or resource xyz come with it a series of proposals to regulate or \"conserve\" whereas prices in and of themselves provide incentives to increase supply either through greater extraction/technology or substitutes.", "link": "item?id=1044128", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "If global warming is such a big problem as claimed then our collective actions will make a difference. Thinking it doesn't would be like startups not pinching pennies and unnecessarily increasing the burn rate with an underlying assumption of success.", "link": "item?id=983935", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "I'm not so sure about that... seems like the way that the MIT team won was by using an affiliate model. We'll pay you money if you find a balloon. Would that work in a terrorist situation?<p>$2000 for the first terrorist found. Seems like you'd get lots of random arrests in hopes of scoring the $2000.", "link": "item?id=979175", "user": "catch23"}, {"comment": "You're arguing over semantics. Insurance is about making bets. Life insurance? You bet you're going to die, your insurer bets you won't die that soon.<p>From the link you provided: \"Many swaps can be thought of as being like an insurance contract, should one be so inclined.\" Just because you call it insurance, doesn't mean that insurance commissioners should regulate it as such. Just as insurance commissioners shouldn't regulate financial options even though they can also be used conservatively as insurance against given financial risk as much as wild financial bets.", "link": "item?id=885042", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "It's not an easy choice - but the anger is a bit misplaced insofar as Goldman Sachs goes given that the \"us\" here was complicit.<p>The question isn't so much allowing everything tumble down but provide a structure where banks can quickly deal with the losses/asset revaluations and be reborn so that depositors don't fear for the safety of their deposits. To suggest that the choice was binary and that we could have either saved them or let the world descend into chaos as silly as it is untrue.<p>Instead we've created a system where bankers have gotten rewarded for taking outsized risks without fear of the downside and the supposed \"systemic\" risk has gotten even larger as those massive banks have become even larger.", "link": "item?id=885023", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Just in case it was ambiguous, that's $60/year... Granted, not entirely cheap but...<p>You can also consider <a href=\"http://hotspotvpn.com/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://hotspotvpn.com/</a> (I don't know anyone who has it but it was one of the ones that I researched before getting witopia) - $8.88 USD/month if it's the initial $60 that's an issue.", "link": "item?id=858472", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "You are confusing the standard deviation of the sample mean with the standard deviation of the sample.<p><a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_limit_theorem\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_limit_theorem</a>", "link": "item?id=853295", "user": "yummyfajitas"}, {"comment": "The Lomborg Deception isn't out yet (March 16 is the ship date according to Amazon). I should have specified that Lomborg addresses each of Friel's claims made in the book review/editorial and then some.<p>Why would fact checking anyone, that by Newsweek's own admission has had high praise from policy makers and any number of publications, be \"distasteful\"? Newsweek makes the claim that Friel's book is a debunking and achieves its task by referencing three of his primary claims. Begley however does not even bother to thoroughly examine them or take Lomborg's pointed rebuttals into consideration in her sloppy \"analysis\".", "link": "item?id=1148475", "user": "cwan"}], "children": [{"number": 8, "names": "timr", "comments": [{"comment": "The book \"Creative Capitalism\" features a discussion, sparked by Bill Gate's speech about the ability of tweaking capitalism somehow to serve the very poorest of the world.<p>The economist-headed detractors tended to boil everything down to companies charging higher prices in order to give money to charity. They then explain that this doesn't work because it is proven that customers will buy the ethical option online if it is of equivalent value and price.<p>Being from a marketing background, I immediately pricked my ears at the complaint marketers have at hand wavy economists. Even if we ignore the fact that the value of a product is completely subjective &#38; that it is influenced in many ways on some of which have anything to do with the physical product, getting customers to choose <i>your</i> product when it of \"equivalent price and value\" is the no. one thing a whole heap of companies do. Think how much money goes into ads for washing powder.", "link": "item?id=1049077", "user": "netcan"}, {"comment": "Obviously if you only hold a piffling number of shares, you have little control over the company. So it'd make sens to restrict this to major and/or controlling shareholders.", "link": "item?id=1010592", "user": "cabalamat"}, {"comment": "AFAIK, the biggest problem with California budgeting is the initiative-driven pre-allocation of huge amounts of money that would otherwise be discretionary income. Pensions may play a part, but not nearly to the extent claimed by certain partisan interest groups.", "link": "item?id=1046542", "user": "timr"}, {"comment": "Not sure why people downvotes his comment.<p>Price systems are natural means of conserving/rationing resources.", "link": "item?id=1044192", "user": "kiba"}, {"comment": "Collective. Not a buncha' people meeting once. Those people meet to (hopefully) negoiate how to build useful incentives for a collective change in behaviour. And that's (incentives) what's the important thing. Not symbolic fluff.", "link": "item?id=984066", "user": "ugh"}, {"comment": "The way the MIT team managed \"fraud\" was that a picture was required. This isn't like a spot the terrorist problem either though - but perhaps it also provides insight into how to improve the effectiveness of rewards.<p>It's not like a terrorist is like a red balloon at clearly visible intersections (as per the contest design in this case). But maybe rewards should be designed such that they also incentivize the second order referral network to encourage more people to care (in effect creating something of a decentralized team) - perhaps encouraging a referral network to train others to the task.<p>There are all sorts of problems though if the target is a terrorist though. Recently the bigger problem seems to be home grown terrorists so it's not as if they'd stick out. If the problem is applied to a place like Afghanistan in hunting for insurgents, there could well be a number of disincentives to the local population to reporting it (whether it be out of loyalty or fear) and those disincentives might considerably greater than the incentives - particularly to the referral network - a network I'd add would know your loyalties in a rather dangerous place. Similar problems for finding a bomb or anything that doesn't want to be found for that matter.<p>Maybe there will be a future challenge where the balloons are more hidden. It also reminds me of this: <a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=955793\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=955793</a>", "link": "item?id=979187", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "'but the anger is a bit misplaced insofar as Goldman Sachs goes given that the \"us\" here was complicit.'<p>It was Goldman alum deciding that Lehman should fail and Goldman should get bailed out.", "link": "item?id=885452", "user": "jimbokun"}, {"comment": "Why would fact checking anyone be distasteful? Well, for instance, if I'm understanding correctly what Friel claims, it's something like this: Lomborg makes lots and lots of citations; their relation to the material they're cited in support of is often unclear; it often turns out that they don't in fact support what he's saying. If that's true, then fact-checking him would be a lot of work because of the many citations, and the vagueness of reference that would require more work per citation, and the (hypothetical) fact that often the citations are no good. (Failed searches usually take longer than successful ones.)<p>Begley doesn't claim to be offering analysis. It's a book review. Do you seriously think it would have been appropriate for the review to be twice as long in order to go into more detail on each claim it mentions?<p>Anyway. You say Lomborg addresses \"each of Friel's claims made in the book review\" (weird way of putting it, btw). OK, let's look at the first one: what's happening to the population of polar bears. Well, er, the word \"bear\" doesn't appear in Lomborg's rebuttal. There's a bit about populations of penguins; nothing about polar bears. Oh. Next: heat deaths and cold deaths. There is certainly some discussion of this in Lomborg's rebuttal, but he doesn't seem to have anything to say about one of the most striking claims Begley says Friel makes: that Lomborg cites a study from 2006 as showing that global warming will save 1.4 million lives that would otherwise be lost to deaths from cold, when in fact the figure claimed in that study is 850k. Next: stuff about the Larsen B ice shelf. No occurrence of \"Larsen\" or \"shelf\" in Lomborg's rebuttal.<p>Your claim that Lomborg addresses every claim of Friel's that's found in the book review appears to be totally false. Did <i>you</i> read Lomborg's rebuttal, or did you just hope I wouldn't?<p>Incidentally #1: Why the quotation marks around \"distasteful\"? That word is yours, not Begley's (still less Friel's). Begley used a different term.<p>Incidentally #2: Why the quotation marks around \"analysis\"? My best guess is that it's because I used that word. But I used it about Friel's 272-page book, not Begley's 2ish-page review.<p>Incidentally #3: Why \"book review / editorial\"? It says \"Book review\" at the top. It is dedicated to describing and evaluating a book. Its author is not an editor. It's a book review; it's not an editorial.", "link": "item?id=1149924", "user": "gjm11"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "mschy", "comments": [{"comment": "Just a small quibble - I think you're creating a bit of a strawman in economists. Coming from both an economics and marketing background, I would suggest most economists believe that companies should act in the interests of their shareholders.<p>Charity can be a form of marketing just as creating a culture where at times short term profits may be sacrificed for long term benefits is also very much in the best interests of shareholders. Thus, the beauty of this economic system is that while you can profit by pursuing profit for its own sake (which can mean being charitable), I do think taking a principled approach results in more sustained and greater long term profitability - as I suspect irrespective of the outcome, this will be a case study for years to come.", "link": "item?id=1049137", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Every serious proposal to \"conserve\" oil that I've seen consists of two core components:<p>1) An incentive to use a preferred technology<p>2) A disincentive against using an unfavored technology<p>The basic functionalities of commodity markets aren't questioned by anybody. Implying otherwise is nonsensical.", "link": "item?id=1044328", "user": "mschy"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "netcan", "comments": [{"comment": "I come from a somewhat similar background. I work in marketing and I am somewhat of an amateur economist.<p>I agree with you about the strawman. But many economists or more commonly, people with economics in their backgrounds take this sort of a view. They like to distil things to an economics \"story.\" Sometimes this is a great tool. Sometimes this loses important info. Economics training does come with the danger of this kind of mistake though. I heard that there was a serious divide between students and old timers about Ostrom receiving the Nobel (the students didn't like it).<p>One \"story\" they (the against camp) told was: If being good is more profitable, companies will do it without being told. That's capitalism, nothing <i>creative</i> about it. If it isn't more profitable and they do it, they are forcing shareholders to contribute a charity of the company's choosing.<p>Another was the one I mentioned above. If you take an economics graduate, you may find that they're not sure what make of a world where getting customers to choose you're same price, same value product is the difference between non-starter &#38; Unilever. It doesn't make sense to tell this story with the <i>basic</i> vocabulary of microeconomics.<p>In any case, some essays published in the book make this argument. I don't mean to suggest that all or even most economists would take this view. Great economists (like great anyone) are empowered, but not restricted by their tools.", "link": "item?id=1049169", "user": "netcan"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "mschy", "comments": [{"comment": "The crux of the conservationist's point is that some resources are mispriced due to uncaptured externalities, and that this leads to overuse.<p>There's a secondary argument about risk tolerance in that some people default to doing things until proven harmful, whereas others default to not doing them until proven safe, and the whole spectrum betweeen.<p>But that said, as far as I can tell, the heart of nearly all environmental/energy debates is \"is X mispriced?\", where X might be gasoline, natural gas, water, trees, or darned near anything else. I'm not sure why you choose to deny that.<p>----<p>edit: full disclosure, I believe that decentralization of energy production is important for a number of reasons, and that increased diversity of energy production methods is also important for a number of reasons.<p>I believe this so strongly that I have invested a fairly large sum of money into a startup that works to make energy costs more transparent, and that works to help entities evaluate and integrate multiple energy sources in an intelligent and cost-effective manner.", "link": "item?id=1044317", "user": "mschy"}, {"comment": "What structure existed at the end of last year that allowed banks to be reborn with the depositors not being scared?<p>You don't think there would have been a run on the banks if more had failed and gone Chapter-11?", "link": "item?id=885034", "user": "vlod"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "cwan", "comments": [{"comment": "Not sure why you're trying so deliberately to be antagonistic. You state conservationists argue resources are \"mispriced due to uncaptured externalities, and that this leads to overuse\" (or misuse). How do you suppose these conservationists aim to correct these \"externalities\"?<p>Obviously they attempt to do more than point out an item is mispriced. Otherwise, their best course of action would be to buy resource XYZ as it's pure arbitrage in which case it is a bet against our ability to innovate and adapt.<p>edit: I notice you've modified a significant portion of your response and added a disclosure. I tend to agree that the grid will get smarter and we will become more energy agnostic. That merely goes back to proving the point that the markets themselves create the incentives for resources allocation - ie innovate and adapt and for this reason it has been historically foolish to bet that we will run out of a given resource.", "link": "item?id=1044394", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "When the government started making it clear that they would provide liquidity to large banks, they effectively extended their own credit rating to these institutions - for the same reason that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didn't fail because they were taken over by the government.<p>As noted, if there were more of a rapid bankruptcy structure where the government could have taken over a bank on a Friday to allow it to emerge Monday and restructure its assets, this could have provided greater confidence to the markets. The major issue of these institutions was that they weren't able to continue funding ongoing cash requirements.<p>Lehman went into bankruptcy because of liquidity - ie that their short term assets weren't able to cover their short term obligations. Much of this reason was because people didn't trust the valuations of their assets (e.g. subprime mortgages) and fears that proved to be overblown as to outstanding unstated liabilities - because it wasn't a transparent market. Barings, if you recall was brought down by a rogue trader so it wasn't beyond the realm of possibility and at that point the numbers being quoted as to the risk exposure of CDS's was in the tens if not hundreds of trillions of dollars (which again if netted out was only a couple trillion - and for that exposure to be realized would basically require every major company in the Fortune 1000 to go bankrupt at once).", "link": "item?id=885051", "user": "cwan"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "cwan", "comments": [{"comment": "I believe your confusion stems from defining what you term a \"conservationist\". At first you use it to describe someone who worries about peak oil / the finite nature of oil (presuming you understood the original context of the discussion), and later you use it to describe an environmental conservationist - one who is concerned that the costs of resources are underpriced because of the effect on the environment - to which you've helpfully provided examples of strictly environmental externalities.<p>Markets aren't perfect problem-solving devices - no one has said that they are, however, the regulatory \"cure\" is often worse than the disease. Regulations are certainly not the ideal way to deal with concerns a given resource are finite. Further, prices are signals in markets that themselves call for market innovation/adaptation - vocal calls for conservation are redundant.<p>(As a side note: it is also noteworthy however that the drop in sulphur dioxide emissions happened far before the creation of regulated markets suggesting that the fall in SO2 might have occurred irrespective of the regulation - further, from purely an economic efficiency standpoint, pigouvian taxes tend to be more efficient than the added structure of artificial pollution markets. Further, as an addendum to acid rain/\"dead lakes\" - this was a big concern for Canada until someone noticed that the primary reason the lakes were dead was because of reduced logging and the sediment that it disturbed)", "link": "item?id=1044518", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "How would they restructure their assets so quickly (over the weekend) and solve their liquidity problem without the Fed? (with the banks not lending to each other)<p>Even if a bank wanted to lend another bank money, it takes time to do a reevaluation (more than a weekend) of another banks assets and they would be more concerned of trying to calculate their own exposure.", "link": "item?id=885063", "user": "vlod"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "mschy", "comments": [{"comment": "My post was meant to be about uncaptured economic effects and risk.<p>The \"Peak Oil\" crowd as I understand them, are concerned that oil field production will stop growing, while demand continues to rise, and the price of oil could grow fairly rapidly, with hard to predict economic effects.<p>As such, they tend to advocate the development of higher efficiency consumption and exploration of alternative forms of energy while oil is still cheap. It's basically a position that calls on innovation today to avoid a problem altogether, or to soften the blow by laying some groundwork.<p>You clearly prefer a position where you don't innovate until your back is against the wall, and you mock anybody who does it earlier, and accuse them of not believing in innovation.<p>Whatever. I don't even care.", "link": "item?id=1044662", "user": "mschy"}, {"comment": "It's called a cramdown: <a href=\"http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/1027/030.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/1027/030.html</a><p>The idea is that there wouldn't be a liquidity problem as the debt excluding individual depositors would be restructured as equity or some type of quasi equity/debt with assets aggressively written down.<p>The problem with what has currently been done with the bailouts is that the underlying problem hasn't be dealt with and only deferred meaning that at some point it's still going to have to be dealt with - and by taxpayers instead of investors who should bear responsibility for the risks that they have taken and the trust they placed in the executives of these institutions.", "link": "item?id=885164", "user": "cwan"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "cwan", "comments": [{"comment": "\"You clearly prefer a position where you don't innovate until your back is against the wall, and you mock anybody who does it earlier, and accuse them of not believing in innovation.\"<p>Where is the mocking? Again, the point being that the concerns over peak oil are wholly unnecessary - further to assume that anyone who uses the word \"endless\" in the context of any finite physical resource is hardly \"dumb\" as was suggested. Prices create the incentives for innovation - and that's not just when \"your back is up against a wall\" (any number of cheap emerging technologies being good examples). For someone who doesn't care, you seem terribly emotional and intent on personalizing the issue.", "link": "item?id=1044678", "user": "cwan"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "mschy", "comments": [{"comment": "Some people, given the same price curves and risk profiles, will take advocate action sooner than others.<p>The opinions of those who are later on that curve are not more valid than the opinions of those who are sooner on it, or vice versa.<p>The people who advocate action sooner do not disbelieve in innovation. They just have different risk and utility functions, and these result in different advocated actions.", "link": "item?id=1045155", "user": "mschy"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "moultano", "comments": [{"comment": "I'd just like to note that the words \"at least in the book review\" were not present in cwan's comment when I made the above reply.", "link": "item?id=1149887", "user": "gjm11"}, {"comment": "I think most people in most companies feel similarly. Unfortunately they don't have Google's cash, so \"keep the lights on\" becomes a more important consideration than \"don't be evil.\"", "link": "item?id=1050389", "user": "moultano"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 10, "names": "akkartik", "comments": [{"comment": "We've been ironing out this process over the last year. We inject a venture with need resources up front and then taper them off. That way we don't continuously struggle with conflicts. Details at <a href=\"http://sproutbox.com/what\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://sproutbox.com/what</a>.", "link": "item?id=982032", "user": "trotzke"}, {"comment": "Sure, but it's hardly novel: \"productive, peaceful people make a good community.\" Can't argue with that.", "link": "item?id=1047013", "user": "houseabsolute"}, {"comment": "&#62; <i>Where they might lose in China for now, will enhance their reputation elsewhere</i><p>If this was Google's intent, I has certainly worked with me. This gives me more confidence that if I use Google's services, they are unlikely to fuck me around.", "link": "item?id=1049074", "user": "cabalamat"}, {"comment": "I'm in the same boat with you. I don't visit the anti-H1B sites, because I want to keep my blood pressure down and I don't tolerate racist bigots that well, but the ComputerWorld article about the closure of the websites is troubling. Either there're details the article left out or the judge is seriously overstepping his authority.<p>I thought it was a long held principle that community sites can not be held responsible for users' content.<p>The story a month or so ago about the family of a woman whose ex-boyfriend has posted all kinds of derogatory and threatening material on multiple websites (incl. RipoffReport.com, who is the only website refusing the take down the content) has a completely different outcome. The judge in that case said he can't force the websites to take down the content, but several have done so voluntarily, RipoffReport.com being the only holdout.<p>I wonder if the fact that that case had an individual plaintiff rather than a company has anything to do with the different outcome?", "link": "item?id=1021320", "user": "gorbachev"}, {"comment": "&#62; this concern that the US manufacturing industry is dying or dead is a myth<p>The counter-meme that US manufacturing is still strong is also something of a myth. The biggest components of the manufacturing sector are things that most people probably don't immediately associate with manufacturing. For example, agricultural products are a huge component. As are primary industries like logging. Processed chemicals represent another big chunk. Most of the factory goods that fit the traditional definition of manufacturing are industrial equipment like earth-movers or electrical transformers. Note that these are all capital-intensive industries that are either protected by tariffs and subsides, or bulky, cost-sensitive goods that aren't as easy to build at a profit overseas.<p>On the other hand, the mass-market consumer product industries that most people think of as synonymous with manufacturing have been wiped out in the US.", "link": "item?id=1883939", "user": "gamble"}, {"comment": "hear hear", "link": "item?id=884998", "user": "riffraff"}, {"comment": "One methodological issue as I reread that paper: <i>\"We allowed company executives to tell us if they were a founder. The guidelines we provided for defining a founder was 'an early employee, who typically joined the company in its first year, before the company developed its products and perfected its business model.'\"</i><p>Companies often give out the co-founder title to early employees, but that's not what we think of when we read that 'most founders are 40' here at HN.", "link": "item?id=874402", "user": "akkartik"}, {"comment": "He isn't real. Nobody is a fan of Comcast.", "link": "item?id=849758", "user": "trafficlight"}, {"comment": "Not exactly rocket science: <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_order_quantity\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_order_quantity</a>", "link": "item?id=847237", "user": "ojbyrne"}, {"comment": "It's \"extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence\".", "link": "item?id=1148507", "user": "sailormoon"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "mikekarnj", "comments": [{"comment": "I have no idea why everyone hates Comcast so much. I've lived in SF for more than three years and had Comcast the whole time. I have had exactly zero issues, from reliability to speed to torrenting to customer service. It could be a bit cheaper and a bit faster, I guess, but I never really think about it, which is 95% of what I want from my internet provider.", "link": "item?id=849995", "user": "ryanwaggoner"}, {"comment": "I like Sproutbox. Seems like a more hands-on Y-Combinator. How has the success been so far?", "link": "item?id=982396", "user": "mikekarnj"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "cschanck", "comments": [{"comment": "Hey, I was careful to say that <i>my</i> experience of Comcast has been good, and it is clearly an atypical experience. Still, in the vacuum of my experiences, Comcast has been good.", "link": "item?id=849761", "user": "cschanck"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "knv", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; When a \"glastnost\" comes to China<p>I think it's more accurate to say: <i>If a \"glastnost\" comes to China</i>. There's no rule of thumb that something like that is going to happen in every undemocratic country.", "link": "item?id=1049188", "user": "knv"}, {"comment": "While I agree his concerns may be a little overwrought, he does have a point.<p>The ability to innovate, like most abilities, is probably a bell curve, and the fraction of people capable of coming up with valuable innovations is probably small.<p>Since these innovations need to be able to provide jobs for \"average\" people who are less innovative, relying on innovation alone to \"feed\" a country this size is unlikely to work.", "link": "item?id=1883931", "user": "jkic47"}, {"comment": "Interestingly, doing the alternative (as suggested in the post) <i>never</i> seems to get tried in large. Tivo, for example, curtailed their beloved lifetime subscriptions, which was a bit like a reward for long term customers.<p>I agree it is a huge and short-sighted mistake, but I can't come up with an example to show it. It jsut seems to be conventional corporate wisdom with little to base it on.", "link": "item?id=849759", "user": "cschanck"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "cwan", "comments": [{"comment": "You might be interested in reading up on the Loyalty Effect by Fredrick Reichheld (and associated books Loyalty Rules and other). He used to be a partner at Bain consulting but the premise of his books is that consumer loyalty has value and it's worth the time of organizations to measure and maximize that value...<p>He makes similar points you have that it doesn't make sense to charge new customers more than existing clients because existing clients add more value through things like referrals, they buy more services at lower cost, they no longer incur acquisition costs, etc. An example of trying the alternative would be places like my gym which happens to be a national chain - whose membership services I hate but I bought a while back and they don't up membership costs for old clients but they do for new ones. My membership costs probably about half that of new members because I joined a good 6-7 years ago which makes it rather unlikely that I'll ever give it up.<p>Personally I think the reliance and dependence of a lot of service companies like Comcast on the value of their infrastructure is a dangerous game given how much the cost of infrastructure has fallen and continues to fall.", "link": "item?id=849790", "user": "cwan"}, {"comment": "Also if a \"glastnost\" comes to China it probably won't do anything, same as in the USSR.", "link": "item?id=1050529", "user": "_pi"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "oxygen", "comments": [{"comment": "The economics indicate that giving discounts to new customers is more NPV positive than just repricing the whole portfolio. Every portfolio has sleepy customers who don't get maximum value or the maximum perceived value. However, every active and vocal customer should be provided with all benefits. That's the perfect marriage of economics and customers service.", "link": "item?id=849851", "user": "oxygen"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "vl", "comments": [{"comment": "Wow, this is the conspiracy theory right here: Google already knows that \"glasnost\" is coming to China sometime soon though their own sources and tries to capitalize on it by doing preemptive strike and playing for the right party in advance.<p>To continue economic growth eventually freedom of speech and some civil liberties would have to be adopted. Ironically, if it happens any time soon it will feed conspiracy theorists forever.", "link": "item?id=1049491", "user": "vl"}], "children": null}]}, "pg": {"number": 50, "names": "pg", "comments": [{"comment": "I may write an updated version, but not today. (It's Christmas.)", "link": "item?id=3391355", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "We use easyDNS and they're great.", "link": "item?id=3386669", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I was going to write something about it. Would that be enough? Essays are more my thing than videos.", "link": "item?id=3383840", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "They're not a regular technology company. They're owned by KKR.", "link": "item?id=3383761", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Even if domains are just a loss leader for GoDaddy, they surely look at their numbers, so this is a way to send them a message they'll hear.<p>Maybe it will work, maybe it won't, but no one who still has a domain at GoDaddy will be entitled to complain about SOPA if it passes.", "link": "item?id=3382668", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Do you have to pay this 1% tax on stock you own in companies you've founded? I.e. would the founder of a successful new startup that had such a high valuation in its last round that his stock was worth $50 million on paper have to somehow come up with half a million dollars every year to pay taxes?", "link": "item?id=3378528", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "We see them at the application stage too, because the application includes a video. The video tells us a lot more than their race and sex. So if half the people reading applications didn't see the video, we'd do a lot worse at reading applications.", "link": "item?id=3378435", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Probably the biggest things we've done to broaden the applicant pool are Hacker News, Startup School, and all the essays I've written about startups.<p>I don't think there's anything about our process or reputation that directly discourages people of any gender or race. But we do prefer founders who are hackers, which presumably thus causes fewer members of groups that are underrepresented among hackers to apply to YC.", "link": "item?id=3376654", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "They're not entirely mythical. I was this person for Viaweb, and YC has funded several founders who are both hackers and designers.", "link": "item?id=3374546", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "This is an intriguing idea. The majority of hackers hate this bill, and yet if the lobbyists and politicians pass it, they are going to need us to implement it for them. So maybe it would be some sort of solution, in the worst case, to organize a boycott of any person or company that works on it.", "link": "item?id=3361296", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Yes, Trigger is the new name of Webmynd. I invested my TechFellow award (<a href=\"http://techfellows.com\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://techfellows.com</a>) in them. They have a novel model where they give you some amount of money to invest in the co of your choice, and you split the proceeds.", "link": "item?id=3476092", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I hadn't looked at the comments on the story about the girl who died till now. I am so embarrassed for this community. I feel like this is the worst I've ever seen people behave on this site.<p>Here's some general advice: if you find yourself beginning a comment on a thread about someone who has just died with a disclaimer of the form \"I hate to be that guy\" or \"I hate to write this,\" just don't say it.", "link": "item?id=3469554", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "As many pointed out the last time this was on HN, it's pretty misleading to consider anyone who sells their company to have made their money via \"direct or indirect participation in the financial and banking industries.\" Disqualifyingly misleading, frankly.", "link": "item?id=3469462", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "The founders of Stripe didn't know any more about banking than farming when they decided to start the company. It was precisely their willingness to undertake alien problems (= schleps) that made them so effective.", "link": "item?id=3467919", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "This is the most encouraging thing I've read yet. The defensive tone shows they can sense things have turned against them. Keep pushing.", "link": "item?id=3466717", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "If you try a Google search for \"such a schlep\" you'll find plenty of cases in which the meaning has expanded to an arduous task in general.<p>\"If you are one of those people who has always wanted DSTV, but never actually got down to installing it because it seems like such a schlep...\"<p>\"The first time I minced my own meat but it was such a schlep...\"<p>\"I'm getting all my books from Diesel e books and i just find it such a schlep to remove the drm's.\"", "link": "item?id=3466710", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I had a paragraph about this in an earlier draft, but I took it out because it was only half true and the true half seemed obvious. The obvious half is that one man's schlep is another man's interesting problem, and that once the company gets going you can hire experts in each of the schleps you need to deal with.<p>But not all the schleps a company undertakes are schleps simply in virtue of not being someone's specialty. You have to satisfy users' needs to make a successful company, and it is very unlikely that the stuff you have to do to satisfy users' needs also happens to be exactly what you'd most like to work on, even if you're the specialist in that problem.", "link": "item?id=3466636", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Not at this incubator.", "link": "item?id=3465704", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Heroku, Mailgun, MongoHQ, Cloudkick, Parse, AeroFS, DotCloud, Vidyard, AppHarbor, Mixpanel, Cloudant, PagerDuty (we like this type of company).", "link": "item?id=3465610", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Small stores were $100/month and there were more of those. We made $144/store/month on average.", "link": "item?id=3464859", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I was just demoing the convenience of the repl to Ev Kontsevoy of Mailgun.", "link": "item?id=3322166", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I'm dubious about that graph.<p>It's suspicious that it's a graph of cumulative downloads. Cumulative graphs always go up nicely. But what matters is downloads per month. Someone with good monthly numbers will rarely resort to showing cumulative ones.<p>It's particularly suspicious the way the number for December, which we're only 6 days into, lines up exactly where it would if they were seeing hyperlinear growth. You'd have to time your post almost to the day to make it look so neat.<p>I would be very interested to see an ordinary graph (i.e. without graphic tricks to make it steep) of downloads per month. That would show us what's really happening.<p>I wouldn't be surprised if what that graph showed was linear growth (which is bad, because it means a decreasing growth <i>rate</i>), followed by a massive spike in December due to a special promotion.", "link": "item?id=3320940", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Newton was notorious for all-nighters.", "link": "item?id=3320207", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Yes.", "link": "item?id=3305986", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Here you go: <a href=\"http://www.hnsearch.com/search#request/submissions&#38;q=%22show+hn%22&#38;sortby=create_ts+desc&#38;start=0\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.hnsearch.com/search#request/submissions&#38;q=%22...</a>", "link": "item?id=3287837", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "\"The number of seed-stage fundings is outpacing series A fundings.\"<p>That is always the case, just as it is always the case that series A fundings outpace IPOs.", "link": "item?id=3282664", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I think it requires both isolation and time with colleagues/audience, but with fairly high walls between them. I.e. you need to be able to go off and work on something by yourself, and then when you're finished, show it to other people.<p>(This is one reason YC asks founders to move to the Bay Area, but not to work in our space. We want founders to be able to talk to other founders, but not all the time.)", "link": "item?id=3277905", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I sent you an email about this.<p>(A couple weeks ago I banned all Google crawler IPs except one. Crawlers are disproportionately bad for HN's performance because HN is optimized to serve recent stuff, which is usually in memory.)", "link": "item?id=3277803", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I could not tell from the article, but is this the type of mutation that's present at birth?", "link": "item?id=3266494", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "<a href=\"http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_...</a>", "link": "item?id=3258924", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "It's an unfortunate sign for HN when the top comment on a thread is such a content-free rant.<p>If the rule is, if x sells something to Monsanto, fuck x, then what you're saying is fuck the entire corporate world, because I'm sure Monsanto buys Apple computers and Chevrolets and Clorox too. It's sort of ridiculous to hold Cloudant to a standard that essentially zero other companies meet.<p>There are frequently inane comments of this type at the bottom of HN threads. What's alarming is to see them at the top.", "link": "item?id=3104144", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Your comment is in a sense its own refutation, because the ultimate test of user experience is whether users continue to use the software.<p>Getting user experience right depends on the users. I wouldn't use this technique in an online store. Random online shoppers would be confused by expired links, and you'd lose sales. But HN users aren't confused by them. What HN users care about is the quality of the stuff on the site.<p>Since I can't work full time on HN, I focus on the things that matter most. What I spend my time thinking about is e.g. detecting voting rings. Those affect what you see on the frontpage, which is what users of this site care most about.", "link": "item?id=3099905", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "It's not so much that it's ahead of its time relative to hardware as it is something you do in the early versions of a program.<p>Using closures to store state on the server is a rapid prototyping technique, like using lists as data structures. It's elegant but inefficient. In the initial version of HN I used closures for practically all links. As traffic has increased over the years, I've gradually replaced them with hard-coded urls.<p>Lately traffic has grown rapidly (it usually does in the fall) and I've been working on other things (mostly banning crawlers that don't respect robots.txt), so the rate of expired links has become more conspicuous. I'll add a few more hard-coded urls and that will get it down again.", "link": "item?id=3099372", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Sort of yes, sort of no. It's a rapid prototyping technique. Essentially you fix it case by case, by taking individual bits of code that use this technique and replacing them with the uglier and less flexible but more efficient alternative of a hard-coded url.", "link": "item?id=3099286", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "It tells you on /apply after you click on the submit button.<p>Yes, we reply to everyone who applies by the deadline.", "link": "item?id=3097063", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "We won't get 4000; closer to half that. Also, you can't simply multiply the application rate times the length of a day, because the rate gradually increases as the deadline approaches.", "link": "item?id=3096302", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I never looked at the rate before, but I'd guess it's about the same rate we'd have had a few hours before the deadline last cycle.", "link": "item?id=3096095", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "We always get about half the applications on the last day. It's not necessarily a sign of procrastination. A lot of these people have been working on their applications; they just haven't submitted them yet.", "link": "item?id=3096085", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "It's not impossible to grow a startup without investment, just harder.<p>Also, a company en route to such an outcome would probably find that they got offered funding on such good terms that they'd be stupid not to take it.", "link": "item?id=3096065", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "It's fine with me.", "link": "item?id=3096052", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Seems to be working fine to me.", "link": "item?id=3079159", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "It's not common but not exceptionally rare either. It happened to Reddit, Clustrix, Ninite, and Parse. Reddit was not a happy marriage, but the other 3 seem to be.", "link": "item?id=3078093", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "(Curiously enough I ran into thingsilearned as I was bicycling home from lunch today. Or would have if he hadn't scurried across the crosswalk just in time.)", "link": "item?id=3078083", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Thanks; Freudian slip...", "link": "item?id=3077491", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "This seems a very important question. It's hard to simulate the randomness of the physical world, but it would be extremely useful to be able to do it.<p>One of the problems is that computer screens are just so small. If displays (or whatever replaces them) were bigger, what they were displaying could be more ambient. There wouldn't have to be as much purpose.<p>On the other hand, maybe the difficulty of physically getting to a place is an important filter.", "link": "item?id=3077471", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I didn't mean to suggest that no one realized it was helpful to be surrounded by a lot of people working on the same things. I've written about it a couple times myself. The surprises for me were in the details. E.g. that with startups, people are more willing to help out their peers than in more zero sum fields, and that you need that extra margin of help because startups fail by default.", "link": "item?id=3077443", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Yes, that's true.", "link": "item?id=3077421", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "There are 234,301 accounts, but the great majority were created by spammers.<p>2531 accounts have voted in the last 20 minutes.", "link": "item?id=3077179", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Not merely a single machine, but a single core.", "link": "item?id=3077169", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "We're reluctant to fund people who are still in college. Especially freshmen. Even if you can start a startup successfully at that age, it's not necessarily a good thing for you.<p>Sam had just finished his sophomore year. That's different from having only 1 semester of college.<p>Startups take over your life. For most people it would be a mistake to jump into one thing so completely before you even know what all the options are.", "link": "item?id=3072518", "user": "pg"}], "children": [{"number": 32, "names": "arvinjoar", "comments": [{"comment": "It's just easy to get people who aren't technical <i>at all</i> to watch a video.<p>If it's \"Hey, family members, check out this minute long video\", it's something I can show them all over Christmas.<p>Anything would be appreciated, though.", "link": "item?id=3383872", "user": "blhack"}, {"comment": "Here, let me help:<p>1. pg-bot technology for responding on holidays to posts about funding. The bot should have sufficient business sense for pointing young entrepreneurs in the right direction, but should also contain semantic sense for responding in a witty and lighthearted way... for example, in Haiku.", "link": "item?id=3391400", "user": "jpdoctor"}, {"comment": "Can you explain why this is significant to people not familiar with KKR? Their Wikipedia page isn't telling me much.", "link": "item?id=3384104", "user": "burgerbrain"}, {"comment": "While I understand your sentiments towards SOPA, are you really going to distance yourself from all of these companies?<p><a href=\"http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rouge%20Websites/SOPA%20Supporters.pdf\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rouge%20Websites/SOPA%20Su...</a>", "link": "item?id=3382735", "user": "solipsist"}, {"comment": "Out of curiosity I researched this a little. Sweden abandoned the wealth tax in 2007.<p>However, the neighboring Norway has a 1.1% combined wealth tax on income above about $350k. And according to [1] \"from the income year 2008 the full market value of shares reg- istered on the stock exchange are in the shareholder\u2019s wealth, whereas unlisted shares are valued based on the company\u2019s taxable wealth\".<p>Other countries that have the wealth tax are France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Netherlands and India. Some of them have limits on the wealth tax in place, e.g. in France the amount cannot exceed 50% of annual revenues.<p>[1] <a href=\"http://www.kpmg.no/arch/_img/9585751.pdf\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.kpmg.no/arch/_img/9585751.pdf</a>", "link": "item?id=3380175", "user": "drx"}, {"comment": "Desingineers who are willing not to be founders could still be mythical. (And I think that's what the article was talking about)", "link": "item?id=3375626", "user": "balsam"}, {"comment": "I'm not suggesting we could prevent e.g. Cisco from finding enough people to build this stuff. More that Cisco would steer clear of such projects if working on them would put a black mark on their corporate reputation that would make it harder for them, as a company, to hire good people.", "link": "item?id=3361942", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Ah, very cool!", "link": "item?id=3476136", "user": "_pius"}, {"comment": "The conversation about this is virtually identical on Slashdot, including the reflective thoughts on moderation and community.<p><a href=\"http://developers.slashdot.org/story/12/01/15/1937259/programming-prodigy-arfa-karim-passes-away-at-16\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://developers.slashdot.org/story/12/01/15/1937259/progra...</a><p>Perhaps it's valid to note that the story provoked polarized reactions and thoughts, and thus better avoid putting each other down for those reactions.", "link": "item?id=3470143", "user": "foxit"}, {"comment": "OP here. I was actually surprised to see this accepted as a new post on HN. I thought news redirected reposts to the page of the original post. Google actually shows three links<p><a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2922500\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2922500</a> (died quietly)<p><a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2786547\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2786547</a> (died quietly)<p><a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2844059\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2844059</a> (exploded)", "link": "item?id=3469534", "user": "niels_olson"}, {"comment": "It was the same way with my startup. I had no idea how Hollywood or fashion worked, but I had a problem [1] and when I asked people if they knew how to solve it, they just gave me back a similar problem they once had [2]. At that point, I figured this was a good company to build.<p>If it's even possible, the entertainment and fashion industries may require even <i>more</i> schlepping than the banking industry. Instead of dealing with lots of regulation and paperwork, now you're frequently dealing with self-obsessed, anti-technology narcissists who are completely unwilling to help you do anything.<p>But we muddled through and did the work that everyone else doesn't want to do. And that's why we're launching this week.<p>[1] I wanted to buy my girlfriend the sunglasses that Bella was wearing in Twilight, but couldn't find them anywhere.<p>[2] Johnny Depp's sunglasses in Blow, a necklace from Real Housewives, etc.", "link": "item?id=3468273", "user": "tansey"}, {"comment": "I stand corrected.", "link": "item?id=3467906", "user": "rquantz"}, {"comment": "&#62;&#62; Most hackers who start startups wish they could do it by just writing some clever software<p>I wonder if the word \"hackers\" ought to be replaced with \"young hackers of the type to apply to YC\"?<p>If you're fresh out of school, or have only worked in big silicon-valley companies doing specialized tasks, I can see it. I have a hard time believing someone with even a few years experience in smaller companies haven't come to grips with \"schlepness\".<p>&#62;&#62; Maybe that's one reason the most successful startups of all so often have young founders.<p>I don't think that's what the research shows:<p>\"\"\" Old guys rule. And they are far more likely to be the founder of a successful technology company than most of you understand. How do I know this? Research that my team conducted, based on a survey of 549 entrepreneurs in high-growth industries, showed that the average founder of a high-growth company launched his venture at age 40. \"\"\"<p><a href=\"http://techcrunch.com/2009/09/07/when-it-comes-to-founding-successful-startups-old-guys-rule/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://techcrunch.com/2009/09/07/when-it-comes-to-founding-s...</a>", "link": "item?id=3467094", "user": "lrobb"}, {"comment": "Unfortunately for many, joining an incubator is a schlep itself. I'm obviously not talking about the programs themselves but instead the application process and relocation requirements.<p>There are plenty of problems out there that people are trying to solve outside of the bubble area. Sadly it also seems that not moving to some 'hot spot' is a handicap these days.", "link": "item?id=3465819", "user": "vyrotek"}, {"comment": "One of the things that I have noticed about all of your examples is that they are all tools for developers. Do you have any examples of companies that solve real problems for the general consumer?", "link": "item?id=3465630", "user": "d3x"}, {"comment": "I'm really amused by the fact that not only do you make visible modifications to a popular site you own as a talking point, but as other comments suggest, you seem to make a habit of it.", "link": "item?id=3322265", "user": "noamsml"}, {"comment": "I agree with you, but Apple does the same thing. They add not only the downloads since 2008 when they had the App Store for the first time, but also the money they've given since then to developers, as if that would be relevant anymore. What's relevant for developers now is how much they've achieved in the last few months at most.", "link": "item?id=3321154", "user": "nextparadigms"}, {"comment": "Thanks pg, Ill take your word for it.", "link": "item?id=3306067", "user": "kls"}, {"comment": "I would like to set that crawl rate but do not see why I must register at Google to do so. Why can't Google support the Crawl-Delay directive in robots.txt for this?", "link": "item?id=3277875", "user": "aw3c2"}, {"comment": "Yes, that is correct. Most neurons are post mitotic i.e. the cells do not divide in adult life so the mutation would need to be present early in embryonic development.", "link": "item?id=3266624", "user": "sungam"}, {"comment": "computer forensics is currently in much the same state that arson forensics was at the time Texas sentenced Willingham to death. as far as I know, it hasn't killed anyone, yet...", "link": "item?id=3259010", "user": "munin"}, {"comment": "I'm not alarmed because there seems to be two very distinct crowds of people who hang out on hacker news. \"Startup people\", like yourself, who are across the political spectrum, with probably a disproportionate number of libertarians (as compared to the broader population) and the /r/politics crowd which are very anti-capitalist, anti-innovation, pro-taxes, etc.<p>Some threads attract one crowd and the comments go one way, other threads attract the other crowd and the comments go the other way.<p>I really wish Hacker News was about startups, and if there was any debate, we were all capitalists debating it. I'm tired of the seemingly endless stream of leftist propaganda that gets promoted to the front page (e.g.: anything by Krugman, for example.) I'd hate this just as much if it were all rightest propaganda. IF it was balanced, I wouldn't like it, but it wouldn't be irritating.<p>When almost all the discussions are of one mindset, and posting something outside that mindset gets you down voted to oblivion, I feel like intellectual discussion is much more difficult. This isn't always the case here, obviously, but sometimes it is.<p>I don't really care for Amazon, but at least when Amazon is on the front page its because they did something relevant to the site. I can just ignore those threads. Amazon' announcing that they've got a new finger service in AWS doesn't add anything for me, but it doesn't detract like the political topics do.<p>Cloudant, a company that takes CouchDB and turns it into a dynamo style ring, has produced something significant in their platform. We should be talking about this.<p>Cloudant provides a very useful tool that should be very highly relevant to people who are doing startups.<p>The thing is, I suspect a major population of HN commenters aren't really doing startups or planning to.", "link": "item?id=3104506", "user": "nirvana"}, {"comment": "You're right, but at times, I've found it nearly impossible to log in because I can't seem to get a new login URL. Nothing works except waiting it out. So please look into that if you can. I almost submitted a story like this because I've spent 5+ minutes trying to log in several times now.", "link": "item?id=3099988", "user": "Natsu"}, {"comment": "Over the last week the home page appears to be cached longer than the arc timeout, no doubt due to the spike in traffic. As I throw away cookies when closing the browser, I need to login daily. It's been impossible to login from the HN home page because of this. Refreshing the page doesn't help; I've had to click through to a story to be able to login.<p>You should hard-code that one too.", "link": "item?id=3099422", "user": "biot"}, {"comment": "Paul, I really do not mean any disrespect here because you are truly a class act and first rate player in the start up world. You are also a great hacker that loves to push the limits. You've created an amazing community here that I have been able to learn a ton from.<p>I have to ask, and I'll probably get down voted to hell because I'm naive or something, but what is so elegant about a coding technique that breaks under normal usage conditions? If I put out a customer facing piece of code, especially after 4 years, wouldn't it make sense to use an \"uglier and less flexible but <i>more efficient</i> alternative\" that doesn't break?<p>I understand your previous explanations of why this happens and of rapid prototyping etc. But at what point does the architecture actually get changed to eliminate this <i>bug</i>?", "link": "item?id=3099670", "user": "bkmartin"}, {"comment": "Is that one new application per minute, or does it include updates to previous applications? Very impressive either way.", "link": "item?id=3096131", "user": "prawn"}, {"comment": "This is definitely the case for us. We started the application process earlier but have not submitted until the last hour. We've been updating answer by answer.", "link": "item?id=3097521", "user": "channelmeter"}, {"comment": "Just took a quick look at the comments on Amazon and the book seems to be a disappointment for most, mostly due to the editing. So, <i>why</i> are you fine with this? If anything, this book seems to devalue your brand.", "link": "item?id=3103854", "user": "arvinjoar"}, {"comment": "\"that with startups, people are more willing to help out their peers\"<p>I'm going to guess that this happens in the entertainment industry as well. The similarity being that the person you are rooming with or working with who has a bit part on some show with you might be the next big star. So I would imagine people tend to be nice and helpful to people in any field where there is a big prize and it's not easy to tell (like with sports) who the next star or Spielberg might be. Because in addition to skill (which many have, as has been said with acting for example) there is luck and landing that key opportunity that launches your career. And if you happen to have known or have been friends with that successful person it could only help your career.", "link": "item?id=3078929", "user": "larrys"}, {"comment": "Do you post a stats page someplace? I would find it really interesting to watch them over time.", "link": "item?id=3077244", "user": "Sukotto"}, {"comment": "Yikes. Time to get to work.", "link": "item?id=3077189", "user": "endlessvoid94"}, {"comment": "We knew this is what was going to be ahead of us when we started building our service.<p>I totally agree that it would be naive to drop out of college to start a startup, but what is your opinion on dropping out of college to grow one?", "link": "item?id=3073117", "user": "grizzlylazer"}], "children": [{"number": 21, "names": "pg", "comments": [{"comment": "Actually that's exactly what I thought when I saw the list yesterday. Several of those companies send people to Demo Day, and when I saw the list I thought: we should stop inviting them. So yes, we'll remove anyone from those companies from the Demo Day invite list.", "link": "item?id=3382765", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "KKR is basically a decentralized conglomerate. While GoDaddy is (sort of) a technology company, KKR is closer in spirit to the sort of companies that support SOPA. Which is why we're seeing the apparently anomalous sight of an Internet company that supports SOPA. It's not GoDaddy talking; it's KKR talking through GoDaddy.", "link": "item?id=3384134", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "&#62; It's just easy to get people who aren't technical at all to watch a video.<p>I'm an avid reader myself, but I've seen how some people object even to subtitles. I think you'd get a lot more of an audience if you could put up a video.<p>But I can understand wanting to do an essay, because you're very good at those. Also, I just want to say thanks for opposing SOPA. It's important that Congress hears from the people driving job creation about the impact this would have. Something from you will do a lot to represent the rest of us who merely get form replies from Congress extolling virtues of the bill we just told them we hated.", "link": "item?id=3384539", "user": "Natsu"}, {"comment": "I realize this isn't your fault, but KPMG's explanation is pretty question-begging. Anyone happen to know how the \"taxable wealth\" of a startup would be calculated?", "link": "item?id=3380216", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "\"good people\" is a relative term. If we're talking the kind of ultra a level hackers you deal with at Y Combinator, even as it stands, would any of them work for a big slow company like Cisco now? It already to some extent has that problem just by not being a small sexy startup.<p>I'm not willing to flat out say all the best hackers only want to do startups, but even assuming so, there are still lots of really good career engineers who also probably have no interest in working in a small sexy start up who Cisco can hire. Convincing them all that a nice company job is bad is going to be very hard.<p>And then there's the fact it's too late and this tech's already been built in america with american talent. They already found the people.<p>And often these big company products aren't built by the best people. Big government contracts like this have so much bureaucracy to choke the love out of many people. They aren't well written, they are slowly and expensively and they are ugly and horrible but they work. Does this sound like the working conditions that anyone we know would want to work in? Probably not.<p>Big government projects don't need A* hackers to get out the door sadly and never have.", "link": "item?id=3362021", "user": "mindstab"}, {"comment": "If a post isn't in the cache it can get reposted. It's a technical flaw but enables a good UX where if enough time has passed, a repost works.", "link": "item?id=3477893", "user": "ivankirigin"}, {"comment": "Having to watch Twilight is a schlepp too far for me.", "link": "item?id=3468387", "user": "nl"}, {"comment": "Old hackers still <i>wish</i> they could just program. The difference between old and young is that the old are more likely to know they can't have what they wish for in that respect.<p>The research you quote is about moderately successful startups, not about the most successful of all. You can easily verify I'm right about the outliers by traversing the Forbes 400.", "link": "item?id=3467885", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Gosh, filling out a YC application takes a few hours at most. If that seems like a big hurdle, definitely don't start a payments company.", "link": "item?id=3465880", "user": "tlb"}, {"comment": "Sure. But he asked for examples of companies working on plumbing.", "link": "item?id=3465633", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "is this his mother?", "link": "item?id=3322342", "user": "smokeyj"}, {"comment": "Who's that pg guy? Is he legit?", "link": "item?id=3306123", "user": "moe"}, {"comment": "My plane is about to take off, but very briefly: people sometimes shoot themselves in the foot and get it way, way wrong. Like \"crawl a single page from my website every five years\" wrong.<p>Crawl-Delay is (in my opinion) not the best measure. We tend to talk about \"hostload,\" which is the inverse: the number of simultaneous connections that are allowed.", "link": "item?id=3277927", "user": "Matt_Cutts"}, {"comment": "How does the brain grow if no (or few) new neurons are created post-birth?", "link": "item?id=3267368", "user": "adrianwaj"}, {"comment": "I don't know about <i>killed</i>, but every time I read a blurb buried somewhere about a child porn trial (based, invariably, on the contents of a computer), I think back to one or two known cases of someone planting CP on another computer and trying to frame the owner...", "link": "item?id=3259112", "user": "gwern"}, {"comment": "I don't think there are two separate crowds. I think HN's initial population of smart, mostly apolitical nerds has been diluted by the arrival of a lot of new users who are not as smart, and are thus more excited by shallow controversies.<p>Politics happens to be a big source of shallow controversies. But I don't think most people who upvote comments saying \"Fuck Monsanto\" do it because they have a deep interest in politics, any more than most people who rail against \"Obamacare\" do it because they have a deep interest in politics. They do it because they're dumb. It's the shape of this sort of idea that excites them, not its content.", "link": "item?id=3105036", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "You're right, there was a problem due to caching login links for the last couple days. It should be fixed though. Sorry about that.", "link": "item?id=3100345", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "The problem there is that we switched to a new deliberately slow hashing function for passwords.<p>Edit: I investigated further, and actually you're right, the problem was due to caching. It should be better now because we're not caching for as long. But I will work on making login links not use closures.", "link": "item?id=3099563", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "It doesn't make sense to call any specific amount of traffic \"normal conditions.\"<p>What's good about this technique, and about rapid prototyping in general, is that you can write an initial version quickly in very little code, then gradually make it more efficient as the demands on the app increase.<p>The rate of expired links says more about how busy I personally have been lately than about the desirability of storing state in closures.", "link": "item?id=3099856", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "That's new submissions.", "link": "item?id=3096290", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "If it's Facebook, maybe.", "link": "item?id=3074416", "user": "pg"}], "children": [{"number": 12, "names": "bkmartin", "comments": [{"comment": "In my experience most organizations, however mediocre, have some smart people who ended up there by various accidents.<p>But even in the unlikely event that e.g. Cisco is able to operate without any smart people, it's even more unlikely the people running it see themselves that way. So they would be worried by something that would make it hard to recruit good people.<p>Good programmers are in such demand right now that it's hard to imagine any company not worrying about something that would make it harder to hire. I think they'd worry especially about the difficulty of hiring recent grads. To undergrads all big companies look pretty similar; it would be a disaster if there was something that made your company look distinctively worse. It's not too hard to imagine a situation in which there was some sort of blacklist of the worst SOPA collaborators, and undergrads knew and avoided them.", "link": "item?id=3362142", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "\"10.02 - Business taxes\" at the Official Statistics Office of Norway: <a href=\"http://www.ssb.no/metadata/conceptvariable/vardok/1441/en\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.ssb.no/metadata/conceptvariable/vardok/1441/en</a><p>\"Taxable wealth is the value of the company's assets reduced by debt, as of 1 January in the assessment year.\"<p>This doesn't necessarily mean that the same definition applies at the tax office and/or that it applies to startups, though.", "link": "item?id=3380409", "user": "drx"}, {"comment": "Ok, awesome! Glad to see that much commitment.", "link": "item?id=3382784", "user": "solipsist"}, {"comment": "Ok... with correlation vs. causation out of the way, and a ridiculously small sample size to boot, it appears the average age of Forbes 400 tech company founders was almost 32 at the time of the founding their companies (<a href=\"http://goo.gl/iHAEe\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://goo.gl/iHAEe</a>).<p>I have a feeling that's not what you meant when you said \"young\"...? Maybe you meant to restrict that to only founders that wrote the code their companies are based on? In which case, yeah, the founders of facebook, google, and Microsoft were all young when they started... I'd be careful drawing too many conclusions on that sample size, however.", "link": "item?id=3468423", "user": "lrobb"}, {"comment": "Oh come on, that specific part wasn't the point. Have you gone through the process of actually being accepted? I have and it takes more than just a quick 15 min meeting. It also takes quite a bit of saving, planning, sacrifice and bit of logistics to actually get your life in order to go through an incubator program. Been there, done that!<p>I'm not saying you shouldn't do it. Quite the contrary. That's why I said it was a schlep. But some people's wives can only handle so much. :)", "link": "item?id=3465903", "user": "vyrotek"}, {"comment": "So far, yes.", "link": "item?id=3306350", "user": "rudyfink"}, {"comment": "Another great way to shoot yourself in the foot (and getting it way way wrong) is to block all Googlebot IPs except for one.", "link": "item?id=3277975", "user": "anonfoobar1"}, {"comment": "Strictly speaking, there is still some cell division shortly after birth and into the early phases of post-natal development. So the brain increases in size, slightly, via that method. But mostly it is from the elaboration of the dendritic arbors of the existing neurons. The size and branching factors increase many times during development. Check out the beautiful (and stunningly accurate) drawings of the famous neuro-anatomist Santiago Ramon y Cajal.<p>For example, the Purkinje neurons of the cerebellum:<p><a href=\"http://www.gladstone.ucsf.edu/wp/2009/06/knowledgegrows/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.gladstone.ucsf.edu/wp/2009/06/knowledgegrows/</a><p>Note how the number of branches increases to sample more of the volume.", "link": "item?id=3268086", "user": "bl"}, {"comment": "&#62; I think HN's initial population of smart, mostly apolitical nerds has been diluted by the arrival of a lot of new users who are not as smart, and are thus more excited by shallow controversies.<p>Or: I disagree with you, therefore you are dumb.<p>Outstanding.<p>I up-voted the parent comment. I have been here for years. I consider myself to be a free market supporting, fiscally conservative and independent thinker.<p>I have major issues with the methods Monsanto uses to conduct itself in the marketplace. In everything from the products they produce, their influence of the legal and regulatory systems, their seeming inability to factor in a basic responsibility to those that consume their products and even the way they distribute the surpluses in their pension funds (i.e. they steal them, when allowed).<p>I believe they act this way mainly due to a void of ethical behaviour at their highest levels, and because of this, I will look at them, and individuals that <i>fail to recognize these actions as being a problem</i> with a certain level of suspicion.<p>If you think I am <i>not as smart</i> as you because of this so be it.", "link": "item?id=3105105", "user": "run4yourlives"}, {"comment": "What'd you go with, and how much of a pain was it to get working in Arc?<p>I ask because I'd love to be able to make a claim like \"even Hacker News, which is written in a Lisp, managed to implement a modern password hash\".", "link": "item?id=3099721", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "I'm not referring to any specific amount of traffic. I'm referring to how users expect a website to work. If the user sees a link, especially a More or Login link then the user expects it to do just what it says. When those don't work I would call that a bug. I'm in agreement that this technique can be useful for rapid prototyping, but I also think this site is probably the most active and mass used prototype I've ever seen. ;)<p>My goal for a web site or web app is to have 0 expired links. Sometimes stuff you link to outside your site will go dead, and it must be fixed or removed or whatnot. But for your own internal stuff... I don't know... something doesn't feel right about an architecture that allows that systematically. How much time could you save if you didn't even have to worry about fixing any expired links? Any idea on what the ROI on your time would be?<p>Anyway, just thinking out loud. Thanks again for the site though. I do indeed enjoy it very much regardless.", "link": "item?id=3100349", "user": "bkmartin"}, {"comment": "Amazing! Good look fossicking for the gems in there - would love to be watching the ideas come in.<p>Surprised so many leave their applications that late given that the advice is to get in early.", "link": "item?id=3096590", "user": "prawn"}], "children": [{"number": 7, "names": "jfoster", "comments": [{"comment": "That may even be too late. The military has its own programmers and I presume it trains some of them in house, which means it gets then possibly at 18 out of high school and trains them itself. They can be put to any use they are ordered to.<p>The government in general is probably rarely thought of as sexy and it still gets grads.<p>I guess I'm decrying this idea because I just do not see it as enough from both sides. I don't see you ever getting 100% of people on board with you and I don't see 100% of sources of software caring. This plan only works if 100% of everyone buys in, as long as one lone group produces the code, SOPA will go into effect. And then theres the fact the tools are already built and at least 10 years old.<p>This is simply not the solution and any time spent on it is a waste of what little effort we do have that could be vastly better spent else where.<p>Exactly where? I don't know, I just feel strongly this is not the solution.<p>As for at least a direction? Look to Larwence Lessig. He's been fighting copy right reform for ages. He was doing it in the 90s and it was getting old. Then after Eldred was lost he kind vanished from that scene. He's now back and he's stepped up a level and is working on Government reform. He realized after they lost that you can't fight in a system that's so broken, so he's now working on System reform instead. If you can spare 10 minutes check out his talk on the Daily show from Dec 13, it does a decent job of summarizing what he's fighting now. Then tell me this is how we can best spend our time :(<p>I supremely believe we need to step it up at least one level and fight something bigger, this is just a symptom.<p>Also I believe the world is a sadder harsher and more depressing place and not everyone clings to <i>our</i> ideals like we do. We need a system to take that into account. To be a little more strong handed than \"All the hippie flower power new talent won't work for you\" because I'm pretty sure there is still more than enough talent to go around to get these jobs done. :(", "link": "item?id=3362657", "user": "mindstab"}, {"comment": "There's nothing specific to going through an incubator in what you mention, that all applies to the decision of starting a company regardless of incubators. If you can't handle a bit of saving, planning, sacrifice and a bit of logistics then you probably shouldn't start a company.", "link": "item?id=3466017", "user": "harj"}, {"comment": "Except on Thursdays.", "link": "item?id=3306450", "user": "sukuriant"}, {"comment": "Instead of completely disregarding Crawl-Delay, why not support it up to a maximum value that is deemed sensible? This would prevent people from completely shooting themselves in the foot, and it would surely be better than completely disregarding it.", "link": "item?id=3278151", "user": "jfoster"}, {"comment": "You're arguing against a strawman. Nobody said that taking a particular side of a debate makes you dumb. This isn't about what side you take, it's about <i>how you choose to debate</i>.<p>HN used to be a place that cared deeply about conversing in a civil, responsible, and educational manner. Whether or not you agree with the sentiments expressed in the parent comment, the fact is that it doesn't meet those standards. Even if the logic wasn't childish (\"fuck X by association\", really?), the comment does little to substantiate its opinions, or to educate those who aren't aware of the issue. In other words, it's a populist comment expressly made to pander to those who are already in agreement.<p>Upvoting said comment means either (a) you haven't even considered the importance of having a quality discussion, (b) you've considered it but in this case you don't care, or (c) you actually think it's a high quality comment. The fact that the comment is sitting pretty at the top of the page means that people have, en masse, fallen into one of these categories. Like it or not, A and C are simply dumber than the HN of old, and B is more confrontational.", "link": "item?id=3106406", "user": "csallen"}, {"comment": "We use bcrypt. Rtm did it. I never looked at the code till now; it's about a page of Scheme.", "link": "item?id=3100268", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "We were on the fence till the last minute, but then decided to apply anyway.", "link": "item?id=3096987", "user": "abbasmehdi"}], "children": [{"number": 4, "names": "count", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm not saying that the military has never done any programming by itself, because that clearly would be wrong, but the Army doesn't even have an MOS(Job Field) for it. I sincerely doubt that there is a mindless legion of Army trained programmers out there.<p>Also, the Army does get some grads, but not that many. There are a lot of people who join because they did a year or so in College and didn't like it. There are also a lot of people who didn't even graduate from high school. Bottom line, not many people join the Army under ideal circumstances. I personally would consider having just graduated with a CS degree to be ideal. Unfortunately I am one of the ones who didn't graduate from high school.", "link": "item?id=3363047", "user": "phaus"}, {"comment": "I think that's a little harsh, and misjudging what he is saying.<p>I can handle lots of saving, planning and sacrifice, as well as logistics. I cannot handle moving to the valley, without destroying a happy family life. That doesn't mean I shouldn't start a company, it means I shouldn't apply to YC or other things that require a move to the valley.<p>There's nothing WRONG with requiring that move, and I agree, it probably does considerably raise your chances of success. It is just not necessarily possible for everyone who would/could/should start a company.", "link": "item?id=3466054", "user": "count"}, {"comment": " \"Even if the logic wasn't childish (\"fuck X by association\", really?)\" &#60;-- I am failing to grasp how this logic is childish? Have thousands of corporations not apologized and often paid money for partnering with organizations with dubious pasts? An extreme case example to highlight my point: do you think Hugo Boss apologizing for being a partner of the Nazi party in WW2 Germany was just a PR move?<p>My point is, aiding x in its mission makes you an accomplice. You can argue that x is not bad or as bad is it is being made out to be, but being a partner makes you exactly that, a partner.", "link": "item?id=3107721", "user": "abbasmehdi"}, {"comment": "Thanks!", "link": "item?id=3100312", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "astine", "comments": [{"comment": "I think you're only talking about the enlisted. It's different for officers. A lot of memebers of the military went through a service academy or ROTC scholarship, and the military has been known to pay for furthering education for its officers as well. I know for a fact you can get a CS degree from West Point because my brother has done exactly that.<p>There are buildings, filled with military research engineers, where the median rank is major and which are a lot like regular office buildings where all the engineers wear ACUs and salute each other in the halls.<p>EDIT:<p>Just ot be clear, these folks mostly aren't mindless, but I doubt that they would, on the whole, have any moral objections to implementing something like SOPA. A lot of them would see this as a reasonable way to deal with the Wikileaks of the world.", "link": "item?id=3364300", "user": "astine"}, {"comment": "<i>&#62; My point is, aiding x in its mission makes you an accomplice. You can argue that x is not bad or as bad is it is being made out to be, but being a partner makes you exactly that, a partner.</i><p>This is an overly-idealistic way to look at a complex world, and taking such a stance would surely make you a hypocrite. As I asked another commenter: Do you not use a bank? Pay taxes to a government? Buy food, shelter, and other products? Well then, you've undoubtedly patronized at least a few entities who have committed horrible atrocities. So, by your own logic, fuck you.", "link": "item?id=3110075", "user": "csallen"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "abbasmehdi", "comments": [{"comment": "You didn't graduate from high school and are in the US Army? It's my understanding that the US military today does not (or almost never) takes high school dropouts as enlistees. Even those with a GED or home-schooling would have a very difficult time unless they had college credits as well. So I would doubt your claim that there are \"a lot\" of people in the military who did not graduate from high school.", "link": "item?id=3365957", "user": "ams6110"}, {"comment": "First off, I never swore, I was referring to the logic part, so please don't swear at me (not cool).<p>Secondly, you're calling me overly idealistic and simple minded, the world a complex place, yet make your case by comparing an individual citizen bound by legal obligations they can't escape without jail time or leaving the country to a corporate partnership made out of free will? Think of comparing the two then think about the names you called me. I'll let you be the judge.", "link": "item?id=3110179", "user": "abbasmehdi"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "csallen", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>&#62; First off, I never swore, I was referring to the logic part, so please don't swear at me (not cool).</i><p>Whether you swore or not, you're defending the comment \"fuck Cloudant by association\". Don't you think it's hypocritical to back up that type of language when it's directed at others, but criticize it when it's directed at you? You can't have it both ways. Either it's an immature way to conduct a discussion or it's not.<p><i>&#62; yet make your case by comparing an individual citizen bound by legal obligations they can't escape without jail time or leaving the country to a corporate partnership made out of free will? Think of comparing the two then think about the names you called me. I'll let you be the judge.</i><p>I gave you a short list of offenses you've committed, and you've only attempted to defend yourself against one of them (paying income taxes). Furthermore, your defense is pretty poor: \"leaving the country\" would be inconvenient. And you don't think it would be inconvenient for companies to refuse to do business with others who have at some point committed an ethics violation?<p>I'm sorry but your entire position is full of double standards that you can't justify. When you bend over backwards and make the countless sacrifices necessary to live your life without supporting questionable organizations, then you can come back and criticize others for not doing the same.", "link": "item?id=3110392", "user": "csallen"}, {"comment": "In 2002 you could get in with a GED. From my 9 years' experience, there is a disproportionate amount of people with a GED in the Army. It also helps when you test in the top 1% on the ASVAB.<p>Also, the military has been increasing their requirements lately. As the war draws to a close, and the economy remains in shambles, more people start thinking about joining the military. This means that the Army can be more selective about who they accept.", "link": "item?id=3366116", "user": "phaus"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "vyrotek", "comments": [{"comment": "You're essentially arguing that the expression of passion/emotion via a comment is below the standards of HN. It's an interesting viewpoint, but one I don't completely support.<p>The problem with your stance is that preventing the expression of emotion is often a cover for elitism. Rather than being a strawman, this is exactly what Paul is doing in his comment. i.e. \"I am above being emotionally attached to this argument because it isn't very important. If you think it's important, you simply aren't at my level.\"<p>All of us - being that we are all subject to emotion - will allow emotional responses to topics that we feel matter. What it all boils down to is a disagreement on what level of importance you place on a topic. This of course has nothing to do with intelligence at all in most cases.<p>The continued association of intelligence to apathy is a bit of a fallacy, to be honest.", "link": "item?id=3107941", "user": "run4yourlives"}, {"comment": "Sure, I was just pointing out that life is full of layers of schleps to overcome before you get to the <i>fun</i> and business related schleps which you actually have a choice to overcome. For some, they are more of obstacles.<p>Before incubators far fewer people had the opportunity to attempt to solve life's problems by starting a company. Hopefully things continue to evolve and new ways are created to expose as many minds as possible to the various business schleps in the world.", "link": "item?id=3466068", "user": "vyrotek"}, {"comment": "Is there a shortage of bright minds flocking to work for the \"financial services industry\" now that they've got a distinctly bad reputation?", "link": "item?id=3362871", "user": "white_devil"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "temphn", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; The problem with your stance is that preventing the expression of emotion is often a cover for elitism.<p>Elitism is a good thing. HN is an elitist forum. Youtube is a forum for the mob.<p>There is a reason that Idiocracy portrayed stupid people as those who mindlessly cursed and raved in every sentence. Profanity has its place, but especially in comment threads it's a limbic reaction rather than an intellectual one. \"F<i></i>* you\" adds no value, can be said by anyone, and can be heard anywhere. The more \"f<i></i>* you\", the fewer posts by startup founders, technologists, and people who know what they are doing.<p>In other words, the fewer posts by elites.", "link": "item?id=3108223", "user": "temphn"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "ldar15", "comments": [{"comment": "Psychopaths, sociopaths, and hackers.<p>I could draw you a venn diagram if you like.<p>I can't believe in all your experience, you haven't met extremely smart hackers who are also utterly immoral. A situation like this just means they will be worth more money.", "link": "item?id=3363341", "user": "ldar15"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "enneff", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; If we're talking the kind of ultra a level hackers you deal with at Y Combinator, even as it stands, would any of them work for a big slow company like Cisco now?<p>You do a huge disservice to the many excellent hackers that work at Cisco. (Even if you have issues with the company's management, they still have some impressive tech.) You don't need to be all over Hacker News to be brilliant.<p>Comments like these really highlight the myopic perspective that pervades the valley/startup scene. There is a much bigger world out there than you realize.", "link": "item?id=3363785", "user": "enneff"}, {"comment": "I would think that the number of people who (a) know how to create a valid robot.txt file, (b) have some idea of how to use the \"crawl-delay\" directive and (c) write a \"shoot-themselves-in-the-foot\" worthy error is vanishingly small.", "link": "item?id=3278182", "user": "officemonkey"}, {"comment": "Agreed.<p>Those who think that Monsanto represents \"apolitical business\" are not my definition of smart.<p>Than again, apparantly I'm one of the dumb ones.", "link": "item?id=3105333", "user": "ebaysucks"}, {"comment": "Gauche Scheme has a bcrypt implementation, but I don't know what the compatibility story is between mzscheme and Gauche. I think they're both R5RS compliant, so it should work.<p>I see that newer versions of Arc run on Racket, but I have no idea if that's what HN is using or not.<p>I haven't seen a scheme powered PBKDF2 implementation so I'd guess that's out.<p>The only other expensive KDF I can think of is scrypt, but I would be pretty surprised if that's got a scheme implementation.<p>Of course, I guess pg could have decided to call out to the OS to run any of those functions too.", "link": "item?id=3100060", "user": "icey"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "mindstab", "comments": [{"comment": "As opposed to --for illustrative purposes-- the vanishingly small number of people who know how to block IP addresses and manage to get their site to disappear from Google's listings?<p>::cough::<p>A few years ago, I did pretty much the same thing myself. Thankfully the late summer was our slow season and the site recovered pretty quickly from my bone-headed move, but the split second after I realized what I've done was bone-chilling.<p>I think just about everyone has thought at some point that they understood how something worked, only to have had things go pear-shaped on them.<p>The lesson: people are not fully knowledgeable about everything, even the smart and talented ones.", "link": "item?id=3278272", "user": "huxley"}, {"comment": "Yes sorry, I did go a bit far there, but it does seem pg may feel this way and I was trying to prove even within his belief framework this plan was flawed. I didn't mean to endorse such beliefs and I don't hold them. I've seen enough organizations to know that even big lumbering ones with questionable management can have some incredibly talented people, which just furthers the point :)", "link": "item?id=3364664", "user": "mindstab"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "officemonkey", "comments": [{"comment": "Perhaps I'm making an error assuming that a website as influential as Hacker News has a \"real live Webmaster\" to do things like write robot.txt files.", "link": "item?id=3278433", "user": "officemonkey"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "Matt_Cutts", "comments": [{"comment": "I alluded to some of the ways that I've seen people shoot themselves in the foot in a blog post a few years ago: <a href=\"http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/the-web-is-a-fuzz-test-patch-your-browser-and-your-web-server/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/the-web-is-a-fuzz-test-patch-y...</a><p>\"You would not believe the sort of weird, random, ill-formed stuff that some people put up on the web: everything from tables nested to infinity and beyond, to web documents with a filetype of exe, to executables returned as text documents. In a 1996 paper titled \"An Investigation of Documents from the World Wide Web,\" Inktomi Eric Brewer and colleagues discovered that over 40% of web pages had at least one syntax error\".<p>We can often figure out the intent of the site owner, but mistakes do happen.", "link": "item?id=3278432", "user": "Matt_Cutts"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "adbge", "comments": [{"comment": "The number of webpages with HTML that's just plain wrong (and renders fine!) is staggering. I often wonder what the web would be like if web browsers threw an error upon encountering a syntax error rather than making a best effort to render.<p>If you're writing HTML, you should be validating it: <a href=\"http://validator.w3.org/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://validator.w3.org/</a>", "link": "item?id=3278617", "user": "adbge"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "MatthewPhillips", "comments": [{"comment": "Google.com has 39 errors and 2 warnings. Among other things, they don't close their body or html tags.<p>Is there any real downside to having syntax errors?", "link": "item?id=3278724", "user": "MatthewPhillips"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "thristian", "comments": [{"comment": "The downside is maintainability. If your website follows the rules, you can be pretty confident that any weird behaviour you see is a problem with the browser (which is additional context you can use when googling for a solution). If your website requires browsers to quietly patch it into a working state, you have no guarantees that they'll all do it the same way and you'll probably spend a bunch of time working around the differing behaviour.<p>Obviously, that's not a problem if you already know exactly how different browsers will treat your code, or you're using parsing errors so elemental that they must be patched up identically for the page to work. For example, on the Google homepage, they don't escape ampersands that appear in URLs (like href=\"<a href=\"http://example.com/?foo=bar&#38;baz=qux\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://example.com/?foo=bar&#38;baz=qux</a> \u2014 the &#38; should be &#38;amp;). That's a syntax error, but one that maybe 80% of the web commits, so any browser that couldn't handle it wouldn't be very useful.", "link": "item?id=3279074", "user": "thristian"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "yuhong", "comments": [{"comment": "Particularly before HTML5.", "link": "item?id=3279170", "user": "yuhong"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "JangoSteve", "comments": [{"comment": "In Google's case, neglecting to close the tags is intentional, for performance. See <a href=\"http://code.google.com/intl/fr-FR/speed/articles/optimizing-html.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://code.google.com/intl/fr-FR/speed/articles/optimizing-...</a>", "link": "item?id=3279204", "user": "JangoSteve"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "lambda", "comments": [{"comment": "It's interesting that you apparently actually checked a validator to get the error count, and yet the two things you cite as errors are not errors, have never been errors, and are not listed in the errors returned by the validator. Both opening and closing tags for the html, body, and head elements are optional, in all versions of HTML that I am aware of (outside of XHTML, which has never been seriously used on the open web as it isn't supported by IE pre-9). There is a tag reported unclosed by the validator, but that's the center tag.<p>Anyhow, one downside to having syntax errors might be that parsers which aren't as clever as those in web browsers, and which haven't caught up with the HTML5 parser standard, might choke on your page. This means that crawlers and other software that might try to extract semantic information (like microformat/microdata parsers) might not be able to parse your page. Google probably doesn't need to worry about this too much; there's no real benefit they get from having anyone crawl or extract information from their home page, and there is significant benefit from reducing the number of bytes as much as possible while still remaining compatible with all common web browsers.<p>I really wish that HTML5 would stop calling many of these problems \"errors.\" They are really more like warnings in any other compiler. There is well-defined, sensible behavior for them specified in the standard. There is no real guesswork being made on the part of the parser, in which the user's intentions are unclear and the parser just needs to make an arbitrary choice and keep going (except for the unclosed center tag, because unclosed tags for anything but the few valid ones can indicate that someone made a mistake in authoring). Many of the \"errors\" are stylistic warnings, saying that you should use CSS instead of the older presentational attributes, but all of the presentational attributes are still defined and still will be indefinitely, as no one can remove support for them without breaking the web.", "link": "item?id=3280150", "user": "lambda"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "gcr", "comments": [{"comment": "For the Google homepage, every byte counts. I'm not surprised.", "link": "item?id=3279002", "user": "gcr"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "alttag", "comments": [{"comment": "The introduction of the menu bar and other javascripty-ness demonstrates this is less the case than it used to be.", "link": "item?id=3280083", "user": "alttag"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "ricardobeat", "comments": [{"comment": "Not really, but there are many benefits to keeping your HTML clean. Google seems to just use whatever works, in able to support all kinds of ancient browsers.", "link": "item?id=3278892", "user": "ricardobeat"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "dennisgorelik", "comments": [{"comment": "It looks like Google Front page developers simply don't care about HTML compliance.<p>There is no reason to allow most of these errors other than coding sloppiness.<p><a href=\"http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&#38;charset=%28detect+automatically%29&#38;doctype=Inline&#38;group=0\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co...</a>", "link": "item?id=3278972", "user": "dennisgorelik"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "rmc", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>I often wonder what the web would be like if web browsers threw an error upon encountering a syntax error rather than making a best effort to render.</i><p>The web would have died in stillbirth and it would never have grown to where it is now.<p>\"Be generous in what you accept\" (part of Postel's Law) is a cornerstone of what made the internet great.<p>XHTML had a \"die upon failure\" mode, and it has died, why do you think XHTML was abandoned and lots of people are using HTML5 now.", "link": "item?id=3279958", "user": "rmc"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "RobertKohr", "comments": [{"comment": "\"...everything from tables nested to infinity...\"<p>The irony of that statement on hacker news is pretty amazing. Have you looked at how the threads are rendered on this page. It is tables all the way down.", "link": "item?id=3286782", "user": "RobertKohr"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "pilsetnieks", "comments": [{"comment": "Considering it's Google and we're talking about almost the whole population of the Earth, the vanishingly small percentage of the entire population of the planet would still be at least hundreds of thousands of people.", "link": "item?id=3278399", "user": "pilsetnieks"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "juiceandjuice", "comments": [{"comment": "I normally don't comment on things.<p>I think a lot of people are missing the point. The nature of Company x and y is irrelevant, the issue is interchangeable.<p>Hacker News used to be a community devoid of emotional outbursts and when they occurred they were thought out, thought provoking and well articulated. Smart comments. Only smart comments were up-voted.<p>This wasn't and it was at the top. It's indicative of the direction HN is going.<p>(For intensive purposes x in this case is Monsanto and y is Cloudant.)", "link": "item?id=3107338", "user": "sraut"}, {"comment": "I do understand the thought but I think it is not a good gesture to do. You could always cap crawl-delay at a reasonable maximum and additionally allow people to fix mistakes through the webmaster tools (eg if they told your bots to stay away for a long time but in the meantime want to revert that).<p>Maybe instead that hostload could be parsed from robots.txt? It sure seems like the better mechanic to tweak for load issues (while traffic/bandwidth issues are still unresolved).", "link": "item?id=3278389", "user": "aw3c2"}, {"comment": "I'm sorry, but this post is riddled with so much nonsense it's silly. To think that the hackers of the work, the YCombinator hackers, are somehow the cream of the crop when compared to people at a company like Cisco is incredibly shied sighted.", "link": "item?id=3364370", "user": "juiceandjuice"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "puredemo", "comments": [{"comment": "Lack of emotion doesn't necessarily correlate with intelligence or success.<p>Also, an \"emotional outburst\" can be the product of knowing you're correct, AKA you've done the research and know the ins and outs of the situation.", "link": "item?id=3108663", "user": "puredemo"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "yesbabyyes", "comments": [{"comment": "Matt, how does a sitemap fit into this? If I'm not mistaken, you can suggest some refresh rate there, too. Do you take that into account?", "link": "item?id=3278421", "user": "yesbabyyes"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 6, "names": "abbasmehdi", "comments": [{"comment": "lets not forget that GoDaddy's owner is US private equity group KKR. All of KKR's tech portfolio companies should also be banned (if applicable).<p><a href=\"http://kkr.com/partners/portfolio-partners.php\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://kkr.com/partners/portfolio-partners.php</a>", "link": "item?id=3383193", "user": "antr"}, {"comment": "pg- If you're interested in tax laws for startups in Sweden, let me know. I have a good friend who is in the process of IPO'n his startup and is very \"money conscious\".", "link": "item?id=3389270", "user": "mbesto"}, {"comment": "What is the stuff that needs building for SOPA to be effective? All the rights holders need to know is the name of the domain they want seized, and it gets removed from DNS. Pretty simple and sadly effective.<p>Edit: For people that think this is difficult - ICE is already doing it quite easily. They contact the company that controls the root domain. For .com, it is VeriSign.", "link": "item?id=3362131", "user": "jim"}, {"comment": "Mr. Graham, wow, this is rather disappointing to hear. You wish to frame a discussion through ad hominem instead of on the merits. For what it's worth I am apolitical, and have little interest in provoking controversy, but that doesn't mean I wish to see the promotion of a company which pushes injustice across the world.<p>Previously, I had looked up to you as a bit of a hero, now my opinion of you has dived quite low. I would not have minded if you disagreed with the merits of what Monsanto and Monsanto's customers choose to do. However, referring to people as dumb, for upvoting what is essentially a very well held and defensible position is a very weak thing to do. There are lots of arguments to be made against Monsanto, not the least of which is its Superfund environmental disaster sites.<p>The point is, I am informed, I know exactly what I am against, and have every reason to be outraged at the injustice perpetrated by Monsanto. This is furthered by needing to make the same arguments against Monsanto at my own company. If we've gotten to the point where we can't be outraged against injustice, then we may as well be heartless automatons.<p>To summarily dismiss them in this way and at the same time attack the intelligence of your readers is, well, reprehensible. Call me dumb if you will, I won't make arguments to the level of my own intelligence, but know that you have invalidated every reason to see you as a role model.", "link": "item?id=3105339", "user": "nowarninglabel"}, {"comment": "Is that specifically to inconvenience someone who would break in, steal your password list, and crack it offline?<p>If not, what was the design goal?<p>If slowing down web login attempts isn't part of it, why not get a dedicated auth server and offload the crypt stuff onto it?<p>And if it is the goal, you could use CPU-friendly sleeps on the front-end to give increasing delays to the repeated guesser.", "link": "item?id=3100295", "user": "wnight"}, {"comment": "How many apps did you guys end up getting this round?", "link": "item?id=3100238", "user": "abbasmehdi"}], "children": [{"number": 4, "names": "nirvana", "comments": [{"comment": "Wow that was an interesting list...<p>I had only heard of 5 of those companies, but this one stood out. Tasc.com<p>Checkout one of their services:<p>Cyberwarrior training<p><a href=\"http://www.tasc.com/capabilities/cyberwarrior_training/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.tasc.com/capabilities/cyberwarrior_training/</a><p><i>\"Cyber security requirements have changed: hackers have started working full time for criminal syndicates; spammers and adware/spyware developers are now using the same code as worm writers; and organizations are increasingly on the front page news for losing customer data. You need to protect your information now.<p>The sheer complexity of the Internet makes it difficult to understand and defend against attacks. You may be unaware of vulnerabilities that affect your network.<p>Modern day computer systems, comprised of millions of lines of software code, are wrought with bugs and exploitable weaknesses. Education is your best defense. While understanding how computers and networks operate is important, to defend your network from attack you need to understand how attackers exploit weakness in your system.<p>TASC is a leader in IT security for the U.S. Government, Intelligence Agencies, and the Department of Defense. TASC offers the CyberWarrior Course Series to teach you about the latest computer network threats, tactics, defensive measures, and certification and accreditation processes.<p>The CyberWarrior Course Series will give you the skills you need to ensure you are practic\"</i><p>While the brochure makes it sound like standard netsec training... I find the wording of a \"Cyberwarrior Training\" program to be... surreal. Further, I think it is pretty sick to market such services to a government that clearly is clueless about the internet in general. (not the defense industries - the political arms of the government)<p>The reason is that it is probably easy to market this service to politicians who want to appear savvy:<p>\"<i>Look, we need more cyberwarriors on the net - we need to block the firewalls of the cyber criminals. This is the next fronteir in protecting our nation!</i>\" --- <i></i>*For the low cost of $150,000 per cyber warrior. No guarantees apply. Check you state for local restrictions.", "link": "item?id=3383362", "user": "samstave"}, {"comment": "DNS could be circumvented or supplanted. The real horror scenario is language mandating dropping addresses from routing tables making it into a treaty.", "link": "item?id=3362505", "user": "jasonwatkinspdx"}, {"comment": "If you were apolitical, you wouldn't see monsanto as \"a company which pushes injustice across the world\".<p>Notice that this thread is full of such disparaging assertions, but no actual details, no citations, and the closest anyone gets is to pointing to people who have a very clear political agenda who make accusations against monsanto.<p>\"what is essentially a very well held and defensible position\"<p>I think this is what he's referring to as \"dumb\". This is not a \"defensible\" position because it isn't a fact, it is merely a dislike. As for \"very well held\" its unclear what you mean, except maybe you mean \"widely held\". I think it is dumb to assume that just because a lot of people say the same thing about something, that means they are right, especially when they cannot go into details, and what they are saying is just broad political assertions.<p>\"The point is, I am informed, I know exactly what I am against, and have every reason to be outraged at the injustice perpetrated by Monsanto.\"<p>If you're informed, why aren't you specific? Even when describing what you're outraged, the best you can say is \"injustice\". Such a weak word, and what does it really mean anyway? They did something you don't like?<p>Wendy's screwed up my order the other day, giving me someone else's food, and they didn't give me a coupon to compensate. Oh, the injustice! Sure, that's silly, but at least I described specifically what they did wrong!<p>You're \"outraged\" at something you can't even describe. Yet you're \"apolitical\". Really?<p>Personally, I'm so tired of people going around repeating things they heard from other people, without doing any investigation or applying a legitimate moral compass to the issue.<p>This leads to \"heartless automatons\"... people who are easily controlled by media outlets. \"Hate walmart!\" (but don't hate Target, they're just the same, only they're unionized, and therefore they're not evil.) \"Blame Wall Street!\" (But ignore the government that, via regulation, forced banks to make loans to people who couldn't repaying them, claiming that to do otherwise was \"racist\".) etc. etc. etc.", "link": "item?id=3105683", "user": "nirvana"}, {"comment": "&#62; Is that specifically to inconvenience someone who would break in, steal your password list, and crack it offline?<p>Probably: <a href=\"http://codahale.com/how-to-safely-store-a-password/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://codahale.com/how-to-safely-store-a-password/</a><p>Hashing functions designed for speed are absolutely the wrong thing for passwords.", "link": "item?id=3101113", "user": "technomancy"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "palish", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't understand how it's \"sick\" to market a training program at people who are \"clueless\".", "link": "item?id=3383431", "user": "GHFigs"}, {"comment": "So... I just read <a href=\"http://www.isb.vt.edu/news/2008/artspdf/feb0803.pdf\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.isb.vt.edu/news/2008/artspdf/feb0803.pdf</a> ... the \"meat of things\", as you put it.<p>It describes a farmer who knowingly violated an agreement he signed with Monsanto; then Monsanto suing said farmer, and winning.<p>I have no idea why this would make Monsanto an \"evil company\". I just don't get it. The farmer was under no obligation to sign the agreement.", "link": "item?id=3113558", "user": "palish"}, {"comment": "Yeah, that's what I'd have thought.<p>But I don't see the need to do the processing on the web servers.", "link": "item?id=3113702", "user": "wnight"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "samstave", "comments": [{"comment": "I am talking about marketing the program to congress/political figures in charge of funding for the training.<p>THey would not be the ones taking the training - but the ones spending tax dollars on a service they really don't understand - thus the likelihood for abuse is higher.<p>I err on the side of corruption when anything pertaining to governments is concerned. Call me paranoid.", "link": "item?id=3383625", "user": "samstave"}, {"comment": "I'm making my reply to the one below yours to the other commenter who asked for more information. There is plenty more to chew through.", "link": "item?id=3116726", "user": "nowarninglabel"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "GHFigs", "comments": [{"comment": "Paranoid is not the word that comes to mind.", "link": "item?id=3383726", "user": "GHFigs"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "samstave", "comments": [{"comment": "I think you are misreading my intent.", "link": "item?id=3384265", "user": "samstave"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "puredemo", "comments": [{"comment": "Actually, if you don't mind spending a few minutes to go on a bit further, I think it would be useful to have it all archived here for future reference.", "link": "item?id=3108678", "user": "puredemo"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "stephenson", "comments": [{"comment": "Why? The KKR portfolio is independent companies with independent political standpoints...", "link": "item?id=3383260", "user": "stephenson"}, {"comment": "So they know the name that they want removed. Who do they tell? How do they tell them? Do they call on the phone? Do they enter it in a web form? Who wrote that web app? Who maintains the server that runs it? Who edits the DNS record to remove the name or writes the software that does so?<p>There are a number of intermediate steps between \"knowing the name\" and \"the DNS record gets removed\". DNS servers are not yet controlled telepathically, to my knowledge.", "link": "item?id=3362193", "user": "imgabe"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "mindstab", "comments": [{"comment": "YC is an investor and has a standpoint. YC is promoting anti-SOPA support outwards and towards its (independent) portfolio companies. KKR is also an investor and also <i>has</i> a standpoint.", "link": "item?id=3383425", "user": "antr"}, {"comment": "Have you seen all the ICE FBI domain seizures over the last year? That part is already done and has been running along taking hundreds of domains in its first year of operations", "link": "item?id=3362537", "user": "mindstab"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "stephenson", "comments": [{"comment": "But its not KKR listet on the pro SOPA list its one, and only one of there portefolie companies. KKR are not (in the same way as YC isent) responsible for its portefolies standpoints.", "link": "item?id=3383659", "user": "stephenson"}, {"comment": "Yes, they seized 150 domains. I would not be surprised if they printed the list out and handed it over, and someone had a very boring afternoon of banning them. What happens when a counterfeiter registers 1000 domains? or 10000? or 100000? That's all besides the point. The point is that somebody who knows this is a bad idea had to be involved in making it happen. I want that person to stand up and refuse to do it. There are thousands of engineers working at the companies that are advocating this law. How long would Sony stay in business if its engineering staff up and quit?", "link": "item?id=3363298", "user": "imgabe"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dataangel", "comments": [{"comment": "They are not legally liable, which is different from being responsible. Imagine if one of their portfolio companies was a child porn distributor. You wouldn't defend KKR, because clearly they have some choice in who they put in their portfolio, and a child porn distributor is an immoral choice. Holding a SOPA supporting company is also a (albeit less egregious) poor choice. Taking away invites of their portfolio companies provides motivation for them to look into this sort of thing when choosing companies in the future.", "link": "item?id=3383790", "user": "dataangel"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "danssig", "comments": [{"comment": "They're an enabler. You punish them the same to inspire them to push pressure downward on everyone they work with.<p>Remember when Glenn Beck was still on Fox and people were crying continuously? Nothing worked until they started boycotting the companies advertising for him.", "link": "item?id=3385182", "user": "danssig"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "oldstrangers", "comments": [{"comment": "and yet the likes of the nsa, fbi, etc have never lacked for good (in the technical sense) people to write surveillance software. heck, there are some pretty sophisticated spammers out there, and the spam industry is almost universally regarded as the cesspool of the tech world. if sopa does need to get implemented, i'm sure questionable small companies across the nation would flock to bid for the job.", "link": "item?id=3363282", "user": "zem"}, {"comment": "pg - this is bad ass. Way to put your money where your mouth is.", "link": "item?id=3382893", "user": "TheIronYuppie"}, {"comment": "Paul Graham thinks I'm dumb. I think I might put that on my resume.<p>Realistically, this isn't an issue of intellect. It's an issue of ethics, morality and emotion. Or then again, maybe I'm just an idiot.", "link": "item?id=3105245", "user": "oldstrangers"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "omouse", "comments": [{"comment": "We might be able to enlist the technical help of spammers like that. They may not like SOPA either? I wouldn't be surprised if all technical people, regardless of what they do as their job, are against SOPA and other things like it.", "link": "item?id=3364559", "user": "omouse"}, {"comment": "<i>It's an issue of ethics, morality and emotion.</i><p>If that's the case, why didn't you address the issue with the kind of gravity and seriousness that such an issue demands instead of resting on such a vapid comment as the one which our fellow readers have so lavished with approbation? Would anybody have been worse off if you had?", "link": "item?id=3105646", "user": "GHFigs"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "oldstrangers", "comments": [{"comment": "See my comment here: <a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3105322\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3105322</a>", "link": "item?id=3106680", "user": "oldstrangers"}, {"comment": "i'm pretty sure that the spammers are personally against spam too, as in they would not like to receive it. my point is that people are more than willing to implement something they would not like personally applied to them, for money, the challenge, job security or whatever.", "link": "item?id=3367899", "user": "zem"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "rohern", "comments": [{"comment": "They're selling them data analysis. I cannot find in that a great moral question or hazard. I'm sure when Monsanto employees go about their daily lives they also are sold food, clothes, computers, cell phones...<p>Nick O'Niell's analysis of Paul Graham's comment is nonsensical:<p>\"He\u2019s actively suggesting the idea that because other people are doing it (people with big brand names), it\u2019s ok for a YCombinator company to do it as well.\"<p>Putting aside the rape of the English language going on in that sentence --'actively suggesting'? --, it is false in its claims. Paul pointed out that if the moral standard is that companies who sell things to nasty companies are committing a moral offense, then we need to apply this standard massively, to essentially every company that exists. Targeting Cloudant specifically is unfair and seems arbitrary.", "link": "item?id=3105513", "user": "rohern"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "oldstrangers", "comments": [{"comment": "\"They're selling them data analysis.\"<p>That's rather disingenuous. Let's let them explain it:<p>\"Monsanto has chosen Cloudant to be the core of their new genome analysis platform.<p>Cloudant\u2019s BigCouch will be the core, for both storage and analysis of a new, company-wide platform powering a fundamental aspect of a Fortune 500 business: the analysis &#38; identification of new traits &#38; genomic combinations in agricultural crops. The data &#38; reporting interfaces will be used across Monsanto and should be instrumental in the making of key business decisions.\"<p>\"We\u2019ve been working with them for a few weeks now and we couldn\u2019t be more thrilled with the partnership.\"<p>Cloudant has placed themselves at the very heart of the Monsanto empire. They are the foundation and core of Monsanto's most essential operations. That goes above and beyond simply selling someone something. They are partners.", "link": "item?id=3105584", "user": "oldstrangers"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "nirvana", "comments": [{"comment": "Rohern makes a statement, you call it disingenuous, and then \"prove\" it by quoting the company making the same statement.<p>He's downvoted to the point of being grey while you are not. My comments here are down voted without replies.<p>I think this proves Mr. Graham's and my point.", "link": "item?id=3105725", "user": "nirvana"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "oldstrangers", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm not sure how many more ways I can break this down for you. I figured my previous comment was pretty clear.<p>Asserting that Cloudant is only selling Monsanto a simple data analysis is disingenuous, as clearly proven by Cloudant's own press release where they state how significant their partnership with Monsanto is. Partnership is a key word here.<p>Selling someone a service like Google Analytics (random example) is a lot different than partnering with a company for multiple weeks and shaping the entire core functionality of a company around your collaborative efforts. Even more so is saying that this partnership will help shape the way the company fundamentally does business.<p>Like I said, its disingenuous to downplay Cloudant's role, considering how highly they emphasized said role.", "link": "item?id=3105948", "user": "oldstrangers"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "middayc", "comments": [{"comment": "I have a deep interest in politics. I've watched and read much on Monsanto. I upvoted because I like to think if given the chance I would refuse to partner with a Monsanto no matter how much $$$. I'm comfortable with you thinking I'm dumb based on an upvote.", "link": "item?id=3105308", "user": "janj"}, {"comment": "The companies that are likely to a build a lot of this (large government contractors) already have trouble hiring quality developers, any engineering boycott is likely to get lost in the noise.", "link": "item?id=3362011", "user": "aidenn0"}, {"comment": "Awesome. More people with influence should (be brave enough to) take their part of action if they think something sucks!", "link": "item?id=3382979", "user": "middayc"}], "children": null}, {"number": 3, "names": "rdl", "comments": [{"comment": "Is Amex the only card association (well, sort of) left? Visa and Mastercard both are on the list.", "link": "item?id=3383364", "user": "rdl"}, {"comment": "Yeah. Look what we did to Visa and Mastercard after they screwed Wikileaks. Cisco's gonna be totally scared!", "link": "item?id=3363332", "user": "ldar15"}, {"comment": "Regarding your second sentence, it's interesting that the exact same thing happened to reddit in 2005.<p>I wonder how the population sizes compare.<p>In their case, blind upvoting of empty politically-charged headlines turned off mainstream visitors (or just people who were looking for actual content in their political links) and attracted ever more such voters in a vicious cycle. Fortunately, the creation of /r/politics helped, but the site to this day struggles to keep /r/politics from overflowing into the rest of the site.", "link": "item?id=3105296", "user": "raldi"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "rdl", "comments": [{"comment": "Actually it looks like Visa and MC were some of the most reasonable in the hearings -- they said there would be lots of costs to comply, and while they didn't support visa/mc being used for any illegal activity, ...", "link": "item?id=3383860", "user": "rdl"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "steventruong", "comments": [{"comment": "Discover", "link": "item?id=3384195", "user": "steventruong"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "nirvana", "comments": [{"comment": "Are you guys going to stop using Mastercard, VISA, and no idea who your internet provider is but if its Comcast, them too?<p>I did another thread on here regarding this as well and I'm curious how far people are willing to go to prove a point or are they only singling out whatever makes sense. The above three have some strong strong monopolies or close to it so it makes things much harder. GoDaddy just happens to be one of the easy ones people can choose to switch from.", "link": "item?id=3384201", "user": "steventruong"}, {"comment": "When I attended the Startup School in 2007, I had to apply. I was sure I wasn't going to get in, but I did, and when I got there I understood that the application wasn't elitist, it was because the venue was pretty fixed in size... and the quality of the event was much different due to this (relatively light) filter you'd applied.<p>I think hacker news would be much different if you applied a similar filter.<p>If everyone here were someone sincerely interested in doing a startup, who believed that it was moral to make money by improving people's lives, and believed that technological innovation was a good way to do it, then I think the site would be much different.<p>The early quality has turned HN into a popular source for a certain segment of news. But that has diluted it as an effective community.<p>Occasionally there's been talk of doing another site along these lines, but the right kind of filter wasn't obvious.<p>I think that it is clear what the right kind of filter is-- an application form like the Startup School one.<p>I don't know what your intentions are for HN going forward, if you have any interest in making significant changes or not. After Nirvana (my open source web platform project) is released, and my startups MVP is done, I intend to write software for a community of startup founders and see if we can make a go of it.<p>But you have a much bigger following. I think if you liked this idea, picking a hundred or so of the commenters you liked the best from the site would enable rapid evaluation of such applications (especially if the applications were relatively short). However, it might be too easy to game such a system.<p>But that's where my thoughts are. I always like to try and propose a solution when I see a problem, even if I am not sure my solution will work.", "link": "item?id=3105650", "user": "nirvana"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jon2512chua", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't speak for everyone but personally, I'm not against all companies that are pro-SOPA, just the Internet firms who I think should know better. As for others like the music or motion picture industries, I understand and respect their support for SOPA.", "link": "item?id=3384382", "user": "jon2512chua"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "180grl", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm talking to my Congressman on the phone right now. What do you think should be altered so the bill can achieve its original purpose? Or will nothing help?", "link": "item?id=3383495", "user": "180grl"}, {"comment": "This statement is much worse than Cloudant having Monsanto as a client which I support.<p>And I'm a big critic of Monsanto but to suggest being socially aware is \"politically shallow\" is insulting and stupid. You should be encouraging us to be socially and politically engaged and fighting for responsible corporate governance.<p>You seem out of touch with the real world.", "link": "item?id=3105598", "user": "deea"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "eek04", "comments": [{"comment": "I think it's very hard to make anything help. Here's a shortlist of things that should be fixed to avoid it horribly hurting innocent people, but I doubt it's enough - there seems likely to be more things in there. The original purpose of the law seems to be \"Give the 'intellectual property' industries a blunt instrument to attack perceived violators\", so making it less blunt probably violate the original purpose anyway.<p>Stop removing DNS entries; that's attempting to censor things that aren't in the US for non-US citizens.<p>Require a full court proceeding to stop advertisements and payment processing in the US - ie, no \"court order\", it has to be a full lawsuit with the ability to defend.<p>Require the removal of access to only affect a specific, listed set of companies.<p>Require the company requesting the blocking to pay reasonable costs of blocking.<p>Remove the making of copyright infringement into a felony; each of these things can easily happen by mistake.", "link": "item?id=3383693", "user": "eek04"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "andrewfong", "comments": [{"comment": "You could try saying \"nothing\". Hollywood is actually doing quite alright, piracy or not.<p>Alternatively, you could suggest Ron Wyden's OPEN bill. OPEN nixes the the DNS filtering, but keeps some of the follow-the-money measures in SOPA. More importantly, it also requires a full court hearing before any action can be taken.", "link": "item?id=3383626", "user": "andrewfong"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "ascendant", "comments": [{"comment": "Just wondering here -- would you go so far as to consider the domain registrars of YC hopefuls when going through the application process, or would their choice hold essentially zero weight in whether they get accepted or not?", "link": "item?id=3383160", "user": "jimmyjim"}, {"comment": "Of course you're on the side of this, you stand to make money from it so anyone that can't see that is \"dumb\". Hooray for chucking your morals chasing the almighty dollar, eh?", "link": "item?id=3105622", "user": "ascendant"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "intenex", "comments": [{"comment": "I doubt it'll become a topic of conversation what your registrar is..but if it does happen to come up and you happen to say GoDaddy, judging from pg's post above the answer is probably yes, he will hold it against you :)<p>Funding a company that supports a company that supports SOPA is just one step away from supporting a company that supports SOPA...which in turn is just one step away from <i>supporting SOPA</i>. Scary, isn't it?", "link": "item?id=3383671", "user": "intenex"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "aestetix_", "comments": [{"comment": "Paul, branding us as \"dumb\" for reasoning this way seems beneath you. Where, in this line of reasoning, do we diverge?<p>1. Monsanto is a despicable company.<p>2. By \"working closely\", Cloudant implicitly condones Monsanto's ethics.<p>3. By announcing it publicly, Cloudant goes beyond condoning Monsanto's ethics and appear to actively support Monsanto's actions.<p>That's roughly my line of reasoning. Are losing each other at #1, #2 or #3?", "link": "item?id=3105970", "user": "jasonallen"}, {"comment": "pg, thank you so much for doing this. Quite a ballsy move, and highly respectable.", "link": "item?id=3383434", "user": "aestetix_"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "csallen", "comments": [{"comment": "Can't speak for PG, but I'd say you lost him by #2. I never understood this kind of lump-everything-together thinking. It's overly idealistic, totally illogical, and almost always hypocritical.<p>Yes, boycotting a business is a common way to demonstrate your disapproval with some of their practices. However, it doesn't follow that doing business with a company implies condoning of all of their actions. I'm sorry, but there's no logic that supports such a conclusion.<p>And even if the logic existed, anyone who invoked it would be a glaring hypocrite. I assume you use a bank? Pay taxes to your government? Buy food, and shelter, and other products? Well you're undoubtedly a patron to at least a few entities who've committed atrocities. By your own logic, you condone each and every one of these attrocities. And by the op's eloquent logic, fuck you.", "link": "item?id=3106837", "user": "csallen"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "no_no_procrast", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; They [upvote] because they're dumb. It's the shape of this sort of idea that excites them, not its content.<p>The first part is a fundamental attribution error. The second part definitely plays a role, but don't think it's the primary cause. You can probably do the analysis on the votes, but I'd be surprised if the majority of the votes come from young accounts. I think it's much more likely that political topics are popular because the political climate changed so much in the US, especially for young people.", "link": "item?id=3105108", "user": "no_no_procrast"}, {"comment": "Thanks pg ! This is the kind of effort that make a difference.", "link": "item?id=3383669", "user": "hub_"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "puredemo", "comments": [{"comment": "Or perhaps the fact that CS has always been a naturally political issue. Is RMS apolitical? Is CS not used to wage wars?", "link": "item?id=3108692", "user": "puredemo"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "marcanthonyrosa", "comments": [{"comment": "Not always dumb, sometimes just angry. Maybe even with good reason. But that's still no excuse for the behavior.", "link": "item?id=3106493", "user": "projectileboy"}, {"comment": "I'm sure you've seen the list of supporters (<a href=\"http://1.usa.gov/t7Wpo8\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://1.usa.gov/t7Wpo8</a>). Even the list itself is a half-assed job by pro-SOPAs to illustrate Congressional support for the bill.<p>Unless, of course, the fragrance company Coty Inc has been seeing a lot of their fragrances being pirated online.", "link": "item?id=3383656", "user": "marcanthonyrosa"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "robalex", "comments": [{"comment": "Even though the national/local press does not follow this very closely in Europe, we are making as much effort as possible to bring it to everyone's attention in order to stimulate participation along the same lines as yours. where possible I/we shall boycott over here also.", "link": "item?id=3385867", "user": "robalex"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "pajop", "comments": [{"comment": "Paul - you've always been one of my heroes - this takes a lot of intestinal fortitude - I salute you!", "link": "item?id=3385100", "user": "pajop"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "Yipster", "comments": [{"comment": "This is Awesome.", "link": "item?id=3385382", "user": "Yipster"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "davidjrodriguez", "comments": [{"comment": "+1", "link": "item?id=3383550", "user": "davidjrodriguez"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 6, "names": "runningdogx", "comments": [{"comment": "That list would be a whole lot shorter if you removed the names of Law Firms. Why are they even on there? And the Congressional Fire Service supports SOPA? That's \"stretching it\" for supporters.", "link": "item?id=3382822", "user": "unreal37"}, {"comment": "Since SOPA would result in various American internet companies being crippled (censoring those would result in the death of the company if a large portion of their users is American), there would be plenty of other countries affected negatively by the passing of SOPA.", "link": "item?id=3362318", "user": "nsmartt"}, {"comment": "Leanpub (self-publishing in-progress ebooks)<p>[disclaimer: my startup]", "link": "item?id=3465687", "user": "peterarmstrong"}, {"comment": "Could google vary the crawling rate on each site and see what effects that has on response times, and develop an algorithm to adjust crawl speed so as not to affect site performance too much? If google starts crawling a site and notices sequential crawl requests are answered in .5s w/ .1s stddev and it starts crawling with 10 parallel connections and the answers are 2s w/ 1s stddev, clearly that's a problem because user experience for real people will be impacted. Maybe google could automatically email webmaster@ and notify them of performance issues it sees when crawling.<p>Another thing that might help google is for them to announce and support some meta tag that would allow site owners (or web app devs) to declare how likely a page is to change in the future. Google could store that with the page metadata and when crawling a site for updates, particularly when rate limited via webmaster tools, it could first crawl those pages most likely to have changed. Forum/discussion sites could add the meta tags to older threads (particularly once they're no longer open for comments) announcing to google that those thread pages are unlikely to change in the future. For sites with lots of old threads (or lots of pages generated from data stored in a DB and not all of which can be cached), that sort of feature would help the site during google crawls and would help google keep more recent pages up to date without crawling entire sites.", "link": "item?id=3278437", "user": "runningdogx"}, {"comment": "Speaking of errors in computer forensics:<p><a href=\"http://wordpress.bladeforensics.com/?p=357\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://wordpress.bladeforensics.com/?p=357</a>", "link": "item?id=3260450", "user": "colonelxc"}, {"comment": "&#62; <i>I'm not alarmed because there seems to be two very distinct crowds of people who hang out on hacker news. \"Startup people\", like yourself, who are across the political spectrum, with probably a disproportionate number of libertarians (as compared to the broader population) and the /r/politics crowd which are very anti-capitalist, anti-innovation, pro-taxes, etc.</i><p>You're just creating two stereotypes and shoving people in them without having any clue about the actual distribution. People on HN are thinkers. Sure there are clusters of opinion, but these aren't disjoint sets across the spectrum. We have a variety of nuanced opinion because we all think a lot.<p>Case in point: me. I guess you could say I lean a bit liberal, but fiscally I'm conservative because I think on balance the government doesn't do a good job spending money. I believe in capitalism, but I also believe that regulation is necessary (despite its blunt nature) to protect the public good.<p>The Monsanto issue an important one. They are profiting at the expense of the quality of the world food supply, and they use a lot of strong-arm methods to maintain their profits. Reasonable people can disagree about various corporations' practices, but to pigeon-hole people who complain about Monsanto rather than going and educating yourself about what they do does yourself and the whole world a disservice. The quality of the food supply is a life or death issue for everyone.", "link": "item?id=3104978", "user": "dasil003"}], "children": [{"number": 5, "names": "nirvana", "comments": [{"comment": "\"rather than going and educating yourself about what they do\"<p>Your assumption that I'm not educated about the issue is in error.", "link": "item?id=3105717", "user": "nirvana"}, {"comment": " &#62; <i>declare how likely a page is to change in the future</i><p>I believe you can do that using a sitemap.xml", "link": "item?id=3278882", "user": "ricardobeat"}, {"comment": "That is pretty nice Peter. I have a few short book ideas and I'll try your service out on one of them.", "link": "item?id=3467792", "user": "mark_l_watson"}, {"comment": "Like what? In some of the countries I mentioned they already have replacements. You think google is big in china? Try Baidu. Somehow the Chinese economy has managed to struggle on :P<p>And Iran? Syria?<p>There are already lots of countries out there with tougher laws that have also gotten rid of this companies influences and are able to carry on. And some of them also have successful tech industries despite it.<p>We need a better solution then revolt of the entitled well off white nerds.<p>How about instead we pour all our money into counter lobby or governmental reform groups, like what Larwence Lessig is up to these days. That may be the only way to change things.<p>This idea of a protest is at least a decade too late.", "link": "item?id=3362545", "user": "mindstab"}, {"comment": "SOPA encourages litigation -- of course the law firms would be salivating for it.", "link": "item?id=3383108", "user": "MBlume"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dasil003", "comments": [{"comment": "Then you shouldn't assume that somebody who is vitriolic about the issue is automatically a liberal wacko.", "link": "item?id=3106031", "user": "dasil003"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "temphn", "comments": [{"comment": "If they are vitriolic about the issue then they are likely to be a wacko. Whether liberal or otherwise is TBD.<p>After all, only a wacko would say \"f<i></i>* Cloudant\" to someone's face who they just met or heard about.", "link": "item?id=3108206", "user": "temphn"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dasil003", "comments": [{"comment": "A) I disagree, non-wackos can have extremely strong opinions B) The post I was responding to pigeon-holed the OP not just as a liberal but several Fox-worthy aspersions.", "link": "item?id=3108461", "user": "dasil003"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 5, "names": "nobody31415926", "comments": [{"comment": "Please restrain yourself from swipe generalizations about Indian or Russian programmers.", "link": "item?id=3362777", "user": "d0mine"}, {"comment": "I'm sure going to try.<p>I only have dealings with GoDaddy and Comcast; and while I can't get away from Comcast, I'm going to do my damnedest to get away from GoDaddy.", "link": "item?id=3382830", "user": "greyfade"}, {"comment": "Dropbox, Airbnb", "link": "item?id=3465637", "user": "revorad"}, {"comment": "There was the company that sold the US a system to find hidden messages in Al Jazera videos - I think that got a few people a trip to the orange suited holiday camp before everybody discovered it was a con", "link": "item?id=3259493", "user": "nobody31415926"}, {"comment": "Monsanto is an extreme case, and therefore inspires a lot of passion. I'd say the vast majority of people on HN are pro-capitalism and pro-innovation, but have disparate views on business ethics and the efficacy of various regulations. In the eyes of many, Monsanto crosses the line between \"good honest competition\" and \"dangerous and malevolent would-be monopolist.\"<p>Also: Way to paint people you disagree with on this issue as \"very anti-capitalist, anti-innovation, pro-taxes...\"", "link": "item?id=3104569", "user": "kongqiu"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "statictype", "comments": [{"comment": "Those were merely used as examples since both countries have a large pool of programmers. The same would apply to any developer anywhere", "link": "item?id=3363227", "user": "statictype"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "zapnap", "comments": [{"comment": "Cloudant posted the article which is almost exclusively about the Monsanto partnership.<p>The ensuing debate logically should be about the partnership rather than the technology.<p>Flag the article if you don't think it's relevant.", "link": "item?id=3104663", "user": "klochner"}, {"comment": "Simple/BankSimple, maybe :p.", "link": "item?id=3465667", "user": "zapnap"}, {"comment": "Yes, no problem. F*ck every last one of those companies. The only two that I still have no real choice but to support would be Comcast because of my local ISP monopoly (I can get 512K DSL from SBC [ATT] or 100mbit Comcast...not really what I'd call a \"choice\") and MasterCard because my credit union does not offer debit cards via AmEx.", "link": "item?id=3382956", "user": "seanp2k2"}], "children": null}, {"number": 2, "names": "thomasgerbe", "comments": [{"comment": "It's good to be distanced from this kind of crowd ;)", "link": "item?id=3382747", "user": "shmerl"}, {"comment": "What does not liking a company for it's past transgressions have anything to do with being anti-capitalist/anti-innovation/pro-taxes?", "link": "item?id=3104657", "user": "thomasgerbe"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "solipsist", "comments": [{"comment": "Yes, but I was rather inquiring about whether it was even possible to do so. That list is huge and most likely growing. One of the companies on the list is <i>McGraw-Hill Education</i>. I have to use their products at my school - how do I get around that?", "link": "item?id=3382770", "user": "solipsist"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "phaus", "comments": [{"comment": "It doesn't really matter which textbook manufacturer you get your books from. They are all morally bankrupt institutions. The entire textbook industry is a scam.<p>I love how you can pick nearly any topic in almost any subject(especially computer science) and find an amazing book for free, or for about $60, yet every textbook my school uses gets &#60; 2 stars on amazon and costs $150.<p>My \"favorite\" was a biology book written by a guy with a B.S. in journalism. He published the book years ago and every year he releases a new edition with the chapters out of order.", "link": "item?id=3383149", "user": "phaus"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "wtallis", "comments": [{"comment": "Buy used textbooks whenever possible. If you're stuck in one of those situations where there's a new edition every year, make sure to ask the instructor if you can use the previous edition.", "link": "item?id=3383263", "user": "wtallis"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "praptak", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; I have to use their products at my school - how do I get around that?<p>Be a proud pirate.", "link": "item?id=3383216", "user": "praptak"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "dchest", "comments": [{"comment": "Both MasterCard and VISA are there. What to do? :(", "link": "item?id=3382824", "user": "dchest"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "blahedo", "comments": [{"comment": "Discover? I've been a happy customer of theirs since the 90s, and their coverage has gotten near total within the US. Sparser in other countries, though.", "link": "item?id=3382872", "user": "blahedo"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dchest", "comments": [{"comment": "No Discover or Amex in my country, unfortunately.<p>(Edit: found a bank that offers Amex, but there's no debit corporate cards, plus I'm not allowed to get a credit card here because I'm not a citizen).<p>Ah, duopoly.", "link": "item?id=3382926", "user": "dchest"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "kulkarnic", "comments": [{"comment": "I am planning on using my Amex everywhere they take it. I know they're not non-evil with their commissions, but I'm picking from what we have.", "link": "item?id=3382902", "user": "kulkarnic"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "evandena", "comments": [{"comment": "On the customer service end, I've found Amex to be leagues above the other two. Speaking from my 2 cents.", "link": "item?id=3383161", "user": "evandena"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "jeltz", "comments": [{"comment": "Use cash as much as possible and use wire transfer for online payments whenever you can.", "link": "item?id=3383519", "user": "jeltz"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "djeikyb", "comments": [{"comment": "With my credit union in California, wire transfers are $20 + 2-3 business days. This is cost prohibitive. Western Union is similarly pricey. Dwolla is an interesting competitor ($3/mo for unlimited instant transfers), but it needs wider adoption before it can be used directly.", "link": "item?id=3383709", "user": "djeikyb"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jeltz", "comments": [{"comment": "In Sweden wire transfers within Sweden[1] generally do not have a per transaction cost and most utility bills are paid through wire transfer. Recently many online stores have started allowing purchase with invoice (many use a company called Klarna[2] which handles the sending of invoices and the risks) which you then have to pay through wire transfer.<p>1. I think it is usually free to all EU countries too as long as you use IBAN.<p>2. <a href=\"https://klarna.com/en/business\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://klarna.com/en/business</a>", "link": "item?id=3383829", "user": "jeltz"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "nikropht", "comments": [{"comment": "You guys should look at Dwolla <a href=\"http://www.dwolla.com\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.dwolla.com</a>", "link": "item?id=3386583", "user": "nikropht"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "Tichy", "comments": [{"comment": "BitCoin", "link": "item?id=3382919", "user": "Tichy"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "a_a_r_o_n", "comments": [{"comment": "Spend less.", "link": "item?id=3382855", "user": "a_a_r_o_n"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dchest", "comments": [{"comment": "How is this relevant? I don't spend much, and use cash in real life. But I need a card for online purchases for my business (hosting, etc.) and for access to my bank accounts in a different country. Maybe I can replace most of it with wire transfer, but Amazon, Rackspace, etc. won't accept it.", "link": "item?id=3382947", "user": "dchest"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jackowayed", "comments": [{"comment": "You can give Amazon direct access to your checking account: <a href=\"http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=15399401&#38;tag=duckduckgo-d-20\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1...</a>", "link": "item?id=3383018", "user": "jackowayed"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dchest", "comments": [{"comment": "Thanks. It's ACH-enabled U.S. checking account only, so won't work for me, but maybe others will find this useful.", "link": "item?id=3383139", "user": "dchest"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "a_a_r_o_n", "comments": [{"comment": "It's a compromise. If VISA and MC bother you in this context, use them less. You can't practically eliminate them, but you can, if you choose, reduce their use.", "link": "item?id=3383129", "user": "a_a_r_o_n"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "run4yourlives", "comments": [{"comment": "What are the incentives for Visa and Mastercard to support SOPA?", "link": "item?id=3383002", "user": "mikeknoop"}, {"comment": "Do you realize that your long winded argument is a giant argumentum ad hominem fallacy?", "link": "item?id=3105043", "user": "run4yourlives"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "GHFigs", "comments": [{"comment": "I suspect one reason is that they get process a lot of chargebacks when people's fake Viagra and counterfeit NFL jerseys get seized by Customs before delivery.", "link": "item?id=3383454", "user": "GHFigs"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "FireBeyond", "comments": [{"comment": "Except they make out like bandits in that case. Hefty fees to the merchant, jacked up transaction fees...", "link": "item?id=3383747", "user": "FireBeyond"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "rdouble", "comments": [{"comment": "Online media purchases incur a lot of Visa and Mastercard transactions.", "link": "item?id=3383011", "user": "rdouble"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "jgw", "comments": [{"comment": "The one I found most perplexing was Tiffany &#38; Co.", "link": "item?id=3383082", "user": "jgw"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dorianj", "comments": [{"comment": "Tiffany and other luxury brands believe SOPA will reduce counterfeiting websites.", "link": "item?id=3383141", "user": "dorianj"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "zethraeus", "comments": [{"comment": "Hmm. last.fm's parent corp. CBS is on that list. I wonder what those guys think of the bill.", "link": "item?id=3384320", "user": "zethraeus"}, {"comment": "Rather offtopic can you comment on the post <a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3104637\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3104637</a>", "link": "item?id=3104907", "user": "mun2mun"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "bobwebb", "comments": [{"comment": "They already pay the licencing fees to the respective music labels, so if SOPA gets passed they'll be one of the few legal music streaming sites remaining. If SOPA is used to full effect then it's plausible they could get a larger market share.", "link": "item?id=3385438", "user": "bobwebb"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "dclowd9901", "comments": [{"comment": "So glad I'm only seeing Marvel Comics and not DC. I don't think I could give up my Vertigo graphic novels.", "link": "item?id=3382869", "user": "dclowd9901"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "abrahamsen", "comments": [{"comment": "DC is part of Warner Bros. which is part of Time Warner, which <i>is</i> on the list.", "link": "item?id=3382936", "user": "abrahamsen"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 17, "names": "dabent", "comments": [{"comment": "Until the updated version gets written, just a reminder that's been said several times and that PG reiterated at this year's Startup School: focus more on solving problems instead of ideas.", "link": "item?id=3391698", "user": "jc123"}, {"comment": "Paul, you're strong with the essay-force, but with essays, you only reach the audience that <i>already</i> knows you and is willing to read your works.<p>I recall your comments about public speaking after the NYC-YC event, so I'm guessing you're hesitant, but for what it's worth, I think you do great at public speaking.<p>An important point to realize is you are one of the rare few people here in the US that is actively \"Creating Jobs\" and this gives a great deal of weight to your words, both practically and politically.<p>Though I'm twenty years past being a twenty-something, a non-notable nobody like me could not do what you can do.", "link": "item?id=3384480", "user": "jcr"}, {"comment": "I'm going to piggyback on your comment here, since it's at the top of the comment thread.<p>From the Reddit link:<p>\"Name Cheap messaged me with a special discount code for reddit users: BYEBYEGD I'm not taking any positions i'm just reporting it. I asked him to give reddit users a better deal.\"<p>I'm not affiliated with NameCheap at all, but if you're going to move your domain, this might make things easier.", "link": "item?id=3382771", "user": "someone13"}, {"comment": "There will always be those who prostitute themselves out to build the software to support the bill. Some companies, those most likely to be be the victim of litigation by those in favor of the bill will have no choice but to implement the software due to the threat of litigation damages.<p>However, the best way to combat litigation damages would be a threat to those same companies from every network that connects to them. i.e. an internet embargo against any company that implements the filtering and changes to the DNS.<p>At the end of the day networks need to connect to other networks. If a company implements software that filters it, every network that doesn't have the same obligation can embargo those businesses so that those businesses have no choice but to fight the MPAA and RIAA.<p>Treat those that implement the technology like a cancer and \"excise\" them from the network.<p>Following the money is the only way to prevent the technological implementation of SOPA from spreading. There needs to be an equally or more costly financial threat from the anti-SOPA companies.<p>It doesn't even need to be at the network level. The browser level is sufficient. Chrome, Firefox and Internet explorer (built by 3 organizations that are against SOPA) could all embargo sites at the browser level in the default installations of the browsers. The majority of Internet dollars travel through the browser. The browsers could sniff for DNS systems implementing SOPA and blacklist them. If your DNS implements SOPA then you aren't part of the internet. If they want a browser that supports networks that implement SOPA, let them build it themselves and spend time and money trying to get their browser adopted.<p>The search engine level is another approach. Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo could reduce the search rank of every site on networks that implements SOPA.<p>SOPA uses legislation to break the technological contract that keeps the internet together. Break the technological contract and you should no longer part of the Internet.", "link": "item?id=3362300", "user": "malandrew"}, {"comment": "I find comments that start off like that extremely disingenuous. Whenever someone says \"I &#60;some adjective&#62;, but...\" I see that as \"I don't want to offend anyone reading this because I don't want to get into an argument and/or don't want downvotes, but I'm going to say this anyway because this is how I really feel.\" Things like \"I'm sorry, but...\", \"I hate to tell you this, but...\" or \"This is a great idea, but...\" sometimes (emphasis on sometimes) have good intentions (like pointing out flaws in a website or bringing up an interesting point in the topic) but to me they end up sounding quite pompous and, in this case, offensive.", "link": "item?id=3469792", "user": "Mithrandir"}, {"comment": "Yin and yang perhaps. Companies that are entirely schleps tend to be self-limiting. In software I imagine the typical \"enterprise trenches\" of folks making software based on requirements set out by people who are themselves far removed from the customer as being the typical example of such \"all schlep\" work environment.<p>On the other hand, an all passion company is likely to end up making inconsequential products, or failing to meet schedules, or having poor customer service, or otherwise just failing at being a grown up company. Perhaps the best companies are those that mix schlep and passion in the proper measure. Apple and Google definitely come to mind as examples.", "link": "item?id=3466851", "user": "InclinedPlane"}, {"comment": "The amount of money provided by YC seems like it would naturally limit the type of problems that could be solved by a YC startup.", "link": "item?id=3466048", "user": "absconditus"}, {"comment": "Urban Airship", "link": "item?id=3465649", "user": "rayval"}, {"comment": "How do you mean?", "link": "item?id=3322184", "user": "dougaitken"}, {"comment": "It looks like the December bar (yellow) is actually for November if you take each bar as a month (which lines up with the rest of the marked points). The labeling on the graph is wrong (the yellow bar should be slightly below 10 billion and labeled as November). I'd like to see the downloads per month (and especially see the paid downloads per month), but as a marketing tool, I'd bet that 10 billion downloads sounds better than whatever their current downloads a day rate is.", "link": "item?id=3321035", "user": "andrewjshults"}, {"comment": "Have you considered putting a caching reverse proxy in front of the arc app to keep the backend from having to render all of the old pages?<p>It seems like the only dynamic element of old articles is the \"$x days ago\" bit and that'd be pretty easy to turn into something static by instead just putting in timestamps in the actual HTML and using Javascript to transform them into how many hours / days ago they were. Then the crawlers would just be pulling out cached, pre-rendered HTML.<p>There's an example of doing such with nginx here:<p><a href=\"http://serverfault.com/questions/30705/how-to-set-up-nginx-as-a-caching-reverse-proxy\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://serverfault.com/questions/30705/how-to-set-up-nginx-a...</a><p>With that you'd just have to send out the HTTP header from the arc app saying that current articles expire immediately, and old ones don't.", "link": "item?id=3278512", "user": "wheels"}, {"comment": "Magical thinking alive and well in america. The New Yorker paints a picture of good evidence finally being heard. Reality tells a different story.<p>\"Days before the meeting, however, Gov. Rick Perry replaced the commission chairman with Bradley, district attorney in Williamson County. The session at which Beyler was scheduled to speak was canceled, and the fire expert never appeared before the body.\"<p>\"But the Texas Forensic Science Commission panel heading the inquiry also found insufficient evidence to prove that state Deputy Fire Marshal Manuel Vasquez and Corsicana Assistant Fire Chief Douglas Fogg were negligent or guilty of misconduct in their arson work.\"<p><a href=\"http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Flawed-science-cited-in-arson-case-leading-to-1718240.php\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Flawed-scien...</a><p>Nothing more powerful than magical thinking and politics combined.", "link": "item?id=3259203", "user": "ldar15"}, {"comment": "No, I'm saying fuck Monsanto, and by association, fuck anyone that celebrates doing business with them. This was one of those little cash cows that Cloudant should have kept to themselves. Any PR person probably could've saw this coming.<p>I'm sure there are many evil corporate dealings in the world that would warrant such a \"content-free rant\"; however, those companies are smart enough not to celebrate their evil doings on a site as popular as HN.<p>Perhaps YC should provide media training: Item 1; keep your skeletons in the closet.<p>EDIT: Furthermore, Cloudant isn't supplying Monsanto with something as simple as a car. They, as they themselves put it, are fundamentally helping shape the way Monsanto does business.<p>I also find it troubling that instead of addressing the issue at hand, or at least providing a defense for this company, you instead ridicule your own userbase for putting my \"content-free\" rant at the top of this thread. That seems infinitely more content-free than anything I've added/not added to the discussion.", "link": "item?id=3104812", "user": "oldstrangers"}, {"comment": "I think you underestimate how annoying the issue is. It's one of those things you put up with because of the content, but which are annoying enough that they detract from the site experience.<p>So far I'd rate the user experience of the site around 3/5 and the content 5/5. You don't need to work any more on the content unless it starts dropping!", "link": "item?id=3100082", "user": "mfjordvald"}, {"comment": "Out of curiosity, are there any places where the hn codebase would be smaller if you used full continuations instead of just closures, allowing code akin to what I quoted from the PLT paper?", "link": "item?id=3099429", "user": "brlewis"}, {"comment": "That's interesting. I wonder what the trade off is between submitting a possibly imperfect application early, vs. a polished-as-possble entry on the last day.", "link": "item?id=3096154", "user": "dabent"}, {"comment": "What about a high school student willing to take the 18 months off to work on their start-up and dependant on success leave school for good.<p>In Ireland its free high school and college education and if it was a failure its very easy to re-enter the education system.<p>I know you guys founded Collison, what do you think?", "link": "item?id=3116906", "user": "OpenAlgorithm"}], "children": [{"number": 11, "names": "pg", "comments": [{"comment": "Perhaps I'm just not seeing the distinction, but can't they be the same thing? You can use an \"idea\" to solve a \"problem\". An idea (whether self generated, or off a list from pg's head) could be rooted in a real-world problem.", "link": "item?id=3391756", "user": "kelnos"}, {"comment": "I transferred my domains to NameCheap from GoDaddy during their last PR nightmare. I wish I had done it sooner. NameCheap's interface isn't the best in the world, but not having to use GoDaddy's site is worth more to me than 5x the transfer fees I paid. Plus the domain privacy option is bundled, meaning cheaper domain registrations ($11 for a .com vs. $17 at godaddy -- at least for the first year).", "link": "item?id=3382953", "user": "tdfx"}, {"comment": "not your personal army, nancy. get back to work, backboner wont code itself.", "link": "item?id=3362791", "user": "tuna"}, {"comment": "I find that if you add a 'but' to any sentence you just invalidated whatever came before it. A good rule to keep in mind.", "link": "item?id=3469818", "user": "boyter"}, {"comment": "The amount of money more-or-less promised to all YC companies is deceptively larger than the amount YC itself publishes. Also, until you get to Webvan sizes, there are existence proofs to pretty much all the possible company sizes at YC.", "link": "item?id=3466066", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Probably attached a repl to a running web server instance and interacted with it \"live\"?", "link": "item?id=3322192", "user": "seanwoods"}, {"comment": "I believe Rtm has already set one up.", "link": "item?id=3278635", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "<i>Any PR person probably could've saw this coming.</i><p>The reason this comment thread is a worrying sign for HN is that you didn't use to have to think like a PR person here.<p>Don't you see that you're insulting yourself by saying that you need to have news spun/censored for you in the way PR firms do? I noticed this in the comments about the recent Airbnb and Dropbox controversies too. People did not seem to grasp the irony of complaining that Airbnb and Dropbox were bad at PR.", "link": "item?id=3105080", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I've been here a long time and seen this expired linky thing happen roughly every other week; on a very few occasions it's been an annoyance, but mostly it makes me smile; after reading news.arc, it's a reminder of what a hack HN is.<p>I could care less if this issue got fixed. I have never once felt, \"man, I'd definitely jump to another site if it didn't have this expired linky thing happen\".<p>(Now, politics stories on the front page, on the other hand... I've <i>often</i> wished for a site with as good a crowd as HN but without the politics...)", "link": "item?id=3101064", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Possibly, but not many. It was surprising (in this application at least) how rarely I needed full continuations.", "link": "item?id=3099447", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "It depends on who submitted it. We submitted early, but have made small revisions every day, aside from two large revisions in the last day or two. I guess we were not too worried about it. If it's going to work, it's going to work.", "link": "item?id=3096662", "user": "alexhaefner"}], "children": [{"number": 7, "names": "absconditus", "comments": [{"comment": "eg problem = persistent storage<p>idea 1 = reel to reel tape<p>idea 2 = self contained cassettes<p>idea 3 = hard disks<p>idea 4 = floppy disks<p>idea 5 = flash based drives<p>If you concentrate on the problem (we build the most reliable/fastest/cheapest devices for persistent storage) instead of the idea (we build the most reliable/fastest/cheapest tape drives) then you're less likely to be screwed when the market or technology changes", "link": "item?id=3392111", "user": "cubicle67"}, {"comment": "Wholeheartedly agree, GoDaddy's site is atrocious to use.", "link": "item?id=3383074", "user": "thebrokencube"}, {"comment": "I am aware that there are very large companies that were originally funded by YC. There are some problems that do not begin with throwing some code on EC2 and iterating to success. Hardware design and production is the area that comes to mind. I realize that there are a few companies that were funded by YC that did some hardware design and production, but they are certainly not representative of the entire problem of hardware design and production.", "link": "item?id=3466123", "user": "absconditus"}, {"comment": "ah! I thought he meant \"reply\".<p>repl.<p>I'm such a programming n00b.", "link": "item?id=3322210", "user": "dougaitken"}, {"comment": "My favorite part of HN's headers: the lines are separated by naked LFs instead of CRLF, in violation of the HTTP spec", "link": "item?id=3278986", "user": "bascule"}, {"comment": "\"The reason this comment thread is a worrying sign for HN is that you didn't use to have to think like a PR person here.\"<p>A couple of things.<p>Why are we talking about the \"PR issue\"? I offered Cloudant an alternative reality where, if they insisted on being evil, that their evil doings be kept in the closet. It makes wise business sense if you're going to accept money from anyone under the sun. That has nothing to do with thinking like a PR person, nor does it have anything to do with having this article spun or censored. You seem to think this deal is ok, so I tried to provide a solution that suited your own interests.<p>However, it is perhaps ironic that by spinning your own comments to focus on these PR irrelevancies, you have successfully avoided providing any significant contribution. Worse yet, was the \"PR spin\" of yours by comparing Cloudant's strategic and \"fundamentally business shaping\" partnership with Monsanto to someone selling a car or a computer... I guess though that's not PR talk, that's politician talk. Expert level diversion.<p>Monsanto is a disgusting, despicable, horrible company of the worst variety. Should we give Cloudant a pass for dealing with these people because you have a vested interest? I will happily leave HN forever if you think that is the case.<p>Google started their company with the motto \"Do No Evil.\" Ethics have a substantial place in business practice, so I don't see why they shouldn't have a place on HN.", "link": "item?id=3105208", "user": "oldstrangers"}, {"comment": "Agreed, if it's going to work... it's going to work. We submitted our app a week or so ago and haven't looked back.", "link": "item?id=3098349", "user": "joshuahays"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "aaronbrethorst", "comments": [{"comment": "This is common violation that everyone accepts. It's definitely done by 'bad' clients - not sure how often servers send bare LF.<p>(I used to telnet to port 80 for testing, and type GET / HTTP/1.0 &#60;enter&#62; &#60;enter&#62;, and that should be LF on Linux &#38; Mac)", "link": "item?id=3279038", "user": "divtxt"}, {"comment": "Best book ever: <a href=\"http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html</a>", "link": "item?id=3322627", "user": "aaronbrethorst"}, {"comment": "Unless your problem is \"we solve epicycles\" - neither is going to insulate you from obsolescence.<p>The benefit to targeting a \"problem\" is that you have a preexisting need. An \"idea\" with no existing \"problem\" may require several years of extra lead-in where you are struggling to get people to understand what you do and why it should matter to them. It can work, but the ratios are less favorable for a VC-style investment which looks for fast turnaround with minimal risk and orders-of-magnitude payoff.", "link": "item?id=3394236", "user": "glimcat"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "bascule", "comments": [{"comment": "You don't have a problem with one of the most trafficked sites for programming/web startup-related news implementing HTTP incorrectly?<p>Do you ignore whether your HTML is valid just because the browser rendered it correctly?", "link": "item?id=3279277", "user": "bascule"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "snprbob86", "comments": [{"comment": "Yup.<p>I've got real work to do. Making a validator happy is fake work.", "link": "item?id=3279304", "user": "snprbob86"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "pilif", "comments": [{"comment": "By ensuring that your pages are valid, you make it ever so much more likely that you will not have to scramble around wasting time at a most inopportune time when the new version of a browser comes out which handles your non-standards compliant tag soup differently than the current version of the browser.<p>So, do you want to pay the price upfront when you can plan for it or afterwards when the fix must be done immediately because customers are complaining?", "link": "item?id=3279585", "user": "pilif"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "snprbob86", "comments": [{"comment": "In my experience, I've had to scramble to fix browser compatibility issues every bit as often with 100% standards-compliant code, as I have had to with some incredibly laughably bad HTML.<p>I'd much rather pay the exact price later, than an inflated price now.", "link": "item?id=3280495", "user": "snprbob86"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "bascule", "comments": [{"comment": "Some of us actually care about interoperability, maintainability and writing good code in general as opposed to just cowboying stuff together as quickly as possible", "link": "item?id=3279384", "user": "bascule"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "Animus7", "comments": [{"comment": "I used to preach the same thing.<p>Then, working at a startup taught me that it's not black and white. Several quotes come to mind, but Voltaire's is my favorite:<p>\"The perfect is the enemy of the good.\"", "link": "item?id=3279556", "user": "Animus7"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "bascule", "comments": [{"comment": "Having worked at startups with both cowboys with a \"get 'er done\" attitude and people who actually care about software craftsmanship, I'll take the latter any day.<p>Cowboys may get things \"done\" quickly, but that doesn't help when things are subtly broken, have interoperability problems, or are nearly impossible to extend without breaking.", "link": "item?id=3281349", "user": "bascule"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "SimHacker", "comments": [{"comment": "Why don't you bother doing your real work right the first time? As long as there's a well defined spec, you might as well follow it instead of being creative and original when it comes to implementing standards.", "link": "item?id=3279807", "user": "SimHacker"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "marshray", "comments": [{"comment": "You don't know that everyone accepts it. Even if they did, it doesn't make it right.", "link": "item?id=3279155", "user": "marshray"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "pufuwozu", "comments": [{"comment": "I fixed submitted a patch for this in the pecl_http PHP library:<p><a href=\"https://bugs.php.net/bug.php?id=58442\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://bugs.php.net/bug.php?id=58442</a>", "link": "item?id=3279254", "user": "pufuwozu"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "wglb", "comments": [{"comment": "We use varnish for caching and check the useragent for requests.<p>If the cache has a copy of an article that is a few hours old it will just give that version to Googlebot while if it thinks a human is requesting the page then it will go to the backend and fetch the latest version.<p><a href=\"https://www.varnish-cache.org/lists/pipermail/varnish-misc/2011-March/005731.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://www.varnish-cache.org/lists/pipermail/varnish-misc/2...</a>", "link": "item?id=3278811", "user": "slyall"}, {"comment": "May well be run from the repl always.", "link": "item?id=3322377", "user": "wglb"}, {"comment": "Slightly unrelated, but here's a question i've been searching to answer. When I worked in the IT department of a non tech company, I saw tech-solvable problems everywhere. Today I work for a deeply technical engineering company. I Engineer for Engineers. I'm very serious about starting a company, however it's becoming increasingly harder for me to see problems I can solve that aren't consumer oriented. I think consulting is the best way to get into a non tech company to find problems... but I'm not sure how to get in.", "link": "item?id=3392160", "user": "swalsh"}, {"comment": "I think sometimes tone is important. Both jubilantly celebrating a massive association with an incredibly awful company, and condescending to users by calling them stupid, don't really seem to serve anyone.<p>The problem isn't that they aren't spinning right, the problem is that it's pretty obvious that Cloudant doesn't care about working with evil companies, and that you're feeling somewhat disdainful of a lot of your users.<p>Both are unbecoming, and I think that's all people are trying to reflect (even if they are somewhat confused in how they frame their statements). People want to believe that you all aren't just smart, that you're good guys, so to speak, ie. that all the talk about \"being good\" isn't opportunistic, or that you aren't mean and reactive. I don't think either of those things matter particularly, and maybe they aren't germane to the kinds of conversations you'd hoped to be having, but I understand the impulse.", "link": "item?id=3105340", "user": "ForrestN"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "moe", "comments": [{"comment": "+1 for varnish. It's stupidly[1] fast and there shouldn't be much trickery required to deflect most of HN's traffic (e.g. ~10 sec expiry for \"live\" pages, infinite expiry for archived pages).<p>[1] 15k reqs/sec on a moderate box", "link": "item?id=3278841", "user": "moe"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "AznHisoka", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; The reason this comment thread is a worrying sign for HN is that you didn't use to have to think like a PR person here.<p>So, companies shouldn't spin, but people commenting here should?<p>That's not what you mean, I'm sure. But I'm pretty sure you can see how it would be easy to say the same thing you just said with the roles of company and commenter reversed and it would make the same amount of sense.", "link": "item?id=3105204", "user": "jasonlotito"}, {"comment": "You got a valid point. A a trick could be to focus on a problem, encounter many ideas (especially from other fields), and see if you could apply that idea to solve that problem. A problem that's hard for a technical person to solve could be trivial to someone who looks at it from a psychological point of view, and vice versa.<p>But the key is to always have a set of problems floating in your head. Having an idea, and seeing what problems that idea can solve is not as effective, as you often end up trying to force a square into a hole.", "link": "item?id=3392206", "user": "AznHisoka"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "sidi", "comments": [{"comment": "most of the ideas that you start with actually change later. So, not a good idea to fit problems to an idea, they would almost never perfectly match.", "link": "item?id=3391806", "user": "sidi"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 4, "names": "tlb", "comments": [{"comment": "Yeah I'm moving mine too. That, or code SOPASUCKS, I believe. Extends domain for another year so it's decently cheap.", "link": "item?id=3382841", "user": "Shenglong"}, {"comment": "there's no funnier distraction than being horny", "link": "item?id=3362587", "user": "adolfosousa"}, {"comment": "No business starts with all the money it will ever need. Some YC companies are profitable in the first year and never need more. Some raise hundreds of millions for capital intensive businesses like Dropbox. The size of seed funding is not a limit on the size of problems companies can tackle.", "link": "item?id=3466131", "user": "tlb"}, {"comment": "I see. It would have been preferable for Cloudant to do business with Monsanto as long as they never talked about it.<p>What possible difference could that make in the moral calculus? They're a small company that has found financial security in their contract, that's why they are making it public it.", "link": "item?id=3105534", "user": "rohern"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "absconditus", "comments": [{"comment": "The size of the problem is not at issue; the type of problem is. Many problems have a natural path from small to large scale. Some do not.", "link": "item?id=3466157", "user": "absconditus"}, {"comment": "SOPASUCKS takes the renewal cost down to $6.99 (with BYEBYEGD it was $7.99)<p>Great price for something you were going to buy anyway. I just moved 10 domains.", "link": "item?id=3383574", "user": "barmstrong"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tlb", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't think there's any problem that doesn't benefit from being worked on by a small, focused, core team (what seed funding can cover) before scaling up. Step 1 in building an innovative business is never \"hire 100 people\".", "link": "item?id=3468357", "user": "tlb"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "phil", "comments": [{"comment": "That's certainly true. If you want to do something that requires 10s of millions of dollars to get off the ground, seed funding is not for you. Car and solar energy companies are great recent examples. Hugely capital intensive, and you'll note the pace of innovation is slower to match...", "link": "item?id=3466485", "user": "phil"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "pavel_lishin", "comments": [{"comment": "I've been seeing a lot of recommendations for NameCheap, but there is one thing that makes me hesitate: I get a <i>staggering</i> amount of spam from domains registered by NameCheap with the Whois info shielded by WhoisGuard. Yes, I've used their reporting tool to report spammers, but it still comes.<p>Is this about scammers flocking to NameCheap because it's, well, cheap? Or is NameCheap somehow marketing to spammers while trying to maintain plausible deniability? I'd be happy to consider moving my sites over to NameCheap, but I don't want to move from one evil registrar to another registrar.", "link": "item?id=3383010", "user": "Anechoic"}, {"comment": "&#62; There will always be those who prostitute themselves out to build the software to support the bill.<p>I think I'm opposed to the term \"prostitute\" in this context. What if I need to keep my job to purchase medication to keep my wife and children alive, and that medication is prohibitively expensive without insurance?<p>At that point, I wouldn't be a prostitute - arguably I would be a hostage.", "link": "item?id=3362383", "user": "pavel_lishin"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "wwweston", "comments": [{"comment": "I've been using Gandi for 11 years. They've generally been great. Initially I was drawn to them because they were one of the first registrars to make it clear you owned the domain name and they were an agent.<p>I've kept with them largely because of the generally convenient and low-upsell nature of the website on top of this.<p>One caveat for U.S. customers: on the <i>very rare</i> (once or twice a decade) occasions when I've had to contact customer service, the time separation and some rough English skills have led to a slightly bumpy communication experience while resolving issues, but even with those obstacles, they're better at it than GoDaddy (and their English is a heck of a lot better than my French :).<p>~$15usd/yr rather than $7ish a year isn't a big deal for domains I care about.", "link": "item?id=3383630", "user": "wwweston"}, {"comment": "If you have the right to quit and find another job it's still prostitution regardless of your personal circumstances. Prostitutes have bills to pay too. The only prostitutes that qualify as hostages would be those that end up in that profession due to human trafficking. If you were human trafficked into building software to support the bill, I could see your point.", "link": "item?id=3362415", "user": "malandrew"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "ninjastar99", "comments": [{"comment": "I like Gandi's motto (\"no bullshit\"), but their support is - for lack of a better word - exactly that. It's now hovering at 36 hours without a response after repeated emails to them. No excuse. I'd rather pay the $10 extra and get real phone or live chat support from anyone else. Avoid.", "link": "item?id=3384839", "user": "ninjastar99"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "chc", "comments": [{"comment": "You don't suppose a lot of actual, real-life prostitutes are in situations more desperate than that?", "link": "item?id=3362830", "user": "chc"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "saraid216", "comments": [{"comment": "No, your wife and children would be hostages. You would still be a prostitute.", "link": "item?id=3362649", "user": "saraid216"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "bobergstrom", "comments": [{"comment": "Name.com also has a rocking transfer special if you use the promocode \"NoDaddy\" as a response to their SOPA position.", "link": "item?id=3382974", "user": "bobergstrom"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "libraryatnight", "comments": [{"comment": "I've decided to go with Name.com as it seems Namecheap is a reseller of ENOM, who I haven't particularly cared for (no reasons I can link or substantiate, just my own personal experiences and opinion on this one.)", "link": "item?id=3383143", "user": "libraryatnight"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "chirayuk", "comments": [{"comment": "That hasn't been the case for a few years now.<p><a href=\"http://community.namecheap.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&#38;t=467\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://community.namecheap.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&#38;...</a>", "link": "item?id=3384689", "user": "chirayuk"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "hobbes", "comments": [{"comment": "I transferred my domain into Namecheap earlier this year, and the whois states \"ENOM, INC.\"", "link": "item?id=3385332", "user": "hobbes"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "amartya916", "comments": [{"comment": "I'd actually highly recommend iwantmyname.com - I found the whole process to be a breeze (transferred from Name Cheap to them actually :)).<p>Again, I am not affiliated to iwantmyname nor do I have ties other than my own domain being with them.", "link": "item?id=3383145", "user": "amartya916"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "treitnauer", "comments": [{"comment": "Thanks, really appreciate your support!", "link": "item?id=3383466", "user": "treitnauer"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 10, "names": "Matt_Cutts", "comments": [{"comment": "PG, I suspect that you'll do a better job of explaining why SOPA is bad than some other people, and you have more credibility than most, but taking a stand against SOPA by itself isn't enough. The root cause of SOPA is a culture of piracy and a lack of participation by leaders in technology to develop better enforcement regulations.<p>Laws like SOPA are going to continue to be proposed until a better solution to copyright protection is enacted. If we leave those proposals to be constructed by media companies who don't care as much about the integrity of the internet as they do about their bottom line, you'll just keep getting new laws that overreach and threaten our freedoms. The fact that we're facing SOPA is bad, but it's the direct result of too many people pretending that copyright protection isn't an important issue that deserves better solutions, both by arguing against the rights of creators, and failing to proactively help create a better system of enforcement.<p>If you really want to do something powerful to stop SOPA-like legislation in its various forms, your essay should also aim to remind people that we're facing this legislation because people engage in piracy, and that we need leaders in the tech community to be more proactive about improving the DMCA if they want to have a voice in what shape copyright protection takes. It might seem like SOPA is \"the problem\" but it's really one party's proposed solution to a very real issue. An argument for why SOPA is bad without proposals about how to meet the needs of the party for whom SOPA is a solution only sends those people back to their misguided drawing board.<p>I respect the stand you've taken against SOPA. I'll be <i>really</i> excited about it if you use this time to push the dialog forward on behalf of tech <i>and</i> content creators.", "link": "item?id=3389557", "user": "earbitscom"}, {"comment": "Merry Christmas and happy New Year.", "link": "item?id=3391408", "user": "3am"}, {"comment": "Along those lines. It seems pretty important to do what you think is right, even if it's effect on convincing others of your correctness seems negligible.", "link": "item?id=3382815", "user": "gerggerg"}, {"comment": "Very smart people have built nuclear bombs, nerve gas bombs, and weapons of plague.<p>People with the same ethics will be hired to build censorship and be happy to take home the paycheck.", "link": "item?id=3361604", "user": "pnathan"}, {"comment": "Would you consider adding that general advice to the official guidelines? The problem with \"Don't say things you wouldn't say in a face to face conversation.\" is that there are plenty of people in life (maybe just in hacker circles, but my sample is thoroughly biased) who would say outrageous things that they would start with a disclaimer in a face to face conversation.", "link": "item?id=3469826", "user": "YuriNiyazov"}, {"comment": "<i>You have to satisfy users' needs to make a successful company, and it is very unlikely that the stuff you have to do to satisfy users' needs also happens to be exactly what you'd most like to work on, even if you're the specialist in that problem.</i><p>Banks are a good example, though. What irritates me most about banks is not having to figure out how their merchant services work but that they bring a slow, ineffective communication factor into the equation. I would probably dislike dealing with banks for the same reason I dislike trying to make changes in a big company: everything's rolling on a different track from a hacker's viewpoint and the very communication that could bridge that together and bring everyone on the same track goes forward very, very slowly.", "link": "item?id=3467408", "user": "yason"}, {"comment": "They do mention the following:<p><i>with a growth rate of one billion app downloads per month</i><p>Maybe I read the graph wrong. But there are only 11 spikes for 2011. So they probably haven't reported December downloads.", "link": "item?id=3321031", "user": "wicknicks"}, {"comment": "Gotcha--thanks, Paul. I'm about to get on a plane, but we'll get this figured out where we're not sending as much hostload toward HN.", "link": "item?id=3277829", "user": "Matt_Cutts"}, {"comment": "It's a false analogy.<p>Monsanto unilaterally buying generally-available products is a different thing than getting into business partnership and sending happy press release about it.<p>You don't jail shoe salesman who happened to sell shoes to a criminal, but you jail people who planned the crime together.<p>If someone is actively, consciously supporting Monsanto at the core of their shady business, then they certainly deserve the hatred that Monsanto gets.", "link": "item?id=3104305", "user": "pornel"}, {"comment": "I use HN as much as anyone and it doesn't get in my way at all. The most annoying thing about the issue is hearing the repeated discussion around it.<p>I'd rather have any kind of cool new feature, like messaging, than have this fixed.", "link": "item?id=3100368", "user": "staunch"}], "children": [{"number": 6, "names": "pg", "comments": [{"comment": "What do you feel is missing in existing laws?", "link": "item?id=3389881", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "I would definitely have participated in the Manhattan Project if asked - it was necessary to stop the Nazis. On the other hand, I would definitely not work on SOPA.<p>Don't confuse what is necessary with what is merely expedient.", "link": "item?id=3361965", "user": "theorique"}, {"comment": "Actually I feel one of the benefits of the internet is that one can say things that wouldn't go down well in a face-to-face conversation. Not everything that makes sense is easy to accept.", "link": "item?id=3470348", "user": "pbhjpbhj"}, {"comment": "Well, the article was posted on Dec 6th, so yes, they probably haven't reported December downloads", "link": "item?id=3322871", "user": "eliben"}, {"comment": "If only we could all get our Google woes fixed in such a manner.", "link": "item?id=3277984", "user": "wgx"}, {"comment": "We've had messaging for years. I just never turned it on in the general case. (We use it to talk to YC applicants.)", "link": "item?id=3100719", "user": "pg"}], "children": [{"number": 4, "names": "baddox", "comments": [{"comment": "- Transparency about the level to which companies infringe.<p>- Accountability for mass infringement and repeat violations.<p>- Rigid enforcement against companies who exist almost exclusively to provide access to illegal material.<p>There are two companies that need to be addressed:<p>You have companies whose businesses are primarily built on copyright infringing content that their users upload under DMCA. Often small companies pop up who use this method until they're big enough to be noticed, and then they go back and negotiate retro-active deals. This creates an unfair advantage for them over companies who choose to operate completely within the law. These companies' only responsibility is to take the material down when they get caught, with no steeper penalty for repeat offenses or for building a business around this turnaround time. Grooveshark is an example of an American company that falls into this category.<p>If you could see the number of takedown requests and repeat violations companies receive (I propose they be issued and resolved through a centralized database), it would be clear which companies exist almost exclusively to provide access to copyrighted material, or who do not place high enough priority on preventing copyright infringement. I believe they need to be held accountable without placing the burden of pursuing civil penalties on the backs of individual or small company rights holders for whom a lawsuit is not equitable. There should be severe penalties for companies whose infractions far outweigh the legitimate value they provide. Those penalties should not require a class action lawsuit or the war chest of some large company.<p>Then there are companies who are just outright havens for illegal material, whether hosting it themselves or making user-shared content easy to find and access. Most of these companies are offshore, or they are only providing links and information without providing the content itself, both of which makes it hard to pursue civil penalty. I think there should be a clearly defined and transparent method for measuring the degree to which sites provide little value beyond access to illegal material, and those sites should be held accountable. There has to be actionable recourse and, unfortunately, you can only pursue civil penalties from companies who are domestic (or in a participating country) or who actually profit from their actions. In the case of sites who are not domestic or who do not generate meaningful financial gain for their illegal behavior, your only real option is to shut them down in one way or another. If the criteria for a site being eligible for this type of action is clear, and the infraction history is transparent, I have a hard time justifying not taking action against them. That being said, I do understand that we live in a world where rules are abused and I don't understand everything I need to about how such rules would be enforced. But I don't think the the fact that it's difficult and not foolproof are good enough reasons not to pursue a better system.<p>The DMCA has put the burden of policing copyright on the shoulders of rights holders and that's fine, but penalizing companies who commit massive infringement should not be the job of a bunch of small artists and independent companies. Then there are companies for whom the option of legal recourse is not an option, and those people should be handled in the strictest way possible without putting too much power in the hands of arbitrary organizations.", "link": "item?id=3390041", "user": "earbitscom"}, {"comment": "People have different ideas about what is necessary. Calling the Manhattan Project \"necessary\" without thinking much about it is reckless. I've heard accounts from many of the scientists and workers, and many were quite horrified about the results (incidentally, against the Japanese, not Nazis). Presumably many do conclude that developing a nuclear weapon was \"necessary,\" but not without considerably ethical debate.", "link": "item?id=3361994", "user": "baddox"}, {"comment": "seriously. i can't get a hospital to show up in google maps... no human for me to talk to. HN is number 4 instead of 1 google page one, they're right on it.", "link": "item?id=3278030", "user": "metaprinter"}, {"comment": "Well, I applied to YC for the first time, so maybe I'll get to see it!", "link": "item?id=3100790", "user": "staunch"}], "children": [{"number": 3, "names": "jlind", "comments": [{"comment": "This is why I don't understand the anti-promotion crowd who think promoting oneself and building an audience is a bad thing. Having the implicit threat of an audience you can address is a major lever to getting decent service nowadays.", "link": "item?id=3278082", "user": "petercooper"}, {"comment": "It would be again much different if the Manhattan Project was something to be used against your fellow countrymen.", "link": "item?id=3362135", "user": "jlind"}, {"comment": "DMCA is also not enforceable against the offshore, dedicated infringers targeted by SOPA and PIPA. The Pirate Bay laughs at DMCA takedown notices, for example.", "link": "item?id=3390329", "user": "RichardBennett"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "davidw", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm certainly not against promoting myself where I think some attention is merited, but ultimately that kind of thing is close to a zero sum game in that the amount of 'famous' people is fairly limited.", "link": "item?id=3279255", "user": "davidw"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "officemonkey", "comments": [{"comment": "Which hospital? Seems like this thread has at least one pair of google-eyeballs looking at it.", "link": "item?id=3278174", "user": "officemonkey"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "metaprinter", "comments": [{"comment": "i'd rather not drop the name here. but it's a verified listing and i've used the \"report a problem\" 3 times now. If they're not checking that... :(", "link": "item?id=3281760", "user": "metaprinter"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "Mamady", "comments": [{"comment": "Bad PR always seems to get instant action - it's more damage control than anything else.<p>If you have an audience, you have PR power.", "link": "item?id=3278160", "user": "Mamady"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "kenjackson", "comments": [{"comment": "You can fix this yourself.<p>In the lower-right corner of Google Maps there is a tiny link that says, \"Edit in Google Map Maker\". Click this link and you can edit Google Maps. Your edits get sent to Google and they'll approve/deny it in typically a few days.", "link": "item?id=3280192", "user": "kenjackson"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "metaprinter", "comments": [{"comment": "it's a verified listing (do you know hard it is to convince the IT dept to take their automated phone system offline so i could verify a google maps listing? It was nuts and no google didn't offer the postcard method) so i don't see why i have to enter the same info again, but i did.<p>the listing only shows up if you type the exact name of the hospital into the search bar, which is useless.", "link": "item?id=3281764", "user": "metaprinter"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "pnathan", "comments": [{"comment": "A number of other weapons of great destruction have been created outside of the Manhattan Project.", "link": "item?id=3362340", "user": "pnathan"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "jey", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; The root cause of SOPA is a culture of piracy and a lack of participation by leaders in technology to develop better enforcement regulations.<p>There's a tacit assumption in your post that copyright is still a valid notion that <i>should</i> be protected. That's not at all clear, and society should really re-examine the basic assumptions behind copyright. It's possible that copyright just doesn't make sense anymore and the business models that rely on copyright monopolies should just be allowed to die.<p>I'm certainly open to being wrong. What are some valuable things that would be lost without decent replacements if we abolished copyright monopolies?", "link": "item?id=3389608", "user": "jey"}, {"comment": "Does that mean at Google you can manually set the system to treat different sites differently?<p>I don't mean the ranking but other aspects - like you guys blacklisted some domains which produce low quality content in wholesale. (I don't know if the algorithm was tweaked to detect and filter such sources or if it was a manual thing.)", "link": "item?id=3277853", "user": "ashishgandhi"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "seabee", "comments": [{"comment": "<i>Does that mean at Google you can manually set the system to treat different sites differently?</i><p>Webmaster Tools has a crawl rate slider which operate on a site-by-site basis, and that's existed for quite a while now.<p>If you're asking if they can manually boost a site's ranking, hopefully that isn't what's being suggested.", "link": "item?id=3278073", "user": "seabee"}, {"comment": "I think it will detract from the discussion to get into whether or not copyright should be protected. I think it's safe to say, and I hope you'll concede that, we're a long way away from abolishing copyright. We're in a battle right now about whether Internet free speech is more important than copyright, so suffice it to say that there's going to be even less support for the idea that copyright isn't important at all.<p>With that in mind, let's assume we're looking at a decade or more before copyright would be abolished. During that time, companies will have a strong argument for why a law should be enforced. My point is that those people are going to keep proposing legislation that protects their interests. We can either keep risking one of those overreaching bills passing and threatening things that are actually important to us, or we can work together to address piracy, something that we'd be foolish to defend over our other freedoms.<p>I'd like to see leaders in technology speak out against piracy and for the rights of content creators in the same breath as they say this is not the legislation we need. You're going to get more support from media if you acknowledge that there is a serious problem and offer to help address it than if all they ever see from the tech community are comments in forums about how information should be free and we should just abolish copyright. If that's what they're hearing, they're just going to keep pushing for the legislation they want and ignore the opinions of others.", "link": "item?id=3390069", "user": "earbitscom"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "Books.", "link": "item?id=3390086", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jey", "comments": [{"comment": "Empirically doesn't seem to be true, since high-quality fiction and non-fiction is currently produced even when there isn't a profit motive. There's still ways to make money from writing, e.g. by asking people to give donations totalling a certain amount before releasing the next chapter, etc.", "link": "item?id=3390130", "user": "jey"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "earbitscom", "comments": [{"comment": "The number of works being written for no financial gain and the number of people who have successfully made those models work for them combine to be a tiny fraction of the regular commercial market for books.<p>If you want real data, survey a couple thousand professional authors at random and ask them if they would still write if they knew they had no copyright protection and may have to put together some innovative new release schedule on a per chapter basis just to have any chance of making some money for their work.", "link": "item?id=3390193", "user": "earbitscom"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jey", "comments": [{"comment": "This is entirely backwards looking; of course the people who benefit from the current system will want to keep it in place. The real question is whether others would step in if everyone who is currently writing books suddenly just quit. In practice the authors wouldn't have to carry all the load for the business model innovation; there would be third parties that figure it out and play a role analogous to the role currently played by publishers, e.g. there could be a company similar to kickstarter dedicated to helping authors fund their projects.<p>We're in early days right now, so the old models still do have a large market share, but we need to be forward-looking and consider the long-run effects.", "link": "item?id=3390266", "user": "jey"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "_dps", "comments": [{"comment": "People certainly get attached to their historical revenues, but let's not forget that businesses like books, movies, and music all have hit-dominated economics under the current model and that this has co-evolved with the kinds of products that are available. Cutting the potential upside of the big hits does disproportionate damage to the overall industry's expected returns. I know you were specifically discussing books where initial production costs are low (in comparison to marketing), but consider what happens to film and television.<p>As you say, under a new regime without copyright as-is, new people may come in to fill the void. However, they may not be real replacements for the old-media dinosaurs. If it becomes impossible to try to make something like \"Lost\" with any reasonable expectation of a return, then products as complex and expensive as \"Lost\" simply won't get made. We should be cognizant of this kind of tradeoff as policy evolves.<p>I think the recent story about Louis C.K. points out one possible angle of filling the void; it's comparatively cheap for him to try a stunt like that. Generally, things produced by individuals with relatively little \"refinement\" (sound, graphics, costumes, marketing, etc.) seem like good candidates for business model innovation. On the other hand, the pilot episode of \"Lost\" cost millions of dollars just in production (i.e. before they even had any idea if it would be popular and got a marketing budget). If we want a new regime that still allows such projects to be undertaken, Kickstarter-like services and \"Please just pay me $5\" probably aren't going to cut it (no disrespect to Kickstarter or Louis). I don't know if, in the context of big budget projects, they even represent a meaningful step toward a solution.", "link": "item?id=3390342", "user": "_dps"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jey", "comments": [{"comment": "Sure, maybe huge productions like \"Lost\" would become comparatively rarer, but is that necessarily bad? More to the point, is it worth the other costs to society to grant these monopolies?<p>I don't claim to have the answers at all, but I'm just pointing out that these questions should be <i>asked</i>. It's important to actually weigh the pros and cons and figure it out rather than assuming that the existing system is definitely the correct one.", "link": "item?id=3390424", "user": "jey"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "_dps", "comments": [{"comment": "Completely agree that the questions should be asked honestly and with an eye on social benefits and costs. I'm no fan of the copyright system as-is precisely because I think those tradeoffs are poorly balanced given modern technology.<p>As for whether it is \"bad\" to lose capacity to do things like \"Lost\" I think (for my value system) it's clearly very bad even if 9/10 such projects are not of lasting value. These kinds of mega-projects allow us to push the frontier of what is possible as entertainment and human expression. If you don't particularly like \"Lost\" for artistic reasons (fair enough ;-), then perhaps substitute anything by Pixar; losing society's ability to make \"Wall-E\" or \"Up\" means a duller, less inspiring world.<p>Of course, you could similarly disagree with the artistic merits of Pixar films as being a worthwhile tradeoff. But at some point that line of reasoning just becomes \"I'm personally happy with art made on the cheap by a small group and no marketing or distribution costs; I'm ok sacrificing everything else.\"", "link": "item?id=3390445", "user": "_dps"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "earbitscom", "comments": [{"comment": "No, the real question we <i>should</i> be asking is whether the quality of output will be equivalent or better. Replacing authors who were able to make writing their life with a bunch of part time hobbyists isn't the same.", "link": "item?id=3390324", "user": "earbitscom"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jey", "comments": [{"comment": "It's a strawman to assume that they'd all be hobbyists. (Also in practice, most writers start off doing it on the side, <i>then</i> become full-time.)<p>However, we should zoom out: I don't claim that what I'm proposing is the correct solution. I'm just pointing out that we should ask these questions and weigh the pros/cons, and not just jump straight into figuring out how to preserve the current system.", "link": "item?id=3390427", "user": "jey"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "RichardBennett", "comments": [{"comment": "What about movies?", "link": "item?id=3390321", "user": "RichardBennett"}], "children": null}]}]}]}]}, {"number": 9, "names": "eliben", "comments": [{"comment": "Right now is the perfect time for people like me to see a list like that (plenty of free time to contemplate this week).", "link": "item?id=3391399", "user": "dicroce"}, {"comment": "Yes, please.<p>I find your essays quite effective, and I think that to communicate most effectively and compellingly on this, you may be best sticking to the tools you know and have mastered.<p>Hmm... reading others' comments, I'll add the idea of keeping in mind that many of us may try to share the resulting essay with our less/non-tech friends. So if you could make it approachable to them, as well, that might help.<p>And maybe it would introduce a few more people to your writing and engender their interest in looking at more of it. :-) (E.g. the (high) school essay -- please, world, read the school essay.)", "link": "item?id=3386343", "user": "pasbesoin"}, {"comment": "\"but no one who still has a domain at GoDaddy will be entitled to complain about SOPA if it passes.\"<p>I was going to complain about this sentiment from someone not that rich and who can't afford the fanciest red polo shirts money can buy ha ha, but then I said forget it, for what it truly costs to move a domain it's far less then the cost on our liberties if SOPA passes, so I went outside shoveled a few driveways and earned enough money to move over the domains I have without cutting into my budget. There really isn't a reason for people not to do this.", "link": "item?id=3383869", "user": "int3rnaut"}, {"comment": "Accenture will be thrilled to build The Great Firewall of America, and they're sufficiently capable of doing it, especially since they'll have an effectively unlimited budget. And sadly, there's more than one Accenture in the world.", "link": "item?id=3361712", "user": "projectileboy"}, {"comment": "From the discussion here, I conclude this quote is widely accepted among those who provide quality discourse: \"I try to comment when I have useful, unique, original, or non-standard things to say.\" This represents a desire to deliver a certain promised value. When you post on a forum, (or send an email, for that matter) you are making an implicit claim: is worth the audience's time to read your post.<p>For users like me, there is friction in posting because I have to convince myself that I've satisfied the implicit claim. For others, I assume, this friction is absent. So add it artificially: somehow make the claim explicit.<p>Maybe require posters to select from a list of categories (e.g. Useful Information, Insightful, Civil Disagreement, ...), explicitly claiming their post meets that criteria. Or, less restrictive: a required checkbox that simply reminds you of the claim you're making with your post.", "link": "item?id=3472085", "user": "shinykitten"}, {"comment": "From:<p>\"This past weekend, thanks to Android users around the world, Android Market exceeded 10 billion app downloads - with a growth rate of one billion app downloads per month\"<p>I think it's pretty obvious that the graph is cumulative. They do mention the rate is accelerating, and a cursory glance at the graph tells that the delta between months appears to be increasing as well. I agree, though, that complementing it with a non-cumulative, per-month graph would be informative and interesting.", "link": "item?id=3322881", "user": "eliben"}, {"comment": "reddit had the same problem. We set up a separate server just for the google crawler with it's own copy of the database, so that the queries for old pages didn't slow down everyone else.", "link": "item?id=3280521", "user": "jedberg"}, {"comment": "I am -so- glad you said it. I've been resisting the urge for weeks to point out the /r/politics-ization of hacker news for fear of being \"that guy\" (you know, the one complaining about the good ol' days).<p>Just to be clear about what that means, to me, is that not so much politics is involved, but completely uncritical and tribalist politics, where we just unthinkingly upvote anyone advocating any position in support of the \"good guys\" and downvote anyone that defends the \"bad guys\".", "link": "item?id=3104170", "user": "lbrandy"}, {"comment": "I don't dispute that you're a busy guy.<p>That said: I come for the community - and the community has obviously noticed that the site occasionally throws up an annoying 'error'. The fact that you've done something cool programatically has no bearing on what I get from HN.", "link": "item?id=3099993", "user": "tomcreighton"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "kajecounterhack", "comments": [{"comment": "It's also a great time to be away from our LCDs and together with family :]", "link": "item?id=3391402", "user": "kajecounterhack"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tomjen3", "comments": [{"comment": "Get an iPad, then you can bring the computer into the living room.", "link": "item?id=3391413", "user": "tomjen3"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 9, "names": "didntdrinkjuice", "comments": [{"comment": "The main enforcement mechanism is domain seizure, which already works quite well already, unfortunately. It's pretty likely that there will be a darknet DNS system or DNS alternative, but that's not a great outcome for anyone - more confusion, more malware.", "link": "item?id=3361700", "user": "jim"}, {"comment": "Employee here. GoDaddy does care very much about their registrar roots. The fact that we have over half of all registered domain names is a source of tremendous pride, and unlike the elephant scandal I'm willing to venture their registration will not go up because of this, namely because there doesn't seem to be any support of SOPA from consumers, educated or not. And Godaddy's users are decidedly less technologically educated, generally speaking.", "link": "item?id=3383286", "user": "didntdrinkjuice"}, {"comment": "Before you write an essay on SOPA, it would probably be a good idea to get a really solid handle on what it does and doesn't do. The comments of yours I've seen lead me to the conclusion that your understanding of the bill and its likely implications isn't up-to-date. Some of the points you might like to address would be:<p>What does SOPA do that DMCA doesn't do?<p>How do Pro-IP and SOPA differ with respect to Internet domains?<p>Does SOPA apply to .com domains?<p>Is it possible to implement domain blacklisting without affecting DNSSEC? (hint: the answer is \"yes\" as long as redirection isn't required.)<p>Does SOPA include language protecting DNSSEC?<p>What due process protections does SOPA have for domain blacklisting?<p>Does SOPA apply to US-based sites?<p>How much of a burden does SOPA compliance place in ISPs, ad networks, credit card processors, and search engines?<p>Are Internet firms registered in .com and/or based in the United States that are not in the category above (payments, ads, search, ISPs) have anything to fear from SOPA? Show your work.<p>There's a lot of misinformation floating around the Internet about SOPA, and I think you'll agree it's best not to add to it.", "link": "item?id=3388144", "user": "RichardBennett"}, {"comment": "Exactly. So we get our present on time :)", "link": "item?id=3391600", "user": "rokhayakebe"}, {"comment": "Those comments are lamentable. However one of those you mention was made by an extremely active 4 year old account. The other was made by a relatively young one.<p>These are examples of 'bad' comments, rather than just 'noise'. However I think they both have the same immediate cause - community acceptance. For some reason the posts with little content are being rewarded. Discussions on how to change this (via the voting system or otherwise) have happened many times but I think more needs to be done.<p>As to why the community accepted such a negative comment I have no idea - and fixing this may be much harder.", "link": "item?id=3470278", "user": "Jabbles"}, {"comment": "&#62; linear growth (which is bad, because it means a decreasing growth rate)<p>Isn't linear growth associated with <i>constant</i> growth rate? Serious question, I'm not sure if I'm not missing some understanding here.", "link": "item?id=3320993", "user": "TeMPOraL"}, {"comment": "Could you use some sort of sitemap or other way to provide the data to Google that isn't so damaging to site performance? Or in Google Webmaster tools turn down the rate of crawling?<p>Just realized that this could be a problem for lots of sites, and I'm curious as to what the best solution is, since not everyone has Matt Cutts reading their site and helping out.", "link": "item?id=3277821", "user": "tibbon"}, {"comment": "That's a bit of a cop-out.<p>There's a difference between company A purchasing some of your product and actively bidding to be the sole-source supplier to a major project. As they put it, \"Cloudant\u2019s BigCouch will be the core, for both storage and analysis of a new, company-wide platform powering a fundamental aspect of a Fortune 500 business: the analysis &#38; identification of new traits &#38; genomic combinations in agricultural crops.\"<p>You can bet that Apple's feet would be put to the fire in just the same way should they release a PR note suggesting they are impressed that Monsanto has decided to convert entirely to OSX/iOS.<p>The top comment might be a little low on direct substance, but it's high on feedback. It's actually perfect for HN, because it shows that to many people, ethics in business DO matter.", "link": "item?id=3104256", "user": "run4yourlives"}, {"comment": "&#62; <i>because the ultimate test of user experience is whether users continue to use the software.</i><p>TIL Windows has always been an amazing user experience. Just look at their numbers.<p>&#62; <i>But HN users aren't confused by them.</i><p>\"About 2,200,000 results\" -- says they are.<p>I have a question: What advice would you give to one of your YC startups if they were having this same issue?<p>\"Ah, your users won't be confused. Ignore all evidence that says they are.\"<p>I can tell you <i>exactly</i> why people continue to use Hacker News. It's because it's YOUR SITE. They <i>put up with</i> the broken web design where links die after a few minutes.<p>Your site won't get beat out by a competitor because it has <i>you</i>, and you fund people. So people continuing to use the site is orthogonal to whether the user experience is any good. You have lots of feedback indicating that it isn't.<p>Aren't you the one who says \"listen to your users\"?", "link": "item?id=3100800", "user": "seven_stones"}], "children": [{"number": 5, "names": "untog", "comments": [{"comment": "Quickly checking in to respond, as the \"extremely active 4 year old account\" in question...<p>The comment was clearly poorly phrased. When I made it, there were no negative comments on the story, and it was really just intended to question the \"programmer prodigy\" aspect, not to criticise the deceased or imply that she was not an impressive young person.<p>I hate (!) to discard any part of the english language; I think all expressions have their place, including \"I hate to be that guy, but\" - however, in hindsight, the net effect was to lump my relatively neutral comment in with all the haters on the thread, so, in practice, it was proven to be a poor choice.<p>That said, I do dislike the habit of idolising deceased people as perfect in every way. It reminds me of the \"HN Salesmanship hero\" story (where I commented that he wasn't my hero and I resented this attribution, for which I got badly downvoted). This person was clearly impressive without making stuff up about them. From all the comments and interviews, it in fact seems that her programming ability, far from being prodigy-like, was in fact the least impressive of her other personal traits.<p>To conclude: had I known that there would be a pile-up of hateful belittling following my comment, I wouldn't have made it, or if I felt the need to ask that question, I would have done so in a much more carefully phrased way. I fully take the blame for not realising that this type of thread could descend down to that level, but my intention was certainly not to belittle.", "link": "item?id=3470412", "user": "swombat"}, {"comment": "Good luck with that one.<p>While the world does depend on software, it does not depend on the code you are writing today. If programmers went on strike the world would continue to turn with very, very few problems. In time, of course, things would unravel, but you'd have to be willing to sit through an incredibly long strike.<p>Also your job would probably be outsourced within a week.", "link": "item?id=3361909", "user": "untog"}, {"comment": "If you grow from 10 to 15, 20, 25 etc., each time, even though you are adding 5, it is a smaller percentage of what you had. In this example, you would be adding 50% to go from 10 to 15, then 33% to go from 15 to 20, then 25% etc. Growth is linear, but growth rate is decreasing.", "link": "item?id=3321022", "user": "hasanove"}, {"comment": "We do have a self-service tool in webmaster tools for people who prefer to be crawled slower.", "link": "item?id=3277831", "user": "Matt_Cutts"}, {"comment": "The large-scale computational analysis of genomes both animal and vegetable is going to create an epoch in which it will be possible to cure or make chronic cancer, HIV, and some genetic disorders. Whether or not Monsanto's the devil, that large companies are adopting this technology and providing financial succor to the companies creating the technologies used in this analysis is of benefit to everyone.", "link": "item?id=3105551", "user": "rohern"}], "children": [{"number": 4, "names": "baddox", "comments": [{"comment": "Is that common terminology? It sounds like you're defining \"growth rate\" as \"exponential growth rate.\" To me, if you're seeing 10, 15, 20, 25, etc. every month, then your monthly growth rate is a constant 5. You're still growing, it's just that your growth every month isn't a function of your size last month.", "link": "item?id=3321490", "user": "baddox"}, {"comment": "Maybe a little bit more understanding is due all around. If I can divide the world into two caricatured groups, we have:<p>\"I can never stop feeling, but sometimes I'm too tired to think\" -- rallying around the asinine \"prodigy\" headline.<p>\"I can never stop thinking, but sometimes I'm too tired to feel\" -- rallying around the emotionally tone-deaf responses.<p>I think we all tend to identify with one side more than the other, but instead of rallying our<i>selves</i> on either side of the issue, we should see each side as a vital aspect of being human that each of us has, with one side often gaining the upper hand and then getting out of hand. If we want to measure the supposed \"decline\" of Hacker News by the fact that one side gets out of hand and provokes a response the other, I think both sides need to be held to account. Glurge begets callousness. A pervasive environment of callousness makes glurge seem like a welcome relief. If we want to avoid either, we should avoid both, and that means ignoring offenses instead of responding in kind.", "link": "item?id=3472081", "user": "dkarl"}, {"comment": "Do you support/respect the \"crawl-delay\" directive?<p><a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robots_exclusion_standard#Crawl-delay_directive\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robots_exclusion_standard#Crawl...</a>", "link": "item?id=3277892", "user": "arctangent"}, {"comment": "In essense, the ends justify the means.<p>I'm pretty sure I don't need to explain the major ethical quandaries that arise from this type of thinking.", "link": "item?id=3106183", "user": "run4yourlives"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "storborg", "comments": [{"comment": "Nope. As mentioned above, apparently Google thinks people will \"shoot themselves in the foot\" with the crawl-delay directive, while they won't with Google's special interface (which requires registering and logging in).", "link": "item?id=3278101", "user": "storborg"}, {"comment": "<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_rate\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_rate</a>", "link": "item?id=3323176", "user": "hasanove"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "wanorris", "comments": [{"comment": "I can't imagine that they are just guessing abut this. I'm sure someone tried implementing it and was horrified at the actual results before they gave up on it.", "link": "item?id=3278245", "user": "wanorris"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "einhverfr", "comments": [{"comment": "What more can you expect from the World's Largest Adware Company?<p>Seriously, one thing about Google is that they seem to really like ensuring people are logged on, preferably at all times. Fortunately recent changes to Google Apps (promoting apps user accounts to full Google accounts) has made this more complex on my side and probably degraded the level of actionable info they can get out of it.", "link": "item?id=3278622", "user": "einhverfr"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "Thieum22", "comments": [{"comment": "or faster : <a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2382728\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2382728</a>", "link": "item?id=3277995", "user": "Thieum22"}, {"comment": "Ok, I understand now, thanks :).", "link": "item?id=3321067", "user": "TeMPOraL"}, {"comment": "Death is generally a touchy subject, if you were commenting on someone that had not just passed away I don't think the comment would have come off nearly as bad.<p>I agree with the post about thinking before you add something and not being mean for the sake of being mean. I think we also have to be careful here about a culture of groupthink and censoring alternative opinions via very negative feedback.", "link": "item?id=3470572", "user": "robryan"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "nodemaker", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62;it in fact seems that her programming ability, far from being prodigy-like, was in fact the least impressive of her other personal traits.<p>I dont think its a good idea to make statements like that on someone who is not here anymore to defend herself.", "link": "item?id=3471279", "user": "nodemaker"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "nodemaker", "comments": [{"comment": "Since I am boing downvoted I would like to add that we must not forget that she was 16 years old.<p>I dont want to make assumptions about everyone, but she was definitely a far far better programmer than me when I was 16.:(", "link": "item?id=3472464", "user": "nodemaker"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "powertower", "comments": [{"comment": "An interesting quote from the half-beast, and slightly-insane Joseph Stalin -- \"The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.\"", "link": "item?id=3471469", "user": "powertower"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "groggles", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62;These are examples of 'bad' comments<p>They weren't bad comments at all. The circle-the-wagons \"we're better than this\" reaction is worse.<p>While a death is usually a tragedy, made magnitudes worse when it's a child, the title of that post was absurd, and it was a giant elephant in the room that simply <i>had</i> to be rationally diffused. Like others I went into that story primarily to read how she was a programming prodigy.<p>Tragic death. Not a programming prodigy. The misrepresentation was noticed by all, and it will be a sad day when social convention means we all have to carry forward the lie lest we offend someone's sensibility about death.", "link": "item?id=3470990", "user": "groggles"}, {"comment": "Your post reminds me very strongly of this aphorism: <a href=\"http://www.despair.com/worth.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.despair.com/worth.html</a> \"Just because you're necessary, doesn't mean you're important.\"", "link": "item?id=3362046", "user": "sp332"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "dctoedt", "comments": [{"comment": "Upvoted - this [groggles' comment] hits the nail on the head.<p>PG, given that you gray-out comments that get torrentially downvoted, perhaps you could bold-face (or render in green?) those comments that get a certain number of upvotes, or perhaps those comments that exceed X% of the aggregate number of upvotes for the thread.", "link": "item?id=3473081", "user": "dctoedt"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 7, "names": "zackzackzack", "comments": [{"comment": "It would only take a small minority of hackers to actually build it though. SOPA backers would probably put up the, upper limit, 100 million it would take to pay 10 brillant but selfish engineers to build the thing.", "link": "item?id=3361339", "user": "zackzackzack"}, {"comment": "In the past godaddy has invited (and thrived) based on negative publicity as well as questionable sales practices. (Godaddy girls, exploitation of women, the elephant hunt as a few examples).<p>(Note: We are a competitor of godaddy.)", "link": "item?id=3383607", "user": "larrys"}, {"comment": "Your Bloomberg interview was the first time I'd seen or heard you speak publicly and you came across as likable and intelligent. Doing an interview about SOPA would be free and easy.<p>But an essay would be better than a presidential-address-style prepared speech. That has the potential to jump the shark and be a time sink.", "link": "item?id=3386704", "user": "bcjordan"}, {"comment": "Merry Christmas pg.", "link": "item?id=3391717", "user": "neurotech1"}, {"comment": "I'm really very sorry to hear this.<p>When I joined HN I decided to do an experiment. On reddit and slashdot, I go under a pseudonym except when I need to make an announcement. But on HN I always go by my own name. The result is dramatic: I'm much more careful and considerate on HN. It's a clear verification of Penny Arcade's famous theory (<a href=\"http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/</a>).<p>I think that the elimination of anonymity is ultimately the only thing which can keep HN from the inevitable slide toward 4chan that all comment sites are on.", "link": "item?id=3470922", "user": "SeanLuke"}, {"comment": "I can't think of any good reason not to make the raw numbers public, down to say hourly granularity.<p>A lot could be learned from making such an organization of the world's data (cough) public.", "link": "item?id=3321076", "user": "waterlesscloud"}, {"comment": "I agree that the comment is content-free but honestly what did the company expect when they're boasting about their partnership with one of the world's most hated companies?<p>I'm not exactly alarmed to see this comment at the top because it's ridiculous that the company was dumb enough to issue this press release. We all need to pay our bills but to boast about working with a hated company is just a stupid PR move.<p>Apple, Facebook, Google, Chevorlet, Clorox, etc, are all not stupid enough to write a press release like this one. Whoever advised them to do so should immediately be fired b/c they clearly don't get PR.<p>You know what else is hilarious is that they're not only admitting to power one of the most hated aspects of the company (genetic manipulation of seeds), but they're actually touting it as a win for the company.", "link": "item?id=3104277", "user": "biznickman"}], "children": [{"number": 4, "names": "eumenides1", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; they're not only admitting to power one of the most hated aspects of the company (genetic manipulation of seeds), but they're actually touting it as a win for the company.<p>It <i>is</i> a win for Cloudant. A huge win. They're a data company, not a biological warfare company. Their product will be used in an incredibly data-intensive application to do some really cool analysis. That's awesome for a data startup, and something to be proud of.<p>If I were a maker of a light-weight, high-strength alloy, should I be ashamed if Lockheed Martin wants to use it in their newest fighter jet? Of course not. I should be stoked that my product is getting such a high-profile endorsement, and excited about what it means for future development.<p>This announcement lends huge credibility to BigCouch, and will likely lead to future deals. They'd be idiots and incredibly poor businessmen if they <i>didn't</i> announce it with some fanfare.", "link": "item?id=3104416", "user": "redthrowaway"}, {"comment": "<i>\"A lot could be learned from making such an organization of the world's data (cough) public.\"</i><p>Given Google's business model, that seems like a pretty good reason not to make the raw numbers public.", "link": "item?id=3322803", "user": "Samuel_Michon"}, {"comment": "One thing a lack of anonymity forces you to do is to present your entire feelings about a story, instead of the one point that you feel is missing or needs correction. When people present points in isolation, it's easy to get the wrong impression about how they feel.<p>I didn't comment in the thread under discussion, but if I felt there was one <i>point</i> that needed to be added to the original story, it was the one made by many posters, roughly, \"This smells like glurge, and when people are mourning for an inspiring little girl, it's common sense not to take what they say about her at face value.\" Of course that wouldn't reflect my whole reaction as a human being.<p>And that's the difference between reacting as a non-anonymous human being, where you are careful to present your <i>whole</i> feelings about a topic, and reacting as a member of a message board, where you're like to dismiss most of what you think and feel as commonplace and not worth mentioning.<p>Like any problem in communication, it's a problem of readers as well as writers. Reading a message from \"asdf1234\" or \"prgrmrd00d4u\" (not real names AFAIK) and reading it as representative of a human being's feelings doesn't make any sense, but it's irresistible for a lot of people. If the nerds on Slashdot and HN can't resist parsing comments that way, I think it's time to give up and accept that as human beings we can only see each other as whole human beings and not merely as contributors to a conversation. So the burden of solving this communication problem is on the writers to act like whole human beings.<p>The primary psychological resistance -- and believe me, I do rebel against being \"human\" on a discussion board with every bit of my being -- comes from the fact that most of us would prefer to sound more like scientists than like politicians. Scientists say, \"Here is my tiny marginal contribution.\" Politicians say, \"This is who I am.\" Geeks roll their eyes when a politician answering a question about tax policy in a debate spends all of his allotted time talking about how much he loves his children and then caps it off with half a sentence stating his position on the issue. We hate that and don't want to be like that. We want to hear how he differs from his opponents. We don't want to hear everything he has in common with everyone else. We want the <i>diff</i>.<p>Our humanity is what we have in common, exactly what is excluded when we present ourselves as a diff. If you read the original discussion and read every comment as a diff, then you don't see comments by inhuman people. You see whole human beings whose common humanity was redacted by the diff filter running between their brains and their keyboards.<p>Maybe the need to relax that diff filter a little bit so we all sound like human beings needs to be part of a FAQ somewhere....", "link": "item?id=3471787", "user": "dkarl"}, {"comment": "you are correct so you have to low-ball your bid and say you can do it for less, say 50 million. A total steal. Then you delay. Delay delay delay. When they fire you, get your friend to promise the same thing you promised. Incompetence is not a failing, but merely a tool in need to the right time.", "link": "item?id=3361379", "user": "eumenides1"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "thomasgerbe", "comments": [{"comment": "I personally wouldn't partner with Lockheed Martin if my tech was going to be used for weaponry. We've refused lucrative contracts with certain companies because we don't respect their product or their past behavior. It completely depends on the relative weight of what you find important.<p>Partnership deals happen in the background without anyone knowing about it unless you are in the scene. Fact is that they could've done this deal without such an announcement and people/investors in the know within SV would've heard about it.<p>The fact is that Monsanto has a long history of harmful activities in the United States (<a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto#Environmental_and_health_record\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto#Environmental_and_heal...</a>) and the world (<a href=\"http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsanto/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsan...</a>) that it is a red flag. Sure, Cloudant isn't a bio warfare company, but the fact is that they are proud to be associated with Monsanto.", "link": "item?id=3104738", "user": "thomasgerbe"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "redthrowaway", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62;I personally wouldn't partner with Lockheed Martin if my tech was going to be used for weaponry.<p>Say goodbye to the vast majority of technological, materials, and aerospace development of the 20th century.<p>&#62;The fact is that Monsanto has a long history of harmful activities in the United States<p>So? Sequencing genes isn't one of them.<p>&#62;Sure, Cloudant isn't a bio warfare company, but the fact is that they are proud to be associated with Monsanto<p>They're proud that their product has found such a demanding and high-profile customer. They should be. They aren't providing logistical support for Monsanto's campaign to crush independent farmers, they're providing the backbone for gene sequencing.<p>It doesn't matter what you think of Monsanto or some of their policies. Fact is, Cloudant has found a demanding and bleeding-edge customer for their product, which will lead to big advances both in its adoption and its underlying technology. That's a Good Thing.", "link": "item?id=3104820", "user": "redthrowaway"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "viggity", "comments": [{"comment": "\"most hated aspects of the company (genetic manipulation of seeds)\"<p>1. Genetic manipulation of seeds is going to feed the world. And at the rate our population is growing, we're going to need it.<p>2. They weren't talking about genetic insertions, instead they said \"Genome Analysis\". Genome analysis helps plant breeders find plants that already have advantageous genes and try to quantify their effect of these genes.<p>3. I don't particularly like Monsanto (I worked for a competitor) but I'm not sure Monsanto is \"one of the world's most hated companies\" outside hacker and hippie circles.", "link": "item?id=3104414", "user": "viggity"}, {"comment": "Facebook knows my True Name, therefore I'm so careful there that I don't say anything controversial or substantive at all. It just gets a bit of cheerful pap, and mostly I don't use it at all. HN get what I'm really thinking about precisely because it's pseudonymous.", "link": "item?id=3472640", "user": "prodigal_erik"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "cickpass_broken", "comments": [{"comment": "1. Genetic manipulation by Monsanto has relied on herbicides/pesticides and monocultures. This comes with averse effects and risks. The use of herbicides/pesticides <i></i>must<i></i> be reduced. We need pollinators, we need genetic diversity and biodiversity. We must look ahead more than 25 or so years. When it comes to soil fertility and contamination we should be looking ahead 100 years.<p>2. Is it possible for a group to select and breed their seeds over years, and eventually having a breed that is similar to a patented Monsanto seed?<p>3. It very well may not be on the most hated.", "link": "item?id=3104686", "user": "cickpass_broken"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "andylei", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; Genetic manipulation by Monsanto has relied on herbicides/pesticides and monocultures. This comes with averse effects and risks. The use of herbicides/pesticides must be reduced. We need pollinators, we need genetic diversity and biodiversity. We must look ahead more than 25 or so years. When it comes to soil fertility and contamination we should be looking ahead 100 years.<p>1. lowered levels of food production have their own averse effects and risks, notably, famine and starvation. herbicides, persticides and monocultures of high yield strains are widely believed to be responsible for saving a billion lives. if you eliminated those things from the planet right now, hundreds of millions of people would starve next year.<p>2. the things you're talking about aren't monsanto's fault. people are doing business with monsanto willingly. you don't have to buy gmo seeds (or any seeds) from them if you don't want to.<p>&#62; Is it possible for a group to select and breed their seeds over years, and eventually having a breed that is similar to a patented Monsanto seed?<p>sure. if you have a breed similar to a monsanto seed, they'd win a lawsuit against you only if your breed had the same gene that they patented. you may think that that's not fair, but that's how things work. if i win a patent for a space engine for interstellar space travel, and you independently invent the same engine, i'd also win a lawsuit against you. also note that no one has actually bred a RoundUp resistant strain of plants independently of monsanto.", "link": "item?id=3104966", "user": "andylei"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "cickpass_broken", "comments": [{"comment": "1. If we continue our use of herbicides/pesticides to the point of wide-spread colony collapse, spread of plant disease (perhaps canola, soy, or corn), significant reduction of nitrate fixation, increased human cancers we may also see hundreds of millions of people die or be without food.<p>Obviously, no one is suggesting we stop producing enough food for people to eat. But you need to look past the next 5, 10, 25 years. Those issues listed above are all real. And can all be linked to herbicides/pesticides and monocultures. We need to work on a new solution, a new system. The current situation is not a long-term answer.<p>2. This is more a theoretical morality issue. How much control/ownership should any one entity be allowed to have on life. What if they aren't just patenting seeds for RoundUp resistance? More so, say I live in a certain climate where I want a certain field tomato to grow. And under those circumstances I end up with a seed similar to a patented Monsanto seed. I lose in court. Other varieties of tomatoes don't grow will in my area. What do I do? I no longer have the freedom or right to grow successful tomatoes. This is not reality, but a possibility. One, that I do not believe in the slightest is worth risking. This could also lead to outrageous seed pricing.<p>Oh while I'm at it. Let's add climate change, land degradation (<a href=\"http://news.mongabay.com/2006/1214-unu.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.mongabay.com/2006/1214-unu.html</a>). Basically, yes we need to feed billions, but we also need to do that 25-50 years from now. The practices used for high-yield crops are limiting our ability to produce food in the future.", "link": "item?id=3105113", "user": "cickpass_broken"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "viggity", "comments": [{"comment": "FTR, Pioneer HiBred recently patented their own glyphosate (roundup) resistance gene (a different one than monsanto has), although I'm not sure if they have any varieties that have the gene incorporated yet. Obviously, they're excited about it because now they don't have to pay royalty fees to Monsanto anymore.", "link": "item?id=3108983", "user": "viggity"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "viggity", "comments": [{"comment": "1. There is plenty of genetic diversity (aka hetrozygosity). The most credible evidence suggests that Colony Collapse Syndrome was caused by a disease, not GMO seed. Also, all of the seed companies take tremendous care to ensure that their patented biotech traits (BT) keep working in future, which is why they all have refuge requirements (meaning a farmer must plant at least X percent of their crop that isn't BT, which makes sure that various pests continue to breed with genes that will make their offspring susceptible to herbicide/pesticide treatment).<p>2. Corn has tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of genes and has roughly 22 million nucleotide base pairs. Having two breeders from two different companies come up with roughly the same plant interdependently is in the astronomical range.", "link": "item?id=3107033", "user": "viggity"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "biznickman", "comments": [{"comment": "As a follow-on, Paul, based on your standards, \"everybody\" accepts money from anybody even if they're evil. This is also a policy that YCombinator apparently supports?? I would have preferred to be voting up a post about \"Why Cloudera turned down Monsanto's business\" to illustrate the fact that they have ethical standards and believe that those are important in business.", "link": "item?id=3104368", "user": "biznickman"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "So you would rather every YC company shared your politics, and vote up stories about how they made business decisions to boost those politics.", "link": "item?id=3104418", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 5, "names": "flipside", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't think Raytheon or SAIC would feel very threatened by a consumer boycott.", "link": "item?id=3361376", "user": "eli"}, {"comment": "If they lose money on domains we should all buy domains from them (and only domains).", "link": "item?id=3385946", "user": "Hexx"}, {"comment": "It will be your Christmas gift :-)", "link": "item?id=3391820", "user": "prakster"}, {"comment": "Sadly, we're reaching the limits of the karma system.<p>I'm working on an upgrade, details (or lack thereof) can be found lower on the page.", "link": "item?id=3470245", "user": "flipside"}, {"comment": "It's an unfortunate sign for everyone that you (and/or Cloudant) wouldn't anticipate this reaction from going into business with Monsanto.<p>As to the \"content-free\" claim, sometimes a rant is an appropriate reaction. If some YC company partnered with Al Qaida, would we really need to spell out all the heinous things AQ has done before writing, \"F- that!\"?!?<p>EDIT: And to your \"If the rule is, if x sells something to Monsanto, fuck x, then what you're saying is fuck the entire corporate world, because I'm sure Monsanto buys Apple computers and Chevrolets and Clorox too. It's sort of ridiculous to hold Cloudant to a standard that essentially zero other companies meet.\"<p>-- It's one thing if Monsanto buys iPhones and Macs from Apple; that would represent ~.0001% of Apple's overall business. It's another thing if Monsanto is responsible for a significant % of your revenue.<p>(Of course, Cloudant's deal with Monsanto could represent only 2% of Cloudant's total revenue; but since it's a startup, the initial reaction people will have is that it's significantly higher than that.)", "link": "item?id=3104205", "user": "kongqiu"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "pg", "comments": [{"comment": "Not a consumer boycott; an employee boycott. It might make a company think twice before touching this type of work if they knew it would make it impossible to hire or retain good programmers.", "link": "item?id=3361410", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "Yes, because Hacker News is for civilized, rational discussion. Not '+1 !'s, not analogies to the Nazi regime, not a litany of profanity to a hard-working young startup, and not more hivemind think from Reddit. The kind of hivemind that downvotes any contrary opinion and upvotes the tasteless, content-free posts you see at the top. We can discourse in more substantial words than \"F- that!\". Multiple '?!?' becoming more common aren't a good sign.", "link": "item?id=3104228", "user": "irrumator"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "bmelton", "comments": [{"comment": "I was about to take your dismissal of my '+1' seriously until I noticed the vast majority your comments on HN are all contrarian and basically content free. Except of course when you're blasting others as 'hivemind'ed, or to complain about one of the seven words you can't say on HN. For the record I'm an Orange County Republican so I came to my opposition of Monsanto by my own volition.", "link": "item?id=3104510", "user": "kreek"}, {"comment": "A boycott might have worked in a better economy, but there are far too many unemployed workers capable of implementing SOPA restrictions that would love a job, regardless the moral implications.<p>Also, the employees that work at SAIC/Raytheon/federal contracting are already more used to working on things that are morally questionable. Sometimes they're black-box implemented (where each party makes only a small part of it, and it is then pieced together later,) but usually it isn't.", "link": "item?id=3361553", "user": "bmelton"}], "children": null}, {"number": 2, "names": "kongqiu", "comments": [{"comment": "There's a place in civilized, rational discussion for ranting.<p>Let's say you're out with two friends discussing the war on drugs, with all kinds of rational, civilized debate on the science, politics, economics, sociology, etc. Suddenly, one friend declares, \"Ok, I understand the risks and potential rewards, and I've decided to start dealing coke.\" Sure, you can try to calmly talk them out of it, and/or you could do some \"ranting.\" Both would be appropriate.<p>\"Hivemind\" indeed.", "link": "item?id=3104337", "user": "kongqiu"}, {"comment": "I like the idea, but so far the attempts to make that happen with companies that work on the Great Firewall of China have been, I think, pretty unsuccessful. Cisco's gotten some bad press at times, but programmers still go work for them.", "link": "item?id=3361726", "user": "_delirium"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "irrumator", "comments": [{"comment": "If we can quit the absurd analogies all over this thread for a minute, can you point me to why Monsanto is so evil in your eyes? Other than a Vanity piece, it seems everyone has come to a preconcluded fact that Monsanto is \"evil\" somehow.<p>Cloudant is a business, and this is great for their financials, as well as for furthering the research in their tech stack. From reading it, I'm sure many on Hacker News use similar tools that will benefit from the research done by Cloudant.", "link": "item?id=3104367", "user": "irrumator"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "chrisbennet", "comments": [{"comment": "The documentary \"Food Inc\" describes Monsanto's behavior with respect to genetically modified seeds.<p>Example from my admittedly poor memory: A farmer's neighbor bought Monsanto's genetically modified seeds and some of the seeds blew into the farmers flield. Monsanto sued him and made him destroy all his seeds. When the farmer complained to the government he discover that the official responsible for representing his interests was on the board of Monsanto.<p>As far as \"feeding the hungry\". Monsantos seeds are genetically modified produce plants that don't have replantable seeds i.e. every year you have to buy your seeds from Monsanto. The 3rd world can't afford to use Monsanto's seeds and our subsidies of the corn industry make is hard for 3rd world farmers to make a living.", "link": "item?id=3104619", "user": "chrisbennet"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "pm", "comments": [{"comment": "I read this years ago, but Monsanto's genetically modified corn seeds had something they referred to as a \"terminator\" gene, which is what made the genetically modified plants single generation. However, when natural plants were pollinated with pollen from genetically modified plants (my biology is probably wrong here), seeds the natural plants produced retained the terminator gene.<p>Extrapolate this out to the worst-case scenario and you've got the entire world buying corn seed from Monsanto because natural corn is extinct, through decades of unintentional pollination.", "link": "item?id=3104914", "user": "pm"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "0x12", "comments": [{"comment": "Posilac.<p>Schmeiser.<p>Basmati.<p>And lots and lots of others.<p>Really, Monsanto is evil, it has been proven way beyond any doubt. In cloudants position I'm not sure I would have taken the money but I would have never ever sent out this press release.", "link": "item?id=3104659", "user": "0x12"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "recoiledsnake", "comments": [{"comment": "Many of employees have mouths to feed, and they might become unemployable if the company they're applying needs references and comes to know of this. Not to mention guest workers on H1 visas who have to pack up and leave the country along with children the day after they quit the job.", "link": "item?id=3362048", "user": "recoiledsnake"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "davidwparker", "comments": [{"comment": "I'm not sure you read the article or pg's post. Consumers aren't boycotting. Programmers and those building SOPA would quit, so Raytheon and SAIC wouldn't have an employees to build it.", "link": "item?id=3361408", "user": "davidwparker"}, {"comment": "the difference is that right now, you or anyone else in the thread can convincingly list a bunch of bad things they have done.<p>so far, there is not a single convincing (and barely any substantive) comments about the bad things monsanto has done. if you disagree, please, let's discuss why monsanto is, as many here claim, \"evil\"", "link": "item?id=3104227", "user": "andylei"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "SkyMarshal", "comments": [{"comment": "I don't have time to get into that discussion, but if you google <i>\"the most evil company in the world\"</i> you'll see they're fighting it out with De Beers and one or two others for the top spot. There's also plenty on Wikipedia:<p><a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto</a><p>They're basically 80s/90s Microsoft at its worst, but in agriculture of both the developed and developing world (the latter being particularly heinous).", "link": "item?id=3104439", "user": "SkyMarshal"}, {"comment": "I've known lots of contractors for companies such as SAIC (I was one myself for a few years, not for SAIC, but for another much smaller company in Indianapolis) and they will have no such compunctions.<p>Sorry, pg - I know you talk with a lot of smart people, but you don't have to be too smart to break something. You just have to be venal, and there's never a shortage of venality.<p>This boycott is doomed to failure from the get-go.", "link": "item?id=3361513", "user": "Vivtek"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "tptacek", "comments": [{"comment": "You don't think you're maybe proving the wrong point when, after being asked to provide evidence for the argument that Monsanto is evil, you respond \"just Google for most evil company in the world\"?<p>If you really want to pursue that point, maybe you want to start by reconciling it with the fact that by that scale, Monsanto is competing with Activision, Ford Motor, and Coca Cola (all of which appear alongside it on the top half of the first Google SERP for \"most evil company in the world\").", "link": "item?id=3104729", "user": "tptacek"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "andylei", "comments": [{"comment": "i'm seeing literally dozens of comments saying that it monsanto is the most evil company that exists, and literally, not one comment giving a single concrete reason why it is.<p>why is hitler evil? i can tell you in 8 words. he ordered the deaths of millions of people.<p>why is monsanto evil? seriously, name ONE thing that makes them evil.", "link": "item?id=3104895", "user": "andylei"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "pbreit", "comments": [{"comment": "Monsanto knowingly engages in unethical activities that could jeopardize large portions of the world's food supply.", "link": "item?id=3106133", "user": "pbreit"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "andylei", "comments": [{"comment": "what are these activities? producing GMOs? high yield crops have enabled the feeding of hundreds of millions if not billions of people who would otherwise died of starvation.", "link": "item?id=3107379", "user": "andylei"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "puredemo", "comments": [{"comment": "<a href=\"http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3106488\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3106488</a><p>Nothing wrong with GMOs, lots and lots wrong with Monsanto.", "link": "item?id=3108710", "user": "puredemo"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 1, "names": "0x12", "comments": [{"comment": "Monsanto makes Microsoft look pretty good.", "link": "item?id=3104645", "user": "0x12"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 5, "names": "cbs", "comments": [{"comment": "pg, this makes me uncomfortable. While I strongly oppose SOPA, this seems like an attempt to intimidate people for expressing views we dislike.", "link": "item?id=3384881", "user": "DavidSJ"}, {"comment": "Surely this dilemma can be remedied with a line or two of Lisp ;)", "link": "item?id=3391395", "user": "arkitaip"}, {"comment": "<i>they are going to need us to implement it for them</i><p>Its a nice idea, but that is flat-out not true.", "link": "item?id=3361490", "user": "cbs"}, {"comment": "Can you explain why you believe this story was appropriate for Hacker News? What discussion was this supposed to generate?", "link": "item?id=3471186", "user": "tkahn6"}, {"comment": "I think there's a difference between buying a product and working closely with a company in an intimate business relationship/partnership.<p>Not to mention that I don't think Apple (nor it's employees) would be publicly joyous about partnering with an ethically questionable company.", "link": "item?id=3104224", "user": "thomasgerbe"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "Confusion", "comments": [{"comment": "I didn't post the story.", "link": "item?id=3472086", "user": "pg"}, {"comment": "If you care about who will be offended or who will feel intimidated, free speech is not for you. This is about putting your money where your mouth is.", "link": "item?id=3385017", "user": "Confusion"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 3, "names": "rd108", "comments": [{"comment": "The problem with aggregators like Digg/Reddit/HN is that anger will unite a mob quicker than discussion. Eventually you end up with an angry echo chamber populated with the worst sort of content.<p>HN opened my eyes to a group of problem solving people who could generate a discussion that was better than any linked article. Originally the commenter attitude was \"HN vs the problem presented\". This slowly gravitated towards \"My solution to the problem vs. your solution\" with the associated rudeness, arrogance, and appeals to authority. Now it's headed towards an \"Us vs. Them\" kind of attitude similar to r/politics. Where you're wrong just for your identity or associations.", "link": "item?id=3105024", "user": "johngalt"}, {"comment": "I thought about this for a while and realized after sleeping on it that this quality problem seemed to occur only after points visibility was removed from comments. People can and should be able to say what they want, but if the only public feedback is greying out downvoted comments (negative) then you're losing the positive feedback cycle and hampering the ability of the cybernetic system to regulate itself.", "link": "item?id=3472065", "user": "rd108"}, {"comment": "While I would love to see this happen, it won't be very hard to convince many people, developers included, that the entire purpose is to stop knock-off handbag sites, scummy download sites, and shady online gambling operations, and I'm sure they can provide enough glaring examples of piracy that the argument will seem reasonable. Coupled with the fact that it would be somebody's job on the line, I'm afraid that the boycott would be doomed to failure, behind the aegis of corporate anonymity for any individuals involved.", "link": "item?id=3361791", "user": "flatline"}], "children": null}, {"number": 3, "names": "WiseWeasel", "comments": [{"comment": "You won't see Apple, GM or Clorox touting a partnership with Monsanto, as they are aware of the negative impact it would have on their own brand. I think there is a good lesson in this for other companies.", "link": "item?id=3104335", "user": "WiseWeasel"}, {"comment": "I think we've reached the stage for an \"Ignore\" button. Clicking it would make that user invisible to me in the future.<p>There are some people who I am never going to agree with. Their comments are invariably ignorant or proselytizing or cruel to my eyes. I'd rather not have that.", "link": "item?id=3477669", "user": "Nick_C"}, {"comment": "It's worked before and I would use stronger words than boycott; like blockade and strike. Doing economic damage by refusing to work on it or by refusing to buy their products or anything else is a damn fine idea and it's worked in the past for various trade unions.<p>The only thing is that we need a support network for people who refuse to work on it. Like say an employee and Cisco wants to blow the whistle on all the invasive tech they work on or wants to stop working on SOPA-related tech. They need to be able to do that without fearing that their family will go hungry because they wont get a paycheck anymore.<p>Union dues and donations were used for supporting striking workers. We have things like Kickstarter, Paypal, Bitcoin, etc. I don't see why we can't pitch in and donate to support any hackers who refuse to work on SOPA-related tech.", "link": "item?id=3364527", "user": "omouse"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "castewart", "comments": [{"comment": "We don't discuss PR on HN. Public relations is beneath PG.", "link": "item?id=3105735", "user": "castewart"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "puredemo", "comments": [{"comment": "What an ignorant thing to say. HN essentially <i>is</i> social publicity and PR for YC startups.", "link": "item?id=3108719", "user": "puredemo"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "WiseWeasel", "comments": [{"comment": "I do believe that was sarcasm.", "link": "item?id=3108916", "user": "WiseWeasel"}], "children": null}]}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "cickpass_broken", "comments": [{"comment": "Such irony. Your comment seems much in the same style.<p>Tho oldstrangers vague logic was \"by association\" I don't think you should assume \"if x sells to Monsanto.\" You can be much more specific in this case, as Cloudant clearly states, \"We\u2019ve been working with them for a few weeks now ...\" Has Apple, Chevy, Clorox been \"working with\" Monsanto, or are their products just freely available for purchase?<p>I find it alarming that you think oldstrangers comment lacks sense. Food and water. That is the basis for human life. Monsanto threatens the freedom and right to access for those necessary things.", "link": "item?id=3104250", "user": "cickpass_broken"}, {"comment": "Raiding the people at the company that gets the contract might be a more ethical and effective action, especially if some of those people feel stuck working there.<p>The company may be able to replace those workers, but churn could really hurt them.", "link": "item?id=3362561", "user": "danielharan"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "david_p", "comments": [{"comment": "Thank you. I totally agree.<p>I rarely comment on HN but actually logged in just for this.", "link": "item?id=3104697", "user": "david_p"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "white_devil", "comments": [{"comment": "A union of global programmers. Has a nice ring to it. Needs to have an incentive to join and keep the lobbyists out. Same problem that stackoverflow has to keep out trolls and idiots. In this case the trolls are riaa, mpaa, national interests to take over the internet and those who wish not to contribute, but to be armchair dictators of the most powerful tool ever made by mankind.", "link": "item?id=3361333", "user": "maeon3"}, {"comment": "Oh boo-hoo. You're not exactly an impartial observer here.<p>Besides, it's one thing for Apple to manufacture a computer that gets bought by a Monsanto employee somewhere, and another for a YC startup to decide to work with Monsanto and help them with whatever pure evil they're up to next.", "link": "item?id=3104633", "user": "white_devil"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "EdSkrillex", "comments": [{"comment": "A union of global \"programmers/activists\" already exists. It's called Anonymous. Honestly, we as programmers have to fight this evil with a greater evil -- create a new internet and/or get Anonymous intimately involved in this current affair.", "link": "item?id=3361840", "user": "EdSkrillex"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "lwat", "comments": [{"comment": "If I had Monsanto as a major client I'd make them sign a confidentiality agreement.", "link": "item?id=3104906", "user": "lwat"}, {"comment": "Alternatively one could boycott the entertainment companies lobbying for the bill. Which really is not much of a sacrifice.", "link": "item?id=3362845", "user": "aschoen"}], "children": null}, {"number": 2, "names": "rbanffy", "comments": [{"comment": "pg, I understand your frustration. The OP starts off in a tone that is way over the top, and the language is completely unnecessary. However, wouldn't you appreciate the distinction of a \u201cpartner\u201d (a conscious relationship) from a \u201cconsumer\u201d (unconscious)? They might be consumers of Apple/Chevy/Clorox products, but this seems more like a partnership.", "link": "item?id=3106482", "user": "abbasmehdi"}, {"comment": "&#62; organize a boycott of any person or company that works on it.<p>This is dangerously like a witch hunt. This tool is theirs, not ours.<p>But I agree we may need better tools to protect the things we hold dear.", "link": "item?id=3363183", "user": "rbanffy"}], "children": null}, {"number": 2, "names": "zallarak", "comments": [{"comment": "Actually now that you've said it, we could start a boycott right now of the companies who are <i>supporting</i> the bill.", "link": "item?id=3361741", "user": "radicalbyte"}, {"comment": "Here is a potential reason why some are upset. Its obvious that large corporations like Chevy, Clorox, Apple sell to Monstanto [and other corporations some could consider \"bad\" or whatever you want to label it]. But when startups do it [especially YC startups who I generally believe have smarter people involved relative to large corporations] it is felt because people generally hold them to higher standards [not just in situations like this, it applies for operational, financial and strategic measures as well]. I worked at a YC startup for a while, and saw some pretty generous things done by YC founders for society.<p>Another way to look at it (if it helps you understand the other perspective): You frequently see YC funded companies help each other out. Why do they do it? Is it just to accumulate more wealth/raise a valuation? Or is it because they've developed meaningful relationships and care for each other? I use this example to show how empathy and relationships can impact business decisions in a general sense, and that this same logic could be used to apply to a YC company NOT being proud of serving a large corporation known to use tactics that harm farmers in underdeveloped nations.<p>The fact that you use the term 'hold to a standard' at least implies that some could perceive the action as 'slimy'.<p>Finally, as someone wise once said, \"be the change you want to see in the world\" -- of course we hold YC companies to a higher standard :), many are made up of brilliant and compassionate individuals whose products make the world a better place. /cheese", "link": "item?id=3106410", "user": "zallarak"}], "children": [{"number": 2, "names": "csallen", "comments": [{"comment": "Agreed - likely low effect, but we should all do this anyway if we haven't already begun (I've blackholed a few of them already in /etc/hosts just because their sites do things like auto-play video that you can't stop).<p>Here's a list of supporters for reference:<p><a href=\"http://www.thedominoproject.com/2011/12/who-wants-to-break-the-internet.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.thedominoproject.com/2011/12/who-wants-to-break-t...</a>", "link": "item?id=3361800", "user": "jen_h"}, {"comment": "<i>&#62; You frequently see YC funded companies help each other out. Why do they do it? Is it just to accumulate more wealth/raise a valuation? Or is it because they've developed meaningful relationships and care for each other?</i><p>Those two scenarios are not mutually exclusive.<p>And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but people generally act out of self-interest. There are plenty of YC (and non-YC) companies who help each other out, yet whose founders have never met.", "link": "item?id=3106768", "user": "csallen"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "jen_h", "comments": [{"comment": "Good info here, too, on the money trail:<p><a href=\"http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/money\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/money</a>", "link": "item?id=3362299", "user": "jen_h"}], "children": null}]}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "damoncali", "comments": [{"comment": "That's the sort of debate you get when you leave all those juicy articles about this that and the other political thing out for the flies to land on.", "link": "item?id=3104515", "user": "davidw"}, {"comment": "It only takes one.", "link": "item?id=3361730", "user": "damoncali"}], "children": null}, {"number": 2, "names": "Kroem3r", "comments": [{"comment": "Fair opinion. But I found it refreshing; I was resigned to seeing a lot of preemptory 'separation of ethics and business' discussions.", "link": "item?id=3104168", "user": "Kroem3r"}, {"comment": "dura lex, sed lex.", "link": "item?id=3362067", "user": "davidu"}], "children": [{"number": 1, "names": "sitkack", "comments": [{"comment": "I love the idea that ethics should be a hobby one does after their day job. We get angry about things like that because if a small group of really smart people strike out on their own to change the world and do good and yet put out a press release saying how \"excited\" they are to be working with such an amoral company, it just vacates our idealistic world view.<p>We can't stop Apple selling MacBooks to Monstanto. Apple makes tools and doesn't ask how they get used (nor should it have to). But a small cloud startup, different picture. One is active and one is passive.", "link": "item?id=3104239", "user": "sitkack"}], "children": null}]}, {"number": 2, "names": "Cushman", "comments": [{"comment": "&#62; It's an unfortunate sign for HN when the top comment on a thread is such a <i>content-free</i> rant.<p>To the contrary, the tenor of the majority of comments makes it clear that the context is <i>well</i>-understood already, and this is encouraging.<p>Users evidencing a strong moral compass is a reason to rejoice, not despair.<p>If you want some context, try Wikipedia.<p><i>Monsanto is responsible for more than 50 United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund sites, attempts to clean up Monsanto Chemical's formerly uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.[27]</i><p><i>The Center for Food Safety[108] listed 112 lawsuits by Monsanto against farmers for claims of seed patent violations.[27] The Center for Food Safety's analyst stated that many innocent farmers settle with Monsanto because they cannot afford a time consuming lawsuit. Monsanto is frequently described by farmers as \"Gestapo\" and \"Mafia\" both because of these lawsuits and because of the questionable means they use to collect evidence of patent infringement.[27]</i><p>It's a combination of a major environmental polluter and a patent troll.<p><i>Dumping of toxic waste in the UK<p>Between 1965 and 1972, Monsanto paid contractors to illegally dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfill sites, knowing that their chemicals were liable to contaminate wildlife and people. The Environment Agency said the chemicals were found to be polluting groundwater and the atmosphere 30 years after they were dumped.[71]<p>The Brofiscin quarry, near Cardiff, erupted in 2003, spilling fumes over the surrounding area, but the local community was unaware that the quarry housed toxic waste.<p>A UK government report shows that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs exclusively made by Monsanto, are leaking from one unlined porous quarry that was not authorized to take chemical wastes. It emerged that the groundwater has been polluted since the 1970s.[72] The government was criticised for failing to publish information about the scale and exact nature of this contamination. According to the Environment Agency it could cost \u00a3100m to clean up the site in south Wales, called \"one of the most contaminated\" in the UK.[73]</i><p>One thing to remember is that patents are fundamentally at odds with food availability. You can either have Big Pharma-like profits, or cheap food that feeds billions.<p>As it is, countries with functional governments already overproduce food. Zimbabwe used to be called the \"Breadbasket of Africa\" before Mugabe.", "link": "item?id=3104606", "user": "seven_stones"}, {"comment": "Hey Paul, I'm trying to raise a seed round for my startup. Our organization will match any offer made to any engineer to design or implement any system for censorship of the Internet, and employ that engineer building tools to resist censorship.<p>I figure we only need a few hundred million to get off the ground... How much can I put you down for?", "link": "item?id=3361749", "user": "Cushman"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "rjstatic", "comments": [{"comment": "Paul, while I do see your point, you aren't looking deep enough here. Please let me explain.<p>Yes, this comment is missing some crucial content, yet, it is not a contentless comment as proven by the up votes. It is a war cry against those who seek to end this world in a fit of greed. It seems contentless to you because you are unaware of the game Monsanto is playing. I'm not just talking about giving a few kids Asthma by pumping chemicals into the air, I'm talking about risking the collapse of our life support systems for the sake of profit. Please read up on Monsanto, our survival depends on us to do the right thing. <a href=\"http://www.right2knowmarch.org/about-2/educational-links/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.right2knowmarch.org/about-2/educational-links/</a>", "link": "item?id=3105929", "user": "rjstatic"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "pbreit", "comments": [{"comment": "I disagree. The rant contained at least as much content as a press release announcing one new customer. And I think the disappointment has to do more with the boasting than the simple customer relationship.", "link": "item?id=3106066", "user": "pbreit"}], "children": null}, {"number": 1, "names": "Sato", "comments": [{"comment": "I rather see freedom from censorship here.", "link": "item?id=3105653", "user": "Sato"}], "children": null}]}, "patio11": {"number": 50, "names": "patio11", "comments": [{"comment": "Props to Microsoft, but this is actually pretty routine. (It was literally written policy at a previous employer of mine.)<p>Manual exception handling at the warehouse is <i>crazily</i> expensive. It is much, much easier to write it off (as shrinkage, not charity) than to get the item back into active inventory (all the fun of chasing invoices, except the amount payable is \"one XBox\", and the person doing the chasing sees their general productivity go to pot), particularly as it may have been opened. The charity suggestion removes many customer objections and ends the ongoing CS expense almost immediately.", "link": "item?id=3434547", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "<i>The \"dangerous precedent\" you're talking about was set by the Google web spam team a long time ago.</i><p>Yep. If you wanted to look at one particular event, several years ago a major Nazi site ranked #1 for [Jew], because the people who care about [Jew] and were early adopters on the Internet happened to be Nazis. Google, at the time, refused to hand-edit that, and instead put PSA AdWords ads against the SERP for [Jew] saying \"While we're certainly not Nazis, the algorithm decrees that the most relevant result for this search is, regrettably, a Nazi site.\" [Edit to add: Wow, the page did not linkrot: <a href=\"http://www.google.com/explanation.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.google.com/explanation.html</a> ]This was a deeply controversial result internally and externally at the time.<p>Google 2012 <i>is not</i> Google 2002. Results which would get mentioned on the nightly news get fixed, period.", "link": "item?id=3426767", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Somehow I think people will be able to find Chrome.<p><a href=\"http://images1.bingocardcreator.com/blog-images/hn/chrome-on-google.png\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://images1.bingocardcreator.com/blog-images/hn/chrome-on...</a>", "link": "item?id=3422608", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I'm torn between \"That's almost <i>cute</i>\" and \"This is wrist-slapping ourselves to give the appearance that we administer our guidelines in a manner which is not arbitrary and capricious.\"", "link": "item?id=3422487", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Oh, quick sidenote: you'll find that people are arbitrarily consistent around particular price points. $720 is a bit weird for a day rate, so just bump it to $800, since you'll have exactly the same resistance to $800 as you would to $720. Oh, BTW, you'll have exactly the same resistance to $1,000 as you will to $800. (Not much, incidentally, from good clients.)<p>There, you just more than doubled your income and <i>your customers will not perceive you as being more expensive</i>. (I know I know I know <i>trust me on this</i>. If they were mental math experts then they would be programmers and you would have money.)", "link": "item?id=3421327", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "A possible way to structure that business relationship is you have identifiable projects where Real Work gets done. You do the whole contract / invoice / etc song and dance for those, at project rates.<p><i>In between</i> projects, you make it known that you are a friendly guy, and bending your ear for a few minutes is free. N.b. This is how lawyers will generally work. This is to maintain customer loyalty for the five figure engagements. Plus, since you're doing it out of the goodness of your heart, you have an instant, built-in non-excuse for unavailability.", "link": "item?id=3421253", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "You're only competing with offshore talent if you use similar price points, customer acquisition methods, and target customers as offshore firms. I wouldn't suggest that - anybody for whom the solution set includes \"Or we could get this done cheaply abroad\" is likely to be a terrible customer. (They'll undervalue your contribution, <i>because they think that houses the expensive option</i>, and they'll disproportionately be clueless about managing software development because if they were clueful they'd run screaming.)", "link": "item?id=3420769", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "<i>Google is paying people to generate junk content</i><p>It seems silly to me to get mad at Google for paying, what, ten thousand dollars in affiliate payouts, incentivizing cruddy posts, when they simultaneously collect (and pay out) billions for the ubiquitous AdSense ads which you find on sites which, charitably, span a wide range in terms of content quality.", "link": "item?id=3418527", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Uber dynamic pricing is positive for customers on New Year's Eve, in that it ensures that if you are willing to pay money a cab is available for your use. The market, it's magic.", "link": "item?id=3414483", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I know a gentleman who swears by oDesk, mostly as a billing/mediation platform for custom Twilio apps. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, but he charges enough to make it viable.", "link": "item?id=3396905", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "If you're really interested in your career rather than collecting merit badges for technology stacks, the best answer that I can give yours take your existing skills and market them better to the kind of people who result in career-enhancing opportunities for you. To quickly sketch it out, you want to be on highly visible projects for well-connected folks/firms which have a fairly tight connection to actual money. This has an astoundingly better ROI than learning Ruby from the perspective of increasing your market value.<p>Don't care about money and want some more opportunities for fun stuff? Pick up enough Ruby/Rails (or Python/Django) to implement your own backends. This lets you deliver whole projects (for yourself or others) without needing assistance.", "link": "item?id=3527664", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "You do iOS dev? You need to <i>radically</i> raise prices. If you do not, people will assume lack of competency, because your project rate would be undercharging as a day rate right now.", "link": "item?id=3527611", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "The industry has trained people for a decade that primary calls to action look like buttons. People scan for this as a learned behavior, because scanning accomplishes their goals faster (true for most HNers), they don't enjoy reading, they can't read well, or they've learned by painful experience that words on a computer screen are likely scary gibberish like \"screen resolution\" and \"defragment\" and you should just click the blue thing in the bottom left corner followed by the blue E so you can get to your Googles.", "link": "item?id=3527315", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Fair warning: a similar system nearly caused me to destroy my cellphone, the screen over my window, and the windshield of the Honda beneath it.", "link": "item?id=3520086", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "<i>Getting VP-level role at top companies is very hard and if a developer of an acquired company could score a VP-level role elsewhere after the acquisition, he could probably do so before the acquisition</i><p>The scenario is not \"I was engineer #3 at a startup which was just acquired by Google. I'll take a corner office at Facebook now, please.\" It is \"I was engineer #3 at a startup which was just acquired by Google. Hello, Mr. VC. Sure, I'll join that company you just funded as VP of Engineering.\"<p>This second one, ahem, does not strike me as supremely implausible.", "link": "item?id=3519613", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "<i>I bet pretty much everyone would have a correct mental model of assignment if the problem was stated like that.</i><p>Try this experiment with five people at a public place, say exactly what you said, and give them exactly one try at the correct answer. I'll give $10 to charity for each one that getes it right. If all five of them get it wrong, you owe me an upvote.<p>(Fair warning, the terms of this bet are ridiculously unfair to you.)", "link": "item?id=3519544", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Even among startups, web scale data requirements are the exception, not the rule. Facebook and Google are ginormous. There are many, many very impressive applications whose database wouldn't tax a single commodity server. (Similarly, there are applications that make terrible businesses but which consume computing resources like losing a byte of information would doom humanity.)<p>I mean, go through a list of YC companies or other startups you respect, winnow it down to the ones that exited or otherwise achieved some level of success, and play guess-the-size. How many terabytes of storage do you think e.g. Airbnb needs?", "link": "item?id=3518636", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Even a very strict libertarian should agree to the obvious harm here: the compensation package with Google that the employee negotiated in good faith has a covenant which was not disclosed to them and is materially against their interests, namely, that signing on the dotted line forecloses future avenues which you might want to pursue. Not only were employees unaware of that, they would have active reasons to believe it would be impossible, because the laws under which that contract was negotiated say in big bold letters that provisions like that are repugnant to the state's sense of justice and will be voided even if spelled out.<p>There's a credible case for allowing people to sign away future opportunities in return for compensation in the present day, even if their counterparty has excessive leverage in that negotiation. I don't believe it, but I wouldn't think less of you if you do. There's no credible case for the moral righteousness of secret conspiracy against one's own employees' interests which acts to implement a term that you cannot ask for and expressly deny having sought.<p>It's structurally similar to abuse of overtime. I happen to think you should be allowed to trade more than 40 hours a week in return of an amount of money you find motivational, if that floats your boat. In some jurisdictions, that is illegal. Even if you disagree with that policy, if you're negotiating a contract in those jurisdictions, you're going to assume as part of your offer that you're only agreeing to 40 hours a week for the same reason you assume that negotiating a contract will not secretly obligate you to give them your kidney. If they then stick you with more than 40 hours a week, that's an abuse, even if you don't agree with the law: if you had been aware of the work routinely requiring more than 40 hours, you would have priced that in, but instead you priced it on the assumption of 40 hours in the mistaken belief that that was an externally imposed maximum.", "link": "item?id=3517574", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Better than any equity grant or cafeteria, this shows how these companies think of their employees.", "link": "item?id=3517384", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Some people are good at talking about coding (or pen testing, or sysadmining, or architecture, or...) but when you put them in front of a blank black screen with a cursor they're incapable of making forward progress.<p>It's five figures cheaper to ask everyone to FizzBuzz than it is to fire someone even after a week, and God help you if they're in a protected class.", "link": "item?id=3513940", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Wow, we <i>really</i> think alike. I posted the same thing and then saw this.", "link": "item?id=3499259", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Without implying any bad will about the author of this post, who is a recruiter, recruiters are incentivized to close deals, not to get you the best possible package. It is possible that this background would convince a recruiter that advice which is against your interests is still a good idea, because if he adopts advice which will predictably results in employees underpricing themselves, his conversion rate from interviews to paychecks will improve, possibly dramatically. If his placements are routinely leaving $10k on the table, that only costs him $3k per placement, which might on a subconscious level either a) not be motivational or b) might be a totally rational decision because of the increased volume of placements he gets by advising people to take any reasonable deal.<p>My father is a real estate agent, and real estate agents have demonstrable blind spots (seriously, academic literature exists on this) for negotiation when negotiating for clients versus when selling their own homes. When they're selling their own home, five hours of extra work might add $5,000 to the sales price, so of course they go the extra mile. When they're selling a client's home, five hours of extra work might add $5,000 to the sales price <i>but their commission check only goes up by $300</i>, so they'll generally opt to tell you \"That's a really fair offer. You should take it. Can we close this today? I have a young couple who I'd really like to meet with now about buying a brownstone, and the expected value of my time with them is way higher than the marginal value of my time with you. Oh whoops did I just say that out loud?\"", "link": "item?id=3499252", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "<i>willing to risk losing the job</i><p>In almost all cases, the original offer is still on the table. \"Negotiating with the decisionmaker will cost me this offer, so don't negotiate\" is something which is only really believed by engineers who are -- and I say this with love -- abominably incompetent at negotiation. This is regrettable, since skill at negotiation matters a whole heck of a lot more than skill with Chef or mastery of Postgres trivia for determining both the instant results of the negotiation and one's larger career trajectory.<p>Still working on that blog post on negotiation, should be up early Monday for more elaboration on this.", "link": "item?id=3498971", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "This seems to be a misreading. My read is \"If you sell the output of this, you grant us exclusivity. If you breach exclusivity, we have a variety of options in dealing with you, including refusing to carry your work on our platform. <i>In the event we do this</i> we don't owe you anything even if you think it sure would have been a swell thing if we had distributed through our platform and are inclined to sue us over the imputed lost revenue.\"<p>Exclusivity is still a very cruddy contractual term for authors, if viewed against the universe of \"all possible contractual arrangements\", but it is far from uncommon in the publishing world. I mean, everyone is pretty much in the business of exclusive distribution towards channels they control. If you sign with a dead-tree publisher, they're going to want exclusive rights to be your only dead-tree publisher in a geographic, cultural, or linguistic territory, even if you could get someone else to kill trees on your behalf and double your sales that way.<p>You'd have to weigh access to the Apple megaphone versus the sales you could be making through other platforms/channels. If I were (hypothetically) going to get into ebook publishing, I'd take note that Amazon is <i>much</i> more generous (off the top of my head standard Kindle publishing requires no exclusivity and one of their programs wants just a 90 day exclusivity window for e-publishing). This would allow you to simultaneously sell through e.g. your own site to a pre-existing fanbase and avoid the 30% (or whatever) rake, or do things like \"Hiya I'm the author of five novels and counting in this sci-fi universe I created. The first one is $0.99 on Amazon or totally free if you sign up for my email list.\"", "link": "item?id=3496224", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Allowing non-employees on company transportation would threaten to make furnishing the transportation to employees a taxable event. See the same link that I posted on a sibling comment about food, just search for \"transportation\".", "link": "item?id=3495946", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I am not Google's tax accountant, but the meals are not compensation based on the IRS' published guidelines.<p><a href=\"http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000193705\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b/ar02.html#en_US_2011_pu...</a><p>Tax tip going way back to Learned Hand: you don't have to feel guilty about structuring your affairs to take advantage of every legitimate opportunity to decrease your tax burden.<p>Here's a related example: US tax law allows you to deduct 50% of meals incurred on business trips. I travel internationally for a significant portion of every year, on business trips. There are two ways to calculate how much you spend on meals: 1) Actual cost 2) An approximation method which takes a per-diem rate supplied by the US government based on your location and adds one or two wrinkles not relevant here. Either is acceptable to the IRS. I keep appropriate records of business expenses, so running both the exact cost and the approximation method was trivial. The approximation overstates my actual cost on meals by several thousand dollars -- using it as the basis for my deduction saves me about a thousand bucks. That's <i>totally kosher</i>.<p>P.S. You know those beating-the-system-is-worth-bonus-points neuroreceptors that most of us hackers have? Doing taxes gives you the opportunity for that sort of thing in spades. (Though I'd probably still suggest getting someone competent to do yours -- advice which I will be taking for myself from next year on.)", "link": "item?id=3495919", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I'm writing a post on salary negotiation today, so I zeroed in on two supporting details here that you should remember for later: when pressed on price, savvy negotiators said:<p>1) Give us some time to think about it.<p>2) We are going to re-focus the discussion on a different compensation lever where we can present something you're already going to get as if it were a new incentive justifying your concession on a lever you're currently interested in.<p><i>You can do both of these as a job seeker.</i><p>(For example, if you have extra-curricular interests like many desirable tech employees do, the extra-curricular interests can be used to justify an increase in your compensation vis-a-vis a hypothetical employee who punches out of the Internet at 5 pm. It doesn't particularly matter that you're going to continue blogging and OSS regardless of the outcome of this negotiation, you just frame the discussion such that that becomes newly discovered value which gives the other party something to hang their hat on for getting you that last $10,000.)", "link": "item?id=3495835", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Primarily Facebook (they're FB's #1 advertiser IIRC), but they also had big-budget offline promotions with the likes of 7Eleven, where you could (bastardizing the heck out of this) buy a bag of branded chips and get a free thing of special potato seeds in-game.", "link": "item?id=3495061", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "<i>A video game's shelf life doesn't usually last for more than 12 months</i><p>This compares rather favorably to the video game industry, where exponential sales decay sets in after 1 to 3 <i>weeks</i> for almost all titles, including ones which cost more to produce than every Zynga game produced to date combined.<p>I don't love Zynga, but their model has a lot to recommend it over \"Lets make another big-budget war movie/game with $10 million of programming, $80 million of art assets, and $120 million of launch marketing and then try to get it in front of every 18 ~ 30 year old male in America.\"", "link": "item?id=3495017", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Is it cheating to suggest not knowing nothing about problem domains likely to be of interest to you, and or learning generalizable techniques for learning quickly?<p>For example, hypothetically, if one has a weakness regarding chasing down money and one knows their career path is likely to involve raising money, then one could get a fairly rapid education in the subject for the price of a few cups of strategically ordered coffee. Don't know the character of a VC? Thirty seconds of Googleage should give you the names of five compulsively chatty people willing to give you their take.<p>I can sort of see why, if one were busy, one would quickly burn out on explaining How To Email People A Question to folks who did not immediately see that in the solution set when they had a plan of action which required a bit of discoverable organic knowledge.", "link": "item?id=3486464", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Title 18 U.S.C Section 1030 (the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) makes it a federal offense to exceed your authorized access on, basically, any computer system anywhere. (Does it communicate? It is used in interstate commerce? BAM.)", "link": "item?id=3511028", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "One option: Word of your skill travels at approximately the speed of beer. (i.e. Try traditional networking.)<p>You can also have a web presence about the work which does not actually include the work. Talk about an interesting sub-problem which is non-proprietary. Talk about architecture choices. Talk about the tech you used and the problems you overcame while using it. Write about how firms in the financial industry are missing opportunities to throw Java at problems and make heaps of money.", "link": "item?id=3506103", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "You have quite a bit of latitude in how high ceremony your expense tracking needs to be, though. \"CC hotel / travel expenses to our standard address, put everything on the company card\" is likely adequate, as long as there's a contemporaneous record of business travel. Many places keep that as a formal log book, but since the IRS is pretty much ambivalent about the exact form of your records as long as they capture the important stuff, a Google Calendar entry with \"Bob speaking at $FOO_CONF in Boston 3/14\" probably suffices. In the event of an audit, you'll be asked to provide supporting documentation (again, wide latitude) of a small sampling of those expenses, because they have no more desire to read five thousand pages of records than you do to write them. If you're unable to provide those records, but don't strike the examiner as actively malicious, they'll say \"Alright, there's two ways I can do this. My book says we think you have about $X of legit deductions for this category, which is $Y less than you're claiming. Pay $Y plus our below market interest rate for making an honest mistake. Otherwise, you and I get to do things line by line, and I'm going to suddenly get <i>very</i> picky. Which would you prefer?\"<p>There's also a certain element of \"In the vanishingly unlikely event the IRS audited us, disallowed <i>every</i> expense our employees charged in the year, and then charged taxes on those plus the standard penalty interest, that wouldn't cost us enough for us to even notice it.\"", "link": "item?id=3504929", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "That is not quite how contracting math works out, though. You have to charge <i>significantly</i> more to account for just the direct costs of your employment (such as payroll tax, half of which is salary that every employee has but is unaware of) and the benefits package. Basically, you get to pay your own fully loaded costs. $74 an hour at 40 hour weeks gets you a package similar to that enjoyed by an salaried engineer at $80k to $90k or so.<p>You also tend to charge more than even that calculation suggests, because you're responsible for downtime, overhead in getting new gigs between clients, credit risk, yadda yadda. The upshot is that you'd probably have a contracting rate in the low three figures. (They do, of course, go up from there.)", "link": "item?id=3503829", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Vis-a-vis your institution, get good at grant writing. You don't make money in academia by doing research, you make money by doing grant proposals.<p>Vis-a-vis the funding agencies, they generally have a set of concerns which are non-monetary, too, so meet them where they are.", "link": "item?id=3502389", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I am very curious as to the source of your understanding for how high end consultants and speakers operate, because it very much does not match either my experience or the experiences related to me by people who I find credible.<p>For example, negotiating airfare and hotels doesn't happen. (This was not obvious to me when I started. Thanks Thomas.) You just say \"We'll invoice you for them according to your standard travel reimbursement procedures.\" and that is the entire discussion. Rates are more fluid, particularly for first-time clients. There are different ways to manipulate one's rate, and there are other ways to manipulate total price of the engagement with add-ons such as scheduling flexibility as a line item.<p>You're correct that great consultants will not have any conversation about the difference between $59 and $64.", "link": "item?id=3502192", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "It is not too difficult to dodge questions about current/past salary. We're clear on why you want to do that, right? If you say \"My salary at my current job is $65,000\", you will receive a job offer at $70,000 +/- $2,000 regardless of whether the company would happily pay $90k for you if they had not known your current salary.<p>Anyhow, given that, there are numerous options to decline to damage your own negotiating position. My personal favorite is \"As a matter of professional courtesy, I decline to comment on the specific policies of past employers. Don't worry, I will treat your confidences with the same level of professionalism when someone asks me about them in a few years.\"<p>It is unfalsifiable (as opposed to what people sometimes suggest on HN: \"That is under NDA\", which is a claim that can actually be a lie), conveys status, and (gently) informs the person you're speaking with that you're aware how the game is played.", "link": "item?id=3501957", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Sales guys very rarely tie their stomachs in knots with \"So I suppose technically I might have talked to five million in new accounts last quarter, but most of them required new features, so I'm not sure I can justifiably claim credit for that one without splitting it with the engineering team.\" One might start learning from that example. Did you lead development on a new product with $5 million in sales? Then I might describe that as leading development on a new product with $5 million in sales. I wouldn't recommend optimizing SQL queries on a screen no one actually uses, but if that is your day to day activity, you were improving performance of the company's flagship product which launched to over $5 million in sales. If you're optimizing page load speed then presumably you tracked the before and after and, if you don't have great data about how that trickled into the business results, you can at least say \"I shaved 5 seconds off our dashboard. Research from Google / Amazon / Microsoft / etc has found that page load speed has the following quantifiable impacts and that the sensitivity is on the order of 100 ms, or roughly one fiftieth of the improvement I delivered.\"<p>You can also either a) engineer your transfer to the part of the company which makes money or b) engineer your work duties such that they include things which will help career growth. For example, A/B testing both prints money and gives very relevant, justified metrics which are likely to include things motivational to decisionmakers at current and future employers. If you are an engineer in a company which doesn't A/B test but could, you should make that sale internally, and then nominate yourself as the obvious person to implement it.", "link": "item?id=3501734", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "Get attached to the part of the company that makes money, set up the measuring and politics such that you get credit for increases in the amount of money they're making, pitch a raise for you as the easiest way for them to get a repeat performance in the next quarter. Also, since companies have persistent exploitable inefficiencies about this issue, be prepared to talk to the people who are actually willing to give you a raise. (i.e. it may not be the people you currently work for.)", "link": "item?id=3501547", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "This would be a very penetratingly insightful criticism if you had never heard of Airbnb, Dropbox, Twilio, etc etc. Some people at the current classes of YC and 500 Startups may well find themselves working for AmaGooBookSoft in 4 years, and may that be a happy outcome for all concerned, but you've got to torture the math to come to the conclusion that hiring acquisitions are where most of the money is changing hands.<p>That said, it totally makes sense for AmaGooBookSoft to pay at least some engineers amounts of money which historically were not awarded to technical employees. This should be priced into everyone's expectations, startup-affiliated or no.", "link": "item?id=3546798", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "<i>would require a business visa.</i><p>Just to be precise here: it probably requires an <i>employment</i> visa, which is in a different category than business visas. You can come to the US and talk contracts with a company your company wants to do business with: that's (probably) B-1 (business). If you're doing work in the US, you need a work-capable visa. Some options would be TN-1 (\"Hello Mr. Canadian professional\"), L-1 (intracompany transferee), and J-1 (specialist).<p>I have some accidental knowledge about this because I used to help finangle things for Japanese folks affiliated with an employer of mine, but if you have any doubt about this sort of stuff, <i>get a lawyer</i>. The very fact of having a lawyer makes it less likely you will get tripped up because they know how the game is played and they will provide consequential bits of advice like \"Give anyone asking questions the minimum information required and refer them to the stack of official documents you will carry with you.\" (Bureaucracies are state machines: you give them the minimum information necessary to get the state transition you desire.) They will also to be able to give advice such as \"Given your circumstances, one way we could hypothetically do things is X but the on-the-ground reality would be exactly the same as if we classified it as Y and Y is orders-of-magnitude easier to pass scrutiny for.\"", "link": "item?id=3546462", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I have a certain amount of sympathy given that Japanese immigration features in all of my nightmares.<p>That said, attempting to cross borders for the purpose of working illegally (sorry, I don't like the law either, but there is no conceivable way that YC does not count as employment) will not endear you to law enforcement. I wish they had been more polite in the course of discovering your true purpose and refusing you entry, but if they hadn't, that would have been a crazy result under US immigration law.<p>There's better ways to handle one's business and legal affairs tactically, but start with knowing that the US really doesn't have a visa category \"People from countries we like, for any purposes whatsoever, no questions.\"", "link": "item?id=3546189", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "$30 for the fabric, $30 for the store's overhead, $65 for the story that you can feel a part of every time it is on your skin.<p>Did you know my shirt was made in America and came in an Eco-friendly laundry bag? Oh don't worry darling, the Chinese peasant did a perfectly adequate job on stitching yours.", "link": "item?id=3546054", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "We will now see the same racial discrimination departments which filed court briefs saying that race-neutral admissions policies would make them into Asian enclaves suddenly pretend to be shocked, shocked that anyone would suggest they were anything but valiant upholders of equal opportunity.<p>I'll refrain from opining on what the government will do, solely out of respects for the HN politics rule.<p>[Edit: One may think I am being unfair. Here, try reading Harvard's amici brief. <a href=\"http://www.vpcomm.umich.edu/admissions/legal/gra_amicus-ussc/um/Harvard-both.pdf\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.vpcomm.umich.edu/admissions/legal/gra_amicus-ussc...</a> ]", "link": "item?id=3544295", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "The mechanics of A/B testing math make implementing this a much less attractive proposition than you'd think it would be. I'm going to get handwavy but it will suffice for the moment: the amount of traffic you need to get statistical significance between N options grows at like O(N^2). How much of the color-space do you want to automatically converge over?<p>Most of my clients would struggle getting results at sufficient velocity with 10-way multivariate testing to say nothing of zomg-way multivariate testing.<p>Totally separate problem: Button color is far from the most salient thing you could be testing.", "link": "item?id=3539259", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "PG wrote something similar once (<a href=\"http://ycombinator.com/ideas.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://ycombinator.com/ideas.html</a>) and it strikes me as accurate. The social context of sharing kind of overwhelms the technical difficulty of implementing it, so it becomes less a \"where are we going to put the bits\" problem and more of a \"who is sharing what with whom and how\" people problem. It's never been a huge thing to me, but as I grow older I've come to learn that a lot of people close to me really, seriously care about the life stories of their families as documented by photos, and they're (still) not really well-served by the existing techy-friendly options. (And that is a subtly different use case than <i>other</i> photo sharing needs <i>those same people</i> have, to say nothing of what other people have.)", "link": "item?id=3538385", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I'd start picking a different challenge mechanic than \"Beat the average\" since the average is sensitive to distribution bring dominated by poor Redditors and incentivizing \"Pay us $5.50\" does not result in hugely more successful outcomes. How about hiding the average and offering the bonus to anyone paying $25+? Or even $10+?", "link": "item?id=3537096", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "A minor heresy: If you're doing it right, there won't be a coding challenge at the job interview. For that matter, there probably won't be a job interview, at least not in any recognizable sense of the term.<p>I mean, the author is entirely right: skilled devs can write their own ticket in this market. So, um, let's start doing that.<p>I also continue to think that \"I have code on Github\" is believed to be a career enhancer not because this is actually true but because it is something that is convenient to engineers to practice. In real life, the people whose decisions matter a) often can't read code and b) almost always have better uses of their time than reading code from someone who is, statistically, not likely to be hired.", "link": "item?id=3534645", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "This is not a way forward.<p>1). Work with better clients. You can have invoice collection problems at $50k, too, but they're much less likely than at $500 and you have <i>much</i> better options for... escalation methods at that point.<p>2). If you're not a bank, stop taking on so much credit risk. Businesses can deal with substantially sterner payment terms than you'd think to offer. If your clients balk, see #1. (Thomas has some suggestions here, too, many of which reduce to \"Work for Thomas' clients and charge enough that dealing with their purchasing processes is worth your headaches rather than chasing deadbeats for Snickers money.\")<p>3). Showing up on iamachumpconsultant.com will not enhance your professional reputation, bill rate, or client pool.", "link": "item?id=3533660", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "If you had grown up with a Kindle, and someone gave you a book for Christmas, you'd say they were certifiably insane.<p>Look at the features: a) It smells better b) You can store them and it only takes an entire room of your house c) They weigh enough such that you can curve your children's distressingly straight spines with them.", "link": "item?id=3485629", "user": "patio11"}], "children": [{"number": 40, "names": "xiaoma", "comments": [{"comment": "It also shows up as an advertisement (above the results) when searching for \"chrome\", provided you don't have an ad blocker installed.<p><a href=\"https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&#38;ie=UTF-8&#38;q=chrome+\" rel=\"nofollow\">https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&#38;ie=UTF-8&#...</a>", "link": "item?id=3422658", "user": "dvdhsu"}, {"comment": "I concede immediately that I'm oversimplifying the issue. Google doesn't keep the \"problem\" Santorum result at the top of the SERP simply because they don't like Rick Santorum.<p>They're also (perhaps mostly) doing it to keep themselves out of the news, since the prevailing meme about that SERP now is \"oh well, that's how the Internet works\" and the result of a manual intervention would be a flood of news stories about an intervention Google probably doesn't want everyone knowing they do regularly.", "link": "item?id=3426801", "user": "tptacek"}, {"comment": "Just staying, our literally written policy was \"Offer DDD\": donate, destroy, or \"dispose of\" (a polite euphemism for \"You keep it\") the misshipped item. I would have added the Christmas flourish if I were saying it in December, too, but the options would have been the same in July. (n.b. The business does not care what you do. We want to convey, in the politest possible way, that we both don't want it and don't want to talk to you about it.)", "link": "item?id=3434967", "user": "patio11"}, {"comment": "I'm sure trying to decide which snarky remark best conveys your condescending attitude towards a company's attempt to maintain its integrity and good standing is such a terrible dilemma.", "link": "item?id=3422557", "user": "ricefield"}, {"comment": "In cases where I've been hired for an identifiable project, that's what I've done. But not all consulting fits that mould; the most interesting I've done has been in the category of \"be available for random stuff we throw at you, and send us a bill at the end of each month\".", "link": "item?id=3421504", "user": "cperciva"}, {"comment": "&#62;anybody for whom the solution set includes \"Or we could get this done cheaply abroad\" is likely to be a terrible customer.<p>Most, if not all customers are in the software business somehow and don't know the first thing about managing software as you said.<p>I have a recent customer wanting me to babysit a developer in house for him. I told him I don't run daycares and he's free to setup a full development team in-house which I'll completely help with transitioning and then relieve myself.<p>He didn't write back.", "link": "item?id=3421345", "user": "j45"}, {"comment": "I think the problem isn't that they're doing both of those things at the same time. The problem, instead, is that the third thing they're doing at the same time is issuing guidelines, (hopefully?) backed by their ranking algorithm, written specifically to combat this type of behavior.<p>If it were a free-for-all, sure, no problem. But Google doesn't want other parties doing this. Doing it themselves puts them in a position that's a little difficult to explain.", "link": "item?id=3418593", "user": "danilocampos"}, {"comment": "I'm as big of a proponent of the magic that is supply and demand as anyone, but uber's pricing was not exactly transparent. Last night was the first time that I used the service. My first ride from my hotel in Chicago to my party destination at 9pm was $15, awesome. Not only was I thrilled by the quality of service, but I saw the message that fees would be higher that night and was expecting a higher price tag. Fast forward four hours later and I was ready to head back to the hotel. Same route, except this time the price was $54. Ouch.<p>The thing about market forces is that the buyer needs to be aware of the price in order to make a rational decision that affects demand and alleviates the strain on existing supply. Uber's app indicated I would be informed of the additional charge prior to my ride, but that certainly never happened. In that regard, I feel slighted and my feelings toward the company have been damaged as a result.", "link": "item?id=3414503", "user": "ABrandt"}, {"comment": "I was at the Twilio conference this year and there was a talk from Tim Lytle who only uses oDesk for his clients. He claims to have a pretty good client base and is busy from the work.<p>Twilio also endorses oDesk as a platform for people to find qualified programmers <a href=\"http://www.twilio.com/blog/2011/06/twilio-partners-with-odesk-to-connect-developers-and-projects.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.twilio.com/blog/2011/06/twilio-partners-with-odes...</a>, maybe the answer is to specialize and differentiate to become more successful when competing against $10 per hour international outsourcers.", "link": "item?id=3398552", "user": "bks"}, {"comment": "On top of this, users have also been trained to ignore anything that looks like a banner or ad. Sometimes giant text just looks like something meant to be ignored.", "link": "item?id=3527400", "user": "icegreentea"}, {"comment": "\"So many new customers that the new-customer alert gets really annoying\" is a great problem to have, though!", "link": "item?id=3520825", "user": "svmegatron"}, {"comment": "Even in that case, I am not aware of many instances where a developer being part of an acquisition helped him <i>significantly</i> in acquiring a VP position at a start-up.<p>Any start-up worth their salt is very deliberate in hiring. Now, if you don't care about where you are working and are merely chasing titles, I'd argue you can get a VP position without needing to be part of an acquisition.", "link": "item?id=3519722", "user": "badclient"}, {"comment": "I explained this to some as, \"values from from right to left across the equals sign. In this case 10 flows into a, 20 flows into b, then the value of b, 20, flows into a, making a 20 and b 20.\" I think it's a matter of saying what '=' means in words that people can understand since it doesn't mean '=' in the mathematically sense (which is '==' or '===' depending on language).", "link": "item?id=3520765", "user": "mentat"}, {"comment": "There are a ton of high-traffic websites out there that don't need an architecture any more complex than a standalone DB server + PHP + varnish (or the equivalent).<p>More so, if devs spent as much time tuning the performance of their apps as they did fantasizing about \"web scale\" architectural pivots they would typically be farther ahead. StackOverflow.com is a perfect example of this. They run on tiny handful of windows machines, support gobs and gobs of traffic, and have absolutely fantastic performance. And as much of that is due to paying attention to performance and making sure to find and remove the bottlenecks where they exist as it is to using cutting-edge architectures like database sharding, map+reduce, eventual consistency models, etc.", "link": "item?id=3520643", "user": "InclinedPlane"}, {"comment": "Those are fair points, although I did qualify my statement with \"In the absence of fraud\". If the employment agreements forbid the behavior then that would be a clear case of fraud. When it comes to implied expectations, I'm not sure it's so clear. My understanding is that bilateral agreements with no-hire stipulations are not explicitly illegal, although the court may rule a specific agreement is depending on how it affects competition in a market. So how many employees actually assumed no non-hire agreements when they signed on and was that a reasonable assumption? I think that's a difficult question to answer.<p>Either way, I hate that the focus is on the \"letter of the law\". If this were a patent troll case, or Hollywood copyright, or if SOPA had passed, how many people here would be demanding damages or jail time from the defendants? They would be guilty of breaking the law just the same, and the plaintiffs could also claim that they need to be compensated for their losses (cost of filing for patent, \"lost revenues\" from pirated material, etc.)<p>I have to say, though, that my initial post was poorly worded. As I was writing it, in my mind, I thought I was railing against antitrust laws in general and describing how non-hire agreements in the abstract were victimless crimes. Reading those statements again, it seems more like I'm just talking about this particular case. That's totally my fault, I apologize for that. I tend to get worked up about issues like this and have to do a better job of choosing my words, or even stop myself from ranting in the first place.", "link": "item?id=3519208", "user": "jeffem"}, {"comment": "Sure, and...<p>1. It means they're scared. Companies wouldn't do this if they were afraid of a 10% bump in salaries. They'd just pay it out. That's small compared to the cost incurred by constant churn, code turning into legacy as people leave the company, etc. To pull that shit, they're worried about something larger.<p>2. If they were able to pull that \"cartel\" off (and such arrangements are inherently unstable, because it's always in the individual interest to break) it would be stupid for them and advantageous for startups. If the big companies hold each other back (\"crab mentality\") then startups would have less competition for talent.<p>In fact, the second contradicts the intentional over-hiring observed at large companies: why do these huge companies pay $150-250k for people to do mind-numbing, unnecessary maintenance work on zombie projects? (I've seen legacy monsters at large companies with 4 <i>full-time</i> maintainers.) Because they don't want these people in startups that might threaten them, 5 to 10 years down the road. Fighting to keep down salaries just seems to increase the likelihood of this happening.", "link": "item?id=3518292", "user": "michaelochurch"}, {"comment": "Sadly, I've been that person. I read pg essays, blogs about programming and watched various videos about programming for about 3 years before finally deciding to leave my relatively comfortable small-business as an EFL cram-school partner and start actually coding stuff. People have been absolutely amazed by how little I know compared to how much I sound like I know.<p>Fizzbuzz wouldn't have filtered me out of getting my first (and current) real software job, but any sort of Google/MS-style interview would have. It may not be the wisest thing to admit to on the internet, but I'm basically in the opposite boat of your general target on HN: I'm fine with selling, but limited (non-EFL) skills to sell!<p>That, along with seeing numerous senior iOS dev applicants struggle both with Fizzbuzz and with Macs in general, has convinced me that it's more than worth it to test candidates without code portfolios.", "link": "item?id=3516139", "user": "xiaoma"}, {"comment": "The topic that patio11 mentioned is covered pretty well in chapter 2 of Freakonomics. The actual text doesn't seem to be part of the official sample excerpt, but somebody posted the relevant portion in a forum here: <a href=\"http://www.nachi.org/forum/f11/exerpt-freakonomics-book-regarding-real-estate-agents-57929/\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.nachi.org/forum/f11/exerpt-freakonomics-book-rega...</a><p>This is not an endorsement of other portions of the book as a whole.", "link": "item?id=3499305", "user": "mikeinterviewst"}, {"comment": "As someone who's been on the other side of the table (in multiple businesses), I really can't agree. In most cases, a business has a desire to fill a position fairly quickly, and especially in start-ups and small businesses, cost is a major concern. In larger businesses or governmental organizations, HR regulations and bureaucracy become a major factor.<p>I've personally filtered out dozens if not hundreds of otherwise qualified people due to salary concerns without a second thought. In two cases within the last six months I've seen the party who pushed for a higher salary reach out again only to find the position filled.<p>My guess is that you've never experienced an employer's market. It may not be one in silicon valley, but it is for most engineers around the world. Being a white guy in Japan, and then a guy with a popular blog following, you've had a far, far different experience than a typical engineer.", "link": "item?id=3499480", "user": "xiaoma"}, {"comment": "In the publishing world an author provides exclusivity in exchange to something. Usually the author gets some type of advance and the commitment from the publisher to publish and market the book.<p>Here you are supposed to give up commercial exclusivity merely for the ability to use a piece of software. And there really isn't anything special or expensive about that software either, there are plenty of free ebook creation software options.<p>Furthermore, in the usual publishing contract if the publisher that has exclusivity declines to publish something, the author can usually shop the work to other publishers. Not here. Here apparently if Apple says no, you are pretty much screwed, you cannot sell your work anywhere.<p>And by the way, I do not think that the original article authors are misreading anything. The agreement says:<p>\"Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution\"<p>This means they can refuse distribution for any reason, and you do not need to do anything wrong to be refused. And of course if they refuse you do not have the right to sell your work anywhere else.", "link": "item?id=3496420", "user": "hristov"}, {"comment": "This is a good point. Personally, we often hire accountants to minimize our tax burden, yet when companies do the same thing, we like to label them as \"evil\" (at worst) or \"shirking their duty\" (at best).", "link": "item?id=3496542", "user": "bmj"}, {"comment": "Yeah, I did both of those in my salary negotiations with Google. They talked me down from my starting salary, but they also increased my stock options &#38; GSUs.<p>The other important point is - you are the only one who says \"Yes\" when asked \"Is this acceptable to you?\" If the free food is not worth $15-20K (which actually seems ridiculous - I've heard numbers for both what average employees value it at and what it actually costs Google, and they're nowhere close to that), then say \"I'm sorry, I don't value my food that highly. I'll take the cash or go elsewhere.\" This, of course, requires that you have somewhere else to go. But remember that Google wants highly-qualified employees just as much as highly-qualified employees want to work at Google.", "link": "item?id=3496065", "user": "nostrademons"}, {"comment": "Don't forget paying Alec Baldwin to get kicked off a plane while informing everyone who listened that he just couldn't put down words with friends.", "link": "item?id=3495703", "user": "trotsky"}, {"comment": "That doesn't mean you'll know the nuances of the situation if you've not done VC raising before. Nuances and confidence come from previous successful experiences. To bring this back to the article - of course a VC would prefer someone who has experience, and who of course will be easier to talk to then. It looks to be more closely aligned with if people know how to execute or how much experience they have with doing so, taking and processing information. Personally, I'm not good processing information and acting on it quickly - some of it, sure, but it takes time for certain types of information to sit. Sometimes I'm sure I overthink what needs to be done, instead of just initiating and playing off of what happens.", "link": "item?id=3486662", "user": "loceng"}, {"comment": "So there are a bunch of employees at my ISP who are fully \"authorized\" to read my mail. Also a bunch at the recipient's ISP. And probably some scanners in various systems in the middle that might surface my email for purposes of targeted advertising or spam fighting. It's not nearly the same level of protection.", "link": "item?id=3511056", "user": "sp332"}, {"comment": "Why should I have to do that, outside of work, in order to get another job? I'm happy with my current work, and that means that I'm not trying to go out of my way to find additional projects on the side. I have hobbies I'd rather be doing outside of work that don't involve computers. I don't feel that it should be necessary to prove to any potential employer that I'm working outside of work.", "link": "item?id=3506487", "user": "cube13"}, {"comment": "Spoken like someone who hasn't undergone an IRS audit.<p>While I agree with David for the most part, his cavalier attitude of \"Well, if we get audited it will be cheaper than the cost of tracking shit\" is naive. Once he goes through an IRS audit, where they turn everything upside down and consume hundreds and hundreds of hours of time then he might change his attitude of the cost of an IRS audit. They are not nearly as cheap or insignificant as he makes it out to be.", "link": "item?id=3505326", "user": "Kynlyn"}, {"comment": "I meant coming from an academic job to a non-academic one. I'm doing well on the grant front, but I don't think that'll help me in getting a \"normal\" job.", "link": "item?id=3502486", "user": "lutorm"}, {"comment": "Patrick, rdouble is not being nice, but his major point is right. There are different forces in play for negotiating engineer's salary than a consulting engagement.<p>Employee compensation within a company needs to be equitable. Similar work for similar pay. Whereas terms of a unique consulting engagement don't affect anybody else. This is a huge driver of all kinds of compensation decisions, li