hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    18 Sep 2011 News
home   ask   best   7 years ago   
1
Pirate Party Germany gets into the parlament for the state of Berlin piratenpartei.de
76 points by FrojoS  1 hour ago   30 comments top 10
1
Luyt 1 hour ago 6 replies      
Arrrr, me hearties, I still can't get used to the term 'pirate' that is slapped upon people who copy digital music.

A pirate is a criminal at sea, who inititiates violence against sea travelers. Pirates steal property (like vessels) and valuables, and it's not uncommon that pirates murder their victims, or take them hostage for a ransom.

How the term 'pirate' ever could be used to denote kids swapping MP3's, is unfathomable to me. The analogy is ludicrous. But maybe it could be because pirate (the seafaring kind) communities in the 18th century had a liberal approach to freedom, which was unusual in that time, and maybe that extrapolates somehow to the liberal file swapping in our digital age. Which doesn't, by the way, harm anyone, nor takes away things from people.

2
aw3c2 1 hour ago 1 reply      
For what it's worth, the linked page currently does show pre-vote estimates, not the current numbers. The results will be official later.
3
oemera 9 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'm little confused that this is a popular news at HN. They fight for Internet stuff but they also deny that there was an Holocaust in Germany.

For me this is pretty bad news to hear that they will get into the parliament.

Source for denying the holocaust: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js...

4
nextparadigms 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Glad to see that the party that actually fights for Internet liberties, rather than for the companies lobbying them, is starting to get more and more political power in all these different countries where it exists.
5
NanoWar 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
Yarrrrr! Still voting green, but good job!
6
cabalamat 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is an exit poll rather than the actual result. Nevertheless, WELL DONE PIRATES!
8
jaryd 1 hour ago 2 replies      
*Parliament?
9
zeynalov 1 hour ago 1 reply      
No, they doesn't get into the parliament, it's only an exit-poll, not official.
10
aualin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Great stuff, let's hope this happens in Sweden as well
2
PG's Rarely Asked Questions paulgraham.com
96 points by wallawe  3 hours ago   50 comments top 17
1
dgreensp 51 minutes ago 1 reply      
>I never had to manage anyone in our startup, even though I was the president. The other hackers were my peers, and would have given me the raspberry if I'd tried to "manage" them. We operated by consensus. And the rest of the company reported to our experienced COO, who was also more of a peer.

Operating by consensus and not valuing the role of "manager" only goes so far. It may work when you're a few people living together, but I think it ultimately leads to cultures like Google's, where every decision requires a room full of engineers to agree.

2
sthlm 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The pointy-haired boss is a manager who doesn't program. So the surest way to avoid becoming him is to stay a programmer. What tempts programmers to become managers are companies with old-fashioned corporate structure, where the only way to advance in salary and prestige is to go into management.

I have to disagree with that. I've met many people, especially in larger enterprises, who started in development but then became more abstract over time. They weren't bad people, in fact, they were excellent at their job.

Programming to me has never been something that has to be continually pursued in order to stay fluent or able, but merely something that reflects your more basic skills and talents.

It's like playing a musical instrument. Almost anyone can learn playing the guitar, but it takes a special talent to excel at it. For the guitar this requires hearing, sense of rhythm, and others; for programming, this is analytical thinking, systematic thinking, and more. Some people will try to program but never be really good at it. I studied with people like that. It's not their fault, their skills are just in another area. Some others are great at it. Once they learned, it doesn't matter if they don't develop anything for 3 years; after their break, they look at a piece of code / framework / technology, understand what it does, and continue programming.

And the traits that make you a good programmer help you in other fields, even management. Yes, large corporations have structures, but we need structure to manage them. And we need managers. And a manager who was a distinguished developer will be much better suited for leading a team of developers -- even if he doesn't program any longer. This is a valid career path, and an interesting one at that.

My general opinion is that if you want to stay a programmer, find yourself a role where you can do that. If not, don't bother pursuing programming at all costs. It won't lead you in the right direction.

3
corin_ 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have any insight into why painters are less common among hackers than other artistic persuits, such as music?

I've never met anyone who bridged visual art with anything tech-related, but composers, singers, pianists, orchestra members... hell yes.

Is it just that painters are less common that musicians and that ratio stays true in the tech world?

4
richcollins 1 hour ago 1 reply      
5
jackfoxy 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
What should I read to learn more about history?

I used to consider my knowledge of history better than at least 95% of the population, but while reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire I realized how sketchy my view of history really was. So at the ripe old age of 35 I set off on a course of study centered on two series of books, The Story of Civilization, by Will and Ariel Durant, and Timeframe, a Time-Life series focusing on a timeframe in human history and what was going on in all parts of the world inhabited by man: lots of pictures and of course superficial, but it painted in a lot of gaps I othewise would have never covered. The Timeframe series starts much earlier than the Durant's, but once both series were in sync I would read the books in both series for an epoch, as well as at least two other books, either written in the era or about the era, drawing mostly from science, culture, and biography. For instance I read all the books of Euclid, Newton's Optiks and Principia (I slogged through the Motte transaltion before the first modern English translation became available), The Wealth of Nations, Shelby Foote's 3-volume history of the Civil War, and The Origen of Species. (It's real easy for me to spot folks who spoot-off about Wealth or Origen who have not actually read the books.) My program culminated with Tragedy and Hope, which being such an inflammatory work, I did not trust to read without the full background of history. The process was like watching Western Civilization unfolding.

Now for the unintended consequences: I became a bore at cocktail parties. I wanted to talk about the ideas in the fascinating book I was reading. I used to love arguing politics. Even with my prior knowledge it was hard enough finding opponents who would engage in rational discourse, now it is impossible. It's been so long my debating skills have totally gone down the tubes. The sad thing is I believe my problem is really society's. Political correctness (among other problems) in academia, has produced a generation of intellectually crippled intellectuals; and the entertainment industry, including the 24-hour news cycle as entertainment, has just stupefied people. I fear for democracy and republican government.

6
siglesias 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Re: philosophy, I think understanding the difference between representing the world in language and representing it in logic is critically important to programmers. It has implications for natural language processing as well as artificial intelligence. I personally recommend to anyone endeavoring to understand Wittgenstein's transition from Tractatus Logico Philosophicus to Philosophical Investigations. In fact, Google used the family resemblance concept from PI to inform its search algorithm early on to attribute diffent meanings to the same search term.

What you take away is a very precise way to pose questions that make sense and to avoid questions that don't make sense.

7
breck 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
> The pointy-haired boss is a manager who doesn't program. So > the surest way to avoid becoming him is to stay a programmer.

I agree. One of the absolute worst pieces of advice I got over and over again was "don't go into programming. It's all being outsourced overseas anyway. Just learn how to manage programmers." Luckily for some reason I finally decided to ignore that advice and strive to become a great programmer myself. One of the, if not the, best decisions in my entire life.

Even now, although I certainly could become more of a "manager", I choose to stay in the pit coding. Although I now do tasks that can be called "managing" such as helping out other coders with their bugs and problems, mentoring, communicating with people outside of engineering, recruiting and interviewing, the biggest chunk of my time is spent programming and working on my skills.

It's worked for PG. It's worked for Paul Farmer(replace "programming" with "doctoring"). I'd bet it's worked for nearly every master of their field. I think it's an essential rule to follow.

8
muhfuhkuh 2 hours ago 4 replies      
"I want to start a startup, but I don't know how to program. How long will it take to learn?

I would guess a smart person can learn to hack sufficiently well in 6 months to a year."

Hmm... interesting take considering the source, especially when contrasted with the general mentality that programming and software development is the finest of all trades and takes a near preternatural mastery only found elsewhere in classical musicianship 300 years ago. I quite enjoy the feeling that I could be good in a year.

9
moomin 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy is a great place to start. Of course, it's as much an introduction to his thinking as anyone else's, but it's accessible and thoughtful. Memorable for the phrase "existence is not a predicate".
10
NY_Entrepreneur 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice. He covers several topics that would be good to have covered on some "What I wish my father had explained to me when I was 12, however, I've come to expect that mostly he didn't understand very well.". But among topics it would have been good to have had Dad cover, PG omits the biggie, especially for hackers, maybe for painters -- how to make an A in Women 101-102!
11
denisonwright 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Interesting, now that I think of it, I have never met someone (except pg) who is a painter and programmer. I've met several programmers who are writers, musicians, carpenters, etc, but never painters.

I draw cartoons/caricatures (examples here: http://www.smileecards.com) and have painted a few times, but I don't quite call myself a painter.

About teachers, I totally agree that good teachers earn the respect of the students by having high standard, calling students out on bad quality work. I once suspected a teacher only read the beginning and the end of essays, so I submitted a 4 page essay that contained a recipe for banana cake in the second and third pages; I received a B+!

12
Estragon 2 hours ago 1 reply      

  > Couldn't you add something equivalent to Lisp macros to languages like
> Perl or Python?
>
> Not without turning them into dialects of Lisp. Real macros need to
> operate on the parse tree of the program.

Actually, I've thought about porting some of On Lisp to python using
lib2to3 (http://docs.python.org/library/2to3.html) It's probably an obscenely bad idea, but I keep getting drawn back to it...

13
extramoose 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I must say that one of the things I value most is the fact that as a Hacker, I have also worked extensively in Landscaping, Kitchens, Coffe houses & Hotels. A wide range of interactions & processes in one's past can always be used as perspective when approaching the next fork in the road.
14
larrys 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"Two startups want to hire me. Which should I choose?

The one with the most determined and smartest founders (in that order) is the more likely to succeed. "

All else being equal this is true and it's good advice.

But unfortunately when you are choosing from two startups to work for all else is not equal.

15
NY_Entrepreneur 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"I want to start a startup, but I don't know how to program. How long will it take to learn?"

A year? Depends! To be very useful on Windows, really need to be okay on the content of several books, each about 1000 pages long, have worked through about 2500 Web pages of documentation at Microsoft's MSDN, along with more pages from other sources. Then need to write some code, at least as exercises, using what learned. For writing code, need to learn either an integrated development environment (IDE), e.g., Visual Studio, or get good with a powerful text editor (I use KEdit) and its macro language (I have about 150 such macros) and a scripting language. And need to get good with Windows, e.g., have traversed much of the obscure tree of things to click on. And need to be good at software installation, e.g., .NET Framework, service packs, IIS (for a Web server), Internet Explorer and some other Web browsers, likely some version of Office, maybe Knuth's TeX, SQL Server or some alternative, etc. Should learn some Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Should learn some T-SQL, HTML, CSS, ASP.NET, and ADO.NET. Also need to be good at backup and recovery, ESPECIALLY of the operating system and boot drive. A year? Want to give up sleep for a year?

16
rwmj 2 hours ago 0 replies      
He's really wrong about LISP macros. Would suggest pg takes a look at camlp4.

Edit: maybe instead of downvotes, you could reply explaining what's wrong with this position. Or just look at camlp4 and see how it provides macros that are better (with a better underlying language) than LISP. And yes, I've written a LISP compiler.

17
zackattack 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If somebody compiles the history books into an Amazon shopping list, I would gladly use your affiliate link. I haven't read any of them, which is shameful.
3
Notepad of all my startup ideas myasmine.com
29 points by myasmine  2 hours ago   6 comments top 3
1
seltzered_ 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I've seen 12 (the car wash while shopping idea) done at some higher end shopping malls.

In austin, there's a downtown car wash place walking distance from our main park / pool / mini golf.

2
zoowar 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Ideas are one thing, execution another.
3
rokhayakebe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Walletbra == ForkKnife
4
Don't Be So F*cking Strategic sriramk.tumblr.com
30 points by aaronbrethorst  2 hours ago   10 comments top 7
1
viscanti 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Eric Ries might say that all startups are experiments, but when he does so, he's quoting Steve Blank. It's probably nit-picking, but it seems silly to attribute that line of thought to Ries (as much as I respect him as an authority on Lean Startup). The author should give credit where it's due.
2
ChuckMcM 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Strategies get bogged down when they try to get to specific (which is to say they stray into tactics that are 4 years out, a definite losing proposition) So you strategy might be 'head west' which works you can evaluate your projects against that, but the strategy 'go to San Diego' would cause a project to heading for the Pacific ocean along the Oregon trail to get cancelled since it was too far north. (when in fact it would help you get to San Diego more easily once you were on the coast)

The concept is exactly similar to significant digits in science, which is to say understand the experiment and the parameters to know who many significant digits you can count on and don't bother with the rest.

3
xtacy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
From my very limited experience, my take away from this post is:

    Extremes are harmful.  Be balanced.

So:

    Right ‘strategy' in place before doing anything

Is important, but not at the expense of actually executing it and spending all the time on:

    reams and reams of text written...


I agree it is important to have:

    Flexibility to do random things

But not at the cost of completely doing random things without an end goal.

The balance is hard to strike, but is something to strive for!

4
TomOfTTB 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's good advice but it doesn't address the core problem. The reason "all large companies are in love with finding the right strategy" is because large companies tend to spawn large org charts and the closer people are to the top of that chart the more their job boils down to "build strategy". So not being so f*cking strategic involves far fewer executives.

Meaning while the advice is good it doesn't address the actual problem which is getting those Senior VPs to either (a) eliminate their own jobs or (b) start churning out some code. Neither of which seems likely.

5
v21 51 minutes ago 1 reply      
This used to be Google's approach. Make a shit-ton of things, see which ones caught on, then expand them. 20% time, Google Labs etc were all expressions of this. Which they've been moving away from now - as Larry Page says, they're "putting more wood behind fewer arrows".
6
thunga 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Strategy should be seen as broad guidelines that help middle management make effective decisions. It is supposed to be a means to reduce communication & decision making overhead. This in turn is supposed to make the large teams more focused & effective.

Strategy is a process to reach the target & not a target/goal in itself. Unfortunately, many senior executives think that strategy is all about the end goal & end up creating wrong strategies. Mostly, the middle management will hear these end goal strategies & have no idea about its usefulness. This defeats the purpose & the middle management ends up wasting more time in meetings & wasting more time instead of being more focused.

7
Swizec 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Something tells me a whole lot of startups could do with not being so fucking strategic and Just Doing It.

Actually, I think large companies can afford to be far more strategic than your average startup.

5
Latitude doesn't exactly mean what I thought johndcook.com
31 points by wglb  3 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
yannis 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Sure it doesn't but interestingly enough the article does not go into its roots. In France after the Revolution the Metrical or Decimal system of measures was introduced. The fundamental standard adopted was that of a quandrant meridian; This quandrant was divided into ten millions of equal parts, and one parts or divisions was called the Metre, which was adopted as the unit of length and painfully measured by triangulation by M.M. Delambre and Mechain by measuring an arc of the meridian between the parallels of Dunkirk and Barcelona!
2
michaelochurch 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
This somewhat counter-intuitive definition is a result of the need for backward compatibility with existing latitude data, taken long before people had any idea of the Earth's oblation.

Originally, sextants were used to measure latitude based on solar elevation. This definition of latitude is easily measured by sextant: 90 degrees minus the maximum (i.e. noon) solar altitude on the equinox.

3
aneth 11 minutes ago 1 reply      
Wouldn't this be to ensure that one degree of latitude is always approximately the same distance? (i.e. one mile)
6
Local-time effect on small space-time scale arxiv.org
24 points by seedlessso  3 hours ago   6 comments top 4
1
jmakov 1 minute ago 0 replies      
That's one of the papers Global scaling theory is based on. There's a long story on how Hertmut Mueller as a researcher in Soviet Russia did some research for the gov. that was classified etc. They even had some talks on some german Uni's with some presentations.
Keywords for ggl would be:
- global scaling theory
- g-com
- interplanetary communication
- communicating without el.mag. waves
etc.

The papers were published in some alternative energy, bio suff, water memory etc. things german magazine. As to why aren't such to be profound findings published in a serious sci magazine, H.Mueller stated some dislikes about nature, sciam etc. magazines. They even have a site, they are prepared to educate you on this wonderful magic theory if u give them some money...

2
sp332 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think what it's saying is that germanium semiconductor RNGs in different places happen to give the same result at the same time?
3
zvrba 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Has somebody just made an analogue of http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/ for physics?
7
Learn REST: A Tutorial elkstein.org
24 points by parenthesis  3 hours ago   6 comments top 2
1
stiff 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If people would simply advocate building applications which follow the semantics of HTTP instead of advocating "REST", many more people would understand the benefits and conform; there would be no need to write a thousand and one posts explaining what is REST. Unfortunately the original exposition of this way of building web applications was done in a dissertation, in a "scientific" style that I think Orwell captured so well (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm, worth a subscription of its own). Another problem is that unfortunately most web developers (not to mention "SEO experts") don't have any real understanding of HTTP or the principles behind the WWW, which makes them also unaware of the very practical problems certain design decisions can cause.
2
gte910h 1 hour ago 1 reply      
>Rather than letting clients construct URLs for additional actions, include the actual URLs with REST responses. For example, a "product list" request could return an ID per product, and the specification says that you should use http://www.acme.com/product/PRODUCT_ID to get additional details. That's bad design. Rather, the response should include the actual URL with each item: http://www.acme.com/product/001263, etc.
Yes, this means that the output is larger. But it also means that you can easily direct clients to new URLs as needed, without requiring a change in client code.

This a thousand times yes.

8
HTML5 Map of the the World Migrations using SVG, Raphael.js and offline storage migrationsmap.net
171 points by madewulf  10 hours ago   46 comments top 20
1
CoreDumpling 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's understandable that several places don't have data (NaN), but I found it curious that Burma/Myanmar is missing from the map [1], much like the "Poland Sea" in a Microsoft Date/Time screen from yesteryear [2].

Did you create this map data or get it from somewhere else? Is this some kind of joke?

[1] http://i.imgur.com/m8Wce.png

[2] https://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2006/10/27/8804...

2
rue 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see this in the Peters projection, but otherwise quite fun!
3
nl 3 hours ago 0 replies      
People who like exploring statistics like this (as opposed to just being impressed by the nice technical implementation - which I love, btw) should take a look at GapMinder.

Eg:

http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly...

http://www.gapminder.org/world/#http://www.gapminder.org/wor...

The Hans Rosling TED talk is fantastic too: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_y...

4
SudarshanP 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The blue arrow next to the arrivals and departures selection, acts like a radio buttion, but looks like an arrow. This is misleading... I was wondering why it said "Arrivals => Deprture" which looked weird... only after i clicked around, it was obvious that it was acting like a radio button.
5
fbnt 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Nice and interesting, well done! I also like the offline caching feature.

The only tiny imperfection I see it's in the lines connecting two countries, I'd like to see an arrow so I know if I'm looking at arrivals or departures.

Is there a way to filter the GMO database to see only the current migration flow (say, last 5 years)?

6
narain 8 hours ago 2 replies      
This is really informative, and very well done to boot. Great work!

The colour scheme struck me as a little odd, though. It goes from darker (more migration) to lighter (less migration) but then abruptly to dark grey (no migration), making it harder to interpret at first glance. It would be nice if it were somewhat monotonic: bright colour = more migration, darker/duller colour = less migration, dark grey = no migration.

7
ofca 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Fascinating how boring data may be presented interesting and fresh by simple vizualisation. This remings me of the TED talk given by Hans Rosling about global statistics of population, mortality, internet access etc. Whoever made this map should contact mr. Hans, I smell collaboration there.
8
wyclif 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The English on the About page needs some work. Pay attention to singular and plural, for example.
9
davidwparker 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Great job and I really enjoyed the visualizations. If you have the data, I would love to see migrations over time.
10
corporalagumbo 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What is this data? Is it last year's migrations? Averages? More context is needed.
11
fauigerzigerk 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Very nice. I was wondering how difficult it would be to capture a particular state of the map (say UK departures) as a PNG for embedding or generating a PDF. Could you do that on the server side?
12
dropshopsa 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is awesome really enjoyed it, spent about 20 mins checking out how people and moving around the world.

I would include a zoom function, some small countries are hard to find.

13
zalew 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I see various migrations lacking - f.ex. Polish to Brazil, and Vietnamese to Poland. why is that?
14
majika 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There's an ordering issue for Faroe Islands departures. I think it might be doubling single-digit quantities - everything below Panama (10 departures) is a duplicated number. I'm on Firefox 6.0.2, Linux AMD64.
15
paulkoer 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Very impressive, nicely done! Spent a couple of minutes exploring migrant streams.

Minor nitpick: When I click on 'Macedonia' the origin point appears in Sweden. When I click on 'Serbia' it appears in Canada.

16
bencevans 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Really Responsive too and it all works in Opera or seemed to anyway, so many developers forget about Opera because it doesn't have the same amount of marketing as the others. But anyway Sweet Build!
17
bwblabs 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks great! The population of Saint Helena is NaN and also there is something wrong with the arrows..

BTW changing #hashcode based on the country looking at would be great too.

18
qikquestion 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting...there is a huge migration from Brazil to China..can someone point out whats the reason?
19
edswangren 9 hours ago 1 reply      
The GDP of Somalia is apparently so low it is NaN.
20
sudobear 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Fantastic
9
Arduino launches new products in maker faire arduino.cc
35 points by Garbage  3 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
rryan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Interesting to see Arduino getting into ARM. The LeafLabs Maple always appealed to me way more than Arduino because of the beefy STM32 ARM processor it comes with. (Well, also because their libraries, team, and documentation are all top-notch). It will be interesting to see how much ARM catches on among hobbyists now that it has the weight of the Arduino brand behind it.
2
lutorm 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This reminded me that I've been thinking of playing with a Real-time OS. My impression is that it's possible to run something on an Arduino. Does anyone have any experience with this?
10
Ward Cunningham on Exploratory Parsing c2.com
40 points by olliesaunders  4 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
js2 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
2
gruseom 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is vintage Ward. He comes up with stuff that is so simple and so obviously useful that you immediately wonder why you didn't think of it.

I love how this takes a weakness (incorrect parsing) and turns it into a strength by making it interactive.

3
iamwil 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
There's a part I'm not sure I'm clear on. Is this process completely automated? Or does it still require a human in the loop to iterate the grammar? I'm assuming it's the latter.

If it's completely automated, how does it choose what the subsequent rule to further refine the parsing is?

4
jimfl 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
This reads like it was written by an exploratory text generator. For example, at the end of one of the paragraphs we find the sentence "Is happy to read the whole file."
11
Israel Becomes CERN Associate Member globes.co.il
41 points by wslh  4 hours ago   8 comments top 2
1
_delirium 2 hours ago 2 replies      
There are some interesting politics lurking in the background of this, around what Europe is (ignoring the more specific politics of Israel itself). Until this decision, the two pending applications for membership from outside geographical Europe, Israel's and Turkey's, had been stalled for quite a while. Now that Israel is in, there is a question of, what about Turkey? But that one is tied up in EU expansion politics; Turkey is also an EU membership candidate, and anti-Turkish-membership politicians don't want it admitted to other European organizations like CERN, for fear of strengthening the Turkey-is-European view.

There is also a longer-term question of what CERN (or perhaps other "European" institutions) should cover geographically. Why are they "European", and what does that mean? Could Egypt join, for example? One might say it's less "culturally European" than Israel, but its scientific community is quite western-oriented, and it already participates in some CERN projects on a case-by-case basis.

2
Create 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
CERN is no longer a European Organisation. Actually, it never really was ("who ordered that?" for those who know CERN history). Since nothing really new has emerged in HEP in the last few decades, CERN is trying to grow into an international lab, as opposed to European, mostly for scaling/funding purposes (USA, Japan, Russia, China have actually built most of LHC: Russian in kinds (steel, calos, beryllium etc.), Japanese semi (HAMA PMT, trackers etc), USA hw/sw (intel, Oracle, RedHat, DDN, Force10, DLT, FPGA) and Chinese assembly (any SKU built over 50 pcs-s)).

And since theoretical and applied physics needs ever more PR to get attention, they are also trying to dress up as a technology provider hub, forgetting to mention, that most of what is there is COTS. The ("management") problem is not unlike the one that "killed" NASA (which it was modelled upon in terms of matrix management).

"How should we make it attractive for them [young people] to spend 5,6,7 years in our field, be satisfied, learn about excitement, but finally be qualified to find other possibilities?" -- H. Schopper

What an euphemism. Almost like a scam.

btw: .il was already quite present on every level, obviously, so this is just a formality -- Turkey is somewhat different in this respect.

12
Show HN: Multisell app source code app-sources.com
34 points by fibona  3 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
kolinko 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the idea. Did you try advertising this on iPhone Dev Sdk forums?

To be quite frank - I won't put any of my sources there until there is anything there already (not enough time to take chances with unknown sites).

Another thing - I think what prevents most of the developers from sharing their sources is insecurity about the quality of their source code. They think: "cool, but I'd have to do SO MUCh work to make the source readable.."
If you could somehow make the site more friendly for less than perfect sources (for example - allow the developers to mark their sources quality, so someone with poorer quality code will just upload it and mark as poor quality, instead of waiting god-knows-how-long to clean up the code).
I personally wouldn't mind buying poor quality code, but - as I said - plenty of developers will be ashamed to sell it.

Finally, a little bit of business advice - I suggest you focus on just one platform (iOS!:). The thing is - you NEED the critical mass for this site to work. If you focus all your strength on just one platform, you'll get to the point where you have a critical mass so much sooner. Handling PR/community building for just one platform is a full time job.

Also: read up about usability, because your site is lacking. The "buy" button is barely visible for example. Also - one of the main traffic sources for a site like yours will be (as much as I hate to admit it) SEO. Your site is so unoptimized - you could at least have more friendly URLs.
Plus - avoid a syndrom of "empty links". You should minimize the amount of times user clicks a link and gets an empty page.
Right now for example, you have a hundred categories on the right bar. Almost each one of them leads to an empty page - drop the categories until they are really necessary for navigation.

The site design is ugly as hell, but I think that's actually a good thing - don't bring in the designer before you have the business up and running... It's much harder to make serious changes to the site once the pro design is there.

Having said all that, I think there is a need for a site like this. Good luck!

2
kolinko 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, one more thing - if I'm going to buy anything on this site, I'll need to know who is behind it (to figure out if this is not a scam), and also - what rights do I buy. Can I change the sources a little bit and put them back into the app store?
3
sidwyn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you need somebody who is good in English to help you out with the site. There are currently a few grammatical errors that are rather blatant.
13
Iteratee-based IO in Haskell at Tsuru Capital kfish.org
31 points by dons  5 hours ago   9 comments top
1
tumult 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I work at Tsuru Capital. (Apparently we have a contributors file for the iteratees library, and I never added myself.)

Feel free to ask questions here. I'll try my best to respond to them. We're preparing for ICFP tomorrow, and my train back from Yokohama was pretty late, so I probably won't be able to answer right away.

14
Why two men committing the same crime get different chances at a parole nytimes.com
80 points by sidwyn  9 hours ago   24 comments top 11
1
cletus 3 hours ago 2 replies      
That was really interesting and the title should've been different. I assumed it was the same story from a few months ago about the statistical likelihood of parole on the time of day but it's far more than that.

Three things sprung to mind:

The first is that I've often said I like the food we get at Google because food is, for me, a bunch of decisions I just don't care about. Where to go? What to order from the menu? How much to tip (if appropriate)?

Providing your employees with food seems to directly address decision fatigue.

Google rose to a prominence in an era of portal pages. Yahoo in particular had a home page without hundreds of links. Google presented you with a logo, a text box, two buttons and <50 words of text. What to do on such a page involves less decision making.

In the 90s there were lots of experiments with directories. Yahoo had one. Think about this: typing in a search involves one decision. Finding something in a directory involves one decision at each step.

The second thing that occurred to me was Apple. Apple is famous for making decisions for its customers. Many people rail against this lack of control. I personally appreciate it.

Consider: with Windows you need to make lots of decisions like whether or not you need to have security software, what antivirus solution to get, what program to use to play music, etc. With a Mac (and especially an iDevice) most of those choices are made for you.

Similarly the Apple Store is famous for its low number of choices (compare buying a Mac to buying any PC online).

Could it be that this making decisions for customers is part of the intense loyalty many have for Apple products?

The third was the sociological impacts of decision fatigue. Organized religion and government tell people what to do. They give people a set of morals and laws (respectively) to follow rather than forcing people to think through the consequences. Decision fatigue is a new angle to this (at least for me).

Lastly the impacts of poverty were a particularly refreshing angle. As a software engineer I don't really need to make day-to-day tradeoffs in groceries, what I can eat and the like so I just don't suffer from that kind of fatigue.

EDIT: two more interesting aspects to this occurred to me.

The education system in the last few decades has emphasized creativity and expression. This is part of the reason why many countries have abandoned school uniforms. While many laud the benefits of self-expression from, say, high school students being able to wear what they want, what about the consequences in terms of decision fatigue?

High school is stressful for most people. Add to that the stress of deciding what to wear, how to present oneself and so on and you can argue it's a contributing factor to poor decision-making by teens, no?

The second is on leadership. Leaders make decisions, obviating the need for followers to weigh up choices. Could this be part of why so many of us are so eager to follow? I remember a scene from an early Mad Men episode where Don was saying that what most people crave is to be told that whatever they're doing is OK. We crave that affirmation. I wonder at the decision fatigue implications of this.

Similarly, what about relationships? Couples often get to the point of what "we" decided to do. Could part of the advantage of a relationship be that you greatly reduce the number of decisions that you personally need to make?

2
DanielBMarkham 4 hours ago 1 reply      
A couple things leaped out at me reading this.

What about insulin resistance? Do people with high insulin resistance have less of an effect from sugary snacks?

On the flip side, how about exercise? Do people with a lot of sugar stored in muscles and a more optimum processing of sugar do better on these things?

To put this more generally, the author seemed to be reporting from a deterministic viewpoint, i.e., whatever you eat and these random life scheduling events are causing decision fatigue. Is there nothing an individual can do (aside from the briefly-described coping mechanisms) My gut feeling tells me this is not as black-and-white as it is made out to be. Hopefully there will be a lot of future research in this area. It's a fascinating topic.

3
lpolovets 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The article was written by one of the coauthors of Willpower (http://www.amazon.com/Willpower-Rediscovering-Greatest-Human...). I read this book last week and it was terrific. A great blend of fascinating studies and practical advice. Also, while many pop psych books rehash the same studies over and over, Willpower featured many results that I had not encountered before, like these findings about parole hearings. Highly recommended book.
4
heyadayo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a much more interesting article than the title suggests. I'd rather see the title reference decision fatigue.
5
loup-vaillant 5 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the biases at work is described here: http://lesswrong.com/lw/58y/the_bias_you_didnt_expect/

Simply put, the judge is being harsher as the time since his last meal grows longer.

6
cturner 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The issue of parole isn't particular interesting. But decision fatigue is intriguing. I think a more interesting pitch for this would be just 'Decision fatigue'.
7
brador 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting that they mention the Dell website for decision making. 4 times this year I've decided to purchase a new computer and spent hours trying to figure out what to buy from the Dell website. I have yet to upgrade.
8
dennisgorelik 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Considering how hard it is to make a choice, what is the optimal number of subscription plans for SaaS?

One? Three? Five?

9
ralfd 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So, if you want a promotion you should go in the morning to your boss?
10
awflick 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder what the optimal fatigue level is for your potential customer. Is it when they are more worn down and willing to go along with your recommendations or when they are less worn down and they have a more satisfactory experience making choices that are right for them?
11
nazar 4 hours ago 2 replies      
tl;dr anyone please? nytimes.com is blocked over here.
15
The letter that started AMD's Open-Source Strategy phoronix.com
4 points by riledhel  57 minutes ago   2 comments top
1
zokier 7 minutes ago 1 reply      
I find the ATi/AMD FOSS driver story bit sad, considering the state of the drivers today. I feel that the community kinda betrayed AMD there by not managing to create high quality drivers even when given the docs they had craved for so long. I remember the discussions on /. and elsewhere before this; "Just give us the docs, and we'll write the drivers".
16
South Korea NIS admits to "packet tapping" Gmail hani.co.kr
3 points by ajdecon  30 minutes ago   discuss
17
Whither Netflix? avc.com
17 points by cwan  4 hours ago   19 comments top 5
1
jackowayed 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If I were Netflix, I would strongly consider hedging my bets and making a white-label offering so that when HBO/etc decide they want to do their own streaming, it makes sense to pay Netflix for the infrastructure instead of reinventing the wheel.

It seems like Netflix has invested a lot of money into making a large-scale, high-availability platform for streaming video with DRM. They should be able to offer some serious cost savings over everyone trying to reinvent that difficult wheel.

Then they have a chance to become the new network or the new cable company. And they'll already have a commercial relationship with these companies, so it'll be easier for them to sell people on "once the season's over and you've made most of your money, why don't you let us stream those old episodes?"

2
crgt 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Much scarier for Netflix is the challenge of securing rights to high-quality content for the long haul. This current stock crash is a blip, and their vision of transforming their focus to streaming is brilliant, but it will only matter if they can secure content people want to watch. From the looks of their current negotiations with Starz that will only get harder. The good news for them is that it won't be any easier for competitors to get those rights at a reasonable price. Long term, either the studios build their own infrastructure to stream to the masses or they license someone to do it for them. Guess who is positioning themselves for that role? It may be a bumpy ride, but I wouldn't bet against Netflix.
3
protomyth 1 hour ago 1 reply      
In a lot of ways RedBox is more convenient than Netflix's DVD offering given all the locations (e.g. Wal-Mart, McDonalds). So, given the majority belief that another non-online format is not going to happen, I can see the transition to streaming being the only long way to go.

I just don't see the studios not cutting out the middle man for streaming. The desire to have only the channels I want in cable translates pretty well to buying streams from studios. HBO isn't exactly cheap on cable or satellite currently. I think Netflix will live on for studios that just don't have the amount of content needed to have a whole on-demand service. I just don't think the one-ring style service is going to happen.

4
RandallBrown 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Won't the price increases more than make up for lost subscribers? (assuming they stop losing them soon).

As their streaming offering gets better, more people will sign up for a streaming only plan, which is actually cheaper than their old streaming+dvd plan used to be isn't it?

Now might be a great time to buy Netflix.

5
ams6110 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I wish Netflix could make a deal with someone like ESPN to stream sports events live. I'd gladly pay a premium to get ESPN without being forced to buy a "bundle" of channels I don't want from the cable company.
18
Dear Google Marketing (Re: Your kids policy)
8 points by Smrchy  45 minutes ago   5 comments top 3
1
cleverjake 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
This issue was raised when the ad came out, and there is a distinct difference. The Dear Sophie account is not an account that is used by a child, it is one that is used by a child's father, and therefore allowed.
2
yanw 28 minutes ago 2 replies      
It not their children's policy it's the government's: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA): http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/coppafaqs.shtm
3
sixtofour 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
The left foot doesn't know what the left foot is doing.
19
Show HN: Weekend Project - RingSong cheerusup.com
9 points by codejoust  2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
codejoust 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Source Code: https://github.com/codejoust/ringsong
using mongodb, node, express, and tropo.
2
mhashim 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Dude, its ringing nonstop. Please make it stop or allow people to delete their messages.
20
Finally Bitcasa CEO Explains How The Encryption Works techcrunch.com
15 points by eljaco  1 hour ago   23 comments top 12
1
nikcub 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
My biggest issue (beside the initial TC article being a complete shocker) was the claim of 60% saving on de-duplication and that each user only had 25GB of unique data.

This research paper from Microsoft on Farsite[2] claims 'up to 50%' saving on de-dupe with a convergent file system - but that was tested against 500 computers in a corporate environment and it was done back in 2002.

Users now store a lot more photos, a lot more of their own video, and any content that is DRM'd is also unique. You can save on operating system and application files, but it isn't 60%.

There is nothing 'finally' about this additional information. The discussion and criticism of the claims on Twitter was knowing this information about convergent encryption and the key being derived from the content. There is a lot more that is still unanswered - such as how an 'intelligent cache' allows 'unlimited' storage to be available offline.

I really wish these guys would release a research paper with their results, or include more information on their website before they make such bold claims in public.

[1] http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?id=6995...

2
callahad 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Something is twitching in the back of my mind about this. Sure, they can't look at the data based solely on the encrypted copy, but if they have a plaintext copy of a document of interest, they are able to determine which of their customers has that document, right?

Doesn't that diminish some of the privacy claims?

3
maaku 40 minutes ago 1 reply      
TL;DR: AES_key = SHA-256(file)

This does introduce new avenues for attacks, however. You don't have to be able to decrypt to show that certain people have certain files.

Also, for files that contain just one piece of sensitive information and a the rest is predictable (i.e, the secret key file for a website back-end), you've effectively given up a hash of the secret which can then be brute-forced.

4
lisper 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
Academic paper on convergent encryption:

http://www.ssrc.ucsc.edu/Papers/storer-storagess08.pdf

TL;DR version: take a chunk of data, encrypt it with its own sha1 hash as the key. Now you have an encrypted version that you can dedup. You can only decrypt if you already know the hash. Info about who owns any particular chunk is not kept on the server, so even if you break in to the server, all you can tell is which chunks correspond to data you already possess. Seems plausible.

5
andrewcooke 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
it's important to note that this is not strong against knowledge of the plaintext. that's kind-of obvious, when you think about how it supports de-duplication, but perhaps an example will clarify why you might be concerned.

say you want to backup some data. and that data includes music or video... and the riaa or mpaa decide that bitcasa are facilitating pirating and should be shut down... so they reach a deal where all the data are checked against known songs or videos. and if they find a match then your identity will be provided for prosecution...

of course, if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. this can only identify known data. but even so, it is an interesting issue: "encryption" here doesn't have all the guarantees you might expect.

(there are more disturbing scenarios too. for example, perhaps a certain text is not illegal in the copyright sense, but is unacceptable politically.)

[disclaimer - this is from skimming the paper; i should say that i am no expert on this, so don't take my word as gospel]

6
xtacy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This thread has a lot of discussion related to "convergent encryption."

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2570538

EDIT: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2461713 as well

EDIT2: Actually, there's more to this problem than just convergent encryption. If the storage provider knows which encrypted blobs belong to you, it can encrypt _some_ file and still figure out which users have copies of it. So, the storage provider, which stores a collection of encrypted blobs, should not know the blob -> list(users) association. I don't know if Bitcasa addresses this part.

7
gst 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Nothing new here. Same technique has been used by Wuala for years now.
8
nextparadigms 1 hour ago 2 replies      
"HP: What do you do in terms of encryption or security?

TG: We encrypt everything on the client side. We use AES-256 hash, SHA-256 hashing for all the data.

HP: So it's encrypted all on the client side and you can't look at it on the server side?

TG: Exactly"

Finally, a company that gets it. I've been asking for this for a while now. I wish Dropbox and all the others would do this, too. I get it that some of Dropbox' customers may not want to deal with the encryption on the client side, but they should at least offer the option to everyone, and it should be right there every time someone wants to upload something. It would be best if it was the default option, too.

This way they won't get into the mess they got into last time with the feds asking for user data, and the clients who want full security of their data won't have to be worried about it anymore.

9
joshu 42 minutes ago 2 replies      
Why is dedupe so important?

I have to imagine this mostly helps with OS files that are standard across man machines. Can't we ship a list of hashed client-side?

10
esutton 1 hour ago 0 replies      
basically the argument is that this is an encryption algorithm that is deterministic as there is no randomness, after the initial value. This sounds more like a Random Oracle, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_oracle. which by the way don't exist
11
rubyorchard 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Encryption provides confidentiality in a secure system. Convergent encryption doesn't fit that bill.
12
eljaco 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Curious to hear if anyone has experience with this "convergent encryption."
21
Bada Bing, Bada Boom: Culture inside Bing worldofsu.com
199 points by xpaulbettsx  17 hours ago   83 comments top 15
1
jonnathanson 4 hours ago 2 replies      
"People look out for themselves when there's nothing to look forward to."

This is what it all comes down to, whether at Bing, or at any other large organization. The other bullet points on Philip's list are fine, but this one is perhaps wholly sufficient. Politics exists in every organization. And every organization has some folks who are more Machiavellian than others. But all of this crap comes to the forefront, amplified and accelerated, when an organization is in turmoil. (And that atmosphere of turmoil usually trickles down from the top; a divisional leader who's always politicking and maneuvering inspires his lieutenants to do the same, and on and on it goes).

I've had the distinct displeasure of working for at least three large divisions of megagiant companies in varying degrees of peril or stagnation, and all three of them -- despite wildly different corporate cultures and people -- became similar hotbeds of political intrigue. Declining quarterlies led to re-orgs, and re-orgs led to chaos, and chaos bred more chaos. And in this crucible people forged schemes, machinations, alliances, and double-crosses that would make A Game of Thrones look like a Dr. Seuss book.

This phenomenon is notable because the same people, operating in the same groups, did not behave so politically in better times. Like I said, I'm sure that a few of them were always plotting and conniving. But only when the division went into steady decline did the sheep cast off their clothing and reveal the wolves beneath.

2
sriramk 14 hours ago 2 replies      
For those who may not know Philip.

I worked with Philip shortly back at MSFT. He was one of my favorite people and had all the right core values one would ever want. Someone who got stuff done and cared about it. I thought losing him to FB was a terrible loss for MSFT (he went on to do the FB/Skype integration almost single-handedly). He is not just another disgruntled employee, he is someone MSFT needs to listen to.

No comment on the stuff on Bing. Or Yahoo :).

3
hello_moto 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Programmers think that they hate politics but when it comes down to the actual technical stuff, they do politics as well.

Some programmers want to be "relevant" in the HN sense so they push new technology that they just picked up last week religiously (node.js for a CRUD app, which most websites are anyway, comes to mind) like it is the next big thing.

Or they just read 37Signals books and drank the 37Signals + RoR kool-aid and push 100% 37Signals mindset to the workplace that doesn't fit with that (different target, client base, market, etc). Come back in 3 years time and you'll see the same guy pushing for MVC in client-side/browser as opposed to stick with simplicity yet still pushing 37Signals mindset whenever he refused to do work that doesn't inline with him for whatever reasons (laziness, or else).

Or perhaps they came back from Agile meeting and think that Scrum is the only way to run a project that everybody else must follow it. (Hint: Scrum is hard to understand and to apply to a large group of people who don't know Scrum 100%). On the flip side, cowboy coders hate a single addition of "process" even if that process is called Continuous Integration. They'll do whatever it takes to make sure they can continue to code like cowboys.

Even the unit-test debate can be considered as politics. Some people want the company to rely on themselves so they prefer no unit-tests. Programmers are notorious with locking in the knowledge in their brain only hence no unit-tests, no documentations. Just Read The F... Code they say. C'mon, don't give me excuses that these are useless except for your weekend projects. We all know that most startups develop from prototypes. They almost rarely re-write their main (with odd codebase) products.

... more reasons to be an indie developer I suppose...

4
eric_boyd 12 hours ago 1 reply      
What an odd blog post!

I've been on the Bing Ads side for the past two years. I overlapped with Philip very briefly at MSFT. When I started, he was working in a group that had nothing to do with Bing. I had a couple pretty positive email exchanges and generally thought highly of the guy, but certainly didn't know him well.

Today, out of the blue, about a year after he left MSFT, he writes a scathing critique of a culture that he hasn't been a part of for 3+ years (I don't honestly know when he was at Bing), and writes about it in the present tense without any clarification that the events are in the past. On his Facebook post, Philip comments that the test director incident happened 5 years ago. His blog reads like it happened last week.

Qi Lu joined MSFT less than 3 years ago to take over Bing and all of online services. When Qi took it on, it was called Live Search. It had been losing market share every month for years. Since Bing launched, it's market share has risen every month. It's quite possible that the culture Philip worked in was every bit as broken as he describes. But the team I work in, I can speak to it being a fantastic place to work now. Qi has been upgrading the talent top down and now I find it filled with very smart people making real progress, both in the quality of the search engine, and in the market share gains over the past two years.

Are there still some political people? Of course, every large organization has them. But the company Philip writes about doesn't sound like the one I work in.

Obvious disclaimer about the fact that I'm a current employee and thus biased.

5
jmillikin 17 hours ago 7 replies      
Independent of the post, does anybody else find the OCCASIONAL BOLD PHRASES very distracting? I can't make up my mind whether to READ THEM WITH EMHPASIS, as one might hear in verbal speech, or try to find a CLEVER HIDDEN MESSAGE from the author.
6
Cherian_Abraham 17 hours ago 2 replies      
From the post: Yet the same people who led the 30-person MSN Search team retained key leadership positions in the 3,000-person Bing team. How, exactly, does this happen?

I would say, more often than not when you work in large corporations where either teams have grown uncontrollably, or where certain people who happened to be present in key positions early, has enough clout organizationally to warrant the same position even when the team grows or its responsibilities grow.

I have seen where consulting firms at Client organizations, where the Team Lead on the first client project who is managing three developers end up being the Program manager years later overseeing 40-50 consultants, with no real leadership experience.

7
mynameishere 17 hours ago  replies      
unless Google, like most of Microsoft's previous competitors, summarily shoots itself via a series of disastrous decisions

It's possible. Corporations change. The difference in quality is slight, but google has been making some ludicrous mistakes lately (IMHO, obviously):

1. Google instant. This is such shit I can hardly believe it. Yeah, I can turn it off, but the average person is going to be charmed by the gimmick of it without realizing how awful it is. On unfamiliar computers, I go to bing automatically.

2. The disinclusion of search terms. This happened all the time pre-google, and now it's happening at google with every query. You have to affix a plus sign on every term if you want it actually searched. Again, normal people are unaware.

3. The debasement of the brand. I'm talking about the non-stop cutesy-pie logos. What if Coke did this?

4. Very public flops outside their area of expertise. Google+, etc.

...these four things aren't going to hurt google too much, but they tell me that the lunatics are now in charge.

8
rachelbythebay 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I decided to do a test and switched my in-browser search bar to Bing. So far, I haven't had any reason to object. I still get results which do what I want.

Also, I could swear that Bing Maps is actually faster than Google in terms of loading tiles, scrolling around, and all of that. Google Maps just sticks at times, for some reason. It's amazing to see it fall so far, considering that smooth-scrolling maps at Google is what brought me over from Mapquest years ago.

I'd love to see someone continue the result comparisons with the brands filed off. It might surprise people.

9
dreamux 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone have a link to the study referenced in here which says people prefer bing results to google's when logos are reversed? This seems like something MSFT's marketing department would be trumpeting at every opportunity...

EDIT: The closest I've found is this - http://blindsearch.fejus.com/ which lets users vote up anonymous result sets. However, the last reported numbers (from 2009) show Google in the lead. Oh well.

10
nostrademons 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there seriously 3000 people working on Bing?
11
rafaelferreira 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The post starts out sending a disgruntled-employee vibe, but it improves later on. The OP conjectures about how an organization becomes more heavily political than the rest of a company are pretty interesting.
12
foxit 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The question I have after reading this post is: What about his NDA? At a higher level, do they not demand signing of those? I certainly had one.
13
ck2 8 hours ago 0 replies      
did you know that employees yodel at the end of their company meetings

Sure hope that is voluntary or they have the Walmart management of the web. (google "walmart cheer")

14
jroseattle 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I found Philip's article to be remarkably uninteresting. He observed political machinations in a large company -- what a shock! I don't care if he has been out of the space for 3 years, or if he's in the middle of it today -- he didn't identify anything about organizational behavior that isn't already known. Move along, nothing to see here....
15
pcj 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Any insights on how this (sustaining a healthy and positive culture with growth) is handled in Google/Apple/even Facebook?
22
AMQP " the enchanted corner of SOA thestateofme.com
22 points by timf  5 hours ago   3 comments top
1
rwmj 3 hours ago 1 reply      
AMQP is real interesting. I like to think of it as "email for applications". It lets programs send "email" to each other.

You could do this using regular email, but regular email is hard to wire up to programs and isn't very flexible (eg. it's relatively hard to set up new email accounts).

With these messaging protocols, programs can just create channels for themselves and set up all sorts of interesting communications protocols -- eg. point to point, publish and subscribe, one to many etc. And it's (relatively) reliable so you know the message is going to get delivered.

23
35 years of orbital launchers space.com
21 points by LombardiLegacy  4 hours ago   1 comment top
1
Roboprog 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Good riddance, shuttles. I wonder how much exploration and exploitation was held back by 30+ years of being stuck on manned low earth orbit.

No mission to Mars? Only a very few asteroid missions (why not dozens)? Only a very few ionic propulsion systems? It would have been nice to have permanent robotic geologic and atmospheric stations throughout the entire solar system by now, rather than playing around in orbit.

Want to learn about our planet? Observe what happens to other planets, in detail, when you change the size, composition or temperature, and put the data into a matrix or two to start solving for the variables.

24
Show HN: Resonate Mockups basil-salad.com
5 points by adib  1 hour ago   discuss
25
Design of the DNS (Part VIII) - names outside the name system jl.ly
8 points by gapanalysis  3 hours ago   discuss
26
A tiny step in Android app development and business appbrood.blogspot.com
3 points by revolz  1 hour ago   discuss
27
Show HN: We Are Googlers - All Google News At One Place wearegooglers.com
20 points by akarambir  5 hours ago   8 comments top 4
1
libria 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
Why the iframe? If I bookmark the home page and keep browsing, the cookies (or whatever mechanism "remembers" the last tab) bring me back to last page instead of what I bookmarked. You lose the behavior most web users have been trained with. What do you gain?
2
rwolf 24 minutes ago 1 reply      
This is missing all of the Google+ news that is shared through Google+, or the output of all of their Twitter accounts.

Thanks for collecting all of the RSS feeds, though!

3
wyclif 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Suggestion: "All Google News in one place."
4
ennovates 1 hour ago 1 reply      
which technology is being used in developing this site?
28
Ask HN: Is it feasible to use redis as the only datastore?
16 points by clojurerocks  2 hours ago   18 comments top 10
1
patio11 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It depends on what your simple application does and what its needs are. I could rewrite either of my products to use Redis only, to the exclusion of SQL. It wouldn't be a very good use of my time, but it would be trivially possible. Neither of them put terrible stress on persistence engines. Heck, I could rewrite them to do everything in flat files and that wouldn't be impossible, either.

There are some rather relational-data-intensive projects I've been involved with where that would have been an Exceptionally Poor Idea, both for the amount of pain one would go through writing a poorly tested version of LEFT JOIN to be able to get it to work, and because one will eventually discover that your SQL database of choice has been improved for hundreds of man-years along axes you care about and Redis has not.

2
potomak 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was asking myself the same question and my answer was Draw![1]. I made this little app to learn more about Redis and html5 canvas element.

I wrote model/helper classes to wrap repetitive redis code, you can check the source at Draw! github repository[2].

Anyway after this experience I learnt Redis is a great tool but it doesn't fit good as a datastore for "everything" you should store for your app.

[1] http://drawbang.com

[2] https://github.com/potomak/drawbang/tree/master/models

3
redbad 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
No. Redis is not a database, it's an in-memory key-value store. It's also called a [distributed] data structure server, which (at least to me) implies a tight coupling with your application: it's a way to offload shared state between multiple components, but the persistence of that shared state is not guaranteed.

In fact, Redis' persistence layer is best understood as a best-effort value-add. If the server shuts down for any reason, you have to simply hope the last disk flush was recent and successful. Otherwise, your data is lost. This is (again, to me) fundamentally at odds with the contracts that any database should provide. Also, Redis cluster is not yet released, which means running more than one Redis server requires you to manage keyspace sharding at the app layer.

Not that any of this is a knock against Redis. Even with those caveats, there are a huge class of problems that Redis is perfectly suited for. I love the software and use it daily. But Redis competes with memcached, not MongoDB; if you ever find yourself shoe-horning Redis into a role where total data loss is anything other than temporarily annoying, you're doing it wrong.

tl;dr: IMO, using Redis as a database is a really bad idea, for most common definitions of "database."

4
tabbyjabby 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We're working on integrating Redis into our stack, but we use it mostly as a caching layer. As with any NoSQL datastore, your data will have to be structured far differently than if you were using a relational database. The nice thing about Redis is that it's a lot more effective than a simple key-value store for representing the data structures that exist in your application. If you're willing to put the time into learning this paradigm of data persistence the logical interaction with your data won't be a problem.

Redis does have a number of shortcomings. Firstly, it doesn't provide a very sophisticated transactions system. You get multi blocks, and the ability to watch keys (which is like a check and set), but you don't get true transactions. For example, there's no rollback mechanism, and commands will still be executed in a multi block if one of them fails.

Secondly, Redis by default does not provide strong guarantees of durability. It writes a snapshot to disk of your data periodically, so if something happens to the server that causes the program to shut down unexpectedly, you'll lose a lot of data. Redis can be configured to provide stronger guarantees of durability, but at the expense of speed.

Thirdly, there is currently no sharding mechanism built into Redis. They're working on Redis Cluster, which will allow your data to be spread across multiple servers, but it won't come out for sometime. You can build your own distribution system into your application however. You can read up on consistent hashing algorithms to help you with ideas for that.

Fourthly, everything is in memory at all times. That's pretty expensive, though Redis is quite efficient with memory usage.

Redis is really fast, which is awesome, but we still use MySQL as our primary datastore. We have a write-through/read-through caching layer, and if the transaction ever fails in part, we just rollback the MySQL transaction and invalidate the key in Redis, because we can trust that MySQL's records are more authoritative.

5
sehugg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, it is, but I think they serve different purposes. I'd use Redis for short-to-medium lifetime data that has high transaction rates. I'd use SQL for medium-to-long term data with lower transaction rates. We use both.

Redis does what it does well -- make great use of the CPU and the memory on a single box. SQL keeps your data consistent long-term and makes it easy to do ad-hoc queries.

6
iampims 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If your data fits in memory and can be modeled on a key/value design, then why not?

A few things you might want to consider:

* depending on the size of your dataset, starting/rebooting redis can take a while. The bigger your dataset is, the longer it takes

* AOF can be a pain to maintain, since you need to allocate enough disk space for it + for when you back it up.

* if you plan to have millions of keys, compressing them isn't a bad idea.

7
josephg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
With redis, all your data must fit in RAM on your server(s).

It really depends on how much data your application uses (and how much you expect it to use as you grow).

8
simpsond 1 hour ago 1 reply      
What do you mean by robust query capabilities? There are different types of values in redis, each with special operations, but you can't really query on the values. If you can model your data with hashes, simple values, and lists, then redis may suite you. I use it in conjunction with relational tools, but I can imagine using it solely for a simple project.
9
hundredwatt 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not?

EDIT: If it meets your application's logical and scaling needs, there's no reason you couldn't use it

10
codecaine 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Redis operations are performed in RAM and while you can specify an interval where its contents should be written to disk you risk loosing some data if it closes unexpectedly.
If that is not a problem I don't see why it couldnt be used as the sole datastorage.
29
The Document Which Was Formerly Called The MIT Guide to Lockpicking capricorn.org
241 points by jamesbritt  1 day ago   50 comments top 15
1
nirvana 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I remember very fondly my experience with the MIT Roof and Tunnel Hacker's club. I didn't attend MIT, but was there visiting a friend over a weekend that happened to be "Alumni Weekend"... so the Roof & Tunnel hackers were taking old Roof and Tunnel Hacker Alumni along the new routes... and I managed to get to tag along.

It was great to see the foyer under the great dome, looking down from the great dome, thru a spot in the fantastic lit stained glass ceiling where they'd removed one piece. I loved crossing a roof, very late at night, and I know the story behind "No Toad Sexing!" Though I didn't get to see any of the apparently few locations where Toad Sexing was authorized.

I was quite struck by the ... ethical system that the Roof & Tunnel hackers followed. They were careful to keep us civilians in line, and at one point we came close to a lab where there was vibration sensitive experiments going on. To keep the Hackers out that lab had installed super sophisticated alarms, and the hackers told us about a couple ways they thought they could defeat them... they also discussed the fact that putting those alarm systems in created a greater challenge than most locations, and thus was an attractive target to try and hack, and how that was a bit ironic... but they didn't hack them simply because anyone who cared enough about to do that was someone whose experiments they didn't want to disturb.

I remember running across roofs after midnight, going thru steam tunnels.

And later, I learned to pick locks myself, and back in Louisiana, at my High School, which was a statewide magnet school on a certain College Campus, we picked our way into old abandoned buildings and even found a steam tunnel. (Yes, I've probably just outed myself to a select group of people.)

Anyway, I wanted to take this time to publicly thank the Roof and Tunnel Hacker's club at MIT for a very nice night of criminal trespass. We left things the way we found them, and no property was destroyed, and a fun time was had by all.. and the patience thy showed to use "civilians" was greatly appreciated... even if, at the time, I was too awed and shy to properly thank them.

In the year since, I've trespassed on many a building, crossed many a roof, and enjoyed quite a few experiences. I've always respected the property I was trespassing on, and have adopted the ethics I saw displayed that night.

Plus, if nobody knows you were there, they're less likely to take steps that would make it harder for you to get back.

PS-- Just remembered one "crime" from those years. I was out on a date, bragging about how I'd learned to pick locks and my date said something indicating dubiousness... we were passing a FEDEX dropbox at the time and I said, hey, wait a minute... flipped the lid and found the FEDEX secure lock and.... managed to open it almost instantly. This was about %50 luck and %50 figuring that the fedex guy was working a route and the combo would be an easy to remember one, which made it a lot quicker to guess, and I got it on the third try. Opening the box and showing her all those Fedex Packages sure made an impression! (then I closed the box and we continued on....)

I think there's a lot of good lessons to be learned by young hackers in learning to pick locks, seeing the level of security that exists in practice, and the vulnerabilities. I hope the culture of this kind of hacking is still alive and well.

2
cleverjake 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those interested in the back story...

Back in the 40-60s(ish) people who are now commonly referred to as "hackers" were getting their start in the MIT Tech Model Rail Road club. They would get together and build model trains and tracks and hack together really neat ideas (neat if you're into trains at least). A lot of these same people were involved in the computer program, as well as general security. Lockpicking was sort of a game between a lot of the students as a way to hack their way into systems, just not in a digital sense. Many of them actually took mail in classes to become certified locksmiths just to get the special tools that were only legally allowed to be sold to locksmiths. In Stephen Levy's "Hackers", there is even a story of how the school bought a new military grade safe to keep components in the computer lab safe from prying eyes, but the installer forgot to leave a key. One of the students that the safe was supposed to keep out was asked to pick the lock, and did so with relative ease.

3
logjam 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My last encounter with Richard Feynman was not long before he died. Richard and Carl ate dinner with Julie and me at our house. We spent the rest of the evening practicing lock picking with locks from my rather extensive collection. I still sorely miss my friend, Richard Feynman. When thinking about interesting ideas, from either physics or computation, I often ask myself, "What would Feynman think of this?"

-- Gerald Jay Sussman, MIT AI Lab, co-author of SICP

4
mcantelon 22 hours ago 3 replies      
MIT ordered the renaming of this? It's sad when learning institutions act like corporations.
5
jamesbritt 21 hours ago 2 replies      
BTW, while this may be a overly paranoid, check your local laws before getting a set of picks, especially if you plan on taking them anywhere.

When I got my set I lived in New York City and there you could plausibly be charged with possession of burglary tools for carrying them around.

As a practical matter I never worried about it, but things being what they are you should at least be informed about possible risks.

6
mun2mun 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Google already cached the pdf. Just paste http://www.capricorn.org/~akira/home/lockpick/mitlg-a4.pdf in Google and open in quickview. Then you can save it in Google docs if you want.
7
onosendai 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Something only tangentially related to this, but neat nonetheless, and this seems like a good place to plug it: how to open a kensington lock with a toilet paper tube, some duct tape and a pen. Actually tried this once and it worked.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as-CPdf-rKI

8
GermTheGeek-2 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Unrelated, but take a look at what this publicity has done to his little server: http://www.capricorn.org/cgi-bin/status/capstat.cgi
9
jevinskie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Locksport is a ton of fun! You can make your own starter set consisting of a hook pick and a tension wrench with nothing but a bench grinder and some hacksaw blades. With that pick, you can learn the basics of picking and (given patience) actually pick most any lock.
10
cgag 22 hours ago 6 replies      
Can anyone recommend a good lock pick set and maybe some locks to buy to practice on? My mom expressed an interest in lock picking a while back and I was thinking of getting her some stuff.
11
sandycheeks 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My wife still comes home from the flea market with old padlocks for me that she gets for a quarter because they don't have the keys. They make excellent cheap and sometimes challenging puzzles.
12
DiabloD3 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The MIT Guide to Lockpicking isn't about lock picking, its about how to think as a successful programmer. At least, thats how I've always viewed it.
13
jwingy 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm going to study this and use it. Not for malicious purposes mind you, but I just moved into a new apartment where my door is ALWAYS locked. You can imagine I've accidentally locked myself out a couple of times such as when a angry gust of wind slammed my door shut.

I will call the landlord no more!

14
wtn 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The author could run this through spellcheck…
15
wyclif 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone can learn how to pikc locks.

There's an error in the second sentence of Chapter 1. Not promising.

30
Building a Fashion Company on the Internet? Stop. Just stop. melanie.io
106 points by rokhayakebe  16 hours ago   73 comments top 15
1
chime 16 hours ago 2 replies      
> My guess is that the “back-end” supply chain / software / inventory management problems are just not as sexy as the “front-end” consumer-facing problems, or maybe the consumer-facing problems are just more intuitive.

Absolutely! I wrote MRP systems for a pharma manufacturing in Florida and the kind of stuff I had to do on a daily basis far surpassed the complexity of your breathtakingly-beautiful but typical project-management webapp or customized T-shirt webstore. Let me be clear, complexity has absolutely nothing to do with the merit of one product vs. another. KhanAcademy code could be simple as 2nd grade math but nothing I ever write will ever be as beneficial to the world. However, complexity is expensive, takes time and dedication, and rarely pays off in the short-term.

There is a reason most supply chain software installations run in the millions to tens of millions. Here's an example of something I wrote while ago: A drag & drop scheduler in JS, kinda like Google Calendar that lets you schedule production jobs on different equipment, across different labor teams. When you change a single job on the schedule, it auto-calculates the entire requirement for the entire company. Moving one production job up (say shampoo for customer A) could end up in the company losing $500k because one of the ingredients that went into shampoo for A also goes into conditioner for customer B. This particular item has a lead time of 3m from China. And since order for B is significantly larger in amount, every single day of delay is money actually lost because you bought all the other raw materials for B on credit from the bank and now have to pay interest on it, while it just sits in the warehouse waiting for the raw material to be flown in from China.

Of course, this is something you want to avoid in the planning stage itself. And that's what the software does and warns the user within seconds of making any changes. One tiny bug in the code, say it doesn't correctly factor in the internal lead time from QC (this particular chemical needs to be sampled for microbiological contamination) and you just delay the project by a week. Putting up a pretty website is hard work but it is nothing compared to hiring 20 people to spend 3 months mapping out the multi-stage routings for 500 different SKUs. No tech-VC wants to invest in businesses that require a tremendous amount of operational labor. That's what banks are for.

2
bermanoid 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Take, for example, a traditional retailer such as Opening Ceremony. After shipping, merchant fees, packaging, and COGS, they produce an average gross margin around 40% (the industry standard) " after accounting for photography expenses (which most affiliate sites do not have), let's say the margin is around 30%. Whereas a fashion site that generates revenue mainly from affiliate fees will collect only 3-8% of the revenue on each sale. That means that the new, lightweight fashion site must sell 4x-10x more inventory than Opening Ceremony in order to produce similar profit margins. On the hierarchy of risk, figuring out a way to sell 10x more than your competitor in order to just stay in the game is a much larger risk than the inventory management issues of a traditional retailer.

We're seriously comparing B+M company with gross margins of 30% to a lean startup receiving affiliate fees of (let's take the worst case, even) 3% on a product and suggesting that the affiliate has to sell 10x as much "in order to stay in the game"?

Plain and simple, you cannot compare these numbers, they have absolutely nothing to do with one another.

That 3% affiliate fee is as close to pure, unadulterated gravy as you can get in business - it's profit practically from day one, regardless of volume. It's probably being chopped up between three dudes working out of a garage somewhere, whose entire set of business expenses comes down to some electricity, a few meals a day, and a $0.34 / hour large EC2 instance. If their volume went up by a factor of 10, then maybe they'd need to add another few servers (each of which is probably making them thousands of dollars per hour, if it's pegged).

With affiliate marketing, if you've got high volume, your margin approaches 100%, since your expenses are pretty much independent of your sales (unless you're reliant on advertising, which to be fair is another matter altogether) - would it then make sense to say that traditional retailers need to sell 3x as much product to stay above water? No, because it's an apples to oranges comparison.

Now, if you wanted to claim that in order to have similar total profits to the traditional retailer the startup would have to move 10x as much product, we can start talking. But the point is, they don't need as much profit to compensate everyone involved at the same level - that traditional retailer probably has at least 10x as many people employed per unit sold as the startup does, and the startup's advantage there scales much better with increasing volume.

It certainly may be the case that pure-online fashion sites are fundamentally doomed to fail for some reason, but if so, the article offers no real evidence. All we've seen is an argument that would also imply that Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, and most other online product sales businesses should fail, because they all have much smaller profit-per-unit figures than traditional brick and mortars.

3
kariatx 15 hours ago 1 reply      
"In fashion, trust me, that are MANY problems that need to be solved: a highly antiquated supply chain, non-standard, un-linked computer systems, non-standard sizing that varies even within the same line, inefficient pricing methods."

I don't see why internet fashion companies couldn't take a crack at solving / mitigating at least some of these. For example, there are some sites (like zafu.com - no affiliation) that help women find jeans that fit. They can't change the sizes on the jeans, but I'm not holding my breath for the fashion industry to make sizing any easier any time soon.

I also disagree with her claim that discoverability is not a problem. A lot of people are trying to solve it, but I don't consider it solved for myself (or other women I know). I find the choices in women's fashion to be overwhelming (to say the least), and I'm still looking for the more efficient ways to find clothes I like.

I agree with her overall point that the number of trendy affiliate fashion sites is getting tiresome, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't be developed in interesting ways. It may be true that affiliate sites need to sell a ton more in order to compete with "click-and-mortar" fashion companies, but I'd argue that affiliate sites can also be more innovative, flexible, and forward thinking. If you're not shipping or manufacturing, you can iterate more quickly.

4
jfarmer 15 hours ago 2 replies      
So, I'm going to toot my own horn here, because this article is extremely well timed.

(Note: her site is down now, thanks HN! :P)

This line of reasoning is exactly why we decided at Everlane to start manufacturing our own apparel. You just don't capture enough of the value if you exist as a pure discovery layer unless you (somehow) get everyone and their uncle visiting you, looking to purchase, i.e., Google.

The internet does afford you the opportunity to redefine how people shop, but sorry: you're probably going to have to really sell things.

If that sounds rad, come join us and send me an email at jesse@everlane.com

Edit: Just noticed the article is about a month old. So, well-timed, but not timely.

5
ig1 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This article misses a huge point, it assumes <10% affiliate fees are the end game for these startups. If one of these startups manages to get significant market share, what stopping them from building a supply chain down the line (or acquiring someone who has a good one) and using that to tripple profit margins.

It sounds to me that these startups are thinking "lets not waste a lot of money investing in a supply chain (ala webvan)". The quality of your supply chain might help you drive down costs, but it's going to do little to increase your market share.

The marketing and shop-front are the biggest factors that are going to impact market share, so it makes much more sense to focus the investment in those areas and outsource everything else until you're ready to expand. VC's aren't stupid, they're looking at the bigger picture.

6
switch 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Not really a well thought out article. Here's why -

1) Why should anyone care about solving the problems that the writer of this article wants to see solved?

2) She fixates on the 3-8% that affiliate sites make without considering a few things:

a) Sites make that regardless of where the user actually buys. So if someone comes to your site and decides to buy a jacket you make money whether they buy it from Retailer A or Retailer B.

b) It's usually 10% for fashion sites and once you are driving larger volume you can cut deals for 15%.

c) If you become the decision engine (something Google and Bing are trying to do with their Flight Search and other initiatives in various verticals), then you can easily take over the entire business.

If people are coming to you and you help them decide what to buy - then you can start selling them that stuff.

3) The costs and barrier to entry is much lower if you are trying to fix the discoverability problem.

4) The real problem, and the most important thing, is the role of fashion. What fashion really does. That can be tackled completely in the online world through a website.

5) Fashion is a market that is going to make a lot of startups a lot of money.

Things that signal status (such as special electronic brands and designer bags and Grey Goose vodka) are never going to go out of style.

Instead of listening to this writer's advice, any company going into fashion should look at how backward thinking most people in the industry are, how little they understand technology, and how they are unwilling to admit the core purpose of fashion.

The easiest entry is discoverability and influence and that's also the most powerful element of the fashion ecosystem.

If you become the discovery engine and the decision engine then it's game over for everyone else.

All those VCs funding fashion startups are not idiots.

7
diolpah 13 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a good read, and the author hits on some solid observations about the online apparel industry.

That said, I am shocked about the claim that a single VC has funded an apparel retailer recently. I am in this industry, and I can assure you that it is about as unsexy as one could get from a VC perspective.

I would love to know who all these recently funded apparel businesses are.

8
girlvinyl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One of the three cited examples of success in the article - One King's Lane - isn't a fashion/apparel retailer at all. It's a home decor and furniture flash sales site.
9
Hisoka 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with her ideas for the most part. You need tremendous scale to make something like ShopStyle profitable. But even if you sell stuff, it's hard to differentiate yourself from the crowd as well.. and if you do software for the back-end.. ugh.. maybe it's because I'm into consumer web, but I can't imagine how to market to those type of companies who have age-old processes that are incredibly hard to overthrow.
10
colinloretz 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The best example of a fashion startup I've seen is Indochino (www.indochino.com). They were faced with many of these issues and have gone and taken full control of their end to end supply chain. They are selling "physical fucking product" but they are making it more personalized and custom tailored (pardon the pun), direct to the customer. I don't have much need for wearing a suit these days, but the moment I do, they will be the first and only place I go.

In the beginning they even offered education to their customers around things like 1) selecting the right suit for the occasion 2) various types of ties/ways to tie a tie 3) type of cuffs, etc. They seem to have gotten rid of the education aspect of the business but I found it really helpful as someone who like fashion but doesn't know much about it.

11
andreasklinger 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I run a fashion startup involving sampling, serial production and fulfillment. I couldn't agree more with Melanie.

The risk aspect sizing and inventory management is a bit downplayed imho. Stocking breaks necks. Good merchandising is more important than breathing oxygen.

Btw i would also appreciate HNs feedback on my company: http://www.lookk.com - if there is interest i could do a "show hn" post.

12
reinhardt 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The start-up I am contracting for is in a similar business (homeware and interior design) and has recently made the same decision to shift focus from a low margin, high volume affiliate model to a low volume, high margin "boutique" model. Curious to see how it pans out.
13
badclient 15 hours ago 1 reply      
What companies is she even talking about?

Because the best fashion-related startups that I am aware of are super revenue and retail focused. I am talking about renttherunway, or this other startup that sells subscriptions to product trials etc.

14
shaanbatra 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"In the end, Fashion 2.0 is really not that much different than Fashion 1.0, in order to win, one must focus intently on building a better product that solves a real problem " you know, just like every other successful business in the world…."

So true. People are so focused on 'social' that they are ignoring the real problems.

15
astrofinch 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Wouldn't you want to solve the customer acquisition process 1st and then re-factor your supply chain once your customer base is large enough to warrant the effort?
       cached 18 September 2011 18:02:01 GMT