Hacker Newsnew | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit | best commentslogin

I sold Bingo Card Creator through FEI (http://feinternational.com) and have nothing but good things to say about them. Something like 20% of their listings are SaaS businesses. The going rate for a SaaS business is roughly 3X yearly SDC ("seller discretionary cashflow" -- revenue minus costs required to run the business as opposed to e.g. the owner's salary, distributions, interest expense, etc). It is closer to 2X for software businesses where the revenue is not by-nature recurring. (Naturally, these are guidelines -- businesses are, like all things, priced at where a buyer and a seller can mutually agree, and certain factors can make buyers very agreeable.)

It is always strange when people who have had an outsized impact upon others die. Prof. Nash wasn't just someone who was killed in a traffic accident. He was someone who touched the lives of many, many people in surprising ways. His work itself has a large sphere of influence that will exist without him, but I'm talking about a more personal kind of influence. He was an example of living to who you could be regardless of what was broken inside of you or what was "missing."

When I was a teenager, I had the good fortune of attending a lecture by Prof. Nash. Although I did not have the maturity to truly grasp what he was trying to explain - the event did influence my later life. I started reading up about him and his struggles with his schizophrenia, the work he wanted to do, the fears he had of never achieving it, and how despite everything he ended up manifesting his work anyway. This influenced my own struggle with teenage depression and made me realise that there was probably more I could contribute beyond the seemingly staunch limits of my own mind. That altered my life trajectory in a "tiny" but measurable way, so that I - a complete stranger - feel moved by the loss.

I'm sure he stands for so much more to so many people and that's a testament to the power of a life well lived.

I was greeted with a "can't play this video in your country" error (in Canada). The irony ...

To me this whole TTIP feels like the US trying to bundle and export their most profitable corporate lobbying results through the corrupt and payed-for US politicians to the EU. Secret negotiations, state-investor dispute, all of this seems organized to help big corporations screw consumers further.

I simply hope the whole thing fails, I really don't see the benefit to me.

Such a tragic loss.

Like many people, I never wore a seatbelt while riding in a taxi. I'm not really sure why, it just seemed somehow to be the social norm and I went along with it. Then one day, my co-worker and his girlfriend were both severely injured while in an accident crossing the east river in manhattan.

Ever since then, I've gotten in the habit of using my seatbelt while in a taxi, car, bus, or whatever. Sometimes I get weird looks from it. Sometimes I find that the seatbelt is buried in the seat because seemingly nobody has used it for months. I do the same thing here in Tokyo and I believe its still rare for passengers to care but at least the cars are cleaner and the belts are better maintained.

It's a bit odd that we (New Yorkers in this case) allow the TLC to push back on those regulations and win.

I think "shut down" means "move to collect via other means which are currently classified". Once the tiger has tasted human blood it is always a man-eater.

They have ONE and ONLY one mandate "Collect all the things".

There is virtually no chance that the NSA will stop collecting this information until there is actual meaningful oversight.

If DNI James Clapper can directly lie to Congress publicly and face no consequences & the CIA is able to spy on the Senators & then whitewash it - there is zero credibility left in any intelligence agency following the rules. At this point we might as well say it - we have let loose the dogs and now are at their mercy.

Loyalty is such a ridiculous thing for most companies to expect. It needs to be earned, and it's not even that complicated. Here's how you get loyal employees:

1. After some probation period, fire only as a last resort or for really terrible behaviour. Have a plan to correct behavior in all other cases.

2. No layoffs unless the firm's very existence is threatened. It's a tough year? Too bad, that's part of the risk involved in being the owner.

3. Keep pay up to market/replacement rates. If someone is 20% more valuable with his new knowledge, pay him 20% more. 4. Have good benefits/vacation policies.

5. Make sure there's lots of interesting and challenging work to do. Allow people to switch roles/teams on a regular basis if they're interested.

6. Hire good people.

That's a company I'd be loyal to, and I think a lot of others would be too. Sure, you'd get people who would leave for their own thing, or a dream job, or because their husband/wife got a job 2000 miles away, but I don't think you'd see people jump ship nearly as often.

The other stupid thing is companies trot out how much it costs to hire a new person, but never want to invest in just retaining their employees.

I live in an equity lifestyles mobile home park near denver. My job pays me income in the 87th percentile of all workers in america. Not a sex offender park here.

The article does not mention it of course but the reason parks and apartment landlords are able to rip off the poor is because the zoning laws all over america have closed off the opportunity to build more mobile home parks and cheap apartments. The fact that over 50% of all voters live in their own homes means that the politicians are able to sell themselves out to landlords and create zoning laws that prevent developing land that would allow placement of mobile homes. It's all about driving up property values and exploiting those who are at the bottom.

America is not really about the american dream of capitalism and entrepreneurship. The american dream of about using the government to put the squeeze on the unprotected ones.

I would go further and comment on trailer park demographics, but I don't want to get downvoted.

It's written by Ken Dilanian, who was accused of being a CIA lackey: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/04/former-l-times..., caught falsifying facts in the CIA's favor and left the LA Times: http://www.nationofchange.org/la-times-reporter-caught-falsi...

Seeing the guy enthusiastically shake his pom-poms for #team-surveillance is a no-brainer.

note: the article at AP, with author credit, is here: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/60c0d988801742cf96cf8d725466c... ... AP gives the publisher the right to modify an article. Doing a fold -w 20 -s allows you to diff them and see the changes. Here they are: http://getpostdelete.com/ap-fold-20.txt and http://getpostdelete.com/npr-fold-20.txt

"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living." -- Buckminster Fuller, 1930

The Senate struggled to prevent an interruption in critical government surveillance programs early Saturday

That is a very strange way to start this article. Consider to what type of government, activity of this sort(unencumbered spying on all of its citizens) would be 'critical.' Is that the type of government you believe the United States has or should have?

Then after making this strange statement and providing no support for it, the article actually goes on to refute the claim. If nearly half of the senators are against it, then it is surely not very 'critical,' is it?

Maybe instead of 'critical,' the author meant to say 'much criticized.'

Remember Flash? Narrow the gap, add a bit of Steve Jobs and Boom! The web Won.

Look at a site like YouTube today. All the tooling we've created and all the progress of the open web platform that has made that site happen is incredible. If we've just given up 10 years ago, saying to ourselves that the web should only be for documents, then we would be missing out big time right now.

It’s not for every site to try and push the envelope. And mimicking native can often lead to bad results. But to go from that and say that we shouldn’t try. That’s just sad.

At ${PREVIOUS_JOB}, I ran a stratum-1 NTP server that got a timecode and PPS signal from a GPS clock. I could tell if someone had left the door to the lab open by what PLL frequency "ntpdc -c kerninfo" reported on that server — the various oscillators in the server would drift above/below their ideal frequencies depending on how hot/cold they were, and the room would get a few degrees colder with the door open.

Very touching post. Good luck with your life.

I wanted to point out a funny thing though. Living in a post-soviet country I can sense my bias that tells me that this is totally ridiculous. Probably the difference between here and America is just so big. This situation is just inherently absurd by the simple fact that selling that iPhone would give me enough money to survive for 2 months paying a rent in a cheap apartment and buying another cheap phone.

Besides that, the most important difference is that we never take such big loans here. Big loans are scary for us. I understand how important they are for developing an economy, but all around me most people would hardly get a loan to buy a car. Even if the economy is poor, people are much more free because they don't take insane debts. I think american culture really needs to remember that debt is dangerous.

Just a quick thought about the abyssal difference between the 2 mentalities.

I've been there. It took me a while to figure out that the media manufactures stories to get eyeballs. Do some digging and you'll find a different story. Once you know the translation key, it is much less envious.

- Overnight success => Decade of work

- Owner is worth an estimated $100 million => Owner is saving for a couch (Kevin Rose said this after his cover story in a magazine)

- Innovative idea => Ripped off a competitor and had better marketing

- Hard work and sacrifice => Lied/cheated/stole to get where they are

As a 45 year old with 30 years of experience in the computer industry, such titles interest me, immensely.

I grew up with Unix.

I remember the days when Unix was a seriously advanced topic, available only to the elite privileged (adults) who were granted access to it as a technological resource only through machinations that were out of my scope of influence, as a 13 year old learning computing in 1983. It was a vast mystery.

It was only with great effort on my part that access was eventually granted in the form of a login over a slow modem. That was enough for me to move to the next phase.

Then, it was a mystery in terms of taxology. I had a near-infinite, seemingly overwhelming number of things to learn - more than what was in my high school curriculum, more than my little home 8-bit computer could teach me, more .. it seemed at the time .. than all the books on my shelf.

Well, it was only a few years - actually probably less than 10 months - until I was able to grasp at least a little bit of the subject, and do something with it. That was enough to propel me into the professional sphere - where I was able to move from a clueless teenager into the clued-up programmer zone.

And then (late 80's) it became a game of "which Unix do you want to know?", and that game was as thorny as any other. I chose Risc/OS (from MIPS, pre-SGI) and it worked out: I gained my own machine (physical hardware) as a result of commercial delivery of products - a few files of .c/.h - which I'd managed to build as a result of eager learning applied to real application.

And then: Linux. This changed the world completely, at least for me at the time. When I first saw Linus' post on the minix-list, announcing his sharing of work I thought completely inapproachable and beyond the horizon, I immediately applied myself to catching up. And then, through the 90's, the commercial applications of these skills gave me an even deeper understanding of the subject - and Unix became less of a mystery and more of a resource for living. And so it was: for a decade I built Unix software, like no other, which resulted in many great things for many great people.

Then, we flipped the century bit, and Unix - in spite of all the predictions from industry experts - was still with us. It didn't just go away because of pop-culture desires and mores, it was seriously entrenched. That 80's decision seemed all the more wise in 2001, when it became clear to me that Unix was not going away.

So I kept at it. I coded all I could. I got a tiBook - astounded, but content nevertheless, that Apple (of all companies) was producing a portable Unix workstation - something that I'd dreamed of for over a decade. And there it was, the tiBook. So I've upgraded my way from there, to my current extremely satisfying device (MBP Retina) .. and beyond that, even beyond my wildest teenage dreams: here we are today - I carry around a Unix workstation in my pocket.

Its my primary means of communication, just like I always knew it would be. It does all the things that I used to do with the Risc/OS pizza box. It does it in a way that makes total sense - a simple interface, like the embodiment of the holy pipe, but at my fingertips.

It has been a challenge, a fantasy, and a real desire to see Unix become what it is today - but its also been a privilege. I think that all of my fellow hackers who professed faith in the technology, must feel the same - at least those who have watched it happen over decades. Truly, a unique human experience.

And therefore I'm really glad to see this article. It has been very enlightening - and as well, personally satisfying - to see that others recognize the power of this technology, which took decades to become the force of power that it is today.

I did an experiment like this in the mid-90s as an undergraduate for a research methods lab assignment.

I showed true and made-up (NPR Wait Wait style) articles to elderly people (over 70, in a care home), printed in one of 3 formats - on newsprint in the font the NY Times uses, on glossy paper in a somewhat 'friendly' font (like comic sans, but less so), and finally in dot matrix, on green-and-white fanfold, all upper case.

There were remarkably few differences in the first two, for either true or false stories, but NEARLY EVERYONE (like, > 85%) rated the computer fanfold printed stories as being true.

One person's reaction has stuck with me to this day: "If it weren't true, the computer would have rejected it!"

Like Patrick, I also sold my company through FEI (http://feinternational.com/) last Fall. Once we got all our information in place, the process went very quickly. We had several interested parties and due diligence calls almost immediately. After that, we had 3 offers. There were a few unexpected hiccups (I think there always are with acquisitions) but overall the process was very smooth and I'd use them again. I'd recommend registering with them and getting to know one of the brokers. They'll start sending you deals as they come in.

A few recommendations based on my experience (YMMV):

- Cash is king. While you should definitely structure the deal with a transition period, an all-cash offer carries more weight than a deal where you are financing some/all of the price. You'll need to show proof of funds too, so make sure you can do that easily.

- Get your attorney on standby. You'll probably need help with offer letters and purchase agreements. Plan on going through a couple rounds of revisions for both.

Feel free to email me if you have more questions.

Because if they got their job done and left they would be fired. If they got their job done, they would be given more work. So one takes the maximal amount of time to do a task given the requirement that they be in the office for 8+ hrs a day.

This is a completely different level than lobbying, this is effectively corporative control.

You enforce labeling of "inconvenient" ingredients on food? That hurts Mamacorp, you're going to be sued. You ban pesticides? Mamacorp is going to sue you. You prevent smoking? Mamacorp is going to sue you. You block eternal copyright? Well, you got the rap.

The thing I find terrifying is that virtually any form of social progress can be interpreted as damage to some company's profit.

TTIP is corporatocracy at its finest.

Honestly I never understood that social norm of not wearing a seatbelt in a taxi. I'm much more confident in my driving skills than some dude yelling in some foreign language on his cell phone the entire time we're driving because at least I'm focused on one thing at a time. Sometimes the taxi doesn't even have visible seatbelts in the back (this is Philly I'm talking about, where getting around regulation is only a $200 bribe away!).

The one great thing about Uber/Lyft/et. al. is how they forced the taxi companies to step up their game and make getting a cab less of a shithole experience, at least here in Philly. Cabs are much cleaner, the drivers are not always distracted with some bullshit, and you can even hail them with an app. Before Uber came around, taxis were well aware that they were the fastest way from point A to point B (if you don't have a bike), and they gave precisely zero fucks whether you were having a nice/safe time.

Also worth reading:

Sick Systems: How to Keep Someone With You Forever: http://issendai.livejournal.com/572510.html

An important rule is missing here: variables should be named with their scope in mind. So if a variable is longer lived and has larger scope its name should be that much more descriptive because when you're looking at it the only thing that will tie the value of the variable to the context within which it can be used is its name.

So 'i' is fine for a loop control variable with a scope of five lines but totally inadequate for something expressing a larger and longer lived concept.

Ditto for function names and parameters to functions, if the function and the parameters are named properly understanding the function is trivial.

So if you write a chunk of code that exports one or more functions that is where your effort should go, that's the public interface. The reduced scope of the rest of the code should make any naming issues much more limited.

This is also why it is good to assign one person on a team to defining the interfaces between the code. That way you get consistency in naming which is a great thing to have in a codebase.

Anecdote time:

I once worked for a game programming company. One of the programmers there would name all his functions and variables for fruit and vegetables. It was his way of ensuring job security. Guess who got saddled with untangling the salad when he left the company.

cucumber(cherry, strawberry, orange);

Good luck with that...

Way to butcher the quote. In full it has nearly the opposite meaning and it's far more intriguing -

  I believe that Mozilla can make progress in privacy, 
  but leadership needs to recognize that current advertising
  practices that enable "free" content are in direct conflict 
  with security, privacy, stability, and performance concerns 
  -- and that Firefox is first and foremost a user-agent, not 
  an industry-agent.

"To enable Tracking Protection in Firefox 35 and later, visit about:config and set privacy.trackingprotection.enabled to true"

Edits -

This quote from the article is interesting, especially considering Google the worlds biggest advertising industry company also has a browser.

"That Firefox is first and foremost a user-agent, not an industry-agent"

It's unpopular in our industry, but I personally don't believe in ownership of ideas or information.

When someone can tell me who owns the number 2, I will tell you who owns our cultural heritage of songs.

Remember: copyright is a legal fiction created by congress that exists solely to prop up industries. Most people don't believe in it, as evidenced by the massive sharing of information on the internet condemned by it.

The whole point of ads is to convince people to buy things that they may otherwise not. That seems like the opposite of helping poor people. Also, if you are struggling financially, ad supported "content" is probably not a major concern in your life, and certainly not a solution to your problems.

> Look at a site like YouTube today.

And yet any media player beats it at its core functionality: video playback.

Often I find myself using youtube-dl to fetch a youtube video and just play it in a regular media player because it just works better than what browsers have to offer. There even are addons to export YT playlists to VLC and stream them.

pdfjs is great. but every 3rd scientific paper I read tends to be somewhat broken (missing diagrams/images) or sometimes fails to render completely. native readers provide a better experience and better render times.

>And mimicking native can often lead to bad results. But to go from that and say that we shouldn’t try.

Maybe sometimes it would be better to provide better integration with native applications?

Native applications and browsers really don't like talking to each other.

"Disrupting poverty" is a mostly solved problem in e.g. the Nordic countries. The solution is a strong social welfare net - which means the poor never fall into absolute poverty - and high taxes to fund that net - which means the rich don't become as rich (doctors for example don't earn that much more than baristas, but medical school is free). Unfortunately most Americans wouldn't support the high taxes part.

Remember when class mobility (i.e. not being poor just because you had poor parents) was the American dream? That dream is now far more alive in Denmark than in America.

On the surface this is a story about trailer parks and the rich profiting from captive renters, but I think the bigger story is this:

"He quotes US government statistics showing that in 2013, 39% of Americans earned less than $20,000 – less than the government’s poverty threshold income of $20,090 for a three-person household."

39% means (Edit: 48,000,000 not 125,162,700, thanks @beachstartup) Americans are living below the poverty line! When you don't have options then you will be taken advantage of.

Our system is failing us, our government is failing us, our fellow Americans are failing us and we the community of Hacker News are failing us.

How do we disrupt poverty (in the USA and globally), disrupt failing governments and disrupt failing communities?

It seems as if our biggest downfall as humans is we don't see how what we do as individuals impacts everyone else and we are all dying deaths of 1b stings. "my carbon doesn't matter", "my investments don't matter", "my food doesn't matter", "my lifestyle doesn't matter", "my impact is so finite", "I'm just one person", etc.


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact