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When I want to understand in a few lines some business or software, I normaly avoid their web site because it's usually just riddled with buz words and a sales funnel to force you to register or get some trial without even understanding what it is or how it costs.

For a good 2-3 sentences description I go on Wikipedia when available.

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>You may have a much better time with an iphone/ipad/ipod touch

The biggest problem with modern intelligent phones, specially apple ones, is that there is zero tactile feedback on the screen vs good old buttons or keyboard.

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While this is true, it turns out the lack of buttons isn't as limiting as you might think. You may not have haptic feedback, but you still have the ability to explore the screen using your spacial/tactile senses. By touching the screen and dragging your finger around you can explore what is displayed on the screen. The phone will read aloud the label of what ever item your finger is touching.

For an much more in-depth and eloquent discussion of touch screens and accessibility, you should check out this paper, slide rule which is the research that the VoiceOver design is based on.

http://openexhibits.org/paper/slide-rule-making-mobile-touch...

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Thanks for the reference. Has there been research on radial menus for this use case? E.g. touch anywhere in the middle of the screen to define the center of the radial menu, then move in a circle to discover the radial menu options. This would reduce the surface area to be traversed. If we ever get haptic feedback on mobile devices, this could be used to signal transition between "pie slices" of the radial menu.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts's_law

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Have you used VoiceOver? Both iOS and OS X versions have a rotor menu that activates with a two finger touch and twist motion to give access to various sets of items.

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I've enabled VoiceOver for testing but had not seen that gesture, thanks for the pointer. It is useful but slightly awkward as you need both fingers to retain contact with the screen while rotating, which is challenging for a 360 degree rotation :)

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You don't have to do full rotation in one go. It's hard to explain, but you basically need to do this (assuming right hand): put your thumb and index finger on the screen, and then do a swipe left motion with your index finger, while having thumb in place. Then lift the index finger, move it back to starting position and repeat. With that gesture you can advance the rotor by one position at time.

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I was surprised by this too, but iDevices are extremely popular with blind people.

This is one of the few places where I give iDevices a lot of credit. Apple knew that touchscreens have certain disadvantages in that regard, and put a lot of thought into features that overcome those disadvantages. The result is something that's in many ways more usable for a blind person than a full-sized computer.

Source: A family member volunteered to help blind students for a while.

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I'm not sure why you're being down voted. I find the lack of tactile feedback annoying and I can only imagine how it must be for someone blind.

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Don't take this the wrong way, but it's obvious from this comment that you've never spent any time working with a blind person on an interface. This idea that a blind person would need tactile feedback comes from a sighted person imagining what it would like to be blind, not the experience of actual blind people with buttons vs touchscreens.

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No offense taken, I am in fact just as ignorant as I appear to be.

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This is just not as big of a problem as you think it is. Most blind folks I know rave about their iPhones and generally don't feel limited by it like they might have with their BrailleNotes or mediocre screenreaders/a11y tools on android. Many iOS apps also have a fairly accessible default state, assuming devs didn't go overboard with custom everything up the wazoo with no care for accessibility.

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I used to work with some blind individuals, and one thing that's hard to relate to is how much more attention they give to things that sighted individuals do not, such as sounds, spatial relationships, etc. I wouldn't think they'd have any problem, for example, opening a specific app on their iPhone solely by its position on the home screen.

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Wouldn't you just use Siri for that? I have enough apps that it's mostly too hard remembering where all but the most commonly used live, so I just tell Siri to open the app. Works like a charm.

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You can get a physical keyboard for an iPad if you want one. Then you get a touch screen and a keyboard.

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At least on Android, you can plug in a keyboard and navigate that way in a lot of apps while using TalkBack.

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>buying something useless and expensive is a very strong signal (like the peacocks tail)

And how did it help the peacocks to feed itself or outrun a panther? You will say "but the ultimate goal was to transfer his genes and he did". Yeah OK, so the ring is a lie and probably first bad financial decision in a future long strike of bad ones that help dudes to get laid and then get trapped in the rat race pay check to pay check.

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The point of signalling is to prove fitness - the peacock can afford to carry around a huge tail because he is fit enough. Women walking on high heels PROVE physical fitness. The point is to create a signal that is hard to fake.

Putting money into a down payment for a house doesn't signal commitment or financial strength. You would have had to pay for housing anyway. Throwing away x times your monthly salary shows commitment and financial strength.

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On throwing away money as signalling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhEpMJ3n_wU

Really, watch it. Both hilarious and sad. And yeah, "wasting" is a real thing (but as far as I know only for drinks).

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Financial security is obviously important, and I might be in a minority here, but I'd like to think that financial strength isn't a good basis for choosing a partner. Depends what you want out of a relationship I guess.

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Financial issues ruin marriages, moreso even than infidelity. "Richer or poorer" is the bit of the vow that might seem easy when you're young, in love and likely to get richer, but if a financial crisis destroys your social circle, uproots your children and severly challenges your lifestyle then it becomes very hard to overlook.

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I'd also observe that "ability to live within ones means" is not necessarily a "richer or poorer" thing. There are those who will always live within, say, 80% of their free income until you literally hit the bottom where you can no longer survive, and there are those who will always live within 125% of their income, even if you give them a 25% raise every single year of their life. The first of these is marriable, the second effectively isn't.

(Note my complete lack mention of any gender whatsoever, or any other characteristics. Regardless of what the population statistics may be based on any traits a person may have, what matters is whether this person standing in front of you can live within their means, and anyone has the capacity to pass or fail this test.)

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Exactly, this is why I said financial strength (by that I mean the ability to buy an expensive diamond ring) in itself isn't as important.

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> I'd like to think that financial strength isn't a good basis for choosing a partner.

You rarely or never see beautiful women dating beggars and homeless people. You often see beautiful women dating the rich.

Draw your own conclusions, but I observe and I see that financial strength is often required for attracting a partner.

Required but not sufficient.

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I agree that this is what can be observed, although it's probably a lot more complex than "being rich = beautiful partner". Either way that's why I said I'm probably in a minority in considering it less important than other traits (such as honesty and kindness).

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Nor the internet and television when they wrote the first amendment.

I find it odd that that judgement gave such importance to the technology available at the time of writing the amendment instead of the spirit of it.

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Non mobile link

http://www.amazon.com/Back-Saver-Wallet-Leather-Wallet/dp/B0...

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Windows 2000 is one of my favorite OS. I barely used XP because I liked it so much I almost went straight from 2000 to windows 7.

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Mine too - All the stability of Windows NT 4, but with the addition of USB so I could use "modern stuff".

Of all the versions of Windows I've ever used 2000 was my favourite.

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Or maybe Apple will release a model of more loosely fitting jeans to put less pressure on the phone?

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I wonder how much such jeans with Apple logo would cost.. :)

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You joke, but Apple did have a clothing line at one point...

http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-80s-clothing-line-2014-...

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iPants!

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I wish I was able to take naps. Do people can really fall asleep on command just like that when they have some spare minutes in their day? Shit, even when I am sleep deprived, I can barely fall asleep in my own bed, sometimes it literally take me hours.

When I manage to take a nap it's usually involuntary by falling asleep in front of the TV.

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It just takes practice. For a nap, it helps to unwind quickly by focusing on deep breathing and allowing your mind to wander.

During a nap you're not trying to lose consciousness as if you're "totally asleep" either. It's almost like you're hypnotizing yourself into a deep state of relaxation. A pair of sunglasses or sleep mask can also help to reduce any daytime light to make it easier.

Practice it for a year, you'll be an expert after that and have a highly valuable skill.

This guy has all you could ever hope to know on becoming a Master of Sleep: http://www.supermemo.com/articles/sleep.htm

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I agree, it takes practice. I can't let my mind wander though. If I want to take a nap in the middle of the day I have to consciously visualize something. The visualization that has worked best for me over the last year has been sitting in my childhood home, assembling the tail section of a scale model Su-24. The end product looks a lot like this one: http://paperwings.orgfree.com/su24/index.htm (except I never finish it, just doze off)

The sleep is worth the practice :)

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Well there is a right and wrong way to let you mind wander. The right way is what is taught in Mindfulness meditation. It requires hard training, and I'm not very good at it (yet I hope).

The "trick" is to let you mind wander without intentionally thinking about anything, but just letting thoughts float on by without getting attached to any one of them. Just notice all the different things your mind is bringing up, and let it happen, without grabbing hold of any one thought.

My big problem is that I have a strong inner voice that is explaining or narrating almost all that I do. This voice if focusing my thoughts, so I need to stop talking inside my head for this to work. I kind of just need to shut up and watch my thoughts instead :)

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Just a note: that inner voice is also a thought. A strongly habituated one, certainly, but still just a thought. You don't need to stop 'talking', just take a step back, so to speak, and watch that voice and it will gradually dissolve on its own (over time, it will get less demanding on your attention).

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This has sometimes worked for me when I'm trying to fall asleep. When I'm successful, it's like I'm letting go of the narrative of my own thoughts, and instead just seeing it unfold. Eventually, I start to feel as if the thoughts are drifting into a dream, as I start to feel engulfed in my thoughts rather than just observing them unfold.

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> I can't let my mind wander though

I force myself to. I just simulate what happens when I really start falling asleep. I create random thoughts and I chain them as fast as possible.

Example:

If I break the ice with my hammer the calendar will fall on monday, but I have to escape from a huge mountain today, etc... Works super well for me. If I really need to sleep I'll use that technique, if I'm not sleepy I can do that for like 20 minutes, I have to focus not to think about something and just think about those random and nonsense stuff and I will fall asleep eventually.

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When I finally manage to fall asleep, I can't remember the next day how I did it.

I've noticed it is often preceded by having some thought, then 5 seconds later realizing that the thought I just had makes absolutely no sense. I guess that's the reality testing switching off.

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For me it was refinement. I was always an easy sleeper (> 3min i could be a sleep). But when stress piled on, it made my mind more of a clutter. So I started picturing a black background and drawing a number 1. But i had to draw the most perfect 1 I could visualize. Serifs, font what ever you want, just perfect. I would time it to my breathing. So 1 would be done in one breath (inhale and exhale). Then 2, then 3 etc.

The catch? if i had stray thoughts, i would have to start back at 1. I never get that far (101). But i always managed to clear my mind and fall asleep.

After reading about other people's techniques, it seems i stumbled on things like breathing and visualization.

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> It just takes practice.

In the same way pole jumping without arms or legs "just takes practice".

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You could try not watching TV, using a laptop, or reading in bed.

For me, when I stopped watching TV and doing things on my laptop from my bed, I very quickly noticed an improvement in how quickly I fell asleep.

Another big one is exercise. I notice that when I exercise I have a much easier time falling asleep than on days that I don't, I now try to exercise every day.

I also got older over the past few years, which in and of itself could explain things, so, I suggest experimenting to find what works best for you.

Edit: typo.

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This. A bed should serve for only two purposes; sleeping and we all know the other.

Watching TV, laptops, reading, etc... do not train your brain that the bed is for sleeping. Now I lay in bed for a nap and I will typically zonk out in a couple of minutes.

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I find that reading fiction in bed is a great way to fall asleep. Nothing technical or business related, though, that's a guarantee of a short and poor sleep.

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For me reading fiction in bed is a great way to fall asleep... the next day at work. I lost countless hours of sleep at night and productivity during the day thanks to people like HN's own cstross, who absolutely, positively have to create captivating, entertaining and addicting pieces of writing...

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Have you tried 'paradoxical intention'? It's basically convincing yourself that the goal is to stay awake, instead of falling asleep. It gets rid of some of the performance anxiety surrounding falling asleep, and tends to force you to focus on something else (keeping awake). It has helped me in the past!

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Aha! I know what you mean - I have noticed such situations several times.

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Afaik it's an illusion.

When I'm not sleeping alone, the other people tell me I'm snoring after 10min lying around. But I cant remember falling asleep, snoring OR waking up. Just That I had my eyes closed and tried to sleep.

So I guess, I cant check for my self that I'm asleep...

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I've had the same experience when sleep-deprived (which is really the only condition in which I can nap). I'll grab a couch at work and recline and close my eyes. What follows is perceived as a relatively brief period -- twenty minutes or so -- of being somewhat abstracted from reality, with my mind operating in that semi-dreamlike state you sometimes get when waking up slowly. Then I'll open my eyes, slightly fuzzy but less tired, and go back to my desk to find that 60-90 minutes have passed. (This is almost always in the context of work-related sleep deprivation, like being in a crunch on a project or up late because of a crisis, so I've never gotten any guff over it; in any case, it happens very rarely.)

What's interesting is that I definitely feel like I'm perceiving the world with some continuity during that time -- I'll hear coworkers' conversations, people walking around, etc. -- but apparently I miss things like people coming up and checking if I'm awake, or even the time someone laid my hoodie over me as an improvised blanket.

If I sleep any longer than 90 minutes or so, I just perceive it the same way I do sleeping at night.

The brain is a strange contraption, isn't it?

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When I'm sleeping for >60 minutes, with those states of deep sleep, I really feel like I'm sleeping. But not when I'm just lay on the couch for 20 minutes.

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Ditto this. My wife can nap no problem. I might nap every couple months, and its basically a disrupted sleep and not a nap. I wake up feeling terrible; groggy, mild headache, irritable. I'd have been better off not napping as it inevitably comes when I've got so much to do and no energy and that "if I have a quick nap I'll feel refreshed and be ready to work!" Nope!

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I'm the same way -- every once in a while I'll fall asleep on a weekend around mid afternoon, and sometimes wake up 4 hours later. Then I really feel like yuck for another hour. And I can't fall asleep easily that night either (usually I don't have a problem falling asleep, just not getting interrupted in the middle by the dog wanting to get let out).

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4 hours of sleep is not a nap. The refreshing feeling you get after a nap is completely different from the one you get when you've gone into deep sleep.

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I'm in the exact same situation. If I nap for more than ten minutes I feel awful. I assume my body doesn't know how to deal with naps since I rarely take one.

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How long are you napping for?

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> * Do people can really fall asleep on command just like that when they have some spare minutes in their day?*

It depends on the time of day. I can't exactly fall asleep on command, but I'll find myself longing for a nap in the afternoon, usually around 2 or 3. I can fall asleep pretty quickly then, and usually I'll wake up about 20 minutes later.

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I can't nap, but just laying down for 20 minutes with my eyes closed in a quiet room gives me a huge energy boost.

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Isn't that exactly what a nap is?

Does your awareness reduce? It's hard to notice a change in awareness. Sometimes I notice a transition from haziness to attention when a sound draws my attention. My understanding is that the haziness is a form of sleeping and is exactly what a nap is meant to be. If you fall into a deeper sleep you will get some of the side effects others talk about -- grogginess etc. The length and depth of sleep is related, so I thought that's why you need to be careful to only nap for short periods of time.

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When I nap, even for 20m, I dream. Grogginess comes if I take longer than 20 minutes or so - although if I time it right, I can hit a non grogginess event again after 1.5 hiurs. Sleep cycles, I guess

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Same here,somebody have an explanation?

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You actually fell asleep, but didn't enter a deep enough sleep for you to actually notice it. You can't tell if you're in NREM1 sleep.

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I used to do it on my lunches in my car. Load up an mp3 I made from rainymood.com and some oscillating brown noise on simplynoise.com, put on a sleeping mask and a 45 minute alarm it was great. First few times I didn't sleep much but I did essentially meditate, later on I was sleeping within 10-15 mins.

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Mildly interesting podcasts and audiobooks help me a lot.

Too interesting and you get wired. Too dull and your mind begins to wonder. Some work so well that it takes me several runs to listen completely.

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What helps me a lot is listening to audiobooks I have already listened to. I find for example the Harry Potter audiobooks narrated by Stephen Fry comforting and relaxing.

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I do the same thing - re-listen audiobooks. My favorites are Richard Dawkins and Stephen Fry.

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Hah! I read technical stuff on Wikipedia for the same purpose.

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I'm exactly the same, I find it very difficult to nap during the day even when sleep deprived. It takes me a long time to fall asleep.

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Used to be similar for me.

Until I discovered deep meditation (http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Meditation-Pathway-Personal-Freed...). Summarized: Repeat a chant, such as 'I am' (or any phrase of your choosing) for about 5 minutes, focusing on what the chant-phrase sounds like in your mind.

With the phrase 'I am', you would try to feel the sounds 'A-Y-A-M' being pronounced in your mind, without ever vocalizing it.

Gets me napping within 5 minutes, wake up charged up for a massively productive session. I hope you'll give it a try sometime.

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If I play solitaire on my phone, when tired, it does the trick. I find it's way better than other things, like watching TV or reading random websites or books.

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The article says you don't actually have to fall asleep to feel the effects. Just lay in a half sleep/relaxed state for 20 minutes.

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Yes. If you lay still with your eyes closed and make sure your phone and internet stay quiet, you will fall asleep in 10 minutes or so.

That then leaves enough to get 10 minutes or so of sleep and get back up 20 minutes after starting your nap. Much longer than that and you risk not getting up for another few hours.

Much less than that and you won't get any rest.

And yes, this works perfectly well even without falling asleep. Just lay still for 20 minutes and let your mind wander without distractions or worrying about what you're thinking about. Congratulations, you've just meditated.

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Sorry, but I can't do any of the things you list (fall asleep within 10 minutes whether I'm trying to fall asleep for a nap or to go to bed at night; let my mind wander and not get distracted; not worry).

I have a lot of anxiety, which I imagine is relatively common among the developer and tech community. Sleep and peacefulness does not come easily to me. I've tried taking naps at various points over the years, but haven't successfully taken one since I was about 12 or so. Sometimes I'll even lie in bed for 30, 40, 50 minutes to just try and take a short nap. Eventually I'll give up and wonder why I wasted all that time.

This will happen to me even if I'm extremely sleep deprived, and feel very physically and mentally exhausted.

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Have you ever tried meditation/mindfulness? It sounds like it may help you learn to quiet your mind.

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> Yes. If you lay still with your eyes closed and make sure your phone and internet stay quiet, you will fall asleep in 10 minutes or so.

Nope, well over an hour is my average. And that's at night in my bed after a full day work.

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I've been there. Although every case is different, you may be successful with my approach. I observed that it is much more difficult for me to sleep when very tired, and that I'm awful at auto measuring the time to go to bed. So, I adopted a rigid 7h sleep schedule for a month. I added some exercise (swimming), to guarantee success. Worked like a charm. Nowadays I'm more flexible about the schedule, but vigilant as to whether I'm slipping.

I think the most important thing I did was defining that taking one hour to fall asleep was problematic and then tackling the problem methodically. Seeing a doctor about it was on my scope had I failed to solve the problem on my own.

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Just lay still for 20 minutes and let your mind wander without distractions

Just. I've never been able to do that. I'm always thinking, even when I am exhausted. (Usually then, about how exhausted I am.)

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My secret: short story podcasts. Engages my brain just enough to help turn off the competing thoughts. There really is something to that bedtime story thing!

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This could be due to the momentum of thinking anxiously, or in a forced way in general, throughout the day. If you are able to think at a natural pace throughout the day, your thoughts will be calm, or at least, come to you at a natural pace, at bedtime / nap-time, too.

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> I'm always thinking

Otherwise known as "lettings your mind wander". Just go with it, you don't have to not-think. It is perfectly fine to spend 20 minutes laying down and thinking.

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And what's supposed to happen when it's an hour later and the mind is still wandering but not sleeping any more than originally?

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Try unwandering it? Count from 1 upwards and restart every time your mind wanders off the counting.

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Nothing much? You don't have to fall asleep to feel rested from taking an hour long break ...

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I got the exact same feeling after using it for 2 seconds. Then watched his video demo and understood why he did it that way.

He did the product with tablet users in mind.

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You can probably use a wacom tablet instead of a mouse. It makes it a lot easier to draw freehand.

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Can I fight back?

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Yes, if you click them it keeps track of your kills and actions-per-minute (APM) :)

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Click on the o's.

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