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I'm living in Leeds at the moment and I'm working as a technical marketer at a technology driven small business. We've had little difficulty finding quality developers. While wages are 10-15%~ lower here than in London, the low cost of living more than makes up for it.


Agreed. There are hundreds if not thousands of developers in Sheffield/Leeds/Manchester etc. The vast majority of these developers are in Digital Marketing (websites for other companies) and not really in any kind of startup or technology company, but I know they would want to do that instead.


Have you considered that the reason you're having trouble is because you think that wages are 10-15% lower than London? You are competing directly with London. Therefore you should probably just put "London Comparable Salary" in your advert and see how that works out.


in my experience, I was working in Leeds and now I'm in london, the difference is higher than that, at least 30% more, but I have to say my life was better in Leeds.


Interesting. Is that doing a direct comparison between Leeds and London?

Also - if you don't mind me asking - why did you prefer your life in Leeds? I do really like it in Leeds, but the lack of meetups and networking opportunities are quite disappointing, so I was contemplating a move to London for a year or two. I'd love to hear about your experiences.


This is my experience: I spent three years in Leeds (1 master+2 working) and one in London.

Maybe I had a deeper emotional connection with Leeds, I went there to study for a master, the first experience out of my country, I made loads of friends. It was easy to do anything I wanted, studying, have fun, visit other places... When I moved to London find a decent accommodation for a decent price was hard, moving around is time consuming, everything requires more time and it's more complicated.

Leeds is not a small city, but everything is close, I used to walk to go to work (20 minutes). The city center was close and small, I rarely used cabs or other vehicles.

London is huge, you can find everything you possibly want, but everything is far. I'm quite lucky, I work in the city center and my commute is 40 min, I have a colleague that commutes for 1h 15 min and he thinks he is lucky. All this erodes your free time.

London has like 10 million people and a lot of tourists,so it's always busy: having so many people around makes me stressed.

I went to some meetups and I was partially disappointed: a lot of them, despite looking interesting, were in fact boring and without substance.A few of them were really good but I stopped now cause I don't have enough time and energy. I'm not good at networking, I chat when I'm at conferences and meetups but usually it ends there as I feel that keeping in touch is not worth the effort (with a few exceptions)

The big plus for me is my job: I'm doing really interesting things with really good people and that's why I'll stay here for another three years at least

London is not perfect but it's really the capital of something, you can feel it, it's definitely a good thing to spend some time here.

Do ask me if you have more questions


I had something similar happen myself, albeit not as bad your experience.

While doing a warm up set of deadlifts (I think it was 120kg x 5 - I was working up to 180kg x 5, iirc), I lost my concentration for just a second on the third rep and my form broke down, leading to a pulled muscle in my back. It took me three or four months of stretching and rehab to fix it.

Squats and deadlifts are awesome exercises, but they need to be done with 100% concentration. A single second of lapsed concentration can, potentially, lead to a lifetime of problems.

I still squat and deadlift today, but I'm super careful when I do so. If things don't feel right (e.g., my concentration is slipping, the bar feels heavier than normal), I walk away and go home. I'd rather play it safe than hurt myself badly.


> 'The quality is also higher than pirated content because they have a fantastic encoding off of source material.'

This couldn't be further from the truth. x264 .mkv encodes look significantly better than the iTunes versions.

For example, from Pacific Rim;

x264 - http://imgbox.com/abwySllC iTunes - http://imgbox.com/adgle3KK

x264 - http://imgbox.com/abm2Jr9l iTunes - http://imgbox.com/acpmeiCt

The difference is night and day, in my opinion. The homebrew encodes usually come with higher quality audio, too.

Funnily enough, I have a Netflix account, an Amazon Prime account, and a Lovefilm account (UK based DVD/Blu-Ray rental service). Despite having all these services, I still prefer to pirate movies because it's simply more convenient and the quality is better.


I wish I was having as good a time as you are.

I was on o2 for 3-4 years before being transferred over to Sky last month. Since transferring, I've had nothing but problems. Online gaming pings have gone from 20 -> 50, download speeds have fallen 20-30%, my connection frequently hangs (Youtube is near unusable), and I now have issues loading websites from time to time (I had to refresh Google 3 times before it loaded earlier). To make things worse, Sky is charging me £15.50 a month while o2 was only charging £7.50.

Thankfully, BT is installing fibre in my area so I should be able to jump over to plus.net sometime soon. I can't wait.


If it's unusable, tell them and say you will stop paying for it as it doesn't live up to their advertising. Your rights are protected outside the contract. Threaten to complain to Ofcom if they resist. They'll let you leave and give you the MAC code.

I'm in London and my exchange has Sky LLU support. Coincidentally I live in the same postcode as Sky HQ so any problems, I'll talk face to face with them as I have some contacts.


I did ring technical support to get the issues fixed last Thursday -- apparently a higher level technician will call me back within '10 working days'. Hmm.

I'm not trapped by a 12 month contract, which is why I'm not too annoyed about the situation. My cabinet will get fibre fitted early next month, so I should only have to endure Sky for another month or two thankfully, which is ok by me.


Cool good news then :)


Good article. I've always wondered how many more calories are burned while sitting versus standing. I'm quite surprised by how much of a difference standing makes, to be honest.

Unfortunately, for the moment, I simply cannot use a stand up desk full time. I spend around 8 months out of the year travelling. At home, I have a stand up desk, and I really love it. When I'm travelling, though, I spend most of my time sitting while working at a desk, which isn't too good.

One thing I've found useful is to stretch for 5 minutes for every hour of sitting. People look at me like I'm crazy, but it makes a demonstrable difference. Kelly Starrett goes into great detail about the effects of sitting and how stretching can help in his book 'Supple Leopard'; it's worth picking up, in my opinion. (http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Supple-Leopard-Preventing-Per...).

The couch stretch is particularly good at counteracting tight hips caused by sitting. (http://fitnerdz.com/2013/05/31/fitnerdz-couch-stretch/). Get into position, hold it for 100s, swap legs, hold it for another 100s, and repeat for every hour of sitting. It makes a huge difference to the legs, hips, and back.


Taking a break every hour or so is also good for avoiding RSI. I had RSI pretty bad several years ago, but have recovered completely. Part of the solution was using a break program to help me remember to take breaks for stretches. Currently (OS X), I'm using RSI Guard, which does what I want. More details on my RSI problems and solution here: http://henrikwarne.com/2012/02/18/how-i-beat-rsi/


Yeah I had a similar bout two years or so back.

A colleague had suffered the same problem and gave me instructions like taking a hourly break and doing a stretching excercise (rotate palm downwards and hold it flat with outstretched arm bending slightly upwards against a wall while tilting the head in the opposite direction for thirty seconds in three repeats), worked wonders for me and I've not had any problems since (still doing those stretches, although not as rigorously).


On the topic of anecdotal RSI cures, I was symptom-free after starting a strength training program focusing on heavy compound lifts and olympic lifts. No rest periods or ergonomic quackery required.


I really like the Seinfeld method. It works surprisingly well for me.

I first came across it when I started using 750words.com, a journaling website. The website prominently displays your streak at the top of every page, and there are achievements and rewards for building up longer and longer streaks. At the moment my streak is at 572 days, which is testament to the effectiveness of the method.

Unfortunately, the Seinfeld method, in my experience, isn’t perfect.

For me, it’s only really good for small activities that can be done daily for small amounts of time. I’ve tried using it for work projects on several occasions (for example, doing 2 hours of extra work a day) and I’ve failed every time.

I recently came across a fix, though - http://beeminder.com

Beeminder is essentially a more configurable version of the Seinfeld method. I first tested it on a goal that I’ve tried (and failed) to do several times before - ‘read and make notes on business books for one hour a day, six days a week’. Not that hard, but for some reason, I’ve always fallen off the wagon with this particular goal.

With Beeminder, I found it effortless. There’s something strangely satisfying about adding data onto the website. I ended up completing 30 days without much difficulty.

Since then, I’ve added a ton of extra goals with Beeminder, and I’ve been accomplishing them surprisingly easily. I’ve been gradually ratcheting up the difficulty on each goal (for example: I recently started with the goal of ‘spend 3 hours working on own projects every week’, and I slowly increased the goal requirements at a rate of 3 hours extra per week; currently, I’m doing an extra 24 hours a week without much difficulty on my part), which I find works really well.

I’ve also started using Beeminder for other goals like ‘meditate for 5 minutes every morning’, ‘go to the gym 3 times a week’, ‘cook at least 5 new recipes every week’, 'spend 30 minutes cleaning the apartment 3 times a week', and it’s worked incredibly well for each of them.

Beeminder has inspired a massive change in me in a surprisingly short amount of time. I’ve always thought I had a procrastination problem, or that I’m simply lazy, but Beeminder is showing me that this isn’t the case. I recommend giving it a go.


Thank you so much for the kind words about Beeminder! (I'm a cofounder.) We do indeed view it as a more flexible version of the Seinfeld hack.

I agree that the Seinfeld hack (aka, "don't break the chain") can be incredibly powerful -- but only once you have a long chain to not break. So there's a catch-22 until then -- you can sometimes keep failing again and again indefinitely, never building up the motivating chain. And that problem repeats every time the chain breaks. So you're always in a precarious situation where one bad day can precipitate many more bad days, where you go down a slippery slope of "one more day won't hurt; I'll get a new chain started tomorrow".

(Extreme bias warning) With Beeminder you can commit to maintaining a certain average, like 3 posts/commits/pages/whatever per week. So it's not all-or-nothing like the Seinfeld hack. You can build up a safety buffer and then take some time off, without the danger that that will lead you down a slippery slope of sloth. With Beeminder's yellow brick road you've precommitted to not let your overall average dip too far.

If the rate you want to maintain is exactly 7 per week -- 6.9 is unacceptable -- and if you can sustain that long term, then "don't break the chain" is probably perfect. For everything else, there's Beeminder!


Oh, thank you, sir! Didn't expect to get a reply from the cofounder of Beeminder.

I don't think it's possible for to fully explain how big of a difference Beeminder has made in my life. I was much like some of the folks in this thread (as in, starting projects but not finishing them; struggling to get stuff done), but since implementing Beeminder in my life, my productivity has gone through the roof. It's also given me a lot of self confidence in my abilities, which is pushing me to take on more ambitious projects and ambitious tasks.

The focus on averages is definitely what I like most about Beeminder.

On more than one occasion, I've fallen asleep without writing my daily 750 words, only to wake up 20 minutes later in a cold sweat, rushing to my laptop so that I can quickly write my words so I can get back to bed.

With Beeminder, that's not a problem. I usually have reserves built up, or, alternatively, I can simply put in some extra time the next day.

Case in point, last Friday, I went to the doctors for a routine asthma checkup and they gave me a flu shot that completely knocked me out. It effectively ruined my plans for the day. Instead of worrying, I went home, rested, and put in some extra time on Saturday instead. It's simply not possible to do this with the Seinfeld method.

One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post is that I heard about Beeminder through Nick Winter's book 'The Motivation Hacker'. http://www.amazon.com/The-Motivation-Hacker-Nick-Winter-eboo...

It's cheap, it's a quick read, and it's got some great information inside. I made some notes while I was reading the book - I've uploaded them here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9f6xofet38ka1x2/Nick%20Winter%20-%...

If anyone's on the fence about buying it, it's definitely worth picking up, in my opinion. There's a lot of great stuff in there that I didn't cover in the notes.

Cheers again, man.


Wow, your notes on Nick Winter's book are amazing! I should note (for others) that the book is also fun and fascinating to read even aside from the technical content and concrete advice which you've expertly distilled.

I'm fascinated that you can get so much value out of Beeminder without the commitment device aspect! For us personally that's really key. Maybe for you the commitment device is that if you derail you'll be forced to put in a credit card. :)

I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this if you want to move this to an email discussion. Ooh, or check out the Akratics Anonymous google group. You'll probably love that.


WOH-HO Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope. That is just a flat out recipe for massive credit card charges and a boat load of pain.

They have a monetary incentive to interpret your data as failing to meet your goals. That is a huuuuuuuge amount of trust to bestow on a random company.


It's really important for us to understand this reaction, so I'm glad you expressed it! It does seem super perverse on first blush. We've written about this a lot, actually. Eg, http://blog.beeminder.com/perverse .

Another counterargument is that any company has a monetary incentive to take your money and then under deliver on what you paid for. Beeminder, like most companies, is staking its reputation on providing some value that you'll be happy to pay for and tell others about (like the grandparent post here; thank you again!) and keep using. In Beeminder's case that value is making you more productive (or more fit or weigh less, or whatever graphable goal you have).

Eager to hear if that's convincing!


I'm glad you guys actually recognize the perverse incentives at work here and...

  "Speaking of perverse incentives, we’re often asked about
   our own. It seems that from the perspective of those
   paying us, Beeminder is providing a ton of value and a 
   ton of motivation and the occasional cost of derailment 
   is a fair fee for Beeminder’s service..."

  "in other words, Beeminder is putting itself on the map 
   for exactly one reason: it makes people more awesome.

   But that can lead to the opposite complaint — that 
   Beeminder’s sting is so valuable as to be 
   self-defeating. In other words, it’s hard to be 
   motivated by the threat of having to pay Beeminder if 
   you feel that Beeminder has already earned that money!"
... Ok that only serves to scare me more.

This is a nasty psychological game beeminder is playing. So is GymPact. When people feel they have failed or they are at fault, a part of them wants to provide recompense for that failure. Beeminder and GymPact are not the first to fit this business model. Cable companies do it with wildly obtuse rules, ugly restriction, and massive overcharge fees, all with the line "Well it was your fault, it's written in the rules right here!"

That's what I see to be the problem. Beeminder puts itself resolutely in place as the 'go to' to seek punishment, striking where humans are at their weakest. Of course, rather than hail Marys, the punishment is money.

The fact is, because beeminder makes its money through my failure, it has a monetary insensitive to bring about that failure by any means, real or perceived. http://darkpatterns.org/ exists for exactly this reason! On what grounds do I have to believe beeminder would be immune to such an influence? Because beeminder loves me and wants me to get better?

That is how I saw it, from the outside looking in. I liked the idea, I really did, but with beeminder standing to benefit from the pledge, rather than say, a charity of some kind, I could never trust them.


If they do misinterpret my data, I'll simply go elsewhere. If there isn't an alternative, I'll try to build my own.

I haven't had to input my credit card details into Beeminder yet, so I don't see how they'd be able to take money from me, anyway. I don't use the pledge feature, and I've yet to fail any of my goals, so I've not had any problems on that front.


it's optional? I can't believe the video said you needed a pledge to get back on track! It shattered my confidence in them.


The way we think of it is that Beeminder is a goal tracking service that you pay for, except that if you never need Beeminder's kick in the pants -- if you keep all your datapoints on the yellow brick road -- then the fee is waived.



So... not optional.

I find the way some people are thinking in this discussion to be very off putting.

It's like you're saying the demographic of people constituting your primary source of income are exceptions. That I can think of it is a completely free service since I am incapable of failure. How insane is that?!


I'm confused but I think I mean it the other way around: most users will pay Beeminder occasionally. There are some exceptional people who never ever fail who will never pay Beeminder (and those people apparently didn't really need Beeminder's kick in the pants anyway).


Pledging is optional - I used beeminder for a long time without entering my credit card details, for exactly this reason.


their introduction stated that if you slipped, you would have to pay to get back on schedule, and not on your terms either.

you would have to pony up a credit card number on the grounds that they could charge you if you slipped again. Basically if anything happened, $5, $10, $30

Oh no, my father was killed in south Africa, gotta go! $5, $10, $30, $90, $270, $810, $2430, Oh you were busy? Oh sorry.

If the video was wrong. Well OK. That seems like a horrific thing to lie about.

edit: now with actual numbers!


We do have safeguards for that sort of thing. Like there's a deadman's switch for if you disappear completely. Similar to our auto-canceling subscriptions for our premium plans: http://blog.beeminder.com/autocancel

When people derail at higher amounts we always ask them if they feel like they got that much value out of Beeminder up until the point they derailed and pretty much invariably the answer is an emphatic yes.

We totally understand that this kind of crazy lifehackery is not for everyone though. For one thing, not everyone even has the problem that we're solving, known as akrasia, or acting against one's own better judgment. We also agree that there are many better ways to hack one's habits -- if they work. Beeminder is kind of like the nuclear option if other lifehacks (like the Seinfeld calendar) don't work and you really need to just force yourself to toe the line.


thanks for pointing out to 750words, I just wrote my first 750 words and I'll see how long this will go on for :)


"Oh and of course you can 'customize everything' and here you have 4 examples of the most ugly homescreens I have ever seen on a mobile phone."

Agreed. I really don't like the look of most Android customisations. I think default Android is pretty gorgeous, though.

My homescreen currently looks like this - http://i1.minus.com/iidfIgCTZsXEX.png

The only thing I've added is the widget: everything else is stock. I'm very happy with the way it looks.


What is that widget? It looks great!


You can get it here - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fr.pooley.beta....

You'll also need to install the 'Ultimate Clock Widget' app from here - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.vineetsiroh....



The coolest bit is that I can install both of these on my phone and tablet (which is back at home and not with me) right now via the links you just shared without having to interact with either device.


What's funny is that this feature gets often pointed out as one of the cool Android exclusives, but iOS has it too: you just need to turn on Automatic Downloads in the store settings, it works for apps as well as media and books purchased from the store.

It's more limited, in that it will download all purchases made on any other device (or iTunes) connected to the same account, but it seems like very few people are aware of it.


Apple does not have a web bases store right? You still have to use itunes and download the app to the computer? Android install can be done via the web store from what I understand


you have to do it from iTunes, but you don't have to download to the computer or do any syncing. It works the same way as Android, just from the iTunes app instead of a web browser.


I know you don't need to sync but buying an app in itunes automatically starts downloading it to the computer. That's how I remember it. Has it changed?


I don't know if it still downloads it to the computer as well, but I do know it does start downloading it on your device automatically.


I didn't know about this. It would have been better if I didn't need to launch Itunes though.


If it works more or less the same then I happily stand corrected.


Thanks :)


Very nice screen. I have an iPhone 4S, but I'm thinking of switching to a Nexus 4. I'm glad to see that it doesn't have to be ugly.


Fuck off? There's no need to be so rude.

In the future, use ihackernews.com. It provides a mobile friendly link to stories using viewtext.org. The viewtext.org link for this story (http://viewtext.org/article?url=http://www.cockeyed.com/pers...) works perfectly on my phone.


Google hasn't stated how many units they have sold, unfortunately.

There was a post on XDA developers from a guy claiming to work at the US UPS shipping centers that stated that Google shipped out 17,000 units for the US launch (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=34430979&...). Whether that figure is accurate or not is anyone's guess.


Personally, I don't find the lack of LTE to be a problem at all.

Three's DC-HSDPA network has been excellent with my Nexus 4. I've done a few speed tests and I regularly get between 10-18Mbps down and 2-3Mbps up. It feels really snappy and, at £9.60 a month for a rolling 30 day sim only contract with unlimited data, it's cheap as hell.


>£9.60 a month for a rolling 30 day sim only contract with unlimited data

how? link/info please?

AFAIK the best they offered was £6.90/mo base + £3/mo for unlimited data. And that was 12month contract where you had to call up to add on the data. ?


Ah, apologies. For some reason my brain isn't working too well tonight.

I had it in my head that my contract was costing me £9.60 per month while it's actually costing me £12.90 per month. Doh.



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