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I asked the founder about returns and how they'll handle customer support issues in his reveal post a few days ago. No reply.

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Magic appears to be using the tried-and-true method of Twitter support: http://twitter.com/tweetmagicnow

Which is funny because part of the value proposition of Magic is not trying user interaction to an account.

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Take a year out of studying, work on business. If it goes well, great, if not, go back to studies.

Ask yourself, why are you studying? what's it for? A good job?. Why do you want a good job/career? for money? Well here you have an opportunity to skip the qualification step and get straight to the end goal.

I say go for it. You'll learn more about yourself and your worth in one year of business then you ever will studying.

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How are you planning to handle returns and customer support issues?

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By what process does acid/low oxygen cause cancer in your theory? By what sequence of events? Talk me through it.

Aside, the proposed 'cure' of anecdotal relaxing and energy therapies is heavily affected by survivor bias. And without consistent repeatability is unusable in a professional medical environment.

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Unknowns. Its not my theory either.

Think of this like a craftsman. Just like programmers don't use the scientific method to adopt & evolve practices.

It's a cultural phenomena that utilizes anecdotal accounts to advance the practice.

Advantages & Disadvantages. It seems more useful in environments with many variables, like life.

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Did you seriously create a second account on HN so you could keep posting this nonsense without having your primary account take the brunt of the downvotes?

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Without a process you're using correlation implies causation. Which can lead to a lot of wrong turns. Especially when that correlation is based on anecdotal non repeatable massively multi variate data like you said.

Could be true, could be a dead end, don't put as much weight as you did on it.

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Evolution uses a similar process. Life seems to successfully evolve.

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What's the latest science on the cause(s) of autism? Google just gives me the anti vaccination sites.

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One of the biggest issues with identifying cause (and many other topics around autism) is that we apply the term "autism" to a wide range of individuals. You have some who are incredibly high-functioning that qualify primarily due to their lack of social ability.

On the other end, you have some who are entirely non-verbal and often non-communicative in any form, entirely unable to care for themselves, and often have accompanying medical issues (gastro, immunity, etc.).

We call both autism, yet they are entirely different other than a few shared characteristics. Is it likely that both groups have the same cause?

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I am not a biologist, but from the press (yeah, no anti vaccination sites in Germany!) it is

- Do the parents have autism? - Is the father old? - Is the mother old? - Was the child born (very early)? - Did the mother have certain illnesses during pragnency?

http://www.neurologen-und-psychiater-im-netz.org/kinder-juge...

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> (yeah, no anti vaccination sites in Germany!)

I'm sorry, but we have plenty of them. The visibility seems to be a bit lower though. Google for things like "Impfschaden" or "Hirnschrei"...

Or google the people who were involved in the making of this "documentary": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVh4QaDmXB8

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A lot of the talk lately has been linking older fathers to a rise in autism. The theory being that higher chance of mutations with sperm as you get older (and as you have been introduced to more radiation, carcinogens, etc).

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/27/health/mental-illness-risk...

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The underlying causes of autism are still not well understood, and are likely multifactorial and complex. Autism is fundamentally a disruption of the brain's neurological processes. This can occur within the neurons themselves, at the neural synapses (connections between neurons), or at a more structural/neural organizational level. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the diversity of autism is very great and this is certainly recapitulated at even the most basic neurobiological levels. Despite the high prevalence of autism, the complexity and diversity of the disorder has made it hard to study autism in labs, in epidemiological settings, and in treatment settings.

Nonetheless, it's possible to break out the causes of autism into two main groups:

1. Genetics. Based on large twin studies and family studies, it is believe that the underlying between 50 and 80% of autism cases are due to a genetic mutation, set of genetic mutations or otherwise influenced by genetics. The advance of sequencing technology in the past five years has made possible to sequence the genes in the human genome across thousands individuals with autism and their families. This has given rise to the idea that "de novo" mutations, new mutations which arise in the child, are a primary cause of autism. Every newborn has a set of new mutations, which are mostly benign or inconsequential. However, a small fraction of new mutations are detrimental to the production of key molecules or proteins needed by neurons to function properly. Researchers have identified that perhaps 20-30% of cases of autism have a new mutation which could plausibly underly autism. However, these mutations are incredible diverse-- the same de novo mutation is seen more than once only very rarely, and the top 5-10 most commonly mutated genes account for only ~1% of autism. The long tail makes it necessary to sequence tens of thousands of individuals to pick up signal. A second set.

2. Environment. It's thought (but poorly understood) that certain environmental factors, especially during pregnancy, could also underly autism. Alcohol, for example, can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which can present with autism-like features. Unfortunately, this half of the equation is not my subject expertise so I'll leave it at that.

As a note about searching for information: While google can be unreliable, Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/) can be quite helpful.

Some additional resources:

[1] A review on the de novo genetic hypothesis for ASD that I wrote a few years back: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24387789

[2] A large sibling/twin study from California about that heritability of autism: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21727249

[3] A recent large-scale sequencing study for autism (sorry, paywall): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25363768

[4] A review of ASD epidemiology and etiologies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17367287

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That's a huge problem and imo Google should act. This fuels the anti-vaxxers more than it needs to. Education is a key to fight this problem.

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Interesting, wonder if Google's algorithm is even prepared to rank "there is no good answer" as a good result. I mean it's optimized to provide good answers, if there is no good answer perhaps the algorithm just breaks apart completely.

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I mean, there has to be pages that say: there are no good answers (but we also can't say it's vaccines).

Also, I wonder why I'm being downvoted. Google meddling with search results is nothing new, sometimes they're even legally/politically forced to do so. Assuming we get unfiltered results is very naive.

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A whole other issue is their bubble. Once you start clicking certain links etc, Google will take that history into account when sorting the results. Thus you get into a "positive" feedback loop...

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"is even prepared to rank "there is no good answer" as a good result"

Try an experiment, look at this this:

No results found for "cow thiophenol romanesque establishment".

The search result without the quotes seems to just be noise, any random page about cows or romanesque architecture or thiophenols.

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Not to detract from your observation, but just as an aside, I wanted to mention that less than an hour after your comment, googling for "cow thiophenol romanesque establishment" (with or without quotes) lists this very page as the first result. Google must be indexing certain sites (like HN) very frequently.

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Actually, it seems some site called "Hacker News" has a page on that stuff, but accessing it just led to a discussion about Autism in adults. Go figure...

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I have a question that maybe you can help me with.

Why do people care that other people's children aren't vaccinated? If your children are vaccinated they're protected, period. Who cares about other people's children, especially if they have all sorts of unfounded ideas about vaccination? Why not live and let live? Why do people want to force other people to vaccinate their children? I never understood that but I'm sure I'm missing something hugely obvious.

I would vaccinate my children but I don't understand why I should also join some movement that is trying to force other people to do something they don't want.

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Because it's not, "your children are vaccinated they're protected, period." The vaccines are not 100% effective, and an extremely small portion of the population shouldn't be vaccinated. For the sake of the people who aren't immune, it's best if the vast majority of people around them are immune.

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> For the sake of the people who aren't immune, it's best if the vast majority of people around them are immune.

And what is the plan to go about that?

Just force-vaccinate these folks' children, something they vehemently oppose, thus traumatizing both parents and children in the process? What is the proposed plan to go about this in a way that is acceptable to both sides? Or is it the case that these anti-vaxxers shouldn't be respected and should have no rights just because they believe a fantasy? Because if that's going to be the new standard we'll have to have a giant conversation about gods.

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Some amount of kids can't get vaccinated due to medical reasons, it's not safe for them.

And if less than 80% - 90% of the total population are unvaccinated, you get these large outbreaks like we're seeing today. At 95%, it's a lot harder for that happen.

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Quite possibly as wide as the spectrum itself, a recent article i ran into talked about brainscans showing idiosyncratic across people on the spectrum, while "normal" people were more uniform.

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Why isn't archive.org distributed P2P at this point? Instant, massive, redundancy.

Let me download some software and allocate how much of my drive space i'd like to help them with. The software would then intelligently use that space as their distributed backup system. Then they can focus on collection and collation with one less thing to worry about.

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I'll assume IA has 20PB+ of unique data today, going by https://archive.org/web/petabox.php

Let's guess that the average person can contribute some 300GB of their disk space. If IA wants to keep a minimum of 5 copies on the network (probably a safe number given how many people will be constantly dropping out), they need (20x1024x1024x5)/300 = 349,525 people contributing their disk space. That doesn't seem even close to attainable.

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If the goal is perfection rather than triage.

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That's not even a million people.

I originally thought that wasn't a lot of people. However, Folding@Home (which ought to be the most well known share-processing power group) only has 179,234 computers in its network.

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It is, partly at least, check http://blog.archive.org/2012/08/07/over-1000000-torrents-of-...

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"Hot List" looks funny:

http://bt1.archive.org/hotlist.php

Are those torrents totally not moderated?

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That would be Freenet. There's a reason it's considered niche software.

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If you burn out it's gonna take you YEARS to recover, not months. Do your 40-50 hours and stop. The app and startup will be there for a few years but you will need your body, health, and mind for the rest of your life.

Avoid burnout at all costs. Nothing is worse for a software engineer. It will destroy your career and cost you a fortune over your lifetime.

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After the fine/imprisonment are you free to not do it or will they still come after you for the information!

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The new EU rules are only for digital products right? So how about selling a "magic bean" that comes with a free download of whatever you're selling? Or sell a "planting of a seed" service that has a user area that contains special bonuses, like a download of whatever.

Are these workable or too far out?

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Maybe. Some countries have all sorts of anti avoidance rules when it comes to tax.

As a small company, do you really want to go to court because you're selling beans instead of downloads? I assume this will be spotted relatively quickly when authorities do an audit. Also, the larger players, they would never use this.

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The rules apply to digital products AND services (e.g. memberships, cloud storage ...). You'd need to physically ship something to avoid the rules, but then, other burdens (import/export/customs/taxes) come in place.

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What if, and I'm just thinking out loud here, the digital product (software) was free but you had to receive an activation code (by snail mail) to use it?

Terrible user experience for sure, but under what taxation would this fall?

I have read 'masters of doom' last night and I can't believe we used to ship around 'installation disks wrapped in ziploc bags', but maybe it's time to get back to that? j/k

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Grey area IMO and different EU tax authorities may have differing views, just to make things more complicated.

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you also have to pay VAT on physical products when you import them. When I receive a package from the US, I have to pay VAT and customs fees on delivery (unless the sender declares it as a "present", but that's illegal)

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There is usually a threshold under which no VAT is levied (different for each country however).

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There aren't any of those. That's pretty much the point of the EU.

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One workaround is to change your business model and accept donations instead. That obviously won't work for everyone, obviously.

This works because tips and gratuities are not considered taxable consideration for VAT purposes and therefore outside the scope of VAT. It has to be a genuine tip though - i.e. voluntary, no minimum or recommended amount and not a condition of purchase.

There is a platform out there that lets you sell things under this model but I can't remember it's name.

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Physical goods are already subject to VAT in the EU; in many cases at higher rates than apply to digital goods.

You gain nothing by selling beans (with free downloads) except extra costs for you and extra hassles for your customers.

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I've seen reports of people arguing along those lines to circumvent the new rules for now, e.g., selling software on CD that is posted to the purchaser with a free accompanying download. Some are trying a similar strategy without any physical element involved, but instead relying on the presence of some manual step, such as attaching a PDF to an e-mail sent by a real person rather than being a fully automated download.

I haven't seen anyone challenge the validity of the physical product workarounds so far, but note that similar rules are due to apply to physical sales as well as digital ones from next year, so this is probably a temporary reprieve at best.

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Has there been any concrete evidence that the EU plans to extend these rules to physical goods as I've only seen speculation.

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For now, I'm trusting the comments from the various trade and campaign groups on that point. They've been in meetings I haven't with organisations like HMRC, and they all seem to be telling a similar story, though also with a similar lack of detail so far.

I completely agree that some official guidance we can all see and act on is well overdue on this point. There are several issues connected to the new EU VAT rules that are being widely reported but I'm having trouble finding official citations; probably the most important one I've come across is the legality or otherwise of declining to sell to customers in the EU but outside your home nation in an attempt to avoid the whole mess.

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> daily emails ("push") to various "pull" strategies.

I guess push is notifying the user, but what's pull?

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Have a lot of content and "pull" users to the site to experience it.

Part of that is having Yelp-style merchant pages with reviews on them, part is having a lot more editorial and blogger content and part is building in search so you can find, say, "things to do in San Francisco" or whatever more easily.

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