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> employers can't lowball my salary, because they have no such leverage like they do in US with H1-B visa

They have to pay you at least the average wage for your position, experience and area.

At least from the other H1B folks I know, all of them get above average salary. There is a lot of indian body shops doing consulting (infosys, ...) that are super shady, but if you work at a 'regular' US company, you should be fine from what I've seen.


One big takeaway:

When every single "personal finance" site tells you that having an "emergency fund" of 3+ times your monthly costs (rent, food, insurance, ...) is very important, they probably are right :)


Honestly, I often hesitate to just take personal finance bloggers' word for this kind of stuff -- most of the time, personal finance/"early retirement" personalities write about it because they've done very well with it, which makes sense. But most of the time, they've done very well with it because they have made astronomical amounts of money: $100,000 on HN isn't an earth-stopping amount of money, but a $100,000 salary pretty much anywhere else is an absurd number.

Not everybody is going to pull in that much at their job -- on average, probably less than half of that. Anyway, my point is that those bloggers are probably right, sure, but they're right for their circumstances, which are frequently very unusual.


Plus they decided to have no children. Otherwise the equation is probably a bit more problematic :)

And if everyone decided not to have kids at the same time, things would get problematic for everyone shortly afterwards.

Is there any chance of ever getting an IOS client to browser backups again?

I love arq, but I always have to keep a 2nd kind of cloud sync going to be able to view files from backups while on the go.

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Don't know, sorry. Haven't gotten that many requests for it and lots of other stuff on the list.

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At least this says 1993:

    $ whois pizzahut.com | grep Creation
      Creation Date: 07-dec-1993  
      Creation Date: 1993-12-07T05:00:00Z

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Domain registration doesn't imply website creation.

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That's a cool trick. Didn't know you could do that.

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Whois or Grep ?

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I don't think Confluent really counts as "non-LinkedIn team" :)

"Jay is co-founder and CEO at Confluent. Prior to Confluent, Jay Kreps was the initial developer on several open source projects, including Apache Kafka, Apache Samza, Voldemort. He was the lead architect for data infrastructure at LinkedIn."

(Martin Kleppmann also has a LinkedIn background)

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Ahh, thanks - I checked that the speakers weren't currently working for LinkedIn, but I didn't look further into their backgrounds.

Oh, well. I still hope to one day read about someone else using Samza in production.

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Here are a few production users: https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/SAMZA/Powered+By

The Metamarkets team wrote a nice post on their use of Samza a few days ago: https://metamarkets.com/2015/simplicity-stability-and-transp...

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Interesting, I would be very interested in learning more about Metamarkets transition to Samza, as 1 yr ago they were using Storm instead [1] [2]

Or may be they did not transition and are actually using both, I don't know

[1] https://youtu.be/3Qb_2GGRz24?t=20m24s

[2] https://storm.apache.org/documentation/Powered-By.html

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I never quite got what "it takes x gallons" actually means. Where does the water go? Does it get sucked up by the plant somehow? Does the plant split the water into oxygen/hydrogen and those get bound to some other atom? Does it just disappear into the ground and end up as groundwater? Does it just evaporate and rain down somewhere else? Does it end up going to a river and ending up in the ocean as saltwater?

(Actual question)

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This USGS website explains the various forms of water loss...

https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleevapotranspiration.html

Assuming the farmers are irrigating efficiently then most of the water is being lost to evapotranspiration aka the plants sweating it out through their leaves. Almond trees let more water escape through their leaves than say a cactus might and that is why it takes more water to keep them healthy.

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So I guess the main problem is that the rain might fall somewhere else that is not California and we now have to move that water back there because otherwise they'd run out.

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I still think that water desalinization improvements should see a lot more funding... and that cross-country water pipelines from the areas that commonly flood over, to the southwestern US should be started.

Combined with wind and solar power, this can be used as a fuel source (hydrogen storage)... it's rather short sighted that such efforts haven't been made in this country starting years ago.

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Can they not put plastic covers like that around the trees and capture water that way? Or does that kill the tree?

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It evaporates through the leaves of the tree, as the plant respires. One tree produces X amount of almonds/year, and requires Y amount of water to stay healthy. Y/X gives you the water-per-almond.

Most of what makes up a tree's physical substance is pulled from the air, but it still needs some nutrients from the soil and water to move those nutrients in order to survive.

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So if it evaporates, as in the parent question, what does "requires 1 gallon of water" mean? One gallon goes back in the air, right? It will presumably end up as rain? So the net loss of water is 0, or am I missing something?

Is there some loss that is permanent or slow to recover, here?

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It means that one gallon of water that could've been used elsewhere in California during the period of growth went into the clouds and is likely going to rain down a few thousand miles away.

The point of the "n gallons of water per x fruit" is saying that one certain crop is incredibly inefficient with its water consumption, and it'd be better to use it on something else. It's like saying a bloated web browser consumes 500 MB of memory/tab. Your memory isn't gone forever after you use it, but so long as you're using that browser or growing that crop, it's draining that resource away from other applications. You probably only have 8-16 GB of memory to use at once, just like a region only has N gallons of water it can use at any one time.

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That gallon of water used to water that tree right now is not available to me to shower, drink, or flush right now.

The water becomes immediately unavailable until it returns to the ground as rain somewhere or someWHEN else.

Sure, looking at the big picture the water is never actually "lost". Until you can plumb my domestic water into the clouds directly, the big picture is irrelevant. All that matters is the water that is available in a potable form for me to drink right now.

In financial systems, we might come to an arrangement that I will pay you Friday for a burger Tuesday. With water, it doesn't work like that. If I don't have water now at the time I need it, there is no use promising me water late next week.

And when it comes to a decision between me having a litre of water today for me to survive on, or saving your thousand-dollar almond tree, I will unashamedly pick me.

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In a localized sense, the loss is of the water that's readily available for use in that region. I suppose you could think of it as a sort of "debt," where you measure the loss in terms of energy or dollars required to restore the water at the rate it's being consumed, for instance through desalination.

I suspect it's just simpler to call it "loss of water."

Another way to think about it, is that farming has historically occurred in places where there are decent natural growing conditions: Climate, soil, and water. If you let the water go somewhere else, through evaporation and rainfall, then you might end up having to maintain growing conditions artificially by bringing the water to where there is decent climate and soil. And again, you could measure the cost of doing that as a "debt."

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I don't think anybody is claiming that California's drought is due to a violation of the principle of conservation of matter, however rain that falls on distant lands is surprisingly useless.

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I guess the main problem is that the rain might fall somewhere else that is not California and we now have to move that water back there because otherwise they'd run out.

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This would be true if they were actually getting rain, and they were using surface water, but that is not the case. They are in the middle of a drought, and they are using ground water, which replenishes very slowly.

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The water cycle has a net loss of 0, but only on a global scale. Water that is expired by a tree and ends up as vapour in the air does not precipitate straight out again, unless the air is already completely saturated (ie: it's already raining/snowing). That water will indeed come down again... somewhere.

In general, something needs to change for the water vapour to turn into rain, like changing altitude from passing over a mountain (reducing temperature and pressure), or the air stream combining with a colder one. Deserts tend to be flat and featureless, so there's little in the way of atmospheric change as you pass through them.

An interesting example of this is the continent of Australia - the most populated part is on a thin strip on the east coast as that's where the water and hence arable land is. But the air moves across the continent from the west - in general, the air crosses an entire continent before giving up it's water. It gives up that water because it hits the long strip of mountains slightly inland from the east coast, which changes the conditions appropriately. But until it hits those mountains, the entire overland journey is very consistent for the vapour, so it stays as vapour. There are several mechanisms at play here in dumping the water from vapour into rain - check out wikipedia, I couldn't do them all justice.

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I don't particularly enjoy poetry (or poets for that matter), but I always liked reading "Algorhyme" by Radia Perlman, the inventor of spanning tree network protocol

    Algorhyme

    I think that I shall never see
    A graph more lovely than a tree.
    A tree whose crucial property
    Is loop-free connectivity.
    A tree that must be sure to span
    So packets can reach every LAN.
    First, the root must be selected.
    By ID, it is elected.
    Least-cost paths from root are traced.
    In the tree, these paths are placed.
    A mesh is made by folks like me,
    Then bridges find a spanning tree.
    
    - Radia Perlman

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This is a great one, and one that often comes up when I tutor students. It's even better if you can teach it as a sing-along.

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What's the tune?

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I wish I had a better answer than "I make one up as needed", but I have more of a filking ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filk_music ) background than any actual musical training.

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nice to see another filker on here :)

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I remember that this seemed very appealing when I first looked into a place to buy ETFs. I then opened the Schwab account because I really enjoy their checking account and they are, as far as banks go, pretty solid and not prone to screwing customers over.

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I personally use Charles Schwab (just because I have my bank account with them) and Wealthfront to invest in ETFs.

Schwab is comparable with Vanguard in terms of fees and ETF availability, so I never bothered with opening up an extra account at Vanguard.

I use Wealthfront to diversify my ETFs. They take care of distributing the money I put in the account among several areas of the market (U.S. Stocks, Foreign Stocks, Emerging Markets, Dividend Stocks, Natural Resources, Municipal Bonds and Cash).

They mostly use Vanguard funds. I could probably also do this myself, but I don't really want to manually balance my portfolio every time asset classes go up and down. So far I only put the amount of money in there that they manage for free. If you intend on signing up, one word of caution: I signed up on their homepage and had 10k under free management. If you sign up via a referral link, you get 15k. I'm still slightly annoyed that I didn't use one when opening an account. I know that it's against the usual HN policy to post them, but since it is detrimental to sign up without one, here we go: http://wlth.fr/196dDW2

(I'd check with my friends first to see if one of them is already on the platform)

p.s. this is US centric.

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I've tried both Wealthfront and Betterment and found Betterment to be much more usable. It's out-performed Wealthfront in the past 9 months or so (but over the long-term my guess is that they'll both perform similarly) Have you tried both? http://danielodio.com/betterment-vs-wealthfront-which-one-wi...

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I looked at both of them initially. As far as I recall, at least back then, the fee structure for people that initially only have a small amount of money invested (10k or so), Wealthfront was slightly better.

I also like Wealthfront's UI. Not that I'd do a whole lot besides click the "add more money" button and look at the graph. Turbotax import worked nicely too.

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Looking at fees I think you will be better off at Vanguard if you have at least 10K. You can also get Vanguard Target Retirement with 1k and expense ration of 0.18.

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There is an entertaining public fight going on between Wealthfronts and Schwabs CEOs about their robo-investor options. Once the big boys get involved I have a feeling Wealthfront, Betterment and others are going to feel the pinch. Schwab has their offering now with zero fees (except for those from the ETFs owned).

https://intelligent.schwab.com/

I have a test amount of money at Betterment now, but am researching about moving it to Schwab.

The best thing Vanguard ever did was drive down costs across the industry.

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There are some downsides to Schwab's zero fee robo, from Wealthfront CEO's perspective: https://medium.com/@adamnash/broken-values-bottom-lines-3d55...

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If you're going to post the argument, probably post both sides :)

http://www.aboutschwab.com/press/statements/response-to-blog...

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These are the two posts I still have on my "read later" list. I assume both of them are pretty good compared to other options (stock picking, mutual funds, ...) :)

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Schwab forces you to keep at least 6% of it in cash, which is an incredibly bad idea and does do significant damage to your long-term returns.

The rumor mill is that this is how Schwab makes profit instead of advisory fees.

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Do you have any backtest links that show a small cash position 'is an incredibly bad idea'?

A small cash position is another diversification strategy. As your portfolio increases in value, taking some profits to cash and then having it available on the dips may be perfectly valid. Buffet himself has called cash the never expiring call option.

EDIT

Schwabs CEO defends small cash position.

http://www.aboutschwab.com/press/statements/response-to-blog...

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How does this compare to target retirement funds?

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As far as I understood, target retirement funds will switch the allocation from stocks to bonds once you get close to retirement. With the robo advisors, you'd have to manually move your risk tolerance downwards.

I personally would hate to have that happen in an automated way. I don't want the fund to automatically move over during an economic downturn. I'd rather have it happen while the S&P is at a new high :)

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Yay Schwab!

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