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A bit of personal anecdata: After the first bubble burst, I took a jib at $BIGCO for a slightly higher salary than I was making at the startup I was laid off from. $BIGCO was pretty stingy about raises and bonuses though during the bust, and I wound up leaving for another startup 4 years later with another slight salary bump.

Also after the burst, my roommate and I asked our landlord for a $700/mo rent reduction, and we actually got it.


Python does the right thing under the hood for you. The signal handler you register in Python isn't run in the dangerous context. There's an internal signal handler which just tells the interpreter a signal happened and when control is returned back to the interpreter outside of the signal handler it knows what to do:

https://hg.python.org/cpython/file/c7d45da654ee/Modules/sign...

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I try Hipmunk every so often, the last time being about a month ago. Every time, Kayak shows more flight options for the same query than Hipmunk, and often cheaper ones. I don't get it, they both use ITA on the backend.

I'd use Hipmunk more often if they actually fulfilled their functionality promise as an aggregator. A pretty UI isn't enough.

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Hmm, that shouldn't be the case. If you try again and feel like helping us out, feel free to email the discrepancy to support@hipmunk.com.

Sometimes there is an explanation (e.g. the flight doesn't exist, or has a 30hr layover), and other times we don't have the flight, in which case we want to alert our providers to fix it.

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First discrepancy I found was the first search I ran (LHR - SYD one way Mon 3/11) but I'll try to give a more helpful general case answer.

- Consolidators [that you don't have commercial relationships with] have wholesale arrangements with airlines allowing them to sell tickets below the direct/GDS price. I suspect you're more reliant on ITA results than many other portals or meta-search sites and their prices are trivially easy to beat on competitive routes if you have a broader range of partnerships.

- Some consolidators put together logical itineraries not bookable via GDS or even direct with the airline. As an extreme example I once bought a cheap, logical pair of connecting long haul flights with Saudia via eBookers that Saudia's website wouldn't allow me to book at any price direct with them; I'd guess the airline didn't want to market anything involving a 5 hour layover in an under-redevelopment terminal in Riyadh. There are plenty of less glaringly obvious potential indirect itineraries that consolidators (potentially including Kayak as well as their affiliates) can identify with Innovata's minimum connect time file and schedule data[1] and other providers might have a more liberal view on reasonable connections than ITA

- Sometimes other sites' metasearch results' advantages are purely illusory, based on outdated results they've cached or screenscraped. I find Skyscanner LCC prices are frequently out of date, even though the actual ticket price is also usually cheaper than ITA's. Other sites might also create the appearance of more choice by not combining codeshared flights into one.

As for LON-SYD on Monday Kayak has a lot more results under $1000 than you. It's possible their much cheaper ticket prices with SIA are outdated or geolocation specific, but the cheapest flight they show (a Garuda two-stopper that's no more obviously agonising than your cheapest result but 10% cheaper) doesn't show on your engine at all. Then again, the price with Kayak had risen to only 5% cheaper than your best price when I started the booking process...

[1]disclosure: I sell that data, amongst many other things, although not to OTAs

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I just searched for an intercontinental flight. I made a choice and on HipMunk it says - '...prices are per person and include taxes and fees...'

But when I clicked on the button to book, the price was different (higher) on the airline website.

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Kayak has additional data sources. I don't know the details, but the additional sources is clear enough. This lists a whole bunch:

http://www.tnooz.com/article/kayak-to-google-bring-it-on/

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Skyscanner (http://www.skyscanner.net/), who are bigger here in Europe, do the same thing as Kayak, only more-so - they have close to a thousand separate data-sources which they can query for prices, and they fall back on ITA and Amadeus only when necessary, because those queries cost more. Tends to result in better prices for the end-user, because the level of competition between vendors is phenomenal.

(source: was a Skyscanner employee for a bit.)

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I used to use Skyscanner only for intra-Europe flights, but it's quickly becoming my first and last stop when looking for cheap deals. Really fantastic service.

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used skyscanner quite a bit in europe however it has good prices on flights globally.

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Same here, I think I've taken over a dozen flights, short and long distance in the last two years, and Hipmunk didn't find the best deal for any of the ones I tried. Old Expedia typically came up with the best price, and Kayak and FlightNetwork showed promise. Google Flights is one of my favorites because you can easily browse a calendar and see a graph to find the lowest prices (my dates are always flexible). Also, they have a map, so you can see the prices flying to any other nearby cities or airports to spot great deals you'd overlook. I've never booked through Google though, I just find the flights, then one of the above sites typically finds the same flight for $10 less, so I just go with them because I already have an account. Either way, no luck with Hipmunk, but maybe they work well for domestic US flights, since I have no experience there.

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i just used hipmunk to book a stay this past weekend in the phoenix area. they had comparable or better prices to other sites and i was able to book directly on hipmunk (although technically it was done through booking.com). was a relatively integrated experience for me.

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Where'd you get a "new" one? I'm in the market for a new laptop, but I'm highly disappointed with the changes made to the current Thinkpad line.

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You can find them from various closeout locations. They aren't usually such a great deal (value of unremoved features aside) but the 2392APU I got for an effective $550 is a very good deal.

https://www.google.com/search?output=search&tbm=shop&q=t530&...

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Rdio also uses The Echo Nest for their radio feature, and it's great. I always chalked up Spotify's radio sucking vs. Rdio's radio being so good due to Spotify having shitty integration with The Echo Nest... maybe that will change. One thing that always struck me about Spotify is that they never seemed to put a priority on anything around actual music discovery.

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What if the law was that NPEs are barred from litigating patents, unless the NPE was the original inventor. Wouldn't that solve this?

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That would solve some problems but create others. If it's "original inventor" rather than "original inventor and heirs" you've just created an incentive to assassinate inventors (and a disincentive to invent if you're getting old).

Even if it's "original inventor and heirs", you've created a liquidity process -- if you're a chemist with lung cancer, it would be great if you could sell your novel synthesis in order to pay for your cancer treatments rather than needing to start selling drugs yourself.

And then there's the problem of defining what a "practicing" entity is, of course. Someone who has at least one customer? Someone who has used the invention themselves? Someone who was planning on building a product, but didn't get into YC and ended up working at Microsoft instead while he tries to license his invention to raise money to pay for his next startup idea?

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"original inventor and heirs" seems reasonable.

I don't follow the chemist example. The patent is still valuable to companies who do want to productize it, or even companies that don't. Companies can still buy and hold patents without doing anything with them, it's just that they are barred from litigating them. They can still resell the patent to someone else, potentially for a profit.

A "practicing" entity has either brought a product to market, or uses the invention themselves in the process of building a product on the market. Someone who is planning on building a product but has no funds doesn't get to litigate unless they are the original inventor. Your last example seems to imply that they are the original inventor.

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I think trying to come up with too many special cases is just the wrong approach. Patents are intended to be somewhat property-like, and transferability seems like a completely reasonable thing to me. In fact, it would be quite challenging to prevent transferability without impacting a lot of contracts -- they'd just set up some power of attorney scheme to make it seem like the inventor is a party to the lawsuit.

The root of the problem is more closely related to the imbalance of power in a lawsuit: one party has the ability to subject another to great cost; with little or no cost to themselves, even if they are completely wrong. That imbalance is what makes extortion possible, and this bill seems to be more directly aimed at that problem.

To force the plaintiff to take on more responsibility, perhaps they could go further and require posting a bond for the cost of the trial in case they are wrong. That would prevent them from just setting up shell companies and then saying they can't pay when they lose. The judge can be involved in setting the bond amount, which should help sort out the rest of the problems and keep the incentives reasonable.

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I don't follow the chemist example.

The chemist doesn't want to spend time going around to companies trying to license his technology, and he certainly doesn't want to spend years in litigation. He's busy dying (and/or cooking meth) -- he wants to sell his technology to a company which will do the licensing and/or litigating for him.

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The problem in this case there are many instances where the original inventor is not interested in taking on the risk of sales based licensing and so sells the patent for a lump sum to a third party.

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I agree with everything you said, except that there is one thing missing from Peninsula/South Bay that SF has: lots of choice of bars and nightclubs. That appeals to the single twentysomething demographic that startups are trying to hire from. Hence the demand.

If you want to stay out late drinking and whatnot, public transportation isn't really an option because it doesn't run very late or very frequent. And if you're drinking, you shouldn't be driving so... you live in SF.

To answer the grandfather post, if bars/clubs aren't your thing, no, you're not missing anything.

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Indeed -- there's some very good craft brewers or other speciality places, but in terms of bars and cocktail lounges, SF is hard to beat even compared to other cities (except perhaps Portland and NYC!)

That said Bay Area in general is hard to beat when it comes to food and drink.

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You're right to be skeptical. It made the rounds last month, but it turned out to be a hoax:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/01/quake-3-arena-wor...

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So I heard a bit differently about the FB Chat thing. Facebook likes to move its engineers around to different teams from time to time (if only temporarily) to spread institutional knowledge around and prevent bus factors from being too low. This also is a way to alleviate burnout. There simply weren't enough engineers at FB who knew Erlang to make this practical for chat, so they rewrote it in C++. The Erlang bits were reasonably written and working fine, but it didn't fit into this policy. Any non-mainstream languages wouldn't fit, this isn't something about Erlang in particular.

Erlang is a great fit for a number of problem domains, but if you silo it into a small part of your organization, you're going to run into issues such as these. You have to be willing to train people in it. It isn't that hard to pick up if it's someone's full time job to do so, as long as they're smart. And you want to hire smart people anyway, right?

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Yeah, zCloud only came into fruition late last year. Before that they were using AWS, and handling the same scale they do now. Private cloud is saving them money, but some other company could use AWS just as Zynga did before and handle millions of users absolutely fine.

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