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A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London

Image via Wikipedia

A popular saying goes that Programmers are machines that turn caffeine into code.

And sure enough, ask a random programmer when they do their best work and there’s a high chance they will admit to a lot of late nights. Some earlier, some later. A popular trend is to get up at 4am and get some work done before the day’s craziness begins. Others like going to bed at 4am.

At the gist of all this is avoiding distractions. But you could just lock the door, what’s so special about the night?

I think it boils down to three things: the maker’s schedule, the sleepy brain and bright computer screens.

The maker’s schedule

Paul Graham wrote about the maker’s schedule in 2009 – basically that there are two types of schedules in this world (primarily?). The traditional manager’s schedule where your day is cut up into hours and a ten minute distraction costs you, at most, an hour’s worth of time.

Prim clockwork of a wristwatch, watchmaking ex...

Image via Wikipedia

On the other hand you have something PG calls the maker’s schedule – a schedule for those of us who produce stuff. Working on large abstract systems involves fitting the whole thing into your mind – somebody once likened this to constructing a house out of expensive crystal glassand as soon as someone distracts you, it all comes barreling down and shatters into a thousand pieces.

This is why programmers are so annoyed when you distract them.

Because of this huge mental investment, we simply can’t start working until we can expect a couple of hours without being distracted. It’s just not worth constructing the whole model in your head and then having it torn down half an hour later.

In fact, talking to a lot of founders you’ll find out they feel like they simply can’t get any work done during the day. The constant barrage of interruptions, important stuff ™ to tend to and emails to answer simply don’t allow it. So they get most of their “work work” done during the night when everyone else is sleeping.


06:24 PM, 22 Jan 2013 by Iuri Sampaio Permalink | Comments (8)

10 Excellent Online Payment Systems

May 15 2012 by Rosston Meyer | 21 Comments |StumbleBookmark

In this article, we’ll be reviewing my top 10 online payment systems for accepting payments on the Web. While many of the companies on this list have been available to online merchants for years, many are also now getting into new areas of online payments such as social commerce and in-store online card reader systems.

A Quick Primer on Online Payment Systems

Before getting started, here are just a few things to know about online payment systems.

  • ACH payments are electronic credit and debit transfers, allowing customers to make payments from their bank accounts for utilities, mortgage loans, and other types of bills. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House and most payment processors offer ACH payment options to their customers, especially for monthly- and subscription-based transactions. Most payment solutions use ACH to send money (minus fees) to their customers.
  • merchant account is a bank account that allows a customer to receive payments through credit or debit cards. Merchant providers are required to obey regulations established by card associations. Many processors (such as the ones listed below) act as both the merchant account as well as the payment gateway.
  • payment gateway allows merchants to securely pass credit card information between the customer and the merchant and also between merchant and the payment processor. The payment gateway is the middleman between the merchant and their sponsoring bank.
  • payment processor is the company that a merchant uses to handle credit card transactions. Payment processors implement anti-fraud measures to ensure that both the front-facing customer and the merchant are protected.
  • PCI compliance is when a merchant or payment gateway sets their payment environment up in a way that meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The PCI DSS standard was created by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council to increase security of cardholder data and to reduce fraud.

What follows are 10 excellent online payment systems.

08:31 AM, 15 Jan 2013 by Iuri Sampaio Permalink | Comments (0)

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