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Ask Founders: What does your work schedule look like?
12 points by roryreiff  6 hours ago   5 comments top 4
vincie 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For me, I cannot yet quit my day job. So everything is done through Basecamp. There are three people in the team. I am the developer. We have discussions, work out a to-do and post it on the calendar. When I come home from work I work on the to-do. I do this from ~6pm to ~10pm, 4 days a week. I work as a developer at my day job up to 10 hours a day. When I get home I can barely look at the screen I am so tired. This start-up thing is no fun.
brandonhsiao 3 hours ago 0 replies      
From pg's Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule:

When we were working on our own startup, back in the 90s, I evolved another trick for partitioning the day. I used to program from dinner till about 3 am every day, because at night no one could interrupt me. Then I'd sleep till about 11 am, and come in and work until dinner on what I called "business stuff."

johncole 2 hours ago 1 reply      
For me, it is 6 days per week, starting promptly at 7, ending between 6pm and 11 pm. I found that getting in early I can get organized and drive through priorities easier. The first two hours are golden, where I am fresh and focused. I also found after my first startup that regular, patterned, reliable sleep is incredibly important for your brain and mood. Mood being the biggest surprise, it matters a lot to the people you work with and customers that you're not a jerk. Go figure.
argumentum 3 hours ago 0 replies      
7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Every other I take a trip (but still bring along needed tech)
Ask HN: new top level domains?
2 points by bachback  1 hour ago   1 comment top
amac 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
Perhaps. But consider the amount of Marketing dollars behind .com and your country's tld. Add to this multi-billion dollar businesses (Amazon, Google, Ebay etc) using existing tld's and one should question what impact new tld's will make. (Especially if you plan to invest in them)
Ask HN: How did you learn to code?
9 points by rsearles  10 hours ago   21 comments top 21
meerita 1 minute ago 0 replies      
My level of programming is really low but I've learn to code by having the need of solve things. I just started to read and practice to solve an idea I had.
munimkazia 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
My school exposed me to HTML, VB, and later in high school, C and C++. I got interested in website development, so I started with ASP, but quickly moved to PHP because it is easier to get free hosting (I was still a kid with no money!). I learned everything from my school library books, and free online resources.

I was exposed to Java and C# in my computer science engineering course, but I never actually learned much apart from the basics which I needed for the course itself. Ironically, I didn't pick up on the very things which I was thought formally.

I learned basic javascript and more PHP stuff (MVC, OOP, templates et all) when I got a chance to intern in a small start up. I did a few small freelance jobs after that.

I learned some basic Python and Ruby by myself, and learned advanced Javascript when I got exposed to Node.js. I learned more Ruby when I got a small Ruby/Sinatra gig. More Node.js when I got employed as a Node.js developer. MongoDB/Redis/everything else was mostly on the job.

Linux/Bash was a lot of experimentation, and a lot of practice.

As you can see, the pattern is that I learned mostly by myself: By trying to do things, and by using online resources. I never read a full book (apart from the Javascript the Good Parts), and never finished a full online course. I learned as I worked.

I am not condoning this method, and I don't know if its the best, but it's what worked for me.

luckydude 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I learned to code by having login on slovax. slovax was a VAX 11/750 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during a time when there were a ton of hackers there. Many of them went on to Sun.

slovax was the machine that had the 4BSD source on it and somehow, I have no idea how, I got an account on it.

Blah, blah, blah, all my memories don't mean shit. What is maybe interesting is how you might learn from reading source. Most of it is pretty boring, <string.h> I'm looking at you, the kernel source is getting more interesting, but for me the place where the light came on was the bowels of libc. At the time I was too dumb to get the kernel stuff, that was over my head, but I could figure out libc. Until I came to popen(). It called fork(). My head exploded - I had never ever thought of creating a subprocess to do my bidding. Yeah, I'm old, all you guys got this, but at the time (.5MHZ VAX was what I was reading the code on) the idea that you would spawn a process to do something in libc was out there. It was the first time I realized that you could do pretty much anything with a computer.

Same tl;dr: as the other guy. Read the source, lots of good stuff there.

srean 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I apologize for the length of this post, I post this only because this might bring a perspective that might be a bit new here: of Linux in India way back then.

If its not appropriate here I wouldnt mind at all if its downvoted so that it does not take visible real estate. This is from a mail I wrote some time ago.


As you would know my background is not in EE or CS but in manufacturing where we had very little hands on experience with computers. We had a course where we learned FORTRAN and that was about it. In those days, a pc magazine used to distribute redhat in a CD. I think the first one I got my hands on was version 5.2. The mighty 486s in college used to command a lot of respect, and as lowly undergrads we weren't allowed to touch them. I owe Linu[x|s] and Stallman a lot of gratitude because much of what I learned about how a computer works was not from a course but actually digging through the linux and GNU system.

This was also quite normal for all linux users then. The whole point of using Linux was to figure out how things work and change things to your liking. "Change" meant editing a file and compiling, not pushing mouse buttons. If you wanted a system that worked [or not], there was always windows. It was very confusing to hear anyone complain that not everything worked right out of the box on Linux. The whole point of Linux then was then to poke around and re-tool it, it was not even expected that everything will work. It was a rudimentary car, that came with an excellent set of tools, a workshop and a manual.

If I were to choose a single word to desribe the linux user base that would be "curiosity". A lot of that has changed, now many use linux not because it allows them to learn and tinker, but because its a better windows. I dont begrudge the fact, it shows Linux has matured.

One of my first forays into personal programming wasbecause of a printer. Printing would always make me cringe because I could not get economy mode or two-up. I barely new C. Over multiple trips to the printer room to check if the patch worked, I finally got it to run. In the process I learned the the entire path from the point one types "lprfilename" to the bits dumped on the network. I also learned how pretty code can be. Deutsch's ghostscript code is one of the most beautiful C code around, atleast to me then. I think only way to pick up good coding style is to read good code.

To give an example how bad the scenario was then: if you wanted to install something that was not on the CD, doing an apt-get install (or rpm) was out of question over the 2B/s dialup we had then. So I had to hack up a p2p file distribution system for rpms. It did signature verification and multiple parallel downloads of the same file broken up into chunks. All I can say is that it did not become napster :) But I learned a lot. Till before that I did not much know what a network even was.

I wrote it in TCL (writing that in C would have been way beyond my league) and contributed a patch for TCL's FTP client. Given that I was a complete novice, and that this worked at all and that I, a complete clueless newbiecould actually contribute anything was unimaginably gratifying for a manufacturing engineering undergrad.

TL,DRWas taught quite a bit by the GNU and Linux sources

geophile 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I spent a lot of time teaching myself (in the 70s). Then college courses, where I learned about data structures, algorithms, structured programming (all the rage, back then, a precursor to objects), and many other subjects. Then grad school, and more research, and then a few startups. I kept improving through all of it.

tl;dr: Do it, study it, do it some more. Do it a lot.

P.S. "One Month Rails" sounds like something you'd want to do later in your career. If then.

chill1 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The best way to learn is to have a need to learn. What made you initially want to learn to code? Is it a business idea? An idea you had for an app or game?

There are many different types of programming; as well as many different levels.

Web programming isn't going away for a while, and it can be useful for doing quite a lot of things. I wrote a quick start guide for beginners like yourself [1] a while ago, that you might find useful.

I didn't even know HTML six years ago, and have been working full time in the industry for almost three years now. I started out trying to force a piece of forum software into being a community-based website. I quickly got into writing custom add-ons for that forum software. I just kept moving further and further up the food chain until I got to where I am today: being paid to build multiple, complex web applications.

The toughest part about learning something completely new is not knowing the right questions to ask. It can be insanely frustrating at times. But if you can stick with it, all the anguish, self-doubt, and sleepless nights will be worth it. If you really want something, you can do anything.

[1] https://degreesofzero.com/article/70

alok-g 7 hours ago 0 replies      
While I did not learn programming this way [1], I highly recommend the following book to beginners of programming:

"Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs" by Niklaus Wirth: http://www.amazon.com/Algorithms-Structures-Prentice-Hall-Au...

While example programs are in Pascal programming language (that the author created), it is still a very well written book that teaches how to connect real world problems to programming from a beginner's standpoint. It assumes the least out of the reader of nearly all programming books I know of. Check out the reviews at Amazon.

[1] My story: I started programming at the age of 11 when my father gifted me a computer, and its manual. That manual was so concise and precise that I learned something new from it each time I read it. It ended with a chapter on writing machine code, which led me to write short programs in machine code straight by age 15!

andrewflnr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Heh, "programming for dummies". That told me about how to run QBASIC from my windows disk, which was a pain. Where I really got started was when the aforementioned book told me how to do web programming, based on local files. At that point, I was feeling the power. Someone told me about C++, and I got "C++ For Dummies" for my thirteenth birthday. I wanted to do games, which led me to DirectX and then SDL, and also gamedev.net, from which I learned a metric crapton.

I stumbled on python a few years later, when I started playing with Blender. The online tutorial for that was pretty good (at least for me, having programmed before). If you want advice, you might start there and see how far you get.

GFischer 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The title is a bit misleading :) I guess you don't want to hear about my experiences with GW-BASIC :P

I think that, whichever choice you take, being motivated and actually doing stuff will be the best :)

You have to decide on what you want to do first (do you have a startup in mind? working as a programmer? why do you want to learn to program?).

With programming, just taking classes definitely doesn't cut it, the joy is wanting to make the computer do something and overcoming the obstacles to get there (and hopefully getting several "aha" moments along the way).

I think that if I had to start today, there are lots of awesome online resources (but I don't know them, so I can't recommend any). No idea about hacker bootcamps.

eddyparkinson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would start with a skills test, try to use vloopup in a spreadsheet. If you can get to grips with vlookup, then look for something that fits with how you learn, a book, an online course or even making small changes to programs you find on the web. Java script is probably a good choice, as there are online example around that you can try. But as others have requested, please say why you want to learn.edit:I started with games, changing code in simple games created by others. But I was 13, games are important to a 13 year old ;)
chrsm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I hate to be "that guy", I think that taking courses online is a waste of time.

1. What do you want to learn? Web development? Systems programming? Native application programming (whatever the platform)? Figure out what your target is.

2. Go to your local book store after you solve no. 1, pick a book up that involves that general topic, and read a few pages to see if it works for you. Don't buy a "learn x in y hours/days" book. Buy something you can use as a reference.

I've found that it is easier for me to focus and understand things when I am not actually trying to do them at the same time.

3. Specifically about Rails: I'm not hugely qualified to speak about Ruby, but the friends I do have that use Rails daily have always told me that Rails has grown pretty hard for newbies to jump into immediately. Of course, I could be wrong. I wrote a small project using Sinatra, which is a really easy way to jump into using Ruby & writing a web app at the same time.

I wouldn't recommend putting any money into bootcamps. You can teach yourself everything you need to know. The majority of bootcamps I've seen are fairly expensive for someone without any real understanding of what they're getting in to, and I would go as far as to say I have seen 0 that would teach anything useful beyond "learn language x", which you can do on your own - every popular language has excellent documentation. You should want to learn the fundamentals, and try to figure out how to apply that knowledge to any language or situation you come across.

(Hope that helps a bit.)

andrewhillman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I learned basics by understanding html + then I dug deeper in dhtml. I remember looking at demo source files to learn how they worked. I studied simple code that I could implement. I did this for a couple years. Rather than read books, I read code then figured how to write my own.
avifreedman 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure why you're learning to code, but getting into a positive feedback loop of (have idea, create, tune) is a great thing if you're doing it for more than 'just a job'.

I'd get proficient with linear flow programming, then functions, and build some things before worrying about object oriented programming.

Folks I've worked with have had good luck with perl but there's certainly a strong argument for javascript between web dev and node.js...

Or if you want to go old school fire up BASIC and play with some programs from http://www.atariarchives.org/basicgames/

Not suggesting you should stay at that level (BASIC, perl, etc) but building the feedback loop of liking the process/having fun can be great to get at the beginning of the learning process.

bobfirestone 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I learned to code by reading lots of books, writing lots of code and getting involved in a local user group.

If you want to learn Ruby and Rails a couple of good resources are Learn to program by Chris Pine (an intro to ruby) and the rails tutorial by Michael Hartl http://ruby.railstutorial.org/ruby-on-rails-tutorial-book

Some other books I would recommend:- Practical object oriented design in ruby- Computer science programming basics in ruby- Agile web development with ruby on rails 4- Eloquent ruby- Design patterns in ruby

If you get on the http://oreilly.com email list they regularly have 50% off ebook sales.

CyberFonic 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Buy and read "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" aka SICP. Download a Scheme environment and do all the exercises. Use the multitude of resources to make sure you actually understand how, why, what.

Hacking with Ruby, Python, C#, Java, Objective C, etc, etc is fun, exciting but you won't learn the foundation stuff which sooner or later comes up as a stumbling block.

teni 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The for dummies or Head First Series are good. I generally pick a technology, have a feel of it(meaning, just learn it on the surface by poking around it) then learn it in depth if i really need it. Most IMPORTANTLY, NOTHING, I REPEAT NOTHING BEATS PRACTICE.

All the best.

mehuldesai 9 hours ago 0 replies      
apart from actual coding, suggest a foundation like in CS 101. ie algorithm books (eg O(n) binary/sort) kind of things, perhaps Design Patterns. for lower level, Kernighan and Ritchie c language is a bible. structured and functional (eg python) type programming are good to understand. there are tonnes of cookbooks on the technologies you decide. LAMP and thin b'ends seem effective for most web systems initially anyhow.

rails an phython are sometimes thought of as next generation languages. Java/C+ suffer greatly from the amount of scaffolding to do something simple like have a object used between layers. Python and I believe rails, says it will do stuff like setter/getters (scafolding), you concentrate on the logic. php also has some great use, they are untyped languages. typing for java/c++ can be argued as not as necessary as one may think, thats where python, php, and I believe perhaps Rails (dont quote me on that) say again, concentrate on whats needed and not having to type everything. if the web results in a string, then no need to declare that throughout your stack.

anyhow, my 2 cents. not the fastest path necessarily, but over time you may want to have good code, useable by others and designed reasonably so its not as hard to get to next steps like scale...

karmelapple 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Since the question is looking for recommendations on how to learn now, I'd say try out an environment where you can see results that excite you the most. If you want to see objects on a web page moving around, learn JavaScript. If you'd like to see fancier graphics, look at Unity and one of its languages. And if you like text output, you got a huge world of languages you can explore - just find a topic and problem you want to work on. Being motivated to solve something was what got me the most excited when beginning to program.

As for how did I personally learn to code?

HyperTalk in HyperCard. It was the best way to quickly see how different logic constructs worked, since I could manipulate graphics onscreen rather than just print out text. Shortly thereafter, Learn C Programming in 21 Days.

But once I learned what I could, I took some of the concepts from C and tried to find some similar way to accomplish that in HyperTalk... which worked for quite a few shareware projects.

mattkrea 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Codeschool and/or Treehouse + reference books will help out most.
davidjnelson 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The most important part was reading "learning perl" in 1997.
helpfulElf 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I wanted to make things. First I wanted my own web page; so I learned HTML. Then I wanted to make AIM robots, so I learned perl. First I modified the source of programs that already worked, then I read the Llama which magically filled in all the blanks (oh, that's why that keyword is repeated all over!) Then I wanted to make Facebook apps, so I learned PHP. Then I wanted to get a job, so I learned ruby, CSS and JavaScript.

I also went to ACE computer camp where I built crappy versions of Tic Tac Toe in BASIC and completed numerous factorial exercises.

Ask HN: What are you working on and why is it cool?
395 points by superbaconman  2 days ago   739 comments top 300
adrianh 2 days ago 17 replies      
Soundslice (http://www.soundslice.com/) -- animated guitar tabs / sheet music.

Demo: http://www.soundslice.com/tabs/5680/bohemian-rhapsody-for-so...

It's cool because:

* The state of the art in guitar tabs is horrible ASCII crap (example: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/e/eagles/hotel_california_ta...). Soundslice is a 1000x improvement.

* It solves a key problem for musicians, which is: when you're learning a new song, you generally listen to a recording of it, and it's a pain to cross-reference the recording with the sheet music/tab.

* It's one of the most advanced HTML5 apps on the web. Almost everything is done in <canvas>, and it has dozens of UI details (http://www.soundslice.com/help/). I did a tech talk about the various JavaScript/HTML5 stuff if you're interested: http://37signals.com/talks/soundslice

* Proudly bootstrapped and made by two people.

carleverett 2 days ago 14 replies      
A high performance, affordable personal airplane: http://www.skycraftairplanes.com

It's extremely fuel efficient, can fly 575 miles on a tank, cruises at 118 mph, and comes standard with really nice instrumentation including GPS, collision avoidance, synthetic flight, and an auxiliary input for your iPod. They sell for $55k.

Here's the HN post I made a few months ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5826062

michael_nielsen 2 days ago 5 replies      
A book that explains the core ideas of neural networks and deep learning. Cool because:

* The book incorporates lots of running code for readers to explore and extend.

* The book's philosophy is to go deep into the core concepts of deep learning, not to superficially cover a long laundry list of ideas. This gives readers a solid foundation to build on, and makes understanding other material much easier.

* Deep learning is the most powerful approach known to many problems in image recognition, speech recognition, and natural language. The book will help lots more people get quickly up to speed.

The book will be freely available online, and a beta site is coming soon. Pre-beta mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/BYr9L

STRML 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a proxy / community-run fork[1] of Healthcare.gov. After all the histrionics about the site's performance and bugs, and upon seeing that it was a Backbone.js app (which I develop full-time), and with unminified/commented source, I thought it might be worthwhile to pull as many files from the repo as I could so that bugs could be reported and fixed in the open.

As the product sits today, it is close to being a functional clone of the site. Healthcare.gov relies on some very complicated and antiquated auth systems, from multiple agencies. It is not enough to simply proxy a few endpoints back to healthcare.gov, some requests need to be spoofed, state saved, etc., in order to make it work properly. They often use absolute URLs in their responses as well, which need to be rewritten. I can imagine this application was an absolute bear to test properly.

I've been working through the login mechanism [2] and it's almost done. I'm excited about the future of the project and it could really use some coders to help out and find / fix bugs. If the project gets some real attention, I think it would be a big help to the folks at QSSI and the nation in general - I really want to help the project succeed because I very strongly believe in universal health care and this is the only way I feel I can personally help out.

[1] https://github.com/STRML/Healthcare.gov-Marketplace[2] https://github.com/STRML/Healthcare.gov-Marketplace/issues/1...

rolleiflex 2 days ago 6 replies      
I'm building a distributed network, called Aether, that allows people to create and participate in reddit-like forums anonymously. It's fully encrypted. Take a look at http://www.getaether.net

It's cool because:

* It's anonymous. The posts jump from one node to another with no author information except a nickname. They cannot be traced back to the origin.

* It's encrypted with TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA cipher suite using 2048bit RSA keys. The connections most likely cannot be eavesdropped.

* It gives people an unfiltered, unmodified feed of information directly from the sources, with no intervention or censorship.

* It's unmoderated, so there is nobody that's deciding what you should and should not see. You can block people, however. Every client has a threshold of blocks for each node after which it stops showing that node to the user.

* Zero infrastructure.

This is a tool that can be used to either experience / exercise full free speech here in the west, or can be used for more essential two-way mass communication purposes where other venues are blocked, banned or self-censoring.

capnrefsmmat 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm writing a book about the many ways well-intentioned scientists can (and usually do) screw up statistics:


I started when I was an undergraduate physics major. My entire statistics education consisted of thirty minutes being told not to use R^2. I started reading about statistical abuses and realized that I would probably have committed most of them had I published research -- my training was entirely inadequate. Most scientists do only slightly better.

Combine this with a bit of unhealthy obsession and I ended up with 14,000 words of explanation, which I promptly published online.

My current draft is at 28,000 words and climbing, but I'm having more fun writing than figuring out what to do with it. I'm quietly hoping a serious publisher will notice and approach me, saving me the effort of writing a proposal and getting it rejected however many times before someone picks it up.

(happy to share a draft with anyone interested! Email is in my profile)

mercuryrising 2 days ago 11 replies      
This thread needs more hardware.

I'm making bike lights. First a little story. I was late to class one day in March, pothole season. I was cruising in the drops, when I came up to a T intersection. A van pulls up, and stops at the stop sign. As I approach the intersection, I see a pothole, swerve to avoid the hole, and the van pulls forward. I have about 1 second before I hit the van, land with my back on the hood, slide onto the ground. I'm lying there for a moment, trying to figure out what just happened, wondering whether or not anything is broken. I wiggle my fingers, wiggle my toes, don't feel any pain. I stand up, the guy gets out of his car "Sorry man! I thought you were turning!" I say I think I'm fine... I go look at my bike - it's still upright, the front tire got wedged in a rust spot. I grab it out, hop on, and ride. I couldn't help but laugh the rest of the way to class.

That's the day I decided that bikers and automobiles need better communication. So I made a bike light that's easy to use, has front & back blinkers, brake lights, turns on when you ride (so you can't forget), a bright front light, USB rechargeable, 3400 mAh LiIon battery. I made a 3D printer to print the parts, I did the PCB design, physical design, and software. It's pretty damn cool. I ride pretty regularly and recharge it about once every three weeks. It's surprisingly water resistance - I am a little scared of selling this to people as I didn't know how it would handle water, but I've taken it through two large storms, one with huge puddles splashing all over the cases, and the light handled it all in stride.

Here's the images - http://imgur.com/a/EUzXm

I'm stalling on it a little bit right now - there's not a very good way of bootstrapping into manufacturing. I could 3D print the cases and assemble the boards, but each case takes about 20 hours to print (on my fiddly printer). There's ~100 components too, which is a pain for manual placing and reflowing. I have a couple other designs brewing that are simpler and lower cost, but without all the fancy features. Speaking of which... I have to go get some interrupts working.

possibilistic 2 days ago 3 replies      
Laser projection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x034jVB1avs Pong on a 20 story building, billboards, etc.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S5_v2By3Ec Multiple laser projectors)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m-A9LvPbmg (Canny edge detector)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XTi-jf-ans (Asteroids on a 4 story building)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF_OCvjq3ps (Reddit's Snoo on a 20 story building)

I've just added a second projector and a few more dacs (thanks to a very generous donor). I'm doing multiprojection and rectification/distortion now. I'm planning to get Skyscraper Tetris and Breakout going with some additional hardware.

I need about ten projectors at 60kpps (or 80kpps at low scan angle) with a combined wattage of 20W or so. I have endless ideas: I'll bring it online, do live art/graffiti, turn buildings into twitter feeds, multiplayer gaming, and NES emulator, etc.

I wish I could afford more hardware and the ability to work on this full time. :(

dnautics 2 days ago 2 replies      
"open-source", IP-free anticancer drug candidate (http://indysci.org)

We're launching in January (or possibly December)

It's cool, because we want to disrupt the way that pharma operates. Biotech could learn a lot from the way that the software industry has been revolutionized by the open-source philosophy. The world could stand to also see tangible benefits if we succeed in (re)proving it's actually possible. People have done this in the past (salk and sabin come to mind); sometimes the global consciousness just needs a reminder.

ghc 2 days ago 6 replies      
I'm working on http://algorithmic.ly -- algorithms as a service.

It's cool because I get to help startups who don't always have the resources to hire someone like me who specialized in implementing and scaling certain kinds of algorithmic features. These startups need help with everything from geospatial search up to anomaly detection and predictive analytics.

It's bootstrapped, so while I'd love it if it was a public offering, at this point it's still a hybrid consulting/data-services company. Eventually it will be a public platform, and I hope we can help a lot more people!

emhart 2 days ago 0 replies      
X-Locks: http://x.lock.gdI'm trying to restore as many of the security-related patents that were lost in the patent office fire of 1836, and tell the stories of their creators. We've had some early successes and intend to reproduce as many of the locks as possible for a potential physical exhibition.
Sir_Cmpwn 2 days ago 2 replies      
Currently working on an open source implementation of Minecraft [1] - a server, client, and various related things. The new Minecraft update released this week and radically changed how networking works, so it's a bit tough to get it all working again.

It's cool because it's a totally open source recreation of everything. It's got a server, a client, terrain generation, physics simulation, level editing, classic support... this is one of two really big projects I've undertaken.

I'm also still working on MediaCrush [2][3], at least when my other half decides to show up and write some backend code.

[1] https://github.com/SirCmpwn/Craft.Net

[2] https://mediacru.sh

[3] https://github.com/MediaCrush/MediaCrush

younata 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have been building a (highly accurate) flight simulator.

Basically, I'm taking a geometric approach to the flight dynamics model (similar to how x-plane works, except they're using... older techniques/technology. I'm using much more advanced stuff [working on seeing if I can simulate the airflow for the entire craft, as opposed to doing it by sections and then integrating those together]). This is in contrast to things like MS Flight simulator and FlightGear (though, flightgear does have a poorly documented and rather inaccurate geometry based fdm - but most people use the table-based one, which is far more accurate than the geometry-based fdm they have implemented), which use lookup tables to guess how an aircraft would perform.

The problem I actually originally set out to solve was that xfoil and xflr5 suck to use (importing/exporting plane data is... either you can't, or you shouldn't), and fuck paying for the more expensive design testers. (this is why I have the focus on accuracy - if this was just going to be a simple game, I'd have spent far more time making it look pretty) However, I figured that I could also make testing be more fun by adding an interactive mode (i.e. I want to be able to do hardware-in-the-loop type stuff, as well as just manually flying), and at that point, it just is a scriptable flight simulator.

I'm still working on the flight dynamics model, been teaching myself fluid dynamics so that I somewhat understand what all is going on there (as much as anyone who hasn't spent years studying this can understand...), and I've been working on writing code to run on the gpu (yay, opencl) in order to do this. It's been fun.

dom96 2 days ago 2 replies      
Nimrod (http://nimrod-code.org).

It's cool because it's a systems programming language which compiles to C with generics, an awesome Python-like syntax, AST macros and other metaprogramming features.

I am one of the core developers. I developed a lot of the standard library and tools such as the Babel package manager, Aporia IDE and a build farm all written in Nimrod.

daeken 2 days ago 1 reply      
My weekend project for the last few weeks is a new Shader language. It's a twisted version of Forth, with some APL-inspired pieces. https://github.com/daeken/Shaderforth

The macro facilities and compile-time arrays make many things super, super compact and beautiful. A great example is a raymarcher: https://github.com/daeken/Shaderforth/blob/master/examples/r...

You can see it in action on Shadertoy here: https://www.shadertoy.com/view/4slGWl !Warning! Windows users have been reporting some problems, so be careful. (If it crashes your browser, please let me know what your setup is!)

burntsushi 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm working on a few projects.

Firstly, I've developed a suite of Python libraries to deal with NFL data, including play-by-play statistics and slicing game footage into its play-by-play components. A demo of my work is here: http://demo.nflfan.burntsushi.net/?week=5 (excuse the slowness, my web server is crappy)

Everything is on GitHub: https://github.com/BurntSushi/{nflgame,nfldb,nflvid,nflfan}

Secondly, I'm also working on a small utility to produce Entity-Relationship diagrams from a simple text description. Surprisingly, there were very few tools that could do this. It's written in Haskell. Current progress here: https://github.com/BurntSushi/erd

Thirdly, my PhD research involves finding proteins that are similar to other proteins. Most of the infrastructure is written in Go: https://github.com/TuftsBCB

moultano 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is the best thread I've read on HN in months. We should do this regularly.
eddyparkinson 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Spreadsheet forumlas that build a Web Application

Story: When a business needs custom software to solve a particular business problem, such as a special inventory management issue, a recruitment process, expense management or whatever is custom for their company. Normally they would have to go out and hire a custom programming company to use a very high level technology to create a solution. This is very time intensive, complicated and because the programmers don't understand your business, often there is a massive communication gap and projects often fail. Cell Master is a much easier way for business owners and people inside of your business to create custom business software. It is effective because you understand the business, you understand what the software needs to do and how it needs to work. All you need is just some basic excel skills, knowing how to use excel formulas, and you can have the same potential as the expert programmer. So this means you are going to be able to create the software faster, you will be able to modify and adapt the software, it will be a lot more cost efficient and you will be able to create the solution that you want, not the solution that the programmers think you want. You will be able to create an interactive web application that solves your business problem with your own custom software. You will be able to do it with only excel skills, you don't need HTML skills, web server skills etc. With only spreadsheet skills, you can create your own custom web application.

Hello world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oogKKfbRyMQ

ronaldx 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://xoxo.gl (hugs and kisses, good luck) - a web app to play family-friendly, traditional board games. Still prototyping for now.

My goal is wide in scope: to build a site that allows you to take a few minutes to have a positive social interaction with friends and strangers. An anti-Zynga, if you like.

I still have a lot to do. With a goal of universal accessibility, I am working on progressive enhancement - making it work adequately for users with poor connections and noscript, and excellently for users with fancy AJAX.

It's cool and I think it fills a gap for people who want social games without spam viral marketing... as an anecdote: by playing Boggle online, I made friends and ended up visiting a couple on a different continent. I'd like to enable stories like that.

city41 2 days ago 0 replies      
Metamorfus (http://metamorf.us) -- a site to help improve social skills

I have joined forces with my sister in law who has a Doctor of Psychology and specializes in anxieties. We both are shy people who have suffered with social anxiety, so we are working on new ways to help people overcome this. Combining her expertise with my dev skills. As you can see from the landing page, we don't have a designer :)

Why it's cool

* It's a really fresh way to conquer anxiety

* There's nothing else out there like it, existing anxiety/shyness communties and websites are rather archaic and/or simple

* It will help people of all types, from just wanting to get better at public speaking, to those who suffer from debilitating anxiety

* It will be helpful for both those who suffer and for psychologists to use as a tool

spartango 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm working on software that assists in cancer diagnoses.

We apply a healthy serving of computer vision and a touch of machine learning to high resolution images (10Gpx) of cancer tissue.

Hopefully we'll be able to make diagnosis faster and more accurate, doing our small part to save lives.

mkramlich 2 days ago 1 reply      
Dead By Zombie: a Python Rogue-like about a zombie apocalypse. I first created it several years ago as a commercial closed-sourced game and it actually sold copies. Now I've open sourced it on GitHub, and am upgrading the engine and giving it a facelift, transforming it into a more serious game of survival and a sandbox for rebuilding civilization. Survivalists, anarcho-capitalists and libertarians may like it. "Day is for the living. Night is for the dead."


In theory I'm also writing a sequel to my sci-fi comedy novella The Dread Space Pirate Richard. (http://www.reddit.com/r/DSPR/) And fleshing out the outline and first chapters of my first attempt at a technical book, tentatively titled Software Performance and Scalability.

I also solve challenging technical problems for clients around the world. I make things. I ship.

davidw 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm working on http://www.liberwriter.com - and it's not cool. But it makes money.

It's cool to work on something that's both cool and makes money, but I'm at a point in my life where I'm happy to work on something that makes money even if it's not cool. But getting paid regularly is pretty cool in its own way.

LiberWriter is a product/service to help authors, primarily by converting Word files to eBooks, as well as providing cover design services.

dizzystar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unnamed project, probably beta released sometime this week.

Have you ever wondered which of the 10 courses offered by Coursera / EdX / etc to take, sign of up for 4, then dropped all but one and fell too far behind to finish?

Classes offered by MOOCs vary greatly in quality. This isn't a judgement call per se, just a question of "fit." Is this class up your alley, or maybe this class is too elementary for your level, or maybe it is too difficult.

The goal of my project is to offer students a place to express their thoughts, rank the courses (A, B, C, D, F), and rank difficulty. Other students can upvote comments and the top-ranked comment gets the top spot on the page, above the "official" review.

Another question often pondered is "what is the best path for the courses." Although this section is primitive, students are able to offer prerequisite sections.

Ideally, employers will have a place to look when people apply trumpeting up their certifications. Were these classes really worthwhile or was it all easy A.

Due to the anonymity of the site, students are offered the freedom to offer up honest reviews, why they dropped the courses, and what could be improved. Ultimately, MOOCs may have a place to see the real and raw opinions of the masses they are attempting to teach.

Nerd points? Stack is Linux, PostgreSQL, and Clojure.

The IP address is in my profile. Please don't create any accounts you'd want to keep since I am going to nuke the entire database soon. There are a few bugs on this site.

martindale 2 days ago 3 replies      
Coursefork (http://coursefork.org) -- github for education.

We're trying to open-source the entire education system, starting with creating an easy way for materials and processes to become "forkable".

- Fork, for example, an MIT OCW course.

- Make modifications.

- Submit a pull request back to MIT with your changes, or, just teach from your own fork.

nav 2 days ago 4 replies      
Seat 14A (www.seat14a.com)

a). Most men hate shopping.b). Sizes are never consistent and a number cannot define a unique bodily shape.

Our solution: We simply send an email with a few complete looks every few weeks, if you like a look - order it and we make it made to measure for you. We ship globally for free. Each look is about $150-$175 (so won't break your bank account). Each look is based off of heavy research around looks, textures and trends that are currently in.

If you want to learn more: http://seat14a.co/1hcllid

Or signup here for free: http://seat14a.com/signup

mazumdar 2 days ago 5 replies      
SilverAir - An athletic shirt that doesn't smell and designed to be worn at the gym and for everyday wear.demo@ http://www.yathletics.com

It's cool because:

It's made using pure silver which kills the odor-causing bacteria in your sweat, so you can -wear this shirt for your entire day and feel fresh, -reuse the shirt more often (i do).

The fabric is completely new and something I made with my manufacturers from scratch. Without letting cost be a factor, we sourced some of the best performance yarns you can buy and achieved a feel that is super comfortable while being lightweight and breathable. To manufacture, we use seamless knitting machines meaning the body of the shirt does not have any stitches on it. (trust me, the silver is what sells but the most loved feature by our test customers is the material and how you feel as if you're not wearing anything - in a good way)

I'm building this company single-handedly over the last 10 months, and I had to teach myself bits n pieces of everything: apparel manufacturing, design, coding, law, filmmaking & editing. The product is launching in 4 days on kickstarter and I'm now in lockdown mode with tons of progress to make. Your feedback on anything is welcome.

The online shopping experience for this brand will be fresh: there will be no choosing from tens and hundreds of products because we make just one per category with superb design, quality, and finish. Shoot me an email if you're curious about anything.

trey_swann 2 days ago 5 replies      

TrueVault is a HIPAA compliant data backend for apps, devices, and sites. Developers use TrueVault so they can develop healthcare apps without building out their own HIPAA compliant infrastructure. You access data in TrueVault via our API and native clients. Think of TrueVault as Stripe for confidential patient data. You use Stripe to store credit card data so that you are PCI compliant. Our customers use TrueVault to store protected health information (PHI) so that they are HIPAA compliant.

Its cool because new healthcare applications are paring back their feature sets so that they dont have to be HIPAA compliant. TrueVault helps solve this problem, and prevents legislation from hindering innovation. TrueVault will handle HIPAA so that entrepreneurs can focus on improving the quality of care for millions.

Also cool because TrueVault takes care of all of the technical requirements mandated by HIPAA. HIPAA compliant hosting providers (AWS, FireHost, Rackspace) only provide a HIPAA ready environment. You still have to spend the dev time and money to build your own application stack in order to comply with HIPAA.

sunspeck 2 days ago 4 replies      
A biodiverse, edible forest garden in the center of an public high school. We are breaking ground with a team of students in about an hour.

This is (very) cool because it will expose adolescents to a variety of concepts, perspectives, and phenomena that are severely lacking from most urbanized places.

flyinglizard 2 days ago 2 replies      
http://sandsquid.com - A web app for quickly locating and purchasing electronic parts, specifically entire BOMs (all the components on one or more PCBs, instead of just a single part like other services out there). It's bootstrapped, and we just recently launched. So far we had good traction and virtually all positive responses. Notably, people report that we save them hours every time they use our app, and I firmly believe that any service capable of that, has a place ;
k4st 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on https://github.com/Granary/granary. It is a Linux kernel dynamic binary translation framework. It's cool because it lets you rewrite the Linux kernel (at different granularities) while it's running. This is useful for analysis, debugging, etc. Right now I'm putting together benchmarks for an upcoming paper deadline.
tynan 2 days ago 2 replies      
Sett (http://sett.com)

It's a new blogging platform that helps people build audiences. Our oldest users (1 year) have seen roughly 100% increase in daily traffic, twice as many comments, etc. My personal blog has doubled daily visitors and growth rate for subscribers went from 1% to 10%.

williamcotton 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a next generation programming environment for front-end browser development that combines version control and dependency management. It is called lit and the current alpha iteration is at http://www.corslit.com

I just introduced static semantically versioned builds and started the process of self-hosting.

The interesting thing about lit is that it allows for modern professional development without any UNIX command line or file system dependencies.

I'll have more literature and a very exciting screencast demo very soon.

tsumnia 2 days ago 1 reply      
Gingerbread and Candy Corn (http://gingerbread-and-candy-corn.appspot.com) - A one-stop spot for finding houses with holiday decorations. Sadly, I don't think it'll be ready for Halloween :( Though it should be ready for a launch near Black Friday :)

As a kid, I always loved driving around looking at Halloween/Christmas lights and as I've gotten older and moved to a bigger city, its been a little difficult knowing where to go to see good houses. The only real way to do it right now is YouTube videos or hoping your local newspaper has it covered.

The reason I think its cool is I'm learning to use Google App Engine on a responsive HTML5 style page. Since I'm not too graphic oriented, I'm learning how to use Flat UI to my advantage (as you can see in the nowhere near done demo). I'm going to get to learn a lot of web hosting stuff, like the official webpage currently is hosted with Dreamhost, but how do I get GAE to play nice with that, managing/handling requests, how to appropriately display houses without killing my GAE free package. If it generates enough success this Christmas, I'm hoping to spend next year learning mobile development for an app that does the same thing, but also gives you directions.

jessepollak 2 days ago 2 replies      
Clef (https://getclef.com) a replacement for usernames and passwords on the web.

It's cool because it allows the 99% of people who aren't technical to use public key cryptography to log in to websites.

suresk 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've been slowly working on a few things, and hopefully can finish them during the winter:

1) Shared Places

The idea is that you can have public or private lists of locations that can be shared with other people, and would be integrated with mapping software on your phone so it is easy to navigate to them.

Some private lists that may be useful:

a) A family one that keeps track of extended relatives, friends houses, soccer fields, etc

b) A small business that works at, delivers to, or services fixed locations.

Some public ones might be:

a) Places in this area that are related to US Civil War history.

b) Gas stations in this area that have a drive-thru (this sounds silly, but was actually where I got the idea - my sister has small children and it is a pain to get them out of the car and into a store to just pick up a few convenience items, so knowing where she can go that has a drive-thru is really handy)

2) Insomnia Tracker

An app/website to log things related to sleep (beverages consumed, medication taken, notable social situations, what time you try to go to sleep, what time you wake up, etc). Hopefully having it available on a phone will make it easier to keep track of things more fully than if you had to remember to write it down in a paper log, since you usually have your phone with you.

Then this data can be used to find trends such as how, say your coffee consumption affects your sleep, or maybe how stressful arguments at work are keeping you up at night.

I don't have anything up for either of them yet, and I'm not sure either could actually make enough to be more than a hobby, but they are both useful to me and kind of fun to build.

kpao 2 days ago 2 replies      
Infinite Flight: it's a flight simulator for mobile platforns I had been working on on the side for almost 7 years before finally deciding on joining forces with a friend to ship it on Windows Phone, then iOS and Android. What's cool about it is that it's written entirely in C# while and we still get decent performance on most devices. Also, we're slowly gaining traction with users that prefer flying with us rather than with the established competitors :)You can find more about the app here: http://flyingdevstudio.com and http://infinite-flight.com
rexf 2 days ago 2 replies      
GeoGraph - http://geographapp.com/

Like imgur for location. No sign up & 1 click to share your current location. If you sign up, you can save your location privately (only you can see it).

Use cases are wide open. Save your parking spot. Share location to meetup with a friend. Save a special spot in a forest. Etc.

If you use check-in services, GeoGraph may interest you. If you never share your location online, you shouldnt use this.

Working on new features to make location more useful.

Edit - Link to site.

jmadsen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Aw, jeez - I knew my little weekend project wasn't such a big deal, but absolutely dwarfed by the other ideas here.

But since I'd love to chat about it:


Simple little tool to let "unknown" but talented bloggers work together to publicize their offerings.

Why's it cool?

- aim to is help counteract the "Justin Beiber Affect" (gets 100,000 RTs for saying, "Live life!")

- try to encourage a more personal, hands-on sharing rather than today's mindless "click to retweet" approach to life.

- you can't earn any badges or rep points

That's it... best go finish it :-) It's at @tweetstartme if you are interesting in knowing when it's done

digisth 2 days ago 0 replies      
A friend and I have been working on building out a service to help connect organizations looking for custom software development-related services with organizations that provide them. At the time I first started on HN, I was looking for a company to do additional dev work for the company I was working for, so I posted this Ask HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2787364. I got a few helpful responses (one of which I followed up with and hired) but it made me think about what was missing, and that was a service that provided comprehensive/well-organized listings (with all the stuff you would expect like case studies, work examples, contact forms that weren't buried, the ability to just "start a project" with one, etc.) of custom software development companies/consultancies/shops/agencies/your favorite term here.

You can Google for all this stuff, but sifting through the mounds of results takes way too much manual effort; you can ask on forums like this, but that's not going to work for a lot of people; you can look through LinkedIn or the ones that AdAge and friends use, but I didn't find anything I would consider thorough/useful on the former (and I find the searching and filtering system to be very poor), and the latter only really had advertising companies. I also thought about things that companies I've worked for that have provided custom software dev work would find useful (like having a single place to point customers with examples of everything - for various reasons, so many companies just can't/won't update it on their own web site - it even happens that the people who work at the company have to send an email around asking for examples of previous work.) So it's better than all that (we hope!) That's why we'd consider it cool.

At the moment, we're pretty far in to initial development of what we consider the MVP and hope to soft launch it in the next few months. Right now, we just have a splash-type page up:


eddyparkinson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Please post this question every month, see what happens.
Jasber 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recently started doing more freelance development and didn't find any solutions that I thought did the following really well:

- I hate tracking my time, so the app should make this very easy & compelling to do (dare I say fun?)

- Should work well with lots of different contract types (hourly, daily, weekly, retainer)

- Should earn me more money using best practices (minimum billing increments, etc...)

- Should get me paid faster & with the lowest fees possible (client payment details on file & using ACH or something)

- Should make managing sub-contractors a breeze. Think of managing sub-contractor invoices & time like a pull-request on GitHub.

So I decided I'm going to work on this and try to make something that people will really love using.

If you're interested, get notified when it launches: http://bradjasper.com/timetracker/

sherm8n 2 days ago 2 replies      
A legit way to get more followers on social media. Helps you build high quality one-to-one relationships with new people. Pick a keyword like "startup school". Our system will detect when "startup school" type conversations are going on in real-time and performs sentiment analysis. That's a highly targeted opportunity for you to start engaging with that user. And we deliver that user to you on a silver platter. It's up to you to keep the relationship going (put them in your sales funnel).

It was a bitch to manually get followers on Tumblr to sell t-shirts to. I had to seek users out, make sure they fit my target audience, and insert myself in the conversation. All without it looking like selfpromotion. That's a lot of mental energy just to reach out to one person. Once I built a fairly large sized audience boat loads of t-shirts started selling. Then I figured startups and businesses on Twitter would find it useful. And they did. Paying customers tell me it works 100 times better than Twitter ads.

If you're interested: http://audience.goodsense.io

hcm 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on CodeCube (http://codecube.io) - a pastebin that allows you to run the code snippets and see the output live in your browser.

It's built on Docker. I posted an article about how I built it here: http://hmarr.com/2013/oct/16/codecube-runnable-gists/

The source is up on GitHub at https://github.com/hmarr/codecube

jaibot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Powershame: Publicly precommit to being productive; your friends will get a timelapse of screenshots when you're done.

It's cool because I'm using the pre-alpha version to get myself to work on Powershame, sending out timelapses to my wife and facing shame when I break it and it fails to send.


drugcite-com 2 days ago 1 reply      
An easy way to enter the name of a specific drug or side effect to see its effects as reported to the FDA. One of the primary ways that the United States Food and Drug Administration monitors the safety of marketed drugs is the collection and analysis of reported adverse events (an event that was not the intended outcome of the prescribed drug and has a negative impact on health) through the FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS). These reports are submitted by physicians, healthcare consumers, lawyers amongst others, and then the FDA scientific staff will assess these events in the context of other databases to determine if a particular safety concern is associated, and possibly caused by, exposure to a particular drug. Since this is a public database and useful to prescribers and patients alike to know if "has what I'm experiencing been described in patients taking this drug before?" DrugCite has created a more friendly interface to answer that question. The data can also be sorted by Age and Gender in most cases giving a more detailed view.


We use several data sets including FAERS, Meddra, Medical Device Data, UMLS/RXNORM and DAILYMED/Structured Product Labels to name a few.

SolarUpNote 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm working on a JSON based website layout and component system.

For example: a component that lists blog posts could be represented by:

  {    options:{      elements:[image, title, author, date]    },    criteria:{      sort:date.desc,       published:true,       limit:10    },    request_vars:{page:3}  }
That would show the last 10 posts that are published, ordered by date, on page 3 of the results.

That's a simple example, this site: volumeone.org is built almost entirely this way.

Since it's in JSON format, JavaScript can be used to build UIs that build the components and layouts.

philbo 2 days ago 2 replies      
Currently I'm working on a few different developer tools, as part of my continuing mission to make my own life easier. I figure they're probably cool because if I'm scratching my own itch then I should be scratching itches for other devs too.

* GitHubReminder - serendipitous email reminders about your starred repos on GitHub. https://githubreminder.org/

* JSComplexity - code complexity metrics for JavaScript. http://jscomplexity.org/

* CoffeeComplexity - code complexity metrics for CoffeeScript projects (still in development).

* GrepSrc - regex-based source code search engine (still in development).

BruceM 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe too late to the party ...

I work on http://opendylan.org/ and have been working to revive it for the last couple of years. We've done new releases, improved usability of the compiler and some of the libraries, new website, updated all of the documentation to modern formats, including a couple of books.

We've also been creating a new IDE via a plugin to IntelliJ that is rapidly changing how I go about writing Dylan.

I think it is cool because it is a great substrate for experimenting with some features in programming languages and runtimes, like coroutines and numerics. It is great to start from a working and industrial strength system.

I think it is great to prevent things from being lost to history (and to hopefully have them be useful again). Dylan is a great combination of ideas from Common Lisp, Smalltalk but with a focus on creating native executables and libraries.

I've also got something that I'm building in Dylan that takes advantage of Dylan's strengths, but it is in very early days.

camperman 2 days ago 3 replies      
A Raspberry Pi-based multimedia display solution for SMEs, large corporates and municipalities. It displays nearly all video and image formats and real time news feeds at 50fps in almost any layout combination while using less than 20% CPU at full tilt.

It's cool because most people are blown away at how fast and smooth it is when they first see it. A lot of the code is in C, the video decoder is in a thread (and it actually works which is impressive for me) and it's all controlled by Lua.

contextual 2 days ago 2 replies      
Self Experiments: Its mission is to make inhumane animal testing obsolete by using open suffer collaboration of volunteer testers from around the world.

The first experiment is launching next month: http://selfexperiments.com

What could be more cool than that?

ronilan 2 days ago 1 reply      
PlaceUnit (http://www.placeunit.com/) -- an iOS app to build a mini-responsive website.

Download here: http://www.appstore.com/placeunit

Just the video: https://vimeo.com/68029789

Demo: http://fantastic-vancouver.placeunit.com/

It's cool because:

* It is very very simple to use. Any person with an iPhone/iPad can build something in minutes.

* It's a PhoneGap app (HTML5/JavaScript) which integrates Open Source components with a hand rolled framework.

* It uses a no-password pattern. It supports offline work. You can use bidi-languages. It has CSS based themed "filters". Mini-sites are customizable and embedable.

* Bootstrapped. I'm sole developer/designer.

Achshar 2 days ago 0 replies      
A local media player in the browser. I mean to make it full media player with video support but for now it's audio only. I also want to make it web app instead of chrome app but some apis are not available anywhere else. And background running is a key feature. It has about 7k users, which is more than I expected TBH. Also the occasional support email is the best thing to happen to me that day. It shows that people actually use what I made.


ZeroMinx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Working on services that makes law firms and lawyers more efficient.

It's cool (to me) because I'm one of the co-founders, we started from 0 a few years ago, and I like to see the growth.

(you didn't specify it had to be cool to other people)

arethuza 2 days ago 2 replies      
Just started working on something to attack SharePoint that is based on sensible standards (REST, JSON, etc.) with the front end completely in something like AngularJS or Ember.

This is cool as, in my opinion, SharePoint Must Die.

timmclean 2 days ago 2 replies      

A code editor that uses knowledge of a programming language's grammar. It's cool because it should be significantly more efficient than working in vim/emacs, and will allow powerful scripting capabilities and macros to transform code structurally, instead of as text.

mambodog 2 days ago 0 replies      
BeatStash: a Git/GitHub for music production (using git-annex)

In other words, keeping every version and branch of a musical idea, with rollback and merging (eg. merge bassline track from version A into different branch), and collaboration through these same tools.

I know people have approached this idea a few times, and just this month a startup called Splice popped up with some funding to do almost exactly what I had planned to in a previous iteration of the idea. However I've moved on to an approach which would make this awesome capability available to more people. Ultimately though, I'd like to extract as much as possible into a generic foundation for apps for other media such as video production, a low-end, self-hosted LayerVault alternative etc.

Also, out of interest in personal computer history, I ported the PCE classic Mac/PC emulator to the browser with Emscripten.

Demo: http://jamesfriend.com.au/pce-js/

Rationale: http://jamesfriend.com.au/why-port-emulators-browser

jonmrodriguez 2 days ago 0 replies      
Epiphany Eyewear smart glasses: http://epiphanyeyewear.com

It's cool because these glasses are stylish enough that they are a fashion item, and have appeared on the runway at New York Fashion Week: https://yougen.tv/video/beddc3d4-784f-40ab-8066-652ac8e3f694...

It's cool because you can record two-handed activities such as kayaking: https://yougen.tv/video/9b406d41-8e68-43fc-904f-f12ce688f610...

It's cool because everyone from Miss California https://yougen.tv/video/db0c3dd0-846c-458c-8d53-cd2802b00534...to my barber https://yougen.tv/video/92f9308b-d6a9-46a4-95f9-39da0700f9cb... instantly sees the appeal of recording and sharing your memories with your friends

chadzawistowski 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Quickbeam (https://github.com/ChadSki/Quickbeam) andHalolib (https://github.com/ChadSki/halolib.py)

Together, these comprise a Halo modding tool which can edit the game while it's running, which is also why it's cool.

Additionally, whereas previous editors have usually hardcoded functionality into the editor, all of Quickbeam's functionality is implemented in the fully-scriptable Halolib, written in Python.

Ultimately I would like Quickbeam to become the Emacs of Halo editors.

DjangoReinhardt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am quite late to this thread, but what the heck, I'll give it the ol' college try. :)

HashPix: Search for images tagged with the same hashtag across Twitter, TwitPic, Instagram and Flickr. Create public/private albums of these pics and share the albums with anyone and everyone. Anonymous albums allowed but are made public by default.

Good for:

- Events, e.g. #MySuperAwesomeHalloweenParty

- Contests, #TweetLikeAGhostAndWin

- Festivals #HalloweenHaunts

...anything where you can use a hashtag, really!

Link: http://hashpix.herokuapp.com

2. @updt_me: (RSS/Atom) Feed updates via Twitter DM. Follow @updt_me and send a tweet @updt_me with the keyword START followed by a URL, e.g. "@updt_me START https://news.ycombinator.com/rss". You'll receive feed updates via Twitter DM (hence, the need to follow) when they happen. I'm currently using it to subscribe to xkcd, smbc and a few others.

Good for:

- Avoiding RSS inbox pile-ups due to procrastination/lethargy

- Ensuring authors get the page-views their blogs/sites deserve

- Following 'thoughts' rather than 'people', i.e. no more "I just ate broccoli. I #WIN." when you just want to read, "The 7 habits of highly-successful techpreneurs that you must cultivate before bedtime."

Coming soon:

- Ability to subscribe to feeds via DM - for those subscriptions that you'd rather not announce to the world. wink wink nudge nudge

- (Almost)instant PuSH updates using Superfeedr. (Still trying to figure this one out, actually.)




Why do these make me happy?

Because a year ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of being able to make a comment like this. I was (and still am) an utter newbie with no knowledge of any kind of programming. Deep-dived into Python/Django and the results are up there for you to peruse. Granted they aren't awesome like most others in this thread but hey, it's a start. :)

cj 2 days ago 1 reply      
Localize.js (https://localizejs.com) automatically localizes websites. No backend integration required.

It's a client side Javascript library that handles phrase detection and the injection of translations. Machine and human translations can be ordered via our web interface.

Why is this cool? It generally takes an engineer at least 1-2 weeks to fully localize a website (go through all template files, replace all text with string keys, build a workflow for updating phrases, ordering translations, etc), and once the system is in place, editing template files and adding new text to your app is a pain. Localizejs automates this with a copy and paste js snippet. And it works surprisingly well -- I had my doubts about this approach before building it as well, but you'll be surprised that it doesn't hurt page performance very much at all.

It's still in development, but shoot me an email if you'd like to test it out. It'll be production ready within a month. bp@brandonpaton.com

sakai 2 days ago 0 replies      
A friend and I are developing a new fast, space-efficient (read: probabilistic) key-value store. We're using it for some computational biology applications.

It's cool because:* It scales to really large data sets: We store ~10 billion keys in memory on a single, not-too-ridiculous machine, and the design supports sharding trivially* It's fast: we have a lot of optimization still, but can do ~1M lookups/sec (O(1) lookups)* It's a data structure! (Which as non-formal-CS people we find fun)

Would be very interested to hear other applications that people would find the above attributes useful for!

cmyr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm moving to zambia for the winter to start an after-school program doing basic computer and internet literacy skills with kids.

It has been really fascinating watching all of the tools and projects that have popped up over the past few years attempting to make really high quality educational resources widely available, but these tools remain generally out of reach for those people that would most benefit from them.

asiekierka 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm going to be rewriting my image booru engine ( https://github.com/asiekierka/boorushy2 - all demos are down ).

It's not cool. Nothing I make is cool. It never was. All I seem to make are boring, niche ideas... and not even I care about them. Since half a year, I haven't found anything that would interest me. I'm a man with low standards, I guess.

math 2 days ago 0 replies      
backrecord.com - a tool for tracking opinions and predictions (opinions about what is going to happen in the future) of people in the public spotlight. Our goal is to help people form better opinions by providing easy access to the ideas in the first place alongside tools for assessing credibility. Our focus is very much on opinion, not news.

It's cool because I think it's an interesting and difficult problem and I don't know of anyone tackling it well. I still don't know how feasible it is to create an automated / crowd driven system that provides a measure of credibility that is reliable enough to be useful, but we are certainly giving it our best shot and I would love to use such a tool if it existed.

I also think it's cool because I think both our user credibility system and topic hierarchy concepts have aspects that are quite nice that I haven't seen elsewhere.

We are currently focused on finance because it is clear how to score predictions about things that trade in a market (though the problem is much trickier than you might first imagine). Also, it is clearly valuable if we can succeed, even in a small way which is the most likely outcome if we do. However, we are playing with features that have broader applicability as well.

orthecreedence 2 days ago 1 reply      
Turtl! (https://turtl.it)

It's a client-side encrypted Evernote replacement (with a much easier interface). The goal is to eventually provide easy note-taking, bookmarking/clipping, and file storage (ala Dropbox) with a cloud service that's surveillance/hacker resistant by only storing encrypted data. The kicker is you can still share with others.

Right now it's a pretty small alpha, but we're hoping to get some of the internals cleaned up and push out a new version with file storage in the next few weeks.

Of course, it's open source (if it's not open source, it's not encrypted). We're avoiding the word "secure" until we get some eyes besides our own reviewing the code.

leeoniya 2 days ago 1 reply      
i'm developing a mobile web interface & a SaaS architecture for my buddy's greenhouse & hydroponics controller business [1]. the backend comm is MODBUS/TCP (ethernet) or MODBUS/RTU (serial).

he's currently in Long Beach at the Maximum Yield expo showing off the early alpha I ummm, "polished off" at 4am last night :) [2]

it's cool because his customers and oems have been hounding him for some time for an Android and iOS app and for his software to work on OSX, Linux. (currently it's Windows only, C#/.NET).

a web app + SaaS was the most natural choice. also, i don't think anything like this exists yet.

[1] http://agrowtek.com

[2] http://i.imgur.com/e6E8Osw.png

vitorbaptistaa 2 days ago 1 reply      
Shellshare (http://shellshare.net) -- live streaming of your terminal

Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCXnIgsEqK0

It's cool because:* It lets you share your terminal session, read-only, using just one command. Easy to get (or give) help.

* Many people can watch the same session. If you pair it with Hangouts OnAir, you could do live trainings.

* It's not as powerful as tmux or screen sharing (as it's readonly), but it's much simpler: there's no need to open ports in your firewall, configure your router, or create users. Being read-only also is an advantage in its use-case.

I haven't launched it yet (I'm finishing some performance tuning), but it's usable. Its only dependency is on Python and Script. If you're on Linux, you just need to run:

  python -c "`curl -sL http://get.shellshare.net`"
This will download the client and run it, automatically sharing your screen and giving you its URL.

Feedback welcome :)

yesimahuman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm building Ionic Framework (http://ionicframework.com/) to make HTML5 mobile app development awesome. Should have our first release out in a few weeks!
dan335 2 days ago 1 reply      
A simple algorithmic stock trader. https://green-machine.us

Give it a set of rules and it will buy and sell stock for you. I got interested in algorithmic trading and built this site to find out if it works. If it does I'll add real money trading.

ihenriksen 2 days ago 1 reply      
SparkleDB NoSQL database server is a horizontally distributed, real-time, performance-critical, highly available, and large-scale software solution capable of handling Big Data. Fast. Transactional. Both ACID and in-memory (we let you choose). Acts as a single logical database unit, even though it may consist of hundreds of physical computers located in the same physical location-or dispersed over a network of interconnected computers. Autonomous horizontal scaling. No single point of failure. Concurrent access, crash recovery & repair. Federated queries. Semantic schema-less data model and a powerful declerative semantic query language that are both international standards. Remotely connect to the database using a built-in RESTful API over HTTP or use our JDBC or ODBC drivers. Works on Windows, UNIX, and Linux. We're based out of Sunnyvale, California. Learn more at http://www.sparkledb.net/
markmassie 2 days ago 2 replies      
Nuclear reactor startup (http://transatomicpower.com) designing a molten salt reactor to turn nuclear waste into clean energy at prices competitive with natural gas.
vorador 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a gmail replacement to deploy on my own server. It's called kite. It uses a lot of cool techs like vagrant, puppet, angularjs and of course, postfix for mail handling.

For the moment, it doesn't do much besides displaying a list of emails in a maildir but in a week or two I should have thread handling written.

The source is at: http://github.com/khamidou/kite (sorry for the lack of readme, I should get around to do this tomorrow)

fbnt 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a news reader that works in the opposite way of traditional news reading apps. It uses Twitter as a sort of enhanced RSS feed and ranks news based on how much they are shared in real-time, and lays them down in a newspaper-like format specifically designed for mobile devices.

It allows you to find what's important for people rather then what matters to newsroom's editors, and put you in a whole different point of view. I belive it's extremely interesting, and I'm trying to make the reading experience as enjoyable as possible.

The first raw version is available for iOS: http://newspo.st

I'm in the process of adding categorization and custom topic search as well.

garraeth 2 days ago 1 reply      
Terra Ex (http://www.terraexgame.com/)

* Terra Ex is a 4x (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate), online game.

* We are raising money for STEM education from the game's profits (see our foundation: http://www.odinfoundation.org/).

* We've got 20+ years of experience in making games and wanted to leverage this expertise to make a game that will help fund our charity.

* We're a completely new and indie company.

* Our team worked on World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Command and Conquer, Mercenaries 2, and several others.

* Professionals from NASA/JPL and USC are helping out so we can make the game educational, and scientifically correct (see the video on our site). But not so "educational" as to ruin the fun in the game.

* 100% bootstrapped in our free time.

edit: formatting

mikeurbanski 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shut Up & Sit Down (http://shutupandsitdown.com & http://penny-arcade.com/patv/show/shut-up-sit-down)

A board game review show and a few secret projects.

Cool because: Very funny.

callmeed 1 day ago 0 replies      
I built a sports trivia app for iOS: http://bit.ly/winahat

The cool thing about it is I built an engine to scrape the web and APIs and keep generating thousands of new questions. Trivia games are fun but can get repetitive fast. I'm hoping to avoid that.

In progress is an android version, then venturing outside of sports.

hpvic03 2 days ago 0 replies      
A Pivotal and Trello hybrid for agile software development teams.

Pivotal works but lacks the idea of "stages", which is very useful because it actually reflects the real world.

Trello is cool but it isn't made specifically for software. For example, it doesn't have acceptance workflow.

Combining ideas from both of these results in a very compelling and (I think) useful product. Version 1 will be ready next week.

stephen_mcd 2 days ago 1 reply      
https://kouio.com - RSS reader we built to replace Google Reader.

It's cool because it's been an amazing ride keeping it nice and snappy in spite of an ever growing data set - over 50 million feed items retrieved so far and still growing :-)

praxeologist 2 days ago 1 reply      
I want to build a marketplace for electronic cigarette vendors/individuals. I've been a vendor for almost 3 years and have a unique product which is even more effective than others in helping people quit smoking (even though we are not allowed to market it this way). I think that looming regulation will destroy a lot of small businesses, so I am trying to find a way to respond to that.

Getting someone to take payments is really hard though. Balanced just changed their terms, so I am really demoralized but still keeping at it. My options seem to be to become a payment processor myself (expensive and I have no clue what to do) or wait until a similar service comes along and make sure to get in quick so I can get grandfathered in before they change the terms.

If anyone has some insight on payments and wants to help me learn the industry or if you smoke and want to quit, let me know.

meerita 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on Notegraphy (http://notegraphy.com) it's a writing app for iOS and Web.

It's cool because:

The idea is simple: write stuff, short or long, multipage and then style it as you want. Then you can either publish to your own gallery of notes or, share it on your favorites social networks.

You can download it from here https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/notegraphy/id669094298?ls=1&... any comment will be appreciate it.

On the first two weeks we've got around 100k users and we're growing like crazy.

gphil 2 days ago 1 reply      
https://kwelia.com -- we are taking a quantitative approach to determining the market rental value of apartments. This has not been done accurately on a large scale in the past, and I think we are the first to do it well.
solnyshok 2 days ago 1 reply      
I made private diaries for close friends (7 max). It is like post-it note on the kitchen fridge. Not indexed by google. Honesty of content there is amazing. Things that people would never trust to fb/twitter. Also, people that never write anything on facebook, do post there. It is simple stuff, like " I am doing that, I am feeling this, I am going to somewhere." If suddenly, all of fb contacts would post such small things, you'd go crazy. However, there are several people in my life, about whom I care deeply and want to know how they are doing even if they are 1000km away. This solves my need to keep in touch with chosen few souls. http://www.osom.me
Jemaclus 1 day ago 1 reply      
a MUD (multiplayer text-based RPG) written in Ruby.

It's cool because MUDs are awesome. But I'm doing this in Ruby because it's a language I'm somewhat familiar with but I don't really consider myself an expert on (as opposed to PHP and Javascript, both on which I do consider myself to be an expert). I figured that building a Ruby project from scratch would be the best way to learn the language. So far, so good.

Thoughts:- No framework yet. Decided to just build it and see what happens. I'm not trying to learn Rails -- I'm trying to learn Ruby. They're not quite the same, obviously.- It's harder than I thought. It took quite some time for me to figure out how to mix together sockets and threads to keep track of multiple players- It's more fun than I thought. I've used Ruby in the past but have never really been impressed. (I think that's mostly Rails.) But this project is full of far more epic wins than my usual ideas.- Ruby probably isn't the best language to do a MUD in. I initially started with C and I got pretty far, but I decided I wanted to learn a new language, not build a MUD in a language I already know.- The old school Merc/Diku muds out there are based on flat files. All data, such as character files and area files, are stored in a custom flat format. I'm using JSON for my test data, since it's pretty easy for Ruby to consume, but I'm thinking I may switch to a DB-based setup. But then again, the flat file thing is working just fine...

I guess I'll publish the source some day, when I get to the point where it's playable.

btgeekboy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a system to export users from one version & instance of our SaaS application and import them into another.

The cool/interesting part of this is that I'm using a combination of SchemaCrawler and our homegrown upgrade/migrations kit to naively (with the only domain-specific knowledge being where to start) extract a single account from a multi-tenant database and import it into another one, even if the other one is a different version. (I only support upgrades, as downgrades would cause data loss.) Because it all runs over JDBC, it also means that I can go from one database to another - MySQL to PostgreSQL, for example.

pornel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Modern JPEG encoder (https://github.com/pornel/jpeg-compressor) and lossy PNG compressor (http://pngmini.com/lossypng.html)

Everybody uses encoders for these formats that are as old as the formats themselves, but today's hardware is about 2000 faster than it was back then, so a modern encoder can use expensive techniques that were previously unthinkable.

fudged71 2 days ago 2 replies      
Everyone is working on new 3D printing hardware but the software is still years behind.

PrintToPeer (http://www.printtopeer.com) is connecting 3D printers to the internet for remote control and analytics. We have a web dashboard with a real-time connection to your 3D printer(s) for queueing and monitoring, and we've built a printer driver that works on the majority of current desktop 3D printers.

A hardware-agnostic API from the web serves as a platform for other developers to create apps on top of. It's an abstraction layer above 3D printing.

Being able to create tangible things from software is the coolest thing I can imagine, because of the social and environmental impacts. There are huge challenges ahead that we are excited to face.

pawelkomarnicki 21 hours ago 0 replies      
LikeMind (http://getlikemind.com) -- an easy and friendly way to meet likeminded people around you.

Demo: http://getlikemind.com/discover

It's cool because:* it's not a dating social network, so if you won't get spammed with people telling how beautiful your body is or how much they want to sleep with you (unless you make a profile with this purpose in mind)* it's about doing stuff, so you can finally meet a running buddy you wanted or fellow foodies to cook together, or just talk and share ideas, no pressure!* our iPhone app is beautiful and delightful to use, because we keep our users in mind, always* our team is super small (we have basically 4 permanent workers, an intern and a... dog :D)

defied 2 days ago 1 reply      
A Selenium Grid (http://testingbot.com)

I love working on this because I get to learn a variety of things. Right now I'm switching from Amazon EC2 to my own setup with KVM/Qemu VMs.

It's been quite the experience prototyping with kvm/qemu, overall I'm really happy with it. From tuning libvirt, to loading RAM images straight into the VM in order to avoid boot-storms, learning about the various VM disk formats, virtio drivers, ... there's plenty to learn!

tempestn 2 days ago 0 replies      
SearchTempest (http://www.searchtempest.com/) -- Search multiple craigslist cities, eBay, Amazon, etc., in a single search. Cool because it's all based on Google Custom Search, so we can do it without scraping craigslist (or indeed, accessing them at all).

AutoTempest (http://www.autotempest.com/) -- Similar idea, except searches multiple used car classifieds sites: craigslist (via SearchTempest), AutoTrader, Cars.com, eBay Motors, Oodle, CarsDirect... We're affiliated with some of the sites, and for the others we use Google Custom Search, and/or link to their results pages in new windows.

boyter 1 day ago 0 replies      

Its a source code search engine with experimental regex support. Why is it cool? For me its because search is something I am interested in and indexing the web is cost prohibitive. This way I get to play with indexing hundreds of gigabytes of code without breaking the bank. Its also useful to show off when doing job interviews.

iamwil 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cubehero (https://cubehero.com)It's cool because:

* host 3D printed projects with version control (based on git)* generate previews of STL and OpenSCAD design files* can make commits through web uploader, so you don't need to know command line git.

shuzchen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Recommendation engine as a service (http://savant-api.com/) -- absolutely nothing public yet, except a fancy d3 powered widget that has nothing to do with the service.

It's cool because I'm hoping to make collaborative filtered recommendations easy to obtain for small outfits.

tommoor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sqwiggle https://www.sqwiggle.com - It's cool because we're making peoples lives genuinely better by enabling them to work from wherever they want. We're also doing our part to rid the world of commuting and grey cubicles.
rglover 2 days ago 1 reply      
Proper (https://properapp.com) - Easy to understand contracts for freelancers.

Cool because it makes the process of creating, sending, and signing freelance contracts much less difficult.

Ultimate goal is to get it to a point where a freelancer can pick from a series of pre-loaded templates related to their type of work (e.g. a brochure website, developing an application, wedding photography, etc.) and send their client a contract (that's viable) in minutes.

Also makes signing easy for clients by just using a single button click.

sensecall 2 days ago 1 reply      
https://loseproof.com - a little side-project we launched a couple of weeks ago.

It's a low-cost, secure and simple way to protect things that are important to you.

We've started with stickers for now, but are looking to offer item-specific protection soon e.g. keyrings, luggage tags and pet tags. The concept is well-founded but, until now, has been really poorly executed.

jedireza 2 days ago 0 replies      
Drywall - A website and user system for Node.jshttp://jedireza.github.io/drywall/

Recent cool news: got word from the hosts of Node Knockout that submissions are allowed to use it in the competition.

sahillavingia 2 days ago 2 replies      
Gumroad (https://gumroad.com) enabling any type of creator to earn a living selling what they make directly to their audience.

See: https://gumroad.com/demo

It's cool because I got started really seriously making stuff when I realized that there was not nearly as much of a difference between making stuff and making a living as I thought there was.

It was only getting cheaper and easier to make software. Making software (products!) has been democratized.

This has happened to software/startups, but not really to music nor film nor comedy nor photography nor publishing (yet!).

But it will soon and I'm happy to that Gumroad can contribute.

mcherry 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on Revision Path (http://www.revisionpath.com), which showcases black web designers, web developers, and graphic designers. Right now, that's in the form of interviews, and I've got 28 done (10 audio, 18 text) with about a dozen more in the queue.

Why is it cool?

Well, whenever the mention of race and technology get mentioned together, people get extremely bent out of shape. Instead of going that doomed route of asking why the industry isn't more diverse and arguing statistics (on it's visible edge, I mean), I decided to showcase the people who ARE actively working in this industry.

The site is just a few months old, and the reaction has been mixed (as you can imagine since I'm only interviewing Black folks), but I'm definitely interested in telling these people's stories who love this industry, love the work they do, and are interested in telling their stories.

julien421 2 days ago 0 replies      
We are working on HNWatcher.com, a tool for everyone (community managers, growth hackers, devs, devops...) to track keywords and users on Hacker News.

It is cool because you can be alerted on:

- any mention of your name, company, product or competitors on Hacker News and join the conversation.

- any submissions or comments of users you like

This way you can upvote while it's still time and join conversations on subjects that matter to you.


spleeder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Im working on SongPane(http://songpane.com) an app that helps musicians organize songs and put together set lists for live performances.

Demo: http://demo.songpane.com

Its cool because:

* you can carry your entire song repertoire with you (chord charts) and easily combine songs to create set lists for worship services, concerts, practice sessions, etc.

* can transpose chord charts

* works on any device

* works offline

* can share set lists with other band members

* everything is synchronized in real-time

benmorris 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cloud Imaging API http://ionapi.com - A lot of software I write faciltates design online, web to print type stuff, and I noticed a real void in a robust image manipulation API. This restful API makes it pretty easy to get images generated of text with lots of effects.

Why it is cool:-supports obvious features rotation, resizing, etc of images, but that isn't really the important parts

-Vector first, text is generated as vector then converted to raster if needed (for client side previews). An API request you can access the underlying point data or request a vector file(eps,pdf) in response rather than raster (png).

-Robust Text features - load fonts on the fly,shear, vector outlines (offset path), texture support, gradients, warps, shadows, etc

-Object structure allows complex images to be built from other canvas objects previously saved or pulled from the net, canvas can be built from vector or raster sources, or through the API.

-Ultimately the API will make it painfully simple to overlay designs on objects such as pens, mugs, koozies, shirts, vehicles, etc.

What is not cool: it isn't done :( Unfortunately it isn't ready for open access yet. I have a few customers using parts that are done, but mainly documentation is not done and there is no front end developed yet for sign ups/ registration. If you are interested in using this please let me know or use the notification form on the site.

Where is it being used? Several places, one of my clients you can checkout that uses it http://bandegraphix.com (lettering tool, rclogo/decal tool) another one Dynamic Product Image placement http://boatdecals.biz/lake-swag/ (canvas creation, masking, warping)

nileshtrivedi 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have been working on a web-based interactive environment for creating 2-d mechanics problems (with bodies like particles,disks,boxes, forces like gravity, springs, linear & circular motors and joints like revolute joints and sticks etc.) and simulating them. Think Algodoo for the web.

I think it's cool because nothing like this exists for the web. I recently gave a presentation at a Javascript conference in Bangalore on this: https://hasgeek.tv/jsfoo/2013-2/688-interactive-physics-simu... To see the demo, skip to 13:00 in the video.

I haven't launched it yet because collision detection and response is pending. Hope to do it soon. :)

megablast 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not that cool, but I haven't had a chance to talk about my work:

Spreadsheet Pro, is a spreadsheet app for the iPad. Lots of fun to write, features lots of formulas and graphs as well. I finished this last week.


Also, Scrum smart is easy to use Scrum management software for the iPad. It is actually a lot easier to use on the iPad than on a laptop. Finished 2 weeks ago. And a new version coming out soon with a lot more features.


SamBoogie 2 days ago 0 replies      
Betathegame.com - Beta is a game that teaches players programming, game design, and facilitates synergistic learning.

I think it's super cool because it's one of the few games I've played that has a heavy educational component while also being fun. It's also cool because it's extremely open. Through the use of the in-game terminal, players are able to build intricate levels and puzzles, then share them with others.

Due to the extremely customizable nature of the game, I foresee teachers being able to create homeworks/tests/assignments within. That's the synergistic learning part :)

We've done workshops with Black Girls Code, DIY Days, The Village, and the Grace Hopper Convention in places like NYC, Sheffield (UK), Philly, Minneapolis, and most recently Toronto. With each iteration we are seeing more and more excitement, from kids and adults as well.

If your interested and located in NYC, we're doing a game demo this Monday night (10/28) at Microsoft HQ (www.meetup.com/gaming/events/139786752/). stop by, play our game, chat with us, play other cool indie games and have fun!

ibstudios 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://www.reportsfortrello.com - Why it is cool: It is only two months old, but it is cool because of I made it to be free and private like no app. I did not want to be responsible for other people's data. Because reports are just a glimpse at a moment of time, I thought it would be best for both speed and privacy to store Trello activity temporarily. So I get off the hook for security and reliability and you get your data destroyed off the internet.

What does it do? It reports time from 3 different actions using Trello. When I first used the Trello api I was amazed at what you can see. Today I can move one card and inform my clients and track time at the same time. One bird...

I also don't require any signup. You use your Trello account to sign in. So I guess another thing that I think is cool is that you can use my application with little friction. In 3 clicks you can see a report of your Trello activity the first time you use my app. I am proud of flow.

I also think it is cool that I can get sub 100ms responses off my tiny vps using ruby/redis/apache/modrails/oj gem/jquery/bootstrap. I love the stack, sure it's not the fastest/latest, but it was fun to code.

The tool is currently used by people in 88 countries. I did not expect this at all and it is a happy surprise.

Best of luck to all!

Timers and pie charts are for bakers!

alex-s 1 day ago 0 replies      
JamHive (http://beta.jamhive.com) -- a service for musicians to collaborate regardless of physical distance and time constraints.

Back Story

I love music and would love to do a jam session with old friends, but it is difficult to schedule a time or we live too far away (ie: SF & Amsterdam & Tokyo).

Why Cool

* Musicians work together on a single jam (up to 5 instrument/vocal tracks)

* Record directly into browser or upload a pre-recorded audio file

* Basic editing and filtering of sound waves

And I am looking for feedback & advise!

* @Musicians, how is the recording & editing experience?

* @Engineers, currently, this is built with RoR, Bootstrap, Heroku, AWS and a huge mishmash of the Web Audio API - how can I make this scale better for smartphone, tablets, more browsers (currently only Chrome and Firefox)?

* @Engineers, advice on improving (speed & security) data upload / download

rooster8 2 days ago 0 replies      
Happy Scale (http://happyscale.com) - A moving-average weight tracking app for iOS

It's cool because it changes your relationship with the scale. Your weight fluctuates up and down naturally during a diet, and seeing a high number in the morning after you worked so hard the day before can be so demoralizing. With this app, that number is just a data point. You can enter a high number into the app and find out that your overall weight trend is still headed in the downward direction, so there's no need to freak out!

On a personal level, it's cool because I actually SHIPPED and because I've gotten to learn so many new things like design and marketing. And getting an email from someone who tells you that it's helping them in a way that no other system has ever helped them before feels incredible.

PS- Reading Hacker News has been a huge inspiration for working on this and persevering during the rough times. Love you guys.

aoruclar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Neurio: A new home intelligence project that makes an ordinary home smart.


It's cool because we launched it on Kickstarter 11 days ago, and have raised $101,000 so far... people really are excited about it!

Basically, it's a real-time energy sensor that can show you how much electricity each appliance in the home is using from a central sensor. Also, it has an open platform & can integrate with things like IFTTT, Spark Core, and Smart Things.

Here's an example project we put together. =)


drakeandrews 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm reimplementing the SQLite virtual machine in RPython, in the hopes that RPython's tracing JIT will speed up query execution. RPython (the toolkit behind PyPy) is cool because it allows you to build a JIT-enabled virtual machine with very little effort.

I'm also writing a comedy horror roleplaying game and getting to grips with all the less fun aspects of running a kickstarter campaign.

jed_watson 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a web app framework / cms for node.js built on express.js and mongo called KeystoneJS, and have been for a few months.

Keystone makes it easier to get a blog / website / web app up and running without a lot of the module research or boilerplate code node.js usually requires. It also provides a beautiful, useful admin UI (think activeadmin for rails).

It's open source (MIT), and cool because...

* There isn't really anything like this for node.js yet (that we've found). There are a so many great modules and you can plug in almost anything, but getting projects off the ground requires a lot of boilerplate compared to frameworks like rails or django.

* It makes sophisticated things trivial by providing drop-in patterns - like session management and auth, and clever fields for your models, e.g. location fields and image fields (which make for a better admin UI but don't abstract too heavily the underlying data the fields represent).

* We're trying to build an "out of the box" system that doesn't keep you in the box. You can use what you like and swap out what you don't. You can use Jade or Handlebars. Plug in any express middleware you like. Use the built in auth system or provide your own.

* It's all based on the best practices my team have come up with in over a year of node.js web app development and we're using it to power several commercial, production projects. So it's got real-world usage and solves real problems.

* Quite a few people have said this is a gap in the node.js ecosystem, and ultimately if Keystone is just useful for us and a handful of others that's fine, but it would be really exciting if we could start something that helps node.js grow or helps other web developers use the platform. Especially for projects where rapid development is important, and having a great admin UI available would be the difference between using node.js and not.

If you're interested check out http://keystonejs.com

egypturnash 2 days ago 0 replies      
Decrypting Rita: http://egypt.urnash.com/rita/

It's a graphic novel about a robot lady who's dragged outside of reality by her ex-boyfriend. She's got to pull herself together across four parallel worlds before a hive mind can take over the planet.

netpenthe 1 day ago 0 replies      
InputFarm (http://www.inputfarm.com)

- Input Farm provides quick website design reviews from expert designers for $75 (but we're giving them away to HN users now - see here: https://medium.com/p/8a87429d26cb )

It's cool because:- I've been a web developer for 10+ years and quite often i get 'stuck' on making a website better. I don't need a designer to do a 'full re-design', i just need a few pointers on how to make my website better.

- I need 'fresh eyes' on my website

- I need confirmation that i don't need to start over and waste a bunch of time!

rudolfosman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Zazler - seamless API creation, http://www.zazler.com

Why it's cool:

1) Instead of building an API for your project, you can start using Zazler as a ready-made API. It acts as a web server that can be installed locally and configured directly to a SQL database (a legacy database or a new one, we're currently supporting PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite and MSSQL), so that makes it cross-platform. (ofcourse you can also build a proxy with node or nginx on the server's port if that's necessary)

2) Database queries are defined as URLs per HTTP request, using a query syntax very similar to SQL. This allows the user of an app to write necessary queries, hence extend the app on the client-side. Complex joins, filters and similar stuff is supported.

3) Zazler comes bundled with many technical formats, data visualizations and app templates. And they are extendable, meaning the app's users themselves can decide how to view the data, even write their own formats and templates.

4) The feedback we've received from backend developers is that it will save them many, many hours of boilerplate coding. So it can also serve as a development platform that can be used to write database queries using URLs instead of writing boilerplate backend code. You can basically set it up and let the frontend technician take over the work from there.

5) We've used similar architecture for the last 6 years in our projects, so it's pretty mature. Now we're releasing Zazler as a beta for public and planning to launch it as a separate product in 2014.

I've written a blog post where I describe Zazler's approach in more detail: "API Creation the Missing Link in API Management" http://www.zazler.com/?p=115

hippich 2 days ago 0 replies      
SMS Neighbors (http://smsneighbors.com/)

Cool, because I am trying to bring social networks to people using "dumb phones". By sending text to one number all your neighbors will receive it. Perfect for reporting suspicious person or lost dog, or announcing garage sale or neighborhood event.

zitko 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on Event Discovery App.

It's cool because unlike other apps that fetch data from Facebook, we're classifying events into categories using NLP algorithms and we're also working on advanced event recommendation system, so we don't just provide a list of things.

Also unlike other tech startups that try to make things easier to do at home (delivery, social networks, etc etc) we're trying to encourage you to go out and enjoy life.

It's for Android only at the moment.http://olaii.com

I'm always open for chat, suggestions, criticism so don't hesitate to contact me/us :)

gfodor 2 days ago 1 reply      

Mail photo postcards of the kids to grandparents. It's cool because people like it and pay for it. It's also nerd-cool because it uses AWS SWF for order processing and gave me a chance to see if I could design, ship, and scale up a successful iOS app myself.

danpat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Automated ski trail reporting:


Using GPS trackers to watch where grooming equipment goes, then update the "what's been groomed" report automatically and (where there's sufficient connectivity) in near realtime.

eudox 2 days ago 1 reply      
A statically-typed, JIT-compiled dialect of Lisp. I felt that there was a spot between performance and low-level control, and high-level metaprogramming that no language right now occupies (Except possibly Rust, which looks pretty promising).


cliveowen 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nothing, and it's cool because it gives me a ton of time to go out and meet people.
lukaseder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Making my strongest software engineering beliefs a business with http://www.jooq.org

It's cool because two of the oldest and most popular technologies in the software ecosystem (Java from the 90s and SQL from the 70s) are still integrated like it's 1997, through the awkward JDBC API. Meanwhile, everyone else has since been trying to hide SQL away (e.g. JPA).

While jOOQ doesn't help everyone (http://http://www.hibernate-alternative.com), most DBA / SQL-centric developers who have stumbled upon jOOQ found the idea very intriguing, and it certainly beats SQLJ in user acceptance.

What's really cool as well is that I can help the Java folks remember how awesome actual SQL can be. Today's junior developers hardly even know the SQL language.

dzink 2 days ago 0 replies      
DoerHub (http://www.doerhub.com) -- a place where all of the things you are working on can attract not just likes but also advice, collaborators, tools, tangible help, referrals and word-of-mouth. It's a humanized GitHub, because no code is involved and non-hackers can contribute in little or big ways to your tech or non-tech projects and initiatives.

Here is mine: http://doerhub.com/of/diana , showing the rest of the stuff I'm working on.

d0m 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hacking Health

We try to break down the barriers to innovation in healthcare. We bring together doctors, nurses, developers and designers so they can hack without all the bureaucratic bullshit.

iM8t 2 days ago 0 replies      
HMW: http://hmworship.com/ - on offline WEB App for song lyrics/chords.

It's really cool because most of the current chord sites lack the one critical feature for the mobile age: offline usage.

And also it's amazing because it's built entirely by volunteers and the users are evangelizing it themselves. We have never spent a dime on salaries/marketing or anything else. 100% bootstrapped.

Udo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm building a community-based startup and project incubator with the goal of forming "classes" of founders who support and advise each other. It's called http://launchway.net - though it's been difficult to get people on board I'll keep trying.

As an aside, I think we should have threads like this one more often, I'd love to learn what everone's been up to periodically.

shravvmehtaa 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.hshacks.com. Introducing hacking to the younger generation. Our goal is to introduce as many people to computer science as possible with our hackathon, and promote computer science education to as many females as possible. Companies are looking for more computer science talent and want more to see more females in their company ranks. There are almost 30% less females in computer science compared to males. We are here to provide the mentorship and training needed to become a great developer. We aim to teach students the basics of computer science by holding workshops, teaching the basics of web development, developing iPhone and Android applications, and integrating third party products (APIs) into applications.
AndyKelley 2 days ago 0 replies      
libgroove[1] - a generic music player backend C library.

The goal is to provide a powerful yet simple API for building a music player app. It's the backend for Groove Basin[2], a music player app written in Node.js with a web interface.

It's cool because everybody who uses it as the backend for their music player app benefits from the shared maintenance burden and increased robustness.

[1]: https://github.com/superjoe30/libgroove[2]: https://github.com/superjoe30/groovebasin

bedatadriven 2 days ago 0 replies      
ActivityInfo - allow non0technical humanitarian and other NGO workers to define indicators, collect results, map, share, and overlay from dozens of different sources. Open-Source AppEngine/GWT app with OLAP-ish database that syncs to local WebSQL for offline usage. http://about.activityinfo.org, or http://github.com/bedatadriven/activityinfo

Renjin - new interpreter for the R language built on the JVM (http://www.renjin.org) - includes a gcc-based Fortran/C to JVM compiler tool chain to leverage and transform existing scientific code.

jaredsohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been working on a couple of projects.

The first is software that automatically pauses/mutes your music when you watch a video and restores it afterward by looking at process volumes. It is called mute.fm but only available for Windows at the moment. http://www.mute.fm/

The second is a location-based pasteboard called near.im that lets you share {contact information, addresses, links, text} with people who are nearby who don't necessarily have a particular app installed. I've recently discovered it can also be used as an appless Chrome-To-Phone. http://www.near.im/

Prefinem 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am working on a new game I Invented. Called "The Game of Stones" http://thegameofstones.com

It will be a website along with a phone app.

Why it's cool? Because it is a tactical type game, like chess, checkers, or go but instead of two players, up to five players can play meaning that there are much more possibilities for winning. I am also developing a board game for it as well to be able to play as a group at home, or where ever.

joshontheweb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Robot Audio (http://robotaudio.com) - An online DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). The app itself is not ready yet, but you can play with the synthesis engine on the signup page.

It's cool because:

* You can now make something like Ableton Live or Garage Band directly in the browser.

* You will have all of you work and assets available from any computer and won't need to worry about license keys.

* It will be much easier to share and collaborate with others.

* It will be affordable (between $5 - $20/mo) as opposed to $600 - $1200 for Ableton Live.

nihaar 2 days ago 0 replies      
BabyDigest (https://www.getbabydigest.com) - Share baby pictures safely

My baby's timeline/Demo: https://www.getbabydigest.com/timeline/santiago

It's cool because:

* It solves a key problem for parents: How do I easily share my baby's pictures & videos privately without requiring my friends and family to sign up or install something?

* It automatically finds pictures of your baby on your Facebook feed and pulls them into your baby's timeline, so that your grandmother can see them.

* Built in SF with my buddy and I using Django/Python, MongoDB, AngularJS

pauljz 2 days ago 1 reply      
A web-based IDE for automated testing [1] with real-time collaboration features. Pretty cool for a few reasons: First, it's actually making creating automated testing suites enjoyable. This is usually a pretty unenviable task. The IDE is something I actually like using though, and have found myself wanting to use it on just about every consulting gig or website I've touched since we started on it - even ones without an explicit automated testing requirement.

Second, the technology to pull this off requires a lot of different pieces, in different environments and languages. It's been a really satisfying technical challenge to make everything work together seamlessly and automatically.

[1] http://f14n.com/

krapp 2 days ago 0 replies      
So many awesome projects...

I made something to format the outbound links on a page into an expandable list that I think is kind of cool. It's probably way too early to be posting it since I just started it though but what the heck.


(no one will be very impressed but I like it...)

coreymaass 2 days ago 0 replies      
I just launched http://builtFromIdeas.com - my web app developement services as a package.

It's cool because it automates most of the sales process. It generates an NDA, and work-for-hire, invoices, and accepts electronic signatures for approval. Customers can review and approve milestones, make payments through Stripe. It even schedules calls!

c0lin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Notelab (http://notelab.org) - a way to take synced notes alongside web videos.

It's cool because:

* It's really simple (paste a YouTube URL then take notes and they all sync up).

* At the moment there's no good way to capture, organise, export and share notes relating to online videos. You have to open a text editor next to your browser window, or (gasp) write on paper.

* It solves a pain point I have when teaching, as I often recommend videos as "recommended viewing" to my students, and I like to share my notes on the videos with them, and also see what they are writing.

* It's my first coding project, so I'm learning a lot :-)

nrp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on making virtual reality as compelling and comfortable as it can be with mostly off the shelf components. It is cool because seeing virtual reality finally work puts a smile on the face of just about everyone we try it on.
tluyben2 1 day ago 0 replies      
New version of Fitto[1]. The current version works well for people who, so to say, live in the gym, but not for others. So we are adding a ton of features to make it work well for the more casual gym-goer!

It's cool because of the many new hardware devices we are integrating.

[1] http://fitto.co

cwal37 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nothing to do with coding, but I recently started writing energy things at www.btus.us It's just Wordpress for now, but I want to talk about energy generation and consumption related things using EIA and other data sources in ways people haven't seen before. Maps, charts, tables, I think there are a lot of fun things to look at in the energy industry, and most people don't have a strong grasp on it.

I'm working on a map series (36-48 maps in a .gif) of dominant generation types by state and month right now that I think a lot of people are going to find very interesting, as the seasonal disposition of hydro and the fast uptake of natural gas by all the boilers that can use it will be kind of visualized.

eliteraspberrie 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wrote a spectral analysis library called udsp:



In the future it will include:

* support for more FFT libraries, like FFTW;

* some signals processing functions, such as basic frequency modulation/demodulation; and

* a NumPy-compatible Python interface.

Its best feature at the moment is convolution and correlation.

johnmurch 17 hours ago 0 replies      
2 projects: 1) Easily save jobs - http://bucketjobs.com/ (live)2) SAAS Dashboard - http://helicopter.io/ (closed beta
bitexploder 2 days ago 2 replies      
Toy project: an HTTP(S) brute forcing tool using Python as a templating language. Why is it cool: high performance using async IO, powerful templating for Python programmers, very easy to take HTTP requests and turn them into a fuzzing template that mutates request in a combinatoric fashion. Similar to features built into Burp proxy for those that are familiar with it.

Real project: A system that will help organizations understand their overall, and application, security risk and manage it across time. Why is it cool: because security is hard and this will make it easier in a non-snake oil fashion. Many organizations are flying blind about their actual risk. A good view of your risk can help you prioritize security budgets.

NicoJuicy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Creating a non-intrusive task management application.

For example, you mail what the guy has to do and add this mail in cc: in_15_days@maildo.me .When the task is finished, he responds to you and adds: finished@maildo.me in CC.

You can set up options for a weekly overview of tasks with their current state.

Still developing the system though, but if your interested just add your mail to this form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Im08qadrAvOv0LHVq-rNFPIlpPA... and i'll notify you with more information :)

MarkPNeyer 2 days ago 1 reply      
writing a sci-fi novel dealing with p vs np, quantum computing, the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, the future of civilization and culture, and hipsters.

it's cool because it's also about my personal life and struggles with bipolar disorder.

rst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Positronic Net, a Scala toolkit for Android programmers, with UI and data-management helpers.
theblueadept 2 days ago 0 replies      

It's a (free) headless browser API for web automation, creating web-bots, scrapers, and talking to REST-ful web services. I just released Beta version 0.9.5 last night.

It's cool because it's far more lightweight than the most obvious alternatives, which means (for example) that it's possible to run many, many browser instances at once, such as one per thread. As an API, it's very developer-friendly with extensive documentation and simple examples for every concept, making it very easy to get started writing java-based scrapers/bots/etc.

benblodgett 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.nkoso.org / http://www.hopsie.com - a crowdfunding api for non profits.
LouisSayers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Working on http://www.Driftrock.com - it's a Marketing tools platform that connects to various paid marketing channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Adwords, Analytics.

It's cool because it's designed to host lots of different marketing applications, and because it has the big data aspect to it.

The other cool thing about is that it's designed to be easy to use, mobile responsive, and self service (which is quite a big plus when comparing to the competition!).

The other cool thing is that it's my day job, and I get paid to build, design, and work on it :)

kevando 2 days ago 0 replies      
Frameri (http://frameri.com) Interchangeable Rx glasses.

Buy your lenses once that work with multiple frames!

thecolorblue 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on a food discovery app that works something like Waze. Users post where they get their favorite foods, either groceries or restaurants. This data is aggregated and used in the search tool that lets users search nearby, popular and in season. I haven't gotten it online yet but I have it running locally. Its important because there is no food information online. Every online food ordering website is closed off, and finding great food still requires people to ask around. This could open up a whole new market for small food producers who are producing great stuff but can't get awareness.
nercury 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have started working on a library to simplify exposing C++ classes to various languages that can be "embeded". A link to the second attempt [1], my current attempt is to expose things to V8 Javascript [2]

It is cool because in addition of exposing and sharing objects, it can be used to output the documentation for them, or even ease embeding such languages as C# (to generate interop library automatically).

Note that this is my second attempt (recently started), the first one worked but relied on some overcomplicated third party libraries for V8, I could not understand them fully, therefore a reboot.

[1] https://github.com/key-tools/key-machine

[2] https://github.com/key-tools/key-v8-machine/blob/master/key-...

photorized 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) Data discovery and social analytics:


Extremely minimal interface, fast (everything is precalculated/precached).

2) tech accelerator: http://www.colodesk.com/

All about rapid prototyping, idea to MVP within weeks.

kylebragger 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just released a Q&A book about building community products. (I founded Forrst in 09.) Totally DIY effort, used ruby and the prawn gem to generate the PDF file. All questions were crowd sourced. Here's a discount if you're interested: https://gumroad.com/l/obcp-book/saturday
lfittl 2 days ago 1 reply      
pganalyze (https://pganalyze.com/) - Performance Monitoring for PostgreSQL databases.

Its cool because:

We visualise the metrics & counters that are usually hidden away in PostgreSQL internal tables.

Plus we check that your database is fast and configured correctly.

Also: I'm a techie with a UX hat, and data visualisation and pattern matching is fun :)

gregdetre 2 days ago 2 replies      
Building on Hofstadter's models of analogy-making to build pattern recognition algorithms that work in a more human-like way. At least, that's my hope!

My background is in computational neuroscience, but I'm doing this on my own, mostly for fun. If it sounds interesting, I'd love some company! greg at gregdetre dot co dot uk

awdraper 2 days ago 0 replies      
DrumLog.com (http://www.drumlog.com) - Analytics for your practice sessions. It's a web app for drummers to track what and how much they are practicing.

It's Cool because:

* Creates analytics from an offline activity

* Built with Backbone.js, Node.js (Express.js), hosted on Heroku, and uses Parse to store data. (all great free services)

* Is being actively used by over 100 drummers who have logged over 3200 practice sessions in about 3 months.

psobot 2 days ago 1 reply      
Currently building out http://forever.fm, an automatically-beatmatched radio stream of popular music from around the web. Built out the real-time music streaming backend in a mix of Python, C++ and Golang, just submitted the iOS client to the App Store, and am currently finishing up the Android client. (Along the way, I also built my own distributed, persistent version of Unix pipes on Redis: http://github.com/psobot/pressure)
goyalpulkit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shyahi (http://shyahi.com) - Your Social Homepage. Its like about.me with extended information about social profiles beautifully summarized on your profile.

Its free, easy to set up and pulls in your stats directly from Dribbble, Github, Stackoverflow, Twitter and your blog feed which means that your Shyahi profile is always up to date. This is something that's really cool about Shyahi, you set it up once and then its automatically updated based on your social activity. It provides the most precise and relevant information to your audience at one central online location. And its bootstrapped and made by two people.

thibpat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've built GifIt (http://gifit.nodejitsu.com/) this week. It allows you to add a gif with your tweets.

It's cool because:

- Gifs are cool

- It uses getUserMedia() to capture the gif from the browser

- Coded in node.js with the MEAN boilerplate (https://github.com/linnovate/mean)

- It's a 15-hours one-person project

prezjordan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a program that allows you to make presentations in record time[0] because making slideshows sucks - and it shouldn't have to.

Learning a lot about node modules, promises, and maintaining an open-source library. Loving every minute of it :)

[0]: http://jdan.github.io/cleaver/

michaeldunworth 2 days ago 1 reply      
snapcard - Allows people to spend their bitcoins on any website at anytime, regardless of whether the merchant has it integrated.

Like Amazon 1 click, except it works on every website and requires no merchant integration.

Video Demo - https://vimeo.com/76122291

It's cool because- Spend bitcoins anywhere you want- No merchant integration- 1 click checkout so you don't flood a million websites with your personal data.

jschrf 2 days ago 1 reply      
A real-time web interface for remotely scripting Android devices using TypeScript. It is cool because Android is great and TypeScript is great.
spencerfry 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on https://www.uncover.com (an easy way to offer perks and rewards for your employees) with a few other people. We're bootstrapped and making decent revenue in our 6th month. We've got a huge update coming (hopefully) before Thanksgiving.
sparktree 2 days ago 0 replies      
QuietThyme(http://www.quietthyme.com) is like DropBox for your ebooks.

We let you access your eBook library anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Its great because we allow our users to convert their ebooks from one format to another with ease, its simple enough that my mother and father could do it. We also let you keep complete control over your library, if you want, by allowing you to store it on Dropbox or Google Drive

vuzum 1 day ago 1 reply      
Blogvio (http://www.blogvio.com) - add beautiful widgets to your website.

It's cool because you don't need to do any coding to add beautiful and custom galleries, video players, mp3 players, and any other types of widgets to your website. Just copy/paste an embed code and you're done.

This helps you a lot especially if you're an agency or freelancer, or if you're using a publishing tool such as Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, etc - where you don't have access to a server to upload files.

kranner 2 days ago 1 reply      
An iOS speed-reading app (http://velocireaderapp.com) for ebooks. I have a day job so this is an after-hours side project.

It's cool to me because it's something I use myself, almost every day. It's so effective I even get ePubs for any book I've just bought in paperback, just so I can read it in my app. I've got an endless list of planned features to experiment with, so it's fun in more than one way. And I like to think its users like it too!

hhaidar 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's Chat, our little private campfire alternative: https://github.com/sdelements/lets-chat

It's cool because we get to keep our chats to ourselves.

glazskunrukitis 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am working on a side-project in my spare time - GetSSL.me [1]. The idea is to sell inexpensive certificates and offer friendly support. All certificates are hand picked and we only offer the best of them.

[1] https://getssl.me/

huragok 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hyperglot (http://tmcnab.github.io/Hyperglot) - a language experimentation platform.

Basically, gives you the tools to make languages that compile to JS in one nice, neat package. I've already written a lisp-like language and a python-like language this week which is pretty rad.

pla3rhat3r 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been working on PLUNK. It's a Technology Consultant Firm which specializes in helping the entertainment industry.

I've been going to a lot of conferences where the reoccurring theme is the tremendous divide in technology and the entertainment world. Either they don't know, don't care, or are too overwhelmed to know where to begin.

PLUNK will help them build applications that will deliver meaningful experiences with their audience. Whether it's simply helping to improve upon their social network to building a fully customizable application. Their audience is already engaging them, it's time to talk back.


howlett 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on Taniger https://www.taniger.com which is a real time Facebook chat encryption service.Quick demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU57xQcAcd0

Why it's cool:It's open source. It provides REAL real-time encryption without the hassle of "choosing a password", "copy pasting text" etc. Also same logic can be applied to any web chat service.

Code available at: https://github.com/sadreck/taniger

chris_va 2 days ago 0 replies      
(neat Ask HN!)

Maybe the software guys here will find this cool :).

I'm working on an open source build tool (similar to Ant, etc). Github code:https://github.com/chrisvana/repobuild

It's cool because:

* It makes it really easy to integrate new open source code. Want to compile against boost? Add one line. Want an ML library? Add another.

* Everything gets automatically pulled in.

* It makes it really easy to share your open source code with others.

* Works with a bunch of languages.

* Proven model from companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

My main project is using large scale computing (data from millions of CPU hours) to change how drug discovery is done. Drugs are very expensive because 98% of them fail. This hopefully changes that, and makes it profitable for companies to go after much smaller diseases that do not currently get attention. Papers forthcoming.

radkiddo 1 day ago 0 replies      

it is cool because it allows businesses to become more profitable by allowing companies to negotiate discounts on supplier and service provider invoices.

basically sellers can get paid early (adding liquidity to their business) and buyers can profit on discounts, adding thousands to their cashflow (which they will never get from a bank).

you can think of it as twitter meets dropbox meets ebay for the supply chain.

checkout our blog too:http://blog.apbox.co

calineczka 2 days ago 0 replies      
Developers oriented project management ebook ( http://blog.arkency.com/developers-oriented-project-manageme... ). It's cool because it teaches you practices that can be applied to your current IT project to make it more developers friendly. The goal is to make the work on a project more smooth and everybody more happy, as well as help the developers team to transition into remote work. The content of the book is similar in form to http://blog.arkency.com/2013/09/story-of-size-1/ and other blog posts linked inside. I hope some of you might find it interesting.
olegp 2 days ago 1 reply      
https://starthq.com - a web app launcher & new tab replacement extension - like the old Chrome new tab page, but better.

What makes it cool is that we are implementing a number of desktop and mobile OS features, like multiple, screens, fast shortcuts, cross app search, notifications etc. but for web apps.

martydill 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://reminderhero.com - an email and SMS reminder service. Currently in beta.

Unlike some of my previous projects (such as http://surveylitics.com), it's cool because it's actually useful. I've been using it for the past month or two for everything and anything I need to remember.

metral 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on an aggregated information panel for the novice Bitcoin day trader.

It's great for Bitcoin buyers & sellers because the panel is consolidated around the more popular exchanges & wallets, its cleaner & easier to read than most financial-type sites, & all the data is real-time. Also, I'm working on supplemental features such as a live balance & calculator page to help make more informed decisions without having to navigate to other pages.

It's cool to me simply because its a site I myself want & need and mostly, its an excuse to play with technologies I've always wanted to learn & use so I'm glad I finally took the time to do so.

i.e -Django as webapp front-end with Gunicorn & nginx in the mix, -Gearman as a background worker pulling data and storing it in a DB, -nodejs + socket.io pushing the DB data to Django, -supervisord controlling Gunicorn & Gearman processes

And all of these living in their own VM environment for load/performance & decoupling of the usual silo of services.

Ping me if you're interested in finding out more about it :)

superice 1 day ago 0 replies      
RoyalCMS. It's an extremely flexible content management system, which focusses on creating functionality by using plugins. It's like an platform for websites. It is not quite done yet, but we have a (kind of) working beta: http://royalcms.net/
AshFurrow 2 days ago 0 replies      
Working on a book about functional reactive programming on iOS using ReactiveCocoa: https://leanpub.com/iosfrp

It's cool because there's a lot of information out there, but little to show developers how to build a whole app.

secfirstmd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Currently working on a mobile security application to help easily teach, implement and manage the physical security of human rights defenders, activists and journalists. Right now there is nothing out there that does this, so hoping it will get a lot of use.

I'm not the best in terms of technical ability so if anyone wants to donate time - especially app developers, LAMP stack guys, UI/UX or testers then please drop me a mail to secfirstmd@gmail.com

vbsteven 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://cyclingplanner.com -- a season planner and training/results tracker for competitive cyclists.

It's cool because:

* A lot of cyclists are still planning on paper or spreadsheet, including me before I started working on this. It scratches my own itch and I believe I can make the experience a lot better.

* It collaborates instead of competes with services like Strava and Garmin Connect. Because it's using their API's cyclists can keep logging their workouts on those services and view detailed analytics on cyclingplanner.

* It's my first serious attempt at bootstrapping a software product and I've learned a ton of interesting stuff aside from coding so far.

Goopplesoft 2 days ago 1 reply      
GAuthify (http://www.GAuthify.com), Aims to make two factor authentication dead simple for the masses. I love two factor authentication and want to see everyone else use it too :)
dxm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a limited company incorporated in the United Kingdom, and I am working on three projects that I hope will turn into profitable products.

* Main focus: Transactional and marketing SMS application, it's a little boring and lots of companies do it, but none are truly self-service, and none make it super-easy.

* Back burner: Digital asset management, again it's done by many companies already, but there UIs are mostly upload, tag and try to retrieve. I have a background in AI (B.Sc) and I want to make it a little smarter than what's currently out there, with uploads that detect previous revisions of digital assets, etc finally putting to an end file naming conventions such as x_final.ai, x_final_2.ai, x_final_final.psd (something I have seen used by every company I have worked for.)

* And later: I'm into brewing beer, and I have been working on recipes for a few years Ambition is to make enough money to survive with the two projects above, and to begin investing in building a microbrewery and brew pub.

fiatjaf 2 days ago 1 reply      
DocsBlogger (http://www.docsblogger.com/) -- blog from Google Drive.

Because:* Google Docs is the best WYSIWYG on the internet;* blogging can be just about writing on a cool interface, without having to setup blog platforms AND go on their messy interface to write;* regular people can use this;* the written content stays on Google Drive, so you can delete your blog and keep everything without dealing with strange database backups;* almost-compatible with Jekyll-Octopress themes (some changes on the code have to be made, and for now only I can add themes to the pool of themes, but we will see what happens);* custom CSS (tomorrow javascript) files (automatically fetches from Google Drive) embedding.

brackin 2 days ago 0 replies      
We're trying to fix urban parking with Spot (starting in San Francisco), connecting homeowners with parkers when they're not using their spot.

They can drag to set their schedule or set it based on days and we let them start earning morning and do all of the legwork. Our parkers can open up the app and book a spot on an hourly basis instantly.


adamzerner 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.collegeanswerz.com/ - better college reviews. Most websites just have a reviewer answer a few questions about their school. This doesn't work. I have a bunch of specific questions that reviewers answer.

http://www.collegeanswerz.com/university-of-pittsburgh/ is the only school with answers right now. I'm working on getting other schools.

hyperion2010 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm building a tool (using python) that helps scientists (me) plan and automate repetitive experiments of pretty much any kind. The amusing part is that by using a database as a back end one can--guess what--query data based on experimental conditions and streamline and automate analysis.

Many scientists I have talked to (who collect their own data and do their own analysis) simply store their data sets on the file system and keep track of any relations or conditions in an ad hoc manner. I personally don't trust my memory, my handwriting, or my ability to do EXACTLY the same complicated set of things over and over enough to do that.

Hopefully using a tool that makes the relationships between different pieces of data explicit and automates or at least systematizes how data is collected I and others can generate more and better data and communicate what we did and what we found more effectively.

SubuSS 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work on AWS DynamoDB Storage Engine. AWS DynamoDB is an infinitely scalable / infinitely provisionable / hosted low latency key value store. It is growing beyond the basic key value store definition rapidly with indexing etc.

Building and keeping a storage engine that runs on a ton of machines with high performance requirements / changing hardware / a bunch of new feature work etc. is truly hard. Add in other complexities such as live deployment of new software, monitoring for issues, testing the upgrade downgrade scenarios etc. you are looking at a super complex and fluid system. Very few people in the world get to be in the middle of such massive e-machinery, So it is a great place to be. Tough, but great.

If that sounds interesting to you, and you are looking to work on the bleeding edge of database technology used by a lot of customers, PM me! We are hiring in Palo Alto, Seattle and Dublin!

SuperChihuahua 2 days ago 0 replies      
#blog100 which is not a "project" but the idea is to produce 100 blog posts in 100 days. Hopefully will it increase traffic to my real projects.
eli_gottlieb 1 day ago 0 replies      
On a good week I still manage to get some coding time in on my systems-programming language, Deca.


tehwebguy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Magic Shop (http://www.magicshop.io) - crazy easy way to set up a shop on any website

Demo account: demo@magicshop.io / demo

View demo at http://magicshopdemo.tumblr.com

mgl 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://codedose.com We are working on a small side project (codename: market colors) that will make daily analysis of stock price movements and trend discovery super easy. You will be able to analyze and compare literally thousands of stocks from US, European and Asian markets in a few minutes. AJAX frontend with interesting high volume batch processing in the back end. (if you are interested in more details, drop us a line!)
aespinoza 2 days ago 0 replies      
iKnode (http://iknode.com) - Automation/Integration Backend Platform.

Demos: https://www.youtube.com/user/iknode

It is cool because:

* it reduces the time to market of backend applications and makes it extremely easy to deploy with just one button.

* It uses an uncool (uncool in HN) language (C#) to create very cool and amazingly easy functionality in the cloud.

* apps scale automatically with you knowing anything about Capacity planning or scaling.

* You can store your data internally with an easy to use interface.

* Mind blowingly easy to use task Scheduling.

jermaink 2 days ago 1 reply      

We're working on visualizing the social network within movies. :)

keven25 2 days ago 0 replies      
A bookmarking tool that tracks progress of webpages/videos

I've been using this app to bookmark all my webpages: http://alittleapp.com/

It is especially helpful for unfinished long articles and long videos, which I have to come back for. What makes ALittle unique is, it actually saves the play progress of the video (in the case of articles, it saves the scroll position), so that next time you can come back to the exact same spot. No more writing down the time manually. No more time spent trying to remember the spot you left off at.

ALittle makes this possible with a Chrome extension. It adds a cute little button next to your browser's address bar. With just one click, you can save the progress of any webpages. Furthermore, the progress can be synced across computers, as long as you have Chrome browsers.

derwiki 2 days ago 1 reply      
CameraLends (https://www.cameralends.com) -- AirBnB for cameras, rent cameras and lenses from local photographers. It's cool because:

- sharing feels good

- if you have camera gear, you're probably not using it all the time

- it's a way earn back cash from lending out gear

- it's a side project that I've bootstrapped this year :)

TallboyOne 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://pineapple.io - I think it's cool because I don't know of any centralized locations for development tutorials and tools. Reddit is filled with mostly jaded posts and HN is filled with lots of news. Mine is only tutorials, tools, and assets.

Here are some tags to start you off. I guarantee you will find hidden gems here :) http://pineapple.io/tags/all

sheepz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Greenhouse CI (http://greenhouseci.com)

A continuous integration platform for iOS and Android apps. Our goal is to create a CI environment which is focused on mobile applications, no more, no less, without the hassles of setting up and maintaining something like Jenkins.

Live Demo: http://try.greenhouseci.com/ (for iOS and Android Gradle projects)

If you have a open source iOS or Android project, I'd really appreciate if you tried to build it.

It's cool because:

* I get to work on cool technology. We are currently using Node.js, Python, Go, Mongo in the backend, and AngularJS in the front end

* I get to be part of the whole design process: the actual programming, devops stuff, UI design and copywriting

* It is technically challenging

mamcx 2 days ago 0 replies      
A app similar to square (a point of sale for iPad), but with more features. I doing a real-time sync (based in firebase) for it.

This is a upgrade, semi-rewrite of http://www.elmalabarista.com/bestseller (until now only useful for wholesale distributors with ERP + Sync server) to help small shops to sell and replace DOS based POS software that is very common in my country and elsewhere.

Is a single-man operation ;)

P.D: And I wish to have time/money to build a language based in FoxPro/Python...

nakodari 2 days ago 1 reply      
Jumpshare (https://jumpshare.com) - Real-time file sharing service that allows you to view over 200 file formats right inside the browser.

It's cool because:

* People can now share and view the contents of the files online without having to download and view them using 3rd party desktop apps.

* People can collaborate around content while on the go.

* No need to sign up for multiple services to upload multiple file types, YouTube, Scribd, Slideshare, Flickr, etc. Just upload any file on Jumpshare and view it online, beautifully.

* Files shared can be viewed by the recipients without having to sign up for an account.

* Kills folder hierarchy and introduces a new type of folder organization to speed up file sharing.

* Bootstrapped and developed by 8 people.

stasy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on first startup as a sophomore in high school. It is basically a PHP login/registration system styled with all the bootstrap templates. (You can get the PHP login/registration system with any Bootstrap template. Coming soon. https://www.phpstrap.in/
sycren 2 days ago 0 replies      
Currently in an Edutech hackathon in London - http://hackathoncentral.com/

Working on a project in conjunction with the British Library to crowd source tagging for illustrations found in 19th Century Literature. And further down the line to provide descriptions of what the images actually are.

collyw 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am pleasantly surprised to see lots of really innovative ideas. Usually speaking to "entrepreneurs" their innovative idea is a new social network "like facebook but..."
kylelutz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Boost.Compute (https://github.com/kylelutz/compute) - A C++ GPU Computing Library for OpenCL

It's cool because it offers C++ developers an easy path to running code on GPUs and multi-core CPUs via an STL-like API. It's similar to NVIDIA's Thrust library but supports all OpenCL compatible devices (including AMD GPUs and Intel CPUs/accelerators).

Documentation is here: http://kylelutz.github.io/compute/

P.S. It's still under active development and we're looking for more contributors with an interest in parallel computing and C++. Send me an e-mail if you're interested!

apoorvnarang 1 day ago 0 replies      
A gamified course management system for colleges (http://www.usebackpack.com)

It is cool because:* It has all features to stay updated about your college courses in a very easy user experience.* It has game elements that keep students engaged and have fun while learning.

poissonpie 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm tinkering Click or Treat with http://clickortre.at a silly little halloween themed game with absolutely no point. Has got a halloween soundboard though :)

It's cool I've used it to start learning AngularJS. It's also cool because my daughter enjoys clicking the little ghost.

skwp 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://reverb.com - a musician's marketplace.

It's cool because we're putting the care into hand curating our listings so that we have really cool collections (you can check em out here: http://reverb.com/handpicked-collections).

It's also cool because we're experimenting with machine learning (poking at prediction.io currently) to see if we can give people more of what they want. And we're building Ruby services and we have an iPhone app. And all this with only two developer, a UX designer and an intern. And it's cool because we're actually making money. And, we're hiring ;)

shaunrussell 2 days ago 1 reply      
Upbeat (https://www.upbeatapp.com/) -- hackernews meets soundcloud.

It's cool because:

* Users can democratically decide which music is popular.

* Music is browseable by genre, and filterable by sub genre.

* Users can save songs and add them to a queue for later listening.

* Powered by Angular.js, Node.js, Redis.

* Average server response time: 9ms

* Bootstrapped by 3 friends, in less than 1 month, only working nights and weekends.

* Already profitable.

joetann 2 days ago 1 reply      

Fun side project to scratch an admittedly very small itch I've had for a while. I've collaborated with a local company who is handling all order fulfillment.

Working on adding font chooser, image upload, and a more elegant customization form.

quinto_quarto 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pitch Me (http://www.pitchme.org) -- we're building a marketplace for buying and selling quality journalism.

We vet our writers and we have hundreds of stories from them from all over the world. If you're an (aspiring?) editor, you could commission a magazine full of original stories, edit them and pay the writers in one place. Get in touch at hello@pitchme.org if you're interested.

nathanathan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a game based on memorizing Chinese characters.It's cool because it uses the qualities that motivate people to play farm sims to encourage players to study a language. Players plant character-flowers and must pass quizzes in order to pluck them.This website has more information and a download link for the beta, which only works on android at the moment: http://zhongwengarden.com/
dysbulic 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to design an alternative to the investment economy. I would like to digitize cost information and use computers to determine fair prices. I want do it by keeping metadata about bitcoin transactions.

By making the system of production computer accessible we can run businesses at cost.

I'd like to start with the information systems for the One Acre Cafe. They are a pay-how-you-can restaurant opening in Johnson City, TN. (I wish it was pay-what-you-can rather than volunteer for food, but that's something to worry about later.)


Their initial need is for a volunteer management system. Apart from three people, the entire staff is volunteer. I've not done any coding on it yet, but it will almost certainly be a rails app.


Eventually I'd like to integrate this with an inventory and pos system, so you get a bill that tells you what the meal cost the cafe to provide based on the accumulated cost information associated with the business.

You get a receipt that includes a QR linking to a profile for your server. You are able to give feedback by entering adjectives and ranking them -11.

There is also the ability to give a tip in bitcoins. I'd like to have a service where the money can be conditionally given. I'm interested particularly in housing.

I want people to be able to give specifically for shelter and they get it back if it isn't used.

Phase two would involve mortgaging a house and then renting the space at cost and payable in bitcoins. What I'm trying to work toward is the ability to sustainably travel. A chain of restaurants that accepted each others' electronic work reputations combined with easily accessible housing could allow a new sort of nomadic life.

filpen 2 days ago 0 replies      
In my spare time I am working on Seatbelt (http://seatbelt.io), a web app to help developers find pair programming partners.

It's cool because I think we need to bring developers together and share the knowledge, and I am convinced that pair programming is a powerful way to do it. There is much we can learn from working with people from different backgrounds.

Right now there is only a landing page with some copy, I work on the code when I find time. It's taking a while since I use this project to teach myself node.js (I am a .NET backend guy in my day job) but it's a fun side project.

gio 2 days ago 0 replies      
Blimp http://getblimp.com

Project management software for creative teams with no managers.

It's cool because:

* We help you automate a workflow for your tasks (Plan -> Do -> Review ->Done)

* Beautiful and easy to use

* You can see the status of all projects on a single page (no more status meetings)

* You can see who is doing what in any moment

* Conversations are task centric, no need to read long messages to figure out what to do

* Google Drive, Dropbox Integration

* Proudly bootstrapped and made by three guys from Puerto Rico.

pedalpete 2 days ago 0 replies      
A so far un-named hardware development framework which makes hardware programming more expressive and programs more shareable. No more "gpio -g write 17 1".
schreiaj 2 days ago 0 replies      
This week I've been making:

3D Printed sprockets for a local high school robotics team.

Building a small quadcopter for learning the technology so I can do aerial photography.

Started developing the materials for a course I'm teaching at the local hackerspace nominally titled - Building your own autonomous ground vehicle. I just took delivery of the parts for my first cut at a kit.

I also just finished teaching free classes to local students about 3D Printing, Git, and Project Management. Not sure it counts as making though.

darkFunction 2 days ago 0 replies      
Objective-C class visualisation: http://notes.darkfunction.com/DFGrok

It's good for code reviewing changed classes, or getting a structural overview.

danielmunro 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been working on a mud implemented in python. For the uninitiated, mud stands for multi-user dungeon, and they are usually text-only multi-player games run over telnet. The first MMOs. It's cool because it is a modern project, using twisted for networking, it's event-driven and scripted, as opposed to hard coded and tightly coupled. The whole project is still highly in development and may not actually be in a working state but it's a labor of love. https://github.com/danielmunro/mudpy
arek2 2 days ago 0 replies      
5000 Best Things (http://5000best.com/) - feature-rich lists of best movies, books, websites, Youtube videos, web tools & services, Imgur pictures.
mide765 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never-Bored (http://mide765.com) - An iOS app you use when you have some time to kill.It's cool because you can choose between four topics depending on your mood and environment. You can read short-stories, watch interesting videos, learn facts and basic phrases for ten languages or play some games such as Pong.

On a personal level, I've started using Xcode for the first time on third of September. This is the final product of my first try on doing an iOS app.

Any feedback is appreciated.

ghinda 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on Business Card Maker(http://bizcardmaker.com/), a very simple client-side business card generator that can quickly export PDF or JPEG.

It's definitely not as cool as most of the stuff here, but it's real easy to work with, that's why I'm hoping it will be helpful for people with no technical skills and small businesses.

Ave 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hiresync (http://hiresync.io/) -- collaborative coding interview tool / tool to send out screening questions to candidates, record their response, and being able to pass that recording to your team to review at a later time.

Currently pretty early in development, alot of features are incomplete, but it feels nice to have something deployed online.

Mostly feeling like I'm stagnating at my day job so this was a good chance for me to learn some new skills.

psathvik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tharunopayam (http://upayam.tharuni.org/), a laravel/android-powered SMS helpline for adolocent girls, women and the aged in Warangal, India.

It uses an android device as an SMS server and a laravel based responsive front-end which allows our experts in various fields like nutrition, psychology, law, etc to answer peoples' queries from wherever and whenever they find it most comfortable.

steveridout 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://readlang.com - an online eReader for language learners.

I've been working on this full time, completely solo, for nearly 11 months now. It's lets you import any content to read, provides low friction translations so you can concentrate on enjoying the content, and has a spaced repetition system to learn words and phrases with flashcards.

It's getting some early traction now with 2300 users, 45 of whom are paying, and really good feedback.

wololo 2 days ago 0 replies      

It's cool because: we analyze paths taken in binaries to find bugs.

madoublet 2 days ago 0 replies      

I know "why do we need another CMS?" It's cool because it makes it really easy to deploy Bootstrap sites. Plus, it has a full API and a great UI (well, at least I think so).

inconshreveable 2 days ago 1 reply      
Public Hidden Services

These are services that have a secure, public URL that can be accessed by any web browser. The server hosting the traffic, however is completely anonymous and cannot be traced.

feint 2 days ago 0 replies      
Saved.io (http://saved.io)

It's cool because it's solves a problem I was having in a really simple and elegant way.

juanuys 2 days ago 0 replies      
My 1Password replacement using the shell:


Suggestions very welcome!

novaleaf 1 day ago 0 replies      
phantomjs.cloud: (phantomjs as a service) http://phantomjscloud.com/site/index.html

it's cool because: my first web project, needed subsystem of my next web project ;)

moj 2 days ago 0 replies      
An ios app to make roadtrip timelapse movies (video + gps = fun). This idea has been on my mind for ages so I finally sat down and built it.

This video, the very first upload, shows it in action. Bonus if you can guess where it is: http://youtu.be/-sFu7xAxt5c

The in-app playback has map route, speed, & direction overlays, not yet present in the video export.

It's not ready for the store yet, contact me if you'd like to beta test.

jbkkd 2 days ago 0 replies      

Let's you find rail connections using Google Maps and directly buy the tickets on the rail site.Currently only in Germany, but other countries to come, and also cross-country tickets using each relevant rail provider.

abbiya 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am working on an android app which broadcast messages to the app users in the same geo loaction. Its cool cause its new and its not cool cause it can cause some problems.
seeingfurther 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://psychsignal.com/ Quantifying crowd psychology. Initially our granular sentiment technology is focused on financial sentiment. We plan on changing the way real time news is sourced and reported on.
gionn 1 day ago 0 replies      
A platform to auto-deploy and sells web apps on different IaaS providers, helping small-medium business to delivery their software without api/pay-per-use/provisioning troubles.

http://cloudesire.com (public beta soon)

vpsingh 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://99tests.com - a marketplace for getting the most skilled manual testers to find bug in your software.

Idea is that you can set a price for each bug ($10-$500) that you would like to see, then pay our testers based on accepted bugs.

triaged 2 days ago 1 reply      
We're working on an app for developers that collates all of your saas products into one mobile feed. It helps you stay current on what's happening at work, both what your team and your machines are doing. It also helps you quickly dig deeper into issues & triage important events.

It's cool because you can keep track of a lot more than previously possible, communicate with your team, and act on it - from your phone. And it's damn good looking too (but we're biased :)

harpb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Webapp for organizing code snippets as pages: http://harpb.com/static/snipp-t/index.htmlWatch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPL-7-XTmDs&feature=youtu.beThe editor is very much work in progress and the video highlights base concept for the editor.
jscottmiller 2 days ago 0 replies      
1dash1 - a browser-based game creation platform.

Games are created using a custom toolset and programming language. Everything is centrally-run (games, content editor), making it easy to add multiplayer and collaboration features.

Here's a video showing how to create a multiplayer platforming game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6rgfEh_Ctc&feature=youtu.be

tosbourn 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://examtime.com - it is cool because it is helping people (100,000 so far) study and pass exams.
bichiliad 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on something of a responsive.io clone that uses Flickr as an image store. Not sold on the name yet, but I'm calling it Fittr in the mean time. It is mindful of retina displays, only requires that you know the flickr id of the image in question, and will optionally load a smaller image first, to make larger images appear to load quickly.


roryreiff 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fleck: getfleck.com/download (link to iTunes app)

Why it's cool: We give you access to creatives all around the world for topic based photo sharing. No more #selfies or #burritos when you just want to see Street Art or Typography photos. We have been touted as "Pinterest for the real world" by a few of our users.

edh649 2 days ago 0 replies      
Am currently just in the conceptual stages but some sort of device where you plug in a bunch of ipods and then can select a song from any of them to play as well as queuing music etc.

Is cool because at parties etc. means you don't have to continually switch ipods to put on 'That song'

bjpless 2 days ago 0 replies      
Real-time Office Hours for top Open Source Library Authors/Contributors.

It's Google Hangouts but with a focus on expressing coding concepts.

Looks like this http://www.enginehere.com/stream/312/programmatically-disabl...

guycook 2 days ago 1 reply      
Working on a QML runtime for browsers. It's cool for all the reasons QML on the desktop is for describing UIs. Still early days but there's a prototype at http://ivorydungeon.net/HQML and code at https://github.com/guycook/HQML
kirualex 2 days ago 0 replies      

That's the last app I'm working on. It's quite a challenge to go for a Weather app as there are bazillions of them on the AppStore, but I really enjoy the challenge of it. The feedback have been great for now (it just launched 2 days ago), and I hope to make it even better !

rl12345 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on https://mytraining.pro/

It's cool because it's one of the few brazilians startups that have a really unique proposition and are aiming high (instead of just copycating a proven american startup to serve the local market - that's too lazy for us).

It's a fitness app and social network by the way.

superbaconman 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on an OpenFlow controller in my spare time. There's nothing too cool about it other than, it's written in Go and GPLv3 licensed. It's useable but I have a big update in the pipes. Once that update is done I should be able to port some existing OpenFlow applications to Go.https://github.com/jonstout/ogo
aabalkan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've just completed Dailybbble http://dailybbble.herokuapp.com/ it sends you emails with best Dribbble designs of the day. It's cool because I always visited dribbble.com to see populars, now they're at my inbox at every 9am.

There are already hundreds of subscribers in the list. That excites me.

tomasien 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on http://wehighfive.com because I think 2 things:

1. Remembering people you meet is hard2. The iOS (and Android) Contacts apps are horrible.

amac 2 days ago 0 replies      
Octopus - http://www.octopus.org - a Marketing app directory and community blog/forums. I think it's cool because Marketing in my opinion is the most important aspect of business - particularly on the web.
jonnydark 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been at a Hackathon for the last 15 hours and we've cobbled together a text message service that you can ask questions to and it responds in the style of Yoda.

It's imaginatively called "Ask Yoda"Pretty useless, but pretty cool and hella fun to make :)

be5invis 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm making a orthogonal code generation library for JavaScript called Patrisika: http://github.com/be5invis/patrisika.

Also I'm creating an amazing high performance computer in small form factor with my friends. It will be able to contain 24 CPU cores, seriously.

Coval 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on completely rewriting my app (Stamp Trader). It's the only native BitStamp client I know of but the UI needs a ton of work. Why it's cool - you can quickly buy and sell bitcoins with your phone, you can scan and generate a QR code for addresses to buy and sell bitcoins locally with ease. I plan to open source the rewrite when it's finished.
webjay 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm building Konfect (http://www.konfect.com) because it annoys me that at every social network I sign up I need to refind those I usually connect with. With Konfect I can manage my connections accross networks.
Zolmeister0 2 days ago 1 reply      
Insignia (https://github.com/Zolmeister/insignia)A Personal project showcase and landing page

My page: http://insignia.zolmeister.com/

itsosman 2 days ago 0 replies      
BusyConf (http://www.busyconf.com) -- Conference planning SaaS

It's cool because conferences are great of networking and learning (especially in the tech industry), but current event planning tools don't handle a lot of the things that conference organizers need.

cmollis 1 day ago 0 replies      
we're working on a live party visualizer using raspberry pi's deployed as iBeacons. We're writing an iPhone app that detects the user's location (based on the ibeacon) and updates a server. We're writing a d3 visualization that renders the user's location graphically in real-time based on the aggregated server data.

doesn't exactly cure cancer, but it's pretty cool. Obvious uses for retail, etc (but all that stuff is lame.. it's more fun to use at a party)

..and that's what we're working on.

vanwilder77 2 days ago 0 replies      
Downloader for Dropbox


Because conventional file-system is being replaced with Cloud storage and so should your downloader.

chanon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on Dragomancers ( http://www.facebook.com/Dragomancers ) a Facebook (and later iOS) RPG game.

It's cool because it features online player vs. player turn-based combat and it's built using Node.js on the server side.

LeicaLatte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Updated my app today. A geeky stopwatch - http://logwatch.co
roycehaynes 1 day ago 0 replies      
Building: Chrrp - alerts you using Stripe events when a new customer or payment is made to your app. http://moneybags.chrrp.io
getdavidhiggins 2 days ago 0 replies      

Why is it cool? Lots of handpicked jQuery plugins all hosted on a CDN.


Why is it cool? Lots of resources for developers & hackers to dive into.

orchdork10159 2 days ago 0 replies      
Prismoquent is a package written for Laravel that allows users to easily access their Prismic.io repositories. Check out my blog on the package at http://blog.enge.me, and stay tuned for a new update and a new website dedicated to Prismoquent.
enriquepablo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am working on a knowledge representation and reasoning system. It is cool because of the simplicity and expressiveness of the languaje it uses to represent knowledge.


mafuyu 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm working on a credit card sized e-paper device. It has an Arduino, USB, Real Time Clock, and a battery, and fits in your wallet. Still doing hardware designs.

Some potential applications:

* Replace all the barcodes in your wallet (loyalty/membership)

* Google Auth TOTP

* QR Codes (links/BTC wallets)

* Interactive nametag

* e-book/text display

* date/time display with wireless phone sync over BTLE

* act as a USB device and display text/notifications from your computer

I'm not completely sure if the use cases are convincing enough - would you buy such a device? This revision won't have any wireless and instead will be focused more towards electronics/Arduino enthusiasts - dead simple to program over USB with provided libraries and documentation. You can use it as an Arduino/e-paper dev board and code neat apps for it that you can actually use.

kunai 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm working on a POSIX-ish OS in Brainfuck.

I'm working on it because brainfuck is awesome and writing a kernel in it is even moar awesome. I'm currently trying to figure out how to port several basic GNU coreutils to the system.

The kernel boots and hangs in QEMU. That's good for now; at least it boots. Now, the important thing is actually getting it to run bash, and a few basic coreutils, specifically cat, mkdir, echo, ls, and cd.

Once it's done, I'm pushing to github (commented extensively, of course ;)

VaedaStrike 2 days ago 0 replies      
Octopart style product search as a service.

Any data or product space at your disposal.

pagade 2 days ago 0 replies      
Side project, a small webapp, that would help me:

1. Learn Python, Django, HTML etc.

2. Track my yet-another-wake-up-early-attempt and (hopefully) motivate me.

sailE 2 days ago 0 replies      

A clone/rewrite of Notch's Breaking The Tower game in Javascript (Canvas 2D API). Cool because it's not Java?

leoplct 2 days ago 0 replies      
A data-driven analysis looking for what users are interested in when they are on Facebook


mindcrime 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a two products:

1. https://github.com/fogbeam/Neddick - Neddick, a private "reddit like" for the enterprise. Very much inspired by Reddit, but has some additional features - triggers & filters for content, RSS consumer, some additional "share" options (XMPP, ActivityStrea.ms via REST, etc.)

2. https://github.com/fogbeam/Quoddy - an "enterprise social network" product that has some wicked cool features compared to most other ESN offerings, including: ESB integration for subscribing to real-time business events, iCal feed integration, integration with workflow/BPM engines, etc.

Why is this stuff cool? Well, they're both OSS (ALv2), written in Groovy, and have some really nifty features. And what we're working on now is semantic concept extraction, automatic correlation/linking of Named Entities to related resources, and semantic query support. Coming down the pipe will be some rad visualizations and just generally more support for different ways to navigate the "knowledge space" that is entailed by related content, people, events and tasks.

For me, this is a classic "win win" because I get to have fun working with cool tech: machine learning / big data (Mahout, Hadoop, etc.), Event Stream Processing, Semantic Web stuff (Stanbol, Jena, Fuseki, etc.) and because we're building some stuff that I think we're going to be able to monetize.

Build awesome tools AND make money from it? That sounds like my idea of fun. :-)

antoniuschan99 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tools to help people who are located far away from each other to collaborate in rich and interactive ways just as if they were together in the same room.


AKluge 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interactive visualizations and instruction in mathematics and physics. We can do so much more than what is usually presented for online learning. For example a catalog of visualizations, http://www.vizitsolutions.com/portfolio/catalog/, and a more complete lesson experiment http://www.vizitsolutions.com/portfolio/gausslaw/.

The goal is for the student to interact with, to play with, the models. Of course almost all of this is open sourced :) The visualizations can even be easily embedded in any online content with just a few lines of HTML provided in the catalog.

jb007 2 days ago 0 replies      
Working on a distributed document database. It's cool as it integrates a search and analytics engine, distributed file system and query language like SQL. Will be the first ever and will solve all database problems for the most part.
spiritplumber 2 days ago 0 replies      
A thing to stop malaria. It is cool because it may save lives.
jimaek 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.jsdelivr.com - A free public CDN for webmasters.

It uses 2 enterprise CDNs and 14 hosting providers all load balanced with multiple failover features.

podviaznikov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Communi.st(https://communi.st/) - app for sharing outdoor equipment.

It's cool because it promotes sharing and written in Clojure.

hiburo 2 days ago 0 replies      
We are working on a fun & cozy team management web app - https://hiburo.com. Try the one-click demo on front page to get the feeling.
pholes 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am working on multiple things at the moment, though with my first year of college, progress has been slow.. After challenging C and a multitude of "introduction to programming" classes, I got into CISP 401 (java), so in order to get ahead of the class, I wrote a toy interpreter in java (deemed KjuScript). It is extremely slow, but based off the ruby language with full OOP implementation. Also recently I have been working on something in C++ with a friend that converts sound to color (to teach my dad music (he really wants to learn) who lost most of his hearing at 20, and so my mother who was born deaf, may enjoy my concerts in real time)There is a prototype of it in python located on my github account:


Ettolrahc 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm teaching myself JavaScript so this weekend I'm working on a basic app using Express, Node and the Twilio API. Learning on each little bit and will write about to help others too.
yathern 2 days ago 0 replies      
Working on a js library to create an ASCII canvas, and have drawing functions much like an HTML5 canvas. It will have the ability to create canvasObjects as well, which can be drawn and interacted with.
computeloops 2 days ago 1 reply      

A tool to save computer power consumption. It is cool because, it could contribute to keep earth cool :)

therobot24 2 days ago 0 replies      
building better graphical models for biometric image recognition
et1337 2 days ago 0 replies      
chefdash - a realtime dashboard for launching and monitoring Chef[1] runs. http://i.imgur.com/yLRduJt.jpg

You can run Chef simultaneously on all your machines and monitor their output in realtime. We're using it to deploy most of our infrastructure.

Look for it on GitHub soon!

[1] http://www.opscode.com/chef/

krishnasrinivas 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am working on https://nutty.io - share terminals using browser. If you use tmux/screen tools you will find this useful.
edna_piranha 2 days ago 1 reply      

because apparently people feel more human than human.

lowglow 2 days ago 0 replies      
If anyone is in the bay area we'd love to interview you on Techendo (shameless plug: http://techendo.co/)

We're always looking to interview people who are passionate and doing something awesome.

My email is dan at techendo dot co

psobko 2 days ago 0 replies      
New login flow for the next version of the Qriket iPhone app (http://www.qriket.com/) - earn cash for scanning QR codes

Here's what it looks like: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/73335831/QriketLoginFlow...

It's cool because it makes signing into our app a little bit easier :)

jbandela1 2 days ago 0 replies      
cppcomponents at https://github.com/jbandela/cppcomponents

With C++, it is hard to use code from 1 compiler with another compiler. In windows, it is even worse in that versions of visual c++, and even debug/release can't use the same binary. cppcomponents, allows code to be written in 1 c++11 compiler and used in another compiler, without giving up C++ features. You can use exceptions, and std:: string, vector, tuple, pair,chrono::timepoint.

I am hoping this makes it easier for people to create more c++ libraries. Currently, if you have anything other than a header-library, you either have to require the user to build the library, or else create a binary for every compiler (maybe even compiler version). With cppcomponents, you can create just 1 binary per platform that all the compilers can use.

Some of the libraries I have worked on are a libuv wrapper, a implementation of async/await in c++ (based on boost.coroutine), and currently working on libcurl wrapper. All these libraries are on github.

lcasela 2 days ago 0 replies      
An app that will track my sleep on stuff.
tmilard 2 days ago 0 replies      
free-visit ( http://www.free-visit.net ) It's cool because, I wana see 3d engine inside web browsers. I mean, at last...
ateeqs 2 days ago 0 replies      
vegnos (http://www.vegnos.com) -- A (Windows) desktop search engine (can also recover files in NTFS volumes).
kirk21 2 days ago 1 reply      
Tool for academic researchers: beta.bohrresearch.comIt is cool because it helps academic researchers to spend more time on their research.
dasmithii 2 days ago 0 replies      
Javascript + Cleverbot + Facebook Chat --> ?
montag 2 days ago 0 replies      
Gifcast: a tool to share screen captures (like Droplr, etc.) as animated GIFs.

It's silly compared to the cool stuff shared here, but I'm having fun learning Go and Objective-C.

dc_ploy 2 days ago 0 replies      
An interactive food recipie application for the gov
ChrisNorstrom 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://60lbgloss.com (alpha stage) - database, community, and marketplace for magazine cutouts. ("60 lb gloss" is the type of paper that magazines are printed on) At the moment it's really bare, only I can add and sell the ads. So far I made a working site in 5 days. Next will be the community features like adding an Ad to your favorites.

I don't know why but I always thought fashion ads in Vogue were beautiful. They were art. And it pissed me off that others didn't see what I saw. I also love and admire Milla Jovovich and try to collect as many of her fashion/fragrance ads I see. I get really pissed when I can't have one. It's my collector's mindset. Even if the site fails as a marketplace and instead becomes the Pinterest of Magazine Ads, I don't mind. I just love scanning the ads in and organizing them.

So I thought why not have a marketplace where people can buy and sell their favorite ads of models and celebrities. There's tons of people who are obsessed with celebrities and collect whatever has their favorite celeb's face on it.

tihag 2 days ago 0 replies      

kinda like padmapper for shows i guess.github.com/karabijavad/showlister if you would like to contribute ;P

Ask HN: What external displays do you guys use?
4 points by hobonumber1  7 hours ago   5 comments top 4
balac 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have one of the Korean 27" IPS monitors. It works well and the money saved was well worth the slight imperfections it came with.
kogir 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There's always the Asus PQ321Q (3840x2160 32"). Make sure your graphics card supports DisplayPort 1.2 MST though.
stevoo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
i Own a YAMAKASI CATLEAP Q270 SE 27" LED 2560X1440PLus another smaller 22inch HP screen.

The CATLEAP is exceptional for its price. 1/3 of the Dell Utrasharp Price !

jason_wang 6 hours ago 1 reply      
No frill IPS monitor from Monoprice: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=10509
Facebook Lockdown
9 points by nikolaymarinov  12 hours ago   3 comments top 2
Robadob 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here, myself, 4 housemates and 1 of their partners.
firefighter 11 hours ago 1 reply      
My dad unexpectedly uses my Linux laptop to get real work done
377 points by itsboring  2 days ago   347 comments top 77
cstross 2 days ago 9 replies      
Microsoft's desktop supremacy hasn't been down to "it's got a nice, easy to use interface" for at least 20 years.

Rather, Microsoft is (or was, in the pre-post-PC world) everywhere because of (a) licensing stitch-ups with hardware vendors and (b) network externalities: get into Corporate IT departments with Office, then people will want (or need) to use the same OS at home, and then you can strong-arm hardware vendors into signing exclusive Windows-only-on-our-PCs licensing deals, which in turn convinces Corporate IT that there's no viable alternative to a Windows-only ecosystem ...

Arguments about whether or not Linux is fit for desktop use by non-technical users miss the point: Windows' monopoly status was a virtuous circle (for a value of "virtuous" that approximates to "in the interests of MSFTs shareholders and provides job security for MCSEs") until the wheels fell off when confronted with an even bigger ecosystem that came out of nowhere. Which is the magic rabbit Apple pulled out of a hat with the iPad, and Google seeks to emulate with Android.

The desktop is now irrelevant -- less than 10% of computing devices people use are desktops or laptops: it's all gone mobile frighteningly fast -- but for what it's worth, Linux won. Because the winning Linux desktop is actually a phonetop or tablet environment: Android.

wting 2 days ago 14 replies      
Both my parents are 60+.

My mom is perfectly fine using Ubuntu on my old x61 for email, browsing, and YouTube. To be fair she could probably replace it with a tablet if it weren't for the fact that she visits a lot of flash sites (Chinese TV streaming sites).

Likewise my dad is on another Ubuntu machine at home. His work needs access to some software / printers that can't be run via Wine so he's stuck with Windows there.

I tried to convert my 25 year old brother as well, but he switched back to Windows after a month. Despite being the youngest, he hated learning a new system and preferred Windows.

lucb1e 2 days ago 3 replies      
This thread is awesome. It always feels like I'm the only person on the planet using linux in school; school requires us to use Windows and teaches several other proprietary vendor lock-ins; and very, very few friends actually use Linux, even though most are programmers.

Tomorrow I'm going to an open source event, mostly to show support for foss in general. Ironically the event will be in school: the very thing most important for the future generation of programmers and yet a place teaching us to be dependant on expensive, limiting and non-free software.

Reading this thread I almost feel that showing support is not needed that much anymore. We're there; our goal is reached. Too bad it's not. Monday morning I'll still be required to prove my competence (dependence?) in using certain non-free software while running the school's spyware in the background... which only runs on Windows. Ten years ago the Dutch government unanimously agreed semi-public institutions should use open software. In 2013, nothing changed.

Even despite the Snowden news, it feels like we're still at square one. At least threads like these give me hope :)

hnriot 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think this, and the rest of the comments have missed the point, It's not linux or windows really that's going on, but that "computing" for the masses has shrunk down to the browser and Office (or it's clones) - the operating system these days has become marginalized for most people. the File Open dialog is about as far as they interact with it, along with CTRL P and the dock. Linux is perfectly capable of this.

I run linux on my laptop, I run hadoop, a virtualbox for some VM's, a dozen terminal windows spread over two monitors and python. When I go home I have a similar setup on a MBP and most of the time I can't tell one from the other. The operating system, even for development has become quite irrelevant. I havnen't tried windows in decades... have they fixed the C: nonsense yet, or (stupidly) using the wrong slash in file paths!

chimeracoder 2 days ago 3 replies      
Linux Mint is actually a very easy and natural transition from Windows.

A few years ago, I installed Linux on my parents' desktop (dual-boot)[0] and told them that they were "forbidden" to use any other computer for web browsing, document editing, etc. I told them that this would be more secure, and that's all it took to convince them.

I figured that, this way, at least I could fix any of their computer problems remotely (over ssh), instead of helping with Windows on the phone.

It's been 2 or 3 years now, and they've had zero problems. I haven't even needed to ssh in except to do periodic software updates (which, even then, are superfluous for their purposes).

[0] My dad's work requires some very specific Windows-only software

arbuge 2 days ago 8 replies      
This is one way to look at it.

Here's another: I have Ubuntu on a couple of machines at home and still can't get them to talk to my Brother MFC-685CW printer. I'm a PhD in EECS.

pippy 2 days ago 2 replies      
For about last five years most linux flavours have been more usable than windows. Ubuntu and Debian have superb out of the box experiences, even more so given the disaster that was Windows 8. For example ElementaryOS is by far one of the best UI out there right now, and Gnome 3.1 finally pulled finger and created everything I'd been wanting in a desktop shell.

But the real "year of the Linux desktop" will only ever happen when manufactures get behind it. Like it or not, ChromeOS was a major step in the right direction. The complicated relationship that Microsoft has with their OEM partners and their Surface fiasco might be the bump that will cause the Wintel tower of cards to start falling. I'm interested in why OEM partners even still use Windows given it's a major cost and their profit margins are so thin. It's been a renaissance in instruction set architectures in the last decade with ARM taking over many market segments, and this is something that costs less and Linux has a huge advantage in. Windows will take years to catch up in terms of ARM compatibility and even then it's likely that it will be extremely limited.

hrktb 2 days ago 1 reply      
The main point might be that your parents aren't technical people (whatever that means), and the laptop was set from the start (they never had to care about hardware compatibilities).

We did a similar thing with my inlaws, leaving an ipad behind to facetime with their grandson, and recently they called because they couldn't see their new mails anymore (their provider changed the imap servers), they also happened to mainly browse sites on the ipad now, installed a few other apps for learning english and we don't hear about windows problems as much as before (they still need the laptop for standard Word/Excel/Powerpoint work and to print since they don't own a blessed HP model)

As you did we give them an opportunity to switch to linux, but they would need a well supported and preinstalled machine somehow, and that's not trivial to find. DELL seems to have some available on their net store, but it's a hard pill to swallow for people used to buy VAIO laptops in person and in store (not that they cared about the brand, but they look very nice and the sales person is reassuring).

Going the Apple route would bring more or less the same upsides as ubuntu, while skipping all the hardware support parts, giving real exclusive advantages (battery life etc), the bonus being they'd see anouncement in the press they'd understand what the fuss it is about. Linux could be viable, but it seems too late now that the Apple lineup is leaps and bound ahead of everyone else.

ivanbrussik 2 days ago 4 replies      
I've been using Linux since Redhat 4.0, whatever kernal version that was. I've always been a "desktop" user but very much know my way around bash and can throw together pipes and scripts.

Last week I setup a fresh Ubuntu box in our office, on a fairly new Dell PC in order to view a webinar. I wanted to show off Linux (ended up looking like a moron.)

Flash issues on Firefox rightaway, no matter what I did it would not let me full screen a YT video in the second monitor. Finally I figured a hack to F11 full screen the browser window and it let me.

Next the sound wouldn't work and I had to apt-get for another 10 minutes, then spend another 2 minutes editing som config file. Somehow it worked.

I freaking LOVE Linux and will always love it, but it has a very long way to go until it can ship on any device.

nmridul 2 days ago 6 replies      
The same experience here. My parents also use Ubuntu now (firefox, Libre office).

The main issue with Linux is, some one needs to install and setup everything for them. Finding and installing that missing wifi driver is not something that they can do.

Windows installation is breeze, just pop-in the disk and it will install everything for you. Hope pre-installed ubuntu systems get common.

bartkappenburg 2 days ago 2 replies      
As I'm reading through the comments I see only two types of users:

- the hackernews audience- 60+ low level users (no offence)

The former group has enough experience and knowlegde to get the system (linux) adapted to their needs.

The latter are only using it for either browsing, checking email or watching movies.

I think we're forgetting the important 'middle' group: the ones that aren't in IT but are working with a PC daily for their work. Linux is getting no real traction there (yet!) because of the poor native support of tools that are pretty common the in corporate world.

Think:- vpn software- voip tools - login procedures- custom software- etc etc

I'm not seeing this fixed in the near future...

V-2 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this such a success in 2013? That you don't need to be a guru to configure a printer and make use of it?

I can't wrap my head around why people seem to hail it as some sort of a triumph that someone managed to use Ubuntu for "email, youtube, general browsing" without resorting to expert aid :)

I mean, good for Linux, but isn't that an absolute minimum of what should be expected from a modern desktop OS?? Shouldn't it go without saying? :)

If something as normal as that makes for news to share, it is a clear indication of how bad a reputation Linux has had for a long time

fsniper 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a Pro-linuxer and never have any Windows machines near my home.

So this means, Ubuntu netbooks and laptops all around and my mom and sister is very familiar with Linux. They are using these easily.

Once I found out my sister tried to install wine via source code :) She needed some windows software for some firmware update and all her research lead her to wine and source code install. The thing is she did not asked me anything about the whole process.

Morgawr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had been trying to get my parents to move to Linux for a long time and now, after a few months of struggles, it seems they are actually liking it (xubuntu).

It all started years ago when my dad got a virus on the windows laptop, then I told him to use Linux (all they do is watch movies and browse the web) and installed Ubuntu for them. My mother got angry at me because she couldn't use Internet Explorer (ugh) and it "looked different" even though my dad was enjoying it, so we had to revert back to Windows... turns out half a year later they are full of viruses and crap, with a thousand toolbars in the browsers and all that stuff. They asked me for help to clean the PC and I pretty much told them that they need Linux if they want to get rid of viruses (I moved to another country so I have no time to go back there and fix it every time they get a virus). My dad managed to convince my mom to use Linux, he pretty much forced her to tell you the truth, however now they both love Xubuntu and have been using it for more than a year without problems. They both think it's actually faster and cleaner than Windows.

I'm happy.

rpgmaker 2 days ago 1 reply      
I use Linux and I find this post sad actually. It's 2013 and Linux users are still insecure enough about the OS to gush about someone using the OS for something productive? Isn't that what all of us have been doing all this time?
vu3rdd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Back in 2002, I went for work to the US for about six months. Calling India on the telephone was quite expensive then, even with calling cards. So, I left my GNU/Linux machine at home with my parents and made it to login without password. It was running a version of KDE and had netscape mail. I used to connect to the internet using this little program called 'kppp' and there was a nice option in there to open any program of choice when a connection to the internet is made.

So, I made it to open netscape mail on connection.

My father was quite uninterested to learn to use the computer, though he took elaborate notes while I explained to him how to send and receive email. My mother who cannot write english, listened to what I was explaining. Both of them had never touched a computer before and had a tough time operating the mouse. Once they adjust the pointer to the right menu and they lift their hand up to click and the mouse pointer goes somewhere else. :)

But at the end it worked quite well. My mother used the computer to send me email. She wrote transliterated malayalam (my native language). Both of us understood what we were talking about and we exchanged emails almost every day of my six months of stay.

There were times when the internet service provider couldn't provide a connection to a ppp request and kppp printed weird error messages. I had a friend who used to visit my home and see if there are problems. Barring a couple of simple problems, it worked reasonably well.

Every time someone complains that GNU/Linux is difficult to use, I narrate this story to them. Yes, there are still rough edges, but we have come a long long way since 2002. Oh, did I say my parents were both 60+ in 2002?

barbs 2 days ago 2 replies      
I find this is especially true when comparing to the mess that is Windows 8. Just finding the power button in that OS is a nightmare.

It's also interesting to see that it was Ubuntu, presumably with the new Unity interface. It's not something I personally like or even find intuitive, but it looks like it's fairly easy to pick up even for non-technical people. Along with the push by Valve to support Linux, I really hope this increases take-up of linux on the desktop.

Sent from my Linux desktop. :)

mistercow 1 day ago 0 replies      
The moment I really realized how much things have changed was when I plugged an old printer into a 64 bit Windows machine, searched for drivers, and finally found out that Microsoft's official position was "Buy a new printer". Then I plugged the printer into my laptop running Ubuntu and it said "Please wait while we set up your printer... OK your printer is ready to use".

I used to advise novice users against Ubuntu because troubleshooting can get pretty hairy. But that's my ex-Mac user bias showing. Compared to Windows, it is at worst a toss-up, and I feel that's being very generous to Windows.

jmspring 2 days ago 1 reply      
My dad replaced his XP netbook with an older 11" MB Air I had. He has since downloaded Xcode 5 and started working on learning objective C in his mid 60s. His only subsequent request was figuring out a solution for my mother's machine requirements around an iPad. She's one of those that clicks on emails they shouldn't.
lenkite 1 day ago 0 replies      
AFter fighting with virii and malware upteen times on my Mom and Dad's laptops - which I have to correct every few months or so, I simply gave up on Windows and installed Ubuntu for them. I didn't even bother training them - just pointed them to a few tutorials and help.ubuntu.com. The only hard part where I had to chip in were the printer drivers...aargh. Frankly, windows required a lot more help.

However, I will not deny that something like the Chromebook is a serious competitor to the Linux desktop - for the casual user.

robabbott 2 days ago 1 reply      
My dad is 74. I rebuilt his laptop last year and replaced Windows XP with Unbuntu. He loves it and has had no issues with it.
lignuist 2 days ago 0 replies      
After my nephew's laptop (Windows) stopped working two or three years ago, I bought one with pre-installed Ubuntu for him and introduced him to Open Office and Gimp. During the first few weeks, he missed some of his games, but he got used to it pretty fast. No he is using it for studying and everything else and I never heard of any problems afterwards.
spencera 2 days ago 3 replies      
Just have to say, Apple has been working the usability angle a lot longer than Ubuntu and it doesn't seem to be upsetting Microsoft too much. Of course, this comes from a person who has never been able to rationalize spending his own money on a Mac.
ungerik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Let's see what will come out the current development of Ubuntu. Currently it kind of feels like the Windows Vista of Linux Distros. Slow and clumsy but usable if you don't know anything else. Will 14.04 be the Windows 8 of Linux Distros?
txutxu 2 days ago 0 replies      
The main point here, is in your "My parents are NOT technical people".

They do not have pre-juices on stuff.

My mum uses linux since she was 65. It was her _first_ contact with an O.S., she did learn to use most things on her own.

In all that cases, they didn't deal with hardware choices, software stack choices, incompatibilities in those layers... they just did get a working browser, spreadsheet or messenger... and used it.

richardjordan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing. I know my comment adds little but I wanted to throw out there a nod of appreciation for a story like this.
trentmb 2 days ago 1 reply      
I tried making my parents use *nix. It didn't go over well. My worthless anecdote counters yours.
spokenn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I installed xubuntu on a 60+ year old man's laptop. It was surprising to see him go from typing "www.google.com" in the yahoo homepage search field to searching for and installing packages on the software center. He needed help when he updated the kernel but he has taught himself a ton of things.
itsbits 2 days ago 0 replies      
I see many people against windows...I have 2 PCs one with linux(programming) and windows(gaming)..Windows is not that bad for programming as well...its just the set up for your coding env matters....i do sometimes end up programming in windows after playing some game..so i have some tools etc installed which give me almost equal experience of doing it with linux...saying that i still prefer linux laptop for coding, one reason can be addictive games missing in linux...
marcloney 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is a fantastic anecodote and after the year we've had I'm finding the challenges people are having from entering Linux are becoming less and less.

Earlier today I marvelled at running a game through Steam whilst listening to streaming music through Spotify whilst being able to switch window into bash.

Gnarl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm gonna set my 70+ neighbor up with Linux because the Vista that the computer shop sold her a few years ago as "the future" is dying miserably (all by itself, she doesn't install tons o' stuff) and she also feels it's a slow pain to use.

I'm a freelance consultant so she asked me how to get rid of all the "problems" (meaning BSODs, malware, viruses etc.) because she needs to get real work done. When I mentioned I use Linux and never have a BSOD or virus, she asked me if I could "upgrade her computer to Linux" - her words :)

So, Linux Mint is going on my ol' neighbor's PC.

cycojesus 2 days ago 0 replies      
In my experience only people who think they know something about computer have problem with Linux. My wife and my mother are Linux users without even knowing what it is and they have exactly zero issue with it.
sammanual 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice -- just need to eliminate the "has to be Microsoft" mentality in the enterprise (our shop refuses open source anything since "there's no support model") and Linux can finally make in roads in the organization. But as they say - you don't get the big bucks for backing non-proven technology , ie., non-Microsoft solutions. SAD
smcnally 2 days ago 0 replies      
My mom's 81. Ubuntu's been her primary OS for 3+ years. Started with Windows on a low-end Dell laptop. When any of her 19 grandkids played on it, they'd leave new toolbars and malware behind. The machine got so slow, she was happy to see her email and browser on Linux.
readme 1 day ago 0 replies      
Linux has a chance to become a popular OS for home desktop use.

However windows is going to retain it's grip on businesses because there is no good Active Directory replacement for Linux.

jrs99 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just among friends and family, I find that Linux dominates the desktop.
munimkazia 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it is just a matter of conditioning and habit. I have been using linux on and off for the past 5-6 years, but using it exclusively in the past 2 years. I am a little uncomfortable on Windows 7 now, and I am totally lost on windows 8. The UI isn't user friendly for me any more. I'd take Unity, or even Gnome 3 any day.
fit2rule 2 days ago 0 replies      
My in-laws, 60+, have been running Ubuntu on their old Macbooks for a few years now. They've never once complained about it, and everything Just Plain Works - internet browsing, email, youtube, office-apps.

For us, at least, the year of the Linux Desktop was two years ago. Its been a very productive release from the dual hegemonies of both Apple and Microsoft ..

chmike 2 days ago 2 replies      
The only reason I keep a windows machine around is because of Word/Powerpoint. I can get ork done with these. Open/libreOffice are pale copies.

I also played some games like TF2 or Age of Empire, but the former is now playable on Ubuntu. Steam is doing an impressive work.

For programming, I prefer QtCreator to Visual Studio. I regret QtCreator can't be used with other languages like D, Go, Java.

I don't think I'll make the switch to windows 8. My father 82 bought a new computer and Dell only sell Windows 8 on these. This costed him a lot of time to adapt for no justified benefit.

jacknews 2 days ago 1 reply      
"I was pretty much floored."

Indeed, because old people are all idiots.Honestly, for the basic tasks, the major OS's are as easy as each other these days.

danielrhodes 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think that over time everybody gets to a certain level of proficiency where such interfaces and concepts are not as daunting to them as before. Back in the 90s and even 00s, people were so uncomfortable with GUIs and then the internet that getting them to try a Windows alternative was not worth the effort.
stefs 1 day ago 0 replies      
my dad salvaged an ancient notebook from work to use as a living room computer (usually if he sees something on TV that interests him, he starts googling it), or use for vacation planning etc.

tried to install windows but failed twice due to errors i can't remember. i then told him, fuck it, as you use it only for surfing, we'll just put linux on it and installed ubuntu 8.10. worked like a charm. everything ran out of the box, no hassle, nothing.

a week later i asked him how it was going; he answered: "everything's perfect, but i don't like desktop background - the skull."

the skull ... what skull? then it dawned on me: "dad, that's not a skull - it's a stylized ibex."


geeknik 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd use Linux on my desktop if my entire Steam catalog would play under Linux, but since 99% of the games I play are Windows only, I'm stuck in the Windows world. ;)
skuunk1 2 days ago 2 replies      
The only real trouble with Linux is possible driver issues (caused by trying to shoehorn an OS onto hardware for which it wasn't initially designed). If more OEMs would put Linux onto laptops directly this wouldn't be a problem.

It's still tough to find a good, decently priced laptop OEMed with Linux though. I can't get my hands on the Dell XPS with Ubuntu pre-installed in my current country of residence...

ramigb 2 days ago 0 replies      
After i read this thread and since i was really busy in the past couple of months, i just realized that for the first time ever all my devices (2 laptops, 1 desktop) are all Ubuntu, and yet i didn't feel i needed to change anything, i think the cloud based apps + the nature of my work (programming) made the choice on my behalf and i couldn't agree more!.
anthony_barker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Family has been linux for the past 10 years... I would say about 3/4 years ago the complaints completely stopped with ubuntu 9.10. Since then there has been some pain with unity (which we disabled for a year or two). Older computers run either older versions of ubuntu or Elementary OS or Chrunchbang OS #! http://crunchbang.org/.

Occassionally people still need help with LibreOffice oddities. Also I've had intercompatibility issues with MS Office with powerpoint.

dhughes 2 days ago 0 replies      
My 70 year-old mom can't handle the swipe unlock on an Android phone and won't answer or use it if I unlock it. My dad also 70 is OK with using it and even put on a password but he keeps shutting it off when he isn't using it, neither use a computer.
wildgift 2 days ago 0 replies      
I gave a linux pc to my coworker, for her kids, and they have been using it for a while to do homework. They have some issues now and then, but it works pretty smoothly. The computer is really old - a Sempron with a couple gigs of RAM.
elwell 2 days ago 0 replies      
My Grandma couldn't understand the concept when I showed here how to browse the internet. She kept wanting to have what she was seeing be on paper.
dawkins 2 days ago 0 replies      
My father is 81 and very happy with linux mint that I installed for him a few years ago. He only uses chromium.

Recently he bought a new laptop and the first thing he asked me was to install Linux.

kaazih 2 days ago 0 replies      
The first computer i donated to my folks was win 3.1 no internet. Then win nt 4 still no internet. Finally xp with a dial up connection. Now in their 70's they don't use a computer at all. Finally no more support issues.
bengalister 2 days ago 0 replies      
Linux becomes more and more usable for non-technical users and has done a lot usability-wise on desktops but let's face it there's still a long way to go.

If for instance you use Ubuntu (the most popular distro for desktop), it is still plagued by bugs(and even the Long Term Support version). Have a look also at the Linux Mint forums it seems better but many users complain about buggy Cinammon. Well all in all, the desktop environments suffer of more bugs than on Windows or Mac.

Here are the reasons that keep me switching for my home PC (Ubuntu is only installed on my spare PC that I use for testing) : - No decent Flash support. The hardware acceleration by the GPU has been disabled (no option to enable it) and when I watch videos on youtube CPU reaches 100%. There's still Chrome which has its own Flash player and it improves significantly with a CPU consumption of around 50% but still far from I got on Windows 7 between 10 and 20%...- Battery draining : again a hot topic and mostly related to bad integration with popular graphic cards and other hardware components (wifi cards) but most people complain of reduced usage on battery (50%) compared to Windows.- For Java developers who use Eclipse, SWT looks ugly and performs badly on Ubuntu (not tried on other distros). Swing based IDE like IntellijIDEA or Netbeans are better but they don't match their Windows counterpart.- Ubuntu or even kernel upgrades that tend to break things like for me a webcam support.

I wish these problems were solved because as a developer I still prefer Unix based OS. It is very subjective but what has changed for me recently is that now I really find Ubuntu to be more visually appealing than Windows 8 (and same for Gnome 3.10). The login screen, the dash, software center are really nice. Even the Nautilus file manager that I used to dislike now looks really nice (now it is named Files) The desktop experience is much more "consistent" than it used to be and Ubuntu with Unity/Gnome shell and Gnome have worked hard to make the desktop user friendly and sexy.

andreiursan 2 days ago 0 replies      
After reading most off the coments.It feels that we are going in the right and healthy direction. People will be able to chose what OS they want without losing the benefits of actualy doing useful work.

Some will want Windows 8, some will go for Linux and some for Mac OS. We are not yet there, but having a healty market distribution of the major OSes will benefit the end-user.

general_failure 2 days ago 0 replies      
My mom use kubuntu for over 4 years now. She actually had never seen computers since she was 60. She had her learning curve but she loves it.
dsleno 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am stuck with windows for now because we develop Windows software. But I have Virtual Box image of Ubuntu on this machine, which I use for web surfing and al manner of other activities. I just prefer Ubuntu. After having reformatted my Windows machine last week because of a bad virus infection, I have decided to do all of my web surfing on Ubuntu..
davidcollantes 2 days ago 0 replies      
Most people can do just fine by using a tablet or a Chrome machine. Microsoft and some PC hardware companies are in trouble, indeed.
pulmo 2 days ago 0 replies      
My mom is 50+ and used XP for a couple of years before my dad installed Xubuntu on her netbook. Turned out she didn't really need Microsoft Word for writing, she only used it because she knows it from work. Same with Outlook. I think many users are in a similar situation and could easily switch platforms saving money for both hardware and software. The only reason why there is still an old Windows PC at my parents home is the Adobe Software for their Sony ebook reader. (Damn you, DRM!)
sprizzle 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had a similar experience with my cousin, except with Chrome OS. His laptop died and he asked to borrow any extra laptops I had around, and the only one I happened to have was a Chrome OS machine. I was worried he'd need a more desktop-like environment, but it turned out he loved it -- everything we do is on the web these days and there wasn't really anything that he was missing. He moved from Excel to Google Spreadsheets without much trouble and didn't really need anything else. Just a browser. Amazing where the web is going.
jrs99 2 days ago 0 replies      
my entire family uses linux. We just find it much easier to use and install things.

But the number one reason, of course, no malware, which happens every time kids use my computer on windows.

salilpa 2 days ago 0 replies      
A couple of years ago, our home desktop which had windows 7 died. My parents needed a new desktop and i gave them my old laptop running ubuntu. Most of the time, my parents use it to browse websites and little bit of spreadsheet and powerpoint. The default ubuntu installation had all that.

Also the flash support has increased considerably. There was a time when hangouts or facebook video chat had issues. now it works butter smooth

ateeqs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Microsoft is in trouble for other reasons, as well. Windows 8 and 8.1 suck. They just don't listen to anyone-- developers, enterprises, home-users, you name it.

"They'll shove a xyzw down your throat and you'll like it" has been their philosophy for quite some time-- be it .NET, Ribbon interface, Metro, etc.

They are quickly (erm slowly) becoming irrelevant, and it's mainly as a result of this practice.

weslly 2 days ago 0 replies      
Same thing with my mum. I installed Ubuntu on her slightly old laptop a couple of years ago and when she bought a new computer she asked me to replace Windows 8 (which she found pretty confusing) with Ubuntu again.
anupshinde 2 days ago 0 replies      
My dad is 60 and non-tech and he switched to Linux a month back. First Ubuntu but then to Mint because that felt similar to Windows. He hasn't complained even once. Personally I have to Windows only because my office dictates that - some of their software's wont work otherwise.
viame 2 days ago 0 replies      
Very nice, I bought my mom a Macbook Air, but I will try installing Ubuntu on my dads laptop and see how it goes.I would also like to see some high-end construction homes he does, if possible.


oddshocks 2 days ago 0 replies      
My parents have both rocked Ubuntu and Fedora, with minimal instruction from me. The interfaces/distros seem to come naturally.
danielholmlund 2 days ago 0 replies      
I need to brag a little because I'm proud of my dad. He's 63 years old and can boot his Grub configuration to 14 different Linux distros last time I looked ( which was about 8 months ago ). Yes, he is technically inclined.
laurenstill 2 days ago 0 replies      
I successfully converted several medical practices to Ubuntu last year. 60+ yr old docs who printed emails to leave on my desk. 18 yr old who save everything to the desktop. Better than expected.
tn13 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing surprising at all my parents are perfectly at ease with Ubuntu.
Eyes2design 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have Linux Mint on my laptop and run I run Linux on all my computers. Best menu ever cinnamon.
archer2013 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many in comments acting like Ubuntu is teh only linux distro/UI out there, many of the linux community now despise Ubuntu and see it as an OSX wannabe, if you want a real linux experience install archlinux and pick from over 1 dozen Ui's (DE/WM's) surely one will fit your needs. personaly for programming you cannot beat xmonad, and for play you cant beat openbox.
ofj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Same story for me.both my parents are using Ubuntu on 1 PC and 1 Laptop. Since I've installed and set them up, I never had a single call like: where the hell is X or why the hell is Y producing strange error popup...not even speaking of the complete absence of malware. I myself did not even expect this when starting this experiment, but it proves to me: Linux IS arriving at the desktop! ...and its about time.
auctiontheory 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wish Evernote supported Linux.
mrb101 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had bought my mother her first Netbook 2 years ago and i installed Ubuntu on it.. She is using it after like an hour introduction. While it was her first time to use a PC. 3 months ago my dad got her a new Laptop which had Windows on it. she called me the next day to install Ubuntu on it !
kunai 2 days ago 1 reply      
Handed a GNOME 3 PC to my dad.

He got it right away. The multitasking in GNOME is just so fluid and efficient compared to any other operating environment, and it's just so... intuitive.

As an OS X user, I find GNOME more consistent and easy to use, to be quite honest with you. I'm just holding out until Wine gets to the point where CS6 is supported.

vayarajesh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thats nice!.. soon ubuntu mobile os will be out.. your dad will be happy to know that i guess :).
SylonZero 2 days ago 2 replies      
The time for MS and Windows is passing. I guarantee it.
0xc000005 2 days ago 0 replies      
even a dead cat has a better user interface than windows 8.x
Ask HN: What's your desktop wallpaper?
6 points by hanifvirani  10 hours ago   14 comments top 13
MattBearman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For the last three months I've been rocking this:


It's a rendering from the Audi website of the car I ordered three months ago. I finally got the car on Friday, so I should probably change the wallpaper now :)

Lrigikithumer 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Mars Sunset Panorama taken by curiosity rover at Gale Crater https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Martian-Sunset-O-de-Gours...
edwingustafson 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Michigan rocky lakeshore detail http://imgur.com/nj6f1kO
hashtree 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The entirety of the interfacelift library on rotation: https://github.com/rockymadden/interfacelift-downloader-plus...
dangrossman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Portal-themed lock screen (Win8) and wallpaper pair:



callmeed 5 hours ago 0 replies      
2 of my kids underwater:


Taken with GoPro Hero3

kachhalimbu 5 hours ago 0 replies      
a3n 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing. I virtually never see my desktop, so I don't bother decorating it.

I don't care what my computer looks like, only what's in the windows and consoles. All I want is windows, a task bar and a few gadgets in the tray.

reiichiroh 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I use this: http://www.iconpaper.org/folds/

IconPaper is nicely-curated site.

pawn 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a folder of wallpapers. They vary between nature scenes, family photos, and videogame wallpapers.
mindcrime 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Decided to start a business and regret later. Share your story.
27 points by yatsyk  22 hours ago   4 comments top 3
csixty4 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Not a startup. No bankruptcy or anything. Wife & I liked this company Goth Gift Baskets that used to advertise in Gothic Beauty magazine. One issue had an ad saying they were selling the business. We bought the name, website, inventory, and customer list for around $5000, with the intent of starting a side business & maybe growing it into something larger. We expected higher-quality merchandise, but ended up with boxes of plastic spiders and cheap closeout Halloween jewelry. The boxes were piled up in our spare bedroom and were soon joined by boxes of higher-end merchandise so our baskets were more appealing.

We over-estimated the appeal of "goth" in the mid-2000s. There was still a good turnout at goth events in Chicago, but it was mostly adults who liked to dress up on the weekends for old-time's sake, but didn't identify as goths in everyday life anymore. We paid for tables at concerts, hearse shows, and fan conventions, and usually didn't make enough to cover the table. At least the music was good. At one point we pulled up the Seattle Goth site hoping to do a sponsorship deal with them, and their home page was just a picture of Fonzie on waterskis.

There was still a decent-sized market of younger goths & "emos", but they didn't have the money for a $25 gift basket of jewelry, incense, candles, and suchand THEN shipping on top of that. We were told to offer something closer to $10 shipped, but that barely covered the cost of an empty basket, shipping materials, and postage with a tiny profit.

Twilight was pretty big, but our vampires didn't sparkle. We put together a Browncoat basket with a complete set of Firefly action figures and assorted other stuffeven had custom marketing materials made to distribute at fan conventions for it. Didn't sell a single one.

Magazine advertising was expensive, and resulted in zero orders. Emailing our customer list a 20% discount code every couple months resulted in 2 orders in three years. We were flooded with emails from events & meetups wanting us to donate baskets for raffle prizes, which we could at least write-off on our taxes & get some publicity for. No sales ever came of these sponsorship deals, but we did get some sweet thank-you letters.

The last year we were in business, we were hit with a $200 chargeback. We asked Paypal if they could validate the address or something on that big of an order, and they said there was nothing they could do. We took the risk, and lost the money, merchandise, and shipping. That one incident cancelled out our entire profit for the year.

We donated all the remaining merchandise to charity & took a write-off just so we could get our spare bedroom back (it became my "man cave"/computer museum). Our time is better spent volunteering if we're not going to make any money anyway.

Again, no huge crisis, no health problems. But, a lot of extra stress, a couple thousand bucks wasted on top of what we paid for the company, and an entire room our our house tied up for 3 years and nothing to show for it.

Edit: Oh yeah, let's not forget the month I got a bill from my hosting company for extra bandwidth because a picture of me from the site ranked high for "goth" in Google Images and people were hot-linking it in forum posts all over the place going "goths are so stupid. look at this guy he thinks he's spooky ooooh".

opendomain 19 hours ago 0 replies      

I created the world's first DVR in 1998. I was so excited about it, I convinced my friends to join my startup. It was basically Tivo plus the Free PC and internet model.

I was able to raise some funds from friends and family, but we all agreed to take less salary and have stock instead. We all worked hard, but the dot com bomb came along and killed all advertising partnerships.

I was lucky enough that I was able to wind down gently - the company did not go bankrupt. It took years, but I was able to pay back all my friends that invested in Free.TV, but I personally lost hundereds of thousands of dollars.

I learned a lot, but this set me back 10 years in my career and retirement. However, it did help me get the next level working for other companies. It was very stressful and hurt my marriage, but my wife stood by me and I know she is the one for me.

I still love startups for today but now that I am older, I wonder if I am now in the famous "ageism" problem in SV. I still have great ideas and want to change the world - just need another VC to take another chance in me.

agibsonccc 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Failed 3 times at some of your more traditional ideas (think social media B2B or the like), relatively successful with freelancing. This was in the midwest,

That being said, I started the freelancing after dropping out of college in my 3rd year. After that, I metaphorically fell down some steps, through a concrete floor, got back up and decided to do stuff with data.

3 years later I'm backpacking in the valley doing sales AND implementing crazy deep learning data tech.

It seriously just takes persistence. Screw the naysayers. You SHOULD listen to criticism and consider it objectively though. Making money is a good guiding compass.

Most people just to expect VC to fall in to their lap. I don't understand the mentality of these consumer startups that are hoping for these instagram exits.

They'll spend years with no revenue, no freedom if they get funding, because they realize that they have responsibilities now. Not to mention the engineers they hire with the allure of a tennis table and beer on tap. What does that do for you? Now I'm doing more by myself than many teams could dream of.

I'm hoping to find the right cofounder if one comes along, but really the only thing that's missing to scale is a designer/hustler (yes both) .

Ask HN: I'll LaTeX your resume in exchange for feedback
6 points by KingAndCaroline  13 hours ago   4 comments top 2
okey 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Your email isn't visible... (you need to put it in the About field if you want other users to see it.)
gkuan 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Where is your email? I don't see it in the profile.
Ask HN: What are some startups you actually use and respect?
4 points by lowglow  12 hours ago   1 comment top
GFischer 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
I used Survata to validate some hypothesis about a potential startup (I'm based in Uruguay and wanted U.S. data, customer discovery isn't that easy at a distance!).


They definitely overdelivered :) I'm a satisfied customer and probably will use them again if I need U.S. data again.

Ask HN: What common tasks should a startup outsource?
4 points by balajiviswanath  13 hours ago   2 comments top 2
sharemywin 13 hours ago 0 replies      
list of deartments I can think of in a big company:

sales,marketing,software development,legal,payroll,hr,accounting,distribution, investor relations,manufacturing/service offering,desktop support,server support,customer service,inventory,recruiting.

Alot depends on the company and the founders. At a minimum you need to focus on sales and marketing and probably an MVP or service that you can automate. If one of t he founders is an expert in XYZ I don't see a problem in them do XYZ for the company but if your not selling or building the core product you may be wasting time.

sfrechtling 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Accounting. Legal. Everything that isn't central to providing or producing value.
Show HN: Buy anything from any website using Bitcoin
6 points by michaeldunworth  11 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Why can't I see downvote or upvote arrows anywhere?
159 points by aviraldg  3 days ago   57 comments top 16
lelf 3 days ago 6 replies      
New CSS?

  @media only screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), only screen and (min-device-pixel-ratio: 2) {    .votearrow { background-size: 10px; background-image: url("grayarrow2x.gif"); }  }  .rotate180 {    -webkit-transform: rotate(180deg);  /* Chrome and other webkit browsers */  
It wasn't like that before, there were only gray{arrow,down}.gif

Forced refresh should help.

shortformblog 2 days ago 1 reply      
Reload the CSS file: https://news.ycombinator.com/news.css

Was having that problem, changed that, and it worked.

pointernil 3 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe an update across css js htlm not synced up due to caching issues?Evidence: enforcing a full reload (ctrl-r in chrome) reloads the page and the arrows reappear.Also in the last few days the word "upvote" used to flash on the page before being replaced by the arrow indicating some css/js sorcery at work ;)
danielhunt 3 days ago 1 reply      
I thought my account had been restricted, and came to post this exact question too
pajju 2 days ago 1 reply      
We need to reload the New-CSS-file, because that older-version i.e stale-CSS file is causing this issue!

How to fix it?

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="news.css?1382794165">

Copy-Paste the above into your address bar & Reload HN. The new CSS file will be Rendered and issue fixed.

Hope that helps. :)

veeti 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is it just me, or is there more padding between posts too?
mchannon 2 days ago 2 replies      
For Safari users, hold down shift and click the reload button. (Might work on other platforms as well).
munimkazia 3 days ago 1 reply      
I couldn't see them for comments too. Did a hard refresh (ctrl+f5), and they came back. Probably some CSS change.
Fundlab 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have never seen a downvote button on my account and always assumed it was a privilege attached to a certain level of Karma.

Someone enlighten me please

joeblau 2 days ago 1 reply      
Command + R (If you're on a Mac)

or whatever you do to refresh.

Sami_Lehtinen 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about changing those arrows from images to symbols? As far as I remember there has been posts about this same topic earlier.
cheeaun 2 days ago 0 replies      
Related issue regarding the new CSS https://github.com/HackerNews/HN/issues/5
denzil_correa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does this affect browser extensions or mobile/web applications which were developed for Hn?
granttimmerman 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is extremely relevant: https://github.com/HackerNews/HN/issues/5
spoiledtechie 2 days ago 0 replies      
Your lucky enough to post. My account has actually been banned from posting anything new. All I can do is comment and vote. I can't submit.
covgjai 3 days ago 0 replies      
same here
Ask HN: How to find solvable problems if you're a great problem-solver?
5 points by naf  14 hours ago   7 comments top 2
zachlatta 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Every time you run into a problem or think that something might be neat, write it down. I started doing this a year ago and haven't run short of ideas I'm passionate about since.
zombio 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What you're saying is you've solved problems that other people can't solve themselves... isn't that the basis for almost any startup?
Ask HN: Working as a web developer in SE Asia
5 points by protek  16 hours ago   7 comments top 4
benzesandbetter 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
geoarbitrage, my friend.

Work for clients in high cost-of-living countries. Spend your time in lower cost-of-living countries.

Instant lifestyle upgrade.

Aren't you a little old to still be using PHP? ;)

woutr_be 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm currently working in Hong Kong, and to be honest, tech companies here aren't really that good, the startup scene is close to nothing at the moment and finding a decent company that really cares about what they do is very difficult.
nnash 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Hong Kong, hands down. It's way more fun than Singapore (personal opinion) and there are virtually zero local developers (A friend of mine works at an incubator there and several of the startups have had open positions for months on end).
coralreef 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Should probably specify what countries you're targeting, as there's a pretty big difference between say, Cambodia and Japan.
Ask HN: Similar ideas me vs. funded startup
5 points by dethstar  18 hours ago   3 comments top 3
kevando 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If you believe in the idea, 100%try to join them. You'll quickly discover if it makes sense to join them or not.

About 2 months ago my start up was approached by two recent college grads that had the same idea. After an hour conversation, we both agreed it made sense to join forces. We were much farther along than them with a superior product, but they had valuable ideas and resources to contribute. It took a little while to agree on terms that made sense, but in the end it worked out very well. Well, we're far from the end, but so far it's been great.

KhalidLondon 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't pay too much attention to what they are doing. I am more of a fan of an organic co-founding team. Nevertheless, sometimes it does make sense to join other startups (only if you make friends with them first)!
brothe2000 16 hours ago 0 replies      
If you and your team think you can do it better, do it yourself. If you don't have a team and haven't put much into your own idea, give them a call and see how you can help.
Ask HN:What is a personal or biz web utility that is needed/not yet dominated?
4 points by methochris  16 hours ago   4 comments top 4
DanBC 14 hours ago 0 replies      
For UK market: Budgeting for people on benefits. It needs to be really simple to use, and cover benefits in (with dates) and money out. Have space for telephone numbers of various benefit offices and utility suppliers. Have reminders for when to pay. Have links to useful information - job centres and cv writing and CAB and etc.

Because of the limited funds of these users you'd monetise with ads.


"Mood Tracker" - there are lots of these. But yours would be better. In the UK we have something called IAPT - Improved Access to Psychological Therapies. These are first line therapies for people with mild to moderate depression, anxiety, etc. Your app would describe what CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) is, and would help the user with some of the processes.

cdvonstinkpot 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's another one: Build the Pinterest of 3D Printing where everyone posts their favorite designs.
coralreef 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Million dollar question dude. Best way to find a good idea is to quietly examine problems you or people around you face, and come up with better solutions.
cdvonstinkpot 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Study aids. Flash cards I could make on my desktop & use from my mobile browser at the bus stop or whatever. Teachers might pay to create decks. Sharing decks might be popular. Featured curriculum specific decks might make money.
Ask HN: Groovy/Grails or Scala/Play?
5 points by flylib  19 hours ago   2 comments top 2
acesubido 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd say it depends on what you wish to accomplish.

Based on experience, you can deploy 'something' out there and build that 'something' really fast with Grails. GORM instantly takes care of persisting to DB with minimal effort, there's not much to configure. If you're planning to just create an API Server, the latest Grails 2.3.x releases have specifically made that easier too.

Can't say anything for Play since I haven't used that, but if you face growth problems with your Grails project (scaling), just piece off the heavy parts and create separate services written in Scala. First hand experience, Finagle is a good choice for this. You can easily be productive and quickly create services with this RPC system.

Conclusion: In my opinion, your best option for creating an MVP/Prototype is Grails.

Irene 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably Scala/Play, but I would spend time learning and using both.

Here are job trends for these languages:http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends?q=Groovy%2C+Grails%2C+Scala&...

Feinstein wants mass domestic spying. Let's get her off intel committee.
56 points by bobsil1  12 hours ago   68 comments top 16
spikels 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Dianne Feinstein last week: NSAs mass collection necessary 'to protect the homeland from terrorism'.[1]

Dianne Feinstein today: 'I am totally opposed' to NSA surveillance of US allies.[2]

People talk a lot about economic class (1%/99%, rich/poor, etc) but there is another way to think about class: rulers versus ruled. Feinstein is part of the US ruling class and has been for decades. She now has more in common with foreign leaders than US citizens she supposedly represents. Once you understand her mindset her views make perfects sense.

Unfortunately these paternalistic views are pervasive with our leaders so I doubt replacing her would help. Rockefeller, next most senior on the committee, is the forth generation of a ruling class family. And Wyden, apparently the only opponent of mass NSA surveillance, would simply be outvoted by the rest of the committee.

And I doubt elections will turn on this issue. However I do get the sense that they are getting tired of spending so much time on this issue that it is interfering with their preferred agenda. So perhaps the continued hassle will eventually wear them down.

[1] http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/10/20/nsa-call-re...

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/28/nsa-surveillanc...

consultutah 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't worry about it. In 3 years there will be a republican president and she will magically be against domestic spying. ;)
fleitz 11 hours ago 3 replies      
First settle on an objective that actually accomplishes what you want, I'm pretty sure your objective is not to get Diane Feinstein off the senate whatever committee but to stop mass surveillance.

Second, find other candidates for which this issue trumps all other issues, example, image you could foresee the future, if there was someone running against Feinstein who if elected would result in Roe v. Wade being overturned would you still vote for them instead of Feinstein?

What about if they would cause a permanent government shutdown over the issue resulting in the US defaulting on its debt?

If the answer is no, then just give up now.

Now that you know what you want, and are willing to do anything to achieve it, go start fundraising for people who oppose mass surveillance and will do ridiculous things like shutdown the government to get it.

jacoblyles 10 hours ago 3 replies      
It's worth remembering that both California senators Feinstein and Boxer were cosponsors of PIPA. They are no fans of tech. I'm waiting for a tech movement to realize that they are giving their money and votes to the enemy.
dragonwriter 11 hours ago 2 replies      
> Since she was just reelected and there's no recall procedure, we're stuck with her-- but we could get her off the intel committee with just a Senate resolution.

"Just a Senate resolution". So you only need to get a filibuster-proof supermajority of the Senate to agree.

> Feinstein has a faulty understanding of the Constitution and seems pro-elite and authoritarian.

Neither "pro-elite" nor "authoritarian" are likely viewed as a problem by other Senators.

> I'm a constituent of hers and want to start a campaign, but have never done this before.

It'd probably be easier to convince Feinstein to change her ways or resign than to get her off the intel committee (and I'm not saying either of the former options is easy.)

rdl 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Thank god we're only stuck with Feinstein for 5 more years; she's said she's not going to run for re-election (and is pretty old).

Really the best chances of removing her from the intel committee are for her to suddenly decide due to family or health that she wants to leave Congress before her term is up.

The most positive way for that to happen would be for a mid-term replacement who could take over the parts of her legacy she cares most about (probably NOT intel committee or anything to do with NSA...) shows up, and the governor and Sen Feinstein agree that this person would be a sufficiently good replacement to justify retiring early.

generj 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Feinstein is now apparently opposed - the recent spying on world leaders never was passed through her for approval, and now wants a total review of all intelligence activities the NSA is performing.

Not that I'd trust her, I feel that politics and our country would be better with her running a lemon-aid stand.


jmcguckin 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Why don't we send her home - permanently. For a democrat, she's practically a law-n-order, big brother republican.
palidanx 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Realistically, if a majority of Californians expressed outrage to her office


Then the staff would pay attention. Otherwise, I wouldn't count on much changing.

bobsil1 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This is some major bullshit. Obama is ready to ban spying on allied leaders, but not on Americans:


duncan_bayne 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I've posted this before in connection with Feinstein: she is notorious for her anti-gun politics. Why should anyone be surprised that her disregard for human rights extends further than gun bans?
bobsil1 10 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a Facebook group to remove Feinstein:


samstave 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget that she walks away from questioning when confronted with 4th amendment violations - she claims its legal, then states that they "don't have to put up with this" WRT being questioned.


cheese19 9 hours ago 0 replies      
She also rubber-stamped the 9/11 Commission's lame report. She's basically a pro-Choice gay-friendly Republican and, according to my friend who met all the Senators in the 1990s and dealt with many because of his job, not bright, which is unusual for a Senator. My friend said many dim candidates get elected to the House but not to the Senate. In conversation with my friend, she blew him away with her weak intelligence regardless of ideology. She and her hubby are uber rich and have more in common with limousines, fine dining and rubber-stamping that hemming in evil and rocking the boat.
dllthomas 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm in favor of this, but I expect one of my senators wouldn't be no matter how hard I push...
throwaway9848 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Feel free to get the hell off Hacker News and take it to a political site.
Ask HN: Represent SQL using JSON?
2 points by rpedela  11 hours ago   1 comment top
sukaka 10 hours ago 0 replies      
you should post this on stackoverflow. i find this page useful: http://docs.mongodb.org/manual/reference/sql-comparison/
Ask HN: Where else do you find your news?
9 points by yasyfm  1 day ago   6 comments top 5
kindlez 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should try http://www.snapzu.com. It's like a more mature reddit alternative. Cheers!
alokv28 19 hours ago 0 replies      

Circa app


yqassimi 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://launch.co/ offers also a great recap.
hashtree 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Prismatic and twitter.
mknits 1 day ago 1 reply      
Show HN: Please review my MVP: Quill.org (Interactive Grammar Web App)
6 points by gault8121  1 day ago   8 comments top 4
joshdance 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Tried it out, seems cool. Question aside from the app, what is the purpose of your non-profit and how are you funded?
subrat_rout 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is a neat web app and I liked it. However, it is asking me to sign up after finishing the initial test. Why not give me few more tasks to do, let me know what areas should I improve and then ask for if I am interested to register/sign up. It will be great if the exercise offers single sentence with one or two grammatical error/s instead of a whole paragraph. But anyway I believe it is a great start and heading towards right direction. Thank you guys for such an awesome Web App. I will register and go through it more and will provide your periodic feedback.
robbiea 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you haven't seen No Red Ink (noredink.com), you should check it out. They do something similar.

Best of luck!

bennyg 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I like it! And thanks for putting the code on GitHub too.
Ask HN: What subscriptions do you use (and pay for)?
14 points by chunky1994  1 day ago   17 comments top 17
zachlatta 3 hours ago 0 replies      
GitHub, Linode, RamNode, Digital Ocean, Dropbox, Google Drive, and a few others.
hashtree 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Pingdom, DNSMadeEasy, Amazon Prime, Google Apps, GitHub, Dribbble, Meetup, Pixeden, Skype, a handful of private forums, SpiderOak, Dropbox, and Pandora.
centdev 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Digital ocean, basecamp, beanstalkapp, netflix
chunky1994 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a university physics major with a growing entrepenuerial side I subscribe to:Physics today,NY Times,New Scientist,Various other journals I get access to via the university.
pathy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spotify, Linode, Leaseweb, Office 365.

Spotify being by far the best value for money.

balac 20 hours ago 0 replies      
AWS, Digital Ocean, Smugmug, Skype
bennyg 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Netflix, Xbox Live, Heroku SSL and a dyno.
mercnet 16 hours ago 0 replies      
LastPass, Amazon Prime, di.fm, AWS free tier (learning)
timhargis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spotify, Hulu and Adobe CC. Spotify hands down is the best $10 a month I spend.
embro 18 hours ago 0 replies      
CrashPlan, Linode, Humble Bundle
stretchpants 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pandora, Instapaper, Runbox, Amazon AWS for S3, Adobe CC.
adidash 1 day ago 0 replies      
Prime, AWS for S3, Treehouse.
cmmillard 1 day ago 0 replies      
GitHub, Linode, Spotify, and Netflix.
wturner 10 hours ago 0 replies      
gtremper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spotify, Netflix, Prime.
himanshuy 23 hours ago 0 replies      
FF0000itor 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get most StackOverflow rep by avoiding difficult questions
5 points by normalocity  16 hours ago   4 comments top 3
criswell 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The more effort I put into an answer on StackOverflow the less I get back. This question for example drives me crazy (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/18885347/is-there-an-imag...): I have no idea why it was upvoted 6 times in 48 views and no clue why my answer was upvoted 9 times. I wonder if there's like some network of people who upvote thing to give people a lot of reputation points?
jlengrand 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Add to that the fact that If you already have a lot of rep, and answers the same exact thing as other people, OP will tend to validate you instead of the first guy thats posts :).

It happened to me in several occasions. And this is one of the reasons I tend to avoid answering questions now.

michaelstewart 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting. The downside of solving trivial problems is that the barrier to entry for your competitors will also be trivial.
AskHN: Does # of Rails Devs = More Startups / Jobs for a City?
3 points by gremlinsinc  20 hours ago   1 comment top
hkarthik 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you're missing a key ingredient which SF, Austin, Boston, etc have: established technical universities bringing and growing talent in from across the globe.

University towns can be a hotbed of startup talent if they are combined with a wealthy populace that continually injects capital into young companies starting out of school projects and/or research. While companies that start out that way don't encompass all startup growth, they continuously seed it through up and down markets to make the local startup ecosystems more resilient through economic downturns.

Without the universities, the best you can do is have market-fueled startup boom/bust cycles like the ones in Dallas, LA, NYC, and San Diego. NYC is trying to break out of this cycle with more economic investment in education and they may pull it off.

That being said, I think asking yourself why there isn't a startup culture has a lot more to do with education/talent than it does with what technology du jour is currently popular a city.

Developers: What do you consider a 'good' interview question?
7 points by mvkel  18 hours ago   13 comments top 10
eddyparkinson 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have seen a few google questions, and feel they are good quality, and nothing like the quoted question. I suspect google learned from the points rasied in thr book "how would you move mount fuji" (a now famous microsoft question). The book is well researched and has some well thoughtout advice at the back. The quoted question looks like an old microsoft question, but, I might be wrong.
staunch 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Not solvable with 2 seconds of Googling, not trivia, not academic, not deceptive or intentionally tricky. The best source is problems you actually have. Go over problems you currently face and talk about solving them just as you might with someone on your team.
agibsonccc 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Basic engineering questions that filters the 8 week bootcamp people are usually what I'd consider a good minimum for your normal wide responsibility engineering positions.

I liked one question I had a few months ago. Not verbatim: What do your computer processor and a turing machine have in common?

I think it's highly dependent on the position though.Another one I had was the all permutations of a string using dynamic programming.

Your list of basics that shows something beyond reciting how to do something in a framework will filter out most of your candidates who need a bit more polish.

brechin 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not an experienced interviewer, but since I'm in a position to interview someone whom I'll work with closely I've been facing this challenge.

We're looking for a more junior level developer. We want to gauge their skills, but don't want to make any questions that are too domain-specific. I like the problems from places like Project Euler or codewars.com, but some coworkers feel they are too difficult. Solving a variation of FizzBuzz, allowing any reasonable language, even pseudo-code, shouldn't be beyond my expectations, right?

chris_va 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Former Google eng interviewer here. We never asked the stupid brain teaser questions.

I usually asked one open question, like "describe a really hard bug you found", and one technical question. The technical questions ranged by candidate, and the sorts of questions others had already asked (most candidates get ~5 interviewers).

The technical questions usually fell into 2 categories:

Algorithms/etc: These should be solvable by the average engineer, but hard to solve optimally. Questions with both brute force and dynamic programming solutions were my favorites. I had a couple of questions where there were O(N^3), O(N^2), O(N*log(N)), and O(N) answers.

System design questions: How would you build ... Google News (I was the TL at one time)? Or I would give them a specific problem, often involving distributed computing. Often candidates would have to come up with alternate solutions when things like speed of light get in the way of the problem requirements. Being able to negotiate problem definition is a great skill in an engineer. Some candidates really just tried to pound the square peg into the round hole for an hour.

bcRIPster 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're applying for an IT job, I ask if you have any personal projects in scope of the work you're looking to do that you're proud of and ask you to describe them. This is where I can typically assess someone's passion for their skills, or if they're just looking to show up and collect a check.
orr94 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I get the best results from just asking them to describe something they've worked on that they're particularly proud of, or was particularly difficult. And keep prodding for more details to get a real feel for how the person works. Basically, pretend you have just taken over a project and are trying to get more information on it from one of the developers on your team. You'll find out a lot about the person in a conversation like this, far more than from purely theoretical or "the answer is B" questions.
brothe2000 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is more of an exercise than a question but...

When we interview some database people, we would ask them to whiteboard a database for a fake golf tournament we were having.What this did was force the interviewee to ask questions if they don't know golf (such as how many rounds are played, how many players, how does scoring work...etc) which tells us two things: Can they get info from a customer (internal or external) and how do they do hierarchies in data models.

legacy2013 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I had a great question once that didn't show my skills explicitly, but showed my reasoning skills.

Say you are at a restaurant in the city, and your friend asks how many people are on Facebook at any given moment in the city. How would you answer this without writing any code, on the spot at the restaurant?

mvkel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots of responses from interviewers, but I'd love to hear from interviewees.
Ask HN: What's a good tool for building a personal academic website?
6 points by eli_gottlieb  23 hours ago   14 comments top 8
rmk2 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Mhm. This one is a bit of a long shot, since it requires you to use emacs, but if that isn't a hurdle, have a look at org-mode.[1]

Org-mode has a pretty intuitive mark-up syntax and can export naturally to pdf (via LaTeX), odt and html (this is what you want)[2]. It uses a publishing module[3] with which you can also directly upload to a server via ssh/scp/sftp, and it allows you to specify extra files that should be uploaded with your main file (css, images etc). It deals neatly with internal and external links, internal links (inside or between your org-documents) are neatly converted for html. As a bonus, you can just stick your org-files into git/svn/bzr, i.e. a version control of your choice, since they are simple plaintext (though, again, it depends whether this is relevant for you).

[1]: http://orgmode.org/

[2]: http://orgmode.org/manual/Exporting.html#Exporting

[3]: http://orgmode.org/manual/Publishing.html#Publishing

michaelmior 22 hours ago 1 reply      
You may find what I did[1] in the same situation interesting. Although this was before I discovered the plethora of existing static site generators. I actually just rewrote my blog to use nanoc[2].

[1] http://michael.mior.ca/2010/12/02/blog/designing-an-offline-...[2] http://nanoc.ws/

jcutrell 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually thought about making this once - a CV generator that gives you a PDF and HTML files back, with a few themes to choose from. The idea would be that you can update it at any time through the system, and it would keep track of changes; maybe, eventually, this would feed into a network of sorts (think: who achieved my degree 6 years before I got it?).

Some word processors may be able to do this, but not to this level, certainly.

jasonshen 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Some great options here though most require some technical skill. Striking.ly is a YC company helping people build really simple and beautiful websites with no code.


onion2k 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Jekyll is nice for running a local blog that you can upload to a server as static HTML - http://jekyllrb.com/
bennyg 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I would use www.webflow.com to build your pages, and then take the output CSS, HTML and JS that it exports and upload that. You could probably make a static CSS and a static JS that works for all of your pages and then just reference that in all of the others.
sloanedavidson 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Strikingly or Square Space could be a good fit for what you need. You don't have to know how to code and can choose from layout options to customize features.


They charge a monthly fee but would take care of hosting for you which saves you from having to buy a URL and host it somewhere. If you already own a URL you can point it there too.

dylanhassinger 23 hours ago 1 reply      



Ask HN: Can a 15-inch Retina MBP substitute an external monitor?
2 points by ratsimihah  14 hours ago   6 comments top 3
fhoxh 11 hours ago 1 reply      
In my experience, that can be comfortable on a part-time basis, but less so -- perhaps significantly less so -- on a full-time basis. I find myself overwhelmingly more productive with an external display. When I'm onsite, I typically use my rmbp lid-down with a 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display (2560x1440).
pandaexpress 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a 15" MBP and I run it at 2880x1800 (not in HiDPI mode) by using RetinaDisplayMenu. I've been working without an external monitor like this for ~6 months now.
chris_va 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So, the 15 inch retina can drive a large external monitor at high resolution (full resolution). This is worth a lot to me. I connect it to a dell ultrasharp via a thunderbolt cable.
Ask HN: Please review my photos to coloring pages startup
4 points by dmarlovics  21 hours ago   8 comments top 3
byoung2 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Talk to your customers. Ask the 10% who are repeat visitors why they came back. Ask the 90% who don't why they didn't come back. It could be that people visit for the novelty but don't find value in a recurring subscription. Maybe you have the wrong target market (maybe schools, daycare centers, or child-oriented businesses like Gymboree or Chuck E Cheese would be better targets). Also, printers suck...they waste paper and ink is expensive. I would try the mobile app, but let me color directly on the app (I snap a picture on the iPad, give it to my daughter, and let her fingerpaint on the screen, minus the messy cleanup). Then offer a service to have the result professionally printed on glossy paper, framed and shipped to me. There's a possible revenue stream.
michaelstewart 13 hours ago 1 reply      
When I first visited the homepage I felt overwhelmed with options. All those links up the top could probably go to the footer. The main CTA should be that "Get Started" button. Currently you've also got a sign up button which is a bit confusing. (I know that you've got a little note explaining that they don't have to sign up, but most people aren't going to read that.)

You really just want to show images of what it can do and get them to upload an email and grab their email address, then you can ask them to sign up after they've got their photo and you can also ask via email.

techbubble 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I regularly print coloring pages for my kids and the process is usually the same: 1) they name a character, 2) I search Google images, 3) we scroll through and pick 2-3 to print.

I asked them if they would want to use existing photos for coloring and they didn't express any interest. I think I know why -- people and places (i.e. most of the photos we have) are not as interesting to color as dragons, fairies, favorite show characters etc.

       cached 29 October 2013 12:05:01 GMT