hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    7 Sep 2014 Ask
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1
Is Hootsuite worth $9.99 a month?
8 points by AznHisoka  2 hours ago   9 comments top 5
1
hollaur 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Hootsuite sucks. It's clunky, and the UI is horrible.

Buffer writes great blog posts, but I just don't see the value in its service.

HubSpot, if you can afford it, is what I enjoy using the most to post to social media because of its Social Inbox.

For Pinterest and Instagram, Piquora looks promising and so does Postris.

Read/skim these articles:-https://blog.kissmetrics.com/automate-pinterest-marketing/-http://www.inboundio.com/blog/ultimate-list-23-marketing-too...

Another great tool I love for social media management is sproutsocial.com.

2
samsnelling 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you're asking the question, probably not.

If social media drives a good portion of your business, and it will save you time, $120 a year could be nothing to your bottom line.

In my trial and error, I like Buffer the most. SproutSocial 2nd. I haven't tried HootSuite, but recently read they raised an additional $35M in funding bringing their total funding to over $225M at a valuation of $800M - mind-blowing. My favorite Twitter tool currently is TweetAdder.

3
nobullet 22 minutes ago 1 reply      
Take a look at http://meople.net.It might not be a business oriented solution but supports several social networks viewer and multipost (where the post is allowed).
4
recalibrator 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've used Hootsuite and Buffer, and Buffer is the better deal by a country mile IMO. Hootsuite is annoying with its "university" and other nonsense it tries to upsell.
5
notastartup 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I really don't see why people buy Hootsuite when there's an open source self hosted version that you can use on your desktop computer.
2
Ask HN: Cross platform password manager without cloud?
6 points by thefreeman  6 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
pwg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You are missing one. Password Gorilla: https://github.com/zdia/gorilla/wiki

Cross platform (Linux, Windows, Mac for Password Gorilla itself).

Several Android apps that inter-operate with the same format password storage file (Bruce Shiner's PasswordSafe format file). Scroll part way down the above page to find references to some of the Android apps.

Your passwords are stored in an encrypted file stored on your local machine. You can do with the encrypted file what you wish. PWGorilla itself includes a merge feature that merges encrypted files together, and alerts you to the differences so you can fix things up.

Its browser integration is through the OS clipboard. However on Linux the integration is almost to the level of an auto-type plugin (because the X11 clipboard works in a way that allows the better integration).

So, it fits these of your requirements:

Cross platform (Linux, Windows [check], Android [secondary app])

Lets you keep your own data and sync it however you want [check].

Integrates with browsers [partial check].

So it's close. Not 100%, but close. It is also GPL open source, so you've got nothing to lose in giving it a try.

[edit: add a couple paragraph breaks]

2
diafygi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
KeePassX is testing a KeePass 2.0 compatible release[1]. There's even a PPA for that version[2].

[1] - http://www.keepassx.org/news/2014/04/433

[2] - https://launchpad.net/~keepassx/+archive/ubuntu/daily

3
Alupis 6 hours ago 0 replies      
KeePass

http://keepass.info/

EDIT: Oops, didn't see you already looked at it. Well, KeePass doesn't necessarily need browser integration -- get yourself a cheap VPS, put your db file on there, and just point your local KeePass at it (it's entrypted and password protected, or key-file protected, etc).

There is also an Android version for KeePass. So... seems it would fit all your use-cases.

3
Ask HN: My app is being bullied on Google webstore, What to do?
44 points by sanchitml  12 hours ago   38 comments top 10
1
mattkrea 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Did you remove the analytics piece the review seems to be complaining about? If so I can imagine that someone might be upset that they couldn't disable it.
2
scrollaway 11 hours ago 2 replies      
The reviews on there look fine to me. The one guy is being a bit paranoid and dickish but you can never please everyone.

Sure, you got a few bad reviews out of it, but unless it continues for several days I wouldn't worry too much about it. FWIW I haven't looked at the app or its source code but I wouldn't call this "cyber bullying".

Have you considered releasing the source code on github and linking to it so people can easily take a look and see for themselves?

3
samsheen 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I just noticed that the said "bully" has stated in his comments that you had integrated inspectlet.com. I checked it out and it looks like a screen recording service. If this is truly the case, then I think he may be correct as interpreting this as a violation of privacy.

I think the best course of action would be to do the following

1. Put up code on github as others have suggested, thereby reassuring existing users

2. Publicly state in a reply to the comment that you had indeed integrated the screen recording service to help you understand user behavior, so that you could make a better app.

3. Put a disclaimer on the details page for Google Analytics with a link to opt out.

4
gergles 11 hours ago 1 reply      
A note of "trust me, I promise this is legit" is exactly what I would expect from a piece of malware. You need to directly address the allegations of using a keylogger/screenlogger somewhere to counter the negative review, not just say "No, I promise this is clean".

Just my 2c.

5
arihant 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"Inspectlet records videos of your visitors as they use your site, allowing you to see everything they do. See every mouse movement, scroll, click, and keypress on your site. You never need to wonder how visitors are using your site again."

Why would you use a service like this in your extension? Sounds like a dumb idea to me! They are privacy intrusive and say that proudly on their main page, so you were not tricked into using a malicious tracking service, you diligently chose it - the bad reviews are justified.

6
okbake 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Does putting an analytics piece inside of a Chrome extension allow the creator to see which website a user is currently viewing when using the extension? Or are the analytics limited to the extension itself? For example, a simple extension that makes the background-color of the current page red, if there are analytics on that extension could the developer potentialy know which site the user is on?
7
virde 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Dont really know why its being targeted. I see a key logger comment, any extensions being used that might be suspect? and something on analytics? which I see you say has been removed . Anyway its hard to stop a chain of bad targeted comments, but it shouldn't really affect until it continues to happen for a few days.Trolls will be trolls
8
lowlevel 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There are going to be a few dicks at every party. You can't really avoid that out here...
9
xdfsx 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Yeah, he had a keylogger before.
10
kurz 10 hours ago 0 replies      
sdfs
4
Ask HN: How do you perform as a newly recruited manager?
3 points by plicense  8 hours ago   discuss
5
Ask HN: Is server-side HTML rendering dying?
10 points by jeswin  1 day ago   10 comments top 6
1
bdcravens 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Serious question: can anyone name a site that has abandoned server-side HTML rendering in favor of client-side? Usually it's a matter of progressive enhancement.

I know you're wanting to avoid doing unnecessary work, but I'd surmise the future you think is coming is far enough away that your site will be rewritten at least once between now and then.

2
nostrademons 1 day ago 3 replies      
Latency. Server-side rendered pages can display immediately; client-side ones need to wait for the JS to download before they show anything. This can be a significant advantage for sites that are transactional or content-based in nature (eg. Google, weather, news, or Wikipedia).
3
chipsy 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's still a huge place for rendering on the server, but the Wheel of Reincarnation has been turning towards browsers being a thick-client app platform for some time now. But the underlying stack is still really bad for it. The high-performance path hasn't changed, even though we can see where we want it to go, and unless that changes it'd be hard to recommend making the shift.
4
ttepasse 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Not all crawler have advertising giants with billions of dollars worth of resources behind them. Some are just curl or similar things.

If you want to participate in low-level crawling like for microformats/indieweb or similar things there is an advantage for static pages: you participate in a more democratic web not in one which just works for the big stacks.

5
silentinteract 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is an interesting topic. Could it be we're at that stage where older browsers no longer matter/actually support one page/JSON based websites?
6
joeclark77 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Remember that 99.9% of dynamic websites are not Amazon or Ebay. Not every site needs to be "optimized" for massive amounts of traffic and massive server clusters. For most purposes, PHP is good enough, and Ruby or Python frameworks are fun to work with. We are fortunate to be blessed with an abundance of choices when it comes to tools.
6
My Moto 360 battery usage near real time
2 points by mraviator  9 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
27182818284 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
So less than 10 hours? Or am I missing something?
7
Ask HN: What is the best rating system?
7 points by jpn  14 hours ago   6 comments top 5
1
icosa 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Shannon Appelcline has a great overview of rating, ranking, and other systems in the article series "Collective Choice": http://www.skotos.net/articles/TTnT_/TTnT_178.phtml . The key points are that most people want to be nice so you'll have far more activity in the top half of the ratings (3-5 for 5 stars, 6-10 for 10 stars); explicitly describing what each level means makes people more accurate; and instead of using a simple average you should weight it towards the site average to prevent items with few ratings from being misrepresented (e.g. an item with one 5-star rating is not the best ever).
2
gesman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually like 5 star rating system for simplicity with an added ability to rate at 1/2 star intervals if wanted to.
3
thewarrior 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it would be better to ask the user to compare a place against a few others he has visited and use that to automatically compute a rating. But thats not as usable.

Another option would be to ask him to fill in a few questions.Then compute the rating using that.

4
LarryMade2 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I like how Amazon does it, with stars and comments. That way you can look at the stars given and then add in the grain of salt by the quality of the associated comment.
5
bilalhusain 14 hours ago 0 replies      
aside: I was going to refer the goodfilms blog post[1] but decided to check quora first (I've stopped using it because of their login/read only first answer) and there it was! (and it appears that quora has removed the gating)

Also, can you make your references clickable?

[1] http://goodfil.ms/blog/posts/2011/10/07/a-better-way-to-rate...

8
Submission titles still subject to change by editors?
2 points by zoltz  10 hours ago   2 comments top
1
wmf 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes, dang fixes titles if they don't follow the rules.
9
Building a Flask Single Page Application
2 points by mjhea0  4 hours ago   1 comment top
1
mjhea0 3 hours ago 0 replies      
10
Ask HN: How do you invest?
5 points by thewarrior  14 hours ago   8 comments top 7
1
panorama 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Betterment and Bitcoin speculation for the most part. With the right knowledge, you can certainly outperform Betterment, but as a programmer I'm content just outsourcing that and saving that time for other things (like getting better at programming, for example, which implicitly earns me money as well).
2
OGiR 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I personally own (not through a broker) shares in a diversified portfolio of companies, all of which offer Dividend Reinvestment Plans with optional cash purchases of additional shares directly through the company's transfer agent. This means that I pay no fees when purchasing additional shares for my DRiPs, in fact, a lot of the companies I invest in offer discounts on shares purchased through their Share Purchase Plan. I mostly invest in large companies that pay reasonable dividends with long histories of stability and dividend payments/increases. My goal is to almost never stop buying, making use of dollar cost averaging, and earn a safe return that ought to still beat the market in order to save for retirement/other future investments.
3
akuma73 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Read about asset allocation and mean variance optimization. The rest will follow.
4
dangrossman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Of the money I invest --

25% in Vanguard dividend growth index fund

25% in Vanguard total stock market index fund

25% in Vanguard total bond market index fund

25% in stocks I chose myself

5
mnort9 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Haven't used it yet, but I'm intrigued by WealthFront.
6
kelukelugames 13 hours ago 0 replies      
poorly.

now i just buy aaa bonds and sp500. lost too much gamblin' alreafy.

7
majurg 8 hours ago 0 replies      
bitcoin
11
Ask HN: What's been your proudest moment since launching your startup?
3 points by desouzt  10 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
LarryMade2 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
(mine is a side project, very localized - doplaces.com )

A co-worker was looking for meeting venues around a particular town within ten seconds I had a list of event centers up within a five mile radius of the town. Recently someone on facebook was looking for venues for a planned wedding in the counties where doplaces covers, replied to that with a single very useful link.

Just about any time when I got good local information with just a couple clicks. Having it easily do what I have envisioned is the proudest moment.

2
vjvj 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Our first payment from a customer which meant we could pay our biggest supplier and each of our smaller ones.
12
Am I wrong or are Adafruit, Makerbot, Sparkfun and others are?
5 points by touny  1 day ago   6 comments top 5
1
CyberFonic 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The companies you mention have good international sales from their existing online stores. What are you offering that they cannot easily do?

Saying you want to be a distributor implies that you will have a network of resellers. For that to be attractive you would need to have substantial local inventory. As @noonespecial says, that requires making a substantial investment up front. You can't just say your are a distributor, take orders and then pass them on the the companies you mention. That is of no benefit to them.

As for Makerbot, do you have the resources to support what you plan to sell?

Take a look at Arrow, Farnell, etc and see how they operate. That's what it takes to be a distributor.

2
noonespecial 1 day ago 1 reply      
Don't ask to "be a distributor". Ask for a volume discount; and then be prepared to pay for this up front at first. I suspect you might be getting turned down because "being a distributor" often involves them sending you a bunch of product on faith or extended credit terms. They are small operations and may be operating one bad deal away from bankruptcy and be unable to take such a risk.
3
kjs3 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Distributors (or, commonly, a "channel") are generally expected to bring something tangible to the table in the relationship. Sometimes, they have a large book of clients or have access to a market that the supplier can't tap. Often they also take on first tier support, installation, service and/or training. In many cases, they smooth out the suppliers cash flow by pre-booking and/or stocking product locally. A requirement to pre-purchase demo gear and/or have a certain number of employees trained/certified on the products is common.

So, based on what you've said, you don't have a sales pipeline, don't have a sales mechanism (and a web site isn't a particularly interesting one to companies who already sell primarily via the web), aren't willing/able to put in a significant cash investment in the relationship, and haven't mentioned support and training. They probably have a couple of dozen people a month come to them with "I have nothing to offer but why don't you trust your reputation to me, give me a big discount and let's do business together!". Their reaction really shouldn't be surprising.

4
serf 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Many people become resellers in order to buy product for themselves and friends at a discounted price. This trend is rampant in the car-modification and hotrod cultures of the United States.

Perhaps without a shop they are suspicious of your intentions.

5
lazylizard 13 hours ago 0 replies      
the problem is, after they give you your margin, or cut, or discount, as 'distributor, you buy just 1 item. for yourself.

there are vendors that actually don't care, and anyone can sign up as a reseller. but apparently you asked a few who do.

13
Ask HN: What is Parse?
7 points by zuck9  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
6thSigma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Parse is a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS). A BaaS is a great solution to connect your app to a backend server without having to build the backend yourself.

Why would you want your app to connect to a backend? Without a backend, you can only store data from a user in a database on their local device; which means that data is only available on that device.

If you need to do a login system, any kind of social interaction (sharing data between users), a leaderboard, syncing data across devices, etc. - you will need a backend. Parse helps you with that by providing you APIs to do all of those things.

I'm actually building an open source BaaS. Email me if you have any more questions.

2
josephschmoe 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a cloud database. If you know a lot about front end and don't want to do any work for your back end, it's perfect.

Just enter your data types as objects in the GUI and you're good to go. There's JavaScript too if you absolutely need it.

I've used it and it definitely made my life a lot easier as a mobile developer with little back end experience.

3
WoodenChair 1 day ago 0 replies      
Parse is effectively a very easy to use NoSQL database in the cloud. It has many more features than that, but that's the core of it.
14
Ask HN: What percentage of business reviews are done at the reviewed business?
2 points by jjallen  10 hours ago   discuss
15
Ask HN: Which Lisp/Scheme and why and how to learn?
3 points by joeclark77  1 day ago   5 comments top 4
1
gus_massa 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm currently using Racket ( http://racket-lang.org/ ), it's a Scheme dialect. It supports Windows, Linux and OSX. It has a nice IDE with support for macro expansion. And it has a lot of packages ("batteries included") and is usually faster than Python.

It also has a web server ( http://docs.racket-lang.org/web-server/ ). I'm using it for a small site, with a few hundreds users.

2
malisper 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I would say the easiest to learn is Common Lisp because of the amazing debugger + conditions/restarts. If you make a mistake, instead of aborting the program like most programming languages would, Common Lisp will give you a list of restarts which let you specify how to continue executing (change variable values, return a new value instead, etc).

To learn it I would recommend COMMON LISP: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation to get a good foundation. After reading that, I would suggest ANSI Common Lisp, which introduces some of the more advanced features and gives some pretty good examples of what you can do with Lisp (writing a DSL for generating HTML is one of them). Then I would recommend On Lisp which gives all kinds of crazy things you can do with Lisp (embedded Prolog, DSL for parsing English, and many other cool things).

There are many other great books out there which you may way want to look at. Land of Lisp and Practical Common Lisp are both good introductory books, but I find that they introduce too much too fast and it makes it difficult to get very far in them. Paradigms of AI Programming is probably one of the best programming books out there, but there is a lot of advanced material in it.

3
craigching 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't have a lot of advice about LISP proper, but Scheme ... ah, Scheme is near and dear to my heart. But which one? Look for a standard one that is current. The usual suspects are Chicken, Guile, Gambit, Racket, Chez (Petite Chez) (am I missing any?). I prefer Chicken or Petite Chez because I'm currently going through "The Reasoned Schemer" and those two seem to work best with the code from the book.

But my ultimate suggestion for a LISP is Clojure. Runs on the JVM, has good Java interop (and a huge community of open source software) and has nice syntax to boot (I love the use of [, {, etc. instead of just ( for the syntax to differentiate different data structures).

4
informatimago 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Common Lisp (any implementation, you may start with ccl, clisp, sbcl, but the other implementations are useful in specific (deployment) situations, like abcl on JVM, ecl to be embedded in C/C++ applications, etc).

http://cliki.net/http://cliki.net/Getting+Started

16
What is the future of Computer Architecture
3 points by newuser_usa  20 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
akuma73 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Software is going to have to pick up its game.Accelerators will help.

However, even these will be one time gains. As Bob Colwell says, it's very difficult to replace an exponential.

This will have profound effects not just on Silicon Valley, but the global economy. We've been riding this miracle for 40 years and it will end - soon.

2
tgflynn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be interesting to see what could be done with large scale combinational logic (ie. boolean circuits).

If you didn't have to worry about clock signals, had a simple circuit topology (for example laminar) and thermal issues were minimal because of having a small number of gates transitioning at any one time could you design a programmable logic chip that was more competitive with ASICS than current FPGAs are ?

17
Ask HN: What do you do when you realize you are not a programmer?
10 points by notastartup  1 day ago   11 comments top 10
1
RogerL 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You like building things. Okay, I'll run with that, understanding that I don't know you well and will get the specifics wrong. Just trying to kick start your thinking.

First, there is product design. That is not just 'make this font look pretty', it is doing things like figuring out sane workflows for your user, watching them use the product and figuring out elegant solutions to the points where they get stuck or frustrated. It's conversations with the engineers - your design might eat batteries, or render poorly on device X, or.... There is coming up with the product idea, presenting it to investors (who could just be the VP in the company you work for, there is plenty of chances for creativity w/o starting your own company). There is product management, project management. There is the whole personnel side of things. It's not just 'fill out this form for the yearly review' - a good manager has a mental model of their employees, and guides them through constant improvement. She also makes it possible for that employee to do their job by removing everything extraneous to that job.

I'm just saying HN can give you a skewed perspective. I have solely invented a few different products while working for large companies and had my companies decide to adopt them. The only two things missing was the payoff at the end, and the stress filled nights (am I going to make payroll? John just bought a new house). For me that is a great tradeoff. For others, I can't say.

And I'll say this. People like Jony Ive didn't become great by running off and doing their own things alone. It's a path to do that, to be sure. But he spent years grinding at a growing company. His story is different than yours, I'm not trying to say there is an equivalence. But you have to work really, really hard, for years, for your ideas and designs to be worthy of the world, to be better than the competition. He became great by years of grinding, and his work was made sellable by daily, relentless meetings where every decision was torn apart by other brilliant people (say what you want about Jobs, he knew how to get great work out of designers).

2
jebblue 12 hours ago 0 replies      
>> discussing what OO pattern should be used

If there are teams sitting around discussing patterns then they aren't focused on what they should be in the first place. They should be focusing incessantly on implementing the requirements to meet the needs of the business and ultimately the customers.

5 decades of code was written and a lot of it still in production before the GoF (Gang of Four) got together to write down their musings.

Most of the patterns I've studied are so abstract as to be completely useless in applying to the art of implementing the requirements to meet the needs of the business and ultimately the customers.

3
phantom_oracle 1 day ago 0 replies      
This isn't a new phenomenon.

There seems to exist a difference between someone who codes for the sake of coding (perhaps it relaxes the mind?) and someone who codes to make other things.

As the other guys have mentioned, there's a lot of valuable nuggets of info you should look into.

I especially liked the part about seeing coding as a means. Code to get somewhere, and if you find a tool that is better and more convenient than writing code, use that instead.

There is actually a school of thought (hopefully I'm not alone in this) that sometimes sees writing code as a matter of no progress. For the last 60 odd years (or more) people have been "writing code" and it makes you wonder why this is still so necessary for the "basic" stuff we try to do.

For example: Why do we need to write and re-write code to build the internal CRUD business applications?

You should also consider taking up another hobby to relax your mind from coding (especially if you don't enjoy it), otherwise the worry about it will just fatigue you physically and mentally.

4
jmatthews 1 day ago 1 reply      
"What do you do when you realize you are not a programmer?"

Double down. You enjoy the realization of creation but not the act itself. You like the view from the top of the mountain but you hate hiking.

Either come to terms with the hiking part, or resign yourself to only seeing pictures of the mountain top.

The third route is to simplify the workflow required to get to the final realization of creation but that tends to be a magnitude more difficult than the typical act of creation.

5
coppolaemilio 1 day ago 0 replies      
"I hated discussing what OO pattern should be used""they submit patches to major frameworks, writes things in assembly for fun"You don't have to do this kind of things to be a programmer.Of course discussing OO patterns with your team is a need but submitting patches to major frameworks is on your free time! If every programmer would do so we wouldn't have so many incomplete open software. Try not to be chased by the "The Myth of the Genius Programmer" and keep enjoying creating things.

A google talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SARbwvhupQ

6
glimcat 1 day ago 0 replies      
I do programming like I do algebra. It's a tool I use to solve problems.

Mind you, it's a tool I'm very good with, and that I get intrinsic enjoyment from when using it. But I don't do it 24/7, and I also get intrinsic enjoyment from woodworking, soldering, cooking...

Some people are invested in getting you to believe a narrative where coders code, all the time, 80 hours a week even if you don't pay them, like they're one-dimensional widgets instead of people. If anyone tries to feed you that line, I'd take a good hard think about why.

7
lgieron 1 day ago 0 replies      
My guess is that people who are making all those commits are often pretty much indifferent about their jobs (as software engineers) as well.

In general, just because you're passionate about something doesn't mean you'll particularly enjoy a day job in that field - just ask all the people who were passionate about doing science, but have quit their phd programs.

8
renas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey man, take the sad part out, life is too short to get sad, do what you like, do what makes you happy, don't bother about labels, you might be a Hacker not a Programmer, keep on having fun :-D
9
nyan_sandwich 1 day ago 0 replies      
>What do you do when you realize you are not a programmer?

You could start calling yourself a "recovering programmer":

http://prog21.dadgum.com/56.html

10
falconfunction 1 day ago 0 replies      
you browse this site
18
Ask HN: Any ideas on how to thumbnail 2M images?
23 points by phprecovery  1 day ago   41 comments top 21
1
garethsprice 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get a benchmark for converting a single image. Use "strace -t" (or similar on your chosen OS) to see where the bottlenecks are occurring at each stage in the program's execution.

This is a linear time (O(n)) problem with a large set, so it's worth the effort to shave a few milliseconds where you can as each millisecond optimized will be multiplied 2-million-fold (about 35 minutes). Once you have an optimal configuration for single images, test a small set, then let it loose on the whole set. If you can shave off 2 seconds for a single image, that's 46 machine days right there.

Can you buffer the images onto a ramdisk during conversion? Guessing HDD IO will be a large bottleneck.

Be sure to run your single image test on different images, so you don't get false optimization positives due to various I/O caches.

What's the maximum number of images that ImageMagick will take in as a batch list? (Guessing it's somewhat short of 2M) Whatever it is, make sure to run as large a list as possible. There's a suggestion at http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/files/#image_streams but it re-initializes IM each time which sounds slow (still, can put the binaries on a ramdisk?)

You want to create a stream / "tape head" type setup where files are being processed with minimum need to re-init the conversion program. But it looks like IM6 doesn't support this so, with a sampleset of that size, you may even want to look into coding up a simple C program using libtiff/libjpeg that's sole job is to run the conversion as a stream, if you have access to such skills. It may be faster than a large general purpose tool.

Simple parallelism - create the list, split it into N (ImagickMaxNum) input list files, run on N workstations to reduce the total problem time by O/N. True parallelism (network queue-based) may be worth exploring using a queue system (RabbitMQ?) but don't try to write it yourself.

There may be situations where it makes sense to access the files via a filename mask if you can rename them (img_0 -> img_2000000) so you don't have to store and parse the file list and can use a simple increment counter.

Hope this helps! I'm no optimization guru and the above is very top-of-mind, but I enjoy these large problem sets. I'm also in NYC, would love to help out the NYPL and would volunteer some free time to do so (I need a useful side project). PM me if you'd like to talk further!

EDIT: Is this the wrong problem to tackle entirely? Can you convert the set on demand and cache-as-you-go? ie. if it's book covers that people are browsing, the first user may wait 5 seconds for an image, but that's not awful... Is there a particular reason to want to create precached derivatives?

2
samptemp 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm kinda a little disappointed at the answers provided here.

1) I downloaded a 49.6 MB TIFF file from here:http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2004/32/im...

2) From the OSX terminal:

$ time sips -Z 150 hs-2004-32-d-full_tif.tif

Resulting file size is 150x150px and 32KB.

Time to run process:1.48s user 0.15s system 98% cpu 1.663 total

The superpower computer required for this incredible speed is a 3 year old MacBook Pro (with SSD) ;-)

UPDATE:

I created 10 copies of the image. Total size: 520.1 MB

$ time sips -Z 150 .tif

Time to process 10 images:14.98s user 1.44s system 94% cpu 17.384 total(approximately 1.498 per image).

2000000 images 1.663 seconds = 38 days.

Note: This is using larger images (49.6MB vs the 25-30MB images you have) and is using a single MacBook Pro. Divide amongst a few machines and be done in a week. GraphicsMagick could possibly be even faster.

ANOTHER UPDATE:

Since your files are smaller (20-30MB), I found a 30MB jpg sample here:http://sto-rvlt-01.sys.comcast.net/speedtest/random4000x4000...

Time to process was much faster:0.37s user 0.04s system 97% cpu 0.418 total

2000000 images * 0.418 seconds = 9.67 days

At that speed we are talking under 10 days. On a single 3 year old MacBook Pro. Using built-in software. Without any optimizations. Find 5 computers in the NY Public Library and you'll be done in 2 days.

I am not saying this is the fastest solution. I posted this because it appears that people are over-engineering this problem or proposing solutions which will cost a lot of money (Amazon, bandwidth, shipping hard drive fees, etc).

3
vitovito 1 day ago 0 replies      
The NY Times did this using Amazon Web Services to process all their TIFFs (into PDFs, but thumbnailing isn't really different). They uploaded 4TB of data to Amazon over the internet, but today you could just send them a hard drive and they'll copy it onto S3 for you.

NYT: http://open.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/01/self-service-prorat... and http://open.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/the-new-york-times-...

AWS Import/Export: http://aws.amazon.com/importexport/

4
jcanyc 1 day ago 0 replies      
First consider thumbnailing these in the fly as they're requested by the user. But if you must mass convert them, this job must be parallelized among many compute nodes; overly tuning the processing of each conversion probably won't be very fruitful.

You probably want to move these images to AWS S3 and run compute jobs and upload the resulting images back up to S3. You could create AWS Simple Queue Messages with the S3 URLs of each of the images and pop messages and autoscale EC2 instances based on the depth of that queue. What's the plan for these files after they're processed?

I am local, have deep AWS experience and have next week off if you'd like some pro bono advice.

50TB S3 ~$1500/monthSQS ~$0.50/million messages

5
zacman85 1 day ago 0 replies      
We would be happy to help at imgix. We currently process tens of millions of images per day, including large images like yours. Feel free to contact me at chris (at) imgix (dot) com. Link: http://www.imgix.com
6
orr94 1 day ago 2 replies      

    At 5 seconds an image using a tool like ImageMagick (which might be optimistic)
Are you sure ImageMagick would take that long? I haven't timed it, but I don't recall thumbnail creation with ImageMagick taking that long.

Also, if you can parallelize it, it won't take 115 days.

7
cjbprime 1 day ago 0 replies      
Could you post at least one such image here with the thumbnail size you want? Then we can compete on ideas using actual numbers.
8
brudgers 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This sounds like a job that only has to be done once [at this scale]. 115 machine days is a lot of computing. It's not much human time. What really counts as optimization?

I suspect it's mostly the quality of the access points and less the efficiency of the algorithm making thumbnails.

I suspect that the secondary optimization is how quickly those access points become available. In the 17 hours between the time your question was posted and this comment, more than 12,000 images could have been thumbnailed and possibly 12,000 additional resources made available or meta-data records improved.

The great thing about starting with something slow that works is that there is plenty of time to improve it [and plenty of time to decide if it really needs improving].

If the process had started at 8am yesterday, more than 50,000 images would have been converted by 8am Monday morning.

Now in the real world of bureaucracy, there can be more friction entailed in obtaining a box, sticking it in the corner, and letting it run for four months, than spending substantial human time researching and implementing a solution that looks clever and elegant. But really, the hardware for this job, even if purchased new is only a few hundred dollars.

9
no_future 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wrote a simple CUDA based image thumbnailing dongle with OpenCV a while back. https://github.com/NealP/cudathumb It's pretty fast but doesn't expose a good interface via console so if someone would like to contribute that I would be not unpleased. Also you need to have OpenCV compiled with CUDA to use it(which is kind of a nightmare). GraphicsMagick with its multithreaded thing(it should just werk if you enable it) is pretty fast if you run it on a decent CPU, it shouldn't take nearly 115 days. If thats still not fast enough for you you could try to make something with the Intel Performance Primitives package(if you're on Intel CPUs), though the cognitive load imposed by writing it might not be worth whatever speed boost it grants.
10
richm44 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't fork a new process for each image, write something that uses the imagemagick library directly (or another library if you prefer). Don't do them serially, use threads so you can make use of all your cores.

That said, even serially 5 seconds per image seems very slow. Are you sure you're not hitting network latency from a remote filesystem or something? If so do some bulk copies to get the data locally then work on the local copy.

11
cjbprime 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hey, if you're a Public Library, can't you just upload them all to Flickr, let Flickr thumbnail them, and then download the thumbnails? :)
12
exelib 16 hours ago 0 replies      
My question is: Do you need all thubnails at once? I setted up a images album for kindergarten for my child with more than 17GB (>4000) jpeg's. I used nginx webserver for resizing on the fly and then let nginx cache it. In a VM with 4 cores from i7-920 it thumbnail 2-6 images per second. After first access images are taken from the cache.
13
jenkstom 1 day ago 1 reply      
You could "rent" space by setting up by-the-hour cloud services, but you'd probably just trade a compute problem for a bandwidth problem. You might want to make sure you know where the bottleneck is before trying to add resources - if it's your LAN you can save time by moving closer to the files and adding a faster connection. But most likely it is CPU or memory.

Can you borrow some servers from a local computer store for a few weeks? It's not outside the realm of possibility. Call them all, they can only say "no". Or maybe some businesses in the area might have some spare resources. I'd say leverage your status as a pro bono organization for some goodwill help.

14
Someone1234 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you do them one at a time it is 5 seconds. And the majority of that 5 seconds is likely IO wait times. You should invest in an SSD, and should also look at running multiple conversions concurrently so that the IO on the SSD is near capped.

Did you see this also: http://www.graphicsmagick.org/index.html

They claim to be faster than ImageMagic.

15
jscheel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use VIPS (http://www.vips.ecs.soton.ac.uk/index.php?title=VIPS) for large TIFF conversion. It should handle them much, much faster. Also, I think there was a write-up on highscalability.com about instagram, or pinterest, or someone resizing a ton of images a while ago.
16
percept 1 day ago 0 replies      
In RubyLand I used to use ImageScience (http://docs.seattlerb.org/ImageScience.html), which is apparently based on FreeImage:

http://freeimage.sourceforge.net/

17
eabraham 1 day ago 0 replies      
A few months ago I did benchmarks on ImageMagick and similar libraries for a Rails application I was working on. I discovered Vips which has a significant performance improvement over Imagemagick.

https://github.com/jcupitt/ruby-vips

18
pixl8ed 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://codeascraft.com/2010/07/09/batch-processing-millions-... is a writeup of a similar task at Etsy to resize 135 million images.
19
virmundi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Out of curiosity do you need then all build? Could you tumbnail as they are requested? So the first request is slow but you cache fir the future?
20
jason_slack 1 day ago 0 replies      
just as an interesting experiment, would anyone want to collaborate on a CUDA program to do this? I'm learning to utilize it now with c++.
21
LarryMade2 1 day ago 0 replies      
gthumb; gnome file menu - create thumbnails...
19
Ask HN: What VPS are you using?
4 points by _ca  7 days ago   7 comments top 6
1
garysvpa 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
DigitalOcean.com

Prometeus.com

Host1Plus.com

HostGator.com

SiteGround.com

2
icebraining 7 days ago 0 replies      
I like TransIP[1]. They're also using SSDs, they're price competitive with DO, they're hosted in Amsterdam and they've never given me any trouble.

Note: the discounted prices are just for the first month, and they don't include VAT (21%).

[1] https://www.transip.eu/

4
nreece 6 days ago 0 replies      
RamNode is the best I've used so far.
5
Joyfield 7 days ago 0 replies      
Digital Ocean and www.citycloud.com
6
jsegura 7 days ago 1 reply      
Linode. I'm so happy with it
20
Ask HN: What's your best startup idea that you're not going to pursue?
94 points by hpvic03  3 days ago   196 comments top 53
1
nardi 3 days ago 8 replies      
An online-only bank (with ATM support of course) that lets you have as many "virtual" accounts as you want, and lets you set up programmatic rules for transferring money in between accounts on certain days/times, or triggered by events ("transfer $100 from B to A if account A goes below $100, and notify me by email"; "on overdraft from A, withdraw from B instead"). Then have a debit card that you can use to charge to any of your accounts, and an app that lets you configure which account it's drawing from.

This would make "budgeting" very easy. Have a "food" account, an "entertainment" account, etc. Do weekly or monthly budgets by transferring money into your mini-accounts, and denying transactions for each account when it goes over budget. (Or let the transaction go through from a backup account, but notify you that you went over budget.)

Also, have an API that anyone can write apps for.

Of course, I'll never do this because starting a bank is really hard.

2
conductr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Uber for hiring a undocumented worker/day laborer. Sometimes I hire these guys[0,1] and I have to go pick them up [2], try to find one that speaks decent English, negotiate pricing, explain the job, and manage the quality of work[3].

There is actually a huge potential to improve the worker side of the current status quo. Right now, these guys have a ton of idle time[4] and there is a pricing opportunity[5]. There's a lot of other opportunities in this, I've been mulling it over for the past few years, I can build it just don't want to market/grow it[6]

[0] for projects that I don't necessarily need a contractor for[1] or, work that a regular contractor doesn't do, like; my lawn guy doesn't clean gutters, my housekeeper doesn't clean windows[2] taking them home is worse - they're probably dirty & sweaty and I don't that in my car[3] can't have high expectations, these are generalists don't expect them to do high quality tile or carpentry[4] they sit in front of hardware stores for hours just waiting, some days they have no work, there is never a guarantee of work[5] they would take less money for guaranteed work, they could build a reputation and charge more for work, they could have their own transportation; saving the buyer the hassle of playing taxi service (often the buyer is a contractor, not a lone home owner like me)[6] if you do, let's talk

3
evv 2 days ago 1 reply      
Uber for digitizing, storage and disposal.

I have boxes and boxes of tapes, disks, notebooks, books, and photos. All of which I'd prefer to have digital. Other physical things could be digitized with video, photographs, and scans. I would take them to my street corner and a driver would pick them up and deliver them to a digitizer. They could show up in the cloud a week later, or be delivered back to me in a hard drive.

Once the digital copies are received, the customer can request to have the goods responsibly disposed of. The service could also cover long term storage for customers who want the originals to remain intact. Possessions can be returned to the owner within a day or two's notice.

A service like this would allow people to minimize their physical existence while preserving the memories associated with physical possessions.

4
adrianmpc 3 days ago 1 reply      
Something that pipelines charitable donations through micro-financing. Say someone needs a payday loan, and Bill Gates is going to donate a billion dollars to some charity. Instead, that person gets the loan with no interest or penalties and sets up a payment plan with that charity for the amount. Should create more efficient spending patterns for low-income families, particular those that encounter short-term deficits, while still getting the charities the same amount of money in the long run.
5
frequentflyeru 3 days ago 3 replies      
Github for travel planning. You can collaborate with your co-travelers on creating an itinerary but then like github you can fork other peoples completed itineraries and make them your own.
6
darkstar999 3 days ago 2 replies      
Remote sysadmin service.

Percona has a remote DBA service that gives us 24/7 access to a team of proficient DBAs for a fraction of the cost of hiring one.

I'd like to see the same product for cloud sysadmins.

7
jonbischke 3 days ago 8 replies      
A couple of years ago I proposed an idea for "AirBnB for self storage" on Quora: http://www.quora.com/Collaborative-Consumption/What-is-the-n...

Still seems like a massive opportunity. $24 billion market in the US. Inconvenient locations (for many people). People have (collectively) a massive amount of under-utilized space. Not without its challenges but neither was AirBnB when it started.

8
juanplusjuan 3 days ago 2 replies      
A service for freelancers that automatically withdraws projected income tax and puts it into a safe money market fund so that they can make a little change on it (more in better times).
9
mrfusion 2 days ago 8 replies      
Identify damaged roofs via satellite imagery, match to addresses, and sell the list to roofers for marketing?
10
dorfuss 2 days ago 0 replies      
I thought of a math edu-game similar to CeeBot.

In CeeBot you learn programming concepts and whole languages by writing instructions for virtual robots. You can see how they move around and perform different tasks. (Actually Mehran Sahami from Stanford teaches the programming methodology course with a little virtual robot named Karel with exactly the same principle).

The player in my game would be a spacecraft captain. But unlike in other games, where you just press a button and the vessel goes to any direction, this ship had been hit by a meteoroid and its main computer is broken. Therefore all the commands have to be done manually and any computation is performed on a piece of paper and just put into the command line.

There could be no graphics at all. Just the roar of your enginges.

In the beginning the tasks are simple, but the more you play the more complicated the calculations become. It begins with simple arithmetics and trade. Later you need trigonometry to fire a "torpedo". It would be great if you could progress it even further, with advanced math and phisics, and also chemistry - you need to combine different substances in order to burn them as fuel or to produce oxygen to breathe or combine nitrogen and carbondiaxide in order to grow food in the farm.

It would be great if instead of taking tests the teacher would just say: "John, you are still on level 8, you should go to Alpha Centauri and fight with pirates. Play more!" - which would mean - learn to solve problems with two unknowns and calculate volume of spheres.

And imagine a multiplayer with students on the same level who have to make accurate calclulations fast because without it they would just float in the dark and cold outerspace.

I will never make it - I don't know math and programming that well - but I'd play the game!

11
pkfrank 3 days ago 4 replies      
Love this thread idea, had been considering posting one myself.

- Tablets for seniors: when the elderly population sees an iPad ad, they're not captivated or entranced; they're intimidated and disappointed that they're left behind by technology. I envision the "jitterbug for tablets" -- built on Android with big, tactile buttons; a 'never get lost, take me home' feature; remotely controlled functionality (IE turn on/off apps); etc. They wouldn't use much bandwidth, so you could build 3G right into the device and charge a significant monthly premium -- after all, it's a dramatic quality-of-life improvement for someone sitting in a retirement home.

GE and a few other companies are doing similar projects, but no one is really executing all that well IMO. Problems: would be super hard to get off the ground / defend, and the market is becoming increasingly obsolete.

12
bobosha 3 days ago 3 replies      
A store-to-kitchen cart. I carry it in store, checkout items from within the cart - mos t current carts are clunky, heavy - one that you can push onto your car trunk and carry out into your pantry/kitchen. Basically the iPod of shopping carts. Would save billion of shopping bags, no more "paper or plastic?"
13
whentheship 1 day ago 0 replies      
A search platform that allows users to find stores that specialize in whatever it is they're looking for. For example, here in Austin we have a store that sells upholstery fabric, specifically, and another that sells just bookcases. I've also seen a disc golf store. If I were looking for any of the above, I wouldn't remember that those specialty stores existed and so would probably go to Michael's for fabric or Ikea for a bookcase or Dick's for a disc. If there were a way to show stores that could give me a better selection to suit my particular need/want, I'd much rather shop there. Maybe if I search "fabric" it would pull up a location-specific list of fabric stores further categorized?
14
bogrollben 3 days ago 0 replies      
I started a site just for ideas like this, mostly for hackathons: http://www.freeideas.co
15
mindcrime 3 days ago 1 reply      
I had this random idea today, that I'd totally do if I had any free time. There may already be somebody doing this - I haven't looked. But here ya go:

An "eliza bot" like service that doles out Freudian dream analysis when you tell it about your dreams. Maybe even combine a logging service so you can log your dreams (ala the way some people keep dream journals).

I really have few ideas for monetizing the thing, I mostly just think it would be fun to do. But possibly you could do some cool targeted advertising based on the "discussions" you have with the dream-analysis-bot.

16
mileszim 3 days ago 4 replies      
Recipes based on the content of your pantry/fridge. The ideal solution would provide a db based on sensors/user input to know what ingredients and amount of those ingredients you have. Additionally, you can hook it into some calorie counter or diet tracking/fitness apps and it will make decisions based off of that.

Then you simply specify: "I want to make dinner, what can I cook?" The app links you to the recipe and any videos for making that recipe right to your device.

17
fidotron 3 days ago 1 reply      
A sort of reverse kickstarter with combinations.

Instead of just makers saying what they can do it would be based more on what people say they want, and attach a value to say they'd pay a certain amount for it. You could also declare that given x, y and z you could do a, b or c and thus giant chains could be resolved.

All a bit GOSPLAN like though.

I've also considered Tinder crossed with auctions: bid according to how hot you think they are, with highest bids getting to meet (and pay!)

18
rb2e 3 days ago 0 replies      
A specialst book store or lending library or archive in hard to find new and seconhand books. For some subjects, amazon and its secondhand book site Abe books (?) sucks if you delve into narrow neiches. They are enthuaists out there who crave a book which will teach them something. These books are published in areas which may not be as commercial as they once were.

The neiches are small. One for example is model engineering and related subjects. Books with plans, drawings etc. Construction methods.

19
digikata 3 days ago 3 replies      
Order while you wait infrastructure at restaurants. Basically pull up the menu via wifi while waiting for your table to clear. Take the order, and maybe even pay ahead. Orchestrate the order so that the food is available shortly after you sit down.

This lets the restaurant increase their profits by serving more parties through their tables at peak times - maybe 10-15 min per table that uses the order system.

Some variant of this might also work for busy bars too.

20
jefflinwood 3 days ago 5 replies      
GeekFit - an online community of geeks/coders looking to improve from sedentary to athletic.
21
g12u 2 days ago 0 replies      
A system to retrofit an appliance into a smart home.

Example: My AC has its own remote. With my device I can record the wireless signals it outputs, similar to a garage opener in a car. Then with my mobile app I can create my own interface to power on/off, set temp, etc. I now use just my smart phone to turn on my AC. I press power on the custom UI I created in the app, it will send a packet to the hardware in my LAN, and that hardware sends the matching wireless signal to the AC.

Some things might still need physical fittings and cannot always be wireless devices such as power switches. New power splitters with this functionality would also be a good way to control appliances that just need to power on and off.

22
DanBC 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Music Finder"

You open an app. You're played three different pieces of music. You're asked which one you like best. The program branches and plays you three more pieces of music. Again they're different but from a more similar selection.

At each point you can highlight bits of music to go back to - to buy that music or to start the chain from that point.

One example would have this tightly connected to one particular publisher's catalogue.

It would eventually teach about music, giving comprehensive sleeve notes about the composer or the piece of music or the history or music theory or etc.

23
DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Blind Lego Watchmaker" - lego biomorphs.

Dawkins' book "the Blind Watchmaker" introduced "biomorphs". These are intended to show the power of repeated random change and selection. He uses a small computer program to draw six images composed of lines. The user selects one and the program redraws another six images, making small changes based on the image the user choses. This is repeated many times.

The new version is pretty similar except it uses Lego pieces instead of lines.

24
ilanco 2 days ago 1 reply      
Underground garbage disposal. In Tel Aviv, the garbage gets picked up every day (hot climate), and because of traffic this is done early morning (4-5am).

The system will have dedicated "containers" on corners or squares where you drop your garbage and an underground network of carts delivers it to a central point where it can be picked up. Or even to the dump if possible.

This can be fully automated and I think will save a lot of money in manpower and gas (for driving the garbage trucks through the whole city).

25
covercash 3 days ago 2 replies      
I posted this before:

Popcorn Time for quality children's programming - Bill Nye, Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, Avatar. Shows that are entertaining AND educational, none of that advertising filled, sassy attitude, Disney Channel crap.

26
lincolnq 3 days ago 3 replies      
Something with the Oculus VR tech. I think there's massive, exciting options opening up with the Gear VR or similar, and anyone starting now will have a substantial first mover advantage.

I have two specific applications for VR: the metaverse, and really good porn. (These do not need to be combined though I suppose they could.)

I would argue that Second Life failed mostly due to execution issues. I'd love to see a virtual world where I can socialize, and where I can build cool spaces to hang out with my friends / hold meetings / work.

27
gxespino 1 day ago 0 replies      
GPS powered fast food inhibitor. e.g. You get a text coupon for a salad at "insert healthy restaurant" whenever you pull into the parking lot of a Mcdonalds.

The idea is to catch people and entice them to eat differently right before they make the decision to eat fast food.

28
jmolinaso 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since all the scandals about security, I came up with a different approach, instead to increase cryptography, just build kind of a reverse surveillance. A place like gravatar that informs you who is accessing to your profiles on your social media. The idea is very simple, you provide a jpg that can send back a message every time it's being rendered by a client. It can be that it requires a new image standard that allows to send some info to the main servers.
29
recalibrator 3 days ago 0 replies      
Take your pick: http://startjumper.com

It's kind of like a parking lot for business opportunities I didn't go through with.

30
thomasfoster96 2 days ago 3 replies      
Reading through this I came up with one: Tinder for jobs. Employers can look through a small CV of candidates that they might like, while potential employees can do the same for workplaces. Matches lead to interviews.

I can't really see myself ever doing this though because you'd got a chicken and egg problem, plus it'd probably only ever be used by tech companies unless there was an easy to use API.

31
mrfusion 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about a kickstarter kickstarter?

It seems like you need a lot of money and experience to build a successful kickstarter?

What if there's a different service where a person can put up an idea with minimal cost and flare, and just raise enough funding to hire a video team, PR team, etc to then run a kickstarter campaign?

32
zvanness 3 days ago 1 reply      
Something a bit like Pocket app, except where the content is automatically summarized for you.

I've made a naive summarizer that seems to get the job done for the summaries part: http://breue.com/summarizer

I'm just not sure what the final product would look like or if there would be enough of a reason for people to prefer it over Pocket.

33
canterburry 2 days ago 1 reply      
An insurance company who's policy covers anything you own against any kind of loss for any reason. House, car, boat, bike etc for flood, fire, theft etc. Basically, if you buy insurance you should simply be insured. Period. No fine print.

Yes, it would probably be more expensive than people's current policies.

34
dang 3 days ago 6 replies      
A Verilog/VHDL killer.
35
krapp 3 days ago 2 replies      
Probably one of:

- a "Rap Genius" for crowd-translating doujin manga (kind of exists on danbooru but not quite)

- A collaborative gaming site for pen-and-paper RPG and boardgame players which would let you design and run your games as a virtual representation of the physical game (probably exists or else is a bad idea)

36
i4i 2 days ago 1 reply      
WeWillWalkYou - An online platform for volunteering to walk, visit, cook for, seniors. Trade time with a stranger's loved ones in your town, for the same for your folks back home.
37
BorisMelnik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love the format of this thread:

How bout this idea..

>> already exists, here is URL

38
gordon_freeman 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am fed up with all those warranty cards I am getting with every equipment I buy like juicer,external HDD,etc. so thought what if I can make a smartphone app with open API which other manufacturers can use to link their warranty info.

Through the app, you can apply for warranty , see when it is expiring etc.

39
seanmccann 3 days ago 4 replies      
What Dropbox did for storage, but for CPUs. The classic business example would be that you have to to process a large Excel doc and are willing to pay extra to speed it up. With fast internet connections and cheap online storage, it could be opened up to a growing number of tasks like video rendering.
40
jpavlick 3 days ago 2 replies      
Starbucks of marijuana.
41
ddw 2 days ago 3 replies      
Heroku for queue jobs. Pay by the minute.

Basically I hate maintaining an AWS instance that is idle most of the time. And Heroku will only get you so far.

It would probably be difficult to make profits on because you'd be charging slices of a penny at a time...

42
coke 2 days ago 0 replies      
... thought about building a mobile femtocell attached to a helium baloon, so if you find yourself (playing Ingress) in a dead spot, perhaps the femtocell in the baloon 10 to 30 meters above you could help out?
43
vishalzone2002 1 day ago 1 reply      
the missing B in AirBnB. I really wish I can finish the work on this idea someday. I have tech MVP but I dont know how to move forward. The idea :Basically, people can charge for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner at their places. There are people who like to cook and people who dont. Why not let former earn money and later save money while eating healthy meals and meeting new people.
44
rb2e 3 days ago 2 replies      
Another one is predicting price rises and optimal time to sell Magic the Gathering cards before rotation. Its like the stockmarket only unregulated Gambling. People, do invest in these cards and flip them. Not for the faint of heart but people love to buy into dreams...
45
callmeed 3 days ago 2 replies      
An on-demand "Uber for babysitters" ... most of you shot it down but I still think it's a good idea

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7356497

46
orky56 2 days ago 0 replies      
A subscription payment service with easy canceling for both consumer & merchant, built-in pro-rating, and support for groups.
47
bluerail 3 days ago 0 replies      
An end to end Recruitment management services..

Fully automated and fully mobile.

48
rush-tea 2 days ago 2 replies      
shazam for face recognition? Sometime when you see a movie, you can't make out who stars in it. take a quick picture and shazam it away to get the actor / actress name!
49
bsbechtel 3 days ago 1 reply      
A task management app that organizes all your completed tasks into a resume.
50
motyar 2 days ago 2 replies      
Location based anon social network. I am working on it.
51
ajcarpy2005 3 days ago 0 replies      
App that connects people with leftover food to pet owners.
52
jfb 3 days ago 2 replies      
A secondary market in sports bets.
53
hashtag 2 days ago 0 replies      
True CloudOS
21
Ask HN: Toxic startup enviroment, need advice
5 points by thrwawayaftruse  1 day ago   11 comments top 5
1
reality_czech 1 day ago 1 reply      
You're an employee. 2 weeks notice is all you need to give. You already gave that, so move on.

Why would you stay at a place that you didn't like for 4 months? That was silly. So was telling them your business ideas. Honestly, you've got nobody to blame but yourself here.

Non-competes aren't even valid in California so just move there and start your social network for dogs.

2
onedev 1 day ago 1 reply      
Quit ASAP. You owe them nothing. I am telling you right now, whatever justice you are trying to achieve by "standing by your word", you will not achieve it and they will still fuck you over. DO NOT under any circumstances waste more of your time. Let me rephrase. Do not waste any of your LIFE on this situation. It's not worth it.

Here is what you should do starting right now.

1. Document everything that you still can. Emails, conversations, records. Get everything and put it into a folder. You will need this in case something comes up later.

2. Quit tomorrow.

3. Go pursue your startup idea. If you need more savings and want to build some up, do some freelance projects which I'm sure others on here would be happy to point you towards. You already said additional money is not a requirement so there should be nothing stopping you from wasting your time.

Again, you owe them nothing.

3
kpatrick 20 hours ago 0 replies      
After you quit, you can absolutely compete with them. The only issue around "owning the idea" is with regards to patents. Having personally gone through this, it is hard (perhaps impossible) for them to claim patent assignment on a patentable idea that hasn't already been filed with the patent office before your end date. Once you leave the company, preparing the patent application would be work which you can not be forced to do. They also can't file since they weren't the inventors.
4
craigching 1 day ago 2 replies      
> when pressed about my plans, told Fs

There's your mistake. It's one thing to keep your ideas separate from your work (there are contracts that insist that any idea you have belongs to who you work for), but it's another to tell your company about your ideas. As soon as you tell them, they can make an argument about who owns the idea.

That said, they sound pretty incompetent. If you're serious about your idea, you probably need a lawyer at this point. If not, cut your losses, be done with them, and move on. I can't actually give you advice on your idea, it might be good to let that go as well if you want to avoid future legal problems. If you think it's worth fighting for, get a lawyer.

In the future, keep your ideas separate from your work if you're entrepreneurial. By that I mean only work on them in your own time on your own equipment, including your smart phone.

5
britknight 1 day ago 1 reply      
First of all, don't worry about them stealing your idea when they can't even get their own off the ground.

Secondly, if your working relationship with the founders is "let the lawyers decide" you don't owe them anything, much less any more time out of your life.

Thirdly, staying on longer would give them room to maneuver you into a bad legal position with respect to the non-compete clause. If you give final notice of leaving and the next day the company unexpectedly pivots to your idea, you're left in a bit of a jam. Sooner might well be better than later in this case.

What you decide to do is ultimately up to you. But be wary of being manipulated into another 4 month notice period, and another, and another. Your time is the most important resource you have (up there with your health); be wary of wasting it.

22
Ask HN: What new developer tools have you added to your workflow lately?
3 points by bgar  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
1
RollAHardSix 4 hours ago 0 replies      
DevExpress Dev Tools have been very helpful, including CodeRush.
2
aitoehigie 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Flask (awesome, I actually ditched web2py for it. Web2py is great too but it was no longer cutting it for me)Virtualenv - for isolated python installationsi3 tiling windows manager - It actually increased my dev machine battery life with 2+ hours. This is such a big deal because steady electricity supply is a huge luxury in my neck of the woods.
3
vishalchandra 16 hours ago 0 replies      
More relevant question might be what APIs or libraries are starting to look attractive of late ?

I would say wit.ai looks very interesting.

The dev stack is the same as always ~ Sublime + AWS

4
mnort9 11 hours ago 0 replies      
RubyMine!
5
vrdhn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
rather what tools you tried and decided not now ...
23
How Has Breaking Bad Impacted the Meth Business?
8 points by ezl  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
1
MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Drawing a causal relationship between Breaking Bad and what happens in the 'real world' would be hard to do. That being said, there are some reports released occasionally by various government agencies that track the kind of stats you're looking for. One of the big ones is the Illegal Drug Price/Purity Report put out by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/price-and-purity

Unfortunately they aren't released very often, so they may not have the data you need for a few more years. They may release intermediate / preliminary reports, I'm not sure. Worth looking into.

2
atmosx 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think a stronger example of popular culture impacting criminals was the movie "Scarface" with Al Pacino. I saw a documentary about the impact the movie had on low-level gangsters even a decade after it was released (people acting, dressing and talking on purpose like Tony Montana), but I'm too bored to search onine for links :-(
24
Ask HN: Open-source apps built with Flask (Python)?
9 points by chishaku  2 days ago   7 comments top 6
1
anonymouz 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the newer versios of the Sage Notebook use Flask, or at least there was some effort to move over to Flask sometime back. Perhaps also the Sage Math Cloud is using it.

However the complexity/size of Sage has little to do with Flask.

2
vorador 1 day ago 0 replies      
We're building Inbox, an app to develop services on top of email, using Flask and SQLAlchemy: https://github.com/inboxapp/inbox.
3
antocv 2 days ago 1 reply      
I guess youll find less of complex/large applications built with a tool with specific purpose to be minimal and simple.

If anything, Flask is used as part of something larger, but its then not really complex, as that is not a goal for anyone sane, it would be a mistake. And noone is going to flaunt around their mistakes.

You should look for usable applications. And then you're looking at problem domain, will you find an audio software system built using Flask? I hope not. Will you find a "web content management system"? Yes there are some.

4
domrdy 1 day ago 0 replies      
AFAIK the docker registry is built on top of Flask.

https://github.com/docker/docker-registry

5
bluerail 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hasjob[0] job board is built entirely on Flask.. Available in Github [1]

[0]https://hasjob.co/[1]https://github.com/hasgeek/hasjob

6
mjhea0 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the process of building one, documenting it out http://discoverflask.com.

Cheers!

25
Relegating software development to a hobby
12 points by onthefence  2 days ago   6 comments top 3
1
jf22 2 days ago 1 reply      
I used to be the same way.

Then I started trying to create my own software product and somehow everything is far more interesting and fulfilling now.

I have a ssdd day job now and I don't even care about all annoyances I used to.

It's like I have a much bigger dream and goal that outshines the rest of it.

When I think about dynamic vs static languages the only thong I think about is if I'm productive with it and can get the next project out faster.

2
sdrinf 2 days ago 1 reply      
In lieu of writing an in-depth answer, I'd refer to a previous thread instead: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1726795
3
davelnewton 2 days ago 1 reply      
What would you rather do? E.g., are you bored with development per se, or life in general?
26
Ask HN: Looking for a developer?
8 points by gintsmurans  2 days ago   13 comments top 5
1
csmdev 2 days ago 2 replies      
Welcome to the bucket. I see you're new here. :)

Some tips for next time:

- if they want timed coding challenges or quizzes, skip them

- if they want you to work for a couple of days on a task to see your abilities, skip them

- if they don't accept a Skype interview and insist on going to their headquarters in another city, skip them

- if you're creative and like innovation, you're pretty much fucked because you don't fit the standard way of thinking

There is no shortage and there is no actual demand. Companies just want better people for less money. They say that are no more good developers. But what they mean is: "There are no skilled suckers that will accept our ridiculously low pay".

You need to jump through hoops only so they can get an easier recruiting process. You're no longer a valuable resource. You're just a mindless robot that needs to meet specific keywords. Doesn't matter if you learn, adapt or solve problems. All that matters is how you fit on a very specific recipe. Interviews are the same. Vomit the fizzbuzz solution, some "core programming" buzzwords and maybe two or three generic tasks with stupid loaded questions. And you're hired.

Software developers are now just employed freelancers. Doesn't matter how you think or what you can do. All you need is keywords and experience with highly specific things.

2
sjs382 2 days ago 1 reply      
I agree, with some reservations.

>> I have to fill gazillions of fields, I have to go through various kinds of pre-interview processes, like this last one - its an automatic video interviewing system, that records my answers using some pre-recorded videos as questions. Cool system, technically, but I will have to spend hours on this thing.

If a potential employer doesn't respect your time during the interview phase, I'd be hard pressed to believe that they would respect your time and boundaries as an employee.

>> Obviously if I apply for the job, I am interested in the subject and interested in the company and willing to learn if anything beyond my knowledge appears. No need for cover letters.

This really isn't obvious, a lot of the time.

As someone who hired another developer recently, I estimate that 1/4 of resumes that came in had zero relevant experience, and I'd wager that MUCH less than 1/4 of the total candidates bothered to do any research on the company at all.

A lot of the "song and dance" of the hiring process really is necessary. Employers just need to remember to respect the time of the candidates.

3
IpV8 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Go to tech meetups and small business meetups. Find good people in tech, the job offers will come second.
4
yeseme 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel the same. I went through so many interviews in the last three months and now I feel sick of it.
5
bonsai 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you tried https://hired.com/ ?
27
Ask HN: Whatever happened to the 3-strike ISP piracy scheme?
4 points by mchahn  12 days ago   discuss
29
Ask HN: Product Design for glove
2 points by annapurna  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
vitovito 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi, I mentored wearable keyboardless keyboard startup AirType last semester, and I've worn an Essential Reality P5 Glove.

Fashion, textile, and industrial design happen offline, to the degree that people only learn about trunk shows from visiting the hosting boutique in advance. No Facebook event listings, no meetup groups.

You want to talk to fashion accessory designers, textile designers, and industrial designers, to even get an idea of the kind of possibilities there are. If you get serious about you'll want all of them in the room at once.

You'll probably have a hard time finding someone with experience working directly in the materials you need, especially if you're trying to make your device more like a glove and less like a gauntlet, but there are people out there.

This person, for example: http://creativemornings.com/talks/kate-hartman

Or this person: http://research.ocadu.ca/socialbody/blog/toronto-wearables-m...

Or this person: http://www.erinlewis.ca/Home.html

Design firms aren't likely to take you seriously unless you have five figures as an opening spend on what you could get out a few hours of conversations and a lot of playing around, but you will eventually need actual expertise. When searching online, "soft electronics," "fashionable technology," "wearable electronics," and the like are better terms for the integration expertise, but you'll need to go offline for the rest of it. Sewing classes, your local fashion institute, etc.

Good luck!

2
cursed 23 hours ago 0 replies      
For what it's worth, someone's developed the mouse for your finger already: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mycestro/mycestrotm-the...
3
LarryMade2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Id first do a little bit of research for yourself, so you can get some starting ideas of what you want...look at gloves and see what you like - search for glove in google images, tumblr and pintrest - those are good places to start.
30
Ask HN: How do you raise seed money in SV?
14 points by jackadamson  2 days ago   8 comments top 5
1
tptacek 2 days ago 0 replies      
You need traction and/or a network of people that can vouch for you. The perceived ease of raising seed funding is confounded by YC, acceptance in which makes it drastically easier to quickly raise.

The reality is that capital does not flow so freely that you can take a couple meetings with just an idea and a prototype and walk away with a check.

Not being full-time probably doesn't help either.

Concentrate on traction. Things will make more sense when you have it.

2
Sindrome 1 day ago 0 replies      
3 Basics ways people raise money:

1. The most reasonable but least seen in SV. You build a basic business that has traction. With additional work you can see the business having even more traction. You need money to scale.

2. You went to Harvard undergrad and Stanford graduate, or similar. You worked at Google for 2 years. You want to try out something kinda crazy, cool, but have no idea how to turn it into a business. With all your accolades, investors put you at the front of the line. People are willing to toss you a couple 100k each for the chance that you kill yourself working on something that becomes big.

3. You were one of the previous 2 types and already sold a company. You are now a vetted entrepreneur. Raising money is trivial. There's dumb money in the Valley willing to bet on a horse that has already won a race. Get one influential investor and the rest come.

3
staunch 1 day ago 2 replies      
Similar story. Multiple failed YC interviews. I did raise significant angel money from outside of SV but I still failed with that company.

Firms like YC are designed with the nearly singular goal of attracting the next Google. The primary criteria for investment is essentially "how much like [Larry Page|Bill Gates|Mark Zuckerberg] are these founders?"

Unless you're a [Stanford|MIT|Harvard] Ph.D. student you're already off to a really bad start. If you didn't grow up in an upper middle class household you're probably going to stick out in various ways you're unaware of. http://www.ycombinator.com/partners/

Airbnb is the biggest YC success. They don't fit the mold and were one rather mundane story away from being rejected.

So ignore investors. Build a great product that users want and make it grow rapidly. Then you can pick and choose which money manager you want to accept financing from.

What I've done is scaled back my living expenses and built up enough revenue that I'm ramen profitable. It sure would have been easier if someone wrote me a check but at least now I'm completely unstoppable. It took me 1.5 years of solid effort to get into this position after my previous failure which I spent 2 years on. I'm about to release the first version of the best thing I've ever done.

If you're like me all you care about is writing code and creating great things anyway. Investors can often get in the way of that. The very best products all came out of genuine interest.

Let users alone be your judge.

4
amarcus 2 days ago 0 replies      
First, make sure you have a product with traction and uses cases of it being used. Make a nice slide deck.

Make a list of investors you want to target. Look them up on LinkedIn & Angelist. See if you have any shared connections and try to get some introductions. I have found that cold emailing never really leads to anything.

Next up, join a lot of meetup groups to do with your field, startups, entrepreneurship etc... and go to as many as you can. Meet other founders. Don't just talk about yourself. Find out what they do, ask them questions, take them out for a beer etc...find out who their investors are and try and get them to do intros.

It's all about networking. Get yourself out there, meet founders and get introductions to investors.

5
rajacombinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) get connected, 2) get traction, 3) get both!
       cached 7 September 2014 04:05:01 GMT