hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    28 Jun 2011 News
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1
Designing GitHub for Mac warpspire.com
114 points by rtomayko  1 hour ago   25 comments top 11
1
tptacek 1 hour ago 3 replies      
What a f'ing fantastic article. Thank you so much for writing this.

I spent a decent chunk of time last year building up a somewhat large Cocoa application (a telling synecdoche of how ambitious the app is: it integrates libevent with the Cocoa loop and involved writing a whole new evented Redis-backed HTTPS cache in ObjC).

But unfortunately, I got to the UI part of this project ("UI part", heh) thinking "this is going to be so much easier than webdev, look at all these tools!, and that was a crushing disappointment; getting anything reasonable on the screen has been intensely painful, and is if anything much harder than CSS3+JQ is on modern web apps.

I'm thrilled to hear that at least to some extent, it isn't just me, and making a good-looking Cocoa app (especially your first) is just very hard.

2
gregschlom 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Death of the SSH key. People should be able to connect to GitHub with their GitHub username and password.

This sounds like a wrong design decision. I wish nobody could log into my github account using anything but my SSH keys.

This is also true of my AWS account: my ec2 instances are protected by SSH keypairs, but if anyone gets my AWS password, he has full control over everything.

I'm not a security expert, but SSH keys feel way safer than passwords, especially with all those recents article showing how easy it can be to bruteforce passwords.

3
tolmasky 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
Without going into whether I agree with his assertions on Cocoa, if it seemed so much easier to do with web technologies, why didn't he just do it with web technologies?

Cocoa is probably the framework best suited for incorporating web views, and tons of apps do this: Mail.app, iTunes, Aperture, Colloquy, etc. etc. Use the right tool for the right job, if you have something that is going to have a lot of flow-based layout, then by all means use WebView.

It's kind of like refusing to use an NSTextView, then complaining about having to lay out text yourself.

4
jkkramer 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Simplify the git fetch, pull (--rebase), push interaction. Synchronize " don't make the user figure out what they need to do to get their local commits remote and remote commits local.

What about conflict resolution? That's one of the hairiest, least-user-friendly scenarios in my experience.

5
sant0sk1 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Great article for sure, but I take issue with these bits:

> Unfortunately for everyone involved, every OS X application that's showed up over the years gave up and tried to turn CLI commands into buttons.

It's my understanding that for a really long time there was no linkable library for interacting with Git. So unless these devs wanted to first write said library they were pretty much left with putting buttons on the CLI.

You might say "Well they should have written one, then!" but that is quite a risky capital expense on a piece of software that could easily flop. GitHub did it (with Summer of Code's help), but they have umpteen uses of such a library even if nobody uses GitHub for Mac.

> It blows my mind that no one tried to do anything special. Git (and its DVCS cousins like Mercurial & Bazaar) provide an amazing platform to build next generation clients " and it's like the entire OS X ecosystem left their imagination at home.

I dunno, I think GitX (especially its forks) does some pretty special things, including making it dead simple to stage/unstage/discard single lines of files.

6
RyanMcGreal 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Eventually, I (well, many of us) decided that better native clients (OSX, Windows, Linux, Eclipse, Visual Studio, etc) was the best way to grow GitHub.

I hope that means they plan to build a git GUI client for Windows, the poor bastard child of git support.

7
pohl 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
There is no layout engine for Cocoa. If you want two elements to rest side to side, you'll need to calculate the pixel size of the text, padding, borders, margins " then manually position the next element.

This is getting a lot better in Lion. If you browse the WWDC 2011 videos, look for Session 103 "Cocoa Autolayout".

8
cdcarter 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
He makes great points about MacRuby. I started tooling around with it for an app a few months ago, and though it was a great interface, it didn't make working in Cocoa any easier, and I still had to learn a lot of weird technology choices in Cocoa.

Though, I think the difficulty of making a complex GUI in Cocoa shines in the OS X world. It's a lot harder to make a working UI, so you want to get the design right the first time, so you don't have to go back and re-do.

9
beck5 1 hour ago 7 replies      
Has anyone been using this client, is it worth using as far as GUI's go?
10
peteysd 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've been enjoying the app these last few days. Nice job! It's a great add-on to an already killer service. I'm quite happy to send the folks at Github some of my money each month, because they really earn it.
11
thelicx 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Super interesting article
2
Google Reveals Its Stealth Social Project, Google+ mashable.com
310 points by bproper  4 hours ago   239 comments top 52
1
kristiandupont 3 hours ago  replies      
This is exciting and all -- and much as I would love to see a serious competitor to Facebook, I still don't know how I would convince any of my non-techie friends that they should switch to this.

Circles? Actually I think that many people like the idea of their posts are being read by as many people as possible and not just the ones with similar interests. Although it looks like a big discussion group, the news feed is really a giant personality-defining display for vain people. I saw a programmer friend post annoyance over some Android API today and I suspect that this was more than just a spontaneous exclamation -- he was communicating that he is smart (to non-techies) and that he is "cutting edge" (to fellow programmers).

Privacy? I have the feeling that most really don't care very much. But ironically, I think the privacy-thing could actually work in facebook's favor. Here is why: I use fb a lot even though I don't like their privacy policies. I trust google more than facebook. Still, it bothers me when it says "logged in" in the google bar at the top because google watches my searches. When I am on facebook I behave like I am in public. I don't hope for the best and write secret stuff anywhere. But with all the google searches I make through a day, I am giving google a lot of very personal information that I would not like anyone to see. I would hate to see something that I was searching for somehow show up in a stream for my friends to see because I accidentally clicked a +1 button or similar.

Finally, there is the fact that even if I can export my graph from fb to g+, it's worthless until my friends do the same. And I just don't see that happening before they come up with some truly ground breaking feature that will allow me to get laid with any friend I choose by clicking on their picture :-)

2
cryptoz 4 hours ago  replies      
From plus.google.com:

> Google+ is in limited Field Trial
Right now, we're testing with a small number of people, but it won't be long before the Google+ project is ready for everyone. Leave us your email address and we'll make sure you're the first to know when we're ready to invite more people.

WHY?! WHY are they doing this again? They did this with Wave. Google, you cannot launch a social network while explicitly disallowing social networking! This is so frustrating.

3
dfield 4 hours ago 5 replies      
(cross posted from http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2706219)

I'm very excited to try this out. Context (AKA "Circles") is the biggest feature Facebook still hasn't gotten right. By mirroring the way we think about our social graph in real life, Google is making a huge step toward converging Online and Offline identity. It will be very interesting to see how Facebook responds to this... they might finally have a competitor.

4
tomkarlo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like they're trying to avoid the "NYT problem" - the minute they open a new product, the NYT and other pubs write it up, everyone floods it and sees if they like it... gives them no ability to tweak / improve the service iteratively with real life users (which is so important for social services, where alternative agendas are a huge issue) before the world rushes in. So I think a limited-access launch is totally understandable, if a bit frustrating for those of us who expect we should be able to see everything on day one.
5
simonw 2 hours ago 2 replies      
"""
Oops... you need a Google profile to use this feature.
Google Profiles is not available for your organization.
"""

Grr. Google /really/ need to fix their authentication scheme.

6
cskau 4 hours ago 4 replies      
This thing is pretty neat though:
http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/demo/
7
scarmig 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm playing around with the trial. Some thoughts:

1) Extremely slick interface. Facebook beat MySpace in part because it was relatively clean; Google+ wins here by a mile. That reason alone makes me root for it.

2) It's Google's umpteenth foray into the social arena, so naturally most people are comparing it to Facebook. But its use cases strike me as being more comparable to Twitter than FB.

3) People can be categorized into contexts and multiple contexts. This is the killer feature. I find myself wanting to just eliminate the "Friends" circle wholesale and just have a different circle for each cluster in my social network.

4) I might be misunderstanding how sharing/the feed works. But, if someone is in any circle and you are viewing that circle's stream, I think you see whatever they share. I'd like something finer-grained than that. I have one friend who I both bike with and play board games with. If we get into a conversation about a ride on a weekend, doesn't the model inherently mean what I see in the board game stream gets polluted with the bike conversation?

8
Roritharr 3 hours ago 3 replies      
The Url below the keep me posted link on plus.google.com is:
https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googleplus/

services.google.com/FB

I really would love to know what the FB stands for.

9
201studio 3 hours ago 5 replies      
I think this has huge potential. The problem with Facebook, at least for me, is that I have a ton of friends that post pointless shit. < 10% Is stuff and people I actually care about.

Now with features like Circles I can put my REAL friends in one circle, family in another, and all the noise and acquaintances(networking etc.) in a spam filter circle.

This is going to be awesome.

10
Klonoar 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The HTML5 system allows users to drag-and-drop their friends into different social circles for friends, family, classmates, co-workers and other custom groups.

That "HTML5" there is simply for buzz effect. Seriously, come on already...

11
jcampbell1 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am quite impressed, but one thing that is severely broken is the number of duplicate names in the list. Basically if a person has two email addresses, then they show up twice. This would not be a big deal, but the email addresses are hidden, and it is impossible to tell which is an old/work email address rather than a personal one. I hope this is fixed soon.
12
nhebb 4 hours ago 0 replies      
There are different kinds of media coverage in SV. There's the excited, this is cool buzz, and then there's the look what big player X is doing sort of coverage. This feels like the latter. People are talking about this, but I don't get the sense that anyone is pumped up about it.
13
ernestipark 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The hangouts feature seems like a big win to me. Group video chats in the browser from someone like Google can really change things.
14
beck5 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Circles is very interesting, its could solve a work/life/parents social battle I fight, however the demo only allows you to add a person to one circle, I hope this is just a demo limitation, as my sister is also my 'friend'.
15
mikk0j 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Can't even click +1. Gives me the error "Oops... you need a Google profile to use this feature. Google Profiles is not available for your organization." since I am logged into a Google Apps account. Google itself force-merged my personal account into the Apps account, so there's an indication of how well they get 'social' in people's lives. And yes I worked there for many years.
16
fedd 4 hours ago 4 replies      
too complex to use may affect usage negatively. too many features is not always good. trying to mimic real live brings the complexities of real life to the web.

check this:

"With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let specific buddies (or entire circles) know you're hanging out and then see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until teleportation arrives, it's the next best thing."

imagine a jerk that noone loves intruding all the hangouts. but everybody too polite/dependant to unfriend

17
ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a solid move on Google's part. Not half-baked like Wave was. Its more evolutionary than revolutionary but it makes the 'package' of Google services a bit more valuable as well.

It will be interested to see if this impacts the IPO plans of Facebook. This does seem to be a direct assault on their home turf.

18
bryze 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Perhaps this will make facebook better. Competition can often improve product quality. For google this might, however, turn out the same way that Microsoft's grab for web applications is going. First to market is hard to break.
19
crizCraig 3 hours ago 0 replies      
David Winer's sentiments hit home for me. Google is too big to organically build a social network.

http://scripting.com/stories/2011/06/28/googleYawn.html

However, this poll would suggest people think otherwise:
http://www.wepolls.com/p/884244/Will-Googles-new-social-vent...

20
selectnull 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As usual, Google Apps users, are left behind once again. I really don't understand why Google will not once and for all unify google accounts and google apps accounts.

Supposedly they already did that, and yes I did the "merge the accounts dance", and still, no Profiles for me, and therefore, no +1 and no Google+.

Google, I'm paying for my google apps. I don't want to have another free account just to play with your new features (and I really hope this is not going Buzz way... which I also never saw in my gmail...)

21
nostromo 4 hours ago 4 replies      
What I'd like to know is if I can use Facebook Connect to port my graph over (doubt Facebook would allow this) -- or if this means starting from scratch yet again.
22
mikemaccana 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Android app is on the market. Note it eats 8MB of phone memory and can't be moved to SD.
23
SonicSoul 4 hours ago 1 reply      
heh.. somewhat ironically, minutes prior seeing this post I noticed the "+1" next to every search result. after exploring it told me that my "+1" will be used all over the web including ads. (am assuming this is part of Google+)

I immediately searched for a way to turn it off.

24
dendory 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I dislike Facebook like anybody, but this will not take off any more than Buzz or Wave I'm afraid. This will be that side thing that people may or may not notice when they search. This isn't the site people will flock to when they wake up to see what their friends have been doing.
25
beck5 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Do people trust Google more than Facebook? and could that be a factor in adoption? My gut says probably not to both questions.
26
sinaiman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The problem with Facebook is that your network is too small and constricted, people want to expand and reach many many people, not stay limited within their circle. Think about it, you already talk to most of the people who are your closest friends in real life via phone and chat. You don't need yet another way to contact them. They should have taken the opportunity to bring down the barriers of the closed social graph.

Instead Google makes another Facebook with a different UI. It looks like a cleaner Myspace that will be embraced by a small set of techy users. No way will this ever be cool.

27
trobertson 3 hours ago 1 reply      
For those of you with an Android device, there's an app called "Google+" on the Market right now. I can't say if there's an app for iOS, WP7, etc.

You can install the app without an invite, but cannot use it.

EDIT: The "Learn More" button in the app cycles you back to the "You need an invitation" message box. So the app itself is completely pointless if you haven't received an invitation.

28
foysavas 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
YAWN - Yet Another Way to do Nothing

BTW, thanks for giving up on Google Health. This is way better.

29
nkeating 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Have been waiting for the day when I can share information that is relevant to the portion of my friends that know or actually care what Im talking about... How has facebook not integrated this before (other than going into privacy settings each and every time)?
30
richcollins 3 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the nice things about the product is its whimsical nature " a puff of smoke and a -1 animation appears when you remove a friend, and when you remove a social circle, it rolls away off the screen.

Where do I sign up???

31
rakkhi 4 hours ago 1 reply      
32
EGreg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This is going to kick off a new era in social networking, which we all will be a part of :)
33
vanchi 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Circles would make great sense if we can push some circles into other circles. Close friends into friends and friends into general connections.
34
Wilya 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Your Browser is no longer supported." (from plus.google.com)

Well, okay. I'll live without you, Google+.
(Running Seamonkey 2.0.14, which advertises Gecko/20110430. Out of date since.. 3 weeks.)

35
xbryanx 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Group video chat alone will suck me in.
36
davorak 2 hours ago 0 replies      
After reading an article or two on Google+ I searched out the support pages and found them much more informative so I thought I would share.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2706918

37
ignifero 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Anybody knows about 3rd party apps? Sure uncle Google has considered us developers ...
38
joejohnson 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Group video chat seems really cool. Now I just need to convince enough friends to use this too...
39
jsilence 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Are they going to support open protocols for DiSo?
Salmon, OAuth, Activity Streams, FOAF and such?
They support XMPP with Google Talk and gave Jabber a big push by doing so.

-jsl

40
damonpace 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems everything is based off the grouping "Circles" aspect. Which if they get it right it will be a home run for the rest of the projects they build off of it. I personally find the Huddle feature the most valuable. This is something I've wanted for a long time, but no one has built...except for GroupMe. Which I'm not a huge fan of.
41
zachperret 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Did anybody notice that you can workaround needing an invite by clicking "Take the Tour" and then "Join the Project" on their demo website?

http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/demo/

42
alienreborn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think Google's unending efforts to enter social networking space might become successful this time. Big hurrah to circles and hangouts!
43
davorak 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the idea of Google Takeout allowing you to download all of your data easily from:

Picasa Web albums and photos
Your Google profile
Google Buzz
Google Contacts
Stream

That alone would make me switch to circles.

44
dgregd 1 hour ago 0 replies      
what a terrible name. "plus" what does this mean for ordinary people.
45
meow 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Their group chat is called Huddle. I think this will have a negative impact on project management startup huddle (www.huddle.com).
46
jarodlam 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The mobile app I saw a couple of months ago was pretty slick. I hope they've made good progress on that too.
47
marcamillion 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would love to see a live cam feed inside Facebook today.

That would be interesting.

48
nrbafna 2 hours ago 0 replies      
works or fails, the UI definitely looks good.
49
tilt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice to see this, it feels like they got it
50
yawn 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Doesn't Google already know enough about us and our habits already?
51
cdcarter 3 hours ago 0 replies      
So...iPhone app?
52
gcb 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Who's Melissa?
3
Google Introducing New Visual Design Across All Products googleblog.blogspot.com
50 points by nostrademons  1 hour ago   18 comments top 9
1
peregrine 27 minutes ago 1 reply      
Google is criticized for never updating their style and never taking design risks. They are now updating their style and taking design risks. Some people will never be happy.
2
maigret 15 minutes ago 2 replies      
Interesting, IBM recently introduced a dark gray title bar before Google. http://www.ibm.com/us/en/
3
NathanKP 35 minutes ago 2 replies      
I really can't stand the black bar at the top of the screen. After so many years of low contrast it feels way too distracting. But the redesign isn't going to bother me that much since I've been using DuckDuckGo exclusively for months.

Edit: If you can't stand the black bar either, just switch to the secure version of Google: https://encrypted.google.com/ They haven't changed it yet and it usually lags behind on updates.

4
lhnz 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
I like the new navbar. I think it will draw more attention to google's other products. It also doesn't disturb me from the rest of the page, since it just seems like the window has been reduced vertically.
5
mcastner 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
You can see the new navbar in action on Google+: https://plus.google.com/

I preferred the lighter theme personally…

6
jarin 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
Argh this is terrible, I fear change.
7
aidscholar 39 minutes ago 1 reply      
I really don't want a big black bar on top of my gmail.
8
sandipagr 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
appears in other google products but not in gmail.
9
jigs_up 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
What was wrong with the way it was? I preferred the simplicity of the previous title bar.
4
Google Takeout: Download your data from Picasa, Contacts, Buzz and Profiles google.com
48 points by ch0wn  1 hour ago   12 comments top 6
1
kylec 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
There are some serious problems with their Picasa export (possibly others, I only tried Picasa). First, a good number of my photos simply didn't download - I only got 1328 of my 2283 photos. Second, I uploaded all my photos at their native sizes to Picasa, but the photos I got from Takeout were resized to around 1200x1600. However, my originals are kept by Google and I can download them individually through the Picasa interface.

The first strikes me as a bug that will eventually be fixed, but the second seems to be a design choice - Google can save money on bandwidth if they downsize your photos, and if you know that what you get when you export is downsized you're less likely to do it. I feel sorry, though, for people whose only copy of some photos is in Picasa.

2
albertzeyer 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
It doesn't seem to work for me. I tried to create an archive for all my data and it just shows 'Files: 0, Size: 0B' on everything.

Edit: Tried a second time and it works now.

But as it was said, the most important thing I miss is a way to extract the mails (in the way they are stored in GMail with all tags and other meta information).

3
jncraton 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Why not give me a nice big mbox file with all my emails in it as well? That's honestly the main thing that Google has that I care about preserving.
4
lhnz 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
Releasing this at the same time as Google+ is a very smart PR move. :)
5
afhof 56 minutes ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately it is still pretty hard to get any of your Google Talk chat logs out. Most of the solutions are from years ago and no longer work. I ended up being able to download an sqlite database of my chat logs using Google Gears.
6
1010011010 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
Anti-data-lockin FTW
5
Google+ Project: It's Social, It's Bold, It's Fun, And It Looks Good techcrunch.com
190 points by philipDS  4 hours ago   42 comments top 18
1
icarus_drowning 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, I'm glad there are some significant new features that Google is trying to use as leverage. Group video chat comes to mind as something that most people don't like to deal with, but as an integral part of a social network, I can see it making more sense.

Its clear they've tried not just to 'clone' Facebook, which I appreciate.

2
dfield 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm very excited to try this out. Context (AKA "Circles") is the biggest feature Facebook still hasn't gotten right. By mirroring the way we think about our social graph in real life, Google is making a huge step toward converging Online and Offline identity. It will be very interesting to see how Facebook responds to this... they might finally have a competitor.
3
luu 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Unlike on Facebook, people do not have to agree to be friends with one another. They can receive someone's updates without sharing their own

So it's like a reverse twitter, where you choose who can follow you?

4
jagbolanos 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I have been an anti-wave, anti-buzz but I just tried Google+ and it's great. I think this time Google really can kick FB. Great, simple interface and integrated to my gmail, picasa, contacts, gtalk it is definitely great!

I love the circles philosophy and UX.

One problem is the restriction on invites. Google+ is valuable to me if I can share things with others, just like I do it in FB right now. They have to enable invites soon or the early adopters will get bored and leave forever.

5
illumin8 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If they pull a Wave and only invite users in small groups it is doomed on arrival. This thing needs to be free and massively available like Gmail. Social is not like email - you need wide participation in order for it to succeed.
6
katieben 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Awesome, can't wait to try it! Circles sounds like just what everyone wants. I think I'd switch to any half-decent social network made by Google. I do hope they provide a way to use the Facebook data export to make switching easy.
7
thirdsun 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have to admit that the stuff shown on Googles demo page looks really good. I really appreciate the focus on social circles as I really don't want to share everything with everyone but rather address different groups of friends.

Overall this seems to be very well thought through with some fresh ideas.

8
terinjokes 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Ironically, the "Keep Me Posted" page has Javascript blocked by Chrome.
9
johnrob 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Apparently another feature was to automatically set your gchat status to "available". That explains why I got a bunch of messages yesterday morning.
10
rektide 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm really excited I don't have to build my own XMPP Muji client[1]. Hang-outs are something I've wanted for a long long time; passive virtual spaces. Goonfleet used to go crazy with Stickam, but it was more event oriented, less passive. Hopefully this can be a good marker in helping people actually communicate and build community over the net, v. individual play.

[1] http://telepathy.freedesktop.org/wiki/Muji

11
ChrisArchitect 3 hours ago 1 reply      
it feels so closed off. Silo'd. Makes me shudder.
12
rektide 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I haven't heard anything about API's or developers.

Another annoying case of "do no evil" not implying anything about actually pushing the state forward or helping. I'm not altogether that interested in the greater of the two silos, although I am excited by a state of play other than facebook moseying down the field palming the ball in one hand.

13
Pistos2 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd have to see these Circles in action, but if they're what I think they are (e.g. you'd make a "Work" circle, a "Family" circle, a "Casual Acquaintance" circle, etc.), then Diaspora has that concept: They call them "aspects". I must admit, "circle" seems like a better term than "aspect", though.
14
rch 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If G+ knows individuals, then search results served to other known (or unknown) individuals could reflect the subject individual's 'circles' settings. Ergo, individuals in general have a significant, possibly material, incentive to take part in G+ to the greatest extent possible.

search > social

15
hollerith 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I might delay learning anything about Google+ until I have some evidence that Google is not going to kill it in a few months :)
16
makthrow 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Very bad marketing here. Whoever chose the name "Google+" should be fired. First, the name confuses people with google's +1 button. Second, what does "+" have anything to do with a social network? It gives you no information at all about the service. They should have called it "google circles" and emphasized that Google Circles let you compartmentalize your social network, as opposed to facebook.
Bam, instant differentiation. Instead we have a product that tries to do too much and needs a demo to make people understand.
17
presty 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder what huddle.com has to say about Google's Huddle..
18
genericbrandx 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone want to wager when Google Mindmaps will debut?
6
Google+ Demo google.com
138 points by cskau  4 hours ago   36 comments top 13
1
kyro 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'm really looking forward to trying this out, and here's why:

With Facebook, I felt as if I was on this huge football field with all of my 'friends.' I could lean in to whisper with a friend here and there, or even put on some face paint and huddle together with like-faced friends to form a group. But everyone could still see me, and I could see them " I just had to peer down the field. I can't really say things to my group that I'd normally say in private because with all these people on the field with me, someone would certainly overhear us!

With Google+ the structure is different. Rather than a field, it's more like a big building with many rooms. Each room can be decorated and tailored to a specific group of friends who hang out there. Best part is once I'm in the room, I can close the door and be myself! I can go up two levels, change hats, and walk into a different room.

tl;dr Google+ lets me fully engage my various social sides, whereas Facebook never really let you as you were always in the eye of the public.

Edit: One thing I did notice that I wish they would change is that it seems as if a friend can only be placed into one circle. Often times there's a lot of overlap among my social circles and friends may be part of at least two different groups.

2
markbao 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Really well done, interactive demo.
3
andrewguenther 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There are several reasons I am hopeful for this.

1. It looks CLEAN
While in my opinion one major reason Facebook ended up beating out Myspace was its wonderful interface, I feel like recent renditions have just lost that simplicity. I want connecting with my friends to be simple, not a bombardment of Farmville updates and a poorly designed messaging system.

2. Sparks
Hopefully Google will succeed where Facebook has failed in actually making keeping track of your interests, well...interesting.

3. Circles
Friend management in Facebook has always been one of my biggest complaints, Circles seems to be a legitimate approach to making organizing your friends a little bit more intuitive.

I am very excited to see Google+ roll out to the masses, and I do hope it is successful. Not because I want it to take Facebook down, but I think it wouldn't hurt to make them break a little sweat and think about their users a bit more.

4
v21 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
That's the best web demo I've ever seen. I'm a jaded person, but I clicked on all the things and did all the stuff and felt pride at using their (impressively easy) interface. Serious unexpected design chops from Google!
5
Dove 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This looks to me like Don't Be Evil showing up as a competitive advantage. Facebook seems want my data and my network for its own exploitation; Google seems to actually be thinking about what's best for me.
6
RyanMcGreal 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
Bad sign:

> 404. That's an error.

> The requested URL /intl/en-GB/+/learnmore/notifyme.html was not found on this server. That's all we know.

7
kno 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I think one of main Google problem is Brand Fatigue, people are tired of Google this and Google that. Why not call it friend something or give it a generic name like Baboo, Facebook or something fresh that will give the impression that it is something new.
8
rheide 1 hour ago 3 replies      
Can't put 1 friend into 2 circles? Great job on simplifying my social life..
9
Vraxx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I'd be open to trying this JUST for the circles. Too many times I've had to restrain myself from posting certain things because of the wide range of "friends" I have on facebook.
10
earle 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Flash instead of HTML5.......
11
bennesvig 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The functionality feels really similar to Prezi.
12
mitrick2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Tried to add myself to the waitlist, and got a 500 server error. When the waitlist fails, it doesn't inspire confidence.
13
crag 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Good luck. When my grandma joins I'll take a look. She's on Facebook. ;)
8
Google Introduces Facebook Competitor, Emphasizing Privacy nytimes.com
117 points by rakkhi  4 hours ago   40 comments top 8
1
brudgers 4 hours ago 2 replies      
>"Mr. Gundotra and Mr. Horowitz said that knowing more about individual Google users will improve all Google products, including ads, search, YouTube and maps, because Google will learn what people like and eventually be able to personalize those products."

I am obviously ignorant in my belief:

    privacy != Google obtaining and storing increasingly intimate personal data

2
websymphony 3 hours ago 1 reply      
What if the exact same service, with exact same feature set was introduced by a startup and not Google? Would we still see the same type of hostility towards that too? I don't think so.

Yes, it is correct that google harvests your information to feed you more targeted ads. But it doesn't mean that if a startup, started initially as a "do no evil" company becomes as big as google or facebook won't do the same(targeted ads).

Since all these services are free to use, easiest or maybe only possible way to make profit off them is by advertising. Since nothing comes for free, you will pay for the service by sharing your personal information. Which in turn means onus lies on you to see what is it that you want to share.

3
bergie 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The challenges Google Plus faces are quite apparent from the end of the article page. Right next to the link to page 2 there is:

Connect with The New York Times on Facebook.

4
knieveltech 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The "keep me posted" form produces a 500 error. Not off to an auspicious start.
5
raheemm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If another startup creates a social network allowing greater privacy, smaller groups, levels of social circles, then I'd gladly switch to them. But never to Google.
6
amanelis 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I definitely tried to sign up and after submitting the form on the "Keep me Posted" page, I got a 500 internal server error. Good job google
7
bmac27 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Count me as one of the folks that believes Google ought to fix search before it takes on the juggernauts of the consumer web. But that could just be the SEO in me talking.
8
ltamake 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Advertising your site as a "Facebook competitor" (instead of implying it) is a recipe for failure because you want people to look at your site as something completely unique rather than putting it next to Facebook immediately.
9
Hipmunk now indicates which flights have Wi-Fi hipmunk.com
107 points by bemmu  4 hours ago   21 comments top 10
1
brm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Unrelated but I have to point it out since it happens constantly...

If you're a start-up and you're directing people to your blog, please, please, please make an obvious and easy link from the blog to your startup's homepage. Don't hide it in the sidebar, don't make the 'home' link on the blog go to the blog's homepage, don't waste the damn traffic.

Make it brainless for me to get from your blog to your startup's homepage.

2
clemesha 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This is great! What about also indicating if the plane has power plugins? Or is this becoming the standard these days?

If my laptop/iPad dies, knowing the internet is available goes from awesome to super painful.

3
walexander 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I hate to be that guy, but hasn't Kayak had this feature for a really long time?

Hipmunk is great and all, but I fail to see how a travel site adding an icon is relevant to the HN frontpage.

4
dsmithn 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think giving consumers the ability to view flight information other than price and schedule will encourage airlines to provide better services and features.

I'd love to quickly be able to compare the costs of checking luggage, cancellation insurance costs, etc.

5
PStamatiou 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic news! If I am on another unproductive cross-country flight watching mindless iTunes rental movies on my iPad instead of working (or reading HN) I'm going to go crazy.
6
kleiba 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is fantastic! I'm planning a trip to Australia, with so many hours trapped, it would be fantastic to know there's wi-fi on board. +1!
7
MaxGabriel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is great. I looked for flights yesterday using hipmunk and the whole experience was just perfect. The hipmunk team deserves alot of respect
8
neebz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
slightly off topic but I love the Hipmunk date control. You can type in your date in any format and it'll parse it. No need to make tons of click to navigate through a calendar control.
9
ltamake 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this international or just for American flights?
10
dmragone 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Blast! Just booked a bunch of trips last week - wish I had waited.
10
Harjeet: I'm a partner at Y Combinator. Ask me anything. anyasq.com
50 points by frankdenbow  3 hours ago   31 comments top 10
1
Sukotto 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I am not willing to grant anyask the ability to modify my twitter profile and post as me so I'll just ask here.

1) Age-wise, what ratio of accepted YC applicants are over 35? 40?

2) What ratio of them fall into the "married with kids" category?

My impression of YC is that you strongly (exclusively?) prefer under 30 people who are unattached or, at least, are married with no other obligations.

Can you dispel that impression or is it close to the truth?

(I hope this doesn't come across as trolling or as an accusation. If you think it is, I welcome suggestion on how to word it better)

2
jdludlow 19 minutes ago 3 replies      
There's no way in the world I'm going to sign up for this, regardless of who you have on there.

This application will be able to:

    Read Tweets from your timeline.
See who you follow, and follow new people.
Update your profile.
Post Tweets for you.
Access your direct messages until June 30th, 2011.

3
ZackOfAllTrades 1 hour ago 4 replies      
I am guessing anyasq is a YC company that just launched? Rationale: Harjeet doing an interview at a relatively unknown company/project.

Also, how does anyasq beat reddit ama?

4
stevenj 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
1. Does YC have any plans to hire associates/interns?

2. What 3 early-stage startups excite you most that haven't been funded by YC?

3. Do you personally invest in startups?

4. What do you like most about your job?

5. Do you have some cool YC-related stories you could share?

6. What's a typical day like for you? (If "typical" doesn't apply, what'd you do today?)

5
MatthewB 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
First, thanks to Harjeet for doing this.

The biggest question I had for a while about YC has already been answered. That is, how much does the educational background of an applicant impact the analysis of an application.

I know a few former and current YC founders and they all seem to have the same thing in common: CS degrees from elite universities.

Harjeet put my concerns to rest with his answer that it is only relevant if it directly relates to the problem being solved.

I'm sure a PhD in Machine Learning from Stanford doesn't go unnoticed even if the problem being solved is technically somewhat simple. However, it is nice to see that everyone is treated equally at least on paper.

6
rokhayakebe 1 hour ago 1 reply      
1- Who have you passed on you wish you hadn't?

2- What is one of the assumption you had about the entire process that ended up not being true?

3- Who is one entrepreneur (or team) whom you really thought had it wrong, but invested in anyways because they had that je-ne-sais-quoi?

7
randall 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Super excited to see this concept. I had a prototype of this style of idea last year, but decided it was tertiary to my actual passion (video).

Wish you huge luck! Would love to sit down and debrief a part of this you might attack later, namely live events and conferences. I've got some good ideas of how to integrate this to those in a visually appealing manner, and would love to chat.

8
GraffitiTim 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Apparently we accidentally launched AnyAsq!
9
cschmidt 2 hours ago 1 reply      

   I wouldn't completely rule out us ever doing something in NY, 
if we *had* to open another YC branch it would almost certainly be in NY.

Wow, as someone who lives in Boston, this makes me realize how much NYC is eclipsing us. We're #3 (hopefully :-).

10
Shenglong 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I just #interfacefailed there. I think I asked the same question like 7 times before I realized what was going on. #fml
11
New Google Web Fonts Interface google.com
11 points by jamesjyu  41 minutes ago   5 comments top 4
1
201studio 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
How many awesome things can Google roll out in a day?
2
cdcarter 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic! I've been waiting and waiting for Web Fonts to expand, and now I have a lot more choices than Syncopate and Raleway.
3
jackpirate 31 minutes ago 1 reply      
How is this useful if everyone else hasn't already downloaded those fonts? Everyone has Ariel. That's why it is so popular.
4
hydrazine 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
Super like! Can't wait to try it. Looks much easier than tinkering with raw CSS.
12
How to take advantage of Redis just adding it to your stack antirez.com
181 points by antirez  7 hours ago   38 comments top 13
1
bretthopper 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I've read about Redis before and heard how companies are using it, but never completely understood it's purpose. After reading this I can actually say I understand Redis now and how it's useful. Amazing that after hearing so much about it all it took was a relatively simple article.
2
bretthoerner 5 hours ago 1 reply      
We use a ton of Redis, but I think the main takeaway from this article applies to all "NoSQL databases".

The "movement" is about polyglot persistence and not leaving RDBMS completely. Pull pain points out into something that's a better fit. Rinse and repeat.

3
true_religion 4 hours ago 1 reply      
What I get from this is that Redis is so powerful that its best to not use it as a simple read-cache where the database is still the cannonical source.

Its better to use it as the write-cache for complex datasets with the database being the backup.

4
mickeyben 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Very good article: there is some good exemples on how you could use Redis.

We just added it to our stack for caching and storing sessions.

It's blazing fast !

We're now trying to use it for different other purposes; autocompletion, counting and ab testing.

5
jarin 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Resque and redis-store are like auto-adds for almost any Rails project I work on these days.

Resque is for background jobs (with many add-ons for locking, scheduling, retries, etc.), and redis-store is a drop-in store for Rack::Session, Rack::Cache and Rails.cache. Easy and super fast.

6
pg_bot 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great example of how to promote adoption of a new technology. More companies should pay attention to how their product can be used rather than what their product is.
7
rch 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if hdf5 would be an acceptable optional replacement for the current Redis disk format?

I have a console app that's backed by Redis (in much the same manner as described in this post), but I save my sessions to h5 when I switch between datasets. That means I need to combine the Redis data with my app data and export -- I do this using two separate h5 files, with with the appropriate links.

It would be nice (for me anyway) if I could do a Redis-native save, and move the resulting file. That would also improve my startup times when I reverse the process.

But, while h5 is nice for My data, I can't say it would be any good for generic Redis data...

thoughts?

8
geuis 6 hours ago 2 replies      
What are some inexpensive cloud options to run redis for large data sets up to say a gb or so?
9
Joakal 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Would it help game servers to run it with Redis? Like say, a FPS or RTS server.

I'm not sure of the typical game server stack though.

10
datadon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
These little fixes are how I got into Redis and a month or so later, it's a primary data store (with disk based fall back) and I find myself doing 99% of aggregation and temporary storage operations with it.

Really great tool for the belt.

11
ww520 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyway to use Redis in App Engine setting? Or does Google have similar service in App Engine?
12
randito 6 hours ago 2 replies      
In your first example, you use redis to cache the id's of the latests comments, with a fallback to SQL in order to populate the list. However, you still need to call the DB to load the comments. I don't see the gain here.

Yes, you've replaced a "select * from comments order by created_at limit 10" with a "select * from comments where id in (list_of_ids_from_redis)".

Wouldn't you cache the comment models in a top-10 list?

13
va_coder 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm looking forward to the book
13
How (not) to sell your iOS app stoicjesterstudios.com
151 points by thestoicjester  7 hours ago   63 comments top 26
1
rkalla 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Here's what DID work for you -- summing up all those failures into a well written, entertaining and light-hearted article that is genuinely helpful to anyone else in the iOS game.

Oh yea, and the front page of HN this time around.

It sounded like you got your hands wet in a lot of different things. That doesn't necessarily mean you are going to retire on this game, but think how many people are aware of you now and when you do Bullet Factory X (where you skeet-shoot puppies and elderly people) you'll have that much more information on how to promote the game or where to spend your time. It also sounds like you had a successful working relationship with your sister (as an artist) which is half the battle for any game title. So that's a big win right there for your next game too.

I'm not that surprised as the lack of feedback from bloggers though. I think I get 10 emails a day following the format:

  OMG, Super Games Factory, LLC has just released the
most amazing game on the planet: Dish Washer!
Wash dishes in amazing stick-figure 3D! Contact us for
a free evaluation code!

It just wears you down after a while so ignoring something like Bullet Factory isn't an insult, it just falls into the 'spam' category of garbage announcements I'm sure most bloggers get every day.

Bullet Factory is a fun/simple concept, but it seems better as an ad-supported title (it's too simple) than a 99 cents title when you compare it along side other 99 cent titles I've seen in the app store. The bar is getting higher and higher and unless I see something amazing in screenshots or a trailer, it's not even worth the purchase barrier to entry for me to try it. Unrealized value (purchasing a game for 99 cents only to realize I hate the gameplay mechanics) is so frustrating to me, I'd rather just not buy something I'm on the fence about.

I would take the low-sales-since-december-even-though-you-are-marketing as an indicator that it isn't a high-demand game. Release a free ad-supported version of it "Bullet Factory FREE" and move on to your next title. Keep track of the download differences to learn a bit more about what worked, what didn't and where the bar is.

That's not to say your next game or the game after that won't hit -- keep pushing, you'll have a success and it will catch you by surprise.

They always do.

2
geuis 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's my experience with a Hangover 2 app I released 1 month before the movie came out. (it was taken down after Warner Bros sent Apple a C&D.)

1) Reviews are the most important things when you sell an app. I made the app free for the first week or so until I had about 10 5 star reviews. DO NOT use scammy tactics for fake reviews. Make sure your app is well polished for what it does. If it's not, don't put it in the App Store.

2) Review reminders. Basically the user uses the app a few times and they get a notice asking if they would like to review it. Include something like the appirater class. Google that.

3) Built-in sharing options for Facebook and Twitter. These should link back to the iTunes page for the app or to a custom site.

4) Setup bitly links for each sharing option. This helps in keeping stats about where your app is being talked about.

In the first week or so I was getting 3000 downloads a day. When I hit my 10 review goal, I switched to $.99. It's disheartening to see that 3k number drop to 20 the next day, but that's money in your pocket now. For the rest of the month, I averaged 20-30 paid downloads a day.

Things not to do:
There are lots of stupid people out there. They will leave 1 star reviews because they hear no sound. Their mute is on. Don't get upset about these people.

Twitter is great for campaigning. Don't write bots that listen to the stream for people talking about the movie that then follows them and does @Soandso check out my Hangover2 app! Surprisingly, it actually works very well. It ran for about 45 minutes and followed 400+ people. About 50 of them clicked through (bitly again) and I think a few people bought it. However, Twitter banned the account after 45 minutes. So, don't do what I did.

Don't write well polished apps that use sound clips from a big upcoming movie. You might argue that it's fair use, but that doesn't mean crap when WB decides to stomp on you.

3
biot 5 hours ago 1 reply      
As you're not looking for any sugar coating, after watching the video showing the gameplay you would need to pay me to want to play it. The reason is that there is no "why" to it. Shooting low-resolution textured balls wasn't fun in the late 80's, and I'm not seeing anything in the video that tells me it won't just be a chore to play.

Is there some back-story to this game that is interesting? Are these spheres of mutant gel being produced by the evil Dr. Klaus Scheitzenburger to turn children into mindless drones so that he can take over the planet and only I can stop it using my Mutant-b-Gone sphere blaster?

Oh, none of that? It's just a sphere popping game? There's no marketing that can save that.

Now a killer back-story isn't a requirement, but it would help if it were "juicy fun". There's some great advice here: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2438/how_to_prototype_...

4
alanfalcon 4 hours ago 4 replies      
The game lacks the fit and polish that sells iOS games. Yeah, much easier said than done (this coming from an aspiring iOS game developer). The advice to change the icon is spot on. I'd also advise changing your screenshots (which would probably also involve changes to the game graphics): all that grayscale is very depressing, and the monospaced serif font for "Gyroscope Controlled" is very bland and ugly. You want something more fun, possibly at a jaunty angle, definitely using layer styles.

Your game screenshots scream "tech demo", which is no way to sell a game.

5
greengarstudios 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm an independent iOS developer. My paid apps have sold over 100,000 copies at 99¢ or higher. In total, my iOS apps (including free apps) have been downloaded over 7 million times.

I took a look at your app in the App Store.

Here's your problem: your icon.

The icon is the most prominent thing the user sees when first looking at your app in the App Store.

Change your icon, and you'll get more downloads. Trust me :-)

Feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss good icon design, or other under-appreciated aspects of selling an app.

6
seanMeverett 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
Chin up man, I've been studying behavioral decision making as it relates to marketing "nudging" for years and am still learning everyday. The only thing I've found that consistently works with any meaningful probability is being different. Just like this post. Yet another iOS game doesn't though I do feel the gyroscope is the most underutilized piece of hardware with the most potential for ios devs...
7
IanDrake 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Just played it. Fun game. Here's what it's missing...

First time I loaded it the menu seemed sluggish. When I pressed buttons, the button gave no feedback and I wasn't sure if the click had registered. I understand there's loading time involved, but some feedback would be nice.

During game play when I "Shoot" there is nothing that displays a shooting event. Balls just explode if my cross-hares are on it. That seems odd. Again, a feedback issue.

Also the menu buttons seem smaller than needed and there are too many options. If you could make it simpler that might be better.

Overall the game play is smooth and the gyro controls are cool. I think this would make a really engaging first person shooter. Maybe shooting something other than balls for points would be more fun.

8
terhechte 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Ok, I didn't actually buy the game, instead I had a look at what all your potential customers see. Your screenshots are too gray and muddled, the game doesn't look exciting on these shots. Have a look at top selling games (i.e. Angry Birds), and how colorful their screenshots are.
Your icon is not good. It doesn't tell a story, it doesn't look fancy, it is not colorful.
I'm selling a couple of apps, and one think I'm sure of is that customers never, ever, read the text description. They just have a look at the screenshots. And they decide which apps / screenshots to check by your icon. I've, accidentally, had a non working app (there was a huge bug in there for the first 2 weeks which made it basically dysfunctional) reach huge sales (150+ sales a day) just because the icon was really, really beautiful.

The problem with the screenshots, of course, is that the in game content looks to dull. I can't really say how you can improve it, but have a look at top selling games.

9
extension 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm trying to buy it but the app store isn't working right now. At any rate, here are some ideas from an iOS developer with nothing shipped yet, for what it's worth:

Be way more explicit with your branding and marketing about exactly what the game is, right down to the name, if you're willing to change it. Looking at the top charts right now, there are games that show you exactly how to play just with the title and the icon: Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, Flick Golf, Feed Me Oil. You want to be the gyro shooting gallery app. So, something like Gyro Shot or Gyro Shooting. It's sounds lame but it seems to work. It may also give Apple a reason to feature you, since you are demoing a hardware feature.

I think you also need a more fun look. The game looks really drab right now. A grey factory is not a terribly exciting backdrop and the balls are pointy. Choose a look that you can execute at grade A level. This is where the "glowing neon" look came from -- programmers who can't do art. Use shaders to make the balls perfectly round and give them some sort of cool effect. The screenshots should be attractive on their own.

10
jarin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Most of the time, it takes stops and starts, failure, heartache, and most importantly years of work and some luck to make an overnight success.

Your Ask HN not making it to the front page? Probably just bad luck (there are lots of good stories that don't make it to the front page). Game blogs not writing about it? Probably just bad luck that they heard about other games at the same time that they wanted to write about more.

I think there's a common feeling that there's just that one magic bullet that's going to make you a success (that TechCrunch article, or that Touch Arcade article, or if you can JUST get into YC or get that first investor). I think all that stuff definitely helps, but from what I've seen the best way to do it is to get a good amount of sleep, hustle your ass off 5-6 days a week, and have a partner in crime (even if it's just a drinking buddy who works on their own, separate projects).

I think you just have to pick up and start on the next project. The App Store is extremely competitive, but if you just keep making better and better games every time, something will stick. Just be sure to do some client work or keep your day job in the meantime to stay financially solvent. :)

11
kolinko 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing.

A couple of details - icon (as someone else mentioned). Another thing is - you're a textbook example of promoting "features", and not "benefits". Instead of writing "Using Oscilloscope", which nobody cares about, you should've written "The smoothest shooting experience there is (thanks to oscilloscope)".

Also: get a graphic designer. Your graphics are not that bad, but a good painter could really make this app work much better. People buy good looking games.

As for your trailers - they aren't that bad. As a tech person I'll say: wow. It really looks smooth, I'm impressed. BUT most people aren't technical - aside from the screen they should see a happy person playing, and they should see someone really TILTING the device - now it's barely visible (perhaps even exaggerate the moves so they can be seen on the camera). Look at one of the Kinect trailers. You can't do as good, but you can get close. Oh - and remember that there should be a link close to the end of the movie, directing to the app store.

Anyway - these are just a couple of things for a good product / landing page. Doing this alone won't increase sales though...

12
unshift 5 hours ago 0 replies      
a couple notes on the app store page:

the testimonial paragraph is awkwardly worded ("... a portal into a virtual shooting gallery overflowing with beach ball-shaped targets just waiting to be popped") and i can't tell how to play (or what makes it fun) from the screenshots. it's gyroscope controlled, but what the hell does that mean?

i'm going to give the lite version a try, but the app store page totally didn't grab me.

i thought "the heist" had a pretty good write-up and screenshot section, for what it's worth. i usually just read the first paragraph and scroll to the screenshots.

EDIT: i tried it, it's like an FPS where you shoot beach balls and twist the phone around to aim. looks pretty well done, but not my bag (i hate aiming anything by moving the phone)

13
ja27 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It doesn't look like you've ever offered the full app for free. Have you considered playing the "free for a day" game to drive some interest?
http://appshopper.com/games/bullseye-factory

Have you considered updating the app icon? It looks quite dark and flat rather than fun and cartoony like many game icons.

I was a little surprised to see how non-spherical the balls look in your screenshots. If it can still perform well with a more detailed ball model, I would think that would help the look of the screenshots.

14
ecaron 7 hours ago 2 replies      
tl;dr There is plenty of advice out there on how to publicize your iPhone app, and all of it is worthless.
15
stuartjmoore 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The biggest change I've ever seen is when I changed one name from "* Lite" to "Free *". Went from about 100 to 1,000.

Regardless, I stopped promoting my best selling apps and they sell exactly as many copies.

16
exolab 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I know how you feel. I invested a lot of time in a game that just isn't selling. Nor is the free version. I mean what is wrong with free games? :)

I think sometimes we just fail to see that our games are really crap. I totally fell in love with the idea of a real-time multiplayer quiz for the iPhone. But nobody else did.

[EDIT]I am not saying your game is no good. I haven't really played it. More of a general comment on how we may not fairly judge our own work[/EDIT]

17
angerman 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this is the common theme among many of us who try to put apps in the app store: figuring out what does not work. For our app: iEBT (which is an interface to a server allowing you to track your euro notes: eurobilltracker.com), we not only took a very tiny niche, but didn't think about marketing either.

What we did was this:
- picked a somewhat hight price point ($2)
This seemed to use like the sweetspot, with what we could live and what we would expect an
honest buyer to pay. (who knows?!)

- we wrote to the canonical forum, where we expected most of the potential users.
That resulted in an initial rush (two days after writing to the forum), but it wasn't
much at all.

- the domain iebtapp.com was registered prior to publishing, but contained nothing more
then a simple "Something's coming this december" string. Watching the server logs, there
seemed to be some who were trying to figure out where the link from the app pointed.

- after some time, we wrote the current, very limited text on iebtapp.com. Not even with images.
That seems to have resulted in a minor increase in sales.

- with some text on the website, we thought it was time to do some advertisement, and went with Google Ads.
This too seems to have resulted in a minor increase in sales.

And here's what we plan to do:
- add Appirater to the App. We have only a very few reviews, and they are not enough to get any star rating
on the AppStore. Maybe this helps, who knows. I will closely watch this.

Personal conclusion:
iOS development is really /a lot/ of fun. But I think we need to change two things:
- More marketing. But not all at once; results should be measurable.
- Niche markets, that are this tiny, can be a very high risk game. (Especially if someone
else, writes to the forum that he's going to release another iPhone app and lets people
sign up for the beta :-))

--
[1]: see iebtapp.com

18
adjwilli 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, I agree with @rkalla that this marketing anti-pattern summary will likely prove to be your best marketing piece so far.

Also, I would recommend finding a good graphic designer to help you out. The icon for Bullseye Factory doesn't promise $1.99 worth of fun. Plus, I'm sure you can think of something more creative than stripped balls in a perfectly preserved yet empty factory. How about going along with the Jester theme and making it some sort of a factory taken over by zombie clowns?

Your game is technically very impressive, but needs a good theme to sell it. Looks at Nuts for instance. It's probably slightly less complicated technically, but it has a funny, slightly juvenile name, cute squirrels, and various alternative objectives.

19
kenjackson 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Great comments this time around. I'd buy the game if I had an iOS device. Looks truly fun. I agree with others though that the icon can be improved. I found the trailer very good.
20
PartyDawg 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This article/blog post is wrong. None of the reasons listed had anything to do with his app store success.

Word of mouth was there: and it was 'don't bother'. If it's an app or game that people have to have, most of these techniques would have yielded different results.

Except for a few: like submitting to websites for review... most of them are looking for cash for reviews, so you get what you pay for.

I haven't seen any games that topped the list that were not worthy of chart-toppers... If games or apps like this were chart-toppers, then the chart wouldn't be worth much.

21
jholloway 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not to be rude, but I think the best way to sell your iOS app is to make a really good one.
22
J3L2404 5 hours ago 0 replies      
'Most of the major iOS gaming message boards have a section where developers are “allowed” to announce the arrival of their games. This is convenient for gamers as they can just avoid this one section altogether.'

Stoic Jester indeed!

Nice overview of app marketing wasteland. I went thru much the same and the needle never moved, or not very much at least. My new approach is to give away a free version that is slightly hobbled but still useful and use that base of users to launch other ventures.

23
hxf148 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you for writing up your experiences. I hope that things improve. I've experienced much if not all of the things you have gone through with Infostripe http://infostripe.com. Was to be an iOS app but lives as a HTML5 one. iOS to return eventually.

I guess what I am saying is that you have to keep going, market, iterate, try things and as said not give up. At some point hopefully your product will begin to sell itself enough for you to improve or version 2 it.

24
aorshan 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow that was a very interesting article. Thank you so much for the advice. I am working on an app of my own now and my marketing plan was essentially the same as what you did. I would have never guessed it would be so hard to get people to look at an app.
25
helipad 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I suppose a lesson that you might have learned is that doing things the expected or accepted way is not always the right answer.

As you alluded to, releasing pre-Christmas and pitching bloggers with free promo codes is so common as to render it useless unless you're remarkable about it.

26
nobody_nowhere 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Newsflash: "if you build it they will come" is bullshit. It's dawned on your that you're not getting your message out.

Now what?

1. Buy ads. It costs about $0.00001 to show an ad banner on mobile. $0.01 to buy on a click basis. $10k to get into the app store top 25. Do the math. Minimums apply.

2. PR: meet/call or otherwise contact the people who can get your message out and convince them how cool your game is. Or pay someone who can do this for you.

3. ?

Marketing is hard work, get busy!

14
Convert Flash to HTML5 googlelabs.com
88 points by chrislo  5 hours ago   19 comments top 6
1
benologist 5 hours ago 2 replies      
"Swiffy currently supports a subset of SWF 8 and ActionScript 2.0,"

These are years out of date. It would be a lot more interesting if it could support modern versions (ActionScript 3 / FlashPlayer 9/10/10.1/10.2).

3
joejohnson 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Can anyone report on how long this converter takes to run?

How feasible would it be for a Chrome extension where Flash elements in wegpages are seamlessly converted and displayed as HTML5 objects?

4
jbwyme 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It'll be interesting to see how well the various Flash->HTML 5 convertors will complete the job. I'm a little skeptical that it'll be much more like scaffolding than a full-on conversion but I haven't personally tried it yet. I have, however, been working with Flex for the past couple of years and I have come to the conclusion that web applications shouldn't be developed using it given the evolution of standardized HTML and Javascript.
5
jvandenbroeck 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I don't know if that's a smart move from Google.

It would be a good thing for Google to have users frustrated with Flash websites that don't work in iOS. Now they are helping Apple giving users a great experience on iOS?

6
johnhenry 5 hours ago 1 reply      
At this point, I still think Adobe's Wallaby project has more potential.
15
Inside Google+: How The Search Giant Plans To Go Social wired.com
52 points by dfield  4 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
sajid 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Circles looks really interesting, it's something Facebook has never managed to get right. And Larry Page changing his views on UI design demonstrates a willingness to really push out the boat on this one. They will have a tough time fighting the network effects of Facebook's social graph but I think it's time to put the meme about Google not understanding social to rest.
2
adamfeldman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Really great article. Seems like the author has had a lot of access to the team working on Google+, and it makes for an interesting read.
3
bauchidgw 2 hours ago 0 replies      
for all who have also suffered through "in the plex" jump directly to page 5 http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/06/inside-google-plus-so... for some actual new information
16
Startup Fitness: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Working Out derekflanzraich.com
47 points by jasonshen  4 hours ago   36 comments top 17
1
programminggeek 49 minutes ago 1 reply      
Being overweight and having lost 35 lbs this year with plenty to go(I'm still overweight), I would say that you are more likely to work out and be active if you lose weight. That doesn't require much if any exercise, just an intelligent diet.

I'm not anti-exercise and I've worked out a lot in the past, but I've found that being skinnier makes being active easier and more fun. Moving sucks if you're carrying an extra 50-100 lbs. around. Most skinny people don't really get this.

So, I've focused on nailing the diet and that works for me. I basically didn't exercise more than once a week so far this year, but now that I'm down quite a bit, I am naturally finding myself to be more active.

In the long run both exercise and eating right are incredibly important, so if you're overweight and want to be more active, get rid of the extra weight and you might find yourself exercising more by default.

2
dkarl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I like Crossfit-style WODs (Workout Of the Day) because each workout has measurement built in, and you work to perform as well as possible against that measurement, which means motivation is built in, too. They're suitable for "startup" fitness because you can do the workouts by yourself or in a small group, and because you can adapt them to whatever equipment and facilities you have available.

For example, a circuit training-like WOD might be to do the following in the shortest time you can:

  21 pullups
21 burpees
800m run
15 pullups
15 burpees
400m run
9 pullups
9 burpees
200m run

If you don't have space to run, you can jump rope, and if you don't have someplace to rig up a pullup bar (unlikely!) you can do rows with something heavy.

Or you might do the following as many times as possible in 15 minutes (in Crossfit lingo, AMRAC -- As Many Rounds As you Can):

  10 deadlifts
20 wall balls (throwing a medicine ball against a 10' target on a wall)
400m run

After the workout, you record your time or number of rounds and the weights you used for each exercise. The numbers motivate you and allow you to measure your progress if you repeat the same workout every couple of months. For me, it helps a lot to have the measurement in mind while I'm working out. The harder I work, the better the numbers I get to write down afterward.

You can do this on your own, like I said, but for some people the pressure of performing in front of other people helps a lot. It's certainly true for me, even though I'm completely the opposite when it comes to mental work. Having instructors is good, too. They'll push you to pile on the weight or ease back on the weight as appropriate. If joining CrossFit is impractical or unaffordable, and you can't talk your friends into working out with you, competitive sports can serve the same purpose of providing motivation and measuring improvement.

3
dminor 17 minutes ago 2 replies      
Another place to look if you want a structured environment is your local community college. I recently rediscovered my love for playing soccer and was pleasantly surprised to find I could take a twice weekly class as a non-degree-seeking student. We spend most of the class scrimmaging.

They offer all sorts of sports like basketball, swimming, weight lifting, martial arts, dance, etc.

4
thomas11 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This article essentially says "practice any sport, whenever and wherever, just keep at it". While that's not wrong, it's not very useful.

For me personally, scooby1962's videos on Youtube were really helpful. Great advice on building muscle without doing crazy stuff, not requiring a gym and almost no equipment.

5
zwieback 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Do entrepreneurs somehow have different bodies from other humans? Fail to see what makes this article especially relevant to entrepreneurs.
6
jmtame 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Having just moved to SF, I knew I had to get back to a gym, so I started looking around and was shocked at how expensive the prices were. Upwards of $100/month for anything decent, which is way out of my budget.

I just started P90X, I'm on day 5 and everything cost me $90 and I own the equipment, rather than paying a high monthly gym cost. I probably get better results and spend less time traveling to/from the gym because I can do them from my apartment and they're demonstrated on video. I managed to find the following off Amazon, all for under $90: pull up bar, push up holders, 5lbs whey protein, 300g creatine, iPhone arm band, yoga mat, resistance bands.

7
happy4crazy 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I tell practically everyone I know to try Crossfit. There are two basic difficulties with any exercise regimen, and Crossfit nails both:

1. Figuring out what to do.
2. Actually doing it, consistently, over the long haul.

Crossfit will teach you how to do the old-school, badass basics of fitness--stuff that will get you in great shape and is actually fun to do. No gimmicks, no miracles, just stuff that will kick your ass.

Doing Crossfit also makes you a member of an incredibly friendly, supportive community. This makes it so much easier to stick with it--every class, you'll see people in your community, friends, going hard and making progress. You support them and they support you. You'll work out with beginners, who you can help, and with badasses, who can help you.

A well-run Crossfit gym is a magical place.

8
BadassFractal 13 minutes ago 0 replies      
Start lifting weights. As someone else suggested, Starting Strength is a good place to begin with. Get someone to coach you so that your progress is kept under control and you don't hurt yourself with bad form.
9
chunkyslink 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
What about cycling to and from work? By the time you get there you are energised and at the end of the day it wakes you up too.
10
jessedhillon 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been using the BodyMedia FIT (http://www.bodymedia.com/) to get detailed stats about my fitness level -- calories burned, level of physical activity, sleep quality and duration. As a data geek, it's made all the difference in my motivation to stay fit: I feel a level of control and certainty about my fitness decisions, now that they are informed by data.
11
dualogy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I plugged TacFit here before, and I'll gladly do it again. "A martial arts training masquerading as a fitness programme". A bit on the pricey side (1-off cost for an impressive box-set of digital training materials), but no gym fees or expensive equipment.
12
flocial 1 hour ago 0 replies      
All fitness advice boils down to "just do it, then do it again" but intensity makes it a whole different game. I enjoyed the article but I'd love to see more on how competitive athletes "up the ante" in intensity.
14
patrickgzill 1 hour ago 0 replies      
5BX - do it everyday and it really the most basic you need. 11 minutes a day.
15
jvandenbroeck 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I love sports but I don't see why article this relates to entrepreneurs? Just a cheap catching title to get visitors? ;(

If I want some casual health tips I wouldn't go to HN.

16
riledhel 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Personally, I've found http://nerdfitness.com/ to be quite interesting, and he's also an enterpreneur in his own way.
17
mitrick2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Server error unfortunately - this is something I'd like to see though as I basically stopped working out completely for the past four years of my start-up experience. I literally started running again last week, and it has already made a difference in my overall happiness.
17
Flask 0.7 Released (Python Web Framework) pocoo.org
135 points by hiddenbayes  8 hours ago   60 comments top 10
1
old-gregg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Flask is awesome and can be easily supercharged by pairing it with Paste Deploy: http://pythonpaste.org/deploy

This way you get Flask simplicity and elegance, but also you get Rails-like separation of configuration test/development/production environments.

Another misconception people seem to have is that Flask means Jinja2. Fortunately that's not the case, swapping Jinja with Mako is also extremely easy.

Finally, Flask can run on top of any WSGI server, not just a built-in one: at http://mailgun.net we have Flask services running on Tornado and on Paster servers - the thing is rock solid.

2
e1ven 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Right now, I'm writing most of my projects in Tornado.. Not because I need the async, but because I wanted a simple web.py like format that was under active development.

Can someone help me understand where Flask fits into things? It would essentially be a replacement for Tornado? What's the advantage of this over Tornado? Ease of use?

I can understand the simplicity argument; I chose to avoid Django because it was too heavy, so I'd love to hear more about how Flask compares.

3
minikomi 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm always impressed by Flask - especially its documentation. In fact, this seems like a good occasion to have a poke around and build something with it.

On a slightly related note - although jinja2 is already quite compact, I'm a fan of haml and I'm always surprised by the lack of support for it in Python. Is there something I'm missing? Uncanny valley for Pythonistas?

4
mattdeboard 8 hours ago 3 replies      
I really enjoy Flask's simplicity (relative to Django) and light-weightness. It was the first web framework I used, actually. Armin Ronacher & team make quality products.
5
atroche 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Of particular interest are the generic or 'pluggable' class-based views. They work in a very similar manner to the ones that came with Django 1.3.

http://flask.pocoo.org/docs/views/

It's good timing; I was just getting to the stage in my app where I was noticing the need for some view refactoring.

7
louis14 8 hours ago 2 replies      
How does Flask compare to Bottle (http://bottlepy.org/docs/dev/index.html)? Any advantages/disadvantages?
8
loevborg 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I've used it for small side-projects and liked it. What I would like to know is how to do logging, both day-to-day ("user Joe created") and for debugging (like JSON dumps of objects). It should work both with the built-in server and with gunicorn, for deployment. I looked but wasn't able to find a solution that worked. The documentation mentioned logging facilities, but I found no working examples.
9
viandante 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I take the occasion to ask here if someone could point or write some documentation on unittest in Flask. I am trying to get that right using mongodb...
18
Revisiting 'Zork': What We Lost in the Transition to Visual Games theatlantic.com
138 points by JamesLowell  8 hours ago   83 comments top 23
1
rsbrown 7 hours ago 5 replies      
This article brings to mind what I dislike about the modern game industry.

First off, what is a game? Let's consider two broad types of games: competitive games and puzzle games. Competitive games (like chess) feature more than one player and the outcome of the game is unknown (both in terms of the winner and the final game state). Puzzle games (generally speaking) don't have a strong competitive element and the final outcome is known (i.e., a lone player solves the puzzle).

I contend that first-person shooters (in single player mode) are nothing more than big puzzle games. This isn't bad per se, but the problem lies in how these games have evolved.

Rather than make the "puzzles" in FPS games more challenging and innovative (i.e., focus on gameplay), the major game studios have instead focused on increasing the audio-visuals and cinematic attributes of their products. As a result, gameplay has consistently been minimized in favor of eye candy.

No better example comes to mind than the recent smash hit, L.A. Noire. The extent to which the producers of this game clearly wish they were making movies comes off as obsequious. The tiny sliver of game mechanics they did include is mind-numbingly repetitive and utterly without challenge.

These things are no longer "games", they're shitty movies.

2
JonnieCache 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Someone should make a satirical text adventure about doing startups, where you wander around the valley trying to get funding and so on.

    >LOOK

You are in a brand new air conditioned Palo Alto office.
Empty packets of ramen litter the floor. There are two desks,
each with brand new macbooks on them.

>SIT DOWN

There are no chairs. What are you, some kind of loser?

>PIVOT

You are bought by a google.

And so on. I know suggesting things for other people to do is bad form, "do it yourself!" goes the familiar cry. Unfortunately I don't have the requisite insider knowledge to make it funny.

3
hugh3 8 hours ago 4 replies      
Zork really isn't the best example, just the first (and even then it was just an adaptation of Adventure). The Infocom adventures got far more sophisticated in every way over the following few years, in terms of prose, setting, gameplay and atmosphere.

I credit adventure games with teaching me to touch type. To this day I can still type "inventory" far faster than any other nine-letter word.

4
roc 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's also not forget the mechanics of these games tended to be maddening at times. Knowing what you wanted to do and having to guess at the nouns and verbs the designer expected was beyond frustrating.

I'm all for fond remembrance. But the problems of text-based games weren't limited to comparing poorly to graphics. Some of them were inherent; implicit companions of the desirable parts of such "written" games.

6
lylejohnson 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I still remember bicycling over to the "L" building on Auburn's campus to play ADVENT and DND and DUNGEON on their PDP-11 (or whatever model of minicomputer it was at the time). Thanks to the OP for sharing this article. Now I have to will myself to do some actual work today instead of playing old IF games online.
7
dsr_ 7 hours ago 4 replies      
We didn't lose anything -- interactive fiction games are still being produced, and you can play them on your android or iphone these days, too. http://ifarchive.org/ and http://xyzzyawards.org/ are good places to start.
8
cageface 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This is exactly why I tend to prefer books to theatre, and theatre to film. Filling in the details engages my imagination in a way that the polished, finished surfaces of contemporary games and films do not.
9
smackfu 7 hours ago 1 reply      
For everyone person who loved text adventures, another nine people gave up in the first room.
10
cschmidt 7 hours ago 1 reply      
My favorite text adventure was Pirate's Cove, on my trusty Vic 20. You can still play it, with an emulator

http://www.c64gg.com/Adams_Scott_DL.html

although that version seems to have some simple graphics, which is just wrong.

There's more information on the Scott Adams games here
http://www.lysator.liu.se/adventure/Adventure_International/...

Good times....

11
technomancy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Visual" vs textual games is a bit of a false dichotomy though; in particular the Marathon series does a great job of blending action and intelligent, literary story: http://marathon.bungie.org/story/shakespeare.html The first Deus Ex also had plenty of literature in it, sampling heavily from The Man who was Thursday and other classics.
12
kahawe 7 hours ago 3 replies      
What I miss in modern games is... really fun, great jump n runs and fun adventures like "Monkey Island" seem to be a dieing or already dead genre.

It is all about MMOs, RTS, role playing, shooters and sports games nowadays.

13
gnosis 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Infocom was just the tip of the interactive fiction iceberg.

There's still a vibrant interactive fiction gaming scene. It has thrived despite Infocom's demise.

Many interactive fiction games continue to be developed, played, entered in competitions, and reviewed.

Here are some links to get you started:

http://www.wurb.com/if/genre

http://www.ifreviews.org

http://www.ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archive.html

http://ifdb.tads.org/search?browse&list&sortby=new

14
minikomi 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Any suggestions for Infocom games? Just missed them I'm afraid - cut my teeth on nethack and commander keen.
15
kingmanaz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Great article.

Ultima 7 was a graphical game that had a similar effect on me. The graphics were somewhat abstract and generic and left a lot for the imagination to fill in. The writing was wonderful and put flesh on the world. Playing the game was like reading a novel.

It seems like game makers need to focus less on graphics and more on music and writing.

16
saddino 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You can play zork in your browser here:
http://thcnet.net/zork/index.php
17
kingkawn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
sassa frassa kids these days
18
Sniffnoy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Tangential question - has the original unsplit version of Zork ever been rereleased anywhere?
19
palebluedot 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember as kid, playing the Zork series and exchanging hints with my 4th grade teacher. Great game, and that made it all the more fun.

I think the game that had the biggest impact on me, though, was a game for the Apple ][ called "Odyssey"... I remember many hours lost to that game:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odyssey:_The_Compleat_Apventure

20
danssig 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want games with no/low graphics and lots of depth there are still MUDs out there. Or for war, empire is still out there.
21
malkia 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You can be eaten by a Grue in the Black Ops Terminal Interrogation Room :)
22
fedd 6 hours ago 0 replies      
i foresee an article 'what we lost in the transition from keyboards to audio-visual interfaces'.
23
orenmazor 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I miss these games.
19
Presentation Zen: Storytelling lessons from Bill Cosby presentationzen.com
6 points by jedwhite  22 minutes ago   discuss
20
I've Written a Book ignorethecode.net
85 points by shawndumas  7 hours ago   17 comments top 7
1
flyosity 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Lukas is one of the preeminent thinkers in the field of user experience & user interface design and if this book is anything like his blog, it'll be a must-buy for anyone working on software that other people use. Congrats!
2
joelhooks 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Can anybody say how the illustrations hold up on the Kindle version? I have a DX and it is OK most of the time, but with a visual book like this...
3
thibaut_barrere 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I will definitely buy the book, but I find that the (blog article) title "I've written a book" doesn't help to sell it, unless you know the author...
4
mcantor 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I just purchased this book in both formats and I am giddy with excitement to read it. But I just have to ask... does anyone else think the swiss army knife on the cover looks like some kind of horrifying insect?

SWEET JESUS GET IT OFF ME

5
danest 3 hours ago 0 replies      
6
Estragon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This sounds interesting. Can anyone recommend some highlights from his blog which would help evaluate whether it's worth purchasing?
7
kadjar 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll have to mark this on my long list of "books to buy when I have money."
21
Why Google Plus won't hurt Facebook, but Skype will hate it gigaom.com
49 points by davewiner  4 hours ago   6 comments top 4
1
nollidge 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> One of the reasons why I think Facebook is safe is because it cannot be beaten with this unified strategy. Theoretically speaking, the only way to beat Facebook is through a thousand cuts.

That's not a reason, that's just an assertion backed up with an assertion.

> I don't feel quite compelled to switch from Facebook or Twitter to Google

Well, neither do I, but I'm sure as shit going to try it, and make my friends try it too - and then I'll make an informed decision. And anyway, there's not necessarily any reason I'll need to stop using FB or Twitter - maybe I'll use all three, which would still be a win for Google.

2
pessimist 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Facebook will integrate Group Video Chat from Skype in a few weeks - bet on it.
3
brudgers 2 hours ago 1 reply      
>"I personally think Skype Video can easily be brought to its knees by Google Plus' Hangout."

That's not much of a reason.

4
jsavimbi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Google would be better off targeting linkedin. I'm not even remotely enthused with what I've seen of this plus thing.
23
HN Apps List hnsearch.com
15 points by andres  2 hours ago   8 comments top 2
1
DanielBMarkham 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
http://hn-books.com

I'll submit an email.

2
andres 2 hours ago 3 replies      
There are a lot of useful HN apps out there and we thought it would be useful to compile a list of them. Right now the list consists mostly of apps from the HNSearch API contest but please let us know of any others you'd like to add.
24
The Google+ Project google.com
43 points by fserb  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
kenjackson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Eight Google+ articles on the front page. Is that a record?
2
dotcoma 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it just me, or Google+ looks a lot like something a company that's lost its touch would do, à la Microsoft?
25
Fighting Software Erosion with Explicit Contracts (The New Heroku, 4/4) heroku.com
49 points by adamwiggins  5 hours ago   1 comment top
1
tomhallett 1 hour ago 0 replies      
even if over time cedar breaks it's contract with it's developers, it's extremely refreshing to see a provider thinking about the problem in that context
26
How can a code editor hint at code nesting level without indentation? stackexchange.com
59 points by splattne  6 hours ago   10 comments top 3
1
wccrawford 5 hours ago 1 reply      
So far the only idea is to indent everything and use a graph to shot the nesting level?

If we got rid of indentation, I'd like to think it was replaced by something that took less space, not more.

2
zitterbewegung 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not color the backround of the text and not have it as a side bar?
3
adriand 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I believe Xcode 4 does something similar to the heatmaps shown here, although it does everything vertically, in shades of gray. You can sort of see it in this screenshot - look in the left-hand margin of the code editing window. http://www.neowin.net/images/uploaded/xcode4.jpg
27
The BeOS file system: an OS geek retrospective arstechnica.com
105 points by fogus  9 hours ago   32 comments top 11
1
pwpwp 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Dominic Giampaolo, one of the authors of BeFS, is now working on Apple's Spotlight file search engine.

BeFS rocketh, check out the book:

http://www.letterp.com/~dbg/practical-file-system-design.pdf

2
tambourine_man 6 hours ago 1 reply      
BeOS was the greatest experience I've ever had with an OS.

It felt faster booted from a ZIP Drive on a 160MHz PPC with 192MB of RAM than my machine feels today, and this is not an overstatement. There wasn't a single click that didn't instantly produce a response.

Everybody points to iOS's design, but to me, one of the reasons for its success is that a system that fits in your pocket feels faster than the one at your desk.

If more people had been exposed to it back then, maybe we wouldn't put up with today's software as it is.

3
GeneralMaximus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For a great tutorial on how indexed attributes make organizing large amounts of information easy and render photo organizers, book collection managers, DVD collection managers etc. obsolete, read http://haiku-os.org/docs/userguide/en/workshop-filetypes+att...

If you're running BeOS/Haiku, you already know about People and Mail. I also recommend you check out Caya and HaikuTwitter.

4
nodata 9 hours ago 0 replies      
BeOS (and QNX) amazed me with how much could be done with so little hardware.
5
nanoanderson 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought for sure this was going to be a Siracusan epic article. Instead it's a measly 3 pages from last year.

:-) great article though about an OS I missed the boat on.

6
cpt1138 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I worked with the Be guys when they were bought by Palm. Never in my career have I experienced such an obsession with solving problems no one has. To me its kind of sad so much obviously raw talent wasted on such frivolous effort.
7
RexRollman 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Great, now a feel sad. I miss BeOS.
8
hcal 9 hours ago 2 replies      
haiku-os is amazingly good for an alpha. If you are feeling sentimental give it a shot.
9
kruhft 9 hours ago 2 replies      
There was a book, "Practical File System Design" that went over the implementation details of the BeOS file system. Good reading for anybody interested in more detail.
10
TheOnly92 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Leads me to think why Amiga and BeOS were deemed "ahead of its time". Is it because they never had to worry about hardware compatibility? After all they were "selecting" their own hardware and concentrate solely on software.

If compatibility weren't an issue, we might have been very advanced right now. Seems like compatibility is what stopping everything from properly advancing, except hardware maybe?

11
zwieback 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The part about extended attributes reminded me of my time as an OS/2 programmer, it had EAs as well but they were awkward to use, sounds like BeOS made much better use of them.
28
Zynga might file for IPO as early as Wednesday venturebeat.com
5 points by hydrazine  48 minutes ago   1 comment top
1
suking 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
At a proposed valuation of $15+bn I really really hope they are doing something like $1bn in revenue or this is just not going to end well.
29
How many resumes does it take to make an intern? fogcreek.com
48 points by buzzcut  6 hours ago   8 comments top 6
1
rfrey 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
Harumph. Can't believe they didn't split out "From HN" on the results chart.
2
amanfredi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The sample size is so small that drawing any conclusions from this data seems suspect.

Percentage comparisons (hired/applied):
6% JoS fans
4.3% of Columbia job fair
2% Princeton job fair
1.7% of web search
and 0% of everything else

3
Shenglong 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think it's surprising that department emails generated no hires. People who take internship opportunities from emails they receive are usually too lazy to look themselves, which probably shows a lack of drive. I say usually, because this isn't always true.

I love these stats though... Would make great presentation material on the importance of being active in a job search. Especially the part about what times to apply... if it's a rolling recruiting basis (which I'm assuming almost every company does), those would probably be advantageous times.

4
s1rech 4 hours ago 1 reply      
well, if the people who are rejecting you are doing it to go work for Google or Facebook, you've done a good job with the image of your company.
5
Revisor 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What's valuable in this article: The applicants should know you before you even start looking for new interns. Having a long-term presence in their consciousness is invaluable.
6
JohnJacobs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
That is a terrible font.
30
The Obvious Corporation obvious.com
11 points by sahillavingia  2 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
kruhft 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
Maybe they'll make something like Twitter...and Blogger...combined into ONE!

Nah. That's too obvious.

2
ChuckMcM 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
I liked how non-obvious it is what they do or plan to do :-) Startups need a good sense of humor.
3
jhermsmeyer 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ironically the meaning of "there's room for innovation in how businesses measure success and more meaningful definitions of ambition" is not at all obvious.

Arab spring and Twitter connection aside, are they going to measure success in rainbows, or cash like the rest of the world?

       cached 28 June 2011 22:02:01 GMT