I love Zagat's core business idea ‚Ä" they were a significant inspiration for our LA Life neighborhood ratings. In fact, I've been looking at opportunities to do similar capsule reviews but creating them using existing reviews from other sites instead of survey data. I have to think this is where they're moving now as a part of Google, but it's not like I'm a Google VP.
This all seems to make sense. The Thomas Bros. map books were ubiquitous in California when I was growing up but have basically been replaced with Google Maps. Now the old burgundy Zagat guidebook is going this way. Glad to see Tim and Nina and their team will have a guiding hand in its replacement.
Google, please go back to innovating. People like you because you do new and exciting things, not because you have your hand in every business sector. Giant acquisitions like this and MoMo help nobody.
Also, if the PE firm is using a 20% discount rate to evaluate the merits of vendor finance, they are likely fooling themselves more than they are fooling the founders.
By no means am I saying all are sleazy, but a slower growing startup will not attract the better of the lot.
I should also point out that depending on the quality of the encoder, the bitrate is also a bad way of measuring quality. But I believe it is more useful than just saying "1080p".
All I need is a Linux-supporting little toy like this with audio out and WiFi (and which can decompress an MP3 in realtime).
I wonder what this means for things like the Zagat book. I'm sure in the short term they'll continue, but the Google-y way would be to remove all the 'hard copy' stuff in time.
I think if that was included this would be a lot more useful. Is there a reason it wasn't?
You can compare this to the Lorum Ipsum text map and see its only slightly different: http://fayr.am/9yk6
I dunno what that means or what sort of value judgements it drives, but it's pretty different from the other heatmaps.
I wonder If there would be another keyboard layout specially made for programmers. If you look at it you'll see that most of it has a similar pattern.
I know there is a lot of raw pointer and address usage in C, but I'm surprised at how little these keys show up in C++.
It's good to see that people are taking advantage of smart pointers ;)
(It's subtle though, so I could be reading too much into it).
Imagine if you were still making money off a program you wrote in 1960. Almost inconceivable in any mass market.
i.e. Some legislators write a law, then pass it to a panel of judges, the judges attach a note indicating what they determined the purpose of the law was, and then the law went on for a vote. The opinion wouldn't have any legal effect, but it might provide for a bit more honesty.
I have little insight into the security of your software, but I hope you have also considered the peculiarities of Bitcoin. To name just one thing that would be far harder in a normal market: open a Bitcoinica account, deposit $10 000, buy $50 000 in Bitcoin, sell BTC really expensively at Mt Gox as the system frantically tries to rebalance. Given the volatility of BTC, this may be profitable even if you subsequently abandon the Bitcoinica account (which is likely to hold $-40 000 in dollars and less than $40 000 in BTC at un-spiked prices...)
 EDIT: Actually, it's only profitable if you can get the Bitcoinica account into the red. But given enough ability to move the market, that's definitely possible.
I'm the creator of Bitcoinica. I'm not so established here. To be honest, I'm only 17.
Please try it out. (I can pay $1 for you if you're not willing/able to deposit, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. :-D ) You can leave any suggestions, comments, bug reports and feature requests here. I'll look through every single comment. Thanks!
- Running on Heroku is not really an asset security wise. I would put something more significant to ensure users that your site is secure.
- Make sure your site is secure; it will be attacked often and by professionals. Consider hiring an expert.
- The highlighting is kind of distracting and busy.
- You should be able to access some charts and see the going rate without signing up and loggin in.
- What is a Mt. Gox Redeemable code?
- There are laws in most countries that regulate banks in regards to leverage. Have you considered any of this?
- Margin trading is risky and some people will lose more than they bargained for, expect some repercussion.
Best of luck!
When did you start working on this project and have the negative events (guy losing 500K, MtGox hacking, etc) of the last few months affected your development and outlook?
Site looks great. Twitter bootstrap?
However, what do you do in terms of protecting people's accounts? You say that the money is stored in your account? Gasp! How do we know you can't turn around and take all the money?
Also, what do you do to protect the accounts from a single rogue trader? If someone deposits money, margins up and loses a bunch of money, how do you protect the rest of the accounts?
A little feedback:Tooltip texts for some of the interface elements would be nice. I had to think a bit before figuring out that "P/L ($)" is supposed to be profit/loss.
That said, maybe a security section would be great. eg encryption, security, independent audits, etc. Here's an example: http://help.github.com/security/
I would add a tour page, perhaps with screenshots so people can see how it works without signing up.
I think the more important statistic is the profit Microsoft makes per Android device, compared with the profit per WindowPhone device. There are far more Android devices, so it's not surprising they make more from that "licensing" agreement (I'm loath to call it that when it's more like extortion). I find it hard to believe that MS would prefer (and make more money from) an Android dominated market compared to a WP7 dominated one, so I'm pretty skeptical of the idea that MS are holding back on WP7 because they don't mind Android dominating. I could be wrong though, maybe their Android licences really are that lucrative, and in that case God help us all because the software(-patent) industry is even more fucked than most of us ever imagined.
This is why Microsoft have lost their way. Instead of focusing on their own products and innovation, they try to make money through other less honorable means. And sadly it runs deep into Microsoft's corporate culture.
Their actions as of late are making me reconsider whether I will want to use any of their new products in the future. They should realize that a lot of those Android users are also potential Microsoft customers for other products of theirs (desktop Windows, Xbox, Office, etc). They shouldn't try to piss them off with stuff like this, by extorting money from other of their favorite companies, especially when the way they do it is highly questionable.
But I think you have it backwards...
The real problem is not the time spent in the supermarket, it's getting there and back. You're addressing the wrong issue.
Many people want their groceries delivered for all kind of reasons:
- They have small children they don't want to take with them. - Weather. - Traffic. - Health issues, elderly, shut-ins, etc. - They don't have a car. - They work and can only go the same time as everyone else who works.
- to examine and choose their own produce - to examine and choose their own meat - to examine and choose specials (which can be done well on-line) - to handle and compare similar items - to consult with the butcher/deli manager/etc.
If you are seeking large amounts of investment, why don't you just attack the real problem: getting out of the supermarket without waiting in line. All the necessary technology is already available. I just want to fill my cart and go home.
Please don't become another Webvan. Take that money and leverage current technology to eliminiate check-out lines in existing supermarkets forever. That's what people really want.
We don't need more infrastructure. We need better use of technology in existing infrastructure.
Bar codes dragged us that industry into the 20th century. RFID can drag it into the 21st.
- You need physical stores. These take a lot of money and expertise to set up and run. And to expand/scale in any meaningful way will take a LOT of money. Plus of course you've got the added expense of having to actually do the shopping on behalf of your customers (ie walk round your inventory and fill the basket). Kind of the opposite to the Ikea model. As Ryan Air have conclusively proved, people will put up with ANYTHING if it's cheap(er).
- Your stores are going to have to be as big as a supermarket to really be of use to people.
And on the competition side:
- What's the advantage over just ordering my goods online from a supermarket? I don't even need to go to the store then, they just get delivered to my front door. Or do supermarkets not do this in the US? IN the UK at any rate you can choose very specific delivery times as well.
And on the marketing side:
- 40 minutes in a grocery store? You can easily spend this much time online filling up your basket. Personally I've never felt that online ordering has saved me much time. The USP of online shopping is not time saving, it's "when" saving - I can do it during a quiet time at work for example. But with Ernies I still gotta go pick it up...
- 73 hours per year? Doesn't sound like much to me. And walking round the store is healthier than sitting in front of your PC :)
The consumer value proposition is covered in the video linked above. The business value prop boils down to this: double-digit net margins. Seriously.
I can be reached at email@example.com
Now to make this really profitable, you need to be able to accept food stamps and have a slick mobile application. Everyone has a smart phone. Some of my friends have no computer, but use their phone for the internet. A handful of those friends are on government entitlement programs. It seems like this could be a nice thing to offer them especially if you got deals on groceries.
Excellent interface. I have to be able to browse your selection as easily as I can browse in a store. This means I can find things I didn't intend to find. (That's good for you and me, both.)
Fast service at the curb. There's no point in saving the time inside the store if I just waste it sitting in the parking lot.
Reliable time estimates. (Actually, this dove-tails with the last one, doesn't it?)
Selection. I know you said you have selection, but I've yet to find 2 stores that had the same selection. I'm not terribly set on brands, but it does matter sometimes.
Stock. As in, things had better be in stock. Nothing makes me angrier than when the store is out of something I need. Yes, not even long lines.
Deli/Bakery/etc. When you've just dealt with a shopping trip, you don't feel like cooking that night. Bringing home something delicious and/or hot is a must.
And you should seriously consider delivery, and not just curb-side. I know it's a logistical nightmare, but it eliminates 2 of the things above quite neatly.
I also love the possibilities for the store itself. Because the customer never enters the store, all the standard storefront stuff is eliminated. You can use portable tablet registers to let the customer pay, and standard shopping carts are eliminated. You can use whatever is most efficient, or even invent something to make it better. And you can start off with people plucking things from shelves, but it may become economical to have robots doing that. (I believe Amazon does that, but they're pretty big and centralized.)
In short, do it right and you'll make me (and a lot of other people) really happy.
Shoppers are accustomed to doing their own quality control when shopping for fresh items. In a real grocery store it takes real effort to choose the best meat and produce from what's available, and that decision might just be to not purchase something. Do you intend to provide this as part of your service? If so, what controls will you have in place to guarantee quality?
You want to see a grumpy clerk? Go to Switzerland and forget to put the little sticker on your bags of produce. Damn.
Sure these sites were different than what you are trying to accomplish (Online --> Deliver to your door vs Online-->Pickup at local store), but they still have similar problems. Groceries operate at razor-thin margins, and being a warehouse of food will only take you so far (just ask WebVan). How do you know if your "Ernies" associate will pick a ripe apple vs a bruised one? How can Ernies be "friendly" if all the interaction is ordering online/pickup at the store?
The biggest question for me is, what is to stop the competition from implementing this if it sees initial success? Order online --> Pick up at store already exists for many types of businesses, if Meijer or Publix or Acme Grocery co sees success, they'll probably add this to their options, at a much easier cost than you will (as they will already have retail stores). What competitive advantage can you use that can fight against this?
What does this give me over Ocado (or their many many many competitors - I mean, Asda deliver?!), who I order from, and then they deliver? This sounds like it just adds an extra step of my having to show up, rather than just agreeing that I'll be sat at home in my PJs watching Jeremy Kyle at the right time...
The concept of only having a limited set of distribution/pickup points makes a ton of sense, much cheaper than home delivery. You are effectively offloading 2/3 of the delivery cost to the customer themselves.
Things I think this could miss out on:- Impulse shopping- higher margin items added- psychological benefits of grocery experience (ooh that'd be tasty, let me buy that).
fascinating marketplace to be in IMO. I'd pay not to have to wait 10 minutes in the deli counter for some sliced turkey.
Make sure you're in an area that's largely populated by families, and make sure your prices are already good.
Edit: it will probably help a lot that you've already got a portion committed, btw.
That being said I think you could build a really interesting interface. Also tremendous overhead savings, no cashiers, baggers, carts, storefront. Basically just a refrigerated warehouse and limited staff.
Good luck to you and I hope it succeeds!
For an interesting but only tangentially related product, I've been playing with one of these http://rtds.com/index/index.html this week. It's an FPGA driven simulator specialized for power grid stuff. It is fast and quite fun. It allows general programming within the domain, but not true general purpose stuff. I'm sure similar technologies exist for other fields and I was thinking "Someone has to be generalizing this right?". It's nice to see that thought being done here.
Fun fact for startup people: the company is tiny headcount wise but has quite a large market penetration -- it's a good testament to what a passionate, dedicated and highly skilled team can do when they get to it.
The main issues with the setup in the paper: latency between nodes. Gigabit Ethernet is just not good for latency. To nitpick some more, Virtex-4 is getting old.
That said, I definitely agree that putting a simpler layer on top of it so non-lawyers can get the gist of your policy quickly is a great idea - now item 1,000,001 on my startup's to-do list!
If you give people a good overview of what you are doing with their data, a significant portion will get pissed off. If you bore them with legalese, 99.9% of them will just sign, rather than wade through the terms.
It's broken, but it's broken by design.
These problems are, of course, fixable someone may fix it.
Bonus points for whoever fixes the problems and submits a pull request. All the info you need is in this discussion thread.
(edit: I can already see some pull requests on this)
This is a very bad idea as path is user-supplied and has to be treated as malicious.An attacker can omit the string-terminator...
Imagine my wonderful surprise when I found not just one, but an entire library of Oz and Edgar Rice Burroughs novels that I quickly disseminated to all of the youngsters in my extended family ... then watched them spend hours entertained by these century old tails of fantasy and adventure.
No project has proven more firmly that our modern endless extensions to copyright is hopelessly wrong headed.
I don't really remember anything specific from the talk, but I remember it was inspiring. ¬†It was called¬†"Using eBooks to Break Down the Bars of Ignorance and Illiteracy". ¬†There's audio of the talk online, and I think I need to hear it again.
The next day was the last day of the conference, and as was usual Jello Biafra was the getting far less attention than the other keynote speakers. ¬†They'd closed off the back part of the main hall, a hall which had been filled to capacity and then some for Michael, and some of us were tossing around beach balls. ¬†I pounded one particularly hard and hit some guy in the back of the head with it. ¬†When he turned around I recognized Michael. ¬†I don't think he was too happy with me in that moment.
With the eloquence that only a twenty year old can muster, I stuck my hand out and said "I love your work. ¬†It's fucking absurd." ¬†That's about the highest compliment I can give a person, and I'm glad to see that Shaw quote in the obituary. ¬†It says what I was awkwardly trying to express.
The tension drained out of the situation, and he shook my hand before turning back to his companion and returning to his conversation. ¬†I went back to playing with beach balls.
I admire what Michael built, and I admire how he did it. ¬†Project Gutenberg was slow but steady, and will continue past his death. ¬†I can only aspire to leaving that kind of a legacy.
Goodbye Michael. ¬†I loved your work. ¬†It's fucking absurd.
I really like this quote. I discovered Gutenberg looking for something to read on the train pre-ebooks days. I really got sick of having to take books so I wanted a way to get books onto my PalmIII.  Searching around for anything in text format I stumbled onto Gutenberg. How do you get the text into the palm in a readable format? Using open source software like Plkr.  If you ran Linux the morning routine would go something like this:
* sync PC with Palm ~ http://flic.kr/p/mhmuK
* manually select Gutenburg novels to read & add to plkr.
* plkr client would crawl various web sites I read, compress the pages & sync with the pilot.
* read on the train.
I'd make this morning/evening habit. I benefited from Harts vision for many years.
"My father read an assortment of these made available to him by Cambridge University in England for several months in a glass room constructed for the purpose. To the best of my knowledge he read ALL those available. . .in great detail. . .and determined from the various changes, that Shakespeare most likely did not write in nearly as many of a variety of errors we credit him for, even though he was in/famous for signing his name with several different spellings." 
 2005OCT151730, Palm III, diary in use ~ http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/52909493/in/set-720575...
 "An Open Source Success Story: A History of Plucker" ~ http://www.plkr.org/about
 Project Gutenberg, "The Tragedie of Macbeth" by William Shakespeare, July, 2000. http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2264/pg2264.txt
I don't care about specifics, I am just disturbed when all reports tiptoe around the cause of death as if it just "spontaneously" happened to a man who was merely 64.
It sounds from some of his recent public writings like he may have been struggling with a terminal disease, but not being an associate of his, I have no way of knowing that.
(Link at the end to a pdf with interview).
I was curious about how he funded this project.
Excerpt from interview:RP: Do you get a salary from the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, which was founded, I believe, in 2000? MH: No. We don't attract enough funding for that. RP: So what do you live on today? MH: It's been two years since my last pay check, but if you save all your salary when you do get one, $100,000 will go 10 years with no salary, at $10,000 a year.
Interesting that he lived so cheaply in order to work on something he loved.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
Update: Eh, that'll do ;-)
He sure was right about that. It's one of the really big ideas, the kind that is going to take several more decades to really sink in.
As a staunch supporter of paper books I don't often read eBooks, but I can completely understand and appreciate what an immense resource they are to those less fortunate (and picky about their medium!) than I am. Rest in Peace, Mr. Hart. Your legacy will live for years and years to come.
The world needs more Michael Stern Harts.
The New York Times does a terrific job when it comes to presenting information. They could have just embedded a standard audio player but they did not. They present the audio in a way that makes it accessible even if you have little time. It's possible to skip around effortlessly and you never lose sight of the big picture. They are also not shy to use new web technologies when possible. This particular page works on my iPad without a hitch.
This is one of many examples where the New York Times really shows that they are able to find new and better ways of presenting information.
* Scour Craigslist for an apartment in San Francisco
* Put indeed.com job searches for "UI Design San Francisco" into Evernote
* Monitor airline fares for the cheapest time to buy a one-way ticket from BOS to SFO
* Text me when the temperature in zip code 94103 rises above 68 to remind myself to get out and enjoy my new city.
THANKS IFTTT! I couldn't have done it without you!
To be honest, I still have a hard time figuring out how, where or why I would ever use this. Maybe I'm just too old, too disconnected, or too stupid to understand what it's all about, but in short, I just don't.
I'd love a single, simple, concrete example of a relevant problem this solves.
Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt it's very cool and very clever. I just really don't get it.
- as I abandoned RSS readers a long time ago, new posts on my _very favorite_ (read: top 5) blogs send me a notification email with a link to the post
- new tweets by my _very favorite_ (read: top 3) twitter accounts get SMS'd to me
Pretty limited usage so far I'll admit, but I'm excited to see what new inputs and outputs they come up with in the future.
How about a table of supported events and actions, or at least a number of different examples?
<div id='title'> <h1><a class='logo_box_nerd_shit' href='/' title='Dashboard'> <div id='even_nerdier_shit'></div> </a>About ifttt
Also, when did chrome stop antialiasing text? If I somehow checked a box labeled "make text look worse", then someone please enlighten me. http://bbot.org/etc/aliasing.png
EDIT: Ha ha, Windows, you card, always with the case-insensitive file systems. Got me again! Link should work now.
1. To allow me to feed interesting articles from my iPad into BufferApp so I can post them automatically to Twitter throughout the day:
I go through Zite, Flipboard and Hacker News every morning and queue up all the interesting articles. Buffer posts them for me at set times throughout the day. I don't have to be at my computer to tweet and I don't flood my followers early in the morning.
2. To automatically post my Instagram photos to my Google+ account:
Why did the page's source contain profanity, as pointed out by another poster (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2971423)? (The profanity has since been removed.)
If your target audience is non-programmers, then make the URL something I can e-mail my mom without having to answer awkward questions.
One major nitpick: Please make my browser's back button work between steps when creating a task!
http://tarpipe.com/ is a similar tool that's been around for a while; I think the HN crowd will like the fine-grain detail of it more.
And it works with a much larger number of services.
Traditionally, code search is done via fulltext indexing of verbose textual function descriptions. ifttt succeeds in using a channel-signature model, not unlike Hoogle's type-signature search, to provide code search without asking authors to write any description at all. Very nice!
Specifically: the way the UI swipes things away when you make selections feels very fresh. I might grow to hate it, but I enjoy it today.
The only thing I'm worried about is giving away so many passwords to one service. How are these stored?
You are doing great, guys, will definitely spread the world and come up with more tasks!
One question though: what, if anything, does ifttt do to detect/prevent infinite loops? If I create a task to copy new photos added to flickr to instragram, and another task to copy new photos added to instagram to flickr, what happens?
Hopefully I will get a weekend and I will have the opportunity to make it a little bit more complete.
It's one of those things where you don't really know how useful it is until you see / hear of some examples and start using it yourself.
Could you tell us something about the tech stack? Just curious.
It would be awesome if there was an output to GET/POST to an arbitrary URL. Although, I suppose it sort of opens up a bigger issue, as to make it really useful for integrating with a lot of other arbitrary APIs, you'd probably need a way to support oauth from arbitrary services as well.
Furthermore, I can see this transitioning into "phsyical" applications (think "The Internet of Things"). For example, OnStar can connect car sensors to send a text message when your car leaves your garage.
Incidentally, I really like this Forth's version of a locals mechanism: http://www.forthos.org/lvars.html