This is not a problem that needs a solution. It's yet another developer (or wanna-be 'need a job in development' person) who needs a puff portfolio piece that shows he knows how to connect a few database fields with a front-end display - and mixed with search! Wow! (Well, it mostly works anyway).
I have yet to see one of these ShowHN pieces be anything but the latter. They should split ShowHN into ShowHNFluffYouBuiltToGetAJob and ShowHNStuffThatSavesLives, because I'd only be interested in the second one.
And of course, you have to have your submissions vetted by the guy who not only "promises" to always maintain this (I call), but who obnoxiously floats his Twit handle over the footer as you scroll... he either doesn't believe in crowd-sourcing genuinely or doesn't want to deal with a user-end database. Likely, he'll turn that "I don't charge to be listed" into "listings are only $99/year" pretty quickly.
Whoever said this guy was solving a "simple and actual problem" is sadly misleading this poor fellow. It was not a problem. Conferences are not concerned that there are not enough listing sites out there. Conference attendees are aware of, in their respective circles, where to go and what to attend. It's not a simple problem. It's not a problem at all.
What is a problem is the proliferation (i.e. clutter) of the internet of everyone and their sister building fluffy stuff with .co and .io domains. Can I just block all such domains from my browser? My internet would actually be better if I could.
Sigh... the death of the Yahoo Directory was heading toward this all along, wasn't it?