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Show HN: HourlyPuppy (heroku.com)
118 points by jfi on Nov 16, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 52 comments

It wasn't until after 'Version 1.0' that I realised this was about pictures of puppies and not actually letting people hire puppies for cheering people up in the hospital or something

This would actually be great if I could rent a puppy for an hour for my kids or something. Maybe you should turn this into an AirBnB for pets. I'm sort of kidding, but sort of serious. I bet PETA would love you ;)

That's like the cat equivalent of a brothel.

A cathouse, as it were.

DAAS - Dogs As A Service (in the cloud of course). I'd be all over it - great chick magnets in the park :) I remember half-seriously looking for something like this a few years ago and found these guys: http://www.flexpetz.com

You mean DACHS - Dogs As a Cloud Hosted Service?

I think you can "rent" a puppy/dog for an hour at your nearest animal shelter. I think the people who work there would be more than happy if you walk a puppy/dog with your kids and give it some love for an hour.

Different animal shelters will vary on their policy, some being more open than others. For example a shelter where I volunteered put in a policy that volunteers had to commit to (something like) 15 hours/month. Needless to say volunteerism dropped significantly the next month...

Did you work at the luckiest shelter on the planet? The one I used to volunteer at [moved away] was usually clamoring for volunteers (at least in the summer).

That seems like a very odd policy.

They certainly weren't overflowing with volunteers if that's what you mean.

Hours or number of volunteers?

I hired my cat for the weekend about 10-11 years ago, fell in love, and we've been partners in crime ever since.

But then you have to go to the animal shelter. What about a startup that brings the shelter puppy to you for a fee, which is then split with the shelter? Win Win Win?

I'd actually like to eventually enable it so shelters can put their pictures up for free. That way a visitor could view and then own a pup.

And that is how brilliant cross-promotions are born.

You could ask a neighbor whether you could get their dog for a walk.

I thought this was touching. I wonder if you could hack one of those picture 'frame' gizmos so that it just came up with a new picture of a puppy every hour. No browser, just a sort of 'happy fun time pictures' picture frame.

Or a private Roku channel - streaming puppies FTW!

Sadly, not economically viable in TV form: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Puppy_Channel

I'm not sure how well their website does either. http://www.thepuppychannel.com/

There's a great This American Life act about the Puppy Channel.


Yes, this is where I initially heard it. One of my favourite stories ever, along with Pasta Batman.

Came here to post this exact thing. I think the trick to viability is small doses at intervals. The Puppy Channel was all puppy all the time - puppy overdose. Hourly Puppy delivers a picture, not video, at one hour intervals so you can go "d'awwwwww" and go back to your day. Or I could be wrong, time will tell...

The fun with young animals for me is seeing how they move and play, the activity, the energy... A picture doesn't convey this as good as a video. Still, I love the idea of the OP's site.

I would love to be able to sign my girlfriend up for hourly email updates... (I was planning on doing that, but I ended up having to just tell her about it)

so a subscriber could get an email with a link to the current pup? I'd suspect not many people would want an email from me every hour. perhaps making it easy to toggle on / off would make that option more desirable? I could also integrate the site better with @hourlypuppy on tw. thoughts?

Some digital picture frames will accept an RSS feed. Why not make your site able to automatically update such a frame every hour?

Are there any companies out there offering RSS based image feeds, intended for such devices? One can imagine a digital frame hanging on a wall and the owner can subscribe to themed RSS streams. Owners might be householders, or companies looking for attractive wall art. A set of free streams could be offered, based on the Commons. There could also be paid or ad supported streams, based on proprietary images.

that's be pretty awesome. I know of the "rent physical art" services, but none that do what you described.

If you use HTML email, you can check if the last one was viewed -- and wait until it has before sending out a new email. A person might get 5 in an afternoon and one overnight.

ah brilliant. I like that

The email would preferably contain the image itself - an hourly shot of happiness. On my own site, I offer hourly/daily options for alerts, and a surprising percentage opt for hourly - I think you could do the same. It would get expensive using a third party mailing service like sendgrid - just sending mail from your server via Exim is pretty easy and costs nothing extra.

I have a feeling you could get a surprising number of subscribers, especially since the puppies would be super-forwardable...

Maybe have it send them a daily email with links and thumbnails of the past 24 puppies.

Can I have an HourlyKitty instead?

Hmm! You've contributed a lot to HN / BSD / world, so I wanted to give you a gift. But, alas, HourlyKitty would be too much of a time investment for me right now. (Getting my family's cell phone service turned back on is perhaps more important.)

But! I present, for you, my next best effort, "YearlyKitty": http://dl.dropbox.com/u/315/random_pics/scuzzle.JPG

Thanks for everything you've done Colin. I hope you're able to maintain your drive and ambition throughout your lifetime, and I look forward to seeing "your next thing", whatever it turns out to be. (For example http://www.daemonology.net/papers/cachemissing.pdf was especially cool IMHO, but all of your projects have been interesting.)



I look forward to seeing "your next thing"

It hasn't received a huge amount of attention yet, but my guess is that kivaloo will end up being my "biggest thing" in 2011.

The hourlypuppy concept is so freaking good I couldn't pass up the challenge so have set to work on hourlycat ..

Can you actually copy someone else's images and serve them from your own website, or does that violate copyright? If you find someone else's images, should you instead link to the original site?

I'm actually asking because I'm curious, I don't know what the actual answer is.

Before getting to the site, my first guess was that he was pulling the images from flickr CC search.

This is most definitely a copyright violation? And it is one that would unlikely be protected by fair use laws. Or, by even providing a link to the site.

So while thhe project is neat and further shows why hackers make good partners, virtually all of its inherent value is derived from the photos themselves.

> Can you actually copy someone else's images and serve them from your own website

Short answer: No

Long answer: It depends. On your personal site that has ads, a donate button, or products/services you sell: highly unlikely. See links below.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Fair_use_under_United_...

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law_of_the_United_Sta...

This is not legal advice. IANAL, etc.

Make sure to check out the little message with the paw next to it in the top right corner on refresh. Nice touch.

thanks :) if you have any other tag lines to add to the rotation, let me know!

Whoa, I've been working on something extremely similar for my wife: http://www.pupgrade.com

It's not strictly about cheering people up but kinda the same thing. It's like we were reading each others minds!

I love you. You are a hero.

In addition to e-mailing for Submit Puppy, have you considered adding a Drag-and-Drop or a Browse/Upload? (You could even add a captcha!)

yeah, the submission via email is not ideal, but for the mvp I wanted a basic submission feature so mailto fit the bill. I'll look to make it submit via browser this weekend! Appreciate the feedback

I want a new puppy with every refresh.

Awesome job! I sometimes see great ideas like this and smack myself. "Why didn't I think of that?!"


I need one every minute.

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