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Show HN: A url-based API for images (my weekend project) (mebe.co)
115 points by flippyhead on April 27, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 57 comments

Looks like you're filtering NSFW words over to a picture of a pipe?

An interesting spinoff would be memes. Something like http://mebe.co/goodnews/I_just_fixed_the_build.jpg and it generates this: http://i.imgur.com/UR8Gbzb.jpg

and yes memes are trite/overdone/whatever, but there's a lot of people out there that use them.

I actually just finished a project for super-simple URL based meme generation: http://memeifier.com/

Your Professor Farnsworth example: http://memeifier.com/good_news/I_fixed_the_build/http:/i.img...

Finally, something useful on the internet!

I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who tried searching for porn with this.

Oui, ceci n'est pas un chat:


I also thought it would be handy to get the most relavent image given a URL, much like what happens when you paste a link into a facebook post; attempting to find the "logo" on the page or the high-res apple icons.

Yes! I love the idea of being able to find images that actually include the text you want. Even better if the image itself is relavent.

Actually I meant have it generate a meme image from the text you provided. Like all the other meme generators out there, but much more simple.

Suggestion: use CloudFlare to cache images at the HTTP layer so multiple requests for the same URL never even hit your app servers.

CloudFlare + PaaS providers like Nodejitsu/Heroku is a great combination, IMHO.

CloudFlare will close your account if you are only using it to serve up assets like this unless you're paying for the $200/month Business plan.

Please explain this, I'm not sure what kind of activity you're talking about.

Here's the article I read that lead me to write that comment.


Essentially the site was just one html page that had endless scrolling and loaded hundreds of images. CloudFlare declared the site as being under a "Layer 7 Attack" even though it wasn't.

Oh, yes, please! Actually none of the images are loading...

seems a lot like jpg.to http://optimus_prime.jpg.to/

Wait, since when could hostnames have underscores?

EDIT: Hey, IDNs seem to work! http://café.jpg.to/

EDIT 2: Or maybe not. http://schlüssel.jpg.to/

(Schlüssel means "key" in German. Google Image Search it and you get pictures of keys. Search for "Schlussel", though, and you get that girl. So presumably it searched for the punycode, something like --schlussel-blah.)

EDIT 3: Wait. the IDN for "Schlüssel" is xn--schlssel-95a. If I Google that, I don't get pictures of Ms. Schlussel. It must be decoding it and stripping the accents? That said, searching for schlssel does yield pictures of her.

EDIT 4: café is --xn-caf-dma. Google Image Search "caf" won't find cafés. Nor will "--xn-caf-dma". So it must understand IDNs but strip or be accent-insensitive

They always could have underscore. But beware of browser issues (cookies will fail in IE - at least pre 9 versions, for example).

Well, thing is hostnames are supposed to only contain letters, digits and hyphens, although other DNS names can contain underscores. So it shouldn't work. You should be able to have a TEXT record with an underscore, but really shouldn't be able to have an A or AAAA record.

In this case optimus_prime is a sub domain. The actual DNS entry is likely *.jpg.to so DNS does not have to know how to resolve the URI section with underscore.

I'm not sure wildcard entries are actually a feature of DNS, I thought they were something done server-side by the DNS server.

Ah this one actually works. Thanks. I just wasted a good hour placing the nicks of every one in the irc channel I frequent into jpg.to. Hilarity ensued. Productivity diminished.

Whoa this is cool!

heh, never heard of that til now. Sweet!

Any particular reason you need to proxy the data through your own server? Seems like a 302 to the original image url would be quite a lot easier and more scalable.

A similar service (actually a bit smarter) http://speakthroughimages.herokuapp.com/generate.jsp?query=[ your keyword]

(without the square brackets)

Review the copy on your blog page explaining the project. You have a sentence with "use have" in it, and one sentence begins "Bring," where I think you meant "Bing." =)

Thats really cool. How bout letting me specify more params like size?

Sure! To finish it quickly I kept it simple. Also, it's somewhat expensive to get the results so cost is a factor.

Based on their "linear" pricing you'll get charged a penny every 5 requests. If can charge less as your cache hit ratio increases...

Turns out yes, there isa picture of everything on the Internet. http://mebe.co/apple_space_monkey.jpeg

I guess it's an early alpha version. :-)


There's a startup that's building an iOS app to talk/chat with pictures: http://tryrelay.com

I ran a very similar site a while back. The Bing API costs can get expensive quickly. You probably want to cache the results.

seems like a great idea! wondering if you could plug this into comments on facebook where you could have your own such images embedded into text, like custom emoticons (or make the like like an @mention where its a word and a link to an image at the same time). Great stuff!

Yeah, that's a big part of the motivation. Though facebook doesn't render the images inline, just pulls them out into a preview-type thing

Really nice! What API are you using?

Yep, Bing. Mostly because of how it's priced.

any chance you will opensource the code? or is it already up somewhere (github)

Sure. I need to clean up a few things first.

How are you dealing with the copyright of the images?

Fair use.


The pictures are really shitty. Please use Pinterest rather than Google Images.

This is unique and useful. +1 for letting me specific size and aspect ratio

love it.

is it ok to generate traffic aimed at it? maybe lots of traffic. (probably not, especially at first, but maybe, so i thought it would be polite to ask.)


What does mebeco stand for?

Since my main use case was ease of use when using chat applications (like Campfire), I wanted a super short domain. I was actually pretty surprised a four letter pronounceable domain was available.

why the jpeg part ? would be nicer without adding that extension

You can use any extension you want. Or none.

One word: Scribblenauts mashup.

I really would like to use this but it seems like it's getting hammered right now.

Edit: seems to be working now

Sorry, you caught it mid-deploy. OK now.

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