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Show HN: This page will disappear in 10,000 views (blinklink.me)
143 points by teddynsnoopy on July 27, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 91 comments

Kinda feel like a jerk on this one. Wasn't really expecting to be able to nuke it so easily.

    ab -c 30 -n 3000 http://www.blinklink.me/b/4XIxfoeF4C0

    Concurrency Level:      30
    Time taken for tests:   93.802 seconds
    Complete requests:      3000
    Failed requests:        2137
     (Connect: 0, Receive: 0, Length: 2137, Exceptions: 0)
    Write errors:           0
    Requests per second:    31.98 [#/sec] (mean)
    Time per request:       938.024 [ms] (mean)
    Time per request:       31.267 [ms] (mean, across all     concurrent requests)
    Transfer rate:          182.47 [Kbytes/sec] received

    Connection Times (ms)
                  min  mean[+/-sd] median   max
    Connect:      116  165 165.9    122    1276
    Processing:   137  771 624.6    625    6827
    Waiting:      132  733 595.7    601    6823
    Total:        254  936 644.7    789    7062
Perhaps should have "view" throttling per IP. Quite a few mechanisms could have solved my abuse.

Are you in the habit of running load tests on other people's websites without warning? Remind me to never tell you when I'm working on something.

In this specific case it's not exactly the same as running a generic load test against some website, given the advertised feature of this specific website.

You're intentionally making it too generic to portray the guy as an asshole, when that's not how things went down. Very politician-like. Yuck.

I'm not condoning this, but if your website can be taken down by one machine with ab, you're doing it wrong.

Funny, I did the same thing before I read this. I think given it's back up that someone might be bumping up the number of views.

I'm betting that version 2 will solve this problem.

(Edit: I added another 1000 views by tweeting, so it didn't affect it permanently)

What is ab?

Don't use it for actual benchmarking though, it has lots of known problems. Use something like: https://github.com/wg/wrk

What sort of issues does ab have?

Well the best thing would be to try it yourself. I have found:

   * ab has more results variation between runs
   * ab will almost always report lower performance than wrk
   * If you have two implementations being benchmarked, A and B and B is always faster than A. wrk will report a greater degree of performance separation between A and B.
These results are less noticeable the lower performance the site being benchmarked is.

ab takes more CPU time than a decent web server too.

wrk looks interesting. Have used http://tsung.erlang-projects.org/

How does it compare to Siege?

Thanks for sharing!

The difference between benchmarking and DoS is intent. It could be taken the wrong way and now it's a felony.

"Three Felonies a Day" via https://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/2013-J...

apache bench

It lets you simulate hitting your web server to benchmark the speed. You can do cool things like test concurrent and sequential connections.

I didn't know either. Per "man ab":

> ab - Apache HTTP server benchmarking tool

Without having to open the man page:

    $ whatis ab
    ab (1)               - Apache HTTP server benchmarking tool
Or with bsd-games installed:

    $ wtf ab
    ab: ab (1)               - Apache HTTP server benchmarking tool

Is there a similar tool to see what a certain option in a command does, without opening the man page?

If you just type the command in you should see a list of options and what they do.

Probably best not to try this on any systems you care about if the command is completely unknown. killall on Solaris might have some unintended consequences.

You probably know, but try -h or --help behind the command.

apache bench

A friend said it came back "Retry later"

I'm not sure if the submitter created BlinkLink, but I hope the author had fun making it. It's a neat idea, and it exploits human psychology in clever ways. I like how the reward for tweeting increases as the number of views remaining goes down. Also, people are driven to share the link with their friends immediately since they know views remaining are scarce.

That said, it's pretty easy to mirror content. In case the link is dead, http://i.imgur.com/KGo7oRH.jpg is what was on the page originally.

Oh, and I found a UI annoyance. On the front page (http://www.blinklink.me/), the blue "Make a BlinkLink" button at the top that says is just a link to blinklink.me. The bottom button (which is a less-noticeable white) actually posts the form. You should probably hide the top button on the front page.

I find it very interesting how the fact that making the rules of the game "obvious" changes the way people approach. If you think about it, almost all content on the internet follows this rule: share-or-die.

But here, after slapping the die part on the face, people are forcing themselves to post the link on twitter. Very cool!

I would hardly describe requiring people to spam as cool. More like fucking annoying. Also you have no idea what the content will be until you have propagated the spam, it could just be penis pills.

It would be like

"Before we allow you in our restaurant or show you a menu, you must give us a positive review on yelp."

It's a neat idea, and it exploits human psychology in clever ways. I like how the reward for tweeting increases as the number of views remaining goes down.

Interesting, my reaction was the total opposite of yours - I immediately started to hate the idea - for the same reasons as you stated.

It reminds me in very negative ways of these crappy sharehostera where you are nagged and limited just to extort your money.

Sorry OP...

> It's a neat idea, and it exploits human psychology in clever ways

WTF? Maybe we won't be free of scummy exploits until the second last person in the world dies and leaves the last person with nobody to exploit, but just because we can't get rid of something doesn't mean we have to praise it, of all things. What's wrong with you?

I think this a neat idea as well; IMHO it has a lot of potential as a marketing tool. Who doesn't want to help his/her favorite product/service/band/event/cause keep the page alive by giving it attention (sharing the link).

That you can mirror the content is maybe not even that important from a psychological point of view.

Kind of like a Zynga game. At a certain point, you can't continue unless you spam your friends.

This is like Snapchat for the web, except it's too easy to take a screenshot of the content which means there's not much of a point to the view limit.

You could make it difficult perhaps by requiring the user follow a path with their mouse, otherwise white noise appears. That way they cannot actually move their cursor to take a screenshot. Maybe do something else to occupy one of their other hands, such as pressing a series of keys. Of course someone else could be standing there ready to push the "print screen" button or use a camera, like you can with Snapchat. Don't forget a time limit.

You could improve it significantly by implementing something similar to this: http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/

Any mouse movement or keypresses would blank the page and you'd have to reload it to see the contents again. Of course, there are probably ways to subvert this, but it would stop most people.

I'm sure there are Windows and Mac equivalents, but Ubuntu has a timed screenshot option. It would be fairly easy to just set the timer, go the the website, and wait. But I agree, most people probably won't care enough or think of it.

Even if there isn't one currently, windows exposes an interface to the screen through gdi+ which can be used in a C++ program, for example.

With quicktime player, one can just create a new screen recording, and wait.

Most people would just take out their camera phone and take a snapshot, as they do on snapchat. Trying to make something like this secure from screenshots is absurd.

I can still print screen undetected

The things that you mentioned, though perhaps relevant to the goal of the service, are outrageous from a usability standpoint. I really abhor the tendency for sites to gamify their services or erect gimmicks that impede my ability to interact with their content. I would immediately leave any site that employs the tactics you mentioned.

My time is too valuable for that kind of absurd bullshit.

A variant of this, involving payment, could be the future of journalism.

This content disappears after 1,000 views unless you pay $5.

* This content appears after 1,000 views unless you pay $5.

Is that the "fund me and I'll stop reporting on your crimes" option? In that case, you're missing a few 0s at the end of your amount.

But if you have seen it, what's the incentive for paying money after the fact? If you haven't seen it then it's just the same as a paywall.

I feel like a better system would be "pay $5 and the pages don't expire for you".

Because you want other people to read it.

I don't want to subsidize other people's consumption of content.

I want to pay for what I use; everyone else can do the same.

select, copy, paste, share, the end.

select, copy, paste, share (copyright violation), the end.

It's kind of not OK to distribute other people's work when they don't want you to.

Your users will still do it, and you won't be able to stop them.

Right. I'm just saying it's not a strategy to advocate.

depends on the jurisdiction. in Germany you are allowed to make copies for your close friends and family.

I think most would pay for others not to read it.

the content disappears unless you hit "print screen"

I disagree with other posters, I think this is a great concept. It would be fantastic for brands to share promotional offers and voucher codes as people would have to tweet to revive access to the code therefore spreading the promo further.

How is this a good thing? You want users to visit a promo page, where they're forced to retweet the content before getting access? This sounds awfully familiar to those sites that ask you to share a referral link with 10 friends, or complete a survey before receiving a free gift that doesn't exist. Also reminds me of the days of browsing warez online. Click these three links to vote for us on Top 100 sites, then you'll get access to the file. They're just taking people hostage and encouraging spam on social networks.

It could be useful if done right.

>> "before receiving a free gift that doesn't exist"

Presumably if this was done by someone like Coca-Cola you would receive something for sharing the page. The spam problem could be improved by asking them to tweet their own content + link rather than a predefined message. e.g. Tweet your favourite thing about [brand] and get [reward]. And the tweet would be [your message] + link.

These techniques could be used in interesting ways - most people just don't bother.

>> "You want users to visit a promo page, where they're forced to retweet the content before getting access?"

Also if the user is getting something of value I don't see the problem with asking them to do something to get it. They aren't being forced, they are being given a choice. Do this thing and get rewarded. Don't do it and life goes on.

You're basically buying tweets at that point, and I'm completely against the concept. I go the exact opposite route with my community and promise users they'll never have to jump through a single hoop. In return, I get a lot of respect and loyal members. People know when you're trying to use them. It leaves a bad taste in their mouth, and they don't forget. A good reputation is better than a few thousand likes or tweets.

Feels better. Not sure it's worth more.

This shit has been done before and it's never useful, it's fucking spam.

> They're just taking people hostage and encouraging spam on social networks.

Isn't that what social networks are for these days. They're just junk mail by another name.

It can be bait to incentivize people to more closely follow a brand. Exlusive, limited time offers for people that follow on twitter and Facebook.

How would this work though? If their secret message is a coupon code, or URL, they need to check server side the number of times it's been activated, or accessed. Otherwise, it's going to get mirrored and used 10,000 times instead of the intended 1,000 limited supply. If it's being checked server side, what's the purpose of using this site, instead of just sharing the code or URL directly with your fans?

What a great innovation that now content disappears...unless you tweet...

Why does the view count change wildly up and down as I refresh?

Otherwise, love it. Needs a favicon. Get ready for viral growth.

It's an interesting concept, However, I'm struggling to figure out a situation where it would be useful. There might be something here, just not in it's current state, and for that reason, I don't see it going viral anytime soon.

This could become a bit more useful if you could add clickable links in the message. Or other files (like PDF) instead of an image. Or if it worked in the opposite direction - "tweet to decrease the number of available views". Why? To create some kind of scarcity, if the content is really valuable.

Snapchat for URLs

Seeing the hits/sec on the count down is pretty impressive

Yeah I was watching it lose about 30 every time I refreshed it. This is an interesting concept, for sure.

I wonder how adding a link to who "sponsored" the content your viewing (if available) would change things. It's interesting how a tweets are now currency.

Kind of like http://securesha.re but less security, more social.

Reminds me of this http://www.savetoby.com/

please forgive my humble input, but wtf?

Be patient. It will go.

I may be bad at reading facial expressions and may be assuming the best scenario (...) but that person seems a bit sad to me. Maybe to feel connected to others?

That's a contrived expression, and not one of genuine sadness; he's pulling a face, not expressing an emotion. You can see on his GitHub profile he's got a similar facial expression, although a little less pronounced. [0] It's kinda like his duck face!

I think this has just been created for giggles, not for any particular reason. Admittedly, it piqued my curiosity!

[0] https://github.com/clayallsopp

Just saw it at <1000..


It'd be great to publicize a dataset of hit-times from each ip and from twitter accounts.

Am I the only one that finds this 'feature' utterly pointless?

zut, we could still make it appear back with a tweet. I hoped to make it disappear for good.

But the conclusion is that it is easier to click reload twenty times than to tweet a single message.

Thanks for the combined efforts of HNers to make it disappear :-)

And it's gone :)

Meh, seems like it can be revived with another tweet.

Anyone read the barcode yet?

Is It true?

It is done!


creative idea

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