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Edit: As I've said in the past when posting ideas on HN, if you think this is worth doing, please run with it! I make no claim on "owning" the idea, and all I ask is that if it makes you a billionaire, you commission of bust of me to install in your parlor. (Bronze or marble only, please.)
Taking jokes, just one subset of such emails, as an example: For you, a particular joke may be a waste, but having the team culture be such that it is open to jokes, may provide benefits beyond each individual joke.
Still, great idea, and maybe the objections I raise could be overcome just by the right wording.
Some of the 'send to all' emails were pretty important, so I had to read them, but a lot of them added nothing, and were sent to 400'000 people. I think each inappropriate global send to all cost $1000+, assuming people disgarded it pretty quickly.
+Low estimate, assuming it takes 1 second to disgard the email, everyone reads it, and gets paid minimum wage.
This program posts news to thousands of machines throughout the entire civilized world. You message will cost the net hundreds if not thousands of dollars to send everywhere. Please be sure you know what you are doing.
Ah the old days.....
Was there a time when this was actually true?
This in itself could be a nice plugin for your mail. You need 3 values to be able to calculate it:
* Number of employees the mail will be sent to (hard with aliases, easier with Outlook PDLs)
* Average fully burdened cost of employees (managers should know this, or you can default to something like $120K)
* Estimated time to read (based on wordcount and an average reading speed)
From there you can get the "hours wasted reading this mail" and "cost of this email".
EDIT: You could go above and beyond and use an open rate percentage to more accurately determine the cost, but that's not something an email client could record, it'd be server side.
The second problem is that there are managers who do send out de facto spam and probably could use the feedback.
Are you kidding? That's the whole point!
Presumably, the boss allowing it in the first place is a signal that they're interested in this feedback from their employees.
1. Non-optional delivery/read receipts
Various clients have these, but it would be nice if these were universally supported and could be made non optional. This is useful so that when I don't get a response and have to go hound someone, my first question doesn't always have to be "Hey, did you get that E-mail??"
Speaking of responses...
2. Response required flag
Be able to mark an E-mail as requiring a response from a specific recipient. Such E-mails could be presented differently in the recipient's client, highlighted or called out in a different color. Client software could generate a TODO list out of them, issue reminders if the E-mail has been un-replied-to for more than some configurable period of time, etc. The longer the message is ignored, the more annoying the presentation might be. This highlighting could be silenced by either a. replying to the E-mail, or b. clicking an "ignore" button (which also sends notice of the ignore action back to the sender). The sender could also cancel the flag after the message is sent.
3. Response required by date
As an enhancement to the above, instead of a flag, a date/time by which a response is needed. This could allow the recipient's client software to display these E-mails in a sane priority order.
- A variation: to have emails you want to send go in a pending pool moderated by a team of trusted confidants, to avoid sending out email that is a waste of time.
I agree trusted confidants is an improvement, but probably not enough on its own.
With these metrics it could then work out which members of the company send out the least well received emails. There are certainly some people where I work who have a very low interesting email ratio. These people would be prompted to sort this out.
One risk would be the employee that just sends out jokes would of course appear to be highly effective. Some algorithms would be needed to filter out work vs play emails.
To creep employees out, these metrics could be readily available to management and used in their performance reviews as part of all the other data obtained about them!
That would make total sense as a sideline for somebody like mailchimp.
I think one of the reasons why no one's ever done this is that with traditional email, it's impossible for the sender to know how many people one email has reached, or will reach. But I think Threadable (recent YC startup) could actually do this.
Check it out!
We need to figure out how to defeat the internet echo chamber effect.
Notice how often, when a community gets started between a small group of people(such as early Reddit or HN), it's a place of intelligent, productive discussion, where people measure what they say instead of just spouting extreme rhetoric?
Yet, once these communities grow, you inevitably see the "How bout dem Cowboys" problem, where it seems like the point of discussion is more to get the most approval instead of trying to argue a point, and where anyone with a disagreeing opinion feels unwelcome even if they're willing to put a lot of effort into their response?
I haven't quite figured out how to solve it, but I really want to. I've been a part of several online communities like that now, and it always ends up the same way. Once it gets big enough, finding good conversation gets very rare.
At the same time people evolve and communities evolve. Sometimes you move away from the community, sometimes they move away from you. Either way, you can end up feeling like an outsider in a group you once considered yourself to be part of the 'in' crowd.
Because a large part of anyone's current point of view is driven by past experience, communities often segment by age but sometimes segment by politics or world events (the mechanism is that people take away different things from the same experience, it "changes" them in different ways, and that puts into further out or closer to other members of the community.
The internet "echo chamber effect" as you call it is defeated by visiting multiple communities and watching and noting the differences. That your favorite 'hang out' on the Internet has become distasteful to you can no more be "fixed" than you can will your favorite eatery or bar to exist for all time.
Things change, people change, places change. Keep moving and an open mind.
Although, the counter point is that people in general are less likely to produce discussion. Or, that a lack there of of easily digested posts invokes discussion.
> also demoted if their contributions are not good enough.
If there is a user that gains karma by karmawhoring with the quick jokes and whatnot he/she would simply be demoted by the rest of the high-users.
Or something to that effect.
The only solution to this I've seen so far is making it harder for "ordinary people" to discover the community, as HN tries to do it.
It's not just the echo chamber. It's the spam, the repost/duplicates and the following discussion, the trolls, the downvoting-for-disagreeing, gaming-the-system-for-'karma', the caring-about-karma, the offtopic-but-'funny'-jokes, paid-posters, etc.
The fact that every site fails when it becomes sufficiently popular says that good conversation is hard, and harder still while maintaining anonymity - and even then, exorcising anonymity doesn't seem to have helped the quality of Youtube comments.
There are various measures like hiding comment scores or capping karma that help but there's no site out there that combines them all.
Alternatively, make it public what everyone voted up on. That way everyone is open to criticism for what they voted on, and like people do on Facebook, they'll try to curate their upvotes so that they look sophisticated. Hopefully that will modify their upvoting behaviour.
EDIT: Context for those who come after: Some other commenter said he downvoted my comment because he posted something similar. I assumed he said that to illustrate a flaw in my proposal and that he did not _actually_ downvote me. Since I can't find the comment that is similar (he's deleted what he's said), I'm leaving it up.
The only way out I see is a paid forum, so that the site can hire full time mods. I'd like to build something like this one day, but its such a herculean task that I figured I'd need at least a year of runway to make it work.
One of the solutions I wanted to try was to partition the user base on a similar way that posts are filtered to you. That is based on the up votes you give. Now I'm not sure if it happens here but at least on Reddit you have it on your customised first page.
I believe that it isn't the user base that gets worse but that it gets much more diversified and people entrench themselves in groups and the "How bout dem Cowboys" problem arises.
Think of it as user and posts clustering, the secret sauce would be how those clusters interact, I don't have a tentative answer for that. This idea would top current aggregators by valuing discussion and intervenients in the same way that posts are valued.
I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have a few moments to spare!
There are two kinds of users, regular ones and "elders" of sorts. First few were established years ago and they can vote on others to become "higher tier" users as well. How much votes you need depends of how many people can vote.
The registration is not automatic, but you fill out a form with an open-ended question and selected users (mentioned above) can vote to approve the registration.
The system has threaded discussions where every post is equal. So you create a post and it can become a new "topic" (or forum, or however you want to call it). These can be nested of course. Whether something is a comment, topic, list of topics, blog, ... depends entirely on the template used to view that entry. You can manage privileges (rwx) to these subtrees (or any single node in the tree).
At first it sounds like this would exaggerate the echo chamber effect, but I think it would do the exact opposite. There's no reason to downvote or upvote things because you agree or disagree, downvotes only affect what you see in the future and no one else sees them. And instead of different ideologies being pushed away into different communities, they all exist in the same place, occasionally interacting with each other and mixing.
Spam and trolls would still be punished and one would still have the benefits of having the most favored comments at the top.
And I just refuse to believe we've figured out everything there is to know about community engineering.
This is an interesting space to me. I hope to write more about it in the future. I think I have done one blog post (on my current personal blog) on the topic of moderation but I have been a moderator a few times and have done some A/B testing of different approaches. But I still struggle with how to talk about it to other people, who often think I am just full of hot air.
I think more generally, if I understand what you mean correctly, that that is really nothing more than water-cooler talk. Talk meant to be pleasant rather than investigative.
I also think with that said, it's really only a property of small communities because once it reaches a certain size, the amount of substantive things to discuss and hash out doesn't scale with the number of users.
Need to store all data locally for privacy reasons, and have a way to logically group urls by content and bring them back to the front occasionally (maybe with some kind of gamification?) so they don't disappear.
If there is a feature OneTab is missing, it's to sync your tabs/sessions to a certain location. Or at least that's a feature I'd really appreciate!
Better yet, a "Bookmark similar subject" plugin would be awesome - Leverage Google's search to automatically figure out tabs that are about the same thing and bookmark them by subject. Ignoring pinned tabs would be a bonus.
If I could, all at once, close all tabs that aren't part of the project I'm working on, that would free up resources for the things that currently matter.
And if the browser could keep track of how much time I browse for a specific project, I could use that to track how much time I spent on each project.
Each project I'm working on is a different user, with a different set of open tabs, and separated cookies, allowing multiple sessions (e.g., Gmail accounts) to be open at the same time, one in each "project".
"Unload, park, suspend tabs to reduce memory footprint of chrome.
Tabs can auto-suspend after a configurable period of time or be suspended manually. Tabs can be whitelisted to avoid automatic suspension. Suspended tabs are retained after closing and reopening browser, preventing many tabs from all reloading after a restart."
But I'll add that I mainly solved the "as a reminder" thing in other ways. I use Instapaper for a "read later" queue. For to-do-ish stuff, I use KanbanFlow to wrangle short-term tasks, and Trello to manage a deeper backlog. For "maybe I'll want this someday", I use Pinboard.in. Events and related links go into Google Calendar. And for "don't forget X" things, I sometimes use a dry-erase marker on the bathroom mirror, so I glance at things while brushing my teeth.
Now I've got my open tabs down to things I'm actually doing, and it has been a huge relief. Now I don't have to search through a bunch of open windows and tabs trying to find that one thing.
They need a better browser UI, since they seem to have been focusing much more on their mobile apps, but their recently-added "highlights" features accomplish the "bring them back to the front occasionally" part of your description.
I've switched to Firefox from then, but it's not as convenient as Opera12.
There are several GTD-type web apps that support "desktop notifications" that might fit the bill.
I'd really love a browser extension that could keep track of how the user reached a given site. Then they could go back later and input, say, a YouTube URL, and it would show exactly what lead them to that song.
I started writing such an extension myself, but I was clearly out of my element. So when Mozilla shut down their Firefox Add-on Builder, I lost motivation completely. For someone with experience created extensions, though, I imagine this would be pretty straightforward.
EDIT: no, using the browser history is not good enough. Browsing is a non-linear activity (especially with multiple tabs open), and to visualize your path through the web you need a graph, not just a list of sites.
I used to love to have this. I called it "browser history", but then Mozilla decided it made the browser so terribly slow that you can now no longer really configure how long history is retained. After a while it just disappears.
I used to have my history all the way back from 2006...
Edit: This time I found it: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Projects/Places_async_expir...
I find it rather annoying, however, that this isn't obvious. I like keeping all my history :( I'd rather I could at least keep the history somewhere, even if it didn't stay in Firefox's history view.
I'm pretty sure Mosaic tried a similar thing about 20 years ago.
The other time I saw it was in the form of a DAG which appeared in a panel above the address bar which could be selectively hidden. The graphics were crude as I think it was rendered in GraphViz. I can't for the life of me remember where I saw this - tried searching for it again with no look. Pretty sure it was in a video demonstrating an experimental browser, but I'm lost as to which. (Maybe I dreamt it)
I just found another while searching too.
You can poke around and find the right history eventually but we've come to demand more of computers these days.
So someone might request a blog entry on the most interesting accommodation you've stayed in overseas, or the biggest waste of money you've experienced, or the most memorable meal, etc.
A nice way to organize & share my knowledge. I know that lots of people have a self-hosted wiki or similar where they write nice tricks, something that they learned about and might be useful in the future, nice ideas...
Well, I'd like something like this, but more "social". Pages could be shared (or public), anyone could write a comments on something (I'd love to see comments a-la Medium), and it would be nifty to have a way to "fork" and submit a pull request for every page.
I guess it could also have the usual "follow user" that will show all of his pages in a dashboard, a "trending pages" for the most seen pages and similar.
An open question would be how to make the site sustainable monetarily. About.com is this idea (but non-wiki editable) and they've plastered so many ads on the pages that it's become nearly unusable.
I like the idea a lot, and have started the most barebones version of this at http://aboutfact.com . If anyone else is interested in chatting more about this, let me know.
It's currently being offered as something like a self-hosted wiki or similar as you say, but has some hidden, unadvertised "social" features.
Like sharing pages to other sites in the Notedock system.
And pages can also be public (you can choose to set individual pages as public or private).
Here's an example of my "public" site: https://jb.notedock.com/public
Members of that site, and the members of sites each page is shared to can add to the Comments section. But for public pages, there's also a Disqus option at the end (which I've turned off for my public site).
The original vision also included being able to "follow Notedocks" instead of "follow users" like you've described.
What I didn't have in mind was the Medium type comments and "forking".
So it's leading me to think that we probably have/had the same inspiration, but different ways of implementing this.
Text analysis. Automatically match pages with similar content, so that even if everyone just posts their own stuff it will be connected to the rest automatically. I think the problem of a wiki-kind-of knowledge base is that pages are easily orphaned, especially if people just do brain dumps. Nobody wants to spend time tagging content, and you also don't want to manage a site-wide structure. It would be great if the content would organize itself. Could also be used to automatically link terms within text (to the most relevant page about this in the network).
To extend on the "nice tricks, something that they learned about": Let students (or even professors) put their lecture notes up, structurally and visually enhanced. KhanAcademy and edX do a great job providing professionally produced courses, but maybe my friend or I can explain a specific problem better in easier terms, and you'll be even able to comment on it or provide a fix for some error.
Smallest Federated Wiki is a distributed wiki. It allows anyone to fork a page by clicking the fork button; this copies the page to their own wiki and they can edit it. The original wiki owner(s) can then decide whether to merge the change into the original page.
Ward Cunningham has a few short videos about it at http://wardcunningham.github.io/.
 http://fed.wiki.org/ and https://github.com/WardCunningham/Smallest-Federated-Wiki
example wikis: https://github.com/WardCunningham/Smallest-Federated-Wiki/wi...
What you are describing is a place for you to share everything you know about a subject, and I can use to find what 200 other people know about it.
This is simple and extremely powerful.
I know this thread is old, but if anyone is interested and want to talk about it a bit, my email is in my profile :) (also spittie over freenode)
I would like it to be "more wiki", coderwall seems more a social profile where you can share small tips, not a wiki where you can write whatever you want.
It's also missing the "git" stuff, which I think could be huge (or maybe it's just silly, but it sounds good in my head).
And I also don't really like the "closeness" of the site. for example I can't even see every tip shared by an user without having an account (it just show the first ones and then a blurry mess, a-la Quora).
It's a one-click bookmarlet with public/private separations, RSS built-in for syndication, and there are implementations of dashboard multiplexing sources : http://shaarli.fr/.
No comments though (the author seems against it).
I see two big trends these days.
1) People seems more willing to connect back with their neighbors and community.
2) People have less time but want to eat more healthy.
Imagine this scenario:
While going back home, a student could check on the app what's available to eat for tonight. Next to his place, there's a family willing to sell the extra tacos for a few bucks. The student would then just stop by and pick them up.
Obviously, there would be quality rating and the possibility to reserve a few days in advance.
Granted, what Airbnb does isn't altogether legal much of the time, but food safety is taken much more seriously than hotel taxes and zoning laws. If you did build a startup like this, the second it started to become popular, I expect that you would get shut down.
Does this break any of the various regulatory laws in place?
I am aware of one way around this, though (sort of). As I recall, if you come to my house and cook food for me in my kitchen, then I can pay you and everything is fine. I don't think you even need a food handler's license. But obviously, that's a lot less convenient for both of us.
I'm no expert on this topic. I've just looked into it enough to get discouraged!
Your neighbors happen to be cooking dinner, and this app is a convenient way to provide tips, write reviews, etc.
Interesting discussion on whether this model can succeed: http://www.quora.com/Will-Airbnb-for-food-be-a-successful-bu...
And I just stumbled onto another one of these last week: http://cozymeal.com/
The pain point I was focusing on was to provide good food at cheap price for neighbors, less about "Living an experience with another family".
Then the person making the food sees that they need to make an extra x amount of brownies (but they were already planning to make them, but now can make some extra money!). Then when they are ready you get an alert and can go pick it up.
That would be pretty sweet! I'd use that.
Imagine seeing a cool repo, then being able to friend the owner, and open a chat box to have a quick chat about it right there on the page rather than having to go to another communication method.
EDIT: I know this super similar to github. Really I just want github to implement the equivalent of friends, chats, and public profiles people can post things to (a la facebook wall).
e.g.: I want to know what Jim thinks about coding, but not politics
There's some recent attempts to bring back the community and improve all sorts of things, but it's just renovating and feeding a rotten tree. Sure, it will live for a long time but it will never be as beautiful as a real living tree fed by nature.
>So I'd like basically github with more social elements thrown in.
edit: Seems like there is some interest in this. If anyone wants to discuss this more, email my username at me.com
Sometimes I spend 30 minutes looking for a good movie before giving up and watching The Bourne Supremacy again because at least I know I won't regret the 2 hours I invest in it.
I would pay $1 bounty every time someone just recommended a good movie that I end up liking.
Given the source is open, it may be more like curating a list of children's programming torrents and providing a delivery system for people to add their own child appropriate work.
I wouldn't be opposed to ads but not the sort you currently find on kids tv hawking toys
Parents all over the world approve this idea.
So it's schedule-less.
You want to talk to Paul.
Paul wants to talk to you. But not as much.
Paul is ranked "a1" in your book and you are
ranked "b5" in Paul's book.
Paul notes that he is in a "b5 and above" time period. Maybe he just got done exercise so he is more interested in talking to anyone (you are a b5 after all). Or maybe he is sitting in the dentists waiting room and has time to kill and is ok if he has to stop the conversation right away abruptly.
In your book Paul is an "a1" so he can call in the middle of the night and you will take the call.
Paul marks his availability as "b5 and above" and then app proceeds to start to contact anyone who matches.
Someone else is ahead of you at b3 so they get the first call. Next guy is at b4 but he doesn't answer. So you are next at b5 and your phone rings and it's Paul.
You have your conversation.
Advantage: No need to schedule calls by time. They happen by importance.
With granularity on both sides.
Why I like this:
I can make the most efficient use of time. Some people are more important and you want to take the call anytime anyplace. Others are less important and you are more picky. Also ability to use time that normally goes to waste. And prevents you from having to think "I've got a minute who should I call".
Using the example I have given elsewhere if you are waiting for a plane that might take off in 10 minutes you don't want to call someone that you can't quickly get off the phone with. (You don't want to be rude to someone important). Otoh the person pitching you or the local realtor that you know that you need to check in with is the type that you can say "hey have to catch my plane talk to you later" (or your aunt). Or the guy at Home Depot with the size of the garden hose.
Imagine needing speak with your doctor. You doctor might grab a minute sometime and then call you. You, with anxiety waiting for your test results, might take that call anytime (and in fact people do). But the doctor does not want to map out a specific time to call you as he might just have a few minutes between patients. And he will dial those from a note he has. And many will not be there when he calls. (This could in fact pre queue up just as if you are the President and you tell your secretary "get so and so on the line I will be out of this meeting in 5 minutes".)
So really this solves another problem but is not necessarily a replacement for a separate general scheduling issue.
Same concept could be adapted to, say, a handyman. He might have two hours in between fixed jobs and say "what job can I pull of where the person is home and within 3 miles from where I am right now".
(Although to be clear that wasn't the original point of the idea but now I'm thinking of that twist to it.)
 For example a salesman calling is normally interuptive and scheduling a meeting for something that you have only trivial interest in is not going to happen. Otoh sitting waiting for a plane which is delayed opens up the potential desire to possibly take meetings and conversations over things that you don't necessarily want to schedule.
- When will the next bus/train be at this spot?
- a non-DRM ebook reader with Project Gutenburg installed
- auto convert from client/server to webapp or phoneapp
- grocery delivery for us not in SV,Seattle,etc
- reservation-only restaurants that have tables avail now
- auto turn cell phone to vibrate in certain locations
- auto forward cell phone to close land line (work/home)
- old Google maps
- a no wifi or cell Palm Pilot replacement
- cell phone direct to .txt email for all but certain callers
- mini-blogging platform: 400 chars < every post < 800 chars
- yelp you can actually believe
- forum software that filters trolls
- forum software that filters idiots
- salad bar locator
- buffet locator
- televisionless / audioless restaurant locater
- chess with n moves forward/back what if
- shock nearby driver on cell phone not paying attention
- missing commercial airliner locator
I think Oona Räisänen solved that already: http://www.windytan.com/2013/11/decoding-radio-controlled-bu...
> auto convert from client/server to webapp or phoneapp
What? Client/server is a network model, webapp and phoneapp are applications. You mean like a web/phone app that you can use to talk to random server applications or something?
> old Google maps
> auto turn cell phone to vibrate in certain locations
There's an app for that
> auto forward cell phone to close land line (work/home)
You can do that with VoIP.
> forum software that filters idiots
That would be a major breakthrough. Hellbanning probably does a good job already though.
> shock nearby driver on cell phone not paying attention
The police calls that a Taser.
Anyway I think that cars should come with heads up displays that overlay information on or in front of the windshield in front of you without obscuring the road.
Also I should get a hands-free setup.
Or you could just stop using your cellphone when driving instead of rationalising the blame onto others?
> Anyway I think that cars should come with heads up displays that overlay information on or in front of the windshield in front of you without obscuring the road.
Yes, for instance some cars are designed to put things like speed indicator just below screen, but most bury them behind the steering wheel where it's hard to see, never understood why.
There's probably a market for a Buffett locator as well.
How much would you pay for such a service?
But nobody cared. Perhaps I was doing it wrong or I have not do many/any promotion. Anybody wants to take this idea and solve it for us I will really appreciate it.
https://openhatch.org/ is this for open source software in general
Electric cars must make noise under new EU rules:
Have you seen The Dilemma? About two guys (tech founder and business founder) working on a system for giving traditional muscle car sound to electric cars. (And some romantic comedy type stuff too.) When I saw it I thought - that idea would really fly. Whilst silent cars may be great for the majority (especially those living near busy roads), there is still a sizeable group that will pay extra for a great engine/exhaust note combo. See also recent criticism about the sound of the new hybrid Formula 1 engines, including from world champ Sebastian Vettel "sound like sh*t". There's a definite market there, but obviously depends on the electric car market itself.
From the article:
> MEPs agreed that in future the vehicles must be fitted with devices to make them "sound similar" to cars with combustion engines.
So you'll have a limited choice to choose from.
But personally I'm hoping they can make them a bit less rough and more of that smooth "Hummmm" you associate with luxury cars.
Maybe one could figure out moments at which the user would be interrupted the most, for example shortly after opening a new window or tab, or shortly after switching programs, since these moments are risky for forgetting things (if the same psychology applies): http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17470218.2011.571...
It would probably make sense to prohibit interruptions during intense writing. I also thought about an option to blacklist certain apps or websites like Skype, Facetime etc. and to whitelist activities that don’t require focus like browsing news websites or playing a game.
The volunteers are given ratings afterwards, and their video streams checked against their descriptions by other volunteers.
Monetized later via a paid service where the person is reliably connected to trained describers rather than volunteers.
Primary consumers would be developers who're building products that depend on the user inputting this type of data - or warehouse logistics companies who could catalog this sort of data and middleman it to everyone else.
The product recommended home-cooked meals (web-only), found the healthiest restaurant dishes near you (mobile and web), and evaluated the nutritional fit of labeled food products in stores (mobile-only). The recommendation algorithm was all backend.
Too bad we got acqui-hired.
I didn't follow the acqui-hire and went on to work for a genetics startup.
Email me if you want more info or to see about making it exist again. We had an alpha test group of some very happy users :)
Either way, I think OCR-as-a-service would be really useful, and nutrition labels are probably a great place to start. I think there's lots of room for improvement in the nutrition/meal planning space.
An app to easily compare SQL execution plans.
I believe the better way would be graphical. I have needed this on MS SQL Server, SQL Sentry Plan Explorer has helped but lacks this comparison. Today I do it by diffin execution plans on XML format.
On my wildest dreams I would have a REPL accepting a DSL that would allow me to query the different DMV's (those are SQL Server data management views which give you insight on the inner state of SQL Server, Red Gate has a nice site on them http://sqlmonitormetrics.red-gate.com).
If it already exist is some form or platform please share.
Then, the ability to secure those boxes (and boxes you drop off in colo) against tampering short of powering them off.
(tech details: Intel TXT, TCG TPM, cheap HSMs, Intel SGX, etc.)
Not sure if any IaaS providers are offering services based on it yet, though.
I have been looking at how to do cheap ($20-50 slow USB connected (essentially smartcard), $500-1000 PCIe) HSMs. If you do shared-computation with a host (with or without SGX/TXT), you can get pretty decent performance with quite modest HSM hardware.
Those provide NSA-type protection -- in that attacking a single instance isn't guaranteed, and takes time, so a system with key rotation or k of n split across locations is going to provide pretty reasonable security.
Private Core is definitely the most interesting TXT-based solution today; if you built an IaaS provider with that tech plus live video monitoring, alarms, etc., you could probably offer quite reasonable security assurances to people. (i.e. the tools to defeat it require physical access, and if no one can gain physical access to a rack once the rack is put into production...)
I agree that if you're paranoid about the NSA it probably doesn't make too much sense to have faith in the Intel PKI. When you say pretty decent performance for your HSM, do you mean less than 10 % for real world apps?
I'm currently assuming a threat model where an attacker doesn't have physical access however, and looking more into how to use hardware to bootstrap a minimal TCB that doesn't require OS or application rewrites but still gives good performance. Even if only for specific use cases.