(PLEASE upvote if you like this post to be seen by more people, as someone in the previous Idea Sunday mentioned the post with less points than number of comments will be penalized in ranking. Thanks.)
Only one account (whoishiring) is allowed to make regular feature posts that we don't kill as duplicates. (That's to prevent karma sweepstakes and race conditions.) Should we make this "Idea" thread a regular feature? I've thought about it. I think the answer is no.
Experiments are worth trying, but this one has gone on for a month now and I don't think it has cleared the bar . Having all these ideas in one place makes the whole less than the sum of its parts. The threads seem to have gotten less interesting as they've become more regular.
I'm sorry to disappoint those of you who disagree. But our job is to optimize HN for quality and I don't think the quality is high enough here. Ideas are better in the wild. Let's discuss them as they come up organically, rather than try to organize an idea-fest.
A once per month thread would be useful to me. Would it be possible to accommodate that?
Although I don't agree with seeing popular, user generated content as a negative, but it's not my sandbox. I think it's at least better than yet another Techcrunch post or ceaseless bickering about class warfare and internecine SV politics.
Also, perhaps these threads should automatically expire weekly.
I wonder if there's a different path to getting the valuable part of it? It seems to me that instead of rushing to embalm experiments as regular features, we should just do more experiments.
Take each section of a country's law and convert it into prolog clauses. Queries can then be run on the legal engine. For defendants it gives you insights on how to build a case and for prosecution it identifies relevant sections and evidence that needs to be provided to have a successful conviction.
The same can be applied to divorce, patents, property etc.
My idea was to use an Erlang map reduce system to help fan out the queries which are dispatched to an underlying Prolog knowledge base (Erlang supports something like Channels/Ports).
I have a bias towards ideas which have a social impact.
The business case is: In a country like India there are over 20 million pending cases in courts.
Imagine both sides of lawyers and the judge all having access to a system like this - cases could be resolved a lot faster and time spent building defense/prosecution would be a significantly smaller.
Implemented right, this could somewhat level the playing field and allow poorer people have access to some sort of legal advice, which today they would not be able to afford. Monetizing the system could be charging for queries as you probe deeper and deeper into the system/advertising for lawyers.
I think commoditizing law has immense potential and should have a very large business potential.
I always wanted to implement and Idea like this as Open Source, but here in India nobody would fund ideas like this. I'm putting it out there as I believe it's time has come.
Take Argentina, a case I know far too well. As INC magazine pointed out, the tax rate on businesses goes up to 108% of your profit. (< http://www.inc.com/magazine/201106/doing-business-in-argenti... >). How's that possible? Here's how: the government purposely passes endless contradictory laws thus ensuring you are always breaking the law, just to survive. (A business can't pay 108% of its money in taxes and still survive!). Therefore, you live in a state of somehow doing something illegal. The result? If the government doesn't like you, they find the illegal thing you're doing (that you have to do, just to survive, since the laws are contradictory and unreasonable, like that 108%), and then punish you for "breaking" the law.
Welcome to the jungle, we've got fun and games ;)
Conclusion: If you step into the third/developing world, the key isn't what the law actually says -- but _how sh*t gets done in practice_.
I think the base idea is very inspired, but I'd avoid prescribing a technical solution at the beginning and just propose different approaches. The general goal of giving lawyers a formula for inputting a case with a certain grammar and format and getting a useful output of laws and precedence seems amazingly useful.
Here's an example: Say a someone is deciding which shirt to wear. They whip out their smartphone, launch the A/B app, takes a picture of themselves wearing each of two shirts. Within 30 seconds, they have an answer of which shirt hundreds of people liked better. While they're waiting for the reply, they're prompted to rate other people's pictures. This is as simple as seeing two pictures and tapping the one that they like more.
The number of use cases is endless. You could be shopping for eyeglasses and trying to figure out which look better - just try on both right there in the store and get a response from the A/B app.
It's not limited to fashion, as people could use it for any subjective comparison.
I think the key is in the constraints you have outlined.
Obviously it's a mobile app. You take two pics and post. You then vote on other's ABs. Every vote you make on someone else's AB earns you a vote on your own. If you want a bunch of opinions on your AB you keep voting on other's. You can post to your social networks to get your friend's opinions as well. Maybe it ties into the social APIs and reads comments to extract out votes for A or B. Maybe some viral growth potential there.
I like this. I might use actually use it. Wondering if it is important to be able to choose a target segment of voters for your own AB or if the classification of "human" is good enough in most cases.
The value for the poster is clear; what is the value for the voter?
It would also be important to make it very fast. Cache all the images before the voter gets there, and send the results asynchronously so they don't need to wait. One could easily do a rating in less than a second. It's all snap judgements.
To just an app for two photos, which is better, and let people make of it what they will. Would need decent facebook integration, so you can ask your friends, not just random strangers.
Pickfu also charges for their service, which I don't think would work for someone wanting to simply choose their wardrobe. It'd have to monetize in other ways (ads, or charging for getting gender/age breakdowns of the results, more results, allowing to compare more than 2 photos, etc.)
This is the part I don't understand. You would need to have a whole lot of scale and incentive for people to give their feedback this fast and often. Jelly can take a while to get a response, for instance.
Rating photos is very fast -- just look at two photos and tap one. All network lag can be eliminated by pre-caching the images. I'd bet the average rating speed is one per second (it's all snap judgements).
As long as the app has 30+ people using it at every moment of the day, you'll always get a response of at least 30 responses within 30 seconds. Plus I suspect people would enjoy voting and would spend time doing it even while not waiting on their own response, meaning you'd get more than you put in.
I think you'd get enough votes if the app was in the right format. It would have to be like hot or not, where you have 2 photos, pick one, and instantly get another 2 photos along with the results from the first set. This gets people trapped in the just one more click mindset.
Focus it on fashion and clothing, people will vote to see more photos, to judge the outfits of others (a lot of people enjoy doing this for fun), and to get inspiration for themselves.
Also, allow users to select what gender and age groups can vote on their photo.
Some people would do this, but as long as you randomize the order of the pictures their data won't alter the winner since each image would get an even number of bad votes.
You can also detect when people are doing this and start throwing out their votes, or just don't even prompt them to vote and show them ads instead. I'm pretty sure this would be a minority, since most people would understand that they want to get real results for their own photos, so they need to give real votes to other photos.
For example, something that should be 15-2 votes, ends up being 95-82. You'll be applying a large number of votes to both sides, and pushing everything towards a 50/50 rating. This doesn't help anyone, the goal is A/B testing, and you're making it more difficult to get accurate data. 15-2 shows a lot of promise for A, but then you add 80 random votes to both sides, and 95-82 seems like a tie.
Instead of showing the user 95-82, or 25-12 you tell the user "others prefered shirt A 2-to-1 or shirt b 66% to 33% or whatever might be appropriate.
Anyway, again, I'n not suggesting any particular techniques are the right ones, just that there (almost certainly) viable techniques available to mitigate the problem.
It's all in the presentation. If you just highlight one image and stamp "WINNER" next to it, most people won't even look at the numbers. Crowning a winner is more important than being scientifically accurate.
I suppose the question then becomes: will the end user notice or care if the votes are random? Do the votes need to come from humans at all?
It received venture capital, but died a painful death.
This takes a lot more effort than simply tapping one of two photos without reading anything. A/B responses can be given in less than a second. It's all snap judgements -- no reading is necessary.
I'd pay to use something that gave me a sample of 500 or 1000 responses.
The advantage of having two images is the voter doesn't even need to read a description or know what part of the image they're supposed to up/down vote. They should be able to easily see the difference between the two and just make a snap decision in less than a second. Not having to read text makes it more fun, I would think, and also provides a lot more results for the picture-taker.
This would let me keep track of the services that I have so I don't end up with subscriptions to sites or services that I've forgotten about. It would also let me revoke permission to charge the account at any time. No need to cancel a card if one won't cancel or changes the fees--you just revoke their permission individually.
It is widespread and the norm for subscriptions.
We also have iPhone and Android app's where you can create these Masked Cards in stores as you're about to check out. Cashiers just need to be willing to type in the 16 digit # and expiration, which they usually are fine with.
2 weeks ago:
3 weeks ago:
4 weeks ago:
$ please push the changes i've made today to the master repo
$ please archive this directory into foo.zip
$ please clone the bootstrap repo from github
$ please find any files under ~/ matching 'foo-*.txt' and containing 'bar'
It would offer a pluggable interface for extending its capability and vocabulary.
For example, I'd rather type
please convert movie.avi to h264 at 720p with subtitles from movie.srt
Bonus points if it could print the translated command before running it - it'd double as a learning tool.
please open presentation X from my dropbox
The CMS version would be a private site (not accessible by the general public) which is compiled into a static HTML site which is publicly accessible.
There should be a way to deal with formerly dynamic elements, such as contact/comment forms, site search, etc. (possibly using third party APIs)
There also should be a way to deal with updates to the CMS version of the site, so that these changes are detected, compiled and processed into the static version of the site.
EDIT: Oh sorry, I didn't realize that Prose was based on Jekyll! I guess this suggestion is a bit redundant, but this way you don't need Github if you have your own server, I guess.
More general than a CMS, but the idea is similar.
This would have to work independently of the platform used to build the original site and ideally the service would also provide a means of getting the newly created static site onto it's hosting platform (be it Dropbox, Digital Ocean or whatever other platform you want to host the static site).
Looking to get away from the speed and security issues of CMS based sites but still having the flexibility and ease of use when building/maintaining a site. Basically using any CMS to build and deploy static HTML web sites.
When you move to a new home or office, you can keep the same "Postal Domain Name", but change the address associated to it. Once.
Not sure how to convince all the big entities to use it, but it could catch on if you could convince some smaller companies to allow users to use it in their account settings.
I'd also wonder if financial institutions can use such a service at all, they probably have some stringent requirements to change the address of a person and are obligated to keep an address on record (at least in Israel they are).
I've never heard of anyone being able to send mail to a person using only their name on an envelope.
You would have a unique "ID" which you can assign to any physical address. This is all you ever give out. If you move, you update one record, and your mail will come to the right place.
It's similar to a website. If HN moves to another server, everyone doesn't have to update their bookmarks to point to a new IP address. Instead, they visit the same URL as always, and it automatically sends everyone to the new IP.
so it should have been fairly easy to route.
Business model should probably be subscription (who wants spot ads thrown into the middle of their movies?) or something simple like $1 per commentary. The service should seek out talent to create the commentary tracks and pay them for their work.
Some kind of youtube-soundcloud-twitter mashup with a strong focus on realtime.
Not sure how it should work but there should be potential.
I would imagine such a keyboard, even at a $300 price point, would be massively more successful than the Optimus Maximus ever was.
To entice users even more, it could probably be made water resistant by not including any ports and using appropriate switches. It could come with a USB-powered inductive charging matt that you place the keyboard on top of to charge.
From the description, it seems like the keys do not use displays and only the interface on the right uses displays.
I personally want to make more OSS contributions, but often I find it hard to find projects where I can contribute meaningfully. Meaning specifically that they are projects that have problems that match my expertise, are actively maintained (my patches will be appreciated), and have unresolved tickets where assistance would be useful (they are looking for outside help).
I imagine there are at-least some OSS maintainers who would like to recruit more contributors as well, and a site that would help match both would be beneficial for everyone.
I have the feeling (based on personal experience) that some HOA managers prefer to operate in obscurity, so it may be tough to market.
I think it could work–could be tough to sell, though.
Also have them posted by an "official" account so it doesn't turn into a karma grab.
The site would be called "5 ON 5"
and every post would be based on a current news topic. In each post, 2 writers/bloggers would argue opposing views of the topic (point/counterpoint). BUT each argument must be written in a BuzzFeed listicle style format. For example:
5 ON 5: UKRAINE
"5 reasons Obama needs to stay out of the Ukraine/Russia crisis" vs. "5 things Obama needs to do for Ukraine right now"
5 ON 5: FACEBOOK F8 CONFERENCE
"You should put Facebook's anonymous login in your app. Here's 5 reasons why." vs. "5 reasons Facebook's new anonymous login is bad for developers"
I like it because it could work for any news category, it could be for analysis and prognostication, you could presumably get great guest writers, and it's "smart" spin on the viral crap BuzzFeed/Gawker puts out.
Clients see a list of user stories or other deliverables and can discuss, and file issues and bugs against them. Developers can track their own bugs, finer-grained tasks and issues privately. These two sides of the software are linked for the developer, i.e. as a developer I can add detail and break down a client request into smaller stories without exposing the client to the gritty details, and keep track of which client request(s) different issues and stories are related to. Also useful for filing issues the client doesn't need to know about, say, bugs I find before they do :)
The problem this solves is that I have to maintain two issue trackers, one focused on user stories and features (usually a google spreadsheet), and another for more technical tasks and bugs (usually pivotal tracker). I want to keep it all in one place. I would be surprised if this doesn't already exist, but I haven't been able to find it.
A few months ago when I made some contributions to Go I realized I like their code review process and tools much more than the typical GitHub PR workflow.
It does the job (and some more nice features) pretty well.
Long story short, there's browser extensions for this.
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mongoliad
(Wikipedia because I think it better explains the nature of the project than the homepage)
Market validation and iterative development for hardware can take a long time. Product developers are jealous of the fast iterations involved with software development. I've recently learned that despite being lower quality, people value the novelty of 3D printed goods. And we know that consumers value co-creation .
We know that early adopters tend to be early adopters of multiple kinds of technology. So if your user base for a new physical product also largely have 3D printers, you could bring your users into your prototyping process. Send out 2+ versions of your product without them knowing which version they received.
You can ask for feedback within 2 days of pushing out a design with real users. From the feedback you can start a new iteration, which you can then push out to your users as a tangible update within a week. You could even pay for the small cost of material used.
This platform could start with STL files, and then in the future use a common 3D printing API such as the one we're building called PrintToPeer. Early adopters would even be incentivized to get a 3D printer to be a part of the development cycle of new products.
Here's another such idea (based on finding answers)...
A clean, dead-simple search engine that connects to information from Q&A data about the city you're in. So it's a Q&A site (again, with comment voting) regarding tourist-type questions and answers. The user can ask a new question ahead of their trip and hope for answers but the real use case is where the Q&A database is extensive enough that most questions are asked and answered already.
Ex. - Enter the Paris section. Type in the search field "hours Louvre" and the first and best answer would be the opening and closing times of the famous museum. No other clutter on the page.
Ex. 2 - If GPS-enabled, type in "bus Louvre" and it'd bring up the most relevant answer. "Take the 765. Every 30 min. Next one at 9am."
Short, sweet and simple. Only thing is, it'd need a Wikipedia-style editor allowing for corrections when answer is no longer current.
Cap'n Proto is a great piece of engineering that got quite a lot of things right. (For those who aren't familiar, Cap'n Proto is a data serialization format that is able to be very fast by encoding data in the same way modern processors encode data normally - with fixed width data types and pointers.) I think it would be nice to have a data serialization protocol that uses the same general concepts, but addresses a couple limitations in that format, including:
- Cap'n Proto doesn't allow you to edit messages in a robust way. You can't change the size of a list/string in a message, you can't replace one object with another without leaking "garbage", etc. The data model is simply not designed with fast editing in mind.
- The data model is document based so it is inconvenient or impossible to capture certain kinds of relationships with a schema.
My idea is to address these limitations using the battle tested relational model and the massive amount of knowledge that's been accumulated about how to efficiently implement relational systems. In this serialization format, a message would be a veritable relational dataset, complete with a schema and multiple tables. Messages would be organized into pages, each page representing a node in a b tree, as in a normal rdbms. You can add, edit, and delete rows as necessary, and just send the binary encoding of the database over the wire directly. The utility of this system is obvious: a client could, for example, read an entire database from one server, add a row to a table (without parsing the rest of the message, which are in other tables on other pages), and forward the new database directly to another server. Being able to quickly edit even large datasets in this way would be a huge boon.
Currently Social Media Management tools like Hootsuite provide a link shortner so it's relatively easier for them to integrate a service like http://snip.ly/ however they don't.
The product I'm thinking to create will allow anyone to manage, split test their pop ups and promote themselves using a service like snip.ly. An analytics module will accompany the product so all the data can be meaningfully used to enhance the campaigns.
Hope I was able to clearly explain my idea. Would detail out some more if anyone is interested.
Now think about how cool it would be to have the type of frozen fly-around video that you see in moves like The Matrix. In fact, it should be super easy to create such a thing. Instead of just a photo, why can't we have a frozen moment in time, virtually in 3d?
In fact, I first thought of this idea in terms of wedding photography (an industry in need of a lot of innovation, btw.)
What I propose is a "string of cameras" that you can easily place anywhere, and will simultaneously shoot a photo. All of those photos are then instantly turned into a video.
Cameras have become low-cost enough that a product like this could be produced at a mass market price. Yes, it is a niche product, but so is the Go Pro. But, the best argument for this idea is that it would be really damn fun to play with one.
Someone, please steal this idea. All I ask is that you make it happen.
I hate throwing away food and often buy food I already have or that my girlfriend has bought. I have been trying to think of ways to monitor what food is at home and to reduce the amount of food wastage in our home.
I think an app that allows you to scan shopping receipts, the contents of which are automatically loaded into a database and synced across multiple apps would be very useful.
It could be monetized using the freemium model, e.g. more complex functionality the more you pay and also by integrating with online shopping engines such as instacart.
Any feedback on this greatly appreciated.
It would be fun to build the fitbit and basis integrations. Also, Randall Munroe offered a different approach: http://xkcd.com/1109/ :)
Supports multiparty OTR, etc.
Server doesn't see message contents. Ephemeral key exchange via OTR (hence supports perfect forward secrecy), though of course there's always the problem of trusting the fingerprint, i.e. someone (e.g. the server) can just MitM the whole thing.
So ideally, one should verify the OTR fingerprints of the other parties via some secondary channel.
You can also run the server on your own infrastructure.
> key exchange can be done with RSA
any particular reason for RSA, and not ECDH key exchange?
errata: mpOTR (as implemented by cryptocat) does not seem to support PFS right now, which is quite a big deal.
Based on a few sources, fraud has been staying around 1% of e-commerce revenues.
Skimming through and reading each open source project to figure out exactly what it does or having to read code, install it, or run it in some form just to get a better idea is a pain in the ass (personal opinion). It would be awesome to have a way to go through projects fast and _see_ what they're about before starring at their repo. Reading descriptions is not as awesome as seeing the product when possible.
Would allow discovery of new good content that hasn't employed growth hacks and will also differentiate between equally rated content.
https://aeolipyle.co (algorithm complete -- need to find good use for it.)
In terms of algorithm it's got around issues of merging incomplete Condorcet elections (as not everyone will compare or rank every item) and clustering.
Turning these partial elections into a single order ranking.
Essentially, you do binary search-insertion into a list, where the comparison function is a prompt to the user asking "Is A better than B?" (If it's too difficult to judge "betterness" between two items, you could just as easily swap in a different comparison. "Is A funnier than B?")
One thing that people always ask when I mention this is: "What if A and B are equal?" Well, then you answer no, because A is not better than B. If your answers are consistent, then A and B will end up next to each other in the list.
What you're describing technically would work when each person compares every item (and would fall into the domain of condorcet methods).
However in practice the election becomes a graph (rather than list or x/y table) with cyclical dependencies and conflicting comparisons -- it becomes quite hard to resolve -- but it can be.
Cyclical/conflicting comparisons are a function of faulty users, the algorithm can't take the blame for that! ;)
It's super annoying that to keep up with your subscriptions on YouTube you have to click on each channel and manually work out which videos you've seen and which you haven't.
- think about how google maps show you the time a given route would take in the current traffic. What I want is the possibility to see what the time would be in a future date and time, based on historical data (no, google maps does not have this);
I know that's ambiguous, and I'm not sure how it'd be implemented. But I often listen to podcasts when working from home and often wish for a way to consume Hacker News in the same way.
An actual tech news column with reporters and a sleek website and or maybe a podcast here and there
I mean seriously why hasn't that happened yet
Not exactly a startup idea, but something that can be useful, eh?