The number of issues surrounding the idea (customs, legal issues, etc.) are obvious, and the discussions around them reminds me of the questions thrown at many of the other major sharing economy start-ups initially (Uber, AirBnB, et al.), but with a good team and some experimentation they will figure them out, as other major startups have done and continue to do.
People who have spent a good chunk of time in countries outside the US, already know people have been informally doing this en masse for a _long_ time. I have family in in West Africa who would be using this years ago if available, and I have lived in Asia, and other countries where every time I travel there are friends and friends of friends who ask me to buy and carry goods on their behalf, in both directions.
To me it seems Shypmate is just creating a formal system for these actions to take place, and if successful, will make it more efficient, useful, and available to more people while extracting some value for themselves (as any startup seeking profitability should).
Good luck to the team. I think there is a lot of potential here.
> The number of issues surrounding the idea (customs, legal issues, etc.) are obvious, and the discussions around them reminds me of the questions thrown at many of the other major sharing economy start-ups initially (Uber, AirBnB, et al.), but with a good team and some experimentation they will figure them out.
The rules Uber and AirBNB were flouting aren't generally criminal. Smuggling, OTOH...
> People who have spent a good chunk of time in countries outside the US, already know people have been informally doing this en masse for a _long_ time.
People do this into the US informally, too. And its true that many governments don't seem to worry too much about informal importation of items for acquaintances that are within the existing allowances for personal use, but which are actually imported for acquaintances (and, IIRC, many actually have specific allowances for this if the importer is a local citizen, rather than a foreign traveler), technically for trade in that the receiver often ends up reimbursing the importer with perhaps a small premium.
OTOH, its really unlikely that any government is going to turn a blind eye to a massive, commercial, advertised end-run around its customs duties, or treat anyone they catch involved in such an operation gently.
> To me it seems Shypmate is just creating a formal system for these actions to take place
Formalizing informal exchanges often has substantial adverse legal consequences. Observing that gold-digging exists and is visibly practiced doesn't making opening an overt brothel a good idea.
I wish the team luck; but I think that most of that luck will occur if they pivot hard away from their current tactics.
Governments don't really care about informal smuggling (e.g. somebody bringing a laptop with them, and leaving it behind) because it's not happening at scale and it's impossible to police. But governments are going to care deeply about a formalized smuggling organization that beats market prices by evading import duties and VAT.
If this gets any traction, expect all inbound luggage to be searched for anything wrapped in shipmates packaging; and for it to be seized and the individual carrying it to be fined. It won't go well.
And the founders should not expect to ever visit home again... they'll get arrested when they step off the plane.
"expect all inbound luggage to be searched for anything wrapped in shipmates packaging"...ok so wouldn't the couriers then just wait until after they've left customs and their destination airport to wrap the items in the SHYPMATE packaging ?
Are you trying to sound like you can't think or am I just that good at solving REALLY REALLY basic problems ?
"And the founders should not expect to ever visit home again..." ...And if you've been to Nigeria, you'll know that the founders won't lose too much sleep because of this.
" they'll get arrested when they step off the plane."...if their operation is so big that the Nigerian authorities are aware of who they are, the founders won't be arrested, customs agents will just ask for bribes. It's as simple as that.
To anyone reading this, if you've never been to Nigeria, don't have family living in Nigeria or aren't from the 3rd world, please save yourself the embarrassment of proving why America's educational system graduates its student to college at least 2 or 3 years later than Nigeria's (http://www.nairaland.com/12959/how-does-nigerian-education-w...) by not commenting on this post.
I can speak to the power of shadowing for improving spoken language ability. If you check out techniques discussed on the How To Learn Any Language forum  where many of the foremost polyglots and hyperpolyglots hangout, you'll see that Shadowing and L-R are basically accepted as fundamental techniques.
It takes real determination to correctly shadow though, like patio11 said you need to reproduce the sample _exactly_. This can cause you to spend an hour trying to perfect <5min of speech. But it's extremely rewarding.
For example, when I was learning Mandarin I chose a 20 episode (1hr each) tv show as my shadowing material. It took close to half a year of working on it almost every night to finish. But afterwards I had "somehow" developed a deep sense of what words/phrases/idioms/etc _felt right_ to say when speaking and how to say them in that oh-so-close-to-native like way. The topic has been extensively discussed on the learn any language forums. But suffice to say, if you want to improve your spoken ability, doing a lot of shadowing would help.
Seems I might be the only one confused about your wording, do you mean the top 10 articles on the front page, or top 10 comments within an article?
In answer to both questions, I do both. I usually go through the articles from #1 to ~#120, reading articles I find interesting, and usually reading all the HN comments for that article too (you can learn a ton from reading more than just the top couple of comments).
Sounds like this approach would suck up a lot of time, but HN submission topics are often pretty narrow, and my interests are somewhat narrow too, so I usually only end up reading only 4-5 HN articles or less a day.
This is great. It's crazy how huge the Who is Hiring thread has become since it began on HN. Browsing it has gone from a quick scan through to a time consuming process, even using Ctrl + F and other shortcuts.
I've been looking forward to a tool that would make going through the posts easier, so very happy to see this!
Seems like DataRobot is building their team directly from Kaggle's leaderboard . Yet another top Kaggle competitor the article doesn't mention who joined DataRobot is Xavier Conort, who was ranked #1 for a very long time.
I'm very curious to see how they go about automating preprocessing and identifying algorithms to use, as I thought this step was part of the hard-to-automate magic that separates your data scientists from data analyst/statistician/etc.?
As a reference for anyone reading, South Korea has a population of a bit less than 50 million. 20 million credit card details stolen means that just under half of the country's population was affected..
There is something to be said about the drawbacks of living in such a small but highly networked society (esp. in S. Korea where the entire country has a particular 'small town' feel) but I do not have the energy to organize and put my thoughts to keyboard at the moment.
I would say Coursera's "Computing for Data Analysis" and "Data Analysis" courses, taught by JHU's Robert Peng and Jeff Leek respectively, were great introductions to the field using R. Both courses are over now, but you might be able to find archived content on the Coursera sites or some of the vids on YouTube.
The courses also pointed you to many additional resources that should do a lot to supplement your learning.
After that, you should have a good foundation to self-direct your learning by studying relevant texts (like the two you already picked up) and finding data sets you can play with to just see what you can do and push your skills further.
"Nothing really replaces the experience of having a wall of books you have read and curated". I strongly second that.
As a long-time avid reader, over the past decade its been an interesting change going from a wholly physical library to mostly digital, thanks to my Galaxy Note and Kindle.
But something I truly miss is having friends come over and curiously rifle through the books on my shelf and the conversations that were started as they asked about each one (as well as the opportunity to show-off a bit).
Almost as nice an experience was, sneaking a peek at the cover of the book a guy sitting next to me on the subway/bus was reading and going on to discover that it is another good read.
So far, none of the digital bookstores/libraries have been able to sufficiently reproduce this experience for me.. though I have hope they, or something else, will be able to in the near future.
Until then, I will keep a physical copy of any favorites on my shelf for that next curious mind.
I've had many walls of books for many decades, and can only remember a couple incidents where anyone ever poked through them.
Now, I'm in the process of cutting them up, running them through a scanner, and throwing them in the recycling bin. I have apps for ipod and kindle that enable me to browse the books on my lan, and I enjoy poking through them that way from whereever I am in the house.
I'm looking forward to the day that I can store the entire thing on my ereader. So far, that would be 70Gb, but I expect it to rise by at least a factor of 10.
Almost all my friends come over make a beeline for my library and start poking around.
Sometimes, I look at a person and pick out a book that they need. Maybe it is because I am gushing over book X and pressing it into their hands.
If you don't have friends poking around in your library, it's probably best to drop it into the cloud. Those collections get heavy. That's why I am thinking of up designs to draw people into the virtual library.