Saturday, December 5, 2009

999 ideas

Ran across this site the other day that lists 999 ideas for starts ups. Lots of fun reading through it debating the merits of ideas or different spin you could take on them.

305: Website where musicians can collaborate on lyrics - Looking around what exists today is extremely primitive compared to what the software world has with sites like GitHub.

158: Create book trailers for small publishers/authors to place on YouTube - Making trailers always seemed like a very fun thing to do and here is an opportunity to do that :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

iphone mechanical watch

Simulate a mechanical watch from the ground up. Users can look through the watch mechanics layer by layer down to the main spring. Requires the user wind it up every day. Costs $3000. $5000 version includes the ability to wind the watch just by walking and the results of your motion. Go through the list of features high end watches have and plunder.

Friday, November 20, 2009

iPhone app showing your car's MPG

A little iPhone application + cable that connects to your car and shows the current MPG.

After getting my G35 in 04 I would often use the MPG display and very quickly learned how to drive better. Most cars do not come with built in MPG displays though so if they had this app they could save gas and thus save money which would pay for the app many times over.

Update: found an iphone app that does this :)

"Pay an expert to review my code" website

A website that would get together people who can review code and people who need code reviewed.

New to a language, library or toolkit having someone review your code can be extremely useful. Paying someone to go through your code and writeup notes on bugs, use of deprecated api, bad api, security bugs, code style can very valuable. When releasing a library having an API expert read through your api or a security expert look over for any issues can help.

It could be karma based, it could be actual $, not sure. Getting people used to the idea that they are writing code to be read by a human and that a human will review everything is a good thing.

Library size profiling tool

A desktop application that when given a library or application binary will show a big square that is subdivided into areas in proportion to the size of the child objects. Users could drill down and select on an object for more information. This would be very handy for determining what part of your application is causing the executable/library size to be so large. One of those tools no one would make, but if it existed everyone would use.

Monday, November 9, 2009

audio/conversation splitting

Given a recording in a room of multiple people talking output multiple files each one containing the separate audio stream. Also generate a realtime 3d map of the different audio sources and where they move over time. Would this require 1, 2 or 3 microphones?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Using web ads as a massive computer

Web ads allow for javascript and even flash these days. Given that you buy million's of impressions (based on a .001% return or something ridiculously small you get a ton of impressions for cheap) you are not only buying real estate on the users screen, but buying their cpu power. Assuming that the smaller the ad size the less it costs I should be able to buy a ton of ads for very cheap if the ad doesn't even show on the screen! Combine this with some problem that is easily distributed and you could get a cheap massive computer.

Update:, and discussion of plura and a biz model around this on hacker news.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Community Live Transformers Toy Movie

Expanding on the previous idea of a Live Toy Transformers Movie except rather then having one person (me presumably) do the entire thing turn it into a community project where everyone gets to put together a minute or two of the film in their own style with their own toys. From the extremely ruff and crude to the polished (with votes for what goes in?) it would probably come together rapidly, rally and amuse the community.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

iPhone apps

Bird identifier
- Take a photo or record a sound, tell me what bird it is

Puzzle solver
- Take a photo of the box and the piece, highlight where the piece probably goes.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pick The BoardGame

Last year I blogged about pick the transformer which is a site that ranks the original transformers by showing you two toys and having you pick between them. The basic premise of the site is that ranking a large list is best done by having users choose between two items then having users rank each item 1-10. After only a few hundred votes the basic order was found and while the experiment was a success it never had a full blown test with hundreds of thousands of votes.

The past two years or so I have gotten into board games and the ranking list on boardgamegeek often helps determine what games I will buy next. The list looks like it might have some of the problems that were highlighted in my blog. It requiring each user to rank 1-10 for each game with very little help in the way of ranking. While all of the top 30 games are very good I do not think that the data and ranking system can provide an accurate way to rank the them in comparison to each other.

Combining pick the transformer and boardgame geek we can make a site to rank board games. The default webpage would list the top 15 board games. On the right hand side there is an input box to let you put in your boardgamegeek user name with a "Rank Now!" button. After clicking the button it will fetch the rss feed of the board games you have played/ranked and then show you two boardgames to pick between. Using your choices it will generate a personalized ranking of all of your games which can be compared to your boardgamegeek ranking list. The same data will be used to update the main rank of all games.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Live Action Toy Transformer movie

Take the audio from the original Transformers cartoon movie and then reshoot each shot using the toys. Either the originals, updated versions, customs, and anything in between. There are a fair amount of accessories that are Movie gimmicks. The alternators hotrod has a fishing pole, you can get a Unicron head from the Takara Primus. There are even 3rd party Spike and Daniel with an Exo-Suit set. Close up shots could use the masterpiece toys, shots with the city can use the worlds smallest transformers to go with the Metroplex which wasn't that big. Overall probably pretty doable. It wouldn't have to be stop motion and could very much play on the idea that it is toys being pulled by a string or similar gags. Overall it would probably be a ton of work and entertaining to watch once. As far as distribution goes it could probably only be shown at botcon. The video would be a parody, but I don't know about the usage of the audio.

Less work and a better first attempt would be to just create a five minutes sequence like this. From this it should be clear how much fun a project like this would be.