# Ideas

Started on August 24, 2011

This page contains all ideas, designs, essays, phenomena, and projects that I've found interesting, inspiring, or worth exploring further. Crossed out items are those that, some time after the idea inception, was completed (by me or someone else). Bolded items are ones that I find particularly interesting.

• Program that takes the friends of any given Facebook user and stores the list in a database and subsequently takes the friends of each of their friends (eliminating mutual friends) in order to discover the rate of growth of the network after starting from a given node. Objective is to compare rate of growth to the postulated 6 degrees of separation between any two individuals. Additionally, generate formulas to compare the interconnectedness of a node and its connections (in a given section of a network and of the entire network).
• Build on the code for the Facebook network analysis, but use Facebook's "poke" functionality to poke everyone on the site. Created the MyTest Subject Facebook account and poked over 50,000 people using this method starting with my friend Matt at NCSSM. Drove friends completely crazy with trying to figure out who ran the account. It was great.
• Similar to the Facebook network analysis program, program that uses words listed as synonyms in a common dictionary resource to form a network and then calculate the number of words that can be reached from any given word through its synonyms, and its synonyms' synonyms, etc.
• In an attempt to understand the nature of permutations, found all the permutations of a four-digit binary number (0001,0010, etc). Noticed that if you tally the number of times a given number of 1's appeared for each permutation, you would get a much higher occurrence of two 1's than four or zero 1's. Also found that if you graph these tallies, the results had a bell shape. Wrote a a program that does this tallying for a much longer binary number and found similar results. Hypothesized that if you were to take the limit as the length of the permuted binary number approached infinity, would get a perfect normal distribution curve. Brought this hypothesis to Mr. Friedman, he said it was valid and pointed out that had been calculating rows of Pascal's triangle.
• Inspired by an episode of "The Office" (employees watching a DVD logo bounce on the TV): I wrote a program that models the trajectory of a circle bouncing within a square. Observed the periodicity of the circle's movement given varying starting angles and positions within the square should try producing chaotic (aperiodic) behavior by expanding this program to other shapes bouncing within an ellipse.
• Prompted by our Mr. Nelson writing down student's birthdays on the first day of 12th grade and observing that my birthday fell on the same day as another student's, decided to investigate the Birthday Paradox: a phenomenon I was familiar with but did not understand intuitively at that time. The Birthday Paradox is the observation that the probability that any two individuals in a group have the same birthday is higher than one would expect (50% chance in a group of 23 people). Decided to try to represent the problem geometrically. For the combinations of birthdays two people could have, imagined a 365x365 plane in which each point was a birthday combination. Noticed that the diagonal of this square contained birthdays that fell on the same day (also noticed that this "plane" wasn't really a plane at all but rather a set of points that all fell on the same plane). Expanded to three people (thus, requiring three dimensions) and found, out of a cube, three planes intersecting planes contained the birthdays that fell on the same day. Eventually came to completing the far more complicated four dimensional problem. Each time, results were consistent with the results of the preexisting convoluted equation used for this computation: `(n! * (365 choose n))/365^n`
• Investigate of the geometric meaning of the integral of `sin(x)` as it pertains to the unit circle
• Defining three-dimensional objects using transformations of two-dimensional shapes
• Animated electromagnetic field produced by two charges as one's position varies
• Program that plays a probability based gambling game that dynamically improves its performance
• Representing Tangent, Secant, Cosecant, and other trigonometric functions as line segments on the unit circle
• Book introduction: The Art of Nonconformity Finished the intro.
• Investigation of the rate of divergence of improper integrals
• Program that calculates definite integrals and uses the results to find minimums and maximums of the inputed function
• Investigate of the set produced by dividing a Fibonacci number by the sum of all previous terms
• Measuring the period of the length of Fibonacci numbers
• Graphing 3D electric force vectors
• Examination of optimal circle packing
• Understanding the limit definition of `e` and compound interest as the interest of interest
• Investigation of the spiral produced by the parametric binomial expansion of complex numbers
• Program that creates and graphs a bifurcation diagram (allowing the observation of the aperiodic behavior dynamical systems are capable of)
• Program that simulates the Monty Hall problem
• Investigation and analysis of the cognitive dissonance engendered from my transition from typing in a QWERTY keyboard layout to a Dvorak layout
• Investigation of the geometric relationship between prime numbers
• Prank: write Applescript that generates random phone numbers and add @text to each and send message
• Explore inverses, how they go about 1 on the number line. `0-1-infinity`, look at `sqrt(2)`, as `1/sqrt(2) = sqrt(2)/2`
• Explore the series: `1 - 1/2 + 1/3 - 1/4 + 1/5` Later learned that this is called the "Alternating Harmonic Series".
• Understand why the above series is `ln(2)`
• If one chooses a list of random numbers, is there always a transformation that can be applied to get from one number to the next?
• Analyze human behavior program by writing a program that displays a series of red circles which the user clicks in no particular order. Allow for multiple trials. Compare trials within individuals and find patterns between a group.
• Understand the derivative of `e^x` and `ln(x)` intuitively. Also, the derivative of `sin(x)`
• If you have some 45, 45, 90 triangle, if you split it up iteratively, what do you get? It starts with two 45 45 90's, then on the second split (yielding 4 triangles), it seems like you get two 45, 45 90, and two 30, 60, 90's Actually, it seems like this didn't actually happen.
• Debunking Astrology: write a program that has a database of some predictions about a person's day and then randomly spits out one of them.
• Think about how concavity affects the mean value theorem and the typical method for finding averages.
• Think about the mean value theorem geometrically for dimensions higher than two. (Think about how you take the integral of `x^2` and what that means in 3D space as `1/3 x^3`
• Investigate Collatz conjecture
• Is there a way to get from one square to another square, one cube to another cube? (8 to 27 to 64) or (4 to 9 to 16).
• I think I've figured out the latter, it's just the sum of the numbers between the root of the square (from 4 to 9 you add 2+3 to 4, 9 to 16 you add 3+4 to 9).
• Look into substitution systems `(0->10, 1->01)`, try on WolframAlpha first.
• Can non-trigonometric functions have a frequency and period?
• So, you're given the task of filling up an entire page with the word "paint" on a computer...now, you want to do this in the most time efficient way and you're able to copy and paste, what's the best way to do this? Given a certain amount of time required to copy and paste? What happens as this time increases? Is it simply exponential growth with base 2 (you start with one "paint" and then you copy and paste all you have every time)? As you increase the time it takes to copy/paste it seems like the number of paints you would want to accrue before only pasting (no copying) decreases. Sure you could reselect a half-page worth of "paints" and be done but what if that takes longer than copy and pasting a fourth of the page twice (or whatever you currently have on your clipboard)?
• Make a program that will flash the current sum of a convergent series as a pie graph as the number of terms increases.
• What's the correlation between the number of friends a user has and the number of pictures they have on Facebook. Also, gender with friend count, gender with photo count. I think this can be done by extracting the source code of the page and parsing to find the number (this should work with friends and pictures).
• Conduct experiment of apparent sizes as a function of distances from objects.
• Investigate the data/video from the above experiment.
• Relative sizes of infinity. Is this possible? Can I come up with a way to denote the difference between the amount of lines orthogonal to a line and the amount orthogonal to a plane? Learned about cardinality in higher level math classes.
• The game "Lights off" has some very interesting properties. I'm not sure, but if you press all of the lights and after pressing all of them that are currently on, you get another pattern that's symmetric. If you keep doing this (I've only reached this experimentally only once), you end up with a pattern that returns to itself (this is very similar to the Collatz conjecture). Now, which patterns (if not all) do this? Now, it seems like the order you press the lights doesn't matter. Test this by writing a program. Also, try different lights off schemes (alternatives to reversing the state of all of the lights around the light pressed). Understand what you've come to call "base patterns" more (a base pattern is a pattern where, when you tap all of the lights that are on in that pattern, everything is turned off and that level is completed). Try this on a smaller grid before anything.
• Make a Mathematica program/animation that shows the values of `sin(x)`, `cos(x)`, `sec(x)`, etc on the unit circle as theta varies. Then, have the ability to highlight two functions, one of which is the derivative of the other. If it's `sec^2` or something, then draw out the area of that square.
• As a Facebook program, can we look at all of a users friends and strictly the number of mutual friends they have with each person and from that determine the groups of people the user is connected with. For instance, I have SVSM, Woods, and MCS.
• This is just a question: just as there are primary colors which mixing any intensity you can get any color you want on the spectrum, can you do this with scents as well? Try for other senses? Touch, taste, hearing.
• 2012

• I've just come across a linking of some of the websites I like very much but aren't very popular at all. This was through their Facebook pages. One site, Damninteresting, liked another site, engineerguy, both of which are very unpopular. Considering I happen to like both of them, and one likes the other, I'm wondering if there's an internet taste (or taste in general) that I have and share with others. These two sites aren't very similar in content, which is why I'm thinking this. I'd like to construct some experiment to circumscribe my internet taste, what other sites may I like very much? How can I use the current sites I like a lot to figure that out? This will probably involve some AppleScript program that URL mines. For each URL I get on a page, I should assign it a value based on all the URLs on the page (the more URLs on the page, the less each is worth). Another interesting thing about the website idea for finding users websites they may like: if looking through their history, finding sites that they've visited more than once but pretty much completely independently (like, they visited it once and then again two years later). Maybe look at the sites that led up to those sites? Also just notice those sites heavily. Look at `related:time.com` via Google search to get a sense. Can use `intitle:interesting`. `filetype:pdf`, asterisk '*' can be used for wildcard. Could consider using the reading level parameter. `inurl:interesting`, `intext:cool` can use pipe, `|`, as an OR operator. More search operators: http://www.googleguide.com/advanced_operators_reference.html
• Make a program similar to the Word and Facebook network program and make a Wikipedia network analysis program. Abandoned due to unoriginality. Is there a way you can make a network of music taste?
• Counting in the sums of squares, what if you have `1 = 0,0,1` and `4 = 0,1,0` and `9 = 1,0,0`
• Read The Math Book again and mark the articles you do not understand.
• Investigate the angle formed between the minute and hour hand as a function of time.
• Investigate wave compositions; we can get sinusoidal waves (that can be described by beats) by combining trig functions such `1/2 * sin(2x) * cos(x)`. Notice that as the coefficients of the `x`'s in these two trigs becomes more disparate (`sin(100x) * cos(x)`, for example), you get much better defined beats.
• This isn't really a project I could do, but what if we looked at internet traffic by pages visited? If a user visits one site, what other sites are they likely to visit? Could we recommend sites to users with this data? Could we predict shifts in website traffic? Could we predict the collapse of one website or another?
• Possibly use more data APIs? Like the Halo Reach Stats API?
• What about representing networks as a bunch of masses with strings connecting them? This would allow each node to have a different mass and each connection to have a different strength (spring constant). If a network were represented like this, what would happen?
• How about a game that's based on the physics system I created (balls bouncing around a room) that allows the user (on a touch screen) to specify the starting velocity (by drawing an arrow) of each of the masses and they are trying to collect as many dots on the screen as they can in the least time?
• Make a program that creates a grid of all integers from 0 to 100 on either side so that it's the Cartesian product `(a,b)` and then fill in the squares where a divides b.
• Write a program that starts with randomly oriented people, and then have an algorithm that models their turning so that they attempt, as a group, to all face the same direction (this is from observing a dance at Tara's prom and how everyone had to face the same way at the start of some song).
• Explore numbers such that `w^x + y^x = z^x`, and then find the relation for `x+1`.
• For slowing down speech (playing a video with someone talking at half speed), perhaps we should not slow down the entire audio, but just double the silence between phrases (double the length of the pauses) or maybe just the pauses between words? Maybe that would make it more natural.
• Write a program that monitors the number of seeds on ThePirateBay of a magazine that is released weekly. Observe the rise and fall of seeds on and after the release date of the magazine. Try to decipher a pattern in the rise and fall.
• Periodicity of the length of `2^n`? How are the number of digits affected by a multiplying factor? The simplest is multiplying by 10 which leads to +1 digit each time.
• Write a program that uses an API to model the traceroute tool visually.
• For a problem like [image lost] imagine trying to equivalate the `x^2` term with the `x^4` term by finding the best coefficient so that the distance is 80 or something. It's like this: you've got `x^4` which is growing really quickly relative to `x^2`, and you have to find some coefficient of `x` so that [lost].
• Imagine four sliders on top of each other. One moves at a rate of `x`, one at `x^2`, and then `x^3` and `x^4`. Now imagine strings connecting each of them to their neighbors. What's the tension of the strings as a function of `x`? What happens when you change the spacing between them? What if you make the spacing between them defined by a function?
• To what extent can someone rearrange the characters of a word before it's not immediately recognizable what the word was? To what extent is this dependent on word length, vowel frequency, etc?
• Be able to make notes on an email thread that only you could see. For instance, I sent Tara a section of a picture that she was supposed to identify but when she responds I want to be able to see the original photo so I should be able to attach a note to that thread with a link to the picture.
• Make a UNC busses app. Abandoned due to unoriginality.
• Autocomplete acronym. You start typing an acronym and the engine generates many possible acronyms in the same style Google autocompletes search queries. The engine is based on frequency of sequential words primarily/exclusively.
• Quick game app to make on iPhone: display a shape on the screen (circle, triangle, etc) and have the user try to trace the drawing as fast as they can and as accurately as they can. Algorithm for points due to accuracy and speed.
• When I close a tab with a YouTube video on it, I want my browser to remember where I was in the video in case I want to come back to that spot. It doesn't necessarily have to force resume (when I renavigate to that page, for instance from my "recently closed tabs" menu, it doesn't necessarily have to play exactly where I left off although I think that would be preferable in most instances), but it'd be nice to have the option of either choosing to resume where you left off or starting over.
• Model the swinging of the little chains outside of Julianna's room. Or any string that has multiple masses on it throughout its length. It's a dynamical system.
• Create an iPhone application in which the user can experiment with right triangles and pythagorean triples (an exploration app).
• Create a Java program that attempts to figure out patterns from user generated numbers. The person just puts in numbers and either in realtime or post entry, the computer finds patterns in the numbers (vary periodicity method, sum method, etc). If it's realtime, then the computer could tell the user: "Hey, you have this pattern:" and then the user could try to break that pattern. Is there a way you could have the computer assist the user in generating patternless data?
• Relationship between certain geometric progressions `1,3,9,27,81` and squares of numbers `11^2 = 121` and the sum of that progression is 121.
• App that shuts down all communications for phone, email, web email, etc, just so you can do something that still requires internet but you need to focus. Already created.
• App idea for sending text messages at certain times.
• Are there a finite number of forms of energy? Tara says no.
• Continum Hypothesis: you don't like it. One can assume that it's either true or false? That there does or doesn't exist a set of numbers of cardinality between the whole and the decimals?
• Any given individual in a population is jealous of a certain set of people, and then there exists another set of people who are jealous of that individual. Is it correct to say that these sets are disjoint?
• You're given some object that's the collection of x number of pieces. You know how many pieces. You know the total value of the object. Each of the pieces is deducted in mass/price by a certain amount given by some arithmetic/geometric operation. The new total value is calculated and stated. What can you tell about the pieces?
• What would a model look like of the August 1st add/drop at UNC? Is there some order/predictability?
• Make a graph that shows "time I wanted to be able to eat candy any time I wanted" for ages 5-10 then for the rest of the graph older than 10 show "time I wanted to be with Tara any time I wanted". Then a parallel graph is "when my desires were satiated". Show this graph to start after Tara and I get married.
• Wrapping problem toilet paper varying radii.
• Traveling salesman problem. Make least distance between inputted all locations.
• Figure out a way to allow for sorting by two categories by applying some algorithm by weighting each. So for instance, if I wanted to look at large recent files, I could apply this sort.
• I told myself to write down "non-circular wraps", could this be the same thing as the toilet paper but over a square?
• Examine why the discriminant of a quadratic. What does it mean? `at^2+bt+c`, the discriminant is `b^2-4ac`. Why does [lost]?
• What's the relation between the number of people affected by something and the number of tweets about it? Is there a general ratio? Is this ratio predicting in certain realms?
• Related to the problem with `x^4` and `x^2` above, how many `x^2`'s does it take to match an `x^4` term in a given interval?
• 2013

• Make an app/service that takes an image and finds the highest quality version of that image using Google Image Search (this would probably involve using their search API or something)
• Have an electronic white board that, when the professor taps on it, will start to transcribe what he says. He taps again to stop this.
• Write a program that tracks the price of flights to Boston from Thursdays to Mondays at the specified time. Take this data from the next Thursday all the way to a few Thursdays away.
• You plug in the time something's due, how long it has to be (page or character count), and it'll tell you if you're on track to finishing on time, how fast you need to be typing, etc. Not sure if it'll actually be conducive to making a deadline, but it might just be a funny procrastinator's joke. It could also prompt you if you switch to Facebook or something. Completed a variant of this idea: estipaper.com.
• An app or internet service that allows you to connect with someone either randomly or known and play music for them. A way of sharing music. Can get music from YouTube or from personal library. A lot of music is sharing it with others. (Discovered that this is sort of already done, but poorly: wavelength.fm, sort of done and shutdown: turntable.fm). How about roundnote.com? Can use Firebase as the backend. Okay so what we do is you match people based on that mentoring in their five top favorite songs right now or something and then once they find a match that you love them to freely chat and share other music that they like that way you have a better sorting with than just doing based on genre they want to hear. Update (1/2/16: Emma said her friend had an idea for a live stream music service that essentially let you listen to what other people, such as your friends, were listening to (live). You couldn't control their music, but you could just listen to what they were listening to. People would definitely listen to celebrities' streams.)
• Thought of an app idea. Browser extension more like it. Making notes on actual web documents. So when you visit that document again, you see those notes. Wouldn't be surprised if something like that already existed. Annotateit.org sort of already exists.
• Idea for Gmail: give suggestions on which email of a person to email based on how many emails you've sent that email address and how recently you've sent that email an email.
• Machine learning: so many times a day I'm sure UNC faculty in whatever department send out a similar email to students asking the same thing. Why not automate that? Give a program access to the emails coming in and the emails going out, and let it start to anticipate responses. Then give it free reign to respond to people immediately if it has high enough confidence it's giving the right response. Created a system for doing this at Coursicle for our customer support, although this idea had been forgotten by then and was just rethought of independently.
• Create a pad that absorbs the heat of urine in urinals and stores it for heating other water, such as the water used to wash your hands. Essentially this could operate as a circle of clean water (that's used for washing your hands) that's inside a tank of urine and the water on the inside is being heated by the urine.
• An app called portal, that you install on your computer and you can use it to send large files from your computer to someone else's. On the Mac, it would just be sitting in the dock and you drag a file onto it and then if you only have one person configured, it would just send it to that person and it could have a "sending" indicator on the icon or something. If you had a few people, you would drop it or hold the file over the icon and then a selection of your portal friends would pop up and you would release it on their name. Apple implemented this with AirDrop, although this idea was for operating across the Internet as well.
• Another gimick idea: write some app that you have on your computer and its interface is just a button, but when you press it, it sends someone a message to all of their devices. So if you wanted to send them a reminder of something, you could send "Take Cosmo out!" to their iMessage, email, Skype, etc., all with just a click.
• Automatic note generator: when you're in class, this pad will listen to what the professor is saying and create notes for you. It could be on a tablet where you can correct it when it's wrong or add notes of your own.
• Stats app: an app that just displays stats daily, most popular statistics. They could be about unemployment, about college graduation rates, anything. Make stats more interesting to people.
• A desktop application that allows you to piggyback off of unprotected networks while traveling in a car. It automatically handles switching networks when it detects you're going out of range, it would also require you to make web requests through it (so it would have to have a browser component) so that when you made a request while you were going out of range/disconnected, the request would be kept alive until it succeeded upon connecting to a network
• 2014

• Good idea, simple. Mac extension that allows you to attach two windows together. So for instance, attach Terminal to your Sublime Text Editor. They both stay frontmost at the same time. Updated 8/29/14: How would this work? Drag one window's menu bar onto the menu bar of another window, and then an interface comes up for placing the position.
• How about the ability to tag emails before/after you send them for easier searching/filtering?
• What about installing little radios around the U.S. in safe boxes in public places that can play music. So people hear it when they're waiting to cross the street. Funded by getting paid by artists that want their songs played on all your devices.
• I have an idea for structuring a Wiki, sort of. Say you have like a bunch of interconnected topics, like Wikipedia. And say you're trying to understand something, well you could define dependencies in a way that if someone said "I want to understand term x", it would give you a list of all the things you need to read first in order to understand term x. Because everything will likely have dependencies, you would be able to limit how many levels you care about. So imagine a tree where the top is what you want to understand, and then the second level is the immediate prereqs for understanding that, and then each of those have prereqs. Now the printout would just be the prereqs with the title of each topic in a bubble, and then you could a slider on the side that shows how many levels you want to show.
• Observation: When I start listening to a song midway through that I'm familiar with, I am often thrown off as the song sounds completely foreign to me for a few seconds (exact use-case: I close my computer mid-song and come back 2 hours later and resume the song). I was wondering if this has to do with some way the brain stores information/memories?
• Make a website that a user can go to when they want to physically send mail. They lay out what they need electronically and then the site will do the physical mailing for them.
• Fun site: "meunique", they specify various attributes about them and the website dynamically spits out how many people in the world likely fit that same description. As they specify, the number goes down. Name, age, sex, location. The number counts up as the population increases. "howmanylike.me" or "estiperson". Big number in the middle of the page, it decreases as you select attributes listed (on side or above) the number.
• "doesanybodyelse.com", which is just a way you can post things you do to see if anyone else does. Upvoting only. Reddit seems to already do this.
• A website that allows users to reserve their handles on a large number of websites.
• 2015

• If I have kids, I'll set up a whiteboard with a question, possibly math, every other weekday. They'll see it in the morning, and it's never required to solve it, but they can if they want.
• Make a website: willschoolbecancelled.com and willclassesbecancelled.com. Base on snow, etc. classescancelled.com and schoolcancelled.com are also available.
• Another interesting thing about the website idea for finding users websites they may like: if looking through their history, finding sites that they've visited more than once but pretty much completely independently (like, they visited it once and then again two years later). Maybe look at the sites that led up to those sites? Also just notice those sites heavily.
• Fart mapping. Users open the app when they're in a crowd, and press a button when they smell a fart. Using data by other users in the area, the program attempts to determine the origin of the fart.
• Money-based bidding by steps/exercise. Essentially, Fitbit/Jawbone UP but allow putting bets on the fact that you'll beat someone else's step count in a certain time period. For every additional step you/they get than you, you pay them .1 cents (\$1 per extra thousand). Sort of already exists: https://www.linkedin.com/company/2261194?trk=prof-exp-company-name, made by a previous i3 winner.
• Inspired by http://www.technologyreview.com/news/532876/googles-intelligence-designer/. A huge amount of potential in combining neural network learning with reinforcement, I've already thought about this. The problem: you need data to train against. From a company's perspective, this could come from a user interacting with their site. What about using predicting how an individual was going to interact with a page, and testing against how they actually interacted. This could be done for each individual using a website, essentially creating a cognitive profile of individuals users. Could lead to understanding. More information: http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/deepmind-artificial-intelligence-video-games
• I want to talk to a computer before I die.
• I love Apple, it's a fantastic company. Tesla/SpaceX and Google (sometimes) are doing better things (DeepMind). Update 11/27/21: Fuck Elon Musk.
• Create a desktop background for people that just put crap on their desktop. White circles/squares that outline areas to put certain documents. Allow users to customize these desktop backgrounds
• Have an app that an audience can use to crowd-choose the songs that a band plays or that a DJ at a club decides. Motivation for downloading: having a voice in what songs get played. Update 11/27/21: the band/DJ could have a shortlink or there could be one site people go to and then the band could display a code that you type in to enter their "room".
• Website traffic idea: All too often, a startup idea will fail and they won't renew their domain. But, there are still a lot of inbound links to that domain? What about a sort of scheme of buying back those domains and then redirecting them to existing sites for increased PageRank?
• noticeme.com: you enter in the kind of attention you want, and we'll visit LinkedIn profiles with your cookies (thus notifying them of a visit) or even sent automated emails to people who match that description.
• Automated service (for job searching) that will look at available opportunities that match what you want/want skills you have against where your friends work (from Facebook, LinkedIn, email handles) so that you can try to use your friends as references.
• Think about small features that can make an app actually interesting. For instance, this one randomizes music without the user being able to control: http://nathaniel.io/projects/wizzy/
• ex-stalkerapp. Enter in your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend's name, or really anyone's name, and choose from a checklist of what you want to receive updates about. You could select "new relationships", "new photos", "new jobs", "new school", "new location", etc.
• I think Tara had this idea: http://www.nametag.ws/
• understandmenot.com or lecturebetter.com: an iPhone app (can also be accessed via web). Essentially gives real-time feedback for teachers when students aren't understanding what's going on. It's just an "I'm lost button". When the professor notices a certain threshold of the class not understanding a certain point, the professor will be able to repeat that point. So many people don't have the courage to raise their hands and say "I don't understand", and now they don't have to. On a professor's app, the app could record the lecture and give essentially show a graph of student understanding over time. The professor could skip right to 15-30 second periods before students said they weren't understanding. Also, have a button that just says "got it now", the professor can see the improvement rate as they re-explain. Need to make sure that it's as transparent as possible as to not distract the professor. Additional functionality: commenting/question asking system at certain points in the lecture for other students to read.
• Drunk text interpreter based on key spacing/common typos. Tries to infer what they were trying to say.
• I like the idea of http://heeeeeeeey.com/. The redirect is cool and not seen often. What about a site that allows you to type a message to someone, and then send them a starting URL and it'll link through subdomains that spell out the message? It could also be like a "once they view it once, the message goes away" so the message isn't permanent and it's hard for people to know what happened by reading the conversation.
• Hardware product: a strip/cover of flat lights that attach to power cords that flash so that people don't trip over them. They could be activated by sensors that are force sensitive to feet approaching them. (Not sure about power source, but here's an idea not sure of plausibility) they are powered by inserting themselves between the AC outlet and whatever you're plugging in, so they relay as well as steal a small amount of electricity.
• For Class Finder, should view people's LinkedIn profiles who are CIOs at universities as well as Academic Advisers and Registrars. (note as of 11/27/21: this is when we were trying to sell Coursicle to universities)
• An automatic desktop tool that essentially will maximize your backups, by putting all your photos on Amazon for instance if you have unlimited free storage, by putting all documents (PowerPoint, Word, etc.) all on Dropbox.
• Script that will ensure that any link you click on a blacklist (adult sites, etc.) will open up in incognito. Not sure how to do that interception. Would have to be a little download not available in App Store. News worthy, though.
• Extension that ensures YouTube annotations do not show up. Update: already a feature, have to be signed in though.
• Browser extension: based on timing figures out if something that produced audio was auto-played or was in response to you clicking on an element on the page. If it wasn't in response, it'll mute that audio.
• Find out when two of your friend groups connect (on Facebook) via a connection other than you. Or, just two friends in your friends list befriend each other when they don't have a high number of mutual friends. The idea being that it just highlights weird connections that you may not have noticed.
• Facebook essentially allows unlimited backscroll on the ticker. How about a simple app that just tracks a person for you based on your ticker, that way you can see exactly what their Facebook activity was in an easy way.
• Using Natural Language Processing, what about a website that allows you to figure out what the internet's opinion is about a topic. A user would enter a topic, and this parses maybe the top 30 Google results and attempts to figure out the breakdown of support/against for that topic.
• YouTube has a "next" button, which essentially is just skipping to the autoplayed next video. What about a little joke site that plays fun, where you enter in a website and it'll spit out the video after 100 "nexts", or it could tell you how many iterations until you'd find a cat video.
• Browser extension or some sort of plugin that will try to learn your vocabulary based on the words you look up and then provide in-text definitions or annotations for all the words on every web page that it thinks you may not know, allowing you to not have to break the flow of reading.
• Anonymous app for complaining about people near you, but in a constructive way. Many people don't have the gall but they would be polite and talk to the person and ask them to stop. I guess an app that sort of enables that without having to be strong enough to go up to the person. It could work like this: one person on the app posts a complaint, and then another 2 people who have the app have to "endorse" it, and if they do, then everyone in an `x` meter area get a notification that mentions the complaint, that way the person can find out.
• Tiny website with an `iframe` to Apple's site that will skip all the bullshit Apple genius bar pre-stuff so that you get right to the appointment maker. This is for power users and you need to say "only use this if you know that you will require a genius bar appointment"
• Exercise motivator: often through games, could be done through shaming when you don't hit your limit (posts on Facebook), but what about instead of having an actual person check in on you weekly to say you did well or poorly, someone who is actually reviewing the data. Same person every week would be good because that means the exerciser would create a connection with the person and not want to let them down.
• Something to train a little AI: try to make the most items after a given time period. Talked about this before but wanted to solve mathematically, instead do it with AI. You have two operations: copy, and paste. If you press copy, then you select all of the current items and then each time you paste you just are adding the number on the clipboard. The relative delays can vary. Have an AI find the best way to make the most in the smallest time.
• Idea for Facebook app where you guess who made a status from two years ago, maybe multiple-choice maybe not.
• [clearly written while asleep] Some weird sort of like extension for your Mac that keeps track of that automatically adds your last typed a word to your clipboard for something so the artful our it identifies with the sentence or word just that way like if you need to read post it in a different place it's just always there I don't know all right bye
• Make website or some sort of community to empower men to talk about and show feminism. Maybe to make a post from their daily life that they've identified is sexist. Like the incident, and a corresponding explanation for why it's sexist so that other men can go to the site and see how sexism is all around them.
• Web service that helps with repeated debugging. How many times have you hit the same error but don't remember what the fix was? This can look at your search history and try to provide you the right link (the thing it thinks worked) last time you Googled that same term/error.
• Just as a joke which would be newsworthy: package a petabyte of porn and sell it for \$50.
• Some service that will delay certain emails to you by a specified number of days. Say you get an email with similar content/sender every Thursday, but you always deal with it on Saturday, then you would be able to delay it to come into your inbox on Saturday.
• Resumazing is a great idea. How about applying the same sort of thing to essays?
• Make a website that would show how long your package would have taken to delivery had you used the pony express.
• Make a "stop-scroll-jacking campaign". Echoing Marco and Siracusa's complaints, scroll jacking is a terrible disease. Could make a blog post or some sort of post that people should repeat that just contains like 100 popular sites that scroll-jack to raise awareness. Could backfire because that just helps PageRank.
• A device that goes on both sides of bathroom doors to let users know if there's someone about to walk in/out so you don't get a door in the face.
• Cheat sheet maker for tests.
• Record search terms for Google searches for women actresses, look at the suggested added terms and compare to men. Many will be about their sexuality or looks, most likely.
• Make dog trainer where you can teach the dogs to stand on mats that are pressure sensitive that will make a noise that tells the owners if they want food or drink.
• Make a website that can detect if a photo used a filter.
• Really wouldn't be hard to create a Facebook profile that automates adding hundreds of friends, then use it to launch products by doing an invite for them to a marketing page for a site.
• Really only available on Android: instead of a user not being able to text while they're in a car, what about just appending "-Sent while driving" to each of their texts sent at high speeds? This discourages them sending texts, and makes their friends feel bad about texting them while driving because they know the risks.
• Fun App Store challenge: go to your iTunes purchases and find the earliest app that you download that you still actually have on your phone. How far to the front was it? Do you still have the first app you downloaded or was it the 10th?
• Email scraper. Be on a webpage, click and drag a selection to copy emails that are linked in that selection to a comma separated list.
• Autoemail finder. Find an email for a person by name. You input name, it'll scour for email address. It'll list ones it finds, so you can take a guess/verify by searching Google with the email address to make sure it's correct. This is essentially done via a site I use often now, RocketReach.
• Having trouble coming up with ideas for things to make? Just try doing something, anything, manually. While you do so, you'll think of like 100 ways to make your life easier, naturally. For instance, trying to find tech journalists' emails gives a lot of time to think.
• Spam "fight back". It's really annoying to get spam, especially repeat spam. There are a lot of things you can do to get a certain company to stop, but you don't want to have to do them all manually. So, do them all at once. Extension of some kind that will email them with "Unsubscribe" in the subject, and body, and click the link, and email them with "you must obey within 7 days otherwise you will be subject to xyz fine per the CAN-SPAM act", etc. Email clients started to support this eventually.
• Browser extension that's supposed to be funny that just changes all verbs to their antonyms. "See it work" -> "see it fail". "Try it now" -> "ignore it now", or something.
• Mentioned earlier, probably, programmer's reference which just has all the basic functions you'd want for every programming language just there so that you don't have to dig for a reference. But what about also just screenshots of examples of code for each language so that experienced programmers can glance at it and say "oh yeah, that's similar to ____".
• Songs in movies. A website, really just with links to YouTube, of a song in all the movies it's been featured in.
• A website that will escape any string you enter into it, depending on the programming language/target.
• A contact in address book with many common telemarketer numbers so that you can know if you need to pick up that call. Dad does this manually.
• Make app which just uses Google's API to make search queries on the Apple Watch by returning the card text for a question. Use Google's freebase API which will die soon https://plus.google.com/109936836907132434202/posts/bu3z2wVqcQc
• Do an analysis of words based on the first character. So, for instance, do words that start with an 's' more commonly have negative connotations?
• Another idea for Apple Watch jailbreak app: search the Wikipedia page for keywords. So you would say something like "search Wikipedia page 'pig' for term 'red meat'.
• A website that has how many people can see how many photos of you and what information that they see about you. Could even come up with an "exposure" rating. Would be popular among the older people. Could give stats, like how many photos are public, etc.
• An app that you can take a picture of a menu with, it'll OCR and translate all the complicated words to easy to understand ones or provide definitions. It'll also just provide each of the ingredients in pictures. Once you take the photo of the menu, it creates a horizontal scroll of cards each with a good image and description of the food. Perhaps a Tinder-like interface for scrolling through the food?
• If you are having trouble coming up with new ideas: do things differently. Go on a vacation. Go hang out with new people. You have to change your environment and your activities to have a new problem to solve.
• Just an observation: apparent consciousness appears to correlate with intelligence. So, the more intelligent a being is, the more we think of it as sharing a consciousness like our own.
• Could have a couple-like app that is just for birth control. You'd pair, and it would bother both of you until the birth control had been taken.
• Barcode scanners on our trashcans to keep track of when we deplete our utilities. That way preemptive ordering could be done.
• Tara's idea: an app that lets you sell your parking spot to people for a short amount of time.
• Select the top rated post from many subreddits, and have people try to guess which sub it's from (probably multiple choice).
• A mail extension built into mail for unsubscribe requests. I just want to be able to click a button on the top of my mail viewer and have it scan the email for an unsubscribe link to click and ensure the unsubscribe is successful. Even a key sequence would be helpful. It would take some time to do the network requests, but there could just be a small spinner and once the requests are done it could provide a red x or a green check to verify the deed had been done. Apple Mail and other email clients eventually started to do exactly this.
• App that just tells you exactly what the speed limit is where you are.
• For each college, look at the notable alumni from Google, and then give a gender breakdown of these alums.
• Make an Instagram called "15minuteslater" that is just pictures of finished food.
• Tara's idea: website that allows you to get on, you're asked a question from another random user, and then you get to respond to them and that's the extent to which you're ever able to communicate.
• [Undisclosed person's idea]: make an adult content version of written kitten.
• Do an analysis of birth names, based on the names of negative characters on television 9 months prior to the day of the character introduction. For instance, when the character "Janice" was introduced on "Friends", was there a corresponding decrease in the babies named "Janice", because she is a very negatively viewed character?
• With sufficiently fast computers, having one just randomly generate code and execute it could be a way of writing any program. Humans would just provide test cases that it would need to pass, and then once a code iteration passed all those then the program could be considered complete. Update 11/27/21: this is basically just natural selection but with code; pretty brilliant, honestly.
• Mac: find some sort of extension that will open new windows for an app in the current space when you tap on the icon, instead of switching to the space that has a window for that app already open.
• AMA–only (ask me anything) style site. Reddit-like (via upvotes) but broader audience, and more regular. Every 2 months, the celebrities on the site would be asked to answer one of the top 3 voted questions for them. Chicken in the egg issue reduced because starting pool of only a few celebrities is needed to draw traffic.
• Very simple app extension to protect users against phishing by checking every URL in their browser against common subdomain phishing. That is, alerting them when they're on `www.google.attacker.com` so that they don't enter in their Google credentials.
• Jailbreak tweak: will tell you if your cell connection is breaking up and your voice is in-and-out over the phone.
• Extension that allows for better seeking within a video. For instance, it is able to analyze the video and discover scene changes, so you can skip through scenes by simply tapping the arrow keys (one good use case is probably adult content).
• A website with listings for every major service of the password sign-up requirements, so maybe, just maybe, you can figure out which of your passwords you used.
• Regarding neural networks/machine learning, it's almost as if you can think of neurons as being blocks in a grid, and an object we see or thought we have is just an exact combination of activating a certain subset of blocks in that grid. It's a great way to store information because it also allows for hierarchies, sort of, where higher ideas or connected ideas are connected because they share similar activation. Perhaps in actuality they would share similar connections between neurons rather than individual neurons, though.
• Is there really not an extension that will tell you when someone breaks up?
• "whatdoiknowthemfrom.com" which lets you enter in a name and it will show you most common movies, TV shows, books, and guest appearances on popular talk shows.
• App name "secondthought": all of the things that people have said after "on second thought".
• Say I'm a developer and I have an app on the side that's growing but I don't have time to work on it and it'll be dead if I don't market it. There are a lot of people who may want to pick that app up, so a website that facilitates that exchange.
• Create a web framework that spits out data in a way that's very difficult to scrape.
• Smart copy - say you've been alternating between two or three things copy and pasting. Paste should be able to tell based on the context of where you paste which thing you want to paste that's been in your clipboard in the past say 10 copies.
• Smart show - Say you're copying stuff manually, and you need a reference. You can't copy it exactly, you just need a list to refer to. Well, you'd copy the reference list and open it up in text edit and try to position it on your desktop so you can see both simultaneously, but that's hard. How about just being able to copy some text, then a quick key combo to bring up a temporary unhidable transparent window with what you're copying all on one line, fit across the screen.
• Vulnerability: because some requests made when loading an https site are http (like image resources, some external stuff), it certainly should be possible to create a running profile (could change) of all of the popular https webpages and which http resources they have on them, the loading order, etc., and could probably come up with pretty decent accuracy of which specific page a user has requested on an https site based on this.
• Outage detector: have an hourly calculation of pageviews/sessions, if that number shoots up, there's likely an outage. That's because when people think a site isn't working, they'll refresh constantly. (Take a look at the last few hours of traffic on October 24th, 2015 for UNC Class Finder).
• There really needs to be a better way to get user testing done. Maybe there should be some Amazon Turk like app, where people can sign up to just use websites for 5 minutes and get paid a nominal fee for it? It's hard because you need a representative sample, but that's the challenge.
• [TODO: this might just need to be put into the conformity essay] Go to high school, get into a good college, work really hard, get a good job, get a different job, die. Nobody said it had to be that way. Some are fortunate enough to have skills in high enough demand that they will never be out of a job if they don't want to be. For those people, they don't need to fit this mold. Why is it that "success" has that face? It shouldn't have a face. It should be set by the individual. For instance, so long as your parents are well enough off, why can't you live with them for an additional year after college? Not much has changed in terms of your necessities since you were in high school (eat, sleep, people to live with).
• For users who email in and have an error that needs debugging, often it's hard to get them to do certain things that help with debugging. Like sending local storage, or getting out of private browsing mode. It'd be nice to have a guide site which, for every major browser, has an up to date guide for how to do a lot of basic things that you can send them to.
• I freaking hate how time-sensitive things happen. It'd be really nice to be able to queue web actions so that they happen at the ideal time. Maybe it'd be a browser extension that just saves the `cURL` requests corresponding to the actions or something and plays them back later.
• [TODO: this might need to be put into the conformity essay] Creativity and genius: just taking something ordinary, and putting it into a different setting. - Ethan Zuckerman. This is his website that can help with that diversity: https://globalvoices.org/ Also, he says that the good ideas from within a company come from the people who are most connected (spend time in multiple offices, bridge networks, etc). He wants essentially a way to get people to experience and read the viewpoints of those who have different ideas, to encourage cognitive diversity. Gives the example of not reading someone from the American south who is religious and conservative, but rather also from MA as he is and also in academia, but has different opinions, and figuring out what they read. Wants to build a tool to do so.
• One thing we may able to do, is either make videos or write posts, explaining these technical concepts (even though they shouldn't be technical), to a broader audience. Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9PiPlRuy6E.
• Very cool project for tracking the gender bias that you're subjecting yourself to by gender guessing https://github.com/opengendertracking/gendertracker.
• Huge number of APIs: http://www.programmableweb.com/category/all/apis?order=field
• When hearing about a story in the middle of it happening, without having background, where do people go? Seems like people don't necessarily know what to do. Wikipedia is a good place to get background. Would be nice to set up something that was just timeline based with individual sentences based on the Wikipedia article which detailed the events so that people can catch up on background quickly.
• Spoonflower allows people to upload their own designs and get them printed. Would be cool to do a Twitch like thing, where people are viewing a fabric, and 5 of them are each in sequence given 1 minute to control the design and iterate over the previous person (the previous person's is read-only), then after 5 people the design is solidified.
• Really cool: http://www.augur.net/
• People are really bad at Googling. The best thing to do when searching for something is to choose two typically distinct things thus low anticipation of intersection and include them as terms. App to teach people how to Google?
• Typo-based system which allows modifications to HTML pages that are crowdsourced. Only minor changes are possible, though (a few characters) to prevent people from defacing a website.
• "broken-english browser extension": a prank to pull on friends. When they load any page, certain words are replaced with their broken equivalents.
• A web application that ties into your credit card which identifies expirable products and sets timers based on how long it expects them to be fresh. It'll notify you when something is a few days from expiring/when it has expired.
• Just a really simple website that has a stream of trailers for movies that are coming out soon just like in theaters. Maybe all streams could be in sync, which would be cool. Just a relaxing thing to spend some time on. Completed this idea: TrailerLooper.
• When there is a error while coding. On a certain line. Should have popup showing the revision history of that line and the vars associated with that line above that line.
• Further ideas: just video tape yourself coding for an hour, and look at the workflows that are repeated, and try to come up with products that solve that. What are the scrolling behaviors? How can scrolling be reduced by putting what you need to know in front of you so you don't have to go find it?
• Just a little notifier that tells you "if you want to catch the next bus home, leave work in 5 minutes". You enter in your route and when you're willing to leave work.
• Related company finder. Could help with finding something in a location you want. Would work by pulling bios from people at that company and prior work history, and trying to find patterns to suggest jobs. The best way to design something like this is to try to do it yourself manually and figure out which methods seem to work.
• What about a home application that will look at your home network and use the available space on all of the devices for something? Maybe like some sort of cache or temporary download storage.
• Tara's idea: Software that analyzes and tracks social media of gang members for police.
• Blog of "the shit I email my friends that annoys them".
• There's more information in a "no" than a yes. Maybe showing machine learning false things that look like a dog would help more than just showing dogs. Babies learn probably from guessing dog generally and are corrected by parents when it's a cat, for instance.
• In the early days of tech, it seemed like the best utilities were those that gave people the most information, the ones that let them do the most. Now, it seems like the best things are those that limit users in some way (at least, those that are most appealing), such as by taking away control (Snapchat), and that tech in general strives to tell the users what features they should want (Apple's MO), rather than give them everything. With every user now having access to everything, the programmer's job is to tell them what to pay attention to, what's relevant; not data dump it all.
• Have a site for explaining tech jargon, but it shows progressively more basic explanations so that you don't have to bounce around between different sites for understanding it. Also doesn't have to just be more basic, but explaining it in a different way. Like "in terms of another framework", or "from a network user's perspective". You could even specify "I'm looking at it from the perspective, knowing Ruby on Rails", and it'd see if an explanation had been provided from a Ruby on Railser's perspective.
• Facebook havoc bot. Creates accounts with identical profile picture of a person, then adds all of their friends as friends, then comments on their stuff with crazy stuff.
• Browser extension that recognizes URLs or keywords in URLs that are possibly inappropriate (adult content) and opens them in incognito windows.
• Should really have some sort of way that allows you to auto-record and auto-upload yourself. Would be helpful for targeted people's interactions with police. In case something does go bad, it's on camera and live leaked.
• Gender balance. A site that scrapes all the pages of a domain and compares the frequency of male names vs female names, especially for people in high level positions. Not just about pages, just in general.
• Very simple URL rewriter for your browser, just to help with habits. For instance, I've been meaning to start checking https://instantdomainsearch.com/ instead of Godaddy, but I never remember and just end up on Godaddy.
• All too often, words are just words to people. They don't carry anything until the listener has experienced the idea behind the words. For instance "love" means nothing, it's just empty, until you've felt it. And Jobs' "found out I could influence the world, no going back" means nothing until you've felt that influence. So maybe would be useful to listen for things that could be powerful, and just ponder for a while about their meaning. Maybe there's no substitute for experience though.
• Guy who works on similar stuff: http://www.baygross.com/
• For the Wikipedia dependency idea, would be nice for it just to tell you the structure of what you're looking at. For instance, in diving into trying to understand video, I started with video codec, but really that took me to video coding format, which in turn made me realize I had to start somewhere higher up the chain to understand. Essentially mapping relationships so people can see a top down view of the topic they're looking at.
• Hacker's toolkit, which involves essentially sniffing all traffic on your machine on a page load looking for certain parameters sent back and forth, such as XHR requests with names that match things of interest. More like an automator's toolkit, though.
• Consciousness: thoughts occur whether there's any input or not. Thoughts aren't in response to being asked a question, there is always a stream. Perhaps the way to think about consciousness is an always occurring self-dialogue, answering and asking questions and making statements at a certain rate, which may shift toward responding to an input (being asked a question, seeing something, etc.) or generating an output (asking a question, doing something, etc.).
• What could come after the web? Usenet came before. What could replace any of the things that we take for granted will exist forever? Identify those, and imagine how they could change.
• A little notifier that lets you know when a movie you want gets on ThePirateBay. Noticed probably by a huge influx of torrents/seeders within a small timeframe.
• Tara had an idea for an auto-feeding pet app, equipped with a camera so you could make sure they're eating, etc. A food dispenser remotely controlled.
• Wrote down "an app to help long distance relationships". Other than Couple. I suppose it would primarily try to help keep the relationship healthy.
• Browser extension that fills in DMCAs on Google with the links from the Chilling Effects listing.
• Drives me nuts when you have a power strip and a configuration of chargers that will not fit regardless of positioning. Wonder if there's a way to design an overlay to solve this problem.
• Family shared internet tabs (really not sure of the point), possibly better to be a company-shared internet tabs or something.
• An internal StackOverflow for question/answering. Good for onboarding, can get multiple perspectives, etc. Just upvoting, as usual.
• There seems to be a lot of potential with analyzing data from existing studies, but I feel like a lot of that data is not publicly accessible. Research based on data from many previous studies could be really salient, but the data should be easily assessable. If it's not, a site that makes searching for and using the data (and uploading it) really easy.
• May want to do some stupid basic site which encourages people to clean up their Facebook login access: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=applications
• Facebook has a "public feed" API, where you can see anything that was posted publicly. Unfortunately, you seem to need to apply for it and probably be a publisher. The also have a "keyword insights API" which allows you to query for how keywords are being used, although also limited access.
• Very often I do my own little branch testing of something in Git (just wanting to test something really quickly but I'll likely throw it away) in Sublime and then I find myself doing command-Z until I get back to the place where I thought I was, but I'm always paranoid I went back to the wrong change. Would be nice to have a keystroke that records that most recent stage, and then you can just very easily restore back to it with another keystroke.
• There are frequently songs that are in movies that resurface due to the movie. Wonder if after a movie is released, scan through its soundtrack, then look-up the music videos and find which one has a top comment which references the movie, then add that to a list. Or easier, just figure out which of those songs is most popular or something, and then add it to a list. The list would display the music video on "thatsongfromthatmovie.com", or something. Just popular songs which were featured in movies.
• If a 404 is returned, like from looking at a source from Wikipedia, there really should be some software which will link to the last internet archive where a 404 wasn't returned or something.
• #noemail, may be a big thing (originally pitched by my professor/friend, Paul Jones). Should think about replacement methods. Google Wave seems like a good midway. http://www.carolinaalumnireview.com/carolinaalumnireview/20120506/?pg=24#pg24
• 2016

• Notify me when someone comes online. Could be on any interaction platform (Skype, Facebook, Gmail, etc).
• An adult video site that just chooses one video a day, that's it. It just displays that video. You can look back a week, perhaps, but it would limit it maybe to a month of lookback.
• The internet and its power used to be how much information it could bring users, and that used to be what it was all about. Now the trend, what makes something appealing, is filtering down to only what they want. Limiting what's presented, filtering it, even hand-picking it can be powerful.
• Examples.org, a site that just gives examples for stuff. For instance, you may be reading something complicated on Wikipedia, but have no example provided. Digesting abstract concepts can often be done well via an example, so this could be useful.
• When people born in the digital age die, something really should be done with their accounts. Something nice? Something tributing? Maybe there could be some memorial where you can examine the digital life of dead people? This is going to be a big market starting in a few decades.
• "Studies indicate" blah blah blah, drives me nuts. One could very easily be cherry picking and who is going to do the due diligence? Could have a website that displays the full number of studies conducted trying to answer a question. The title of the page is that question, and a simple bar-chart of "yes" vs "no" based on how many studies found what in their conclusions.
• A Christmas wish list website, connect via Facebook. Can purchase gifts for each other, in groups or something, in response to wish lists. Or, another direction, anonymous gift giving. Even secret Santa with internet groups. Not sure how to verify. Could even be a way of buying gifts for each other (tied closely with Amazon) for internet-based friend groups (who met gaming, for example). Identity revealed of secret Santa after delivery, to shame anyone who didn't buy gift.
• Some sort of app or something that assists with moving us toward #noemail. Paul Jones is so against email, and others are too. It's crazy how much time we spend on it, and if it just didn't exist, we probably would save a lot of time. But who is to say that our time wouldn't just start getting absorbed by group chats, and the only reason can say they're saving time with not doing email is because everyone else is doing email.
• Tara's idea: app that lets you play the word game "Contact" with your friends. This would be absolutely awesome. Would always have the letters of the current word displayed at the top, and could have little cards of each person's current hint, which you can tap on to make contact with that person. Then, you could type in the word you're thinking it is, and it'll do a match or maybe the Wordmaster will do a "challenge" if they can't guess either word. Could also allow randos to play in groups, and have rooms which are encouraged to try a theme for their hints and words. Like movies/music/lyrics etc. Looks like Apple sorta kinda tried this with iTunes Ping back in the day.
• While listening to podcasts is linear, being able to easily link to something in a podcast is cool. I think Marco already does it, though.
• A movie based game where you try to think of movies that have had certain combinations of actors/actresses in them. You're given a combination at a time, and you're supposed to come up with a movie that has both. You get a point for each one, and your score is the streak until you can't do it anymore. Maybe could be multiple choice?
• Facial recognition for adult film actors? Figure out their name based on a screenshot you took from a video.
• Another thing to help debunk Astrology: display a random astrological description, and have the user say "Yes, that applies to me", and show them that the descriptions are just so vague they'll apply to everyone.
• For when Tara and I are both working on the server at the same time, it'd be nice if we could have an extension which showed the list of files (live) that the other person is editing.
• For ideas on what to build. Can look at /r/InternetIsBeautiful or http://elevtr.io.
• Sometimes notekeeping on an action you're doing can really make the action harder (on the computer). It'd be nice to have a very easy way to record your screen so you can play back 30 seconds of your screen so that you can take notes on what you were doing without interrupting the task. Essentially Game Capture, but for personal computing.
• Email marketing is just a bunch of iterations. Would be nice to have something where you could just input who you want to send it to, mark the variables (change this to this, this to this, etc) and mark which ones are independent (can be done together), and it'll automatically try a bunch of combinations and figure out the best and send out the remaining with that combination.
• An extension that does cross-referencing for you. Say you're looking at someone's friends on Facebook, and you want to cross reference that list with everyone in UNC's CS department. Should be able to point to the directory and say do it.
• Common thing to do on a web page, long document, or while coding: be looking through it, and then need to go to the top to check something and want to go back to where you were. What about a keypress combination that you start holding while you scroll and when you release you go back to that position. Name idea: "Slingshot".
• Something that helps with Facebook stalking using basic machine learning, like say you're on someone's friend list and you want to see all their friends who have brown hair and are male. Should look through few photos of each person and report with the links.
• Photoshop out hula hoop in videos so people just look like they're spazzing.
• When two people want to get lunch: they should just say it has to be 3 days after the next time we run into each other.
• Site: whereshouldidonatemymoney.com. Breaks down where the money goes. Visual of a dollar broken up.
• A graphic of "the 7 stages of data loss", like the 7 stages of grief.
• Would be cool to have a flag on email/iMessage, whatever, to be able to send a message in mute. So that the user receiving wouldn't get a sound even if they weren't on silent mode.
• Good design of site. White. Centered. Bright buttons. numi.io. Update 11/27/21: lol, ended up ripping off this design for joepucc.io, how meta.
• Whatever the next big thing is, it's going to have to involve connecting people. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, even Apple/PC's/mobile phones, it's all involves connecting people together/allowing them to share information in some way.
• Some app specifically designed for toilet use. Like articles that are 1.5 minute reads, or 4 minute reads.
• When I click an application icon in the dock, the application should come to my current space, instead of taking me to the space it's open in.
• A "remind me when I see you" app. It does require both people to have the app installed, but you would setup a reminder so that next time your phones are within a certain radius of each others', you both get a push/one person gets a push with the reminder they need to ask that person about.
• I'm sure a lot of the market research that companies looking for has already been done, and maybe already been done by university researchers and public. But finding that information can be hard. A site that looks for market-research related data and makes it easier for businesses to find?
• Tara's idea: an app that allows you to verify that you don't have any STDs. Should be able to verify before one-night stands.
• Parents probably often want to help their kids with homework, but they don't recall or can't figure out the purpose or foundation of the assignment. Would be nice if they had something that allowed them to just get caught up on exactly what their child had been learning in school, so that they could help.
• Small extension for news sites that allows their users to highlight an area of their article and highlight it, to draw their attention to that area. They just see all the highlights overlaid, an easy way for users to point out grammar mistakes and such. They could attach a comment, but it wouldn't be necessary.
• Simple notifier. Send people text or emails when an Apple Service goes down. They could choose which ones they want to be notified about: https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/
• When we launch new features, there's usually just silence. We see the analytics, but we don't get anything else. It'd be nice if some sort of site plugin would randomly sample users who used the feature or something, and asked them what they thought so you could get easy text feedback immediately.
• When presenters are trying to get content from their computer to the computer used for presenting, there are lot of hiccups, mainly getting the presentation started. How could this be made easier?
• As you walk out of door, phone buzzes if you need rain jacket. Just have something on door that your phone checks.
• A lot of the ideas I've had to make stuff comes from when I go through a really bad time (like Class Finder and Class Checker). Could try to think back to really hard times I've had, like going long distance, or going off of my ADHD medication. Anything there?
• Maybe a student debt visualizer, just helping people with dealing with the interest they accrue. Really beautiful, they just enter in each of their loans and the interest rates, and it'd tell them which one they should try to pay off first, how much they're losing per day to interest that they don't pay anything, adjust a slider for how much they can pay per month to show how much they'll save per day due to having to pay less interest over the lifetime of the loan, etc.
• Would be nice if users could see more testimonies from other users. I wonder if there is a safe way of allowing users to type testimonies to be displayed on a site, where the owners could review the submissions. Not sure if this is even close to a good idea or useful.
• Graphic: meeting length as a function of how many people are at the meeting.
• Microchips put in cups at restaurants, essentially an accelerometer, which tells them how much a cup is being tilt so waiters can tell if a glass is empty (they get notifications or something). Or, sensor on the glass which can tell if a drink is empty.
• Email tracking that lets you know if someone's open/click tracking the emails they're sending you.
• Website diff tracker: sure, you can view an individual page as it evolved over time, but it doesn't show you diffs. It'd be super cool to see a diff evolution of a page, especially text. See edits made, that sort of thing. Could overlay on one screen with flags pointing to diffs with the date in the flag.
• Service that scans through podcasts to get promo codes for services.
• Bill Gates puts everything he wants to read aside and twice a year goes for secluded reading weeks (according to Triumph of the Nerds).
• I spend so much damn time looking over emails to make sure they're perfect. Often, I'm checking for the same things every time "does my spelling of their name match how it is spelled", "am I addressing them in the same way (mr./ms./mrs./firstname) that I did last time", "do I use the same sign-off twice in a row, or the same signoff that they did". "Do I have repeated phrasing in my email". "Do I repeat phrasing between my previous email and my current email". How about an extension that will mix up sign-offs between presets ones and check for all of these things before sending, maybe even autochange the email. Rather simple rules to check. Could generate a template based on the existing email thread, so you can just fill in the text, and it'll make sure the spacing is consistent across the previous emails you sent.
• It's a lot easier to throw work away/grapple with the thought of losing work the day after you did it compared to right after you did it. It's an irrational fact of humans, I believe. Not sure if there's an opportunity in that.
• Would like to live in a world where the majority of media passes the Bechdel test. Probably harder than putting a person on Mars.
• I think there already is something like this, but similar to Lexi's "we.care", it'd be nice to allow elderly people to record their memories/stories/etc. into a device like an Oracle, for the grandchildren/progeny to remember them once they pass. A new way of interacting with memories.
• Text message based journal app, texts you every day asking a question and you respond and log it.
• Tara's idea: MusicLooper, loops through music videos, can filter by genre, etc.
• Restaurant websites are terrible, but all of them can and should have a similar layout, features, etc. Should make a SquareSpace specifically for websites, that's just free, with easy input for menu, responsive, required to have a phone number listed.
• A startup that has people submit their idea and designers will build it. Could look here for inspiration: https://www.quirky.com/invent/launched
• Moving to a new place is really daunting for me. Update 11/27/21: lol wtf ok Joe.
• Browser extension that's supposed to be funny that just changes all verbs to their antonyms. "See it work" -> "see it fail". "Try it now" -> "ignore it now", or something.
• Thought of this sentence, sounded like a poem title "I'd let you eat me, if it meant you'd live forever".
• Website that just gives incredibly simple guides for basic operations on various browsers, such as clearing cookies, clearing cache, etc.
• Customer discovery process can be hard. How do you find people, and their contact info. It would be really nice to have a crawler that collected the emails/phone numbers of just a couple hundred people who are in your industry. Would be fun and hard to write, too.
• The StarSync idea that we came up with as a joke at Start Co. Essentially let people rate which celebrities would be the best match (maybe in like a Facemash style), and then celebrities can pay to see who the public thinks they should date. Then StarSync uses IMDB data to give intros for the celebs by using mutual links in movies. Not a bad grounding for an idea.
• There is so much bias in humans. They do the things based on their own experience, they will think a product is good if it aligns with their experience, etc. But they dismiss different opinions. A very easy way to create a product would just be to call people of a certain demographic (work in a certain industry, or are all college students, or something), and ask them what the biggest challenges and troubles they face. Then with just a little thought, develop what they think is the biggest problem.
• Documents are so linear. Too linear. This might be a common scenario: say you're taking notes for a class, or have some linear progression of something, what happens if you have a big aside that you want self-contained, not in that linear progression? Especially, what happens when you have some aside that actually ties in multiple times during the course of the progression? You should have the aside be linked to, but separate from, the document. Linked at each place where it's relevant. Essentially, it's not a document, you're making a webpage (with hyperlinks), but it should be as easy to make, and create those links, as creating a Google Doc. It's a lot more flexible than just a linear document.
• There are so many things that humans do manually that aren't necessary. Reading through a document for errors, when a large fraction could be identified and possibly fixed just by allowing users to make rules for identifying specific, repeated errors. Maybe give them a dialog box which allows them to enter in specific phrase, and then do wildcards, essentially a GUI for the Regex behind the scene. These could be automatically replaced, or flipped through one by one.
• Should have a site called "whentosend.com" which just allows you to plugin your recipient's time zone, and it'll calculate what time range you should send your email to maximize response probability. Could maybe bring in statistical factors as well, such as what profession they're in.
• Scraping should be easier to do. Should make some sort of GUI thing that allows you to point and click to generate a scraper in BeautifulSoup, just the basic stuff, then you can fill in the details.
• There really isn't anything like talking to customers. If you're solving a problem, and you listen to customer after customer describe that problem or say they like your product when they have no incentive to say so, that really motivates you to make something great, and can drive you through tough times. So, maybe that's something to remember. Make sure key people are talking to customers regularly, because it's easy to just consider each person using your stuff as a statistic, and not as you making an influence on someone's life.
• Something that makes orders over the phone for you. You answer the questions likely to be asked, and then it will call and place the order. For appointments, give user a daily or weekly calendar or plug into theirs to automatically suggest times/block out times they're available. Google implemented this, Google Duplex.
• Would be interesting if there was a repository of the notable objects in the scenes of movies, TV shows, even adult content, etc, and that way when someone saw a clip, they could just type objects they're seeing in the scene and then the movie/show whatever would be able to be found. Machine Learning on all the existing content would be awesome as a way of categorizing what's in each scene of everything.
• There are referral programs for payment services. What about for just getting traffic to a site with ads? You could get paid a cent for every visit you drive to the page.
• Ella's parents' idea: Hamilton tickets online and come up sporadically. Should have notification script for it.
• Type in your birthday, it'll tell you with varying accuracy why/what occasion your parents did it to conceive you (e.g. Christmas).
• In order to decide what to work on (emerging tech): look at what engineers are geeking out about. What Githubs are popular, subreddits are popular. They might be mainstream 5-7 years down the line.
• If you want an intro to someone, you should probably just look at the conferences they're about to attend, then wait until the day after the conference and say "hey [name], I didn't get a chance to make it to the conference but I did want to meet you."
• Easy to do a repo of how each company structures their email addresses, so that it can guess an email for you if you give a person's name who works at a company. Essentially covered now by RocketReach.
• Should create a site for watching Apple Keynotes safely, with no spoilers possible.
• Should have a web design function that allows you to run your own blind experiment, potentially on Amazon Turk or just on yourself (it'll show you both designs randomly or something).
• PageRank hack: when Facebook pages/Facebook profiles change their usernames on Facebook (their URL), there seems to be a redirect made for the previous username to the new one, and these usernames are up for grabs. You could search for all the highly ranked pages that are up for grabs and potentially capture that traffic.
• Browser extension you install on a friend's computer as a prank: replaces all images online with: (hardcore mode) penises and (softcore mode) My Little Ponies.
• When doing a series of "undo"s in Word, it should show you the timestamp of each change, so you can figure out if it was a really long time ago or just now.
• Pain pills (products that solve a pain) vs vitamins (products that enhance something). Facebook being a semi-vitamin. Maybe it worked because there was an existing vitamin or set of vitamins, all of which started causing a pain?
• isthispersonfamous.com. Essentially if someone looks familiar, post it here and someone will tell you or some user can comment if they are famous. Can also have facial recognition on IMBD to give suggestions.
• Nice design.
• Browser extension that, when clicking on a link in a Wikipedia article, pops up with a small window giving short paragraph description of the page from its article so you don't have to navigate away. Wikipedia started to do this on-hover for links eventually, although it's not really a summary more just a preview of the page.
• A way of estimate user counts without collecting a bunch of private information. Say not all users on a website have provided a name, but you can return a subset who did provide a certain name. If you can look at all the "Michael"s for instance, then you could divide that number by the probability of a person being a "Michael" and come to an approximate user count. Repeat and average across hundreds of names.
• Article about how "lean" doesn't always result in the best products (it may result in products people use, but not products people love). It's about thoughtfulness, which this guy (former myEdu employee) understands. Really good video on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUWo4IA01TXzBeGJJKWHOG9g&v=-wnKlVXuacE
• Pointers in documents? Say you wanted better flexibility in editing. I mean, essentially it's like a find+replace but more work. You could link two points of a document to together, say two words together, and anytime you edited one of them it edited the other. So say you connected all "he"s together, you could easily change everything to "she" by editing one "he".
• There's something people love about being clean/efficient, even when it makes no sense/is an entire waste of time. I'm referring to people who close all the apps on their iPhone every so often, or even go as so far as to quit each one after using it. Is there something here? What's the cause of the desire and what exactly is satisfying it?
• Didn't get hired? We'll scrape the company website directory, to check who did get hired for your position so you can stalk them and hate on them for the rest of your pathetic little life.
• Honestly, it seems rather hard to contact your congressperson, to express distaste or support for things. What they hear, just like what we hear from Coursicle users, has an effect on what they do. An app that made it incredibly easy, as simple as selecting an issue, and sending something that said "for" or "against". Perhaps it's prewritten responses you could select from, either way making it significantly easier to on a semi-weekly basis weigh in on current events, to say "I don't support this and I'm your constituent." These sites don't change much, and there aren't many individual cases to handle. Seems like this exists. Called Countable.
• Holy. Fuck. Videos that autoplay are insanely annoying, such as on news sites. They make the internet a terrible place. A browser extension that prevents them from playing would be good.
• The little ticker on Facebook seems to show all activity that a person commits. Perhaps an app that would connect with your Facebook and then you could use to select a person and show all of the actions they committed on a certain day.
• How about Git for word processing? Being able to branch, merge, etc. That would be really cool.
• How often are people working at a company and just sitting there, waiting for something to get done so they can continue their work? Would be cool to have a company that harnesses those people to do other work at other companies, paying them for their time.
• Pretty nice design, especially the top. The text on the background. That font is Myriad Set Pro
• Some guy was turning Twitter handles into email addresses. Could possibly be using the advertising feature thing, which lets you upload list of emails, Twitter IDs, and then it'll target those people?
• Like the little thing at the top, probably D3 or something. Runs away from mouse. http://seidenbergcreativelabs.com/
• A screensaver that's just essentially "people watching".
• A website, something called "whathaveisignedupfor.com", which will scan your email and give you an overview of all the accounts you've signed up for and from what it can find, also your usernames for those sites. For sites it knows about, it can link directly to the password reset form. Essentially just do advanced searches in Gmail, like the following, and then aggregate all of those senders and find their domains. ` subject:confirm OR subject:verify OR subject:sign-up OR subject:"sign up" OR subject:welcome OR subject:purchase OR subject:transaction OR subject:"thank you" OR subject:thanks OR subject:registration OR subject:register OR subject:activate -subject:"Registration at" to:[your email]@gmail.com -from:*facebookmail.com `
• This is a nice font. 'Edmondsans-Medium':
• Tara and I are always writing emails and asking each other to approve them. Personal and business. Would be interesting to have an extension that allowed you to compose the email and allow another person to edit it/approve and even send it if that was the only thing they wanted.
• Taxes are incredibly confusing. We thought we were fine on taxes because we had setup an LLC, then we discovered we might have forgotten the 1065, the penalty for which is \$195/person in the LLC/month, which is huge. There should be a flowchart or something that helps guide you through the tax process. It's so hard to know all of the forms you need to file, and accountants can be very expensive. While we have found cheaper ones, the accountant that a startup incubator recommended was \$1500 just to file our taxes. That's a crippling amount for a startup. There is so little [lost]
• A browser extention that rewrites all the Amazon links that you send to your friends with an Amazon affiliate one and gives you some of the money (hell, it could just use a single one for all users, then share in the group profit). Probably against terms of service, though.
• A Facebook/Instagram add-on that analyses your friends' interactions and gives a level of confidence for how likely it is that two people start dating. This would be based on increased frequency of liking posts compared to the other people they're friends with of the same/different gender depending on their orientation.
• Trump is severely undermining the truth. Repeatedly spewing complete lies. His most avid supporters are getting their news directly from him, or from echo-chambers like Facebook from bias sources (Fox News) or highly inaccurate sources masquerading as news. The only way to combat this is to advertise the truth directly to them. Fact-checking by the New York Times or CNN doesn't do anything, because they don't watch these. Two options to correct this: invest an enormous amount of money in advertising (on Facebook, for instance) that just display the facts from reliable sources (e.g. government websites) and optimize for impressions and target those who follow those bias sources, or better yet organize a group of protesters to fact-check Trump's statements at his rallies in real-time, print them out on signs or pamphlets, and then hand them out and display them as people leave the rallies. Some will just believe him even when presented with clear evidence, but some may be swayed.
• Music has an amazing power over emotion, especially when accompanied by visuals. Some companies use this to great effect, like Apple in their commercials. HBO has done the same. There's something intensely powerful about these commercials. Part of it might be resonating with a sense of acceptance, acceptance of all people, ideas, things, a unification of science and the arts, as Jobs was so fond of doing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFEarBzelBs.
• How to stop unsolicited advertising emails? Maybe a browser extension that monitors what sites you go to to figure out which companies should be allowed to get into your inbox and which ones are just emailing you out of the blue.
• Really good talk, pretty motivating, by Frank Abagnale (from the movie Catch Me If You Can): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0fEA0MsiV8n. Also note: safest form of payment is credit card.
• A little handheld device that uses suction to scoop up a bug that's in your house. It should harmlessly catch the bug and make it easy to release the bug.
• John Siracusa is right. Mechanization of something people already do. This is what Amazon did with the Echo look so people could take full body selfies. This is a good way to think about ideas. Coursicle was similar, most programs are. Find something people are doing and automate it, which will in turn increase the number of people doing it because it's easier.
• Should do a browser extension that prevents "liking" on Facebook before confirming (useful for furtive stalking).
• Motivating: see what Matt Phillips from high school is up to. He has actively pursued music for years.
• Dropbox is nice, but what about for small things that you just want to have a very secure cloud based backup of. I typically email myself the file, but it'd be nice to make this easier. Maybe you'd send an email and it'd store the document for you in some special cloud.
• Coursicle commercial: the commercial that we would do would be zooming down on an iPhone with a blank screen, completely white background behind it, and then a notification to come in saying a class opened up. This song (https://youtu.be/hjbHvOolgKo?t=30) would be playing in the background, mostly the intro part of it, but when the notification comes in, the song is at the "run run run" part. Then it'd cut to you a image of the Coursicle logo and under it it would say "get into classes".
• Google Translate like site to convert basic code structures (for loops, while loops, basic variable setting, etc) between any two programming languages.
• A betting site where you can put a bet on whether Trump will say a certain word before the end of his term in office. For instance, betting \$100 that he will not say "Blockchain" before the end of his term.
• Lyft meets customer service: when call volumes are high, more customer service reps are asked to join the force and will get paid higher amounts. Same thing goes with lower call volume, but reversed. Friend, Adriel Lubarsky, doesn't think he's heard of anything like it. Could already been done, called "call centers"? But probably not exactly in that way.
• A service that will narrate anything you want, read by a real human. For instance, any article, etc. Podcasts are getting rather popular, so take the audio-book style to something else. Anything, like articles or a report you need to read. Especially helpful for finishing something while driving to school/work; the car ride is no longer wasted time.
• How much is a name a determining factor in success? I think it's a lot more than most people would like to think. A simple name that requires little or no thought to say or write might be an important factor.
• Sound, so important to feeling emotion and connection with TV, movies, advertisements. HBO, Apple, etc. Often through music. Can this be integrated into software? To make a stronger connection?
• Quick note about television's apparent impact on your (Joe's) ability to work and focus. It seems like watching junk television (action, drama, comedy, etc) that does not inspire or teach something meaningful debilitates your ability to work. After many days of watching this stuff, I've found it hard to work. Watching things that are somewhat intellectually stimulating seem to be better, like fast paced (Sorkin) that require some amount of effort to watch, or documentaries. Be wary of that. Update 11/27/21: I re-realized this recently, just like you're the cognitive average of the company you keep, you're the cognitive average of the media you consume.
• "whatcampusisthis.com" guessing game. Could put old photos of universities or put current photos. The goal would be to identify from a list of options which university it is.
• App that shows where your taxes are going. Puts it in terms that help, like "feeding `x` homeless", "providing healthcare to `y` people".
• 2017

• Very often, I want to save a webpage with my entries on it (in the input fields) just to be safe, but there's no easy way to do it other than taking a screenshot. Of course, you have to take multiple screenshots potentially and you don't get copyable text, so that's not ideal. Saving the HTML doesn't work well either. So what about something that could save those in some semi-HTML format so that you could easily go back to check your answers.
• If you're in hurry and in a traffic jam, what if you could pay everyone else to pull over so you can go. All via an app which determines people's locations etc. It would all work on thresholds, based on the number of cars in the area, it'd determine if you could reduce your time by 5 minutes by getting 10% of the cars off the road, then it would figure out how many people that is and then how much money it'd cost to convince those people (maybe \$2 per person), then it'd send out notifications to everyone and they'd accept the wait and then get routed to certain places (maybe even turning around and going a different route which is longer), and the transactions would only go through if a sufficient number of people accepted the offer (the number required varying based on the circumstance).
• 2018

• Tara are I using the little Arduino we programmed for remembering birth control. But what if the pack itself had a light on it? Maybe it could transfer between packs, or something. It'd operate the same way. I guess it could be integrated with the pack and detect when a pill is gone and auto shut off, but at least it could be a little LED that blinks until you press the button saying you took it. You then leave the pack out somewhere near your bed so that when you turn off the lights to go to sleep, you see the blinking light and you know you hadn't taken it that day yet.
• Realization: we're taught in computer science to care a lot about time complexity, but honestly designing with scalability is even more important. Time complexity matters less and less on our CPUs, but being able easily separate parts of the program to run on a distributed system can really be what solves a bottleneck.
• Should have a website that lists every single person who has been mentioned during the Oscars, and list them by frequency.
• A very good text to speech engine, and then an app that just pulls articles and you browse through and can play them like audiobooks.
• I think people really like autonomy, which is one reason why people don't click on ads/pop ups that take up the entire screen, or just generally anything that looks like an ad, because they want to feel like they're making their own decisions on what they want. So for advertising, make it look like part of the design might make more sense than something attention grabbing, because people will feel like they clicked it by themselves instead of immediately classifying the thing that came up as an ad. Have seen this time and time again: make the email look like plaintext from someone, not a fancy looking HTML email. The links on Coursicle's course and professor pages also had significantly more success when they weren't done as pop-ups/slideovers. People have trained themselves to look out for this stuff and ignore it.
• A social network for teachers. At least K-12. They could probably benefit from talking to other teachers struggling with the same things.
• So much of the legal world it seems is re-using text that was already used elsewhere. A crawler that goes through all Terms of Service and groups companies based on what they share would be interesting. Could even be a thing where you click a clause and see who has that clause in their terms of service. Would be especially cool for crazy clauses, cause you could see who has those clauses in their Terms of Service.
• PayRange, the company that lets you pay for laundry machines with your phone, has a very good new user process. You just enter in your phone number, they ask you to respond to the text with a certain number, and then your account is created. Very simple, no password or anything like that. We implemented this at Coursicle with the Loginless system.
• In New York, choose random location and have the user guess the neighborhood they're in. Blur street signs, etc. game to compete. Could have them try to guess the avenue/street (hard mode) or just the general neighborhood (e.g. SOHO, West Village, etc.)
• A browser extension that allows you to keep tabs on the interaction of any two people on Facebook/Instagram, such as them liking each other's posts, commenting, etc.
• Raising awareness for Black Lives Matter. A day each year when every POC (or maybe just everyone who supports BLM), every time they're walking outside or walking in front of police, raises their hands in the air with open palms as if police had just told them to put their hands up.
• A short series or single video, where very prominent black men, like Obama, or CEOs, or actors, musicians, etc. walk around suburban neighborhoods in hoodies to see how soon/if someone calls the police on them. Just to call attention to the fact that you can be the President, but still not escape society's preconceptions about your race. Ideally, doing the same thing with random white dudes as a control.
• Sometimes you don't want to find text in a document, or a browser, but somewhere on your screen. Like say you don't want to search all of Slack, but just the current window. Would be nice to have an OCR overlay that just allows you to search what's on your screen and highlight it (maybe could be built-in to Spotlight on the Mac).
• It seems like people spend so much time on conference calls, even when what's being talked about isn't relevant to them. It would be really good if there was a way you could tune out and work on something else and only get pulled in when necessary, like a chatbot or something that could be triggered when your name is mentioned so that you can type a response to the question, or speak a response to the question. Why are humans doing the listening for keywords (their name, their project, etc.) that a computer could easily do and tell them when they need to pay attention (it could playback the audio for them).
• There is so much metadata loaded into documents that people pass around, even the subject line of the email that it was downloaded from is in the metadata of documents. You can probably figure out a lot in business about the negotiating party by looking at this metadata. A viewer would be interesting.
• Guy made "Uniroulette, a Chatroulette clone but limited to people with .edu email addresses." which is a pretty interesting idea. Really adding the .edu requirement at all is interesting.
• There are some people who you just feel very connected with, like they're fighting the good fight. People had connection with Jobs, but didn't always feel like he was fighting the good fight (although what attracted people might have been the underdog mentality in him). Same with John Bogle, you just feel drawn to his honesty and the fact that he's fighting against huge players with something simple. There's a similar draw to these two people.
• Every time a new Mac comes out, there are concerns. Should create a spreadsheet, just like the shipping one I did, where people can enter in checks for each issue they're having, and list their purchase date, that way people can see if things are getting fixed, how many people are actually having the issues, etc.
• What makes good design? Empathy and attention to detail. That's basically it. A user can feel, just sense, when something has been designed and laid out with care and consideration. That's the key, is really trying to imagine how the user is feeling/thinking and then do that, and consider use cases, consider how they feel when they're using the product and what their needs/expectations will be.
• Make a company that handles revenge sites and revenge porn for people, either by working smarter with law enforcement or knows how to do takedowns with companies and web hosts.
• So much money is in mutual funds, which are just going to companies and you don't really have control of it. It'd be really great if you could specifically opt out of companies you disagree with as a mutual fund holder, like Facebook. If I just said I want this index fund, but I don't want to invest in this one company or set of companies. If widespread, that would be interesting.
• Prediction: once weather is more understood, a new form of war could be causing tornadoes or hurricanes for destruction. Depending on weather abilities, could be a lot harder to track than other weapons.
• Very futuristic, but will almost definitely happen. Implants into the brain, or the eyes, which respond to certain things. For instance, if a certain pattern appears, everything inside shows up as blocked, or blurry. Could also customize it, so when you type things like `\n\n` it shows up as two newlines, I don't know how that could be useful, but it's a thought.
• A site called advertisetome.com that would just so you all the targeted ads that are going after you based on your cookies. Pretty similar idea to the Million Dollar Homepage.
• Tara came up with the idea independently: market taxes better. Like where your money is going, so you feel better about paying taxes. This came up again, even though it's already on the list. Basically, the government has a marketing problem.
• Would be interesting to have a movie that's shot with like 90's film but is futuristic (as in, takes place in the future).
• GroupMe is now doing a thing where you send a phone number a text to verify your own phone, which is very interesting. Although spoofing may be an issue, maybe there's a way to confirm and then you're fine. Could be an interesting way to do account setup. We implemented something like this at Coursicle with the Loginless system.
• I am constantly setting alarms on my phone for meetings that I can't miss. Maybe there is a better way with syncing with the calendar, just need something that will force my phone to make noise. Why is this not possible yet natively? Update: someone else looking too https://www.reddit.com/r/iphone/comments/931x44/need_a_way_to_create_an_alarm_with_future_date/
• Watching someone's computer get violently stolen from a coffee shop while they were typing on it was a pretty hard to forget experience (especially since I was sitting closer to them, they were looking at me too, and I was about to leave my computer to get a snack). Two things came out of it: if the thieves connected to WiFi using their phone/whatever devices they had, then you could identify their MAC addresses, and next time they went to a cafe, you could notify police if you detected that MAC. Another thing, a sticker on your computer that says "my computer has a firmware password and surveillance software" could potentially deter theft, because they probably can't resell those computers, at least for nearly as much.
• This used to be a thing: people would answer anonymous questions about themselves on their blog. I think this is still something people want to do, they love talking about themselves. Doesn't even need a network of people to be interesting, really. One or two people at your school is enough to make you want to check it out. App format, create a profile with just your name, anonymous or non-anonymous questions come in, and then you choose what to answer and whether it shows up. Every question/answer has an upvote/downvote, just like Reddit, and your profile default sorts to top and otherwise you can sort by "new".
• Shirts like "home" with North Carolina and other states sell really well. I think there's a lot you can build off of that, which I may have discussed before. One thing is family. For family reunions, or in general, you could have a service that allows people to print their family tree on a shirt, and it would have them circled in the tree. This is the kind of thing that certain families would buy all the time because it's personalized and every time one person sees it they may ask about it.
• A light that turns off automatically when the book you're reading is closed or when phone is put down (e.g. you fall asleep with it in your hand).
• 2019

• This is amazing. Tara found it. It's exactly what happened to me, medicine isn't the issue. I have internalized that. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/08/the-challenge-of-going-off-psychiatric-drugs
• Good interview question: you're on the photos app on an iPhone. Say your home button stops working all of a sudden. How do you get to the settings app to turn on the software home button?
• Good name: "Serial port killer".
• With not being able to interact with Granny anymore because of the Alzheimer's, it's like she has died. But what makes it really bad is that she's always physically there, reminding us that she's effectively gone. That's what's really hard, because we love her but we have this constant reminder that our Granny is gone.
• After going through some serious anxiety, it's pretty clear that confidence is a huge factor in doing well at things and feeling good day to day. I've had a lot of confidence recently and it has caused me to feel better and do better at everything. I think having solid friendships and fun-times really has contributed to that confidence.
• Sites go down, or get blocked on certain networks. A really nice protocol that browsers could implement would be this: every time you load `coursicle.com`, the browser makes a request for `coursicle.com/down.txt`, which contains information about what the users should do if coursicle is down, like mirrors/proxies they can visit or what email they should contact to let the website know. The browser stores this `.txt` for a year, and displays it to the user any time the domain can't be resolved or the page can't be loaded. It refreshes the `.txt` every time they come back to `coursicle.com`, at most once per day.
• This may seem rather strange, but music playing overtop home video audio has a really interesting effect. Perhaps playing intense music over just boring interactions between people would sound good. It sounds very multidimensional.
• Really cool would be able to see all of the hearts/flags that your friends have saved on Google Maps overlaid, so you could hover over a place and see their faces and who has it saved and who has loved it. Would have to piggyback off Google Maps. That way when you're in an area, you could know who to ask about what places nearby or just trust the ones the've liked.
• Cool name for a DEF CON event: "Captcha the Flag".
• Qualities I like in a person: honest, down-to-earth, vulnerable, not reserved (open), sarcastic, funny.
• I think it's becoming clear that an enormous component of conventional success: occupationally, socially, romantically, is confidence and really having trust that you are destined for great things. If you believe it, you can make it so. I feel like personally, that's what's allowed me to persist through adversity, is the belief that I was meant to persist. I didn't have a preconceived notion that I was going to end up like everyone else. The biggest step towards being different is thinking that you are different.
• Maybe a little site that just shows you the 404 pages of websites. It crawls and tries to find 404 pages. You could let people give them a thumbs up or down so that people could look at rankings.
• Talking to my friend Neil. Really, it's starting to seem like capitalism has major issues, wealth disparity is increasing, social mobility is low, etc. We have all these people who are pissed off because of it, and so they want significant social change and their method of doing that is elections. But the issue is that capitalism has gone so far that now the corporations are looking after their own interests via donations, which is a very high indicator of which politician wins. So the question becomes; have we hit the point where there's a deadlock, because the existing apparatus makes it impossible to revolutionize via an election because corporate interest basically control the elections, which makes corporate interests even stronger, etc. in a vicious cycle? Or is the other option what Neil is doing which is making so that if capitalism falls, or even while it's still going, we focus hard on an alternative system, like what Neil is doing with the cooperative, to show people that capitalism (at least our current instance of it) doesn't need to exist for them to make money to live a happy life.
• Future of advertising prediction: you see a deep fake of one of your friends using the product, and that's what catches your attention.
• To help figure out Tara's law school chances: scrape LinkedIn and create a profile of the undergrads/undergrad majors of all of the people who went to the top law schools, and try even scraping GPAs if possible.
• I get most stressed in a couple scenarios: 1. when there's a time pressure to get something done, like the server crashing, or 2. when I'm working on something and I think it can be solved with some quick fix, but it's not working, and so things get more and more deep. It's hard to just step back and say "okay, this problem is going to require a commitment of 4 effort instead of 1 effort, so let me reset and approach this differently". The tendency is to just continue trying effort 1 fixes and get frustrated when they don't work.
• It'd be nice to be able to leave my computer when I'm alone at a cafe. Could create some software that just displays on the screen "THIS COMPUTER IS BEING TRACKED" and turns on the camera and records, and then if the computer is closed before the tracking mode is disabled it starts making a very loud noise (full volume) and a push notification goes to your phone. If they press the power button, it'd detect that and make a really loud noise. Detect movement via the accelerometer: if they try to walk away with the computer still open, it'd start making noise. You could even stream the video from your computer to your phone so you can see if someone's eying the computer. The app would be called "Sentry". Already exists: https://medium.com/@AndreyAzimov/the-crazy-story-of-how-my-first-mac-app-got-acquired-258bd03d8840
• One thing that I think was really valuable was Tara and my minimalistic approach to living together and even starting Coursicle: we questioned everything and whether it was necessary. We didn't buy Coursicle t-shirts, office space, etc. until we felt the pain for them. Likewise, we didn't buy a printer until we felt the pain for one at our apartment.
• Tara's idea: what if there was music accompanying books. So for a given chapter you should listen to a certain playlist of songs while you read to enhance the experience.
• I think I understand now why I hate people who are obsessed with celebrities: it creates a divide. By treating them like they're gods, you're indirectly admitting that you and the others you don't hold in the same regard are an inferior person. This is to say, you couldn't become one of them. Why would you treat your future self with any special regard? We're all people, some have worked hard / just gotten lucky, but they shouldn't be specially regarded.
• I think instead of having children, we should have a breed of turtles that we maintain. Especially endangered turtles. We can live on in them, they live for 50+ years.
• This is really cool, you just click it and it requests it, something we would do:
• There's starting to be a very clear denomination for companies: `Google > Coursicle > Chegg`. This is because Google has created something that's exceedingly hard to reproduce. It's the same reason there are two Uber/Lyfts and only one Google, because Uber/Lyft could easily copy most of what each other do, their core IP is an idea, whereas Google's is a process, algorithm, and research level thinking. Whereas Coursicle has made something kinda hard to replicate, but it's certainly still possible it just takes a lot of effort. Finally, Chegg is just licensing textbook answers from textbook companies and is relying on those relationships heavily, but they can't last indefinitely. As the companies get more market domination in any of the three denominations, they gain a stronger foothold. But, being in one category or the other is even more important. It's like gears, sorta. Chegg is in 1st gear going 9mph (low gear, high speed because of high penetration), Coursicle is in 2nd gear going 3mph (higher gear, low speed because low penetration), and Google is in 3rd gear going 25mph (high gear, high speed because of high penetration). Basically, a good company progression would be (the way you move up between denominations; Coursicle basically followed this path, but instead of leeching off some company, we scraped course data to get things started, which was free):
1. You identify some niche in the market that other companies aren't satisfying, and then you leech off of some other company by getting data/users/something that gets you off the ground with customer acquisitions and brand recognition.
2. Then you use the user base to transition into creating your own IP (like a bunch of answers to questions that will last the test of time), or maybe even better, you...
3. Use the revenue to generate something that's not possible to reproduce without lots of resources, like proprietary stuff.
• This guy makes a video every September 21st, there's definitely a market for making a video like this every single day. People would tune in each day.
• Fuck office space, it's such a waste of money in the very early stage. When you have more than 1 person going to a public space, it may as well be an office because you can leave your stuff when you go to the bathroom. Could organize founders to band together to go to a public space every day, and each of them could bring equipment (one brings AC adapter, one brings hotspot, etc.) and them banding together makes the experience better than if they were working independently.
• What about really cheap lunches at work. If someone went and bought like 10 slices of cold turkey meat, 3 tomatoes pre-cut, onions, mayonaise, etc. and then they just delivered you the ingredients, they could charge like a 50% markup and it'd only cost you like \$4 for a sandwich that you would put together yourself.
• Really nice logo, Firefox.
• I really think that the reason I work so much of the day is because after my parents would get home from work, all they had the energy to do was watch TV. Growing up, that's the main activity that my sister and I did: watching TV. I eventually couldn't stand it, so I would have to do something more engaging, like video games or working. Just seeing my parents spend all day work for their bosses and then be too tired once they got home to produce something for themselves made me feel like I needed to do whatever I could not to end up in the same position.
• I think one great way of talking about Coursicle and startups is the times when we thought we should quit. That's what people can probably relate to the most. Don't talk about the successes, talk about the times where you almost gave up and didn't.
• What student entrepreneurs need: money for servers, when they graduate they should have free office space, free business advice (e.g. our advisor, Bryan Hassin). The stage matters a lot too, not just what you give them.
• Think about what white people are afraid of: random acts of violence like school shootings, but systemic violence they're not aware of. Neil and I talked about this.
• The people in our industry, reporters and otherwise, need to do more to understand the technical basis of what they're talking about. We were at an EFF event and Sarah Frier was moderating and when the panel was talking about how to handle the fact that there was so much content moderation needed, Sarah (who has written books on this stuff) asked if encryption could help -_-
• Neil sent this talk by Chomksy, which was incredibly good. Freedom of will at about an hour, and he talks near the end about how neuroscientists should look more at brains as computational mechanisms, basically computers, not how they are looking at them, which are association machines.
• I think computer science kids at UNC are pretty good, and I think it's because they're smart enough to be good at computer science but not prestigious enough to get recruited by or to have a culture of showing off by how much they know about the latest machine learning tech. They, among many schools that sit just below the Ivies, are in the sweet spot.
• A building that has no windows, but a series of mirrors that reflect light from the sky or from other structures outside the building that get the light and project it into the house as if they're mirrors.
• One resistance people have to using password managers is not being able to log on to other people's devices. It would be nice if Apple or someone made it so that you could do a one-time login on other people's devices using your email and master password so that you could login to an account easily.
• The most valuable thing you can have as an individual is passion. After a while, you get good at sensing this passion in others. It flows from them, and it's what attracts others to them. The way they speak, move, act, what they do: it's pervasive. I think it's this passion that you're sensing when you see or interact with someone who is a notable figure. You can sometimes tell, just from their gait, that there's something different about them.
• It'd be nice if, on Spotify, you could just see "all playlists containing this song", ordered by popularity. This would be a good way of finding similar songs.
• One of the reasons I don't feel comfortable with football and basketball, with players who are often predominantly people of color, is because what it amounts to is that their "value" to society, and their personal worth is directly tied to their body (not too dissimilar from pre-1860's America). One massive issue with this is that wealth accrual just isn't as possible in sports as it is in other industries. The most wealthy sports players make their money from expanding beyond just being a sports player, like Michael Jordan, but there are so few.
• Doctors/researchers care about curing diseases more than making superhumans, (some) lawyers care about helping people in need, but software engineers almost always seem to make things for rich people.
• Really great Halt and Catch Fire quote: "you were happy for a moment and you thought the person standing next to you was the source". (If a movie is ever made about Coursicle, the Halt people should be the writers.
• It'd be kinda cool if shoes gave you discounts if you walked a certain distance in them the first year, because you're advertising them. Would just require a little built in pedometer.
• Liking a song isn't binary, you like certain songs more or less over time. It would be nice if there were a "like" button in Spotify where you could click it 3 times as you listen to it and it counts as 3 likes, and sort by count of likes. This would shift, so you could have likes expire or you could have it so that when you like a new couple of songs you used to listen to you just mash the like button to put them at the top. This results in a really great sorted list of songs over time.
• Definitely impressive web design https://stripe.com/
• "That happens a lot at Riot because they've convinced themselves it's a meritocracy. But a meritocracy can't exist outside of the social setting within merit is constructed. I think that leads to a lot of problems. It's like an incomplete thought. 'Surely these people are being promoted because they're doing well.' Then they don't follow up [on] why aren't these other people getting promoted." – male employee on sexism at Riot Games. Article.
• "Cornel West has called the US a 'racist patriarchal' nation where white supremacy continues to define everyday life. 'White America', he writes, 'has been historically weak-willed in ensuring racial justice and has continued to resist fully accepting the humanity of blacks.' This has resulted, he says, in the creation of many 'degraded and oppressed people hungry for identity, meaning, and self-worth.' West attributes most of the black community's problems to 'existential angst derive[d] from the lived experience of ontological wounds and emotional scars inflicted by white supremacist beliefs and images permeating U.S. society and culture.' In West's view, the September 11 attacks gave white Americans a glimpse of what it means to be a black person in the United States—feeling 'unsafe, unprotected, subject to random violence, and hatred' for who they are. 'The ugly terrorist attacks on innocent civilians on 9/11', he said, 'plunged the whole country into the blues.' West supports People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in its Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign, aimed at eliminating what PETA describes as KFC's inhumane treatment of chickens. West is quoted on PETA flyers: 'Although most people don't know chickens as well as they know cats and dogs, chickens are interesting individuals with personalities and interests every bit as developed as the dogs and cats with whom many of us share our lives.' It's impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into one demand, or two demands. We're talking about a democratic awakening...you're talking about raising political consciousness so it spills over all parts of the country, so people can begin to see what's going on through a set of different lens, and then you begin to highlight what the more detailed demands would be. Because in the end we're really talking about what Martin King would call a revolution: A transfer of power from oligarchs to everyday people of all colors. And that is a step by step process. West further retracted his support for Obama in an April 2011 interview, stating that Obama is 'a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black muppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.' In November 2012, West said in an interview that he considered Obama a 'Rockefeller Republican in blackface.'". From Cornel West's Wikipedia page. He's a boss.
• Method for increasing SEO: crawl the NYT and find domains that it links to that are about to expire, buy them, and redirect them to sites you want to have good SEO.
• There are thousands of offices that are vacant from 6pm - 7am every day all over San Francisco, amounting to hundreds of thousands of square feet. We have 8,000 homeless people in SF who could be sleeping in those offices. How much would it cost to securitproof the offices (lockable items), pay people to set up beds starting at 7pm, and then clean the offices every morning. If just 20 tech companies agreed to this and build office space that could accomodate it, you could provide thousands of beds every night to the homeless population of SF. The tech campanies can't lease out their office space from 6pm - 6am; nobody is going to be working during that time, so that space is guaranteed to be there, vacant, and the only good use for it is sleeping.
• 2020

• Shahid Buttar is fucking amazing. Absolutely amazing. Would like to work with him at some point. Starts at 27:30. Had a couple calls with him, volunteered on his tech team, and was going to endorse him on Coursicle only to discover he does not treat his employees with empathy and puts his personal enrichment over the livable salaries of his employees. A false prophet, no doubt.
• A good way of listing an email address so that bots won't know how to scrape it: put it as hex and give instructions for converting to ASCII.
• People get those Terms and Privacy update emails all the time, but nobody reads them. It'd potentially be nice to have a site that sends you the updates in plain english and deletes the legalese from your inbox.
• Succession plan for password manager: every 6 months you get a link emailed to you. If you don't click that link two times in a row (a year of not clicking the link), then the manager assumes you've died and provides access to your designated next of kin. It's a dead man's switch for passwords.
• Main topics: Bernie Sanders, social/political movements, alternatives to capitalism and how to get there, corporate democrats, government's relationship with corporations (should there be separation of business/state just like church/state), co-opting of black panthers, the democratic establishment's collusions against serious progressives, human nature and whether people are evolutionarily guaranteed to act in their own self-interest, reverting to a collection of agrarian societies each loosely connected by trade (is the escalation to capitalism an inevitability?), socially treating greed as a disease instead of rewarding it.
• It seems like Katie Porter is awesome.
• It seems like Trump Republicans are tapping into something that people feel, that the game is rigged against them. They are disenfranchised, and it's the fault of the Clintons, or the NYT, or CNN. I think they're tapping into something that's real, but the target is wrong. It's not these people, the people in public service, it's the companies they work for, it's the wealthy people of the world who hoard their wealth. It's the system itself that's causing this. I think that exposing this kind of thing could be powerful. It'd be very reasonable: wealth disparity is the root of a lot of problems, and it's just getting worse because of our system. You should hate the people who perpetuate this: investors, bankers, politicians who don't believe in wealth redistribution, people who go to top schools and then end up working in hedge funds, who then donate money to the schools so that their kids get into those colleges or bribe someone to get their children into colleges and the wealth and status is maintained, even if it's just through the absurdity of the legacy system. That's the system you should hate. That's the aristocracy, the antithesis of democracy, precisely what the United States was founded to escape. People who have power, or wealth, even if they've achieved it themselves, want to hoard it for themselves and their family and so they don't want to change the system now that they've risen to the top. Fuck that. It's going to take someone who has risen to the top of the system to be able to change it. Someone needs to be motivated more by their ideals than by their personal interests, and it seems like those people are exceedingly rare, especially among the most powerful. This is a message that poor whites, people of color, and women all have felt. Chris Cuomo, the CNN newscaster, is the brother of the governor. Just look at Therenos. She was friends with the daughter of Tim Draper, she was friends with the granddaughter of the secretary of state. That's why they took these meetings. That's why hundreds of millions of dollars were lost. That is aristocracy. That is theft from the American people.
• Most days Google has a custom logo on their homepage, which gets billions of visits a day. When you click the logo, it makes a certain search. What if you woke up early every morning and wrote an article about whatever that search was matching the keywords exactly; might you be able to get on the first place that way? Could be a great way to get traffic.
• Trevyn sent this and it's absolutely mind changing. Really incredible stuff. It's how brains work, it's like the computer organization of brains, it just seems so intuitive.
• John Oliver's April 12, 2020 episode at minute 18. He's talking about all the right things: unemployment, homeless, racial inequality, and how Coronavirus put a spotlight on how fucked up all of this is.
• A weight sensitive mat that sits directly in front of the sink, and it weighs you automatically as you wash your hands/brush your teeth, and logs the weight on your phone silently in the background.
• It's very clear that the people who I like the most are those who are honest with themselves. Tara is the best example and has imparted this trait to me. Honesty with yourself shows you're not insecure, it also means that you're going to be open to hearing arguments that contradict your superficial beliefs about yourself, etc.
• Incredibly motivating. This is the lawyer from "Just Mercy", Bryan Stevenson, which is also very motivating.
• A little extension for the Mac that counts down 30 seconds right before your computer is going to die to force you to get your charger before it dies. It could even force sleep at the end of the timer to make it seem like your computer died, that way you're conditioned to always get your charger when you start seeing the countdown.
• Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about being a black man in the sciences, really great, and is asked "don't you want to be an athlete".
• Fantastic speech by Killer Mike at George Floyd rally.
• Combine junk mail, OCR, and a website and you can have a mailbox that feeds directly into a machine that OCRs the magazines/pamphlets/etc. and does OCR for coupons and then puts all of it online on a website. Pretty easy to get a lot of traffic that way, hard part is feeding the paper into OCR when it's so nonstandard (without manual effort).
• This is one of the best descriptions I've seen of the prototyping phase ever. It's just a great article overall, about the considerations into the design of a product and testing: https://www.valvesoftware.com/en/index/deep-dive/ear-speakers
• Wrote this waking up middle of night during dream, good luck deciphering it: "LEGO Star Wars in VR. Tara played in dream. Basically you are sitting in one place and battle things and then can move around. But you are really big and the things coming out are small. You have a tiny lightsaber or blaster that you use. Just like the mouse game".
• When people ask me what I want for my birthday, I should just tell them they should watch 2 documentaries of my choosing (I don't want anything material).
• Ask NVIDIA to remove the sexist demos that they have on website by emailing Jensen and the board. They took them down and Jensen responded. A good day.
• Get Apple to help me with a serious kernel bug by emailing C level exec. Discussed with Federighi and he sent me a new Mac.
• 2021

• Watching West Wing seems to do something to the reading/speaking part of my brain; I think by watching it I become better at speaking. It can be very helpful before a debate, or a political discussion most likely. Should keep this in mind, it appears to be a way of activating that part of me that's probably lacking because I don't read books.
• How about a restaurant where there is one table and the chef cooks for everyone, and eats and talks with the customers while they eat. Like a very small family place (with one table). Imagine a family dinner, but nobody knows each other. You have to make reservations and you have to go alone (no +1), that way everyone's meeting new people over food. And of course, the chef gets to meet a lot of people in their community. The idea here is to grow community over food.
• What about a federally funded program, just like Social Security, that simply provides free weekly therapy to those who want it.
• Spotify should have tags for songs. Either automatic, or you can provide custom tags. Then you can listen to songs with certain tags. It's like playlists, but just more federalized. I hate playlists. This is like playlists on the fly, and you can combine two "playlists" in a non-permeant way by listening to songs that have tag A or B, like just saying I want to listen to "loud" but also "pump up", the intersection or the union. Had this same idea a couple weeks later. This is so clearly how a music player should work. Spotify added this feature a couple months later.
• Someone could set up dog grooming in Washington Square Park; that would be a great way to make money, although there could be concern about legality.
• The Firewatch website has some of the incredible parallax I've ever seen.
• An app that makes it much easier to discover music. Perhaps it plays the main chorus of songs, so you only have to listen to like 20 seconds or something before you can skip to the next one, and/or another mode where it just plays 40 seconds of a song and then skips to the next one. You play it in the background and the ones that you notice being skipped you probably ended up noticing because you liked them, so you go back and add those to your liked songs.
• An app that tries to find a photo of someone from LinkedIn (or other sources) when you add their contact info to your contacts, that way all of your contacts have photos.
• A fancy watch that has a little compartment for cocaine (not sure how much cocaine you could fit but it seems like rich coke heads would love this)
• I think there should be a service that keeps a website and domain for you in perpetuity, you put whatever you want on the website: photos, notes, letters to people, videos, etc. and then when you die the site remains. SEO allows others to discover, and depending on how thorough your site is, "meet you", long after you've died. It's basically a virtual, interactive tombstone. This way your grandchildren can learn about your life, directly from you, even if they never met you. Just like it's important to maintain our scientific legacy, I think it's possible (now, with the cheapness of storage) to maintain our human legacy.
• A lot of my friends say that they recieve unsolicited dick pics regularly from former friends/acquaintances. Obviously, that's disgusting, and I think one way to combat it is for there to be consequences. Don't let dick pics live in the shadows. Post screenshots of them on stopdickpics.com.
• A chatbot that you can direct inappropriate Tinder, Hinge, etc. messages to. It does the telemarketer bot equivalent of mhm, oh yes! And?". Then at the end it reveals you've been talking to a bot.
• There needs to be better advertising in NYC for city services. For instance, it's pretty crazy that I didn't know for 11 months that I could report my landlord on a website for failing to do repairs, and it seems like nobody I knew, even the lawyers who live across the hall, knew that they could either (they were going to deduct the cost of the repairs from their rent check, but this so much easier). In the subway, on bus stops, etc. there should be a big thing that says: "Hate your landlord? Report them. 311.nyc.gov/report". Or "Is your hot water not working? Report it. 311.nyc.gov/report". It's simple.
• Want to stay in touch? Want not to end up like the old geisers who are so racist, homophobic, transphobic, and all that? Hang out with young people. Your entire life, hang out with young people who are really smart. They see the way the world is much better than you could if you hung out with people your age. The people your age are seeing the present through the lens of the past. If you hang out with intelligent 18-20 year olds for your entire life, you'll never "grow old" in that sense. Because right now it's racism, homophobia, because these are very clear and present injustices. And then the next step in social progress will be general neurophobia (phobia against neuroatypicals: the depressed, the anxious, those with OCD, the autistic), at which point we'll start to loose our stigma against mental health and it'll start to be considered more in the American healthcare system, then who knows what. Eventually it'll be come to understood, piece by piece, that you can't change the color of your skin, you can't change the way you look, you don't have full control over your body type, you don't control your genes, you don't control who you're sexually attracted to. Pedophiles that don't act on their desires in any way could be another frontier (the movie Nymphomaniac tipped me off to this). Note: it'll probably happen in a certain order. Those on the autism spectrum are likely to be next, then maybe anxiety/depression, then other neurostates like OCD/OCPD. I think it'll take a while with pedophilia (with no harm).
• It does seem like people aren't really ready to hear certain things, and that can pose problems. It might make sense to program something that certifies that it was written in the current year, but only is published publicly like 30 years later. This is in part why I workshop my ideas with trusted friends privately before publishing them, because I know some of them that I feel strongly about will get pushback, sometimes a lot of pushback. In these instances, I choose to keep these thoughts private (unlike the entire rest of my life) until the young people I talk to about them are closer to ready to accept them. In some sense, it seems like we must be spoonfed truth rather than having it dumped on us all at once. I think this is why Tesla worked in private only accompanied by animals, who gave him unconditional love unlike (I'm guessing) every other human, who found him threatening when he spoke what he believed was truth, when he was truly himself. But, at least today, advances in science is much more commonly accepted than advances in social thought.
• I wonder if the reason why we haven't made contact with other life forms in the universe, or rather why they haven't made contact with us (and given the reasoning in the Fermi Paradox, it seems exceedingly unlikely that they don't exist, is because once they hit technological singularity (which I think should be called the asymptote), they went extinct. That's concerning evidence for the singularity/asymptote.
• It appears one thing I've got consistently wrong recently is how quickly the people move/think. Perhaps that's because it's ridden with anxiety right now, which causes sluggish behavior, but a lot of the things I set in motion I would have expected to occur within a couple of days, but it might be on the order of weeks or months is what it appears. In that regard, it makes sense to set things in motion and just enjoy the ride and handle things as they come up. Modulate to some extent, don't get too many steps ahead of people, otherwise you might lose touch and end up like the mathematicians. It's also possible I underestimated the effects that anxiety is having: it could be that anxiety is causing people only to stick with what they know, and so they need to be shown a solution before they believe it exists; that you can't rely on them to help you bring it into the world, you just have to bring it into the world.
• It appears as though the incidence of autism is increasing in the population. My hypothesis is that this is some sort of self-corrective measure of humanity, evolutionarily. Basically, as the rates of anxiety increase in a population, so do the rates of autism/ASD. It's a means of increasing the population's ability to adapt to a changing environment. Those who are autistic tend to think "outside the box", and that's the kind of thinking that's needed to ensure a species' survival through times of hardship (which is what induced the anxiety in the first place). The species that didn't have this trait died out; they weren't able to adapt to hardship.
• I think strain comes between individuals when they are at different levels of Maslow's hierarchy and they try to have an exchange of ideas. That's when the debate degrades from refuting the central point to refutation, responding to tone, ad hominem, or even name-calling. There is clearly a connection between Maslow's hierarchy and Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement.
• I keep going back and forth on whether Elon Musk is a false prophet or not. I think no person who actually understands people well enough to build artificial intelligence could standby and enrich themselves, though. I think it must have to be someone who has abided by principles universally, and refined them over time. A protector of the people, like Fred Hampton. In that regard, I would relegate Elon Musk into the same group as Elizabeth Holmes and Thomas Edison.
• I think Jobs was incredibly empathetic and fundamentally understood where each person was on Maslow's hierarchy, and that's the source of his reality distortion field. It was actually a reality field. He was able to see exactly the kind of carrot or stick to construct to get them to do what he needed them to do in order to create a vision that bettered the entirety of humanity.
• Hypothesis: as the collective intelligence gets better, that is, as our tools get better (steam, electricity, computers, etc.), the raw IQ of the individual using those tools can be lower and lower in order to make a difference.
• Can someone please explain how the bifurcation diagram relates to the Mandlebrot set? This is intensely interesting yet completely elludes me.
• Should look more into seratonin's link to autism. Seems all pretty connected. Anxiety, the gut, serotonin, autism, SSRIs, etc.
• Should make a site that's like a link and when other people visit it, it automatically follows all of their social media on their account. Great for people you meet in-person who want to follow you on Twitter/Instagram/add you on LinkedIn, etc.
• A social media site like Instagram but for gifs, specifically targeted at artists who produce their artwork in gif form.
• Good site design by Apple, makes pure white background work with elements. Use of color and icons make this work.
• An idea so that you can use your credit cards as if they were debit cards: an extension that just takes all the balances of credit cards and subtracts them from your checking balance, and you'd check this app/extension to know what the real state of your money is as if you had a debit card. It's like a worst case view that you can keep track of.
• Good design is really all about sensible defaults: what needs to be displayed to handle the majority of people, and what can be hidden away.
• Some people figured out that Github repos that have been recently updated get a nice high priority on Google search, so they have a link to their website inside a ReadMe on a Github page (just a link, nothing else) and then they auto-commit to the repo every 24 hours.
• Richard Feynman is someone I've looked up to since high school. There are very few people I could say I idolize, but he is probably one of them. There are some videos of him that find myself quoting a decade after watching them, and I find them inspiring, almost bringing in me a kind of religious fervor for science. I'm not sure how much I listened to the others, but I love Beauty and Fire the most. Saving them for posterity, since it'd be a shame if his teachings became inaccessible one day: Beauty, Fire, Curiosity, Science, Honours, and Martian.
• Olive oil really goes bad quickly (or at least becomes much less tasty) after opening, so it should be produced in a lot of small bottles, even single use.
• Coming out of Penn Station going north, there's this very ethereal sound, something that certainly coud be used in some sort of science fiction movie. Penn Station.
• App that "greylists" yourself. Basically creates a Messages app clone that only lets you text certain people. Or nobody at all. You set it up before you go drinking or do drugs to protect yourself from embarrassment. Then you also get to see what you wanted to say afterward.
• I've always hated long distance friendships. Texting "How are you?" and having a 20 superficial text exchange. Perhaps the norm should be "thinking of you", skip the superficiality and wait until you see each other in person or have a call for a real exchange.
• Recording device for those who are often targets of police brutality: you put in a car and press a button when pulled over and it starts recording video and audio and streams to a website for automatic upload. Maybe has a dead man’s switch, so if you don’t delete it after 3 days it gets sent to certain contacts. You can inform officer that it’s recording, which should help thwart bad actors.
• Things changed when network load times improved. You could get sucked into your phone in a way you couldn’t before. It was the network, not just the phone. What about a trend of turning this on to enforce distraction from your phone. You have to sit and watch it load. Why not encourage people to turn on the network link conditioner on their phone. Everything takes longer, and so there are more mental pauses, you look up from your phone more while you wait for a web page to load.
• I was impressed by the design of LinkNYC's display of upcoming bus times. The version I saw was with a white background but I think the dark background was done just as well if not better.
• To preface, sex/pornography should be less of a taboo topic. Was talking to a co-worker, she suggested kind of a porn aggregator that takes most viewed content from Reddit and other sources, maybe uses AI based on what you watch in order to give suggestions. Basically just a feed, like Tumblr was but with a larger body of source content.
• There should be a movement to abondon App Stores. Something like creating app.com, and give people discounts if you download there (as a PWA). Then have people start to pull apps from App Stores as a way to force people to switch to app.com, or at least have it be something they check. Big companies would be interested in doing this too, and could save billions in App Store fees.
• App that names your desktops, and then it enforces certain windows/apps to only be put in those desktops. So I could have an iOS development thing which will restrain an iOS terminal window to be there, and if I try to open another iOS related terminal window it'll automatically move it there, etc.
• What’s the cause for resistance to being different? Maybe it’s evolutionary. Maybe the majority sees a difference in a group, and the concern is that that difference could give a competitive advantage in reproduction, so it’s a threat to their genes. So they want to squash it before it’s competitive. This would kind of make sense.
• The idea of Patreon is pretty good, and this video echos some of my earlier ideas of shifting power from large companies back to the people who create the content, but he's annoying, and it shouldn't be a company that organizes something like this (what happens if he changes his mind, or sells). These big conglomerates are taking the ad money, and you have to follow their rules to get your content seen. Having followers means nothing, but it shouldn’t be Patreon that does this. Should create a Creators union. And should do the RSS idea I had for a decentralized web, so no one company, like Patreon, is in control over the community platform.
• It'd be cool if NYC made it so that delivery for healthy food, like salads, is free, to encourage people to order healthier foods.
• For roommates, it'd be good if there were a little light in each room that could tell you if the bathroom door was locked, so you didn't have to repeatedly go out and check if someone had left the bathroom or not. Just makes it easier day to day to live with other people I think.
• Would be kind of cool to create a crawler that looks for lists and things on the internet and sees which ones don't obey Bedford's law, and then report them all on a site, so that you can try to detect fraudulent things like inflating likes/comments/etc.
• A restaraunt where the waiters are very knowledgable about the food, or maybe the waiters are the cooks (and they switch off every night) and when they deliver the food to you they also sit down and eat with you to talk about the food, and generally. Not for the entire dish, but part of it.
• Seems like a great idea to share a credit card with some friends that gets like 5% cash back on transportation, and then all use the card for the NYC subway because after 13 trips in a week, all the rest are free. So 6 friends going to work every weekday would basically get free rides 3 weekdays and all weekend, which is pretty great. As long as everyone was going to travel more than the amount / the number of people each week, they save money, and they can all split the bill evenly which is pretty straightforward. The problem is that tracking is by physical card, and even having the same card on multiple iPhones/Androids via Apple Pay creates essentially a new card, and that won't count toward this 13 trip thing. Now the only way I think it could be beaten is by actually cloning the credit card. This surely violates some terms of service, but it doesn't seem illegal to clone your own credit card (although you could be defrauding the MTA by doing this, it still seems pretty gray). There must be a way to do this, and it could save you about \$100/month if you've just got a couple friends to go in with you.
• Sometimes when you get to the airport, there's something TSA makes you throw out, maybe of significant sentimental value, or that's expensive. If you're leaving a place where you have no ties, or you live a long way for the airport, or the person who dropped you off has already left the airport, there's not much you can do but throw it out. What about lockers in or near the airport where you could store it and it would be shipped to your home automatically.