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Sep 2 10

Parasitic Computation and JavaScript

by Jonas Huckestein

Parasitic computing is a technique [...] that uses the legitimate function of computing hosts to perform some other computation.

From Gian David Perrone‘s Master’s Thesis [PDF]

According to a Nielsen report broadband-connected Americans spend 2.6B hours online every month. That’s about 300 computing-years/month in the US alone while people are actually in front of the screen. The global internet population is 2B people! That is a lot of largely unused processing power.

There’s projects that use idle processors to solve difficult problems (SETI@Home, Rosetta@Home, SuperDonate, etc). Most of those projects are based on BOINC and require the installation of a client software. All BOINC projects have a combined all-time user-base of 2M users. That is 1/1000 of the internet population (probably less, given that BOINC runs on servers as well). For a mind-blowing list of volunteer computing articles click here.

I think we can do better.

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Apr 9 10

Business Ideas Brain Dump

by Jonas Huckestein

I’ll change the format somewhat b/c I’m in a hurry; I’ll just dump some stuff out of my system so I can think about actual work I have to do.

Property Heatmaps For Places

I want to have heatmaps that I can lay over places to reflect certain properties such as how nice the place is, how expensive it is or how many girls there are around. I want to be able to animate this data like weather-forecasts and to detect patterns and to predict how it’s going to change.

I don’t have much on this yet, but check out this mockup:

Coming up after the jump:

  • Credit Card Meets Online Game
  • Mass-Customization of Physical Products + Gaming: Facilitating Shopping Addiction
  • Lab Notebook for the iPad

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Mar 14 10

Why The Startup Bus Was Awesome

by Jonas Huckestein

Team at the Launch Party: Justin W, Amir, Justin I, Mick, Igor, Chris and me (Karolis is not in picture but he was awesome, too)

I’m happy. It’s a fantastic day and I’m back on a plane to SF. I can’t believe how amazing the Startup Bus experience has been for me and everybody involved. These are my fresh, unorganized impressions thus far :)

Why was it awesome? Because people who do such things are awesome! Example: The team put together the fantastic website and pulled an all-nighter after B***** deleted the entire thing one day prior to launch. Everybody got along fantastically and in the end, the bus probably launched more friendships than startups.

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Feb 24 10

Business Idea Of The Week: Make Work More Like Games

by Jonas Huckestein

I was a World of Warcraft (WOW) addict. The fishing activity is a tragic example of what that encompasses: Click, Wait, Click on the Bobber, Click, Wait, Click on the Bobber, … Some people do this for hours.

Why do people click and wait for hours? Because after a while a fanfare sounds and a banner comes up: “Achievement Earned: Super Fisherman 200“. Other people see that, too. That is why WOW works.

Fishing is routine work, but in contrast to other routine work, people enjoy fishing in WOW (sort of). Work can be like that. Hit the jump for some ideas I’ve had on this topic.

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Feb 24 10

5 (Possibly Fixable) Reasons Why Y-Combinator’s Hacker News Is Flawed

by Jonas Huckestein

Note: Most of these issues have since been addressed. I’ll keep this post around so that I can always remember that time when I set up a blog and experimented with linkbaiting ;)

Hacker News is flawed.

I started reading HN a few weeks ago and already think it’s conceptually flawed. A lot of extremely smart people frequent HN and the community’s potential is being wasted.

This is not a rant. I appreciate everything that News.YC does for the startup/hacker community and will continue reading it. But I might not engage in active discussions. Hit the jump for my reasons.

Update: I was just made aware of the pages for HN. Takes you back.

Update 2: Some new points (“this link has expired” et al.) have come up. Check out the discussion over at HN for details.

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Feb 23 10

Who Else Wants To Switch From to

by Jonas Huckestein

You might have noticed how I’ve changed the blog recently. This is because I made the switch from a free hosted blog at to a self-hosted (at one. Here’s the story.

I was doomed from day one. I settled for the blog instead of a self-hosted wordpress installation because it seemed much easier and I was lazy. I took the blue pill (which is the one that doesn’t free you from the matrix, btw). Hit the jump for a quick rundown of what I did.

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Feb 22 10

6 Reasons To Have A Blogger On Your Startup Team

by Jonas Huckestein

Today I explained to a friend why it’s difficult to find great people to start companies with. Short story: I listed a number of qualities that are less obvious then the usual suspects (motivation, domain knowledge, grasp of matters). In my experience, these less obvious qualities are critical to a startup’s success (ideally, every founder should have all ;))

When I was done, I noticed how I had just described a typical blogger. Hit the jump for 6 superpower reasons why we should start founding companies with bloggers.

Disclaimer: The reasons not to hire bloggers will not be discussed in this article. I can not be held responsible for damages incurred by hiring bloggers.

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Feb 19 10

The Future Of Newspaper Publishers (Embrace The Working-Time Activity)

by Jonas Huckestein

Since some people have been complaining that this has become a nerd’s blog, I thought I’d also share something else I think about from time to time.

There seems to be a discussion going on about how newspapers can maintain their business model in the connected world we live in. They are suddenly competing in a global market in which the consumers spend little more than one minute reading news and expect that to be free. A couple of weeks ago Google Chief Economist Hal Varian held an interesting presentation at UC Berkeley. According to him, the decline in newspaper revenue is caused primarily because reading news has shifted from a leisure-time activity to a working-time activity. Thus, the goal must be to reinstate news as a leisure time activity. (Let’s call that the “iPad-approach”)

I disagree. The internet enabled news to become a working-time activity, but it is not responsible for the decline in leisure-time newspaper reading. In fact, according to Varian, the number of per capita newspaper subscriptions has seen a steady decline since the 50s that has only ever so slightly accelerated in the last couple of years.

So here’s a (difficult) question: How can newspaper publishers embrace their working-time-ness?

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Feb 16 10

Business Idea of the Week: Artificial Luxury Fashion Labels

by Jonas Huckestein

I’ll not be able to get a lot of real work done this week because my computer is broken so I’ll just write about a couple of ideas that have been in my head for a while.

In Germany, we have a luxury bag manufacturer called George, Gina & Lucy. The company has built an elite image that implies decades of experience and a bag costs about 100$. What few people know, though, is that none of the people involved in founding that company were called George, Gina or Lucy. Instead, the company was founded in 2004 by a couple of MBA students. (also note how the company has no Wikipedia page. Coincidence? I think not.)

I am proposing to take this to a new level by producing a couple of “artificial” brands under one central management.

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Feb 10 10

WaveConnector for GWT: Local Testing and Turnkey Gadget Development

by Jonas Huckestein

Hello everybody, today I announce my first open source publication :D I’m excited so please leave comments and let me know what you think or if you run into problems :)

Introducing WaveConnector for GWT 0.0.1

WaveConnector allows you to develop Google Wave gadgets and to test them locally in hosted mode! Head over to the project site at Google Code for more info.

The turnkey archive that is provided on the project site has everything you need to get started! It already contains the little project I made for the tutorial last week, so you can just downloaded the waveconnector-gwt-turnkey archive and start from there. There is no need to download anything else. Hit the jump for a really short How-To that’ll get you going in no time.

And now… a screenshot of our WaveListGadgetGWT running inside a hosted mode browser!

WaveListGadgetGWT running in GWT hosted mode!

Update: Apparently the old gwt-gadgets gadget linker for GWT does not support power features such as code splitting and resource bundles. This is not acceptable. I am currently looking into whether its possible to use the xs linker instead. In that case the communication with the gadget js api would have to be reimplemented (or maybe taken from gwt-gadgets).


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