Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 30th October 2013

Can I promote an online/virtual/ webinar event through Meetup?

No. That’s specifically mentioned as something Meetup should not be used for in their community guidelines: Meetup’s Community Guidelines

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Should I ever use GIF image format for non animated elements?

These days probably not—anything non-animated that you would use a GIF for is generally better as a PNG.

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How was FriendFeed’s schema less db faster than pure MySQL?

The principle reason they switched to a schemaless DB was to work around the challenges of having to make schemes changes in MySQL, which can lock the table and take hours if bit days to complete in large tables.

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For a 2-day developer conference in SF, which two days of the week are best?

It depends on the topic and the audience.

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What is the Hacker News technology stack?

It’s written in Arc, a Lisp variant created by Paul Graham. I believe it uses the file system for storage rather than a dedicated database.

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Is it possible to run a successful company without being unethical or operating on the fringes of the law?

There is nothing inherently unethical about entrepreneurship. Find a problem people have. Figure out how much money solving it will save them (or help them make). Charge them less than that.

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What are most important websites, online sources of knowledge and news for startups?

Hacker News is still the best starting point, which is pretty impressive considering how long the community has been around.

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