Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

17 Year Old Creates Flickr Competitor

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the any-kid-in-a-garage dept.

224

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch has an article up on a new Flickr competitor called Zooomr. The interesting thing about all of this that it was developed in only three months by a 17 year old and to top it all off, the site is currently localized in 16 languages."

cancel ×

224 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So? (5, Funny)

Gunnery Sgt. Hartman (221748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913629)

When I was 17 I was...umm......creating a hotmail account. So there!

Are YOU making a contribution? (-1, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913737)

It's sad. At 17, most people are creating a first post, and others are making the world a better place.

Off topic: World Trade Center building 7 fell in exactly the same exactly symmetrical way as WTC 1 and 2, and it was NOT hit by an airplane. ALL the collapses looked like controlled demolitions. See the news footage in the movie Loose Change [google.com] . It is a work in progress, but already very informative.

Re:Are YOU making a contribution? (5, Funny)

Furmy (854336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913766)

building 7 fell in exactly the same exactly symmetrical way as WTC 1 and 2

uhhh...down?

Re:Are YOU making a contribution? (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913774)

At 17, most people are creating a first post, and others are making the world a better place.

At 17 I believe I wrote RemorseView, an ascii/ansi viewer for ACiD/Remorse.

I doubt I made the world a better place.. but I kept myself occupied. :)

Re:Are YOU making a contribution? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913783)

Holy shit. Nice non sequitur there! Got ADD much? :-)

At 17 I was just beginning an 8 yr alcoholic binge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914085)

And no, not partying at college. Minimum-wage-all-going-toward-rent-and-beer binge.

At 29 I've finally gotten my life back together but I'm _still_ not as productive as this kid.

Kudos to him, I hope him all the success in the world. Once he extinguishes his server of course. ;)

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913632)

is mine

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913654)

no it's not ;P

Re:first post (0, Offtopic)

themoodykid (261964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913761)

Are you 17? If so, this is a great accomplishment and maybe somebody ought to write an article about you. On the other hand, if you're not 17, bugger off.

Competition is nice, but . . . (5, Insightful)

Nomihn0 (739701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913634)

Competition is nice, but innovation is far more impressive.

Re:Competition is nice, but . . . (4, Interesting)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913674)

I feel like Zooomr's use of OpenID alone is reason to celebrate. I mean so far OpenID has been used by, uhm, LiveJournal...and that's just about it. It's a really underrated technology.

Re:Competition is nice, but . . . (2, Insightful)

Atrus5 (537814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913928)

Unfortunately, OpenID is very weak for an authentication system; it has no authentication or integrity checking. I'll tolerate it for blog comments, because it is better than trusting anything, but there's no way on earth I want to use it where money or real privleges are involved.

Re:Competition is nice, but . . . (2, Interesting)

CoughDropAddict (40792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914013)

Unfortunately, OpenID is very weak for an authentication system; it has no authentication or integrity checking.

What are you talking about? It's an authentication system! Of course it has authentication and "integrity checking."

Do you actually understand what its limits are?

(Hint: do you trust your bank's authorization scheme on their website? Your bank could authenticate you with third party sites using OpenID just as securely as they authenticate you with their own).

Awesome, but not so unique (5, Interesting)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913636)

Although it is nice to see someone so young get the attention they deserve, this isn't unique. I can personally vouche there are thousands of people between the ages of 15-18 that have the potential to create things like this. In terms of the technology behind this type of website, I've been working with it for almost 2 years. The problem with people in this age group getting noticed, or getting the attention they deserve, is quite simply a financial issue.

Not to gloat, but I've created some pretty usefull projects and technologies in my time comperable to this one, just as simple side projects. However, most of them don't make it past a few months of development for one simple reason: I can't financially support it. As I just noticed when I tried to load the Zoomr website, the ammount of money needed to buy a server that can support such a community is overwhelming, especially for someone in the age group of 15-18 who's primary concern to buying lunch every day.

I would love to see more projects of this calibur come from this same younger generation, and I would love to be part of such projects. But getting ones foot off the ground is the first, and hardest step towards this success.

Kristopher Tate, the 17-year-old who make Zoomr, will undoubtedly become noticed by companies looking for such ambitious programmers. But he got lucky; the rest of us aren't so fortunate.

Re:Awesome, but not so unique (4, Interesting)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913657)

Indeed, many people have made similar technological things. I count myself among them. By 18, I was working at a small local phone company, running their website. A ton of money was probably made from the orders that went through the site. But, it wasn't especially glamorous. It was like any other "E-commerce" site at the time, really. And, the company wasn't about to advertise the fact that their tech staff was extremely inexperienced.

So, I won't bow down to this kid from a technological standpoint.

But, shit. He did his own thing, and he managed to get the word out about it. My hat is off to him as a self promoter. Nobody ever heard of me, so he pretty much has me beat from that angle... Even if his website is dead.

Lots of guys like me and the parent poster have a reasonable amount of skill with technology, and did so at a rather young age. We all had neat ideas. He made his idea. That deserves respect. My real time strategy game, for example, still only exists as notes on scrap paper, and the start of a header file for a prototype...

Re:Awesome, but not so unique (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913660)

Although it is nice to see someone so young get the attention they deserve, this isn't unique. I can personally vouche there are thousands of people between the ages of 15-18 that have the potential to create things like this.

So, you personally know thousands of 15-18 years old and can vouch for them? Man, you must be very popular.

Re:Awesome, but not so unique (1)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913676)

Takes time, energy, and a great memory.

None of which I seem to have...

Re:Awesome, but not so unique (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913763)

Not at all. He is just a kiddie porn king.

Re:Awesome, but not so unique (4, Interesting)

woolio (927141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913677)

Kristopher Tate, the 17-year-old who make Zoomr, will undoubtedly become noticed by companies looking for such ambitious programmers. But he got lucky; the rest of us aren't so fortunate.

I'm not sure this kid getting notice is a good thing for him...

I'm not sure how fortunate he will be. If Ebay can get sued for the "Buy It Now" feature, how long will it be until Flickr [or another compnay] sues the 17yr-old for patent infringement? [Or maybe they will wait until he turns 18]

That is, when his thing takes off and starts to compete, I can see Flickr sueing him into smitherenes. [I didn't read the article:] And since he probably hasn't taken the necessary steps to hide behind his own cooperation, this kid will be paying for more than just college loans...

Re:Awesome, but not so unique (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913785)

More likely: he sells to Google, which lost the buying-war for Flickr to Yahoo and is probably looking for a Flickr-competitor to work with Picasa, Hello, and Blogger. This thing has "acquire me" written all over it.

Re:Awesome, but not so unique (4, Insightful)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913804)

It's not the software google wanted to buy, but the name and the userbase. I mean really, it's a website that lets you post pictures and make comments about them. A blog with pictures.

The company that makes one of the most advanced search engines in the world could surely duplicate such software, and get it done quickly.

Brand recognition though, you can't whip that out whenever you want.

Re:Awesome, but not so unique (1)

cryptoz (878581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914004)

Did you just say that Google doesn't have brand recognition?

You misunderstand what makes an entrepreneur... (4, Insightful)

spagetti_code (773137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913931)

Great ideas are obvious - once you are told them.
The ability to recognise a great idea and take it
from idea to reality is a tremendous skill. Its harder
than you think. Or to put it another way - just
how many million dollar concepts have you turned into
reality recently? Hmmmm???

You may be as good a coder as this guy - but he took
some great ideas (that you didn't have by the way)
and developed them to reality. Interface with OpenID -
of course! Sound bites, google maps, etc etc.
Obvious now we know.

One important difference: (5, Funny)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913638)

Flikr can handle a slashdotting.

Re:One important difference: (1)

JediLow (831100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913647)

Wow... yay for the power of subscribing. I decided to check out the site before the headline hit the front page, and a minute later the server slowed to a crawl. Gotta love the /. effect.

pr0n (4, Funny)

xixax (44677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913773)

And you mustn't upload NC rated pics because the SysAdmin is 17.

Re:pr0n (4, Interesting)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913822)

Actually, I am working on this problem. But instead of a lame tag-based system, I've opted for a strict relational model.

Each picture consists of one or more actions.
Each action consists of of exactly two people (both of which can point to the same person record).
Each person record is broken up into "static" (things unchanging throughout their life, e.g. birth name), "daily" (things true for a short period of time, e.g. color her hair was dyed that week), and "instant" (things only true for that split second the photo was taken).

The data model is much more complete than this, and more importantly, I've found a way to actually collect the metadata.

Let people in for free. Have them go through a custom webapp, collecting the metadata (clicking on the photo with the mouse, to grab the pixel color value for skintone), maybe as few as just a few pictures a week. In exchange, they get to search for free.

When finished, it should be possible to search only for pictures with just one girl, whose legs are spread exactly 57 degrees in a "sitting up" pose.

Like I said, you wouldn't believe just how much metadata I figure it's possible to collect.

Anyone want a free account?

Being a 17 year old myself... (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913932)

When finished, it should be possible to search only for pictures with just one girl, whose legs are spread exactly 57 degrees in a "sitting up" pose. ...it's nice to know you've got priorities straight here. :D

Re:Being a 17 year old myself... (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913967)

Talk to me in a year, and you can have a free account.

But is it... (3, Funny)

tajgenie (932485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913641)

But is it open source? I think not! Future Bill Gates who will one day terrorize the world!!

Re:But is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914159)

Get the car, I'll get the shotgun.

Technical issues aren't the hard part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913644)

The hard bit is getting people to use the new system instead of flickr, and if the new site catches on, scaling well with the growth.

Getting the site slashdotted is a good way of getting started on the first bit

How many linux users are there worldwide today? (0, Offtopic)

LeddRokkenstud (945664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913645)

I need to know.

Awesome to see another competitor (1)

priestx (822223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913648)

I like to use sites that are completely ahead than the market suited types we see similar to flickr. It's nice to know your UI won't get boring and simple within the first few weeks of usage, i.e. MySpace versus Facebook.

Hurrah for innovation!

Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (2, Interesting)

humankind (704050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913650)

Good for this kid. He's not necessarily a genius, but he is atypical IMO. Not because other kids his age couldn't do the same, but because most other kids his age aren't because they're being sedated by mass media.

When I was 14 I was doing programming for a Fortune 500 company; when I was 15 I wrote and designed the accounting system for my city's municipal water company; when I was 16 I wrote my own BBS system, which got the attention of Bell Atlantic who then contracted with me to develop a prototype of one of the first online electronic yellow page systems. By the time I was 17, I had written software for Disney, the United Nations and plenty of other companies. I really don't think I was special... I just made the most out of my time and resources. If I had unlimited access to a Playstation or 500 channels of television when I was a teen, I'd probably be working for an insurance company or a restaurant instead of being self employed and successful doing something I truly enjoy.

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913675)

I really don't think I was special...

If it helps, I don't think you're special either.

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (4, Funny)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913679)

Out of curiousity how did you get around child labor laws to work as a nonagricultural worker at 14?

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (1)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913738)

Uh, when I was 14 I worked at McDonalds, D'Angelo's a Local chicken restaurant. Those aren't agricultural jobs either. At 14 you just can't work past 6pm and can't put in more than I think it's 15hrs a week (at least in the state of MA, 17 years ago.)

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (4, Interesting)

humankind (704050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913739)

I was doing a lot of subcontracting when I was younger. When I was working for the Fortune 500 company, my father got me that job and he handled it all. So I know nothing about what the law was at that time. However, when I was younger and working, people didn't seem to care about my age except they were concerned I was so young I wouldn't be responsible enough to work on something so important to their business... so I had to be that much more dilligent.

Someone modded my post a "troll". That's really sad. I know there are people here who are big gamer fans and I didn't mean to malign those who like to obsess over sitcoms and shit like that. It's just not what I did, and I honestly think if my parents hadn't made an effort to not expose me to much TV during formative years, I wouldn't have had the skillset I have now. I'm very grateful to them for it. Some here, apparently resent it, but that's not my fault. I'm only trying to empower others, and not really brag about myself... I'm just saying, you can do what this kid has done; I know because I did stuff like what he's doing too. You just have to use your time and energy more wisely. I don't think playing Halo several hours a day is going to get you a great job... your milage may vary... but don't take it out on me.

Might be... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913868)

Application of labor laws is a relatively new concept. When I was 16, I left home, and got a job running a punch press at a die cast factory in Portland, Oregon (Winter Products). It was a big factory. They didn't ask my age, and I didn't tell them. I'm 42 now, so that would have been around '79 or '80.

But the guy does a lot boasting, sounds like it might be tall tales...

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (1)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914061)

Can't say for the original poster but if you parent owns a company you can start working there at 12. If you have good parents that's great - I got full time employment during the summer and breaks at 12 - how many others my age had enough money to do what they wanted? Parents didn't kill me, got payed the maximum allowed (which, amusingly enough, was minimum wage, but at 16 labor laws changed and could make more). I got the video games I wanted, the shoes I wanted, and all the otehr stupid stuff (and non-stupid stuff) a kid in middle school wants without having to beg and pester constantly.

Now, if your parents keep the money and force you to work, that sucks. But for me it worked well and there are many others that began working much younger than 16. Though there are other things not to like in the original posters article.

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913699)

Funny then that what he created will zombify plenty of others.

Muhahahahahahahahaha

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (0)

mattkime (8466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913706)

...by age 30, had you moved out of your parents basement? ...by age 40, had you kissed a girl?

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (1, Interesting)

humankind (704050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913718)

...by age 30, had you moved out of your parents basement? ...by age 40, had you kissed a girl?

I moved out of my parents house when I turned 18. I'd post the number of women I've slept with but I'm worried my current girlfriend would read this and be horified, not that I want to know how many men she's slept with either.

But ha ha, I get your funny joke... in my case I didn't match the stereotype though.

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (0)

mattkime (8466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913775)

>>I'd post the number of women I've slept with but I'm worried my current girlfriend would read this and be horified, not that I want to know how many men she's slept with either.

Less or greater than 1? ...waitwait....a girlfriend that _might_ read slashdot? You truly are an alpha geek!

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913818)

Here I'll do one, by 7 I was programming my IBM PC with fun little screen savers, by 14 I was creating sales tracking applications for my family's two corporations, by 16 I got a job offer to relocate to Dallas, TX and work for a very large corporation (I declined), by 17 I was hacking my computer programmer teacher's computer everyday and telling him his password (he later went on to become a systems security expert, scary), by 18 I created a trans-database server (i.e. xbase->firebird->mssql->etc) replication application, by 20 I created an internal tracking, workflow, and reporting system, by 26 I'm now working for my father's 3 corporations, being the sole R&D, development, and administrative person for the new one. I'm also currently working on embedded application development for pocket sized computers for the same 3 companies. I'm sorry but where were we going with this :-P ? I think a lot of slash-dotters here have similar backgrounds, our thirst for nerdly knowledge drives us. Also, I'm married, and thusly implications about my having sex could probably go either way :-P.

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913770)

If I had unlimited access to a Playstation or 500 channels of television when I was a teen, I'd probably be working for an insurance company or a restaurant instead of being self employed and successful doing something I truly enjoy.

I think I got your idea, but you didn't quite hit the nail on the head. See, I had cable TV and i've been enjoying videogames since I was a kid. But I learned to program nifty stuff like you, and I cracked my first videogame when I was 12. By 18 I cracked my first shareware app (curse those register screens :P ). Currently i'm working with an MVC framework for PHP that I designed myself. I work in an e-business company.

I really don't think having videogames or cable TV will make a difference. What really matters is the education and the interest in Science that you're raised with.

See, my dad always bought me science books when I was a kid. Science for kids, that is, with nifty graphics and all that. I really have to say his effort was worth it.

About your talent, I really think you're a gifted individual, there are people who even with good circumstances around them, have trouble learning to program a "hello world". A potential problem with gifted people is that if they don't recognize their gifts, they might end up judging others too harshly, crushing their own self-esteem. Don't make that mistake.

Re:Anything is possible when you turn off the TV (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914055)

How is Windows 98 working out for you?

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=177841&cid=147 51768 [slashdot.org]

Have some lunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913653)

It's nice to see that someone could come and eat a "professionally done" site's lunch though. True, they'd need the financial backing and whatnot, but I think this shows that it's still possible for a new startup to come and do something better than the current king of the hill.

If someone can get some Zooomr screenshots, maybe they can post them to Flicr?

Here, have some shit... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913668)

Bullshit. It's some ass-smelling php script running on some shared server. Big fucking whoop-dee-fucking-doo...

Zooomr (3, Insightful)

fanblade (863089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913665)

Aside from being a Flickr knockoff (and being slashdotted), zooomr sounds like it has some serious potential. If and when their servers get back online I'm definitely going to try it out. I'm salivating over GPS data within pictures, associating pictures from different users based on time and place.

Linking users to faces in a picture sounds like the perfect blend of Facebook and Flickr, hopefully without the obsessive/compulsive behavior found on the Facebook social network. I wonder how long before Flickr turns up the heat??

Alternative link (5, Informative)

Blazeix (924805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913670)

At this risk of completely blowing up his server, here is a testing version of his site: http://beta.zooomr.com/ [zooomr.com]

Re:Alternative link (4, Informative)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913680)

Actually beta.zooomr.com IS the site. Zooomr.com has just always redirected there.

Re:Alternative link (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913784)

At this risk of completely blowing up his server,

Translation: "Let's fry him BWAHAHAHAHAHA! (Oh yeah I'm evil!)"

Google ID? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913672)

The article says you can log in with your account from several other services. All are covered by OpenID except one - Google! Did Google open up some kind of authentication API while I was sleeping?

Re:Google ID? (4, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913808)

Did Google open up some kind of authentication API while I was sleeping?

It looks like it's entirely bogus - you enter your gmail account and it emails you a password each time you want to access the site. You recover the password, enter it on the site, and that's your logon. Not really sure what it has to do with gmail, as the same mechanism could apply to any email address.

Sounds pretty bogus.

But Flickr is hackable (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913697)

It would be hard to truly compete against Flickr, since it offers a great deal of power that the user can find behind the simplistic interface. O'Reilly has already released Flickr Hacks [amazon.com] . I doubt that this kid's creation is half as hackable.

The only thing that I don't like about Flickr is that it allows one to upload an enormous amount of photos each month, but limits the free account to three albums.

Re:But Flickr is hackable (1)

oedneil (871555) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913724)

Time to upgrade to pro, then!

Re:But Flickr is hackable (1, Insightful)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913725)

I doubt that this kid's creation is half as hackable.

When you were 17, what did you have to show for yourself?

Stop being a prick and give the kid a compliment or two. At least he produces something instead of just bitching about others' creations.

Re:But Flickr is hackable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913744)

What does age have to do with anything? I created projects of that magnitude when I was 10 and I'm sure many of us can say the same. We don't sit here and toot our own horns hoping to get social approval because of our age, thats the difference.

Re:But Flickr is hackable (5, Funny)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913843)

When I was ten, to reboot the computer you held it upside down over your head and shook it. Oh wait, that was 'Etch-a-Sketch' [etch-a-sketch.com] . Holy crap, how times have changed!

Re:But Flickr is hackable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914090)

You owe me a new keyboard.

Re:But Flickr is hackable (0)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913772)

When you were 17, what did you have to show for yourself?

Not only did I have some very impressive projects when I was 17, but I didn't have libraries of Javascript and online services that I could easily "mash up", nor did I have libraries featuring every bit of functionality but the kitchen sink.

It's easy for a "kid" to hash together a site like this because it's largely just a case of stringing together library code and available code. I'm not trying to diminish his accomplishments, but let's keep some perspective.

And I doubt Flickr is losing any sleep.

Re:But Flickr is hackable (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913842)

I agree. When you see the guy who built his own house with his own two hands, you don't scream at him "You big losers, millions of people have built houses before!". Even something mundane, finished to completion, is often admirable.

Re:But Flickr is hackable (1)

karthikg (322896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913887)

Yes, only 3 sets; but you can be creative with tags.
Once you put in lots of relevant tags, you don't need that many sets.
You can view/search based on your tags

Karthik

And yet... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913935)

You have no idea what the site offers. For all you know, it goes WAY beyond flickr. Actually, I doubt that it does go beyond, but I would not be surprised to see that his arch. is a great deal more flexable WRT to what the future holds. Keep in mind that Flickr was probably more of a slow hack that developed to where it is. OTH, this guy has an idea of where he is heading (he is not a trailblazer).

i18n is cool, but easy (4, Interesting)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913721)

The interesting thing about all of this that it was developed in only three months by a 17 year old and to top it all off, the site is currently localized in 16 languages.

Localization systems are really easy once you know how to do them. I used to be intimidated by such things, but then I started making phpBB mods. I saw that the phpBB localization system was basically a set of arrays of text strings that gets loaded depending upon the user settings. Then the array is used as variables to drop in the appropriate text. I've since seen some better systems, and mostly I'm impressed with how simple good developers can make it.

I put some of that into practice for Agitar, a company whose site is available in English & Japanese. I don't speak Japanese, I just added some tweaks to a Movable Type system, and voila, two fields per entry. I do the English, and any employee who speaks Japanese will enter a translation. I suspect that I can create a basic i18n framework for PHP in an afternoon.

What would be really cool would be if he did the translations himself. Does he speak 16 languages? Or did he sit with Babelfish or Google, and nurse some automated translations into something sensible? That's the step that takes talent or hard effort. I would be impressed if he did that completely without outside help. For that matter, if he has a system in place for people to upload translations, have them verified, and be automatically put into effect, that would be impressive too. I tried such a thing, but I just couldn't find good ways to deal with the character sets and launder data that is so open-ended, without human inspection.

Re:i18n is cool, but easy (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913846)

I think this kid is a pansy. I mean, look at what this [aaronsw.com] kid did when he was 14 (he co-wrote the RSS 1.0 specification).

Re:i18n is cool, but easy (4, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914081)

Internationalization/localization is more than just translating strings. At a minimum, you have to deal with local laws, such as the lower volume cap that the iPod had to add for France. Next you need to deal with local sensibilities, such as Taiwan not liking being listed as a part of China (and China not liking Taiwan listed separately), or Pakistan not liking Kashmir listed as a part of India (and vice versa). Finally, you deal with things like icons, because some symbols might be offensive or confusing. Right-to-left languages will also throw all sorts of code into disarray. Beyond merely understandable, you also want to distinguish between UK, US, Australian, and whatever other versions of English you have to deal with.

Good i18n and l10n is quite difficult and expensive.

A new kind of lock-in? (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913747)

Ah, but for those of us who have hundreds or even thousands of images loaded and categorized in flickr, how easy is it to move to another service? Are we seeing the dawn of a new and exciting kind of vendor lock-in?

I know that flickr has a helpful, open API; I just wonder if it's enough.

Mitch (3, Funny)

Nycto (138650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913764)

At the risk of straying completely off topic, this guy looks strikingly like Mitch Hedberg.

That is all I have to add to this conversation. Carry on.

It seems nice but... (1)

drrngrvy (873112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913788)

Is it not just a melding of already existing products? If it is then what matter is it that a 17 year old did it? That said though, I'm glad he's getting the attention for having the sense to do stick it all in there in the first place.

Imageshack is the best (3, Informative)

zymano (581466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913791)

Imageshack [imageshack.us] doesn't use the annoying sign up forms.

If you need to show something fast and don't want the hassle then Imageshack [imageshack.us] is it.

I use it all the time. Fast and covenient.

Re:Imageshack is the best (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913975)

I also like Imagevenue [imagevenue.com] . I guess it's a matter of personal preference (and IIRC, Imageshack makes a bit more informative theumbnails), but Imagevenue supports batch uploading, custom image resizing (and not just presets), 500 K larger files, but only jpg's. Actually, Imagevenue even supports free FTP via temporary accounts you can get to batch upload even more than 10 jpg at a time.

is this a PR stunt? (2, Interesting)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913800)

Not to troll, but I find this whole thing a little odd.

In the terms of service: "By accessing the web site Zooomr (hereafter known as the "Web Site"), a service of BlueBridge Technologies Group..."

While both the summary and TFA seem to focus on it being developed by a 17 year old in three months, the website has job postings. The article seems to gloss over the fact the entire project is sponsored (owned) by some company. Is this a case of sensationalistic journalism? This doesn't seem like a case where someone hacked it out of their basement. It seems unlikely the company picked it up AFTER development started since no mention of the company is made in any journal entry. So if the company is backing the project financially, am i the only one who finds it odd that it is not mentioned in any journal entry? It's a little weird that he's the face of the project, but it could be a PR move. It definintely doesn't add up the way the article's author seems to want to imply.

Re:is this a PR stunt? (5, Informative)

kristophertate (961009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913897)

I started BlueBridge Technologies Group [bbridgetech.com] close to 5 years ago. The name comes from the blue underbelly of the Coronado Bridge in San Diego, California.

I'm working at Meetro right now so that I have a chance at living in the Bay Area. That aside, Zooomr is a solution of BlueBridge Technologies Group and is in the midst of becoming incorporated.

Just so I can get this in without having to post multiple times, I am in-fact 17 years old.

Kristopher Tate
cto & founder -- bluebridge tech / zooomr

Re:is this a PR stunt? (1)

ilovepolymorphism (642188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913949)

Who owns the mentioned company? It could be a startup by him and some associates.

If it's that easy, sell your Google stock... (3, Insightful)

finnif (945981) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913831)

I like how about half of the comments respond how easy it is for the kid to have created the site, or that there's not much innovation going on there.

I often agree with both of these statements, including for Google, Y!, MSN sites mentioned in Slashdot stories. They're all a bunch of Javascript. Wowee. That's a pain in the butt, but it's not innovative. There's some server technology that's pretty cool behind Gmail and the like, but as time goes on, those bottlenecks will be solved in a more commoditized way.

So my question to you all is, why would you own Google or Yahoo stock for more than five minutes, to ride up the next big push? It seems like there's virtually no long term value in any website's technology. Surely someone else will take the idea and improve on it at some point -- it's already happened several times over in the last 10 years. We're already seeing the fast decline in the quality of Google's results, and here come a new wave of search engine rivals knocking on the door. Impossible? Ask AltaVista.

Or do we just live in a world where brand name is all we're investing in anymore? It's has to be branding we buy because no one actually creates products for the ages. When someone creates a "one click ordering" button, that's what they get patented. Owning the rights to a button on a computer screen like inventors once owned the phonograph, or film emulsion... that's what buying stock is about.

I remember when a Coke used to be a nickel, dammit.

Re:If it's that easy, sell your Google stock... (2, Insightful)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914048)

Because Google's got a solid reputation with the important half of the equation: making money. Getting money for Advertising is the hard part. Google's automated system nets them a lot of cash, and their reputation brings them enough customers that they automate the process. And it's not like Google isn't busy acquiring and building out new stuff. They rolled out pay per download content in what, less than a year? Their ability to move through internet technologies like a fish moves through water is why they're highly valued. Sure, plenty of people can hack up a flickr clone in five minutes that stands up to testing by their five friends. But making highly available, widely distributed systems involves something more than a couple javascripts. Google's got that part down pat. There aren't that many people out there that are talented in maintaining a cluster of the kind you need to really compete with Google. And you have to recognize, people will always be part of this equation. With hundreds of computers, at least one will fail permentently per day. If you bought quality stuff. If you didn't, oops. Yes, the hardware is being commoditized [archive.org] . But we're a long ways from open source easily maintained cluster computing.

Long term, there's no value in any single investment in an open market. Returns diminish, and profits approach zero. The only way you stay ahead of the curve is to keep investing in newer stuff. Google appears to have a solid group behind them capable of doing exactly that, and doing it well enough, repeatedly. How valuable is a computer from five years ago? Or a car from ten years ago? Or a printing press from 100 years ago? How valuable is an ad campaign from 15 years ago?

Re:If it's that easy, sell your Google stock... (1)

Omega Blue (220968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914068)

So my question to you all is, why would you own Google or Yahoo stock for more than five minutes, to ride up the next big push? It seems like there's virtually no long term value in any website's technology. Surely someone else will take the idea and improve on it at some point -- it's already happened several times over in the last 10 years.

The point is not in the technology. New tech and standards are everywhere. Heck, just look at IPv6. It's been out like 10 years and hardly anybody uses it. The big thing is not something but the people using that something. IOW the user base. That's why Google is big, Yahoo! is big but not other search engines. Google knows this, Yahoo! knows this. That's why they are offering additional services to retain existing users and to attract new ones.

Big user base = big advertising income

Don't be dumb... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913879)

He should have used http://www.myspacegrill.com/ [myspacegrill.com]

Yahoo paid good money for flickr (1)

pardonne (324157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913898)

Flickr has an established user base and all, but this should still be funny for Yahoo execs. You buy flickr and tell you shareholders what a great value it is, how wonderful it is, blah, blah, blah. Then some 17 year old shows up and duplicates (actually does better than) your acquisition in his spare time :)

Don't be fooled by the high-volume message (1)

KrunchTime (605821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913901)

It's not because the site has been slashdotted. This message was up there over the weekend. It just looks like they are taking a while to move the site to the new server. And BTW it's zooomr with 3 'o's ;)

17 year old creates internet bubble 2.0 webpage! (5, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913914)

This reminds me so much of the internet landscape from 7-8 years ago. Add a 2.0 to the end of the internet, and people forget all the hard lessons they should have learned from before.

My main complaint, a similar complaint from the first bubble, is a huge waterfall of sites that implement only a few unique ideas. Back then it was internet stores and advertising, today it is tagging, blogs, and letting the user interact with the website.

Re:17 year old creates internet bubble 2.0 webpage (1)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914073)

Thank you for bringing some sanity back to this entire thing. If I had mod points (disabled the wish to moderate long ago), I'd mod you up.

Web 2.0 is a bubble that will pop, sooner or later. I for one, as a little-known 16 year old because I don't do anything bubble-ish, am sticking to tried and true methods. XHTML, CSS, plain designs with little-to-no Javascript, that, above all, work (at least at a basic level) on any browser I've thrown at them. Of course they're 'tweaked' a bit for IE (using MS's comment if statements), but then again what design doesn't need that?

My opinion is simple - if a design is unusable when a user disables Javascript, CSS, cookies, applets, plugins, images, popups, or anything else... Then it's a bad design. If it is usable with none of those enabled, but possibly enhanced with them enabled, then it's a good design. In basic terms: if it is unusable in Lynx, then it's a bad design. That doesn't mean it has to look great in Lynx - it just means it has to be usable on a basic level - access content, post comments, etc.

Once again, thank you for bringing some sanity back to this - Web 2.0 is indeed a bubble.

Different times (1)

KinkyClown (574788) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913966)

When I was eight I greated my first game. Back then it I wrote it in GWBASIC. Difficult to imagine but I think I would have been programming C# or Java if I started now and was eight all over again. Not that I would want to :D

Re:Different times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914039)

George W Basic? Oh Snap!

oh... so what ? (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913986)

Ok, so the idea is not new, the implementation for many people here wouldn't be a problem, so the only reason for the hype must be this guy's age... which is again no reason to celebrate this one guy. Ok, credit has to be given, he managed to raise attention, but that's more about hie (or whoever raised the news) pr skills. 17 years that doesn' count that much young in the programming realm, not today, not in the past. Hell, some of my 17 years old friends - that was around '95 - created wonderful pieces of software (and even before, we started coding with one of my friends years before that on everything we could get our hands on), and today kids gather programming knowledge much earlier. Don't want to seem to talk from some high horse, but I have to tell, when you are sorrounded by talented people, such "news" don't seem news anymore. Of course, for the general audience it's a different matter.

Again, I don't want to diminish or lessen this guy's achievements, I just feel that if we praise him, we should praise everybody else with such and similar and better achiements also. But we'd probably have to dedicate an entire site for these kids :].

Anyway, I congratulate him for managing to get on slahdot :) (or is that too easy these days ? :P)

Re:oh... so what ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914117)

I think the really impressive thing about this guy is that he seems to be at least half way to commercialising his software. Few of us could say that we managed that. I know I didn't. Hacking together some little side project is a long way from launching a commerical service to end users.

3 months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914003)

... three options: a) that's a lie, b) he's a genius, c) the code is unmaintainable. being a cynical old sod, i'd bet all my money on the third option. and no, i don't know the person in question nor do i think badly of him. just experience in the business...

So? (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914028)

It's not that complex a piece of code. The hard parts are coming up with an idea and getting people to use it. He copied someone else's idea and so far nobody uses his version.

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914049)

Shouldn't the title be, "17 Year Old Creates Flickr Killer"

di34 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914101)

moronic, di7ettante lagged behind,

Recipe for success (4, Funny)

hritcu (871613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914107)

1. Create a lame clone of a well known web site ... let's say Flikr 2. Fill it up with Google adds 3. Anonymously submit a story on Slashdot saying that the new site is a Flikr KILLER 4. Profit

Age? (2, Interesting)

resonte (900899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914111)

Should we accredite people for something jsut because of thier age? Why is this story in the news? ...Well we can gain two things from this. For some people it might be a nobrainer on how to make your child have more potential to be succesfull, - you just introduce it to the right environment. But for the masses who don't know how to raise their child stories like these could be an inspiration to try harder, perhaps they should look at how his parents have brought him up and apply that same technique to their own children. Stories like these can also be used as a motivational factor for other people. It shows that anyone can get somewhere if they try hard enough. Well at least I'm impressed/motivated by this guy most people his age still have a localised view of the world.

bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914121)

do we really need another flickr thing....... ?
damn... ppl really loves unnecessary crap.

How did my picture land on the site? (1)

johngalt9999 (926341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914122)

was visiting the place for some free food, and next thing you know, i am being "slashdotted" on zoomer site. PS. I am the f00 in the white shirt.

Good (1)

pex2097 (961017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914130)

Now more people understand that age doesn't matter.

Ok... (1)

Tomeee (876587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914146)

If this trend continues, Skateboard-City.com will be mentioned on Slashdot... I've just turned 17. Now, Electronic Arts, hire me already, its my 2nd year applying!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>