Floobits (YC S13) lets you write code with others directly in Sublime Text, Emacs, Vim—pair programming done right

Y Combinator-backed Floobits, a new startup allowing two people to write software at the same time on the same codebase — known as pair programming — is officially launching today to help better connect remote developers and distributed teams. What makes this company’s implementation interesting, however, is that instead of requiring developers to use a web-based editor as manypair programming solutions today do, Floobits users can pair program directly within the text editors they’re already comfortable using through the installation of plug-ins.

And for those who do prefer to work via an online editor instead of a native one, Floobits has integrated its web-based editor with one-click access to Google Hangouts for chat, audio and video conferencing.

Meanwhile, on the native side, the company currently supports plug-ins for Sublime Text, Emacs, and VIM. However, Floobits’ founders admit that some of these plug-ins work better than others at present, with Sublime Text being the least buggy, and VIM being the most difficult. In fact, the company may launch its own version of VIM in the future, as there were a number of “workarounds” (read: hacks) needed to make Floobits work.

Floobits was officially founded this February by former Rackspace engineers Geoff Greer (who came in viathe Cloudkick acquisitionand who built this) and Matt Kaniaris. But in reality, they’ve been working on the idea since last August — and yes, often via pair programming.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Butter Systems (YC S13) launches, making restaurant experiences better with tablet menus, now live at Bumble in Los Altos

Sam And Jon’s company, Butter Systems (part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2013 class), wants to put a tablet at your table. The tablet would supplant (or augment) a restaurant’s paper menu, allowing customers to order food and drinks, or request their check without having to flag down a server. They’re quick to clarify that they’re not trying to replace the server — they’re just trying to make the server’s life easier, while bumping up the amount that restaurants pull in per table. As Sam put it, “We want to increase sales by making it easier to order more, all while keeping that human touch.”

Read the full article at Techcrunch

MakeGamesWithUs (YC W12) in the SF Chronicle: Giving young developers a home

Hidden at the end of a long driveway in Palo Alto, the five-bedroom house looks like a reality show set or the home of a strangely well-behaved fraternity.

Young men and teenage boys lounge in patio chairs in front, sit at long tables that fill the living room and family room, and sprawl in comfy chairs in the TV room.

But no one here is gossiping or plotting, and there's no keg in sight. In fact, for a house with more than 30 guys in it, ranging in age from 13 to 25, the headquarters of MakeGamesWithUs is bizarrely silent. Wearing earbuds and leaning over their laptop screens, each of these interns is creating an original game for the iPhone.

The intense productivity is great for Ashutosh Desai and Jeremy Rossmann, founders of the indie game-publishing platform, who opened their headquarters and home (they live upstairs along with various employees and girlfriends) to dozens of summer interns to build up the company's stable of games.

The interns aren't paid, but if they complete a game and publish it through MakeGamesWithUs, they'll keep half the revenue.

Read the full article in the San Francisco Chronicle

Trigger.io (YC W08) launches v2.0—write JS apps that compile natively to iOS/Android, now with native modules

Trigger.io makes it simple for web developers to create native mobile apps for iOS and Android by using JavaScript to compose different native features.

Today we release our v2 platform which enables developers to create and re-use native modules provided by 3rd parties.

In the past if you wanted to add a native feature to your app that was not supported by existing Trigger.io Forge APIs, you would have to dive down into native code yourself or hire a contractor to do that. Trigger.io v2.0 is a big deal since developers can now make the native modules they’ve built on top of Trigger.io available for re-use.

Ultimately this means you’ll be able to select from a much broader range of native features – both the core APIs built by our team and others contributed by 3rd parties – and combine them with the best of HTML5.

You can see some examples on modules page right now:

Ansr.io have created a push notifications module powered by Urban Airship
Fetchnotes have created a module which lets you selectively hide the iOS form assistant
The Trigger.io team added a crash reporting module integrating the Crashlytics SDK

    Read the full article on the Trigger.io Blog

    Alexis Ohanian of Reddit (YC S05) hosts Small Empires on The Verge, early viewing tonight at 5pm Pacific

    Our new web series Small Empires debuts across all internets tomorrow, July 30th, but we’re broadcasting the first episode one day early! That's right — tonight at 8PM ET / 5PM PT, you'll be able to watch the first episode with the show's host, Alexis Ohanian. The episode will officially be available on demand starting tomorrow morning.

    Immediately following the broadcast, we’ll have Alexis (co-founder of Reddit, Breadpig, and Hipmunk) live in studio with our own Nilay Patel and the show's producer Stephen Greenwood, answering your questions and discussing the show's roots and motivations. Submit your inquiries in the comments below and there’s a good chance they’ll be answered. We’re also taking questions on Twitter (include #SmallEmpires). See you tonight!

    Watch later today at The Verge

    Double Robotics (YC S12) helps Williams Cycling work remote, and save thousands on travel to their wind tunnel

    A2 Wind Tunnel is located in Mooresville, North Carolina. 2662 miles to the west of A2 in Stockton, California is Williams Cycling, a bicycle company who needs to test their new bicycle frame in A2's wind tunnel.

    A2 realizes that their customer's travel expenses often surpass the cost of the wind tunnel test itself. The time commitment alone would mean that the team from Williams Cycling would be out of office for 3 whole days: 2 days just for traveling to and from, and 1 day for the actual testing in the wind tunnel.

    ...

    “To have this access to a facility with the capability of A2 is huge for a company like ours. The ability to simply log on to the test from our office and interact with Dave as if we were right there in A2 was quite an experience. Not only did it save us a lot of money in travel expenses, but with full access to the tunnel at our control, we felt like we were actually there every step of the way. Now prototype testing is going to be almost effortless as we can send something right away to get tested and have immediate results while saving us time and money.”
    — Keith Williams, Williams Cycling
    Read the full article on the Double Robotics blog

    Zenefits (YC W13) raises $2.1M from Venrock, Maverick, Aaron Levie, Charlie Cheever to automate startup HR

    For small businesses, managing health insurance and payroll services can be a huge pain and time-sink. They probably don’t have someone on staff dedicated to these issues, and they themselves would rather be dedicating that energy to building a company. Zenefits launched out of Y Combinator this winter to remove the friction of setting up and managing group health coverage and payroll by automating the process and bringing it online — for free.

    As a testament to how much demand there is among startups and small businesses, since expanding its service at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC in April, Zenefits co-founder Parker Conrad tells us that the company has signed on over 110 clients (ranging from 2 employees to over 100) and is now bringing on an average of 10 customers each week. Today, as it looks to continue expanding operations beyond California, Zenefits is announcing that it has raised $2.1 million in seed capital from an impressive roster of venture firms and angel investors.

    Read the full article on Techcrunch

    DoorDash (YC S13) delivers from favs like Oren's Hummus, Sprout for $6 in 45 mins—now serving PA, MV, Los Altos

    DoorDash, a Y Combinator summer ‘13 company, delivers food from restaurants in Palo Alto and Mountain View in an average time of 45 minutes.

    Sound familiar?

    It’s a crowded space, but while competitors like Seamless and Grubhub offer users an app to order food from any restaurant that has its own drivers and delivery system setup, DoorDash hires and manages its own drivers, so it can bring you food from restaurants that don’t have their own delivery drivers.

    That may not seem like a big difference, but for the suburbs and college campuses, it’s a welcome change from having just pizza and Chinese food places offering delivery.

    DoorDash charges $6 per delivery with no minimum order size, and currently delivers lunch (11:45 am-1:30 pm) and dinner (5:30pm – 9:00pm) every day. The company currently delivers to Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View from 50 restaurants in the area.

    Read the full article at Techcrunch

    Order from DoorDash now

    Prim (YC S13) launches the Uber for Laundry—Painless pickup, wash, fold, now available in SF, MV, Palo Alto

    You can call it a first-world problem. Or you can say it distracts people from their passions and contributions to the world. Either way, laundry is a chore, and new Y Combinator startup Prim wants to do it for you. You can schedule Prim online to come to your place, pick up your laundry, have it washed and folded at a top-notch laundromat, and deliver it back to you. $25 for a bag. It’s that easy.

    ...

    Currently Prim operates in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park — home to the world’s busiest techies. You go online and select from their upcoming 9am-11am or 8pm-10pm pickup and drop-off windows. You throw your clothes in a garbage bag and wait for Prim’s text that it’ll be there in 15 minutes. The driver calls when they arrive. You can hand them the bag, leave it with your doorman, or if you’re comfortable, give them a copy of your key or send a photo of it and they’ll make a copy so they can just come into your place and grab the bag.

    Their driver takes the sack of clothes to be tagged and brings it to a well-rated local laundromat with a track record of flawless jobs. Within two days you get notified to confirm your delivery, and Prim brings the washed and folded clothes back in high-quality nylon satchels. It even ties together your stacks of shirts or whatever you wouldn’t want wrinkled so they stay prim and proper. See! That’s where they got the name! You got that already? Sorry.

    The cost is $25 for the first bag of each pickup and $15 for the additional ones. That’s a bit more expensive than you can expect from a laundromat’s wash and fold, but you get the pick-up and delivery included. Because Prim brings in so much business, it gets discounts from the laundromats so the price stays reasonable. Prim strives for perfection, but in case anything gets lost or damaged, Wu says Prim has insurance and will refund you 100% of the cost of your clothes. “If there’s any mistake, we try to bend over backwards for our customers” says Wu.

    Read the full article on Techcrunch

    Try Prim now

    Pulitzer prize-winning author Junot Díaz uses Rap Genius (YC S11) to creatively annotate his works

    Pulitzer prize-winning author Junot Díaz has laid bare the inspirations behind parts of his celebrated 2008 novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in a series of annotations to the text posted on a social media site that lets rap, rock and poetry fans share their passions.

    The site, Rapgenius.com, taps into fans' enduring thirst for knowledge about the inspirations of their creative heroes, and enables users to post song lyrics, poems or passages of prose and to "collaboratively annotate" them.

    Díaz's prize-winning novel follows the life of Oscar de León, a boy growing up as a Dominican immigrant in New Jersey who is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels, and is also falling in love. Diaz took to Rapgenius.com to share the backstory to one of the book's footnotes, which relates to "Outer Azuo", the remote reaches of the Dominican Republic's Azua province, and Oscar's perceptions of it.

    Read the full article at The Guardian
    Hat tip Alexis Ohanian