On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.
Please don't do things to make titles stand out, like using uppercase or exclamation points, or saying how great an article is. It's implicit in submitting something that you think it's important.
If the title contains a gratuitous number or number + adjective, we'd appreciate it if you'd crop it. E.g. translate "10 Ways To Do X" to "How To Do X," and "14 Amazing Ys" to "Ys." Exception: when the number is meaningful, e.g. "The 5 Platonic Solids."
Please don't use HN primarily for promotion. It's ok to post your own stuff occasionally, but the primary use of the site should be for curiosity.