Early Twitter investor Chris Sacca may be about to get more critical of the company

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Chris Sacca

Chris Sacca, one of Twitter’s earliest investors and longtime defenders, may be about to become more critical of the current state of affairs at the company. In a lengthy blog post on Thursday, Sacca signalled that he would soon post his thoughts about “a few things that I personally hope the Twitter team will accomplish.” Sacca’s post comes about a month after Twitter delivered a particularly ugly first-quarter earnings report, missing financial targets and signaling that user growth was once again under pressure. Many on Wall Street are wondering if CEO Dick Costolo’s days leading the company may be numbered. 

A once-red-hot trivia app, QuizUp, raised more than $27 million — now it is pivoting into a social network

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T
QuizUp

When trivia app QuizUp launched in 2013, its meteoric rise to the top of App Store charts surprised even the founder of the Icelandic gaming studio that made it.Thor Fridriksson of Plain Vanilla Games watched in awe as QuizUp became the fastest growing iPhone game in history. The app let users compete head-to-head in specific trivia catgories, like spices or British Royals, and it raised nearly $27 million from Sequoia Capital, Greycroft and others. Within months, QuizUp launched its Android app and started expanding globally, introducing country-specific trivia categories. People were initially addicted to showing off their smarts and competed in hundreds of millions of rounds. But Fridriksson also noticed players were using a lot of the app’s built-in social features to chat with each other and leave long comments in forums for topics they loved. 

Former Australian leader: We’re about to see a world with ‘2 Asias’

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US_China_ClimateAP Photo/Greg Baker, PoolPresident Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.We’re about to see a very different world — one with “two Asias” — according to Australia’s former prime minister.In the next decade or so, China’s economy is expected to surpass that of the US. (And, by some measures, it already has.)However, even though China’s increased defense spending will continue to close the gap, the US is expected remain the dominant regional and global military power.

Why is it called Windows 10 and not Windows 9?

Written by admin. Posted in Gossip, Tech News

Windows 10 logo: Windows 9 kinda

Now that Windows 10 development is in full swing, with the newSpartan browser and new Technical Preview builds appearing on a regular basis, let’s take a step back for a moment and address one of the most confusing things about the next version of Windows. When Microsoft announced its newest operating system, the surprise was not that it was coming, but that Windows would be skipping 9 and heading straight to 10. When asked about Windows 10’s name, Microsoft never gave a clear answer. So why, exactly, is Windows 10 getting the nod instead of 9?

Version numbers, schmersion numbers

You may remember that between Windows 3 and Windows 7, versions of Windows were designated by a name rather than a number: 95, 98, NT, Me, 2000, Vista, and so on. When Microsoft announced Windows 7, there was actually a similar amount of disbelief; after a series of named versions of Windows, it seemed odd to jump back to numbers.

Windows 8: Actually version 6.3

Windows 8.1: Actually version 6.3, build 9600.

Google discovers new security holes in SSL — is the entire system fundamentally flawed?

Written by admin. Posted in Gossip, Tech News

Data security

 

Google has discovered that an intermediate certificate authority had issued unauthorized certificates for multiple Google domains. The problem arose because the intermediate authority, MCS Holdings, had issued certificates for the Google domains, despite not holding those domains itself.

The reason it’s critical that companies not mint certificates for websites they don’t operate themselves is because doing so breaks the function of SSL itself. Here’s how the system is supposed to operate:

How SSL works

Your PC contacts a Google server, which returns a certificate. Your computer uses that certificate to encrypt a data session. The server confirms that the key is good and establishes the secure session with your PC. When certificates are signed by third parties, it allows the false server to execute a classic man-in-the-middle attack.

Apple Watch features, materials leak ahead of announcement

Written by admin. Posted in Entertainment, Everything Else, Featured, Gossip, Lifestyle, OS, Science, Software, Tech, Tech News

iWatch1

In a move that would leave the ghost of Steve Jobs grinding his teeth, the set of features and capabilities the Apple Watch will supposedly unveil on Monday has leaked, including information on the device’s materials and construction. Not all of these qualifies as a leak, certainly, but for Jobs, who prided himself on locking away even the existence of a product prior to launch, this kind of run-up would be anathema.

First up, there’s the Financial Times, which ran a long interview with Jony Ive. In it, Ive reportedly tells the FT that “the molecules in Apple gold are closer together, making it twice as hard as standard gold. And, in case you were wondering, Apple’s cold-forged steel is 40 percent more durable than regular steel”

This is… well, this is dubious, to say the least. The cold-rolled steel claim is believable; cold-rolling steel is used to produce a smooth surface, uniform thickness, and to reduce deformation under strain. But the claim that Apple’s gold has “closer molecules?” Ars Technica offers an explanation by way of a patent, filed by Apple last year, for a gold/ceramic hybrid characterized as 18k gold, but with two to four times the hardness of conventional 18k gold.

AppleWatch

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

Written by admin. Posted in Software, Tech, Tech News

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

Programming is one of the most valuable skills you can pick up in these modern times, whether for career prospects or to stretch your brain and create something awesome. If you’re just getting started on your coding journey, here are ten tips and resources to set you off on the right foot.

10. Figure Out Why You Want to Learn to Code12

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

The direction you go in will depend in large part on why you want to learn to code in the first place and how much time you have to devote to learning. If you want to be a professional programmer, signing up college courses might be your best bet. (Google has a list of suggested skills and courses for would-be software engineers.) If you want to build websites or games for fun (and possibly profit) in your spare time, interactive tutorials might be better. Bloc has a comparison of course options based on workload, cost, and reason you’re picking up programming. And if you’re still deciding on a tech career, Switch will recommend one based on your interests.

9. Choose the Right Language

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

There’s no one “best” programming language, and once you’ve learned one, it’s fairly easy to pick up another, so don’t get hung too up on choosing your first language. That said, some languages are more beginner-friendly than others. The language you choose to start with might depend, again, on your purpose. (For example, if you want to write an iOS app, you’ll need to learn Swift.) There’s a case for starting with C if you’re serious about programming, although higher-level languages, like Python, are easier to jump into right away. Here’s an infographic comparing a few popular programming languages.3

8. Start Small (and Be Patient)4

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code56

No matter which language or learning method you choose, you should start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). When David Sinsky taught himself to code in eight weeks, for example, he spent one weekend getting an introductory grasp of Python and one weekend getting an introductory understanding of Django—going through the tutorial, deleting all of the tutorial code, and working through the tutorial again from scratch. Start with the basics and be patient with yourself as you progress. To take your first coding project from start to finish, break down the project into simple steps. And if one method of learning isn’t working for you (e.g., books), try another method before giving up.

7. Try a Kids App7

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

Even toddlers are learning to code these days. That’s actually a great thing for all of us. Although many of the programs designed to teach kids to code are very simplistic, many of them, like Scratch, are suitable for all ages. It doesn’t matter how old you are; even kids’ animation apps can get you started with the basics of programming (edX has a new course on Programming in Scratch, by the way).

6. Use Free Online Training Sites

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

Free online training sites like Codecademy and other Hour of Code participants can help you write your first computer program. Tutorials from KhanAcademy, Codecademy, Code.org, and many other organizations will introduce you to the basics of programming—all while creating a new game, site, or other project. Find the resources you need according to the language you’re learning with Bento. These are good starting points, but you’ll need to take the initiative to further or continue your learning after these introductions.

5. Take a Coding Course

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

Online computer science courses offer a bit more of rounded educational experience compared to online training sites focusing on one language. These courses are designed to teach you fundamental skills over several months in college-level classes. I can’t personally recommend Harvard’s CS50 (which you can take for free) enough, but there are many others you can take (many listed on our Lifehacker U series). You can even build a college-level computer science education with this selection of fifteen online courses.

4. Grab Some Free Programming Books

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code

When you get stuck on a problem or just need to look something up, reference books come in very handy. There’s a huge collection of over 500 free programming booksposted on GitHub, and another collection of Ebooks covering 24 programming languages.

3. Play Coding Games

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code8

Often the best way to learn is through games. While plenty of coding tutorials have youbuilding simple or complex games yourself, a couple of teaching sites are literally games: Code Combat and CodinGame are two you might have fun with.

2. Get a Mentor (or Teach Someone Else)

The programming community is full of people who are willing to help the next generation of programmers. Hack.pledge() is one site that will connect you to a mentor, or you can sign up to mentor someone else. Even just planning to teach what you’ve learned can help you retain the information better.

1. Hack Someone Else’s Code

Top 10 Ways to Teach Yourself to Code9

When you reverse engineer someone else’s code, testing each line to see how it works, you get a better understanding of the big picture. Thanks to tons of open source code, you can learn just about anything—and keep learning through the incremental-hacking cycle. Just remember to share your code back with the community if you improve on a program.

Intel confirms Skylake upgrade for Core M later this year

Written by admin. Posted in Hardware, Tech News

Intel Xeon E7 Ivy Bridge-EX die (15 core)

 

Intel’s ultra low-power Core M has been available on the market since the back half of 2014. As the first Broadwell chip, Core M had the twin tasks of improving Intel’s performance in the lowest power segments while simultaneously allowing it to push into smaller form factors and tighter thermal envelopes. The chip achieved both of these goals to some extent, but OEM design decisions have sapped some of the potential out of the CPU. Intel is apparently going to keep pushing the ultramobile form factor front and center — at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference this week, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told analysts that the company would launch Core M on Skylake later this year.

Information on the Core M version of the platform refresh is still limited. Krzanich referred to the usual suspects — improved battery life, improved performance — but didn’t give specifics on either front. It’s interesting that Intel’s Skylake predictions have been fairly muted compared to what the company had released for Haswell by this point. This may be a marketing decision — with Broadwell still rolling out, Intel likely doesn’t want to put too much emphasis on its next-gen platform or risk a short-term Osborne effect. Intel’s programming documentation suggests that AVX-512, at least, will only be deployed in Xeon-branded Skylake chips — but since AVX-512 is explicitly designed to focus on HPC workloads, consumers may not mind the lack.

14nm yield trend

Krzanich did note that the Core M Skylake would also receive an upgraded version of Intel’s RealSense 3D camera, and that the platform would support Windows 10, Android, and Google Chrome. whether this Windows 10 support includes full DirectX 12 support or not. Intel has demonstrated DX12 running on its own hardware, but the state of DX12 support is somewhat fluid — there’s a base level of minimum compatibility required for the spec, and there are advanced secondary areas that GPUs can optionally support. It’s still unclear exactly which chips from which vendors will tag all the checkboxes, and complete support will require a robust driver stack (Intel’s historic 3D drivers have often lagged behind its competitors when it comes to compatibility and overall performance).

If Broadwell’s debut has demonstrated anything, it’s that an improved processor isn’t always sufficient to drive a compelling product. Systems like the Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 drew relatively mediocre reviews because Lenovo chose to push multiple boundaries simultaneously — trim the system weight, cut the battery life, and include an ultra-high resolution display, and the power gains the CPU once offered are effectively negated.

Intel’s second-generation architecture refreshes on a given process still tend to improve overall power efficiency, so it’s possible we’ll see further gains from Skylake on this front — or more horsepower in the same TDP bands, which amounts to the same thing. Either way, if Intel keeps its schedule, second-generation Core M systems should be on shelves by Christmas.

 

Canon G7 X Review: Canon’s Best Point-And-Shoot Camera In Years

Written by admin. Posted in etc, Everything Else, Featured, Gossip, Hardware, Lifestyle, Science, Tech, Tech News

Canon G7 X Review: Canon's Best Point-and-Shoot Camera in Years

Five years ago, I was broke, but I still needed a great camera. The Canon S90 was the perfect fit for my needs, and my credit card balance. And I wasn’t the only one who thought so. The amazing S90 and successors made Canon a mint — at least until Sony’s RX100 came along with higher quality images. With the G7 X, Canon is striking back with specs, plus a little bit of the charm that made Canon compacts so easy to love in the first place.

What Is It?

Canon G7 X Review: Canon's Best Point-and-Shoot Camera in Years
Specifications
  • Resolution: 20.2-megapixel
  • Sensor Size: 1-inch backlit CMOS
  • Screen: 3-inch LCD
  • Video: Full HD 1080p
  • Lens Mount: N/A (fixed lens)
  • Warranty: 2 Years

Why a 50mm Lens is your new Best Friend

Written by admin. Posted in Hardware, Lifestyle, Tech, Tech News

nifty-fifty-featured

You may have heard the term Nifty Fifty before.  If you haven’t, it is usually a reference to the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens. But for the purpose of this article I’m going to use it synonymously with any prime 50mm lens.

What’s the best “next” lens to buy?

I get asked all the time by my students about what lens they should buy next after the basic kit lens that came with the camera. I almost always recommend picking up a simple 50mm prime lens. Let’s look at some reasons . . .

Reasons why this lens should be in your bag