Category Archives: Computing

3 Trends about to take off – Part 1

alexa-small2017 is halfway over and while some of these trends started a few yeas ago I think we’re about to see a few of these really catch-on, and by catch-on, I mean go mainstream and get funded.

Over the next week I’m going to discuss these three trends in a little more details and provide some code or projects to help you get started!

Trend 1 - Alexa / Voice / AI Chat

What does user experience look like without a mouse & keyboard or easy to enter form fields? How do people talk to AI systems to solve problems? These systems can be through devices like Alexa or virtual systems like automated chatbots. Understanding psychology and human behavior become just as valuable as business knowledge when designing these systems. Because of this we will see new software architectures come into play that deal with these variations and have multiple and guided user flows.

Trend 2 – JS/UI Architecture

SPAs (Single Page Applications) built on frameworks like Angular and React changed the way we think about building software. But for the longest time it was code, code, code without much thought of how it’s going to scale, and how it’s going to be supported in the enterprise. These systems need to hang around and be maintainable for 10 years, refactoring your apps should not have to entail complete system rewrites. Having architectures for UIs that allow for modular building and refactoring are crucial for adoption of these technologies that change every 9 months.

Trend 3 – Augmented Reality

There’s more and more data about the world around us. Why not provide more ways for people to interact with this data? Why make everyone have to look something up on a browser or an app? Voice combined with computer vision begins to bridge this gap. Google Glass still might not be the right use case, but camera augmentation, heads-up displays in cars, smart kiosk and push voice will be where this begins to have application.

libopenzwave.so error

If you’ve ever seen this error:

MinOZW: error while loading shared libraries: libopenzwave.so.1.3: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

or 

Error: libopenzwave.so.1.3: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Just type this and it did the trick for me (Ubuntu 14.04).

sudo ldconfig /usr/local/lib64

 

Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS

Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS

You have a great idea for a simple mobile web app. Or, you have a great idea for a complicated mobile web app. Either way, Learn HTML5 and JavaScript for iOS will help you build, fine-tune, and publish your app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Pre-Order now available on Amazon.com.

I will walk you through building a mobile web app from scratch using real-world examples. You’ll learn about design considerations, mobile web frameworks, and HTML5 features like animation and graphics using Canvas. You’ll also learn how to customize your app for a variety of platforms, and you’ll explore testing and performance tips for your app.

The New iPad – (Version Recommendation)

Which One To Get?

  • Get WiFi 16GB only if you’re planning on using it only around the house or for you children.
  • Get the 4G 16GB if you want world travel but don’t care about lots of video & movies.

WiFi / 4G

This is all about connivence of access. If you’re never going to travel don’t worry. But if you travel streaming movies or maps are nice while in the car.

16GB / 32GB / 64GB

This is all about movies & media. If you’re going to be around networks, with iCloud you don’t need a large drive. if you might not be around networks and want to work with media, you’ll need the 64GB.

The New iPad

Everything you need to know:
  • The new iPad features a Retina Display that is 2048×1536. That contains 3.1 million pixels on a 9.7″ display.
  • The new iPad will come in either Black or White.
  • Support for Bluetooth 4.0.
  • New A5X processor that delivers dual-core processing and quad-core graphics. The A5X is said to be 2 times faster than Tegra 3.
  • The new display will bring 44% better color saturation than that of the iPad 2.
  • The new iPad is a tad thicker (.37 compared to .34 inch) is a tad heavier (1.44 compared to 1.44 pounds). The 4G models are slightly heavier.
  • Up to 10 hours of battery, 9 hours with 4G.
  • AirPlay mirroring to the new Apple TV at 1080p.
  • New iSight camera with a 5 element lense at 5MP. It includes auto-exposure and auto-focus. It’s basically the same setup as the iPhone 4′s camera.
  • The new camera has face-detection and 1080p video recording with image stabilization.
  • The iPad will have voice dictation built in, but no word of full Siri integration. No word yet on whether you have to be connected to the Internet to do this (although you most likely do).
  • 4G LTE support is a go. LTE can get up to speeds such as 73Mbps. The new iPad will come to AT&T and Verizon in the States.
  • The new iPad will be “world ready” with 3G, will have 4G LTE support Rogers, Bell, Telus and AT&T
  • The prices will be the same as the iPad 2 model. $499 for the 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB WiFi models. $629, $729, and $829 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB WiFi + 4G models respectively.
  • The iPad 2 will still be sold in a 16GB flavor for $399 or $529 for WiFi or 3G + WiFi respectively.
  • The new iPad will be available on March 16th and now for pre-order (good luck accessing the Apple Store).
  • The iWork suite has been updated and will be the $9.99 per app (or free for the upgrade).
  • New iPhoto for iPad (Gruber called it) gives you advanced photo editing capabilities and library storage. It can also allow you to create “scrapbook” types of libraries that almost remind one of a nice photo journal with maps and notes.

Courtesy of Lifehack.org.

Amazon & Google Statistics

I’ve been analyzing results from both Amazon & Google click throughs with my own stats tracking software PageFoo, and the results are interesting.

  1. Amazon is not that accurate when compared to Apache Logs & my own stat software. It usually errors on the low side.
  2. Google is a little worse when compared to both Apache Logs & my own stat software. Again, erring on the low side.

This makes me wonder the accuracy of reporting and conversion on low traffic blogs & websites trying to make money through Amazon Affiliates, or WebSense.

If you have the same problem comment on this thread.

 

Installing Twitter’s Bootstrap on OSX

I recently came across bootstrap, an HTML framework from Twitter. In the process, I cam across some more tools by twitter, less.js (which allows for dynamic creation of CSS), and Uglify (which allows for minifying js).

Here’s a short list to install these:

  1. Install Node Package Manager from http://nodejs.org/
  2. Install Less.js via ‘git clone git://github.com/cloudhead/less.js.git’
  3. Go to the less.js directory, type: ‘make’.
  4. Copy the install directory to /usr/local/less.js
  5. Add /usr/local/less.js/bin to $PATH
  6. Install uglify-js via ‘npm install uglify-js -g’
  7. Install Bootstrap ‘git clone git://github.com/twitter/bootstrap.git’
  8. Go to the bootstrap directory, type: ‘make’.

If I get a chance I’d like to talk more about Less.js, and Mustache.

Why I moved to Git from SVN.

I’ve resisted moving to Git for a year or so. Why? No compelling reason why. In fact all the reasons for using it were like:

  • it’s distributed
  • there’s GitHub
  • it’s the latest cool thing
  • all the cool kids are doing it

The last reason (cool kids) is probably the main reason for my resistance. I don’t like to follow the heard. I don’t like to do it just because everyone else is doing it. I especially don’t like to do things just for lame reasons or poorly supported reasons, or reasons without a compelling WHY?

Eventually I heard one compelling reason: It saves you time because you don’t need to switch context or have multiple workspaces copies in order to work on a branch or experiment with some code.

In all the talk about Git I’ve realized something very troubling in the software community, they are very bad at explaining WHY and have a tendency to always just explain WHAT.