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+ - Watch This Inventor Survive a Fireworks Blast in a Metal Suit->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Labor Day is nigh, and with it the official end of summer. It’s time to pack away the umbrellas and beach towels, and perhaps spend a few minutes flipping through photos of all the fun times you had over the past couple months: the grilling, the trips, the fireworks oh yes, the fireworks Chances are pretty good that you’ve set off more than a few fireworks in your time. But Colin Furze, the British inventor and YouTube celebrity who once co-hosted Sky1’s Gadget Geeks? Well, he puts everybody’s love of fireworks to shame. He loves fireworks so much, in fact, that he built a giant metal suit so he could stand in the middle of an epic pyrotechnic display. No matter how good your own engineering skills (or strong your courage), it's inadvisable to try this at home. But it's sure fun to watch."
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+ - 'The Internet of Things' Is a Lot of Hype->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Recently, Gartner analysts declared the “Internet of Things” (or IoT) to be at the “Peak of Inflated Expectations,” trumping even the completely overblown “Big Data.” The technology industry is, unfortunately, driven by bright shiny objects, and venture capitalists are subject to a herd mentality, always looking for the next big thing... and that next big thing is The Internet of Things. But as Silicon Valley veteran Miko Matsumura describes in this column, there's just one problem: 'There’s already an Internet of Things it’s called the Internet.' Yes, he argues, the development of IPv6 allows for a radically expanded address space for more devices. But the shift to IPv6 can hardly be considered a radical shift to enable the emergence of a new Internet, either 2.0 or one made up of 'things': 'There may be some method to all this madness, but it requires considerable discernment to know the difference between a fundamental technological advance and one of these trend bandwagons.' Do you agree?"
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+ - 'Internet of Things' Is a Bubble of Hype->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Recently, Gartner analysts declared the “Internet of Things” (or IoT) to be at the “Peak of Inflated Expectations,” trumping even the completely overblown “Big Data.” The technology industry is, unfortunately, driven by bright shiny objects, and venture capitalists are subject to a herd mentality, always looking for the next big thing... and that next big thing is The Internet of Things. But as Silicon Valley veteran Miko Matsumura describes in this column, there's just one problem: 'There’s already an Internet of Things it’s called the Internet.' Yes, he argues, the development of IPv6 allows for a radically expanded address space for more devices. But the shift to IPv6 can hardly be considered a radical shift to enable the emergence of a new Internet, either 2.0 or one made up of 'things': 'There may be some method to all this madness, but it requires considerable discernment to know the difference between a fundamental technological advance and one of these trend bandwagons.' Do you agree?"
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+ - Uber Has a Playbook for Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "The folks over at The Verge claim that 'Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors.' Interviews and documents apparently show Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, following a playbook with advice designed to prevent Lyft from flagging their accounts. 'Uber appears to be replicating its program across the country. One email obtained by The Verge links to an online form for requesting burner phones, credit cards, and driver kits — everything an Uber driver needs to get started, which recruiters often carry with them.' Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds? The so-called sharing economy seems just as cutthroat — if not more so — than any other industry out there."
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+ - With 'Swing Copters,' Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers? -> 1

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Given its extreme difficulty, it’s tempting to think that the new Swing Copters is Dong Nguyen’s attempt at a joke (You thought ‘Flappy Bird’ was hard? Check this out!), or maybe even a meta-comment on the emerging “masocore” gaming category. Or maybe he just wanted to make another game, and the idea of an ultra-difficult one appealed. Whatever the case, Nguyen can rely on the enduring popularity of Flappy Bird to propel Swing Copters to the top of the Google and iOS charts. But his games' popularity illuminates a rough issue for developers of popular (or even just semi-popular) apps everywhere: how do you deal with all the copycats flooding the world's app stores? Although Google and Apple boast that their respective app stores feature hundreds of thousands of apps, sometimes it seems as if most of those apps are crude imitations of other apps. The perpetual fear among app developers is that they’ll score a modest hit—only to see their years of hard work undermined by someone who cobbles together a clone in a matter of weeks or days. If Apple and Google want to make things friendlier out there for developers, they might consider stricter enforcement policies for the blatant rip-offs filling their digital storefronts."
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+ - How Game Developers Turn Kickstarter Failure Into Success->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "When you ask random strangers on the Internet to give you money, there are no guarantees. That’s true in almost any scenario, including when video game developers use Kickstarter to crowdfund the creation of a game. While 3,900 or so games have been funded on Kickstarter, more than 7,200 game projects failed to hit their goal. Within those two numbers are some people who fall into both categories: developers who failed to get funding on their first try, but re-launched campaigns and hit their goals. Jon Brodkin spoke with a handful of those indie game developers who succeeded on their second try; many of them used the momentum (and fans) from the first attempt to get a head start on funding the second, and one even adjusted his entire plan based on community feedback. But succeeding the second time also depended on quite a bit of luck."
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+ - Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts in Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Women outpace men when it comes to raising money for technology projects through crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, according to a new study by researchers at New York University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Jason Greenberg (NYC) and Ethan Mollick (Wharton/UPenn) chose 1,250 Kickstarter projects in five categories: games and technology, where founders were predominantly male; film, with an even gender distribution; and fashion and children’s books, both populated with more female founders and backers. They analyzed additional factors such as 'industry typing' (a theory in which people 'often hold conscious or unconscious biases about what gender is the archetype employee in a particular occupation or industry') and restricted the data set by geography and how much money each Kickstarter project wanted (a project aiming for less than $5,000 may attract an inordinate percentage of family and friends as funders, skewing results). After crunching the data, they found that female founders of technology projects were more likely than males to achieve their Kickstarter goals, a finding that didn’t extend to the other four categories. 'It appears female backers are responsible for helping female founders succeed in specific industry categories that women backers generally disfavor,' they theorized, adding a little later: 'The value of crowdfunding is that it enables access to a pool of potential female backers particularly inclined to support women in industry categories in which they believe women to be underrepresented.'"
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+ - Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp. How Would You Go About It?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Given the hundreds of thousands of apps currently on offer, it’s hard for any one app (no matter how well designed) to stand out on Apple's App Store, much less stay atop the bestseller charts for very long. In an August 10 blog posting, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée offered Apple CEO Tim Cook some advice: Let humans curate the App Store. 'Instead of using algorithms to sort and promote the apps that you permit on your shelves, why not assign a small group of adepts to create and shepherd an App Store Guide,' he wrote. 'A weekly newsletter will identify notable new titles, respond to counter-opinions, perhaps present a developer profile, footnote the occasional errata and mea culpa.' Whether or not such an idea would effectively surface all the good content now buried under layers of Flappy Bird rip-offs is an open question; what’s certain is that, despite Apple’s rosy picture, developers around the world face a lot of uncertainty and competition when it comes to making significant money off their apps. Sure, some developers are making a ton of cash, but the rising tide doesn’t necessarily float all boats. If you had the opportunity, how would you revamp/revise/upgrade/adjust/destroy the App Store to better serve the developers who put apps in it?""
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+ - Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "In Silicon Valley they think differently, and if that leads to arrogance, so be it. At least that’s what Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joel Stein implies in his long meditation on the area’s outlook on technology, money and changing the world. Stein set out to examine the underlying notion that Silicon Valley’s and San Francisco’s tech entrepreneurs are feeding a backlash by being, in a word, jerks. His conclusion seems to be that they may well be jerks, but they’re misunderstood jerks. He doesn’t deny that there’s sexism and boorishness at play in the young tech community, but he sees the industry trying to make itself better. He sees a lot of egotism at work, too but, he observes, if you’re setting out to change the world, you’re probably going to need a big ego to do it. But tell that to other people in Northern California: undoubtedly, you’ve read about the tempest in San Francisco recently, where urban activists are decrying the influx of highly paid tech professionals, who they argue are displacing residents suddenly unable to keep up with skyrocketing rents."
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+ - Push for Pizza: An App That Does Exactly One Thing Well->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Ordering food via a smartphone? Easy, thanks to a growing variety of apps like GrubHub, which allow you to order takeout (or delivery) from a plethora of restaurants. But a group of teenagers decided to make the process even simpler—provided you really, really, really like pizza. Like many a minimalist smartphone app, Push for Pizza cuts everything down to the essentials: push the giant pizza logo, select a nearby pizzeria, choose a pizza, and wait for it to show up on your doorstep. Yes, it’s simplistic, but simplistic apps are in these days: just look at Yo, the popular app that allows people to message the word “Yo” to one another, which raised $1.5 million in venture funding this summer. Who knows how much some VC might value Push for Pizza."
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+ - Why It's Still Worth Learning Objective-C and Python->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Apple suggests that Swift, its new programming language, will eventually replace Objective-C. However, because of the huge amount of code already "out there" among the millions of iOS apps and Mac software, companies aren’t going to immediately rewrite their code in Swift (if ever). So, while Swift might be the new language, Objective-C is unlikely to go away anytime soon. As a new article on Dice argues, that means that Objective-C remains a great choice if you want to learn iOS and Mac programming. The same deal goes for Python: although a lot of programmers either don't use it or dismiss it, a lot of developers and companies (including Google) continue to rely on it for large-scale applications. What other languages can you think of that don't deserve to be overlooked?"
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+ - Want to Work Without Prying Eyes? Try Wearing a Body Sock->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "The “Compubody Sock,” which anyone with knitting skills can make at home, is a giant sock-hoodie-bag in which you place your laptop or tablet, along with your head and hands, giving you total privacy while freaking out anyone who happens to be sitting next to you. Designer Becky Stern told Forbes’ Kashmir Hill that the Sock was meant more as commentary on privacy and device addiction; even so, considering how NSA employees reportedly drape themselves in hoods in order to thwart hidden cameras while typing in passwords, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that an ultra-paranoid someone could find a practical use for a body sock. But that paranoid android better have expert knitting skills: putting together the Sock necessitates a whole lot of steps (“Purl 5, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn the work,” etc.). Your other option, of course, is to simply avoid working on sensitive stuff in public."
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+ - 5 Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Over at Dice, there's a breakdown of the programming languages that could prove most popular over the next year or two, including Apple's Swift, JavaScript, CSS3, and PHP. But perhaps the most interesting entry on the list is Erlang, an older language that was invented in 1986 by engineers at Erricson. It was originally intended to be used specifically for telecommunications needs, but has since evolved into a general-purpose language, and found a home in cloud-based, high-performance computing when concurrency is needed. "There aren’t a lot of Erlang jobs out there," writes developer Jeff Cogswell. "However, if you do master it (and I mean master it, not just learn a bit about it), then you’ll probably land a really good job. That’s the trade-off: You’ll have to devote a lot of energy into it. But if you do, the payoffs could be high." And while the rest of the featured languages are no-brainers with regard to popularity, it's an open question how long it might take Swift to become popular, given how hard Apple will push it as the language for developing on iOS."
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+ - Indie Game Developers Talk About Why They Struck Out on Their Own->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Technology writer Jon Brodkin sat down with a group of indie game developers (as well as a professor at the University of Southern California's game-design program) to talk about why they decided to launch their own small studios rather than stick with comfortable (albeit stressful) jobs at major firms like Disney or Zynga. The answer, as you'd expect, boils down to control. “Working for a bigger company is a good way to gain experience, and learn how games are made,” said Graham Smith, one of the co-founders of Toronto-based DrinkBox Studios. “It’s also nice to have a steady salary coming in as you learn the ropes. On the flip side, depending on the company, you might not have much control over the game’s design, or even be making the types of games that you enjoy playing.” But startups come with their own challenges, not the least of which is the prospect of an economic downturn quickly wiping you out, or not making your Kickstarter goal."
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+ - Designer Brews Beer, Prints Resume on Side of Custom 4-Pack, Scores Job->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Canadian graphic designer Brennan Gleason wanted to attract more work, so he came up with a novel concept: custom-printing his resume on boxes of the beer he brews as a sideline. “I brewed up a nice blonde ale, so I figured it would awesome to use it to promote myself and my work,” Gleason wrote in a post on Dribbble. “Box contains the resume and the bottles each contain a piece of my work.” In addition to some bits about his work history, the carton labeling features a prominent link to his personal website. The best part? His creative effort reportedly gained him a few job offers. And if the employer loves beer, a resume on the side of a beer carton could go a long way toward scoring that job interview, provided the employer in question isn’t a teetotaler."
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