Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec are collaborating on a clever and beautiful new project they call Dear Data (Twitter account). Every week, they are sending post cards to each other with hand-drawn visualizations of data they have gathered: public transportation, ways they communicate, etc.
A couple have won £1m in the lottery draw for the second time in two years, beating odds of 283bn to one
A couple have scooped the £1m EuroMillions prize for the second time in two years. The odds, says Camelot, of the couple winning both the draws they entered are 283bn to one.Continue reading...
Heroku may be dropping the hammer on hobbyist developers, at least according to hints we're seeing that it may soon limit its free services. The app hosting company has apparently floated a new pricing scheme that's only visible to participants in a private beta of its service.
According to those who've seen it, the most notable change in the new plan is an apparent restriction on Heroku’s free offering. At the moment, this tier allows users the use of 1 dyno—Heroku’s unit of processing power—up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Under the proposed new plan, that level of service will force users into a new Heroku Hobby tier that will cost developers $7 a month.
Heroku, which hosts apps for customers as large as Macy's and Toyota alongside trial efforts by students and part-time developers, declined to comment on its private beta. Tellingly, though, it also didn't deny the reported pricing scheme.
Developer Eric Jiang, who reported seeing the new pricing tiers firsthand, described what he called the "verbatim text" of Heroku’s announcement in the private beta:
Free – Experiment in your own dev or demo app with a web and a worker dyno for free. Sleeps after 1 hr of inactivity. Active up to 12 hours a day. No custom domains. 512 MB RAM.
Hobby – Run a small app 24×7 with the Heroku developer experience for $7/dyno/mo. Custom domains. Run a maximum of one dyno per Procfile entry. 512 MB RAM.
Standard 1X, 2X: Build production apps of any size or complexity. Run multiple dynos per Procfile entry to scale out. App metrics, faster builds and preboot. All Hobby features. 512MB or 1GB RAM. $25 or $50/dyno/mo.
Performance – Isolated dynos for your large-scale, high-performance apps. All Standard features. Compose your app with performance and standard dynos. 6GB RAM. $500/dyno/mo.
Since only private beta users are able to see the potential prices, I wasn't able to confirm them.Those Who Pay, Pay Less; Those Who Don't, Pay More
Developers are busily debating the merits of the possible pricing change. Many paying Heroku customers are greeting the news enthusiastically, as the reported changes actually result in lower prices for higher service tiers.
Jeremy Green of Octolabs wrote a blog post graphing how much money developers could save in the paid tiers. “If you already pay Heroku just about anything for hosting your app(s) this new pricing is nothing but Good News,” he wrote.
The changes won't affect the most casual users much. If you are using Heroku to host very small apps that don't run continuously—such as the randomizer Twitter bot I created and described here at ReadWrite—you’re still in the clear.
But hobbyist developers who don’t use Heroku to make money, especially students, are less excited. “So, as a fellow hobbyist with 12 free dynos running on Heroku with custom domains, I clearly don't want to pay $84 a month for apps that aren't meant to generate revenue,” one commenter wrote on Hacker News before asking where he should move his projects.
Heroku rose to prominence in the world of app hosting thanks in part to its freemium model, in which developers could launch apps for free on a small scale, and then upgrade to paid support if and when those apps become popular. But as the service has grown, it has started catering to larger business customers.
The purported new pricing structure appears designed to court big paying customers while shutting out what some call "freeloader" developers who game Heroku's free services in order to run their apps continuously on Heroku's servers. (Heroku normally idles apps after an hour of disuse.) That practice itself has long been a subject of debate; some, and perhaps many, such developers go on to become paying customers.
Those days may be coming to an end.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Last week, a new startup named Olio announced its first smartwatch: an expensive, cross-compatible wearable called the Model One that aims to circumvent the thorny issue of technological obsolescence. If the new device lives up to Olio's hype, it might be the first smartwatch truly built to last.
But there are three big hurdles the Model One will have to clear if Olio wants its first product to last: its high cost, its low profile, and its extremely limited production run.High End, High Price
Olio, which is staffed by former employees of Apple, Google, Movado, Pixar and NASA, has definitely built a slick looking smartwatch. It’s made of stainless steel, and its ion-exchange glass touchscreen display is built to survive impacts and resist scratches.
It’ll come in two styles, and with those materials, neither comes cheap. The Model One Steel starts at $595 with a leather band, while a link-style band bumps the price up to $645. The Model One Black, meanwhile, costs $745 with a leather band and $795 with a linked band. Olio only plans to manufacture 500 units of each model; all 1,000 pieces are expected to ship this summer.
Underneath the fancy chassis, the Model One takes some of the best features of the competition and pack them into one device. Olio says the watch, which runs on a homegrown operating system, can communicate with Siri and Google Now via a feature called Olio Assist. Then there's the organization of the notifications themselves, which are packaged in “Temporal Streams." Seemingly similar to the Pebble Time’s Timeline, the Temporal Stream files past notifications under "earlier," and future obligations under "later."The Model One sports premium materials, water resistance, and wireless charging.
Olio also says that the Model One's battery tests provide two full days of life, with another two days if you turn off connectivity. If that's not enough, the Model One also charges wirelessly, can control third party smart devices like thermostats and lights, and it’s water resistant.
All told, the Model One has a lot going for it—but it’s possible that none of that will actually matter.Limited Edition, Limited Appeal
When asked about the Model One’s 1,000-piece production run, an Olio spokesperson offered this explanation:
Olio decided to do a very limited production for its first release because the company is committed to the quality and craftsmanship and wanted to make sure that every piece holds up the high standards of the company. Olio compares themselves to a craft brewery, and aren't trying to be everything to everyone.
That may be an apt analogy, but beer and wearables are pretty different. After all, if I buy a six-pack of a craft brew and I don’t like what I drink, I’m not out $600. Plus, I don’t have to call tech support.Bottls of craft beer and the Model One are both water resistant, however.
Rather the Model One seems more akin to a diamond. Both cost more than they ought to because they’re rare, and that rarity seems basically bogus.
Artificially creating scarcity is a great way to make something seem valuable. If few exist, those that do are “rare”—and therefore “valuable”—by default. But while the Olio team boasts an impressive work resume, the brand itself is utterly meaningless to consumers. The Model One sounds nice, but with no previous devices to speak of, it seems unlikely that many consumers will clamor to own one of a mere thousand units.
And while Olio doesn’t want to be “everything to everyone,” it doesn’t seem like the Model One will actually be much of anything to anyone. Traditional watch fans would likely be just as turned off by the Model One’s digital heart as they are by the other smartwatches on the market. For the prices Olio is asking, you could easily buy a high-end mechanical watch instead.
Tech fans, meanwhile, may not find much here either. The Model One looks impressive, but its proprietary OS means it certainly won’t have any apps made by other developers. And with a maximum of only 1,000 possible customers in the market for Model One apps, there’s no reason for developers to bother.
Users will have access only to the features Olio deems most important. By contrast, new apps are popping up all the time for Android Wear, and we’re likely to be buried under a metric ton of Apple Watch apps this April and Pebble Time apps in May.Don't bother imagining what Flappy Bird looks like on the Olio Model One.
And that’s the biggest problem with the Model One. It costs as much as a fancy mechanical watch but it isn’t mechanical. It has many of the features of smartwatches, but misses out on apps, the most important smartwatch feature of all.
If you don’t think apps are important, be sure to ask how all your friends like their Windows Phones. Notifications and Internet-of-Things controls are two big selling points for wearables. But apps—which log your fitness, can control your camera from across the room, and even track your golf handicap—are what may actually justify smartwatches as a viable product category. Without them, and the possibility of new apps no one’s yet thought of, there really isn’t much point to a smartwatch at all.
So far, the Model One has garnered positive write-ups from the likes of TechCrunch and the Verge, and those writers have had hands-on time with the watch. I haven’t, so it’s entirely possible that I’ll change my tune if I should get to try one. But considering that only a thousand Model One units exist on the planet, that's probably not going to happen anytime soon.
Images courtesy of Olio
You know the drill: another day, another piece of content to connect with your audience.
You churn out post after post, social media update after social media update — typing, typing, typing all the way, all day.
It reminds me of that classic Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, “Time to make the donuts.”
We are all like that little round Fred the Baker dragging our sorry selves to our keyboards to create yet another readable, but forgettable, post.
I say, enough of this twaddle. Let’s shut down this blog and be done with it.
Think that’s going too far?
Listen: It was just a matter of time.A brief history of the best decisions we ever made
In what I am told was a long, torturous, heartsick, alarming, and titanic (yada yada) decision, Copyblogger closed comments on the blog. Something about the conversation moving to other platforms and too much spam.
I couldn’t care less.
All I could think was, “Holy hell, Copyblogger actually has backbone! I want to work there.”
So I came onboard. But still, I had my doubts. And in no time, my suspicions were confirmed: that backbone was weak.
Until October 17, 2014.
That’s when Erika Napoletano (who is bigger than a taco, but smaller than an Airstream trailer, making her the ideal researcher) announced that it would be easier for Brian Clark to have a baby, and for that baby to be a two-headed, whiskey-drinking greyhound, and for that two-headed whiskey-drinking greyhound to start a podcast, and for that podcast to end world hunger, than for Copyblogger fans to engage on Facebook.
So we killed our Facebook page.
My faith was restored. But only temporarily.Am I the only one who saw the writing on the wall?
With the closing of comments and the death of our Facebook page, I thought it would only be a matter of time before we shut down the blog.
Imagine my surprise when that didn’t happen. During a routine editorial meeting I said, “So, when are we shutting down the blog? What are we waiting for?”
You would’ve thought everyone on that video call had just found themselves with nothing but a wig and a pocketknife in a bathhouse full of limber freemasons.
At that point, I knew I had my work cut out for me. And this was going to take more than a little cajoling. So I convinced them to make me VP of Educational Content — the person who oversees the blog.
I had to do something. This blog was going nowhere.Failing to heed omens
What I don’t understand, though, is how they didn’t see it coming. There were plenty of harbingers of darkness along the way.
I mean, let’s start with the new “podcast network,” Rainmaker.FM.
It’s like a brand-new, shiny content platform. With a site like that, who has time for a dusty, nine-year-old blog with written words? Who needs written words?
I’ve seen plenty of ominous signs here behind the iron Copyblogger curtain:
- Jerod Morris confessed that he saw a raven with a broken neck in the middle of the footpath during his morning walk. (I just giggled like a school girl when I heard, and wondered what would happen to The Lede.)
- Jessica Commins, Executive Vice President of Operations, up and packed her family in a tiny boat and sailed into the Atlantic. The note she left behind said, “How do you make the dreams about the narrow tunnels stop?” All this just six weeks before our Authority Rainmaker event. Oh well!
- Chris Garrett was last seen staggering along the Trans-Canada Highway, complaining of a recurring dream about a demented apple tree sprouting from his heart.
- Tony Clark, Chief Operating Officer and Garrett’s co-host on The Mainframe, whined about a woman in white appearing around town.
- Brian Gardner sent a series of emails to all the employees screaming about the moths that were trying to get into his house. Someone said he’s got a limp and works at Starbucks now. So much for No Sidebar.
- Sonia Simone seems to have a little spunk in her. When she saw an owl in broad daylight, she immediately visited a local shaman. At least for now Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer is safe.
- Stefanie Flaxman just mumbles to herself about Oxford commas and hypnotically records another episode of Editor-in-Chief.
The only thing that keeps me from throwing a fit over this unhinged behavior is that lonely and wounded soul, Demian Farnworth. You should’ve heard him sobbing like a baby after he failed to respond to that chain letter.
“I’m going to die a horrific death, Pamela!”
In fact, it was so bad I was tempted to reach through the phone and pat him on the head. But alas, I was laughing too hard.
Maybe he’ll do all right with his harmless little podcast, Rough Draft. See? I do have a soft side.
To be honest, the only person who worries me is Brian Clark.
I hear he’s the CEO. Has some kind of power. But there are also rumors he’s into magic. Not surprising coming from a guy who’s got a podcast called New Rainmaker.Seizing my moment
The thing you have to understand is that I’m a gal who’s used to getting her way.
Let’s get this straight. I didn’t name my podcast “Hit Publish” because I thought it would be cute. I did it because I like to punish people.
So as of today, the blog is no more.
Go ahead. Try and stop me. You don’t scare me, dear reader.Wait a minute …
Whoa there. Hold on. Is this some kind of joke?
This is Pamela Wilson. All that above? That’s Demian Farnworth. Clearly, I need to have a little chat with him. Soon.
In the meantime, Happy April Fools’ Day.
I want to take a moment to let you know that not only are we not killing the Copyblogger blog, we’re going to be making improvements to it later this year.
Our plans are to:
- Make it easier to find what you’re looking for
- Give you a smoother, cleaner reading experience
- Continue to provide a mix of topical articles to help you become a better writer, content creator, and business person
Now, where’s Demian? He’s in big trouble …About the authorPamela Wilson
George Osborne can correctly say that the economy grew faster than any other advanced economy – but that comes with a few caveats
The Telegraph has published a letter from 100 business leaders saying a Labour government would be a risk to the economy. An excerpt from it reads:
Britain grew faster than any other major economy last year and businesses like ours have created over 1.85m new jobs.
Up until the global economic crisis, the efficiency of UK workers tended to increase by around 2-2.5% a year. Had that trend continued, productivity would have been 15% higher than it was before the recession.Continue reading...
The primary question for the Apple Watch remains, “What are we supposed to use it for?” Now, any iOS developer with the WatchKit development tools and some chutzpah is free to make his or her best case, now that Apple is finally taking Watch app submissions.
Until now, no one except a limited group of partners had Apple's blessing to roll out apps for its upcoming wearable. Those early entrants mostly covered news, social, shopping, travel, fitness and some limited productivity features.
But now developers of all stripes can take their best whack at making this curious wrist gizmo more tempting.How Watch Apps, And Submissions, Will Work
To start, the company advises developers to update Xcode to the latest version, Xcode 6, which includes the iOS 8.2 SDK with the WatchKit framework. For more information, check out Apple’s Watch app guidelines for App Store submissions.
All third-party watch apps will work as various components that click together to, hopefully, provide a seamless experience to the user. Here’s how Apple describes these parts working together:
WatchKit apps have two parts: A WatchKit extension that runs on iPhone and a set of user interface resources that are installed on Apple Watch. When your app is launched on Apple Watch, the WatchKit extension on iPhone runs in the background to update the user interface and respond to user interactions. WatchKit provides three opportunities to extend your iPhone app to Apple Watch: WatchKit apps, Glances, and actionable notifications.
“Glances" display snippets of information, similar to the Notifications Center’s "today" widgets on the iPhone. “Actionable notifications" allow users to reply or perform some other task on the watch. "WatchKit apps” on the wearable feature a full user interface that lets users run, manage and interact with the app "in ways unique to Apple Watch.”
Essentially, the smartwatch will work like an extension of the iPhone, with the wearable tying into the apps running on the phone. Apple is expected to offer a native Apple Watch software development kit later this year so developers can make apps tailored for the wearable.
Of course, getting the green light to submit apps doesn't mean every one will flood into the App Store. Apple will still vet app submissions—probably with an even more stringent eye than usual, considering how badly the company wants to ensure the success of the new device.End Users: Getting Up And Running
Eend users will need to snag the latest app updates on their iPhones by April 24, when the Watch launches.
Once the device hits the market, users can get their watches up and running in three steps:
1: Pair the Apple Watch to the iPhone. (Open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, tap the “Start Pairing” button, and hold the watch up to the phone’s camera. You’ll need an iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6 or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2 or later.)
2: In the app, open the App Store for Apple Watch.
3: Download apps directly from the Apple Watch App Store.
The unofficial 4th and 5th steps: Decide whether any of these apps justify that pricey purchase, and whether it’s worth holding out for the new ones that will surely storm your wrist before long.
Watch App screen captures by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite; All other images courtesy of Apple
UI regression is one of these things that make total sense but is rarely put into practice, for a simple reason - it's hard.UI regression checking in action
If you read the theory about it, it seems pretty simple. Take a screenshot of a certain page in your site which will be your "baseline" image, and from now on, whenever the code changes re-run an automated test that will compare a current screenshot with the baseline image.
2015 is to shaping up be the year that standards for reading and writing, and the web in general, start to be put together into, next generation, systems and applications. Quite a comprehensive review post, contains much of what is being looked forward to.
Congratulations to the Linked Data Platform working group, who achieved REC status this quarter, after several years of hard work. Having spent most of the last three month testing various implementations, I’m happy to say it has greatly exceeded my already high expectations.Communications and Outreach
A number of read write web standards and apps were demoed at the W3C Social Web Working group F2F, hosted by MIT. This seems to have gone quite well and resulted in the coining of a new term “SoLiD” — Social Linked Data! Apps based on the Linked Data Platform have been considered as part of the work of this group.
A relatively quiet quarter in the community group, tho still around 60 posts on our mailing list. There is much interest on the next round of work that will be done with the LDP working group. Some work has been done on login and signup web components for WebID, websockets and a relaunch of WebIDRealm.
Making use of the experimental pub sub work with websockets, I’ve started to work on a chat application. A profile reader and editor allows you to create and change your profile. I’ve continued to work on a decentralized virtual wallet and props goes out to timbl who in his vanishingly small amounts of spare time has been working on a scheduler app.
For those of you that like the web, like documentation, like specs and like academic papers, all four have been wrapped into one neat package with the announcement of linked open research. It’s a great way to document work and create templates for upstream delivery. Hover over the menu in the top right and see many more options. I’m looking forward to using this to try to bridge the gap between the worlds of documentation, the web, and research.
Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful. – Sophia Loren
The post Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that… appeared first on Lifehack.
On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled the latest addition to its line of Surface tablet-PC hybrids: the Surface 3, set to ship on May 5. Starting at $499, it’s the most powerful Surface that doesn’t have “Pro” in its name. Best of all, it runs full Windows 8.1 rather than Windows RT, the underpowered operating system that ran on the original Surface and Surface 2. The Surface 3 will also be upgradeable to Windows 10 when Microsoft officially releases the new OS this summer.
But before you get too excited, the Surface 3 isn’t so affordable because of Microsoft’s generosity. Even with Intel’s most powerful Atom x7 processor, the new Surface may not be quite the laptop replacement Microsoft might want you to believe.How Surface 3 Stacks Up The Surface 3 and the Surface Pro 3
The Surface 3 shares a lot of design choices with its older brother, the Surface Pro 3. Both offer a 3:2 aspect ratio, with the Windows button placed on their right bezels.
But while the Pro clocks in at 12 inches, the Surface 3 is a little smaller at 10.8 inches with 1920 x 1280 resolution. The new Surface also weighs in at only 1.37 pounds (without the keyboard), and 0.34 inches thick. It’s also lousy with ports, offering a full USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, a microSD card reader and a Micro USB charging port.
Sadly, gone is the fully adjustable kickstand Microsoft had perfected for the Surface Pro 3. In its place is a three-position stand which locks at 22, 40, and 60 degrees. On a happier note, the Surface 3’s rear camera has been bumped up from the Pro’s five megapixels to 8MP, with added auto-focus—a huge help when taking photos of documents.The Surface 3's 22-degree position is good for working at a desk ...... while the 40-degree angle is better for working from your lap
The Surface 3 will reportedly provide 10 hours of battery life, edging out the Surface Pro 3’s nine hours. It’ll also come in two different Wi-Fi capable configurations: $500 for 64GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM, or $600 for 128GB and 4GB.
Both of those options will also be sold sometime later with optional 4G LTE wireless data, and Microsoft told us that those models will retail for $600 and $700, respectively. The Surface 3 Type Cover will set you back another $130.
Finally, all models of the Surface 3 run on the Intel Atom x7 processor, which reveals the device’s true nature. While it runs 64-bit Windows 8.1 and can offer plenty in the way of video playback, web browsing, and productivity with Office Suite, the Atom processor means the Surface 3 will never be much more than a very powerful tablet.
That’s okay, though! It doesn’t seem as though the Surface 3 is here to outperform the new MacBook or even the new Chromebook Pixel (though it kills the former on ports and the latter on price and internal storage space). The Surface 3 is Microsoft’s true iPad killer—or at least, its best attempt at one.The Best Microsoft Tablet, But Not Quite A PC
There’s a reason that the Surface 3’s product page compares the device to the iPad Air 2. For a similar price, the Surface 3 offers stylus support, keyboard, and kickstand—all compelling arguments against Apple’s flagship tablet. While earlier Surfaces were limited by Windows RT, the Surface 3 might finally stand a chance against the iPad by offering a true productivity tablet.It seems clear that Microsoft is looking for a bigger slice of the iPad's pie.
On the other hand, one of Apple’s greatest successes with the iPad was proving that people don’t necessarily want all their devices for productivity. The iPad is still one of the world’s greatest recreation devices, with a huge list of iOS-exclusive apps and games to choose from. The Surface 3 may run Windows, but its Atom processor means high performance gaming just isn't in the cards.
With iPad sales on the decline and rumors of an iPad Pro continuing to swirl, it seems like Microsoft is looking to stay relevant in the tablet world. Whether or not consumers agree that the Surface 3 will do that remains to be seen. But if nothing else, Microsoft seems determined to keep trying until it gets it right.
Images courtesy of Microsoft
If you need a self-paced machine learning course, consider your wish as granted!
From the description:
Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. Machine learning is so pervasive today that you probably use it dozens of times a day without knowing it. Many researchers also think it is the best way to make progress towards human-level AI. In this class, you will learn about the most effective machine learning techniques, and gain practice implementing them and getting them to work for yourself. More importantly, you’ll learn about not only the theoretical underpinnings of learning, but also gain the practical know-how needed to quickly and powerfully apply these techniques to new problems. Finally, you’ll learn about some of Silicon Valley’s best practices in innovation as it pertains to machine learning and AI. This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, datamining, and statistical pattern recognition. Topics include: (i) Supervised learning (parametric/non-parametric algorithms, support vector machines, kernels, neural networks). (ii) Unsupervised learning (clustering, dimensionality reduction, recommender systems, deep learning). (iii) Best practices in machine learning (bias/variance theory; innovation process in machine learning and AI). The course will also draw from numerous case studies and applications, so that you’ll also learn how to apply learning algorithms to building smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and other areas.
Great if your schedule/commitments varies from week to week, take the classes at your own pace!
Same great content that has made this course such a winner for Coursera.
I first saw this in a tweet by Tryolabs.