Posts tagged Here’s

Here’s A Phone-Charging Bracelet You Might Actually Wear

<em>Editor’s note: This post was originally published by our partners at <a href=”http://fashionista.com/2014/08/phone-charging-bracelet”>Fashionista</a>.</em>

There’s no cellphone owner who doesn’t understand intimately the special agony of watching their device drain and then … die. It’s a universal. Most people have a plan B: Use a Mophie juice pack, bring along a charger and pray for an outlet—or this reporter’s favorite, hang out in a bar for an hour and use the bartender’s charger. There’s always one behind the counter.

A new startup called Q Designs is hoping to make juicing on the go a bit more convenient. The company just launched pre-orders for its first product, a sleek bracelet that conceals enough rechargeable lithium-ion battery to give your phone a 60% charge. The bangle, available for both Android and iOS devices, unhooks to reveal the connector.

We took a look at one of the prototypes a few weeks ago, and it’s really, truly not bad-looking. It comes in black, silver and gold, the last of which co-founders James Kernan and Alessandro Libani say they spent a lot of time getting exactly right. The bracelet is still fairly thick—according to Kernan, making it any thinner would reduce the charging potential significantly —so it’s a statement, but a clean one.

It’s also not terribly expensive. Pre-orders run at $79, and the bracelet will eventually retail for $99, hopefully in time for the holiday season. Although frankly it’s the type of thing we’d like to have for September’s various fashion weeks, a.k.a. the month of dead phones. 

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Here’s Why Your iMessage Spam Runneth Over

In the two years since Apple birthed iMessages, the texting system has been a revelation for iPhone and Mac users. Few could dispute the convenience of being able to text other Apple users without relying on carriers (or even phones, for that matter). Unfortunately, that promised land of SMS couldn’t remain unspoiled forever.

The system started showing a few cracks, the latest of which is best summarized by one word: spam.

Cloudmark security researcher Tom Landesman told Wired that there’s one super-spamming operation largely responsible for littering the Apple landscape, though neither he nor his company seems to know who the party or parties responsible for this assault on our iPhones may be.

What he can say is that this prolific junk mail operation has sent so much SMS detritus, iMessage now accounts for more than 30% of all mobile message spam. 

How Apple Inadvertently Helped The iSpammers

One of iMesssages’ handiest features is its ability to work across iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches and Mac computers. Turns out, that’s also the wide-open door that lets in these garbage texts. “With four lines of code, using Apple scripts, you can tell your Mac machine to send message to whoever they want,” Landesman said.

With that, Apple gadgets are quickly becoming gateways into a seedy world of cheap sunglasses, knock-off designer handbags and grey market mail-order pharmaceuticals. 

Yes, that is a screenshot of my actual phone. And yes, I did actually try to ask the spammer for an interview—even though I know full well it’s likely a bot. #journalism

In the past, phone spammers could only robo-text cell numbers, but thanks to iMessage working over email addresses—used primarily by iPad and Mac users—they have another way in to do their dirty work. Even worse, Apple unwittingly made this easy for them.

Yikes! You can tell whether someone’s an iMessage user by just typing in their email or phone number into the Mac desktop program.

Convenience features for users become effective weapons in the hands of spammers. Type a number or email into the Mac’s iMessage application, and it will tell you whether it’s registered in iMessage or not. Now, with automation, just multiply that by the hundreds or even thousands. The system can even send back a “read receipt,” letting the senders know when you’ve looked at their junk mail.

And pinning down those creeps won’t be easy. Anyone can register on iMessage using any type of email account, whether one or hundreds of them.

The Carriers Must Be Laughing

Phone spam used to be a huge problem for cellular carriers. But they must be chuckling now, considering iMessage was designed to bypass their networks (and money-grubbing control).

So with this, they can gleefully watch the shenanigans on the sidelines. This spate of iMessage junk has landed like a thud in Apple’s court.

The iPhone maker hasn’t completely buried its head in the sand, though its efforts have been fairly meager. Landesman pointed out the company’s “rate-limiting” policy, a sort of frequency limit to block machine-gun iMessages, and a user-reporting process requiring people to email screenshots of the junk message and any sender contact details.

That likely will do little to stave off the iSpam, which will only get worse over time. Apple will need more than a few half-hearted attempts, if it wants to head off these trash artists. 

The iOS -OS X messaging service has been suffering several dings lately. Last spring, the headlines zeroed in on a widespread bug that revealed how the system held up texts between current and former iMessage users. 

Neither Apple nor Cloudmark’s Tom Handesman responded to requests for comment on this story.

Images by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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Want To Start An Open Source Project? Here’s How

You have a problem. You’ve weighed the pros and cons of open sourcing your code, and you know you need to start an open-source project for your software. But you have no idea how to do this.

Oh, sure. You may know how to set up a GitHub account and get started, but such mechanics are actually the easy part of open source. The hard part is making anyone care enough to use or contribute to your project.

Here are some principles to guide you in building and releasing code that others will care about.

First, The Basics

You may choose to open source code for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you’re looking to engage a community to help write your code. Perhaps, like Known, you see “open source distribution … as a multiplier for the small teams of developers writing the code in-house.” 

Or maybe you just think it’s the right thing to do, as the UK government believes

Regardless of the reason, this isn’t about you. Not really. For open source to succeed, much of the planning has to be about those who will use the software. As I wrote in 2005, if you “want lots of people to contribute (bug fixes, extensions, etc.,” then you need to “write good documentation, use an accessible programming language … [and] have a modular framework.” 

Oh, and you also need to be writing software that people care about. 

Think about the technology you depend on every day: operating systems, web application frameworks, databases, and so on. These are far more likely to generate outside interest and contributions than a niche technology for a particular industry like aviation. The broader the application of the technology, the more likely you are to find willing contributors and/or users.

In summary, any successful open-source project needs these things:

1. Optimal market timing (solving a real need in the market);

2. A strong, inclusive team of developers and non-developers; 

3. An architecture of participation (more on that below);

4. Modular code to make it easier for new contributors to find a discrete chunk of the program to work on, rather than forcing them to scale an Everest of monolithic code;

5. Code that is broadly applicable (or a way to reach the narrower population more niche-y code appeals to);

6. Great initial source code (if you put garbage into GitHub, you’ll get garbage out);

7. A permissive license—I personally prefer Apache-style licensing as it introduces the lowest barriers to developer adoption, but many successful projects (like Linux and MySQL) have used GPL licensing to great effect.

Of the items above, it’s sometimes hardest for projects to actively invite participation. That’s usually because this is less about code and more about people.

“Open” Is More Than A License

One of the best things I’ve read in years on this subject comes from Vitorio Miliano (@vitor_io), a user experience and interaction designer from Austin, Texas. Miliano points out that anyone who doesn’t already work on your project is a “layperson,” in the sense that no matter their level of technical competence, they know little about your code.

So your job, he argues, is to make it easy to get involved in contributing to your code base. While he focuses on how to involve non-programmers in open-source projects, he identifies a few things project leads need to do to effectively involve anyone—technical or non-technical—in open source:

1. a way to understand the value of your project 

2. a way to understand the value they could provide to the project

3. a way to understand the value they could receive from contributing to the project

4. a way to understand the contribution process, end-to-end

5. a contribution mechanism suitable for their existing workflows

Too often, project leads want to focus on the fifth step without providing an easy path to understand items 1 through 4. “How” to contribute doesn’t matter very much if would-be contributors don’t appreciate the “why.”

On that note, it’s critical, Miliano writes, to establish the value of the project with a “jargon-free description” so as to “demonstrate your accessibility and inclusiveness by writing your descriptions to be useful to everyone at all times.” This has the added benefit, he avers, of signaling that documentation and other code-related content will be similarly clear.

On the second item, programmers and non-programmers alike need to be able to see exactly what you’d like from them, and then they need to be recognized for their contributions. Sometimes, as MongoDB solution architect Henrik Ingo told me, “A smart person [may] come[] by with great code, but project members fail to understand it.” That’s not a terrible problem if the “in” group acknowledges the contribution and reaches out to understand. 

But that doesn’t always happen.

Do You Really Want To Lead An Open Source Project?

Too many open-source project leads advertise inclusiveness but then are anything but inclusive. If you don’t want people contributing code, don’t pretend to be open source. 

Yes, this is sometimes a function of newbie fatigue. As one developer wrote recently on HackerNews, 

Small projects get lots of, well, basically useless people who need tons of handholding to get anything accomplished. I see the upside for them, but I don’t see the upside for me: if I where[sic] to help them out, I’d spend my limited available time on handholding people who apparently managed to get ms degrees in cs without being able to code instead of doing what I enjoy. So I ignore them.

While that may be a good way to maintain sanity, the attitude doesn’t bode well for a project if it’s widely shared. 

And if you really couldn’t care less about non-programmers contributing design input, or documentation, or whatever, then make that clear. Again, if this is the case, you really shouldn’t be an open-source project. 

Of course, the perception of exclusion is not always reality. As ActiveState vice president Bernard Golden told me over IM, “many would-be developers are intimidated by the perception of an existing ‘in-crowd’ dev group, even though it may not really be true.” 

Still, the more open source projects invest in making it easy to understand why developers should contribute, and make it inviting to do so, the how largely takes care of itself.

Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock

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Want To Speak @ SMX Social Media Marketing? Here’s How

The agenda is live, and we’re now accepting submissions to speak at Search Marketing Expo – SMX Social Media Marketing 2014, November 19-20, 2014, at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Start by carefully reading the SMX Social Media Marketing 2014 agenda and deciding where you think…



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Here’s What Teens Think It Takes To Work In Tech

It’s easy to get swept up in the media myths of the technology world. The good news is that a new generation readying themselves for careers in tech are looking past the stereotypes and embracing opportunity.

On Friday, LinkedIn hosted an event as part of its LinkedIn For Good initiative, in which it encouraged 2,500 employees around the world to spend the day giving back to their community.

As part of that “InDay” event, the company hosted 100 teenagers from the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters to talk about career opportunities, create a LinkedIn profile, and learn about the skills needed to achieve their dream jobs.

Breaking Down Media Myths About Silicon Valley

The event looked nothing like the Hollywood versions of the tech world we see in movies like The Internship and HBO’s Silicon Valley. While those shows satirize what it takes to make it in tech, they also risk celebrating and elevating the screen-friendly “brogrammer” cultural myth of hard-partying code jocks. While brogrammers are easier to find on TV than on the actual streets of San Francisco, the brogrammer stereotype has life because Silicon Valley does have a real problem attracting a diverse workforce.

Statistics recently released by major tech companies show that there are real numbers behind the stereotypes: The tech workforce is disproportionally Caucasian and male. (LinkedIn was one of the companies to share its numbers.)

Against this backdrop, it’s easy to understand why some get dispirited. But organizations and companies are working to change the culture of technology and nurture diverse voices, and women are fighting to change the culture of tech from within. And the teens we talked to weren’t paying much attention to Hollywood’s version of what a programmer looks like.

Teens In Tech

In a crowded room on the company’s leafy campus, LinkedIn employees and students from the Boys and Girls Club exchanged wisdom. Students discovered what it means to network, while employees reminisced about their own high-school days, and the angst and frustration of figuring out a career path.

Salvador Rodriguez, human resources intern at LinkedIn, and past Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula student, interviews LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and Boys and Girls Club executive director Peter Fortenbaugh.

After hearing from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Peter Fortenbaugh, executive director of the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club, LinkedIn employees teamed up with students in one-on-one sessions to help build their online resumes, and, hopefully, put them en route to their future careers.

I shadowed three students who have dreams of working in tech to find out what drives them, and whether or not the culture of the tech community, often portrayed as toxic or excluding, now deters them from pursuing their future dreams.

All three were steadfast in their desire to become the next generation of builders. They weren’t worried about culture fit. They were more worried about mastering math.

“There’s no way [gender inequality] will be balanced by the time I’m coding.” 

Dana Levinthal, 14, snacked on Lay’s potato chips and sipped on a raw-sugar Coca-Cola as she talked to me about wanting to become a programmer at Facebook or Google. What about a startup, I asked.

“There’s always a chance they could go under,” she replied. “I want something more secure.”

The sage teen from Redwood City doesn’t have any coding experience yet, though she’s heard of languages like Java and C++. But she thinks her experience in “modding” Minecraft, a popular game, has already taught her one of the most important skills about being a programmer: patience.

She does understand it takes more than creativity, patience and boundless energy to become a programmer; Dana wants to go to MIT, and is aiming to finish calculus by her senior year.

As a high-school freshman, she’s familiar with the imbalance of women in tech, but that only fuels her desire to be among the next generation of Googlers.

“I’m aware that only ten percent of women hold IT jobs,” she said. “There’s no way it will be balanced by the time I’m coding, in 10 to 15 years.”

Dana Levinthal volunteered to take photos for the Boys and Girls Club during the event.&nbsp;

For some, the gender gap can be discouraging, especially since just 18 percent of computer science graduates in the U.S. are female, and reports of harassment and discrimination have cast shadows on the tech community. To Dana though, this imbalance presents an opportunity.

“Because women are a minority in that field, I’m more likely to get a scholarship and get hired,” she said.

“Don’t gain the world, and lose your soul.”

Diquan Richard was all smiles at inDay.

Diquan Richard’s idols are Steve Jobs and Bob Marley—two very different innovators whose passion and breakthroughs in creative and technical fields inspire him to pursue his career goal of becoming a Pixar animator. He’s been involved with the Boys and Girls Club for 14 years, and is a native of East Palo Alto.

He discovered his dream of working at Pixar in 7th grade, and he’s been perfecting his talent for drawing and storytelling while overcoming personal hardships ever since.

“Technology has given me comfort,” Diquan said. “It’s allowed me to connect with people during the most challenging times.”

Like most teenagers, 18-year-old Diquan uses applications like Snapchat and Instagram to connect with friends. On his Lenovo computer, he uses more sophisticated technology to build creatures with Photoshop, Flash and Maya, the animation software. Those will prove crucial to his burgeoning career.

LinkedIn employees used Diquan’s profile as an example of how students can connect with mentors and alumni.&nbsp;

Diquan is a student at Cañada College, a two-year institution in Redwood City, Calif., where he’s taking general-education courses before applying to a university for a digital arts and animation degree.

“My biggest challenge in school is math,” he said. “It’s something I’m going to have to work with everyday—using geometry and algebra. Making sure everything cooperates.”

At the InDay event, LinkedIn employees helped Diquan take the first step to achieving his career. In a demonstration, two of them used Diquan’s profile as an example of how to connect with college alumni and ask for advice from people whose careers they admire. They discovered a Cañada College graduate who worked at Pixar, and the team offered to facilitate an introduction.

Diquan could not stop smiling.

Though technology will become an invaluable resource for him in the future, Diquan noted that it’s not all perfect. Some apps, he said, are a huge waste of time.

“Bob Marley once said, ‘Don’t gain the world, and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold,’” he told me.

“One stereotype I know about tech, is that they think guys are better.”

Anna Gomez at LinkedIn’s InDay event.

“I was kind of a weird child,” Anna Gomez, 14, said, as I sat down to ask her about her career plans. “One time I had cardboard boxes, and I would pretend they were metal and make a robot.”

“That’s not weird,” I told her. “That’s awesome.”

Anna wants to be a computer engineer and eventually a video game designer. Her favorite video game is Assassin’s Creed, which she plays regularly on her PlayStation 3.

She’s trying to learn coding, but she’s conflicted. Her high school offers computer engineering, but she also wants to take cooking as an elective. Anna hadn’t heard of organizations like Girls Who Code.

“Most of my friends are girls, and they don’t really play video games,” she said, and looked down at her hands. “Most of my guy friends play video games, though.”

Through the Boys and Girls Club, Anna has visited numerous tech companies, including Google, Intel, Facebook and LinkedIn. She says the experience has only encouraged her pursuit of working in technology, though she thinks it is very hard to get a job in tech.

Anna was also taking photos around the LinkedIn campus.&nbsp;

The biggest skill she thinks engineers need is, like the other students, math. Anna said math classes are going to be hard for her, but, with her brother as an influence, she’s going to learn coding, and eventually take computer science in college.

Like Dana, she’s not deterred by inequality or lack of women in engineering fields.

“One stereotype I know about tech, is that they think guys are better,” she said. “But I don’t think that’s true.”

A Promising Future

After setting up personal LinkedIn accounts and taking a handful of profile pictures, both silly and serious, the students made their way back to the crowded room, which was getting warmer by the minute.

A group of observers and participants trailed behind, as the girls took extra time photographing the LinkedIn campus with cameras provided by the Boys and Girls Club. They wanted to document everything.

By the afternoon’s end, Dana, Diquan, and Anna, along with many other club members, had their own LinkedIn profiles, which would help them discover career opportunities and connect with people just like them, in jobs they want to explore.

Back in the room, the students and mentors were asked to take a picture—and the smiling teens looked back at the camera promisingly.

The next generation of coders and makers don’t see the same frustration their counterparts working in tech right now face on a regular basis. Instead, they have hope that—although their path may not be perfect or easy—a passion for technology and education will get them started.

And once they’re inside those campuses they’ve visited as students, they’ll have the power to take on those challenges—and, eventually, change those stereotypes. 

At the end of the day, students and mentors posed for a photo.

Photos by Selena Larson for ReadWrite

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Negative SEO Does Exist and Here’s the Proof – Huffington Post UK


DigitalJournal.com
Negative SEO Does Exist and Here's the Proof
Huffington Post UK
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Jonathan Guy :Negative SEO Does Exist and Here’s the Proof – Huffington Post UK


QueryClick
Jonathan Guy :Negative SEO Does Exist and Here's the Proof
Huffington Post UK
One of the most asked questions from clients over the last few months has been "Do you think we have been hit by negative SEO?" Our standard response has always been "No" as to date we have not seen a clear example of negative SEO hitting any our …
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WordPress 4.0 Beta Is Now Available: Here’s What’s New by @mattsouthern

WordPress recently announced that the first beta version of WordPress 4.0 is now available. WordPress prefaces its announcement with a word of caution that the software is still in development, and it’s not recommended that you run it on a production site. Instead, consider setting up a test site to familiarize yourself with the new features, as the full version of WordPress 4.0 is due out next month. But before the new version comes out, WordPress says they need the help of users to test the new features they’ve been working on. Here’s What’s New In WordPress 4.0 Beta Preview […]

The post WordPress 4.0 Beta Is Now Available: Here’s What’s New by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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SEO Should Not Be Held To An ROI Target — Here’s Why – Search Engine Land


Search Engine Land
SEO Should Not Be Held To An ROI Target — Here's Why
Search Engine Land
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SEO Should Not Be Held To An ROI Target — Here’s Why

Anyone who invests dollars into a marketing channel is expecting to see a return on investment (ROI) from that marketing channel. Those who invest in SEO are probably expecting the same. But I challenge this thought and dare to say SEO should not be required to meet an ROI target. Why, you ask?…



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