Can a massive seawall save New York from flooding?

See the original posting on The Verge

Come along with The Verge for the second season of Detours. We’ve traveled across the country to find the people, groups, and companies that are solving America’s problems in new and unconventional ways.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed homes, wasted businesses, flooded tunnels, and submerged subways. The storm brought tens of thousands of lives to a halt, and revealed New York City’s vulnerabilities to severe climate conditions and rising waters.

“I saw the devastation,” says Henk…

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Commercial Drones Are Coming, And Sooner Than You Think

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Drone flying against blue sky. When Jeff Bezos talked about delivering your Amazon packages by drone last year on 60 minutes, it seemed like a grand publicity stunt designed to get his company some attention, but the fact is we are not that far away from seeing widespread use of commercial drones –including package delivery and much more. Over the coming decade, drones will very likely become commonplace. Today, when… Read More

PopKey’s Animated GIF Keyboard For iOS 8 Is The One You Should Be Using

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IMG_4742 Apple is now accepting keyboards that go beyond just offering different ways to type text – it appears to have opened the doors for graphical keyboards, too. Riffsy already showed us an animated GIF keyboard that makes it easy to communicate via reaction GIFs, but PopKey is another startup that came up with the same idea at the same time, and their offering is now available, too. And… Read More

Apple’s iPad Update Plans Could Put Gold First And Offer 12.9? Model For 2015

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gold-ipad Apple could add gold to the menu for the next version of the 9.7-inch iPad Air, according to Bloomberg, and then introduce a 12.9-inch version of its tablet next year. This is in line with rumors we’ve heard from Bloomberg before, which pegged a large-screen iPad as being added to the lineup back in August. But the note regarding the color update for the new iPad is interesting in that… Read More

Eve Raises $2.3M To Rethink Programming

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macbook While everybody in the tech industry seems to be trying to make programming easier to pick up, most of the efforts that have popped up either repackage the concepts found in existing languages or boil down the logic programmers use to the point where you don’t learn skills that are directly applicable to actual software development. Read More

Please don’t ask me to visit my bank in virtual reality

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Here is, without a doubt, the most dangerous thing about virtual reality: it’s convinced way too many people that the highest-bandwidth solution to a problem is the best one.

Do you watch Netflix? Well, what about a virtual Netflix where you walk around a video rental store and pick up a movie box to start watching? Amazon? How about a virtual shopping mall where every department is a different outlet store and you can examine everything in 3D, and when you buy something, you can carry it outside and drop it into a virtual drone delivery box? Looking up a word in a dictionary? Why not join an immersive virtual chat with an etymologist whose avatar will juggle anthropomorphic representations of its conjugates?

Wells Fargo invited The…

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Glow Gets $17 Million In Series B Funding From Formation 8, Founders Fund And Andreesen Horowitz

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 The app that helps women track their fertility cycles, Glow gained another $17 million from investors today in a Series B round of funding. That makes $23 million in Glow’s total funding. This latest round was led by Formation 8, with additional participation from Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz. Formation 8 founding member Joe Lonsdale and HVF’S Nellie Levchin, co-founder… Read More

Garmin announces new flagship $450 Forerunner 920XT sport watch

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Garmin today announced the Forerunner 920XT, its latest multisport watch designed for athletes who need metrics beyond what your average fitness tracker can provide. At $449.99, you’d expect this watch to do just about everything under the sun, and it promises to offer detailed stats on swimming, biking, and running. You’ll also get notifications for incoming texts, emails, calls, and calendar reminders, though the “smartwatch” functionality here isn’t what anyone will be buying the 920XT for. Instead, they’d likely be after its deep and accurate daily activity tracking, which is a step above what your typical wrist-worn fitness band can do. But there are also features you’d expect from a Jawbone, like sleep tracking.

In the water, the…

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Cortana will tell you when your favorite musicians are playing nearby

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The new Concert Watch feature located in Cortana’s Notebook will keep you updated on whether your favorite musicians are playing in a town near you. WP Central writes that all it takes to activate this function is accessing Interests and then adding Music from the list of categories. Concert Watch reportedly uses data from Seat Geek, a ticket search and recommendation engine. It is unknown as to how Concert Watch actually identifies who your most beloved bands are, but WP Central speculates it may be related to Xbox Music. The feature is currently being rolled out, so if it is not present in your version of Cortana, it will likely be soon.

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Sophisticated iPhone and Android malware is spying on Hong Kong protesters

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A fake smartphone app is being used to remotely monitor pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, according to a report from the New York Times. Researchers from Lacoon Mobile Security say the phishing scam is spreading across the messaging application WhatsApp, through texts that read: “Check out this Android app designed by Code4HK for the coordination of OCCUPY CENTRAL!”, along with a link to download software. Lacoon says the software, once downloaded, can access a user’s personal data, including phone calls, text messages, and the physical location of their smartphone. Code4HK — a developer community that has helped to spread information about the protests — tells the Times it had nothing to do with the texts.

The origin of the scam…

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No Such Thing: spooky (not scary!) picture book

See the original posting on Boing Boing

In the new Flying Eye picture book No Such Thing, a little girl named Georgia finds herself in a delightfully spooky situation: things in her home keep going astray — but Georgia knows that there’s no such thing as ghosts. Cory Doctorow field tested the book on his six year old, and comes back with a tale of mystery, delight, and fright, just in time for Hallowe’en.
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Microsoft teases Windows 10 phone and Xbox interfaces

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 unveiling was focused on the desktop and the enterprise, but the company also dropped some significant hints at its future direction for phone and Xbox. While there was no meaningful discussion about the user interface changes to Windows Phone and Xbox, Microsoft did reveal some changes in an image highlighting Windows 10 across multiple devices. Traditional Windows Phone devices appear to feature the familiar tiled interface with Windows 10 that currently exists with Windows Phone 8.1, scaling all the way up to devices with 6-inch displays. Where things seem to change are with 7- or 8-inch tablets. Microsoft’s image appears to suggest that small Windows tablets will take on more of a Windows Phone-like interface…

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A problem with Primitive Obsession

See the original posting on DZone Python

By an odd coincidence, a number of the teams I work with have been looking at the Primitive Obsession code smell recently as part of the software habitability and craftsmanship training programmes I am currently running. As we have explored legacy code looking for examples of the smell, I’ve noticed a tendency to enthusiastically label every primitive in any method signature as…

The Measure Of Success

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What makes a successful project?

Waterfall project management tells us it’s about meeting scope, time and cost goals.

Do these success metrics also hold true to agile projects?

Let’s see.
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What makes a successful project? Waterfall project management tells us it’s about meeting scope, time and cost goals. Do these success…

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