The Key to No-Code App Optimization: Deep Configs

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What if you had the ability to change the behavior and appearance of your app with zero code? The prospect of adding new layouts, changing color themes, and modifying widgets and icons without engineering intervention or an app updates may seem too good to be true, but it isn’t. This depth of configuration is made possible by “Deep Configs.”

What Are Deep Configs and How Do They Work?

Deep Configs enable you to change the default values in-app that control the behavior and appearance of your application. It abstracts your code and its data into values that can be tweaked in real-time. To get started, you have to identify and define the aspects of your app as parameters that can be altered using Deep Configs. For example, you can define a button that has two parameters: Color, which is red by default, and text as “Coming Soon.” When your app first fetches these parameters, their default data is reflected until new values are activated by the config, which overrides the previous value, thus enabling remote configuration. You can define parts of your code with Deep Configs, or populate the entire product architecture with it.

Netflix is reportedly adapting Neil Gaiman’s Sandman

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Another Neil Gaiman property is being adapted for the small screen. The Hollywood Reporter says that Netflix is closing in on a deal with Warner Bros. to adapt the author’s acclaimed comic series Sandman into a live-action TV show, in what is being described as “the most expensive TV series that DC entertainment has ever done.”

Wonder Woman screenwriter Allan Heinberg will act as writer, producer, and showrunner for the series, with Neil Gaiman and David Goyer acting as executive producers. THR notes that a final deal hasn’t been finalized, and but indicates that the project is headed for a straight-to-series pickup. Sources told the publication that Warner Bros. (which has the rights to the show), opted to sell the series to another…

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Locus Awards!

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Locus Magazine announced the winners of its annual reader-voted awards last night, with top honors for Mary Robinette Kowal, who won Best SF Novel for The Calculating Stars (which also won a Nebula Award this year), as well as Brooke Bolander, who won Best Novelette for The Only Harmless Great Thing (also a Nebula winner); and Phenderson Djèlí Clark whose Nebula-winning short story The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington also won a Locus.

Congrats to all the winners!

Best SF Novel: The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)

Best Fantasy Novel: Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)

Best Horror Novel: The Cabin at the End of the World, Paul Tremblay (Morrow; Titan UK)

Best YA Novel: Dread Nation, Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

Best First Novel: Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Best Novella: Artificial Condition, Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)

Best Novelette: The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing)
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Gato Roboto is a streamlined Metroid starring a cat in a mech

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It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

Gato Roboto opens with what has to be the worst possible outcome of a cat stepping on a keyboard: the misstep causes a spaceship to crash into a mysterious abandoned planet. For players, though, it’s a great outcome, because you get to play a streamlined Metroid game as a cat in a mech suit.

After crashing, Kiki the cat’s owner and partner Gary is pinned down on their ship. Unable to do anything except communicate with Kiki, he sends her off to find a way for them to get off the planet. What Kiki finds is a dilapidated,…

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Coffee cups made from coffee grounds

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Back in 2011, I bought a new countertop made from “Curface,” a composite material made from a mix of melted down used coffee cups and coffee grounds; we still have it and it’s wearing beautifully — you can treat it like solid wood, sanding off imperfections and oiling it back up to a shine; or you can treat it like a polymer and treat it with waxes like Turtle Wax for a durable finish.

Unfortunately, Curface is no more, but the idea of using coffee grounds as a cellulosic base for aggregates lives on; a German company called Kaffeeform is making coffee cups out of grinds suspended in resin — everything from go-cups to demitasses, espresso cups, and latte cups.

Their marketing material notes that “The cups are very durable, light, and have a mild smell of coffee.”

Kaffeeform

(via Red Ferret)

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Play with synths in your browser with Ableton’s fun, interactive tool

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Synthesizers are mysterious and intimidating boxes to me, but electronic music company Ableton is setting out to explain and demystify the instrument. The company has created an interactive browser game called Learning Synths that teaches users the basics of synthesizers. The friendly tool is thoughtfully designed with fun illustrations and widgets that make it perfect for beginners to tinker around with.

Learning Synths starts out with a lesson on amplitude and pitch, but if you want to skip ahead to synth concepts, you can click on the hamburger menu on the top left corner to learn about envelopes, LFOs, and oscillators. The lessons culminate in the Playground, seen above, where users can play with presets and sequences. The site works…

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Name your price for these 10 essential tech training bundles

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Many tech entrepreneurs are self-starters. The secret is in knowing where and when to start. And if your career plan involves programming or IT skills, the answer might just be “right here, right now” – because these ten online course bundles aren’t just packed with training and insight into essential work platforms. They’re all priced on a “pay what you want” basis. That means any offer gets at least a partial course package, and beating the average price gets the entire thing. No matter what your specialty, there’s the potential for hundreds of dollars saved.

The Big Data eBook Bundle

No matter what the size of your database, this bundle will allow you to make the most of it. You’ll get overviews on how to funnel big data into artificial intelligence, plus specific lessons on how to use Python, MySQL, SAS and more for data analytics.

CompTIA CSIS Prep Bundle

This package gets you CompTIA certified in all the essential aspects of IT, giving you everything you need to set up, manage and protect the network infrastructure of any company.

Cisco Networking & Cloud Computing Certification Bundle

There’s a wealth of resources in this one – more than 100 hours of training to be exact. It’s everything you need to get you certified and confident as a cloud systems expert in Cisco, Microsoft Azure, and Windows Powershell.

The Epic Excel 2019 Mastery Bundle

Mastery in Excel means more than just being able to knock out some payroll spreadsheets. This bundle explores the popular platform’s full potential in automation and data analysis, but it kicks off with overviews suitable for any beginner. Read the rest

Slo-mo shoot ‘em up My Friend Pedro will make you obsess over high scores

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It’s a good time to be an indie developer making games for the Nintendo Switch, and the most recent title to prove that point is My Friend Pedro.

From developer DeadToast Entertainment, the formal entity by sole designer Victor Agren, and renowned indie publisher Devolver Digital, My Friend Pedro is an evolution of Agren’s Flash experience fans of Adult Swim web games might have played a half decade ago. Now as a full-fledged console title, it’s easily one of the most stylish and aesthetically distinctive games I’ve played in quite a while. Even as a $20 indie game meant to be played over just a few sittings, what makes the game truly shine is both its replay value and how it pushes you to engage with its perfection-demanding higher…

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What’s up with Lidar, crypto mafias, influencer marketing, Shuttl, and assistive tech

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Reminder: Extra Crunch discount on Sessions: Enterprise tickets Come and watch TechCrunch interview enterprise titans and rising founders at the premier of TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise in San Francisco on September 5th. Join 1000+ enterprise enthusiasts for a day of talks, demos, startups, and networking. Book your $249 Early Bird tickets today and save an extra […]

Jony Ive made the entire tech world care about design

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I love industrial design and have for as long as I can remember. As a child, I broke my dad’s Braun electric razor playing with the dial that raised and lowered the blades because the action was so cool and “clicky.” At school, I dreamed of being either a product designer or an architect.

Those dreams were dashed when I flunked technical drawing (I was off by over 4cm and the tolerance of the test was less than 0.5cm) and failed my physics and maths exams, both of which are somewhat vital to designing beautiful buildings that don’t fall down. So for the past 30 years my inner industrial designer has lived vicariously through the career of my contemporary (he’s only a few years younger than me) and fellow Brit, Sir Jony Ive.

Ive made…

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