Reddit, Twitch, and Imgur have created a research partnership called DERP

See the original posting on The Verge

Reddit and Imgur may be home to fairly strange corners of the internet, but they’re still filled with deeply valuable information about the world and how we all use the web. Now those sites, in conjunction with several others, are launching an initiative to help researchers study the data the sites collect to help them learn more about social networks or any other information that might go through them. The sites are having a bit of fun with naming the new initiative, which they’re calling the Digital Ecologies Research Partnership, though they’d probably you rather call it by its abbreviation: DERP.

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You can charge a phone battery by playing music at it

See the original posting on The Verge

There are any number of research teams trying to build alternative power sources for your cellphone. Do you want to put tiny windmills on it? What about plugging it into a solar-powered charging bench or just holding it up to the sun? Now, at the Queen Mary University of London, a group of scientists has created a prototype panel capable of charging a cellphone off environmental vibrations like music or dinner conversation.

Researchers call the device a “nanogenerator,” and it looks like a flat metal plate with some wires attached. In reality, it’s plastic sprayed with a sheet of tiny zinc oxide rods that generate electricity when squashed or stretched — as they would be in the presence of everyday background noise. The group is…

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Employee metrics show how Comcast pushes customer service reps to make sales

See the original posting on The Verge

Many of the more than 150 current and former employees interviewed for The Verge’s Comcast Confessions series cited excessive sales pressure as one of the main reasons the company gets poor customer satisfaction ratings.

Despite the fact that Comcast has departments devoted to both inbound and outbound sales, the company encourages its employees in customer service, tech support, and other departments to make sales as well. This often puts the employee’s interests at odds with the customer, who may be calling in to report a technical problem, billing issue, or to downgrade their service.

Sales pressure is enforced through monetary incentives, disincentives such as being put on a corrective action plan, and pressure from managers who…

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Uber Corner Store Turns The Transit App Into A Delivery Service For Daily Staples

See the original posting on TechCrunch

uber_cornerstore_graphics_700x300_r3 Uber has launched ‘Corner Store,’ an experimental service rolling out first to DC area customers that offers pick up and delivery services on-demand instead of just transportation. Corner Store works by letting users request daily staples like toothpaste, over the counter medicine, health and beauty supplies and over 100 more items right from the Uber app. The test of… Read More

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Is Raising Money At A Valuation Approaching $10B

See the original posting on TechCrunch

asiasat_8_streak_3 Space Exploration Technologies, the commercial space transportation startup founded by Elon Musk with ambitions to land people on Mars, is raising investment that values the company somewhere south of $10 billion, TechCrunch has learned.
These new details are emerging while SpaceX, as the company is more commonly known, continues to make advances with its own spacecraft and rack up more… Read More

DIY Oculus Rift Tutorial

See the original posting on Makezine

gaming-loopThere are lots of reasons that someone might want a head-mounted display. Camera operators and radio-controlled vehicle enthusiasts typically like these because they keep the sun off of their screen while working outdoors. Aside from those practical purposes, strapping a high-definition display to your head is just cool. Add some motion […]

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WebLinc Raises $6M Series A To Expand Its Fast-Growing eCommerce Platform

See the original posting on TechCrunch

weblinc offices You may not be all that familiar with WebLinc, but the company’s e-commerce platform powers the online stores of popular retailers like Nasty Gal, Urban Outfitter’s Free People and New York food emporium Eataly. Today, the company, which was co-founded by brothers Darren and Jason Hill in 1994, announced that after two decades of bootstrapping, it has raised a $6 million Series A… Read More

Agile Decompiled: In Conclusion

See the original posting on DZone Python

If you have been following my series on agile development then you will have some understanding about the concepts behind the terminology. My article on Test Driven Development covered one aspect of that practice within an agile process.
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Hopefully these articles have helped the reader decide if a) agile will work for them and b) if…

Geek Reading August 18, 2014

See the original posting on DZone Python

I have talked about human filters and my plan for digital curation. These items are the fruits of those ideas, the items I deemed worthy from my daily reading. These items are a combination of tech business news, development news and programming tools and techniques. You will note that some of the formatting has changed, and that is due to the change in my process.
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An Appetite for Change

See the original posting on DZone Python

I’ve been part of a discussion on Twitter about the vices of imposed Agile adoptions versus the virtues of the approach put forth by Daniel Mezick, OpenAgile Adoption. Regardless of the arguments for or against each approach, creating this dichotomy misses the point.
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So, regardless of whether a change is imposed by the management of…

HTC’s new flagship phone is designed to take over Japan

See the original posting on The Verge

HTC CEO Peter Chou was in Tokyo today to unveil the company’s latest flagship smartphone for Japan, the new J Butterfly (HTL23) on KDDI. The phone has much in common with the excellent HTC One (M8) released in the rest of the world earlier this year: it features a 5-inch 1080p display, twin front-facing BoomSound speakers, a second camera lens to allow for Lytro-style refocusing after taking the shot (though the main sensor is 13 megapixels rather than the M8’s four-“ultrapixel” unit), and so…

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DataGravity Wants To Make Your Storage More Intelligent

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Edge of 2.5 inch solid state drive box. DataGravity, a flash storage startup with a data-driven twist, wants to change the way we interact with storage and give companies a more intelligent way to deal with storage information. Most companies today have their storage, search and governance in separate and disparate applications. The search tool has to crawl the storage. The governance tool has to monitor for issues such as credit… Read More

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