As for me, when I submit comments on any publication’s website, I look for Disqus (which I have registered with using my OpenID) or straight out OpenID. Totally worth it when they want authentication and identification. It also helps tie my ID back to my WordPress blog. So it has a second knock-on effect if people want to find out more about my other writings. OpenID works and it works well, and failing that Disqus works equally well for me. No need to reinvent any wheels when it comes to logins, authentications, etc.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
If you are creating a new website or mobile app, one of the things you need to worry about most is user login.
User login is thorny. Make it too hard, and users won’t sign up. Make it too easy, and you put users’ passwords at greater risk of being hacked.
Moving all that pain to [company]Facebook[/company] might seem like an attractive option. Facebook has been pushing its Facebook Connect service as a way you can outsource the login capability to Facebook. You let Facebook handle the databases, the passwords, and so on, and you just do some simple code to link to Facebook. And there are already more than 1 billion Facebook users, so it’s likely your users already have a log-in. What’s not to Like (bad pun intended)? What’s not to like?
Well, most web properties have two important success criteria and measures: how many new users sign on every month, and how often they come back. Once you’ve used Facebook Connect, guess…
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Vector monitors for the Win!
Originally posted on Hackaday:
[fredkono] has a few vintage Atari arcade boards sitting around, and without the rest of the arcade machine – especially the XY CRT – these boards would continue to gather dust. The solution to this terrible shortage of vintage video games was to build a vector monitor from scratch. No, that doesn’t mean building a new CRT, but it does mean rewiring the yoke and building a CRT controller board for tubes salvaged from small, old TVs.
Nearly all the CRTs you’ll find at your local goodwill or surplus shop are raster displays. The CRTs used in the old Atari games were vector displays and extremely similar to the tubes found in old oscilloscopes. [fred] turned the CRT found in an old 9″ color TV into a vector monitor by rewinding the yoke.
With the tube rewired, it was only a matter of connecting the custom deflection circuit boards
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In a terrific demo of the wrong technology for the Flash Memory Summit, HGST is showing a PCIe-connected Phase Change Memory device running at three million IOPS with a 1.5 microsecs read latency.
For a very long time I’ve been keenly following the IOPs ratings of newly announced flash memory devices. From the SATA->SSD generation and the most recent PCIe generation to the UltraDIMMs. Now however, this Phase Change Memory announcement has kind of pushed all those other technologies aside. While the IOPs are far above a lot of other competing technologies, that is for reads and not writes. The speed/latency of the writes is about 55 times slower than the reads. So if you want top speed on reading and not writing the data, PCM is your best choice. But 55 times slower is not bad, it puts the write speed at approximately the same speed as Multi-Level Cell (MLC) flash memory currently used in your consumer grade SSD flash drives.
Chris Mellor’s emphasis is PCM likely better suited as a competitor to UltraDIMM as a motherboard memory than a faster PCIe SSD drive. And a lot depends on the chips, glue logic and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) on the PCIe board. HGST went to great lengths to juice the whole project by creating a bypass around the typical PCIe interfaces allowing much greater throughput overall. Without that engineering trick, it’s likely the 3M IOPs level wouldn’t have been as easily achieved. So bear in mind, this is nowhere near being a shipping product. In order to achieve that level of development it’s going to take more time to make the thing work using a commodity PCIe chipset on a commodity designed/built motherboard. But still 3M IOPs is pretty impressive.
Flipped Classrooms and MOOCs still are hot topics and popular in the higher education and technology websites. Certainly in the time since the big entrepreneurial opportunities like Udacity and EdX sprang up something should have been learned. What have we learned in the 3 years since Sebastian Thrun put his AI course online for all to register for and take for a semester? Are we closer to understanding the cost and return of adopting this format for online education? The jury is still out but the doubts are there.
Originally posted on TechCrunch:
Editor’s note: Dan Friedman is the co-founder of Thinkful.
Three years ago this week, Sebastian Thrun recorded his Stanford class on Artificial Intelligence, released it online to a staggering 180,000 students, and started a “revolution in higher education.” Soon after, Coursera, Udacity and others promised free access to valuable content, supposedly delivering a disruptive solution that would solve massive student debt and a struggling economy. Since then, over 8 million students have enrolled in their courses.
This year, that revolution fizzled. Only half of those who signed up watched even one lecture, and only 4 percent stayed long enough to complete a course. Further, the audience for MOOCs already had college degrees so the promise of disrupting higher education failed to materialize. The MOOC providers argue that completion of free courses is the wrong measure of success, but even a controlled experiment run by…
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Apple’s CDN Now Live: Has Paid Deals With ISPs, Massive Capacity In Place – Dan Rayburn – StreamingMediaBlog.com
Since last year, Apple’s been hard at work building out their own CDN and now those efforts are paying off. Recently, Apple’s CDN has gone live in the U.S. and Europe and the company is now delivering some of their own content, directly to consumers. In addition, Apple has interconnect deals in place with multiple ISPs, including Comcast and others, and has paid to get direct access to their networks.
Given some of my experiences attempting to watch the Live Stream from Apple’s combined iPhone, Watch event, I wanted to address CDN. Content Distribution Networks are designed to speed the flow of many types of files from Data Centers or Video head ends for Live Events. So I note, I started this article back on August 1st when this original announcement went out. And now it’s doubly poignant as the video stream difficulties at the start of the show (1PM EDT) kind of ruined it for me and for a few others. They lost me in that scant few first 10 minutes and they never recovered. I did connect later but that was after the Apple Watch presentation was half done. Oh well, you get what you pay for. I paid nothing for the Live Event stream from Apple and got nothing in return.
Back during the Steve Jobs era, one of the biggest supporters of Akamais and its content delivery network was Apple Inc. And this was not just for streaming of the Keynote Speeches and MacWorld (before they withdrew from that event) but also the World Developers Conference (WWDC). At the time enjoyed great access to free streams and great performance levels for free. But Apple cut way back on that simulcasts and rivals like Eventbrite began to eat in to Akamai’s lower end. Since then the huge data center providers began to build out their own data centers worldwide. And in so doing, a kind of internal monopoly of content distribution went into effect. Google was first to really scale up in a massive way then scale out, to make sure all those GMail accounts ran faster and better in spite of the huge mail spools on each account member. Eventually the second wave of social media outlets joined in (with Facebook leading a revolution in Open Stack and Open Hardware specs) and created their own version of content delivery as well.
Now Apple has attempted to scale up and scale out to keep people tightly bound to brand. iCloud really is a thing, but more than that now the real heavy lifting is going on once and for all time. Peering arrangements (anathema to the open Internet) would be signed and deals made to scratch each other’s backs by sharing the load/burden of carrying not just your own internal traffic, but those of others too. And depending on the ISP you could really get gouged by those negotiations. But no matter Apple soldiered on and now they’re ready to really let all the prep work be put to good use. Hopefully the marketing will be sufficient to express the satisfaction and end user experience at all levels, iTunes, iApps, iCloud data storage and everything else would experience the boosts in speed. If Apple can hold its own against both Facebook and Gmail in this regard, they future’s so bright they’re gonna need shades.
Really good linkage to a review site for batteries, chargers, and led flashlights. Well worth the data and comparisons. And a great example of how to go about doing a review site.
Originally posted on Hackaday:
There are a number of resources scattered across the Internet that provide detailed breakdowns of common products, such as batteries, but we haven’t seen anything quite as impressive as this site. It’s an overwhelming presentation of data that addresses batteries of all types, including 18650’s (and others close in size), 26650’s, and more chargers than you can shake a LiPo at. It’s an amazing site with pictures of the product both assembled and disassembled, graphs for charge and discharge rates, comparisons for different chemistries, and even some thermal images to illustrate how the chargers deal with heat dissipation.
Check out the review for the SysMax Intellicharger i4 to see a typical example. If you make it to the bottom of that novel-length repository of information, you’ll see that each entry includes a link to the methodology used for testing these chargers.
But wait, there’s more! You can also find equally…
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I didn’t know Anand Shimpi was going to Apple. I did know he was turning his website AnandTech over to a co-writer. This is interesting news.
Originally posted on TechCrunch:
A day after announcing his retirement from writing, it’s come to light that veteran journalist Anand Shimpi will soon be joining Apple. The move, which was first reported by Re/code earlier today, was confirmed by the company.
Shimpi spent 17 years building the site AnandTech, focusing mostly on reviews of hardware and along the way providing detailed info on products from Apple and other consumer electronics manufacturers. But after so many years covering those products, he’ll now be going inside Apple to work for the company.
We’re not sure what Shimpi will be doing for Apple, but based on his deep knowledge of its products he’ll probably be working in some sort of strategy role. While he moves on, AnandTech will continue to publish, with the site being run by new editor-in-chief Ryan Smith.