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This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First-Cousin

Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home. 

NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered. 

It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute. 

But if there is indeed life on Kepler-186f, it may not look like what we have here. Given the redder wavelengths of light on the planet, vegetation there would sprout in hues of yellow and orange instead of green.

Read more. [Image: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech]

Hey Cuz! Too bad my shout out won’t reach there for 500 light years. And forget about getting a reply ;)

The Five Axioms of the API Economy: Axiom #1

To try to capture the dynamics of this world, we’re starting with five axiom we think are true today or rapidly becoming true. Things which underpin the notion of the API Economy:

  1. Everything and everyone will be API enabled.

  2. APIs are core to every cloud, social and mobile computing strategy.

  3. APIs are an economic imperative.

  4. Organizations must provide their core competence through APIs.

  5. Organizations must consume core competences of others through APIs.

Why APIs will be Ubiquitous

As these trends continue they all continually reinforce the need for APIs for every device and person. For devices, almost all devices will require:

  • A hardware substrate of some kind.

  • Control software.

  • An interface by which the device can be reached.

  • A number of remote interfaces the device may call from time to time.

  • One or more identities by which the entity can be addressed.

paperplanes. The Developer is Dead, Long Live the Developer

I came across an article called "How DevOps is Killing the Developer." It mourns the rise of DevOps and an ever increasing set of skills a developer has to have to work in the resource-constrained environment of a startup. The assumption is that a developer has to fill all these roles even though his position is at the top of the company’s hierarchy and no one else can do what they can.

The author claims that DevOps stems from startups. Resource constraints and the need to quickly respond to an everchanging market require developers to fill roles that no one else can fill. I’ve done my fair share of that, and it’s certainly a valid assumption.

However, DevOps has different goals than developers knowing all the infrastructure automation tools out there.

DevOps is about tearing down silos in more traditional companies, where there’s a much stricter separation between development and operations.

It’s a cultural shift that fosters people working together, towards a common goal, which ultimately leads to serving the customer.

The totem pole described in the article is the exact thing that DevOps is trying to improve. In a more traditional sense, it’s described as the ivory tower of parts in an organization, whether that be operations, development or your quality assurance team. The tendency is to throw things over the wall, let them handle it, and not bother with whatever happens after the release anymore.

The ultimate beneficiary of whatever anyone in the company does should be the customer. The argument that developers are too expensive for any other tasks than writing code suggests they’re too good to talk to customers, to fix their own code, to see where it breaks in production under their own responsibility, to see how it affects customers.

Putting developers in charge of not just building an app, but also running it in production, benefits everyone in the company, and it benefits the developer too.

It fosters thinking about the environment your code runs in and how you can make sure that when something breaks, the right dials and knobs, metrics and logs, are in place so that you yourself can investigate an issue late at night.

As Werner Vogels put it on how Amazon works: "You build it, you run it."

The responsibility to maintaining your own code in production should encourage any developer to make sure that it breaks as little as possible, and that when it breaks you know what to do and where to look.

That’s a good thing.

Drunken Trees: Dramatic Signs of Climate Change

wtf

Single-Field Credit Card Input Pattern | Brad Frost Web

Forms suck. And they especially suck on mobile devices.

Luke Wroblewski has been talking for a long while now about how input masksmake form entry a lot less painful for people. He recently highlighted Square Wallet‘s clever single-field credit card capture pattern.

The post referenced a phenomenal port of Square’s native app behavior for the Web by Zachary Forrest (@zdfs).

You can get my take on this pattern on Githubview a demo, or see it in action on our project’s prototype.

Seven Things Your Boss Needs to Know About UX | UX Magazine

As someone who has been in the user experience domain for a loooooong time, I have had lots of conversations with many different executives. Most of the time, these execs knew how to spell “UX,” but they didn’t know much else about it.There are many misconceptions that need correcting and while it’s sometimes frustrating, I also enjoy the opportunity to educate these key decision makers on the discipline and how it works.

Here are seven conversation topics that have come up in discussing UX with managers. All are worth pointing out to your boss—especially if you’re a UX consultant and your boss is your client:

Summary:

  1. UX is Iterative
  2. User Research is Vital
  3. There is No Standard “UX Process”
  4. UX is not UI
  5. Usability Testing is Incredibly Important
  6. Usability is not UX, Either
  7. UX Unicorns are Rare

A Practical Guide to Web App Success - Free Book Online

Thx Dan. Downloaded and added it to my reading list.

The complete book is also available to download for free in PDF (15.2MB)ePub (7MB) and Mobi (8MB) formats.

(Source: news.ycombinator.com)

The Guardian and Washington Post win the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service

Congrats to the winners especially to Glenn Greenwald.

But let us not forget that none of this would have been possible without Edward Snowden. Snowden should receive the Nobel peace prize.

Awarded to The Guardian US for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.

Awarded to The Washington Post for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.

(Source: news.ycombinator.com)

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