While I’ve previously gone over development environments using Vagrant and Puppet, recent advancements in LXC container management (see: Docker) and applications that have popped up using this technology have made deploying to staging or production environments easier– and cheaper.
In February of 2012, Nike released the Nike+ FuelBand– a sleek, discreet wristband that tracks your everyday activities and awards you “NikeFuel points”, a proprietary metric designed to consolidate different types of activities into a universal standard. With competitors such as FitBit already gone through several iterations of high-tech wearable pedometers, Nike needed to develop a device that worked well, and looked good.
The original FuelBand received mixed reviews, with many users complaining about reliability over time. Despite the hardware issues, Nike’s FuelBand was a solid entry into the “Quantified Self” movement that seems to be increasing in popularity.
Fast forward a year and a half, and the second generation Nike+ FuelBand SE device is nearly available for public consumption. But, with only small improvements in tracking and an update to the Bluetooth 4.0 standard, Nike has missed a valuable opportunity to differentiate themselves in the expanding field of wearable electronics, and instead spent over a year creating a minor iteration of its existing device.
Today, Apple unveiled the newest version of iOS 7. While the fact that the design was changed radically is not surprising, the actual changes themselves are…confusing.
With Windows (Phone), Xbox, Google, and various other companies taking a “flatter” approach to UI design, it only makes sense that Apple would want to follow the trend of simplicity– especially now that Scott Forstall, the guy known for the skeuomorphic design elements present in previous versions of iOS. After all, that is what Apple strives for (especially in their hardware).
iOS 7 directly reflects the transition from Forstall to Ive’s rule over iOS, but are the changes truly an improvement?
Previously, we went over how the new WebP image format compared to the traditional JPG. One neat thing about WebP is that, unlike JPG or PNG, WebP has the ability to use either lossy or lossless compression, with or without transparency. While JPG is traditionally used to display photos, which have a high level of detail and are generally more complex and can suffer from a little bit of detail loss as a tradeoff for compression, WebP can also be used like a PNG, which is often used for web graphics with transparency or subtle patterns.
There are several kinds of file formats for images on the web. Primarily, web developers use JPG and PNG image files, depending on the content of the image itself. However, Google has made a push recently to use a new format– called WebP– that is supposedly more efficient than JPG, yet still has the ability to have transparency. In other words, WebP is the best of both JPG and PNG file formats– but does it really reduce image file sizes?