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Have you ever loaded an article, intended to read it, but not even made it past the first paragraph? You're not alone. According to Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo, only a small number of internet readers are reading web articles to the end, and he has the statistics to prove it. Teaming up with web analytics company Chartbeat, Manjoo analyzed how Slate's website visitors interacted with its content, identifying that more 38 percent of readers immediately "bounced" — meaning they left without reading a single thing on the page. Of those that stayed, half of them didn't make it past the first 100 words. Manjoo also explores the correlation between scroll depth and social media sharing and identifies where and when people are likely to...
via The Verge - All Posts
Friday, 7 June 2013
If you haven't heard yet, Gmail is rolling out a new tabbed interface for the inbox on both desktop and mobile. At first glance, this looks great for email organization. On further inspection, these new tabs are confusing as hell. Here's how to make sense of the new tabs and customize them for your own filters.
How the New Tabbed Interface Works
Thursday, 6 June 2013
To a lot of non-developers, learning to code seems like an impossibly daunting task. However, thanks to a number of great resources that have recently been put online for free— teaching yourself to code has never been easier. I started learning to code earlier this year and can say from experience that learning enough to build your own prototype is not as hard as it seems. In fact, if you want to have a functioning prototype within two months without taking a day off work, it’s completely doable.
Below, I’ve outlined a simple path from knowing nothing about software development to having a working prototype in eight weekends that roughly mirrors the steps I took.
Introduce Yourself to the Web Stack (10 Minutes)
The presence of unfamiliar terminology makes any subject seem more confusing than it actually is. Yipit founder/CEO Vin Vacanti has a great overview of some of the key terms you’ll want to be familiar with in language you’ll understand.
Get an Introductory Grasp of Python and General Programming Techniques (1 Weekend)
Learn Python the hard way : Despite the title, the straightforward format makes learning basic concepts really easy and most lessons take less than 10 minutes. However, I found that the format didn’t work as well for some of the more advanced topics, so I’d recommend stopping after lesson 42 and moving on.
Google’s Python class : Read the notes and / or watch the videos and do all of the associated exercises until you get them right—without looking at the answers. Struggling through the exercises I kept getting wrong was the best learning experience. I would have learned far less had I just looked at the answers and tried to convince myself that I understood the concepts.
These two resources are somewhat substitutable and complementary. I recommend doing the first few lessons from both to see which you like better. Once you’ve finished one, skim through the other looking for concepts you aren’t fully comfortable with as a way to get some extra practice.
Get an Introductory Understanding of Django (1 Weekend)
Work through the Django tutorial.
Delete all your code.
Work through the tutorial again, from scratch.
The first time I went through the tutorial I inevitably ended up just following the instructions step-by-step without really understanding what each step did since everything felt so new.
The second time through I wasn’t as focused on the newness of the concepts was better able to focus on understanding how all the parts work together.
Get a Deeper Understanding of Python/General Programming Concepts (2-4 Weekends)
Udacity’s intro CS class: Udacity’s courses are generally 7 session classes (2-3 hours per session) that you can at your own pace. (I’m a huge fan of Udacity’s pedagogy and recommend the intermediate programming class or the web development class as follow-ups to this two-month curriculum.)
Unit 1 of MIT’s intro CS course : Really well taught and surprisingly approachable.
Again, I would sample each and see which you like the best. I ended up doing both but that was probably overkill.
Practice Building Simple Web Applications (1 Weekend)
- Work through a few of the exercises in Django by example. These exercises don’t hold your hand quite as much as the Django tutorial but they still provide a fair bit of guidance so I found it to be a nice way to start taking the training wheels off.
Build Your Prototype (1 Weekend)
- Build a prototype in just one weekend? Yes, you’ll be embarrassed by what it looks like (I sure was) but that’s the whole point.
That’s it. Eight weekends (or less) and you’ve gone from zero to a functioning prototype. Not so daunting after all is it?
Author's Note: It goes without saying that there's a huge difference between the relatively cursory amount of knowledge needed to build a simple prototype (the focus of this post) and the depth of knowledge and experience needed to be a truly qualified software engineer. If you want to learn all that it takes to build modern web applications at scale, getting professional web development experience at a fast-growing startup like Yipit is a great next step. If you’re smart, hard-working, and passionate about creating amazing consumer web experiences drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org—we’re always looking for great people to join our team.
How I Taught Myself to Code in 8 Weeks | Yipit Django Blog
David Sinsky started at Yipit without any prior coding knowledge. Before long, he was a full developer contributing features directly into the code base.
Yipit collects local deals and online sales from thousands of sources and puts them in one place. Over 1 million people use Yipit to get a daily digest of the deals in their city and the online sales from the stores they follow.
Image remixed from ollyy (Shutterstock).
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Wednesday, 5 June 2013
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Saturday, 18 May 2013
It's not everyday you see a naked man riding a scooter with giant cross.
Warning: This article has content some readers might find objectionable.
Last month, Kotaku brought word of a Beijing man who ran through the streets nude while carrying a sex doll. Online in China, the images soon went viral, and one Chinese blogger compared the incident to a real-life Temple Run.
This month, the same gentleman returned; however, this time he was carrying a huge crucifix. According to Chinese social networking sites, he was once again spotted in Beijing's Wangjing area, which is known as the city's Koreatown and which also houses many tech companies.
The Chinese media even reported this latest incident by the "Wingjing Streaker". Besides the dash, there was also a buck-naked moped ride. Both with a giant crucifix.
Last night on social networking site Sina Weibo, a man Li Binyuan admitted that he was the Wingjing Streaker. "I've done this about ten times," Li admitted. "So far, only six times have been recorded and put online by spectators."
Photos of the Wangjing Streaker started to go viral in China last month.
Li, a graduate of the prestigious China Central Academy of Fine Arts, works as an artist in China. He's still young and is still trying to make a name for himself. But this isn't necessarily an art project per se—though, it certainly does have elements of performance art.
"At first, it all started because I was bored and this seemed fun," said Li. "Later, it just became something to do." Li said that he had hit a wall with his work and was frustrated. He needed a release, and for him, streaking fulfilled that.
"Every time I finish a run, I always check online to see what people online are saying about me," said Li. "The internet creates such a wonderful way to interact, and I really want to see what others think of this thing I'm doing. It makes conversation online."
Li's art can break the public and private spaces in arresting ways. For example, in 2010, Li had himself filmed on the subway in China as he brushed his teeth, washed his face, and then lathered up to shave his face with a razor. He even brought a bottle of water, a cup, and a bowl so he could gargle and wash up after he finished. All this occurred on a crowded subway. Onlookers either ignored Li or took digipics.
While there's probably no law against brushing your teeth or shaving on a train, public nudity is a crime in China. Li doesn't think what he did was wrong, adding that when people are stressed out, they need to cut loose. A Beijing lawyer named Liu Xiaoyuan is quoted as saying this is illegal, but added that since the incidents occurred at night (and perhaps didn't disturb the peace), criminal charges are unlikely.
After admitting he was the Wangjing Streaker, Li wrote online this was the last time he will run naked in public, saying, "I'm done. Bye-bye."
Eric Jou contributed to this article.
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond.
Friday, 17 May 2013
Spotted by Frankie from Hobby Media , this intersting "Game Box Truck" model is a mobile arcade. For my money, a vehicle with arcade games sure beats an ice cream truck!
Model's art is above, and here is a look at the acutal piece:
The 1/24 scale "Game Box Truck" is priced at 1890 yen (US$18) and will be out this June in Japan.
Check out more on Hobby Media. Links below.
Aoshima Game Center: il camion salagiochi! [Hobby Media]
Aoshima: GameCenter Truck - Fiera di Shizuoka 2013 [Hobby Media]
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.
You've probably admired the work of award-winning artist Yuko Shimizu before — her art has adorned some covers of Vertigo Comics' The Unwritten as well as some great book covers and illustrations at Tor.com. But when you see a bunch of her gorgeous work all in one place, it's pretty mind-blowing.
Shimizu posted a new portfolio recently over at Behance, showing her work illustrating everything from steampunk to lush fantasy to space opera — and it's all united by a particular design sense as well as bright, thrilling imagery.
The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente, soon to be published from Viz Media’s inprint HAIKASORU.
Originally commissioned by NPR for a calendar image, later used for FUSE TV advertising and posters.
Genesis by Bernard Beckett published by Rizzoli Romanzo of Italy.
Steampunk! anthology edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant from Candlewick Press
The Future is Japanese , published from Viz Media’s imprint Haikasoru.
Beauty Belongs To The Flowers, a sci fi novella by Matthew Sanborn Smith, published on tor.com. Art direction: Irene Gallo.