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February 25, 2017

The Morning After: Weekend Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — ketan @ 10:02 AM

Letter from the Editor

It’s been a banner week for Nintendo fanboys and girls, what with the company’s new console finally making its way into reviewers’ hands — and giving Nintendophiles their first extended look at the Switch. Naturally, Engadget editors were among the chosen to get some quality time, and early returns are … middling? Devindra Hardawar is a fan of the system’s controllers, and he loved the ability to take the Switch out of his living room and into bed for late-night gaming sessions. But that portability is seriously hamstrung by a screen that’s essentially unusable outside and meager battery life (at least when playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild).

Meanwhile, Aaron Souppouris was also spending all his waking hours in Hyrule and shared what he’s learned playing Link’s latest adventure. Turns out, the latest in the series has a relatively high degree of difficulty, which represents a welcome return to Zelda games of yore. And while his first impressions are generally favorable, he still found fault with the game’s screencap feature, and some performance issues. Finally, Sean Buckley brought a dose of reality to hopeful Switch owners the world over by detailing all of the console’s shortcomings at launch. (But he’s still buying one on launch day.)

And speaking of shortcomings, Uber had some dirty laundry aired this week when a former female employee revealed a series of sexist incidents she experienced while working at the company. Her tale paints a horrific picture of a company rife with sexual harassment that was implicitly endorsed and covered up by HR. While the media attention resulting from these revelations is ostensibly a good thing, Nicole Lee wrote why she’s not convinced it’ll make any lasting difference at Uber, or any other companies in Silicon Valley, for that matter. For lasting and meaningful change, the leadership at these companies must stop accepting that misogyny is an acceptable by-product of employing some top-performing talent.

A word of advice for CEO Travis Kalanick: Faustian bargains don’t work out well for those who make them, and it’s time for you to clean house.


What if you actually do want all of the channels?Sling TV’s discounted ‘Extra’ bundles brings some cable flavor to cord-cutting

Now that Sling TV is facing more competition in the internet TV business, it’s picking up some tricks from cable and satellite TV. Namely, its "4 Extras Deal," which lets customers load up with channel add-ons for an overall discount. While some cord-cutters may prefer slimmer, cheaper packages, families or heavy media consumers might want a lot of options combined with the convenience of internet TV, and this package is for those people.


Just in caseThe Svalbard Global Seed Vault accepts nearly 50,000 samples

Ten years after it opened, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway accepted a major new deposit. Organizations from the US, the UK, Mexico, Benin, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, the Netherlands and Belarus all contributed seeds for safe keeping in the gene bank located near the Arctic Circle. Now home to 930,821 samples, it’s a backup ready to "improve agricultural production and prevent loss of crop diversity in the face of natural disasters, climate change and war."


Want to get away?NASA found seven new Earth-sized planets

In case the seed bank doesn’t work out, maybe humanity can check out one of the new planets NASA found. During a press conference in DC, the agency announced that among seven Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting a star 40 light years away, three of them are in the "Goldilocks zone" which could allow them to be habitable for life. Meet TRAPPIST-1.


One more thing for your weekend to-do listCloudflare bug potentially leaked data for thousands of websites

We’re trying not to call it "Cloudbleed," but that’s a good description for the bug recently found by Google’s Tavis Ormandy. A buffer overrun problem at a popular web services company resulted in data that should’ve been secure ending up randomly dumped on other web pages for anyone to scoop up. What that means, is there’s a chance info like your password or authorization token for websites like OkCupid or Patreon could be floating around or cached somewhere.

You can reset passwords for potentially affected sites and services (although some, like 1Password, use Cloudflare and were still secure), but you should also use unique passwords everywhere, and turn on two-factor authentication/login verification for any services that support those features.


Is it Tuesday yet?‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ made me fall in love with open-world RPGs

The highly-anticipated PS4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn arrives February 28th, and Jessica Conditt explains why its 30 hour-ish campaign "sounds like barely enough time." Between its protagonist, the independent outcast Aloy and giant metal dinosaurs, this game made quite the impression.


One false move and you’ll lose a legHoversurf’s electric quadcopter bike redefines dangerous

This Scorpion S-3 platform from Hoversurf seeks to combine flying with the ease of riding a bike. Unfortunately, all we can focus on is how close it puts rider’s legs to those unprotected rotors.

But wait, there’s more…

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t subscribe.

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February 22, 2017

Layered Architecture Is Good

Filed under: Uncategorized — ketan @ 11:30 PM

Darek, the guy who reviews almost all Tidy Java posts before they are published, suggested that I could do a series on implementing different architectural styles — their pros, cons, etc. I decided to give it a try, and here comes the first one – Layered Architecture. To avoid misunderstandings, let me note that I will present the Layered Architecture as I was taught/learned, which might be different than the one you know or some sources present. Enjoy!

What Is Layered Architecture?

A Layered Architecture, as I understand it, is the organization of the project structure into four main categories: presentation, application, domain, and infrastructure. Each of the layers contains objects related to the particular concern it represents.

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Distributed Systems Done Right: Embracing the Actor Model

Filed under: Uncategorized — ketan @ 11:28 PM

Most likely, your job is heavily focused on helping your organization modernize for the digital era. As the days of purely Object-Oriented Programming and related frameworks come to a close, enterprises migrating to distributed, cloud infrastructures are embracing a different approach: the Actor Model.

When it comes to distributed computing, the Actor Model is the great-grandparent of it all. Created by Carl Hewitt in 1973, Forrester Research notes, “the Actor Model is seeing renewed interest as cloud concurrency challenges grow.” 

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Tales Of A Cheap Chinese Laser Cutter

Filed under: Uncategorized — ketan @ 7:48 PM

Tales Of A Cheap Chinese Laser Cutter

The star turn of most hackspaces and other community workshops is usually a laser cutter. An expensive and fiddly device that it makes much more sense to own collectively than to buy yourself.

This isn’t to say that laser cutters are outside the budget of the experimenter though, we’re all familiar with the inexpensive table-top machines from China. Blue and white boxes that can be yours for a few hundred dollars, and hold the promise of a real laser cutter on your table.

Owning one of these machines is not always smooth sailing though, because their construction and choice of components are often highly variable. A thorough check and often a session of fixing the non-functional parts is a must before first power-on.

[Extreme Electronics] bought one, and in a series of posts documented the process from unboxing to cutting. Starting with a full description of the machine and what to watch for out of the box, then a look at the software. A plugin for Corel Draw was supplied, along with a dubious copy of Corel Draw itself. Finally we see the machine in operation, and the process of finding the proper height for beam focus by cutting an inclined plane of acrylic.

The series rounds off with a list of useful links, and should make interesting reading for anyone, whether they are in the market for a cutter or not.

These cutters/engravers have featured here before many times. Among many others we’ve seen one working with the Mach3 CNC software, or another driven by a SmoothieBoard.

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February 1, 2017

Article: Building Reactive Applications with Akka Actors and Java 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — ketan @ 6:55 PM

Akka and Java 8 make it possible to create distributed microservice-based systems that just a few years ago were the stuff of dreams. Actor based systems enable developers to create quickly evolving microservice architectures that can elastically scale systems to support huge volumes of data.

By Markus Eisele

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