“roamlikehome” – $25 Uber Credit for Existing Users in Canada

UberJust like the title says, if you’re an existing user in Canada, you can get a $25 credit by entering the code “roamlikehome” into the promotions area on the app. Wish I was in Canada right now. Hope all the friendly, poutine-loving people of Canada take advantage of this and get home quickly. I hear it’s quite chilly, so a free/cheap ride home sounds good to me.

How a 16GB iPhone 6 Will Make Apple an Extra $3B

iPhone 6

In a move so genius in its simplicity that only Apple Inc. could pull it off, the smartphone, tablet, and computer giant is set to save a whopping $3 billion by offering a 16GB version of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. These phones, however, have barely sold at all, Forbes reports.

When Aple announced it would retain the 16GB model as the entry-level tier while offering the 64GB model as the next level for the standard $100 increase in price, it didn’t make a lot of sense to some. Why not just start at 32GB? The answer is so simple, it’s fiendish.

With Apple offering the 16GB alongside a model with four times more storage for just $100 more, consumers are more likely to choose to spend that extra $100 faster than ever before. What they are doing is performing the “sure, why not” move on a massive global scale.

So many customers are opting for the mid-storage tier that the weak sales of the 16GB don’t hold a candle to savings and extra profit Apple is raking in. Since Apple’s iPhone’s still don’t offer expandable storage, and likely never will, moving customers into a higher storage tier is a sure-fire way to guarantee profits down the line.

Currently the 16GB version of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus basically exist solely to encourage buyers to get the 64GB for the $100 extra, but once you’ve convinced millions of your customers to move to the mid-level tier, they are more likely to stay there.

So if the future (and hypothetical) iPhone 6S, for instance, starts off at 32GB and offers 64GB as the mid-level tier for that $100 extra, chances are higher that a larger population of consumers would opt for the mid-storage tier. Analysts estimated that 30 percent of ex-16GB iPhone owners who upgraded opt for the 64GB version instead.

Latin Post

Stores/Restaurants Open on Christmas Day

Open For Christmas

Definitely not a tech topic, but this was something interesting that I came across today.  Who knew so many stores/restaurants would be open on Christmas day.  I personally thought there might be a handful of places open, so I kind of feel bad for all the people who have to work on Christmas day. I definitely am thankful that I get the day off and am not being forced to work. So here’s the list of restaurants that are open on Christmas (with some personal commentary) thanks to Huffington Post:

  • Baskin Robins (really? people can’t live one day without icecream)
  • Burger King
  • Denny’s
  • Dunkin’ Donut (I love donuts/coffee, but again, one day without it is fine)
  • IHOP
  • Jack in the Box (Come on Jack, give everyone the day off)
  • McDonald’s
  • Panda Express (does not feel very Christmas-y)
  • Pizza Hut (unless Santa delivers it, not very Christmas-y)
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Starbucks Coffee (Starbucks feels corporate so anti-Christmas already)
  • Subway (a foot-long doesn’t feel Christmas-y)
  • Taco Bell (a cheesy gordita and chalupa are pretty Christmas-y, right?)
  • Waffle House

Apparently there are some stores that will be open on Christmas day as well, such as:

  • CVS (your local store may/may not be open)
  • Walgreens (your local store may/may not be open)

Anyways, very interesting, and who knew if you wanted a Sonic slushy or hot-dog, you could go to the drive-through and get one.  In any case, have a Merry Christmas and be thankful if you’re not working and if you are working, thank you for making the sacrifice.

Apple Pushes First Automated Security Update for Mac

Apple SecurityMac users this week received Apple’s first automated security update, which was released to defend against newly identified bugs that could allow hackers remote access.

According to Reuters, the tech giant launched the updated on Monday to fix “critical security vulnerabilities” in OS X’s network time protocol (NTP), which is used for syncing computer clocks.

The flaws were revealed last week by the Department of Homeland Security and the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute—the latter of which identified a number of potentially affected vendors, including FreeBSD Project, NTP Project, OmniTI, and Watchguard Technologies, Inc.

A number of versions of the NTP Project “allow attackers to overflow several buffers in a way that may allow malicious code to be executed,” the Carnegie Mellon/DHS security bulletin said.
Apple, AT&T, Alcatel, Belkin, and a handful of others are currently listed as “unknown.” But Cupertino has applied an update, which an Apple spokesman told Reuters is “seamless,” and “doesn’t even require a restart.”

The company’s typical security patches come through Apple’s regular software update system, and often require users to move through a series of steps before installing. This week’s update, however, marks Cupertino’s first implementation of its automated system, despite having introduced the function two years ago, Reuters said.

Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment, but told Reuters it has not identified any cases in which the vulnerability was exploited by hackers.

Earlier this year, Apple fixed the “gotofail” SSL security hole, which had been fixed in its mobile iOS devices only a week before. Few details were revealed about the flaw, which experts said hackers could use to launch man-in-the-middle attacks to intercept messages passed from a user’s device to sites like Google, Facebook, and online banking.

PCMag

Great Tutorial on React and Flux

Flux

As I’m trying to become more familiar with Flux, I found some bad tutorials (extremely complicated, not easy to follow, and even when I got through it, I still didn’t have a clue the difference between a dispatcher and a store).  But luckily, I then found a pretty simple and concise tutorial that did a great job of walking me through a Flux app.  I’m still not exactly sold on Flux and how/when to use it.  Perhaps for extremely complicated apps, it makes a lot of sense, but for a lot of the simple prototypes and feature apps I like to do, React by itself works just fine without any of the complicated overhead of Flux.  Well, without any further delay, here’s the tutorial, I hope you find it as useful as I did:

Creating a Simple Shopping Cart with React.js and Flux

I’m hoping to now build my own app with Flux to I can try to solidify what I learned, so hopefully the next post will include a quick example of a Flux/React app.  Good luck and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Facebook Drops Bing Search Results

Bing

So a bunch of news outlets have been reporting that Facebook stopped showing Bing search results and the following things popped into my head:

  1. Facebook has realized what the rest of the Internet has known for years and decided to stop showing inferior search results
  2. Do people actually use Facebook to search for things besides people that they want to dig dirt on or funny cat videos they remember seeing previously?
  3. When will I start seeing ads in the search results – sponsored search results :-)

In either case, not really note-worthy and definitely not front-page news, but I guess tech news has been slow lately. And of course, I’m just perpetuating the focus on such un-note-worthy news by publishing this, but at least I don’t consider myself a journalist.

And on the brighter side of things, I’ll be looking into Flux soon, so hopefully I’ll have a write-up on my feelings about it.

Docker Machine Day 1 – /.docker/public-key.json: no such file or directory

Docker Machine

Like most people, I saw the announcement for Docker Machine and decided that I’ve been reading about Docker long enough, I should really take a look at it.  And Docker Machine sounded like a dream come true, so I decided why not give it a try since it sounded so easy.  So I followed the instructions and downloaded the packages I needed and tried to create my first “dev” machine, unfortunately, I did not get a nice happy Docker Machine ready for use – instead I got the following output:

INFO[0000] Downloading boot2docker...
INFO[0006] Creating SSH key...
INFO[0006] Creating VirtualBox VM...
INFO[0012] Starting VirtualBox VM...
INFO[0012] Waiting for VM to start...
FATA[0043] open /Users/me/.docker/public-key.json: no such file or directory

And apparently, I’m not the first person to report this as there is already a GIT issue for it:

Add instruction to create the public key

So that makes a lot of sense now. So I tried running the command suggested:

./docker-1.3.1-dev-identity-auth

But I get a message about not specifying a command for the call to “docker”.  Luckily, it apparently created the public key and now when I try to create a new machine, I get the following:

INFO[0000] Downloading boot2docker...
INFO[0010] Creating SSH key...
INFO[0011] Creating VirtualBox VM...
INFO[0016] Starting VirtualBox VM...
INFO[0017] Waiting for VM to start...
INFO[0048] "dev" has been created and is now the active machine. To point Docker at this machine, run: export DOCKER_HOST=$(machine url) DOCKER_AUTH=identity

Victory is mine! Okay, hope this helps someone and I hope I get to find some time to continue playing around with Docker.  I’m also hoping to get a site up and running on Digital Ocean sooner rather than later as well.  Then I can try this whole container portability thing and see what all the hype is about.  Stay tuned.

Back to Work

Come in We're Open

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I figured it’s time to get back on the wagon and post more random content to the web (because we know that’s what the web needs).  Anyways, nothing too interesting to post other than my continued use of React in my side projects.  Hopefully, I’ll actually make one of them presentable enough to share soon.  So besides React, I find myself typically setting up Flask on Heroku and making REST API’s pulling/writing data from MongoDB.  And I’m also spending a lot of time setting up Mocha/Chai to do integration tests using Selenium and Sauce Labs.  So a pretty busy time and getting to use new technologies as well as leverage some that I’ve been using for a while.

Anyways, hopefully the first of a series of posts, but we’ll see how much time I can make.  As always, you can follow me on Twitter.

Moto 360 Price/Details Leaked by Best Buy

Moto 360So some might think this is bad news and is going to hurt the launch of the Moto 360, but I’m personally glad that Best Buy leaked this information.  The best part is that the watch has a price of $250 which I think is pretty reasonable.  I think there were predictions of this watch costing $349 which I think was way too high.  And I think everyone who has been waiting for the Moto 360 to be released loved hearing this news and seeing the preliminary specs on the device (nothing new or note-worthy, but definitely nice to know).  So now we’ll get the official announcement on Sept 4 and hopefully be able to go pick one up at the store shortly afterwards.  Again, this doesn’t ruin anything for me and makes me anxious for Sept 4 to arrive.  In fact, now that Best Buy has announced the device, I’m pretty sure I’ll be going to Best Buy to pick mine up.  Perhaps a marketing snafu on Best Buy’s part, or maybe a genius marketing move that will help drive sales for the retailer.

Toyota FT-1 Concept Car – Absolutely Stunning

Toyota FT-1I don’t think I’ve done a car post before, but when I saw these shots, I felt compelled to do so.  I know this isn’t a real car that you can go purchase and even if it was, I don’t think I was be able to afford one, but it’s so stunning, it definitely needs to be admired.  I don’t think there’s much known about this concept car or even a likelihood of it actually being built.  The first concept was seen in sexy red at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show and quickly compared to the Supra.  The FT, which stands for Future Toyota, has been re-done in a much more subdued, but extremely elegant, grey for the Pebble Beach show.  Apparently Toyota doesn’t typically produce two versions of their concept cars, so this is a rarity and bodes well for this actually going to production.  Anyways, enough talking… enjoy the shots.

Toyota FT-1Toyota FT-1