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

How to Open the iPhone Simulator Without Opening Xcode

iPhone SimulatorThis is a useful tip if you have to do any type of mobile web testing for iOS Safari and you either don’t have an iPhone/iPod Touch or you don’t feel like plugging it in and setting things up.  As long as you have Xcode installed, you can simply open a terminal and run the following command:

MACBOOK:~ user$ open -a iPhone\ Simulator

This should launch the last simulator you had running.  If you need to run a different version of iOS or switch to a different device profile, you can do that once the simulator has started.  Hopefully this works for you – you can even create a shortcut and put it on your desktop or in the dock if you find yourself running this command often.

How to Calculate the Angle Between Two Points in Javascript

JavascriptSo it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I thought I would post something that was both useful and nostalgic.  I haven’t had a need to do any form of trig since college, maybe even high school.  But for the hackathon last week, I was building an in-browser version of Missile Command that let you blow up the contents of the page.  To do this, I needed to animate missiles being fired and I need to know what the angle between the base and the target to rotate the missile sprite to look correctly.  So my first search yielded the following code snippet:

var angle = Math.atan2(y2 - y1, x2 - x1);

This seemed pretty simple and straightforward and to get the x2 and y2 values, I used the clientX and clientY values from the mouse click event and I used getBoundingClientRect() to get the top and left properties of the base which was a div element positioned at the bottom of the page.  So the final code to calculate the angle looked like this:

// e - mouse event
// base - div element
var baseRect = base.getBoundingCLientRect(),
    y2 = e.clientY,
    x2 = e.clientX,
    y1 = baseRect.top,
    x1 = baseRect.left + (baseRect.width/2),
    angle = Math.atan2(y2 - y1, x2 - x1);

So this made perfect sense and I was feeling pretty good (except for the flashbacks to high school and sitting in those uncomfortable chairs hoping the teacher wouldn’t notice I didn’t do my homework).  I then use the CSS Transform property to rotate my missile sprite like this:

transform:rotate(angle);
-ms-transform:rotate(angle); /* IE 9 */
-webkit-transform:rotate(angle); /* Opera, Chrome, and Safari */

And of course this is going to work on my first try, right? If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you should know by now that nothing I do ever works on the first try.  So I click in the upper-right quadrant of the page and the missile rotates to point straight up.  At first, I think it’s because my sprite is actually pointing up and I need to offset the rotation.  Then I think there’s something wrong with how I was calculating the x and y coordinates.  So I debug all the values and they look okay.  Then I look at the calculated angle value and notice that it’s not even close to what it should be.  What could I have done wrong… that’s when I went back to the original equation and realized that angle was returned in radian and not degrees.  Well, first I had to remember what radians were and then I had to figure out how to convert it into degrees which turned out to be pretty simple:

var angleDegrees = angleRads * (180/Math.PI);

And then we go, now we have an angle in degrees that works.  Like I said at the beginning, this was a useful exercise in using something I learned in school and something that felt somewhat nostalgic.  Since I want to do more game development, I have a feeling this is only the beginning of my adventures of trying to remember trig basics.  Wish me luck…

Google’s 2GB RAM upgrade for new Glass explorers angers early adopters

Google GlassGoogle will soon ship an upgraded version of Google Glass with 2GB of RAM, angering early members of its Glass Explorer Program stuck with the older model.Google Glass currently comes with 1GB of RAM, but to improve performance Google will begin shipping a new version with 2GB of RAM, it said in a post to Google Plus.

The announcement angered some existing Glass owners. Some demanded a free upgrade to the 2GB version in comments on the posting. Others said they would be willing to pay a small fee for an upgrade, while one acknowledged that if further hardware updates were planned, it wouldn’t make sense for Google to upgrade all users each time. “Getting a final consumer version would be swell though,” he added.

Google does not plan to upgrade existing users’ devices, it said.

“Throughout our open beta program, you can expect to see us make changes here and there. We won’t be swapping devices, but you’ll continue to see improvements with our software updates,” a Google representative said in a comment on the posting.

The company does replace broken or defective Google Glass devices, however, prompting Google Plus user Jake Weisz to identify a loophole in the no-upgrades policy. “If defective Glass units get free upgrades to 2GB, you will see a lot of ‘defective’ models this month,” he wrote.

In May, Google broadened its Explorer Program, making Glass available in the U.S. to anyone over 18 years old for US$1,500. Before that, users who wanted to buy Glass required an invitation from Google. On Monday it extended the offer to U.K. residents over 18, who can purchase Glass for £1,000 (roughly US$1,700).

Google is upgrading the Glass software as well as the hardware. It is adding an easier way to frame shots for photos, with the addition of L-shaped corners bracketing the image in the viewfinder screen, and adding two new Google Now cards, one to remind users where they parked their car and another to let them know when packages are arriving.

The company also announced 12 new Glassware apps from partners, including Shazam, a music recognition app that can be triggered with the words “OK Glass, recognize this song,” and 94Fifty Basketball, a training aid that works with a sensor-equipped basketball to offer feedback after each shot.

Google’s announcements arrived just before the start of its annual I/O developers conference in San Francisco, which kicks off Wednesday. The company will lead sessions on how to build new types of software for Glass during the conference.

Google is also expected to unveil a small TV set-top box resembling the Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV at the event, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Citing two people who have seen the device, the newspaper said the device will not be sold under the Google brand but will be powered by the Android TV software that Google developed to play games, movies and other content on TVs. Users will be able to control the box with their Android phones and tablets and maybe with other devices, the report said.

PCWorld

 

Nest opens its developer program to let apps and services tap into its smart home appliances

Google NestI like to see more household devices have APIs exposed that allow developers to build on top of existing functionality.  Of course, this could also be potentially dangerous if you’re able to change the thermostat and bad code sets your thermostat to 110 degrees.  Probably unlikely, but a possibility – or maybe hackers will be able to access your thermostat one day.  I would also be curious if you have access to the Nest’s motion detector and it basically becomes a secondary security system that can detect when someone is in your house when they’re not supposed to be.  We’re seeing more and more connected devices in homes that will eventually create a pretty powerful and detailed network/sensor array.  In any case, I think I’ll take a look at the Nest API and see what you can do with it.

-=-=-=-=-=-

Nest, the company bought by Google for $3.2 billion, has opened its developer program to allow other apps and services to tap into its smart smoke alarms, thermostats and other home tech products it launches in the future.

“What we’re doing is making it possible for your Nest devices to securely interact with the things you already use every day. Things like lights, appliances, fitness bands and even cars. Because when we make connections between these different parts of your life, we can create personalized experiences that do even more to keep you comfortable and safe,” the company writes on its blog.

Initial ‘Works with Nest’ integration partners include Mercedes-Benz, whose cars tell Nest products to activate when they are near home; LIFX bulbs, which sync with Nest products to flash during an emergency; and Jawbone, which links its UP24 band to Nest appliances.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “some” Google apps will connect with Nest, but users will maintain full control over what information, if any, is shared.

TNW

Google Glass now available in UK

Google Glass

Google announced that the controversial, pricey and still rather infant technology Glass is now available to the brits for £1,000 and if you’re over 18 (but seriously, if minors can get alcohol and drugs, I can’t imagine a kid with £1,000 sitting in their pocket not able to convince an adult to buy this for them).  This is interesting news mainly because while there is a consistent flow of articles and editorials on how Glass invades your privacy, restaurants/bars/movie theaters are banning it, it’s become a badge of the tech elite, blah blah blah – there’s still a lot of people who want to get their hands on it.  There’s the early adopters who love trying something new, there’s people who want to stand-out (good or bad) and then there’s people who see actual use of Glass in everyday life and possibly in their professional life like cops and surgeons are already doing.  I don’t think Google would be doing this if no one wanted Glass (which is what all the articles suggest) but I also don’t think Glass is going to become as mainstream as the iPhone either.  But just like segways, mini disc players, the nintendo power glove and other technologies that were ahead of their time, Glass may just be a chapter in the history of tech… or maybe not… who knows…