1 day ago
A Meta-Reversal: Zuckerberg's $71 Billion Loss
The company's epidemic gains are gone.
Mark Zuckerberg was in line behind Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates less than two years ago. His wealth soared to $142 billion. Facebook's shares reached $382 in September 2021.
What comes next is either the start of something truly innovative or the beginning of an epic rise and fall story.
In order to start over (and avoid Facebook's PR issues), he renamed the firm Meta. Along with the new logo, he announced a turn into unexplored territory, the Metaverse, as the next chapter for the internet after mobile. Or, Zuckerberg believed Facebook's death was near, so he decided to build a bigger, better, cooler ship. Then we saw his vision (read: dystopian nightmare) in a polished demo that showed Zuckerberg in a luxury home and on a spaceship with aliens. Initially, it looked entertaining. A problem was obvious, though. He might claim this was the future and show us using the Metaverse for business, play, and more, but when I took off my headset, I'd realize none of it was genuine.
The stock price is almost as low as January 2019, when Facebook was dealing with the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica crisis.
Irony surrounded the technology's aim. Zuckerberg says the Metaverse connects people. Despite some potential uses, this is another step away from physical touch with people. Metaverse worlds can cause melancholy, addiction, and mental illness. But forget all the cool stuff you can't afford. (It may be too expensive online, too.)
Metaverse activity slowed for a while. In early February 2022, we got an earnings call update. Not good. Reality Labs lost $10 billion on Oculus and Zuckerberg's Metaverse. Zuckerberg expects losses to rise. Meta's value dropped 20% in 11 minutes after markets closed.
It was a sign of things to come.
The corporation has failed to create interest in Metaverse, and there is evidence the public has lost interest. Meta still relies on Facebook's ad revenue machine, which is also struggling. In July, the company announced a decrease in revenue and missed practically all its forecasts, ending a decade of exceptional growth and relentless revenue. They blamed a dismal advertising demand climate, and Apple's monitoring changes smashed Meta's ad model. Throw in whistleblowers, leaked data revealing the firm knows Instagram negatively affects teens' mental health, the current Capital Hill probe, and the fact TikTok is eating its breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and 2022 might be the corporation's worst year ever.
After a rocky start, tech saw unprecedented growth during the pandemic. It was a tech bubble and then some.
The gains reversed after the dust settled and stock markets adjusted. Meta's year-to-date decline is 60%. Apple Inc is down 14%, Amazon is down 26%, and Alphabet Inc is down 29%. At the time of writing, Facebook's stock price is almost as low as January 2019, when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. Zuckerberg owns 350 million Meta shares. This drop costs him $71 billion.
The company's problems are growing, and solutions won't be easy.
Facebook's period of unabated expansion and exorbitant ad revenue is ended, and the company's impact is dwindling as it continues to be the program that only your parents use. Because of the decreased ad spending and stagnant user growth, Zuckerberg will have less time to create his vision for the Metaverse because of the declining stock value and decreasing ad spending.
Instagram is progressively dying in its attempt to resemble TikTok, alienating its user base and further driving users away from Meta-products.
And now that the corporation has shifted its focus to the Metaverse, it is clear that, in its eagerness to improve its image, it fired the launch gun too early. You're fighting a lost battle when you announce an idea and then claim it won't happen for 10-15 years. When the idea is still years away from becoming a reality, the public is already starting to lose interest.
So, as I questioned earlier, is it the beginning of a technological revolution that will take this firm to stratospheric growth and success, or are we witnessing the end of Meta and Zuckerberg himself?
6 days ago
The Apple iPhone 14 Pill is Easier to Swallow
Is iPhone's Dynamic Island invention or a marketing ploy?
First of all, why the notch?
When Apple debuted the iPhone X with the notch, some were surprised, confused, and amused by the goof. Let the Brits keep the new meaning of top-notch.
Apple removed the bottom home button to enhance screen space. The tides couldn't overtake part of the top. This section contained sensors, a speaker, a microphone, and cameras for facial recognition. A town resisted Apple's new iPhone design.
From iPhone X to 13, the notch has gotten smaller. We expected this as technology and engineering progressed, but we hated the notch. Apple approved. They attached it to their other gadgets.
Apple accepted, owned, and ran with the iPhone notch, it has become iconic (or infamous); and that’s intentional.
The Island Where Apple Is
Apple needs to separate itself, but they know how to do it well. The iPhone 14 Pro finally has us oohing and aahing. Life-changing, not just higher pixel density or longer battery.
Dynamic Island turned a visual differentiation into great usefulness, which may not be life-changing. Apple always welcomes the controversy, whether it's $700 for iMac wheels, no charging block with a new phone, or removing the headphone jack.
Apple knows its customers will be loyal, even if they're irritated. Their odd design choices often cause controversy. It's calculated that people blog, review, and criticize Apple's products. We accept what works for them.
While the competition zigs, Apple zags. Sometimes they zag too hard and smash into a wall, but we talk about it anyways, and that’s great publicity for them.
Getting Dependent on the drug
The notch became a crop. Dynamic Island's design is helpful, intuitive, elegant, and useful. It increases iPhone usability, productivity (slightly), and joy. No longer unsightly.
The medication helps with multitasking. It's a compact version of the iPhone's Live Activities lock screen function. Dynamic Island enhances apps and activities with visual effects and animations whether you engage with it or not. As you use the pill, its usefulness lessens. It lowers user notifications and consolidates them with live and permanent feeds, delivering quick app statuses. It uses the black pixels on the iPhone 14's display, which looked like a poor haircut.
The pill may be a gimmick to entice customers to use more Apple products and services. Apps may promote to their users like a live billboard.
Be prepared to get a huge dose of Dynamic Island’s “pill” like you never had before with the notch. It might become so satisfying and addicting to use, that every interaction with it will become habit-forming, and you’re going to forget that it ever existed.
WARNING: A Few Potential Side Effects
Vision blurred Dynamic Island's proximity to the front-facing camera may leave behind grease that blurs photos. Before taking a selfie, wipe the camera clean.
Strained thumb To fully use Dynamic Island, extend your thumb's reach 6.7 inches beyond your typical, comfortable range.
Happiness, contentment The Dynamic Island may enhance Endorphins and Dopamine. Multitasking, interactions, animations, and haptic feedback make you want to use this function again and again.
Motion-sickness Dynamic Island's motions and effects may make some people dizzy. If you can disable animations, you can avoid motion sickness.
I'm not a doctor, therefore they aren't established adverse effects.
Does Dynamic Island Include Multiple Tasks?
Dynamic Islands is a placebo for multitasking. Apple might have compromised on iPhone multitasking. It won't make you super productive, but it's a step up.
iPhone is primarily for personal use, like watching videos, messaging friends, sending money to friends, calling friends about the money you were supposed to send them, taking 50 photos of the same leaf, investing in crypto, driving for Uber because you lost all your money investing in crypto, listening to music and hailing an Uber from a deserted crop field because while you were driving for Uber your passenger stole your car and left you stranded, so you used Apple’s new SOS satellite feature to message your friend, who still didn’t receive their money, to hail you an Uber; now you owe them more money… karma?
We won't be watching videos on iPhones while perusing 10,000-row spreadsheets anytime soon. True multitasking and productivity aren't priorities for Apple's iPhone. Apple doesn't to preserve the iPhone's experience. Like why there's no iPad calculator. Apple doesn't want iPad users to do math, but isn't essential for productivity?
Apple will block certain functions so you must buy and use their gadgets and services, immersing yourself in their ecosystem and dictating how to use their goods.
Dynamic Island is a poor man’s multi-task for iPhone, and that’s fine it works for most iPhone users. For substantial productivity Apple prefers you to get an iPad or a MacBook. That’s part of the reason for restrictive features on certain Apple devices, but sometimes it’s based on principles to preserve the integrity of the product, according to Apple’s definition.
Is Apple using deception?
Dynamic Island may be distracting you from a design decision. The answer is kind of. Elegant distraction
When you pull down a smartphone webpage to refresh it or minimize an app, you get seamless animations. It's not simply because it appears better; it's due to iPhone and smartphone processing speeds. Such limits reduce the system's response to your activity, slowing the experience. Designers and developers use animations and effects to distract us from the time lag (most of the time) and sometimes because it looks cooler and smoother.
Dynamic Island makes apps more useable and interactive. It shows system states visually. Turn signal audio and visual cues, voice assistance, physical and digital haptic feedbacks, heads-up displays, fuel and battery level gauges, and gear shift indicators helped us overcome vehicle design problems.
Dynamic Island is a wonderfully delightful (and temporary) solution to a design “problem” until Apple or other companies can figure out a way to sink the cameras under the smartphone screen.
Apple Has Returned to Being an Innovative & Exciting Company
Now Apple's products are exciting. Next, bring back real Apple events, not pre-recorded demos.
Dynamic Island integrates hardware and software. What will this new tech do? How would this affect device use? Or is it just hype?
Dynamic Island may be an insignificant improvement to the iPhone, but it sure is promising for the future of bridging the human and computer interaction gap.
17 days ago
Has anyone noticed what an absolute shitshow LinkedIn is?
After viewing its insanity, I had to leave this platform.
I joined LinkedIn recently. That's how I aim to increase my readership and gain recognition. LinkedIn's premise appealed to me: a Facebook-like platform for professional networking.
I don't use Facebook since it's full of propaganda. It seems like a professional, apolitical space, right?
I expected people to:
be more formal and respectful than on Facebook.
Talk about the inclusiveness of the workplace. Studies consistently demonstrate that inclusive, progressive workplaces outperform those that adhere to established practices.
Talk about business in their industry. Yep. I wanted to read articles with advice on how to write better and reach a wider audience.
Oh, sh*t. I hadn't anticipated that.
After posting and reading about inclusivity and pro-choice, I was startled by how many professionals acted unprofessionally. I've seen:
Men have approached me in the DMs in a really aggressive manner. Yikes. huge yikes Not at all professional.
I've heard pro-choice women referred to as infant killers by many people. If I were the CEO of a company and I witnessed one of my employees acting that poorly, I would immediately fire them.
Many posts are anti-LGBTQIA+, as I've noticed. a lot, like, a lot. Some are subtly stating that the world doesn't need to know, while others are openly making fun of transgender persons like myself.
Several medical professionals were posting explicitly racist comments. Even if you are as white as a sheet like me, you should be alarmed by this. Who's to guarantee a patient who is black won't unintentionally die?
I won't even get into how many men in STEM I observed pushing for the exclusion of women from their fields. I shouldn't be surprised considering the majority of those men I've encountered have a passionate dislike for women, but goddamn, dude.
Many people appear entirely too at ease displaying their bigotry on their professional profiles.
As a white female, I'm always shocked by people's open hostility. Professional environments are very important.
I don't know if this is still true (people seem too politicized to care), but if I heard many of these statements in person, I'd suppose they feel ashamed. Really.
Are you not ashamed of being so mean? Are you so weak that competing with others terrifies you? Isn't this embarrassing?
LinkedIn isn't great at censoring offensive comments. These people aren't getting warnings. So they were safe while others were unsafe.
The CEO in me would want to know if I had placed a bigot on my staff.
I always wondered if people's employers knew about their online behavior. If they know how horrible they appear, they don't care.
As a manager, I was picky about hiring. Obviously. In most industries, it costs $1,000 or more to hire a full-time employee, so be sure it pays off.
Companies that embrace diversity and tolerance (and are intolerant of intolerance) are more profitable, likely to recruit top personnel, and successful.
People avoid businesses that alienate them. That's why I don't eat at Chic-Fil-A and why folks avoid MyPillow. Being inclusive is good business.
CEOs are harmed by online bigots. Image is an issue. If you're a business owner, you can fire staff who don't help you.
On the one hand, I'm delighted it makes it simpler to identify those with whom not to do business.
Don’t get me wrong. I'm glad I know who to avoid when hiring, getting references, or searching for a job. When people are bad, it saves me time.
What's up with professionalism?
Really. I need to know. I've crossed the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, but never on a professional platform. I got in trouble for not wearing bras even though it's not part of my gender expression.
If I behaved like that at my last two office jobs, my supervisors would have fired me immediately. Some of the behavior I've seen is so outrageous, I can't believe these people have employment. Some are even leaders.
Like…how? Is hatred now normalized?
Please pay attention whether you're seeking for a job or even simply a side gig.
Do not add to the tragedy that LinkedIn comments can be, or at least don't make uninformed comments. Even if you weren't banned, the site may still bite you.
Recruiters can and do look at your activity. Your writing goes on your résumé. The wrong comment might lose you a job.
Recruiters and CEOs might reject candidates whose principles contradict with their corporate culture. Bigotry will get you banned from many companies, especially if others report you.
If you want a high-paying job, avoid being a LinkedIn asshole. People care even if you think no one does. Before speaking, ponder. Is this how you want to be perceived?
If your politics might turn off an employer, stop posting about them online and ask yourself why you hold such objectionable ideas.
25 days ago
The Pyramid of Coding Principles
A completely operating application requires many processes and technical challenges. Implementing coding standards can make apps right, work, and faster.
With years of experience working in software houses. Many client apps are scarcely maintained.
Why are these programs "barely maintainable"? If we're used to coding concepts, we can probably tell if an app is awful or good from its codebase.
This is how I coded much of my app.
Make It Work
Before adopting any concept, make sure the apps are completely functional. Why have a fully maintained codebase if the app can't be used?
The user doesn't care if the app is created on a super server or uses the greatest coding practices. The user just cares if the program helps them.
After the application is working, we may implement coding principles.
You Aren’t Gonna Need It
As a junior software engineer, I kept unneeded code, components, comments, etc., thinking I'd need them later.
In reality, I never use that code for weeks or months.
First, we must remove useless code from our primary codebase. If you insist on keeping it because "you'll need it later," employ version control.
If we remove code from our codebase, we can quickly roll back or copy-paste the previous code without preserving it permanently.
The larger the codebase, the more maintenance required.
Keep It Simple Stupid
Indeed. Keep things simple.
Why complicate something if we can make it simpler?
Our code improvements should lessen the server load and be manageable by others.
If our code didn't pass those benchmarks, it's too convoluted and needs restructuring. Using an open-source code critic or code smell library, we can quickly rewrite the code.
Simpler codebases and processes utilize fewer server resources.
Don't Repeat Yourself
Have you ever needed an action or process before every action, such as ensuring the user is logged in before accessing user pages?
As you can see from the above code, I try to call is user login? in every controller action, and it should be optimized, because if we need to rename the method or change the logic, etc. We can improve this method's efficiency.
We can write a constructor/middleware/before action that calls is_user_login?
The code is more maintainable and readable after refactoring.
Each programming language or framework handles this issue differently, so be adaptable.
Clean code is a broad notion that you've probably heard of before.
When creating a function, method, module, or variable name, the first rule of clean code is to be precise and simple.
The name should express its value or logic as a whole, and follow code rules because every programming language is distinct.
If you want to learn more about this topic, I recommend reading https://www.amazon.com/Clean-Code-Handbook-Software-Craftsmanship/dp/0132350882.
Standing On The Shoulder of Giants
Use industry standards and mature technologies, not your own(s).
There are several resources that explain how to build boilerplate code with tools, how to code with best practices, etc.
I propose following current conventions, best practices, and standardization since we shouldn't innovate on top of them until it gives us a competitive edge.
Boy Scout Rule
What reduces programmers' productivity?
When we have to maintain or build a project with messy code, our productivity decreases.
Having to cope with sloppy code will slow us down (shame of us).
How to cope? Uncle Bob's book says, "Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it."
When developing new features or maintaining current ones, we must improve our codebase. We can fix minor issues too. Renaming variables, deleting whitespace, standardizing indentation, etc.
Make It Fast
After making our code more maintainable, efficient, and understandable, we can speed up our app.
Whether it's database indexing, architecture, caching, etc.
A smart craftsman understands that refactoring takes time and it's preferable to balance all the principles simultaneously. Don't YAGNI phase 1.
Using these ideas in each iteration/milestone, while giving the bottom items less time/care.
You can check one of my articles for further information. https://medium.com/life-at-mekari/why-does-my-website-run-very-slowly-and-how-do-i-optimize-it-for-free-b21f8a2f0162
27 days ago
The World Will Change With MIT's New Battery
It's cheaper, faster charging, longer lasting, safer, and better for the environment.
Batteries are the future. Next-gen and planet-saving technology, including solar power and EVs, require batteries. As these smart technologies become more popular, we find that our batteries can't keep up. Lithium-ion batteries are expensive, slow to charge, big, fast to decay, flammable, and not environmentally friendly. MIT just created a new battery that eliminates all of these problems. So, is this the battery of the future? Or is there a catch?
When I say entirely new, I mean it. This battery employs no currently available materials. Its electrodes are constructed of aluminium and pure sulfur instead of lithium-complicated ion's metals and graphite. Its electrolyte is formed of molten chloro-aluminate salts, not an organic solution with lithium salts like lithium-ion batteries.
How does this change in materials help?
Aluminum, sulfur, and chloro-aluminate salts are abundant, easy to acquire, and cheap. This battery might be six times cheaper than a lithium-ion battery and use less hazardous mining. The world and our wallets will benefit.
But don’t go thinking this means it lacks performance.
This battery charged in under a minute in tests. At 25 degrees Celsius, the battery will charge 25 times slower than at 110 degrees Celsius. This is because the salt, which has a very low melting point, is in an ideal state at 110 degrees and can carry a charge incredibly quickly. Unlike lithium-ion, this battery self-heats when charging and discharging, therefore no external heating is needed.
Anyone who's seen a lithium-ion battery burst might be surprised. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, none of the components in this new battery can catch fire. Thus, high-temperature charging and discharging speeds pose no concern.
These batteries are long-lasting. Lithium-ion batteries don't last long, as any iPhone owner can attest. During charging, metal forms a dendrite on the electrode. This metal spike will keep growing until it reaches the other end of the battery, short-circuiting it. This is why phone batteries only last a few years and why electric car range decreases over time. This new battery's molten salt slows deposition, extending its life. This helps the environment and our wallets.
These batteries are also energy dense. Some lithium-ion batteries have 270 Wh/kg energy density (volume and mass). Aluminum-sulfur batteries could have 1392 Wh/kg, according to calculations. They'd be 5x more energy dense. Tesla's Model 3 battery would weigh 96 kg instead of 480 kg if this battery were used. This would improve the car's efficiency and handling.
These calculations were for batteries without molten salt electrolyte. Because they don't reflect the exact battery chemistry, they aren't a surefire prediction.
This battery seems great. It will take years, maybe decades, before it reaches the market and makes a difference. Right?
Nope. The project's scientists founded Avanti to develop and market this technology.
So we'll soon be driving cheap, durable, eco-friendly, lightweight, and ultra-safe EVs? Nope.
This battery must be kept hot to keep the salt molten; otherwise, it won't work and will expand and contract, causing damage. This issue could be solved by packs that can rapidly pre-heat, but that project is far off.
Rapid and constant charge-discharge cycles make these batteries ideal for solar farms, homes, and EV charging stations. The battery is constantly being charged or discharged, allowing it to self-heat and maintain an ideal temperature.
These batteries aren't as sexy as those making EVs faster, more efficient, and cheaper. Grid batteries are crucial to our net-zero transition because they allow us to use more low-carbon energy. As we move away from fossil fuels, we'll need millions of these batteries, so the fact that they're cheap, safe, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly will be huge. Who knows, maybe EVs will use this technology one day. MIT has created another world-changing technology.