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Jay Peters

Jay Peters

3 months ago

Apple AR/VR heaset

Apple is said to have opted for a standalone AR/VR headset over a more powerful tethered model.
It has had a tumultuous history.

Apple's alleged mixed reality headset appears to be the worst-kept secret in tech, and a fresh story from The Information is jam-packed with details regarding the device's rocky development.

Apple's decision to use a separate headgear is one of the most notable aspects of the story. Apple had yet to determine whether to pursue a more powerful VR headset that would be linked with a base station or a standalone headset. According to The Information, Apple officials chose the standalone product over the version with the base station, which had a processor that later arrived as the M1 Ultra. In 2020, Bloomberg published similar information.

That decision appears to have had a long-term impact on the headset's development. "The device's many processors had already been in development for several years by the time the choice was taken, making it impossible to go back to the drawing board and construct, say, a single chip to handle all the headset's responsibilities," The Information stated. "Other difficulties, such as putting 14 cameras on the headset, have given hardware and algorithm engineers stress."

Jony Ive remained to consult on the project's design even after his official departure from Apple, according to the story. Ive "prefers" a wearable battery, such as that offered by Magic Leap. Other prototypes, according to The Information, placed the battery in the headset's headband, and it's unknown which will be used in the final design.

The headset was purportedly shown to Apple's board of directors last week, indicating that a public unveiling is imminent. However, it is possible that it will not be introduced until later this year, and it may not hit shop shelves until 2023, so we may have to wait a bit to try it.
For further down the line, Apple is working on a pair of AR spectacles that appear like Ray-Ban wayfarer sunglasses, but according to The Information, they're "still several years away from release." (I'm interested to see how they compare to Meta and Ray-Bans' true wayfarer-style glasses.)

More on Technology

Muhammad Rahmatullah

Muhammad Rahmatullah

7 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.

My reverse pyramid of coding basics

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

example code smells/critics using rubocop

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

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

https://medium.com/life-at-mekari/what-you-need-to-make-your-app-a-high-availability-system-tackling-the-technical-challenges-8896abec363f

Colin Faife

27 days ago

The brand-new USB Rubber Ducky is much riskier than before.

The brand-new USB Rubber Ducky is much riskier than before.

Corin Faife and Alex Castro

With its own programming language, the well-liked hacking tool may now pwn you.

With a vengeance, the USB Rubber Ducky is back.

This year's Def Con hacking conference saw the release of a new version of the well-liked hacking tool, and its author, Darren Kitchen, was on hand to explain it. We put a few of the new features to the test and discovered that the most recent version is riskier than ever.

WHAT IS IT?

The USB Rubber Ducky seems to the untrained eye to be an ordinary USB flash drive. However, when you connect it to a computer, the computer recognizes it as a USB keyboard and will accept keystroke commands from the device exactly like a person would type them in.

Kitchen explained to me, "It takes use of the trust model built in, where computers have been taught to trust a human, in that anything it types is trusted to the same degree as the user is trusted. And a computer is aware that clicks and keystrokes are how people generally connect with it.

The USB Rubber Ducky, a brainchild of Darren Kitchen Corin

Over ten years ago, the first Rubber Ducky was published, quickly becoming a hacker favorite (it was even featured in a Mr. Robot scene). Since then, there have been a number of small upgrades, but the most recent Rubber Ducky takes a giant step ahead with a number of new features that significantly increase its flexibility and capability.

WHERE IS ITS USE?

The options are nearly unlimited with the proper strategy.

The Rubber Ducky has already been used to launch attacks including making a phony Windows pop-up window to collect a user's login information or tricking Chrome into sending all saved passwords to an attacker's web server. However, these attacks lacked the adaptability to operate across platforms and had to be specifically designed for particular operating systems and software versions.

The nuances of DuckyScript 3.0 are described in a new manual. 

The most recent Rubber Ducky seeks to get around these restrictions. The DuckyScript programming language, which is used to construct the commands that the Rubber Ducky will enter into a target machine, receives a significant improvement with it. DuckyScript 3.0 is a feature-rich language that allows users to write functions, store variables, and apply logic flow controls, in contrast to earlier versions that were primarily limited to scripting keystroke sequences (i.e., if this... then that).

This implies that, for instance, the new Ducky can check to see if it is hooked into a Windows or Mac computer and then conditionally run code specific to each one, or it can disable itself if it has been attached to the incorrect target. In order to provide a more human effect, it can also generate pseudorandom numbers and utilize them to add a configurable delay between keystrokes.

The ability to steal data from a target computer by encoding it in binary code and transferring it through the signals intended to instruct a keyboard when the CapsLock or NumLock LEDs should light up is perhaps its most astounding feature. By using this technique, a hacker may plug it in for a brief period of time, excuse themselves by saying, "Sorry, I think that USB drive is faulty," and then take it away with all the credentials stored on it.

HOW SERIOUS IS THE RISK?

In other words, it may be a significant one, but because physical device access is required, the majority of people aren't at risk of being a target.

The 500 or so new Rubber Duckies that Hak5 brought to Def Con, according to Kitchen, were his company's most popular item at the convention, and they were all gone on the first day. It's safe to suppose that hundreds of hackers already possess one, and demand is likely to persist for some time.

Additionally, it has an online development toolkit that can be used to create attack payloads, compile them, and then load them onto the target device. A "payload hub" part of the website makes it simple for hackers to share what they've generated, and the Hak5 Discord is also busy with conversation and helpful advice. This makes it simple for users of the product to connect with a larger community.

It's too expensive for most individuals to distribute in volume, so unless your favorite cafe is renowned for being a hangout among vulnerable targets, it's doubtful that someone will leave a few of them there. To that end, if you intend to plug in a USB device that you discovered outside in a public area, pause to consider your decision.

WOULD IT WORK FOR ME?

Although the device is quite straightforward to use, there are a few things that could cause you trouble if you have no prior expertise writing or debugging code. For a while, during testing on a Mac, I was unable to get the Ducky to press the F4 key to activate the launchpad, but after forcing it to identify itself using an alternative Apple keyboard device ID, the problem was resolved.

From there, I was able to create a script that, when the Ducky was plugged in, would instantly run Chrome, open a new browser tab, and then immediately close it once more without requiring any action from the laptop user. Not bad for only a few hours of testing, and something that could be readily changed to perform duties other than reading technology news.

Enrique Dans

Enrique Dans

20 days ago

You may not know about The Merge, yet it could change society

IMAGE: Ethereum.org

Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency. The Merge, a mid-September event that will convert Ethereum's consensus process from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake if all goes according to plan, will be a game changer.

Why is Ethereum ditching proof-of-work? Because it can. We're talking about a fully functioning, open-source ecosystem with a capacity for evolution that other cryptocurrencies lack, a change that would allow it to scale up its performance from 15 transactions per second to 100,000 as its blockchain is used for more and more things. It would reduce its energy consumption by 99.95%. Vitalik Buterin, the system's founder, would play a less active role due to decentralization, and miners, who validated transactions through proof of work, would be far less important.

Why has this conversion taken so long and been so cautious? Because it involves modifying a core process while it's running to boost its performance. It requires running the new mechanism in test chains on an ever-increasing scale, assessing participant reactions, and checking for issues or restrictions. The last big test was in early June and was successful. All that's left is to converge the mechanism with the Ethereum blockchain to conclude the switch.

What's stopping Bitcoin, the leader in market capitalization and the cryptocurrency that began blockchain's appeal, from doing the same? Satoshi Nakamoto, whoever he or she is, departed from public life long ago, therefore there's no community leadership. Changing it takes a level of consensus that is impossible to achieve without strong leadership, which is why Bitcoin's evolution has been sluggish and conservative, with few modifications.

Secondly, The Merge will balance the consensus mechanism (proof-of-work or proof-of-stake) and the system decentralization or centralization. Proof-of-work prevents double-spending, thus validators must buy hardware. The system works, but it requires a lot of electricity and, as it scales up, tends to re-centralize as validators acquire more hardware and the entire network activity gets focused in a few nodes. Larger operations save more money, which increases profitability and market share. This evolution runs opposed to the concept of decentralization, and some anticipate that any system that uses proof of work as a consensus mechanism will evolve towards centralization, with fewer large firms able to invest in efficient network nodes.

Yet radical bitcoin enthusiasts share an opposite argument. In proof-of-stake, transaction validators put their funds at stake to attest that transactions are valid. The algorithm chooses who validates each transaction, giving more possibilities to nodes that put more coins at stake, which could open the door to centralization and government control.

In both cases, we're talking about long-term changes, but Bitcoin's proof-of-work has been evolving longer and seems to confirm those fears, while proof-of-stake is only employed in coins with a minuscule volume compared to Ethereum and has no predictive value.

As of mid-September, we will have two significant cryptocurrencies, each with a different consensus mechanisms and equally different characteristics: one is intrinsically conservative and used only for economic transactions, while the other has been evolving in open source mode, and can be used for other types of assets, smart contracts, or decentralized finance systems. Some even see it as the foundation of Web3.

Many things could change before September 15, but The Merge is likely to be a turning point. We'll have to follow this closely.

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nft now

nft now

3 months ago

Instagram NFTs Are Here… How does this affect artists?

Instagram (IG) is officially joining NFT. With the debut of new in-app NFT functionalities, influential producers can interact with blockchain tech on the social media platform.

Meta unveiled intentions for an Instagram NFT marketplace in March, but these latest capabilities focus more on content sharing than commerce. And why shouldn’t they? IG's entry into the NFT market is overdue, given that Twitter and Discord are NFT hotspots.

The NFT marketplace/Web3 social media race has continued to expand, with the expected Coinbase NFT Beta now live and blazing a trail through the NFT ecosystem.

IG's focus is on visual art. It's unlike any NFT marketplace or platform. IG NFTs and artists: what's the deal? Let’s take a look.

What are Instagram’s NFT features anyways?

As said, not everyone has Instagram's new features. 16 artists, NFT makers, and collectors can now post NFTs on IG by integrating third-party digital wallets (like Rainbow or MetaMask) in-app. IG doesn't charge to publish or share digital collectibles.

NFTs displayed on the app have a "shimmer" aesthetic effect. NFT posts also have a "digital collectable" badge that lists metadata such as the creator and/or owner, the platform it was created on, a brief description, and a blockchain identification.

Meta's social media NFTs have launched on Instagram, but the company is also preparing to roll out digital collectibles on Facebook, with more on the way for IG. Currently, only Ethereum and Polygon are supported, but Flow and Solana will be added soon.

How will artists use these new features?

Artists are publishing NFTs they developed or own on IG by linking third-party digital wallets. These features have no NFT trading aspects built-in, but are aimed to let authors share NFTs with IG audiences.

Creators, like IG-native aerial/street photographer Natalie Amrossi (@misshattan), are discovering novel uses for IG NFTs.

Amrossi chose to not only upload his own NFTs but also encourage other artists in the field. "That's the beauty of connecting your wallet and sharing NFTs. It's not just what you make, but also what you accumulate."

Amrossi has been producing and posting Instagram art for years. With IG's NFT features, she can understand Instagram's importance in supporting artists.

Web2 offered Amrossi the tools to become an artist and make a life. "Before 'influencer' existed, I was just making art. Instagram helped me reach so many individuals and brands, giving me a living.

Even artists without millions of viewers are encouraged to share NFTs on IG. Wilson, a relatively new name in the NFT space, seems to have already gone above and beyond the scope of these new IG features. By releasing "Losing My Mind" via IG NFT posts, she has evaded the lack of IG NFT commerce by using her network to market her multi-piece collection.

"'Losing My Mind' is a long-running photo series. Wilson was preparing to release it as NFTs before IG approached him, so it was a perfect match.

Wilson says the series is about Black feminine figures and media depiction. Respectable effort, given POC artists have been underrepresented in NFT so far.

“Over the past year, I've had mental health concerns that made my emotions so severe it was impossible to function in daily life, therefore that prompted this photo series. Every Wednesday and Friday for three weeks, I'll release a new Meta photo for sale.

Wilson hopes these new IG capabilities will help develop a connection between the NFT community and other internet subcultures that thrive on Instagram.

“NFTs can look scary as an outsider, but seeing them on your daily IG feed makes it less foreign,” adds Wilson. I think Instagram might become a hub for NFT aficionados, making them more accessible to artists and collectors.

What does it all mean for the NFT space?

Meta's NFT and metaverse activities will continue to impact Instagram's NFT ecosystem. Many think it will be for the better, as IG NFT frauds are another problem hurting the NFT industry.

IG's new NFT features seem similar to Twitter's PFP NFT verifications, but Instagram's tools should help cut down on scams as users can now verify the creation and ownership of whole NFT collections included in IG posts.

Given the number of visual artists and NFT creators on IG, it might become another hub for NFT fans, as Wilson noted. If this happens, it raises questions about Instagram success. Will artists be incentivized to distribute NFTs? Or will those with a large fanbase dominate?

Elise Swopes (@swopes) believes these new features should benefit smaller artists. Swopes was one of the first profiles placed to Instagram's original suggested user list in 2012.

Swopes says she wants IG to be a magnet for discovery and understands the value of NFT artists and producers.

"I'd love to see IG become a focus of discovery for everyone, not just the Beeples and Apes and PFPs. That's terrific for them, but [IG NFT features] are more about using new technology to promote emerging artists, Swopes added.

“Especially music artists. It's everywhere. Dancers, writers, painters, sculptors, musicians. My element isn't just for digital artists; it can be anything. I'm delighted to witness people's creativity."

Swopes, Wilson, and Amrossi all believe IG's new features can help smaller artists. It remains to be seen how these new features will effect the NFT ecosystem once unlocked for the rest of the IG NFT community, but we will likely see more social media NFT integrations in the months and years ahead.

Read the full article here

Jack Shepherd

Jack Shepherd

27 days ago

A Dog's Guide to Every Type of Zoom Call Participant

Are you one of these Zoom dogs?

The Person Who Is Apparently Always on Mute

Waffles thinks he can overpower the mute button by shouting loudly.

Photos: Pexels, Envato, Adobe

The person who believed their camera to be off

Barkley's used to remote work, but he hasn't mastered the "Stop Video" button. Everyone is affected.

Photos: Pexels, Envato, Adobe

Who is driving for some reason, exactly?

Why is Pumpkin always late? Who knows? Shouldn't she be driving? If you could hear her over the freeway, she'd answer these questions.

Photos: Pexels, Pixabay, Envato, Adobe

The Person With the Amazing Bookcase

Cicero likes to use SAT-words like "leverage" and "robust" in Zoom sessions, presumably from all the books he wants you to see behind him.

Photos: Pexels, Envato, Adobe

The Individual Who Is Unnecessarily Dressed

We hope Bandit is going somewhere beautiful after this meeting, or else he neglected the quarterly earnings report and is overcompensating to distract us.

Photos: Pexels, Pixabay, Envato

The person who works through lunch in between zoom calls

Barksworth has back-to-back meetings all day, so you can watch her eat while she talks.

Photos: Pexels, Pixabay, Envato

The Person Who Is A Little Too Comfy

Hercules thinks Zoom meetings happen between sleeps. He'd appreciate everyone speaking more quietly.

Photos: Pexels, Adobe, @Greenring

The Person Who Answered the Phone Outside

Frisbee has a gorgeous backyard and lives in a place with great weather year-round, and she wants you to think about that during the daily team huddle.

Photos: Pexels, Envato, Adobe

Who Wants You to Pay Attention to Their Pet

Snickers hasn't listened to you in 20 minutes unless you tell her how cute her kitten is.

One who is, for some reason, positioned incorrectly on the screen

Nelson's meetings consist primarily of attempting to figure out how he positioned his laptop so absurdly.

Photos: Pexels, Envato, @Greenring

The person who says too many goodbyes

Zeus waves farewell like it's your first day of school while everyone else searches for the "Leave Meeting" button. It's nice.

Photos: Adobe, Envato, iStock

He who has a poor internet connection

Ziggy's connectivity problems continue... She gives a long speech as everyone waits awkwardly to inform her they missed it.

Photos: Pexels, Envato, Wikimedia Commons

The Clearly Multitasking Person

Tinkerbell can play fetch during the monthly staff meeting if she works from home, but that's not a good idea.

Photos: Pexels, Pixabay, Envato

The Person Using Zoom as a Makeup and Hair Mirror

If Gail and Bob knew Zoom had a "hide self view" option, they'd be distraught.

Photos: Pexels, Adobe, Envato

The person who feels at ease with simply leaving

Rusty bails when a Zoom conference is over. Rusty's concept is decent.

Photos: Pexels, Adobe, Envato
CoinTelegraph

CoinTelegraph

8 months ago

2 NFT-based blockchain games that could soar in 2022

NFTs look ready to rule 2022, and the recent pivot toward NFT utility in P2E gaming could make blockchain gaming this year’s sector darling.

After the popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) came the rise of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and to the surprise of many, NFTs took the spotlight and now remain front and center with the highest volume in sales occurring at the start of January 2022.
While 2021 became the year of NFTs, GameFi applications did surpass DeFi in terms of user popularity. According to data from DappRadar, Bloomberg gathered:

Nearly 50% of active cryptocurrency wallets connected to decentralized applications in November were for playing games. The percentage of wallets linked to decentralized finance, or DeFi, dapps fell to 45% during the same period, after months of being the leading dapp use case.

Blockchain play-to-earn (P2E) game Axie infinity skyrocketed and kicked off a gaming craze that is expected to continue all throughout 2022. Crypto pundits and gaming advocates have high expectations for P2E blockchain-based games and there’s bound to be a few sleeping giants that will dominate the sector.

Let’s take a look at five blockchain games that could make waves in 2022.

DeFi Kingdoms

The inspiration for DeFi Kingdoms came from simple beginnings — a passion for investing that lured the developers to blockchain technology. DeFi Kingdoms was born as a visualization of liquidity pool investing where in-game ‘gardens’ represent literal and figurative token pairings and liquidity pool mining.

As shown in the game, investors have a portion of their LP share within a plot filled with blooming plants. By attaching the concept of growth to DeFi protocols within a play-and-earn model, DeFi Kingdoms puts a twist on “playing” a game.

Built on the Harmony Network, DeFi Kingdoms became the first project on the network to ever top the DappRadar charts. This could be attributed to an influx of individuals interested in both DeFi and blockchain games or it could be attributed to its recent in-game utility token JEWEL surging.

JEWEL is a utility token that allows users to purchase NFTs in-game buffs to increase a base-level stat. It is also used for liquidity mining to grant users the opportunity to make more JEWEL through staking.

JEWEL is also a governance token that gives holders a vote in the growth and evolution of the project. In the past four months, the token price surged from $1.23 to an all-time high of $22.52. At the time of writing, JEWEL is down by nearly 16%, trading at $19.51.

Surging approximately 1,487% from its humble start of $1.23 four months ago in September, JEWEL token price has increased roughly 165% this last month alone, according to data from CoinGecko.

Guild of Guardians

Guild of Guardians is one of the more anticipated blockchain games in 2022 and it is built on ImmutableX, the first layer-two solution built on Ethereum that focuses on NFTs. Aiming to provide more access, it will operate as a free-to-play mobile role-playing game, modeling the P2E mechanics.

Similar to blockchain games like Axie Infinity, Guild of Guardians in-game assets can be exchanged. The project seems to be of interest to many gamers and investors with its NFT founder sale and token launch generating nearly $10 million in volume.

Launching its in-game token in October of 2021, the Guild of Guardians (GOG) tokens are ERC-20 tokens known as ‘gems’ inside the game. Gems are what power key features in the game such as minting in-game NFTs and interacting with the marketplace, and are available to earn while playing.

For the last month, the Guild of Guardians token has performed rather steadily after spiking to its all-time high of $2.81 after its launch. Despite the token being down over 50% from its all-time high, at the time of writing, some members of the community are looking forward to the possibility of staking and liquidity pools, which are features that tend to help stabilize token prices.