How the Zigbee Specification is Shaping the Internet of Things

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Zigbee is an open source spec for Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) communication that allows Zigbee-certified products to connect and communicate using the same IoT language. Companies that utilize and support Zigbee are part of the Zigbee Alliance. To date, the Zigbee Alliance contains over 500 companies, all of which work together to create and utilize Zigbee in their product design. Some of the most noticeable companies in the Zigbee Alliance include Comcast, Honeywell, IKEA, Legrand, Samsung SmartThings, and Amazon.

The History of Modern Text Editors

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Text editors are computer applications that edit plain text. Text editors are fundamental to our work and developers tend to have very strong opinions about which one is the best.  In this blog post I’ll discuss some of the history of computing with respect to text editors, and the pros and cons of two of the text editors that developers have a love/hate relationship with – eMacs and Vim. 

A Brief Introduction to Drones

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Drones have been become one of the hottest tech toys in recent years, but what are these flying machines and what are they capable of?

“Drone” is the common name for an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV for short. UAVs are vehicles that do not carry humans inside of them. They can be controlled by either a human or by a computer. UAVs were originally used in the military to carry out tasks that were either too difficult or too dangerous for humans to perform. Some other military applications include drone surveillance and drone attacks.

Introduction to Mobile Cloud Platforms

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If you are building a mobile application of any sophistication, you are likely to need some services to support your app. You’ll need a way to distribute your app for testing prior to submitting to the app store(s), as well as analytics, error logging, crash reporting, and possibly user and data management services. Of course, you could write these services yourself and provision servers to host these services, but why do that when you don’t have to?

The Elements of Style

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A spate of applications have popped/cropped up in recent years with slogans like “Make Anything Art.”  They purport to transfer the style of one image and render the content of another image in that style.  In the sets of images below, the small inset image is the source of the “style” which is transferred to the larger image.  It’s an impressive trick, although I don’t know that it accurately represents what we mean by ‘style’.

Prototyping with Principle: A Quick Review

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Principle Icon

I’ve partnered with my client, Texture, for more than two years, and I am still continually learning in all aspects of design. I’ve been lucky enough to pick up two software programs in the last year; Sketch and Principle. I’d like to give a quick review of Principle and share my pros and cons as a new user

Introduction to 3D Printing

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3D printing is the process of creating a three-dimensional object by adding many layers of material together. This process is performed by a computer controlled machine commonly called a 3D printer. This article will primarily be discussing the Fused Deposition Modeling(FDM) method of 3D printing. Most FDM printers will heat up plastic and push it out from a nozzle. This process is called extruding.

Centaurs Versus the Total Perspective Vortex: Data Visualization and Complexity

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Data visualization projects are probably what first drew me to software. I loved the idea of creating tools with beautiful interfaces that allowed people to see, interact, and play with big systems and concepts that are ordinarily hidden from view. Our lives are shaped and shaken by complex forces; making them tangible is a potent challenge, and one that really speaks to me.

In this post, I’d like to talk about some of the ways data visualization holds utility as a means of democratizing systems thinking, some considerations for how this can be effectively achieved, and how we might think of data visualization as a tool in our kit when approaching Big Serious Complex Problems.

Software Licensing in Open Source

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Open Source software is ubiquitous today as a popular way to distribute software freely within the community. However, software licensing that is built on top of intellectual property laws is easy to overlook. Github shows that the percentage of their licensed public repositories has never passed 25% since 2009. Understanding these licenses and making the correct decision for a program can transform them into tools that can help creators’ intentions and goals for a project.