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Tag Archives: apple

15 programming languages you need to know in 2015 – Mashable

Mashable 15 programming languages you need to know in 2015 Mashable ... back-ends for modern enterprise-web applications. With Java and frameworks based on it, web developers can build scalable web apps for a variety of users. Java is also the main language used to develop native Android apps for smartphones and tablets.

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Indie developer of podcast app Overcast details sales stats, reports $15.6K average monthly revenue (Marco Arment/Marco.org)

Overcast’s 2014 sales numbers – Marco.org January 15, 2015 • ∞ http://www.marco.org/2015/01/15/overcast-sales-numbers Nobody ever wants to talk about money. But current and prospective indie app developers could really use more information on the subject. I’ve seen some very informative and helpful posts from developers revealing their revenue numbers, including: Unread Dash for Mac Monument Valley I’ve decided that the potential educational and market-research benefits to others of adding Overcast to the mix will be greater than the risk of people thinking I’m an asshole for doing so. I hope this is helpful to anyone researching the indie iOS market or thinking about entering it. Overcast is a podcast player for iOS that I launched on July 16, 2014 after working on it full-time for about 15 months. It’s a free download with a single non-consumable in-app purchase, “Unlock Everything”, at the $5 tier. It had a perfect launch that far exceeded my expectations — it was the best launch an indie developer could possibly hope for, with tons of great press, a mid-level App Store feature, and thousands of tweets on launch day. For calendar year 2014: 318,996 total downloads. Approximately 200,000 launched the app and got far enough to create an account. 46,940 in-app purchases (14.7%). $164,134 total revenue after Apple’s 30% 1 but before any taxes or expenses. 2 $85,715 received in the first month alone. Per month, excluding the launch month (since it’s an extreme outlier): 27,952 average monthly downloads. 4,569 average monthly in-app purchases (16.3%). $15,684 average monthly revenue

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How Rana el Kaliouby and her company Affectiva developed software to sense emotions from video (Raffi Khatchadourian/New Yorker)

By scanning your face, computers can decode your unspoken reaction to a movie, a political debate, even a video call with a friend. Credit Illustration by Bryan Christie Three years ago, archivists at A.T. & T. stumbled upon a rare fragment of computer history: a short film that Jim Henson produced for Ma Bell, in 1963. Henson had been hired to make the film for a conference that the company was convening to showcase its strengths in machine-to-machine communication. Told to devise a faux robot that believed it functioned better than a person, he came up with a cocky, boxy, jittery, bleeping Muppet on wheels. “This is computer H14,” it proclaims as the film begins. “Data program readout: number fourteen ninety-two per cent H2SOSO.” (Robots of that era always seemed obligated to initiate speech with senseless jargon.) “Begin subject: Man and the Machine,” it continues. “The machine possesses supreme intelligence, a faultless memory, and a beautiful soul.” A blast of exhaust from one of its ports vaporizes a passing bird. “Correction,” it says. “The machine does not have a soul. It has no bothersome emotions. While mere mortals wallow in a sea of emotionalism, the machine is busy digesting vast oceans of information in a single all-encompassing gulp.” H14 then takes such a gulp, which proves overwhelming. Ticking and whirring, it begs for a human mechanic; seconds later, it explodes

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Holtzbrinck Ventures Closes $331M Fund To Back More Consumer And E-Commerce Startups (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)

One of the more prolific VCs in Europe with close ties to e-commerce startup factory Rocket Internet has closed another fund — its biggest yet — to back more consumer internet businesses in the region and beyond, with an emphasis on e-commerce.  Holtzbrinck Ventures has raised €285 million ($331 million) for HV Holtzbrinck Ventures Fund VI, which will be used for early, middle, and late-stage investments, ranging from around $500,000 to $50 million per round. “The new fund is larger than the previous ones and will allow us to deploy more capital across the lifespan of a startup,” a spokesperson tells me. We’re in a heady period for venture investment at the moment. Dow Jones VentureSource this week released figures that noted 2014 VC investments totalled more than $52 billion, up 47% compared to 2013. That’s partly fuelled by unicorn-sized rounds for the likes of Uber and other late-stage companies, but also the bigger, ongoing surge we’ve been seeing for a while now around the wider field of tech startups and the search for the next big tech phenomenon, or at least bright exits of interesting companies to existing juggernauts. Holtzbrinck Ventures is tapping into that. It says this fund was not only its biggest yet, but it closed in less than four months and was oversubscribed. HV — which first opened for business in 2000 as the investment arm of the German media and publishing group but went independent in 2010 — has also been one of the firms leading the VC charge in the tech world. As an investor in Rocket Internet, the firm has piggy-backed on a lot of the Berlin-based incubators’ prolific e-commerce startup creation  in Europe and emerging markets. HV has also upped the ante by directly putting in more money to fuel the aggressive expansion/funding that has helped some of the more sticky of these grow, with stakes in e-commerce marketplace Lazada, HelloFresh (food delivery), Paymill (Stripe clone) and Payleven (think Square) among them. It’s also funded e-commerce startups that are not Rocket Internet-created by share some DNA by way of founders and employees. Those have included Quandoo , an OpenTable competitor. A spokesperson for HV tells me that this will be the template for many of the investments going forward, but with a more likely emphasis on B2B2C rather than straight-to-consumer marketplaces.

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Timeline news app launches to give the historical context behind the day’s headlines (Anthony Ha/TechCrunch)

One big complaint about current news coverage is that there’s not enough context — an article or TV report might tell you what happened today, but it gives you no understanding about the history that led up to today’s news. Now a startup called Timeline is aiming to change that. When you open the Timeline app, it might look at first like just another news aggregator. There’s a feed with the day’s big news — but the headlines have a slightly different spin on them. For example, one of Timeline’s front page stories as I write this is “The White House v. Journalists,” which notes that the Justice Department is ending its efforts to get New York Times reporter James Risen to testify and identify confidential sources. But while Timeline summarizes and links to the Risen news, its focus is broader than that — as the headline indicates, the real story it presents is about the often tense relationship between US presidents and the press. So underneath a brief news summary, you get to the meat of what Timeline does — which is, yes, a timeline, starting with President Grover Cleveland complaining about journalists at his wedding way back in 1886, then jumping through things like the Monica Lewinsky scandal and how the press covered the Bush administration’s claims about Iraq, then finally ending on Risen and, more generally, Obama’s not-particularly-open relationship with the press. As I explored some of the other sections of the app (US, World, Technology, Business, and so on), I noticed that their reliance on the day’s news can vary. For example, the tech stories are about broad themes linked to last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (“Gadgets That Make You Look Rich”, “Where’s My Flying Car?”) rather than specific news, and indeed don’t link any outside news at all. The app was developed by Axiom Zen , an incubator and consulting firm. Axiom Zen’s Head of Marketing and Growth Spencer Chen (a longtime frenemy, so I’m not being entirely objective here) told me that while Timeline has built a custom content management system for its stories, the timelines themselves are created by a 10-person editorial team. (Timeline’s editor in chief is journalist Jonathan Kalan .) I asked Chen (via email) where Timeline saw a gap in all the existing news apps out there, and he said: The news that we read today is only the tail-end of many important events in history that shaped the events of today

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Dating site Zoosk cuts costs, lays off 15% of employees after putting IPO plans on hold (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

Dating service Zoosk has laid off 15 percent of its employees this week, sources told TechCrunch, and the company now confirms. According to a spokesperson, the move was made as part of a larger effort to lower expenses in many areas. News of the layoffs  follows the exit of Zoosk’s founders from their leadership roles last month, and confirmation that the company was indefinitely delaying its IPO plans. The headcount mentioned on Zoosk’s SEC filing referenced 168 employees, but figures cited in 2014 saw that number had grown to 174. (Zoosk has yet to provide us with its current headcount, though we’ve asked.) In April 2014, Zoosk filed plans with the SEC for its $100 million initial public offering. The company, backed by Canaan Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and ATA Ventures, at the time was seeing a net loss of $2.6 million in 2013 on revenues of $178 million. In addition, the filing revealed that the company was spending a lot on marketing and saw Tinder as a real threat to its business. Data provided to us in September 2014 from analytics platform 7Park showed just how credible the Tinder threat was (and still is): Zoosk claims to have 29 million members, and competes with sites like eHarmony and Match.com. It has a significant presence on mobile, but Tinder has been running away with much of the market there, as you can see. Most of Zoosk’s revenue comes from subscription fees, which made up 86 percent of its business in 2014.

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Moving the Steam folder on Linux is causing users’ entire file systems to be deleted (Steven Johns/Neowin)

Users of Steam on GNU/Linux are reporting that attempting to move the Steam folder - something that the GNU/Linux Steam installer doesn't allow you to set at the time of installation - is leading to everything being deleted recursively from root. First entered as a bug report by the Github user keyvin, he explained how he tried to move the directory somewhere else and symlink it to the original location. In almost every use case under the Sun, this usually works without too many problems. Unfortunately for keyvin, however, a bug in Steam proceeded to delete everything it was able to on his computer - even the content on his 3TB external storage. Another Github user, d00fy, mentioned how he had just lost his entire Home directory by just starting steam.sh with STEAM_DEBUG=1. The Github user TcM1911 appears to have spotted the error: It tries to look for the Steam folder and when it can't do that, it just returns a forward slash - a forward slash would represent root. For those unfamiliar with the rm command when used with the -rf flags, it basically breaks down into ' remove all files, protected or otherwise, recursively and without asking for confirmation on each file .' Starting from the / directory, or root, it is the *nix equivalent of deleting your C: drive. Luckily, however, the beauty of open source is that the problem has already been isolated and patches are already being discussed . For the time being, though, try to avoid intrusively playing with or debugging Steam -not unless you have sufficient backups, anyway.

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