December 2015 Articles

Great news from Apple’s Craig Federighi, they have open-sourced Swift.

“The Swift team will be developing completely in the open on GitHub,” Federighi told Ars. “As they’re working day-to-day and making modifications to the language, including their work on Swift 3.0, all of that is going to be happening out in the open on GitHub.”

I left Facebook in the fall of 2010 — six months after graduating from college — and I haven’t looked back. In the beginning, I missed out on a bunch of event invites from friends (parties, social gatherings, events) and all the photos people post, but I’ve made up for it by connecting with people by calling them or meeting up with them in person.

The Happiness Research Institute in Denmark recently did a study with 1,095 participants — all Facebook users. Half of the participants were instructed “Do not use Facebook for one week.” Here’s what they found:

  • In the group that stopped using Facebook for that period, a significantly higher level of life satisfaction
  • People who had taken a break from Facebook felt happier and were less sad and lonely
  • After one week without Facebook the treatment group experienced an increase in their social activity — and an increase in their satisfaction with their social life
  • After one week without Facebook the treatment group experienced less concentration difficulties
  • People on Facebook are 55% more likely to feel stressed
  • People taking a break from Facebook are 18% more likely to feel present in the moment
  • After one week without Facebook the treatment group felt they wasted their time less.
  • They also found that envy on Facebook was measurable: “Instead of focusing on what we actually need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have.”

Using data to better match candidates with open positions — in this case programmers with Y-Combinator funded companies — Triplebyte has identified 9 common types of programmers.

We’ve been interviewing hundreds of programmers and matching them with YC startups. To help intelligently match programmers with companies, we’ve created a number of hypothetical programmer descriptions. These profiles are drawn from patterns we’ve seen in 1000+ technical interviews over the last 6 months. We’ve had success using these profiles to match engineers with companies.

Nuclear power is where we need to go next for large-scale power plants.

Wind and solar together provide less than 2 percent of the world’s energy, and they aren’t growing anywhere near fast enough to replace fossil fuels.

What’s especially strange about the failed push for renewables is that we already had a practical plan back in the 1960s to become fully carbon-free without any need of wind or solar: nuclear power. But after years of cost overruns, technical challenges and the bizarre coincidence of an accident at Three Mile Island and the 1979 release of the Hollywood horror movie “The China Syndrome,” about a hundred proposed reactors were canceled. If we had kept building, our power grid could have been carbon-free years ago.

Ben Thompson nails the essence of Design Thinking as it differs from market research, all applied to the art of gift-giving and exceeding a recipients expectations. Merry Christmas!

Approaching a problem with a design thinking mindset, however, certainly takes into account what a customer says, but simply as one input among many. In this approach, observing the way people really live, developing a deep understanding of the real problems they have, and gaining an appreciation of the “hacks” they devise to overcome them can deliver an understanding of prospective customers’ needs that is more accurate than what any of those prospective customers could ever articulate on their own.