Month: February 2014

steve jobs apple pixar

Who’s the guy that insults Steve Jobs in this clip of WWDC 1997?

Answer by Anonymous:

I’ll answer this question as it seems people are curious, but I just want to mention that this outburst/accusation was made many years ago, and I feel like the answer won’t be what everyone is expecting (an angry Sun Microsystems employee, a person who hates Steve Jobs/Apple, etc). We should all be sure to respect his privacy and not go out on a witch hunt for something said years ago.

(more…)

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whatsapp messenger

How did WhatsApp team go about building app on multiple platforms cheaply?

Answer by Sayo Oladeji:

As much as I agree that scaling the backend is a very challenging thing. Android, S40 and S60 are particularly difficult to program. WP7/8 are relatively easier. There’s a reverse engineered source of the WhatsApp Android client online; take a look at the number of com.whatsapp classes and you’ll get a feel of the enormous work that this guys have done (humorously, this kind of explains why Facebook has never been able to put out a decent Android app).

On the client-side, you have to deal with fragmentation issues as your users won’t be running the same OS version, screen sizes and color depth, hardware, memory, processor, etc. Things even get messier when they’ll have to run your app on tabs. Some devices won’t even allow HTTPS out-of-the-box.

Now take Nokia S40, you have FT (full touch), NT (non touch), TT (touch and type); on S60 you have FT and TT; on Android you have FT, NT, TT (and then you also have tabs to cater for); on BB you also have FT, NT, TT (and you also have the PlayBook tab to cater for), on iOS you are free from fragmentation to an extent but there comes the iPad and then iPad mini which you also have to cater for; its only on Windows Phone that you’re somewhat free from fragmentation since Win Tabs run Win 8 and not WP8. (more…)

Google Ad Grants for Non Profits

Google Ad Grants – Adwords for Non Profits

What is Google Ad Grants?

Google Ad Grants is the non-profit version of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Google Ad Grants encourages nonprofit businesses, by means of $10,000/month in in-kind AdWords marketing and advertising, to showcase their missions and endeavors on Google.com

To Apply, go to Google Ad Grants

Eligibility

From Google Ad Grants

  1. To be eligible for the Google Ad Grants program, organizations must:

    • Hold current and valid charity status, as determined by your country; please see your country’s charity status definition below.
    • Acknowledge and agree to the application’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.
    • Have a functioning website with substantial content (more…)
coding java programming

How can I get better at handling edge cases in computer programming?

Answer by Adam D’Angelo (Quora, Founder and CEO):

Overall, you have to get into the mindset of thinking like an adversary who is trying to cause your code to fail. Whenever you decide to get the first element in a list, you need to automatically think “could the list be empty?”. Whenever you start or finish writing a while loop, you need to think “is there any way this could possibly be an infinite loop?” To a large extent you’ll get this with experience, but there are some ways you can make sure you build up that experience more quickly.

One thing you can do to start is to use assertions and other techniques to “fail fast”. This will make sure that edge cases that you have forgotten about will show up as errors that get your attention during testing, rather than silently surviving as bugs. For example, at the top of a function that reverses a list, you might want to assert that the variable is actually a list. That way, if there’s an edge case somewhere else that results in the reverse function being called with null as an argument, you’ll detect it more quickly.

Writing unit tests can also be pretty helpful, and they also help you change your mindset toward testing and edge cases.

There are certain techniques that make edge cases less likely to occur in the first place. For example, using for loops instead of while loops gives you less flexibility and therefore fewer chances to make a mistake. Writing functional style code (recursively traversing data structures, copying data instead of updating it in place, etc) generally results in fewer edge cases. If you were writing a function to sum up all the numbers in a list, you might want to make it so that it intentionally works for the base case where the list is empty and the result is zero for that case, instead of starting the sum as the first item in the list and adding the rest to it.

If you really want to invest a lot of time in getting better at this in particular, the algorithm competition in Topcoder has a challenge round where you look at other people’s solutions to problems and get points for finding edge cases that break their solutions. Participating in that for a few months made me significantly better at thinking through edge cases.

View Answer on Quora

How did Chris Putnam get hired at Facebook?

Answer by Chris Putnam:

[note: Marcel and Kyle have historically not gotten the right amount of credit for this stunt, so if you repeat this story please be sure to mention them.]

Around the end of 2005, I worked on a series of hacks and pranks on Facebook with my friends Marcel Laverdet and Kyle Stoneman. One of these pranks was an XSS-based worm that spread through Facebook profiles by way of an unsanitized profile field (Websites).

Our worm code would rapidly and silently copy itself from profile to profile, spreading virally through friends viewing one another’s profiles. The code itself was run off of an off-site server under my control, so at any time I could change the script that was running on everyone’s profiles.

Before seeding the worm, Marcel and I wrote a tiny JS library that replicated a bunch of FB functionality like adding a friend, poking, messaging, wall posts, etc. This let us quickly modify the master script to do different things with the controlled accounts. I then made the first “generation” of the worm include this library and upon execution, silently send a friend request to my test account. This way I could easily track the number of infected users as the outstanding friend request number ticked up on my homepage.

Meanwhile, Marcel and Kyle were working on the comedy: a CSS stylesheet that perfectly re-styled Facebook profiles into MySpace profiles (circa 2005). It was really impressive work and rearranged all the fields on the profile into MySpace’s ugly boxes and color scheme.

Facebook Hacked

So the first generation of the worm had three symptoms when you viewed an infected profile: (a) It friended my test account; (b) It re-styled the profile to look like MySpace; (c) It copied itself to your own profile.

The modified profiles lasted less than a day before Facebook started getting complaints. And this quickly led to a series of hilarious friend requests of numerous employees at Facebook as they got infected, including internal test accounts known as “The Creator”. Seeing that infection we thought we got Mark Zuckerberg at that point and declared the operation a smashing success. [note: “The Creator” was not Zuck’s account, and I’m not actually sure if he got hit with the worm or not]

In hindsight, we thought we should have spread the worm as much as possible without any visible symptoms. But at the time I was highly confident Facebook would detect the XSS vector before we’d get very far at all, so I wanted to get as many profile views with the custom stylesheet as possible. Kyle and Marcel are still kicking me for that one. We had other opportunities for fun later though, including a second smaller worm that spread through photo captions where Marcel had the worm post random messages to random friends’ walls (e.g., “Hey, nice shoes.” or “This wall is now about trains.”).

As fixes started rolling out for the worm, I got a message in my personal Facebook inbox from co-founder Dustin Moskovitz. His knowledge of my identity didn’t come as much of a surprise since the worm’s interaction with my account was a dead giveaway and we even went out of our way to provide contact information in the source code and CSS file. I’m having a hard time finding the exact text of his message right now, but it was along the lines of “Hey, this was funny but it looks like you are deleting contact information from users’ profiles when you go to replicate the worm again. That’s not so cool.” This then led to a lot of back-and-forth between myself and Dustin where I explained the worm in detail and other holes I had found and planted worms within. He was incredibly friendly about the whole thing and we continued talking fairly frequently over AIM for a month or so. I pulled a couple more dumb stunts during this time, in particular locking up several college databases testing SQL injection holes.

At the time I was getting pretty bored with college at Georgia Southern University and really wanted to move to Silicon Valley anyway. In January of 2006 I had a friend in San Francisco who offered me an interview at his company, which seemed like a great opportunity to get out. I told Dustin about this and he immediately offered me an interview with Facebook.

Now, this seemed pretty nice and all, but this was a period in tech history where MySpace had just gone through something extremely similar–guy makes harmless XSS worm, company offers to hire him–but in their case, they had him arrested as he arrived at LAX and turned him into a convicted felon. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samy_(XSS)

With Samy in mind I saved up a lot of extra cash and brought a friend with me to California to help in case things went south at the “interview.” But everything was uneventful up until I was standing outside Facebook’s office in Palo Alto. At that point I got pretty worried they’d change their tune once I got inside. I got in the elevator, it went up to the 2nd floor where I was to meet Dustin, and the doors opened with Dustin–not cops–standing right in front of me. This was an enormous relief for me, with the subsequent interviews really easy on my nerves in comparison. [Dustin recently joked that “it’s just a really long con; the cops will be waiting for you!”]

I was hired right away and actually started working just a few days after the interview. Later that summer, we were able to convince Marcel to drop out of school and join. Kyle was less interested in Facebook at the time and has since graduated school and continued working on various tech projects in the political world in Washington D.C.

I will be forever grateful that the company was so sympathetic toward people like myself. It’s one of the things that really sets Facebook apart with its passion for scrappy, hacker-type engineers.

View Answer on Quora

Samsung S4 Gold iPhone 5S Gold

Samsung Announces Galaxy S5 Gold Edition, Launch on April 11, 2014

Samsung just unveiled its latest primary smartphone the Galaxy S5 and besides it is waterproof, it comes in four colors – black, white, blue and gold.

Apple introduced the gold iPhone 5s last Fall which guided Samsung to react up with a special edition gold S4 edition, but now it plans to sell the gold S5 globally commencing in April 11, 2014.

The gold iPhone 5s was a massive hit with buyers demand far outpacing supply. We’ll have to hang on till Spring to see if the gold S5 encourages a similar enthusiasm with fans, but so far it’s drawing more comparisons to a band-aid than an Apple product.

Dizmo UI digital gizmos

Dizmo, a Revolutionary Touch UI exceeded its Fundraising goal

The Swiss-based software company Dizmo exceeded its fundraising goal of $25,000 today on Kickstarter, and its smart user interface could be readily available by June. Dizmo’s user interface enables customers to move, swivel, shrink and expand any app, which includes calendars, maps, spreadsheets or videos on televisions, tablets and glass surfaces. All the features of Dizmo’s interface are sensitive, meaning the visual aspects automatically adjust to the size they’re expanded or shrunk to.

dizmo space is structured on HTML5, CSS3, Javascript and delivers you with an industry standard debugging system that helps you developing powerful and efficient code. Furthermore to that, you have built-in access to standard JS libraries like jQuery and Joose, while keeping the alternative to add your own libraries and frameworks. dizmo space also offers you with a utility library to enable you to easily make your dizmos look good and well integrated in the environment.

Some of the key characteristics of the dizmo space are:

  • Organize (move, rotate, re-size) dizmos on any digital surface
  • Develop and simultaneously use distinct dizmos at the same time
  • Get multiple copies of any dizmo
  • Rapidly navigate through an endless digital space with a zoom-able user interface
  • Move and share dizmos between numerous devices, throughout rooms or locations, making your digital gizmos ubiquitous through the cloud
  • Build your own dizmos, by using the dizmo SDK
  • Dock dizmos together, enabling apps to communicate to each other and work together

I want success similar to that of Steve Jobs. What should I do?

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

Sorry to burst your bubble. But, this conversation involving Mozart will be helpful for you.

In short, if you have to ask how you can become Steve Jobs, you can never become a Steve Jobs. Start with simple apps and device hacks to work your way up. If you are lucky and are really committed, maybe you can really leave a mark.

It took more than 3 decades even for Jobs to be truly recognized as an icon. In the meanwhile he slaved hard, had a temporary rise to the peak, thrown from his perch, ridiculed, worked his way back and prove himself all over again with kick-ass products. Now, you want to jump to the 20th step directly without having any past of crossing even 1 step.

There is a top-secret recipe for success. Keep this secret mantra:

View Answer on Quora

Jailbreak iOS 7.0.6

17 year old iOS Jailbreak Hacker joins Apple later this Year

Recognized jailbreaker “winocm“ declared today that he will be acquiring a job at Apple later this year.

When asked for comment, the 17-year-old hacker dropped to intricate on what his new position at Apple will include. He also refused to deliver his real name, which is a common motif amongst high-profile jailbreak hackers who choose to hide behind their online pseudonyms.

Winocm Apple Jailbreak

Although winocm did not work on the current iOS 7 jailbreak, his competence in reverse engineering iOS will certainly make him a beneficial resource at Apple.

Winocm lately assisted out a jailbreak for iOS 6.1.3-6.1.5 on older iPhones. He began making contributions to the jailbreak scene at the end of 2011 with the release of the iPhone 4S. Subsequently, he states that he has “been doing insane things with iOS.”

In November of 2013, he single handedly ported the core of both OS X and iOS to non-Apple hardware. The port authorized him to run the core operating system down below OS X and the iPhone OS on a Nokia N900. By spinning the iPhone OS from the beginning, he was effectively in a position to generate an open source version of the operating system.

In an email exchange with Cult of Mac, winocm said,

“I had to basically do exactly what Apple did when they were making iPhone OS originally. It’s really complex and hellish stuff. Usually they have a team of people working on this type of thing, but I’m just one person, not a team.”

Winocm becoming a member of Apple remains the trend of well-known jailbreak hackers jumping sides to work in Cupertino. Popular JailbreakMe creator Nicholas Allegra signed up with Apple as an intern in 2011 and has not been openly engaged in the community of jailbreaking since.

Apple White Logo and Wallpaper

iOS 7.0.6 With SSL Connection Verification Fix Releases Prior to iOS 7.1

iOS 7.0.6 updateApple today released iOS 7.0.6 which is of size 35.4 MB and it provides a fix for SSL connection verification. You can update over the air from your iPhone/iPad or with your PC or Apple Mac iTunes app. The latest software push delivers Apple consumers up to iOS 7.0.6, a small phase in the direction of a much bigger upgrade to iOS 7.1, which is predicted to unveil in March.