LinkedIn Target's Slack

from GigaOm:

It seems like the company is starting to shift its focus, if only a little bit. Instead of forming links people can use to reach new heights in their careers, LinkedIn is encouraging people to actually — get this — talk to the people in their circles.

While these companies may be putting Slack “in their crosshairs” doesn’t mean they’re a good shot.

Dart: Java-Free Android Apps

Made by some folks from the Chrome V8 Javascript engine team, Dart tries to solve 20-year old frustrations of working with Java. A language created completely in house, it feels a lot like Python.

from ArsTechnica:

Being fast and responsive is one of the biggest goals for Sky. While 60FPS (or Hz) is the smoothness standard most devices and app developers aim for, the Dart team wants to crank that up to 120FPS, which isn’t even possible to display on the standard 60Hz smartphone screens we have today. That sounds rather improbable on Android, where many apps don’t stay at 60FPS, let alone 120. Rendering an app at 60FPS requires a frame to be drawn every 16ms, and apps “jank” or display an animation stutter, when they can’t keep up with the 16ms deadline.

I know the feeling. I’ve experienced it myself many times when I used to own an Android device. I also am a fan of the word “jank.”

The Dart team brought along a demo app, and it was rendering entire frames in 1.2ms. While it was a simple example, it appears Sky has plenty of headroom for silky-smooth animation on more complicated apps and makes that 120FPS goal (8ms rendering time) seem like a possibility. The Dart team says Sky is “Jank-free by design” with APIs that don’t block the main UI thread, meaning that even if the app slows down, the UI will still be fast and responsive.

Now that’s what I’m talking about. I’m not entirely sure why 120fps is necessary as they’re still struggling to get 60fps to run smooth. Baby steps, folks. Sure there’s nothing wrong with aiming high, but I’d hate to see this dropped because they never got to 120fps in real world use cases.

Read the rest of the article Dart on ArsTechnica or check out Dart for yourself.

New Google HQ

from the NYT:

This week, Google, the search giant, is expected to propose new headquarters — a series of canopylike buildings from Heatherwick Studio, a London design firm known for works like the fiery caldron at the 2012 Olympics, and Bjarke Ingels, a Danish architect known for his innovative designs.

Sweet, that sounds like a great idea! They already have a billion something buildings.

Google owns or leases about 7.3 million square feet of office space in Mountain View — roughly equivalent to three Empire State Buildings. That includes most of the property around its headquarters on the north side of the city near Highway 101, which cuts the length of the valley, according to Transwestern, a commercial real estate brokerage.

That’s a lot.

That success has brought Mountain View loads of tax dollars and a 3.3 percent unemployment rate, as well as skyrocketing home prices and intolerable gridlock. Good and bad, tech is responsible for most of it: Google is Mountain View’s biggest taxpayer, and technology companies account for 27 percent of the jobs in the Silicon Valley region, compared with 7 percent in California and about 5 percent nationally, according to Moody’s Analytics.

And that’s a lot, too…

One argument was that it would be dangerous to burrowing owls that live underground in adjacent Shoreline Park. Another was that if people moved there, they would soon want more schools and other expensive services. Others feared that new housing could create a Google voting bloc.

Wait… what? Owls? Voters? Do people have so much free time in Mountain View that they fret about voting? Nobody frets about voting!

“This last election we had maybe 12,000 voters,” said Jac Siegel, a city councilman who left office this year and is not related to Leonard Siegel. “If you brought 5,000 people in and they all work for Google and they said, ‘We want you to vote for this candidate,’ they can own the town.”

I like ending with a good chuckle and math fails. 17000/5000 < 51%. In case you weren’t following along. Then there’s the corporate political heavy-handing…

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