Twitter Link Roundup #349 – Terrific Reads for Small Business, Entrepreneurs, Marketers, and Designers!

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We all know someone always seeking a compliment, whether through off-handed self-deprecation or an endless stream of selfies on Instagram.

It’s tempting to roll our eyes at this kind of apparent narcissism, but is it possible we have created a culture in which beauty is, in fact, an addiction?

Read more from this Medium piece and consider whether that narcissist is, in fact, vain, or perhaps dealing with the more underhanded consequences of an image-obsessed society.

Now, we hope you enjoy another great set of links and articles that we shared with you over the past week on our crowdspring Twitter account (and on Ross’s Twitter account). We regularly share our favorite posts on entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, logo design, web design, startups, leadership, social media, marketing, and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

startupsblog

socialmediablog

designblog

logodesignblog

otherblog

 

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UASF (User Activated Soft Fork) Explained

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UASF (User Activated Soft Fork) Explained

A User Activated Soft Fork, or UASF, is a mechanism by which a network such as Bitcoin, can transition to a new set of consensus rules. Understanding that a soft fork itself is simply a backwards-compatible method of making changes to consensus rules, UASF is the mechanism by which such changes are actually implemented. A UASF requires that the soft fork occur at a specified date (flag day) and time, with Bitcoin full nodes enforcing the changes by upgrading their software and thus rejecting any blocks that do not adhere to the new set of consensus rules.

BIP-16, a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal which allowed for multi-signature addresses through the implementation of Pay-to-ScriptHash (P2SH), was the first proposed soft fork to be activated via the mechanism of a UASF. The proposal required that miners upgrade their software and indicate support for the changes by including the text, “/P2SH/”, in the input of the coinbase transaction of their created blocks. On February 1st 2012, the blockchain was then examined to determine the number of blocks supporting P2SH. Of the 1,000 blocks created in a week, more than 550, or 55%, were required to have the necessary “/P2SH/” in the input of the coinbase transaction for the proposal to be implemented. If successful, after February 15th 2012, all blocks with the P2SH transaction format would be validated by Bitcoin full nodes, however if not, they would be rejected.

MASF (Miner Activated Soft Fork)

Similar to how a UASF is a mechanism by which a network can transition to a new set of consensus rules, a MASF is also another mechanism that achieves the same outcome, but instead, requires miners to signal their readiness for such rule changes using their hashing power.

BIP-34 is a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal that provided a mechanism for miners to signal readiness for a consensus rule change by changing the version number in produced blocks to a value greater than 1, as well as requiring that the input of the coinbase transaction contain the block height.

For example, to signal the activation of BIP-34, miners were required to set the block version number from “1”, to “2”. The activation occurred in two stages:

  • In stage one of the activation, when 750 out of the 1,000 most recently mined blocks had the version number “2”, they were also required to contain the block height in the input of the coinbase transaction. However, miners who still produced blocks with a version number “1”, were still accepted by the network.
  • In stage 2 of the activation, when 950 out of the 1,000 blocks most recently mined blocks had the version number “2”, version number “1” blocks were no longer accepted by the network. Blocks with version “2” and the block height in the input of the coinbase transaction were considered to be the only valid blocks.

After successfully activating BIP-34, the MASF method was used a further two times in the signalling and activation of BIP-66 and BIP-65. Miners signalled support for BIP-66 by changing the block version number from “2” to “3”, thus invalidating all blocks with version “2” when the 950 of the 1000 most recent blocks had complied. Furthermore, miners signalled support for BIP-65 by changing their produced block version number from “3” to “4”, thus once again invalidating all blocks with version number “3” when 950 of the 1000 most recent blocks had made this change.

However, with the introduction of BIP-9, this method of miners signalling for readiness of a consensus change via increasing the block version number by 1 was changed to version bits instead. This change offered the advantage of being able to propose and activate a maximum of 29 soft forks simultaneously as opposed to one at a time as with the previous version.

Conclusion

To conclude, a soft fork is a backwards-compatible method of making changes to a set of consensus rules. UASF and MASF are simply two mechanisms of implementing such changes.

A UASF requires that a soft fork occur at a particular flag date, with the changes then being enforced by full nodes. Full nodes will accept or reject a miner’s block based on the new set of consensus rules, and as such, miners will have an incentive to adhere to the new rules or risk producing invalid blocks and thus wasting resources.

Conversely, a MASF requires that miners signal their readiness for rule changes using their hash power. Miners accomplish this by changing the version bit numbers in the blocks that they produce. When a certain percentage of produced blocks have signalled acceptance, full nodes can then enforce rule changes accordingly.

 

The post UASF (User Activated Soft Fork) Explained appeared first on Mycryptopedia.

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Let’s Talk About Dress Codes and Clothes

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What “dressing down” reveals about changes in how we live and work in a technology-driven society

Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

“The digital transformation is clearly visible in this room.”

This was the opening statement of one of the speakers at a digital transformation event I attended recently. For effect, he paused as the audience looked around struggling to find who or what he was referring to.

“Nobody is wearing a suit.”

The response was interesting; awkward laughter as the audience couldn’t tell whether he was joking or not.

But, lately, I hear more and more such comments about the clothes we wear for work.

At an earlier event in Singapore, one of the speakers took a different view when asked about his decision to “dress down” and not wear a suit:

“This is just who I am.”

Again, this is a widespread view: “The clothes I choose to wear are an expression of my unique personality. This is me.”

Back at my digital transformation event, I stopped listening to the presentation and began to think about the meaning of clothes in a technology-driven world.

What — if anything — do changes in the workplace “dress codes” reveal about today’s world?

  • Is this change a trivial issue that should be laughed at or dismissed; another (albeit small) chapter in the gradual expansion of personal freedom and choice; or
  • Is this change the signal of a much broader cultural shift in a technology-driven society?

Of course, “dress codes” have always been evolving. And here, I am not referring to the many changes in fashion that I have seen over my lifetime. Recall the rapid decline in popularity of flared trousers in the late 70s or the David Bowie-inspired over-sized blazers of the mid-80s.

Instead, I am interested in workplace dress codes that both formally and informally define what can and can’t be worn “at work.”

More specifically, I am thinking about the shift from standardized and uniform dress codes to the more flexible approach that one finds in more and more companies today.

I have clearly experienced this change in my own working life.

When first I entered the corporate world more than twenty years ago, there was no question or discussion. Everybody had to wear formal clothing in the office. And, by formal attire, I mean a dark suit, dress shirt, and necktie for men. Women were similarly expected to wear a conservative formal suit and plain blouse.

This changed in the late nineties with the introduction of “Casual Friday.” The idea behind relaxing the dress code on Fridays was to stimulate interaction and engagement for at least one day a week in a more informal setting.

I still remember the first year it was introduced in my company.

Many people weren’t prepared for this new “responsibility.” Their wardrobe wasn’t built for Casual Fridays. The result? Confusion, anxiety and — often — highly inappropriate outfits that combined elements of formal suits and casual weekend clothing.

Over the last couple of decades, “business casual” has become the new normal in many companies. And wearing a suit in the office today merely results in questions or sarcastic comments.

A more traditional style is only necessary for particular places or events. But, recently, I notice that even this is changing.

I spoke at a FinTech event earlier this summer in which both bankers and coders participated, and the distinction was not between those in suits and those dressed casually, but those dressed in suits, those dressed in business casual, and those dressed in T-shirts or hoodies. It was still easy to distinguish the bankers from the coders, but the change in dress codes is real. That much seems obvious.

But what — if anything — does it mean?

A typical first reaction is to say that this change doesn’t mean anything. Changes in dress codes are dismissed as either unimportant or empty gestures, i.e., an attempt by a firm to project a youthful and more energetic corporate image. Senior corporate executives wearing black turtlenecks, in the belief that it makes them look like Steve Jobs, is an excellent example of such “window-dressing.” A purely cosmetic act that changes nothing.

We might easily conclude that there is no direct connection between innovation and creativity, on the one hand, and the way people dress, on the other.

However, as I looked around the room during the digital transformation presentation, I was not so sure that we should reject the importance of how we dress on how we think and behave.

I do think that this change has a broader and underappreciated significance.

Our clothes affect each of us very profoundly. They are an expression of who we are but, more than that, they also “trigger” specific reactions in us (and others) that open up (and close off) certain possibilities and choices. The clothes we wear give us the freedom and confidence to see and do certain things or, in other situations, not to see or do certain things.

Our clothes are a small, but essential, part of the “culture” that affects our behavior in organizations and other social settings. Another obvious example would be the impact of the environment. The layout of a building and the organization of rooms, for example, similarly affect how we think and behave.

The clothes that we wear and the spaces where we work are an integral part of the unique culture of an organization, community or other social groups. They play an essential role in defining how we see ourselves and how we see the world. They are an important source of action and interaction. And, as such, they do matter.

Let me offer a couple of examples.

When I attended corporate meetings in which everyone was wearing a suit and the room was organized with the senior person “at the front” the effect was very real: junior participants were inclined to keep quiet and respect the hierarchy. The formality and uniformity of the suit “triggered” formal and uniform behavior.The standardization of clothing functioned as a soft constraint on the willingness of participants to express a (contrary) view.

Of course, this didn’t always work. But, by and large, suits really were suits. They limited the choices that were available to us and kept us in our defined place.

Today, the introduction of choice has created the possibility of greater freedom and personal expression. In some ways, “dressing down” has been a liberation. When clothes don’t matter — at least, when they become nothing more than a personal choice — other possibilities are similarly opened up. Most obviously, expressing an opinion. But, more generally, a new degree of creativity and innovation is made possible.

So, whenever I see a brochure of a region that aspires to become the next Silicon Valley and the “leaders” of that regional ecosystem are all wearing formal clothes, my conclusion is simple. “Not going to happen.”

In the new world that is emerging around us, a premium is put on creativity and innovation. After all, this new world is all about openness, inclusivity, and flatter peer-to-peer transactions and interactions. In such a “best-idea-wins-culture,” the way we dress becomes much less relevant than before. It has become as irrelevant as your place in the hierarchy.

But this doesn’t mean that clothes don’t matter. I believe the speaker was right to say that the digital transformation was visible in the room. “Dressing down” has contributed and will continue to contribute to the disruption of hierarchies, standardization, and proceduralization.

The greater freedom that comes from the declining importance of what we are expected to wear has the potential to help trigger new freedom in other aspects of our work, and I am in no doubt that this change is a positive development.

Thank you so much for reading! Please click (and hold) the 👏 below, or leave a comment.

There is a new story every week. So if you follow me you won’t miss my latest insights about how digital technologies are changing the way we live, work, and learn.


Let’s Talk About Dress Codes and Clothes was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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The “Messy Middle” of Big Companies

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By Micah Rosenbloom, Managing Partner

I recently had the opportunity to interview Scott Belsky about his new book, The Messy Middle. It’s an outstanding handbook for founders and startup employees to navigate the challenges of building something from nothing. But in addition to being a successful startup founder and seed investor, Scott is also an executive at Adobe, a 36-year-old software giant with 18,000 employees and a $120B market cap, and it turns out the principles from his book apply in that context as well. During the Q&A of our book launch event, a few big company employees asked interesting questions, and we thought this lightly-edited transcript might be of use to folks trying to find their way in a FAANG company.

How can experience at a big company help an entrepreneur?

  • Well, I think that understanding how big companies work is really helpful as an entrepreneur. For instance, M&A in some big companies can be like feeding a domesticated lion. Where, if you throw a piece of meat in the cage, the lion will just look at it and ignore it and just go back to whatever it was doing. You kind of have to tease the lion with the piece of meat, and kind of flick it and annoy it to the point where the lion’s like, “What the hell?,” and just eats the meat.
  • I think that understanding how, in big companies, everything is about cadence. If you don’t advocate for something strongly, there’s a real powerful regression to the mean. So everything will just return back to what the obvious things are to focus on. And someone has to actually keep making noise and annoying the team to consider anything new to the point where it’s just like, “Okay, fine! Let’s just discuss this. Let’s make a decision in this meeting. We’re in or we’re out. No more of this nonsense, constantly mentioning this. It’s just annoying.”
  • Maybe that’s the healthy immune system in a big company that helps it stay focused on the bottom line, afloat, and productive. And I think working within a larger company gives you some exposure to that. Because as a founder, working on something you’re passionate about and something you think is a no-brainer for the big company to consider, you’re always like, “What the hell’s wrong with them? This is so freaking clear. Like, how could they not be working with me? How could they not be taking my meeting?” You kind of have to have that sense.
  • Early in your career there’s something to be said about having good managers that you can learn from. And learn how they give you feedback, and how then, you have to give other people feedback. And some of those processes are helpful as well. And some of them are destructive.

How should a person with entrepreneurial leanings manage the messy parts of mega-corporations?

  • You have to set a bit, in many different ways, when you take over an organization as a leader. For example, I created and keep what I call an elephant list. And anything that I feel people aren’t saying or issues that are too sticky to address and reconcile, I put on my elephant list. And I come back to that elephant list repeatedly. And I also force my team to talk through them. And they’re difficult, because they all are questions around, “Why is this in that org when it should be in that org?” If left unanswered, these questions add to the organizational debt that slows an organization. So, I’ve cast myself as an instigator, for better or worse, where I’m just keeping that elephant list and pushing it forward.
  • I try to get people aligned with vision. In a big organization, it’s all too easy to lose track of what you’re doing and why you’re doing what you’re doing. But when you have a very clear vision, often times driven by design so people can share the same visualization of where they are headed, you can get people aligned without adding too much process. That feels like magic.

How should founders think about corporate development?

  • I think that you need to have a corp dev. contact and an internal product leader advocate, for every opportunity. And if you have one without the other, it’s a little hard.
  • For the acquisition of Behance, we had a four year courtship that involved at least one other acquisition opportunity, two partnerships, and the fourth interaction was the actual acquisition. And I kept this going, not only with Adobe, but with a few other companies. I didn’t even think about it as courting potential acquirers. I just wanted these folks to know what we’re doing so that if they ever made a partnership with a company that provides portfolio display or whatever, that they would come to us. And actually, LinkedIn ended up coming to us, and we powered portfolio display on LinkedIn.
  • I would forward investor updates with edits. I’d obviously take out certain things, but I would make it look like the actual forward. And I would just say, “Hey, FYI, we just sent this out to investors. A ton of progress. Amazing team. These are the things we want to do over the next few months. Love to work with you.” That kind of thing. And sometimes they would never reply, but it would keep us on their radar.
  • I think it’s healthy to build relationships constantly with anyone in your ecosystem that could potentially be a partner or an acquirer. Because when you actually decide any of those things need to happen, you don’t want to start that relationship from square one.


The “Messy Middle” of Big Companies was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Top 5 industries Where Accelerators are Investing in Latin America

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Venture capital investments in Latin America have already surpassed US$600 million for the first half of 2018. This is significant, given that the amount of venture capital investment annually from 2013 to 2017 was around US$500 million, according to the Latin American Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (LAVCA).

We can deduce that this significant rise of investment is largely from the increase of foreign and corporate investors in Latin America, as well as the strengthening presence of Latin American accelerators.

Accelerators are vital programs that help startups in the early stages of their businesses. The programs often have a highly competitive application process, and accept startups in cohort batches one or more times per year. Typically, a seed investment is offered in exchange for equity. Most importantly, startup teams receive training and mentorship to help scale their operations, and the accelerator helps prepare teams to raise more capital if needed.

We went through five different startup accelerator programs that invested in Latin American startups in all industries and reviewed the 88 Latin American startups that were selected in 2018 to see which industries accelerators are mostly getting involved in this year. These accelerators include:

Top 5 industries where accelerators are investing in Latin America

1. E-commerce and Marketplaces

2. Social Impact

3. Business Software

4. Transport and Logistics

5. Fintech

What’s going on with e-commerce and marketplace startups in Latin America?

As shown above, the industry in which accelerators seem to be the most active is e-commerce or marketplaces. In general, these companies serve as a type of intermediary, offering platforms that connect sellers of products or services to buyers. For example, Argentine startup VAQAPP provides an online platform to buy and sell livestock, and Waitry helps process online orders for food, restaurants, and events.

While e-commerce growth is slowing in the rest of the world, it is booming in Latin America. In the next five years, online sales in the region are expected to grow by 19% and to double to $118 billion in 2021. A major cause of this growth is the increasing presence of Internet and smartphones across the region.

What’s going on with social impact startups in Latin America?

Another area where accelerators in Latin America are investing is companies that are creating a positive impact on local communities and the environment. In Mexico, for example, ProTrash is working to democratize recycling, and Folia Water is selling affordable water filters.

Facebook also recently selected ten social impact startups from Brazil to join its accelerator program. Investments in this space have a real opportunity to make a change. While advances have been made in healthcare in Latin America, according to estimates from the World Health Organization, approximately 30% of the population still cannot access healthcare. According to LAVCA, Latin America is one of the regions most affected by the extremes of climate change, with threats to water supplies and agricultural productivity.

What’s going on with business software startups in Latin America?

Accelerators in Latin America are also looking at startups providing business software, such as My JobStudio for human resources technology and Rendy.io for 3D imaging. These businesses are helping other businesses optimize their operations. These companies are solving problems many businesses in Latin America face, adding a layer of technology to operations such as payroll, recruiting, training, and communications.

The business software industry is growing rapidly in Latin America. For instance, within the next year, 54% of companies in Latin America have plans to invest in HR technology.

What’s going on with transportation and logistics startups in Latin America?

Traditional transportation and logistics companies use legacy systems, and their operations are increasingly inefficient. As a result, there is a growing need for better solutions, especially to optimize deliveries in Latin America.

New startups in this sector are offering faster and cheaper delivery options, and they are also improving the trucking industry. For instance, Avancargo is a B2B trucking platform in Argentina that provides carriers and shippers with better availability, traceability, insurance, and tech support. Mienvío is a multi-carrier shipping API for ecommerce companies in Mexico. As shopping online becomes increasingly popular in Latin America, more and more startups that understand the local markets are sprouting up with logistics solutions to meet the demand.

What’s going on with fintech startups in Latin America?

Latin America has a large unbanked population. Estimates show that only 51% of the population had a bank account in 2014, and only 11% currently have access to credit from formal institutions. Distrust in financial institutions in Latin America is also high, and fintech startups are offering better alternatives.

Accelerators in Latin America are increasingly investing in companies with services such as online payments, financial planning, and insurance. For example, Fintual is a robo-advisor that helps small and medium-sized companies in Latin America with basic knowledge in finance to invest their money online. Apurata is bridging the information gap that keeps underbanked Latin Americans from accessing credit products from high quality institutions. As mobile usage expands in Latin America, it is very likely that we’ll see this investment trend continue.

Overall, accelerators are helping drive the success of Latin America’s startups, transforming them into competitive forces against the Silicon Valley giants.

Originally published at www.launchwaymedia.com.


Top 5 industries Where Accelerators are Investing in Latin America was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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How to Build Video Chat App for Android, iOS & Web with Zero Coding?

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Create a video web chat app

“A video chat fits into every possible purpose and a lot more to do with real-time communication.”

“From grandparents wanting to connect with their grandchildren’s, and meetings that have to be held up through conferencing video calls”, video chat apps like Skype are at its forefront of the video calling revolution. It’s quite indigestible that the fact behind Skype’s market value, it worths $8.5 billion.

So, now you are wondering what would it take to build your own video chat app? And holding you are late to the video chat app industry where the market is crowded with giants like Google Hangouts, Skype and much more. Apparently not a problem! Yet you have everything to deal with these questions “how to create a video chat app in android/iOS?” or “how to build your own video chat app?”

Before getting into the process of developing a video chat app that reaps your revenue in millions, let’s be clear with its purpose and how you can sort out its application for your business objectives.

The Importance of Video Chat App Across Businesses

  1. Video Conferencing: This helps the organization to enhance employee productivity. Employees tend to get involved in making email conversation which creates slow work pace, multi-party video conferencing can easily initiate one-to-one or collaboration between employees in a real-time.
  2. Online Retailer: Many of the e-commerce websites demands in providing the solutions/answers to the queries by the customers, in order to increase the brand performance, sales can be enhanced and the loyalty of the brand through guiding customers.
  3. Enterprise Platform: It is found that an average of about 45% rise in team efficiency is achieved through the collaboration tools. The enterprise’s engagement can also be boosted through the implementation of social platforms and collaboration of one-to-one video calls.

Apart from these use cases, there are a huge variety of applications involved such as Sales-Product Troubleshooting, Live video technical support and much more.

Getting back to the loop, the development of a video chat app for every application requires insightful technical knowledge and experience in technical background. There are some experienced chat app providers who have the potentiality to create video chat in Android/iOS and also able to develop chat functionalities with enriched features.

Introducing Contus Fly — A Real-time Chat App Solution

Contus Fly is a multi-facet chat solution to build your own video chat app on android/iOS armed with ideal features. The chat solution is inbuilt with WebRTC signaling where making high-quality video/audio calls to any user at any time is made simple. Contus Fly offers One-time-Payment options to make video/audio calls to “N” number of users regardless of the cost/minute usage.

The Technologies Used in Contus Fly to Create your own Video Chat App

When it comes to multimedia communication, both the video and audio calls depends on the performance of the streaming media between the client servers. In order to create a video chat app, Contus Fly uses WebRTC signaling where the transmission of media content between the client servers takes place in a real-time. It’s much essential to understand the VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technologies. The VoIP technologies enable some crucial process:

  • Signaling — Peer-to-peer connection
  • STUN Server — Local IP Address
  • TURN Server — Mediator

The overall processing is carried to obtain the IP address where the signaling web sockets setups the client connection between the servers. And the IP address is acquired by the use of STUN server through the use of NAT (Network Address Translation) and also to provide a peer-to-peer connection. Hence the entire process to make a video chat app is explained here (WebRTC video voice chat application) in a detailed view.

Built-in WebRTC Signaling for Real-time Audio/Video Calls

Contus Fly uses WebRTC API that allows audio and video communication to work into the web pages through direct peer-to-peer communication by removing the usage of installing Plugins or downloading of applications. Contus Fly uses three WebRTC APIs where audio/video call can be carried without any pay-per-usage terms.

  1. MediaStream: This allows you to acquire the access over the screen, camera and microphone to transmit data within HTTP connected devices to ensure security.
  2. RTC PeerConnection: The technology encodes and transcodes the entire media and voice/video content that has sent to the remote server.
  3. RTC DataChannel: This assist in creating peer connection between two users to send data/content under a secure layer and also in a real-time functioning.

Apart from the technologies that have been used, there hold some crucial steps to be processed in building WebRTC enabled video chat app with Contus Fly.

Crucial Steps to Build Your Own Video Chat App with Contus Fly

UI/UX Design:

  • Contus Fly considers this as one of the major processes in gaining the engagement towards your video chat app.
  • The UX must be intuitive and high in user experience where the user shouldn’t spend a lot of time in understanding the set menus and features.
  • As a part of UI, a captivating design to be developed that illustrates the purpose of the app and pulls the interest of the users regardless of the device and platform.

Reliable Backend-development:

  • As the initial part of the process, Contus Fly takes part in analyzing your demands to create a complete customizable backend-solution.
  • From the setting up of server, deployment, and cloud-storage, Contus fly’s techies understand every functionality in order to build your highly-advanced backend infrastructure.

WebRTC Integration on Web & Mobile Application:

  • The deployment of real-time communication over iOS and Android chat apps is possible through the integration of WebRTC.
  • Contus Fly ensures to determine the platforms whether to create video chat app on iOS or Android and the usage of Swift language is seen more comfortable than the usage of Objective-C in order to create iOS-based video chat app.
  • When it comes to Android-based application, Contus Fly uses Android SDK and other languages to build android video chat app with Javascript.

Quality Assurance:

  • Contus fly’s QA engineers make sure every code performs its functionality in delivering peer-to-peer connection.
  • In case of any bugs in the video chat app, our engineers work with technical tactics and use the tools to fix the issues in a more efficient way.

Features That Enriches your Video Chat App’s Performance

  1. One-to-one Audio/Video Calling: Make persistent HD video/audio calls to any user at any time to share information in a real-time to avoid the consumption of cost and time in a more efficient way.
  2. Group Calling: Contus fly’s webRTC enabled video chat app provides you the possibility to make multiple video conferencing for a modest number of 3–5 group callers in an HD pixel video chat.
  3. End-to-end Encryption: Contus fly’s multi-user video chat app ensure to provide a solid protection to the video/audio conversation taking place within HTTP servers.
  4. Screen/desktop Sharing: Specially designed for hosting online presentations and conferences for an effectual performance in the business.
  5. Custom Filters & Animations: Adding extra mileage to your video chat app engagement by allowing users to add effects, Custom doodles, and instant animations while video chatting.

More than Building a Video Chat App, How can you Monetize it?

The ultimate purpose of every video chat app is to generate more profit than concerning with the other chat functionalities. Contus fly provides a great number of modern monetization methods to uphill your revenue map.

  1. Advertising: The more productive way to generate money through the integration of brand advertising on video chat app to create interaction between users and brand which ultimately leads to triggering maximum profit to your video chat app.
  2. Premium Stickers: Usage of branded premium stickers where users will find it more engaging and will turn the content into a more amazing one. Allowing users to pay for the stickers in order to chat with other users.
  3. Paid Voice Calls: Making calls over the internet is possible whereas making calls to any wired line across the globe requires the paid version. Through this feature, you can generate a maximum number of profits.

So Finally, How much does it cost to build a Video Chat App?

As this is always going to be a serious discussion, the deployment of video/audio features is quite big-budget on comparing with some SaaS-based audio/video chat app providers. Some communication platforms in the market provide built-in WebRTC feature as Pay-as-you-go with an average of $0.0015/min per participant. This will lead consume quite a huge amount of money. But when it comes to Contus Fly’s built-in WebRTC, the cost to make calls over the internet is One-Time Payment following to the number of users regardless of the minutes.

Conclusion

It’s quite promising that video chatting apps are reshaping the way of real-time communication of Entertainment and Businesses. So, the entire market of video chat app providers is split-up into major platforms and solutions. Due to this separation, the quality of developing a video chat app is changed depends on the chat app providers. Now, you have to be much clear in understanding your business demands, adding features/functionalities and majorly WebRTC implementation with cost-effective options in order to partner with the right solution provider.


How to Build Video Chat App for Android, iOS & Web with Zero Coding? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Native or Hybrid? — Let’s cook biriyani.

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Native or Hybrid? — Let’s cook biriyani.

Biriyani for most Indian’s is like pizza for most of the western people. Once they start craving for it, they will only want more.

If we can imagine the same urge in creating the right app for your business, it is very common to face a basic confusion. Which app would suit the best for you — Native or Hybrid?

Biriyani can be ordered online, or you could call a chef home to cook it for you. Either way, you eat biriyani but they would definitely taste different. Similarly, though both native and hybrid apps satisfy the needs and basic functionality of any app, they majorly differ in their UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface).

Native apps are like calling the chef(Developer) home to cook ‘the biriyani’ that you need. As there are different varieties of biriyani from different origins like Hyderabad, Dindukal etc, we need different apps for different platforms like iOS, Android etc. It is very important to retain the unique taste of each variety and creating what you precisely want.

Hybrid app on the other hand, is like ordering from a restaurant, they provide one variety of biriyani to everyone. It is definitely easier, saves time and effort, but you can hardly customize it. It is the goto option if you think all apps are the same and you just need an app, up and running as soon as possible.

Recipe.

Native apps are written in specific languages for different platforms, let’s look into the major market players, iOS and Android. Two different app versions have to be built for your app using ‘Swift or Objective-C for iOS’ and ‘JavaScript for Android’. Two versions double the development process increasing its cost and time.

Hybrid apps are actually websites wrapped inside a native app container. So it is built similar to web apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript with a single base code written, that runs in all mobile platforms seamlessly. Hybrid apps are also built on other platforms like PhoneGap by Cordova and Canvas.

Flavours.

What is biriyani without flavours and what is an app without its features, the more it offers the better we remember it for. As native apps are built platform specific, they can easily access and use the inbuilt hardware elements like camera, mic, GPS, accelerometer etc. They can send push notifications and provide the best in class security, performance and offline mode.

Hybrid tastes a bit different with its portability and the ability to access inbuilt hardware elements through plug-ins. They do not need API’s as everything is handled via the web.

Garnish.

Your taste buds are replaced every ten days.

Updates are something inevitable for any app and it needs to be addressed, hybrid apps can be updated with ease, as we are changing things only on the server which then loads into the app, without any need to update the app itself.

Updating a native app involves the user, every update has to wait for approval from the respective app store before it can be installed manually by the user.

Still hungry and Confused?

For any business seeking growth, native apps are clear winners. Hybrid apps help only with the initial phase with their low cost and faster build in time. But what if you can build native apps as fast as hybrid and at a much cheaper cost?

Can you cook the biriyani yourself? Well, we don’t know about cooking biriyani, but we know building a fully functional native app is much easier than that. With low code platforms like Zoho Creator, building an app has become as simple as drag and drop. That is all it takes to build an app.

Low code apps could be your ultimate solution, it cuts down the cost and time drastically yet giving all the native features to the apps created. Apps built on creator can be accessed seamlessly over different platforms with high end UX and UI.

Zoho creator comes with more than 50 pre-built apps that suit businesses and customer relations across a wide range of fields. Visit creator.zoho.com for your 14 day trial where you can install apps and start using it right away or create your app from scratch. Now, it is time you push aside the confusion between native or hybrid, low code it is. Let’s cook biriyani.


Native or Hybrid? — Let’s cook biriyani. was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Weekly Game Plan 22 Oct 18

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GBP may come under a bit of pressure as the week opens after a Tory rising star issued a call to arms for MPs to oust Theresa May, saying Britain cannot be led by someone guilty of an “abject failure to govern” at such a defining moment in our history. Indeed, Theresa May’s position is weakening. The EU is trying some last-minute concessions and can-kicking exercizes given the importance of Germany car exports to the UK. Now there’s also talk of a second Brexit Referendum which would be folly. More political chaos coming fourth.

Themes for the Week:

  • The CNH has been weakening and getting dangerously close to the psychologically important 7-mark. This would erode faith in China’s stability and possibly provoke more U.S. ire, adding another layer of worry to world markets — the last thing investors want to see.
  • In Europe the storm is brewing with stock market turmoil, conflict over a contentious Italian budget, high oil prices, sputtering economic growth — which will evidently call for a cautious ECB meeting this week. We also have key earnings this week in Europe in the Automotive sector and Financial Sector…the most troubled sectors. Finally, Moody’s and S&P Global are likely to cut Italy’s credit rating next week to within a notch of ‘junk’ — the sub-investment grade category below BBB-/Baa1 which is usually populated by the weaker emerging economies.
  • The Bank of Canada has a solid case to make for hiking rates in October. Core inflation is on target, but labour markets are tight. Q3 growth is still tracking above the central bank’s estimate for the economy’s non-inflationary potential, albeit by less than a half percent. The market is also expecting a hawkish tone from the BOC but we shall see.

Data in the Week Ahead:

  • Bank of Canada Decision
  • ECB Decision
  • US GDP

On the Radar:

The Canadian Dollar took a hit on Friday and may remain weak ahead of the BOC. UsdCad, NzdCad are the better vehicles. Nzd looks strong against AUD as well. Out of all the US indices, given the volatile conditions, Nasdaq seems to be clearly heading lower again. The next 2 weeks will surely be challenging on US equities so keep positions small. Eur and Dax will be on the radar after ECB I suspect.

About the Author

Justin is a Forex trader and Coach. He is co-owner of www.fxrenew.com, a provider of Forex signals from ex-bank and hedge fund traders (get a free trial), or get FREE access to the Advanced Forex Course for Smart Traders. If you like his writing you can subscribe to the newsletter for free.

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Habit routines — the easier way to self-improvement

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Habit routines — the easier way to self improvement

In order to get organized and stay productive, we need to do things every day that we don’t necessarily want to do. We have to learn that “needs to do” goes before “want to do”. This is hard. That’s why there’s a gazillion self-help books and websites out there. So now I’m going to once and for all completely solve this problem for all people globally.

Well, perhaps not. But it might be useful for someone besides me, which is why I’m publishing this.

Forget motivation and build good habits instead

A habit is something you just do without really thinking about it. You do it even if you don’t feel motivated to do it, and this is key; do not depend on motivation, because motivation is inherently undependable — you will not always be motivated to do what you need to do. So forget motivation, and form good habits instead. I will tell you how.

This is Doug. Doug says that motivation is bullshit. In this case Doug happens to be correct, but make no mistake — Doug is still a bastard.

What we aim to achieve

The goal of all this is to establish routines of good habits that we go through at various points. You could, for example, have a morning routine and an evening routine that you go through every day. Each routine consists of one or more habits, such as “get out of bed right away when the alarm sounds” or “floss”.

Additionally, you could have an after work routine that you go through on workdays that might include habits such as “do laundry” or “make sure the kitchen counter is cleared of dirty dishes”. On weekends you might have a more comprehensive weekend routine, consisting of such habits as “vacuum the house”, or perhaps a more generic one like “do whatever housework needs to be done”. The point is to make habits of things that you should do, but otherwise tend not to. That way, you can enjoy your free time knowing that you’ve already done what you need to do; now you can do what you want to do. Procrastination is borrowing time from your future self, and you pay interest by feeling guilt. Future-you will not want to do it any more than present-you does, so just do it and get it over with. This method helps with that.

Start small

If you try to form too many habits at the same time you will likely feel overwhelmed eventually, especially when the novelty wears off. So don’t start with giant routines consisting of ten habits each. Start with something small, that you feel confident that you’ll be able to do 10 times in a row (that is, 10 days in a row if it’s a daily routine) without missing a single one — that means you should start with something small and easy. I started with the following two routines:

Morning routine

  • Get out of bed no later than 06:30

Evening routine

  • Go to bed no later than 22:00 (that is, lights out, go to sleep)

So, two simple routines consisting of one habit each that I’m pretty sure I can manage 10 times in a row without fail. If you feel that 10 is too low or too high, then go with whatever number seems suitable to you. But if you pick a number that’s too low, you run the risk of trying to form too many habits too soon, so you’ll end up overwhelmed. With too high a number, it’ll take longer than necessary to add new habits to your routines.

Keep track of your progress with a Habit Tracker

Get a piece of paper (preferably squared or dotted) and write down your starting routines with their habits. Make columns for dates to the right of them. Make sure you leave space under each routine, so you can eventually add more habits. This paper is now your Habit Tracker.

Each day that you successfully complete a habit, mark that with an “X” on the habit’s row, in that date’s column. Each time that you fail, mark that with an “-” (a dash). Remember to not judge yourself when this happens. It will happen on occasion, that’s to be expected. Note it, and move on.

A paper habit routines tracker

It’s very important to update your Habit Tracker after every routine, because it makes it easier to remember why you’re doing this stuff, and the importance of it.

So when can I add more habits?

You can add one more habit to a routine when you have successfully completed all habits in that routine 10 times in a row (that is, when you have 10 X’s in a row without any dashes for all habits in the routine), because that means you’ve now established those habits to such a degree that you’re ready to expand. Congratulations, well done!

What if I fail to complete a habit but it’s not really my fault?

Sometimes life happens, and you are unable to complete a habit that day for reasons that are outside of your control. Perhaps you were invited to a party, and didn’t have time to clean the house that day. That’s absolutely fine. When that happens, just mark that day with a zero, and don’t count it as a completion, but don’t count it as breaking your streak either. So, if you have “X X 0 X X”, that still means you have four X’s in a row. Just do what you can to prevent this happening too often.

What if I want to have routines that I don’t go through every day?

No problem. In my case, I have Shorinji Kempo practice two workdays a week, which means I don’t have time for my after work routine those days. On such days, I just put an “0” for such habits on your Habit Tracker, same as if you missed a habit because of something that was outside of your control.

How do I avoid forgetting to go through my routines?

This is a very real problem. Even with the best intentions and will power to follow through, you can still forget to go through a routine. This is where habit triggers come in. The idea behind this concept is that in order to not forget to do something that you want to turn into a habit, you should have a “trigger” for it. The trigger would be something that you always do and don’t forget, or something that happens automatically.

For example, most people don’t forget to brush their teeth every night. But most of us forget to also floss. Therefore, if we try to always floss every night directly after brushing our teeth, then the act of brushing our teeth will become a habit trigger for flossing. And an example of something “automatic” that you can use as a habit trigger would be a phone alarm that you set to go off at a specific time every day, or using “coming home from work” as a habit trigger to remember to start your after work routine.

Can you suggest some useful habit routines?

Sure! For weekdays, I’d suggest something like this:

Morning routine

  • Habit trigger: your wakeup alarm
  • Get out of bed on time
  • Strength exercises for 10 minutes
  • Stretching / flexibility exercises for 5 minutes
  • Shower
  • Read something worthwhile during breakfast

After work routine

  • Habit trigger: coming home from work
  • Make and / or have dinner
  • Take care of any dishes on the counter
  • Check if there is laundry to be done
  • Work on your todo list for an hour
  • Once you’re done with this routine, you’re hopefully free to enjoy the rest of your evening until it’s time for your evening routine

Evening routine

  • Habit trigger: a phone alarm at 21:00
  • Write / update a todo list for tomorrow
  • Meditate for 10 minutes
  • Brush teeth and floss
  • Read something worthwhile until it’s time for bed
  • Go to bed on time

That takes care of the weekdays. I’d also suggest having a weekend routine that you go through on either Saturday or Sunday, whichever day works best this particular week.

Weekend routine

  • Habit trigger: waking up in the morning
  • Eat breakfast
  • Clean your home
  • Do any laundry that needs to be done
  • Work on your todo list for two hours
  • Make a semi-permanent improvement for your home, such as putting up a shelf that needs putting up, or fix something that’s broken
  • When you’re done, enjoy the rest of your day
Doug thinks that productivity is for losers, and that you’re all a bunch of pansies. Yeah. I told you he’s a bastard.

This story was originally posted by the same author as part of the Operation Get Your Shit Together project at www.operationgyst.com.


Habit routines — the easier way to self-improvement was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Why Linux Developers Should Use GitPrompt

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For the past 23 years, I’ve been a Linux developer (I started with Linux version 1.2.1). I live in the command prompt. Because of that, I want the prompt itself to look nice, and to provide useful information at a glance. Therefore, I wrote a script called gitprompt, which customizes the prompt. I’ve been using it at work for a while, and a number of my coworkers noticed it and asked for a copy. So since I know there’s at least some amount of interest in it, I’m publishing this brief article about it, in case you want to try it out for yourself.

Here’s what it looks like, in its most basic form:

“21:53” is the time, followed by my username (“enfors”), and the name of my machine (“shodan”). After that, there’s the current directory — nothing unusual so far. The cursor itself is on the next line to make room for long commands.

So, on to the first feature; if a command fails, the prompt will display its exit status in red so you won’t miss it:

Okay, cool. But why is it called “gitprompt”? I thought you’d never ask. As soon as we cd into a git directory, the magic happens:

Being inside a git directory adds extra information at the end of the prompt; “develop” is the current branch, and “Up-to-date” means that nothing has changed since the last commit. So what happens if we add a file? Let’s find out, by creating an empty dummy file called “foo”:

Now, instead of “Up-to-date,” it says “Untracked”, so we know that there is at least one untracked file in the repo. Let’s track it, by adding it:

Neat, now it says “Added” instead. But what happens if we have both untracked and newly added files? Well, let’s add another dummy file, this time called “bar” to find out, shall we?

I could go on, but I think you get it by now.

If this seems useful to you, feel free to go to the project’s Github page, where you’ll find the installation instructions, and grab your own copy.


Why Linux Developers Should Use GitPrompt was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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