Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 15

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

It can be difficult staying spry and motivated with the kind of week the St. Louis area has endured. From 20 inches of hail in the Manchester area to a tornado in Farmington to rain just about everywhere, we have finally made it to Friday. Fortunately, the sun is out and we can all relax as we jump into this week’s Spry Hive!


SOURCE = Youtube.com

While everyone else was preparing their wrists and wallets for the reviews on the Apple Watch, Netflix was working on something of it’s own. With the debut of the Netflix Watch across the internet, one might think that Netflix forgot the date of April Fool’s day.

For those looking to camp outside the Apple Store for a chance to be one of the first with their new device, Apple suggests ordering online first. The company hopes to curb the crowds and madness often associated with the release of their products.

Where Netflix was trying to bring a little joy to those of us as robotic as the computers we work on, a company called MudWatt is using kickstarter to teach and entertain the kids. Their goal? Allowing kids to create electricity using Mud. Maybe we will think twice before telling our kids to not play in the mud?

Wrapping up this week’s world of tech is a company we are all familiar with; Amazon. According to recent news, the FAA has officially given Amazon the ability to begin testing their drone delivery service. Evidently, in the 6 months it took the FAA to respond to the company’s first request, Amazon had enough time to develop an entirely new system. A system that wasn’t a part of their first request. Like it or not, we could soon start seeing robots at our doorstep.


For individuals looking to break into the C++ world or even seasoned developers just looking for another pool of samples, the website C++ Samples was launched April 6 just for you! They make it easy to find the code you are looking for, breaking the samples into categories like Common Tasks, Patterns, and Algorithms.

Looking to couple this knowledge with a better understanding of source code? Aria Stewart has your back, providing a lengthy post about how to read source code based on a talk she gave at Oneshot Nodeconf Christchurch.

Website performance optimization is an ongoing process, and there’s no shortage of articles on how to squeeze every extra millisecond out of website response time. With so many ways to approach performance, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the basics. This article by Sam Dutton reminds us of the importance of clean, concise HTML structure for high-performing websites.


SOURCE = Engadget.com

In a big win for customers and the Internet in general, HBO has finally released the long awaited HBO Now service. While you can still watch HBO through your contracted cable service, all you need for HBO Now is a computer with the internet and $15 a month. With Game of Thrones’ new season beginning this Sunday, maybe HBO’s new service can help fix the major pirating problem they face.

While HBO is attempting to give customers an option that doesn’t include a $30+/month contract for unwanted channels, Youtube is in the process of developing a plan for customers to enjoy Ad-Free web-based videos. With web-based shows premiering directly on the site and the introduction of companies like Vessel, Youtube has found itself scrambling to keep it’s hold on the market.

On the other side of the web this week, Microsoft and Dropbox announced their enhanced integration of services. Attempting to compete with the all-in-one package that Google offers the working world, you will now be able to utilize Microsoft Office Online with all of your Dropbox files. This includes easy and effective editing, commenting, and saving. Will you stick with Google Drive & Docs, or will you give Microsoft and Dropbox a try?


From innovative operations to unorthodox practices to another merger, the business world has seen some promising changes throughout the week.

Over the past year, venture capitalists have taken the healthcare system by storm, utilizing untapped features of the Affordable Healthcare Act. In 2014 alone, venture capital dedicated towards implementing high-tech programs into the healthcare system rose to $308 million. Compared to 2013, that is a 250% increase from $88 million raised. Compared to 2012, $308 million raised is a 556% increase in funds per year. With the new digital infrastructure being put into place, we can all be happy with the potential for fewer costs and better coverage.

Are you in the market for a new employee? Evidently, Google has gone out of their way to implement more informative interview questions in their hunt to hire the best. Check this article out to see how Google does their hiring.

While Google shares their experience in hiring the best, LinkedIn is on a quest to purchase and merge with the best. Over the past week, news has surfaced stating that LinkedIn is attempting to enter the online education business by purchasing the site Lynda.com. Offering lessons, courses, and workshops about Development, Design, Business, Video, and more, a visit to Linkdin may soon include more than networking and job hunting.


As a final note, we would like to congratulate our very own Sheila Burkett. Sheila has been recognized for her extraordinarily hard work & talent in the St. Louis business world. This time around the St. Louis Small Business Monthly has included Sheila in their list of “100 St. Louisans You Should Know.” If you haven’t already, reach out to Sheila and get know her and Spry Digital a little better.

And with that, Week 15 can become another shining star in our collective past. Enjoy the weekend, come back next Friday, and, as always, stay Spry.

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