Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 24

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

As we close out week 24 out of 52, the calendar also treats us to Friday the 13th alongside a full moon. Don’t get all friggatriskaidekaphobic on us. After all, it’s just a coincidence and not the freakishly rare celestial event that some have led us to believe. Besides, June’s full moon is more commonly called the “Strawberry Moon” or “Honey Moon” because of the agricultural season. We think that sounds a lot tastier.

Let’s take your mind off the lunacy and deliver a quick hit of news from the week in today’s edition of SpryHive. Onward!

Getting Social (Media, that is)

Facebook

Changes to Facebook’s company pages are forced live starting today. If you’re a digital marketer who was caught unprepared, that alone might be a good reason to hate this particular Friday the 13th. Lucky for you we’ve already taken the sting out of designing a banner image that fits the new dimensions. Bookmark our Facebook company pages banner image blueprint.

A startup that analyzes your Facebook posts and compares your personality to your friends’? It’s a thing now. We have a quibble a little with their metrics, but overall, everyone in the Spry office had fun with this one.

The Onion made good on their promise to create a parody site for Upworthy and its ilk of clickbait headlines. Couldn’t have happened to a more worthy candidate. Lose yourself in the ClickHole. Now spam everyone in your Facebook feed with some snark. Turnabout is fair play.

Twitter

Tweetdeck, a popular Twitter app for desktops, went on lockdown Wednesday fearing it had been hacked – all because a teenage boy wanted to use tiny hearts in his tweets. A couple days ago, some Tweetdeck users noticed strange popups showing up within the client interface. Turns out, the bit of code the 19 year old added to his tweet (to display a heart icon) acted like a worm, telling other Tweetdeck accounts to share the message. Tweetdeck has been patched but you should probably log out and log back in to be safe. No news on if the teen will just switch to emojis.

Developer Goodies

DevOps STL

Remember our DevOps project? It has an official, recurring date. Join us! Get your DevOp on.

Learn to Code, Learn to Think

It’s no secret that learning to code is a great investment in your employment future. However, recent research is showing that learning to code also benefits general logic and reasoning ability.  Even if you aren’t into computer science, critical thinking will always be a marketable skill.

Get the Gist of things

Our Devs think Gists are great. For those not hip to Gist, it’s basically a way to save and share snippets of code on Github. All gists are Git repositories, and enjoy all the features of a repo, including forking, versioning and viewing diffs. But they are not easily organized, either for yourself or as part of a code library for your team. So we were pretty excited to come across the GistBox app. GistBox creates a sharable code library for your whole team that boasts a really sleek UI. We’ve definitely got the gist of things.

 

Cool things that we can’t reasonably squeeze in elsewhere

All Hail our Robot Overlords?

For the first time, a machine passed the Turing Test and Sci Fi geeks everywhere started having to breathe into paper bags. Well, sort of. It’s success is debatable, but we’ll get to that in the second paragraph. In short, the Turing Test measures a machine’s ability to exhibit intellient behavior equal to, or indistinguishable from, a person’s. This week, a chatbot in London convinced judges it was a 13 year old boy. It probably didn’t ask for Doritos and the latest Call of Duty game, though.

However, for many the Turing Test isn’t the be all end all of artificial intelligence. Considering that it was theorized at a time when computer technology was just beginning, the test only measures intelligence without cognition. AND it conflates intelligence with sentience. With the acceleration of our technology, we’ve been able to utilize more and more pattern recognition in our programming (resulting in more intelligence) but we haven’t been able to create self-awareness within our programs (indicating true sentience). So while we’re not quite veering into Philip K. Dick territory yet, we do have to appreciate how far we’ve come.

Goooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaal!

If you’re not a soccer (or futbol) fan, the next three weeks are going to sound something like this for you:

sportsball

For everyone else, the World Cup started yesterday and people are losing their minds. What a ludicrous display.

Don’t worry, we can even make this about the tech to justify including it in the weekly SpryHive roundup (because the IT Crowd alone can’t carry it). This year’s tournament is using a new technology that aims to prevent “ghost goals”. Germany’s fans are pleased.

Getting into the global spirit, Twitter has brought back Hashflags, which are exactly what they sound like. Hashtag + flag. Whenever you use the three-letter country code of your favorite team after a hashtag, Twitter will include a tiny national flag within your tweet (and no, the tiny flag doesn’t count against your character count).

Wherever you are and whichever team you’re pulling for, kick back with the most popular beer in that country. We can’t say we’re thrilled with team USA’s, but thankfully, we have a delightful selection of microbrews locally to distract us. Or drown our sorrows depending on how the Cup goes.


And that’s about it for this week’s SpryHive! Have a great weekend, watch some soccer, and we’ll catch you Monday to start it all over again!

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