What makes a city “smart” in 2018?

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash What makes a city “smart” in 2018? Current trends, technologies, and companies you need to know about in the smart city space I recently attended the Smart Cities New York conference as a volunteer. SCNY operated at the intersection of technology, policy and urban living, bringing together mayors, startups, big industry and… me. As someone just beginning my journey in the sustainability field, I was blown away by the work being done to make cities more modern, connected, and resource-efficient. At the conference, I noticed several key…

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Stepping Back From Technology Addiction

“Nearly everyone I know is addicted in some measure to the Internet,” wrote Tony Schwartz in an essay in The New York Times. It’s a common complaint these days. A steady stream of similar headlines accuse the Net and its offspring apps, social media sites and online games of addicting us to distraction. There’s little doubt that nearly everyone who comes in contact with the Net has difficulty disconnecting. Just look around. People everywhere are glued to their devices. Many of us, like Schwartz, struggle to stay focused on tasks…

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The Decentralization of Corporations

Scott Webb on Unsplash The author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari, writes that humans have become the most powerful species on Earth because they can “cooperate flexibly and at scale.” This becomes clear when we contrast humans with other species. For example, bumblebees can cooperate at scale (in large numbers), but they cannot collaborate . If there is some sort of crisis, bumblebees cannot lead themselves to adapt. Alternatively, many types of monkeys can work together, but not in large groups (at scale). Humans are unique because they are able…

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Build Your Own IoT Smart Lock with Secure Access Management

For as long as humans have tried to lock up stuff and keep their belongings safe, burglars (hackers in this context) have always tried to break into those locks. How does it sound if we say you can build your own smart lock that allows only you to be able to unlock it? Today’s users expect to interact in real-time. PubNub makes it easy for you to add real-time capabilities to your apps, without worrying about the infrastructure. You can build apps that allow your users to engage in real-time across…

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I’m a College Student, and I’m Still Building my Robo-Advisor

All code and outside instructions for setup, etc. can be found in the GitHub repository here. This is a post is a sequel to building a robo advisor in Quantopian. You can find the first part on Hackernoon here, or on Alpaca’s blog here. I am a College Student and I Built My Own Robo Advisor Hey all, I’m Rao, an intern at Alpaca. About two weeks ago, I published an article on HackerNoon about the Robo-Advisor I’ve been working on. In the last two weeks, I’ve moved my work offline,…

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Hacking Facebook: Audio Focus for 360 Video

“Inspiration struck in the form of noise cancelling headphones.” For a recent project at Powster Labs, we were presented with a seemingly impossible challenge — a 360 video for Facebook with fully interactive audio. The concept was a 360 scene with four pieces of John Williams’ music playing at the same time. Depending on which wall you look at, you can hear a different track and see corresponding animations playing out over the walls. https://medium.com/media/4ddf0b4add0c543dcef6de41ab7995c8/href This is easy enough in a custom app or website, but the challenge here was to get this…

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Technology Limits

The three reasons why a technology will limit blockchain implementation Blockchains usually mandate that every block and transaction is stored on every node. Currently the bitcoin blockchain is rocking at 250 GB. The Ethereum blockchain passed a terabyte a month ago now. This amount of data does not seem like a terrible amount — and it isn’t; a decent 1 terabyte hard drive costs about $40 on Amazon. By this metric, you may think that it would take about $50 and some time to run an Ethereum node. However blockchains require a stupid…

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Build a location feed app for Android with Kotlin

Often times we like to track and visualize our applications in a central place. Feeds are great for this! In this tutorial, we’ll build an Android app with an activity feed that allows users to broadcast their locations and share with all other connected users in realtime. We’ll build the Android app to monitor the activities of a Node.js REST API. Every time the endpoint of the API is hit, Pusher will publish an event with some information (location shared by the user) to a channel. This event will be…

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Crypto Avant-garde: Who Fuels The Digital Innovation

The older we become, the more skeptical our attitude towards experiments and innovations. Why do we need something new, if proven and working solutions already exist? The main adopters of innovations are young people whose thinking differs dramatically from the mentality of the older generation — it is free from fear, conservatism, and prejudice. People born after the 1980s are “digital” children, brought up during a surge of the Internet and high-tech innovations. They represent a completely new generation, significantly different from their Gen X or Baby Boomer parents in behavioral and…

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Built and Deployed an Amber App in 2 days

Yesterday night, I deployed my first Amber app to production. It’s a JSON hosting service for your mobile and web apps. I call it JSON Keeper. The app is very simple and straightforward right now. It only has one screen with no user accounts. You simply go to the site, paste your JSON and receive a URL where it’ll be hosted. Building the app was very similar to Rails experience. Amber has the good old MVC structure, and regularly spits out response in microseconds. It took me some time to internalize that…

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