Most internet users are familiar with internet errors such as 404 Not Found and 403 Forbidden. However, there’s a new internet status code that is being proposed by Tim Bray, a developer advocate – for sites that are blocked for ‘legal reasons’.

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Bray, who has experience in developing key Internet standards, says, “I’ve been told by the chair of the IETF HTTP Working Group that he’ll give the proposal some agenda time at the next IETF meeting. It’s not a big proposal; shouldn’t take long.”

However, the recognition for the need of a new code first started when Terence Eden tried to access The Pirate Bay to no avail. When the site’s server denied his request, Eden then expressed the need for a new “HTTP code for censorship”, which not only caught on sparking discussions on Slashdot and Hacker News – until the time when Bray agreed to turn the ‘idea’ into reality.

With the code (451) taken aptly from Ray Bradbury’s novel, Farenheit 451, which deals with censorship, the proposal for the error code if approved, will not only furnish the details on the restriction but also mention which legal authority is imposing the restriction as well.

Bray also thinks that once official consensus is reached, there would little or no work on the engineering side in order for servers to provide “explanatory text with a 451”. In the end, of course, this effort is to ensure that when censorship does happen, it takes place out in the open and thus, provides pertinent information for users everywhere.


A question that has been asked about Twitter over the years is whether it is a technology or media company. The answer, in not being so simple, is simply a variation of both – according to Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter.

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He explains further, in saying, “I think of us as a technology company because I think the future of the company is in building on an extensible platform that allows third-party developers and companies to add value to Twitter in a way that is accretive to Twitter and is accretive to our users. I don’t need to be or want to be in the content business.”

To support his statement, he also mentioned that is not in the content business because instead of having reporters or a newsroom, almost half of Twitter’s employees [1300 in number] are engineers who are working on building the technology around which Twitter runs on while also continuously creating new features for its users.

In fact, he also wishes to encourage companies and developers to build products and tools inside the Twitter platform – instead of creating external Twitter apps.

Speaking of new features, Twitter as a whole, is also evolving into something different by experimenting with media-like products some of which NASCAR and Olympics-branded pages. Twitter currently also has employees that help V.I.Ts such as athletes, media outlets, politicians and celebrities to use its features well. Thanks to this content available by V.I.Ts, “engagement rates on ads” are also great as opposed to traditional Web ads.

Yet even though Costolo still maintains the fact that Twitter has and always been a communication platform, experts think that these ‘experiments’ being conducted make Twitter more of a media company.


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Online, first impressions matter as much as they do in the real world. In fact, it might matter even more. According to a recent study, visitors make judgments about the credibility of a website in as little as 50ms. 20% of those visitors will leave your website, and never return. We can avoid a negative judgment by staying current with modern web design trends.

Web design is more than the look of the website. In the recent past, designers have gone overboard with images, color, and clutter. Modern web design is as much about functionality as it is about pleasing visuals. Every element of the website should exist for a purpose.

Show credibility and competency by displaying numbers and stats on screen. A company with 60 clients will appear more credible than one that does not highlight that fact. Even if the numbers do not mean anything, be specific and precise.

Another trend is to base the website on existing frameworks and themes. Popular frameworks and themes have development direction based on user feedback. The continuous iteration of existing themes and frameworks lead to the fast adoption of new standards and features.

A popular trend is the use of flat colors and elements across a website while showing some form of depth. The rise in popularity of the flat color scheme is thanks to Google’s introduction of Material Design in 2014. It is about going back to basics and placing the focus on function over form.


We may see self-driving trucks before we see a driverless taxi service, says Waymo CEO John Krafcik. The CEO says that there are two potential paths forward for the Waymo self-driving technology: A driverless taxi service or autonomous tasks.

“Ride-sharing makes a lot of sense for the world,” he said at Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think conference on Cornell University’s Tech engineering campus in New York City. “For goods transportation, which could travel primarily on highways, there’s a good and compelling use-case there, too. Either of those two might be the first ones you see.”

Krafcik says the company is looking at several models for logistics and delivery. He did not share any plans, but there are rumors that Waymo plans to launch a taxi service in Chandler, Phoenix as soon as 2018. Also, we know from Krafcik that Waymo has at least one truck with driverless technology in testing.

To get automakers on board, Waymo is proposing a radical alternative to the current business model. Krafcik is pitching a per-mile business model to the carmakers, where the carmakers would make money over the lifetime of a car rather than a one-time charge. He says that this model will earn the carmakers more.

Waymo is in talks with several carmakers and may sign deals to use their technology.


Google and Walmart are taking their respective battles against Amazon to the next level with a partnership that nobody saw coming. Starting late September, owners of Google Home will be able to order products from Walmart by voice.

You can order one item at a time, or place items into a shopping bag using Google Home, and then complete the purchase from the Home app. Walmart will also join Google Shopping Express, adding their products to the shopping service.

The partnership is a win-win for both sides. Google wants to increase the utility of its voice assistant, and Walmart wants to give consumers an alternative to shopping on Alexa. If voice shopping grows in popularity, Walmart is the only retailer that could offer a catalog of products that can match Amazon.

“More competition, more choice is great for consumers,” Google’s commerce and ads chief Sridhar Ramaswamy said in response to a question on Amazon’s voice shopping.

As part of this announcement, Google is removing the $95 annual membership fee for the Google Express shopping service. Now shoppers will only pay a $4.99 shipping fee if they do not meet the free-shipping threshold of the partner.

Starting in 2018 the partnership will extend to include in-store pickup and fresh grocery items.

This alliance could not have come at a better time for both Google and Walmart. Fighting Amazon alone, who has a lead in the home voice assistant market, and is making a play for the US grocery market, would be difficult and expensive.


2017 is the third consecutive year that LG reports that its top of the line phone is not selling well. This year LG places the blame on “weaker than expected premium smartphone sales and increase in component costs.” Last year, the G5 was to blame for a “weak quarter” and in 2015 the G4 sales “fell short of expectations.” All attempts by LG to break into the premium smartphone market are failing.

As a company, LG is doing okay and does not rely on smartphone sales. The company has three divisions: Home Entertainment, Home Appliances, and Automotive components that are all doing well. In fact, LG has never made a profit on its smartphones and still hasn’t given up.

LG saw Samsung as its primary competitor and built the G6 to beat the S8 to the market. It was the decision to use the year-old Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, that was the downfall of the G6. By going for an older processor, LG thought it has a three week lead over the S8, however, by the time the phone was available in the US, Samsung was accepting pre-orders for the S8.

Most reviews say that the S8 is just a better-built version of the G6. By trying to beat the S8 to market, LG sacrificed using the latest processor, ending up with a phone that cost as much as the S8 but was a generation behind in CPU.


Summary: IT consultants can make or break your business.

One of the first things that you need to consider when hiring an IT consultant is what their employment status will be. Lay out the fundamentals of what you’re hiring him for. This is crucial when it comes to any legal issues that may arise.

It’s also important for companies to correctly determine whether the IT consultant is an employee or an independent contractor and follow through with the appropriate Social Security and Medicare contributions.

Relationship

If you’re going the route of using an IT staffing service as opposed to the independent contractor, they can help determine who’s right for your company. Be sure that you consider three different categories such as: behavioral, financial, and type of relationship. These all tie in together when it comes down to how your consultant will work in your company.

Protect Yourself In the Case of an Issue

It’s also key to protect your intellectual property. If a consultant holds your social media account hostage because of contractual issues, you’re probably going to have some difficulties when it comes to getting back what you need to run your business smoothly. This is why it’s so important that your company receives the IT consultant’s services address IP up front. Never forget to do this.

Prioritize the Interview Process

It consultants are often tied to core businesses. Be sure that you conduct a thorough interview like you would a regular employee. You want to be sure that the consultant can do what he claims he can along with other factors that play a role in determining whether he’s a good fit or not.

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