Episode #9 – Billion Dollar AI, Climate Consensus, and Virtual Tom Hanks

It has been entirely too long since I last recorded a podcast… that’s been for various reasons, safe to say none of the excuses are quite that good, but seeing all the people listening while I was away encouraged me to start again. So here’s a fresh one for you

Elon Musk and several Silicon Valley big shots set aside a Billion dollars for public AI research, The University of Washington cracks into the lucrative field of Virtual Tom Hanks, Paris Climate talks reach an actual resolution, and acting gets an auto-tune boost from Disney Research Labs.

And this podcast returns from a quite long hiatus…

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Want to read more?

What Makes Tom Hanks Look Like Tom Hanks [Research Abstract]

The Paris Climate Agreement Would Be A Great First Step If This Were 1995 [FiveThirtyEight]

The world just agreed to a major climate deal in Paris. [Vox]

How Elon Musk and Y Combinator Plan to Stop Computers From Taking Over [Backchannel]

FaceDirector: Continuous Control of Facial Performance in Video [Youtube]

Episode #8 – Water on Mars? Android on Blackberry? And other impossible things…

NASA announces the discover of flowing water on Mars with High Resolution photos from its orbiting satellite, Amazon announces delivering-packages-as-a-service with Amazon FLEX, Twitter considers cutting loose its 140 character limit to boost its flagging innovation, Apple makes $25 Billion off the Enterprise, and Blackberry announces an Android phone… also news: Blackberry still exists.  All that and more on this week’s episode.

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Want to read more?

Twitter reconsiders 140 Character limit [ReCode]

Edward Snowden Joins Twitter [Ars Technica]

Salty water moistens Mars [Ars Technica]

Android + Blackberry together at last? [CNET]

Episode #7: Is ad-blocking ethical? …and Facebook tracks you even more than before.

Is it Monday again already? Well, sure as heck-fire i’ve got a Podcast for you then. In this episode:

The ethics of ad blocking now that iOS 9 has unleashed ad blocking apps on the world and enabled them on Safari, VW risks up to $18 Billion in fines for deceiving the EPA with its software that artificially turns down car emissions on thousands of its US models, and Facebook rolls back its 2011 promise to not track you with the like buttons that you DON’T click… opening you up to tracking in all kinds of sordid places.

Listen below or download the episode on iTunes

Podcast #6: Apple builds a Trojan Horse, Android gets secure-ish, and more…

Happy Monday!  Must mean its another podcast, this time #6 in an infinite part series…

In this Episode: Apple aims at Productivity with the iPad Pro, but the chip inside (the A9X) may be more important… Android gets scared into monthly updates by the StageFright exploit, the DOJ wrongfully accuses a Professor of espionage after never actually looking at the file he sent to China, Stripe becomes the middleman for mobile commerce with their new Relay service, and an MIT study thinks your Twitter feed could be making you more creative (if you curate it right).

And a twitter account you might find interesting: @censusAmericans

Listen to a stream below or catch the podcast on iTunes right here.

Book Review: So You Want To Go To Code School

My friend Katie Leonard just wrote a book and I’m pretty excited to share it with everyone.  She and I attended the same class of a code school here in Portland and for both of us it was a huge leap of faith, with big learnings and wildly different, but thankfully successful, results.

We talked many times about what we’ve learned from the experience and what we might have liked to know going into this whole thing, spending thousands of dollars, quitting our jobs, putting our lives on hold and pouring ourselves into programming.

She had enough of talking and decided to put together the getting started guide we both wish we’d had when we got started. Covering: picking your school, the skills you need, the results to expect, and notably a lot of what you won’t learn.

So-You-Want-to-Go-to-Code-School_preview.pdf 2015-09-12 16-12-24
Get the book here

I’m happy to report that its a very comprehensive overview.  Katie covers everything on the nuance of what schools might work best, digging into financials, credentials, student teacher ratios that are ideal and different curriculums. There is a section covering what initial career paths will be open to you once you graduate, tips on cracking the interview process, and points out the dangers of getting too comfortable in a support role.

She gives great summaries of the tools you’ll find yourself using most often when you get started, including probably the best layman explanation of Git that i’ve heard.

Git is like a series of cartoons that make up an animation in a flip book — each page contains a snapshot of what your code looks like with some slight modification. The last image is the most up-to-date version of the code, but you can also flip back to any snapshot along the way, compare two snapshots to see how they are different, or add new ones to continue the story.

And perhaps most important is the psychological aspect of going to code school: You must really love problem solving, building and viewing things in a systematic way to get the most out of a career in programming and you should take care to validate that you’ll really enjoy it before taking the plunge.

If you’re looking to pursue a Career Change via Code School: Buy this book

If i’d had this guide when I got started in the tech industry I think i’d have felt far less uncertainty than I did going into it. If you know someone planning to take the code school plunge or are planning this career change for yourself you owe it to yourself to pick up this book.  You won’t regret it.

You can follow Katie on Twitter or check out her blog, both of which she updates when she’s not too busy writing books or keeping the wheels turning at her day job.