Friday, February 13, 2015

New App Engine Lessons

I've published a few more chapters of my guide to App Engine (and some sample code) over at CODING4.US.  These ones introduce the App Engine Users API and the App Engine DB Datastore API.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

WTF Internet

I just discovered the site gifyoutube.com yesterday.  What it's supposed to do is convert YouTube clips to animated GIFs.  What it actually does is show you all the weird stuff that other users are converting to GIFs, and of course what they are converting to GIFs is basically chock full of WTF.

You can check it out for yourself, but be prepared for one of two reactions:
  1. this is stupid, I'm leavin'
  2. ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh look at the videos
It's like somebody picked out the weirdest bits from that weird part of YouTube, enhanced by the fact that it's mostly short loops with no real context.


I'm not sure if this is horrible or awesome.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Queen of Code and #GraceYinz

Gillian Jacobs (of Community fame) recently directed a documentary on the venerable Grace Hopper.  If you don't know who that is (and you should), she was an early pioneer in computing - she led the team responsible for building the first compiler and is generally known as a really big deal.

If you haven't seen the documentary, it's worth your time.  It's awesome.  Watch it here.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

Now that you've seen it, this is where I need your help!!  I do a bit of work with the Women in Computer Science organization at the University of Pittsburgh.  I also work at Google in Pittsburgh.  Both of these organizations have common goals regarding inspiring and motivating women in the field of computing, and I think this documentary could be really inspirational to local college and high school students.

Gillian Jacobs just happens to be from our fine city of Pittsburgh and it would be AWESOME to get her to come visit Google Pittsburgh to show "Queen of Code" and discuss it with local students.  Heck, we could even teach her some Java or Python while she's here (she's shown some interest).  

Unfortunately I don't have any great ways of getting her attention... so I'm sending her cases of Heinz mustard (re: the App Development and Condiments episode of Community) and begging her to come.

You can find this cool design on a t-shirt at
https://www.teepublic.com/show/32756-one-true-five

If you'd also like to send Ms. Jacobs a bottle of fine Pittsburgh-based mustard and pleas for an appearance, ship it here:

Gillian Jacobs
Community - Season 6
CBS Radford Studios
4024 Radford Avenue
Bungalow 18
Studio City, CA 91604

You can also tweet to @GillianJacobs on Twitter.  I'm encouraging the use of the hashtag #GraceYinz to try to get a response.

If you have any other ideas, drop a comment below!

Update, 2015-02-09:




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