Did you ever wish to have all relevant information about a visitor right when he hits your site? Think of (full) name, gender and maybe hobbies and interests? Thanks to social networks we could at least get some of that data. All you need is the URL to that visitors (public) Facebook or Google+ profile – but if he doesn’t actively give it to you, you’re probably out of luck.

What if we could get that profile URL without the user even noticing it?

The USB Weather Data Receiver USB-WDE1 wirelessly receives data from various weather sensors of ELV at 868 MHz. The receiver is connected to a USB port on the computer, so no additional power supply is required. The data is transmitted via a simple serial ASCII protocol, which is well documented by ELV. The RasberryPi running Raspbian is used for the data acquisition allowing very little power consumption while being completely flexible.

Think for a second how much energy is literally washed down the drain when you take a shower. Not the water itself — just the energy that’s lost when you heat up said water, pump it through a series of pipes to your showerhead, and then let all that warm goodness run straight down your body and into a hole in the floor. By some estimates, 80 to 90 percent of the energy it takes to heat that water ends up going straight to the sewer. Considering the fact that the energy required to heat water is one of the biggest energy expenditures at home (right behind heating/cooling/ventilation), that’s a monumental waste of juice. But not to worry; there’s a new device on the market that could help to recapture some of that wasted energy.

It’s called EcoDrain, and while it’s definitely not a new concept, it’s a fresh new take on an old idea, and finally makes waste heat recovery a viable possibility for regular homeowners.

Set on a desolate desert planet which produces a mind-altering drug that enables intergalactic travel, “Dune” cried out for an adventurous director to adapt it. David Lynch tried in 1984, and it was a disaster, but could Jodorowsky have done better? Director Frank Pavich tantalizes us with just that possibility in his wonderful documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” which tells the full story of “The greatest movie never made” (as the tagline puts it).

“Once you are familiar with Alejandro Jodorowsky’s movies and then you hear that that guy’s next project was going to be ‘Dune,’ and you learn about the amazing actors he had lined up — Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Orson Welles — and you hear Pink Floyd was going to do the soundtrack … You wanna see that movie!” says Pavich, speaking at a post-screening Q&A at the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival.

They’re not just used by behavioural scientists: a Skinner box can be a useful device for training pets, especially pets with a reasonable amount of smarts, like parrots or rats. It can automate the process you may have already used with your pet, where “correct” behaviour is rewarded – walk to heel, get a doggy snack.


Skinner boxes are also pretty expensive. So Katherine Scott, computer vision and robotics expert, electronics ninja and rat owner/trainer, has built her own, which she intends to release as an open source device when she’s finished refining it.

I’m going to show you exactly how I ranked a site on the first page of Google in just a couple of months. My intention here is to be transparent, and to show you everything. It seems like there is a lot of information about SEO floating around the web. Sometimes it is conflicting. Sometimes it is just plain wrong. Too much information can be paralyzing. I hope through this case study you will get some ideas of what you can do to help your site rank better.

I relaunched again 3 months ago and within 48 hours, I had 1,000 targeted users on my email list. What I didn’t mention is that I had barely started developing it when I relaunched. All I had was a landing page with a one-paragraph benefit statement of how my app will help them, an email signup form, and a fancy teaser screenshot.

But after living in Japan on and off for a quite a few years, I think I've identified a general feature of Japanese culture that does lend itself more or less to blanket statements. And - even more surprisingly - it's one that I suspect may be holding Japan's economy and society back in significant ways.

Basically, Japanese culture is too averse to argument.

To see what I mean, try to start an intellectual debate with a Japanese person at a house party, bar, or coffee shop. Chances are that the reaction will be immediate discomfort - looking away, changing the subject, or just not saying anything. Often, Japanese people react to attempts at argument as if they expect you to physically assault them any moment. Many times I've tried cheerfully to debate some assertion a Japanese friend made (just as I would have done in my college dorm), only to have them ask: "Why are you upset?"

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the popularity of HTML emails. And, like the web before it, the inbox has officially gone mobile—with over 50 percent of email opens occurring on mobile devices.


Building on the principles of responsive web design first codified by Ethan Marcotte, a revolution in email design is giving birth to an experience fast approaching that of the modern web. Subscribers need no longer be subjected to terrible reading experiences, frustrating touch targets, and tiny text.

One of the most powerful features of the CSS preprocessor Sass is the mixin, an abstraction of a common pattern into a semantic and reusable chunk. Think of taking the styles for a button and, instead of needing to remember what all of the properties are, having a selector include the styles for the button instead. The button styles are maintained in a single place, making them easy to update and keep consistent.

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