Categories
IT Development

Mexican developers created a robot to diagnose COVID-19

A team of Mexican developers built a humanoid robot that helps diagnose possible cases of COVID-19. The robot is equipped with a thermometer, an oximeter, and visual computing and machine learning technologies.

See also: Top 5 Tech cities of Mexico

Roomie, a firm of Mexican engineers, with the support of technology companies such as Intel and Amazon, seeks to demonstrate that this reality is not foreign to the country and for this, they developed a robot capable of helping in the diagnosis of a coronavirus case.

“The pandemic showed us that humanoid robotics has enormous potential because it can solve many of the problems of social distancing,” said Aldo Luevano, CEO of Roomie IT Services, in an interview. “It’s not just about robots like Roomiebot Covid-19, think about robots that help disinfect spaces such as hospitals or workplaces, deliver packages, or support information without human contact, minimizing risk.”

The founder of the firm, who has been working in Mexico for six years in the development of humanoid robots for assistance in sectors such as tourism, retail or banks explained that the pandemic allowed them to create a robot that would help public and private medical institutions to attend to possible cases of patients with coronavirus.

According to the firm’s CEO, after the research and development phase, Roomiebot COVID-19s are expected to begin supporting medical personnel at clinics and hospitals in the next three weeks.

“The plan is to create a robot that has a positive impact on society right now,” said Luevano. Although somewhat similar to other robots from the firm, Roomiebot Covid-19 is equipped with specific technologies to detect possible cases of coronavirus and was developed in conjunction with two infectious diseases.

The coronavirus not only digitized the entire world, but it will also make that science fiction world in which humans and humanoid robots naturally share and interact a reality.

Categories
Events IT Development

Facebook is sponsoring an on-line hackathon

Facebook has made an open invitation for developers to participate in the company’s online hackathon. The objective: to find solutions that help strengthen communities and that have a social impact.

Participation in these Facebook hackathons will be online and the prizes total $ 7,000 in each category, which are: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Messaging.

In the invitation, the company stressed that it believes amazing things happen when innovators come together with passion and purpose. Facebook also expressed his enthusiasm to welcome developers to continue learning, building, and growing in these types of challenges.

Winning teams can win cash prizes and Oculus virtual reality headsets.

Augmented Reality Hackathon

Facebook invited developers to create with Spark AR, their augmented reality tool. Spark AR has templates and libraries that will allow newbies to create their first effects and invites developers to build more interactive experiences with this technology.

In the hackathon, participants will also have access to tutorials and resources that help them develop their projects. The company ensures that many participants will be selected to receive cash prizes and Oculus virtual reality products.

In addition to the cash prize, the first-place winners will have the opportunity to be in a 30-minute meeting with a Facebook engineer.

Messaging hackathon

In a call for both beginners and experts, Facebook invited developers to enhance the messaging experience with some of the following features: handover protocols, One-time notifications, private messages, and quick responses.

In addition to having the opportunity to showcase their skills, developers will be able to connect with a global community and benefit from educational resources to improve.

Natural language AI hackathon with Wit.ai

Lastly, Facebook invites developers to build advanced artificial intelligence solutions, focused primarily on natural language processing.

In this hackathon, Facebook encourages developers to create solutions that enhance the Wit.ai platform.

Facebook ensures that this does not require an AI / ML developer to create powerful experiences that involve natural language processing.

As a bonus, participants will have the opportunity to connect with a global community of developers with similar ideas.

How to participate in Facebook hackathon?

Developers who want to participate in the Facebook hackathon must upload a demo video on Facebook Video, Youtube, Vimeo, or Youku of about two minutes, showing how the application works step by step, and available in English.

The mobile or web application must have a way to access it so that it can be tested and evaluated.

Finally, participants must register a participation form before the deadline, which is June 24.

In the presentation, participants should explain how Facebook products helped them find a solution to their developments.

So far, more than 5,000 people have already registered. What are you waiting to participate in?

Categories
IT Development

Hey, developers! Android 11 is updating news

Android Vice President of Engineering Dave Burke recently announced plans for the launch of Android 11. Burke mentions that when the team started planning for Android 11, they weren’t expecting all the sudden changes that would happen in the world.

According to Burke, this has kept the Android team flexible to find new ways to work with the developer community.

To overcome current challenges, Burke announced that there will be an update on his release plans. Developers will be able to preview the changes in the Beta version between June 1 and 3.

To tell the details about the launch and provide technical resources to developers, the Android team hosted a developer event (online, of course) which they will call # Android11: the Beta Launch Show.

What is # Android11: The Beta Launch Show?

Given the circumstances, sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, developers won’t be able to join Google’s annual Google I / O conference at Shoreline Amphitheater. For this reason, Burke announced that the Android team is hosting an online event where they will share the best of what’s new on Android.

The # Android11: The Beta Launch Show will be an opportunity for developers to discover what’s new in Android from the people who create Android. The event will start at 11 a.m. ET on June 3. And it will end with a live Q&A after the show.

Also, developers can ask any questions they have from Twitter, with the hashtag #AskAndroid.

The event will also include talks that were originally planned for Google I / O, which will cover topics such as Jetpack Compose to Android Studio and Google Play, conversations that they had originally planned for Google I / O, to help you take advantage of the latest in Android development. 

Everybody can subscribe to receive updates on this digital event at developer.android.com/android11.

Android 11 scheduling update

In a fast-moving industry, the Android team is looking for ways to bring Android to devise manufacturers looking to incorporate the operating system into their new products. 

Read also: IT Industries are getting sick

They have also found that many developers prioritize early testing of apps and games on Android 11, based in part on the Stability Platform and other novel features of the operating system. At the same time, they require remote collaboration and prioritize the well-being of close family and friends.

Also read: The Tech Sector is infected with the coronavirus

To meet the needs of the ecosystem, the team led by Burke decided to postpone the launch of Android 11, which is why they will move to Beta 1 in about a month. Despite these changes, Android remains on track to make the final launch in the third quarter.

Here are some of the key changes to the new schedule:

  •     Developer preview release for testing and feedback.
  •     The Beta 1 version is moved to June 3. They will include the final SDK and NDK APIs with this version and open the Google Play publication for applications intended for Android 11.
  •     Beta 2 moves to July. The stability of the platform with this version will be achieved in this version.
  •     Beta 3 moves to August and will include release candidate versions for the final test.

Providing to the developing community with the final APIs on the original timeline while changing the other dates gives developers an extra month to compile and test with the final APIs, while Android developers make sure they have the same amount of time between Stability of the platform and the final launch, scheduled for the third quarter.

Application compatibility

The schedule change adds some extra time to test the compatibility of the developing application and identify any modifications that need to be made. Burke recommends launching an app update compatible with Android 11 Beta on June 3 to receive feedback from the largest group of Android Beta users who will receive the update.

With Beta 1, the SDK and NDK APIs will be final, and as platform stability is reached in July, system behaviors and non-SDK gray lists will also be finalized. At this point, Burke recommends planning a final compatibility test and launching the fully compatible application, SDK, or library as soon as possible so that you are ready for the final version of Android 11.

Compatibility tests can be done on a Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 devices, or you can use the Android emulator.

Developers simply need to show the latest version, install their current production application, and test user flows.

Burke recommends reviewing behavior changes for areas where the application could be affected.

Start testing Android 11

The Android team released the fourth Developer Preview with the latest bug fixes, API tweaks, and features to test in their apps. It’s available via manual and flash download for Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 devices, and if you’re already running a Developer Preview build, you’ll get a wireless update (OTA) for today’s release.

Categories
Startups

Streaming services are making a killing

Some win, others lose. The global economy continues to contract due to the social distancing measures requested by health experts. Many companies that depend on the public report losses and there is a historic increase in unemployment.

But as the saying goes: there’s good fishing in troubled waters. Technology-based industries have known how to survive this uncertain scenario. Although at first, it seemed that it would be affected by the disruption of the production chain in China, the situation seems different now that people locked up at home must adapt their lives to digital channels.

Streaming services have been one of the sectors that have smiled the most in the face of a turbulent time for the global economy. Yesterday, Spotify said it reached 130 million paying subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, 31% more than the previous year, while Netflix reported historic growth for the company.

Changes in tastes

The growth of Spotify subscribers is striking due to the change in the habits of its customers. Now they are no longer the drivers who go to work every morning with background music. Car, laptop, and web platforms decreased, while the audience that prefers to consume their service from television or video game consoles increased more than 50%.

Spotify continues to add users at a rapid rate, but those listeners don’t spend as much time on Spotify in countries affected by the coronavirus, the company said.

In the Spotify quarterly report, the Swedish company also mentioned its progress in the world of podcasts. They recently made a $ 196 million acquisition in the last quarter of The Ringer, a company focused on sports content.

So far so good: 19% of monthly active users participated with podcast content, up from 16% last quarter.

Searches for “relaxing” and “instrumental” playlists also increased, as two out of five consumers reported listening to more music than usual to control their stress.

Bottom line: Spotify’s first quarter puts it alongside its streaming friend Netflix as a rare bright spot in an otherwise bleak consumer environment.

Spotify reached 130 million subscribers at the end of March, 31% more than the previous year, the music streaming company said on Wednesday. The report places Spotify alongside Netflix subscription streaming service as a rare and prosperous sector when most industries are struggling with the closure of the coronavirus pandemic in much of the world.

“Based on our data, it is clear that morning routines have changed significantly. Every day now looks like the weekend, ”Spotify said in its first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, echoing Google’s YouTube sentiment about changing patterns in its viewers.

For the first quarter, Spotify, based in Sweden, made a profit of € 1 million ($ 231 million) from a loss of € 142 million the previous year. On a per-share basis, the loss was reduced to 20 cents a share from 79 cents. Revenue increased by 22% to € 1.85 billion in the quarter.

Netflix has a rebirth

Investors were highly doubtful about the future of the Netflix streaming platform. The segmentation of the sector and the entry of a heavyweight in the creation of content such as Disney with its Disney Plus product did not augur a good start to the year for the platform.

However, Q1 is telling a quite different story. Netflix added more than 15.77 million new subscribers in the first three months of the year, breaking a record that will serve as a benchmark for how subscription video streaming can work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Netflix’s audience now reaches 182.86 million in total, the company reported in an earnings report this month. According to Thomson Reuters, that was Netflix’s January double guide for 7 million new members and analysts’ expectation of consensus of 7.5 million member additions.

While the year has been a good one for streaming services in general, Netflix is ​​positioned as a Top Performer. The company is confident that it will be able to maintain the production of new programs and films that would be integrated into its catalog in 2021, a different situation than what happens to its competition.

Netflix’s remote post-production locations allow the company to wrap up the shows and movies it is developing, such that all of its releases for this year are already filmed and in the final touches phase, which is what its team is up to. You can make it from the comfort of your home.

This way of working has shown that Netflix’s competitive advantage is not in its streaming platform but its mode of production. For new live streaming services like NBCUniversal’s Peacock and AT&T’s HBO Max, their exclusive original release lists were reduced to a fraction of what they originally planned. Traditional networks, relying more on live programming like sports and talk shows than Netflix, are struggling to figure out how they can get fresh footage in front of viewers.

“Almost all filming has stopped globally, except for some countries like Korea and Iceland,” said Netflix. The company has been able to move more than 200 post-production projects to continue remotely. And some of your production teams can also produce new jobs remotely. Within two weeks of the social distancing calls in Los Angeles, the majority of Netflix’s animation production team was working again, now from home.

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos stressed that the company is not going to need to adjust its premieres, at least in 2020. The fourth season of its historical drama The Crown will be released in late 2020, while the promising animated film Over the Moon, directed by an animation legend. Glen Keane is in the final stages.

Amid growing demand, Netflix said it has been dealing with a “significant disruption” in customer service during the surge in demand, which it has been able to cope with by adding 2,000 customer service agents working from home. He has also had to retrieve some of his alternative language dubs.

Netflix is ​​also acquiring ready-made movies made by other companies that are now stuck without theaters to release them.

Categories
IT Development Web Development

Semantic UI or Bootstrap? Discover the pros and cons of each framework

Among the multiple frameworks currently available to web developers, Boostrap remains the guild’s favorite. However, now, various frameworks compete for the love of front-end developers, and some, like Semantic-UI, have made their first steps and have more and more followers.

Let’s start by learning a little about the history and characteristics of Bootstrap and Semantic UI, and then review the pros and cons of each.

What is Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is the framework behind several of the popular websites such as Netflix, Espn.com, and CNN.com. This tool allows web developers to create projects that, without it, could take several days or weeks.

Developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter offices, Bootstrap sought to save time for web designers on the social network while ensuring that the website maintained a similar style across all sites.

The Bootstrap Community

Currently, this framework has one of the largest and most active communities. At the time of this writing, there are close to a hundred thousand questions on StackOverflow tagged as twitter-bootstrap, of which over 70% are resolved. About the latest version of Bootstrap (Bootstrap 4), there are 20 thousand questions, 85% of them fixed.

In addition to the essential help of the StackOverflow community, Bootstrap maintains communication with the developers through its official blog, Twitter account, and Slack and IRC chats on Freenode.

In short, Bootstrap is the most popular framework. But also Windows and the QWERTY keyboard are the most popular in their respective areas and, for that reason, they are not the best. Let’s see below some of its strengths.

Pros of Bootstrap as a framework

To retain the title of the most popular framework, you must do at least one or two things well. If not, the developer community will either quickly find other solutions or develop them themselves.

These are some of the advantages that the developers point out about Bootstrap:

  1. Fewer cross-platform errors. An advantage of having a large community is that it is easier to detect a mistake and correct it. The web design solutions offered by Bootstrap work in most browsers.
  2. A consistent framework that considers most compatibility issues. The design looks great in your latest version of Chrome, but not in your client’s Internet Explorer 7. With Bootstrap, it is possible to avoid most of these problems.
  3. Light and customizable. Whether you use it externally or within your project, Bootstrap optimizes resources and allows you to make your design changes.
  4. Responsive styles and structures. This feature is one of the favorites by developers, who must take it more seriously than they do web pages for multiple platforms. With Bootstrap, it is possible to make responsive sites from scratch.
  5. JavaScript plugins that use jQuery. Making dynamic sites is easier even for front-end developers with little JavaScript experience.
  6. Well documented support and an active community. We mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If there is a problem with Bootstrap, someone probably already has a solution.
  7. Hundreds of free and professional templates, WordPress themes, and plugins. Another consequence of having an active community is the large number of free resources that exist made with the framework.
  8. A grid system easy to implement. This Bootstrap feature has now been improved in version 4 thanks to the incorporation of flexbox.

Cons of Bootstrap

But if Bootstrap were perfect, there would be no room for other frameworks like Foundation, Bulma, or Semantic UI, which will be discussed later.

These are some of the Bootstrap features that can cause a headache:

  1. Departing from Bootstrap’s predefined layout can be a pain. To make changes to the base design of the framework, you will probably have to overwrite styles or rewrite some files, which can take as long as having done the project from scratch.
  2. Departing from Bootstrap’s predefined layout can be a pain. To make changes to the base design of the framework, you will probably have to overwrite styles or rewrite some files, which can take as long as having done the project from scratch.
  3. You will need to take extra steps to customize a site. If not, you run the risk of all sites looking the same.
  4. Styles can be very bulky, causing a lot of unnecessary output for HTML.
  5. Since JavaScript is tied to JQuery, there may be many plugins that will not be used.
  6. Unpleasant HTML. The large number of classes that are sometimes necessary can make the HTML used not very pleasant to review later. Also, the name of the classes can be less intuitive than Semantic UI.

Where can I learn to use Bootstrap?

In English, you will find a lot of info and tutorials for using Bootstrap. One of my favorite sites is w3schools, which has tutorials for both Bootstrap 3 and Bootstrap 4. It is best to learn how to use version four as Bootstrap 3 will soon be discontinued.

What is Semantic UI?

Semantic UI is a framework for CSS, like Bootstrap. Full-stack developer Jack Lukic created this framework based on natural language principles, becoming one of the leading JavaScript projects on GitHub.

Semantic UI has a small but very loyal and enthusiastic community. In a short time, it managed to overgrow. In 2015, the community had already created more than 3,000 themes for the framework, in addition to more than 50 components for the user interface, and carried out 3,800 commits on GitHub.

Semantic UI Pros

  1. Very easy to use. This reason is one of the main ones for developers. Semantic UI is very intuitive. Do you want three columns? Type “three columns.” You want a dropdown. Type “dropdown”.
  2. Less time to design a page. Naming Semantic UI classes with meaningful names not only make the learning curve shorter but also makes developing projects more intuitive and faster.
  1. Wide variety of themes available. Layout variety is a weak point of Bootstrap and a strong point for Semantic UI. You can probably find a theme for the projects you are developing.

Cons of Semantic UI

  1. Less browser compatibility. Semantic UI does not support Internet Explorer 7, which Bootstrap does. Being an old version, this is probably not a significant problem.
  2. Less responsive design. Unlike the previous point, this can be a bigger problem, considering that web designers are increasingly forced to think about a wide variety of devices. We will have to wait for development to grow to find better solutions to these issues.
  3. Smaller community. On GitHub, Bootstrap has more than 50,000 followers, while Semantic UI does not reach 1,000. Meanwhile, on StackOverflow, there are only 2,500 questions about Semantic UI, with about 25% of the questions unsolved.
  4. Few recent updates. Perhaps this is the most worrying point about Semantic UI, and that caused concern among its followers just over a year ago. The development of Semantic UI seemed to be abandoned for a long time, more than a year passed without any commit between 2018 and 2019. This situation caused the same community to create some forks for Semantic UI, as in the case of Fomantic-UI. However, developers commented last year that the new version was taking longer, but was almost ready.

Part of the delay Semantic UI has shown was due to differences between Jack Lukic and Levi Thomason, one of the main collaborators in the project, about the necessary changes. Thomason considers CSS in JS to be the future of web development and insisted on leading the project in that direction.

Currently, Semantic UI is still in development and now with other forks as an alternative for those who do not fully agree with the changes of the main collaborators. On its website, the framework has detailed documentation, and there are already some materials to learn how to use it in English, like this video:

Which is better: Bootstrap or Semantic UI?

This cliche question merits a cliche answer: it depends on the project. If a unique design is not the main thing, you have time to spare, and you prefer to have a lot of resources available online to solve problems, Bootstrap may be the most reliable alternative. On the other hand, Semantic UI can be an alternative worth trying for a project that needs to be completed in a short time, and that requires unique design, but keep in mind that the fact that the community is still small can cause trouble if you get stuck somewhere.

Categories
Events Games

Google organizes a digital event for game developers

In the breakout of the coronavirus, various events in the tech industry have had to be postponed or suspended. This destination was the same for the annual video-game developer convention, known as the Game Developers Conference.

Read also: Freemium Model: Know how to play it and win

In the past month, the organizers of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) had to make the difficult decision to postpone the event, which would occur in March of this year. The conference had to be changed for August 3, 2020, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The decision has caused deep disappointment for many players in the video-game industry. Google has been one of the most disappointed because, for the Menlo Park company, this event is an opportunity to connect with the video game industry.

“I will do my own conference…”

In order not to want to, Google has decided to organize its own video-game developers convention, which does not mean that it will disregard sanitary precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

Google will host the Google for Games Developers Summit, a developer convention that will be completely digital and free. At this event, Google will announce everything it had in store for the GDC.

The Google event will kick off on March 23 at 9 a.m., Pacific time in the United States. From the first moment, Google will hold developer sessions for ten consecutive hours with content that is intended to be of help for participants to improve their video games.

Between the sessions that Google will keep, there will be success stories of industry leaders who have managed to overcome the challenges of video game testing, infrastructure, and launch for all platforms.

Google also prepares announcements about the development in Android, with tools that seek to improve the performance of large APK files, as well as improvements in the graphics and improvements in the analysis of the memory of the devices.

One of the points that cause the most expectations among the gaming community is Google’s advances in video game servers, which is currently an alpha product.

Support for the video game developer community

In solidarity with video game developers, Google is coordinating with the GDC emergency fund to sponsor and assist developers who had already invested in conferences to grow their video games.

Likewise, Google invites developers to use YouTube’s streaming services to carry out all kinds of events with its Live Streaming and Premieres tools, so they don’t want to share the progress of their developments.

The question remains which tool or product will be so exciting that Google cannot wait until August to present it. Whatever it is, the company stated on its developer page that its team had created solutions to drive the success of the developer community.

Categories
IT Development

IT Industries are getting sick

Due to the coronavirus containment measures, a series of events in the technology industry have been canceled by large technology companies, some of them highly anticipated by the community.

The industry production chain has also been affected, as a large part of the production of components is concentrated in China.

Not all sectors have been equally affected, as well as not all companies. Some components have a reasonably automated production, so they had no problem other than shipping. Instead, other companies suffered even on the stock market.

E3: Game over

Perhaps the most famous case so far is the cancellation of E3, the largest video game event in the world where brands present their new games to the public.

The event would take place in Los Angeles between June 9-11. In a statement, the Entertainment Software Association announced its decision after consulting with the event’s organizing members.

Instead of the classic E3 presentations, the companies will make a live broadcast to announce the releases and news they will have for gamers in 2020.

E3 will reimburse all participants who had already paid for the event.

Facebook also cancels the F8

The company has also canceled the F8, the main Facebook developer event. The conference was to take place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center between May 5-6.

On the cancellation of the event, the director of the Facebook development platforms Konstantinos Papamiltiadis announced that to prioritize the health and safety of its developer partners, employees and other people who help with the event, the company decided to cancel it.

In addition to the cancellation of the event, the company has given the World Health Organization (WHO) free advertising to communicate to the world the measures it must take to prevent the spread of the virus.

Mobile World Congress 2020 outside the coverage area

In Barcelona, they also canceled the most critical event for the Mobile subsector. From February, the organizers announced that it would be impossible for them to proceed with the exhibition, which brings together several of the most critical players in the mobile device industry in the world.

Among the companies that had already confirmed their participation in the event are Nokia, Vodafone, BT, Deutsche Telekom, HMD, AT&T, Sprint, Cisco, Facebook, Intel, Royole, Sony, Amazon, LG, Vivo, Ericsson, and Nvidia. Meanwhile, ZTE and TCL.

Apple also falls into quarantine

The apple company also had to cancel its most significant developer event, which would take place on March 13.

Furthermore, as much of the company’s production chain is located in China, the company had to find alternatives for its plants in Wuhan, which had to be closed in the face of a health emergency.

The worst part of it was on the New York Stock Exchange, where its share price fell dramatically.

Google closes the curtain

Google, which has offices in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, announced that it would temporarily close these sites, as the health emergency passed. He asked his workers in Korea and Japan to work at home in the coming days, a recommendation he extended to workers in the United States in the past week.

Also, the campaign asked its employees, who have immediate family members who were in China recently, to work at home for fourteen days to avoid infection.

Google also canceled events, such as its Cloud Conference, that last year brought together more than 30,000 people. Instead, this conference will be digital-only.

The IT industry production chain is affected

With a large number of components made in China, the production chain of the technology industry has been affected, according to an analysis by the consulting firm TrendForce.

Some components present more problems than others for the industry. For example, most semiconductors are produced automatically, so their impact is less. However, shipments of this product may be reduced.

Memory device companies won’t have too much trouble with this product, either, as the companies had warehouses full in anticipation of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The Internet of Things industry does not present significant problems. However, the situation could cause the research and development of this item to stop.

In contrast, the production of panels and optical communications presents serious problems. Production and prices of these products remain uncertain due to cuts in workers due to quarantine. In the case of optical communications, 25 percent of the production of optical fibers is located in Wuhan, which has caused the production chain to have problems.

Other products that may have problems are wearables that will be affected by a lack of materials and labor, in addition to laptops and LCD monitors, which are expected to drop in shipments. Smartphone production is also expected to hit its lowest point in the last fifteen years.

Categories
IT Development Web Development

CSS Layouts: Know why Flexbox and Grid are getting popular

For some people with many years on web development, float positioning was a default option for creating a CSS Layout. But nowadays, web developers have more options and fewer bugs with Flexbox or CSS Grid.

Creating CSS Layouts with Flexbox and CSS Grids is super easy. However, the learning curve could be the first blocker for many web developers. So, many of them still trust the unreliable floats, the unflexible positioned elements, or the complex Bootstrap.

A brief layout’s story

Websites have changed a lot in the last decades. They started as static pages without any format. Now, you can find an utterly interactive webpage with a lot of users creating content at the same time. 

Websites have advanced because web-development has done. In the early years, Web-developers figured out how to create layouts using tables; a practice punished nowadays by search-engines and semantic web advocates. 

Float and position properties became a better solution for CSS Layouts for a while. Float property started like a valuable way to give webpages a magazine look-a-like feeling. So, developers can arrange an image and let the text flow around it, or they can create boxes with particular box info aside from the main article. 

After a while, web-developers realized that they also could use float property for building more dynamic and responsive layouts. However, developing CSS layouts wasn’t the first aim of the float property. So, sometimes it can be a real headache when trying to design a responsive site, or it couldn’t be the most elegant solution when you need to specify to clear in each element after a float.

In recent years, two new CSS modules have arrived to revolutionize the way that we create CSS Layouts: Flexbox and CSS Grid. These CSS techniques allow web-developers to build more complex and responsive design layouts that work in many browsers.

Know the Grid

Since October 2017, all major browsers -Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge- offer support on CSS Grid Layout without vendors prefixes. Now, web-developers have a powerful two-dimension tool for developing CSS layouts in less time and with fewer problems.

For some people, Grid offers “the most powerful layout system available in CSS.” Like a two-dimensional system, developers can set columns and rows up. 

How easy is using a Grid Layout in CSS? It’s incredibly easy. The first step is creating a Grid container element. It could be a “main” or “aside” element, or a div with a particular class. For example:

.my-first-grid {
  display: grid;

Then, specify how many columns and rows will the Grid have:

  grid-template-columns: repeat(4, 1fr);
  grid-template-rows: repeat(4, 20px);

The last lines mean four columns of the same proportion and four rows of 20 pixels each one. So, your code will look like this:

.my-first-grid {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: repeat(4, 1fr);
  grid-template-rows: repeat(4, 20px);
}

Then, place the child elements of the grid-column and grid-row:

.my-first-child-element {
  grid-column: 1/2;
  grid-row: 2/3;
}

That means “place these class on the first column and the second row.”

You can find more detailed documentation about Grid in A complete guide to Grid or play this game meanwhile mastering the basic concepts.

Think inside the Flexbox

The Flexible Box Layout or Flexbox is a module aiming to distribute space or aligning items inside a container in the easiest way possible. Currently, it’s a W3C Recommendation with its last update in November 2018. 

A crucial difference between Flexbox and Grid it’s that Flexbox is a one-dimension system. Creating columns and rows in flexbox isn’t possible, but that’s a core part of its flexibility. Web-developers can order items and manage the space between them, even without knowing the size of the container.

This feature is convenient nowadays when web-developers need to design websites that users will retrieve in a wide variety of devices, like smartphones, laptops, or tablets.

Flexibility is an asset, and Flexbox gives that.

For displaying Flexbox, you select Flexbox in the display property of a container:

my-first-flexbox-container {
	display: flexbox;
}

Pretty easy, isn’t it? Yes, but beginners will need to learn some basic things about flexbox to take full advantage of this tool.

First, the default axis is horizontal-based and goes from left to right. If there’re four elements inside a container, they will order in this way by default:

Image from Mozilla Developer´s page.

For changing the order of the elements, add flex-direction property. For changing the initial position of the items, add justify-content property. For example, for ordering items like a column in the center, the code would be:

my-first-flexbox-container {
    display: flex;
    flex-direction: column;
    justify-content: center;
}

Master the basic concepts of Flexbox with A complete Guide to Flexbox and get fun playing this game.

Which is better: Flexbox, or Grid?

Both Grid and Flexbox can be used for building responsive design and complex layouts, but they are different techniques, and, like every web project, one is better than the other depending on what do you want to achieve.  

Flexbox is a simple, reliable, and fast solution for small-layouts and the elements of an application. Meanwhile, Grid is a more reliable technique for big-scale layouts.

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IT Development

Developers already can play with Google Glass

Google Glass is already available for developers, according to Jay Kothari, Project Lead in Glass.

Glass created big expectations some years ago when the project was announced, but it was a big failure for Google when it was launched. The team had to rethink the product. After years of development, it started to become an ally in several industries.

Kothari mentioned that Glass Enterprise Edition 2 had helped people working in logistics, manufacturing, field services, and a variety of other industries. Each of these industries had something in common: they’re related to jobs done more efficiently through hands-free access to the information and tools they need to do their job.

The executive affirmed that “enterprises who have deployed Glass with experiences built by our network of solution providers have seen faster production times, improved quality, and reduced costs.”

Glass Enterprise Edition 2 was launched last May. Since then, more and more developers and businesses had been interested in building new, helpful enterprise solutions for Glass. Now, they can purchase devices directly from one of Google hardware resellers, such as CDW, Mobile Advance, or SHI.

Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is built on Android, so it’s easy for developers to work with, and for businesses to integrate the services and APIs (application programming interfaces) they already use. Google had also shared new open source applications and code samples, including sample layouts and UI components that may be helpful examples for those just getting started developing for Glass.

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Transportation

Uber vs. Colombia: in defense of the ridesharing market

The year started badly for Uber in Colombia. In a press release, the company announced in the first hour of February 1; it would stop operating in the country in compliance with the ruling of the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) of December 20, 2019.

Uber’s exit from Colombia is a unique case in Latin America. Although the company maintains legal conflicts in other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Chile, this time is the first time that a transport service is expelled from a country in the region.

Colombia is the first country on the continent to close the doors to technology.

Uber in a press release

The ridesharing battles

Since its inception, app transport services have had to deal with regulators around the world, with mixed results for companies. Some of the conflicts that Uber has had are the following:

  • After mass protests by Bulgarian taxi operators, Uber had to leave the country, where he had about 40 thousand users. The country’s tax and transport authorities imposed a fine of 50 thousand euros, while new legislation required that transport companies have qualified drivers with formal contracts.
  • In May 2016, Uber and Lyft had to leave Austin, Texas, when city voters rejected the ridesharing services from self-regulating, instead of requiring fingerprint-based reviews. This situation allowed a local application called RideAustin to emerge in the city, but Uber and Lyft returned a year later. Republican Governor Gregg Abbott signed a law that gave the state the regulation of transportation services, formerly the domain of local governments.
  • In July 2016, the Hungarian nationalist government passed a law that allowed blocking Internet application services, which affected Uber after numerous protests against him by taxi drivers.
  • In March 2017, Uber had to leave Denmark. The country’s new regulations required the company to include seat sensor taximeters in vehicles. Also, the company was accused of helping its drivers to bypass national laws.
  • Since May 2017, Italy is the only country in which Uber operates without a low-cost option because the Italian court determined that only licensed drivers could work in the country. For this reason, only the Uber Black service is available.

As a company, Uber is used to reverence. However, the case of Colombia is the first in Latin America. With two million users and 88,000 driving partners in the country, Uber will want to recover the fourth largest market in the region at any cost.

A history of conflicts in Colombia

The exit of Uber from Colombia is the outcome of almost five years of conflicts in the country. Since September 2015, the taxi drivers’ union went out to protest the lack of regulation in the service, even reaching physical violence against drivers and users of the application.

Uber announced its departure of Colombia

However, just last year, things ended badly in court for Uber. In August 2019, the company was fined more than $ 600,000 for obstructing a regulatory visit in 2017. This caused Uber to give up investing $ 40 million in a support and service center in Colombia, given regulatory uncertainty.

At that time, the general manager of Uber Colombia Nicolás Pardo mentioned that.

“After six years of seeking avenues for dialogue and in the absence of a road map to advance regulatory stability and legal certainty, we regret having to relocate the destination of this investment.”

Finally, in December 2019, the SIC ordered the company to stop operating because of unfair competition.

Uber calculates losses of $ 250 million due to the cessation of operations in the country. At the moment, Uber plans to take the case to international courts. On the one hand, his departure can be considered a violation of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States. The company also called the decision of the Colombian authorities an act of censorship that violates the American Convention on Human Rights. George Gordon, an Uber executive, said they are considering this and other legal outlets.

Uber’s biggest concern is that, while they leave the market, competitors such as Didi or Cabify stay in the country, who can take advantage of their main competitor’s exit to increase their market share.

At Davos, the president of Colombia, Ivan Duque, said that technology companies are welcome in Colombia, as long as they play under the same rules as the other competitors.

For some members of opposition parties, the decision of the Superintendency seeks to win over the taxi drivers’ union, following protests against the Duke presidency last year. The Superintendency is elected directly by the president.

Uber expansion in Latin America starts with the left foot.

In August 2019 alone, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced on CNBC News his intentions to expand in Latin America, after a disastrous Q2 where losses of 5 billion were recorded.

For Khosrowshahi, the region is promising thanks to the growth of its Gross Domestic Product, which goes hand in hand with the growth of its cities.

In the face of Khosrowshahi’s optimism, a harsher reality is imposed: the market for ridesharing apps is very fragmented in Latin America. Expanding in Latin America will not be so easy if Uber insists on breaking the rules, as he has done in other parallels and meridians.