Category Archives: Open News

Open News

Shake: The Bitcoin Debit Card Perfect for Travel or Anything Else

If you’ve ever been hit by foreign transaction fees, you’ll probably have remembered your dream trip around the world less fondly.

We live in a global economy, but the infrastructure to deal with it doesn’t seem to have caught up. Financial companies still charge you for the crossing of borders and you’re largely restricted to a set of charge and bank cards you have to collect in your mailbox or go to a branch to get.

Shake: A new Bitcoin debit card

Shake aims to change all of that. You can issue as many cards as you’d like digitally for a variety of expenses by loading them with Bitcoin.

Importantly, you can choose to issue a card in different foreign currencies. Foreign currency charges still apply if you charge a card differently than the currency you issued it in, but since Shake seamlessly allows you to create as many cards as you want, you can simply prevent those charges by making sure that you issue a card for every situation.

You can also choose to receive SMS notifications every time a transaction is approved or denied on your Shake Bitcoin debit card.

This bypasses several financial constraints. You can travel around the world without worrying about foreign transaction fees. You can load your card with Bitcoin, and spend it wherever you want in whatever currency you issue, bypassing stores that don’t accept Bitcoin. Shake allows you to take advantage of NFC (near-field communications) payment technology, the same technology that powers Apple Pay.

Shake uses Visa’s financial infrastructure to back an innovative approach to democratizing the spend of bitcoin that comes with the security and ease of use required for anybody to start spending their money around the world.

I played around with it and figured out that you could issue a Bitcoin debit card with no daily purchase limit. The first tier of cards (dubbed the KYC Level 1) allowes you to issue cards up to a value of $2,500 USD. If you want an unlimited amount, you’ll have to upgrade to the KYC Level 2, though that’s free of charge. The interface was slick and easy to navigate: in other words, nothing like your typical experience with a bank.

While I was there, I thought I glimpsed a bit of the financial future, one where transactions were as seemless and as costless as possible, and one where banks cared about end users in every way. I don’t know if Shake will be a large part of that vision in the future, but I do know they are moving the needle on it, and that given the right moves, the company could help transform financial transactions.

For now though, they’re in Alpha, and Shake is merely your key to unlocking an ultramodern financial system, on-demand–which for most people, may be more than they’ll ever need.

Open News

The 15 Most Popular Programming Languages on Github

There’s always a lot of questioning when it comes to the most popular programming languages in use.

Github, the network of programming repositories, is always a good place to gauge programmer activity and the trending languages you want to know.

Loggly, “a fast-growing startup helping thousands of cloud-centric organizations to turn log file data into insight and action” has helped do the hard work of finding those languages. Here are the results:

15 Most Popular Programming Languages on Github

15 Most Popular Programming Languages on Github

Open News

GitColony makes open source projects fun

Mariano Focaraccio is the CEO and co-founder of Gitcolony. I met him during the Dublin Web Summit, where he talked about his solution to help people contribute to open source solutions. Gitcolony has a matching system to help pair coders with open source code they can contribute the most to, and a review system that allows for developers to be given great feedback, and a standardized score, for contributing to open source code. 

Here are questions I asked him.

Open Source Projects with code(love)

Open Source Projects with code(love)

1) What’s your vision for Gitcolony?

We want to redefine the code review experience, help open source projects and build a reputation system for developers.

a) Redefine the code review experience both for open source projects and private repositories: we notice the process is broken and developers use meetings and emails to give feedback on code. This is highly inefficient and not effective as information gets lost. Also, because reviewing code is the most boring part of developers’ role, code reviews get done on a rush before the code needs to get pushed to production.

b) Help open source projects by spreading the responsibility of the revision of the quality of the code. Shellshock and Heartbleed happened because nobody ever revised those pieces of code in 27 years!

Nowadays only the small core teams of open source projects need to review the pull requests they receive. With our voting functionality, a broader community can decide which pull requests are of good quality and are ready to be merged.

c) Build a reputation system by evaluating both the quality of the code and the quality of the code reviews. We’ll allow the community to know which developers are good.

2) What are some tangible examples of how this helped build communities/contributions around open source projects? That’s notoriously difficult to do.

We recently launched Gitcolony but we are already helping build stronger and larger communities around both very well known open source projects like Laravel, WordPress and Rails and smaller and completely unknown projects.

Also, several companies are using Gitcolony internally, for their private repositories to level up the quality of their code and ensure they are building scalable, maintainable, reliable, cohesive and efficient.

3) What are your thoughts on open source projects, and how Gitcolony can encourage more participation in the movement?

We never stop surprising ourselves of how software developers collaborate, give feedback and share solutions with the open source community. Think about it… there’s no other area where this kind of selfless sharing happens.

Until now, developers could contribute with open source projects by coding or documenting. With Gitcolony, they can also do code reviews and we are seeing how code reviews is already getting new developers involved and interested in open source projects. Developers who did not use to participate in the community.

Gitcolony is also a good way to spread the word about open source projects.

Interesting? Check out other cool things you can build with open source at our Open News section.

Open News

Speeding up your website with new HTML picture magic.

A new HTML wrapper.

Will it speed up your website?

HTML has served as a backbone for millions of websites over the internet, but there are times when websites don’t deliver content at a fast enough pace. After having encountered a set of issues with current active HTML-based websites, web developers have planned to solve this problem for numerous individuals who’ve invested a good amount of time, money and efforts into building a perfect website, only to see visit rates decrease because it took too much time to load.

Through this post, I’ll be highlighting for you the significance of adding new HTML into an existing portal for improving its overall performance and speed. I’m sure by the end of this post, you will be ready to incorporate additional HTML into your website that will make it better.

A new HTML element with code(love)

A new HTML element with code(love)

Why new HTML?

It was the problem of images that gave birth to the concept of adding new HTML. Out of a total of 1.7 MB web space occupied by the average single webpage, nearly 1MB of that space, or close to 60% of all web space is occupied by images. If you have a fast internet connection, then even an image payload doesn’t pose a problem, but if you’re using a mobile network then a huge image payload can actually slow down how you load the website as a whole. Image tags are also currently set up to deliver all of their contents to a web page, even when it’s not fully needed as in the case of mobile websites. This leads to a huge amount of wasted loading time. 

To address this issue, a lot of site owners opted for building a second mobile-only version of their main website. Though this sounds a bit crazy now, just a few years ago, this was actually being done by entrepreneurs whose audience mainly comprised of people using their smartphones for accessing websites. Server-side device detection scripts were being used for redirecting users to a dedicated site for mobile devices, for example These dedicated mobile URLs of websites were referred to as M-dot sites. Even now, if you go to, you’ll see the mobile version of the Facebook site—even if you’re on desktop! 

Introduction of the picture wrapper

The story of the new picture wrapper began with the developers working on the Boston Globe that included Mat Marquis, who was the co-author of the HTML specification. While initially, no one thought about creating new HTML elements, it was Marquis who stressed building a site that could load faster on mobile devices. It was then that Marquis and other developers started with an image and enhanced it using cookies and JavaScript. During this time, major web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome were updating their prefetching capabilities. This turned to be more than a plain problem for Marquis’ solution of adding new HTML elements. Unlike the previous years when the browser first downloaded all the HTML on the page and then parsed it, today’s modern web browsers are simply downloading the images before parsing their body, causing massive slowdowns in loading times.

Something had to change.

Image element with code(love)

Image element with code(love)

Navigating through 

Although it was convenient to decide there should be a new HTML element to solve the problem, actually navigating the idea through the complex world of web standards was not as easy.

These developers first took their ideas to WHATWG– one of the two groups that oversees the development of HTML. WHATWG serves as a good place for determining how browsers would ship web design/development ideas. WHATWG was, however, displeased when people outside it rendered suggestions as to what it must do. It was due to this that Marquis and his team of developers didn’t manage to get WHATWG interested in the new HTML element.

Then W3C– the second group that oversees HTML standards, launched a brand new idea called “community groups”. These community groups were W3C’s attempt to get outsiders involved in the standard process of working out solutions for slow-loading websites. The developers started their own community group which was further named as the Responsive Images Community Group (RICG).

It was the WHATWG group that eventually overcame its not-invented-here syndrome. With compromises taking place, the RICG rolled out support for a number of web design and development ideas that were set into their proposal for a new HTML element. Since all this wasn’t enough for convincing the WHATWG, the group members started working together with Marquis and RICG for turning their ideas into reality.

The big breakthrough from Opera’s Simon Pieters and Google’s Tab Atkins

Well-known developers Simon Pieters and Tab Atkins came up with a simple yet powerful suggestion of making the picture tag a wrapper for img instead of a separate element altogether. This way, specifying a set of rules for images depending on a set of conditions such as screen sizes was a lot easier, and less confusing—you would rely on the handy old <img> element, but just append conditions to it. The browser would then load whatever images you specified instead of loading one image, and then adapting it to different sizes—cutting down on load time for mobile websites that could now choose to load mobile-friendly images only. 

The magic of responsive images has come to life, allowing mobile users to save their data and loading times without lifting a finger—creating better websites that load faster, and foster happier, more engaged users.

Here’s an example of what the code looks like:

"<img sizes="(min-width: 40em) 80vw, 100vw" srcset="examples/images/medium.jpg 375w, examples/images/medium.jpg 480w, examples/images/large.jpg 768w" alt="A giant stone face at The Bayon temple in Angkor Thom, Cambodia">"

In this instance, the sizes indicator specifies screen sizes where transitions are made between a medium sized image at 375w (anything below 80 vw) to a large image at 768w displayed at anything below 100vw to above 80vw.

vw is a CSS size unit that corresponds to the size of the viewport, or what is displayed to the end user. 100vw means 100% of the viewport’s width. Em is a similar sizing unit that corresponds to the height of your font in inches.

While work goes forward on deploying it in all major browsers, you can play around with the new setting at, and test it out yourself—

Wrapping up

The web is constantly evolving. With this new HTML picture magic, you can make sure your users only load what they have to access your content. As communities of thinkers and developers advance new technologies, the way forward becomes quicker, better, and more powerful for all.

About the Writer:- Samuel Dawson is an expert writer/blogger. He has written many research articles on converting HTML to WordPress theme website. Besides all this, he is working for Designs2html Ltd. – A leading PSD to WordPress conversion service company. This article relies heavily on for source research. 

Open News

Fight for the Future wants you to do something for Ferguson

Hats off to the people who have made the connection between what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri, and the larger drive to intimidate dissent both online and offline.

Fight for the Future has done amazing work on Resetting the Net to a fair, free, and open space where we won’t have to fear internet surveillance and the overarching power of the state.

Now that the eyes of the nation are focused on Ferguson, it’s about time somebody stepped into the breach and turned outrage into real action. The famous Internet call-to-action rallies that defeated SOPA/PIPA can both inform and direct citizens as to where their efforts should go, given their own thoughts.

Knowledge is power. And the open web is an easy, frictionless way to turn knowledge into action.

open web with code(love)

open web with code(love)

This piece makes a very eloquent point about how net neutrality and ensuring a measure of balance when it comes to the information being displayed in front of us can make a difference on events on the ground.

A lot of the coverage that has come about Ferguson has been as a result of livestream cameras. At different points of the proceedings, journalists were being arrested, or attacked, or forbidden to film. It was the brave coverage of average citizens on the ground that helped open the eyes of America to what was happening.

If it wasn’t for the conversation and discussion developing on Twitter, perhaps the issue would not have sparked so much reaction as it has. If the news were disseminated more like Facebook, which selects what is shown in your newsfeed, then the details might have been lost.

The algorithmic filtering that Facebook does can be a proxy for what would happen if large, moneyed interests took over what could be displayed on the Internet. It’s an idea of what would happen if the web were closed, only to be used to disseminate the messages the moneyed would want heard—instead of it sparking discussion through the principle of “one voice one vote”.

In that sense, the open web is intimately linked to addressing social issues. In a large sense, the open discussion of difficult, sometimes alternative topics is something that can and will power action on the ground: see what is happening in Ferguson right now.

FFTF is making that link explicit and asking you to sign a petition to help drive action on Ferguson, pressuring lawmakers to stop the militarization of local police. It’s a great initiative that underscores the potential the open web has towards driving meaningful social impact.

Photo credit:

Open News

General Assembly is offering a free trip to Silicon Valley

I’ve often felt a little bit out of the hustle and bustle of the tech world.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Montreal. Still, there’s nothing like going to the Valley—apparently.

I’ve always tried to sneak around it, and get a feel for the city by connecting with people in it. The irony is that I know more editors in San Fran then I do in Montreal—yet I have just never found the time or the money to take one proper trip down there.

General Assembly offers courses on the digital future, from branding to programming. They do a lot of good work adapting rapidly to the fury and noise of breaking-edge technology by bringing breaking-edge technologists to teach classes. You might think that this is obvious, but in the context of a slow formal education system, solutions like General Assembly play a very important role.

Now they’re offering a free trip to the Valley—and not only that, they’re offering meetings with some of the most interesting creators within with it—people like Ben Silbermann, the co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, and Garry Tan, partner at the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator, the same one that has birthed Internet titans such as Reddit, AirBnB, and Dropbox.

Check it out, and get your chance to win.

Open News

Advancing Food Technology for a Sustainable Future

I’ve written often on the intersection between food and technology.

To me, it’s a fascinating view on how technology can better the most fundamental need of our human existence: the lowest of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the need for subsistence on a material level.

The World Health Organization has consistently maintained that there is enough food for the entire human population—we just suffer from an uneven distribution of food. While the common refrain about a child dying from hunger every x seconds can be a bit misleading, the reality is that there are millions of children who suffer from malnutrition, and who will die because of it.

It’s clear that in an age where climate change threatens to unsettle the delicate balance between farmer and field, one area of concern will be how to feed ourselves, given the struggles we currently have to do just that for an unfortunate many.

Will we create a more sustainable future through the increase of the use of chemicals, the altering of the genetic code of foodstuffs, or a return to organic farming?

These are open questions. I recently wrote a profile on Montreal’s Provender for Techvibes, a network that connects farmers with restaurants, and one of their founders, Cai certainly has interesting thoughts on the matter of food technology.

Their solution aims to make it easier to reduce food waste by communicating from farm-to-fork, allowing for restaurants to “claim” crops, shortening the sales cycle, and creating value by providing fresher crops, and reducing food waste along the entire cycle.

By collecting data from farmers in the area about their crops and the conditions they are undergoing, they are aiming to create an API that will allow for data-driven decisions across entire areas. It is food technology at its best, better defining the data around the world to create a more sustainable future.

food technology with code(love)

food technology with code(love)

Cai has recently come up with the Grow Food Tech initiative—trying to spark a conversation about exactly how technology can help grow food sustainability. I hope it succeeds, and that you’ll be a part of the discussion.

Open News

Indiegogo Canada and MakeWorks are partnering to mold digital and physical together.

We previously wrote about MakeWorks and their co-working space revolving around the Internet of Things. It’s something of vast potential to see software principles embedded into physical goods—a revolution that will reshape how we view and control the objects around us.

It is the startups that will be on the frontier of hardware and startup that will direct this new revolution, and it’s good to see both funders, and spaces become part of the fun. Indiegogo Canada will actually move their offices into the space, allowing for there to be a union between creators, funders, and the spaces they need to truly change.

They’re raising money for this endeavour on Indiegogo—and so far traction has been good, with about 40% committed with plenty of days to go.

Here are some of the perks you can expect for supporting the future:

Here’s the link to the campaign.

Open News

A curated list of great Python frameworks.


Coding community with code(love)

Coding community with code(love)

One of the wonderful things with modern programming languages—the sense of community associated with them.

Volunteers from around the world work without thought of reward in order to build a foundation for others to build on. The open source and open data movements allow for there to be an infusion of decentralized innovation.

Good old Python is one language that has been used for an array of different tasks, from manipulating data, to creating entire web platforms. Popular templates such as Django allow it to build household names such as Pinterest. Recently Python has become the most popular introductory language taught at American universities.

It represents a canvas which individual volunteers have painted in. You can plug and play different modules for all sets of tasks with the Python framework. For example, you can use Scrapy for web crawling, or SciPy for scientific calculations.

Each one of these modules comes with healthy communities supporting their maintenance and continued development, as well as ample documentation to allow everybody to really understand the tools they’re using.

The list is right here. 

Open News

Google will pay for you to learn code if…

…you’re an under-represented minority.

As Google puts it, “this opportunity is available to all traditionally underrepresented groups in technology (including, but not limited to, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, persons with disabilities, women and veterans).”

For the longest time, the meritocracy of Silicon Valley has been an ideal, and not a matter of practice. With steps like this, some of the balance will be adjusted, but this should only be the beginning.

As we noted on our piece on gender inclusiveness in startups, one of the minorities uplifted by this program has to cross these hurdles:

“Only about 5 to 10 percent of the venture capital devoted to early-stage ventures goes to females.”

“Only one out of ten people starting technology startups are women.”

“The ratio of women studying in computer science, one of the most valuable traits to have in a technology startup, has decreased from 37% of degree holders in 1985 to 14% in 2010.”

So this program is good for a beginning, a good first step—but there is much work left to do.

Download / By Lacey Raper

Learn code with code(love)