Round up for Feb 6, ’17

MENA is not quiet in the Startup realm and Wamda is trying to keep up. They recently published a list of startup newcomers. This is their February list.

In IPO news, the Snapchat IPO bomb is ticking. The IPO was filed with the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange, for those who don’t know) and the valuation puts the company above $20 billion. But the thing is that Instagram Stories is already picking up steam and it seems to be at Snapchat’s expense. Spectacles (snapchat’s glasses+camera gadget) received positive reviews (see here for one) and the entire company is pulling in more money and faster than last year but the irony is that so far it always spent more than it brought in. Yes, you read that right, the company is not making money, yet. And from the looks of it, this IPO could be more of the same as the majority holders (the founders) still have the majority shares. Will this IPO be the last step before a real turn around in cash-flow? We’ll see.

In tech policy news, the White House wants to guard your internets. While not the first time the White House orders something pertaining to cybersecurity, this time it looks like the White House wants to build a federal cyber security defense structure that would function like a cyber military. Meaning that as a traditional military defends the lands, property and citizens of the homeland, the same would be done in cyberland. We don’t know how exactly such a thing could be implemented but the only “effective” method we can see that might serve as an example of this is the so-called “Great firewall of China”, but a real firewall not just content control. “You have to go through us, first” kind of protection. Of course, something like that would never be uttered by the White House, but the draft mentions protection of civilian networks. The real kicker is the 60-day deadline to come up with recommendations on the above.

The eggheads have been busy and we loves some holograms. That Star Killer base presentation is pretty cool, wouldn’t it be great to have that kind of kit? They are still working on it but this is neat. Don’t get so excited yet. This is just a demo of the concept they came up with. You see to make a holographic display really work. You need projection from all over in order to get a true 3D image to see well from all angles. Plainly, that is just impossible for the time being. You can make a 3D image appear in front of you but it will only look well when viewed from a certain viewing angle. Outside it, the image will look wonky or worse. So what do we do? These researchers figured out a way to “distribute” the image over a large viewing volume, so they allowed a greater viewing angle and a larger image. My nature, the larger the angle the smaller the image and vice versa. But with scattering, we might just have a way around it. Granted the test image was still tiny and a laughable resolution, but in this context, this is good news. Maybe this could explain a bit better. The full article is here.

Outgoing president of the Mathematical Association of America, Francis Su, says that mathematics can help you flourish in your life. ‘Su opened his talk with the story of Christopher, an inmate serving a long sentence for armed robbery who had begun to teach himself math from textbooks he had ordered. After seven years in prison, during which he studied algebra, trigonometry, geometry and calculus, he wrote to Su asking for advice on how to continue his work. After Su told this story, he asked the packed ballroom at the Marriott Marquis, his voice breaking: “When you think of who does mathematics, do you think of Christopher?”’ Our team at Tekqio had/has our share of Math in our lives and we find that, the problem’s solution could be an hour away but every step is one closer to the solution, this teaches patience and firmness in ones ability to defeat problems with complex and distant solutions. Like the marathon that is complete with every step you take on the run to the finish line. Living, in more ways than one, can be quite similar.

Software development? Source control? Repos? From experience, using Git forced you to download a local copy of a project (say X.org server) which could be Gigabytes (Not Mega) of downloads. Even if the required was to change one line in one file and recompile, you have to have a mirror image of everything on the project. You can download branches yes, but still. “Git checkout” can be a nightmare after pressing enter. Microsoft came up with a solution we think is a great idea. We thought this should be doable which is targeting files on demand instead of bringing in the entire truckload whenever you just want to really checkout the project files.

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