The Future of Product Development

My first week at Tara AI Frustrated with the state of product development solutions for software, I started DevSweet with Cari Templeton two years ago. However, a few months into research we were without a convincing go-to-market strategy and decided to end the project. Cari went on to help political candidates and I started working at a startup. At this new startup I saw all the same issues with product development I had seen at Apple, Nest, and Google, but this time with far more at stake since we were still building the company’s first product.

Ember FastBoot + Google App Engine

Last year, Google Cloud announced the Node.js runtime for App Engine. Recently I decided to try to get EmberJS FastBoot to run on App Engine. It turns out a basic implementation is pretty simple. First, if you don’t already have an engines directive in your package.json, you should add one now. Then then if you project is already compatible, add FastBoot as a dependency: ember install ember-cli-fastboot If your project is not compatible, or you would rather use a clean app to test with, follow Tom Dale’s FastBoot Quickstart and use the resulting project for the rest of this post.

Leaving the Nest

Yesterday the engineering team at Nest got quite a shock when an email went out informing the team of my departure at the end of June, never an easy thing to tell your co-workers. I have been at the company for over 5 and a half years, and have been involved in almost every level of the company, from hardware patents to marketing site hacks. Like many early Nesters, I had many roles over the years and rarely turned down a challenging project.

An Update on Taco Truck Tuesday 🇺🇸

Update: The response has been good, but it is difficult to mobilize a large number of food trucks on short notice without a guaranteed profit. My plan of record is to try a small version of this at the midterm elections, and four years from now come out in full force. This is not about shaming a candidate, it is about making it easier to vote, so the intent was always to be a long term event.

Taco Truck Tuesday 🇺🇸

Last night Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez warned of “taco trucks on every corner” if Hillary Clinton were to be elected. Twitter is full of taco loving people, who think this a great idea. That got me thinking: Taco Tuesday is a thing. We vote on a Tuesday. Food trucks are all the rage. Many people vote around meal times but need to be at work or home shortly afterwards.

Unicode Chicken Dot TK

A few weeks back Panic registered Poopla (http://💩.la), what is believed to be The World’s First Emoji Domain. Outstanding! Ever since, and despite, reading John Gruber’s Star-Struck post I wanted my own iconic domain name. That day I registered: http://🐔.tk Not exactly my iconic chicken, Ginger, but nothing a custom font couldn’t solve if I really wanted to be OCD about it. The process of registering was quite simple, I went to dot.

MAKE RSS Feed Generator

I created a simple tool that will auto generate a URL to the RSS feed of your subscription to MAKE. To learn how I did it, read on. Recently, the RSS feed I created started returning 404 errors. This was completely expected as Sean Michael Ragan pointed out that CoverLeaf was working around the clock on a fix. Fearing the worst, I logged into make-digital.com and found the PDF download link was still there.

CoverLeaf magazines can still be read for free

In my hacking for the RSS Feed Generator I noticed that the images of the magazine pages used by the iPad version of CoverLeaf are still freely available to anyone that wants them. makevol23_0001.jpg makevol23_0002.jpg makevol23_0003.jpg makevol23_0004.jpg makevol23_0005.jpg Using the same pattern as the PDFs that I described earlier you can construct URLs for any CoverLeaf magazine you want to read:

How CoverLeaf could use my hack to make a mint

Sunday I exposed a major flaw in CoverLeaf’s web app magazine reader that allowed anyone to read most issues of the magazines they publish digitally for free. But the real story is how CoverLeaf should turn the PDFs into a real revenue stream in the post iPad world. Basically they should provide PDFs to iPad users today, and market themselves as a solution for magazines that don’t want, or can’t use Adobe’s Digital Publishing tools.

Read MAKE on your iPad

I really wanted to read MAKE on my iPad, and while I can read it through CoverLeaf at http://www.make-digital.com/ the experience was not that great and required me to be online. While hacking around with the iPad version I realized quickly that it was just serving up JPG’s for each page, conveniently named 001, 002, etc. My first thought was to just download each page until I got a 404 error and make a PDF to read in iBooks from all the JPG’s, but as I investigated further I found the JPG’s were hosted at http://m-cdn.