Upcoming Android devices

The touch screen on my Nexus 4 is dying.  There’s a strip right across the center, which doesn’t work anymore.  The device is still alive, but it won’t last long.  In fact, I’ve already borrowed an old Sony Xperia from my brother, for the day when the angels will take my phone to the Android heaven.

With that in mind, I started looking for what’s going to be my next device.  I’m planning to get one closer to Christmas maybe, so not exactly in a rush.  The official Google blog’s post “S’more to love across all your screens” from a couple of days ago came just in time.

Android devices

The line-up covers upcoming tablets, phones, and Chromecast devices.  On the smartphone front, there are two devices – 5.7 inch Nexus 6P built by Huawei, and a 5.2 inch Nexus 5X built by LG.  Nexus 6P starts at $499, which I’m not yet prepared to pay for a smartphone (even though I use it heavily on a daily basis).  Nexus 5X starts at $379, which is much more reasonable.  Both phones feature a fingerprint scanner (finally, away with all those passwords and patterns), and a 12.3 MP camera for better pictures.  Nexus 6P comes in an aluminum body, which sounds nice.

Nexus 5X seems like an excellent option for me.  Of course, I’ll have to wait and see when it gets released, real-priced, and reviewed.

Conference : Freedom and Technology

announcement (english)

There is going to be a Free Software / Open Source conference “Freedom and Technology” this Saturday, October 3rd (18:00-21:00) in Cyprus University of Technology, in Limassol, Cyprus.  Organizers are the same people you know from the Ubuntu CY community.  I’m going to do a talk titled “The practical guide to Open Source participation”.  Slides will be linked here after the talk.

See you there.

Packaging third-party plugins with your WordPress theme

wordpress theme plugins

Many a time I’ve been involved in building a custom WordPress theme, which relied or benefited from some plugins being installed and activated.  I’ve always had an ad hoc solution to the problem, with my own installation scripts, WP-CLI mockery, etc. “Packaging third-party plugins with your WordPress theme using TGM Plugin Activation library” covers a much more elegant solution.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it does look very promising for my next WordPress project.

GitHub expands attachment types

github attachments

GitHub blog brings us a piece of exciting news – now you can add more attachment types to comments.  The list is no longer limited by images alone.  Now you can attach Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, as well as plain text and PDF documents.  This feature alone will make GitHub Issues into a much more viable bug tracking option for many projects and companies.


Startup Metrics

The $4 billion venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is sharing some of the startup metrics that they use (part 1, part 2).  Here they are just for the overview, follow through to the blog posts for details:

  1. Bookings vs. Revenue
  2. Recurring Revenue vs. Total Revenue
  3. Gross Profit
  4. Total Contract Value vs. Annual Contract Value
  5. Life Time Value
  6. Gross Merchandise Value vs. Revenue
  7. Unearned or Deferred Revenue and Billings
  8. Customer Acquisition Cost (Blended vs. Paid, Organic vs. Inorganic)
  9. Active Users
  10. Month-on-Month Growth
  11. Churn
  12. Burn Rate
  14. Cumulative Charts vs. Growth Metics
  15. Order of Operations
  16. Total Addressable Market
  17. Annual Recurring Revenue
  18. Average Revenue Per User
  19. Gross Margins
  20. Sell-Through Rate and Inventory Turns
  21. Network Effects
  22. Virality
  23. Economies of Scale
  24. Net Promoter Score
  25. Cohort Analysis
  26. Registered Users
  27. Sources of Traffic
  28. Customer Concentration Risk

There are also some tips and tricks on charts and data presentation, like truncating the Y-axis.  Here is an example:

truncating y-axis

Overall, quite a bit of useful information for analysis of different startups.  No wonder their portfolio is so impressive!

P.S.: Love the creative approach to the domain name as well … a16z.com (16 letters between A and Z in the company name Andreessen Horowitz, minus a space).

On responsive images

responsive images

Toptal runs the article “One Size Fits Some: A Guide to Responsive Web Design Image Solutions“, which discusses one of the trickiest problems of today’s web design and development – responsive images.  They cover several tools and approaches – from HTML5 elements to on-the-fly image resizing and source shuffling.

Much recommended!

Billion dollar club

billion dollar club

The Wall Street Journal compiles a list of venture-back private companies, valued at $1 billion or more.  There’s a table with the list of 120+ companies and an interactive chart to navigate it.

Note: This chart only includes companies that are privately held, have raised money in the past four years and have at least one venture-capital firm as an investor. Excluded from this list are companies that were majority-controlled by an institutional investment firm at one point. Only valuations confirmed by VentureSource or The Journal are included, based on direct investments, not secondary deals.