All posts on January, 2018


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Google to Ding Sluggish Sites in Mobile Search Rankings

Google has announced that page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches, starting in July. Speed already has been a factor in desktop search rankings. Soon, as part of Google’s new “Speed Update,” page loading time will be factored in when ranking mobile search results as well. The change will affect only pages that deliver what the slowest experience to users, according to Google.

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15 Alexa skills for business success

15 Alexa skills for the enterprise
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Image by IDG, Amazon.com

Already at work in millions of homes, Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant is now ready to play a role in the enterprise.

While Amazon expects the move will lead to the creation of new Alexa ‘skills’ or voice commands specifically for businesses, there are already plenty that can help you with your work, whether you’re a developer, an admin, or just looking for some help with business analytics or your to-do list.

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Apple still wants to teach the world to code (with Swift)

Apple continues to drive forward in its attempt to teach people how to develop with Swift with a massive European expansion of its Everyone Can Code scheme.

Tomorrow’s world

Apple has been putting a huge amount of effort into evangelizing its open source Swift development language.

It has announced a range of initiatives with which to achieve this, ranging from child-focused coding lessons in stores to provision of a wide swathe of educational and other learning materials.

Downloaded over 1.4 million times, Swift Playground remains an easy and accessible way to learn some of the principles of coding with Swift.

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Firefox speeds up WebAssembly through streaming compilation

Mozilla’s Firefox 58 browser, to be released January 23, features a compilation technology designed to make the WebAssembly portable code format run even faster.

This performance boost is enabled by streaming compilation, in which the browser compiles WebAssembly code even as it is being downloaded. Code begins compiling sooner and thus finishes executing sooner. Firefox 58 also features a new two-tiered compiler, with a new baseline compiler that compiles code 10 to 15 faster than the optimizing compiler.

The combination of streamed and two-tiered compilation results in WebAssembly code being compiled faster than it can be delivered by the network. Mozilla notes that, on a desktop computer, it has been able to compile 30 to 60 megabytes of WebAssembly code per second. On an “average” mobile device, WebAssembly code compiles at 8 megabytes per second, which is still faster than the download speed for just about any mobile network, said Lin Clark, Mozilla senior evangelist.

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