Space X wants to deploy 4,425 satellites for broadband services

Space X filed an application with the FCC recently to deploy 4,425 satellites orbiting at altitudes ranging from 715 miles (1,150 km) to 790 miles (1,275 km). “With deployment of the first 800 satellites, SpaceX will be able to provide widespread U.S. and international coverage for broadband services,” SpaceX wrote. “Once fully optimized through the Final Deployment, the system will be able to provide high bandwidth (up to 1 Gbps per user), low latency broadband services for consumers and businesses in the U.S. and globally.” 4.2 billion people (or 57% of the world’s population) are offline for a wide range of reasons, but often also because the necessary connectivity is not present or not affordable, so this would make a huge impact for populations both in those areas that are underserved, as well as in developed nations where even with broadband, the average speed is far below the purported Gigabit Internet.

If approved, and implemented, the effect that this could have for content, advertising/marketing, and e-commerce could be huge; opening up markets both  domestically and internationally. From the article “According to a June 2015 story by Christian Davenport at The Washington Post, Google and Fidelity invested $1 billion into Musk’s company, in part to support the project. So it’s a good guess that if and when the network becomes functional, those companies would partly assume control of it. (Google parent company, Alphabet, is also working on its own effort to beam internet connectivity from the skies using satellites, balloons, and drones.)”

Composition Notebook Kickstarter

I am a sucker for anything paper and this is why I chose the Composition Notebook Kickstarter from designer Aron Fay of Pentagram who set out to redesign the classic composition notebook which has been around in its recognizable marble form since the early nineteenth century. Fay set out to recreate the iconic notebook into a sophisticated and elegant device for the modern day human. His result is a striking minimalistic design, with some ruled and some unlined sections of the book. When opened, it has the ability to be laid flat on its spine for easier use. The paper is also thicker than normal paper in composition notebooks, allowing for a wide range of pens and pencils, perfect for the 21st century.

comp_note

Designing Progressive Websites

Last week it was my turn to bring something cool to the team and I decided to share was some stuff I learned at a meetup from earlier in the week.

The meetup was hosted by Sergey Chernyshev from the NY Web Performance meetup group and the topic was “Designing Speed with Progressive Enhancement”.

 

The underlying topic is Progressive Enhancement. If you ask a group of web developers what Progressive Enhancement means, odds are good you’ll get several definitions. But what each of those definitions have in common will be amount or type of features available to a user. Whether that’s in the form of prioritizing content loading (like the main-navigation) or building your website such that it works without JavaScript (this idea is a little older).

This presentation focused more on prioritizing loading and it also touched on pre-loading effects when navigating once already in the website.

Something to focus on is getting that time to “first paint” down to or below 3 seconds, so how can we do that?

In addition to moving your javascript calls to just before the closing </body> tag, when focusing on getting that “first paint” to render as soon as possible you can inline your CSS for static elements such as the main navigation, that way the loading of that interactive content isn’t waiting for your css to get loaded.

When testing for your loading time I recommend using your browser of choice’s developer tools to simulate different mobile networks. This will allow you to see how your website is loading from your current WiFi connection but also allow you to see how it would load for a mobile user on their phone network.

Google Chrome Developer Tools
Google Chrome Developer Tools

For more of a breakdown and slew of other great Progressive Enhancement tips I highly recommend you look through Sergey’s entire presentation.