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11.01.2016

Create WebVR Easily and See How Americans Spend Their Day: Our Top 5

Mountains made of maps arise on the water surface; artist: Ji Zhou (Source: bit.ly/1OBW9n8) Cities of books by Ji Zhou (Source: bit.ly/1Jw8E3c) 24 hours in the life of americans by Nathan Yau: 6:40 am – between sleeping and personal care (Source: bit.ly/1TNrdQr) Lunchtime in the US: Nathan Yau's model shows a lot of movement from work or housework to eating and drinking (Source: bit.ly/1TNrdQr) A-Frame makes it easier to create WebVR (Source: aframe.io)

How can you ensure that your message will be sent if you are offline for one moment? What does an average american to during a 24-hour-period? What would the world look like if it is made out of maps? Our top 5 will tell you:

Create Virtual reality with HTML

Do you also think that WebVR development is difficult? Have a look at A-Frame. A-Frame is an open source framework for easily developing WebVR experiences with HTML. It helps you to create virtual reality web experiences that work across desktop, mobile, and the Oculus Rift – fast and easy. Work with WebGL wrapped into HTML custom elements and create 3D VR scenes. A-Frame not only supports the Oculus Rift and mobile phones in “Cardboard”-style holders, it also works on desktop computers with mouse and keyboard controls.

Google Background sync API builds bridge between off- and online

Everyone using mobile devices experiences these moments: You really have to get or send some information, but you are staring at a white screen or a spinner – you are offline. You are waiting and you know this will be a waste of time. But you don’t want to give up because you already invested some precious minutes. So you wait a bit longer, thinking about quitting your plan, but you don’t, because it was really important what you wanted to know. Then you are online again, after minutes between annoyment and hope. Funny, hugh? Google Background sync gives you the chance to do better, no matter if you want to send chat messages, change settings or upload photos. So if you try to send a message without having connectivity, the message is sent in the background once you get back to connectivity. Please note that the Background sync hasn’t hit the main release of Chrome yet. If you want to try this you should follow the instructions described here.  

A day in the life of americans, visualized

The statistician Nathan Yau, writing for FlowingData, wanted “to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person's entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.” He looked at microdata from the American Time Use Survey from 2014, when thousands of people were asked what they did during a 24-hour period. Nathan Yau simulated one day for 1,000 Americans representative of the population – to the minute. As he works from home he is curious how other people live. He tabulated transition probabilities for one activity to the other, such as from work to traveling, for every minute of the day. Based on 1,440 transition matrices he designed a day as a time-varying Markov chain. Have a look at his mesmerizing simulations.

Easy JSON storage solution

Kinto is a lightweight JSON storage service with synchronisation and sharing abilities. It is meant to be easy to use and easy to self-host. Kinto is used at Mozilla and released under the Apache v2 licence. Kinto supports building collaborative applications with fine-grained permissions and to store encrypted data at a location you control. Use Kinto as a generic Web database for frontend applications and synchronise application data between different devices.

Civilized Landscape: mountains and urban landscapes from books and maps

Civilized Landscape is a series by Chinese multimedia artist Ji Zhou. He designs mountains and urban landscapes from books and maps. These panoramic installations are sculpted with paper. Ji Zhou observes today’s society and illustrates the world by showing that the human culture is necessary to understand and build a civilization.