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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Learn to Code Notes : Udacity iOS Development Nanodegree Q&A



Detailed notes from the Udacity iOS Development iOS Nanodegree Q&A live cast on Google Hangout

Summary: these are my notes from the Udacity iOS Development iOS Nanodegree Q&A today 2/25/15. The Udacity team hosted this live listen-mode Google Hangout to answer a selection of user submitted questions regarding the program. This program is special that it is one of the nanodegrees that Udacity is offering for the very first time. Students will become the meaningful first cohort of this inaugural program. Students will get instructions, and professional help to complete a portfolio of projects, gain a sense of community with peers around the world, able to provide feedback and influence future programs to certain extend.

This program however is not geared towards beginners who are just learning to code. It will require some prior learning experiences and even software engineering experiences (students who completed Udacity courses on Intro to Computer Science, OOP programming, intro to Python, JavaScript Basics, may be able to successfully complete the program).

For complete beginners, learning iOS programming as the first step to full stack development can be difficult. Currently there aren't easy programs to get started (unlike Ruby on Rails which has a great pipeline of learning and teaching tools). If you have any suggestions, please comment below. Would love to know.

Projects, Apps, Assignments

  • 5 Apps including an open-ended capstone project in the end
  • The apps are deadline driven, the first one is due one month after the program starts
  • Projects are the only true requirements of the program
  • The instructor's favorite app is the map app, to get a sense of where the students of the current courses are (address --> reverse geocode to longitude and latitude).
  • The last app, aka the capstone app, is open ended - determined by the students themselves.
  • Projects get "instant" feedback from professional iOS developers with a 24 hr turnaround time (in my opinion this is an amazing value)

Credential of the Nanodegree

On the legitimacy of the credibility and value of the nanodegree, the instructor explains for all developers, the No.1 credential comes from the code portfolio the students will obtain at the end of the course, as a result of their own hard work.  They will gain skills and knowledge regarding the core development components of iOS, which in turn will help them answer to technical questions in the interview. More important than the course content are the apps, projects being built. As the instructor put "the code guarantees the legitimacy", your skills will be "demonstrated by the apps  you build". I would completely agree to prove your development skills: you will need extensive experiences, notable projects, and/or beautiful codes. It's the "street cred" of Silicon Valley. You can have 0 exp, but must have built great things.

You can share on Twitter: 
Prove #code skills w/ experience projects & or beautiful codes the street cred of Silicon Valley. Degrees don't always matter. #learntocode

Partnership


  • See below for press coverage

A Smart Way to Skip College in Pursuit of a Job  Udacity-AT&T ‘NanoDegree’ Offers an Entry-Level Approach to College (Source: New York Times)

Prerequisites



Logistics

  • Course Page
  • $200/Month
  • Enrollment opens on March 4, lasts for a week. 
  • Expect a minimum of 10 hr/week in terms of workload
  • Expect to spend 6-9 months to finish (est. cost $1200 - $1800)
  • Minimum enrollment of 2 months to graduate (i.e. $400 dollars+), i.e. the fastest students can be enrolled for 2 months and claim completion upon finishing the projects
  • Projects are the only true requirements of the program
  • Read more about NanoDegrees on the Udacity blog
  • Learn about other Nanodegrees by Udacity

Technical Requirements / Notes

  • No need for an iPhone / iPad device (if available phone constraints of layouts can be more interesting compared to iPads)
    • The Apple development program has a simulator
  • Need a newer operating system OS 10 Mavericks or above
  • No need for the latest Mac
  • More granular requirements


Personal Finance Tax 2014: Roth IRA versus IRA by Scottrade

Scottrade published this handy visualization guide to compare and contrast Roth IRA with IRA. It's perfect reference to last minute contribution to the accounts before the April deadline for tax year 2014. Get smarter at planning your retirement, starting young, by just spending a few minutes on these "lifehacks". 

One doctor friend just became a medical intern. This is the first year she and her colleagues face numerous choices of retirement investments. Personal finance is a big topic, but I think I can help by posting useful high quality information in bite size pieces that will help "hacking" the knowledge fast. Even with the help of high quality information, personal finance, investment and retirement planning have a special set of vocabulary. I will collect questions from readers, and share the answers. The discussion and explanation on topic may be valuable additional reading material. 



Monday, February 23, 2015

Daily Economics Stock Market Digest Last Day Week of Feb 23 - Apple

Important news that you should be reading and forming your own opinion this week : Apple, Impax Laboratories, 

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, you should never take my advice. These are my notes, my personal understanding as a part of daily / weekly stock investment researching. Feel free to get feel of what may be important or notable, but I am not making any recommendation here...

tags: Apple, AAPL, Impax, IPXL, stock, dividend, aptiom, JNJ, johnson and johnson, mariott, MAR, Alaska airlines, ALK, NIKE, nke, cheesecake factory, cake, hershey chocolate, hershey, HSY, estee lauder, nordstrom, herman miller, MLHR,  

Apple (AAPL) Car - What we know from CNN Money


Apple (AAPL)'s Jonathan Ive is obsessed with cars.  Apple's sensor filled car has been sighted in Hawaii.

Japan Display may open new plant for Apple (AAPL)

Impax Laboratory (IMPAX) to Report Earnings on Feb 24th (Tuesday)

How would Aptiom do in the Wall Street Stock Market

Treato patient reviews seems to indicate more negative opinions than positives. But these are individual reviews, not verified, not rigorous scientific studies. Can only be used as a second, third, even fourth opinion. Treato indicated that PCYC's Imbruvica had more positive reviews, but the sample size is still small just 24.

APTIOM is recently approved by FDA. Its actual performance is still a mystery. It's taken for seizers, epilepsy, complex partial seizers among adults.

Dividend Calendar

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ:NYSE) dividend ex-date 2/20/2015

Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (MAR:NASDAQ) dividend ex-date 2/25/2015

P/E Ratio is high right now 32.3, though earnings are good EPS = 2.57
Note and comment: Starwoods and other competitors may not be doing well this year... need more research.

Alaska Air (ALK:NYSE) Group, Inc.  dividend ex-date 2/20/2015

EPS = 4.44, P/E = 14.4, dividend $0.20 - QRTR

Nike Inc (NKE:NYSE)   dividend ex-date 2/26/2015

EPS = 3.36, P/E = 28.3, dividend $0.28 QRTR

Cheesecake Factory Inc (CAKE:NASDAQ) dividend ex-date 2/23/2015

EPS=1.96, P/E=25.1, dividend $0.165

Hershey Co (HSY:NYSE) dividend ex-date 2/23/2015

EPS=3.76, P/E=28.5, dividend $0.535

Estee Lauder (EL:NYSE) dividend ex-date 2/25/2015

EPS=2.92, P/E=28, dividend $0.24

Nordstrom Inc (JWN:NYSE) dividend ex-date 2/25/2015

EPS = 3.77, P/E=21.7, dividend $0.37, Nordstrom earnings actually fell short 2/19, but price still hiked for many dollars. Not a buy at this time.

Herman Miller (MLHR:NASDAQ) dividend ex-date 2/25/2015

EPS =  1.49, P/E = 21.1, dividend $0.14. May be Herman Miller will find its market among the newly rich engineers and having filled up startup and venture capital offices.

Time Warner Inc (TWX:NYSE) dividend ex-date 2/25/2015

EPS=4.40, P/E=19.2,  dividend $0.35. Huge hike in Feb, already very expensive. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

DailyEconomics Stock Market Digest Last Day Week of Feb 15

#DailyEconomics smarter personal finance by understanding how the world works through news and analysis.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, you should never take my advice. These are my notes, my personal understanding as a part of daily / weekly stock investment researching. Feel free to get feel of what may be important or notable, but I am not making any recommendation here...

Morning MoneyBeat: Nasdaq Approaches Dot-Com Era Record (source: Wall Street Journal #MoneyBeat)

Now the tech-heavy index sits less than 3% from its record destination and few on Wall Street expect it to stall before it gets there. That’s because after outperforming the broader indexes in 2014, tech is leading the overall market again this year. And Wall Street largely forecasts the sector to lead for the rest of 2015.




The video above: Gilead Tractor Supply Keurig and Monster Beverages Has Been Leading the Record Nasdaq Surge. Nasdaq is hoping to break record. 4000%+ gain

Among Nasdaq 100 Best Formers: Gilead 4509%+, Tractor Supply Co 7489%+, Keurig 29547%, monster 44448%  (if existed in March 2000, otherwise adjusted to model as if existed). Since 2009 best performers include Regeneron Pharma Sirius XM Keurig Green Mountain, Starbucks, Netflix, Priceline, Baidu,

The above video also briefly mentioned Apple as a leader.

Mark Zuckerberg says Happy New Year in Mandarin (Source: CNN Money)

For unclear reasons why it is relevant, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wishes everyone a Happy Chinese New Year 2015 in awesome Mandarin Chinese language. Does this signifiy a new era of Facebook expansion into China... finally?



Analysts Respond to Pharmacyclics' Q4 Results - S&P Capital IQ


Pharmacyclics, Inc.(NASDAQ: PCYC) reported Q4 results on Wednesday and posted adjusted of EPS $0.96, above estimates of $0.76, on revenues of $290.2 million. The company also reaffirmed its fiscal 2015 outlook. JP Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov felt that the company's long-term future looked bright, however, the stock's valuation prompted the firm to "step to the sidelines." Kasimov downgraded the stock from Overweight to Neutral (the price is getting too high JPM starts to think it's overpriced). Nomura analyst M. Ian Somaiya, to a different view, upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy. Somaiya added that "upside to consensus US revenue estimates combined with a strong launch in Europe and multiple clinical data readouts that could guide label expansion opportunities in the future support our upgrade." Stifel analyst Brian Klein stated that with "Zydelig's 4Q14 print of $16M in the U.S., we see the greater than 10-times comparative Imbruvica sales margin supporting our belief that Imbruvica is the established SOC for R/R CLL." Klein maintained a Hold rating on the stock and believed "that 2015 could be a transformational year for PCYC as it seeks to shift from the limited relapsed and refractory CLL market to the larger heme-onc space, including front-line CLL and NHL." Pharmacyclics recently traded at $170.51, up 0.18 percent. View More Analyst Ratings for PCYCView the Latest Analyst Ratings 2015 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved. Acquire Media

Repost Launch Sublime Text Editor from Mac Command Line

Developer Shortcut Launch Sublime Text Editor or Open Files with Sublime from the Command Line on Mac (Repost from Udacity)

Love your Sublime and want to use it to open files right from the terminal? Follow the steps below. Better yet, it helps you set 'subl' as your shortcut, punch in subl <filename> to open text / code files with sublime right from the command line. Save you a few words of typing too - somewhat important for a lot of developers.

Launching Sublime from command-line

source: udacity learning wiki! Not written by me. I just need it so often, I am keeping the entire notes here.

Windows

  1. Find the directory where Sublime is located for you.  For many people, this is C:/Program\ Files/Sublime\ Text\ 2/sublime_text.exe.  To test this, run ls C:/Program\ Files/Sublime\ Text\ 2 within Git Bash.  You should see sublime_text.exe listed.  If you get the errorNo such file or directory, Sublime is located somewhere else for you and you'll need to find it.  For example, it might be under C:/Program\ Files\ (x86)`.
  2. Run the following command in Git Bash: echo 'alias subl="C:/Program\ Files/Sublime\ Text\ 2/sublime_text.exe"' >> ~/.bashrc If sublwas in a different directory for you in step 1, use that directory.
  3. Close and re-open Git Bash.  Typing subl in Git Bash should now open Sublime.

Mac

  1. Find where the subl command is located.
    subl comes with Sublime, so it should be in the directory where Sublime is located for you.  For many people, this is/Applications/Sublime\ Text\ 2.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin.  To test this, runls /Applications/Sublime\ Text\ 2.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin.  You should see the subl command listed.  If you get the errorNo such file or directory, Sublime is located somewhere else for you and you'll need to find it.
  2. If you do not have a file named .bash_profile in your home directory, create it.  Because the name of this file begins with a period, it will not appear in most file navigators or when you run ls.  Instead, run ls -a to see if you have the file.
  3. Add the line export PATH=$PATH:/Applications/Sublime\ Text\ 2.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin to the end of your .bash_profile.  If sublwas in a different directory for you in step 1, use that directory.
  4. Close and re-open your terminal.  Typing subl in the terminal should now open Sublime.
Alternatively, you can create a symbolic link to Sublime.
  1. Find where the subl command is located.
    subl comes with Sublime, so it should be in the directory where Sublime is located for you.  For many people, this is/Applications/Sublime\ Text\ 2.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin.  To test this, runls /Applications/Sublime\ Text\ 2.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin.  You should see the subl command listed.  If you get the errorNo such file or directory, Sublime is located somewhere else for you and you'll need to find it.
  2. If you do not have a file named .bash_profile in your home directory, create it.  Because the name of this file begins with a period, it will not appear in most file navigators or when you run ls.  Instead, run ls -a to see if you have the file.
  3. Add the lines export PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:$PATH and export EDITOR='subl -w' to the end of your .bash_profile. 
  4. Save and exit .bash_profile.
  5. At the terminal command prompt type: source ~/.bash_profile
  6. At the terminal command prompt type: sudo ln -s /Applications/Sublime\ Text.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin/subl /usr/bin/subl Note that if subl was in a different directory for you in step 1, use the path to that directory. If prompted for a password, use the same password you use to log into your Mac account.
  7. Close and re-open your terminal.  Typing subl in the terminal should now open Sublime.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hearsay Digest on Wall Street Week of Feb 16 - 20 2015

Stock market research and summary for my too-busy-to-research their own investments family members. All this digest is saying is these stocks may have more movements and volumes than usual. For investors seeking short term returns they should examine for call/short choices. Disclaimer: I am not a certified financial advisor, you should never take anything I write seriously. This is more like notes for myself and family, which I happened to publish. 



Technology Stocks featuring Google Apple Tesla

Google search numbers fell. Unlikely to cut spending, more investment will be spent on growth.  Return lagged behind Apple via Seeking Alpha.

Apple's growth defies the index (NASDAQ) and market it dwells in. It does so by moving into adjacent markets computer -> laptop -> personal electronics (iPod) --> PE iPhone --> now it's moving into watches and wearables! via Seeking Alpha

Tim Cook talks to Goldman Sachs about Apple's continual growth and defying  law of large numbers, beat Wall Street expectations. Apple saw strong iPhone purchase, Swift came out as a new development language, released kits to allow developers access to health data, potentially control home internet of things, build new stores, 50% growth in the emerging market (50 billion dollars, 30 billion is from China, partners with China Mobile), partners with IBM, new data center investments. Very importantly, Apple Watch will be released in April 2015, including a Gold jewelry luxurious quality edition. Retailers are found reluctant to change POS systems during the holiday season. Apple Pay gives a new platform of paying that's partnered with trust-worthy partners, but is also available for small business. Apple Pay is able to provide credit numbers by never providing it to the merchant. 80% of mobile payment at Panera Bread is via Apple Pay. IBM has a lot of field workers, and deep vertical knowledge. IBM is an outstanding partner given its deep industry knowledge. Apple has a mainstream desktop OS as well as a mobile OS, neither of its major competitor can do that (Google Microsoft).

Apple closed with 700 billion market capital setting a record - first American company to close 700 billion dollars +.


Tesla recent events and news indicates growth may be a concern and needs better management via Seeking Alpha Though Elon Musk remains confident for explosive Tesla growth and market dominance in the long wrong. It may not be a good purchase right now.

Intel looks okay on the fundamental side. May not be pessimistic via Seeking Alpha

While BOX had a successful IPO, it may be facing fierce competition from the likes of Google.

Biotechnology Stocks  featuring Gilead Pharmacyclics


Gilead expects to double HCV drug price discounts in 2015. At one point both Gilead and AbbVie (ABBV) were down 7-8% due to the competition -> lower revenue expectation.

Stanford David B. Miklos, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation-Cellular Therapy Facility at the Stanford University Medical Center gave an oral presentation regarding IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib) Treatment Shows Efficacy and Tolerability in Heavily Treated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Patients Following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant. He is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. These data were presented at the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation's 2015 BMT Tandem Meeting in San Diego, California. via Yahoo Finance.

Pharmacyclics' Imbruvica is doing well
Apparently Pharmacyclics revenue is growing at a healthy pace.
According to Pharmacyclics' company report it's imbruvica is doing better than most US cancer drugs with the exception of Avastin

In addition to working on the second generation Imbruvica, Pharmacyclics has a pipeline of hematology treatment studies geared for Imbruvica, which is already approved for CLL and MCL.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

5+ Big/Cool Things Built with PHP

This is not a technical analysis of PHP but more a narrative concluding that PHP still has a spot in modern development, and isn't going away soon. If you are already a PHP developer or getting started, you can seek out the sexy side of the moon and get on with modern PHP frameworks, Content Management tools like WordPress, and global e-commerce blockbuster like Alibaba.


Facebook was once built with PHP and so is WordPress


Alibaba Taobao.com uses PHP

While not the sexiest, Alibaba and its Taobao.com are the defacto industry standard for  e-commerce in China. Wanting to customize your e-commerce template? You will have to do a bit of HTML CSS JavaScript (not jQuery) and PHP.

WordPress is a PHP site

Writing that journal entry, press release, or even build a fully functional Content Management Site or just a powerful website, you can use PHP. WordPress built itself and its Content Management tool with PHP. May be PHP is a bit more poetic than we think.  

Beautiful Frameworks like Laravel

Laravel beautiful modern frameworks almost too good to be PHP

Laravel is the beautiful modern framework that actually uses PHP


Laravel is a modern, beautiful framework that actually uses PHP! It wants beautiful documentations too! GitHub deployment, hip conferences, minimalistic documentations, dependency manager, and rails like command line boiler plates, build-in database and rails-like authentication APIs... this is possibly the sexiest form of modern PHP possible.

MailChimp uses PHP for its blog and production environment

MailChimp crunched 30 million emails daily with PHP production environment

MailChimp team used PHP for almost everything development, even their blog, and definitely the production environment. 30 million emails were handled daily by the production environment programmed with advanced PHP frameworks and optimized with modern architecture. (2010 Source)

Accessible personal sites in a splash via cPanel and SQL database

Getting started with coding, just bought a domain and ready to set up your own site? Outsource the back-end to Parse for mobile or something fancy... or go old school and subscribe to a hosting service: generate a SQL database in the cPanel and connect it easily with the old and good connection.php with a bit of help of Filezilla and get your back-end in seconds. Unless your site goes viral... this may be just enough for your personal blog app, hackathon demo... etc.

Though not necessarily sexy, PHP is here to stay


Of course, popular APIs like MailChimp's API provides wrappers in many modern languages, not just PHP. Facebook was at first built with PHP, and of course still provides API access via PHP and other wrappers. The battle about how effective, efficient or NOT modern PHP is as a programming language is on-going, and often PHP is on the lower side of the balance, but it's definitely here to stay, it's supported in many cases. And yes being a PHP developer will not be out of a job ... yet. 

Getting started with programming? May be start with PHP and then Ruby / Python to appreciate the more modern languages a whole lot better. 

Follow my new website - Zero Budget Growth Hacking for Small Businesses

Dear entrepreneurs, small business owners and startup techies, how do you go from zero to one with no marketing budget? I will show you how ...