GitHub’s CodeConf 2015 call for proposals is now open

We’re searching for the best talks that the open source community has to offer. We’d like opinionated, thoughtful, and compelling sessions that will leave everyone that attends thinking differently about the open source ecosystem. At CodeConf, if you come with an open mind, you’ll leave a better contributor.

We welcome speakers with all level of experience, whether it’s your first talk or your fiftieth. We are also actively seeking a diverse line-up of speakers across all dimensions. We are happy to make ourselves available for any questions as you go through the application process. Contact us by emailing

Before submitting a session, please familiarize yourself with the conference code of conduct.

Submit a Proposal

Call for proposals closes May 10, 2015 at 11:59pm PDT.

We will be choosing sessions that highlight various points of view. When possible, we will choose multiple talks examining the issue from different angles. We don’t intend to start a debate club, but competing and complimentary opinions are equally welcome. Your session should be concise and focused, no history lessons or overviews, as each session is a succinct 20 minutes.

All speakers will receive admission to CodeConf and all activities. For those speakers that do not already have corporate sponsorship of their speaking engagements, we will offer travel compensation. If you fall into this category and your talk is accepted, you will receive:

  • 3 nights of hotel accommodation (June 24th, 25th, and 26th, 2015)
  • Economy airfare reimbursement for domestic US travel
  • Up to $500 stipend for international travel

We will make every effort to make the conference available to all speakers, if your talk is selected please inform us of any accessibility, childcare, or other needs you may have.

Talks will be initially blind reviewed by a panel of GitHub employees and open source community members. Speaker information will be used in any final reviews necessary to break ties and bring a balance to the speakers. The Call for Proposals closes May 10, 2015 at 11:59pm PDT. Speakers will be notified of selection by May 18, 2015.

We are looking for a wide range of topics from all over the community. The list below is just inspiration, but we’re open to all of your wonderful ideas.

  • Collaboration, diversity, teams, and community.
  • UX, design, and front-end technologies.
  • Object-oriented, functional, and reactive programming.
  • Microservices, distributed systems, and resilience.
  • Game development including engines, frameworks, libraries.
  • Security and privacy.
  • Legal and policy issues including compliance, licensing, net neutrality.
  • Documentation, education, and onboarding.
Submit a Proposal

Call for proposals closes May 10, 2015 at 11:59pm PDT.

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Arizona State U ‘MOOCs for credit’ program faces unanswered accreditation questions

Arizona State U’s accreditor has yet to review the institution’s “MOOCs for credit” initiative. Experts are unsure what such a review might bring.

Editorial Tags: 

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Create quality HTML prototypes with Pingendo


Pingendo is a free cross-platform WYSIWYG application for prototyping web pages. It uses Twitter’s Bootstrap as a base, and responsive web design support ensures your sites will adapt to fit phones, tablets, laptops and desktops.

Getting started is as easy as dragging and dropping. Organize your layout; add lists, tables or forms; add some text, maybe a few images (single pictures, thumbnails, a carousel), and insert media objects including YouTube videos and Google Maps.

Click an object like a paragraph and you can add your own text, change its properties from the Settings panel (alignment, text color etc), maybe opt to hide the object in one or more version of your site (display something to desktop visitors, but not on phones).

There’s also support for live HTML/ CSS editing. Click an object to jump to its code, edit it, and the preview updates as soon as you’re done.

Or maybe you prefer to edit your components in something else? No problem, because the program also detects when its HTML, CSS or images are changed, automatically reloading and previewing the results.

The program is intended to be a quick prototyping tool for individual pages more than a full-scale web editor, so there’s no tree for organizing site structure, no FTP upload or anything else. The interface isn’t always clear, either, and with no help it might take a few minutes to figure out how everything works.

Pingendo is very good at what it does, though, and it’s also unintrusive enough that there’s no penalty in trying it (there’s no adware here, no web servers or other system components, just 80MB of files in the program’s own folder). Downloads are available now for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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Show HN: A virtual machine designed for programming workshops

A virtual machine designed for programming workshops.


Based on boxcutter/ubuntu.


Technical workshops shouldn’t be about installing a development environment in Linux, Windows, OS X, or whatever else. Unless that’s what they are about, this takes way too much time from everyone and it’s a pain.


This project includes two Packer templates:

  • server.json – No desktop environment.
  • desktop.json – Xubuntu desktop environment.

Both of them build a virtual machine based on Ubuntu Server 14.04 with the the following software installed:

Desktop version has the following installed:


I’ll be building OVA files and Vagrant boxes for each version and hosting them.

Building and Uploading



$ make server
$ AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID='' AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY='' make upload/server


$ make desktop
$ AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID='' AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY='' make upload/desktop

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Is Git a Block Chain?

Fri, Apr 24, 2015

It’s surprisingly hard to find a pure and concise definition of a block chain. Wikpedia’s entry on Block chain (transaction database), now redirects to a small section of the Bitcoin entry. In “Mastering Bitcoin”, Andreas M. Antonopoulos describes a blockchain as “an ordered, back-linked list of blocks”. He further states, “Each block within the blockchain is identified by a hash, generated using the SHA256 cryptographic hash algorithm on the header of the block. Each block also references a previous block”.

Clearly, Bitcoin comes to mind when people talk about block chains, and innovators are excited about block chains beyond simple tokenized currency. One thing that comes up a lot is the topic of a permanent record.

The hash of the latest block in a block chain is a cryptographic guarantee of all the blocks that came before it.

I think I’ve seen this scheme before… in the popular version control system, “Git”. In Git, a SHA-1 hash is used to uniquely identify each commit.

Of course, there is no “proof of work” (PoW) in Git. PoW is what makes it expensive to overwrite history in Bitcoin. More specifically, PoW solves the problem of decentralized consensus in Bitcoin.

Millions of developers use Git on a daily basis and rely on commit hashes to create an ordered guarantee of history. However, Git users must manually choose who they trust to update commit changes.

However, imagine the following scenario:

  1. Thousands of transactions, or pieces of data are being recorded each second.
  2. All of that data can be committed to a Git repository. Perhaps data can be batched together into a single commit.
  3. After recording thousands of commits, each containing thousands of transactions, a single hash, such as “f883f426c6da861bb31c5b5d645e638d44cb2c1f” is published each day.

This hash guarantees the integrity of all of the commits in the Git repository. The hash could be tweeted, or even published in a newspaper, guaranteeing an ordered history of events.

Clearly Git has some blockchain-esqe properties. Should it be considered a fully fledged block chain? If so, I believe that would make Git, by far, the most widely used piece of block chain technology today, protecting far more value than all other block chains combined.

– Everett Forth (Tech Lead at Domus Tower)

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Type “Note to Self” Into Google to Send Notes to Your Phone

Yesterday, Google announced a feature that allows you to send directions to your Android phone directly from a search box. What they didn’t announce is that you can also use “note to self” to send a reminder directly to your notification shade.

Read more…

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