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It behooves absolutely nobody to review the pub. We have, hopefully all been there, shared a convivial beverage and been blessed by the light of companionship, craic and alcohol. If you’ve not been paying attention of late “the coronavirus” the enemy of craic has gotten between the boys and a frosty cold pint at their local public house.

In Australia we said “enough is enough” and opened the saloon doors. Below is my no holds barred review of the modern pub experience, I have ventured into the future at great personal risk to prepare the reader for what lies ahead.

Prior to…


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Mobile contact tracing — the ideal

There is an astounding amount of misinformation in terms of how contact tracing works in the digital space. Not only because of how new this technology is but because journalists are overworked and don’t have time to deep dive. I’m hoping to provide a layman’s guide to how this technology works now, how it’s going to work in future and my personal concerns.

The Australian government announced today it will in the next few weeks be releasing its own contact tracing app. Contact tracing in the context of epidemiology is basically about figuring out how individuals came in contact and who they came in contact with to figure out the degree of contagion of a particular vector that’s spread among a population. …


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One of the best things about our close relationship with Twitter is the awesome civic projects that we get to work on. For the Australian election, the head of Public Policy in ANZ, Kara Hinesely approached us and asked if we could make a simple, easy to use experience to sit behind the @TwitterAU handle.

Introducing the Democracy Bot — Twitter’s got a great write up here and you can play with the experience by clicking here (if you’re on mobile and have the twitter app or are logged into twitter in your browser).

Our Goals

The goals of the project were…


Every single time there’s an election, somebody with a bunch of vested interests proposes taking our perfectly functional (and envy of the world) compulsory federal electoral system and putting it on a computer.

It’s voting, but this time a consulting company gets to charge $500m to deliver a broken non-functional system and bill the taxpayers in perpetuity to keep it running. But hey you can do it on your phone. How sick is that!

I’ll pull apart the claims one by one because I am so sick of this:

It will reduce fraud

Yes, the internet is noted for having zero fraud, and ‘voter fraud’ in the Australian context is a rounding error of a rounding error that mostly amounts to people who go and get pissed after they vote, forget they’ve voted and vote again. …


Lots of articles and twitter threads have popped up over this, so I thought I’d offer a definitive point on when you should use TypeScript versus when you should use vanilla Javascript for programs if you’re able to choose either stack.

Definitively — When should you use Typescript?

  • Whenever you’re writing code you’ll have to maintain or use more than once

There’s no reason to use vanilla Javascript on anything other than basic scripts or throwaway work, if you have an existing ES6 or Node project, you should be looking to migrate over. It takes less than two minutes to set up a TS pipeline on a new project and less than a day to get it working on a bigger project (give or take). Do your future self a favour.


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Imagine caring enough to let a computer format your code

I’ve been a huge fan of the Swift project ever since the first beta. I remember being in the WWDC Auditorium when Swift was announced. I immediately ran down to the downstairs area at Moscone and started kicking the tyres of the language. It was a real hail mary — ambitious, basically broken, the tooling was a shot bird but it was a real breath of fresh air. Swift took a lot of great ideas from academia and is a fantastic modern language that solves a lot of the problems that Apple (and developers on Apple platforms) faced. When we hit 1.0 I built an entire app in Swift and then suffered, a year later through the refactor to 2.0. …


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At Proxima we’ve been using Typescript for a few years now. We’ve completely fallen in love with it and use it everywhere. From tasks as varied as local scripting, to lambda endpoints (for our big clients like MTV & Samsung, as well as our own internal needs) and for a fully typed React & Redux stack SPA. Typescript’s tooling ecosystem is second to none, typescript + tslint + prettier makes for productive and happy developers. We’ve done a lot of experimentation with Flow and ES6 but have happily settled on Typescript and shipped hundreds of thousands of lines of TS code over the past few years. …


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This is part two in a series of articles on our new Iris App, Customery. Customery is a simple and easy way to communicate with your customers on Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM and more. All without ever leaving Slack. Check it out on Product Hunt.

We’ve been building our Iris Conversational Intelligence platform now for more than 18 months. Along the way we have learned an incredible amount from our agency partners. We’re constantly wowed by how agencies have been using our platform to build great experiences. Experiences that deliver great value and success for their clients. One common request we’ve had from agencies is they love building automated experiences but wish there was a way to add more of a human element. They also want to know how they can build automated experiences that work hand in hand with Customer Service. …


tl;dr How can you know how big a video file is without downloading the whole thing? Here’s how we used Go and Lambda to build a solution.

At Proxima we’ve been using AWS Lambda for months. This also isn’t the first time I’ve written about Lambda. It’s been an invaluable tool in building awesome Conversational Experiences for our clients on Iris. One of the most common things we use Lambda for is turn client data into APIs. These APIs make it really easy for clients to integrate into their experiences. Thankfully the Iris platform makes integrating an API a snap.

This approach is how we power so many of the Apps we’ve built on top of Iris. I’ll try to write about some of the cool ways we’ve been using Lambda in future. Usually our Lambda kit is Typescript + Webpack + the Serverless framework. …


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This is part one in a series of articles on our new Iris App, Customery. Customery is a simple and easy way to communicate with your customers on Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM and more. All without ever leaving Slack.

We’ve been working on Iris for more than 18 months. Our awesome customers come from all works of life — Governments, Fortune 500 Companies or Agencies. From them, we’ve learned a huge amount about how business are trying to crush it on Social. With over 2,000,000 successful conversations under our belt we’ve done a lot of learning. One of the most powerful features of Iris is our concept of a Holding Node. Holding nodes can live side by side in a dialogue, allowing you to build dialogues that combine automated and human components. They are one of our most popular features! …

About

Dan Nolan

CTO and Co-Founder @proxima_io

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