YouTube TV app for Apple TV and Roku to launch Q1 2018

  • The YouTube TV app will be launching on Apple TV and Roku in Q1 2018.
  • The app was originally supposed to be out by the end of the year.
  • Older Samsung and Sony smart TVs will also see the app early next year.

One of the limiting factors when choosing an over-the-top streaming service is the ability to stream the content to your TV. Most services allow some sort of casting from your phone or tablet, but that’s not a perfect solution. To do this, you’re relying on multiple pieces of hardware that could fail at any time. Additionally, some programming like the NFL don’t currently allow mobile streams of their content.

That’s why, when YouTube TV started to roll out its standalone app, I started doing a happy dance. I can now use the app on my smart TV or Xbox, and the experience is great. It saves me on Sundays and allows me to watch my beloved (but terrible) Bengals.

Editor’s Pick

Unfortunately for some users, they’re still lacking the app. Users with Apple TV and Roku devices were slated to get the app before the end of the year. Now, with only 12 days left in 2017, we’re getting word the apps are being pushed back to Q1 2018. In addition to Apple TV and Roku, the YouTube TV app will also come to older smart TVs in the first quarter. These TVs include some Samsung sets from 2013 and 2014. Older Sony TV’s that use a Linux-based OS instead of Android TV will get the app too.

Most of YouTube TV’s competitors like Sling, Hulu, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue are all on numerous platforms. YouTube TV lags a bit behind the others as they’re all on Apple TV and Roku already. Where you won’t see YouTube TV is on Amazon’s Fire TV or the PlayStation 4. Google and Amazon have had very public battles (although things do appear to be getting better) and Sony refuses to let other streaming services on its gaming system while its pushing PlayStation Vue.

Despite all of that, YouTube TV is one of the popular options for cord-cutters right now. The lineup of channels is fantastic, and at just $35 a month, it’s very affordable. The service initially rolled out to only a few cities in the US when it first launched, but that number has recently pushed past 80.

An error of reasoning on Bitcoin

On 22nd May 2010, Laszlo Hanyec bought a pizza for 10,000 bitcoins. This Twitter page shows the current USD value of that pizza, which is $141 million today. It is nearly impossible to hear that story and not regret not having bought 10,000 bitcoins seven-and-a-half years ago for the price of a pizza, and be a multi-millionaire today. So why didn’t we?

Bitcoins have no firm link to anything of real value, they aren’t supported by gold, or by some brick-and-mortar assets, or by a government. The value of bitcoins is based purely on the stupidity and greed of the people buying it. So we deemed ourselves somewhat more intelligent and decided not to invest in bitcoins.

Our error of reasoning was the following: There are only limited quantities of gold, of brick-and-mortar assets, or of government assets. Human stupidity and greed is in near infinite supply. Thus a currency based on stupidity and greed can rise much, much higher than a currency based on real assets.

Please do not confuse this analysis with a recommendation to buy bitcoins today. You would lose your shirt. Like in any Ponzi scheme the main losers are always the ones investing last.

The 7th Continent

I received a parcel yesterday which contained the board game The 7th Continent. I had backed the production of that game on Kickstarter. I don’t often do that, it is only the 5th Kickstarter project I backed. But I am happy to report that with that parcel I am now at 100% success rate, every single Kickstarter project I backed actually delivered. Of course they all delivered late, The 7th Continent had an “expected” delivery in October 2016, and so is nearly a year late. I think a year late is about average of the projects I backed.

Kickstarter claims that only 9% of Kickstarter projects fail to deliver if successfully backed. But curiously they don’t back up that claim with hard data to which they should have access, but rather cite an opinion survey. Other sources claim much higher failure rates. And if you follow games media, stories about Kickstarter failures like this one aren’t all that uncommon. Furthermore as long as the developers deliver *anything*, that isn’t counted as a failure. That doesn’t mean that every delivered product lives up to the hype.

I think that only a very small part of Kickstarter failures are actual scams. I always apply Hanlon’s razor and easily explain failures with incompetence without having to imply malice. Some people are simply good at having bright ideas and marketing those ideas in an enthusiastic way, but are just plain bad at project management. Which both explains many of the total failures as well as the 75% to 84% late delivery rate of Kickstarter.

Of course I don’t back Kickstarter projects that are predictable failures, like people promising a large MMORPG for under $1 million. In general I would also advise to stay away from all Kickstarter projects for computer games: If the project is an actual success, you will be able to buy it later. So I rather back projects like The 7th Continent, which is so niche that it isn’t obvious that one can get the product outside of a Kickstarter campaign. If you want a copy of that board game, you’d actually have to back the Kickstarter for the second print run, it won’t be available in your neighborhood games store. I also sometimes back Kickstarter projects that are basically donations for a good cause, like rebuilding EN World.

In short, as long as you are aware of likelihood of failure, and the near certainty of late delivery, backing a Kickstarter project can be a good idea. Just don’t fall for the hype and get overly enthusiastic. Or you might still be waiting for Star Citizen 3 years later.

Web Analytics :- key to e-coMMerce BusineSS

Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. However, Web analytics is not just a process for measuring web traffic but can be used as a tool for business and market research, and to assess and improve the effectiveness of a website. Web analytics provides information about the number of visitors to a website and the number of page views.

Importance of Web Analytics
We need Web Analytics to assess the success rate of a website and its associated business. Web analytics used to

  • Assess web content problems so that they can be rectified
  • Have a clear perspective of website trends
  • Monitor web traffic and user flow
  • Demonstrate goals acquisition
  • Figure out potential keywords
  • Identify segments for improvement
  • Find out referring sources

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google Analytics is now the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet. Google Analytics is offered also in two additional versions: the subscription-based Google Analytics 360, previously Google Analytics Premium, targeted at enterprise users, and Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, an SDK that allows gathering usage data from iOS and Android Apps.

Google analytics helps you to track and measure visitors, traffic sources, goals, conversion, and other metrics (as shown in the above image). It basically generates reports on −

  • Audience Analysis: As the name suggests, audience analysis gives you an overview of the audience who visit your site along with their session history, page-views, bounce rate, etc.
  • Acquisition Analysis: Acquisition means ‘to acquire.’ Acquisition analysis is carried out to find out the sources from where your web traffic originates. Using acquisition analysis, you can Capture traffic from all channels, particular source/medium, and from referrals and also Trace traffic from AdWords (paid search).
  • Behavior Analysis: Behavior analysis monitors users’ activities on a website.
  • Conversion Analysis: Conversion is a transaction by a user on your website. For example, download, checkout, buy, etc. To track conversions in analytics, you need to define a goal and set a URL that is traceable.

KISSmetrics

KISSmetrics is a powerful web analytics tool that delivers key insights and user interaction on your website. It defines a clear picture of users’ activities on your website and collects acquisition data of every visitor.

KISSmetrics helps you identify the following −

  • Cart size
  • Landing page conversion rate
  • Customer activity on your portal
  • Customer bounce points
  • Cart abandoned products
  • Customer occurrence before making a purchase
  • Customer lifetime value, etc.

Best Features of KISSmetrics

  • Ability to track effective marketing channels.
  • Figure out how much time a user takes to convert.
  • Determine a degree of which user was engaged with your site.
  • A convenient dashboard. You do not need to run around searching for figures.
  • Installation
  • Just sign-up for an account and customize accordingly.

Tracking
Add a java snippet under tag of the source code of your website.

Event Setting
By default, KISSmetrics sets two events for you − visited site and search engine hit. To add more events, click on new event, add an attribute and record an event name.

Setting up Metrics
Click on create a new metric. Select your metric type from the list. Give metric name, description, and event. Save metric.

Measures

You need to find a few key metrics for your business. You have a website and it has a tracking code in it.

Audience

Pageviews − Pageviews is the number of views of a page. Multiple pageviews are possible in a single session. If pageviews is improved, it will directly influence AdSense revenue and average time on website.

Bounce rate − Bounce rate reflects the percentage of visitors returning back only after visiting one page of your website. It helps you to know how many visitors do so. If the bounce rate of a website increases, its webmaster should be worried.

Pages per session − Pages/session is the number of pages surfed in a single session. For example, a user landed on your website and surfed 3 pages, then the website pages/session is 3.

Demographic information − Demographic data shows Age and Gender. With the help of Demographic Info, you can find the percentage of Male/Female visitors coming to your website. Analyzing the ratio of this data, you can make a strategy according to genders. Age group data help you find what percentage of age group visiting your website. So, you can make a strategy for highest percentage of age group visitors.

Devices − This data shows the devices info. In devices info, you can easily find how many percentage of visitors come from mobile, how many come from desktop, how many come from tablets, etc. If mobile traffic is high, then you need to make your website responsive.

Acquisition

Traffic sources − In the acquisition, you have to check all your sources of the traffic. Major sources of the traffic are −

Organic traffic is the traffic coming through all search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing….)

Social traffic is the traffic coming through all social media platforms (like − Facebook, Twitter, Google+, …)

Referral traffic is the traffic coming through where your website is linked.

Direct traffic is the traffic coming directly to your website. For example, typing the url of your website, clicking on the link of your website given in emails, etc.

Traffic Sources

Source/Medium − This metrics gives you an idea of the sources from where you are getting traffic (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Direct, Facebook…).

Site Content

Landing pages − Landing pages are the pages where the visitors land first (normally, home pages of the websites are the landing pages). With the help of this metrics, you can find the top pages of the website. Using this metrics, you can analyze how many pages are getting 50% or more traffic of the website. So, you can easily find which type of content is working for you. Further, based on this analysis, you can plan the next content strategy.

Site speed − Site speed is the metrics used for checking page timing (average page load time). Using this metrics, you can find which page is taking more time to load, how many pages have high load time, etc.

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Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo all slash smartphone orders by over 10%

  • Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo are all cutting smartphone orders by over 10% in Q4 2017.
  • The companies are sitting on more and more inventory as worldwide smartphone demand has dropped.
  • Xiaomi is still performing well despite the struggle of fellow Chinese device manufacturers.

One of the smartphone trends that might have flown under the radar in 2017 is the explosion of Chinese cell phone manufactures. While they have been steadily growing for years, this was the year that companies like Xiaomi were able to top Samsung in the important market of India. Huawei is the world’s third largest device manufacturer and occasionally tops Apple for second and OPPO and Vivo (both owned by BBK) are both in the top three in China.

Editor’s Pick

To say it has been a good year for these companies would be an understatement. But, it looks like Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo are preparing for a slower start to 2018. According to a report from DigiTimes, the three companies are cutting smartphone orders by over 10%. The information comes from sources at suppliers for the trio of companies.

As demand for new smartphones falls, the companies are now sitting on more and more inventory.

The one company that seems to be immune from the slowdown is Xiaomi. The company continues to be bullish in both online and retail environments. Xiaomi is continuing its surge in India, which saw it overtake Samsung in the country. India looks to be an interesting battleground for 2018 as Samsung and Xiaomi battle it out at the top and Huawei looks to increase its presence.

See also: Report: Samsung’s global market share will fall in 2018

Xiaomi and Huawei are also both expected to increase their presence in the United States next year. Rumors of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s release on Verizon and AT&T have heated up recently and Xiaomi is reportedly in talks with US carriers to carry its phones as well, according to Bloomberg.

Despite cutting orders, it looks like 2018 is shaping up to be a good year for Chinese smartphone manufacturers.

Why Your Opinion Matters & Why You Shouldn’t Fear Having One



Think for a second about every history class you’ve ever had. Think about all the change that has happened between the different time periods you learned about. Where would we be if someone hadn’t thought that there was a better way to do something than the current way? Would we still be building houses of clay and using stone tools? Someone had to advocate for this change. Someone had to believe or have the opinion that it was necessary and most people probably disagreed with him at the time.

We all have opinions. Some of us have no inhibitions sharing them with total strangers on the internet or via social media. In some circumstances, two very different opinions collide and all hell breaks loose. And this happens on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.We all have opinions. Some of us have no inhibitions sharing them with total strangers on the internet or via social media. In some circumstances, two very different opinions collide and all hell breaks loose. And this happens on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.

Having opinions is healthy. It indicates a progressive nature – one which signifies that we are improving to be better, better educated, more knowledgeable people. But because everyone has opinions, everyone thinks they are deserving of being heard, applauded, agreed with, admired and liked for their opinions. The keyword here is “deserving”, and they will fight, troll, insult, provoke and lie to turn their opinion into the common truth.Having opinions is healthy. It indicates a progressive nature – one which signifies that we are improving to be better, better educated, more knowledgeable people. But because everyone has opinions, everyone thinks they are deserving of being heard, applauded, agreed with, admired and liked for their opinions. The keyword here is “deserving”, and they will fight, troll, insult, provoke and lie to turn their opinion into the common truth.

Does that mean you have to stop having opinions? Of course not, but there are a few things we should address when it comes to opinions.Does that mean you have to stop having opinions? Of course not, but there are a few things we should address when it comes to opinions.

Facts vs Opinions

A fact is a statement that is true and can be verified objectively, or proven. In other words, a fact is true and correct no matter what. An opinion, however, is a statement that holds an element of belief; it tells how someone feels.

Fact:
  • Dogs have fur.
  • The Beatles were a band.
  • The last day of school is May 22nd.
Opinion
  • Dog fur is pretty.
  • The Beatles sang great songs.
  • May 22nd is the best day of the year.

Opinions Can Change

Why is it so hard to have an opinion on the Internet? My theory is that it is written down: in your timeline, your blog, in your chat history somewhere. The problem with social media is that your past opinions can come back and haunt you.


The thing is, whatever opinions, stances or views you subscribed to when you were 15 may not be the same as when you are 40. People change, so do opinions. And while it is harder to hold verbal opinions against someone, an inked opinion is pretty hard to shake off. And no one is safe from this, not even celebrities.

Opinions Could Be Wrong

Let’s address wrong opinions. Many arguments last longer than necessary because of a dedicated section on how the arguer is entitled to their opinions, how it is a” freedom of speech” thing, and how as long as it makes them happy, they can say whatever they want.

We’re not children. We don’t come to school the next day and play together at the playgrounds again, totally forgetting the previous day’s fights and arguments. We remember hurtful insults and rude comments and ignorant rants, and that label you used to totally strip another person’s identity down to the bare bones.



Being entitled to an opinion does not automatically make the opinion right. It does not reduce the hurt from name-calling or make things okay just because “you didn’t mean it that way”. If you want to fight to the death for your opinion, remember that you have to be accountable for how you deliver that opinion, and that there is still a possibility of you being proven wrong.

Opinions Need Context

Face it, in every argument there is someone who is probably wrong and the other person is therefore, by elimination and definition, right. Why in the world would arguments drag out so long then? Because of context.

That’s right. Opinions need context. Many arguments cannot be resolved because the people involved in the argument are basing their opinions on different contexts.

You can’t generalize with opinions. They all take shape in this bubble of conditions that we call context. When talking about topics like abortions, gay marriage, women CEOs, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, searching for and contacting alien life, bear in mind that all these topics have potential for controversy and that’s the kind of place where everyone has an opinion.

And depending on their context, everyone’s opinion may be right.

Opinions Label You

There are a lot of cliques, gangs and groups online: Android or Apple, PC or Console, Chrome or Firefox; here are more tech battles you can check out. And like all great battles, there are plenty of passionate people on both sides of the war.

When you have an opinion that aligns yourself to a group or faction, you run the risk of mistaking this sense of acceptance and belonging as who you are. You get reduced down to a label, when in fact you have a personality that is so much more complex and too complicated to be summarized by a single label such as feminist, hipster, fanboy, or housewife.

Beware of parroting opinions that you don’t believe in, in order to be accepted by the crowd. You have your own set of opinions, formed by your life experiences, by the things you read, by the conversations you have, and you deserve to let that surface.

Reject the labels. You can care about more than two things at a time, and just because you are a hipster or a housewife, it doesn’t diminish the opinion you have to share with the rest of the world.

Your Opinion Matters

Opinions can and will evolve; sometimes at the risk of reshaping your reputation and credibility. And as much as you are entitled to them, don’t hold on to them too tightly. Opinions have a way of being infused with our dignity – it makes us think that if we change our opinion, them we’re flimsy or weak, when in fact it is a very natural process, kind of like growing up.

Just make sure that your opinion rocks, and don’t be afraid to share it.

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Firefox Focus gets a little bit better with autocomplete and more search engines

Mozilla

It’s been over a year since Firefox launched its privacy-focused Focus browser, and Mozilla hopes to double-down on the app’s popularity by giving you faster access to your most visited sites and the ability to add any search engine you want.

With the latest update, which Mozilla announced through its blog, you now have the option to turn on URL autocomplete. That way, you don’t have to fully type out the websites you visit the most — just type a few letters, and the search field takes care of the rest.

If you choose to enable autocomplete, Focus can tap into over 450 popular URLs and have them autocomplete in the address bar when you’re typing out a URL. If there are websites you frequent that are not part of that list, the app also lets you add and maintain custom autocomplete URLs in conjunction with what it knows.

Mozilla

Of course, you can disable URL autocomplete at any moment, and even though the feature doesn’t necessarily add anything to Focus, it does allow for greater convenience.

Focus’ update also lets you add search engines from any website that has a search field. For example, if you want to look up a movie on Rotten Tomatoes to see if it got good reviews, you can see the movie’s ranking without going to Rotten Tomatoes’ website.

Again, this doesn’t necessarily add anything to Focus except convenience, though that is what the app has strived for since it made its debut on iOS in 2016. Focus then hopped over to Android back in June, though the goal of being an ultra-lean, privacy-focused browser continued.

Editor’s Pick

By default, Focus blocks ad, analytics, and social trackers, though you are more than welcome to also block other content trackers. You can even block Web fonts, if you so choose, and once you’re done browsing, you can hit the Erase button on the top right to erase your browsing history.

Focus was designed to live side-by-side with the regular Firefox browser, not replace it, though folks certainly seem happy with it — Mozilla says Focus has been downloaded over one million times on Android within the first month of availability.

If you want to count yourself as one of those downloads, you can do so through the link below.

Download the app

Update: Android 8.0 Oreo beta rolling out to Nokia 6

  • HMD Global has extended its Android Oreo beta program to the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6
  • Juho Sarvikas announced the news on Twitter
  • The rollout comes a month after the Nokia 8 enjoyed a public Android 8.0 Oreo release

Update, December 19: As promised, HMD kicked off the beta Oreo rollout for the Nokia 6. “Just one week after the Nokia 5 Android Oreo beta labs programme, we are delighted to offer the same opportunity to Nokia 6 owners. With the Android Oreo beta on the Nokia 6, you can take a first look at amazing new features that improve usability and multi-tasking, while boosting battery life,” HMD Global said in a statement picked up by Gadgets 360.

To test Oreo on your Nokia 6, head to the official beta sign up page.

Original post, December 12: HMD Global kicked off its revitalization of the Nokia brand with some hefty guarantees, including a commitment to bringing major OS upgrades to its phones as quickly as possible. Now, after the official release of Android 8.0 Oreo for its flagship, the Nokia 8, the Finnish company is making good on that promise with the expansion of its Oreo beta program.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, announced today (via Twitter) that the firm is bringing an Oreo beta build to the mid-range Nokia 5 with immediate effect. Sarvikas also noted that the Nokia 6 beta will follow “very soon”.

To get started with the beta labs, you’ll need to sign up here and validate your device by typing in your phone’s IMEI number. After submitting the request, you should then receive the OTA update within 12 hours. HMD Global is also looking for feedback via the aptly-named Feedback app so it can fine-tune the final release.

Even if you’re not looking to take part, the beta is good news for all Nokia 5 owners as it indicates a final Oreo release should be just around the corner. The Nokia 8 beta lasted just under a month before the official rollout so it’s likely the same timeframe will apply to its smaller, less powerful sibling.

Outside of Google’s Pixel or Nexus phones, HMD Global’s crop of Nokia-branded devices are the closest consumers can get to a pure Android Oreo experience thanks to the lack of a bespoke skin or pre-installed apps. You can read our thoughts on the good and bad of Nokia’s first year back in the limelight here.

JSON – PHP : work BeaUtifuLLy




JSON or JavaScript Object Notation is a lightweight text-based open standard designed for human-readable data interchange. Conventions used by JSON are known to programmers, which include C, C++, Java, Python, Perl, etc.

  • JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation.
  • The format was specified by Douglas Crockford.
  • It was designed for human-readable data interchange.
  • It has been extended from the JavaScript scripting language.
  • The filename extension is .json.
  • JSON Internet Media type is application/json.
  • The Uniform Type Identifier is public.json.

Uses of JSON

  • It is used while writing JavaScript based applications that includes browser extensions and websites.
  • JSON format is used for serializing and transmitting structured data over network connection.
  • It is primarily used to transmit data between a server and web applications.
  • Web services and APIs use JSON format to provide public data.
  • It can be used with modern programming languages.

Characteristics of JSON

  • JSON is easy to read and write.
  • It is a lightweight text-based interchange format.
  • JSON is language independent.

Why use JSON?

Since the JSON format is text only, it can easily be sent to and from a server, and used as a data format by any programming language.
JavaScript has a built in function to convert a string, written in JSON format, into native JavaScript objects:
JSON.parse()
So, if you receive data from a server, in JSON format, you can use it like any other JavaScript object.

JSON Syntax:

JSON syntax is derived from JavaScript object notation syntax:
  • Data is in name/value pairs
  • Data is separated by commas
  • Curly braces hold objects
  • Square brackets hold arrays
Below is a simple example −
{
"book": [

{
"language": "Java",
"creator": "James Gosling"
},

{
"language": "PHP",
"creatoR": "Rasmus Lerdorf"
}
]
}


JSON with PHP

Let’s see how to encode and decode JSON objects using PHP programming language.

JSON Functions

PHP has some built-in functions to handle JSON.

Encoding JSON in PHP (json_encode)

PHP json_encode() function is used for encoding JSON in PHP. This function returns the JSON representation of a value on success or FALSE on failure.
Syntax:
string json_encode ( $value [, $options = 0 ] )
Parameters
value − The value being encoded. This function only works with UTF-8 encoded data.
options − This optional value is a bitmask consisting of JSON_HEX_QUOT, JSON_HEX_TAG,         JSON_HEX_AMP, JSON_HEX_APOS, JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK, JSON_PRETTY_PRINT, JSON_UNESCAPED_SLASHES, JSON_FORCE_OBJECT.
Example

The following example shows how to convert an array into JSON with PHP −
php
$myObj->course = "Rocky Jagtiani";
$myObj->age = 39;
$myObj->city = "Chembur";

$Suven = json_encode($myObj);

echo $Suven;

?>
While executing, this will produce the following result −

{"name":"Rocky Jagtiani","age":39,"city":"Chembur"}

PHP Array:
Arrays in PHP will also be converted into JSON when using the PHP function json_encode():
php
$myArr = array("Java", "Web Technology", "Android", "Digital Marketing");

$myJSON = json_encode($myArr);

echo $myJSON;

?>
this will produce the following result −

["Java","Web Technology","Android","Digital Marketing"]

Decoding JSON in PHP (json_decode)
PHP json_decode() function is used for decoding JSON in PHP. This function returns the value decoded from json to appropriate PHP type.
Syntax
mixed json_decode ($json [,$assoc = false [, $depth = 512 [, $options = 0 ]]])

Paramaters
json_string − It is an encoded string which must be UTF-8 encoded data.
assoc − It is a boolean type parameter, when set to TRUE, returned objects will be converted into associative arrays.
depth − It is an integer type parameter which specifies recursion depth
options − It is an integer type bitmask of JSON decode, JSON_BIGINT_AS_STRING is supported.
Example:
The following example shows how PHP can be used to decode JSON objects −
php
$json = '{"a":1,"b":2,"c":3,"d":4,"e":5}';

var_dump(json_decode($json));
var_dump(json_decode($json, true));

?>
While executing, it will produce the following result −
object(stdClass)#1 (5) {
["a"] => int(1)
["b"] => int(2)
["c"] => int(3)
["d"] => int(4)
["e"] => int(5)
}

array(5) {
["a"] => int(1)
["b"] => int(2)
["c"] => int(3)
["d"] => int(4)
["e"] => int(5)
}

Error-Handling and Testing

If the JSON value could not be parsed or a nesting level deeper than the given (or default) depth is found, NULL is returned from json_decode. This means that no exception is raised by json_encode/json_deocde directly.
So how can we identify the cause of the error? The json_last_error function helps here. json_last_error returns an integer error code that can be one of the following constants (taken from here):
JSON_ERROR_NONE: No error has occurred.
JSON_ERROR_DEPTH: The maximum stack depth has been exceeded.
JSON_ERROR_STATE_MISMATCH: Invalid or malformed JSON.
JSON_ERROR_CTRL_CHAR: Control character error, possibly incorrectly encoded.
JSON_ERROR_SYNTAX: Syntax error.
JSON_ERROR_UTF8: Malformed UTF-8 characters, possibly incorrectly encoded (since PHP 5.3.3).

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What is Ethereum? — a short guide

What is Ethereum EthereumPrice

You may be asking yourself, “What is Ethereum?” Well, Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian programmer born in Russia, invented Ethereum in 2015 by. It’s a cryptocurrency much like Bitcoin that allows you to make payments online. It’s decentralized, offers low transaction fees, and runs on a publicly disclosed blockchain that records each transaction.

Read: What is a blockchain? – Gary Explains

Ethereum’s currency is called Ether and is currently the second largest in the world in market cap, behind Bitcoin. There are reportedly around two million wallets that hold it, up from 1.6 million in May — showing the growing popularity of Ether.

How is it different from Bitcoin? Bitcoin aims to become a globally adopted currency that could improve or even replace conventional money. Ethereum, on the other hand, is more than a cryptocurrency. It’s also a ledger technology used to build decentralized applications (dapps) with smart contracts.

What are smart contracts?

Wikimedia

Smart contracts are programs that automatically execute exactly as they are set up by their creators. Their purpose is to offer more security by removing the middlemen that we would otherwise have to use. Confused? Let’s take a look at a simple example.

Let’s say you want to ship a large gift to your friend and hire a trucker to do the job. For the trucker to know you’ll pay him, and for you to be sure the delivery will be made, you both sign an agreement for shared peace of mind. This takes time and can be expensive, as you need someone who will draw up the paperwork for you, and so forth.

This process can be simplified with a smart contract. You make the payment the day the package is picked up, and the smart contract will automatically transfer the money to the trucker as soon as your friend confirms the delivery has been made.

How is Ether created and where can I get it?

CoinSpectator

Like Bitcoins, Ethers are created through a process called mining. This requires expensive and specialized computers that have to perform complicated calculations. Mining is mainly done by large companies that are compensated for their work with newly minted Ethers.

Editor’s Pick

Unfortunately, you won’t make any money by mining with your personal PC, even if it’s a high-end model. So how can you get your hands on Ethers? You can earn them by providing goods and services to people who can pay you with the digital currency. The second option is to buy them from a marketplace like Coinbase with your credit card.

The Ethers you own are stored in a wallet secured with a private key. You can keep it in the cloud or offline, with the latter being a much safer option. The important thing is that you don’t lose the private key. If that happens, you won’t be able to access your money.

How much does it cost and what determines the price?

Crypto-News

Now that we have figured out the answer to the “What is Ethereum?” question, how much do Ethers really cost? Ethers were cheap when introduced back in 2015 — you could get one for less than a dollar. Their price has risen over the years and currently stands at around $430 each (exact value can be found in widget below). The sharp increase means Ethers can be a great investment, same as Bitcoins and many other cryptocurrencies. For example, if you bought $1,000 worth of Ethers in 2015 when they were worth $0.50 a piece, you would have $860,000 today.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that investing in cryptocurrencies can be risky.

Before you get too excited, sell your house, and buy as many Ethers as you can get, let me remind you that investing in cryptocurrencies can be risky. Sure, a lot of them have increased in value in recent years, but that doesn’t mean this trend will continue. Cryptocurrencies are volatile, meaning their price can go up and down significantly in a single day. This makes them less stable than standard currencies like the dollar and euro.

How exactly do we determine their value? Like Bitcoins, gold, oranges, and every other item available on the market, supply and demand determine the price of Ethers.

The Merkle


Ethereum can be hard to understand at times. The same goes for Bitcoins and the rest of the cryptocurrencies available. But the fact is that they’re here to stay and might become a more important part of our daily lives in the future.

Many experts believe Ethereum has a lot of potential and could overtake Bitcoin as the largest cryptocurrency somewhere down the line. This is all speculation, though well within the realm of possibility. But like with stocks, gold, and other investments, no one can be 100 percent sure in which direction the price will move.

Hopefully we have given you an answer to the “What is Ethereum?” question. What are your thoughts on Ethereum and cryptocurrencies in general? Let us know in the comments.