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Friday, 24 November


[BONUS] Final Video Drive Journal Day 40 "IndyWatch Feed Education"

(VIDEO, 20 minutes) -New York City to Yale University -The Sun sets on School Sucks Across America Part 1 Part 2 On October 15th Brett began a road trip across the country to interview listeners, parents and children about self-directed education, home education and other alternatives to public school/higher education. The School Sucks Across America ...

The post [BONUS] Final Video Drive Journal Day 40 appeared first on School Sucks Project.


How To Add A Contact Form To A Static Website With AWS Lambda "IndyWatch Feed Education"

Lambda-ized Dog

Ive been working as a freelance developer in Tokyo for over 6 years. On the side, Ive been building a product called Inkdrop. Its a multi-platform Markdown editor App. Ive worked on designing the UI and building the back-end and front-end.

Recently, I had a need to make an email form for my static website. I decided to use AWS Lambda. In this article I will tell you how I built it. If you would like to try it without reading this, please check out my repository on GitHub.

A problem with adding server-side logic to static websites

If you know Git, you can publish static websites for free on hosting services like GitHub Pages and Netlify. These services are so useful.

By static, I mean the website uses only HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It doesnt have server-side logic like PHP.

I host my personal website and product website on Netlify which is fast and stable and I really love it..

My product webpage of Inkdrop deployed on Netlify.

Static websites cant generate dynamic content. They cant do things that need permissions like sending email. But sometimes you want to do so. For example, adding a contact form to your homepage.

The problem is that its overkill to buy a paid Netlify plan or deploy a server for that. It doesnt make sense to have a server running all the time when you dont know when a visitor will try to contact you.

Serverless architectures are useful when you want to add server side logic to static websites. It allows you to run the server-side scripts only when you need them.

For example, AWS Lambda only charges you based on the number of requests for your function and the time your code executes. So youre not charged while waiting for visitors to contact you.

A contact form on my homepage

I built a simple contact form on my homepage using AWS Lambda. I open-sourced an example project on GitHub. You can build the same API by using it. This would be a good tutorial for using AWS Lambda.



White Americans Are Still Confused About Racism Heres The Talk We Need To Have "IndyWatch Feed Education"

Growing up and now living in the predominately white city of Seattle, Ive known and worked with countless White Americans. I have yet to meet one White American who has given or received The Talk.

You know, the one that primarily Black American families have to have with their children to keep them safe from the police because of their race: Keep your hands open and out in front of you, shut your mouth, be respectful, say sir. The one you can now witness through this powerful video: 

White Americans have the privilege to grow up without The Talk, but that doesnt mean they should grow up without a talk. 

Perhaps because too many White Americans never get one, they too often get race so wrong.

For one, a recent survey reveals that a startling number of White Americans  55%  believe that they are the targets of discrimination. Other studies (here and here) have corroborated such high percentages. Important to note about this recent survey is that a much smaller percentage of those White Americans say that they actually experienced the discrimination. 

Before you start blaming Trump supporters for these results, a pre-election poll of 16,000 Americans revealed that Clinton supporters, too, have some serious work to do. For example, 20% of Clinton supporters descri...


No budget for the young "IndyWatch Feed Education"

The latest blog from Martin Allen at Education, Economy and Society argues that the Tories have learnt nothing and wonders if Labour will put young peoples concerns at the forefront of its policies.


With young voters flocking to Jeremy Corbyns Labour in the last General Election youd think the Tories would have wanted to use this weeks budget as an opportunity to win back some lost ground.

But, as one disaster follows another, May and Hammond are just as desperate to shore up their existing support and so, unless you are London based, in a career job and with parents able to stump up a large slice of a deposit (by itself, the change does nothing to improve a persons ability to save) for a bargain 300 000 first-time buy, theres nothing that can remotely help you refill that fridge, never mind pay off the overdraft.

The 350 increase in the level you start paying income tax worth about 70 a year, will certainly exempt a fair few from tax altogether, yet if full-time students in part-time jobs are excluded, only half of 18-24-year olds are in the labour market. By comparison, theres been a 1350 increase in the 40% income tax ceiling (its now 46,350). Theres no further moves on student tuition fees (May has previously announced an increase in the repayment threshold and Parliament voted down new fee increases) and no direct reference to the need to rescue apprenticeships....

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Thursday, 23 November


Regular Expressions Demystified: RegEx isnt as hard as it looks "IndyWatch Feed Education"

Understand Regular Expressions with this practical guide. image sourceUnsplash

Are you one of those people who stays away from regular expressions because it looks like a foreign language? I was one. Not anymore.

Think of all those sounds, traffic signs and smells that you can recognize. Regular expressions are no different. Its like a sign language to analyze strings.

We are going to get our head around regular expressions today. At least, regularly used expressions.

Much like any programming language, a regular expression is a succinct language in its own right.

We will know how to put regular expressions to good use by the end of this article. We will solve simple problems and learn loads in the process.

Are you willing to invest 30 minutes and come out enlightened in RegEx? Settle down then.

Why regular expressions?

We each have our own why, dont we? One may be to test if the string is a valid hex color code. You may be writing a processor library such as Sass that leverages RegEx.

Ill let the universe throw the why at you and help you cover the how.

Get Your Playground Ready


Most of the time, I find this page adequate to get going: Regular Expressions from MDN. In fact, that page is all you need. You can stop reading this post. Right now. Close this tab. 

Still with me? Thanks. You need a sandbox to play around in. Luckily, one is available on your browser. Just use the DevTools in your browsers console.

Familiarize yourself with the syntax

To start with, we are going to use the /expression/.test('string') syntax.

An expression is any regular expression that we build. A string is the string under test. The test method returns true or false depending on the match.

Slashes mark the start and end of the expression. Treat them like the double quotes () and single quotes () that you use to the mark start and end of a plain string.

The expression between / is a literal. They are treated as literal characters. Variable names wouldnt be resolved down to their contents.

To make it dynamic, well have to go via the constructor route, using new RegEx(variable_name) syntax. This wil...


What is a Full Stack Designer in 2017? Will You Be One? "IndyWatch Feed Education"

Compared to the Full Stack Designer, we seem to be more familiar with the Full Stack Developers. So what is full stack designer exactly? Can we simply think he/she is a versatile designer?

In the past, designers and developers have a clear role assignment. They rarely do the both at the same time. While with the changes in product design and the evolution of team collaboration, many web designers are able to manage web developing and UX design at present.

So there comes a question: whats the character of the so-called full stack designer? He/She is only a designer? Also coding while being a designer? Or he/she is a designer as well as a web developer?

What is a Full Stack Designer?

In fact, the concept of Full Stack Developer came out earlier than the Full Stack Designer. But full stack does not mean to do all. Specifically, it refers to a person who masters muti-skills and he can use them to independently complete a design or product development.

That means that a truly full stack designer can build a basic conception of a project, and complete the whole design and development related works. Such as the wireframes/prototypes design, visual design, and the front coding, JS / jQuery, etc.

The Emergence

The come out of the full stack designer is not accidental according to the current situation. With the outbreak of mobile Apps and the arrival of the entrepreneurship tide, there are many small development teams who cannot set full positions. That forced the team members to play multiple characters in one position. You can always see the developers not only coding but also build prototypes with the prototyping tools (Mockplus, Axure,

The Advantages

Comprehensive thinking is the biggest advantage of the full stack designers. A designer who is familiar with the product development and design process, he knows the limitation of product design. So that he can clearly control the expectation of the product design. Familiarity with the process can make the team more convenient to understand the development, marketing, and user experience details. This will make cooperation more seamless, reduce rework and unexpected situations.

The Importance

The full stack designer can analyze and customize his own skill tree according to his own situation. He can clearly know the structure of the product, the progress of design and development process. He is a multi-skill...


How to put your expertise in a box and sell it "IndyWatch Feed Education"

At RISE Conf in Hong Kong, Gary Vaynerchuk was asked:

How do I make a living of my passion?

The answer from the marketing mogul was straightforward and brilliant:

Put it in a box and sell it.

That is it. Everyones got knowledge, or a passion. You can share it or sell it.

All you need to do is package it.

Toolbox are the way to package your knowledge and sell it.

Below is a snap of why you would want to put together a toolbox.

Firstlywhats a Toolbox?

And secondlywhats in it for you?

In other words, why should you spend a sheer amount of time putting together a valuable set of information and/or tools for free to be shared.

What is a toolbox?

If you type toolbox into DuckDuckGo (yeah, I care about privacy) you get this definition from Wikipedia:

A toolbox (also called toolkit, tool chest or workbox) is a box to organize, carry, and protect the owners tools. They could be used for trade, a hobby or DIY, and their content vary with the craft of the owner.

Er, kind of at least we have some interesting keywords here: organize, tools, use for trade (I like that one), DIY (sounds right), and craft of the owner.

That kind of make senses but it is not quite what a startup toolbox is

So far, weve seen two kinds of toolbox in the startup space:

  • Informational toolbox
  • Product & service toolbox

Informational toolbox:

Those ones are covering startups ecosystems, like Singapore or Hong Kong...


No budget for the young "IndyWatch Feed Education"

With young voters flocking to Jeremy Corbyns Labour in the last General Election youd think the Tories would have wanted to use this weeks budget as an opportunity to win back some lost ground.  But, as one disaster follows another, May and Hammond are just as desperate to shore up their existing support and so, []


Nov. 23, 1887: Thibodaux Massacre "IndyWatch Feed Education"

Cutting sugar cane in Louisiana between 1880-1897. Source: Library of Congress. (Click on the photo for more information.)

Thibodaux Massacre bookBlack Louisiana sugarcane workers, in cooperation with the racially integrated Knights of Labor, had gone on strike at the beginning of November in 1887 over their meager pay issued in scrip (not cash). The scrip was redeemable only at the company store where excessive prices were charged.

An article in the...

Monday, 13 November


[BONUS] Video Drive Journal Day 30 "IndyWatch Feed Education"

(VIDEO, 27 minutes) -Los Angeles to Glendale, Arizona -First drive journal with Nick in the car -Coming from A Weekend With Thaddeus Russell -The School Sucks Across America documentary Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 On October 15th Brett began a road trip across the country to interview listeners, parents and children about ...

The post [BONUS] Video Drive Journal Day 30 appeared first on School Sucks Project.

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