Tag: Firefox

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 31

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

Graphic Design

While Shepard Fairey’s Barrack Obama “Hope” poster became the defining image of the 2008 election, some are asking, what is this election’s HOPE poster?


Web Design & Development

Share buttons. Every site has them, but some of the more common methods for adding them includes extra code that tracks user behavior. Sharingbuttons.io is the easy way to add share buttons, without JavaScript or tracking script.


Courtesy Nick Babich, Medium

The simple button is one of the most used elements in UI design. We enjoyed this article about the evolution and best practices of this oft overlooked website element.


When you design and develop websites for a living, it means you’re often flipping between browsers, terminal windows, code editors and IDEs. Lumen lets you control your screen’s brightness based on the contents of your screen, reducing eye fatigue.


Mozilla devs see a future where devs can drag elements around a web page just by clicking and dragging on them. Starting in v48, they will be able to do just that.


Even good developers need to tell others to shove off at times. Now, they can politely do so as a service.


Get your font stack in order with Type Scale.


Apps

Venmo, owned by Paypal, is a popular app for sending and receiving money from peers. Some consumers are claiming that Venmo swiped $3,000 from them, even though they never had accounts.


Lurchr

For teams like ours, Slack is an integral tool for communication, but sometimes the stuff that is shared by team members creates a distraction from the task at hand. Lurchr helps keep track of links shared in Slack so that your team can stay focused on their work.


What the color? Grab the new iOS app by Pantone, the “authority on color”.


Misc

 

Verne is a 500ft Yeti that aims to teach children about the tallest mountain range in the world using Google Earth.


This is Fine became one of the hottest memes of the year. Now you can own a piece this Internet sensation, in plush form.


IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons

Courtesy IBM via Ars Technica

IBM has created the first artificial phase change neurons that behave like biological neurons with low power usage and dense scaling.


Did Dominos create an app that tracks pizza’s movement through the digestive system? While this article did originate from The Onion, we have learned not to put anything past the marketing and development geniuses at Dominos.


You’re all caught up on the latest buzz from around the Spry Hive. Come back next week for some more web design and tech news!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 42

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

While the first debate for Democratic Presidential Candidates took over our feeds this week, a world’s worth of news flew right by! So, sit back, relax, and catch back up with your weekly dose of the Spry Hive.

Tech

Dandelion

Boeing shocked the tech world with the lightest metal ever, which happens to be 99.99% air.

Without the help of Comcast, or any other large ISP, the town of Chattanooga, Tennessee now offers internet speeds of 10Gbps!

Web

Use caution with Adobe’s Flash Player, as the company just announced a critical vulnerability in the software.

Following Google Chrome’s lead, Mozilla recently announce that Firefox will stop supporting plugins.

It’s always nice to hear someone own up to their mistakes, especially when they are internet advertisers.

Apps

Math class just got a lot more musical with the newest mod for TI graphing calculators.

Design

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While it’s no hoverboard, Lexus’ latest design was inspired by origami…and cardboard.

Here are a few UX habits that will aid any designer.

The countdown to Halloween has begun! Get excited with 31 days of your favorite horror characters, illustrated and motion animated.

Development

While Foundation 6 is still in production, Zurb has released a Sass library for custom CSS animations, Motion UI, for free.

Once again attempting to create a more user-friendly experience on the mobile web, Google has announced a new project for developers aptly named Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Misc.

Ever thought you’d have a shot at graduating from MIT? Well, now you have a better chance than ever, as the university announced their first degree using free online classes.

Forget about water on Mars, astronomers may have just found signs of life in space.

Evidently, some people were surprised to find Microsoft using the Start Menu to display ads. Thankfully, this feature is easily turned off.


And with that, we have caught up on at least a few of the stories that didn’t take center stage this week. Keep preparing for the fast-approaching Halloween and don’t forget to stop by next week for another weekly dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 33

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Welcome back to another edition of the Spry Hive! Did you hear about the major changes to Google’s corporate structure or the exciting announcement from Winona Ryder, Michael Keaton, and Tim Burton? Well, then strap on your seat-belts and get ready to catch up on all of this week’s news!

Tech

s2 vs aw2

Sources = Samsung (left); Apple (right)

During Samsung’s Unpacked 2015 event, the tech giant announced their newest smartwatch. Dubbed the Gear S2, this model will use Samsung’s Tizen OS, a new (but familiar) user interface, and a traditional, circular watch shape. As they are clearly trying to one-up the already popular Apple Watch at this point, how do you think they will compare?

In other news, some technophiles are warning consumers to stay away from laptops released by the tech company Lenovo. Evidently, they have been using the BIOS to change Windows’ system files during a clean install. This means they are essentially making it impossible to clean the hardware of their bloated, unnecessary software.

Web

Over the past few years, Google has been scooping up small, innovative businesses left and right. Throughout this period of rapid expansion, it became increasingly difficult for consumers and investors to define what the once humble search engine company actually does these days. So, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google’s founding fathers, created Alphabet Inc. and announced that G is for Google.

For those of you using Mozilla’s Firefox browser, be sure to check which version you are currently running. In out-of-date editions, attackers are able to access and copy local files through a bug in their PDF reader. So, to be safe, make sure you are running version 39.0.3 or higher.

Design

wrf23

Source = Joe Freedman

If you haven’t seen the Cycloid Drawing Machine created by Joe Freedman, then you’ve been missing out! Luckily, Jim Bumgardner has released a digital simulation of the machine for anybody and everybody to try out online.

Most UX designers understand that the practices and methods used in the industry are in constant flux. As network connectivity continues to be built into an exponentially growing list of devices and methods of data collection become more abundant & sophisticated, some believe that users are becoming the new designers.

Development

Does your development team use Github to help collaborate on, manage, and organize their files and work? Well, you’ll be happy to know that Github Desktop was finally released on Windows and OS X this week, making the system faster and easier to use.

Recently, in an attempt to fight off the smug trolls in development, Chris Coyier, a writer at CSS-Tricks, sent out a fill-in-the-blank tweet that read, “Front end development is hard because __________.” While it may already seem like common sense, some individuals still need a healthy reminder that front-end development is development.

Misc.

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Source = Coloring Flower Machine

Next time you are about to do some shopping on Amazon, take a minute to count how many adult coloring books appear in their list of best sellers. You may be surprised to find more than a handful, but psychologists have been explaining that coloring acts as a form of relaxation, stress-reducer, and is actually comparable to meditation.

After twenty-seven long years, Winona Ryder has confirmed that she is finally teaming back up with actor Michael Keaton and director Tim Burton. While we will realistically have to wait until 2016 to see any glimpses of their work, fans can rejoice knowing that their beloved Beetlejuice will be back for round two.

This week wasn’t all fun and games, though, as citizens in the city of Tianjin, China were caught off guard by an unexpected, disastrous explosion. So, be sure to send your thoughts, prayers, and aid to our fellow humans suffering in China as they mourn those who were lost, begin to recover from the damage and rebuild their city.


And just like that, another week of exciting news has passed right by. While we can find joy in the announcements of Beetlejuice 2, Samsung’s Gear S2, and our new excuse for buying more coloring books, make sure you take some time and reach out to those in less fortunate situations. So, go make the most of your weekend and don’t forget to stop by next week!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2014: Week 47

Posted by Ben Scherliss & filed under Tips.

Happy week-leading-up-to-Thanksgiving, everyone. It’s a special, yet nondescript limbo, as the laid-back innocence of the “non-holiday” season has now all but faded away. It is almost that time to dig-in our heels and embrace the inevitable, impending frenzy of gifts, family time and bad movies. But before that, we all get to engorge ourselves in a giant calorie-free feast featuring this week’s Spry Hive.

Startups

Spry Digital was thrilled to be a part of StartUp Connection this week, where some of the best early stage startup ventures in the St. Louis region were showcased. As always, Spry Digital was well-represented in the event’s resource fair, where we showcased examples of our work for startups, that included everything from branding to design and building and marketing web applications. We were all truly encouraged by the diversity of companies we heard from at the event.

At the end of the evening we awarded $1,500 in-kind to Arvegenix, a startup that is revolutionizing agriculture with the development of pennycress. Pennycress is a crop that will grow over winter between the corn-soy rotation thereby providing growers with an additional revenue crop which does not compete for food crop acres. We think you’ll be hearing a lot more about them in the near future. Congrats guys!

Speaking of startups, according to new research, St. Louis, Missouri is actually the fastest growing city in the world for tech startup funding. Dollar growth in the city grew by an impressive 1,221 percent between November 2013 and October 2014. This put St. Louis well ahead of Munich, Germany where funding grew at 728 percent.

The entrepreneurial footprint of St. Louis continues to grow, and as always, we’re honored to help some of the companies that are helping to shape our new economy.

Design

Dutch designer Christian Boer believes he has come-up with a dyslexic-friendly font to make reading easier for people suffering from the disorder. Unlike traditional fonts, his font called “Dyslexie” uses heavy base lines, alternating stick and tail lengths, and larger openings. These things give each character a more recognizable form, which is already being utilized by several large corporations. He’s also made it downloadable for free.

We’re getting such a kick out of these imagined posters for movie sequels. Who wouldn’t want to see Beetlejuice 2, or Bigger Trouble in Little China? It’s just fun. Worth noting and appreciating: the absence of  Police Academy 8.

Tech

Now, this is no small feet. Rather, very tiny ones. High-concept artist Jonty Hurwitz has created the smallest human sculptures ever assembled – too small, in fact, to be seen with the naked eye. Some of these sculptures can be seen standing tall inside the eye of a needle, or even on a human hair. You’ll definitely want to read on to learn just how he does it.

Source: Shortlist.com

Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, and others, SSL certificates will be free and easy to install, starting summer of next year. At that time, a new initiative called “Let’s Encrypt” will start providing free certificates for any website in need. This, coupled with Google’s recent announcement that using HTTPS will give your site a slight SEO boost, leaves little reason for not securing your website.

After 10 years together, Firefox is breaking-up with Google as it’s default search engine. The browser is leaving Google for a 5-year partnership with Yahoo which will begin this December. Yahoo greatly hopes this marriage will benefit them in their mission to reclaim their former prominence in Web search.

Apps

Hard drives aren’t much different from any closet, basement or attic in the sense that they all fill-up with storage of things we no longer use or need. If you have these issues (that is, being human), take a look at DaisyDisk. We appreciate the visual map that provides a detailed overview of all your Mac’s files and folders.

Social Media

Having “fake” friends has an entirely different meaning in the social media era than it did 20 years ago. In fact, a recent article in the New York Times outlines that many celebrities, politicians and companies often buy fake followers to enhance their perceived popularity online. What’s even more surprising is that many of these fake accounts can even be programmed to retweet certain topics, favorite a tweet or follow anyone who follows them.

Development

Contributing to an open source project can be a struggle. So we love this write-up about on how to contribute to open source without being a [jerk]. A note that the language in the article is a little blue, but the line of thinking is more than noteworthy.

Take a look at RemoteIE, which allows you to test the latest Internet Explorer on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS and Android. It’s a free service from Microsoft, and the key is you’re able to run the latest version of IE on the Windows 10 Technical Preview without the need to run a new OS or heavyweight virtual machine on your device. According to IE’s Program Manager, “We know that developers on Windows 7 want a way to test on the latest builds of IE and that the broader development community is eager to have the latest Internet Explorer available on other platforms”

Could you use another GIT cheatsheet? The people at CodeKarate.com have you covered with this one, which we think fits the bill rather nicely.

Misc

Sticking with the imaginary front, humor us and check out these Superheroes and supervillains reimagined as 16th century aristocrats. You might be taken aback just to how well some of them make the transition. Batman and Wonder Woman somehow appear as if they could fit seamlessly into Game of Thrones. As for The Hulk, well…Um. Hmmm.

We all know it isn’t Thanksgiving until we see tiny hamsters eating a traditional meal. Luckily the crew at Denizen has us covered with this year’s installment. There aren’t any surprising plot twists, which is perfect, as it delivers exactly what we all continue to crave: tiny hamsters eating tiny intricately-prepared meals.


Well, that concludes our big “pre-holiday” meal for this week. Time to stretch-out on that couch and passively watch that football game while passively listening to that uncle of yours talk politics. But we do hope you save-up some room for our next edition. Like the holidays, it will be here sooner than you think.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2014: Week 46

Posted by Ben Scherliss & filed under Tips.

In a week during which the human race somehow, some way managed to land a space explorer on a freaking COMET, much of the news was naturally dominated by the Moon of Kim Kardashian. But then, maybe this is why we compile Spry Hive each week. We’re out here trending a little differently with a little tech, a little development, and some silliness too. So let’s get on to it.

Web

If you read last week’s Spry Hive, we discussed Mozilla’s launch of a new browser for developers. As an additional part of it’s tenth anniversary the company is also launching a special release of Firefox with new features that it says puts the user in control. Much of this appears to translate into one word: privacy. New additions include a pre-installed search option which doesn’t track the user’s identity or search results and a “Forget” feature which clears-out recent activity.

With Google’s recent announcement that https sites are a positive factor in search engine rankings, many with http addresses are taking notice and coming on board. Google itself also provided a few additional positive points as to why a non-ecommerce site should go https, such as the protection of data integrity and the trust factor amongst users. If you also find that interesting, Bill Hartzer expounds a bit more in this article.

Tech

Tuesday Microsoft released a gang of hot fixes for a set of bugs called Schannel which, according to the company, could be one of the most serious threats that the Windows operating system has faced in years. As this affects nearly every version of Windows currently on the market, here’s more detail as to why you should drop what you’re doing and apply the latest update now (if you haven’t already).

Big Hero 6

Animation takes another big step forward with the release of Disney’s Big Hero 6.The film features the debut of Hyperion, which is a cutting-edge light rendering software that Disney’s artists and engineers have been working on for the past two years. In simpler terms, the software tracks how light rays bounce off multiple objects in an environment before they enter your eyes. “Seeing is believing,” may have never been as fitting as it is now.

Development

Do you suffer from “Blank Walls Syndrome?” Do you tend to think every nook and cranny is screaming for an object, painting or piece of furniture? Well, often these same urges can overcome Developers during site builds as well. It’s a concept called horror vacui, which is the natural tendency of humans to fill empty spaces with stuff. As this writer explains, the lesson for both interior design and development is simple: “If you want your software to be perceived as valuable, don’t fill every empty corner with some kind of feature or widget.”

Not to be outdone by Google’s debut last week, Amazon has now followed with their own announcement of it’s first docker-centric product. Their EC2 Container Service for managing Docker containers on its cloud computing platform. It’s available in preview now and developers who want to use it can do so free of charge.

If you’d like to manage all of your Vagrant machines in one place, take a look at Vagrant Manager for OS X, which is both customizable and has indicators for which VM’s you have up or halted.

From our friends at Javascriptissexy.com come these guides for learning Meteor for both beginners and seasoned developers. They even start-off with a comprehensive overview of the technology before you invest any time and resources.

If you’d like a little primer for SVG’s and their benefits, we like this write-up on Styling And Animating SVGs With CSS. They also go over how to export and optimize SVGs, techniques for embedding them and how each one affects the styles and animations applied.

Misc

What’s in a Gnome? Well, a lot for non-profit Gnome Foundation, which recently challenged Groupon’s use of it’s trademarked Gnome namesake. Groupon attempted to strong-arm the small company and take over the “Gnome” name for it’s new tablet point-of-sale system. The non-profit then raised over $87,000 in donations to oppose registration for the trademark, and Groupon eventually backed-off.

So, you think you’ve got skills? Well, let The Skill Project be the judge of that. Their aim is to build the largest, most accurate skills database ever made by allowing a diverse and skillful community to contribute their individual skills to a global map. The thinking is that humans have been around for centuries, yet we have no actual comprehensive database of all the various human skills.


With that, we’ve reached the finish line of Week 46. Come on back around next week for another full serving, and we’ll have you covered. And as always, please do leave a thought or comment below – we’d love to hear from you!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2014: Week 45

Posted by Ben Scherliss & filed under Tips.

If you’ve gotten over Halloween’s candy corn headrush you’ve likely come to and realized that it’s already November. And that means two things. The first being we’re only a stone’s throw away from the holiday season. And the second being it’s time for another ever-friendly addition of Spry Hive, of course.

Here’s the buzz for Week 45:

Misc

Are you finding real life a little too “real” for you? Then take a gander at these insanely realistic Sims and Sims City creations. Now, the Seinfeld characters look a tad fit and and modern, but the Friends bunch is downright uncanny. But be sure to check out “Spiderweb town,” which is seriously righteous.

For everyone who has always wanted to know what an actual comet landing would look like in animation, you’re in luck! The European Space Agency has put-together a cute cartoon detailing the adventures of Rosetta and Philae, the space probe and robotic lander which are about to attempt the feat in real life. It’s nice to see that per the animation they’ll be conducting their mission with big smiles on their faces.

Design

Apparently there is such a career as a Paper Engineer. And if you thought that was just a silly rhyme, you’ll be amazed at some of the functional objects Peter Dahmen has created out of paper. A bit of a happy accident, he learned his craft when he discovered it would be impossible to safely transport projects for his graphic design class on his train commute without damage.

You ever wonder how people with those giant phones are able to use them one-handed? Well, it’s not all possible due to any special skills or freakishly giant hands. As with any mobile technology, there’s a lot more than meets the thumb. People like Luke Wroblewski put some serious creative thought into design solutions for overcoming our “growing phone” pattern. This article by the man himself provides a really neat overview.

Tech

If you’re tired of spending hours searching for that perfect funny cat pic, then forgetting where you found it, you’ll want to go grab the Fetching.io plugin. This helpful tool searches the full text of any website you’ve visited from any device. It runs in the background, and more or less operates like your own personal Google. It works well even if you only recall a few keywords such as “funny, cat, pics.”

Skin Buttons

Now, here’s something which really pushes our buttons. Skin buttons, to be exact, which are working buttons projected onto the skin via small lasers on a watch. These “buttons” can then be engaged the same way an icon on a smartphone would be. Their size can even be increased or decreased depending upon preference.

We’ve all got too many passwords. They’re almost like the traffic lights of personal technology. And now there are a few proximity-based apps which want to help you run those traffic lights. There are a few we’ve been exploring such as Keycard and Proximator. The concept is simple: walk away, and your Mac will lock itself, walk back and it will unlock. Your physical proximity is sensed by using your iPhone.

We can never resist serving-up a little dose of creepiness. Well, more like about 73,000 doses, but who’s counting? A website by the name Insecam is taking advantage of IP cameras worldwide whose owners haven’t changed their default passwords. While this site is in effect aggregating these feeds, it is something which could be dug-up with a simple Google search

Development

Next week on it’s 10th anniversary, Mozilla will be launching a new browser for developers. They are appropriately calling it fx10, and the intent is to allow developers to “debug the whole Web” without having to switch between tools. As for the rest of the details, they are playing rather close to the vest for now, but here’s a bit more info.

Google has announced the alpha launch of Google Container Engine, a new managed service for building and running Docker container-based applications on its cloud platform. Now anyone will be able to run complicated applications super-efficiently inside of Google data centers. With it, you’re also not locked into the Google Cloud Platform and can still continue to use other cloud providers.

eCommerce

One would think that all consumers see the same pricing whether searching by web or mobile. But a recent study found quite the opposite. Incredibly, prices listed by some major retailers as well as hotel/rental car sites were all over the board. Price offerings even varied according to the brand of device from which the searches were made. All a reminder of the not-so-nice side of how companies use big data.


 

Time to shut-down our session for this week. Everyone have a great weekend, and by all means please remember to change those passwords. Also on that note, that wallpaper behind you is a bit outdated, btw.