Tag: Spotify

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 32

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

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

“The important thing in life is not to triumph but to compete.”
– Pierre de Coubertin

User Experience

Help your human audience succeed with these eight psychology tips that can improve your designs.


Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 1.29.21 PM

John Saito from Dropbox explains perspective in interface design in his article Is this my interface or yours?


A solid overview of what companies are testing when they conduct A/B tests.


Graphic Design

1960 Olympic Logo

Olympic logos are often the source of design controversy, so we were gleeful to see Milton Glaser rate every Olympic logo design in history.


Web Design & Development

WooCommerce is a popular ecommerce solution for WordPress, but the lack of a POS option left some stores needing more. Well, WooCommerce has just announced that it will now accept Square payments, allowing retailers to accept purchases from anywhere.


Site performance is affected by numerous factors, including image optimization, code structure and bloat. Many believe that a content delivery network (CDN) can help improve the performance of your site, but it’s not a silver bullet.


The scalable vector graphic (SVG) has numerous advantages over the traditional PNG or JPG. Chris Coyier drops science of how to correctly treat SVGs for resizing and placement.


Misc

The father of the World Wide Web is working on something that could transform the way we interact and share private data on the Internet. Help us TBL, you’re our only hope.


 

A new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has surfaced and it does not disappoint. If you like your movie trailers overly analyzed, check out Wired’s take on it.


Thanks Obama – for the Summer playlist, that is. The White House has shared a Spotify playlist featuring favorite jams from the POTUS himself, so our source in D.C. says.


Apple Campus 2

The latest drone footage of Apple’s Campus 2 revealing the scale of the project simply boggles the mind. Our favorite features include the foam formed underground parking structure, the combination solar and fuel cell energy source powering the entire campus, and the security kiosk shaped like a late model Macbook.


We’ll be back to share more from the Spry Hive next week!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 30

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

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

“When people talk about the good old days, I say to people, ‘It’s not the days that are old, it’s you that’s old.’ I hate the good old days. What is important is that today is good.”
– Karl Lagerfeld

Web Design & Development

The design director from Spotify shares some lessons on scaling design in a modern web app with remote teams.


Want to craft beautiful experiences? You’re going to need the right tools. Sanfrancis.co is a collection of tools for the discerning UX or web designer.


Learn web design in 4 minutes. Well sort of…


Boston.gov

Add Boston.gov to the list of government site refreshes on the Drupal content management system. Here’s a case study of the project by the founder of Drupal, Dries Buytaert.


Typography

Fans of Stranger Things have fallen in love with the 80s nostalgia that includes fashion, music, and even the show’s opening title sequence typography.


Misc

Talk about a new economy, a new study by the University of Pennsylvania has found that Kickstarter has created 8,800 companies and nearly 30,000 new full-time jobs!


Pixar engineers are known for pushing the boundaries of digital animation, but they’ve outdone themselves again with the design of this character for their latest, Finding Dory.


This New York City Sanitation office collects items it finds in the trash, and it’s like the best thrift shop ever. They even give tours.


“Be kind, rewind.” may already be irrelevant phrase, but that’s because consumers ditched VHS years ago, right? Apparently somebody was still buying them, as the last VHS manufacturer has announced that they’re finally killing the VHS.


Stitch together your own stump speech with Trump Sounds.


 

We’re glad that you decided to stop by. Won’t you join us again next week for more Spry Hive?

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 50

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Try not to freak out, but we are only 3 weeks away from 2016! Even with the holiday season in full swing, the world keeps chugging along with plenty of upgrades and news to share. So, catch up on everything you’ve missed and enjoy another dose of the Spry Hive.

The Holidays

Looking for extra special gifts this holiday? Surprise your friends and family with one of these unique and local gifts.

For some, the best gift this holiday season would be better data and real insights.

Make Star Wars an even bigger part of your holiday tradition this year and introduce The Elf on the Shelf to Darth Vader.

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Source = NPR

Nothing says it’s holiday season like a kitchen full of cookies. Thankfully, scientists have cracked the code for making your ideal cookie.

State of the Web

Can’t stand trying to keep up with how quickly things change across the web? Get lost in nostalgia and reminisce with the old web.

Notice anything different about Twitter recently? It’s probably because they’re generating their feeds with a new algorithm.

Spotify is also helping people reminisce as we close out 2015, guiding users through their year in music.

The FCC found itself defending their latest regulations surrounding net neutrality this week, and plenty of people are hoping that the third time’s a charm.

Web Design & Development

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Source = Medium

You might not know what to call it, but you’ve probably noticed all the biggest brands using a specific style of font. Well, it’s called Proxima Nova, and there is a reason why it’s everywhere.

Looking for another coding challenge? See if you have what it takes to code these UI concepts.

Prefer using the latest and greatest languages and platforms? Well, you’re in luck because the two development team has announced the release of PHP 7 and WordPress 4.4.

Misc.

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Source = Kotaku

Teaming up with Verizon, Minecraft Youtuber CaptainSparklez has created the most extraordinary feature yet: a working video phone.

Life can feel a little surreal at times, but at least you can rest assured knowing that we most likely don’t live in a hologram.


So, 2015 might be coming to an end, but there is plenty left to get excited about before the year is over. Have a great weekend with your friends and family, and don’t forget to stop by next week for another release of the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 28

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Welcome back to Friday and another Spry Hive, folks! While United Airlines and the New York Stock Exchange dealt with some technical difficulties throughout the week, the likes of Mozilla and Boeing made some major announcements and Comic Con took over San Diego. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of this week’s news!

Web

actual-fear-and-loathing

Source = graphific on Github

Just about everyone that frequents the web has seen one of the photos shot out by Google’s artificial neural network, now being called Deep Dream. Well, after Google released the code, web applications for the public have begun popping up and someone was brave enough to run a clip from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas through the program.

Since the rise of Chrome, Google’s popular web browser, Mozilla’s Firefox has been steadily losing its share of the market. Now, attempting to salvage their sinking ship, the company has released an outline of their strategy to bring the browser back up to speed.

Ever wonder what the most exclusive website in the world looks like? Well, then you’d better get in line now! For those with an unreliable internet connection or better things to do than virtually stand in line for an obnoxious amount of time, the rest of the web is teeming with talk of the site’s appeal and content.

Tech

While the current trend in the smartphone market seems to be all about expanding screen sizes, not everybody is thrilled. Who would have expected the NBA to fall victim to injuries caused by this growing pattern?

While news about consumer technology usually gets the most coverage, industrial technology is where some of the biggest breakthroughs happen. For instance, just this week Boeing filed a patent for their groundbreaking airplane engine that runs on lasers and nuclear energy.

Design

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Source = Tyler Finck

In case you missed it, Kanye West showed his true designer colors a few years back after claiming that he “gets emotional over fonts.” Now, a couple of years later, a designer named Tyler Finck has created a $50,000 golden font, specifically for Mr. West, called Yeezy Display.

This past week the popular consumer technology company, Logitech, held a conference detailing their efforts to redesign and rebrand the company. While they still refer to themselves as Logitech, the new Logi brand and logo will accompany the company’s future product lines.

Development

Looking for a new or simplified method for creating and editing web images for your site? Well, you’re in luck! Imanee is now live, providing a library of PHP that helps consolidate and simplify the process of utilizing and manipulating web images.

Is Sketch your company’s go-to program for digital design? If so, then you need to checkout the new plugin Sketch-Flex-Layout, which allows developers and other users to utilize CSS Flexbox layouts in the popular program.

Do you enjoy both development and storytelling? Well, this week we came across ParkinT on Github who has released a guide and format for easily creating fully interactive stories and text documents.

Are you interested in joining the recent surge of companies utilizing Google’s Material Design? Well, the gaps in design have finally been filled and the job has been made a lot easier with the release of Material Design Lite.

Misc.

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Have you been keeping up with this year’s San Diego Comic Con? Well, in case you’ve missed it, this year’s show featured some awesome tech pieces, including a real life Star Trek communicator and a customized Snoopy Quadcopter!

The past few weeks have featured a plethora of news about the new music subscription service offered by Apple that is meant to compete with Spotify Premium. Now Spotify has emailed its users who subscribed through the Apple Store, urging them to cancel their subscriptions and to resubscribe through their site.

When you are walking through the tents and superstores full of fireworks, you never know what kind of crazy imagery you are going to come across. Evidently, a blogger named Cabel Sasser has enjoyed the names and artwork of fireworks so much that he photographs them, building a special 4th of July post ever year!


Whether it was seeing Snoopy fly, hearing NBA players blame smartphones for his performance, or the introduction of Material Design Lite, most of us can walk away with some enjoyment from this week’s news. So, thanks for tuning in and have the spryest of weekends!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 27

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Once again, with a summer holiday falling on a Saturday, we all find ourselves working for the weekend. Eyes fixated on the clock, counting every minute between you and the fireworks, it’s no wonder we didn’t hear about Chicago’s “amusement tax” or everything swirling around net neutrality! Thankfully, Spry Hive is here to fill you in, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s news.

Web

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Source = CNN

The world’s eyes were fixated on Greece this week as the government finally defaulted on its loans. After banks closed their doors to the public, the country’s citizens have turned to Bitcoin to protect their savings and Indiegogo to save their country.

Hosting well over a billion users, there is little surprise in the fact that Facebook is being used for malicious purposes. As blogger Fioravante Souza points out, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself from such attacks.

In an attempt to increase city revenue, the Chicago Department of Finance has announced a 9% “amusement tax” for online streaming services. The unprecedented move is expected to rake in about $12 million annually, affecting the subscribers of popular services like Spotify and Netflix.

Digital Age Issues

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Source = arbyreed

With the entrance of the Digital Age, governments and their citizens around the world have been trying to figure out how solve the new issues that follow technological progress.  Weeks after the US Senate passed the USA Freedom Act, essentially abolishing mass collections of phone data, the word on the streets is that the secret FISA court has ruled that the NSA is allowed 6 more months of bulk phone surveillance.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the European Union is attempting to deceivingly implement internet fast lanes. Essentially claiming that their fast lanes are specialized services and not ‘the internet’, a public utility, the officials are obviously trying to convolute the discussion of net neutrality.

While the United States was using secret courts and the EU was hiding behind redefined language, Britain’s David Cameron came out loud and clear about his stance on data encryption. Citing national security and fears of terrorism, Cameron has been fighting hard to outlaw encryption all together.

Development

This past week a member of our team shared an aging yet riveting list from Scott Murray. A fellow developer and blogger, Murray has compiled a group of almost 20 blogs, guiding programmers on how to use their coding skills to create art.

Our development team has been leveraging Sass Maps lately for defining groups of related styles. There are many uses for Sass Maps, from defining groups of related colors, to handling repetitive declarations. Smashing Magazine recently published a helpful article on how to manage font sizes with Sass maps.

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Source = FourSquare

Ever wonder how FourSquare is able to get its users the right notification at the right time and place? Well, their development team has released the secrets to their location technologies and shows you what the world looks like to smartphones.

Are you getting bogged down or distraught over the process of accessibility testing? Well, thank the team at Khan Academy for releasing the toolkit called tota11y that is attempting to simplify the process and educate developers along the way.

Misc.

Securing more than 4.6 million subscribers, Adobe’s Creative Cloud service has inevitably made some enemies over the past few years. Rami James, a UI/UX and web designer, is undeniably a part of that list following his blog post extensively denouncing Adobe’s subscription based program.

In case you haven’t heard, there will be another movie about the late Steve Jobs. This time around, the film is being written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Danny Boyle, and Ashton Kutcher is nowhere to be found. For those interested, the official trailer was released on July 2nd.

In a day that saw his house taken over by white tents and black suits, popular comedian and podcaster Marc Maron had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing President Barack Obama. While last week was commanded by all the talk about decisions made by SCOTUS, we all finally have the time to sit down and enjoy the podcast featuring POTUS.


And just like that, we are all caught up on this week’s news, having once again enjoyed the tales of a net neutrality, Bitcoin, Drupal development, and more. From everyone here at the office, we hope you have a safe and spry 4th of July weekend.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 12

Posted by Ben Scherliss & filed under Tips.

With SXSW coming to a crescendo this week there has been no shortage of interesting news bubbling up to us from Austin. We’ll be taking a look at some of it, as well as the rest of what’s fun, new and interesting in this latest edition of Spry Hive.

SXSW

As noted, there’s always a gamut of new exciting things to see, touch and feel at SXSW. One of those things this year that provided all of that was a robot petting zoo. The particular robots featured in this exhibit were designed to assist humans in the event of a natural disaster.

According to one Google exec, Google Glass may have been a victim of it’s own fast fame. Speaking at SXSW, Astro Teller explained that Google’s “explorer” program had intended to get feedback, but may have prematurely created false impressions.

If you feel like you missed the action at SXSW Interactive, not to worry, there’s an online tracker that provides a visualization of what was the most talked about keywords and trends.

Tech

The whole process of 3D printing is pretty badass in itself, but kicking things up a notch, here’s a printing technique that is 25 to 100 times faster than anything on the market today and is inspired by Terminator 2.

Web

In a rather eye-opening move, CNN, The Financial Times, The Guardian and Thomson Reuters are combining their ad forces against Google and Facebook. They are calling it Pangaea Alliance, and their hope is that by pooling their audiences, their ad inventory can better compete with the reach of these giants.

SOURCE = Ars Technica

If you really want to tell the world how much something sucks, you’ll soon be able to purchase a “.sucks” domain to make it official. More interesting is the fact that companies with registered trademarks will have to pay a heftier price to purchase and protect such domains.

Gmail has a new extension that allows you to see if the email is being tracked before you open it. It’s called “Ugly Email,” and it seamlessly integrates with Gmail. Currently available for Chrome and Firefox is apparently in the works.

Hike.io is an open source platform which allows techy outdoorsman to find, map and view photos of beautiful hikes. With a bit of a Wikipedia-like approach, the information is free and entries can be added and edited by the public.

Development

For those interested in learning to code in Swift, you can do it via your phone. The Swifty app provides a simplified approach for experimenting with code as well as access to over 200 interactive lectures.

If you desire to advertise your expertise and passion for your preferred dev frameworks you’ll likely enjoy browsing ShirtJS. After all, it has become a bit tricky lately to find those “Eat, Sleep, Angular, Repeat” t-shirts at Target.

Libraries.io is an open source massive database of programming libraries sorted by language, platform and license in periodic table form. The site also offers a popularity list so you can view just what libraries others are using.

CSS sans is a font implemented in pure CSS and is definitely worth a look.

Apps

If you’ve ever lost your wallet you know that replacing everything is a treacherous ordeal. Where’s Wallet is a line of wallets which come embedded with a small sensor that alerts your phone if you leave it behind you. Now, of course if you misplace your phone, then we don’t even know what to tell you.

The wallpaper for your phone doesn’t have to be dull or even static. TapDeck offers smart wallpapers that can be changed at any time and swiped to provide story and facts behind each image.

Do you ever wonder how Spotify does what it does, or better yet, how they pay so little for the ability to serve all that music? Jack Stratton provides a brief, but measured take on how many artists are unhappy and why he believes lite listeners should be too.

And thanks to a new partnership with the music streaming service Rhapsody, users of the Twitter app can now stream full-length songs for free. The ability only exists within the app, however, and if you do try to access via web you’ll be rerouted over to Rhapsody’s site for a shorter clip.

Misc

The National Science Foundation is pushing to make more research public more quickly. This week it did so by announcing a plan for comprehensive public access to research results.

If you tend to think simplicity is beautiful when it comes to art and design, here is a great showcase of single weight line art illustrations.


That brings us to a close for the first day of spring 2015. We look forward to seeing you same time, same place next week.