Tag: Spry Hive

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 23

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The first week of June brought out all the big names in the news. Between Facebook, Netflix, Paypal and Google, the week gave us a little taste of everything. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Spry Hive!

Web

Facebook is far and above the social media site with the largest following. Because of this reigning popularity, the platform’s lack of support for the extremely popular GIF file type has always seemed a little odd. That shortfall is in the past, though, as the company now fully supports GIFs.

While Facebook remains the king of social media, Netflix is continuing to solidify itself as the king of the internet in North America. Evidently, during the evening hours, when internet usage peaks, Netflix accounts for 37% of all activity.

r2d2-590x368

Source = Geek.com

Blowing up in everybody’s face this week was the new Terms of Service that Paypal released following their split with Ebay. Evidently, Paypal failed to include a section detailing how customers can prevent the company selling their phone number or how to opt out of the obnoxious robocalls. Thankfully, for Paypal and their customers, the company has backed down and claims that it will provide customers with an option to opt out of the much unwanted service.

The digital scrapbooking website Pinterest has always be proud of the fact that their product helps people around the world discover new things. The company now seems to be taking things a step further, announcing the ability to buy the items you come across on their site.

Design

3045998-slide-s-3-inside-linkedins-new-empire-state-building

Source = FastCoDesign.com

Most news about the popular company Linkedin focuses on new features they offer or how to get the most out of their services. That said, the latest news pertaining to the business-oriented social media website is all about design! If you haven’t seen their stunningly hip New York office yet, then you are in for a treat.

While Linkedin was laboring over every detail of design for their office, IHOP was busy trying to make their brand smile. Unfortunately for the home of unlimited pancakes, people have already started describing their new logo as a “deranged clown”.

Development

Are you interested in learning how to code using Javascript? Well, you are in luck! Fellow developer Max Ogden has created a guide to learning the language that is so easy your cat could grasp it.

If you are more familiar with the vocabulary and grammar of Javascript and looking for a tool that will make your coding life easier, then look no further! The individuals at Konstantin Sokhan have come up with the website called JavaScripting  where you have access to browse and search through a multitude of libraries, frameworks, and plugins.

Tech

awklhfj

Source = Surrey NanoSystems

Have you ever wondered what a black hole looks like? Well, Surrey NanoSystems may have come up with the closest possible alternative. Named Vantablack, the material reflects 99.96% of all white light, making it the darkest object humans can observe with the naked eye.

Google recently held their I/O event for developers, and, as always, they featured a number of new, quirky technologies. Attempting to revolutionize the function of fashion, Google has been working on touch-sensitive thread and stitching that would turn any piece of clothing into a touchscreen.


And just like that, another week has come and past, leaving some new technological advancements, a few lessons, and every other type of news behind it. We hope you enjoyed the week as much as we have, and, as always, wish you the spryest of weekends!

 

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 22

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Even with the short week, it felt like a special treat making it back to Friday. From kitty DNA to yet another smart-watch, this shortened week provided plenty to gab about! So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Spry Hive!

Tech

By now, we all know that the world loves just about everything about cats. Well, KittyBiome loves cats so much that they want you to send them your cat’s poop! Using the latest technology in DNA sequencing, the company wants to help develop new technologies, medicines, and practices that will make every cat happy by creating a library of feline DNA & microbial diversity.

Ever since the second edition of their product released, which features the extraordinarily unpopular DRM technology, Keurig Green Mountain has had a lot of trouble selling their machines. Consumers have once again shown that they will not financially support technology that limits their purchasing power, sending Keurig’s sales plummeting almost 25% during the first quarter of 2015.

Source = The Verge

Watch out Apple, Olio Devices is coming for you! Created by former developers from Apple, NASA, and Pixar, this new smart-watch is compatible with both iOS & Android and sports the most stylish and customizable design on the market.

Design

Designers beware! Your list of critics just got a little larger and a lot closer to home. From the creators of The User is Drunk, where your site’s design is critiqued through the eyes of a well-lubricated developer, The User is My Mom pits your site against the senses of those who are far from tech savvy.

Source = easier.cc

Having to save and upload your files every time you want to share a file from Sketch is both obnoxious and tiresome. Thankfully, Sketch users can now easily share their artboards with the simplicity of sharing a URL using the new plugin EasyShare.

If you are a regular around Spry Hive, you probably noticed that we have been posting about and discussing Atomic Design with increasing frequency. For those who are unfamiliar with the process’ concepts, Brad Frost is covering the ins & outs of Atomic Design’s methodology & maintenance.

Development

The developers at Facebook have been hard at work releasing a virtual machine called HHVM to use with their custom programming language Hack. Hack is a programming language that integrates seamlessly with PHP. What’s important, though, is that the language also includes type annotations, generics, collections, and lambdas, all of which PHP lacks.

Misc.

Source = TechCrunc

This past week, some new data on female entrepreneurship was finally released. Evidently, the number of startups with at least one female founder has basically doubled since 2009!

Anybody that has visited or lives in St. Louis knows that the city isn’t lacking when it comes to bars and bar patrons. If you’re looking for anything from a brewery or sports bar to a restaurant or a place to find live, local music, the St. Louis area has you covered. This past week, Esquire Magazine named St. Louis the ‘Bar City’ of the year.


So, whether it’s a new found urge to tour this year’s ‘Bar City’, send someone your cat’s poop, or even just learn Atomic Design, we can all find something to take away from this past week. We hope you can make it back next week and wish you the spryest of weekends!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 21

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

It’s fair to say that with Memorial Day this coming Monday, we were all just working for the weekend. We were all left talking about whether or not we will be able to fill the void of not one, but two cultural icons. So, don’t worry if you happened to miss anything else from this week’s news! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Spry Hive!

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Source = AMC

Apps

For many people, running has never been an activity that was easy to get into. Thankfully, there are apps like Zombies, Run which make running more engaging and entertaining! Think you can keep up with the story-line?

Just when we all seemed to be getting comfortable with Gmail, Google decided it was a good time to release their new platform for managing emails. Currently available through invite-only, Inbox by Gmail aims to create a more fluid environment for browsing and managing your electronic communications.

Tech

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Source = Gizmodo

Just a few weeks ago, we found the office talking about a new, time-consuming method for opening closed Master Locks. Before any of us could master the technique, we came across this 3D-printed device that will open the lock for you!

No matter where you are from, the warmer weather of Spring and Summer naturally comes with a heap of construction crews and detours. Luckily, the constant repairs to sidewalks and roads may soon be a thing of the past if a group of Dutch developers find a way to mass-produce their self-healing bioconcrete!

Design

When Apple was developing their new Apple Watch, they had to spend a good chunk of time figuring out how to make their font legible on any screen size. This dynamically scaling font called San Francisco is taking it’s first step up in size as Apple has announced their plans to update iOS 9 & 10.11 with the new font.

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Source = Luke Jones

For designers, it is a constant struggle between what the program says is correct and what looks/feels right. If you are interested in learning more about adjusting for the way an image is perceived, Luke Jones’ blog post goes into the subtle changes required for what he calls Optical Adjustment.

Development

The development team behind Meteor, a platform for web and mobile apps built around JavaScript, released some exciting news this past week. Evidently, the open-source group has announced a $20 million round of funding for the continued development and release of Meteor.

Did you know DrupalCon Los Angeles was held last week from May 11th to May 15th? If you for some reason missed the event, do not fret! A large number of the sessions and presentations have been posted online! This past week, our development team found a good video for those interested in beginning to use Agile development techniques with Drupal CMS.

Misc.

JDEonLU

Source = /u/Soggybrick on Reddit.com

Have you ever had to tell someone, “I can’t do anything right now, I’m in the middle of cups?” Well, if so, chances are you were sleeping. This past week, our team came across an individual that wrote down the best phrases that his sleeping girlfriend came up with!

This week our team came across yet another crazy service to use on your best friends or worst enemies. Evidently, potatoes are being shipped across the nation, leaving people messages ranging from “Happy Birthday,” to, “You’re being evicted.” Who wouldn’t want to receive a potato parcel?


So, while it’s about high-time time to find an alternative to Master Lock, Mad Men, and David Letterman, this week’s news provided plenty to look forward to as we move into the long weekend. We hope you make it back next week and that you have the spryest of Memorial Days!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 20

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Well, we have made it back to the one and only Spry Hive, which means it’s finally Friday! This week, the office was buzzing with talks of pet cameras, Drupal development, curse words and more. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s news!

Tech

Interested in keeping up with the development of Google’s Self-Driving Car? Well, after traveling 1.7 million miles, the team has plenty to share about their experiences thus far, including 11 minor accidents.

lily

Source = TechRadar.com

Ingeniously combining the characteristics of a drone, a self-driving car, and a Go-Pro, a group of individuals from the University of California – Berkeley has developed a flying camera that follows you! Named Lily, this ground-breaking device provides a hassle-free way to record your every move.

Web

This week saw another win for the Net Neutrality movement, and the internet in general, as the FCC has refused to budge on any aspects of their new regulations for Internet Service Providers. If everything goes as planned, the new rules should go into effect June 12, 2015.

In an attempt to regain their footing in the market of internet browsers, Microsoft has announced that they are shutting down Internet Explorer and releasing their new browser, Microsoft Edge. Hopefully the logo’s changes aren’t indicative of how much (or little) effort went into the new browser’s functionality.

wef

Source = imageidentify.com

While we have been able to search through Google using images for a few years now, Wolfram has now provided the internet with a tool that will identify an image for you! The web-tool isn’t perfect, yet, but this marks a huge step in the direction of legitimate artificial intelligence.

Development

Here in the office, our team uses a combination of Sketch and Photoshop for web-development purposes. This past week they came across Daniel Schwarz’s article about the various ways to extract HTML/CSS code from the two platforms.

As it is one of the major Content Management Systems used by our team, Drupal is discussed thoroughly around the office. So,our interests were piqued when we heard about the new Drupal Console, a platform built to help manage the complexities of Drupal CMS.

Interested in joining the Drupal community and learning how to develop using the CMS? Well, you’re in luck! This May 22nd, Drupal developers around the world are hosting a slew of free or low-costing training sessions for new & beginner users!

Misc.

Millennium-Falcon-Fan-Build-1

Source = Titans Creations

LEGOLand Malaysia takes the 4th of May very seriously. So seriously that they hold a Star Wars event in honor of the aging “May the Fourth be with you” puns. What stole the show, however, was Titans Creations’ 10,000 brick model of the Millennium Falcon.

Do you find yourself cursing like a sailor whenever you get hurt? Well, keep it up! Evidently, researchers have found that an individual can strengthen their emotional resilience by cursing their way through pain.


So, with another week in the books, be sure to keep an eye out for Google’s Self-Driving Car and camera’s following people around, take a look into joining or engaging the Drupal community, and keep on swearing! We hope you join us next week and, as always, have a spry weekend!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 19

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Well, once again, we have finally made it to Friday! Here in the office, the week had our team talking about everything from spamming friends with Goats to voting on your phone to the ideology of bathroom signs. Trust me when I say, you won’t want to miss any of this week’s news!

Web

For better or worse, the team discovered a new web-page that you can use to both surprise your goat-loving friends and annoy anyone with a SMS-enabled phone! Either way, Goat Attack is another great example of the internet’s true potential.

Blogging is an integral part of connecting with the internet community, allowing people and companies to express their thoughts and share their voice. If you don’t think you have what it takes to write good blog posts, Cali Pitchel shares a bit of knowledge and says that, with just a few simple steps, everyone can be a writer.

Apps

How would you feel about voting on your smartphone? Well, evidently, Voatz has been trying to make that a reality, developing a secure voting app that could forever change the democratic world.

Source – Cnet.com

Those looking for a new way to edit photography on the go, keep an eye out for Pixelmator’s newest release. After successfully adding support for iPads last fall, the company is finally preparing to launch their app for iPhone.

Design

Nobody likes to waste time searching for the perfect font, especially one that you’ve probably used a dozen times already. Thankfully, designers can rejoice as RightFont for Mac integration is coming to Photoshop, Sketch 3, Illustrator, and Indesign this fall, but you can try the beta (for Mac) today.

Development

Since incorporating Atomic Design practices into our team’s web design process, we have essentially replaced traditional web style guides. If you work with Drupal, this article explains how the methodology will be very helpful for a developer working in that CMS.

On a related note, for development teams using Drupal, keeping track of every part that goes into building a website on the powerful platform can be understandably difficult. Due to the CMS’s extensive configurability, Palantir’s newest blog post is stressing the importance of the planning phase.

Misc.

@durnesque (Twitter)

You won’t want to miss out on this creative re-imagining of the figure used as a sign for female restrooms. Focusing on people and not just process, the company Axosoft began the campaign as a way to raise-awareness about gender-based assumptions and perspectives. With just a little added color, it becomes quite obvious that those extra lines were never a dress.

With another election year right around the corner, every hopeful presidential candidate should make sure to remember to register any and all relevant domain names! Evidently, both Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz forgot this very important rule of the internet. Think you can find the bonus page on Carly Fiorina’s website?

Finally, we want to give a giant shout-out and congratulations to the entire St. Louis area for an amazing GiveSTLDay this past Tuesday! More than $2,000,000 was raised for nonprofits in just 24-hours! For non-St. Louis natives, find out when your local #givingtuesday event is being held!


Just like that, another week has come to an end. We took a look at some new tools, had some good laughs, and heard some enlightened perspectives. And with that, we want to wish all the mothers out there a happy Mother’s Day, and, as always, we hope you have the spryest of weekends!

 

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 18

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The YouTube app’s fatal flaw has finally been fixed, there is an abundance of free literature and lessons for digital designers, and everybody is coming out with their own framework to make development easier. Week 18 of 2015 brought the beginning of May and plenty more news. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Spry Hive!

Apps

If the past week or so has kept you away from your Social Media, consider yourself lucky! That’s because you probably didn’t have to witness these horrific caricatures filling people’s news feeds across the world.

image

Source = BusinessInsider.com

Happily moving away from the ghoulish and unproductive nature of apps like My Idol, the team behind AudioPocket seems to have fixed one of the biggest problems associated with the YouTube app. After downloading their new app, you will finally be able to stream music without YouTube open!

Are you one of the many individuals that jumps around from Dropbox to Facebook to GitHub to Google Drive and beyond just to store and manage your files? Well, you can finally stop pulling out your hair! Filepicker has developed an app that connects to any site on the internet, gathers and processes your content, and stores everything in one place!

Have you been looking for a friction-less way to get paid for your new piece of artwork or that new fundraiser you are working on? While there are plenty of options on the market, Square Cash provides an easy to use interface, connects directly to your bank account within seconds, and offers a number of free-of-charge payment options for non-business use!

Design

Google’s Mobilegeddon isn’t the only problem mobile devices are creating when it comes to responsive web design. Take a look at Jason Howie’s article highlighting that larger phone screens are becoming quite problematic for web designers.

Built to help designers solve problems, UXPin is a UX Design Platform that tries to make wire-framing and the integration of other applications, like Photoshop & Sketch, even easier. While the platform itself requires varying degrees of subscription, their site does offers a plethora of free books and libraries dedicated towards educating users on the different variables of design.

Screen-Shot-2014-03-03-at-10.53.46-AM-680x483

Source = ReallyGoodEmails.com

The importance of creative and effective design does not only apply to websites, applications, and social media. Nowadays, as this site aims to prove, creative design is just as important when creating an effective email.

Compiled for both designers and developer, Cheetyr.com provides quite a few cheat-sheets and shortcuts to help make the most of your time. The cheat-sheets provided include, but are not limited to: Photoshop, InDesign, Sketch, Git, and Vim.

Development

Here at Spry, a portion of the development and design team has been preparing for their Acquia Certification. Thankfully, during our studying, we came across this insightful review of the exam.

For those interested in learning more about app development, you might want to take a look at the software development kit (SDK) called Ionic. If this sounds like something up your alley, take a look at this Ionic Framework Tutorial we came across.

If Ionic just isn’t your cup of tea, then take a look at the Supersonic framework. They actually go as far as providing a side by side comparison of features with Ionic. Take a look for yourself and decide which SDK is right for you!

Capturesdfasdf

Source = AppGyver.com

Drupal has always been one of our team’s favorite content management systems (CMS), but that doesn’t mean it’s simple to use. Fortunately, individuals like Jack Haas have been working hard on making life in Drupal a little easier, developing so called ‘living style guides’.

Looking to try a newer CMS? Then you’re in luck! Over the past few weeks, the team here at Spry has come across quite a few options for managing content outside of WordPress and Drupal. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Misc.

Though we don’t get too many gnarly waves here in the St. Louis area, there were plenty of people wishing they could get their hands on Quicksilver’s new wet-suit. Then again, who’s going to be able to tell the difference with such a snazzy bow-tie?

Around Spry, writer and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss has quite the cult following. There was no surprise, nor lack of excitement, when one of our team members shared his newest show, The Tim Ferriss Experiment.

Last, but certainly not least, we turn towards an intriguing online myth-buster. Over the past week, news began to surface about a serious security problem with Master Locks.


Week 18 of 2015 may not have featured a myriad of big name corporations coming out with big time breakthrough, but at least we got a wet-suit for the office, more free education, and some help with organizing all our files. Feel free to leave us a comment or shoot us an email if you’d like to talk about any of the topics discussed today! Thanks for stopping by, and, as always, stay spry, folks!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 17

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

From chameleon tongues to Mobilegedon, Week 17 of 2015 provided plenty of glimpses into the future. The past week also brought about a slew of business & development advancements that seek to make the most of your workday!  If you feel like you’re already a month behind, don’t fret! It’s finally Friday and Spry Hive is here to fill you in! So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s news as the markets of technology, business, and development take the helm.

Tech

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SOURCE = Festo

Beginning this week’s spree of technological innovation, a team of engineers developed a robot mimicking the mechanics of a chameleon’s tongue. While there are an unimaginable number of industrial uses for such an invention, what do you think the commercialization of such a technology could spell for our future?

The pursuit of convenience has almost always been one of the major forces behind technological innovation. Thanks to a team at M.I.T., your phone and computer will always be at your fingertips, even if the device is across the room!

If you need help remembering things on a regular basis, then you may want to take a look at this invention. While it won’t hold your coffee mug for you or allow you to interact with a screen sitting across the room, the ingenious technology of this so called ‘smart button’ was developed to help you remember all of your daily tasks and chores.

Thankfully, you won’t have to put one of these smart buttons on your oil filter. Evidently, the team at Hubb has been working on an everlasting oil filter. Now you can feel good about ignoring your car manufacturer’s recommendation to get an oil change after only 3,000 miles.

Meanwhile, a team at the New York Times just freed up a lot of time and head-space during meetings with their new Listening Table! The company promises that their electric ears can be trusted and won’t record unless physically prompted to by a meeting attendee. All we want to know is, when can we get our hands on one?!

Business

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SOURCE = Ryan Ritchie @ Flickr.com

Do you always seem to be focusing on multiple projects at once? For those of us that claim to thrive while multi-tasking, put down the coffee, take a quick breath and read this article. Can you speed up each of your tasks, but slow the whole day down, by re-assessing your list of priorities?

Well, thanks to Google upgrading their search algorithm, Mobilegeddon is upon us. If you missed it entirely, head over to Ken’s blog post for the inside scoop on how this could affect your business!

The Listening Table isn’t the only thing capable of saving time around the office. If we are to listen to Sujan Patel, then squeezing your content for every last drop through republishing is the way to go.

Development

Aside from technology and business, the development world provided quite a bit of insight for the workplace.

SOURCE = CodeSchool.com

Git is our team’s preferred version control software (which has saved us from countless headaches), but it can be confusing for some new users to learn. For those who may be struggling, Taylor Wan’s newest article might be the crash course for Git that you’ve been looking for!

Continuing with the theme of education within development, our team found themselves discussing the website Servers for Hackers. The site provides free lessons on various topics like Ansible, SSL Certificates, Vagrant, Discourse, and more. That being said, to unlock the site’s full potential, you must eventually subscribe.

Developers have finally solved the awkwardness of clicking the ‘back to top’ button and bumbling past the silence of old content all the way up the page. Elevator.js provides the perfect amount of elevator music to alleviate the gawky ride to the top!

Last, but certainly not least, Mozilla Labs has released a new tool that makes collaborating as a team during the development of your new website even easier! Togetherjs.com provides it’s users with content that syncs in real time, both text and voice chat, and the ability to see a teammates cursor and actions in real time, among a slew of other features.


From Google to Mozilla to the New York Times, the trend we continue to see is that hard, focused work, creative thinking, and a little bit of silliness are all equally important in the markets of technology, business, and development. So, once again, thanks for stopping by to enjoy this week’s news! Feel free to contact us if you would like to further discuss any of the news from this week, and, as always, stay spry this weekend!

Dispatches From The Spry Hive: Week 16

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

During the sixteenth week of 2015, the Tax-Man came to fill his coffers, but thanks to the likes of George Lucas, Skype, the United Kingdom, innovation kept chugging right along. So enjoy this week’s Spry Hive.

Tech

Jumping right into the week, Monday the thirteenth saw the United Kingdom opposing an international ban on lethal automated weapon systems. How do you feel about the development of autonomous destructive robots (curiously termed LAWS)?

Self-Driving Cars

SOURCE = FASTCODESIGN.COM

While some developers this week have centered their work around technological advances which attempt to harness and control raw power, others have been trying to work out the kinds of the relatively new market of self-driving cars. Unfortunately, developers have run into a sticky dilemma.

For those not interested in holding conferences inside of a moving vehicle or controlling potentially lethal technologies, a company named AIAIAI is revolutionizing the portable audio market. Apparently, their new line of headphones will feature approximately 360 different options for customization.

Tired of both cooking AND going out to eat? Look no further than 2017! According to Factor Tech, the company Moley Robotics is attempting to commercially launch their automated chef, which can prepare about 2000 different meals, within the next two years.

Business

Alongside the never-ending advancements in technology, the sixteenth full week of 2015 provided plenty of news & ideas in the business world.

Most companies, especially start-ups, are looking to perfect and, for some, standardize the methodology and procedure of every process in their respective industry. One can only dream. In reality, it is easy to lose scope of every variable that affects the functionality of a company. Thankfully, there are individuals out there reminding us not to forget the things we’ve already neglected.

Do you feel like taking your criticism of an action against management even further? Then you’re in luck! Romy Misra wrote an interesting article this week, looking into the number of companies that have pushed for the abolition of management all together. Would your business benefit from implementing a similar practice?

Starting a new job and not quite able or willing to bring down the reign of management? Do not fret! Fastcompany.com has provided half-a-dozen tips for quickly assimilating into a company’s culture within the first few weeks.

Apps

Merging the two worlds of business and applications, Skype has announced that they are expanding their service. Marketed as Skype for Business, Microsoft has apparently found the software they need to get their foot in the door of video conference calling. Will you be giving their product a test-drive in your next meeting?

Skype-for-Business

SOURCE = THENEXTWEB

In other news, the medical market is being taken by storm. An app called VisualDx aims to provide an on-site cheat-sheet for visualized diagnosis. While hypochondriacs are advised to stay far from the gruesome pictures, the software promises world-wide utilization by doctors and parents.

Misc

And finally, looking beyond the seriousness of professionalism, we wrap the week up in a category of misfits.

For those of you yearning to, once again, jam out on your plastic rendition of a guitar, your wait may finally be over! Evidently, the developers working on the return of Guitar Hero have scrapped the graphic designs and replaced them with cameramen. How do you feel about playing in front of 10,000+ human faces, even if it’s in your living room?

In true American fashion, our week couldn’t end without at least a little bit of news from the world of Star Wars. Providing even more material for fanatics to hype and skeptics to criticize, Disney released the second official teaser-trailer for the upcoming 7th installment of the series. Is the series reboot living up to your expectations yet?

Though George Lucas’ only attachment to the modern Star Wars world is through living memory, that doesn’t keep him away from the major media outlets. Apparently, the seasoned director has begun the processes of attempting to develop affordable housing in one of the country’s wealthiest municipality. Let’s just say the neighbors and Lucas are by no means working together on this effort.


And so, in what seems like a blink of an eye, another week of innovation, advancement, and news is on it’s way out the door. While the sixteenth full week of 2015 provided plenty to forget, we can now see that the wheels of human activity & development are still hard at work. Keeping an eye out and your head down for the future development of self-driving cars and killer robots, go now and enjoy the weekend! Thanks again for tuning in, and, as always, stay spry!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 15

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

It can be difficult staying spry and motivated with the kind of week the St. Louis area has endured. From 20 inches of hail in the Manchester area to a tornado in Farmington to rain just about everywhere, we have finally made it to Friday. Fortunately, the sun is out and we can all relax as we jump into this week’s Spry Hive!

Tech

SOURCE = Youtube.com

While everyone else was preparing their wrists and wallets for the reviews on the Apple Watch, Netflix was working on something of it’s own. With the debut of the Netflix Watch across the internet, one might think that Netflix forgot the date of April Fool’s day.

For those looking to camp outside the Apple Store for a chance to be one of the first with their new device, Apple suggests ordering online first. The company hopes to curb the crowds and madness often associated with the release of their products.

Where Netflix was trying to bring a little joy to those of us as robotic as the computers we work on, a company called MudWatt is using kickstarter to teach and entertain the kids. Their goal? Allowing kids to create electricity using Mud. Maybe we will think twice before telling our kids to not play in the mud?

Wrapping up this week’s world of tech is a company we are all familiar with; Amazon. According to recent news, the FAA has officially given Amazon the ability to begin testing their drone delivery service. Evidently, in the 6 months it took the FAA to respond to the company’s first request, Amazon had enough time to develop an entirely new system. A system that wasn’t a part of their first request. Like it or not, we could soon start seeing robots at our doorstep.

Development

For individuals looking to break into the C++ world or even seasoned developers just looking for another pool of samples, the website C++ Samples was launched April 6 just for you! They make it easy to find the code you are looking for, breaking the samples into categories like Common Tasks, Patterns, and Algorithms.

Looking to couple this knowledge with a better understanding of source code? Aria Stewart has your back, providing a lengthy post about how to read source code based on a talk she gave at Oneshot Nodeconf Christchurch.

Website performance optimization is an ongoing process, and there’s no shortage of articles on how to squeeze every extra millisecond out of website response time. With so many ways to approach performance, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the basics. This article by Sam Dutton reminds us of the importance of clean, concise HTML structure for high-performing websites.

Web

SOURCE = Engadget.com

In a big win for customers and the Internet in general, HBO has finally released the long awaited HBO Now service. While you can still watch HBO through your contracted cable service, all you need for HBO Now is a computer with the internet and $15 a month. With Game of Thrones’ new season beginning this Sunday, maybe HBO’s new service can help fix the major pirating problem they face.

While HBO is attempting to give customers an option that doesn’t include a $30+/month contract for unwanted channels, Youtube is in the process of developing a plan for customers to enjoy Ad-Free web-based videos. With web-based shows premiering directly on the site and the introduction of companies like Vessel, Youtube has found itself scrambling to keep it’s hold on the market.

On the other side of the web this week, Microsoft and Dropbox announced their enhanced integration of services. Attempting to compete with the all-in-one package that Google offers the working world, you will now be able to utilize Microsoft Office Online with all of your Dropbox files. This includes easy and effective editing, commenting, and saving. Will you stick with Google Drive & Docs, or will you give Microsoft and Dropbox a try?

Business

From innovative operations to unorthodox practices to another merger, the business world has seen some promising changes throughout the week.

Over the past year, venture capitalists have taken the healthcare system by storm, utilizing untapped features of the Affordable Healthcare Act. In 2014 alone, venture capital dedicated towards implementing high-tech programs into the healthcare system rose to $308 million. Compared to 2013, that is a 250% increase from $88 million raised. Compared to 2012, $308 million raised is a 556% increase in funds per year. With the new digital infrastructure being put into place, we can all be happy with the potential for fewer costs and better coverage.

Are you in the market for a new employee? Evidently, Google has gone out of their way to implement more informative interview questions in their hunt to hire the best. Check this article out to see how Google does their hiring.

While Google shares their experience in hiring the best, LinkedIn is on a quest to purchase and merge with the best. Over the past week, news has surfaced stating that LinkedIn is attempting to enter the online education business by purchasing the site Lynda.com. Offering lessons, courses, and workshops about Development, Design, Business, Video, and more, a visit to Linkdin may soon include more than networking and job hunting.

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As a final note, we would like to congratulate our very own Sheila Burkett. Sheila has been recognized for her extraordinarily hard work & talent in the St. Louis business world. This time around the St. Louis Small Business Monthly has included Sheila in their list of “100 St. Louisans You Should Know.” If you haven’t already, reach out to Sheila and get know her and Spry Digital a little better.


And with that, Week 15 can become another shining star in our collective past. Enjoy the weekend, come back next Friday, and, as always, stay Spry.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 14

Posted by Ben Scherliss & filed under Tips.

April inevitably arrives with a few pranks, but also with plenty new to discuss. Amazon wants you to push their buttons while Facebook wants to create a social presence for your children. We’re no fools here, so let’s discuss it all in the latest edition of Spry Hive.

Tech

April Fools Day has now passed, and who wasn’t fooled by the 360 Selfie Ring or Google Fiber dial-up? But there were more than a few other enjoyable fabrications launched in the tech world this year and here is a fun collection of some of the best.

And in what was not a hoax, Amazon announced that it wants you to be able to re-order your products from any room, closet or corner of your house. So they’ve made it all possible with their new “Dash Buttons” which will instantly purchase an order and can be placed literally anywhere in every residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse.

Google had to kill about 200 different Chrome extensions this week, having to reclassify them as Malware. Apparently more than a third of these extensions which inject ads were, in fact,  deceptive and merited the reclassification.

If boring, traditional round pancakes are causing you ongoing morning depression, life no longer has to go on that way thanks to PancakeBot. The device pairs an electric griddle and a batter dispensing system which will effectively “print” pancakes into nearly any shape.

Social Media

We all know that there just isn’t a large enough of a social presence for babies on Facebook, so luckily the social media giant has announced Scrapbook. The company says this feature will “grow with your child” as you add photos of them. Nothing creepy here.

Facebook’s Engineering Director is now headed to the White House. 28 year-old David Recordon will join the administration as Director of Information Technology, a position which was created specifically for him.

Twitter has been showing ads in the news feed for some time now, but they’re about to take it up to another level — a personal one. The social company has apparently been testing promoted tweets which would begin showing-up on user’s actual profile pages, possibly appearing as tweets endorsed by or from that account.

Misc

A warning that this one may hurt your eyes a bit. Two of the most cringe-worthy fonts – Comic Sans and Papyrus –  are now merging to create Comic Papyrus.

SOURCE = Adweek

Moving on to some much more pleasant writings, you won’t believe how perfectly this calligrapher effortlessly re-creates the logos of iconic brands like Google, Adidas, Star Wars and Converse with pen and ink.

Cards Against Humanity has ironically found a means by which to benefit humanity. The popular, typically raunchy game is now releasing a science themed expansion to benefit women in STEM.

Development

Bloomberg’s been cooking-up a new single-page application framework called Brisket. The company is billing it as having “the best perceived speed, the greatest code freedom, and the strongest search engine optimization.”

If you’re a beginner with AngularJS you may get some good value from the interactive book Angular Basics. It covers Directives, Modules, Services, Controllers, Routing and is free.

Docker marked it’s second birthday this past week and as this article suggests, we should continue to expect big things from the open source software project.

SEO

With “mobilegeddon” fast approaching, many businesses and website administrators are scrambling to get in front of Google’s upcoming new mobile-friendly algorithm. Google is stating that it will impact more sites than their previous Panda or Penguin updates did, with the bottom line being that you’d better get mobile-friendly and fast.

Spam bots cause multiple annoyances such as corrupting your analytics data and using-up your server’s resources just to name a few. But there are some effective steps you can take to stop them from ruining your analytics referral data.


That’s a wrap for the first week of April. See you next Friday and we’ll have another go ’round again.