Tag: star wars

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 2016: Week 16

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

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

Around Spry

This week we were excited to host the Girls on the Run St. Louis Pacesetters group, where Partner Sheila Burkett led a discussion on intentional decision making and how to make decisions that you can stand behind.

Thursday we also attended the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference put on by University of Missouri St. Louis’ Digital Marketing program. The event was hosted at the beautiful Union Station, and included speakers from Google, Buzzfeed, Pandora and eHarmony. The theme was disruption through innovation, and we attended many good sessions about how these companies are using big data and innovative, human-centric marketing to engage their customers.

Mark May 3rd on your calendar and get ready to participate in one of the largest days of fundraising for nonprofits in the St. Louis Area! Spry Digital has a number of clients and friends participating in this year’s Give STL Day, so be on the lookout for more information on the different ways to give back to our community.

Design

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Are you a fan of all things design and Star Wars? Get ready to geek out over these gorgeous, laser-engraved skateboards inspired by a galaxy far, far away.

Content Strategy

Head over to 18F to find an effective strategy for auditing old or testing new content for your website.

It’s really easy to waste time developing content without a clear plan of action. That’s why it’s important to recognize the many disciplines of content strategy, specifically content engineering.

Web Design & Development

The difference between a successful and failed mobile user experience can be a matter of seconds, so learn how to speed up your load times with course title Wicked Fast Websites by Go Make Things.

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Sometimes, for the sake of your own sanity, all you can do is laugh after running into a horrendous user interface online. These hilariously bad phone number web forms act as a prime example.

Misc.

The best solution for increasing productivity isn’t always to reduce stress. In some circumstances, you might not be stressed enough.

Dig into the histories and thought-patterns that led to the computer sciences becoming so male-dominant with Born For It by Martin Fowler.

While photoshop has plenty of professional applications, let not forget that the real reason the program exists is for hilariously imaginative Photoshop battles.

Turn your ‘French’ and buzzwords into an avenue of giving on Slack. Become a ‘Slacktivist’ and install SwearJar today!

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As if the followers and members of pop music culture hadn’t been through enough in 2016, the disheartening news broke this past Thursday that superstar Prince (57) had passed away.


That’s it for the Spry Hive this week. Enjoy the last weekend of April and don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 7

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

While Apple and the FBI commanded the headlines this week, there was also plenty of exciting news for web developers & designers. Find out for yourself with another week of the Spry Hive!

Tech

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, released a letter to the company’s customers, challenging the FBI’s request for a security crippling backdoor on iPhones following the San Bernardino case. Then the ever eccentric John McAfee provided his own criticism of the FBI, saying he could unlock the phone in 3 weeks or he would eat his own shoe.

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Researchers at Southamton University have upped the ante on long term data storage, announcing that their slivers of 5D quartz glass can hold 360 terabytes for 14 billion years.

Apps

Quartz has released its first new app, exclusive to iPhones, that feeds you the news through conversational texting.

The Web

Evidently, security experts have discovered a bug in the GNU C Library, an important building block of the internet, that has left apps & devices vulnerable for the past 7 years.

Design

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Paris officials, with the help of the creative team Dragon Rouge, announced their bid to host the 2024 Olympics in style this week, fronting the effort with an abstract and beautiful logo for the city.

Web Development & Design

A big update is coming for iTerm 2, a terminal replacement app for Macs. Some of the new features we’re looking forward to are automatic profile switching, session restoration, and a new “flat” look.

Mule Design’s director of research, Erika Hall, recently spoke at Creative Mornings about digital writing. Bottom line? Derive your content from real conversations.

Echoing the sentiment of many, Lubos Kmetko from XFive as spelled out why you should stop supporting IE8, IE9, and IE10.

For the first time since 1999, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is receiving an update. Make sure you’re ready for HTTP/2.

Misc.

If you were following the historic flooding that hit Missouri this winter, you may be interested to learn that researchers are calling it a manmade calamity.

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Die hard Star Wars fans have begun rejoicing after a group called Team Negative announce the discovery, recovery, and release of an original 35mm print of A New Hope.

Renato Bialetti is well known as Italy’s ‘coffee king’ for his popularization of the octagonal coffee pot. Following the 93-year-old’s final days, his children thought it’d be fitting to place his ashes inside one of his famous pots.


Well, that wraps up another week of intriguing and exciting news. Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 6

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Between a thrilling Harry Potter announcement and various other updates and breakthroughs, the sixth week of 2016 produced plenty to talk about. So, without further adieu, here’s your weekly dose of the Spry Hive!

The Web

POTUS has a difficult job that requires thoughtful consideration about a variety of issues. One of those issues is now password security.

Most people know Yeezy has plenty of absurdly hilarious quotes out there. Well, put them to good use by bombarding your friends with Kanye Text.

Design

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In their attempt to propel us into the future, NASA has recently released three absolutely stunning posters dedicated to space travel.

Apps

Instagram’s latest update on iOS and Android finally allows users to switch between accounts without logging in and out.

Mac users will be delighted to hear that you can now use virtual reality to view your desktop.

Web Development & Design

You can never have enough music for when you’re coding, so don’t miss out on this playlist curated for programmers.

Tired of the same old Lorem Ipsum when developing your websites? Switch over to Post Rationalism Ipsum!

While vector editing tools have been a cornerstone of digital design for over two decades now, the company Figma felt that the mechanisms behind creating and editing vectors were becoming archaic. That’s when they came up with Vector Networks.

Building a truly beautiful email has never been easy, especially when trying to make it responsive too. MJML took up the challenge, though, and just made responsive emails easy.

When it comes to image manipulation, Una Kravets explains how CSS’ lack of per-channel manipulation really holds it back alongside how one uses SVG to truly gain control over color.

Misc.

The Star Wars themed dance album you never knew you were waiting for, featuring Rick Rubin, Flying Lotus, and many others, has been officially sanctioned by the brand’s owners.

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Harry Potter fans were ecstatic this week as the world-renowned author J.K. Rowling announced the release date of an 8th book, The Cursed Child.

The scientific community was probably the only group of people happier than Harry Potter fans this week. For the first time ever, scientists with the Ligo Collaboration have found proof of gravitational waves.


With the conclusion of this week’s Spry Hive, we all have plenty of reasons to be excited about the future. Don’t forget to stop by next week for more!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 3

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

2016 is now in full swing with glimpses of masterful design and the potential for a new 9th planet (sorry Pluto). Enjoy the end of another work week by catching up on all the news with another dose of the Spry Hive.

The Web

Looking to hone in on your skills of writing online? Well, the Nielsen Norman Group is saying you should stop using these five words.

Imagine

We really appreciate the way that digital agency Make Me Pulse has decided to ring in the new year with this immersive experience.

Typography

For those intrigued by the development of the design industry, dive into this fascinating interview with famed designer & master of typography, Erik Spiekermann.

Web Development & Design

Happy birthday, Drupal! Last Friday, Drupal, a content management framework that handles much of our heavy lifting for content and web publishing needs, turned 15. Founder Dries Buytaert had some words to share about the history and development of the platform.

Trying to build a physical product to accompany your digital efforts? Before you do so, check out Smashing Magazine’s piece on why nobody wants to use your product.

demo

Debugging sites just became a little easier with DevTools Remote extension for Chrome that allows you to share a tab with others on your team.

Struggling to keep track of all those templates in Photoshop? Organize your work & get started on your projects quicker using Templay.

Misc.

The security firm Perception Point reported that, for the past three years, millions of Android phones, pcs, and servers may have been afflicted with a Linux bug.

Whether it’s for instagram or for work, we can all use a few more tips on beautiful food photography.

Astronomers excitedly announced this week that they have found convincing evidence of a ninth planet, and it they aren’t talking about Pluto.

Skip the dog house and treat your dog with a pet trailer.

Just like Undercover Boss, where they show executives the dark side of their industry, SNL took Kylo Ren undercover to get an inside look at Starkiller Base.


That wraps up the 3rd week of 2016. See you all next week for another edition of the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 51

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Even though the holidays and release of Star Wars Episode VII held most people’s attention this week, the forces behind web design and development kept up the hard work with numerous announcements and releases. So, find out what you missed with another week of the Spry Hive.

Web Design & Development

We’ve all heard and probably experienced the saying, “Mother knows best.” So, find out what this mom can teach us about UX.

Sharpen your skills in design with this massive bundle of free design resources.

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Source = Webflow

Break into the next dimension on your website with these beautiful 3D CSS transforms. The best part? No coding required.

WordFence is giving back to the WordPress community in a big way this holiday season, announcing the launch of their free security learning center.

Misc.

Take your music everywhere without wasting precious space by using the personal music streaming server, Koel.

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Source = Joytree

Combining an evergreen, multicolor lights, and tree topper isn’t the only way to build a Christmas tree this year. Use emoji’s too, to digitize the experience with Joytree.

Can’t get enough lights these holidays? Tune into a live stream and control other people’s house lights.

Get hyped with Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, and multiple cast members from the new movie as they perform an a cappella tribute to Star Wars.

Waiting for mad rush to pass before seeing the Star Wars Episode VII, then keep away from all of the inevitable spoilers online with this handy Google extension that force blocks everything from the movie.


There’s only two more weeks left in 2015, so keep an eye out for an extra special, end-of-the-year edition of the 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 43

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

We’re only a week away from Halloween. While we’ve been stocking our candy jars and preparing for a litany of kid jokes this week, we also celebrated Back To The Future Day and were teased with more Star Wars goodness. Even with all of that, we’ve had time to curate some choice selections from around the Internet, so sit back and enjoy this week’s Spry Hive!

Around the Web

Back To The Future Day has passed, and expectedly, we were inundated with Marty and Doc references to where it seemed nothing else mattered on the Web. We still enjoyed this effort that reminded us of BTTFII’s predictions for the year 2015.

Instagram thinks that you’re going to want to capture special moments with a new app called Boomerang. Not a video. Not a gif. Boomerang takes photo bursts from your camera and stitches and loops them to create an entirely new content type.

YouTube is overhauling their revenue model and customer experience with the announcement this week of a $10 premium plan that will eliminate ads from the platform. Would you pay for an ad-free YouTube?

Mashable has turned blogging into a science. Check out how they predict the virality of any given blog post.

There’s no doubt that Stanford and Wharton are considered a couple of the finest learning institutions in the world. Learn how they also rule Twitter as top business schools.

Advertising

A PepsiCo Exec got the attention of ad agencies with this shot heard round the world.

Fitbits malware

Source = Wired

Security

Wearable health technology is booming. A hacker now claims that your Fitbit may be spewing malware to other connected devices (Fitbit denies the claim). We’ll keep watching to see how this plays out.

Web Design and Development

Let’s face it, today’s design tools were not conceived to design for fluid canvases like the Web. Josh Puckett has been thinking about this problem and demonstrates how a design tool could work for adaptive designs.

If you’ve been itching to learn how to build interfaces with the React JavaScript library, this tutorial may strike your fancy.

There’s already a post-CSS movement… so naturally there should be PostHTML. Consider us intrigued.

Tired of looking at Bootstrap site after Bootstrap site? With this Chrome extension you can turn off Bootstrap styles and JavaScript, but be warned: the results may be less than flattering.

Misc

NES, perhaps the most iconic gaming console ever, turned 30 this week! Thanks for continuing to bring out the kids in us!

This Ft. Worth prosecuting attorney goes by the name Law Hawk. We think he needs to pair up with Walker, Texas Ranger, stat.

No denying our Gen X side… We love Star Wars and we love the Beastie Boys (RIP Adam Yauch). Director J.J. Abrams clearly shares our affinity for both with the new A Force Awakens character, aptly named Ello Asty.

Disney Prosthetics

Source = The Verge

We expect that Marvel and Star Wars costumes will be popular with the trick-or-treat crowd next week. Disney is helping to make the dreams of being a superhero a reality for some kids with missing limbs with these prosthetics.


We hope that your week brings you all of the excitement that the season has to offer. Make sure that you get outside to enjoy some stunning Fall foliage, and join us for next week’s Halloween edition of the Spry Hive!

Spry Hive Week 34

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Welcome back to the Spry Hive! Between all the Star Wars hype, news surrounding NASA, and advancements in solar power, there is no doubt that we were all reaching for the stars in one way or another this week. So, sit back and enjoy the tales of this week’s dreamers, innovators, and thought leaders.

Web & Apps

emoji-mosaic

Nowadays, there seems to be an emoji for just about any item and any situation. Thanks to Eric Andrew Lewis, the illustrated text icons can now be used to build some of the cutest (and sometimes most disturbing) mosaics of your favorite pictures!

Have you been looking for a simple, legitimate solution to secure your company’s communication? Well, then Silent Circle was built for you. While they do offer a small number of silent devices, their heavily encrypted communication apps are the immediate innovators as they are available for desktop, Android, and iOS.

Tech

Evidently, Samsung is among those who believe bigger is better, at least in the market of storage capacity. The company recently announced that they will be releasing a Solid State Drive that features a whopping 16 terabytes of storage. That kind of size doesn’t come without an enormous price tag, though, as the device is estimated to cost somewhere between five and seven thousand dollars.

In a move that had some managers and players calling for an instant replay, MLB’s commissioner, Bud Selig, had declared that smartwatches were banned alongside smartphones in the dugout. Luckily, the decision was overturned after further review, as the league’s front office finally learned how the devices works.

Google announced a new program this week that aims at saving you some headache and money. By combining their current Google Maps 3D modeling data with their new solar mapping data, the company has made the process of upgrading to solar panels a whole lot easier with Project Sunroof.

Design

While some attentive Harry Potter fans out there might be freaking out at the fact that someone tarnished one of their beloved books with the iconic Star Wars logo, everybody else can agree that these designs are magical. Founded by Yuto Yamaguchi, the company OruFun specializes in the art of folding book pages into amazing 3D designs, aka putting those dusty books on your shelf to good use.

Whether you’re designing an app for the desktop, smartphone or watch, the process just got a little easier and a lot more animated. With the introduction of Principle for Mac, you can create a beautiful user experience that utilizes animation, interaction, and multiple screens.

Development

Thankfully, flexibility within your web page doesn’t require daily stretching and yoga training like your body does. All it requires is Flexbox! For those of you that may have heard us raving about it in previous blogs, but still struggle with understanding the modules basics, here is a great explanation of how it works.

Are you using WordPress to fulfill your blogging or website needs? Well, you’ll be happy to know that version 4.3 of the platform, also known as “Billie”, has been released and comes packed with features that will make content creation so much easier.

Misc.

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Source = Disney/Lucasfilm

When Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars brand and franchise, we knew there would be more in the works than the reboot of a legendary movie series. Well, this week plenty of fan undoubtedly wet themselves following the announcement of two Star Wars theme parks, one in Orlando and one in Anaheim.

Unlike anything affiliated with Star Wars, NASA is scraping the bottom of their funding barrel as budget cuts take their toll on the US space agency. While we knew that a few programs would have to be dropped, nobody expected that they would get to the point of raiding museums for spare parts just to fulfill prior obligations to the International Space Station.

If you find yourself looking for a visual aid to help ponder the complexities of life’s cyclical nature, or you just like trains, then you’ve got to check out this mesmerizing, bi-directional kinetic sculpture.


And with all of that, we find ourselves a couple of rotations closer to the end of Summer and the beauty of Fall. We thank you for stopping by and wish you the spryest of weekends!

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.

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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!