Tips

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 5

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

We’ve finally made it back around to another Friday, and the upcoming weekend is extra special! Before jumping into the Mardi Gras celebrations and festivities for the “Big Game”, relax and enjoy the past week’s biggest news!

The “Big Game”

Need some last minute ideas for creating the perfect party dish this Sunday? Check out these insane snack recipes.

While watching Denver & Carolina duke it out this Sunday, follow the action with Geckoboard and get stats on everything from social media hype & trends to advertisement returns.

While the long-awaited “Big Game” means the end of another long football season, no season is truly complete without a brilliant NFL edition of bad lip readings.

Apps

Looking for the next big thing in B2B marketing? According to Gary Vanderchuck, don’t be surprised if you see more and more businesses taking advantage of Snapchat as the app & it’s crowd begins to age & mature.

Tired of your Android smartphone dying before the end of the day? Evidently, by simply uninstalling the Facebook app, you can save up to 20% of your battery life.

Design

Over the year or two, Uber has successfully made a place for itself in the transportation market. Celebrating and solidifying its newfound staying power, the company has created and rolled out their new logo & identity.

No two brains are identical, thus there is no single design that caters to every human. So, be sure you learn up on how to design for autism.

Web Development & Design

Skip the headache of constantly searching for digital ad sizes for each platform with the one-stop-shop, Adsvise.

Catch up on everything CiviCRM related with the recently released video sessions from CiviCon London 2015.

For those who are curious, Ashley Nolan has outlined both how to use and the benefits of using Sass with PostCSS.

Understanding Git is an integral part of digital development, so home in on your skills with Git for Humans by David Demaree. Don’t stop there, though. He has also written an extraordinarily helpful piece on the benefits and art of crafting the commit.

Misc.

Directors Nick DenBoer & Davy Force will be showing their newest short-film, The Chickening, a masterfully remix of the Stanley Kubrick classic, the Shining, at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. BEWARE: The video is both mind-blowingly bizarre and NSFW (not-safe-for-work). You have been warned.

Taking a shot at Hollywood’s terrible portrayal of the Boston accent, as well as the accent itself, Late Night with SNL’s Seth Meyers released a brilliantly hilarious (and fake) trailer of Boston Accent.

Holding onto one of the oldest traditions and celebrations in the US, people flocked to Pennsylvania this week in search of meteorological prophecies from the ever popular Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day.


So, with the promise of an early spring and plenty of delicious takeaways this week, enjoy the weekend of celebrations!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 4

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

As we finish off the first month of 2016, businesses on Facebook are in for a treat with the release of various new tools. That’s not all that happened this week, though, so sit back and enjoy another dose of the Spry Hive.

The Web

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Facebook has rolled out a whole new way for companies to share stories and engage their audiences with Canvas.

Web Development & Design

Proving that age & experience have little to do with your ability to develop an app, the 83-year-old former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, recently released his own mobile game.

Take your website to the next dimension with quick loading, easy to build 3D models using Voxel.CSS.

Use Gridlover’s online HTML/CSS editor to set your website’s font styles.

Capture

Creating brand assets for Social Media has never been so simple. Check out Social Kit Pro for Photoshop.

Use Sketch for your app and web design needs? Be sure to check out all the changes made in Sketch 3.5.

There are more tools for designing and building websites than ever before, but some are beginning to think that process and use of these frameworks is killing creativity on the web.

Misc.

If you own one, you’ve probably already experienced some of Apple TV’s gorgeous aerial video screensavers. Well, now you can watch them on any device.

Are you a fan of the Bachelor, Game of Thrones, or even both? Then you’ll definitely get a kick out of Lena Headey reading insults from the Bachelor as Queen Mother Cersei on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

For those who have been doubting the unprecedented nature of last year’s temperatures, the world’s leading meteorologists have the data to prove that 2015 was by far the hottest year on record.


With that, the weekend and the end of January is in sight. Don’t forget to drop by next week for February’s first Spry Hive!

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.

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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 2016: Week 2

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

While the past week brought us Wikipedia’s 15th birthday and the promise of new technologies, it has been overall bittersweet as we find ourselves celebrating the lives of multiple cultural icons. So, join us in looking back at all of this week’s news as we work our way to the weekend.

The Web

Turn your next message into a work of art with this instagram font generator.

Do you enjoy the challenge of research & problem solving? Test your skills of searching with A Google a Day.

Speaking of Google, the company’s branch in Germany recently released a artistically beautiful promo for Google Maps.

There are very few websites as popular as the self-described ‘free encyclopedia that anyone can edit’, so be sure to show some love to Wikipedia on it’s 15th birthday.

Web Design & Development

Are you a fan of fonts and typography in general? Head over to Typewolf to find the most popular fonts of 2015, and which ones you should use instead.

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Creating or editing a graphic without damaging the source file is essential to professional design, so be sure you know your way around blending modes.

For those who weren’t able to tune in live, Codeship released a webinar introducing users to the process of building apps with Docker.

Misc.

Following a slower than expected holiday season and the announcement of imminent job cuts, GoPro’s stock plummeted by 28% this week.

The more people play around with the newest graphics engine, the more it seems, well…unreal. Get a taste of the action with a beloved classic as GoldenEye 007 Meets Unreal Engine 4.

The headaches of flying can easily be attributed to sub-par technological advances for commercial aircrafts, but that’s about to change as NASA continues building towards the future of flight.

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Only two weeks into the new year, the world sits in mourning as some of the biggest stars of a generation have faded into darkness and are laid to rest. As you find time throughout the weekend, take some time to pay tribute to and celebrate the revolutionary life of David Bowie, the many faces of Alan Rickman, and the enormous impact Giorgio Gomelsky had on the music industry.


So, after a rollercoaster of a week, we’ve made it to another weekend. Don’t forget to stop by next Friday for your dose of the Spry Hive as we dig into all the important, quirky, and humorous news.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 1

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The craziness of December is finally behind us, and the beginning of the year has been packed with plenty of big stories. So, kick 2016 off right and stay up to date on all the latest news with the year’s first Spry Hive.

Tech

The original Fitbit was a real hit, but get fit in style with the Fitbit Blaze.

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Inspired by the likes of Google Glass, Garmin has created a device that will bring delight to any cyclist.

News has begun to leak about the upcoming iPhone 7. Evidently, Apple is getting rid of the headphone jack and, in the EU, might switch to using a Micro Usb charger.

The Web

Still sticking to Internet Explorer these days? Be sure to update, as Microsoft is dropping IE 8, 9, and 10.

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Twitter loyalist have been up in arms the past few days as the company announced their development of a 10,000 character word limit.

Web Design & Development

Zeldman, as usual, has a lot to say on the current state of web design. Read his thoughts on the Year in Design.

Developing and testing for tablets just became a whole lot easier now that you can use top-notch front-end web development tools on the iPad.

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An early contender for “Best Product Name of 2016”, Git Kraken is a cross-platform git client that makes working with Git easy and intuitive.

We’ve always enjoyed using Emmet with Atom editor, but their newest product looks promising in speeding up front end development tasks.

Misc.

Evidently, Australians can now dedicate their night to a Hollywood favorite as they usher in a George Costanza themed bar.


The first full week of the year may have flown by surprisingly fast, but, with the help of companies like Twitter, Apple, and Garmin, 2016 is gearing up to be quite exciting. Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 52 & 53

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

With festivities galore, the end of the year is always the craziest, and the news seems to slip by even quicker. Thankfully, we are here to help you out with the best photos of 2015, SpaceX’s historic rocket launch, and much more. So, sit back and enjoy the year’s final Spry Hive.

Advertising

A team in Australia has been running an ad to raise awareness for and educate others on the effects of multiple sclerosis by creating a bike that has all the symptoms.

After a taco joint in Las Vegas was robbed, they decided to make the most of the situation by using the surveillance footage to create a hilarious new ad.

While videographer DJI was able to capture the true beauty of a wedding by using a quadcopter in his original commercial, this spinoff helps make the experience a lot more realistic.

Web Design & Development

While crafting an immersive and useful experience for your users, don’t forget about being smart with sound.

night vision

Let your users set the mood (and rest their eyeballs) on your next website by creating a night vision mode.

This holiday season was extra special as we celebrated the 25th birthday of the very first website.

Misc.

SpaceX made history this holiday season. After three failed attempts, the company successfully guided a reusable rocket back down to earth.

Weddings aren’t the only events feeling the effects of 2015’s drone revolution. Following a recent crash, the International Ski Federation has officially banned the flying devices.

This is what happens when you leave a gopro out on the sea ice The Photo was taken near Casey Station Antarctica, It was one of a series of captures by a gopro on time lapse that was set out on the ice near the site where we are running an ocean acidification experiment. We often get groups of Adelie Penguins coming to see what we are doing and this one was trying to peck the camera. I am currantly based in Antartica for the next eight months through the winter and would be happy to help with any photo's requests required for up coming publications.

Nobody can get around to all the posts on the internet highlighting the past year, but everyone should make their way through National Geographic’s best photos of 2015.

Who wants to stop riding their bike when the sun goes down? Cruise safely all night long with the ingenious LifePaint by Volvo.


And with that we conclude another magnificent year of the Spry Hive. We hope everyone has a wonderful New Years Eve and look forward to an even better 2016!

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.