Tips

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 49

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The arrival of December means ridiculous deals & great gift ideas, a mad rush to hit end of the year deadlines, and (thankfully) plenty of cheer & laughter. So, sit back and try to relax as we take you through this week’s news in another edition of the Spry Hive!

Gifts

Shopping for a designer or web specialist these holidays? Help them geek out with these brilliantly curated gifts.

Fancy bringing your feline anywhere you go? Check out these awesome cat packs that
lets your cat travel like an astronaut.

Tech

2015-11-25-image-11

Source = The Verge

Ever wonder how wifi signals make it from the router to the palm of your hands? Well, now you can see for yourself with this amazing app that visualizes your waves of wifi.

Web Design & Development

If you haven’t heard already, Adobe Flash Professional is getting a makeover in 2016 and will be reborn as Adobe Animated CC.

Sketch also made a major announcement this week. Mac users will now have to download and update the program directly from Sketch as they have pulled out of the Mac App Store.

Interface designers have been embracing a softer look and feel in their designs, and nowhere is it more evident than in these lovely examples from the 100 Days of UI Challenge. You can also download the UI kit to use on your next project.

calendar

Source – It’s a Shape Christmas

The countdown to Christmas is merely mediocre without the joy of an advent calendar. Web professionals have more to choose from this year with 10 advent calendars for web designers and devs.

Hone your CSS Flexbox skills with a fun game, Flexbox Froggy.

Misc.

While they are still one of the world’s biggest polluters, China once again invested more money into Clean Energy than anyone else. That said, Bill Gates is evidently preparing to create a multi-billion dollar fund for Clean Energy here in the States.

Bike theft is no joke either, especially in Europe. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with would-be-thieves though.

Convict

Source = Exploding Kittens

The delivery might be cartoony and cute (in The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman’s typical style), but the problem is no laughing matter. Head over to Exploding Kittens to learn more about lowering the number of Kitty Convicts.

Speaking of convicts, US Marshals hopped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon with great deals on forfeited assets.


Hopefully this gave you a tidbit of knowledge, news, or laughter to share with your friends and family this weekend. Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to grab another dose of the Spry Hive next Friday.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 48

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! Now that we are all done stuffing our stomachs and regretting that second serving of pie, it’s the perfect time to catch up on all of the news from the holiday week. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this special Thanksgiving edition of the Spry Hive!

Web

Interested in learning more about specific products, brands, or user experiences? Head on over to the Case Study Club.

If you enjoy web-based games and learning more about the technology and logic behind programming, then you have to check out Empire of Code.

Writing released in the digital realm is a lot harder to preserve than pieces released physically. As the topic’s discussion is mostly happening digitally, the conversation of digital preservation is becoming ironic.

Design

Think you know the difference between a font and a typeface? Here is a handy quiz from AIGA to prove yourself.

Emoji-Oil-Paintings

Source = Emoji Oil Paintings

Initially created to easily express emotion in the digital realm, Emojis are finally making their debut on canvas.

There are a lot of variables to keep in mind when designing for the web, so take advantage of these tips for creating and exporting better SVGs.

Development

Looking for an alternative to the standard Lorem Ipsum? Use a bunch of happy little accidents as filler with Bob Ross Lipsum.

While most web developers have been focused on the release of Drupal 8, let’s not forget that Foundation 6 is finally here.

If you are in charge of managing and maintaining multiple WordPress sites, then head over and see the new WordPress.com.

Star Wars

christmas_tie_fighter

Source = Imgur; Guitarfarts

Trying to prove you’re the biggest fan of both Star Wars and Christmas? Well, you’ll have to one up the guy who built a Tie fighter out of Christmas lights.

Hype yourself up for the newest Star Wars movie and personalize your Google Experience by deciding whether you’re on the Light or Dark Side.

After choosing which side you’re on, go see what happens when you Google “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”. You won’t regret it.

Misc.

Writing poetry can be quite intimidating for newcomers. If you are one who enjoys interactive learning, then check out Elegy for a Dead World, a videogame that teaches poetry.

The madness of Thanksgiving is behind us, and it’s time to sit back and enjoy some time off our feet. What’s a better way to relax than with the best Thanksgiving episodes you can stream?

Anatomy-of-the-Holidays

Source = John Atkinson

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of an extended holiday season filled with food and family, both of which bring plenty of fodder for laughter.


So, again, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and appreciate you stopping by today. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 47

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

We are less than a week away from Thanksgiving, and everybody knows that the Holiday season is also Blockbuster season. Before heading to the movie theater this weekend, though, catch up on all the other news from the week with another dose of the Spry Hive.

Tech

Forget about self-driving cars and hoverboards. The real future of technology lies with this robot that will eradicate weeds on the farm.

samflipphone

Source = Samsung

While everyone is caught up in the smartphone sensation, Samsung is appealing to those who just want another flip phone.

Web & Apps

With the likes of Spotify and Apple Music reigning over music subscription these days, the services that helped build the industry, Zune, Rdio, and Beats music, have officially shut down.

Do voice commands and taps on a screen to control your smartphone seem too tedious at times? With this new app you can control your smartphone by simply drawing.

You’re mobile searches are about to look a lot different, as Google has begun streaming apps in their search results.

Design

Slack is commonly recognized as the best platform for communication among design and development teams. Now you can send your team a doodle with the integration of Sketchboard.

1-EN1VhczvRDU-_ZgSxGDDrA

Source = Medium

Not all mobile web design is created equal. This post points out some of the more commonly misused mobile UX patterns.

Development

Help diversify the world of development and spread the word about App Camp For Girls.

Getting up to speed on version control can go far in meeting your project deadlines, so learn Git and Github in a snap with these self-paced exercises.

Building a large application using Angular is no easy task, so here’s a closer look at the developmental process.

Misc.

Plan to rock your way to the grave? Well, this company will press your ashes into vinyl.

thg_legacy_mjp2_landing

Source = Lionsgate

Almost everyone has seen a movie that was a disgrace to the book it was based on. Here are the worst offenders of all time.

It’s no secret that the US Government spends billions of dollars a year on Information Technology, but what happens when one of these projects fails?


And with that, we have wrapped up another week of work and the news. Don’t forget to head to the grocery before it gets too crowded and stop by next week for a special Thanksgiving edition of the Spry Hive.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 46

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

While commercials and retailers have turned their attention to the holidays that are just around the corner, this past week was all about honoring our veterans. No matter what we were tuned into, though, there’s always some news that happens to slip right past us. Don’t fret just yet because it’s finally Friday, which means another dose of the Spry Hive!

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is booming right now, and companies like Lytro are learning to capture the 360 degree experience in a new way with their innovative camera, the Immerge.

Leading the way for journalists, the New York Times has begun pushing the immersive experience to users with stories from around the world.

ht_veterans_vr_hb_151111_12x5_1600

Source = Veterans United Foundation

Virtual reality has helped our veterans experience the war memorials from the comfort of their homes.

Lastly, are you wanting to experience VR but not sure where to begin? Get a Google Cardboard then begin with the Vrse app. There’s a high-quality immersive VR experience for everybody, we assure you.

Web & Apps

If you aren’t following Jim Kenney, the next mayor of Philadelphia, then you’ve got some catching up to do because his Twitter game is top notch.

The app called Yik Yak became popular in colleges and high schools across the country thanks to its sense of anonymity, but students are quickly learning that their words aren’t so incognito.

Design

Enjoy reminiscing about retro game design? Take a look at Gameartlover on Tumblr.

pantone smoothies

Source = Pantone Smoothies

Have even more fun picking your next brand’s colors with these pantone smoothies.

Development

The Goofus and Gallant characters had some choice words of wisdom for CSS users.

While we are all excited about the launch of Drupal 8, don’t forget to prepare for the end of Drupal 6.

We all encounter a uncaught exception from time to time. Next time you do, make sure you take a proper process dump using a tool like this Hapi plugin, Poop.

A headstone is the perfect place to leave a personal message for the world. Well, CommitStrip.com has come up with a list of epitaphs perfect for coders.

Misc.

Finding its way back to the big screen after twelve year, Pixar’s classic movie Finding Nemo is finally getting a sequel focused on Finding Dory.

Life can sometimes feel like a plane crashing down to Earth, but every once in awhile it’s good to take a step back and acknowledge that it’s going to be okay.


And like that, we have made our way through another week of news. Hopefully you found something entertaining or touching enough to share with your friends and family. As always, have the spryest of weekends and don’t forget to drop by next week for more!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 45

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Halloween may have been this past weekend, but that didn’t stop the working world. In fact, the holiday provided plenty of inspiration for designers, developers, and, of course, the internet. So, try not to fall out of your seats, and enjoy another week of the Spry Hive.

Tech

Superman isn’t the only one who can see through walls anymore, as developers at MIT have harnessed the superpower using wifi.

transparent-aluminum-640x425

Source = Naval Research Laboratory

Move aside, Glass. Furthering the legacy of Star Trek, Dr. Jas Sanghera has proven the feasibility of transparent aluminum.

Web & Apps

Step up your internet game with the ultimate Gif dance party.

If you’ve never heard of Basecamp, it’s about time to catch up. As of Nov. 3rd, Basecamp 3 is already available.

Have you been a fan of Snapchat’s sense of anonymity? Well, the company just reserved the rights to store your selfies.

Evidently, after luring customers into using OneDrive with unlimited storage, Microsoft has decided to drop the too good to be true offer, resetting the max limit at 1 Terabyte.

Design

Love the design of historic artifacts? Take a look at the Massimo and Lella Vignelli papers on Tumblr.

 

Mike Wasowski

Source = Go Monster Project

Acknowledging how creative our kids can be, the designers at Go Monster Project have created some stunning digital renditions of monster drawings from children.

Development

If you haven’t already heard, Drupal 8 will finally be released on November 19th! Join the celebration and find a release party near you.

Bring the weather to your users with Rain & Water Effects.

Interested in learning more about Apple’s cryptography?

Responsiveness is taking over the web, so be sure you keep up on all your CSS, jQuery, and JavaScript.

Front-end development has been, well… developing. So, what do we know now about the community?

Misc.

Watch out now, studies say your cat may want to kill you!

Space

Before NASA held another major press conference this week, the US Space agency put out an open call for the next generation of astronauts that will guide humanity to Mars.


So, as you can see, the holiday weekend did everything but hinder the week’s productivity. Hopefully you found something worth sharing with friends and family. Don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 44

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

With Halloween only a day away now, the week’s news cycle has been heavily focused on preparing for the holiday. That didn’t stop the working world, though, which means we all have some catching up to do. So, sit back and enjoy this extra special Halloween edition of the Spry Hive.

Tech

glowforge 3d laser printer

Source = Glowforge

After running the largest 30-day crowdfunding campaign ever, printing your dreams into reality just became an in-house job with the newest 3D Laser Printer, Glowforge.

InFocus is setting out to redefine the meaning of “pocket pc” with their new Windows 10-based PC, Kangaroo.

Web

Already feel like emoticons and emojis are grossly overused? Well, now they’ve made their way into the courtroom.

Design

deep algorithm picasso

Source = Karl Stiefvater

Deep learning algorithms have been taking over the internet recently, and now you can turn any photo into a classical work of art. Someone has already reimagined previous presidents in the style of Picasso.

People have been designing replica Batmobiles since the comic series first surfaced. That said, how many of you have ever seen a Batmobile go-kart?

Development

Github is central to the workflow of millions of developers, and has made a huge impact on open source development over the years. Did you know, though, that the companies hardest worker isn’t even a person?

Creating a beautiful, user-friendly form has never been easy. Check out Typeform today.

Looking for a way to test and build upon your coding skills? Then give thanks for Codevember, a 30 day challenge of 30 creative experiments.

If you frequently use jQuery, then you have to take a look at these tips that everyone should know.

Misc.

greenland melting

Source = New York Times

No matter what you want to call it, Earth’s geography continues to change around us at an alarming rate. Recently the New York Times released an amazingly beautiful piece on Greenland melting away.

Thanksgiving isn’t the only day people look forward to in November now that the Friday after has become the biggest day for sales out of the year. Don’t make any plans to stop by REI though, as they encourage everyone to go outside instead.

St. Louis, and everyone West of the Mississippi, celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the iconic Gateway Arch this past Wednesday.

Halloween

We have all seen some fascinating carvings as we get closer to the holiday, but have you ever used a pumpkin to play tetris?

Proving that there is indeed life after death has never been easy, but “paranormal investigators” are making the most out of modern technologies and techniques to help bolster their case.


And just like that, we are one step closer to the holiday weekend and the beginning of November. Have fun out there, stay safe, and don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose 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!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 42

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

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

Tech

Dandelion

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

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

Web

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

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

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

Apps

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

Design

151009145016-lexus-cardboard-3-super-169

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

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

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

Development

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

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

Misc.

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

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

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


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

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 41

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

As we move into October, NASA has unlocked a trove of old mission photos and robots decorate beaches. Sip on that pumpkin latte and enjoy another dose of the Spry Hive!

Tech

As if it wasn’t already hard enough to find a job as an artist these days, robots have started taking their jobs at the beach.

From the company that advertises their device as, “The tablet that can replace your laptop,” we present the new Surface Book – Microsoft’s first laptop ever.

Web

What do you get when you mix Twitter, eBooks, and Music? A quirky yet awesome karaoke generator for any party!

Haven’t updated Internet Explorer to IE11 yet? Well, it might finally be time, as Microsoft is cutting off support to IE 8, 9, and 10.

See your face from a different perspective with this webcam manipulator that’s full of emotion. You’ll want to zoom in to see what’s really going on. (WARNING: do not click if you are prone to epileptic seizures or motion sensitivity).

Design

comet1

Source = Adobe

Hey, UX designers, Adobe is working on a new prototyping tool that works beautifully with Creative Cloud called Project Comet.

Development

Looking to put a little bounce into your next web animation? You’ll love Popmotion.

Some Google interface developers have shared how they create better user experiences by optimizing their web products using the RAIL Model.

We love Gulp for how it speeds up front end development tasks. Now it’s even easier to use with one of our favorite code editors. Check out Sublime Gulp.

The tickets have been selling fast for the inaugural WordPress Community Summit, WordCamp US 2015, so grab yours while you have the chance!

Misc.

1232

Source = NASA

Still don’t believe we landed on the Moon? Well, see for yourself with the 8,000+ photos from the Apollo missions, recently released by NASA.

Now, we know the internet is a place for cats, but this puppy playing with baby goats will steal your heart.

Fallout 4 is one of the most anticipated games being talked about right now, but nobody is as excited as this guy.


We hope you were able to lose yourself for a while with the baby goats, artistic robots, and other stories from the week. Don’t forget to come back next week to grab your weekly dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 40

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

When NASA opens the week with major news about a planetary neighbor, it’s hard to focus on all the other happenings from around the world. Thankfully, it’s Friday, which means another recap of the past week’s news, all in the Spry Hive!

Tech

It’s usually a good idea to keep liquids away from any electronics, but this new, liquid clock perfectly visualizes the flow of time.

Learning and following along with sign language has never been so easy with the new SignLanguageGlove.

Thanks to Netflix, you can turn your living room into a true home theatre with the click of a Switch.

Web

World-wide fugitive Edward Snowden caught everyone’s attention when he surfaced on Twitter this week.

Digital Advertising

Advertisements have almost become an expectation when visiting a news site, but have you ever wondered how much mobile data we waste on them?

Design

DSC_0090 (1)

If their new store in Brussels is a sign of things to come, then keep your eyes peeled for a major redesign at the Apple Store near you.

Trying to make your latest design scream, “America”? Your job just got a whole lot easier with this new guide for U.S. web design standards.

Clean up your folders and make sense of those duplicates with this simple version control app, Folio for Mac.

Development

Create a lot of animations with CSS? Then you’ve got to check out Velocity.js, an engine so easy that it feels like cheating.

Move over Vagrant, you’ve been replaced! HashiCorp released their newest development/deployment tool for developers this week, Otto,

Gatsby lets you create dynamic websites with a plain text editor and React.js. Now that’s easy, and live!

Misc.

15-195_perspective_2

Those living under a rock might have missed NASA’s major announcement on Monday where they confirmed the existence of liquid on Mars.

As if fast food wasn’t spooky enough already, Burger King has unveiled its Halloween Whopper that features a startlingly black bun.


We can’t guarantee that next week’s Spry Hive will include another major announcement from NASA (is discovery of little green men next?), but we’re sure to find some other tasty morsels from around the web. See you next week!