computer-cat

Computer Cats

Here’s a roundup of some awesome cats p’laying on computers. Every now and then it’s fun to do a post that distracts us from the computers a bit. Enjoy:

computer-cat-1 computer-cat-2 computer-cat-3 computer-cat-4 computer-cat-5 computer-cat-6 computer-cat-7 computer-cat-8 computer-cat-9

computer-cat-10 computer-cat-11 computer-cat-12 computer-cat-13 computer-cat-14 computer-cat-15 computer-cat-16

With all this laziness, no one is going to kill any bugs or get any work done; however, perhaps we should take a cue from these furry creatures and get some sleep. Otherwise we’ll always be like this:

computer-cats-angry

Make sure you get some rest. Your computer will be there tomorrow :)

relax

use-panda

UsePanda – News & Inspiration for Designers and Developers

One of the tools that I commonly used to stay up-to-date with the latest design and development news is UsePanda. UsePanda can be used as a chrome extension or as a webpage. The chrome extension is great. After activating the extension, every time you open up a new tab, you’re presented with the following screen:

use-panda-screenshot

Every morning you can get up and in front of your computer, with your coffee at your side, as you stay up-to-date by checking out all the links and design inspiration presented through UsePanda. Some may look at this as a distraction, but….. others would say it’s motivation.

UsePanda takes the latest news from many popular technology sites like Designer News, SideBar IO, Hacker News, and so much more. You will also be inspired as you can easily scroll through the most popular design shots from Dribbble, Behance, or Awwwards.

Be sure to download this awesome extension and get inspired :)

wordpress-4

WordPress 4.0 is available!

The latest version of WordPress, version 4.0 is available. You can update to the latest version in your WordPress dashboard or you can download the latest version from http://wordpress.org/. Be sure to get the latest version and here’s what you can expect in 4.0:

New Media Library Grid View

The Media Library gets a new face-lift and provides an easy to sort and view grid.

new-media-library

New Plugin View & Experience

The plugin page is organized more efficiently and has a new view and experience.

new-plugin-view

More support for oEmbed

WordPress now natively supports a wide variety of embed services like Youtube, TEDtv, Vimeo, Flickr, Twitter, SlideShare, and much more. Simply add the URL or embed code and you can see the embed in the live preview and in your post.

support-for-oembed

Choose your language during installation

Throughout the WordPress installation you can choose which language you would like to start with, even before you get wordpress setup:

choose-your-language

Here is the full list of new features included in this latest version:

  • New Media Library Grid Viewer
  • New Plugin View & Experience
  • More support for oEmbed
  • Choose your own Language During Installation
  • Improvements to the Content Editor
  • Improvements to TinyMCE Views
  • New Widget Customizer Panel
  • New Accessibility Features
  • Updated External Libraries

For more info about the latest features be sure to head over to WordPress blog and read up more about it :)

iwatch

Is the iWatch being unveiled next Tuesday?

Next Tuesday is September 9th and is the next Apple Keynote. Excitement is circling around the new iPhone 6 and iOS 8. Another exciting unveiling may very well be the Apple iWatch or wearable device.

There is no certainty that the name of the Apple wearable device is going to be called the iWatch, but one thing for certain is that this release will be very exciting.

Just think about being able to answer your phone from your watch, responding to a text message via your watch, and enjoying health fitness tracking information similar to fitbit!

Be sure to tune in this Tuesday for the next Apple Keynote: http://wheniskeynote.com/

To read more about this possible exciting release, checkout the iMore article titled iWatch: Setting expectations for Apple’s next wearable

iphone-6-3x-resolution

Is the iPhone 6 going to support 3x retina images

Retina devices require developers to create 2 types of images, an @2x resolution for retina displays and normal resolution for regular displays. Well, Apple may be adding a 3X resolution display to iOS 8. Marck Gunman reported that Apple was testing a 1704x960px resolution display for the iPhone 6, which would be achieved by tripling each pixel from the “base resolution”.

new-iphone6-size

According to an iOS developer, James Thomson, a newly discovered bug in iOS 8 loads 3x images instead of 2x images. Is this an accident or is this intentional?

james-thomson-tweetThis means that in the future we may have to add another image size to our export list. We’ll have to export all of our asset images at normal resolution, 2x resolution, and 3x resolution. All I can say is I’m hoping this is just a fluke. The less work I have to do to make my images look nice on any device means more time to focus on other things.

It’s still to be determined whether we’ll have to export images at 3x resolution in the future, but if this is the case you’ll want to make sure to get started sooner than later. Be sure to checkout Apples next key note, scheduled for September 9th for the unveiling of iOS 8.

Learn more about the next Apple keynote here: http://wheniskeynote.com/

To read more about the possible 3x resolution, you can find more information over at 9to5Mac.

pexels

Pexels.com – Free High Quality Images for your site

Finding the right image for your featured product or the fullscreen background of your website can make or break the viewers perception of your app. That’s why it’s important to find the best high quality images for your app or product website.

There are many places where you can find large high quality background images; however, some of those may not suit all your needs. Sometimes you really need a high quality image that portrays your message.

Well, if you are looking for the right image to give your website personality, you may want to checkout Pexels.com. At Pexels you can search for hashtags to find the perfect high quality image. You can also view the most Popular or the Newest additions.

Be sure to head over to Pexels.com and find the right image for your site :)

whats-new-in-laravel-4-3

Laravel 4.3 – What’s New

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the latest release of Laravel 4.3. Many new features will be introduced in this new version, and it is all being covered over at Laracasts. This is showing to be a larger release than was previously anticipated.

taylor-otwell-tweet-laravel-4.3

Here are a few of the key features that will be introduced in this latest version:

  • New directory structure
  • Method Injection
  • New and improved validation
  • New File Generators
  • Flysystem
  • Socialite
  • Illuminate Contracts
  • Route Caching

Now, I’m not too sure how I feel about the new file structure, already covered in one of Laracasts latest videos: https://laracasts.com/series/whats-new-in-laravel-4-3/episodes/1. I’m sure there’s good reasoning behind it; however, at first glance I’m not too thrilled about this.

There seem to be many other cool features popping up, so since Taylor Otwell has proven good in the past I’ll trust him on the change to the file structure and to all the new features. “Taylor”, thanks for continuing your awesome development on one of the greatest frameworks available.

If you want to catch all the latest features in the latest release be sure to head over to Laracasts, where Jeffrey Way will be teaching us all what we can expect from this next exciting release.

twibble

Twibble.io – Simple Tweets from your RSS Feed

Using Twibble you can set the latest content from your RSS feed to be tweeted to your twitter account at certain time intervals. Twibble will send out one of your latest posts, articles, or any other new piece of content that gets added to your RSS feed. This is automating the process of tweeting your new stories. Gaining a larger following couldn’t be easier with this tool.

twibble-dashboard

To get started you can simply signup using your twitter account. Once logged in you can give your feed a name, provide the RSS feed URL, setup the interval at which you want twibble to look for new content to be posted, test out an example post, and then finally save your new feed.

You can then view Analytics to see the amount of click throughs you are getting for your tweets.

Using this tool will eliminate the need to manually tweet your latest article or post, which saves time to write more. So, get on board and checkout this cool new app called Twibble.

chartist-js

Chartist JS – Simple Responsive Charts

If you are looking for a simple and easy to use responsive chart solution. Chartist JS may be exactly what you are looking for. Chartist JS was created by a community of developers who were unhappy with the current charting systems available today, so you know it’s gotta be good :)

Using Chartist JS is very simple. After you include the library in your project you can easily create bar charts, pie charts, line charts, and so much more. Checkout just how easy it is to create a simple bar chart below:

// Create a simple bar chart
var data = {
  labels: ['Mon', 'Tue', 'Wed', 'Thu', 'Fri'],
  series: [
    [5, 2, 4, 2, 0]
  ]
};
 
// In the global name space Chartist we call the Bar function to initialize a bar chart. As a first parameter we pass in a selector where we would like to get our chart created and as a second parameter we pass our data object.
Chartist.Bar('.ct-chart', data);

So, be sure to checkout this library if you are looking for a quick and easy solution for great responsive charts. http://gionkunz.github.io/chartist-js/

what-is-polymer

What is Polymer and should I be using it?

Before I get started telling you what polymer is and the cool things you can do with it; it might be best to give you an overview of Web Components, because after you understand Web Components you’ll pretty much understand Polymer.

Web components are a bundle of markup and styles that we can use to create custom HTML elements. For instance we could create a tag like:

<awesome></awesome>

And ‘awesome’ would be our custom HTML element. We can then define a template of HTML, CSS, and Javascript to render our custom element on our page. The great thing about web components is that all of the contents inside of our custom element (also referred to as the ShadowDom) will not be able to mess-up or bleed out to the parent page. This is great because you won’t have any CSS or Javascript conflicts. One custom HTML5 element that may be very familiar to you is the ‘video’ custom element. Shown below:

<video width="300" height="150"> 
  <source src="trailer.mp4" type="video/mp4”>
  <source src="trailer.webm" type="video/webm">
  <source src="trailer.ogv" type="video/ogg”>
</video>

The ‘video’ HTML element is a custom element that is recognized across most modern web browsers. And utilizing web components you are able to create your own custom HTML5 elements.

So, now onto Polymer. Polymer is a javascript library that makes creating these custom html elements easier than ever. With Traditional web components you would have to write a lot of javascript and implement the web component into your webpage. Then you would have to make sure that that custom element worked in most modern web browsers. Well, if you are using polymer you can rest assure that all your web elements will be pollyfilled so that way they are compatible with the latest web browsers.

Using Polymer we can quickly and easily create new web components that people can drop into their webpage and the web component will do it’s own work and display it self accordingly on your page.

Be sure to checkout Polymers website here: http://www.polymer-project.org/ You can checkout some of the cool custom elements that people are already building over at http://www.customelements.io/

Also, be sure to checkout the cool examples on Polymer’s demo pages: 

http://www.polymer-project.org/apps/topeka/

http://www.polymer-project.org/components/paper-elements/demo.html#core-toolbar

And checkout just how easy it can be to include google custom elements on your site here: http://googlewebcomponents.github.io/

There’s a lot of cool things that custom elements are solving. Be sure to read up and learn more about custom elements since this will soon be the future of where web development is heading.